Shopping for the perfect Christmas gift can be baffling. Columbia County offers a variety of gifts with a hometown connection sure to please everyone on the Christmas list.
For those who want to cruise neighborhood streets in style, Transportation Solutions of Augusta offers plenty of custom-designed Club Car golf cars.
The multi-use vehicles are manufactured in Club Car’s Evans plant, and TSA on Commerce Court in Evans is the only local Club Car dealer.
“We can do just about anything,” co-owner Tripp Kuhlke said. “You tell us what you want and we can make it for you.”
Kuhlke said custom-made golf cars are usually ready within two weeks.
Buyers can customize their golf cars as utility vehicles for hunting or yard work or as low-cost transportation on residential streets. Options include custom paint, seats, lift kits, turn signals, lights, dump and flat beds and chrome wheels or wheel covers. A rear seat that folds to a flat bed also is available.
“We can do anything to them,” Kuhlke said.
TSA already sold six Christmas cars and Kuhlke said he expects to sell 15 or 20 as gifts.
New Club Car golf cars range from $5,000 to $7,000 before adding accessories, Kuhlke said. Remanufactured golf cars also are available. Utility vehicles range from $8,000 to $13,000.
TSA also sells low-speed and street-legal electric vehicles. Those cost around $10,000.
For more information, visit TSA in Evans, go to www.tsagolf.com or call (706) 228-5525.
Creativity gets nutty
A Harlem processing plant offers many varieties of pecans.
Tracy-Luckey Co. is one of Columbia County’s longest-running industries. Started in 1937, the shelling and processing plant in downtown Harlem provides pecans to retail and wholesale companies nationwide, said CEO Ruth Tracy Blackburn, the daughter or Tracy-Luckey founder Francis Tracy.
“Anything you see when you walk through the grocery store that has pecans in it, those are the companies we sell to,” Blackburn said. The pecans processed in the plant often end up in ice cream, granola bars, cereal, cookies and other snacks.
The plant’s retail store, Lucky Lady Pecans, Gifts and More, offers a variety of holiday gift ideas featuring the company’s candy-coated varieties. Flavors include praline, angel honey, cinnamon-spiced, key lime, mesquite BBQ, Sweet Georgia Heat and sweet and salty. Holiday gift tins and other pecan-related gifts are available.
“They will make custom gift baskets,” Blackburn said. “We have an assortment of tins year-round.”
The store, at 220 N. Louisville Street, offers 12-ounce gift tins for $23 and $25, 16-ounce gift tins for $26 and $28 and gift bags for $14. Gift baskets are created to order.
The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and gifts as well as bulk sales of most varieties are available at the company’s Web site, www.luckypadypecans.com. All site prices include shipping, Blackburn said.
Other holiday gift ideas include:
Home for the Holidays
• The Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem, where Oliver Hardy was born, carries an assortment of gift items inspired by the comedic duo. Holiday gift baskets, ranging from $8 to $18.50, include mugs, shot glasses, popcorn, hot chocolate, plates, baseballs and koozies. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Call (706) 556-0401.
• The Savannah Rapids Visitors Center offers gold or silver holiday ornaments featuring the former Gatekeeper’s Cottage. The ornament cost $10. The visitors center, in Savannah Rapids Pavilion, also will carry blue fleece scarves carrying the Columbia County logo beginning about two weeks before Christmas. The scarf cost $10. The visitors center also sells postcards, paintings and jewelry from local artists, T-shirts, car tags, key chains and book lights. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Call (706) 868-3373.
• Red Oak Manor and The Acorn Restaurant, a family-owned bed and breakfast in Harlem, offers homemade family treats including 4- and 8-ounce jars of pepper jelly for $3 and $5 and 8- and 12-ounce jars of barbecue sauce for $6 and $8. Red Oak Manor is at 410 N. Louisville Street. For more information, call (706) 556-8222 or visit www.redoakmanor.com.
• Hometown Sports carries area private and public middle and high school letter jackets for $165, including embroidery; custom embroidered athletic bags starting at $28; fan jerseys starting at $25 and T-shirts, golf shirts, hooded sweatshirts and jackets starting at $15. The store at 4115 Columbia Road in Martinez is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Call (706) 651-8777.
• Hats and shirts with logos are available from local golf courses. Hats start at $17 and shirts range from $30 to $67 at Bartram Trail Golf Club in Evans. Call (706) 210-4681. Hats cost $15 to $25 at Jones Creek Golf Club and shirts range from $25 to $80. Call (706) 860-4228.
• The Professional Disc Golf Association, based at Columbia County’s Wildwood Park, offers hats for $15 and T-shirts and polo shirts range from $20 to $50. Call (706) 261-6342.
• Asparagus Soap Co. offers natural bath products from Evans soapmaker Charles Ronen. Individual soaps, including specialty soaps, cost $6.99 to $8.99. Gift baskets also are available from $34.99 to $49.99. Go to www.asparagus-soap.com.
• Grovetown soapmaker Leslie Carson handcrafts all-natural Luna Bug soaps, including some with holiday themes, bath salts, lotions, salves and oils. Soaps costs $6 to $7. Gift bags or boxes featuring six soaps cost $30. The products are available at Herbal Remedies on Columbia Road in Martinez or at www.lunabugsoap.com.
• Country rock singer/songwriter Eric Lee Beddingfield released his second album, This Life Ain’t for Everybody, in 2010. The former Lakeside High School football player and Georgia Southern University graduate was named Artist Row Magazine’s Independent Artist of the Year in March. The album is available at www.elbrocks.com. Beddingfield is this year’s grand marshal for the Columbia County Christmas Parade.
• Lady Antebellum, the country trio for whom Lady Antebellum Pavilion is named, released its second holiday album, On This Winter’s Night, in October. Lakeside High School graduates Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley make up two thirds of the group. All of Lady A’s albums, souvenirs and a holiday ornament for $12.99 can be found at the band’s Web site, www.ladyantebellum.com.
• Artwork from Columbia County artists is available at several venues. Works are displayed and for sale in the Columbia County Government Center Building B on Ronald Reagan Drive in Evans; the Columbia County Library on Town Center Boulevard in Evans and at Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co., 4226 Columbia Road in Martinez.
Two Web sites also feature works of Columbia County artists. The Columbia County Artists’ Guild site, www.artistguildcc.org, features online galleries of county artists and links to their personal Web sites. A Web site designed specifically to showcase products and arts created in Georgia, www.gamadegagrown.org, also includes many Columbia County artists.
Read all about it
• Greenbrier High School Assistant Principal Terri Duncan is featured in the newly-released book Not Your Mother’s Book ... On Being a Stupid Kid. Her contribution, Been There, Bared That, is one of many stories in the book about silly things the authors did as children and teenagers. The book is available from www.amazon.com and most other book retailers.
• Signed copies of Barbara Seaborn’s book chronicling the history of Columbia County, As Long As the Rivers Run, Highlights from Columbia County’s Past, are available at Cudo’s and at The News-Times office, 4272 Washington Road, Evans. Hardbacks cost $28, and softcover costs $18.
• Keep up with local news with an annual subscription to The Columbia County News-Times. Subscriptions, which can be mailed out of town, cost $80 per year and can be purchased for three, six or 12 months. Call (706) 868-1222.
Many Columbia County organizations offer memberships as gifts.
• Columbia County Arts Inc. members receive an Arts Talk newsletter, invitation to special membership events and performances and a 10 percent discount for sponsored shows, performances and exhibits. Memberships start at $25. Visit www.columbiacountyarts.org.
• Columbia County Humane Society donations help support the low-cost spay-neuter clinic Dogwood Park at 6100 Columbia Road in Appling. For more information, call (706) 541-2911.
• Friends of the Columbia County Libraries memberships range from $10 to $500. Visit www.ecgrl.public.lib.ga.us and follow the links or call Jean Pollard at (706) 863-1946.
• Columbia County Historical Society membership ranges from $10 annually to $100 for a lifetime family membership. Call Vermill Baxter at (7606) 541-1683.