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

Arab

ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE

Their final resting place Veterans’ cemeteries honor those who served


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.

Adventures in the Black Belt

The rich soil of Alabama’s 23 Black Belt counties has created an excellent habitat for deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife. The non-profit Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association continues to work to capitalize on that rich habitat for tourist dollars and economic development.

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VOL. 72 NO. 11 n NOVEMBER 2019

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

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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

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Farm life is near and dear to many of our readers, who shared their favorite farm photos this month.

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Singing from the heart

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Time for apples

Top 4 American Idol contestant Jess Meuse is back home in Slapout and continues to write and sing.

Now that the air is finally cooler, it’s the perfect time to enjoy some reader recipes using our favorite fall fruit.

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

On the farm

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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 28

11 Spotlight 29 Around Alabama 32 Gardens 34 Cook of the Month 40 Outdoors 41 Fish & Game Forecast 46 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop ON THE COVER: Carolyn Evans of Dadeville places a flag at the Fort Mitchell grave of the late husband of a friend. Evans’ husband is also buried at Fort Mitchell, near Phenix City. PHOTO: Jim Plott

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P.O. Box 770 Arab, AL 35016-0770

256-586-3196

Charles W. Whisenant President District 8

Charlie Griffin Vice President District 6

Bill Stricklend Treasurer District 4

Dianne Prestridge Secretary District 3

Janet Bright District 1

Chris Hemphill District 2

Tyler Barnes District 7

Nathan Clark District 5

We’re thankful for our sister cooperatives When you think about Arab Electric Cooperative, you probably associate us with the local community. And you would be right. Our leadership team, board of directors and employees all live and work right here in the community we serve. But you may not realize that Arab EC is actually part of a much larger cooperative network that brings additional value, tools and knowledge that benefit you, the members of the co-op.

Cooperation among cooperatives

When a severe weather event is predicted for our region, we call on our sister co-ops in areas unaffected by the approaching storm. Through this system of mutual aid, we coordinate with other co-ops to bring additional trucks, equipment and manpower to our area. We work together and share resources in order to restore power to our community. A defining characteristic of a cooperative is “cooperation among cooperatives.” This is a way that co-ops work together to meet bigger challenges such as power restoration after a severe weather event. Another area in which Arab EC benefits from cooperation among cooperatives is cybersecurity. Through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) “Rural Cooperative Cybersecurity Capabilities Program” (RC3), we are able to access training, resources and tools to strengthen our efforts to combat cyber threats. Arab EC’s ability to tap into the larger electric cooperative network and access tools, products, resources and leading practices from across the nation ultimately makes our co-op and our community stronger.

Bright spot

The Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration (SUNDA) project is another example of an area where local co-ops have benefitted from collaboration with other electric co-ops. Through the SUNDA project, electric co-ops were able to collect data and case studies that provide insight into challenges and solutions related to solar energy technologies. Now, electric cooperatives across the country have access to a set of knowledge and resources to more efficiently tailor our renewable energy mix to meet the needs of our local communities.

Global impact

Lastly, communities across the globe have benefitted from the lessons learned and experience of co-ops in electrification of rural areas in the U.S. NRECA International has provided access to reliable and affordable electricity to 120 million people in 43 countries. This effort is made possible through the support of electric co-ops in Alabama and across the country. Hundreds of lineworkers, engineers and other co-op employees have served as volunteers to bring first-time access to electricity and train local partners to help utilities be sustainable in their own communities. November is a time of year for reflection and giving thanks. We are grateful for our sister co-ops who enable us to better serve you and our broader community. When electric co-ops collaborate, we strengthen each other and the communities we serve – and that is something in which to be truly thankful. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. n

Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month

Ty Smith District 9

Trim your holiday energy costs by choosing energy efficient LED lights! LED holiday lights use less energy and can last up to 40 seasons. They’re also easier to install - you can connect up to 25 LED strings without overloading a wall socket! Source: energystar.gov


| Arab EC |

Federal tax law a threat to co-ops’ tax-exempt status By Dan Riedinger Due to an unintended consequence of current federal tax law, many electric co-ops are finding themselves in a precarious position. Imagine working hard to secure funding for an important local project only to turn around and give a large chunk of that money back in taxes. That’s the situation many cooperatives, including Arab Electric Cooperative, may face because of recent tax law changes. And it could jeopardize the not-for-profit tax status of cooperatives that receive federal or state government funding of any kind, including disaster relief aid, energy efficiency grants, economic development support and rural broadband development grants. In order to maintain tax-exempt status, an electric cooperative must receive at least 85 percent of all revenue from its members. However, an unintended consequence of a 2017 change to federal tax law modified the calculation for some contributions by a government entity or civic group. Otsego Electric Cooperative received a $10 million broadband grant from the state of New York, which will put the co-op well over the 15% limit for non-member revenue in 2019. Otsego will lose its tax-exempt status if the RURAL Act is not passed this year, CEO Tim Johnson said in April. Twenty-one percent of the grant money will have to be used to pay taxes.

Alabama Living

West Florida Electric Cooperative Association has received $24 million in expedited reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) this year for storm recovery work in the wake of Hurricane Michael in 2018. That’s about 40% of the co-op’s projected annual revenue. Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative to the south is in the same tax position, and three other Florida co-ops could surpass the 15% threshold by year’s end. It’s unfair to classify the FEMA reimbursement as revenue—it was for expenses that West Florida incurred to restore service to a large swath of its members after the category 5 hurricane pounded the Florida panhandle. Encouraging Congress to fix the tax code to exempt government grants from being defined as member revenue is one of the highest priorities of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the service organization representing America’s electric co-ops. Legislation called the RURAL Act has been introduced in both the House and the Senate, attracting large groups of bipartisan cosponsors. However, getting it enacted into law will be a heavy lift, given the political sensitivity of tax issues on Capitol Hill. Congress must act now to correct this unintended consequence and protect the tax status of electric co-ops. In doing so, Congress would preserve the full value of government grants that deliver societal benefits to our communities.

You can play an important role in encouraging Congress to act. Voice your support for the RURAL Act by visiting www.action.coop\ruralact. n Dan Riedinger writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape.

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| Arab EC | Laura Millington took part in a WFF Adult Mentored Hunt out of a desire to take personal responsibility for sourcing her own food.

Adult mentored hunting program creates new friendships Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Learning to hunt may seem out of reach for those who didn’t grow up with hunting as part of their family tradition. For those individuals, the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) created an Adult Mentored Hunting Program (AMH) to teach about consumptive outdoor recreation, put wild game on the dinner table and potentially revive or initiate that family tradition. A resident of Anniston, Alabama, for the past 10 years, Laura Millington grew up in Canada in a family of non-hunters. A curiosity about hunting combined with a drive to improve her diet with healthier, leaner meat is what lead her to participate in two separate AMH hunts. During a January 2019 adult mentored deer hunt on the Portland Landing Special Opportunity Area (SOA) in Dallas County, she harvested a 160-pound buck and a 115-pound doe. Millington’s buck was the first buck to be harvested during a mentored hunt at Portland Landing. Her second AMH event was a Portland Landing dove hunt in September. “Being personally responsible for bringing food to my table was a draw for me to the mentored hunting program,” Millington said. “My goal was to use everything I could from any harvest I made. From the deer I also got hair-on hides, bones and sinew for crafting scrimshaw jewelry and a knife handle. Rendered fat from the deer was also made into tallow soap.” During the hunts, seasoned hunters guide participants through

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the experience. WFF mentors Amber Baker and Marianne Hudson joined Millington on her deer hunt. Baker was once again her mentor during the dove hunt. “Both women were helpful, friendly and put me at ease,” Millington said. “They were as excited as I was when I took my first shot, which unfortunately was a deceptive miss. They were even more excited when I got my buck the next day and then my doe. I think we were all giddy to be going back to the lodge a little early with two deer in the truck bed.” While having meat in the freezer has been very satisfying, time spent in the field was the best part of the experience for Millington. “It was calming just watching the wildlife while waiting for a suitable deer to come by and quietly sharing stories in the meantime,” she said. “The dove hunt had a different feel but being out in the field for that was a blast, too! There was a feeling of camaraderie among everybody with playful ribbing back and forth until somebody shouted ‘bird,’ which was followed by a flurry of activity.” WFF’s mentored hunting program isn’t just about teaching new hunters how to harvest game and stock the freezer. It’s about creating friendships and shared memories through outdoor recreation. To learn more, visit outdooralabama.com/hunting/adultmentored-hunting-program. n

www.alabamaliving.coop


FALL SAFETY TIPS FOR KIDS!

| Arab EC |

Fall is finally here! The leaves are changing, the weather is cooler and the holidays are just around the corner. But Fall also brings a higher risk of home fires and electrical safety hazards. Read the safety tips below and fill in the blank with the correct term from the word bank.

1. Candles and _____________ should only be used by adults. 2. An adult should always stay in the kitchen when something is _____________. 3. Smoke alarms should be tested every _____________ to ensure they are working. Batteries should be replaced at least once every _____________ or right away if they start to “beep.” 4. Make sure all _____________ are blown out before leaving a room. 5. Keep any items that can burn away from the stove, toaster and other cooking _____________.

WORD BANK APPLIANCES

MATCHES

COOKING

CANDLES

YEAR

MONTH Answer Key: 1. matches 2. cooking 3. month; year 4. candles 5. appliances

Alabama Living

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| Arab EC |

WHAT’S ON THAT POLE?

This illustration shows the basic equipment found on electric utility poles. The equipment varies according to the location and the service they provide.

PRIMARY WIRES Primary wires carry 7,200 volts of electricity from a substation. That voltage is 60 times higher than the voltage that runs through your home’s electrical outlets! SURGE ARRESTORS These protect the transformer from lightning strikes.

INSULATORS Insulators prevent energized wires from contacting each other or the pole.

NEUTRAL WIRE The neutral wire acts as a line back to the substation and is tied to the ground, balancing the electricity on the system. SECONDARY SERVICE DROP Carries 120/240-volts of electricity to consumers’ homes. It has two “hot” wires from the transformer and a bare “neutral” wire that’s connected to the ground wire on the pole. GROUND WIRE The ground wire connects to the neutral wire to complete the circuit inside the transformer. It also directs electricity from lightning safely into the earth.

TELEPHONE, CABLE TV, AND FIBER WIRES These are typically the lowest wires on the pole.

NEVER NAIL POSTERS OR OTHER ITEMS TO UTILITY POLES. THESE CREATE A SAFETY HAZARD FOR LINEWORKERS.

Original illustration by Erin Binkley

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| Alabama Snapshots |

On the Farm

Josh, Sam, Nate and Paul Redd on our poultry farm. SUBMITTED BY April Redd, Coker. Davis Hood giving “Moo” her daily hug. SUBMITTED BY Donna Wilson, Sulligent.

Hayley and son, Weston, walking in high cotton on the family farm. SUBMITTED BY Hayley Walters, Auburn. Wyatt catching hens. SUBMITTED BY Savannah Cooper, Robertsdale.

Indie, Axil and Touché enjoying the sunshine. SUBMITTED BY Miranda Byford, Hartselle.

Send us your “Our First Photo” with your spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, child or family! Deadline to submit is November 30. Winning photos will run in the January issue.

Online: alabamaliving.coop Mail: Snapshots P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 Alabama Living

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.

Tom Mauldin hauling hay on his John Deere. SUBMITTED BY Sarah Mauldin, Florence.

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Spotlight | November SOCIAL SECURITY

Certain disability payments and workers’ compensation may affect your benefits

Many people working nowadays have more than one job. This means they have several sources of income. It’s important to keep in mind that having multiple sources of income can sometimes affect your Social Security benefits; but, it depends on the source. Disability payments from private sources, such as private pensions or insurance benefits, don’t affect your Social Security disability benefits. Workers’ compensation and other public disability benefits, however, may reduce what you receive from Social Security. Workers’ compensation benefits are paid to a worker because of a job-related injury or illness. These benefits may be

Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at kylle.mckinney@ssa.gov.

paid by federal or state workers’ compensation agencies, employers, or by insurance companies on behalf of employers. Public disability payments that may affect your Social Security benefits are those paid from a federal, state, or local government for disabling medical conditions that are not job-related. Examples of these are civil service disability benefits, state temporary disability benefits, and state or local government retirement benefits that are based on disability. Some public benefits don’t affect your Social Security disability benefits. If you receive Social Security disability benefits, and one of the following types of public benefits, your Social Security benefits will not be reduced: • Veterans Administration benefits; • State and local government benefits, if Social Security taxes were deducted from your earnings; or

November crossword We hope you enjoyed completing the October crossword! We did hear from a few of our readers that the type was too small to read, so we hope we’ve fixed that this month. This month’s puzzle has some references to Alabama’s bicentennial as well as some famous Alabama people and places. Enjoy! Let us know what you think at letters@ alabamaliving.coop. Answers on Page 45.

• Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You can read more about the possible ways your benefits might be reduced at socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10018.pdf. Please be sure to report changes. If there is a change in the amount of your other disability payment, or if those benefits stop, please notify us right away. Tell us if the amount of your workers’ compensation or public disability payment increases or decreases. Any change in the amount or frequency of these benefits is likely to affect the amount of your Social Security benefits. An unexpected change in benefits can have unintended consequences. You can be better prepared if you’re informed and have financially prepared yourself. Visit socialsecurity.gov/planners for information about your options for securing your future.

Across 1 First words of a famous Lynyrd Skynyrd song, ___ ___ Alabama 5 Hero of the Civil Rights movement, initials 7 Mountain Music or Feels So Right, for example 8 Alabama Governor, 2 words 10 Site of the US Space and Rocket Center Museum 15 Thought 16 Historic university founded by Booker T. Washington 17 Cheaha, for example, abbr. 19 Arts degree 21 Native Americans who originally occupied some of present day Alabama 25 Auburn coach ___ Malzahn 26 Stretch of coastline also called the Miracle Strip, 2 words 29 Target 30 Rapper prefix 31 Brothers who were the patriarchs of Alabama Sacred Harp music Down 1 Brown quickly at a high temperature 2 Ocean motion 3 Alabama’s Bicentennial cook book, 5 words 4 Magnificent tree: there are many in Alabama 5 Ava DuVernay’s Selma, for example 6 River craft to use on the Flint River, for example 9 Christmas time 11 ___ Alabama Battleship Memorial Park 12 Compete (for) 13 Element suffix 14 Baby sheep 16 Donald L. ___ Civic Center on the campus of FSU 18 Plate on a car 20 Request 22 Former Governor of Alabama in the early 20th century, Emmet 23 Walked in deep water 24 Tiara Pennington wears one as Miss Alabama 2019 27 First word in a Brazilian city 28 Can material

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November | 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 Nov. 7 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the December issue. Submit by email: 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.

OCTOBER'S ANSWER

This sculpture of Truman Capote’s hat and thick-rimmed glasses is just one of the art works in the Literary Capital Sculpture Trail project, which memorializes the many talented writers who have Monroeville roots. This sculpture, located at the southeast entrance of the Monroe County Museum, was created by Morgan Harrison. The trail was unveiled in April 2019, and all 14 sculptures were created by University of Alabama students. Learn more at monroevillemainstreet.com (Photo by Lenore Vickrey of Alabama Living) We received a sweet note and photo from Annalee Chance from Troy, above, a member of the South Alabama EC. She says she’s visiting all the counties in Alabama for her fourth-grade project and recently visited the Monroe County Courthouse and saw the statue. Thanks for writing, Annalee! The randomly drawn correct guess winner is Donna Carney of Black Warrior EMC. Alabama Living

Find the hidden dingbat! Our October dingbat, an orange pumpkin, was well hidden but most all of the nearly 1,000 guesses got it right. One reader claimed it was in an ad on Page 15, but remember, we will never hide it in an ad. Another reader saw the pumpkin on the left fender of the pink Volkswagen on Page 11. But the pumpkin dingbat was actually in a photo on Page 20, as part of the chair’s upholstery where Mae Robertson is sitting with her grandchildren. Marjorie Cook of Vernon, a member of Tombigbee EC, said it took her a long time to find it, but she did spot the pumpkin when she put her magazine in the sunshine. There must have been something in the cool fall air that inspired several readers to wax poetic with their submissions. From Susan Needham of Cullman EC, we got these verses: It’s October now, so It’s time for a scare The dingbat’s on page 20 On the front of Mae’s chair. And Eleonore Madigan of Dothan wrote: Leafed to page 20 when I saw The upholstery of the chair has a flaw In the shape of a round pumpkin Ah-ha! The dingbat for which I was huntin’ Congratulations to Terry G. Whittington of Ariton for being chosen as the correct guess winner! This month we’ve hidden a turkey. So quit your gobbling and get to looking! By mail: Find the Dingbat Alabama Living PO Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 By email: dingbat@alabamaliving.com

November 13, 1833

A dramatic meteor shower filled the sky with approximately 30,000 meteors an hour in an event remembered as the night stars fell on Alabama. The shower inspired the title of Carl Carmer’s 1934 bestselling book Stars Fell on Alabama, which related Carmer’s experiences in Alabama in the 1920s through the dramatized voice of a northerner. Part memoir and part cultural analysis, the book received high praise by The New York Times and the northern press. Many Alabamians, however, believed Carmer purposefully disparaged the state by focusing on negative aspects of its culture, including Ku Klux Klan parades, foot-washings, and voodoo rituals. www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1596

White House ornament commemorates helicopter housed at Fort Rucker Fort Rucker, Alabama’s largest military installation and home to U.S. Army Aviation, was the site of a commemorative event to celebrate the 2019 Official White House Christmas Ornament, which is in the image of a helicopter. The ornament commemorates President Eisenhower as the first sitting president to fly in a helicopter. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company with a facility in Troy, has built the presidential helicopter since Eisenhower’s first use in 1957. Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, and Gov. Kay Ivey were on hand for the official presentation of the ornament at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker recently. The original VCH-34 Army One helicopter is housed there. Each year since 1981, the White House Historical Association has created the official ornament, which is American-made by a veteran-founded company. The ornament is $22.95 and can be purchased at whitehousehistory.org or by calling 800-555-2451. NOVEMBER 2019  11


Todd Newkirk looks over the graves at Alabama National. The cemetery was built about a decade ago to provide a central location to serve the Birmingham metro area and beyond.

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Final resting place Alabama’s four veterans’ cemeteries honor those who served

Story and photos by Jim Plott

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ike soldiers at attention, battalions of white markers stretch out across the fields in perfect formation. Below them are soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen. They are compatriots linked by more than common soil. Some died in service; many others survived the decades before finally falling to old age. All sacrificed. Alabama has four cemeteries dedicated to the men and women who have worn American military uniforms. They are shrines and places of reflection to the people who fought at places like Chateau-Thierry, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Incheon, Saigon, Baghdad and Kabul. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs oversees Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo and Fort Mitchell National Cemetery near Phenix City. The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs manages cemeteries under the same VA regulations in Spanish Fort and Mobile, although the one in Mobile is at capacity and open only to surviving spouses.

Alabama Living

Burials and headstones at all the cemeteries are free for the veteran, spouse and dependent children. That includes in-ground casket or cremation burials or in a columbarium for urns containing cremated remains. “Everything from the gate to the headstone is free. That saves a family anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000 at a minimum,” says Todd Newkirk, assistant director at Fort Mitchell and interim director at Alabama National. Newkirk, scanning the pristine grounds of Alabama National, believes there is a more plausible explanation why service people choose to call a veterans’ cemetery their final resting place. “You are among your brothers and sisters at arms,” Newkirk says. “You are a veteran, and this is a place that honors veterans 24-seven. And as long as there is a United States of America this place is going to be taken care of. People are going to be here every day, all day taking care of the cemetery.”

Reminders of sacrifice

Air Force Lt. Col. Kenneth Bourland was the first active-duty service person to be buried at Alabama National, which was dedicated in 2008. The Birmingham native, who flew numerous helicopter missions in Iraq, died in February 2010 when the hotel where he was staying during a humanitarian mission in Haiti collapsed during an earthquake. He was survived by a wife and two sons, then ages three and one. “Our daughter-in-law was the one that made the decision whether he would be buried at Arlington National Cemetery (near Washington D.C.) or here,” says Bourland’s mother, Adrienne Bourland. “I am very glad she made the choice for him to come back to Alabama. It has allowed us be involved in the ceremonies and the activities.” Adrienne Bourland and her husband live in nearby St. Clair County and remain members of a volunteer support staff that helps conduct special ceremonies at the cemetery on Veterans and Memorial hol-

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Local veteran groups display the colors at the groundbreaking of a scenic overlook at Alabama National.

Overlook planned for National Cemetery

ed in 2008 and 2012, respectively, to meet the burial needs of World War II and Korean War veterans. All three cemeteries adjoin historical grounds. Alabama National is adjacent to American Village, an educational facility that contains replicas of historical structures. Fort Mitchell National Cemetery abuts a replica of Fort Mitchell, an early American outpost and a link to the Federal Road which opened Alabama to early settlers. The Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery is near Fort Blakely, which was the site of the largest Civil War ‘I see America here’ battle fought in Alabama. Fort Mitchell National was established Each cemetery conducts commem31 years ago at the urging of the late U.S. orative ceremonies on Memorial Day Rep. Bill Nichols and state Sen. Joseph and Veterans Day, and many lay wreaths Smith of Phenix City, on the headstones at both of whom conChristmas. Those certended that Alabama emonies are generally deserved a national conducted by support cemetery. Their arcommittees, vetergument was fortified an groups and Scout by the fact that Fort members. Benning, Ga., lies just Newkirk, however, across the Chattasays he can’t help but hoochee River. reflect on the sacrifices “Mr. Joseph Smith provided by those enwas actually the first tombed every time he person buried here,” Bob Barefield of the Support drives in the entrance. Newkirk says. “He Committee for Alabama National “This is the best job actually died before it Cemetery addresses a group for the I ever had in my life,” opened, and his wife groundbreaking of the scenic overlook. Newkirk says. “I did had him disinterred 21 years active duty in (from another cemetery) and reinterred the Air Force and 15 years as a civilian in here.” the Army and so it is special to me. I see Alabama National and Alabama State America here. I see my brother and sisters. Veterans Memorial Cemetery were creatIt’s just an honor to be here.” idays. Kenneth Bourland’s family has also moved back to the Birmingham area from Florida where they were living at the time of his death. Alabama headstones, carved from Sylacauga marble, include a person’s name, rank, branch of service, date of birth and death and a symbol of religious belief. “The last two or three spaces are for an optional inscription that the next of kin is able to select,” Newkirk says. “They can put whatever they want on those lines as long as it is appropriate.”

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An artist rendering of the overlook at Alabama National. The overlook, above Shoal Creek, is being built through private donations and is expected to be complete in January.

By January, families of veterans buried at Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo will have a place to gather and reflect on the cemetery grounds while their loved one is being interred. The Support Committee of the Alabama National Cemetery broke ground in September on a wooded overlook above Shoal Creek at the edge of the cemetery. The volunteer group, which provides programs at the cemetery and assists survivors of veterans with burial needs, undertook the project in January 2013 when it began raising private donations for the structure. Bob Barefield, SCALNC chairman emeritus, says burial regulations don’t allow graveside services and families are limited to the time they can spend at an outdoor shelter (conducting what serves as a graveside service). “Families are having to leave and then come back to visit the gravesite after interment,” Barefield says. “Once this is available, this will be a place where they can go and quietly reflect not only the tragic side of losing a loved one, but the better side because that overlook is so serene and so peaceful that it makes you think of better times.” www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2019  15


The Black Belt’s rich soil creates a special place for sporting adventures By John N. Felsher

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ourished for centuries by several rivers depositing nutrient-rich black, loamy soil, the Black Belt region extends across 23 counties in central Alabama. That fertile soil created outstanding agricultural land, but also created excellent habitat for white-tailed deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife. Although hunters and fishermen frequently visit the region, area residents wanted to do more to promote it. In 2009, they formed a non-profit group called the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association to collectively promote the special region as a destination for hunting, fishing, canoeing, camping, hiking, birding and other cultural, artistic or historic endeavors. “About 10 years ago, a group of dedicated

conservationists with a passion for hunting and fishing came together in an effort to stimulate economic growth in Alabama’s Black Belt region,” says Thomas Harris, president and founding father of the ALBBAA. “The Black Belt hasn’t been as successful with industrial recruitment when compared to other areas in the state, so it made perfect sense to capitalize on the abundance of natural resources that are readily available here. Tourism is a strong contributor to economic development, and we set our goals to collectively promote and brand the region as an outdoor destination. The results of our recent economic impact study proved that we were right on target.” The ALBBAA enlisted the help of noted sporting personalities Ray Scott, foundA hunter prepares to take a shot at a rising covey of bobwhite quail. Although most people come to the Black Belt to hunt white-tailed deer and turkeys, the area also offers quail hunting and a variety of other sporting opportunities. PHOTO BY TODD SAUERS

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Alabama Living

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er of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, and Jackie Bushman, founder of Buckmasters. Both men grew up hunting the Black Belt. Scott, Bushman and others hosted television commercials and promotional videos encouraging people to visit the region. In addition, the association and its supporters aired TV commercials in 93 major markets across 32 states. The association even published a coffee table book on area hunting and fishing heritage and traditions, which will be available for purchase this month. “Our partnerships across the region continue to grow and strengthen,” says Pam Swanner, who has served as the ALBBAA director for nearly 10 years. “Many projects have been conducted or are in the development stages with other organizations, such as the Chambers of Commerce, tourism councils, Black Belt Treasures, Alabama Tourism Department, Alabama State Parks and many others. More than 137,000 outdoor enthusiasts nationally receive monthly newsletters sharing outdoors news about the Black Belt.” In addition, ALBBAA cultivated relationships with major media associations to bring in writers and broadcasters from around the country to experience hunting in the Black Belt and fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, catfish and other species in area rivers and lakes. These journalists published numerous articles and aired multiple radio and television broadcasts throughout the nation. People took notice. “Our web traffic steadily increases each year,” Swanner says. “From January to August 2019, we’ve seen a 228 percent increase in the number of inquiries over the same period last year. We also ramped up paid Google ads and social media advertising, plus facilitated our photo contests through our website. These efforts drew more traffic to the website, which resulted in more inquiries. Our Facebook followers now number almost 20,000.”

Alabama hunters enjoy one of the longest turkey seasons in the country; most are harvested in the spring season. PHOTO BY TES RANDLE JOLLY

Big economic impact

When people visit the Black Belt for whatever reason, they contribute to the local, regional and state economies. According to the 2018 Economic Impact Study on Hunting and Fishing in the Black Belt, spending by sportsmen in the area increased by 18 percent since 2011. The study also shows a 29 percent increase in salaries and wages earned by people in the area, which resulted in a three percent increase in state and local tax revenues during the

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Outdoors enthusiasts can find many lakes and rivers in the Black Belt region where they can enjoy canoeing and other aquatic sports. PHOTO BY PAUL BROWN

same period. The total economic impact by hunters and fishermen in the Black Belt increased by 13 percent since 2011. About 1.2 million hunters and fishermen spent $3.2 billion in Alabama pursuing their favorite sports in 2018, the study revealed. This created 73,553 jobs. About 364,000 of those sportsmen spent 8.2 million man-days hunting or fishing in the Black Belt. Although the 23 Black Belt counties comprise just one-third of the state, 42 percent of all hunting expenditures in Alabama occurred in the region. “The steady growth we see in sportsmen and women visiting the Black Belt to pursue their outdoor adventures is encouraging and reinforces our commitment to the initiative,” Swanner says. “It’s validation that we must continue building on that momentum so that we are always moving the economic needle forward to give area residents a better quality of life.” Many people hunt or fish locally, but more than half of all sportsmen, 51.6 percent, spent at least one night away from home to hunt or fish in 2018. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of non-resident sportsmen, 78.6 percent, stayed overnight in Alabama, but so did 43.5 percent of resident hunters and fishermen. About half of the overnighters stayed on property they own or lease, but the rest had to find lodging. More than 80 percent of all hunt lodges in Alabama sit in the Black Belt. Many visitors to Alabama bring their families and stay several days. Besides hunting or fishing, people might visit other area attractions. While away from home, these people not only pay for lodging, but also buy food, fuel, supplies and other items, not to mention non-resident hunting and fishing licenses. Non‐resident sportsmen spent nearly $108 million to hunt or fish in Alabama in 2018. Two-thirds of all non-resident hunters coming to Alabama visit the Black Belt. About 29 percent of non-resident anglers fished in those counties. While regional lodges offer excellent hunting opportunities for deer and other game, many sportsmen prefer to do it themselves. Some better wildlife management areas include David K. Nelson near Demopolis, Lowndes near White Hall, Barbour near Clayton and Oakmulgee near Selma. People can also hunt some smaller Special Opportunity Areas. See outdooralabama.com/ hunting/special-opportunity-areas. These efforts reach more than hunters and fishermen by encouraging eco-tourism, canoeing, birding, hiking and other activities in the region. The association also worked to create a leisure market program called “Feed Your Adventure – Flavors of the Black Belt Trail” to encourage people to sample such locally made items as cheese straws, cookies, pepper jellies, rubs and sauces, savory and sweet pecans, sausages, baked goods, craft beers and spirits plus many other items. To find out more about the Black Belt, visit alabamablackbeltadventures.org or search for “Alabama Black Belt Adventures” on Facebook. www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

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Always keep a safety line attached to your full-body harness when you are climbing up and down a tree.

Complacency often leads to tree stand accidents

Story and photos by David Rainer Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

T

he Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division’s Hunter Education Program wants to teach old hunters new safety tricks. Actually, these are not new safety tricks, but experienced hunters seem to be failing to follow them, according to last year’s hunting accident reports. During the 2018-2019 hunting seasons, 15 treestand accidents were reported, and more than half of those individuals were age-exempt from having to complete a hunter education course. Of the five who did take the hunter ed course, all under the age of 40, only one was wearing a full-body harness when the accident occurred. “That full-body harness probably saved his life or saved him from serious injuries,” says Marisa Futral, Hunter Education Program Coordinator. “He fell asleep in his stand, but he lived to see another day. “Three of the 15 accidents were fatalities. Still, a lot of these injuries could have been 20  NOVEMBER 2019

prevented with a full-body harness.” Those born on or after Aug. 1, 1977, must complete the hunter education course before they can purchase a hunting license. But Futral urges everyone who plans to pursue game this fall to take the hunter ed course. For information on hunter education courses, visit outdooralabama.com/ hunting/hunter-education-alabama. “Even if you are grandfathered in, there’s always something you can learn,” she says. “I’ve noticed over the years that the hunters who don’t have to take the course are the ones having the accidents. “I think the mentality is they’ve been hunting their whole life and get complacent. But those older hunters could learn a lot by taking the hunter education course, which is a lot more than firearms safety. The No. 1 hunting accident is falling out of trees. That is covered extensively in the hunter ed class.” Of the three fatalities, none were wearing

a full-body harness. Two of the fatalities were using climbing stands, while the other was in a hang-on stand. The accident reports indicated one fatality occurred when the hunter was using a climbing stand and was about 21 feet off the ground when the straps on the stand broke. The other fatality using a climbing stand also fell 21 feet when rusty connectors broke as he was sitting in the stand. “One of the problems is that people aren’t inspecting their equipment before they climb,” Futral says. “You cannot leave your stands in the woods all year and expect them to be safe.” Futral also stresses that hunters should be connected to the tree in some way when they are climbing and descending the tree. Several accidents have occurred when hunters have been wearing safety harnesses but fell going up or coming down the tree. Several products are available that keep hunters attached to the tree at all times. www.alabamaliving.coop


WFF Hunter Education stresses the following 11 guidelines for using a treestand safely: Always use a pull-up rope to raise your firearm into your hunting stand.

T Always wear a safety harness, also known as a fall-arrest sys-

tem, when you are in a treestand, as well as when climbing into or out of a treestand. Statistics show that the majority of treestand incidents occur while climbing in and out of a stand. T A safety strap should be attached to the tree to prevent you from falling more than 12 inches. T Always inspect the safety harness for signs of wear or damage before each use. T Follow all manufacturers’ instructions for use of a safety harness and stand. T Follow the three-point rule of treestand safety. Always have three points of contact to the steps or ladder before moving. This could be two arms and one leg holding and stepping on the ladder or one arm and two legs in contact with the ladder

before moving. Be cautious that rain, frost, ice or snow can cause steps to become extremely slippery. Check the security of the step before placing your weight on it. T Always hunt with a plan and, if possible, a buddy. Before you leave home, let others know your exact hunting location, when you plan to return and who is with you. T Always carry emergency signal devices such as a cell phone, walkie-talkie, whistle, signal flare, PLD (personal locator device) and flashlight at all times and within reach even while you are suspended in your fall-arrest system. Watch for changing weather conditions. In the event of an incident, remain calm and seek help immediately. T Always select the proper tree for use with your treestand. Select a live, straight tree that fits within the size limits recommended in your treestand’s instructions. Do not climb or place a treestand against a leaning tree. T Never leave a treestand installed for more than two weeks since damage could result from changing weather conditions and/or from other factors not obvious with a visual inspection. T Always use a haul line to pull up your gear and unloaded firearm or bow to your treestand once you have reached your desired hunting height. Never climb with anything in your hands or on your back. Prior to descending, lower your equipment on the opposite side of the tree. T Always know your physical limitations. Don’t take chances. Do not climb when impaired by drugs, alcohol or if you’re sick or unrested. If you start thinking about how high you are, stop climbing.

Firearms safety

Always be aware of what is downrange beyond your target before firing.

T Alabama hunters also had several firearms-related accidents

during the 2018-2019 season with three fatalities and two non-fatal incidents. T Two of the fatalities were self-inflicted. One was in a shooting house when the accident happened. The other occurred when the hunter fell, and his handgun discharged. One fatality occurred when a hunter was mistaken for game. T One of the two non-fatal accidents happened during a dove-hunting outing. The shooter covered another hunter while swinging on a dove. Failure to check beyond the target, a deer, resulted in the second non-fatal accident. T When I write about having a safe and enjoyable hunting season, I always list the 10 commandments of firearms safety: T Treat every firearm as if it is loaded. T Control the muzzle of your firearm. Keep the barrel pointed in a safe direction; never point a firearm at anything that you do not wish to shoot and insist that your shooting and hunting companions do the same. T Be sure of your target and beyond. Positively identify your target before you fire, and make sure there are no people, livestock, roads or buildings beyond the target. T Never shoot at water or a hard, flat surface. A ricocheting bullet cannot be controlled. Alabama Living

T Don’t use a scope for target identification; use binoculars. T Never climb a tree, cross a fence or jump a ditch with a loaded firearm.

T Store guns and ammunition separately. Store firearms under lock and key, and use a gun case to transport firearms.

T Make sure your barrel and action are clear of all obstructions.

T Unload firearms when not in use. Never take someone else’s word that a firearm is unloaded. Check yourself.

T Avoid drugs and alcohol when hunting or shooting. Even some over-the-counter medicines can cause impairment.

NOVEMBER 2019  21


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Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2019  23


| Worth the drive |

Belly up to the buffet at the Roadkill Café

The Roadkill Café is off the beaten path and draws patrons by word of mouth.

Story and photos by Emmett Burnett

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o paraphrase a popular jelly commerAn accidental name cial, “With a name like ‘Roadkill’ Roadkill Café’s roots trace back to the it’s got to be good.” In Elberta, property’s 1989 purchase. Owner Ala., it is. and Elberta resident Marvin WilA classic dish at the Roadkill The diner has a fan base liams leased the building out Café: homecooked fried from across the street to as a restaurant. But in 1999, chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, across Canada. The unhappy with the diner’s green beans and biscuit. restaurant’s fried quality, Williams refused chicken – beto renew the tenant’s loved bird of lease. In the summer Baptists – is of 2000, a new restauserved dairant opened with the ly as are Williams family in delectable charge. But it needpork chops, ed a name. country fried Marvin’s son and steaks, and a current co-owner/ host of downmanager, Mike Wilhome, small town, liams, recalls: “Getbig taste entrees. ting the restaurant Red beans and rice, ready to open was catfish and mullet, sauhard. It was in terrible sages, biscuits and gravy, condition. Dad jokingly butterbeans and cabbage, wrote on a piece of cardfresh veggies, vats of banana board, ‘Roadkill Café’ and pudding, and more are offered taped it to the front window.” either daily or on designated Marvin’s wife saw the makeshift days. sign and with alarm proclaimed, “Y’all It is said that Roadkill Café’s all-youwill NEVER call this place ‘Roadkill Café!” can-eat buffet is possibly the best $11 investNever say never. Next summer Roadkill Café ment in Baldwin County. But I know what you’re will be 20 years old, and so will the name. thinking: “Okay, the food sounds good, but what’s up with that Mike took the reins in 2005 upon his dad’s request. “He asked me name, ‘Roadkill?’” Fair question. to watch the place while he was in Hawaii for a week’s vacation,” the Let’s put your concerns to rest. There is no roadkill at Roadkill son recalls. Mike still watches it. Café, so take your armadillo au gratin business elsewhere. Here is The day starts about 4:30 a.m. when the stoves are fired up. Evthe story of a beloved restaurant, exemplifying hospitality, serverything is hot from the kitchen and ready for serving by 10:30 a.m. ing great food, and named for woodland creatures who left this until closing at 12:30 pm. That’s right, on most days you have two world with tire tracks. hours dine time. Make it count.

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Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2019  25


Ironically, even though it’s about 16 miles from Gulf Shores, Roadkill is not a beach tourist attraction per se. “We are not on the ‘beach highway,’” Mike says, referencing nearby State Highway 59, the Foley - Gulf Shores connection. “Beach travelers don’t see us, so they don’t know we are here.” But everybody else does. The dining room seats 92 and averages 70 to 100-plus visitors daily during its twohour-per-day operation, Sunday through Friday. Sunday’s closing is a bit more lenient – around 1 p.m., to accommodate after-church seating. Roadkill does not advertise except for word of mouth, customer testimonials, and snowbird referrals. The street-facing banner sign above the front door, “Roadkill Café,” turns heads as well. “People tell me they have driven by this place for 10 years,” Mike says. “They were curious but apprehensive about going in something called, ‘Roadkill.’” But once you’re in, you return – often. “We have been coming here at least twice a week for years,” says frequent customer Brenda Myers of nearby Foley, about her visits with her husband John. “The country

fried steak is great. Don’t miss it.” The menu is advertised exclusively on an in-diner chalkboard. Keep your social media, for in here, chalk rules. Thursday is butterbeans and cabbage day. Fridays are set for catfish and mullet and chicken is daily. For more information either call ahead or heed the chalk. Explaining the charm of Roadkill Café, Brenda Myers notes the restaurant’s draw is beyond good food. “Mike and the people here are just so nice,” she says. “After one visit you are family. By the second visit you and everyone working here are on a first name basis.” Brenda adds with a laugh, “All the waitresses are sweet and sassy.” Thirty minutes after opening, the seating area is full. Happy patrons surround the buffet stations supporting the twin peaks of fried chicken and pork chop mountains and trimmings. Servers offer an insider tip: “Our chicken is delicious but so is our banana pudding. Save room!” She’s right. I did. Shakespeare once scribed, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” In Elberta, that rosy name is Roadkill. Above, Mike Williams, co-owner of the Roadkill Café, stands by the chalkboard menu with today’s specials; Left, hungry patrons fill up on country cooking at The Roadkill Café, which is only open at lunchtime for limited hours; below, a mountain of the restaurant’s famous fried chicken.

Roadkill Café

25076 State St. Elberta, AL 36530 251-986-5377 Hours: Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday; 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; closed Saturday.

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Elberta

www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2019  27


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November | Around Alabama

Photo courtesy of National Peanut Festival.

16

The National Peanut Festival attracts 200,000 fairgoers over its 10-day run.

All

month, Montgomery, “We the People: Alabama’s Defining Documents,” a Bicentennial exhibition of our state’s six constitutions, will be on display beginning Nov. 3 at the Alabama Department of Archives and History, 624 Washington Ave. wethepeoplealabama.org.

1-2

Gulf Shores, 12th annual Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Beer Weekend at The Hangout, 101 E. Beach Blvd. Craft Beer Festival is 6 to 11 p.m. Friday and will feature live music. Oyster Cook-Off begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. Live music throughout the day Saturday. Hangoutcookoff. com.

1-3

Arab, Cherokee’s of Alabama 19th Annual Fall Indian Powwow. Arab National Guard Armory, Highway 69 West. Vendors, arts and crafts, demonstrations all three days, Native American dances and drumming on Saturday and Sunday. Grand entry is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday. All dancers welcome. Trade blanket at 7 p.m. Saturday. Free admission; bring blankets and chairs for this outdoor family event. Contact Mystic Gazer, 256-590-8109.

1-10

Dothan, National Peanut Festival. 5622 Highway 231 South. Each day of the largest peanut celebration in the world will have live music, agriculture events and midway rides. For a complete list of daily events and admission prices, visit nationalpeanutfestival.com.

2

Greenville, Butler County’s Bicentennial Celebration. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Confederate Park/ Pioneer Cemetery. Speakers, performances, historic “in costume” dramatic reading, Boy Scouts’ flag ceremony, patriotic songs, traditional music, history displays, tours of local churches, the Ritz Theater and Pioneer Cemetery, and children’s hands-on discover history area. 334-382-6959 or email anniecrenshaw@centurytel.net.

2

Fitzpatrick, Pumpkin SMASH. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dream Field Farms and Pumpkin Patch. Enjoy a family fun day with the cow train, farm critters, jump pad, boating and concessions and pumpkin demolition. There will be a variety of ways to smash the leftover farm pumpkins, as well as those brought by guests. $8 admission; half price if you bring your own pumpkin. Email Jennifer@dreamfieldfarms. net to bring your own destruction apparatus. Dreamfieldfarms.com.

2

Pike Road, Pike Road Arts and Crafts Fair, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historic Marks House. More than 250 vendors will sell unique arts and crafts in time for Christmas shopping. Special children’s activities and plenty of food vendors. Pikeroadartsandcraftsfair.com.

2

Dixonville, fourth annual LaRae Harvest Festival and Dixonville 200, a cultural heritage celebration of this Escambia County community. Special guest will be area

native William Lee Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys. Agricultural displays and booths by FFA chapters, vendors with Alabama-made products, artisans, a 5K race and fun run and good Southern food. Local singers and musicians and a performance by Bo Bice, an Alabama native and “American Idol” runner-up. 464 Highway 41 South. Search “LaRae” on Facebook.

9

Beatrice, Monroe County Museum’s annual Cane Syrup Makin’ Day, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rikard’s Mill. The mill will be transformed into a pioneer village as history is brought to life by rural heritage demonstrators. Food vendors will be on site. $5 per person, seniors and under 12 $3. 251-575-7433 or email mchm@ frontiernet.net.

9

Sylacauga, Cancer Outreach and Community Hope (COACH) Holiday in the Country. Stewartville Volunteer Fire Department, 41 Old Coleman Road. All-you-can-eat pancakes from 6 to 10 a.m. for $6; vendor market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a holiday chili cook-off and a holiday doggie pageant at noon. All proceeds benefit cancer patients in Coosa County. 256-496-2548.

9

Orange Beach, Chalk Art Festival, Main Street at the Wharf, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring the fall season to life with your colorful ocean-themed creations. You can start your own sidewalk masterpiece for $5 or stand by and watch the pros create works of art. Alwharf.com.

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

Florence, W.C. Handy Birthday Celebration, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Celebrate the birthday of the “father of the Blues” and enjoy a musical performance, refreshments and free admission to the W.C. Handy Home, Museum and Library, 620 West College St. 256-760-6434.

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Prattville, Holiday Open House, 1 to 4 p.m. at the Prattville Creative Arts Center and Gallery. Stop by for light refreshments and find unique items for your Christmas list. 334-595-0854.

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Millbrook, Emmy Awardwinning actor Ed Asner in a one-man staged reading, “A Man and his Prostate,” 7:30 p.m. Recommended for ages 18 and up. The Millbrook Theatre, 5720 Main St. millbrooktheater.com.

22-23

Hartselle, Southern Market Days “Flannel and Frost” Vintage Market, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sparkman Civic Center. Farmhouse décor, handmade items and unique finds. Santa will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. 256-773-2581.

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Alpine, Art Extravaganza at Plank Road Station, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. All types of artists display and sell their wares at this event, which includes down-home entertainment and cooking. Highway 21 in the Winterboro area at the Aljerald Powers Memorial Lodge. Plankroadstation.com

December

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Centre, Women’s Club of Weiss Lake annual tour of homes. Cherokee County Country Club, 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at any home, the Chamber of Commerce or club members. Refreshments will be served in the club dining room. Visit the Women’s Club of Weiss Lake on Facebook.

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NOVEMBER 2019  29

Al


| Alabama People |

Jessica Meuse

Playing with her whole heart Singer/songwriter and guitarist Jessica Meuse always gets a reaction when she’s introduced as a native of Slapout, Ala. “People are like, ‘wait, what?’” she laughs. She’s back home in the tiny Elmore County town, continuing to write songs and perform. Meuse is best known for reaching the top four in season 13 of “American Idol,” and became the first person in the history of the show to perform her own original song during the finals. Her first full-length album, “Halfhearted,” was released in 2018, and she’s planning to record again in 2020. We asked her about her upbringing and her experience in Hollywood. – Allison Law Talk about growing up in small town, rural Alabama. How did it shape you as a musician? I’ll be very honest with you, I was not the most accepted kid in school. I was actually bullied quite heavily. Music was the thing that I had when I went home. When everyone else was at prom, I went home and practiced, and I ended up teaching myself guitar. … I also got into violin – that was actually my first instrument. I auditioned for the Montgomery Youth Orchestra, and I worked my way from the back to the front. … I think I was so dedicated to my craft and being better and always learning because I wasn’t accepted by my peers. It forced me to focus on something that actually made me happy. Do you still play violin? I do. I’m rusty, don’t get me wrong. You can tell when I play that

I was once a lot better than I am now. … I know this is weird, but I play it mentally a lot, so I think about it in my head. I also taught myself piano. Anything with strings, if you hand it to me, I can figure it out. Most folks know you were on “Idol,” but you went on “The Voice” first. Yes. In 2012, I was on “The Voice” season 3, and nobody turned around. It was not good feedback. It was very negative toward me. … I remember getting on the plane (to Hollywood), and thinking, “I’m going to make it.” You get out there and you realize, it’s so cutthroat, it’s so hard core, and I felt for the first time, I’m not going to make it. My hopes got totally shot to the ground. So I went back home, and I was in college full time, and I kept working on my degree and I kept singing. I just don’t have the “give up” bone in my body. I just can’t do it. Then came “American Idol.”  It was very surreal to keep getting through and hitting my goals. I tried to take the most constructive criticism from the judges. Not opinions, those are two different things.  My favorite judge was Harry Connick Jr., because he had the most technical stuff. My violin and classical music background allowed me to understand what he was saying. So he helped me the most as an artist. Then, boom, top 4, and I was like, I didn’t see that coming.  Do you keep up with any of your fellow contestants? One of my buddies is (fellow Alabama native) Bo Bice. I know Taylor Hicks too. We’re all buddies. Bo’s really a good dude. I love him to death. We actually did a duet on “Halfhearted,” called “Without You.” We work together with the Helena Miracle League. What other charitable causes do you support? I have a handful of very, very, very important causes to me. One of them is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Sometimes I work with the Children’s Cancer Association, and the LA Children’s Hospital. Just kids in general, since they’re our future, I want to do what I can to help them and show them that the world is good. The other cause is domestic violence. I’d been looking for this cause for such a long time, because I’ve been through my own stuff, and I’ve never talked about it and I feel like it’s time to. (She recently played at a kickoff party for FavorHouse of Northwest Florida, a shelter for domestic violence victims.) What’s next for you? I’m always writing, because anytime there’s an experience or something I can live through, (I like to) write it out in a way that will hopefully inspire others. A lot of my music is about finding your inner strength of being tough, even when you don’t feel it. There’s always a song to write.   

Follow her on her website, jessicameuse.com, and on her Facebook page. Interview edited for length.

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| Gardens |

Need holiday gifts?

“Shop” your garden! I f you’re trying to find locally sourced, distinctive and affordable gifts this holiday season, here’s an idea: “shop” your garden. Gardens are, after all, about as local as you can get, plus they are stocked with gift ideas likely to suit everyone on your shopping list. For example, foodies will relish fresh herbs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and edible flowers and seeds that may still be growing in your garden. Use herbs, edible flowers and fall fruits and vegetables to make batches of giftable jams, jellies, pickles, oils, vinegars, sauces, salsas and the like. You can also use them to create herbal teas, seasoning mixes and rubs, simple syrups, juices and ciders, or use them to infuse garden flavor into baked goods and liqueurs and other spirits. If fresh items are unavailable, those canned, dried, frozen or fermented vegetables and fruits you put up this summer will be equally appreciated. Pamper someone on your gift list by using herbs, flowers and other garden crops to make soaps, scrubs, lotions and bath oils and salts. Or use them to create useful products such as sachets, potpourris, air freshening sprays and other household and cleaning supplies. For the decorator types on your list, leaves, flowers and seeds make beautiful dried arrangements or can be pressed to create frameable botanical art. They can Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@gmail.com.

32  NOVEMBER 2019

also be used to embellish or imprint candles, stationery, stepping-stones, clay pots, journals and much more. Vines can become wreaths, baskets and sculptures, and foliage and flowers can be used to wrap or decorate holiday gifts. Nature lovers will likely appreciate crafts and decorations made from cones, acorns, nuts, leaves, bark and dried produce (think okra and gourds, for instance) gathered from your garden and yard. For bird and wildlife lovers, many of those same items can be turned into wildlife feeders such as cones rolled in suet, nut butters and seeds. For sustainability-focused folks on your list, upcycle old rakes, shovels, trowels and other garden tools into holiday decorations or year-round yard art. Gently used tomato cages can be woven with foliage, lights, ribbons, vines and other adornments to create a festive holiday tree. Silverware, dishes, chains and even plastic bottles and other household items can be repurposed into wind chimes, rain chains, plant markers, birdfeeders and more. Use your DIY and craft skills to revive old baskets, watering cans, buckets, wheelbarrows, pots, aprons and work shirts into something fun and functional. Or go uberDIY and build potting or park benches, plant stands, cold frames, trellises or bird houses and pollinator hotels as gifts. Need gifts for fellow gardeners? That’s really easy! Share mature plants, rooted cuttings, seeds and bulbs from your garden, or use extra herbs, succulents, cacti and other plants to create terrariums and potted plant collections. And you can re-

ally thrill them with a bag — or truckload — of pine straw, leaves or compost. If your garden’s giftable stock is low at the moment, no worries. Give IOUs for future harvests of flowers, herbs, produce, seeds, bulbs and cuttings as gifts. You can also make a gift of your gardening knowledge by offering to advise or mentor a novice gardener or by volunteering your muscle and time to help cleanup someone’s garden and landscape. Better yet, invite someone into your garden for a visit or a little quiet time. Need more ideas or inspiration? Look for local workshops, or find ideas and instruction online, in magazines and in books such as The Crafty Gardener: Inspired Ideas and DIY Crafts from Your Own Backyard by Becca Anderson or Gifts from the Garden:100 Gorgeous Homegrown Presents by Debora Robertson.

NOVEMBER TIPS • Plant cool-season annual vegetables and flowers.

• Water newly planted shrubs and

perennials, especially if the weather is dry. • Test your soil. • Sow wildflower seed. • Divide perennials. • Prepare irrigation systems and gardening tools and equipment for winter. • Use fallen leaves as mulch or add them to compost. • Cut back on water for houseplants.

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PET HEALTH

Taking a look at the cancer trilogy: Prevalence, cause and prevention

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hat causes cancer? Many things! Probably the most important factor is genetics. Certain genetic makeup has us more susceptible to having cancer. We all became more aware of genetic mutations for cancer as Angelina Jolie tested positive for breast cancer mutations and went through a double mastectomy. These mutations tend to run in the family, like from grandmother to mother to daughter. Luckily for humans, as we marry out of a close genetic group, genes get diluted and reduce the risk for cancer. Unfortunately, we do the exact opposite in pets. By selectively breeding, we amplify some of the harmful genes over generations. Only by inbreeding we create a “breed” and inadvertently concentrate these cancer-causing genes. Examples will be boxers with mast  cell Goutam Mukherjee (Dr. G), DVM, MS, PhD., has been a veterinarian for more than 30 years. He owns High Falls Holistic Veterinary Clinic in Crossville. Email questions of general interest to drg.vet@gmail.com.

Alabama Living

tumors, rottweilers with osteosarcoma, golden retrievers with blood vessel tumors, and so on. However, the genetic codes do not tell the whole story! Just because a mother had breast cancer does not mean that the daughter will get the same. A boxer dog may carry the genes for mast cell tumor, but that does not necessarily mean that she will get cancer. Beyond genetics, lifestyle, nutrition and many other factors play a role in the expression of a gene. My father’s family has a long history of lung disease, but by not smoking, I can reduce my chances of getting asthma. Our internal hormones can be counted as influencing factors. In humans, 80 percent of the breast cancers are estrogen-progesterone dependent. Similarly, unspayed dogs have a higher risk of breast cancer. Interestingly, viruses can also cause cancer, like feline leukemia in cats; 30 percent of cats infected with feline leukemia virus will develop intestinal cancer.

Editor’s note: Second of three parts Environmental factors also come into play in the expression of cancer genes. These factors include the food we eat, the air we breathe and even radiation from the sun. As an example, white cats and dogs are prone to skin cancer from lack of protective melanin on their skin. Second-hand tobacco smoke can cause oral squamous cell carcinoma in cats and nasal cancer in dogs. Some herbicides are implicated in bladder cancer in Scottish terriers. One study from Italy showed that dogs living in the industrial areas had an 8.5 times higher risk of developing lymphoma than those living in urban areas. Another similar study found that tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma was 10 times more common in animals living in cities than in those living in more rural environments. All these evidences suggest that there may be link between different chemicals and cancer in pets. So what do we do? Stop eating, drinking and going outside? Wait for the next installment in January.

NOVEMBER 2019  33


| Alabama Recipes |

Forbidden Fruit? BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY STYLING/PHOTOS BY BROOKE ECHOLS

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hen we think of fruit and fall, apples often come to mind. Most varieties are ripe and ready in autumn, getting plucked from rows of trees covering orchards from late August into November. This harvest has tied them to many of the dishes we enjoy during this season. Classics like caramel and candy apples are quintessential treats found at fairs; apple pies often make appearances at Thanksgiving feasts. Yet, unlike some other produce that we Southerners like to stake a regional claim to, apples are grown widely across the globe. According to the U.S. Apple Association, in the United States, apples are grown commercially in 32 states but are grown in some form in every single state. Outside our country, China is the world’s top producer, followed by the United States. Other spots high on the list include diverse locales like Poland, India, Russia, Italy, France, Chile and Turkey. In fact, apples are so ubiquitous, they are often used to represent “fruit” in general. And this familiarity has made them a favorite character in multiple myths and legends across cultures where they are attached to concepts like youth, beauty, friendship, luck and even immortality. In our country, the apple’s key place in phrases like “apple of my eye” and “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” (pointing to the fruit’s powerful health benefits) makes further positive connections. But the apple has a dark side too. We talk of “bad apples” and how just one can ruin everything. In some legends and stories, apples are agents of discord and envy and have been employed in treacherous schemes (remember that poisoned apple in Snow White?). And even though the Bible does not name the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden as an apple, it’s what we often see depicted and what many of us visualize. These things directly conflict with the apple’s other attributes, begging the question: At its core, is the apple good or evil? Neither. It’s a piece of fruit, folks. But a big bite into a crisp, fresh apple is good, and the addition of the apple’s sweet and sometimes tart taste to a variety of dishes is a good thing too. So, check out this issue’s reader-submitted recipes, leave judgement out of it and get your apple a day any way you can.

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Apple-Pecan Pork Chops

Apple and Pear Taco

Easy Apple Crisp for Two

4 2 1 1/2 2

2 2 1 1 1 2 1 ¼ 15 2 4

3 2 2 2 1/4 1/2

boneless pork loin chops, cut about 1-inch thick tablespoons butter cup (about 2) red apples, cored and thinly sliced, skin on cup pecans, chopped tablespoons packed brown sugar Salt and pepper, to taste

Trim fat from chops. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; set aside. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat until it sizzles. Add sliced apples; cook and stir about 2 minutes. Push apples to the side of skillet. Add chops; cook about 4 minutes total, turning chops on each side to sear; move apples aside as needed. Spoon apples over chops. Sprinkle with pecans and brown sugar. Cover. Cook, covered for 2-4 minutes more until chops are done. Serve chops topped with apple slices and cooking juices. This dish goes well with cooked white rice or mashed potatoes, and a green vegetable on the side. Jackie Whitehead Baldwin EMC

apples (any variety) pears lime tablespoon sugar teaspoon cinnamon teaspoons butter, divided tablespoon heavy cream cup strawberry jam drops Tabasco sauce tablespoons tequila pieces flour tortilla (or 8 small)

Peel, deseed and slice the apples and pears. Place them in water with a squeeze of lime juice. Strain the fruit, combine with sugar and cinnamon. In a pan, melt 1 teaspoon butter and cook the fruit for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove fruit from the pan and reserve. In the same pan make a strawberry sauce: add a teaspoon of butter, a tablespoon of heavy cream, the strawberry jam, Tabasco sauce and tequila, cook in low heat until smooth. Roll each tortilla with ¼ of filling. Plate and decorate with the strawberry sauce. Sharlene Parker Baldwin EMC

medium Gala apples, cut in chunks tablespoons white sugar tablespoons margarine tablespoons brown sugar cup all-purpose flour teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the apple chunks in a greased 6-cup baking dish, and cover with the white sugar. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl until the mixture looks like meal and spread it over the apples. Bake until bubbly, about 35 minutes. Serve warm and top with ice cream if desired. Sheree Powell Central Alabama EC

Recipe Correction! Our featured Cook of the Month recipe for October was a Cream Cheese Cornbread. It is a delicious recipe as is, but we received many concerned calls and notes about the absence of cornmeal in the ingredients. It should have read "1 cup self-rising cornmeal," not flour as originally listed. Thank you to our many loyal readers for bringing this to our attention. Easy Apple Crisp for Two

Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2019  35


Smoked Turkey and Apple Panini

Fresh Apple Cake

Apple Dumplins

2 cups sugar 1½ cups cooking oil 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 eggs, beaten well ½ lemon, juiced 1 teaspoon salt 3 cups flour 1¼ teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg 3 cups fresh apples, peeled and chopped 1½ to 2 cups pecans, chopped

1 tube crescent rolls 2 medium-size tart apples, peeled and quartered 1 cup sugar 1 cup orange juice 1 stick margarine Cinnamon

Combine sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs, lemon juice and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat well. Mix flour and baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to sugar mixture and beat again. Add apples and pecans, mix well. Bake in a tube pan that has been greased and floured for 1½ hours at 325 degrees. Caramel glaze: 1 cup sugar ½ cup buttermilk ½ teaspoon baking soda 2 tablespoons corn syrup ½ cup butter ½ teaspoon vanilla extract Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over low heat and boil 10 minutes. Pour over hot cake. Charlotte Graves Sand Mountain EC

Unroll crescent rolls and separate into 8 triangles. Microwave apple slices for 3 minutes. Remove and put 1 apple slice on each crescent triangle. Pinch edges to seal. Place in greased 8-inch square baking dish. In a small saucepan, bring sugar, orange juice and margarine to a boil. Pour over dumplins (dumplins will float to the top). Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream or Cool Whip. Eva Wright North Alabama EC

A Fat Doctor’s Apple Pie 1 1 ½ 3 1 ½

stick butter cup flour cup brown sugar ounces cream cheese teaspoon cinnamon cup pecans, chopped

Mix together the butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, cream cheese and pecans. Form mixture into a roll like refrigerator cookies. Chill for 2 hours.

½ cup raisins 4 or 5 medium-size apples 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup sugar Slice apples and arrange in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon, raisins and sugar over apples. Slice the refrigerated roll into rounds and place over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Lexie Turnipseed Dixie EC

Smoked Turkey and Apple Panini 1 1/4 1 1/4 4 4

Granny Smith apple pound smoked turkey thin-sliced deli meat Vidalia onion, chopped cup mayonnaise slices Provolone cheese slices sourdough bread

Peel and chop onion then sauté in a skillet with a little oil until onions are soft. Mix sautéed onions and mayonnaise together in a small bowl. Core and thinly slice the apple, leaving the skin on. Start heating up the panini press or George Foreman Grill. Spread onion mayonnaise on the sourdough bread. Then add the smoked turkey, Provolone cheese and apple slices making 2 paninis. Place paninis on the panini press or George Foreman Grill, close lid and cook 5 minutes then serve. Kirk Vantrease Cullman EC

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Cook of the Month

Laurie Creech, Central Alabama EC Laurie Creech likes apples; she likes them so much, she bumped up the quantity of apples called for in a recipe she got from a friend at church to create her Autumn Squares. She also added more cinnamon. But she doesn’t love all apples. She prefers them cooked and cooked in something sweet. “I like them hot and gooey, like in a pie or any dessert, like these bars,” she said. She’s been making her Autumn Squares for about 15 years, and while she bakes them year round, she particularly enjoys having them on hand for Thanksgiving. “They’re delicious, but they’re also really quick and easy to make, so I like making them for the holidays,” she said.

Autumn Squares 4 eggs 2 cups brown sugar 1 tablespoon butter 1½ cups all-purpose flour 1½ teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup pecans, chopped 1½ cups chopped apples Confectioners sugar and cinna mon, for dusting on top

Cream sugar, butter and eggs. Beat in vanilla, flour and baking powder to creamed mixture. Add pecans and apples. Pour into two 9-inch pans and bake at 350 degrees until done. Cool and sift powdered sugar and cinnamon on top. Cut into small squares to serve.

Mail order form and payment to: Best of Alabama Living Cookbook P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124-4014

The Best of

COOKBOOKS @ $19.95 EACH: (Shipping included)

TOTAL ENCLOSED: $

Name: Address: City:

State:

Zip:

Phone Number:

$

50

prize and title of

Cook

Alabama Living

of the

Month

Themes and Deadlines:

3 ways to submit:

Feb.: Pork | Nov. 8 March: Peanut Butter | Dec. 13 April: Pimento Cheese | Jan. 10

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

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.

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.

NOVEMBER 2019  37


| Consumer Wise |

Six efficient holiday gifts to give (or keep!) By Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen

Q:

With the holidays approaching, I’m starting to think about unique gifts for my family and friends that won’t use too much energy. Can you share any ideas?

3

Solar backpack. Price: $30 to $325: Walking or biking to the office, the field or a mountain lake? It may sound crazy, but you can actually make the most of the sun’s energy with a solar backpack. These handy devices collect and store enough electricity to power a phone, tablet or even a laptop. The solar panels stitched onto the back of the packs are flexible and waterproof. Best of all, they have all the features and functionality of their traditional non-solar cousins.

A:

It’s always a great idea to give energy efficient gifts! Here are a few ideas based on a range of prices. You might even want to keep one or two of these for yourself!

1

Smart power strip. Price: $15 to $100: Smart power strips are the perfect gift for your tech-savvy family members and friends because they’ll likely need the extra outlets for their many devices. Smart power strips give more control than traditional ones. By plugging the main hardware item, such as a computer or monitor, into the master outlet, you can easily control the rest of the devices. When that main device is turned off, everything else plugged into the strip also powers off. Some smart power strips can also be operated through a remote control or smartphone app, and some include programmable timers.

4

E-bike. Price: $250 to $9,000: Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are regular bicycles with an electric motor that can be engaged as needed. E-bikes are becoming increasi n g l y popular with people who face challenging terrain, bike to work and don’t want to work up a sweat, or perhaps find regular cycling too physically challenging. Studies also show that e-biking can bring many of the same physical benefits as non-assisted pedaling. They even come in foldable versions. One downside is they are heavier than regular bicycles.

2

Smart thermostat. Price: $30 to $600: A smart thermostat can adjust the temperature by learning your energy use habits over time, which saves you money and keeps you more comfortable. It can also be controlled through a smartphone app. Just make sure you’re going to use all of its functionality before taking the leap. 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.

38  NOVEMBER 2019

5

Electric scooter. Price: $80 to $3,000: The $49 foldable, foot-powered scooter that exploded onto the scene a decade ago has grown up in a big way. In some larger cities, electric scooters are now available to rent at various locations, found and paid for via app. Or you can buy one to use for your daily commute

or as a fun way to simply scoot around t h e neighb o r hood. Higher-quality versions will have longer range, larger tires and better suspension – along with a higher cost, of course. The catch is that they’re still largely confined to paved surfaces.

6

Energy efficient tablets. Price: $40 to $4,000: You may already have at least one tablet in your home, but have you considered how energy efficient it is? Try this: Instead of using your TV to binge that new show, consider an ENERGY STAR-rated tablet, and you can use seven times l e s s power! Simply look for the ENERGY S TA R label when you’re shopping for new tablets.

Looking for an efficient gift that costs practically nothing? Enjoy a good book and a cozy evening at home, which requires no energy use at all. Don’t forget to put on your favorite sweater and pair of fuzzy slippers so you can lower the thermostat a couple of degrees. Now that’s an energy efficient evening worth repeating! This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency. For more information on energy efficient gifts, please visit: www.collaborativeefficiency.com/energytips.

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Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2019  39


| Outdoors |

A chance to touch (and fire) pieces of history

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hen he was just out of high school, my father, Henry what they want to shoot, instructors make those firearms ready, “Hank” Felsher, enlisted in the Navy as a 17-year-old kid load them and put them on a bench rest so the customers can and served as an aircraft gunner in the Pacific during shoot them comfortably.” World War II. He never said much about combat except, “I really Many people visit LMMG to celebrate a life event, such as a liked firing the machine guns.” milestone birthday, anniversary or retirement. Corporate groups When I visited Lake Martin Machine Gun in Eclectic, I finally come as a team-building experience. Some people just want to understood exactly what he meant. I grew up firing all kinds of fulfill a “bucket list” experience or perhaps honor a departed vetfirearms, but never felt such sheer power and exhilaration from eran loved one. any gun until I squeezed the trigger on a .50-caliber machine gun, “All kinds of customers come see us,” says Jodi McGirt, David’s just like the ones my father shot daily 74 years ago. wife who serves as an instructor and range safety officer. “Many Dubbed “Ma Deuce,” the Browning M2HB first entered service of them never held a firearm or fired one. Some people are afraid with the U.S. military more than 80 years ago and remains a frontof guns, but our primary focus is for everyone to have a safe, enline powerhouse today. Few people outside of the military ever get joyable experience. Even people who are hesitant to shoot always to fire such a gun – until now! have a ‘thrill grin’ of satisfacEstablished in 2016, Lake tion afterward.” Martin Machine Gun allows Jodi grew up with a father customers to legally shoot a and brothers who hunted, but .50 caliber warhorse and sevshe wanted more. She became eral other historic and modern an NRA-certified firearms fully automatic firearms. The instructor and founded the list includes some veterans of Lake Martin chapter of A Girl both sides during World War & A Gun Women’s Shooting II such as a Thompson subLeague (www.agirlandagun. machine gun, M-1919 .30-calorg). This organization helps iber machine gun and some women shooters advance to legendary German firearms whatever skill level they wish among others. to attain. “The genesis of the shooting “I started shooting as a perexperience was to bring some David McGirt, owner of Lake Martin Machine Gun in Eclectic, shows his sonal desire to learn more and firearms from history back to wife, Jodi, how to operate a Browning M2 .50 machine gun. This type of get more comfortable with fireheavy machine gun has been used by U.S. military forces for more than life and allow people to expe- 80 years and is still in front-line service around the world. arms,” she says. “It grew into a rience shooting those firearms desire to share that knowledge PHOTOS BY JOHN FELSHER in a safe, educational environwith others, especially women. ment,” says David McGirt, owner of Lake Martin Machine Gun Many women might be intimidated going into a large gun shop (LMMG) and a former Marine Corps fighter pilot. “Most people to purchase a firearm. One of the classes I teach is about how to only see these firearms behind glass in a museum or on TV and select the right firearm for each individual. Our objective is to in movies. On TV and in the movies, they are not represented improve skills for self-defense or competitive shooting and get accurately.” women familiar with firearms and how to use them.” Private citizens can legally own automatic firearms if they go People can also shoot their own rifles and pistols at the Elmore through the appropriate background checks and obtain proper County range and buy ammunition on site. Eye and hearing prolicensing as required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms tection are available for people who do not bring their own. and Explosives. Since LMMG completed the necessary legal pro“Elmore County is honored to be home to a place where peocedures, people who visit the range can simply pick out whatever ple can actually touch history,” says Cary W. Cox, of the Elmore guns they want to shoot under the watchful eyes of trained range County Economic Development Authority. “The sounds, smell safety officers and instructors. and excitement of firing fully automatic firearms is not something “Because of the licensing we have, we can allow people to shoot that translates well into words or video. People must experience our firearms in the safe environment at our facility,” McGirt says. it.” “These firearms belong to us. We are not selling them, but merely On this month of Veterans Day, remember those who served. renting an experience to people. When customers arrive, they’ll To make an appointment to visit Lake Martin Machine Gun, see get a little history lesson on the firearms. When customers decide lakemartinmachinegun.com or call 888-660-6462. John N. Felsher lives in Semmes, Ala. Contact him through Facebook.

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DOUG HANNON’S FISH & GAME FORECAST 2019 NOVEMBER

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

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

DECEMBER

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 Sa Su Mo Tu

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

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

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

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

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

NEW MOON

A.M.

PM

AM

PM

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

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

9:09 - 10:39 9:57 - 11:27 10:45 - 12:15 11:33 - 1:03 NA 1:09 - 2:39 1:57 - 3:27 2:45 - 4:15 3:33 - 5:03 4:21 - 5:51 4:48 - 6:18 5:09 - 6:39 5:57 - 7:27 6:45 - 8:15 7:33 - 9:03 8:21 - 9:51 9:09 - 10:39 9:57 - 11:27 10:45 - 12:15 11:33 - 1:03 NA 1:09 - 2:39 1:57 - 3:27 2:45 - 4:15 3:33 - 5:03 5:09 - 6:39 5:57 - 7:27 6:45 - 8:15 7:33 - 9:03 8:21 - 9:51 9:09 - 10:39

9:33 - 11:03 10:21 - 11:51 11:09 - 12:39 11:57 - 1:27 12:45 - 2:15 1:33 - 3:03 2:21 - 3:51 3:09 - 4:39 3:57 - 5:27 4:45 - 6:15 5:11 - 6:41 5:33 - 7:03 6:21 - 7:51 7:09 - 8:39 7:57 - 9:27 8:45 - 10:15 9:33 - 11:03 10:21 - 11:51 11:09 - 12:39 11:57 - 1:27 12:45 - 2:15 1:33 - 3:03 2:21 - 3:51 3:09 - 4:39 3:57 - 5:27 5:33 - 7:03 6:21 - 7:51 7:09 - 8:39 7:57 - 9:27 8:45 - 10:15 9:33 - 11:03

FULL MOON

NEW 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

NOVEMBER 2019 41


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Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2019  43


| Our Sources Say |

Bipartisan RURAL Act protects cooperative model E

very once in a while, well-intended bills are passed into law with unintended consequences. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is one such bill for electric cooperative utilities. The law inadvertently made it more difficult for co-ops to maintain their tax-exempt status if they accept government grants. That’s because the law counts government grants as non-member income to co-ops, and in order to maintain their tax-exempt status co-ops may obtain only a minimum portion of their income from nonmember sources. By federal law, electric co-ops must receive 85% of their income from members to retain their tax-exempt status. Still, to best serve their communities in times of need, co-ops may require the assistance of government funded grants exceeding 15% of their income in a given year. That’s especially true in years when the co-op has worked to restore power after a natural disaster or expanded broadband service to rural communities. Fortunately for co-ops, Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., understands the vital role they play in serving the needs of consumers and powering life in the communities they serve. That’s why in April she sponsored the Revitalizing Underdeveloped Rural Areas and Lands (RURAL) Act of 2019 to ensure that co-ops can maintain their tax-exempt status if they accept government grants. Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., who serves on the Ways & Means Committee with Sewell, has since signed on as co-sponsor for the RURAL Act. While Sewell represents an Alabama district outside of the Tennessee Valley, the benefits of her RURAL Act will be realized in north Alabama, throughout the Valley and across the nation. Twice this year, TVPPA representatives have visited our members’ congressional delegation in Washington, D.C., supporting the interests of cooperatives that distribute TVA-generated electricity. The RURAL Act is an initiative TVPPA has and will continue to express support for on Capitol Hill. The RURAL Act, which is steadily gaining co-sponsors, would resolve the issue of how government grants, like those offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after a nat-

ural disaster, are classified as income to electric co-ops. At the time of this writing, nearly 170 members of Congress have signed on to support the House bill, almost a 40% jump in just the first few weeks of September. The bipartisan bill is a rare one, especially considering the geographic dissimilarities of the states in which the co-sponsors serve. Still, both Sewell and Smith agree that affordable access to broadband and the need to rebuild after a natural disaster aren’t partisan issues. Sewell has stated that with co-ops serving more than 42 million members in more than 56% of our nation’s landscape, including 88% of our counties, they are uniquely positioned to ensure families on limited budgets like some in rural Alabama get the critical services they need. Meanwhile, Smith noted that just as rural power generation and transmission were vital to economic growth in the 20th century, access to the basic necessities of both power and broadband will drive our rural economies in this century. As the name implies, the cooperative model of electric power delivery is intended to be one where utilities come together with their members to serve the economic needs of their communities, and where neighboring utilities come together in cooperation to ensure the reliable continuation of that service. When a natural disaster strikes, the RURAL Act will ensure that co-ops can continue to build mutual aid and move in concert with other co-ops toward an affected area rather than leaving one to face the disaster alone. While the RURAL Act has strong engagement by co-ops in Alabama and other states nationwide, there’s no better way to ensure that legislation gets passed than to voice your concerns about the real-world impacts of enacting this bill to your cooperative and your representatives in Washington, D.C. Please join us in advocating for the tax-exempt status and funding needs of Alabama’s electric cooperatives as they serve to fuel life in our communities. For more information, go to action.coop.

Nathalie Strickland, APR, is vice president of communications for the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association, Inc.

44 NOVEMBER 2019

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| Classifieds | How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office): January 2020 Issue by November 25 February 2020 Issue by December 25 March 2020 Issue by January 25 Ads are $1.75 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis; Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each. Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to 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.

Miscellaneous ANTIQUES & STUFF – 50% AND MORE OFF SALE – Crenshaw Farms, 9880 Scarborough Lane, Bay Minette 36507 – Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9 to 2 – (251)577-1235 METAL ROOFING $1.80/LINFT – FACTORY DIRECT! 1st quality, 40yr Warranty, Energy Star rated. (price subject to change) - (706) 226-2739 WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA - SOLID WOOD & LOG FURNITURE – Outdoor Rockers, Gliders & Swings, HANDCRAFTED AMISH CASKETS $1,599 - ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct (256)490-4025, www.wallbedsofalabama.com, www.alabamamattressoutlet.com KEPLINGER ALUMINUM BURIAL VAULT CO. in Gardendale, Alabama sells water tested burial vaults to the public saving up to $3000 or more per vault versus funeral home prices.  Our vaults protect the contents against water and last indefinitely.  Cardboard wrapped, standing up requires 6 1/2 sq. ft. to store and take to cemetery when needed.  Alabama made with American materials.  $1400 cash, includes local sales tax.  Call 205-285-9732 or 205-540-0781 or visit www.keplingeraluminumburialvaults.com 

FREE MATERIALS: SOON CHURCH / GOVERNMENT UNITING, suppressing “RELIGIOUS LIBERTY”, enforcing NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW, Be informed! Need mailing address only. TBSM, Box 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771 – thebiblesaystruth@yahoo.com, (888)211-1715

Vacation Rentals

MILITARY / SERVICE DISCOUNTS on dozens of rentals. No Booking Fees. (251)333-6500, ALAVHR.com OWNERS – Join the fastest growing regional site in Alabama. Low annual fee. Verified Owners, no booking fees or commissions. Alabama Vacation Home Rentals. Locally Owned and Operated. (251)333-6500, ALAVHR.com

GULF SHORES / ORANGE BEACH / FORT MORGAN – Choose from hundreds of beach houses and condos! Verified Owners. No Booking Fees. ALAVHR.com

GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO: 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie552@gmail.com, (256)599-5552

ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226

Musical Notes

LAKE HOMES / CABINS – Verified Owners. No Booking Fees. ALAVHR.com 3 GULF SHORES BEACHFRONT CONDOS – 4 blocks from The Hangout, recently decorated, stunning views. All 5 Star Rated, BBB A+ Rated, AVROA Certified. gsbeachcondos.com or call Larry (573)864-0740. Two kings in all units, one condo has a bunk room with full over full bunks. 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. MENTONE, AL LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN COTTAGE RENTALS – Best brow views, River Front – cottagesofmentone.com, Call or text (504)4818666 PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – Owner rental – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)7900000, jamesrny0703@comcast.net, www. theroneycondo.com PET FRIENDLY – Save $$$ by booking directly from Verified Owners. ALAVHR.com

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

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

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

Fruits / Nuts / Berries GROW MUSCADINES AND BLACKBERRIES , half dollar size – We offer over 200 varieties of Fruit and Nut Trees plus Vines and Berry Plants . Free color catalog. 1-800-733-0324. Ison’s Nursery, P.O. Box 190, Brooks, GA 30205 Since 1934 www.isons.com

OUR 93RD YEAR! CULPEPPER ELECTRIC downtown DEMOPOLIS. LED Fixtures & Bulbs! Milwaukee, Kein Tools, Sewage Pumps, Electrical Supplies & Appliance Parts. In-house Service Tech. available.  (334)289-0211, lmculpepper3@ gmail.com, Facebook/Culpepper Electric Co. MOBILE MARKETING MADE EASY! Everyone has a Cellphone!! Generate Direct, Passive, “Automated” Residual Income from The Comfort of your “Mobile Office!” Text more info to 41242 – www.41242.biz 18X21 CARPORT $1,195 INSTALLED – Other sizes available - (706) 226-2739

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Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2019 45


| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |

The Box eterans Day. My Father landed in Europe in the fall of 1944, went into the line, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was there when Germany surrendered. He never talked about it, much. So my memories of his war consists of fragments of a few stories, the V-mail he sent Mama, a little journal which he kept, and the box. As long as I can remember, the box was on a shelf in a bedroom closet. It was wooden, and you can tell from the finish it was military issue. It was just big enough to hold what Daddy put in it when he came home. Once they were souvenirs. Now they are memories that I inherited, with the box, when Daddy died. There is a metal-cased New Testament and an English-to-German phrase book, handed out in full anticipation of invasion and victory. A few German coins and insignia from a German uniform. There is a German paratrooper knife, a remarkable bit of Teutonic engineering designed so that with the flip of the wrist out comes a double-edged blade for cutting the chute-lines when you hit the ground. And folded into one side is an awl-like metal rod, the size of a pencil, tapered to a sharp point, which Daddy once said could be used with lethal efficiency by the man from whom he took it. And a Nazi banner. Bright red still after all these years, with the white circle in the center and in that a black twisted cross, the swastika. The banner was one of a hundred or more that hung from light-poles along the main street of a town Daddy “liberated.” Even today, by itself, more than half a century later, it evokes an involuntary shudder, just as it was meant to. But of all the things in the box, the one Daddy always paused over is the Jugend knife. About the size of what I strapped on my belt when I was a Boy Scout. As decorative as practical, it was the sort of 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.

46 NOVEMBER 2019

Illustration by Dennis Auth

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thing that might be given as a prize in some contest or competition. Like the banner, it still has its luster – the black enamel sheath and handle, and on the pommel, the same contorted symbol. Hitler Jugend. Hitler Youth. “I took it off a boy no older than you,” my Daddy told me when I was hardly in my teens. “He and some others his age had been sent out to dig fortifications. This and a shovel was all he had.” I didn’t ask if any were killed. I didn’t want to know. And I don’t think he would have wanted to tell me. Not the way he looked at me then. Like a father wondering what he would

have done if that boy was his boy? But these are my memories of his memories. I don’t know why my father kept these particular souvenirs – likely they were not chosen so much as blundered upon. He also sent home a picture, a watercolor, he found rolled up in the gutter of a shelled street. It hangs in my office today. We owe a lot to our veterans. We need to honor them. And remember what they did for us. And do what they want us to do. Which in my father’s case, is to do what we can to keep from creating any more veterans. Now that would be a tribute. www.alabamaliving.coop


Profile for Alabama Living

November 2019 Arab  

November 2019 Arab