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Monday, July 1, 2013

Faces of Lake Wedowee: And Then There Was That

There is an eclectic cast of characters that call Lake Wedowee home. Each of them have his or her own story to tell and in the coming issues we will strive to tell our readers how they have come to call Lake Wedowee home.

Faces of Wedowee
by Amanda Causey


There is an eclectic cast of characters that call Lake Wedowee home. Each of them have his or her own story to tell and in the coming issues we will strive to tell our readers how they have come to call Lake Wedowee home.
 
With a name like his, nicknames are welcome. Through the years, Lavoy Caldwell has been known as Boots, Leroy, Little Boy, (one half of ) LaVeisel and L.A. Voy to name a few. But in 2003, with the birth of his first grandchild, he came to be known simply as PaPa. 

Caldwell grew up in Clay County and has spent the majority of his soon to be 60 years as a Randolph County resident. He played on the river as a child, explored the lake with his daughters and in 2004 became a Lake Wedowee property owner with his wife Leisel. 

“He tells people all the time that he drank from the Tallapoosa River as a boy and he would still do it today,” Kelly (his middle daughter) said. 

Papa and Leisel began developing Sunset Point as an affordable alternative to the ever escalating prices on Lake Wedowee.
“Sunset Point was my vision,” Leisel said. “But, Lavoy made it happen.”

As the neighborhood grew, more and more people began calling Caldwell PaPa. 

“It started with our good friend Alicia Hernandez,” Leisel said. “She started calling him PaPa and then her kids did… Pretty soon the whole neighborhood was calling him PaPa, and not just our grandsons.”

Now known to the Lake Wedowee area as PaPa Caldwell thanks to his late in life career change as a radio personality for Alabama 100.7, he is truly a character to know around here. 

He spends his days as one third of the Morning Madness Crew but after his day job is over, you can more than likely find him at Wedowee Building Supplies harassing the boys and telling Joe ROLL TIDE. 

When he is not with Joe and the Boys or on the radio, he can be found selling advertising for Lake Wedowee Life or out delivering magazines. 

“He truly does a little bit of everything,” Kelly said. “He seems to know everyone and if he meets a stranger it doesn’t take long for that label to fall off.
 “He can  work a room better than most politicians.”
 
Being the larger than life personality, that Caldwell is, people feel they know him.
 
“He has always been this way,” Leisel said. “But with his new career, he is finally getting to put his passion to good use. 

“Our girls didn’t always appreciate it growing up, but I think they all get a kick out of it now.”
Jenny and Mary Lee both live out of town but listen regularly to their father’s morning show and participate in the Classic Country Showdown that he plays with Kevin Moon. 

“Luke and Jax (their grandsons) love listening to their PaPa on the radio,” Leisel said. “We have learned that family stories will be shared to the listeners, but thankfully they haven’t been too embarrassing yet.”

As the listening audience continues to grow, PaPa’s celebrity status does as well. Recently at Lake Wedowee Summer Jam he was asked for his autograph by one of his younger listeners. 

“That’s just special,” he said at the time as he was posing for photos with the fan.


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