East Alabama Living Summer 2021 Issue

eastalabamaliving


R

ROOTSAUBURN.COM

ALL THAT IS GOLD DOES NOT GLITTER,

NOT ALL THOSE WHO WANDER ARE LOST;

THE OLD THAT IS STRONG DOES NOT WITHER,

DEEP ROOTS ARE NOT REACHED BY THE FROST.


FEATURES

37

54

58

70

A NEW VISION

FOR DOWNTOWN

SUMMER FARMERS

MARKETS

LOVE OF THE LAND

WOMEN OF ART

82 A More Perfect Union


From the Editor

Many of my friends have children graduating from high

school and college. My children are still several years away

from taking that walk across the stage from one phase of

life to the next. The transition of graduating is monumental.

It signifies an accomplishment of time, energy, and talent.

It signifies commitment.

In this issue of East Alabama Living, we are witness to

commitment from leaders locally and across the state, as we

dive into the meaning of a more perfect union. It is an honor

to provide this glimpse into how the dedication and love of

country and mankind are still at work in our community.

Commitment continues in the stories of two others who

had a vision to restore and repurpose. We explore the efforts

of the Pearsons to restore a historic bungalow as well as

the vision of Steve Fleming to revitalize urban living in

downtown Auburn.

Last issue, I stated I would begin to introduce you to our

team. I want to start with one of East Alabama Living’s longest

tenured contributing writers, Kate Asbury Larkin. Kate works

full-time for Auburn University’s Alumni Association. Kate is

known for her generosity and selflessness. Bows decorate

mailboxes this time of year to celebrate area graduates.

The “bow fairy” earned her own bow this May. She took her

own walk across the stage for her master’s degree from

Auburn University. Her social media feed was committed

to honoring her accomplishment and touting #61anddone.

Congratulations Kate on your commitment to your “secret.”

East Alabama Living is the area’s longest running lifestyle

magazine, weathering the highs and lows of the print

industry. It is the commitment of our team and our

advertisers to share with you the richness of our region.

With over 17 years of stories, we are committed to you, our

reader. Each issue is crafted with you in mind. Thank you for

your commitment to East Alabama Living. May you have

a blessed summer committed to exploring all that is set

before you.

Play your best today!

Beth


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EAST ALABAMA LIVING 3


white oak

landing

“When taking my wife on a boat ride to convince her

of the opportunity of investing in Lake Martin, a bald

eagle landed in a slough nearby. Once back on land, we

saw another land as we hoisted the Auburn fl ag on our

property. We never looked back.”

Stan Graves

Developer, White Oak Landing

Graduate and Scholarship

Donor, Auburn University

4 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


Contents

8 LOCAL LOVE – THE WELL

14 INTERIORSCAPES – PEARSON HOME

20 DAY TRIP – WETUMPKA

26 GETAWAY – PURSELL FARMS

34 TABLESCAPE – SUNSETS OVER SAMFORD

46 RECIPES – SUMMER RECIPES

50 EAL EATS – PIES

62 WHAT’S GOING ON – CALENDAR OF EVENTS

64 MUSIC – MARTHA’S TROUBLE

90 BOOK REVIEW – BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN

92 COMMUNITY – FACES OF EAST ALABAMA

Publisher

Lee Perryman

Managing Editor

Beth Witten

Assistant Managing Editor

Mallie Wardrup

Art Director

Al Eiland

Copy Editor

Christy Jane Kyser

Contributing Writers

Jess M. Burkhart

Ann Cipperly

Kate Asbury Larkin

Photography

Tristan Cairns

Vice President and

Market Manager

Steve Witten

Director of Marketing

Ashley James

Advertising Sales

Zac Blackerby

John Bodiford

Jordyn Dawson Mills

Natasha Gunn

Miranda McHale

Ben Taylor

Administrator

Tracy Ledbetter

Production Coordinator

Sherrie Stanyard

Printing

Craftmaster Printers, Inc.

Auburn, Alabama

East Alabama Living

P.O. Box 950

Auburn, Alabama 36831

334-826-2929

eastalabamaliving.com

editor@eastalabamaliving.com

East Alabama Living is published quarterly by Auburn

Networks, LLC. The cover and contents are copyrighted

and may not be reproduced without written consent

of the publisher. Reader correspondence and editorial

submissions are welcome. However, we reserve the right

to edit, reject or comment editorially on all contributed

material. Adverting rates are available upon request.

Subscriptions are free, just pay shipping & handling

which is $17 annually. Visit eastalabamaliving.com.


6 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


THE JAY AND SUSIE GOGUE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

AT AUBURN UNIVERSITY

A new home for the

arts in Alabama

Learn more about our upcoming performances,

events and virtual engagements online.

GOGUECENTER.AUBURN.EDU • 334.844.TIXS (8497)

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

7


L O C A L L O V E

The Well

By Ann Cipperly

Allison Wilmarth Kovak vividly recalls the afternoon

she walked into the empty building that she and

her husband Aaron own in downtown Opelika,

Ala. The building had been a spa before Covid,

and they were unsure what to do with it as few new businesses

were opening. Allison was still working in television and film

series production while Aaron was working in construction.

Photos by Ashley Kickliter

On that afternoon of Nov. 19, 2020, Allison

prayed, asking God what to do with the building.

The first thing that popped into her head

was the story of the Samaritan woman at the

well. “I thought it was odd,” she says, “because

I was asking how to use the building, and God

put a Bible story in my head.

“An interesting part about the story of the

Samaritan woman at the well was that she

has an honorary place in history as she was

the first person Christ told He was the son of

God,” Allison adds. “She was at the well in the

middle of the day as she was avoiding other

women early in the morning because she had

the feeling that she would not be accepted.

“When that story came to my mind, I had

women on my heart for a lot of reasons. In my

head, I asked God what He was trying to show

me here. It left an impression on my heart that

God wanted me to use the building to connect

and unify women, creating a space where they

could share hearts, creativity and economy.

“The feeling on my heart was that God

wanted me to create this space and call it ‘The

Well,’” she states, “a place where all women

will feel welcome. That was the seed that was

planted in my head.”

With the vison to build this place, Allison knew

she needed to collaborate with other women.

That same day, she shared the idea with

Ashley Kickliter as they walked through the

space. Ashley, a creative director, thought

it was a great idea and became a founding

member. She oversees the branding, social

media and photography.

The next day Allison met two young

women in Auburn, Ala., Katie Klein and

Rachel Christian, who had dreamed of opening

a coffee shop. The building they wanted

8 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


for their business had been sold. Both of these

women became founding members in creating

The Well.

The four of them began reaching out to

other women. By the first of the year, 15

women had joined the venture, and it continues

to grow today.

The unique, chic design was created by

Allison, her mother, Darlene Wilmarth, and

Katie Klein. The three generations each brought

their ideas to the table.

“It was fun to create with the three of us,”

says Allison, “because we all see things very

differently. We knew if it was something we

all liked, then it would be something that

would resonate with all women.

“Women created this space for women,”

Allison notes, “but if it weren’t for the support

of my husband, it would not have happened.”

Offering places of sanctuary, assorted

healthy beverages, delectable food and commerce,

The Well opened March 20, 2021.

The front door opens to a welcoming and

feminine setting with vignettes of cozy places

to sit and savor beverages or food. On one

side is a bar serving a wide variety of healthy

choices. Allison, her husband and mother all

created the towering flo al design behind the

bar from wallpaper and customer canvas.

Forming a background for the sofa, the

wooden-framed, 170-year-old martial bed is

a showpiece in the front room. Allison purchased

the antique from Linda Lanz, who once

traveled the world for business. Linda found

the bed in Beijing, China, and had it shipped

home. The unique interior can be reserved for

sitting to sipping tea or another beverage.

Allison enjoys mixing antiques with modern

patterns and new furniture. Light fixtu es

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

9


are unique, and abundant feathers are tucked

around the room.

The lower floor is called “The Nest” with

four rooms each decorated differently. All of

the rooms are open for use when available

without charge. If someone wants to reserve

the room, the charge is $15 an hour or a

minimum of $25 spent in the tea shop. The

rooms are available for Bible studies or club

meetings.

The first room is the prayer room decorated

in soothing white. This space is a food, shoe

and electronic free zone.

Another room is an art space with clean

lines to inspire creativity and will feature artists’

work. “We want people to come and be

creative and also experience other artists’

work,” says Allison.

The playroom was inspired from a Parisian

apartment that was locked for 70 years. Allison

read a story about a woman in World War II who

left her Paris apartment and never returned.

The landlord opened it 70 years later to find it

was like a preserved time capsule.

Allison took the photos with the story and

used the Parisian apartment as the inspiration

for the space. It has the feeling of a traditional

tea room but is also whimsical. Furs,

hats, and vintage clothing in the room can be

rented or purchased.

A starlight sky ceiling is an interesting feature

in the garden room. The inspiration for

this space was creation in the Garden of Eden.

Manicures and pedicures are also available

in the Nest area. Customers can sip tea while

enjoying a pedicure.

The food and beverage menu at The Well

offers a variety of healthy options and is a

collaboration with 15 women specializing in

different products. Hand-blended teas are

from across the globe. “We have the top two

percent in the world,” says Allison. “Our 20

loose teas are premium for the Southeast. The

Happy Tea has dried raspberries, and if you

add a little cream, it is like drinking raspberry

ice cream.”

Other teas include oil blends, wellness tea

and dessert teas, such as Pu-erh Tea with dark

chocolate and peppermint.

An assortment of coffees feature coffee

shop favorites, as well as different options.

Adaptogens are blended super food herbs,

which replace espresso in lattes. “You are

going to have the same experience as a latte,”

adds Allison, “but you are getting something

healthy for your body.”

Icy Mocha with chocolate and peppermint

includes a vitality oil. Another choice with a

vitality oil is Spring Lavender with honey and

lavender.

“Collagen waters, smoothies, and slushes

are good for your hair and skin, nails, and

joints,” says Allison. “We infuse collagens in

refreshing waters, smoothies, and slushes

sweetened with fruits.”

Chicken salads, green salads, paninis, and

toasts are served and are all sourced from

local women. Featured toasts includes avocado

on sourdough bread with nutritional

yeast and everything bagel seasoning. One of

the paninis is filled with mozzarella, pesto,

and tomato with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar

and olive oil.

Snacks and bone broth are also offered, as

well as a rotating menu of pastries with gluten

free options.

The Well is not just a tea shop where you

can consume healthy indulgences, it is also a

place for commerce. Everything in the space is

for sale, including rugs and seating.

“We didn’t want to create a furniture store,”

states Allison. “We wanted to create vignettes

for gathering. There are different vignettes

throughout the store, and each one has its

own style. If someone is drawn to something

that reflects their personal style, they can take

it home. We will replace it.

“A well is running water, and we want to

keep this place running and to be different

every time someone comes in. We want to

sell and change, so it will have a fresh energy

every time you come in.”

Allison is thankful to be in her hometown,

to raise their two sons here and to have a

space for women. “God has already let me see

the fruits. It has been the greatest reward seeing

the response on women’s faces when they

come here.”

10 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


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EAST ALABAMA LIVING

11


Get teed off

and join the fight.

13TH ANNUAL SWING FOR DIABETES GOLF TOURNAMENT

hosted by Diana Ramage & Kendall Simmons

> Tuesday, October 12

> Auburn University Club

> Shotgun start at 12 noon

Proceeds benefit the

EAMC Diabetes and Nutrition Center

To learn more, contact Paige Kahn

paige.kahn@eamc.org // 334.318.7624

12 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


What is a

Herniated

Disk?

When it comes to bone

and joint problems,

The Orthopaedic Clinic

has got you covered.

Our doctors have

specialized fellowship

training in all of the major

areas of orthopedic surgery;

hand and wrist, foot and

ankle, sports medicine,

back and neck and joint

replacement. They bring

their skill, expertise and

experience from some of

the most prestigious

institutions across the

country to East Alabama to

provide excellent orthopedic

care to our region.

Sometimes called a slipped or ruptured

disk, a herniated disk most

often occurs in your lower back.

It is one of the most common causes of

low back pain, as well as leg pain. Although

a herniated disk can sometimes

be very painful, most people feel

much better with just a few weeks or

months of nonsurgical treatment.

Disks are soft cushions between the

vertebral bones of the spinal column.

They allow the spine to flex, bend and

twist. A disk begins to herniate when its

jelly-like center pushes against its outer

ring due to wear and tear or a sudden

injury. This pressure against the outer

ring may cause lower back pain.

If the disk is very worn or injured,

the jelly-like center may squeeze all

the way through.

Once the center pushes through —

or herniates — through the outer ring,

pain in the lower back may improve.

Sciatic leg pain, however, increases.

This is because the jelly-like material

inflames the spinal nerves. It may also

put pressure on these sensitive spinal

nerves, causing pain, numbness, or

weakness in one or both legs.

In addition to the gradual wear and

tear that comes with aging, other factors

can increase the likelihood of a herniated

disk. Using your back muscles to lift

heavy objects, instead of your legs, can

cause a herniated disk. Lifting with your

legs, not your back, may protect your

spine. Being overweight puts added

stress on the disks in your lower back.

Repetitive activities may strain your

spine. Regular exercise is important in

preventing many medical conditions,

including a herniated disk. It is also

believed that smoking lessens oxygen

supply to the disk and causes more

rapid degeneration.

Symptoms may be one

or all of the following:

• Back pain

• Leg and/or foot pain (sciatica)

• Numbness or a tingling sensation

in the leg and/or foot

• Weakness in the leg and/or foot

• Loss of bladder or bowel control

(extremely rare)

To determine whether you have a

herniated lumbar disk, your doctor

will ask you for a complete medical

history and conduct a physical examination.

The diagnosis can be confirmed

by a magnetic resonance

imaging (MRI) scan.

In the majority of cases, a herniated

lumbar disk will slowly improve over

a period of several days to weeks.

Typically, most patients are free of

symptoms by 3 to 4 months. However,

some patients do experience episodes

of pain during their recovery.

Unless there are neurological deficits,

conservative care is the first course of

treatment and includes rest, anti-inflammatory

medications, physical therapy

and epidural steroid injections.

Only a small percentage of patients

with lumbar disk herniations require

surgery. Spine surgery is typically recommended

only after a period of nonsurgical

treatment has not relieved

painful symptoms. The most common

surgical procedure for a herniated disk

in the lower back is a lumbar microdiskectomy.

Microdisketomy involves

removing the herniated part of

the disk and any fragments that are

putting pressure on the spinal nerve.

The results of microdiskectomy surgery

are generally very good.

We offer extensive non-surgical

treatment for spinal issues including

herniated disks and, when the need

arises, have a fellowship-trained spinal

surgeon with expertise in the surgical

treatment of spinal disorders. n

Adam C. Dooley, MD Raymond D. Godsil, Jr., MD Frazier K. Jones, MD Ryan C. Palmer, MD Todd Michael Sheils, MD Trent Wilson, MD

The Orthopaedic Clinic has a dedicated Spine Clinic

for evaluation of back and neck problems.

Call (334) 749-8303 to schedule an appointment.

theorthoclinic.com The Orthopaedic Clinic @the_orthoclinic the_orthoclinic

R E G I O N A L O R T H O P A E D I C E X C E L L E N C E


I N T E R I O R S C A P E S

Pearson Home

By Ann Cipperly

When Susie and David Pearson decided to

move to Auburn, they began searching for

a location where they could leisurely walk

downtown for dining and attending football

games. After searching for a year and a half, they discovered a

circa 1922 bungalow in need of renovation in the North College

Street Historic District. After 15 months of construction, the

Pearsons transformed the structure into a stunning home with a

chef’s dream kitchen, comfortable living areas with bright light,

luxurious baths, and gorgeous spaces for enjoying the outdoors.

Photos by Tristan Cairns

14 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


The Pearsons met while attending Auburn

University. Members of both their families are

Auburn graduates as well as both their children,

Jon David and Jenny. David, who is from

Decatur, received a degree in building science,

while his brother graduated in veterinary

medicine.

When Susie was growing up in Centerville,

OH, she heard how much her mother and

grandfather loved Auburn. Her mother talked

about it so much that Susie knew at an early

age she had to attend Auburn. When her parents

moved to Mobile, she enrolled at Auburn.

Jenny, the Pearsons’ oldest child, is a third

generation Auburn Chi-O.

After the Pearsons married, they moved to

Columbus, Ga., for a few years as Susie fi -

ished her internship in nutrition and foods.

They then lived in South Carolina for two

years and in David’s hometown for two years

before moving to Montgomery where he

worked for Blount International.

David ran the U.S. division of a Canadian

consulting firm for four years. He then formed

Pearson Management Group, Inc. that he

has owned and managed for 31 years. The

Pearson’s son, who graduated in building science,

will take over the company and open an

Auburn offic .

About fi e years ago, David and Susie

began thinking about moving to Auburn. “We

thought as we got older it would be wonderful

to be in this environment,” says David.

While they were interested in the house on

North College, they had concerns. They could

see it had not been maintained for decades.

After the Pearsons purchased the house in

March 2019, they hired Dan Bennett, a former

dean of architecture at Auburn University,

to help design the house and Michael

Schumacher to build it. “Dr. Bennett and

Schumacher did an excellent job,” says David.

“We worked to create a house of value that

would stand for another hundred years.

“The most difficult part was adding on to

the home with minimal alteration to the

street appearance,” adds David. “There was

a 1970s addition to the original house that

was torn down. From the kitchen wall back,

the rooms are new. We decided the exterior

appearance on the addition had to look as

though it was original.”

They hired Melanie Wilkes, designer with

Russell Home Décor, for interior selection.

Melanie had helped them with the renovation

of their lake house. “We had a lot of help,” says

David.

David and Susie moved into the restored

house in late December 2020, about 22

months after they purchased it. Landscaping,

window coverings, wallpaper, and artwork are

continuing to be installed.

The craftsman bungalow with a pyramidal

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

15


Project notes from architect, Dan Bennett

Dean Emeritus, Auburn University

College of Architecture, Design, and Construction

Plan and elevation drawings were made of the

original house, which also included dimensioned

details of windows, brick patterns,

moldings, and other existing unique features.

The Pearsons’ desire was to renovate the

existing building, remove the 60’s addition,

and add additional living space that would

more than double the size of the original

house. Plus, a three-car garage was required.

The design challenge was to accomplish all

of this while still maintaining the appropriate

visual scale of the original house when seen

from College Street.

The design decision was made to create an

exterior brick wall enclosed courtyard at

the point where the original house ended,

and the new addition began. This acts as a

screening device which intends to obscure

much of the addition, thus reducing the

sense of its actual size. A large informal living

space, or great room, and a sunporch were

designed to open onto the courtyard. On the

opposite side of the house, a patio was created

so that the entire center of the house

becomes one large indoor/outdoor living

and entertainment area.

The plan of the original house was altered to

allow for two guest bedrooms and baths, an

office, dining room and kitchen. The kitchen

opens to the great room and reinforces the

concept of the central living and entertainment

area. This was accomplished without

altering the character of the original house,

including the location of existing windows,

the front porch, and the exterior front door.

The Pearsons brought to the project a qualitative

sense of what the final results should

include, a critical understanding of the

challenges encountered when renovating

a historic structure, and a willingness to be

fl xible when needed. From my perspective,

they were the ideal partners in the project

and made the entire experience both enjoyable

and rewarding.

roof and front dormer is situated back from

the street with a manicured lawn. The front

porch provides ample seating for relaxing

with a cup of coffee in the morning.

The front door opens to a small foyer with a

handsome chest and a blue and white porcelain

lamp. To the left is David’s office where he

works from home four days a week. Sunlight

streams in from the windows. An original

fi eplace has been enhanced with reclaimed

brick removed from the original foundations.

On the other side of the hall, a guest room

is attractively decorated and has an en suite

bath with a shiny floor in a basket weave pattern,

reflecting popular tiles from the 1920s.

Except for the master bath, other guest bathrooms

and the powder room also have the

same patterned floo .

Vintage inspired wainscoting down the

hall is about four feet high from the floo . The

Pearsons wanted to recreate what a 1920s

bungalow would look like with fine architectural

features. They added four transoms in

the hall for accent.

Light fixtu es, lamps and furniture throughout

are handsome and create a comfortable,

chic look. The furniture was custom built in

Atlanta, Ga., as well as the light fixtu es and

cabinets.

A spectacular chandelier with sparkling

crystals and gold trim in a circa 1920s design

provides an elegant touch in the dining room.

Family and friends linger over meals at the

round dining table with upholstered chairs in

soothing blue.

The spacious kitchen features a long counter

space for serving buffet style. When entertaining,

a drawer under the buffet is handy

for storing beverages and ice. Cabinet doors

open to a coffee bar to allow guests to serve

themselves. The large island with a farm sink

is covered in white quartz as well as all the

counter tops. Leather stools at the island provide

comfortable seating.

Over the gas stove, a brass-trimmed hood

highlights the other side of the kitchen. One

of the double ovens is a steam oven, excellent

for cooking gourmet meals and reheat-

16 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


ing pizza. Susie hired a designer to create the

dream kitchen.

Susie wanted an open concept for the dining

room, kitchen and den. A fi eplace built from

reclaimed brick from existing foundations

forms the Rumford design showpiece fi eplace,

while the coffered ceiling creates interest.

On the south side of the family room, 1914

architectural drawings of a church in New

York hang over two matching chests. Susie’s

mother, a Mobile antique dealer, gave them

to David in 1990, shortly after he started his

own firm

A pair of French doors open to a north

patio with cast-stone flooring and a long brick

frame with built-in seating. At one end is an

area for a grill and serving, while the other is

open with steps leading to the back lawn.

Across from the family room, the “Auburn

room” is decorated in orange and blue with

a gorgeous rug providing color over a herringbone

weave tile floo . Shiplap walls and a

wooden ceiling create a casual setting.

A wall of windows and French doors open

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

17


to the south courtyard covered in brick pavers

and framed with six-foot high brick edging.

The setting is ideal for entertaining and relaxing

with a fi epit, fountain and large urns.

Another seating area in back of the home

overlooks landscaped grounds.

Rooms down the hall from the den include

a nicely furnished powder room, another bedroom

and the spacious master bedroom with

a built-in desk that Susie can close doors to

conceal. The master bath features luxurious

details, including a huge shower with white

quartz and a soaking tub.

There are four bedrooms in the house,

which provide space for their fi e grandchildren

to visit.

A three-car garage also houses a workshop,

as well as David’s Italian scooter he enjoys

riding around town.

The beautiful home features fine details

reminiscent of the 1920s. David and Susie are

looking forward to entertaining and becoming

involved in the community.

“This is the most delightful city,” says Susie.

“People are friendly and go out of their way to

help you. I have found it refreshing.”

“Auburn has exceeded our expectations,”

adds David. “We love living here. It was difficult

to leave our home in Montgomery, but

we are elated to be in Auburn and in this

neighborhood.”

18 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


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D A Y T R I P

Wetumpka

By Ann Cipperly

Known as the “City of Natural Beauty,” Wetumpka,

on the banks of the Coosa River, has a storied past

with a thousand-year-old Indian mound, French

and Greek villages, historic houses, and a 4.7 mile

wide crater from an asteroid blast over 80 million years ago.

Once a fictitious town in the movie “Big Fish,” Wetumpka is

once again in the news on HGTV’s Home Town Takeover with

Erin and Ben Napier. The city of about 8,000 was selected from

more than 2,600 towns.

Wetumpka received its name from Creek

Indian words meaning, “rapids raced across

river rocks” on the Coosa River. Reports state

the roar of the rapids could be heard from

miles before the construction of the 20th

century dams, when the river was captured

behind the dams as a reservoir.

The charming town of Wetumpka has

been restored and refreshed and is ready

for its time of fame on television. The town

has a variety of good restaurants, and there

are sites to see along with the renovated

downtown and historic homes featured on

HGTV’s Home Town Takeover. Plan a day trip to

view the changes, enjoy the sites and savor a

delicious meal.

Home Town Takeover

The HGTV show Home Town Takeover with

Erin and Ben Napier began in early May of

2020 to showcase 12 major renovations in

Wetumpka. These include public spaces, historic

homes, restaurants, shops and a new

farmers’ market. The show features celebrity

guests who assisted in the town’s renovations.

20 EAST ALABAMA LIVING

Photos provided by Main Street Wetumpka


After receiving a deluge of 5,000 submissions,

representing 2,600 towns from around

the country, HGTV selected Wetumpka

because, despite hardships, natural disasters,

and unexpected setbacks, the community’s

undying spirit and resilience showed that

they were ready to kick start a comeback with

HGTV’s help.

“It’s too bad that small towns are so often

undervalued because you can live a beautiful

life in them,” says Erin. “People really want to

believe in a bright future in the place where

they live, but rebuilding a town is no small

feat. It takes every member of that community

using their gifts and skills coming together to

make a difference.”

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

21


Tours of Crater’s Site

Tours of the crater’s remains are given in

late winter each year by the Wetumka Impact

Crater Commission. Places of “upturned rock

formations’ can be seen along the rights of

way of U.S. Highway 231, and the hills east of

downtown show eroded remains. For more

information on tours, call 334.567.5147.

In 2002, Auburn University researchers

published evidence and established the site

as an internationally recognized impact crater.

It is considered one of the most preserved

in the world.

Fort Toulouse/Jackson State

Historic Park

In 1714, Fort Toulouse was constructed as

the most strategic locale to establish a fort

by Jean Baptiste LeMoyne, Sieur de Bienville.

Today, guests can explore the French and

American forts or walk to the Mississippian

Mound Site. If you enjoy nature, check out the

William Bartram Nature Trail.

Each month, one weekend features living

history by the French Marines at Fort Toulouse

and for blacksmithing.

Special events are held through the year,

including Frontier Days and French and Indian

Encampment. The public can experience this

“living history” through trades and crafts

demonstrated by re-enactors in period correct

dress. The event takes place over four days.

The park has a 39-site campground overlooking

the Coosa River. It also offers water

hook up, picnic tables, and grills, as well as a

bath house.

For further information, contact 334.567.3002 or go

to www.forttoulouse.com.

Coosa River Activities

The Coosa River offers fishing water skiing

and swimming. Nature trails provide views of

the river, and one is among the longest river

trails in America. Picnic areas are provided in

the Gold Star Memorial Park.

Events include the Coosa River Challenge

and Coosa River Whitewater Festival.

Swayback Bridge Trail

This trail is for hiking, running and mountain

biking. Dogs are welcome, but must be

kept on a leash.

Elmore County Black

History Museum

Housed in the remaining structure of the

former 1925 Elmore County Training School,

the Black History Museum showcases history

of the Black communities in Elmore County.

22 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


The museum’s permanent collections

focus on the histories of Elmore County families,

their communities, schools and churches.

Also on display is a mirror owned by Joe Louis,

a famous world heavyweight champion boxer

from Alabama.

The museum is located at 202 Lancaster Street.

For hours of operation and tour information, call

334.567.5109.

Elmore County Museum

Local artifacts from the Civil War era and

historical events can be found at the Elmore

County Museum. It offers a look at the county’s

history and contains historical data.

Museum is located at 112 S. Main Street. For more

information, contact the Wetumpka Chamber of

Commerce at 334.567.4811.

Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery

The gallery’s mission is to engage, inspire

and educate artists and the public by promoting

local and regional arts.

The exhibitions include original artwork

and the story behind the artists and their work.

The gallery is located at 408 Main St., Wetumpka.

For further information contact 334.567.5147.

Elmore County Art Guild

The Guild exhibits at the Depot Players

Theatre, public library, chamber and city hall.

J&M Bookstore

Hearing Life USA

Statik Salon

Pro Nails

1100 SO UTH COLLEG E AUBURN

Medical Wellness Solutions

Conway & Owen Engineers

One Eighty Wellness Spa

LBYD Engineers

Poke Game Studio

Tour Rentals Today!

Domino’s Pizza

East Sea Fishery

Village Wok

99 Kabobs

AUsome Nutrition

Restaurants

OUR PLACE CAFE

Our Place Café is decorated in a New

Orleans theme with casual elegance. Among

the popular dishes are crab cakes and fried

green tomatoes with shrimp, shrimp Diane,

the ribeye, and beef filet

The café is open Tuesday-Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Reservations are recommended.

https://www.facebook.com/Our-Place-Cafe-155445201064

809 Company St., Wetumpka

334.567.8778.

COACHES CORNER

Coaches Corner is a sports bar with a rustic

setting overlooking the river.

The menu offers a wide variety, including

burgers, wraps, steaks, chicken and fish

among others.

Try the fried mushrooms with ranch dressing

for an appetizer.

The restaurant is open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.

until 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. until 9 p.m., and Saturday

11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

https://www.coachescornersportsbarandgrill.com

203 Orline St., Wetumpka

334.504.3410

Locally Owned and Operated

by Scott & Lynn Slocum

Care for

Everyone

Companionship • Personal Care

Light Housekeeping • Memory Care

Medication Reminders & Much More!

Call for a FREE Care Assessment

334.203.1850

synergyhomecare.com/opelika

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

23


COOSA CLEAVER

Popular pub and southern dishes at the

casual dining Coosa Cleaver include shrimp

and grits, lobster with crab mac and cheese,

and a choice of flatb eads.

The restaurant is open Sunday-Thursday from

11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from

11 a.m. until 10 p.m.

https://www.coosacleaver.com

106 Company St, Wetumpka

334.731.1190

COPPER HOUSE DELI

Stop by the Copper House Deli for sandwiches

and salads. The brisket sandwich is popular.

The deli is open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

https://copperhousedeli.square.site

100 E. Bridge Street, Wetumpka

334.452.3354

MUST STOP CAFÉ

The Must Stop Café is only open for lunch

Sunday-Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The

menu of southern dishes changes daily.

Choices include chicken fried steak, creamed

style corn, field peas, turnips, fried okra, mac

and cheese, and cornbread.

Southern favorite desserts are featured,

including coconut pie, chocolate pie, buttermilk

pie, pound cake, and banana pudding.

https://muststopcafe.com

60 Village Loop, Wetumpka

334.567.9955

GRUMPY DOG

If you like hot dogs, this is the place to get

a variety of choices. Sandwiches are also on

the menu.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Hot-Dog-

Joint/Grumpy-Dog-505329902909586

200 E. Bridge St., Wetumpka

For additional information on Wetumpka, call

334.567.4811 or go to wetumpkachamber.org.

Photos provided by Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism

24 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


P R O F E S S I O N A L S O F E A S T A L A B A M A

Jumping into Vacation

Rental Hosting Feet First

at 360 Destinations

Growth at the Lake Leads

to New Opportunities

Nonet Reese and Tricia Young have

always looked at the businesses

they’ve built as a family of services

established to best serve the needs of

their community. Their most current

venture, 360 Destinations, is no

different. With a unique approach to

vacation rentals, 360 Destinations

has the added benefit of bringing al

the facets of Three Sixty together to

provide expertise to the Lake Martin

area. As with all of their businesses,

they strive to make the experience

special for all parties involved.

Three Sixty opened the Resort Living at Lake

Martin office back in 2017, and growth has been

phenomenal. In the wake of the pandemic and

a huge shortage of available homes for sale,

Tricia and Nonet saw an opportunity to address

a need that had always been present at the lake

and was being brought to their attention regularly:

short term, long term, and vacation rentals.

After thinking through all of the ways they

could bring the Three Sixty way of doing business

to this new venture, they are thrilled to be

kicking off 360 Destinations with top producing

REALTOR® and owner of Lake Martin Pizza Co.,

Kira Woodall, leading the team.

Hosting the Lake Martin Lifestyle

Anyone can book a property, collect rent and

hand out keys. The vision behind this business

is to host guests for a taste of the whole

lifestyle at Lake Martin. 360 Destinations

works with multiple small businesses to offer

“experiences” to guests, including a private

chef experience with Chef Miguel Figueroa of

Grove Station and wine experiences from The

Dining Winos. More packages are in the works

all of the time. If you are interested in joining

us to provide a special experience for our

guests, we love partnerships and supporting

other local small businesses. Together we can

do so much more!

Ensuring Owners Profi

and Peace of Mind

No strangers to property management,

Nonet and Tricia are bringing lessons learned,

refined processes, and a proprietary software

to the table to make sure all property owners

are fully taken care of and that they don’t

have to worry about any details. Owners have

their own portal into the management software

where they can track what’s going on

with their property and see the money they

are making.

Ready to Jump in with Us?

Summertime is busy at Lake Martin. Thinking

of taking a vacation of your own? Interested in

making your home into a rental? Learn more

about what 360 Destinations has to offer and

see what we have available now by visiting the

website: www.360-destinations.com.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

25


GETAWAY

Pursell Farms

By Ann Cipperly

Against a backdrop of the rolling Appalachian foothills, the idyllic setting at

Pursell Farms in Sylacauga provides an enticing summer getaway with a

variety of accommodations, superb restaurants, spa, resort activities and a

highly ranked golf course. Turning into the entrance, wooden fencing frames

the winding drive, passing longhorn steer grazing in the meadows and woodlands with

meandering streams, as the setting opens to manicured greens and pristine lakes.

Photos provided by Pursell Farms

26 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


Photo by Ann Cipperly

As we arrive at the country estate-style Inn

at Pursell Farms, friendly staff greet guests.

Built in 2018, the stunning inn is enhanced

with antiques and fine furnishings. Ellen

Pursell, wife of CEO David Pursell, spent two

years searching for décor, art, and furnishings

for the casually elegant inn with gleaming

wood floors She stored the chandelier in

Arrington in her garage for two years.

On the walls in the hallway to our room, a

collection of framed photos reflects the areas’

history, while antique hutches display lovely

china.

Rooms are immaculate and well appointed.

A coffee bar at the entrance is attractive with

a painting over the chest. An antique-style

desk offers space for a laptop, while ornate

lamps provide soft lighting. We relaxed in

comfortable seating while deciding on dinner

at Arrington or Old Tom’s Pub.

We settled on Arrington to try the special

dishes created by Executive Chef Joe Truex, who

has an impressive resume of culinary experience.

While attending the Culinary Institute of

America in New York, he trained under famed

Chef Daniel Boulud at Le Cirque and worked

at the Swissotel La Plaza in Basel, Switzerland,

upon graduation. He returned to New York and

worked at various upscale restaurants.

Before coming to Purcell farms, Chef Truex

opened Repast in Atlanta as owner/executive

chef. The restaurant received such national

attention that Martha Stewart invited him to

cook on her television show. He was also executive

chef/managing partner at Watershed, a

famed Atlanta restaurant, and many others.

Chef Truex came to the farm in 2020 and is

working with farmers for the freshest ingredients

in creating seasonal menus.

We could hardly wait to sample his dishes.

While Arrington has lovely ambience, we

decided to dine on the terrace with sweeping

views of the golf course bordered by deep

forest.

As we settled at our table on the terrace,

small lights glowed overhead, hung zigzag

across the space. Nearby, a couple was relaxing

by the fi e pit.

Our table ordered two appetizers to savor as

we enjoyed the picturesque landscape. Lightly

fried green tomatoes were served on bibb let-

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

27


tuce and topped with a fl vorsome combination

of tomato relish and goat cheese, with a

drizzle of balsamic glaze. Crispy calamari was

paired with creole remoulade.

For the next course, bacon jam and blue

cheese crumbles mingled on a shared wedge

salad with buttermilk ranch dressing.

As the sun lowered on the horizon, we

chose two stellar entrees, red fish with crawfish

sauce and succulent filet mignon seared

to perfection, laden with cipollini onions and

demi glaze. An assortment of sides were available.

We selected asparagus and wild mushroom

fricassee, which were enough to share.

With a top-notch pastry chef, we had to

indulge in desserts. Chef John Scourlas, who

joined the culinary staff in February this year,

is an expert in chocolate, pastry, cake decorating,

sugar artistry and scratch baking. He

creates desserts for the restaurants, weddings

and special events.

Chef Scourlas also has an impressive

resume working as senior head pastry chef for

the Georgia World Congress Center as well as

many restaurants, including in Phoenix, AZ,

and Glacier Bay, Alaska. He created desserts

for events such as the Grammy Awards, Super

Bowl and Kentucky Derby.

We sampled a fl wless crème brulee and

apple cobbler with a streusel topping and

vanilla ice cream, ending the splendid evening.

A walk after dinner along inn paths

showcases a starry sky in the countryside.

For breakfast, we decided on Old Tom’s Pub

in the inn, named in honor of famed Scottish

golfer, Old Tom Morris, born in 1821 in St.

Andrews, Fife. The pub and sports bar overlooks

the 18th green and serves a menu of

American favorites.

The vintage pool table in the pub was

donated by longtime Pursell family friend, the

late Jim Nabors, also known as Gomer Pyle.

A wall of photos showcases celebrities who

played pool at Nabor’s Bel Air home. These

included President Ronald Reagan, Frank

Sinatra, Lucille Ball, among many others.

At the pub, we snacked on classic beignets

and fruit while we looked over the menu with

28 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


Our home

team means

winning

for you.

Barry Bryant

334-524-5835

NMLS #1480499

Jay Hovey

334-539-6572

NMLS #1496469

Celeste Smith

334-559-9845

NMLS #1720117

Jon K. Sonmor

334-539-6577

NMLS #776912

Give one of our lenders a call or apply online.

We’ll find a mortgage loan that’s right for you.

2020

EAST ALABAMA LIVING 29


Photo by Ann Cipperly

a wide variety. We picked fried chicken and

waffles with two eggs and spicy syrup and the

toast with crab and hollandaise. A selection of

sides includes meats, hash browns and grits.

The setting in the pub is comfortable and

relaxing. Another choice for breakfast or

lunch is the Clubhouse Grille located in the

Golf Clubhouse.

The resort features an 18-hole, 7,444-yard

championship FarmLinks course, named

Golfweek’s 2017 No. 1 all-access golf course

in Alabama for eight years. It is Golf Advisor’s

No. 1 course in the state and No. 4 of the Top

50 courses in the country. The resort is one of

GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 Golf Resorts.

The resort is also home to the only ORVIS®

Shooting Grounds in the South, offering

sporting clay shooting, wing shooting and fly

fishing s hools.

A fitness center is located at the inn, while

the swimming pool provides another option

for working off extra calories during a stay.

Other recreational activities include hiking or

biking almost three miles of FarmLand trails.

The Spring House Spa or new sun deck offer

an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate.

Chef Joe Truex will be presenting cooking

demonstrations and wine and spirits tastings

30 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


On top of

summer.

TLRCLOTHIERS.COM

175 E. MAGNOLIA AVE | AUBURN

334.321.4962 | MON–SAT 10AM–6PM

LR01-50422-EastALLiving-Summer 21.indd 1

4/27/21 1:01 PM

jana r. jager

R E A L T O R

334-332-9583

janajagerrealestate@gmail.com

@homeinauburn

337 E. Magnolia Avenue

Auburn, AL 36830

REAL ESTATE . INVESTMENT . DEVELOPMENT.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING 31


this summer. Other events and activities are

scheduled at the resort. Adventurous guests

can drive a utility terrain vehicle across old

logging roads to the top of the mountain for

panoramic views.

Along with the 40-room inn, accommodations

also include cabins, cottages, an eightroom

lodge and two restored historic homes,

the circa 1830 Orvis farmhouse and circa 1852

Greek Revival style Hamilton House.

Cottages and cabins are available just off

the golf course on the 18th and 11th fairways.

Each cottage provides a large living space with

a fi eplace, a full kitchen, and four guest suites

each with a private bath.

Parker Lodge is nestled in a rustic setting

overlooking Lodge Lake. Two screened

porches and a patio provide areas for relaxing

and enjoying views.

With spectacular views throughout the resort,

the setting is ideal for weddings. Hamilton Place

is a 22-acre wedding and special event venue.

Designed in a Tidewater Colonial architecture

style, Hamilton Place features formal

gardens, the Ceremonial Lawn and isle with

the venue’s centerpiece, a 4,600-square-foot

air-conditioned event space that includes the

grand ballroom, accommodating up to 350.

Receptions and seated dinners may also be

held on the lawn with live music and tents.

Pursell Farms has been owned and operated

by one family, starting with the late

Jimmy Pursell. He had been instrumental

in the family business of the Sylacauga

Fertilizer Co., founded in 1904. As the company

grew, the focus changed from serving

farmers to providing high-tech fertilizers for

golf courses, nurseries and homeowners on a

national level. It became Pursell Technologies

and moved to Pursell Farms.

Jimmy’s son, David, CEO and co-founder,

envisioned the sweeping acreage as the perfect

site for a golf course, which would allow customers

and golf superintendents to experience

cutting-edge agronomic practices. Constructed

32

EAST ALABAMA LIVING


in 2003, FarmLinks became the world’s only

research and demonstration golf course.

After the fertilizer business sold in August

2006, Pursell Farms was transformed into a

3,200-acre family resort.

The resort has continued to grow and

expand, with a variety of first- ate accommodations,

exceptional dining, outstanding golf,

and other activities for a memorable getaway.

For those of us in East Alabama, we can

enjoy a relaxing time away without hopping

on a plane or enduring a long drive.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even

when he is old he will not depart from it.

Call 334-745-2464 to schedule a tour.

kmarrs@tcsopelika.org | tcsopelika.org

PROVERBS 22:6

A CLASSICAL AND CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

Pursell Farms is located at 386 Talladega Springs

Rd., Sylacauga. For additional information call

256.208.7600 or visit the website at pursellfarms.com.

TCS Senior Jackson Washburn

Auburn Pediatric Dentistry

Specializing in

children and Teenagers

(334) 826-6651

Charles R. Greenleaf, DMD

841 North Dean Road, Auburn, AL 36830

info@auburnpediatricdentistry.com

We are providers for BCBS, Delta Dental, Metlife, Southland, and accept most other insurances.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING 33


34 EAST ALABAMA LIVING

THE WHATLEY

Sunsets Over Samfor


THE SETTING

The Whatley Buildin

(THE TOP FLOOR RESIDENCE)

Here, a small patio table is perfectly

positioned against panoramic views of the

campus, including the stadium, as well as

Samford Tower itself, beckoning guests to

come and ‘sit a spell.’

The top floor balco y is generously sized,

measuring nearly fifty feet and directly

overlooks Auburn’s iconic College Street,

where it boasts breathtaking views in nearly

every direction. The space is perhaps best

enjoyed at sunset, when guests are sure to

utter a collective gasp, as vibrant orange and

blue rays bathe the sprawling campus below.

Indoors, the well-appointed dining room and

kitchen are ideal for entertaining. A glistening

bar begs for the creation of cocktails.

The two spaces comingle and fl w

effortlessly with large, glassed entries

opening to both-creating the perfect

blend of ‘indoor/outdoor entertaining.’

THE SIGNATURE DRINK

This evening, the host opted to keep beverage

selection crisp and classic — selecting

champagne served in cut-glass flutes

THE TABLE

Floral Designer, Jess M. Burkhart, owner of

Frou Frou, adorned the dining table with

fresh fl wers accompanied by spilling

greenery, paired with accents of fresh fruit.

The designer selected oranges as a subtle

nod to university’s own signature colors

while keeping the design chic and tasteful.

As a final tou h, she added accents of varying

heights to create a rich, layered aesthetic.

THE LOOK

Several female guests opted for classic

summer styles (staples such as trendy jeans,

paired with fl wing tops or casual sundresses

from a neighboring boutique) when selecting

their party attire.

The evening was one to remember, as friends

of all ages gazed out on upon a fabulous

sunset and celebrated all that is ‘Auburn!’

Credits:

Attire: Fabrik, Auburn

Photography: ING Studios

1957 E Samford

Suite B, Auburn AL

(334) 521-0063

@shopmjboutique_

magnoliajamesboutique.com

EAST ALABAMA LIVING 35 33


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36 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


A NEW

VISION

FOR DOWNTOWN

BY JESS M. BURKHART

Situated squarely on Auburn’s most iconic street sits The

Whatley Building. This brand-new addition to town is the

brainchild of Auburn University alumnus, Steve Fleming, who

brought this bold vision to life. Far from your average condo

or crowded collegiate apartment dwelling, The Whatley

instead boasts spacious, upscale residences that one would

typically expect to find on y in a much larger city.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

37


38 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


A life-long businessman with roots in banking

and lending, Fleming confirms that it has

always been his ultimate goal to eventually

return and then retire to The Plains. Although

he has returned, he confides that he has not

quite retired and still keeps his hand in the

lending business, albeit on a greatly reduced

scale.

Fleming retained the top floor of the building

for his own private residence, consciously

curating the space with ease of entertaining

being top of mind. The generous interior

boasts tall ceilings, clean lines and provides

the perfect backdrop for an impressive and

eclectic art collection. High-end finishes

abound throughout, lending a luxurious feel

to the space as a whole.

And although Fleming’s personal aesthetic

trends towards the modern, he explains that

each unit is a custom creation, “Each unit in

the building reflects that individual owner’s

personal style — meaning that they select

their own finishes (and other details) ensuring

diversity within the complex itself. Many of

the units are more modern in concept—while

others tend towards the traditional in décor.”

When asked to describe his initial inspiration

for the project, Fleming confirms that

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

39


he wanted to lend a measure of diversity to

downtown development by offering something

upscale and decidedly ‘adult’ in nature.

As an added benefit all residents are easily

within walking distance of a wide variety of

eateries and other establishments, bringing to

life the popular concept of: ‘live, work, play.’

This movement helped foster a strong

sense of community and camaraderie, according

to downtown business owner Tanya Fuller

of Fabrik. As she expounds, “Being invested

in downtown means developing friendships

throughout the community, especially with

people who have the same passion and love

for Auburn. The most rewarding part of owning

my store has been meeting others from

all backgrounds such as Steve Fleming. From

cheering on each other’s success in business

to celebrating Auburn Tiger victories, Steve

and I have become lifelong friends. And it is

40 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


APPETIZERS

Smoked Tuna Dip | Sweet Heat Shrimp

Spinach & Artichoke Dip | Crab Cakes

Hummus | Buffalo Shrimp Chips

Fried Green Tomatoes

Hamilton’s

SALADS

Hamilton’s House | Grilled Salmon

The Wedge | Cobb Salad | Caesar

Sensational Spinach Salad

Sweet Chili Noodles with

Crawfish & Shrimp

Cucumber, Tomato & Onion

(add Blackened Chicken or Salmon)

DRESSINGS

Ranch | Caesar | French | Thousand Island

Vinaigrette | Thai Lime Cilantro

Oil and Vinegar | Cranberry Citrus Vinaigrette

Roasted Garlic Bleu Cheese | Balsamic Vinaigrette

SOUPS

Soup Of Day | Lobster Bisque

SANDWICHES & SUCH

Hamilton’s Burger | House Club

Meatloaf Sandwich

Mahi Sandwich | Chicken Fingers

On Magnolia

SUN-TUES, 11am - 9pm • WED-SAT, 11am - 10pm

174 East Magnolia Avenue • Auburn, AL 36830

334.887.2677

SIDES

French Fries | Sweet Potato Fries | Cucumber Salad

Seasonal Vegetables | Sautéed Mushrooms

Onion Rings | Smoked Gouda Macaroni & Cheese

Sautéed Spinach | Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes

ENTRÉES

Honey Ginger Salmon | Pork Tenderloin

Sesame Crusted Tuna

Catfish & Crawfish | Chargrilled Mahi

Fresh Catch & Shrimp

Shrimp & Grits | Chicken Provençal

Blackened Chicken Fettuccine

Meatloaf | Naked Burger

8 oz Filet Mignon | 16 oz Ribeye

On Ogletree

SUN-THUR, 11am - 9pm • FRI & SAT, 11am - 10pm

1849 Ogletree Road • Auburn, AL 36830

334.329.5886

www.hamiltonsgroup.com

Fresh Seafood, Steaks, and More

Daily Drink & Entrée Specials

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

41


connections like these that have spurred me

to truly love and appreciate this place I am

blessed to call home.”

Real Estate professional Sallie Deen of

Berkshire Hathaway represents the property

and adds, “While sales have been strong, we

do have some spaces available. It is not too

late to claim a piece of this amazing property,

although space is limited.”

So, whether you are ‘in the market’ or simply

want to remain ‘in the know,’ The Whatley

Building is a sight to behold!

44 42 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


EAST ALABAMA LIVING

43


SATURDAY, JULY 3RD | 6:30 P.M.

OPELIKA HIGH SCHOOL TRACK

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Dr. Keri Miller

Most major insurance accepted

including BCBS and Southland.

742 N. Dean Road

Auburn, AL 36830

(334) 321-0780

Check out our newly updated website!

www.gatorgrins.com

44 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


EAST ALABAMA LIVING

45


SUMMER ✺RECIPES

B Y A N N C I P P E R L Y

After we’ve spent a year at home, separated from family and friends,

this summer promises to be a time we can safely gather. To celebrate, plan

a scrumptious menu and festively decorate tables outdoors with fl wers,

lanterns, and fli kering candles. Long days of summer are ideal for entertaining

with savory entrees and garden-fresh bounty from the southland.

Whether you are entertaining on the patio or porch, serve a menu

with an entrée that can be assembled a day ahead and simply grilled or

baked. Prepare salads ahead and a special dessert to cap the evening on

a sweet note. With dishes made ahead, you can enjoy time with guests

instead of being in the kitchen.

During the summer, Carol Duncan enjoys entertaining on her porch.

The Grilled Shrimp, Watermelon and Feta Salad is a favorite luncheon

dish. She first served the salad when a sorority sister visited, and they

sat outside on the porch for the visit. “It was the perfect dish,” says

Carol, “since it could be made ahead and was refreshing on a hot day.”

Carol has served the Grilled Chicken with a Lemon-Oregano

Vinaigrette several times when friends came for dinner on the porch.

Her husband Bobby grilled the chicken, and she served it with fresh

vegetables and a fruit dessert.

“Summer entertaining is my favorite since it is casual,” says Carol,

“and we can sit out on a back porch with music in the background. I’m

so looking forward to summer entertaining this year since we could not

last summer!”

Debbie Whitney enjoys serving a fl vorful marinated grilled pork

tenderloin. When grilling the pork, aromas of caramelizing brown sugar

with garlic drift throughout the patio, providing a tantalizing aroma to

welcome arriving guests. The pork can also be cooked in the oven.

Other entrée choices can be grilled or baked in the oven as well.

Look over the following appetizers, entrees, fresh vegetable dishes,

and desserts for assembling a menu for entertaining family and friends.

Many of the dishes are great for celebrating the Fourth of July and other

summer occasions.

Linger a few moments longer with guests to savor a summer evening

with good food and friendship as fi eflies light up the landscap .

RED AND WHITE SANGRIA

Margaret Mayfield

RED:

1 bottle Red Riunite Lambrusco

1 bottle red fruit wine (Harvest Mist)

3 cups red fruit juice (grape, cranapple, etc.)

Frozen red grapes

Cut up fruit, apples, orange, etc.

WHITE:

1 bottle white D’oro Riunite wine

1 bottle white fruit wine (Harvest Mist)

3 cups juice (pear, apple or white grape)

Frozen white grapes and cut up fruit

If using oranges, limes or lemons, be sure to peel

fruit if you plan to keep them floating in the drin

for a while. The peel will cause the sangria to turn

bitter if left to sit too long. Other fruit suggestions:

apples, pears, kiwi, pineapple, and mangos.

These recipes can be adjusted as you desire. I’ve

also added mango and pineapple juice.

BRUSCHETTA

Katie Jackson

1 to 2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced

¼ cup fresh basil

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Crostini

Toss topping ingredients together and place

in refrigerator until ready to serve on crostini.

To make crostini, brush olive oil on slices of

baguette and toast in a 400 degree oven for

about 8 minutes or until lightly brown. These

can be made a day ahead.

When ready to serve, place tomato mixture

on crostini.

Topping will keep in the refrigerator for a while

but after a day or so the basil gets a little soggy.

It is best served fresh!

46 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


SAVORY CANTALOUPE

Katie Jackson

1 ripe cantaloupe, cubed

2 Tbsp. fig-flavored vinegar (can use balsamic,

red wine, apple cider, etc. depending on whether

you prefer sweet or savory fl vors)

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Toss cantaloupe with other ingredients and

allow to marinate in the refrigerator for an hour

or so before serving. Makes a great appetizer!

CHEESE FILLED PHYLLO CUPS WITH

FRESH TOMATO SALSA

Janine Simmons

Pkg. of frozen phyllo dough tart cups

Chunks of Brie or mozzarella cheese

Tomato Salsa (recipe follows)

Fresh basil for garnish

Follow instructions on package for baking phyllo

cups. Fill with chunk of cheese; warm in oven.

Remove and spoon Tomato Salsa on top. Garnish

with basil.

TOMATO SALSA:

2 tomatoes or equal amount of cherry tomatoes,

chopped or diced

1/8 cup diced purple onion

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Combine ingredients.

GRILLED CHICKEN WITH A

LEMON-OREGANO VINAIGRETTE

Carol Duncan

BRINE:

2 qt. cold water

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. Morton’s kosher salt

31/2 lb bone in, skin on, chicken pieces

LEMON-OREGANO VINAIGRETTE:

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. fresh oregano, minced

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 heaping Tbsp. Italian parsley, minced

Dash red chile flakes optional

Make brine and add chicken.

Brine the chicken for at least 8 hours. I prefer

using a strong plastic bag placing it on the bottom

shelf of the refrigerator inside a bowl.

Remove chicken from brine and pat dry.

Grill chicken until the internal temperature

reaches 160 degrees (it will reach 165 degrees

with residual heat).

Mix Lemon-Oregano Vinaigrette ingredients and

store in the refrigerator until serving time.

To serve, remove the vinaigrette from the refrigerator

and allow it to come to room temperature.

Drizzle it over the chicken. Serves 4.

GRILLED SHRIMP, WATERMELON

AND FETA SALAD

Carol Duncan

Fresh Lime Vinaigrette:

3 Tbsp. lime juice, fresh

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

11/2 Tbsp. honey

Dash hot sauce (I like Franks.)

Dash kosher salt

Dash freshly cracked black pepper

1 lb. extra-large shrimp, peeled, leaving tail intact

4-5 cups seedless watermelon, cut into bite-size

pieces

5-6 cups romaine lettuce, washed and torn into

bite-size pieces

4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Dash kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Brush shrimp with olive oil and grill until pink.

Make Lime Vinaigrette and refrigerate until

serving time or let sit at room temperature if

serving soon.

To serve, put all salad ingredients into a large

bowl, add salt and pepper then toss with Lime

Vinaigrette.

Serve on salad plates. Serves 4.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING 47


Remove tenderloins from marinade about 30

minutes before you are ready to grill. Heat grill

to medium heat.

Grill pork, turning often, until an internal

temperature of 150 degrees is reached. Pork will

continue cooking while resting.

Allow tenderloin to rest on a platter for about

10 minutes or longer before slicing for juices to

redistribute.

Note: Instead of grilling, you can bake the pork.

Remove pork from marinade and roast on

cooking sheet in a 375 degree oven for about 40

minutes or until desired doneness. Let rest for 10

minutes for juices to set before carving.

GRILLED OR OVEN SALMON ON A PLANK

June Cutchins

This is good served with long grain and wild rice

or on angel hair pasta nests tossed with olive oil

and minced garlic.

Cedar planks, soaked in water

Whole salmon, fillete

Olive oil and lemon juice

William-Sonoma Potlatch Salmon/

Seafood Spice Rub or

Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning

Ground black pepper

Dill weed

Lemon slices

Soak cedar plank or planks in water for up to

3 hours. Then place salmon fillets on planks in

shallow baking pan and sprinkle with olive oil,

lemon juice, seasonings of choice, dill weed and

top with thin slices of lemon.

Have the grill hot (400-450 degrees). Place planks

with salmon on grill, cover, and cook for about

20 minutes (be checking to monitor degree of

doneness). You do not have to turn salmon during

cooking process.

*Can also put the salmon/planks in the oven and

cover with aluminum foil and bake.

OVEN OR GRILLED FLANK STEAK

Mike Horsefield

Flank steak is a lean, somewhat tough, but

fl vorful cut of beef that benefits f om the

tenderizing effects of a marinade. It is best

cooked medium rare and thinly sliced at an

angle. Prepared this way, marinated and cooked

quickly at a high heat, thinly sliced flank steak

practically melts in your mouth.

MARINADE:

1/3 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1/3 cup soy sauce

¼ cup honey

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Mix above ingredients in a small glass

measuring cup; set aside.

2 lbs. flank stea

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

To prepare: Place meat on a large cutting board

and slice into the meat about ¼ -inch in diagonals.

Season with kosher salt and pepper.

Place meat into a large Ziploc storage bag and

add marinade. Store in refrigerator for about 24

hours, turning every so often to coat both sides

of the meat.

To cook, preheat oven to “high” broil (can also be

cooked on grill).

Place meat on broiling pan. I recommend

covering the bottom of the pan with foil for

easy cleanup.

Cook in preheated oven for about 5 minutes on

each side. Let sit on the counter for about 10

minutes and slice. If meat is too rare for your

taste, cook a few more minutes.

GRILLED OR OVEN PORK TENDERLOIN

WITH BALSAMIC GLAZE

Debbie Whitley

1/2 cup y sauce

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup brown sugar

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and

pour into a large Ziplock type bag or 9 x 3-inch

dish. Place tenderloins in bag and squeeze out as

much air as possible before sealing. Place bag or

dish in the refrigerator and marinate overnight.

SQUASH CASSEROLE

Ursula Higgins

4 lb. yellow squash, cut in large chunks

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup chopped onion

4 Tbsp. melted butter

1 cup sour cream

Salt, pepper

Panko crumbs for topping

Blanch squash in boiling water until half done.

Drain well.

Mix with remaining ingredients except panko

crumbs; place in a buttered casserole dish.

Top with buttered panko crumbs and bake at 350

degrees until hot and bubbly, about 1 hour. May

be prepared the day before.

CAPRESE SALAD

Janine Simmons

6 summer tomatoes using a mix of Heirloom

and regular

Fresh mozzarella cheese

Balsamic reduction (recipe follows)

Extra virgin olive oil

Fresh basil leaves, chopped

Slice tomatoes and layer with mozzarella.

Drizzle with balsamic reduction and olive oil

and sprinkle basil leaves over top.

BALSAMIC REDUCTION:

In a saucepan, pour 1/2 cup balsamic vi gar over

high heat. Stir until it thickens. Remove from

heat and cool (will get thicker when it cools).

FRESH CREAMED CORN

Chef Eron Bass

5 ears fresh yellow corn, cleaned of silk

13/4 cups mil

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Salt

Dash of white pepper

2 Tbsp. heavy cream, optional

2 Tbsp. butter, optional

Cut kernels from the cob. Pulse 2/3 of the

kernels in a food processor; put in a saucepan.

Add whole kernels, milk, and cornstarch. Bring

slowly to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook

over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and white pepper. You

may also add cream and butter to make it more

decadent.

48

EAST ALABAMA LIVING


FROZEN PINEAPPLE PIE

Marilyn Horsefield

This is a delicious and a super easy summer

treat. It makes two pies and is great for parties

and hot summer days. Prepare one day ahead to

allow pie to set.

20 oz. can crushed pineapple

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

16 oz. container Cool Whip

2 prepared graham cracker crusts

In large bowl, mix softened Cool Whip with

sweetened condensed milk. Add crushed pineapple

and stir. (Do not drain pineapple juice).

Pour into prepared graham cracker crusts and

freeze overnight.

FRESH FRUIT TRIFLE SQUARES

Vera Ellen Scott

1 (12 oz.) pound cake, cut into 10 slices

(homemade or purchased)

3 Tbsp. orange juice

4 cups fresh berries (halved strawberries, whole

blueberries, raspberries, etc.)

2 Tbsp. sugar

21/2 cups cold milk

2 small pkgs. French vanilla instant pudding

8 oz. or larger sized Cool Whip, divided (or use

freshly whipped, sweetened heavy cream)

Arrange cake slices on bottom of 9x13-inch

dish. Drizzle with orange juice. Top with berries.

Sprinkle with sugar.

Make pudding. Pour milk in large bowl; add both

packages of pudding mixes, whisk for 2 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup Cool Whip.

Spread pudding mixture over berries.

Top with remaining Cool Whip (now or before

serving). Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into

squares. Garnish if desired and serve.

mixture on bottom layer. Top with half of strawberries.

Add top of cake layer and repeat with

remaining cream cheese mixture and berries.

Refrigerate for several hours. When ready to

serve, cut into wedges.

KEY LIME TARTS

Vera Ellen Scott

If desired, decorate with whipped cream, a blueberry

and wedge of kiwi or fruit of your choice.

CRUST:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

¼ cup granulated sugar

4 oz. butter, melted

Measure graham cracker crumbs and sugar into

small mixing bowl, stir to blend. Add melted

butter and mix well.

Measure 11/2 to Tbsp. crumb mixture into each

muffin cu . Press crumbs evenly over the bottom

of each cup with the bottom of a small glass.

Set aside.

FILLING:

Two 14-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk

5 egg yolks

1/2 cup lime juice

In medium bowl, whisk sweetened condensed

milk and egg yolks together until smooth. Add

lime juice and stir until completely blended. Fill

each crust lined muffin cup to the top with fil

ing (2 Tbsp.). Bake for 14 minutes at 350 degrees.

Refrigerate until well chilled. Pop tarts out of

pans. Garnish with fruit, if desired.

STRAWBERRY PECAN SHORTCAKE

Carol Dillard

2 pts. sliced strawberries

¼ cup sugar

Mix strawberries and sugar: refrigerate.

2 cups all-purpose flou

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/3 cup shortening

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup milk

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chilled whipping cream

Heat oven 450 degrees. Measure flour and 2 Tbsp.

sugar, baking powder, salt and soda in a mixing

bowl. Cut in shortening. Add pecans. Stir in sour

cream and milk. Pat into buttered round layer

pan (9-inch). Bake until golden brown, 15-20

minutes. Cool slightly.

Beat cream cheese until light and fluff . Beat in

1/3 cup sugar and add vanilla gradually. Whip

cream and fold in cream cheese mixture.

Split warm shortcake. Spread half cream cheese

Downtown Auburn

334-887-7447

wrapsodyonline.com

@shopwrapsody

EAST ALABAMA LIVING 49


E A L E A T S

Photo provided by Greensboro Pie

Pies

By Ann Cipperly

Decadent chocolate, peanut butter,

pecan, or lemon filling in a flaky

crust topped with billows of

whisper-light whipped cream or

meringue create tempting pies or tarts. If your

schedule doesn’t allow time in the kitchen to

bake your own, check out these bakeries and

restaurants serving up yummy options.

Photo provided by Lucy’s

50 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


Tart and Tartan photo by Ann Cipperly

Photo provided by Ariccia Cucina Italiana

Tart and Tartan

117 S 8th St, Suite 203, Opelika

334.748.9075

When Mary Kathryn Whatley was working

as a CPA in Atlanta, Ga., she could hardly wait

to get home at night to cook and bake. She

found baking to be relaxing, and it was the

most enjoyable part of her day.

She moved back home to Opelika to be

closer to family, while working remotely as a

CPA for the Atlanta firm. Mary Kathryn soon

realized she wanted to change careers and

open a bakery.

She brainstormed with a friend to decide

on a name. She wanted something that was

sentimental to Opelika or her family. Mary

Kathryn thought of tartans as her father wore

red tartan slacks at Christmas and plaid shirts

to work. The significance of the tartan plaid in

both the name and other details in the bakery

honors all the family and friends involved in

making Christmas memories.

Mary Kathryn hopes to continue to celebrate

these traditions and make new memories

by continuing the legacy of family and

friends gathering around delicious food and

conversation at Tart and Tartan.

Several of her father’s tartan shirts are

framed in the bakery. Mary Kathryn painted

the black and white floor to give a feeling of a

European bakery.

The bakery opened in March with the display

counter filled with assorted baked goods,

including tarts, pies, cookies, cakes, and other

confections, all freshly baked from scratch.

She also bakes birthday cakes with a basic

decoration.

Pecan pies and creamy peanut butter pie

in a chocolate crust are offered on a rotation.

Sometimes she will bake lemon pies, which

was her father’s favorite. Mary Kathryn will be

preparing blueberry cobblers during the summer

months.

While the menu changes often, look for

tasty tarts with lemon curd being the most

popular. Mary Kathryn and her mother, Debra

Whatley, took a special pastry tart class while

on a trip to Portugal.

Mary Kathryn’s family has many good

cooks. Debra helps at the bakery and cooks

many of the assorted casseroles that are

offered in the refrigerator case. House-made

pimento cheese is also available. These items

are handy to pick up to take to the lake or

beach. You can call to order or have items held.

Along with the seating space in the bakery,

the adjoining courtyard with tables and black

and white umbrellas is a nice spot to unwind

with a slice of pie and a cup of coffee.

Ariccia Cucina Italiana

The Hotel at Auburn University

and Dixon Conference Center

241 South College St., Auburn

While Pastry Chef Dallas Kee has been

well-known for her scrumptious cakes, she

is now offering a delectable tart with chocolate

Nutella ganache inside a buttery hazelnut

crust, topped with roasted hazelnuts and pink

Himalayan salt.

Whether it is dessert served in Ariccia

Cucina Italiana, H.C. Valentine, a banquet or

catered event, Pastry Chef Dallas Kee delivers

scrumptious and innovative creations at

The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon

Conference Center.

Lucy’s Restaurant

2300 Moore’s Mill Road, Auburn

334.521.0391

Lucy’s is all about great food, fine wine, and

creative cocktails served in a sunny, cheerful

space, with the restaurant’s symbol being a

bright yellow lemon.

“We want everyone who comes to Lucy’s

to have a great time,” says co-owner Lisa van

der Reijden. “Our goal was to create a neighborhood

eatery where people can connect

with each other and where every day can be

a celebration.”

Growing up in a big Greek family, Lisa was

surrounded by amazing cooks, including her

mother, grandmother, and great-aunt, who

prepared home-cooked meals. They instilled

the belief that gathering around the table with

your family and friends is where memories

are made.

Tart and Tartan photo by Ann Cipperly

EAST ALABAMA LIVING 51


Photo provided by Lucy’s

Lisa brought in Executive Chef Brian

Paolina, a southern California native, who has

worked in Miami, Fla., and Sedona, AZ. “Chef

Brian has an amazing palate,” says Lisa.

For a special dessert, Paolina has created

a yummy Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Pie

prepared with a pecan crust and filled with

lemon curd and topped with meringue, which

is then torched. The pie is served with housemade

Madagascar vanilla bean ice cream and

garnished with candied lemon.

Photo provided by The Hound

Photos by Tristan Cairns

The Hound

124 Tichenor Ave., Auburn

334.246.3300

Located in the former Old Auburn Ale

House, Matthew and Jana Caruthers Poirier

repurposed the space for The Hound, their

American cuisine restaurant. When they were

looking for a place to establish a restaurant,

they found the rustic look of the original red

brick walls and wooden beams appealing for

creating the ambience of a hunting lodge.

Matthew worked in restaurants for 12 years

in California, but his love of food came from

his family. “My mother is one of 10 children,”

he says. “We always have at least 45 people at

my house for holidays. We all cooked together

a lot.” While he tossed around the idea of

attending culinary school, his dream was

owning a restaurant.

Jana was attending a training program in

San Francisco when they met. After they were

married a couple of years, Jana began longing

to return to the South and be near her family.

The Poiriers opened The Hound in 2012.

Mathew had a menu plan from the beginning.

“The idea was to source locally and make

everything in house from scratch.”

The menu’s signature dishes include Berkshire

pork chop, ribeye, meatloaf, braised lamb shank,

chicken fried chicken, among others.

For dessert, The Hound is serving a buttermilk

pie with ice cream and a bourbon

caramel sauce.

Pannie-George Kitchen, Inc.

2328 S. College St., Unit 6, Auburn

334.821.4142

While Mary Counts enjoyed cooking, she

was working as a nurse at EAMC and hadn’t

thought about going into the restaurant business.

Once Mary and her family’s cooking were

sampled, it was by popular demand that she

opened Pannie-George Kitchen, Inc. in Auburn.

Mary learned to cook at a young age as she

helped her mother in the kitchen. They lived

on a farm in Camp Hill where they grew their

food and raised hogs and cows.

“We didn’t have gardens,” says Mary. “We

had fields of fresh vegetables.” They canned

and froze vegetables and processed meats.

The family would gather at Mary’s

Grandmother Pannie’s house. “We would have

a huge gathering and a feast,” remembers

Mary. “We would cook and talk. Sometimes we

just made up reasons to get together to cook.”

When the family decided to raise funds to

attend a reunion in Ohio, they began selling

lunch plates at local businesses.

After the reunion trip, people kept asking

when they were going begin cooking again.

In 2005, Mary decided to open Pannie-George

Kitchen, naming it after her grandparents.

Every dish is prepared from scratch. While

the menu changes daily, they generally offer

sweet potato pie, and fried chicken is an

everyday staple. Other pies include pecan pie,

lemon pie, key lime pie, buttermilk pie, lemon

lime pie, lemon chess pie, Reese’s peanut butter

pie, Snicker’s pie, chocolate cream pie, and

coconut pie.

“Overall God has been the inspiration

behind this business,” says Mary. “It wasn’t

something we sought out to do, it was God

inspired. He paved the way. He is the foundation

behind the business and this family.”

Full Moon Barbecue

Tiger Town

Full Moon Barbecue offers coconut, key

lime, and chocolate pies by the slice, or you

can purchase an entire pie.

David and Joe Maluff purchased the original

restaurant and have grown the business.

Along with barbecue, the Birmingham-born

brothers have created a menu to appeal to a

variety of tastes with salads, chicken tenders,

catfish buffalo-style wings, and overstuffed

baked potatoes.

Greensboro Pie

1120 Main St, Greensboro, AL

334.352.5116

In the small town of Greensboro, a little

shop called the Pie Lab received a great deal

of press from Southern Living magazine and

a New York Times Magazine article, as well as

other publications.

During Covid, the original owner closed

and sold her famous recipes to The Stable,

a coffee shop and café located in downtown

Greensboro.

A variety of baked and cold Greensboro

pies are served. From the crust to the fillings

everything is made from scratch. Some of the

favorites include Brown Sugar Buttermilk,

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge, Lemon Icebox,

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan, and Oreo.

Now that The Stable has completed renovations

on a newly constructed commercial

kitchen, they are working on establishing

partnerships around Alabama with the most

recent expansion being The Pepper Place in

Birmingham.

Photo provided by Greensboro Pie

52 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


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2112 Frederick Rd.

Opelika

334-745-4700

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Auburn

334-821-2300

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EAST ALABAMA LIVING

53


Photos by Ann Cipperly

SUMMER

FARMERS

MARKETS

BY ANN CIPPERLY

While East Alabama is fortunate to have year-round markets,

weekly farmer markets during summer months provide

more opportunities to feed your family fresh, nutritious produce,

artisan breads and desserts, as well as other homemade food

products. Home cooks and chefs rely on the freshest ingredients

for creating fl vorful meals full of freshly picked natural fl vor.

Locally grown vegetables and fruits offer more nutrients and

fresher taste than those shipped from other parts of the country.

Buying from local farms is also beneficial to the community, as it

supports our local farmers.

Ogrows Open Air Farmers Market

Freshly picked vegetables and fruits, along

with homemade bakery goods, honey, jellies,

and other items can be found on Tuesday

afternoons at the Ogrows Open Air Farmers

Market on Glenn Street in Opelika. The market

will be held Tuesdays from 3 p.m. until 6

p.m. through August 23. Farmers from East

Alabama display their bounty of summer vegetables

and fruits on tables under white tents.

Along with a variety of produce, Serenity

Farms and Bakery offers an outstanding array

of homemade breads and assorted confections.

Anna Freeman and Liana Freeman bake

all day at their farm to provide freshly baked

sourdough bread, braided French bread, whole

wheat banana bread, cinnamon rolls, blueberry

54 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


and lemon bread, assorted cookies, peach pies,

and many other homemade desserts.

Mary Finley is also a baker and offers an

assortment of yummy whole cakes and cakes

by the slice. All of the cakes are freshly baked

and well wrapped.

Susan Forbes is the Ogrows market manager.

Ogrows is an organization that engages

students and citizens in gardening to address

community service and food security. Ogrows

is building capacity as a hub of local food systems

by employing students, selling produce

and donating produce to the Food Bank of

East Alabama.

Under the umbrella of Envision Opelika,

Ogrows began in 2012. Susan’s husband, Sean

Forbes, the founder of Ogrows, is a professor

in education psychology at Auburn University.

The Market at Ag Heritage Park

Hosted by the Auburn University College

of Agriculture, the Market at Ag Heritage Park

is held on Thursdays from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m.

June 3-August 12.

Each week about 30 vendors at the market

sell fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables,

bread and baked goods, farm raised beef,

chicken and pork, as well as jams and jellies.

It is a growers-only market.

Other items include herbs, ornamental

plants, and cut fl wers, as well as soaps, honey,

and goat cheese, among other items.

The market is located on the grounds of the Edward

L. Lowder Red Barn, located at 580 South Donahue

Drive, Auburn.

City Market

“The Auburn Parks and Recreation Department

partners with local growers and artisans for

the city’s farmers market, City Market,” says

Sarah Cook of Auburn Parks and Recreation.

City Market invites the community, growers,

and consumers alike to attend every

Saturday from May 29 to August 28, plus one

Saturday in October at Town Creek Park from

8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

“The purpose of City Market is to help local

farmers, growers, and artists to sell their

fresh, local and handmade products to community

members,” says Sarah. “Throughout

the summer, we will have special programs

and guests at the market.”

City market is located at Town Creek Park, 1150

S. Gay Street, Auburn. For further information,

call 334.501.2930.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

55


Opelika Farmers Market

Located on South 10th Street, the Opelika

Farmers Market is a year-round market that

has been open for about 15 years. Destin

King’s father started the market, and he began

helping his father when he was 15 years old.

He took over ownership four years ago.

The market has a wide selection of fresh

produce. They grow produce or buy from other

local farmers, making sure it is picked ripe,

not green. Tomatoes, peas, and peaches are

the most popular summer crops.

The fresh peas are available by the bushel or

pound. To save time for customers, fresh peas

are shelled daily. They also have peas unshelled.

During the summer, the market carries local

vine ripe tomatoes, while during the winter

months he has a supplier in south Florida.

Items in the refrigerator case include eggs

and bacon, while the freezer case has frozen

vegetables and biscuits.

An assortment of plants are available in the

spring, summer and fall.

The market carries pecans throughout the

year from their pecan farm in Notasulga. They

offer shelled pecans as well.

Hours are Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The market is located at 411 South 10th Street, Opelika.

Schedule your complimentary evaluation today!

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Parkway Farmers Market

Located on First Avenue in Opelika, Parkway

is a year-round market. Mitch Nix, the owner,

comes from a 100-year-old family tradition of

offering fresh produce. His great-great-grandfather

started selling produce from a horse drawn

wagon in Phenix City and Columbus, Ga.

Mitch’s family operated a wholesale business

for over 30 years then his father started

in retail. Mitch helped his father in the business

growing up. After college, he went back

to work with his dad.

In 2009, Mitch opened the market on

Pepperell Parkway. When he needed a larger

space, he relocated the market to First Avenue

in Opelika in June 2017.

56 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


While he purchases fresh produce from local

farmers in summer, during the winter months

he uses a source in southern Florida. “We offer

vine ripe tomatoes year-round,” he says.

He stocks fresh frozen vegetables from

Birmingham and carries assorted frozen biscuits

and orange rolls. He also carries Conecuh

Bacon and Adams Cornmeal.

Along with a wide selection of produce, the

market has a variety of plants. In summer, he

has an assortment of hanging baskets and

potted plants.

Located at 2180 First Avenue, Parkway is open 9 a.m.

until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.

until 5 p.m. on Sunday.

SweetCreek Farm Market

The year-round market began over fi e years

ago on Pike Road, off U.S. 231 in Montgomery.

Along with being a farmers’ market, there is

an adjoining barbecue café, which also serves

homemade ice cream. Owners are Reed and

Karen Ingram. Reed operates the café, while

Karen manages the farmers market.

Indoor and outdoor seating is available at

the café. The barbecue was voted best for 2020

in Montgomery.

Along with fresh produce in the market,

other products are available, including cakes,

cobblers, grits, cornmeal and much more.

Chickens, peacocks, and turkeys roam the

market area and the event space on the side.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

57


58

EAST ALABAMA LIVING


Photos by Tristan Cairns

LOVE OF THE LAND

BY ANN CIPPERLY

Nestled among trees, the home of Terry and Melisa Love gives the feeling of

being in a tree house with a wall of windows providing woodland views on the

outskirts of Opelika. With an elk’s head mount over the stone fi eplace, a black

bear, bobcat, squirrel, deer mounts and assorted antlers, it is no surprise that the

Loves not only relish the outdoors, but are both foresters.

Terry and Melisa both enjoyed the outdoors unemployable as a female in forestry as it was

growing up. Terry rode his bike on mountain “a man’s world.”

trails in Monte Sano near Huntsville. In grammar

school, he began trapping and making Virginia Tech, graduating with honors. Her

Melisa was not deterred and attended

maps on bike trails.

first job was as a procurement forester with

His father, who worked for NASA, began Georgia Kraft in Waverly. She supervised three

teaching him about fi earms at age 4. By the wood yards and won the company-wide award

time Terry was 8 years old, he was carrying for enrolling landowners in their Private Land

a gun, hunting deer. In the fourth grade, the Management program. She later received her

school principal asked him to teach fi earm master’s degree at Auburn University.

safety to the class.

After graduating, Terry worked for Georgia

Terry attended Samford University for a Pacific at the veneer mill in Warm Springs,

year then transferred to the School of Forestry Ga. He first met Melisa in 1980. He was buying

at Auburn University. During the summer logs for the company, while Melisa was buying

months one year, he took a job at Yellowstone pulp wood for Georgia Kraft.

Park and hiked on his off days, including a When Terry’s father died in 1982, he moved

climb to the top of The Grand Teton. “That home to help his mother. He was working timber

cruising during the week, while assisting his

cemented knowing I wanted to work outdoors,”

he says.

mother on weekends with her antique business.

Melisa’s family spent every vacation outdoors

camping, hiking and traveling. When Corporation where he ran a chip mill in Dalton,

In 1984, he was offered a job at Mead

thinking about a college major, she selected Ga., and then later bought timber in Tennessee.

forestry. She visited Clemson University to Meanwhile, Melisa had founded Forestry

check into enrolling in the forestry school. Consultants, Inc. and was leading a team of

The forestry dean told her that she would be foresters, managing forestland for private

landowners, and doing consulting work across

the southeastern states. They met again

when Terry was working on a project for his

employer, and Melisa’s company was hired to

do the timber inventory and assessment.

After renewing their friendship, they married,

and Terry moved to Opelika, joining

Melisa’s business.

Melisa had not hunted until after she and

Terry married. “It is Terry’s passion,” she says,

“so if I wanted to see him during deer season,

I started hunting. We have gone on wilderness

hunts in the Colorado Mountains for elk, and

bear hunts in remote wilderness in Alaska, as

well as deer, turkey and squirrel hunts.”

Terry’s enjoyment of hunting has extended

to teaching hunter education for 27 years. He

was first accredited to teach in Georgia where

some of his classes held over 300 youth and

adults. When he moved to Tennessee and

then Alabama, he continued teaching. “In

Alabama they call the class survival skills,”

says Terry, “I call it wilderness skills. It is not

surviving if you are enjoying being outdoors.”

In 2008, he won the Governor’s Conservation

Achievement Award for Hunter Safety

Instructor of the Year.

Terry also received the President’s Award

for Outstanding Field Forester in 2012. The

Society of American Foresters recognized his

lifelong excellence as a woodsman and his

consummate professionalism as a forester.

Melisa’s achievements have been more

on the business side of forestry. She has

served terms both as an Alabama Forestry

Commissioner and as a member of the

Alabama Board of Registration for Foresters.

Family is important to the Loves. Terry’s

brother Tim lives with them. Together Terry

and Melisa have four children and four

grandchildren.

Forestry Consultants, Inc. has been in

business for over 35 years, serving many forest

landowners in east central Alabama and

beyond. While a forestry dean didn’t think

Melisa would make it in “a man’s world,” he

might be surprised to know she has excelled

in her work.

Terry is semi-retired now, but still takes on

specialty projects and continues to work with

some of his long-time forestry clients. “We are

blessed in our business and to be able to enjoy

life,” says Terry.

Whether they are camping and fishing in

Alaska, camping and hunting on their farm in

Society Hill or their property in the Tennessee

Mountains, Terry and Melisa are living their

dream since childhood to savor life outdoors.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

59


Terry Love’s Tips

For Beginner Campers

Camping can range from backpacking wilderness,

camping the trails or leisurely camping

in a large RV. If you have not been camping,

but would like to enjoy time outdoors with your

family, Terry offers the following suggestions.

Chewacla Park in Auburn is a good place

to start. The park has campsites, trails to

hike and a lake for swimming and canoeing.

Another option close by is Callaway Gardens.

State parks throughout the state are great

with campsite facilities with showers.

Terry feels it is important to start with a

good tent and comfortable sleeping bags. “If

you don’t have a good night’s sleep,” he says,

“you are not going to enjoy camping.”

When hiking, wear long pants, as there are

poison ivy and oak, ticks and mosquitoes. Be

sure to wear comfortable shoes. For serious

hiking, wear hiking boots for support.

State parks have trail maps for hiking.

Beginners should stay on trails, have maps and

a compass. It is important to know where you

are in the forest and how to get back to camp.

Terry teaches classes on how to build a

“squirrel’s nest” against a tree or rock if you

can’t get back to camp at night. Basically, it is

a structure of sticks with leaves on the out-

Beth Hoven Au.D., Co-Owner/Audiologist

Allison Kelly Au.D., Co-Owner/Audiologist

Voted Best

Hearing Center

6 years in a row.

Opelika-Auburn News

Readers’ Choice Awards

side. This “nest” can be built with a simple

knife and dental floss used for roping to tie

the sticks together or weave them together. A

pack of dental floss offers 100 yards of roping

and is small to carry.

He suggests learning canoeing or boating

for fishing Then you can cook the fish you

catch. If you are around water, look for cattails.

You can cook the tubers’ roots in a discarded

beer can with water placed in the fi e.

While hiking, he looks for muscadines, wild

blackberries and blueberries. He avoids any

white berries. Dandelions and clover are safe

for making a salad.

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Terry doesn’t recommend forging for wild

mushrooms. He has seen experts on forging

get fooled and end up in the hospital.

The easiest food to prepare while camping

is canned beef stew. Simply open the can and

sit it in the fi e to heat.

For cooking, he rakes a few coals on the side

of the fi e and places two rocks or logs on each

side of the coals. Then, he places a skillet or

rack on the rocks or logs for cooking, or just

uses a flat ock as a skillet.

When cooking fish Terry puts a little butter

and brown sugar in the fish then wraps it in

bacon. It is then wrapped in foil and placed in

the fi e to cook four or fi e minutes on each side.

Two of his favorite campfi e recipes are

White Ash Bread and Green Turtles. For the

bread, he mixes pancake mix and pours it

into the fi e. When it is cooked, he brushes off

the ashes.

Green Turtles are made by hollowing out a

bell pepper and stuffing with ground beef, and

corn can be added. Put the top back on and

place it in the fi e to cook. It won’t burn all the

way through.

Food can be wrapped in foil and cooked in

the fi e. Sometimes Terry will make a “skillet”

by folding the foil over a couple of times

to form a bowl that you can sit on top of the

coals or fi e to cook.

For light skillets and equipment for camping,

he recommends military or Boy Scouts’

mess kits.

Terry also takes cotton balls, Band-Aids,

alcohol to pour on a cut, bottled water and

large trash bags. If it is raining, you can turn

trash bags upside down, cut a hole for your

head and wear it.

For those interested in camping, Terry suggests

to get out and try it. If you don’t want to

sleep in a tent, you can rent a small mobile

home. “It is better than sitting home in front

of the television,” he says. “Get the kids off the

computer and keep them active. Get out and

discover this wonderful world.”

60 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


More Savings.

More Perks.

More Fun!

Membership in the Alfa Farmers Federation helps you save at

hundreds of local businesses across Alabama and on national

brands you love. Join today and start saving!

Download the App today!

AlfaFarmers.org/perks

For a complete list of businesses, visit alfafarmers.org/perks

or visit a local Alfa office.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

61


W H A T ’ S G O I N G O N

AUBURN-OPELIKA TOURISM presents

SUMMER

62 EAST ALABAMA LIVING

MAY JUNE

Burger Battles

May 1 – June 5

Auburn-Opelika area restaurants

In honor of Burger Wars, Opelika’s annual

burger grilling competition coming up

on June 5, Auburn-Opelika Tourism has

extended the burger contest to our local

restaurants! You can put your taste buds to

the test and enjoy these competing burgers

at their respective restaurants starting

May 1 leading up to the big event. Visit

aotourism.com for a full list of participating

restaurants. Burger Battles is on!

Burger Wars

June 5, 11am-2pm

Downtown Opelika

Burger Wars is back in downtown Opelika!

The 7th annual hamburger grilling competition

is sponsored by Opelika Rotary and

Happy Hour Rotary Club! Come out and enjoy

this free event to watch local restaurants

go head-to-head in grilling the best burger

in town. There will be plenty of burgers to

sample while you are enjoying the event!

SummerNight

Downtown Art Walk

SummerNight Downtown Art Walk

June 11, 6-10pm

Photo: Andrew Lambert

Downtown Auburn

The SummerNight Downtown Art Walk is

an arts festival that transforms downtown

Auburn into its very own art district, featuring

the work of local and regional artists, live

musicians, street performers, great food, and

children’s activities. During the event, downtown

merchants and restaurants stay open

late, and people of all ages are encouraged to

take advantage of this great opportunity to

shop, dine, and relax while enjoying the arts

in downtown Auburn.

Braves Country Battle

June 11-13

Auburn Softball Complex

The Braves Country Battles is a youth baseball

tournament series that focuses on a fun

competitive experience for youth ballplayers

across Braves Country. The tournament

includes a Friday Night Welcome Ceremony

where a Braves Alumni kicks off the night

by greeting all of the participating teams

and families. Followed by an awesome skills

competition (Home Run Derby, Base Running

Competition, and Pitching Challenge.) The

following days are focused on PLAY teams

that will participate in two pool play games

on Saturday and then face off in Bracket /

Championship games Sunday.


CALENDAR of EVENTS

JULY AUG

Cheers on the Corner

July 30, 6-10pm

Downtown Auburn

The Downtown Auburn Merchants Association

invites you to cool off this summer at Cheers

on the Corner, an inaugural taste of downtown

Auburn on Friday, July 30 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Each of the stops along the way will provide

you with a savory bite representative of the fl -

vors of downtown Auburn. You will also receive

a complimentary souvenir glass.

Crafting America

June 29 – September 12

Jule Collins Smith

Museum of Fine Art

Featuring over 100 works in ceramics, fibe ,

wood, metal, glass, and more unexpected

materials, Crafting America presents a diverse

and inclusive story of American craft from the

1940s to today, highlighting the acclaimed work

of artists such as Ruth Asawa, Peter Voulkos,

Jeffrey Gibson and Sonya Clark. Auburn is the

kick-off location for this national tour. The Jule

is open Tue – Sun from 10 a.m. - 4:40 p.m. and

admission is always free.

The Gogue is back!

It’s such a good thing to

be back in the swing.

SEPT

Sportsplex Tri for Kids

August 7, 7:30am

Opelika Sportsplex

Are your kiddos feeling cooped up?

Register now for the Sportsplex Kids

Triathlon & Small Fry Tri on August

7. Children ages 6-15 are able to

compete in this annual event held at

the Opelika Sportsplex, and 5-yearolds

may participate in the Kids Tri

or Small Fry Tri as well. This event

benefits Nourish AL and the American

Cancer Society.

Chewacla Cha Cha

5K/10K Trail Race

September 12, 8-11am

Chewacla State Park

Come out and run the beautiful

rolling trails at Chewacla State Park!

Registrants will run a scenic 5k trail

or two loops for the 10k. This year,

both races will start in staggered heats

by bib number and there will be no

race-day registration. Register before

August 21 for early bird pricing and

start training!

*All events subject to

change/cancellation.

Visit goguecenter.auburn.edu

for a full list of upcoming performances.

Chewacla State Park open seven days, 8am-5pm

Fishing, hiking, biking, paddle boats, and more!

For the most up-to-date details, or to submit an event, visit AOTourism.com

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

63


M U S I C

Martha’s Trouble

By Jess M. Burkhart

Rob and Jen Slocumb (perhaps better

known collectively as ‘Martha’s Trouble’)

describe themselves as both “soulmates

and bandmates.” This husband and wife

duo has been making music (as well as creating a life

together) for years now, and the two would not have

it any other way.

The pair originally met through a chance

encounter in a Texas coffeehouse. Jen was in

the area working in the music business (primarily

tasked with booking bands) while Rob

had headed home to see his parents (after a

recent music venture fizzled out). Though

the two initially bonded over a shared love

of music, they soon realized that something

much more meaningful was unfolding

between them…

64 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


Eventually, the pair married and decided

to continue their path in music…this time,

together. As they continued to write and play,

the pair eventually built up enough of a repertoire

to start producing albums and even touring

across the country.

Their work has certainly not gone unnoticed.

Some of the most influential and well-respected

music critics of our time have paid tribute to

the duo. Additionally, the pair has been recognized

in such industry staples as: Billboard

Magazine, USA Today, and Performing Songwriter.

Their work has also been featured on national

television networks such as Lifetime and CBS.

The couple says that it is all just part of

an overall vision that is very much “still in

the works,” citing recent expansions such as

the creation of ‘The Sound Wall,’ serving as a

prime example. Several years ago, the couple

purchased a historical home (originally built

in 1907) in Downtown Opelika, quickly converting

it into ‘The Sound Wall,’ a multi-purpose

creative space featuring a state-of-the-art

recording studio, a gourmet kitchen, and artist

residence. There, the couple can host artist collectives

and intimate dinners, all with a focus

on the Arts.

More recently, the pair also founded the

‘Opelika Songwriters Festival’ which debuted

Memorial Day Weekend 2019 in downtown

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

65


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68 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


P R O F E S S I O N A L S O F E A S T A L A B A M A

Is It Time to Rethink the 60/40 Portfolio?

The Classic Equity and Bond 60/40

portfolio has provided significant

returns since the early 1980’s. However,

if one examines the economic and

market cycles of the last 100 years, there

were substantial periods when such a

portfolio would have not delivered the

returns that today’s investors expect

and may need. Is it possible that the

coronavirus will prove to be the shock to

the system that prompts a return to the

long-term cycles?

Two important investment white

papers were published this year that

explore the risks to the conventional

Equity and Bond 60/40 portfolio going

forward. One is The Allegory of the

Hawk and the Serpent by Chris Cole of

Artemis Capital. Cole explores the

cycles of long-term or secular growth

and secular change that the United

States markets have experienced in

the last 100 years. He points out that in

the periods of secular growth of 1947-

1963 and 1984-2007, the conventional

60/40 portfolio performed very well.

However, in the periods of secular

change of 1929-1946 and 1964-1983,

the conventional portfolio would have

experienced significant periods of loss

and underperformance.

There is a reasonable probability that

the coronavirus speeds up transitions

that could transform the U.S. economy

while providing significant dislocations.

The Great Depression saw a huge shift

from the American labor force working

in agriculture to working in factories,

resulting in a painful transition that

took years. Today, many jobs in retail

and restaurants could be permanently

eliminated as consumers shift more

buying to online and take-out. Factories

may shift their operations to using

more robots; drones may deliver more

packages. College students may shift

to an on-line experience that is less

expensive with the same university.

As in the Great Depression, America

may emerge from this looking different

but stronger. However, transitional

By Susan Clayton Moore, J.D.

Principal of

Moore Wealth Management, Inc.

periods like this have happened before

and often proved difficult for the

conventional 60/40 portfolio.

James Montier of GMO in March,

Dare to be Different published the other

white paper referenced above. He states

his opinions bluntly, saying in the

executive summary, “The conventional

60/40 portfolio of today is not going

to generate the kind of returns that

investors say they need. Investors must

seek to embrace the terrifying concept

of being different. As the ghosts of

many great investors past have amply

demonstrated, being different is the

path to investment success. However,

such advice falls into the simple but

not easy category to borrow Warren

Buffett’s expression.”

It’s possible that the U.S. will

no longer experience the cycles of

growth and secular change that it

has experienced in the past and that

starting in the 1980’s, things changed

forever. However, it is also possible that

we are at a critical turning point as has

happened in the past that would have

rewarded investors who reconsidered

their asset allocation strategies in light

of seminal events at the time.

Is now such a time to step back

and reassess your risk tolerance and

the current risk level of your portfolio

and its ability going forward to achieve

your objectives in the time frame

that you need? Is now a time to dare

to be different? Perhaps it is worth

considering.

In this time of coronavirus, Susan is

conducting daily market updates by

webinar. During the daily market

updates, Susan will discuss events that

are impacting the markets, sharing her

opinion and those of strategists she

respects. There will be no specific

investment recommendations as to

any security or predictions of specific

performance. She believes that we are

in unprecedented times and that sharing

information is a valuable resource to

make it through the months ahead.

If you would like to be included in the

webinar, please call 334.209.1612 or email

sarah@moorewealthmanagement.com.

Susan Clayton Moore, J.D., is a financial

advisor and wealth manager of Moore

Wealth Management, Inc., with offices

in Auburn, Montgomery, and Alexander

City, AL. Susan has under advisement

assets over $170 million (as of 3.31.2021)

in brokerage and advisory assets through

Kestra Financial and has been a financial

planner over 38 years. Contact Susan

at 334.209.1612. Email contact is

susan@moorewealthmanagement.com.

We offer confidential consultations and

second opinions about portfolios without

cost or obligation.

1

https://www.artemiscm.com/

² https://www.gmo.com/americas/research-library/memoto-the-investment-committee-dare-to-be-different/?utm_

medium=email&utm_source=episerver-campaign&utm_

campaign=article-subscription-push&utm_content=W

hitePaper&email=susan%40moorewealthmanagement.

com&fi st_name=Susan&last_name=Moore

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those

of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held

by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory

Services, LLC. This is for general information only and

is not intended to provide specific in estment advice

or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested

that you consult your financial p ofessional, attorney,

or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation.

Comments concerning the past performance are not

intended to be forward looking and should not be viewed

as an indication of future results.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC

(Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory

Services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC

(Kestra AS), an affiliate of estra IS. Kestra IS or Kestra

AS are not affiliated with Moo e Wealth Management, Inc.

https://bit.ly/KF-Disclosures

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

69


Build-A-Bride

Auburn

your custom gown

your custom gown

design experience

design experience

1188 Opelika Road,

Bodegas at Midtown, Suite A

Auburn, AL 36830

Opelika. Sadly, the 2020 Opelika Songwriters

Festival coincided with the emergence of

the global pandemic, so the event had to be

canceled.

As life slowly returns to normal, the pair is

excited to announce that the event is slated

to return and take place October 15-17, 2021

in downtown Opelika. And the duo could not

be more excited to help bring live music and

attention to the Arts back to East Alabama!

“It’s been a tough year for all of us and we are

excited to bring the festival back for all of us

to enjoy the energy of live music once again,”

said Rob.

By Appointment Only

256.310.9651

auburn@buildabride.com

For More Information visit www.marthastrouble.com

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

67


Elaine Western

Michelle Giddens

Women

of ArtBY ANN

CIPPERLY

Mary Ann Casey

Nan Cunningham

70

EAST ALABAMA LIVING


Jo Ann Williams Walker

Barbara Keel

Pam Coxwell

Whether it is an impressionist painting, old world oil masterpiece, a

vibrant watercolor, or a muted palette in nature, women artists in East

Alabama excel in creating stunning, award-winning art. Their paintings

are exhibited across the South, as well as nationally. They share their

talent and passion in classes, some on a national and international level.

For others, national chains have reproduced their art in stores across the

country, while another works with companies to design artist brushes

and the development of paint colors offered globally.

Lauren Duncan

Kathy Miller Lowe

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

71


DOORS DOWN ACE OF BASE ADELE AEROSMITH A-HA ALESSIA CARA ALEX

LARE ALICIA KEYS AMERICAN AUTHORS ANDY GRAMMER ANNA KENDRICK

VA MAX AVICII AVRIL LAVIGNE BEYONCE BON JOVI BRITNEY SPEARS

RUNO MARS BRYAN ADAMS CALVIN HARRIS CAMILA CABELLO CAPITAL

ITIES CARLY RAE JEPSEN CARRIE UNDERWOOD CHARLI XCX CHARLIE PUTH

HRISTINA AGUILERA CHRISTINA PERRI CLUB NOUVEAU COLBIE CAILLAT

OLDPLAY COUNTING CROWS CREED CUTTING CREW CYNDI LAUPER DAN +

AY DANIEL POWTER DAUGHTRY DAVID GUETTA DAYA DEAN LEWIS DEMI

VATO DEXYS MIDNIGHT RUNNERS DHT DIDO DNCE DONNA LEWIS DUA

PA ECHOSMITH ED SHEERAN EDWIN MCCAIN ELLE KING ELLIE GOULDING

NRIQUE IGLESIAS FALL OUT BOY FERGIE FIFTH HARMONY FUGEES FUN

AVIN DEGRAW GNARLS BARKLEY GOTYE GREEN DAY GWEN STEFANI

ALSEY HARRY STYLES HOOBASTANK HOWIE DAY IMAGINE DRAGONS

AMES ARTHUR JAMES BAY JAMES BLUNT JASON DERULO JASON MRAZ

ENNIFER LOPEZ JIMMY EAT WORLD JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS JOHN

GEND JOHN MAYER JOJO JONAS BROTHERS JOURNEY JULIA MICHAELS

USTIN BIEBER JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE KATY PERRY KELLY CLARKSON KESHA

HALID KID ROCK LADY A LADY GAGA LAUREN DAIGLE LAUV LEANN RIMES

EONA LEWIS LEWIS CAPALDI LIFEHOUSE LORDE LOVELYTHEBAND LUKAS

RAHAM MADONNA MAGIC! MAREN MORRIS MARIAH CAREY MAROON 5

ATCHBOX TWENTY MATT NATHANSON MEGHAN TRAINOR MICHAEL

CKSON MICHELLE BRANCH MILEY CYRUS MODERN ENGLISH MUMFORD

Now

&

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Jo Ann Williams Walker

“Thomas Wolfe wrote a book, ‘You Can’t Go Home Again,’ but

this has not been true in my case,” says Jo Ann Williams Walker, an

American impressionist painter, who moved back to Opelika from

Bay Point, Fla., a couple of years ago.

Jo Ann’s successful career started years ago when she lived in

Opelika and began designing and painting denim shirts with two

friends, Martha Ann Scott and Jan Dukes, both now deceased.

They created the shirts for their children, and then all their

friends wanted one. The idea caught national attention and took

them to every Michael’s and Hobby Lobby in America, as well as

thousands of small craft shops.

Jo Ann continued to expand and explore her talents as she

moved into the world of fine art. Some of her paintings reflect her

love of travel, while her still life paintings come to life in brilliant

colors and light.

While her paintings have received many honors, Jo Ann has also

had a successful career teaching at the national level. Since moving

back, she has given classes at the Art Haus.

Along with paintings, she has worked with major companies to

design artists’ brushes and has assisted in the development of a

new line of paints marketed globally.

These days Jo Ann can be found in her happy place, a wonderful

world of color and rainbows “in the place where magic still happens,

every single day.”

Barbara Keel

In looking back over the previous year, Barbara Keel feels

the pandemic was good for her since she painted more last

year. “Landscapes, seascapes, and scenes from pre-Covid road

trips were my focus along with commissions of dogs, cats,

tigers, and horses,” she says.

Her landscape paintings are mostly from views surrounding

where she lives and paints. These include scenes of pastoral

dirt roads and woods filled with pines, oaks, and hickory trees.

“A stream that reflects the sunlight is always a source of inspiration,

as are the cows that frequent it,” Barbara says.

“Late in the afternoon,” she adds, “as the sun sinks slowly

beyond the trees, the coyotes begin their serenade to their

world with yips and howls and a cacophony of music to my

ears. It is nothing short of awe-inspiring and a wonderful setting

for a wildlife/nature artist.”

Barbara feels blessed to paint in this peaceful setting that

gives life to many of her works as deer, hawks, possums, turkey,

and raccoons that “tiptoe across the field and woods” surrounding

her.

Currently, she is working on commissions and finished a

wolf for a wildlife contest. She is also working on her duck

stamp entry.

“I absolutely love painting,” states Barbara, “love the process

and every painting I do, I give thanks to the One who blessed

me with the ability to portray His creations.”

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

73


Elaine Western

A graduate of the School of Classical Oil Painting, Elaine

Western of Opelika focuses on still life and figu ative paintings.

Her inspiration comes from the “Old Master” style of

Renaissance and Dutch arts. She learned the techniques of Da

Vinci, Rembrandt and Vermeer under a master painter.

In Elaine’s career, her works have ranged from magazine illustrations,

portraits, and commissioned canvases to large public

murals and stage sets. She has won many awards in this country

and the Middle East where they lived when her husband worked

for an oil company, including “Best of Show” and “People’s

Choice.” Elaine is a member of The Portrait Society of America.

Recently, she won an award in a Columbus Artists’ Guild exhibition

for an oil portrait of her twin granddaughters. She has

exhibited a series of large oil paintings of horses using experimental

painting techniques.

Her recent commissioned works include an oil painting of the

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City and a large

watercolor of Paris. She also enjoys teaching art classes.

“I always strive to achieve a realistic look,” Elaine says. “In my

work, I hope to transport the viewer with me to a magical place.”

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Pam Coxwell

In the studio at her Opelika home, Pam

Coxwell is surrounded by vibrant colored

paints, brushes, photos, and an assortment

of her country scene paintings with Bible

verses that inspire her. After years displaying

her stunning artwork in festivals across the

South, Pam’s talent caught the attention of

two national chains a few years ago. Kirkland’s

and Hobby Lobby both began featuring several

of her paintings in stores nation-wide.

Pam’s collection called “Down South” features

an old church and cotton with a verse.

Most of her art features a Bible verse or hymn.

“I see my work as a ministry,” she says. “It is a

business and involves a lot of time. It can be

very hard work. It is the ministry aspect that

keeps me going and able to endure through

the hard times.”

Over the years, her art has expanded to

include prints, cards, ceramic tiles, children’s

designs, a calendar, yearly planner, and other

items.

Crafting America

June 29 – September 12 · National Tour Debut

Sabrina Gschwandtner, Hands at Work Film (detail), 2016, 16mm polyester film, cotton-wrapped polyester thread,

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Crafting America is organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art,

Bentonville, Arkansas. National tour sponsored by Windgate Foundation. This

exhibition has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National

Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. This project is

supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

75


Nan Cunningham

From still life to figu es, with animals or

dynamic abstractions, Nan Cunningham’s

award-winning style is unmistakable.

An artist and teacher, Nan’s reflections

upon the journey are the artistic records of her

deep explorations. “It’s about the process, not

the product,” she says.

The subject might be an abstraction, an

image, or a pot of hydrangeas that catches her

attention.

“It is the feeling, the emotion, the light of

a good day that shines through it,” says Nan.

“It’s magic.”

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Kathy Miller Lowe

Becoming an artist for Kathy Miller Lowe

grew out of many creative endeavors. “I have

always loved decorating and color,” says

Kathy. “I started taking art classes at a community

college while still in high school but

never considered it as a career path.”

After her boys were grown, she became

involved in Southern Crossing and began

hand- painting furniture and decided to try

painting on canvas. She took workshops from

artists whose work she admired, as she developed

her own style.

Kathy enjoys painting barns, children

playing at the beach, still life, and scenes in

Auburn and Lake Martin.

“When I meet someone that says that they

have one of my paintings I always thank them

for their support,” she says. “I’m so grateful

and humbled every time I sell a painting.”

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EAST ALABAMA LIVING

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Mary Ann Casey

A writer, painter and sculptor, Mary Ann Casey of Auburn

relies on her faith and southern roots for inspiration, as

well as her belief in the importance of family and faith that

are themes throughout her work.

Mary Ann began painting people first “I was not Catholic,”

she says, “but I have a love for Mother Mary.” She has paintings

of Madonna in all sizes.

Other art is expressed in abstract and paintings of strong

women. She feels abstract art is the essence of a story. She

also creates African masks.

She has held shows throughout the South and locally.

She enjoys going to Santa Fe to paint, as well as painting

images of the South.

Michelle Giddens

Michelle Giddens of Auburn has been creating

and teaching art for almost 20 years. “As an

artist,” she says, “I am a lifelong learner gaining

new knowledge on processes, techniques, and

strategies.”

“As a teacher,” Michelle adds, “I educate and

facilitate art experiences as a pathway to enriching

the lives of people in my community. My mission

is simply to love people through art. Wherever my

artistic journey takes me, color is the energy that

drives my creation. I believe that color is ‘music

to the eye.’”

Michelle features her art along with local artists

at her shop, The Art Studio, located in Auburn.

Lauren Duncan

Artist and author Lauren Duncan has loved creating

art for as long as she can remember. A native of Auburn,

Lauren earned her undergraduate degree from Auburn

University and her master’s in art education from the

University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Inspired by her prayers, Lauren’s large-scale canvas

paintings reflect the depth and beauty of her faith. Her

collection also includes numerous whimsical watercolor

series, Auburn University inspired art, and most recently

her book Made To Create, a creative devotional book for

young girls.

“Currently,” says Lauren, “I follow the Lord’s guidance

to paint and write while in my home studio. I am a fulltime

foster mom to three beautiful children.”

Lauren also manages The Local Market that she

founded to showcase local artists and their creations.

Space did not allow the inclusion of all the talented artists

in east Alabama. Others will be featured another time.

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to become

a physician?

The Auburn campus of the Edward Via College

of Osteopathic Medicine was created with a

clear purpose to alleviate the physician shortage

in Alabama. VCOM-Auburn constantly works to

recruit students from rural and underserved

areas. It is our hope that they will return home

to serve their community and improve health

outcomes across the state.

Visit us online to find out how we are

inspired to make a difference

in our communities and beyond.

www.vcom.edu

Please visit our website at www.vcom.edu/outcomes for a copy of our Outcomes Report.

©2021 Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. All rights reserved.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

81


82 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


A MORE

PERFECT

UNION

BY ANN CIPPERLY

THE PREAMBLE OF THE CONSTITUTION

“WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, IN ORDER

TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION, ESTABLISH JUSTICE,

INSURE DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY, PROVIDE FOR THE

COMMON DEFENSE, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE,

AND SECURE THE BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY TO OURSELVES

AND OUR POSTERITY, DO ORDAIN AND ESTABLISH THIS

CONSTITUTION FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”

With unrest and uncertainty within America,

a movement born in Lee County proposes

joining forces to celebrate what is right with our

country, to work for a better future, and to treat every

person with civility and respect. Leaders from every

state have pledged to engage in restoring faith in

America as part of the United States Trust For A More

Perfect Union, with the Chief Justice of the Alabama

Supreme Court and its Alabama Office of the Courts

as one of its working partners.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING 83


Photos by Tristan Cairns

The US Trust has chosen as its shared vision

to embrace the words “A More Perfect Union”

from the Preamble of the Constitution. In its

parts are seven elements, which are its target

opportunities. Spreading from Lee County

to across the country is a renewed concern

regarding how best to ordain our future by

creating a leading model to rally around and

to launch in a recall-to-citizenship.

Founder of the US Trust For A More Perfect

Union, M. A. “Toby” Warren, is a long time

Auburn resident. With his wife Charlotte

“Char” Cox Warren, he is deeply engaged in the

health and wellbeing of youth and veterans in

Alabama and nationally with the VA, specializing

in civility, respect and engagement of

community. Warren is a volunteer provider of

services to assist veterans and their families

with homelessness, legal services, education,

employment, housing and suicide prevention

through the Governor of Alabama’s AlaVetNet.

He has authored four books, Where Will We

Be When We Get Where We’re Going, A General’s

Spiritual Journey, A Tender Warrior, and My

Dear Boy Jack. His fifth book, 27:17, A Personal

Reflectio is being co-authored with Rev. Walter

Albritton and will be released this year.

The initiative for “A More Perfect Union”

began with LTG Hal Moore mentoring Warren

as they traveled, studied and wrote together.

For years, Warren listened, learned, and acted

upon Moore’s vision for the America he loved

and served. Near the end of life, Moore asked

Warren to promise to “drive on” for veterans,

youth and the nation by “creating the future.”

In January 2018, Warren began to fulfill the

promise to Moore. By the end of the month, he

had drafted the Declaration For A More Perfect

Union honoring the Preamble.

In the early months of 2018, Warren asked

LTG Ron Burgess of Auburn to “walk in Moore’s

boots” in representing love of nation, the fl g

and the Preamble. Burgess agreed.

An important matter to his work was Warren

learning that two signers to the Declaration of

Independence are in the lineage of his wife’s

family. Thomas McKean of Delaware, former

governor of Pennsylvania and a delegate

to the Continental Congress, and Frances

Hopkinson of New Jersey who designed the

two early versions of the American fl g, both

married daughters of General James Cox, a

family line of direct descendants.

On National Constitution Day, September

17, 2020, the Declaration was notarized,

stamped and sealed in Opelika at MG Perry

Smith’s office and witnessed by Rev/Dr.

Clifford Jones of Opelika.

Along with Warren and Dr. Jones, the first

signers were David Scott and Dora James, both

from Opelika. Other signers included Chief

Justice Tom Parker of the Alabama Supreme

Court from Montgomery, Rear Admiral Kent

Davis from Montgomery, Chancellor Jack

Hawkins of the Troy University System, John Ed

Mathison of Montgomery, and LTG Ron Burgess,

Executive Vice President of Auburn University.

“In presentation to America in 2021, the

US Trust comes not to provoke, but to fulfill

the 1787 ordained Constitution,” states Chief

Justice Tom Parker. “This most important

movement for A More Perfect Union is timely,

powerful and needed. Honoring and interpreting

the law is but one aspect, but is critical to

our nation’s well-being. There is life to this

most innovative undertaking.”

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EAST ALABAMA LIVING

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To date, over 190 leaders from across America

have signed the Declaration for A More Perfect

Union to ordain and sustain the dreams, lives,

and majesty embodied in the Constitution and

its Preamble. The signers are a national body

of diverse people in race, religion, politics, age,

gender, and dreams, from 8 years old to 94 years

in age. All are citizens of America.

Each is a believer in America’s future, but concerned

by our nation’s unrest with a rising concern

regarding love of country and each other.

They have joined forces through signatures

and engagement to advance “A More Perfect

Union” with many working partners to become

engaged in restoring renewed faith in America.

“In framing the Preamble, individually, each

element represents a critical study, dialogue

and action plan. Collectively, they are one for A

More Perfect Union,” states Warren. “With the

Preamble as the over-arching model for citizenship,

civility, character, ethics and servant

leadership, we the people have risen to address

and to serve the best of America’s dreams.

“The US Trust pledges to advance a needed

emphasis for A More Perfect Union,” adds

Warren. “To this end, we shall honor our

Constitution in these most important pursuits

and practices to promote the general

welfare and to secure the blessings of liberty

to ourselves and our posterity.”

86 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


According to Warren, the fi e-year master

strategy includes the engagement of signers

for the forthcoming National Joint Blue-Ribbon

Commission for A More Perfect Union, with

seven planned Preamble working cohorts.

It also includes the national general assembly

and multiple partners engaged as a unified

system to make a collective impact from

across America by creating the future.

“It serves as a working model to wisely

assess where America is as a nation on behalf

of its citizens,” he adds, “and what the needs

are for our nation to advance and unify.”

“The more we multiply, we seem to divide,”

says Dr. Clifford E. Jones. “We have not come

to provoke, but to fulfill We have not come to

critique the past, but to create the future. We

have not come to question the Constitution,

but to consecrate it. This is a God-sized

assignment. The time is now.”

“The US Trust has divided the Preamble

into its working parts,” states Warren, “with

each part consisting of a research study, a

decision-making body, and an action plan to

be its blueprint to ordain a better life for all.”

This year on the anniversary of the

Constitution, Sept. 13-17, “A More Perfect

Union Week for the General Welfare of the

People” will be celebrated. Each of the fi e

days is dedicated toward becoming more perfect

as one nation.

The Honorable James Leach, former chairman

of the National Endowment of the

Humanities states, “There is a hunger in our

nation for moral guidance with principles

and values which are to be sustained through

tough times. There is no greater need and

time for domestic tranquility to be practiced.”

“There is no time better than today to raise

the bar on civility and respect in our families,

communities and on our campuses,” says LTG

Ron Burgess.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

87


Rear Adm. Kent Davis, an attorney and

commissioner of the Alabama Department of

Veterans Affairs states, “Every person who has

served in the military has taken an oath to the

Constitution. To bring together our veterans,

the law, and humanities, embodying character,

civility and ethics, is a brilliant stroke our

nation desperately needs.”

“The Constitution should not be foremost

for discussion, but decision,” states Warren.

“America has weathered many desperate

periods in history, none more than 2020. Our

nation is filled with such accounts. Our story is

told with them. Our lives are inspired by them.

“Over the next fi e years there must be a

greater hope and trust that the United States of

America will indeed work with intent to become

‘A More Perfect Union’ for its 250th anniversary.

“This ordained pursuit has been given

its rightful place to be established Sept. 17,

2021 and beyond to 2026,” adds Warren. “The

Preamble is our preferred focus to create the

future and to build upon its key word ‘ordain.’

It does not eliminate our common sense; it

consecrates it. ‘Operation Ordain’ shall boldly

be forthcoming in creating the future.”

“There is great trust in our work and in

each other,” says Dr. Jones. “Even greater is

our love of neighbor. We need to lay our differences

aside. We all need someone to love

us where we are!”

Chief Justice Parker adds, “With the United

States Trust for A More Perfect Union as a

working and breathing model for an increased

understanding of the law, liberty, character,

and freedom, we rest our case. Case affirmed ”

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This could become

your favorite place to

pick up East Alabama

Living magazine

You can grab your complimentary copy of East

Alabama Living in numerous locations around

East Alabama. But did you know you can have it

delivered right to your home?

Four issues per year can be delivered to you for just

$17—which covers the cost of shipping and handling.

Pay $29 for eight issues over two years.

A subscription to East Alabama Living is also the

perfect gift for friends and loved ones who would

enjoy a deeper connection to our community—

whether they live here or somewhere else.

For more information call 334.826.2929

To subscribe, visit eastalabamaliving.com

EAST ALABAMA LIVING 89


B O O K R E V I E W

Beautifully Broken

By Kate Asbury Larkin

Just months into their marriage, Josh and Paige Wetzel

faced challenges that were almost too great to overcome.

But they did. You already know Josh Wetzel. He is a local

hero whose story is widely known. He and his wife, Paige,

have been featured twice in East Alabama Living magazine.

Everything seemed to be coming together, even in the midst of

tragedy. But now, Paige and Josh have released their new book,

Beautifully Broken, that tells their story in a powerful way.

On May 31, 2012, SPC. Josh was carrying

a metal detector while leading his troops

through a mission to search for land mines

in Kandahar, Afghanistan. This was a task

Josh had mastered, successfully finding 30

active IEDs (improvised explosive devices)

over the six weeks he had been at the front of

the group. Now, as the day was ending, Josh’s

platoon was getting ready to move through a

field bordered by a mud wall. Josh carefully

cleared the area near an opening in the wall,

knowing it was a prominent location for IEDs

to be buried. With no signal from the detector,

Josh stepped over the wall. He would end the

mission—and his Army career—at 30-1.

As soon as his foot touched down, a nonmetallic

IED blasted Josh six feet in the air,

immediately severing both legs. As soon as he

hit the ground, he knew his legs were gone.

“I knew I was hurt bad, but at that point,

I really wasn’t in pain,” Josh said. “My medic

was my best friend. He was a nervous type

and I was his first major injury, so I was trying

to calm him down and assure him I was going

to be okay. I asked him if he saw that sick flip

I did—and he laughed.”

Josh was airlifted to a nearby hospital, then

fl wn to Germany before arriving at Walter

Reed Military Hospital in Washington, D.C.

fi e days later. There, Paige, his wife of just 17

months, was waiting for him. In addition to

the loss of both legs, the list of injuries she

had been given included a broken neck, broken

arms and severe brain trauma.

“When I final y got to see Josh and saw

things weren’t as bad as I had been told, the

loss of legs didn’t seem like such a big deal,”

Paige said. “As soon as Josh saw me, he started

crying and apologizing. When I asked him

what he was apologizing for, he said ‘for losing

his legs.’ I told him they weren’t really

‘lost’ because we knew where they were, we

just weren’t going back to get them.”

That kind of love and support was what

would get the couple through the next two

years of recovery and rehab. There were multiple

surgeries, excruciatingly painful recoveries

and rehab sessions. Josh and Paige’s lives

had been drastically changed forever.

“Not only were we dealing with all of Josh’s

injuries and recovery, but we were newlyweds

who all of a sudden were faced with so much

change and we were literally living in a hospital

room 24/7,” Paige said. “All of that took a

toll on our marriage. We lost our focus.”

Almost 18 months after Josh’s injury, doctors

began talking about releasing him from

Walter Reed. Josh was going to be medically

discharged from the Army and Paige had given

up her job in Washington (where Josh was stationed

before being deployed). And, they had a

new baby. What was next? Where would they

go? What would they do? They were at odds.

Did they even want to stay together?

“It was such a difficult time for us in so

many ways,” Paige said. “We sought counseling

and by the time we were released from Walter

Reed, things were better. At least for a while.”

The couple took a leap of faith and moved

to Auburn in January 2014. Much of their decision

was based on the tremendous support

they had received from the Auburn Family following

the accident. Auburn fans all over the

country had rallied around the young couple.

90 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


“I had always been a huge Auburn fan and

the support we received from the Auburn

Family was really overwhelming,” Josh said. “It

absolutely was a deciding factor in wanting to

move to Auburn. I also dreamed of getting an

Auburn degree, but I had flunked out of two

colleges already, so I was sure the chances of

even getting admitted to Auburn were slim,

much less getting a degree.”

But, through a series of circumstances, Josh

was accepted, enrolled in Auburn University

in fall 2014 and, brain trauma and all, graduated

with a marketing degree in May 2016.

Everything happened so seamlessly—or so

it seemed—especially from the outside looking

in. Soldier survives explosion, becomes a

national hero, rehabs in front of thousands of

followers on Facebook and emerges from his

tragedy with a wife, a new baby and a new life

in his new hometown of Auburn.

However, things aren’t always as they seem.

The fact of the matter was, Josh and Paige’s

marriage was falling apart. Their lives were

in chaos. Living together in a small hospital

room for almost two years had forced them

into a situation they were not prepared for,

and it took its toll. The pain and agony Josh

endured after the explosion were frustrating.

In addition to multiple surgeries, Josh had

to learn to walk again. He had to regain his

independence. The new responsibilities Paige

was handed in taking care of her doubleamputee

husband were heavy. The devastation

of realizing Josh’s dream of being a

soldier was over was depressing. The couple

was ill-equipped to handle all life was throwing

at them. They also had a new baby that

added additional stress. Their marriage began

to unravel. They ignored each other, just going

through the motions of day-to-day life. They

rarely had relevant conversations with each

other and when they did, their words were short,

curt and unloving. They contemplated divorce.

“We lived in a constant tension of trying to

convince ourselves that everything was good

while carrying the weight of combat trauma

that we never talked about,” Paige said. “No

job, family growth, degree, or amount of

money can erase survivor’s guilt, sorrow and

the feeling of failure in combat. Our behaviors

revolved around numbing the pain and getting

through the day which made us only care

about our individual selves.”

After being released from Walter Reed,

Josh and Paige were convinced that Josh was

“healed” and everything was supposed to be

okay. So when combat trauma came flooding

into their lives almost three years after Josh’s

retirement, the couple was lost, but they pressured

themselves to keep pretending everything

was good. At rock bottom, the couple

found freedom from the shame by treating it

like Josh’s initial wounds: finding the source

of the pain and treating it every day.

Josh and Paige fought through, choosing

not to give up on their marriage and their

daughter. Although the couple faced obstacles

most marriages will never endure, the

fight they fought on the home front and the

lessons they learned are now part of a powerful

book. Josh and Paige each kept a journal

while Josh was deployed and the book shares

their intimate thoughts and raw emotions in

addition to sharing the lessons they learned

through Josh’s injury and battle to hold their

family together.

Beautifully Broken is a story birthed out of

the conviction of truth-telling about postcombat

families and the challenges they face

years after their time of service.

“Finding community and opening up to

other veterans with combat trauma not only

created purpose behind the pain, but a place

where men and women of the military could

affirm each other in who they were created to

be,” Paige said.

Beautifully Broken will inspire and enlighten

both couples and singles. The book can be

ordered through Amazon.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

91


C O M M U N I T Y

FACES of EAST ALABAMA

Evening of Remembrance,

Healing and Hope

On March 24, 2021, East Alabama Medical

Center held a service titled “Evening of

Remembrance, Healing and Hope” to mark the

one-year anniversary of COVID-19 reaching

East Alabama. The evening included a candlelight

vigil to remember those who passed and

to acknowledge those who survived.

92 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


THE BEST

IS ALWAYS IN

DEMAND.

YellaWood ® brand pressure treated pine stands unrivaled in providing

the best available protection against rot, fungal decay and termite

attack. Enjoy the uncompromising beauty of a backyard made with

high quality natural wood products from YellaWood ® brand pressure

treaded pine. Visit yellawood.com for more information.

®

YellaWood ® brand pressure treated products are treated with preservatives (the “Preservatives”) and preservative methods, and technologies of unrelated third parties. For details regarding the Preservatives, methods, and technologies used by Great Southern Wood Preserving, Incorporated, see www.yellawood.com/preservative or

write us at P.O. Box 610, Abbeville, AL 36310. Ask dealer for warranty details. For warranty or for important handling and other information concerning our products including the appropriate Safety Data Sheet (SDS), please visit us at www.yellawood.com/warranties or write us at P.O. Box 610, Abbeville, AL 36310. YellaWood ® and

the yellow tag are federally registered trademarks of Great Southern Wood Preserving, Incorporated. All other marks are trademarks of their respective owners and are used with their permission.

EAST ALABAMA LIVING

93


360 Destinations Kick Off arty

with Three Sixty Real Estate

Three Sixty {real estate} knows how to throw

a party, and this kick off celebration for their

new vacation rental management venture,

360 Destinations, was no exception! Hosted

at the beautiful home (and available rental!)

of Scoop and Karla Langston, fun was had by

all with a dining experience by Chef Miguel

Figueroa of Grove Station and wine provided

by the Dining Winos. Both companies will be

offering exclusive packages for renters who

book through 360 Destinations. Photos provided

by Three Sixty {real estate}.

94 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


EAST ALABAMA LIVING

95


CityFest

The City of Auburn hosted the 24th annual

CityFest on April 25, 2021 at Keisel Park.

CityFest boasted live music, children’s activities,

arts and crafts vendors as well as a host of

food vendors. CityFest is held annually on the

last Saturday in April.

Photos by John Wild

96 EAST ALABAMA LIVING


BUILDING

SUPPLY STORE


Your perfect spot awaits. Come walk the final

waterfront homesites soon to be released in The Willows

and find your piece of the Lake Martin lifestyle. Enjoy a

grand gatehouse entry, gentle topography, ample shoreline,

impressive views, and proximity to the crown jewel of Lake

Martin—Willow Point Golf & Country Club.

R ussellLands.com

256.215.7011 | L ake Martin, Alabama

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