June 2019 Clarke-Washington

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



My Alabama www.cwemc.com

A photographer’s bicentennial tribute to our state

Inside the new Gulf State Park Lodge



Manager Steve Sheffield Co-op Editor Sarah Hansen ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. Subscriptions are $12 a year for individuals not subscribing through participating Alabama electric cooperatives. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office.

Surprises at new Gulf State Park Lodge


With summer almost officially here, the new Lodge at Gulf State Park aims to introduce guests to new facilities and provide family friendly beachfront lodging delivered with sustainable practices at the forefront.

VOL. 72 NO. 6 n JUNE 2019


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

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



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


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Alabama is home to so many picturesque old churches that we asked our readers to share their favorites.


Reefs are boon to fish


Better with bacon

The success of Alabama’s artificial reef program has allowed the population of red snapper and other sea life to flourish.

Bacon is delicious whether by itself, with a side of eggs or paired with something sweet, and is appropriate any time of year.



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



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

In this issue: Page 11 Page 12 Page 28

11 Spotlight 29 Around Alabama 42 Outdoors 43 Fish & Game Forecast 44 Cook of the Month 54 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop

ON THE COVER: Photographer John Dersham has published “My Alabama,” a visual tribute to the state featuring 200 images from each season, in collaboration with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission to celebrate the state’s 200th anniversary. Story, Page 12. PHOTO: Steven Stiefel JUNE 2019 3

OFFICE LOCATIONS Jackson Office 9000 Highway 43 P.O. Box 398 Jackson, AL 36545 251-246-9081 Chatom Office P.O. Box 143 Chatom, AL 36518 251-847-2302 Toll Free Number 1-800-323-9081. Office Hours 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday (Drive-thru Hours)

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


1.800.323.9081 TO REPORT A POWER OUTAGE 4 JUNE 2019

Prepare for Hurricane Season It’s hard to believe, and most of us don’t want to think about it, but this month marks the official start of the 2019 hurricane season. The official season runs from June 1 to November 30, although we are aware of the very real fact that we often see tropical activity outside of this time frame. In addition to our normal hurricane preparedness plans, we have been busy working on some more unusual issues related to electric cooperatives’ ability to receive grants, specifically FEMA funds in our case, for the restoration of power following a hurricane or other natural disaster. I spent a few days earlier this year in Washington D.C. with a group of electric cooperative representatives visiting with our congressional delegation and requesting their assistance in passing legislation to protect our ability to retain our tax-exempt status and still qualify for government grants and reimbursement. Most of America’s electric cooperatives are tax exempt organizations under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(12). In order to maintain tax exempt status, an electric cooperative must receive at least 85 percent of all income from its members. P.L. 115-97 amended Section 118 of the IRC to provide that contributions to a corporation by a non-shareholder government entity or civic group is no longer considered capital. Under prior tax law, such contributions were capital and excluded from the income of a corporation. If a government grant or reimbursement is not a capital contribution, then the grant may be considered non-member income and could jeopardize a cooperative’s tax-exempt status. This would have a profound impact on the cooperative and its members. Histori-

cally, electric cooperatives have received grants from a variety of federal, state and local governments to assist in providing services to their members for purposes such as renewable energy development, energy efficiency and conservation, economic development, storm restoration or rural broadband initiatives. As electric cooperatives, we belong to the communities we serve and operate at cost. The treatment of government grants as income may impair our ability to use the full value of the grant to benefit our members. Moreover, it means that an electric cooperative struck by disaster may have to consider whether it can afford to use FEMA’s Public Assistance Program to help restore power to its community. In essence, co-ops could be forced to choose between maintaining their tax-exempt status or accepting FEMA assistance when recovering from a major storm or other disaster. We are very fortunate and appreciative that Representative Terri Sewell is sponsoring this legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Please feel free to contact your representative and senators and ask for their support with this issue. There is no stopping hurricane season; all we can be is prepared. As we continue to make preparations, I encourage you to do the same. I pray we are spared any hurricane activity this season. Thank you.

Steve Sheffield General Manager




The Electric Cooperative Foundation was created by the electric cooperatives of Alabama in 1997 to give back to the communities they serve by providing scholarships for post-secondary and vocational education to accredited institutions for qualifying high school seniors. Graduating high school seniors in the Clarke-Washington EMC service area are eligible to compete for six $1,000 scholarships. Clarke-Washington EMC is proud of the six scholarship winners! Best wishes for a bright future!

Brianna Morgan Brunson Jackson High School

Adam James Cooke Clarke Preparatory School

Laken Denise Nix Clarke Preparatory School

Gaines Addison Odom Jackson High School

Katherine Diana Perry Leroy High School

Joshua Dwain Singleton Washington Co. High School

Alabama Living

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| Clarke-Washington EMC |

Cole Newell and his Grand Champion and Best County Bred Steer is presented his awards by event Judge Donnie Goneke.

Washington County

Junior Livestock Steer & Heifer Show and Sale Nearly a dozen boys and girls brought their steers and heifers to compete in one of the most popular events of the year, the Washington County Junior Livestock Stock Show and Sale. The contestants brought their prize livestock to the 4-H Arena in Chatom on April 8 and gave the audience an entertaining evening. First time participant Cole Newell was all smiles as he took home the top prize with his more than 1,300-pound steer. Newell’s steer was also named the Best County Bred Steer. He picked up the top spot in the heavyweight division. Newell took first place in junior showmanship in his age division and fifth place in the Senior Heifer Division. The Reserve Champion Steer was awarded to Madison Stewart. Her steer was also recorded as having the highest average daily gain, calculated at 3.31 pounds. Conner Wright’s heifer was selected as the Grand Champion Heifer of the show. In addition to being named the Grand Champion, Wright’s heifer was named the Best County Bred Heifer. The Reserve Champion Heifer was awarded to Cody Tate. Washington County Cattleman’s President Jon Ray McDowell awarded each Junior Livestock participant a $100 check for their dedication and hard work.

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Conner Wright with Polly Odom of the Chatom Office, after the purchase of Wright’s steer.


WINNERS Junior Showmanship 1st Cole Newell 2nd Conner Wright 3rd Cody Tate 4th Jacob Beech 5th Abigail Panther

Conner Wright and his heifer were awarded the title of Grand Champion Heifer and Best County Bred Heifer. Presenting his awards is Hilton Robbins.

Senior Showmanship 1st Abbeigh Jo Gibson 2nd Madison Stewart 3rd Ethan Wright 4th Madison Richardson Junior Heifer 1st Abigail Panther 2nd Abbeigh Jo Gibson 3rd Jacob Beech Senior Heifer 1st Conner Wright 2nd Cody Tate 3rd Madison Richardson 4th Ethan Wright 5th Cole Newell Grand Champion Heifer and Best County Bred Conner Wright Reserve Champion Cody Tate

Right, Heath Cotton awarding Madison Stewart and her steer, Sugar, the Reserve Champion and Highest Daily Gain.

Steer Lightweight 1st Abbeigh Jo Gibson 2nd Conner Wright Middle Weight Steer 1st Ethan Wright 2nd Conner Wright Heavy Weight Steer 1st Cole Newell 2nd Madison Stewart 3rd Cody Tate Grand Champion Steer and Best County Bred Cole Newell

Greg Williams presenting Cody Tate with the Reserve Champion Award. Assisting Tate, holding the calf, is Madison Richardson. Alabama Living

Reserve Champion and Highest Daily Gain (3.31 per day) Madison Stewart

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| Grand Opening |

Board President, Dr. Carolyn Taite, cut the ribbon as other board of directors and employees look on. Photo: Jim Cox

Ribbon cutting held for new headquarters Members joined as Clarke-Washington EMC celebrated the official grand opening and ribbon cutting held Monday, April 22 at the new headquarters located at 9000 Highway 43 just north of Jackson. Members gathered around the front of the building as General Manager, Steve Sheffield, welcomed everyone to the new facility. “We appreciate everyone taking the time out of their schedule to come. We are excited about opening this new facility for our membership which allows us to serve our members on a daily basis and during major events,” said Sheffield. Board President Dr. Carolyn Taite joined by other board members and employees, officially cut the ribbon for the grand opening. Approximately 300 people toured the new facility and were able to enjoy refreshments during the 8 to 10 a.m. event.

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| Alabama Snapshots | Interior of the Old Pine Torch Church in Bankhead National Forest. SUBMITTED BY Anna-Livia Kirsch, Courtland.

Old Churches Methodist Church in Elamville, AL. It is no longer standing. SUBMITTED BY Gwen King, Ariton.

Milltown Baptist Church, established 1840, near LaFayette, AL. SUBMITTED BY Regina Sanders, Lanett.

The Spoken Word Ministry in Valley Head is an abandoned pre-Civil War African-American church. SUBMITTED BY Charlie Stone, Mentone.

Tabernacle Methodist Church, built in 1846 in Pintlala, AL. SUBMITTED BY Allyson Venable, Hope Hull.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at Old Cahawba Archaeological Park in Dallas County, completed 1854. SUBMITTED BY Mark Hilton, Montgomery.

Submit Your Images! August Theme: “My Motorcycle” Deadline for August: June 30

SUBMIT PHOTOS ONLINE: www.alabamaliving.coop/submit-photo/ or send color photos with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www.alabamaliving.coop and on our Facebook page. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Alabama Living

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Spotlight | June SOCIAL SECURITY

Beware people pretending to be from Social Security Social Security is committed to protecting your personal information. We urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your Social Security number (SSN) or bank account information to unknown people over the phone or internet. If you receive a call and aren’t expecting one, you must be extra careful. You can always get the caller’s information, hang up, and — if you do need more clarification — contact the official phone number of the business or agency that the caller claims to represent. Never reveal personal data to a stranger who called you. There’s a scam going around right now. You might receive a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security or another agency. Calls can even display 1-800-772-1213, Social Security’s national Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at kylle.mckinney@ssa.gov.

customer service number, as the incoming number on your caller ID. In some cases, the caller states that Social Security does not have all of your personal information, such as your SSN, on file. Other callers claim Social Security needs additional information so the agency can increase your benefit payment, or that Social Security will terminate your benefits if they do not confirm your information. This appears to be a widespread issue, as reports have come from people across the country. These calls are not from Social Security. Callers sometimes state that your SSN is at risk of being deactivated or deleted. The caller then asks you to call a phone number to resolve the issue. People should be aware that the scheme’s details may vary; however, you should avoid engaging with the caller or calling the number provided, as the caller might attempt to acquire personal information. Social Security employees occasionally contact people by telephone for customer-service purposes. In only a very few

Electric utility linemen to be recognized June 3 Alabama’s electric utility linemen are on the front lines of our state’s energy needs and are the first responders of the electric utility family. They willingly leave their families in the middle of the night and put their lives on the line each day to keep our power on, safely and reliably. Alabama will honor its linemen with a ceremony June 3, hosted by Opelika Power Services and coordinated by the Energy Institute of Alabama, which works to build public support for Alabama’s energy industry. Alabama’s rural electric cooper-

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atives and Alabama Power Company will also contribute toward this effort. Many utilities around the country recognize their linemen in April. In Alabama, the Legislature passed a formal resolution in 2014 designating the first Monday in June as Lineman Appreciation Day, ensuring that linemen are formally recognized in our state every year. So on June 3, slow down for the familiar bucket trucks on our roadways and stop to say “thank you” for all they do to keep the lights on for all of us.

special situations, such as when you have business pending with us, will a Social Security employee request that the person confirm personal information over the phone. Social Security employees will never threaten you or promise a Social Security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information. In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up. If you receive these calls, please report the information to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at oig.ssa.gov/report. You can also share our new “SSA Phone Scam Alert” video at http://bit.ly/2VKJ8SG. Protecting your information is an important part of Social Security’s mission. You work hard and make a conscious effort to save and plan for retirement. Scammers try to stay a step ahead of us, but with an informed public and your help, we can stop these criminals before they cause serious financial damage. This Month In


ALABAMA HISTORY Honoring Our People

June 23, 1945

Cpl. Eugene B. Sledge helped secure the island of Okinawa on this date after 82 consecutive days of combat during World War II. A native of Mobile, Sledge is internationally renowned Eugene Sledge on Okinawa, 1945. for his 1981 memoir With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa, which graphically portrays combat in the Pacific Theater. The memoir was used as source material for Ken Burns’ 2007 PBS documentary “The War” and HBO’s 2010 miniseries “The Pacific.” He joined the biology faculty at the University of Montevallo in 1970 and taught for 20 years. As an avid lifelong ornithologist, he led bird-watching expeditions in Montevallo and other parts of the state. His second memoir, China Marine: An Infantryman’s Life after World War II, was published posthumously in 2002, and he was inducted into the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame in 2013. www.alabamaliving.coop

June | Spotlight

Find the hidden dingbat! May’s dingbat contest, a search to find the hidden garden trowel, must have been a little bit harder than usual because we received just short of 1,000 entries. We especially enjoyed hearing from our younger readers, including Michael Pearce of Wadley, a member of Tallapoosa River EC, who made his correct guess on his May 1 birthday (Happy late birthday!), and 10-year-old Isabell Mendez from Cullman EC, a 4th grader at West Point Intermediate School, who said she loves getting the magazine and drawing, and sent us a colorful picture of a dog. Thank you, Isabell! Most of our entries correctly found the trowel on Page 36 on the front of the jukebox at Payne’s Soda Fountain and Sandwich Shop. One reader guessed it was on Page 42 on the life preserver of the woman holding a catfish, and another saw the trowel in an ad for Dr. Chipper Shredder. Just a reminder: the dingbat will never be in an ad, and it won’t be on Pages 1 through 8. We love to hear that you enjoy hunting for the hidden item every month, and that it brings back memories. Margaret Taylor

wondered if the Payne’s jukebox was a Rock-Ola, because she worked in the Chicago factory in the 1960s and assembled the selection plates. Anita Hancock of Dutton, a member of Sand Mountain EC, remembers “getting to eat a grilled cheese sandwich in this store when I was a young teenager. Now I’m 84 and they’re still good.” Congratulations to this month’s winner, Cora Stallworth of Evergreen, a member of Southern Pine EC. For June, a month traditionally associated with brides and weddings (see Hardy Jackson’s column on Page 54), we’ve hidden a diamond ring. Good luck! Entries must be received by June 14. By mail: By email: Find the Dingbat dingbat@alabamaliving.com Alabama Living PO Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Letters to the editor

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

Liked recipe

Just wanted to say thanks for the recipe by Shelia Summers (“Chili Rellenos Casserole,” Cook of the Month, May 2019). It’s really good, awesome and fairly easy to make. Just wanted to thank y'all for printing this amazing recipe. I really love it.

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 June 8 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the July issue. Submit by email: whereville@alabamaliving.coop, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Contribute your own photo for an upcoming issue! Send a photo of an interesting or unusual landmark in Alabama, which must be accessible to the public. A reader whose photo is chosen will also win $25.


In 1950, at the end of the Independence Drive of the U.S. Savings Bonds program, the U.S. Department of the Treasury presented replicas of the Liberty Bell to each of the states and territories. Alabama’s bell was accepted by Gov. Jim Folsom and immediately transferred to the south lobby of the state Archives and History building. In 1976, during the Bicentennial, the bell was placed on the south portico of the state Capitol, where it remains today. The random guess winner is Nancy Dallas of Joe Wheeler EMC. Alabama Living

Donnie Haymon, Rainsville

Climate change question

I would love to hear some logic regarding the modern day “climate change” panic as being caused by man. Scientists claim much of Alabama was once under water. I know this is indeed a fact as I have personally retrieved fossilized shark teeth from Alabama riverbanks. Being that Alabama is now dry land, it would suggest there were some sort of “climate changes” that contributed to the ocean’s receding, would it not? This would have happened in the absence of man and the burning of fossil fuels. A recent discovery revealed a vast cypress tree forest in the Gulf of Mexico just off the coast of Alabama, now submerged in 60 feet of water. Estimates suggest it was a mere 60,000 years ago that the area now submerged was then swamp-like land. Proof the ocean levels have risen 60+ feet over the last 60,000 years, again in the absence of man and the burning of fossil fuels. One must consider the “climate change” panic simply provides justification for government to generate revenue via industry-imposed carbon tax. This tax is then passed right on down to where ultimately the unknowing consumer pays the carbon tax via increased utilities and fuel. So, bottom line: Man-made climate change will destroy the earth? Why are there no concerns regarding the 15,000 nuclear warheads in the world’s arsenal? Enough to totally destroy all of mankind ten times over. Might it be there are no revenues to be generated by addressing nuclear weapons? Robert Patrick, Munford JUNE 2019  11

A farm near Hamilton in Marion County. While the book features some photos taken in metro areas, most are of rural scenes that capture country life in all four Alabama seasons.

A photographer’s visual journey across the state John Dersham pays tribute to Alabama in new book for the Bicentennial 12  JUNE 2019


My photographic vision is to craft a body of work that is beautiful, expressive and visually impactful. Whether the subject is a landscape, an old building, a still life or a cityscape, I want the viewer to sense the visual excitement that I felt in capturing the image. – John Dersham

By Lenore Vickrey


magine paddling up the Cahaba River on a spring afternoon, then walking through one of Alabama’s spectacular waterfalls. Gaze in wonder at the giant sycamores in Pickens County, and admire the native rhododendron ablaze with color in Cherokee County. Stroll down a dusty road in rural DeKalb County, and then kick off your shoes and scamper down the sun-warmed beach at Gulf Shores. Those settings and hundreds more are all part of the visual feast prepared by John Dersham and shown off in his new book, My Alabama: John Dersham Photographs a State, published in collaboration with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission. Dersham, who has been photographing sites in Alabama for more than 20 years, had a long career in the photo industry with a Kodak subsidiary, and now is president/CEO of DeKalb Tourism. The book is available through bookstores and online or through its Montgomery publisher, NewSouth Books, newsouthbooks.org. He answered a few questions for Alabama Living.


How did the idea for the book originate?

I had done quite a bit of photography for Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, and I began talking to (director) Tami Reist, Jay Lamar (Alabama Bicentennial Commission director), Lee Sentell (Alabama tourism director) and Nisa Miranda (director, Center for Economic Development, University of Alabama). The idea was to show the world what Alabama physically looks like. We spoke about the fact that in tourism and economic development we are continually speaking with potential out-of-state visitors or business clients who have a total misperception about what Alabama physically looks like. Many think we are a flat state; many do not realize we have mountains (southern Appalachians) or beaches. Almost no one knows we have one of the premier river systems in the world and are the fourth most biodiverse state in the country. We all agreed there needs to be a photography book that shows the scenery of Alabama that includes all the different regions of the state, and that includes our great variance in topography, flora and fauna, rivers, mountains and farm lands. This book would make a great book for consumers, libraries and for the tourism and economic development industries. Jay Lamar wanted it to be a Bicentennial book and with the support of Lee Sentell and the tourism office, which the Bicentennial Commission is managed under, it became a reality.

How did you come up with the idea to organize it seasonally, rather than by region, or some other way?

We struggled for a while to figure out the best way to lay it out. The publisher at NewSouth Books, Suzanne LaRosa, and editor Randall Williams thought the seasonal approach would work really well, and I totally agreed. Alabama Living

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For this unusual shot of Noccalula Falls in Gadsden in Etowah County, Dersham used a three-second exposure on a tripod behind the falls on a foggy fall morning.

Tell me about the process you went through to narrow down your 50,000 photos to just 200.

I had three groups of three to five people, as did the publisher, to help narrow down the vast number of images to a manageable number, which was still over 1,000 images. The process continued for several months with lots of input, to finally get it down to a manageable 200 or so images. The subject matter became critical. We needed to make sure all the Alabama regions were represented and the subject matter was also diverse. I have to say, Randall Williams, who edited the book and did the layout, really helped me get past some personal image preferences to favor images that needed to be included and not just be there because I thought it was a great photograph.

preference since not only can I get the sunrise, but often I will have dew, wet roads, frost, fog and other sparkly image enhancers not available at the end of the day. A giant sycamore at the Natural Bridge of Alabama Park in Winston County. There are several photos of similar majestic trees in the book.

Is there a location you have returned to, more than twice, to shoot again, just because you love the way it looks, or it has special meaning to you?

Since I live near Little River Canyon and I teach photo workshops there for Jacksonville State University, I shoot the canyon on a regular basis. I have also shot at many of our state parks multiple times and have shot in many of the same counties and regions of the state many times over the process of this publication.

How did you get Bo Jackson to write the forward?

Randall Williams arranged it with Bo, based on the fact Bo was doing his annual fundraiser where he rides through Alabama on a bicycle. His text deals with viewing the beautiful scenery in Alabama from a bicycle seat.

Do you still take most of your photos in the wee hours?

I leave the house before daylight and shoot pre-daylight till just before midday. I like late afternoon light also, but morning is my 14  JUNE 2019


Alabama Living

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New Gulf State Park Lodge is making impacts, large and small

The lobby of The Lodge at Gulf State Park.

Story and photos by Colette Boehm


he newest lodge in Alabama’s state parks system is open on the Gulf Coast. With summer approaching, the Lodge at Gulf State Park aims to introduce guests to new facilities and provide family friendly beachfront lodging delivered with sustainable practices at the forefront. The 350-room lodge, which operates under the Hilton brand, opened to much fanfare in late 2018 and has been a welcome addition on Alabama’s beachfront. The November ribbon cutting was billed as the opening of the “reimagined” Gulf State Park Lodge, a nod to the previous facility that served as a centerpiece for both tourism and community activities until it was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. As Gulf Shores and Orange Beach dive into their most popular season, the lodge is welcoming guests and offering a few surprises. In both look and operations, this is not a typical Hilton property. It sits on 16 of the park’s 6,150 acres, and overlooks a restored dunes system, beautiful beaches and blue Gulf of Mexico waters. The lodge was designed and positioned to be both ecologically friendly and energy efficient, as part of the vision for the park to become “an international benchmark for environmental and economic sustainability, demonstrating best practices for outdoor recreation, education and hospitable accommodations,” according to the park’s master plan. “It was designed to be as least impactful as possible,” says lodge general manager Bill Bennett, of Valor Hospitality. “They didn’t want to build a big, giant building.” The design of the lodge was just one of five elements of the park’s masterplan. Elements included dune restoration, trail enhancements and the building of an interpretive gateway to the park, a learning campus and the rebuilding of the lodge. Bennett says the lodge was built to support three pillars of sustainability: environmentally friendly operations and facilities, support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage and direct and tangible social and economic benefits to local people. “You look at environmental sustainability, you look at economic sustainability, they go hand in hand,” he says. “We need to be responsible. We need to be responsible to the environment, to the waters, to the people of this great community.”

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The Lodge at Gulf State Park offers beach access and views of the Gulf of Mexico and the park’s 1,540-foot fishing pier.

Alabama artists’ work is displayed throughout the lodge and meeting. www.alabamaliving.coop

The park is a destination within a destination showcasing coastal Alabama’s diverse flora and fauna, and the lodge does a great job of expanding the family experience.

The view from the lobby porch at The Lodge at Gulf State Park. Alabama Living

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A sustainable environment

Ensuring the lodge lives up to that responsibility is a big part of Chandra Wright’s job. She is the director of environmental and educational initiatives and is coordinating the lodge’s sustainability efforts, from sourcing of materials to eliminate single-use plastics to designing tours that inform guests of the strides the property is making. And those strides are many. Among them are green building and resilience certifications for the lodge and the other new facilities. Upon opening, the lodge earned the distinction of being the second (second only to the park’s new Interpretive Center) FORTIFIED Commercial building in the world. The designation of the Institute for Business and Home Safety and is based upon a building’s resilience to severe winds and weather. In addition, the lodge is pursuing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification and SITES certification for the property’s landscape design. SITES-certified landscapes are designed to reduce water demand, filter and reduce stormwater runoff, provide wildlife habitat and more. The aim is to be the first hotel in the world to achieve SITES Platinum certification. Attaining these benchmark certifications means implementing sustainable practices that may be surprising to some. “You don’t see manicured green lawns here at the lodge,” Wright says. “We’re

built into a dune environment, so we’ve respected that by using native species that belong here and don’t need a lot of watering or chemicals to grow. We also try not to use harmful chemicals in building materials or cleaning products,” she continued, “and we are a 100 percent non-smoking property. We don’t want all the chemicals in cigarette smoke to harm the people who are here.” Wright also noted other sustainability practices. “We try not to use any single-use plastics. So, in our guest rooms, you won’t find the little plastic containers of shampoo and conditioner. Instead, we have very nice bulk dispensers. We don’t use plastic water bottles.” Instead, they offer a plant-based, refillable bottle. In the cultural sustainability arena, the lodge supports the local arts community by displaying myriad works by Alabama artists throughout the lodge and conference buildings. In its restaurants, they focus on locally inspired and sourced food and drinks.

Value to tourism

In addition, the combination of environmental and sustainability designations has the potential to draw world-wide attention. Locally, the tourism industry is thrilled to welcome the new facilities, with leaders recognizing its year-round value. “The lodge’s beachfront location and easy access to family-friendly activities within Gulf State Park are huge selling

points for spring and summer family business,” says Beth Gendler, vice president of sales for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. “The park is a destination within a destination showcasing coastal Alabama’s diverse flora and fauna, and the lodge does a great job of expanding the family experience. “Adding the lodge to our destination’s existing full-service meetings facilities allows us to pursue new groups,” Gendler says. “Now, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach can compete for more meetings, conventions and corporate retreats, particularly outside of summer.” Beyond the lodge, Gulf State Park is home to 2.5 miles of beachfront and 28 miles of trails through its nine ecosystems. On the beachfront, visitors can enjoy the interpretive center, beach pavilion and 1,540-foot fishing pier. Inland, they will find freshwater Lake Shelby, a Learning Campus, Nature Center, cabins, cottages and a 496-site campground. Bicycle and kayak rentals are available as are Segway tours and a slate of Nature Center programs. While the master plan may have called for The Lodge at Gulf State Park to be designed with low impact to the environment in mind, it seems a positive impact is growing for the park, as a whole. If winter and spring visitation are any indication, the amenities and facilities of Gulf State Park are becoming more popular than ever.

The zero-entry pool is just one of the popular amenities at the new lodge.

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Alabama Living

JUNE 2019  19


Alabama offers a wealth of sites to teach children about history

By Marilyn Jones


ravel to a time when Native Americans lived in a sprawling city, when European explorers mapped out the wilderness and when Alabama’s finest scientists helped make the race for space a reality. Time travel becomes a possibility at historic sites throughout Alabama and a journey you can take your children on. Come along on as we “travel” to a few places of discovery and understanding.

Costumed interpreters engage in daily activities at Fort Gaines. PHOTO BY MARILYN JONES

The first Alabamians

Centuries before the first Europeans set foot in what would become Alabama, Native Americans lived here. One place to discover this historic chapter is at Moundville Archaeological Site in Moundville. Dating to 1000 AD it grew to become what National Geographic coined as “The Big Apple of the 14th Century.” Moundville is the second largest prehistoric archaeological site of its kind in North America, representing the best preserved Mississippian Indian ceremonial mound center. The first European to arrive in the area was Spanish explorer Alonso Alvarez de Pineda in 1519 followed by Hernando de Soto and his forces in 1540. From the mid-16th century to the end of the 18th century, Spain, France and England vied for control of the region. A settlement was founded by the French at Fort Louis de la Mobile in 1702. Soon after, the fort was destroyed by flooding and the location was moved to the current site in Mobile. Soon after, French and Canadian settlers began to arrive to farm the land. Visit the Fort of Colonial Mobile for a better understanding of the establishment of European control. Costumed interpreters offer insight into military and civilian life during this time period. Two other nearby forts protecting Mobile Bay were Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines. Fort Morgan, built between 1819 and 1833, offers a visual history of a fortification that was active during four major wars. The Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War occurred just offshore. It was in those waters that Union Adm. David Farragut bellowed one of the more famous quotes in U.S. Naval history, “Damn the

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Designed by owner and architect Nathan Bryan Whitfield, it features exceptional features including domed ceilings, elaborate plasterwork and many original Whitfield family furnishings and objects. The five-acre site includes a formal gardens and plantation office.

Civil War and beyond

The Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery commemorates those who died during the civil rights movement. PHOTO BY MARILYN JONES

torpedoes, full speed ahead.” From here take the Mobile Bay Ferry across the mouth of the bay to Dauphin Island to Fort Gaines. Nearly completed in 1861, Southern troops seized the fort during the Civil War and completed its construction in 1862. The prospect of facing the powerful guns in Forts Gaines and Morgan kept Union forces at bay until August of 1864 and the infamous Battle of Mobile Bay. Today costumed interpreters are outfitted in C onfederate uniforms and civilian dress of the mid1800s as they go about protecting the fort, and doing the Sloss Furnace, a national historic landmark, is a reminder of why Birmingham was created as a day’s work in center of industry. PHOTO BY MARILYN JONES the blacksmith shop, bakery and homes. Mooresville is the first town incorporated by the Alabama Territorial Legislature in 1818. The entire town is on the National Register of Historic Places. Centuries-old homes and buildings, gracious gardens and tree-shaded streets make this community of less than 60 residents an enjoyable place to visit. The best way to experience Mooresville is on a guided tour which offers access to 1821 Stagecoach Tavern, 1839 Brick Church and 1854 Church of Christ. The 1840 Mooresville Post Office is open 7 to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday. Gaineswood Plantation in Demopolis was completed just before the Civil War. It is considered one of the most significant remaining examples of Greek Revival Architecture in the state. 22  JUNE 2019

The Civil War plays an important role in Alabama history. On Jan. 11, 1861, the State of Alabama seceded from the Union. The Alabama secession conThe 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham is the vention invited site of a bombing that killed four children in 1963. delegates of the PHOTO BY MARILYN JONES other seceded states to meet in Montgomery to form the new Confederate nation. Delegates wrote a constitution for the Confederate States of America and Jefferson Davis was elected the Confederacy’s president. In late February 1861, Davis took the oath of office while standing on the portico of the State Capitol. The First White House of the Confederacy was the executive residence of President Jefferson Davis and his family while the capitol of the Confederacy was in Montgomery until late May 1861. It was then moved to Richmond, Virginia. The house is completely furnished with original period pieces from the 1850s and 1860s. Birmingham was born following the Civil War. With the area’s rich mineral resources (iron ore, coal, limestone) needed to make iron, industrialists built facilities. Sloss Furnace, a National Historic Landmark, is a relic of the industrial revolution. The pig iron producing blast furnaces operated from 1882 to 1971.

The USS Alabama is moored in Mobile Bay. The WWII ship is open for tours. PHOTO COURTESY VISIT MOBILE


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The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville chronicles Alabama’s contributions to historic, current and future space exploration. PHOTOS COURTESY U.S. SPACE AND ROCKET CENTER

Today visitors can wander around the labyrinth of brick buildings, massive pipes and valves, stack pipes and stairways for a better understanding of the industry.

A new century

Moored in Mobile Bay, the USS Alabama is open daily for tours in Mobile. During WWII, a crew of 2,500 men served on the 45,000-ton ship. The ship is famous for its role in leading the American Fleet into Tokyo Bay on Sept. 5, 1945. Nine Battle Stars for meritorious service were awarded the “Mighty A” during her brief three-year tenure as the “Heroine of the Pacific.” Another important chapter in American history is the civil rights movement. In Montgomery, the Civil Rights Memorial commemorates those who died during the movement. Nearby, the Rosa Parks Museum remembers the brave actions of a young woman who was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat to a white person. A bus boycott resulted and lasted from December 1955 to December 1956. A United States Supreme Court decision declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws that segregated buses were unconstitutional. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and District is another excellent destination to start a conversation with children about civil rights. In

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addition to the museum, take a tour of the 16th Street Baptist Church where four members of the Ku Klux Klan planted a bomb under the church steps. Four little girls died in the blast. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and The Legacy Museum in Montgomery chronicles slave trade, racial terrorism, the Jim Crow South and the world’s largest prison system. A proud part of Alabama’s history is its part in the space race. A visit to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville is a favorite with anyone who ever dreamed of space exploration. Visit a national historic landmark — an authentic Saturn V rocket, one of only three in the world — located in the Saturn V Hall. The hall showcases NASA and Marshall Space Flight Center’s contributions to historic, current and future space exploration. Learn about America’s Space Race and NASA’s plan to put man on the moon, the development of the space shuttle program and the International Space Station; get a glimpse of the future in commercial space ventures and the latest technological innovations. Alabama has a lot to reflect on, be proud of and learn about. Make the state your weekend getaway or vacation destination. For more information, visit https://alabama. travel; or call 800-252-2262.



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| Alabama People |

Jackson Bostwick

Alabama’s own Captain Marvel If you watched Saturday morning television in the mid-1970s, you likely remember the CBS children’s series, “Shazam!” based on DC Comics’ Captain Marvel. In the series, a young boy traveled around the country in a motor home solving problems by uttering the word, “Shazam!” and turning into superhero Captain Marvel. The captain was played by Jackson Bostwick, who grew up in Montgomery, where his father was a neurosurgeon. He graduated from Lanier High School and studied pre-med at the University of Alabama, where he lettered in rifle before he decided to pursue an acting career in California. He earned an MFA in acting at the University of Southern California. His role on “Shazam!” in 1974-75 endeared him to many fans, who still enjoy seeing him at Comic-Cons around the country. He was gracious enough to answer a few questions for Alabama Living. – Lenore Vickrey What was the hardest thing about playing Captain Marvel for the TV show? Getting into the costume? Staying in shape? I didn’t have much of a problem with anything playing the Good Captain, other than a couple of the stunts (I did all my own stunts except one – wrestling with a lion). I kept in very good shape participating in judo and kick boxing. I did run my own dailies at the studio with no sound, just to watch how I carried myself and to make sure the costume was presented with as little wrinkles as possible. I never put my hands on my hips, as I felt this would be preaching to the kids, except in one scene when it demanded an authoritative presentation. Why do superhero characters like yours have such an enduring popularity? Captain Marvel was my favorite hero when I was growing up, along with The Lone Ranger, Tarzan, The Phantom, and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon. From the time of the Greek and Roman gods and heroes, to the biblical heroes, most everybody has a role model that they can identify with and dream about, even though they could never accomplish the feats of these icons. Superheroes, not just heroes, are the hardest to portray b e l i e v ably. If an actor can pull it off, a superhero can be very effective role model for generations to come. ZUMA PRESS INC./ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

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Do you have a favorite, or most memorable episode of “Shazam!”? “The Athlete” episode stands out as one. It is the one where I pulled off my best stunt. I had to, as Captain Marvel, pull the stunt lady, Patty Eldege, from a running horse as she galloped past me at full speed and I was running as fast I could alongside her. We did it, as with most of the show’s stunts, in one take. There were other good gags that were done during my time on the show, but this one stands out as my favorite. What do you think of the new movies, “Shazam” and “Captain Marvel”? I’m not a fan of what has been done to the classic icon, Captain Marvel. To me this is a spoof of the character, like Adam West did with Batman. Made him a buffoon. When is the last time you’ve seen a superhero talk about, or for that matter, even going to the bathroom? That’s Jim Carrey stuff. There will be an audience for it, yes, as there is an audience for “Sponge Bob, Squarepants,” but in no way is it the original Captain Marvel. C.C. Beck, a good friend of mine and the original artist of the Golden Age comic, is rolling over in his grave. He once told me “Jackson, the way you portrayed Captain Marvel is exactly the way I envisioned him to be.” Some people say it needed to be brought up to date. That’s like saying let’s bring the Bible up to date and modernize it. Or, let’s put a crayon mark on the Mona Lisa. All I can say is thank God they didn’t use the character’s real name. Do you ever get back to Alabama? I no longer have our family’s cabin on Lake Martin, but that is a place I go back to visit along with the graves of my mother and father in Montgomery. Got any new projects in the works? I’m mainly doing Comic-Cons (check out my appearances at jacksonbostwick.com) and enjoying meeting the fans. I’m also finishing up my book Myth, Magic, and a Mortal, along with wrapping up a movie I wrote, produced and directed called “Bloody MaryLite.”

As Captain Marvel, 1974-1975 www.alabamaliving.coop

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June | Around Alabama

Photo courtesy of Helen Keller Festival.


Various arts and crafts will be available at the Helen Keller Festival in Tuscumbia June 27-30.


Stevenson, Stevenson Depot Days. Bingo at 6 p.m. June 4; gospel singing and hot dog dinner at 6 p.m. June 5. Golf tournament, 1 p.m. June 6 at Dogwood Hills in Flatrock. Cornhole tournament, 7 p.m. June 7 at the Stevenson Park tennis courts. Main events will be June 8, with food, arts and crafts, kids games, vendors, parade and live entertainment. All class reunion is 6-8 p.m., and street dance with Wrong 2 Wright at 8 p.m. on the Flat Car Stage on Main Street. CityofStevensonAlabama.com


Auburn, SummerNight Downtown Art Walk in downtown. Art festival featuring the work of local and regional artists, live musicians, street performers, food and children’s activities. 6-10 p.m. Call the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center, 334-501-2963.


Jemison, Black and Blue Berry Festival, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Petals From the Past, 16034 County Road 29. Fields open at 9 a.m.; limit 20 pints per family. Pony rides ($6) and petting zoo from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Informational talk with Dr. Arlie Powell ($3) on growing blackberries and blueberries at 10 a.m. Honey bee Q&A from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Food and live music. PetalsFromThePast.com


Theodore, Kid’s Discovery Day at Bellingrath Gardens. 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Get a close up look at the creatures of Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s touch tables, and the Environmental Studies Center will present a Raptor Road Show on the Great Lawn. Guests may also take a 45-minute guided cruise along the Fowl River with Wild Native Delta Safaris. Reservations required for the cruises; call 251-459-8864. $14 for adults and $8 for children 5-12. Bellingrath members and ages 4 and younger free. bellingrath.org.


Marion, 24th Annual Marion Rodeo at the Ralph Eagle Arena on Highway 14. Gates open at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; events start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $10; 3 and younger, free. Proceeds to Perry County Fire Association. 334-683-4004.


Alexander City, 29th annual Jazz Fest. Friday night at Strand Park, the lineup features The Bank Walkers, Sam Bruchfield and The Scoundrels and Willie Sugarcapps. Saturday night at The Amp will feature the Phantom Callers, Empire Strikes Brass and the Honey Island Swamp Band. Free. Alexcityjazzfest.com


Tuscumbia, Helen Keller Festival, a tribute to America’s “first lady of courage,” who was born June 27, 1880. Food, live music, arts and crafts and activities for children. Performances of “The Miracle Worker” will be Friday and Saturday evenings from June 7-July 13. HelenKellerFestival.com







Bay Minette, Ride Yellow Charity Bike Ride. Ride begins at Halliday Park with a 6-mile tribute ride followed by the 10, 20, 37 and 62mile routes. Rest stops are available along the way and food, beverage and vendor booths available upon return to the park. Ride begins promptly at 7 a.m. To register, visit rideyellow.com. Brewton, Alabama Blueberry Festival. Original arts and crafts, live entertainment, antique car show, children’s activities, blueberry ice cream, cobbler and crunch. Blueberry bushes and fresh crates of blueberries for sale. 8 a.m.3 p.m. Jennings Park, Intersection of Highways 31 & 41. Brewtonchamber. com Montgomery, Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) hosts “Alabama History in Twenty Artifacts: A Bicentennial Symposium”, 9 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Explore 200 years of Alabama’s history through presentations on artifacts currently displayed in the ADAH’s Alabama Voices exhibition. Speakers will give brief talks on 20 artifacts, one from each decade of Alabama’s statehood. $25 general public, $15 Friends of the Alabama Archives members, and $10 students and teachers. Admission includes meals and refreshments. For more information, visit archives.alabama. gov or call 334-242-4364.

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

Alabama Living

Slocomb, 31st Annual Slocomb Tomato Festival. Vendors, food, live entertainment, children’s activities and local farmers selling tomatoes. Entertainment begins Friday at 6 p.m. and festival begins Saturday at 10 a.m. Friday, admission is free; Saturday, admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children. Ages 6 and under free. Search Slocomb Tomato Festival on Facebook.

G u n t e r sv i l l e , Boat racing returns to Lake Guntersville featuring the H1 Unlimiteds, the Grand Prix World hydros and the Powerboat National series. Concerts, static displays, food and fun including a kids’ zone with water slides. Marshallcountycvb. com

Clanton, The 2019 Peach Jam Jubilee. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. at Clanton City Park. Vendors will sell a wide variety of products, with food trucks available. The gates open at 11 a.m. with stage performances beginning at 5 p.m. Featuring the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative Hot Air Balloon. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Free. chiltonchamberonline. com or call 205-755-2400.

Cullman, Benefit 3D Archery tournament sponsored by Circle of Hope at Camp David in Cullman County. 12th annual event for archery with classes and divisions for any skill or age level. Proceeds benefit the patient assistance program at Bruno Cancer Center at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Cost is $20 adults and $10 youth. 256-338-6652.

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JUNE 2019  29


Take control

high summer bills of

By Derrill Holly

Ceiling fans help keep us cool during the summer, but that benefit completely disappears when we leave the room. Turn fans off in unoccupied rooms to save energy. PHOTO COURTESY STEFAN SCHWEIHOFER


e expect summers to be hot, but most of us do all we can or cleaning permanent ones. If you’ve got pets, consider checking to keep our homes as comfortable as possible, even as them more frequently. You can save money and electricity by time-shifting some of the outdoor temperatures edge thermometers upward. most energy-intensive activities away from peak energy use periods When it comes to electricity, each of us has the power to help that normally occur during the hottest hours of the day. Cooking, control our costs – we just have to make thoughtful choices to doing laundry and using power tools can increase both heat and make energy savings pay off in dollars and cents. humidity inside your Look toward the home, making it harder west. If you don’t have to reach or maintain a trees, a porch overhang comfortable temperaor awnings shading ture. windows exposed to Remember, conafternoon sun, there’s trolling energy costs a good chance radiant will always work better heat could be driving with buy-in from everyup indoor temperaone in the household. tures and adding to One open window your overall cooling anywhere can be like costs. an uncapped chimney, Window coverpulling the conditioned ings can help. Blinds air you pay to cool outor shades can deflect side. intense sunlight, and A gaming system, draperies lined with a computer or big screen thermal radiant barritelevision left on but er can block up to 95 Energy-intensive activities like doing laundry can increase heat and humidity inside your unwatched produces percent of sunlight and home. Try time-shifting these types of chores to off-peak hours, when energy demand is nearly as much heat as 100 percent of ultraviolower. PHOTO COURTESY STEVE BUISSINNE it does when it’s in use. let rays. Lighting and ventilation fans add convenience and provide benComfort and cooling are easier to maintain when we take adefits when they are needed but when left on and unattended, they vantage of air flow. A ceiling fan can pull warm air up above your use energy. living zone, making a difference during summer months. The A bag of ice poured into a cooler will chill summer beverages as evaporative effect of circulating air blowing across our skin makes effectively and less expensively than an aging refrigerator in a hot us more comfortable, but that benefit completely disappears when garage. we leave the room, so turning fans off in unoccupied rooms will Check with your local electric cooperative for details on prosave energy. grams that can help you control energy costs and avoid seasonal HVAC filters have a lot to do with airflow through your heatbilling challenges. ing and cooling systems. Dirty filters restrict circulation through Your co-op may also offer energy audits or additional information your returns, requiring your cooling system to work harder. If you that can help you identify and correct problems that might be concan see dirt in a filter, it’s likely 50 percent clogged. Follow the tributing to higher bills and increased energy use in your home. manufacturer’s recommendations on replacing disposable filters

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Wind power on the rise Technology brings history-making updates to the old windmill By Paul Wesslund


he answer to what’s new with electricity is, as Bob Dylan first sang 57 years ago, “Blowin’ in the Wind.” This year, wind power will replace hydro for fourth place on the list of fuels used to generate electricity (behind natural gas, coal and nuclear.) The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration projects the growth of wind power will continue into 2020, when it is expected to generate 9 percent of the nation’s electricity. Wind’s popularity is propelled by the rising interest in renewable energy and improving technology, which has reduced the cost of wind power to about the same price as electricity generated from coal power plants. The federal Production Tax Credit has also driven wind development, and its pending expiration has led to a rush of new projects that will come online over the next few years. Today’s wind turbines are a lot more high-tech than the old windmills that cranked water up from under farms. Wind turbine blades are huge, and they’re getting bigger to capture more wind. Over the last 20 years, the diameter of a typical wind rotor assembly has increased from about 75 feet to almost 180 feet. And turbine towers are getting taller, from almost 200

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feet to nearly 300 feet since 1999. Behind each of those rotors is a much smaller turbine, kind of like a miniature version of those that spin to make electricity in a coal-powered plant. The rotors turn 30 to 60 revolutions per minute, and gears inside the turbine ratchet that up to more than 1,000 rpm, which is fast enough to generate electricity. Computerized sensors keep the rotors pointed at the wind. A large wind turbine can generate enough electricity to power about 500 homes—if the wind blew all the time. But it doesn’t, and that makes wind a tricky power source. Developers hope improvements in large battery technology might store power for use during calm days, but for now, for wind to provide reliable electricity, it needs the help of coal, natural gas and other energy sources that can run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Paul Wesslund writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape.


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ALABAMA BOOKSHELF In this periodic feature, we highlight books either about Alabama people or events, or written by Alabama authors. Summaries are not reviews or endorsements. We also occasionally highlight book-related events. Email submissions to bookshelf@alabamaliving.coop. Due to the volume of submissions, we are unable to feature all the books we receive. Lost Attractions of Alabama, by Tim Hollis, The History Press, $23.99 (modern history) Alabama has had an enviable success rate when it comes to tourist attractions, with some that date back to the 1930s still drawing crowds today. But many others have come and gone. Alabama native Hollis revisits iconic attractions, such as Canyon Land Park and Sequoyah Caverns. The book is packed with photos and postcards that will no doubt bring back memories for longtime Alabamians. Glory Road, by Lauren Denton, HarperCollins, $16.99 (fiction) Set in fictional Perry, Ala., the book follows main character Jessie McBride, who has her work cut out for her keeping up with a teenage daughter and spunky mother while running her garden shop, Twig. The novel’s namesake road is the center of events as the three generations of women learn about healing and new beginnings in life. The author was born and raised in Mobile and now lives in Homewood. The Favorite Daughter, by Patti Callahan Henry, Berkley Books, $11 (Southern fiction) Freelance travel writer Lena Donohue fled her small-town home in South Carolina to reinvent herself in New York. A decade later, her father’s failing health brings her back home. While Alzheimer’s slowly steals her dad’s memories, she and her siblings rush to preserve his life in stories and photographs, sending her on a journey to discover the true meaning of home. The author attended Auburn University for her undergraduate work and now lives in Mountain Brook and Bluffton, S.C. Best Dog Hikes Alabama, by Joe Cuhaj, Falcon Press Publishing, $22.95 (outdoors) From mountain views to the coveted coast, there’s a trail for you and your trusty companions. Throughout are full-color photos and maps, helpful tips and tailored hike specs with information on leash requirements, trail surface, other trail users and more. The author makes his home in Daphne. Getting Out of the Mud: The Alabama Good Roads Movement and Highway Administration, 1898-1928, by Martin T. Olliff, The University of Alabama Press, $49.95 (history) The author recounts the history of the Good Roads Movement that arose in progressive-era Alabama, how it used the power of the state to achieve its objectives of improving market roads for farmers and highways for automobilists, and how state and federal highway administration replaced the Good Roads Movement. Early Alabama: An Illustrated Guide to the Formative Years, 1798-1826, by Mike Bunn, The University of Alabama Press, $24.95 (history) This work serves as a traveler’s guidebook that traces Alabama’s developmental years. Despite the significance of this era in the state’s overall growth, these years are perhaps the least understood in all of the state’s history, and have received relatively little attention from historians. The book includes a guide for a tour of historic sites that still remain.

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Alabama Living

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| Safety |

Safe driving starts with the turn of a key By Allison Law


t’s been five years since Mike Lutzenkirchen lost his son, Philip, the Auburn student-athlete who played on the school’s 2010 national championship team. More than just a standout tight end, Philip had a servant’s heart, was humble to fault and loved spending time with children, especially those fighting cancer or who had special needs. Philip was 23 when he died, as a passenger in a drunken- and distracted-driving related car accident. The elements involved – drinking during the day, speeding, lack of seat belt use – resulted in a horrific crash that killed Philip and the driver. Five years later, his dad, Mike, is the voice of the Lutzie 43 Foundation, founded in Philip’s memory to encourage and empower young people to be positive ambassadors for safe driving. Mike travels constantly, speaking to high school and college organizations and sports teams, church groups and others. He estimates he’s spoken to 180,000 people across the country, sharing his story as a grieving father but also of a parent motivated to create change. He gets “some pretty incredible” emails from young people who are inspired by his talks. Some feel comfortable talking with him about issues they might not bring up with a parent or teacher. “I get compliments that I don’t come in and lecture and just rattle off a bunch of stats,” Mike says. “This is a real voice of a real father, talking about the loss of a child. I think kids respect that.” The Lutzie 43 Foundation’s newest initiative will still bring Mike and his message Mike Lutzenkirchen speaks to young people. He will still talk to them at the press conference unveiling the new 43 Key about making better decisions, as drivers Seconds initiative. and friends. But Mike thinks the new 43 Key Seconds initiative will also resonate with grownups, and has started reaching out to corporations, associations and other companies to create new partnerships.

Keys to success

The lanyard, decorative key and checklist placard that are the symbols of the new initiative.

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Last year, an acquaintance who was familiar with the Lutzie 43 Foundation and its work asked Mike about the future goals of the Foundation. He pointed out that each new day is one more day past Philip’s time on earth. Mike realized that today’s high school seniors weren’t even in high school when Philip died; how could they continue the relevancy of the message, and

Philip Lutzenkirchen, during his days at Auburn.

of Philip’s legacy? Mike showed the acquaintance information about a program for which Mike has been a keynote speaker – an interactive teen driving summit called URKEYS2DRV (your keys to drive). The acquaintance seized on the symbol of a key, with the idea of pairing it with the number 43 (Philip’s Auburn jersey number) and the words “distraction free.” They were aware of the successful, catchy safety slogans, such as “click it or ticket” and “drive sober or get pulled over.” But the Foundation wanted to create a campaign based around a tangible reminder – something that will be visible for drivers and easy to keep up with. The result: a safe driving checklist placard, clipped to a replica of a key and attached to a lanyard. The idea is that the driver will take 43 seconds before starting the vehicle to go through the checklist: “clear head, clear hands, clear eyes, click it; now turn the key.” The driver keeps the lanyard and key on the rearview mirror, or as a keychain. The tangible items have another benefit: The ability for co-branding. The key and lanyard have the 43 Key Seconds emblem and colors, and there’s room on the back of the key for a company logo or a team’s mascot. So far, the initiative has partnered with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), Georgia State Police, the University of Montevallo and Baldwin Electric Membership Corporation, among others. “I believe, because of the epidemic nature of distracted and impaired driving, all these companies, regardless of what kind of business they’re in, have an element of safe driving,” Mike says. He thinks the co-branding will add a level of buy-in to the campaign. “Opelika High School, for example. For those kids to walk out with a 43 Key Seconds key on one side, their logo and their colors on the other, and their logo intermingled on the lanyard. They buy it, that’s my school, that’s part of me.” www.alabamaliving.coop

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| Worth the drive |

Seasonal offerings, fresh foods elevate dining at Odette By Jennifer Crossley Howard


lorence’s Odette restaurant takes a nostalgic approach to food while keeping an eye on tomorrow. Located on downtown’s main vein of Court Street, Odette — open since 2013 — serves as much locally grown food as possible. Its menu rotates each season to serve what’s growing. “Every season, we change about 70 percent of the menu,” says Chef Josh Quick. In late April, there were a lot of dishes with asparagus, onion, radishes and peas because that’s what farmers were yielding. Quick’s menus feature well-produced, quality fare. Chicken breast, for example, is all free range and vegetables are fresh. The idea is to let the food speak for itself. “In spring and summer it’s so easy,” Quick says. “The colors and flavors are so vibrant.” Much of it comes from down the road, including Bluewater Creek Farm in nearby Killen and Sunlit Farm in southern Tennessee. Fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico arrives by truck a few times a week, resulting in dishes such as the Blackened Mississippi Redfish Sandwich, grilled fish enveloped by pullman bread, red cabbage slaw and avocado. Switching menus by season keeps things interesting. Cooks and servers must be on their toes, said general manager Kristy Bevis. “It’s always a fun time in the restaurant, like a reopening,” she says. Quick typically starts planning new menus a month before their debut. In addition to food, the well-stocked bar will also take a seasonable turn, with six to seven new drinks replacing last season’s favorites. In the kitchen on a recent weekday, Michael Cuffaro, a roundsman, chops chuck tender for Steak Frites, a constant on Odette’s menu. Hand-cut fries, arugula salad and chimichurri complete the dish. The kitchen conjures a sharp greenhouse aroma coupled with deep savory notes. Sous chef Ramon Jacobsen rinses a colander full of fresh peas for dinner. The kitchen staff takes their food seriously; themselves, not so much. A photo of young Bill Murray pointing is posted on the side of a refrigerator. “You’re awesome,” it reads. Now, Jacobsen has another accolade: On May 1, he won the 2019 Alabama Seafood

Cook-Off in Bayou La Batre. He will represent Alabama in August at the 16th annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans.

Now offering Sunday brunch

Quick cans spring peas and hot banana peppers to use in winter, a tradition he picked from up as a boy from his stepmother. Every sandwich is served with a seven-day pickle, sold in jars near the front desk. For spring and summer, Quick has served strawberries from across the river in Tuscumbia. Berries appear in the Strawberry Salad, an arugula pesto and whipped feta goat cheese concoction topped with marcona almonds and fermented dressing. Quick uses the fruit for fresh jam, which will be on the new Sunday brunch menu. Odette opened its doors for Sunday brunch on Easter, previously offering it only on Saturday. “We think the community will be really receptive to it,” Bevis says. The inside of Odette reflects its philosophy that good food need not much adornment: upholstered booths and dark wood tables sit on original hardwood floors, and exposed brick remind diners that this place had a life or two before it became a restaurant. For many years, the space housed Kaye’s, a shoe store that was in business until at least the late 1970s. Kaye’s is immortalized in script engraved into the sidewalk in front of Odette. As for the restaurant’s name, owner and Shoals native Celeste Pillow honored her great-grandmother. “She wanted a name that had Southern appeal to it,” Bevis says.


120 N. Court St. • Florence, AL 35630 • 256-349-5219 Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. (Between lunch and dinner, a reduced menu is offered that includes a classic burger and bar snacks.) odettealabama.com


The Cast-Iron Seared Chicken Breast with creamed leeks, English peas and buttered new potatoes is one of the seasonal offerings.

38  JUNE 2019

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| Gardens |

Igniting memories:

How to be firefly-friendly


urn off the outdoor lights and step into the dark this summer and you may find yourself in an enchanted landscape where hundreds, maybe even thousands, of fireflies — and perhaps a few children carrying Mason jars — streak about in the night. Or you may not. Fireflies (or lightning bugs, if you prefer) are the stuff childhood memories are made of, but these bright little beetles, and possibly future memories, are also at risk. The twinkling that attracts us to fireflies is caused by bioluminescence, a chemical reaction in their bodies that allows them to produce and emit light. Fireflies use that light to ward off predators and attract mates, the opportunity for which is but a spark in time. The lifecycle of fireflies starts each summer when females lay eggs in or on top of the soil. The eggs hatch in about three weeks and the larvae then spend another year or two, depending on the species, maturing in the soil or in organic litter on top of the ground. Beginning in the spring (I saw my first 2019 firefly in March) and continuing through the summer, the larvae pupate and take wing as adults on a tight schedule: They have only a short time, usually two to four weeks, to procreate before their lights go out forever. The process is much more complicated, and fascinating, than I have space to cover in this column, but suffice it to say that among the more than 2,000 species of fireflies found throughout the world (170plus of which are found in the United States) there is wide physical, behavioral and bioluminescent diversity — including some species that group together in synchronized light shows. Fireflies not only delight us visually, they are also important to our ecosystems. Firefly larvae eat — and thus help control — a number of pests such as slugs, snails Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@gmail.com.

40  JUNE 2019

and worms. Adult fireflies eat very little, if at all, because they are focused on reproduction, but they help pollinate a variety of plants, may be eaten by other animals up the food chain and their bioluminescent chemicals have medical and scientific uses. Unfortunately, fireflies are also at risk, a problem that was first detected a decade or more ago when scientists and enthusiasts began noticing a decline in firefly populations. The exact causes of this decline are still being studied, but most experts agree that habitat loss, light pollution and over-use of pesticides are the main culprits. Other human activities, changes in hydrology and — believe it or not — predation by earthworms may also contribute to the problem, as does commercial harvesting of fireflies. Without conservation efforts, there may come a time when firefly lights go out in Alabama (and elsewhere). But luckily fireflies have advocates working to keep their lights shining, including Texas biologist Ben Pfeiffer who founded www.firefly.org, a website filled with information on fireflies and how we can help protect them. Those of us with gardens and lawns can help the effort simply by making our landscapes firefly friendly using Pfeiffer’s simple suggestions. • Reduce light pollution by keeping outside lights off as much as possible and closing curtains or blinds to limit escaping interior light. • Create firefly larvae habitat by leaving fallen logs, limbs and yard litter in place. • Maintain or establish a water feature such as a small pond or stream or a wet or marshy area. • Reduce, or better yet avoid, the use of pesticides, especially lawn chemicals, and limit the use of mosquito over-spraying to times when fireflies are least active. • Leave areas of tall, uncut grass, a favorite hangout of fireflies during mating season, in parts of the yard. • Plant native trees, shrubs and grasses. These measures, along with many

others that can be found through Pfeiffer’s website and other sources listed in the “Illuminating Information” sidebar, may help ensure that we and our children and grandchildren continue to step into enchanted summer landscapes for generations to come.


Weed regularly. Keep houseplants, outdoor potted plants, newly planted shrubs and perennials and lawns well watered. Plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and sweet potatoes. Sow seeds for beans, field peas, pumpkins, squash, corn, cantaloupes and watermelon. Pinch back flowering annuals to encourage continued blooming. Watch out for insect and disease problems. Freshen water in birdbaths and ornamental pools to reduce mosquito breeding. Step outside in the dark and enjoy the night garden.


Illuminating Information Here are some exceptional resources on fireflies and firefly protection:

-Ben Pfeiffer’s website, www.firefly.org. -Participate in Firefly Watch at www.massaudubon.org/get-involved/citizen-science/firefly-watch. -Tufts University firefly biologist Sarah Lewis's book, Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies, and also her website and blog at silentsparks.com. -Catch synchronized firefly shows each May and June at two primary sites in the Southeast, one near Elkmont, Tenn., in the Great Smoky Mountains (www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/ fireflies.htm) and another in South Carolina’s Congaree National Park (www.nps.gov/cong/fireflies.htm).

Conscientious Catching

Chasing and catching fireflies is an age-old joy of summer, but considering their decline, is it a good idea? Experts say it’s OK if you catch and release conscientiously. -Use gentle collection techniques (a butterfly net is best). -Keep fireflies no more than two days in a jar with a perforated lid. -Add a moist paper towel or coffee filter and a slice of apple to the jar to help keep the jar’s environment firefly-friendly. -Set fireflies free at night so they can get back to the hard work of courtship. They only have so long after all. Firefly Talk Though flash patterns and behaviors vary among firefly species, typically male fireflies are the ones twinkling in the air and in trees. Females hang out in tall grasses and shrubs near the ground where they can observe the selection of aerial suitors. When a female spots an appealing fella, she usually emits a single come-hither flash inviting him in for closer inspection. At least one species of firefly, however, mimics mating flashes to lure in other firefly species for dinner — that is, to become dinner. Watching these visual conversations can help determine which firefly species are in your area. Another great resource can be found at Science Friday radio show’s website, www.sciencefriday.com/educational-resources/ talk-like-a-firefly/. Alabama Living

JUNE 2019  41

| Outdoors |

The state welded together a tugboat and a barge to make a reef dedicated to the Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association. To add additional fish habitat, they welded various objects to the barge before sinking it south of Dauphin Island. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ALABAMA MARINE RESOURCES DIVISION

Artificial reefs provide extensive habitat for many species


ince 1953, the state of Alabama has dropped thousands of objects ranging from concrete chunks to military tanks and entire ships into the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile Bay, Mississippi Sound and other waters. These objects now hold numerous fish, leading to some of the best fishing for red snapper and other species in the nation. “Alabama has the largest artificial reef program in the United States, and we are very proud of that,” says Craig Newton, the Artificial Reef Program coordinator for the Alabama Marine Resources Division (AMRD). “We have well more than 10,000 artificial reefs off the Alabama coast. We have the best red snapper fishery in the United States and it is 100 percent related to our artificial reef program.” Recently, the AMRD added one more reef to its list. The state sunk a barge and an entire tugboat into 67 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico about seven miles south of Dauphin Island. The reef top comes up to 42 feet from the surface. “The barge is about 30 feet wide and 100 feet long,” Newton explains. “The tugboat is about 30 feet long. The barge was welded to the tugboat to make one big reef. We even added some enhancements to the barge using steel and pipe and took an old wheelhouse off another boat. We welded it John N. Felsher lives in Semmes, Ala. Contact him through Facebook.

all together to give the reef more structural complexity.” The state dedicated this particular reef to the Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association (ACEOA). Among other things, the association helped raise money to establish the reef for the enjoyment of all anglers. “Our association focuses on encouraging the use of our fish and wildlife resources,” says Kevin Dodd, ACEOA executive director. “Our association funds numerous public service events annually, but construction of a public reef was a first for us. Anyone who has ever looked at vehicle tags in area boat ramps or marinas will testify to the fact that saltwater angling is a tremendous tourist draw. Our members felt that creating an artificial reef made good sense for the Alabama economy and will serve to motivate other organizations and civic clubs to consider similar projects.” Reefs create habitat for numerous creatures. Structures offer small organisms places to hide, forage for food and reproduce. Small species feed larger ones, building an entire food web that nourishes everything from algae to giant sharks. Depending upon the location and depth, an artificial reef can hold red snapper, grouper, triggerfish, amberjack, sheepshead and other fish. Roving predators like cobia, king mackerel, wahoo, sailfish and sharks also hunt near reefs. “We’ve been working with the ACEOA for several months to build a reef to recognize the efforts of our conservation enforce-

ment officers,” Newton says. “It takes years for an artificial reef to mature into a fully functioning reef system, but we expect people to be able to catch red snapper off this reef this summer. It will also produce a variety of other fish including gray triggerfish and other species. In the spring, it will have sheepshead on it. In the fall and winter, it will serve as great habitat for flounder.” The state established reefs across more than 1,200 square miles off the Orange Beach-Gulf Shores area and Dauphin Island. The reefs extend out to the edge of the continental shelf about 55 miles from land. Some artificial reefs sit in water 300 to 400 feet deep. In addition, the state created more than 30 artificial reefs in Mobile Bay, Mississippi Sound, Perdido Bay and other nearshore or inshore waters to provide habitat for redfish, speckled trout, sheepshead, black drum and other species. Anglers in private or state-licensed charter vessels can begin fishing for red snapper on June 1 this year. The season will continue on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through July 28. However, anglers can also fish on July 4, which falls on a Thursday this year. Each angler may keep up to two red snapper per day. Each red snapper must measure at least 16 inches long. Federally permitted vessels for hire can fish for red snapper from June 1 through 12:01 a.m. Aug. 2. For more information on Alabama artificial reefs and reef locations, see outdooralabama.com/saltwater-fishing/ artificial-reefs.

Artificial reefs being deployed.

42  JUNE 2019


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

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

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


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

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

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



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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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JUNE 2019  43

| Alabama Recipes |

Everything is

Better with



Bacon is pretty perfect on its own, but mix it in with other ingredients, and it often gets even better.

44  JUNE 2019



hat’s better than bacon? More bacon. If you like bacon, there’s a good chance you actually love bacon and wholeheartedly agree with this statement. The smoky, salty pork product evokes a deep, passionate devotion. But there is such a thing as too much bacon. Maybe not from your taste buds’ standpoint, but the rest of your body sees things a bit differently. Like many, many other things, bacon, when consumed in mass quantities, is not beneficial to your overall health. Does that mean you should stop eating bacon? When pigs fly! (So, no.) Just don’t eat all the bacon all the time. But there are multiple reasons to eat at least some bacon. Its rich, meaty taste is distinct, and just a small dose provides such a potent punch that even when it’s designated as an “extra,” it sometimes becomes the star. Take a bacon cheeseburger. If one thing had to be removed, how many of us would give up the beef patty before the bacon? Plus, while you can always enjoy bacon the old-fashioned way -- cozied beside some sunny-side-up eggs and a triangle or two of toast -- it’s far more versatile. It goes with almost everything; it’s great on pizza, in pasta sauces, crumbled on top of a salad and as a go-to enhancer for Southern-style veggies. Covered in chocolate, it pushes both sweet and savory notes soaring to new heights. It’s also appropriate at any time of year. In fall, it provides a flavor coat for quail or dove cooking on a grill. Come winter, it’s almost any soup’s best friend. Spring often finds it embellishing deviled eggs or enrobing the Easter ham (cause why not add more pork to your pork?). And in summer, it sings in BLTs. (In this classic, it gets equal billing with lettuce and tomato, but we all know “B” is the most important letter in the trio.) The ways to add bacon to your life are seemingly endless. Here are just a few more from our readers.

Want perfect oven-fried bacon like the photo to the left? Here's how you do it: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire cooling rack on top of the paper. Lay strips of bacon across the rack and place in the oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until the bacon is crisped and done. (This can vary based on the thickness of the slices.) The parchment paper ensures simple cleanup, and, if you want to save the bacon grease for future cooking projects (highly recommended!), carefully fold and roll the paper to form a funnel-like shape and drain the grease into a glass jar. Seal and store in the fridge. Alabama Living

Crab Meat Bacon Rolls 1/2 cup tomato juice 1 egg, well beaten 1 cup dry bread crumbs Dash of salt and pepper 1 teaspoon parsley, chopped 1 teaspoon celery leaves, chopped 1 6.5-ounce can crab meat, drained and flaked 12 slices bacon, cut in half Mix tomato juice and beaten egg; add bread crumbs, salt and pepper, parsley, celery leaves and crab meat. Roll into finger lengths; wrap each roll with 1/2 slice bacon and secure with a toothpick. Broil, turning frequently, until bacon is crisp and evenly browned. Yield: 2 dozen rolls.

Cook of the Month

Alice M. Hersant, Wiregrass EC Alice Hersant first made her Crab Meat Bacon Rolls back in the mid-1970s when her husband was stationed at Fort Dix in New Jersey. She did a lot of entertaining in those days, and the salty-smoky-sweet finger food was always a crowd favorite, so she never stopped making it. “I don’t make it as often now, but whenever we have a special gathering, these are usually on the menu,” she says. “I just love the flavor and how crisp the bacon gets.” She also likes that the rolls can be made ahead. “You can even freeze them, then thaw them and broil them right before your event,” she says. She also suggested subbing fresh crabmeat for the canned when you can get your hands on some. “It’s great that way,” she says. JUNE 2019  45

Bacon Maple Cupcakes 1 ½ 2 ½ 1 3

box yellow cake mix cup canola oil large eggs cup water container white frosting tablespoons Aunt Jemima maple pancake syrup 8 slices pre-cooked bacon, crumbled Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 12-cup regular size cupcake pan. Combine cake mix, oil, eggs and water in medium bowl. Beat 1 minute with mixer. Pour into cupcake molds 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until light brown. Cool 30 minutes. Meanwhile, scrape out frosting into a bowl. Stir in maple syrup until well blended. Spread generously on cupcakes. Sprinkle with bacon crumbles. Lightly press down so bacon won't fall off. Barbara Frasier Sand Mountain EC

Loaded Chicken & Bacon Ranch Potatoes

Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots with Chipotle-Mayo Dipping Sauce 24 frozen tater tots 1 2 strips bacon Favorite rib or BBQ seasoning Chipotle-Mayo Dipping Sauce: 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon oregano 1 chipotle pepper, finely chopped 1 tablespoon adobo sauce Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut bacon strips in half and wrap each tot, placing them seam-side down on a baking pan. Sprinkle the bacon-wrapped tots with your favorite rub or barbecue seasoning. Bake for 30 minutes or until bacon is cooked. Place tots on a platter and put a skewer in each tot. Serve with the Chipotle-Mayo Dipping Sauce. Kirk Vantrease Cullman EC

1 3 3 1 1 1 ½

tablespoon olive oil boneless chicken breasts pounds red potatoes Ranch dressing seasoning packet pound cooked bacon, crumbled cup shredded cheese green onion, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 380 degrees. Cut potatoes into cubes; place in a bowl of water until ready to use. Cut chicken breast into chunks, season with salt and pepper; place in a bowl until ready to use. Chop green onion; place in a bowl until ready for use. Place bacon on a baking sheet and cook in oven for 30 minutes. While bacon is cooking, toss potatoes and chicken in olive oil, put in a baking dish and sprinkle ranch seasoning packet over it. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Once bacon is done, remove from oven and allow a few minutes to cool, then crumble bacon. Take chicken and potatoes out of the oven and cover top with bacon and cheese, place back in the oven for 15 minutes uncovered. Once it’s cooked, top with green onion and serve. Great topped with sour cream. Sharlene Parker Baldwin EMC

46  JUNE 2019


Honey Bacon Biscuits 5 strips bacon 6 ounces (11/2 stick or 12 tablespoons) unsalted butter 2 cups self-rising flour, plus more for sprinkling 3/4 cup buttermilk 1 1/2 tablespoons honey 1 egg white, beaten Melted butter for brushing, optional Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the butter into small (1/2 inch) chunks, then place in the freezer while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Fry the bacon until crisped. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Once the grease is absorbed, crumble the bacon. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Place the flour in a mixing bowl. In a measuring cup, whisk together the cold buttermilk and honey. Take the butter out of the freezer and add it to the flour mixture. Use two knives or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse, pea-sized crumbs. Add the buttermilk mixture, a little at a time, and stir the mixture gently with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together and form a ball. Gently stir in the bacon crumbles. Sprinkle a flat surface with flour. Turn the biscuit mixture out onto the flour and use your hands to pat it into a thin rectangle. Fold the left side to the center of the rectangle then fold the right side over the left side (think about folding a brochure). Roll the mixture out then fold again. Roll out a final time to ¾ inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter or juice glass to cut out the biscuits, making sure not to twist the cutter when you remove it. Reroll the dough with any scraps until all of it is used. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet and brush with a whisked egg white. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown on top. Serve immediately brushed with melted butter or store wrapped loosely in a kitchen towel for a day. Reheat before serving. Marsha S. Gardner Baldwin EMC

Elsie’s Pizza 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 ¼ 2

package English Muffins, 8-count or 2 14-inch pizza crusts pound bacon medium onions, chopped small green bell pepper, chopped (2/3 cup) 8-ounce can tomato sauce 6-ounce can tomato paste pound American cheese teaspoon black pepper teaspoons oregano

Fry bacon. Save 8 slices for garnish. Crumble remainder of bacon. Saute onion and bell pepper in 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings until softened. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, pepper and oregano. Cut cheese in 3 sections, saving 8 pieces for garnish. Blend remaining cheese into bacon mixture to melt cheese. Divide muffins into halves for 16 pizzas. Divide bacon mixture over the 16 muffins. Use the remaining cheese and bacon to place on top of each pizza. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. After cooked, the muffin pizzas can be individually wrapped, placed in a plastic bag and frozen to eat as desired later. Defrost and reheat. Patricia R. Cobb North Alabama EC

Themes and Deadlines: Sept: Onions | June 14 Oct.: Cast Iron Cooking | July 12 Nov.: Apples | August 9 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.

prize and title of


Cook the Month

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

Alabama Living



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.

JUNE 2019  47

| Consumer Wise |

Get smart!

Energy-saving apps and devices By Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen


It seems like I’m always hearing about some new device or app that will save energy, but I wonder if they’re worth the time and money. I want to learn about simple ways I can use technology to save energy. Any advice on where I should start looking?


Every new piece of technology seems to come with a lot of promise, doesn’t it? Then we have to find out for ourselves if it lives up to the hype. Here are a few products we recommend.

Smart Phone Apps

There are several energy apps available today, but two stand out. They’re free, easy to use, effective and available for both Android and iOS devices. JouleBug is a fun app that helps you save energy. You collect points for each energy efficient move you make inside the home, on your daily commute and in daily life. The app helps you make changes and build ongoing energy-saving habits. It’s designed as a competition among friends and can help you and your family create an energy efficient household together. The app also includes fun, educational videos and links to helpful articles. There are several energy cost calculator apps that help you identify where you use the energy most in your home. You can enter how many hours a day you use each appliance or electronic device (some have a dropdown of typical household items) and the rate you’re paying for power, which you can find on your energy bill. The app creates a total operating cost for that specific device. How much is that hallway chandelier costing you every month, and how much would you save by turning it off for an additional hour each day? How about that second freezer or the big-screen TV? The answers aren’t exact, but they will give you a better idea of your overall energy use and help you focus your efforts on the opportunities that will save the most energy.

Smart Thermostats

A smart thermostat connects to the internet and your computer and/or smart phone through your home’s Wi-Fi and could shave $50 off your energy bill every year. Most fall within the $100 to $250 range. If the price for a feature-rich model is more than you’re comfortable spending, ask yourself if it’s worth buying a lower-cost model, or if your current thermostat is doing the job. Here are some features to keep in mind if you’re considering a smart thermostat: • Learning: A learning thermostat will figure out your habits and adapt––this is probably the best way to make the most of a smart thermostat’s energy-saving potential. Patrick Keegan writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. Write to energytips@collaborativeefficiency.com for more information.

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More-advanced (and more-expensive) smart thermostats like the Ecobee4 can work with sensors that detect when someone is in a room and adjust the temperature accordingly. PHOTO COURTESY ECOBEE

• Geofencing: This will detect when you leave home and return, and adjust the temperature up or down so energy isn’t being wasted. • Additional features include remote room sensors and voice control. Before you buy, learn what you can about the functionality of the smart thermostat’s app. And take a look at how easy it is to program the thermostat unit directly. Finally, consider the installation. Some models are more difficult to install and may require re-wiring.

Smart Power Plugs and Switches

Smart outlets and light switches are still considered a relatively new technology, and we think there are improvements that will be made over time. That said, if this is a technology you’re interested in, there are a couple of options that consumers seem to like. Hub-based systems like the Currant Dual Smart Outlet and Philips Hue smart lighting systems are highly rated and cost about $200 or more for eight to 10 smart outlets or light switches. That’s a pretty big investment, so we recommend using an energy cost calculator app first to decide if it’s worth the additional cost. We hope you these reviews will be helpful as you consider smart technology that promotes energy efficiency. Don’t forget to check with your local electric cooperative on additional programs and services designed to help you save on your energy bills. This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency. For more information on energy-saving apps and devices, please visit: www.collaborativeefficiency.com/energytips. www.alabamaliving.coop

| Market Place |

CECIL PIGG STEEL TRUSS, INC. P.O. BOX 389, ADDISON, AL 35540 cecilpiggsteeltruss.com

See Our Website for Monthly Specials

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256-747-8178 • FAX: 256-747-8760

STOP THROWING GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD! There’s a reason so many of our advertisers are still on our pages, month after month, for more than 40 years. Year after year, Alabama Living remains the best value for your dollar.

Contact Jacob at advertising@areapower.com


Alabama Living

JUNE 2019 49

50  JUNE 2019


Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month Want to light up your outdoor space without increasing your energy use? Try outdoor solar lights! They’re easy to install and virtually maintenance free. Remember, solar lights work best when the solar cells receive the manufacturer’s recommended hours of sunlight. Source: energy.gov


We need your help. Every month, Clarke-Washington EMC mails a bill to the mailing address associated with your membership. An incorrect mailing address means a returned bill. Please make sure your information is up to date in order to receive your electric bill in a timely manner.

It’s Hurricane Season

Update Phone Numbers You play an important role in helping Clarke-Washington EMC restore your power. We need your help. CWEMC’s outage system uses caller ID to quickly identify your account and service location, but it only works if we have your correct phone numbers. Lack of a phone number means slower response and repair times. For example, if you call us to report an outage, our automated system recognizes your phone number and can determine the particular service address from which you are reporting an outage. Once you give our system a response, your outage is reported. But, this only works if your current phone number is linked to your service address. Make sure your information is up to date so we can better serve you.

1.800.323.9081 Alabama Living

JUNE 2019  51

| Our Sources Say |



aying tribute to fallen members of the cooperative family is like writing a love letter to your sweetheart who is far away. It should have the right tone, the right words and touch on all the right things. There’s no one better at that than Sean Dietrich. He is a columnist, novelist, and podcast/radio show host, known for his commentary on life in the American South. His work has appeared in Southern Living, The Tallahassee Just outside Chipley, Florida, three wooden crosses stand beside the highway at the intersection of Highway 77 and Talton Drive. I pulled over to look at them. Neon-colored vests hang from a pinewood crossarm, which resembles an electrical utility pole. Beneath the crosses are hardhats, American flags, and handwritten notes. The roadside monument was built to honor three line workers killed in a hit-and-run accident in Washington County. You might’ve read about it. It happened months ago when a vehicle left the road and struck workers who were restoring power to an area affected by Hurricane Michael. I am interrupted by the sound of tires on gravel. A truck pulls beside me. The driver kills his engine and rolls his window down. I see a man with tanned cheeks and lines on his face. He doesn’t introduce himself, he only says: “Them lineman were working seventeen-hour days. They came from all over the nation after the storm, worked like dogs. They were good, good men.” Good men. Line workers like these men invade disaster zones like armies. They work from dawn to dusk. They survive on light sleep, caffeine, and text messages from their children. “I’ll tell ya,” the man says, “losing one of our own was harder on folks in Chipley than the storm was.” Chipley is a town with a main street so short you could roll a bowling ball through it without much effort. The community is so tight it holds water. When I was sixteen, I once dated a girl who lived in Chipley, she pronounced it “CHEE-yip-lee.” She was from a family who still shelled peas on the porch before supper. Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative

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Democrat, Good Grit, South Magazine, Alabama Living, the Birmingham News, Thom Magazine, The Mobile Press Register, he has authored seven books, and is the creator of the Sean of the South blog and radio show. In the following, Sean tells the story of three good linemen who were tragically taken away much too soon. It is reprinted by permission.

After the hurricane, utility workers came by the hundreds, they blanketed Northwest Florida. In this part of the world, you couldn’t drive 10 feet without seeing cherry-pickers beside utility poles, and men working 40 feet above the earth. My new friend pinches the bridge of his nose. His eyes turn red. I ask if he knew the victims. “Knew one of ’em,” he says. “Was my best friend’s daddy, Bo. He was a good, good man.” Bo Ussery was your quintessential lineman. Tough and dedicated. He was 60 years old, and preparing for retirement. “He was one in a million,” the man goes on. “I never knew him to smoke, drink, or dip. Like I said, a good, good man.” When the hurricane came through the area, Bo’s property sustained some damage, just like other places in the county. Still, Bo paid little attention to his own damage. Instead, he left home to do his duty. Also killed in the accident was George Cesil. He was a 51-year-old foreman from North Carolina, who liked fishing, dogs, and cowboy hats. He was supposed to leave on Saturday to go home and see his family. The other victim, Ryan Barrett, was 22 years old, baby-faced, and energetic—also from North Carolina. Ryan’s family said he was excited to help people in the Florida Panhandle regain power. Excited.

“The funeral was incredible,” my friend in the truck says. “Like nothing you never seen before.” Line workers flooded the town by the multitudes. They swarmed around Chipley like the heavenly host, wearing hardhats. “When we left the church, man, all you saw was them bucket trucks, parked on every street, baskets raised up in the air, guys standing by their bumpers, wearing uniforms.” It was a send off that will go down in town history. The day a million and one trucks extended their hydraulic arms, some with American flags flying high, in honor of the fallen. And the only evidence remaining of that momentous occasion are these wooden crosses. Our conversation ends. My new friend has to get back to work. Friday is still young, it’s a few hours until quitting time. We shake hands. He wipes his face. He starts his truck. “I really appreciate folks like you,” he says. “I appreciate everybody who stops by these crosses to remember these good, good men.” After he leaves, I am left standing beside a lonesome monument, built for three humble Americans who embodied everything I love about my people. I never knew these men, but I know what they stood for, and so do you. The hands beneath their leather gloves belonged to their hearts. And their hearts belonged to their children, their wives, and their homes. They represent the kind I come from, whose collars are blue. They were everything magnificent about our society. In fact, they were the ones who built it. One utility pole at a time. The pine crosses aren’t here to remind people of the accident on Highway 77. They are here because the world deserves to know about Bo, George, and Ryan. They were more than line workers. They were good, good men. www.alabamaliving.coop

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

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| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |

“Will I marry me?”

Illustration by Dennis Auth


he “Marrying Season” is upon us. Have you heard of the growing popularity of “Marriage for one”? This is when a woman marries herself. Brides who do that call themselves “Sologamists.” They do everything they would do for a traditional wedding. They go shopping and “say yes to the dress.” They have bridesmaids. And a reception with a cake, finger food, a bar and dancing – or some combination thereof. They have music and flowers and toss the bouquet. The only thing missing is the groom. Now why is this happening? What is behind the rise of the Sologamist? Although there are more women than men in America today, the difference in number is not so great as to cause women to give up the husband hunt. Yet, there are more single women in the country than married ones. Today, women between the ages of 25 Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus of History at Jacksonville State University and a columnist for Alabama Living. He can be reached at hjackson@cableone.net.

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and 44 are five times more likely to be single than they were in 1973. So why are so many women content, even happy, to remain unmarried? Now single guys, here is where it gets, well, personal. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but though there are enough of you to go around, a lot of you just ain’t what the single ladies call “husband material.” Given the option of you or living alone, they strike out on their own. Today, marriage-age women are better educated than marriage-age men. Just look at the ratio when schools and colleges hand out diplomas. Moreover, where in the past women might have been under pressure to marry for economic reasons, today fewer are. Women in their twenties earn as much or more than their male counterparts, so why take on the extra baggage of a husband with a beer gut sacked out in his recliner? Besides, with so many other single women out there, “Sologamists” have a broad support group – co-workers and friends – with whom to share life experiences. So they plight their troth to the one person they can count on to love, honor, and cherish them forever – themselves.

So what about the guys? Though I have heard nothing about men going the Sologamistic way, for some time men have been marrying later, and often not at all. Why? Personally, I think the reason men are not going the Sologamistic route is the whole wedding “thing.” When was the last time you heard a guy go on and on about selecting the tux, outfitting the groomsmen, choosing the music and the flowers, and all those things that sends brides-to-be into spasms of joy? Like, never. If men were to plan their Sologamistic ceremony, it would be like this. The groom-to-be and his friends would gather at a local barbecue joint, in the back room where Kiwanis meets. Members of the wedding party would be instructed not to wear anything that shows stains. The ceremony would be conducted by a married buddy who wishes he had done it this way, and when it was over there would be ribs and beer for all. The honeymoon would be a solo-trip to the Gulf Coast where the single groom would try to pick up a single bride at the FloraBama. They would live happily ever after. www.alabamaliving.coop

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