Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News February 2019
Baldwin Electric Membership Cooperative
Graham Creek Nature Preserve Five hundred acres of natural beauty (Pg. 8) www.baldwinemc.com
BALDWIN EMC is a member-owned electric cooperative serving more than 76,000 accounts in Baldwin and Monroe Counties in southwest Alabama. MAILING ADDRESS:
P.O. BOX 220 SUMMERDALE, AL 36580 PHONE:
(251) 989-6247 ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. Subscriptions are $12 a year for individuals not subscribing through participating Alabama electric cooperatives. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office.
History comes alive in museums With February designated as Black History Month, it’s the perfect time for Alabamians to visit some of the important museums and civil rights sites in our state, including the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery.
VOL. 72 NO. 2 n FEBRUARY 2019
POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014. ALABAMA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION
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Baldwin EMC recently honored 35 men and women who’ve given the cooperative a combined total of 690 years of service.
Vintage Worth the Drive
No one has influenced bass fishing more than Ray W. Scott Jr., founder of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.).
Fort Payne’s Vintage 1889 Cafe offers a unique place to eat, drink and shop for antiques.
D E PA R T M E N T S
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In this issue: Page 11 Page 16 Page 20 Page 28
11 Spotlight 26 Gardens 29 Around Alabama 34 Cook of the Month 40 Outdoors 41 Fish & Game Forecast 46 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop ON THE COVER: With 500 acres of natural beauty, Graham Creek Nature Preserve is a desirable spot for those who love the great outdoors. PHOTOS BY: LESLIE GAHAGAN, GRAHAM CREEK NATURE PRESERVE FEBRUARY 2019 3
Even a good value can get better
Board of Trustees Peggy Vanover Barnes President District 6
Tommie Werneth Vice President District 4
Jimmy LaFoy Secretary/Treasurer District 7
Karen Moore Chief Executive Officer Baldwin EMC
ow that 2019 is about a month old, I have a question for you. How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions? Whenever I think of those December 31 commitments that we make for a more positive new year, being healthier and dropping a few pounds have traditionally been among the most popular.
ELECTRICITY REMAINS A GOOD VALUE
The cost of powering your home rises slowly when compared to other common expenses. Looking at price increases over the last five years, it’s easy to see electricity remains a good value!
Chad Grace District 1
Average Annual Price Increase 2012-2017 Percent
Joe Coleman District 2
1.5 1.0 0.5 0
Aubury Fuller District 3
Robert Kaiser District 5
Chief Executive Officer Karen Moore
4 FEBRUARY 2019
Cable/ Satellite TV
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index
However, according to a recent report by a major news outlet, one resolution in particular has picked up stamina for 2019: saving money. In other words, this year Americans are focusing just as much on their financial health as they are on their physical health. That is music to my ears, because offering our members a great value and teaching them how to get the most for their money is a top priority for Baldwin EMC. That’s not just a New Year’s resolution, either. It’s an all year, every year obligation. Just how much of a value is electricity? Let’s take a look at the average annual price increases of some common household budget items. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Consumer Price Index, the average cost of rent across the United States has risen by 3.5 percent annually from 2012 to 2017. Cable and satellite TV costs are up 3.3 percent annually since 2012, followed closely by education costs, which have increased by 3.0 percent. Groceries like butter, meat and egg costs have been up by more than one to 2 percent annually. As for electricity, overall across the country we’ve seen an increase of only 1.6 percent per year in the same span of time. Currently, Baldwin EMC powers most homes for around five dollars a day. That five dollars buys you the electricity that heats and cools your house, runs all your kitchen appliances, turns on the TV and computer, charges your cell phone and warms the water for your morning shower, among many other tasks. Five dollars will barely get you a complete meal at many local fast food restaurants. Even though electricity is a good value, if your resolution for 2019 was to spend less money, your power bill is one place where you can easily impact change just by making a few changes, such as: •
swap out the bulbs in all your light fixtures from incandescent to LEDs
start washing your clothes in cold water
install low-flow faucets and shower heads
use caulk and weather stripping to seal up air leaks around windows and doors
As always, if you need more help saving energy in your home, we’re here for you. Visit our website at www.baldwinemc.com, or call (251) 989-6247 and speak with one of the trained residential energy advisors in our energy services department.
| Baldwin EMC |
Take Advantage of a Tax-Free Weekend Load up on your severe weather supplies
evere weather can happen anytime, and sometimes without much warning. That’s why it’s important to have the supplies you’ll need to face the effects of major storms in your home at all times, not just during hurricane season. From February 22 - 24, Alabama residents will be able to purchase severe weather preparedness supplies tax-free. The sales tax holiday will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday of the last full weekend in February and end at twelve midnight on the following Sunday.
Items such as batteries, phone chargers, plastic sheeting, duct tape, plywood, fire extinguishers, first aid kits and more will be sold free of state and local sales tax, provided that they’re valued at $60 or less. Any portable generators and power cords valued at $1,000 or less will also be tax-exempt that weekend. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends stocking your storm supply kit with the following items: •
One gallon of water per person, per day for at least three days
A three-day supply of non-perishable food
Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
A first aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Basic tools, such as wrenches and pliers
Cell phone chargers and extra batteries
You should also stock items to accommodate your family’s specific needs, including medication and baby items such as diapers. For a complete list of items that will be tax-free from February 22-24, visit revenue.alabama.gov, or call the Alabama Department of Revenue at (334) 242-1490. Alabama Living
Get your scholarship applications in.
e might be several months away from the start of the fall semester at most colleges and universities, but the deadline for college scholarships from Baldwin EMC is right around the corner.
Thanks to our partnership with the Electric Cooperative Foundation and your contributions to Operation Round Up, we’re able to offer two scholarships to current and soon-to-be college students. Applications for both are available at www. baldwinemc.com and in all Baldwin EMC offices. They’re due this month, so don’t hesitate! Electric Cooperative Foundation Scholarship •
Who's eligible? Any high school senior who is a dependent of a Baldwin EMC member.
How much is it worth? The Electric Cooperative Foundation awards two $500 scholarships.
What's the deadline? Applications need to be received by the Alabama Rural Electric Association no later than Friday, February 15, 2019 (no postmarks).
Baldwin EMC Charitable Foundation Scholarship •
Who's eligible? Any soon-to-be or currently enrolled college student.
How much is it worth? The Charitable Foundation
What's the deadline? Applications need to be submitted to Baldwin EMC by Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.
scholarship can provide a student as much as $3,750 annually.
FEBRUARY 2019 5
Honoring Longevity Baldwin EMC recognizes close to 700 years of service.
On December 20, Baldwin EMC did exactly that by recognizing 35 individuals who reached milestones in their years of service to Baldwin EMC. The cooperative honored a total of 690 years of service, which Chief Executive Officer Karen Moore said was nothing to take lightly. “Tools, technology and equipment don’t make this co-op run every day. People do,” says Moore. “That’s why recognizing their dedication is of the utmost importance to us.”
A recent study by the team behind the hugely successful job networking site LinkedIn found a new trend in careers among Americans: “job-hopping.” The site reported that “over the last 20 years, the number of companies people worked for in the five years after they graduated has nearly doubled.” As career switching becomes more common, the push to honor longevity becomes more important.
5 Years of Service:
Salina Jenkins, Matthew Cooper, Ray Bishop, Dan Onisa, Chelsey Simpson, Kody Willis and Kevin Wilson
20 Years of Service: Dan Blackburn (Baldwin EMC legal counsel)
10 Years of Service:
David Hammock, Tim Pouncey and Gary Dueitt (not pictured)
25 Years of Service:
Erik Aplin, Steve Irvin, Derrick Johnson, Linda Harris, Tony Rice, Jody Taylor, John Richerson, Coy Baxter (not pictured) and Michael Morrow (not pictured)
20 Years of Service:
Chris Korhonen, Tom Daniel, Yolanda Barnett, George Watters and Wade Bailey
30 Years of Service:
Wayne Givens, Kevin Dorman, Peggy Vanover Barnes (Board President), Kent Enfinger, Doug Tindal, Robert Wiggins and Kathy Leiterman (not pictured)
Longevity at a Glance:
35 Years of Service: Pam Dearborn and Tom Rishe 6 FEBRUARY 2019
45 Years of Service: Donna Givens
The average tenure of the men and women honored by Baldwin EMC for longevity in 2018 is 19.7 years.
The average tenure for employees at companies nationwide is 4.2 years (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2018)
With 690 years, this was the highest total years of longevity recognized by Baldwin EMC since 2013. www.alabamaliving.coop
THE SEASON OF GIVING In 2018, your generosity added up.
COATS FOR KIDS Hundreds of donations The warmth of your generosity came in the form of warm winter coats by the hundreds. The coats were distributed to charitable agencies, who worked through local schools to get them to kids in need.
BLOOD DRIVE 74 pints of blood You didn't just come for the free cookies. You came to make a difference, and that's exactly what you did. The blood donations we received will benefit as many as 222 people in our local hospitals.
| Baldwin EMC |
We asked. Our community answered. N
ovember kicked off a season of giving at Baldwin EMC, and with our members’ participation, we were able to make a big impact in our community.
Throughout the final months of 2018, we collected coats for children who were going without during cold winter months, blood for our local hospitals, food for our local food pantries and toys to make a brighter Christmas morning possible for underprivileged families. “When we asked, our community answered,” says Mark Ingram, Baldwin EMC vice president of corporate services and public relations. “We see it year after year when we host events like the Power of Giving drive and programs like the Toy Drive. And yet it never ceases to impress us.” Ingram says Baldwiin EMC’s commitment to meeting the charitable needs of the areas it serves is part of the cooperative’s identity. “Since Baldwin EMC was founded in 1937, our goal has always been to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve. We’ve always known that our role is so much bigger than just keeping the lights on.”
Hundreds of pounds Everything from pasta to peas helped stock the shelves of our local food pantries, just in time for the Christmas holidays.
TOY DRIVE More than 1,200 toys We've never seen so many toys in one place..at least, not outside of a toy store! So many toys, so many smiles on the faces of local children this Christmas - all made possible by your donations.
Aaron Thompson (left) makes a blood donation with a little encouragement from Austin Steward (right).
FEBRUARY 2019 7
| Baldwin EMC |
Graham Creek Nature Preserve
Five hundred acres of natural beauty got a little help from Baldwin EMC employees
etween guided hikes, nature workshops, kayak tours, and special events like the annual Creek Crawl obstacle race, it seems there is always something going on at Graham Creek Nature Preserve in Foley. With nearly 500 acres and multiple year-round recreation opportunities, it’s no wonder the site attracts upwards of 70,000 visitors a year. “As a city park, it’s free and open to the public from sunup to sundown, seven days a week, and it’s very heavily used,” said Leslie Gahagan, environmental manager for the city of Foley who manages the development of the preserve. But with a mixture of natural habitats including wetlands, forests and tidal marshes, it’s not just humans who benefit from the site. “Every season there are different flowers blooming and different birds,” Gahagan said. “We also have about 700 species of plants, including 10 on the Alabama endangered list, and we can manage species like the pitcher plant in those wetland areas.” It was just a little over a decade ago when the city of Foley opened the preserve with a hiking trail and kayak launch, providing residents and tourists with public access to Wolf Bay. Over the next few years, bathrooms and pavilions were added, followed by a sensory outdoor classroom (completed in 2012), introducing art, climbing, gardening, sand and music stations to students of all ages. In 2016, doors opened on the Interpretive Center, featuring a Nature Center exhibit area full of educational displays like live native reptile and habitat reproductions. Ten years ago, however, “I never could have predicted it would become what it has,” Gahagan said. “The city initially purchased the property for its pristine aquifer resources. A few years in, we started branching into formal education opportunities with camps and field trips. But I’m a biologist by trade, when disc golf was first suggested, I had no idea what that was!”
Indeed, the preserve now boasts three 18-basket disc golf courses, mountain biking and cross county trails, and an archery park. “We do have an advisory board and management plan to make sure we do
what’s right for the property and also right for the local citizens,” Gahagan said. “We’ve grown a lot, but we have a plan in place to ensure we maintain the integrity of the park and its purpose.” To handle all the upkeep and special events, Gahagan said the preserve relies heavily on a community of helping hands. “We have a small staff and couldn’t do it all without the help of volunteers.” Last fall, a group of Baldwin EMC employees helped to restore areas of the outdoor classroom, which were feeling the effects of the environment. “We replaced a lot of the rotting timbers which were starting to disintegrate due to it being a wetland area,” said Baldwin EMC Construction Coordinator Mark Byrnes. “I really enjoyed doing it. Helping out at a site like that, in a way that you know you’re making something better for other people in the community to enjoy, was really a great way to give back.”
“No matter the season, if we have someone who wants to volunteer, we always have a job for them to tackle.”
For Baldwin EMC warehouseman Steve Engel, “It always feels great to help out in a way that will help others get outdoors and get moving.” Engel, who is a mountain biker himself, actually began volunteering at the preserve a few years ago when he noticed overgrowth on the mountain biking trails. “I connected with a few other guys and we got the trail cleaned up and a year or two later we built bridges so the bikes could cross the marshes.” “For me, the best part of helping out was knowing that a small group of us accomplished in one day a project that would have taken one of the Preserve staff a week or more,” said Baldwin EMC engineer Sol Fleming. “We were able to knock it out pretty quick and let the staff focus on what they need to focus on that day.” “Our biggest request for volunteers is for our events,” Gahagan said. “No matter the season, though, if we have someone who wants to volunteer, we always have a job for them to tackle.”
Visit Graham Creek Nature Preserve at 23030 Wolf Bay Drive, Foley, Alabama. Follow them on Facebook or go to grahamcreekpreserve.org for information on upcoming events. Call (251) 923-4267 to find out how you can volunteer at the preserve. 8 FEBRUARY 2019
On a typical day, Sol Fleming works as an engineer for Baldwin EMC. He recently traded his office for nature as a volunteer at Graham Creek Nature Preserve.
Baldwin EMC employees Bruce Waters (foreground) and Steve Engel avoid the temptation to play with their new four-legged friend while working at Graham Creek Nature Preserve. www.alabamaliving.coop
| Alabama Snapshots |
Rhett and Phoebe Pilkington’s first father-daughter dance. SUBMITTED BY Rachel Pilkington, Thomasville.
Laura Stanton Strickler and dad, Sean, at the Capital City Club Daddy-Daughter Dance in 2013. SUBMITTED BY Sean Strickler, Montgomery.
Tim dancing with his first daughter to get married. SUBMITTED BY Tim Williams, Valley Grande.
Kady (8 years old) and stepdad Tyler Melton. SUBMITTED BY Sandy Kiplinger, Union Grove.
Brooks, Hallie, Quinn and Maryn-Brooke Bennett at Slocomb Elementary’s daddy-daughter dance. SUBMITTED BY Whitney Bennett, Hartford.
Father-Daughter Dance Submit Your Images! April Theme: “Playful Puppies” Deadline for April: Feb. 28
SUBMIT PHOTOS ONLINE: www.alabamaliving.coop/submit-photo/ or send color photos with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www.alabamaliving.coop and on our Facebook page. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Alabama Living
FEBRUARY 2019 9
Spotlight | February SOCIAL SECURITY
Your Social Security Beneﬁt Statement (SSA-1099) Tax season is approaching, and Social Security has made replacing your annual Benefit Statement even easier. The Benefit Statement is also known as the SSA-1099 or the SSA-1042S. Now you can get a copy of your 1099 anytime and anywhere you want using our online services. A Social Security 1099 is a tax form Social Security mails each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits you received from Social Security in the previous year so you know how much Social Security income to report to the IRS on your tax return. If you live in the United States and you need a replacement form SSA-1099 or
Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where were you when man ﬁrst walked on the moon? Do you remember where you were on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon’s surface? Did you get to stay up late to watch on TV? Did you or your parents have a special watch party? We want to hear about it! The 50th anniversary of that historic event is coming up this year, and we want to do our part to recognize the crowning achievement of the U.S. space program, which all began in Huntsville, Alabama. (The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is sponsoring a number of special events in July, in cooperation with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, to mark the event.) Send your memories, no more than 100 words, with your name, address, phone number and email address, and a photo of yourself from 1969, by April 26 to email@example.com or mail to Moon Landing Memories, Alabama Living, 340 Technacenter Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117. We will publish a selection of those submissions in the July 2019 magazine.
10 FEBRUARY 2019
SSA-1042S, simply go online and request an instant, printable replacement form through your personal my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. A replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S is available for the previous tax year after February 1. If you already have a my Social Security account, you can log in to your online account to view and print your SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S. If you don’t have access to a printer, you can save the document on your computer or laptop or even email it. If you don’t have a my Social Security account, creating one is very easy to do and usually takes less than 10 minutes. If you receive benefits or have Medicare, your my Social Security account is also the best way to: • Get your benefit verification letter; • Check your benefit and payment information;
• Change your address and phone number; • Change your direct deposit information; • Request a replacement Medicare card; or • Report your wages if you work and receive Social Security disability insurance or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. If you’re a noncitizen who lives outside of the United States and you received or repaid Social Security benefits last year, we will send you form SSA-1042S in the mail. The forms SSA-1099 and SSA1042S are not available for people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). With a personal my Social Security account, you can do much of your business with us online, on your time, like get a copy of your SSA-1099 form. Visit socialsecurity.gov to find out more.
Whereville, AL Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by Feb. 8 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the February issue. Submit by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Contribute your own photo for an upcoming issue! Send a photo of an interesting or unusual landmark in Alabama, which must be accessible to the public. A reader whose photo is chosen will also win $25.
JANUARY'S ANSWER The 100-foot-tall water tower in Lineville in Clay County was built in 1917 and is listed in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage properties. From the application to the register, which was prepared in 1973: “The tower, built in the shape of a medieval sentry tower, was constructed by R.T. Aderhold of College Park, Ga. Due to its unusual appearance and height, the tower is a noted landmark in Lineville and can be seen from every direction.” (Photo by Kevin Hand of Tallapoosa River EC) The random guess winner is Mark Ogle of Marshall-DeKalb EC. www.alabamaliving.coop
February | Spotlight Learn more about the Wetumpka Impact Crater Feb. 19, 1807 Capt. Edmund P. Gaines arrested former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr in Washington County. Charged by Thomas Jefferson for threatening to conquer Spanish territory in North America, Burr was arrested by Gaines while traveling to a ferry on the Tombigbee River after Burr was identified late the night before by Nicholas Perkins. Gaines held Burr at Aaron Burr nearby Fort Stoddert for the rest of the month until he was escorted to Richmond, Virginia, where he was tried and acquitted of treason. While Burr was never convicted of any crime, he fled to Europe to escape his creditors and continued unsuccessfully to solicit funds for conquering Spanish territory. http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-2039
The city of Wetumpka sits right on the bulls-eye of the greatest natural disaster in Alabama history. The hills just east of its downtown are the remains of an impact crater, about five miles wide, formed about 83 million years ago when a cosmic object struck the area. Energy released by the impact of the asteroid or comet was roughly 175,000 times greater than the nuclear explosion in Hiroshima in 1945. The collision produced a huge earthquake, a tsunami, an atmospheric blast wave and a cascade of falling rocks that would have blasted out of the developing crater bowl. (Information from the Encyclopedia of Alabama.) Want to learn more? There will be a free public lecture by Auburn University geology professor David King at 7 p.m. Feb. 21 on the second floor of the Wetumpka Administration Building. There also will be guided tours at 9 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Feb. 23, which will be in two parts – a video and orientation, followed by a driving tour. Cost for tours is $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger. Pre-register for the tours by calling Valencia Smith at 334-5675147, or by emailing email@example.com. For more information, visit wetumpkaimpactcratercommission.org.
Find the hidden dingbat!
Stamp honors state’s bicentennial Alabama’s statehood will be recognized with its own stamp this month. The U.S. Postal Service will issue the Alabama bicentennial stamp on Feb. 23 in Constitution Hall Park in Huntsville. The stamp is of a photo by Alabama photographer Joe Miller of a sunset at Cheaha State Park, on Pulpit Rock Trail. “With Pulpit Rock in the foreground, most of the area in the valley below the overlook is part of the Talladega National Forest, which surrounds the state park,” says the USPS website. “The name of the state and the year of statehood are included in the stamp art. The art director is William J. Gicker. Greg Breeding designed the stamp with Miller’s existing photograph.” Details about the Feb. 23 event will be available at the state’s bicentennial website, alabama200.org. Alabama Living
More than 700 of our readers entered last month’s inaugural “Find the Dingbat” Contest, which tells us that you enjoy hunting through Alabama Living and you like a good contest! One entrant even drew us a picture of the hidden snowman, while a few others told us how long it took them to find him. Some of you claimed to see the snowman in the illustration on Page 46 or in the salt and pepper shakers in the photo on page 26. The correct answer was on Page 9 in the top photo next to the barn. Our winner, drawn from all the correct entries, is Vicky Morton of Baldwin EMC. We’ve got a new dingbat hidden in this month’s magazine, and for February it’s got a Valentine’s Day theme: a cupid shooting an arrow. Remember that the dingbat won’t be in an ad, and it won’t be on pages 3-8. If you find it, send us a note with the page number where it’s located. Include your name, address, phone number, and the name of your electric cooperative. A winner will be chosen in a random drawing from the correct answers, and will receive $25. By mail: Find the Dingbat Alabama Living PO Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 By email: firstname.lastname@example.org Entries must be received by Feb. 11. Good luck and happy hunting! FEBRUARY 2019 11
The State of Camellias:
How an Asian import became Alabamaâ€™s State Flower 12 FEBRUARY 2019
By Katie Lamar Jackson
t’s adorned landscapes, tabletops and even the gowns of first ladies here in Alabama for more than 200 years, but how did the camellia, an import from Asia, become our state flower 60 years ago? That story is a tale of adoration, tenacity and a bit of conflict that will be recounted and celebrated Feb. 15-18 in Mobile, the city where Alabama’s camellia culture first took root, as the Alabama and the American Camellia societies join forces for their annual meetings and a mega-flower show. Held in conjunction with Alabama’s Bicentennial celebration, the event commemorates the 60th anniversary of the camellia becoming Alabama’s state flower while also welcoming hundreds of camellia lovers from across the nation to help celebrate the history and future of this beloved, storied plant. Camellias have long been adored for their glossy, evergreen foliage and exquisite flowers, which burst into bloom during the fall and winter. According to the American Camellia Society’s website, the Camellia genus encompasses more than 200 species of plants including C. sinensis, the source of pretty much all the tea in China and the world. The genus also includes several ornamental species — the two most common of which are the fall-blooming C. sasanqua and the winter-blooming C. japonica. These and a handful of other camellia species are the foundation plants for more than 3,000 named varieties and hybrids that produce a diverse and sumptuous selection of bloom colors, sizes and petal arrangements.
All the world loves a camellia
“What plant has inspired two wars?” queried Latta. The answer: camellias, which were catalysts for the American RevoluThough camellias have been revered and cultivated for thoutionary War (remember the Boston Tea Party?) and the Opium sands of years in their southern and eastern Asia homelands for Wars (a series of conflicts fought between China and England in their tea-producing leaves and breathtaking flowers, it was a thirst the 19th century over the British trade of for tea that brought them to England and opium for tea). other parts of Europe and the Middle East in Despite these conflicts, camellias also the 16th and 17th centuries. Enamored with brought together some ardent allies, par— or more properly, addicted to — tea, the ticularly here in Alabama where the plants British began importing C. sinensis plants by grew exceptionally well and were commonly the thousands, and with those shipments, planted in landscapes and yards throughout whether by accident or not, came some of the state as early as the mid-1800s. Accordthe ornamental varieties. ing to Latta, those allies included a quartet By the late 1730s, camellias were becomof men who made Alabama a hub of cameling almost as popular as tea in Europe and, lia production, innovation and commerce in by the late 1700s, they had been introduced the early 1900s. into America. “Lightning strikes sometimes and, like Camellias, though a source of adoration Silicon Valley in the technology world, in for many, were also the cause of conflict, the gardening world it struck in Mobile, says Forrest Latta, a Mobile camellia devoAla.,” Latta said. That “lightning” was gentee and member of the conference planning erated by four Mobile residents: Tom Dodd, committee who has what he calls a “historic Tsukasa Kiyono, Robert Rubel and Kosaku imagination.” He loves learning about the Gov. John Patterson and his wife, Mary Joe Sawada, all names that remain iconic in the McGowin Patterson, at the 1959 inaugural stories of camellia plants and their people.
ball. She was influential in making the camellia the state flower.
PHOTO COURTESY ALABAMA CAMELLIA SOCIETY
FEBRUARY 2019 13
camellia’s story. Each man was independently growing, developing and selling camellias through their nursery businesses. From their inspired and tenacious work sprang many named varieties and Alabama’s still-flourishing nursery industry. They also helped make camellias a must-have plant for gardens in the state, region and nation, including in the now world-famous Theodore, Ala., garden of Bessie and Walter Bellingrath.
champions began lobbying to replace the goldenrod, which had been named Alabama’s state flower in 1927 (the same day the yellowhammer became our official state bird), with their favorite flower. The first camellia bill, sponsored by Sen. Jimmy Faulkner of Baldwin Robert Rubel of Longview Nursery in Mobile once shipped five County in 1949, failed. But the carailcars of huge old camellias from the Gulf Coast to estates in mellia camp was undeterred. They the Charleston area, as shown in this photo inscribed “Shipped Nov 29, 1930.” touted the attributes of camellias, PHOTO COURTESY ALABAMA CAMELLIA SOCIETY including their beauty, ease of cultivation and tourism potential. A June 4, 1959, Alabama Journal article reported that, as the Camellia cities Legislature’s Conservation Committee met to vote on moving Though camellias are an iconic plant of Mobile, Greenville, the bill forward for a full vote, they had company – “the camellia Ala., is where the effort to make the camellia our Alabama state crowd, made up primarily of formidable-looking women.” flower began, a story that brought on another bit of conflict. Later that month, the bill passed and was signed into law by According to historical records, after overhearing a visiting Gov. John Patterson on Aug. 26, after which Patterson’s wife, garden editor from a national magazine comment on the large Mary Joe McGowin Patterson, who had connections in Greennumber of handsome and old (some dated back to the mid-1800s) ville, reportedly said, “Good, I can go home tonight!” In 1999, to clear up any confusion about which camellia was the camellias in Greenville, a local newspaper editor began using the state flower, the Legislature passed another bill designating Camelslogan “The Camellia City” on his paper’s masthead. Soon city officials and civic and business folk (including a local dairy that used lia japonica L. as the official Alabama camellia species. (At the same pictures of camellias on its milk cartons) also adopted the slogan. time, perhaps to quell some of the goldenrod angst, legislators also The camellia was named Greenville’s official city flower in the named another native flower, the oak-leaf hydrangea, as Alabama’s late 1930s, and is also where, in 1948, the Alabama Camellia Sostate wildflower.) In 2014, the Legislature also proclaimed Jan. 7 of ciety was founded. A year later, those Greenville-based camellia each year as Alabama’s “Camellia Day,” a date picked to coincide
This camellia, “Herme,” is planted at the Alabama Capitol and originated in the 1840s in Japan. PHOTO COURTESY ALABAMA CAMELLIA SOCIETY
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with the start of C. japonica’s prime blooming season. Despite the conflicts it may have incited, the camellia remains a beloved plant to many, including the thousands of tourists — and their dollars — who come to Alabama each year to see them in bloom. As Latta says, “Camellias are like apple pie. Everybody likes them.” And there is a lot to like. These long-lived, low-maintenance plants are available in a wide range of sizes, from dwarf shrubs to 15-foot trees, which can fit any landscape design needs. And when their showy blossoms open to show myriad hues of solid and variegated white, pink and red, often with adorned with yellow-to-gold stamens, “like” can easily become “love.” Plus, said Latta, they are a reminder of how lucky we are to live in Alabama. “Where else but Alabama can you go out in the yard in the middle of February and get cut flowers?” he asked. Then there’s the human connection. “I think of camellia stories as people stories,” Latta says, noting that the adoring and
tenacious men and women who have, and still do, love and propagate them are as unique as the plants themselves. “Every beautiful camellia you see has a human pedigree.” Want to hear more of the story — or become part of it? Latta said this year’s convention offers a once-in-alifetime chance to do just that. “Or just come to the free flower show on Feb. 17,” Latta suggested. “You’ll see a floral fireworks and leave a changed person.”
This historical marker on the grounds of the Alabama Capitol tells the story of how the camellia became the state flower. PHOTO COURTESY ALABAMA CAMELLIA SOCIETY
Help celebrate the 60th anniversary of Alabama’s official state flower, Camellia japonica, which coincides with Alabama’s 200th year of statehood and the annual meeting of the American Camellia Society, by coming to Mobile Feb. 15-18 for three days of flowers, fun and history. Registered participants will see outstanding camellia gardens in the Mobile area at their peak bloom, including Bellingrath and Mobile Botanical gardens and several private collections. In conjunction with the Alabama 200 Commission, the convention also features a free public flower show featuring spectacular blooms from across the state and nation to be held at the Mobile Convention Center on Feb. 17 from 1-5 p.m. To learn more about the conference, contact Chuck Shirk at 251-422-0398 or visit AlabamaCamelliaSociety.org or the “Alabama Camellias” Facebook page, which offers hundreds of photos and stories about Alabama camellias and the people, past and present, who adore these plants. In addition to the convention’s mega-flower show, several smaller shows will be held this month in Semmes (Feb. 2), Dothan (Feb. 9) and in Birmingham and Auburn (both on Feb. 23). For more information on these and future events or to explore membership opportunities with state or local camellia organizations, visit americancamellias.com and click on “about” and then “clubs and societies.”
Thinking of adding camellias to your landscape? Here are some tips to ensure they thrive and provide the best color in fall and winter landscapes. Sites: For best growth and flowering, plant camellias in partial shade and in an area protected from strong winds; they grow well under pines but don’t compete well with hardwood tree roots. Varieties: With more than 3,000 named varieties, there’s a camellia to fit any color, bloom-type and plant size preferences; if you live in colder parts of the state, make sure to choose cold-hardy varieties. Soil: Camellias can be grown in a variety of soil types, but for best results they need an acidic soil (pH 5.0-6.5) that’s well aerated and high in organic matter. Water: Camellias need adequate water when they are first planted and during growth periods: once established, they tolerate drought better than wet feet. Planting times: Camellias are best planted in fall and early winter. Propagation: Camellias can be reproduced from seed, cuttings, grafting and air layering. To learn more about growing camellias, visit the American Camellia Association website (americancamellias.com), join a local camellia club or check out the Alabama Cooperative Extension publication “The Culture of Camellias” at aces.edu/ pubs/docs/A/ANR-0202/ANR-0202.pdf.
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Sites preserve, interpret black history in Alabama By Marilyn Jones
PHOTOS BY MARILYN JONES EXCEPT WHERE NOTED
We are not makers of history, we are made by history.
ith February designated as Black History Month, Alabamians have the unique opportunity to visit many important civil rights sites that are just a short drive away, or maybe just around the corner,” says Dorothy Walker, site director of the Freedom Rides Museum. “Come experience this
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
history as you walk in the footsteps of the foot soldiers – and visit the unique sites where history took shape.” Throughout Alabama are museums and memorials honoring the accomplishments and struggles of African Americans. Here is a sampling of sites illustrating this important part of Alabama and national history.
PHOTOS COURTESY MONTGOMERY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
National Memorial for Peace and Justice and The Legacy Museum, Montgomery
Chronicling the dark history of the slave trade, racial terrorism, the Jim Crow South and the world’s largest prison system, the Legacy Museum helps investigate America’s history of racial in16 FEBRUARY 2019
justice. The nearby memorial pays tribute to the more than 4,400 African American men, women and children who were murdered by white mobs between 1877 and 1950. It is the first of its kind to acknowledge the victims of racial terror lynching. For more information: museumandmemorial.eji.org; (334) 386-9100. www.alabamaliving.coop
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Negro Southern League Museum, Birmingham
The museum tells the story of African-American baseball in America through the eyes of Birmingham. The museum features the largest collection of original Negro League baseball artifacts in the country and features a Negro League and Southern League baseball history research center. For more information: birminghamnslm.org; (205) 581-3040.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham
Educating and enlightening each generation about civil and human rights is the underlying principle of the institute. Part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, it helps further the understanding for the significance of civil rights developments in Birmingham. For more information: bcri.org; (866) 328-9696.
National Voting Rights Museum, Selma
The museum addresses the contemporary struggle for voting rights and human dignity. Exhibits help explain events such as the struggle leading up to the Selma to Montgomery March and the civil rights movement throughout the South. For more information: nvrmi.com; (334) 526-4340.
Freedom Rides Museum, Montgomery
In 1961 volunteers made history by challenging the practice of segregated travel through the South. They called themselves Freedom Riders as they crossed racial barriers in depots and onboard buses. The museum tells the story of the non-violent protest that helped end racial segregation in public transportation. For more information: ahc.alabama. gov/properties/freedomrides; (334) 2423184.
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Rosa Parks Library and Museum, Montgomery
The museum chronicles Rosa Parks and her refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955. When she refused she was arrested. This led to the bus boycott, which eventually led to changes in the law. Exhibits detail the setbacks and ultimate success of the boycott. For more information: visitingmontgomery.com; (334) 241-8615.
Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail
Until 1965, some counties in Alabama used measures to prevent African Americans from registering to vote. Protests against this injustice were met with violence including death. On March 25 nearly 25,000 people began to walk from Selma to Montgomery. Five months later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in voting practices or procedures because of race and color. The Selma Interpretive Center and the Lowndes Interpretive Center, located along the original march route on U.S. Highway 80 in White Hall, both offer insight into the struggle. There are signs with an official national trail logo that mark the path the foot soldiers took in 1965. For more information: nps.gov/semo/ index.htm; (334) 727-3200.
The George Washington Carver Museum, Tuskegee
Operated by the National Park Service, the museum honors Carver for his many accomplishments. The head of the Tuskegee Institute Agriculture Department, he is best known for his work with the peanut, but he also invented commercial byproducts from all sorts of other vegetables. Carver’s life work was to create and invent in order to help the poor people of his black community. Exhibits chronicle his life from boyhood until his death by using photography and artifacts, including equipment he used. For more information: nps.gov/tuin/ index.htm; (334) 727-3200.
Dexter Parsonage Museum, Montgomery
The parsonage, on the National Register of Historic Places, was the residence of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his young family between 1954 and 1960. The nine-room parsonage, built in 1912, has been restored to its appearance when King and his family lived there. Much of the furniture presently in the living room, dining room, bedroom and study was actually used by King. A permanent exhibit in the Interpretive Center includes a timeline of photographs of the 12 Dexter pastors who lived in the parsonage and other historic events associated with the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. For more information: dexterkingmemorial.org/tours/parsonage-museum; (334) 261-3270.
Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, Tuskegee
Civil Rights Memorial, Montgomery
The memorial is located across the street from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Designed by Vietnam Veterans Memorial designer Maya Lin, the circular black granite table is engraved with the names of civil rights martyrs and the movement’s history. Behind the table is the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s well-known paraphrase of Amos 5:24: We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream. For more information: splcenter.org/ civil-rights-memorial; (888) 414-7752.
The historic site was the training center of the first-ever African American military pilots, known as the Red Tails. Excellent exhibits housed in original buildings help explain the struggle for the right to fight for their country during WWII, and their success as pilots. For more information: nps.gov/tuai/ index.htm; (334) 724-0922. www.alabamaliving.coop
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Theatrical work weaves stories of love from Alabama’s history By M.J. Ellington
s Valentine’s Day approaches, a theatrical work is taking shape, one that will explore the theme of love by drawing from the real-life stories found in 200 years of correspondence at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. The production will use letters, poems, music and acting to highlight many kinds of love in Alabama – including love of family, justice and country, as well as the love between romantic partners. While not attempting to chronicle 200 years of love in the state, it will instead “collage archival pieces together to show different views of a particular moment in Alabama history, and use stories of love as the vehicle,” says Auburn University theater professor Tessa Carr. She has written and will direct “Alabama Love Stories,” which will be a broad sweep of many different kinds of love across 200 years. The stories are real, and trace not only the love people shared, but also give a sense of the era in which they lived. “These were ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances,” Carr says. One example comes from the letters written during the Civil War between a slave imprisoned in Georgia and his owner’s wife. He was concerned that his family might be split up and sold, making it impossible for him to ever find them. But one of the production’s love stories – which has a captivating modern-day tie – began innocently enough with friendly pen pal letters from November 1944 to March 1945. This love story developed between Auburn University graduate and Auburn native Byron Chew Yarbrough, a Navy lieutenant junior grade, and his pen pal, Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Jones of Cordele, Ga. The letters ended soon after Yarbrough’s death on Navy Landing Craft 449, during bitter conflict leading up to the battle of Iwo Jima. Yarbrough died near the end of the war, three months before he was due to come home and finally see the woman who had agreed, through their pen pal “dates,” to share the future with him. Details of their letters show how the friendly correspondence between a soldier at war and a woman doing her part to encourage a soldier with stories about life back home gradually grew into love, though they knew each other only through the letters and photos.
Discovering a love story
Alabama genealogist and ADAH research coordinator Nancy Dupree, who is Jones’ niece, uncovered the story from a bundle of letters tied with blue ribbon in a trunk in her parents’ attic. The pen pal romance had lifelong impact on the rest of Jones’ life and
A birthday card Brown sent to Yarbrough. The envelope is stamped returned and unclaimed from the War Department; Yarbrough had been killed before he received the card. ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY, BYRON CHEW YARBROUGH DIGITAL COLLECTION
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FEBRUARY 2019â€ƒ 21
puzzled the two families for more than half a century. “We always wondered what happened to Betty,” a Yarbrough relative in Texas told Dupree when she finally tracked him down. In 2005, Dupree was at her parents’ house in Cordele, Ga., cleaning out the attic in preparation for a move. She was heading back downstairs when she noticed an unfamiliar trunk. Dupree opened the trunk and found a stack of letters tied with blue ribbon. The letters were between Jones, who was her father’s sister, and Yarbrough, who grew up at Pebble Hill in Auburn, the son of a doctor. Some of the letters to Yarbrough had been stamped “undelivered” and returned by the War Department unopened. Dupree took the letters downstairs and asked her mother about them. Her mother knew nothing about trunk or the letters. She said the trunk likely came after Jones’ parents, who lived next door, died. Betty was their daughter and had moved home to help care for them in their old age. Dupree brought the letters back to Alabama when she returned home, opened them in chronological order at her dining room table, read them and cried. She said her beautiful aunt, whom she described as “stunning,” never married, became an alcoholic and lived a sad, often lonely life until she died. “Their plans were to have a future together, but the ship was bombed and he died,” Dupree says. Betty Jones didn’t hear right away that Yarbrough was killed, so she kept writing letters to him daily, even after she stopped getting any in return. After Dupree located a Yarbrough relative in Texas, the two families pieced the pen pal story together, sharing information along the way. The Yarbrough family, long interested in the untold story of the Iwo Jima battle, contacted Pulitzer Prize-winning author Mitch Weiss about Landing Craft 449 and the bravery of the men aboard the ship. Weiss’ book, The Heart of Hell, about Landing Craft 449 and the sacrifices surrounding the Battle of Iwo Jima, included correspondence between the men on the ship and people back home, including the Jones-Yarbrough romance. Betty Jones is acknowledged at the front of the book. “It really ought to be a movie,” Dupree says. says.
WANT TO GO?
Clockwise from top: Navy Lt. Byron Yarbrough at Pebble Hill in Auburn, his childhood home; Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Jones portrait during the time she was growing to love Byron Chew Yarbrough during their WWII pen pal romance; Photo of Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Jones with her brother, Nancy Dupree’s father, on an Atlanta city street in the 1940s; Byron Chew Yarbrough in his Navy uniform.
What: “Alabama Love Stories,” a collaged original work that draws its inspiration primarily from archival materials found at the Alabama Department of Archives and History, is part of the Alabama Bicentennial celebration. When: April 11-20, 2019 Where: Telfair Peet Black Box Theatre, 350 W. Samford Ave., Auburn Online: cla.auburn.edu/ theatre/productions/ current-season/
PHOTOS COURTESY NANCY DUPREE
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| Alabama People |
Ray W. Scott
The bass boss No one has influenced bass fishing more than Ray W. Scott Jr. Born in 1933, Scott grew up in Montgomery. As a young man, he began selling insurance until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1954. After serving two years on active duty, Scott used his G.I. Bill benefits to earn a business degree from Auburn University before resuming his insurance business. In March 1967, a storm cancelled a fishing trip, but Scott experienced what he called a “brainstorm in a rainstorm.” He envisioned a national professional bass fishing trail similar to golf tournaments. That summer, he organized such a tournament in Arkansas. From that event grew the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.), the Bassmaster Classic and a multibillion-dollar industry. – John Felsher
How did you get started fishing, particularly for bass? I loved fishing from my earliest memories. I’d hop on my bike with a cane pole and a can of worms to fish for bluegills anywhere I could find. Then one magical day when I was about 7 or 8 years old, my life changed. I was fishing and all of a sudden, this shimmering silver creature leaped out of the water on the end of my line. I was in awe of its strength. I ran home with my catch. My mother informed me I had caught a largemouth bass. I could tell from her voice that this was a special fish. From that moment on, bass fishing was my passion. What was the one thing that gave you the idea to begin creating B.A.S.S. and by extension, professional bass fishing? Actually, it was the other way around. The concept of a bass organization grew out of my idea for a true professional bass fishing tournament with stringent rules and a big purse. My first tournament at Beaver Lake, Ark., proved without a shadow of doubt the passion for an organization was there. Bass anglers across the country were hungry, not just to compete, but also to get together and share knowledge. The energy and passion at that 1967 tournament were beyond belief.
What was your biggest challenge in the early years? My biggest challenge was money. I didn’t have any! I have always said, “Poverty was my greatest asset.” I had to work smart. There was no dramatic moment when I felt I had made it, but when we reached about 10,000 members signed up and more memberships pouring in, that gave me a lot more confidence. At that point, it was “let’s see how far can we go!” Now, look what it has become. Not bad for what most people considered a harebrained idea in 1967! If you were young again and wanted to start a fishing organization, what would you do diﬀerently? I can honestly say I have no regrets. We grew organically and that was healthy. We certainly directed our course with conviction, but we were also highly responsive to our members and the industry. That kept us on track as well as expanding our horizons. We had a few dead ends and detours, but they are amusing in retrospect. They were all part of an enthusiastic creative process. From your love of deer hunting evolved another business. Tell us more. In 1986, I sold B.A.S.S., but stayed as president. Two years later, I had another brainstorm and started the Whitetail Institute of North America (whitetailinstitute.com). Again, it was based on a personal passion. I discovered a new clover that whitetails really liked. That experience got me interested in developing nutrition produced exclusively and scientifically for whitetail deer and promoting proper whitetail management and conservation practices. It has been a solid success for more than 30 years now. With so much said and written about Ray Scott over the years, what’s something nobody knows about you? I think people might be surprised to know that, although I am the definition of an extrovert, I am also a homebody. I don’t particularly relish structured social gatherings, but I love the public at large. I’m very happy at home in my recliner with my two dogs in my lap ... and probably on the phone. My wife always tells me I could run the whole country from a phone.
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| Gardens |
Commitment, patience, care FEBRUARY TIPS
eed some gardening love this month? Start a new long-term relationship with an adored early-season garden delicacy, the asparagus! Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is a cool-season, perennial vegetable, native to Europe and Asia, that’s been an adored source of food and medicine for thousands of years. This fern-like plant produces tender shoots (spears) that emerge early each spring, making them one of the first vegetables of the year. And even better, asparagus is a long-lived plant that will produce those delicious, nutritious spears for years to come — 10 or more years if you treat them well. As with most happy, healthy long-term romances, success with asparagus requires commitment and patience, especially in the early stages of the relationship. But it’s a plant well worth wooing, and now through March is the prime time to plant the seeds — or, more commonly, the crowns — of that relationship. Let’s begin with the patience part, which is mostly needed as you await that first taste. Newly planted asparagus takes several years to become established, so even though spears typically emerge the first year, they shouldn’t be cut for two to three years after planting. One way to speed this up is to plant asparagus from one-, two-, or three-year-old crowns rather than seed. Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at email@example.com.
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(The older crowns are usually more expensive but produce harvestable spears sooner.) And as for commitment, that’s mostly about dedicating — and preparing — a happy home where this newfound love can take up residence in your garden. Once established, asparagus doesn’t transplant well, so it needs a permanent bed in a sunny (asparagus plants need 8-10 hours of sunlight a day), well-drained, weed-free spot. The area should also be large enough so you can space the plants (10-20 plants is usually enough for a family) at least a foot apart. To plant crowns, prepare the bed lovingly by digging a trench at least a foot wide and about a foot deep. Amend the removed soil with compost and/or a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 formulation. (Running a soil test can help determine your soil’s specific nutritional needs.) Make piles of the amended soil along the trench base and lay each crown, bud-top up, on the mounded soil, spreading the roots out evenly. Some experts recommend gradually adding the amended soil back into the trench at intervals during the first growing season until the crowns are fully covered. Others say you can add it all at once. Whichever method you choose, make sure to water the crowns well after planting and continue applying an inch of water each week (more during hot, dry periods) for the first year. Mulching the bed after planting (straw is ideal for this) helps retain moisture near the roots and suppress weeds. Though asparagus is a low-maintenance garden companion, it does need some at-
• Turn garden beds to loosen soil and expose dormant weeds and soil pests. • Add organic matter to the soil to improve soil quality. • Turn compost piles. • Prune most dormant trees and shrubs, except the early spring bloomers such as forsythia. • Start spring vegetable seeds in cold frames. • Keep an eye on houseplant health and begin fertilizing them for spring growth. • Cut back ornamental grasses. • Give plants, seeds and other gardening supplies to your Valentine.
tention. Keep the area well weeded, watch out for signs of pests and cut back the foliage in late fall (after it has all turned brown) before applying a protective winter mulch. And as for finding your soul-mate asparagus, the pool of candidates includes many choices — ranging in spear color from green to pink and purple — suitable for home garden production. (Purple varieties usually produce more tender spears, perfect for salads, but they do turn green when cooked. White asparagus, which you may see in produce departments, is not a variety but is produced by restricting sunlight as it emerges.) In addition to traditional and heirloom varieties, new improved options are also available, including all-male hybrids, which tend to live longer and produce larger spears. And, unlike female asparagus plants, male plants don’t produce seed, which can spread and create a bit of a weed problem in the garden. This is just the tip of the spear when it comes to learning about asparagus, but if you want to learn more before making a commitment, read up on asparagus production (lots of great information is available online) or ask a local expert for advice. If you’re willing to take the leap, I’m willing to bet you’ll find an asparagus to love. www.alabamaliving.coop
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Treat your Valentine to a
â€˜Best of Alabama Livingâ€™ cookbook Order your copy for $19.95 at alabamaliving.coop, or send a check for $19.95 for each book ordered to: Alabama Living Cookbook P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124
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February | Around Alabama
Photo courtesy of Jerry Brown Arts Festival.
County Library announce the 26th annual WCPL Art Auction and Dinner. Activities include live and silent auctions, dinner, raffle and door prizes. 5:30 p.m., Chatom Community Center, 233 Dixie Youth Drive. 251847-2097, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Jerry Brown Arts Festival will feature various artists March 2-3 in Hamilton.
All Month, Montgomery, Roots & Wings Collection Exhibition by designer Perry Varner. The artworks created by Alabama artists depict the lives and achievements of notable African-American natives. Free. The exhibition will be held in the Warren Britt Gallery at the Tullibody Fine Arts Center, 915 S. Jackson St., on the campus of Alabama State University through Feb. 28.
Birmingham, The Greater Birmingham Humane Society (GBHS) Auxiliary presents the eighth annual Jazz Cat Ball. Guests will enjoy a seated dinner, live music, ritzy casino games, and an online silent and live auction. As GBHS’ largest annual fundraiser, proceeds are vital to providing services such as health care, shelter, food, and socialization for homeless, abused and neglected animals. Tickets available for purchase at gbhs.org/jcb19.
Pike Road, Pike Road Arts Council presents “The Long Road to Love … Stories of the Human Heart,” presented by Elizabeth Vander Kamp. In the setting of a theatre company, two people meet, and it is love at first sight. A prior engagement and an on-stage love story create suspense that carries you through the years of their entangled lives. 7:30 p.m., Pike Road Town Hall, 9575 Vaughn Road. Tickets $20. Visit pikeroadarts.ticketbid.com for tickets.
Chatom, Indian Artifact Show, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Chatom Community Center, 222 Dixie Youth Drive. Free. Email Bimbo Kohen for more information at bimbokohen@ outlook.com
Enterprise, ”Jukebox Saturday Night: A musical Review of the Great Big Bands,” presented by Coffee County Arts Alliance. Performances celebrate America’s Swing Era featuring hits recorded by Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Count Basie and more. Featured performers of this ensemble are veterans of some of the big-name bands. Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center, 1801 Boll Weevil Circle. 334-406-2787, coffeecountyartsalliance.com.
Mobile, Playhousein-the-Park presents Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Magic, mystery and love intertwine with characters’ hidden agendas and the fairies’ trickery and mischief. Call 251-602-0630 for reservations. 4851 Museum Drive. Playhouseinthepark.org
Mobile, The American Camellia Society presents the 2019 Annual Meeting and National Convention. The event is held in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the camellia’s official designation as state flower. The ACS Camellia Show will be held Feb. 17 from 1-5
p.m. in the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center. Demonstrations and lectures on camellia care, flower waxing and grafting. Free. Camellias will also be available for purchase. For more information or to register, visit alabamacamelliasociety.org.
Chatom, Friends of the Washington County Public
Selma, 54th Anniversary Bridge Crossing Jubilee. This weekend is a commemoration of “Bloody Sunday” and the Selma to Montgomery March. Activities include a pageant, dance, conferences for women and youth, a parade, festival, interfaith service and National Voting Rights Hall of Fame induction. Find a schedule and locations at Selmajubilee.com
Hamilton, 2019 Jerry Brown Arts Festival. Artists from all over the Southeast participate in this two-day indoor juried arts festival. Tombigbee Electric Cooperative, 3196 County Road 55. Free. For times and more information, visit jbaf.org
Mardi Gras around Alabama
Feb. 15-March 5
Mobile, Recognized as celebrating the first known American Mardi Gras, Mobile hosts various events during the two-week celebration. For parade and event schedules, visit mobile.org.
Prattville, Prattville Mardi Gras parade and celebration. Food begins at 11 a.m. followed by the parade at 2 p.m. Parade begins at Autauga County Courthouse. Festivities include food vendors, arts and crafts, inflatables and children’s activities. For more information, call 334-595-0854.
Auburn, Krewe De Tigris presents a Mardi Gras parade in the downtown area, beginning at 5 p.m. krewedetigris.com Talladega, Alabama’s largest Mardi Gras party north of Mobile. Parade, dinner, live band and silent auctions. Ritztalladega.com
Orange Beach, MoonPies on Main at the Wharf. Kid and Pet Parade begins at 4 p.m. in front of the Ferris Wheel. Live DJ, rock climbing wall, face painting, bouncy house. Float parade begins at 6 p.m. SPECTRA Sound and Light Spectacular Show directly after the parade. Alwharf.com
To place an event, e-mail email@example.com. 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.
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FEBRUARY 2019 29
| Worth the drive |
Vintage dining and shopping under one roof Vintage Café and Big Mill Artisans & Antiques By Lenore Vickrey
151 8th Street NE Fort Payne, AL 35967 256-845–3380 Hours: 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m.– 11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, closed Sunday
ort Payne, Alabama, is known by restaurant out, but after two failed atmany as the home of the supertempts, my husband and I decided I group Alabama, and for many years should also open the restaurant.” So as the “sock capital of the world.” But in September 2013, Vintage 1889 was travelers and residents alike know it as born. the home of a popular restaurant, VinFor Lynn, it wasn’t totally unfamiltage 1889 Café, which operates right next iar territory. Her father had opened with cheese, bacon, sauce and balsamic to an equally popular antique mall. the first fast food restaurant in Fort Payne reduction. Owner Lynn Brewer’s involvement in 1963 and was known for his famous “We were voted the best burger in with Vintage 1889 actually town,” says Lynn. “That began in October 2011 with would have made my Dad the opening of the Big Mill proud.” Antique Mall. Her husband, The original menu, which Fort Payne dentist Dr. Steis now the lunch menu, “was phen Brewer, had owned the built around the premise of 1889 National Historic Regmy grandmother’s sandwichistry building, formerly the es she made me as a child,” home of the W.B. Davis Hoshe says. “Most sandwiches siery Mill, since the 1990s. have a family connection. (Some history: The buildMy nana was always trying ing had been constructed in something new, so I took 1889 by Alabama Builders those sandwiches and put a Hardware Manufacturing new twist on them.” Co. to make ornate bronze Accordingly, Nana’s Roast and iron designs for new Beef sandwich is a popular homes being built by northlunch entrée, with fork-tenern investors who’d moved der roast beef, grilled red onsouth in the “boom days” ion, gruyere and blue cheesof coal and iron. As that era es, topped with horseradish declined, the hosiery indussauce on a ciabatta roll. The try began to take off, and Vintage Cuban (smoked the Davis Hosiery Mill was pork, ham, Swiss cheese, one of more than 100 mills pickles and homemade Cuin the area that employed Owner Lynn Brewer with a trio of Vintage 1889 entrees: BBQ Bacon ban sauce on a telera roll) more than 7,000 people for Cheeseburger with kettle chips, Vintage Style Shrimp & Grits, and Grownand Brittany’s Club (white decades, making more than up Grilled Cheese with Roasted Red Pepper Smoked Gouda Soup. meat chicken, ham, bacon, half the socks in the United cheddar and swiss cheeses, States. But the trade agreements of the “Bonanza Burger.” Fittingly, burgers are special sauce, spring mix and tomato on 1990s that lowered tariffs on textile ima staple on the Vintage 1889’s menu. Dinciabatta) are two other favorites. There is ports essentially put many of the sock ers can choose from the Vintage Burger, also an assortment of salads. mills, including Davis, out of business.) lean ground beef served on a pretzel bun The dinner entrees include more The Davis Mill building “had been with house sauce, spring mix, tomato, crowd-pleasers, from Vintage Style opened as an antique mall before, but onion and pickle, or a Black & Blue BurgShrimp & Grits made with local sausage closed earlier that year (2011),” says Lynn, er, with added blue cheese crumbles, or in the tasso gravy, to the 8-oz. filet miwho is also a member of the Fort Payne the Goat Cheese Pesto Burger with goat gnon. Dinner is also when the bar busiCity Council. “There was also a restaucheese crumbles and house pesto. There’s ness gets hopping, as the restaurant is rant area that had been open as a deli, but even the Jessy Burger, a ground beef patty committed to supporting as many local was also closed. The plan was to rent the squeezed between three donuts, topped breweries as possible.
30 FEBRUARY 2019
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“We sell a lot of Back Forty Beer (made in Gadsden), Rocket Republic (Huntsville) and Straight to Ale (Huntsville), both bottle and draft,” says Lynn. “There are more, but it depends on the season and what beers are selling in the area.” She also likes to spotlight local and visiting musicians to provide live music. The décor of the restaurant, with its old brick and vintage photographs and artwork, add to the rustic charm and echo the bounty of antique and artisan wares awaiting perusal next door at the Big Mill. Weather permitting, diners also can sit outside in the courtyard, underneath the old water tower, and there is a large special event venue, the Boarding Room, available for large groups and parties. For more info, visit vintage1889. com or the Facebook pages for the restaurant and the Big Mill Co.
A bowl of House-Roasted Red Pepper Gouda Soup is a popular warm-up on a cold day. Servers Heather Wooten and Carrie Keef clown with chef Jon Nickelson.
Rural Alabama paying the price of tobacco use
hile several other rural health issues have been receiving greater attention, deaths due to chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRD) have been increasing dramatically in Alabama’s rural areas. CLRD includes bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, and other respiratory diseases. Between 2000 and 2017, Alabama’s age-adjusted death or mortality rate from CLRD increased by more than 27 percent, the second highest increase among all 50 states. This rate actually decreased in 35 states. Alabama lost nearly 49,100 residents to CLRD during 2000 through 2017. This loss is greater than the total current populations in Greene, Perry, Lowndes, Bullock, and Wilcox counties combined. Dale Quinney is the founder of Operation Save Rural Alabama, www.osral.net, and a past director of the Alabama Rural Health Association
32 FEBRUARY 2019
While this dramatic statewide increase is concerning, the highly disproportionate increase in our rural areas and the tremendous increase among rural females demands attention. The death rate from CLRD among Alabama’s rural residents increased by over 54 percent between 2000 and 2017 while the rate for our urban residents increased by nearly 9 percent. This rate tends to be significantly higher among white Alabamians than among African Alabamians. It is also significantly higher among males than females. However, the rate for rural females increased by nearly 97 percent between 2000 and 2017. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking accounts for about 80 percent of all CLRD cases. Exposure to air pollutants in the home and workplace, genetic factors, and respiratory infections also play a role in the development of CLRD. www.alabamaliving.coop
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| Alabama Recipes |
Angel Hair Pasta with Tomatoes & Parmesan BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY Food/Photography BY BROOKE ECHOLS
Pasta’s simplicity doesn’t deter the many devoted fans of this versatile food.
n its own, pasta is a very uncomplicated food: It consists of just a few ingredients and requires nothing but a pot of boiling water and a few minutes to be cooked and ready to eat. But plenty of people are passionate about pasta, their affection proving how something quite basic — humble even — can stand out not in spite of, but because of, its simplicity. It’s a blank canvas that lets its partner elements shine and despite often being in the background, it’s the cornerstone of countless tasty dishes. For many, spaghetti is the best-known pasta, but it’s only one type of this versatile foodstuff. It comes dried or fresh and in a puzzle box of shapes: tubes, ribbons, strands, curly-cues, half-moons and charming bow ties. It can be enjoyed warm: smothered in sauce, baked in a casserole or swimming in a soup. It’s equally appealing drenched in a dressing and served cold as a salad. 34 FEBRUARY 2019
It also transcends geographic and cultural boundaries. While it’s Italian in origin, we’ve Americanized pasta and the dishes it stars in, thoroughly mixing another country’s cuisine into our great big melting pot. We’ve made it perfectly at home in multiple “non-Italian” dishes too. The Southern comfort-food favorite macaroni and cheese is a delicious example, one that becomes even more soothing this time of year. A hearty helping of rich, gooey mac and cheese straight from the oven is a good way to keep cozy in February, when it’s often cold (as well as damp) in much of Alabama. But February is also the month of Valentine’s Day, and for this holiday, another pasta dish is more apropos. If you’ve got a romantic rendezvous planned for the 14th, consider classic spaghetti and meatballs, a la “Lady and the Tramp.” That’s, as the song says, amore! And, to keep the pasta love going all year long, try out each of these reader-submitted recipes. www.alabamaliving.coop
Cook of the Month Marsha S. Gardner, Baldwin EMC
There are multiple reasons Marsha Gardner loves her Angel Hair Pasta with Tomatoes & Parmesan. “It’s easy and quick to make. It's nice and light but also so ﬂavorful. And it can be used as a side or a main dish,” she said. She’s been making it for years and uses it different ways, often depending on the season. “In summer, we often make a meal out of it, but in the winter, I like to pair with fish or chicken,” she said. And while fresh, fragrant basil makes the dish shine in warmer months, Gardner will substitute rosemary or thyme on occasion too. “I have an herb garden, so whatever looks good out there, I’ll use.”
Angel Hair Pasta with Tomatoes & Parmesan 8 2 ½ 3 1 ½ 1 2 ¼
ounces angel hair pasta tablespoons olive oil onion, chopped cloves garlic, minced large fresh tomato, chopped or ½ (14.5 ounce) can chopped tomatoes cup chicken broth or vegetable broth teaspoon crushed red pepper tablespoons basil cup parmesan cheese, grated
Simple Freezer Manicotti
Ultimate Pasta Salad
1 package manicotti shells, uncooked 1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese 12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese, divided ¾ cup parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon dried parsley 1 16-ounce can of spaghetti sauce (your flavor choice) 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional) 4 ounces ground beef or Italian sausage (optional)
4 cups water 1 pound rotini pasta 2 tomatoes, diced 2 cucumbers, diced ½ purple onion, diced 1 cup pitted black olives, sliced ½ cup bell peppers diced 1 cup chopped ham ½ bacon bits 1 package mini pepperoni ½ cup shredded cheese 1½ cup Italian dressing 1 stick butter *If you like more meat, chicken or shrimp may be added.
Cook’s note: Do not pre-cook manicotti shells. Mix ricotta, 8 ounces of mozzarella, parmesan and parsley in a bowl. Fill/ stuff manicotti shells completely with mixture. Set filled tubes into freezer-safe food container and freeze for later use. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef/Italian sausage, if used. Pour enough sauce in 11x17-inch baking dish to cover bottom (approx. ½ cup.) Pull shells out of freezer. Place in baking dish. If possible, keep from touching side of dish. Sprinkle beef/sausage over shells. Pour remaining sauce over shells, completely covering all the shells with the sauce. Cover dish with aluminum foil and glass baking dish cover. Foil must be tight around edges of dish before covering with baking dish lid. Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle 4 ounces of mozzarella cheese over shells. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is slightly golden brown/bubbly. Remove from oven, let stand 5 minutes.
In a pot, bring water to boil; add ½ stick of butter and reserve remaining half to the side for later. Sprinkle salt in water. Once water has come to boil, add pasta and cook for 12-15 minutes. While pasta is cooking, dice the onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers and pour into a mixing bowl. Once pasta is done, strain water off and pour into another bowl. Add other half-stick of butter to the cooked pasta and season according to taste. Stir in all ingredients and top with shredded cheese. Let chill in refrigerator and serve. Sharlene Parker Baldwin EMC
Sean Cassidy Dixie EC
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 minutes or until al dente; drain. Add olive oil in a large deep skillet over high heat. Sauté onions and garlic until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium-high and add tomatoes and chicken broth; simmer for about 8 minutes. Top with crushed red pepper, basil and parmesan cheese. Simple Freezer Manicotti
FEBRUARY 2019 35
Keep some texture: If you like your pasta mushy, that’s fine. Give pasta flavor: Add plenty of salt to the cooking water. The
pasta will absorb it as it cooks, enhancing its inherent taste, which if unseasoned, can be bland. Try using Kosher salt and use as much as two tablespoons to four quarts water. If you use regular table salt, it should be closer to 1 tablespoon.
Lemon Pasta Salad with Baby Peas 1 pound bow-tie, orecchiette or other small shell pasta Kosher salt 1 package frozen baby peas 2 lemons, peeled and juiced 2⁄3 cup milk ½ cup mayonnaise ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 1 cup fresh basil leaves 4 green onions, thinly sliced In large saucepot, cook pasta in boiling salted water as label directs, adding frozen peas during last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta and peas; rinse with cold water and drain well. Meanwhile, from lemons, grate 1 tablespoon peel and squeeze 3 tablespoons juice. In a large bowl, with wire whisk, mix lemon peel and juice with milk, mayonnaise, pepper, basil, green onions and 1 teaspoon salt until blended. Add pasta and peas to mayonnaise dressing; toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate up to two days if not serving right away. Marsha S Gardner Baldwin EMC
Everyone should eat what they like. But most dried pastas are best when cooked “al dente,” an Italian phrase that translates to “to the tooth.” It means each piece of pasta still has a little firmness left in its middle. Cooking pasta to “al dente” also means if you’re adding it to a sauce (where it will cook a bit more) or into a casserole, it won’t end up falling apart.
Veggie Mac & Cheese Cups
Quick and Easy Manicotti
½ 6 1 ¼ 1⁄8 ½ ½
1 package manicotti 1 pound ricotta cheese 3 eggs, beaten 1 teaspoon parsley flakes ¼ teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
cup bread crumbs ounces small pasta shells cup grated cheddar cheese teaspoon salt teaspoon black pepper cup diced tomatoes cup broccoli, cooked and chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 6 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Coat inside of each muffin cup with bread crumbs, reserving a few spoonfuls. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and stir while cooking for 10 minutes. Drain pasta, add back to pot. Stir in cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon pasta mixture into muffin cups, filling almost to the top. Top each cup with tomato and broccoli. Sprinkle remaining bread crumbs on each. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Unmold from muffin pan gently, with a rounded knife. Robin O’Sullivan Wiregrass EC 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 manicotti as directed on the package. Drain and cool on wax paper. Blend together ricotta and mozzarella cheese, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper. Stuff manicotti with cheese filling and place in a buttered dish. Tomatoes and artichokes: 3 6-ounce jars marinated artichokes 1 large onion, chopped 1 teaspoon oregano 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 teaspoon basil pinch of red pepper flakes 3 8-ounce cans diced tomatoes ¼ cup parmesan cheese Drain artichoke marinade into a pan. Chop artichoke hearts; set aside. Add garlic, oregano, basil and pepper flakes to marinade and cook until soft. Add tomatoes with juice and cover. Simmer for 35 minutes. Add parmesan cheese and chopped artichokes. Stir and pour over manicotti. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Lexie Turnipseed Dixie EC
Themes and Deadlines: April: Strawberries | Feb. 4 May: Tex-Mex | Feb. 8 June: Bacon | March 8 Please send us your original recipes (developed or adapted by you or family members.) Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year.
36 FEBRUARY 2019
prize and title of
Cook of the Month
3 ways to submit: Online: alabamaliving.coop Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 To be eligible, submissions must include a name, phone number, mailing address and co-op name. Alabama Living reserves the right to
reprint recipes in our other publications.
Cheesy White Chicken Lasagna with Spinach
Cheesy White Chicken Lasagna with Spinach Sauce: ¼ 1 2 6 2 1½ 1 1 1 ½ ½
cup butter medium onion, chopped cloves garlic, minced tablespoons all-purpose flour cups chicken broth cups milk teaspoon dried basil teaspoon dried oregano teaspoon salt teaspoon black pepper teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Lasagna: 9 whole lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 pound ground chicken 16 ounces mushrooms, minced 4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded 2 cups ricotta cheese 16 ounces baby spinach 1½ cups grated parmesan cheese Parsley, chopped for garnish Sauce: In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the softened onions, then stir to combine, cooking for another 1-2 minutes. Whisk the chicken broth and milk into the onion and flour mixture, stir constantly until the sauce simmers and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the basil, oregano, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and remove from heat.
Lasagna: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and lay out in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray so they don't stick. In the same pot, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and cook for 3-4 minutes until wilted. Drain in a colander, squeezing out as much excess water as possible. In a large pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat, then combine the ground chicken and mushrooms and brown together until the chicken is cooked through. Drain off any liquid. To assemble, spread ¼ of the sauce on the bottom of a large 9x13-inch baking dish. Lay 3 of the cooked lasagna noodles on top. Layer on ½ of the chicken and mushroom mixture, then spread ½ of the wilted spinach on top. Dollop with half of the ricotta cheese mixture, then spread with another ¼ of the sauce. Sprinkle with 1⁄3 of the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Arrange 3 more of the lasagna noodles over the first layer, then repeat the rest of the layers. Finish the lasagna by arranging the last three noodles on top, then spread with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the last of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until hot and bubbly, finishing under the broiler just to add a little color to the top, but being careful not to burn the cheese. Let the lasagna stand for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley, if desired.
Mexican Lasagna 1 pound hamburger, browned and drained 1 package taco seasoning with 2⁄3 cup water 1 can refried beans 1 package lasagna noodles, uncooked 2½ cups water 24 ounces picante salsa 16 ounces sour cream 2 cups cheese, grated (Mexican blend, finely grated) 1 can black olives, sliced Green onions sliced, tops only Brown and drain hamburger. Add taco seasoning mix with required water on package and refried beans. In greased 9x13-inch pan, layer 1/3 uncooked lasagna noodles, ½ of meat mixture, another 1/3 of uncooked lasagna noodles, remaining meat mixture and final layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. Mix 2½ cups water with salsa. Pour over top of noodles. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1.5 hours. Remove from oven and remove foil. Add sour cream, grated cheese, green onions and black olives. Bake about 5 minutes until cheese is melted and toppings are heated through. Serve with nacho chips or salad. Marjorie Sullivan Sand Mountain EC
Michael Rich Sand Mountain EC
FEBRUARY 2019 37
| Consumer Wise |
Low-cost energy tips for renters By Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen
It’s great to read about all the ways energy efficiency improvements to the home can save money, but what about folks who are renting or don’t have a lot of money to spend? Are there things we can do to reduce our energy bills?
can talk to your landlord about installing a minisplit system, which is perfect for zone heating and cooling, and easier to install than a new duct and furnace system. Stop air leaks. Small gaps around windows, doors, wiring and plumbing penetrations can be major sources of energy loss. This problem can be alleviated with a little weather stripping and caulk, but you should check with your landlord before you get started. Better yet, convince the landlord to do the work! A $10 door draft stopper (also known as a “door snake”) is a simple way to block gaps underneath exterior doors. Sealing air leaks around your home could shave up to one-
That’s an excellent question. Not everyone can replace their furnace with an airsource heat pump, whether they’re renting, or their budget won’t allow it. Here are seven low-cost efficiency tips that can help you reduce your energy bills. Mind the thermostat. You might be able to Setting your water heater to 120 degrees F will save energy and keep the water at a trim your energy bill by safe temperature. PHOTO BY SCOTT AKERMAN carefully managing the temperature in your home. The Department of Energy suggests fifth of your heating and cooling bills. setting your thermostat to 68 degrees F on winter days. If that’s Manage your windows and window coverings. Your wintoo cool, try other ways to stay warm like layering with an extra dows may be letting heat out during the winter and letting heat sweater. You can save more energy by turning down the therin during the summer. Window coverings like medium or heavymostat even lower at night or when no one is home. The same weight curtains and thermal blinds can help. On cold winter days, principle works in reverse during summer months. Just set the window coverings can keep warmth inside and improve comfort. thermostat higher to reduce your energy use for air conditioning. Opening up window coverings when you’re receiving direct sunGo programmable. If you don’t always remember to adjust light is a ‘passive solar’ technique that can help cut your heating your thermostat manually, you could benefit from a programcosts. You can also cover windows with clear plastic to reduce mable model. In the right situation, set correctly, programmable heat loss and air leaks. During the summer, keep window coverthermostats can save $150 a year. Some programmable thermoings closed to block the sun and to keep windows from heating stats can be managed from your smart phone or other devices. the cooler indoor air. Before you purchase one, make sure your landlord approves. Look for energy wasters. There are also small steps you can Try zone heating. If you don’t mind less-used rooms being take every day to reduce your energy use. Water heaters should colder, you might be able to save energy (and money!) by zone be kept at the warm setting (120°F). Wash dishes and clothes on heating. Electric baseboards make it easy because they typically the most economical settings that will do the job and always wash have thermostat settings on the units or in each room. Portable full loads. Use the microwave instead of the oven when possible. Landlords (and others) can help. We hope these tips will help electric space heaters can also be a good tool for zone heating if you reduce your energy bills and increase your comfort, but conthey are used safely and wisely in the area you spend the most sider talking to your landlord about additional ways to save, like time. Keep in mind, if you’re using space heaters, you’ll need to installing better insulation, energy efficient windows or heating reduce the heating you’re supplying to the rest of the home. Space systems. Many landlords make these types of investments to add heaters that are used incorrectly can be dangerous and increase appeal to their rental properties, which ultimately improve the valenergy costs. If your heating system needs to be replaced, you ue of the property. A home energy audit is the best way to identify Patrick Keegan writes on consumer and cooperative affairs areas for energy efficiency improvements. Contact your electric for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the cooperative to see if they offer energy audits or if they can recArlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus ommend someone local. An audit would be a great way to start a consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. Write to email@example.com for more information. conversation with your landlord about potential improvements. 38 FEBRUARY 2019
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| Outdoors |
State taking steps to bring back wild quail
or centuries, sportsmen pursued bobwhite quail across the South, but in the past few decades, populations of these wild birds plunged. Today, people mostly hunt pen-raised quail on commercial preserves. “The wild quail population in Alabama and across the Southeast has been going down since the 1960s,” says Steve Mitchell, an Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources biologist. “The population probably declined 80 percent across the Southeast, but there are pockets on private land and some wildlife management areas that still hold wild quail populations.” Multiple problems beset wild quail, including flourishing predator populations, but habitat loss probably contributed more to plummeting quail numbers than anything else. Vast pine plantations with trees all planted in rows largely replaced huge strands of the virgin longleaf pine savannas. In addition, giant agricultural corporations plowing every inch of available ground replaced small farms separated by thick fencerows. Bobwhites prefer grassy fields, brushy rangeland and longleaf pine savannas that provide them seeds and bugs to eat. The birds also require open ground beneath the cover for rearing their young and canopies overhead to hide them from avian predators like hawks. “Quail habitat is all about cover,” Mitchell says. “If the birds can hide from predators, some quail will survive to breed. Brood rearing cover is the most limiting factor to a quail population. When young birds hatch, the parents take them to a place with early successional growth like a fallow field. It needs to be something that creates a canopy overhead, but open at ground level.
John N. Felsher lives in Semmes, Ala. Contact him through Facebook.
40 FEBRUARY 2019
It also needs to attract insects.” On most properties, good management starts with prescribed burning. Fire clears out undesirable growth and eliminates ground debris. Fires also stimulate new plant growth by allowing more sunlight to hit the ground and adding nutrients to the soil. Some seeds only sprout after a fire. On forested property, owners can selectively cut trees to open the canopy. A dense canopy blocks sunlight, which inhibits plant growth at ground level. “To manage property for quail, I put it on a three-year burning rotation,” says Andy Edwards, a Quail Forever biologist. “Burning removes undesirable species, woody species, thins the grasses and stimulates the seeds already in the seedbank if done at the right time of year. Many plant species require periodic burning to survive.” Most of the best quail habitat in Alabama exists on private property, but the state began initiatives to increase and enhance quail habitat on public lands. In cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, the state opened Boggy Hollow Wildlife Management Area in 2017. Managed specifically for bobwhite quail, the WMA covers 7,000 acres of the Conecuh National Forest in Covington County. “Across Alabama, we’re trying all we can to improve quail habitat on our WMAs with marginal or suitable habitat,” Mitchell says. “Hopefully, we’ll see some increases in quail populations on these areas. In the right habitat and right weather conditions, the quail population can rebound pretty well.” Like most of the surrounding national forest, Boggy Hollow consists mainly of mature longleaf pine forests and open parklike savannas. Land managers periodically burn selective sections and thin forest canopies to create more openings and encourage beneficial successional plants to grow. “Quail are an early successional species, as are deer, songbirds, rab-
Northern bobwhite quail range across most of eastern North America from the Midwest to the Southeast but wild quail became hard to find in the past few decades. PHOTOS BY JOHN N. FELSHER
bits and other kinds of wildlife,” says Griff Johnson, the state biologist over the area. “The focus on Boggy Hollow is bobwhite quail, but what benefits quail also benefits many other species. Quail numbers should increase as we continue doing the habitat work.” Not far from Boggy Hollow, sportsmen might also spot some wild quail on Blue Springs WMA, which includes 24,783 acres of Covington County. In addition, Geneva State Forest holds wild quail. The largest state forest in Alabama, Geneva covers 16,093 acres of mostly longleaf pine forests in Geneva County near Florala southeast of Andalusia. Barbour WMA covers 28,214 acres of Barbour and Bullock counties near Clayton. In northern Alabama, quail hunters might also visit Freedom Hills WMA in Colbert County near Cherokee or Lauderdale WMA in Lauderdale County near Waterloo. One of the largest WMAs in Alabama, James D. Martin-Skyline includes 60,732 acres of Jackson County near Scottsboro and holds some wild quail. With good habitat and proper management, quail numbers can recover rapidly. Private landowners can receive technical assistance from state biologists. For more information, contact the nearest Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division office. www.alabamaliving.coop
DOUG HANNON’S FISH & GAME FORECAST 2019 FEBRUARY Fr 15 Sa 16 Su 17 Mo 18 Tu 19 We 20 Th 21 Fr 22 Sa 23 Su 24 Mo 25 Tu 26 We 27 Th 28
EXCELLENT TIMES A.M.
7:30 - 9:30 8:18 - 10:18 9:06 - 11:06 9:54 - 11:54 10:42 - 12:42 11:30 - 1:30 NA 1:06 - 3:06 1:54 - 3:54 2:42 - 4:42 3:30 - 5:30 4:18 - 6:18 5:06 - 7:06 5:54 - 7:54
7:54 - 9:54 1:57 - 3:27 8:42 - 10:42 2:45 - 4:15 9:30 - 11:30 3:33 - 5:03 10:18 - 12:18 4:21 - 5:51 11:06 - 1:06 FULL MOON 5:09 - 6:39 11:54 - 1:54 5:57 - 7:27 12:42 - 2:42 6:45 - 8:15 1:30 - 3:30 7:33 - 9:03 2:18 - 4:18 8:21 - 9:51 3:06 - 5:06 9:09 - 10:39 3:54 - 5:54 9:57 - 11:27 4:42 - 6:42 10:45 - 12:15 5:30 - 7:30 11:33 - 1:03 6:18 - 8:18 NA
2:21 - 3:51 3:09 - 4:39 3:57 - 5:27 4:45 - 6:15 5:33 - 7:03 6:21 - 7:51 7:09 - 8:39 7:57 - 9:27 8:45 - 10:15 9:33 - 11:03 10:21 - 11:51 11:09 - 12:39 11:57 - 1:27 12:45 - 2:15
6:42 - 8:42 7:30 - 9:30 8:18 - 10:18 9:06 - 11:06 9:54 - 11:54 10:42 - 12:42 11:30 - 1:30 NA 1:06 - 3:06 2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06 10:54 - 12:54 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42
7:06 - 9:06 1:09 - 2:39 7:54 - 9:54 1:57 - 3:27 8:42 - 10:42 2:45 - 4:15 9:30 - 11:30 3:33 - 5:03 10:18 - 12:18 4:21 - 5:51 11:06 - 1:06 NEW MOON 5:09 - 6:39 11:54 - 1:54 5:57 - 7:27 12:42 - 2:42 6:45 - 8:15 1:30 - 3:30 7:33 - 9:03 3:18 - 5:18 DST 9:21 - 10:51 4:06 - 6:06 10:09 - 11:39 4:54 - 6:54 10:57 - 12:27 5:42 - 7:42 NA 6:30 - 8:30 12:33 - 2:03 7:18 - 9:18 1:21 - 2:51 8:06 - 10:06 2:09 - 3:39 8:54 - 10:54 2:57 - 4:27 9:42 - 11:42 3:45 - 5:15 10:30 - 12:30 4:33 - 6:03 11:18 - 1:18 5:21 - 6:51 12:06 - 2:06 FULL MOON 6:09 - 7:39 12:54 - 2:54 6:57 - 8:27 1:42 - 3:42 7:45 - 9:15 2:30 - 4:30 8:33 - 10:03 3:18 - 5:18 9:21 - 10:51 4:06 - 6:06 10:09 - 11:39 4:54 - 6:54 10:57 - 12:27 5:42 - 7:42 NA 6:30 - 8:30 12:33 - 2:03 7:18 - 9:18 1:21 - 2:51 8:06 - 10:06 2:09 - 3:39
1:33 - 3:03 2:21 - 3:51 3:09 - 4:39 3:57 - 5:27 4:45 - 6:15 5:33 - 7:03 6:21 - 7:51 7:09 - 8:39 7:57 - 9:27 9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27 5:45 - 7:15 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03
Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
The Moon Clock and resulting Moon Times were developed 36 years ago by Doug Hannon, one of America’s most trusted wildlife experts and a tireless inventor. The Moon Clock is produced by DataSport, Inc. of Atlanta, GA (www.moontimes.com), a company specializing in wildlife activity time prediction. Alabama Living
FEBRUARY 2019 41
A Full House of Energy Savings ATTIC
In many homes, attic insulation is one of easiest, least expensive and most effective ways to reduce your energy use. Contact us to find out how much insulation is right for your home. In colder regions, a properly insulated attic also reduces the chance of ice dams.
Plug all electronic gadgets such as phone and laptop chargers, printers, gaming consoles and BluRay players into a power strip with an on/off switch. When not in use, turn the power strip off to eliminate all those energy vampires.
Ceiling fans can help save energy all year long! In the summer, fans should rotate counter clockwise to push air down creating a cooling flow. In the winter, fans should rotate clockwise to help draw cool air up toward the ceiling and push the warm air that naturally rises down to you and your family.
A programmable thermostat can give Smart thermostats learn how you you and live,it” and automatically ayour “set itfamily and forget option for heating adjust the temperature settingsit based and cooling your home. Program to keep on your lifestyle to keep youwinter, comfortyour home at 68 degrees in the and able while saving you money. 78 in the summer.
Take a short shower instead of a bath. Short showers use much less water, and you’ll also save energy by not heating all that extra water!
Make sure your burner isn’t bigger than the pan, and use flat-bottomed pans to maximize surface contact with the burner. Don’t preheat the oven until you’re ready to use it. Minimize the number of times you open and close the refrigerator or oven door.
Want to learn about additional ways to save energy? Contact us for more energy efficiency tips!
42 FEBRUARY 2019
You and Baldwin EMC can work together to keep power costs low.
How about a lower electric bill? How about a monthly credit from Baldwin EMC? Both of those can be possible when you sign up for CENT$IBLE POWER. CENT$IBLE POWER is a voluntary program through which Baldwin EMC pays you a monthly credit for allowing us to install and operate load management devices on the water heater, air conditioner and heater in your home.
That means when we lower power demand, everyone wins.
For more information on CENT$IBLE POWER: Call (251) 989-6247, or (800) 837-3374 • www.centsiblepower.com
Pardon us while we take a short break. All Baldwin EMC offices will be closed on Presidents Day, Monday, February 18 for employee training. Our control center will be staffed and line crews will be on call around the clock in case of an emergency. Three ways to report an outage (even on holidays): •
Phone: call (251) 989-6247
Text: text “Baldwin” and then “Outage” to 85700
Online: visit www.baldwinemc.com then click on the outage map link, and log in using your Facebook account.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http:// www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_ filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: firstname.lastname@example.org. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. Alabama Living
FEBRUARY 2019 43
| Our Sources Say |
New environmentalists N
ancy Pelosi was sworn in last week as the new Speaker of the House. She laid out her legislative agenda stating, “We must face the existential threat of our time: Climate Change.” She pledged to establish a House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis to focus on energy independence and global warming. The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced that climate change will be the first issue it addresses this term. New environmentalists who are more liberal are not satisfied with those initiatives, calling for much more ambitious policies including an aggressive reduction in the use of fossil fuels or a national carbon tax to avert the catastrophic effects of climate change. Possibly the best known and most effective environmentalist in history is Rachael Carson. She died of cancer in 1964. In 1962, her book, Silent Spring, was published, documenting the adverse environmental effects of the use of synthetic pesticides, especially DDT. Ms. Carson concluded that the use of DDT was devastating to bird populations. The title referred to the absence of birdsong if DDT continued to be used. Her message was simple and understandable: DDT killed birds and should be discontinued. As a result of Silent Spring, DDT was banned in 1972, except for emergency purposes. Eagle and falcon populations have recovered remarkably, although the ban on DDT continues to be controversial because of increasing levels of malaria in third world countries. If you are over 40, you will remember another well-known environmental figure – Iron Eyes Cody, the crying Indian. The crying Indian advertisement ran throughout the 1970s. It opens with an American Indian serenely paddling a birch bark canoe down a stream lined with trees. Beginning with troubling music, trash starts floating past the Indian in his canoe. The picture pans out to show a beach covered with bottles, wrappers and plastic containers. A background voice overlay begins, “Some people have a deep, abiding respect for the natural beauty that was once this country…and now some people don’t.” At that moment a car speeds by, and a man throws a sack of fast food trash at the Indian’s feet. Landing, the bag explodes and covers the Indian’s moccasins with French fries. The camera moves to the Indian’s face. A single tear rolls slowly down his cheek. The voice overlay continues, “People start pollution…people can stop it.” It was an emotional ad, but one everyone could easily understand. We inherited the most beautiful landscape in the world, and, because some people are selfish, roads and rivers are pollut-
ed and full of trash. You could understand the problem and the solution. Pick up your trash. Don’t litter. Clean up your country. Rachael Carson’s message was also simple: birds over pesticides. It was effective. The EPA was formed in 1970 under the Nixon Administration because of Carson’s work. Yet the new environmentalists exhibit no memory of Carson or her movement. As many as a million birds a year are killed in the U.S. by wind turbines. More than 100 golden eagles are killed each year at the Altamont Pass Wind Farm in California. Reportedly, as many as 18 million birds are killed each year by wind turbines in Spain. Wind farms are exempted from wildlife protection laws so wind energy can be produced to replace fossil fuel generated energy. New environmentalists argue that more birds are killed by buildings, and many more birds are killed by climate change. All issues and movements must yield to the new environmentalists’ pursuit of the elimination of fossil fuels, even Ms. Carson’s passion. After the crying Indian ads ran, studies indicated that litter pollution improved. Many of us were focused on picking up after ourselves. But new environmentalists have no time or energy for issues as simple as litter. They are too focused on the existential threat of climate change and the reduction in carbon emissions. A NBC survey in 2018 found raw garbage was strewn all over 153 blocks in downtown San Francisco. Raw human feces were found on more than 100 of the blocks and discarded hypodermic needles on more than 40 blocks. An infectious disease specialist from UC Berkeley said the contamination was much greater than that in Brazil, Kenya or India. The New York Daily News, describing a neighborhood in the South Bronx, said, “Needles are scattered on the ground like twigs and needles clumped under trees like piles of leaves. Needles are staked into a mud wall and floating in the pools of standing water.” The new environmentalists are so focused on carbon emission reductions that they have no interest in addressing the more serious environmental issues right in front of them. Ms. Pelosi and the new environmentalists could learn a lot from Rachael Carson or Iron Eyes Cody. Perhaps those earlier environmentalists were touched by the better angels of their nature, to borrow a phrase from Abraham Lincoln. May we all be influenced by the best within us, in 2019 and beyond. I hope you have a good month. This article draws on issues raised in Tucker Carlson’s book, Ship of Fools, which contains an interesting section on changes in the environmental movement over time.
Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative
44 FEBRUARY 2019
| Classifieds | How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office):
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| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |
Illustration by Dennis Auth
Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler*, Bubba
* Translated from the Cajun French, “Let the good times roll.”
rowing up in the 1950s in South Alabama, I dreaded this time of year. The dark of winter was still upon us and spring seemed a long time coming. To make our situation all the worse, while we slogged through the cold and damp, 100 miles down the road they were celebrating. Mardi Gras in Mobile. I naturally wanted to go, wanted to join the fun and festivities, the parades and parties and such. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. Not just because the celebrating took place when my upcountry school was in session. I had played hooky for less attractive things. The real reason I could not join the fun was that to really enjoy Mardi Gras you had to be on the inside, socially and economically. I wasn’t. Mardi Gras in Mobile had always been a confirmation of class. To be in one of the Mystic Societies, ride on the floats and go to the parties, you had to have connections, status, and money. If you didn’t, all you could do was watch the parade pass you by. Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus of History at Jacksonville State University and a columnist for Alabama Living. He can be reached at email@example.com.
46 FEBRUARY 2019
Which is what people from up my way did, if they bothered to go at all. What I did not know at the time was that despite the best efforts of the upper classes to keep Carnival exclusive and elitist, a revolution of sorts was under way. It started during World War II. When America went to war, what one old Mobilian described as “the lowest type of poor whites” flocked in to work in the shipyards. Mobilians tolerated them as a wartime necessity but that was all. “I only hope,” one local wrote, that when victory is won, “we can get rid of them.” Only they couldn’t. Instead of leaving, many stayed to become part of the rising postwar middle class. And there is nothing a rising middle class enjoys more than displaying the evidence of their rise. And there was no better way for the nouveau Mobilians, the bourgeois Bubbas from the “backwoods,” to certify their arrival and assimilation than to become part of the city’s most celebrated show of status – Mardi Gras. But they couldn’t. Most mystic societies had a waiting list loaded with the better-bred. So, the up-and-coming created their own. Years later a founder of one of the new
associations recalled how his mystic society met in a pool hall, only charged $35 a year in dues, and “never heard of waiting lists.” And as the barriers came down, Mardi Gras spread. In outlying communities, folks organized their own mystic societies and let the good times roll in their own backyards. One year the town of Chatom hosted a parade that included floats sponsored by S&S Cleaners and the Post Office. Daphne had a family-focused celebration complete with floats from Publix, the Humane Society and Chick-Fil-A (since the event wasn’t on Sunday). Prichard, Fairhope, Foley, Gulf Shores, and Orange Beach also celebrated. Which, as far as I am concerned, is just great. For folks looking for a break from the winter doldrums, Mardi Gras comes along at the right time. Meanwhile, in Mobile where it all began, as the sun sets on Fat Tuesday, the Order of Myths march. And on the last float of this last parade there will be Folly chasing Death around the broken Column of Life. A reminder that the next day is Ash Wednesday and we are mortal after all. www.alabamaliving.coop