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Touring Thomson

To each his own. Although they were all in the same building, different things caught the attention of the 10 writers who toured McDuffie County last week. The tour was a stop on the Clarks Hill Lake Region Familiarization Tour, in which writers of travel magazines explored new places to write about.

"Quick! Sing me a verse of 'Statesboro Blues'," Doc Lawrence said to someone he called on his cell phone from the McDuffie Museum. "You'll never believe it, but I'm sitting right in front of Blind Willie McTell."

Mr. Lawrence, who is from Atlanta, was traveling with Christine and G.W. Tibbetts of Tifton, Ga., Bobby Hickman and Randy Southerland of Acworth, Ga., Renee Wright of Carolina's Best Media, John Nash of Homosassa, Fla., John and Billie Trussell of the Georgia Outdoor Writers Association and Kathleen Walls.

The group toured Washington, Ga., on Wednesday, then came to Thomson where they stayed overnight at the White Columns Inn. Thursday morning, they toured Hickory Hill, the McDuffie Museum, and nine downtown businesses, including Aunt Tique and Uncle Junks, Y130, Briar Patch, the Big Dipper, Leigh Anne Cowart Interiors, the Frame Gallery, Hughes Furniture and It's a Southern Thing. Belle Meade Hunt Master Epp Wilson gave the group an exclusive Thomson greeting from atop his horse on the sidewalk of Main Street.

"You know I'm so shy and never know what to say, so I brought my horse along to help break the ice," Mr. Wilson quipped.

During lunch in the Depot Annex, they were treated to lunch by Chinaberry's and a presentation by the McDuffie Arts Council.

"We're really enjoying learning about y'all's history," Mrs. Trussell said.

"The historical clothing exhibit (in the museum) is fascinating. It brings back so many memories."

McDuffie Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Elizabeth Vance said this was the second time a writers tour group visited Thomson.

Last year, two articles were written in magazines as a result of the tour, and she hopes for even better results this time.

Web posted on Thursday, March 18, 2010

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