By Katy Ruth Camp
The past few months have held quite the story for YWCA of Northwest Georgia CEO Holly Tuchman.
While on vacation in Savannah with her husband, Robert, in June, she told him she was feeling poorly and was having difficulty breathing. She was admitted into Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah June 18, then was transferred to Emory Neuro ICU. After several tests, it was determined Tuchman had a rare form of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
For weeks, Tuchman was not responsive, then began making small movements with her eyes and feet. When I visited her at the Shepherd Center in early August, she couldn’t stand and was going through intense rehab to get her legs moving again but one thing that was moving was her mouth! Anyone who knows Holly knows what a social butterfly she is so she wasted no time asking about how certain people were doing, what was going on at the paper and getting up-to-date on the goings-on in Cobb. I even had to reprimand her for working from the hospital, but that’s Holly!
For nearly two months, friends, colleagues and what seemed like all of Cobb County was sporting orange clothing and orange bracelets in support of Holly and her love for her Tennessee Volunteers. It was hard for this lifelong Georgia Bulldog to find much orange in my closet, much less to wear it with any sort of link to the Vols, but I and many other Tennessee haters did it anyway because we love her so.
On August 23, Holly walked out of the Shepherd Center with the physical and emotional support of Robert and, even though she is still at home and unable to be back in the office much, she is still working hard to support the needs of the YWCA and its women and family.
I think everyone in Cobb can join me in saying, “Welcome home, Holly!” And now I can put that orange shirt back in the corner of my closet where it belongs.
One question patrons of the Earl Smith Strand Theatre were not saying on August 27 was o brother, where art thou talented musicians! Local musician Travis Cottle (and one of the nicest people on Earth) and Strand General Manager Cassi Costoulas put together a rag tag group of singers, musicians and storytellers for a knee-slapping, foot-stomping night of songs from the “O Brother Where Art Thou” movie soundtrack.
Some may recognize Cottle as the piano man at the Lumiere Lounge of the Strand theatre but he is also an incredibly talented musician who sings and plays I-don’t-know-how-many-because-I-lost-count instruments. Over the past few months, he has used his Atlanta music connections to put together some amazing tribute concert shows, including the sold-out Eagles/Alabama concert that had people singing in the aisles. The “O Brother Where Art Thou” concert also included some community fixtures with hidden music abilities.
Cobb County Superior Court Judge Tain Kell had everyone smiling and in awe of his funny, fun and spot-on rendition of “Man of Constant Sorrow.” Costoulas herself joined in on some of the songs, including one with her own mama, Cindi. I myself, along with WellStar’s Mandy Burton, dusted off the ol’ vocal chords for a duet of “I’ll Fly Away.” Cobb State Court Chief Deputy Court Clerk Robin Bishop dazzled the crowd — especially hubby Alan Bishop — with “Keep on the Sunny Side.” It was a fun night and we all enjoyed being surprised by our talented friends.
Word on the street is that Cottle is putting together another tribute concert featuring songs by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard for February, as well as an exciting Halloween show at the Strand featuring party and dance tunes backed by a live band. If you go to either, a heads-up that you just might see me behind the microphone again!
By the time this comes out, I will have completed an exhausting but incredible trip out West. If you didn’t get a chance to follow along, visit www.mdjonline.com to read the travel blog I wrote while I was away titled “10 Cities, 10 Days.” Hopefully, I’m still alive to write another Keeping Up With Katy Ruth!