Visit Georgia Welcome Center on Friday for activities

June 7, 2012 

It's time again for Georgia on My Mind Day.

All of the Georgia Welcome Center sites will have a day where representatives of regional attractions will be on hand to talk to people who stop by. You don't have to be a newcomer to the area, either.

Believe it or not, we have a Georgia Welcome Center in Columbus.

The odd thing is, it's not on the Georgia-Alabama line near the Chattahoochee River.

It used to be, but it was moved to 1751 Williams Road (at I-185 and Exit 12).

Why? I have no idea.

But everyone there is just as friendly as when they were downtown.

The Georgia on My Mind Day is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday. You'll get to meet a knight from Medieval Times Dinner Theater. Now, that's not here in Columbus. You'll have to drive to Atlanta if you want to have dinner at Medieval Times.

You'll get to see some animals from Wild Animal Safari, the Rock Ranch and Zoo Atlanta.

Representatives from Columbus Visitors Bureau, Chattahoochee Riverwalk Segway, various museums, Callaway Gardens, Stillpond Vineyards, Steelmeadows Cabins, Westville, Fort Benning, Hills & Dales, Warm Springs, Explorations in Antiquity, Oxbow Meadow Environmental Learning Center, and Eatonton will be there.

You'll get to sample some food, including sweet tea from Country's and peanuts from Plains, You can pick up some discount coupons and other goodies.

The free event will be outside, so prepare for the weather.

Call 706-649-7455 or 706-641-4198.

For Mini Cooper enthusiasts

I got an email last weekend from Brian Lackey asking to get his club listing in the To Do calendar.

It's for the Fountain City Minis, as in owners and admirers of the Mini Cooper.

These little cars have a soft spot in my heart. It started years ago. It was Christmas and our usual group was having our annual dinner. One of the gang, Bill Rich was late. When I called him, he said he was on his way back from Atlanta. I knew that meant he was car shopping.

I told the rest that he had probably bought a Hummer.

No, he went the other way. He bought a Mini Cooper. He kept that car for a few years, before trading it in for a Prius, which he replaced earlier this year with another car.

In 2008, when we went to Japan, our cousins met us at the airport. One of them, Kenichi Kono, was in a Toyota. The other driver, Tsuneo Hosaka, was driving a Mini Cooper. He's actually the husband of my cousin Hiromi, but we still call him a cousin.

My brother rode with him from the airport to where we were staying in Kashiwa. He said it was a very rough ride. It's not that Tsuneo is a bad driver, but the car was on its last legs.

Well, four years later, the car is still running. Tsuneo loves that Mini, which is almost 20 years old. The car spends a lot of time in the shop, but apparently, he's not giving up on it.

He and Ken were here and every time he saw a Mini in a parking lot, he'd stop and walk around it. They are now on their way to San Fransico, where they'll fly back to Japan.

I'm sure he's looking at every Mini he sees.

Getting back to Brian Lackey, he said the local social club for Mini Cooper enthusiasts meets for coffee and socializing at 5 p.m. every third Saturday at Fountain City Coffee. So the next one is June 16.

They drive around for a while and then have dinner together.

I may see if I can catch a ride with one of them and socialize.

Call Brian at 678-296-5134 for more details.

Sandra Okamoto, arts writer, can be reached at sokamoto@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8580.

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