Lake City Magazine March | April 2018

Page 1

LAKE CITY m a g a z i n e

M A R C H | A P R I L 2 018



Gearing Up For Getting Out

Where The Big Bass Bite

Creations By Chase

And More

Darren and April Haramija of Guntersville Outfitters.

Why Lake Guntersville is one of the best Bass fishing lakes in the US.

Local artist shares his story for Autism Awareness Month.

Local Event Photos. Great Southern Food. Things To Do


Come see the full line of new Triton Boats at Duckett Marine Factory authorized sales and service center for these fine brands.


256.660.5400 | 3780 Brashers Chapel Rd. Guntersville, AL. 35976

LAKE CITY M A R C H | A P R I L 2 018

m a g a z i n e

Lake City Events · 6

Coach Russell Carr · 18

Gearing Up Guntersville · 10

Creations By Chase · 28

Join us as we take you to The Foundation For Marshall Medical's Winter Ball and Duckett Marine's 2nd Annual Open House.

The word is getting out about what a great town Guntersville is for year around outdoor recreation, something Darren and April Haramija have known for a decade.

Take 10 With Bass Guide Jim Leary · 12

Q&A with local bass guide and tournament fisherman aims to take the anxiety away from fishing your first bass tournament.

Where The Big Bass Bite · 15

Lake Guntersville is known for its great largemouth bass fishing. But what makes this such a great spot to catch the popular fish?

On the cover: Guntersville varsity basketball coach, Russell Carr with the 2018 varsity senior class players, L-R: Izaak Parker, CJ Williamson, Calvin Collie, Tucker Bonds

From driveway dominator to championship winning coach, basketball has always played a part in Russell Carr's life.

April is Autism Awareness Month and local artist Chase Kendrick and his mother Kristy Fuell share their story of life with ASD.

Alabama Country Quiche · 36

Everyone loves a big breakfast of bacon and eggs right? Give this easy recipe a try if you want to kick it up a notch.

Lake City Calendar · 37

Learn about our popular River & Brew Fest, free concerts in the park from MVAC, local community theater, golf and fishing tournaments, and even a Flip Flop race for the world record.

A Short Note From The Publisher L A K E C I T Y


hank you, Guntersville, for making the first issue of Lake City Magazine such a big hit; we couldn't have done it without you. I really appreciate all of the calls and emails of support and appreciation we received. We were also contacted early on from several of our pick-up locations for a restocking of the issue. We've provided more copies of this issue at each location. In addition, we have made JaMoka's Coffee Company in Downtown Guntersville a permastock location; as long as we still have copies of an issue, you'll find one there. In fact, if you didn't get a copy of our last issue, it's not too late. For this issue, we decided to give a little attention to bass fishing since spring is traditionally the beginning of the season and the most popular time of the year to fish Lake Guntersville. After visiting Duckett Marine's open house and listening to the Q&As with all of the pro anglers, there seemed to be two things folks wanted to know about: Lake Guntersville and tournament fishing. For the first, we decided to look at what made Lake Guntersville such a great lake to

fish for largemouth bass, and for the second, we sat down with local tournament angler and Lake Guntersville bass guide, Jim Leary, and asked his advice about fishing your first bass tournament on Lake Guntersville. We are also excited to introduce you to Chase Kendrick. Chase is an amazing young man and artist from Grant whose story of life with autism we are honored to share in this issue. Another local you'll meet is Russell Carr. For those that don't already know, or weren't tipped off by the photo on the cover, Russell is Guntersville High's varsity basketball coach. I really had a blast making the photos for this story. Not only is Russell a super guy, he bent over backwards to make it all happen. Darren Haramija says for those who love the outdoors, Guntersville is the best kept secret in the South. The shop he owns with his wife April may be one of the best-kept secrets in town. I hope you enjoy this issue of Lake City Magazine as much as I enjoyed being able to bring it to you. Guntersville really is a special place that we're lucky to share. ~Patrick Oden


M A R C H · A P R I L 2 018

PUBLISHER Oden Imaging MANAGING EDITOR Patrick Oden COPY EDITORS Miranda Oden Dee Weeder Advertising & Editorial 256-486-9000 Mailing Address 383 Gunter Ave. Guntersville, Ala. 35976 © Copyright: Lake City Magazine is published by Oden Imaging. No portion may be reproduced by any means without the express written consent of the publisher. Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Editorial and advertising content are for information and entertainment, and do not constitute advice.


Our friendly & knowledgeable staff are here to help. Trade-ins are always welcome.

If you’re viewing digitally, just click or tap. All ads in our digital version are interactive.

We Proudly Service What We Sell

For advertising rates and availability

1415 Gunter Avenue · 256-582-8408 · 4 · LAKE CITY

256.486.9000 ·

Don't miss a single issue

View online or download to any device

LAKE CITY m a g a z i n e

Subscribe to our FREE digital version at Don't worry, we won't share your email address or send you any junk, just a great magazine every couple of months.


L A K E C I T Y - W E ' R E B E T T E R TO G E T H E R

Foundation For Marshall Medical's Winter Ball Planned by Marshall Women's Guild, the annual event is a premier fundraising gala focused on maintaining quality healthcare in Marshall County and celebrating those who make it possible.



L A K E C I T Y - W E ' R E B E T T E R TO G E T H E R

Duckett Marine Open House Bass fishing fans from around North Alabama converged for Duckett Marine's 2nd annual open house where they had the opportunity to meet and learn from a pile of pro anglers, and even enjoy a BBQ lunch on Boyd Duckett.




Geared Up in Guntersville W

alk into Guntersville Outfitters and it’s hard to imagine the smell of motor oil and apple pies that once permeated the air at 534 Gunter Ave., replaced now by excitement, adrenaline and a little bike grease. Originally opened as Ralph Smith Ford in 1930, the nearly 80-year-old structure spent a quarter century as an automobile dealership before O. Ray Hubble purchased the building and began making apple pies. At one point Hubble Bakery was cranking out 1200 frozen pies per hour. But that was then, and this is now. Darren and April Haramija first met in Chicago where Darren was finishing college. April, originally from Decatur, met Darren through mutual friends and the two hit it off. Young, adventurous, and both lovers of the outdoors, the couple decided to move to Summit County, Colorado. Nestled some 9100 feet high in the Rocky Mountains, Darren began working as a building inspector for the city of Frisco and April pursued a career in the mortgage business. “Snow country,” as Darren calls it, lent itself well to the call of the wild, and the two took advantage of all the mountains had to offer. “Mountain biking is our main hobby,” April says. “Darren and I have been biking together for almost 20 years.” From Utah to North Carolina and all points in between, Darren and April have taken every opportunity life has permitted them to cycle together. “We love to travel and camp in our small motorhome whenever we can get away,” Darren says. “Our 10-year-old daughter, Dylan, has been to 32 states and more than 10 National Parks already. We mountain bike as a family whenever possible, and the bicycles always go with us when we travel.” 10 · LAKE CITY

But there is something about the red-clay soil of North Alabama that beckons to those who have known it, and when April began to feel like she needed to be closer to family, Darren capitulated. Guntersville was just a natural fit. “We love the small town, lake, and state park,” April says. “So much of our town is about the outdoors.” Darren agrees, “Situated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Guntersville is a great location for hiking, biking, kayaking, and just enjoying the outdoors.” But for all the opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in and around Lake City, there wasn’t a quality outfitter in the vicinity. If Darren and April saw the need, there was a good chance others did as well, and the idea for Guntersville Outfitters was born. “We wanted to open a specialty outdoor store to make it possible for residents and visitors of Guntersville to be able to find quality outdoor clothing and equipment without having to drive to Huntsville or Birmingham,” April says. And if they don’t have what you need to enjoy, as Darren calls it, the best kept secret in the south, there’s a good chance you didn’t need it anyway. That’s because the couple prides themselves in carrying a depth of amazing outdoor products … and let’s not forget the bikes. “Not many specialty outdoor shops have bike shops in them,” April says. “We knew we wanted bikes in the shop.” But what makes the big shop in the small town so special isn’t the need or the gear itself, it’s the people. With their warm smiles and genuine desire to help those who walk through their doors, Darren and April embody the spirit of the small town, of the new friend you make on the trail.

Darren and April Haramija's love for the outdoors led them from Colorado to Guntersville, where they've run a premiere outdoor shop in the heart of downtown for more than a decade - Guntersville Outfitters.




Guntersville Bass Guide

Jim Leary

On Fishing Your First Bass Tournament

Jim Leary, left, and co-angler Eric Wilson at Guntersville Harbor with the 24.62 lb catch that landed them 3rd place in the Rat-L-Trap Tournament on Feb. 25.



aptain Jim Leary has been fishing for nearly 20 years. It's been his life's passion and he's made a career out of putting folks on the big bass that made Lake Guntersville famous. Because of his busy schedule, Jim doesn't run the tournament circuits, but still loves the thrill of local tournament fishing and recommends any angler that hasn't fished in a tournament, but has thought about it, give it a try. Knowing an angler's first tournament can be a little intimidating, Jim sat down with Lake City Magazine to help answer some of the more common questions people have about fishing their first bass tournament on Lake Guntersville.

Lake City Magazine: For someone who has never fished a bass tournament, what kind of tournaments are a good place to start? Captain Jim Leary: There are a couple of options. Wildcat tournaments are during the week and last a few hours in the evening. Or a charity or open tournament on a Saturday, beginning at daylight and lasting 8 hours. If you don’t own a boat—or don’t have a buddy with one—you can enter something like a BFL (Bass Fishing League) tournament as co-angler. Lake City Magazine: Once an angler has decided on a tournament to enter, what comes next? Captain Jim Leary: You can sign up at the ramp or go online, if they have a way to take credit cards. Just about every tournament assigns boat numbers in the order you sign up. Lake City Magazine: What should an angler bring with them for a tournament that they might not normally carry for a day of recreational fishing? Captain Jim Leary: I’d have some live well additive, a fizzing needle, a cull beam or scale that will keep track of your best five bass, and a weigh-in bag. Lake City Magazine: What should an angler keep in mind in terms of dock etiquette, so they don’t seem like a first-timer? Captain Jim Leary: If you’re not signed up yet, then locate the guy taking the money and get that taken care of. Next, get your boat ready to launch and get in line to launch. Turn off your headlights. Leave your parking lights on (reason is, if you’re backed down to the water and another guy is trying to back down on the other side, he can’t see). I’ll ask a few boats their boat number, so I can get in front of them or behind them before blast-off, so I’m not that guy in the way of the boats taking off before me. And at the end of the tournament, if it’s a trailered weigh-in, get your boat out of the water and park where you’re not blocking anything. Lake City Magazine: What is the best stratagey for a first time tournament fisherman to make best use of their tournament time window? Captain Jim Leary: I try to do more fishing than running around the lake. What I mean is, try to find fish close to your tournament site. If your fishing spot is far away, then make that run first thing and hope no one is there when you get there. Have another spot close, or several.

Lake City Magazine: What if the fish aren’t biting? Captain Jim Leary: It happens. Be aware of the current conditions and make the proper changes. The fish didn’t pack up and leave. They have changed their minds on what they want to eat. First, change colors in the lure that has been working before switching the lure itself. Remember this … they are biting somewhere; don’t be afraid to move to another area close by. Lake City Magazine: What's good tournament etiquette while on the water? Captain Jim Leary: The biggest problem is pulling in on another angler (in a tournament or not). Its first-come, first-serve. You can pull up and ask if they mind if you fished the area with them, or not even stop and go on to another spot. If your running in a small channel and a boat is in there fishing, come off pad and go around them at idle. Keep this in mind: treat others the way you would expect them to treat you. Lake City Magazine: What does an angler who normally catches and releases do with the fish they catch during a tournament? Captain Jim Leary: A few things. If it’s hot out, you need to keep your water temp cool. You can add ice or freeze 2 liter bottles the night before and put them in the live well. Live well additive will help keep the fish’s slime coat and will also calm them from stressing too much. If they are belly up in the live well, this means their air bladder is full and need fizzed. (If you don’t know how to fizz a bass, watch some how-to videos.) Lake City Magazine: How do they decide the winner of the tournaments? Captain Jim Leary: Everyone tries to catch the five largest bass they can. Sometimes you don’t get five, but I’ve seen guys win with less than five. So always weigh your fish, you just never know. Fill your weigh-in bag with live well water, put your fish in it, and get in the weigh-in line. Lake City Magazine: What happens to the fish after the weigh-in? Captain Jim Leary: You will walk them down to the dock to release them back to the lake. This is why I don’t dump the water out of my bag. I pull each fish out and save the water for the walk down to release my catch. Make sure your fish swim off. Don’t be the guy that dumps them and walks away and some of the fish are swimming on their sides and can’t right themselves to swim away. LAKE CITY · 13


LAKE CITY m a g a z i n e

For advertising rates and availability 256.486.9000 ·




The largemouth bass is the most popular sport-fishing species in the United States and Lake Guntersville is the most popular place in the country to catch them.


n aggressive and opportunistic feeder, the largemouth bass is a fun fish to catch, often breaking the water’s surface and putting up one heck of a fight to get free of the hook. Landing a big “bucket-mouth” is a thrill for any angler, but they’re a smart fish, as far as fish go, and it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Knowing where to look is a good start though, and there may be no place better than Lake Guntersville. The largemouth love it here.

But why? Why Lake Guntersville is such a popular and productive destination for bass anglers has to do with the size of the fish and abundance of the largemouth bass population, which is a byproduct of the harmonious relationship the species has with the environmental characteristics of the lake itself. At roughly 69,000 acres, Lake Guntersville is a man-made LAKE CITY · 15


lake that was created when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) built the Guntersville Dam along the Tennessee River and flooded the low-lying land in 1939, inadvertently creating an ideal environment for the largemouth to flourish. Rough-cutting the timber and clearing the land left behind stumps and structures, things that largemouth bass dreams are made of. The influx of native and invasive plant life, such as hydrilla, Eurasian milfoil, and water hyacinth, was just the icing on the cake. The largemouth bass is an apex predator in the freshwater ecosystem, with anglers being their almost singular threat. While there isn’t much a largemouth won’t try to eat if the opportunity presents itself, there aren’t many things sharing their waters that can or will make a meal of them. With an average lifespan of 16 years, the largemouth bass never stops growing. However, water temperatures and oxygen levels have a lot to do with their growth rate. In Lake Guntersville, the average largemouth can be expected to reach 18 inches by year three. That’s about twice as large as a largemouth of the same age found in a northern lake, where water temperatures favor growth only 4 to 5 months a year compared to the 10 months of growth common to Lake Guntersville. This lifecycle begins each spring when water temps reach about 62 degrees Fahrenheit. The male fish will prepare a nest in a shallow, calm and protected part of the lake, where there are ample cover and food for his offspring, or “fry.” Once the female’s eggs are dropped and fertilized by the male, the female largemouth will return to deeper water to recover while the father stays to protect the nest and see the small “fry” through the first few weeks of their life. By the time a largemouth bass reaches two inches long it has switched from feeding on plankton and larva to a predator’s diet. Solitary by nature, this is also the point at which the young bass will disband from their school of siblings and the father will leave the group. Though adult bass can be found grouped together, this is typically because of an abundant food source or environmental condition, and the bass do not interact. The underwater growth and features that offered the largemouth protection when they were young will continue to serve the bass as hiding places to stalk their prey as they mature. Bass prefer water in the 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit range, and tend to stay in shallow, calm water when it’s in this range, as it is much of the year in Lake Guntersville, only seeking out deeper water when temps near the surface are much higher or lower. With an average depth of 15 feet and water temperatures which are almost ideal for the bass, Lake Guntersville checks off two of the largemouth’s dream home must-haves.

Largemouth bass thrive in water with higher dissolved oxygen (DO) levels. The abundant aquatic vegetation they love to feed in and the flowing waters of the Tennessee River combine to help maintain ideal DO conditions in Lake Guntersville for the largemouth. So, Lake Guntersville is a bass anglers paradise because the lake itself is a largemouth’s paradise. When it comes to catching (and releasing) some of Lake City’s famous bucket-mouths, there are three things to consider that may be the difference between a great day of fishing and a bust. First, when and where should you go? Bass feed when they are hungry but are most active in early morning and late afternoon in shallow calm waters that provide good cover for them to ambush their prey. Keep water temperatures and currents in mind as they will fluctuate throughout the year, but also remember that the behavior of the bass is fairly predictable. If you know how the largemouth will behave in different conditions, you’ll have a good idea where to look. Second, what bait should you use? This can be a tricky question. Rubber worms, crank baits, spinner baits, and spoons have always been favorites of bass anglers, and many say it’s hard to beat a large golden shiner to catch a trophy bass. But bass are opportunistic eaters who develop a sense of nutritional reward for the investment of energy required to catch a certain type of prey. It also remembers what hooked it. For this reason, carrying a variety of baits with you will increase your odds if you know there are fish in the area that just aren’t biting. The third is technique. This is one of those types of things a father traditionally passes down to his son, but tradition isn’t necessarily the order of things these days. Like golf, getting someone who knows what they are doing to teach you can go a long way. Where do you cast? How fast do you bring in and how do you “work” the baits? How do keep the giant bass you’re going to catch from snapping the line and becoming the one that got away? Luckily, this is a bass fishing mecca and there are plenty of folks around with knowledge to share. And if you don’t know anyone, hiring a bass guide for a day can be every bit as fruitful and beneficial as a first golf lesson. With five Bassmaster Champions and a Bassmaster Angler of the Year living in Guntersville, the city’s status as the bass capital of the US seems to be pretty well established. If you haven’t been into fishing but you live in or are visiting the Guntersville area, you should really give it a try. It’s a shame to be anywhere that is known to be the best in the world for something and not have the experience. Especially when even the worst version of that experience means a day on our beautiful lake. LAKE CITY · 17

For The


OF THE GAME The Character Of Guntersville Wildcat Varsity Basketball





t was the golden age of basketball and you didn’t have to be a fan to recognize names like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, or Michael Jordan … and Russell Carr played against them all. Whether it was the Lakers or the Bulls, Russell never lost. He might say it was the home court advantage. “I really loved the game,” Russell says. “As an imaginative kid, I don’t know how many games I played with the Celtics against the Lakers — in my own driveway.” He was an active kid who loved sports … and loved playing them all. Born in Lexington, Ky., Russell and his two sisters, Kortney and Kelly, adapted quickly when his parents, Bill and Rita, moved the family to Guntersville in 1980. His aunt and uncle, Charlotte and Ronnie Dutton, had opened a new restaurant and had asked Bill to help run it. It was a hopping little burger joint called McDonalds, and it’s still going strong. “I basically grew up at the Guntersville Rec Center,” he recalls. “My mom would drop me off in the morning and I would play all day.” For Russell, the Rec Center was more than just a place to go and hang out. It was a place where he got to know everyone, and they got to know him. It’s where the seeds of community were planted for the young athlete, and where many of his fondest memories linger. “I loved growing up in Guntersville. What made it such a great community then is the same today: you knew everyone, and they knew you. You always felt like someone was looking out for you and many took a real interest in watching you grow and succeed,” says Russell. But really, life is a little more complex, and the seemingly small impressions people make on you when you’re young can mark watershed moments in your life. It was about the time Russell started middle school that he discovered the thrill of Wildcats basketball. His cousin, Christie Bruce, was a Guntersville High School cheerleader, and his aunt Charlotte let him tag along to games. For Russell, it might as well have been Boston Garden. “Coach Rick Moody and the varsity team somewhat adopted me,” Russell recalls. “Those guys – Shane Vandergriff, Scott Smith, Teddy Looney, Anthony Horton, and Henry Howell – were my heroes. In Russell’s mind, that Wildcat team might as well have been the NBA. 20 · LAKE CITY



“I remember when Russell was in the seventh grade he would ride our bus to away games,” says Scott Smith. “He was enthusiastic, to say the least, and he couldn’t wait for his chance to play on the Wildcat team one day.” It may have seemed to take an eternity, as most highly anticipated things do when you’re young, but Russell worked hard and made the varsity team in his sophomore year. “Coach Jim Sanderson was a great coach and pushed me harder than I thought was possible,” Russell recalls. In his senior year, all of the hard work paid off when the Wildcats won the county championship and, under Coach Sanderson, Russell had the opportunity to play in the state tournament. “I will never forget those years, not only for the basketball, but the guys I played with,” he says. “You forget the games and scores, but you never forget who you did it with. That’s what made it so special.” Russell had made up his mind that he would continue playing basketball in college, but sheer desire alone wasn’t enough, and Russell wasn’t recruited. This could have been enough to deter many athletes, but Coach Sanderson had as much faith as Russell had desire. “Coach Sanderson and I loaded up and over two days he took me to four junior college tryouts. I was offered scholarships from three of the four schools,” he says. Russell picked Alabama Southern Community College and began playing for the Eagles. It wasn’t long after, Coach Sanderson LAKE CITY · 23

took over the basketball program at Faulkner University in Montgomery and Russell would find himself trading one Eagles jersey for another Eagles jersey in his junior year. “Faulkner introduced me to some really great people who would forever impact my life,” Russell says. Like many college players, Russell knew he needed a career beyond basketball. Though he had every intention of attending law school when his time at Faulkner drew to an end, it was a young graduate assistant named Casey Farris that would inadvertently be responsible for what Russell might say was the best decision he’s ever made. Casey was headed to Houston, Texas to teach and coach at Westbury Christian School, and convinced Russell to come along. “My first teaching job was government and economics and my first coaching job was girls’ softball,” Russell says. “I never planned to stay in Houston, but each year I ended up sticking around.” Maybe WCA’s mascot had something to do with it. Maybe Russell’s subconscious found a homey sort of comfort in the screams of the crowd ... “GO WILDCATS!” By his third year in Texas, Russell had taken over the position as head coach for the girls’ varsity team, and over the course of the next six years he coached them to a state championship. In 2007 Russell took over coaching the boys’ varsity basketball team and would help add another three state championship trophies to the Westbury Christian Academy Wildcats trophy case by 2013. But for all his coaching success in Houston, there is something far more special to Russell that he may have missed out on if he hadn’t loaded up his old Toyota pickup truck and followed Casey to Texas. 24 · LAKE CITY

“The highlight of my time at Westbury Christian was meeting my wife Shara,” he says. “She was the older sister of one of the players on my girls’ varsity team. I saw her coming to games and would see her at church, and we started dating. It wasn’t long after that we were married.” Shara and Russell’s kids were 7 (Evelyn), 5 (Jackson), and 3 (Wyatt) when Russell’s phone began ringing that spring day in back in 2015. He didn’t know it yet, but a bitter-sweet opportunity was about to present itself and the young family would be headed back to Guntersville. “I received two calls almost back-to-back. One was from Shirl Dollar about the job at GHS, and one from my mom, Rita, telling me my Dad, Bill, was sick,” Russell says. Having only been back to visit a few times over the previous 16 years, Russell began to feel like it was time to return to Guntersville and spend some time with the people he credits for not only his parenting style, but for his coaching style as well: his mom and dad. The opportunity at GHS couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. “I felt it was like God opening some doors for me to come home,” he says. “Unfortunately, my dad passed away in April of 2015, almost a week before I interviewed for the job. That encouraged me further to come home for my family in Guntersville, and to also give back and have the same influence my dad and coaches had on so many people in Guntersville. I felt like God wanted me to be here.” With their children not much older than Russell was when he found himself moving from the big city of Lexington to Guntersville, he looked forward to sharing the small-town life he had enjoyed as a child with his own children.



“I can see the same joy on their faces that I had when I was a kid,” he says. “It’s wonderful to see that impact hasn’t changed.” And there’s little question that Russell is right where he belongs — in Guntersville, leading the team that was so much a part of his life for so many years. “I was so proud to be back at GHS and to coach. It’s exciting to look in the crowd and see the faces that influenced me and watch them smile because they’re proud of me. It means a lot,” he says. “I truly want to serve those in the school and in the basketball program the same way so many served me.” For Russell, it’s not about the winning or losing, it’s about the relationships … it’s about imprinting on his players the importance of doing your best, and once basketball is over, it’s important how they “do the next thing best.” You don’t really have to look very hard to see the depth and sincerity of these sentiments; there are signs reaffirming these thoughts all over the boys’ locker room at Guntersville High School. And on the top of Russell’s daily planner, both poignant and prominent, is his personal creed. It reads as follows: “discover your gift, develop your gift, and give your gift away every day.” “I hope our players learn to love, serve, and care. I hope they understand I push them hard because I love them very much,” he says. It’s both a testament to Russell and the community that the measure of success for the Wildcats isn’t just the score on the scoreboard; its also made evident by the character of the players on the team. Of course, any coach or athlete wants to win every game, and Russell is no exception, but he’s realistic. He knows he can’t make NBA stars out of every player he coaches, but leading by example can make a positive impression on each one of their lives. “I want my legacy to be watching these guys I coached be great fathers and husbands,” he says. No attitude, and a LOT of gratitude, that’s Guntersville basketball. That’s the character and influence of Coach Russell Carr.

Guntersville Wildcats' varsity basketball coach, Russell Carr with his 2018 varsity senior class players, L-R: Izaak Parker, CJ Williamson, Calvin Collie, Tucker Bonds. LAKE CITY · 27


1 in 68 Chase turned 22-years-old this past August. He’s tall and slender. He loves sports. He’s active in his church and in his community. Chase is a hard worker. He’s kind and caring. Chase is an artist.


hase sounds like one in a million, and in the sense that all of mankind is special, he is. But Chase has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and for that, he’s just one in 68. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) reported that approximately 1 in 68 children in the United States have been identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. That number is roughly 30 percent higher than the previous estimate of 1 in 88 children reported in 2012. In the 1980s, autism prevalence was reported as only 1 in 10,000. Chase Kendrick was born in August of 1995, and for the first year-and-a-half of his life he seemed like any other child. He ate, slept, laughed, played, grew and learned. “He was actually ahead of all the textbook milestones,” says his mother Kristy Fuell. “By the time he was a year old he could walk very well, was almost completely potty-trained, was able to feed himself, and had a vocabulary of more than 100 words that he could say well.” Over the next 6 months, Chase continued to progress in all areas, and the wonder and excitement of childhood was everything Kristy expected. As a nurse, Kristy had a better idea than many new mothers what

to expect, and not to panic over every little bump or bruise. Boys will be boys, and Chase was pure boy. At 17 months old, Chase fell and chipped his tooth. These things happen to little boys. They play and they fall, they heal, and they learn. No parent wants their child to be in pain, but Kristy knew he would be fine. Chase’s tooth was chipped but not loose, but with an exposed nerve it needed to be pulled. It was pretty straight forward: Chase would go to sleep for a minute and wake up with one less tooth. Chase wasn’t worried; he used the potty and chatted with his grandparents. However, “That day changed the lives of our family forever,” Kristy says. Chase didn’t seem himself after the tooth was pulled; he was unusually quiet and was no longer able to hold his cup. But the doctor had told them everything went well, so Kristy just attributed it to the medicine and after-effects of having the tooth pulled. What didn’t make sense to the young nurse was why he wasn’t getting better the next day. “The next few days, which turned into weeks and months, seemed to get worse every day,” Kristy says. “Something about that day changed Chase.” Kristy had to start all over with the basics. Chase had to be LAKE CITY · 29

taught to hold a fork again, how to use the potty again, and of most concern, he wasn’t talking. The “dark years” followed, and the young mother struggled to understand what was going on with her son. Despite being educated and working in health care, the answers weren’t coming easy. Every week brought a new doctor’s visit, and every visit brought the same response. Chase was healthy and none of the specialists found anything within their area of expertise to attribute the change in Chase’s behavior. But Chase was slipping further away. Family and friends were close at hand to help any way they could, but no one really knew what to do. Chase was getting older and his behavior was beginning to become as much a concern as his motor skills had been. A child that had once strewn his toy cars around the room now required them to be lined up precisely. Touching them would now trigger a “meltdown.” Still not speaking, Chase was also beginning to develop repetitive behaviors, such as flapping his hands in front of his face or slapping his stomach. Without being able to communicate with Chase, Kristy had little ability to understand what he was thinking or what he needed, and it made everything more difficult. Kristy felt like speech therapy would be the most logical thing to try. If they could communicate they could better help Chase, but without a diagnosis and referral, the speech clinics couldn’t see him. Kristy began researching his different symptoms, looking for anything that might have been missed, connections that hadn’t been made. “I found something that listed 15 characteristics of Autism,” Kristy says. “Chase clearly had 13 of them.” 30 · LAKE CITY

ASD is described by The Centers for Disease Control as: “a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.” Due to inconsistencies in diagnosis and how much is still being learned about autism, scientists are unsure what, if any, environmental triggers may be involved in autism. What is becoming much clearer to the scientific community is the vast variance in severity of the condition and the frequency of its occurrence. But even in the late 90s there was very little on autism. Kristy’s own textbook in nursing school only gave it two paragraphs of attention. When Dr. Leo Kanner first described autism in 1943, he reported on eleven children who showed a marked lack of interest in other people, but a highly unusual interest in the inanimate environment. Autism was initially thought to be an early form of schizophrenia, and a diagnosis of autism came with a stigma. And in the late 90s, that stigma was still enough for Chase’s neurologist to be concerned about “labeling” Chase. But Kristy persisted, and the neurologist reluctantly agreed to acknowledge Chase was showing symptoms of autism. Luckily, the speech therapist was more accustom to what Chase was experiencing than the doctor, and within 30 minutes, was able to confirm Chase “definitely has autism.” There wasn’t a lot on autism at the time, but with the help of Chase’s therapists, Kristy found what information there was and

Chase Kendrick



the next couple of months were filled with progress. Living in Rome, Ga. at the time, there was an early intervention program that allowed Chase to begin school at the age of three. Chase loved school and attended every day. “He had many challenges because he could not talk, and at that time, couldn’t read or write.,” Kristy says. As an occupational therapist, Chase’s dad Greg knew the value in using social stories as a teaching tool. Greg was artistic; he would draw the stories and he and Chase would color them together. “We laminated them and read them to Chase … over and over again,” Kristy says. Still without the ability to communicate, they started to look for Chase’s “triggers.” The seams in his socks could be the difference between him taking his shoes off 30 times during his school day or leaving them on all day. Learning what bothered Chase allowed them to anticipate his needs, and it helped tremendously. Things weren’t always clear until it was too late, and Chase had already had enough of something. Too bright a light, too loud a sound, too strong a smell. Individuals with ASD may have extremely heightened sensitivities to nerves and senses and, for Chase, any environment that wasn’t a regular environment could provide a surprise. Kristy recalls the hard and harsh looks she would receive. It was as if she had a spoiled or unruly child, or she herself was a bad parent. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. And Kristy responded in the same positive and proactive manner with which she had met their other obstacles. She printed business cards that introduced Chase, explained his ASD, and provided links to more information on autism. The cards gave Kristy and Greg another idea. They taught Chase to use a card to let them know when he felt like he needed a break. Things became clearer. Even though Chase wasn’t speaking, he was communicating. “We were very blessed to have teachers that realized his behaviors weren’t just behaviors but were his way of trying to communicate,” Kristy says. “They helped us figure out what he was trying to communicate and helped us work through it.” “We learned that routine was very important for Chase. He needed to be able to expect what was coming next,” Kristy says. Over the next few years, Chase continued to work with his teachers and therapists while Kristy and Greg worked with him at home, and Chase learned to read and write. “He loves to read. We read every day,” Kristy says. “As he learned to communicate, his behaviors stopped.” The family returned to Alabama, Greg’s home, as Chase was starting middle school. Grant’s KDS DAR School’s Learning Resource Center was a perfect fit for Chase. Chase loved school and loved his routine. He worked hard and helped out however he could. His favorite subject was literature, and he planned to join his father in ministry when he graduated high school. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t have the opportunity. Greg was diagnosed with cancer in early 2016 and passed away later that same year. “His dad was a great artist,” Kristy says. “Greg would often draw pictures for Chase to color and he would color them for hours at a time.” The bond the two shared was rooted deep in art. What had started with coloring pictures Greg would draw for Chase eventually

turned into Chase’s life: his art. “After we lost his dad, we didn’t know what Chase’s post-school life looked like,” Kristy says. “But right on time, God started opening doors.” The brightly colored pictures Chase was creating in art class were making their way to friends and family and the response was overwhelming. People love the bright colors Chase uses in his work and Kristy says people continue to tell her Chase’s art just makes them “feel good.” After a show of his artwork at his school, the town’s library hosted a display of his creations. Chase would also take first place at the state and second place at the national level in the Jr. American Citizens art contest. Chase found the response, support, and encouragement over his art to be his motivation and now spends a good part of each day working on something artistic. Now a young man out of school, Chase enjoys being involved with his church and community, and dedicates a chunk of his time volunteering to both. Though Chase’s work has become quite popular and is purchased regularly through his website,, Chase is as content making Christmas ornaments and bookmarks to give away as he is on a commissioned drawing. So long as his daily routine allows time for him to create something for others he’s happy. “He loves to make things and give them away,” Kristy says. “He pretty much works all day while listening to inspirational music.” Chase also writes and sends out more than 100 cards each month. It may be a birthday or get-well card, or maybe just a card to say hello and brighten someone’s day. “At some point during most days, Chase spends at least an hour writing out cards,” Kristy says. “Chase likes knowing people enjoy seeing his art, but his card ministry is probably the most rewarding thing he does.” And when he’s not creating, he’s cheering on his beloved KDS DAR Patriots. It doesn’t matter if it’s a home game or an away game. It doesn’t really even matter so much what the sport is. If the Patriots are playing, Chase wants to be there showing his support. “Most evenings we’re at a gym somewhere supporting DAR,” Kristy says. “If he knows there’s a game, he wants to be there.” Kristy is still unsure what part of that day in 1997 triggered Chase’s ASD. Over the past two decades, Kristy and Greg worked to understand what had happened to their son and how to help him live a happy and full life. By networking with other families and individuals that were also being affected by ASD, they were part of a grass-root information exchange that has helped shine a light on ASD. Because of folks like Kristy and Greg, today the conversation on ASD has opened and we are beginning to see how common ASD is and how gifted those with ASD can be. As we begin to learn more about something, we also begin to fear it less. That’s how we progress as mankind, and how the stigma that was once the worry of the neurologist is abandoned. Chase and Kristy continue to take every opportunity they can to share information on autism, hoping to help make the rocky road they’ve traveled a little smoother for those who follow. LAKE CITY · 33

Over the past 20 years, as the world has come to learn and understand more about ASD, Chase and Kristy have chosen to take a proactive approach, figuring things out as they went and sharing what they’ve learned. Thankful for those who first started helping them to understand ASD, Kristy would offer these thoughts We feel much differently than most people do about ‘having autism.’ We have met literally hundreds of people that we probably would not even know if it were not for autism. Many of these people have been here with us every step of the way and are still a big part of our life today. There are so many ways that we have had the opportunity to help others that we would not have had if it were not for autism. Because Chase has autism, so many of the things that he does for others mean so much more. I frequently say that autism has been a blessing for us. The road has not always been easy (what road is) but we have learned to focus on Chase’s different abilities and how to best use them to encourage others and help him have a happy, productive life. God has truly blessed us with that! A few things from our journey with autism: -There are many different ways that autism affects people, so everyone is different. Social situations are difficult for most people with autism due to either communicating differently than most people or taking what is said literally (sometimes people use sayings that are not meant literally). Whether they are verbal or not, they can hear and do understand. Please include them in the conversation and don’t talk about them like they are not there. -Many have sensory issues and being touched lightly (a touch on the shoulder or a hug) may be painful or uncomfortable. Thankfully, this does not apply to Chase because I am a hugger! -Children with autism look like other children. When parents are trying to deal with situations related to sensory overload, please be supportive and don’t give cruel looks or make snide remarks. This is not a temper-tantrum that needs discipline. The child has no control over what is happening at that time. -Teach children that people are different, but all children want to be accepted. Encourage them to learn how to play with children that are different. -Do not feel “sorry for them” or say, “bless his heart.” Most people with autism have a deficit in one area but a huge gift in another. Encourage them to improve in the area of deficit if possible, but don’t obsess with it. Find that gift and use it to make the world a better place. Chase is non-verbal. I would love to hear him speak and/or sing but that has not stopped us from living. Early on, we encouraged him to talk and took him to speech therapy, but we did not become negative just because he didn’t talk. We found an alternative to talking. He can read, write, and use his tablet to 34 · LAKE CITY

communicate. Although Chase is non-verbal, I don’t personally know anyone that has touched more lives in a positive way than he has. -Don’t give them an excuse to not be productive because they have a “disability.” I have never liked that word and our family does not use it. Everyone wants to feel like they are a productive part of society. People with autism are no different. We have never given Chase a “pass” because of autism. He has rules and expectations just like everyone else. We may modify these expectations based on his “different ability,” but he has always known that his participation in society is important and expected. -Learn as much as you can. You probably know someone with autism right now. You may not know they have autism, but most people will have a personal experience with someone with autism. -Most states have awareness events annually. There are many good resources available online now. A few of my favorites are:; (most states have a site that would be autism- and then the that is the state level of the Autism Society of America);; and Chase knows that he has autism. He knows that makes life different, but not bad. He knows that he has a normal life. He knows that his normal is different than that of most of the people that he went to school with and he is comfortable with that. He knows that it may be challenging to communicate with some people, but the people that are important to him have learned to communicate well. He knows that people count on him to do the things that he has obligated to do (volunteer work, requests for his art and craft work, and his card ministry). He considers all of these things a part of his job in life, but he loves doing all of these things. He takes his job very serious and works hard to make sure he takes care of business in every area of his life. He is always excited when he finds new ways to help or encourage others. He knows that many people do not understand a lot about autism and that sometimes people with autism don’t think they can have jobs and help society. We hope that sharing our story will help others understand autism a little better and encourage them to learn more. Most importantly, we want everyone to know that we all have different abilities, but we all can do something to make this world a better place.


Alabama Country Quiche This simple yet sophisticated version of the traditional bacon and eggs breakfast pairs nicely with a warm bowl of buttered grits and coffee. For a little more of classic southern taste, try replacing the pie crust with a thinly rolled biscuit dough crust. Ingredients 8 slices bacon 1 small onion, chopped 4 eggs 2 tablespoons milk 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon dried parsley 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme Salt and pepper to taste 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain (reserving 1 tablespoon of grease) crumble bacon and set aside. Heat reserved bacon grease in skillet and saute onion until soft. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, flour, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Add bacon, onion, mozzarella and cheddar cheese; mix well. Pour mixture into pie crust. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until lightly brown on top and firm in the middle.

March & April


For Lake City's most current and complete calendar of events, visit


FLW-YETI College Fishing Tourney Lake Guntersville State Park 1155 Lodge Drive For more info visit or events/169561366955595

March 9-10

Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Lake Guntersville State Park 1155 Lodge Drive For more info visit

March 10

Fly-In Pancake Breakfast Hosted by the Guntersville EAA Guntersville Municipal Airport 405 Buck Island Road Guntersville, AL Public and cameras welcome 8-9:30 am $6 donation for breakfast supports local youth groups

March 10

The 40th Annual Wild Irish Run Guntersville Park and Recreation 1500 Sunset Drive For more info distance-running-races/wild-irish-run-5k10k-2018

March 24

Cat Walk and 5K Fun Run Hosted by God’s Feral Felines For more info visit www.

CAJA Charity Golf Tournament Hosted at Gunter's Landing Golf Course For more info call 256-878-1445

April 12-14

Fishers of Men National Championship Tournament For info visit

April 14

Fly-In Pancake Breakfast Hosted by the Guntersville EAA Guntersville Municipal Airport 405 Buck Island Road Guntersville, AL Public and cameras welcome 8-9:30 am $6 donation for breakfast supports local youth groups.

March 31

Freedom Marine Bass Tournament For more info visit

April 5

April 5

Art Exhibit Opening Reception Dan Rountree Hosted by Mountain Valley Arts Council 5-7pm - Free Admission For more info visit

April 19

Spring Concert In The Park Presented by Mountain Valley Arts Council Errol Allan Park 6:30 - 8:30 pm - Free Admission For more information



Keeping Marshall County Caffeinated Since 2005 385 Gunter Ave, Guntersville 256.486.3883

110 E Main St, Albertville 256.660.0850

1851 Hwy 431, Boaz 256.593.3777


If your group or organization has an event coming up for May or June, contact us and we'll help you get the word out. Just visit: www. lakecityalabama. com/listanevent

March & April April 20

Charlie's Aunt Presented by The Whole Backstage Open Night For tickets and showtimes visit

April 21

Superhero 5K Hosted by The Children's Advocacy Center Civitan Park For more info call 256-582-8492

For information on advertising or being a pick up location for Lake City Magazine contact us at either:

April 21-22

256.486.9000 or contact@

Spring Concert In The Park Presented by Mountain Valley Arts Council Errol Allan Park 6:30 - 8:30 pm - Free Admission For more information visit

Art On The Lake Presented by by the 21st Century Club Guntersville Rec Center 1500 Sunset Drive For more info visit

April 26


April 27-28

RIVERS AND BREWS Music and Beer Festival Civitan Park Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 Friday & $30 Saturday For more info visit

April 28

11th Annual Lake Guntersville Duathlon, 5K, and Courage Walk Hosted by Family Services of North Alabama Guntersville Rec Center 1500 Sunset Drive For more information visit events/276542296167304/

April 28

Flip Flop Race 2 Beat the Guinness World Record Hosted by Lock Dwn Ranch Outreach For more information call 256-6490134 or visit events/1962145264042876

Ten vacation cabins with 1,2,3 and 5 bedroom floorplans. Located on 80 acres with 3 ponds and views overlooking beautiful Lake Guntersville. Kudzu Cove on Buck Island is a favorite for weddings, family vacations, reunions, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts. For a convinent and relaxing getaway, visit Kudzu Cove.

For More Information & Reservations · 1576 Buck Island Rd. Guntersville, Alabama · 256.571.5548 or 256.571.5915


Andy Oram Monty Davis

(left to right) Monty Davis, Amanda Stricklin, Nichole Scott, Emily Andrews, Andy Oram, JoAnn Hogeland

Emily Andrews

Relax. We’ve done this before. Experience is the difference with our expanded mortgage team. Whether you’re buying your first home or you’ve been down this road before, there’s no substitute for an experienced lender. Because a mortgage is not just a loan, it’s a process, and at Citizens Bank & Trust our team navigates the details with proven know-how. Buying or even refinancing a home should be rewarding, not stressful. With our expanded mortgage team you get the reward of a great rate. And the confidence that says: Relax, we’ve done this before. Guntersville Office Emily Andrews, NMLS# 484977 • (256) 505-4600 • Arab Office Monty Davis, NMLS# 419958 • (256) 931-4600 • Albertville Office Andy Oram, NMLS# 484979 • (256) 878-9893 • Cullman Office JoAnn Hogeland, NMLS# 1702586 • (256) 841-6600 •

Small Bank. Big Difference.


visit us at Albertville 256-878-9893 NMLS# 401537

Arab 256-931-4600

Cullman 256-841-6600

Elkmont 256-732-4602

Guntersville 256-505-4600

Hazel Green 256-828-1611

New Hope 256-723-4600

Rogersville 256-247-0203

Feb 22, 2018 9 lbs

Book your BIG BASS trip with us today!

Johnny & Boyd Feb 26, 2018

Jan 26, 2018 10 -8 lbs

Let's Go Fishing!

2018 Feb 1, 9- 02 lbs

-698-6593 256 We take care of everything but the bragging.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.