Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News June 2019
Marshall-DeKalb ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE
Four Jewels who like to junk
Manager Scott Bobo Co-op Editor Kelli Whorton 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
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Four ladies in Marshall and Dekalb counties, talk about turning junk in to treasures.
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.
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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: Take a journey around
Marshall and DeKalb counties with Four Jewels who take old items and give them new life. PHOTO: Kelli Whorton
JUNE 2019 3
Providing Dependable Electricity at the Lowest Possible Rate
Board of Trustees District 1 Steve Henley
District 2 Jerry Scott
District 3 Terry Edmondson
District 4 Gene Hulgan
District 5 Terry Johnson
District 6 Briggs Patterson
District 7 LaVaughn Holcomb
District 8 Steve Davis
District 9 Bobby Weathers
Four Jewels Who Junk Story by Hannah Lathan
Photos by Hannah Lathan, Kelli Whorton & Suzanne Vann
hat most would throw away or carry to the local Goodwill, these four ladies take in and transform into something beautiful to display in their homes and gardens. This day and time, everyone has different tastes in home décor and what’s trending. Meet Jennifer Oliver, Jill Winfrey, Lisa Nelson and Suzanne Vann – four friends who all share their love of finding junk and antiques. They gave meaning to the term we now call junkin’ long before junkin’ was the thing to do. They live in the Sand Mountain area and are known by many. We visited their homes and saw the sentimental items that belonged to family members of each lady. It was even more unreal how well kept these items were. Let’s take a small junkin’ journey together as we see just how each of these ladies turn what some people deem as trash into treasure. We begin our journey by driving out to the middle of DeKalb County on old backroads with deep potholes and gorgeous views of farmland. This is where Chris and Jennifer Oliver, married for 28 years, reside. Jennifer, an employee of Marshall DeKalb Electric for 21 years, has made her home a cozy and meaningful place with pieces from her family’s past. Almost 25 years ago when Jennifer was just a teenager, she would loaf the roads and go “junkin” to find antiques with her mother and cousin. Together, they would look for things they liked to collect, such as blue carnival glass. Pieces found and purchased together
Chief Executive Ofﬁcer Scott Bobo
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“I love being outside! I love to mow and work in flowerbeds, and I love to fix my porches and make them feel cozy,” Jennifer Oliver says.
on those trips have brought more joy and warm memories to Jennifer since her mother’s passing in March 2013. Jennifer and her cousin, retired Boaz city schoolteacher Diane Patterson, continue their junkin’ journeys together still today. In August 2017, the two opened their very own shop, The Rusty Nail, in Kilpatrick. Diane contributes to The Rusty Nail not only with her love to travel and gather antiques with Jennifer, but as an excellent seamstress. The Rusty Nail, only open a few times a year, has a variety of doll clothes that she sews by hand. “I feel like we live in such a throw-away world now, where people just throw stuff away and don’t think twice about it,” says Jennifer. “I like to keep things that I know my family really used, worked hard on, and at one time needed to survive, even!” We walked into the living room and Jennifer showed us a quilt displayed on an old wooden ladder that was hand sewn by her Granny many years ago. There are hand-stitched pictures by Jennifer’s mother that hang in the guest bedroom, which is also filled with many of her mom’s mementos and personal belongings. Her mother’s blue carnival glass collection they accumulated together years ago is also displayed in the dining area. The Oliver household is decorated seasonally with a variety of antiques and random trinkets. Jennifer’s love for outdoors and flowers also allows her to incorporate old junk pieces and transform them into something fun in a different setting. Jennifer straightens a pillow on the outdoor sofa on the back porch, “I love being outside! I love to mow and work in flowerbeds, and I love to fix my porches and make them feel cozy,” she says. “I want a place the family can sit together comfortably however long we like and not be cooped up inside the house.” The back porch is very cozy, with vintage string lights that offer a warm glow, along with random galvanized buckets and chicken feeders thriving with green succulents. Jennifer is also quite the “handywoman.” “If I see something, like, maybe a table that I like, sometimes I just go home and make it myself! I made the bench on the front porch from Chris’ daddy’s old truck tailgate. I had seen several and loved them and knew we had a truck with the tailgate on it I could take off and would work perfectly for it. So not only do I love how it looks, but I love the sentimental value of it.” Speaking of trucks, Jennifer has recently traded her car in for a truck so that she can haul things more often and not have the hassle www.alabamaliving.coop
of borrowing her husband’s truck or trailer. “Now I just load it right there on the spot, and I don’t have to make a trip home to get Chris’ truck! Chris has always had his hobby of racing and cars, and I have always had a hobby of junkin’ and working in the yard. It helps that I don’t always have to ask for help when I need something built or hauled, I just figure it out. When he gets home, it’s there. He may or may not even notice it!” she laughs.
Attention to detail
Next, we traveled back to the city limits of Boaz to the home of Lisa and Andy Nelson. They have been married for 29 years, and it is evident upon arrival that it’s taken at least this long to have a yard so detailed! The bright colors of metal décor and wind chimes hanging on the porch grab your attention instantly. Flower beds are in full bloom, with antique bicycles nestled in the corners of the beds. The daintiest tiny, red garden shed is one of the first things we are eager to see inside. The outside of the shed is very welcoming and has a tiny little front porch. On the porch sits an old rusty chair and a weathered, wooden bench. There are rusty signs that read “welcome” and “potting shed” hanging also. Bright flowers and pebble pathways with moss and creeping jenny are all around, making you want to stop and stare, so you don’t miss a single detail! “Now this is nothing special, it’s just junk!” Lisa says. Inside the garden shed is the most adorable little table with an antique tea set, the perfect play area for any little girl with a big imagination. There are trinkets and a collection of rusty metal hand shovels hanging on an old, chippy door. Lisa shows us an old, rusty rake hanging on the wall and says, “This rake was my father’s. He used it working outside, so I cherish it a lot.” Making our way to the backyard, Lisa shows more family pieces. “This black pot is my pride and joy, it was my mother’s. She always used it for actual work and then years later she would keep geraniums planted in it, so I like to do the same.” The backyard is filled with whimsical metal décor arranged on a privacy fence lining the yard. Random old pieces of farm equipment, such as a chair with the seat rotted out and replaced with an old, rusty sink that imitates a friendly, smiling face, accent the flower beds.
As we make our way inside the house, Lisa explains that like Jennifer, she began shopping for antiques and junkin’ at a young age with her mother. “I love when I find things now that I had as a kid, and it brings back memories from my childhood.” Throughout the home, are many pieces of Lisa’s childhood. “This was my mother’s pitcher. When me and my sister were young we would talk on the phone; it was one of those phones with the long cord, you know? We would sit and talk on the phone, and every time, we would draw over and over this same, dark, pen mark on the front of this pitcher.” Every nook and cranny is decorated in Lisa’s home, all according to the current season. The living room mantel is flourished with white tulips in vintage trophy cups along with lace garland. “These lace garlands were given to me by Suzanne Vann. They were hand crocheted by her grandmother.” As beautiful as Lisa’s home is inside, working in the yard is her passion, “I love to be outside, and Reggie (her rescue pup) is the best little sidekick. He goes with me a lot to pick up things for projects,” she says while she pets Reggie. Along with her hobby of junkin’ and working in the yard, Lisa works parttime at the Boaz Water Board. She also looks forward to visits from her grandbabies who reside in Massachusetts and her newest granddaughter Lizzie, who lives here in Boaz.
Random pieces, unique creations
Making our way to towards the Blount county line to Douglas, we find the home of Jeff and Jill Winfrey. The home is surrounded by gorgeous, freshly mowed, green pastures. Jill’s husband was raised here by his parents with his four brothers and sisters. As soon as Jill welcomes us into her home, the southern scent of one of her homemade candles gives a fresh, clean, relaxing feel. At first glance, the fireplace mantel grabs your attention. It’s painted a vibrant green, distressed with a dark, worn, gray tint. On the mantel sits the end of an old push broom, with old black and white pictures of Jill’s family displayed inside the bristles of it. Two small worn, brass lamps sit on each end of the top of the mantel as well. Jill loves individuality. A red, metal vintage tractor front is accented with old book pages torn and attached as a background around a gas heater. You can’t help but ask how in the world she thought to use JUNE 2019 5
Lisa Nelson’s backyard is filled with whimsical metal décor arranged on a privacy fence lining the yard.
these things and make them look so neat! “I love when someone says ‘Oh I never would have thought of that.’ That is when I know I have put together something cool,” Jill says. “I don’t want something you can go into a chain store and see; I like to find random pieces from different places and come up with unique creations. I love to be different!” Part of what makes Jill’s home so unique is she, too, has incorporated many pieces that were her own family member’s belongings. Things most people wouldn’t even remember existed, Jill has kept and preserved and used as a staple in her home décor, such as an old postal mail cart that serves as an end table in the living room decorated with an old hard hat. The hard hat that belonged to Jill’s grandfather, worn during his time at the steel plant in Gadsden. The hallway is adorned with handpainted pictures from Jill’s mother and grandmother. Paintings in the hall are portraits of Jill’s family, grandparents from both her mother and father’s sides of the family. Jill has a guest bedroom decorated in several of her mother’s belongings, like the bedding and furniture. In the corner
stands a mannequin, as tall as four feet and adorned in a handsewn dress by Jill’s mother, made for her 4H project when she was in the 7th grade. The dress is in mint condition. “I am currently looking for a mannequin with less…you know, of a bust…this was a child’s dress and this mannequin is a little too well-endowed”, laughs Jill. “Family antiques are my very favorite, but I love things that remind me of my childhood.” Like Jennifer and Lisa, Jill loves the outdoors and working in the yard. “This peony bush was at my grandmother’s house, and after she passed, we transplanted it to my mother’s house. When she passed, I transplanted it to my own house!” Jill is very comical and lively. Her home is a great reflection of her personality, with lots of fun ideas and neat details to see. Last, but surely not the least we travel to the outskirts of Boaz to an area known as Skyhaven that overlooks the city from a beautiful bluff. Tod and Suzanne Vann have a gorgeous home where they have lived for 30 years and raised two sons. Tod is retired from the Alabama National Guard, and Suzanne is a retired school teacher of more than 30 years. Suzanne is known in the Sand Mountain area for
Clockwise from left, Suzanne Vann, Jill Winfrey, Lisa Nelson and Jennifer Oliver are friends who share a love of giving new life to old things.
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her artistic skills. She has painted several murals for local school systems and has drawn and painted Alabama and Auburn football t-shirt designs and numbered prints that are popular in the area. Of course, she is known for her creative ability to junk for antiques and vintage items along with decorating her home, too. “When Tod and I first married, we were young. We actually lived in a tiny little place that was actually Vann Woodworks Cabinet shop. It was all we had but we made the best of it and I would go, even then, and find deals on junk or use family antiques to decorate with, because that’s all we had,” Suzanne says.
Flower garden therapy
The Vanns’ home is nestled in a clean, wooded area with landscaping that includes large, flat rocks you often find on a bluff. The moment we walk into her house we are instantly greeted with the smell of clean, crisp, airy essential oils. The ceilings are very tall and made of white Russian pine boards. The windows are open, acoustic mainstream music is lightly playing in the background, and the atmosphere as a whole is very spacious, yet cozy, and it feels right at home. In the living room Suzanne first shows us a unique idea she had to hang an old, white, weathered porch rail above the couch. It serves as a display for dried flowers and small vintage knick-knacks. An old cedar chest serves as a coffee table in the center of the living room that was Tod’s mother’s many years ago. On this is a chippy white drawer from a chest that belonged to Suzanne when she was a baby. The drawer, along with other furniture and mantel, is embellished with live greenery and flower stems and small bouquets. “Spending time in my flower garden is therapy for my soul! Many of my plants are perennials shared by friends and family, so I know where most of them originated,” Suzanne continues “I love sharing bouquets with my friends. And there’s always fresh flowers sitting around vintage crocks and vases in my home during spring and summer. It makes me happy to watch things grow!” Also in the living room Suzanne shows us two of her most prized possessions, a www.alabamaliving.coop
| Marshall-DeKalb Electric Co-op | rocking chair and a quilt estimated to be about 150 years old. Suzanne says, “The rocker and quilt belonged to my greatgreat grandmother, Susannah Elrod Croft, (Jan. 2, 1835- Aug. 26, 1920). The rocker was restored in 1970 and the berry-dyed fabric on the quilt are in perfect condition!” Moving through the house, there are sentiments everywhere you look: Furniture such as a primitive pie safe, hand-made in 1926 in Keener, Alabama and an old Bible displayed as décor that was Suzanne’s parents. A pair of eyeglasses that belonged to her grandmother lie on top of vintage books with worn spines and stained pages. Suzanne also has a rare Sand Mountain Pottery pitcher marked with a thumbprint on the handle that belonged to her great-grandmother. Since Suzanne’s favorite place to be is the back screened-in porch area, she has made it complete with a bed swing and an art desk. Her paintbrushes sit inside of an old sugar mold accompanied by an arrangement of flowers. The view from the back porch overlooks the entire back yard. The trees are mature but there is little to no brush, only flowers and pebble pathways leading to a fire pit with a welcoming seating area. Suzanne can tell us what any flower in her garden is, and where it came from.
Suzanne and Tod enjoy retirement and travel quite often, but when Suzanne is home she loves to do yoga three times a week, do consignment work, paint for others, and work in her flower garden alongside her fur babies. The Vanns’ home is a true reflection of all of the years they have worked for what they have and taken such care of family heirlooms. When we asked, all four ladies had almost identical responses where they love to hunt for antiques and unique pieces. (A lot of local shops and stores, and in neighboring cities.) Cotton Belle, Emma Kate’s Cottage, Vintage Pickin’, and Farmhouse Finds were all favorites of the four ladies. others were places more distant, such as Bell Buckle, Tenn., the Nashville flea market, and even Texas. Jill, Lisa, and Suzanne also express how much they love Jennifer’s store, The Rusty Nail. Jennifer explains, “The beauty in junkin’ and having friends who share this same passion is that we all share ideas, and places to go, and even our own stuff.” Any time any of these ladies buy from my store or we give each other something, we know it will be taken care of and know it’s just getting more love.” It seems to be common among the four of them to switch and trade pieces with one another quite often. “When you know some-
one really appreciates it, it doesn’t bother you as much to give it to them, you know it’s not just being thrown away,” Lisa says. These ladies hope that they can help others have a new respect and appreciation for antiques, especially family’s belongings. They hope that they have spread a little joy in finding junky, old things, and that they show how those things can be given a new life to make a house a home.
Jill Winfrey says. “I like to find random pieces from different places and come up with unique creations. I love to be different!”
Suzanne Vann, known for her artistic skills and creative ability to junk for antiques and decorate.
“I love when I find things now that I had as a kid. It brings back memories from my childhood,” says Lisa Nelson.
JUNE 2019 7
| Marshall-DeKalb Electric Co-op |
MDEC awards scholarships to deserving students
Sadie Cathryn Burns Boaz High School
Trevor Joseph Duckett Albertville High School 8 JUNE 2019
Cassie Alexander Black Geraldine High School Sadie Cathryn Burns Boaz High School Nathan Isaac Dollar Asbury High School Trevor Joseph Duckett Albertville High School Jemma Leigh Hood Crossville High School
Cassie Alexander Black Geraldine High School
Jessie Meleigha Anderson Marshall Christian Academy
Jessie Meleigha Anderson Marshall Christian Academy
Marshall DeKalb Electric Cooperative (MDEC) strives to live by the 7 principles that govern all cooperatives. Two of the seven are featured in this article. Concern for the Community. MDEC is passionate about serving its members and about making an impact in the community. We volunteer for local charities and participate in causes to make a difference. We are heavily involved with the schools that are in our service area and we hope to inspire students to be successful through awarding scholarships. Financial education, training, and information. MDEC is committed to providing safe electrical practices to their members and to the community at large. From electrical presentations to energy eďŹ&#x192;ciency information, we do all we can to ensure that the general public, schools and policymakers are informed. Marshall-DeKalb Electric Cooperative awards scholarships every year in conjunction with the Electric Cooperative Foundation. We increased the number of recipients and we could not be happier with the ones that have been chosen. Scholarships were presented by Kelli Whorton, MDEC Communication Director.
Nathan Isaac Dollar Asbury High School
Jemma Leigh Hood Crossville High School www.alabamaliving.coop
| 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
JUNE 2019 9
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 email@example.com.
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-
10 JUNE 2019
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Alabama Living PO Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124
Letters to the editor
E-mail us at: email@example.com or write us at: Letters to the editor P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Contribute your own photo for an upcoming issue! Send a photo of an interesting or unusual landmark in Alabama, which must be accessible to the public. A reader whose photo is chosen will also win $25.
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 photographerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visual journey across the state John Dersham pays tribute to Alabama in new book for the Bicentennial 12â&#x20AC;&#x192; 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
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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 Alabamaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 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 |
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 email@example.com. or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations.
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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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.
JUNE 2019â&#x20AC;&#x192; 33
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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| 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.
36 JUNE 2019
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 |
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 email@example.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).
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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DOUG HANNON’S FISH & GAME FORECAST
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
GOOD TIMES AM
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 |
BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY STYLING/PHOTOS BY BROOKE ECHOLS
Bacon is pretty perfect on its own, but mix it in with other ingredients, and it often gets even better.
44â&#x20AC;&#x192; 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
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124
To be eligible, submissions must include a name, phone number, mailing address and co-op name. Alabama Living reserves the right to
reprint recipes in our other publications.
JUNE 2019 47
| Consumer Wise |
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.
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 email@example.com for more information.
48 JUNE 2019
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
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| Our Sources Say |
TVA welcomes new leaders Lyash and Thompson
TVA President & CEO Jeff Lyash talks to employees at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant.
he last few months have seen the changing of the guard for the Tennessee Valley Authority, with a new president & CEO and a new chair of the Board of Directors. President & CEO Jeff Lyash joined TVA in early April following a career that has spanned the utility industry from Florida to Canada. Most recently, Lyash served as president & CEO at Ontario Power Group. “I’m excited to be here, and excited to be part of this Tennessee Valley public power model,” Lyash says. “I believe that can be a strategic advantage for us and the region going forward.” For his first few weeks on the job, Lyash has been touring the Valley visiting employees, customers and stakeholders. “I’ve been learning and listening,” he says. “There has been one recurrent theme throughout, and that is that our focus on energy, environment and economic development is just as relevant now as it was in 1933.” New Chair of the Board Skip Thompson agrees. Skip lives and works in Decatur, Alabama, and is intimately familiar with the area and the opportunities and challenges we face. Thompson was appointed to the Board of Directors by President Donald Trump and began with TVA in January 2018. He took over as the Board Chair last month. “I grew up in North Alabama playing on the river, so TVA’s
recreation and river management mission is important to me,” Thompson says. “I also saw firsthand how the industry up and down the river and on Wheeler Lake where I’m from had a huge impact on the economy. For me, growing up on the river and now as a banker, I see the contribution TVA has made to the region and to the economy and the importance of that going forward.” Thompson reinforced the commitment TVA has to the North Alabama region. “We’ve had some major economic development announcements in the region; TVA has the third largest nuclear facility in the country and the largest plant in that fleet is right here in Athens producing carbon-free electricity; and we have a number of hydro-producing dams. North Alabama is a very big part of TVA.” Both Thompson and Lyash are looking to the future and TVA’s place in a changing energy industry. “The term I like to use is called disruption…the industry is changing from single source electricity providers to distributed energy,” Thompson says. “The entire industry, including TVA, will have to be more flexible as things change. You don’t know exactly what disruption will look like, and when it will get here, but we have to ensure TVA is in a position to respond. The key is TVA will continue to serve the 10 million as this disruption comes in. We know it’s coming, we’re going to play a part in it, and we will work with the LPCs to do what’s best for the 10 million people.” Lyash says while the agency looks ahead, it won’t lose sight of its origins. “TVA’s foundation is about public service, and we’ll ensure that will be the focus for TVA now and as we go into the future.” TVA Board Chair Skip Thompson (left) talks with Tommy Barnes, chair of the Colbert County Commission and an employee of Sheffield Utilities.
Kevin Chandler is general manager, Alabama District Customer Service, for the Tennessee Valley Authority.
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| 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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