Photo by Loralee Beard, Magic Moment Photography

Gwinnett's big moments...
By Loralee Beard, Magic Moment Photography

The luckiest people have an occasion or two in their life when they have that Big Moment.  At that amazing time, little can add to the moment except sharing it with your friend.  That is what happened when. Mountain View Homecoming Queen Sarah Williamson watched best friend Tyree Wood crowned as  Homecoming King.  Sarah and Tyree first met and hit it off in their Freshman year at MVHS and the friendship has endured with shared interests in Mentoring, Latin Club and “hanging around.

Sarah, shown at the moment of announcement with her proud Father, is hoping to attend University of Georgia and study sports medicine is also a Lacrosse athlete and active in Beta Club. Tyree, shown walking on the field with Mom, is part of the Orchestra and may look for further study in Music after high school.

Mill Creek High School Cross Country continues to attract a stellar group of athletes.  Senior boys: Will Jeffrey, Brandon Rosier, Seth Truax, Christian Braun, Ben Harris, Daniel Smith, Zane Rimmer, Ethan LoCicero, Coach Christie, Steven Young, Hayden Huggins with Boys Coach Andie Christie peering over the back are shown posing with  their beloved albeit unofficial unofficial Mascot – the Gnome know as McGuyver.


McGuyver been part of the team ever since 2008, when a parent bought him, painted him, and the boys started bringing him to every meet. Every year a "keeper of the gnome" is announced at the Cross Country banquet, and passed down from a current senior to a rising senior. Coach Christie, reports, “We've had shirts made of him and just recently had ties made.”

When the photography of the  Lanier Cross Country Team was done, Coach Oji Perkins and Coach Naomi Kirchner, a couple athletes and I walked back along the path at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center to our cars . All small talk stopped when we encountered a REALLY long snake.  The helpful rhyme : “Red Touch Yellow, Kills a Fellow ;Red Touch Black, Venom Lack” eluded us but someone guessed it was a harmless “rat catcher.”

Senior, Collin Rusch ,  number two runner on the Varsity Men’s team and MIT candidate for next fall, volunteered to take a closer look.  I applaud him for his bravery and for his common sense because he did not get all that close.

The story of  Marshall Riggins Blair has a happier ending.  He was stuck in a drainpipe in Conyers for at least two days when someone called for the help of Magic Moment photographer, Kaley Mitchell.  Kaley has her own rescue mission and has found homes for over 80 dogs in the past 2 years, Kaley rescued the 6 week old puppy and within 48 hours had rehomed him to another Magic Moment staffer, Katee Blair—Grayson High School class of 2013 and a student at Georgia Perimeter College.  Parents John and Julee Blair accepted Marshall only after Katee signed a contract which included a clause for carpet replacement as needed and cleaning of all puppy body fluids

Stone Mountain Park seems to improve all the time and I was delighted when Mom DeAnne, a staff member at Lovin Elementary School, asked me to do a portrait of her daughter  Lauren Putman.  The lovely Lauren, whose parents DeAnne and Robert came from Boston and New York City, has grown up here along with brother Tyler, an Osborne Middle School Lacrosse player. Lauren is a cheerleader at Mill Creek High School, and  is looking at several Georgia colleges as well as University of Alabama after graduation.

Harrison Tobin, son of our talented yearbook advisor Cheryl Ingle, is an Army Ranger stationed at Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah Georgia.  We have photographed Harrison since 2007 – when he was a foot shorter and his greatest love was baseball.   He has moved on from baseball and we were thrilled to be able to photograph his engagement portrait recently.  Bride-to-Be  Amber is from Savannah but is studying to be a Nurse Anesthetist at Oklahoma City University, after attending college on a wrestling scholarship.   Harrison is on his way to his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.

I was dazzed by the “whiteouts” a few years ago when all the Gwinnett Friday night fans wore white . I was delighted a few years after that  impressed by the “blackouts” when those very same fans wore black.  However , nothing is more energizing than the current “red white and blue” as demonstrated by a sample of Grayson High School football fans. Hats off to  Grayson High School Touchdown Club member/ leading Gwinnett educator  Ed Shaddix who has encouraged this trend.

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