Since I didn't grow up in Paulding County and can't talk about how my family settled this area, let me start my backgrounder with my family history, which incidentally does involve this part of Georgia back in the 1820s. I've never shared this in any sort of concise form so bear with me. I wouldn't call it a politicians tale.
Born in Arkansas; I was the youngest son - I have one brother - and youngest "cousin" of the extended family. My mother and father - my father was also the youngest - met at the outset of WWII in NY. My father, a ROTC graduate and reservist, was called to arms on December 8, 1941 to serve as an artillery officer and my mother, who was a RN in New York City, had volunteered as an RN on December 8th. They met at Fort Dix. Their romance covered the time in NY and they both met and romanced each other in Ireland, England, North Africa and Sicily. Mom got sick at the field hospital - she was a DAV as a result - and was sent back stateside to recover. My dad, who was in the 125th Field Artillery, went on to Anzio and finished the Italian campaign in 1945. His unit, largely because of it was in the first action and served continuously in the European war beginning in North Africa, lobbed more rounds of artillery than any other unit in American history.
They married in 1944. He retired from the reserves as a major in 1952. My mother remained a Lt. until the end of the war. While he was in law school prior to the war, after the war, my dad chose to use the GI bill to go to Optometry school. He settled in Osceola, Arkansas in private practice.
I have one brother who served in the Vietnam era in Germany and later became a TV show host for the syndicated outdoors show People Who Fish and PR Director for one of the largest fishing lure companies - Rebel Lures.
Extended family included an uncle who ran a newspaper in the 1930s, had the Lincoln-Mercury dealership in Jonesboro, Arkansas in the 50s and was a banker in the 70s. Their father was also an entrepreneur who had, among other things, the ice company in Jonesboro. His father, Capt. Ivy S. Hughes, was a confederate, owned the hotel in Jonesboro, was a landowner and photographer. Notably he married a young woman in 1859 by the name of Mary Keller who happened to be a first cousin of the Keller's of Tuscombia, AL ... meaning we're all somewhat related to Helen Keller.
Ivy S. was the second or third child of George Hughes and Martha Tannery. They met in western North Carolina and moved west to Cherokee County Georgia in the 1820s. Don't know anything about George Hughes' parentage but Ms. Tannery was the daughter of Zophar Tannery whom the Tannery family history traces back to his birth in Long Island, NY in something like 1734 and notes he served a couple of hitches fighting under Washington in the Revolutionary War.
I'm also married to Nancy Hughes, who works as a nurse at the Cobb County jail. We've been married 26 years and have a daughter and son. My daughter lives in the district with her husband and my granddaughter. He's a heating and air guy and my daughter works at Wellstar. My son is a happy man despite his moderate to severe autism and his happiness is my joy.
I am a college graduate with a BA in history and political science from Hendrix College, a well-respected Private Methodist college that gets nice reviews in compilations like US News and World Report. Among the notable experiences from that period was a summer in Europe as an intern at the World Assembly of Youth.
My first job out of college was working in the back office of Arkansas Senator J.W. Fulbright in 1973-74 - that is about three years after Bill Clinton worked there (while he was in law school). Several people I met in that experience ended up working for his administration.
My journalism career started after a brief stint in grad school when I decided to work as a stringer for a couple of television stations covering the 1974 Arkansas Razorbacks. They were Cotton Bowl Bound having won a three way tie with UT and Texas A&M and I was not only on the sideline of every game with a Bolex 16mm camera but at every practice. Among the folks I ran into there (besides Frank Broyles) were Jimmy Johnson or ED fame - also former head coach of the Dolphins and Cowboys, Bo Rein, who was, before he died, head coach of the LSU Tigers in the early 1980s and Eddie Sutton, who had a stint as basketball coach at Kentucky.
I decided to work in journalism and took a job at the Weatherford Daily News in Weatherford Oklahoma as a general assignment reporter and sports editor. Later went to the Watonga (OK) Republican as news editor of the semi-weekly before returning to Fort Smith, Arkansas where I changed career and became a media and marketing director for a regional advertising agency.
I did quite well in advertising helping land a fortune-500 account - specifically Ruud air conditioning division of Rheem manufacturing. I played a key role in that companies rapid growth in the air conditioning business over the following four years spending literally millions of dollars in spot TV in the sunbelt paving the way (and the connections) to make my next move.
I left that job to go out on my own as an independent program syndicator for a start up television program called "People Who Fish" ... which I did for two years. That program was remarkable because it had the highest program rating of any fishing/outdoor show in its ten-market initial launch. That success was in part due to the then unique buy-barter arrangement that gave the show good lead-in audiences. I also helped produce the show and the segues between pieces in its innovative magazine format.
During the time at the ad agency I got into personal computing and that skill, used somewhat in the syndication, became a useful skill when the video production company's funding evaporated because of economic conditions and a projected loss. Ultimately, I had to cancel contracts in 30 markets that second year 31 days prior to broadcast ending my television syndication career.
I left that work to sign on as 'press secretary' for the Sheriff of Pulaski county who was running for US Congress. While he won, I didn't go to Washington for personal reasons unrelated to the campaign. Instead, I returned and worked for a start up drug company with product specified by a USDA monograph on 'hangover relief' for the broadcaster that had bailed out the OTC drug company to save the University's AD embarrassment over his son's poor investment.
I had become increasingly competent with computers and parlayed that effort into a market research company that had some success in the fishing/outdoor industry. While heading that venture I was selected for the LeadAR program, a two-year leadership development program sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg foundation. That program featured international as well as national travel and focused on issues of development at all levels, local, state, national and international.
The market research also played out when I invested in a product that was offered and then withdrawn by a big data company. Again bloodied on the leading edge. I became an Arkansas refugee coming to Atlanta with my current wife Nancy, we set up shop in Marietta. I got a short-lived job as the executive director of the Cobb County Democratic Party and, craving stability, I got a job with the Marietta Journal/Neighbor Newspapers and was assigned to their office in Dallas.
I was a reporter and later editor of the Neighbor beginning 1989 and covered the county government, Dallas and Hiram, law enforcement, the schools and entities like the water authority, hospital authority, IBA and even Airport Authority. I was here when Tom Murphy dedicated the four-lane US 278 to near Dallas, when the K-Mart opened, when the city of Dallas had the only sewerage system in the county and when GA 120 was still a two-lane.
I was also selected and participated in the Chamber's Leadership Paulding's Class III while at the Neighbor. I left the Paulding Neighbor as editor in early 1997 to work for Times-Mirror after a side project, - an electronic ezine featuring an analysis of sales and other journalistic efforts centered on Internet auctions and specifically eBay - drew my work to their attention. (Actually Jeff Skoll and Peter Omidyar used my ezine as part of their sales pitch in their effort to sell ebay to Times-Mirror, but their asking price - $44 million - was considered too rich for the newspaper.) The folks at Times-Mirror picked up my contract instead
So I became 'firstname.lastname@example.org' - the company that Times-Mirror did buy and, when they acquired the auctions.com, I became email@example.com. It was also at this time I purchased paulding.com, ganews.com, neomax.com, warnews.com and americanpatriot.com domains. I let the latter two go, sold neomax.com to a Japanese company for $20M that manufactured neomax magnets and I still hold paulding.com and ganews.com.
Among my accomplishments with Times-Mirror is having had, for a period of 13 weeks, a weekly by-lined column on online auctions in the Hartford Courant newspaper - the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States. I also gained knowledge of the Internet at that time. I also showed my commitment to Paulding at that time moving my office to Dallas as I was a one-man virtual office.
Auctionuniverse/auctions.com was bought by the Tribune Companies in 1999 and by May of 2000, after the Internet bubble burst, I found myself having to reinvent myself yet again. I started Paulding.com but with Internet reach in Paulding at best at 20 percent, that effort was premature and was shelved. Instead I became a 'power seller' on ebay until the time for Paulding.com became more precipitous. I re-lauched Paulding.com in August 2003 and opened my office on the old square in September 2004.
I'm still firstname.lastname@example.org and among the recognitions we've gained is acknowledgment by the John L. and James K. Knight Foundation - the foundation formed by those newspaper pioneers - as a 21st Century Newschallenge winner for my work at Paulding.com. That award came with a small amount of cash plus a blog for the year of the award on PBS.org. If you google G. Patton Hughes you should see links to that effect.
In terms of community work, I've been a supporter over the years of the Paulding County Boys and Girls Club using our booth at Paulding Meadows several years to raffle off things for their benefit. I've also been on the board of the Paulding Business Association for several years and a member of the Chamber.
Anyway, that is a short backgrounder. It doesn't include coaching youth baseball or football, it is not heavy on church stuff - I've not found a church home that I felt could deal with my son - and so falls short of the ideal southern politicians resume. Maybe that is because I'm something different
I will say that when I first found Paulding in 1989, I saw its growth and I saw its potential. Being born and raised in a small town I felt this was a place of great opportunity and decided to make it the place I made my stand.
G. Patton Hughes