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Your pain is unique. Your treatment should be too. Your HealthSource chiropractic team is excited to show you how to get out of pain and on a journey toward true health. If you’re looking for quick relief for neck or back pain, we can help. Or maybe you want to manage a condition like sciatica or arthritis without invasive surgery or pain medication. At HealthSource we use a combination of chiropractic care and our exclusive Progressive Rehab® approach to get you fast, effective pain relief and help you stay healthier. Come see what we can do for you!






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he Shifts in seasons can be a great catalyst for change. Anticipation of events, a fresh crispness in the air and signs of festive decorating are just a few of the things that point us towards the approaching close of another year.

With each magazine that goes to print, we gear up and begin working on the next issue. Delivering a holiday issue to the community always involves lots of running around the oce. We admit to a few heart palpitations, daily doses of joy/stress and twice as much coee than usual. Amidst the busy-ness, a beautiful magazine begins to take form. This month’s VIP features “All About Home.” In this special section, you will nd interior decor ideas, lovely pictures of tablescapes and trends and many advertisements oering the area’s best resources for home improvement. It is truly one of our favorite issues, as we can always take away inspiration while we work on our own homes. This 2018 Holiday issue of VIP Shoals also features our Gift Buying Guide. This gift guide serves to help our readers nd unique last minute gifts for anyone on their holiday gift list. Also in this issue, Sheri Young interviews musician Kerry Gilbert. Gilbert is a Russellville native who has been a well-loved mainstay of the Shoals music scene for years. Also featured, is Vietnam veteran, Herchial Allen. Allen speaks on his service in Vietnam as well as his love for working with local veterans at the American Legion Post in Florence. And you won’t want to miss the special feature on Chef Alan Phillips, proprietor of the newly opened Red Clay Table in downtown Sheeld. We hope that you enjoy our holiday issue and that you take away something fun, educational or inspiring from our coverage of many charitable events. What a wonderful time to gather with family and friends and enjoy all the blessings the season brings!

Volume 1 - Number 5 Publisher Jeff Watson Editor Lindsay Mehr Allison Art Director William Cross Advertising Director Sheila Irons Writers & Photojournalist Cathy Burns Frank Gilbert Katina Meadows Mari Williams Sheri Young William Cross Distrubution Steven Hartzog

- Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at VIP!

VIP Shoals Magazine 623 S. Seminary St. Florence, AL 35630 256.740.8225

VIP Shoals is your MONTHLY Social & Lifestyle Magazine!



9 One Nation Luncheon

10 Chili Lunch 12 UNA Homecoming 14 Out of the Darkness Walk

on the cover

16 BooFest

Jennifer Smith, Sajel Speyrer, Emily Edwards Photograph by William Cross

22 Singing River Social 24 Renaissance Faire 26 Reclaimed Spirit Holiday Open House 32 Shoals Chamber Golf Tournament 46 Art on the Lawn 58 Symphony Under the Rock 62 Salsa Showdown 64 Profiles in Pink 66 Reunion on the River


features 19 VIProfile: Herchial Allen Undying Service 27 No Place Like Home Warm Contemporary 33

50 People You Should Know Chef Alan Phillips on creating a new atmosphere in Sheffield’s 300 block 52



55 People You Should Know Kerry Gilbert’s love for life, music, and the Shoals

mainstays 17 Event Calendar 48 People & Places











107 E 6th St, Tuscumbia, AL 8 |

(256) 320-5053


Marriott Shoals

Jack Sellers, Adin Batson, Marline Sellers, Calleen Faulkner & Susan Burdine

Heather Haynes & Emily Counce

Howard Tinsley & James Barnett

One Nation Under God Lunch e on


Story & Photos by Katina Meadows

lorence Exchange Club held it’s annual One Nation Under God luncheon on Tuesday, November 13th. It was attended by members, local businessmen and women, and young professionals. This lunch aims to remind all Americans of our religious freedoms, to build respect for patriotism, to honor the men and women who have sacrificed for those freedoms, and to prayerfully thank God for the blessings of liberty bestowed on all Americans. Special music was provided by Phillip White and Josh Willingham was the guest speaker.

Bill Bowen & Bill Norvell

Megan Dye & Debbie Williams

Christian Burkhalter, Marisa Baker, Elaina Smith & Erica Williams

Doug Evans & Josh Willingham

Andrea Holt & Phillip White

Denise Willingham & Lisa Morris

Peggy & Joe Patterson

Mark & Anita Smith, Gail Evans & Scott Patterson

Vickey Edwards & Sandra Morgan December 2018 | 9


Colbert Courthouse

Chili Lunch Fundraiser


Story & Photos by Cathy Burns

he aroma of chili cooking could be smelled throughout the Colbert County Courthouse on October Jennifer Thorp, Carol Merritt, & Carrie Mitchell 31st from 11:00 until 1:00. Not only did it smell and taste amazing, it was being provided for avery good cause. The 6th Annual Chili Lunch was hosted by the Colbert County Extension Office with the proceeds fromthe sales going to support nonprofitbreast cancer organizations. The Extension Office attempts to donate each year to breast cancer organizations that they feel need the most assistance. Richard Hall, Jed Terry, & Brian Hall

Kathy Ford, Jewel Campbell, & Susan Coke

Jewel Campbell 10 |

Tom & Debbie Counts

Kyle Brown

Bradley, Wesley, & Letanndra Thompson

Deanna Douthit Thomas & Eugene Rikard

Larry Softley

Chad Young & Michael Richardson

Donna Brown

FlorenceSuites-2018qxp.qxp_Layout 1 11/5/18 3:03 PM Page 1

This 15 bed facility offers all private, 300 sq ft suites that include: Medicare Supplements Rx Plans Medicare Advantage Education Plan Placement Mark Sanderson, Kay Holland, Marianna Honeycutt, Paul Sanderson

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• Private restrooms with walk in showers • Carpet and Hardwood flooring • Lounge chair for guests • Kitchenette • Wi-Fi • Flat Screen TV’s • Five Star Dining


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2107 Cloyd Blvd. • Florence, AL 35630 Tel: 256.766.5771

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Now located in The Stricklin Marketplace

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315 N Court Street — Open 9-2:30 Daily December 2018 | 11


Downtown Florence

Sigma Chi Fraternity

Hannah Spradlin, Samantha Worsham, Emily Hudsmith & Lily Touchstone

T UNA Homecoming

he University of North Alabama held it’s Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 13th with the theme “It’s Time to Rock and Roar.” The alumni, students and the community all participated in the parade along with the week long events on the UNA campus.

Story & Photos by Katina Meadows

Anna Rose Baughn & Braely Taylor

Kaitlyn Kennedy & Abby St. John 12 |

Ensley, Esther, Ella & Emora Broadfoot

Carley Malone & SeLah Elrod

Rebecca, Nathan & James Benjamin

Angela Keaton, Colleen Penny & Tracey Quigley

Kristin James

Delmar Williams

Karlie Cornelius, Caitlyn Hogeland & Ashlee Carter

Anna Grace, Ginger & Cole England

Alex, Alessandra & Lisa Aguado

Delta Chi Fraternity

Zoie Loosier & Madison Davis December 2018 | 13


Florence High

Out of the Darkness


Story & Photos by Cathy Burns

he 6th Annual OUT OF THE DARKNESS Community Walk was recently held at Florence High School in Florence Alabama, on Sunday October 28th. The proceedes from this event are used to help to raise awareness and allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to create educational programs, advocate for public policies and support survivors of suicide loss. But more importantly, The Out of the Darkness Community Walk brings people together for a time to give strength and hope for survivors and to serve as support for those that are suering. It’s a time that people who grieve the loss of a love one to join with others and take some time to smile, laugh, cry and remember. For help please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741

Nikole Evans, Kristen Lopez, Rachel Berry, Mark Edward Glover, Jr., Jessica Glover, Mark Glover, Susan Olive, Jessica Trexler, Conner Puckett

Angie and Phillip Jhin

Justin and Kayleigh Henderson, Lauren and Chris Brink

Brandon & Holly Key, Ricky Naylor, Gracie & Caitlyn Key

Debbie Crump, Susan Brocato 14 |

Brenda McCormack, Jacob Gable

Jason Sparks, Mary Catherine Dunham

Allen Higdon, Jason James

Rachel Greene, Andra Navarre, Jennifer Manley, Angela Manley

Michael Johnson, Fletch Brown

Your Local Home I.V. Experts


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w w w.C h a m p y s C h i c ke n .c o m December 2018 | 15


Shoals Theater

ELF th e mu s i ca l


Story & Photos by Cathy Burns

n November 16th and 17th the historic Shoals Community Theatre in Florence, Alabama hosted the musical Elf, The Musical Jr. The production was presented Jennifer Thorp, Carol Merritt, & Carrie Mitchell by the Gingerbread players and was directed by Emily Borden. The performance included over 50 casts and crew members, as well as numerous dedicated volunteers. Before the performance, Steve Price the theatre manager was delighted to welcome Evie Kate Perry, the 50,000th person to attend a gingerbread production since the Gingerbread players moved their permanent home to the Shoals Theatre in 2008. Richard Hall, Jed Terry, & Brian Hall

Kathy Ford, Jewel Campbell, & Susan Coke

Jewel Campbell 16 |

Tom & Debbie Counts

Kyle Brown

Bradley, Wesley, & Letanndra Thompson

Deanna Douthit Thomas & Eugene Rikard

Larry Softley

Chad Young & Michael Richardson

Donna Brown

Calendar of Events








Shoals Christmas Praise Grace Life Church 6:15pm


Shoals Chamber Christmas Open House - Sponsored by Helen Keller Hospital 5-7:30pm

Holly and Ivy Luncheon Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts 11:30am


16 Sunday Brunch with Santa 360 Grille 10:30am-2pm




Kruz’n for a Kure Benefit Dinner Montgomery Place, Sheffield 7pm

It’s a Dickens Christmas Y’all! Downtown Tuscumbia 10am-4pm

First Friday Downtown Florence 5pm

43rd Annual Parade of Lights Joe Wheeler State Park 6pm

14 Tourism Tacky Sweater Day Florence Tourism 10am-5pm

Holly and Ivy Luncheon Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts 11:30am

15 Breakfast with Santa Hosted by Shoals CASA Applebee’s Florence 8-10am

A New Beginning Benefit Concert featuring The Secret Sisters Shoals Theater 7pm

Shoals Chamber Singers Christmas Concert Grace Episcopal Church 7-8pm

Beer & Carols Singin’ River Brewery 6:30-8:30pm


6 Holiday Extravaganza Marriott Conference Center 7pm

11 Muscle Shoals Christmas Parade 7pm

















PJs and Pancakes with Santa All Starz Dance Academy 9am

Angel Painting Class Recleaimed Spirits 5:30pm

Storytime with the Swampers Muscle Shoals Sound Studio 5-8pm



Shane Baker Live at The Boiler Room Florence 7pm

Sunday Brunch with Santa 360 Grille 10:30am-2pm

Merry Christmas from the staff at VIP Shoals Magazine!


31 The Midnighters Live at the Brass Monkey 9pm


Polar Bear Plunge into the New Year McFarland Park 1pm





December 2018 | 17

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undying service

One Soldier’s Victory Over PTSD and Undying Service to Fellow Veterans “Don’t do it,” came the miraculous whisper of a little girl, said as audibly as if she was pressed up against the man’s side. The man was Herchial Allen and the girl was his godson’s young daughter, who at that very moment was sleeping soundly many miles away. It was early morning before dawn and Allen sat trembling, holding a cocked gun pressed firmly to the underside of his chin. Ending his life seemed to be the only escape from what haunted him. He had awakened from another night of “terrors” - dreams or visions that were so vivid they appeared to be real. “I remember feeling like I didn’t know what was happening to me,” says Allen. “I woke up with scenes (from Vietnam) replaying before me. It’s as if they were happening right then. I would be ringing wet with sweat, throwing my arms and legs around and in a terrible panic,” he explained. “Then out of nowhere, I heard her voice clear as day. It was as if she was right there...right there next to me.” “Don’t do it,” her voice said. At the sound of the child’s voice, Allen turned around expecting to see her, but she was not there. In awe of what had happened, he carefully set the gun on the table, dropped his face to his hands and began to weep. Like millions of Vietnam Veterans, Herchial Allen was experiencing symptoms of PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a term often used to describe a variety of psychological problems and readjustment-to-life issues exhibited by persons who have experienced a traumatic event. Warfare and combat are often the triggers of PTSD, called “battle fatigue” or “shell shock” in the past. Research indicates that a substantial number of Vietnam veterans suffer from some form of PTSD, with symptoms first-appearing as late as 20-30 years later in some cases. There is no doubt that the issue of PTSD prevalence remains heatedly debated and somewhat difficult to pin down. This challenge could be partly due to the fact that the stakes are huge: major decisions about VA funding, disability payments, research grants and even society’s perspective on war itself hinge on this data. Article & Photo by Sheri Young

December 2018 | 19


llen says the violent mental recall of the scenes from his months spent in combat in Vietnam had taken their toll. Soon after, Allen discovered that his brother was battling similar symptoms. After an exhaustive search for medical help, they found themselves participating in Tuscaloosa VA Hospital’s clinical trial of the drug, Klonopin (generic: Clonazepam). Due in part to this study, the drug was later approved by the FDA i n 1975. Today Klonopin, as well as other benzodiazepines, have fallen under heavy scrutiny for their potential addictive properties and long-term adverse effects. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians, however, it remains one the most commonly prescribed medications in the treatment of acute anxiety and panic disorders. For Allen and many others in those post-Vietnam years, it was life-changing.

of Soldiers preparing for combat. Vietnam, 1965.

Now at age 72, Allen exudes a warm and somewhat mischievous sense of humor. He speaks with authority, confidence and determination. He is a tall, towering, gentle giant of sorts. Sitting across the table in the dining hall of Florence-Lauderdale’s Post 11, he leans forward with grave seriousness when I ask about his experiences in Vietnam. Like most young men across America, as soon as Allen graduated from high school he registered for the military. Within a few months President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered for more ground troops and picked up the pace of the draft from 17,000 to 35,000 American men per month. At age 19, Allen was called. His brother had gone before him. “Some of those guys over there, they were just boys, not even grown men,” says Allen. “This guy here,” pointing to a handsome blonde soldier with a childish smirk on his face, “Man, he was a funny character. I think he was only 17 years old. He fooled around and got himself killed over there,” Allen continued, shaking his head. He proceeded to walk me through a worn, old scrapbook filled with page after page of memories. His eyes scanned the images of his fellow bunkmates in the barracks. He chuckled as he recalled a series of pranks and retold stories of their camaraderie - the need to find a few laughs while in the midst of their circumstances. He told me about people they’d met, places they’d been and unspeakable things they’d witnessed. His eyes moved to a picture of a small boy and stopped, lingering there before filling with tears. He pulled the picture out and handed it to me. It was a weathered photo of a small Vietnamese boy who looked to be maybe three or four years old. With a crack in his voice he said, “This here, this was a young boy we found in a village. The whole village had burned to the ground. We saw him standing there, alone. He was the only one left. We grabbed him up and took him back to the barracks. We kept him... took care of him,” he reminisces. “That was the hardest part about leaving really...about coming home,” he said, “We didn’t know what would happen to him.”

left: Funny soldier from Allen's barracks who "got himself killed." Vietnam, 1965. right: Vietnamese child rescued by Allen and his fellow soldiers after his village burned to the ground. 20 |


ince those days, assisting war veterans in obtaining the benefits they need has become Allen’s primary purpose in life. He says that on that dark morning in 1997 when he nearly took his life “God worked a miracle,” which prompted him to go on a mission to get the help he desperately needed and later help others. The number of cases with which Allen has assisted are in the hundreds. “If I hear of a veteran who needs medical help, financial help, or help of any kind, it’s my job to see to it that they get what they need,” he says. “They served this country. They paid a huge price. They’re entitled to it.” And according to Allen, most veterans simply do not understand “the system,” or how to navigate through the red tape of filing a claim or even obtaining basic medical care. As a result, many go without. “When they come here, we take them through the process,” he explains. “We don’t stop.” “We” is the staff and volunteers at Alabma’s oldest VFW Post, The American Legion FlorenceLauderdale County Post 11 located at 318 S. Court Street. In Allen’s case, helping them has meant going above and beyond - educating them on their rights, taking them to the doctor, and when filings are rejected, “calling in the big guns” the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.

Allen (center) in civilian clothes while on a "day off," with fellow soldiers. Every soldier was granted a certain number of days to rest and recover in between battle.


ver the years Allen and his brother, also a Vietnam veteran, have mentored hundreds of youth in Northwest Alabama communities. They’ve been on the sidelines at their games, bought them hot meals, helped many with scholarships and even taken some atrisk youth into their own homes. These young men and women have since gone on to have successful careers and families of their own. According to Allen, they’re always checking in on him. “My goodness they call me all the time!” he says, a big smile widening across his face. “Birthdays, ball games, holidays - there’s always something I’m getting an invitation or a “facetime” about.”

“You see this phone right here?” asks Allen, looking sharply at me and pointing to his phone. “If I have to, I’ll call up the head of the department and get something done.” Chuckling, Allen recalls the story of a veteran calling him for help after being denied care at the VA Hospital in Tuscaloosa with an infectious skin condition they claimed was “untreatable.” Determined to get the man help, Allen called the VA Hospital and was immediately told the same thing, that they couldn’t help him. “I called up Washington,” Allen says,”and not five minutes later that hospital administrator was ringing my phone saying, ‘Mr. Allen, you tell him to get on down here right away!’ “You see,” explains Allen, “I just didn’t give up.” As he shares about his “extended family,” I look at my watch and realize the ‘few minutes’ I had requested has turned into According to Mary Day Smith, Post 11’s Adjutant, a District nearly three hours. I turn off my voice recorder and thank Commander and a 15- year military veteran herself, “Herchial is him for his time, regrettably bringing our visit to an end. He bids me goodbye with a gentlemanly nod. I’m hit with a wave special. He’s one of our stars,” she says. “He’s been a member for over 20 years, has his of awareness that a life like mine, one lived far apart from dues paid up for life, serves on the Executive Board, is our number the gruesome reality of war, is really so simple and sheltered. one Membership Recruiter and is our appointed Head Cook for I make my way down the sidewalk, in my mind recalling the our annual Chicken Stew fundraiser,” she goes on. “And what he faces of the many men and women decorating the walls of Post won’t tell you is that helping veterans isn’t all that he does,” she 11 and then too, the faces of others filling the pages of Allen’s continues. “The impact he’s had on youth and families in the area scrapbook. It’s estimated that a staggering 58,000 American soldiers died in the Vietnam War. That number is slightly more is immeasurable.” than the number of people living in the combined population of our Northwest Alabama tri-cities today. I try to imagine these cities with no human life in them. It’s unimaginable. Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, should call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year at 800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at or send a text message to 838255.

Pausing for a moment, I close my eyes and inwardly offer up words of gratitude for Herchial Allen and for those like him who have fought to protect my freedoms and secure my safety. This Veteran’s Day, November 12th, may we all be ever-mindful of the gifts of our American Democracy and the ultimate price that comes in having it - a price that so many have paid. December 2018 | 21


Mariott Shoals

Singing River Social


Story & Photos by Cathy Burns

n November 17th 2018 the Marriott Shoals Conference Center hosted the American Cancer Society Inaugural “Singing River Social”, presented by Helen Keller Hospital, Alliance Cancer Care, and Clearview Cancer Institute. The event was planned to represent all the things that are loved here in the shoals. Good Tracy Marcu, Tonya Southhall, Stephanie Mallette, Vanessa Gough, Beacky Hall, Melissa Bush food, good music, and the love for our community. The theme this year was 1920’s and had over 200 attendees. The event included a silent auction and music by the Midnighters.

Tosha Frith, Jaylon & Anna Duncan

Chasity Farris & Whitney McCartt 22 |

Hunt Stanhope, Janey Rohling, Hannah Green, Adam Hoekenschnieder

Ek West, Sara Moseley, Jennifer Moseley

Sandi Barnes, Steve Grissom

Allison Humphres, David Hyde

Chasity Farris, Todd Weatherford

Moshiu & Cynthia Knox

Bill & Vanessa Gough

Kaytrina Simmons

Tina Weeks, Cassandra Seal

Vanessa & Thomas Johnson

Karen Borden, Sabrina Handley

Joey Meares, Carrie Wood

Lucy Wilson, Amy Stanfield, Renee Haney, Deb Barnes, Janey Rolin

Steve & Lori Hargrove

Michelle & Joey Cantrell December 2018 | 23


Wilson Park

Rick & Darlene Freeman, Rhoda Evans

Jane Garner, Rose Dean, Maggie Garner & Lily Hutchinson

Jackie Denton & Braden Gooch

Renaissance Fa ire


Story & Photos by Katina Meadows

he Annual Alabama Renaissance Faire was held on Saturday, October 27th and Sunday, October 28th at Wilson Park in downtown Florence. Craft vendors and Renaissance entertainers came from all over the United States to celebrate. The time frame is 1100’s through Melissa & Adam Hitchcock the 1600’s. The park was full of knights & ladies, wandering minstrels, belly dancers and jesters all in character of the renaissance period.

Christopher Corssland & Cherri Fuller

Casper Fournier & Lucy Knight

Christian Burkhalter, Marisa Baker, Elaina Smith & Erica Williams 24 |

Elizabeth & Nancy Gonce

Shianne Wright & Wes Kennedy

Steven Hughes & Harley Newell

Melanie Smith & Andy Selman

Josh, Jennifer, Addison & William Huckaba

15K Entry Fees By December 31 By January 31 By February 28 By March 7 On-site March 8 & 9

$20 $25 $30 $35 $40

5K Entry Fees By December 31 By March 7 Onsite March 8 & 9

$10 $15 $20

(256) 740-5400 Call Brittney Pierce to schedule your personal tour

We accept:

805 Flagg Circle, Florence Florence, AL 35630

• HMO’s

Fax (256) 740-5495

• Medicaid

• Medicare • Private Pay

December 2018 | 25


Reclaimed Spirit

Holiday Open House


Story & Photos by Katina Meadows

hristmas was in the air at Reclaimed Spirits Holiday Open House on Thursday, November 8th. Lots of beautiful items for sale. Perfect for anyone on your Christmas list. Customers were in a festive mood with delicious refreshments and door prizes. Bernie & Wendy Delinski

Meredith McClanahan & Andrea Huntley

Jacque De Young & Dianne Yelverton

Stacy Charney, Sherry Peters 26 |

Jo Ann Griffin, Janie Lowery & Brenda Butler

Caroline & Becky Verrone

Stacey Hamner & Emily Alves

Jenny Ozbirn

Marlene Agnelly

Tammie Tackett, Rachel Wilton & Michelle Shults

Nancy McClanahan & Summer McCreless


Warm Contemporary

A Modern Home Overlooking the Water

Judy Young has been a top producing realtor in the Shoals area since 2001. As soon as she started her real estate career, she knew it was the perfect career change for her. Her love for people and getting to help people find or sell their home was just icing on the cake. She is married, the mother of 3 daughters, 3 son-in-loves, and 6 grandchildren who live in Huntsville, Nashville, and Greensboro, NC. Family is very important to Judy and she cherishes every minute with her grandchildren. photos by Will Mansel story by Lindsay Allison

Is the home new construction or remodel? What is the design of the house? JY: This home was initially going to be a remodel of a cabin on the property but when the remodel began, there were unforeseen issues and I made the decision to tear it down and start from scratch. My designer, Anne Leslie Tompkins, had designed a separate garage apartment on the property that would have blended with the look of the existing mid-century modern cabin. So, it was back to the drawing board to design a home that would blend in with the new garage apartment look. She nailed it! She listened to my wants which were a lot of windows, tall ceilings, and an open concept. She came up with more ideas that fit everything I had envisioned. It is contemporary with some mixed elements (wood beams, stone) that give it a warm feeling.

28 |

Who were the main vendors used to decorate the house? JY: Most of my decor is provided by mother nature as the home is all windows. But, I have friends in the furniture business from whom I purchased a lot of items.

November 2018 | 29

What is your favorite room and why? JY: My porch overlooking the water! This spring I added Phantom Screens that are sold by Riverworks to the top porch (you step down to the next porch and they are each approximately 20’ x 40’). The screens are remote control so I can open them to have the porch totally open or closed to keep bugs out. Most days you can find me on the porch relaxing after a long day of work.

What are some specific personal touches that you used? JY: I have a few pieces of art in various places but my favorite touches are photos of my grandchildren. I have a wall that I call “the wall of love.” It has 6 canvas prints of each child’s sweet face. This makes me happy.

Have a Seat at the Table

Sandwich es

Small Bites and Shareables

broiled, open-faced sandwich on crusty bread, baked in house, includes one side

Stuffed Jalapeños!fire roasted jalapeños & pineapple with white cheddar 6 Stuffed Sweet Peppers!cauliflower, sweet potato


Muscle Shoals!a seared slice of meatloaf, paprika mayo,

Pickled Jumbo Shrimp!sambal meyer lemon cocktail

fresh lettuce, pickled red onion and horseradish brown 8


mustard & muenster cheese 11 Sheffield black pepper, brown sugar on house cured bacon, fresh tomato, roasted tomato aoli, fresh lettuce, bacon jam & gouda cheese 11

Chicken Satay Skewers!with house-made Thai peanut (3) 5 or




Pulled Pork Nachos!avocado, black beans, tres queso, salsa verde & BBQ sour cream 11 Queso Fundido blue corn tortilla chips 10

Spaghetti & Fame Ranch Beef (FRB) Meatballs

ask about our specials


Farmers’ Choice!fresh greens & veggies from our local small 5

large 9

Caesar!fresh romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, homemade croutons & shaved Parmesan

small 6 small 5


green tomato compote with garlic mashed potatoes


Grilled Pork Loin!with two sides


Grilled Chicken Breast!with two sides


Shrimp & Grits!with garlic cheese grits


vegetables & fruit over couscous



large 10 large 9


Phuket!fresh greens, chicken skewers, crispy noodles, carrots, cucumbers, coconut cashews & Thai peanut dressing

Silverlake!roasted veggies, green goddess aioli, pickled

tea 2

soft drinks 2

coffee 2

San Pelligrino 5

Dressings Ranch | Honey mustard | Balsamic featuring Renaissance Olive Oil Co. and Balsamics | Raspberry Mint | Caesar | Greek


onion, microgreens & provolone Havana!ham, pulled pork, roasted plantains, gingered


honey mustard, pickles & Swiss cheese


all sides 3 roasted garlic mashed potatoes vegetable medley mac & cheese



chutney, arugula & havarti cheese


Can Tho Vietnamese style caramelized pork over coconut

Greek!fresh greens, olives, cherry tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers & roasted peppers

Istanbul!sliced turkey, cream cheese mayo, cranberry

Marrakesh!slow roasted tagine of chicken, seasonal

add chicken 4 shrimp 5


fresh lettuce & aged swiss cheese

FRB Meatloaf!chipotle & roasted tomato OR

Small cup 3

farmers with your choice of dressing

House Specialties choice of one side

Soup of the Day Large cup 6

Provence!roasted chicken, goat cheese, olive tapenade,

gingered sweet potatoes

green beans

mustard cole slaw

cherokee pinto beans

fresh daily choice


includes beverage & one side 5.50

Pie 4

Cake 5


Parfait 6

Bread pudding 5

Mac & Cheese Spaghetti & Meatballs

Grilled Cheese Spaghetti & Marinara

307 N. Montgomery Ave., Sheffield | | 256.320.5500


Robert Trent Jones

Shoals Chamber Golf Tournament


Story & Photos by Katina Meadows

he Shoals Chamber of Commerce held a Golf Classic & Poker Run at Robert Trent Jones on Friday, October 26th. Despite the cool weather and rain the turnout was still a success. First place team was CB&S Bank, second place team went to J.S. Holland & Associates/Garner Autos, and third place went to McDaniel Window & Doors.

Jake McGee, Zach Gourgeot & Zeth Olive

Justin Low, Selena Miller, Mike Pixley & Brad Lingle

Cody Berry, Jackson Davis, Harrison Garner & Tre’ Holland

Michael Rogers, Tyler Jones & Matt Parker

Thomas Samaniego & Jacob Tucker

Keith Crowson & Scott Lovelace

Brian Sarapin, Mike Cowley & Bobby Kilpatrick

Ben Alexander & Daniel Creel

Hope Fredrick, Barbara Hunt & Caitlin Holland

Matthew Haisten, Joel Paulk & Will Fisher

Home 2018

All About

December 2018 | 33

Quality Custom Homes High Cotton Homes is a custom home building company specialized in itemized estimates, quality construction and transparent budgets. Whether you picture yourself in a rocking chair on the porch of a farmhouse or steaming in a shower of a modern home, we can work with you to build the perfect space for you and your family. We feature interior designer, Melanie Harrison, to assist clients along the way with design and selection decisions. From drafting home plans and picking out paint colors to ensuring quality framing and construction, we take pride in providing our clients with a positive building experience and a long lasting home.

Budget Transparency We are proud to offer CoConstruct software. Stay on schedule and know where your money goes as it happens. Because we know your home is your largest investment, we have a full time account manager, Scott Baker, that excels in keeping our billing on time and on point.

Will King, Licensed Residential Home Builder

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Will King was born and raised in the Shoals. After graduating from Muscle Shoals, he moved to Birmingham and married his high school sweetheart, Brooke. Will found a passion for firefighting in Birmingham and began a career as a professional firefighter/paramedic. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Athens State University. During his 10 years in the fire service, Will remodeled several homes and renovated multiple rental properties, which peaked his interest in construction and real estate. In 2013, he and Brooke moved back to Tuscumbia, where he trained to be an appraiser; however, he truly loved the building and structural side of homes. High Cotton Homes was formed in 2016 after Will observed the need for current building science and technology in the Shoals area. In March of 2018, after seven years with Decatur Fire and Rescue, Will made an incredibly tough decision to leave and grow High Cotton Homes. The company has become a family endeavor, and you may even see his daughter “helping� on some of the videos. With the renovation of the House of Vacuums into an office space, 2019 should be an exciting year for the company.

“Why are your homes green?” We are proud of the details we put into our homes! We use advanced framing techniques and ZipSystem Sheathing and Tape to protect our homes. Our goal is to build you a quality home you will love from the inside out! “It is with gratitude and enthusiasm we recommend High Cotton Homes. Our experience with the High Cotton team has been wonderful. Will King is a great communicator and works well under pressure. We chose them because they have a reputation for being honest and having integrity in all that they do. We can say, without a doubt, this is true.”

Craig & Kristi

Follow High Cotton Homes on Facebook and @highcottonhomes on Instagram! Check out design ideas and completed homes on our Pinterest page, High Cotton Homes, LLC. 256- 281- 1626

December 2018 | 35

RARE FIND: 687 Lakewood Drive East, Muscle Shoals Luxury | Low Maintenance | Waterfront


3 bd, 2.5 bath Condo on Wilson Lake with Master Suite, Boat Slip & New Lift

Anna Miskel 256.483.7412




Come see our new special stones of the month! 3790 Hwy. 20, Tuscumbia, AL 35674 | 256.389.3117

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How Smart Technology Is Modernizing Our Homes W

hether you are looking to completely remodel, renovate, or buy new, leveraging smart home technology in your current or future home can bring about a host of benefits including increased comfort, more accessibility, and a highergrade of security features to ensure a private and secure home. By using the “internet of things” and artificial intelligence, you can take advantage of and combine the latest technology to customize, automate, and adapt your home to modern systems like wireless lighting, smart door controls, and continuous home speaker systems. Paul Smoke Of Security and Entertainment Solutions says, “there isn’t a better time to explore how smart technology can modernize your home for the better”. Let’s take a look at what you can do with this new technology with regards to security and entertainment solutions.


ne of the most common uses of smart home technology today is temperature control. One of the worst feelings is getting home to a cold house in winter or a hot house in the summer months. By integrating climate control into your home with smart thermostats, you can always have your home at the perfect temperature level no matter where you areBeyond having the perfect temperature, smart thermostats take the guesswork out of home energy efficiency as you can adapt the thermostat to adjust to your preferences and schedules, adjust automatically when you are out, use occupancy sensors to detect when you are at home, remind you when preventative maintenance is required, and even monitor energy consumption on a weekly and monthly basis. You could take it a step further and include automated window treatments so that your temperature adapts to the sunrise and the sunset of the climate outside. Ultimately, by integrating temperature control, you can always have the perfect home atmosphere regardless of the weather outside.


ne of the major reasons why smart home technology is becoming popular among homebuyers is due to the safety features it brings into the home. Home security equipment like wireless home security systems, wireless door locks, doorbells, and video cameras make it very easy to track who is coming in and out of your home. Keyless door lock systems allow you to lock and unlock your home’s doors from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet, even when you’re not at home, and wireless security systems allow you to remotely arm and disarm your home’s alarm.

Integrate Smart Technology In Your Home With Security and Entertainment Solutions


s you can see, smart home technology is primed to bring more comfort, easier access, and major security upgrades to homes within the coming years. If this an area of interest to you, whether you want to add them into your existing home or a new home, Security and Entertainment Solutions can help out. They provide smart home solutions to individuals who want to make their home and office more enjoyable and seamless with smart technology. From 24/7 home security options to custom home and business audio to custom home theatres, live audio and video, and boat and RV audio and video options, integrating smart home technology into your living areas is easy as making the call. 256-718-3837 December 2018 | 37

“We love our new kitchen. Thank you for making this project so manageable and for preserving the beauty of our historic home in the process." Historic Homeowner & Liberty Customer Downtown Florence

38 |

Follow us on Facebook for Seasonal Promotions: @libertyhomeworx

Since 1986 master builder and General Contractor, Denis Kamp, has been building homes and transforming living spaces for homeowners in Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Ohio. Headquartered in Florence, AL, Liberty Custom Homes & Renovations, LLC is best known in the Shoals’ area for superior craftsmanship and creative concepts. Custom Homes · Starter Homes · Kitchens · Bathrooms · Decks · Additions · Remodeling · Door Replacement · Porches · Garages

Need expert help with your home improvement project? Contact us to experience unparalleled professionalism. Dream. Design. Create.

Contact us for your FREE estimate today! Text or Call 256-366-3606

December 2018 | 39

Photo courtesy of Huggins Flooring

INTERIOR DÉCOR Story by Lindsay Mehr Allison


nterior design is constantly changing— It is always out with the old and in with the new. Already granite countertops and dark wood cabinets in kitchens are starting to look a little late 90s. If you’re thinking of renovating or building a house (or just like looking!), here are a few of the top trends for modernizing your kitchen.

Geometric Tiles

Geometric tiles are an easy way to bring character to a room that needs updating when a can of fresh paint on the walls just won’t do the trick. Going beyond the kitchen and bathrooms, geometric tiles add the look of texture and dimension in a classy and understated fashion. As of lately, it is often geo tiles in black and white or shades of gray that are most popular. For bathrooms, they bring patterning without actually taking away from the serenity of the space. In kitchens, they add an artful design as a backsplash or flooring.

Grey Kitchen Cabinetry

Photo courtesy of Room Decorating 40 |

In the last few years, white cabinetry has taken precedence in the kitchen. It is a look that will always be classic. However, if you are looking to step outside of the proverbial box and give your kitchen an inimitable look, grey cabinetry is the perfect solution. The look of grey cabinets centers the

Photo courtesy of Decorpad

Photo courtesy of Decorpad

Photo courtesy of Style at Home

home with an airy feel and can easily flow with the home’s aesthetic. The color and finish you choose for your grey cabinets should hinge on your personal style as well as the style of your home. If you are looking to modernize your kitchen, choose a grey that is intermediary between white and grey. For a sophisticated look, choose a darker grey with a brown undertone.

Marble Countertops Marble does require regular maintenance. However, if you put forth the effort, it is really stunning paired with white or grey cabinets that are so popular right now. Because it’s a natural material like wood, marble is wonderful for adding a little bit of visual texture to a modern kitchen. White marble is especially popular right now, but black marble with white veining adds a strong punch if you are wanting the look of a dramatic kitchen. If you reseal your marble on a regular basis, stains and scratches should be few and far between.

Patterned Stair Runners

Photo courtesy of Ryan Saghian

Although a classic look, stair runners have become increasingly popular among homeowners and interiors designers as of lately, and for good reason. When placed down the length of staircases, patterned stair runners add just the right amount of energy and visual interest, all while offering protection from slips. If your staircase is a part of your foyer, adding a bold, neutral color pattern is a

great way to make your entryway ring.

Herringbone Floors Although it’s a woven pattern more commonly associated with fashion, herringbone translates beautifully to the home as well. It is dramatic and sensual to the eye, with a touch of charm that makes an abode inviting. You can use this pattern with hardwood or ceramic tile to create a unique, yet classic design in your home.

Open Shelving Some of the prettiest items in your home tend to be the china you especially picked out for your wedding, a gorgeous vase given to you by your husband, the glasses you collect or even the handmade pottery you can’t stop buying. Shouldn’t these be on display? I think so! Not only does open shelving allow you to show off all your treasured kitchen items, but it also makes a kitchen look larger. Since open shelving lets your eyes pass all the way to the wall behind it, it’s also a great way to show off a pretty wall treatment. A great way to add the look of a large space is to add open shelving with a mirror behind it. This helps reflect the pretty objects on the shelves and the rest of the room reflected in the mirror. Open shelving can be mixed in with cabinetry as well, so you don’t have to abandon your beloved custom-built cabinetry. If the idea of open shelving frightens you, try replacing your cabinet doors with glass doors. December 2018 | 41

The WC Baker Company provides the highest quality of workmanship in home building and project services in North Alabama. As a licensed home builder in the states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, we have the ability to cater to any need large or small. We value the importance of our relationship with our past, present, and future customers. Our clients rely on our dependability, drive and integrity on and off the job site. We take great pride in our accomplishments and build on how we can improve them everyday.

Chad Baker Owner, Baker Company Get in Touch: (256) 320-7780 2716 S Wilson Dam Rd, Muscle Shoals, AL 35661 42 |

beauty is in the details

December 2018 | 43



Pipelines are the safest, most reliable and efficient manner of transporting natural gas. A unique advantage of pipelines is the ability to transport one of our vital resources safely without damaging our environment. Clean, plentiful, efficient and safe when used properly, natural gas is a reliable and efficient energy source. PROPORCIONANDO GAS NATURAL Los gasoductos son la manera más segura, más fiable y eficiente de transporte de gas natural. Una ventaja úni‐ ca de gasoducto es la capacidad para el transporte de uno de nuestros recursos vitales de forma segura sin dañar el medio ambiente. Limpio, abundante, eficiente y seguro cuando se utiliza correctamente, el gas natural es una fuente de energía fiable y eficiente.

Using your sense of sight and sound will help you in recognizing a suspected leak.

Sight—Blowing gas, dead or dry vegetation, or bubbles in the water near the pipeline. Sound–Whistling, hissing or roaring noise. Smell –Odorized to smell like rotten eggs. RECONOCIENDO UNA FUGA POSIBLE Usando su sentido de la vista y el sonido le ayudará en el reconocimiento de una fuga posible. La Vista— Escupiendo gas, vegetación muerta o seca, o burbujas en el agua cerca de el gasoducto. El Oído— Silbando, silbido o rugido ruido. El Olfato— Odorizado a oler a huevos podridos.


Using your sense of sight, sound, and smell will help you in recognizing a suspected leak.

The City of Florence Natural Gas Department is committed to the safety of the public and care for the environment. We take great care to follow the highest industry standards to provide quality ser‐ vices to the residents of Lauderdale County. Pipe‐ lines are monitored through a combination of sys‐ tems and safety programs. This includes frequent inspection on foot. In addition, state pipeline in‐ spectors evaluate whether operators are being diligent in meeting regulatory requirements, con‐ ducting proper inspections and making necessary repairs.

Sight—Blowing gas, dead or dry vegetation, POTENTIAL HAZARDS OF A LEAK LA SEGURIDAD DE LOS GASODUCTOS or bubbles in the water Flammable, near the pipeline. explosive mixtures may travel to an

La Ciudad de Florence está comprometido con la seguri‐ dad de la población y el cuidado del medio ambiente. Tenemos mucho cuidado de seguir los más altos están‐ dares de la industria para proporcionar servicios de cali‐ dad a los residentes del sur del condado de Lauderdale. Los gasoductos son monitoreados a través de una com‐ binación de los sistemas y programas de seguridad. Esto incluye la inspección frecuente a pie. Además, los inspec‐ tores de gasoductos estatales evalúan si los operadores están siendo diligentes en el cumplimiento de los requisi‐ tos normativos, haciendo las inspecciones adecuadas, y haciendo las reparaciones necesarias.

ignition source in the air. Inhaling vapors may cause dizziness, headache, loss of coordination and narco‐ sis. Contact may cause burns or severe injury.

Sound–Whistling, hissing or roaring noise.


Mezclaslike explosivas y inflamables pueden viajar a una Smell–Odorized to smell rotten eggs. fuente de ignición en el aire. La inhalación de vapores pueden causar mareos, dolor de cabeza, pérdida de la

We would appreciate a call if you have anycoordinación questions yorlaconcerns activities narcosis. Elinvolving contacto puede causar quemaduras graves. around our pipelines. Our pipeline facilities operateo lesiones 24 hours a day and can be reached any time (256)764-6490.

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Residential & Commercial doors that are functional and beautiful. Visit our showroom at 2402 Woodside Dr, Muscle Shoals (at the intersection of Wilson Dam Road and 2nd St.)

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December 2018 7/17/18 11:03 AM | 45


Turtle Point


on the

Story by Mari Williams Photos by William Cross



n October 11th, the Children’s Museum of the Shoals held, Art on the Lawn, at Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club. The fundraiser and silent auction featured many local artists. Artwork auctioned included: paintings, fashion, sculptures and more. Patrons were set to enjoy wine and cheese “On the Lawn”; however, the auction moved indoors due to weather.

Laura Marbury, Sarah Ryan, & Karen Barrow

Jordan Caradonna & Joy Little

Judy Young & Pam Minetree

Aubry & Ann Taylor Wilson

Sarah Ryan & Michelle Jones

Dinah Rhodes, Kimberly Delape, Lynda Darby

46 |

Leah Hollingsworth, Meriteth Turpin, Katherine Carrington

Brynn Albretsen & Shane Baker

Jo Anne Thomas & Dinah Rhodes

Debbie Darby & Sandra Scarborough

Meghan & Nancy Muse


MUSCLE SHOALS | 300 Wilson Dam Rd. (256) 978-4376

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December 2018 | 47

People & Places

Hellen Keller Hospital Welcomes New Physicians Eric J. Jenkie, DO General Neurology Dr. Eric J. Jenkie earned his medical degree with honors from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in Blacksburg, VA. He then completed his residency at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, IL in 2017, where he served as the chief resident. After residency, he also completed a one-year medical fellowship in clinical neurophysiology and epilepsy at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI. He is passionate about the eld of Neurology and the medical advances within his specialty. Dr. Jenkie believes that every patient is in charge of their own health. He strives to eectively explain treatment plans, such as medications or medical tests, in order to develop trust and partner with each patient in their own healthcare decisions and to make sure they are happy with their care. Dr. Jenkie graduated cum laude from the University of North Alabama and decided to return to the Shoals with his family after completing his medical training because they enjoyed the area so much and had a desire to serve this community. Outside of his practice, Dr. Jenkie enjoys meeting new people, traveling with his family, and playing music. He also takes time to hike regularly for exercise.

Bassam Tahir Choudhry, MD, MPH. Pulmonology Dr. Bassam Choudhry completed his medical training with a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care from the University of Miami. He specializes in various diseases of the lungs which include asthma, bronchitis, COPD and lung cancer. Prior to training in Miami, he completed his internal and preventative medicine training at an aliate training program at Yale-Grin Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut in 2015. Having grown up in Canada, he is looking forward to the southern lifestyle and lots of great southern food!

Shoals Habitat for Humanity Breaks Ground on 80th House

Shoals Habitat for Humanity broke ground on their 80th home in the Shoals Wednesday, October 10, at 12:30 p.m.. This home will be built, with and for Hulsey family of Greenhill. It was a heartwarming moment as Shoals Habitat for Humanity’s construction team, volunteers and the new homeowners broke ground on the start of the new home for Brant and Taylor Hulsey and their two children. Four hundred sweat-equity hours, worked over the last 10 months were required of the family, in anticipation of this event. Taylor Hulsey said, “We can’t believe it’s nally happening!” She also says the family is, “really excited and blessed that the house is under way!” She expressed her joy regarding this home building team and is thankful for the Shoals Habitat for Humanity for all they have done. Once completed, the Hulsey family will purchase the home with a zerointerest mortgage, and make the regular monthly house payment. In the true Habitat for Humanity spirit, a Habitat home is a hand up, not a hand out. The Hulsey family sought the help of Shoals Habitat because they struggled to nd a suitable handicapped-accessible home for their young son who requires the use of a wheelchair. Ten-year-old Hayden suered irreparable spinal injuries after a car crash several years ago. Bob Carlson, Shoals Habitat’s new Construction Manager, is eager to begin this project. “I have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity aliates on a number of occasions, building new construction in hurricane relief areas.” said Carlson. “I have advised and consulted with construction organizations worldwide and it is very special for me to stay in my home area and be a small part of Shoals Habitat for Humanity’s work.” “Home number 80 is an exciting opportunity to lead a great team of existing volunteers along with helping a very deserving family, build an accessible home for their son,” said Carlson. The new 1300-square-foot home, designed by Jill Andrews of Create Architects, is on County Road 144 in the Greenhill area of northern Lauderdale county. It is expected to be near completion by the end of the year. Shoals Habitat for Humanity is always looking for hard working volunteers to join the growing team. For more information on how to get involved with Shoals Habitat for Humanity visit, www.shoalshabitat. org or contact us at 256-760-9515. Shoals Habitat for Humanity homes are funded by recycled mortgage dollars, prots from the north Florence ReStore and donations from local businesses and individuals. For information on how to donate to the Hulsey project or any other Habitat project, call 256760-9515 or visit

Shoals Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cuttings

Tuscumbia Auto Sales

Therapy South

UNA School of the Arts

Prime Mortgage Lending

The Boiler Room

Room in the Inn Shoals

Market House Boutique

Jack’s Place

Renovation Brands

Flo Nutrition

December 2018 | 49


setting the table & tone

Chef Allen Phillips on creating a new atmosphere in Sheffield’s 300 block

s he sat in a booth of his newly opened Red Clay Table restaurant in the heart of Montgomery Avenue where his native city is enjoying a downtown revival, Alan Phillips admits he is as surprised as anyone that this ended up being the location where he fulfilled his goal of owning a place with his unique menu. “This is a dream come true, and I never thought it would be in Alabama,” Phillips said. Growing up in Sheffield, Phillips attended the old Village School before ultimately graduating from Mars Hill High School. He moved to California, attending Pepperdine University and obtaining a business degree. From there, Phillips managed a company in Santa Monica but could not deny his attraction to the culinary field. So, he enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, where he graduated at the top of his class. He remained a chef in Los Angeles for 10 years - an adventure that included a stint catering at the Oscars, although he laughs when downplaying the experience. “This other chef and I made 1,500 Caesar salads in like 30 minutes,” Phillips said. “I never saw another celebrity, just saw the doors swing back and forth. But I was thrilled to be there.” But a sad event changed the course of Phillips’ life. In 2011, his father was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and Phillips felt called home to the Shoals. “I just packed everything up, sold my car and flew back home to stay with him,” he said. “They were hoping for a year but we only got about four months with him, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything. It was traumatic and hard. Even in the midst of grief, Phillips couldn’t help but notice something: “I kinda liked it here again after 20 years.” So Phillips stayed, working with someone who owned a catering business and had heard about Phillips through friends. “My first job, ironically, was for a bunch of people from Hollywood who were doing a film here,” he said. “The irony was just crazy. I talked to some of the people and literally some of them lived seven blocks from where I moved from.” Phillips explained that the makers of the country-themed film starring Billy Zane and Alison Eastwood had selected Colbert County’s Fame Ranch as a setting and selected them to cater. As an addition to the local ties, Phillips gets all his beef for this restaurant and catering business from Fame, he said.

Article by Frank Gilbert

50 |

Today, Phillips has his own catering business, Red Clay Epicurean catering service, in addition to his restaurant, and in what has become a shop-local theme, he also utilizes Bluewater Creek Farms and Jack-O-Lantern Farms. Even the restroom soaps in the restrooms are local, coming from a lavender farm just across the Tennessee line. Starting a catering business locally was a leap of faith, especially with a diverse menu in an area where the meat-and-three are the standard. “I didn’t know how people would receive the food,” Phillips said. “It was a little different and I toned it down a lot. Working in California, there’s a lot of Southeast Asian influence and Middle Eastern influence.”The response has both pleased and motivated him, prompting him to open the Sheffield restaurant. The menu includes classic house specialties such as spaghetti and meatballs, meatloaf, grilled pork loin and grilled chicken breasts, and even has southern flairs such as shrimp and grits. But it also contains lesser-known specialties, including marrakesh (which the menu describes as slow roasted tagine of chicken, seasonal vegetables and fruit over couscous) and can tho (Vietnamese style caramelized pork over coconut rice). In addition, there are varieties of open-faced sandwiches like the Provence, which is roasted chicken, goat cheese, olive tapenade, fresh lettuce and gruyere cheese. When he presented his menu items, Phillips again was somewhat anxious as to the reaction, but it again turned out positive. “They were saying, ‘It’s about time. We’re ready for it.’ I was just shaking in my boots. Are they going to like this? Are they going to try this? Now I feel like I’m 25 again just from the excitement of it. I couldn’t be happier. It’s just been a fantastic reception from everybody.” The menu adds some Shoals touches with sandwiches that bear the names Muscle Shoals and Sheffield. With the holiday season upon us, Phillips said he has some traditional favorites he likes to use this time of year. “I always do my homemade cranberry sauce and add honey and cardamom on it,” he said. Phillips likes to focus on sides at Christmas because people often want to provide their own main dish. Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and mixed greens are among classics he lists. He also caters the feast ahead of the It’s a Dickens Christmas, Y’all festival in Tuscumbia, as well. Phillips said the renaissance that Shoals downtowns are experiencing seems contagious and has taken a lot of effort from a variety of people. He specifically mentioned Laquita Logan, who owns “The Rock” on Montgomery Avenue and had approached him because she wanted to add sandwiches to the store and had heard about his pimento cheese. That started a friendship and business relationship that ultimately created the Red Clay Table. Logan also owns Zoey Belle’s Boutique & Briley’s Clothing Company, Salon 310 and Sheffield Hardware, all on the 300 block of Montgomery Avenue. “She had redone Zoe Belles and did Sheffield Hardware and she said, ‘I want to build a restaurant and I want you to take it over and do it,’” Phillips said. “She said, ‘I don’t want to do anything but build it and then walk away.’” Logan said she was impressed by the catering jobs Phillips had been doing and knew he would be perfect for the restaurant. “I think he’s going to be very successful,” she said. She added an event center called The Logan Room is on one side of the restaurant and Phillips will cater that, as well. A bed and breakfast is under construction on the other side. “We’re making like a little community area on the 300 block,” Logan said. Phillips designed the Red Clay Table kitchen while Logan and her sons worked on the rest. “I told her I wanted Southern rustic elegance and this is what they came up with, and it is absolutely stunning,” he said. “People walk in here and they go, ‘I don’t think I’m in Sheffield anymore. I say, ‘Give Sheffield time and they’ll make you believe that this is where you are supposed to be.” December 2018 | 51














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December 2018 | 53

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a life worth living T a local artist’s love for life, music, and the Shoals

o Russellville native and local musician, Kerry Gilbert, “making it in the music business” looks quite different than what many might call success. Starry-eyed up-and-comers routinely play the odds for a break just two hours north, on Nashville’s Music Row. For refreshingly down-to-earth Gilbert, having recorded a hit album here at Shoals’ notorious Fame Studios is as close to Nashville as he wants to be. Playing local venues like the Historic Roxy and Flo-Bama, where he entertains friends, neighbors and people passing through is simply what he loves doing. “You know, life’s not about all of that for me; it never has been,” he says frankly. “I love connecting with the audience, playing good music with my band members and just knowing everyone is havin’ a great time.” And playing good music is something he does well. For ten years running, Gilbert’s band, The Kerry Gilbert Band (The KGB) has been packing the house at the Roxy every second Saturday night of the month. The Roxy is special to Gilbert, “My parents went here on their first date,” he says with a boyish grin, pointing to the box office. Over the years, Gilbert has poured nearly as much passion into the Roxy as he has his music. In 2014, Gilbert was surprised to be recognized as Citizen of the Year in Franklin County in part for his efforts to preserve the historic establishment for the arts. “There were plenty of other people who deserved that award,” he says. Just then, as we sit on the bench in front of Russellville’s quaint Town Hall, Gilbert gives a wave and a shout to someone in a pickup truck passing by on Main Street. Shortly after, he politely interrupts our visit to chatter with a man following behind on a tractor. “I love this town!,” he exclaims. And clearly, he does. “I’ve lived here my whole life,” he tells me. “Where else can someone lay down in the middle of the “main road” to take a photograph and live to tell about it?” he chuckles, referring to his photoshoot earlier that day.

Article & Photo by Sheri Young

December 2018 | 55


Kerry Gilbert, Shane Goodson, and legendary producer, Rick Hall at Fame Studios, 2011.

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part from playing frequent area shows, Gilbert’s three decades of music have included a 2016 induction into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia and performances with musical talents George Jones, Marty Stuart, Tammy Wynette and Billy Joe Royal. Recording his solo album “The Song Remembers When” with A-list producer Rick Hall counts among his many favorite career moments. Still, these days the company that Gilbert treasures the most is that of his two most-prized possessions, his dogs - Honey and Bea. “Well, I’m not perfect by any means,” he’s quips, “but other than that? Reading my Bible, praying, talking to others about what Jesus has done for me is what counts. Doing all of these things, things I never did before...” The ‘before’ he’s referring to is before his diagnosis with cancer in 2013. That’s when everything changed. Relationships, time, priorities, the importance of material things. “Heck I started giving stuff away when I got sick,” Gilbert says with a chuckle. August of that year Gilbert’s initial, and inaccurate, diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. He was given one year to live, if chemotherapy proved effective, and told to get his affairs in order. So giving his deceased father’s wedding band to his only living brother, so that he could one day pass it on to his nephew, was an obvious start. From there he started giving away furniture, instruments, “anything and everything” that he thought family or friends might enjoy. Later in September, more involved testing at Vanderbilt thankfully proved Gilbert’s initial diagnosis wrong. It wasn’t pancreatic cancer. He had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma - a scary diagnosis to someone else perhaps, but for Gilbert it meant a ticket to live. “It’s not curable; but it’s treatable,” the doctors told him. “For me,” he points out, “that was good news!”

Gilbert's dogs, Honey and Bea.

“The Song Remembers When” Kerry Gilbert’s 2011 solo album release.


ive years later, Gilbert is living with the disease with hope and optimism. Limiting his commitments is key to staying as healthy as possible. He says managing the pain and fatigue are just “part of it” and that some days are better than others. When not on stage or enjoying the scenic beauty and solitude of the Franklin County farmhouse he calls home, Gilbert can be found playing at church or occasionally at a nearby nursing home. “Sometimes I just go in and visit with them (residents),” he says. “I may be the only visitor they ever have.” For a man who once lead a much different lifestyle, Gilbert claims that the gift of his spiritual awakening, has made his life richer. In essence, the news of the disease itself was a gift also. “Every day is a gift,” he says, “and the rest of it, well...we can’t take any of that with us.” When asked to recall life before lymphoma, he admits to having led somewhat of a stereotypical musician’s lifestyle. “Yeah, back then there were lots of late nights, at times girls...,” he says with a twinkle. “But these days? Just one! If I had it to do over again I would have settled down earlier, had kids, raised a family. Everything else? I’m good with it.” And “good” sounds just about right. If you ask anyone in Russellville or anyone who knows him at all - with Kerry Gilbert in the world, there is definitely a lot more good.

KGB’s December show at The Roxy. See them the second Saturday of every month playing here.

December 2018 | 57


Rattlesnake Saloon

Symphony under the Rock


Story & Photos by Cathy Burns

n October 14th 2018 the Rattlesnake Saloon in Tuscumbia, Alabama was the inspirational setting for the Shoals Symphony at UNA Rebecca Marino outdoor concert. The concert featured Berklee contemporary artists Darol Anger and Eugene Friesen. The Shoals Symphony at UNA is a vibrant organization that inspires audiences everywhere they perform. Having this quality orchestra icon, as one of the only six professional orchestras to reside in Alabama, here in our own backyard, certainly places the Shoals area on the map. Symphony Under the Rock guests dressed in comfortable clothing, enjoyed some good ole Rattlesnake grub and took in the sights of nature while listening to the magnificent sounds of music. It was perfect! Shane & Jodi Taylor

Bentley Terry & Emery Davis

Paige Abbott 58 |

Mark & Anita Smith

Veronica Marino

Christina Volz-Stomackin, Johnna Stafford

Frank and Ina Donsbach

Misty Reed & Jackie Stutts

David McCullough

Melba & Dexter Waldrep, Ellen Williams, Sam & Patti Mangum

Emma Grace Davis & David Marsh

Preuit & Becky Mauldin, Sarah Ware, Jen Kennedy

Amy, John, & Wells Holt

Charley & Daniel Rosser, Allie Wiginton

Susie Spence & Nicki Graham

Everly & Will King

Lisa Gardiner & Beth Lance



Montgomery Place

Story & Photos by William Cross

oo Ball was held on October 20th at Montgomery Place in Sheeld by NextGen Shoals. There were drinks, dancing, games, and a costume contest. NextGen Shoals oers opportunities to network with peers to become invested in community outreach and develop personally and professionally.

Kate & Brandon Brown

Makayla Davis, Savanah Davis, Jason & Kellony Kristoff

Lucas & Kelly Logan

Josh Kelly & Skip Nichols

Jason & Kellony Kristoff Justin McGill & Meredith Auchly

Jenny & Josh Kennedy 60 |

Briana & Ethan Holt

Stephanie Vess & Keely Law

Joel & Jill Andrews

Jenni Hill & Will Cross

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Singin River Brewery

Shoals Salsa

Burt Webb & Jason Wilkes

Jenna Russell & Robin Thompson



Story & Photos by Cathy Burns

n Saturday October the 27th, the Singin’ River Brewery in Florence Alabama hosted the 2nd Annual fun-filled Shoals Salsa Showdown. The event was sponsored by the Florence Education Foundation. Nikki Mann the executive director of the foundation indicated that the project would raise an estimated 15,000 dollars. The money raised will be used to provide money for classroom grants. These grants provide technology, supplies, equipment and other needs that are not accounted for in the city or other organizational budgets. This year an estimated 11 Restaurants from around the Shoals were on hand to compete in different categories. These categories included Overall Champion, Specialty Salsa, Most Festive, and Best Newcomer. There were also items on hand for the Silent Auction, and a costume and a hot pepper eating contest. It was the perfect sunny and cool fall day to be out and enjoy fellowship with others for such a great cause and of course to enjoy some hot and spicy salsa.

Shannon Wells, Eve Styles, Andi Lynville

Callie Thomas, Sonja Croone, Stephanie Wimborn

Nikki Mann & Paula Wilkes 62 |

Jayne & Jacqueline Knighten

John Ross & Becky Paden

Mary Bowling & Suzanne Burleson

Jesse Prince-Lubawy & Jennifer Avery

Yakenya Barnett & Teresa Roach

Anna Claire, Andy, & Kate Mann - Jeffrey Jones

Tyler Ross, Seth Thompson, Chase Smith, Thomas

Carter & Brandi McGuyer, Kellie & Joey Poss

Candice Johnson & Kaisha Lyles

Mike, Caylin, & Ashley Sowell

Kellie & Henry Prater, Megan & Taylor Dixon - Courtnie, Brandon, & Robert Fisher, Micky McClure

Shelia & Bob Martin

Chris Sammons & Eric Paul

Keith Knowles, Amanda, David, & Donald Williams

Daniel Lyles, Maleah Chaney, Pam Roden-Jones December 2018 | 63


Hellen Keller Hospital

Heather McCarley, Olivia hoback, Kati Thompson

Profiles in


Pink Story by Mari Williams Photos by William Cross

elen Keller Hospital threw its empowering 3rd annual ‘Profiles in Pink’ Party, October 30th on their back lawn. The free event celebrated survivors of the community while promoting awareness for the illness. To further support the cause pink life size silhouettes were placed around the Shoals and the community was encouraged to snap selfies and post them using the hashtag #HKHProfilesinPink. The party also featured free lunch, door prizes and vendors.

Jill Wilson, Anna Duncan, Leigh Ann Lackey

Tiffany Brewer & Marissa Hancock 64 |

Surgical Associates of the Shoals

Pat Montgomery & Carol Hall

Seth Bynum, Rebecca Michael, Alex Michaud, Brooke Bennefield

Hannah Drummond & Shiniece Swopes

Kristen Graves, Nichole Peters, Katie Neill

Kathy Davis & Shirley Caperton

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McFarland Park


on the

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Story by Mari Williams Photos by William Cross

Josh, Tish, Kaleb, Nathan, & Josiah Ashley

Willie & Randa Hovater

he city of Florence held their Bicentennial October event on October 20th at McFarland park. The community was encouraged to participate in door prizes, try cuisine from various food trucks, and watch a pet parade through the park. In the evening, attendees were serenaded with tunes from a long time favorite local band: the Midnighters. To close the event, onlookers watched a dazzling firework show on the river. John & Debbie Aikin

Kate Brown & Morgan Gulley

Cara & Elizabeth Pope, David & Linda Colvard, Amelia Pope 66 |

Rachel Berry & Noella Brock

Pat Sanders & Melissa Daniel Bain

Kirkland Cleveland, Griffin Phillips - Kelsi, Kelli, Klark, Kamdin, & Shannon Cleveland, Allie Britnell

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December 2018 - VIP Shoals Magazine  
December 2018 - VIP Shoals Magazine