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Another year, and another round of new government regulations. In previous editions of the Graniteer, I have spoken about the difficulty in running a business in America today. The number of regulations that a business owner is subjected to, along with the overwhelming task of compliance can be very costly and burdensome for the employer. Now don’t get me wrong, I feel that businesses need to take regulations with a healthy dose of respect. Most of the time, the regulations stem from some past issue that has resulted in a safety or environmental situation that we don’t want to repeat. That being said, the job or operation being covered by the regulation still needs to be done and therefore, a workaround solution needs to be found. Generally, these solutions require new safety equipment or processes that meet the requirements set forth by the regulation. In the granite industry, one of the biggest safety issues we face in quarrying and manufacturing granite products is silica. During the quarrying and manufacturing process, silica dust is released, which can then be introduced into the lungs. Long term exposure to this silica dust can result in an incurable condition called silicosis, which can be fatal. Granite workers have long been aware of the dangers associated with silica exposure. Over the last 100 years, much thought and effort has been put into protecting themselves from silica. The granite industry throughout this country has led the way in creating safety equipment and processes that help limit the exposure to silica. From wet sawing processes to dust ventilation systems to enclosed sandblast equipment and modern advanced personal protective equipment, employee safety is taken very seriously. Unfortunately, not all businesses that work with granite place the same emphasis on safety and protecting their workers from silica exposure. Data from the CDC and NIH show that there has been a rise in silicosis cases over the last few years, with many of these cases coming from small shops that may not be complying with current regulations and using labor that has no knowledge of the dangers of silica dust. In 2018 OSHA issued a new silica rule for general industry, and in April of this year MSHA released a new rule for quarrying operations. These rules show that the government is taking silica exposure very seriously and by all indications, they plan on consistent enforcement of the regulations. If you are producing granite dust of any sort, now is the time to assess your operation on how your company will comply with these rules and regulations. If you have questions about compliance within your company, please feel free to reach out to the EGA for help. Stay safe my friends. GROWING TO MEET YOUR NEEDS There has been much growth in The Elberton Granite Association’s member firms lately in efforts to ensure that their production is able to keep up with the demand of product. Baston Monuments, Inc. recently constructed a new building on their land adjacent to the current plant building. The new building is 240-feet long and 60-feet wide, giving it 14,400 square feet. The space is planned to be used as a finishing plant for blank monuments where no sandblast is needed. This shift of where blank monuments are made will allow Baston to streamline and increase their production. It will also provide Baston with much needed space for inventory along with room for loading trucks. Machinery is already being installed within the walls and production of monuments has begun as the remainder of machinery is built and placed. Baston Monuments was founded in 1997 by Michael and Sarah Baston. The company has been under their leadership ever since. As times required, they updated and renovated their business with their customer’s needs always on their mind. Baston can always be counted on to move forward and branch out when the need arises. ALWAYS TAKING STEPS TO ENSURE THAT THEY CAN OFFER THE BEST SERVICE AND SALES TO THEIR CUSTOMERS. WILSON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRIC began construction on their 9,360 square foot building. The new space will be used as a fabrication shop and will be utilized to house their current wire saw department. It will also be used to build their most popular size of blade saws, which is the 11’6” heavy duty blade saw. The building will consist of three bays for production of these saws making the process faster and more efficient. Wilson began construction of the foundation mid-November and they anticipate beginning to erect the building itself within the next month. Construction is estimated to continue until this time next year. Wilson Industrial Electric is always on the move making sure that they have the equipment, space and technology needed to stay a step ahead of what their customer’s need. “We are so very thankful for our new and existing customers, without them this would not be possible.” This edition’s Member Spotlight are the members that keep the granite industry moving, the “unsung heroes” if you will. Trucking is responsible for almost all of the granite industry freight movement in the United States. Advances in modern technology have enabled significant improvements within the trucking industry. Trucks are commonly equipped with satellite communication features. Our members routinely upgrade and update their trucks and machines to keep up with the available technology. This creates great confidence in their customers. The Elberton Granite Association has four Associate Members that specialize in transporting granite, along with other things, from point A to point B and anywhere needed in between. Whether you call them big rigs, granite trucks, semi’s, or tractor trailers, one thing is for certain... they keep the industry moving. Business of all sizes depend on the trucking industry to deliver their orders and the granite industry is no different. The trucking industry is certainly a key player in the granite industry. Wholesale businesses require tractor trailers to transport blocks from the quarry to the plant. Then once they are finished with their production, they rely on the trucks to deliver the order to the retail companies throughout the United States. One does not have to sit long in Elberton, Georgia to see a semi loaded with granite on its way to deliver its load. In this article, our associate members in the trucking industry will be listed alphabetically. Each member is unique and serve their industry along with the granite and natural stone industry with pride. The EGA is honored to have them among our member firms. DUNCAN TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, LLC has been in operation since 2017 when Blake Duncan purchased an existing trucking company. Blake along with his staff makes it a priority to spend time getting to know their customers and clientele. Duncan Transportation Services has been a member of the EGA since 2019. Duncan Transportation is capable of not only carrying monuments and granite blocks, but can also transport machinery and general loads such as nursery trees. They specialize in over-sized freight and heavy hauls as well. The granite industry is their focus but they service other industries as well. Their fleet consists of six trucks, specializing in flat bed hauls. They offer live load tracking for their customers. Duncan Transportation delivers to every region of the United States, be it north, south, east or west. Their drivers work hard to ensure the best experience for their customers. Over the next few years, Duncan Transportation is looking forward to offering even more services. FLAT CREEK X-PRESS, LLC is a privately owned and operated transportation company owned by Mitchell W. Boone. Mitchell began operation of serving the granite industry in 2009 and has been a member of the EGA since 2018. Flat Creek X-Press services the majority of the lower 48 states and Mitchell provides one-on-one personal communication with each customer to ensure total satisfaction. With communication being one of the company’s biggest keys to success, their goal is to build and maintain open lines of communication and to establish longstanding relationships with all involved in the transportation process. Mr. Boone ensures his staff functions with the same standards that have led to his success. They are committed to providing safe, reliable, quality transportation services for each individual customer. Flat Creek X-Press operates with eleven trucks to ensure that timely deliveries are made. The company has two locations in operation. HENRY & HENRY TRUCKING has been an associate member of the Elberton Granite Association since 1992. The company was founded in 1985 and is based in Marion, Kentucky. Bill Fox opened the Elberton location in 1989. Today, Billy Fox is President with Ryan Albertson as Terminal Manager. The Elberton terminal operates with an elevated loading dock, two 5-ton capacity bridge cranes and a fleet of twelve trucks and twenty five flatbed trailers. Today, Henry & Henry services twenty-five states from Virginia all the way to Utah while also maintaining several local runs. Henry & Henry is always gracious enough to dedicate time from their workday to assist EGA with demonstrations of how to lift monuments using straps and cranes. They discuss the loading and unloading process involved in delivering to retail locations. Ryan has prided himself on keeping a good repertoire with both the manufacturing companies and retail establishments so that he can serve each with pride. LEWIS TRANSCONTINENTAL, LLC joined the ranks of the EGA in 2021 when the company was formed by Tanner Lewis. Tanner ventured into the shipping industry after having grown up in the trucking business. His family owns a 100-year old trucking company where Tanner got his foundation. Lewis Transcontinental has a loading facility and storage space on Monumental Drive in Elberton, Georgia. The fleet consists of nine trucks and twelve trailers. Approximately nine acres make up the storage area that Lewis Transcontinental rents to hold inventory for their customers. Lewis Transcontinental focuses on transporting granite, however, they are capable of other loads such as heavy freight and dangerous loads. They offer a wide variety of perks in the manner of consolidation pickups, freight forwarding, long-haul and heavy load services. They also offer logistics consulting services and the ability to electronically track the order from quarry or plant, through transport, to commercial end-user delivery. The Elberton Granite Association would like to welcome its newest Associate Member, KRIS HENDRIX ETCHINGs! Kris began working with etching on stone shortly after graduating high school with the encouragement of the Ruff family at RIVER EDGE GRANITE. Kris maintained a position with an etching firm located in Elberton until March of 200.0 He married his wife, Tasha, and branched out on his own within the same week. Kris and Tasha worked with the talents God had given them in taking in orders for etching and fulfilling them. They worked as a team. Tasha spends her day working directly with the customers and building solid relationships while Kris oversees all production in the plant from artwork to etching. In 2012 Kris and Tasha were able to purchase the building they currently reside in. They have continued to grow and add more machines to ensure they can keep up with the demands while still maintaining that personal touch and clean etching that Kris and Tasha hold so dear. Today, Kris Hendrix Etchings consists of 3-4 employees, laser etching machines along with impact etching machines along with a flatbed truck for local pick-ups and deliveries. Welcome EGA’s New Associate Member, Kris Hendrix Etchings! EGA Welcomes Its New Associate Member South Eastern Memorial Restoration & Cleaning! EGA is proud to introduce our new Associate Member, SOUTH EASTERN MEMORIAL RESTORATION, CLEANING & INSTALLATION owned and operated by Mart Clamp. Mart is no stranger to the Elberton Granite Association nor the Granite Industry, for that matter. Mart has been active with the EGA for many years, never hesitating to share his knowledge of working with monuments as shown in the three photos to the right. Mart has taught sessions for the annual EGA Monument Builders Class along with participating and/or demonstrating in local convention sessions. The photograph of the lady statue below was a restoration repair job that Mart recently finished. Mart stated “A tree had fallen, hitting the monument. This broke the statue off of the pedestal while driving the pedestal into the ground. We repaired the arm and fingers of the statue which had broken off and reattached them to the statue. We then removed the pedestal from the ground and reset it before placing the statue back to its spot atop the pedestal.” Mart’s family has been active in the granite industry since 1965. Mart began his business in 1994 giving him thirty years of experience. Mart specializes in restoration, cleaning and installation though he does not limit himself to those capabilities. Mart prides himself on doing things right and ensuring that his customers are satisfied. South Eastern performs all services on-site. While he focuses on the Southeastern United States, he will travel further for bigger jobs. “Any job worth doing is worth doing right the first time.” stated Mr. Clamp These photos were taken during a demonstration from Mart showing how to clean and restore a neglected and worn ledger. These are great representation of before and after Mart restores a monument. “The goal is to keep the etching clean, bright and put out as much good work as possible.” stated Kris. Baston Monuments Adds MEC 10-Foot Splitter BASTON MONUMENTS, INC. recently added a 10-foot stone splitter to their list of machinery. The H-frame splitting machine is equipped with a 22” tall opening allowing large pieces of stone to be split. There is a 400-ton capacity. They are featured with an innovative hydraulic adjustable system where the splitting power is constant on each tooth, obtaining a high quality of the finished product and consequently a waste reduction. H-frame are able to process any kind of stone with natural or irregular shape to include stones, slabs or small blocks. This is the second MEC splitter that Baston has in their production line. Baston Monuments maintains state of the art equipment to ensure that production is precise and as ordered. Their customers are their number one priority. Johnson Machine Shop Manufactured New Diamond Tipped Core Hole Drill JOHNSON MACHINE SHOP is a bustle of productivity, as always. Steve and his son, Clark can be seen hard at work every time one goes by ensuring each machine meets their highest of standards. The latest machine was a diamond tipped core hole drill built for a local company that manufactures granite monuments. The core hole drill is constructed of heavy structural steel. The frame is welded to insure maximum stability and rigidity. Once plugged in and a water supply is connected to minimize the heat and friction, the machine is ready to be operated. This machine will hold a drill bit as small as 1-inch and as large as 8-inches. The 10-horsepower spindle motor is equipped with variable speed and pressure to ensure fast, economical and clean operation. Johnson Machine Shop Manufactured New Diamond Tipped Core Hole Drill JOHNSON MACHINE SHOP is a bustle of productivity, as always. Steve and his son, Clark can be seen hard at work every time one goes by ensuring each machine meets their highest of standards. The latest machine was a diamond tipped core hole drill built for a local company that manufactures granite monuments. The core hole drill is constructed of heavy structural steel. The frame is welded to insure maximum stability and rigidity. Once plugged in and a water supply is connected to minimize the heat and friction, the machine is ready to be operated. This machine will hold a drill bit as small as 1-inch and as large as 8-inches. The 10-horsepower spindle motor is equipped with variable speed and pressure to ensure fast, economical and clean operation. School of Hard Rocks Returns to Elberton The Elberton granite community welcomed the return of School of Hard Rocks for their Spring 2024 session. Each year, Charlie Hunt, Bobby Mattos, Jed Hendrickson, Tripp Johnson, Nathan Lange and Jonathan Modlich join forces to teach a small group of men and women retailers from around the country how to incorporate creativity and unique designs into their everyday monuments. Tanner Lewis, owner of LEWIS TRANSCONTINENTAL, graciously offered his loading dock for the class when their planned location did not pan out. This proved to be a great location and offered plenty of open air and space for the attendees to work. The attendees were given the opportunity to purchase new tools or have their existing tools serviced. EGA Member Firms, SPARTAN TOOL CO., INC., MILES SUPPLY, GRANITE SALES AND SUPPLIES, along with KEYSTONE MEMORIALS were also key players in helping The School of Hard Rocks have another successful year. EGA escorted the attendees to a quarry overlook to allow them to see the strategic ways that granite must be taken from the ground. The class consisted of demonstrations and techniques along with encouragement and advice on how to incorporate the “out of the box” concept into monuments. Alumni Instructors participated in leading the class with their tried and true methods of stone cutting. They were able to walk the platform assisting and guiding as needed. Alumni Instructors and Mentors included Ron Bartholomew, Wake Monument, Bill Boone, Logan Monument, Troy Caldwell, Caldwell Monument, Jacob Ellis, Gaulden Monuments, Mike Johns, Johns-Carabelli, Steve Kaczmarczky, Hunt Memorials, Mark Luken, West River Monument, Matt Matheney, Abel Monument, John Warner, Peconic Monument Works, and Tony Watson, Watson Monument Company. CHIP ACCURACY CONTEST Mark Luken, West River Memorials LONGEST CHIP CONTEST Daneil McLeish Idaho Granite Works LUKEN AWARD Caleb Luken, West River Memorials LINDA MORRIS Willis Granite Products was awarded a “Bell Cap” Miles Supply of Elberton Welcomes New Employees Welcoming Leslie to Miles Supply! Leslie Turpin, GA Sales/Customer Service Began January 2024, straight out of 24 years at Bicknell Supply. He is a 1987 UGA graduate in Industrial Arts Education. He began working in the stone supply industry in 1996. Leslie is married and residing in Gainesville GA. They have children currently in GA, AK, FL, Finland, Egypt, and grandchildren in Finland & Egypt. Miles Supply Welcomes Michael! Michael Hughes, GA Sales/Customer Service Michael has 24 years experience in the supply business; most of it at Bicknell Supply Company. He’s done “everything” from delivering, sales route, in-store sales, and attending trade shows. Michael is married with two kids. Keeping it in the family, his wife is a hand etcher! He plays golf when he etches out some free time. His kids are very involved in sports (baseball, football, basketball, and wrestling). Once a year, EGA offers a 5-day class that walks you through everything it takes to create a monument. The 5-day course offers a trip to an active quarry where the attendees can witness the granite being quarried from the Earth. A tour to a production facility will give the class first-hand knowledge of how the block is cut to a more manageable size and sent to finishing to be polished, pitched or carved. The class will see updated setting techniques, monument design tips, laser and hand etching along with a tour to a local cemetery where symbolism and monument design will be discussed. Keynote Speaker, Troy Caldwell, CM, AICA of Caldwell Monuments in Kokomo, Indiana will be available all week as not only the speaker, but mentor. Cost of class is $400 and includes lunches throughout the week along with transportation to and from two hotel options in Elberton for all days except Friday. MONUMENT RETAILERS TRAINING INSTITUTE ENROLLMENT FORM GEORGIA MAUSOLEUMS is responsible for creating this prominent family plot for Hearn Monuments located in Carrollton, Georgia. By using a variation of colors of granite, they were able to create an intriguing and memorable place to lay a family to rest while allowing the remaining family a space to sit and remember their loved ones. Sterling Silver granite along with Jet Black granite are combined with black gravel to give this family estate an impressive look. This massive family estate was created to accommodate every need a family may have in an individual’s final wishes from cremation to burial while alloting space for the ones left behind to sit. Standing tall on one side of the plot is the magnificent family monument with twelve columbarium niches built right in to hold cremains. The Jet Black doors can be personalized to reflect the loved one within. On the opposite side, this plot offers a space for those who prefer to be interred under ground. This beautifully designed area keeps every family member and their final wishes in mind. The plot is surrounded by a concrete wall with square columns. The columns are topped with Sterling Gray granite caps cut with apex tops. The wall is capped with polished Sterling Gray granite giving a finished look. Throughout the entire family estate smooth clean lines can be found. The center monument continues the Sterling Gray granite while incorporating Jet Black granite used for the niche doors. The center monument has a straight top with raised panels shaped with a rounded top holding the family name on all four sides. The subbase features a drop wash that leads to the top of the cremation block foundation. The top also has a beautiful drop wash tying the cremation foundation and the center monument together. Two square columns holding turned vases are placed at the center of the plot, separating the cremation monument and the burial spaces. Each column has a beautiful drop wash on each cap. The bases feature a graceful scotia. Just beyond the two columns are two polished benches angled to create a serene space in which to sit and reflect on lost loved ones. Georgia Mausoleums is one of the leading companies in Elberton specializing in mausoleums and family estates. Monuments and mausoleums from Georgia Mausoleums are individually designed and personalized to fit their customers needs. For those who prefer something less elaborate, they also stock many options that can be selected for a more simplified look. KEYSTONE MEMORIALS skillfully crafted this monumental masterpiece using all steeled Medium Barre granite for Young & Company Rock Art and Design in Ladoga, Indiana. Spanning an impressive eighteen feet in width and standing four feet tall, this memorial commands attention and admiration. The center tablet boasts an apex top with double checks leading to a smooth and graceful ogre. A meticulously executed dental band adds a touch of elegance just below the ogee. Continuing the harmonious lines, the center base features a drop wash, seamlessly blending with the overall design. Flanking the tablet and base on each side are top and bottom walls, showcasing recessed portions that lend depth and dimension to the monument. Completing the memorial, single-piece end posts stand proudly at either side, adding exquisite detail to this extraordinary creation. This impressive marker is a prime example of how GLASS ART IMAGING® can be used to incorporate several different images into one to make a meaningful and everlasting memorial. This image integrates a combination of grayscale and color to draw your eye to the key elements. Glass Art® Imaging allows the colors to pop off the stone and still give a peace of mind that the vibrancy will remain for generations down the line. RIVER EDGE GRANITE COMPANY crafted this elegant memorial. The classic design features a large tablet with an apex shaped top that leads to a graceful scotia. Large fluted round columns are cut into each end giving an appearance of sophistication. The monument is polished on front and back with a steel finish on the ends. The base features a polished top with a 2-inch polished margin. The balance of the base is rock pitched. This monument can be found in New Franklin Christian Church Cemetery in Canon, Georgia. DIXIE GRANITE COMPANY created this stunning monument for Memorial Monuments, Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas. The monument is shaped with a rounded top with rounds leading to tapered ends. The ends are finished with rabbett shoulders. The face of the monument is cut with a sawn cove centered on the bottom, framing the beautiful turned vase. The family name is raised polished lettering encased within a recessed panel. Dixie cut the base with a polished front and 2-inch polished margins with the remainder of the sides rock pitched. Never let it be said that something is “unable to be done” in the granite industry. EGA’s members are not familiar with the concept of the words “that won’t work”. MATTHEWS GRANITE is responsible for this colossal monument that consists of two pieces of Matthews Blue granite. Both pieces combined weigh a total of 9,360 lbs. The monument stands five-feet tall and is a massive ten feet wide. The monument was crafted for Toler Monuments out of Wise, NC. Having the monument set in place required a special crane that could handle the weight. The tablet portion is all rock pitched with two steeled front panels and a steeled back panel. Straight ends and top were used giving the impression of a block. The base has a steeled top with the balance being rock pitched. This beautifully crafted monument and base can be found in Sunny Side Cemetery, Scotland Neck , North Carolina. COLDWATER GRANITE is making a fabulous name for themselves with creations like this Silver Cloud granite star monument. The front and back are both polished to a reflective shine. The edges of the star was rock pitched leaving a rough finish to the star shape. The monument sits upon a base with a polished top with the edges displaying a rock pitch. On each side of the monument are beautifully crafted vases to hold flowers in honor of the loved one. The front and back are polished. The edges carry the rock pitch finish that can be seen on each piece of this monument. GLASS ART® IMAGING is committed to crafting memorials that bring a story to life with colorful imagery, pictures, emblems, and illustrations. They create monuments for loved ones that capture the spirit of a person, giving family and friends the ability to deeply personalize a memorial. This monument portrays a seascape with a beautiful lighthouse. This stone beautifully portrays the original intended purpose for the art.... to put a beautiful color image on a Georgia gray stone. This monument uses a full scene to grab you right into your loved one’s favorite place, date or time. This impressive monument, designed by Watson Signs and Monuments in College Station, TX, and crafted by KEYSTONE MEMORIALS using Missouri Red granite, stands out for its overall size and meticulous craftsmanship. Standing over five foot tall and twelve feet long, the memorial commands a stately presence in the Oconee Hills Cemetery of Athens, Georgia. The tablet boasts an eye-catching shape with an exaggerated serp top, featuring a nine-inch drop and adorned with a frosted border line on both front and back, echoing its unique form. Adding to its allure, a beautifully intricate 22 x 36 sandblasted Celtic cross serves as the centerpiece on the front of the monument. The family name is raised in a unique script chosen by the family within a recessed panel on the back. Both the tablet and sub-base, as well as the turned vases, are polished, showcasing the dedication to quality and detail that Keystone Memorials is renowned for. The base is crafted with a polished top and a two-inch polished margin before transitioning to a rock pitch, further enhancing the monument’s visual appeal. With Keystone Memorials, excellence in quality and craftsmanship is always assured. DIXIE GRANITE COMPANY can always be counted on when the need for a large-scale monument is needed. This spectacular public monument was crafted for Gates of Heaven in Dothan, Alabama. It is located outside George Washington Carver Hall at Tuskegee University. Five two-sized Flash Black, polished stones separated by four steel finish granite spacers make the impressive monument. The polished pieces showcase the people who established and operated the HeLa cell factory at Tuskegee including President Franklin D. Roosevelt and George Washington Carver along with several other recognizing their impact on the polio fight. Each pillar is cut at an angle making the center the tallest point. The bases that these pillars rest upon consist of two steel finish pieces of granite. Four granite benches surround the monument to allow passers-by a spot to reflect on history and how it benefits today’s world. Dixie Granite did a great job with this beautiful memorial. L & M GRANITE COMPANY was given the honor of working on this project honoring Layka, a Belgian Malinois military dog that forever changed the way working K-9s are viewed. Layka, the army dog of war has become a symbol of courage and resilience for her unwavering dedication. Her team was under fire from an enemy compound. Layka was sent in to look for injured combatants and possible explosives. Once inside, a combatant fired at her, sending four rounds of AK-47 ammunition into her right shoulder area. Despite these injuries, she still attacked and subdued the shooter, protecting the lives of her handler along with the rest of the team. The True Blue granite pedestal stands one-foot tall, two-foot, three-inches wide and three-foot, 5-inches deep. The pedestal bears a beautiful steel finish that perfectly complements the bronze statue it supports. Once the pedestal was complete, Brad with BURTON MONUMENT COMPANY took it along with the bronze statue to Fort Stewart , Georgia where he installed the monument once again demonstrating the powerful camaraderie withing the EGA’s membership. Conventions have been around since 1814 when the first convention recorded in history took place to establish territorial divisions of Europe. So why are they still relevant in today’s world? With all of today’s commercialism and technology at our hands, why do we still travel to another city and state to attend conventions? The basic answer is this; technology cannot replace human interaction. Nor can it replace hands-on demonstrations of products available. In today’s hyper-connected world there is something strangely traditional about the concept of bringing people together from all over the country or region into one building, meeting face to face and talking to one another. When attending conventions, one is able to develop relationships. These relationships are the beginning of a trusting professional and personal foundation. It can be easy to take conventions for granted and write them off as a hassle or a time consuming endeavor. However, the benefits of these relationships follow you and grow not only on a personal level but they benefit greatly in a professional way. They allow smoother business transactions when one has developed a trusting relationship with the companies they have interacted with during conventions. Yes, arguably, the most important benefit of attending conferences and conventions is the ability to network with people that share your enthusiasm about your work. This could include colleagues, employers, employees, mentors, sales people, production workers and even mentors. When you interact with different colleagues in your field of work, you are subjected to many different people on different levels of knowledge. While you may find an inspiration in an attendee at a convention, someone else may look at you as their inspiration. These relationships and business trusts can last throughout the existence of one’s career and beyond. Another aspect to look at is the ability to learn the latest capabilities of other companies you may be doing business with or future companies you will be doing business with. During conventions, one can see first hand the new capabilities and products that are offered by colleagues. This keeps a company a foot above the rest. Conventions give you a glimpse into what others are doing so that you can ensure that you are offering the latest and best abilities and products to your customers. Get out there, absorb everything you can from conventions and then put it to use in your company. WHY DO CONVENTIONS STILL MATTER? Mitch & Rhonda Williams and Connie & Tony Mills with L & M GRANITE COMPANY; Chris & Rick Burroughs from Manassas, VA; and Jennifer & Tony Le Compte from Laurel, DE Bruce Bicknell and Adam Martin, MILES SUPPLY OF ELBERTON Evan Storrs and Jeff Poirier of MILES SUPPLY OF ELBERTON; Fitz Allen, Baltimore, MD; Bruce Bicknell of MILES SUPPLY OF ELBERTON; Ira Novograd, Baltimore, MD; Billy Faulkner, Jr. and Billy Faulknew, Sr from Saluda, VA; Eric Chaloux of MILES SUPPLY OF ELBERTON; Gregg Faulkner of Saluda, VA; Brady Turner, Michael Hughes and Adam Martin of MILES SUPPLY OF ELBERTON Mike Ash, Trey McAvoy, Steve Skeba, Sadina Moon and Hayden Sipe with MATTHEWS GRANITE anner Lewis with LEWIS TRANSCONTINENTAL and Rich Brooks from Norwich, CT Tammy & Pamela Vernon from Urbana, OH with David Papendreas with PORCELAINS UNLIMITED Kristin Sugar, Westminster, MD; Kurt Lukemeyer with KINGS MONUMENT COMPANY; Selina Beshirs, Baltimore, MD; Marty King with KINGS MONUMENT COMPANY; and Jay Parson, Baltimore Md TJ Williams, Peebles, OH; Kurt Lukemeyer with KINGS MONUMENT COMPANY; Chris Brown, Peebles, OH; and Marty King with KINGS MONUMENT COMPANY Luis Donatti of Round Rock, TX and Alberto Fraccaro with ITALDIAMANT Chris Wilson and Daniel Martin of WILSON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRIC Frank Andrews with MILES SUPPLY OF ELBERTON; Francesco Baggio, Veneto, Italy; Emanuele Lupato; Geoff Arnold with MILES SUPPLY OF TEXAS; Enrico Rizzo, and Eric Chaloux of MILES SUPPLY OF ELBERTON John Garland Burton, Jr., affectionately known as “Johnny”, entered into rest suddenly on Tuesday, January 16, 2024. A lifelong resident of Elberton, he was 62 years old. The oldest of two boys, Johnny was born on January 11, 1962, to John Garland Burton, Sr. and Geraldine “Jerri” Mills Burton, both of whom preceded him in death. He was a 1980 graduate of Elbert County High School. He enjoyed playing football during school and racing cars until his accident in 1988. Johnny’s parents taught him the importance of hard work at a young age, and this followed him throughout his life. Johnny worked at Turner Concrete Company, Dixie Granite Company, and Martin-Poole Funeral Home; however, his most notable career has been at the family business, Burton Monument Company, a place he loved dearly. He supported Janet in her endeavors at Burton Quarter Horses where she has taught generations of Elbertonians equestrian sports for many years. Johnny was a member and Past Master of Philomathea Masonic Lodge #25 and a member of Yaarab Shrine Temple. He was a lifelong member of Eliam United Methodist Church and attended The Mission Church. Johnny has been a member of the Elbert County Saddle Club since its inception, serving as announcer during most events, and was a member of Elberton Granite Association. He was a former member of Centerville Volunteer Fire Department and former President of the Elbert County Little League where he served as an umpire and coached football. Johnny served for 13 years as District Director for the National Barrel Horse Association’s District 2. Most important to Johnny was his family. “Papa”, as he was affectionately called, loved them all dearly and was always there to support them in any endeavor they were participating in. He enjoyed having the entire family gathered and never missed an opportunity to have family dinner night or to simply share how much he loved them. Sunday afternoons were for lounging around, and you could always find Papa in his recliner, watching NCIS, Law & Order, or football. He enjoyed riding horses as long as his health permitted and spending time at the lake. Johnny had a heart of gold, and was always willing to help others in need but never wanted recognition for it. His generous and caring spirit will live through his family forever. Surviving are his wife of 23 years, Janet Teresa Adams Burton; sons: John Bradley “Brad” Burton and his wife Julie and James Blakely “Blake” Burton; brother, Rick and Christy Burton; and granddaughters: Liberty, Cadance, Isabella, Blakely, and Ruby Grace. The granite industry will most certainly feel the loss of Johnny. He was a hard working man that dedicated his time and efforts to create the best end result in his monuments that he could, yet he always found a way to be a positive presence where ever he was. He will be missed greatly by many. It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of Patricia Ann Winchester Wallis of Elberton, Georgia, who passed away on February 5, 2024, at the age of 90. Mrs. Wallis was born in Pickens, SC on January 13, 1934, daughter of the late David Luke Winchester, Sr. and Mattie Christine Evans Winchester. Surviving are her children: Ronnie and Jane Crenshaw, Judy and David Ridgeway, and Mark and Susan Crenshaw; step-son, Charles Wallis; siblings: Charles Winchester, Doris McEntire, David Winchester, and Sharon Forrest; nine grandchildren; twenty-two great-grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends. Along with her parents, she is preceded in death by her husbands: Kermit Edward Crenshaw and Thomas Edgus Wallis; and siblings: Sue Smith and Douglas Winchester. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1979 and an Education Specialists Degree in 1983 from the University of Georgia. Mrs. Wallis was a drafting instructor at Elbert County Comprehensive High School and Owner-Operator of Creative Premier Designs, a former member of the Elberton Granite Association. She was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church of Elberton, Georgia. Mrs. Peggy Jo Evans Childs Harris, 81, of Elberton, GA passed away on Friday, March 22, 2024, at Brown Health & Rehab in Royston. Peggy was born in Abbeville County, SC on January 17, 1943, daughter of the late Robert Bunyon Evans and Fannie Gertrude Davis Evans. She was the proud salutatorian for the 1961 graduating class of Calhoun Falls High School, and enjoyed playing basketball during her high school years. The Evans family attended the Calhoun Falls Church of God. Peggy worked in the granite industry most of her life, having served as accountant for Comolli Granite and Star Granite. In 1981, she became a trailblazer for women in the granite industry when she purchased Classic Monument Company and became the first sole female owner in the industry. Peggy was a former member of the Elberton Granite Association. In her free time, she could often be found outside by the pool or decorating for every occasion. Peggy enjoyed watching television, with a special love of “Judge Judy”, “Say Yes To The Dress”, or any surgical show. Surviving are her husband, Jerry Pope Harris, her constant companion of 36 years; daughter, Tammy Childs Hall of Elberton, GA; step-sons: Dean Harris and his wife Monica of Elberton, GA and Russ Harris and his wife Lauren of Dewy Rose, GA; grandchildren: Christy Hall Videon and her husband Bobby, Bradley Fleming and his wife Leslie, Eli Fleming, Tyler Harris, Michael Harris, Branson Harris, CJ Harris, and Camden Harris; great-grandchildren: Hudson Videon, Elijah Fleming, Karson Harris, Grayson Harris, Brianna Davenport, and Austin Davenport; and a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives Along with her parents, she is preceded in death by her daughters: Donna Marie Childs, to whom she was a devout caretaker for 21 years, and Stephanie Jo Childs Fleming; granddaughter, Jessica Lee Hall; and brother, Truman Malcolm Evans.
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