November 2018 Clarke-Washington

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Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News November 2018



A century of service: Maxwell AFB turns 100 Co-ops team up to serve base



Manager Steve Sheffield Co-op Editor Sarah Hansen 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. Subscriptions are $12 a year for individuals not subscribing through participating Alabama electric cooperatives. 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.

Nuts about nuts


Nuts are found in myriad recipes — both savory and sweet — and almost always hold their own with other big, bold tastes. And they’re healthy. Each has its own nutrition numbers, but they’re all good sources of protein and fiber. Our reader recipes are a great place to try some nutty delicious treats for the holidays, and any time!

VOL. 71 NO. 11 n NOVEMBER 2018


POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014.



AREA President Fred Braswell Editor Lenore Vickrey Managing Editor Allison Law Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Danny Weston Advertising Director Jacob Johnson Graphic Designer/Ad Coordinator Brooke Echols Communications Coordinator Laura Stewart




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King of pageants

Andalusia’s Bill Alverson has coached several Miss America contestants to victory and the Netflix series “Insatiable,” based on his life, has been renewed for a second season.

Worth the drive

From the rustic water tower in the front, to its walls of old movie posters, 50 Taters in Scottsboro delivers comfort food in a downhome atmosphere.



340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 For advertising, email: For editorial inquiries, email:

CWEMC Annual Meeting Recap


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In this issue: Page 11 Page 28

11 Spotlight 32 Gardens 29 Around Alabama 40 Outdoors 41 Fish & Game Forecast 34 Cook of the Month 46 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: ON THE COVER: Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery celebrates 100 years of service in 2018. An aerial view from the mid-1950s shows WWII barracks built for cadets attending school during the war. Bottom, Wilbur and Orville Wright operated their first flying school on land that would later be home for the base. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: Mark Stephenson; Maxwell AFB photos


Thank you, ‘Mr. Stan’ OFFICE LOCATIONS Jackson Office 1307 College Avenue P.O. Box 398 Jackson, AL 36545 251-246-9081 Chatom Office P.O. Box 143 Chatom, AL 36518 251-847-2302 Toll Free Number 1-800-323-9081. Office Hours 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday (Drive-thru Hours)

PAYMENT OPTIONS Mail P.O. Box 398 Jackson, AL 36545 P.O. Box 143 Chatom, AL 36518 Office During normal office hours at our Chatom and Jackson offices. Phone 855-870-0403 Online Night Deposit 24/7 at Jackson & Chatom CWEMC App Available from the App Store and Google Play



Transition is part of the normal course of business Please allow me to express my sincere appreciation to J. Stanley Wilson and the Board of Clarke-Washington EMC for their loyal and dedicated service to CWEMC. Mr. Stan, as he’ll always be known to me, announced his retirement in August after more than 40 years of service in the electric cooperative world.

ciative of the confidence the CWEMC Board has placed in me by naming me to succeed Stan Wilson as the manager of Clarke-Washington EMC. I have worked at CWEMC for more than 24 years in many areas, including member services and communications, customer service, operations and safety. I look forward to continuing to serve the membership of CWEMC. I look forward to a smooth transition and plan to continue to manage with a strong conservative approach while embracing current and future technologies

After graduating from Auburn University, he began his career as a member services employee at Pioneer Electric Cooperative in Greenville, Alabama. A native of the Ollie community As the old saying goes, “Some people dig in Monroe County, he relocated to Greenville and then a well for others to drink from.” Mr. Stan to Chatom where he served truly dug a deep well for current and as the district supervisor future members and employees to drink for many years before being appointed general manager from. Thank you, “Mr. Stan.” of CWEMC in 1990, a position he held for more than 28 years. Although he worked in the Jackson that can make us more efficient and responoffice for the last 28 years, he continued to sive to members’ needs and desires. live and raise his family in Chatom, a community where he became deeply entrenched As is often the case, change can cause a through the years. chain reaction which provides opportunity for others within the organization. In the He carefully guided CWEMC through case of CWEMC, long-time employee Susan difficult and prosperous times, storms, Dunn, who had previously served as staff technology upgrades and facility improve- assistant, will assume the role of assistant ments and made many decisions during his manager. Also, Steve Brannan, who has tenure, always keeping the members’ best served as the service man in Clarke and interest in mind. He never made a hasty parts of Wilcox and Monroe counties, will decision and always considered the impact assume a leadership role in operations. of any decision he made on the membership of CWEMC. He managed the daily and I congratulate Mr. Stan on his retirement long term operations of the cooperative and Susan and Steve on their new roles. with the 7 cooperative principles in mind and took tremendous pride in the fact that Steve Sheffield was recently named to CWEMC, with low density and high costs, succeed Stan Wilson as manager of Clarkeis in the middle of the pack of other electric Washington EMC. He is a native of the cooperatives relative to rates, service, equity, McVay community in Clarke County and membership satisfaction and many other holds a degree in management. He has been measurable milestones. with CWEMC since 1994. As the old saying goes, “Some people dig a well for others to drink from.” Mr. Stan truly dug a deep well for current and future members and employees to drink from. Thank you, “Mr. Stan.” Transition is part of the normal course of business and we certainly intend to carry on business as usual. I am honored and appre-

Steve Sheffield General Manager

| Clarke-Washington EMC |

Stan Wilson Day Chatom Mayor Harold Crouch presented a resolution at the Annual Meeting declaring that October 2, 2018 would forever be known as Stan Wilson Day in the town of Chatom. Crouch said, “Stan Wilson has served the people of Chatom, Alabama through his employment with Clarke-Washington Electric Membership Corporation and being a faithful citizen of the Town of Chatom. Wilson has supported all endeavors of life in Chatom, such as the Chatom Dixie Youth, Washington County Hospital Association, Washington County Economic Initiative, Washington County Public Library, Washington County High School Educational, Athletic and Band programs.” Wilson always had the best interest of the members in mind. He guided the cooperative through many storms, technology upgrades and facility improvements. The board and the employees are grateful to Wilson’s dedication, service and commitment to the cooperative over the years. Thank you, Mr. Stan, for the dedicated years of hard work. Alabama Living

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ANNUAL MEETING RECAP The Clarke-Washington EMC Annual Meeting takes place every year in the fall. This year’s Annual Meeting was a great success! A total of 1,129 members were registered at the meeting on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. Registered members not only received a chance to win many great door prizes, but they also will receive a $10 credit on their electric bill. Members enjoyed food, drinks and wonderful entertainment. The winner of the grand prize was Allen Carpenter of Frankville. Thank you to all the volunteers and employees who helped make this a success.

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| Clarke-Washington EMC |


Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2018  7

| Alabama Snapshots |

Honoring Veterans Tate Cook and wife Haley with daughters Brynlie and Anslee. The family is stationed in Fort Hood, Texas while Tate is deployed to Europe for 8 months. SUBMITTED BY Myra Ciotta, Cullman. Retired U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Mordecai Arnold, greeting veterans at the 2017 Veterans Day celebration at the William F. Green State Veteran’s Home in Bay Minette. SUBMITTED BY Marla Monk, Birmingham.

Sgt. Jeremy Jones – Iraq veteran from Arab. SUBMITTED BY Ernie and Katie Brown, Arab. Three friends and Korean/Vietnam War veterans. SUBMITTED BY Kimberly A. Perkins, Skipperville.

Frank Cross of Linden, WWII Army veteran, on an Honor Flight in Washington D.C. SUBMITTED BY Mike and Debra Cross, Gulf Shores.

Brian Petters, Commander of VFW Smith-Wynn Post 96 in Montgomery, places a flag at the grave of Rush P. Wynn (Post’s namesake) in Greenwood Cemetery. SUBMITTED BY Mark Hilton, Montgomery.

Rich Blankenship, Air Force retiree with 22 years of service, and family on vacation in Fort Morgan. SUBMITTED BY Pamela Ray, Gulf Shores.

Submit Your Images! January Theme: “Snow Day” Deadline for Jan: Nov 30

SUBMIT PHOTOS ONLINE: or send color photos with a 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 and on our Facebook page. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Alabama Living


Al News you can use | November SOCIAL SECURITY

Understanding spouses’ benefits


arriage is a cultural institution that exists all over the world. Having a partner means sharing many things, including a home and other property. Understanding how your future retirement might affect your spouse is important. When you’re planning for your fun and vibrant golden years, here are a few things to remember: If a spouse accepts reduced retirement benefits before starting spouse’s benefits (his or her spouse is younger), the spouse will not receive 50 percent of the worker’s benefit amount. Your full spouse’s benefit could be up to 50 percent of your spouse’s full retirement age amount if you are full retirement age when you take it. If you qualify for your

Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at

own retirement benefit and a spouse’s benefit, we always pay your own benefit first. (For example, you are eligible for $400 from your own retirement and $150 as a spouse for a total of $550.) The reduction rates for retirement and spouse's benefits are different. If your spouse is younger, you cannot receive benefits unless he or she is receiving benefits (except for divorced spouses). If you took your reduced retirement first while waiting for your spouse to reach retirement age, when you add spouse’s benefits later, your own retirement portion remains reduced, which causes the total retirement and spouses benefit together to total less than 50 percent of the worker’s amount. You can find out more on at On the other hand, if your spouse’s retirement benefit is higher than your retirement benefit, and he or she chooses to take reduced benefits and dies first, your survivor benefit will be reduced, but may

be higher than what your spouse received. If the deceased worker started receiving reduced retirement benefits before their full retirement age, a special rule called the retirement insurance benefit limit may apply to the surviving spouse. The retirement insurance benefit limit is the maximum survivor benefit you may receive. Generally, the limit is the higher of: • The reduced monthly retirement benefit to which the deceased spouse would have been entitled if they had lived, or • 82.5 percent of the unreduced deceased spouse’s monthly benefit if they had started receiving benefits at their full retirement age (rather than choosing to receive a reduced retirement benefit early). Knowing how your finances affect your spouse’s can help both of you avoid future impacts on your incomes. When it comes to information, we have over 80 years of experience. Access a wealth of useful information as well as our benefits planners at


Help your dog cope with chronic skin allergies “Scratch a dog and you’ll find a permanent job.” – Franklin P. Jones, humorist


ne of the top reasons pets come to the vet is for allergies. Most of the allergies in young to middle-aged dogs are like eczema in humans. It is also called atopic dermatitis. We think this is hereditary, as some breeds like Goldens and Pitbulls are more prone to atopic allergy. The chronic allergy cases can be frustrating and difficult. Here is a plan we tend to follow in these cases. 1. Identify the cause: This can be done by blood testing at your vet’s office or by skin-prick test at veterinary-dermatologist’s office. A common finding is flea allergy. The best bet against flea bites is keeping your dog on flea medications. I know flea/tick medications are not cheap, so in case of limited finances, try at least three months at a time, twice a year in fall and spring, instead of the random month here and there. Regular vacuuming is a very effective flea control. Please avoid toxic flea bombs and flea spray. Goutam Mukherjee, DVM, MS, Ph.D. (Dr. G) has been a veterinarian for more than 30 years. He works part time at Grant Animal Clinic and is a member of North Alabama Electric Cooperative.

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2. Food sensitivity: Sorting this one out is a challenging task. The concept is simple: eliminate the offending agent. However, it is not that simple! Some folks feel going grain-free or using a novel protein diet helps their pets. However, for a proper elimination-diet to work, the priority has to be very strict vigilance over ALL food and treats so that no unwanted proteins get in the dog’s system. Because sticking to this strict diet is difficult, I do not recommend this as a first line of treatment. 3. For stubborn cases, consider cooking for your dog. The idea is to have the best ingredients possible in your dog’s food, as you are in charge of all the food sources. In my opinion, there is nothing like a home cooked meal under proper guidance. Talk to your vet about coming up with a recipe. One website to check out is, based on the book by Dr. Donald R. Strombeck, a professor emeritus at the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine. It’s an excellent free resource. Both of our dogs have been on home cooked food for many years

now and their annual blood work look great! 4. Eliminate possible indoor toxins like plugins, spray perfume, scented candles, etc. This of course includes smoking! There are many resources on the web about indoor air pollution in a common household. Use outdoor pesticides cautiously. 5. Avoid using harsh chemicals on the skin unless absolutely necessary. I don’t like frequent shampooing unless the skin is excessively oily; I prefer not to strip away the key oils from the skin. If the skin smells due to overpopulation of bacteria and yeast, medicated shampoo can be used but let’s concentrate on supporting the skin so that bacteria and yeast do not have a chance to overgrow. 6. Talk to your vet about running some blood work like basic chemistry and thyroid level. Skin allergies are sometimes difficult to sort out. Standard treatment choices include steroids, newer non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds like apoqueal, and allergy desensitization injections. Work with your inspired veterinarian to find a workable solution for your pet.


November | Spotlight

Lodge at Gulf State Park set to open this month


hen the new Lodge at Gulf State Park, which is served electrically by Baldwin EMC, has its soft opening this month, guests will find more than just a new Hilton-branded hotel with 350 guest rooms. The park will feature an interpretive center and learning campus, as well as enhanced hiking and biking trails and other park improvements. After Hurricane Ivan destroyed the original lodge and convention center in 2004, the park still had the campground, cabins and cottages, but no hotel or large meeting space. Convention business went elsewhere, but state officials hope the new lodge will lure them back, beginning in 2019. The lodge will accommodate up to 1,000 for conferences and conventions, with a beach-view ballroom and adjacent outdoor terrace, plus a variety of flexible meeting spaces. A Gulf-front restaurant will have terrace seating and a private dining room. Visit for more information.

Remember to vote on Nov. 6! Alabama’s midterm election is Nov. 6, and Alabama Living encourages all voters to learn about the candidates for statewide offices and get out and vote. On, you’ll find information about “Co-ops Vote,” a program of America’s electric cooperatives. This website has information about registering to vote, finding your elected officials and the issues affecting America’s electric co-ops. Some may ask, “why should I bother?” As a co-op member, you’re part of the fabric of our state’s rural communities, and you have an identity as part of larger army of voters. You and other members of the co-op family can be an active voice in your community and promote the democratic system of governance for all our nation’s institutions – from your co-op to the halls of Congress. Visit the Alabama Secretary of State’s website at

This Month In


ALABAMA HISTORY Honoring Our People

November 23, 1897


nventor Andrew Beard received a patent for the Jenny Coupler, the first automatic railroad car coupler. Born a slave in Jefferson County, Beard used money earned from selling inventions, including a double plow and rotary steam Alabama Living

Whereville, AL


dentify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by Nov. 10 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the December issue. Submit by email:, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Contribute your own photo for an upcoming issue! Send a photo of an interesting or unusual landmark in Alabama, which must be accessible to the public. A reader whose photo is chosen will also win $25.


This marker welcoming motorists to Alabama, erected in 1942, previously was on the old Highway 72 near Bridgeport in northeast Alabama. When the new four-lane was built, it was moved to its current location off the highway. It sits next to a Trail of Tears historical marker, and a city representative said it is visited daily by out-of-towners who pull over to take pictures. In a story on earlier this year, writer Kelly Kazek noted that there are at least 10 such marble signs on highways around the state. (Photo by Mark Stephenson of Alabama Living) The correct guess winner is Charlotte Rorex of North Alabama EC.

engine, to become a prominent entrepreneur with a real estate firm and a taxi company. He is credited with saving countless lives by inventing the Jenny Coupler, which removed human involvement between railroad cars, and sold the patent rights to the invention for $50,000, an amount equal to more than $1.5 million today. Beard was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006. NOVEMBER 2018 11

100 years of service Alabama base educates the Air Force, boosts state economy

By Minnie Lamberth

“Engine and Aircraft Repair Depot #3” hardly has the prestigious ring you’d expect of a 100-year-old military installation that educates the most esteemed members of the U.S. Air Force and pumps about a billion dollars into the Alabama economy every year. Yet that was the first official designation given in 1918 to the future Maxwell Air Force Base. Engine and Aircraft Repair Depot #3, renamed Maxwell Field honoring Atmore native 2nd Lt. William C. Maxwell (inset) in the 1920s. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE AIR UNIVERSITY HISTORY OFFICE, MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE

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A BT-13 undergoing an engine overhaul in a Gunter Field hangar, c. 1943.


otably, eight years earlier, Orville and Wilbur Wright had come to Montgomery to establish the first civilian flying school on an abandoned cotton plantation outside the city limits. Though the Wright brothers’ school lasted only a few months – because of the distance to obtain their repair parts as well as unseasonably high winds that year – the heritage of flight had found a firm landing. And this same site was chosen a few years later for a new military mission. “Almost a year after the U.S. entry into World War I, the Air Service decided to establish some air fields and maintenance depots that would provide pilots for combat in the war,” says Dr. Robert Kane, Air University director of history. The Montgomery-based depot, one of three in the nation, was established on April 4, 1918, at the location of the former flying school to repair aircraft for Air Service air fields in the southeastern U.S. The depot continued to exist at a smaller scale after the war’s end and could have been closed. Fortunately, the 1920s brought a change in mission – conducting photo reconnaissance for the Army. The 22nd Observation Squadron and the 4th Photographic Section were assigned here, and the former depot was soon renamed Maxwell Field, to honor an Atmore native, 2nd Lt. William C. Maxwell.

during World War II. Wartime turned Maxwell’s mission to flight training for American and Allied pilots. Then, as post-war planning began for a separate air force, military leaders envisioned the educational needs that would put Maxwell at the center of the branch’s leadership and doctrine development. “In 1946, Air University came to Maxwell, and that is our current mission – professional and continuing education for airmen,” Kane says. Known as the intellectual and leadership development center of the Air Force, Maxwell’s main organization has

Moving forward in flight

In these early days of flight, Maxwell was also involved in other firsts, including a 1925 experiment to test to the feasibility of delivering mail by air. “A pilot and an aircraft of the 22nd Observation Squadron was used on a trial run that eventually led to establishing airmail routes between the Southeast and the Great Lake, United States,” Kane says. As another example, in 1929, when severe flooding affected the southern parts of the state, Maxwell pilots and personnel loaded planes with supplies for victims and also took photographs to assist in relief efforts. “The operation was the first large-scale use of military aircraft in the continental United States for domestic relief operations,” Kane says. In the 1930s, the Air Corps Tactical School – the Air Corps’ first organization to provide professional military education – was relocated to the field. Faculty and students also worked on air power doctrine development that would be put to use Alabama Living

An assortment of textbooks used at the Air Corps Tactical School. Academics at the school included the study of air tactics and strategy, ground tactics, and command and logistics. By 1939, the Department of Air Tactics and Strategy had become the most dominant division of the school as it presented and explored current and emerging airpower doctrine.

immeasurable impact. “The Air University reaches virtually every airman – officer, enlisted, civilian, Reserve, and Guard – in some way or another, whether it is attending one of our accredited 10-month colleges or for one of our shorter courses,” says Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, AU commander and president. “Nearly every single officer and a preponderance of our enlisted corps will drive

through the gates of Maxwell or Gunter at some point in their career.”

An educational mission

The educational portfolio is expansive. Air University offers accredited associate, master’s, and doctoral degrees through the Community College of the Air Force, Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, and the Air Force Institute of Technology located in Dayton, Ohio. Programs such as the Officer Training School and ROTC programs are responsible for commissioning 85 percent of new officers. “Through our resident and distance learning programs, Air University educates over 180,000 Total Force Airmen, sister service, and international military students every year,” Cotton says. “Our curriculum is constantly evolving to ensure we adapt to emerging threats and meet the intent of our national strategic goals,” Cotton adds. “Air University educates, trains and challenges today’s warriors so they’re prepared to lead in tomorrow’s conflicts, hand-in-hand with our joint and coalition warfighters, on every battlefield, whether it’s in air, space, or cyberspace.” Air power doctrine development and aerospace-related research are also major functions. While Air University is the major organization at Maxwell, the 42nd Air Base Wing provides installation support for all entities on the base as well as the Gunter Annex. Among them, the Air Force Reserve Command’s 908th Airlift Wing is the flying unit located at Maxwell. Gunter Annex is home to most of the Air Force’s enlisted professional military and specialized education programs and also hosts the entities that oversee the Air Force’s information technology capabilities. NOVEMBER 2018 13

The 42nd Air Base Wing serves more than 10,500 military personnel, civilians, contractors, and students annually and supports over 22,800 family members and over 52,600 military retirees in Alabama’s River Region, according to Kane. In addition, the Maxwell-Gunter complex combined military and civilian payroll totals over $707.2 million, and the base has an average fiscal economic impact of around $1 billion.

‘War Eagle’ plane awarded Purple Heart By Mark Stephenson The 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell Air Force Base is the only reserve unit in the state of Alabama. The C-130 is the aircraft the wing operates. “Due to the extraordinary design, the C-130 remains in production after more than 60 years. More than 60 air forces around the world operate this versatile aircraft,” says Lt. Col (Ret.) Jerry Lobb. According to Lt. Col. Steve “Stretch” Catchings, aircraft commander, a C-130 (tail number 850040) known as ‘War Eagle’ took a hit from a rocket propelled Grenade (RPG) while on take off from an airbase in Mosul, Iraq in 2005. With the number 2 engine shut down, the plane continued to another airstrip where it landed safely with 55 passengers and underwent field repairs. It was flown back to Qatar before returning to Maxwell AFB. The fire damage was still visible. ‘War Eagle’ was awarded the Purple Heart for the damage it sustained. With 31 years and more than 12,000 hours of service, ‘War Eagle’ was retired in 2017 and the Auburn flag was transported to its replacement C-130 (tail number 91-9142) in a Transfer of Heritage ceremony by Auburn University’s Air Force ROTC detachment. C-130, tail number 42, is now known as ‘War Eagle.’

An American flight cadet getting into the cockpit of a Maxwell AT-6 Texan in 1942. As apparently there is no one in the back seat, this cadet is probably getting ready to “solo,” the final flight in which the cadet flies without an instructor to show he has learned how to fly.

Local electric co-ops team up to serve Air Force bases Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter to serve the bases. “It made sense for us Annex aren’t actually in the service arto join hands and do this together,” Young eas for the state’s electric cooperatives, says. The CEOs and two board members yet the federal government’s decision to from each co-op form the six-person privatize some of the services at military board that oversees the LLC, and the bases and posts brought an opportunity tasks are divided between the co-ops. for Central Alabama Electric Cooperative “We’ve been thrilled to have this conand Dixie Electric Cooperative to team tract,” Young says. together to support these Montgomery “When the opportunity came about, we area installations. knew it was something we needed to do “We own and operate the electrifor the benefit of both our membership cal distribution systems at Maxwell and and the community,” says Gary Harrison, Gunter,” says Julie Young, CAEC’s vice Dixie’s president and CEO. president, business and administrative “We were excited about the opportuservices, of the joint arrangement. Alnity to work with Maxwell/Gunter AFB though Alabama Power owns the subbecause it is such an integral part of the stations that feed the base locations, the River Region,” Harrison adds. “We realized co-ops take over from that point. how important it was to help improve the The bid process for the contract was infrastructure of the facility while working quite lengthy – beginning in 1999 and to keep costs down for our military.” culminating in 2004 with PHOTO BY DANNY WESTON a 50-year contract. “After the five-year period, we won the bid,” Young says. At the time, she says, other branches of the service had already outsourced these services. “We knew a few co-ops across the country that had gotten involved in the bid process.” Because of size considerations, Central Alabama and Dixie formed Cooperative Utility Services, LLC to strengthen their bid and their ability Central Alabama Electric Cooperative’s Joe Wright and Stan White at work at Maxwell AFB.

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Shower units for the co-op crews at the National Peanut Festival camp, provided by the Alabama Baptist State Convention.

A crew from Marshall-DeKalb EC prepares to erect a power pole in the storm-ravaged Wiregrass EC service territory.


Crew members from Baldwin EMC gather for a safety briefing before heading out to restore power in the Wiregrass.


Co-ops come together to respond to hurricanes


See more hurricane response photos at!

By Allison Law


hen Hurricane Michael was still brewing in the Gulf, Alabama’s rural electric cooperatives were watching carefully, and a massive plan of recovery was already taking shape long before the Category 4 storm made landfall. From the very beginning of the rural electrification program in the 1930s, electric cooperatives have relied on other cooperatives to assist in times of disasters. But it requires a delicate balance: Storms are difficult to predict, and in the case of Michael, co-ops in the southern part of Alabama were willing to commit to sending crews to help others restore power, but had to make sure the crews weren’t needed by their own co-op first. As the storm neared the coast and its path became more clear, the South Alabama, Pea River and Wiregrass co-ops requested aid, and the Alabama Rural Electric Association began coordinating the requests for help and the crews from sister co-ops that would respond once the storm had passed. The storm slammed into the Florida coast and cut a swath hundreds of miles wide through the panhandle, southeast Alabama and southwest Georgia. Its devastating winds uprooted trees, damaged homes and buildings and took out power to nearly 26,000 homes and businesses served by Alabama co-ops. Michael moved on, and while residents were left to clean up the aftermath, the co-ops went right to work to help restore power. South Alabama EC was able to handle its own outages, so Alabama crews went to Pea River, headquartered in Ozark, and Wiregrass, with its main office in Hartford. Crews came from many Alabama co-ops: Baldwin, Black Warrior, Central Alabama, Cherokee, Clarke-Washington, Coosa Valley, Covington, Cullman, Dixie, Joe WheelAlabama Living

er, Marshall-DeKalb, North Alabama, Sand Mountain, South Alabama, Southern Pine, Tallapoosa River and Tombigbee. For these responders, the days are long and the work is physically very hard. But helping others is just the cooperative way. “Alabama’s cooperatives are always willing to help our fellow co-ops when there is a need,” says AREA president and CEO Fred Braswell.

Taking care of our own

The host co-ops – the ones that requested the help – have a difficult task in the wake of any storm. They have to help coordinate the visiting crews, and show the crews where the damage is. The host co-op also helps handle the logistics of housing and feeding the crews; at the same time, the employees are often dealing with issues in their own homes and neighborhoods, which may have been damaged or have no power. For Hurricane Michael, the National Peanut Festival fairgrounds in Dothan opened its facilities to house the visiting crews, and its staff helped Jeff Whatley of AREA and Jason Saunders of Covington EC take care of the men. The days were tiring for everyone involved, but the co-op family really is like a family, Whatley says. “The morale is strong, it’s good,” he said while the crews were still there, “because we are still in Alabama. It is all Alabama crews working. These guys know each other from schools, and they’re seeing people they haven’t seen in years, who they know from past storms.” Linemen are the most visible personnel during storm restoration, but they’re not the only ones working. In addition to the nearly 200 linemen who responded after Hurricane Michael, Alabama’s co-ops sent a handful of materials management staff, right-of-way crews, engineering staff and

mechanics to help. And AREA sent three of its safety staff to the southeast Alabama coops to help coordinate the response. The right-of-way crews are an integral part of the power restoration process. They operate specialty equipment that can move and remove debris, which makes the job of restoring power much faster and safer. And the communities that were hit hard were giving back, too. At the Peanut Festival camp, a local church volunteered to wash the linemen’s clothes; a mobile clothes washing station was provided by the Alabama Baptist State Convention. Local restaurants prepared meals. And families of Wiregrass EC linemen helped Whatley do laundry as well. “Everything about this storm is Alabama, 100 percent.” Whatley says.

Helping others

The hurricane season for Alabama was quiet until September. Hurricane Michael came on the heels of Hurricane Florence, which made landfall near Wilmington, N.C., on Sept. 14. Outage numbers in coop areas in North Carolina alone topped 300,000 after the storm came ashore. Rural electric cooperatives in several states, including Alabama, sent crews to both North and South Carolina to help restore power there. Alabama’s co-ops were eager to help sister co-ops even in another state. “The response was overwhelming,” says Eric Turner, safety specialist with AREA. “A few crews didn’t get to go, but the ones who did were eager, ready to help out and do whatever they needed to do to make people’s lives a little bit better,” Turner says. Alabama co-ops sent 102 men in 68 trucks to seven co-ops in North Carolina.

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Jerky’s no joke

Once a pioneer staple, jerky is now a popular nutritional snack By Jennifer Kornegay


hile several national brands use humorous commerthem, but not ours,” Wiggins said. His jerkies are not made at the cials to promote their products, jerky is no joke; it’s big store, but at the parent company’s facility in California. “Everybusiness. Jerky is essentially dried meat; the removal one is so concerned about health out there, and we are finding of water and usually, addition of salt, preserves it, extending its more and more health-conscious customers here too,” he said. shelf life. Even though no one knows when the first jerky apHis products have no nitrates, MSG or artificial colors and peared, most sources believe it has been made and consumed are low sodium, using only natural pineapple juice sugar to help on a large scale for more than 500 years, originating with the maintain freshness. “We are putting out some of the healthiest Incas in South America as early as the 1500s and traveling up to jerky around.” the culture and customs of North America’s indigenous peoples. After one bite, they wanted more When Europeans came to the New World, they discovered But you don’t have to rely on the West Coast to create a goodwhat Native Americans (of both continents) had long known: for-you jerky. Russ Robbins is also doing it in Eufaula at his Hickjerky’s value as a highly nutritious food that was lightweight, ory Hollow Jerky company, founded in 2008. “All jerky is high in didn’t take up much space, wouldn’t spoil and was therefore perprotein, low in fat, so that’s good,” he said. “And our jerkies don’t fect for long journeys. It traveled West with pioneers; it gave cowcontain any artificial flavors or chemicals, no MSG, no sodium boys energy for wrangling; and nitrate. We are all natural.” it has sustained U.S. soldiers as Hickory Hollow has also ena part of military rations. joyed success, and it came pretThe jerky from centuries ago ty quickly. It was Robbins’ famwas made from whatever meat ily and friends begging for his was around and most often, seahomemade jerky that spurred soned with only salt. Through the fulltime minister at Eufaula’s the decades, it has changed to First Baptist Church to go commeet increasing consumer demercial. “I’ve always loved jerky mand for a wider range of seaand started making it in Boy sonings to create diverse flavors, Scouts and experimented with and it’s no longer limited to just different spices,” he said. “Those a few forms of meat. first few batches were not very Today, what was once an imgood.” portant form of sustenance has But he finally found the right evolved into a favorite snack as recipe, and he’d make it to take readily available as the nearest Slicing jerky by hand at Eufaula’s Hickory Hollow Jerky Company on youth mission trips and to convenience store. It’s become are, from left, Jacob Laing, Kyle Bartkiewicz, Grant Tyler, and Miles give it out as gifts. Once people so sought-after, there are now Redding. had a bite, they wanted more. “I stores selling nothing but jerky. realized there was a market for it, and with three kids in college, And there are a few of them in Alabama, including Gulf Coast I liked the idea of extra income,” he said. His first month in busiHouse of Jerky in Orange Beach, owned by Johnny Wiggins and ness he sold 250 bags of jerky; by 2017, that number climbed to his wife Phyllis. When he was first introduced to the jerky store 53,381 bags. And 2018 sales are up by about 10 percent. idea, he wasn’t even a fan of the treat. “It was the business modBeing healthy is not enough to propel a food item to the el and how well these stores were doing that sold me,” he said. heights jerky has hit. It also must taste good. For jerky, that “We’ve been very successful with lots of repeat clientele.” means strong, concentrated flavor with a chewy, yet not stringy, He opened in 2015 and has already had to move to a bigger texture. Judging by the sales figures at both House of Jerky and space and is considering a second store in Chattanooga. He’s Hickory Hollow, theirs has this aspect in the bag too. surfing the swelling wave of jerky popularity, which itself is beAt Gulf Coast House of Jerky, there’s something for everyone ing fed by our snack-obsessed society. But even diehard snackers (pet jerky treats, even vegan jerky) but the real appeal is the exare becoming increasingly health conscious now, and according otic, with jerky offerings running the gamut of edible animals into Wiggins, his jerky is still a great fit. cluding jerky made from pythons, snapping turtles, camels, wild “Many jerkies have loads of chemicals in them to preserve

16 NOVEMBER 2018

Johnny and Phyllis Wiggins enjoy greeting visitors to their Gulf Coast House of Jerky at The Wharf in Orange Beach.

boars, Mako sharks, trout, elk, buffalo, salmon and tuna. “It’s so different, and people really like the diversity and of course, the flavors,” Wiggins said. His store also has classic beef jerky, but not just any beef will do. It’s made from three different cuts of grass-fed beef: brisket, top round and tri-tip. Hickory Hollow stays more traditional with its original version, a hickory smoked, black pepper beef jerky that is by far its best seller. It also offers five other beef jerky varieties: Teriyaki, Hot Shot (spicy), Sweet Heat BBQ, Jamaican Jerk and Macho Nacho, which incorporates notes of jalapenos and cheese. And it’s all about the right ingredients for Robbins too, plus a time-tested method. “We don’t cut corners and use American beef, and all of our jerky is all hand-sliced with knives, not on equipment,” Robbins said. Hickory Hollow cuts about 1,000 pounds of meat a week, and after it’s sliced, it gets marinated for 10 to 12 hours and then goes into dehydrators for 9 to 12 hours before being bagged to distribute. For both Wiggins and Robbins, relishing the smiles their jerky puts on others’ faces is as satisfying as anything they sell. “We want to please our customers and try to make the whole experience in the store fun for them,” Wiggins said. Robbins agreed. “I love the taste, but I believe whatever you do, do it heartily unto the Lord, so I strive to do this well and love that said. others get benefit from it,” he said.

Alabama Living

Get Some!

Visit Gulf Coast House of Jerky at The Wharf in Orange Beach or order its products online at Order Hickory Hollow Jerky at or find it in convenience stores throughout south Alabama.

18  NOVEMBER 2018

Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2018  19

Bill Alverson, an Andalusia attorney and nationally recognized pageant coach and reality TV star, has a new show – Netflix’s “Insatiable.” PHOTO COURTESY OF BILL ALVERSON


king of crowns South Alabama attorney’s pageant coaching inspires another TV series By Stephanie Snodgrass


ne day, Andalusia’s Bill Alverson is just an attorney whose accidental hobby as a pageant coach is just something he loves to do. The next, a seven-page feature in The New York Times chronicling his pageant coaching story of Miss America wins crowns Alverson as the Pageant King. Before you know it, there’s a front row seat into his world on TLC’s “Coach Charming” and the CBS network buys his life rights. And today, it’s a scripted show on Netflix – “Insatiable” – which has been picked up for a second season. 20 NOVEMBER 2018

An accidental hobby

Alverson is a Dothan native and Auburn University graduate who earned his law degree from The University of Alabama. He began practicing in Andalusia in the early 1990s, specializing in family law and criminal defense. He did not make a practiced entrance into the pageant coaching world. Instead, he discovered the talent when prompted by his church choir director nearly two decades ago to help a local teen. Soon, word spread. Over the years, Alverson honed his craft, making his way into


the Miss Alabama Pageant system. When three of his clients earned back-to-back Miss Alabama titles, he transitioned to the national stage. Today, his client list now includes at least three Miss America winners and scores of local, regional and national title holders. “I feel that it’s our job to inspire those in front of us,” Alverson says. “When I look back on things, I can say that it’s been amazingly unbelievable. I never envisioned I’d be on a reality show, that I would have a TV show based on my life. Me? This small-town Alabama guy, who’d have thought it?” But that’s exactly what happened. In 2014, Alverson’s rise as much-sought-after pageant coach landed him in The New York Times. “I could not have planned it,” he says of the trajectory. “When I’ve done a lot of things to self-direct myself to create things, it has not been as successful. I do really well guiding others. “I knew my path to go to law school and to become an attorney,” he says. “As an old-school Southerner, I guess when you have this dream, it takes a lot of faith. “How I ended up on TV, it was completely out my spectrum,” he says. “I met one person, who met one person who got an article written – seven pages in The New York Times. Angelina Jolie and Donald Trump haven’t even had that. Who else gets that? Me. Strange right?” That “unknown” factor played in Alverson’s favor. When the publication decided to accompany the written piece with a short video, Alverson was contacted by movie producers and directors all asking the same question: How does someone from Alabama wind up as a pageant coach? Alverson’s quick wit, sharp tongue and all-honesty approach, which can be seen in the clip “Pageant King of Alabama” on YouTube, were all the markings needed for good television.

The “darkly comedic” 13-episode series debuted Aug. 10 and has been picked up for a second season. “It’s just fun,” Alverson says of the show and its creation process. “I get to do a cameo in the first episode. I did a few lines, but I think only one made it in. It was very surreal to sit on the set with all these famous people with a chair that said ‘Insatiable’ on the back and know this is my story.” In its early stages, the show received strong criticism that it “fatshamed” young women and was detrimental to their self-confidence. One woman led a petition for the show’s cancellation. It wasn’t a surprise to Alverson. “The woman is an international spokesperson on this issue and basically saw an opportunity,” he says. “After the show was released, her petition essentially died because it falsely represented the show, and in fact, the show does the exact opposite. “The show is satire and is off-cuff humor, but it does show the negative effects of many different types of bullying and the results of being a victim of bullying,” he said. “It’s a comedy, but the show’s design is to evoke conversation, which clearly it has.”

His Hollywood moment

Since 2014, Alverson has traversed the strange path to Hollywood. Again, the word “surreal” comes to mind, he says. “I coach differently,” Alverson says. “I get why people say pageants are shallow and superficial. One of my lines in the (TLC) show was, ‘Life is a pageant.’ “It was true then, and it’s true today. It is. Everywhere you go. If it’s not, why are you dressing your kid cute for picture day? It’s how it affects you and what you do with it.” Alverson described himself as “very lucky and very fortunate” to have met people who are successful and credits his journey with those meetings. It just kind of happened “We all have ideas of what we would From there, the TLC show “Coach Dallas Roberts and Debby Ryan star in “Insatiable”. love for our life to be,” he says. “As a child, PHOTO COURTESY OF NETFLIX Charming” was born. I wanted to be an ambassador. I remember watching TV and visualizing myself “Literally within 60 to 90 days after the in it. Little did I know that one day, that would become true. article came out, I was signed by an agency and working with a pro“When I coach, I tell my clients to be prepared for the unexpectduction company for a non-scripted reality show,” Alverson says. ed, but also be prepared to move in any circumstances and direc“There is no way – and even as much as I like to create things to happen – could I have ever created a situation like that to happen.” tion you’re in,” he says. “That’s what I’ve tried to do – be prepared The TLC shows highlighted Alverson’s lawyerly approach to the for what comes my way and be thankful for it all.” So, what’s next on Alverson’s to-do list? clients he coaches, working on interview responses and perfecting “My grandfather told me he always wanted to learn something their overall look and performance. It also gave insight into Alverson’s family life and how while practicing law with his son, William, new every day,” Alverson says. “If other opportunities present he managed to juggle the demands of a second career. themselves to be on TV, I’m all for it. I want to travel more. I’m “The fun thing about (‘Coach Charming’) was I got to do it with always intrigued with people. I want to spend more time with my my family,” Alverson says. “What a lot of people don’t know is that grandchildren. while that show was happening, we were simultaneously working “I’m a big Romans 8:28 guy – ‘And we know that in all things on ‘Insatiable.’ It was crazy.” God works for the good of those who love him, who have been His newest project marks the first time a person has simultanecalled according to his purpose,’” he says. “I’m not a celebrity. I’ve ously achieved a scripted and non-scripted show, Alverson says. been to Beverly Hills and Hollywood. I’ve seen superstars, people Written by Lauren Gussis of “Dexter”and “Once Upon a Time” who’ve been famous all my life. It was fun, but I hope – at the end of fame, the Netflix original series features Disney star Debby Ryan it all – I want to have made a difference when it counted the most. and Alyssa Milano, with Dallas Roberts filling the role based on “Because you know, the thing is, it could all be gone tomorrow,” Alverson’s experiences. It is the tale of a bullied teenager who – with he says. “So, don’t get lost in who you really are. I am still the guy the help of a disgraced attorney turned pageant coach who soon who likes to ski on Gantt Lake, who goes to Walmart. But today, I’m realizes he’s over his head – turns to pageants to exact her revenge. planning on going to a premiere for a TV show.” Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2018  21

To the rescue

Transport group helps animals find forever homes By John N. Felsher


lmost every day, someone abandons a pet to fend for itself. type of dog and I found out about one, I’ll give that person the These animals wander around looking for whatever food information. We work with different animal shelters all over. We’ve they can scrounge and frequently cause trouble. Many die even had people send animals to us from Nova Scotia, Canada.” of starvation, sickness or other causes. When a rescue center agrees to accept an animal, the Lamberts Animal shelter workers pick up some animals, but many shelters or a volunteer driver deliver it to that destination. After the new put unwanted animals to death. But Sid Lambert and his wife, animals arrive at a rescue center, they get a medical check-up. Veronica, founded Animal Rescue Relay South to help save some Many stray dogs come to rescue centers starving and sick, and of these animals. need help before they can be adopted. After that, the animals wait “Our mission is to transport as for their forever homes. many dogs, cats and any other animal Poodles, and what the former Marine and Vietthat needs to be transported as we can nam War veteran Sid calls “small fluffy dogs,” can so they can be rescued,” Sid Lambert usually find forever homes almost immediately. says. “When I was the director of the Larger dogs generally take more time. However, animal shelter in Conecuh County, I some popular family pet breeds tend to find homes started working with other shelters more quickly. That’s not the case for all breeds. around the area. We had such great “When someone calls me about a dog, the first success getting our animals out that thing I ask is the size,” Sid says. “If it’s a small fluffy they were asking me to help them dog, I can usually get a foster immediately. For place their animals. Alabama has a larger dogs, I start calling animal shelters in survery high animal euthanasia rate. rounding counties. Labrador retrievers are easy to Many other states have stricter spay get adopted, but it’s virtually impossible for someand neuter laws. We’d like to transport one to take a pit bull.” these animals to foster care places so For longer trips, the Lamberts work with Pilots they can be adopted by families.” N Paws (, a group of aviators who “We want to educate the public to fly pets in their personal aircraft at their own exget animals spayed or neutered,” Vepense. The Lamberts might arrange for ronica Lambert says. “That eliminates a flight and take an animal to the desa lot of unwanted litters of dogs that ignated airport where the Pilots N Paws are just thrown out on the side of the flier picks it up. road to roam the streets.” The need for volunteers Since July 2015, the Lamberts have All of this takes time, money and run the non-profit from their home in equipment. The Lamberts and their asEvergreen with help from volunteers. Since that sociates willingly give their time, but time, they’ve transported more than 2,500 dogs they need help. For starters, they need to rescue centers. Once, they even carried 41 Veronica Lambert co-founded Animal to replace their 2005 Chrysler van with puppies in their old van. Rescue Relay South to transport animals to more than 150,000 miles on it. Besides “We are strictly an animal transport group,” places where they can be adopted. Inset: a newer, larger van, they also need aniSid Lambert says. “We’ve also transported cats, Volunteers have animals packed up and mal crates and other supplies. Above all, birds, pet pigs and a rabbit that bit me. Every ready to go to rescue centers. PHOTOS BY JOHN N. FELSHER they need funding and people who can one of the animals went to a ‘no-kill’ facility. make long-distance drives to transport We transport 90 percent of our puppies to Save animals. People can also make tax-deductible contributions to the a Life Pet Rescue ( in the Orlando, Fla., organization. area. They have frequent adoption events. Sometimes, more peo“We couldn’t do this without the help of a lot of great volunteers ple show up to adopt than they have puppies up for adoption.” who give their time and money because they just love animals and Connecting animals to help want to help,” Veronica Lambert says. “Sid and I were both volunAnimal Rescue Relay South doesn’t arrange adoptions. Most teer firefighters and we own the ambulance service around here people bring animals to them. Then, the Lamberts arrange for with our son, so we have a lot of friends who work with us. Those someone to provide temporary foster care for that animal unkinds of people are already rescue-minded. They drive for us, give til they can find a rescue center that will accept the pet. A foster money and time for anything we need. Many of them are retired provider might care for that animal a day or two, perhaps several so they have some time to do things, but we always need more weeks, until it goes to the rescue center. volunteers. We can never have enough.” “We usually don’t get involved in the actual adoptions,” Sid To contribute or volunteer to help, call 251-227-9860. For more Lambert says. “However, if someone calls me wanting a certain information, look up Animal Rescue Relay South on Facebook. 22 NOVEMBER 2018

Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2018  23

| Worth the drive |

50 Taters:

Go with us as we visit 50 Taters at!

Comfort food in a rustic atmosphere 50 Taters’ unique design invites customers to step inside and eat with its down-home atmosphere. Inset: Husband and wife team David and Celisa Barclay have owned and operated 50 Taters since 2009.

Story and photos by Aaron Tanner


“This is a place where you felt at home 20 years ago.” — David Barclay 50 Taters

1497 County Park Road Scottsboro, AL 35769 Scottsboro 256-259-3222 Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday Online:

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mong the different restaurants in Scottsboro, 50 Taters stands out as a warm, inviting place to dine. The down-home appearance is evident throughout the property: From the rustic water tower and old pickup truck at the front of the place, to walls decorated with old movie posters, to the television that plays classic films from opening until closing time all day – except during Alabama and Auburn football games. Owners David and Celisa Barclay had a goal of opening a restaurant that would make the customer feel like they can take their time and dine in a friendly atmosphere. “Life is too busy,” David Barclay says. “This is a place where you felt at home 20 years ago.” The restaurant’s name comes from their signature dish, which is a 50 Count potato stuffed with different types of meats. Though David Barclay’s family is originally from Scottsboro, he spent most of his childhood in Detroit, where his father worked in the auto industry. After moving to Houston as an adult to start his own office supply company, he came home to Scottsboro to visit his grandmother in a local nursing home. It was there he met his future wife, who happened to be his grandmother’s nursing aide. The two married and Celisa moved to Houston with David. After the newlyweds felt homesick for northeast Alabama, David sold his office business and the two moved back to Scottsboro in 2004. While living in Texas, he learned to barbecue different

types of meats and wanted to turn that passion into a way of making a living once he and his wife replanted their roots in Alabama. “I wanted to barbecue for fun, but it quickly became a business,” David says.

Growing with demand

After opening the first location in downtown Scottsboro in 2009, the restaurant exploded in popularity, so the Barclays moved to a larger location in a busy shopping center on U.S. 72 in 2012. But the second location promptly outgrew customer demand, so they moved to the current spot, an even larger location, in March 2017. They opened a second 50 Taters in Rainsville in 2015. The design for the current location came about as construction went along. David likes old movies, while Celisa likes a country, rustic look; the couple decided to combine both interests. “What is seen in the restaurant was not planned,” David says. Longtime customers also had input, such as the design of a rock garden by the water tower that pays tribute to first responders and the military. “People will paint rocks and add them to our garden for someone who served,” Celisa says proudly.

From spuds to ’cue

Although barbecue plates and stuffed potatoes are the restaurant’s biggest sellers, other comfort food staples are on the menu, such as catfish, pot roast, chicken

fried chicken and steak. Also on the menu are large sandwiches, such as the Triple Bypass, which is a hoagie bun stuffed with smoked pork, brisket and sausage and topped with their homemade sweet barbecue sauce. The barbecue is smoked on site daily for 12 hours using hickory and pecan wood. Both the famous sweet red barbecue and white sauces are the owner’s recipes. An indecisive diner can try the sampler platter, which features smoked pork, brisket, chicken, sausage, a pork shank, Texas toast and a side. Daily specials are available for lunch and dinner, such as a meat and two vegetables deal for $6.99, which is popular enough that the restaurant often runs out in the middle of the afternoon. “Come early because when it’s gone, it’s gone,” David says. There are several options to satisfy one’s sweet tooth, including sweet potato waffle fries with caramel sauce for a side dish and various desserts, including hot fudge cake and peach cobbler. For early risers, 50 Taters recently started serving breakfast on weekends featuring traditional and unique breakfast entrees including a country spin on eggs Benedict. Although the location has changed sev-

Alabama Living

Loaded 50 count baked potatoes and barbecue platters are 50 Taters’ best sellers.

eral times, locals enjoy coming back to 50 Taters, no doubt thanks to the affordable prices, consistency of the food and the low staff turnover. Some of the employees who worked at the original downtown location are still with the restaurant almost a decade later. “Customers who return the next day or a year later will see most of the same staff,” David says. After starting out handling orders, the Barclays now handle the

daily operations along with payroll and inventory while the nearly two dozen staff members are responsible for getting the orders to customers. The Barclays also receive many compliments from people eating there for the very first time who are amazed by the atmosphere and service. “We feel honored to hear people tell us where they are from and that they choose to eat with us,” David says. “It is one of our greatest rewards.”

NOVEMBER 2018  25

| Alabama People |


Alabama’s international artist Few Alabamians are known by only one name, but then very few can command the international reputation of the artist Nall. Born Fred Nall Hollis in Troy in 1948, he has been creating art in a variety of genres for more than 50 years, from paintings, mosaics and line engravings to sculpture, glassware and jewelry. He grew up in Troy and earned a degree in art, political science and abnormal psychology from the University of Alabama. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was mentored by Salvador Dali. His work has been exhibited in France, Italy, Switzerland, New York, Miami and many other museums, and he has been an artist in residence at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Miami-Dade College and Troy University. After living several years in France and setting up his N.A.L.L. Art Foundation for students, he returned to Alabama, where he now operates out of his studio in Fairhope. He has a permanent art gallery in the International Arts Center on the Troy campus, where the current exhibition, “Alabama Art Inside Out,” features a portrait series by Nall and the work of 14 fellow Alabama artists, through Nov. 9. We were able to talk with Nall, who was recovering from recent back surgery, in between art projects. – Lenore Vickrey Your work is well known to many Alabamians who’ve seen it in the hotels and properties of the Retirement Systems of Alabama. Do you still supply new artwork to the RSA hotels and buildings? Working with the RSA has been a great part of my career. It gives you a lot of exposure. People go to five-star hotels much more than they go to museums. I met (RSA CEO) David Bronner through (Troy University Chancellor) Jack and Janice Hawkins. It’s all (like) a family. They’re wonderful, super people. I did all the pieces at the Grand Hotel, and loaned them in 2002 when they did their last major renovation. They gave them back, 1,500 pieces, so now when I go to

someone’s home I take a little piece of art instead of a bottle of wine. Everybody won! (For the Grand’s latest renovations, Nall has created large camellia prints for the reception desk wall. Other new pieces will be in guest rooms and elsewhere.) At your studio in Fairhope, do you still work with apprentices? I’m still working with them, using a lot of students from the high school mostly. Every now and then I’ll get one who wants to apprentice for three or four months. That’s what 26 NOVEMBER 2018

I’m looking for. They’re helping me, and that is learning (for them) because they’re in a professional environment. We paint and frame, learn about inventories, giving interviews with the press, how to make yourself available. I’m teaching them everything I know about everything. How to be a teacher is taught in school. How to be an artist is not. There’s a world of difference. First of all, you can’t count on any income when you’re 65. That’s essential to know when you want to become an artist. You follow your own rules, and express from your heart, not your intellect. You’ve worked in so any different media. Do you have a favorite? All are my favorite at the time I’m working on them. When I’m working, I’m so concentrated on that, it’s absorbing. I have a wonderful ability to have a one-track mind on whatever I’m doing. I can be working and talking on the phone and doing something else at the same time, and still be right there with the work. It’s a gift. Frames have been an important part of your signature look. Absolutely. It’s the framework on the pieces that really makes some of them. Whatever you see, you see the framework with it. So, if you put an 18th century gilded frame around a drawing, the drawings are going to look a heck of a lot better. And if you put a drawing or little painting with tacky little frames, you wouldn’t want it. It’s an important thing I try to teach my kids. What you’re giving the public is an image. The image is inseparable from the frame around it. If you want to have a filthy house with the bed unmade and the curtains ragged and falling down, the house might be great but people who are going into the house will say, “This is awful.” It’s the same thing with a painting or somebody’s clothes. You’ve had some health issues with your heart. How are you doing?

The heart issue has moved down to the feet. I have peripheral neuropathy. The hands aren’t working like they used to. It’s all part of the disease called O.L.D. I’m writing about that in my memoirs. I’ve got three books going on. It’s wonderful to be able to change and concentrate on something else. The N.A.L.L. Foundation is going to publish my memoirs. Plus, I’m building a museum down here in Fairhope. I’ve been told by a spiritual advisor that if you write your memoirs, it’s the best way to increase your memory. If I’d known that, I’d have started them 10 years ago! More information at

Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2018  27

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November | Around Alabama


Arab, Cherokee’s of Alabama 17th Annual Fall Indian Powwow. Arab National Guard Armory, Highway 69 West. Free. All dancers welcome. The event is outdoors and blankets and chairs are welcome. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 12-5 p.m. Sunday. Vendors, arts & crafts, demonstrations, dances & drumming. For more information, contact Mystic Gazer, 256-590-8109.


Gadsden, Gadsden Design Home and Garden Show. Home and garden design, crafts, antiques, jewelry, and home furnishings. $5. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. FridaySaturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. The Venue at Coosa Landing, 201 George Wallace Drive.


Dothan, 75th annual National Peanut Festival. National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds, 5622 U.S. 231. The nation’s largest peanut festival is held each fall to honor peanut growers and to celebrate the harvest season. Amusement rides, animal shows, agricultural displays, concerts, beauty pageants, arts and crafts and more. Find hours and admission fees at


Gulf Shores, “The Harvest – A Festival of Gifts” at Gulf Shores United Methodist Church’s south campus. Original, homemade creations, silent auction and sweet shop. Proceeds benefit the Mother’s Day Out and Preschool Program scholarship fund. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. 1720 Gulf Shores Parkway.


Pike Road, Pike Road Arts & Crafts Fair at the Marks House, 890 Old Carter Hill Road. Juried arts & crafts event with more than 130 vendors. BBQ and sweet treats available for purchase. Admission $5 for ages 10 and up.


Wetumpka, Alabama Frontier Days at Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Park, 2521 W. Fort Toulouse Road. Learn about frontier life in the Southeast during the period 1700-1820 with periodcorrect living historians. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. $8 adults, $7 children.


Elba, Enjoy the hits of the band Chicago with the Orlando Transit Authority, a Chicago tribute band, at 7 p.m. Elba High School, 371 Tiger Drive. For tickets or more information, contact the Coffee County Arts Alliance, coffeecountyartsalliance. com.


Brundidge, “Come Home, It’s Suppertime,” Alabama’s Official Folk Life play,

presented by the We Piddle Around Theater, 102 S. Main St. $25 for full country supper and the play. 334-344-9427 or 334-670-6302


Somerville, Christmas in the Country Market and Craft Show. Brewer High School, 59 Eva Road. 5-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Sponsored by Brewer FCCLA. Free. 256-318-6735

Veterans Day around Alabama Nov. 11 Montevallo, A Poppy Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving at the American Village, 3727 Highway 119. All Alabama veterans, active military and their families are invited to this free event that will be followed by the laying of poppies and a wreath at the National Veterans Shrine. 2 p.m. americanvillage. org Montgomery, “Remembering World War I: An Armistice Centennial Concert,” on the front terrace of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, 624 Washington Ave. On the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, this event will feature a performance by the 151st Army Band of the Alabama National Guard, along with dramatic readings by Alabama Shakespeare Festival actors. Begins at 3:30 p.m.; seating provided, but feel free to bring chairs. Free. 334-353-3312. Tuscumbia, Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony, 11 a.m. Parade in historic downtown Tuscumbia will honor all veterans, past and present. Ceremony on the east steps of the Colbert County Courthouse afterward. 201 N. Main St. 256-383-0783. Oxford, A Salute to our Veterans with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra. Oxford Performing Arts Center, 100 Choccolocco St. Tickets $25-45. Featuring tenor Timothy Miller, the singer for the Atlanta Braves. 2:30 p.m. Nov. 12 Mobile, Veterans Day Celebration and Parade of Flags. Aircraft Pavilion at Battleship Memorial Park, 2703 Battleship Pkwy. 3-4 p.m. Parade will feature fourth grade students from Mobile and Baldwin counties. Free. Mobile, Veterans Day Concert, USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. Patriotic concert by the Mobile Pops at the Aircraft Pavilion. 7-9 p.m. Free.

To place an event, e-mail or visit 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.

Alabama Living


Orrville, 16th Annual West Dallas Antique Tractor, Car, Gas Engine and Craft Show. 9 a.m.4 p.m. Old Orrville High School, 456 South Street. Vintage tractors, antique and classic cars, gas engines, blacksmiths, pottery, quilting, pedal tractor, children’s activities and food vendors. Tractor and car parade at noon.


Thorsby, Thorsby Swedish Festival, Richard Wood Park, 8696 Lincoln Ave. 5K run, parade, arts and crafts and car show. Parade begins at 9 a.m. Craft and car shows, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 205-217-9395.


Opp, Covington County Quilters’ Guild Sweet Gum Stitchers Quilt Show, First United Methodist Church Grace Community Center, 209 E. Ida Avenue. Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Vendors, demonstrations, quilt appraiser, gift baskets and specialty items for sale. Admission $6. Ages 12 and under free.


Mobile,46th Annual Port City Craftsman Arts and Crafts show. Abba Temple, 7701 Hitt Road. 9 a.m.5 pm. Friday and Saturday. 11 a.m.4 p.m. Sunday. Admission $3 or $2 with canned good donation. For more information, contact Theresa Bryant, 251-978-1633


Orange Beach, 12th Annual Mystical Order of Mirams “Taste of the Islands.” Features food sampling and cocktails from more than 30 restaurants from Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and surrounding areas. Musical entertainment and silent auction. Tickets $60. 6 p.m. Orange Beach Event Center at the Wharf, 4671 Wharf Parkway West.

30-Dec. 2

Mongomery, 48th annual Montgomery Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show. Garrett Coliseum, 1555 Federal Drive. Adults $2 or $3 weekend pass. 18 and under free with student ID and paid adult. 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

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NOVEMBER 2018 29


| Consumer Wise |

Efficient holiday lighting options By Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen


My husband and I love decorating our home with holiday lights every year, but I feel guilty about the higher energy bill we get in January. How can we light up the holidays without wasting electricity?

strings in a chain. The efficiency of LED lights also makes them safer because they generate so much less heat. Aside from their energy efficiency, LED lights can last longer—around 200,000 hours or more, which is about 25 times longer than incandescent lights. The bulb is more durable because it is made of an epoxy instead of glass. But not all LEDs are created equal. An LED that is not designed properly can

sets, which store energy during the day and release light during the night. Timers are also a good idea because they can reduce energy use, especially if you don’t always remember to turn the lights off before bedtime. Innovative decorating ideas can make It’s a shame that holiday lighting your display more dynamic and interestcan lead to higher energy bills, but ing, which might help you get by with fewthe good news is, there are strategies that er lights. This could reduce energy costs can save you money without dampening and still keep your holidays bright: your holiday spirit! ■ Color-changing One of the best LED lights can cycle ways to save enerthrough the colors gy is LED lights, in sequence and can which use about 80 even be set to change percent less energy colors in response to than incandescent music. ■ A laser light probulbs. The amount jector sits on the of money you can ground or other flat save depends on a surface and projects lot of factors, includmulti-colored pating your electric rate terns onto the wall and how many hours of your house. Most your holiday lights include a timer funcare turned on. tion and may come We’ve seen a numwith a remote conber savings estimates trol and additional in energy costs. One features. They come report said that rein a range of prices placing five strings of from $20 up to $150 traditional incandesor more. cent outdoor lights LED bulbs can be used indoors or out and are an efficient way to provide bright, cheerful light. sOURCE: PIXABAY.COM ■ You can recreate with LED bulbs The amount of money you save depends on a number of factors. the excitement of a could lower your laser light show (using LED lights) bill from about $14 to 22 cents. Another flicker, change color or draw power even by installing a smart lighting system report said that replacing incandescent when it’s turned off. To avoid these probthat creates pre-set or programmalights on a typical indoor tree with LED lems, purchase ENERGY STAR®-rated ble light shows through your smart bulbs could lower your monthly cost from LEDs. To qualify for the ENERGY STAR phone or other smart devices. $15 to $2. rating, LED products must use 75 percent For maximum effect with the smallest The reason incandescent bulbs are so less energy than incandescent lighting and amount of energy use, try distributing inefficient is that at least 90 percent of pass a number of additional tests. the lighting across a broader space. In the their energy is converted into heat, not The drawback of switching over to LED spaces between light, add reflective ornalight. LEDs, by contrast, convert virtuallights is the upfront cost. Incandescent ments and decorations to increase the efly all their energy to light. This means up bulbs can be purchased for 19 to 50 cents fect of the lights and add interest. to 20 strings of LED lights can be linked each, while a replacement LED will likely I hope these tips help raise your holitogether, whereas incandescent sets are cost $1 or more. But one estimate we ran day spirits without giving you the budget typically limited to between three and five across showed the estimated cost of buyblues in January! ing and operating standard C-9 lights for 10 seasons is $122 for incandescent bulbs Patrick Keegan writes on consumer This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and $18 for LEDs. Plus, the LED lighting and cooperative affairs for the and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Effiis more likely to last the full 10 seasons, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Write to energytips@ ciency. For more information on saving enmeaning less trips to the store! for more ergy on holiday lighting, please visit: www. There are other ways to cut energy exinformation. penses. You can use decorative solar light


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| Gardens |

Houseplants are perfect winter companions W

inter is coming, a time when or cluster plants together so they share the doldrums can set in and the moisture that their leaves naturally when plant lovers often find produce and respire. themselves in need of an indoor garWhile they need moisture, most dening project. I know just the “projplants typically need less water during ect”: adopt a houseplant! the winter when many species would Not only can houseplants help us naturally go dormant, plus too much get a winter gardening fix, they also moisture in a potting medium can kill provide many other benefits including plants by promoting diseases and root improving indoor air quality and our rot issues. While water needs vary immune systems, absorbing noise and among plant species, most should only enhancing our general sense of well-bebe watered when the potting medium ing and even our productivity. an inch or two below the surface, not Whether you already have adopted on the surface, becomes dry. some houseplants or are considering Keep an eye on your plants throughout the growing season for signs of becoming a first-time houseplant ownhealth issues or pests and snip off leger, now is a perfect time to get — or gy or dying branches, stems, leaves and give — them, and here are a few hints to make them — and you — happier flowers as needed. However, don’t do extensive pruning, repotting or fertilizthis winter. ing during the winter. Save all of those Begin by making sure the plants, chores for the spring when the plants especially those that resided outside begin to wake up from their long winor in a plant nursery all summer, are Prune dead leaves from plants when you bring them in ter naps and are ready to put on new free of any diseases or creatures, such for the winter. PHOTO BY KATIE JACKSON growth. as spiders, lizards, frogs and other critbetter in rooms with east- or west-facing ters that may have taken up residence Finding houseplants that truly fit windows. If you don’t have access to natuin their leaves, stems or potting medium. your lifestyle and indoor growing condiral light, consider investing in a grow-light. Simply cleaning plant foliage with a damp tions may take some trial and error, and, Be prepared to move plants around in a sponge or cloth (using water or a dilute yes, you may lose a few before you perfect room or in the house throughout the seayour houseplant skills. But if you do a litmixture of water and a gentle dish soap) son to take advantage of ever-changing antle research about plants before you bring helps remove problem pests and also dust gles of the winter sun, and try to turn the them home, you’ll be able to keep your garand dirt that can reduce a plant’s ability to pots occasionally so each side of the plant dening soul and these gardening soulmates absorb light through its foliage. gets access to whatever light source you’re happy throughout the winter and for years If you find specific insect or disease using. to come. problems on your plants, a mild pesticidal Proper temperature is also important for soap may be in order, though choose one houseplants, which typically need an ambithat targets your particular pest problem. NOVEMBER TIPS ent temperature of 65-75 degrees F during Removing dead leaves or stems from the • Plant roses, shrubs, trees and vines. the day and not lower than 50 degrees F at plants or from the potting medium’s sur• Overseed lawns with ryegrass for night. Keep plants away from direct hot or face will also help reduce or eliminate pest winter color. cold air sources, such as heating vents or problems. • Refresh or add mulch around plants cold windowpanes, too. Next, carefully select a location in your that need extra freeze protection. The biggest obstacle most of us face house or office where the plants will re• Test soils in garden beds and when trying to keep houseplants healthy is side. Sun-loving plants usually need a spot landscape areas. moisture — it’s a problem of both too much with bright, though preferably indirect, • Turn off and drain sprinkler systems and too little. Typically, heat in our homes light, such as a room with a south-facing and insulate exposed outdoor spigots is dry, which can be tough on plants, eswindow. Shade-preferring plants might do and pipes. pecially those that crave humid conditions. • Gather and compost fallen leaves or Placing houseplants in rooms where you use them for mulch. Katie Jackson is a freelance regularly create a bit of humidity, such as • Water outdoor plants if the weather writer and editor based in a bathroom, laundry area or kitchen, can has been dry, especially newly planted Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at help. You can also use a humidifier, place plants. plants above (though not in) a tray of water 32  NOVEMBER 2018

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NOVEMBER 2018  33

| Alabama Recipes |






e use the word “nuts” as a blanket term to refer to a group of edible items that are actually not all the same thing. Take a container of mixed nuts: Peanuts are legumes (in the same family as many beans); cashews are the seeds of a drupe (which include stone fruits like peaches) and so are almonds and pecans; hazelnuts are true tree nuts. These are fun facts to impress your friends with at parties (while snacking on a handful of the above), but no matter how “nuts” break down botanically, they get lumped together thanks to their common traits, characteristics that make them versatile, extremely tasty and for many, almost addictive. (When was the last time you ate a single cashew?) They’ve got their own species-specific tastes but their shared buttery, rich flavors and crunchy-that-turns-to-creamy textures make them a popular stand-alone treat and a workhorse ingredient for a wide array of dishes. Nuts are found in myriad recipes — both savory and sweet — and almost always hold their own with other big, bold tastes. And they’re healthy. Each has its own nutrition numbers, but they’re all good sources of protein and fiber and have been linked to staving off several different categories of chronic disease. And while they are high in fat, it’s mostly monounsaturated fat and omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fat, aka the “good” fats. Since nuts boast so many positive attributes, it’s no wonder we got so many reader recipes chock full of them. Try a few. Or try them all. You’d be nuts not to at least try one.

Nuts are some of the world’s most versatile foods, and they’re good for you too, so go nuts! 34 NOVEMBER 2018

BBQ Pecans

Nutty Cereal Crunch

2 tablespoons margarine, melted ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon catsup 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce 4 cups pecan halves Salt (optional)

1 cup butter or margarine 11/3 cups packed brown sugar ½ teaspoon cinnamon 6 cups cornflakes 1 cup salted peanuts 1 cup salted cashews ½ cup almonds (sliced) or macadamia nuts

Combine first 4 ingredients; stir in pecans and mix well. Spread pecans and mix well. Spread pecans evenly in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt. Ann Fossett North Alabama EC

Spiced Pecans 2 egg whites 2 teaspoons water 1½ cups sugar 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 4 cups pecan halves Beat egg whites and water. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, nuts and spices. Dip pecan halves in egg mix, then in the spice mixture. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 275 degrees for 30 minutes. Barbara Walker Coosa Valley EC

In a large Dutch oven or large saucepan, melt butter; stir in brown sugar and cinnamon until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Combine cornflakes and nuts; add to sugar mixture and stir to coat. Spread onto two greased baking sheets. Cool; break into chunks. Yield: 10 cups. Peggy Key North Alabama EC

Ann's Star Clusters 1/2 cup Crisco 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1/3 cup peanut butter 5 cups roasted Alabama peanuts Melt Crisco; add chocolate and melt slowly, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter; blend well. Stir in Alabama roasted peanuts and drop by tablespoons onto waxed paper lined cookie sheets. Chill until firm. Store in refrigerator until needed. Yield: 40 to 50 clusters.


Ann Varnum Wiregrass EC

2 cups raw peanuts ½ cup water 1 cup sugar

Southern Pecan Pie

Combine ingredients; cook until water is almost gone, stirring constantly. Remove nuts from heat and spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes at 325-335 degrees. The peanuts will turn a light pink and will be crusted with sugar. Lexie Turnipseed Dixie EC

4 1 1 2 1 1 1

large eggs cup brown sugar cup corn syrup tablespoons butter, melted teaspoon vanilla cup pecans chopped 9-inch pie shell, unbaked

Cook of the Month: Carolyn Shears, Tallapoosa River EC Carolyn Shears began experimenting with baking early; when she was still a child, her mom would get her the ingredients she needed for anything she wanted to try. “Then, she’d cut me loose in the kitchen,” Shears says. “Sometimes what I made was good; sometimes it wasn’t, but that’s how you learn.” That education has kept going, and she put it to delicious use with her Bundle of Nuts cookies, a recipe she’s adapted from one she got in high school. “I’ve continued to modify it through the years,” she says. She makes the cookies often, as they’re favorites of both her husband and grandchildren, and she often makes them different ways for both groups. “My husband likes chocolate chips in them, and then sometimes I do different add-ins. Cranberries and hazelnuts are a great combo,” she says. She encourages others to mix whatever nuts and whatever else they like into the versatile dough. “Making them yours is what makes them so yummy."

Bundle of Nuts Cookies 4 2 1 1 1 2 2/3

tablespoons butter eggs, beaten teaspoon vanilla tablespoon milk cup sugar cups all-purpose biscuit mix cup pecans, walnuts, peanuts, almonds or hazelnuts cup raisins, dried cranberries or choc½ olate chips Blend sugar and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and milk; stir until mixed. Add biscuit mix. Blend well. Mix in desired nut and toppings. Divide dough if you want half one nut and half another. Cook’s choice. Roll out and cut in shapes or drop by spoonful on a well-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes. Yield: about 3 dozen. Remove from pan while hot and place on a cooling rack.

Mix first five ingredients together and pour into pie shell. Put chopped pecans on top. Bake at 350 degrees until set, approximately 45 minute. Marlene Dekok Baldwin EMC

Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2018  35

Sweet and Nutty Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce 1 6 1 2 ½ 2 1 ½

loaf stale Italian bread eggs cup milk cups sugar cup maple syrup tablespoons vanilla flavoring cup walnuts, chopped cup raisins

Maple Whiskey Sauce: ½ cup sugar ½ stick butter, melted 1 egg ¼ cup whiskey 1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring 1/3 cup maple syrup

Sweet and Nutty Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

Praline Pecans 3½ cups pecan halves ¼ cup light corn syrup ¼ cup packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring ¼ teaspoon baking soda Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. Cover large cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside. Spread pecans in single layer in prepared baking pan. Combine corn syrup, brown sugar and butter in a 2 cup glass measuring cup or small microwave safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute more or until boiling rapidly. Stir in vanilla and baking soda until well blended. Drizzle evenly over pecans; stir with wooden spoon until evenly coated. Bake in the oven 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes of baking with wooden spoon. Immediately transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet, spreading pecans evenly over foil with lightly greased spatula. Cool completely. Break pecans apart with wooden spoon. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks. Makes about 5 cups. Beverly Hanson Tombigbee EC

36 NOVEMBER 2018

Cut bread into cubes. In a large mixing bowl, whisk in eggs, combine sugar, add milk, syrup and vanilla flavoring. After it all has been mixed together, pour mixture over bread, stirring carefully. Take a handful of walnuts and raisins and drop into bowl, stirring gently. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish and top with remaining walnuts and raisins. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 365 degrees. Make maple whiskey sauce. In a medium saucepan on low heat, add sugar, melted butter and egg, stirring lightly. Add whiskey. Stir sauce as it gets hot, then add in vanilla flavoring and maple syrup. After bread pudding has been removed from oven, gently pour whiskey sauce on top. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Sharlene Parker Baldwin EMC

Cranberry Walnut Feta Pinwheels 1 8-ounce cream cheese, softened 1 cup crumbled feta cheese 1/3 cup chives, chopped 1½ cups dried cranberries ¼-½ cups finely chopped walnuts 4 flour tortillas (10-inch) Place cream cheese in a small bowl and beat until fluffy. Add in remaining ingredients (except tortillas) and mix well. Spread the mixture evenly over the 4 tortillas. Roll each tortilla in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Cut into slices and serve. Mary Rich Sand Mountain EC

Butter Pecan Bars 1 2 3 1

box butter pecan cake mix sticks margarine, softened eggs 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened 1 1-pound box confectioners sugar 1½ cups pecans, chopped Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine cake mix, 1 stick margarine and 1 slightly beaten egg. Press into a greased and floured 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the other stick of softened margarine, the other two eggs and the confectioners sugar. Mix well. Pour over cake mix layer. Top with pecans. Bake for one hour. Cool and cut into squares. Jane Kendrick Coosa Valley EC

Peanut Brittle I Can Eat 1 cup of sugar ½ cup of light white corn syrup 1¾ cup of dry roasted unsalted peanuts 1 tablespoon margarine 1 teaspoon vanilla ½ tablespoon baking soda Stir sugar and syrup in 2-quart microwaveable dish. Put in a 1,000-watt microwave and heat for 5 minutes. Bowl and mixture will get very hot. Then stir in peanuts and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Stir mixture again and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and quickly stir in margarine (stir about 15 times.) Then add vanilla and quickly stir (about 15 times.) Add baking soda and quickly stir (about 15 times or less, do not over stir.) Quickly pour onto lightly buttered cookie pan. Gently shake and tilt pan to spread out mixture. Allow to cool. Twist pan to loosen peanut brittle, flip over and crack into pieces with large metal spoon. Allow microwave bowl to cool before soaking in sink. It is amazing how easy it will clean up after you let it soak. Melanie Henry Franklin EC

Send us your recipes for a chance to win!

Themes and Deadlines

November's prize pack winner is Beverly Hanson of Tombigbee EC!

January: Protein-packed | Nov 8 February: Pasta | Dec 3 Cook of the Month winners will receive and may win “Cook of the Month” March: Instant Pot | Jan 1 $50, only once per calendar year. One gift

3 ways to submit: Online: Email: Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Taco Soup

Melissa Palmer | Wetumpka 2nd Place, Crockin’ It with Alabama Living 2015 Alabama National Fair

1 can whole corn 1 can black beans 1 can dark red kidney beans 2 small cans roasted garlic tomato sauce 1 package mild taco seasoning 1 package Ranch Dip mix 1 jar mild restaurant-style salsa 1 pound ground beef 1 package Conecuh Sausage ¼ cup Alaga Hot Sauce Pour corn and both cans of beans in crockpot with the juice. Add tomato sauce, taco seasoning, Ranch mix and salsa. Brown ground beef and drain the grease; add to crockpot. Cut sausage into small pieces and brown in skillet. Drain grease and add to crockpot. Add hot sauce and stir. Cook on high for 2 hours. Serve with corn chips, cheese and sour cream. Alabama Living

basket winner will be drawn monthly at random and each name will be entered only once. Items in basket may vary each month. To be eligible, submissions must include a name, phone number, mailing address and co-op name. Alabama Living reserves the right to reprint recipes in our other publications.

Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies 2/3 cup butter, softened 2/3 cup brown sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 eggs 1½ cups oats 1½ cups flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup dried cranberries 1 cup pecans, chopped Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter, vanilla extract and brown sugar together. Beat in eggs. Add oats. Mix well. Stir in the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add the pecans and cranberries. Mix until combined. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly brown. Remove from oven a bit earlier for chewy/soft cookies. Cool on a rack. Yields: 24 cookies. Robin O'Sullivan Wiregrass EC


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Please provide the information below and mail with your payment. Name: ___________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________ City: ______________________ State: ____ Zip: _____ Phone: _________________ Copies Requested: ____ NOVEMBER 2018 37 Email ___________________________________________

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January 2019 Issue by November 25 February 2019 Issue by December 25 March 2018 Issue by January 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; 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: Classifieds.

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| Marketplace |

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Male (non tobacco) Female (non tobacco) Age Mo. Prem. Age Mo. Prem. 65 106.00 65 92.98 70 117.66 70 103.22 75 139.10 75 122.02 80 161.80 80 141.93 85 174.70 85 160.55 Rates vary slightly by zip code Rates include household discount




Recipient’s Name:_____________________ Street: ____________________ City: ______________________ Zip: _______________________ Phone: ____________________ E-mail: ____________________ RETURN WITH $12 CHECK PAYABLE TO ALABAMA LIVING MAIL TO: Alabama Living 340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2018 39

| Outdoors |

Casting for inner peace

Guide hopes to help veterans through fishing


tanding in a boat on a beautiful reservoir and casting a fishing rod doesn’t seem that incredible for most people. Millions of anglers do it every day across the country, but Ruben Pedro took a long time to reach Neely Henry Lake. No, the drive to the Coosa River impoundment just south of Gadsden didn’t take very long from his home in Valley, but Ruben came by way of Iraq and Afghanistan. After serving in the U.S. Army for 13 years, Sergeant First Class Pedro will be medically retired because the infantry soldier sustained multiple wounds during three combat tours. “I started fishing late in life, but fell in love with it,” the New Jersey native recalls. “It became an addiction. I mainly fished out of kayaks, but had surgery after surgery and physically couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t fish for about 18 months before I met Ken Bearden.” Bearden, a bass fishing guide, met another veteran, Joe Gilham, in 2001. Joe served in Vietnam and suffered complications

Ruben Pedro fights a fish on Neely Henry Lake.

John N. Felsher lives in Semmes, Ala. Contact him through Facebook.

from his exposure to the Agent Orange defoliant sprayed to clear the jungles during the war. Despite Gilham’s declining health, the two fished as often as his condition would allow. “In the last 18 months of his life, Joe got so sick that the only way he could go fishing was if I took him,” Ken remembers. “I made a point to take him whenever I could. After I lost my father, Joe became like a father to me.” Gilham died in 2013, another casualty from a war that ended decades earlier. As a bass guide, Bearden participated in many charity tournaments, but Joe’s death inspired him to create his own organization to give something back to veterans who had endured and sacrificed for their country. “After Joe passed, his wife would always thank me for taking him fishing,” Ken says. “She told me how much it meant to her husband. Taking Joe fishing kept him from getting depressed. She said that if I hadn’t taken him fishing, Joe would have died much earlier. She told me that thousands of other vets just like Joe would love for someone to take them fishing.” Bearden officially obtained 501(c)(3) non-profit status for the Veterans Fishing Organization in March 2017. He wanted to help combat veterans from all wars, particularly those afflicted with physical disabilities or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He wanted to take vets fishing so they could forget about their physical and mental problems – at least for a while. Since March 2017, Bearden has taken more than 150 veterans on fishing adventures. “Because Joe was a Vietnam veteran, I wanted to help other vets,” Ken explains. “I spent most of my life not having a clue what our military people go

through. I never served myself, but I want to do something for those who did serve. I feel like this is something that I’ve been called to do. There’s a void in many veterans’ lives that needs to be filled. If we can make a difference in the lives of just a few veterans, we’ve been a success.” Like many others, Ruben found out about VFO on Facebook and contacted Ken. Bearden called him the next day and invited him fishing. “We had a great day and caught many fish,” Ruben says. “I didn’t think I would get a chance to fish like that again. When I’m standing up fishing all day, I feel pain. I get tired and my back aches, but I’m in a lot better place than I was. I forget about all the other stuff for a while and just keep casting. A few weeks later, Ken invited me again.” After Ken fishes with veterans, he always follows up with a phone call a few days later. He periodically calls them again just to check on them and talk. For many veterans, that personal contact and knowledge that someone cares means more to them than catching a fish. “I’ve done things with other veteran organizations, but that personal one-onone was never there like with Ken,” Ruben says. “From one day of fishing, it grew into a friendship. When someone comes back from Afghanistan or Iraq, a lot of bad stuff sticks with that person. Veterans are hurting mentally and physically. When I came home, mentally, I was down in the gutter. Ken taking me fishing got me out of that mental rut, which also helped improve the physical part. Ken helped me to realize that I could still do things and my life can get better. I highly recommend VFO to every veteran.” Vets never pay for VFO trips. Ken receives some tax-deductible private grants and holds fundraisers, but as a one-man operation, he needs help. He’s looking for someone to improve his website and volunteers to help with events. He also needs donations of cash and products to use for fundraising. For more information, see or call 706-884-0494.

2019 YOUTH TOUR Calling all high school juniors Would you like to: Tour our state and national capitals, Make friends from around the county, Meet your U.S. Representative and Senators, Learn more about your local electric cooperative, Experience the trip of a lifetime?

Montgomery Youth Tour

If you answered yes, apply for your chance to be a part of the Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.

June 14-20, 2019

YOUTH TOUR DATES March 12-14, 2019

Washington Youth Tour

To find out more call Youth Tour Coordinator Sarah Hansen (251) 246-9081

CWEMC offices will be closed Thursday Nov. 22 And Friday Nov. 23 CWEMC wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

thanksgiving HAPPY

Mr. Stan's Retirement Luncheon


Tables indicate peak fish 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. Minor

AM Major

--02:01 03:16 09:31 10:16 10:46 11:31 -07:46 08:31 09:31 10:46 11:46 ---

05:16 06:31 07:46 08:46 04:01 04:46 05:31 06:16 07:01 12:31 01:16 02:01 02:46 03:46 05:01 06:16

09:16 09:01 09:31 03:01 03:31 03:46 04:16 04:46 12:16 12:46 01:46 02:31 04:01 06:01 07:31 08:31

01:46 02:16 02:46 09:46 10:16 10:46 11:16 11:46 05:16 05:46 06:31 07:01 08:01 09:31 12:46 01:46

1 02:01 2 03:16 3 09:31 4 10:16 5 10:46 6 11:31 7 07:16 8 07:46 9 08:31 10 09:16 11 10:01 12 10:46 13 11:31 14 -15 -16 01:31 17 03:01 18 08:46 19 09:46 20 10:31 21 11:16 22 -23 07:46 24 08:31 25 09:16 26 10:01 27 10:46 28 11:46 29 -30 02:01 31 08:01

07:31 08:46 04:16 05:01 05:46 06:31 12:01 12:31 01:01 01:31 02:01 02:31 03:16 04:01 05:01 06:16 07:46 04:01 04:46 05:31 06:16 07:01 12:16 01:01 01:46 02:46 03:31 04:31 05:31 06:46 03:31

02:16 02:46 03:16 03:46 04:16 -12:01 12:31 01:16 02:01 02:46 04:16 06:16 07:31 08:01 01:31 02:01 02:31 03:01 03:46 04:16 12:01 12:46 01:31 02:31 03:31 05:01 11:46 07:46 01:16 02:01

09:01 09:46 10:16 10:46 11:31 04:46 05:01 05:31 06:01 06:31 06:46 07:16 08:16 12:16 12:46 08:46 09:16 09:46 10:16 11:01 11:46 05:01 05:46 06:31 07:16 08:16 09:46 06:31 12:31 08:46 09:31

NOV. 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 DEC.

Alabama Living

PM Minor Major

NOVEMBER 2018 41

Clarke-Washington Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.

Established in under


We service & repair all brands

Marks Electric

We sell


Heating & cooling systems


mini-split ductless heat pumps



wood burning heaters Clarke-Washington Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. 107 Jamison St., Jackson, Al 36545


Owner Alfred Marks • AL License# 84750 42 NOVEMBER 2018

Energy EnergyEfficiency Efficiency Tip Tipof ofthe theMonth Month Got Gotholiday holidayleftovers? leftovers? When Whenpossible, possible,use usethe the microwave microwaveto toreheat reheatfood. food. Microwaves Microwavesuse useas asmuch much as as 80 80percent percentless lessenergy energy than than aastandard standardoven. oven. Source: Source:


NOVEMBER 2018  43

| Our Sources Say |

In the eye of the storm By Baynard Ward


s I write this column, Hurricane Michael has devastated parts of the Gulf Coast. Michael is one of many hurricanes that have challenged us with unexpected changes and devastation. There will likely be more in the future. When a hurricane is being tracked, we hear about the eye of the storm, typically a calm center around which the stormy bands circulate. In many ways, your local electric cooperative is that calm center. They are at their best when things are at their worst. In a 2018 survey of more than a dozen Alabama and northwest Florida cooperatives, members overwhelmingly rated their cooperatives as trustworthy. A central reason is the employees of each electric utility — whether a lineman replacing a downed pole or a customer service representative answering the phone — will work tirelessly to provide reliable electric service and to repair any power outage as quickly and as safely as possible. They leave their own families at home to go and take care of yours. They keep going as long as the safety guidelines allow. They do everything within their power to restore yours. The people who work at your local electric cooperative and the people at PowerSouth are committed to providing you with reliable, safe and affordable electricity. One factor that also strengthens trustworthiness is resilience. We can trust resilient people. They recover quickly following a crisis, expected or unexpected. Resilient organizations, like cooperatives, overcome difficulties and adapt, learning from the challenges they faced. Electric cooperatives have resources and support systems to deal with a challenge, like a power outage, and stay the course for a positive outcome. They focus on providing 24/7 reliable electricity, while quickly and safely restoring service if something happens. They are focused on service.

Cooperatives care for the communities they serve

Another reason people trust cooperatives is the commitment to local communities. From scholarships for students to strengthening the local economy, members understand that their local cooperative is committed to the community. Their cooperative is owned by the people in that community. Their success is the cooperative’s success. This was underscored by the 2018 survey results. Members voiced similar positive perceptions of the cooperatives’ overall management, the way the cooperative shows concern for its members and of how well their cooperative functions as a member-owned company. Their responses praised their cooperative’s employees, specifically on how knowledgeable and competent, as well as how friendly and courteous they are. These are the qualities that propel us forward. These traits are why survey satisfaction scores ranked PowerSouth cooperatives overall higher than the national co-op average, investor-owned utilities, and popular brands such as Apple. They are the characteristics you hope to find in the eye of the storm.

Baynard Ward is Communications Manager at PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.

44 NOVEMBER 2018

| Marketplace |

Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2018  45

| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |

Illustration by Dennis Auth

Memories of hunting season


riving through the heart of Alabama recently I saw more than a few big pickups with dog crates in the beds. Hunting season. I don’t hunt. At least not any more. I used to hunt, but I never worked to become good at it. I’m sorta like the old preacher who was such a poor shot that he quit hunting. For him it was a waste of God’s precious time. There was that. There was also that when I was young and might have gone into the woods, hunting season coincided with football season. After a Friday night getting snot-walloped on the gridiron, getting up early to ambush some unsuspecting animal was not on my agenda. Besides, there was no cheerleader to hug you after a successful hunt. Another mark against hunting. My father was a hunter, and I well recall him going into the woods at dusk, after work, to “tree” a turkey, then getting up in the pre-dawn darkness to wait for the bird to wake, stretch, and meet its maker. I never took part. Maybe Daddy lacked the patience to teach me or I lacked the patience to learn, but probably because it was his solitary pastime and a man needs that. He did take me deer hunting – deer drives – which consisted of men gathering on someone’s land, parceling out places (“stands”) where each hunter would wait for the game which was “driven” Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus of History at Jacksonville State University and a columnist for Alabama Living. He can be reached at

46  NOVEMBER 2018

past them by the dogs that a handler had taken to an assigned spot and turned loose to raise the animal and propel it to its doom. As you can tell, here in my dotage, I have as much regard for the hunted as for the hunter. But not back then. Not when I was a hunter. Or at least pretending to be. The pretense began as I joined real hunters keeping warm around a fire and listened to the talk of dogs, deer, and men gone from the earth but still living in memory – “Remember how ‘Buck’ Waite . . .” – the grandfather I never knew, but whose skill was still recalled decades later. I have the antlers from one of his kills, mounted and displayed. But I digress. They would talk and I would listen, waiting for the “stands” to be assigned and knowing I would get one of the poorest, which was OK, for if I was placed where a deer might run I was likely to shoot and miss and instead of having the blood smeared on my face to mark me as a hunter, I would have my shirttail ceremonially cut off – which is why I always wore a shirt I could sacrifice. Then we would go to our assigned spots. I never got off a shot. Then it was 1961 and I went off to college. No more deer drives. Then it was 1990. That was when I got my first and only deer. Got it on Hwy 431, just south of Gadsden. Got it with a Buick. There is a point to my telling this. It is fall. The weather is dry. Deer are looking for forage along roadways. Be alert or you might get one as well. Or one might get you.



Alabama Rural Electric Association’s


Quilt Competition Our 2019 theme is:

Alabama’s Bicentennial

Mail, form below or E-mail information for your entry package. Deadline to submit quilt square is January 25, 2019.

Name: ________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________ City, State Zip: __________________________________________ Mail to: Linda Partin AREA E-mail: ________________________________________________ 340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 Phone: ________________________________________________ Cooperative: ___________________________________________ or Phone: 334-215-2732 E-mail: (The electric cooperative name on front of this Alabama Living.)

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