Alabama Living October 2013
OCTOBER 2013 Start your engines! Hunting with manâ€™s best friend Southern Occasions CO O K B O O K Great for the holidays! Venison Roast with Cajun Marinade 1 6 to 8-pound hindquarter of deer 1 16-ounce jar Creole Garlic Marinade 1 can beef consommĂŠ 1 can water Salt and pepper to taste Coarsely chopped carrots, onions and potatoes, optional Southern Occasions CO O K B O O K Wash and dry meat. Trim unwanted fat. Pour consommĂŠ and water in large roasting pan. Inject marinade into meat, using all liquid. Bake at 450 degrees about 30-45 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook about 3 hours until tender. Add vegetables, if used, last 30 minutes of cooking. Alice Mitchell, Central Alabama EC VOL. 66 NO. 10 OCTOBER 2013 LIVING ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. AREA cooperative member subscriptions are $3 a year; non-member subscriptions, $6. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014. 11 Lifesaving dot ALABAMA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION Placing a small yellow dot on your car’s rear windshield provides potentially lifesaving information to emergency responders. AREA PRESIDENT Fred Braswell EDITOR Lenore Vickrey MANAGING EDITOR Melissa Henninger CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mark Stephenson ART DIRECTOR Michael Cornelison ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Adam Freeman ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Brooke Davis RECIPE EDITOR Mary Tyler Spivey ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES: 16 Heavenly park Cheaha State Park in the foothills of the Appalachians is the state’s oldest continually operating park and home to the state’s highest point. Race day at Talladega wakens the world-famous track to life ﬁve times each year, two this month, as 100,000 fans converge on the speedway. PHOTO: Courtesy Talladega Superspeedway 24 Sacred ground The world’s only cemetery dedicated to faithful coon dogs is in Colbert County, where the epitaphs on the headstones tell personal stories. 340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.areapower.coop NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE: DEPARTMENTS 9 10 26 28 30 34 40 National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 www.nationalcountrymarket.com www.alabamaliving.coop USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311 Spotlight Power Pack Alabama Outdoors Worth the Drive Alabama Gardens Cook of the Month Safe at Home Printed in America from American materials Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 3 Wildlife and the Outdoors Releasing Captive-reared Mallards A Good Idea for Waterfowl Conservation? By Jud Easterwood, Wildlife Biologist, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries MALLARD PAIR PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIA CLARK Among the many wonderful things about the approach of fall is the anticipation of migratory waterfowl arriving in the wetlands and waterways across Alabama. is anticipation brings the eager preparation of duck boats, blinds, decoys, duck calls and shotguns. When preparations are complete, all thoughts turn to opening morning of duck season when one can witness the slow sunrise and the skies peppered with flying waterfowl. As hunters hunker down in their favorite “honey hole,” con dence is high that a few of those ducks will join them. Sometimes the ducks come and sometimes they don’t, but either way, the emotions experienced by every waterfowler on opening morning remain strong and vibrant just know- ing the possibility is there. Although all waterfowlers will agree that we don’t see the numbers of mallards in Alabama that we once did, most agree that the healthy populations of gadwall, wood ducks and green-winged teal make mornings in the duck blind more than worthwhile. On the other hand, some long for the days of mallard limits and believe 6 OCTOBER 2013 www.alabamaliving.coop Alabama Living there is a solution to the “problem” through the release of captive-reared mallards into the wild. is involves ordering day-old ducklings from a hatchery and raising them in large ponds enclosed with fencing and covered in netting to protect them from avian predators. ese ducklings are fed a high-protein diet to promote fast growth and then released future shooting opportunities once they are capable of ight. Studies have found that roughly 70 percent of pen-raised mallards die before hunting season begins, primarily due to the ducks’ inability to avoid natural predators and nutritional de ciency. However, some of these ducks survive to intermix with wild populations of migratory ducks and eventually migrate to di erent states and provinces within the flyway. While many view this as a positive, there are a number of concerns being evaluated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) that may a ect the legality of captive-reared mallard releases in the future. e primary concern shared by USFWS, state wildlife agencies, and the yway councils is the risk associated with the exposure of wild populations of waterfowl to several diseases and parasites commonly found in birds when they are held in large numbers in close proximity. Wildlife disease outbreaks such as duck virus enteritis, duck plague and avian cholera are most commonly found in populations in large groups (overcrowded) or conned animals and illustrate the serious risk associated with such activities. Another concern is the risk of genetic mixing and hybridization with wild populations of ducks. While the long-term e ects are di cult to measure, pairing and interbreeding of captive-reared mallards with wild mallards, black ducks, and mottled ducks has been documented. Small, isolated non-migratory populations, such as mottled ducks, seem to be the most at risk, although local breeding populations of black ducks and wild mallards in the eastern United States are also at risk for hybridization. Through recent studies, researchers have determined that the genetic di erentiation between mallards and black ducks has declined signi cantly over the past century and this is strongly believed to be the result of hybridization. Considering that the stock of captive-reared mallards has been bred for aggressive and successful reproduction, the idea that a more aggressive breeding mallard is being introduced into the wild population should not be trivialized. Based upon a 2001-02 review, the USFWS Division of Migratory Bird Management concluded that there is a greater potential for violations of federal waterfowl hunting regulations on shooting preserves where releasing and shooting captive-reared mallards is a routine practice. Concerns involving captive-reared mallards being used as “live decoys” – e.g., the ducks raised on these preserves are less afraid of people, o en return to the ponds immediately a er ushing, and are less concerned with hunters moving around in the blind, etc. – is a concern of wildlife law enforcement agencies. Also, concerns related to baiting, shooting over the limit, and the take of wild ducks out of season were addressed as potential law enforcement issues linked with release of captive-reared mallards on shooting preserves. In addition to disease risks, genetic e ects and enforcement issues, another aspect of large-scale captivereared mallard releases is the effect on waterfowl management programs. Programs that are designed to track the movement, survival, and harvest rates of mallard populations can be a ected in release areas. When aerial waterfowl inventories are conducted, counting large numbers of captivereared mallards and including them into the mid-winter waterfowl surveys confounds data that are used to guide management decisions. Since these biases are entered into international waterfowl databases and band recovery data indicate some of these birds are being recovered in Canada, the release of captive-reared mallards has impacts far beyond localized areas. While at rst glance the release of captive-reared mallards may appear to increase local populations and provide additional hunting opportunities for a small group of hunters, the question must be addressed as to whether this perceived bene t is worth the risk to the entire wild migrating population of waterfowl. While there is disagreement about the risk versus the reward regarding captive-reared mallard releases, all waterfowlers will agree that the anticipation of opening day is a tradition that should not be risked. For more information, contact Jud Easterwood, Wildlife Biologist, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, 21453 Harris Station Road, Tanner, AL 35671; phone 256353-2634. e Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through ve divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR visit www.outdooralabama.com. Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 7 By Erica Brown Above, Claira Beth Brown A girl and her dog On August 2, 2009, my husband Shannon and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. Claira Beth Brown was born in Gadsden on a Sunday morning, and she seemed to be as happy and healthy as any other little newborn. With big blue eyes, a perfect olive complexion, and little pink bow in her hair from the nursery, she smiled four hours a er she was born, letting all of their friends and family experience her uplifting side from the very start. At one month, she seemed to be progressing like a typical baby, but she was crying a little more than usual. inking it was gas problems, which is what new mothers would guess, we switched her formula to help satisfy her. That only lasted a little while. At two months of age, the crying seemed to be getting better, so I assumed it was all going to be OK. At three months, she still couldnâ€™t grasp objects or hold her head up well. She would startle easily at the sounds of the ice maker and pots and pans. She would be content just staring at the ceiling as she sat in her swing. With my gut telling me something was not right, I brought up the concern to her pediatrician, but was told she was ne. At six months of age, she still could not sit by herself or roll over, she made no babbling noises, could not hold her head without it opping over, and did not reach for objects. She was not reaching the same milestones as her peers. I was growing increas- Above, Soliel, Clairaâ€™s new service dog. Inset, Claira and Soliel. 6 OCTOBER 2013 www.alabamaliving.coop Alabama Living Above, the August 2013 class of 4 Paws for Ability. ingly worried, and again mentioned it to her pediatrician. Again I was told Claira was ne. By the time she reached 1 year old, she still could not sit by herself without falling over. At her one-year birthday party, she had to be held by her daddy to help her with her presents. It was at this point I noticed something that broke my heart and raised a major red ag. While sitting in her daddy’s lap, Claira and he began to open presents, and she could not grasp the paper to help her daddy unwrap the gifts. She seemed “disconnected” from her surroundings and began to become increasingly upset the minute the crowd of family and friends began to talk louder. Claira was still not babbling or trying to talk like the other children her age at the party. I knew I had to do something. e next week was her one-year check up at the pediatrician’s o ce. I brought up the milestones, and what all concerned me at Claira’s birthday party. I again was told Claira was ne. I le the doctor’s ofce in tears. I knew deep down that something was not right with my daughter. A mother’s gut knows best, right? In this case, yes, it does! I immediately headed home, still crying, knowing I had to do something to help my daughter, but what? I got out the computer, and began to search for help in Birmingham. I knew there had to be someone in the medical eld who would listen to me. Coming across a phone number to a clinic I did not recognize, I gave them a call. A very nice lady answered the phone and immediately connected me to the Newborn Follow Up Clinic. Julie, the nurse that answered, got Claira an appointment and eased my pain by talking like a friend instead of a nurse. Finally I had some hope. e doctors at the Newborn Follow Up Clinic ruled out all genetic possibilities, and the neurologist diagnosed Claira with hypotonia, and Global Developmental Delays. I at least had an answer. is diagnosis worked well for the next year. As Claira approached her second birthday, we were becoming worried that something else was showing its ugly face, and we both knew deep down what it was. Claira was still non-verbal and was still not reaching the milestones that a typical two-year-old should conquer with ease. We took her to a Huntsville doctor, and he diagnosed Claira with autism. e dreaded diagnosis hit home. Devastating to hear, together we both shed our tears. At this time, Claira had been receiving early intervention treatment in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Realizing our daughter had not been given a “death sentence,” the therapists pushed her therapy harder and in the needed direction. With their help, Claira has become a bright and social little girl with lots of smiles and an infectious laugh. e Early Intervention program only allowed them to supply her with therapy until her third birthday. After her third birthday, Claira began Head Start Pre-K in Centre, and continues her therapy through the school system. We looked into ABA Therapy (Applied Behavior Analysis), but just cannot a ord the out-of-pocket costs that ABA requires. It would cost us $144,000 per year. ABA erapy is not covered by insurance for autistic children in Alabama (42 other states have either completed insurance reform or in 2013 have proposed legislation that would mandate insurance reform). Alabama is only 1 of 8 states le with nothing in legislation for insurance reform. Upon asking the state senators about getting insurance reform in Alabama, I was informed there were not enough votes in Alabama to get this change. So we are pushing on with school therapy and what they can provide in our home. A year later, we were at the First Friday Night Concert in Rome, Ga., when we realized we needed to take the next step. Seemingly there are always “next steps” with a special child. While we were talking with friends, Claira slipped by them and ran through the crowd. We found her about 25 yards away next to the stage. Realizing eloping (wandering off) is a very big problem with autistic children, we knew we had to nd a solution for going out in public. Upon returning home, I again pulled out the computer and began to research eloping, help and tethering. It Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 7 honor of Claira Beth. We vowed to bring Autism Education to everyone, to push for ABA Therapy in insurance reform, and make it known that Autism Service Dogs are available for these children. Claira was placed in the August 2013 class to receive her new service dog and the time could not get here soon enough. Claira enjoyed her 4th birthday party on August 3, 2013. is day also allowed us to say goodbye and thank you to friends and family before we le on our journey. Sunday, August 4, 2013, we packed the truck and headed out on our eighthour drive to Fairborn, Ohio - only 10 miles from 4 Paws For Ability - where we would wait one more night before we would meet her new best friend. On August 5, 2013, Claira Beth was introduced to her new service dog, Soliel. He was a chocolate lab with as much energy and excitement as she had. e following days were full of daily practice tracking sessions, obedience training for the parents, and bonding for the children and dogs. e other children in the class became best friends with Claira. Not only did she receive a new service dog, she made friends from all over the United States - from Washington State, Oregon, New York City, Colorado, and more. e parents also formed their own support group with each other, sharing stories and concerns in the a ernoons over dinner. It was a Claira Beth, right, with parents Shannon, left, and Erica wonderful trip and we soon realized Brown and her service dog Soliel. we were not alone in our ghts and struggles. On September 29, 2012, we hosted a On August 16, 2013, only two weeks Golf Tournament at Cherokee County later, we passed the service dog test with Country Club to raise the $13,000 for 4 Soliel, and were able to start our next adPaws For Ability. Many golfers showed venture in our life together. Soliel passed up to help with this great cause! There with flying colors! The training of the was a silent auction with several donated dogs begins the day they are born, so items from all over the county, including we had no fears of him failing his pubAlabama and Auburn football tickets, a lic exam. e trainers work so well with trip to Gulf Shores, a weekend package the parents making sure their fears and to Heart of Dixie Trail Ride, jewelry, etc. concerns are met with full attention, and With the help of several friends and fami- that they feel comfortable working with ly, we were able to raise the entire amount the children and the dogs together in all we needed on that one day! at was the public areas. day that “Claira’s Cause” was founded in 4 Paws For Ability began in 1998, and 8 OCTOBER 2013 was then I discovered 4 Paws For Ability in Xenia, Ohio. 4 Paws For Ability o ers Autism Assistance Service Dogs for Autistic children. e dogs are trained in tethering, search and rescue only for the child’s scent, behavior disruption, and comforting the child in stressful situations. We lled out an application, and soon thereafter received an email from the founder, Karen Shirk, stating we were approved for a service dog! is was the news we needed! places autism assistance, seizure alert, and mobility dogs with children and wounded soldiers. ey pride themselves in knowing their dogs are ready for anything placed in their paths. e children are not only given a way to be independent, but they are given a best friend. While other children and adults may judge their actions, recipients feel comfortable knowing their new service dog will not! All service dogs are covered under ADA Law and are working dogs. Soliel will attend school with Claira starting September 6, and follows along with her everywhere she and her parents go daily. Claira is more comfortable eating in restaurants, when before sitting in a high chair was a struggle for her. She has never been fond of “enclosed” spaces and sits now with little or no help from adults. Tethering has helped her walk at a steady pace without “noodling” and sitting down in the oor on a regular basis. She walks with little to no assistance on outings with her harness and tether strap attached to Soliel’s working harness. We feel safe knowing if she ever elopes again in public, Soliel is there to nd her. Soliel is attending therapy with Claira at the school and is being incorporated into the therapy program to help Claira excel. Claira is still non-verbal but has shown great improvements in her willingness to communicate in the few weeks of being with Soliel. If you are concerned that your child may have delayed milestones, contact your pediatrician immediately. Remember, second opinions are acceptable as well. If you would like information on 4 Paws For Ability, visit www.4PawsForAbility. org. Also, please email your local legislators to express your concern for insurance reform. ABA is widely recognized as a safe and e ective treatment for autism. It has been endorsed by a number of state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Surgeon General and the New York State Department of Health. To learn more about ABA erapy and insurance reform, visit www.AutismSpeaks.org. Claira’s Cause can be found at www.facebook.com/ ClairasCause. www.alabamaliving.coop Spot Light In October OCT. 9, 23 ‘Grow your voice’ at food and farm forums e Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network (ASAN) will hold its 2013 series of Regional Food & Farm Forums on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Commercial Culinary Center in Muscle Shoals and on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at Borden Farm in Ramer. Each regional forum will feature a morning of roundtable discussions on a variety of topics, including: training the next generation of farmers, community gardens, eating for good health, raising fruit and nut trees, seed saving, hydroponics and aquaculture, food preservation and fermentation, culinary and medicinal herbs and more. Each forum will also include a locally inspired lunch. In the a ernoon, participants will choose from several hands-on opportunities, including farm tours, demos, and crop mobs. A crop mob is a group workday in the spirit of old-fashioned barn-raisings. For more information and to register, go to www.asanonline.org/blog/post/r f. Registration is $5 for ASAN members, and $20 for non-members. Contact Alice Evans at email@example.com or 256-743-0742 for more information. OCT. 12 AND 13 “Stockton Sawmill Days” event will feature wood chopping, log rolling and speed-pole climbing. NOV. 2 Stockton travels through history for ‘Sawmill Days’ e Stockton Heritage Association will host the rst-ever “Stockton Sawmill Days” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, on the wooded grounds of Baldwin County’s Bicentennial Park in Stockton. e event celebrates the community’s history and heritage as home to the rst sawmill in Alabama. Step back in time to the days of logging with Musical group Kracker Dan will perform in period attire. mules and dra horses, learn to hitch a team, pull logs and load a wagon. Experience the feats of log rolling, speed-pole climbing, cross-cut sawing, wood chopping, and chain saw carving by professional lumberjacks. ere will be music from Paul Tillman, the sounds of bluegrass by “Delta Reign,” authentic 1840s and 1850s music by Kracker Dan, dressed in period attire, and gospel sounds by the Fi h Generation. Visit booths of “folk art,” exhibits by the Alabama Loggers Council and much more. Arrive early and enjoy “sawmill” biscuits with tomato gravy or ap-jacks with sorghum syrup. Local fried cat sh with cheese grits and buttermilk pie will be served later. For admission prices and more information, visit www.stocktonala.com or call 251-937-3738. All proceeds go to the Stockton Heritage Museum. OCTOBER 2013 9 Gun and Civil War Show set for Oct. 12 and 13 e Alabama Gun Collectors Association is sponsoring its 3rd Annual Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the War Between the States at the Birmingham-Je erson Convention Center in Birmingham on Oct. 12 and 13. e Civil War commemorative show is in conjunction with the fall Gun Show. e AGCA Fall Show o ers more than 650 tables with new and used rearms for sale or trade. Please note that the AGCA gun show complies with all local, state, and federal laws in regard to the sale and transfer of rearms. e Civil War show will feature artifacts from the Beauvoir House and Museum in Biloxi, Miss.; the National Civil War Naval Museum in Port Columbus, Ga.; and the Old Depot Museum in Selma. Admission is $8 for adults and children under 12 are free. For more information about the show or table fees, contact Brent B. Goodwin at 205-317-0948. Alabama Living Power Pack Understanding Medicare essential at any age By Kylle’ McKinney Alabama Social Security Public Affairs Specialist You may already know that Medicare is a medical insurance program for people who are 65 or older and for people who are disabled at any age. Some people are covered only by one type of Medicare; others opt to pay extra for more coverage. Understanding Medicare can save you money. ere are four parts to Medicare: Parts A, B, C and D. Part A helps pay for inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing care, hospice care, and other services. Part B helps pay for doctors’ fees, outpatient hospital visits, and other medical services and supplies not covered by Part A. Part C allows you to choose to receive all of your health care services through a managed health care organization. ese plans, known as Medicare Advantage Plans, may help lower your costs of receiving medical services, or you may get extra bene ts for an additional monthly fee. You must have both Parts A and B to enroll in Part C. And Part D is the Medicare Prescription Drug Program. ere is a monthly premium for Medicare Part B. In 2013, the standard premium is $104.90. Some high-income individuals pay more McKinney than the standard premium. Your Part B premium also can be higher if you do not enroll during your initial enrollment period, or when you rst become eligible. ere are exceptions to this rule. For example, you can delay your Medicare Part B enrollment without having to pay higher premiums if you are covered under a group health plan based on your own current employment or the current employment of any family member. If this situation applies to you, you have a “special enrollment period” in which to sign up for Medicare Part B, without paying the premium surcharge for late enrollment. is rule allows you to: Enroll in Medicare Part B at any time while you are covered under a group health plan based on your own current employment or the current employment of any family member; or Enroll in Medicare Part B during the eight month period that begins following the last month your group health coverage ends, or following the month employment ends, whichever comes rst. If you receive disability bene ts and have coverage from a working family member, the same rules apply. If you live in one of the 50 states or Washington D.C. and you’re already receiving Social Security retirement or disability bene ts or railroad retirement payments, you will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you rst become eligible to apply and you don’t fall under the special enrollment period, you’ll have to wait until the general enrollment period, which is Jan. 1 through March 31 of each year. For more information about Medicare, visit www.medicare.gov. Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public A airs specialist, can be reached in Montgomery at 866-593-0914, ext. 26265, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. ank you so much for your wonderful article (“Marveling at Mims: e Trouble in Paradise” by Brightman Brock, August 2013) in the Alabama Living magazine! I am very sure your article helped many people around Alabama become aware of our 200th Anniversary event. We are estimating our total number of visitors at 10,000 over the three-day weekend! We had to quadruple the number of buses to transport those who, out of necessity, parked o -site. is was surely the largest number of people in Tensaw ever at one time, even more than back in 1813. Our quiet rural area had a tra c jam! On Friday, we thought there would be around 400 descendants of Fort Mims who would attend the reception we had planned for them. Instead there were 800-1000. e major goal of the Fort Mims Restoration Association is to bring recognition to this site for its’ importance in American history. A er this amazing weekend to Com10 OCTOBER 2013 Letters to the Editor memorate the 200th Anniversary, I feel sure that this has been accomplished. Claudia Slaughter Campbell, President Fort Mims Restoration Association I am writing to tell you that we have had the best support from Michael Cornelison in listing and highlighting Co ee County Arts Alliance events over many years. Michael is easy to work with and our information is always accurate. As a non-pro t organization, we have limited funds for advertising. Every time Alabama Living includes one of our events in the calendar, we can count on increased interest region-wide. For some well-known performers, your calendar item can bring people from outside the region to an event. So, for all the calendar items and Spotlights highlighting Co ee County Arts Alliance events over the years, thank you! Ginny Canon, Marketing Co ee County Arts Alliance www.alabamaliving.coop This yellow dot could save your life A small yellow dot on your rear vehicle window can provide lifesaving information to emergency rst responders. By Ben Norman As the ambulance topped the hill, the rst thing the EMT saw was a car beside the road with an elderly, unconscious man lying on the ground by the driver’s door. e second thing he saw was a bright yellow dot on the vehicle’s le rear window. e EMT immediately began administering rst aid to the victim and instructed the ambulance driver to get the yellow folder from the glove compartment that would give him lifesaving information about the unconscious man. e information in the folder told the EMT the victim had a diabetic condition. A er a quick radio call to the emergency room physician, the victim was given an insulin shot and recovered. e Alabama Yellow dot program had just helped save another life. e lifesaving Yellow Dot Program consists of placing a yellow dot decal in the lower le rear window of a vehicle, completing the information sheet and inserting it and a photo in the yellow folder provided, and placing the yellow folder in the glove compartment. First responders will know to immediately look in the glove compartment when they see the yellow dot on the rear window. Information contained in the personal and medical history section of the form will enable medical personnel to get a “jump start” on diagnosing a victim’s problem. e form also lists phone numbers of who should be contacted if there is a medical emergency. Alabama’s Yellow Dot program is modeled a er one initiated in Shelton, Conn., in 2002. Lora Weaver, who heads up the program for the Alabama Department of Economic and Community A airs (ADEC) Highway Safety O ce, heard about the Yellow Dot program and helped secure a small grant to get it started. Other agencies including sheri ’s departments, police departments, Alabama Emergency Management Agency, rescue squads, re departments and others became interested and an initiative began to go statewide. Jennifer Knighten administers the Yellow Dot program in Crenshaw County under the supervision of Sheri Charles West. “We have had the Yellow Dot program for about two years and are well pleased with the results. We have had several cases where the Yellow Dot Program expedited emergency treatment,” says Knighten. Luverne Police Chief Paul Allen retrieves a Yellow Dot information folder from a glove compartment. Sheri West agrees. “ is program is a godsend to rst responders. It is not just for the elderly, as any age can become involved in an accident or have a debilitating illness. I encourage anyone to sign up for the Yellow Dot Program.” Dr. Pat Walker holds the Yellow Dot decal and packet that contains vital patient information. Emergency room physicians also strongly support the Yellow Dot Program. Dr. Pat Walker is a specialist in internal medicine and a well-respected emergency room physician at Crenshaw County Hospital in Luverne. He has also been the medical director for ambulance services in the county for 37 years. Dr. Walker knows rsthand how valuable it is for rst responders and emergency room personnel to obtain a patient’s medical history immediately. “ e Yellow Dot program will be helpful in any emergency, but especially in cases such as a diabetic with low blood sugar, stroke victims can be administered the “clot buster” shot, and any heart related problems where it may be necessary to give an aspirin or nitroglycerin which can be life saving on the spot. I highly recommend the Yellow Dot Program in conjunction with a medical alert bracelet,” said Dr. Walker. To nd out where to sign up for the Yellow Dot Program in your area, ask your local law enforcement o cer, EMA o ce, or rescue squad or go on line at www.adeca.alabama. gov/yellowdot. A listing by Alabama electric cooperative area is also available at www.areapower.coop.You may also contact Lora Weaver at 256-549-8142 for sign-up locations. Ben Norman is a writer from Highland Home, Ala. Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 11 By Marilyn Jones e stands are empty, pit area silent; the 220-acre in eld is deserted. e only vehicle on the 2.66-mile track is a minibus lled with tourists wanting to get a closer look at the world of speed, danger and racing legends. But Talladega Superspeedway will come roaring to life when, for ve race days a year, it becomes a force to be reckoned with. The legend of Talladega includes the men and women who dare face its wide tri-oval track and its 33-degree banking curves. Buddy Baker was the rst driver to test at a speed more than 200 mph, with a 200.447 mph lap on March 24, 1970. e late Benny Parsons was the rst driver to qualify at more than 200 mph in 1982 with a speed of 200.176 mph. The superspeedway holds the record for the fastest recorded time by a NASCAR stock car in a closed oval course — 212.809 mph — held by Bill Elliott set in 1987. Rusty Wallace recorded a speed of 216.309 mph, but doesn’t replace the record because it was a radio test and not a NASCAR-sanctioned event. At these speeds, the giant had become too powerful. In 1987, Bobby Allison’s car went airborne while going through the tri-oval portion of the track. Because of the fear of more cars going airborne, NASCAR imposed a 1988 rule requiring cars running here and at Daytona International Speedway to use carbonator restrictor plates. e plates limit the amount of air and fuel entering the intake manifolds of the engine, greatly reducing the power of the cars and their speed. is change led to a very competitive style of racing at Talladega and Daytona. Standing at the very top of the grandstands which seats 100,000 race fans, International Motorsports Hall of Fame Operations Manager Bruce Ramey talks about the sheer size of Talladega. “This is a 3,000-acre property,” he says gesturing toward the horizon. “And, the world’s largest campground. We can ac- e giant sleeps. The Legend of A sleeping giant roars to life on race days TALLADEGA: More than 100,000 spectators enjoy the excitement of race day. PHOTO COURTESY TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY The giant sleeps as it waits for the next race day. PHOTOS BY MARILYN JONES 12 OCTOBER 2013 commodate 50,000 campers in six campgrounds plus the in eld. On race days the energy is unbelievable.” It was during the 1960s that Bill France decided to build a track that was faster and longer than Daytona. The track, rst named Alabama International Motor Speedway, was built on an old air eld and opened September 13, 1969 at a cost of $4 million. Although drivers were leery of the track, a er Richard Brickhouse won the exciting rst race, Talladega would go on to host ve races a year — three in May, two in October. “For some people, coming to the races is their annual vacation,” says Ramey. “ ey camp here; trams transport them from the campgrounds to the track. It’s a family event.” e tour bus is tiny from this vantage point; like a toy on a child’s racetrack. It slows at a patch of black and white squares; the winner’s circle, Ramey says. And then it starts a lap around the race course. “Of course it can’t get up on those high banks,” he says. “But we can. Want to take a drive?” “Yes,” I say. e giant may be sleeping, but it is still a thrilling prospect to be able to take a lap or two before the giant wakes again. Race day action. PHOTO COURTESY TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY Races for October are: ARCA International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 for the ARCA Series Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race For tickets, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA. Daily bus tours of Talladega are offered 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day with the exception of race week, the week following race week, New Year’s Day, Easter, anksgiving and Christmas. Tours start from the International Motorsports Hall of Fame adjacent to the superspeedway. e Talladega complex is located just south of I-20: exit 168 eastbound or exit 173 westbound; follow the signs. For more information visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com. A Alabama Living Races in May 2014 for the Aaron’s Dream Weekend are: Oct. 19: Fred’s 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Oct. 20: Camping World RV Sales 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Pit crews at work. Motorsports Hall of Fame houses racing vehicles, memorabilia PHOTOS BY MARILYN JONES L ocated next to the Talladega Superspeedway is a racing fan’s paradise, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Earlier this year, four men were inducted into the 2013 Class of the Hall of Fame: Dale Inman best known as Richard Petty’s crew chief for three decades; Rusty Wallace one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers with 55 career wins; Rick Hendrick the current owner of the NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports; Don Schumacher winner of 11 NHRA drag racing championships and 196 event-winning titles. Since 1990, when 20 of the greatest legends in the world of motorsports were enshrined into the IMHOF, dozens more have been honored by being asked to join this elite group. To visit the Hall of Fame is to honor the men and women who are racers, innovators, nancers, designers, engineers and builders; each shaping the world of motorsports on land, water and in the air. Today, the brick and mortar Hall of Fame is also a motorsport museum spanning three buildings and an enclosed courtyard. The collection of racing vehicles and memorabilia spans from 1902 to the present and includes race cars, a boat, plane and motorcycles. As motorsports history continues to grow, so will the facility. “Some people take a couple hours to visit the museum,” says IMHOF Operations Manager Bruce Ramey. “And there are diehard fans that spend an entire week here, coming back every day to continue their tour. There is a lot to see.” In addition to the history-making vehicles, there are display cases with personal e ects of motorsports’ greatest achievers, everything from helmets and coveralls to trophies, photographs and news clippings. For more information call (256) 362-5002 or visit motorsportshallo ame.com. A In 1987, Tom Gentry piloted his boat to a world superboat record speed of 148.238 miles per hour, the average speed of one full lap around the course in New Orleans, LA. His speed on the straightaways was in excess of 170 mph. Race cars from the past century of motorsports are on display at IMHOF. The Budweiser rocket car was the first car to break the speed of sound on land. Quarter Midgets of America display. Race cars from all eras of motorsports are on display at IMHOF. Drag racing greats are represented at IMHOF. The International Motor Sports Hall of Fame is the site for Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative’s Annual Meeting. 14 OCTOBER 2013 www.alabamaliving.coop Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 15 Dating to the 1930s, Cheaha State Park is Alabamaâ€™s oldest continuing operating park and home to the stateâ€™s highest point By John N. Felsher 16 OCTOBER 2013 heaven Alabama The closest thing to in the state of www.alabamaliving.coop Water cascades from a stone pond and waterfall created by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. In the valley below, lush green vegetation indicates a land still wrapped in summer splendor, but foliage thins as the elevation increases. At mid-level, leaves begin to change, but at the crests, foliage glows with a rainbow of fall colors. When heading up Mount Cheaha in the foothills of the Appalachians, visitors can go through multiple seasons after travelling just a few miles. The 392,567-acre national forest at the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains preserves a wilderness that looks very similar to when Native Americans hunted these hills 200 years ago. Now, only names on maps, undiscovered relics in the ground and items in the Indian Relic Museum recall these once thriving native cultures. Some map designations, like Shinbone Valley and Chinnabee Trail, recall great chiefs of the Creek Nation. Even the word “cheaha” comes from the Creek word “chaha,” meaning “highest point.” e name ts; Cheaha Mountain rises 2,407 feet above sea level and marks the highest point in Alabama. “Long before Europeans settled here, Creek Indians lived here,” says Tammy Power, the Cheaha State Park lodge manager who grew up in the area and traces her lineage to Chief Shinbone. “ e Creeks called the mountain ‘the sleeping giant.’ It’s as close to heaven as anyone can get in Alabama.” In the forest Pets welcome Guests selecting Cabin 16, one of the oldest stone cottages in the park, can take a step back in time. Dubbed “the museum cabin,” it o ers rustic comfort reminiscent of the 1930s. People can bring their pets into Cabin 16. Most cabins can accommodate two people. Chalets can sleep four or more people in two bedrooms, each with a queen-sized bed. Chalets feature everything cabins o er. Some allow pets. Visitors may also camp in the park. e park o ers recreational vehicle spaces with water, electric and sewer hook-ups, plus semiprimitive and primitive campsites. e primitive campground sits on the original CCC encampment. On the Cheaha Mountain summit, Cheaha State Park covers 2,799 acres in Clay and Cleburne counties near Delta, Ala. e oldest continuously operating park in the state dates to the 1930s. With the country gripped by the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps and chartered it to build parks and other public facilities throughout the nation. e state acquired the property in 1933 and the CCC established a quasi-military camp atop Cheaha Mountain to build roads, structures and trails. e completed park o cially opened in 1939, but the state added the 30-room hotel, adjacent restaurant and ve chalets in 1973. “ ese young men in the CCC, most in their late teens or early 20s, le home to come here and work,” Power says. “Many were supporting their families during the Great Depression. ey learned trades and a way of life. ey made Alabama a better state. ese are also the same young men who won World War II.” e CCC teams used rocks they found in the area to build 16 stone cabins, the Bald Rock Lodge, the Bunker Observation Tower and many other structures. Most of these structures still exist today, albeit upgraded with modern facilities. Guests may pick from four cabin types including some that face into the setting sun and overlook a thousand-foot drop to the valley below. Alabama Living To the mountaintop Built of available local stone like most other park buildings, the Bunker Tower opened in 1934 and marks the highest point in Alabama at 2,407 feet above sea level. It once served as a fire watchtower. Built of available local stone like most other park buildings, the Bunker Tower opened in 1934 and originally housed the park gi shop. It also provided lodging to people watching for forest res. Atop the tower, the old Forest Service observation deck provides a spectacular 360-degree view of the surrounding countryside. e CCC also built the original Bald Rock Group Lodge from stone found on the mountain. No longer used as the main hotel, the lodge can accommodate wedding parties, business conferences, family reunions, scouting events, church groups and others who want to remain close to each other, but somewhat separate from other park guests. e lodge o ers 12 modernized rooms that can accommodate up to 32 people. OCTOBER 2013 17 The highest point e Bald Rock Group Lodge no longer operates a restaurant, but guests can use the full-service kitchen to prepare their own meals. Large groups can also arrange for the park restaurant to cater events at the lodge or elsewhere in the park. Saying ‘I do’ Many wedding parties book the Bald Rock for lodging, the ceremony or reception. Wedding parties can also hold ceremonies in the Wedding Chapel or hold the reception on the restaurant deck overlooking the valley. e chapel can accommodate up to 75 guests and o ers pew seating, a dressing or storage room, a piano, an organ and a replace. “Many people come here to get married, hold family reunions or to enjoy the hiking and biking trails,” Powers says. “Many weddings take place on the restaurant deck because it overlooks the Talladega National Forest. e restaurant deck can accommodate up to 200 people and is the number one requested wedding spot in the park because it o ers such a breathtaking view.” Besides catering, the Cheaha Mountain Restaurant sta prepares three meals per day for park guests and day visitors. Many bikers ride up the mountain just to eat in the restaurant and enjoy the panoramic view. e restaurant serves outstanding steaks, desserts, sandwiches and other country cuisine. Don’t forget to sample the fried green tomatoes! Stocked with fish, Cheaha Lake covers six acres. Laborers dug the lake by hand in the 1930s using shovels. Fishing anyone? e CCC dug the six-acre Cheaha Lake by hand using shovels in the 1930s. Anglers can rent johnboats or paddleboats to sh the lake. In the forest a few miles from the park, anglers may sh in the 17-acre Lake Chinnabee. e park does not allow hunting, but many sportsmen camp in the park or rent a cabin to hunt the adjacent national forest. “Many local people drive up for the day and spend time swimming, shing or picnicking at the lake,” Power says. “In the fall, many people come up just to see the leaves. During race season at Talladega Superspeedway, about 25 miles from the park, we’re wrapped up with people. Many race fans stay here because they like the quiet and serenity of the park a er the hubbub at the track. Some people pass their tickets and annual reservations here to their children in their wills.” On the road Build of local stone in the 1930s, the Bald Rock Group Lodge once served as the park hotel. No longer used as a hotel, it can still be rented for weddings, conferences, church retreats and other group functions. Take a hike Behind the Bald Rock Group Lodge, the ADA Bald Rock Boardwalk Trail runs less than half a mile. Accessible to people in wheelchairs or with di culty walking, the elevated trail terminates at one of the most scenic overlooks in Alabama. Along the way, hikers can stop to read signs describing the area ora and fauna. Several other trails wander through the park, o ering various degrees of di culty. e most di cult trail in the park, the Lake Trail eventually leads to Cheaha Lake a er making a thousandfoot descent o the mountain. People wishing to make a longer hike may explore the Pinhoti Trail, which connects to the Appalachian Trail. “We are the southern connection to the Appalachian Trail,” Power says. “From here, people can hike all the way to Maine. e total length is approximately 2,200 miles. We get people come through here who have been on the trail for months. ey just want a room, a bath, a nice meal and to talk to someone.” Within a short drive of the park, area visitors may also wish to tour the White Oak Vineyards where the park restaurant buys many wines. e Anniston Museum of Natural History displays prehistoric artifacts including dinosaur bones and Egyptian mummies. e Berman Museum exhibits various artifacts from World War II and earlier times. “I grew up in this area,” Power says. “It gets in your blood. My rst memory of this park was coming here on a eld trip to hike Bald Rock Trail. We sat out on Bald Rock and looked at the view. It made an impact. Now I’ve worked in the park 31 years.” For more information on Cheaha State Park, call 256-488-5115 or 800-846-2654 or visit www.alapark.com/CheahaResort. A Cheaha State Park sits in the middle of the 392,567-acre Talladega National Forest and overlooks a beautiful valley. Visitors can hike through many mountain trails throughout the park. Much of it looks like it did centuries ago. www.alabamaliving.coop 18 OCTOBER 2013 Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 19 haunted? You be the judge Story and photos by Marilyn Jones Are there spirits looking out the windows? Is Sloss Furnaces S Sloss Furnace and its role in Birmingham history loss Furnaces, Birmingham pig iron-producing blast furA reported 19 furnaces were built, including two by Col. James naces from 1882 to 1971, is a designated National Historic Withers Sloss, a north Alabama merchant and railroad man. A er Landmark. It also has a reputation as being one of the most its rst year of operations, his furnace had sold 24,000 tons of iron. haunted locations in Alabama and is listed as one of the top 100 At the 1883 Louisville Exposition, the company won a bronze places in the world for paranormal activity. medal for “best pig iron.” As I waited for the museum to open on a recent Sunday, I met Before starting out, I read on the map the process of making a couple from Ohio. e husband said he enjoyed learning about iron so that I could understand what I was looking at while, ahem, industry and how di erent factories worked. Nearby several young looking for previous employees. adults congregated along with a man and two young boys. “The heart of Sloss operation was a pair of large blast furAt noon, Shirley Bevels opened the naces,” the guide read. “A blast furnace gate and we all led in. ere is no adis a cylindrical steel vessel, lined with mission for self-guided tours, so everyone heat-resistant brick. Iron ore, limestone picked up a map and started to explore. and coke (which is made from coal) I had watched “Ghost Hunters” and are charged into the top of the furnace, “Ghost Adventures” from the comfort while super-hot air is blasted upward of my living room as they investigated from the bottom of the furnace. the furnaces and listened to the elec“ e blast of air burns the coke, retronic voice phenomena (EVP) they leasing gases that react with the iron ore. collected and watched video evidence of e limestone acts as a…cleaning agent, spirits lingering among the metal and Sloss Furnaces, a labyrinth of industry, turns into removing impurities from the ore. Free abandoned buildings, but this was broad “Fright Furnace” every October. of impurities, the molten iron collects in daylight and there were others touring the site along with me. the bottom of the furnace, where it can be drawn o … What was there to be afraid of? “In addition to the furnaces [there were] blowers to pump the blast of air; stoves to heat the air; boilers to produce steam to drive equipment; and a network of pipes that carried steam, water and Birmingham was born following the Civil War when men of gas,” it concluded. industry decided to take advantage of the area’s rich mineral reOver the course of its history, thousands of workers lost their sources — iron ore, coal, limestone — all the ingredients needed lives here due to accidents. I could understand why there might to make iron. be spirits still lingering in this maze of metal. www.alabamaliving.coop 20 OCTOBER 2013 Past the blower building and hot blast stoves I found myself at The first stop is the Spray Pond. Sloss continuously used five No. 1 furnace and cast shed. There are two furnaces at Sloss, but No. million gallons of water to cool each furnace, every day, to create 2 is home to the Sloss Metal Arts Program and not part of the tour. The cast shed is where the liquid iron came out and flowed steam, power machinery and cool molten iron and slag (impurities removed from iron ore). Here the water was cooled before into floor castings with a long trench called the sow and smaller trenches off the sow called piglets, which is where the term pig going through the plant again. As I turned around, the facility lay out before me. Follow- iron originated. With the exception of taking a few more photos, this was the end ing the map, I walked between buildings and down into the of my tour. And no, I didn’t encounter stock tunnel where raw materials were any spirits and I haven’t found any lurkweighed, transferred by rail to skip ing in my photographs. What I found buckets that took it to the top of the instead was a new appreciation for the furnace by steam- powered pulleys. As men who worked in this grueling indusfor ghost hunting … well, I could certry; maybe that’s the true spirit of Sloss. tainly imagine a presence lurking here, even though there were several visitors touring the tunnel along with me. Sloss Furnace turns into Fright FurBack up the stairway, I followed the nace every October. For more informamap past the boilers and around the tion, check the website at frightfurnace. end of the complex. All at once it was The furnaces are quiet, but their legacy lives on. com. quiet. I found this odd, given the numTo view television shows and other videos featuring Sloss Furber of men, women, children and ghost hunters I had encounnace, go to frightfurnace.com/hauntings. tered moments before, but I was selfishly grateful. Sloss Furnace is located at 20 32nd Street North in BirmingThe only sounds were my footfalls on crushed gravel pathways that wove their ways around this labyrinth of brick buildings, ham. For more information about touring Sloss Furnace or special massive pipes and valves, stack pipes and stairways — an unusual events, call 205-324-1911 or check the website at slossfurnaces.com. For more information about visiting Birmingham, call 800-458maze of red and orange painted metal, trimmed in rust and bits 8085 or visit birminghamal.org. A of plant life taking a foothold. The tour If you go: Sloss Furnaces, a National Historic Landmark, has the reputation for being one of the most haunted places in Alabama. Alabama is setting for hauntingly good reads If you’re looking to explore some haunted areas around the state, a number of books have been published recently by The History Press that take readers from one end of Alabama to the other in search of ghostly spirits. Take your pick: Haunted Alabama Black Belt by David Higdon and Brett Talley; Haunted Auburn and Opelika by Faith Serafin, Michelle Smith and John Mark Poe; Haunted Birmingham by Alan Brown (includes Sloss Furnace); Haunted Etowah County by Mike Goodson; Haunted Mobile by Elizabeth Parker; Haunted Montgomery by Faith Serafin; Haunted North Alabama by Jessica Penot; and Haunted Shelby County by Kim Johnston. Each is $19.99 and is available at https://historypress.net or at your local bookstore. Alabama Living october 2013 21 22 OCTOBER 2013 www.alabamaliving.coop Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 23 Sacred ground honors faithful companions Story and photos by John N. Felsher 24 OCTOBER 2013 Mertice and Virgil Miles visit the grave of Boone, a coon dog Virgil once owned. Boone is now interred at the Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard, located near Tuscumbia, Ala. hen one of Key Underwood’s closest friends died of old age, the man decided to give his constant hunting companion of nearly 15 years a proper send-o . On Labor Day, Sept. 4, 1937, Key grabbed a shovel and headed out to the woods in Colbert County of northwestern Alabama where the two spent so much time together. He selected a spot in a small grassy meadow in a thick forest near his hunting camp where fellow enthusiasts gathered for years to exchange yarns and enjoy each other’s companionship. “Key used to hunt this area,” recalls Virgil Miles, who hunted raccoons with Underwood for years. “I started hunting with Key in about 1955. He hunted up until the 1970s. He had some good redbone dogs. We had a lot of good hunts together. Key was a gentleman and a good Christian. I never heard him say a bad word.” Atop a hill overlooking Sugar Creek, Key dug a hole. He wrapped his friend in a cotton sack and buried him. A er putting his friend in his resting place, Underwood rolled a stone he pulled from a chimney marking the ruins of an old log house dating back to the 1800s and rolled it over the spot where his faithful companion would remain in eternal honored repose. With a hammer and a screwdriver, the grieving hunter carved a simple inscription: “Troop 4-1-22 9-4-37.” Troop, a mixed redbone, became well known at the time as one of the best coon dogs in the region. Soon, other hunters laid their coon dogs to rest near Troop, consecrating the ground to honor the furry companions who followed their masters many a night in hot and humid or freezing wet weather through the wilds of northern Alabama. us, Underwood unintentionally began the only hollowed memorial sanctuary set aside speci cally to pay tribute to dearly departed coon dogs like Troop. “When Key buried Troop here, others www.alabamaliving.coop W Photos (l to r): Virgil Miles and Susann Hamlin, Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau director, visit the grave of Boone, a coon dog Virgil once owned. ; Virgil Miles demonstrates how to blow a cow horn to recall coon dogs while visiting the Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard near Tuscumbia.; information sign at cemetery; some of the decorated gravesites. To hear what the cow horn sounds like, visit www.alabamaliving.coop also wanted to bury their dogs in the same area,” explains Miles, who put two of his own dogs to rest in the cemetery. “Coon hunting is an old tradition in this area. e cemetery became well known all over the area. People took a lot of pride in trying to raise a good coon dog. e guys I hunted with were true sportsmen. ey always honored their dogs.” Years later, Underwood remarked, “When I buried Troop, I had no intention of establishing a coon dog cemetery. I merely wanted to do something special for a special coon dog.” Today, the Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard, more commonly known as the coon dog cemetery, honors more than 300 such faithful companions like Troop from all across the nation. Open and free to the public, the only coon dog cemetery in the world sits at the end of a country road on the 31,734-acre Freedom Hills Wildlife Management Area near Cherokee where Troop and Underwood chased those rascally ringtails for 15 years. A granite obelisk near the cemetery entrance depicts a treed coon and two dogs jumping up a tree trunk to honor all the animals who rest here and the tradition they embodied. “Coon hunting has been a sport in Alabama for more than a century,” says Susann Hamlin, the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau director. “People hunted raccoons for sport and for meat. ey sold the pelts to make a living, particularly during the Great Depression. It wasn’t even Underwood’s property. It belonged to the state, but so many people asked him for permission to bury their dogs that Underwood came up with some rules.” Not any dog can be so honored in this hallowed ground. Visitors won’t nd any poodles, cocker spaniels or even such other hunting breeds as beagles, Labrador retrievers or deerhounds. Nothing against those other breeds, but this sacred parcel of wilderness remains set aside strictly for Alabama Living bona de coon dogs. Before anyone can bury a dog in the cemetery, the owner must submit three letters of reference to the tourism bureau. First, the owner must certify that the dog is an authentic coonhound of a recognized breed associated with the sport and prove that the dog treed raccoons. A witness must back up the claim, which is then certi ed through a local coon hunting association before the dog can be buried in the cemetery. Sign distinguishing cemetery. “Coon dogs are specially bred for coon hunting,” Miles says. “ ey can be one of four breeds, black and tan, blue tick, redbone or walker. With the breeding comes training. Some dogs are easier to train than others. They inherit the genes from their ancestors. Dogs also learn by hunting. I always liked to hunt with someone who had a better dog than me because a dog can learn from another good dog.” If approved for burial in the sacred ground, officials mark out a spot for the owner to bury the dog. Owners may erect monuments or not. Many owners order very elaborate professionally carved headstones of granite or natural stone to honor their departed companions. Others create homemade wooden crosses or simply chisel the dog’s name on a rock and place it atop the grave. “We have dogs from many states, including many champion dogs, buried in the cemetery, but each one is a recognized coon dog,” Hamlin says. “We average about six to seven dogs buried in the cemetery each year. Periodically, we hold a public funeral for a special dog. People have requested to be buried here, but it’s not approved for human interment. Some people have poured cremated human remains out in the cemetery. Some people become more attached to their dogs than to other people.” Some people leave photographs, dog collars, special toys, leashes, dishes or other personal mementos next to the headstones in remembrance of their pets. Some markers carry personal messages such as “A joy to hunt,” or “He wasn’t the best, but he was the best I ever had.” “ e epitaphs on the headstones all tell personal stories,” Hamlin says. “ ey are put up by the dog owners. Some are really fancy and some very simple, but they all mean something to the dog owners. People go to the cemetery for various reasons. Dog lovers visit it. Hunters visit it. Some people just like to see unusual places. Some people have own here just to see the coon dog cemetery. Although people visit the cemetery from all over, it’s not a tourist attraction. It’s a place of reverence – just the way Mr. Underwood wanted it!” Hamlin and company periodically cut the grass and pull up weeds in the cemetery to keep it looking nice and respectful. Her group also removes old, weather-beaten owers and redecorates the graves with new owers about once a year. A For more information and directions to the Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard, contact the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau at 1-800-344-0783 or 256383-0783, or visit www.colbertcountytourism. org or http://www.coondogcemetery.com. OCTOBER 2013 25 Alabama Outdoors Running with the hounds in a sport dating back centuries By John N. Felsher Nearly a mile deep into the woods, dogs started barking excitedly. “He’s got one treed! Let’s go,” says Sam Hatton, one of the dog owners. With help from GPS systems on the dog collars telling us their exact location, we rushed o into the night as heavy fog dripping with humidity seemingly oozed up from any watery patch punctuating this wilderness south of Tuscumbia, Ala. Armed only with headlights, my son Daniel and I joined Sam, his brother Franky, and Wesley Coan to seek raccoons lurking in the darkness. As we crashed through thickets to reach the frenzied dogs, Sam and Wesley argued over whose dog rst sounded the alert in a friendly, yet spirited competition between longtime friends who would do anything for the other – except let him get to a raccoon rst! “Coon hunting is all about the dogs and who has the best dog,” Franky says. “Owners know the sound of their dogs and can tell what the dog is doing by how it sounds. To me, listening to dogs is no di erent than talking to someone on the phone. If someone I know calls me, I hear the voice and know immediately who it is. Each dog also has its own voice.” As we approached the fray, the barking and howling grew much more intense – and not just from Sam and Wesley! At the base of a tall oak tree, the leaping dogs bayed with agitated cadence to tell us that a raccoon hid somewhere in the spreading canopy and gnarled branches pockmarked with holes. We each shined our lights up the tree to spot the masked bandits. “It’s hard to see a smart old coon in a tree like this,” Sam says. “He can be anywhere looking down at us in all those leaves and branches. e dogs know he’s here somewhere. He might have slipped into one of those holes. Sometimes, coons close their eyes when the light hits them so we can’t see their eyes shining.” After scrutinizing the tree for a while, Sam and Wesley recalled their dogs to put them back on the trail of other raccoons. During the next few hours, we slogged 26 OCTOBER 2013 through the swamps and forests following the dogs as they treed several other cleaver ring-tailed raiders. “We seldom kill coons,” Franky says. “It’s about the chase and training the hounds. Hides used to bring $30 to $40 apiece, but hides don’t bring nearly as much money any more. Raccoons can live anywhere. ere are more coons today than ever. More people kill coons now to get rid of them than by actually going coon hunting. Many deer hunters kill coons that get into their food plots.” The Hatton Brothers, Wesley and others who so passionately follow this sport maintain traditions dating back centuries. Most raccoon hunters started because their fathers, grandfathers and many other generations ran with the hounds. It gets in the blood “To coon hunt, someone must have a love for the sport and love for the dogs,” Franky says. “ at’s just how I was raised. It gets in the blood. I started coon hunting with my father when I was four years old. His father taught him. My son now hunts with me. He’ll pass this tradition down to the next generation.” Like the sportsmen who love them, hunting runs strong in the blood and genes of coon dogs. Good dogs inherently track racWant to hear what a coons because of their breeding. A great dog with superior bloodlines could cost more cow horn than most cars. Dog trainers need only sounds hone those natural instincts, instill discipline l i k e ? and break dogs from chasing deer, rabbits Scan QR code or visit or other game. “ ese dogs are bred for this,” says David www.alabamaliving.coop. Crosby, a raccoon hunter from Sulligent. “All coon hunters have their own preference for dogs. Every dog is a little di erent. I love listening to the dogs John N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer running and photographer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He’s the coons written more than 1,700 articles for more than 117 a n d magazines. He co-hosts a weekly outdoors radio show. Contact him through his website at www. watching JohnNFelsher.com. the dogs work. Coon hunting is about being with others hunters and seeing whose dog can strike the coon rst and tree it.” Most hunters train their own dogs. Some hunters pay more than $20,000 for others to train their dogs. Dogs can also learn from other dogs. Coon hunters o en pair young dogs with experienced hounds. “I always liked to hunt with someone who had a better dog than me because my dog would learn from another good dog,” says Virgil Miles, an 82-year-old hunter from Lauderdale County. “On a typical hunt, we’d have two or three dogs and three or four people. We’d put all the dogs out at once and listen. We’d hunt all night. Sometimes, we’d shoot squirrels in the morning and cook them for breakfast. It’s a great sport hunting with a good coon dog. I wish a lot more young people would get out into nature more.” On private land, Alabama sportsmen can chase raccoons all year long without killing them. Sportsmen can kill raccoons from early September through the end of February each year on private lands, but seasons may vary on public properties. A Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 27 Worth the Drive Learn all about the tasty eats at Mossy Grove School House Restaurant By Jennifer Kornegay chool is back in session, and no matter your age or cur- be shared family style is there too, as is a chunky, spicy-sweet rent education level, I’d like to suggest that you get on pepper relish. e relish’s rich burgundy hue splashed atop a back to school, too, with a visit to Mossy Grove School plate of milky pale beans looks as good as it tastes. It tastes so House Restaurant in Troy, celebrating its 30th anniversary this good, in fact, that Romero has started making extra and selling December. You won’t need to bring books or pencils with you, it in pints at the register. just your appetite. Mossy Grove is best known for its Southern farm-raised catFounded in 1856, Mossy Grove School was the rst thing to ocsh, which you can get fried (whole or in lets) or lemon-broiled. cupy the original one-room structure that sits beneath two mam- Romero loves the well-seasoned but delicate avor of the lemmoth trees, their branches dripping with silver-gray curls of Span- on-broiled sh but also favors the charbroiled chicken ngers ish moss. e large dining room, now hosting hungry tummies and the steaks. “We cut the steaks fresh in house every day,” she instead of hungry minds, was built onto the says. And the accompanying steak sauce is side in 1917. Only three years later, in 1920, wildly popular. e thin, tangy, black-asarea schools consolidated and Mossy Grove night condiment is homemade from a seSchool closed. Over the next few years, the cret recipe that Romero refused to discuss, building was used as a community center even if only to rule out guesses on ingrefor special events like town meetings and dients. “Worcestershire sauce?” “Balsamic church functions. In the ‘30s, the land and vinegar?” Peppered with these questions, building reverted back to the original estate the friendly proprietor’s face goes as blank (the family who’d deeded the land over to as a schoolhouse slate. the school), and a Mr. William Bradley lived Sweet potato fries and smoked pork chop I went with the smoked pork chop and in the school house until World War II. For compliment each other. sweet potato fries. ick and juicy, the chop three decades a erwards, it was rented out boasts deep smoke flavor. A little cup of as a house. In its long lifetime, the space has brown sugar cinnamon butter intended for been a hay barn and a funeral home, too. fry dipping goes equally well with the pork, For the last 29 years though, it has been its sweetness cutting the chop’s saltiness. a restaurant, welcoming folks from all over The restaurant is also famous for a the Southeast with the charm of its counconfectionary creation called Mossy try-living atmosphere and the deliciousness Grove Dessert. It’s a frosty combination of of its simple, down-home food. Much of whipped cream, graham cracker crust and the schoolhouse look is still intact, includeither chocolate, caramel or butterscotch ing the stage from which Mossy Grove’s (or all three) that I didn’t have the pleasure Spanish moss drips from the trees at teachers once instructed their students. of tasting, since by 6:30 p.m. (dinner starts Current owner Katie Romero has run (appropriately named) Mossy Grove School at 5), there wasn’t a bite le on the premHouse Restaurant. Mossy Grove for six years; she bought it ises. Romero said that’s not unusual; on the from her aunt, who owned it for 15 years, and according to her, days they make it, it always sells out early, and some people are most of the regulars at Mossy Grove have been coming in to eat so disappointed, they can’t even enjoy their dinner. “I have had for years. people come in to eat and ask if we have any Mossy Grove Desey come and come back for the u y, crispy hushpuppies sert le ,” Romero says. “If I say ‘no,’ they leave!” waiting for them warm on the table. A bowl of white beans to One obvious reason Mossy Grove has repeat business is the food, but another draw may be Sylvia Hughes, a waitress at Mossy Get Schooled Jennifer Kornegay Mossy Grove School Grove who’s been there since the beginning. With a quick smile is the author of House Restaurant a new children’s and quicker moves dashing around delivering dishes to waiting 1841 Elba Highway, Troy book, “The Alabama 334-566-4921 customers, she’s obviously a favorite xture at the establishment, Adventures of Walter Open Tuesday – Saturand Wimbly: Two swapping jokes with diners and even quieting fussy babies. “She’s day, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Marmalade Cats on a not a waitress,” Romero says. “She’s the waitress.” And “the waitMission.” She travels to an out-of-the way ress” could certainly teach some of the sta in other Alabama restaurant destination restaurants the true de nition of service. in Alabama every month. She may be If you’re not above learning new lessons either, grab a seat by Troy reached for comment the big blackboard at Mossy Grove, and let them teach you a at j_kornegay@charter. net. thing or two about an enjoyable evening eating out. A 28 OCTOBER 2013 www.alabamaliving.coop S Around Alabama Millbrook October 19 Admission is free and the fun starts at 9 a.m. and continues until 2 p.m. St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church is located in Millbrook just south of the intersection of Main Street and Highway 14. For vendor information contact Brenda Fryer at 334-285-0451. For more information on the Festival or to purchase a Boston butt call the church office, 334-285-3905. Angel Fest For 16 years St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church in Millbrook has been bringing together local artisans for an arts & crafts fair as a way to give back to the community and bring attention to the parish. Expect to see local painters, quilters, potters, jewelry artists and seasonal crafts. Along the way we have also added a children’s carnival, silent auction, bake sale, entertainment and Boston butt sale. All proceeds from Angel Fest are put back into the community through outreach. OCTOBER 5 • Orange Beach, 6th Annual Rubber Duck Race hosted by the Orange Beach Lions Club at The Oasis Water Park. Gates open at 9 a.m., races begin at 10 a.m. Grand prize is $500 for the fastest ducks around the Oasis lazy river. Adopt a Ducks are available for a donation of $5 each, or a “6 quack” can be purchased for $25. 5-12 • Cullman, Oktoberfest Cullman County Museum and Festhalle Market Platz Information: 256-739-1258 or 800-533-1258 www.cullmanoktoberfest.com 6 • Fairhope, Baldwin Pops Band Concert Henry George Park, 6 p.m. Information: Linde Lynn, 251-987-5757 or email@example.com. www.baldwinpopsband.com 11&12 • Selma, 35th Annual Alabama Tale-Tellin’ Festival at Carneal ArtsRevive, 3 Church Street. Opens at 5:30 both nights. Donald Davis and Bobby Norfolk share the spotlight with the Dill Pickers. Admission: $15 per night for adults ($25 for both nights); $10 for students 12 and under ($15 for both nights). Information: 334-878-ARTS (2787), firstname.lastname@example.org or www.artsrevive.com 11-13 • Huntsville, Fanfare 2013 Quilt Show Von Braun Center. Fri & Sat, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun, noon-4 p.m. Judged show with over 250 quilts, vendors and bed turning. Sponsored by Heritage Quilters. Information: www. hsvquilters.org 12 • Dothan, Fall FURfest Cottage Antiques, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Outdoor festival features antiques and antique appraisals, collectibles, art, homemade and homegrown goodies, a bake sale, face painting and other vendors. Event raises money for Felines Under Rescue, or FUR, helping to sterilize feral and stray cats. Information: 334-693-5277. 18 & 19 • Selma, Haunted History Tour Two-day event includes a tour of Old Live Oak Cemetery, Old Cahawba and other historic structures. Information: Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, 334-875-7241. www.selmaalabama.com 19 • Lillian, 12th Annual Barbeque & Blues Episcopal Church of the Advent, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Good food, outstanding music, silent auction, raffles and vendors. Live music performed by the Don Lewis Band and spirituals performed by the New Mount Moriah Baptist Church Choir. Previous auction items include chairs belonging to author F. Scott Fitzgerald, a “Dock Hop,” a vacation home and hunting trips. $10 for one meal. For Information call 251-961-2505 or visit www.adventlillian.org. 19 • Evergreen, 11th Annual Evergreen Sausage Festival & BBQ Cook-Off Arts and crafts, local and regional live music all day, featuring Conecuh sausage and the Alabama BBQ Association BBQ Cook-Off in downtown Evergreen. Children’s area with slides, bounce castle, rock climbing wall, exotic petting zoo, pony and camel rides. Admission is free with small fee for animal attractions. Information: Chamber of Commerce office, 251-578-1707 or www.evergreenareachamber.com 19 • Hanceville, 4th Annual Mud Creed Arts and Crafts Festival. Downtown Hanceville, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. A wide assortment of arts and crafts, judged art show, face painting, food and historical tour of Hanceville. Admission: free. Proceeds to benefit Hanceville schools. Information: Michele Allen, 256-3521214 or email@example.com 19 & 20 • Cullman, Alabama Gourd Festival. Beautiful original pieces of gourd art on display. Learn how artists achieve their special techniques with many free demonstrations. Kid’s patch booth also available where they can decorate their own little gourd and take it home. Information: Pam Montgomery, 256-355-4634 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.alabamagourdsociety.org 25 • Dothan, Cane Grinding Day Landmark Park, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Experience farm life in the early 1900s with quilting, blacksmithing, butter churning and other traditional skills. Pre-registered school groups only. Admission: students $7, one teacher per 10 students free. Information: Laura V. Stakelum, 334-7943452 or email@example.com 26 • Atmore, Williams Station Day Along Pensacola Avenue, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Arts, crafts, live entertainment featuring The Alabama Blues Bothers, a model train show, 4th grade writing contest, heritage displays including old-time cane milling, hayrides, antique car show, food and more. Admission: free. Information: Atmore Chamber of Commerce, 251-368-3305 or www.atmorechamer.com 26 • Cullman, Public Farm Day Peinhardt Living History Farm, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Theme is the pre-electrical 1930s and ‘40s. Featuring gristmill, sorghum making, forge covered wagon rides and many hands-on experiences. Small admission charged. Information: 256-734-0850 or firstname.lastname@example.org (email preferred). 26 & 27 • Prattville, Spinners 31st Annual Arts and Crafts Show and Spinners Great Pumpkin 5K and 5 Mile Races. Spinners Park, Sat: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Featuring original art and crafts from throughout the southeast, food vendors and baked goods, entertainment and children’s activities. Admission: Free. Information: 334290-1881 or email@example.com www.spinnersprattville.com 26 • Opp, Opp Fest Downtown Opp, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Arts and crafts, food, live entertainment in conjunction with a judged car show. Art classes for children and open house at the Opp Cultural Arts Council. Admission: free. Information: 334-208-0195. www.cityofopp.com NOVEMBER 2 • Ozark, Christmas “Life” Bazaar Hosted by Sav-A-Life of Dale County. Ozark Civic Center on College Street, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tickets are $5, children ten and under are free. Limited vendor spaces still available and sponsorship opportunities are also available. For information, call (334) 774-4419, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.savalifeozark.org. 2 • Lineville, Heritage Day 2013 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Family fun featuring live entertainment, domino tournament, costume contest, tractor show, quilt show, tractor parade, pancake breakfast, wagon rides and more. Sponsor, vendor or volunteer contacts: Darlene, 256-396-1201; Tammy, 256-396-9222 or Barbara, 256-396-6143 2 • Pike Road, 47th Annual Pike Road Arts and Crafts Fair The Historic Marks House, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Over 250 exhibitor spaces featuring antiques, clothing, cookbooks, crafts, furniture, candles, jewelry, seasonal items, stained glass, wood items and much more. Admission: $5 at the gate ($3 advanced), children under 8 are free. www.pikeroadartsandcraftsfair.com 2 • Stockton, Stockton Sawmill Days Baldwin County’s Bicentennial Park, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Step back in time to the days of sawmills when logging along the Mobile-Tensaw Delta was done with mules and draft animals. Learn to hitch a team, pull logs and load a wagon. Watch professional lumberjacks compete in log-rolling, pole climbing, cross-cut sawing and more. Information: 251-937-3738 4 • Enterprise, Musical Review “Ring of Fire”. Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m. Presented by the Coffee County Arts Alliance. For more information call 334-406-2787. www.CoffeeCountyArtsAlliance.com 6-10 • Wetumpka, Alabama Frontier Days. Ft. Toulouse/Ft. Jackson Park. See the transformation from Creek Indian lands to pioneer settler homesteads and forts during the period 1700-1820. Period entertainment, music, magician and more. Admission: $8 adults, school age children $7, 5 years and under are free. Information: 334-567-3002 9 • Arab, Arab Mothers’ Club Holiday Bazaar. Arab Junior High School, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. More than 100 arts, craft and business vendors. All proceeds benefit Arab City Schools. Information: Natalie Burke, 256-738-8043 or email@example.com 9 • Robertsdale, 9th Annual Christmas Bazaar. PZK Hall in Robertsdale, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Food, arts and crafts, baked goods, gift items, door prizes, pictures with Santa and more. Admission: free. Information: 251-947-8973 To place an event e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit www. alabamaliving.coop. You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations. Like Alabama Living on facebook Follow Alabama Living on Twitter @Alabama_Living www.alabamaliving.coop Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 29 OCOTBER October Gardening Tips Power Plants d d d d d d d d d d d d Fall is perfect time to visit ‘U-Pick’ farms By Katie Jackson Plant a winter cover crop (ryegrass, etc.) in your garden to protect and enrich soil. Clean and oil garden tools for winter storage. Continue mowing lawns until no sign of new growth is evident. Plant shrubs and trees. Apply compost to gardens and turn compost piles. Keep bird feeders and birdbaths lled to attract migrating and local birds. Test soil and add amendments as needed. Dry and save seed. Take cuttings of tender perennials. Harvest and dry or freeze herbs for winter use. Clean and store empty pots, garden tools and equipment for the winter. Plant lettuces, spinach, turnips, radishes and onion sets. According to www.hobbyfarms.com, U-pick operations are one ummer’s over and the days are getting shorter, which means it’s time to put every one of those dwindling daylight hours of the fastest growing sectors of small-farm agriculture, in part because they o er a nostalgic experience for customers. to good use, whether at work or at play. at’s something that Andy Millard, co-owner of Mountain On the work front, use some of that daylight to ready the yard and garden for winter. Remove dead plants, fallen fruits or veg- View Orchard in Chilton County, has seen rsthand. Mountain View Orchards (www.mountainvieworchards.com) etables, limbs and leaves from gardens, orchard oors and the o ers U-pick peaches, apples and other tree fruit from summer landscape. While you’re at it, trim o weak or dead limbs from trees and large shrubs, especially those located close to a house or through early fall (they may still have a few apples le this month other structure where they might fall and cause damage during and they expect to have a longer season in the years to come). Andy and his partner/father-in-law, Steve Wilson, established the winter weather events. Invest some of those precious daytime hours in preparing your orchard a few years ago as a way to involve their entire family in plants for winter as well. Repot any plants that have outgrown farming. But the orchard has also been great for other families, their containers and bring in any potted plants that can’t toler- an experience that Millard nds very rewarding. “Having the U-pick allows famiate cold weather, but check to make lies to bring out the younger generasure you’re not also bringing in liztion to the farm so that they can see ards, bugs or any other surprises exactly where food comes from,” he from the great outdoors. says, noting that a number of their To prepare landscape plants for customers bring their children and winter, mulch tender perennials or grandchildren to the farm so to get newly planted shrubs and trees and out of the city and experience the deeply water landscape plants, escountry. But it also o ers some of pecially new plantings, every week his older customers a way to remior 10 days until the rst hard freeze. nisce and give their grandchildren Use some of that daylight to plant a glimpse of what life was like for annuals such as mums, pansies and them back when they worked on ornamental kale and cabbage for immediate beauty and color, or Ava Claire Millard, Steve Wilson, Francesca Millard and Andy family farms. Millard has also noticed that plant spring-blooming bulbs, which Millard of Mountain View Orchard in Chilton County. many of his customers are drawn to the porch at Mountain View’s won’t be pretty until next year but will be well worth the wait. All work and no play can be, well, dull, so incorporate some general store. “I see older couples approach the general store and, when they fun in your days. A walk in the fall woods is always worthwhile, spot our chairs, they head straight over and sit and sit...,” he says, but this time of year there are also some great agri-tourism activiadding that many people either don’t have front porches or don’t ties to enjoy. Among these are corn mazes, U-pick pumpkin patches and have the time to sit on their own porches where, as Millard says, fruit orchards and fall food and farm festivals, not to mention “they can sit with a breeze.” In this fast-food, tech-driven world, visiting a farm can be a those U-cut Christmas tree farms that will be opening their gates unique and long-lasting experience that, Millard hopes, also helps as the holidays get closer. Activities such as these not only are fun, they can reap some create the next generation of customers as today’s youngsters grow truly fresh fall produce, they are educational and participating in up and continue to come to the farm to purchase their food. To nd such an experience in your part of the state visit www. them helps support local farmers. pickyourown.org/AL.htm. is page is worth bookmarking, too, because it o ers listings of farms that have spring and summer produce as well as fall and winter items. To see a list of Alabama fall food festivals visit the Alabama Tourism Department’s Year of Katie Jackson, who recently retired as chief editor Alabama Food webpage at www.yearofalabamafood.com/events/. for the Auburn University College of Agriculture William Cullen Bryant once said of fall: “Autumn...the year’s and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station is now a fulltime freelance writer and editor. Contact last, loveliest smile.” Whatever you do with your days this fall, nd her at email@example.com. ways to make you smile. A 30 OCTOBER 2013 www.alabamaliving.coop S Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 31 ‘All-of-the-above’ energy strategy needed Proposal would harm rural America n late June, President Obama announced a series of actions to combat climate change. For electric coops, the outline hammered one point that has us ready to do battle: reducing the volume of greenhouse gases—primarily carbon dioxide—emitted from fossil fuel-burning power plants, both new and existing. To that end, the President has inJo Ann Emerson is the chief executive officer structed the U.S. Environmental Protecof NRECA tion Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon emissions under the federal Clean Air Act, a law last updated in 1990 that contains not a single line mentioning carbon dioxide. Under the sweeping mandate set forth, the White House risks shuttering the nation’s entire coal eet—roughly 37 percent of generation capacity—and driving up electric bills for all consumers. NRECA and its member cooperatives oppose using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases and will engage the administration at every turn to inject common sense back into policy discussions. Whether you agree with the President’s underlying concerns about global warming or not, the basic fact is that short of closing all coal- red power plants there are no economically viable tools currently available to accomplish his goals. For several years, electric co-ops have warned the Obama administration that employing the Clean Air Act to curb power plant carbon dioxide emissions is badly misguided. Without signi cant modi cations, co-ops feel the President’s proposal will jack up electric bills for those who can least a ord it—our consumermembers. Rural residents already spend a greater chunk of their income on energy than those in urban communities. One of our rst missions as not-for-pro t electric co-ops remains keeping rates a ordable—an important consideration since household income in our service territories runs 11 percent lower than the national average and one person in six served by a co-op lives in poverty. Forcing electric co-ops to shut down coal plants and switch to other fuels amounts to levying a punitive, regressive tax on rural America. History shows us this bad idea was tried once before, with bad results. In the late 1970s policymakers were concerned the U.S. would soon run out of natural gas, the main energy source for heating and cooking in many parts of our land. Congress’s solution to the issue was passing the ill-conceived Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act of 1978, which prohibited burning natural gas to generate electricity. To meet growing demand for power, utilities were 32 OCTOBER 2013 I forced to choose either coal or nuclear power facilities. For electric co-ops the timing couldn’t have been worse. e measure kicked in just as generation and transmission co-ops (G&Ts) were in the middle of a major power plant building cycle. In the end, many found themselves shi ing generation strategies midstream—an expensive proposition—and either partnering with investor-owned utilities in nuclear reactors or constructing stateof-the-art coal stations equipped with scrubbers and other pollution control technologies. anks to the Fuel Use Act, power costs soared, and with them, cooperative electric bills. Realizing its mistake, Congress repealed the act in 1987. Yet because of the legislation, many electric cooperatives became deeply invested in coal. Today, coal accounts for about 74 percent of the power produced by G&Ts and 55 percent of all electric cooperative electricity requirements. Just like 35 years ago, the President’s call for action has co-ops once again faced with shi ing fuels—in this case, choosing natural gas or renewables over coal. However, in regions without access to natural gas pipelines, changing from coal to natural gas isn’t feasible. On the renewables front, co-ops have emerged as leaders, adding “clean and green” power systems where it makes economic sense—such as solar photovoltaic arrays in the Southwest and wind farms across the Great Plains and Midwest. But the sun doesn’t always shine (clouds) and the wind doesn’t always blow, especially during periods of peak demand on hot, humid summer weekday a ernoons or cold winter mornings below minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit when power is needed most. Keeping the lights on 24 hours a day, seven days a week requires traditional baseload generation—namely coal, nuclear, and hydro—as well as a full mix of fuels. e National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, on behalf of America’s electric cooperatives, will continue to urge the President and his administration to work with co-ops on a real “all-of-the-above” energy strategy to keep electric bills a ordable for rural Americans. To sign up for more information, visit action.coop. —NRECA www.alabamaliving.coop Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 33 Alabama Recipes Smoothies and Milkshakes Cook of the Month: Deanna Bonagura, Central Alabama EC Melon Smoothie ½ cantaloupe (remove from rind) 1 apple (peeled, cored and sliced) 1 cup of vanilla yogurt ½ cup coconut milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon coconut extract Handful of spinach (optional) 2-5 tablespoons honey (more or less, according to taste) 2-3 cups ice (depending on how ripe fruit is) Into the blender: Add everything except the ice. Blend until spinach pieces disappear and the mixture is smooth. Add ice and blend until smooth. Note: Be sure to know the amount your blender can hold (for smaller models, perhaps half the recipe). A high-powered blender is recommended for this recipe. Servings: 2-3 You could win $50! Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: December January February Cookies Soups/Chilis Pasta Dishes October 15 November 15 December 15 online at alabamaliving.coop email to firstname.lastname@example.org mail to Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 Submit: ast Christmas, I received a really nice blender from my parents. I was so excited to try it out to make smoothies and milkshakes, but then I got in a rut with the same old drinks, and off the machine went into the appliance garage. Well, now I plan to dust it off to try out some new recipes. My 4 year-old loves to have a smoothie for the ride to school in the mornings so maybe I can slip some greens into hers. Keep sending in your favorite recipes and remember we have three ways to submit: Online, email and snail mail. We want to know your favorite holiday traditions and memories. Find out more on page 37. Happy Fall! L 34 OCTOBER 2013 Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by www.alabamaliving.coop a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe. Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 35 Very Berry Smoothie 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries 3 ⁄ cup non-fat vanilla yogurt 4 3 ⁄ cup cranberry juice 1 tablespoon honey 4 Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth and enjoy. Any of the cranberry juice blends, such as cranberrypomegranate, work just as well. Becky Tomerlin, Black Warrior EMC Yummy Fruit Smoothie 11⁄ cups reduced-fat milk 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar 2 bananas (peeled) 2 2 cups frozen whole strawberries (do not thaw) Place milk and sugar in blender. Break banana into chunks while adding to blender; add strawberries. Blend on high until smooth; scrape sides with rubber spatula, as needed. Chill until ready to serve. Sara-Beth Turner, Baldwin EMC Mom’s Best Orange Smoothie 1 6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate 1 cup milk ⁄ -3⁄ cup sugar 1 cup water 1 teaspoon vanilla 10-12 ice cubes 1 2 4 Place frozen orange juice concentrate in blender. Pour in the milk, sugar, water and vanilla. Add ice cubes on top. Blend on ice setting until the smoothie is frothy. Try not to drink it all in one sitting. Lisa Sipper, Joe Wheeler EMC Strawberry-Pineapple Smoothie ½ cup apple juice 2 tablespoons pineapple juice ½ cup low-fat strawberry yogurt ¼ cup pineapple chunks, drained ¾ cup frozen strawberries Pour apple juice and pineapple juice into blender; add yogurt, pineapple chunks and frozen strawberries. Blend until smooth. Makes 2 servings Pamela Parker, Arab EC 36 OCTOBER 2013 Want to see recipes, feature stories, and other Alabama happenings before the next issue? LIke Alabama Living on facebook and don’t miss anything! Calling for Holiday Traditions and Memories! The December issue will feature holiday cookie recipes, but we are also looking for a little something more personal from our readers! Have a funny holiday story? What is your annual Christmas morning tradition? Please send us your favorite holiday memory or tradition (it can be funny!) along with a photo for our special December holiday cookie theme. The deadline will be October 15. If you submit online, look for the “Submit Your Recipe” button on the right side of alabamaliving.coop. Leave your memory/ tradition in the directions portion of the recipe form, then use the easy upload tool for your photo. We look forward to hearing from you! Submissions can be submitted online at alabamaliving.coop, by email to email@example.com, or by mail to December Memories, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 We’re everywhere! 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(256) 352-5721, firstname.lastname@example.org GULF SHORES / FT. MORGAN / NOT A CONDO! The original “Beach House” on Ft. Morgan peninsula – 2BR/1BA – Pet friendly, non-smoking – $695/wk, (256)418-2131, www. originalbeachhouseal.com APPALACHIAN TRAIL CABINS BY the trail in the Georgia Mountains – 3000’ above sea level, snowy winters, cool summers, inexpensive rates – (800)284-6866, www.bloodmountain. com PIGEON FORGE COZY CABINS FOR Rent by Owner (865) 712-7633, vrbo. com/483181 FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)566-0892, mailady96@yahoo. com Camping / Hunting / Fishing ANDALUSIA AREA RV CAMPGROUND FOR HUNTERS/ FISHERMEN - on Point ‘A’ Lake Nightly, weekly & monthly rates Reservations (334)388-0342, www. shacrvpark.com BOLIGEE, 230 ACRES BIG DEER, TURKEY, DUCKPOND – Small Cabin, new equipment shed – Randall Burns, DuckworthMorris Real Estate (800)345-1810 Real Estate Sales GULF SHORES GREAT CONDO BUYS, COASTAL AND INLAND – Call (251)948-8008 - www. PeteOnTheBeach.com – Century21 Meyer Real Estate Travel CARIBBEAN CRUISES AT THE LOWEST PRICE – (256)974-0500 or (800)726-0954 Musical Notes PIANOS TUNED, REPAIRED, refinished. Box 171, Coy, AL 36435. 334-337-4503 38 OCTOBER 2013 www.alabamaliving.coop PLAY GOSPEL SONGS BY EAR 10 lessons $12.95. “LEARN GOSPEL MUSIC”. Chording, runs, fills - $12.95 Both $24. Davidsons, 6727AR Metcalf, Shawnee Missions, Kansas 66204 – (913)262-4982 Critters CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. REGISTERED, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet records and references. (256)796-2893 How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our o ce): Education FREE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE – write to 23600 Alabama Highway 24, Trinity, AL, 35673 BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 7558 West Thunderbird Road, Ste. 1 - #114, Peoria, Arizona 85381. http://www.ordination.org Fruits / Nuts / Berries GROW MUSCADINES AND BLACKBERRIES , half dollar size – We offer over 200 varieties of Fruit and Nut Trees plus Vines and Berry Plants . Free color catalog. 1-800-7330324. Ison’s Nursery, P.O. Box 190, Brooks, GA 30205 Since 1934 www. isons.com December 2013 – Oct. 25 January 2014 – Nov. 25 February 2014 – Dec. 25 -Ads are $1.75 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis -Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each -Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to hdutton@ areapower.com or call (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing. -We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards Mail ad submission along with a check or money order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Classi eds. Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 39 Safe @ Home Dove hunters: Take precautions when in the eld STAYING WITHIN THE LAW: I t’s that time of year again, and hunters are getting out in their camou age and orange to hunt mourning doves. Now is a good time to review hunting best practices while staying safe and within the law. According to Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Hunter Education Coordinator Marisa Futral, hunters should stay 50 yards away from the next hunter in a eld. Futral says that several hunters can occupy the same eld as long as they are safety conscious and aware of those around them. Hunters are advised to wear hunter orange in the form of a cap or vest so that they can be seen easily. Birds react more to movement than they do color, so it is not mandatory for hunters to wear camou age. Hunters should also wear ear and eye protection when in the eld. Futral also advises hunters to: • Establish your safe zone of fire before the shooting begins. Never shoot at low- ying birds or toward a road, house or livestock. • Don’t shoot crippled birds; pellets can ricochet off the ground and cause injury to you, others or your four-legged friends. It is easy enough to chase down a wounded bird on foot, or bring a retriever with you if possible. ey make catching crippled birds much easier, and they allow you to stay at your shooting station, where other hunters are expecting you to be. • Use common sense. This can be easy to forget when doves are ying and the shooting is fast. Unload your gun every now and then and take a short breather to drink water, water your dog and watch other hunters. e ADCNR has asked hunters to report dove bands, which are used to get data on the birds for the purpose of good wildlife management. e department uses the information for survival rates, movements and harvest rates. Hunters can help by checking the legs of mourning doves for a silver band, or “bracelet.” Reporting information is located on each band in small print. Hunters may call 1-800-327-BAND (2263) to report a harvested dove. Banded birds may also be reported online at www.pwrc.usgs.gov. A Michael Kelley is senior manager of Safety & Loss Control for the Alabama Rural Electric Association. Randy Glaze is manager of Safety & Loss Control for the Alabama Rural Electric Association. Hunters may hunt doves on, over or from: A Lands or areas where seeds or grains have been scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural operations, which include normal agricultural harvestings, normal agricultural post-harvest manipulations, or normal agricultural practices. A Lands planted by means of top-sowing or aerial seeding where seeds have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, a planting for agricultural soil erosion control, or a planting for post-mining land reclamation. A Lands or areas where grain or feed has been distributed or scattered solely as the result of the manipulation of an agricultural crop or other feed on the land where grown. A Standing crops. A Lands planted as wildlife food plots, provided the seed is planted in a manner consistent with Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service recommendations for the planting of wildlife food plots. In states without Cooperative Extension Service recommendations for the planting of food plots, the seed must be planted in accordance with Extension Service guidelines for producing a crop. A Lands planted as pasture improvements or for the purpose of grazing livestock. (The Fish and Wildlife Service will not make a distinction between agricultural fields planted with the intent to gather a crop and those planted without such intent provided the planting is carried out in a manner consistent with the recommendations of State Extension Specialists). A Standing or manipulated natural vegetation. A A blind or other place of concealment camou aged with natural vegetation. SOURCE: THE ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES Get Certi ed If you were born on or after August 1, 1977, you must complete an approved hunter education program before being eligible to hunt. To take the course online, visit Hunter-Ed. com or HUNTERcourse.com. 40 OCTOBER 2013 www.alabamaliving.coop Event will help you train your ‘Gentlemen’s Gundog’ e Alabama Wildlife Federation will present Gusto Gundog Field Days October 24-26, at the Gusto estate near Hayneville. World-renowned trainer Mike Stewart of Wildrose Kennels of Oxford, Miss., which specializes in producing classic English Labrador hunting and adventure companions, will conduct the training. “We plan to be very exible at this event with enough trainers on hand to take care of the owner’s needs,” Stewart says. “We will customize our training curriculum to meet the needs of each dog while keeping the owner’s expectations in mind.” e training is open to all breeds at all levels, started to nished. The key focus will be on seven basic skills that owners must have to develop a wingshooting, destination, gamefinding, sporting dog. Stewart says the training “is the only one of its kind designed to train a dog for duality — so that a dog is prepared to go anywhere, any time for any type of wingshooting or outside adventure.” Duality, Stewart says, “is a newer term that means a dog with a dual purpose —one that has two di erent wingshooting disciplines. It’s a dog that retrieves and fetches quail, strikes and flushes pheasant and ducks and doves, but also is cross-trained to do other types of sporting activities ( y shing, kayaking, mountain biking). “’Gentlemen’s Gundog’ is a proprietary term I coined in the 1990s that depicts the type of dog Wildrose Kennels turns out for the market. It combines game nding abilities with compatibility. It’s a lifestyle dog rather than just a sporting dog — a wingshooting destination companion that is as compatible in the eld as in the home.” e breeds of dogs best suited for the event are those that have superior compatibility with a quiet temperament and a Alabama Living strong identity with their owner and family, Stewart says. “ ese include short hairs, spaniels, English setters, retrievers and labs. Dogs that are strictly high-end pointing breeds with no compatibility will not be e ective at this event. e perfect dog is one that points, backs, retrieves and hangs out with the family.” In addition to hands-on instruction, participants will receive 2 DVDs, a 265page book for reference and follow-up, and one free membership to the Alabama Wildlife Federation. Register at www.alabamawildlife.org/gusto-gundog. To learn more about Gusto Gundog Field Days, go to AWF’s website at www.alabamawildlife. org or call 334.285.4550. The Alabama Wildlife Federation, established by sportsmen in 1935, is the state’s oldest and largest citizens’ conservation organization. e mission of the Alabama Wildlife Federation, a 501©3 nonprofit group supported by membership dues and donations, is to promote conservation and wise use of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources as a basis for economic and social prosperity. A Tables indicate peak sh and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before and an hour after. Minor peaks, half-hour before and after. Adjusted for daylight savings time. a.m. p.m. Minor Major Minor Major OCT.16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 NOV. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 08:07 08:52 10:07 11:22 ---01:37 03:22 04:22 10:52 11:22 --07:52 08:22 08:16 09:01 09:46 11:01 ---01:31 03:01 09:16 10:01 10:46 11:31 07:16 08:16 09:01 10:01 11:01 --12:46 02:46 08:46 09:31 10:16 10:46 11:16 11:46 07:31 08:01 01:07 01:52 02:37 03:22 04:22 05:37 07:07 08:22 09:22 10:22 05:22 05:52 06:37 07:07 12:52 01:22 01:01 01:31 02:01 02:46 03:46 04:46 06:01 07:16 08:31 04:01 04:46 05:46 06:31 12:01 12:46 01:31 02:16 03:16 04:01 05:16 06:31 07:46 03:46 04:46 05:16 05:46 06:31 07:01 12:16 12:46 01:22 02:07 02:52 03:37 09:07 10:52 09:07 09:52 03:52 04:22 04:52 05:07 12:07 12:22 12:52 01:22 01:01 01:31 02:16 03:31 07:46 07:46 08:16 08:46 02:31 03:01 03:31 04:16 -12:16 01:01 02:01 03:01 04:31 10:16 07:31 01:31 02:01 02:31 03:01 03:31 04:01 04:31 -12:31 01:01 06:37 07:07 07:52 08:22 12:52 02:07 02:52 03:37 10:22 10:52 11:22 11:52 12:22 05:52 06:07 06:37 06:01 06:31 06:46 07:16 12:01 01:01 01:31 02:01 09:31 10:01 10:46 11:16 04:46 05:31 06:01 06:46 07:31 08:31 12:01 12:46 08:31 09:01 09:31 10:16 10:46 11:16 11:46 04:46 5:16 05:46 OCTOBER 2013 41 Our Sources Say Climate change: Science or politics A lthough he didn’t say it, President Obama clearly declared a war on coal in a speech June 26 at Georgetown University. He stated he would take action on climate change because the issue was too critical and the damage too acute to wait on Congress to act. He said he had instructed EPA to implement rules to control carbon dioxide emissions from coal- red electric generating plants. He stated we didn’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society and that he doesn’t have patience for anyone who denies the reality of climate change. He stopped short of saying climate change is the result of anthropogenic (man-made) carbon dioxide, but the implication was clear – burning coal is increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, causing temperatures to rise. Despite a 50 percent increase in global carbon dioxide since 1990 (U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have dropped to 16 percent of total global carbon dioxide emissions), it appears the climate has not changed dramatically. Inconveniently, annual global temperature has remained statistically unchanged for the past 17 years. President Obama stated that July 2012 was the warmest month in the warmest year on record. What he didn’t say was the warmest temperature was not the hottest temperature on record. Rather, the July 2012 night temperatures were slightly less cool than the next warmest year in the 1930s. Even Phil Jones with the UK’s Climate Research Unit, one of the most outspoken climate change alarmists, admits global temperatures have increased only 0.12C per decade over the past 17 years, which is not statistically signi cant with a measurement uncertainty of 0.5C (four times the temperature change). President Obama stated more than once in his speech that “97 percent of scientists acknowledge the planet is warming and human activity is contributing to it.” His comments relate to the study authored by J.D. Cook, “Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scienti c Literature,” based on surveys of paper abstracts. It was not mentioned that, weeks a er the study, Cook admitted that only 1.8 percent of the authors expressed an opinion in the abstracts. So the actual count of scientists is 97 percent of 1.8 percent. President Obama also stated that Arctic ice is receding quickly, and we must act before it is completely gone. What he didn’t say was that Arctic ice was not tracked by satellite data until 1979, so the sample size is still extremely small. e National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported last year there was 28 percent more Arctic ice than in 2007 and that Arctic temperatures were higher in the 1930s. Others, like Al Gore, have consistently stated that climate change has caused more and stronger hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and oods. Data recorded by Dr. John Christy at the University of Alabama at Huntsville and con rmed by NOAA establish there are fewer and less severe hurricanes and tornadoes in this century than in other eras. Also, there is no scienti c evidence that droughts and oods are any more frequent or severe than in other periods. President Obama also carries his attack on carbon dioxide emissions on political grounds. He refers to “carbon pollution,” although life is impossible without carbon dioxide. He used the term “carbon pollution” at least 20 times in his Georgetown speech to correlate carbon dioxide emissions with the alleged damage of climate change. If the President can move the political bar of public opinion against carbon dioxide emissions by painting it with the brush of carbon pollution, he can bring pressure on electric utilities that burn coal to agree to a tax on carbon emissions. e carbon tax, of course, solves many problems for the President. e interests of the environmental le are served with the carbon tax, which theoretically reduces carbon dioxide emissions and also raises tax revenue for government spending programs. It appears climate change is now much more a political issue than a scienti c issue. And, who knows what happens in politics. ank you for reading. I hope you have a good month. A Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative 44 OCTOBER 2013 www.alabamaliving.coop Our Sources Say Tennessee Valley experiencing unusual summer T he Tennessee Valley region has experienced a much cooler and wetter summer than normal in 2013. As a matter of fact, rainfall in the region is running approximately 35 percent above normal so far this year. In addition, this summer will be ranked as one of the coolest in more than 130 years. e increased rainfall has provided TVA with additional lowcost “fuel” for our hydroelectric dams, which has resulted in an increase in hydro generation of almost 45 percent this year. e cooler weather coupled with the increased hydroelectric generation should have resulted in lower utility bills for most customers this summer. Due to the increased rainfall that we have experienced, I thought it would be a good time to review some facts about TVA’s hydroelectric facilities and then discuss how we prepare for the winter ood season. Hydroelectric facilities Hydropower is America’s leading renewable energy resource. Of all the renewable power sources, it’s the most reliable, e cient and economical. TVA maintains 29 conventional hydroelectric dams throughout the Tennessee River system and one pumped-storage facility for the production of electricity. In addition, four Alcoa dams on the Little Tennessee River and eight U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams on the Cumberland River contribute to the TVA power system. Water is needed to run a hydroelectric generating unit. It’s held in a lake behind the dam, and the force of the water being released from the lake through the dam spins the blades of a turbine. e turbine is connected to the generator that produces electricity. After passing through the turbine, the water reenters the river on the downstream side of the dam. Unlike a conventional hydroelectric unit, a pumped-storage plant uses two reservoirs, one located at a much higher elevation than the other. During periods of low demand for electricity, such as nights and weekends, energy is stored by reversing the turbines and pumping water from the lower to the upper reservoir. e stored water can later be released to turn the turbines and generate electricity as it ows back into the lower reservoir. Kevin Chandler is general manager, Alabama District Customer Service, for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Reducing ﬂood damage TVA prepares for the winter ood season by lowering the level of ood-storage reservoirs to make room to hold the runo produced by winter storms. When a storm hits, TVA holds the water back by reducing releases from the dams in areas where it is raining. When the rain stops and the danger of ooding is over, TVA gradually lets the water out to get ready for the next storm. In the summer, when ood risk is lower, TVA keeps lake levels higher to support recreation. To get ready for winter, TVA begins releasing water from tributary storage reservoirs at a faster rate following Labor Day weekend. is allows TVA to put the stored water to good use during September and October - which are typically hot, dry months - by generating electricity to power air conditioners and supplementing ows for water quality and navigation. Main-river reservoirs don’t uctuate nearly as much as the tributaries because of their original design and navigation requirements. eir drawdowns are staggered from July through the end of the year to ensure the released water can be used e ciently, generating electricity as it runs through the turbines at as many as nine dams downstream. e seasonal drawdown begins a er the 4th of July weekend on Kentucky Reservoir; following the Labor Day weekend on Chickamauga, Guntersville, Wheeler, and Pickwick; and on Nov. 1 on Fort Loudoun and Watts Bar. Reservoirs are typically lowered at least to winter ood-guide levels by Jan. 1 each year. During the ood season, these levels may fall below ood guide levels by several feet to satisfy other operating objectives, but ood guide levels will only be exceeded during ood control operations. As soon as the downstream oodwaters begin to recede, the reservoirs are lowered at a controlled rate to recover ood storage space for future storms. If enough water can’t be released through the turbines, it is sometimes necessary to let additional water ow through sluiceways or over spillways to speed up the drawdown and regain the storage space needed for future rains. Aggressive lling of tributary reservoirs to summer levels begins in mid-March, when the chance of ood-producing storms, prolonged wet periods and multi-storm sequences begins to decline. Main-river reservoirs are kept at lower levels until near the end of the ood season - late April or early May - because ood storage space in these reservoirs is so limited. (For this same reason, however, main-river For more information reservoirs fill more quickly than You can always nd more tributary reservoirs.) A small amount of ood storage information on TVA hycapacity is reserved in all reservoirs droelectric facilities and through the summer months as a our river management protection against ood-producing practices by visiting our website at tva.com. storms over limited areas. A 44 OCTOBER 2013 www.alabamaliving.coop 44 SEPTEMBER 2013 www.alabamaliving.coop Market Place Alabama Living OCTOBER 2013 45 Alabama Snapshots 1 2 4 7 My favorite electric appliance Submit Your Images! DECEMBER THEME: 3 “Christmas morning” SUBMIT PHOTOS THROUGH OUR WEBSITE: alabamaliving.coop/submit-photo/ OR SEND COLOR PHOTOS WITH A LARGE SELF ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE TO: Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL, 36124 RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www.alabamaliving.coop. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. DEADLINE FOR DECEMBER: October 31 1. W i s h b o n e ’ s f a v o r i t e appliance on a hot summer day SUBMITTED BY Amenda Pope, Elba 2. Hadley Hinds, 12, with her electric pea sheller SUBMITTED BY Sandy Hinds, Bremen 3. “In 1950, my aunt Dorothy Wilhelm received a new We s t i n g h o u s e r o a s t e r oven. I have had it the past 15 years and it is the only oven I have in my home and it works like new at 63 years old,” according to Mary Ann Gove. SUBMITTED BY Mary Ann Gove, Cottonwood, Arizona 4. Hannah Starnes, 6, with the Wa eCone Express SUBMITTED BY Sarah Hallman, Autaugaville www.alabamaliving.coop 46 OCTOBER 2013 F BEST O A ALABAM Best of Alabama for a chance to win Cast your vote for the $ Please tell us your favorite in each of the categories that you’ve experienced: 1) Public garden ___________________________________ 2) Currently performing Alabama Band ___________________________________ 3) Alabama writer ___________________________________ 4) State park ___________________________________ 5) Historical site ___________________________________ 6) Alabama made product (brand name) ___________________________________ 7) Kid friendly vacation destination ___________________________________ 8) Antique/ ea market ___________________________________ 9) Annual festival ___________________________________ 10) Trail (run/walk/bike) ___________________________________ 11) Non-franchise restaurant ___________________________________ 12) Place to satisfy your sweet tooth ___________________________________ 13) Golf course ___________________________________ 14) Mountain destination ___________________________________ 15) Local performing arts site ___________________________________ 16) Beach destination ___________________________________ 17) Weekend getaway ___________________________________ 18) Lake ___________________________________ 19) Public shing spot ___________________________________ 20) Best kept secret in Alabama (location or business) ___________________________________ PLEASE PRINT LEGIBLY 250 Deadline to vote is Oct 15, 2013. Name: __________________________________________________ VOTE ONLINE www.alabamaliving.coop Address: ____________________________ City: _______________ St: _____ Zip: _________ Phone Number: ______________________ Co-op: ___________________________________ Please mail to: Alabama Living Survey • P.O. Box 244014 • Montgomery, AL 36124 No purchase necessary. Eligibility: Contest open to all persons age 18 and over, except employees and their immediate family members of Alabama Rural Electric Association, and Alabama Electric Cooperatives; and their respective divisions, subsidiaries, a liates, advertising, and promotion agencies.