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Official Notice of Annual Meeting JULY 2015

Central Alabama



$5 credit on your September bill!

Just mail in your Official Ballot enclosed in this issue.


2015 Annual MeetingNew Location! Verbena: I-65, Exit 200

VOL. 68 NO. 7 JULY 2015


ON THE COVER: Look for your ballot in the middle of the magazine Central Alabama Electric Cooperative P.O. Box 681570 Prattville, AL 36068 www.caec.coop Advertising and Editorial Offices: 340 TechnaCenter Dr. Montgomery, AL 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail: jjohnson@areapower.com National Advertising Representative: National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Ste. 504 Austin, TX 78704 1-800-626-1181 www.nationalcountrymarket.com Alabama Rural Electric Association: Fred Braswell, AREA President Lenore Vickrey, Editor Allison Griffin, Managing Editor Mark Stephenson, Creative Director Michael Cornelison, Art Director Jacob Johnson, Advertising Director Mary Tyler Spivey, Recipe Editor Brooke Davis, Advertising 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. Member subscriptions are $3 per year; nonmembers are $6. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by AREA. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Ala., and at additional mailing office.



New Location for Annual Meeting

All the information you need for this year’s event.


It started with a teapot


Summer sandwich


9 Spotlight 30 Outdoors 34 Cook of the Month

Did you know the second largest collection of George Washington memorabilia in the country is right here in Alabama?

When the weather’s hot, cooking a meal can be a chore. Sometimes a tasty sandwich is all you feel like preparing. Ripe tomatoes make a delicious summer sandwich, as do the other recipes our readers submitted.

36 Alabama Gardens 46 Alabama Snapshots

POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124-4014. USPS 029-920 ISSN 1047-0311

When you see this symbol, it means there’s more content online at www.alabamaliving.coop! Videos, expanded stories and more!

Printed in America from American materials

Alabama Living

JULY 2015 3

Board of Trustees

Cooperative Membership Has Beneficial Gifts

Chase Riddle

Chairman, Prattville (334) 365-3648

Jimmie Harrison, Jr. Vice Chairman, Maplesville (334) 366-4338

Terry Mitchell

Secretary/Treasurer, Stewartvile (256) 249-3128

C. Milton Johnson Statesville (334) 412-2843

Mark Presnell, Sr. Wetumpka (334) 567-2689

Patsy M. Holmes Wetumpka (334) 567-8273

David A. Kelley, Sr. Rockford (256) 496-0160

Van Smith

Billingsley (205) 755-6166

Mark Gray

Clanton (205) 351-1889

Charles Byrd Deatsville (334) 361-3324

Contact Us Toll Free: 1-800-545-5735 Outage Hotline: 1-800-619-5460 www.caec.coop Prattville Office: 1802 U.S. Hwy. 31 North Mailing: P.O. Box 681570 Prattville, AL 36068 Clanton Office: 1601 7th St. North Rockford Office: 9191 U.S. Hwy. 231 Wetumpka Office: 637 Coosa River Pkwy.


ave you ever gone to those “Christmas in July” sales? I saw an ad for one of those events recently, a sale on holiday movies, and the one that was highlighted was one of my favorites, It’s a Wonderful Life staring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, the manager of a community owned savings and loan in the small town of Bedford Falls. Do you recall the scene where George’s savings and loan customers come to him wanting to withdraw their money? George explains that unlike the bank, the savings and loan doesn’t store their money in a safe. Rather, it’s invested in loans used to help the townspeople build their homes and businesses, and if they all withdraw their money, it will adversely affect their neighbors and friends. As I think about this scene, I can’t help but relate this principle to the way co-ops operate: many people coming together, pooling their resources for the benefit of all. As a not-for-profit utility operating at cost, our members are our owners, and all members pay their part of ownership when they pay their utility bills. Through this process we are able to operate with 65 percent of our funding coming from loans and 35 percent coming from rates. When you pay your bill, not only do we use it to help pay for and deliver power and cover operating costs, but also to pay back these loans, which by utilizing, we’re able to reduce the need for our current members to pay for the brunt of capital costs (substations, wires, poles, etc.). Despite the fact that we operate at cost, we are required to keep margins by our lenders. These margins are a portion of the overall equity, or your ownership level in the cooperative. But CAEC, like George, doesn’t keep those margins stored away in a safe; they are dispersed over years in the very things that make our co-op operational to deliver reliable, affordable power to you and your neighbors. Cooperatives are also unique in that we return margins in the form of capital credits to our members in proportion to the amounts paid through their utility bills. As such, capital credits are returned on a cycle intended to approximately match the average life of utility infrastructure. In fact, members can see their allocation by viewing their capital credits account on our website, caec.coop. To view your online account information, select the “Capital Credits” tab from the “My Account” menu (you will be required to login or register). We also print your capital credits allocation on your bill each September. Although it’s not Christmas just yet, our employees are in full swing with preparations for our Annual Meeting next month, where through democratic member control, you will have the opportunity to vote on trustees for three districts, as well as for changes in our Bylaws. You can find a summary of these proposed changes on page 7, and you can cast your vote on the mail-in ballot in the center of this magazine. I hope to see you at our Annual Meeting celebration, where we can fellowship as members, neighbors and friends. A Chase Riddle, Chairman Board of Trustees










Register by mail or in person and receive a $5 credit on your September bill and chances at door prizes including a $500 cash grand door prize*





*You do not have to be present to win door prizes, including the grand prize. Whether attending in person or not at all, mail in the ballot in the center of this magazine, which registers you for Annual Meeting and qualifies you for a $5 September bill credit and enters you into the prize drawings.


Annual Meeting

It will be held at the cooperative West Operations Center, 74 County Rd. 578, Verbena, on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, at 4 p.m. with the business session beginning at 6 p.m. for the following purposes:  Presenting reports of trustees, management and auditors.  Installing trustees.  Acting upon such other business as may properly come before the meeting. Terry Mitchell, secretary/treasurer

Election of Trustees

At a meeting of the board of trustees on March 24, 2015, a committee was appointed to nominate candidates for trustees of the cooperative for the coming year (Article IV, Section 4.05, CAEC Bylaws). The following members were nominated by the committee and accepted the nomination as candidates for trustees: District 3: Patsy Holmes of Wetumpka District 7: Van Smith of Billingsley District 8: Chase Riddle of Prattville

New Location for CAEC's 2015 Annual Meeting


ach year, your cooperative celebrates Cooperative Principle number two, Democratic Member Control, with our Annual Meeting and Member Appreciation day. This yearly event is held on the second Friday of each August and features entertainment, food, prizes, efficiency information as well as the opportunity to make your voice heard during our trustee election. While the food and fun will still be included at this year’s event on August 14, there will be one change—we will be hosting the event at our West Operations Center in Chilton County. Our West Operations Center will host this Traditionally, we hold our Annual Meeting at year's festivities and is conveniently located off our Prattville Headquarters, but with the recent exit 200 on I-65. construction and opening of our new home office, it was determined that for planning and safety This is a great opportunity for our Board members concerns, it would be best to move the event—but not and employees to interact with you, our members, very far. and to say “thank you” for allowing us to serve you. If Located 14 miles north of our headquarters at our you cannot attend this year’s Annual Meeting, you can West Operations Center (see the map on this page), still vote by mailing your ballot, located in the center this year’s meeting will feature a performance by of this magazine, which will also enter you into our The Kempters (4:30-5:30 p.m.) as well as children’s prize drawings and give you a $5 bill credit on your activities, including an electrical safety magic show, a September bill. hands-on experience with some of the critters in our A full agenda for the day’s activities can be found on service area as well as face painting and an interactive page 5. We look forward to seeing you on August 14 at fire safety demonstration. And as always, free food and our West Operations Center in Chilton County! A beverages will be available. -N-

To Hwy. 31

I-65 To Clanton

59 EXIT 200


6 JULY 2015

2015 Annual Meeting New Location: CAEC West Operations Center 74 County Rd. 578 Verbena, Al I-65, Exit 200

To Prattville


Proposed Bylaws Changes


hen Central Alabama Electric Cooperative (CAEC) was first incorporated in 1938, the foundational document that governs the affairs of the Cooperative, commonly called Bylaws, was established. During our 77 years of existence, the Bylaws have been amended in order to maintain their relevancy in a changing utility business environment. The last changes were made by the members at the annual meeting in 2006, and now, following a review, the board is recommending changes for another vote by the membership. The following summary explains the changes; however, if you’d like copies of the current and proposed Bylaws, you can call (800) 545-5735, come by one of the service centers or go online at www.caec.coop and click on the Bylaws link. Spanish versions are also available. Primarily, the language has been updated to include more avenues for business transactions and additional utilization of technology.

Article I: In Section 1.04, the definition of Joint Membership has been expanded in order for

individuals of a premise who are equally responsible for the service to be recognized. Clarification language has also been added in Section 1.06 regarding the process of arbitration arising from potential claims and disputes.

Article II: The only changes in this Article are made in Section 2.04, which continue to incorporate the expanded definition of Joint Membership.

Article III: One minor change is included in Section 3.02, which states that petitions must be signed

by hand.

Article IV: Section 4.02 deals with the qualifications for becoming or remaining a Trustee. Being

a citizen of the U.S. has been added while the stipulation regarding public office has been removed. Additionally, there is new language in Section 4.05 addressing the protective measures that the cooperative will take regarding the membership’s list of names and addresses, yet offering a means of communication with the membership should a member desire such access.

Article V: Updated language, which allows electronic access during meetings held by the Board of Trustees, appears in Sections 5.02, 5.03, 5.04 and 5.05.

Article VI: Updated language is also included in Section 6.06. The remaining articles of the Bylaws, Article VII, Article VIII, Article IX, Article X, Article XI, and Article XII, contain no changes.

JULY 2015   7

2015 Trustee Nominees

Below are this year’s candidates for trustee election. Remember, every member has the opportunity to vote for each trustee. Your ballot/registration form is included in the center of this magazine.

District 3: Patsy Holmes Patsy M. Holmes of Wetumpka has served on CAEC’s Board of Trustees since July 1992 and has earned her Credentialed Cooperative Director and Board Leadership certificates from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. She has been a member of the cooperative since 1965. Holmes is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Alabama Rural Electric Association (AREA), CAEC’s statewide association. She currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Elmore County Department of Human Resources and is a member of the Elmore County Historical Society. She is also a member of the Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce and is the former Montgomery area coordinator for Weight Watchers. She and her late husband, William “Bobo,” have two sons and two grandchildren. She is a member of the Wetumpka Church of Christ.

District 7: Van Smith Van Smith of Billingsley has served on CAEC’s Board of Trustees since May 1994. Smith has earned his Credentialed Cooperative Director and Board Leadership certificates from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He also began serving on the Board of Trustees of PowerSouth, CAEC’s generation and transmission provider, in 2014. He serves on PowerSouth’s Member Relations and Strategic Planning Committee as well as the Nominating Committee. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in AgriScience Education from Auburn University, a Master’s degree in AgriScience Education from Alabama A&M and K-12 Certification in Administrative Education from the University of Montevallo. He taught vocational education 13 years. He then served as assistant principal of Billingsley School for eight years before becoming principal in 1998 until his retirement in 2013. Smith has been active in many professional and civic groups. He serves on the board of the Autauga County Cattlemen’s Association; he served as president for four years and as a current board member of the Alabama Farmer’s Federation; and currently serves as the County Treasurer/Superintendent of the National FFA Livestock Evaluation Career Development Event. He served as Superintendent of the Autauga Agribition Livestock Show for the past 15 years. In addition, he was appointed to serve on the Autauga County Commission in July of 2014. Smith and his family have been members of CAEC since 1980. He has two sons, one daughter and three grandchildren and is married to the former Fran Rockwell of Selma and is an active member of Indian Grave Baptist Church.

District 8: Chase Riddle Chase Riddle, of Prattville, has served on the cooperative’s board since May 1994 and currently serves as Chairman. Riddle has earned his Credentialed Cooperative Director and Board Leadership certificates from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He also holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s from Troy University in the School of Administration. He and his family have been members of the co-op since 1977. Riddle served as a coach and teacher in the Autauga County School system for five years and later served as director of career/technical education for the Autauga County school system until his retirement in May 2012. He is also a past board member of the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce and past board member and Chairman of the Prattville YMCA Board of Directors. He and his wife, Sue, enjoy spending time with their four children and five grandchildren and working the cattle on their farm. They are members of the First United Methodist Church of Prattville.

In  July

Spot Light

Safety tip: Beat the heat Alabama’s summer climate, with its extreme temperatures and high humidity, can lead to heat-related illnesses and deaths if not treated, according to the Department of Public Health. Remember these guidelines: Stay hydrated (with water, not alcoholic or caffeinated beverages); slow down (reduce strenuous activities in the hottest parts of the day); stay cool (wear lightweight, light-colored clothing); provide plenty of shade and water to livestock and pets; and don’t leave children or pets unattended in vehicles. When it’s 95 degrees outside, your car can heat to 124 degrees in just 30 minutes.

Summertime on Sand Mountain Northeast Alabama is rich in its diversity of agricultural products, and the Sand Mountain Potato Festival pays tribute to the farmers who grow them. The daylong festival starts with a parade at 10 a.m., July 4 in Henagar, with food vendors, craft vendors, games and music all day. This 33rd annual event is free and culminates with a fireworks show at dark. Call 256-657-6282.

Alabama products win magazine’s awards Southern Living, long known for its accomplished test kitchens, recently taste-tested more than 300 of the newest artisan products to find the best Southern-made foods. Several Alabama items made the list (for more information, see the special food issue of Alabama Living in August): • Front Porch Special, a blend from Piper and Leaf Artisan Tea Co., Huntsville (winner) • Goat Cheese Cheesecake, Belle Chevre, Elkmont (winner) • Sweet Garlic Vinaigrette, T. Lish, Birmingham (runner-up) • Wicked Pickle Chips, Wickles Pickles, Dadeville (runner-up) • Organic Sprouted Gluten-Free Yellow Corn Grits, the Sprouted Flour, Fitzpatrick (runner-up) • Highbrow Cold Brew Coffee, Huntsville (runner-up) • Beer Vinegar, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden (runner-up) • Buddascotch-Oatmeal Southern Style Bite Size Cookies, G Momma’s, Selma (runner-up)

Waters open for red snapper, triggerfish Alabama’s waters will open for the recreational harvest of red snapper and gray triggerfish from July 1-31, according to a news release from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Marine Resources Division. The daily bag limit will be two red snapper per person and two gray triggerfish per person. The minimum size for red snapper will be 16 inches total length, and the minimum size for gray triggerfish will be 14-inch fork length. Federal waters remain closed to private recreational anglers for red snapper and gray triggerfish harvest during the July season. For more information about reporting red snapper harvests, log on to www.outdooralabama.com.

Want to see more events or submit your own? Alabama Living

Visit www.alabamaliving.coop to submit an event and view our calendar or email an event to events@alabamaliving.coop.

JULY 2015  9

Power Pack

Half a century of help with Medicare On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law with these words: “No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime.” For 50 years, the Medicare program has provided essential health care services for millions of people who are age 65 or older, disabled, or have debilitating diseases. Without Medicare, many people would not be able to pay for hospital care, doctor’s visits, medical tests, preventive services, or prescription drugs. Your Medicare card is the most important piece of identification you own as a Medicare beneficiary since medical providers will request it when you seek their services. If you need to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged Medicare card, you can do it online with a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Requesting a replacement card through my Social Security is safe, convenient, and easy. Going online saves you a trip to your local Social Security office or unproductive time on the phone. Request your replacement Medicare card the

easy and convenient way — online — and you’ll get it in the same amount of time as you would if you applied in an office or over the phone — in about 30 days. Fifty years ago, Medicare didn’t have as many options as it does today. As the largest public health program in the United States, Medicare includes four parts to keep you covered: • Part A is insurance that covers inpatient hospital stays, outpatient care in nursing facilities, hospice, and home health care. • Part B includes medical insurance for doctor’s services, medical supplies, outpatient care, and preventive services. • Part C is a Medicare advantage plan that allows you to choose your health care coverage through a provider organization. You must have Part A and Part B to enroll in Part C. This plan usually includes Medicare prescription drug coverage and may include extra benefits and services at an additional cost. • Part D is prescription drug coverage. There is a separate monthly premium for this plan; however, people with

low resources and income may qualify for the Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs from Social Security. Visit www.socialsecurity. gov/prescriptionhelp to see if you qualify. A recent survey to Medicare beneficiaries asked: Why do you love Medicare? One person stated, “It gives peace of mind not only for seniors, but for veterans and disabled as well.” Another satisfied recipient replied, “I most likely wouldn’t be alive today without Medicare.” These are just two of the millions who endorse Medicare’s half-century strong success story. A For more information about Medicare, visit www.medicare.gov. As Medicare celebrates 50 years, Social Security commemorates 80 years. Learn more about Social Security’s 80th anniversary at www.socialsecurity.gov/80thanniversary.

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

State’s electric utility linemen honored for their service at Capitol ceremony Alabama’s electric utility linemen often work long hours, doing potentially dangerous work in remote areas. And they are always on call, 365 days a year. To honor their service and hard work, the Alabama Rural Electric Association (AREA), with help from Alabama Power Company and the state’s municipally owned electric utilities, sponsored the second Lineman Appreciation Day on June 1. Linemen from all over the state came to the state Capitol to be recognized. Cull10  JULY 2015

man Electric Cooperative president and CEO Grady Smith gave a heartfelt and personal talk, recalling his early career as a lineman. Alabama Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director Art Faulkner talked about the role of linemen in times of disaster, and AREA director of safety Michael Kelley, himself a former lineman, gave his perspective on the work and service of Alabama’s linemen. State Rep. April Weaver, R-Alabaster, was the sponsor of the 2014 resolution

that created Lineman Appreciation Day. She recalled her grandfather, who was a lineman, and what his work meant to her. Members of the local media covered the

event, and all linemen were invited to AREA afterward for lunch and cake. Visit www.alabamaliving. coop to see more photos and video from the ceremony. A

Linemen from across the state gathered June 1 at the Capital for Alabama Lineman Appreciation Day.


Keeping your home clean helps protect your family All of us want our bacteria can contaminate homes to be a healthful cutting boards, knives, environment for our and food preparation families, and it’s easier surfaces. Rinse all fresh to keep allergies and fruit and vegetables infections at bay by being under running water, aware of potential sources and use different cutting of illness. Good cleaning boards for raw meats and practices and safe food vegetables. handling help keep your Cook food long home from becoming a enough and at a trigger for allergies or a temperature high enough source of infection. to kill the harmful Year-round allergens b a c te r i a t hat c aus e typically come from foodborne illness. Cook an indoor source. The poultry to at least 165 most common types are degrees F, ground meat dust, mold, and pet hair to 160 degrees F, and or dander. Dust mites Clean kitchen surfaces before, during and after preparing food. steaks and chops to 145 thrive in mattresses and degrees F. Don’t rely on want to disinfect for an extra level of bedding. When their color alone; hamburger droppings and remains become airborne, protection. Disinfectants are specifically meat can turn brown before it’s safe to eat. your natural filtration system feels under registered with the U.S. Environmental Minimizing the time foods are held in the attack. Also, mold fungus flourishes in Prote c t ion Agenc y and cont ain hazardous temperature zone will lessen the dark, damp areas, so be sure to clean ingredients that destroy bacteria and other chance of acquiring a foodborne illness, so often. Many people are allergic to a germs. Check the product label to make refrigerate foods promptly. A protein found in pet dander or saliva. sure it says “Disinfectant” and has an EPA Some simple actions such as washing registration number. Auburn clothes frequently may help, depending In the kitchen on what particular allergies you have. student In the kitchen, foodborne illnesses can is summer make your family very ill. Those at greatest In the bathroom risk are infants and young children, intern In the bathroom, routinely clean and disinfect all surfaces. This is especially pregnant women, older adults, and people important if someone in the house has a with weakened immune systems. Clean stomach illness, a cold, or the flu. Experts surfaces before, during, and after preparing Alethia S. Russell, a senior at make a distinction between cleaning and food—especially meat and poultry. Use Auburn University, is working on disinfecting. While cleaning removes paper towels that can be thrown away, the staff of Alabama Living as an germs from surfaces, disinfecting actually cloth towels that are later washed in hot intern this summer. Russell, who water, or disposable sanitizing wipes that destroys them. will graduate in August with a bachCleaning with soap and water to both clean and disinfect. elor’s degree in journalism, is helpSponges are especially problematic, remove dirt and most of the germs is ing write articles, design advertising usually enough, but sometimes you may because they hold moisture and can spread campaigns and performing other unsafe bacteria. The preferred method to communications-related tasks durclean them is by mixing 3/4 cup of bleach ing her internship. with one gallon of water, then soaking the A native of Gadsden, she is active sponge for five minutes. Sponges also can Jim McVay, Dr.P.A., is in her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, director of the Bureau of be cleaned with a regular dishwasher load and has helped with orientation of Health Promotion and on “heated dry” setting. Chronic Disease of the new students and as a parent counWhen preparing food, wash hands and Alabama Department of selor during Camp War Eagle. A Public Health. food contact surfaces often. That’s because Alabama Living

JULY 2015  11

War, and the way we remember it

By Allison Griffin

Thomas and Marianne Gaillard, the great-greatgrandparents of writer Frye Gaillard. Thomas was the family patriarch and was too old for service, but four of his sons would go on to fight in the Civil War.

12  JULY 2015



he American Civil War, one of the darkest periods in our country’s history, is for most of us relegated to history books and Hollywood films, which often break it down into political, racial or economic terms. But a new book, released to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the end of the war, frames the conflict through a very human lens, based on letters written by those who lived with its very tragic consequences. Author Frye Gaillard of Mobile, like many Southerners, grew up with the notion that the Civil War was a sort of glorious lost cause -- “we, being the South, might have lost, but we fought so valiantly.” Gaillard is a student of the history of the South who’s also written several books about its past, its culture and its music. But Gaillard also has a unique perspective on the Civil War: He had a grandfather who lived to be 103, and whose mind was lucid till the very end. That man, Samuel Palmer Gaillard, was born in 1856, so he very literally remembered the Civil War. Samuel Gaillard was an Alabama lawyer and a natural storyteller, and he found an appreciative audience in his young grandson. He recalled the war in a very painful way -- his father, his uncles and a cousin were all killed in the war. Frye Gaillard grew up with these stories and was always intrigued with that part of our history, but his adulthood was soon overshadowed by yet another painful period. He became a journalist and spent many years covering the intense years of the civil rights movement. Yet his grandfather’s stories were always with him. A few years ago, he started thinking about how some of his relatives had saved the letters written by family members during the Civil War -- some of whom were fighting, and some who were home awaiting news from the front. He gathered as many of the letters as he could, these verbal snapshots of a long-ago time, and found that they were in some ways more in line with his grandfather’s memories than with some of the books he’d read. “Even though they did refer to the heroism and honor of Confederate troops, they also were filled with a sense of loss and a sense of tragedy,” he says. Alabama Living

At right, Samuel Septimus Gaillard, the author’s great-grandfather. Left, Franklin Gaillard, standing between his wife, Tattie, and niece Catherine; seated in front are Franklin’s sisters, Lydia, Betsy and Nan. Franklin was a Southern patriot who was killed at the Battle of the Wilderness.

A new life for old letters

The letters became the basis for the new book, Journey to the Wilderness (NewSouth Books, $23.95), which helps reveal, through the words of those who lived it, the pain and very real sense of despair that settled over the South during the Civil War. Gaillard relied on the work of professional historians to provide the context for this book, which is more in the realm of a memoir than a history textbook. He and his grandfather were close, and the war touched Samuel Gaillard personally. The letters made it easy to humanize the story; in fact, the process of going through the letters was somewhat painful. “It didn’t seem like it was very long ago, when you have these words from those days right in front of you,” he says. “And having known somebody personally who, even though he was a child, literally remembered that period of time, made it more real and more personal too.” The title has a double meaning -- “wilderness” as a metaphor for the wilderness of war, but also as a nod to his ancestor, Franklin Gaillard, who was the family’s most prolific letter writer and who was killed at the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864. Wilderness was a particularly gruesome battle; the woods caught fire, and many of the wounded soldiers were burned alive. “I think that, in a way, we owe these ancestors a realistic compassion for what they went through,” Gaillard says. Beyond all of the political issues of the war, slavery chief among them, the story is really one of tragedy for both sides, and should be remembered that way, Gaillard says. “I think we owe it to the people who lived in those times to recognize the pain and the tragedy that they were forced to contend with.” A

Author, teacher … and songwriter collaborator Frye Gaillard, writer-in-residence at the University of South Alabama and author of several books about Southern culture and history, has also branched out into contemporary music. He’s not a singer, but he’s teamed up with some talented Southern singer-songwriters to pen lyrics to their music. Gaillard says he’s always been intrigued by what he calls the literature of the songwriter, looking at song lyrics as poetry. His partnerships have included singersongwriters Anne E. DeChant of Nashville; Davis Raines, a former prison guard and Alabama native; Kathryn Scheldt, a Fairhope native; and Pamela Jackson, a native of Auburn who is also now in Nashville. The songs are often partly or mostly complete by the time Gaillard gets involved, so he may contribute a verse or two. But that’s OK. “It’s a chance to get out and use song lyrics to look at things that matter to people,” he says. “And it’s fun.” He’s toured recently with all of those artists -- doing readings, playing music and telling stories -- usually playing to small venues in intimate settings. “People wind up with these programs, listening to music in a slightly different way, maybe a little more attentively, to what it’s really saying,” he says. “It’s fun to see that, because their enjoyment of the songs seems to go deeper.” Alabama native and author Frye Gaillard talks about his latest book, Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters, in the offices of his publisher, NewSouth Books in Montgomery. AUTHOR PHOTOS BY LLOYD GALLMAN

JULY 2015  13

Story and photos by Emmett Burnett


ere’s something you probably don’t know about George Washington: He was buried twice. Our first president’s interment was in 1799 but in 1831 he was exhumed from the badly deteriorating family vault and moved to a better-constructed brick enclosure. Here’s something else you don’t know: His casket liner was cut into sections and sold as souvenir pieces. One of those pieces is in Columbiana, Alabama. The casket remnant is part of a thousand-artifact display of America’s First Family, housed in the Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington, the second largest collection of the Washington’s personal belongings outside of Mt. Vernon. And how did Shelby Country become its home? “I’m probably asked that every time someone walks in,” smiles Donald Relyea, the museum’s curator, guide, and student of all things Washington. “Most of our advertising is word of mouth so most people have no idea what is in here or how much.” It all started with a teapot. In the early 1980s, Shelby County resident Charlotte Smith-Weaver presented a teapot to a local appraiser for authentication. She said the small shiny vessel had been handed down through her family. Charlotte was the six generation granddaughter of Martha Washington. The teapot was real, her story true, the appraiser amazed. And then his eyes widened when Charlotte said that she had much more of George and Martha’s things. Bust of the nation’s first president greets visitors.

It all started with a teapot

Alabama is home to 2nd largest collection of Washington memorabilia 14  JULY 2015


Local banker Karl C. Harrison heard the news. Charlotte was at a point in life where she was ready to share her family’s legacy. In the mid-1980s banker Harrison obtained her entire collection, placing it in the city’s public library. Suddenly, the little building of books was crowded with reading rooms, children stories, and treasures from the father of our country. But in 1988 Harrison added an auctioned bonanza of more Washington wonders. The building was packed and could hold no more. “He made a large purchase of Augustin Washington’s (George’s half-brother) estate, from a Kentucky auction,” noted Relyea. “But it was too much and too delicate to safely display in the library. It just would not fit.” In 2000, the Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington was installed in the library’s new wing, custom made for a president’s legacy. It showcases items of awe, including a 207-piece set of Minton porcelain, Sevres vases, circa 1785, and an 1805 walnut games table. There are tools, pots, pans, Washington’s handwritten letter to President James Madison, the scribed ponderings of British Army officer and Washington nemesis, Charles Cornwallis, an original 18th century sketch for Mt. Vernon’s landscaping, and more – approximately 990 more. Ironically, everyone enjoys the display except its driving force. Karl C. Harrison died three years before the museum opened and never saw his namesake. But the Shelby County banker would have loved it and so would the first president. “I think Washington would be pleased that so much of his things were saved,” said Relyea. “He was very systematic and never discarded things.” Regarding his personal life: “Washington was a true friend but very difficult to develop a friendship with,” Relyea explained. “He Fine china from the Washington estate graces the table.

held himself aloof. He analyzed people before trusting them.” He probably would have hated Facebook. And forget what you heard about that cherry tree chopping business. “It probably never happened,” smiled the curator. “The story is part of an 1800s biography, written by Mason Weems. The author couldn’t find much information about Washington Martha Washington’s 1783 prayer book. as a young man so he made it up, including the part about chopping down a cherry tree.” The legendary presidential wooden teeth? Not a splinter of truth. “Most dentures were made of ivory and occasionally from other people’s teeth,” said Relyea. “However,Washington had dental problems. He started losing teeth during his 20s. By the time he was sworn in as president he had one tooth left.” Which may explain his tight-lipped dollar bill expression. “He probably never skipped a coin across a river either,” noted the museum’s host. “Washington was very frugal. He would never throw money away.” And wife Martha was no shrinking violet. As Relyea explains about the first lady, “She was a remarkable woman. Her first husband died, leaving her the wealthiest widow in the Virginia Colony. She controlled 18,000 acres of land and was a shrewd businesswoman for almost two years before marrying George.” The museum has Martha Washington’s prayer book, published in 1783 and still legible. It sits near 1774 unblemished French porcelain. The oldest relic on display is the hand-scribed will of Colonel Daniel Parke, written in 1710. His grandson, the wealthy Daniel Parke Custis, was Martha’s first husband, who died and left her loaded. And in a glass case prominently displayed for Columbiana and the world is the little teapot that started it all, when Martha Washington’s decendant asked for an appraisal. A The Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington, 50 Lester St., in Columbiana, is adjacent to the Mildred B. Harrison Regional Library. It is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. For more information, visit www.washingtonmuseum.com or call 205-669-8767.

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An undated photo of the Birmingham Black Barons, one of the most successful baseball teams in the Negro Leagues. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CENTER FOR NEGRO LEAGUE BASEBALL RESEARCH

Reclaiming history Negro Southern League Museum will honor baseball’s past By Ryan Whirty


t’s been a long, long wait, but on July 4 — the most American of holidays — Birmingham resident and former Negro Leaguer Ernest Fann will finally get to see the story of segregationera, African-American baseball come to life. That’s when the state-of-the-art, interactive, multimillion-dollar Negro Southern League Museum that’s been in the works for five years will, at long last, hold its grand opening. After years of budget delays and controversy surrounding its possible competition with the long-established Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, the project sponsored by Birmingham Mayor William Bell will come to fruition. “I’m very excited,” says Fann, a native of Macon, Ga., who settled in Birmingham after his playing career. “It took so long. There’s no museum that can tell the story of black baseball like it really was than this place. It’s going to be amazing. People will get to see the long history of the Negro Leagues, and I’m very glad to be a part of it.”

Home-grown talent

Alabama has actually played a major role in the history of African-American baseball. The state’s largest city was home to one of the Negro Leagues’ oldest, most storied franchises, the Birming-

ham Black Barons, which for decades was the deep South’s black baseball jewel. The Black Barons won multiple Negro American League pennants with rosters that featured dozens of AfricanAmerican hardball stars, including, in the late 1940s, a young prospect named Willie Mays. The area was also the home of arguably the country’s best, most talent-laden and vigorously competitive urban industrial leagues, which launched the professional baseball careers of dozens of African-American players. “There’s more to the history of black baseball than just the Negro Leagues,” says Dr. Layton Revel of the Center for Negro League Baseball Research, who personally donated tens of thousands of artifacts and pieces of memorabilia to the new museum. “A lot of the industrial teams were proving grounds for players. What we’re saying is that it’s an important part of the history. You can’t forget the grass roots, where these guys started.” But it wasn’t just the Magic City that featured prime black baseball in the decades before Jackie Robinson broke the Major League color barrier. There were also squads like the Montgomery Grey Sox and the Mobile Black Shippers and Black Bears. In fact, Mobile turned out to be a key locus of African-American hardball activity,

The Negro Southern League Museum, which is adjacent to the Birmingham Barons’ home at Regions Field and across First Avenue South from Railroad Park, was still under the final construction phases in early June. PHOTOS BY ALLISON GRIFFIN

Read a longer version of this story at alabamaliving.coop

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Alabama Living

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not only by hosting such quality semipro teams like the Bears and the Shippers, but also serving as the hometown of the one and The new museum is planned to feature only Leroy “Satchel” a theater, a restaurant and an outdoor Paige. Paige was the terrace. first Negro Leaguer PHOTOS BY ALLISON GRIFFIN inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and many baseball historians consider him the greatest pitcher in the sport’s history, black or white, regardless of time period. Paige grew up and earned his spikes in Mobile with another Negro League legend from the city, Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe, one of black baseball’s most colorful, versatile, active and longestliving personalities. Radcliffe, who died in 2005 at the age of 103, earned his nickname by catching one end of a doubleheader, then pitching the second game on the same day. When asked by author Brent Kelley in 2000 whether he considered himself a pitcher or a catcher, Radcliffe’s answer probably echoed the feelings of countless Negro Leaguers. “It didn’t make no difference,” he said, “just so we won.” Alabama also gave birth to several other Negro League greats and Baseball Hall of Famers, like hulking power hitter George “Mule” Suttles. Then, of course, there were the two ’Bama natives and home run kings who began their careers in the Negro Leagues before moving on to greatness in the Majors — Mays and Henry Aaron. But a slew of other, less-heralded Negro League legends came from the state, from both major cities and tiny towns scattered across the landscape.

Making a dream a reality

The fact that the project has survived several funding hiccups points to the determination of those involved, including the dozens of players who gather in Birmingham each spring for an annual Negro Leagues reunion and who, like Fann, have eagerly and patiently awaited the realization of the facility. But financial difficulties weren’t the only problematic facets

of the project. When Revel and city officials first announced the effort, representatives from the existing Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City expressed concern that the Alabama institution would constitute a rival that could possibly draw attention, visitors and business away from the NLBM. But since then, any conflicts between the two facilities appear to have been smoothed over, thanks to assurances from Bell, Revel and others that the new Birmingham museum would serve a totally different purpose than the NLBM, which is much more national in scope than the Alabama-based facility. The new museum has been funded by a mix of charitable fundraising, private donations and public funding — the Birmingham City Council, for example, approved a $2.8 million appropriation to the effort last year. Through it all, everyone involved in the museum and the annual reunion has said the facility and festivities come down to one thing — celebrating the courage, passion and playing abilities of the men (and occasionally women) in Alabama who populated all levels of African-American baseball. “You set a standard that sent other players on to the Major League,” Bell said at a news conference last year while surrounded by former Negro Leaguers. “This is a great day, just the beginning.” Bell made those comments as the fifth annual Negro Leagues reunion was getting underway last year. This year’s event was held May 25-27, and like clockwork, Ernest Fann was in attendance. Fann said he’s encouraged by all the youngsters who attend the reunions and get a chance to talk with former Negro Leaguers about the players’ experiences on and off the diamond. “It’s good for them to know who we are and what we did,” he said. “It’s a good chance to educate the kids.” A

New book looks back at Negro Southern League The Negro Southern League became a valuable feeder of young players to the Negro National League and Negro American League, giving starts to future baseball legends Leroy “Satchel” Paige and Willie Mays. Now, The Negro Southern League: A Baseball History, 1920-1951, (McFarland and Co., 276 pages, $39.95) by retired journalist and freelance writer William Plott of Montevallo, tells the story of this minor league, which sent a number of players – some found in cotton fields, some in steel mills -- on to the higher level of pro baseball. The league gave a home to professional baseball in cities that couldn’t support teams at the Negro National League level, with teams in New Orleans, Montgomery, Nashville, Pensacola, Knoxville, Jacksonville, Birmingham and Atlanta. During its history, more than 80 teams were members of the league, representing 40 cities in a dozen states. In the end, only four teams remained, operating more as semipro than professional teams. 18  JULY 2015


Alabama Living

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Alabama Literature


Each month, we offer a summary of recent books either about Alabama people or written by Alabama authors. Summaries are not reviews or endorsements. We also occasionally highlight book-related events. Email submissions and events to bookshelf@alabamaliving.coop.

Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee, HarperCollins, July 2015, $27.99 This newly discovered novel is the earliest known work from Monroeville native Harper Lee, who penned the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. According to the publisher, it was originally written in the mid-1950s and was the first novel Lee submitted to the publishers (before TKAM). Its discovery in late 2014 set the literary world on fire. “I was surprised by the announcement on Feb. 3 of a second novel to be published. Not that there is a second novel, but what it is,” said Nancy Anderson, associate professor of English at Auburn Montgomery who has extensively studied Lee and TKAM. “I expected a second novel to be ‘The Reverend,’ the nonfiction novel about the series of murders in Alexander City in the 1970s.” Lee traveled to Alexander City in the late 1970s to research that book, but no manuscript has ever been found. Anderson, like other TKAM scholars and readers alike, is eager for the new work’s release, but hopes readers will put the new book in the proper context. “I do hope that readers and reviewers remember that it was a first draft of TKAM, even if the publisher has labeled it ‘a sequel.’  It is a sequel in chronology -- Jean Louise returning to Maycomb in the 1950s to visit her father.  Harper Lee has called it ‘the parent’ rather than the sequel.” Anderson also hopes the new book will shed light on questions raised by TKAM. “For example, readers have always wondered how old Jean Louise is when she is recalling her childhood in TKAM.  Now we may have the answer to that question: if ‘Go Set a Watchman’ is the plot rewritten for TKAM, perhaps this is Jean Louise in the 1950s recalling her childhood,” Anderson says.  She’s tempering her excitement with a small dose of reality. “I am excited about the release and cannot wait to read it, but I am also being realistic in reminding myself not to expect another TKAM.” Mildred Budge in Embankment, by Daphne Simpkins, Quotidian Books, January 2015, $11.50 This second full-length Mildred Budge novel follows the retired school teacher and full-time church lady as she leads her fellow church members to safety after the car in which they were traveling wrecks on a desolate road. The journey is not just a physical one; she experiences new spiritual adventures as she continues to “work out her salvation” within the context of friendships and church relationships. In the Land of Cotton: How Old Times There Still Shape Alabama’s Future, by Larry Lee, NewSouth Books, Spring 2015, $7.95 The early 19th century was a time of prosperity in Alabama, thanks in large part to the bountiful cotton that fed the hungry mills of England. But the cotton culture valued manual labor over a keen mind; this mentality, the author says, trapped thousands of Alabamians in a cycle of poverty and lack of education. Author Lee is an expert in rural development who is interested in education issues.

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Harper Lee

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Enjoy state’s official fruit while at its peak By Alethia Russell


une and July are prime picking season for a fruit that’s rooted in our Alabama hearts: the blackberry. Although the origins of the blackberry are unknown, it is believed it originated in Asia, Europe or North or South America. Most of the berries we consume in the Southeast are grown from a breeding program based at the University of Arkansas and other universities in the Southeast. Once these seedlings go public, nurseries and home gardeners can take up the hobby of raising these beauties to their peak. Blackberries are not widely grown in the state, but Alabama’s legislature declared the blackberry as the state fruit in 2004, at the request of Fairhope Elementary School faculty and students. Teachers Susan Sims and Amy Jones noticed Alabama laid no claim to a fruit of its own like our neighboring states, and set out to fix that. They researched the fruit and received the backing of then-Sen. Bradley Byrne and State Rep. Randy Davis to help push it through the Senate. (Alabama’s official tree fruit is the peach, recognized as such in 1949.) The good news is that you can grow them yourself in your backyard garden. The health and wellness benefits blackberries provide are more than enough incentive to invest. Blackberries are low in sodium and calories, and are rich in bioflavonoids and Vitamin C. The dark color of the fruit indicates it has one of the highest levels of antioxidants in fruit. Tea drinkers use the leaves of the fruit for added flavor or as a therapeutic drink. Just mask the bitterness with a little honey and sip away. The leaves have also been used to treat gum inflammation.

Blackberries are a low maintenance fruit with many health benefits.

co-owner of Petals from the Past Nursery in Jemison. “You can grow blackberries without a lot of fuss,” Powell says. “So we have a lot of home gardeners who like to grow them in their gardens because you don’t have to deal with a lot of spray programs. If you can give them sunshine, and plant a good variety and fertilize twice a year, you’re good.” Blackberries should be planted in early spring, preferably one month to one month and a half before the last frost of the winter. It prefers acidic or neutral soil for growing. Soil pH should range from 5.5 – 7.0. Pests can build up in soil over the years, so avoid planting blackberries in an area ‘If you can give them sunshine, and where other plant a good variety and fertilize brambles twice a year, you’re good.’ have grown t o pre ve nt The plant has proven to be a low main- contaminating the plant. These plants tenance and attractive addition to vege- will not produce fruit the first year, but table gardens, according to Jason Powell, with proper maintenance they will pro-

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duce fruit the following year. Gardeners should fertilize as early as possible in the spring and maintain the bushes with trellises. With proper growing supervision, a blackberry bush can last anywhere from 15-20 years. Here are a few tips for growing blackberries at home: II Blackberries are self-fruitful: This means you can plant one variety of blackberry and there’s no need for another plant for cross-pollination. II Fertilizer is important: Blackberries need proper soil nutrients to grow. Alabama soil typically cannot provide these nutrients on its own. Proper fertilizing and maintaining mulch around the base of the plant will keep weeds and grass from sapping nutrients from your berries. Also avoid planting in sandy or heavy clay soil. II Walking on sunshine: Blackberries require a minimum of five hours of sunshine per day. Water them once or twice a week as needed to maintain www.alabamaliving.coop

by what type of bearing they produce. Primocane bearing varieties grow the canes and fruits on the same cane during the same year. Jim Pitts, director of Chilton County Research and Extension Center, suggests that the Natchez variety is the best non-thorny variety suitable for home gardening. Visit your local hardware store or nurseryman and ask about the variety best for your gardening needs.

After all your hard work, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. When your berries begin to ripen, try to pick them every three to six days and enjoy them alone or in pies, jams or jellies. If not, the birds will have fun eating your berries. A Alethia Russell, a senior at Auburn University, is a summer intern for Alabama Living.

Magic Blackberry Cobbler moisture and sun balance. Be sure to give them at least an inch of water in drier periods. II Growing Room: The easiest way to grow blackberries at home is in a standard 10-foot row with a trellis. Blackberry bushes are naturally climbing plants. II Know what you grow: Blackberries are also referred to as caneberries, bramble, brambleberries, etc., because they grow in thorny and thornless varieties. But they are also classified

Alabama Living

1 stick butter 1 cup self-rising flour 1 cup sugar 3/4 cup milk 1 quart blackberries 3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 2 quart baking dish melt butter in oven. Remove from oven. In a separate bowl mix flour and 1 cup sugar until well blended. Add milk and mix until blended. Pour this mixture over butter but DO NOT STIR. Pour blackberries over this mixture but DO NOT STIR. Sprinkle 3/4 cup sugar over berries but DO NOT STIR. Bake, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes. It should be brown when done. Serve warm.

Kimberly Baugh, North Alabama EC From the Alabama Living recipe archives. See more recipes at alabamaliving.coop.

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Mahlon Richburg:

A day in the life and a life of dedication By Lacey Rae Sport


he red barn in the background is weathered, its tin roof discolored. A late summer sun is outlining the barn and its surrounding trees as the breeze ruffles through the branches. His jeans are worn but his light blue and green striped shirt is pressed to perfection. He places his sunglasses on his head to reveal bright eyes, set in tan skin, slightly crinkled from sunny days and countless smiles. Hearing his voice, the cows shift to-

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wards the fence. Every morning and every afternoon, Mahlon Richburg makes the rounds to feed his cattle. The 63-year-old leaps onto a nearby trailer where cotton seeds are piled as high as Richburg is tall. With one effortless swoop he fills a bucket. He walks through the gate to feed the cows, leaving it open behind him. As the seed echoes in the metal trough, the cows eagerly push their way up to it. Standing comfortably in their midst, he casually reaches over to pat a

heifer’s back. She has a shiny black coat like the rest, except for one pink bald spot about the size of a man’s hand. When she was a calf, Richburg explains, she was caught in a green briar bush that scraped and scarred her back. He had to nurse the calf back to health. For weeks he picked her up in the pasture, carried her to her mother, and helped her milk. Although he claims no partiality toward any one of his cattle, this yearling is alive only because of Richburg’s care and dedication.


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Not only is he dedicated to his cattle, but, for decades, he was dedicated to his students. Richburg, or “Burg” as they called him, taught Agriscience Education at Auburn High School before retiring in 2013. He talks about his former students like most people talk about their grandchildren, with detailed descriptions and an air of pride. Ethan Stanley, a former student, says Richburg was the most memorable teacher he ever had. “Burg had a way of making his students want to work hard at what they do,” Stanley says. “[Hard work] is a virtue that is very prevalent in agriculture and definitely was so in his classroom. He made you want to figure out how to do things right.” Another former student, Tiffany Godfrey, says, “Burg is still to this day my biggest inspiration. He encouraged me to be the best I could be.” She remembers how Richburg went to Hardee’s for a $1.72 cinnamon raisin biscuit and coffee every morning. He still continues that tradition. Occasionally, he sees former students and remembers each one. Driving through another pasture, he points out different cows. They do not have names, only numbers. Nevertheless, Richburg can spot one 100 yards away and immediately recognize its number, as well as its mother’s number and calf ’s number.

Richburg’s voice is gentle. His words, dripping in wisdom, come straight from experience. Although retired, he is still teaching. Before starting his career as a teacher, he earned his degree in agricultural education at Auburn University. Richburg moved to Auburn in 1969 to attend the university after graduating from Luverne High School and never left the area. While sitting in a freshman English class one day, he met his wife, Mary. According to Richburg, he was trying to watch workers fill in the horseshoe in the stadium through the window, but there

was a girl in the way. “And, as Paul Harvey says, ‘You know the rest of the story.’” They were married in 1972. Mary was an elementary teacher for 17 years before becoming a counselor in Auburn public schools for 23 years. She retired in 2013 as well. “I said, ‘Well, you know I’ll do this four or five years then do something else,’” Richburg says about his teaching career. “Forty years later we retired from education.” Through an open patch in the trees, the sunlight shines through his truck windows as he enters the third pasture. “Bingo,” Richburg says. There is a newborn standing under its mother, only a few hours old. Of course he knew the mother’s number before he walked up to her. Holding the fuzzy, black calf between his legs he quickly tagged its left ear. Surprised by the piercing it bucked and bellowed. Richburg held on and talked to him until he calmed down, then let him go back to his mother’s side. Exiting the fields, he locks the metal gate behind him. He drives back to the barn, a darker red now that the sun is setting. Tomorrow morning after breakfast at Hardee’s Richburg will start his routine again. As Paul Harvey says, “You know the rest of the story.” A

Lee County farmer Mahlon Richburg makes rounds every morning to feed his cows.


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Around Alabama JULY 3 • Deatsville, Boston Butt Sale. Lightwood Volunteer Fire Department will be selling whole Boston Butts for $30 and whole racks of ribs for $20. Pick up will be Friday evening at the LVFD, 6250 Lightwood Road. Contact: Daphne, 334303-1750 or 334-569-2264. 7, 14, 21, 28 • Opelika, Summer Swing Concert in the Park, Opelika City Park,
7 p.m. Fedoras on the 7th, Crossroads on the 14th, Muse on the 21st and James Brown Trio on the 28th. No admission charged. For more information, call 334-7055560. 8, 15, 29 • Theodore, Wonderful Wednesdays at Bellingrath Gardens and Home. Discussions and demonstrations on growing succulents, forming a garden that can attract and protect bees, butterflies and other essential pollinators, and how to create a moonlit garden. Visit www.bellingrath. org to see the schedule and call 251-973-2217 to register for your favorites.

15 • Monroeville, Scenes and Stories of Monroeville: A “To Kill a Mockingbird” Workshop in the Old Courthouse Museum, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Part 1: Growing up with Harper Lee, Part 2: Race Relations in the 1930’s. Admission is free to the public. SARIC credit awarded to teachers. Seating is limited and pre-registration is recommended. For more information or to pre-register, please contact Wanda Green at the Monroe County Heritage Museum at mchm@frontiernet.net or 251-575-7433. 17-19 • Dauphin Island, Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo. The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, a project of the Mobile Jaycees, is billed as the largest fishing tournament in the world, attracting more than 3,000 anglers and 75,000 spectators. The 3-day event features 30 categories with prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in all categories. For ticket information and schedule, visit www.adsfr.com.

10-11 • Andalusia, World Championship Domino Tournament at the Kiwanis Fair Complex. Playing dominoes in this tournament guarantees fellowship, fun and competition. Round robin tournaments will be held each afternoon on Friday and Saturday. www.worlddomino.com. 10-11 • Clio, Alabama’s Quasquicentennial Celebration. Friday 6-10 p.m. at the Fairgrounds pavilion; local entertainers will provide a mixed musical selection. No admission charged, but donations appreciated. Saturday’s events will begin with a parade downtown at 9 a.m. and then the day’s events will move to the Clio Fairground. Vendors will provide a variety of crafts, food, and novelties. Contact email: chaps9.11.2014@gmail. com. 10, 17, 24 • Dothan, Animal Adventures at Landmark Park, 10 a.m. Special one-hour educational programs for children ages five and older. Reservations required. Free with park admission. For more information, call 334-794-3452. www. landmarkparkdothan.com.

18 • Somerville, Pine Ridge Cruise-in for Special People, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Lots of door prizes, including cash prizes and Grand Prize 350 Chevy engine. Family friendly event, kids activities, open rain or shine. $20 registration fee. Contact: Dylan Jackson, 256-778-9999. 18 • Wetumpka, River and Blues Music and Arts Festival in downtown Wetumpka. Featuring artists: Rockin’ Dopsie and the Zydeco Twisters, SIMO, John Bull, Honey Tree Band, LittleLee, The Lo-Fi Loungers, Ed Pickett, Andrew McCarter, Polar Opposites and Davis Nix. www.riverandblues.net. 18-19 • Mentone, JulyFest Arts and Music Festival. Brow Park, Saturday 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. A community of artists and skilled craftsmen from throughout the region

will assemble to display their works of visual art, pottery, sculpture, wood, paper, basketry, fiber, photography, glass, jewelry and fine crafts of all description. www.mentonearts.org. 22 • Monroeville, Monroe County History Bus Tour beginning at the Old Courthouse Museum, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Attendees will learn about events and visit sites that focus on early Alabama history, including the Indian Territory era, pioneer settlement, and the significance of the Federal Road, mill towns, and steamboat traffic on the Alabama River. Teachers are given first priority, but the general public is also welcome for a charge of $10. Seating is limited and pre-registration, no later than July 10, is required. Contact: Wanda Green, 251-575-7433 or mchm@frontiernet.net to pre-register. 24 • Rogersville, Rollin’ on the River. Joe Wheeler State Park, 6-9 p.m. Call 256-247-5461 or visit www.alapark.com/joewheeler. 24-25 • Cullman, Threads of Time Quilt Show at East Elementary School. Presented by Heartland Quilt Guild. Friday, 1-5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Raffle quilt, demonstrations, paper piecing, working with wool, applique, and binding. Admission: $5. Information: Sandra Tucker, 256339-6379. 26 • Hacoda, Veterans Celebration at Hacoda Baptist Church. Join us as we salute our veterans in a service of worship and celebration. Contact: Pastor Bob Cox, 334-449-1227 or Jeep Sullivan, 850-326-1771. AUGUST 4 • Mobile, Crime Prevention 5K Run benefits Mobile Police Department. Race starts at Bienville Square at 6:30 p.m. Contact: Peggy Olive, 251-401-8039, or mlolive@ bellsouth.net.

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

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Alabama Outdoors

Tim Fey shows off a bowfin he caught. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER

Primitive predators are always on the prowl By John N. Felsher


t the drop-off edge, a cloud of brown silt suddenly erupted as a huge green head snatched the bass lure, throwing spray into the air as if someone threw a brick into the water. The powerful fish headed deeper into the channel, straining the line nearly to the breaking point. “I think we got this tournament won,” the angler shouted enthusiastically to his partner. “Get the net. This one’s a monster. It must be … nuts, another mudfish! Never mind the net.” Many anglers give a similar reaction when a mudfish or bowfin strikes. Anglers also call them grinnel, dogfish, cypress trout, cottonfish (because of the texture and flavor of its meat) and many other names unfit to print. Although some people eat them, many people describe the flavor of bowfin as something akin to eating wadded cotton soaked in swamp mud. Louisiana Cajuns call them “choupique,” an Anglicized version of a French translation of the Choctaw Indian word “shupik,” meaning mudfish. No matter what anyone calls them, these amazing fish date back to the Jurassic Period about 150 million years ago. The only surviving representative of a primitive order, these fish witnessed the extinction John N. Felsher is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He co-hosts a weekly outdoors show that is syndicated to stations in Alabama. For more on the show, see www.gdomag.com. Contact him through his website at www. JohnNFelsher.com

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of the dinosaurs and the giant mammals of the Ice Age, yet they remain unchanged. They survive because they can live practically anywhere and often inhabit the most stagnant waters. Their swim bladders can serve as primitive lungs, allowing bowfins to breathe air and live in the foulest places. Bowfins can remain alive for long periods out of the water as long as they remain moist. People sometimes find them alive in semi-dried ponds resembling little more than mud puddles after a drought or when a falling river drains backwaters. Farmers even reported plowing them up alive in wet fields after floods. “Bowfins can live in muddy backwater areas without much oxygen much better than most other species,” says Chris Greene of the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries in Montgomery. “Bowfin is a native fish found throughout Alabama. They are more common in swampy backwater areas with a lot of shallow vegetation throughout the state.” Although most anglers hold them in low regard because of their unsavory reputation on the dinner table, these large aggressive prehistoric predators can provide incredible sport, particularly on light tackle. Long and cylindrical with a rounded tail and an exceptionally long dorsal fin, a bowfin looks similar to an eel, but thicker with greenish-brown scales and a huge head with a mouth full of sharp teeth. Vicious predators, bowfins eat almost anything they can catch and frequently devour small fish, crawfish, frogs, salamanders, snakes and small animals, but few people intentionally fish for them. “Bowfins hit hard and can put up a

good fight, but are not normally targeted,” Greene says. “They can grow pretty big. It’s not uncommon to catch bowfins in the 5- to 10-pound range all across Alabama. Anglers mostly catch them by accident while fishing for bass or something else. Some archers target them in backwater areas.” A bowfin may grow about 12 inches in its first year and live more than 30 years. The world record topped 21 pounds. Some larger specimens exceed three feet in length. Big bowfin can challenge any type of bass tackle and may hit anything that might tempt a largemouth bass. Bass anglers catch them on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and Texas-rigged plastic worms. Bowfins also hit jigs dropped into thick cover, particularly around weeds or wood. Crappie anglers often catch them on live shiners. Bowfins might even hit nightcrawlers and other baits used by anglers targeting bream or catfish. Since they can breathe air, bowfins thrive in rivers, quiet swampy backwaters, shallow ponds and lakes full of submerged aquatic vegetation all across the state. Flowing with muddy rivers and laced with numerous backwater bayous, creeks and sloughs, the Mobile-Tensaw Delta creates the perfect habitat for bowfins and probably holds the largest population in the state. Bowfins also thrive in the Alabama, Tombigbee, Black Warrior and the Tennessee river systems among other places. Almost any warm, sluggish creek, bayou, canal or reservoir in the state probably holds a population of these fierce living fossils. After fighting one, release it to fight again tomorrow. A www.alabamaliving.coop

Got an outdoor/hunting product or offer a service that people need to know about? If so, this space is where you should be advertising.

Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before and an hour after. Minor peaks, half-hour before and after. Adjusted for daylight savings time. a.m. p.m. Minor Major Minor Major


Alabama Living

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Alabama's largest consumer publication is offering premium advertising space next to our Outdoors section But hurry because space is limited! THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REACH MORE THAN one MILLION readers every month. Advertise with us and see WHY ALABAMA LIVING IS THE BEST READ & MOST WIDELY CIRCULATED MAGAZINE IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA. Still thinking about it? Consider this:

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48% of our readers own a garden 85% of those garden owners purchased maintenance items last year 41% own more than 3 acres of land Contact Jacob Johnson 800.410.2737 advertising@areapower.com JULY 2015  31

Worth the Drive

Step back in time at Five Points Dairy Bar By Jennifer Kornegay


n 1931, the infamous trial of the “Scottsboro boys” contributed a dark chapter to our state’s story and put Scottsboro, Alabama, in a harsh spotlight. But it’s shaken off that past, and today is a thriving little city. More than 1 million visitors a year flock to find treasures at Unclaimed Baggage, a store that sells the contents of foreverlost luggage at discount prices. Folks also search for old, odd and just plain interesting items at one of the country’s longestrunning trade days, held for almost a century on Sundays around Jackson Square. Anglers and boaters enjoy the bountiful population of big bass and sparkling waters of Lake Guntersville. But there’s more to this spot in the northeast corner of Alabama than history, unique shopping opportunities and lake living. It’s got a sweet side too, and you can get a cold, creamy taste of it at Five Points Dairy Bar, an ice cream stand founded in 1941 that still looks pretty much like it did when walk-up lunch counters and “dairy bars” were a common sight across the American landscape. Giant cones with swirls of vanilla soft serve and a vintage snowman signal passersby from the flat-top roof, which shades the order window, a few chairs and a hot pink picnic table. Duck under it to escape the heat and give the menu board a read. Craving a juicy cheeseburger? A fried bologna sandwich or a patty melt? You know you want a sundae or maybe a banana split, too. How about an old-fashioned float? When you’ve decided, approach the window and a friendly face will greet you as it slides open. “What’re you having?” it will ask. Jennifer Kornegay is the author of a new children’s book, “The Alabama Adventures of Walter and Wimbly: Two Marmalade Cats on a Mission.” She travels to an out-of-the way restaurant destination in Alabama every month. She may be reached for comment at j_kornegay@charter.net.

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The Dairy Bar is a popular spot and has been since it opened more than 80 years ago. Darryll and Loria Carroll Flowers are the current owners and have been running it with the help of their daughter Amanda for the last two years. “The place has such a history behind it,” Loria says. “We have one couple, and they’re in their late 70s, and they come here from Birmingham every few months. The man proposed to his bride decades ago on a bench we still have sitting out front.” She The Five Points Dairy Bar looks much like it did when it was founded in 1941. has her own fond memories, too. “I remember coming here as a kid, and back over to the window, knock on it if then there was seating inside. The original you must (but you shouldn’t need to alert the attentive staff), and order a blueberry solid cedar cooler is still here.” Others reminisce about being brought milkshake. It’s not the best seller – that’s the peato the barbershop that once occupied the small building next to the Dairy Bar. nut butter shake made with the Dairy Bar’s “They’ll tell me that their parents prom- recipe hailing back to 1952 – but it’s diised them a Dairy Bar ice cream cone if vine. Plump blueberries are blended with they behaved during their haircut,” Loria soft-serve vanilla ice cream and milk to create a thick shake that’s not too sweet says. but packed with a blast of pure berry freshness. If you go for a banana split, you’ll find it topped with “wet walnuts,” something Loria explains most places don’t do anymore. “We soak the nuts in syrup,” she says. “It’s a great addition.” There’s even ‘50s music playing under the overhang, and a black and white photo of Marilyn Monroe stuck to one of the windows, completing the trip back in time. “It’s just a special place that has been a part of a lot of people’s lives,” Loria says. “And a new generation is loving it now.” A “Our cheeseburgers are our best seller,” she adds. I get fresh beef ground every day, and your burger is made when you order it. I never use frozen meat, and we never make them ahead.” So be prepared to wait 15 minutes or so for yours. If you didn’t order an ice cream treat before, and even if your stomach is telling your brain that it is satisfied, walk

Five Points Dairy Bar 807 E Willow St. Scottsboro, Alabama (256) 574-3171



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Sandwiches Alabama Recipes

When you think of a summer sandwich, what comes to mind? A juicy Alabama tomato, sliced on white bread with mayo, just says “summer” to us. And how about a glass of iced tea (sweet, of course) to wash it down?


You could win $

Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: September Tailgating July 15 October Homemade candy August 15 November Brunch September 15


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online at alabamaliving.coop email to recipes@alabamaliving.coop mail to: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124


The Merriam-Webster definition of a sandwich is “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between.” Such a simple thing, but with oh so many possibilities. From a simple deli turkey sandwich to a gourmet panini, one can make almost anything into a delicious sandwich. I hope you’ll find some inspiration from our reader-submitted recipes. Don’t forget to send your favorite recipes for our upcoming themes!

Mary Tyler Spivey

is a graduate of Huntingdon College where she studied history and French but she also has a passion for great food. Contact her at recipes@ alabamaliving.coop.

Want to see recipes, feature stories, and other Alabama happenings during the month? LIke Alabama Living on facebook and don’t miss anything!


Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.

Cook of the month:

Meat and Nut Rolls

Katye Delashaw, Dixie EC

11/4 pounds ground round 1 pound tube hot breakfast sausage (Jimmy Dean brand recommended) 1 onion, diced 1 cup chopped pecans 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 can water 1/3 cup sliced black olives, cut into smaller pieces 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 2 packages sub rolls, Cobblestone Mill recommended

Fried Green Tomato Sandwich 4 medium green tomatoes 8 slices of bacon 4 slices of Swiss cheese Ranch dressing Vegetable oil Salt Pepper Flour 8 slices of ciabatta bread Slice green tomatoes 1/4 inch thinck. Salt and pepper each side. Let sit for 15 minutes. Fry bacon, drain and break slices in half. Coat green tomato slices in flour. Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown on each side. Place fried green tomato slices on slice of toasted ciabatta bread. Top with slice of Swiss cheese and strips of bacon. Coat top slice of ciabatta bread with ranch dressing. Place on top, dressing side down. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Jalapeno Popper Sandwich 4 slices bread 2 slices of Big Slice Jalapeno Cheese Slices 1 small jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced 2 cheese singles 1 egg 3 tablespoons milk 1/3 cup finely crushed pretzels 4 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided Fill bread slices with jalapeno cheese slices, sliced jalapeno peppers and cheese singles to make 2 sandwiches. Whisk egg and milk in pie plate until blended. Dip sandwiches, 1 at a time, in egg mixture, then in pretzel crumbs, turning to evenly coat both sides of each sandwich with egg mixture and crumbs. Melt 2 teaspoons butter in medium skillet on medium heat. Add sandwiches; cook 2 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Add remaining butter to skillet; turn sandwiches. Cook 2 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown and cheeses are melted. Jackie Harbin, Arab EC

In a large skillet or pan, brown ground round, sausage and onion together; drain. While the meat is draining, wipe out the pan. Over medium heat, put pecans, soup, water, olives and spices in the same pan and stir to combine. Add the meat mixture and heat through. Turn off heat, leaving pan on stove eye. Cut bread rolls in half and scoop out the middles. Fill bread shells with meat mixture and place cut side up in a baking dish. Put in a 350 degree oven until hot – 20 or 30 minutes. Enjoy! Freeze the remaining sub rolls for the next batch. Sandra Lee, Baldwin EMC

Stuffed Sub Supreme 2 large loaves of uncut French bread Sliced cheese, your choice 1 pound Italian sausage, cooked 1 pound ground beef, cooked One onion, cooked Bell pepper, cooked Cook sausage, beef, onion and pepper together.  Drain any grease. Cut loaves in half lengthwise.  Hollow out and save soft inner parts for another use (like dressing or bread pudding). Line tops and bottoms with slices of cheese. Fill bottoms with scoops of meat/onion/pepper mixture.  Place tops on. Wrap in foil.  Bake on baking sheet at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Slice and serve. You may wish to bake only one and to freeze the other or share it as-is with someone who needs a quick meal.  These sandwich subs go well with a pot of soup or a large salad.

The Ultimate Catfish Cheese Sandwich 4 5-6-ounce U.S Farm-Raised Catfish fillets 11/4 cups of your favorite spicy catfish breader 3 jumbo eggs ½ cup of ice-cold dark beer ½ cup of buttermilk Peanut oil for frying 8 slices of Texas toast 16 slices of pepper jack cheese Jalapeno Tartar Sauce ½ cup pickle relish ¼ cup chopped onion ½ teaspoon garlic ½ cup seeded jalapenos 2 cups light mayonnaise 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 lemon for juice and zest 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon dill 1 teaspoon sugar Make the tartar sauce first so it can mellow in the refrigerator. Place pickle relish, onion, garlic, and seeded jalapenos in a food processor and finely chop. Drain off any liquid. Add this to mayo, mustard, juice and zest from the lemon, black pepper, dill, and sugar. Stir thoroughly until smooth and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make batter by mixing 1 cup of breader with eggs, beer and buttermilk. Batter should be drippy not stiff. Coat fillets in dry breader on a plate and then dip in the batter. Place battered fillets in hot oil (375 degrees) Temperature is critical; if it’s too low fillets will be greasy, not crispy. Fry for 8-10 minutes until brown. Fish will float partly out of the oil when done. While fish is frying, toast bread lightly in toaster and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Place two slices of cheese on each piece of toast and cook in oven until bubbly. Drain oil off fillets on paper towels. Place fillets on cheese bread, spread chilled tartar sauce over fillets and top with second piece of bread. Add slice of tomato and lettuce if desired. Gregory N. Whitis state specialist/Extension aquaculturist Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Jennifer Dansby, Covington EC Alabama Living

JULY 2015  35

Alabama Gardens

Making your own terrarium takes just minutes, once you’ve assembled all the ingredients: a clear container, pebbles, perlite, soil, seeds (or tiny plants) and water. PHOTO BY ALLISON GRIFFIN

Terrariums are easy, fun project for summer – or any time


ack in April I had the pleasure of giving a program to a gathering of Alabama Rural Electric Association spouses, a charming group that listened attentively as I waxed on and on about how everything old really is new again. Case in point: terrariums. I’m old enough to remember back to the 1970s when terrariums were all the rage. And nowadays they, like macramé and fondue, have made a comeback, so I took a stroll down memory lane and tried making one for myself. Not being a particular adept DIYer (do-ityourselfer — my daughters and I have a longstanding joke when we see something cute in a store: we could make that ourselves … but we won’t), I wasn’t sure how well this project would work for me. But it turned out to be such fun, and it is a perfect indoor project for this time of year. For those who don’t know, terrariums are little gardens first developed in the mid1800s by botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, who was actually studying insects in glass jars when he discovered that a fern spore in an unattended jar had germinated and was thriving even though the jar was closed. This discovery not only proved to be a great system for transporting plants across long distances, it also became all the rage in Victorian times. A closed terrarium works by creating its own microenvironment within a clear glass container, which allows sunlight to enter but also traps the moisture created by the plants and soil to create a self-watering system within the containers. Open terrariums work similarly, though they may require more frequent watering to keep them moist and thriving. Closed terrariums work best for tropical plants that thrive in humid, protected enviKatie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@ gmail.com.

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ronments, such as ferns, mosses and orchids. Open terrariums can be used for a variety of other plants such as cacti and succulents that prefer dry, arid conditions or herbs and other hardy, small plants.

To create your own terrarium:

• Choose any clear glass container — from canning jars to a fish bowl to any decorative glass container that strikes your fancy. • Cover the bottom of the container with an inch of pebbles, small rocks, or marbles to create a drainage system for the plants’ roots. • Top the pebbles with a thin layer of activated charcoal or perlite. • Top that with a layer of sterile potting soil (or cactus or orchid soil mix if you’re using these plant species) that is deep enough to comfortably cover and nestle the roots of the plants you are using.

Once you’re through planting and arranging the terrarium, add enough water to the container to moisten the soil mixture, then cover the container if you’re making a closed terrarium. Set the terrarium in a spot where it gets plenty of filtered sunlight. Open terrariums can be exposed to more direct sunlight, but closed terrariums can overheat if they receive too much direct sunlight. Check the terrarium once a week or so to make sure the soil is relatively moist and add a sprinkling of water if needed. A good sign that you need to add additional water to a closed terrarium is a lack of condensation on the surface of the glass or signs of wilting in the plants. If a closed terrarium is beginning to develop mold on its sides, leave it open for an hour or so to let some of the condensation escape. Other than that, there is little maintenance required for terrariums and they truly are easy and fun to make, so much so that you may want to create a whole collection of them in different sizes and styles. After all, you’re only limited by your imagination. A


Alabama Living

JULY 2015  37

Market Place Miscellaneous AERMOTOR WATER PUMPING WINDMILLS – windmill parts – decorative windmills – custom built windmill towers - call Windpower (256)899-3850 or (256)638-2352 KEEP POND WATER CLEAN AND FISH HEALTHY with our aeration systems and pond supplies. Windmill Electric, Solar Powered and Fountain Aerators. Windpower (256)899-3850 FREE BOOKS / DVDS – SOON government will enforce the “Mark” of the beast as church and state unite! Let Bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771 – thebiblesaystruth@yahoo.com, (888)211-1715 LUMBER FOR SALE: CIRCULAR SAW Red & White Oak, Hickory, Ash - $1.20 BFT; Heart Pine - $5.00 BFT – 5” Treated Round: One Side Flat Fence Post 8 FT Long $9.50 each - Loring White (334)782-3636 (Tallapoosa) 18X21 CARPORT $795 INSTALLED – OTHER SIZES AVAILABLE - (706) 226-2739 DIVORCE MADE EASY – UNCONTESTED, LOST, IN PRISON OR Aliens. $149.95 - 26 years experience – (417)443-6511 FINANCIAL HELP LINES FOR AL FAMILIES BANKRUPTCY ADVICE FOR FREE (877)933-1139 MORTGAGE RELIEF HELP LINE (888) 216-4173 STUDENT LOAN RELIEF LINE (888)694-8235 DEBT RELIEF NON-PROFIT LINE (888) 779-4272 Numbers provided by www.careconnectusa.org A Public Benefit Organization METAL ROOFING $1.79/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 / HANDCRAFTED AMISH CASKETS $1,599 / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct (256)490-4025, www. wallbedsofalabama.com, www. alabamamattressoutlet.com HUGE SELECTION OF QUALITY FABRICS AND TRIMS AT DISCOUNT PRICES - Delivered right to your door. WarehouseFabricsInc.com - phone: (205)487-8040. Or visit our store,

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Musical Notes

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.

38  JULY 2015


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Alabama Living

JULY 2015  39

Safe @ Home

Staying safe around electricity after the storm By Allison Griffin


A crew from Central Alabama EC works to clear trees from a closed section of highway in Houston County in April. PHOTO BY ALLISON GRIFFIN

hen the fierce winds of a major storm begin to die down, line crews from Alabama’s rural electric cooperatives are already in motion, preparing to head out into areas littered with downed trees and power lines to restore power your homes and businesses. After the storm has passed and the power’s out, it’s tempting to set off in the car and look at damage. But if local law enforcement or elected officials have asked motorists to stay off the roads, there’s a reason. Michael Kelley, AREA’s director of safety, took me to the Wiregrass Electric Cooperative area in late April after unexpectedly strong storms broke more than 60 power poles and left nearly 13,000 without power in Houston and Geneva counties. It was gratifying to see the cooperative spirit at work as linemen from other Alabama co-ops came to help the Wiregrass crews, who were working day and night to clear roadways and reset poles. But sightseers can hamper workers. “We understand that it’s hard for people to get information during a disaster, to find out which roads are closed and which ones are open,” Kelley says. “Still, obeying road closure signs and law enforcement is important for line worker safety.” In general, the safest place to be during times of disaster is at home. On that April trip, Kelley and I saw several lines that were hanging low across the road, which can be more dangerous than ones on the ground. He says a vehicle with a ladder rack, for example, can grab a low-hanging line and pull a worker off a pole. Or a lowhanging line may still be energized. Alabama’s “Move Over Act,” which requires motorists to vacate the lane closest to an emergency vehicle or slow to a speed that is less than 15 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit, also applies to utility workers and their vehicles.

40  JULY 2015

Other questions and answers from Kelley: What if I encounter a downed power line? • Do not attempt to move a downed line, or anything that is in contact with the line. • Be aware of where the line is, and always maintain a safe distance away from the wire – at least 10 feet. • Report a downed line to your local utility. If it’s on fire or sparking, call 911. • When you call, have a street address available, or in a rural area, either a mailbox number or a mile marker. What if my car contacts a power pole or a downed line? • Stay in the vehicle if at all possible and call for help. The only time you should exit the car is if it is on fire, or there’s a danger that it will be engulfed in water. • If you must leave, jump with both feet together and avoid contact with the car and the ground at the same time, in case the car is “hot.” You do not want to be a path of electricity from the car to the earth. Shuffle away from the car. Other safety reminders: Keep a basic disaster supply kit at home. Even if power is restored quickly, hazardous conditions may keep you from leaving your home. A few basics include three days’ worth of non-perishable food and a gallon of water per person per day for three days. Find a complete list at www.ready.gov. If you have a generator, make sure you have enough gasoline on hand to run it. And make sure it’s properly set up away from the house and garage, and only plug in appliances directly to the generator. Use extension cords that are large enough to carry the electrical load that you will put on the generator. A www.alabamaliving.coop

Alabama Living

JULY 2015  41

CAEC  Safety

School’s Out, but Safety is Always In


he long days of summer are here, and with them come a break from school for children across the state. During this time of freedom, many children will take part in outdoor activities, making it a great time to sit Darren Maddox down and remind them to keep safety in mind when around electricity and Manager of Training and electrical equipment. Safety An important piece of advice is to be aware of what’s around you—such as power lines. While these spans of wire are vital for delivering power to your home, they must be treated with respect. You should never touch a wire and should assume that all of them are dangerous. There is no way to tell if a line is energized or not, even if it’s on the ground, so steer clear and report any downed lines to CAEC or the proper authorities. If you’re out flying a kite or model airplane, make sure to do so in large open areas, such as a field or park, away from overhead power lines and trees (which may obscure your view of any equipment). By chance if a kite or another item, such as a balloon, gets caught in an overhead line, do not try to retrieve it, and never throw items onto lines. Other electrical equipment must be respected as well. You should never climb a utility pole or play around items such as underground transformer enclosures. And never enter a substation for any reason. These areas should only be accessed by authorized CAEC personnel who have the proper knowledge and protective gear to be in such a high-voltage area. If a pet or personal item gets into a substation, call CAEC and we will send an employee to retrieve your personal item. If children are enjoying the summer sun in a pool, make sure they know to keep all electrical equipment at least 10 feet away from the pool and surrounding wet surfaces. Since water is such a great conductor of electricity, appliances, tools and electrical toys should never be handled while standing in a puddle or pool, or even if you’re just wet. 42  JULY 2015

Don’t forget about the electricity that comes from summer storms. Lightning is very dangerous and can travel sideways up to 10 miles, so blue skies aren’t a sign of safety—if you hear thunder, get out of pools and water and take cover. Even if you’re just outdoors during a storm, move toward suitable shelter with covered sides or find a low point and try to lay as low to the ground as possible, away from trees, as lightning seeks the nearest path to ground and is therefore attracted to tall objects.

Summer is a time of fun and exploring, and you can help keep your children safe around electricity by reminding them of these few tips. Put our contact information (800-545-5735) in a visible place, in case you or your children encounter a downed line or other issue while enjoying summertime adventures. A www.caec.coop

On your mark... get set... GO Green! Your participation in the Green Power Choice Program helps us understand how aggressively co-ops, like CAEC, should seek additional renewable energy, even when it sometimes may cost more to generate. You are also helping fund additional research and development. Using this renewable energy improves the future availability of our fossil fuel supply, and it further diversifies the mix. Greater

Fact: Using methane gas from landfills can supply up to 1 percent of the nation’s energy demand.

generation diversity provides a more reliable power supply and a small hedge against increasing coal and natural gas prices. For more information about or to sign up for the Green Power Choice program, visit the Green Power Choice Web site, call (334) 365-6762, (800) 545-5735, or fill out and return the following form.

Complete and mail to: CAEC, P.O. Box 681570 Prattville, AL 36068

YES! I want to purchase green energy in the form of 100-kilowatt-hour blocks through Green Power Choice! 100 kilowatt-hours ($2/month)

300 kilowatt-hours ($6/month)

500 kilowatt-hours ($10/month)

200 kilowatt-hours ($4/month)

400 kilowatt-hours ($8/month)

600 kilowatt-hours ($12/month)


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Signature: GPCAL2015

CAEC Account Number: State: Date:


Our Sources Say

Coach Bobby Wroten


n African proverb states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” That is true. But within the village are people that take more interest than others in raising the children. They give of themselves to the people of the community and raise the children of the village. As you have read here before, I grew up in Corinth, Miss., in the 1960s. It was a great time and place to grow up. One of the reasons it was a great place for a young man was the YMCA (which we all knew as the “Y”) and the Y Director, Bobby Wroten, who we all knew as “Coach” Wroten. Corinth’s youth programs were run through the Y. But the Y served a much greater purpose than the local sports programs. It was the place young people — especially young men — gathered year round. We played organized baseball, football and basketball. But we also played unorganized sports like corkball, pool, ping pong and tether ball in addition to pick-up baseball, football and basketball. I was at the Y regularly from the time I was 7 until I graduated high school. The Y was Coach’s kingdom. He resolved all disputes. He was the prosecutor, judge and jury of all offenses. He was also the head cheerleader and surrogate father for many of us. I first met Coach when I started playing organized baseball in 1960. He was young then. He was a terrifying figure to a shy 6 year-old. I still remember his confident manner and high-pitched voice as he directed practice. He hit balls to us until we were worn out. He dared us to complain. As I grew older and without a consistent father figure at home, Coach took a greater interest in me. I became more accustomed to him and came to admire his no-nonsense style. There was no doubt in his decisions. We held Coach out as the ultimate authority on all athletic issues and many others as well. When I was 13, Coach hired me to work the field, umpire youth games, cut grass and clean up around the Y. He paid me $15 a week. It was a king’s ransom. When I was 16, he hired me and three friends to work the Don Blasingame Baseball League (10-12 years). We started at 8:00 each morning and worked until all games were over, usually around 10 p.m. We made $50 a week. We were the envy of all boys because we worked for

Coach. He also hired me to referee football in the fall and basketball in the winter when high school sports didn’t interfere. I worked for Coach until I graduated high school and left for college. Once I left, he hired my younger brother, Bob, to take my place. Coach was a tough man. He didn’t accept excuses and he had high standards. He was loyal to his friends. If you worked for him or if he liked you, he backed you to the end. I remember him taking on angry parents in the stands and coaches on the field standing up for his boys. Afterwards, one-on-one, he might tear you up and provide a stern lecture on how you should have handled the situation, but he protected you from everyone else. Coach let you know what was expected. No one received a free pass. If you messed up, he let you know. He demanded a lot, but he gave a lot. He helped raise the Linder brothers, the Roberts brothers, the Martin brothers, the Lewis brothers and many more that passed through the Y. He provided structure, discipline and accountability for many young men that otherwise would have little or none. Almost all of them grew up to be successful and productive. Coach had faults. He worked to rid children of color from the Y. That was the practice in pre-integration days, and Coach supported the cause. He was often moody, short-tempered and brash. At times he had good reason. He was a severe diabetic. He lost an eye playing corkball with a group of guys at the Y. He fell down a set of stairs and cut a foot that remained an open wound for more than a decade. Yet he was always there for us. He had two sons slightly younger than me who were raised at the Y with the rest of us. However, the long hours and time spent with others took a toll on his marriage, and he was divorced after I left for college. Coach died Dec. 14, 1990. Even though he has been gone 25 years, I still think often of all I learned from him and how much better I am because he took an interest in me so many years ago. I still think of how much he invested in the children of his village. I know he is smiling down on all his boys. All villages need someone like Coach Wroten. I hope you have a good month. A

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative

44  JULY 2015


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Alabama Living

JULY 2015 45

Alabama Snapshots








7 6

Fun at the Lake 1. Baylor’s first time to ride the tube with Toni at Smith Lake. SUBMITTED BY Casey Brooks, Horton. 2. Paula, McNeil and Andrew Beaseley kayaking at the lake. SUBMITTED BY Peggy Danley, Grove Hill. 3. R a d l e y a n d C a s e H o l l a n d . SUBMITTED BY Lakesha Holland, Red Bay. 4. Cade Cooper and Stetton Hill having a blast on Smith Lake. SUBMITTED BY Dee Dee Cooper. 5. Garry Cox crappie fishing on Lay Lake. SUBMITTED BY Sonya Cox, 46 JULY 2015

Arab. 6. Chloe is ready for a boat ride. SUBMITTED BY Peggy Burdette, Alabaster. 7. Rece and Cade Rooker with “Little Buddy” at Smith Lake. SUBMITTED BY Larry Dozier, Cullman. 8. Fishing at Lake Jordan with friends. SUBMITTED BY Lanier Vance Lora, Wetumpka. 9. To prove he’s not so old, Paul Townes III waterskis every year on his fourth of July birthday. SUBMITTED BY Shelly Friedrich, Falkville.


Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL, 36124 RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www.alabamaliving.coop. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. DEADLINE FOR AUGUST: July 31 www.alabamaliving.coop

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