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I learned a new word the other day: "luthier." It's pronounced LOO-tee-er, and I now know that it refers to a craftsperson who makes stringed instruments.

I also learned that we have one of the finest luthiers in the country right here in Georgia. Randy Wood has fashioned instruments for some of the best musicians in the business, and he does it all from his workshop in the tiny town of Bloomingdale, near Savannah. Turn to page 20 to learn more about how Wood's craftmanship has developed a following all over the world.

Also in this issue, our former Senior Associate Editor Victoria DeCastro takes you on a tour of Native American cultural sites around the state with "Keeping the culture alive" on page 13. From the Chieftain's Trail through what Cherokees called "the enchanted land" in northwest Georgia to the ancient earthen mounds at Kolomoki Mounds State Park near Blakely, the tour covers much of the history of Georgia's Native American peoples.

Next, set sail through maritime history with "Lighting the way" on page 24. While we can't compete with the number of lighthouses in northeastern states, you may be surprised to learn that Georgia has six of the oldest and most fascinating in the country.

Finally, if August temperatures have you yearning for cooler weather, turn to page 9 for the first of our Fall Festivals and Events Guides to plan a fun seasonal outing for yourself or your family. And don't forget to check out our digital edition at georgiamagazine.org for even more things to see and do all around the state.


Laurel George

Be sure to check out August's BONUS Web exclusive content, including:

(These links will take you directly to the flippable edition where the bonus content appears.)


The Sapelo Island Lighthouse, near the southern tip of the island, is the nation's second-oldest brick lighthouse. (Photo courtesy Georgia State Parks.)



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