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June/July 2012 • •


A member of the Randolph County Rescue Squad untangles a fishing line from the barricade net at the 2012 Lake Wedowee Property Owners Kids Fishing Derby. For more pictures see page 51.

Table of Contents Special Features 12. Creative Side: WIND Blows Back to Town for Reunion 16. News to Know: LWPOA Invites You to Annual Picnic 18. News to Know: Artists Converge on Downtown 20. News to Know: Fourth of July Boat Parade 22. News to Know: Summer Sizzle returns to Lineville Park 24. Model Search: Living the Lake Wedowee Life Model Search Seeking New Contestants 28. News to Know: Guide Birds on Mt. Cheaha 50-51. Photos: Paddlin’ for Paws & Kids Fishing Derby 60. News to Know: Local Growers’ Open Gerson’s Garden 62. Creative Side: Man Recreates Family History 66. Survey Results

In This Issue 8. Enjoy Life! - Letter from the Editor 10-11. Lake Wedowee At A Glance 38. Creative Crafting 26. Lake Map 40. Charley’s Treasures 48-49. Simply Fabulous 53. Hooked on Lake Wedowee 58-59. Where in the World? 42. Small Business Spotlight


Editor KELLY CALDWELL (256) 276-7959

Writer/Photographer AMANDA CAUSEY

Advertising Sales LAVOY CALDWELL On the Cover The Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association hosted its annual Kids Fishing Derby May 19 at Rice Pavilion.

contributing writers Darlene Bailey Meacham Bailey Lavoy Caldwell Leisel Caldwell Jim McAlear Tim Brown Reed Montgomery Brian Morris Charley Norton (334) 863-0737

Lake Wedowee Life

877.959.LAKE (5253) 18285 Highway 431  Wedowee, AL Lake Wedowee Life magazine is published six times a year and available around the Lake Wedowee area which includes Randolph and Clay Counties in Alabama as well as parts of West Georgia. All content in this publication is protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, or otherwise published without the prior written permission of Neighborhood Publishing. Š 2008 Neighborhood Publishing

Lake Wedowee Life 7

Hot Fun in the Summer Time I love this time of year… Our community comes alive with all kinds of things to do and enjoy. It began a few weeks ago with the Paddling for Paws Cardboard Boat Races as well as Bike Hike, and will continue through the next two months! Being a born and raised Randolph County resident it makes me very proud to see how far we have come. When I was growing up there were very few annual community events, but now it seems like there is something to do every week. Over the next few weeks, there are multiple concerts planned, an art show, boat parade and rodeo. All of those events, however, require community participation to succeed and continue. Some of the events are free to the public and some require a nominal fee, but what’s important is that those that do charge admission, its usually because it is a fund raising effort of some sort whether it be for the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department or Brown Bag Buddies and the HEARTS program. The Lake Wedowee area may be a small community, but we have a lot of people in this area that know how to have a good time! And, thanks to the generous organizers of all these events in the area, we have something fun to do close to home. So I urge each and everyone of you to attend as many of these wonderful events as possible this summer. Be sure to check out Lake Wedowee At a Glance to mark your calendars! See you there!

Enjoy Life! Kelly Caldwell

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Lake Wedowee Life 9

upcoming events May 26th Lake Wedowee Summer Jam at Chimney Cove Gates Open @ 5pm Concert @ 7pm June 2nd Summer OFF Main West Point Street Roanoke June 9th Art On The Median LWPOA Picnic July 3rd Street Dance July 4th Lake Wedowee Fourth Of July Boat Parade July 5th Summer Sizzle Kicks Off (Every Thursday in July) July 6th & 7th Randolph County Sheriff’s Rodeo To get more information about upcoming events visit and click on ‘Events’

Lake Wedowee Real Estate Update By Leisel Caldwell

Lake Wedowee Fishing Advice will be suspended and come up exploding on By Brian Morris, Fishing Guide

Even though summertime is Managing Broker The Lake We- here and the lake traffic is RE/MAX Lakefront dowee market heavy on the weekend's don't put them fishing rods up yet!!! continues to see buyer activity. Since the The bass are coming off their first of the year there have been 11 (22 post spawn mode and are feedtransactions) reported lake house sales ing up on shad heading out to and 8 (16 transactions) lake lot sales by their summer homes. local agents. The lake house sales vary in Majority of the bass range from a low sale of a foreclosed townhome at $85,000 to a recent closing of are going to be in 10 to 30 ft .This time of the $700,000 on a large custom home located in the south part of the lake. Out of the 10 year is when your electronic sonar's are godocumented sales 6 sold for under $230,000 and 4 of these houses were fore- ing to be your best friend findclosed properties. Foreclosures have defi- ing the bait and fish. Early in the morning till around 8:00 nitely played a big part in reducing the a.m. I would recommend market values on Lake Wedowee in the last 12 months. The good news is there are throwing top water, a popping fewer foreclosures currently on the market or walking type bait, throwing and we are seeing increases in traditional it around steep bluff banks and sharp points. A lot of these fish sales and prices offered. Based on recent reports there are 6 lake houses under contract with the majority of the list prices in Diggin’ In The Dirt the high $200's. This is a good indicator By Tim Brown values are taking a turn for the better for Randolph Farmer’s Co-Op lake houses. Thanks to the early arrival of Lake lots are another story. The sale of lake lots continues to be very sluggish and mild weather this spring, the gardening season is well under the very cheap is what makes up the maway. Many gardeners have set jority of sales, with 5 out of the 8 docuout their plants earlier than is mented sales being $60,000 or less. Lake customary for our area. As a lot sales suffers from a double whammy result, gardeners should take due to the lack of financing options and every precaution possible in the sizeable inventory of reasonably order to bring in a priced pre-owned lake houses currently healthy harvest of for sale. Why build when you can buy for fresh vegetables. less. This will change as the inventory of First, one of the lake houses priced under $300,000 disapmost common pears. Savvy investors should be looking maladies seen at the lake lot market. Lots of lots for sale each year is end rot of tomatoes and prices are low. More good news inand peppers. A number of accludes sales in other areas of our county tions can be taken to provide and surrounding areas. Most sales are in calcium which is the necessary the range of $60,000 to $100,000. If you have a stable income and feel secure with element in prevention. Supplementing granular gypsum, disyour job it is an excellent time to buy. tributing lime around the plant, With the lower prices and low interest rates, you have a tremendous opportunity and frequent spraying of liquid calcium product to the foliage to buy more with lower payments.

the bait. After the sun gets up I would recommend throwing a Carolina rig or a finesse type bait like a 4 to 6in plastic worm green in color, working it around main lake points and deep structure. The crappie fishing can be really good all day as well, use your electronics to find them suspended around standing timber, underwater timber and deeper boat docks. Use a 1/16oz jig blue/white or chartreuse/black trolling and also casting minnows work really well trolling them slow around deep brush 18 to 25ft. Hope this information will help you land your next trophy. Good fishing and God bless. are all useful methods. Also, pelletized calcium nitrate can be used as a supplemental fertilizer. Second, there is a widespread problem with various worms that feed on the foliage of plants. A widely used product today is known by the letters Bt. Bacillus thuringiensis is a naturally occurring property that can be applied as a dust or liquid for the control of feeding worms. Third, there are several ways to stop those pesky squash bugs. A few remedies include pelleted bifenthrin, carbaryl, imidacloprid, and permethrin. These are available as liquid or dust. Finally, consider using a couple of common fungicides to battle blights that frequently affect tomatoes. Chlorothalonil and mancozeb can greatly reduce the risk of fungal infections that can greatly reduce a vibrant plant into a plant that withers away.

WIND Blows Back in Town for Reunion Norton said. "We charged When Jay and Evelyn a few bucks at the door, Norton moved their famand on a good Friday ily to Roanoke, Alabama night we would have 300 in 1970 from Memphis, plus people there. For Tenn. little did they some broke college stuknow the musical chain dents that was a lot of of events that would ocmoney back then." cur. The band experienced The eldest son Bill alsome growing pains when ready had aspirations for Garrett left in 1974 and musical fame and joined played as WIND for only the group Rock Candy a few more years. soon after moving to The group hasn't pertown as their drummer. formed together in 35 His little brother Tom years and many never would tag along to practhought a reunion show tices and soon became was a possibility. Howenamored with the ever, things changed band's talents. when lead guitarist was "I remember being battling esophageal cancer amazed at Tom Ziglar's in 2011. talent," Tom Norton said. "I always wanted to play "It was that moment, I with WIND again," Norgot serious about the guiton said. "And, when I got tar." sick, it was the wake-up A couple of years later call I needed to get started Norton along with on this." Handley High School Norton spent several classmates John Hodges, Mike Davis, Tom Norton, John Hodges and Jackie weeks in the hospital after Mike Davis and Jackie surgery and was touch Garrett formed the group Garrett formed WIND in 1972 in Roanoke. and go for a while. WIND. Robert Burns and "I visited Tom Norton in the Gerry Knight joined the group as around the area for the next few hospital, he was lying in bed with road crew at the time as well. years and picked a couple of additubes coming out of every portal of "Our first performance was the tional members including bass 1972 Miss Handleyan Pageant," player Tim Cox from Lafayette and his body." John Hodges said. "He called me to his bedside and told Norton said. "At that time, we only me to get a drum kit. Because he knew five songs." was putting WIND back together. Because of that first gig, the by Lavoy Caldwell "And, that was a year ago," he band was able to book two addisaid. tional performances almost immeOnce he was released from the diately, the Wadley High School drummer/vocalist Richard Murray hospital, Norton began making Prom and the Woodland High from Camp Hill. phone calls. School Prom. "We played in Auburn and the "Tom called me and I wouldn't "We gained an almost instant Lake Martin area a lot but we also have missed the opportunity to following because of those three would play after football games at play with my old buds for nothperformances," Norton said. Handley High School at the Roaing," Mike Davis said. The band continued to play noke National Guard Armory,"

Creative Side

12 Lake Wedowee Life

Davis, curCommerce. rently lives in "We have been Nashville, Tenn., practicing and where he owns trying to re-learn an audio producsome of the songs tion company. we were known Since his playing for back in the days with WIND, day and we are Davis has toured all really excited the country with about playing Dolly Parton as together again," her go-to keyNorton said. board player. Performing durNorton contining the 1970s, ued to call his forWIND was mer band mates known for playand virtually got ing the music of the same reday like The EaMike Davis, Richard Murray, Jackie Garrett, Tim Cox, Tom Norton, sponse from evegles, Crosby, ryone. Stills and Nash, and John Hodges are the members of WIND that will be playing at "I haven't Doobie Brothers Summer OFF Main June 2. played with this and Southern group in 35 years," Tim Cox Rock and Roll. said. "Tom called and asked "We have had a blast pracme to sit in with them and ticing together getting that's why I am here." ready for this show and Considering the group hopefully we will have a lives all over the Southeast, great reunion with our fans practices have been a little on June 2nd," Jackie Garrett difficult to coordinate, but said. all six members have particiThe band will be the musipated at some point. cal headliner for Summer "It has been great to rejoin OFF Main and are slated to the old band," Richard take the stage at 5 p.m. It is Murray said. "I have rekinan outdoor event and the dled old friendships and reband will be playing in membered old times through this The band will be performing at front of the Handley High School experience. And, I am here because Summer OFF Main on June 2nd for Auditorium where they made their Tom Norton told me to." the Randolph County Chamber of debut in 1972.

LWPOA invites you to Picnic June 9th This summer, out before joining, the Lake Wethe cost for nondowee Property members is $10 per Owners Associaperson, children untion is hosting der 8 are free. Resth their 14 annual ervations can be picnic and firemade by calling 256works display 396-5526. th on June 9 at 3 The Lake Wedowee p.m. This event Property Owners provides the Association is dedimembership an cated to making opportunity to Lake Wedowee a come together to more beautiful, have fun and cleaner and safer fellowship, meet place to bring your old friends and family and friends. make new ones. Some of the associaIt is also an oction’s activities inThe Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association annual picnic casion for the clude: recently inoffers fun for everyone. Food, games and fireworks! membership to stalled mile marker get to know their board memof three categories; pound cake, signs, annual lake clean-up, bers. layer cake and pies. Winners Christmas trees for enhanceThrough the generosity of the will be chosen in each category ment of fish habitat program, Rice family, the picnic will take and the entries served for demonthly water testing and the place at the Luther & Laska Rice sert. annual kid’s fishing derby just pavilion where it has been since to mentions a few. You can the inaugural event in 1998. check us out more at our webEach year the event continues to site grow with last year’s attendance by Jim McAlear reaching 270 people despite the The strength of the Lake Wethreat of stormy weather. This All of this is free for Lake dowee Property Owners Assoyear’s attendees will be treated Wedowee Property Owners Asciation is in its people, both in to a meal of a fried chicken/ham sociation members providing membership and their involveplate. Entertainment will be they make advance reservations. ment. If you are already a memprovided by the ‘Tree Frogs’ Reservation forms were sent to ber, please contact one of the and the night will be topped off each member the middle of May directors and let them know with a spectacular fireworks dis- and must be received back by where you can help with any of play by the Billy Herren family. June1st. If you did not receive, our many projects. If you are Other activities will include: or misplaced your invitation not a member, please consider face painting and a clown ball and need a new one please call joining with us and help us toss for the children, History 256-396-5526 or e-mail mhpwe“protect your playground” by and global story telling by Don submitting a membership form If you are East and Mark Parrish, and a that can be found on our webnot a member and want to join demonstration by the Cheaha site. in the fun, send us your memradio controlled airplane club. Jim McAlear sits on the board bership and picnic reservation st Attendees are also invited to for the Lake Wedowee Property prior to June 1 . If you are not enter the baking contest in one Owners Association. a member and want to check us

News to Know

Artists converge downtown June 9 Wedowee Art lovers will police officers be in for a treat will be on June 9 when the hand to help East Alabama direct traffic Arts Society as well as dihosts its fifth anrect visitors nual Art on the to available Median in downparking. town Wedowee. The shops in The festivities the downwill begin at 10 town area a.m. Saturday. will also be “We are hopopen for the ing to have a day and the wide variety of owners enmediums,” Sylcourage the via Grant, Art visitors to Show chairpertake a peek in son, said. “The For five years the East Alabama Art Society has hosted Art on the Metheir doors as show this year will dian in Downtown Wedowee. well. feature fine art, There will be folk art and fun no admission charged for art!” the event but most of the Several mediums of art artwork will be available will be displayed including for sale. oils, acrylics, watercolors, “There will be some artphotography, pottery and ists who will choose just possibly stone work. to display their work,” The event will be in the Grant said. “But there will median on U.S. Highway 431 be numerous artists sellin Downtown Wedowee. ing their work.” “We feel like the art show The one day art show conis a good opportunity to tinues to grow every year show local talent and gives and this year will be no exception. the visitors to our town a chance to see what all we have to offer.”

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Plant a tree to help protect the environment… Our Children’s FUTURE! Lake Wedowee Life 19

American Pride returns to Lake Wedowee July 4

Lake Wedowee celebrates Fourth of July with creative displays of the American Spirit. Last year’s overall winner (opposite page) paid homage to American Troops. This July 4th will mark the 4th annual Lake Wedowee Fourth of July Boat Parade. The event’s organizers Kelly Caldwell, Randy Morris, and John Tinney are very enthusiastic that this year will be the best one yet. “It will be interesting this year because the Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday,” stated Kelly Caldwell “But, we decided to hold true to having the parade on the Fourth to avoid confusion. "In the four years we have been doing this, the only time the event has not been on Independence Day was a few years ago when the holiday fell on Sunday. And, there was a lot of confusion that year..." The parade route will remain the same this year with participating boats picking up their registration packets at RE/MAX Lakefront and then making their way to Wedowee Marine before re20 Lake Wedowee Life

turning to Lakeside Marina where the winners will be announced.

News to Know Story by Kelly Caldwell "We enjoy being a part of this every year," John Tinney said. "It is a fantastic way to express your American Pride and the decorations seem to get better every year."

This year there will be 5 categories to win first place in and 1 grand prize. The Grand Prize Category will be named “Pride in Wedowee”. This boat will have to encompass as many of the 5 categories as possible. The winner will also receive recognition with their photograph placed at all sponsor locations until next July Fourth. “There have been so many great boats that it is hard to pick winners. We can’t make everyone a winner, but we want people to know how much we enjoy seeing their boats and what they have come up with.” stated event organizer Randy Morris of Wedowee Marine. Other categories, which will receive only one winner for each will be: Most Outrageous, Star Spangled Celebration, Best Mascot, and Most Spirited. The Most Outrageous category will be awarded to the boat that is decorated...well most outrageous.

What America Means to me

Show Respect when Displaying Old Glory We love to see everyone’s boat decorated in the most patriotic way. Please keep in mind to be respectful of Old Glory. Below are some rules and guidelines so you can get the most out of respecting the American flag and America. Study the United States Flag Code . Many people do not understand that this is a legal issue. Specific Federal laws regulate the display, maintenance, and disposal of the flag. Learn about the history of the flag. Understand flag etiquette. How do you salute it, and when. Military persons in uniform salute it with a military salute when it is paraded or when the Pledge of Allegiance is said, civilians remove their hat with their right hand and hold it over their left shoulder, or if they are not wearing a hat, they hold their right hand over their heart. Display the flag properly. Dispose of a retired flag by burning it. The idea is that a flag should not be seen in a trash heap or mixed with garbage. Do not abuse an image of the flag. Display the flag properly. When flown in the United States, the flag of the United States of America flies higher than other flags, and it is the largest flag of any group it is in. It’s for an “outside of the box” thinker and anything goes. Boats that are decorated in something that is not typically 4th of July, but still have American concepts will be perfect for this one. Some examples of past boats who could have won this prize would be last year’s winner "The 57 Chevy" or "Mickey Mouse." The Star Spangled Celebration category will be awarded to the

America to me means Freedom. When I see the American Flag I think of Soldiers in foreign lands guarding, fighting, protecting and doing what they must do in order to maintain the freedoms our founding fathers fought so hard to establish, the freedoms we still enjoy today. I think of the thousands of Soldiers since then that have died for their country…that died for you, me, our families and friends and everybody else that lives in America so that we may continue to enjoy the freedoms that so many countries wished they had.

Meacham Bailey serves as Command Sergeant Major and is the senior enlisted advisor to the Battalion Commander at 1/117 FA BN in Andalusia Alabama. He has been in the Alabama National Guard for 24 years and was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2006-2007.

boat that exhibits the best use of the American Flag. Please see “Respect Our Flag” above to make sure your decorations are not discourteous to Old Glory as well as the spectators and others involved. Best dressed mascot will be a fun category for everyone. Whether you have your pet dressed as Uncle Sam or your child dressed as Lady Liberty there is not restriction on who or what is your mascot.

Most Patriotic is the best way to show you American Spirit. The Red, the White, and the Blue are symbolic to America and our nation’s spirit. To enter your boat please visit one of the sponsors, Lakeside Market & Grill, Wedowee Marine, Lake Wedowee Life Magazine and RE/MAX Lakefront. Registration ends July 3rd at 5 p.m. The entry fee is $10.00 Lake Wedowee Life 21

Summer Sizzle returns to Lineville Summer Sizzle will kick off in style July 5th for its ninth season of delivering music to the local communities. "The Clay County Arts League created Summer Sizzle to showcase local talents," Barbara Pollard, event organizer, said. "And, we have tried our best to stick to that philosophy." The first night of the music series will feature Lard Bucket Bluegrass in what has become known as Patriotic Night. "Our first night is always dedicated to our active and retired military because it falls so close to Fourth of July," Pollard said. "Roger Hammett and Ryan Robertson have done this for years and now that they are with Lard Bucket Bluegrass, they are continuing the tradition." Everyone is encouraged to bring their lawn chairs for a night under the stars and expect to be entertained by some of the best local artists around. July 12 will be Clay County Country Jam featuring Kevin Moon and The Outlaw Justice

News to Know Story by Kelly Caldwell Photos courtesy of Ray Stansell and Clay Times Journal Band. "Kevin is wanting to do things a little differently this year," Pollard said. "He is wanting to interact with the crowd more and even bring some of them on stage. So it will be a little like a

variety hour which will be a whole lot of fun." The night will be filled with special guests including Pollard's uncle Roy Crawford. "He grew up here and is a national fiddle player," Pollard said. Crawford has participated in Summer Sizzle for several years as a headliner but this year he didn't think he could do it alone. "Performing takes a lot out of him and I don't know if we will be able to get him here again," Pollard said. "That's why I wanted him to be a part of it still but I didn't want to burden him with a whole night to himself." On July 19, Talladega's Heritage Hall Jazz Band under the direction of Jeff Wood is slated to entertain the crowds with their Big Band Jazz sound. The month-series will conclude with "Gospel Hour - Clay County Style." "I have always watched Gaither Gospel Hour and have been to so many singings in Clay County, that I knew we could have something similar here,"

Area singers take the stage for Gospel Hour Clay County Style in the final week of Summer Sizzle. Bring your lawn chair to Lineville City Park every Thursday in July for great entertainment. Pollard said. "So I went to Kenneth Yates to help me pull this one together." Last year, Gospel Hour- Clay County Style featured more than 60 gospel singers that entertained more than likely Summer Sizzle's largest crowd to date. "We had more than 1,000 people there that night," Pollard said. "It was amazing." Each Thursday in July, Lineville City Park turns into a music venue complete with live radio remotes by Alabama 100.7. "We are so excited to be a part of Summer Sizzle this year," Teresa Goodman, WCKF/ Alabama 100.7 station manager said. "We do the live remote and this

year we will be decorating the stage every week. "It is a great community event and we are proud to have it in Clay County." Pollard realized in the early stages of Summer Sizzle that she could only do so much to make the event a success, and is the first to admit the Clay County Arts League could not achieve their goals without the help of the local media. "It's like I say, I could get Elvis Presley on this stage, but if it weren't for the newspaper and radio people, no one would know about it," Pollard said. "They have done so much to help us over the years and I credit

some of our success to them." Clay Times Journal Editor and Publisher David Proctor said he looks forward to the event every year. "Summer Sizzle has grown into one of the greatest events in the county. We have a tremendous line up of talent and most of it are people from Clay County," he said. "It is just incredible the amount of talent we have here." Summer Sizzle is every Thursday in July with music starting at 7 p.m. each night. The concert series is free to the public, but everyone is encouraged to bring their lawn chairs. Concessions will also be sold.

“Living The Lake Wedowee Life” Model Search The “Living the Lake Wedowee Life” Model Search Contest will begin accepting applicants on June 1st. There will be a few changes to the contest this year, the main one being applicant age. This contest is for age groups 12 and above. A separate contest for children under 12 will be launched in a few months for our Southern Holiday Life cover.

24th. Beginning June 25th every contestant that has their contracts signed and returned will be posted on our Facebook Fan Page. There will be voting on each entry for 1 week. Voting will consist of “liking” the photograph in our online album. The number of votes each contestant receives will be factored into his/her overall score. There will be recognition for the “Facebook Fan Favorite” which will be the person with the most votes on Facebook. This year there will be an interview stage for the top five finalists. The winner will be announced in the August/September issue of Lake Wedowee Life, and posted on our Facebook Fan Page as well as our website.

Model Search by Amanda Causey The winner will receive a full photo cover shoot, modeling portfolio, his/her photo featured on the cover of 2013’s Guide to Lake Wedowee, as well as a 2 page spread in the issue. There will be an entry form on our website that can be printed and mailed, or submitted online. There will also be a contest contract each contestant

must sign, or if not of age their parent or legal guardian must sign. This form will also be available online. We will require 2 photos per contestant (one head shot and one full body shot). The photos do not have to be professional quality. “We are looking for the person that embodies the Lake Wedowee Life.” stated Kelly Caldwell “We are looking for natural beauty.” There will also be opportunities for the winner and contest participants to be called upon for other modeling assignments affiliated with Lake Wedowee Life Magazine. The deadline for entries will be June

For more details, official rules, and to enter online please visit our website at: and click on the ‘Contests’ tab at the top.

Lake Wedowee Life 27

Guide to Birds on Lake Wedowee One of the few memories I have of my grandmother involve birds. She loved watching birds, feeding them, and hearing their songs. She painted them on a number of mediums, and I always remember her having different feeders around her house. After her death our family continued her love of bird watching.

time that gets you in tune with nature and into the great outdoors. You don't even have to leave your home to enjoy birds. But, if your backyard does not have bird watching potential, we have three new additions to the Piedmont Plateau Story & Photos Birding Trail right here in Randolph by Amanda Causey County. Local bird Bird watching is something I watching areas enjoy doing and love sharing with now include Fox others, so I was excited to be able Creek on Lake Weto write this article and share my dowee, Kiwanis photographs that I have taken over Park in Wedowee, the years. All of the birds that are and at Southern featured in this article were photoUnion Community graphed here in Randolph County College in Wadley. This photograph of Bailey McKay Ph.D. was taken off the coast in Southern California. and on Lake Wedowee. I contacted Bird watching is an inexpenRandolph County sive, rewarding hobby and, next to native Bailey McKay, Ph.D., to get trips to Belize, Kenya, & Peru, to gardening, the fastest growing some information about what name a few. Bailey received his hobby in America. With the intypes of birds to be on the lookout Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology at creased interest in the eco-friendly for in Randolph County. He got his the University of Minnesota, his movement, bird watching is a paspassion for birding during class master's in Evolutionary Biology at Auburn University, and his bachelor’s degree in Biology at Samford University. He is currently doing post-doctorial studies in ornithol• Migratory, breeds in the ogy at the American Museum of north lives in central to north- National History in New York City ern South America in the win- where he is particularly interested ter. in Asian birds. Dr. McKay said there are an •Forages in shrubs or trees for overwhelming amount of species insects, seeds and berries, also catching insects in flight and that are known to be prominent here, with four different types of occasionally eating nectar. groups. Residents, the birds that •In Alabama these birds mi- are here year round; Summer Migrate through during the grants, birds that migrate here durspring. ing the summer months from the

News to Know

28 Lake Wedowee Life

• Found in a wide variety of habitats, but prefers open woodlands and agricultural areas. •Broad diet of animals, from small mammals to rabbits, geese, and herons. •Uses a variety of nest sites, including trees, cliffs, buildings, and the ground. Does not make its own nest. Typically takes over nests in trees made by other bird species. Often puts nest in hollows or broken-off snags in trees. •Even though the female Great Horned Owl is larger than her mate, the male has a deeper voice.

•One of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent. •It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. •Digs characteristically rectangular holes in trees to find ants. These excavations can be so broad and deep that they can cause small trees to break in half. •The nest holes they make offer crucial shelter to many species including owls, ducks, & bats. •The oldest known Pileated Woodpecker was 12 years 11 months old. 30 Lake Wedowee Life

• Often seen hovering before it plunges headfirst into water to catch a fish. •Frequently announces its presence by its loud rattling cry. •The nest burrow is usually in a dirt bank near water. The tunnel slopes upward from the entrance, perhaps to keep water from entering the nest. •One of the few bird species in which the female is more brightly colored than the male.

• Like all other blue birds, Indigo Buntings lack blue pigment. Their jewel-like color comes instead from microscopic structures in the feathers that refract and reflect blue light, much like the airborne particles that cause the sky to look blue. •Indigo Buntings learn their songs as youngsters, from nearby males but not from their fathers. •Sometimes nicknamed "blue canaries."

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• Found across much of the world, from southern Canada southward to Argentina, and in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. •Hunters in the late 1800s and early 1900s reduced North American populations by more than 95%. •The longevity record for a wild Great Egret is nearly 23 years. •The Great Egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society, one of the oldest environmental organizations in North America.

•Eats beetles, grasshoppers, ants and other insects. It also eats acorns, beechnuts and fruits. •They will often store food in holes in trees or fence posts. •Prefers to nest in holes in dead trees or limbs and they are quite aggressive when it comes to competing for nesting sites. •Predators include birds of prey, black rat snakes and house cats. •Are noisy birds, and have many varied calls.

Lake Wedowee Life 33

North America’s most common “brood parasite.” A female cowbird makes no nest of her own, but instead lays her eggs in the nests of other bird species, who then raise the young cowbirds. tropics; Winter Migrants, ducks and geese that migrate from the north during our winter months; and Migrants, those species that are just passing through, stopping to rest and feed. A few of the species we talked about stuck out as the most interesting. One bird you may notice in your yard is the Brown Headed Cowbird. It is in the blackbird family and has an unusual “song.” The cowbird sounds like dropping water or a series of low gurgles. They are a parasitic species that lay their eggs in other bird’s nests. “The Brown-headed Cowbird got its name because it followed buffalo around to pick insects off,”

Here are some great tips from Dr. McKay on how to start bird watching. • “Make sure you have a good pair of binoculars. In order to identify a bird accurately you will need to be able to see it up close.” • “Take note of the location that the bird is. If its on the ground or up in a tree that will help you identify them based on their activity.” • “Get a good field guide. One

Bailey said. “They have done damage to some species of birds because of their parasitic nature.” Cowbird eggs hatch faster than other species eggs, giving cowbird nestlings a head start in getting food from the parents. Young cowbirds also develop at a faster pace than their nest mates, and they sometimes toss out eggs and young nestlings or smother them in the bottom of the nest. Several of the other species we discussed are pictured in this article. One that is not pictured is the American Bald Eagle. Numerous people have seen it but had not gotten a photographs. I went out searching for Lake Wedowee’s eagles but did not have any luck. An-

other bird that I did look for specifically for this article was the Great Horned Owl. The owl is my favorite bird and while I have seen many in the wild I have never been able to capture one in a photograph until now. I set out on a mission and fortunately was able to capture this beautiful bird of prey. If you are going to photograph birds you do not need special camera equipment, just a little patience. “Having open feeders is a good way to attract many different birds,” McKay said, “Get a good seed that they will eat. Sunflower seeds are the best for attracting area birds.” “Alabama has a lot of natural, unique areas. If you want to get the most out of Alabama, get out there and bird watch.” Set up your feeders and look for some of the birds photographed here. Follow “Tips from an expert” I have created with advice from Dr. McKay on bird watching. If you snap some great shots email them to us at, we would love to see them. We may use them in upcoming issues!

that is hand drawn instead of having photographs is better. Artists can look at hundreds of photos of birds and create a sketch that is more accurate for the species” He suggested ‘The Sibley Guide to Birds of Northeastern American.’ “Getting a guide with your specific region will eliminate birds in other areas that you will never see.” “Determining what type of bill a bird has is key to identifying a species.” “Get out in the woods and forest areas, don’t wait for them to come to you.”

Lake Wedowee Life 37

Creative Crafting By: Amanda Causey Patriotic Wreath This burlap and tulle wreath with painted canvas “flag” is a 2 part craft. You can make them together and have this combo or make them separate and have 2 different décor pieces. Cut your burlap into two-three inch strips and work into a wire wreath form. Cut strips of tulle and insert as you see fit. Paint a square canvas red & white stripped and add a decorative 3-demensional star to the middle. Hang canvas with twine. To see detailed instructions, tips and photos of each step please visit and click on Creative Crafting.

Magnetic Message Board This message board is hanging at my desk. To create this look you will need an old cookie sheet, fabric (I used burlap left over from another project), ribbon, and magnets. Measure your fabric about an inch over each side of your cookie sheet. Hot glue the edges keeping the fabric tight. Hot glue ribbon to the back to create your hanger. I decorated this one with some additional ribbon on the edges. Use pre-made magnets or get creative and make your own. Using vintage buttons or brooches is a good way to incorporate family heirlooms.

Lake Wedowee Life 39

So why do they raise and lower the lake? me laughing to This has himself. He told been the most me that it was asked question actually him that on Lake Wecame up with the dowee since its first reason. He conception and was getting the there have been trash out of the a lot of lab when a scien“official” antist, out of pure swers. Some of frustration the ones I’ve blurted “What do heard are: “So I tell these peopeople could ple”?! “I just told build their boat him to tell them docks on dry people to shut up land“. “They let and build their it down during docks, I didn’t the rainy seaYes this picture is digitally altered for purposes of this column. No, think they would son to avoid we do not actually have beavers of this size on Lake Wedowee! actually do it,” said flooding“. “To knew this because he worked there the old timer . “But that’s exactly improve the fish habitat” or “so as a custodian at the time. He went what they did.” that they (the dam people) could When the next Fall came on to say that a massive search make repairs to the dam“. And of around, the water began to drop took place, telling the local comthese answers there may be some again. It became obvious that there munity that it was a plane crash truth, but I propose that none of was something serious going on. they were looking for. After sevthem are true and it is a massive After a massive search was pereral weeks it was assumed that the cover up to avoid widespread formed, the terrifying truth was animals must have perished. That panic. I have recently been told by found. Beaver dams. Not just any was until the next Fall. an old timer that our dam wasn’t “When the water went down Beaver dams, these were massive built to supply power to the comstructures built from entire trees set the first time, everyone just munities. It was built to supply just below the water level in both power to a secret government labo- thought it was Georgia being the big and little rivers. It constingy with the river flow“, said ratory built deep under ground the old timer. That was when the firmed the worst fears of the scienbelow Harris dam. This laboratory court battles started between the tists deep below the Harris dam. does experiments on animals reThe animals that escaped two years quiring a huge amount of power. before were beavers. Super beavers Experiments that are focused on that were genetically enhanced to designing a super trooper. A man build temporary bridges for the that has super human strength and military. Not only had they surrejuvenatory abilities. Enhanced by Charley Norton vived, foot print measurements perception and intelligence are indicated that they had grown subother side effects from these exstantially, estimated at over a ton states. Then when Spring came periments. each! around, without warning, the waIt started in the early 1980s, A secret deal was made with ter began to rise again. Alabama according to the old timer, there out of town logging companies and was a terrible accident after a light- Power began getting inquiries they blasted the dams with TNT, about why it happened. “They ning strike and two of the animals which they blamed the noise on the were clueless”, the old timer told escaped from the laboratory. He

Charley’s Treasures

rock quarry which caused law suits against them from the surrounding community. It is rumored that a deal was also made with the Messer’s at Wedowee Building Supply and the logs removed and milled were shipped to them at a bargain to keep their silence of the whole affair, which is why their prices are always lower than anyone else’s. Steve Corbin, who was in town hunting the Sasquatch, was secretly hired to track and trap the beavers but after months of tireless efforts, he was unable to find them. He believed that they lived in the flooded Indian caves under the water. The power company instituted seemingly unreasonable programs that restricted lake home owners from cutting trees or removing dirt from the shore. They did this to make it easier to find super beaver activity and their tracks on the shore. Doug at D&S Marine was contracted to build a specialty vehicle to track and kill the beavers. The Super Tracking Beaver Whacking Aquatic Vehicle, or S.T.B.W.A.V. was designed with the highest technology but made to look like an ordinary aluminum boat. They put their best men in it over the years, most recently a man only known as Officer Barry, and disguised him as a police officer. This brave man patrols the waters day and night. Although he has had several encounters with the Sasquatch (also suspected as a product of the Har-

ris dam laboratory), the massive super Beavers elude him. Now that the truth is out, I hope that everyone will blame the truly responsible people deep below Harris Dam for this incredible mistake and wave to officer Barry every time you see him. This brave man is the only thing between us and the killer super beavers of Lake Wedowee. From the late, great Dr. Podunk (Rumbly), “The best lie is the one with a little truth mixed in”. Charley Norton is the co-owner of Norton’s Flooring with his brother Tom. The company was founded by his parents more than 35 years ago.

Lakeside Marina expands again When the Tinney Family reopened Lakeside Marina in July of 2008, they envisioned a one-of-akind business on Lake Wedowee. Four years later, Lakeside has become a special stop for most lake residents and a regular meeting for place for the majority of the county. "We wanted to fill a need that we saw not being met," John Tinney said. "We felt the community was ready for a place that was super clean, well maintained and a super friendly family atmosphere. We feel like we have met that need, but had no idea that the overwhelming support would be here. We aren't just a seasonal stop for people, we are a year-round establishment." Lakeside Marina originally opened in the early 1980s, but under the guidance of the Tinney family the business has thrived in an economic climate where many small businesses are struggling to survive.

going that are really cool." The kitchen area was also recently renovated to accommodate the evergrowing demands of their customers. "We are looking forward to a very exciting summer at Lakeside on Lake Wedowee, " Tinney said. "We have bingo on the lawn on Friday Nights, Worship on the Water on Sundays then the Fourth of July Boat Parade and we are even looking at partnering with someone to sponsor a bass tournament." Story Tinney also praises the Lakeside by Kelly Caldwell team in the success of the business. "We couldn't do this without In the four years since the family Marie Bailey, Jerry Hall and Helen has owned Lakeside, there have Hopkins,� Tinney said. "They are been several renovations including the friendly faces that people associthe latest...Adding additional seat- ate with Lakeside. ing for up to 64 on a covered deck "We are a happy place," he said. adjacent to the main building. "(Lakeside) is a place where you "Here we GROW again," Tinney never question what kind of experisaid with a chuckle. "It will be really ence you have had. We pride ourfestive at night because we are usselves on doing things the right way ing special lighting and then during and of course having five-star baththe day we will have misting fans rooms."

News to Know

Spend a day at Alabama’s Highest Point shelters, hikFrom ing trails, several lake, beach, points in bathhouses Randolph and other County, recreational Mt. facilities. In Cheaha 1973, a reslooms in taurant, hotel the disand chalets tance. It were added may not to the park. seem like Since that much from time there here, but have been as you numerous make your changes and way closer the park will its size be getting may beseveral more come a bit The view from Bald Rock, an easy hike on a wooded walkway. significant enoverwhelmhancements later this year. ing. Cheaha State “We are about to repave the Park is atop the campground roads, level out some mountain which is of the camp sites and update the the highest point in areas in the campground,” AssisAlabama at 2,407 tant Park Superintendent Justin feet. Located in the Howard said. Talladega National There are many activities for Forest, Cheaha is the whole family to enjoy during a the Indian word for trip to Cheaha. "high,” and is a One of the more popular is hikfoothill of the Aping. The Pinhoti Trail is a 104-mile palachian Mountrail that will take you through the tain system Talladega National Forest. It conCheaha State nects with the Appalachian Trail, Park has been in which leads all the way up to operation since Maine. The Pinhoti Trail is a se1933, however, the cluded, mountainous trail that is official opening best for those who are experienced date was June 7, hikers. You must bring along any 1939. The ground supplies you need, although there work was installed is a side trail at the halfway mark by the Civilian that will lead you to a supply Conservation Corps shop. There are places for hikers (CCC) and into set up camp along the trail. cluded roads, cabBunker Tower is located at the highest point on ins, Bald Rock Cheaha Mountain; with an observation area giv- Aside from the Pinhoti, there are several other hiking trails ranging Lodge, the observaing visitors an amazing view of the forest below. from moderate to steep grade. tion tower, picnic

Bobby Phillips, Susan Ankrom, and Marie Barnes of Calhoun County cycle up and down the mountain once or twice a month. Bald Rock is another hiking trail that is very popular at the park. It is handicap accessible with a long walkway to the point that overlooks Oxford and Anniston. There are several steps that lead down to the woods throughout the walkway for great photo opportunities as well as large boulders for climbing. Cycling and Mountain Biking would seem to be one of the next most popular. “This is the best place in the world to ride because there are no cars.” Susan Ankrom of Oxford said. “There are a lot of areas to challenge you here. “added Bobby Phillips of Anniston. They park at the ranger station near the bottom of the road and cycle up to the top of the mountain and back down again. Many cycling and mountain biking events go on at the park. “We have about 6 and a half miles of trails on our mountain

bike trail,” Howard said. “I don’t ride mountain bikes, so I don’t know from experience. But, I have been told that our trail is one of the most technical trails in Alabama. “We have three events going on here so far this year, but they

are all hosted by outside organizations.” he said. Cheaha Lake is also a popular park attraction with its sandy swimming area and diving dock. There are locker rooms and picnic areas around the area as well. “We also have been making some much needed repairs to Cheaha Lake. We have drained the lake and were in the process of cleaning up the swimming area when we found some other issues that needed addressing,” Howard said. “We have corrected those issues and are finishing up the swimming area now. We hope to have the lake ready to open Memorial Day weekend.” There are day use picnic and pavilion areas that can be reserved ahead of time, or if not in use are on a first come first serve basis. Cabins and chalets can be reserved as well. The hotel that sits at the park’s entrance has a swimming pool and an amazing view of the north side of the mountain. The Bald Rock Lodge has overnight accommodations for large groups, such as weddings or business meetings.

Duey & Roger Hammock, of Delta, hike 14 miles to the top of Cheaha prepping for a hike at the Grand Canyon later this year.

Fall view of Cheaha Lake. Camping is available to individuals with semi primitive campsites and full hook-up sites with free Wi-Fi. Group camping is also available. From March through December there are also church services provided at the park’s chapel.

Justin Howard points out the best hiking trails for the park.

To get more information about Cheaha Park, and to see the calendar of events, please visit or call 256-488-5111.

Time for Church Decorations, Family Reunions or a Friendly get together. When I was a little girl Decoration day at our Church was a big deal. The men would meet and spread fresh, white sand over the cemetery while the ladies cleaned the church. The ladies would share what food's they were cooking for the dinner on the ground. Us kids would put flowers on all the unmarked graves while messing up the fresh, white sand just being spread.

Simply Fabulous Story by Darlene Bailey  Photo by Kelly Caldwell Everyone had a job. On that Sunday morning the smell of chicken dressing and a few other heavenly orders would wake you from a dead man's sleep! One of those heavenly smells would be Mama's Banana Pudding. Nothing like Mama's Banana Pudding. In memory of my Mama, Gertrude Cunningham Parmer put on your apron and Let's Get Cookin’. I hope you enjoy!! Glass Slipper Events 256.449.2946

Mama’s Banana Pudding 1 c sugar 2 c milk 3 eggs (yolks--save egg whites in separate bowl for topping) 2 T flour 1-2 ripe but firm bananas vanilla wafers

Pour wafers into a 9 x 9 baking dish. Peel and cut banana's into wheel size on top of wafers. Mix sugar, milk, egg yellow's and flour together over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken. Next pour over wafers and bananas. Add 1 T sugar to egg white's and beat on high until thick and fluffy. Spread over pudding and bake on 350, watching carefully until light golden brown.

The Randolph County Animal Shelter Paddling for Paws Cardboard Boat Races raised more than $20,000 for the Randolph County Animal Shelter in its fourth year.

The Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association hosted its annual Kids’ Fishing Derby May 19th. The fish were nibbling that morning and area children got their chance at reeling in the big one!

52 Lake Wedowee Life

Should You Fish for Bedding Bass? Suddenly, the spring spawning season is over. Its summer and its getting hot! As the month of June emerges Lake Wedowee’s Trophy Bass Anglers take on a much different approach towards the advance of fooling their quarry, the largemouth bass. Lake Wedowee’s largemouth bass have been shallow for months. But now spring is over. For the next three to four months of this summer season, these bass anglers know they have an inevitably hot summer of fishing just waiting ahead. The question many may ponder now is; Should they continue to fish shallow, fish deep water or fish at night? The main question most anglers now ponder is; “Should I be fishing during the hot, daytime hours or should I be night fishing?” Considering the summer heat, many anglers will choose the latter of the two. By mid summer it can be 100 degrees at midday in Alabama! Another consideration is, which choice of lures anglers will select. Both to use during the day and when fishing at night. What lure technique is best during the hot, daylight hours when plenty of company is always at hand? Or what lure should they choose to fish with at night? In a much more peaceful setting, with some solitude actually possible lake wide. The later it gets into the night, the better your chances are for fooling a truly big, Lake Wedowee largemouth bass! At dawn, these same big bass are on the prowl and during the late evening hours, they

begin their low-light period of feeding once again. Fishing under the stars, when most recreational vehicles have left the lake, would be the first choice most summertime , “Trophy Bass

Hooked on Lake Wedowee by Reed Montgomery Anglers” would consider for having a really good chance at fooling one of Lake Wedowee’s true, monster size bass. Maybe a bass exceeding ten pounds. The kind of bass “Trophy Bass Anglers” are looking for during the summer months. The kind of bass most anglers never see on end of their line. Some anglers never fish at night. You also have some daylight hours, when you actually plan a night fishing trip, with about a one – two hour opportunity at having a good chance at fooling a really big largemouth bass. One huge bass, that is feeding under low-light conditions during sundown and/or sunup. So as you can see, commitment

to about twelve hours of constant fishing should be included in your summertime game plan. That is, if you consider yourself a “Trophy Bass Angler.“ Do you have what it takes to fish for possibly just one bite, on an all day fishing trip in the hot summer sun, using lures most smaller bass would avoid? Or can you hold up to fishing all night? Using only big, oversized offerings, fishing for at least twelve hours straight from sundown to sun up, with little or no rest or sleep? If not, you can become one this summer season! Here’s how, and the five best lure types for both day and night fishing Lake Wedowee this summer season. For some truly big, largemouth bass… Topwater Lures - Big, noisy topwater lures! My number one choice for big, largemouth bass on Lake Wedowee. Why? Because I’ve seen and caught dozens of huge largemouth bass on topwater lures, both during the day and at night, in the hot summer months on this lake for almost 30 years, since its impoundment in 1983. Heddon’s Zara Super Spooks, black noisy type, clacker-model half-ounce buzz baits, Heddon’s black, broke-back Jitterbug and both solid body, one hook frogs and hollow-bodied, two-hook rubber imitation frogs. They all work very well both during the day and at night on Lake Wedowee, all summer long! Heavy line of 17-20 pound test is suggested with all of these lures. With the buzz bait always add a trailer hook. On the zara super spook change the front and back treble hooks to a # 2 size Gamakatsu

hook. With the broke-back jitterbug you can superglue glass worm rattles to the sides of the lower segment of these jointed-type topwater lures, for that extra enticing noise. Adding rattles to the hollow body of the frog is suggested too! Worms – Big Worms! Whether you fishing during the day or night fish, offering these big largemouth bass a big name sake worm of 10-15 inches in length simulates a lot of slithering summertime meals these big bass feed on. Big Lizards too! Sticking with darker colors during the night and selecting more translucent colors during the day, helps contribute more to the visual appeal of these bass. Adding scents and rattles to these worms may help appeal to their other keen senses of smell and hearing, for some very big and often very picky, summertime bass. * Stealth is very important day or night to expect any degree of success. They bite better if it smells good, tastes good, looks good, and they can home in on it and hear it better. If it has an added noise like worm rattles, that appeals to their hearing and lateral line senses, they are more likely to attack! If these big bass do not know your there, they often let their guard down as well. Fish these over sized worms and lizards on a long 6-7 foot rod, with a big 4/0 to 6/0 size Gamakatsu round bend or offset bend worm hook and always use as heavy a line as possible. There are a lot of rocks and wood cover that can damage lighter line causing it to break, usually at a very inopportune time. Like when a trophy bass is on the line! Heavy test

monofilament line, fluorocarbon line of 20 pound test or braided line in the 30-50 pound test is best for success! * Leave the light stuff at home. Jig Combos - Big Jigs with Over sized Trailers For Big Bass! You may wonder why would I select a jig combo for bottom fishing during the day or night, when I’ve already included plastics like a big worm or lizard in this top five lure line up for summer? Simple. A jig combo is a big bass meal, just like a big worm or lizard! Just like a big plastic worm, jigs and jig combos have been around for years. Both lure types have proven through the test of time, they are big bass lures that work in aiding an angler in fooling a big bass into biting, during any season. Especially the summer months when bass eat a lot of both snakes, lizards and crayfish.. When these big bass are not actively feeding on worms, snakes, eels, lizards and other slithering

meals, they go after crayfish. A much slower and easier to catch meal loaded with nutrition. Jig combos simulate crayfish and to a big ol’ Lake Wedowee monster size largemouth bass, the bigger the crayfish, the better! Select ½ ounce to ¾ ounce jig combos for deeper water situations. Try ¼ ounce to 3/8 ounce jigs if fishing shallow water. The trailer is the big bass appeal. Trophy bass anglers add over sized soft plastics as jig trailers, for that added big bass appeal. Like the crayfish your imitating with your jig combos, the bigger the trailer the better! There are loads of jig trailers to consider. Like anytime, experimenting with several lure trailer choices will help you determine the best jig trailer selection on any particular fishing trip, day or night. An angler, especially a trophy bass angler, should never be afraid of selecting too big of a jig trailer, even the biggest, most outlandish of big jig trailers! If it can be added to the jig…try it! That’s why they call them largemouth bass. In all my forty plus years of fishing Alabama’s lakes, I’ve spent dozens of those years fishing Lake Wedowee since the first year it was opened to the public. I have fished with a lot of anglers and I’ve seen jigs adorned with the biggest of trailers, huge jig combos, that even surprised me when that huge bass hit such a monstrosity! I’ve seen big trophy bass hit jigs adorned with added worms of all sizes, including big lizards, creature baits, beavers, plastic crayfish, twin tailed grubs, plastic shad imitations and oversized chunks of real pork.

Its that visual appeal of a “full course meal” that attracts the bigger bass bites! Spinnerbaits – The Bigger and More Added Flash and Vibration, the Better! Whether you fish during the day or at night, a trophy bass angler always has an oversized spinnerbait tied on a long rod, coupled with heavy line. Why? You may ask. Because through the sheer test of time, spinnerbaits have proven, they can fool a big trophy bass! With Lake Wedowee’s often clear water situation during the summer months, your spinnerbait color and blade selection may vary. Like jigs, spinnerbaits can be adorned with an added plastic trailer or at times they can be fished with none. If fishing deep water during the day, like when dropping or slow rolling spinnerbaits you may want to select heavier, half ounce to one ounce model spinnerbaits and keep the blades on the smaller size, with a

selection of #3 to #5 size silver willow leaf blades. These smaller size blades on a heavier model spinnerbait, are for helping these heavier spinnerbaits fall faster, getting them down deeper faster. Adding a grub or other type of plastic trailer may help slow the lure’s fall, while adding a little bit of extra enticement and an added lure color. If you do not own some of these heavier model spinnerbaits you can make one by adding a pegged bullet weight to your spinnerbait. Simply slid the bullet weight up on the fishing line before you tie on the spinnerbait. Then peg the bullet weight tight to the spinnerbait by breaking off a toothpick in the bullet weight. Adding a half ounce bullet worm weight to a half ounce spinnerbait makes it then a one ounce spinnerbait! During the daylight hours try fishing a 1/2 ounce spinnerbait,

sporting a white skirt with double silver willow leaf blades and an added white grub on 15-17 pound test line. At night I suggest a black and red skirt on a 1/2 ounce spinnerbait with a single #5 to #6 size Colorado blade. Adding a single grub in contrasting colors may entice extra bites from curious bass holding down deep. Heavy line of 17-20 pound test is suggested for night fishing with spinnerbaits. There are a lot of lure hanging trees, stumps, rocks and bluffs and re-tying your spinnerbait often may be needed. Deep Diving Crankbaits (and Swim Baits) OK I’ve added Swim Baits to the Crankbait category because with both lures you just cast them out and reel them in and both lures can be fished either during the day or at night on Lake Wedowee for some big, summertime bass. Yes, crankbaits at night! To many

Lake Wedowee Life 55

anglers, this technique is odd. But if you think about it shad get eaten at night and both crankbaits and swim baits simulate shad and they very much look like a shad when retrieved! There are just some places on Lake Wedowee you just do not cast a crankbait at night and expect to get it back…like standing timber! Swim baits are medium size to big, soft plastic shad imitations rigged on a single hook, either on a jig head or Texas-rigged with a bullet weight and big hook. Or some are hard bodied swim baits, featuring a jointed, segmentedtype body. Swim baits are excellent lure choices for big largemouth bass hanging around the lake’s miles and miles of standing timber, that was left here when the lake was impounded. At night during the summer months a lot of big largemouth bass suspend just beneath the surface of the water, but they may be holding in standing timber that is 50 feet deep or more! Many anglers fail to even cast for these bass. During the day in the summer, constant boat traffic may cause these same bass to hold a little deeper in this standing timber. The use of your electronics will reveal what depth these bass are holding at both during the day and at night.

With both types of lures, big deep diving crankbaits and swim baits (some swim baits are from 6 inches to almost one foot in length), the use of a long 7-8 foot rod is highly suggested. Crankbaits can be coupled with a high speed, wide-spool reel and long rods loaded with medium to heavy monofilament line (or fluorocarbon line), of the 15-20 pound test category, or heavier line, especially at night. If fishing during the daylight hours and you want to get a deep diving crankbait to go deeper, the use of lighter monofilament or fluorocarbon line in the 8-10 pound test category will be needed. Use braided line, only on the swim bait. Long casts are suggested for both fishing with deep diving crankbaits and for getting swim baits long distances! Including very sharp hooks! Experiment with deep diving crankbaits, with various colors, different styles and various types like flat bodies, round bodies and short bodies, verses long-bodied crankbaits. Try crankbaits with rattles and try fishing with some (Like Rapala’s Shad Raps) with no rattles, and always pay close attention to what your crankbait was doing -like how deep it was, or what direction you were retrieving the lure, and in what relation to any

nearby cover the bass revealed -when you do get it to bite! These are just five types of lures for targeting big, trophy bass on Alabama’s youngest, man made impoundment, Lake Wedowee, during the summer season. A lake that will be 30 years young by next year! Maybe you have some of your own! There are smaller offerings that can fool big bass as well! Experiment! Always pre-rig as many rods as possible! Never give up. That next cast you make could entice that big bass of a lifetime! Please practice Catch and Release. Let these bass go to live and fight another day. That’s the only way we will always have trophy bass and trophy bass anglers on Lake Wedowee! Be safe and courteous to other boaters and anglers during the summer season (or any time), on our often very crowded lakes. It’s all ‘our” water. Thanks and Good Fishin’ Reed Montgomery, Owner of Reeds Guide Service (205) 6631504 “Guiding on Lake Wedowee Since its Impoundment in 1983 and Other Alabama Lakes for Over 40 Years. Alabama’s Oldest, Professional, Bass Fishing Only, Guide Service”

Lake Wedowee Life 57

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(Opposite Page, Top left, clockwise) Chance Meinzer, Beth Kramer, Jeana Kirby, Beth Gray, Kippie Marcum, Jacko Bailey, Wayne Hulett, Becky Wilson, James Sears Chris May, Ron Kramer, Andy Gray, Calvin Trammell, Dr. Towers, Paulette Banks chaperoned a Handley Middle School Trip to Washington DC recently and made sure to bring Lake Wedowee Life along; HMS students Nikki Hodges, Destinee Sellers, Ali Pike, Katie Farr, Ashley Banks, Harli Hodges, Annie Towers, Mariah Woody, Kaley Kirby, Raygen Marcum, Reid Bailey, Jacob Farr, Curtis Hulett, Tristan Meinzer, Seth May, Jacob Sears, John Simons, Gabriel Gates, Justin Higgins, Bryant Gray, Josh Everett, Jordan Trammell all take a break with LWL at Mt. Vernon. Beau Causey and Marshall Smith brought LWL to Battleship Park in front of the USS Alabama in Mobile;

Helen and Tom Judd brought LWL to Budapest, Hungary; Natalie Petersen hangs with LWL poolside in Cancun, Mexico for spring break; Roger Ledford and Joe Wilkerson brought LWL Colorado; Melissa Hill, Keishia Foster, Robin Hodges, Vickie Cummings, April Moore, Jerri Gabriel, Shannon Anthony, April Anthony, Kelly Caldwell, Kesa Johnston Dunn, Shannan Platzek, Bubba Hudson and Stephen Fields all completed Mud Mania in Auburn with LWL. Sammy Huey visited New Orleans with LWL. (This Page) Mary Lee Caldwell, Vickie Cummings, Katie Hammond, Ann Hammond, Kelly Caldwell, Kim Ragle, Amanda Pike, Kesa Johnston Dunn, Shannan Platzek and Jenny Adams threw some color on LWL at the Atlanta Color Run. Linda and Barry Smith brought LWL to Singapore; Brian Wells brought LWL to St. Barth.

If you travel, be sure to take Lake Wedowee Life along with you. Take a picture at a landmark and send it back to us at Please be sure to tell us where you are in the photo and who is with you!! Thanks and happy travels!

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Local Growers open Gerson’s Garden Gerson's One of Garden the newalso ofest busifers a litnesses in tle more Randolph than just County fresh wants to fruit and supply vegetathe area bles. with "We have fresh proan eclecduce at tic mix of reasonprodable ucts," prices. Siri said. Ger"And, we son's will conGarden stantly Produce change and things Country Bill and Siri Wilkinson moved from Delaware in November of 2011 to be closer to because Store, lohis family. The couple opened Gerson’s Garden Produce and Country Store in May. we are cated at trying to 908 Main find the right mix." Street in Downtown Some of the inventory Roanoke, is owned at the moment includes by Bill and Siri Wilvintage Pyrex mixing kinson and opened in bowls, handmade early May. aprons, local art as well "Our original plan as local honey. was to open a pro"We have a store that duce stand closer to will constantly evolve our house," Siri said. depending on the sea"But, we had this sons and our other incommercial storeventory will change as front and we believe well," Siri said. in the importance of The couple moved to revitalizing downarea six months ago but Bill is town so this made much more not a newcomer to East Alasense." By Kelly Caldwell bama. Gerson's Garden, named after "I grew up in Clay County Bill's grandfather, offers a variuntil my parents and I moved to and we are making contact with ety of produce and eventually Delaware when I was in sixth will offer locally grown produce our local farmers to add to our grade," he said. "They moved inventory," Bill said. "And, then from area farmers including the back a while ago and honestly I we also supplement our stock Wilkinson's own garden. thought I never would come with produce from the Atlanta "As our vegetables come in, back. But, I guess we all have to Farmer's Market." we will offer them in the store

News to Know

60 Lake Wedowee Life

eat a little crow sometimes." The Wilkinsons' began talking in earnest about moving to Alabama in December of 2010 and things fell into place. They bought their commercial building (located across the street from First Baptist Church) in August 2011 and this store is only the beginning of their plans for the space.

duce stand with the benefit of air conditioning." Gerson’s Garden is open Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday mornings 9 a.m. un"We are excited about being business owners in Downtown Roanoke," Bill said. "We want to do our part here and what better way to do that than open a pro-

til noon. Produce changes with the season call 334.863.7679 to ensure availability.

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Local Man Recreates Family History 15 years ago, Joe Curry and his late wife Diana were doing some family research in Green Turtle Cay Bahamas. Mr. Curry, a Key West native, has ancestry that ties back to the Bahamas. While he was at the Albert Lowe Museum he saw a model schooner and original photograph of a well known boat “The Carpenter’s Revenge” on display. This schooner belonged to his sixth great grandfather Gideon Lowe. “My great grandfather built it, captained it, and sailed all over the Caribbean; Cuba, Florida, Bahamas and West Indies delivering goods.” Curry took a photo of the schooner and went home with the mindset to build. 150 hours and five to six months later, he completed his first ever model schooner. “I drew the blueprints myself. I have never had an interest in building models of any kind, so this was all very new to me.” “I have sold a few but I get very at-

Joe Curry, a Key West Conch, holds his very first model of his Great Grandfather’s schooner “The Carpenter’s Revenge.” tached to them. My daughter has 3, my brother has one, and I have 6 here.” One of those include a schooner he built for his son. “They do float. I’ve never floated one personally, but I have one here that I built for my son. He was in Hurricane Katrina, and had went home to check on things. In knee deep water, he lost everything, but this boat was floating in the middle of the living room. I don’t build them to float, but I’m glad this one did.” He also has built a model of Schooner Western

News to Know by Amanda Causey

This boat was the only thing that survived in his son’s home after Hurricane Katrina.

Union. This schooner was the last that was built in Key West back in 1939, also the year that Joe was born. This ship repaired and maintained undersea telegraph cable throughout Key West,

Cuba and the Caribbean, and has only recently been named a Florida State Monument that will be converted in to a maritime museum. After losing his wife to a brutal battle with cancer, Mr. Curry had lost interest in building but has recently started again. “I’m like an artist or author; you kinda have to be in the mood to build. This is the first one I have started in quite a few years.” “I just look at the pictures, draw them to scale and build them.” He is currently working on a small sailboat. He uses balsa wood and builds each part by hand. His tools are what some

would call vintage but those tie him back to his ancestry of how things were not built with power tools…only by man power. Mr. Curry, a retired educator, has written a how-to guide to building schooners. “After I wrote the book, I went back and built a model step by step, so I know that whatever experience you have you will be able to follow this book and build a schooner with no problem.” Building a Model Schooner (Using Balsa Wood) is available for purchase and has many photos and tips perfect for beginners.

Mr. Curry works on a sailboat, his first model in several years.

If you would like to contact Joe Curry please email him at

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64 Lake Wedowee Life

Index of Advertisers 4th of July Boat Parade


Mac McKinney Properties


Alabama 100.7


Main Street Animal Hospital


A & E Metal


Norton's Floor Covering


Affordable Tire & Repair


Perryland Foods


Alabama Power


Randolph County Cooperative


Art on Median


RE/MAX Lakefront Grady & Linda Stone


Bank of Wedowee


RE/MAX Lakefront, Caldwell Team


Bledsoe Painting


REMAX Lakefront


Brian Morris


Scott Hewitt, Attorney at Law


Chad Lee, Attorney At Law


Sheppard's Jewelry


Charles Thompson Construction


SmallTown Bank


Clay County Automotive


Southern Restoration


Corson Tree Service


Southern Union State Community College


D & S Marine


State Farm Insurance


Docks Plus More


Steele Chiropractic


Dr. Michael Edwards


Summer Sizzle


Fiberglass Unlimited


Summit Storage


Fishing Alabama


Sunset Point


H& M Drugs


Superior Gas


Halls Propane


Tallapoosa River Electric Coop


Hill Top Store


W & M Grocery


Kesa Johnston Dunn, Attorney at Law


Wedowee Building Supply


Lakeview Auto Service


Wedowee Lake and Lands


Lake Wedowee Construction


Wedowee Lake and Lands, Gene and Ramonda

Lake Wedowee Property Owners




Lake Wedowee Rentals


Wedowee Marine


Lake Wedowee Summer Jam


Williamsburg Manor


Lakeside Grill


* More than 80 surveys were returned to Lake Wedowee Life

Lake Wedowee Life June July 2012  
Lake Wedowee Life June July 2012  

.Lake Wedowee Life is a bi-monthly lifestyle magazine dedicated to life on Lake Wedowee. We promote many events on the lake and surrounding...