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Join Pioneer for the 2014 Annual Meeting on October 11! OCTOBER 2014

Pioneer Electric


Classic cycles Barber Motorsports Museum is the world’s largest collection of vintage motorcycles

Preserving habitats

Forever Wild keeps wilderness land from disappearing

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. AREA cooperative member subscriptions are $3 a year; non-member subscriptions, $6. 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. POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014.


AREA PRESIDENT Fred Braswell EDITOR Lenore Vickrey CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mark Stephenson ART DIRECTOR Michael Cornelison

VOL. 67 NO. 10 OCTOBER 2014


6 Inside Pioneer

Learn more about the candidates and voting in this year’s Pioneer Electric Trustee Election.

12 Vintage festival

Oct. 10-12 is the date for the annual Barber Vintage Festival, which draws motorcycle fans from all over the world to Alabama for gravitydefying racing, swap meets and vendor displays.

ON THE COVER Sunset over the Alabama River. Read more on page 7. PHOTO BY CASEY B. ROGERS


340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail: NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:

National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311

28 We’ll have the filet

The one-room cinder block building in Tuscaloosa might not look like much, but inside Nick’s in the Sticks the taste of a baconwrapped filet and onion rings draws a crowd. When you see this symbol, it means there’s more content online at! Videos, expanded stories and more!

DEPARTMENTS 9 28 30 31 34

Spotlight Worth the Drive Outdoors Fish & Game Forecast Cook of the Month

Printed in America from American materials

Alabama Living

OCTOBER 2014 3

Manager’s Comments

Contact Information: Business: 1-800-239-3092

Taking Action Terry Moseley

Executive Vice President and General Manager

(Monday-Friday 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

Toll Free Outage “Hotline” 1-800-533-0323 (24 hours a day)

Board of Trustees Tommy Thompson • President John Henry • Vice President Melvia Carter • Secretary Carey Thompson • Glenn Branum Tom Duncan • Dave Lyon Melvin Dale • Linda Arnold

Web site:

Payment Options: By Mail: Pioneer Electric Cooperative P.O. Box 370 Greenville, AL 36037 Bank Draft: Contact a customer service representative for details Credit Card: By phone or in person Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express Night Depository: Available at each office location Online: In Person: 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Greenville: 300 Herbert Street Selma: 4075 Ala. Highway 41 Authorized Payment Center: First Citizens Bank 40 Lafayette St. Hayneville

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Our daily routines rely on electricity— in both our homes and our work places. We depend on electricity for refrigeration to keep our food fresh, for air conditioning and heating to keep us comfortable, and for television to keep us informed and entertained. Electricity is necessary for powering and recharging our electronics. Just imagine how incomplete our day would be without the ability to use cell phones, tablets, laptops and other electronic devices. In the workplace, we depend on electricity to power computers, phones, lights and ultimately, to aid overall productivity. Without a consistent, reliable and affordable power source, businesses would shut down and jobs would be lost. The price of goods and services would sky-rocket. That’s why the Board and staff of Pioneer Electric Cooperative is concerned about the latest proposed regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA’s pre-existing and proposed new regulations negatively impact the power plants that we rely on every day. The new regulation would require Alabama’s generation facilities to achieve a 26.7 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, ultimately endangering our independent supply of affordable electric power. With this drafted regulation, cooperatives are worried about jobs across Alabama and the cost of supplying reliable electricity to the communities that we serve. The rule, set to become final by June 1, 2015, would dramatically affect the nation’s coal-fired power plants. Coal, known as the workhorse of the U.S. power system, is the

cheapest and most abundant fossil fuel and is used to produce approximately 40 percent of the entire nation’s electricity—more that any other fossil fuel. It helps keep prices stable for our cooperative and power flowing even when demand spikes as it did this past January. Your help is needed to send a clear message to the EPA, so that they understand the impact these regulations have on the people at the end of the power line. Now is the time for electric cooperative members to join their voices together and speak up about the importance of reliable, affordable energy and jobs impacted across our nation. Electric cooperative members are uniquely qualified to help the EPA understand that these regulations will cost Americans more money and jobs. You can help by visiting today and telling the EPA that co-op members cannot afford this regulation and that this regulation adversely and disproportionately affects electric cooperatives. Ask and encourage your friends, family and neighbors to respond too. Non-cooperative members can also voice their opinion and learn more by visiting Pioneer employees have voiced their concern using both of the above websites and I hope that you, as member owners of Pioneer Electric, will also help us fight this unreasonable stance taken by the EPA. Please join Pioneer at the 2014 Annual Member Meeting on Saturday, October 11, to learn more information about the negative impacts of these regulations.

Pioneer Electric Cooperative

2014 Annual Meeting! Come enjoy live entertainment, hot air balloon rides and great prizes, all while learning more about your cooperative! The 2014 Annual Member Meeting will take place on Saturday, October 11, 2014, at the Butler County Fairgrounds located off Alabama Highway 10 West in Greenville. Gates open at 8:30 a.m. and the official meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. Members will have the chance to win one of ten $75 bill credits, a grand prize of “a year of free power” valued up to $2,000 and more!

Alabama Living

OCTOBER 2014  5

Inside Pioneer:

2014 Annual Meeting If you are unable to vote in person at the annual meeting on Saturday, October 11, there is still an opportunity to participate in the 2014 Pioneer Electric Trustee Election! You should have received your official ballot in the mail and hopefully you will take time to make your selections and return the ballot using the envelope provided. In order for your vote to be counted, it must be received by October 8. District 3 – Glenn Branum

As a Certified Public Accountant, Glenn Branum has a background working with utilities and providing accounting and consulting services to electric cooperatives. He has completed training to be a Credentialed Cooperative Director and has obtained Board Leadership Certification from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Branum owns and operates Branum & Company, providing accounting services in South Central Alabama. He was appointed to Pioneer’s board and then elected to the Board in 2008. Branum has been Past President of the following boards: Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Greenville YMCA, Butler County United Fund, Butler County Manufacturer’s Board and is a past member of the L.V. Stabler Hospital Board. Branum is a Greenville native and a Troy University (formerly Troy State University) graduate. Branum and his wife Nancy have two children.

District 6 – Melvin Dale

Melvin Dale retired after working for 38 years at International Paper Company in Selma, where he served in several capacities. Having completed multiple training opportunities from Selma’s Wallace Community College in accounting, industrial management and human resources, Dale served as an Area Processing Manager prior to his retirement. Dale came out of retirement in 2008 to join Pioneer’s Board and has since completed training to be a Credentialed Cooperative Director and has obtained Board Leadership Certification from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Dale has previously served on the Riverside Credit Union Board of Trustees and is a member of New Shiloh Baptist Church. A Sardis native, Dale and his wife of 24 years, Maria, have 3 sons.

District 6 – Timothy Strong

Timothy Strong is a native of Selma, where he has been employed with the Selma City School System for 16 years. He has served as an Automotive Instructor, an Assistant Principal at the School of Discovery and presently serves as Assistant Principal of Selma High School. He has degrees from AUM, Alabama A&M (BS in Industrial Education, Masters in Secondary Education) and also has an associate degree from Wallace Community College in Machine Tool Technology and a Certificate in Automotive Technology. Mr. Strong and his wife of 6 years have 3 children and attend Selma Community Bible Church where Mr. Strong serves as an elder. In his spare time, Mr. Strong enjoys farming, fishing and hunting.

District 9 – Melvia Carter

A Mt. Willing resident, Melvia Carter is presently the longest serving member of Pioneer’s board. She joined the board in 1999 and currently serves as the Board’s Secretary/Treasurer. She has completed training to be a Credentialed Cooperative Director and has obtained Board Leadership Certification from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. She graduated from Calhoun High School and Stillman College and later earned a Nursing degree from Troy University (formerly Troy State University). She currently serves as the Program Director of the Senior Care Unit at L.V. Stabler Hospital in Greenville and is a certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse. She also helped start an Alzheimer’s Support Group in Lowndes County. Carter and her husband Donald have two children and two grandchildren. Carter and her family are proud members of Snow Hill Christian Church. 6  OCTOBER 2014

Pioneer Electric Cooperative

Cover Story: A Moment of Reflection Throughout my life, I have come to realize that there are certain moments that seem to make time stop. These moments create an opportunity for us to reflect on where we have been and where we want to go. These moments are unplanned, often simplistic and typically can’t be captured or justified by a mere photograph. These moments allow us to set aside the hustle and bustle of everyday life and to simply reflect. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to not only have one of these reflecting moments, but I was also able to capture it in a photograph. This month’s cover photo was taken aboard the Harriett II Riverboat in Montgomery, Alabama as I watched the sun set over the Alabama River. As I watched the setting sun, in all of its beauty, I couldn’t help but reflect on the last few months of my life. While I have grown up a Pioneer member and am a true small-town, Southern farm girl at heart, I had no real idea of the impact cooperatives have had on my life. The last few months have afforded me the opportunity to dive into the history of electric cooperatives and have fueled my already burning passion for the energy industry. It has been a little over 75 years since Johnnie Salter and his wife Lessie Mae switched on an electric light bulb for the first time in their home on Halso Mill Road in Butler County. Following the stock market’s crash in 1929, farm prices had begun to fall and many farming families had been forced off their land. Remaining farm families struggled to survive the misery caused by the Great Depression. Rural families had been left behind as electric power became a driving force of prosperity at the turn of the century. Electricity was available in major cities and in most small towns such as Greenville, which first received electricity in 1904. The gap between rural and urban America widened more as time progressed. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt cre ate d t he Rura l E le c t r if icat ion Administration (REA) on May 11, 1935, only 4 percent of Alabama’s farms had electricity. This percentage, totaling 11,053 Alabama Living

farms, was principally located near small towns or along paved highways and farmers were often forced to bear the costs of constructing power lines for supplying power to their farms. For the other 96 percent, there was simply no electricity. The lack of electricity not only carried a number of additional hardships for rural residents, but it also restricted the economy of rural areas almost solely to farming because businesses and industries were not interested in locating beyond electric lines. It was anticipated that REA would work with privately owned utilities to develop a rural electrification program, offering them low-interest loans to expand their electric services to rural areas. However, after only gaining the interest of a handful of investorowned utility companies, all of which proposed incredibly high rates, it became apparent that cooperatives would have to energize rural America. Hopeful for newly expanded electrical services, many rural citizens helped to construct transmission lines. In 1937, the Butler County Electric Membership Corporation was incorporated to bring power to rural lines in the area. After REA allocated a loan to construct lines in portions of Butler, Dallas, Lowndes, Wilcox and smaller parts of adjoining counties, actual line construction began in October 1938. Harvey Construction Company of Pensacola, Florida was contracted to oversee the construction process. Local community members such as James Salter, whose daughter Linda later came to work for Pioneer and currently serves as the Vice President of Member Services, joined forces to install lines—ultimately paving the history of our electric cooperative. On March 6, 1939, the first magical glow created by electrical lighting in rural Butler County was seen. At the annual meeting on July 24, 1940, members approved the name change from Butler County Electric Membership Corporation to Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc. Investor-owned or private power company opposition and lack of support made the success of rural electric

cooperatives even more remarkable. Investor-owned power companies immediately sought to hinder the expansion of cooperatives through their control of the co-ops’ wholesale power supply. Due to severe drought conditions and increased war plant demands, in 1941 Alabama Power Co. (APCo), who supplied power to Alabama cooperatives, announced that they expected to curtail their power requirements by at least 30 percent. As a result of inadequate generating capacities, rural electric systems begin joining together to form generation and transmission cooperatives. In June of 1941, representatives from 11 cooperatives in Alabama, including Edwin Wallace of Greenville, representing Pioneer Electric Cooperative, met in Montgomery to form an organization that would build its own generating plants and sell electric energy to their co-ops. This organization, known at the time as Alabama Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AEC), became known as PowerSouth in 2008 and still provides reliable power to Pioneer Electric and other cooperatives today. Without the formation of electric cooperatives such as Pioneer Electric C o op erat ive and gene r at ion and transmission cooperatives such as PowerSouth, the history of rural America would have probably been written very differently. The formation and dedication of these cooperatives allowed rural communities to thrive and progress into what we know and call our homes today. It is important to reflect on the past at times to adequately appreciate the future—I don’t know about you, but I would be lost without electricity in my daily life. I hope that you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about the history of your electric cooperative.

Casey B. Rogers Communications Specialist

OCTOBER 2014  7

Economic Spotlight:

Career Academy Cranks Up in Butler County In 2012, the Alabama Legislature set aside money for the reintroduction of vocational education in the state’s public high schools. Renamed “Career Technical Education,” or “Career Tech,” the new curriculum enables high schoolers to master technical skills needed in area industries to ensure their employment right out of high school. Each school system applied for grants to be used for the purchase of equipment to be used in teaching the new curriculum. No money for textbooks or teachers was included in the grants—the schools have to provide those. In Butler County, where an agreement was already in place with Reid State Technical College to offer dual enrollment in welding, the school has been able to add career tracks in nursing and industrial maintenance to create what they call a “Career Academy” at the Greenville High School Campus as a result of the state grant. Students from Georgiana and McKenzie can take a bus to Greenville to take part in the program, as well. S t at i s t i c s s h ow t h at t h e t h r e e programs—nursing, welding and industrial maintenance—are in high demand in Butler and surrounding counties. Students successfully completing the programs will be trained and qualified to compete for well paying jobs within the region. The grant monies received by the Butler County schools are being used to purchase extensive training simulators for industrial maintenance, giving the students an opportunity to learn a wide range of skills and preparing them to meet the needs of local industry. The nursing program was able to obtain life-like simulators and other training aids that will enable the students in that track to be certified to work in hospitals or for health care agencies. Welding students will learn various welding techniques that will qualify them for jobs in the automotive, shipbuilding or aeronautics industries. For more information on the Career Technical Education programs in Butler County, follow this link: GHScareertech. Pictured: Cody Messer GHS Welding Student

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Cleve Poole

VP Economic Development and Legal Affairs

Spot Light

In October From left, Lyn Ford tellin’ tales of the Appalachian, the Dill Pickers providing musical and comedic entertainment and Suzi Whaples will be telling personal stories that are larger than life.

Alabama Tale Tellin’ Festival OCT. 10-11 Stories, music and more will bring laughter, suspense and melodies that warm the heart at the 2014 Alabama TaleTellin’ Festival in Selma. Founded by the late Selma author Kathryn Tucker Windham, the family event features three nationally known storytellers, plus a vocal string band/ comedy troupe from Birmingham. Sponsored by ArtsRe-

vive, 3 Church St., the festival opens earlier this year with the Swappin’ Ground at 4:30 each evening and Tale-Tellin’ at 6:30. Come early, tell your stories and have supper. For more information, call 334-878-ARTS (2787), email info@ or visit the website at, and look for updates on the ArtsRevive Facebook page.

‘PINE’ Art Exhibit OCT.

OCT. 16-17

Doctor pens memoir about growing up in small town Dr. Clifton Meador, former dean of the School of Dr. Clifton Meador Medicine at the University of Alabama in Birmingham and director of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Center at UAB, has written a memoir about growing up in the small cottonfarming town of Greenville in the 1930s and 40s. Sketches of a Small Town…circa 1940 captures the characters and tales that made his childhood in a small Alabama town so memorable. Sketches of a Small Town is Meador’s 14th book. He has published extensively in medical literature and authored a number of satirical articles on the excesses of medical practice. Meador will have a booksigning at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16 at the High Horse Gallery in Greenville, and 2 p.m. on Oct. 17 at the Page and Palette in Fairhope. For more information, visit Alabama Living

“Night Burn” by Elmore Demott


“PINE,” an art exhibition exploring pine trees and forests through an artistic lens, continues through Oct. 31 in the Georgine Clarke Alabama Artist Gallery at the Alabama State Council on the Arts in Montgomery. The gallery is open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm. on the first floor of the RSA Tower, 201 Monroe St.

OCT. 11

Ranch to hold 5K Run Reins of Life Youth Ranch, a non-profit horse rescue, recovery and youth therapy riding farm in Hamilton, will hold a 5K Zombie Run which begins at 8 a.m. The farm works with troubled and disadvantaged children to expose them to farm life and to help care for the horses. The ranch is located at 267 Cotton Gin Road in Hamilton, one-half mile from Exit 11. More information:

OCTOBER 2014 9

Power Pack

Let’s talk about Medicare October is “Talk About Prescriptions Month” and marks the beginning of this year’s Medicare open enrollment period. It’s the perfect time to talk about Medicare prescriptions and the Extra Help available from Social Security. Newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries and current beneficiaries who are considering changes to their Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) plan should act now. The Medicare open enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. The Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is available to all Medicare beneficiaries to help with the costs of medications. Joining a Medicare prescription drug plan is voluntary, and participants pay an additional monthly premium for the prescription drug coverage. While all Medicare beneficiaries can participate in the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, some people with limited income and resources may be eligible for Extra Help to pay for monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year. Many Medicare beneficiaries qualify for these big savings and don’t even know it. To figure out whether you are eligible

Letters to the editor

for the Extra Help, Social Security needs to know your income and the value of any savings, investments, and real estate (other than the home you live in). To qualify, you must be receiving Medicare and have: • Income limited to $17,235 for an individual or $23,265 for a married couple living together. Even if your annual income is higher, you still may be able to get some help with monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments. Some examples where your income may be higher include if you or your spouse: • Support other family members who live with you; • Have earnings from work; or • Live in Alaska or Hawaii; and • Resources limited to $13,440 for an individual or $26,860 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. We do not count your house or car as resources. You can complete an easy-to-use online application or get more information by visiting To apply for the Extra Help by phone or have an application mailed to you, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800Dear Editor,

Thank you for featuring Alabama 4-H in the May issue of Alabama Living. Alabama Extension is rightfully proud of the good work that our 4-H staff does across the state. John Felsher did a great job capturing the spirit of 4-H and was so easy to work with. Please call if we can assist with stories in the future.

Alabama Living is a fine publication and the articles are of interest to me, as I have a home in Cherokee County as well as one in Baldwin County. You do a wonderful job covering the whole state. I have always looked for the recipes first; however, now it’s Hardy Jackson’s column. He speaks for all of us in a lighthearted, don’t-take-yourself-tooseriously way, and he’s a great asset to your magazine. I watched as my husband read the latest column on summertime church revivals, and as a grin slowly spread across his face I knew he was remembering well his own youth. Thank you for this wonderful addition to your already fine magazine.

Maggie Laurence Alabama Cooperative Extension System Auburn University

With kindest regards, Camilla Payne Centre, AL

Dear Editor,

10 OCTOBER 2014

325-0778) and ask for the Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020). And if you would like more information about the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program, visit or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048). While we’re on the subject of open seasons, the open enrollment period for qualified health plans under the Affordable Care Act is Nov. 15 to Feb. 15. Learn more about it at This Medicare open enrollment season, while you search for the Medicare prescription drug plan that best meets your needs, see if you qualify for the Extra Help through Social Security. That’s a winning prescription worth talking about. A

Kylle’ McKinney, Alabama Social Security Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached in Montgomery at 866-593-0914, ext. 26265, or at kylle.

From our Facebook friends My husband made the “Bill’s Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken” for dinner tonight. It was delicious! Thank you! Kristin Douglas Evans Collinsville Quilt Walk fans everywhere thank you for the beautiful page about our event in September. Jennifer Wilkins Thank you so much for the article “Praise the Lord, it’s August!” I lived that article & appreciate you publishing it. Sharon Hicks Lea Let us hear from you! Write us at letters@ or through our website,, or on our Facebook page.

‘So good to see you again’ Family reunions. The South may not have invented them, but down here we have our share – and more. Like so much in Dixie, history has a lot to do with how and why families hold reunions. The Old South was culture of extended and elaborated families, scattered not too far but far enough so that seeing each other was not a casual affair. Folks who study this sort of thing have a hard time figuring out just when Southern families began holding reunions, but logic leads to the conclusion that as Southern families spread out across the land and as transportation improved, families began finding ways to assemble on a regular basis. So families had reunions, get-togethers planned well in advance, held at a place that has meaning for those who attend, publicized so that it draws folks from far away who want to re-knot the tie that binds. Such gatherings were celebrations of the links that ensnared each member –the bloodlines. Once it was the duty of the matriarch, the Grandmother or the Aunt (even better the Maiden Aunt) to preserve the connections and spell them out for those there. Or put the links on a chart that reminded author Florence King’s non-Southern father of “kennel papers,” “the stud register,” or “the Book of the Dead.” There it was, hung on the wall so everyone could see where they came from and, maybe, realize why they are what they are. “He’s just as bossy as his grandfather was.” Among the things on display at a reunion – the photographs, the scrapbooks, the family Bible, and such – the most proudly presented and thoroughly enjoyed is the food. Although the Alabama Living

distance some folks travel to get there and the location selected for the gathering often requires organizers so have a reunion catered, somehow it just isn’t the same unless someone brings “Aunt Jessie’s yeast rolls” or “Meme’s red velvet cake.” Of all the senses that stir memory, taste is up there at the top, and since reunions are all about memory, it is understandable that food ranks among the expectations and, often, the disappointments – “it’s good, but not like Mama made.” The table spread becomes symbolic of what the family was, and what it has become – a big mound of “Uncle Claude’s barbeque” just like he would have fixed it if he was here, up next to a pile of Kentucky Fried Chicken, taken out of the box and put on a platter to fool folks who can’t be fooled. The old and the new, the sacred and the profane, side by side. So the family gathers, greets, hugs, talks, eats, shares, and when the day is done, goes back to the world where each lives. But most important, these reunions are a reason, an excuse, to celebrate the Harvey H. (“Hardy”) institution that Jackson is retired professor emeritus of has always been history at Jacksonville at the center of State University whose most recent book is The Southern life – Rise and Decline of the the family. A time Redneck Riviera, featured in the January 2013 to thank the Lord Alabama Living. His work that you have one. appears in the Anniston Star and Northeast And, maybe, to Alabama Living. He can feel a little sad for be reached at hjackson@ those who don’t. A OCTOBER 2014 11

See the Barber Museum up close at

Vintage motorcycles Barber Museum is home to the world’s largest collection

By David Haynes


f you want to experience Leonardo De Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” in person you’ll need to buy a ticket to Paris and visit the Louvre. A personal viewing to ponder the moody, swirling colors of Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” requires a trip to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. But to marvel in the presence of the chrome and black steel of a rare 1951 Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle in pristine condition, Birmingham, Alabama, would be your destination of choice, where the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum houses the largest collection of vintage motorcycles in the world!

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The Barber collection has more than 1,340 motorcycles with 700 on display at any one time. PHOTO BY MARY TYLER SPIVEY

Earlier this year, the Guinness Book of World Records officially recognized the Barber collection as the world’s largest. According to Museum Director Jeff Ray, the museum currently has more than 1,340 motorcycles in its collection with approximately 700 on display at any one time in its sprawling, five-story building, with new bikes and cars added every week. The museum employs a staff of 22 people, including five fulltime and one part-time restoration technicians who continuously restore and maintain machines in the collection. Nearly all of the motorcycles on display could be running and ridden within an hour. At present the technicians have 13 major restorations under way with another 200-plus in the warehouse awaiting some type of restoration or conservation, Ray says. But as impressive as the museum’s collection of vintage and rare motorcycles and racing cars is, it is only one component of the 830-acre Barber Motorsports Park, located near Leeds on the east side of Birmingham. Directly adjacent to the museum is a world-class 2.38-mile race track where national and international competitions are held several times a year for both motorcycles and cars. The museum is so close to the track that one entire glass wall of the 5-story museum overlooks a sweeping turn where visitors browsing in the museum can watch motorcycles and sports cars zoom past on the track below. According to Ray, the various events hosted by the museum and track annually pump around $100 million into the local economy. Over the past 10 years this had totaled about $1.1

billion, he added. The two biggest events each year are the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in the spring and the Barber Vintage Festival in October, each of which brings about 65,000 visitors to the park. Aside from these major events, Ray says the track is used approximately 285 days in a typical year with private or corporate events, track days, a Porsche sport driving school and other public events. In recent years the Barber Vintage Festival has become almost an annual pilgrimage event for many in the motorcycling community from around the country and around the world. This year’s Vintage Festival – the 10th Annual - will be the weekend of Oct. 10-12. This motorcycling mecca feels like a three-ring circus of activities and rapid-fire events that offers something for everyone in the motorcycling world. At last year’s Vintage Festival there were near continuous races featuring vintage motorcycles racing on the track as well as vintage motocross and other dirt-oriented events. Surrounding the beehive of activity on the track were vendor and manufacturers’ display areas, one of the largest and best-attended motorcycle swap meets anywhere. There was even a motordrome “Wall of Death” featuring riders on vintage bikes defying gravity as they ride sideways around the 30-foot-diameter wooden barrel. So much is going on at once there’s literally more to see than one person could take in without being in two places at once! The museum, track and park are here primarily due to the

Replica of the motorcycle driven by Peter Fonda in the 1969 movie “Easy Rider.” PHOTO BY MICHAEL CORNELISON

Alabama Living

OCTOBER 2014  13

Riders in the motordrome “Wall of Death” defy gravity as they ride sideways around a 30-foot diameter wooden barrel. PHOTO BY DAVID HAYNES

efforts of George Barber, the longtime head of Birmingham-based Barber Dairies. He raced Porsches in the 1960s, including 63 first place finishes, and began collecting and restoring vintage sports cars in 1969 (The Barber Museum today has the largest collection of Lotus sports cars in the world). Soon Barber’s interest turned to collecting and restoring vintage motorcycles and his collection grew until in 1994 it became the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum when it was granted a 501(c)3 not-for-profit status. A year later the museum opened to the public for the first time, being housed in an almost hidden building on Birmingham’s Southside, where it operated until moving to its present location in 2003. “The track was built a year or so before we built the museum and it really started on its own with Porsche coming here and having their classes here,” says Barber. “They have been with us ever since and they have around 160 days of Porsche school every year, which is really fabulous.” Over the years vehicles from the Barber collection have been featured in numerous shows, including the famed “Art of the Motorcycle” at the Guggenheim’s New York and Bilbao, Spain, locations as well as the Field Museum in Chicago. Another show at the Birmingham Museum of Art featured a special exhibition devoted entirely to motorcycles from the collection. Barber himself will be inducted into the prestigious American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Oct. 17. Today visitors to the museum can see bikes

ranging from a 1902 Steffey, which was driven by a leather belt, to modern-era production consumer and racetrack machines. These include bikes from 20 different countries representing over 200 manufacturers. A day browsing through these beautifully restored machines is akin to walking through the history of motorcycling. Motorcycle enthusiasts and non-riders alike will undoubtedly find the experience rewarding and satisfying, if only for the appreciation of the craft involved in preserving these unique machines in their original state. And the work goes on. Barber says future plans include building an autocross track, installing a walkway from the museum’s second floor to the gazebo and observation area to allow visitors to watch races, and constructing a 60,000 to 80,000 square foot addition to the museum. For more information on Barber Motorsports Park, the museum and upcoming events visit www. b a r b e r mu s e u m . org. A The Vintage Festival attracts bikers from across the country. PHOTO BY DAVID HAYNES

Alabama Living

OCTOBER 2014  15

F o d r n e a v l e r g W n i i p l e e d K Pr og ram By John N. Felsher


ll a r o f at pres t i b a erves v ital disappearing h


ach year, more than a ational areas,” says Chris Smith, million outdoors enthusiasts trathe ADCNR state lands manager in verse a state blessed with an incredible variety of habitats Montgomery. “Some WMAs draw a lot of out-of-state people from tidal marshes to mountaintop forests. Many of them visit who come here to hunt. They spend a lot of money. With leased the more than 1.3 million acres of public land in Alabama. Many property, we’re constantly under the possibility of losing parcels. sportsmen hunt on 37 state wildlife management areas totaling Lands in Forever Wild are state-owned properties that we can more than 775,000 acres. preserve and keep forever wild.” The state of Alabama owns some wildlife management areas, Forever Wild began with a constitutional amendment approved but leases significant acreage from timber companies or other by the voters in 1992. In 2012, 73 percent of the voters reaffirmed large landowners. As part of the lease, their desire to keep the program gothese landowners permit the Alabama The system includes caves, ing. Since 1992, the program set aside Department of Conservation and Natmore than 241,000 acres in 25 counural Resources to manage the proper- mountainous habitat, ties for an array of public recreational ties for public use. However, compa- coastal prairies, marshes, activities. Besides hunters and fishernies change ownership, leadership or swamps, rivers – just about men, many hikers, boaters, paddlers, focus periodically. Consequently, the horseback riders, cyclists, bird watchstate sometimes loses access to former- every habitat type found in ers, history buffs and other outdoors ly public properties. When the state Alabama. enthusiasts visit these lands each year. loses wilderness lands previously open The system includes more than 220 to the public, those lands frequently disappear forever. miles of hiking trails plus numerous canoe trails among other Fortunately, the state controls thousands of acres in the Forever recreational opportunities. Wild program. As the name implies, these properties will never “Not all Forever Wild properties are wildlife management go under a bulldozer or concrete, but will remain natural and areas, but roughly 88 percent of the Forever Wild Land Trust forever open to the public for recreation. property is within a WMA somewhere in the state,” Smith says. “Forever Wild is a state operated land acquisition program “About three percent are additions to other historic parks or nawith the purpose of securing lands for public recreation as wild- ture centers. Less than one percent of those properties are addilife management areas, state parks, nature preserves or recre- tions to existing state parks. The rest are not quite big enough to 16 OCTOBER 2014

be in the WMA system, but we manage them as nature preserves and recreational areas.” The system includes caves, mountainous habitat, coastal prairies, marshes, swamps, rivers – just about every habitat type found in Alabama. Some major proprieties in the system include Barbour, Cahaba River, Coosa and Perdido WMAs. One of the best public deer hunting properties in the state, Barbour WMA covers 28,199 acres near Clayton in the transition zone between the Black Belt Region and the coastal plain of southeastern Alabama. It frequently produces whitetail bucks exceeding 200 pounds. A drake purple gallinule tiptoes easily across lily pads in a wetland. Forever “In 2006, Field and Stream magazine named Barbour Wild properties throughout Alabama provide habitat for a variety of bird and animal species. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER WMA one of the top whitetail destinations in the nation,” notes Bill Gray, Sometimes called the that doesn’t need some type of enthe ADCNR wildlife biologist for that hancement or restoration.” part of the state. “It has some hard- Grand Canyon of the South, Practically in the shadow of downwood drains, upland pines, swamps, the Walls of Jericho area town Mobile, the Mobile-Tensaw Delta hills and hollows.” spreads across about 250,000 acres of in Jackson County holds The William R. Ireland/Cahaba wilderness, second in size only to the some of the most scenic River WMA covers 40,504 acres in Mississippi River for river delta wetBibb and Shelby counties near West and ecologically significant lands in North America. Forever Wild Blocton. Coosa WMA spreads across property in the state. preserves more than 50,000 acres in 32,624 acres of Coosa County near this maze of bayous, creeks, lakes, Rockford along the Coosa River. The Perdido River WMA in- swamps, marshes and estuaries. In 1974, Congress declared the cludes 17,337 acres on the Alabama side of the Perdido River, delta a National Natural Landmark. which separates Alabama from Florida near Gateswood. From north to south, the delta transitions from bottomland “In July 2014, we closed on a 460-acre parcel adjacent to a hardwood forests pockmarked by numerous streams and lakes county park in Shelby County that has river frontage along the to cypress swamps. The lower delta opens into an enormous netCahaba River,” Smith says. “We’re thinking about putting in some work of bays and bayous bordered by fresh and brackish marshes canoe launches and take-out points. That’s a beautiful river to at the northern edge of Mobile Bay. The area provides homes to float. We’re looking to open a canoe trail that will span about 19 one of the largest concentrations of black bears in Alabama, plus miles along the Perdido River in 2015. We’re working to improve numerous waterfowl, wading birds, raptors, whitetail deer, otters, some roads that will provide good access to trailheads, plus canoe alligators and many other creatures. put-in and take-out points.” The Forever Wild program also tries to preserve or restore habitat vital to endangered species. For instance, the program Preserving irreplaceable properties and habitats owns two tracts in Monroe County totaling 4,376 acres that proAt Blakeley State Park near Spanish Fort, visitors can walk vide crucial habitat for endangered Red Hills salamanders plus among fortifications used by Union and Confederate soldiers other rare plants and animals. The Red Hills Tracts consist mainly when they fought one of the last major battles of the Civil War of upland pines and mixed forests north of Monroeville. in April 1865. Many of these fortifications still look almost exactly like they did when the war ended a few Walls of Jericho tract in Jackson County. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER weeks later. Sometimes called the Grand Canyon of the South, the Walls of Jericho area in Jackson County holds some of the most scenic and ecologically significant property in the state. Five tracts totaling about 16,363 acres sit adjacent to James D. Martin-Skyline WMA near Scottsboro along the Tennessee state line. About 200 years ago, Davy Crocket hunted these hills and valleys. Today, hikers, photographers, birdwatchers and horseback riders can explore numerous trails or follow the gorge along the Paint Rock River. “We try to preserve unique, irreplaceable properties and habitats, like the Mobile-Tensaw Delta,” Smith explains. “We also do some habitat restoration work on some properties, such as replanting them in native vegetation. Some properties are already beautiful, unique properties, but it’s rare to find a Forever Wild property Alabama Living

OCTOBER 2014 17

“The Red Hills Tracts were commercial timber properties when Forever Wild bought them,” Smith says. “We’re restoring the habitat to what it was and monitoring the salamanders.” The Forever Wild Land Trust does not take private land away from owners. In fact, the law specifically dictates that Forever Wild can only buy land from willing sellers, but anyone can nominate a property as a Forever Wild candidate. After a review process, the state can then make an offer to buy the property at fair market value. Once a property becomes part of the Forever Wild system, state land managers determine what to do with it. They might create a wildlife management area, public park or other recreational facility. Then, property managers plan what enhancements or restorations they want to do such as building hiking or canoeing trails. “We’re always looking for new acquisitions,” Smith advises. “We’re close to closing on about 3,000 acres along the Sipsey River in Tuscaloosa County. There’s already a 3,000-acre tract along the Sipsey River. It’s very popular for hunting and horseback riding. We should be able to add that new property to Forever Wild in the next four to six months. That’s going to give us about 40 river

miles on the Sipsey where we can put in some canoe launches and take-out points. People will be able to float down the river and hunt or fish.” For more information on the Alabama Forever Wild program and to see an interactive map of the properties, visit A Mountain biking is a popular activity on Forever Wild trails. PHOTO BY BILLY POPE

Once a property becomes part of the Forever Wild system, state land managers determine what to do with it.

Canoeing on the Bartram Canoe Trail. PHOTO BY BILLY POPE

A little blue heron hunts for food along a shoreline in southern Alabama. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER

How you can help preserve more valuable habitat

Forever Wild does not receive any tax dollars. Money for the Forever Wild Land Trust fund comes from interest earned by the Alabama Trust Fund, mostly through monthly royalty payments from oil and gas extraction. The program receives 10 percent of that interest annually, up to $15 million. People can also help fund Forever Wild programs and preserve more 18 OCTOBER 2014

land by buying a Friends of Forever Wild car license plate. Most of that money goes directly toward the purchase of properties for the Forever Wild system. These lands could become part of an existing park, wildlife management area, historical area or a separate nature preserve. Anyone who buys a Forever Wild car tag directly supports Forever

Wild land acquisitions,” explains Chris Smith, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources lands manager. “All of that money goes directly to the land acquisition fund to protect our Alabama natural heritage.” To learn more about this program, see php/about-us/license-plate-tag.


By John N. Felsher


Alabama Living

OCTOBER 2014  19

Life’s a beach at

Gulf State Park “We’re one of the most popular parks in Alabama all year long.” By John N. Felsher

A decade ago, Hurricane Ivan slammed ashore on the Gulf Coast, packing nearly 130 mile per hour winds. Early on the morning of Sept. 16, 2004, the monster about the size of Texas scored a direct hit on Gulf State Park, causing considerable damage.


eople came down from other parks to help,” re“We’re one of the most popular parks in Alabama all year calls Kelly Reetz, who began working at the park long,” explains Lisa Laraway, superintendent of Gulf State Park in 2000. “While most people and the Southwest District. “We get people were heading north, park employees were who come here from all over the country, heading south. Getting ready for Hurricane particularly in the winter. Some people Ivan, we worked so hard getting everything from northern states and Canada stay all off the beach and securing the facilities as winter. Most people come here for the best we could, but we still had a lot of beach, but we have plenty of reasons for damage.” people to visit here.” Ten years later, scarred trees remind The park includes more than 3.5 miles visitors of that terrible day, but the park of sugar-white beaches along the Gulf recovered quickly at the time, repairing Gulf State Park Nature Center is a living shoreline, often considerably less crowdand rebuilding facilities. Over the years, museum. ed than adjacent beaches in either Gulf the park also added facilities not there in Shores or Orange Beach. For those who 2004, such as a zip line for guests. Today, the park occupies 6,180 want a break from the sand, the Beach Pavilion offers beachgoers acres of prime real estate on the Gulf of Mexico between the picnic tables in the shade, a seasonal concession stand and airtowns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. conditioned bathrooms with showers. Parties can also book the

20 OCTOBER 2014

Alabama Living

OCTOBER 2014  21

pavilion for weddings, beach parties, reunions or other functions. Non-fishermen pay a small sightseeing fee to go out on the pier. Also unique among Alabama state parks, the Gulf State Park “I’ve been fishing the pier since I was old enough to drive Pier extends 1,540 feet, or more than a quarter mile, into the about 40 years ago,” said David Thornton, an area sportsman. Gulf of Mexico. Ivan severely damaged the pier in 2004, but the “People catch just about every type of saltwater fish off the pier. rebuilt structure opened in July 2009. It now offers anglers about We catch a lot of big bull reds. They also catch Spanish mackerel, 41,800 square feet, including 2,448 feet of fishing space along the jack crevalle and other fish. Occasionally, someone even catches rails. Special removable panels allow the sea to blow through a tarpon. Pier anglers just can’t fish for sharks. If anglers hook holes in the pier while leaving the concrete supports intact. sharks, they must cut their lines. The park staff doesn’t want “Living right on the Gulf Coast, we are prepared for hurri- people fishing for sharks so close to the swimming beach.” canes,” Laraway said. “When the pier was Besides offering an excellent place where rebuilt, the decking was made in sections anglers without access to boats can catch so it could be picked up and removed. We large fish, the pier exists as an educational removed the panels when Hurricane Isaac facility. Placards along the rails provide hit in 2012. It’s a good thing we did, beinformation about the fish species, birds cause the water went over it. It took about and other creatures that live in the area. a week to get it back in operation, but it Some at the cleaning station even explain had much less damage than when Ivan hit.” fish anatomy. The pier also contains fish-cleaning sta“Each week, depending upon the weathtions where anglers can prepare their catch. Anglers fish off the Gulf State Park Pier. er, we give guided pier walks, by far our PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER most popular nature program,” Reetz adAt the shore end of the pier, patrons may sample barbecue and other restaurant spevised. “Guests have an opportunity to see cialties as sea breezes cool them. They can also stop in the store fish being caught and learn about different types of fish, birds, to purchase supplies and refreshments or even rent fishing gear. crustaceans, shells and marine mammals. Sometimes we get The largest pier on the Gulf Coast remains open for fishing lucky and see huge schools of fish or some dolphins. We might 24 hours a day all year long. Anglers must possess a pier fish- see fish herding bait into a ball and birds attacking the baitfish ing permit and a state saltwater license to fish on the pier. To from the air.” save a few dollars, sportsmen can purchase a special state pier Although anglers can fish the Gulf for salty fish, they can also license instead of the saltwater license. In addition, anglers can explore three natural spring-fed freshwater lakes north of the buy a daily, monthly, semi-annual or annual pier fishing permit. beach. Connected by canals, Little Lake, Middle Lake and Lake The Gulf State Park Pier extends more than a quarter mile into the Gulf.

22 OCTOBER 2014

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Shelby total about 900 acres. The largest, Lake Shelby, spreads across about 750 acres. They average about four feet deep, but some holes in Lake Shelby drop to about 18 feet deep. Anglers may launch their own boats into the lakes or rent canoes from the park. “They are freshwater lakes, but they connect to the salt marshes and Little Lagoon,” explained Randy Stultz, one of the park managers. “Salt water from prior hurricanes got into the lakes and mixed with the fresh water. Now, anglers can catch largemouth bass, redfish, crappie, speckled trout, flounder and other fish in them. I’ve even seen mangrove snapper and tarpon come out of the lakes.” Along the lakes, campers may erect tents or park recreational vehicles at nearly 500 improved campsites complete with water, sewer and electrical hook-ups. Open seven days a week, the camp store sells items campers need. Patrons may also find souvenirs, shirts, coffee mugs, or even buy items to make minor repairs on recreational vehicles. Overnight guests may also rent 11 three-bedroom cottages that overlook Refuge Golf Course offers 18 holes, 7 days a week. Lake Shelby. Cottages come equipped with modern conveniences such as full kitchens complete with utensils, dishes, flatware, microwaves, lakes and different forest habitats. We have many different types coffee pots, toasters and dishwashers. The park also rents more of wildlife including deer, bobcats, raccoons, lots of alligators and than 20 similarly equipped cabins including some on the lake other reptiles. Many migratory birds come through in April and and others in secluded in pine forests. Visitors may bring their October. Endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles sometimes nest pets when staying in the woods cabins. Two lakeside cabins are on our beaches. We also have endangered Alabama beach mice.” handicapped accessible. While many people like to explore nature on their own, othFor those who want to golf on the Gulf, the Refuge Golf ers take guided tours. As the park naturalist, Reetz leads diverse Course offers 18 holes in picturesque beauty amidst the oaks. The adventures including the pier walk and other nature programs golf course stays open seven days a week. to introduce people to the types of wildlife After swinging clubs, golfers may wish to that inhabit southern Alabama. People can visit the Refuge Grill in the pro shop for a also visit the Nature Center, a living mudelicious sandwich or other refreshments. seum with many exhibits including both Some golfers start their day with a breaklive and stuffed animals. fast at the grill. “At Nature Time at the Nature Center, we take the animals out for children to see Miles of trails to see wildlife and nature them and touch them,” Reetz said. “We Many nature enthusiasts enjoy hiking have nature programs all year long. On or biking on miles of trails. Named for a The park’s Nature Center is popular with guided nature walks, we meet people at difformer park superintendent, the Hugh S. visitors. ferent places and talk about the plants and Branyon Backcountry Trails wind through animals we see. We always see something marshes, pine forests, oak hammocks and other habitats. The different. The trails stay very busy. In the winter, visitors from Oak Ridge Trail wanders behind the golf course. The Rosemary up north love to get on their bicycles and ride all over the place.” Trail runs south of Middle Lake and Little Lake before hitting the Whether zipping down a line over a lake, dropping a line off beach road. Created after Hurricane Frederic hit the Gulf Coast the pier, biking along a trail or just absorbing the sun on the in 1979, the Hurricane Ridge Trail follows a natural ridge built beach, one of the most popular parks in Alabama offers someby the storm tidal surge. thing for just about everyone. For more information on Gulf “While most people come here for the beaches, we have more State Park, see For reservations, call than just beaches,” Reetz emphasized. “We also have salt marshes, 800-ALAPARK (800-252-7275). A 24 OCTOBER 2014

Alabama Living

OCTOBER 2014  25

See the river up close in Cahaba Classic River Race Story and photos by David Haynes

From left: Sign is at the confluence of the Cahaba and Alabama rivers; Brick columns - remains of the Crocheron Mansion; White chalk bluffs about three miles upstream of the confluence of the Cahaba and Alabama rivers; Historic St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, recently restored with assistance from Auburn’s Rural Studio.


labama’s Cahaba River winds its awarded to the winners in each class, the moss. Fishing here is good as well. Linda Derry, site director for the Old entire length of nearly 200 miles real goal is to show those who might not through Central Alabama and is have tried paddling before that they, too, Cahawba Archaeological Park, who along with her husband Richard is an avid canoe one of the most biologically diverse wa- can do it. terways in the world. A rare flower found He explained that the time required to and kayak paddler, explained that the park only in this river and a handful of nearby run the nine-mile course will depend on now has canoe rentals available, thanks to other streams – the Cahaba Lily – bears the type of boat and level of paddler ex- various local businesses who sponsored the its name. perience more than anything else. “A sea- purchase of an initial stable of four canoes. She said the river race and canoe rentFrom its headwaters near Trussville to soned boater in a racing canoe might do its confluence with the Alabama at the it in an hour and 15 or 20 minutes while als are only the most recent of the park’s Old Cahawba State Archaeological Park someone with less paddling experience in efforts to help bring visitors access to the near Orville – Alabama’s first state capi- a standard canoe might take three or four river and its wonders. The park has a shaded ⅛th-mile walktal city - the Cahaba touches a variety of hours,” he said. ing trail to a boat launch and landscapes, wildlife and tens of observation deck – built with thousands of people along its assistance from the Nature meandering course. Conservancy - at Clear Creek, On Sunday, Nov. 2, the Injust before it joins the Cahaba augural Cahaba Classic River three miles from the river’s Race will give both experiend. The shaded wooden deck enced and novice paddlers overlooks the mouth of Clear a chance to see the river up Creek and numerous cypress close just above where it emptrees. ties into the Alabama. In addition to the canoe Old Cahawba Archaelogical rental the park also has 12 Park and the Cahaba River Socruiser bicycles that park visiciety are partnering to sponsor tors may use for free to explore the event, which is aimed at the former capital city, which introducing more folks to the Richard Trammell, Clay Swafford, Bart Jones and Linda Derry, Old today is more of a ghost town joys of being on this unique Cahawba site director, canoeing the Cahaba River. where moss-covered trees river. Just about anyone with any kind of paddlecraft can participate, But making the run in record time isn’t shade only empty streets where state ofincluding the usual canoes and kayaks as the point. The real reason for this race is fices, businesses and houses once stood. well as the newly popular stand-up paddle to get people on the river who haven’t ex- The visitor center has interpretive maps to help guide and inform visitors on what boards. perienced what it has to offer. The race will feature two courses. The This rural area is teeming with wildlife, they’re seeing as they tour the park. With either the canoe rentals or bike first will be suitable for more experienced including numerous species of birds (the boaters and covers about nine miles from park is part of the Alabama Birding Trail), rides, Derry recommends calling the park the Alabama Highway 22 bridge to the various mammals, including a recent rare to make sure the units are not already reriver’s mouth. The other “Fun Run” course sighting of a black bear, and of course served on the day of your visit. For additonal information about Cais about three miles from Clear Creek to there is the occasional alligator. This secthe same finish point. tion of the river passes beneath some im- haba Classic River Race, Old Cahawba Gordon Black, education director for pressive chalk bluffs and numerous sand- Archaeological Park or the Cahaba River the Cahaba River Society, explained that bars. In several areas paddlers will pass Society, please visit or although medals or other prizes will be stands of cypress draped with Spanish A 26 OCTOBER 2014

Down memory lane with

Pages from the past

How many of you remember what you read in Alabama Living in August 40 years ago? What about 30, 20, or even just 10 years ago? Here’s a look back at what we were featuring on the covers in August, back in the day.

October 1974 Alabama Girl Wins National Title

Kim Miller of Millerville, Ala. recently won the national title of Miss American Institute of Cooperation or AIC. Kim is an active 4-H member, 4-H Public Speaking Contest winner, beauty pageant contestant and cheerleader. Kim will act as a representative during the coming year at various national and regional events, attend AIC Trustee Board Meetings, serve on the Youth Education Consulting Committee, and promote programs to foster the growth of agricultural cooperatives.

October 1994 Battle for the Horseshoe Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is one of Alabama’s most famous historic attractions. On Sunday, March 27, 1814, Gen. Andrew Jackson marched 3,000 soldiers to battle Chief Menawa and the Creek Red Sticks at “The Horseshoe.” Gen. John Coffee, siding with Jackson, led a smaller group of soldiers and Indian allies attacked from the rear. Jackson’s men followed with a bayonet charge through the barricade from the front. 800900 Red Sticks and 49 soldiers were killed. Alabama’s Horseshoe Bend National Military Park features a museum that details the battle.

Alabama Living

October 1984 Remembers seeing the first “REA”

pole erected South Alabama Electric Cooperative member Marvin Parker remembers the first time he saw a light pole erected in south Alabama. While riding down U.S. Highway 84, he noticed a large crowd gathering, and assumed it was to welcome Gov. Bibb Graves, but then he saw it. “While the rally was going on they erected a big tall light pole, and that was the first ‘REA’ pole I ever saw erected,” he said. REA light poles came to south Alabama around 1937-38.

October 2004 Helping Neighbors

Over 100 linemen from Alabama’s 15 electric cooperatives joined crews from across the country in central Florida to restore power for more than a million Florida victims affected by Hurricanes Charley and Frances. Some 200 tornados touched down in central Florida co-op service areas during Hurricane Charley alone. “Electric cooperatives are one family,” said Fred Braswell, AREA president. “When a fellow sister cooperative needs our help, we respond. Of course, cooperatives from neighboring states help us in times of crisis as well.”

OCTOBER 2014 27

Worth the Drive

Good steaks at great prices at Nick’s By Jennifer Kornegay


A wreath was placed on the front of Nick’s in the Sticks in September, in memory of longtime owner Lloyd Hegenbarth, who passed away Sept. 12. Hegenbarth became the third owner of the popular Tuscaloosa restaurant in the mid-80s. PHOTO BY LAUREL STEPHENSON

t’s that time again. Breezes are blowing cooler, leaves are don- rain; and most are wearing a smile. So what brings these happy ning their fall fashions, and, most importantly, pigskins are people here and brings so many of them back? Three things: flying through the air. It’s the arrival of this last item every 1) The filet. Don’t expect béarnaise sauce, blue cheese crumbles autumn that draws fans in droves to Tuscaloosa; they travel from or lump crabmeat embellishing (distracting from) this steak served near and far to watch the Crimson Tide do its thing. on a metal plate set down in a wooden charger in old-school But whether football Saturdays find you chanting “Rammer steakhouse style. Probably Nick’s most popular item, it’s all about Jammer” or not, you should make your way to T-town, too. Roll the meat. It’s bacon-wrapped, lightly seasoned and cooked to your right on past campus, and bypass Bryant Denny Stadium. Instead, degree of doneness. It’s soft and juicy, and for just under $10, it’s punch 4018 Culver Road into your phone’s GPS and head about the arguably the best dinner deal around for miles. 5 miles out of town on a 2) The onion rings. two-lane road. These hand-battered If all goes well, you’ll circles of crispy golden soon arrive at a one-room, goodness are a smart cinder block building with side choice for any of an American flag doNick’s offerings. The ing double duty as patrionions have lost their otic symbol and window sharpness (only sweetcovering and an awning ness remains) but not striped with crimson and all of their crunch, and white jutting off the front. the light crust stays put There’s only an empty when you take a bite. 3) The Nicodemus. metal frame where the Myth and mystery sursign once was, but you’re round the ingredient list in the right place. You’ve for this ruby red drink made it to Nick’s Origilike the foggy haze it nal Filet House, known often induces. Exactly to most as Nick’s in the The filet and onion rings have been a mainstay at Nick’s in the Sticks for years. PHOTO BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY what all goes into this Sticks, a humble-looking spot that’s been serving good steaks at great prices for more than adult punch-like concoction (always served in a Styrofoam cup) is unknown, but you don’t have to guess what you’ll feel like to75 years. And you’re in for a big treat – after a big wait, that is. It doesn’t morrow if you have more than one or two. When you arrive, note look like much; its bare-bones décor scheme inside and out defi- the number of folks in the waiting group clutching the signature nitely earns it a spot on Worth the Drive’s “serious dives” list. (And white cups. The Nicodemus could be a contributing factor to their you’ll have to ask your waiter to tell you the story behind the dol- afore-mentioned smiles. These three things should be enough to pull you away from lar bills tacked to the ceiling, since I forgot to ask.) Yet, despite all this, plus rickety tables pushed a little too close together, there’re the areas of this college town that are easier to find and quicker always more people than seats available, and the overflow is forced to access. But if you require more incentives, consider these: fat, flavorful cheeseburgers, thick-cut steak fries, fried chicken livers to wait out front. They wait in the heat; they wait in the cold; they wait in the and gizzards (if you’re into that) and cheap, super-cold beer. And you know I’m working hard to make my case when I quote poetry, but I think a little Robert Frost applies here: “I took the road less traveled by, and that Jennifer Kornegay travels to an out-of-the way has made all the differTuscaloosa restaurant destination in Alabama every month. Have a Steak in the Sticks ence.” That, and two of She may be reached for comment at j_kornegay@ Nick’s Original Filet House Check out more of Jennifer’s food those fun, fruity drinks (a.k.a. Nick’s in the Sticks) writing, recipes and recommendations on her blog, in foam cups. A 4018 Culver Rd, Tuscaloosa, AL Chew on This at (205) 758-9316

28 OCTOBER 2014

Around Alabama

The Harvest Run: 5K Run for Missions

Prattville • November 15 • Glynwood Baptist Church is hosting a 5K and 1 mile fun run to raise the money necessary to support outreach projects in the community and mission teams nationally and worldwide. A day of fun for the whole family includes door prizes and cash awards for first place overall male and female winners, as well as awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place male and female in each age division. Pre-race regristration fees are $25 for children and adults age 13 and older, $30 on race day. Children age 12 and younger are $15. The race will begin at 8 a.m. Contact the church office at 334-361-9180, for more information or register online at OCTOBER 1-31 • LaFayette, Jack-O-Lantern Lane. Homegrown pumpkin patch, inflatables, petting zoo, concessions and country store. Admission is charged. Call 334-864-0713 or 334-869-0554 for information or visit 7 • Elba, Atlanta Pops Orchestra will perform at Elba High School, 7 p.m. The orchestra’s performance will focus on romantic music from movies, popular tunes and light classics. For information, call 334-393-2787 or visit 9 • Montgomery, No Putts, No Glory. Miniature golf outing at Riverwalk Stadium benefitting the Cancer Wellness Foundation of Central Alabama. Nonputters welcome. Entry fees: $200/2-man team, $45 non-putters. Registration and information: 334-273-2279 or 10 & 11 • Ralph, 3rd Annual Bluegrass Festival presented by Baseball Country. Gates open 1 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday. Concessions, BBQ, open stage and free dry camping. Free admission, donations accepted. 10 & 11 • Selma, Kathryn Tucker Windham Alabama Tale-Tellin’ Festival at Carneal ArtsRevive. Swappin’ Ground at 4:30 each evening and Tale-Tellin’ at 6:30. Admission: $15 adults or $25 for both nights, $10 students 12 and under or $15 for both nights. Call: 334-878-ARTS (2787), email or visit the website at

11 • Auburn, HORSE U. Workshop for youth to expand their knowledge and skills about horses and equines. Begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Stanley Wilson Beef Teaching Unit on the Auburn University campus. $20 registration fee includes lunch and a t-shirt. Registration required. Contact Dr. Betsy Wagner, elw0001@ or 334-844-7503. 11 • Eufaula, 5th Annual Pet Parade of Eufaula/Barbour County. Broad Street, 9-10:30 a.m. 11 • Guntersville, Lakeside Quilters Quilt Show. Guntersville Recreation Center, Friday noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Featuring a variety of quilts, vendors and handmade items for sale. Admission: $3 children, under 6 free. Contact: Marquita Jones, 256-582-6510. 11 • Waverly, 23rd Annual Waverly Bar-B-Q at the Waverly Community Center, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Food plates served from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Door prizes, backyard bingo, greased pig chase, arts and crafts, general auction and more. 14 • Troy, Sally Mayes in Concert at the Claudia Crosby Theatre, 7 p.m. The Broadway and cabaret artist has performed both on and off Broadway and is the recipient of numerous awards. Tickets: $20 general admission, $5 students. Call: 334-484-3542 or visit 17 & 18 • LaFayette, Native American Festival/Pow Wow at the Chambers County Agricultural Arena. Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for school children and 5:30- 8 p.m. for the entire family; Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. family fun all day.

18 • Hanceville, 5th Annual Mud Creek Arts and Crafts Festival in downtown Hanceville, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission is free. Contact: Michelle Allen at hanceville251@ or 256-352-1214 or Bob Palys at 18 • Dothan, The Sandi McCool Champions of Hope. Breast cancer awareness event on the campus of The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. Running/cycling races and Kids’ Fit Challenge, vendor and information booths. SAMC Foundation office, 334673-4150 or 18 • Stapleton, 16th Annual Baldwin Catfish Roundup for the Disabled. Grimes Nursery, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Fishing equipment provided. Information: 251-937-5993. 18 & 19 • Cullman, 16th Annual Alabama Gourd Festival at the Cullman Civic Center. Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $3, children ages 12 and under are free. Contact: Pam Montgomery at 256-355-4634, or 24-31 • Robertsdale, Fright Nites at Medieval Village Halloween Haunted Castle and Evil Woods. Dark to 10:30 nightly, Friday and Saturday dark to midnight. Hayride through the evil woods followed by a walk through the haunted castle, $5. Call 850-572-1407 or visit for information. 25 • Atmore, 23rd Annual Williams Station Day along Pensacola Avenue from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free. Arts, crafts, live entertainment, food and more. Contact: Atmore Area Chamber

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

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of Commerce at 251-368-3305 or email 25 • Pisgah, Meeks Grain and Gin Fall Festival, 2066 County Rd 58 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Crafts, baked goods, canned goods, music, soup dinner and music after the festival 4-8 p.m. For vendor information, call 256-605-9004 or visit NOVEMBER 1 • Stockton, 2nd Annual Stockton Sawmill Days, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Baldwin County Bicentennial Park. Admission: $10/person early bird; $15 at the gate; $5 children ages 6-12 and free for children under 6. Call 251-937-3738 or visit www. for information. 1 • Samson, Log Cabin Museum Fall Festival, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Old time displays such as yarn spinning and cane grinding, food, tractor exhibit and vendor booths. Free parking and free admission. Information contact: 334-898-2181. 1 & 2 • Robertsdale, 14th Annual Mobile Renaissance Faire at Medieval Village. Entertainment from jesters, jugglers, magicians, music, food, games and more. Admission: $10 adult, $5 child, free for 4 and under. Call 850-572-1407, email or visit for information. 8 • Arab, 44th Annual Holiday Bazaar hosted by Arab Mothers’ Club #1. Arab Junior High School from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 100 vendor booths, concessions and silent auction. Vendor contact: Natalie Burke, 256-738-8043 or Like Alabama Living on facebook Follow Alabama Living on Twitter@Alabama_Living

OCTOBER 2014 29

Alabama Outdoors

Building memories Teaching children about the outdoors creates bonding experience By John N. Felsher


housands of sportsmen, young and old, will take to the skills and see how close he or she can get to a squirrel or rabbit forests, fields and wetlands across Alabama this fall to without spooking the animal. This teaches young sportsmen participate in various outdoors activities. woodsmanship skills. According to a recent survey by, nearly Knowing the value of spending time with his children, Dad 46 percent of sportsmen took at least one child hunting in the always tried to turn our outings into adventures. Even before I previous year. Most people probably start hunting because their could carry a BB gun, he explained the interconnected web of father, uncle or grandfather liked hunting and wanted to share nature. While walking in the woods, he took time to point out his favorite sport. Increasing numbers of young women take up tracks and animal signs. He taught us to identify various birds hunting each year, often to spend more time with their husbands and animals we spotted even if that meant taking home one less or boyfriends. The number of women hunting for their first time game animal in the bag. increased 25 percent between 2005 and 2011. I grew up fishing and hunting with my dad. He loved teaching Never compromise on safety Although Dad didn’t care as much about bagging a limit as young sportsmen about the outdoors and would rather watch a child catch a fish than land a state record himself. Dad always enjoying a good time, he never compromised on safety. From an early age, he pounded gun safety into used to say, “You can either fish or our heads. Whenever we wanted to take small children fishing, but you look at his guns, he let us do so with can’t do both at the same time. Dehis supervision. We never handled a cide what you are going to do and gun without first checking to make stick with it.” The same philosophy applies to sure it was unloaded. We never pointhunting. When hunting with young ed a gun at anything we didn’t want to children, Dad frequently carried his shoot and never shot at anything until gun, but rarely fired it. He preferred to we absolutely identified the target and watch children, or even young adults what lay beyond it so we could make who had never hunted before, do the a safe shot. If that meant not taking a shooting and would rather miss a shot and letting a game animal escape, chance to make a shot himself than that’s what happened. Whenever a take an opportunity away from a child. A young hunter waits until a more experienced hunter new person, old or young, came along tells him to fire at ducks coming into range. for a hunt, Dad always gave that perToo many sportsmen don’t underPHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER son a crash course in gun safety and stand this philosophy. They want to hunt more than they want to take their children hunting. Some made his rules perfectly clear before anyone loaded a firearm. To make an interesting adventure for a young sportsman, try sportsmen think young children should already possess the skills of Daniel Boone and yell at the youngsters when they make mis- hunting from a small boat. Federal laws prohibit shooting at takes. Instead of yelling, teach children how to do something cor- migratory birds from boats under power or sail, but people can rectly. Don’t do everything for a child, but let young sportsmen hunt from paddle-powered craft. The adult can paddle from the learn by doing and even making mistakes. Just make sure they stern and point out game while the child remains ready to shoot while comfortable in the bow. When hunting from a boat, sportsdon’t do anything that could harm themselves or anyone else. Make any outing interesting and enjoyable for young children. men can carry refreshments and take occasional breaks. In many Instead of taking young children deer or turkey hunting, where parts of Alabama, sportsmen can successfully hunt squirrels, they must sit quietly and motionless for long periods, take them rails, gallinules, coots and ducks from small boats. A shooting preserve makes another great place to introduce on a more active excursion, such as following beagles on a rabbit hunt. Even during the offseason, people can walk through a children to hunting. Shooting preserves release pen-raised birds, park or preserve and “hunt” without actually firing a shot. See such as quail, chukar or pheasant. Guides work trained dogs to how many squirrels a child can spot. Let a child practice stalking find, flush and retrieve birds. This type of hunt guarantees action and helps a youngster improve his or her wing shooting skills. Sportsmen can find shooting preserves throughout the state at John N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer Because hunting with a child takes effort, sacrifice and and photographer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He’s patience, many sportsmen prefer the company of like-minded written more than 1,700 articles for more than 117 magazines. He co-hosts a weekly outdoors radio adults. That’s fine, but a parent will never meet a better fishing or show. Contact him through his website at www. hunting partner than one created over time – the most precious and fragile of all gifts. A 30 OCTOBER 2014

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

OCT. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 NOV. 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

-07:37 02:22 08:37 03:37 09:37 04:22 10:22 05:07 10:52 11:22 05:52 11:52 06:22 -07:07 07:37 12:52 08:22 01:22 09:07 01:52 10:07 02:37 11:22 03:22 -04:22 -05:37 -07:07 01:16 07:31 02:46 08:46 03:46 09:31 10:16 04:46 11:01 05:31 11:46 06:16 07:01 12:01 07:46 12:31 08:31 01:16 09:16 01:46 10:01 02:31 11:16 03:16 -04:01 -05:16 12:46 06:31 02:31 07:46 03:31 08:31 09:16 04:16 10:01 05:01 10:4605;31 11:16 06:16 -06:46 07:31 12:16 08:16 01:01 09:16 01:31 10:01 02:16 11:01 03:16 -04:16 -05:31 01:16 06:46

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09:52 10:07 10:37 04:37 04:52 05:22 05:37 12:37 01:07 01:37 02:07 02:52 04:07 09:37 11:37 09:07 09:01 03:01 03:31 04:01 04:31 -12:16 12:46 01:31 02:01 03:01 04:46 09:16 08:16 08:46 02:16 02:46 03:01 03:31 04:01 04:31 12:01 12:31 01:16 02:16 03:16 04:46 06:31 07:46 01:31

03:22 03:52 04:22 11:07 11:22 11:52 12:22 06:07 06:22 06:52 07:22 07:52 08:37 12:37 01:52 02:37 02:31 09:31 10:16 10:46 11:31 05:01 05:31 06:01 06:31 06:46 07:16 07:46 12:16 01:01 01:46 09:16 09:46 10:01 10:31 11:01 11:46 05:01 05:46 06:16 07:01 07:46 09:01 12:01 12:46 08:31

OCTOBER 2014 31

Alabama Gardens

Go wild about wildflowers

Take a video walk through Katie’s wildflower garden at


’m still wild about them, even if they to-orange rudbeckias among them—all of wildlife-friendly features we’ve added to are running a little wild. which continued to bloom well into the our landscape, our yard is now designated That’s how I feel about the wild- fall. as a National Wildlife Federation Certified This happened without a drop of ir- Wildlife Habitat, something you, too can flowers my husband and I planted five years ago this month and that have, ever rigation water or fertilizer and we only do whether you garden on a few feet of since, enriched our lives and apparently mowed it once that year, in early winter land or a few acres. (Look for more on the lives of all kinds of fluttering, zooming, when most of the seeds had either been this in a future column or learn more at dashing, creeping and scurrying creatures. eaten by birds or had fallen to the ground, meadow came about in 2009 ready to come up again next year. Wildlife/Create-a-Habitat.aspx.) when we decided to convert part of our We were so pleased with ourselves and And keep in mind that you don’t have lawn into a more natural landscape. Our this enchanted space. Then a weedy reality to create an entire meadow to enjoy the goals for this one-third-acre benefits of wildflowers. Just plot of land were to reduce plant them in a flowerbed or the maintenance demands of some other small area of the our lawn and to attract more yard and watch them work birds, bees and butterflies to their wild magic. It’s best to our yard. use wildflower seeds that are We’ve met both goals, in native to the Southeast and spades, and in the process buy them from a vendor that we’ve learned a lot about the doesn’t add filler to the mix. evolution of a meadow and a You’ll get more blooms for the bit about how we could have buck that way. done it better. For more details on plantBecause we wanted the area ing and maintaining wildflowto be as natural as possible, we ers and information on seed used no herbicides to kill off Katie Jackson’s love of wildflowers is evident in this patch of bright sources, check out the Alaexisting grasses or weeds in yellow coreopsis. bama Cooperative Extension the area. Instead, a tractor-owning friend crept in that second spring. That was the System publication ANR 623, Wildflowers plowed the spot for us; then we hand- year that long-dormant weedier plants, in Alabama Landscapes, at scattered a wildflower seed/sand mixture which had previously had been controlled pubs/docs/A/ANR-0623/. Then go ahead, that contained more than 15 different na- by regular mowing when the area was a go a little wild! A tive southeastern wildflower species across lawn, began sprouting among the flowers. October Gardening Tips the area. Okay, we thought, this is only natural and, That following year we were rewarded still trying to avoid the use of chemicals,  Plant lettuces, spinach, turnips, with a spectacular progression of blooms, we opted to hand-weed the area, someradishes and onion sets.  Clean and oil garden tools and wash beginning with a blue mist of lupines in thing we continue to do to this day. It is out empty pots for winter storage. early spring that segued into an ocean of sciatica-inflaming work, but it’s also good  Harvest and dry or freeze herbs for bright yellow lance-leaf coreopsis. As the exercise and we feel so virtuous. winter use. summer advanced, the meadow became This year the meadow was particularly  Continue mowing lawns until no a patchwork of colorful blooms—purple weedy—we had a massive crop of too-tall sign of new growth is evident. coneflowers, red-orange gaillardias, yellow- goldenrod that we’ve been struggling to  Plant shrubs and trees. control—and it certainly didn’t look very  Turn compost piles and apply compost to garden beds. manicured. But its wild beauty lured in a  Keep bird feeders and birdbaths plethora of bees, dragonflies, damselflies, filled. butterflies and other beneficial insects as  Test soil and add amendments as well as hummingbirds, songbirds, box Katie Jackson is needed. a freelance writer turtles, rabbits and a number of other  Dry and save seed. and editor based in four-legged creatures, all of which we are  Take cuttings of tender perennials. Opelika, Alabama. delighted to see. Contact her at  Plant a winter cover crop (ryegrass, katielamarjackson@ etc.) to protect and enrich soil. In fact, thanks to this wildfl ower patch as well as some other native plants and 32 OCTOBER 2014

@alabama_living @alabama_living

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OCTOBER 2014 33

Wild Game Alabama Gardens

Cook of the month: Nick Batchelor, Covington EC Venison Chili 3 cups venison meat, cubed 2 large onions, cubed 1 14-ounce bottle catsup 1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes 1 15-ounce can kidney beans 2 cups water

1 tablespoon chili powder 1 teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon paprika 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tablespoons butter

Sauté onions, garlic, paprika and chili powder in butter. Add venison cubes. Stir until meat is wellcoated. Pour in catsup add tomatoes. Stir until well blended. Bring to a boil. Add water and cook for 20 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and brown sugar. Add beans. Simmer for 11⁄2 hours.

Photo by Michael Cornelison


at the Alabama National Fair The Alabama National Fair comes to Montgomery Oct. 3-13 and Alabama Living is sponsoring a cooking contest in the Creative Living Center. Prizes are $500 for First Place, $250 for Second place and $100 for third place. Enter your original recipe using a crock pot with at least one Alabama-made ingredient. For more rules, information and to register, visit

One question is heard many times in Alabama kitchens: What are we going to do with all this deer meat? Thanks to our readers, we have some good recipes to share which will help answer that question! We hope to visit with you at the Alabama National Fair this month, especially during our cooking contest at the Creative Living Center, “Crockin It with Alabama Living.” If you haven’t already registered, go to and your recipe could win $500! I want to thank you for submitting your recipes: It’s so fun to see the submissions each month. Keep sharing your recipes! Mary Tyler Spivey is a graduate of Huntingdon College where she studied history and French but she also has a passion for great food. Contact her at

34 OCTOBER 2014



Alabama Rural Electric Association’s


Quilt Competition Our theme is: What put us on the map? Design your quilt square around the idea of what your local co-op area is known for. We need all co-ops represented!

Mail, E-mail or Fax form below for your entry package. Deadline to submit quilt square is December 31, 2014 Name: ________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________ City, State Zip: __________________________________________ E-mail: ________________________________________________ Phone: ________________________________________________ Cooperative: ___________________________________________ (The electric cooperative name on front of this Alabama Living.)

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Mail to: AREA 340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 or Phone: 334-215-2732 Fax: 334-215-2733 E-mail: OCTOBER 2014 35

Venison Bacon Wraps 2 pieces sliced venison tenderloin 12 bacon strips, halved Dale’s steak seasoning

Slow Cooker Deer Stroganoff 2 pounds of venison (cubed) 1 cup chopped onion 1 can (103⁄4 ounces) condensed cream of golden mushroom soup 1 can (103⁄4 ounces) condensed cream of onion soup

1 jar (6 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained 1 ⁄4 teaspoon pepper 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed 1 container (8 ounces) sour cream 4-6 cups hot cooked noodles or rice

24 toothpicks Non-stick cooking spray

Soak venison in Dale’s steak seasoning for 10 minutes. Lay out one piece of bacon and put one piece of venison on top of bacon. Roll up like a jellyroll. Secure with a toothpick. Place in baking pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray (Cook uses a cast iron skillet). Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until bacon is crisp. Cloressia Mattox, Cullman EC

In a 31⁄2 to 41⁄2 quart slow cooker, mix venison, onion, soups, mushrooms and pepper. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 10 hours or until venison is very tender. Stir cream cheese into venison mixture until melted. Stir sour cream into venison mixture. Serve over noodles or rice. Kathy Reynolds, Tombigbee EC

Deer Salad Venison Pickle Relish Onions, chopped Eggs, hardboiled Salt

Pepper Mayonnaise Apples, chopped (optional)

Boil venison until tender. Remove any bone and put venison through food processor. Mix according to your taste: meat, pickle relish, chopped onions, chopped hardboiled eggs, pepper, salt and mayonnaise. Add chopped apples if desired. Mix well and chill for a couple of hours. Serve with cracker, on toast or as a sandwich filling. Elaine McIntyre, Clarke-Washington EMC 36 OCTOBER 2014

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

Venison Roast 1 pound venison roast, cut to fit in crock pot 1 small onion, sliced 1 small bell pepper, sliced 1 ⁄2 cup Worcestershire sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced,

or 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon seasoned salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 cup freshly brewed black coffee

Rub seasoned salt and pepper on roast. Place in crockpot. Cover with onion and pepper rings, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, coffee and enough water to completely cover roast. Cook on low heat 6-8 hrs. or overnight. It will be fork tender. Serve as beef. Tender enough for barbecued sandwiches. Becky Chappelle, Cullman EC

You could win $50! Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: December January February

Holiday Cakes Soups Homemade Bread

Wild Pigeon Pie 6 young wild pigeons 1 onion 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1 1 1

tablespoon flour bay leaf sprig thyme sprig parsley pie pastry

Clean pigeons. Loosen the joints with a knife without separating them. Put into a stew pan with above ingredients and make a plain fricassee*. Let them cook until tender and season with salt and pepper. Cut the pigeons into small pieces about two inches in length. Prepare a vol au vent** pastry and fill a two-quart tin pan with pie pastry (always bake the under crust first). Pour in pigeons and gravy, cover with more vol au vent pastry and let bake in a 350 degree oven until the top crust is nicely browned. *a fricassee is meat, browned lightly, stewed, and served in a sauce made with its own stock. **Puffed pastry Michael Williams, Joe Wheeler EMC

October 15 November 15 December 15

Submit online at email to mail to: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Venison Casserole 2 pounds venison meat, cubed 1 can mushroom soup

1 package dry onion soup mix 1 cup canned tomatoes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place meat in casserole and add mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and tomatoes. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours. Edwina Bell, Clarke-Washington EMC

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

OCTOBER 2014 37

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Closing Deadlines (in our office:

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FIND OUT HOW TO SAVE 20% ON GIFT BASKETS, Flowers, Cookies Bouquets and More EVERYDAY! Text or Phone (251)454-5519 or Email

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GULF SHORES PLANTATION - GULF view, beach side, 2 bedrooms / 2 baths, no smoking / no pets. Owner rates (205)339-3850

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ORANGE BEACH CONDO: 2BR 2BA - BEAUTIFUL VIEW overlooking gulf. Email for SPECIAL fall rates.

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

DISNEY – 15 MIN: 5BR / 3BA, private pool – www., (251)504-5756

USED PORTABLE SAWMILLS – BUY / Sell. Call Sawmill Exchange (800)459-2148 or 713-sawmill. USA & Canada – www.sawmillexchange. com LUMBER FOR SALE: CIRCULAR Saw Red & White Oak, Hickory, Ash - $1.20 BFT; Heart Pine - $5.00 BFT – 5” Treated Round: One Side Flat Fence Post 8 FT Long $9.50 each

38  OCTOBER 2014

Vacation Rentals

GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie12@centurytel. net, (256)599-5552 SMOKIES TOWNSEND, TN – 2BR / 2BA, Secluded Log Home, Jacuzzi, Fireplace, Wrap-Around Porch, Charcoal Grill. (865)320-4216,

CABIN IN MENTONE – 2/2, BROW view, hottub – For rent $100 / Night or Sale $199,000 – (706)767-0177

GULF SHORES PLANTATION CONDO - 2/2, Beach Side, Adjacent to Kiva Dunes Golf, Outdoor Pools, Hot Tubs, Indoor Pool, Volley Ball, Lighted Tennis and Beautiful Beaches. Owner Rates (256)7971107, If so can you gailjgunn@

December 2014 – October 25 January 2015 – November 25 February 2015 – January 25

PIGEON FORGE 4 BEDROOM HOUSE – VRBO RENTAL 556992 – (256)717-8694, (256)717-9112 FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE – 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)566-0892, mailady96@yahoo. com GULF SHORES CONDO – 2BR / 1.5BA, sleeps 6, pool / beach access – (334)790-9545 MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 14 – www., (850)766-5042, (850)661-0678.   GULF SHORES RENTAL– GREAT Rates! (256)490-4025, (256)5235154 or LOG CABINS FOR RENT BY OWNER near PIGEON FORGE (865)712-7633 GULF SHORES COTTAGE – WATERFRONT, 2 / 1, PET FRIENDLY – Rates and Calendar online http://

Camping / Hunting / Fishing ANDALUSIA AREA RV CAMPGROUND FOR HUNTERS / FISHERMAN, on Point ‘A’ Lake Nightly, weekly & monthly rates Reservations (334)388-0342, www.

Real Estate Sales ESTABLISHED CLARKE COUNTY BUSINESS FOR SALE - Shield’s Hardware & Feed, Coffeeville, AL. Located on Hwy. 69 near Coffeeville Lock & Dam - Local customer base, hunters, fishermen, cattlemen. (251)276-3276 UNWANTED LAND? INHERITED LOT? Tired of paying property taxes on land you have no use for?  www. or call (843)200-5617 ELBERTA, ALABAMA RV RESORT LOT FOR SALE OR RENT – (850)932-3399. SECTION, AL – BEAUTIFUL PROPERTY WITH BLUFF VIEW – Great hunting location. Up to 190 acres, sold in tracts or as a whole $2,100 per acre. Call Greg Henderson (256)302-1192 at Main Street Realty Plus (256)400-1335 PERDIDO RIVER WATERFRONT – SEMINOLE, AL - 3 BR, 1 BATH, Large den, furnished, Boat house, 3 storage bldgs. - $195,000 – (850)572-7575

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; 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.

Travel CARIBBEAN CRUISES AT THE LOWEST PRICE – (256)974-0500 or (800)726-0954

Musical Notes

MUSIC”. Chording, runs, fills $12.95 Both $24. Davidsons, 6727AR Metcalf, Shawnee Missions, Kansas 66204 – (913)262-4982


PIANOS TUNED, REPAIRED, refinished. Box 171, Coy, AL 36435. 334-337-4503

WWW.2HOMESCHOOL.ORG – OPEN YEAR ROUND K-12 enrollment. Contact Dr. Cerny (256)653-2593


BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER correspondence study. Founded in

Alabama Living

1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 7558 West Thunderbird Road, Ste. 1 - #114, Peoria, Arizona 85381.

records and references. (256)796-2893

FREE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE – write to P.O. Box 52, Trinity, AL, 35673

GROW MUSCADINES AND BLACKBERRIES , half dollar size – We offer over 200 varieties of Fruit and Nut Trees plus Vines and Berry Plants . Free color catalog. 1-800733-0324. Ison’s Nursery, P.O. Box 190, Brooks, GA 30205 Since 1934

Critters CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. Registered, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet

Fruits / Nuts / Berries

OCTOBER 2014  39

Safe @ Home

Treestand maintenance could save your life By Chris Nix, wildlife biologist, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries


ach year, thousands of hunters climb trees in excess of 20 feet and hunt from platforms that they might not have inspected before hunting season. These hunters are subject to injury or death due to simple neglect of their equipment. Hunters should include a thorough treestand maintenance program immediately after the hunting season before storing the stand as well as just before the next season. With such a variety of stands on the market and many people using homemade stands, the complexity of maintenance will vary greatly.

When you head out to go hunting this fall, Michael Kelley, senior manager of safety and loss control for Alabama Rural Electric Association, has some advice: • Make sure to let your friends or fellow hunters know when and where you plan to hunt. Many hunters are lost each year due to health complications or accidents (falls) because no one knew their whereabouts. • Always have a reliable method of communications when hunting alone. • Inspect all fixed climbing stands and shooting houses for damage, especially after high winds and storms. High winds will cause fixed tree stands to flex and move, making anchor points loose. Contact Michael with any questions at

all ratchets are working and locking properly before attaching to the tree. Any material used for seating should be inspected for weathering and replaced if needed.

Climbing sticks and steps

Climbing sticks and steps are generally used to access lock-on stands. Climbing sticks should be checked for stress cracks around the welds. These are usually attached to the tree with ratchet straps. Check straps for fraying and make sure all ratchets are working and locking properly. Steps are typically made to screw Ladder stands into the tree; however, some are deMost all ladder stands are left in the signed with straps in places where woods throughout the off-season. The screws are prohibited. Screws on the majority of these stands are constructsteps should be checked for buildup of ed of wood and subject to rot. Another sap and wear around the threads. Over concern is that they are attached to a time, the depth of the threads can degrowing tree, which causes them to decrease to the point the step does not tach from the tree as it grows. All nails Hunter inspects treestand before season opening. function properly and becomes danor screws should be checked for rustgerous to use. If the step pivots, check ing and security, and signs of damage or rot to the wood should all pins at pivot points. These pins can rust or bend over time. be closely inspected. The platform base and supports should be If bent, consider discarding and replacing the step. For strap-on examined for rot, movement, insecure fittings and deterioration. steps, inspect all straps for fraying or dry rot. Some ladder stands are made of metal. Inspect these for rust spots and cracks to the welds. If rust is found, sand it off and repaint. Climbing stands As with any other metal stand, closely inspect the stand as preCracks in the welds are sometimes difficult to see, so look for cracks or flaking of the paint in these areas. Inspect and tighten viously described. Inspect all frame areas for bending or warping. all nuts and bolts as they can loosen over time. Also, inspect all Look closely at all pins, swivels, and hooks to ensure that they are not rusted. Closely inspect all ropes, straps and cables. Note: Any straps and cables for security. replacement parts used should be factory replacements. Contact Lock-on stands the manufacturer for suggestions if parts are unavailable. As with any other metal stand, closely inspect all welds. At Deer hunters do very few things on a regular basis that are times, it can be hard to see small cracks, so inspect the paint for more dangerous than hunting from a treestand. A routine maincracks. Rust spots can also be an issue over time, requiring sand- tenance program and the use of proper safety equipment can ing and repainting any visible areas. Inspect and tighten all nuts ensure a safe hunting season. Remember, “An ounce of prevention and bolts as they can loosen over time. Look closely at all pins, is better than a pound of cure.” swivels, and hooks to ensure that they are not rusted. Closely For more information, contact Chris Nix at the Alabama Deinspect all ropes, straps and cables. Damage from weather and partment of Conservation and Natural Resources District V Ofanimals can cause these to fray over time. Check to ensure that fice at 251-626-5474 or at A 40 OCTOBER 2014

Market Place

Alabama Living

OCTOBER 2014  41


42  OCTOBER 2014


Alabama Living

OCTOBER 2014  43

Our Sources Say

No cheeseburgers in Paradise


immy Buffet wrote his popular song, “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” about the pleasure of a wonderful cheeseburger. There are disagreements about whether Jimmy’s famous cheeseburger originated at Pirate’s Cove Marina in Josephine, Ala., or Cabbage Key, Fla. Maybe he was writing about both since there is no shortage of great cheeseburgers. Many of us appreciate a great cheeseburger. I have wonderful college memories of double cheeseburgers at the Smokehouse Pool Room in downtown Florence, Ala., (the best I have ever had — even better than those at Pirate’s Cove). Maybe you, too, had a memorable cheeseburger in your past. Sadly, our children and grandchildren may be deprived of fond cheeseburger memories if certain people have their way. A recently released documentary, “Cowspiracy,” promotes a cultural dogma that the single greatest environmental threat to civilization is the cheeseburger. Film director Kip Anderson said, “A lot of us are waking up and realizing we can choose to either support all life on the planet or kill all life on this planet, simply by virtue of what we eat day in and day out. One way to eat takes life, while another spares as many lives – plant, animal and otherwise – as possible.” James McWilliams, the vegan author of The Politics of the Pasture, states, “...modern agriculture and the cattle industry in particular are part of a global food supply system so damaging that the only moral solution is to give up eating meat entirely.” It would make a great Chick-fil-A commercial – cows handing out tickets for eating cheeseburgers – if it weren’t true. But like New York City’s ban on large sugared drinks, the concept of a cheeseburgerless world has entered the smoky realm of government policy discussions. Angela Tagtow, a self-described “environmental nutritionist” formerly with the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, was recently appointed head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s program to revise federal dietary guidelines. It is rumored Ms. Tagtow’s first target will be cheeseburgers. Environmental nutritionists argue that the cost of your cheeseburger does not reflect the externality costs of obesity and chronic disease, nor the damage of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the cheeseburger. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.

44 OCTOBER 2014

estimates that U.S. agriculture, including livestock production, accounts for 8 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the country. Foreign livestock production methods are less efficient, producing more greenhouse gases. It is a wonder Al Gore has not produced a movie on the inconvenient truths behind cheeseburgers. New York Times columnist Mark Bittman argues, “… beef prices don’t reflect these externalities, and industrial food has manipulated cheap prices for excess profit at excess cost to everyone.” That means the price of a cheeseburger is too low to cover all the external effects of eating a cheeseburger. Although Mr. Bittman thinks the price of beef is too low, beef prices have risen 14 percent since last summer and 29 percent from 2012. Those increases are primarily a product of high corn prices resulting from the government’s corn-based ethanol fuel programs and not the cost of externalities. Regardless of the reason, poor families are eating less meat today than two years ago, when it was more affordable. And, if we can’t eat beef, where we will get the protein, vitamins and iron we all need in our daily diet? The argument will be that vegans do just fine, but many studies show that higher beef prices lead to iron deficiencies and more cases of anemia – externalities on the other side of the ledger. Maybe the president will develop a policy on cheeseburgers similar to his policy on coal-fired generation plants. Remember that pre-election promise he is now fulfilling. You can build a cheeseburger restaurant, but the price of cheeseburgers will be so high you will go bankrupt. A cheeseburgerless future is ridiculous, you say. However, the ability of the executive branch of government to regulate is broad and often beyond the protection of Congress. I wrote an article about a year ago “Who Stole Your Truck?” about 2025 average mileage standards that will greatly reduce the number of pickups available to the public and greatly increase the price of the pickups that are available. The EPA recently implemented a rule that effectively eliminates construction of any new coal-fired electric generating plant. EPA has also proposed carbon dioxide emission standards that will close many of the existing coal-fired plants that provide the cheap electric power on which our country’s economic success was built. Water usage for agriculture is being greatly restricted in some areas. All that regulation was done by executive fiat and without approval by Congress. And this is only the start of the list. If it continues, what is next? Will there soon be no cheeseburgers in paradise? Jimmy will be so disappointed. I hope you have a good month. A

Alabama Living

OCTOBER 2014  45

Alabama Snapshots





4 Submit Your Images! DECEMBER THEME: “Photos with Santa”

Off Roading


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. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. DEADLINE FOR DECEMBER: October 31

46 OCTOBER 2014

1. P a r k e r W a l l a c e a t t h e 2 0 1 4 Mu d Nat i o n a l s i n Jacksonville, TX. SUBMITTED BY Dana Wallace, Brantley. 2. Rodney “Bear” Holsnback motocross racing in the 1980s. SUBMITTED BY Gaylene Holsonback. 3. Klain, Wesley and Sarah Barbee. SUBMITTED BY Sarah Barbee, Cullman.

4. Isabel 4-wheeling at Stoney Lonesome in Cullman. SUBMITTED BY Stacy Cartier, Vinemont. 5. Rock crawling at Palo Duro Canyon in Amarillo, TX. SUBMITTED BY Jay and Katie Reynolds, Dothan.

Best Alabama 20


It’s back! Once again, Alabama Living readers have a chance to vote on the places and things that make our state great! We’ve got some new categories this year, so check out the list and tell us what’s your choice for the “Best of Alabama”! advice for a newcomer Best historic cemetery Best annual event 9. 1. Best 17. moving to Alabama city/town with unique 2. Best or funny name

statue or historical 10. Best marker in Alabama

place to take a 3. Best all-time athlete (past or present) 11. Best Sunday drive

Best non-chain breakfast

18. place

Alabama grown 19. Best produce

4. Best Alabama export

random roadside 12. Best attraction

20.Best cook-off event

5. Best movie about Alabama

location in 13. Best Alabama for a selfie

seasoning, sauce, or 21. Best condiment made in Alabama

6. Best place to go on a first date

place to get muddy or 14. Best play in the mud

Alabama dish to serve 22. Best out-of-town guests

7. Best place to get married

outdoor adventure 15. Best destination

Alabama made product to 23.Best send home with “out-of-towners”

8. Best place to retire

outdoor annual festival/ Best thing about living 16. Best 24. jubilee/etc. in Alabama


Best article, feature, photo or helpful tip you read in Alabama Living in the past 12 months

Cast your vote for VOTE ONLINE Name: ___________________________________ the Best of Alabama for the chance to win Address: _________________________ City: ___________ St: ___Zip: ________



Deadline to vote is Oct. 31, 2014.

Phone Number: __________________Co-op: ______________________________

Mail to: Alabama Living Survey • P.O. Box 244014 • Montgomery, AL 36124 No purchase necessary. Eligibility: Contest open to all persons age 18 and over, except employees and their immediate family members of Alabama Rural Electric Association, and Alabama Electric Cooperatives; and their respective divisions, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising, and promotion agencies.

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