LARSON: Looking back gives reason to look forward

Susan Larson

Susan Larson

It’s still 2010 and I already have about a dozen columns lined up for 2011. But before I look to the future, I’d like to take one more look at some of my columns past. Besides, with all pessimism about the economy, I love highlighting how many of “my people,” as I think of them, have flourished.

In February, when I wrote about the good chemistry at Niko’s Wine Corner in Snellville, Niko’s in downtown Lawrenceville was still under construction. It is now a popular gathering place for business people during the day and Aurora Theatre patrons at night. Manager Leslie Maske is always coming up with special events like her champagne samplers for New Year’s Eve. From noon until closing, for $20, guests can ring in the New Year with three bubbly samples, and then a full glass of their favorite. In the evening they can sip and listen to the free Mike Rogers Band concert in the Honest Alley Garden.

Right around the corner from Niko’s is Aristeacrats, a delightful tea shop that was the subject of a November column. Their newest offering is a knitters’ tea on Monday nights. Knitters of all skill levels are welcome. And getting off the ground right downstairs is the newly opened Emporium where local crafters can rent space to sell their creations and local farmers their produce.

Frank Sharp, the photographer who shot videos of all the Gwinnett Parks walking trails now has over 70 YouTube videos to his credit. He will have shows at George Pierce Park in the spring and sometime soon a permanent exhibit at the Lawrenceville Senior Center.

In October, I covered historian Gene Ramsay’s inaugural tour of an old Norcross Cemetery. A month later, Daily Post staff reporter Josh Green wrote a follow-up story which makes it look like Ramsay has instituted a profitable tourist attraction that rivals Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.

Garden Plaza offers everything from literary presentations to car shows and it looks like nothing is going to change in 2011. The next event, Lunch and Listen, in cooperation with the Gwinnett County Library will feature a book signing with New York Times best selling authors Mary Jane Clark, Lynn Cullen and Karen White. The date is Jan. 20. As always, Garden Plaza will cater a free lunch, but you do need to make reservations.

And I can’t end this column without recognizing what the Boys Scouts have contributed to the community in their centennial year. In the past 12 months, 115 young men have earned their Eagle badge. These Eagles, and the people they enlisted to help them carry out their projects, contributed 26,044 man hours of free labor to churches, schools, non-profit organizations and city parks at a cost of $123,310, all donated by the Scouts and the people backing their projects, making Gwinnett County an even better place for me to write about in the coming year.

Susan Larson is a freelance writer who lives in Lilburn. E-mail her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.