Charlie's Treasure's digs into Lake Wedowee Life Magazine's tenth anniversary
Yep, 10 years ago Lake Wedowee Life started.
We advertised in the first one because the Caldwells asked us to do it. They had a vision and we saw the need. It was a couple of issues later that Kelly had the idea for Charley’s Treasures. I doubt most people know why my articles are called Charley’s
Treasures. Its’ definitely not because my stories are treasures.
It started when Kelly asked me (or maybe I asked her) to write about houses on the lake that have unique qualities. Stuff like outdoor fireplaces and pits and the repurposing of old materials to make a different look. The “Treasures” were the houses I described. But about every time I sent her an article on a house, I would send her one of my goofy stories just for fun. You should see some of the ones she didn’t print (wise decision). But one day she called me and said she was going with the alternate story. I’m not sure which one it was, maybe Possum Mud, but it is suffice to say that everything changed at that point and I couldn’t be happier about it. I don’t mind that all the other articles are informative and full of useful tips and wisdom, where mine are, well, not. I’m just happy that there’s enough people that like my ramblings enough to give Kelly the incentive and insanity to let me write again.
That is my pay as well as most of the contributors in the magazine and that, to me, is good. We love the magazine and the opportunity to express ourselves. I have always wanted to do something like this but this has been the opportunity I’ve never been afforded and for that, I am eternally grateful to the Caldwell family who have been friends of ours for as long as I can remember. But then again, I can’t remember what or if I ate breakfast this morning.
Over the last ten years, we have all had our challenges, both emotionally, physically and financially. But we have persevered. We, as a business, have become very close to our fellow businesses. We cried on each other’s shoulders and gave each other the strength to keep going, even when the odds were against us and were advised to quit by those that know better. Even our competitors have become friends. These things would not have happened if it weren’t for us all suffering together with the economy and the devastation it caused. I’ve lost good friends and neighbors to it, either by death or financial ruin.
Our business was reeled back about ten years. But we all supported each other and did what had to be done and are here today, stronger than before, because of it. I imagine the survivors of the great depression would have a similar remembrance.
Lake Wedowee Life has been a beacon for a lot of us. It has been a source of normalcy. Everything we saw was doom and gloom. On TV, the radio, the papers and the talk amongst the people. Lake Wedowee Life didn’t participate in that. When you opened the pages, you never saw how bad things were, even when the magazine itself, I’m sure, was struggling. What you saw were recipes and great places to visit or fish on the lake. It was the lighter side when we all needed to see some light.
I am appreciative of them for that as we all should be. I hope that I’ll always be a contributor to the magazine and I hope that all of you will see it as I do and keep all the issues you collect on the coffee table with it open to the Norton's Flooring ad. What? Surely you didn’t think I wouldn’t have at least one plug in here!
Charley Norton is the co-owner of Norton’s Flooring with his
brother Tom. His mom and dad started the company in 1976.
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