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WE POWER OUR

COMMUNITIES 2019 Annual Report


Board of Trustees

Gary Harris Assistant Sec./Treas. District I – Dozier

Dr. Bill King District II – Andalusia

Covington Electric Cooperative is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving approximately 23,300 meters in parts of six counties: Covington, Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Crenshaw and Escambia.

W.B. Smith Chairman District III – Brantley

Headquarters: 18836 U.S. Highway 84 Andalusia, AL 36421

C. Heflin Smith Vice Chairman District IV – Kinston

James F. Martin Jr. Sec./Treas. District V – Enterprise

Patricia Janasky District VI – Samson

www.covington.coop 800-239-4121 Toll Free 800-239-1193 Report Outages

CEC Service Territory Crenshaw

Butler

Brantley

Coffee

3

Dozier

Conecuh

Red Level

1

Dale Elba

Gantt Straughn Heath

Andalusia

Harmony Bethany

Babbie CEC Opp

Libertyville

2

Horn Hill

Red Oak

4

Covington Wing

5

Enterprise

Battons

Keyton

Executive Report................................3 We Power............................................4

Kinston

6

Samson

Escambia

2

Onycha

Goodman

TABLE OF CONTENTS Financials.............................................6

Geneva

Survey................................................. 11


EXECUTIVE REPORT

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Covington Electric Cooperative, and our industry has evolved in amazing and significant ways in those seven decades. The cooperative began with a small group of farmers who simply wanted the same opportunities for a better life as those living in the cities. These hard-working citizens came together to utilize resources offered by the government, and they changed the trajectory of not only their lives but also every generation that would follow. Electricity is an essential part of daily life in 2019. Often, we give it very little thought. That wasn’t the case when CEC was organized in 1944. People were appreciative just to have a light in their house and, eventually, a refrigerator or TV. Today, every aspect of life revolves around the use of electricity, whether it’s in the home or workplace. Reliability is absolutely critical.

W.B. “Willie” Smith Chairman, CEC Board of Trustees

Charles E. “Ed” Short CEC President, CEO & General Manager

CEC continues to work closely with its wholesale power provider, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, to help ensure that you have the power you need every time you press a button or flip a switch. Providing reliable energy 24/7 is not easy, and it comes with many complex challenges. CEC and PowerSouth, however, are committed to providing this service in a safe and affordable manner. We say this from time to time, but it’s worth repeating — electric cooperatives are not like other utilities. Co-ops are service-driven, not-for-profit businesses owned by the people they serve: our members. Co-ops are guided by seven principles that help reinforce a foundation built on integrity and purpose. Unlike some electric utilities, we are not owned by shareholders, and that truly makes a difference. With CEC, you have a voice. Members are encouraged to attend the annual meeting to vote on important co-op business. Key decisions during each meeting include elections to fill two board seats. And at times, such as this year, the meeting may also include a vote on bylaw changes. This meeting is a platform to make your voice heard, and we hope you take advantage of the opportunity. We’re very proud of CEC’s history and its positive impact on the communities we serve. Our mission would not be possible without your continued support and cooperation. For that, we are humbled and grateful. Thank you.

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We Power Future Generations We Power Energy Efficiency Helping members improve energy efficiency is important at CEC. We offer energy-efficiency information free to our members through brochures, online tools at covington. coop, tips on social media and articles in Alabama Living. CEC members may qualify for energy-efficiency loans to help improve their homes’ efficiency. Members can also request a free energy audit to target specific areas in the home where low-cost improvements can be made that may make a big difference on utility bills. CEC offers discounted energy-efficient water heaters to its members who sign up for the H2O Water Heater Load Control Program. This peak-shaving program helps CEC’s wholesale power provider, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, better manage electric demand during extreme temperatures in the winter and summer months. On average, PowerSouth conducts about four peak-shaving events each year. Detailed information about this program and others, as well as links to energy-saving tips, can be found on CEC’s website. Your cooperative supports a wide range of communityenhancing programs and events. Some of these special programs include the Rural Electric Youth Tour, Career Fairs, Liberty Learning Super Citizens Program, Bright Ideas Teacher Grants, A Cooperative Environment, Electric Foundation Scholarships, American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, Child Advocacy Centers, American Red Cross Blood Drives and many more. 4

Each year, CEC participates in the Rural Electric Youth Tour. This program allows high school juniors at schools served by CEC to participate in annual Montgomery and Washington, D.C., youth tours. In 2018, CEC sponsored 12 students for the Montgomery tour and two for the Washington tour. Students participated in team-building activities and exciting historical tours of our state capital and the nation’s capital, as well as other noteworthy sites. Offering scholarship opportunities to qualifying students who plan to further their education after high school is another way CEC demonstrates its commitment to the communities it serves. CEC offers multiple scholarship opportunities each year to high school graduates who are the dependents of CEC members. These scholarships are awarded as part of the Electric Cooperative Foundation in Montgomery. The organization was created by the electric cooperatives of Alabama in 1997 to provide eligible high school seniors scholarships for postsecondary or technical institutions. There are two $1,000 scholarships available at each of the six high schools CEC serves. One scholarship goes to a student pursuing a college degree, and one goes to a student pursuing a technical college degree. There are also two at-large scholarships, with the same stipulations, available to CEC dependents not attending schools served by the co-op. The Electric Cooperative Foundation receives all applications and selects the scholarship recipients. In 2018, CEC awarded $9,000 in scholarships to deserving students. CEC encourages its members who have children or grandchildren going into the 12th grade next school year to discuss the scholarships and to help ensure these opportunities are fully utilized. CEC is involved with schools in and around our service area, and we often participate in career fairs to introduce students to the many employment opportunities available at cooperatives. Our career fair participation even offers hands-on learning opportunities in which students attempt to maneuver tools and equipment while wearing the gear used by our lineworkers. We also spend many hours educating our youth and others in the community about the importance of electrical safety. Our safety demonstrations can be geared to fit a variety of age groups. These demonstrations are presented to schools, community groups and local fire departments upon request.


We Power Safety CEC maintains an ongoing safety program, with regular employee meetings for training in safe work procedures. Employees also participate in online safety courses and hands-on activities to help increase awareness of safety hazards and to improve safety. CEC’s goal is to eliminate on-the-job accidents, as well as accidents involving property — both CEC’s and others. Promoting safety awareness to CEC members and the public is important. That’s why CEC employees conduct electrical safety demonstrations and provide free electrical safety information online, at each office location and by mail upon request. CEC strives to work and live 100 percent safe every day.

We Power Reliable Service Providing excellent service is one of CEC’s primary objectives. Barring major developments beyond its control — major storms or a power failure at the wholesale power supply level — CEC is determined to provide as near 100 percent uninterrupted service as possible. Service interruptions in 2018 amounted to less than two hours per member. Within the last 20 years, hundreds of miles of outdated power lines insufficient to carry the loads or to provide the service required have been rebuilt. New lines and other facilities have been installed where necessary. CEC has an ongoing maintenance program on existing facilities to keep them in the best condition possible. With your continued support in such areas as permitting the clearing of rights of way, CEC is confident its efforts will provide the reliable electric service on which you depend.

We Power Member Services Your cooperative offers convenient bill payment options, including three kiosks payment machines open 24/7 at the Sanford, Enterprise and Samson offices. Other solutions include online bill pay and free CEC Connect and Covington Connect apps. Also, members may choose from an automated phone payment system, auto draft, mail or a visit to any CEC office during the hours of 7:30 a.m4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. CEC office closings are posted at lobbies and publicized through Alabama Living and social media. CEC also offers Flex Advantage, which is a prepay program that allows members to purchase electricity in advance and to avoid delinquent fees and deposits for service. To learn more about any of these products or services, simply contact CEC by phone or email or visit the CEC website. 5


FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS  Power sales to members in 2018 totaled 389,645,397 kWh.  Average monthly usage by all members during 2018 was 1,396.85 kWh.  In 2018, miles of line in service increased to 2,770. CEC has facilities (lines, poles, etc.) and consumers in parts of six counties: Covington, Coffee, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva and Escambia.  Density (number of consumers per mile of line) at the end of 2018 was 8.41.  Operating electric revenue received during 2018 was $54,889,447.  The facilities charge and the charge per kWh for residential meters remained unchanged in 2018 at $33.55 and 11.298 cents/kWh respectively.

 Total margins achieved during 2018, including capital credit assignments and non-operating margins, were $4,662,753.  CEC is required by loan agreements with its bankers — the Rural Utilities Service (RUS, formerly REA), the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), and CoBank — to earn margins as a prudent business practice.  Loan payments amounting to $7,707,313 were made during 2018. Included were repayments on principal totaling $4,771,382, plus interest payments of $2,935,931. Principal repayments made during 2018 increased by $930,126 from 2017 repayments. At the end of 2018, CEC’s total indebtedness to RUS, CFC and CoBank stood at $78,635,281.

 Operating expenses during 2018 amounted to $43,334,065.

EXPENSE BREAKDOWN Tax Expense – Property: $718,048 1.4% Operations: $2,146,025 4.1% Maintenance: $3,843,704 7.4% Interest: $2,935,931 5.6% Tax Expense – Other: $1,055,948 2.0%

8.0% Admin. & General: $4,189,321 3.2% Cons. Acct. & Collections: $1,678,524 1.1% Consumer Service: $596,544 7.9% Depreciation: $4,221,693

Sales & IT: $594,875 1.1% 58% Purchased Power: $30,285,070

Total: $52,265,685 6


Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News April 2019

Covington Electric Cooperative

www.covington.coop

Barn quilts

Trail is boon to rural tourism

Tornado aftermath Sweet strawberries


Manager Ed Short Co-op Editor Patty Singleton-Seay 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.

Eufaula pilgrimage

Each year in April, the people of Eufaula in southwest Alabama celebrate how they escaped the devastation suffered by other Southern communities during the Civil War. The 54th Eufaula Pilgrimage is April 5-7 and features tours of 12 different homes.

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VOL. 72 NO. 4 n APRIL 2019

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

Scammers are targeting CEC members again and we want to help you protect your private information and your hard earned money.

ALABAMA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION

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 Graphic Designer Kaitlyn Allen

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NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:

American MainStreet Publications 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 www.AMP.coop www.alabamaliving.coop USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311

u

Look for this logo to see more content online!

Get our FREE monthly email newsletter! Sign up at alabamaliving.coop Printed in America from American materials

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Worth the drive

44

Sweet strawberries

Gather restaurant, with its fresh take on Southern classic food, is bringing a renewed focus to Atmore’s downtown.

Strawberry season in Alabama can last for several months, thanks to our varied growing zones. Sweet jams, cakes, pies and salads await!

D E PA R T M E N T S

ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES:

340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 For advertising, email: advertising@areapower.com For editorial inquiries, email: contact@alabamaliving.coop

Beware, the scammers are at it again

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WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! ONLINE: www.alabamaliving.coop EMAIL: letters@alabamaliving.coop MAIL: Alabama Living 340 Technacenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

In this issue: Page 11 Page 12 Page 28

11 Spotlight 29 Around Alabama 42 Gardens 44 Cook of the Month 40 Outdoors 40 Fish & Game Forecast 54 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop ON THE COVER: The barn quilt, “Postage Stamp,” is displayed on the barn of Mark and Tia Waddell on County Road 226, near Florence. The quilt is part of the Alabama Barn Quilt Trail featured on Page 12. PHOTO: James W. Hannon

APRIL 2019 3


Covington Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees Gary Harris Assistant Sec./Treas. District I - Dozier

Beware, the scammers are at it again By Ed Short, CEC President, CEO and General Manager

Dr. Bill King District II - Andalusia

W.B. Smith Chairman District III - Brantley

C. Heflin Smith Vice Chairman District IV - Kinston

James F. Martin Jr. Sec./Treas. District V - Enterprise

Patricia Janasky District VI - Samson

Office Hours: 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM Monday - Friday Headquarters: 18836 US Hwy 84 Andalusia, AL 36421 334-222-4121 1-800-239-4121 Fax: 334-222-1546 District Offices Brantley 334-527-3263 Enterprise 334-347-9449 Samson 334-898-2085 Report Power Outages 1-800-239-1193 www.covington.coop

4  APRIL 2019

You see it regularly on the news these days. Scammers are getting more sophisticated and while their tactics for trying to swindle you may vary, their goals do not. They want your money or your personal information. If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be a CEC employee demanding immediate payment for your electric bill, HANG UP and call CEC (1-800-239-4121). It doesn’t matter how friendly or knowledgeable they seem, don’t be fooled. In January, we were notified about a phone scam involving a CEC member who received a call from an individual claiming to be a CEC employee who was warning them about an immediate disconnection of service. The scammer said the member’s account was in arrears because the check they sent with their payment wasn’t signed and if they didn’t pay $500 by 12:30 p.m. using a pre-paid card that same day, their electric service would be immediately disconnected. CEC employees will not call any member demanding immediate payment over the phone and there are multiple ways to pay your bill including online through CEC’s secure website at www. covington.coop, through the CEC app, through our automated phone system, by mail, in person at any CEC office or using kiosk machines at the CEC offices in Sanford, Enterprise and Samson. These type of thieves are very organized and they know how to convince people they have an unpaid balance on their electric bill. Threats made by phone should be a red flag to anyone. Residential members are not the only targets, businesses have been

affected as well. Scammers target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels. They sound authentic by answering questions with confidence and insisting a payment must be made to avoid disconnection of service. This can be an unnerving experience for the people who get these calls, but there are ways to protect yourself. The Federal Trade Commission offers the following tips to help you avoid being a victim of fraud. 1. Spot impostors. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like family, a company you do business with or a charity. Never send money in any form or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request. 2. Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your search engine with words like “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” You can even search phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams. 3. Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. 4. Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit or loan offers or they might say you’ve won a prize but first you have to pay taxes or fees. Don’t fall for it. 5. Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money is risky and so are reloadable cards and gift cards. Honest companies won’t ask you to use a prepaid card. www.alabamaliving.coop


| Covington Electric Cooperative | 6. Talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry and they may even threaten you. Slow down and check out their story. This alone will prompt most scammers to hang up and move on to someone else. 7. Hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list. That could lead to more calls. 8. Be skeptical about free trial offers. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read

the cancellation policy. And always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize. 9. Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scams. As far as the scams targeting CEC members, please keep this in mind. CEC has policies that our employees must follow to make members aware when their account is delinquent and members always have multiple ways to pay their electric bill. Awareness is the key to protecting yourself against scams so spread the word about this rampant criminal activity. Remember to call CEC to report suspicious activity relating to

your electric account. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.

Important Reminders: The 2019 CEC Annual Meeting will take place April 4 at the Kiwanis Building in Andalusia. Cancer survivors are invited to a special dinner in their honor at the 2019 Relay For Life of Covington County at 6 p.m. on April 26 at Springdale Estate in Andalusia (across from the post office.)

cec payment

Options 1 Mail directly to CEC at 18836 US Hwy 84, Andalusia, AL 36421. 2 Online 24/7 using our secure website or free app. 3 By phone 24/7 using our secure automated payment system. 4 In person at any CEC office during normal business hours. 5 Using the kiosks at CEC offices in Sanford, Enterprise or Samson 24/7. 6 Night deposit drop at any CEC office. 7 Draft automatically each month.

Alabama Living

APRIL 2019 5


THE BEGINNING

1944

Covington Electric Cooperative Inc. was organized and began distributing power to rural communities as it operated under a contract with the Alabama Electric Cooperative. Basil Thompson was the manager for both cooperatives.

1966

1961

Purchased 769 accounts and began serving the city of Samson.

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Due to growth and expansion, Covington Electric Cooperative and the Alabama Electric Cooperative mutually agreed to end joint operations. John Hill was named general manager of the Covington Electric Cooperative. A new office was built in Sanford.

www.alabamaliving.coop


LOOKING BACK, MOVING FORWARD Covington Electric Cooperative is proud to have been serving our members for 75 years. Together, we’ve accomplished a lot. We’ve built an electric distribution system in places where no for-profit utilities would go. We’ve powered our homes, farms and businesses. We’ve grown our communities through economic development and opportunities that wouldn’t be possible without reliable, affordable energy. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished since 1944, and we’re looking forward to another great 75 years of service.

1972

Enterprise office was constructed.

1981

Low-interest energy efficiency loans became available.

1986

Covington Rural Services was established, and C-Band Satellite TV service was offered.

1990

Charles “Ed” Short was named general manager. Elba flood.

1994

2011

Ice storm.

AMI metering.

1995

Prepaid electric service offered — Flex Pay.

Hurricane Opal.

1998 Became a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.

2016

Bright Ideas Program was established for local teachers.

2019

Covington celebrates 75th anniversary.

2004 Hurricane Ivan.

Alabama Living

APRIL 2019 7


| Covington Electric Cooperative |

ENERGY CONSERVATION TIPS FOR KIDS! Did you know there are small things you can do to help your family conserve energy at home? Fill in the blanks below to learn how you can help. Use the word bank below if you need a hint! 1 Turn the ________ off while you’re brushing your teeth. You can save several gallons a month just by taking this simple step. 2 Any time you leave a room, remember to turn off the _________ . Ask your parents if they use LED lights, which save the most energy! 3 With the help of your parents, _________ glass, plastic, paper and aluminum items. 4 When the heat or air conditioning is running, always keep _________ to the outside closed. 5 Take short _________ instead of baths to conserve water use.

Word Bank Showers Doors Water Recycle Lights

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www.alabamaliving.coop


| Alabama Snapshots |

Playful puppies

Remi. SUBMITTED BY Candace Merritt, Clayton.

Our Shetland Sheepdog puppies. SUBMITTED BY Kathryn Tipton, Ariton.

Mason Bragwell is a senior at Belgreen High School. Rocky turned one Feb. 23. SUBMITTED BY Sherry Poppy says “homework first, Bragwell, play later!” SUBMITTED BY Russellville. Sam Neece, Montgomery. Scout, a chocolate lab, at 3 months old. SUBMITTED BY Amy Paul, Glenwood.

Shilo the Beagle and Kynleigh Wood. SUBMITTED BY June Wood, Holly Pond.

Opie loves to help mom and dad with the garden! SUBMITTED BY Lance Hubbard, Lineville.

Submit Your Images! June Theme: “Old Churches” Deadline for June: April 30

SUBMIT PHOTOS ONLINE: www.alabamaliving.coop/submit-photo/ 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 www.alabamaliving.coop and on our Facebook page. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Alabama Living

APRIL 2019 9


Spotlight | April SOCIAL SECURITY

Financial literacy month: the perfect time to plan for your future April is Financial Literacy Month and there’s no better time than right now to begin to save for your future. The earlier you start saving, the more you can accrue in a 401k individual retirement account and other types of IRAs. Social Security helps secure your future, but Social Security is only one part of a more complete retirement plan. Financial literacy includes having access to not just the correct general information, but also to your personal financial information. You can open your own personal my Social Security account at socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/ and quickly have access to your information from anywhere. There, you can do many things, but the most important thing is to view your Social Security Statement. Your Social Security Statement is an easy-to-read personal record of the earnings on which you have paid Social Security taxes and a summary of the estimated benefits you and your family could receive, including potential retirement, disability, and survivors benefits. Once you have an account, you can view your Statement at any time. You’ll want to verify that your recorded earnings are correct, because your future benefits are based on your recorded earnings. We also offer the online Retirement Estimator at socialsecurity.gov/benefits/ retirement/estimator.html that provides immediate and personalized benefit estimates based on your earnings record. And, best of all, the Retirement Estimator is an interactive tool that allows you to compare different retirement scenarios like future earnings and different retirement ages.  One sure way to stay on top of your financial future is to join the more than 38 million people who have opened their own my Social Security account at socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/. The sooner you start planning for retirement the better off you will be.n Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at kylle.mckinney@ssa.gov.

10 APRIL 2019

Letters to the editor E-mail us at: letters@alabamaliving.coop or write us at: Letters to the editor P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Thanks to linemen

Thank you to Tallapoosa River EC and Alabama Power for your tireless work helping Lee County recover from the tornadoes Sunday, March 3. The linesmen work in the dangerous disaster areas, work in the freezing cold temperatures, and put in the long hours to meet our needs. We cannot thank them enough for their service to our community - and they are not thanked often enough.  Michelle Mullinax Smiths Station

Liked legislative section

My wife saw your magazine with the legislative pullout section and she wanted one to try to get to know the new people. If you have extras, could you bring five or six copies to my office. I need one badly (to get to know) all the new people and where they are from. Please give your staff that put it together a “thank you” from us. I will probably keep one in my coat until I get to know all of the new people. Howard Sanderford Alabama House District 20

Lowered blood pressure

I was home from the hospital after having pneumonia with health care coming out (to check). I was having a problem with my blood pressure going high and the nurse told me to read or do something to get my mind off some stress, so I picked up my Alabama Living magazine and started to look for the hidden dingbat. I looked through the book several times for a while and I found it on Page 30 of the top right corner on the Fort Payne map (February issue). Anyway, when my blood pressure was checked, it was normal. I enjoy this magazine. Sarah A. Lipscomb Pea River EC

Shares articles for others

Thank you for your great magazine each month. I enjoy it! My sister and her family lived in Alabama many years ago. The job took them to NE. They came back for summer visits each year. She and her husband were from Mississippi and Alabama. With family here, their memories will and always will echo of the South. I cut out and send her interesting pages from the magazine. We are all older now. She is in an assisted living apartment. They have games and many other activities. In her quiet time I like for her to read and enjoy great memories of the South. Thank you so much! Linda Ford Lisman

Where were you when man first walked on the moon?

Do you remember where you were on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon’s surface? Did you get to stay up late to watch on TV? Did you or your parents have a special watch party? We want to hear about it! The 50th anniversary of that historic event is coming up this year, and we want to do our part to recognize the crowning achievement of the U.S. space program, which all began in Huntsville, Alabama. (The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is sponsoring a number of special events in July, in cooperation with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, to mark the event.) Send your memories, no more than 100 words, with your name, address, phone number and email address, and a photo of yourself from 1969, by April 26 to moonlanding@alabamaliving.com or mail to Moon Landing Memories, Alabama Living, 340 Technacenter Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117. We will publish a selection of those submissions in the July 2019 magazine.

www.alabamaliving.coop


April | Spotlight

Whereville, AL Identify 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 April 8 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the May issue. Submit by email: whereville@alabamaliving.coop, 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.

MARCH'S ANSWER The “Violata Pax” (Wounded Dove) is a 15foot bronze sculpture by Alabama artist Nall. Created in 2006 as a post-earthquake renovation project for the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Italy, it is a symbol of peace and everlasting life, but also illustrates the shatter-

ing of peace on Sept. 11, 2001. It is a prominent feature of the Janice Hawkins Cultural Park at Troy University. Editor’s note: More than half of this month's contest respondents got this one wrong. The culprit: An incorrect web site, which comes up on a Google search, that indicates the statue is on the Troy Montgomery campus. Be careful with those internet searches! (Photo by Lenore Vickrey of Alabama Living) The randomly drawn correct guess winner is Kimberley Byrd of South Alabama EC.

Find the hidden dingbat! April 3, 1920

Montgomery native Zelda Sayre married novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald in New York. Often the inspiration for characters and themes in her husband’s work, Zelda soon became a symbol of the free-wheeling “flapper” lifestyle and the Jazz Age. An author and artist in her own right, she produced Zelda Fitzgerald more than two dozen short stories and articles and published her only novel, Save Me the Waltz, in 1932. Her artwork is often displayed at museums across the country. Zelda was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 1992 and her life is portrayed in the 2017 TV series “Z: The Beginning of Everything.” For a brief period from October 1931 to February 1932, she and Scott lived in Montgomery, and their home in the Old Cloverdale neighborhood is today the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated to the couple.

Alabama postage stamp unveiled Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon helped unveil the Alabama Statehood Forever Stamp in February during ceremonies in Huntsville, site of the state’s first Constitutional Convention in 1819. “It was what happened at this spot 200 years ago that helped bring the state of Alabama into existence,” McCutcheon said. “It created not just the state of Alabama, but a great future that continues and that we continue to celebrate.” As part of the dedication ceremony and to honor the state’s bicentennial, legislators re-enacted the signing of the constitution with a quill pen on parchment. The Alabama Forever Stamp can be purchased at The Postal Store at usps.com/shop, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), or at Post Office locations. Photo courtesy of Jay Bigalke, Linn’s Stamp News, linns.com

Alabama Living

We didn’t mean to make last month’s dingbat search so hard, but apparently we did! Tucked away at the bottom of Page 34, growing in the midst of some green herbs, was our hidden fourleaf clover. Many of you thought it was on the page featuring Callaghan’s Irish Social Club, but that was a shamrock, not a four-leaf clover. Tricky, huh? This month, it’s time to get out your glasses or magnifying glass and look for the hidden bunny rabbit. Easter is April 21, so get hopping! Our $25 random drawing winner for the March contest is Vickie Nichols of Thomasville. She is a member of Clarke-Washington EMC. Entries must be received by April 5. By mail: Find the Dingbat Alabama Living PO Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

By email: dingbat@alabamaliving.com

Drivers, remember: Slow down in work zones Again this year, the Alabama Rural Electric Association (AREA), which publishes Alabama Living, is participating in National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 8-12. This week is held annually to remind motorists that those who work in roadway construction zones face dangers every day they’re on the job. The safety campaign is held in early spring, traditionally the start of the highway construction season. In Alabama, the effort is coordinated by the Struck-By Alliance, a voluntary group of businesses and agencies that have an interest in promoting safety along the state’s highways. AREA member cooperatives employ linemen and right-of-way personnel who often work on state and county roads and face constant danger from inattentive, speeding or distracted drivers. Also involved in the state’s effort are the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), the Alabama Associated General Contractors of America and Alabama Power Company, among others. For more information, visit workzonesafety.org APRIL 2019 11


Ricky Aycock and his grandsons, Aiden and Braxton, in front of the family’s barn in Colbert County. The barn quilt features a log cabin pattern from Aycock’s great-great grandmother.

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n the rural roads her job as a traveling nurse often sends her to, Regina Painter saw her first barn quilt. Today, a few years later, she paints many of the colorful metal quilt blocks that adorn old barns along north Alabama’s backroads as part of the Alabama Barn Quilt Trail. The idea of the trail is to attract drivers to take the scenic route in celebration of Alabama’s rural, agricultural and artistic heritage. The trail honors families, hobbies and the beloved pastime of quilting with modular samples of patterns hanging from old barns. Painter is a fabric quilter first, and in May her mother turned 80 years old. In recognition of the milestone, a grandmother’s flower garden pattern block hangs on her barn in Killen. That pattern was 85-90 years old, and the quilt kept Painter warm at night as a child. 12  APRIL 2019

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A colorful treasure hunt

Barn Quilt Trail honors tradition, boosts tourism By Jennifer Crossley Howard Photos by James W. Hannon

Alabama Living

APRIL 2019  13


Gary Dunhoff’s barn on State Line Road in Loretto, Tenn., has a quilt pattern called “American Horse.”

The Charlie Thompson barn in Lexington, Ala., features an old quilt square with the state bird, the yellowhammer, in the center.

Now, this colorful block, and others like it, warms both the surrounding landscape and the hearts of tourists who pull over for a closer look. “It brightens the countryside,” says Painter, who leads the barn quilt project in Lauderdale County. “We can’t believe it. We’re so excited that it’s catching on.” To drive the trail for yourself, use the Google Map on alabamabarnquilttrail.org.

Alabama’s Bicentennial Commission included the trail in the state’s 200th anniversary celebrations this year. Painter held a workshop in Russell County in October and another in Lauderdale County in January. Both were full. “It’s very exciting and is yet another way to expose our heritage and has a vast authenticity,” says Susann Hamlin, president of the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau. Hamlin remembers sitting as a young girl playing paper dolls while her grandmother’s quilting circle sewed. The trail is “a fabulous way to showcase artists and their craft and the heritage of the South,” she says. She hopes the trail will attract newcomers to the art of quilting. “People still like the idea of quilting,” she says. “It might inspire people to start quilting again. Who knows?”

Keeping tradition alive

From mosaic-style crazy quilts, lone star patterns, familiar wedding ring blocks and conical haberdashery squares, barn quilts are the latest chapter in the centuries-long history of quilting. Most are heirloom patterns handed down in the family. Others are chosen purely for their geometry and vibrant color. Ricky Aycock’s pattern on his family’s barn on Old Highway 20 in Tuscumbia, just outside Leighton, is a log cabin pattern from his great-great grandmother. Its bold color on a large 8-foot by 8-foot block hanging on a red barn will draw your eyes from the road. Aycock’s father lives in the barn now, and he has noticed drivers pull over for a picture. His family has a history of farming cotton, soybean and cattle in Leighton. The quilts decorate barns that house and shelter livestock and crops, reminding drivers that “the farming community is still a very important and vital part of our lives,” Painter says. There are roughly 40 blocks on the Alabama Barn Quilt Trail and eight more are in the works, including ones in Hamilton, Detroit and Franklin County. The first quilt block in Lauderdale County went up in December 2015, a product of trails that began in Kentucky and Ohio. The trail spread to Colbert, Lawrence, Marion and Winston counties in Alabama and last year received a grant from the state that will add other counties. “We prefer the older barns, but we will put blocks on newer barns sometimes,” Painter says. Word about the trail is spreading.

Bringing people together

The first blocks on the trail were wooden and proved too heavy and cumbersome to hang long term, so Dale Robinson of Florence started stenciling patterns on the same aluminum that road signs are made of. “We found that the metal is so much easier and more durable, and it’s lighter,” he says. He and his wife, Lisa, have been involved with the trail for two years after they read an article about it in the TimesDaily newspaper in Florence. Lisa paints blocks. The quilt trail joins volunteers from all walks of life, including retirees such as Robinson, art students from the University of North Alabama who help stencil and paint blocks and professionals such as Painter for whom the trail has become a meaningful project. Robinson has Parkinson’s Disease and said stenciling quilt patterns keeps his active and his mind sharp. “It’s a challenge,” he says. “My wife enjoys it, so it makes her happy, so it makes me happy.”n The Chuck and Dianne Craig barn in Rogersville, Ala.

For barn owners who would like to display a quilt block: Email the quilt trail coordinators at alabamabarnquilts@gmail.com (this address and other helpful information is on the website at alabamabarnquilttrail.org) • Patterns must be on 8x8 or 4x4 blocks • The barn must be visible from the road, and has space for drivers to pull over and take photos • No blocks with names or political references or other potential for controversy will be considered. • The web site also pinpoints all barn locations on a Google map, so start making plans for a road trip! 14  APRIL 2019

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Communities pull together after

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Aerial photo shows some of the damage from the March 3 tornado that devastated the Beauregard community in Lee County. PHOTO BY BILLY POPE FOR THE ALABAMA GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

March 3

tornadoes Severe weather dealt a heavy blow to areas across the Southeast on Sunday, March 3, including several co-op areas in Alabama. The entire state mourned the deaths of the 23 people – adults and children – who died in Lee County in the EF-4 tornado that touched down near the Beauregard community, south of Auburn and Opelika.

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Communities pull together after March 3 tornadoes Ninety injuries were also reported; the tornado had winds of 170 mph and had a damage path of more than 26 miles, according to preliminary data from the National Weather Service. There were more tornado deaths in that one day than have occurred nationwide in the past two years, according to al.com. The area is part of Tallapoosa River Electric Cooperative’s service territory, in the LaFayette South District. The co-op also reported some damage near Lake Harding, just north of Smiths Station. After the storms, Central Alabama EC sent 16 men, and Pea River EC sent 13 to help restore power to the TREC areas devastated by the tornadoes. At the height of the storm, the co-op reported more than 2,000 outages; crews had restored power substantially by Tuesday night, and by Wednesday to all structures that could receive power. No co-op employees were directly impacted by the storm, but many knew of people in their communities who lost their homes, and in some cases loved ones. As with any severe weather disaster, the co-op employees went right to work after reports of the tornadoes started coming in. Office workers came to the LaFayette office, and crews went to the storm-ravaged areas. Louie Ward, general manager of Tallapoosa River EC, accompanied his crews to the areas. The devastation he saw defied explanation. “All I know to tell you, it looked like a bomb went off,” Ward says. “I’ve seen tornado damage quite a few times in life. This was about as bad as I had seen anywhere.” There has been an outpouring of support, Ward says, from people near and far. “It was very heartwarming to see how the community pulled together,” Ward says. “There was a monumental effort made hours immediately following the tornadoes, and people were boots on the ground providing assistance within hours. I think that speaks to the community and the awareness of how much people needed help.” President Donald Trump approved a Major Disaster Declaration for Lee County on March 5, which triggers the release of federal funds to help people and communities recover from the severe weather. Trump visited Lee County on March 8 to survey the damage and meet with local leaders and victims of the storm.n

A line crew from Pea River EC works to restore power to the Smiths Station area after the tornado of March 3. PHOTO BY BUSTER BISHOP

Ground view showing some of the damage from the March 3 tornado that devastated the Beauregard community in Lee County. PHOTO BY BILLY POPE FOR THE ALABAMA GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

A line crew from Central Alabama EC works to restore power to the Salem area. PHOTO BY BUSTER BISHOP

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APRIL 2019  19


Historic town opens its arms to visitors During the Eufaula Pilgrimage many young ladies, like Grace Garvey (white dress) and Annie Kozicki (burgundy dress) here at the Shorter Mansion, wear antebellum dresses to greet the visitors.

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By John N. Felsher

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n April 1865, 4,000 much more. We look Union Army solforward to seeing you diers under Gen. this spring in beautiful Eufaula.” Benjamin H. Grierson approached EuWelcome home faula, a port town on Each year, apthe Chattahoochee proximately 7,000 River. Many southvisitors head to the ern cities had already town of about 13,000 burned down during the Civil War. The residents to tour the people of Eufaula, Fendall Hall dates to 1856. During the Eufaula Pilgrimage, evening visitors to the antebellum participating historic relatively untouched mansion can watch local citizens dressed in period clothing talking about the families that homes and experience other events. In by the war so far, owned Fendall Hall during candlelight tours. 2019, the Pilgrimage braced for the worst. will open 12 homes to the public, some during daylight hours and Generals Robert E. Lee and Joseph Johnson had both recently surrendered the two largest Confederate armies, ending the war and some for nighttime tours. sparing the town. “In 1965, 100 years after the Civil War ended, the Eufaula HeriConsequently, many historic mansions and other buildings in tage Association was formed to prevent the loss and destruction of the town built on high bluffs along the Chattahoochee remain inthe town’s historic treasures,” says Pam Snead, the association executive director. “The association purchased the Shorter Mansion tact. With the largest historic district in eastern Alabama and secand started the Eufaula Pilgrimage as a way to raise funds to mainond largest in the state, Eufaula has more than 700 buildings listed tain the mansion. We held the first Eufaula Pilgrimage in 1966. This in the National Register of Historic Places. Six former Alabama governors plus Admiral Thomas Moorer, former chairman of the is the longest running home tour in the state. Besides the Shorter Mansion, all the other homes open to the public this year are priJoint Chiefs of Staff, had all lived in the town named for the Creek vately owned except for Fendall Hall, which is owned by the state.” word describing high bluffs. Many Pilgrimage events occur at the Shorter Mansion at 340 N. Each year in April, the people of Eufaula celebrate how they escaped the devastation suffered by so many other Southern commuEufaula Ave., one of the main roads through town. The mansion nities by opening their historic homes to visitors during the Eufaudates back to 1884 when Eli Sims Shorter of Macon, Ga., built it as la Pilgrimage. Presented by the Eufaula Heritage Association, the a more humble home than the elegant mansion that stands today. 54th annual Eufaula Pilgrimage will run April 5-7. In the early 1900s, an extensive renovation turned it into a Greek “The great tradition continues as we prepare for another Eufaula Revival mansion. The mansion appeared in several movies, most Pilgrimage,” proclaims Jack Tibbs, mayor of Eufaula. “We’re excited prominently, the 2002 film “Sweet Home Alabama” with Reese to see old friends and make new ones as visitors come to enjoy our Witherspoon. Besides the hosting location for the Pilgrimage, the beautiful city. This year, the Pilgrimage should be better than ever mansion also serves as a museum. Construction on Fendall Hall began in 1856. During the Pilwith great shopping opportunities, restaurants, antique shows and Many of the activities during the Eufaula Pilgrimage take place in or around the Shorter Mansion, located at 340 North Eufaula Avenue.

Alabama Living

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grimage, evening visitors to the our visitors something good to eat antebellum mansion can watch before they head home. It’s a wonlocal citizens dressed in period derful meal.” clothing talking about the families Another point of interest that owned Fendall Hall during a Many people stay at Lakepoint Recandlelight tour. Among the other sort State Park just outside of town. characters, re-enactors play Anna People could stay at the park lodge, Beall Young Dent, the second ownwhich offers hotel-style rooms, a er of Fendall Hall, and her husband, first-class restaurant and many othCapt. S.H. Dent, a Confederate war er amenities. Some visitors prefer to hero during the Civil War. rent a cabin or lakeside cottage. Oth“It takes the entire town to put on ers like staying in recreational vehithe Eufaula Pilgrimage each year,” In many of the homes open during the Eufaula Pilgrimage, cles parked in the campground. For Snead says. “Besides the people who musicians play old songs on classic instruments to entertain state park information, see alapark. open up their homes to the pub- guests. Here, two musicians in period clothing entertain com/lakepoint-state-park. lic, we have about 700 volunteers. visitors to the Shorter Mansion. The park sits on Lake Eufaula, Many young ladies wear antebellum one of the best fishing lakes in the nation. Created by a dam on dresses. Everyone puts in a lot of time and effort to get everything the Chattahoochee River, Lake Eufaula spreads across 45,181 acres just right. In some homes, the architecture is the most important spanning part of the Alabama-Georgia border. Officially called thing. In other homes, it might be the antique furnishings or the Walter F. George Reservoir, the impoundment provides outstandhistory of the building, but they all have great histories.” ing fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, bream and other During home tours and other events, musicians play instruspecies. Some bass exceed 10 pounds. ments such as fiddles, flutes or dulcimers. At the library, children People who can’t make the spring Pilgrimage might consider visdress up like historical figures and talk about their characters. iting Eufaula on Dec. 7. Each year since 2005, the town has held People can also enjoy the outdoor art show on the Randolph a one-day Christmas Tour of Homes. This year, it will feature six Street median, which runs parallel to Eufaula Avenue. Visitors historic homes. can also participate in afternoon teas at the mansion, an antiques “It’s absolutely beautiful!” Snead says. “It’s been a huge success show, photo exhibits and other activities. for us. Besides the home tours, we’ll have a wonderful lunch at the “We always invite a featured speaker to make a presentation at Shorter Mansion. Everything will be beautifully decorated for the the Eufaula Pilgrimage luncheon,” Snead says. “This year, Megan holidays.” Larussa, a stylist from Birmingham, will be teaching the womPeople can purchase tickets for the various events and activities. en different ways to dress with ease. The luncheon takes place on For complete schedules and other information, call 1-888-EUFAUApril 6 at the Eufaula Country Club. On the Sunday of the PilLA (888-383-2852) or visit eufaulapilgrimage.com.n grimage, we always hold a brunch at the Shorter Mansion to give Left, During the Eufaula Pilgrimage, many town residents get into the spirit of the event by dressing in 19th century attire. Here, Christy Mancill in an antebellum dress and Commander Jan Spitzer, dressed in a 19th century naval uniform, greet visitors to the Shorter Mansion. Right, a town resident dresses in old-fashioned clothing to show off the mansions.

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Breathing easy at Camp WheezeAway By Lori M. Quiller

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ost recent Alabama data find one in every 10 Alabama adults, or 306,000, suffer from asthma. The data also show more than 12 percent of Alabama children are living with the chronic respiratory disease at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, these children live sheltered lives trying to avoid the triggers that can induce an asthmatic episode. Summer camp was not an option for these children – until Camp WheezeAway opened. “Camp WheezeAway is one of the longest-running asthma camps in the country. It’s a memorial camp dedicated to Patsy Ruff, who was the world’s first successful double lung transplant in 1987,” explained Dr. Amy CaJacob, a pediatric allergist/immunologist and the camp’s medical director. Superheroes fighting asthma, and learning about their triggers.

Learning correct inhaler technique.

“Patsy had asthma, COPD and was a smoker for 22 years. One of the things Patsy wanted was a camp for kids because when she was growing up with asthma, she couldn’t go to a summer camp like her friends. She really wanted kids with asthma to have a normal summer camp experience that she never had, and that’s what we try to do at Camp WheezeAway.”

Education as well as fun

Camp WheezeAway is celebrating its 28th anniversary this year and is free to qualified applicants – youngsters ages 8 to 12 suffering from persistent asthma. Applications are due by May 1, and the camp is May 26-31 at YMCA’s Camp Chandler. CaJacob explained the importance of education about asthma and how to handle its limitations is as much a part of the camp as having fun. Asthma affects nearly 25 million people of all ages and races. An estimated 7 million children have asthma, a chronic disease caused by inflammation of the airways in the lungs. During an asthma attack, the muscles around the airway constrict, the lining of the airway passages swell, and the lungs produce excess mucus making breathing difficult, which can lead to coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. “Every year at camp on the last night we have a smokeless campfire at night after dinner,” she says. “We wheel around an oxygen tank and talk to the kids about the dangers of smoking. We tell them the story of Patsy Ruff, her surgery, and how the camp began. All the campers are at that age where they may want to experiment with smoking, and they are going to be making their own decisions about their health or possibly succumb to peer pressure about smoking. They need to understand how their decisions will affect their health.”

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If you think asthma education is boring, think again. CaJacob and the staff of medical volunteers find new ways each year to make it as interactive and fun as possible for the campers – even if it involves grossing out some of the kids. “We don’t want to bore the kids during the education section. The project I do every year is, well – we make mucus. It’s so messy, but the kids love it! The girls not as much as the boys, though,” she laughed. “We’ve done skits of how to avoid asthma triggers where the kids dress up as ragweed or cigarettes and a rescue inhaler. Sometimes it’s just hands-on training so they can learn how to use their inhalers.” Camp co-founder Brenda Basnight said one of the best things about Camp WheezeAway is that it is a huge boost to a camper’s self-esteem and confidence. At school, they are often singled out for being different because they cannot take part in outdoor activities or physical education classes. “The best thing I hear from these children is that at this camp, they’re not different. Everyone at this camp has asthma, and everyone at this camp takes medicine. No one makes fun of anyone, and the children don’t feel singled out for their medical condition,” Basnight says. “The camp really helps to build their self-esteem and confidence.” Because many of the campers are prescribed medications for their asthma and told when to take it, they may not understand why they need that medication. According to Basnight, each camper leaves with a full understanding of their medication and how to use it. “We make sure the children understand their medicine. Why they need it, what to do with it, when to do it, when Campers are taught which inhalers are for “rescue” and which are controllers that keep their asthma in the “green zone”

Daily water sports include banana boat, sailing, the “blob” and paddle boarding.

they need extra medication … And, everyone has a plan of action when they leave so we know they fully understand the disease and their medications when they leave us,” Basnight says.

Being allowed to be normal

All in all, the campers get a well-rounded experience. From shaving cream battles, kayaking and horseback riding to rock climbing and archery – and anything you can think of doing in the lake – plenty of emphasis is placed on kids with asthma being normal kids. In many instances, Camp WheezeAway is a camper’s first sleepover outside the home. Because campers are not allowed cell phones, CaJacob assures parents they should not worry. A mother herself, there are plenty of times when she shrugs off her physician’s coat for her mom hat. “For a lot of our campers, it’s their first time away from home, and we get a lot of homesickness that first night. Part of my job is doctoring that week, but a lot of it is just being a mom! That first night the kids can’t sleep or have tummy aches, but when they settle in and start having fun, everything is just fine! Campers aren’t allowed cell phones, but we take plenty of photos and stay in touch with parents by sending them photos of the activities,” CaJacob says. Camp WheezeAway operates solely by donations. No qualified child pays to attend Camp WheezeAway. All staff, including medical staff, are strictly volunteer. For more information regarding selection or medical qualifications and limitations, contact Brenda Basnight, CRT, at brendabasnight@yahoo.com. Donations are appreciated and can be made online at ymcamontgomery.org/camp/wheezeaway.n 26  APRIL 2019

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April | Around Alabama

Photo courtesy of the Baldwin County Strawberry Festival.

5 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. $5 adults; $2 ages 2-12. More than 100 exhibitors, the new Antique Alley, petting zoo, storytellers, live music, food and children’s activities. Proceeds benefit community projects. Calicofort.com

The 32nd Annual Baldwin County Strawberry Festival is April 13-14 in Loxley.

5-7

Eufaula, 54th Annual Eufaula Pilgrimage. Alabama’s oldest tour of homes. More than 700 structures listed on the National Register. Take guided tours of homes and sites and enjoy an art show, concerts, a wax museum and more. For more information and an event schedule, visit eufaulapilgrimage.com.

6

Prattville, Wilson Pickett Music and Arts Festival, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Art projects for kids, art vendors, local talent, music, chalk artists, food vendors, giveaways and more. Concert begins at 6 p.m. after the festival. Pratt Park, 460 Doster Road. Free. 334595-0854 or visit prattvilleal.gov.

6

Auburn, AU Fisheries Field Day. Fisheries Field Day and Grand Opening of the Fisheries Learning Center. 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the E.W. Shell Fisheries Research Center, 2101 N. College St. Features tours of the facilities and ponds, food vendors, extended fish market hours, children’s activities and presentations by faculty and students. Free. 334-844-2874 or email clinedj@auburn.edu.

6

Enterprise, Annual Mitchell Automotive Chick-fil-A 5K and 1-mile Fun Run to benefit WinShape Summer Camp scholarships. 8 a.m. at Enterprise High School, 1801 Boll Weevil Circle. Register at itsyourrace. com. $25 for 5k, $15 for 1-mile. Registration includes t-shirt and

Family Fun Zone activities. Visit the Facebook event page for more information.

6-7

Cullman, 35th Annual Bloomin’ Festival Arts and Crafts Fair. More than 150 artisans. Pottery, brooms, leather art, jewelry, plants and more. Visit Ave Maria Grotto for a reduced-price admission of $3. $5 donation requested; children 5 and under free. Proceeds benefit St. Bernard Prep School. Rain or shine. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. St. Bernard Prep School, 1600 St. Bernard Drive SE. bloominfestival.com

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New Brockton, 2019 Fish, Forestry, Wildlife and Outdoor Skills Event. Speakers from around Alabama will present on various topics. Preregistration $10, $15 at the door. Topics include beekeeping, orienteering, CPR, canoeing, shooting and more. Proceeds will go toward the maintenance of the 55-acre lake at Boy Scout Camp Alaflo. For more information, visit ffwos.wordpress. com. Boy Scout Camp Alaflo, 830 County Road 156.

13

Theodore, Easter Egg Hunt and Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at Bellingrath Gardens. 8 a.m.12 p.m. Thousands of Easter eggs will be scattered across the Great Lawn. The Easter Bunny will be available for professional photos. The Magnolia Café will host the 6th annual Breakfast with the Easter Bunny from

8-9:30 a.m.; reservations required for breakfast. bellingrath.org.

13

Montgomery, Alabama Book Festival in Old Alabama Town. Author presentations, book signings, children’s activities, exhibitors and vendors, including food vendors. Alabamabookfestival.org

Livingston, Sucarnochee Folklife Festival, Sumter County Courthouse Square. 9 a.m.4 p.m. Features cooking contests, Easter bonnet parade, ghost walk tour, music, food, art and more. For more information, visit centerforblackbelt.org.

26-27

Jemison, Spring Antiques in the Garden Show. Vendors will sell antiques, crafts and collectibles; food vendors will be available. Petals from the Past, 16034 County Road 29. Petalsfromthepast.com

27

Arab, Back-When Day, Arab Historic Village. Features oldfashioned activities as such quilting, cornmeal grinding, blacksmithing, storytelling, playing checkers, crafts for children and more. Live bluegrass and gospel music. Event is free; country dinner plates will be sold. 256-550-0290 or 256-586-6793.

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Enterprise, 45th Annual Piney Woods Arts Festival. Saturday 9 a.m.5 p.m., Sunday 12-4 p.m. Enterprise State Community College. Juried arts and crafts show features original arts and crafts by more than 100 artists. Children’s activities, food, entertainment, student art display and more. Free. For more information, contact the Coffee County Arts Alliance at 334-406-2787 or visit coffeecountyartsalliance.com. Loxley, 32nd Annual Baldwin County Strawberry Festival, Loxley Municipal Park, Highway 59 South. More than 180 arts and crafts exhibitors, food vendors, carnival, children’s games, antique car show and live music. Proceeds benefit Loxley Elementary School and the ARC Baldwin County. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. both days. baldwincountystrawberryfestival. org

13-14

Fort Deposit, 48th annual Calico Fort Arts and Crafts Fair. 9 a.m.-

To place an event, e-mail events@alabamaliving.coop. or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations.

Alabama Living

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Wetumpka, French and Indian War Encampment, Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Park. This annual event focuses on military, Indian and civilian life at a French frontier fort and Creek village in 1756. Living history demonstrations, periodcorrect re-enactors and vendors. $4 adults, $2 school-aged children Saturday; $2 adults and $1 children on Sunday. Fttoulousejackson.org Pike Road, Spring Chicken Festival at SweetCreek Farm Market, 85 Meriwether Road. Live music, BBQ cookoff, kids’ activities, corn hole contest, craft vendors, food and more. Free. Visit SweetCreek Farm Market Facebook page for more information.

27-28

Troy, TroyFest 2019. Fine art and crafts festival held in honor of Jean Lake in downtown Troy. Juried arts awards, live music, children’s activities and more. 334-674-2455 or troyfestarts.com

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APRIL 2019 29

Al


| Worth the drive |

Take a look inside Gather at alabamaliving.coop!

A modern take on comfort food in Atmore Story by Allison Law, Photos by Mark Stephenson

A

tmore may be best known today as the home of the Wind main reason behind that, but we are a part of that. Makes us feel Creek Casino and Hotel, which towers above the landscape good about what we’re doing, and what we’re bringing to the comoff Interstate 65. munity.” But the locals – and increasingly, What they’re bringing is a simple, travelers too – know that there’s anothstraight-forward approach to food – er draw, one that has brought a new foSouthern classics with a modern twist. cus to Atmore’s downtown area. The menu is traditional, filled with faGather Restaurant, built on the site miliar foods and minimal ingredients. of a Pure Pep filling station, celebrated “We’re not trying to hide anything its one-year anniversary in October. Its with a bunch of ingredients or sauces or owners, husband and wife team Chris garnishes,” Chris says. and Beth McElhaney, are natives of The signature dish is likely the ribeye the area and are proud that their little (it’s also the best-seller), seasoned simrestaurant – it only seats 76 patrons – ply and expertly cooked. But the fish of has helped breathe new life into downthe day is a close second, served with The site of Gather Restaurant was originally a Pure Pep town. pimento grits, green beans and shrimp gas station that dated to the 1920s. Over the years it has “We’re getting some attention from been a hair salon, a car wash and boutique stores. Today, sauce. out-of-towners who say, ‘Gather is it’s an anchor of downtown Atmore. The Un-Smashed Burger may be the what’s drawing us to Atmore,’” says tastiest-looking, and potentially intimiChris, the executive chef. Other businesses are stepping up and dating, dish. The eight-ounce patty is smothered in cheddar, bacon, sprucing up, he says, and the city is working to secure grants to fried jalapenos and homemade barbecue sauce, served with fried continue revitalization projects downtown. “I know we’re not the pork skins and what they call “pimento cheez whiz,” a dipping sauce 30 APRIL 2019

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Gather Restaurant

111 W. Nashville Ave. Atmore, AL 36502 251-303-8080 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; reservations highly recommended on weekend nights Search “Gather Restaurant Atmore” on Facebook

Atmore

that’s a perfect complement to the cheese oozing off the burger. Want more? Add an egg, grilled onions, fried mozzarella, blue cheese … pile it on. Perhaps the most talked-about item on the menu: Chef Chris’ Original Brussels Sprouts. Don’t turn up your nose yet. “That’s our No. 1 appetizer, and it’s phenomenal,” Beth says. Chris flash-fries the tiny cabbages and tosses them in a honey balsamic sauce with shaved red onion, and tops them with pork belly. “We have so many people who say, ‘We hate brussels sprouts, but these have been just life-changing,’” Beth says. As if on cue, a couple of patrons stop by to tell Chris and Beth how much they love them. “I’m a convert,” the man says, and his wife nods in agreement.

The road back home

Chris and Beth grew up in the same small town of Bratt, Fla., just across the state line from Atmore. They were high school sweethearts and lived just a mile apart. Their families still live there and help out with the six McElhaney children, ages 4 to 13. Both were in college when Chris made a decision that would completely change his career path. He was just a few months shy of earning an engineering degree from Auburn when he decided to go to culinary school at Johnson and Wales, then in Charleston, S.C. He worked with award-winning chef Frank McMahon, who became a mentor. Beth and Chris started their career in restaurants — New Orleans, Mobile, elsewhere. “Through all of our travels, we kind of came back through (Atmore),” Chris says. Turns out, the place they kept coming back to was where they needed to be. Nearly 20 years, several jobs and a few disappointments later, the couple partnered with Rob Faircloth of David’s Catfish restaurants to open Gather in Atmore. About six months in, Faircloth offered the couple the chance to buy him out, and since July 2019, Gather has ben all theirs. And they couldn’t be happier. “We feel like we made a good decision,” Chris says. “Since July, it’s just been growing. People are driving here from Birmingham. Not because they’re passing through. Now, they may be going to the casino, but they’re coming here to eat.” Beth agrees. “We’re getting people from Mobile and Pensacola. It’s truly a blessing.” Unsmashed burger, a Gather favorite.

32 APRIL 2019

Chris and Beth McElhaney, owners of Gather, stand in the bar area, which was the original gas station building. The couple has tried to retain the century-old character of the structure, and used reclaimed materials throughout the restaurant.

Making the most of small space

The intimacy of the restaurant is evident. The kitchen is open, which Chris likes, because it’s both an education and entertainment for the patrons. But it is a small space, especially when the staff pumps out 100 dishes in an evening. A side patio with garage doors is open in nice weather. And the cozy brick-walled bar area was the original gas station. Both areas are small, but the McElhaneys have no desire to expand the footprint. But they would love to open other locations. “I think with lots of prayer, that will happen in the next few years. We’ve actually had people bring different offers to us,” Beth says. “That’s flattering, it really is. So definitely, that’s there in the back of our heads.” Chris handles the kitchen, while Beth works in the front of the house and also does all the baking. She started baking just a few years ago, doing it for other restaurants; now she bakes for Gather only, sticking to the simple, Southern-style formula that Chris uses for the savory dishes. “I have lots of my grandmother’s recipes,” she says, and makes such familiar favorites as red velvet cake, lemon ice box pie, and the decadent pecan pie cheesecake – a pecan pie on top of a Graham cracker crust, topped with a brown sugar cheesecake and covered with caramel sauce and whipped cream. “I guess the best compliment you can get is people who say, ‘It feels like I should be here. It’s just a good atmosphere,’” Chris says.n www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

APRIL 2019  33


| Alabama People |

Bill Deutsch

Protecting Alabama’s waterways Few, if any, people know Alabama’s rivers, streams and lakes better than Bill Deutsch. He has spent more than 30 years investigating and protecting the state’s 130,000 miles of waterways as an aquatic biologist in Auburn University’s School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences. For 21 of those years, he served as director of Alabama Water Watch, a community-based water monitoring program Deutsch cofounded in 1992. Over those years he gathered stories — his own and those of thousands of other Alabamians who, as he said, “know and love their local waterbodies.” When he retired from Auburn in 2013, Deutsch began using those stories to chronicle the human and natural past, present and future of our waterways. That book, Alabama Rivers, A Celebration and Challenge, came out in 2018 to critical acclaim. Since then, Deutsch has kept a busy speaking schedule talking to diverse groups concerned about Alabama’s water resources and to the students in his Auburn University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute course on Alabama rivers. Here, he answers a few questions about what makes water special — and at risk — in Alabama. — Katie Jackson What spurred your interest in water? When I was a child, my father dug me a pond that was about the size of your kitchen table. He literally hand-made me a net and we went to the local ponds and streams to collect crayfish and little fish to stock the pond. About that time, my father also gave me a can of rust remover to clean up my bicycle. One day when I was away, a neighborhood kid came over to our yard and poured the rust remover into the pond, killing everything in it. That was my first up-close and personal ecological disaster — but it was a formative moment. When I retold this story once at a Water Watch meeting, a woman came up to me and said, “I am so glad that kid poured the rust remover into your pond. It’s put you on a 50-year vendetta to clean up the world’s water.”

What are the greatest threats to our water resources? This question has been recently kicked around by some of my friends and colleagues as we receive calls from reporters. There are answers regarding three areas: water quality, water quantity and flow, and people and society. Water quality is affected by sedimentation, excess nutrients and toxins. Water quantity and flow are affected by storm water runoff and large dams that obstruct fish migrations, change the river substrate and disrupt the life cycles of aquatic organisms. People and society affect our water because of a lack of awareness and concern about how rivers work and the valuable ecological services they provide, outright arrogance and greed and a lack of political will and leadership that could lead to sensible restoration and protection of our rivers. Do you sense a new awareness of our waterways among the general public? I’d like to think that there is. If you wind the clock back just 30 years, which isn’t that long ago, there were no organizations like the Alabama Rivers Alliance, Alabama Water Watch and the eight River Keeper groups. When you think about what the last quarter century has done — tens of thousands of people have been contacted and more diverse groups are joining the conversation. More than 10,000 kids were reached just last year through the 4-H Water Watch program. Many more children were taught how to kayak and be safe and comfortable on the water through the River Kids program of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. I think these groups are gaining more credibility in their communities, and I am encouraged, but we’ve got a long way to go. What are the most important things citizens can do to help protect our water resources? My book addresses “Seven Challenges” that citizens and policy-makers alike can use to protect our water: 1) keep learning about rivers, 2) expand river education programs, 3) make water conservation a way of life, 4) support river organizations, 5) promote good water policy, 6) develop a personal river ethic and 7) get out on the water to experience and enjoy Alabama’s wonderful rivers! Is there one fact about water that people should know, or a fact that can connect us all to water in a more personal way? Alabama is a river state! The book addresses “Seven Celebrations” that summarize much of what is special about our rivers. Alabama rivers are: full of life, with more types of fish, turtles, mussels, snails and crawfish than any other state; ancient and physically diverse; beautiful, mysterious and spiritually enriching; an intimate part of Alabama’s history and culture; key to the state’s economy, past, present and future; precious and the source of vital ecological services such as breaking down pollution and mitigating flooding and drought; and lastly, vulnerable and need our care! I know you’re in great demand for speaking engagements. Where can people hear you or how can they contact you? The book’s website, alabamariversbook.org, has information on upcoming talks and a link to schedule future talks. You can also schedule me through the Alabama Bicentennial Commission’s Read Alabama program at alabama200.org/discover/read-alabama-200.n

34 APRIL 2019

www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

APRIL 2019  35


The future of farming

Hunger charity changes lives with high-tech agriculture Story and photos by Michael Cornelison

P

roviding food to a community in need is a challenge the volunteers of Manna House in north central Alabama have been meeting since 2004. But keeping up with the growing demand for the nutrient-rich, flavorful greens prescribed for those going through medical treatments, like chemotherapy and dialysis, required a new approach, and perhaps a bit of divine intervention. As the director of Manna House, Fran Fluhler’s mission for the past 15 years has been to make sure the resources to feed those in need are available. While donated food goes a long way toward supplying what’s needed, it’s always a challenge to find a ready supply of fresh lettuce for more than 3,000 salads each week. “It’s expensive to buy that much lettuce, so we decided there had to be a better way to have a more consistent supply at an affordable price,” Fluhler says. A better way presented itself when their supplier, a grower of hydroponic lettuce in Flatrock, went out of business. As the search for a new supplier started, a conversation with Gary Jordan, a Manna House volunteer and former industrial maintenance technician, led to the idea they could do it themselves. “When Gary brought it up it was like an answer to our prayers because we needed someone with that passion and desire. He feels called to not only feed people but to teach others how to as well,” Fluhler says. Soon after, Jordan spent a week in Florida at Hydroponic Gardening Bootcamp with Chester Bullock, the owner of Hydrostacker. “Chester has been very gracious, giving his time at no charge to come up and help us get everything started,” Fluhler says.

New life

What they started is Manna House’s Fields of Green Hydroponic Garden. Jordan and his group of mostly volunteer workers have transformed an abandoned machine shop in Lacey’s Spring, a small community in northeastern Morgan County, into 36  APRIL 2019

Volunteer Gary Jordan has been an integral part of Manna House’s Fields of Green Hydroponic Garden project.

a 15,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art indoor hydroponic garden capable of producing around 20,000 heads of lettuce every month. “We will plant them in a staggered rotation of 5,000 heads harvested each week, giving us a constant supply throughout the month,” Jordan says. Abundant supply is only one of the benefits of the growing system; freshness and flavor are the real advantages. “We pull the entire plant, roots and all, immerse them in cool water, and deliver them locally within 24 hours,” Jordan says. This method preserves the nutrients in the lettuce while keeping it fresh longer. “The plants are grown in a sterile media within a controlled environment, without being touched by human hands from seed to delivery.” Everything used in the process is all natural and non-toxic. “You can pick it and eat it right there,” he added. Not only did they find an affordable location with the room they needed, but there is also a workforce ready to learn a new trade. “We found in Lacey’s Spring a lot of really great, hard-working people who were willing to learn a new skill set for better jobs,” Fluhler says. Jordan has made training and education part the mission of Fields of Green from the start. “I want to teach people that indoor hydroponic farming is what farms are going to look like in the future,” he says, “and I think we can train people to go into the workforce in this growing industry.” Their goal is to teach other non-profits, schools and even families to grow food in an economical, sustainable way. When fully operational, Jordan expects to employ as many as 15 local workers. www.alabamaliving.coop


Farmer’s Pie

HEATHER LETSON | Joe Wheeler EMC

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown sausage about 5 minutes. Add onion and continue to cook until onion is fragrant and translucent, 3-5 minutes; drain thoroughly. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, broccoli, rice, tomato and olives. Transfer into piecrust. Combine together eggs, whipping cream, garlic and pepper; pour over sausage mixture to cover. Bake 10 minutes; reduce heat to 400 degrees, bake additional 35 minutes or until brown.

APRIL 2019 37


The power of partnerships

“TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions for Business + Industry now offers incentives for smart energy technologies that support indoor Plants need three things to grow hyrdoponically: water, nuagriculture. Incentive programs like these can help businesses like trients, and light – lots of light. When farming indoors, the light Manna House realize their goals,” Jackson says. comes from electric lamps, which in this case means 1,300 LED Once Joe Wheeler EMC contacted TVA, The Electric Power Refixtures using 105 watts each, equating to an annual usage of search Institute (EPRI) was invited to provide additional support around 1.2 million kWh. with its past experience, and ongoing research, in lighting, HVAC, To help them figure out the most efficient way to power their water heating, buildings, end-use devices and specifically indoor new endeavor, they called their local electric cooperative, Joe agriculture, which EPRI has been researching intensely since 2013. Wheeler EMC. “We really appreciate Joe Wheeler EMC. They have Thus far EPRI has provided Manna House with additional just been great to work with,” says Fluhler. “We are great at feeding ideas to reduce their energy usage, some suggestions about techpeople, but when it comes to electricity, that’s beyond our capabilniques they may be able to use ities, so we called the experts.” to maximize or increase their After assessing the electrical crop yields, and the lab evaluneeds of the grow house and ation of the performance and consulting with Jordan about spectral output of the LED fixupgrading to more efficient ture used by Manna House to equipment, Joe Wheeler EMC assure compliance with specicontacted the Tennessee Valley fications. EPRI’s lab measureAuthority (TVA), the cooperments show LED fixtures conative’s electricity provider, recsumed the power it claimed ommending Fields of Green and had the claimed spectral as an optimal candidate for output with significant porthe EnergyRight Solutions for tions of red and blue spectrum Business + Industry program. light being emitted. This program offers financial The partnerships with TVA, assistance to help reduce the From left, Joe Wheeler EMC General Manager George Kitchens and EPRI, and Joe Wheeler EMC cost of implementing smart en- TVA Program Manager Claire Jackson present a check to Manna House are helping Fluhler, Jordan and ergy technologies. Director Fran Fluhler and volunteer Gary Jordan. The funds helped Manna the volunteers fulfill the origiThese incentives are provid- House start and build its new hydroponic growing operation. nal mission of Manna House – ed through local power compato feed those in need. They will be fully operational by the last week nies like Joe Wheeler EMC in partnership with TVA. The Manof April, supplying the charity with fresh lettuce and selling the rest na House project qualified for an incentive payment of $119,574, to local stores and restaurants, raising money to put back into the greatly offsetting the startup cost of the growing operation and operation of the garden. The target date for the grand opening of helping them get up and running faster. the Fields of Green Garden is the last Saturday in April depending “Investing in emerging electric technologies can reduce the caron the current crop development. bon footprint, increase productivity, enhance brand image and imFor updates and information, prove bottom lines. Indoor agriculture provides growers the ability visit mymannahouse.com or call to deliver fresh produce year-round in any location,” says TVA 256-653-7883. Program Manager Claire Jackson. Lettuce plants grow in rows at the Fields of Green Hydroponic Garden project. INSET: Because the hydroponic plants do not need the full light spectrum and utilize predominantly light in the red and blue spectrum to grow, the LED fixtures used in agriculture make the grow room glow a bright pink when in operation, requiring workers to wear special glasses when inside.

38  APRIL 2019

www.alabamaliving.coop


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| Outdoors |

Gary Chamlee of Rainsville bagged a number of unusual deer while hunting on his property in DeKalb County. This includes a whitetail buck still in velvet. Deer antlers look like velvet while growing, but they usually harden by the time hunting season begins in the fall; a whitetail buck with a 4-inch third antler growing out of the middle of its head like a unicorn; a whitetail buck with about a 10-inch antler sticking out from under its left eye; and a doe with antlers. PHOTOS BY GARY CHAMLEE

Eli Walston shows off the painted skull of a fanged deer he shot when he was nine years old hunting in DeKalb County with his father, Clinton Walston of Fyffe. Note the fangs protruding out from either side of the mouth near the front of its upper jaw. Eli called the deer “Buckcula” and painted the skull green. PHOTO BY CLINTON WALSTON

Weird racks make for unusual deer trophies

K

eepers of white-tailed deer records list two different categories for antlers: typical and non-typical. However, some non-typicals look even more non-typical than most! While hunting with his father Clinton Walston of Fyffe, Eli Walston shot possibly the buck of his lifetime at the ripe old age of 9 years old. They hunted on the Sapp Family farm next to property owned by Eli’s grandfather. “We were out of school that week so my dad and I decided to go hunting for a couple hours before dark,” Eli recalls. “About 30 minutes before dark, we started walking back to the truck. The driveway is about 450 yards long. About halfway to the end of the driveway, I was looking through the binoculars and told Daddy I spotted a deer, but he didn’t believe me. He got out of the truck, looked thought the scope and then asked me if I wanted to shoot it. It was the biggest deer I ever had a chance to shoot.” Already an experienced hunter with a 6-point buck to his credit, the young sportsman propped a .308 rifle on the truck tailgate and fired at the deer 252 yards away. When retrieving the 8-point buck, they didn’t notice anything unusual about it and brought Eli’s deer to a taxidermist. When they picked up the skull mount later, the taxidermist pointed out

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

40 APRIL 2019

two small objects protruding from the top of the deer’s upper jaw. “When we picked up the deer, the taxidermist told us it had fangs,” Eli says. “We never noticed that before. The taxidermist said he had heard about deer like that, but had never seen another one. The taxidermist looked on the internet and said that only six other deer like that had ever been killed in the United States -- six does and a spike buck. Mine was an 8-point, so it was the biggest deer like that ever recorded.” Eli dubbed the fanged “vampire” deer “Buckcula.” “I’ve been hunting since I was about 6 years old and never saw anything like it either,” echoes his father. “We bring it to hunting shows sometime and it always creates quite a stir.” Gary Chamlee, a Walston family friend from nearby Rainsville, never saw another fanged “Buckcula” either. But he bagged more than his share of antlered oddballs while hunting his own property in DeKalb County. This list includes a 7-point antlered doe. Very rarely, a whitetail doe with an imbalance of hormones grows antlers just like a buck. Another big-racked buck taken on that property really sticks out. By that, I mean this weird buck had about 10 inches of antler sticking out from under its left eye. “I’d get a game camera picture of it every now and then,” Chamlee says. “I hunted that deer pretty hard for a couple years, but I didn’t realize that that horn was there. In photos, it looked like he was sticking his tongue out. I was sitting in a ground blind

and killed it with a bow. Nobody could explain to me why it had a 10-inch antler sticking out from under its left eye.” Deer commonly grow deformed antlers for various reasons. Sometimes, deer suffer antler deformities stemming from genetics, maybe nutritional reasons or perhaps because of an injury. Unlike a cow with true horns, white-tailed deer shed their antlers each spring and regrow new ones by early fall. A deer that grows weird antlers one year because of an injury tends to repeat that pattern each year. Chamlee mounted the “stick out” deer’s head and entered it in the Alabama Whitetail Records book. He also takes it to outdoor shows where it always attracts considerable attention. “That deer dropped four inches from every point from the previous year,” Chamlee explains. “It was actually trying to grow another section behind that one. I guess it was pulling calcium out for that piece of antler to grow.” On the same property, Chamlee bagged an odd deer sporting the usual pair of antlers on either side of its head. On this one, though, a third antler grew in the middle of its head. “This property must have odd genetics,” Chamlee theorizes. “Some really neat deer came off this property. This deer had a 4-inch horn growing out of the middle of its head like a unicorn. I also killed an 8-point buck in velvet with what they call ‘devil points’ that stick straight out about an inch long. I never know what I might shoot on that property.”n www.alabamaliving.coop


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DOUG HANNON’S FISH & GAME FORECAST 2019 APRIL

We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu

17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

MAY

We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

EXCELLENT TIMES

GOOD TIMES

MOON STAGE

A.M.

PM

AM

PM

9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30

9:42 - 11:42 10:30 - 12:30 12:06 - 2:06 12:54 - 2:54 1:42 - 3:42 2:30 - 4:30 3:18 - 5:18 4:06 - 6:06 4:54 - 6:54 5:42 - 7:42 6:30 - 8:30 7:18 - 9:18 8:06 - 10:06 8:54 - 10:54

3:45 - 5:15 4:33 - 6:03 6:09 - 7:39 6:57 - 8:27 7:45 - 9:15 8:33 - 10:03 9:21 - 10:51 10:09 - 11:39 10:57 - 12:27 NA 12:33 - 2:03 1:21 - 2:51 2:09 - 3:39 2:57 - 4:27

4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51

FULL MOON

A.M.

PM

AM

PM

9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06 10:54 - 12:54 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06

9:42 - 11:42 10:30 - 12:30 11:18 - 1:18 12:06 - 2:06 12:54 - 2:54 1:42 - 3:42 2:30 - 4:30 3:18 - 5:18 4:06 - 6:06 4:54 - 6:54 5:42 - 7:42 6:30 - 8:30 7:18 - 9:18 8:06 - 10:06 8:54 - 10:54 9:42 - 11:42 10:30 - 12:30 12:06 - 2:06 12:54 - 2:54 1:42 - 3:42 2:30 - 4:30 3:18 - 5:18 4:06 - 6:06 4:54 - 6:54 5:42 - 7:42 6:30 - 8:30 7:18 - 9:18 8:06 - 10:06 8:54 - 10:54 9:42 - 11:42 10:30 - 12:30

3:45 - 5:15 4:33 - 6:03 5:21 - 6:51 6:09 - 7:39 6:57 - 8:27 7:45 - 9:15 8:33 - 10:03 9:21 - 10:51 10:09 - 11:39 10:57 - 12:27 NA 12:33 - 2:03 1:21 - 2:51 2:09 - 3:39 2:57 - 4:27 3:45 - 5:15 4:33 - 6:03 6:09 - 7:39 6:57 - 8:27 7:45 - 9:15 8:33 - 10:03 9:21 - 10:51 10:09 - 11:39 10:57 - 12:27 NA 12:33 - 2:03 1:21 - 2:51 2:09 - 3:39 2:57 - 4:27 3:45 - 5:15 4:33 - 6:03

4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27 5:45 - 7:15 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27

NEW MOON

FULL MOON

The Moon Clock and resulting Moon Times were developed 36 years ago by Doug Hannon, one of America’s most trusted wildlife experts and a tireless inventor. The Moon Clock is produced by DataSport, Inc. of Atlanta, GA (www.moontimes.com), a company specializing in wildlife activity time prediction. Alabama Living

APRIL 2019 41


| Gardens |

Spring plant sales:

Great plants for great causes

W

hat if you could buy excellent plants for your garden and plant your dollars in a worthy cause? You can if you shop at one of the many charity plant sales that sprout up across the state this time of year. Each of these events, typically hosted by local civic, garden and conservation groups, offer unique inventories of plants (and sometimes gardening supplies) which may include shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, bedding plants, hanging baskets, native plants, ferns, vegetables, herbs and more. Take the recent Lee County Kiwanis Club’s Annual Azalea Sale, which did a booming business back in early March despite intermittent downpours of rain. According to Steve Eden, who has chaired the event for all its 32 years, the Kiwanis sale is put on by a cadre of hardworking Kiwanians dedicated to providing plants for gardeners and funding for local charities. Their dedication pays off for the 10 or more local causes, ranging from children’s charities to the area food bank, that benefit from the club’s hard work and generosity. It’s also paid off in customer support. “We have a loyal following of repeat customers, many of whom have come every year since it began in 1987,” Eden says. What’s the draw? “Quality plants,” says Eden, who noted that the azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, roses and other plants in their sale are sourced from Alabama growers, which ensures that the plants are healthy and well-suited for local growing conditions. What’s more, customers have access to on-site experts like Eden (a professional landscape contractor), the Lee County Master Gardeners and the horticultural staff at University ACE Hardware, which hosts the event in their parking lot. Other sales are conducted in support of public gardens, such as the Friends of the Birmingham Botanical Garden’s 50th

Anniversary Spring Plant Sale set for April 12–14 in Brookwood Village. According to Mindy Black, director of communications and marketing with the Gardens, this sale is their largest fundraiser of the year, grossing more than $250,000 each year. Proceeds benefit educational programming, such as BBG’s Discovery Field Trips, which bring more than 8,000 Birmingham City School students to the Gardens each year, and also support the day-to-day operations of the Gardens. “At the same time,

the sale celebrates a real passion for gardens, plants and the environment,” Black says. Looking for a sale in your area? Keep an eye out for announcements in area newspapers or other community calendars and newsletters, or check with local public gardens, Alabama Cooperative System Extension offices, Master Gardeners or conservation associations or garden clubs. If you miss this year’s spring sale season, take heart. A number of these groups also host fall plant sales!n

The 30th annual Lee County Kiwanis Club’s Azalea Sale, held last month in Auburn, included a wide range of azalea cultivars and other ornamental shrubs for gardeners eager to get out this spring and plant.

Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@gmail.com.

42  APRIL 2019

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Plant sale shopping strategies

Pop-up plant sales are extremely popular — Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ spring sale alone draws some 7,000 shoppers each year — so you may need a Black Friday-like shopping strategy. Here are a few tips to make the experience fun and productive. • Shop early for the best selection. However, if you’re looking for a bargain you may be able to find one during the last hours of a sale. • Many sales let you pre-order plants, and their plant lists may be available in advance to help you compose your shopping list. • Use a plant guide to look up the growing characteristics and needs of unfamiliar plants and ensure you’re purchasing plants suited for your needs and site. • Take along old newspapers or plastic trash bags to protect your vehicle’s carpets and other interior spaces. • Though many sales accept credit cards, play it safe by taking along cash (in small denominations) and/or a checkbook. • Be prepared to get your purchased plants in the ground as soon as possible or protect them from extreme temperatures and dehydration until you can plant them.

Upcoming plant sales

• April 4-7, Baldwin County Master Gardener Plant Sale, Fairhope; baldwinmastergardeners.com • April 12-14, Birmingham and Huntsville Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sales; bbgardens.org and hsvbg.org April 20, Auburn University Davis • Arboretum Azalea Festival and Spring Plant Sale; www.auburn.edu/cosam/ arboretum/ • April 25-27, Aldridge Garden Plant Sale, Hoover; aldridgegardens.com • April 27, Capitol City Master Gardeners Plant Sale, Montgomery; www. capcitymga.org

APRIL TIPS • Prune spring-flowering shrubs after they have flowered.

• Plant peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplants and parsley.

• Sow seed for corn, squash, cucumbers, beans and melons.

• Plant summer annuals and bulbs and container-grown roses.

• Begin fertilizing warm-season lawns and landscape and houseplants.

• Keep newly planted shrubs and trees well-watered.

• Look out for emerging weed, insect and disease problems and treat as needed.

• Keep bird feeders and birdbaths full for spring migrators and nesters.

• Turn compost piles or start new ones. Alabama Living

APRIL 2019  43


| Alabama Recipes |

Short Sweet &

BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY STYLING/PHOTOS BY BROOKE ECHOLS

Though it can be fleeting, our state’s strawberry season surely is sweet.

D

ue to our state’s size and varied growing zones, strawberry season across the entirety of Alabama can last for several months, beginning in the southern section and spreading to the north. But in in each specific spot, it’s rarely that long. Some years, it’s only a scant few weeks. But no matter its duration, it’s always greeted with enthusiasm. The ruby gems are a sign that winter is really over and spring is in full swing. Plus, they herald more good things to come; as one of the first fruits to arrive each year (peaches and other berries come later), their heady scent and juicy, candy-like flavor whet our appetites for the abundance of fresh produce that later spring and summer will bring. Fervent fans of the fruit have likely been dreaming of their first bite into the season’s inaugural ripe strawberry since sometime in early February, when Valentine’s Day paraphernalia resembling the berry’s plump, curved shape brings them back to mind. Their appearance’s similarity to hearts is no coincidence to those who truly love them. And for the wholly devoted, not just any ole strawberry will do. A perfect strawberry should be shiny and cardinal red. It should carry slightly lighter shades of this exterior hue inside; there should be very little flavorless white core. It should be soft but still a bit firm between the teeth, and it should flood the tongue with simple sugar and a tiny tang at the end of the taste. Even an average strawberry is a treat eaten straight out of hand, but if you’d like to incorporate them into your cooking, we’ve got you covered with these reader-submitted recipes.

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Cook of the Month

Arneather Gaines, Black Warrior EMC

Strawberry Jam Cake 1 2 1 5 1 1 4 1/2 1 1 1 1 1 1

cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened cups granulated sugar teaspoon vanilla extract eggs teaspoon baking soda cup buttermilk cups cake flour teaspoon salt teaspoon ground cinnamon teaspoon ground nutmeg teaspoon ground allspice teaspoon ground ginger cup chopped pecans 18-ounce jar strawberry jam Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour three 9-inch round cake pans. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition. In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into the buttermilk. Set aside. In another bowl, sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, to the creamed butter and sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients; mix well. Fold in the pecans and 1/4 cup of the jam. Set the remainder of the jam aside. Mix well. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of each layer comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Cool the layers in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then unmold the layer on wire racks to cool completely. After the layers have completely cooled, transfer each layer, one at a time, to a serving platter. Spread the remaining strawberry jam between each layer and on top of the cake’s edge. Garnish the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar. (I sprinkle confectioners’ sugar between the layers as well.) Makes one 9-inch cake.

Keep ‘em sweet & sound Strawberries are a delicate fruit, so the key to keeping good ones just right is careful consideration when handling and storing them. • Store them in the fridge (unless you are using them within one day). • Keep the stems on until right before eating. This will prolong freshness. • Don’t wash them until you’re ready to use them. Any water left on strawberries will bring on mold. • Be on the lookout for overly ripe or already spoiled berries in your bunch. If you find any, discard them. They’ll make the rest of the strawberries spoil more quickly. Alabama Living

APRIL 2019  45


Strawberry Cheesecake Crust: 1 pack graham crackers, crushed 51/2 tablespoons butter, melted Filling: 8 ounces cream cheese 21/2 tablespoons butter 1/3 cup honey 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 cup frozen strawberries, blended Crust: Mix together melted butter and crushed graham crackers. Pat into 9-inch pan. Filling: Blend cream cheese. Add butter, honey and vanilla. Then mix in blended strawberries (don’t blend them in though). Pour filling into crust and freeze overnight. Top with a strawberry after it’s frozen. Cook’s note: Don’t put in the refrigerator. This cheesecake thaws very quickly. Caleb Pittman Joe Wheeler EMC

Strawberry and Satsuma Salad 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced 4 satsumas (clementines or oranges can be substituted) 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste 21/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint, plus a sprig for garnish

Strawberry oatmeal bars

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Strawberry Trifle

1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 11/4 cups quick-cooking oats 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup butter, melted 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup strawberry preserves ½ cup flaked coconut

uncan Hines French Vanilla cake mix D 2 12-ounce cartons Cool Whip (lite or sugar free works best) 1 pint to 1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced (or 16-ounce bag frozen sliced strawberries) Toasted pecans, chopped

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add butter and vanilla; stir until crumbly. Set aside 1 cup. Press remaining crumb mixture evenly into an ungreased 13×9inch baking pan. Spread preserves over crust. Combine coconut and reserved crumb mixture, sprinkle over preserves. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until coconut is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 3 dozen. Mary Lindley Joe Wheeler EMC

Place strawberries in a bowl. Peel and separate the satsuma pieces from 3 of the satsumas and add to the bowl with the strawberries. Over a separate small bowl, squeeze the juice from the remaining satsuma. Add the lemon juice and brown sugar to the freshly squeezed satsuma juice and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the strawberries and satsuma segments and gently toss to combine. Sprinkle with fresh mint. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, then garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Strawberry Fool

Olivia Vacalis Baldwin EMC

Linda Persall Cullman EC

46  APRIL 2019

2 1 1 1 1

cups fresh strawberries, crushed tablespoon granulated sugar teaspoon lemon zest cup heavy cream, whipped tablespoon grated dark chocolate Fresh lemon balm, optional

In a large bowl, combine strawberries, sugar and lemon zest. Fold into whipped cream. Spoon into decorative glasses and garnish with grated chocolate and lemon balm sprigs, if desired. Serves 4.

Custard: ¼ cup all-purpose flour Dash of salt ¾-1 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of strawberries) 3 egg yolks (whites used in cake) 3 cups milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Prepare cake mix according to package directions, reserving egg yolks for custard. Custard: combine flour, sugar and salt in double boiler. Beat egg yolks, add in milk and mix well. Stir into dry ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened (not quite as thick as for banana pudding.) Stir in vanilla. Remove from heat. Cut cake into bite size pieces and place one half of the cake in the bottom of a trifle dish. Place half of the strawberries on top of the cake and pour half of the custard on top of the strawberries. Spread one container of Cool Whip on top of mixture. Sprinkle half of the toasted pecans on top of the Cool Whip. Repeat for second layer. Martha Belser Tallapoosa River EC

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Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Strawberry Velvet Cake

11/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling later 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 jumbo eggs (or 3 large) 1/4 cup sour cream 1/4 cup buttermilk 14 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 4 1 1 1/2 5

Set oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-inch spring form pan. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt: set aside. Cream the soft butter and sugar together in a stand mixer for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl a couple of times. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then beat in the vanilla. Stir the sour cream and buttermilk together and then add the flour to the mixing bowl alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until combined, but don't over mix. Fold in the strawberries and turn into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top. Sprinkle the surface of the cake liberally with granulated sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake no longer jiggles in the center and the top is golden and slightly crackled. You can insert a toothpick in the center to test. Let cool briefly, and then unlatch the spring and remove the outer ring. I like to run a spreading knife along the edge first to loosen any parts of the cake that are sticking to the pan. Cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Easy Strawberry Pie

box yellow cake mix eggs cup vegetable oil 3-ounce box strawberry Jell-O cup boiling water ounces frozen strawberries in syrup (1/2 of a 10-ounce carton, thawed) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 2 lemons, juiced 2 cups sliced strawberries 1 cup chopped pecans 8 ounces Cool Whip 1 10-inch pre-baked pie crust or 2 8-inch pie crusts

Frosting: 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened 1/2 stick butter, softened 1 16-ounce box confectioners’ sugar 1/4 teaspoon strawberry extract 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves

Combine condensed milk and lemon juice in a bowl and blend well. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the strawberries and pecans. Fold in the whipped topping. Pour into baked pie shell. Chill, covered, until set. May prepare the day before and freeze. Yield 6-8 servings.

Combine cake mix, eggs (one at a time) and oil. Beat on medium speed until well blended. To the side, mix Jell-O and boiling water. Stir until dissolved and add to cake mixture. Mix well and fold in strawberries and extract. Pour into a greased tube or Bundt cake pan and bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour or until cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool before frosting.

Celeste Spivey Pea River EC

Frosting: Place the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar and strawberry extract in a large mixing bowl and beat with mixer until smooth. Fold in strawberry preserves and stir until well blended. Add a bit of red food coloring to the frosting, if you desire. Frost cake and serve. Mary McGriff Cullman EC

Marsha S. Gardner Baldwin EMC

Fresh Strawberry Cake 1 box white cake mix 1 package strawberries, washed and thinly sliced 1 pouch strawberry glaze 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 16 ounces Cool Whip, thawed 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup white sugar Bake white cake mix according to the directions on box. Let cool. Using a piece of kitchen twine horizontally cut the two layers in half so you have 4 layers. In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese, cool whip and both sugars. In a separate bowl, mix sliced strawberries and glaze. Begin assembling the dessert with a layer of cake, top with cream cheese mixture, then strawberry glaze. Repeat process with all cake layers. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Kisha Cantrell Tombigbee EC

Themes and Deadlines: July: Grilling | April 5 Aug.: Weeknight Suppers | May 10 Sept: Onions | June 14 Please send us your original recipes (developed or adapted by you or family members.) Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year. Alabama Living

50

$

prize and title of

Cook

of the

Month

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

APRIL 2019 47


| Consumer Wise |

Q&A:

Breaking down seven energy-saving claims

By Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen Q: Is it true that turning lights off and on uses more energy than just leaving them on? A: Not true. Turning off lights definitely reduces energy use. Turn off LED and incandescent bulbs every time you leave the room. The situation is a little different with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Turning them off does save energy but can shorten the life of the bulb. The rule of thumb for CFLs is to turn them off any time they won’t be used for 15 minutes or more.

Q: Would replacing my old windows with new, more efficient

ones really cut my energy use in half? A: No. While replacing inefficient windows with new, energy efficient windows can cut the heat loss through windows in half (or more), windows typically account for only about 25 to 30 percent of your space heating costs. The amount of energy you use for heating and cooling is likely one third to one half of your total energy use, so replacing your old windows might only reduce your total energy costs by about 10 percent. When you consider the high cost of new windows, you may not recoup your investment for 15 or 20 years, or even longer.

Q: Burning wood in my fireplace should save on my heating costs, right?

A: Possibly, but certain conditions need to be met. The wood

should be dry and burned efficiently in a properly-installed, properly-placed, high-efficiency wood stove or fireplace insert. Otherwise, it’s likely you’ll lose as much heat through your chimney as you’re distributing throughout the house. Patrick Keegan writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. Write to energytips@collaborativeefficiency.com for more information.

48  APRIL 2019

Q: My kids claim using the dishwasher is just as efficient as washing dishes by hand. Are they right?

A: Yes – in fact, it’s usually more efficient! Properly used dish-

washers actually use less water while doing a better job, and as a bonus, they will save you more than 200 hours a year. For maximum energy savings, make sure your water heater is set to about 120 degrees and use the most efficient wash/dry settings.

Q: I’ve heard it’s better to heat individual rooms with an

electric space heater and keep the doors closed to trap the heat. Is this true? A: It’s possible to save money with an electric space heater if you use it only a few hours a day and reduce your home’s thermostat setting by a couple degrees. Space heaters can cause fires, so they need to be used wisely and should never be left unattended. Which brings us to the question…

Q: Should I close the vents in rooms that aren’t being used? A: Most experts advise against this because closing supply

registers forces your furnace or A/C unit to work harder. They advise keeping all your vents and doors open. If your system supplies too much heat to some rooms and too little to other rooms, you should talk to a heating and air conditioning professional about modifying your ductwork.

Q: Does the age of my home determine how energy efficient it is?

A: Newer homes tend to be more efficient because energy codes

have improved, but every home can have hidden energy issues, no matter its age. If you want to evaluate the efficiency of your home, it’s best to schedule an energy audit with a professional.n

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Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News JANUARY 2016

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GulfQuest Museum

Celebrating the Gulf’s maritime heritage

Community needs motivate athletes to help others

Gospel of greens

Vitamin-rich and cooked slow, these veggies are Southern staple

Perfect picnic

Creativity, planning key to a great outdoor meal

Traveling with grands

Whitewater enthusiasts to converge on state

Paying for college

Tips for summer trips

Native azaleas

Loans, scholarships come in all sizes

Take the chill off with homemade chili

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Giving back

A conversation with beloved Alabama musician

River races

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Announcing the Best of Alabama

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Idol chat

Tradition returns

Redeveloped Toomer’s Corner ready for Auburn fans

Catching up with American Idol’s Taylor Hicks

Living color

Brewing up business State-made spirits making impact on economy

Centre nursery ready for poinsettia season

Picture postcards tell our story

Season’s greetings

Archives’ card collection provides link to milestones in history

Biscuit bounty

Alabama Living

APRIL 2019 49


50  APRIL 2019

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Protect yourself during tornado season Tornadoes are commonplace in Alabama during storm season, so it’s important to protect yourself and your family.

If you’re outdoors:

If you’re indoors:

• Look for a nearby building where you can

• Find a safe place in your home, usually a

• Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle. • If there is no building nearby, find a ditch or

• In a high-rise building, get to the lowest

• Use your arms to protect your head and

• Use furniture and blankets to protect your

• Do not take shelter under a bridge or

• Do not stay in a mobile home. Seek shelter

take shelter.

depression where you can lie flat. neck from debris.

overpass as they don’t provide protection from high-speed winds and debris.

basement, storm cellar or interior room on the lowest floor without windows. floor or a hallway in the center of the building. head and neck.

in a nearby building.

SERVICE One of the core principles guiding your cooperative as we prepare for the future.

Alabama Living

APRIL 2019 51


| Our Sources Say |

A win-win for saving energy and money By upgrading to a high-efficiency heat pump, manufactured homeowners use less electricity for heating and reduce the amount of energy needed during times of peak demand

M

anufactured homes provide affordable housing across Alabama. The state ranks fifth in the nation for the percentage of residential manufactured homes, and manufactured homes account for more than a third of homes in parts of PowerSouth’s service area. To make manufactured homes more affordable to purchase, they typically come equipped with electric furnaces. This heating system is very cost-efficient for the dealer but the least energy-efficient. In some cases, homeowners with electric furnaces face winter electric bills that are higher than their monthly mortgage payments. That’s why PowerSouth and its members launched a manufactured home heat pump rebate program last July, designed to make it more affordable for end-use members to upgrade their new or existing manufactured home to a high-efficiency heat pump. The program allows manufactured homeowners to see lower winter electric bills and increased comfort, and helps PowerSouth and its members reduce overall demand for power. This helps manage wholesale power costs and assists in keeping rates stable for PowerSouth’s distribution members and the members they serve. The program is a win-win for everyone. For members purchasing a new manufactured home, the program covers the difference between the cost of a high-efficiency heat pump and an electric furnace. This rebate is paid to the manufactured home dealer.

Members who already own a manufactured home are eligible for a $400-per-ton rebate (paid to the member) when they upgrade to a high-efficiency heat pump. By upgrading to a high-efficiency heat pump, manufactured homeowners use less electricity for heating and reduce the amount of energy needed during times of peak demand (such as a cold winter morning). This equates to an average savings of $550 per year on heating costs. That frees up household budgets to provide for the family in other ways. The program is off to a strong start, with 22 new home rebates and 222 existing home rebates processed since the program began. The effort has already helped reduce PowerSouth’s total system winter peak demand by almost one megawatt. That’s enough electricity to power 100 homes for about an hour. As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, PowerSouth seeks to deliver reliable, competitively priced wholesale power at the lowest cost possible. Programs that equip people to use energy more efficiently benefit everyone. That’s a winning strategy.n This article was written by PowerSouth’s Communications department, as President and CEO Gary Smith enjoys a respite from writing to focus on issues important to PowerSouth, its members and those they serve.

Baynard Ward is Communications Manager at PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.

52 APRIL 2019

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| Classifieds | How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office): June 2019 Issue by April 25 July 2019 Issue by May 25 August 2019 Issue by June 25 Ads are $1.75 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis; Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each. Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to hdutton@areapower.com; or call (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing.; We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards. Mail ad submission along with a check or money order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Classifieds.

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Education FREE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE – write to P.O. Box 52, Trinity, AL, 35673 WWW.2HOMESCHOOL.ORG – Open Year round K-12 enrollment. Contact Dr. Cerny (256)6532593.

Pets CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. Registered, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet records and references. (256)796-2893

GULF SHORES / ORANGE BEACH / FORT MORGAN – Choose from hundreds of beach houses and condos! Verified Owners. No Booking Fees. ALAVHR.com GULF FRONT PANAMA CITY CONDO – Splash Condominiums – Owner Rental – 1BR / 2BA w/ hallway bunks, sleeps 6, 18th floor balcony view of Ocean – (706)566-6431, bjeffers3@hotmail. com ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226 GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie552@gmail.com, (256)599-5552 AFFORDABLE BEACHSIDE VACATION CONDOS – Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL – Rent Direct from Christian Family Owners – Lowest Prices on the Beach! www.gulfshorescondos.com, (251)656-4935, (205)556-0368, (251)752-2366 DESTIN, FL OWNER RENTALS – patsdestincondo.com – Pat Green Bush, owner – greenbush36@gmail.com, (334)244-6581 or (334)312-6630 PCB 2 CONDOS – PEACHTREE II – 2 miles West of Pier Park, 400 feet to beach – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6, pool, internet - (850)573-2182, Jeff. LAKE HOMES / CABINS – Verified Owners. No Booking Fees. ALAVHR.com ORANGE BEACH – CUTE BEACH COTTAGES – OWNER MANAGED - three to choose from. Pet friendly, boat docks, pools. Near Gulf of Mexico on calm canal. No parking passes required.  ...away from the condo crowds and chaos...  (251)975-7003, email: cutebeachcottage@yahoo.com. www. orangebeachcottage.com MENTONE, AL LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN COTTAGE RENTALS – Best brow views, River Front – cottagesofmentone.com, Call or text (504)4818666

Real Estate Sales FOR SALE – HIGHWAY 148, CLAY COUNTY, ALABAMA – 136 Acres with Brick Home – (256)404-2432

Musical Notes PLAY GOSPEL SONGS BY EAR - 10 lessons $12.95. “LEARN GOSPEL MUSIC”. Chording, runs, fills - $12.95 Both $24. Davidsons, 6727AR Metcalf, Shawnee Missions, Kansas 66204 – (913)262-4982

APRIL 2019  53


| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |

Illustration by Dennis Auth

Can’t sleep? Here’s the answer

S

pring. The Masters in Augusta. Golf. Yawn. According to a recent poll taken by Calm, which bills itself as “the #1 app for meditation and sleep,” if you are plagued with insomnia, the best cure is to watch golf. Yessir. Calm’s pollsters handed a bunch of folks a list of 10 popular sports and asked them to pick the “dullest, most sleep-inducing one to watch.” Golf won. Big. Not that I’m surprised. Watching golf reminds me of what Oscar Wilde observed about foxhunting, “the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.” This attitude toward golf, golfing, and golfers left me ignorant of the game and unprepared for an opportunity that came my way when I was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Georgia. One bright spring day, a student from Augusta who was failing my class offered me Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus of History at Jacksonville State University and a columnist for Alabama Living. He can be reached at hjackson@cableone.net.

54  APRIL 2019

two tickets to the Masters – shamelessly trying to influence his grade. Since I knew nothing of the Masters and had no desire to drive a couple of hundred miles to see men knock a little white ball into a hole, I turned him down. Later I learned, to my dismay, that I could have sold the tickets and covered my tuition for the next year. This did nothing to change my opinion of golf, but it did imprint the Masters on my mind so that every spring I turn on the TV to catch a glimpse of the azaleas and the manicured greens. Then I remember this is golf, and I change the channel to something exciting, like “Storage Wars.” So, you can imagine how little attention I was planning to pay when a few years ago the Masters became the center of a rip-roaring controversy that contained in it all the elements of a good old-fashioned Southern culture clash. Here’s how it unfolded. The National Council of Women’s Organization discovered that the Augusta National Golf Club, the organization that hosts the Masters, did not admit women to membership. A woman could play as a guest, but not on her own. Outraged at this, the chairwoman of NCWO asked for the policy to be changed. “Hootie” Johnson (gotta love the name), chairman of the Club, said “no.”

Not one to take “no” for an answer, the chairwoman sent letters to CEOs of major corporations that sponsor the tournament asking them to drop their sponsorship or face a boycott from NCWO members. Hootie responded, “Let ‘em. The Masters will go on anyway.” The NCWO, unable to move Hootie, tried to get CBS to cancel the broadcast. CBS, knowing FOX or ESPN II or maybe the History Channel would move quickly to fill the breach, politely declined. Finding the controversy as boring as the game itself, a local wit suggested that the protestors should ignore Hootie and visit Hooters, which was just down the block. The NCWO, I am told, was not amused. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why women would want to hang around with a bunch of men who, according to golf historian Herbert Warren, “stand under the great trees at Augusta National Golf Club on fine spring days” and talk about golf. Meanwhile the men of the Augusta National membership committee did what men have historically done when women want something – they caved in. Women joined the club. But I missed it. I was taking a nap.n

www.alabamaliving.coop


STATEMENT OF REVENUE & EXPENSES 2018 REVENUE: Total Revenue

2017

$54,889,447

$52,637,723

EXPENSES: Cost of Purchased Power Operations & Maintenance Administrative & General Consumer Accounting Member Services & Sales Depreciation & Amortization Tax Expenses Interest on Long Term Debt

$30,285,070 5,989,729 4,189,321 1,678,524 1,191,421 4,221,693 1,773,996 2,935,931

$29,215,602 6,405,673 3,740,921 1,535,079 1,111,281 3,887,805 1,784,430 3,079,492

TOTAL EXPENSES:

$52,265,685

$50,760,283

$2,623,762 1,249,828

$1,877,440 $1,613,692

$3,873,590

$3,491,132

CAPITAL CREDIT ASSIGNMENTS: PowerSouth Energy Cooperative Other Sources

$602,427 186,736

$481,716 333,609

TOTAL CAPITAL CREDITS:

$789,163

$815,325

$4,662,753

$4,306,457

MARGINS: Operating Margin Non-Operating Margin TOTAL MARGINS:

TOTAL MARGINS, ALL SOURCES:

7


BALANCE SHEETS 2018 Assets:

2017

Utility Plant: Utility Plant $138,192,389 $144,859,692 Construction Work in Progress $364,083 $717,298 $138,556,472 $145,576,990 Less: Accumulated Depreciation ($33,951,817) ($35,333,085) Net Utility Plant $104,604,655 $110,243,905 Other Assets and Investments: Investments in Subsidiary Companies $421,697 $243,229 Investments in Associated Organizations $23,123,875 $23,808,068 $55,199 Economic Development Notes Receivable $40,823 Other Investments $0 $0 Total Other Assets and Investments $23,600,771 $24,092,120 Current Assets: Cash and Cash Equivalents $16,260,451 $14,116,471 Notes Receivable (Net) $192,556 Accounts Receivable (Net) $1,221,760 Materials and Supplies $956,458 Prepayments $346,883 Other Current and Accrued Assets $3,726,240 Total Current Assets $20,560,368 Deferred Charges: Deferred Debits $1,649,226 Total Deferred Charges $1,649,226 Total Assets $156,545,619

$469,266

8

$684,017 $979,743 $382,408 $3,900,174 $22,676,059

$1,974,026 $1,974,026

$152,855,511


BALANCE SHEETS 2018 2017 Liabilities and Equities Equities: $93,918 $92,853 Memberships $64,869,634 $62,282,319 Patronage Capital $6,631,645 $5,082,048 Other Equities $71,595,197 $67,457,220 Total Equities Long-Term Liabilities: $79,143,762 Mortgage Notes $74,210,033 $2,322,745 Not Applicable Obligations Under Capital Leases - Non Current ($10,157,891) ($12,990,145) Payments - Unapplied $2,736,459 $3,476,600 Other Liabilities $69,111,346 $69,630,217 Total Long-Term Liabilities Current Liabilities: $4,430,175 $4,259,901 Current Maturities on Long-Term Liabilities $2,907,806 $2,915,486 Accounts Payable $1,926,462 $1,908,076 Member Deposits $4,722,773 $4,632,750 Accrued Liabilities $1,851,860 $2,051,861 Other Deferred Credits $15,839,076 $15,708,074 Total Current Liabilities $156,545,619 Total Equities and Liabilities $152,855,511

9


Building on our past

10

Preparing for our future


Your voice matters to us! CEC would like to know what you think about co-op related matters. Complete and submit this survey for a chance to win a $250 Visa gift card. Just drop off the completed survey at any CEC office or mail it to our main office located at 18836 U.S. Highway 84, Andalusia, AL 36421. One survey per membership. All eligible surveys will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of four $250 Visa gift cards. Surveys must be received no later than Monday, April 22, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. All questions and contact information on this form must be completed to be eligible for the prize drawing. 1. How long have you received electric service from CEC?

1-5 years 6-10 years

11-20 years Over 21 years

2. Please rate your satisfaction with CEC on each of the following:

(Scale of 1-10 with 1 not at all satisfied and 10 very satisfied) Providing reliable electric service Charging reasonable rates Restoring power quickly after an outage Friendly and knowledgeable employees Ease of doing business with CEC 3. How would you rate your overall satisfaction with CEC? Scale of 1-10 with 1 not at all satisfied and 10 very

satisfied) 4. Do you view yourself as a member or as a customer of CEC?

Member

Customer

5. How would you like for CEC to communicate with you? Alabama Living Newspaper TV Radio CEC Website Social Media Letters

Email Texts

6. Would you be interested in purchasing power from a solar garden?

No

7. Are you considering purchasing an electric vehicle?

Yes

Yes

Bill Insert

No

8. Assume you could choose your electric company. If you could choose today, would you pick CEC to be your utility provider? Yes No 9. Is CEC part of the Touchstone Energy alliance of electric cooperatives? 10. Have you downloaded the free CEC app?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Please turn over to complete the survey. 11


Your voice matters to us! [Survey Continued] 11. Please rate the importance of each of the following: (Scale of 1-10 with 1 not at all important and 10 very important) Provides energy-efficiency assistance Is committed to offering renewable energy Provides financial support to community organizations and nonprofits Is effectively working to control costs Provides financial support for education and student opportunities Provides financial support for economic development efforts 12. Have you used the CEC website www.covington.coop during the last six months?

Yes

No

13. What brought you to the CEC website? Please check all that apply. Pay bill Energy-efficiency information Check outage viewer Check usage history Apply for new service Safety information Member benefit information Community involvement Water heater sales Alabama Living Co-op Connections Card Other

Please confirm your contact information Please confirm your contact information to receive important information from CEC. Name on CEC Account: Mailing Address: Physical Address (if different from mailing): Primary Phone Number:

Secondary Phone Number:

Email Address: Signature: Number will be updated on account for outage reporting purposes and other notifications. All information is confidential and only used for CEC purposes.

Profile for Alabama Living

April 2019 Covington  

April 2019 Covington