Summer 2013 Contents

Welcome to Lookout Alabama

Welcome to Lookout Alabama

Magazine highlights one of the South’s most wondrous regions Whether you are a subscriber to this publication, have been gifted with a complimentary issue or are visiting the Lookout Mountain region and picked up a copy from a local tourist spot, we would like to say hello and introduce ourselves.  

Where Work is Play

Where Work is Play

PlayCore builds outdoor recreation equipment that brings smiles to kids everywhere by RANDY GRIDER THE PHILOSOPHY OF PLAYCORE IS SIMPLE – “IF YOU CAN dream it, we can make it.” Much to the delight of children across the country and around the world, PlayCore continues to build upon a proud reputation for manufacturing safe, creative,
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Cook Castle

Cook Castle

The home of Jeff and Lisa Cook offers unique Castle setting for special events by CAROLYN MASON Rising from a forest clearing on the western edge of Lookout Mountain in Fort Payne, Ala., is a stone  castle that looks as if it were dropped from the pages of medieval fairy tale. Built in 1984 by
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The Homestead

The Homestead

The Hunt For Home Family trades Southwest living for mountain views and downhome ties in Wills Valley. story by ELIZABETH MANNING | photos by AMIE MARTIN A JOB PROMOTION LURED DOUG AND CARA HOFFMAN TO Fort Payne, Ala., from Texas, seven years ago, but the region’s outdoor attractions and bonds they formed with the community
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Glass Act

Glass Act

Cal Breed of Orbix Hot Glass finds inspiration for his breathtaking artwork in mountain setting by OLIVIA GRIDER CAL BREED MOVES THROUGH HIS STUDIO ATOP Lookout Mountain with a quiet grace and fluidity that mirrors the clean, curving lines of the glass artwork he creates there. On a crisp fall morning, a diverse gathering of
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A Step Back in Time

A Step Back in Time

The Mentone Springs Hotel combines old-fashioned style with updated luxury for a relaxing getaway. by BRETT BRALLEY JAILLET | Photos by Brett Bralley Jaillet and James Jaillet IN A TINY MOUNTAIN TOWN SITS THE MENTONE SPRINGS Hotel, a happy marriage of old-time, rustic charm and luxurious comfort. The former goes beyond the classic, Victorian-style facade
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Lake Winnepesaukah

Lake Winnepesaukah

Unique amusement park offers small-town hospitality and plenty to do, whether you’re 1 or 81 by OLIVIA GRIDER PEOPLE HAVE BEEN COMING TO LAKE WINNEPESAUKAH for fun and recreation since… well, longer than anyone really knows. Native Americans fashioned the first lake by building an earthen dam around several springs. In 1924, Carl O. Dixon,
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Adventure with Purpose

Adventure with Purpose

One World Adventure Company mixes outdoor exploration with a mission to improve lives and protect the environment. by N. L. MCANELLY PEOPLE SOMETIMES GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO GET others to see their perspective. Some plant political signs in their yards or write stacks of letters to senators. Others decide to live as an example
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Tying the Knot

Tying the Knot

Wills Creek Vineyards offers couples and their families an idyllic location for a weekend celebration. by BRETT BRALLEY JAILLET | Photos of Chris and Kendra Fitzgerald’s wedding at Wills Creek Vineyards by Southern Bliss Photography Janie Coppey and her husband, Jahn, saw the beginnings of their winery-wedding business back in 1996, when they planted their
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Local Treasures

Local Treasures

The Lookout Mountain area is the home or inspiration of countless artists and craftspeople. It also hosts shops, galleries and antique stores offering unique and unusual items. Here’s a small sampling of what you can find.   EMPIRE DRESSER Mathew Seepe hand finished this late-19th-century-era empire dresser with tinted chalk paint and a coat of
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Life on Lookout Mountain

Life on Lookout Mountain

text and photography by JOHN DERSHAM LIKE MANY OTHERS, MY WIFE KYLE AND I BEGAN COMING to Mentone and surrounding areas on Lookout Mountain as tourists. We lived in Hoover, Ala., and as our kids grew up and we rarely saw them on weekends we began coming to this beautiful mountain. I already had nearly
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Playing to the Crowd

Playing to the Crowd

The B Sharp Band takes audiences on a nostalgic trip to yesteryear. by RANDY GRIDER THE B SHARP BAND’S FOUR members are already setting up their equipment at 6 p.m., a full three hours before they officially kick off tonight’s show. It’s mid-January and the cool night helps make the task of unloading instruments, amps,
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Mentone’s Creative Outlet

Mentone’s Creative Outlet

Ray and Sandra Padgett have given Mentone and its many artists something they’ve said was needed for a long while – quality showcasing of the area’s creative minds. Story and photos by James Jaillet ONE OF THE LAST SHOPS HEADING OUT OF MENTONE ON Alabama Highway 117 toward the Georgia line proudly boasts a long,
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Remembering the Trail of Tears

Remembering the Trail of Tears

A pivotal chapter in the nation’s past played out in northeast Alabama, leaving lasting marks on the region. Text and photos by RANDY GRIDER LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN AND ITS SURROUNDING VALLEYS have a long, rich heritage filled with tragedy and triumph – bolstered by mankind’s biases, frailties and, ultimately, its determined spirit. This land has been
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A Kid’s View of Noccalula Falls

A Kid’s View of Noccalula Falls

Why this park isn’t just for grown-ups by CADEN GRIDER, AGE 10 | Photos by Olivia Grider THE LEGEND OF NOCCALULA IS ONLY PART OF THE Noccalula Falls experience. It’s also a kid’s paradise. I love to explore the majestic falls – it makes me feel free. One of my favorite things to do is
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The South’s Grand Canyon

The South’s Grand Canyon

One of the world’s most unusual geographic formations is emerging as an epicenter for a wealth of recreational opportunities. BY OLIVIA GRIDER A 12-mile-long, three-quarter-mile-wide, 600-foot deep canyon that looks like it was plucked from the desert mountain West and plunged into the deep South, tearing an abrupt, rocky gash through dense forest, doesn’t seem
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Welcome to your Place

Welcome to your Place

Café 100 strives to make customers feel like they have a piece of the pie. by OLIVIA GRIDER | photos by STEVEN STIEFEL Café 100 has been open less than two years, but owner Wes Higgins knows his loyal customer base so well he can predict what many of people who come through the door
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Folklore: The Totem

Folklore: The Totem

BY NATALIE CONE “The Totem” is the winner of the Lookout Alabama-SELTI Writing Contest, sponsored by Lookout Alabama, the Southeastern Literary Tourism Initiative, DeKalb Tourism and Greater Gadsden Area Tourism. The competition, which challenged writers to compose fictional short stories set in real places in Alabama’s Lookout Mountain region, was the nation’s second tourism-fiction contest
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Chatting with Jeff Cook

Chatting with Jeff Cook

Amid 40th anniversary Alabama reunion tour, band’s famed guitar player sits down with Lookout Alabama BY RANDY GRIDER We can talk or we can fish.” That was Jeff Cook’s simple response when I requested a sit-down interview with him a couple days after Christmas, while visiting briefly at his 15,000-square-foot castle atop Lookout Mountain. Knowing
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