Local man creates a little magic with community fairy village: You could say Dan O’Hara is a bit of a Peter Pan.
The Forsyth County resident retired two years ago ("I hate the word retired...my wife uses the term 'funemployed,’" he laughs), but says in reality, he’ll never fully grow up. So, it makes sense that when the pandemic hit and limited his chances to do volunteer work, he came up with an idea fit for a J. M. Barrie book.
"Usually, I actually go volunteer building schools and things like that, so I had a desire to build some things," O’Hara says. "I was running along the Halcyon Nature Trail and spotted this perfect little grotto that was fern-covered and green, and I said, ‘That's where we need to have a fairy village.’"
And that’s exactly what happened.
O’Hara created a whimsical fairy village located along the Big Creek Greenway, right across the street from popular mixed-use development Halcyon. The mini-metropolis features handcrafted dwellings fit for the forest’s tiniest residents.
"The general idea is to use pinecones and sticks and rocks and whatever you find in the woods and try to keep it natural," he says. "Now, we do have quite a few unicorns that have shown up, and other things, so we don't discourage that. But the general idea of fairy houses is you're supposed to make it out of standard things you find in nature."
O’Hara may have built and placed the village’s first fairy houses and gnome homes, but community members soon discovered the project and began to help it grow.
"I was out there yesterday, and I saw five new houses from three days ago, that I had never seen," he said. "So, I love to go out and just see what's popping up and how kids are making it. It’s always an adventure even for me."
A community effort to create some magic; proving it does, indeed, take a village.
John Driskell Hopkins releases long-awaited new album: As a founding member of Georgia’s own Zac Brown Band, John Driskell Hopkins has already performed on stages around the world, delivered chart-topping hits, and collected multiple Grammy Awards.
Now, the songwriter and musician is going back to basics, focusing on a more acoustic and intimate sound with his new solo album, "Lonesome High."
"Lonesome High" will be released Friday, and features collaborations with Zac Brown Band groupmate Coy Bowles and Emily Saliers of the Grammy-winning duo Indigo Girls.
"[Saliers] is a hero of mine and I see Coy, in a regular world, every week and spend lots of time with him. All my collaborators are either people that are really close to me or people that I really admire that I want to get closer to. You become a better artist when you're able to collaborate with other artists," says the musician.
It’s been a long road toward release for "Lonesome High," which the artist says was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We ended up finishing it in the spring-summer of last year and were going to put it out in the fall, and the pandemic just never went away," Hopkins said. "And so, now, we're embracing the fact that we're going to just put the music out there without being able to immediately tour in support of it, and I think that's the best way forward."But with songs like "Missing You All, All the Time," the Grammy winner says perhaps the current climate of isolation and social distance will bring an added layer of meaning to his music.
"I never thought that my song 'Missing You All, All the Time' would be so poignant in this moment," he says. "Once you've locked down for three months you just start to wonder what life really is. It's like, your whole reality changes. Until you get those bubbles going, you do miss everyone all, all the time. And we're just having to learn to live a new way."
Click here for more information on John Driskell Hopkins. "Lonesome High" will be available on all major music platforms Friday.
Artist Shelea talks new music and more: Singer and recording artist Sheléa made her acting debut as Dorinda Clark in the Lifetime biopic, "The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel." Sheléa, who has been recognized for her vocal talent from artists Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, David Foster, Queen Latifah, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Quincy Jones, and more, is thrilled to be a part of the recognition by the NAACP and the Critic Choice Awards for the film and has received tremendous accolades for her performance in the movie.
In addition to the success Sheléa has had with the film, she will be releasing her new single and music video "Grace," available on all music platforms.
Click here for more information on Shelea.
Psychotherapist Angela Buttimer joins Good Day with strategies for coping with the long-term mental and emotional health issues as we approach a year since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on Angela Buttimer or the Atlanta Center for Mindfullness & Well-being click here.
National Drink Wine Day with Erica Key: It's Feb. 18, otherwise known as National Drink Wine Day, a holiday worth celebrating if you are over 21! Entertaining expert and restaurant blogger, Erica Key from "Eating With Erica," joins us with more on the hot Atlanta wine spots. For more information on Erica Key click here.