Defiance of Gravity

This time of year is a big reunion for the Magic Moment staff.   While many of us are together most of the year, the complete summer staff is the gold standard with regulars like like Hannah Mckay of Grayson who began working for us as a high school student and is now entering her final year at Piedmont College.  Through the years the talented Hannah has fit us around her other obligations--collegiate softball career, educational trip to Peru -- to be there during our busiest season.  Hannah, starting as a photo assistant, is now a photographer. However, we first realized her full value in summer of 2007 when Taryn Beard Barnett, 8 1/2+ months pregnant at the time, would only come to work if Hannah was her assistant.   Here Hannah shows her acting chops in a vignette also showcasing Meredith Chastain, Lindsay Waddell and Taryn on our new locker backdrop.

Mallory Marino and Joe Paul met when they were in Grayson High School Marching band and Mallory, needing a date for Homecoming, went with Joe who was “available”.  Now in a joyful wedding celebration, the groom is definitely “Not available” any more.  Front and to the left of the bride is the Groom’s father and pastor Joe Paul who I have known for many years and yet did not know of his jumping prowess.
Also showing a defiance of gravity is Nathan Dobbs, who comes from a long line of Grayson HS Dobbs athletes including pole vaulting sister Kara. Staging this jump for us on a very small backdrop did not seem to rattle our athlete.  Mom Sherridon is the ultimate Booster Mom in any sport in which her children participate.  Therefore, it will be a school wide setback, the day youngest child sophomore Kyle, graduates.
Our traditional Grayson Football picture involves five high profile seniors (Garrett Horne and Michael Peek (seated), Canen Marshall (kneeling),  Sean Olukoju and Justin Maddox (standing)) and a mandate that they must come to be photographed directly from practice—as grimy as possible.  This year’s picture was made a little easier by the 95 degrees and off the charts humidity of our Georgia summer.
Moving outside, Taryn Barnett photographed sisters Kaden & Andi Dorman at the Vines Botannical Gardens in Loganville.  One Dorman sister has Curly hair, and one has straight hair. Blue eyes, brown eyes. They are as different as night and day but you have never met two sisters more excited about just being together. Last fall, Andi gained fame in my granddaughter’s Hayden Barnetts First Baptist of Snellville’s Two year old Class as the “Potty Trained One”.  Also part of the Dorman family are parents are Allison and Chad and very new sister Reagan.
Harking back to the years when I spent all my spare time at a barn, I had the opportunity to photograph local equestrian Crystal Kalish and her horse Winnie. Crystal, an only child of longtime Gwinnett resident Beth and Joe Kalish, received Winnie, an American Holsteiner with the official name of “Unofficial Winner” as her 2009 Christmas gift.  The pair compete in area Hunter-Jumper shows .  Crystal and Winnie plan to attend college locally.
The local sports fan knows that when the top ranking for most high school and college sports is listed, a Gwinnett based school or individual is commonly named.  Developing a Gwinett County Sports Hall of Fame was one way to celebrate this. 
Pictured standing are the five 2010 Inaugural honorees: Ida Neal-Smith-an ACC basketball athlete from Central Gwinnett High School who was the first Yellow Jacket to make first-team All-ACC in women’s basketball., Terry Harvey  three-sport standout at Dacula High School who went on to be a success in both football and baseball at North Carolina State, Matt Stinchcomb from Parkview High School who had several seasons in the National Football League , Ezzard Charles Jr., representing his deceased father Lawrenceville native Ezzard Charles, the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1949-1951, and Greater Atlanta Christian basketball star  Cindy Brogdon, who won a silver medal with the 1976 U.S. women’s basketball team. Seated is Kelly Herndon, Executive Director Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund, and, J. Alvin Wilbanks, Gwinnett County Board of Education CEO/Superintendent. The Inaugural ceremony was held during the Gwinnett Braves game.  The list of who  should be named next year is being argued by sports fans throughout the county even as we speak.

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