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April 2017
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Hardest Jobs Series

Intro -- Who has the hardest jobs in Pickens County?

 By Bettina Huseby, columnist


Do you know someone who comes home from work dirty, or even bloody? Do they have a job that nobody else will do? Does he or she deal with the public and have a wild tale to tell every time you meet?

Or maybe you’re the one who “works like a dog” every single day. I want to go to work with you, and see what you do. I want to come home with dirty hands and muddy shoes. And then I want to share what happened with readers of this newspaper.

Jobs are harder to keep than they used to be. And many folks work two or three to have any sort of living wage. We’ve lowered our standards, too, about what we’d consider doing for a paycheck. I did something at a grocery store with oven cleaner and a garden hose that’s best forgotten. (But I’ve grown as a person).

And our problems and solutions aren’t like anyone else’s. Not in Fulton or DeKalb, or even Gwinnett these days, will you see a cow blocking a two-lane. Nor will you see a yellow school bus full of kids laughing at the cow in the road, as their hard-working driver (whose other job is preaching) says “hello” to the cow, in passing.

And you won’t see a city cop herding a cow with his cruiser. But you may see a deputy doing it here, where it’s all in a day’s work. Around here, we must “make do” with what’s available.

If you know someone who always says, “You won’t believe what happened at work today––,” please tell me where I can find this person! They may have the toughest job in Pickens County.

Send your suggestions for hard jobs to me at

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Hardest Jobs Series --The Critter Getter


 Chipa Wolfe handling a rattlesnake.



By Bettina Huseby

Progress columnist

Know someone with a hard job? I’d like to meet ’em! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you live close to nature, critters may visit you in weird and wacky ways. Luckily for us, Chipa Wolfe is around. He’s the “critter-getter” who sets things right when things go wrong.

It’s a puzzle what might show up on your porch. Among other things, we share this region with American black bears, deer, raccoons and various pit-viper snakes. He can usually make an ID over the telephone by narrowing the field with questions like, does it have a tail? How many legs do you see? And, can you hear it rattling?

It might be handy to keep Chipa on speed dial. His number is 678-234-8719.

He and his family share their east Pickens land with a pretty paint horse, a buffalo named Thunder, several rescued dogs, two rattlesnakes and a calico cat. I wore my knee-high Wellies in morbid fear of snakes and cow patties, but noticed Chipa’s feet were clad in tennis shoes with little, individual toe compartments that he calls “water moccasins.”



Hardest Jobs -- Uniform Patrol Deputy – Pickens County Sheriff’s Office


Progress columnist gets firsthand look at a day on the road


By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Progress columnist

Know someone with a hard job? I’d like to meet ’em! E-mail me:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


“Our mission is to partner with and serve the citizens of our community by providing effective, ethical and efficient law enforcement services for all.”

Recently, Deputy Scott King, age 30, took me, an old lady, on patrol with him.

His car is his “second home.” Christian music played softly on the radio, and his QT coffee smelled good. Tucked into the seat was a toy Batman. “A gift from my niece, Sierra.” he said. “She knows I’m a huge Batman fanatic, so she gave him to me, for protection from the bad guys!”

King met his wife, Tori, through online chatting, of all places. “We were both a little nervous at first, but God works in mysterious ways.”

She is resigned to his crazy hours, and the risk involved with his job. Because law enforcement runs on both sides of their families, she knew exactly what she was getting into.

     But did I?

Hardest Jobs Series -- Tattoo studio owner says “dust jackets” are his career

American Ink and Iron owner, When creative people are in control, good things happen.


 Shop owner/artist/piercer Scott Langley looks on as artist Jeremie Haugland re-touches a design to his wife’s (Katie) ankle.


By Bettina Huseby

Progress columnist

   Tattoo artist Scott Langley says in his career he’s learned not to judge a book by its cover, even though “dust jackets” are his livelihood.

   Scott was up from Florida visiting friends in Ellijay. He felt out of place. “People were waving to me. I thought there was a parade going on. But my friends here said no, that’s just what they do up here! They go to town and wave at people!”

He was so impressed he decided to move here. “The people are friendly. And doing business here is more relaxed. The mountains are laid-back. We’re 5 or 10 years behind a fast city. I don’t have to worry about a lot of the stuff that happens in the city.”

   I asked what it takes to be a tattoo artist. First and foremost, you have to be artistic. Scott notices colors, angles and shapes in everything he sees. All the men in his family are fine artists of one kind or another, working in pastels, charcoal and oil. He grew up seeing them spend a lot of money on supplies, but not making much money in return.

   Then he watched a friend receive a tattoo and it sparked his interest. He began an apprenticeship and opened his first tattoo shop in Ellijay in 2000. Later he opened Studio X in Pickens County. It flourished.

The Hardest Jobs in Pickens County Series -- Behind Bojangles Biscuit Making Biz


Store owner Kristal Beaver (right), Kitchen Manager Maricella Casique, and Bettina. The Hardest Jobs Columnist got a live-action look at life at Bojangles.

By Bettina Huseby, Progress Columnist

“There’s a special place in heaven for women who’ve labored in the kitchen during their lifetimes.” The late great American, Lewis Grizzard Jr., said that. He had a Mama who cooked for him every morning of his young life. She even went so far as to hand-squeeze his orange juice.

As far as places in heaven go, Jasper Bojangles employee Maricella (pronounced Mar-sel-lah) Casique will surely be “up there”. She’s never missed a day of work in five years. And odds are in your favor that the fluffy, buttery, delicious biscuit you last enjoyed was made by Maricella.

For two hours on September 14th, I worked as a “biscuit apprentice.” Store owner Kristal Beaver gave me a t-shirt, a visor, and a personalized nametag. The place was jumping. Cars were in a solid ring around the building the whole time. Having me in the way wasn’t very efficient, but how else was I to learn the biscuit baking biz?