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Sean Gobin’s Trail to Recovery

A former Marine in Afghanistan came home and transformed a nature hike into a path of recovery for fellow veterans. Making their way up the steep trail, ten combat veterans breath heavily under the weight of their gear which is an all too familiar feeling. Except this time is no one shooting at them. Instead they focus their thoughts on healing from their wartime experiences. As they reach the peak of this particular mountain, the forest opens up to a breathtaking view of the valley below. Much like how bootcamp will prepare you for war, hiking all 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail will prepare you to return home. The War Within Warriors all, they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition affecting those who have experienced or witnessed extreme traumatic events during wartime or in combat and are unable to get past it. In World War I, it was labeled “shell shock” and after World War II, “combat fatigue” among other monikers spouted by the medical community for a condition they knew little of. Sufferers are plagued by flashbacks

Chatt Hills Music – Serenbe, Georgia

As a fan of live music, I frequent the websites of my favorite performers to see when their tours bring them reasonably close to my South Florida home. Because that doesn’t happen often enough, we’ve developed the enjoyable habit of visiting some of the coolest small music venues in equally cool small cities and towns across the southeast and beyond. These include Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, Austin and Serenbe. I kid you not, Serenbe. I thought you’d be interested in hearing about a few of these music venues in the months ahead, so let’s start with Chatt Hills Music in Serenbe, Georgia. As you learned in a recently published feature on Throomers, one of my all-time favorite musicians is Grammy award-winning, Mike Farris. About a year ago, I noticed that Farris was playing a solo acoustic show at Chatt Hills Music on the outskirts of Atlanta. The flight would be a breeze, so I made the plans, purchased the show tickets, and with my daughter along for the ride we were soon leaving Atlanta’s bustling airport with the GPS set for

Mickey Redwine: Lone Star Patriot

We’ve written dozens of Throomers’ features by now. Incredible, energetic, accomplished people, one and all. This is no different. We’re excited to introduce an uncommon man whose interests, achievements and contributions are so copious and diverse, we needed to discover a central theme to tie them all together. We think we found it. The Lone Star State is where Mickey Redwine was born and bred. If there’s an essential element to the man, it is this. His place of birth has influenced much of his independent streak, his impassioned drive, and his outsized dignity. He is an American patriot and an unremitting entrepreneur, no doubt, but at his core the man is a true and proud Texan. Reminiscent of a long-ago frontiersman on the open plain, Redwine sees in the distance only the bright light of possibility drawing him onward to an even better day. His adventuresome spirit won’t allow for setting up camp any longer than is necessary. He grabs his side arm, a vitamin drink to recharge the batteries, and then saddles up his Harley to get a

Aging is Cool: Sleepaway Camp

One couple is changing the face of aging in our world by showing everyone how cool it can be! What if we viewed aging as a new adventure instead of yielding to society’s accepted norm of inevitable decline in physical and mental health, losing independence, and dying alone? Why have we viewed our “golden years” as a time of loss and decay rather than a time of growth?  What if aging is actually cool? These are the questions that Amy and Damien Temperley began asking a few years ago as they created Aging is Cool, a company with a nonprofit arm based in Austin, Texas, that provides programs and services to help older adults Stay Strong, Stay Smart, and Stay Social. Looking Beyond the Status Quo For over 25 years, Amy had worked in the nonprofit sector predominantly with frail older adults who needed daily care or were dealing with a dementia diagnosis. London-born Damien was seeing a more active side of aging as a fitness instructor for a local senior center.  Together, they were both seeing gaps in service

Neal Petersen: Against All Odds

He’s a solo racing yachtsman who sailed into the history books and navigated through life’s adversity achieving the impossible. His boat slammed into the roaring sea as waves crashed over him. Neal Petersen held fast the ropes and lowered the sails as best he could as the ocean recoiled and unleashed another round of fury. Sheer determination drowned any fear he must have had. Like the sirens call, every wave beckoned him to quit, but he refused to succumb. His red jacket flapping wildly in the wind, he was soaked and freezing. Hurricane force wind gusts measured 55 knots.The 38-foot sailboat was 300 miles from Cape Horn, the most southern tip of the Americas, and 200 miles from the coast of Chile. “I was using such force that my fingers began to bleed, and the sail began to rip. I had a torn mainsail. My headsail was already shredding. Big challenges were coming up,” says Petersen in his autobiography, Journey of a Hope Merchant. He couldn’t leave the tiller, the wind vane needed help. By holding the rope and using all

JACK HORNER – CAN YOU SPELL PALEONTOLOGY?

For this dreamer, going big meant going really big as in dinosaurs, the big screen, and the world stage. As children, most of us dreamed about what we wanted to be when we grow up. For some of us, it was engraved on the posters we hung on our bedroom walls or the books that were stacked in our shelves. As life goes on though, most of us change life trajectories and end up in careers totally different than what we initially had in our little hearts. However, there are those whose passion is so engraved in their souls no matter how much they change, they eventually become who they always wanted to be. Jack Horner was one of those people. He turned his childhood passion for fossil hunting into a career as a world-renowned paleontologist, but it was an achievement that was nowhere near easy. A Rough Beginning Horner grew up as a shy, introverted boy with dyslexia, a condition that makes it hard to learn to read and absorb information, which became a major challenge for Jack but

Words of Wisdom: A Reminder from “The Engineers of Life”

  As you welcome in the new year, 2019, what are you thinking? How are you feeling? What does this new year mean to you? Does it feel like a new birth, a new beginning? Are you feeling a new vitality as you think about your new possibilities? Think for a moment about a new year past. Did you begin it with this same kind of thinking, were you feeling a new energy, only to have it soon dissipate into the blackhole that lies within the ‘dailyness’ of your life?  If so, you are far from alone. If you are sincere about making this new year different, take a few moments to read what follows. First though, let us be clear. We do not intend to bore you with the same old advice about goal setting, time management, positive thinking, and more. Please don’t misunderstand, we believe each of these is important. But, without understanding what we are about to share, this well-intended advice will lead to temporary changes at best. The Force is with You I believe there are

Dr. Hagood: An Intellectual Southern Gentleman

An Intellectual Gentleman of the South Throomers extends a warm welcome to Professor Taylor Hagood as a most noteworthy contributing writer. His depth of knowledge across American literature is impressive, especially as relates to his birthplace, the United States South. He’ll be providing our readers with extraordinary content from time-to-time on any number of subjects as his busy schedule allows. Initially, we’ll be proudly presenting his popular ‘Hagood Reads the Phone Book’ series, beginning with fascinating tales from Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is a city filled with colorful history, from the era of steamboats to the birth of the blues and rockabilly music. The focus will be on household names connected with the city – Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Martin Luther King, and many others – as well as lesser known but historically significant names. In the months ahead, Professor Hagood will provide entertaining visits to the historic cities of New Orleans, Key West, and wherever else his phone book happens to be propped open to at the time. Beyond these travelogues, we’re hoping he’ll grace us with essays in other

Art Wolfe: Photographer Extraordinaire

Art Wolfe, the extraordinary photographer, was kind enough to send his two latest coffee-table-sized book for our review.  Let’s take a look at them. Human Canvas combines Wolfe’s world-famous photography with his exquisite painting to create a groundbreaking collection of body art. What does it mean to be human? In Human Canvas, Art Wolfe uses his exceptional photography and his background in fine-art painting to transform skin into an abstract landscape. Inspired by the body-painting traditions of indigenous peoples Wolfe has photographed worldwide, and particularly those in Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea, Wolfe set out to present his own take on this art form and explore concepts of universal beauty. Through the use of lines, patterns, textures, and unusual points of view, Wolfe abstracts the human form and creates a unique and captivating look of the human body as art. The result is an energized expression of both artistic mastery and cultural impact. Over his expansive career, Wolfe has traveled to every continent. He has ventured from 19,000-foot heights on Mount Everest to the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia, 410 feet below sea