The Fabulous Baker Boys More than a picture perfect life...
August/September 2008 • www.LakeWedoweeLife.com •
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4 Lake Wedowee Life
Vol. 1 No. 4
The Fabulous Baker Boys: Living more than the picture perfect life
Special this Month
13. The Creative Side: Momma’s Candles pour locally in Lineville 26. How it All Begin: Lake Wedowee’s first developer shares his thoughts 28. Family re-vitalizes Lakeside: Lakeside Marina celebrates re-opening 34. Will’s Way: Turning a tragedy into a pathway for life 38. Catfishing Preacher: Zenus Windsor shows a unique way to fish 50. Bird’s Eye View: Rodney Walker takes LWL on helicopter ride over lake 58. Movie Premiere: The Historic Ashland Theatre premieres Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy
7. Enjoy Life! - Letter from the Editor 8. Beyond the Lake 17. Simply Fabulous 43. Southern Living House Plan 46. Readers’ Photos 53. Hooked on Lake Wedowee 60. Wedowee Currents 66. Redneck Adventures
Contributing writers Darlene Bailey, Reed Montgomery and Skeeter Lake Wedowee Life 5
On the Cover This picture of Gavin and Jake Baker was taken Fourth of July week on Lake Wedowee after 45 minute wakeboard workout. To read more about Gavin and Jake see page 20.
Editor KELLY CALDWELL firstname.lastname@example.org (256) 276-7959
Advertising Sales LAVOY CALDWELL email@example.com (334) 863-0737
BROOKE TROUT firstname.lastname@example.org (256) 750-3283
Lake Wedowee Life 18285 Highway 431 Wedowee, AL 36278
Even Lake Wedowee Life
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. Distribution locations available by request. Paid mail subscriptions are available for $12 a year.
Getting the perfect shot takes heart
ome pictures are easy if you are in the right place at the right time. But, for this issue of the magazine it took a little more work to get some of the photographs you wil see on the following pages. First, I had to follow a trail down to what seemed like the center of the earth and experience complete and total darkness at Desoto Caverns. It was eye-opening considering I couldn’t tell I had opened my eyes because it was pitch black down there for a minute. Then the fishing expedition with Zenus Windsor. It was entertaining to say the least and I am the only one that went on the journey that managed to stay dry. I had never witnessed this form of fishing and I still don’t think I will try it because I witnessed enough to know better. Those fish will bite you, and I prefer to keep all my fingers intact so I can create this magazine for all of you! Last but not least is the helicopter ride over Lake Wedowee. I can’t put into words how truly beautiful this lake is from that perspective. We even had boaters waving at us as we flew over. Rodney Walker kept me safe while I was up in the air and returned me safely to the ground in one piece and we even flew with the doors off the helicopter. It was an experience I wouldn’t have had if it were not for the magazine and I have to say it will be one I remember for a very long time! As always, if you have suggestions for the magazine be sure to email me. The readers’ photos on pages 46-47 prove our readers matter to us, and it takes us all to keep Lake Wedowee Life growing!
Enjoy Life! Kelly Caldwell
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Discover the wonder of Desoto DeSoto Caverns Park in Childersburg, is Alabama's Big Cave and More! One of the most beautiful, and historic show caves in the United States, DeSoto Caverns features an awesome sound, light & water show in the Great Onyx Cathedral room, which is larger than a football field, higher than a 12-story building and full of onyx stalagmite and stalactite formations.
Beyond the Lake Photos by Kelly Caldwell Learn of the history about the prehistoric Indians that lived and died in the caverns, Confederate soldiers that mined gunpowder, early Indian traders that visited, and moonshine making during
Pieces of History: Desoto Caverns located in Childersburg is more than a show cave, it offers fun for the whole family with varying attractions at the park.
Fun for all: Desoto Caverns is open year round and offers rides you donâ€™t see at most parks. It is a great way to spend a day with the family. You can take the tour of the cave then participate in the 24 outside attractions like paddle boats or have a water balloon battle with friends. The park also has concession stands and a gift shop featuring homemade fudge.
prohibition times. Open year-round with a cave temperature of 60 degrees, the park offers campgrounds, gift shop, scenic picnic area and pavilions near waterfalls, streams and ponds. In addition to the hour long guided tours through the cave, you can spend the day playing on the 24 outside attractions which include: DeSoto's Lost Trail Maze, Gemstone Panning, Crystal Find, Cave Crawl Box, Cave Wall Climb, Bow & Arrow Shoot, Wacky Water Golf, Water Dodge, Pedal Go-Karts, Squirt Gun Maze, Happy's Hoops, Desoto's Park Express, Paddle Boats, Roller Racers, Twin Spin, Rock & Roll, & Water Balloon Battle. During every tour, you will experience the Sound, Light, and Water Show. The show shown most of the year is the Creation Show which is based on the book of Genesis. The show changes throughout the year to include the Independence Day Light Show, The Thanksgiving Show, and the Christmas Show. This year brought many changes at the Park. In early 2008, the caverns underwent a major relighting project. The park hired a cave lighting expert from Tennessee to Lake Wedowee Life 9
relight all areas of the cave. The project took three months, and focused more on artistic lighting of the cave formations. "The cave has a totally different appearance now", says park President Tim Lacy, "Even if you've seen the cave before, you've never seen it like this." In addition to the lights, two reflection pools in the caverns were restored. Outside of the caverns, four new attractions were added this year including Happy's Slip N Slide, DeSoto's Disc Golf Course, Kids Krazy Kars, and Happy's Hoppin Carousel. The Park offers attractions for all ages. Also, the Park has been re-landscaped and a butterfly garden has been added. There is also a new concession stand that serves hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and frozen lemonade. Desoto Caverns is convenient to Lake Wedowee located on U.S. Highway 280 in Childersburg. For directions visit www.desotocaverns.com or call 800-933-CAVE (2283).
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Panning for Gold?: One of the attractions at the park allows you to pan for gems and gold like the miners did.
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hat began as a challenge to Lineville’s Scott Tidwell a little more than a year ago has grown into a profitable home-based business.
The Creative Side Story and Photos By Kelly Caldwell “My wife had been selling candles for this other company and I thought that I could make better ones,” he said. “I was home because of an injury from the railroad and I needed something to do with my time.” Scott began researching candle making on the internet and quickly discovered it was harder than it looked. “There are a lot of start up costs
associated with just being able to test the candles,” he said. “Before I got the recipe just right, my wife Angie was not too happy with me.” But, thanks to their 4-year-old son, the name of the candles became evident. “My youngest always likes for me to play with him but back then I was busy testing these candles and couldn’t,” Scott said. “But, Caleb didn’t really understand so he asked me if I was making Momma’s Candles and the name stuck.” Scott and Angie have been selling the pure Soy Candles ever since. “Actually the first candle I made was a paraffin wax candle and I still have it,” he said. “But, paraffin does not hold the scent nearly as well as the soy and the soy is healthier for you.” There are many reasons the Tidwells like using soy wax more than 14 Lake Wedowee Life
Family Business: Scott Tidwell (left) created Momma’s Candles after watching his wife sell candles from home for many years. Tidwell also created the waxdipped critters (above) for people loving the scent of candles but can not have open flames in their home.
paraffin but one of the most important is that the candles are non-toxic and it supports the United States economy. “Soy wax is a 100 percent vegetable by-product while paraffin is a petroleum by-product,” he said. “That means that soy is a renewable resource and it is grown on American soil. So we are creating a product that helps our farmers.” While soy candles are the number one seller for the Tidwells, they also have Wax-Dipped Critters which have become highly popular. “We started those because there are some places like nursing homes, hospital rooms and dorm rooms that don’t allow open flames,” Angie said. “So the critters are a way to have the scent of the candles without actually burning anything. “The critters come in all scents the candles do and if the scent begins to fade all you have to do is warm it up with a hair-dryer.” The locally poured candles come in a variety of scents and colors and Momma’s Candles even offers fund-raising programs. “We had a Lineville cheerleader come to us wanting to do a fundraiser for herself,” Angie said. “We came up with a Red Hot Cinnamon scented Red and Black Candle and called it ‘You Don’t Want No Redn-Black’ because that was one of the popular cheers.” The family also sells at flea markets around the area like Santuck and Mountain Top as well as through their website www.mommascandles.com
Scents for everyone: Momma’s Candles come in a variety of scents, colors and sizes to attract the masses (top left). The company also has candle melts and fragrance oil. The process of pouring a candle (top right, above) is a multi-step procedure depending on color and fragrance options. For layered candles, the process must be repeated after the first layer sets. The wicks also must be secured in the center to ensure proper burning. Lake Wedowee Life 15
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Sippin Southern Hospitality Whew! This Summer heat is a doozie! Appetites seem to disappear during this time of year and I am always searching for something good and cold when I do have my appetite.
Simply Fabulous Story by Darlene Bailey Photos by Kelly Caldwell Summer is also a time when my husband and I (along with my daughter and her husband) move our year-long Rook game to the screen porch on the back of my house. I don't know about you but I can't play cards without snacking. I love to find or create new delicious recipes for different beverages because you know even all the way back to the days of Scarlot O'Hara we Southern women just have to offer our company something. I have several refreshing drinks to share with you and maybe you'll find at least one that your taste buds will enjoy. Cheers! Lemonade Tea: Make your tea
the usual way but add a couple table spoons of Country Time Lemonade mix. You will never drink regular tea again! Orange Sherbet Shake: In a blender put several spoons full of Orange Sherbert(lime is good too) Add 7-up a little at a time and blend until you get the thickness you like. Mocha Coffee: In a blender put 1 cup of milk(whole or skim) Add
2T of sugar, 1t of instant coffee and several ice cubes. Blend well. For looks, drizzle down the inside of the glass with chocolate syrup. Then pour coffee mix into glass and top with cool-whip. Before drinking stir chocolate and coolwhip into coffee mix. Darlene Bailey is the owner of Glass Slipper Events. For your party planning needs give her a call at (256) 449-2946. Lake Wedowee Life 17
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More than a picture perfect life Baker brothers live full life with cystic fibrosis By watching Gavin and Jake Baker wakeboard on Lake Wedowee, you would think the brothers are in picture perfect health even sharing the typical sibling rivalry of one-upmanship. But, by spending a day with them you would soon discover what is just beneath the surface. The Baker brothers have Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that causes respiratory problems as well as impaired nutrition and a host of other things.
Story by Kelly Caldwell Photos by Pam Baker and Kelly Caldwell Cystic Fibrosis is genetic and effects more than 30,000 people in America, and while that number may be small, the number of carriers is staggering. “Actually one in 25 people have the gene for CF,” Jon, their father, said. “But it is recessive and it takes both parents to have the gene and then it is still only a 25 percent chance the child will have CF.” However, this sometimes debilitating disease does not rule their lives, it just plays a part in it. “All of our doctors say they are the healthiest cystic fibrosis patients they have ever seen,” Pam, their mother, said. “And, they are the least medicated.” 20 Lake Wedowee Life
Always active: Gavin (above, right) and Jake Baker (above, left) have lived with cystic fibrosis for nine and six years, respectively. Their parents Jon and Pam are very proactive with their treatments and believe keeping active is the way to go. They even use exercise as a method of punishment, which Pam says the boys like because they can do more sit-ups and push-ups than anyone else their age. Sabrina, middle, is their younger sister.
Gavin and Jake do all things typical children do: they play sports, wakeboard and act like your average boys. “Years ago, the typical CF person was someone who was very thin, weak looking and got out of breath by going up a flight of stairs,” Jon said. “Now because of the great strides made, my typical CF person looks a lot more like Gavin and Jake.” Gavin can run a mile in under 10 minutes and both boys spend a lot of time on their wakeboards, a love which developed out of spending time on Lake Wedowee. “By the time Gavin was 6, he could wakeboard, water ski, wake surf, snowboard and snow ski,” Pam said. “He really loves the water and we made him learn how to ski before he could wakeboard because we wanted him to know the foundation of the sport.” Gavin first began competing in wakeboard competitions in 2006 and received first place in a tournament last year. “That first tournament was interesting,” Jon said. “I didn’t know what I was doing, we didn’t even have a wakeboard boat.” Lake Wedowee Life 21
Gavin scratched on his first tournament but since then has taken first or second place in all but one. “He competed in eight tournaments last year and this year we are working to qualify for nationals. If he sticks the routines he has a shot,” Jon said. Jake plays soccer, basketball, baseball as well as snow skiing and skateboarding. “Of course, he loves all the things that kids do like Gavin,” Jon said. “Jake also loves drama classes “Gavin gave and being cent e r s t a g e i n us purpose, almost anybut having thing he two children does.” Wh il e th e with CF boys are acdoesn’t double tive, Cystic Fibrosis is al- your purpose. ways on their We couldn’t p a r e n t s minds. Gavin, understand born in 1999, the reason for started showJake having ing symptoms this, too ” of the disease when he was Jon Baker o n l y s i x m o n th s ol d , but it wasn’t until much later the Bakers discovered it was CF. “We went to every doctor under the sun,” Pam said. “ It took us two years to find out it was CF.” He was checked for immune deficiency, asthma, allergies and sinus problems. Gastrointestinal tests were done and tubes were put in his ears. “They were all looking at their piece of the puzzle instead of looking at the overall picture,” 22 Lake Wedowee Life
Pam said. When Gavin was 2 and a half years old, Pam took him to the Ear Nose and Throat doctor and it was discovered Gavin had a nasal polyp. “The doctor’s face went white as a sheet,” Pam said. “(Looking back) By the look on his face, he knew it was something bad , but he couldn���t put his fingertip on it.” Through WebMD, Pam researched nasal polyps and found
her answer. “It said they were vary rare in children under 16 and it was usually a symptom of CF,” she recalled. “So I looked that up and there were all of Gavin’s symptoms.” Pam called all of Gavin’s doctors the next day every doctor told her the same thing, that Gavin had not been tested for cystic fibrosis. “The GI doctor even said he wasn’t even a candidate for it because it was a lung thing,” Pam
Balancing act: Gavin and Jake must keep their lungs strong as well as take enzyme tablets to stay healthy. The vest they wear helps break up the mucous in their lungs which is one of the side effects of the disease. said. It was confirmed two weeks later and to Pam it was somewhat of a relief. “It was almost a relief because we were looking for something for two years,” she said. “It was not what we wanted, but we were relieved at the same time.” However, it was harder for Jon to accept his firstborn’s fate. “Our whole life changed,” he said. “When you first hear about CF, you don’t know what to expect and then you start reading on the internet and all that stuff is bad. And, it completely changes everything you expected in life.” Once the Bakers began coping with the diagnosis, they went to the CF Foundation to ask how they could help, however, Pam was already pregnant with Jake
and a few weeks later, through an amniocentesis discovered Jake had the disease as well. “Gavin gave us purpose,” Jon said. “But, having two children with CF doesn’t double your purpose. We couldn’t understand the
reason for Jake having this too.” “I had a hard time adjusting to that and when Jake was born, he was very sick,” Pam said. “He was one of those CF kids you read about back then. “He was taking breathing treatments four times a day and hospitalized three times that first year.” Now, six years later, through the diligence of their parents Gavin and Jake are in the 85 to 90 percent range for height and weight. “One of the biggest breakthroughs was realizing keeping the lungs healthy and active was a good thing,” Jon said. “You need as much exercise as you can get with CF. The people in their 40s, 50s and 60s with CF are extremely active. They are constantly exercising to keep their lungs strong.” Lake Wedowee Life 23
The Bakers also are highly active with cystic fibrosis organizations like the foundation, GREAT STRIDES and the Reaching Out Foundation. “We are proactive people and want to do what we can to help,” Jon said. Two months after Gavin was diagnosed the family participated in GREAT STRIDES, the number one fundraising event for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “We had 50 or 60 walkers and raised like $33,000 and was the highest fund raising team in Atlanta,” Jon said. “We realized this was something we could do. We
weren’t scientists, but we could raise money and we brought it up to the next level.” Since that first walk, the Bakers group the “Baker Boys Battalion” has raised more than $600,000 and have teams across the United States and Canada. “CF is like a black cloud following us and we don’t know when it will open up, but we know it will,” Jon said. “You never get away from CF. But, the lake has been amazing for us. It has been our escape.” As the old saying goes every dark cloud has a silver lining and being able to raise funds for re-
search in hopes of one day finding a cure is the Bakers. “We have been able to meet people and have relationships that we would have never had before,” Jon said. “And, having that cloud always behind you makes you appreciate those sunny days even more.” To learn more about The Baker Boys go to www.bakerboysbattalion.com or to donate go to http:// www.cff.org/great_strides/ dsp_donationPage.cfm? registeringwalkid=5267&idUser=2197.
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Visit your Clay County Chamber of Commerce on the world wide web at
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Developer remembers early days This is the first of a multi-part series on how Lake Wedowee has evolved into what it is today. In future issues, Lake Weowee Life will reach out to other pioneers around Lake Wedowee that have seen the transformation of this area. Taking chances is something Burlin Meadows has been doing for most of his life and if it wasn’t for him, Lake Wedowee might not be what it is today. Since the water backed up in 1982, Meadows has been a face of Lake Wedowee. “I opened Lakeside on Thanksgiving Day 1982,” he said. “And, the lake had just filled.”
How it all began Story and Photos by Kelly Caldwell Meadows also developed more than 10 subdivisions either by himself or with partners including the first subdivision known as Lakeview Estates. The first lots for sale on the lake ranged from $5,000 to $22,000 and it was slow to start. “It was pretty rough if you want to know the truth,” Meadows said. “In 1981 and 1982, I owed lots of money and my friend Jimmy Carter was in office and interest rates were 22 percent. Try tacking that on $212,000. The interest was $46,000 a year. Try that.” He stuck with it and became the developing pioneer for Lake Wedowee having his hand in subdivisions like Oak Hill, Autumn Retreat and Meyer’s Cove to name a few and he still remembers his first sale even if it is bittersweet. 26 Lake Wedowee Life
“This lady came to me and wanted to know the price of lots,” Meadows said. “I told her it started at $5,000 for the “I opened off waterfront lots and Lakeside on $12,000 for the Thanksgiving waterfront lots.” Day 1982, She picked and the lake her lot, but had just thought he had told her the filled.” price was $5,000 for the Burlin Meadows waterfront lot she chose. “I never have been a person that someone could say that I backed out on my word, so I let her have it for $5,000,” he said. “But, I told her, if she ever wanted
to sell it, I would like to buy it back. I haven’t owned that lot since and she has sold it. “So the first lot I ever sold on Lake Wedowee was for $5,000 and that lot would probably be worth $305,000 now.” Meadows learned a lesson that day and never repeated the mistake. “You have to live and learn,” he said. “That lady wasn’t my kind of person. She was wanting something for nothing and she got it.” As the lake was filling up with water, Meadows saw the potential of the body of water that is now known as Lake Wedowee. “The people who sit back and wait to see what happens will miss the opportunity” he said. “I remember sitting at the courthouse just having give $212,000 for 300 something acres and a good friend of mine tapped me on the shoulder
Early Lake Wedowee: This is how Lakeside looked in the early 1980s when Burlin Meadows owned it. Meadows was one of the first developers on Lake Wedowee and Lakeview Estates on U.S. Highway 431 was his first subdivision. and said this was the one time that I was going to lose my (ass). “That was mighty encouraging when you were borrowing every dime of the money, but then before he had a chance to pass away, he told me he decided he was wrong and that I was going to make it.” While Meadows was a developer in the infancy of the lake, he still sees some of the same problems he dealt with years ago. “To me, Lake Wedowee has done tremendous things for Randolph County, and then I get to talking to the county officials and they try to make me believe the lake has never don anything for the county,” he said. “I am trying to tell you what I have had to face.” Meadows gave the example of the property he bought for $212,000 back in the early 80s. The property taxes according to him were about $200.
“It would be interesting to see what the property taxes were on it just 10 years ago,” Meadows said. “It is a crying shame… to live in dreamland like that. I was born and raised in Randolph County, but I have had some things in other places and it will make you sick at what can happen in other places, but can’t happen here.” Another thing that hasn’t changed in 25 years is where the buyers are. “Even back then Georgia people were the ones buying property,” Meadows said. “No body around Wedowee wanted a lake lot. I remember this little old lady in a wheel chair saying she didn’t know why anyone would want a lake lot. Well, I told her I didn’t see why they wouldn’t. “But, I can tell you right now that if I had to wait on Randolph County to consume all the lake lots I had for sale, I would still
be selling lake lots.” With the 22 percent interest rate, financing was difficult to find back in the early 80s and Meadows made a decision to offer owner financing. “Jimmy Carter slowed it down,” he said. “If I wasn’t doing my own financing, I wouldn’t have sold half of what I did. The banks weren’t that friendly on loans for lake property back then either. That’s one thing that has changed..” Meadows took calculated risks in the early days of Lake Wedowee, but he says he wouldn’t trade it for anything. “I love the lake most certainly,” he said. “I wouldn’t take nothing in the world for being a part of it. It hasn’t done what I would like for it too, but it probably will one day. I would like to see it reach its peak and it hasn’t reached it yet by any means.” Lake Wedowee Life 27
New family revitalizes Lakeside Being in the right place at the right time has its advantages. And, that’s just how a family of lawyers became the owners of Lakeside Market and Grill. “It started last year, when I was representing David Bartlett,” John Tinney said. “He was trying to get wet slips at Lakeside and was working with Alabama Power Company on the permits.”
Lake Wedowee Life Story and Photos by Kelly Caldwell Through the process, Bartlett became frustrated and the idea of selling the business that has been on Lake Wedowee since the early 80s came to the forefront of his mind. “That’s really how we ended up getting this place,” Tinney said. “He became frustrated with the process and he decided he wanted to sell.” But, it was not as simple as John buying the property, he had bigger plans. “Mom and dad always loved to camp,” Kate Tinney-Albright said. “We went in a camper all over the United States growing up so that was one of the things my dad got excited about.” John called a family meeting to discuss the options with his children and their spouses. “He told us ‘Mom and I might like to do something like this on our own, but we wanted to share this with the family,’” Kate said. “We decided this was something we could do that would 28 Lake Wedowee Life
All in the family: When faced with an opportunity John Tinney decided to call a family meeting. It was decided by the family to buy Lakeside in 2007. Members of the family include John and Cecilia Tinney; Claire, Darrell Grayson, Hogan and Hendon Jones; Kate, Chris, Ava and Griffin Albright and Clay, Melanie and Abe Tinney.
New and improved: When the Tinneys’ took over Lakeside, they quickly decided improvements were needed. Demolition began in January 2008 and the store re-opened for business Fourth of July weekend. Pay at the pump was added as well as a new logo and merchandise for the store. Lakeside Market and Grill is open seven days a week and boat storage along with camper sites are available. make a little money and be a fun family project.” The transition began in 2007 when Claire Tinney-Jones, Kate Tinney-Albright along with their spouses Darrell and Chris became part owners of Lakeside with their parents John and Cecilia Tinney. The property included campgrounds, boat storage and a convenience store. At the next family meeting another decision was made. “Convenience stores usually have a lifespan of about 25 years and it was approaching that mark,” Darrell Jones said. “And, we just thought it was best to start over.” In January, the old Lakeside building was demolished and plans began taking shape for the new and improved version, which opened July 4th weekend. The Tinney clan took motivation from several different places they have visited over the years with one main goal in mind. “We thought about what we liked about different convenience stores and we used mom as a model,” Kate said. “She is the most discerning customer out of all us.” The most important thing was cleanliness and they wanted a rustic feel. “We wanted this store to be something Randolph County could be proud to visit,” John said. “I felt like the site had a Lake Wedowee Life 29
tremendous amount of potential and wasn’t being utilized completely before.” According to John the new store is about 1,000 square feet larger than the original and has an open floor plan that is more a long the lines of modern stores. Along with the convenience store side of the business, the building also houses a restaurant. “Almost 20 years ago, I was in court in Opelika and discovered a little restaurant beside the courthouse called Jim Bob’s Chicken Fingers,” John said. “I thought it was the best food and when we decided to tear down the original building, I knew that I wanted to have Jim Bob’s food here.” Jim Bob’s Chicken Fingers doesn’t sell franchises just yet, but John was determined. “I wanted to buy his knowhow,” he said. “I wanted the recipes and at first he didn’t agree to it. But, I was a little more convincing and the owner finally agreed.” The restaurant is separated from the rest of the store by waist-high wainscoting and a divider in the ceiling. The lighting and ceiling in the dining area are also different from the rest of the store. “For me I like a good project and this was a great one,” John said. “The fun part for me was planning all of it.” John was his own general contractor and one of his favorite finishing touches was the wainscoting. “The paneling came out of 125-year-old house in Woodland,” he said. “It is heart of pine and you don’t find that 30 Lake Wedowee Life
Family Friendly: John and Cecilia Tinney selected all of the décor in the restaurant and even had the wood paneling in the dining area installed from a 125-year-old house in Woodland.
anymore. I think it is kind of neat to have some Randolph County history in the restaurant.” There are also family touches on the property. The first order of business for the Tinneys was to pay tribute to Orville A. Tinney, John’s father. “The first thing that we did and have done with all the businesses we have opened with the exception of the law office (in downtown Roanoke), was erect a flag pole,” John said. “That is in honor of my dad. He fought in World War II and he had a lot of war stories.” Lakeside Market and Grill has been back in business for a month and it continues to be a work in progress. “The store was just the beginning,” John said. “We are going to improve what is here. We are adding more campsites, have completely remodeled the bathhouses and we want to improve the playground area.” The Tinneys have had ties to Wedowee for many years, having a lake home since the water was backed up and Cecilia even lived here as a child. “We have always been part of Wedowee,” she said. “I lived here when my father (Ralph Gunn) was the sheriff and I had family in the Ophelia community.” Back then, Tinney and her family would visit her Hendon relatives by riding a ferry to cross the Tallapoosa River. “We love Randolph County and we want this place to be something we are all proud of,” she said. Lake Wedowee Life 31
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It is the mission of Willâ€™s Way to aide in providing a secure, spiritual and successful pathway for healing after tragedy or crisis.
The vision of Willâ€™s Way is a retreat center that honors God by loving people in their time of crisis and tragedy by providing an atmosphere conducive to healing and recovery.
Turning tragedy into a pathway for life
Story by Kelly Caldwell Photos by Re Holliday and Kelly Caldwell
hen a young person dies suddenly, the grief his family and friends experience is intense, but it is more common than you may think. Re Holliday experienced that grief first hand in July of 2007 when her son William S. Holliday died in an automobile accident when he was only 16 years old. Will, as his friends knew him, was a happy-go-lucky 16 year old. He loved the outdoors and was very creative. “Of course like all mamas, I thought he was perfect,” Re said. “He could take anything apart and put it back together. He rebuilt a Jeep Renegade with a different kind of motor and people said it couldn’t be done because of the different motor mounts. But, he said he could do it and he did.” When he was 14, William bought an ocean going sea vessel because he wanted a boat and worked all summer to save $750. “I was thinking he wanted to buy a small boat and put it in the lake out here,” Re remembered. “But, we get to the marina in Atlanta to look at the boat he found on the internet. (And, see something entirely different.)” The boat had an asking price of $3,500 and was a ship. It had living quarters and a
shower. “So he meets with this guy and starts jewin’ with the owner,” Re said. “The guy was so impressed with him that he sold it to William for $750.” William had planned on taking his senior class to the Bahamas for their graduation trip, but that won’t happen. William died in a car accident July 16, 2007, a day his mother will remember for the rest of her life. “We had a wedding coming up and (William and his cousin) wanted to goof off and have fun at the lake,” she said. “I was working in the yard and watched him swim.” “The day we picked out William’s casket was the day that we were supposed to trade in his truck,” Re said. After the accident Re held onto a conversation William had with her a few weeks before he died when he told her he wasn’t afraid of death. “He said Heaven is like closing your eyes and all your dreams coming true.” she said. William’s death affected Re in ways she couldn’t have imagined and after a few weeks she sought out counseling. “Sherry and Jimmy Sprayberry
Lasting Legacy: Re Holliday lost her son William July 16, 2007 in a car accident in Randolph County. She searched for a way to cope with the loss and created Will’s Way to help other families and children dealing with crisis in his memory. William (above) would have been 17 in January. His classmates from Chambers Academy (top) released balloons with messages written on them to celebrate his birthday this year.
Wedowee is a place for are the reason I started seeking out help,” she said. “It families in crisis to eswas a lot harder than I excape their pain and get help. It is a non-profit pected. It helped but it was501c3 organization that n’t what I was wanting.” The Sprayberry’s had lost celebrates it’s first year their son, Lee, in a car acciin August. dent almost a year before “We are helping already,” Re said. “We and found The Compassionhave church groups that ate Friends group that helps parents dealing with the volunteer out here and grief of losing a child. Re we have movie nights for foster children. tried the support group Will’s Way is for them. along with the Amelia Center in Birmingham but it just William was a happy didn’t feel right to her. beautiful child and I just want to help kids that “They do a great job, but it wasn’t for me,” she said. are hurting to be happy “I was confined in a room and know they are with people I didn’t know beautiful.” and that wasn’t what I was Will’s Way has fundneeding. raisers throughout the “I found out that if I was year including an Easter outside, I felt better. After Egg Hunt and concerts talking to several people, I at the amphitheater and found there wasn’t really any- Streets with a meaning: The roads at Will’s Way are the money raised goes to thing out there to help griev- named for family and friends of William Holliday’s. His fund future projects like sister Maegan, above, and his mom Re attach the sign nam- cabins and an Angel Hall ing people move forward.” The idea of Will’s Way was ing a road after her. meeting facility. born out of a mission trip to “Will’s Way is in memory Tennessee a month prior to of William, but it is not the accident. ters) and help the people in our just about him,” Re said. “There “There were 34 girls in this one area that needed it. are so many parents that have trailer with only one bathroom “It was on his heart. After his reached out because of the loss of and outside showers, and it was accident and not being able to a child. I want them to know that about the same for the boys,” Re find anything to help, and being Will’s Way is for helping the peosaid. “When we were there, Wil- around so many kids that loved ple that need it.” liam had a blast. When we came him the idea for Will’s Way was For more information concernhome, he said we could do some- born.” ing Will’s Way or to see upcomthing like what was in Tennessee Will’s Way, located on High- i n g events, go to here (but with better living quar- way 431 between Roanoke and www.willsway.org
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Catching the Big One Z
enus Windsor has been called a lot of things in his time: preacher, storyteller, salesman and fisherman but the best way to describe him is personality because he is full of it.
Lake Wedowee Life Story and Photos by Kelly Caldwell He takes all things serious but loves to tell a good story (as long as its true) and has just as much passion for fishing. He doesnâ€™t bother with bass or crappie his species of choice is the catfish. He hunts for the elusive beast all year and the time of year dictates how he goes about catching the big ones. He fishes with boxes and baskets but for Lake Wedowee Lifeâ€™s journey with the Catfishing Preacher he shared with us his own unique way of catching the big ones. 38 Lake Wedowee Life
Catfishing for the masses: Zenus Windsor, right, fishes for the big ones at least twice a week and has different methods of catching the big cats depending on the season. In June and July, he does a modified version of noodling he learned of about 10 years ago. It is not uncommon for him to haul in more than 100 pounds of catfish on a single trip.
When most people think of fishing, they believe they need a fancy rod and reel and special gadgets to make sure the job gets done. “Fishing in the traditional sense can cost you a lot of money,” Windsor said. “The way I fish I spend less than $5 on my gear.” Instead of a flashy rod, he uses a 10-foot piece of ½ inch PVC pipe with a cord thread through it and secured with a washer at the end. He doesn’t need to use a reel (which will be explained a little later) and his hook is a #10 treble hook with the eye of the hook inside the pipe and the three barbs exposed. “The first thing you need to know is that I don’t fish with your typical bait and I
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catch huge fish,” Windsor said. “The biggest fish I caught like this weighed about 50 pounds.” The bait of choice for Windsor and his buddies is a latex balloon preferably red or yellow in color. “ I t ’ s dark down there and those fish “The first see the balthing you loons,” he said. “ We need to know thread the is that I don’t balloon around the fish with your hook and typical bait the fish and I catch just go for it.” huge fish. ” H i s method of Zenus Windsor catching the big ones could be compared to the extreme sport of hand fishing which is also known as noodling or grabbling in this part of the world, but he doesn’t take near the risk those en-
Getting dirty: This type of fishing is done in the water not on the banks or in a boat, but the results of the adventure are well worth the change of clothes needed at the end of the journey.
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thusiasts do. However, it does take patience and skill not to mention knowing what y o u a r e “feeling” for. When it comes to using this method, you have to have your wits about you and know the signs. June and July are the best times to fish this way because the female catfish have laid their eggs and have left the male in charge of guarding the brood. “It’s kinda like having a pasture full of cows and only one bull,” Windsor said. “We don’t fish for the female cats because we want to preserve the species.” The fish typically lay eggs in holes under the water close to the shoreline typically around boat ramps, and Windsor wades through the water feeling around for those holes with his feet. “I have fished all of these lakes but Lake Weiss is the best for me because it is shallow,” he said. “And, it is an older lake that has more busted boat ramps.” Once he finds a hole he jabs the makeshift rod in the hole to see if anything is home.
“It’s kinda like having a pasture full of cows and only one bull. We don’t fish for the female cats because we want to preserve the species. ” Zenus Windsor “If the cat is at home he will bite because he is protecting the eggs,” Windsor said. “He feels threatened so he will attack.” The trick it to hold the line tight until the fish exits the hole.
Once that happens the fight is on. “Sometimes you have to force the cat out of the hole with your hand, and it might bite you but that’s when its important to know what kind of catfish you got,” Windsor said. He usually catches Appaloosas also known as yellow cat or flathead, however he occasionally runs up on a blue cat. “Blue cats are meaner than yellow cats,” Windsor said. “Flatheads will bite you and let go, but the blue cat’s will bite and try to drown you. “A blue cat got me one time and it was like my finger was in a vise and he tried to take my arm off.” After Windsor coaxes the catfish out of his home, he drops the cord and the washer creates a makeshift fishing pole. And, Windsor uses it to pull the fish up the boat ramp. “You don’t see a lot of people fishing this way because it is hard work,” he said. “But when you hear people say they would go fishing if they knew the fish would bite, you know they haven’t tried this because the fish bite every time.” Lake Wedowee Life 41
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Seeing Lake Wedowee on a daily basis, some people may forget the beauty of it. Recently Rodney Walker with APAC took Lake Weowee Life for a helicopter ride to see Lake Wedowee from a the sky. The pictures here capture just some of the beauty that is Lake Wedowee from 2,000 feet in the air. More than 100 pictures were taken in the short ride and here are some of the most recognizable areas. A special thanks to Rodney Walker for taking Lake Wedowee Life up in the air for the perfect perspective of Lake Wedowee.
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Five Reasons to Fish Deep Water this Summer There are virtually many reasons bass anglers should make plans to fish in deep water on Lake Wedowee this summer season. Sure, there are always some bass to be found in the shallows, but like in the case of most Alabama lakes, when the temperatures soar the majority of the lakes spotted bass and largemouth bass can be found mingling -- in some huge schools -in deep water.
Hooked on Lake Wedowee by Reed Montgomery Besides the bass, there are many other deciding factors that should aid an angler in determining why he / she should target these summertime bass in deep water. When explained, it just makes good sense to be dabbling your lures in the deep, dark depths of Lake Wedowee. After all, that's why you fish...to catch them! Reason # 1 Current, Oxygen and Cooler Water. Bass feed more in deep water when current is evident. With the availability of current their meals are washed to them. This means the bass exert less energy when feeding, like when having to chase down the days next meal. Thus they require less food intake, on a daily basis. Current on Lake Wedowee always means the availability of more oxygenated water. The more oxygen in the water the better these bass feel and the more active they become. Current always means there will be cooler water as well. Moving water has
Getting the big one: All it takes is knowing where to go to reel in the big one this summer and deep water is your best bet! less time to heat up during the summer months, like still water does. # 2. Availability of Food Not only is current, oxygen and cooler water desirable to the bass, but it is also the choice of the baitfish and crayfish they prey on as well. Schools of baitfish such as threadfin shad, gizzard shad, minnows and bream are much more active when current is available. So locating certain areas of Lake Wedowee that have refuge for these baitfish to get out of the often swift current, is where you will find the bass this summer. Both predator and prey gather all summer long behind long, main lake points, the mouths of creeks, and on points leading into some of the lakes dozens of small cuts and
pockets. Islands, both visible and submerged, hold bass and baitfish and along irregular banks such as rock bluffs are excellent choices too. # 3. Bright Sunny Days Its a known fact, most bass do not prefer to be right out in the direct sunlight if they can avoid it. They do not have eyelids and a bass cannot close its eyes. Unknown to many anglers its not the bright sunshine that hurts their eyes. Its being hidden, is the reason they shun direct sunlight. A bass prefers an ambush spot where it cannot be seen by a passer-by. If the bass is right out in open water it could die of starvation, for most prey flee at the sight of them.
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Fishing So during the bright, sunny days of summer most bass roam the shallows and feed during the night, or during low light periods like dawn and late evenings. During the day they can be on the bottom hugging cover like stumps and rocks. Or they can choose to suspend at certain depths they are more comfortable with. # 4. Availability of Cover Cover, these bass hang around on Lake Wedowee, has deteriorated since it was first impounded. There was lots of standing timber, stumps and brush left here when the lake was built in the early 1960's. Due to severe lake drawdown during the fall and winter months (or like last summer's drought it was down over 10 feet), a lot of this cover has broken off and just floated away, when the lake was returned to full pool. There is still plenty of wood cover, rock cover and bottom irregularities for them to relate to. The mid to lower lake region has more available cover, than the lakes headwaters that previously had cover now washed away, due to floods and lake drawdown in years past. The amount of current available during water generation slows on the lower lake, thus leaving more desirable places for these bass to gather in this summer season.
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Prize winner: Patience is key and arriving early doesnâ€™t hurt either. # 5. Boat Traffic Nothing changes the daily feeding habits of these bass during the summer months like boat traffic. There are some very good places to fish for bass at dawn, where you cannot get a bite when the boaters and jet skies get out on the water. Droves of boaters constantly crossing over these bass heads will send them to the deep or to a more desirable location, far away from the maddening summ e r t i m e c r o w d s .
So should the anglers. Either get away from the majority of these boaters or fish at dawn, late evenings or at night when they are usually not on the water. There are many other reasons to fish in deep water this summer season. Discover some reasons of your own and you may stumble on that motherlode of bass. A huge school of bass, located in one lone spot, that you could have all to yourself. A spot that may produce numbers of bass on a daily basis the entire summer season! Hot summer days can drive bass to their deep, summertime homes...until fall arrives and once again Lake Wedowee's bass can be found foolishly feeding in the shallows and fattening up for the upcoming winter months ahead. Try fishing in deep water this summer season. Or call on Reeds Guide Service (205) 787-5133 and learn how to fool these deep bass this summer season with a guided fishing trip, available day or night! See my website www.fishingalabama.com for more info. Thanks and be safe and courteous to other anglers and boaters on our very crowded lakes this summer!
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Local theatre hosts state movie premiere The Historic Ashland Theatre will host the Alabama premiere of Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy September 20-21. It will be the theatre’s first movie premiere since the re-opening. “We haven’t been able to show any of the regular films because we couldn’t afford to pay the royalties,” Dr. Robert Steele, a Cherokee citizen and partner in the Ashland Theatre, said. “We contacted the independent film directors to see what we could do.” Honored as the best documentary at the 31st Annual American Indian Film Institute Festival in San Francisco, the twohour film portrays the forced removal of the Cherokees from their homes in Alabama and other southern states to the Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. During the 1838 forced march of 16,000 people in severe winter weather, one-fourth of them died, including most of the children and tribal elders. Survivors called the 800-mile journey “the trail where they cried.” Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy was the perfect fit and after Steele heard of the awards the film has won, he picked up the phone. “I am of the Cherokee Nation and I am very proud for this movie to premiere at our theatre,” Steele said. “We are proud of our Indian heritage and even though this was a dark time for us, it is important 58 Lake Wedowee Life
News to know Special to Lake Wedowee Life for people to know about this.” The film has been endorsed by both the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Eastern Band of Cherokees in North Carolina, who are descended from the few Cherokees who avoided removal. Trail of Tears also received the Silver World Medal at the New York Festival and the Founders Award at the International Cherokee Film Festival in Tahlequah, Okla. Steven Heape, president and
executive producer of Rich-Heape Films and a Cherokee Nation citizen, said, “I could never figure out why a more comprehensive story was never done. I have grown up hearing the oral history of the Trail of Tears, but it has never been told through a Cherokee perspective before.” The film took 10 years to research and produce. Narrator of the film is famed actor James Earl Jones. Other voices heard in the film are those of actors James Garner and John Buttram and singer Crystal Gayle. Wes Studi, Cherokee actor who portrayed Geronimo in the movie by the same name as well as performing in Dances with Wolves and The Last of the Mohicans, presents the film’s message on camera in Cherokee with English subtitles. “It gives the film a really nice flavor,” Heape said. Two showings have been set for the Alabama premiere: Saturday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 21, at 2 p.m. Advance purchases are suggested. Send $5 for each ticket and specify which showing you wish to attend to Trail of Tears Premiere, The Ashland Theatre, P.O. Box 218, Ashland, AL 36251. For more information about the Alabama premiere, visit the theat r e ’ s w e b s i t e a t www.theashlandtheatre.com or phone 256-396-2058.
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Wedowee Currents Aug 3, Wedowee worship on the water at Lakeside Marina Sunday Morning at 9:00 a.m. Guest Minister: Shane Latta of First Baptist Church, Roanoke, AL. For more information contact Sandra Kitchens at 334885-6512 Aug 9, Wedowee 2nd Annual Ski Meet and Exhibition 2nd Annual Ski Meet and Exhibition being held Saturday, August 9th, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the north end of Lake Wedowee, AL. At Pineywoods Campground. To include performances by two pro wakekiters! Music, food. Trophy awards; first, second, third in each division class. Special awards for Best Crash, Best Air, Best in Show, Crowd WOW. Proceeds to benefit the Randolph County Animal Shelter. For more information: http:// www.randolphshelter.org Aug 10, Wedowee worship on the water at Lakeside Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. Guest Minister: Tripp Skipper of First Baptist, Wadley, AL. Aug 15-17, Rock Mills Wehadkee Trade Days 8 a.m.3 p.m. at the old Wehadkee Yarn Mill Rain or Shine Free Outside Space $10 Inside Space AUCTION 3 p.m. Information:334-885-6611 Aug 17, Wedowee worship on the water at Lakeside Sunday Morning at 9:00 a.m. Guest Minister: Chris 60 Lake Wedowee Life
Sizzlinâ€™ Summer Fun
Mitchell of Woodland, AL. Aug 22-23, Anniston Rumble on Noble Anniston Downtown District. A motorcycle and music streetfest featuring six bands and more than 60 vendors. 4 p.m.- midnight. 256236-0996. www.spiritofanniston.org. Admission charged. Aug 23, Alexander City "Muster on the Tallapoosa" Living History Horseshoe Bend National Military Park. Various activities during the day, including living history camps of Creek and Cherokee Indians and the Tennessee Militia. Guest speakers offer insight into the Creek War. Contact info: 256-2347111. Free admission. Aug 24, Wedowee worship on the water at Lakeside Marina Sunday Morning at 9:00 a.m. Guest Minister: Richard Mount of First United Methodist Church, Wedowee, AL Aug 30, Roanoke FREE Movie Under The Stars at Will's Way All are Welcome!!! Gates open at 7 p.m. Movie Starts at 8 p.m. No Outside Food or Drinks, Concessions Available, Bring blanket / lawn chair. Will's Way is located on Hwy 431 between Roanoke and Wedowee. For more information contact Re Holliday at 334-646-0330 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org Aug 31, Wedowee Family Fun Day at FrenchHammond Park Family Fun Day sponsored by The Chris Hammond Youth Foundation. From 3 to 9 p.m. at French-Hammond Park.
To submit your calendar items, go to www.LakeWedoweeLife.com or email: email@example.com Lake Wedowee Life 61
Carnival atmosphere wih games, crafts tact info: 256-354-5196 and and rides. Contact Lynne Hammond www.defendthewolves.org/powfor information on hosting a carnival wow.html. Admission charged. booth or craft at 256-357-0109. Sept 20-21, Ashland "Trail of Tears" Alabama Premier Aug 31, Wedowee worship on the water at Lakeside Ma- Producers of the award-winning film rina Sunday at 9 a.m. Minister: Steve "Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy" have Dean of Community LIFE Church, set its first showing in Alabama for Roanoke, AL September 20-21 at the Historic Ashland Theatre Two showings have been Sept 6, Wedowee set for the Alabama premiere: Satur1st Annual Buddy Bass Tournament day, Sept. 20 at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, RCHS Quarterback Club announces Sept. 21 at 2:00 p.m. Advance purthe 1st Annual Buddy Bass Tournachases are recommended. Tickets $5. ment. $3000 Guaranteed PayBack! En- For more information visit: http:// try Fee $100 per boat. Launch at 48 www.theashlandtheatre.com Bridge Boat Ramp. Contact Wesley Wortham 256-357-9372 or 256-283Sept 26, Wedowee 0017. Wedowee Hospital Auxiliary's Bar-BQue Bar-B-Que Plates prepared and Sept 12-14, Ashland sold by the Wedowee Hospital Auxil3rd Annual Harvest Moon Benefit iary. Location: The First United MethPow Wow Bluff Springs Community - odist Church in Wedowee. Annual event presented by the First Nations Outreach Project to help raise Sept 27, Lineville funds to build Wolf Gardens Wildlife Chilli Cook-off Competition and Center. Gates open, 2 p.m. gourd Public Tasting Cheaha Mountain dance, 5 p.m. grand entry, 7 p.m. Con- State Park - Families, churches, clubs,
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scout troops, businesses, schools and orgainzations are all invited to come and tast different kinds of chili, and compete for the grand prize. Chili tasting, 12:30-3 p.m. or until the chili is gone. For more info: 800-846-2654 and http://www.outdooralabama.com Oct 1-4, Wedowee Renew Our Rivers - Clean up on Lake Wedowee Volunteers during the week should contact organizers. The Saturday, Oct. 4 cleanup will be at Highway 48 boat ramp from 8 a.m. to noon. Contact: Bob May, Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association, at (256) 357-2656, or Shelia Smith, Alabama Power, at (256) 396-5093. Oct 4, Wedowee Lake Wedowee Arts & Music Festival The Randolph County Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring the Lake Wedowee Arts & Music Festival on Saturday Oct. 4 at the Wedowee Kiwanis Park. For more information on participating in this event, please contact the chamber office at: 334-863-6612 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red of BB’s, candy bars, and cold dranks, for a quarter, even less if we had our own bottle, we could get a “BIG BABY RUTH” and a 16 ounce “RC COLA”. Around the age of fourteen Red and I begin to have other influences in our lives, such as cars, girls, guns, sports, and other acquaintances Deer hunting had never been of much interest to us for the simple reason there just weren’t any around, but by the late sixties the began multiplying
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like rabbits, so Red and I decided that we needed to become deer hunters. Not being old enough to drive yet, we had to scheme up ways of getting someone to drive us where the deer were, usually that was up on Cornhouse Creek, which was about five or six miles from the house. If we could only get up there, we could hunt until dark, and simply walk home after dark. Well them early practice sessions with the BB guns sure paid off. We didn’t care much about
big racks back then, just to have the opportunity to shoot something bigger than a squirrel or rabbit was enough. Over the next thirty odd years, Red and I were drawn apart at times by other friends and other activities, but long about the middle of October we always seemed to be drawn back together. We always had tales of new adventures for each other and always the old stories to hash over one more time.
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Index of Advertisers Advertiser’s Name
Meadows Farm Equipment
A & E Metal
M.L. Awbrey Inc.
Norton's Floor Covering
Partners’ Pit BBQ
Alabama Power Company
P & W Boat Docks
Ashland Family Care
Randolph Co. Industrial Development Council
REC warehouse Douglasville
Ava Hills Assisted Living
Rice Pavilion and Boat Storage
Roanoke City Schools
Bank of Wedowee
Russell Do-It Center
Cheaha View Marine
Singleton Marine Group
Clay County Chamber of Commerce
Southern Home Comfort
Custom Marble and Granite
D & S Marine
Thackston & Son
Tallapoosa River Electric
H& M Drugs
W & M Grocery
Jimmy Stephens Construction
Wedowee Building Supply
Lake Wedowee Bait and Tackle
Lake Wedowee Rentals
Wellborn Cabinet Factory Direct
Mac McKinney Properties
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e’re all fortunate to go through life surrounded by friends and family. Of course friends and even family members come and go. As we look back in time, I’m sure each one of you, as well as myself, were fortunate enough to be blessed with one, possibly two friends that stood the test of time. Sure you may have had some ups and downs, but in the long run you could always count on them through thick and thin.
Redneck Adventures By Skeeter Such was the case with Me and Red, we grew up as neighbors, our houses being about a half mile apart as the crow flies, maybe about a mile using the road. Between the ages of about eight to probably fourteen, we must have traveled that half mile several thousand time each. This was either done walking or a lot of the time running! At the age of twelve or thirteen I could get off the school bus at my house, drop my school books in the front yard, and be at Red’s house by the time the bus got there! Ya’ll probably wonder why run for a half a mile. Well number one because back then I could run and loved it. Number two, we always had big plans and only til dark to get them plans done. Unlike kids today with cell phones, computers, video games, four wheelers and only boring 66 Lake Wedowee Life
things, bored was one thing we never had time to be. Always equipped with a good Daisy or Crosman, a “big” tube of BB’s, a pocket knife, and sometimes with a sling or a flip. Back in the sixties, there were always trash dumps on dirt roads, so there was always a good supply of glass bottles and tin cans for target practice, plastic was almost unheard of back then. Me and Red did our best to recycle all the glass back into sand. Now, if bb’s were running low we always had an endless supply of rocks for our sling or flip. Some of you may not know what a sling or a flip is. Well, a sling is what David whupped Goliath with, it consists of two pieces of cord or rawhide with a leather pouch in between. A smooth rock about the size of a bantam chicken egg can be thrown for several hundred yards with force, and at close range with force and accuracy.
Goliath didn’t stand a chance and probably never knew what hit him! Now a flip was a piece of flat rubber (usually cut from an inner tube) about twelve to sixteen inches long with a small pouch on one end. Ammunition was either small rocks or china berries. The rubber was held with the thumb and forefinger of one hand and the pouch was pulled back and released with the other hand, quite handy for just plinking. Now Red and me never cared too much for trips into town, the main reason being that trips into town was done on Saturday and would have taken time away from our adventures. Saturday were always special! We had a whole day to roam the creeks, build dams, swim, fish, rassle, hunt and trap. Anyway Mr. Rice’s store was only about a half a mile walk and he always kept a good supply
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