Logan Martin Neely Henry Lakelife 24/7 Magazine May and June 2024

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LakeLife 24/7

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Keeping your pets safe around the lake

Edge Destination reborn with new restaruant and much more Gadsden Riverfront Big plans in the works for city’s lake frontage

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Marina and Tiki Hut ready for business

About the cover

Jackson, a lake dog for the past seven years, sports the latest in sun and water safety gear as he enjoys a day on the water with his people. Photo by Richard Rybka


In the Kitchen Cooking with the Grabanys

Perfect pizza and ribs recipes

Pier 59

Three decades of success at popular lake destination

Pell City’s Block Party

Sibling fishing tradition



Catchin’ the Coosa

Riverkeeper Voice of the River

Gadsden has big plans in the works

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and sister keep coming back
cancer center Waterfront facility opens its doors
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May & June 2024
Page 16 www . lakelife 247 magazine . com



LakeLife Creators

Carol Pappas

Carol Pappas is editor and publisher of Discover St. Clair Magazine. A retired newspaper executive, she served as editor and publisher of several newspapers and magazines during her career. She won dozens of writing awards and was named Distinguished Alabama Community Journalist at Auburn University. She serves as president/CEO of Partners by Design, which publishes Discover and LakeLife 24/7 Magazine®.

Toni Franklin

Toni Franklin is graphic arts director for Partners by Design, Discover St. Clair Magazine and LakeLife 24/7 Magazine. She has 30 years in the printing industry as print production artist, manager and art director. She is a graduate of The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and studied at Penn State and University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Roxann Edsall

Roxann Edsall is a freelance writer and former managing editor of Convene Magazine, a convention industry publication. She has a degree in (broadcast) journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi, worked as a television news reporter in Biloxi and as a reporter and assignments editor in Birmingham.

Richard (RT) Rybka

Richard is a Landscape Architect and professional photographer with 50+ years experience behind the lens of a camera. Working as a photojournalist for a global technology company, his images were used for many magazine covers. He is currently employed as Community Organizer for Coosa Riverkeeper.

Graham Hadley

Graham Hadley is the managing editor and designer for Discover The Essence of St. Clair Magazine and also manages the magazine website. Along with Carol Pappas, he left The Daily Home as managing editor to become chief operating officer and vice president of the Creative Division of Partners by Design multimedia company.

Mackenzie Free

Mackenzie Free is an experienced and nationally published photographer with a bachelor of fine arts degree. She is a Birmingham native now cultivating life on a farm in Steele with her husband & 4 daughters.

Elaine Hobson Miller is a freelance writer with a B.A. in journalism from Samford University. She was the first female to cover Birmingham City Hall for the Birmingham Post-Herald, where she worked as reporter, food editor and features writer. She is a former editor of Birmingham Home & Garden magazine and staff writer for Birmingham magazine.

Paul South

Paul South, a native of Fairfield, is an Auburn graduate with a degree in journalism and a double minor in history. He also has a Juris Doctorate degree from the Birmingham School of Law. Although sports writing was always his first love, he had a versatile career as reporter, columnist and first full-time sports information director at Samford University.

Scottie Vickery

Scottie Vickery is a writer with a degree in journalism from the University of Alabama and was a reporter for The Birmingham News Her first assignment was covering St. Clair and Blount counties. She has more than 30 years of writing and editing experience and her work has appeared in a variety of publications. She also has worked in the nonprofit industry.


Cherith Glover Fluker, a freelance writer, blogger, and EdTech professional, holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Auburn University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Samford University. With her blog, WhatCherithinks, she channels her passion for self-care and travel. She has been featured in publications such as Chicken Soup for the Soul, Mother.ly, Birmingham Mom Collective, and Dollywood Insiders.

Elaine Hobson Miller Fluker

Water’s up! What now?

This time of year, I have this inner urging to yell, “Surf’s Up!” It seems appropriate. The water’s up on Logan Martin and Neely Henry, and both lakes are abuzz with activities.

After months of colder weather forcing us inside, it’s almost as if the water beckons us to break the shackles of long-held captivity.

The 2024 lake season is no different. Outdoor festivals are happening. Fishing is on the upswing.

Boating is definitely the desired mode of transportation. And T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops seem to be required dress code.

Lake lovers count down to these days as if we were children waiting on jolly old St. Nick and all the wonders of the holiday season.

And why not? A new season of memories to be made are just around the next bend.

In this issue of the magazine, you’ll learn about all the new comings and goings this year plus meet a couple of siblings from Kentucky who make Logan Martin their destination point each year for Crappie fishing adventures.

We’ll take you into a Logan Martin favorite – Pier 59 – where everybody knows your name and if they don’t, they’ll know it by the time you leave.

Just up the water a bit, we’ll introduce you to the new River’s Edge, where good times, good food and good drinks await.

On the riverfront in Gadsden, there’s plenty of growth going on, and we’ll tell you about the latest developments.

Of course, pro angler Zeke Gossett has the latest tips and trends for catching bass on Logan Martin and Neely Henry this time of year, and a Talladega couple entertains us with an outdoor pizza oven as their culinary centerpiece.

And if you take your dog along for the (boat) ride, you

may want to heed some advice from a local veterinarian to keep your pets safe and enjoying the cruise.

There’s more to see and do inside this issue of LakeLife 24/7 Magazine. Turn the page and discover it all along with us.

7 May & June 2024 • Vol. 19 • LakeLife247Magazine.com Carol Pappas •
Graham Hadley • Managing Editor and
Toni Franklin • Graphic Arts Director Dale Halpin • Advertising A product of Partners by Design www.partnersmultimedia.com 1911 Cogswell Avenue Pell City, AL 35125 205-335-0281
Editor’s Notes
LakeLife 24/7 LOGAN MARTIN and NEELY HENRY Printed at Publications Plus in Montgomery, Alabama


New River’s Edge, Burgers & Breakfast, Tiki Hut ready for new season

In its 1960s and 70s’ heyday, Rabbit Branch Marina was THE place to go on the newly created Logan Martin Lake. Today’s River’s Edge, the Tiki Hut and Burgers & Breakfast, the modern-day edition, is quickly becoming that place once again.

General Manager Michael Emerick said longtime lake residents talk of “how great it used to be,” and Emerick and his father, Paul, have continually worked to transform the property. Over the years, they have vastly improved it, adding amenities hard to match anywhere else on Logan Martin.

The latest, set to open May 4, is the brand-new River’s Edge Burgers & Breakfast, marina office and so much more. Gone is the one-story block building that housed the kitchen, walk-up order windows and an office in the rear. “The old building was outdated and didn’t match the beach vibe we give to the lake. So, we ended up with this,” Emerick said, motioning toward the newly constructed River’s Edge. The two-story building itself is 2,600 square feet, excluding the porches.

Replacing the nondescript building is an impressive complex dressed in a Caribbean-style blue that welcomes one and all by water or land. Upstairs is a massive, covered deck overlooking the water, nearby beach with palm trees dotting the landscape, dozens of boat slips and docks, a family friendly playground and

8 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024

The new River’s Edge awaits a season of fun

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swimming area.

Take the stairs or the elevator and have a seat at one of the many picnic tables after placing your order at the window of a brand new, cutting-edge kitchen. Then, take in the view. There’s not a bad seat among them.

The menu includes its signature favorites: Freshly handmade ground chuck burgers and hand cut fries, Edge Rolls, Yum Yum, Cowboy and RYNO Cheeseburgers.

Head downstairs to the covered porch below and take your pick of open air “hangouts” – a line of aqua-colored lounge chairs nestled in the sand, conversational areas of sofas and chairs with upholstered seating, suspended swing chairs and Adirondacks.

Thirsty? Head just a few feet over to the popular Tiki Hut, a 30 x 30-foot open air bar with six specially de-

New, state-ofthe-art kitchen at Burgers & Breakfast

Diners will enjoy covered deck

10 LakeLife 24/7 Logan
Henry • May & June 2024
Martin and Neely
Tiny homes are among amenities at marina Michael Emerick and “River”

signed machines turning out your favorite frozen libation. It has become the place to be on weekends from May to September. In two years, it has nearly doubled in size. “We’ve definitely blown all expectations out of it,” he said.

The nearby covered porch can handle overflow crowds and ease congestion under the Tiki Hut.

River’s Edge, located off Rabbit Branch Road, is easily accessible by vehicle or boat. “We have the most boat parking on the lake,” Emerick said, noting that there are 30 to 35 open slips to allow traffic flow in and out. New state-of-the-art concrete piers and 24/7 gas on the dock are new amenities as well.

The full-service marina itself boasts the only fully enclosed dry storage and

A newly installed elevator takes you up to restaurant

12 LakeLife 24/7 Logan
Henry • May & June 2024
Martin and Neely Hanging seating Watch TV on the covered patio Enjoying a day at the Tiki Hut
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Tiki Hut and River’s Edge only a few feet from one another

the first to offer luxury boat rentals. River’s Edge rents Bennington pontoon and tritoon boats, Emerick said. “It’s the nicest fleet of rental boats on the water.”

The marina also offers RV lots, limited wet slips and short-term tiny home rentals. Its sales include personal watercraft docks –EZ Docks – and Lake Eze ladders that are spring assisted and dog friendly. They also sell inflatable mats and box anchors.

Emerick’s philosophy is simple: “We just want to make it the spot to hang out on Logan Martin” – just like it used to be. l

Editor’s Note: River’s Edge Burgers & Breakfast and Tiki Hut will be open Saturdays and Sundays from May 3 to Labor Day and then Saturday only through the end of September. Future plans include opening on Fridays, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

14 LakeLife 24/7 Logan
Neely Henry • May & June 2024
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Marina office desk customized from a section of boat Plenty of boat slip parking
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Riverfront Gadsden

City plans for more development will continue to boost local economy

Story by Paul South

Photos by Graham Hadley and contributed photos

Earlier in this century, this city on the Coosa River looked to be on its last legs.

Gadsden’s two largest employers – Republic Steel in 2000 and Goodyear in 2020 – closed their doors, taking with them thousands of jobs.

The city’s riverfront on the Coosa was an overgrown tangle of trees, weeds and brush. “We didn’t even know we had a waterfront,” Gadsden Director of Economic Development and Governmental Affairs John Moore said.

That was then.

This is now.

Spearheaded in large part by riverfront revitalization, Gadsden is seeing an economic resurrection. The riverfront is booming, thanks to a mix of hospitality, healthcare and


Gadsden City Council President Kent Back summed it up in two words: “Gadsden reimagined”

It all started with the cleanup of the waterfront.

“It’s been remarkable,” Back said. “Just the removal of the bushes and the trees that blocked the view has created a whole new vibe, if you will, that before you hardly knew was there.”

Another boost, Back said, will come from Mayor Craig Ford’s vision to move U.S. 411 in Gadsden off of the river, a herculean task involvinfg a snarl of federal and state bureaucracies.

“What it will do, it’ll open up development on the river. There’s a plan to create a really nice boardwalk that would stretch that whole stretch of road. And then you would have greenspace where you could have commercial development.”

Ford envisions a mix of upscale restaurants and bars connected by the boardwalk to a hotel, located on the current City Hall site. The city is also planning the development of the area near Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant and the Venue at Coosa

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Architectural rendering of riverfront plans

Landing, transforming the area into an outdoor recreation area surrounded by outdoor dining.

On the recreation front, Gadsden has partnered with Gadsden State Community College to build the Gadsden Sports Park. The expected cost of the project is an estimated $25 million. Part of the park – made up of baseball, softball and soccer fields – includes a field for kids with disabilities, giving them opportunities to compete. Back spearheaded the idea.

“I see it all the time with these Challenger leagues, Field of Dreams and that concept. I really thought we needed to do that, and the mayor agreed with me,” Back said.

The completed and projected projects along the river are fueled by citizen demand, Ford said, not just among Gadsden residents, but also those in neighboring towns.

“I think the growth is just the demand of not just the people in the City of Gadsden, but surrounding communities that want to see Gadsden develop the river and give people something to do in Gadsden,” Ford said.

City officials have identified several parcels of city-owned property now targeted for future development. In turn, Gadsden is making its pitch to developers across the Southeast.

The relocation of Highway 411 will be critical to the development of the riverfront, Moore said.

“I see the City of Gadsden in a few years thriving off riverfront development in the way of tourism, once we relocate Highway 411 to create more greenspace along the river as well as restaurants, shops, bars and outdoor activity,” Moore said. “These developments will all be centrally focused around a four-star hotel with a rooftop bar, pools and spa.”

Moore sees the city as “the home of the three-day getaway, where people from 120 to 150 miles will want to come and play.”

Ford, who often envisions Gadsden reimagined as a “fun town,” says a city that not so long ago was given up for dead is today “growing and thriving in a post-COVID world, which can’t be said for a lot of cities.”

He added, “We are working aggressively to become an entertainment town that offers visitors a riverfront experience, natural waterfalls for hiking and multiple golf courses for


The city, thanks to picturesque Noccalula Falls, is fast becoming a popular fly fishing and kayaking destination. The surrounding park is also home to arts and craft fairs and other events. The city has invested $16 million in that area.

Gadsden, home to two hospitals, is also growing its healthcare footprint near the Coosa. Tuscaloosa-based Alabama Cancer Care has invested $6.5 million to construct a new cancer treatment center. Serving a 10-county area, the new facility with its riverfront view means cancer-stricken residents of the region will not have to make the taxing trip to Birmingham for treatments as they battle the disease.

The facility is located at the old armory site in Gadsden, a deal closed shortly after Ford took office. Healthcare was among the targeted sectors by David Hooks when he became executive director of the Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority.

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Layout of proposed riverfront Existing riverfront boardwalk

The new facility will mean some 16 good-paying jobs for city residents. Ford says the city is following Birmingham’s example as a health care hub in the state. After all, Birmingham transformed its once smokestack economy of iron and steel into a service-based economy.

“With two hospitals located inside the city, healthcare is a target for economic development,” he said. “We are constantly looking for ways to grow this industry in Gadsden and recruit companies that offer different types of services and treatments,” Ford said. “Look at Birmingham and what a great job they have done with UAB and how that complex has really grown that area in the city.”

The growth along the banks of the Coosa, fueled by the current administration’s vision, means a flood of optimism in the city.

“In reimagining ourselves, Gadsden is taking advantage of the natural gifts that we have in a river that comes right down the middle of our city and we’ve never really done that before. … Cities would kill to have a 90-foot waterfall and a riverfront in their city. We’ve got both.”

Ford sums up the beehive of activity along the river and across the city, an effort aimed at improving the quality of life across the board for locals and putting the economic setbacks of the past in Gadsden’s rearview mirror.

“Gadsden is back.” l

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The Venue at Coosa Landing Bridge and park space next to Coosa Landing

IN Kitchen the

and by the with the Lake GRABANYS

22 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
Terry and Cheri Grabany prepare pizzas for the outdoor oven

Creating every pizza combination you can think of

There’s nothing quite like a warm summer day by the water, and as far as Terry and Cheri Grabany are concerned, the warmer the better. In fact, 900 degrees is just about perfect – for making dinner in their lakeside pizza oven, that is.

Terry built the wood-fired oven by the water’s edge of their Logan Martin Lake home about seven years ago, and since then, feeding family and friends has been as easy as (pizza) pie.

“Pizzas are just so quick and easy to do,” Terry said. “I buy all the stuff, and everyone makes their own,” Cheri added. They’ve tried just about every topping combination over the years, and whether it’s brisket and veggies, Canadian bacon and pineapple, or just lots of cheese (their grandchildren’s favorite), every version has offered a slice or two of heaven.

“There’s nothing better,” Cheri said. So, what exactly makes it so good? In addition to enjoying the mouthwatering meal, “you get to be out here and see all of this,” Terry said, gesturing at the sunlight bouncing off the water and the trees and flowers dotting the shoreline. “It’s just beautiful.”

Everything about their move to the lake in 2015 has been beautiful, in fact. Although they bought the lot and the singlewide mobile home that was on it at the time as a weekend retreat, it wasn’t long before the lure of full-time lake life became too strong to ignore. They made the move in 2021 before building their 3-bedroom, 2 bath cottage in 2022.

Since then, the lazy days of summer – and fall, winter and spring – have meant lots of time with family and friends. The focus is on food and fun, which is where Terry’s construction expertise has come in handy.

He’s worked in equipment maintenance for the City of Hoover for the past 24 years, and his building skills have served him well when it comes to the mechanics of making food for a crowd. He’s built everything from a 20-foot barbecue trailer used for Hoover’s Pig Iron BBQ Challenge and SEC baseball tournaments to a 12-foot oven used to make giant apple pies for the city’s annual Celebrate Hoover Day.

That’s why, when the Grabanys’ daughters asked Terry if he could make a pizza oven, his reply was a simple, “I guess.” He did his homework first, researching fireproof bricks and mortar and the best way to build the outdoor oven. “Most of the time when the girls ask, I make it happen,” he said.

The pizza oven gives Cheri and Terry one more option when entertaining. In addition to the kitchen, where Cheri handles the meal prep and sides, Terry built a barbecue trailer of his

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own. They’ve got two smokers, a grill big enough to cook 50 hamburgers at a time, and a boiler they use to make Cajun dishes.

“We feed people here,” Cheri said with a laugh. “It’s an all-day thing,” Terry added. “Whatever anyone wants, we’ll cook it. We’ll have barbecue for lunch and then fire up the pizza oven and put barbecue on pizzas that night.” S’mores, which they have discovered are even more ooey and gooey when cooked in the pizza oven, are the perfect end to lots of perfect lake days.


Owning a home on the water was always part of their future plans, but about 10 years ago, Terry decided he didn’t want to wait. Although the couple lived in Hayden, he started looking at properties on Logan Martin, where Cheri’s brother’s family and other friends and relatives live and where their daughter and son-in-law, Lindsey and William Weller, have since bought a home.

“It was always a retirement dream,” Terry said of buying a lake home. “I was raised on the Warrior River, and I always wanted to come back to the water.”

In 2015, Terry spotted a house near Stemley Bridge on Craigslist, but when he called about it, the owners said they already had an offer. The Grabanys asked to see it anyway, and they fell in love with the view. “I sat down in the swing (that is still on their pier) and looked out over the water and said, ‘I can do this,’” Cheri remembers.

The folks who had made an offer on the home missed the deadline, so the owners asked Terry and Cheri if they wanted it. “We wrote it up on a legal pad and a handshake,” he said.

“We just knew it was going to work out,” Cheri said. The house number was the same as their home in Hayden, where they’d raised Lindsey and her sister, Cory. And the cost of the house was just 97 cents

24 LakeLife 24/7
Henry • May & June 2024
Logan Martin and
Terry’s prowess as sketch artist seen in Saban portrait The pizza oven flanked by view of the lake

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more than the amount they had available from financing and the savings they planned to use.

In addition, when Cory told a friend from work about the house her parents bought, the friend realized that it used to be her family’s home.

“We just knew God had his hand all over this,” Cheri said.

The Lord also provided a peaceful place for her to heal. Less than six months after buying their lakeside retreat, Cheri was diagnosed with colon cancer. A month later, she had a melanoma removed, and the next year doctors discovered she had a brain tumor.

Despite the three diagnoses, Cheri is cancerfree today and is grateful for all she survived. “Terry always says, ‘I wish it had been me,’ but I tell him I’m glad it wasn’t,’” she said. “He’s not a talker, and he wouldn’t go up and tell people everything that God did like I do.”


The lake provided the perfect balm during the healing process and became a refuge during the COVID pandemic. In 2021, after Cheri retired from her bookkeeping job at Hayden Elementary School, they began thinking about moving to the lake full-time.

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A kitchen perfect for entertaining Fresh from the oven

The decision got a lot easier to make in March of that year when “someone came and knocked on the door of our house in Hayden and asked if we were interested in selling,” Cheri said. “God had his hand in that, too.”

Not long after moving into the mobile home, “we had some pretty bad weather,” she said. “We had trees cracking all around us and I told him if I was going to stay here, I was going to need a house.”

Once they decided on a floorplan and some of the finishing touches, Terry, a pencil portrait artist, drew up the very detailed house plans. “I’ve drawn all my life,” he said, estimating that the portraits, which almost look like black and white photographs, take about 30 to 40 hours to complete. “I’ve just never had a designated space to draw.”

He does now, after recently finishing the attic space that includes a drawing nook by the window. The room, which has a ping pong table, television set and plenty of toys, gets lots of use when Cory and her husband, Caleb Townsend, and their children, Cora Jane and Case, head to the lake from their Gardendale home. “We’re trying to get them to move to the lake, too,” Cheri said.

Although Terry has created portraits of celebrities including Nick Saban, Lucille Ball and Adele, his favorite is the one he drew of Case. While Cheri loves that one, as well, she’ll always have a soft spot in her heart for the drawing of two puppies in a basket. “He gave that to me when we were dating. Actually, we had broken up, and he used that to woo me back,” she said with a laugh.

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Neely Henry • May & June 2024
Martin and
Checking on progress



While Cheri and Terry’s house is newly built, it’s filled with family memories and personal touches. Terry made the metal and wooden entry table that holds family photos and a 200-yearold vase that was Cheri great-greatgrandmother’s.

A clock her great-grandmother received as a wedding present in 1906 has a prominent place in the guest room, and the images of two little girls that Cheri’s mother cross-stitched for Lindsey and Cory hang over twin beds in another.

Terry made the mantles for the fireplaces in the great room and on the screened porch, which both have an amazing view of the water. And the pizza oven and fireplace were made from stone that was at their Hayden home.

Although they both commute to work – Cheri now works at B&A Warehouse in Birmingham – they agree that making their retirement dream come true a little earlier than planned has been well worth it.

“I love being at the lake,” Terry said. “When you get home from work, it’s just so relaxing. It’s an instant calm when you walk out and see the water.” l

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Henry • May & June 2024
and Neely
with smoker grill he built A pencil drawing of Duke, the couple’s “granddog” Grabanys on screen porch


Homemade Pizza


• Pizza crust or dough

• Pizza sauce

• Cheese

• Favorite toppings, including pepperoni, barbecue, Canadian bacon, mushrooms, bell pepper, onions, ham, pineapple, brisket, etc.


After a lot of trial and error, and in keeping with their laid-back lake lifestyle, the Grabanys have learned to keep things simple and use pre-made pizza crust and sauce. They provide a variety of toppings and let guests go crazy while creating their own pies. The pizzas bake about 10 minutes, and Terry uses a paddle to lift the pizza to the top of the oven at the end to ensure the cheese is melted well.

Barbecue Ribs

Barbecue Rub Ingredients:

• ½ cup brown sugar

• ¼ cup paprika

• 1 teaspoon white pepper

• 1 teaspoon black pepper

• 1 tablespoon salt

• 1 teaspoon chili powder

• 1 tablespoon garlic powder

• 1 tablespoon onion powder

• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

• ½ teaspoon cumin

• ½ teaspoon oregano

• ½ teaspoon cocoa

• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Barbecue Sauce Ingredients:

• 1/3 cup honey

• ¼ cup barbecue sauce

• ¼ cup apple juice

• ½ cup apple cider vinegar


French’s yellow mustard

Parkay Squeeze

Apple juice

Brown sugar


Rub ribs on both sides with mustard and barbecue rub. Smoke for 3 hours on open smoke. (Terry uses peach wood, apple wood or pecan wood.) Put ribs in foil, add Parkay squeeze, sprinkle with brown sugar, and add a little honey and apple juice. Wrap ribs and smoke two more hours. Remove foil and smoke ribs an additional hour.

Brush on barbecue sauce and enjoy!

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Dinner time at Pier 59

Brody and Janet

Contributed photos

Thirty-one years ago, Janet Swann and her partner, Dennis Reno, bought a place she describes as “a little concrete floor beer joint.”

Today, that joint is Pier 59, one of the iconic eateries on Logan Martin Lake. Other restaurants have come and gone, but Pier 59 remains a constant.

Open only three days a week in the offseason and four in Logan Martin’s summer high season, Pier 59, has the vibe that’s a combination of a waterfront place and a fictional Boston bar.

“We wanted to be like Cheers, a place where everybody knows your name,” Swann said.

And it has, as families flock there to feast on chef “Ziggy” Zigmund’s crab claws, chicken wings and tenders, Tilapia and other popular dishes.

Before coming into the restaurant business, Swann and Reno ran Birmingham International Raceway, the short track where NASCAR legends Donnie, Bobby and Davey Allison, Neil Bonnett and others cut their racing teeth.

“My mom was in the restaurant business,” Swann says. “She had a restaurant for a couple of years in Fultondale, and we had the snack bar at Pine Bowl.”

Now at Pier 59, Swann loves her customers.

“I love my people. I want to treat people when they walk into the pier like I want to be treated when I walk into somewhere,” Swann said. “I wanted to have a restaurant that was kid friendly up to a certain time. When I first started I wanted something that everyone could enjoy from the water.”

Pier 59 has come a long way from when Swann and Reno arrived. It gives diners the classic waterfront vibe, laid back and the epitome of “chill.”

“Yes, there is,” Swann said when asked about the waterfront effect. “Because when we came up here, all we had was like, two pool tables in front of the bar. But we put a big deck on it, and wanted to make it something nice on the lake.”

Like successful businesses, philosophy that drives Pier 59 hasn’t changed.

“I want my customers to be my top priority,” Swann said. “I want everyone to leave there happy. If there’s a complaint, I want them to come to me, and I’ll fix it.”

That happiness is seasoned with one of Swann’s hugs for customers. Little wonder it’s become a “place to be” on the lake.

“I hope it’s that way. That was my goal when we started,” Swann said.

Along with the food, what makes the restaurant so popular among the growing stream of lake residents and visitors?

“I think it’s because I try to treat people as individuals. I don’t treat them as just people coming in to spend money,” she said. “I don’t mind telling my customers, ‘I love y’all’ when they come in. That’s just me. I don’t mind huggin.’ And I do.”

Something that shouldn’t be lost in the Pier 59 story is that this is a restaurant with heart. For 15 years, Pier 59 has celebrated “Christmas in July,” a benefit for the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. The restaurant has raised nearly $500,000 for the school. In 2023, Pier 59 raised $109,000 on a single Saturday.

“That is my heart,” Swann said of the school. AIDB has its main campus in Talladega and

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Christmas in July raises money for AIDB

satellite facilities across the state to serve visually and hearing-impaired students that hold a special place in the hearts of all involved in the fundraiser.

Swann credits her customers and volunteers for the drive’s success.

“Without my customers and volunteers, this would not be possible,” she says.

St, Clair County is a big-hearted place with a boatload of charitable organizations to support veterans, the homeless and others in need. The students at AIDB, who Swann calls her “babies,” drew her to help the school.

“There are so many kids over there who would not have a Christmas it wasn’t for our Christmas drive,” Swann says. “That’s what makes me work all year and keeps me going.”

Now an endowment has been created to bring AIDB kids Christmas cheer, long after Swann and Reno are gone.

“I love those kids,” she said. “If you could see their faces when they

36 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
Table top sports their logo and catchphrase Welcoming wall of decorations

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open up (their presents) and have their toy party and everything, it’s just so emotional … You can just see the joy in their eyes.”

While the AIDB children have her heart, the restaurant claims her business acumen. Swann has learned more not only about business, but about herself.

“I can’t walk off and leave it,” she said. “I have to be there. A guy told me on the second day I was open that if I watched my pennies, I wouldn’t have to worry about my nickels and dimes. If the Pier’s open, unless I’m sick, I’m always there.”

But along with Zigmund, the chef known in the lake community as “Ziggy,” Swann and Reno have a team of dedicated staff. Some have been at Pier 59 for 15 years or longer, off and on. Her grandson Brody is her bartender. And Zigmund has been with her for 20 years.

“Everybody just knows him as Ziggy. He’s fabulous. He’s just one of these who’s not going to use little wings that are only as big as your little finger. He wants customers to feel full and that they got their money’s worth,” Swann says. “And trust me, they do when they leave here at night.”

38 LakeLife 24/7 Logan
Henry • May & June 2024
Martin and Neely
Brody serving drinks at the bar

As the lake population has grown, so has the restaurant’s schedule. Winter used to be the offseason, but no more.

“I do a little vegetable special on Thursdays that’s kickin’ it,” Swann says.

But while the business is still largely seasonal, offseason traffic has grown by some 50 percent, Swann says, because of the blossoming year-round population. When lake levels rise, Pier 59’s doors open Wednesday through Saturday, starting at 3 p.m. Closing time is when customers are heading home.

“From Point A to where we are right now, it’s picked up a lot,” Swann says.

For first time diners, Swann recommends her two favorite dishes.

“I love our grilled blackened Tilapia with vegetables, and I really love our Hawaiian chicken.”

During the summer, vegetables come from local growers.

As far as sandwiches, Swann is a fan of the French Dip. But the restaurant is perhaps best known for its chicken wings and its crab claws, both Ziggy specials. The claws – always fresh and battered in a secret recipe – are sold by the pound.

“Everybody says they’re better than what you get at the beach,” Swann says proudly. “We are really known for our claws. They’re really good.”

And while Cheers’ Sam Malone, Carla Tortelli, Cliff Clavin, Norm Peterson and Frasier Crane may not be found at Pier 59, Swann wants the spirit of the iconic TV show to fill the restaurant.

“I want a place where everybody’s going to know your name and everybody’s going to be friends.” l

40 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
Janet keeps things running Celebrating 30 years at Pier 59 Covered space for outdoor entertaining

Pell City’s


Vendors, entertainers and more fill Downtown Pell City

Submitted Photos

If you have plans scheduled for June 1, you might want to reconsider them. That date is reserved for Pell City’s largest event of the year – Hometown Block Party.

Taking place from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. in historic downtown Pell City, this annual event is expected to draw around 18,000 people from Pell City and surrounding areas.

Organized by the Greater Pell City Chamber of Commerce, the Hometown Block Party serves as a platform to showcase local businesses and highlight the talents of local artisans, musicians, craftsmen and more.

According to Chamber Director Urainah Gladwell, the 2024 edition of the event will feature over 100 vendors offering an array of items, including T-shirts, candy, tumblers, local art, furniture, home

42 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
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decor, jewelry and more.

Local restaurants and chefs will have delicious food and drink items for sale, too.

Several nonprofit organizations will man booths at the event to share information, raise funds, and give away fun prizes. It is seen as an opportunity for the community to learn about the different nonprofits in the area and gain insight into the services they provide.

“The Pell City Hometown Block Party was actually started in 1999” as a class project of Leadership Pell City, the forerunner to Leadership St. Clair. “So, this is our 25th year hosting this event, and it has continued to grow over the years,” said Glidewell. “People of all ages can find something they enjoy at the block party.”

The block party’s mission is a basic one. “We simply want to bring people together for a great time,” she said. This free outdoor festival is an ideal setting for people to enjoy live music, connect with neighbors, and take pride in the community.

Downtown streets are closed to vehicle traffic, opening the entire area up for this year’s festivities, which boast four music stages featuring a variety of music: rock, country, R&B and a “Homegrown” stage featuring local schools and church groups. Bands play on stages strategically set at downtown intersections around the courthouse square, city hall and Cogswell Avenue.

There will also be a separate kids’ area complete with carnival rides and games.

“Foam Zone Parties of Odenville was a big hit at last year’s event. All the kids, and the parents, had a blast,” Glidewell said. Reflecting on last year’s success, she added, “We are hoping they will come back again this year.”

Confirmed food vendors include The Main Squeeze, Q&A Concessions, Down South Catering and several others.

And don’t worry, the fun isn’t just reserved for the kids. There are plenty of entertaining activities lined up for adults, too. “This event is for everyone,” Glidewell noted.

Back by popular demand, the Hometown Block Party’s car show will make its grand return for this year’s festivities. It will feature an impressive lineup of over 80 vehicles.

“I love seeing how much joy this event brings to our community,” Glidewell said. “Everywhere you look, people are having fun, smiling, interacting, and in line to get some delicious treats. Everyone looks happy.”

Vendor applications are still being accepted until May 20. Those interested can visit www. pellcitychamber.com for a vendor application. The deadline for vendor applications for early bird pricing ($50) is May 12. May 13-20, the price will be $75 for a booth. l

Crowds gather for live entertainment and fun for the whole family
44 LakeLife 24/7
• May & June 2024
Martin and Neely Henry
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Canines on the COOSA

Rosie and Jack on deck in their doggie safety gear

48 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024

Do’s and don’ts for dogs on the water

The lakes are soon to be alive again with the sounds of summer. Safe light each morning brings waves of fishing boats headed to that perfect fishing spot.

After breakfast, more boats race by, pulling tubes with squealing children bouncing with each wave. Ski and wake boats slice through the water, pulling those whose bodies can still afford the effort of skiing or wakeboarding.

Pontoon boats ease by, headed to a favorite swimming or picnic spot. If you look closely, you’ll see a dog or two in many of these snapshots of summer life on the water.

Life on the lake is full of fun opportunities for pups, but there are some dangers that pet owners should be prepared for. Protecting our four-legged, lake-loving friends takes some thought and planning before letting them loose for a day on the water. These pets add enjoyment to our lives, but they need us to help them stay safe.

The first, and most often overlooked precaution, is putting a life jacket on your dog anytime it is in or around the water. “All dogs should have a life jacket,” says Dr. Margaret Heath, a veterinarian with Pell City Animal Hospital. “Just because they can swim does not mean they won’t get tired or that they swim well. They can become exhausted easily.” This is particularly true, she adds, for small dogs who cannot swim as far or as quickly as their larger counterparts.

49 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
50 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
Jack and Roxanne ready for the water

Dr. Heath also stresses the importance of keeping your animals hydrated. “Bring fresh water for them to drink,” she emphasizes. “Bacteria, like leptospirosis, in the water can affect dogs, just as it would a human.

Another common intestinal parasite, Giardia, is found in stagnant water and can cause intestinal issues.” Additionally, she adds, if a dog has open wounds and swims, bacteria can enter the body and cause illness. If your dog spends a lot of time in the water, Dr. Heath recommends getting it vaccinated against leptospirosis.

Another important step to protect your pooch is to make sure it is wearing a collar or harness with an identification tag. Dr. Heath recommends changing out wet collars or harnesses to dry ones as soon as pets are safely contained. “Wet collars and wet harnesses keep the areas they cover moist and can rub against the skin, leading to hot spots and sores,” she explains.

When the boat gets to the shore, pet owners should check the temperature of the dock and the asphalt to make sure it is not too hot. Dr. Heath offers the following guideline:

“Pavement, concrete and docks can be 30-40 degrees hotter than the air temperature, so on a hot, summer day, that can be significant. If you cannot place the back of your hand down on the pavement for more than 10 seconds, your dog should not be walking there. Try walking in any available grass.”

51 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
Rosie makes herself at home on the pontoon

Dr. Heath also recommends wiping your dog’s paws to remove any dirt, irritants and debris from their feet once they are back on the boat or safely at home.

Shaded resting spots are important considerations for your dog as you play in and around the water. Having a safe, shaded place for them to be contained and allowing them to rest is a great way to include pups in family lake time. If you really want to keep them close by in the water, pet-safe dog floats are an option.

There are dog sunglasses and dog sunscreens available in many pet stores and online, if you want to be extra careful. Available in both sprayon and lotion applications, these sunscreens can be especially helpful for hairless or light-colored dogs, as they are particularly vulnerable to damaging ultraviolet rays. With sunscreens, Dr. Heath warns to make sure they are made for dogs and are PABA free and do not contain zinc oxide. “Sunglasses,” she adds, “could certainly benefit dogs with blue and other light-colored irises, as they don’t have the same protective

Sunglasses are recommended for dogs with blue or lightcolored irises

52 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
Roxanne and Jack cruising in a kayak

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pigment as do dogs with darker colored eyes.” The trick would likely be training your dog to leave them on.

Training your dog and restraining it while onboard your boat is critical to keeping your pup safe.

Allowing a pet to ride on the bow while the boat is moving is just not a good idea, stresses Dr. Heath. “Many years ago, we had a patient come into the clinic that had fallen from the bow and had a leg severed by the boat propeller,” she says, adding that, while he lived, many others have not been so lucky. “It’s unsafe not just because the dog may jump off, but because the lake conditions are unpredictable, as are other boats.”

As we welcome summer with all its fun, family moments, just remember to keep your best little furry buddy in mind. They’re a part of our families and count on us to keep them safe.

“Come on, buddy! Let’s go for a boat ride!”

Editor’s Note – Dogs on the lake can’t help but bring a smile to dog lovers everywhere. Join our new Facebook and Instagram group, Dogs Lovin’ LakeLife 24/7, and share your aquatic-loving canine with us!

54 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
Tom Carden pilots with Rosie on the bow Jack sports multiple pairs of sunglasses
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Siblings vs. Crappie

Brother and sister return to the scene of ‘big catch’ year after year

Kentuckians Gloria Spangler and Richard Donoho don’t know much about sibling rivalry. Their only tussles since childhood have been with a fish – a battle they’ve enjoy fighting together for decades.

From an early age, they developed a love for fishing. Their grandfather taught them on rivers, ponds and creeks, and that passion for fishing sparked long ago is a shared bond that only strengthens now as they age well into their 70s and 80s.

It’s what brings them to Logan Martin Lake twice a

year, where they catch a boatload of Crappie with the help of their fishing guide, Curt Simpson, who also lives in Kentucky.

Why Logan Martin, Alabama? The answer is easy on this sunny day in late March at University Marine, where their boat is docked. Just a glance at a nearby table reveals a spread of 60 Crappie – all over the 9-inch requirement – caught earlier in the day. “We caught 22 Crappie in two hours,” Richard said. “The Crappie here are bigger than Kentucky. If you caught one that big in Kentucky, we’d be screaming!”

By week’s end, they’ll have 100 plastic freezer bags chocked full of Crappie filets to bring back to family and friends and of course, to savor for themselves. “It’s more

56 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
Gloria and Richard showing off their catches with Curt Simpson

than we can eat,” Richard said.

They return to Logan Martin each Spring and early Fall on the same quest – catch as much Crappie as the law allows. “We enjoy being here,” said Gloria. “We love this place.”

They should. It’s paid them more than a whopper in dividends, judging by the catches they proudly display and disburse. “Curt provides everything – the bait, rods, reels. Deep, shallow, he knows where to fish,” Gloria said.

The boat is equipped with stateof-the-art electronics, including a live scope, and they head out each morning with Curt about 7 and return to the marina about 4 or 5. That’s the drill for their seven-day stay.

They have aunts in Gadsden and Lincoln, so they were already familiar with the area. They’ve fished the Coosa River chain of Weiss and Neely Henry, too, but they keep coming back to Logan Martin.

Curt’s the one who encouraged them to try Logan Martin. Since then, it has been a return engagement twice annually for years. Gloria worked at Franklin Bank & Trust for 50 years in Bowling Green, and that’s how she met Curt. He had retired from IBM but was working as a courier at the bank. “When he found out I liked to fish, every five minutes, he was in my office,” she said.

Curt’s own love of fishing led him to the fishing guide business in retirement and with Gloria and Richard’s zeal for the sport, it was a perfect match. “He’s a good guide and a good friend,” Richard said.

Curt was steered toward Logan Martin back in 2004 by a guide on Weiss Lake, Butch Young. “He introduced me to Logan Martin. I fell in love with it.” Now, he guides 30 to 40 trips a year.

He always liked his job at IBM, a job he held for 31 years, he said, “but IBM didn’t let me fish a lot.” Retirement did, and Young mentored him. “All my skills were honed through Butch Young.”

Curt’s enthusiasm for Crappie fishing is contagious and along with the day’s limit of Crappie, the siblings have definitely caught it. Richard and Gloria enjoy their

58 LakeLife 24/7
• May & June 2024
Logan Martin and Neely
Richard and Gloria recount their years of fishing on the Coosa Catch ready for cleaning A view of the marina

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Fishing from the dock to pass the time

time together out on the water with Curt leading the way. “The rest of the family thinks we’re crazy,” Gloria said. “We have fished when it’s been snowing and scraped the ice off the seats of the boat to fish.”

They’ve fished after a tornado. They’ve endured hail and lightning. “That’s the best day. After that, you can catch fish,” Gloria said.

The enjoyment of it all is evident from the smiles that never seem to leave their faces as they recall their angling adventures over the years and their close-knit kinship. “We’ve never had an unkind word in our whole life,” Gloria said.

She credits their upbringing with the closeness of their family. They have a sister and brother, too. “She’s the oldest,” Richard said, pointing toward Gloria. “So, I take care of all them,” Gloria retorted.

“Our mother was soft spoken,” she added. “She worked hard, and she always wanted the best for her children. She was proud of us, and she told us that. We’ve always tried to live up to that.”

As Richard and Gloria pull in another day’s limit of Crappie, it’s suspected it would be a sight their mother would be proud to claim. l


Ask what fishing guide Curt Simpson fishes for, and the reply is simple: “Just Crappie.” His website gives more than a hint of that laser focus – crappiecurt.com.

He “fell in love” with Logan Martin years ago, and the lake has been his getaway and his treasured ‘fishing hole’ ever since.

Curt shares his knowledge with clients and was willing to give a few tips to our readers.

On this week in March, where they caught the day’s limit every day for a week, these were the tools of the trade:

• The lure: Black Chartreuse Charlie Brewer Sliders and fishing grubs

• The rod: BnM 7.5-foot

• The line: 4-pound K9 Clear Fluorescent

So, take a tip and try your luck when Crappie season hits February to May and early Fall, and your “Gone Fishin” should hold a lot more promise.

60 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
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Gadsden’s new riverfront CanCer Care Center opens Community

continues to expand medical services

With the opening in April of Alabama Cancer Care’s new 10,000-square-foot facility overlooking the Coosa River, Gadsden is expanding its healthcare footprint in northeast Alabama.

One of the things that makes Gadsden unique for a city its size, is that it’s home to two full-service hospitals – Gadsden Regional Medical Center and Riverview Regional Medical Center – as well as Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital. The city appears to be following the lead of neighboring Birmingham, transitioning in part from a “smokestack economy” to one propelled by the service sector.

It will still recruit manufacturing firms, but leaders are diversifying. “We’ve not abandoned continuing to recruit for manufacturing, we’ve just broadened our scope,” said David Hooks, director of the Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority.”

Hooks, former executive director of the Alabama Department

62 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
Photos Mayor Craig Ford at the grand opening
presented by 201 George Wallace Drive Gadsden, AL 35903 256.549.4730 Find it at the Venue! Check our facebook page, The Venue at Coosa Landing A & G Gun Show May 4th & 5th Alabama Rubik’s Cube Championship May 11th & 12th Sweet Southern Sass Beauty Pageant May 18th Show Me Snakes Reptile Show May 25th Etowah County Sports Hall of Fame June 8th All Star Pool & Spa Expo June 14-16th Rainbow City Coin Show June 28-29th

of Economic and Community Affairs under then-Gov. Jim Folsom, Jr., said Gadsden is becoming a major health care hub serving northeast Alabama and Northwest Georgia.

“I thought it was imperative that we capitalize, not only on keeping those hospitals open, but growing them and adding health care services with them. The cancer centers is one of the first indications of our doing that,” Hooks said.

The push to expand Gadsden’s health care offerings are part of an effort to build a diverse economy, driven by tourism, recreation, health care and industrial growth. The city is also fast becoming a sports and cultural center. City officials hope to transform one-day visits to threeday stays.

“The City of Gadsden has traditionally been viewed as an industrial city,” Hooks said. “As we now move into the 21st century, we are looking to broaden our economic base and become a destination city.”

The $6.5 million center means that residents in a 10-county region won’t have to travel to Birmingham for treatment.

In fact, when he became the IDA

64 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
Ribbon cutting for the Cancer Care center Kim Klebine and Bobby Martin at work in the new facility

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director in 2019, he targeted the health care sector as a major component of the area’s economic development drive.

“One of the first things we did was look at the target markets that we had in place and looked at where we should be expanding, and we added two (sectors). We added food and farming, and we added health care.

“Health care has been the fastest growing industrial sector of the last 20 years, and it will continue to be the fastest growing industrial sector for the next 20 years,” Hooks said.

“We have a major health care community in the area; we’re a regional health hub, and there’s no reason for us not to continue to develop that growth,” Hooks said.

Mayor Craig Ford agreed.

“We are constantly looking for ways to grow (health care) in Gadsden and recruit companies that offer different types of services and treatments,” Ford said. “Look at Birmingham and what a great job they have done with UAB and how that complex has really grown that area of the city.”

Gadsden City Council President Kent Back said that while Gadsden Regional offers cancer care, Alabama Cancer Center’s market research shows a need for another cancer care facility.

Back believes the natural beauty of the Coosa riverfront will lift the spirits of patients during their treatments.

“I think that’s going to be a game changer,” Back said. “Most cancer treatment facilities don’t have that kind of amenity. This company has a history. They’ve been successful.”

Studies in Europe and in the United States show that cancer patients who are treated closer to home can have more positive outcomes. Area residents won’t face the travel and parking


hassles of a trek to Birmingham.

“If you live in Ider, for example, Birmingham can be pretty intimidating to travel and navigate and park,” Back said. “They’d rather come to Gadsden and get treatment.”

The new center is located on the old National Guard Armory site in an agreement forged during the administration of thenMayor Sherman Guyton.

Current Mayor Craig Ford said Gadsden was selected as the home for the new, full-service oncology center because of its location. Some 16 new jobs will be created.

The new facility will help the city and county maintain its health care presence to serve Gadsden and the surrounding counties, Hooks said.

“The particular services that this facility will render will allow people that are currently driving out of the county for these services to Birmingham and other areas, to be able to stay close to home and receive the appropriate care that they need here in Etowah County.”

With its proximity to a hospital and to the burgeoning riverfront entertainment district, the growing healthcare facility can fuel Gadsden’s economic growth, both on the Coosa and downtown.

“If you look at what happened in Birmingham with UAB and the resurrection of the southside of Birmingham, Birmingham’s growth has been driven by health care services. I think you

66 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
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can see Gadsden’s economy driven by the health care sector around that facility as well,” Hooks said.

“Gadsden has a similar economic base to what Birmingham used to be, just smaller,” he added. “I think there’s a lot to be learned from that. I think there’s an opportunity for us to redevelop downtown. I think Gadsden has an opportunity to be the gateway to all of northeast Alabama.”

The impact will not be just be felt in Alabama, but reach into Georgia as well. Gadsden has the impetus to improve its services and grow its opportunities, Hooks said.

“We, as a city, need to continue to improve our services, broaden our services and give people a reason to drive in this direction.” l

68 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
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70 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
71 LakeLife 24/7 Logan
Martin and Neely Henry

Take 5 Community Events

LakeLife 24/7 events


What: Time to Read Book Club

Who: Leeds Jane Culbreth Library

When: First Wednesday of each month, May 1, 10 to 11 a.m.

Where: Leeds Library, 8104 Parkway Drive

May through Early July 2024

Why: Join moderator Mondretta Williams for a lively discussion of this month’s Time To Read book club reading challenge on the first Wednesday of each month. All are welcome to attend. Bring a snack to share.

What: Knights of Columbus Charity Bingo Night

Who: Leeds Knights of Columbus Council 5597

When: First and third Fridays, May 1 and 15; 5 to 8 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. and Bingo starts at 6 p.m. Food available for purchase.

Where: Leeds Civic Center, 1000 Park Drive

Why: Play bingo for cash prizes while raising money for local charities. Call Don Tice at 205-542-0671 for information.

What: 2nd Annual Bull Riding and Barrel Racing

Who: Rodeo riders and watchers

When: Saturday, May 4, 7:30 to 10 p.m.

Where: Glencoe Middle School, Lonesome Bend Road

Why: Sponsored by the Glencoe High School FFA

What: Gadsden Gun and Knife Show

Who: Knife and gun enthusiasts

When: Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Venue at Coosa Landing, Gadsden

Why: Tickets $10 and $5 for veterans

What: BassTactix Alabama State Championship Bass Tournament, a tournament for anglers kindergarten through 12th grade.

Who: BassTactix Alabama

When: May 3 and 4, 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Coosa Landing on Lake Neely Henry

Why: BassTactix Alabama is a Christian-based, 501 C3 Non-Profit youth and adult fishing tournament trail. The program was started in 2015 to provide a competitive venue for young people and adults who enjoy the sport of bass fishing. www. basstactixalabama.com

What: First Annual Kickball Tournament

Who: Noble Bank Foundation and kickballers

When: Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m.

Where: Oxford Softball complex

Why: Benefitting the Noble Foundation, spectator tickets are $5 for adults and $1 for children. More at www.noblebankfoundation.org

What: Sunshine Saturday, the 48th annual

Who: Talladega Family Life Center

When: Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Talladega Family Life Center, West Battle Street, Talladega

Why: Fun for the whole family. Food, games, prizes, pony rides, laser tag, Sparkles the Clown, rock wall, rides and 18’ Slide!!!  Plus, vendor Area with food trucks, arts & crafts, clothing, and entertainment. Vendors contact Janie Curtis at 256-589-6784 or janiegablecurtis@yahoo.com

What: Mother-Daughter Charcuterie Party

Who: Nikki’s Grazing, Hoke’s Bluff

When: Saturday, May 4, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Sunday, May 5, at 2 p.m.

Where: Nikki’s Grazing, 5340 Old Highway 278, Hoke’s Bluff, 35905

Why: Make a charcuterie, appetizers served on wooden board or stone slab, and decorate some

72 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
Submit events to: cpappas@partnersmultimedia.com
73 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024 Business Directory AL Cert# 17078 pellcityheatingandcooling.com 205.338.2820 331 Cogswell Avenue Pell City, AL 35125 Grooming•Boarding•Daycare 1607 Martin St S, Pell City, AL 35128 Hours: 8-5 Mon.-Fri. 205-884-PETS(7387) Crystal Denney HAZELWOOD’S GREENHOUSES & NURSERY GR W with a PRO! HAZELWOOD’S GREENHOUSES & NURSERY HANGING FERN BASKETS CRAPE MYRTLES KNOCK-OUT ROSES 925 23RD STREET NORTH PELL CITY 205-338-3952 • Bedding Plants • Hanging Plants • Vegetable Plants • Evergreen Shrubs • Annuals • Perennials • Ground cover • Deciduous schrubs • Potting Soil • Fertilizers • Peat Moss • Colorful Containers

dipped Oreos, too. $50 for mother-daughter; $25 for additional daughter, $20 for mother to make own board. Call or text 256-478-0596.

What: Art on the Rocks

Who: Artsy folks

When: May 4 and 5

Where: Noccalula Falls Park

Why: This twice-yearly event celebrates handcrafted arts and crafts. Nearly 100 crafts, arts and food vendors. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for kids, seniors and military; park season passes also accepted. Pets welcome everywhere but near animal habitat. E-mail: noccalulafalls@ cityofgadsden.com

What: Talk Derby to Me

Who: Benefit at Seraphim Grace

When: Saturday, May 4, 4 to 8 p.m.

Where: Seraphim Grace, Wellington, Ala.

Why: Dress Derby and enjoy food and prizes to benefit Etowah County’s Family Success Center. Contact Katie Maples, 256-613-6516. Sponsorships available.

What: Monthly support group, meeting every first Saturday

Who: Springville Library Writers’ Group

When: Saturday, May 4, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Springville Library, 6315 US 11, Springville

Why: All writers age 18+ are invited.

What: Dr Kaboom!

Who: Oxford Performing Arts Center

Where: 100 E Choccolocco St Oxford

When: Monday, May 6, 6 p.m.

Why: Doktor Kaboom, created by David Epley, is a blend of science and entertainment.

What: Thunder @ the Grove

Who: The Faith Riders

When: May 9; every second Thursday at 6 p.m.

Where: Cedar Grove Baptist Church. 2001 Cedar Grove Road, Leeds.

Why: Join the Faith Riders every second Thursday March to September for food and fellowship. No bikes required. Come as you are. More information at 205-699-8446.

What: Giddy Up Gala

Who: Longleaf Event Center

When: Friday, May 10, 6 p.m.

Where: 920 Museum Dr, Anniston, AL

Why: Gala benefitting 2nd Chance Inc

What: Mac McAnally and the AIA

Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band

Who: Music fans

When: Saturday, May 11, 4 to 9 p.m.

Where: Mort Glosser Amphitheater, 90 Walnut Street, Gadsden.

Why: Parrothead alert. Email jtarrence@cityofgadsden.com

What: Dovetail Landing Bass Tournament

Who: Bass Anglers

When: May 11

Where: Lincoln’s Landing, Logan Martin

Why: Fishing for prizes

What: Run to the MAX for Mental Health

Who: Runners and walkers

When: May 11, 7 a.m. to noon

Where: Black Creek Trails, Noccalula Road, Gadsden

Why: 5K trail benefitting Maximizing Mental Health.

What: Logan Martin Lakefest and Boat Show

Who: Folks who love Logan Martin Lake

When: May 10-12, 2 to 9 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; Noon to 5 p.m., Sunday

Where: Pell City Lakside Park, Stemley Bridge Road

Why: FREE 3-day festival features fabulous boats, vendors, live music, food, prizes, and more

What: Dinner and Dance

Who: American Legion Attalla Post 71

When: May 11 and 25, second and fourth Saturdays each month, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Where: 201 Griffin Street, Attalla

Why: Dinner and dancing fun.

What: Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo

Who: Pete Mathews Coliseum

When Saturday, May 18. 7 a.m.

Where: 775 Park Ave NW #735, Jacksonville, AL

Why: Includes ULTRA, UCI Qualifer and more

What: Moody Farmers’ Market

Who: Local farmers

When: Fridays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., from May 20 to Sept. 30

74 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024

2206 Martin St S

Pell City, AL

Phone (205) 884-3470

(205) 473-9080

Fax (866) 666-8481

happens Discovery

When physicians, scientists and researchers with extraordinary talent and passion are given the technology, the facilities, and the support, they achieve great things. The discoveries, innovations and clinical trials happening today will help shape the future of treatments and lead to cures.

Brand-DISCOVERY-LakeLife_8x4.775-PROD.indd 1 7/7/23 10:03 AM
Proudly serving Alabama communities in Pell City, Ragland, Odenville, Branchville, Cropwell, Alpine and Vincent. 35128-2356

Where: 701 Park Avenue, Moody

Why: Fresh, locally grown produce all summer.

What: Pell City Farmers’ Market

Who: Local farmers

When: Wednesdays, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., from May 25 through Sept. 28.

Where: Avondale Mills Walking Track, 3040 Cogswell, Pell City.

Why: Fresh, locally grown produce all summer

What: Third Thursdays in Downtown Pell City

Who: Pell City Chamber

When: Thursday, May 16, starting at 11 a.m.

Where: Historic Downtown Pell City

Why: Look for specials, sales and fun.

What: Second Saturday

Who: Downtown Talladega

When: Saturday, May 11, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Talladega Bottling Works

Why: Music and more each Second Saturday

What: Highway 11 Antique Alley Yard Sale

Who: Fans of Antiques

When: May 16-19

Where: U.S. Highway 11, from Meridian, Miss., to Bristol, Va.

Why: A 502-mile roadside sale along U.S. Highway 11, running through Attalla, Reece City in Etowah County. More at www.US11antiquealley.com Call 256-538-3154 for vendor space.

What: Classic Rock Cassette Era concert by the Wingnuts

Who: Ritz Theatre and the Wingnuts

When: Friday, May 17, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: The historic Ritz Theatre in Talladega

Why: Hear classic rock hits by local musicians. Contact the Ritz, 256-315-0000.

What: Annual family day with entertainment, food and fun, sponsored by Leeds Area Chamber of Commerce.

Who: Creek Bank Festival and Car Show

When: Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Leeds Memorial Park

Why: Free admission and free parking. Shopping, arts and crafts booths, food vendors and a full schedule of entertainment on the main stage including annual car show.

What: Alabama Bass Trail North Division Tournament Series

Who: Alabama Bass Trail

When: Saturday, May 18, 5 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Coosa Landing, Neely Henry Lake

Why: A qualifying tournament for the north division of ABT, for the state championship in October at Lay Lake. The Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series is an amateur competitive team bass fishing trail that highlights 13 premier bass fishing lakes in Alabama. Lake Guntersville, Wheeler Lake, Pickwick Lake, Lewis Smith Lake, Neely

Henry Lake, Weiss Lake, Lay Lake, Logan Martin Lake, Lake Martin, Lake Jordan, Alabama River, Lake Eufaula, and the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. Register at www.alabamabasstrail.com

What: Magnolia Artisan Market

Who: Arts and Crafts fun folks

When: May 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Little Art Tree, Ashville

Why: Artists, crafters and food trucks.

What: Annual Bike Show and Swap Meet

Who: Motorcycle owners and enthusiasts

When: May 18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Drifters HDRC Clubhouse, Rainbow City

Why: Motorcycles on parade with prizes, music and food

What: Fair on the Square

Who: City of Jacksonville

When: Saturday, May 18 9 a.mm.-3 p.m.

Where: Public Square, Jacksonville AL

Why: Live music, vendors, and more on the historic Jacksonville Square

What: TIKI HUT Summer Kick-off Party

Who: River’s Edge Marina and friends

When: May 18, 2 to 10 p.m.

Where: River’s Edge Marina, Cropwell

Why: 2nd annual summer kickoff party at River’s Edge offers bands, delicious food and drinks, giveaways and more.

76 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin
Henry • May & June 2024
and Neely

What: Strawberry Day

Who: Strawberry lovers

When: Friday, May 19, 7:30 a.m. to noon

Where: 5th Street Market, downtown Gadsden

Why: Fresh strawberries!

What: Music and Crafts Fest

Who: Horse Pens 40

When: May 24, noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Horse Pens 40, 3525 County Highway 42, Steele

Why: Live music, food and local vendors.

What: Battle in Bama show

Who: Racing and cool cars

When: May 30-June 1, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Talladega SuperSpeedway, Talladega, C10s in the south area

Why: The OBS Nationals show within a show, plus hot rods, trucks, and motorcycles. www. battleinbama.net

What: Classic Car Cruise-In

Who: Talladega Classic Car Club

When: Saturday, May 25

Where: Classic Toys at 515 East Battle Street, Talladega

Why: Classic cars and trucks cruise in every 4th Saturday.

What: Gadsden Artisan and Farmers Market

Who: Local farmers and artists

When: Every Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: 701 1st Avenue, Gadsden

Why: Vendors selling everything from baked goods to arts and crafts.

What: Gadsden Reptile Expo

Who: Folks who like reptiles

When: May 25, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Where: The Venue at Coosa Landing, Gadsden

Why: See reptiles up close. Tickets $5 to $15

What: Open Mic Night Competition, hosted by Mandi Rae Trott.

Who: Leeds Arts Council

When: Third Sunday of each month, May 19, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Leeds Arts Council, 8140 Parkway Drive

Why: $5 for both performers and spectators. Each month’s winner receives 50 percent of the door money as a cash prize based on a vote at show’s end. Sign up in person beginning at 6:30 p.m. or email mandiraemusic@gmail.com to get on the list.

What: Classic Car Cruise-In

Who: Talladega Classic Car Club

When: Saturday, May 26

Where: Classic Toys at 515 East Battle Street, Talladega

Why: Classic cars and trucks cruise in every 4th Saturday.

What: Gadsden Artisan and Farmers Market

Who: Local farmers and artists

When: Every Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: 701 1st Avenue, Gadsden

Why: Vendors selling everything from baked goods to arts and crafts.

What: American Legion Pro Rodeo

Who: Rodeo riders and watchers

When: May 31 and June 1, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Where: American Legion, 201 Griffin Southeast, Attalla.

Who: Southeastern Professional Rodeo Association riders will perform and compete. Tickets free to $15.

What: Happy Together Tour

Who: Oxford Performing Arts Center

When: Friday, May 31, 7:30 p.m.

Where: 100 E Choccolocco St Oxford, AL

Why: Featuring The Turtles, Jay & The Americans, The Association, Badfinger Featuring Joey Molland, The Vogues, And The Cowsills


What: Pell City Hometown Block Party and Car Show

Who: Pell City Chamber of Commerce

When: Saturday, June 1, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: St. Clair County Courthouse, Pell City

Why: Join the FREE celebration with three stages, live music, food, kids’ activities and more than 100 vendors.

What: 10th Annual Bash in the Bend

Who: Music makers

When: Saturday, June 1, 5 to 11 p.m.

Where: The River lot at Tillison’s Bend, Gadsden

Why: Music featuring Tanner Usrey and Ole 60 with

78 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
1911 COGSWELL AVENUE PELL CITY, AL 35125 • APPAREL • GIFTS • ACCESSORIES lakelife247.com MON. - FRI. 10-5 SAT. 11-3 Sizes: S-3X BACK Debuting at FRONT Available for pre-order online. “Our Treasured Island” Tropical Colors Available in Kids sizes too!

proceeds benefiting James M. Barrie Center for Children and local charities. $25 tickets; 12 and under free.

What: Alabama Crappie Trail Tournament

Who: Crappie anglers

When: June 7-8

Where: Lincoln Landing, Logan Martin Lake

Why: Crappie fishing for prizes

What: Knights of Columbus

Charity Bingo Night

Who: Leeds Knights of Columbus Council 5597

When: First and third Fridays, June 7 and 21; 5 to 8 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. and Bingo starts at 6 p.m. Food available for purchase.

Where: Leeds Civic Center, 1000 Park Drive

Why: Play bingo for cash prizes while raising money for local charities. Call Don Tice at 205-542-0671 for information.

What: Dinner and Dance

Who: American Legion Attalla Post 71

When: June 8 and 22, Second and fourth Saturdays each month, 5 to 11 p.m.

Where: 201 Griffin Street, Attalla

Why: Dinner and dancing fun.

What: The Blue Ball, dinner and music

Who: ManUP Gadsden

When: June 8, 7 to 11 p.m.

Where: The Pavilion at Noccalula, Gadsden

Why: Benefitting men’s health, wear blue to the Blue Ball, with food by JP and Son Café and music by Parris.

What: Bluegrass on the Rim

Who: Little River Canyon Center

When:Saturday, June 8, 7 p.m.

Where: Little River Canyon Center

Why: Bluegrass on the Rim concert s

What: Thunder @ the Grove

Who: The Faith Riders

When: June 13, every second Thursday at 6 p.m.

Where: Cedar Grove Baptist Church. 2001 Cedar Grove Road, Leeds.

Why: Join the Faith Riders every second Thursday March to September for food and fellowship. No bikes required. Come as you are. More information at 205-699-8446.

What: Rodeo and Rhythm

Who: Broken Arrow Rodeo Productions and Greensport RV Park and Marina

When: June 21 and 22, 7 to 11 p.m.

Where: Greensport RV Park and Marina, Ashville

Why: Saddle up for a wild weekend of Rodeo and Music, with rodeo riders, food, drink and music by talented musicians at the of the night. Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 for children and little ones free. Benefitting Ashville Fire and Rescue.

What: Gadsden Museum of Art 2024 Art Camps

Who: Young artists

When: Five sessions of art camps for kindergarten to fifth grade and sixth to 8th grade are set for June 11-14, June 18-21, June 25-28 and July 9-12, July 16-19. Morning sessions 9 a.m. to noon taught by Jill Edwards and afternoon, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m, taught by Kayla Allen. Pre-registration required. $100 per camper per session.

Why: Visit www.gadsdenmuseum.com or email GMAGADSDEN@gmail.com for more information.

What: Open Mic Night Competition, hosted by Mandi Rae Trott.

Who: Leeds Arts Council

When: Third Sunday of each month, June 16, 7 to 9 p.m.

Where: Leeds Arts Council, 8140 Parkway Drive

Why: $5 for both performers and spectators. Each month’s winner receives 50 percent of the door money as a cash prize based on a vote at show’s end. Sign up in person beginning at 6:30 p.m. or email mandiraemusic@gmail.com to get on the list.

What: Annual Patriots Golf Tournament

Who: Golfers and patriots

When: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 19

Where: Twin Bridges Golf Club Gadsden

Why: Support the work of Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association, which works with Vietnam and other war veteran. Entry packages $80 to $390 with proceeds going to the Ola Lee Mize Patriot Park.

What: Hoke’s Bluff Farmers’ Market

Who: Local farmers

When: Mondays, 7 a.m. to noon, from June to September

Where: 3310 Alford Bend Road, Hoke’s Bluff

Why: Fresh, locally grown produce all summer

80 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024

What: Attalla Downtown Farmers’ Market

Who: Local farmers

When: Thursdays, noon to 5 p.m., June 6 to September 26

Where: 411 3rd Street, Attalla

Why: Fresh, locally grown produce all summer

What: Glencoe Farmers’ Market

Who: Local farmers

When: Tuesdays, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 6 to Sept. 26

Where: Glencoe City Hall

Why: Fresh produce, locally grown

What: Talladega Farmers’ Market

Who: Local farmers

When: Tuesdays, 3 to 6 p.m., June 7 to Sept. 30

Where: 210 East Street South, parking lot next to Talladega Chamber

Why: Fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables

What: Second Saturday

Who: Downtown Talladega merchants

When: Saturday, June 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Talladega Bottling Works

Why: Music and more each Second Saturday

What: Third Thursdays in Downtown Pell City

Who: Pell City Chamber

When: Thursday, June 20, 11 a.m.

Where: Historic Downtown Pell City

Why: Look for specials, sales and fun.

What: Lyfe Jennings at the Anniston Heritage Festival

Who: The City of Anniston

When: Saturday, June 22

Where: Zinn Park, W 14th St, Anniston, AL

Why: 2024 Heritage Festival headlined by Billboard

Top-10 R&B artist Lyfe Jennings

What: Classic Car Cruise-In

Who: Talladega Classic Car Club

When: Saturday, June 22

Where: Classic Toys at 515 East Battle Street, Talladega

Why: Classic cars and trucks cruise in every 4th Saturday.

What: Business Builder Breakfast

Who: Pell City Chamber of Commerce, business owners

When: Thursday, June 27, 8;30 to 9:30 a.m.

Where: Pell City Municipal Complex, banquet room

Why: Networking, learning and door prizes. Free but registration required at www.pellcitychamber.com

What: Berman Museum Bootcamp Summer Camp

Who: Berman Museum and buccaneers

When: June 26-27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Berman Museum at Anniston Museum and Gardens

Why: Limited spots available for pirate escapade,

discovering real pirate artifacts and a pirate feast. Pre-registration is required. $135/child (ages 8-13); members receive a $15 discount (daily lunch included) Registration deadline: Monday, June 3. www.ExploreAMAG.org

What: BRON-YR-AUR: an acoustic tribute to Led Zeppelin

Who: Historic Ritz Theatre

When: Friday, June 28, 7 p.m.

Where: Ritz Theater, 115 Court Square N, Talladega, Ala. 35160

Why: Enjoy the acoustic side of one of rock n’ roll’s best. Tickets are $30 at www.ritztalladega.com

What: Heritage Hall’s 2024 Arts Camp for Kids

Who: Young artists in training

When: 8 a.m. to noon; June 24-28; July 15-19; July 29-Aug. 2

Where: Spring Street Recreation Center, 502 South Spring Street, Talladega

Why: Art camp for ages 6 to 12 followed by presentation at Ritz Theatre, Tuition is $100 per week for child. Register at heritagehallmuseum1@ gmail.com or call 256-761-1364.


What: Knights of Columbus Charity Bingo Night

Who: Leeds Knights of Columbus Council 5597

When: First and third Fridays, July 5 and 19; 5 to 8 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. and Bingo starts at 6 p.m. Food available for purchase.

Where: Leeds Civic Center, 1000 Park Drive

Why: Play bingo for cash prizes while raising money for local charities. Call Don Tice at 205-542-0671 for information.

What: Sean of the South

Who: Oxford Performing arts Center

When: Friday, July 12, 7:30 p.mm.

Where: 100 E Choccolocco St Oxford, AL

Why:  Storyteller Sean Dietrich will make you laugh, cry, relive some great memories and entertain you with his wit and wisdom.

82 LakeLife 24/7 Logan
• May & June 2024
Martin and Neely Henry
(205) 369-1413 Dana Ellison danaellison@lahsothebysrealty.com • Community Leader • Can Do Attitude • Problem Solver • Seasoned Experience Whether it’s leading a community cause or guiding you through the real estate process, Dana sets the standard! Ready to Make Your Move? Let Dana Guide You Every Step of the Way! Picture Perfect Memories Made Here • Dockable Gas • Event Venue • Day Use Area • General Store • Picnic Area 130 Greensport Ashville, AL 35953 Neely Henry Lake Association 3514 Rainbow Dr, Ste. 415, Rainbow City, AL 35906 Ph: (256) 368-5200 Hrs: M-F 8am to 5pm www. NeelyHenryLake.org

Taste of the Lake

July and August 2021 July and August 2021


July and August 2021 July and August 2021


An angler’s guide to Neely Henry and Logan Martin Lakes

Our stretch of the Coosa has some of the best fishing in the South



Logan Martin’s water levels will be changing during the months of May and June, and in turn, the patterns of bass will change during these months as well.

Early in the month of May, you can still see bass on beds and also catch fish out deep. Typically, in May, bass will be very spread out and in very different phases of the spawn. However, for the majority of the time in May, your better fish are still going to be shallow.

The water on Logan Martin is just starting to rise and get to summer pool. Typically the fish will follow this water up and stay shallow during May. There are a couple of key baits I like to use in order to catch fish while they’re in their post spawn funk.

First bait I’m going to reach for early, especially in the morning, is a swim jig. What I like about the swim jig is that it is very versatile. This bait is great around almost any kind of shallow structure, such as docks, trees and grass.

The swim jig allows me to cover water fast and efficiently in order to capitalize on the daylight bite. Once the sun finally starts to get up, I’ll start casting to isolated structure with a wacky rigged worm. This is a great way to just get bites and get those post spawn fish to bite.

I usually target really shallow docks with this bait, along with casting to what bedding fish might be left.

Once we start getting into the month of June, the water temps will begin to rise, and the shallows will begin to slowly lose oxygen, especially if there is lack of rain. The fish will start schooling up on the end of long points and humps – anywhere from 10 to 20 feet of water. I also like to target brush piles in this depth.

My favorite bait to target these fish are a deep-diving crankbait and drop shot rig. Some of the biggest offshore fish I catch all year will come on the crank bait most of the time. The crankbait is an awesome way to really fire up a school of bass and get more fish to bite in the school.

The drop shot seems to excel a lot more in brush piles because it is more of a reaction type bite if you drop it right in the brush pile. I feel like the drop shot is always my best chance to get bit in the brush pile no matter what size of fish might be in the pile. These fish are typically more lethargic since they’re usually pretty beat up from the spawn.

Give these techniques a try and you will find success during these months on Logan Martin.


Neely Henry is a shallow fisherman’s paradise during the months of May and June. On top of that, a few deep fish will start showing up as well.

Typically, during these months, you will still catch your better fish shallow. I love to fish around shallow grass in the mid-lake region with a swim jig and frog. I usually keep my eyes peeled for bream beds as well.

Another great way to catch fish on Neely Henry is super shallow docks. When I say shallow docks, I’m talking any docks five feet deep or less of water.

I let the weather tell me what I need to throw around them. If it’s in and out clouds I like to throw more of a moving bait like a bladed jig or squarebill crankbait. If it’s slick calm and sunny,

87 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024

I will pick up some type of Texas rigged worm and drag it on the bottom around the docks.

Now, moving into the month of June, some fish will make their move out to deeper water. Most of the time on Neely, I’ll find fish in that mid-range depth around the 10 to 15-foot mark.

Most of the time, you will find these fish off the end of long points or in brush piles. I will use my electronics in order to find these fish as well. I will keep my bait selection simple if I’m wanting to figure out fast if the fish are doing this pattern.

One of my favorite baits to pick up first is a football jig. The football jig is a very versatile bait for offshore angling. I like to either keep it close to the bottom or if I’m wanting to cover water fast, I’ll just swim it close to the bottom.

Another great option if things are tough is a drop shot. A drop shot will produce bites when nothing else will.

Keep an open mind this time of year and don’t be afraid to try something new. It might surprise you how good the fish can really bite on Neely Henry even when the fish might be in in their post spawn funk.

Zeke Gossett of Zeke Gossett Fishing grew up on the Coosa River and Logan Martin Lake. He is a former collegiate champion and is now a professional angler on the B.A.S.S. tour circuit and is a fishing guide. Learn more about Zeke at: zekegossettfishing.com.

88 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024
SPIDER BE GONE OF ALABAMA You’ve invested a great deal of money in your home. Invest in a Spider Be Gone System to keep your home free of spiders, mosquitos, dirt daubers, red wasps and all other flying and crawling insects. David & Cameron Smith, Owners sbgofalinfo@gmail.com 205-296-8340 SPIDERBEGONEOFAL.COM

Voice of the River

Looking after the lakes

Rivers have a head and a mouth, but don’t have a voice to speak for themselves. That’s why Coosa Riverkeeper exists - to be a voice for the river and the many communities that live, boat, swim, fish, recreate and rely on the Coosa River.

We do this in a variety of ways - through patrolling the waterways, educating the public and advocating for the Coosa River. We have many free services to the public to ensure everyone knows what’s going on across the Coosa basin and how it impacts you, your loved ones, your property and Alabama’s economy.

From May to September, we test the Coosa’s most popular places to swim to help provide people with information about water-quality conditions. That lets people make informed decisions about enjoying the Coosa during the peak season. Check out where we test by visiting our website at CoosaRiver.org/ SwimGuide

If you fish on the Coosa, our Angler Advocacy is your home for all things fishing. Our website features an interactive map showing popular fishing locations, marinas, waterside restaurants and more. We also offer recipes and educate residents about local fish species. Check it out at CoosaRiver.org/FishGuide

If you’ve got kids or grandkids, our C.R.E.E.K. (Coosa River Environmental Education for Kids) program educates children about conservation and sustainability in fun formats like wildlife workshops, free fishing clinics and so much more.

Whether you are swimming, boating, fishing, driving over a creek or watching a sunset on the Coosa -- if you see something fishy (pun intended), let us know. Coosa Riverkeeper’s staff patrol the water and address pollution reports from the public. We will follow up with investigation, testing and help you find the solution.

The Coosa River is so special, which is why we must protect and conserve this mighty river. To learn more and stay up to date on our Swim Guide results, swim on over to our website, coosariver.org.

We’ll see y’all on the water soon!

90 LakeLife 24/7 Logan Martin and Neely Henry • May & June 2024

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