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Elmore County Living

CRAFT BEER HOUSE IN WETUMPKA Eclectic's Tecafawa Farm Millbrook's The Sweet Carte December 2016

Wetumpka Writer on Hollywood ELMORE COUNTY LIVING

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From the Managing Editor's Desk What a wonderful issue of Elmore County Living we are privileged to bring you this month! From county line to county line, it’s an exciting time to eat, drink and be merry in one of Alabama’s most vibrant regions. For starters, you’ll want to check out the new Coosa River Craft House in downtown Wetumpka. My husband Rob is a bit of a beer snob, and I delight in his conversation and analysis of the local brews. When we lived in Huntsville, we hosted a monthly beer tasting in the treetop screened porch off our second-floor kitchen. Our friends gathered there with the obscure varieties and complementary dishes they had scouted for the event in hopes of winning accolades for best selection of the month. Think blueberry beer poured over brownies and vanilla ice cream. Surprisingly delicious! So when John and Paige Stewart open their Wetumpka tasting room at the end of this month, Rob and I will definitely stop in. Find out about the beers the Stewarts will feature in the article on page 20. Then, Lonna Upton and Kenneth Boone will take you on a tour of Cathy and Chad Stearns’ “Tecafawa” barn near Eclectic on page 14. The barn is all decked out with wreaths, garlands, bright red bows and strings of lights for the seasonal gatherings the family will host there this year. And on page 46, we give a nod – and a few growing tips – to one of the season’s most popular blooms, the amaryllis. While I was growing up, my mother – who has an enviable gift for growing things – occasionally kept amaryllis. They bloomed with spectacular flowers that sometimes measured as much as 6 inches across. I thought they must be very difficult to grow, but I was wrong. A few Christmases ago, I purchased an amaryllis with the intention of sending to my mother. I put the box on my dining room table where it soon was covered up with wrapping paper and ribbons, and I confess that I forgot about it for several weeks until I cleared the table for dinner. When I noticed it there among the discarded trappings of the season, the foliage was growing out of the cracks in the top of the box. Clearly, it was too late to send the gift to Mom, so I opened the box and placed the pot on my coffee table, where the plant thrived in the early morning sun and was shaded after noon. It gave me two sets of three gorgeous blossoms that redeemed my disreputable green thumb. I wish I had known to plant the bulb outside, but I tossed it after it was finished brightening my winter, as I thought it was spent. I haven’t grown another since, but this year, I just might pick up another bloom and try my hand at amaryllis once more. We hope you enjoy browsing through the seasonal offerings of Elmore County in this December issue as much as we enjoyed preparing the magazine for you, and we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and Happy New Year.

Chairman

Kenneth Boone

kenneth.boone@alexcityoutlook.com

President & Publisher Steve Baker

steve.baker@alexcityoutlook.com

Managing Editor Betsy Iler

betsy.iler@alexcityoutlook.com

Assistant Magazine Editor Lonna Upton

lonna.upton@alexcityoutlook.com

Distribution Manager David Kendrick

david.kendrick@alexcityoutlook.com

Marketing Consultant Molly Brethauer

molly.brethauer@thewetumpkaherald.com

Marketing Consultant Stacy Adams

stacy.adams@thewetumpkaherald.com

Creative Services Audra Spears

audra.spears@alexcityoutlook.com

Contributors

Suellen Young Barry Chrietzberg Jeff Langham Carmen Rodgers Jacob Saylor

Corey Arwood William Carroll Kathy Monroe Larry Johnson David Granger

To subscribe to Elmore County Living, $25 a year for 12 issues, please call David Kendrick at 256-234-4281 For Advertising Inquiries 334-567-7811 For Editorial Inquiries 256-234-4281 All content, including all stories and photos, are copyright of

Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 99 300 Green Street, Wetumpka, AL 36092 334-567-7811

Betsy Iler, Managing Editor

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STAFF

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CONTENTS ON THE COVER Paige and John Stewart this month will open the Coosa River Craft House in downtown Wetumpka. Photo by Barry Chrietzberg

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28 Columns

Features

In Every Issue

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Movie Man

11

Trim the Tree in Tallassee

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Extra! Extra!

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The Gamer

12

The Sweet Carte

10

Business Spotlight

Back in the Day

14

Tecafawa

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Community Care

20

Craft Beer House

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A Christmas Bloom

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Hollywood’s Men

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30 32 46

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Dinner & a Movie The Year's Top Ten More Blessed to Give Better Health in 2017 Amaryllis

Kiwianis Landmark Ornament Millbrook's Bakery

Festive Eclectic Barn 20 Beers on Tap

Wetumpka Writer Feature

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News Briefs

More Than Floors

Out & About

In Elmore County

Coming Up

Fun Activities for Everyone

Where to Find Us Distribution List


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Extra! Extra! News from Elmore County and surrounding areas

DAC Art Exhibit

AUM named Military Friendly

Starting Jan. 4, the Dixie Art Colony Foundation will host an exhibit at 219 Hill St. in downtown Wetumpka from 10 a.m. until noon on Mondays and Wednesdays. The first exhibit will include works by Arthur Steward, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Shiney Moon, Louise Everton, Karl Wolfe, Billy Wilson and Genevieve, including the Southern landscape pictured above, an Arthur Stewart graphite on paper.

Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) last month earned the 2017 Military Friendly School designation from Victory Media. "We're proud of this designation because it means we're getting it right when it comes to serving one of our community's most vital populations by ensuring that they and their families can build the lives they choose before, during and after their service," said AUM Chancellor Carl A. Stockton. The school was evaluated on its ability to meet thresholds in student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence and loan default for all students and specifically for student veterans. For information, email admissions@aum.edu.

Melting Wax Exhibit 8

The work of Wetumpka artist Hope Brannon has been accepted for the Georgine Clarke Alabama Artists Gallery on the first floor of the RSA Tower in Montgomery. The exhibit will be open through Jan. 13, 2017 and features works in melted wax.

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Fort Toulouse-Jackson in 2017 Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson announced dates for next year’s Living History events at the park, which will include eight demonstrations of French and Indian life and War of 1812 re-enactors on the same days. Visitors will tour the fort, grounds and camps as re-enactors present everyday life more than 200 years ago during the French and Indian War and War of 1812. There will be period costumes, flint rifle demonstrations, Native American ceremonial dances and more. Ten events have been scheduled next year. April 22 to 23, the park will host a French and Indian War Encampment, and Nov. 1-4 has been designated as Alabama Frontier Days at the park. For information and details, visit the Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Facebook page.

Military Munchies Coosada Elementary’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) has spent the last 10 days on a collection effort for U.S. troops overseas. The effort has been so successful that the containers brought to hold the items collected are not sufficient to contain all of the dried fruit and snack items. PTO President Aidin Tackett said the idea for the drive came about as a way not only to honor the troops, but also to do something different. “We have a lot of military families who have kids that go to our school,” Tackett said. “A lot of our PTO board is made up of military spouses. So we got together and talked about a bunch of different things we could do. We decided we wanted to support an Alabama unit currently stationed overseas.” Tackett said that the group found a unit out of Birmingham that is deployed to an overseas location.

While there are several factors that keep Wetumpka Planning and Program Director David Robison from being able to say exactly when work on the streetscapes portion of Wetumpka’s Downtown & Riverfront Revitalization Plan will begin, he is hopeful it will begin early next year. “The best I can say is a few months, anywhere from three to five, it just depends on how long the right-of-way acquisition takes,” Robison said.

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See the Difference Soon

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Business Spotlight

Tallassee business covers More Than Floors

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Story by Lonna Upton & Photo by Carmen Rodgers

elissa and Dave Byrd grew up Dave, who formerly served in the military and in Millbrook, both graduating insists on discounts for veterans or those serving, from Stanhope Elmore High also installs and oversees the crew on every job. School. In fact, they are both hands on After with many of the projects and years of have Melissa Byrd’s mother workon board as well. ing in the flooring business Byrd’s mom, Sandra Sellers, in Auburn, 20 years for him serves as business manager and 15 years for her, they just for More Than Floors, but she couldn’t wait to get back to a has worked as an assistant to simpler life. In November last Dave for about eight years. year, they purchased a home She and Dave were recently in Tallassee and began celtrained as certified installebrating small town life while ers for Schluter, a high-end running their own flooring shower system the Byrds sell business out of their home. at More than Floors. Dave and Melissa Byrd “Tallassee has wrapped their Byrd said the best thing arms around us,” Melissa Byrd said. “This is about Tallassee is how the community members hometown living. This is what I love.” network to support one another when there is a The Byrds opened their first store, More Than problem. She said if a business or organization Floors, on Barnett Boulevard in March and exneeds a service, they all help each other out. She panded into a larger location at 304 King Street feels connected to the city and loves for people to this month. Business was slow when they opened, stop by and chat. Byrd said, but since March, the calendar has been “I don’t think of them as our customers but as full. friends I haven’t met yet,” she said. “Wall to wall, we can cover it all,” Byrd exShe already has memories from the Christmas plained. parade and the Homecoming parade when the The business sells and installs tile, wood, lamicommunity comes together to celebrate and to nate, vinyl and carpet. They also tile baths and meet neighbors and other business owners. She kitchens, outdoor hardscapes, outdoor kitchens, said their store and their home have offered front pool decks and any type of brick paving. All of row seats to those events. their products are safe for the environment, and The Byrds are very excited to move into their Byrd said she is proud of the fact that some of new, larger location so they can better meet the their products are made in Alabama and a majorneeds of their customers. ity are made in the USA.

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Trim the tree with a bit of the past Story by Betsy Iler Photo by Suellen Young

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or nine years now, the Tallassee Kiwanis Club has offered a landmark Christmas ornament to raise funds for local children’s programs, and this year’s decoration – a rendition of the old First Baptist Church in town – is now available. The ornament sales raise about $1,500 each year, said ornament committee chair Shirl Mathis. “The funds we raise go to scholarships for Reeltown and Tallasee high school students and to purchase books for the RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) program,” Mathis explained. “We make donations to school programs, like the Key clubs in Tallassee and Reeltown and other programs for kids.” The brass and baked enamel ornaments are designed from artwork that the Kiwanis Club sends to a manufacturer. “We choose a historic building every year,”

Mathis said. “The first year, it was the dam, and we sold out of those. Another popular one was the Talisi Hotel. We did that one in 2009, the year it burned. We reordered that one, and even those all sold.” Other landmark buildings featured as ornaments include East Tallassee Elementary School, which now is City Hall, in 2010; Mt. Vernon Theater, 2011; Mt. Vernon Mill in 2012, before it burned; the Old Community Hospital, 2013; Seven Gables, 2014; and Patterson Log Cabin in 2015. “We got the idea for the project from one of our members who came from the Decatur Kiwanis Club. They had good success with it up there, and we decided to do one for our area,” she added. “These are historic buildings that mean a lot to the local people.” The ornaments are priced at $15 and are available at City Hall, WACQ, TrustMark Bank and First Baptist Church in Tallassee.

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Story by Lonna Upton Photos by Suellen Young Graves turned her cake decorating hobby into a Millbrook business

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The Sweet Carte

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ngrid Graves has combined a passion come home from Auburn to lend a hand. for baking with artistic talent to make She has many favorite designs. her dream come true. After 16 years of “Oh, there are so many. For my daughter’s baking and decorating intricate, beauti- Sweet Sixteen, I did a purple and animal print ful wedding and birthday cakes and three-tier cake, and that was really fun,” she said. other desserts for family and friends, She also loved a cake she designed and baked Graves opened The Sweet Carte at for a 4-year-old’s birthday party. The cake looked 2251-C Main St. in Milllike an upside down ice brook last January. cream cone with ice cream Graves said her mom spilling out. Of course, used to make cakes that she often bakes cakes for were a little fancier than Alabama fans, and she the average birthday changes the designs based cake because the cakes on what they want. had trim and other deco“The Alabama cakes rations. She added that usually have houndstooth when she was growing ribbon made with fonup, she never imagined dant, or a houndstooth she had any artistic talhat on top. Sometimes ent or that she would be customers request a crima baker or cake designer. son and white cake. I like After Graves had her to try new things,” she own three children, she explained. decided to try her hand The Sweet Carte is open at making special cakes on Saturdays from 10 a.m. for them, just as her until 5 p.m. and Sundays mother had done. Her from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., family and friends were with a variety of cookies the guinea pigs through and cupcakes to purchase. the years in which she Contact Graves for special tested recipes and tried hours during holidays. new designs. “I absolutely love what Ingrid Graves “Everyone would say I do, and I want each cli‘Can you do this for me? ent to see that passion in Can you do that for me?’ so I got plenty of prachis or her own unique cake,” Graves said. tice,” Graves explained. “Once I started making Graves’ website (thesweetcarte.com) features the cakes for people, I would get excited when a dozens of pictures of her cakes and other desserts birthday was coming.” designed for specific occasions, including holidays, Graves designs and bakes cakes, cupcakes and birthdays and weddings - even something special cookies in her industrial kitchen at The Sweet for an ordinary day. Orders can be placed by phone Carte. And when business is booming and she can’t at 334-312-6303 or email her at thesweetcarte@ keep up with orders alone, she asks her daughter to gmail.com.

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Tecafawa An Eclectic barn hosts great times with friends and family Story by Lonna Upton Photos by Kenneth Boone

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Lanterns, wreaths and bows adorn the gate at the festive red barn near Eclectic

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athy and Chad Stearns wanted the perfect gathering place for family, friends and fellowship. When they made the decision to renovate the barn on their farm located between Eclectic and Wetumpka, they created that perfect place. An open gate leads guests onto the hilly land surrounded by a wooden fence and The name of the farm is backed by forest. The derived from the names farm proudly proclaims of the owners' family its name, “Tecafawa,” welded into an iron arch high above the gate. Cathy said her father, Ted Watts, Sr., named the farm “Tecafawa,” joking that the name was that of an old Native American chief; however, the name was simply the first letters of the family members’ first and last names: Ted (senior and junior), Cathy and Frances Watts. The red barn at Tecafawa Farm, built in 1996 at just less than 4,500 square feet, was something the Watts family had always wanted, especially Cathy, who raised and showed horses for several years. The farm and the horses were the respite she needed to recover from the tragic death of her husband just one year into the marriage. “God saw me through a very hard time, so I know we can always make it through any hard time in our lives. And, he sent Chad to me!” Cathy Stearns said. Stearns grew up in Montgomery, and Chad grew up in Seman, near Eclectic. Their paths crossed during that difficult time in Stearns’s life. They were married in 1998 at the Children’s Harbor Chapel, and life soon took off with two little girls in constant motion, an active church life and a growing construction business. Their home on the farm, the barn and the family memories made there have always been central to the Stearns’ lives.

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At the time Stearns and Chad met, the barn space included nine horse stalls, a room used as a small office, a stall shavings room, a room for a vet check rack and a tack room. Much of that space has now been transformed into rooms that suit the needs of the Stearns family. Horse stalls remain on one side of the barn. The Stearnses have a retired camp horse, named Bella, that occupies one of those stalls and claims all of the grazing land for herself. A chicken coop built to mirror the barn sits directly behind the barn and serves as home for nine chickens. Their other animal is Princess, a 14-year-old cat and the perfect mouser for the barn. Across from the stalls, the new renovation features a polished concrete floor and an apartment that doubles as a homeschooling classroom. The apartment has a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and sitting area, plus a large desk and a shelf built from antique doors that originally hung in Chad’s grandmother’s house. The décor includes other antiques Stearns has found through the years, such as old ladders, an antique crank telephone from Europe and a robin’s egg blue garden gate from New Orleans. Another bathroom was added just off the alley, and a small space was dedicated as the home base office for the couples’ construction business. The office space showcases several trophies from different hunting trips enjoyed on the property. A large mounted turkey with a full wingspan hangs overhead. Several mallards and a pheasant, as well as a deer head, are part of the décor. A small conference room contains a large table, allowing space for the review of house plans for customers. The barn also houses a large closet and a loft that runs lengthwise over the renovated side and the alley, which is used for storage of hunting equipment, Chad explained. The central area of the barn is open for activities. The cou-

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White lights and poinsettias set the holiday mood in the barn's alley

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ple strung white lights overhead to make the hall festive. A Native American statue guards the office door, and a cedar table, built for Stearns’s parents from a cedar tree cut on the farm, stands ready for an urn of hot chocolate or sweet tea. Other pieces of iron artwork showcase horses and cowboys and keep the look of the barn authentic. The Stearnses have hosted numerous church gatherings at the barn, as well as a wedding shower. On one occasion, they allowed friends to have a wedding in one of the fields and use the barn for a reception. “We may offer the barn to the public as an event venue one day, but right now we have all we can handle building homes,” Stearns said. The porch on the front of the barn, perfect for rocking chairs on a cool summer or fall evening, overlooks the fenced riding arena. Besides horses, the arena hosts dancing to the live music on special occasions and lots of roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate around bonfires. At Christmas time, the fences and gate are decorated with fresh wreaths. Lanterns with candles adorn the entry gate, and a star sits atop the barn, signifying the hope, joy, faith and peace of the season. “We want to share gatherings at the barn with others,” Stearns said. “It’s a restful place to us, and we just love sharing with others what God has allowed us to have while we’re still on this Earth.”

The apartment space doubles as a homeschool room for the children

The Stearnses run their construction business from the barn

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Games are a popular pasttime at the farm

Even the trophy antlers join the festive fun

Chad built a chicken coop to match the barn

Rustic holiday decor greets visitors

A full kitchen makes entertaining at the barn easy

Decorative elements like this folk art piece enhance the barn's atmosphere

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Craft When John Stewart tired of driving to Birmingham for Alabama-crafted beers, he opened his own craft house in the River Region

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Beer Story by Lonna Upton Photos by Barry Chrietzberg

From porters to pilsners, the Coosa River Craft House will stock mostly Alabama beers

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J Chalkboard labels will make it easy to change beer varieties at the taps

John and Paige Stewart look forward to opening later this month

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ohn Stewart’s desire to have craft beer closer to his Deatsville home has placed him in a whirlwind of activity surrounding the opening of two craft houses. The first establishment, Autauga Creek Craft House in Prattville, opened in May and took off like wildfire, Stewart said. Now, his Coosa River Craft House is preparing to open at the end of this month in Wetumpka, with representatives from Good People and Oskar Blues on hand for the grand opening. “We are very excited to come to Wetumpka. The building on Main Street is perfect for our casual pub style in a downtown area where people can walk around,” Stewart said. Stewart was raised in Childersburg, but he lived in Semen 10 years before moving to Deatsville. He had a 20-year career with a tractor company in Birmingham and enjoyed the craft beer establishments that were so easy to find there. His idea to open his own craft house was simply a matter of finding a solution to his own problem. “Actually, I just got tired of driving to Birmingham for my craft beer and decided I really needed to open a business here,” he said. Stewart and his wife Paige, along with friends and family members, are completing the renovations to the building at 108 S. Main St., the old Carr Motor building that originally housed the first Ford dealership in Wetumpka. The building will house the 1,200-square-foot Coosa River Craft House, and later, a 1,200-square-foot family-friendly pizza restaurant, called P.B.R. or Pizza By the River, also will open there. The two stores are not connected and will be run as separate establishments, Stewart said. At the back of the stores, Stewart plans to turn warehouse space into a 4,000-squarefoot event venue for weddings, large parties and any other occasions that would require a ballroom-sized space. The building’s exterior brick walls are also the interior walls and add to the charm and old timey feel of the craft house. The accent walls will be painted a deep crimson to add even more warmth to the atmosphere. Stewart and his family and friends will build and stain the bar, tables, chairs and bar stools, keeping the decor simple and inviting. Stewart’s Autauga Creek Craft House in Prattville is the model for his new Wetumpka location. The craft house serves only craft beer: 85 percent of the 20 taps are always beer made in Alabama with out-of-state favorites in the remaining 15 percent. “We will always be most supportive of Alabama brewed beers,” Stewart explained. Stewart said he will post menus on chalkboards with a list of the beers on tap at any given time. Even the beer

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Friends and family helped the owners make the furnitue in the craft house names are written in chalk on the taps, allowing Stewart to easily label new offerings. He also has a chalkboard for customers to write in their suggestions for his future inventories. “The first 20 are my choice,” he said. “After that, I will select beers that customers would like for me to offer.” First choices for taps will be those most popular with current customers, Stewart said. His best seller is Good People Snake Handler, which is a double IPA, their very hoppy, highest gravity beer. Second favorite among his customers would be Oskar Blues Death by Coconut, a stout beer with a coconut flavor. Stewart has done an event with Goat Island Brewery whose most popular brew is the Goat Island Pils, a pilsner that customers enjoy. Other popular beers include Straight to Ale’s He Ain’t Hefe and Avondale Battlefield’s single IPA. He explained that he is proud that Autauga Creek is one of only two craft houses that hosted the arrival of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale in Central Alabama. For anyone who is new to craft beer, or for someone who just wants a bit more knowledge, the Wetumpka location will have printed lists of the available beers with explanation of how they are brewed and how they taste. He offers free samples of any beer before customers buy. Stewart’s Prattville location does not serve food, and the Wetumpka location will follow suit; however, cus-

tomers may bring their own food into the pub. Stewart explained that he really wants customers to walk from one downtown area to another, bringing food into the craft house from the nearby restaurants. He wants to be one more reason to come downtown. “I don’t want to compete. I want to enhance what is already here in Wetumpka,” he explained. “I am here to complement all the other businesses.” Other design elements in Prattville will be mirrored in Wetumpka, such as a large Alabama state flag, which has become a “selfie station” for his customers, and a couple of televisions. Once a month, the Stewarts have a “Tap Takeover” when an Alabama brewery comes in to promote beer brands with giveaways and lots of fun. The Stewarts designate a local charity to receive a portion of the profits from the charity nights. For example, last month, Autauga Creek Craft House donated one can of food to a local food bank for every beer sold on Tap Takeover night. “I want Coosa River Craft House to be a place people can come in and just enjoy a couple of beers,” Stewart said. Stewart plans to open in late December or early January. Hours will be 3 p.m. until 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 3 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Visit the Autauga Creek on Facebook to see the date of the grand opening.

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Wetumpka writer takes the lead on Hollywood’s men Story by Lonna Upton

L Linda Alexander

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inda Alexander, a transplant from the Washington, D.C. area to Wetumpka, believes everyone has an intriguing story to tell. Her career has certainly allowed her to listen to fascinating stories, especially the stories of celebrities, and she tells their stories in the biographies she writes about Hollywood's leading men. Three celebrity lives are the focus of her most recent published books: Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood & Communism (2008); I am Mr. Ed … Allan “Rocky” Lane Revealed (2014) ; A Maverick Life: The Jack Kelly Story (2011). Alexander started her career writing celebrity features for newspapers and magazines. She interviewed soap stars for a soap opera magazine and was amazed at all the issues with which stars must contend. During one interview, she discovered that the actor who played the role of a soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) had actually served in Vietnam and suffered from PTSD. Dealing with the subject as an actor, he told Alexander, actually helped him deal with the problems in his own life.

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“We all have issues and find some way to deal with it,” Alexander said. “Most of these actors had issues and dealt with them by becoming someone else.” Alexander admitted she is a bit addicted to research, but it’s an addiction that has served her well, as her subjects have all been quite mysterious and private. To learn about the actors in her books, Alexander contacted family members and other actors with whom her subjects had worked. When she has been able to find these contacts, she’s been overwhelmed by their willingness to help her get the facts straight. In I am Mr. Ed … Allan “Rocky” Lane Revealed, Alexander wrote that Allan Lane was always a mystery, especially since he was never officially recognized as the voice of Mr. Ed. Through her book, readers follow Lane from his early days as a struggling actor to his movie days with famous leading ladies, including Barbara Stanwyck, and his portrayal of Western heroes. Lane was also a businessman who returned to his photography-advertising agency when his Hollywood career faded. The studio system of 1940s Hollywood hired actors and then assigned roles to them. In Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood & Communism, Alexander wrote of Taylor’s assignment to play a movie role that he believed portrayed Russia in a positive light. His role in that movie and the subsequent hearings concerning Hollywood’s supposed support of communism, well before McCarthyism, became a huge part of how Taylor is remembered today. A Maverick Life: The Jack Kelly Story takes readers through Kelly’s days as a child starring with Mickey Rooney and Audie Murphy to his role as James Garner’s brother on Maverick. Alexander said Kelly played on almost every episodic TV show that aired between the 1950s and 1970s. After retirement from a star career, Kelly served as a city councilman and a two-term mayor. Alexander is now working on her fourth biography, Anatomy of a Rising Star, Steve Ihnat ~ Gone Too Soon, which is due to be published in 2017. Her biographies, as well as other books she has written, are available online at Amazon. com.

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Dinner & A Movie As the New Year is nearly upon us, why not plan a monthly date night with your mate to include delicious dining out and a trip to the local multiplex? Here are a few options to plan a night at the movies throughout 2017: January Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson (the indomitable Cookie from TV’s Empire) stars as Katherine Johnson, the African American physicist, space scientist and mathematician who calculated flight trajectories for Project Mercury and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon. Oscar winning actress and Alabama’s own Octavia Spencer and the talented Janelle Monáe round out the cast. Patriots Day – Based on the book Boston Strong, the film centers on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the terrorist manhunt that followed this devastating event. Mark Wahlberg, J. K. Simmons, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon and Michelle Monaghan headline this inspiring film. February The Great Wall – Matt Damon leads an elite force battling an army of monsters on the Great Wall of China in this action-packed film directed by Zhang Yimou. March Kong: Skull Island – A reboot of the King Kong franchise, this film stars an ensemble cast consisting of Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman and Brie Larson. Note to Brie Larson: Is this the best choice of a film role to follow up your Best Actress Oscar win? Just curious. Beauty and the Beast – This film is a live-action remake of the 1991 animated film of the same name and stars an ensemble cast that includes Emma Watson, Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame), Kevin Kline and Josh Gad, with the voices of Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson. April Wonder – Based on the beloved children’s novel, this is the remarkable story of a young boy named Auggie Pullman who is born with a facial deformity and serves as a testament for the adage that “beauty isn’t skin deep.” Oscar nominee Jacob Tremblay, so

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memorable in last year’s Room, stars as Auggie. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson play his parents. I’m crossing my fingers that this WONDERful book is translated into a WONDERful movie! May Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Another surefire blockbuster from Marvel Studios, this is the sequel to 2014’s megahit Guardians of the Galaxy. The high voltage, immensely likeable cast returns for this second interstellar joyride: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Glenn Close and Kurt Russell. Baywatch – Seriously? Does our civilization really need a film version of Baywatch? Was there an outcry for this that I am unaware of? Didn’t the TV series do enough damage to popular culture? June The Mummy – Is it already time for a reboot of The Mummy franchise? I still have fond memories of the cheesy 1999 film with Brendon Fraser and Rachel Weisz. This go-round stars Tom “The Running Man” Cruise and Russell Crowe. Yes, Tom Cruise always has a big running scene in every movie, hence I dub him the “Running Man.” The Beguiled – I’m excited about this remake of one of Clint Eastwood’s rare box office flops. Directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell and Kirsten Dunst, this is an eerie gothic tale set during the Civil War. I am a big fan of the 1971 original, directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page. July The Dark Tower – Get ready for the ultimate “science fantasy western horror film” based on the series of novels of the same name by Stephen King. Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey star in this eagerly anticipated flick. August Alien: Covenant – Directed by Ridley Scott, this is the sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus, the second installment in the Alien prequel series, and sixth installment in the Alien film series. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace and Guy Pearce, returning in their roles from Prometheus, a film that personally did not live up to my huge expectations.

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Maybe the second time will be the charm in this Alien prequel journey. CHiPs – See cmments for Baywatch and insert here (tee hee!). September It – An adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 horror novel, It, and yes, Pennywise, that terrifying clown, is back. I don’t know if I am ready for another version of this Stephen King classic. I am still traumatized from the 1990 television miniseries with John Ritter and Richard Thomas. P.S. I am not being sarcastic … the TV version is truly scary. Bring on this new adaptation! October Blade Runner 2049 – Acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) helms this sequel to Blade Runner, which features Harrison Ford returning to the role of Rick Deckard. Ford is joined by a terrific ensemble cast, including Ryan Gosling and Robin Wright. November Murder on the Orient Express – It will be hard to derail memories of the 1974 version of this Agatha Christie classic, but this film, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, promises to win fans from a totally new generation of moviegoers. The stellar cast includes Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley. Can’t wait for this to roll down the

tracks into local movie houses. December Star Wars: Episode VIII – Get ready for the second installment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy following the J. J. Abrams blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). This time around, director Rian Johnson is joined by returning stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong’o. Another blockbuster indeed! The year closes out with remakes/reimaginings of Jumanji and the 1970s cult TV hit, The Six Million Dollar Man (adjusted for inflation as The Six Billion Dollar Man). On another high note, the Bellas return in Pitch Perfect 3. There you have it. The perfect menu for movie goers in the year ahead. Grab your mate, go out to dinner and settle in at your local multiplex for one of the upcoming cinematic treats.

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Jeff Langham

MOVIE MAN Dr. Jeff Langham is State Assistant Superintendent for External and

Governmental Affairs and a lifelong lover of film.

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TOP 10

Video Games of 2016 It’s time to take a look at the best games of the year!

10. Titanfall 2

Redemption comes in all shapes and sizes. In the case of Titanfall 2, that came in the form of giant robots and massive weaponry. The game achieved a stellar release and critical reception, but many had already counted the game as dumpster-worthy – the first game did poorly with both fans and critics. The naysayers were proved exceedingly wrong when the game debuted on Oct. 28. In addition to succeeding critically, Titanfall 2 accomplished what is arguably just as important: It made tons of cash for publisher Electronic Arts. The franchise’s turnaround means players can rest assured that another Titanfall game is on the way.

9. The Last Guardian

To be completely honest, gamers expected much more from The Last Guardian – in fact, they were pretty sure that it would top a list like this; after all, it did miss a total of four release dates. The hype surrounding this game was simply too intense, and some fans thought developer Team Ico crumbled under the pressure. When the game came out, it was plagued with a number of technical glitches that have since been fixed – for the most part. That said, The Last Guardian tells the story of a boy and his animal companion in a way that few other games have accomplished. I placed it low on this list, as a worthy mention. It is a game that gives players all the feel-good of Christmas Day.

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8. Doom

Doom is a reboot of a game by the same name that released in 1993. While most remakes fall heavily under the pressure of a nostalgic fan base, this one did not shrug. Some skepticism pervaded throughout the video games industry before its release, but the Doom reboot ultimately proved wildly successful with fans. Considering that the original Doom was so influential, it’s nice to see a project like this do well. The game sticks to its core values, meaning that it’s fun, action-packed and devastatingly brutal – all central to the Doom experience.

7. Final Fantasy XV

Like The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy XV is a game that had gamers waiting for years. The first trailer for this game came out all the way back in 2006 – you’re not reading that wrong. The game went through a development quagmire, complete with shifting game directors and different writers. Eventually, the staff was pinned down and the project steamed ahead. 2016 finally gave us a finished version of the game, and most players would say it was worth the wait. Final Fantasy XV is perhaps one of the most beautiful games of the year, and it’s one of the few games in the franchise to utilize an open world, which it pulls off with majesty.

6. Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2 is a social commentary wrapped in the clothing of a hacking and shooter-oriented video game. It can be played without caring about the world-beating values at its core, or it can provide a

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deep, coffee-fueled discussion about mass surveillance and cyber security between gaming sessions. Either way, it’s good. And that’s why Watch Dogs 2 is such a profound game – it mixes fun and intrigue into an all-in-one experience that gamers from all walks of life can enjoy. This is definitely the most fun title to talk about, even if it’s received less attention than other flagship releases of 2016.

5. Dark Souls 3

Known as terrifyingly difficult, Dark Souls 3 is another entry into the Souls franchise; though it may be just another, it’s also a formula that isn’t getting old anytime soon. The medieval stylings of the Souls series are present as ever in the third iteration, as are the cooperative play and devastating encounters with hostile players, as well. Dark Souls 3 does little to innovate on the best aspects of the franchise, but it does everything necessary to address the bad. With the difficulty level of games continuing to drown, Dark Souls 3 was a quiet reminder that players are not always as good as they think they are.

4. Battlefield 1

Few games can pull off the setting of World War I, but Battlefield 1 did it with flair. The title took some of the most iconic people and moments from the war and spat out what many have said is the best military shooter game of all-time. Who wouldn’t want to have a virtual dogfight with the Red Baron? Most games in the niche tend to focus primarily on multiplayer battles, but Battlefield 1 offers an exceedingly well-crafted campaign mode upon which to embark. While military shooters have been struggling to maintain their stakes with gamers, Battlefield 1 promises a bright and highly profitable future for the genre.

3. Dishonored 2

Dishonored was a fine game – players enjoyed it, but some scoffed at the short campaign. Some were able to complete it in well under eight hours’ time, which is less-than-average for modern video games. Interestingly, Dishonored 2 isn’t that much

longer – but it does offer copious replay value. This stealth-action game provides players a myriad of routes to accomplish their objectives. Players can kill or sneak through the game world in a timeless tale of betrayal and revenge. Everything in the game feels well done, and is certainly a step up from the first title in the franchise. You can’t go wrong with this one.

2. Overwatch

Blizzard Entertainment is one of the premiere developers of our generation. The company continuously publishes video games that are better than the competition’s and makes it look effortless. There is no such thing as a bad Blizzard game. The same is true for Overwatch, the latest int he developer's line-up. It’s a first-person shooter that is fast-paced and highly competitive. Like eSports, Overwatch is one game that’s taking over the scene by storm. No other game released in 2016 has innovated like Blizzard’s latest creation. Everything in the title is well crafted, forged and perfected through what is assuredly a tedious development process. With a game community that is stronger than ever, now is the time to get in on Overwatch.

Jacob Saylor

THE GAMER Video games journalist

Jacob Saylor has covered the massive

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. Follow Jacob on Twitter @skulldrey.

1. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Nathan Drake’s last adventure didn’t disappoint. While some critics said that Uncharted 4 failed to innovate and expand upon previous iterations, in my book, they’re dead wrong: This game has everything that a player could ever ask for. Action, romance, adventure – Uncharted 4 has it all. It’s a Naughty Dog-developed game, which means the story is front-andcenter – as it should be. This game probably is the most beautiful title published in 2016, meaning that I recommend it if for no other reason than to just stare at it. Seriously. Even the mud in this game was painstakingly crafted and thrown on the ground for players to repeatedly roll over. That alone makes this a game worth playing.

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More Blessed to Give How not getting a rifle made Christmas special Christmas “back in the day” was observed quite differently than we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus today. In the 19th century, the Alabama frontier was flooded with European emigrants who migrated down from Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. They brought with them many traditions of the “old country.” Some of these traditions are celebrated today in very different ways, but we seem to always want to remember the Christmas stories of our youth, the “old time Christmas.” For me, it was the Christmases of the early 1950s. For my parents, it was the Christmases of the 1920s and the great depression era, and for their parents, the Christmases of the 1800s and on and on. Christmas is grounded in memories. We are fortunate today to have TV, photographs and movies to refresh our memories. In the days of the early settlers, the stories were handed down from generation to generation. The theme of most of the old stories centers on the belief that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” This is perhaps supported in the Biblical story of the gifts of the Magi in their homage for the ultimate gift of the infant Jesus. Gifts at Christmas were meager back in the 1800s compared to those of today, but they were no less appreciated, based on the stories told about those times.

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Santa Claus emerged from the European stories of St. Nicholas. Other traditions emerged as well. Stockings or socks, if folks had them, were hung or laid out for Santa to fill with nuts, candies and maybe fruit. Depending on the ages of the children, a doll made of pine straw or a ball of tightly wound string covered with leather might have been included. Christmas is always a joyous time, no matter how meager or extravagantly celebrated. There are so many stories to be told about Christmas. I am sure everyone has a favorite. I would like to share one of mine. This is a story about a 15-year-old boy on a cold Christmas Eve in 1881. The author of the story is unknown, but I like to think it is the boy who tells the narrative. I am not even sure it is a true story, but I choose to believe that it is. The story begins with the boy … “Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving,” he said. On Christmas Eve 1881, the boy was down in the dumps and pouting because he knew there was not extra money for the rifle that he had been wanting for Christmas, though

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he knew something was up when his father went outside to hitch the team to the wagon, which was unusual on Christmas Eve. His dad came inside and said, “Get your hat and coat, son, we have an errand to run.” “Where?” the boy asked. “Just come on,” his father answered. Outside, they heaped a large load of firewood into the wagon, and the boy’s father went into the smokehouse and came out with a large ham, some bacon, a sack of flour and some other things. He loaded them into the wagon, and they were on their way. Along the way, the father told his son how he had gone by the widow’s house a few miles down the road that day, and he’d noticed that she and her children did not have any wood to burn in their woodpile. He also noticed that the children did not have shoes, and their little feet were wrapped with gunnysacks. The two arrived at the widow’s house and unloaded the wood. Then they knocked on the door. “Who is it?” a voice asked from the other side of the door. “Just us from down the road a piece, Miss,” the father said. She cracked the door and, after recognizing her neighbors, invited them in. She was wrapped in a quilt, and the three children were huddled in a blanket before a small fire. “We brought you a few things ma’am,” the dad said, putting the flour on the table. The boy deposited the meat there, as well. Then the father produced a bag with some shoes in it. There was a pair for the missus and a pair for each of the three children. There was hard candy in the bag, too. Well, tears began to flow down the cheeks of the widow. She tried to speak, but the words would just not

come from her trembling lips. The father told the son to go out and bring in some wood. The boy left the house with a lump in his throat and tears in his eyes. When he came back in with the wood, he was a new person. He helped his father build a grand fire to warm the little house and watched as the children giggled while eating their candy. The widow was finally able to say, “God bless you” and “I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that He would send an Angel to spare us.” The boy knew it was so, and he was certain not a better man lived on Earth than his Pa. On the way home, after they had gone a ways down the road, the father turned to the son and said, “Son, I want you to know something. Your mom and I have been tucking a little money away all year, so we could buy that rifle that you have been wanting, but we didn’t have enough. Yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. “We got real excited thinking that now we could get you that rifle. On my way into town to buy the rifle, I saw the widow’s children scratching for wood in the woodpile with their feet wrapped in rags, and I knew what I had to do. I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.” The boy understood all right. His Pa had given him much more than a rifle; he had given him the best Christmas of his life – the look on the widow’s face and the smiles and giggles of those three children. He never forgot that Christmas and the lesson he learned; it truly is more blessed to give than to receive. Merry Christmas!

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Larry Johnson

BACK IN THE DAY

Larry Johnson now lives in

Robinson Springs, just a

few miles south of where he grew up

Elmore, Alabama. at

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Start Now! Enjoy better health in 2017

Kathy Monroe

COMMUNITY CARE Kathy Monroe is the Assistant to the

Administrator and the CFO at Community Hospital.

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I know, I know; it cannot possibly be time to start thinking about 2017! Well, it is just around the corner, and before we know it, we will all be another year older. We know we should make healthy decisions, but real life gets in the way of good intentions. Despite the daily time crunch with family and other obligations, now is exactly the time to put yourself and your health first. When you are healthy, every other aspect of your life is better and more enjoyable. Most people will agree that health should be a priority, but in reality, knowing it and making an effort are two entirely different things. Looking at the facts, we have to admit that our health is not always a top priority. Smokers continue to smoke even when it is obviously hurting their health; running through a fast food window is still easy, munching on goodies in front of the television is still fun. And in the meantime, we still tell ourselves we don’t have time for exercise or we’ll start tomorrow. While no one is perfect, and everyone is just plain tired sometimes, our actions should show the difference between saying and doing. We have to work toward making our health the priority most of the time. Though doing so 100 percent of the time is not realistic, we must find that sweet spot where the occasional indulgence is truly occasional. Finding the time to make lifestyle changes is probably the most difficult part of it, but it is also the most important. Being constantly on the go, feeling as if you can barely breathe, let alone prepare and enjoy a healthy meal or squeeze in a little exercise, leads to overwhelming stress. The more stressed-out you feel, the less likely you are to make healthy decisions. Making “me” time is imperative to overall good health. So start right now with a few basics and allow your health-conscious living to become a work in progress. If you smoke, get help and quit, period! Always be conscious of what you eat and how

much you eat. Are you eating because you are hungry or just bored? On the flip side of that – make sure you eat! In today’s fast-paced world, it is easy to skip meals, fill up on coffee or soda or grab an unhealthy snack on the go. By the time you finally sit down at the end of the day, you are more likely to make unhealthy food choices. Don’t bring the junk food home. If you don’t buy it and bring it home, you won’t eat it. Get your body moving. Exercise does not always occur in a gym or on a treadmill. Exercise can be worked into your day. Don’t search for a parking place close to the entrance; park farther away and walk. Take the stairs when you can. Take your dog out for a walk. Make a point of getting up from your easy chair during TV commercial breaks to walk around the house a few times. Try alternating sit-ups, jumping jacks and arm circles during the commercial breaks. If you think about it, there are many ways to move more during your days. To really get motivated, buy a pedometer to wear, so you can keep track of how much you are walking. You will likely begin walking more just because you are aware of the numbers. And drink more water. Did you know that coffee and soda can dehydrate you, and diet soda actually makes you crave sugar? Water is good for you, and it quenches thirst. If you need a bit of flavor, add a squeeze of lemon or lime. Look for ideas that interest you. Get started and see where it leads. By making a little effort and taking a little time for yourself and your health, a healthier you will begin to emerge. You will not only feel better, you also will feel better about yourself as you take steps that will increase your chances for living a longer, healthier life. Regular health exams and tests can help identify problems before they start. See your doctor and never ignore any health issues that arise. Community Hospital wishes you a healthy 2017!

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Tallassee Trade Day October 22, 2016 Downtown Tallassee 1. Tiffany and Hayley Baker 2. Tyler Maynard 3. Davis and Brittney Powell 4. Bailey Phillips and Haylie Wilkerson 5. Derrick Alexander and Peyton Malik Brown 6. Michael Bowen 7. Cecily, Rex and Zoe Kelley

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OUT & ABOUT

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Christmas Tree Lighting December 8, 2016 Gold Star Park, Wetumpka 1. Shiloh and Ashley Davis 2. Brian and Granger Barrett 3. Alyssa Valentine and Yvonne Grays

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4. Angela, Reed and Layken Morgan 5. Shae and Brandon Deason 6. Mary Kate, Lincoln and Nicole Harper 7. John, Annie and Rebecca Thornton 8. Bailey, Mandie and Harlie Barrett 9. Callie and Brandon Wright

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December 10, 2016 Gold Star Park, Wetumpka 1. Michelle and Blake Kunckles 2. Amanda, Jake and Rick Hill 3. Rachel Poore and Peyton Stanfield

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4. Gray, Phylli and Devin Armstrong 5. Will, Sam and Anna Robertson 6. Jeff and Stacy Baldwin 7. Clifton Lackamy, Santa, Will Worley, Amanda Lockamy and Ryli Worley 8. Ty, Adam and Hayley Lavender

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Millbrook Christmas Parade

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December 3, 2016 Main Street Millbrook 1. Betty Jackson, Paisley Bearden, Blake and Hadley Dobbs 2. Jenna Zamora, Jamie Collier, Lacey Jane Deneve, Kaitlin Smith and Riley Palermo 3. LaDon Webster 4. Autumn and Kayli Russell

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5. Pearson Tuates and Capt. United 6. Zoo Bee Doo 7. Shakeria and RaJayla Washington 8. Emily Thames 9. Gene Jones

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Monster Mash Dash October 29, 2016 King Street, Tallassee 3

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Broylon Rigsby 2. Alene Nelson and Phillip Childers 3. Randall Stoves, Dillion French and Bob McNamee 4. Eliana, Davis and Clay Stoves 5. David Thornton, Brad Mason, Abe Rigsby and Hamilton Rigsby 6. Eric Stovall

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December 3, 2016 Tallassee 1. Kenyira Skipper, Rhy Rhy Gilmore, Lexi Daniel and Kamila Greer 2. Pat Cannon and Donna Giddens 3. Adam, Daniel, Hunter and Clayton Schieferstein

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4. Kryston and Addison Chambliss 5. Brent, Herley and Robert Langley 6. Julia and Zeke Rigsby 7. Kendra and Shryl Parker 8. Johnny and Jace Newman

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Holiday Market

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December 10, 2016 King Street, Tallassee 1. Pam and Keith Warren 2. Sherri Clower-Kirkley 3. Hanna Copeland 4. Sandra Kay Conner 5. Olivia Humphrey 6. Terry and Debra Henning 7. Stacy Adams

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8. Lisa and Brittney Hornsby

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OUT & ABOUT

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Wetumpka Living Nativity December 9, 2016

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Downtown Wetumpka 1. Bentley and Ashley Brown and Emily, Georgia, Carly and Lee Wells 2. Michael, Jaylyn and Joseph Roberts and Perry Woods 3. Chappell and Brooks Brown and Jack

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Turner 4. Courtney Taylor, Courtney Houlton and Justin Moore 5. Katavious, Caroline, Nikki and Gregory 6. Patti Peacock, Lynette Johnson, Pennie Buckelew, Lou Tatem, Tommy Head, John Rushing and Ed Tatum 7. Angie and John Carter 8. Evona Londell and Sugar 9. Grady and Kristi Myers 10. Cindy and Patrick Murphree

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Coming Up CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Now thru Jan. 20 America the Beautiful Exhibit

Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery proudly presents this photographic celebration of America’s places, faces and activities, featuring the works of several local photographers. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 408 S. Main St., Wetumpka. For information, visit thekelly.org or email thekelly36092@ gmail.com.

Dec. 13-18 Cinnamon Grits: Christmas in the South

It’s holiday fun with this companion piece to last season’s Grits the Musical. That’s Girls Raised in the South, y’all, with a little cinnamon Christmas seasoning. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 and 15-17 and 2 p.m. Dec. 18 at Wetumpka Depot Theatre.

Dec. 19-22, 27-29, 31 Alabama Wildlife Federation Movies

The Alabama Wildlife Federation will show a movie at the top of each hour from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Enjoy Planet Earth-Deep Ocean, exploring the depths of the oceans and discovering some of the planet’s most spectacular species, from the humble huddling of schools of bait fish to the bioluminescent defense of vampire squids. Or watch An Original DUCKumentary, which highlights some of the more than 200 different species of ducks and their talent for survival. The Alabama Nature Center is located at 3050 Lanark Road in Millbrook. Visit alabamawildlife.org. for the schow schedule and details.

Dec. 27 Alabama Wildlife Federation Naturalist Hike

From 10 a.m. until noon, hike some of Lanark’s 5 miles of trails with an experienced ANC naturalist by your side. Learn how to identify birds, plants and animals; splash through the creek; or catch insects in the meadow. General admission applies: $5 per person with a $20 maximum per family. AWF is located at 3050 Lanark Road in Millbrook. Visit alabamawildlife.org.

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Dec. 31 Wetumpka New Year’s Eve Celebration

Shower in the New Year with the Strike of Wetumpka’s Meteor! The celebration will begin with POW/MIA recognition at the Old Elmore County Courthouse. At 9:30 p.m., behind the Wetumpka Civic Center, Shawn Singleton with DJG Entertainment will entertain the crowd with a variety of tunes from all genres. Then, at 11:59 p.m., the countdown will begin for the midnight Meteor Strike and Fireworks, sponsored by Wind Creek Wetumpka, to start the New Year with a bang.

Jan. 14 Treasure Island

The Missoula Children's Theatre will present Treasure Island, an original adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s epic novel, at 5:30 p.m. at the Tallassee High School Auditorium. Tickets are $10; $5 for students. Treasure Island: It’ll shiver your timbers!

Jan. 17 Mend Thy Every Flaw

Local photographer Barry Chrietzberg will lead a demonstration on digital photography at this month’s Tuesdays with Kelly program at noon in the second floor Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery at 408 S. Main St., Wetumpka. Beverages and desserts will be provided. For information, visit thekelly.org or email thekelly36092@ gmail.com.

Feb. 4 8th Annual Millbrook Mardi Gras Run

Register online at active.com for this 1-mile, 5K and 8K race to benefit the missions work at First United Methodist Church in Millbrook. Early registration is $30. Race day registration and bag pick up is 6:30 a.m. The 5K and 8K races start at 8:30 a.m. and the 1-mile starts at 9:45 at Grandview YMCA on Grandview Road.

Feb. 9 - 25 Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Story

The Wetumpka Depot Players will present Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Story. Taken from the iconic songbook of Johnny Cash comes this unique musical about love,

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faith and family. More than two dozen of his classic hits, including the title tune, are performed by a multi-talented cast, painting a portrait of “The Man in Black” that promises to be a foot-stomping, crowd-pleasin’ salute to a unique American legend. Johnny Cash’s remarkable life story is told through his music, climaxing in a concert that will both move and exhilerate. Visit www. wetumpkadepot.com/ticket-sales. for specific dates and times and ticket sales. Or call the box office at 334-8681440.

Feb. 11 Critter Crawl

This 5K trail event takes runners through a portion of the Alabama Nature Center’s (ANC) trail system to benefit education programs. In addition to the 5K run and a 1-mile fun run, there will be music, food, vendors and even a costume contest with prizes for the winners. Shirts are guaranteed for participants registering before Jan. 30. Early registration is $25 for the 5K and $20 for the 1-mile. No pets, please. Race packets available for pick up Feb. 10 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at ANC in Millbrook. The 5K starts at 9:00 a.m., and the 1-mile race starts at 10 a.m.; both races start and finish at the ANC Natureplex. Register at www.active.com. For information, visit www.alabamawildlife.org or call 334-285-4550.

Feb. 25 Russell Forest Run

Help to support local education through the annual 5K and 10K Russell Forest Run at Russell Crossroads. There will be prizes for age categories and the famous grits bar and beverages at the post-race party at The Stables. Register at active.com. For information, call Robert Gunn at 256-397-1019.

Avenue. This volunteer organization serves individual and community needs by funding and hosting special events for people with developmental disabilities. A social time at 5:30 p.m. preceeds meetings.

Countywide Cleanup Day

The Elmore County Commission sponsors free cleanup days for residents on the second Saturday of odd numbered months. Drop off household and yard trash free of charge at the following locations: old highway department in Kent; old highway department shop in Holtville; Crenshaw Park, Sweeten School, Emerald Mountain Equestrian Center; county jail; Shaylee Place at Hwy 231 and Tutus Road; Old Central Transfer Station; Anne Building in Elmore; CEW&SA parking lot at Redland Road facility. There is no longer a drop-off at the intersection of Redland, Firetower and Dozier roads.

Electronics Recycling

On the first Saturday of each month, electronic items for recycling are accepted at the Wetumpka Recycling Center on East Charles Avenue. There is a $10 fee to recycle tube televisions; other electronics incur no charge. Come from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Other accepted electronics include computers, monitors, cellphones, chargers, modems, remotes, printers, batteries and more.

Blue Grass Jam, Sit and Scrap and Sit and Sew

Season-Long Events

All three activities are held on the first Saturday of each month from 9 am. to noon at the Alabama River Region Arts Center in Wetumpka. All acoustic instruments and skill levels are welcome at the Bluegrass Jam. Scrappers and papercrafters are encouraged to attend Sit and Scrap. All sewers and knitters are welcome at Sit and Sew. For complete details, call 334-578-9485 or visit www.arrac.org.

Alabama Wildlife Federation Creature Feature

Children’s Harbor Treasures and Thrift Store

Every Monday and Wednesday, from 3:30 p.m. until 4 p.m., come learn about Alabama’s woods, water and wildlife. Get up close and personal with some of the creatures you may find in your own backyard and even some you may have never even heard of. General admission applies: $5 per person with a $20 maximum per family. AWF is located at 3050 Lanark Road in Millbrook. Visit alabamawildlife.org to check holiday closings.

Tallassee Civitan Club

The Civitans meet at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the Budde Building on Gilmer

Located on Highway 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.

To have your upcoming event featured in the Elmore County Living’s ‘Coming Up!’ pages, email information to editor@lakemartinmagazine.com by the first of the month.

ELMORE COUNTY LIVING

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Business & Service Directory Tail’s End Thrift Store Great Deals on Clothing for the whole family. New & unique housewares every week.

ADOPT • DONATE • VOLUNTEER

BARGAINS ON NICE KIDS CLOTHES AND FALL DECOR

NEW FACILITY COMING SOON

The Humane Society Of Elmore County

255 Central Plank Road • Wetumpka, AL 334-567-3377 hselco@bellsouth.net

334-567-7811 Pick up Elmore County Living at these locations: Eclectic

Eclectic Town Hall Moose's Eclectic Library Johnson’s Furniture Tropical Tan Zone First Community Bank

Lake Martin

Russell Lands Russell Marine Nail’s Cotton’s BBQ

Millbrook

Verizon Wireless First Community Bank Lucretia Cauthen Realty Bliss Salon Millbrook Chamber of Commerce Realty Central Stone & Britt Law Gene Jones Insurance

Montgomery

Publix – Atlanta Highway

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Wetumpka

Publix – Zelda Rd Publix - Vaughn Rd Publix - Taylor Rd

Prattville

Publix – Cobbs Ford Road

Slapout

Lake Pharmacy The Golden Frog The Boy’s Store First Community Bank

Tallassee

Kent Eagle Y Petro Parker Tire RoadRunner Herron Hill Pharmacy Friendship Grocery The Apothecary Community Hospital Tallassee Health & Rehab 5 Points Store Ben Atkinson Motors

Bennett’s Archery First Community Bank Russell Do It Center Bumper’s Karen’s Mane Tamers River Ridge Steakhouse Emerald Mountain Store Redland Market Seivers Accounting Wetumpka Depot Players A Touch of Class Angel Locksmith Verizon Wireless Unplugged Must Stop Café Alfa Realty Wetumpka Century 21 Brandt Wright Realty Wachovia Bank BB&T Jackson Thornton Lee’s Auto Repair McQuick Printing Company Hankins Insurance Hog Rock BBQ Wetumpka YMCA

ELMORE COUNTY LIVING

Adams Drugs Bell Chiropractic Wetumpka Urgent Care Aliant Bank A Beautiful Creation Austin’s Flowers Camo Country Alabama State Employees Credit Union Smokin S BBQ Elmore Community Hospital Wetumpka Preschool Wetumpka City Library Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce City of Wetumpka Administration Bldg. Coosa River Adventures Stoddard’s Bait Shop Collier Ford The Prissy Hen Wee Ones Daycare Wetumpka Health & Rehab Canal Grocery Kim’s Corner


Our Advertisers • To Join, Call 334-567-7811 Collier Ford...................................................................................................................................7 Community Hospital................................................................................................................3 Jackson Thornton......................................................................................................................5 Jeffcoat Funeral Home...........................................................................................................4 5 Karen's Mane Tamers.............................................................................................................4 4 Kowaliga Whole Health.........................................................................................................4 4 Lake Martin Mini Mall...................................................................................................................... 4 7 Mark's Service Center.........................................................................................................................7 Russell Lands on Lake Martin...................................................................................................... 4 8 Tallassee Health & Rehab, LLC...............................................................................................7 The Humane Society of Elmore County..........................................................................4 4

Don't see your ad in this issue of Elmore County Living? Neither did the thousands of potential customers who read our magazine monthly. To advertise please contact Molly Brethauer or Stacy Adams at 334-567-7811 or stop by our office located at 300 Green Street, Wetumpka AL 36092

Trusted. Rooted. Affordable.

Since 1969, one name has served our great community with the care and compassion it deserves — Jeffcoat. We celebrate the beauty of a life and make it our purpose to honor each one respectfully and affordably. Please take the time to compare our prices and services with those of other funeral homes... we know you will be pleasantly surprised. Our family would like to thank you for placing your trust in us for nearly 50 years.

255 Friendship Road • Tallassee • (334) 283-6801 • jeffcoatfuneralhome.com • Since 1969 ELMORE COUNTY LIVING

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Amaryllis A Holiday Favorite Story by Betsy Iler

A

maryllis are among the most popular Christmas blooms because their large, colorful and breathtaking blooms are inexpensive and relatively easy to grow. They also can be easily gifted and make a lovely addition to any holiday decorating theme. After the holidays, they brighten the gloomy days of winter and can be planted outside to lend color to the garden in season. Though a favorite during the holidays, amaryllis do not naturally bloom in winter. They are summer flowers, and when several bulbs are planted in the garden at two-week intervals, they provide continuously stunning color all summer long. For additional blooms in a single season, cut the old flowers from the stem after they begin to wilt. When the stem begins to sag, cut it back to the top of the bulb; then, clean and store the bulb in a paper bag in a cool, dark place for a minimum of six weeks. Though the refrigerator crisper drawer may be the perfect environment, take care not to store the bulbs in a refrigerator that also contains apples, as the apples will sterilize the amaryllis bulbs. The bulbs can be stored for as long as six to eight months, said Regional Cooperative Extension Service Agent Mallory Clark.

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“Plant the bulb with one quarter of it showing,” Clark advised. “The general rule is to make a hole two or three times the diameter of the plant.” Clark said it can take two full seasons for amaryllis to bloom, so even if there is no bloom the first year, leave the bulb in the ground until the foliage begins to die back; then, remove and store the bulb until the next season and plant it seven to 10 weeks before the blooms are desired. “They bloom best with morning sun and afternoon shade,” she said. As with most plants, amaryllis needs 1 inch of water per week, so if rain is insufficient, supplement with irrigation. Prior to fertilizing, she recommended, pick up a soil test box from the extension office at 340 Queen Anne Rd., Wetumpka, and take a sample of the soil in the planting area. When sending the sample for analysis, include a list of what will be planted there. “You will get a complete report on the soil nutrients, and it is well worth the $7 cost of the soil test,” she said. Mulch the bulbs heavily with pine straw over the winter, and once the danger of frost has passed, move the straw back to allow the foliage to grow. For more information about amaryllis and anything else to plant in the garden, visit www.aces.edu.

ELMORE COUNTY LIVING


Gift With BGE Purchase!

Free Set-up & Delivery On BGE

5% Sales Tax

We Believe in Quality Products & Service Wed.-Fri. 10-5 • Sat. 9-4 • Sun. 1-5 • Closed Mon. & Tues. 7995 Kowaliga Rd., Eclectic, AL 36024 • 334.857.3900 www.LakeMartinMiniMall.com ELMORE COUNTY LIVING

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The Ridge is where lake and life truly meet. Whether you’re looking for a new getaway in the most pristine homes and homesites available in South Ridge Harbor, a rustic-modern design in Russell Cabins, or a classic farmhouse-style home in Ridge Run, The Ridge offers all this and more. The Ridge residents have access to an array of amenities, including The Ridge Marina, Beach Park, and The Ridge Club, a 10-acre recreation complex with tennis, fitness center, swimming, and children’s play park. 48

Homes and Homesites Available ELMORE COUNTY LIVING

RussellLandsOnLakeMartin.com | 256.215.7011 | Lake Martin, Alabama

Profile for Tallapoosa Publishers

December 2016 Elmore County Living magazine  

New craft beer house opening in Wetumpka; Visit a family farm with a beautiful barn in Eclectic; Wetumpka writer Linda Alexander writes abou...

December 2016 Elmore County Living magazine  

New craft beer house opening in Wetumpka; Visit a family farm with a beautiful barn in Eclectic; Wetumpka writer Linda Alexander writes abou...