SEPT. 4, 2018
Tifton, Georgia


Tifton Grapevine

So-called "foodies" up North have discovered a hot new -- well, new to them -- culinary trend. It is, brace yourself, putting peanuts in Coca-Cola.

That's right; folks above the old Mason-Dixon line are just finding out about a Southern staple that's been around for about a century. Within the past few weeks there have been several published articles, all emanating from New York City, about what is called this "strange" and "bizarre" practice.

Delish Magazine recently wrote: " Turns out people have been putting peanuts in their Coke for awhile now --- a nd those of us here in New York just caught wind of it."

Both Men's Journal and Esquire magazine recently had blurbs about the tastiness of combining salty peanuts with cold, sweet fizzy Coke And a couple of weeks ago, USA Today Network's "Eat Sip Trip" website had a long article  under the headline: "Putting peanuts in Coke was the most bizarre food trend of the 1920s."

To us Southerners, this is all laughable. For generations, we have grabbed a cold glass bottle of Coca-Cola (no self-respecting Southerner would do this with a plastic bottle), taken a big swig to make some room and then plopped a generous handful of salted peanuts into the Coke.

If this was a food trend, someone forgot to tell us. It's just an efficient way of eating your peanuts and drinking your Coke that we all learned as kids.

The Coca-Cola Co.'s website notes that "folks from Texas to the Carolinas partake in the sweet, salty goodness, while the custom seems to peter out in Virginia and disappears entirely by Maryland."

I grew up in the city in southern Virginia, only an hour east of the peanut fields, and we put peanuts in our Coke bottles. But I doubt if anyone in northern Virginia ever did so.

Coke's website quotes John T. Edge, director of the  Southern Foodways Alliance at the Center for 
Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, who grew up in Jones County, Ga., where "any road trip was fueled by a sleeve of roasted and salted peanuts and a glass bottle of Coke."

Edge believes the combo "was likely born of country store commerce. Think of Coke and peanuts as a prototype fast-food for the 20th century South."

Although there's no written record, the first package of peanuts may have been poured into a glass bottle of Coke as early as the 1920s, the website says. "Packaged, already shelled peanuts from Planters, Lance and Tom's began showing up at country stores and filling stations where the familiar contour bottle of Coke was already being sold."

Edge said that combining the two made it easier to drive a stick shift on the back roads of Georgia. Others muse that the practice may have begun with farm workers who had little time to stop and eat.

How ever the combination started, it's good to see the rest of the country finally catching on. And the USA Today Network related some sage advice: "Just whatever you do, don't try substituting Diet Coke, warns Esquire (magazine). Peanuts and Coca-Cola may be an OG food trend, but peanuts and Diet Coke are just a crime against nature."

I believe  "OG" is a  hipster way of saying  "old" or  "original." Anyway, if New Yorkers are just hearing about putting peanuts in Coke, then obviously they weren't listening to singer Barbara Mandrell in 1981. That year she released "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" with these lines:

"I remember when no one was lookin'
I was puttin' peanuts in my Coke.

"I took a lot of kiddin'
'Cause I never did fit in;
Now look at everybody
tryin' to be what I was then."

And, yep, they're still trying today.


The Tiftarea YMCA is honoring the late Lamar Jackson, founder of the local YMCA, at a ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 6.

"We are naming the youth fields 'Lamar Jackson Fields at Hunt Park,'" says Darian Peavy, Tiftarea YMCA CEO. "Lamar had a passion for youth in the community. He wanted to offer programs to keep children active. This is TIftarea YMCA's way of giving back to Lamar for his unwavering

 The dedication ceremony begins at 5 p.m. Thursday at the YMCA's Hunt Park, 1823 Westover Road. In its invitation to the community, the YMCA notes that Jackson is being honored for "his unwavering support and strength that was an inspiration to all."

Jackson, 79, owner of  Superior Uniform and Kelly's Cleaners  , died in March 2017. He was a visionary who saw a need for the YMCA in Tifton.  Jackson had said he was inspired in 1997 to establish a YMCA after reading in the newspaper a lengthy list of local teenagers arrested on a Friday night.  

"I thought it was a shame these teenagers didn't have a place to go with Christian morals and values," said Jackson. That next week, he asked local business leaders to meet with him at the Chamber of Commerce "I went to 12 people and they gave me $270,000" toward establishing a YMCA, Jackson recalled.

Jackson had remained an active supporter of the Tiftarea YMCA since its beginning. He worked quietly behind the scenes to ensure the local Y has had a solid foundation. He was recognized with the Stafford Award for community service from the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce.

The YMCA will also honor Jackson with its 2nd Annual Lamar Jackson Memorial Golf Tournament on  Oct. 29  at Spring Hill Country Club.

All funds raised from the event will be devoted to improving the Tiftarea YMCA's Hunt Park facility and ball fields and to further develop the youth programs.

For information, call 229-391-9622 or visit


Tifton First United 
Methodist Church

107 W 12th St., Tifton

Tifton First United Methodist Church has an opening for a nursery worker. This is a part-time position 
  available after September 18.

Regular schedule is 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sundays. Wednesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. is optional. 
The hourly rate is $10 per hour.

Applicants must be at least 21, meet background check for working with children, learn and enforce the Safe Sanctuary policy, and must be able to work with a wide range of people in a personable and friendly manner.  

Interested persons should send a letter of application stating their experience, qualifications 
 and relevant information to:

FUMC Church Secretary
Re: Nursery Worker
107 W. 12th St.
Tifton, GA 31794


The 13 th  annual  Omega Pepper Festival is this weekend  at Ponder Park in Omega. 

The festivities get underway Friday night with a BBQ and gospel sing, 6-10 p.m. 

The festival is all day Saturday, Sept. 8, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. The family-friendly event will have arts and crafts vendors, food and entertainment. Bands include the Danny Dawson Band, N.A.J. Band, Austin Neal and the Last Chance Band

Saturday's parade starts at 10:30, and Ponder Park entertainment starts at noon. This year's event features an "Out of Africa" Zoo to You by Wild Life Wonders with two shows during which you can interact and learn more about the animals from Africa.

And, of course, there will be plenty of peppers.
Swingin Medallions
Dinner-Dance Fundraiser for the Public Library
Thursday, Sept. 13
UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center

Tifton-Tift County Public Library Foundation Presents The Swingin' Medallions
Watch VIDEO above!

       Get Your Tickets Today at the 
    Tifton-Tift  County
Public Library 
                     or Online:
                       Click Here!

        Call 478-227-7126 for information


The Tifton Fire Department welcomes two new members: Jason Demos, left, and Brook Ulm, right, with Fire Chief Bobby Bennett, center.

The duo just completed eight weeks of training at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center and are now ready to go on shift.

The School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College participated in the recent Health and Wellness Fair and Town Hall sponsored by the Tifton Veterans Administration Community-Based Outpatient Clinic.  

Area health services were represented at the event. Dr.  Jaibun Earp , dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, said now being planned are collaborative nursing student training opportunities at different health services to include mental health services.


The  Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition will celebrate its  41st anniversary show Oct. 16-18 at Spence Field in Moultrie. More than 1,200 exhibitors will display and demonstrate products and welcome thousands of visitors to the 100-acre show site.

Crowned as North America's Premier Farm Show and the largest farm sh ow in America with field demonstrations, the Sunbelt Ag Expo brings together all segments of agribusiness including farmers, educators, policy-makers, ag-enthusiasts and families. 

All attending the show will see the agriculture industry'latest innovation and technologyEducation is the key component of the show with more  than  300 seminars and demonstrations offered during the three-day event. These seminars and demonstrations are taught in exhibit areas for beef, dairy, poultry, forestry, pond management, equine and cattle management. 

A crowd pleaser is the 600-acre resear ch farm's field demonstrations . These demos showcase harvesting and tillage equipment for cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans and hay. As in the past, cotton will be harvested during the show. In addition, hay demos will include all facets of hay harvesting from cutting to baling and will provide visitors the opportunity to see 80 types of hay harvesting equipment run in a farm setting.

Kentucky is the 2018 Spotlight State, and the Kentucky Spotlight State Committee has put together an all- encompassing exhibit themed " Kentucky Start to finish: Pioneering Innovation."  The exhibit will feature a special section on agricultural safety, including seminars and demonstrations.

During the Expo, there is a daily rolling Antique Tractor Parade, the American Grand Finals Stock Dog Trials and even a Cow Milking Contest.

"The Sunbelt Expo is an unbelievable showcase of rural living  blanketed with  agriculture's newest ideas and technologies. Its three  days of fun, education and  dreaming about agriculture's future as we team together to feed, clothe and house a growing population around the world," said Chip Blalock, show director.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Sophia Fisher, 18, of Tifton, died June 30 when she and her mother were struck from behind by a pickup truck while riding their bicycles along Willis Still Road. Her mother, Lynda, was injured but is recovering. Her father, Richard, is principal at Len Lastinger Elementary School. The family wishes to share this message with the community.

Over the last two months, our family has felt an array of feelings like none we have felt before in our lives. Broken. Despair. Hurt. Anguish. Grief. This roller-coaster ride of emotions we have experienced since the tragic loss of our daughter Sophia is new territory for us. We have embarked on an uncertain path of life we are unclear where it will lead.

However, in the midst of the pain, we also have experienced other emotions from our community, family and friends to a degree like none other. Support. Friendship. Love. Caring. Sacrifice. Hope. The way in which our community banded together and wrapped their arms around us has been overwhelming. We are so very thankful for your unwavering love toward us and could never fully express how your outpouring of support has given us the encouragement to move forward each day. 
After the birth of our three boys, we asked God for a precious daughter, and along came our sassy, redheaded Sophia. We know children are a gift from Him and ours to raise and direct in a manner pleasing to God. Although far from perfect, we have strived to direct all our children to their purpose and calling in life. None of us knows how long or short those lives will be, so we took and continue to take steps to make most every moment count.
We never could have imagined Sophia's life would only last 18 years here on earth, and we were certainly not ready to say good-bye. Nevertheless, while there is nothing that could completely take our pain away, your support toward our entire family has helped ease the pain. We know beyond any doubt we have countless people around us who sincerely care about each one of us. 

Thank you! Thank you for your cards, flowers, texts, gift cards, charity donations, food, gifts, prayers, visits and overall love toward us. We are privileged to live in a community that binds together in the midst of both joys and sorrows. You have walked with us and continue to shower us with support as we try to define our new normal. 
As we all move forward through this wave of grief, we believe it is important to live by Sophia's mantra: Be Happy. Happiness is a choice, and we encourage you to continue to love others and be a compassionate community. 

Thank you for walking with the Fisher family during these difficult days. 

--Richard, Lynda, Tobey James, Daniel and Matthew Fisher


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