The Lakeside Life - Lewis Smith Lake - Spring Issue - 2019-QTR1

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Developing Dodges

Major League Fishing

The Trull Home

Kevin and Melissa Dodge build another beautiful home FOR SALE in Moss Rock Pointe – Interior by Designer Emma Doss of Seibels

Cullman Caught the Big One The MLF is coming to town

CEO Chad Trull finds peace in Bear Pen – White Willow helps create a lovely retreat away from a busy executive schedule

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Wh at ’ s I n s ide S P R I N G

FEATURE NEIGHBOR PAGE 56 Brittanie Albright


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Something About Smith .....................................06 howilake ..........................................................................10 Spots on Smith .......................................................... 12 Chad Trull Home....................................................... 18 Developing Dream Homes .................................44


CHS Fishing Team ...................................................60 MLF ...................................................................................70 From the Heart of Smith Lake/AWC.......... 76 Boat Prep ...................................................................... 82 Boating Laws ..............................................................84 Smith Lake Kids ........................................................86 Smith Lake Pets ........................................................ 88 Advertiser Index .......................................................96



RECIPES ON SMITH C HICKEN S ALTIMBOCCA .......................92 S OUTHERN S UNSHINE .......................... 94

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FOUNDER/PARTNER/EDITOR IN CHIEF: Syndi Sumner Hanna MANAGING EDITOR/ CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Sandra Slate PARTNER/MANAGING EDITOR/ SALES DIRECTOR: Scott Hanna EXECUTIVE EDITOR: John David Palmer MARKETING DIRECTOR: Cathy Wolfe CREATIVE ADVISOR: Emma Doss CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Rhonda & Brittanie Albright Arley Women’s Club Jennifer Beckman (JWB Photography) Rob Beckman Jennifer Cohron Megan Cook (Konagraphs) Scott Eric Day Photography and Videography Kevin & Melissa Dodge Emma Doss Jamie and Amy Makemson Clay McCoy Mike Meisenheimer Bryan Miller Roger Miller Kyle Morris Ellen Roberts Jennie Sanford Joe Shirley Jeff Thomas Chad Trull Terry Turner Dave Warren (Cullman Aerial & Real Estate Photography) The Lewis Smith Lake Community The Lakeside Life Team CONTRIBUTING EDITORIALS: Brickyard Meats Bryan Miller Cabin Fever Stephanie G. Lepore John David Palmer Ellen Roberts Beth Sargent Daniel Uline The Lakeside Life Team CONTRIBUTING GRAPHIC DESIGN: Sparta Creative PRINTED BY: Freeport Press Inc. PUBLISHED BY: The Lakeside Life – FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS CALL: 256-708-7679 – or complete the subscription form @ FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES CALL: 205-470-8250 – or complete the advertising form @ INTERESTED IN SUBMITTING CONTENT? Please e-mail to obtain a content submission form and agreement.


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dawn of a new lake season has arrived with the official kick-off of spring... spring has sprung! The fact that many schools have already had their spring breaks or will soon have them, means the lake is getting busy well before summer. Those of us who live here full time are fortunate to be able to enjoy a very calm and serene lake during the off-season, but since the on-season period is here and often lasts well into October, or even November, now is a good time for all of us to reflect on how we’ll react to the rush of more people, boats, and activity. We believe that tolerance and respect are the two most important words to keep in mind. Every single one of us experiences lake life differently, and we should do our best to try to respect those experiences.. Everyone is doing their thing, in their own way, and it’s all good, so let’s make a pact as a community to stay drama free and tolerant of one another. Having respect and tolerance for others is the key to making sure we can keep that pact. It’s actually really simple. Here are just a few fun & serious examples submitted of how to exhibit basic good boating etiquette and earn respect from others around us as we enjoy our lake days our individual ways. Don’t be “that guy” - get your good boating etiquette ON well ahead of season! • Obey boating laws at all times always. Look them up online before the season starts, and check out our list on page 84, and on our website. Rules & regulations can be found at this link for Alabama Law Enforcement Agency: marine-patrol/boating-rules-and-regulations


• Practice ramp readiness and respect. Launching or retrieving your boat at a ramp? Try to do it fast and efficiently. Always load your boat in the parking lot in a “make ready” spot and please do not load and prepare your boat at the ramp delaying others. When launched, pull your boat to a designated dock area to pick up passengers and gear. After pulling your boat out, don’t drain, clean, or waste time on the ramp. Find a spot away from others who are in a hurry to get on their way. Everyone wants to be either on the water or off the water fast, just like you. Think in advance about how you can cut down your ramp time altogether. Delegate responsibilities and practice them before you get to the ramp. • Do not be afraid to ask another boater for help on the ramp for any reason, especially if you need help backing in your boat or loading one on. It’s better to ask than have everyone in line waiting anxiously not knowing what your problem is. You’ll often find other boaters to be very thoughtful and helpful when simply asked for help. Don’t wait for them to ask you if you need help and don’t get offended when someone asks to assist. They are just trying to help you learn, and get you in and out of the ramp area so that everything runs smoothly for all. • Practice courtesy at the fuel pump. Get your fuel, pay the bill and move out of the way. Leaving your boat at the fuel dock as a parking spot is a big no-no anywhere you go. If you need to get snacks, a map, fishing tackle, or just shoot the breeze, please relocate your boat to a temporary dock and tie up. Fueling is a necessary part of your boating experience and everyone else’s as well, but please be

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considerate of other boaters who would rather be out on the water than waiting on you. • Lend a hand. This is one of the unwritten laws of the lake that can say more about you as a boater than almost anything else. If you see someone in trouble on the water or on shore, lend them a hand immediately. If you do not, you are creating what we boaters all know as “boating karma.” It will come back to haunt you. • Keep your boat, the lake, and marina area tidy. NO LITTERING in Lewis Smith Lake. Marinas have enough hazards without having to step over draining coolers, wet towels, shoes, watersports gear, sloppy dock lines, and random trash from your boat. At marina docks, leave the dock area in such a way that no one will ever know you were there, and your slot is ready for the next boater docking. Furthermore, guests on your boat shouldn’t have to complete an obstacle course to get from one end to the other. Bags, shoes, gear and other items need to be stowed properly. This can also be very helpful for safety when an issue arises and you need to get to something or someone quickly. Orderliness is always your friend in boating. Keep a trash receptacle on your boat at all times, and deposit that trash in the proper receptacles around the lake at the marinas or other designated areas. • Stay a reasonable distance from docks if your boat is creating a wake. This applies to all boats because any boat going slow and not trimmed correctly will be pulling a wake, so be sure that you are not close to docks, shorelines and buoy marked areas when creating a wake. This is important to keep you from being liable for damage to the property of others, and for the safety of all. If wakesurfing, be extremely mindful of staying in the middle area of the large open channels whenever possible, and seek out less populated areas where there is less traffic and docks. • Smith Lake is very narrow in most areas, even along the larger channels of Ryan Creek, Rock Creek and Sipsey. Treat it like a road when navigating and stay to the right side of center of the lake when passing oncoming traffic. It’s just the way we do things here on Smith. The narrow lake can be traversed much in the way you would operate your vehicle on a highway. • PWCs – you guys are small, fast and maneuverable, much more than any boat. Therefore, operate as if you are on a motorcycle on a major highway and yield to larger vessels at all times. As tempting as it is to jump a boat’s wake, refrain from doing so too closely, especially when a skier is in tow. If that skier falls, you could risk running over the individual causing bodily harm to both the skier and yourself. Again, refer to the boating laws in the link above.

• DO NOT EVER AT ANY TIME follow another boat closely in its wake. There are lots of small young wakesurfers, wakeboarders, and skiers in general out there these days, and due to a large wake blocking their height, you may not even realize there is a skier in tow until it is too late. Even mature experienced skiers can fall while in tow and risk having you run over them by not seeing them in the water in time. There are stiff fines for noncompliance. If you see a person on board the boat in front of you waving arms and gesturing for you to get out of the wake, you are already too close. DO NOT FOLLOW TOO CLOSELY, EVER. Just make it a rule in your mind NOW. • DO NOT pull a tuber in wild patterns in lake areas that are narrow and hard to negotiate under the best conditions. You are stirring up the water, causing excessive wake and disrupting the regular driving pattern of boaters. Like when wakesurfing, please try to gravitate to larger open bodies of water and stay to the middle of the channels. PLEASE keep your eyes on your driving and don’t get distracted by the tubers behind you casuing you to not look forward enough–you have a mirror, use it! Leave that for the observer in your boat who will likely be photographing or videotaping the action for your later enjoyment anyway. You need to focus on driving and keeping your passengers and those being towed safe at all times. • Remember, Smith Lake is not only a recreational reservoir for watersports, but also a highly popular fishery. Fishermen who visit here are die-hard lakers no matter the season or the weather, one might argue that they are the most dedicated lakers overall. Be kind to the anglers as they are parked fishing, and try to veer away from them to alleviate a large wake that could unexpectedly throw them onto the shoreline and cause them harm. Smith Lake loves our fishermen, and we want to show them proper respect and give them a wide berth so they keep coming back. Remember that most fishermen are not “racing” around the lake for no reason. They are often either practicing for a tournament or participating in a tournament where there are time restraints under which they must operate. Many folks offer fishermen the right of way all the time as a kind gesture. Fishermen bring a lot of tourism and commerce to our area. Let’s let them know they are welcome here and that we want them to come back. • Lastly, DO raise up your hand and WAVE to fellow boaters. It’s the Southern way, and the way of life on Smith. There are few things more unpleasant in the South than an unfriendly boater.


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tolerance and respect for everyone | The Lakeside Life

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How I Lake:


It was over a decade ago when Jamie and Amy Makemson first fell in love with Smith Lake. Having explored many bodies of water all over North Alabama, they found the peaceful lake to be a perfect fit for them and made the decision to build a home on beautiful Rock Creek. The Makemsons, who are both family doctors in Huntsville go to the lake almost every weekend between May and October, often inviting family and friends over to partake in activities such as wakeboarding, hydrofoil surfing, riding jet skis or relaxing on the pontoon boat. Whenever possible, they also like to get away from the hustle and bustle during autumn and winter when not traveling other places. In the evenings, the couple enjoys cooking out and

watching the sun set on their dock with a mojito or a glass of wine. When they are feeling like a night out on the town, the Makemsons frequent Moe’s Original Bar B Que in downtown Cullman. Their style is low-key, chill, kicked-back, and down-for-fun all the time, that’s just “how they lake.” We’ll be visiting the Makemson’s again soon in the near future, watch for more about them in an upcoming issue. t

Send us your favorite “how I lake” stories by tagging us or sending a DM on Instagram as @howilake or @thelakesidelife_smithlake or by simply sending in your pictures and explain how you lake. You may send directly to our email - we look forward to hearing from you!


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e k a L h Smit



So many fun landmarks on our grand lake.

Plus, everyone seems to have a different name for the same spots. Perhaps your family thought they discovered it, so how they experienced it dictated how they named it based on their encounter. Maybe friends told you about a special spot, and they had given it a name you knew it by, so that’s how you remember it. Perhaps it has been there for a very long time, well known to locals with a solid name, but you just didn’t know it has one, so you only remember it by its location alone. There is no wrong name–whatever name your squad knows your favorite place by, that’s it. We’re happy to feature all the names, so tell us yours! For this issue, we asked a few locals, realtors & friends, to tell us about their favorite spots. Check them out! Let us know where your favorite spots on Smith Lake are, and send us a picture to be featured in the magazine in the future, marked on our map and website, and/or posted on our social media – our email is Remember, if you have a different name for a #spotsonsmith landmark, let us know, it’s always fun to hear of all the names that other folks have called their favorite spots and why.




NOTE: We’ll have our map loaded up soon on our website showing all the spots revealed so far – look for it there along with lots of other Smith Lake information.

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Cocktail Cove (Top Left) (submitted by Justin Dyar) We’ve featured this cove’s well-known island before as “The Island.” Our family always knew it as “Gilligan’s Island.” No matter what your name for the island is, Cocktail Cove is a favorite of everyone! Realtor Justin Dyar enjoys hanging out with his nephews swimming on long summer days. Over the years this cove has grown from being a favorite secret spot to ski, known for its glassy water, to being a cove where folks go to rest, tie up with friends and just chill out! It’s bound to be packed with lots of folks on perfect summer days.

Snake Head Rock (Middle Left) (submitted by Jeff Thomas) Realtor Jeff Thomas and his family enjoy a favorite spot located in Ryan Creek across from the beautiful Three Fingers Bluff. It has a rock formation that resembles a snake head from a certain angle.

E.T. Island (Bottom Left) (submitted by Rob Beckman) This tiny, fun little island, is not really an island, it’s actually the end of a peninsula that looks like an island when the water is high. We hear it is called E.T.’s finger because from above it looks like the pointing finger of E.T. from the famous film. | The Lakeside Life

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Sp ts ~ Spoon Island (Top Right) (submitted by Rob Beckman) It’s diagonally across from The Cliffs. Why do folks call it Spoon Island? When the water is at the right level, it sort of resembles a big spatula full of broccoli from a birds eye view. See it? We’ve also heard it called “Stony Point Island.”

Goat Island (Middle Right) (submitted by Rob Beckman) This is by far a favorite go-to spot on the Cullman side of the lake near Smith Lake Park, and it is the largest, most well-known island on our lake. A vacation on Smith Lake is not complete until you have visited Goat Island.

Stairstep Rock Bluff (Bottom Right) (Submitted by Bryan Miller) This beautiful stretch of rock shoreline is a favorite among many who live on the “west side” of the lake. It has an interesting stairstep pattern in the wall, and lots of kids love to hang out and jump from this area, as they can safely choose the level they feel comfortable jumping from, then graduate from there.


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Sp ts ~ Echo Point (Top Right) (submitted by Justin Dyar) Realtor, Justin Dyar enjoys sunsets with friends and family at this perfect spot on Ryan Creek near Bear Pen. It truly is an ideal spot to catch a #smithlakesunset from the water.

McDowell Dam (Middle Right) (submitted by Rob Beckman) Smith Lake has 2 dams! Did you know that? All the way at the end of Clear Creek, as far as you can go northwestward on the lake, you will eventually run into it–if the water is high enough to get all the way back there that is. Take a selfie and send it to us to prove you were there!

Pyramid Rock in Goose Nest Cove (Bottom Right) (submitted by Rob Beckman) Our last cover showed you Pyramid Rock from a birds eye view. This beautiful cove where that rock formation is located is often called Goose Nest Cove. The giant bolder that fell into the Cove resembles a pyramid. It is very large, much larger than it appears in the photo, and there are many other large bolders there as well. Can you imagine the splash when those broke away from the shoreline? This is a spot on the far northwest side of the lake worth a day trip to find and grab some unforgettable photos.


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A Bear Pen Standout Home— Perfect Escape from the City

“The Home of Chad Trull”


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From an aerial point of view, this jut of land— an “outlet” instead of an inlet, if you will—is home to four spacious Smith Lake homes. On the last lot, before the pine trees trail off toward that signature turquoise water, sits a handsome blue-gray stone-and-wood getaway that serves as Chad Trull’s dream—and dreamy—lake house. Realtor Justin Dyar assisted Chad in finding the perfect home, designed by Architect Ben Shepard, built by Seth Hammer of Hammer Bilt.

Chad Trull and new Fiancé Tricia Harlow.

A Samford grad and CEO of HighFive Dental—which owns dental practices throughout the Southeast—Chad travels plenty for work and pleasure. A Birmingham native who currently resides in Homewood, he opted to keep his lake getaway close to home. “I grew up going to the lake on weekends,” he says. “I love the feel of Smith Lake—it’s such a pleasant place with the nicest people.” It’s no surprise that Chad’s schedule is jam-packed—along with going to the lake and playing golf, he counts “working” among his hobbies—so he wanted his piece of Smith Lake to be “a place where friends and family could come spend time together and relax.” He spends as many weekends as he can at the lake, especially during summer. His ideal lake day starts with an early call time for coffee and a quiet boat ride, followed by a big home-cooked breakfast for guests and all the necessary prep for a leisurely day on the water. Post-lake hangs would definitely include “long naps, cooking in, followed by wine, music, fellowship, and fun,” says Chad. Then, early to bed to do it all over again the next day. A central theme of his lake house dream is entertaining friends and family, so it makes sense that Chad, at the suggestion of his buddy, Realtor Justin Dyar, put in a call to Libby Crider of White Willow in Cullman to make his interior as appealing as the exterior. “Libby is truly talented and amazing at what she does,” he says. “She taught me so much and really was a partner for me to take the house and make it a home.” For her part, Libby says that Chad was a dream to work with, and together they created a space that was chic but also pup- (for Chad’s goldendoodle Teddy) and company-friendly. “Chad wasn’t totally sure what he wanted, but he has a dog and he anticipated lots of guests, so I knew we needed lots of comfy seating and plenty of beds,” says Libby. “I went by the house on the Sunday afternoon after he called on Saturday; following that visit, we chatted frequently over email and text—I would send pictures for his approval. I picked up on his style pretty quickly. He had opinions but he wasn’t hard to please.” Given the result, we can see why Chad was so easygoing about Libby’s choices. A neutral palette big on texture is both visually and physically appealing. Relaxed refinement is the best way to describe the rich wood, wide-open windows, cozy surroundings, and restrained accessories that round out this picture-perfect lakefront abode. | The Lakeside Life

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Windows on windows on windows are an architectural adornment from the outside and a gateway to gorgeous water views from the inside. A mix of textures and styles on the exterior is interesting but understated enough to work seamlessly together. The bluish-gray siding mimics a traditional coastal New England look; rustic stone richly mimics the lakeshore; stained wood gables, pea gravel, and trellis-like roof shingles lend a European vibe; dark-paned windows, chocolatecolored doors, and X-bar railings are a nod to Craftsman style; and a porch crowned with a metal roof is a timeless Southern element and essential lake must-have for sunny days punctuated with summer thunderstorms—as well as Chad’s favorite “room.” “That porch is where I spend my time,” he says.


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Creamy white shiplap on the living room walls and raw wood on the ceiling feels light and cozy. The light-colored sectional’s structured lines are softened with down cushions—the kind that you can sink right into for a post-lake, pre-dinner nap—and velvety gray pillows that complement the fireplace surround. A patterned-wood coffee table, warm leather chair, and moose head lend sophisticated, masculine touches. Steel gray columns supporting open-slat railings on the loft above the living space feel like a fun and comfy spin on industrial accents.


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A triangular alcove is kept simple with a wood-and-metal desk, leather chair, and pared-down accessories. Matching deep gray suede armchairs and a cowhide rug are soft counterpoints to all of the angles. A light stain on the hardwood floors and plenty of natural light flooding in work together to make this hardworking space feel airy. | The Lakeside Life

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Given Chad’s penchant for serving good meals to guests, the kitchen had to be top-notch—looking and cooking. No problem here, with a stainless Viking range, oversize vent hood and island, and a shiny farmhouse sink. A marble backsplash is a smooth, glam counterpoint to the rustic wood. Misty gray on the cabinets is like an overcast sky above the water, soft and soothing. Upholstered barstools give Chad’s friends and family a comfy spot to land while he preps dinner. Above, a rope-and-metal chandelier is a subtle nautical nod; bare bulbs keep the look modern.


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HGTV-who? Long before the rest of the world caught on, shiplap was “a lake thing.� Here, it provides a neutral but not-at-all boring canvas for the rest of the window-encased dining area. Pops of black on the benches add visual interest amidst the creams and driftwood colors. The floors are left bare to allow easier scooting up to the table; slipcovered chairs serve as the only fabric in the room, making them a soft grounding element for the wood and metal (on the simple, pretty chandelier) pieces. | The Lakeside Life

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Ample bedroom and bath space were crucial to Chad’s plans for his home to be a retreat for him as well as a revolving door to friends and family. In this room, Libby mixed a bleached wood bench and dark nightstands with a rich leather bed. To avoid a heavy, dark space, she topped these pieces with linen-colored bedding and cushions. A neutral geometric pattern on throw pillows ties the whole ensemble together. Natural materials—the textured rug and woven window shades—pay homage to the woodsy watery setting.


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Libby was tasked with appointing the home with bigger furnishings, as well as the smaller, important details that make the big difference. “There were no light fixtures, no hardware, no mirrors,� she says. More simple, mod faucets and knobs are appealing with the serene cabinet color, shower tile, and marble countertop and tub surround. A pair of ship-style chrome mirrors, leather and metal accents, and a cowhide make a strong, tasteful statement. | The Lakeside Life

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Neutral patterns, textured upholstery, carved wood, and bits of black and white are masculine but also soothing. Hardy materials will stand up to the elements and a steady stream of guests, the perfect combination at the lake! Cozy throws, rugs, and pillows make the bedrooms homey and inviting, ideal restful spots to rest your head after a long, lazy day on the lake.


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The Ladies of White Willow, from Top to Bottom are: Amanda Franklin, Kim Self, Stacy Shaddix, Libby Crider

White Willow


Libby Crider is a lifelong lake-lover. From her hometown upbringing in Cold Springs, Alabama (near the lake), to years of going to the lake, to even living on the lake for a while, she’s wellacquainted with the beauty and allure of Smith Lake. “It’s [Smith Lake] always been a source of entertainment for locals,” Libby says. “And now everybody else is catching on, so it’s becoming more of an attraction. It’s a great destination, and I love it here. The whole area is so friendly—everybody really is friends.” Of course, everyone around the lake wants to be friends with Libby, because she’s become the go-to gal about town for exquisite, understated interiors that subtly shine alongside


the water views instead of competing with them. “I was a stay-at-home mom to three (now grown) children— two boys and a girl,” she says. “Super active in school activities and everything that goes along with raising kids.” As the trio got older, Libby—like many moms who press pause on themselves for a bit—wanted a creative outlet for herself. So, she opened White Willow, a discerning home interiors shop on 1st. Avenue in Cullman, three years ago. “It has been beyond my imagination!” Libby says. What started as a small, 900 square foot boutique (“I could barely fit a sofa in there!”) has grown to encompass 2,800 square feet (and plenty of sofas!), a staff of five-plus, and full design services in addition to furniture, art, and accessories. “We work well together and collaborate on spaces and

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Finding “just the right thing” is Libby’s calling card, and she’s built her business off that trust. homes,” she says, while noting that she isn’t a trained designer, but is instead using her “gift.” (Perusing her online portfolio will lead one to conclude that what she humbly calls a gift is indeed a true talent.) Libby’s effortless, lake-chic style is clean-lined, classic, neutral, and timeless. “It’s all about having key pieces that last. You can change up pillows and other accessories with the seasons, or your mood. It’s easy to add a splash of color when the palette is neutral,” Libby says. When it comes to giving other lake-lovers what they want— and need—Libby adds that, “especially with lake houses, people are on vacation and want to feel that way. They don’t want to feel like they have to take off their shoes or be afraid to sit on the sofa—they want to live on their stuff—that’s what it’s there for.” When she goes to market in Atlanta and High Point, she’s looking for “welcoming, comfortable pieces that aren’t worrisome.” For most, houses on Smith Lake are second homes ripe with company, dogs, and real life. Libby tries to keep this, and specific clients, in mind as she shops the offerings and decides what to bring home to White Willow. “I like new and different, and I’m always on the search for something that you can’t find everywhere else,” she says. “Plus, it’s hard to sell something if you don’t like it yourself, so I buy


what I love.” Of course, she says, most people also want a little something that says Smith Lake—a pillow, a towel—and she is usually sought out by artisans who have just the right thing. Finding “just the right thing” is Libby’s calling card, and she has built her business off that trust. “A lot of my lake customers never even walk through the doors of the store,” she says. “They find me on Instagram or through referrals—I am super thankful to realtors Justin Dyar and Cindy Myrex for sending me clients. Generally, we exchange pictures of fabrics and PDFs of plans. I do the details and the customers do the tweaking. The best part of my job is seeing their final reactions.” Clients enjoy the thrill of the reveal after all the planning and anticipation. They can hardly wait to enjoy their lake home with friends and family. When doing the install for the home featured in this issue, once everything was selected, ordered and received, Libby’s team completely installed Chad Trull’s house in about a day, and he didn’t see anything until the install was finished, so that reveal was very exhilarating. It starts with trust, getting to know the customer’s wants and needs, providing effortless planning and efficiency in combination with raw talent, and then all the hard work is so worthwhile when you finally get to hear that anticipated elated gasp from the customer. That’s the moment to work for. t

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At 26 years old, Megan Cook is swiftly earning a reputation for herself as a hard working and talented young professional photographer with a knack for action shots. A graduate of Troy University, her exciting photos of wakeboarders have already been featured in several publications, including previous issues of The Lakeside Life. She is currently based in Huntsville and takes photos of all watersport events hosted by Wakefactory, including the Southern Wake Series. She also works as an independent contractor taking photos of newborns for Bella Baby ABC and is looking to expand her business. To let our readers become more familiar with Megan and her work, we asked her a series of questions about her life and how she got started as a photographer. Where did you grow up and how did that help shape you into who you are? I grew up in the small town of Wing, Alabama. It has one caution light and one store, and it is the gateway to Destin and Panama City Beach. From the time I could walk, I was riding horses around our farm by myself and exploring new areas of the surrounding national forest. I helped my granddad build the horse barn and the two cabins we have on our land. We went fishing and horseback riding on a regular basis. Growing up in a small town was very special to me. We worked hard and played harder, and I learned many valuable life lessons that I will cherish forever. I went to a small high school in Andalusia, Alabama with a graduating class of only about 50 people. Unless we were | The Lakeside Life

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going on softball trips or our annual family vacation to Tennessee, my family didn’t go very far from home. Once I graduated high school and moved on to Troy University and out on my own, I started going out and doing more things. When did you first know you enjoyed photography and when and how did you first get into it? One summer while still in Troy, I was asked to come to Montgomery to Russell Marine’s Wake Battle event and help out with registration and other things during the day. So I drove up to the Montgomery Riverwalk and went to my first wakeboard competition. Being there seemed like home. That’s what I love most about the wakeboard community. No matter where you are or who you are with, when you are on the lake you are with family. The next summer, I officially joined the Wakefactory


team and started going to all of their events. Spring2Summer is their biggest event of the year and is held on Lake Guntersville in North Alabama. While working the event that year, I was handed a camera and thrown into action. I knew nothing about photography at that point but I had fun while taking photos that day. This was not long after I got my first camera and started taking photos around the house, and of my new puppy, Kona. Turns out I really enjoyed taking photos, and I soon found out there were ways to get the exact photo you wanted if you knew the right buttons to push. I learned what I could on my own and just kept taking photos until they finally started to turn out how I had imagined them to. After graduating from Troy University in May of 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management, I took the summer off to enjoy life. And with my newfound love of photography, it turned out to be one of the best summers of my life. I continued to help taking

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photos at Wakefactory throughout the competition, and at both Wake Battle and Spring2Summer when I could get a chance. Turns out I must have done a good job. One day I received an email from a local magazine wanting to use some of my photos from Wake Battle in one of their articles. I was beyond excited to have my photos in a magazine that everyone could see. In September of that year, I found myself on an airplane headed to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. From there we went to Yellowstone National Park and, the highlight of the trip, the Grand Canyon. It was by far the most beautiful and amazing place I had ever been and I captured some amazing photos on that trip. From then on I have met some awesome people along the way and captured photos of some of the top athletes in wakeboarding today like Alabama’s very own Alex Graydon, Andrew Adkison, Josh Twelker, J.D. Webb, Guenther Oka, and Shawn Watson. I’ve been to


Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida, and while there we went on an adventure to Cocoa Beach with Andrew Adkison where the surf was the best they had seen in quite some time. We spent a morning there watching Andrew surf and took some great photos of him and others. That was just another first of many opportunities among different sports I would love to photograph in the future. Did your interest in watersports begin before you started photographing wakeboarders? My family has always owned boats, deep sea boats and fishing boats, but it wasn’t until I was 12 years old when my grandparents bought a pontoon boat that I really got into watersports. We would spend every weekend we could out on the lake about 20 miles from where I grew up. I first learned to waterski, and it only took me two tries before I was on top of the water.

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Then one weekend my uncle brought down his wakeboard and that was a different story. We spent most of the afternoon trying to get me on top of the water (reminder this was behind a pontoon boat), but when I finally got up, I was hooked. That night we bought my very first wakeboard. I continued riding when I could, but it wasn’t until I first started coming to Huntsville and started riding more that I really got into wakeboarding. Since then I have been riding as much as I can every summer and going to all of the watersports events around Alabama. What are your favorite types of photos to shoot, and are there any areas you would like to expand to in the future? I love doing sporting events of any kind. Wakeboarding is where I


started, and it’s what I love the most. But I have also taken photos at baseball games, including making trading cards with action shots. Recently, I have started working with newborn babies taking photos in hospitals as an independent contractor with Bella Baby ABC, and I love it. Capturing new life within their first 24 hours of life is so heartwarming especially seeing the love the new parents have for their baby. I am also starting to take on portrait photography for subjects such as seniors, maternity, and families. I hope to become well versed in multiple aspects of photography. They say to pick one or two areas to focus on, but I want to be able to do many areas so that my clients can stick with me through all of life’s events. I cannot wait for the 2019 season to see what it has in store for me and my photography career. I hope to start taking on more clients this year and officially start my small photography business full-time.

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Did you have a mentor or are you mostly self-taught? If so, how did you learn different techniques? I am mostly self-taught, but I have also learned a lot from my uncle, Shane Cook, who gave me my first camera. When I still lived in Wing, I had no one around me that really knew much about photography, so I mainly just started out shooting in auto mode which anyone can do. Then once I realized how fun getting the perfect shot was, I decided I wanted to learn what S, P, and M meant on the dial. I started out in S mode, which was the easiest to master and the most important for me when capturing a wakeboarder doing a trick. I would also go out and try capturing my dog running around playing. Going out and actually practicing the trade and taking photos helped me learn each mode until I got around to the dreaded manual mode. I learned what I could by reading articles on how to shoot in certain modes, or I would look up YouTube videos which were very helpful, and I also learned a lot from sites like I am a very hands-on type of person. I learn things by going out and doing them. I’ve taken many bad photos to get to where I could take a decent photo. I am still learning something new every day and I hope to keep learning as it is more than just snapping photos of friends or family, it’s a skill you can always build on no matter your level of expertise.


Where did the name Konagraphs come from? Around the time I started really taking photos I had a new puppy named Kona. When I was asked to take photos for the wakeboard series, I decided it would be a good time to give my photography a name. I asked my uncle, Shane Cook, who is a graphic designer, to help me out with a logo and together we came up with Konagraphs since I had first started out learning by taking photos of my dog. My logo includes a dog in the K with a butterfly landing on her nose. t

Megan is currently taking new clients to help build her portfolio and her business. If anyone would like to speak with her about her work or inquire about a session, her contact information can be found at She’d even love to come out with your family on the boat and capture all the watersports action! Be sure to check out the Facebook pages for Konagraphs, Megan Cook and Wakefactory, and follow Megan on Instagram @konagraphs. You’ll find her work featured in our magazine, as well as on particular Instagram accounts for Wakefactory @wakefactory and Southern Wake Series @southernwakeseries.

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"A Style For Every Story"

Apparel, Gifts, Home Decor - Antiques, Vintage, and New 300 2nd St SE | Cullman AL 35055 @dixiedudsanddecor @DixieDuds

Melia Mead


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Developing Dream Homes



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Over the years Smith Lake has provided a landscape only God could create, and a canvas most developers, architects, and builders only dream of.

Cruising down our beautiful lake and admiring all the impressive homes is quickly becoming one of Smith Lake’s top water activities. Houses worthy of being on episodes of The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous are popping up around our lake creating an instant home tour for boaters at almost every bend, slough and point. It’s easy to look up at all the homes, with their own personalities, and ponder the stories of their existence. Melissa and Kevin Dodge are developers making a name for themselves and building homes that are becoming some of the favorites amongst lake home enthusiasts. They met on a lacrosse field at Auburn University where he played with the club team and she was a little sister. Kevin graduated with a Marketing degree and Melissa followed alongside, down the aisle and tying the knot when she was twenty-one and he was twenty-three. Soon after they married, they started their own business in Birmingham, Kevin Dodge Flooring. This is where their husband and wife team first began. Kevin would work with the clients and Melissa would do the paperwork. They each settled into their different roles and realized they worked together well. This business was a catalyst for their future and gave them experience, connections and a craft that carries through to their current builds. Although they had spent most of their younger years on Lake Martin, near Auburn, Smith Lake spoke to their heart. “Just one boat ride and we were hooked,” Melissa said. “We love the local folks and they made us feel very welcomed. I love all the interesting personalities that live here.”

Home decor in this feature staged by Emma Doss of Seibels. Contact Seibels @ 205.879.3558 or see their website: We will soon offer a blog with products in this article linked for your convenience. | The Lakeside Life

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Designer Emma Doss of Seibels

Although they were successful flipping houses in Birmingham, the Dodge’s decided to build their first Smith Lake home in Lakeshore West in 2004. They bounced back and forth, but in 2011 they sold their Hoover house and made Smith Lake their permanent home. Since then they have developed 5 houses on the lake while pushing boundaries and creating homes that each tell a story of their own. “They all have a Dodge look, but we work hard to give them different personalities,” Melissa said. All of the Dodge Homes are out of flood zones, but built close to the water. They have large windows, extraordinary roof lines, and outdoor spaces worthy of the land they occupy. “Kevin has a nice eye, and lots of great ideas. He definitely knows what he wants,” Melissa said. On lake home design, Kevin has worked with Christopher Architecture & Interiors and Leonard Design Architects, and builder Chuck Gillespie with Gillespie Construction LLC. Melissa has always been the


one to pick the colors and finishes. “We both love the creativity of building a home and we always pay attention to details.” Although Melissa had loosely staged most of the previous houses herself, she brought in Emma Doss of Seibels to stage the house currently listed in Moss Rock Pointe. The Dodges “really are do it themselves people and it makes the house that much more charming to walk in and know all the blood, sweat and tears that were put into every detail of the home.” Emma is from Cullman and grew up on Smith Lake before going to Samford University where she graduated with an Interior Architecture degree. With her ties to the lake and the resources of Seibels, a Camp and Cottage Outfitter located in Homewood, Alabama, Doss was the perfect candidate to stage the Dodge’s latest listing. They did not want to compete with the outstanding features of the home, but instead worked to soften the house and create a cozy environment that draws you into a space of its own. The Dodge Houses are “refreshingly homemade and

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Above the fireplace mantle is an authentic old Alabama Power Map sold by Seibels.

An American made top-grain leather swivel recliner is a favorite from Seibels.

not manufactured,” Doss said. “It’s Cottage Homey on a much bigger level.” The Dodge Houses are very eclectic. With this one they brought in furniture that “blends instead of blocks,” Doss said. “It feels like you are sitting on the lake while in the living room.” Emma added, “it’s important to make your home feel beautiful and inspire you each time you step through the door. I love using natural textures and bringing in the colors of the lake and trees that are showcased so prominently through the windows. I wanted to really show off the great view and large steel windows the Dodge’s had displayed. Architecture was the main factor in showing off this house. Melissa and I are such a good team, we may even have some more stuff up our sleeve.” Jack Johnson said it best with the lyrics of People Watching: “Well I’m just people watching, the other people watching me. We’re all people watching, the other people watching we.” As you sit in the den overlooking the water you see people slowly


passing in their different boats looking up and admiring the house and all its glory. You truly are watching them, watching you. But if you are outside, and they actually can see you, it invites you to throw up a friendly wave and you’re bound to get an enthusiastic one in return, and it feels good to be part of that friendly community vibe. Even though the Dodges are often the ones looking out, they frequently take the other side and cruise in their Tritoon looking up giving respect to other homes as well. The love of the lake is what brought them here and like most dads, “Kevin does like trying to maim our boys when we take them tubing. Not really, but it seems that way,” Melissa jokes. The Dodge’s have three sons ages 18-25 Alec, Nic, and Charlie as well as a three-legged labradoodle named Lucy. They are regulars at Kat Daddy’s BBQ & Grill Co. where they hang with the Watsons, and at The Country Mall as well. “Sometimes you gotta go where everyone knows your name

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Anchoring the foot of the bed is a heart-pine bench from Seibels. The Beechwood Cove Bed is custom designed and made by Seibels

Floating tortoise lamp above a soft-pine 3-drawer dresser.

Above the bed, southern botanicals from a local artist sponsored by Seibels. On the bed, are Collective upscale linens picked by Doss from Seibels. | The Lakeside Life

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and the folks there do,” Melissa said. Although they generally only build one house at a time, this could definitely change in the future. A year and a half ago the Dodge’s bought a tract of land near Ryan Creek and developed it into eleven lots. They named it Moss Rock Pointe and currently have this home listed in this up and coming high-end lake community. The house listed at 119 County Road 2112 in Bremen, Alabama has great big store front windows with 24-foot ceilings and a truly amazing stone fireplace. “I love doing fireplaces that fit the size of the room,” Melissa said. This 6200 sq. ft. rustic contemporary house was built with entertaining in mind. It’s a masterpiece created out of love all the way down to their signature wire-brushed wood floors. “Kevin is very hands-on,” Kelly Seibels, of Seibels said. “He’s a true craftsman.” In fact, Kevin personally does the floors, doors, wood ceilings and trim in the Dodge Homes. The Dodges currently live in their labor of love as it awaits its new family. “Our motto is function with style,” Melissa said. This house has outstanding outside spaces and a walkout basement that feels like another home in itself.


Having become a realtor about five years ago, Melissa has worked with some outstanding local Real Estate companies including Lakeside Real Estate and Joseph Carter Realty, but now serves as Smith Lake’s ARC Realty Qualifying Broker. “This occupation works very well with our love of creating cool homes on Smith Lake,” Melissa said. This power couple continues to expand the horizon and forever transform the landscape of Smith Lake while developing houses that become homes. Each one is a special place created to bring people together and make memories for generations to come. While out boating this year, remember to look up and look out at all the amazing homes, and people, making Smith Lake the lake so many love, and that more and more people are feeling drawn to live on. t To contact Melissa for more information about the homes they’ve built or to discuss others homes that are currently on the market, call her at 205-541-3894, email her as, or find her on Facebook @melissadodge837 & Instagram @melissadodgerealty, as well as the website: The Dodges are super down to earth, and eager to talk to you about life on Smith Lake.

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COMMANDMENTS I n considering the purchase of a new home, or the refinance of an existing home, you will need to be ready before presenting your finances to your lender for consideration. There are some basic “commandments” that have been circulating on social media for some time that provide a fun basic outline of some “musts” that you will want to consider. So, before you apply for that mortgage, take stock and inventory, and make sure the timing is right based on your recent financial activity. For each commandment broken, there can always be a solution, so work closely with a mortgage professional early to try and rectify errors that could hinder the approval process.

01 02 03 04 05

THOU SHALL NOT change jobs or become self-employed

THOU SHALL NOT originate any new inquiries on your credit report

THOU SHALL NOT buy a car, truck or boat unless you plan to live in it

THOU SHALL NOT use your credit cards or fall behind on your payments

THOU SHALL NOT spend money you have saved for your down payment, get a gift for closing, or take out a retirement loan without first consulting your mortgage banker

06 07 08 09 10

THOU SHALL NOT buy furniture before you buy your house THOU SHALL NOT make any large deposits into your bank account unless you plan on documenting that deposit and origin of the money (i.e. anything that is not payroll related)

THOU SHALL NOT change bank accounts

THOU SHALL NOT co-sign for anyone

THOU SHALL NOT purchase ANYTHING until after the closing

So, remember, when you’re ready to buy that dream home, or refinance the one you already love, please get with your mortgage banker first! Be ready for a smooth and enjoyable mortgage closing experience. 54

- Submitted by Bryan Miller of Renasant Mortgage The Lakeside Life |

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at e. | The Lakeside Life

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W CrossFit Competitor


CrosSFit is becoming an increasingly popular way to stay in shape for many Americans, but for athletes like BritTanie Albright, it is a way of life.

Brittanie has always been a driven individual. Growing up in Tennessee, she was awarded a softball scholarship to Western Kentucky University and later transferred to Belmont University in Nashville where she continued to play ball while pursuing a major in entrepreneurship. But she did not discover CrossFit until after graduation. In fact, she was rather hesitant to pursue it at first. “When I graduated, one of my former teammates told me about CrossFit and tried to convince me to get into it, and I was completely turned off by the idea,” she said. “I just didn’t want to compete anymore. A couple of years later, I went to a local CrossFit competition to support a friend and completely fell in love with the community and the intensity this sport brought. I remember leaving the competition searching for a CrossFit gym in my area that day.” Brittanie, now 27, recently left her job to focus on training full-time in hopes of qualifying for the CrossFit Sectional event and eventually making it to the elite CrossFit Games. To reach these goals, Brittanie trains morning, noon, and night, often under the guidance of her coach, Will Moorad, a well-known 29-year-old professional CrossFit competitor and trainer based in Nashville. “I’m very new to this CrossFit journey, and I am very grateful to have found a coach that knows the road I need to be on to get to my goal of competing at an elite level,” Brittanie said. She said a typical CrossFit competition involves a variety of challenging workouts designed to test the physical as well as mental limits of participants. These challenges can include dead lifts, pull-ups, sprints, squats, and so much more. These challenges, Brittanie says, help motivate her to become the very best version of herself.


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“You’re basically training for everything,” she said. “It’s always changing. You’re never given the same challenge, and if you are, you get to see how much you have improved on it. You’re basically competing with yourself, and I think that’s what I enjoy most.”

“You’re basically training for everything,” she said. “It’s always changing. You’re never given the same challenge, and if you are, you get to see how much you have improved on it. You’re basically competing with yourself, and I think that’s what I enjoy most.” But when the opportunity arises, Brittanie likes to take a break from her intense training at her parents’ beautiful home on Lewis Smith Lake, which was featured in a previous issue of The Lakeside Life magazine.* “I use any excuse to get over there,” Brittanie said. “It’s so peaceful.” Some her favorite lake-oriented activities include wakesurfing, canoeing and relaxing on her family’s pontoon boat. She particularly looks forward to taking their boat to Cocktail Cove to eat lunch with friends and family. Brittanie also said that she and a group of her fellow

athletes plan to take a trip to Smith Lake this summer for a full weekend of training. To keep up with Brittanie’s journey or to get some CrossFit advice or direction, follow her on Instagram @brittanie.albright and like her Facebook page. She’d be excited to help motivate you to take the CrossFit plunge. t

* The Albright home was featured in the Quarter 3 2018 issue (Summer/Fall, September 2018, Vol.1 Iss.3) which can be viewed on our website www.thelakesidelife. com in the digital magazines tab, or you may contact us to see if we have any back-issues available. | The Lakeside Life

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2018-2019 CHS Team Roster: Seniors: Lawson Graves, Keaton Kinney. Cameron Starnes, Will Barnett Juniors: Cy Lambert, Houston Smith, Will Lowery Sophomores: Jack West, Ethan Moore, Caden Barnett, Henry Cook, Cole DeFoe, Cameron LeBron, Jed Wilson, Austin Russell, James Clark Parrish, Drake Speakman, Laiklind Casey, Brodie Taylor Freshmen: Jaxson Denny, Zeb Lambert, Lou Ayers, Lane Parker, Luke Troutman


Pro Angler Matt Lee with CHS team members.

Throughout the last decade, competitive high school and collegiate bass fishing has surged in popularity across the country, and now in 2019 every high school in Cullman County participates in the sport. Cullman High School in particular has produced notable professional anglers, including back-to-back Bassmaster Classic winner Jordan Lee and his brother Matt Lee (whom we featured in The Lakeside Life in 2018. See our digital copies on the website if you missed that issue). The success of these alumni and others has captured the attention of many ambitious young anglers as well as the support of school faculty. But only a loose organization existed when current CHS fishing coach Kyle Morris landed a job as a teacher

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Back Row: Caden Barnett, Cameron Starnes, Keaton Kinney, Henry Cook, Ethan Moore, Cole DeFoe Front Row: Lou Ayers, Zeb Lambert, Lawson Graves, Cy Lambert

and football coach at his alma mater in 2012. As a former member of The University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide Bass Anglers, Morris found he was the right person to lead an officially sanctioned bass fishing team. Morris, who also teaches Biology, Physical Science, and a class he wrote called The Science of Alabama, has been instrumental in the success of the CHS team, which notably won the Alabama B.A.S.S. National High School State Championship at Lake Eufaula in 2017. “That was a big, big deal for us and brought a couple of people back,” he said. Since he took on the role, Morris has seen several former team

members go on to fish competitively in college and professionally. Lee Mattox, for example, who graduated in 2014, is fishing for The University of Alabama. He has been a National Championship qualifier for all four years in college and is competing for his 5th year now. Meanwhile, David Dueland and Cameron Glasscock, both freshmen at Montevallo, posted a Top 30 finish at the Bassmaster College Easter Regional tournament on Lake Norman earlier this year. And James Cobbs, a freshman at Auburn University, fishes on the school’s travel squad. There are currently 24 members of the CHS team, 18 of whom are underclassmen. Morris said the team is in the process of rebuilding | The Lakeside Life

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Pro Angler Jordan Lee (far left) with CHS team members.

this year, but is confident in the potential of his young anglers. The team practices and competes practically year round at Lewis Smith Lake and occasionally practices at Lake Catoma. Smith Lake is a favored training ground for competitive fishermen for its healthy populations of spotted and largemouth bass and because the unique environment encourages the use of a wide variety of techniques. It is also much safer than many other bodies of water in North Alabama, according to Morris, who will not let his anglers on the Tennessee River in a vessel under 16 feet. “Smith is a very safe waterway,” he said. “A lot of people give Smith a bad name because it is deep, but you can drown in a puddle if you’re not careful. If you use safe boating practices, you won’t get in trouble on Smith.” In competitive fishing, information is vital, so Morris has team members write out a detailed fishing report to file on a Google drive for future reference. They also conduct a significant amount of research online and in print magazines throughout the year to stay up to date on the latest techniques. Any useful information is usually shared with the entire team. Being a member of the fishing team requires a large investment in not only time but money. A decent rod and reel combo, for example, will cost somewhere around $150, while premium combos could cost well over $300. And all team members have multiple combos. Furthermore, team members can easily spend $500 on tackle alone during one


tournament season. Fishing line, which is changed out before every tournament, is generously provided by Morris, saving team members potentially hundreds of dollars each season. The line is changed frequently to avoid a potential breakage, which in a worst case scenario could cost the team a win. Then there are the boats themselves and electronics, which can cost thousands. Many members have regular access to a vessel, but not having a boat does not bar one from participating. Since teams compete in pairs, it is not necessary for everyone to have a rig. But while being a member of the team can be costly in many ways, members say it is well worth the price since it provides a way for students to bond over a shared passion for the outdoors. “It’s definitely way to make some good friends and get out and enjoy nature,” said senior Cameron Starnes. CHS junior Cy Lambert said Good Hope is one of their biggest rivals, but the two teams, as well as other county teams like Cold Springs, share a healthy and even supportive relationship with each other. Cy specifically mentioned the show of support from the other local teams after Jackson Lambert, a former member of the CHS team, passed away in 2017. If the success of Cullman’s team is any indication, the future of competitive high school fishing appears to be bright. “There’s no way to kill it now I don’t think,” Morris assured. “Every year the numbers keep going up.” t

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“Excerpt from Top Agent Magazine” Provided by Joseph Carter Joseph Carter – Broker/Owner of Joseph Carter Realty, Alabama – is a full-time real estate professional who is dedicated to helping all of his buyers and sellers, while making them feel like they are his number one priority. His ethical approach, solid work ethic, industry knowledge and commitment to honesty have all played a part in the building of his reputation as a realtor who can be trusted to consistently put his clients’ best interests front and center. Joseph began his journey in real estate at a very young age, purchasing his first house when he was only twenty-one years old. “I was laid off from my job at the railroad not long after I bought that house,” recalls Joseph jokingly. “I was about to lose the house, so I called a buddy of mine, John Nix, who works with me now, and told him that I needed to sell. We did that and soon after I was rehired at the railroad.” Life was good so Joseph bought an invest-ment property to flip. That then led to him getting a real estate license in 2010. He then formed Joseph Carter Realty and now employs an extremely dedicated roster of thirty people who share Joseph’s client-first business ethos. This team is responsible for over eighty million dollars in sales in 2018 alone with 2019 already looking to surpass that number. Currently, Joseph’s business is comprised of approximately fifty percent of repeat and referred customers, a clear indicator that the service he is providing is exceptional. When asked what fuels such impressive loyalty, Joseph paused for a moment before replying, “I think it’s because I’m honest with them,” he says, “and I work hard for them. I work every day, non-stop. I think that shows in my accomplishments over the years. I don’t ever say no to

a client. I figure out the schedule and make it happen.” Joseph’s commitment to staying apprised of what is going on in the ever-shifting real estate industry sets him apart from many less motivated agents. “I try to learn new things all the time,” he says. “I actually just attended the first session of coaching regarding real estate. I always try to stay up to date with the times, which helps me better serve my sellers and buyers.” A thorough and intelligent marketing approach has also contributed greatly to the success of Joseph’s company. Joseph uses professional photography exclusively and maintains great signage, marketing across the entire country. He also tries to have the best website out there and to keep it in front of potential buyers. The impressive level of customer service provided by Joseph and his agents is perhaps made most evident by the many glowing reviews they have received, including this one: “There are not enough words to tell how much we appreciate Joseph. He handled the sale of our lake house with such expertise. The marketing was awesome, and the pictures were great. I highly recommend Joseph. He is a go-getter with awesome ideas and skills. So friendly, and on top of everything he was very informative of everything that was taking place during the transaction. I would highly recommend him to sell your home. He is the best!” Joseph’s plans for the future of his company are fairly straight-forward -- to continue growing his business while sacrificing none of the unparalleled service that has become his calling card. His work ethic and attention to detail qualify him as one of the best realtors in his area. “I love real estate,” he says.

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Mike “Mikeybalzz” Meisenheimer, a fishing fanatic whose popular and humorous YouTube videos are regularly enjoyed by weekend warriors and professional anglers alike, recently relocated to North Alabama to be closer to some of his favorite fisheries, including Smith Lake. Originally from Wisconsin and longtime resident of South Florida, Mike, a freelance marketing consultant widely known for his YouTube channel, Mikeybalzz Fishing, moved to Huntsville in October, choosing to relocate to the city for its proximity to Pickwick, Lake Guntersville, Wilson Lake and other famous fisheries. His simultaneously entertaining and educational approach to creating content, much of which is captured on a GoPro


camera, has earned him well over 36,000 channel subscribers and anywhere from thousands to hundreds of thousands of views per video. Mike said he began uploading videos to the platform back in 2008 or 2009 while attending school at the University of Florida and was among the first fishermen to realize the potential of YouTube as a way to connect with fellow anglers and learn from each other. “It was kind of an accident,’” he said of his YouTube career. “The new technology allowed average people to connect.” Mike used to be heavily involved in the tournament scene, especially in Florida, but nowadays he mainly focuses on his marketing work and sharing his seemingly endless fishing adventures with his loyal and growing online fan base.

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“I try to do two videos a week, usually Tuesday and Thursday, but lately I’ve been trying to attempt three videos Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday,” he said. Since he often works remotely, Mike has the freedom to fish and film to his heart’s content. “It gives me the flexibility to fish when I want to,” Mike said in reference to his occupation. “All I need is an Internet connection to work.” He added that his YouTube presence has also helped him in his consulting business. Although he still enjoys hooking monster bass in Florida when he can, Mike says he has a special appreciation for the


diversity of Alabama waters and the friendliness of the people he encounters. He particularly appreciates how local anglers are much more eager to divulge tips and techniques than in other states he has fished. Mike says he is always on the hunt for awesome fishing spots, and one of his newfound favorites is Smith Lake. So far, three of his videos have been filmed at the reservoir, and the footage of his most recent adventure at Smith will be released sometime in early April. He said that in his latest video, he fished near a waterfall and caught a slew of spotted bass when the water was high after a heavy rain. Since he often targets

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largemouth bass in much more lowland environments, he said fishing the deep, clear waters of Smith felt somewhat exotic. Targeting spotted bass, Mike reported having the most luck using lures such as jerk baits, drop shots and shaky heads. He noted how the fish in Smith, while plentiful, tend to be less dispersed and clump together, making for a unique and rewarding angling experience. “They’re (the fish) really dynamic,” he said. “It can be a very tweaky fishery, but it makes for a great challenge.” The fishing aside, Mike also enjoys the natural beauty and


laid-back atmosphere of the reservoir, comparing it to one of his favorite lakes in Wisconsin. “I absolutely fell in love with it,” he said. “Everybody goes there to have a good time, to have fun.” t To keep up with Mike, follow him on Instagram and Twitter @mikeybalzz, and of course, don’t forget to subscribe to his YouTube channel. You’re going to like watching the antics of this hilarious and talented angler, he truly enjoys showcasing the fun side of fishing. More information about him can be found at

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Major League


Many of the country’s top bass fishermen, including Cullman area anglers Jordan Lee, Matt Lee, and Jesse Wiggins will be on the water reeling in fish and bringing national attention to Smith Lake where the televised Stage Five of the 2019 Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour will be held from April 30 to May 5. Many of the country’s top bass fishermen, including Cullman’s Jordan Lee, Matt Lee, and Jesse Wiggins will be on the water reeling in fish and bringing national attention to Smith Lake where the televised Stage Five of the 2019 Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour will be held from April 30 to May 5. The big announcement was made to a packed crowd of professional fishermen, public officials, media members, and representatives of all high school fishing teams in Cullman County at Cullman City Hall on the morning of Feb. 20. The tournament, which will be broadcast as a two-hour live television program on Discovery Channel, is to coincide with a festival in downtown Cullman, and it will be the largest professional tournament to ever be hosted at Smith Lake. Cullman Parks and Recreation director Nathan Anderson said this event is a brand new format that will have a downtown festival component, a fan experience component, as well as the traditional professional fishing tournament on the lake. He said the festival will be family friendly featuring booths, vendors, local sponsors and giveaways.


“This is a really big opportunity for not only our lake but our downtown community,” Anderson said. “Our businesses and restaurants downtown will receive a lot of exposure.” Anderson also wished to give a special thanks to Cullman Parks and Recreation athletic director Jesse Newsom, who had a pivotal role in orchestrating the event. Newsom initially reached out to Mike Malone, senior director of events and partnerships for MLF, to see what it would take to bring the event to the area. “I wanted to find out what it took to get this event here,” Newsom, said. “He (Malone) gave us the instructions on whatever we needed to do. It was a lot of legwork, but we got it done. We had to make sure we had enough hotel rooms and good cellular coverage.” Newsom added that he was excited about the economic impact the tournament will bring to the city and county. He said he hopes that companies such as Abu Garcia, Berkley, and Bass Pro Shops will participate in the event. In a press release, Smith Lake was praised by MLF for its quality fishing. It noted how anglers often find

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Jordan Lee with Holly Pond team members.

themselves challenged in deciding whether to focus on the lake’s healthy populations of spotted bass or largemouth bass. The MLF Bass Pro Tour uses a unique catch-weigh-and-immediate-release format in which all “scorable” bass caught do count in an angler’s score, meaning that Smith Lake’s large schools of spotted bass could be game changers throughout the competition. “Bass fishing is rich in not just Alabama history but American history, and it’s important for us to recognize that Major League Fishing is really changing the game and bringing the sport to a new level,” Malone said at the press conference. “Gone are the days of the five fish

limit, and we are now catching every fish and scoring every fish that’s over 1 lb. The format is perfect for conservation. The fish are released immediately back in to the lake. And especially when the lake is a slot limit lake, we can continue to catch fish throughout the day because we won’t be harvesting any fish.” He said there will be 10 cameras on water live streaming to and the popular MLF app. “While our competitors are on the water, we have our cameras cover them, and we have officials on each of the boats.” Malone said. “The officials keep track of | The Lakeside Life

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“Bass fishing is rich in not just Alabama history but American history, and it’s important for us to recognize that Major League Fishing is really changing the game and bringing the sport to a new level,” Malone said at the press conference. the score. They put in to an iPad what the weight of the fish is. And while that happens, the other anglers around the lake at the same time know what the score is. When we have a camera on that, we can see the reaction, and they may change how they fish and it completely makes emotion a part of the game.” He said that out of the 80 anglers fishing in the tournament only 40 fish per day, allowing the other 40 to participate in community events and work on tackle during their down time. Back-to-back Bassmaster champion Jordan Lee, who was present at the press conference and who will be participating in the tournament and the festival, said the event is like a dream come true. “This is something that I’ve always dreamed of–– having a big event come to Cullman to showcase not only the town but the great fishing we have around here,” he said. “It’s going to be a great experience. I think the town is going to get to see what MLF is all about and what it has to offer. Cullman has been in need of this. Smith Lake is a great fishery, and we’ve never had that big of an event out of Cullman, out of the park. I’m just excited to be a part of it. It’s going to be a great time.” Jordan’s brother, Matt Lee, who is also an incredibly accomplished professional angler, said he looks forward to the challenge of the tournament format and is happy to see Smith Lake in the spotlight.


“It’s kind of scary for me as an angler because of how good the fishing is going to be,” Matt said. “When you put these guys on a place like Smith it is going to be tough to catch up. I mean, you’re going to have to catch a fish every couple of minutes just to stay even close. We live here close, and I know it’s going to do so much for the city. Of course I’m a little bit biased because I grew up here, but I know as far as this area of the country…it doesn’t get any better than this. We’re so packed with high school anglers, college anglers. It’s growing so much from year to year, and I know that we’re going to show out, not only the crowds we’re gonna have at the event but what it’s going to do for the lake.” The public boat landing that will serve as the Stage Five launch site was recently reopened by the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, according to an MLF press release. The renovated facility includes a 90-foot-wide, six-lane launching slab and a paved parking lot with room for 113 tow vehicles with boat trailers and 10 cars. Other improvements to the landing are said to include security lighting, a paved overflow parking lot for another 70 truck and trailer rigs, a 45-foot stationary aluminum pier, two large floating aluminum piers and a fixed aluminum pedestrian bridge that connects the overflow and main parking areas. The launch site is located on the northeast side of Ryan Creek. It can be accessed free of charge through Smith Lake Park at 403 County Rd. 386 in Cullman.

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“This is a really big opportunity for not only our lake but our downtown community,” Anderson said. “Our businesses and restaurants downtown will receive a lot of exposure.” The renovation project was funded by the Sport Fish Restoration Program, which is supported through excise taxes on the sale of fishing equipment, outboard motor fuel, and the sale of state fishing licenses. Cullman High School fishing Coach Kyle Morris, whose team frequently practices on Smith Lake, hopes the event will lead to the reservoir becoming a hub for future fishing tournaments.”I think it’s great for the city to get a tournament like this,” Morris said. “It’s a startup trail that is looking to establish a foothold, and if the city does a good job with it, maybe we can move into a Bassmaster Open, or hopefully a Bassmaster Elite Series event one day.” The 2019 MLF Bass Pro Tour has already visited


Kissimmee, Florida and Conroe, Texas, and it will stop in Raleigh, North Carolina and Dayton, Tennessee before coming to Cullman. More information about MLF, including its anglers, rules, sponsors, and upcoming tournaments can be found at MLF programming is aired on CBS, CBS Sports Network, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, and World Fishing Network. All episodes are available on-demand on MyOutdoorTV. Get ready Smith Lake, this is going to be a super fun event! Smith Lake wishes all the participating fishermen the best of luck. We hope they reel in huge catches and enjoy doing it. We welcome you, and we’ll be lakeside cheering you on the whole week! t

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Arley Women’s Club Names

Don Allison 2018 Person of the Year



ince 2009, the Arley Women’s Club (AWC) has named a person of the year who best demonstrates the values of the club’s mission–community service, volunteerism, and education. Mr. Don Allison exemplifies these values. In fact, “unsung hero” might be a better term. Don and his wife Diane live at their farm home adjacent to their business, Don Allison Equipment, and have another Arley home on Smith Lake on Butler Branch. The Allison’s enjoy their time at the lake home during the holidays, for family gatherings, and for church activities. Don Allison was Coach Allison at Cordova in 1969. He then came to Arley and started farming with his father-in-law and young wife, Diane Allison. They made a great team, started their family, and with hard work the couple were named “Outstanding Young Dairy Farmer Family” by the state Dairy Association, and went on to develop the highest producing dairy herd in Alabama. The family continued to ‘dairy’ for 25 years until 1995, when the cows were sold. Donnie (as he is affectionately known by his friends) has a great sense of pride having served on the Winston County School Board for many years and even being instrumental in the completion of the Meek High School in 1999. He also assisted in realigning school board district elections to help level the field for all areas of the county, so that each area would have representation. When there has been a need in Arley, Donnie would fill that need, but not in a boisterous way. He personally worked on improving the Meek football field, he replaced weights in the school weight room, purchased many football cleats, basketball shoes, volleyballs and even the nets when the school needed them!

In addition to his philanthropic endeavors, Don Allison has served in leadership roles with the Winston County Alabama Farmers Federation Association (ALFA) for 44 years. He is past president, elected to serve on the ALFA board representing Winston, Blount Cullman and Marshall counties and has held each office since 1972. He has also served on the state board of ALFA. Don is quick to honor his late mother-in-law, Maitland Newsome, who was a charter member of the AWC, established in 1972. She, along with Donnie’s wife, Diane, have been instrumental in the growth and focus of the club. When asked how long Diane has been a member, Donnie replied with a smile, “She has always been there!” Fun fact, Mrs. Newsome was the Meek High School Home Economics teacher for many years. Later, Diane became the Family & Consumer Sciences teacher (as the term Home Economics has evolved), and currently her daughter, MaLea Ergle is the Family & Consumer Sciences teacher. Three generations of the family have instructed students at Arley’s Meek High School. The Don Allison Equipment Company was formed initially in 1972 to fill a need in the dairy industry. As the business grew, the company expanded its place in the farming industry. Today their equipment is sold in 11 states and has over 10,000 customers. Don explains that his goal has always been to pass savings along to family farmers and larger farms. A visit to the Don Allison Equipment website, relays their company motto, Always Do Right. The Person of the Year plaque hangs in the Arley Public Library honoring each Person of the Year. t



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or the two schools in Arley, January and February were more green than grey! Students were engaged in the new Recycling Program developed by McDowell Environmental Center. A grant from NW AL Resource Conservation and Development Council (NWAL RC&D) and a matching grant by the Arley Women’s Club (AWC) made the program possible. “Meek Goes Green” is part two of a multi-tier initiative by the AWC to encourage recycling. Phase I began about six months earlier, with the concept of recycling offered to a control group of AWC members and several municipal offices. A dedicated team of AWC members staff the recycling site twice a month, rain or shine. Cooperation


from the town was crucial, as Mayor Chris Tyree and the Arley town council provided an under-utilized fenced-in location for the collection site. The group has collected upwards of 10 tons of recyclables in the form of plastics, paper, aluminum cans and cardboard. It is hauled away each month to a JCR Recycling plant in Cullman. Participants say they are reducing their garbage by 25 to 50 percent! The initial seed money had been donated by a couple of civic-minded ladies in the community to get the first containers rented. The next phase is underway. Phase II of the recycling program was all about education. Starting in the Meek schools teaching students about the importance of recycling and protecting the environment, and

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learning not to litter. With some education and effort, the excess trash cycle can end. Money can be saved by the schools on waste disposal, and it is also beneficial to the community overall. It is expected to eventually benefit local residents and taxpayers as their costs for garbage removal will be reduced when they can recycle. Specifics of the Phase II Educational grant included “MEEK GOES GREEN” classroom science curriculum developed by Camp McDowell Environmental Center educators for Meek High School and another for the Meek Elementary students. A teacher briefing was held by Camp McDowell which introduced the program to faculty at both schools, and a kick-off event was held in both schools, explaining what they can expect to learn and how it will benefit the students, their school and community. Educators brought to each classroom a hands-on workshop, and reached every student during a four-week period. On February 5, Environmental Educator Steve Trash wrapped up the educational series with his award-winning Trash and Recycle Show. Steve Trash has been awarded the Environmental Educator of the Year Winner by EEAA and is a lifetime member of the Alabama Association for Environmental Education. His TRASH & RECYCLE SHOW won the statewide Outstanding Project Award presented by RC&D in 2007. And his KIDS MAKING BETTER CHOICES video (which he wrote, produced, and starred in) won the award in 2009. Steve’s show was an exciting finale to the educational series. He was a true pro rallying at once kids of every age, from elementary to high school students, as he effortlessly had them all actively participating and noticeably excited. His fun method of


Left to right: Cindy Bryant, AWC President, Ann Atkinson AWC VP & Recycling Program Chair, Steve Trash, AL Representative Tim Wadsworth, NW AL RC&D Representative Lauranne James and Winston County Commissioner Bobby Everett.

instruction truly inspired the crowd and got the recycling idea across in a very unique and memorable way. To further encourage and reinforce the educational program, recycle bins have been placed in each classroom, offices, library, teachers’ workrooms and even kitchen areas. A large container secured from JCR Recycling of Cullman was placed on the campus exclusively for school use. At this time, only Meek school officials will have access to the recycling container. Students are allowed to bring a backpack full of recyclables from home, thereby encouraging local families to participate. Students were each given their own “MEEK GOES GREEN” backpacks and colorful fridge magnets with a list of acceptable recyclables. Meek Elementary School principal, Heather Tucker explained, “We love to bring this kind of learning to our students. When they have a new learning experience like this in recycling or conservation, it enhances their education and life experiences.” Winston Board of Education Superintendent, Mr. Greg Pendley agreed, “All entities involved are to be commended on the recycling initiative at Meek Schools. Mrs. Murrah and Mrs. Turner, along with their staff, are helping the students at Meek understand how every person has a responsibility to take care of the environment and they can make a difference.” If you have any questions, or would like more information on the Recycling efforts in the Arley area of the lake, please contact the Arley Women’s Club through their Facebook page. t

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Four environmental educators from Camp McDowell were involved in the creation and instruction of the new environmental science curriculums. Beth Dille, Director of the Camp McDowell Environmental Center said, “We are so glad to have the opportunity to develop this program for the Arley Women’s Club.” Seth Justman, an Environmental Educator with the camp fine-tuned the curriculum. “We built upon our Birds of Prey program and developed a very handson experience for the students. Specifically, we impressed upon them how tossing trash can actually harm wildlife. Our black vulture was injured on a roadside and we shared his story in a very relatable way to elementary students. They were impressed with our story…and everyone loves meeting a black vulture!” Maggie Johnston, Director of Educational Programming: “With this pilot program initiated by the NWAL RC&D Council grant and the Arley Women’s Club, we can envision further growing this project countywide, all building upon this model environmental curriculum. We were very excited about creating it and then sharing it with other educators.” Meek High School principal, Marla Murrah has also set a goal – to reduce garbage generated from the school to by 50% - to not only help the environment, but also to help reduce the costs of garbage collection. “We feel it is very important to educate our students on environmental matters, and we are very thankful to partner with the Arley Women’s Club and appreciate the support our superintendent has expressed as well.” | The Lakeside Life

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Boat Spring



ummer will be here before you know it, and we here at Russell Marine are gearing up for a great season at Smith Lake! Once this Alabama weather makes up its mind, the water will be getting busier and busier, so we wanted to give you a few reminders to help get your boat ready for the season. No one wants to get to the lake on a big weekend and realize that they forgot important maintenance, so go on out next time you get a chance and check on your boat.

The engine is the heart of a boat, we say check it first Was your boat winterized? Be sure to have it “summerized” properly, either by yourself after researching the best route or taking it to a local marina or boat shop (we can always help!). The price of getting your engine professionally serviced is definitely worth the peace of mind you get, and early spring is a great time to do this (especially before service departments get busy!) This is a great time to check the oil, check/change the impeller, and make sure you have the proper amount of fluids needed in your engine. Not sure where to get started? Your boat/engine manufacturer’s website likely has relevant maintenance information, and you can always contact your local dealer or service department.

Electronics: a modern day must have Check your batteries! A little bit of planning ahead on this one can save you a lot of time and issues. Take some time


BEFORE you hit the lake to double check your audio system, depth/ fish finders, trolling motors, GPS, etc. We equip all of our new boats with two batteries and a battery switch: that way you can use one battery for electronics but still have the second for cranking the boat up when you’re ready to go. Don’t forget to make sure your bilge pump works too!

Safety and House Keeping

Safety: should always be on the minds of anyone out and enjoying the water. Go ahead and make sure that you have enough life jackets for anyone who will be on your boat, and it’s never a bad idea to keep a first aid kit aboard and well stocked. Do you have a fire extinguisher? You should! Is it in date and working? Check it! Does your boat have a blower to clear the engine compartment of flammable vapor? Check it! House Keeping: go ahead and address these issues and you could avoid many headaches or even a ticket! Make sure your boat’s registration is up to date: don’t rely on “It’ll be fine for this weekend.” Do all of your navigation lights work? We all know the sunset can sneak up on us during a fun day on the water, so check all lights beforehand! Go ahead and check the horn too, as it is legally required to be in working order. In aviation it is always a must for a pilot to walk around his or her plane and visually inspect it before taking flight. This is a great practice that applies well to boating! Remember, sometimes 20 minutes of inspection can save you from hours of avoidable trouble! Have questions? Feel free to give us a call at Russell Marine–Smith Lake. Spring is upon us, get ready, have fun out there and be safe! t Daniel Uline Russell Marine–Smith Lake 690 AL Hwy 69 South Hanceville, AL 35077 256-841-6365 - 256-496-3377

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i WEAR A LIFE JACKET. No matter what activity you have

planned on the water, always remember to wear a life jacket every time you are on the water. Accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket. i Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard approved, appropriate for your water activity and fits properly. A life jacket that is too large or too small can cause different situational problems. i Know state boating laws. Rules and laws can differ from state to state and violations can result in ticketing, fines or jail time. i Take a boating safety course. Learn valuable tips that can help save your life in unexpected situations by taking a NASBLA (National Association of Boating Law Administrators) approved boating safety course. Many courses are online, and will save you money on your boat insurance. i Make sure your boat is prepared. There are many items that need to be checked and rechecked on any boat. Schedule a Vessel Safety Check with your local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons before you hit the water. Every Vessel Safety Check is conducted 100 percent free of charge. i Be sure to know your boat’s capacity. If you have too much on your boat, the boat may become unstable and capsize. i Check the weather, including the water temperature. Know the latest marine weather forecast prior to going out, and keep a regular check for changing conditions. i Dress properly. Always dress for the weather, wearing layers if cooler weather, and bring an extra set of clothes in case you get wet. i Always file a float plan. File a float plan with someone you trust that includes details about the trip, boat, persons, towing


or trailer vehicle, communication equipment and emergency contacts. Find out more at

i Always follow navigation rules. Know the “Rules of the Road” such as operator’s responsibility, maintaining a proper lookout, safe speed, crossing, meeting head-on and overtaking situations. Know what’s going on around you at all times, and always travel at safe speeds for the environment. Find out more at i Don’t drink while you boat. Where the primary cause was known, alcohol was listed as the leading factor in 15 percent of deaths in 2016. Find out more at i Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Gasoline-powered engines on boats, including onboard generators, produce carbon monoxide (CO), colorless and odorless gas that can poison or kill someone who breathes too much of it. Be sure to install and maintain a working CO detector, never block exhaust outlets, and always dock, beach or anchor at least 20 feet away from the nearest boat that is running a generator or engine. i Keep in touch. Communication devices can be the most important piece of emergency equipment on board a vessel, especially in case of emergency. Be sure to have at least two communication devices that work when wet, such as satellite phones, emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB), VHF radios and personal locator beacons (PLB). Cell phones are not reliable in an emergency situation. t Source: Linked as a resource from: marine-patrol/boating-rules-and-regulations Thank you for referral for use by Alabama Marine Patrolman John Williams.

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Spring on Smith Lake We asked local kids, “What are you most looking forward to about Spring on Smith Lake?”

“Wakeboarding is so much fun for me now, and I don’t want to waste water time with anything else. Let’s just leave the tube on the dock.”

“Can’t wait to get back into competition and see my friends, it’s Miller Time!” - Roger Miller, age 9

- Cooper McCoy, age 11 86

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“Can’t wait to make new friends, see my old friends, and rock a wake to wake 180!”

“Can I swim yet?”

- Natalie Miller, age 12

- Connor Shirley, age 5

“I like to wakeboard. I am good at wakeboarding.”

“Start Unknown, Finish Unforgettable!” Hastings Roberts, 14 & Manning Roberts, 12

Cohen McCoy, age 9

“Can’t wait to try wakeboarding this year!”

“Can we go out on the boat today?”

NoraBelle Miller, age 4

- Cenley McCoy, age 8 | The Lakeside Life

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Smith Lake Pets

Meet Teddy

BREED: Golden Doodle HOME BASE: CRANE HILL, AL HUMAN: Chad Trull & Tricia Harlow LAKE PASTIME: Chasing squirrels and not catching them FAVORITE LAKE TREAT: Steak

Meet Lucy

BREED: Labradoodle HOME BASE: COLD SPRINGS, AL HUMAN: Kevin & Melissa Dodge LAKE PASTIME: Riding with the family in the boat FAVORITE LAKE TREAT: Anything she can beg for. She is very persuasive.

Meet Roxy

BREED: A sweet mutt HOME BASE: Crane Hill, AL HUMAN: Terry Turner LAKE PASTIME: Roxy loves to chase Chipmunks FAVORITE LAKE TREAT: Cheese

Roxy’s buddies shown below, Jake and Sunny, have both passed over the Rainbow Bridge. They left paw prints on the heart of their owner Terry (and in his foyer). Terry said “It is hard to forget pets who gave so much to remember.”

Meet Sunny BREED: Yellow Lab mix HOME BASE: CRANE HILL, AL HUMAN: Terry Turner LAKE PASTIME: Sunny loved to swim FAVORITE LAKE TREAT: A stick

Meet Jake

BREED: Golden Retriever HOME BASE: CRANE HILL, AL HUMAN: Terry Turner LAKE PASTIME: Jake loves to swim FAVORITE LAKE TREAT: Squirrel


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How long we have all waited for spring over the mild but rainy winter. As we write this today, it is the first official day of spring and it could not have come soon enough or been more beautiful–bright sun, barely any clouds, calm lake, utter peace. What a gorgeous Wednesday. Welcome spring. We have missed you. Feels like we need to celebrate. Sunshine in the sky, now sunshine in our glass, and it’s definitely half full! Enjoy this delicious, fresh, light and airy cocktail. You’re welcome.

Southern Sunshine 92

1 oz vodka ½ oz orange liqueur ½ oz fresh lemon juice ½ oz simple syrup 3-4 basil leaves Top with club soda

Muddle basil leaves in with lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker cup, add vodka and orange liqueur, shake with ice, strain into glass and garnish with lemon wedge and basil bundle. Enjoy & drink responsibly.

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> 8 (6 oz) chicken cutlets from Brickyard Meats > 1 t salt > ½ t black pepper > 16 large fresh sage leaves > 16 slices of thin sliced Brickyard Meats Applewood Smoked Bacon > 3 T avocado oil > 1 cup dry white wine > 1 cup Chicken Broth > ½ stick of butter > 1 T of flour > 4 T of heavy cream



> If chicken cutlets are thick, pound them out to ½” thickness with the flat side of a meat mallet or bottom of a small heavy skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 2 large sage leaves on top of each cutlet, then wrap 2 slices of thin bacon around cutlet, holding sage in place. > Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cutlets to pan and cook until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and cover to keep warm. > Add butter to pan, once melted add flour to make a rue. Wisk wine into the skillet and simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Add broth and simmer until slightly reduced. Add cream to skillet and stir till sauce is creamy. Remove from heat and spoon sauce over cutlets and serve. Goes well with pasta and extra cream sauce, or your favorite steamed vegetable and creamy mashed potatoes. This is going to become a favorite, we promise! Give it try, and let us know.

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ADVERTISER INDEX ARC Realty ........................................................................................... 53

Joseph Carter Realty ........................................................................... 63

Arley Women’s Club ................................................................... 77&79

Justin Dyar / Smith Lake Alabama Homes & Land

Beckman, Rob (Beckman Appraisals) ............................................. 83

/ Lake Homes Realty .............................................................................. 15

Birmingham Concrete Design .......................................................... 53

JWB Photography ............................................................................... 75

Bloomin’ Festival | St. Bernard Prep. School ................................. 31

Kenny Pipe ............................................................................................ 69

Boat Lifts of Alabama ......................................................................... 11

Lakeside Pharmacy ............................................................................. 41

Brickyard Meats .................................................................................. 93

Lakeside Sports & Recreation........................................................... 83

Buettner Bros. Lumber Company, Inc. ........................................... 73

Life on the Lake Realty ....................................................................... 39

Bugs Bite Mosquito Authority .......................................................... 75

MasterPro Audio ................................................................................. 81

Bully Sauce............................................................................................ 93

Mustard Seed Nursery ....................................................................... 37

Cabin Fever Beverages ....................................................................... 95

Nelems Marine .................................................................................... 41

Cabinet Creations by Joe ................................................................... 31

Pat’s Archery & Outdoors ................................................................. 73

Campbell’s Cleaning Your Way, LLC .............................................. 95

Remax | Darren Raspino.................................................................... 37

Chick fil A at Cullman, AL ................................................................ 47

Renasant Bank ..................................................................................... 55

Citizens Bank ....................................................................................... 47

Russell Marine - Smith Lake ............................................................. 17

City of Cullman (CWAC) .................................................................. 55


City of Cullman (Strawberry Festival) ............................................ 85

Scott Eric Day ...................................................................................... 52

Compton’s Veterinary Hospital ........................................................ 89

SeaDek ................................................................................................... 83

Cornerstone Beverage, Inc. ............................................................... 93

Seibels Cottage..................................................................................... 51

Cornerstone Construction ............................................................. IBC

Smith Lake Flea Market & Vintage Mall ........................................ 39

Cruise Planners.................................................................................... 73

Smith Lake Rentals and Sales ........................................................... 90

Cullman Savings Bank........................................................................ 43

Southern Roots Fashion..................................................................... 41

Culpepper Real Estate .......................................................................... 1

SUI - Dish Network ............................................................................ 47

Dixie Duds and Décor ........................................................................ 43

Target Pest Control ............................................................................. 69

Duskin Point Marina .........................................................................BC

The Blue Eyed Rabbit.......................................................................... 38

Elite Boat & RV Storage ..................................................................... 95

Timeless Treasures.............................................................................. 33

Flotation Systems ................................................................................ 11

Time Tested Countertops .................................................................. 47

Free State Boat Docks .......................................................................... 8

Townhouse Galleries .......................................................................... 31

Gable Beach Rentals ........................................................................... 83

Tow Boat U.S. ....................................................................................... 67

Harbins .................................................................................................. 15

Valley Heating & Cooling .................................................................... 4

High Point Furniture .......................................................................... 85

Werner’s Trading Company .............................................................. 43

Hydrohoist of Alabama ...................................................................... 91

White Willow ....................................................................................... 33

Jeff Roberts | MavenCross Wealth Advisors ...............................IFC

Whitlock’s General Store and Café.................................................. 69

The Lakeside Life magazine offers many different advertising packages. Please do not hesitate to call us to discuss an option that will fit your marketing needs. You may call us any time at 205-470-8250 or email us at We are honored to have you consider us in your marketing plan, and we look forward to working with you! We are grateful for our advertisers, and we believe in going the extra mile on your behalf, and for the good of the lake lifestyle community. See you lakeside!


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