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49 Bald Cypress East Lake Martin, AL

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103 Cottage Loop Dadeville, AL Lake Martin 3BR 2.5BA $475,000 DECEMBER 2019

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Letter from the Editor


he issue of Lake magazine that you hold in your hands is one of my favorites; it includes interviews with two of my favorite people at the lake – Dadeville’s Barbara Cole and Alexander City’s John Thompson. I am delighted every time I have an opportunity to do an article with Barbara. She tells a wonderful story, and writing it is like living in her adventure. This month, Barbara shares her memories of World War II at Martin Dam Village, where she grew up. She talked of the day the lights went out to hide Martin Dam from enemy eyes at night; the arrival of soldiers who guarded the dam; and the shouts of “Hallelujah!” when it was all over. Turn to page 50 for more of Barbara’s memories. For John Thompson, it’s decompression time. The leader of Lake Martin’s trash-picker-uppers said he isn’t finished with the annual Renew Our Rivers cleanup until he’s compiled the trash collection figures, thanked the volunteers and partners and seen to the proper disposal of the tons of trash that are collected at the lake each year. All of that work continues for another two weeks or more after the cleanup effort on the first weekend of November. This year’s effort yielded 17 tons of trash. Learn more about this annual cleanup effort from the man who makes it happen on page 20. A special thanks to the folks at Children’s Harbor, River Bank & Trust, Main Street Alexander City, Karen Channell StateFarm, Cloud Nine, Lake Martin Resource Association, John Coley at Lake Martin Voice, Wind Creek State Park, Lake Martin Tourism Director Rhonda Saunders, Tippy Hunter at TPI, Alabama Power and Stacie and Ricky Baker at Goat Island for their contributions to the inaugural Golden Picker Prize bag. The staff at Lake magazine stuffed an ROR trash bag with goodies from these businesses and individuals to say ‘Thank you!’ to one lucky cleanup volunteer whose name was drawn from those who were in or who submitted photos for the annual cleanup honor roll. See page 9 for more on the Golden Picker Prize. Wind Creek State Park volunteer Lynn Jordan was the lucky winner of this year’s Golden Picker Prize bag, which included beach towels, hats, water bottles, an umbrella, T-shirts, posters and a $200 gift certificate to Niffer’s. Also in this issue, you’ll find a great cocktail from Mark Gilliland at Ocie & Belle’s to start your holiday celebrations; a spectacular Christmas house on the lake; and the first in a series of articles about things to do during Lake Martin’s ‘other’ season. First up is fishing!



Managing Editor BETSY ILER

Assistant Magazine Editor AMY PASSARETTI


Circulation ERIN BURTON

Marketing/Advertising Director TIPPY HUNTER





Digital Advertising Director KAT RAIFORD

Digital Advertising Coordinator ELLE FULLER


Betsy Iler, Managing Editor All content, including all stories and photos are copyright of: Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.



P.O. Box 999 Alexander City, AL 35011 256-234-4281

On the Cover Ginger and Randy Lee decorated their Lake Martin home in style not only to suit their grown-up tastes but also to accommodate the busy and excited little hands of their children, ages 6 and 3. From the 12-foot tree in the main living area to those in the children's bedrooms, as well as wooden Navities on the buffet, the holiday dĂŠcor in their Windermere home celebrates Christmas with attention to detail. Photo by Kenneth Boone

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Call Trish Ogburn for an appointment 334.315.0667 Find us on Facebook!


6400 Highway 63 South, Alexander City, AL 35010 (256) 203-8400 Check out our Facebook Page: Docks Unlimited



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Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy Long Term Skilled Nursing Care DECEMBER 2019

Contents 20. 17 TONS! Volunteers collect 650 bags of trash at annual cleanup of Lake Martin


30. LAKE MARTIN'S 'OTHER' SEASON A collection of articles to help you explore fishing options during what used to be the 'off' season

36. RUSSELL LANDS UNVEILS NEW CABINS Phase 2 at The Willows off Willow Point Road adds 12 cabin lots ahead of schedule

40. A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Ginger and Randy Lee decorate in festive style with attention to their children

50. MARTIN DAM DURING WWII Dadeville's Barbara Cole remembers a childhood at Martin Dam during World War II




- edition



Lake magazine also features an online, digital edition, available 24 hours a day, free of charge. This edition is perfect to share with friends and family and provides you complete access to stories, photos and advertisements from anywhere in the world with Internet access. View our digital edition today at



Dr. George W. Hardy General Dentistry

A Place To Worship Lake Martin Area Churches

WATERFRONT Church of the Living Waters Inside StillWaters, Dadeville 256-825-2990 New Hope Baptist Church 529 Peppers Road, Alexander City 256-329-2510 Church in the Pines Kowaliga Road, Kowaliga 334-857-2133

OFF WATER Equality United Methodist Church 281 AL Hwy 259, Equality 334-541-4063




First Baptist Church Court Square, Alexander City 256-234-6351

Alex City Church of Christ 945 Tallapoosa Street, Alexander City 256-234-6494

Hillabee Baptist Church Hillabee Road, Alexander City 256-234-6798

Red Ridge United Methodist Church 8091 County Road 34, Dadeville 256-825-9820

Episcopal Church of the Epiphany 2602 Gilmer Avenue Tallassee, AL 36078 334-252-8618 (12 Miles South of Lake Martin)

First Baptist Church 178 South Tallassee Street, Dadeville 256-825-6232

St. James Episcopal Church South Central Avenue, Alexander City 256-234-4752

First United Methodist Church 310 Green Street, Alexander City 256-234-6322 First United Methodist Church West Lafayette Street, Dadeville 256-825-4404 First Presbyterian Church 371 Jefferson Street, Alexander City 256-329-0524

Lake Martin Baptist Church 9823 County Road 34, Dadeville, AL 36853 256-825-7434 Lake Pointe Baptist Church La 8352 Highway 50, Dadeville, AL 36853 256-373-3293 Faith Temple Church 425 Franklin Street, Alexander City 256-234-6421

St John The Apostle Catholic Church 454 North Central Avenue Alexander City, Al 35010 256-234-3631 Flint Hill United Methodist Church 2858 Flint Hill Road Alexander City, AL 35010 256-234-5047 Good News Baptist Church 10493 Hwy 280 Jacksons Gap, AL 36861 256-825-2555

Small Space Advertising Works. Call Jolie Waters 256-414-3174 & ask for Lake Church Page



Lake’s Quick Guide to the Lake Lake Martin Area Real Estate Indicators Sales Month

Number of sales

Average selling price

Median selling price

Days on the market

Total houses for sale

32 21 23

$633,136 $401,310 $374,051

$463,750 $319,900 $283,000

192 207 256

184 266 312

October 2019 October 2016 October 2013

Inventory/ sales ratio 6.29 10.01 15.60

The above numbers are derived from raw sales data from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors MLS.The sales noted above are for Lake Martin waterfront residential (single-family and condominium) sales only. This information is provided courtesy of Lake Martin Realty, LLC (a Russell Lands, Inc., affiliated company).

Lake community says thank you to local cleanup volunteer Congratulations to Wind Creek State Park volunteer Lynn Jordan who won the inaugural Golden Picker Prize for this year's Renew Our Rivers Lake Martin cleanup Nov. 1 and 2. Jordan holds down a full-time job but still manages to put in more than 1,200 volunteer hours per year at our beautiful state park on Lake Martin. Local businesses and individuals contributed items to this year's Golden Picker Prize, an Alabama Power Renew Our Rivers trash bag filled with hats, water bottles, T-shirts, an umbrella, a beach towel and a $200 gift certificate to Niffer's. When cleanup volunteers sent photos from the cleanup to the editor at Lake magazine, the name of each person photographed was added to a drawing held Nov. 12. See photos of more than 90 cleanup volunteers and a report from this

Lynn Jordan won the inaugural Golden Picker Prize at this year's Lake Martin ROR cleanup

year's ROR effort − which yielded 17 tons of trash − are on page 20 of this issue. This year was the 15th that Lake Martin Resource Association has coordinated the Alabama Power ROR program.

Weather Outlook for December December 2019 Forecast

Historically, the Lake Martin area experiences average high temperatures in the mid- to upper-50s with average lows in the mid-40s and close to 5 inches of precipitation in the month of December. The National Weather Service has predicted that temperatures and rainfall will fall in the normal range this month.

Year to Date

Precipitation: 44.37 inches Avg. high temp.: 79.7 Avg. low temp.: 55.6 Avg. temp.: 67.7

Our Normal December Precipitation: 4.90 inches Avg. high temp.: 57.3 Information from the Avg. low temp.: 33.9 National Weather Avg. temp.: 45.6 Service.


Register now to marshal FLW Fishing League Worldwide is now registering marshals for the March 15-22 tournament on Lake Martin. Registration is $100 and includes behind-the-scenes access throughout the event, including a VIP cookout with the pros and a chance to win up to $2,500 in marshal payouts. The tournament will host the top 150 bass pros in the league, as well as filming crews, an expo and perhaps thousands of spectators. Marshals ride with the pros to verify catches and communicate with FLW editors and producers during the tournament. Up to 150 marshals (one per boat) will be needed for the event. Each marshal must be at least 16 years of age and must have a smartphone with text messaging, photo and mapping capabilities. For a complete list of marshaling requirements and benefits, visit the website at or call 270-252-1000 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Last Month's Lake Levels Summer: 491 MSL Winter: 481 MSL Highest: 486.54 Lowest: 484.88 Lake depth is measured in reference to mean sea level. For up-to-date water levels at the lake, visit the website

Lake elevations are subject to change. Individuals who recreate below Martin Dam and those with boats and waterrelated equipment on the lake should always stay alert to changing conditions.


Lake Scene n People & Places

Email your photos to


2 5

3 6



READER SUBMISSIONS (1) The sun slips behind an island as it bids goodbye to another beautiful weekend on Lake Martin. (2) John Fisher and Lily take the paddleboard out for a morning workout. (3) Kona loves the view from the Pelican Point dock. (4) Bill and Lucy Lue enjoy a boat ride at dusk on Lake Martin. (5) Jamie Ennis photographed the Milky Way at Wind Creek State Park on Lake Martin. (6) This tiny hummingbird stopped at the Gainer garden on Powell Drive on its way south for the winter. (7) Brothers Hilton and Charlie, the grandsons of Terry and Havlin Wise, take in their last sunset of the summer over Lake Martin. (8) Audra Spears captured the sun putting on a brillant display, painting the sky with beautiful hues of purple, pink, orange and gold.

8 10 LAKE


Lake Scene n People & Places

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READER SUBMISSIONS (1) Twins Ashton and Payton Smith reeled in a big catch − their baby cousin Cooper Smith with Chloe Smith − at the Wind Creek Fall Festival on Lake Martin. (2) Cole Bush is headed to Chuck's for lunch. (3) Another beautiful day at the lake ends with a firey sunset at Pelican Point. (4) Audra Spears traveled up the river to photograph the night's sky in late August. (5) The last light fades over Powell Drive with a kiss of color. (6) As cool fall air meets still-warm lake water, fog rises from Lake Martin on an October morning in this photo sent in by Tony Johnson.



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2018 Top Ten Landau Dealer Manitou Dealer

256.215.FISH (3474) 2190 Cherokee Road Alex City, AL



Where is Lake? n People & Places

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6 7

READER SUBMISSIONS (1) From London Eye, Lake magazine and Natalie Durden could see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. (2) Jackie and Drew Sullivan took Lake to Urquhart Castle at Loch Ness, Scotland. (3) Bo and Bridget Lewis took Lake to Sandals Resort in Barbados. (4) Lake visited Papakolea on The Big Island in Hawaii with Peter and Vickie Scann. (5) Rick and Emily Marks took Lake to Venice, Italy. (6) John and Wanda Glasier and Glenda Gibson stood on the ocean floor in the Bay of Fundy, Novia Scotia, with Lake magazine at low tide. (7) Lake joined Michael and Jennifer Gallops, Emily and Garrett Jemison and Jennifer and Chas Reynolds in Exuma, Bahamas.



Lake Martin News Russell Lands CEO named to international board

David B. Sturdivant, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Russell Lands, has been elected to the Do it Best Corp. Board of Directors, the international home improvement co-op last monthannounced in a release. Russell Lands, based in Alexander City, operates Russell Do it Center, a nine-location home center chain serving Central Alabama. “It is a great honor to be selected to serve on this energetic and eminent board of an international co-op that exemplifies what it means to be member driven and growth oriented,” Sturdivant said. “I promise to serve my fellow member-owners by helping them grow profitable and community-centered businesses.” Sturdivant was formally elected to the co-op’s board of directors at its annual fall market in Indianapolis. Based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Do it Best Corp. is the only U.S.-based, member-owned hardware, lumber and building materials-buying cooperative in the home improvement industry with thousands of independently owned locations in the United States and David B. Sturdivant around the world. This will be Sturdivant’s first term on the 12-person board, the member-elected governing body ultimately responsible for securing the co-op’s financial stability and driving its strategic direction. “The success of the Russell Do it Center stores is a clear demonstration of David’s business acumen and leadership abilities,” said board of directors chairman Brad McDaniel . “He’s also committed to his community and economic development, from serving on the Alexander City Board of Education to leading the city’s chamber of commerce. David’s experience and dedication are qualities highly sought after for our board, and we look forward to his contributions as we move into 2020.” Sturdivant, a certified public accountant, joined Russell Lands as controller in 1993. Ten years later, he was named chief financial officer and ascended to chief operating officer in 2014. In May, Russell Do it Center was named to the 2019 Class of Hardware All Stars by Hardware + Building Supply Dealer magazine. Sturdivant has always cared deeply about the communities in which he lives and works and has sought opportunities to give back through participation in a variety of organizations and boards. He has served as the chairman of the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce, executive board member of Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance and president of the Alexander City Board of Education while also serving both the Lake Martin Area United Way and Alexander City Rotary Club. ~ Staff Report


Bobby Jones Links will oversee all operations at Stillwaters Golf

New management to take Stillwaters Golf to the next level

In a move designed to put Stillwaters Golf Course on the map, owners Keith and Debbie Hiett last month entered a management agreement with Bobby Jones Links of Alpharetta, Georgia, that is expected to widen the club’s customer base. “This is one of the best things to happen to Stillwaters in many, many years,” Keith Hiett said. When the Hietts purchased the golf course on Lake Martin’s east shoreline in 2015, they thought it would take about five years to get the course ready for the next level of management. Bobby Jones Links, Hiett explained, can take the club to that next level. “They are a very strong golf management group, and they have a long reach with marketing,” he said. Bobby Jones Links founding partner, Steve Willy, said his team will take about 45 days to learn about the area, the course and restaurant before creating an overall plan for its future. “The size and scope of Lake Martin offer a unique opportunity,” Willy said. “Given the significant number of primary and second homes and the substantial visitors to the lake, we think Stillwaters Golf Course and Copper’s Grill can grow and expand their offerings to Lake Martin’s constituents.” Willy said the course will remain open to public play under the new management plan, and he hopes to develop aspects of the club that will improve the course and enhance the already popular dining and entertainment destination at Lake Martin. BJL manages a variety of courses, mostly in the Southeast U.S., Willy said, including the Georgia Club in Atlanta, the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta and Jacksonville’s Osprey Cove. As such, the firm will oversee the operation of the club’s accounting, marketing, human resources, course maintenance, restaurant management, etc. Stillwaters Golf and Copper’s Grill employees will become employees of Bobby Jones Links, Willy said. Hiett, who owns Premium Turf, LLC, a course maintenance company, will remain active in the care of the golf course. “We’re impressed with where the owner – our client – has taken the entertainment and the restaurant, but he wants to spend more time working on the course,” Willy said. “There’s plenty of opportunities, and we think people will be excited about it.” ~ Betsy Iler




Now -Dec. 31 Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit

Alexander City City Hall will host the rotating Alabama Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit. The exhibit includes informative screens about the history of Alabama and is suitable for all ages. Check it out any time City Hall is open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibit also will be open for Nov. 17’s Open House and Dec. 14’s Christmas on Main. To schedule a group visit, contact the city clerk’s office at 256-329-6700.

Nov. 29 Christmas at Crossroads & Holiday Bazaar

Alexander City Theatre II will stage John Jake’s version of the classic Christmas tale by Charles Dickens. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances will begin at 7 p.m., and the Sunday performance will begin at 2 p.m. All performances will be held at the Benjamin Russell High School Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for students and $15 for adults. Purchase tickets in advance at or at the door.


Make sure your kids have Santa will meet the children their lists ready for Santa, as from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the jolly old elf will make at Christmas at Crossroads his way from the North Pole Nov. 29 to the Town Green Stage at Russell Crossroads around 10 a.m. and will be in place until 2 p.m. There also will be tons of arts and crafts and games for the children. Come spend Black Friday at Russell Crossroads with Santa and a whole lot more. In addition, the Holiday Bazaar will feature local artisans from Lake Martin and across the Southeast that will exhibit original works in jewelry, reclaimed wood décor, paintings, photography, candles, soaps and more from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All works are original and handcrafted.

Everything’s Art will host the annual tree lighting ceremony at Courthouse Square from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be Christmas music by local church choirs and candy from elves. Kids can mail letters to Santa and have their pictures taken with Mrs. Claus, all while enjoying hot chocolate and warm cider. The tree will be lit at dusk.

Dec. 2 Hometown Christmas Parade

Dec. 8 6th Annual Spirit of a Hometown Christmas Parade The Lake Martin Dadeville Area Chamber of Commerce will host the annual Christmas parade at 3 p.m. Head down to Courthouse Square around 12 p.m. for children’s activities, craft booths, food and more.

Dec. 11 VCCA Open House

Drop by the Volunteer Connections of Central Alabama office at 5030 U.S. Highway 280, Alexander City, between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to learn more about VCCA programs and meet the volunteers.

Dec. 11 Little House Show

Dylan LeBlanc will bring his acoustic tour to the indoor stage at Standard Deluxe in Waverly at 7:30 p.m. This is a BYOB event − no glass. Tickets are $15. Visit for tickets and details.

Dec. 1 Dadeville’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Alexander City Chamber of Commerce will host the annual parade of floats, bands and beauties, led by jolly old St. Nick himself. The theme for this year’s parade is 12 Days of Christmas. For detils, visit online at


Dec. 5-8 A Christmas Carol

Dec. 14 A Downtown Christmas

Main Street Alexander City will team up with Alexander City Parks and Recreation for Christmas in the Park in downtown. The Holiday Market will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Calhoun St., and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. kids can write letters to Santa at United Way, bake cookies with Mrs. Claus and join in reindeer races. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., there will be snow tubing at Strand Park, Frosty’s Frozen Playground, pictures with Santa and Polar Express Train at Broad Street Plaza with sleigh rides from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. There also will be carolers, Main Street’s Christmas Window Decorating contest, A Santa Fun Run and more throughout the day. Visit the Main Street Alexander City Facebook page for details.


Dec. 14 Eclectic Holiday Festival

Children’s Library in Alexander City

Take a walk through Candy Land in downtown Eclectic to celebrate the holidays with games, shopping, vendors, food and more from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Christmas parade will begin at 2 p.m. at Elmore County High School. Call 334-201-0092 or 334-541-3581 for more information.

Dec. 14 Sensory Santa TCC Autism Society of Alabama

Autism Society of Alabama Tallapoosa-Coosa Chapter will host an event from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lake Martin Innovation Center. Children will be able to sit and talk with Santa in a sensory-friendly, calming, worry-free space. This event will be open to the public and geared toward creating a special event for special needs sensory-seeking kids. There will be snacks, drinks, hot chocolate, sensory toys and a professional photographer. Email for information. Tickets are $10 and include a photo release.

Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve Casino Night

The Lake Martin Young Professionals will host its second annual casino night, presented by Valley Bank, at The Mill Two Eighty from 7 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Alliance Casino Events and Game Rentals will bring authentic casino games, complete with chips, dealers and everything needed to step into a casino atmosphere from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.. Tickets are $50, which includes $1,000 in chips for casino games plus live entertainment, food and a champagne toast at midnight. Ocie & Belle’s cash bar will be on site serving up cocktails and beverages. Cash in chips at the end of the night for raffle tickets for chances to win some great prizes. Cocktail attire is recommended.

Season-Long Events Alabama Wildlife Federation Naturalist Hikes

Every Tuesday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m, hike some of Lanark’s 5 miles of trails with an experienced Alabama Nature Center naturalist by your side. Learn how to bird or identify plants and animals or splash through the creek. General admission applies and is $5 per person with a $20 maximum per family. The Alabama Nature Center is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. Visit to check holiday closings.

Library Storytime in Dadeville

Mamie’s Place Children’s Library holds themed storytime every Wednesday at 10 a.m. for preschool-aged and younger children. In addition, the children’s library hosts board games and puzzles every Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call Melissa Finley at 256-234-4644.

Ladies’ Book Club

Ladies 18 years of age and older are invited to participate in the club at Adelia M. Russell Library on the last Thursday of every month. Meet in the conference room at 4 p.m. Call the library at 256-234-4644 for each month’s book title.

Santuck Flea Market

The Santuck Flea Market is held the first Saturday of each month except January and February at 7300 Central Plank Rd., Highway 9 in Wetumpka.

Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony Exhibit

The Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony on Lake Martin exhibit is on display all year long at the Alexander City Board of Education building, located at 375 Lee St.

Children’s Harbor Treasures and Thrift Store

Located on state Route 63 just south of Lake Martin Amphitheater, the Children’s Harbor Thrift Store is open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You never know what gems you might find – from clothes and household items to boats. Proceeds are used to help fund the activities at the Lake Martin campus of Children’s Harbor and the Family Center at Children’s Hospital. Call 334-857-2008 for more information.

Memory Makers Quilt Guild

This group meets the second and fourth Mondays at the Senior Center on the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex campus. Participants come and go between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. with a business meeting at 5 p.m., followed by show-and-tell. Bring sewing projects, machines and questions.

Real Island Supper

The Real Island community hosts a covered dish supper on the second Friday in December at the Real Island Volunteer Fire Department and Community Room, 1495 Real Island Rd., Equality. Everyone is welcome. Admission is $3 per adult; bring a covered dish to share. Some nights are themed, so call ahead to find out if costumes or certain types of food are in order. For more information, contact Dianne Perrett at 256-329-8724.

Charity Bingo at Jake’s

Storytime for children aged 5 and younger is held at the Dadeville Public Library every Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Play charity bingo at Jake’s Restaurant at 16 Broad St., Alexander City, at 6 p.m. every Thursday night. Cards are $1, and proceeds benefit local charities.



Amateur Radio Club

Clean Community Partnership Cleanups

Naturalist Presentations and Guided Nature Tours

Coffee & Connections

The Lake Martin Area Amateur Radio Club meets the second Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Senior Activity Center at the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex in Alexander City, with dinner and fellowship following at a local area restaurant. Contact Michael Courtney at 256825-7766 or Mike Smith at 256-750-5710.

Naturalist Marianne Hudson fills the Naturalist Cabin at Russell Crossroads with children and adults to see and listen to her lively nature presentations with critters, insects, snakes and fowl, just to mention a few. There is never a dull moment with this wildlife biologist as she educates on the beauty of nature in the wild and the outdoor classroom. Check the calendar at for the scheduled subject matter, dates and times.

Trivia Night at Niffer’s on the Lake

Every Thursday, Niffer’s hosts trivia at 7 p.m. Winners receive Niffer’s gift cards. First place gets $40; second place gets $25; and third place gets $15. Grab a group of friends and come out for a night of games. A bonus question is posted on the Niffer’s Facebook page at 2 p.m. Thursdays.


The third Saturday of each month, volunteers throughout the community are encouraged to meet at Broad Street Plaza at 8:30 a.m. to pick up supplies and area assignments and help clean up the roads within Alexander City. For more information, email Jacob at Every third Tuesday of the month, the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce hosts a networking event at 8 a.m. open to any chamber member. Participants should meet at the TPI bullpen at the Lake Martin Innovation Center for coffee, a light breakfast and a chance to network with community members.

Open Studio

The Artists Association of Central Alabama meets from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday at the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex Senior Center and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays at the Dadeville Senior Center on Columbus St. Beginners are welcome, and there is no charge for open studios. For more information, call June Dean at 334-301-5317 or Kay Fincher at 256-825-2506.

Charity Bingo at Niffer’s Place Lake Martin

Niffer’s, 7500 state Route 49 in Dadeville, host charity bingo every Tuesday at 6 p.m. Cards are $1 each, and funds go to participating charities.




17 Tons!

Volunteers collect 650 bags of trash at annual Lake Martin cleanup


The number of volunteers and the amount of trash collected has quadrupled since the Alabama Power Renew Our Rivers effort started at Lake Martin in 2006, said Lake Martin Resource Association President and cleanup coordinator John Thompson. In its 15th year as an organized Lake Martin endeavor, 340 volunteers collected 17 tons of trash for a cumulative trash total of nearly a quarter of a million pounds from the Lake Martin area alone. “We have collected 124 tons of trash and more than 500 tires from Lake Martin,” said Thompson, whose passion for a clean Lake Martin has led him to dedicate countless volunteer hours to the effort each year. But he’s quick to credit the efforts of others. “Heartfelt thanks goes to all who came out in freezing temperatures to help make the 2019 Lake Martin Resource Association Renew Our Rivers Lake Martin cleanup a huge success,” he said. In addition to a host of individuals that turned out to collect trash, several groups cleaned roadsides and shorelines, including Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, Stephens Elementary School third- and fourth-grade students and teachers, Central Alabama Community College student athletes, Russell Lands employees, realty companies, Wind Creek State Park volunteers, Alexander City Chamber of Commerce staff and more. The cleanup was sponsored by LMRA with Alabama Power, Lake Martin Dock Company, TowBoatUS Lake Martin, Advanced Disposal, WCSP, Tallapoosa County Commissioner Steve Robinson and Dirt Road Gourmet. Some volunteers started bagging trash for the annual effort as early as late September, marking areas where bags had been filled and coming back on Nov. 1 to transport the trash from Lake Martin islands to dumpsters that were positioned at WCSP, Kowaliga, Real Island and the Union boat ramp on Blue Creek.


In gratitude for their efforts, volunteers received this year’s ROR T-shirts with artwork designed by Stephens student Trinitee Strong. Her drawing featured LMRA’s Thompson picking up trash on a Lake Martin shoreline. In addition, Lake magazine this year launched a special recognition of volunteers with the Golden Picker Prize bag – an ROR trash bag filled with tokens of thanks from local businesses and individuals. Every volunteer that sent in a photo from the cleanup – or was pictured in a photo that was sent in – was entered to win the bag, which contained a beach towel, water bottles, an umbrella, hats, T-shirts, posters and a $200 gift certificate to Niffer’s, which was donated by John Coley of Lake Martin Voice. Other Golden Picker prizes were donated by Children’s Harbor, LMrA River Bank & Trust, Main Street Alexander City, Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., Karen Channell StateFarm, Cloud Nine, Wind Creek State Park, Lake Martin Tourism Director Rhonda Saunders, Alabama Power and Stacie and Ricky Baker of Goat Island. Long-time WCSP volunteer Lynn Jordan was the lucky winner of this year’s Golden Picker Prize bag. See page 9 for more on the Golden Picker Prize. The Renew Our Rivers Alabama Power program celebrated 20 years of cleanups along Alabama waterways this year and in August received the Governor’s Water Conservationist of the Year Award. But the cleanup effort is never over, Thompson said. The effort to keep Lake Martin clean continues year round with the Adopt-an-Island and Adopt-a-Shoreline programs, as well as regularly scheduled monthly cleanups in Alexander City. “Lake Martin is without a doubt the cleanest lake in the South, and with the continued help from all these committed, dedicated volunteers, we will be able to keep it that way,” Thompson said.


The Griffith clan got out early on a cold morning to pick up trash at a Wind Creek State Park shoreline




Carla Culligan, Jacob Meacham, Ed Collari and Kim Dunn

Ann Goree

Tonya Holland, Tammy McVicker and Ken Holland have just enough room among the trash bags to stand and drive the boat Betty Chambers

Billy Barrett

Annette Huett Carole Borden and Charlotte Denton

Jack, John and George Coley

Bobby Borden

Jackson Lilly,Vicki Tuggle, Gary Walker, Ray Fleming, Wanda Coker, David Jackson, Lisa Woodruff and Larry Boddie at Children's Harbor


Shirley Cook and John Thompson found a place to sit amid the trash bags


Sylvia Worley

Lonnie Carden and Karen Newton cleaned shoreline near Dixie Sailing Club

Davis Philhower

Cynthia and Mark Denney

Brent Benton

John Thompson and Danah, Ashtyn and Chad Gilliland

Jim Tremmling

Ron Bell and Laura Farris

Jeff Cochran

Ron Gray

John Thompson, Chez Davis, Leroy Butler and Lynn Jordan unload a truck at the WCSP dumpster station

Trash from some of Lake Martin's islands was ferried to the WCSP boat ramp, where it was off-loaded into a basket attached to the bucket of a front-end loader driven by Lynn Jordan



Alex Carmack and Jake Dickinson of Found It Dive Services took a dive to retrieve trash from the lake bottom

Trash was transferred from boats to a basket on a front-end loader and then into one of three dumpsters at WCSP Cooper the Cat oversees operations from the roof of the LMRA boat

Jimmy Huett

Gina Murray

Gina, Rosie, Elisabeth and Michel Aaij Haze Griffith

Haley McKelvey, Alison and Rhonda Jaye, Denise and Jeff Cochran

Lee Reynolds and John Coram

DJ Rogers, Patrick West and Joey Travis were part of the seven-member cleanup team from Lake Martin Dock

Katherine Lipscomb and Amy Willis

Linda Reynolds and Deborah and Ron Bell



Sandy Poe and Tommy Abernathy

17 tons of trash were collected and properly disposed of to keep Lake Martin clean

Andy Johnson, Kevin Drumwright, Mike McKemie and Josh Foster of Singleton Marine Norma Philhower

Mary Leigh Meredith

Trudy Morris and Lynda Davis The Real Island crew turned out en force for the annual cleanup

Rick Morris and Norma Philhower

Lynda Davis and Bill and Melissa Duckworth

Elliott Peters and Debbie, Graham, Greg and Haze Griffith

Michael Langston and Amy Willis

Shirley Cook and John Owen

Cleanup stars Tonya and Ken Holland



Purple Spore Puffball

Purple Spore puffballs sometimes appear on lawns, in the woods and along roadsides after a rain



Fun for kids, edible and just plain magic, this local mushroom is well-named




The puffball splits to show the solid white interior

The underside of a puffball where it attaches to the earth

After it's dried the white flesh morphs into spores, like this one that is a purple spore puffball

Once the spores have dispersed all that's left is a dark hull on the ground


One day it rains, and the next day – POOF! – white puffballs appear, like magic, on the lawn. Or in the woods. Or on the roadsides. “Puffball” is a common name for mushrooms that fall into three scientific genera, or groups of closely related species. Scientific names are made of two different words, the genus and species names. Mushrooms with the “first” name of Calvatia, Calbovista and Lycoperdon are all commonly called puffballs. It’s a good name, because these mushrooms are all roughly ball-shaped, fully-enclosed mushrooms. Most mushrooms have caps with gills underneath, where spores live, and stems that raise the caps off the ground. Puffballs are the exception, as they have very little or no stems at all, though some have stalks or more elongated structures on their undersides. Many seem to sit right on the ground. Also, puffballs have no gills, just a round shape with spores on the inside. The way puffballs spread their spores is also part of their appropriate common name: As the mushroom dries, it splits or develops an opening and the interior changes color as its flesh transforms into spores. Stepping on or kicking an older puffball will release a cloud of spores – a dramatic display very often gleefully caused by active children. Once the puffball is dry, wind and raindrops and falling objects hitting the mushroom will also puff out a cloud of spores tht float on the breeze away from the parent mushroom and settle on the ground. The puffballs pictured in this article, which where photographed in a field near Lake Martin, are called Purple-spored Puffballs, or Calvatia cyathiformis. This puffball firmly attaches to the ground and grows larger than a grapefruit. A closely related species, the Giant Puffball, is also found in our neck of the woods. It is a white ball-shaped mushroom that can grow up to 2 feet or more across. A whopper like that could contain up to 7 billion spores. Giant Puffballs are only barely attached to the ground and can usually be rolled off their bases. There are many other puffballs found in North America, including some that are covered in spikes or have more pronounced thick stalks on the bottom. Many puffball mushrooms are edible when young – when the interior is all white and marshmallow-soft – and depending on whom you ask, they can range from kind of bland to very tasty with an earthy flavor. However, there are two deadly poisonous mushrooms that can look like puffballs during part of their growth cycles: the Destroying Angel mushroom and the Death Cap mushroom. Paying attention to their common names, it’s pretty obvious that neither should ever touch a skillet. Both will likely cause death within 24 hours after eating, and this group of mushrooms causes about 90 percent of all mushroom fatalities. Distinguishing between these edible and poisonous mushrooms is easy, but you have to cut the mushrooms in half, from top to bottom. Edible puffballs are pure white inside: They look like mozzarella balls cut in half or marshmallows cut in half, with no color and no pattern whatsoever inside, according to “Not all puffballs are edible, and not all are edible at all stages, but if you stick to the rule of all white on the inside with no markings (especially gills) then you will only be eating edible puffballs,” according to the website. Many other sources give exactly the same advice, but it’s always good to check with a local expert to identify mushrooms before eating them. A second bit of advice: look up photos of Destroying Angel and Death Cap mushrooms cut in half so you will know exactly what their internal patterns look like – if you see any gills or what looks like a mushroom stem and cap imbedded inside hard white flesh, throw it away immediately. It’s also safer to choose only puffballs larger than your fist if you are DECEMBER 2019

going to eat them. Once you’re sure you have an edible puffball, you can cook it alone or use it as you would eggplant in parmigiana, in place of lasagna pasta or even in an Asian stir-fried dish where it is used like tofu. It’s best to simply brush dirt off the mushroom instead of washing it because the sponge-like interior can become waterlogged and soggy. But if you are worried about eating dirty mushrooms, it is possible to peel the thin outer skin before cooking. To prepare them, cut in slices from top to bottom, about the thickness of a slice of bread. Puffballs are good grilled, baked, boiled or sautéed in butter, though sautéing is probably the most popular method. The slices will soak up whatever you cook them in, so use butter sparingly. Besides being edible, these mushrooms have a number of uses. Medical scientists are currently investigating puffballs in the genus Calvatia because they have been shown to prevent some types of tumors. For years, puffballs have been used as a styptic to stop bleeding and to dress wounds − both powdered and slices of the mushroom. Puffballs can be used to dye fabrics and paper when used in combination with ammonia (as a mordant). Purple-spored Puffballs create a rusty red color while Giant Puffballs make a more reddish-brown dye. And they can entertain fast-footed children like no other mushroom. Information for this article came from,,, The New York Times and from

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The 'Other' Season at Lake Martin




First Things First

To get started, check into a fishing license online or at some local county offices. Anyone older than 16 years of age and younger than 65 years of age is required to hold a freshwater fishing license issued by the State of Alabama to fish Lake Martin, though under certain circumstances, a license isn’t required. Fishing with hook and line (no reel) from the bank does not require a license, and active-duty military on leave also are exempt from the fishing license requirement. Though Alabama residents aged 65 and over are not required to purchase a freshwater fishing license, licenses are required for other water-related activities – such as baiting privileges, duck hunting and saltwater fishing. But even within the age range from ages 16 to 64 and beyond, there are licensing options.

Alabama residents are eligible for lifetime fishing privileges at considerable discount from the cumulative cost of licenses purchased each year over the life of an angler. A purchaser of this license cannot hold a valid driver’s license from any other state. Non-resident college students also are ineligible for the lifetime license. Residents 64 years of age and older are eligible for a lifetime license for the price of an annual resident license. This license costs no more than the regular license but allows the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to continue to count a license holder on its rolls beyond age 65, which helps WFF with budgeting and other funding opportunities. One-day licensing, though not available at Lake Martin, also is an option in some Alabama counties. To obtain a freshwater fishing license online, visit the website at

Fishing offers a whole new way to experience the lake



Hiring a Guide

A local guide service can make the difference between catching the angling bug or giving up in frustration when breaking into fishing as an other-season activity at Lake Martin. Knowing what to look for when hiring a guide – and what to expect when you get on the water – could get you started in the right direction. Local striper guide and Alex City Guide Service owner David Hare said clients engage his services for a variety of reasons, including learning the lake, learning techniques unique to striper fishing and the affordability of charter fishing compared to purchasing equipment. The kind of fish you’re after should be one of the first considerations when looking to hire a guide. “Most people hire a guide when they are not familiar with the lake or with the type of fish they’re after. They want to learn how to catch a certain kind of fish,” Hare explained. “People hire us because they want to catch stripers. That’s what we specialize in.” Though hiring a guide is no guarantee of catching fish, a reputable guide spends a lot of time on the lake and is familiar with the places where fish typically can be found in particular circumstances or seasons. Hare recommends going out with a guide several times in varying conditions to acquire a versatile skill set and knowledge that would serve you well when fishing on your own. Look for a guide with a solid reputation for service, Hare said. It’s the attention to details – equipment, tackle, condition of the vessel, etc. – that often qualifies the guide experience. “You want to go out with someone who’s got up-todate equipment and boats, the latest electronics, to avoid breakdowns or equipment failures,” he said. In addition, make sure your guide carries charter guide insurance. “It’s not a big deal until there’s an accident out there, 32 LAKE

God forbid, but that liability coverage is important,” Hare said. “Look for someone who goes above and beyond what’s required of them by law. “We furnish all the tackle; all the bait. We clean the fish for you at the end of the trip, and we provide life jackets, which some places want you to bring your own, so be sure to ask,” he said. Additional accommodations might include dockside pick up and flexible tour times, as well as taking restaurant breaks for meals, Hare said. “Sometimes, somebody might want to have a couple beers while they’re out fishing, and they don’t want to have to drive back to the house when they come in off the water. Or maybe somebody doesn’t drive, so they need dockside pick up,” Hare said. “And meetings, other commitments, even just travel times, can limit when someone can go out, so a guide that works with you – that makes it easy for you – is somebody who is focused on you having a good experience.” Because boats, tackle and other gear can be expensive, a number of Hare’s clients have told him it is less expensive for them to book his charter several times a year than it would be for them to own their own equipment. “Not just the purchase but also the maintenance and A guide can do much more upkeep is just more than just put you on the fish than they want to deal with, and it’s cheaper for them to go out with us than to buy a boat,” he said. When you go out with a guide, bring your own meals and snacks, and be sure to have with you a current freshwater fishing license issued by the State of Alabama. A good guide who is familiar with the lake can make other recommendations as well, such as where to eat; where to stay; what else to do in the area. Fishing guides often serve as ambassadors for the area, no matter the season.


Handling & Livewells

Whether taking the catch home for supper or to the marina for a tournament weigh-in, delivering healthy, live fish matters as much as reeling them in. The key factors in that delivery are handling – or rather, not handling – and livewell conditions. Each handling event causes stress to the fish, according to the recommended fish handling guidelines published by Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. Written to educate bass tournament authorities and increase survivorship of tournament-bagged fish, the guidelines cover every stage of fish handling from hooking the catch to how it is released. Handling fish carefully and as little as possible helps to manage their stress, which elevates oxygen consumption and increases the excretion of ammonia and carbon dioxide. These conditions threaten the life of the fish. When hauling in the catch, grip the lower jaw and land it by hand, instead of flopping a fish down on the ground or the bottom of the boat, to avoid damaging the slime coat that protects the fish from disease. Or use a rubber landing net that has no knots that might irritate the scales. Avoid the temptation to take extra time admiring a great catch, as settling a fish in the livewell within 30 seconds of pulling it from the water is an important factor in survival rates. Once a fish is in the livewell, it shouldn’t be disturbed until it is removed for culling, filleting or weighing. That means the fish should be measured, weighed and photographed quickly; and then, placed in the livewell. The dissolved oxygen level in the livewell water should be maintained at a healthy level to avoid further stressing the fish, so fresh water may need to be added if fish are in the livewell longer than two and a half hours. Water temperature in a livewell should be the same or a few degrees lower than the depth from which fish are pulled. That means livewell water may need to be cooled down if fish are pulled from water that is cooler than the surface. Also, livewell containers should be thoroughly cleaned after every use to prevent contaminant buildup. When transporting fish for weigh-in, there should be a minimum of 3 gallons of water in each weigh-in bag. For more handling tips, visit the tournament fish handling guidelines at

Grasp a catch by the lower jaw to land it gently and increase its chance of survival



Most tournaments leave the dock at sunrise


If you’ve got a competitive personality, sooner or later, you’ll look to the tournament schedule to up the excitement, challenge and camaraderie of your Lake Martin fishing expeditions. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to step into tournament fishing, said Mike Oglesbee, co-owner of OGS Tournaments. Oglesbee and his wife, Crystal, have organized fishing events for 28 years, and at Wind Creek State Park since 2014. “When we started doing tournaments here five years ago, I could schedule a tournament with just four months of lead time; now, I have to schedule them 18 months in advance,” Oglesbee said. “That is a pretty good indicator of the growth of the sport, as well as the growth of Lake Martin.” Most new entrants are introduced to the tournament schedule by a friend that already is involved, Oglesbee said, but more and more, he’s seeing new people show up on 34 LAKE

Mike Oglesbee organized a number of tournaments throughout the Southeast, including many at WCSP


their own, often without traditional gear. “You don’t have to have a bass boat to be in a tournament. We had a couple come out earlier this year in a real nice T-top bay boat. They did fine and had a lot of fun,” he said. Though the sky’s the limit on how much a person might spend on fishing gear, there’s a lot of fun to be had at the bargain level, too, Oglesbee said. “The marina at Wind Creek recently invested in a new trolling motor option, so you could even rent a boat at the marina for a tournament,” he said. The tournament schedule is posted in the marina store at WCSP and on the state park website at alapark. com/parks/wind-creek-state-park/ fishing-tournament-schedule. “You’ll find the rules, fliers, pay backs, sponsors – everything you need to know – online, and you can register online,” Oglesbee said. Many of the tournaments on the

WCSP schedule are benefit events for local charities – such as high school fishing clubs or lake advocacy groups. These stand-alone tournaments offer a fun introduction to tournament fishing, but trail tournaments also carry a heightened element of good-natured competition, Oglesbee said. “Something like the Wind Creek Bass Trail, where there are six qualifying tournaments and a classic at the end, bring in the same folks for each tournament. They are based on a point system, with points earned at every tournament,” he explained. Practice, Oglesbee said, is the best way to prepare for tournaments. “Practice to give yourself a better advantage,” he said. “Come out to the lake on weekends; fish to wind down at the end of the day.” Tournaments can be social events as much as competitive ones, he added. “There’s a bit of good-natured heckling, but the great thing about fishing tournaments is that they are family oriented. There’s no alcohol; it’s kid-friendly. It’s winning a place with NASCAR enthusiasts. “Also, you’ll see some of the better anglers that are on the national stage here. Most of them are approachable. You can talk to them. Learn from them.” And fishing isn’t just for the men anymore. More women are braving the waters and coming out on the winning side. In fact, Oglesbee said, there is a growing number of co-ed tournaments that are titled as Guys and Dolls or Lads and

Lasses events, in which each team must consist of one male and one female. “I’ve seen fathers come out with their young daughters and grandmothers bring their grandsons for these tournaments, as well as husband-and-wife teams. It’s a fun time,” he said. And that’s really the point. Coming out to the lake during its other season and having fun. Mike Oglesbee passed away after a short illness following the interview for this article. His wife, Crystal, requested that the article be published as originally planned.

Whether professional (above), academic or social, tournaments can be rewarding and fun






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Eight waterfront and four water-access lots are available in the new cabin neighborhood

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Russell Lands unveils new lake cabins at The Willows


Russell Lands On Lake Martin has unveiled a new neighborhood in the Willow Point community. Russell Cabins at The Willows includes 12 lots in Phase 2 of the recently opened neighborhood on the north bank of Pitchford Hollow. Eight waterfront and four wateraccess lots are now available inside the gate on Bulgers Mill Way. The cabin sector availability comes sooner than had been originally planned, but the timing was right to bring these lots up as an option, explained Russell Lands Vice President Real Estate Sales Steve Arnberg. “The 27 lots in Phase 3 at The Willows went faster than anticipated, and houses went up there fast, as well. We saw more demand than we had availability, so it made sense to release these now,” Arnberg said. Classic Homes has been selected as the builder for this unique Lake Martin neighborhood, which will include a central park with a playing field and green space. “Chad Calhoun at Classic Homes has built 62 cabins for Russell Lands since 2011. They are beautiful homes, and customers love them; it just made sense to work with him on this project,” Arnberg said. Clients could choose from nine plans, some of which


have been upgraded from previous options in other neighborhoods, including Bill Ingram’s Bird’s Eye plan with enlarged room sizes, relocation of the fireplace and a more traditional style. The guidelines for this neighborhood include 35-foot setbacks, which keep more trees on the lots for enhanced privacy. The cabins generally would be about 3,500 square feet for one story, including porches and attached outdoor living spaces, and the gate will be


The Bird's Eye is one of nine options planned for the area

monitored by video from the Willow Point guardhouse, Arnberg said. “The location is popular; it’s close to Willow Point, has great views and larger lots and great exposure,” he said. The average waterfront price point for complete homes at Russell Cabins at The Willows would be about $1.2 million, depending on the plan chosen,

Arnberg said. See the ad on page 23 of last month’s issue of Lake magazine and call Emily McDaniel at 256-786-9170 or Rhonda Watson at 256-750-2898 for more information.



Merry Christmas from everyone at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.

TPI 256-234-4281



Makers Market on Main A Southern Made Store

All Made in ALABAMA

Barbara Thompson, Owner 33 Main Street, Alexander City 256-392-5555




Four whimsical stockings are hung on the Lees' fireplace mantle


This Christmas will be the second one that Alexander City’s Ginger and Randy Lee will celebrate in their new home on Lake Martin. With a flair for simple elegance, the mother of two young children decorated her home with warmth for the holidays, yet kept it functional enough to withstand the activity of 6-year-old Kendall and 3-year-old Cecelia. “I didn’t want so much out that I was constantly asking the children not to touch or to be careful with things. I think we found just the right balance,” Ginger Lee said. Lee asked her friend and interior designer Jamie Dark to help her with the Christmas décor. With a mix of real and artificial greenery in every room on the main level, plus five Christmas trees and 11 wreaths perfectly placed throughout the home, Lee and Dark blended the beauty of the Lees’ creamy shiplap walls and neutral furnishings with the


dark green, gold and burgundy of the holiday season. On the front porch, two trees with white lights and wreaths on the double front doors set the tone and greet guests as they enter the large foyer. The dining room to the left has a 7-1/2-foot flocked tree situated in a large wicker basket as the focal point. “I had planned to decorate the flocked tree, but it looked so beautiful without ornaments, I decided to leave it as it is. On the table, I found chargers and Christmas dessert plates at Pier One to work in with my own white china, and I thought the mix of cedar and magnolia worked perfectly as a centerpiece,” she said. She spread the buffet with a mixture of artificial pine and berries, fresh cut cedar and magnolia. Three Nativity scenes grace the top of the buffet, along with several gold and


The 12-foot tree in the main living area makes a grand statement



Three Nativities are nested in the lush greenery on the buffet

A wooden boat filled with greenery and a decorative reindeer dress up the kitchen island



The Lees added a touch of Christmas dĂŠcor to the master bedroom

The tree includes a mix of nostalgic ornaments

silver trees. The butler’s pantry, conveniently positioned just to the side, features another Nativity scene in view from the dining room. The Lees’ spacious, white kitchen with white quartz countertops is decorated with simple displays of fresh greenery complemented with small trees and other Nativity scenes. A wreath decorates the hood above the stove. The farm table in the eating area lends a warm welcome with a simple red and gold plaid table runner and greenery in the center. In the main living area, a vaulted cathedral ceiling amply accommodates a 12-foot-tall Christmas tree that dramatically commands the center of attention. The tree is decorated with a garland of gold, linen ribbon and a beautiful mix of new and treasured ornaments that the family has gathered through the years. Ornaments with photos from each year they have been married are especially important to the Lees. The fireplace is adorned with a heavy layer of fresh greenery, and four stockings have been hung by the chimney with care. Small touches add to the festive air in the

Santas, reindeer and handmade ornaments decorate the tree in Kendall's room

Cecelia's room sports a silver and pink theme

room – a special throw pillow announcing the joy of Christmas, jingle bells in the wood basket on the hearth and ornaments that have been handmade by the children. “My son made two things that I like to have out on the book shelves. One is his handprint on a plate, and one of my favorites is the baby Jesus drawn into the manger, which was made from his footprint,” she said. The Lees’ master bedroom mirrors the fresh greenery in the main rooms on the tables beside the bed and on top of the dresser. A slim, lighted Christmas tree in the room adds to the ambience. Small Christmas trees also have been worked into the greenery on

the dresser. A large wooden bowl of blue, red, white and gold balls sits atop a chest-ofdrawers for a touch of color and shine while a long pillow on the bed announces ‘tis the season.’ The guest room, also on the main level, calls for celebration with a simple garland of greenery along the top of the headboard. A rustic iron circle with the word ‘Joy’ spelled out in the middle also is adorned with greenery. Christmas decorating is carried upstairs with garland and bows on the staircase handrails and also on a bridge that overlooks the living room. The children’s grandmother gave Kendall and Cecelia Christmas trees for

A mix of fresh cuttings and artificial greenery dresses up the dining table



Trees and lights add warmth and sparkle to the season

Outdoor decorations include candles and greenery as well

each of their rooms, and each tree reflects the personality of the child. A pink and white tree perfectly defines Cecelia with silver and pink swirls and balls, rocking horses, hard candy ornaments and soft, pink ribbon flowing from the top of the tree. Kendall’s more masculine décor features a nutcracker collection on his dresser and a rustic, green Christmas tree with a collection of Santas, reindeer and ornaments he has made. Lee’s favorite tradition is one with which she grew up. Every Christmas morning, the family sings Happy Birthday to Jesus before any celebrating begins. “Since all of our families live here in Alexander City, we have time to see all of them for Christmas – parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. We are so blessed,” she said. Lee loves angels depicted in art, particularly paintings and figurines, which she uses in her home in the everyday décor. Those special pieces become part of the decorations in December, adding to the joy and blessings of Christmas, feelings the Lees hope to carry throughout the year.

Contact us to make your experience one to


256.215.7080 DECEMBER 2019


256.215.7035 LAKE 49

Martin Dam during WWII Barbara Cole shares her wartime memories of Martin Dam Village



Life changed very little for 6-year-old Barbara power company had an area for gardens at the vilEllison when the war broke out, except that pilots lage, and they would give you an acre lot and run from the military base in Montgomery practiced water to your garden,” she said. “The spigot is diving raids over Martin still there. I would have to Dam. Ellison grew up in water the garden, and there Martin Dam Village. She were no garden hoses then. married Dadeville native I would have to fill a pail Jeff Cole, and when she with water and carry it over was 16, Cole left the only to the plants to water them.” community in which she To control the mosquitos had ever lived, but in 1941, and prevent malaria, men she was a little girl. At that from the village sprayed time, practice bombing runs the lake along the shoreline were the only war-related from a fleet of mosquito lifestyle change she knew. boats. “Well, that, and we “After a while – a couple needed stamps to buy things of years, I think – after a like coffee, sugar and shoes. German submarine was I remember that I outgrew discovered off the East my shoes. My brother had Coast – they realized that grown so fast that he had we were vulnerable to being used up all of our stamps, bombed,” Cole rememand I had to wear goulashes bered. “Martin Dam was – rubber boots that slipped No. 7 on the list of places over your shoes – for three that Germany wanted to Young Barbara Ellison (Cole) weeks until we had enough bomb. The dam was congrew up at Martin Dam Village stamps again to buy new nected to the grid that supshoes for me,” Barbara Cole plied electricity all up the said last month as she sat East Coast. If Germany in the sunroom at her Dadeville home, reminiscing could take out Martin Dam, that entire part of the about life at Martin Dam Village during World War country would have no electricity.” II. Public access to Martin Dam was closed then. “We had a garden, so we grew vegetables. The Gates were put up, and a guardhouse was built. A



Martin Dam and its powerhouse were crucial to the power supply of the eastern seaboard during WWII

guard was posted around the clock. Cole’s father, Luther Ellison, a welder who repaired water wheels at a number of Alabama Power Company dams, crafted decorative grates on the sides of the gates; these were designed to prevent anyone from climbing around the gates to access the dam grounds. Visitors were screened before they were allowed admittance. “If you had someone who was coming to visit, you had to put their name in before they arrived, or they couldn’t come in,” she said. “Prior to that, we could go back and forth to the dam to see Daddy any time we wanted. We would walk him back to work after lunch every day. We could still do it when the changes happened, but it was more restricted,” Cole said. The dam was declared a no-fly zone, and the men of the village stood watch in two-hour shifts to look for planes. “If one was ever sighted, they would have been reported to the military at the air base in Montgomery, and there was a plane there that would be up here in a hurry,” Cole explained. Cole remembered a day in March of 1945 when a military airplane crashed on the lake. “The men got word that a supply plane had crashed up in the lake around Sandy Creek, so they took the mosquito boats up there to see what was

going on, but the military had it all blocked off,” she said. “They couldn’t see anything. For a long time, you couldn’t find anything out about it; the government had all the records sealed.” The plane reportedly had flown into a storm and lost an engine during a flight from Washington, D.C., to Fort Worth, Texas. The plane was over Lake Martin when the storm ended and the engine caught fire. In an attempt to set the plane down, it is theorized, the de-icing alcohol tank exploded, and the plane inverted and crashed. Years later, local diver and researcher Bob Norwood brought Cole a couple of spark plugs he’d found while diving on the site. He had acquired access to the crash site from the military and dove on it several times. D.A.R.E. Park in Dadeville was built as a memorial for the men who lost their lives there. An exhibit at the Tallapoosee Historical Museum in Dadeville includes an extensive report of the crash, as well as a number of artifacts from the dive site. As the war progressed, Martin Dam, like the rest of the country, was thrown into the dark. “I remember that there were lights across the top of the dam and lights all up through the area, at the tennis courts and the different buildings. There was a pine tree where we would all meet for important news or information, and the superintendent called



us all to gather at the pine tree one day. He told us how we were to turn off all the lights to hide the dam,” she recalled. “All the lights were turned on; and then, immediately, they were turned off, and it went dark. We had to all walk home in the dark. “We had to keep our houses dark and pull down the shades on the windows before we could turn any lights on.” Soldiers from Ft. McClellan were stationed at the dam then. “They lived at the hotel that had been built originally as a hospital during construction of the dam. That’s where trustees and investors would stay when they visited. Thomas Martin would stay in the guesthouse when he came to the dam, but the soldiers moved into the hotel. They stayed for the rest of the war,” she said. “Off-duty soldiers would come out to the flat – that’s what we called our play area – to play with us. They liked to play tennis, too, and the lights would be on for just a little while for them to play tennis; but then, they were turned off again.” At the time, few if any local places outside of the dam village had electricity, as rural areas were not economical to serve at the time, Cole said. Most of her friends did not have power until after the war ended and President Truman introduced an initiative to provide power for rural communities.

The saddest day in the village, Cole said, was one that brought terrible news. The call came out to meet at the pine tree, where the superintendent told the gathered community that his son had been shot down and killed. Eighteen months before the war ended, the family’s refrigerator died, Cole said. “We couldn’t replace it because during the war, you couldn’t buy anything with metal. The metal went to the war,” she explained. “Well, my Daddy believed that for me to be healthy, I had to drink a quart of milk every day. He would mix up some Carnation milk for me to drink. It came in a can and was concentrated, and he would add water to it. “Oh, that was awful stuff,” she laughed. “I didn’t have a cold drink for 18 months.” The family’s stove also wore out during the war, and meals were planned based on its limited function. “Back in those days, the power company sold appliances, but you couldn’t get anything during the war. They weren’t making them,” she said. When Cole wanted a bicycle, her father purchased an old one from a teenaged girl in the area. He repaired it and painted it for his daughter. When Germany surrendered and life began to return to normal at Martin Dam, Cole remembered, she was playing outside one afternoon when she Metal products were not available during the war, so Luther Ellison bought a used bike and repaired and painted it for his daughter



Thomas Martin (seated at left with Cole behind him) built a library for the children

heard a horrendous noise. “I thought it was the Germans coming to bomb us after all. I hit the ground and covered by ears,” she said. “My mother came outside and told me it was a jet plane that had broken the sound barrier. I had never heard a jet plane before, not in all those years of the war; they weren’t allowed near the dam.” When the war with Japan ended, Cole recalled, she was in Kent having some clothes made for school. Cars started driving by honking their horns, and she heard shouts of “Hallelujah! The war is over! “Shortly after that, they started making appliances again, and the power company got the first ones that came off the line. I remember the superintendent came through one day with a truck that had two stoves and two refrigerators on it – the first ones that they got. One was standard, and one was premium. The superintendent asked my father which ones he wanted, and my father said, well, he would take the standard, but the superintendent told him, ‘No, you’ll take the premium.’” Thomas Martin was a frequent visitor at the dam and purportedly felt a special responsibility toward the children that grew up there. During a conversation with the children one day, Martin suggested one of them go to the library to find an answer to

his question. “When we told him we didn’t have a library, he had one built for us,” Cole said. Cole’s husband returned from service in the Korean War and attended Jacksonville State University on the G.I. Bill. Cole earned her degree in chemistry at the same time, and they both went on to earn masters degrees from the University of Alabama. Her husband became an elementary school principal, and Cole taught chemistry for eight years. She also was a counselor for some years before becoming a psychologist. With the post-war prosperity, Cole said, some of the families in the village decided they wanted to own their own homes, so they moved off the power company property. Their homes were razed, one by one, until the village disappeared. “I think I am the only one who grew up there for the entire war who is still around,” Cole said. “Every now and then, I go back. I call the superintendent and tell him I need a dam day, and he lets me in the gate. I remember where every house was; what color it was; and how many bedrooms it had. “I was so fortunate to have grown up there. I wish everyone could have had that upbringing. It was wonderful.”



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Merry Christmas From Our Family To Yours

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord ” 54 LAKE


Luke 2: 11

HOBO mission has single focus Defend homeowner interests at Lake Martin


ctive HOBO members often are asked a Harris Dam Relicensing couple of very valid question by existing Alabama Power is well into the FERC relicenshomeowners and especially by newcomers, ing process for Harris Dam with studies being both full time and part time. What is a HOBO? conducted. Of special interest, a study is being What do ya’ll do? These are great questions, and conducted to prove the validity of raising the winthey provide a platform for us to respond in detail. ter level of their lake, similar to what happened to The Lake Martin Home Owners and Boat Lake Martin. Also, downstream landowners have Owners Association, Inc., (HOBO) was founded filed numerous complaints about bank erosion in 2007 by a group of Lake Martin home owners during times of generation and water releases. to represent the best interests of all home owners Harris Dam has an issue with generation because and boat owners on the lake. During 2007, our they only have two generators, but basically have lake suffered a terrible drought where we saw lake the same generating capacity as Martin Dam’s HOBO levels taken down 15 feet from full level. Some of four generators. Harris typically generates three BY JESSE CUNNINGHAM this lake drainage was demanded by the Corps of times a day for only one generator and one hour Engineers to support an ill-fated dredging project. each period, which some contend causes pulsing Also, Alabama Power was just starting the dam relicensing in the downstream releases. Environmentalists love it for the process, and our homeowners were not represented in these fish, but landowners claim to have lost significant land in some proceedings. cases. We will continue to monitor the studies and post any There is nothing like a crisis to gain interest, and HOBO FERC information on our website at soon had more than 2,000 homeowner members. Lake Martin survived the crisis of 2007, and we won several Jesse Cunningham is president of Lake Martin Home benefits through the relicensing of our lake. HOBO continues Owners and Boat Owners Association, Inc. To learn more, him to represent the best interest of the homeowners. at During the organizational meetings of the HOBO – and there were many – the mission of the association was always to represent the best interest of homeowners and to only represent the homeowners. HOBO does not represent any corporation or governmental body. Our board consists only of lake homeowners, and we do not accept any funds with strings attached from any organization, other than normal annual dues. To best serve our members after 12 years, we remain obligated to only one entity, our homeowners. HOBO is dedicated to being an advocate organization for the Lake Martin homeowners and boat owners. Our board of directors continually looks for ways to improve life on Lake Martin. We monitor every filing made to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to change anything on our lakefront by any organization/corporation, and we will challenge anything we feel is not in the best interest of the homeowners. HOBO helps to monitor activities upstream in our watershed to ensure our water quality is great. We help to develop Neighborhood Watch groups and sponsor learning activities for schools and adults. Rivers of Alabama Course We recently sponsored a six-week course for adults entitled Rivers of Alabama, led by Dr. Bill Deutsch, Auburn professor. This course offered attendees information on rivers in our state, including history, geology, fisheries and water quality. Interest in the course exceeded our expectations, and we almost reached maximum capacity of the meeting facility. Due to the success of and homeowner interest in this course, we are in discussions with local schools and boards of education to hold a course only for teachers and interested upper-level high school students. A HOBO board member has graciously offered to donate the tuition for a large number of attendees. DECEMBER 2019




Willow Point, Parkview Cottage • $769,000 Builder: Derryl Thomas Beds: 4 • Baths: 4.5 • SQFT: 2,580 Russell Lands On Lake Martin Emily McDaniel, Rhonda Watson 256.215.7011

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A Merry Lake Martin Market


Owning lake property is the gift that keeps on giving

f your Christmas wish is for a healthy real estate market on Median prices Lake Martin, you must have been on the nice side of the increase significantly naughty or nice scale because the market is very healthy Everyone wants to see the market improve. The best way indeed. In fact, this year’s numbers might be as memorable as to measure that is to look at median prices year over year. The that Red Ryder BB gun or Cabbage Patch Doll median price for waterfront residential property you got when you were a kid. increased 7.8 percent to $510,005. Single-family We gather lots of numbers each month to track increased 8.6 percent to $613,325 with conthe market and to help us make decisions regarddos and townhomes increasing 8.7 percent to ing future development activity. This article con$295,000. tains what I consider the headline stats. The most The increase in median prices is an indicarecent numbers, since this article was written tor that both desirability and affordability were in mid-November, are for the 12-month period aligned, so people could purchase better lake ending October 2019, in comparison to the same homes than in the same period last year. In short, 12-month period ending in 2018.* good rates, good economy means a better lake I like looking at this particular period because, place. by the end of October, most of the contracts writMerry Christmas! ten during the spring and summer seasons have Inventory remains limited closed. I also like to look at the year-over-year LAKE PROPERTY If there is concern with recent data, it is that comparison because the monthly view tends to BY STEVEN ARNBERG available inventory is below last year’s level. It is be too volatile to like shopping for toys the see trends and make day before Christmas – good decisions. the shelves look empty.

Sales volume increases by double digits

The headline number in any report is the gross dollar volume for residential sales. This category includes all single-family homes, townhomes and The real estate condos sold through market at Lake the local MLS. Martin is looking The sales volume great this year increased 14.3 percent to $207,860,983 for the period ending in October. A deeper dive into the numbers revealed an increase of 12.2 percent in single-family property volume and a 28.7 percent increase in condos and townhomes volume. This increase came after a sluggish start to the year that can be largely attributed to increased interest rates. The unit sales in the January-through-March quarter were down significantly. The sales pace picked up substantially beginning in April in tandem with rate decreases through the summer and into fall. Lower interest rates caused total residential unit sales to increase 14.3 percent to 351 total units. I think that is a meaningful number because that means 351 people or families decided to invest $207,860,983 in Lake Martin. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Last year, residential inventory had an 8.44month supply, somewhat low historically for Lake Martin. This year, the supply stands even lower at just 6.29 months. That means if nothing new comes on the market or is built/ developed, we will be out of properties to sell by mid-May of 2020.

Looking into 2020


For those that are concerned that there are not enough available lake homes, don’t worry. Russell Lands, other developers and homebuilders are working like Santa’s elves to create new opportunities for lake home ownership. Who knows? If you are nice, you might just find yourself in a lake home in time to have a Merry Christmas in 2020. *All sales data reported in the article is distilled from waterfront sales information pulled from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors MLS on Nov. 12, 2019. Steve Arnberg is Vice President Real Estate Sales for Russell Lands On Lake Martin. Contact him at 256-329-0835.



Crispy Quail, Frisée, Soft Egg and Red-eye Gravy Ingredients for Quail

6 quail 1 cup buttermilk 4 cups self-rising flour 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon salt


Soak quail in buttermilk for at least one hour and up to three. Mix dry ingredients together and reserve until ready to fry. Drain quail from buttermilk; then, toss in dry ingredients and fry at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Ingredients for Red-eye Gravy

5 smoked ham hocks 5 sprigs fresh thyme 3 bay leaves 1 head garlic 1 onion 1 carrot 2 ribs celery 2 fresh tomatoes or 1 can whole peeled tomatoes 1/2 cup very strong coffee or espresso


Place everything but coffee in a heavy pot and cover with cold water and bring to a boil; then, reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 2 hours; then, strain and return to medium heat. Allow remaining stock to reduce by half; then, add the coffee. If you can’t find frisée, grits also work well. For the soft egg, I like to use poached eggs for this, but you could use a sunnyside-up egg just as easily. Arrange frisée on a serving platter; then, place quail on top with an egg nestled next to it. Drizzle with red-eye gravy. Rob McDaniel, executive chef and general manager at SpringHouse Restaurant, earned a bachelor's degree in restaurant and hotel management from Auburn University and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute.






What to do with the leftovers?


ccording to the U.S. Department of can start by taking small, simple steps in everyAgriculture, more than 130 billion day life, which could make a big impact. pounds of food is wasted in the United As I leave the Thanksgiving table with great States each year. This food is disposed of as trash thankfulness and enter into a season of Christmas and carted off to landfills, producing methane magic, joy and surprises, I find myself reflecting gas, which can be more hurtful to the environon those who struggle to get food on the table ment than emissions released from driving a car. or may go to bed hungry. Gathering with friends It is easy to point the finger at farmers, food and family throughout the month over endless producers and retailers for food waste; however, amounts of food, I try to be mindful of what I put facts show that many people in the farm-to-table in the trash and to recycle, reuse and repurpose industry work diligently to reduce food waste. what is in the kitchen. Their main objective is to produce food that There are two approaches to the thought of HEALTHY LIVING leftovers. First is how to create fewer leftovers, can be sold. According to ReFED, a nonprofit BY JULIE HUDSON organization that fights food waste in the United and second is how leftovers could be used to proStates, American consumers account for 21 perduce additional meals or side dishes. To create cent of the food waste, which is more than farmers and food fewer leftovers and less wasted foods, try to plan as closely as processors combined. possible the amount of food you need, depending on the numA current topic of discussion is sustainability. According ber of people being served. Maximize food safety by storing to researchers, the current focus of sustainable food manageproperly and always checking the quality and dates on foods ment greatly influences the values, attitudes and actions of before they are purchased and brought home. more than 85 percent of American consumers. Through the Turning leftovers into additional meals may take some sustainable management of food, we can help consumers and creativity. Sometimes, planning for leftovers is very helpbusinesses save money; provide a bridge in our communities ful. I find it really nice to cook in bulk over the weekend and to feed people that do not have enough to eat; and conserve use some ingredients for more than one menu item. It makes resources for future generations. weeknight meal prep a lot easier. The concept of “reduce, reuse and recycle” changes the Here are several suggestions for turning what may be your thought process to protecting the environment and informs “trash” into dinner. consumers of the impacts of food that is wasted. Consumers Repurpose on purpose: Turn grilled or roasted meats and

Use leftovers to make delicious soups, stews and chili



Leftover Ham and Bean Soup Leftover ham, diced Ham bone 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes 3 cans Northern beans 2 cans corn 2 cups carrots and onion, peeled and diced Frozen or leftover English peas (optional) 3-4 cups water 1/2 teaspoon salt 1-3 teaspoons dry mustard, depending on your preference 1/2 teaspoon pepper Dash nutmeg


In a stockpot, cook carrots, onions and ham bone in a small amount of oil for 5-10 minutes. Add 3-4 cups water and bring to a boil until vegetables are tender. Add mashed potatoes, dry mustard and nutmeg. Simmer for an hour. Remove ham bone and add chopped ham, simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

vegetables into more meals by adding them to the top of a salad; combine them with a marinara sauce and serve with pasta; add to a hummus wrap; use as a topping on pizza; inside an omelet, quiche or quesadilla. Make a bowl: Chop leftover vegetables and add them to leftover beans, grains, meat or seafood in a skillet; then, reheat and put in a bowl, top with a fried egg. Make a pot of soup: Add leftover or overripe vegetables – such as tomato, cucumber, peppers, mushrooms, avocado or zucchini into a blender; then, add parsley, basil or other herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper and process. If you prefer a chunkier soup, start by processing tomatoes, onions and herbs; then, add vegetables after the sauce base is completed. Save blemished vegetables and fruit: When you see a rotting potato, tomato, onion or squash, cut off the blemish and save the edible portion. Start with some broth in a stockpot or slow cooker and add vegetables, drained beans, herbs and seasonings to create a hardy soup. Consume in the next few days or freeze for later. Make a fruit smoothie: Place overripe fruit in the freezer for later use. Blend frozen fruit, milk or juice, protein powder and peanut butter together for the perfect breakfast or snack. Happy Holidays to all and thank you for a wonderful 2019! Julie Hudson is a registered dietician at Lake Martin Wellness Center in Dadeville.

We want to meet all your household needs! Wes Waters | 256.596.1428 DECEMBER 2019



ecently, I visited with the Central Alabama Community College Fishing Team. A few weeks later, I attended a fundraiser for the Auburn University Fishing Team. That’s right, college fishing exists, and there’s high school fishing as well. I’ve had the good fortune to watch this phenomenon develop during the course of my career as a professional angler. The first time I heard of college fishing was almost 15 years ago. It seems there were a few schools in Indiana or maybe Illinois that put together some college fishing teams and allowed them to compete against each other. As a bass club member, former college athlete and a growing tournament angler at the time, I remember thinking this could be big. Now several years later, it is very big. College fishing grew through the two biggest tournament organizations that existed at the time, B.A.S.S. and FLW. FLW was recently purchased by Major League Fishing, which hopes to build on the successful grassroots programs of FLW to further pursue the vision of growing the sport of fishing. It started as a club, much like Kowaliga Bassmasters, through which I got started. The top performing teams got to compete on behalf of their schools in the larger events. B.A.S.S. and FLW began holding high profile, televised events in which the best college anglers in the country could earn scholarship money for their schools, as well provide their schools with valuable exposure. Not long after that I learned of schools that offered scholarships to anglers to join their fishing teams. One of the first was Bethel College in Tennessee. A small school that I had never heard of until they set a precedent by bringing in fishing talent to build a powerhouse in the college fishing world. Most of the schools sent teams to both B.A.S.S. BIG CATCHES and FLW events. BY GREG VINSON Having been the beneficiary of an academic scholarship that was attached to a college baseball team, I figured this was most likely how the teams could attract kids that were both great students and very talented anglers. Now, there are many schools that do the same. The practice is mostly limited to smaller colleges right now; nonetheless, schools are giving scholarships for fishing! I often wonder why more schools don’t offer scholarships for fishing, what with all the added benefits to the school and the students. Unfortunately, despite evidence to the contrary, some school athletic directors don’t consider fishing a sport. They think of it more as a relaxing pastime, sitting on the bank and watching a bobber go down – which it also can be. Competitive fishing is very much a sport. Speaking from experience, it requires certain physical and mental skills be used in concert to achieve success and strategy and execution of a game plan while making adjustments on the fly. Some argue that luck is too much a factor. What I’ve learned over the years is that ‘luck’ is often used to describe what we don’t understand. Luck plays into any sport, but the best competitors find themselves on the right side of the luck factor through preparation, practice and strategy. Multiple competition days and points systems minimize the luck factor. Studies by the American Sportfishing Association in recent 62 LAKE

College and High School Teams Growing the Sport

years have shown that fishing, as a participation sport, rivals both golf and tennis combined, both of which are high school sports and common college scholarship sports. With the growing success of college fishing, it was just a matter of time before high school fishing teams developed. This was a much larger undertaking, dealing with younger kids that had just learned to drive a vehicle and many that were still too young to get behind the wheel, much less able to hook up a bass rig and haul it to a distant tournament in the early morning hours before daylight. Many of the kids in high school were plenty experienced in hauling, launching and navigating boats while others were not quite as proficient. Common sense said the liabilities were just too high to turn them loose behind highpowered outboards in competitive environments. The need for boat captains was a must. In high school fishing, two anglers are accompanied by an adult boat captain. The boat captain runs the boat to the locations where the anglers want to fish. The adult boat captain can also serve as an advisor on where the anglers should go and what to throw. Most all boat captains for high school fishing are experienced anglers themselves and naturally bring a wealth of experience that the kids can draw from in a tournament setting. Preparing tackle, making decisions about how to approach the day’s conditions and how to work together as a team are just a DECEMBER 2019

Scholarships now are available for anglers on many college fishing teams

few valuable lessons learned. over open water and in open air with a friend, a relative or A few years ago, I attended a regional high school angling oftentimes a complete stranger that shares a common passion event on Lake Martin. There were about 250 boats in the event. is something special. The sights, sounds, smells, and feel of the To put this into perspective, a good local tournament draws outdoors, coupled with the unpredictability of nature, results in about 50 boats or more. So this was a huge draw for the lake a familiar but new experience each and every time. Fishing is a and the surrounding community. What I witnessed at this event rewarding venture for the individual, alone with nature or with was encouraging on so many levels. family, the team or a group. I saw excitement in the eyes of student anglers (boys and With the growth of high school and college fishing, I’m girls) at the pre-tournament meeting the night before an event. excited about the future of the sport and the potential that it I saw parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles with the kids in could lead to some future conservationists. In a world that is support of their passions. I saw adult boat captains serving as more and more electronically connected, some feel that true role models for kids on how to handle boats in tournaments and connections with people and the outdoors are in jeopardy. how to respect the other anglers in the field while competing. Having more and more students get the opportunity to connect And when the boats rolled in at the end of competition, I with each other and the outdoors gives me great hope that their saw the same family members and friends waiting at the Wind experiences with fishing teams will result in greater appreciaCreek State Park docks to welcome their fishing warriors back. tion for the outdoors and our resources. Today’s fishing team The stories of the day were shared between kids, families of members very well could be tomorrow’s conservationists, kids and captains with other captains. Memories were made, whether they choose a career in the outdoors or elsewhere. and lessons were learned about fishing. I would argue lessons I am optimistic that the future of fishing and other outdoors were learned about life, based on my personal tournament sports will be in good hands. experiences in team events and individual competitions. The sport of fishing is much bigger than just catching and Greg Vinson is a full-time professional angler on the Major reeling in fish. It’s a welcome escape from concrete, walls and League Fishing Bass Pro Tour. He lives in Wetumpka and grew controlled climates. To be floating in the confines of a boat up fishing on Lake Martin. DECEMBER 2019 LAKE 63

Brandy Alexander


BY MARK GILLILAND Mark Gilliland is the owner of Ocie & Belle's at 41 Main St., Alexander City.




2 ounces Presidente brandy 1 ounce dark crème de cacao 1 ounce heavy cream


Add all the ingredients to a shaker filled with cracked ice and shake until well chilled. Double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with chocolate shavings (original recipe calls for a nutmeg garnish).

Behind the Cocktail

The Brandy Alexander, which was originally called the Alexander No. 2 is a takeoff of The Alexander, which uses gin in place of the brandy. One of the earliest prints of this concoction was in the 1916 edition of Hugo Ensslin’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Historians give credit for the creation of this cocktail to Troy Alexander of the pre-prohibition bar, Rector’s in New York.

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over 80 years. When you think a When you think a financial over 80about years. it, it makes sense to choose institution institution based right here in our community. 256.245.4776 HSCU has been investi HSCU has been investing in you256.245.4776 and your dreams for

over 80 years.

Gift Ideas for the Golfer W

hile living in the South affords the option of playing golf year round, college football and hunting season tend to place golf on the back burner this time of year. It seems as if, every summer, we look forward to cooler, fall temperatures, but once they arrive, the focus shifts to other activities. Thanksgiving and Christmas typically do not scream, “It’s time to play golf,” but remember, it is often an option. Embrace the days that are nice; get out of the house and play a round. With Christmas right around the corner, I thought it would be helpful to highlight some neat ideas for Christmas gifts for the golfers. Golf shirts are always a favorite, as there is no such thing as having too many golf shirts. Whether a Peter Millar shirt from your local club or a nice shirt you find on the internet, every golfer enjoys a new shirt to sport on the course. Rangefinders or GPS units used for measuring distances on the course also are great options. Bushnell Range Finders are the most popular, ranging from $299 to $499. These units are must-haves for avid golfers and nice aids for golfers at any level. Knowing distances takes practice; distancemeasuring devices could help to save strokes on the course. Pushcarts are great gifts for golfers that want to get in some exercise while playing golf. While golf bags are light, experts say, golfers could harm their backs carrying their golf bags. Sun Mountain is the most popular product in this category. Sun Mountain has options that will suit all golfers. A gift certificate for a custom club fitting is another great idea for the golfer that is in need of a new set of clubs. Buying golf clubs for someone is tough, as a player needs to be custom fit. Check with your home course to find out how to get a certificate for a custom club fitting. This would be a homerun Christmas gift for an avid golfer. For the golfer that travels, a travel case is an awesome gift. Club Glove is a manufacturer PAR for the COURSE that specializes in durable BY MATT SHEPPARD travel gear. Check them out on the internet. A travel case could be personalized for an added charge. The avid golfer will, inevitably, incur a time when a rain suit is needed. This would be a phenomenal gift option for someone who has everything.

Footjoy, Kjus and Sun Mountain are the industry leaders in this category. A gift certificate for a series of lessons with your local PGA professional? This is a gift that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Check with your home club to see if there are options for lesson packages. There are many great ideas for stocking stuffers, too. All golfers are in need of the essentials − such as, balls, gloves, sunscreen and golf socks. I hope this helps some golfers get some great gifts for Christmas. And I hope this helps some spouses in the Lake Martin area with some ideas to help make their Christmas shopping a little easier. Matt Sheppard is the PGA Director of Golf at Willow Point Golf and Country Club.







To Sylacauga


Alexander City

Public Boat Ramps 18




Flint Hill Church

Camps & Parks


Power lines U.S. Highways




County Roads Piney Woods Landing

Wind Creek State Park

Pleasant Grove Church



Alex City Boat Ramp

Mt. Zion Church

259 9



Russell Farms Baptist Church 63

D.A.R.E. Park Landing

Friendship Church

15 20

New Hope Church

Liberty Church

14 Willow Point





Paces Point Boat Ramp


Camp Alamisco


Kowaliga Boat Landing

21 The Ridge




Camp Kiwanis

1 12

Church in The Pines



The Amp Ko w












Red Hill 63




19 Kent


Union Landing

Children’s Harbor




Timbergut Landing

Lake Martin Alabama

Horseshoe Bend National Park

Jaybird Landing



11. Kowaliga Marina 256-397-1210 255 Kowaliga Marina Rd., Alex City, AL 35010 22. The Ridge Marina 256-397-1300 450 Ridge Marina Rd., Alex City, AL 35010 33. River North Marina 256-397-1500 250 River North Rd., Alex City, AL 35010


Jacksons Gap

42. Real Island Marina 256-397-1200 2700 Real Island Rd., Equality, AL 36026


53. Blue Creek Marina 256-825-8888 7280 Hwy 49 S., Dadeville, AL 36853

Bethel Church


62. Parker Creek Marina 256-329-8550 486 Parker Creek Marina Rd., Equality, AL 36026


3. Harbor Pointe Marina 7 256-825-0600 397 Marina Point Rd., Dadeville, AL 36853

25 57



Camp Hill

Smith Landing

2. Lakeside Marina at Bay Pines 9 256-825-0999 3455 Bay Pine Rd., Jackson's Gap, AL 36861

Pleasant Ridge Church


4. Dark Insurance 22 256-234-5026 410 Hillabee Street, Alex City, AL 35010 23 . Kowaliga Whole Health Pet Care & Resort 334-857-1816 8610 Kowaliga Rd., Eclectic, AL 36024 24 . Off the Beaton Path 205-994-0847 21322 U.S. Hwy 280, Dadeville, AL 36853 25 . The Tiny Rabbit 256-307-1998 220 N. Broadnax, Dadeville, AL 36853

Churches 26 Lake Pointe Baptist Church 256-373-3293 970 Hwy. 63 South, Dadeville, AL 36853

12 Kowaliga Restaurant 256-215-7035 295 Kowaliga Marina Rd., Alex City, AL 35010

Walnut Hill


21 4. The Stables at Russell Crossroads 256-794-1333 288 Stables Loop, Alex City, AL 35010

6. Catherine’s Market 11 256-215-7070 17 Russell Farms Rd., Alex City, AL 35010



20 4. Russell Building Supply 256-825-4256 350 Fulton Street, Dadeville, AL 36853

6. SpringHouse 10 256-215-7080 12 Benson Mill Rd., Alex City, AL 35010

Lake Martin Baptist Church 49


4. Russell Do It Center (Eclectic) 19 334-541-2132 1969 Kowaliga Rd., Eclectic, AL 36024

Restaurants & Venues


Church of the Living Waters

82. Lakeside Marina 256-825-9286 7361 Hwy 49 S., Dadeville, AL 36853

4. Russell Do It Center (Alex City) 18 256-234-2567 1750 Alabama 22, Alex City, AL 35010



13 Lake Martin Pizza 256-373-3337 5042 Hwy 49, Dadeville, AL 36853 14 Shipwreck Sam's Yogurt & Flatbread Pizza 256-444-8793

Business & Shopping



Advertise your business on our Lake Martin Region Map for as little as $25. Contact our Marketing Department at 256-234-4281 or marketing@ for more information.

15 Lake Martin Storm Shelters 256-794-8075 970 Hwy. 63 South, Alex City, AL 35010 16 Karen Channell State Farm Financial Services 256-234-3481 5030 Hwy. 280, Alex City, AL 35010 5. Lake Martin Mini Mall 17 334.857.3900 7995 Kowaliga Rd, Eclectic, AL 36024



Lake Magazine Distribution ALEXANDER CITY Alex City Marine American Inn Anytime Fitness Baymont Inn BB&T Big B Bar-B-Q Campus of CACC Carlos Mexican Grill Catherine’s Market Chamber Of Commerce Cherokee Quick stop Citgo Cloud Nine Collegiate Deli Comfort Inn Dark Insurance Darwin Dobbs Days Inn Discount Food Mart Emporium Wine Grace’s Flowers Hampton Inn Holley’s Home Furnishings Hometown Pharmacy Jackson Drugs Jake’s JR’s Sports Bar & Grill Koon’s Korner Koon’s Korner II Lake Martin Building Supply Lakewinds Golf Club Larry’s General Store Longleaf Antiques Mark King's Lake Martin Furniture Mistletoe Bough Bed & Breakfast Queen’s Attic Regions Bank Ridge - Clubhouse Ridge - Marina


River North Marina Riverbend Store Russell Home Décor Russell Medical Center Russell Lands Russell Retail Store Satterfield, Inc Senior Nutrition~50+ Center Sho’ Nuff Restaurant Springhouse Restaurant T.C. Russell Airport Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc Touchless Boat Covers The Medicine Shoppe The Sure Shot Valley Warren's Appliance Parts Willow Point Country Club Wind Creek - entrance Wind Creek - store Winn Dixie 280 BP 280 Exxon

CHELSEA Winn-Dixie The Ditsy Daisy Boutique CHILDERSBURG Piggly Wiggly DADEVILLE Bay Pine Marina Blue Creek Marina City Hall Chamber of Commerce Chuck's Marina Dadeville Wellness Center Foshee's Boat Doc Homeplate Restaurant

Harbor Pointe Marina Lakay’s Flowers & Gifts Lake Martin Flowers & Gifts Lake Martin Community Hospital Lakeshore Discount Pharmacy Lakeside Marina Niffer's At The Lake Oskar's Cafe Payne Furniture Pearson’s Place Poplar Dawgs Public Library Pug's Place PNC Bank Renfroes Root 49 at Lake Martin Russell Building Supply Shell Station Sigger’s Stillwaters Country Club Store 34 USAmeribank

ECLECTIC Children’s Harbor Cotton’s BBQ Eclectic Do-It Center Johnson’s Furniture Kowaliga Marina Lake Martin Dock Lake Martin Mini Mall Nail’s Convenience Store Peoples Bank

EQUALITY Equality Food Mart Real Island Marina Southern Star


INVERNESS Winn-Dixie Airwalk Ultimate Trampoline Arena Tree Top Family Adventure

KELLYTON Five Star Plantation MOUNTAIN BROOK Whole Foods Market

RED HILL Citgo SYLACAUGA Good Ole Boys BBQ Piggly Wiggly

TALLASSEE Community Hospital Chamber of Commerce Tallassee Automotive Tallassee Community Library The Tallassee Tribune

WALNUT HILL Lakeside Mercantile Walnut Hill Grocery

WETUMPKA The Wetumpka Herald A limited number of magazines are placed at these locations. To start your subscription, call Linda Ewing at 256-234-4281.

Lake Martin Business and Service Directory IN-HOME CARE SERVICES

Our goal is to keep our clients as active as possible in their own homes to promote overall health and well being. With our personally tailored care plans, you will receive the individual care you need with the dignity and respect you deserve.

Homemaking... Personal Care... Companionship

Lake Martin innovation Center 175 aLiant Parkway • aLexander City, aL

(256) 414-6090


334-332-3435 or 334-329-4635


Residential | Commercial | Interior | Exterior


Harold Cochran 256.234.2700

Mike&Kris DobbsOwners1550OpelikaRoadSuite6Box294�| Auburn,AL36830 EachCertaProPainters ® businessis independently ownedandoperated. Each CertaPro Painters® business is independently owned and operated.


UPHOLSTERY Complete Marine Upholstery! ■

■ Floors ■ Carpets Bimini Tops ■ Custom Seats ■ Mooring Covers

Patrick Mason 334-283-6759


676 Dean Circle • Tallassee, AL

Relax. Enjoy. Lake Martin. Call to order your subscription 256-234-4281




Our Advertisers n To Join, Call 256.234.4281 A&M Plumbing............................................................. 69

Glo Scapes.................................................................... 38

Prime Management....................................................... 6

Alex City Guide Service............................................. 8

Heritage South Credit Union.................................. 66

Renaissance Electronics............................................... 8

Alex City Marine......................................................... 12

Hinson Galleries.......................................................... 54

Rhodes Construction................................................. 66

Badcock Home Furniture......................................... 38

Holley’s Home Furnishings....................................... 76

Rhonda Jaye, Lake Martin Realty............................... 3

Beyond Home Care................................................... 71

Homeology, Denise Booth........................................ 29

Russell Lands................................................................ 49

Blue Creek Iron Works............................................. 71

Jackson Thornton........................................................ 48

Russell Medical.............................................................. 2

Bolton Cove................................................................. 72

Jerry Purcell, Lake Martin Realty............................. 70

Satterfield........................................................................ 5

Brown Nursing & Rehabilitation....................................... 65

Kowaliga Whole Health............................................. 71

Security Pest Control.................................................. 8

C & T Electric...........................................................................6

Lake Martin Building Supply..................................... 38

Sign Gypsies................................................................. 73

Cahaba Glass................................................................ 55

Lake Martin Dock....................................................... 65

Southern Star Farm................................................6, 39

CertaPro Painters....................................................... 71

Lamberth & Lamberth............................................... 12

State Farm, Harold Cochran.................................... 71

Coach Kraft Upholstery............................................ 71

Lina's Mexican Store.................................................. 39

State Farm, Karen Channell...................................... 71

Custom Docks............................................................. 54

Mainstreet Alexander City..................................38-39

Steven Mackey, M.D..................................................... 38

Davco............................................................................. 71

Maker's Market............................................................ 39

Sunrise Dock................................................................ 12

Designs by Trish............................................................. 5

Mark King's Furniture................................................ 15

Temple Medical Center............................................... 8

Docks Unlimited........................................................... 5

Merle Norman............................................................. 39

The Bottling Plant....................................................... 39

Emporium Wine.......................................................... 39

Moore Wealth Management..................................... 75

TowBoat US................................................................. 73

Exterior Surface Cleaners........................................ 38

New Water Farms...................................................... 18

Uber/Lift........................................................................ 71

First Baptist Church Alexander City...................................8

Odd Jobs....................................................................... 61

Walmart........................................................................ 71

First Community Mortgage...................................... 65

Patterson Heating & Air............................................ 39

Wedowee Marine....................................................... 19

George Hardy D.M.D................................................... 8

Payne Brothers Furniture.......................................... 38

WSC Distinctive Builders......................................... 29



LAKE MARTIN'S PROFESSIONAL TOWING AND SALVAGE COMPANY We refloat sunken boats. Call today for a free quote!

•On water towing •Battery jumps •Fuel delivery •Soft ungrounding

256-307-1313 DECEMBER 2019




~ John Burroughs

"He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter."

Photo by Kenneth Boone

Parting Shot





Profile for Tallapoosa Publishers

Lake Magazine December 2019  

This month's issue of Lake features A Home for the Holidays, Martin Dam during WWII, The Other Season Part I and so much more!

Lake Magazine December 2019  

This month's issue of Lake features A Home for the Holidays, Martin Dam during WWII, The Other Season Part I and so much more!