Pioneer Electric COOPERATIVE
Help on horseback Alabama entrepreneurs
EXECUTIVE VP/ GENERAL MANAGER
Terry Moseley CO-OP EDITOR
Casey Rogers 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.
ALABAMA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION
AREA PRESIDENT Fred Braswell EDITOR Lenore Vickrey MANAGING EDITOR Allison Griffin CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mark Stephenson ART DIRECTOR Michael Cornelison ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Jacob Johnson ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Brooke Echols COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Mary Tyler Spivey ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES:
340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.areapower.coop NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:
VOL. 68 NO. 9 SEPTEMBER 2015
6 Economic Spotlight
Learn more about how Hope Inspired Ministries is positively impacting jobs in Alabama.
16 ‘DWS’ Alabama connection
ON THE COVER Linemen Heath Peavy and Ryan Salter working to restore power after a summer storm in Butler County.
Iraq war veteran Noah Galloway inspired millions as a “Dancing with the Stars” contestant. We caught up with him while he was dining on some good old-fashioned Alabama home cooking.
46 Tailgating time
Football season is here and it’s time to pull out the cooler, fire up the grill and try out some of our readers’ favorite tailgating recipes while you cheer on your favorite team.
When you see this symbol, it means there’s more content online at www.alabamaliving.coop! Videos, expanded stories and more!
National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 www.nationalcountrymarket.com www.alabamaliving.coop
USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311
9 41 46 54
Spotlight Outdoors Fish & Game Forecast Cook of the Month Snapshots
Printed in America from American materials
SEPTEMBER 2015 3
Contact Information: Business: 1-800-239-3092
Passing Savings Along 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
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: www.pioneerelectric.com 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
4 SEPTEMBER 2015
One of the greatest principles of cooperative membership has always been that co-ops function as non-profit organizations, passing along as much added value to the members as possible. Rural electric cooperatives, like Pioneer Electric, are unlike other utility companies who operate on a profit basis, often forgetting the consumer and paying far more attention to stockholders and dollar signs. We work diligently at Pioneer Electric Cooperative to put you, the members, first and to pass as much savings and added value along to you as possible. I know that you might be tired of reading or hearing about the financial state of the co-op, but I think it is worth mentioning one more time because it directly impacts YOU. So, please don’t give up on this article prematurely, I think there are some things that you are going to enjoy reading! As you already know, almost 7,000 of you that were members in 1983 received capital credit retirement checks this past January and we are very hopeful that this process will be an annual occurrence in the future. While checks totaling $539,030.72 have already been processed (and more every week), we are still actively trying to locate as many former members as possible that have unclaimed retirements. You might recall the unclaimed capital credit retirements listing in the July magazine, which is also on our website. Please help us locate these individuals, or their relatives, by looking back and providing us with current contact information. Likewise, if you have a check that is past the delinquent date still to
be cashed, please bring the original check by our oﬃce and we will be happy to reissue you a new check. Some of you were not members in 1983 and might be wondering what Pioneer Electric can do for you. Well, I am excited to announce that its been approved by the Board of Trustees to pass along a tax credit rebate totaling $138,601.54 to members of record in 2007. This is the second of a two step process for returning dollars to our membership in 2015 and will be seen as a rebate or discount line item on your October bill. This rebate is the result of a tax refund established in 2007 by the State of Alabama. Beginning that year, Pioneer started allotting these tax refund dollars to the membership on the same basis in which we allocate capital credits. These rebate dollars are accounted for separately from capital credits, but now that we are legally allowed to repay capital credits, the Board of Trustees feels that we are also in an acceptable financial state to pass these dollars along to members as well. Additionally, programs such as our Co-op Connections Program and Energy Eﬃciency Rebate Programs are a few ways that we try to pass savings along to members. I encourage you to check out our website or call one of our oﬃces to learn more about these savings and other programs that are available to you as members. Lastly, I would like to express that the Pioneer Electric Board of Trustees, staff and I appreciate your patience and support as we take these steps toward reconnecting with Pioneer’s members as a more financially sound and member oriented cooperative.
Did you know PEC is on Facebook? “LIKE” Pioneer Electric Cooperative on Facebook for information about the co-op, energy saving tips, contests and more!
Pioneer Electric Cooperative
Couples Conference Pioneer Electric Cooperative recently sponsored the attendance of two area couples to the 2015 Alabama Council of Cooperative’s Annual Co-op Couples held in Orange Beach, Alabama by the Alabama Council of Cooperatives. The 40th Annual Co-op Couples Conference offered Greenville couples, Perry and Madison Castleberry and Jason and Jennifer Skipper, the opportunity to learn more about the cooperative way of
Perry and Madison Castleberry
life in a fun, relaxed environment. The conference included speakers from a variety of co-ops across Alabama, which allowed the couples to gain a better understanding of what cooperatives mean to our state economy. Both couples joined other couples from across the state to expand their co-op knowledge and participate in a variety of activities. Couples gained knowledge about what a cooperative is and how they do business as well as additional insight into the economic and service opportunities afforded by cooperatives. They were also able to exchange ideas, experiences and leadership needs in cooperatives and communities while making new friends. This collaboration and exchange of information allowed cooperative personnel to get to know the needs of younger co-op members to be able to better serve them in the future. Each year on the last day of the conference, all of the couples nominate and vote on two couples to return the following year to serve as host couples. This year, PEC is proud to announce that our very own Perry and Madison Castleberry were selected to return as a host couple. Surprisingly enough, Perry and Madison
Jason and Jennifer Skipper will be serving as host couple alongside Perry’s twin brother, Paul, and wife, Karen, who represented Southern Pine Electric Cooperative at this year’s conference. Outside of the planned sessions, couples enjoyed free time to explore the area and relax. For more information about the conference of if you are interested in applying to attend next year’s conference, please contact Casey Rogers.
2015 Annual Meeting: October 17, 2015 Please mark your calendars and plan to join Pioneer Electric Cooperative at this year’s annual member meeting on Saturday, October 17, 2015. The meeting will take place at the Butler County Fairgounds, located on State Highway 10 West in Greenville, Alabama. Members will be able to participate in the election of District 1, 4 and 7 Trustees, ride on the Touchstone Energy hot air balloon, enjoy live entertainment, enter to win “a year of free electricity” (a savings of more than $2,000), bill credits and more! For more information be sure to look in the October magazine and check out the PEC website or Facebook page.
SEPTEMBER 2015 5
Economic Spotlight :
Providing Hope for Jobs
Michael Coleman, Jr.
ichael Coleman, Jr. finished 21 years in the Army, and was serving as a minister in a church in Fort Deposit, Alabama when he knew he was being called to help people in a different way. After a short stint at a Montgomery benevolent center, Michael decided he wanted to embrace the old saying, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” It was time to teach fishing! “I saw that most outreach programs either had some sort of food program or short, one day courses that solved immediate needs, but did not provide long term solutions. I was looking for a way change lives for good, to get folks to a point that they had jobs and could take care of themselves and their families.” Michael went “all in,” as he and his wife cashed in their retirement savings to start Hope Inspired Ministries (HIM), a faith inspired non-profit program whose mission is “to serve the chronically unemployed by preparing them to obtain and maintain employment.”
each of its classes that begin with around 30 students. This speaks to the structure and accountability within the course; there are simply no shortcuts to success. “Some students drop out, and some get asked to leave. We set ground rules and enforce them, much like employers do. The key, though, is explaining to the students the reasons for the rules. Most of them don’t have an understanding of things that typical employees take for granted, like why showing up to work on time, with a good attitude and a good work ethic every day is important.
Students typically possess low skills and little to no education and come from extreme poverty, broken homes, and dysfunctional families. Many have struggled with addiction and legal issues. To be eligible, students are asked: •
First and foremost, are you ready to make substantial changes to your life?
Are you currently alcohol and drug free and can your remain so
throughout the course? •
Can you read at a 6th grade level?
Are you willing to commit to a 13week course, meeting Mon-Thurs 9-4 and Friday 9-noon?
HIM is located in downtown Montgomery, in a rent-free space provided by a local church. The students come mostly from the Montgomery area, as transportation is a big issue for the typical student. Monthly Bus passes are provided to each student to get them to and from class, and the class members are even taught how to use the bus system, as navigating the bus system, while seemingly simple, can be overwhelming to folks who have never used it and don’t readily ask anybody for help. “We thought that giving the bus passes would solve the transportation problems, but finally realized that we needed to make sure that the students knew how to use them,” Coleman said. This was a typical example of the philosophy of HIM’s programs—removing barriers to success. “We teach the students that they need to put themselves in a position to succeed, to make good choices, and to avoid people and situations that create problems for them,” Coleman says. The curriculum contains three core components: life skills, employment skills, and financial
Now in its fourth year, HIM has a graduation rate on average of 40% from
6 SEPTEMBER 2015
Pioneer Electric Cooperative
managements skills and is constantly being updated and changed to meet the needs of the students. For instance, HIM is adding a Family Wellness component that will focus on such issues as parenting, family relationships, etc. “We’re always trying to make the program better and more meaningful and helpful,” according to Coleman. The students study ways to make themselves more attractive to potential employers. In addition to the core curriculum, HIM offers students GED preparation through the GED Academy, which individually tailors study plans for the students. In week 7 of the 13 week course, the students are placed in unpaid internships two days each week to gain work experience and on-the-job training. The internships last a total of 6 weeks. The employers aren’t required to hire them after the internship is over, but many do. The students are also able
to use the internships and references on their resumes. It takes a couple of weeks for the students to begin to trust their instructors. For the most part, the students have never been in a situation where someone was trying to help them without looking for something in return. “Their walls eventually come down. They realize that we are trying to help them, that we’re being honest with them, and that we are trying to help them build a bridge from where they are to being gainfully employed,” according to Coleman. “We also let them know that we’re going to walk across that bridge with them every step of the way.” HIM is a spiritually based program. “We begin everyday with devotional readings that refer to the issues that the day’s lessons concern,” says Coleman. “We don’t make students go to church, and don’t push any denomination. I just
know that I have been blessed to be in a position to help folks and I want to pass along those blessings to our students.” Coleman is in talks with a local church that wants to help HIM expand. “We’d like to be able to take on more students and have a bigger impact. A large dedicated facility, with room for more students and teachers would help with that.” At present, HIM depends upon local funding and is applying for grants to help meet expenses. “As long as there is a need, we will try to meet it; it’s important…we bring hope.” For more information, please visit: www.InspiredHopeMinistries.com.
VP Economic Development and Legal Aﬀairs
Energy Tip of the Month Don’t let vampires suck the life out of your energy eﬃciency eﬀorts! Unplugging unused electronics – otherwise known as “energy vampires” – can save you as much as 10 percent on your electric bill. Source: energy.gov
SEPTEMBER 2015 7
Discover the Cooperative Advantage. ABOUT AMERICA’S ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES
The nation’s member-owned, not-for-proﬁt electric co-ops constitute a unique sector of the electric utility industry – and face a unique set of challenges. Distribution cooperatives form the foundation of the rural electric network delivering electricity to 42 million co-op consumer-members. Generation and transmission cooperatives (G&Ts) provide wholesale power to distribution co-ops through their own generation or by purchasing power on behalf of distribution members. Whether it’s a co-op serving a remote ﬁshing village above the Arctic Circle or a co-op serving a marine research lab in the Florida Keys, electric co-ops share a single purpose: providing safe, reliable and aﬀordable electric service to their consumer-members.
CO-OPS ARE GUIDED BY
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Democratic Member Control
Voluntary and Open Membership
8 SEPTEMBER 2015
Autonomy and Independence
Members’ Economic Participation
Education Training and Information
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Concern for Community
Beer and barbecue The annual PorktoberQue festival, which bills itself as a less-than-traditional Oktoberfest, is coming up, with live entertainment (including live polka music), an indoor biergarten (beer garden), car show, cornhole tournament and barbecue cook-oﬀ. Admission is $4 per person per day, and children under 6 are free, but you’ll get in free if you wear lederhosen! All the fun takes place at the Houston County Farm Center, 1701 E. Cottonwood Road in Dothan, from 5-10 p.m. Sept. 25 and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 26. The event includes a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned barbecue competition. Proceeds benefit local schools and non-profit groups. Visit www.porktoberque.com for more information.
Food safety tips
What do freshness dates on manufactured or packaged foods really tell you? These tips are from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System: • Fresh meat and fish are dated with “date of pack or manufacture,” which refers to when the food was packed or processed for sale. • Dairy and fresh bakery products are labeled with a “freshness, pull or sell-by” date, which refers to the last day the food should be sold. The date allows you a reasonable length of time to use the food. • Other foods are labeled with a “use before” or “best-if-used-by” date, after which the food is no longer at its best but can be used safely. • Yeast and unbaked breads are labeled with an “expiration” or “use by” date, after which the quality of the food deteriorates. But the food would still be safe to consume.
Renew your driver license online
Sand Mountain celebration The 29th Ider Mule Days showcases Sand Mountain’s rich agricultural heritage. Enjoy the big draw of the day, the mule pull, and see draft horses, carriages and antique tractors. There will be arts and crafts, food, children’s games, music and more. The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 7 (Labor Day) in Ider Park. A donation of $2 per person over the age of 5 is requested. Call 256-657-4184.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) has updated its driver license system to include online scheduling for appointments at license examining offices, online driver license renewals, self-serve kiosks, digital licensing for smart phones and equipment upgrades at its offices around the state. For more information on these new services, visit www.alrenewal.com.
Want to see more events or submit your own? Alabama Living
Visit www.alabamaliving.coop to submit an event and view our calendar or email an event to email@example.com.
SEPTEMBER 2015 9
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month; be aware of benefits available Cancer can affect any one of us, at any time. Sadly, thousands of people under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer every year, and it remains the leading cause of disease-related death for children. In September, we honor the strength and courage of children who are battling the many forms of cancer, as well as the young Americans who have lost their lives to these terrible diseases. Social Security provides benefits for children who suffer from many disabling diseases, including some forms of cancer. These benefits could help with the additional costs of caring for an ill child. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled children who have limited income and resources. If you wish to apply for benefits for your child, you’ll need to complete both an application for SSI and a Child Disability Report. The report collects information about your child’s disabling condition, and about how it affects his or her ability to function. Here are the steps to apply. Review the Child Disability Starter Kit. This kit answers common questions about
applying for SSI benefits for children, and includes a worksheet that will help you gather the information you need. You can view the starter kit at www.ssa.gov/disability/disability_starter_kits_child_eng.htm. The SSI program is a “needs-based” program for people who have low family income and resources. SSI has strict limits on the amount of income and assets you can have and still be eligible for SSI. Contact Social Security right away to find out if the income and resources of the parents and the child are within the allowed limits, and to start the SSI application process. Fill out the online Child Disability Report. At the end of the report, we’ll ask you to sign a form that gives the child’s doctor(s) permission to give us information about his or her disability. We need this information to make a decision on your child’s claim. You can access the Child Disability Report at secure.ssa.gov/ apps6z/i3820/main.html. Social Security also has an obligation to provide benefits quickly to applicants whose medical conditions are so serious that they obviously meet our strict disability standards.
Alabama Living wins national awards Alabama Living magazine won two Awards of Merit at the annual Willies Awards sponsored by the Statewide Editors Association, a national group of editors of rural cooperative magazines. Editor Lenore Vickrey accepted the award at the group’s annual institute in August hosted by Ruralite Ser vices in Portland, Oregon. Freelance writer Emmett Burnett’s article on Johnny Long, longtime band director at Troy 10 SEPTEMBER 2015
Un ive rs it y, won t he Award of Merit for “Best Personality Profile.” The article, “Troy’s Music Man,” ran in the May 2015 issue of Alabama Living. The January 2015 cover of a Baldwin County family taking a “selfie” at Gulf Shores beach won the Award of Merit for “Best Cover.” The award recognized the work of Creative Director Mark Stephenson for his cover design and freelance photographer Michelle Rolls-Thomas, who
Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances program enables us to identify diseases and other medical conditions quickly that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. The Compassionate Allowances list allows Social Security to identify the most seriously disabled people for allowances based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly. Compassionate Allowances is not a separate program from the Supplemental Security Income program. You can learn more about Compassionate Allowances at www.socialsecurity.gov/ compassionateallowances. No matter what month it is, Social Security is here to provide benefits those with severe disabilities. If you or anyone in your family needs assistance, visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disability. A
Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by e-mail at kylle. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Which Iron Bowl do you remember most?
snapped the photo. The shot featured Tommy Doggett, power systems controller for Baldwin EMC, and his family demonstrating the best place to take a “selfie,” as voted on by readers in the 2015 Best of Alabama Contest.
Was it the 1972 “Punt, Bama, Punt” game when Auburn blocked two Alabama punts to win 17-16? Or was it the 1982 Iron Bowl when Bo Jackson went “over the top” as Auburn beat Alabama 23 to 22? If you’re an Alabama fan, you might point to the most recent game in 2014 when Alabama got revenge for the 2013 “Kick 6” debacle, beating its rival 55-44 in the highest-scoring Iron Bowl in history. Or maybe you’d prefer to remember 1985 when Alabama kicker Van Tiffin made a 52-yard field goal as time expired, and Alabama won 25–23. Did you miss the big game because of a wedding, the birth of your child, or other event? We still want to hear about it! Send your memories by Sept. 30 to agriffin@ areapower.com. We’ll publish a selection of submissions in our November issue. www.alabamaliving.coop
Growing older doesn’t have to mean becoming disabled Aging can come with a variety of health challenges. While we are living longer lives, more people are developing chronic diseases that shorten their lives. An estimated 133 million adults, almost half the adult population, have a chronic health condition. Research has shown that people who get regular physical activity, eat a healthful diet, do not use tobacco, and get recommended screenings and immunizations significantly decrease their risk of developing chronic conditions and the disabilities associated with them. One important step to improve health and help avoid chronic disease is engaging in regular physical activity. Experts say this helps control body weight, lower blood pressure, and strengthen muscles, which in turn makes falls less likely. An increase in muscle mass helps the body metabolize drugs more like a young person does, which means medicines can be cleared from the body more effectively. Physical activity has also been linked to a decreased risk of dementia. Older adults do not have to join a fitness center to
Letters to the editor VBS bracelets and lanyards Just read your article in Al abama Liv ing on V BS. Marilyn and I have just helped with our VBS at Centre First Baptist. We were t he old gray-haired people that you remembered teaching you. Marilyn had the third graders and I had “KP” duty in the kitchen. You know it is so sad that for some of these kids, it is the only time they hear anything about Jesus. I do think it is a valuable experience for most youngsters. I have fond memories of making bracelets and lanyards out of different colored gimp. Enjoy reading your articles. Ted Bridges, Leesburg Alabama Living
engage in physical activity--less strenuous activities such as walking, gardening, or activities that simply keep them moving is enough. Studies show that staying at a healthy weight by eating right has benefits that include decreasing the risk of diabetes and certain types of arthritis. One way to have a healthier diet is to eat more fruits and vegetables every day. People who consume at least five cups of fruits and vegetables daily have lower blood pressure, less cardiovascular disease, lower rates of cancer, better immune responses, and are usually leaner and have lower rates of diabetes and obesity. Health authorities agree that quitting smoking has proven health benefits, even at a late age. Many older adults contend they continue smoking because quitting offers no benefit to them. Strong evidence, however, shows that stopping tobacco use even late in life not only adds years, but also improves quality of life. When an older person quits smoking, circulation improves immediately, and the lungs begin to repair damage. In one year, the
Comments distrespectful I have been reading Alabama Living for many years and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. But the article by Hardy Jackson [“Vacation Bible School ain’t what it used to be,” August 2015] was extremely insulting to me and I’m sure to anyone who has invested many years in working with children every summer in Vacation Bible School. The comment about the elderly church ladies was so disrespectful. These godly women sacrificed much time to teaching our children about, not “religion,” as Mr. Jackson called it, but Christianity. I kept looking for something positive in his article, but I found criticism to the very end. I hope I hear something from you as to why you allowed such an article in your “family” magazine. Brenda Wolfe, Hanceville
added risk of heart disease is nearly cut in half, and the risk of stroke, lung disease, and cancer diminish. Preventive measures, such as getting a yearly flu shot and being screened for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers, are also important. Keeping an eye on other disease indicators, such as high blood pressure and the early stages of diabetes, can also make a difference in terms of the degree of disability people experience later in life. The risk of chronic disease increases with age, but growing older does not have to mean becoming disabled. Engaging in healthy behaviors greatly reduces the risk for illness and death due to chronic diseases. Visit adph.org/ for more information. A
VBS times have changed Enjoyed your Vacation Bible School column in the AL electric co-op mag. Times have changed: We had red Kool-aid and oyster crackers for snacks, about 30 kids, and 5 teachers. Wendy’s church just had snacks that complied with government standards on sugar and salt, peanut/gluten/red dye allergies, thus very expensive, 1200+ kids, and over 400 volunteers. The director could, no doubt, run a Fortune 500 company. My age is showing. Camilla Payne, Centre
Jim McVay, Dr.P.A., is director of the Bureau of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease of the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Hardy Jackson replies: No disrespect was intended. If I did not think VBS was doing good work, I would not have been there taking part. I should add that in my Methodist upbringing, Christianity was considered a religion, so at our Methodist VBS, teaching religion was teaching Christianity. I was only relating a humorous incident that occurred at our VBS. As for the gray-haired ladies teaching me when I was a lad, they were not shy about saying that they took every opportunity offered them to teach us about Christianity/religion. I am sorry if I offended you. The intent was to make you smile. Let us hear from you! Send letters to letters@alabamaliving. coop, or to Editor, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. SEPTEMBER 2015 11
Therapeutic hors By Alethia Russell
Abby Houchin helps Savannah Dennard walk after her horseback riding session. PHOTOS BY MARK STEPHENSON
Horses that heal
12 SEPTEMBER 2015
our-year-old Savannah Dennard has a simple command for her equine friend, Spirit: â€œWalk on!â€? she chirps, and off they go as Spirit carries his tiny passenger around the covered arena at Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equestrians, or MANE. Savannah, with the help of her instructors, uses the command to maneuver the horse before being dismounted. And although she had to be carried into the arena just 30 minutes earlier, Savannah, as volunteers hold her hands, now can use her legs to walk away from the horse. Therapeutic horseback riding, like that provided at MANE, provides relief for people like Savannah who have cognitive, emotional, and/or physical disabilities. Therapeutic riding centers serve people of all ages and disabilities, including those with attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, post traumatic stress disorders, cerebral palsy, obsessive compulsive disorder, and those on the autism spectrum. Savannah is the youngest student on the roster at MANE, one of six therapeutic horseback riding centers in Alabama. After having open-heart surgery at five weeks old, Savannah was severely developmentally delayed, but her family remains confident that therapeutic horseback riding will improve her development.
When something is fun, it makes it more therapeutic. Savannah prepares to ride.
orseback riding helps many with disabilities “She’s four and she’s not walking and things like that,” says for them. You may be doing the same stretching activities and Rebecca Dennard, Savannah’s mother. “We just do everything we moving activities as in a therapy session, but you’re doing it for can to help her catch up. MANE is great for that because it’s great a purpose and not just to do it. You do it to stay on the horse, for her core strength, and it also gives her some independence. because it’s fun, or because you’re outside and that makes it so When you have to be carried around, that’s something you don’t much more effective.“ always get. It’s hard when you have a child that’s so far developmentally behind, to have her play with other kids because they’re The healing touch of horses Not only does therapeutic horseback riding benefit the body, so far ahead. So this has been really great for her to hang out with but it also benefits the mind. Patricia people other than family.” Thorn owns SpiritHorse Therapeutic RidDennard says Savannah has just fining Center at the Mercy Seat in Prattville, ished her first session with MANE and and she began her work in therapeutic is already showing physical and social horseback riding after experiencing a progress. death in her family. She says her love of Participants sometimes arrive at horses helped her through it. the center in a wheelchair, says Abby “Horses have such a healing touch,” Houchin, volunteer coordinator at Thorn says. “I believe people are startMANE, but after riding on the horses, ing to see the prosperity and possibilities they are able to walk out because the for children to have an outlet in this that motion of the horse gives them more they may not have had before. It gives flexibility. them a sense of pride. It gives them “There are physical benefits,” Houchin the ability to call something their own says. “The motion of a horse mimics the that’s a sport, and something to brag walking motion. So often, for people who about because many of them can’t play have lower limb issues, we walk with a sport or join a team. It gives them a them after they ride.” One of the riding activities used to make The physical benefits range from therapeutic riding more engaging and fun. recreation beyond the therapy itself. It’s quickening of reflexes, better motor planvery unique because you’re developing a ning, muscle strengthening, and reduction of abnormal move- bond between the horse with yourself, the volunteers, and staff ments and spasticity. Gerry Rodgers PT, PCS, a physical therapist in multiple ways.” at Children’s Rehab Services, says one of the reasons he refers Each center has unique programs staffed with trained inpatients to therapeutic riding is because it is beneficial and fun. structors certified by SpiritHorse or Professional Association of “When something is fun, it makes it more therapeutic,” Rod- Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH). The theragers says. “You’re more likely to do it and be more engaged. peutic horseback riding centers in Alabama are all non-profit From a therapeutic point of view, if something is more engag- organizations, and rely heavily on volunteers, sponsors, grants ing, people are more likely to do it and benefit in the long run. and donations to operate. Monetary donations, grants and donaAs therapists, we can come up with exercises that may be good tions of equipment keep the many programs offered at MANE
Abby Houchin and Chandalyn Chrzanowski show off some of the tack specially designed for each horse and rider type at MANE. Alabama Living
SEPTEMBER 2015 13
For more information on therapeutic horseback riding centers in Alabama, visit their websites:
Beautiful stalls at MANE are home to the horses awaiting their turn to provide a therapeutic ride.
functioning during their three sessions year-round. “Most of our income does not come from tuition,” Houchin says. “A lot of our riders are on scholarship, so I would say about 88 percent of our funds are from grants or private donations. With 44 acres and two full-time employees, there are not enough of us to do everything that needs to be done every day. We rely heavily on the volunteers that we have. We have almost 60 active volunteers now. That doesn’t even count the special volunteer workdays that a church or big group wants to help with and we’ll have a big project for them to do in one day.”
Volunteers always needed
Chandalyn Chrzanowski, equine director at MANE, and Thorn say they always need volunteers and can never have too many. Thorn says her center needs more adult volunteers, especially after school when the fall session starts. She hopes her center can serve more people as a year-round facility, with the addition of a new parking lot and a covered arena on her wish list. The goals of participants like Savannah could become more reachable. For Savannah, “walk on” will one day not just be a command in her riding lesson; it will be something she can do on her own. “The biggest thing we’ve seen is that she’s asking for what she wants. She’s communicating better,” Dennard said. “Her physical therapist has commented that through the legs and the trunk and torso that she’s really developing those muscles and making them stronger. It’s been really great for her confidence too, that she’s been able to ask for things and she tries to walk more and she doesn’t fight so much when you try to take her up the stairs.” A 14 SEPTEMBER 2015
Special Equestrians specialequest.org 1215 Woodward Drive Indian Springs, Alabama 35124 205-987-9462 Equines Assisting Special Individuals easitrc.org 242 Summerville Road, Jasper, AL 35504 205-387-7486 Marianna Greene Henry Special Equestrians Program mgharena.com 29401 AL Hwy. 21 South Talladega, AL 35160 256-761-3364 Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equestrians (MANE) maneweb.org 3699 Wallahatchie Road Watch video of Savannah Pike Road AL 36064 riding Spirit at alabamaliving.coop 334-213-0909
SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center at the Mercy Seat spirithorsetrc.org 1962 Suncrest Drive Pra�ville, Alabama 36067 334-531-7019 Horses Oﬀering People Encouragement (HOPE) hopehorses.org 1301 Convent Road NE Cullman, Alabama 35055 256-841-6290 www.alabamaliving.coop
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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 categories, pick one answer for each category, or tell us what’s your choice for the “Best of Alabama”!
Travel 1. Best place to take the family for a weekend getaway. [ ] North Alabama mountains [ ] Gulf beaches [ ] Historic destinations [ ] Your Choice __________________
2. Best uniquely Alabama experience on your bucket list. [ ] World’s Longest Yard Sale [ ] Hiking the North Alabama mountains [ ] Attending the Iron Bowl [ ] Your Choice __________________
3. Best baseball player from Alabama (past) [ ] Hank Aaron [ ] Satchel Paige
[ ] Willie Mays [ ] Your Choice __________________
4. Best boxer from Alabama (past or present) [ ] Joe Louis [ ] Deontay Wilder
[ ] Evander Holyﬁeld [ ] Your Choice __________________
5. Best Alabama sportscaster/commentator [ ] Paul Finebaum [ ] Eli Gold
[ ] Charles Barkley [ ] Your Choice __________________
6. Best NASCAR driver (past) [ ] Bobby Alison [ ] Neil Bonnett
[ ] Davey Allison [ ] Your Choice __________________
7. Best Olympic athlete (past) [ ] Carl Lewis [ ] Harvey Glance
[ ] Jesse Owens [ ] Your Choice __________________
8. Best public golf course [ ] Grand National, Opelika [ ] Terrapin Hills, Ft. Payne
[ ] RTJ Capitol Hill, Prattville [ ] Your Choice __________________
Entertainment 9. Best singer/songwriter (present) [ ] Lionel Richie [ ] Jason Isbell
[ ] Emmylou Harris [ ] Your Choice __________________
10. Best singer/songwriter (past) [ ] Hank Williams [ ] Nat King Cole
[ ] Percy Sledge [ ] Your Choice __________________
11. Best actor/actress from Alabama (present) [ ] Octavia Spencer [ ] Courteney Cox
[ ] Channing Tatum [ ] Your Choice __________________
People 12. Most inﬂuential Alabamian (present) [ ] Condoleezza Rice [ ] Gov. Robert Bentley
[ ] Tim Cook (Apple computer) [ ] Your Choice __________________
13. Best historical museum [ ] Alabama Dept. of Archives and History [ ] USS Battleship Alabama [ ] Barber Vintage Motorsports [ ] Your Choice __________________
14. Best learning museum [ ] Gulf Coast Exploreum [ ] McWane Science Center [ ] U.S. Space and Rocket Center [ ] Your Choice _________________
Made in Alabama 15. Best craft brewery [ ] Good People [ ] Back Forty
[ ] Avondale [ ] Your Choice __________________
16. Best Alabama-made snack [ ] Golden Flake chips [ ] Wickles Pickles
[ ] Priester’s pecans [ ] Your Choice __________________
17. Best non-BBQ Alabama-based food franchise [ ] Zoe’s [ ] Momma Goldberg’s
[ ] Chicken Salad Chick [ ] Your Choice __________________
18. Best Alabama-based BBQ franchise [ ] Jim ‘N Nick’s [ ] Full Moon BBQ
[ ] Dreamland [ ] Your Choice __________________
19. Best Alabama-made non-alcoholic beverage [ ] Milo’s Tea [ ] Red Diamond tea
[ ] Barber’s milk [ ] Your choice __________________
20. Best Alabama-made automobile [ ] Hyundai Sonata/Elantra [ ] Mercedes C/M/R/GL/ GLE Coupe [ ] Honda Odyssey/Pilot/Acura MDX
Cast your vote for VOTE ONLINE www.alabamaliving.coop the Best of Alabama Name: ___________________________________ for the chance to win Address: _________________________ City: ___________ St: ___Zip: ________
Deadline toLiving vote Alabama is Oct. 31, 2015.
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 Alabama Rural SEPTEMBER 2015 of 15 Electric Association, and Alabama Electric Cooperatives; and their respective divisions, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising, and promotion agencies.
Noah Galloway and dance partner Sharna Burgess dazzled audiences on the most recent season of “Dancing with the Stars.” COURTESY ABC/ADAM TAYLOR
‘Dancing with the Stars’ contestant an inspiration From surviving a roadside bomb in Iraq to making it to the finals on “Dancing with the Stars,” this double amputee Army veteran is an inspiration to all. By Ben Norman
everal Sundays ago, I was eating lunch at the Old Barn Restaurant in Goshen, Alabama, when I noticed a real “cutie” smiling and waving at me across the dining room. Assuming she had mistaken me for someone else, I ignored her and continued eating. A few minutes later, we made eye contact again and she was still waving and smiling. I finally recognized her as Jamie Boyd. My wife and I knew when her she was a young girl growing up in Highland Home, and now she is the fiancée of Noah Galloway,
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who was a finalist on last season’s “Dancing with the Stars.” I walked over to give Jamie a hug and to meet Noah. After being introduced and chatting a few minutes, we finished our meal and adjourned to an old church pew on the front porch. “What in the world brings a pair of TV stars like you two to Goshen, Alabama?” was my first question. “Jamie’s stepdad, W.L. Massey, had been telling us on the phone about this restaurant in Goshen, The Old Barn, that grows their own vegetables and serves them for Sunday lunch,” Noah said. www.alabamaliving.coop
“Being on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ has opened a lot of doors, for which I’m greatly honored.”
“We drove down from Birmingham to give it a try. Man, this is someone has great expectations of you, and you try to live up to some of the best food I’ve eaten. We’ll definitely be back.” them, you will become what you are trying to be.” Like millions of other TV viewers, I had watched Noah and his Noah was selected as the winner out of more than 1,200 entries partner dance on “Dancing With the Stars” and had heard about in the first Ultimate Men’s Health Guy contest to be on the cover some of the adversities he had overcome. I told him I would like of Men’s Health magazine. “After I appeared in Men’s Health I started getting calls from TV to interview him and do a story for Alabama Living. “Sure, ask shows. ‘Dancing with the Stars’ asked me to come to Los Angeles. I me anything you want,” he replied. Noah says he grew up and went to school in Midfield, near told them I couldn’t leave my kids that long. They said, ‘Fine, we’ll Birmingham. “I was going to school at UAB when (the events of) send a dancer to Birmingham to teach you how to dance.’ “Sharna Burgess came to Birmingham and taught me how 9/11 occurred and I just felt I had to do my part. I was 20 years old, in good physical shape and just felt my country calling,” he to dance. She did all the choreographing, selected music, and says. “I joined the Army, finished basic (training), went to jump Sharna remained my dance partner all through the ‘Dancing with school and was in the 101st Airborne Division. I was on my sec- the Stars’ contest. Sharna and Jamie kept encouraging me; both ond deployment to Iraq in an area near Baghdad when my Hum- were great motivators. I thought we would be out after the first vee hit a trip wire and an IED blew show but we made it all the way to the Humvee I was in off the road. I the finals. This is when I asked Jamie lost my arm in the explosion, and my to marry me on the show. It was a leg later. The medics gave me first aid complete surprise to Jamie and even and medevaced me to a hospital in to some of the ‘Dancing with the Baghdad. I was then transferred to Stars’ staff. Germany and later to Walter Reed “Being on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Hospital in Washington. That’s where has opened a lot of doors, for which I regained consciousness, on ChristI’m greatly honored,” he adds. “Bemas Day.” cause of my appearance on ‘Dancing Noah says the doctors told him he with the Stars,’ I have been asked to would be in the hospital about two be on several television shows, award years. “I said no way, and after nupresentations, and invited to speak to merous surgeries I started traveling many groups.” on weekend leave back to BirmingNoah Galloway is a humble man, ham. In September 2006, less than a not spoiled by newfound fame. “I year from being hit, I was out of the have found that working hard will get hospital. you farther than you ever expected “I was discharged in November to go,” he says. “Just dig down deep 2006, after five years in the Army. and give it everything you’ve got. You Being discharged was one of the can overcome physical and emotional hardest things I had to deal with. The From left, Noah Galloway, Old Barn restaurant owner obstacles that you didn’t think you Amy Chandler, writer Ben Norman and Galloway’s fiancé, first thing was losing an arm and leg, Jamie Boyd, outside the Old Barn Restaurant in Goshen. could.” the second was losing a career that I Noah Galloway should know. He PHOTO BY PATTIE KING had found a home in. I went through went from lying unconscious in a some bad times after discharge. I drank too much, got out of water-filled ditch in Iraq to dancing on a national television show. shape and just deteriorated physically and mentally. One day, I As he says, “You just got to dig down deep.” A just decided I’m not being a good daddy to my three children Ben Norman is a writer from and I’ve got to change. “I joined the gym, started eating right, and started doing foot Highland Home, Ala. racing, running obstacle courses and other things to get in shape,” he continues. “People were great. They told me I was motivating Noah Galloway is available for them. They were bragging on me and this made me work harder. speaking engagements. Contact “I did this for a couple of years and was invited to do a radio him at noahgalloway.com motivation show on Jan. 4, 2013. This is where I met the girl of Watch Noah propose to Jamie my life. Jamie Boyd had a talk show on the same station. I had here https://www.youtube. just never met such a lovely country girl that was so pretty and com/watch?v=K70a8WumJoQ. bubbly. I got her to go to lunch with me and finally on a date. We went to a friend’s house to watch television on our first date, For directions to the Old Barn Restaurant contact Amy Chanand then out for dinner. “She has just been a great inspiration to me. Always telling dler at 334-484-3200 or oldbarnme what great expectations she has for me. Believe me, when email@example.com Alabama Living
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State’s entrepreneurs bring big ideas to life
Travis Perry, creator of the Chord Buddy.
Creators, thinkers, dreamers – they develop products and nurture ideas, often born out of a need unfilled. Alabama is home to a number of successful businessmen and women who have brought ideas to life – and made money in the process. In this issue, Alabama Living highlights four businesses that got their starts in our state and that have continued to operate here, creating jobs and helping to fuel the economy. If you know of an Alabama innovator worthy of an Alabama Living story, email us at agriﬃn@areapower.com. 20 SEPTEMBER 2015
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Keeping people warm and dry when nature won’t cooperate By John N. Felsher
Living in one of the wettest, hottest parts of the country, some Alabama outdoorsmen wanted products that would beat the elements without forcing people to hide from nature. So in 1996, they gathered near Lake Guntersville, the largest lake in the state, to found Frogg Toggs. “Our goal was to keep common folks comfortable outdoors,” says Will Fowler, Frogg Toggs marketing director. “The Frogg Toggs brand started with an idea to provide an affordable, breathable rainsuit to a market that was not being served by available products. We didn’t want to compete with an existing market presence, but go after dollars that had never been spent in the rainwear category before.” In the past two decades, the company grew into one of the most recognizable allweather apparel brands in the world today, producing lines of lightweight, breathable protective gear for working people. Now employing about 70 people, Frogg Toggs manufactures and distributes a full line of rainwear, waders and other footwear,
Based in Arab, Frogg Toggs makes affordable all-weather apparel.
personal cooling products and accessories made from various materials at prices most outdoorsmen can afford. “We serve several industries including fresh and saltwater fishing, motorcycle riding, agriculture, hunting, outdoor sports, team sports, running and cycling and general fitness to name a few,” Fowler says. “To outdoorsmen and women, the name Frogg Toggs means trust, affordability and protection. Designed by outdoorsmen and made to take on Mother Nature, the company was founded on the promise of total
customer satisfaction. To this day, we don’t introduce a product, make a change or commit a resource unless we know it will result in giving our customers even more reason to seek out and purchase the Frogg Toggs brand.” As the business grew, the company relocated from Guntersville, Ala., to a facility atop Georgia Mountain between Guntersville and Arab. After a few years at this location, the company moved to a 225,000-square-foot warehouse and office facility just outside Arab. “Being able to locate the Frogg Toggs headquarters in the town that we call home is a blessing to us,” Fowler explains. “Frogg Toggs owes a great deal of its success to its location. Arab, Ala., provides a great labor pool, easy access to major interstates, no traffic congestion, ample recreation opportunities and one of the best school systems in the state with a true small-town atmosphere.” For more information, call 800-349-1835 or visit www.froggtoggs.com.
Chord Buddy’s national sales strike high note Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from a story previously published in Alabama Living by Wiregrass Electric Cooperative.
Travis Perry came up with the name for his Chord Buddy guitar-teaching system when he was just 18 years old. But it wasn’t until the Dothan entrepreneur and musician was trying to teach his daughter to play guitar decades later that he actually set the idea into motion. Now, Perry has turned Chord Buddy into a multimillion-dollar company with a growing range of products and eight employees. Chord Buddy has appeared in sales spots on QVC, on the reality TV show “Shark Tank” and in another appearance on its companion show, “Beyond the Tank.” Like training wheels, Chord Buddy uses a device with tabs, allowing students to play chords with just the touch of a tab button. But as the student gets more comfortable, the tabs can be removed, allowing them to learn the chords and strum at the same time. 22 SEPTEMBER 2015
The product went on the market in 2010, but didn’t become popular until Perry appeared on an episode “Shark Tank,” when he pitched the idea to a group of investors. “Eighteen months prior to ‘Shark Tank,’ we had done $232,000 in sales, which I actually thought was pretty dang good,” he says. “Within 10 months of it airing, we had done $3 million in sales. Now we’re up to about $7 million. That’s what a difference being in front of 10 million people for about 15 minutes can make.” The product does well in the fourth quarter each year, when people buy it as a gift. To buoy the business in the other three quarters, Perry has branched out into education. “Ninety-two percent of music educators don’t know how to play guitar,” he says. So he designed a system that would allow music teachers to teach guitar through the Chord Buddy system. Perry continues to invent products and create ideas. Sometime this year, two new
products will come out: a guitar cable with a built-in volume control for an acoustic guitar, and the Beat Buddy, a Bluetooth device that allows the guitar to become a speaker and acts as a rhythm-training aid for learning the guitar. Information: www.chordbuddy.com
Chord Buddy uses tabs to teach students to play chords with the touch of a button.
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Cablz Eyewear Retainers
Keeping eyeglasses in place with style By John N. Felsher
In 2007, Ron Williams, a medical equipment supplier, began to exit a hospital parking deck when the strap on his sunglasses snagged something, flinging the glasses into his face. This nearly caused Williams to wreck. In frustration, he hurled his glasses away from him. They landed on a spool of surgical steel cable that doctors use to anchor bones in place when operating on complex fractures. At that moment, the proverbial light bulb turned on in his head. “That was the ‘aha moment,’ when I held up the steel cable and thought, ‘I wonder how this would do,’” he recalled. He envisioned making a device that could hold glasses in place, but avoid snagging because the stiffness of the cable would keep it suspended off the back of a person’s head. A year later, Ron and his wife Holly began marketing their patented coated stainless steel off-the-neck Cablz retainers to active sports enthusiasts such as anglers,
cyclists, paddlers and others who spend considerable time outdoors. In 2009, the company won a best new product award at the ICAST show, the largest fishing industry trade show in the world. Now, the Birmingham-based business sells its products all over the world. “We started in our garage in 2008 and moved to a 5,000-square-foot office/warehouse in Birmingham in September 2011,” Holly says. “This year, we’re moving to a 9,200-square-foot facility nine blocks from our current warehouse! Alabama is home for me. I grew up in Guntersville. Alabama is a great location to start a business because it’s centrally located in the Southeast.” At first, all Cablz retainers came in one size and one color -- silver steel cable with black rubber grommets. Introduced just this year, the company now also makes retainers out of fly fishing line and other products. Like the others, this product also comes equipped with patented ball bearing
technology and universal ends that fit most eyeglass frames, but they come in adjustable lengths and varied colors. “The main thing people like about Cablz is that it stays off the neck,” Holly explained. “It’s so light weight, low profile and just cool looking. With traditional cloth eyewear straps, anglers get fish juice, bait or sweat on the straps and they start to stink. With Cablz, people finally have an eyewear retainer that doesn’t get hot, sweaty or nasty.” For more information, call 205-8683662 or visit www.cablz.com.
Award-winning product’s now sold worldwide.
Finding fish in the depths for more than four decades By John N. Felsher
In 1971, several entrepreneurs met in Eufaula, Ala., on Lake Eufaula to develop a way to see what secrets the lake held in its depths. Calling themselves Fulton Electronics, they invented the first electronic fishfinding devices, marketed as Humminbird Depth Sounders. Over the years, Fulton Electronics became Techsonic Industries. The Humminbird brand now falls under Johnson Outdoors, but the company continued to develop many innovative technologies to help anglers catch more fish over the years. Today, people can scarcely find a boat not equipped with some type of electronic depth sounding device. Current side-scanning technology displays almost look like a movie of the lake bottom. “For more than 45 years, Humminbird has been blessed to be the leader in fishfinding technologies like patented Side Imaging, 360 Imaging and LakeMaster maps,” explains Jeff Kolodzinski, the Humminbird brand manager. “We have broken grounds in technology not thought possible and the 24 SEPTEMBER 2015
angling community has approved. The vast majority of our input comes from people using our products. Nobody knows better than they do about what they want.” Still based in Eufaula, the company expanded into making communication, navigation and other electronic devices. Today, the company sells more than $100 million worth of electronics annually in more than 100 nations. “We stay in Alabama because we have a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Eufaula,” Kolodzinski says. “Over the years, we have put millions of dollars in technological upgrades into the facility. We have trained staff to perform very technical functions in a highly competitive field. Our roots run deep in the community and in the anglers we serve.” Most recently, Humminbird won its fifth consecutive “Best of Electronics” award during the 2015 ICAST show, the largest fishing industry trade show in the world. Dealers and outdoors media attending the
show voted its HELIX 7 depth sounder as the best new electronics product displayed at the show. “Our goal was to combine our leadingedge technologies with solutions to the real-world problems anglers and boaters face each day on the water,” Kolodzinski says. “The result is a bigger, brighter, nearly glare-free screen with numerous proven, fish-catching features and innovations. For more than 40 years, anglers have relied on Humminbird technologies to enjoy their sport. We will remain focused on serving the angling community from our home community of Eufaula.” For more information, call 1-800-6331468 or visit www.humminbird.com. Eufaula-based business is boon to fishermen.
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Safe @ Home Send your questions to:
Poultry farmers alerted to avian ﬂu threat
Safe at Home Alabama Living 340 TechnaCenter Dr. Montgomery, AL 36117 334-215-2732
By Allison Griﬃn
o far, Alabama has been spared from the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) that has plagued much of the Midwest and affected 47 million birds. But animal health officials warn that farmers, both commercial growers and those who keep small backyard flocks, should be mindful of the threat of avian flu and be aware of its potential. The state Department of Agriculture and Industries has developed a set of biosecurity guidelines to prevent HPAI in Alabama. The effects of avian flu can be devastating, with a mortality rate of 90 percent for flocks that are infected, says Dr. Tony Frazier, Alabama’s veterinarian. “That’s very disturbing. Within a couple of days, 90 percent of your birds are dead,” he says. “That’s an enormous impact.” Just one gram of contaminated manure can contain enough virus to infect one million birds, according to the state agriculture department. The state’s recommended biosecurity measures: • Keep an all-in/all-out philosophy of flock management. • Restrict access to your property and your birds. • Thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment and the tires and undercarriages of vehicles entering or leaving the premises. • Don’t loan or borrow equipment or vehicles from other farms. If you visit another farm or livestock market, change footwear before working your own flocks. • Provide clean clothing and disinfection facilities for your employees. • Protect poultry flocks from coming in contact with wild or migratory birds. • Don’t bring birds onto your farm unless you know the health status of the flock of origin. • Quarantine any new additions for 21 days before introducing them to your flock. • Report any suspicious symptoms in your birds immediately.
backyard farmers, who may have a few chickens in the backyard to enjoy fresh eggs, should follow similar procedures: • Don’t go to public auctions or fairs or shows and then commingle with your chickens at home. • Have dedicated boots and coveralls that only get used when you go out to the chicken pen. • Don’t mix domestic birds with wild waterfowl. Keep their water resources separate. • Ask visitors to your home to not go in the chicken pen with street clothes on. Visitors should put plastic boots on before entering the pen. “It’s unfortunate that it has to be that way, but this is the real deal,” Frazier said. The safety staff of the Alabama Rural Electric Association (AREA), which represents Alabama’s 22 rural electric co-ops and publishes Alabama Living magazine, has kept a close eye on the avian flu since the USDA began documenting cases in December 2014. Because co-op employees are called on to visit farms with poultry houses, AREA encourages the co-ops to employ the biosecurity measures recommended by the state veterinarian. A
Protecting flocks from migratory waterfowl is important, Frazier says, because those migrating birds are the hosts for the virus. The strain that’s circulating now doesn’t make the birds sick, but they’re carriers of it. The domestic waterfowl familiar to most of us — ducks and geese that live around golf courses and nature parks — are genetically migratory, but they usually don’t migrate. The concern is that any migrating birds can fly in and share the virus with their domestic cousins. Frazier said that some of these domestic waterfowl flocks have been tested, and so far they’ve not shown to be infected with the virus. While the biosecurity measures were created with commercial growers in mind, Frazier said urban and 26 SEPTEMBER 2015
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In this feature, we highlight recent books either about Alabama people or written by Alabama authors. Summaries are not reviews or endorsements. We also occasionally highlight bookrelated events. Email submissions and events to bookshelf@ alabamaliving.coop.
The Redeemers, by Ace Atkins, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, July 2015, $26.95 With his Quinn Colson novels, New York Times-bestselling author Atkins has established one of today’s most acclaimed literary series in crime fiction. Atkins, a former Auburn University football player and Alabama journalist, has written 17 novels, including Kickback, released in May (which features the late Robert B. Parker’s famous Boston detective, Spenser.) The Quinn Colson books feature ex-Army ranger turned Mississippi lawman Colson, a young hero navigating a world of violence and honor in the fictional, small-town world of Tibbehah County, Mississippi. In The Redeemers, Colson’s nemesis, crime boss Johnny Stagg, has been voted out of his job as county sheriff. But after a book detailing Stagg’s secret dirty dealings is stolen and the new sheriff is killed, Colson is pressed into service to nail Stagg and save the lives of some of the people he loves most.
Other books sent to the Bookshelf Simulacrum, The Oaks Remain, by Julia J. Gibbs. www.theoaksremain.com (fantasy) This is the coming-of-age story of Veralee, who grows up protected on her family’s south Alabama plantation in a dystopian world divided by race and blood. Many have a plan for Veralee, including the mysterious man who materializes from her dreams, but only she can decide which path she will choose. Duty Driven: The Plight of North Alabama’s African Americans During the Civil War, by Peggy Allen Towns. Author House (local history) Towns, who lives in Decatur, lectures and facilitates workshops on genealogy, local people and historical places. In My Wildest Dreams, by Larynn Ford. Soul Mate Publishing (paranormal romance) This is the first in a trilogy about a small-town girl who finds the love of her life has a secret. Diamond in the Dark, by Phyllis Hain. Bancroft Press (memoir) The author’s story of surviving domestic violence and spousal abuse. Through a Woman’s Eye: The Early 20th Century Photography of Alabama’s Edith Morgan. New South Books (historic photography) An evocative collection of black-and-white photographs made by Morgan of Camden, along with essays that put them in the context of time and place. Gnome Legends: The Lost Crown, by Steven Moore. Create Space (fantasy) This novel follows a boy king in exile and the court historian who protects him as they journey through a magical world. The Life and Times of Bob Cratchit: A Background Story to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, by Dixie M. Distler. Create Space (historical fiction) The Alabama author offers this work as an insight into Scrooge’s clerk, Bob Cratchit, and the challenging and inspiring circumstances that shaped his character. 28 SEPTEMBER 2015
Section to Bryant, Mountain Trails 7th Annual 50-Mile Yard Sale. 5 days covering 8 communities. Contact: Chamber of Commerce, 256-259-5500 or Wanda Wilson, 256-632-2891 or 256-605-7729.
Arab, Arab Community Fair at Arab City Park and Historic Village. Interactive activities in the Historic Village plus lots of food, vendors, and plenty of activities for kids of all ages. Open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission and parking are free.
Mentone, Mad Science and Crazy Art at Little River Canyon Center, 11 a.m. Hosted by the Canyon Center Gift Shop for kids ages 6-10. Mad science days include chemical magic, special effects, bubbling potions, slimes; Crazy Art days will include crazy creations with buttons, strings, recycled materials, dirt paint and more. Admission: $5 per child to cover project supplies; pre-registration required. Contact: JSU Field Schools, 256-782-8010.
Montgomery, 45th Annual Labor Day BBQ, Antique Auction and Car Show at South Montgomery County Academy. Silent auction begins at 10 a.m., and car show registration is 9:30-11 a.m. BBQ plates are served beginning at 11 a.m. and consist of BBQ pork, camp stew, chips, slaw and bread. Camp stew can also be purchased for $10 a quart. Information: 334-562-3235 or on Facebook at South Montgomery County Academy.
Cullman, 17th Annual 10-mile Yard Sale on County Road 1545, beginning just off Highway 69 Northeast of Cullman. The two-day event is full of bargains, food, fun and socializing for the community. Information: 256-737-0604 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cullman, Reverse the Cycle Sprint Triathlon at the Cullman Wellness and Aquatic Center, 7:30 a.m. Proceeds go to support The Link of Cullman County’s efforts in reversing the cycle of poverty through encouragement, education, and employability training. For more information about The Link and to register online go to www.linkingcullman. org/events or call The Link at 256-775-0028.
Gulf Shores, Bulls on the Beach at the Flora-Bama. The two nights of high-energy, rock and roll rodeo will feature professional bull riders from across the Southeast including the stars of the reality TV show “Dukes of Cattle” Cody Harris, Bubba Thompson and Booger Brown.
Pine Hill, Depot Day at the Pine Hill Municipal Complex, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Arts and crafts, food, entertainment, children’s activities, car show, Depot Museum and much more. Admission is free. Information: 334-9634351 or Facebook ‘Town Pine Hill (Pine Hill)’.
Eva, Frontier Days in Downtown Eva. Beauty pageant and Blue Grass Festival on the 19th, a hayride on the 22nd, community singing on the 24th, followed by music on the Square on 25th and 26th. Parade, antique tractor show, car show, craft show and live entertainment.
Estillfork, 15th Annual Ole Timey Craft and Bluegrass Festival at Paint Rock Valley Lodge and Retreat. Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Bluegrass music, dancing, food and craft vendors and gunfights in replica Lodge City western town. Admission is charged. Contact: Eddie or Vivian Prince, 256-776-9411 or email@example.com.
Titus, 15th Annual Titus Bluegrass Festival at the Titus Community Center. Continuous music will run from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., arts and crafts booths will be set up, and barbeque will be available. Headlining the event is Prattville’s Glory Band; Solid Blue, out of Huntsville; Magnolia Drive from Hattisburg; and Cullman’s Baily Mountain Band. Admission is $5 for age 12 and older, and children are free. Information: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dothan, Syrup Making Workshop sponsored by the Alabama Syrup Makers Association. Landmark Park, 8 a.m. Each segment will include hands-on experience and each person will receive a bottle of cane syrup. Lunch is included. Admission: $25 for adults, $12 children 12 and under. To register, call: President, Earl Stokes at 334-494-3037; VP, Thomas Moore at 334-806-6769; Glen Dickerson, 334-790-9235.
-Nov 1 • LaFayette, Jack-O-Lantern Lane. Homegrown pumpkin patch, inflatables, gem mining, petting zoo, concessions and country store. Admission charged. Information: 334-864-0713, 334-869-0554 or www.jackolanternlane.org.
OCTOBER Notasulga, 15th Annual Blue Jean Ball. The annual fundraiser for the Auburn University and Auburn Montgomery School of Nursing will be held “Under the Stars” at Coach Pat Dye’s Crooked Oaks Hunting Lodge. Individual tickets are available for $125 each. Sponsorships start at $1,200 for a table for eight guests. Reservations must be made in advance. For more information or to order tickets, go to www. auburn.edu/bluejeanball or call 334-844-7390.
Falkville, Annual Massey School and Community Reunion at Massey Volunteer Fire Department, 2-5 p.m. Anyone who has lived, or currently lives, in the Massey Community or attended the school is invited to attend. Light refreshments will be furnished.
Flatrock, 23rd Annual Flatrock Festival, 10 a.m. Featuring live music, arts and crafts, handmade quilt raffle, cake auction, barbeque plates with special homemade sauce, petting zoo and cane mill demonstration. Information: Kaye Hall, 251-2300993 or visit email@example.com.
Dothan, A Walk to Remember at Westgate Park. Alzheimer victims and their families will be honored by one, three, and five mile walks. There will also be memorial and educational displays, refreshments, barbecue plates for $8, music, prizes and more. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m., opening ceremonies at 7:45 and the walk will begin at 8:30. Contact: Kay Jones, 334-702-2273. Donate online through PayPal or pre-register for the walk at www.wesharethecare.org.
Centre, Centre Fall Festival. Festival begins at 8 a.m. on Main Street with the parade at 10. Arts and crafts, food, antique cars, rides, music and more. Information: 256-927-5222. www.cityofcentre.org.
Millbrook, Angel Fest 2015 at St. Michael and All Angels Church, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Shop unique arts and crafts, the bake sale and our silent auction. There will be live entertainment, a children’s carnival, concessions and a Boston Butt sale. All proceeds go to help others in the Millbrook and West Elmore County communities. For vendor information or to pre-order Boston butts call the church office at 334-285-3905 or visit stmichaelandallangels.com/angel-fest/
To place an event, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations. Alabama Living
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SEPTEMBER 2015 29
Lowe Mill oﬀers haven for artists, artisans Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment hums with visitors in search of local food, art, music and handmade goods By Jennifer Crossley Howard
his former textile mill-turned-arts hub in the outskirts of Huntsville opens to the public four days a week, while other days are reserved for the 120 artists and business owners to fine-tune their crafts. While many of America’s forgotten textile mills become loft apartments or sit empty until they fall down, Lowe Mill has been transformed. Three floors of studio and business space house artists as diverse as sculptors, printmakers, photographers and yogis. The public can watch artists work at pursuits as detailed as painted glass and cartography. Catherine Shearer, owner of Happy Tummy Gastronomic Delights, has been here since the mill reopened seven years ago. Then, there
was no air conditioning, paved parking or outside lighting. “It’s come a long way since then,” she says, sitting in one of her booths. “It’s hard work of anyone who’s been a part of it for more than a decade.” She started in a trailer outside the mill and now she serves a lengthy menu of sandwiches, wraps, vegetarian fare, and sweets from her first-floor restaurant. Diner-style booths
Rachel Lackey of Green Pea Press at work on her 1914 letterpress. PHOTO BY LOWE MILL
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and tables and chairs lend a modern touch to an otherwise industrial landscape of exposed beams and concrete floors. Poles throughout the mill bear initials, love for Alabama football and some multiplication. Though known for rockets and engineering, Huntsville is investing in the arts by supporting Lowe Mill, says Shearer, a Huntsville native. “This is a facility unlike any other,” she says. “It’s a major thing for Huntsville.” She attributes its success to Lowe Mill developer and owner Jim Hudson and his son, Jimmy Hudson, who oversaw much of its transition. They modeled the mill after another mill turned arts center, The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Va. Lowe Mill calls itself the country’s largest independent center for the arts. Marcia Freeman, executive director of Lowe Mill, said she thinks every city should have such centers for artists of all backgrounds. “There’s not a lot of space for visual artists to come together,” she says. “People are coming to me and asking me how they can do this.”
A model for other communities
She said the city of Fayette, Ala. — population 4,619 — adapted Lowe Mill’s arts community by renting studios to local artists. Downtown Athens, Ala., 20 minutes from Huntsville, began High Cotton Arts in April after touring Lowe Mill. Two city officials from Florence, Ala., a longtime cultural haven in the state, recently approached Freeman about how to begin such an endeavor.
Most artists at Lowe Mill work seven days a week and are required to keep a certain number of studio hours. Shearer uses her closed time to prep food and take care of business. Rachel Lackey and Martin Blanco spend much of their closed time filling orders for screen prints, letterpress, T-shirts, posters and invitations. While print struggles in some forms of media, it’s alive and well at Green Pea Press, also on the first floor of the mill. The business, begun by Lackey, started as merely a place for artists to have access to presses. Instead, the press attracted clients eager for handmade products and images in place of slick, digital copies. Going back to scratch is a major theme at Lowe Mill. During a summer afternoon, many people peeked through large windows to watch intern Andrea Parham screen print. “We have a target audience walking in every day so we don’t even have to advertise,” Lackey says. A recent visitor described watching printers work the presses as being “invited back to the kitchen,” Blanco says. He joined Lackey in 2012 to handle ever increasing retail sales. T-shirt, poster, coaster prints are the bread and butter of the business, and the press began on-site event printing this year. “We’re kind of a backlash to the digital age,” Lackey says. “You see that in all aspects of artisinal food and music and handmade instruments.” She brushed her fingers across an indented letterpress business card. “It’s more real,” she says. A More information: lowemill.net
Alabama Gun Collectors Association
FALL GUN SHOW Special Show Feature Honoring
LAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRST RESPONDERS Displays featuring Bomb Squads, Drug Units, K-9 Units, Police Snipers, Fire & Rescue Units & Vehicles Plus Special and Tactical Units Birmingham-Jeﬀerson Convention Center (Exhibit Hall) 9th Avenue & 21st Street North
ALGCA.ORG BUY—SELL—TRADE New and used Firearms, Accessories, Optics, Ammo Over 700 Tables Largest Show in the Southeast ARMS – EDGED WEAPONS – ACCOUTREMENTS
October 3 & 4, 2015 Saturday 9 am - 5 pm Sunday 10 am - 4 pm
Admission: $8.00 Adults – Children under 12 FREE For more information, call 205-317-0948 ALL FEDERAL, STATE & LOCAL LAWS MUST BE OBSERVED. To learn more about the Alabama Gun Collectors Association or to download a membership application, Go to: www.ALGCA.org for more information on how to join more than 2200 current members.
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32â€ƒ SEPTEMBER 2015
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What’s In A Name? You’d Be Surprised By Robin Ford Wallace
Have you ever wondered how some Alabama towns came by their names? There’s always a story ... Arab: When founding citizen Stephen Tuttle Thompson applied for a post office for his new community in 1882, he submitted the name Arad, a Biblical place name he’d also bestowed on his son. The application was misread, the post office was established as Arab, and it was one of those mistakes easier to live with than fix.
Eclectic: Founding father Dr. Marshall Lucius Fielder was a practitioner of “eclectic medicine,” having graduated from the Eclectic Medical Institute in Cincinnati. Eclectic medicine was a 19thcentury alternative to, and revolt against, mainstream doctoring of the time, which featured mercury-based purgatives and extensive bloodletting. “Eclectic” meant that physicians chose from a variety of options whichever seemed to actually help the patient. The movement was founded by a Dr. Rafinesque, who had learned herbal remedies while living among American Indians.
Phenix City: Turns out the city was named not for Phoenix with an O, the mythical bird that regenerates itself from ashes, but for the Eagle and Phenix Mill across the state line in Columbus, Ga. Originally called just the Eagle, this cotton mill was an economic powerhouse on both sides of the border before the Civil War. During the war, it helped produce uniforms for the Confederate army. And ironically, it was just after the war that the Yankees burned it down – they hadn’t heard the news yet. When the mill was rebuilt in 1869, “Phenix” was added to the name to commemorate its own rebirth. What happened to the O? Hey, the owners were running a cotton mill here, not a spelling bee.
Vinegar Bend: Long, long ago, a container of a certain smelly foodstuff burst in transit. A humble little event, but the affected wide place in the road was named in commemoration – and so was a Major League baseball player and congressman. Wilmer Mizell (1930-’99) was actually born across the border in Mississippi, but he grew up on the Vinegar Bend mail route and during his career as a left-handed pitcher, and subsequent three terms representing North Carolina in the U.S. House, he was known as Vinegar Bend Mizell. (Maybe he figured it beat being called “Lefty?”) 34 SEPTEMBER 2015
Warrior: In the 1870s, “Warrior Station” was a stop on the L&N Railroad that served the Warrior Coal Fields. The coal fields were named for the Black Warrior River, which itself was named after the Mississippian chieftain Tuskaloosa, who fought against De Soto and for whom, of course, Tuscaloosa is named. “Black Warrior” is, apparently, “taska losa” in Muskogean. Towns like Loachapoka and Weogu�a also commemorate Alabama’s American Indian history; but so do Ballplay, which refers to the ancient ballgame played by tribes throughout the Americas, and Moundville, named for ceremonial earthworks built there by the Mississippian Culture. Other town names reflect the role of the railroads: Opp is named for Henry Opp, a lawyer who successfully defended L&N’s expansion into the area, and Sulligent for Mr. Sullivan, the superintendent of the Kansas City-Memphis-Birmingham Railroad, and Mr. Sargeant, the line’s passenger agent. A
Rainbow City: The name comes from Rainbow Drive, or Highway 411, which runs through town, says Janie Jones of the local library. Rainbow Drive was named to honor veterans of the 42nd, or “Rainbow” Division, a World War I cadre of National Guard units recruited from multiple states, so called from a quote attributed to Gen. Douglas MacArthur: “The 42nd Division stretches like a rainbow from one end of America to the other.” Reform: A note on pronunciation: “Some people say REE-form. I say Re-FORM,” says Melissa Richardson, a helpful employee at Reform City Hall. She said the town got its name from the famous wandering preacher Lorenzo Dow. When Dow arrived in the early 1800s to stage a revival, he found a rowdy little settlement without a name and with only a few buildings, but one of them was a saloon. Residents gathered therein exhibited little interest in salvation, and as Dow disgustedly left town he suggested they call the place Reform because it needed it. This Dow was a ragged Old-Testament-style voice crying in the wilderness, opposed to slavery, Catholics and Calvinists. He didn’t shave, cut his hair or change clothes – he only owned one set at a time. Some towns chased Dow off with rotten vegetables but in others as many as 10,000 people would show up for his thundering open-air sermons, in which he would scream, beg, cry and crack jokes. Enterprise: So dubbed by a Baptist minister named Hatcher because it was growing fast enough to challenge Elba as the seat of Coffee County, said Doug Bradley, president of the local historical society. “He suggested the name Enterprise in 1884 because it was an enterprising community,” Bradley says. The city continued living up to its go-getter name when it not only survived the 1915 boll weevil invasion that wiped out other cotton towns by switching to peanuts, but also became a tourist attraction when it erected in commemoration the Boll Weevil Monument, possibly the only American statue in honor of an insect. Alabama Living
Do you have an interesting story to share about your hometown’s name? Write us at agriﬃn@areapower.com
The Boll Weevil Monument in Enterprise.
Create a botanical sculpture
Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@ gmail.com.
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an something beautiful also be useful? Absolutely, especially in the garden! Take, for example, espaliers. Espaliering (espalier is a French word derived from the Italian term spalliera, meaning “something to rest the shoulder (spalla) against”) is the technique of growing a woody plant on a flat plane using the plant’s trunk and limbs to form a pattern against walls, fences or other structures or as a freestanding work of botanical art. The practice of espaliering dates back to ancient times when it was first used to grow fruit-bearing vines and trees in small spaces, such as inside castle courtyards or along crowded medieval streets. By growing these plants against southern or western facing walls and fences and pruning them into an open pattern, early agriculturalists also harnessed more sunshine, which lengthened the plants’ growing seasons and increased fruit yields and quality. While this cultivation practice is functional, it also affords an opportunity to create something beautiful. An espalier is a great way to enhance the looks of bare outside walls or fences, or you can build a freestanding trellis anywhere in the yard to create an espalier. All it takes is a little bit of forethought, some basic tools and a wee bit of patience. The first step is to pick a plant to use and the options are numerous. Many fast-growing trees, shrubs and woody vines can be espaliered, including fruitproducing plants such as apple, pear and citrus trees, figs and grape vines as well as ornamental plants such as camellias, gardenias, magnolias, hollies, crape myrtles, roses, jasmine, wisteria and honeysuckle (though choose noninvasive varieties of these last two). The next step is to pick a pattern for your espalier, and those pattern options are also numerous, ranging from simple T- U- and V-shaped designs to more intricate basket-weave, Belgian fence, step-over, palmate (fan), chevron or candelabra shapes or even less formal patterns such as serpentines or naturalized free-form designs. Once you’ve decided on a pattern, draw it on a piece of
paper, then use that drawing to develop a support system that will be used to train the plant’s shape as it grows. To create a simple support system, all you need are rust-proof eye-hooks or galvanized or masonry nails and thin galvanized steel or copper wire. Using your pattern, mount the hooks or nails to the wall in a grid then use the wire to link the nails or hooks to one another in the desired pattern. Another option is to erect a freestanding trellis or support system made from wood or pipe in front of a wall or fence. This technique can be a bit more time consuming or may require more tools, but because it allows the plant to grow a bit away from the wall, it can provide better air circulation around the plant and easier access for plant maintenance or to pick fruit if you’re planting a fruiting tree or vine. Once you’ve set up a support system, plant your chosen shrub, tree or vine six to eight inches away from any permanent structure so the plants’ roots have plenty of room to grow. (For more intricate designs you may want to use more than one plant and you can also use a potted plant as long as the pot is big enough to support the plant’s root system for a number of years as it grows.) Allow the plant (or plants) a couple of weeks to become established in this new location, then remove any branches that do not fit your design needs. Many experts suggest removing all but two shoots on each branch, then attaching the remaining shoots to the wires with twist ties or string. Snip off unnecessary shoots a couple of times of year and secure new tender shoots that fit your pattern to the guide wires. (Follow pruning recommendations for your specific plant choice.) When the trunk reaches the next wire up, allow two side shoots to develop (remove the rest) and attach them to the wires and keep doing this until your espalier is complete. This is where patience is a virtue, if not a necessity — it may take two or three years before your espaliered plant reaches its perfect form — but the botanical art you create will be well worth the wait. A
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Send your questions to: James Dulley
Alabama Living 6906 Royalgreen Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45244
You can also reach Dulley online at: www.dulley.com
Understanding home heat loss and heat gain
I plan to make a few efficiency improvements to my home and hire a contractor for the job. I would like a better understanding of how a home loses and gains heat so that I am not persuaded into unnecessary projects. Can you help?
outdoor temperature drops so that the temperature difference is twice as large, twice as much heat will be lost through the wall. This is why setting the thermostat lower during winter or higher during summer saves energy. The insulation level of a home also affects heat loss. If the insulation R-value is doubled, the amount of heat loss is cut in half. It never hurts to be as informed as possible about the Convection refers to heat flow from a fluid, such as air or water, projects you are considering. Using just a few of the moving over a surface. The heat lost by convection will also double proper terms and displaying if the temperature difference doubles, some knowledge can keep a contractor but it will increase even more as the air from attempting anything unnecessary blows faster. This is what causes a wind or unethical. Keep in mind, you will not chill factor during winter months. Radiation is heat flow, which moves know if the improvements helped until through space or air. This is how the next year’s utility bills arrive. sun warms us. Just as it warms you, your There are many DIY books about home also loses radiant heat to the outefficiency improvements, which would doors, especially on a clear cold night. be a great starting point. Each home Radiant heat flow is different in that is unique though, so what some books when the temperature difference is dourecommend in general may not provide bled, the heat flow increases by 16 times. the best payback for your specific living On a clear night, outer space is minus space. 460 degrees Fahrenheit, so the heat loss The most common misconception increases dramatically. You may have about a home is that heat rises. Heat noticed how chilly you feel standing by does not actually rise. Instead, heat, a window at night. On a summer afwhich is a form of energy, flows equally ternoon, a black shingle roof can easily in all directions. What does rise is warm reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which raair because it is less dense than cool air. diates heat down through the insulation This is important to keep in mind when and the ceiling. determining where, how much and what Now that you have this background types of insulation to use for various arInsulated fiberglass doors reduce conductive heat eas of your home. knowledge, make a list of problem areas, loss and air infiltration. The doors are recessed to The basic types of heat flow, out of further reduce air flow against it and convective such as a persistently chilly room. If the your home during winter or into it dur- heat losses. room is located on the northwest side ing summer, are conduction, convection, of the home, convection losses and air radiation and air infiltration (leakage). Conduction is probably infiltration from winter winds could be a factor. Erecting some the most common type. This is how the handle on a cup gets type of windbreak – a privacy fence or even planting evergreen hot from the coffee, or how heat flows through the wood studs trees – can help. inside the walls. Since heat moves down as well as up, check the lumber band The amount of heat lost or gained from conduction is pri- joist, which rests on the foundation. If it is not insulated, which is marily a function of the temperature difference (also called ^T) not uncommon, much heat can be lost by conduction moving out between the indoor and outdoor surfaces of an outside wall. If the of it. If this is the case, I recommend insulating the joint. While the insulation is being installed, caulk where the joist rests on the top of the foundation. This spot is often uneven and leaks air. Installing shades and closing them at night can block the direct radiant heat flow to the cold night sky or from the hot afternoon sun. This is much less expensive than installing new windows. Have low-emissivity, reflective foil stapled under the roof rafters. James Dulley is a nationally syndicated engineering consultant This dramatically reduces the radiant heat flow downward on hot based in Cincinnati. summer afternoons. A
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September season gives sportsmen a tune-up By John N. Felsher
nveloped in darkness, we waited as various frogs, alligators, birds, insects and other delta creatures added their sounds to the natural cacophony heralding a new day in this warm, humid wetland. Above us, rapidly beating wings whistled unseen overhead, followed by the sound of something splashing into the pond in front of us. In the distance, faint whistles and high-pitched squeals trumpeted the movements of other birds as small twisting black shapes rocketed over the grass before vanishing into the still dark sky. As legal shooting hours began minutes later, distant manmade thunder rolled across the marshes and bays, punctuated by loud blasts from closer hunters. After months of waiting, another hunting season had begun with the opening of the September teal season. During teal season, sportsmen may only shoot blue-winged and green-winged teal. A harbinger of fall, blue-winged teal migrate much earlier than most other ducks, sometimes arriving on the Gulf Coast by late August. Consequently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows some states to hold special September teal seasons to increase the harvest of this underutilized species. John N. Felsher is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He co-hosts a weekly outdoors show that is syndicated to stations in Alabama. For more on the show, see www.gdomag.com. Contact him through his website at www. JohnNFelsher.com
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“For many people, teal season is the kick-off for a new hunting season,” says Jud Easterwood, an Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources waterfowl biologist in Tanner. “Teal have very long migrations. Some of them go all the way to South America so they leave earlier than other ducks. FreLydia Lohrer shows off a blue-winged teal she killed. Teal season in Alabama is Sept. 12-27, with a limit of six per day. quently, blue-winged teal are long gone by PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER the time the regular duck season opens. Hunters bag mostly Duck hunting in the north blue-winged teal in September, but occa- and on the coast sionally, they bag a green-wing.” “The prairie pothole breeding areas in Small, fast and tremendously agile, teal the northern United States and Canada often fly in tight flocks maneuvering as looked good this spring so we should have one unit. These unpredictable, incredibly at least the same amount of ducks coming challenging flight characteristics endear down this fall as we did last year,” predicts teal to many waterfowlers. Often, teal fly Seth Maddox, a state waterfowl biologist extremely low and erratically zoom over in Scottsboro. “The Tennessee River Valdecoys. They sometimes appear out of ley is the major duck hunting area in Alanowhere and vanish just as quickly. Fre- bama. Lake Guntersville is a very good quently, waterfowlers look over their de- waterfowl area and holds the most wintercoys and see nothing. Moments later, they ing waterfowl in the state.” notice several “decoys” swimming in the The largest lake in Alabama, Lake Gunpond and can’t figure out how they arrived tersville covers about 69,100 acres and without notice. snakes about 75 miles along the TennesOf course, sportsmen must find teal be- see River through northeast Alabama into fore they can bag them. One day, swarm- Tennessee. On Lake Guntersville, the Jacking clouds of teal might buzz around a son County Waterfowl Management Area particular pond like a whistling tornado. includes several public hunting tracts. The next day, waterfowlers might only stare These include the 8,507-acre Raccoon at empty skies. Creek WMA, the 2,069-acre Crow Creek www.alabamaliving.coop
WMA near Stevenson, and the 8,003-acre Mud Creek WMA near Scottsboro. “The Jackson County area has a variety of waterfowl habitats with everything from flooded agricultural fields to flooded hardwood timber,” Easterwood says. “Raccoon Creek WMA offers some of the best public waterfowling in the state.” Along the coast, many sportsmen hunt the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, which contains the 42,451-acre Upper Delta Wildlife Management Area near Stockton and the more marshy 51,040-acre Mobile-Tensaw Delta-W. L. Holland WMA at the upper end of Mobile Bay. From north to south, the delta transitions from bottomland hardwood forests pockmarked by numerous streams and lakes to cypress swamps and finally fresh and then brackish marshes. Many open bays and sluggish streams bordered by marshes in the lower delta can hold good teal numbers. Some better waterfowl hunting places include Chacaloochee Bay, Bay Delvan, Big Bateau and Little Bateau Bays. “People can find many places to hunt in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta in different habitat types,” explains Thomas Harns, a state biologist in Spanish Fort. “Many people hunt north of the Mobile Causeway, but people can also hunt a lot of places south of the Causeway. People can hunt anywhere in Mobile Bay as long as they stay in open water and away from any houses. The waters off Grand Bay Savannah also hold some ducks.” Hunting teal in September closely parallels waterfowling later in the fall, only warmer and frequently with more bugs. Sportsmen still need to set up blinds, toss out decoys and remain stealthy. Since teal typically fly at first light or before, hunts seldom last long. On public land, scout three or four places to hunt in case other hunters arrive at a prime pothole first. A pop-up boat blind makes scouting easy and provides a good shooting platform. During teal season, sportsmen might also encounter some resident wood ducks in timbered tracts or mottled ducks along the coast. Hunters could also see some early migrating shovelers, which also have blue patches on their wings, or other species. Positively identify the bird before pulling the trigger. A Alabama Living
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
SEP. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 OCT. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
08:37 09:22 10:22 11:52 ---02:07 03:37 04:37 05:22 -07:07 07:52 08:52 09:52 11:07 ---01:37 03:07 04:07 04:52 05:37 --07:22 08:07 08:37 09:22 10:22 11:37 ---02:07 03:37 04:37 11:22 --08:07 08:52 09:52 10:52
02:07 02:52 03:22 04:07 05:22 06:52 08:22 09:22 10:22 11:07 11:52 06:22 12:52 01:37 02:07 02:52 03:52 04:52 06:07 07:37 08:52 09:37 10:22 11:07 11:37 06:22 06:52 12:52 01:22 01:37 02:22 02:52 03:37 04:37 06:07 07:37 08:52 09:52 10:37 05:37 06:22 07:07 01:07 01:52 02:37 03:22
02:22 02:52 03:22 04:07 02:07 12:22 09:37 10:07 10:52 11:37 06:07 06:37 01:07 01:52 02:22 03:07 03:37 01:07 10:52 09:52 10:22 10:52 11:07 05:22 05:37 12:07 12:37 01:07 01:22 01:52 02:37 03:07 04:07 09:37 12:07 09:07 09:52 10:37 04:52 05:22 12:07 12:52 01:22 02:07 02:52 03:37
08:07 08:22 08:52 09:22 10:22 03:22 04:07 04:37 05:07 05:37 12:07 12:37 07:07 07:37 08:07 08:37 09:07 09:37 02:52 03:52 04:22 04:37 04:52 11:37 11:52 12:22 06:07 06:37 06:52 07:22 07:37 08:07 08:37 01:07 02:22 03:07 03:52 04:22 11:07 11:52 12:37 06:22 06:52 07:22 07:52 08:22 SEPTEMBER 2015 41
Worth the Drive
Turn around! You don’t want to miss the ‘ugly biscuit’ By Jennifer Kornegay
t’s not nice to call names, but if you order a biscuit at The Biscuit King’s Fun Barn in Fairhope and think it’s ugly, it’s okay. You can even say so out loud. Owner Willie Foster won’t mind a bit. He was the first to call his breakfast creations “ugly,” and while the lumpy, odd-shaped, never-really-round mounds won’t win any biscuit beauty pageants, they could easily take the crown in a taste contest. They’re dense yet fluffy, buttery but not greasy, and they’ve got a surprise inside. Depending on which variety you choose, you’ll find eggs, cheese, bacon, sausage, jalapenos or some combination of them all stuffed inside each hand-fashioned puffball of dough. It all started when Foster was trying to recreate the butter biscuits of his childhood. He got in his kitchen and started experimenting. When he began, he didn’t know the difference between self-rising and all purpose flour, leading to a few notable failures. Living on a mountaintop in Franklin, North Carolina, at the time, these hard-ashockey-puck and flavorless flops got tossed down the mountainside for the birds (if they’d even have them). It took months and countless batches of biscuits before he hit on a winner. “I finally got it right, and they were delicious,” he says. Then, one Thanksgiving, visiting family asked Foster to whip up some of his biscuits for breakfast, and he figured he’d make some eggs and bacon too. “And then I had an idea,” he says. “I thought ‘Why put all that stuff on the side or just between two slices of biscuit? Why not put it all inside the biscuit?’” So he did; his guests devoured them, and the Biscuit King’s signature stuffed biscuit was born.
Jennifer Kornegay is the author of a children’s book, “The Alabama Adventures of Walter and Wimbly: Two Marmalade Cats on a Mission.” She may be reached at email@example.com.
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Biscuit King attracts a steady crowd during the week and long lines on the weekend.
He and his wife Nancy opened a small walk-up biscuit counter, the original Biscuit King, in downtown Franklin, and they ran their little spot successfully for about a year. “Then Nancy’s dad got sick, and we needed to come back to Alabama,” he says. They moved to Fairhope where Nancy could aid her ailing father and tried their Biscuit King concept on the good people of South Alabama. It worked just as well as it had in Franklin, and after a few years operating out of a convenience store on one of Fairhope’s main drags, they knew they had enough business to open a larger space. So they did, building their current place on family land off a rural road seven miles outside of Fairhope. “A lot of folks figured we wouldn’t make it way out there,” Foster says. But if, for some reason, you find yourself on County Road 24, you can’t miss the long, red steelsiding building with a cartoonish couple dancing on its sign. And if somehow you do, a giant sign a mile or so down the road, will implore you to “Turn Around! You just missed the Biscuit King!” Do as the sign says. Thousands of others have. One group of regulars, local farmers and retirees, shows up every morning, practically every day. Biscuit King sees a steady crowd during the week, and on weekends, hungry customers are lined up out the door. They’re there for ugly biscuits (definitely not the décor), and they’re prepared to wait, as the biscuits are made fresh every day, from 5 a.m. until closing at 2 p.m., and it takes a little time. If you order two, they’ll each be unique, since
the dough is hand-formed. “Every one is a little different depending on the set of hands that made them,” Foster says. Despite its name, The Biscuit King serves more than biscuits, including lunch fare like salads; massive baked potatoes stuffed with cheese, bacon and barbecue; sandwiches and more. The King does no advertising, relying on word of mouth and a few signs as well as some recent rave reviews in national publications like Garden & Gun to lure people to his realm of big, ugly biscuits. But when the baking and serving is done each day, running the Biscuit King is about more than feeding loyal subjects. Owning the Biscuit King feeds Foster too. “I am, and always have been, a people person,” he says. “So I love doing this. It’s really just a ton of fun.” A
Ugly biscuits have a surprise inside.
Pay Homage to the King The Biscuit King’s Fun Barn 9555 County Road 24 Fairhope, AL 251-928-2424 Mon.-Thurs. 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday 5 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 5 a.m.-2 p.m.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org; or call (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing.; We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards. Mail ad submission along with a check or money order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Classifieds.
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SEPTEMBER 2015 45
Let’s go TAILGATING!
Fall is on its way, and with the shift in seasons comes the kickoff of college football, the autumn activity that occupies a lot of Alabamians’ attention and energy every year. But our tailgating traditions are almost as important as the play on the field, and a focus on food is the fundamental element of any good pregame party. Use these reader-submitted recipes and our expert tips to cook up a football feast that will score big points with your family and friends. PHOTO BY ALLISON GRIFFIN
46 SEPTEMBER 2015
Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.
Cook of the month: Victoria Motyka, Baldwin EMC Cook of the month Victoria Motyka is a regular contributor of recipes to Alabama Living, and has had a few published over the years. An avid cook, she looks forward to seeing the recipes section of the magazine each month. “It’s great getting recipes from the area here.” She says that because she and her husband live in Kentucky full-time, but have a vacation townhome in Gulf Shores, where they receive the magazine as customers of Baldwin EMC. She didn’t come up with this month’s Sriracha Honey Wings, but she made some tweaks to the recipe she found in Real
Simple magazine. Though the Motykas don’t tailgate at football games, Victoria says the recipe is perfect for any kind of celebration, especially when folks are gathered around the TV for an event. They are really spicy, she says, but she and her husband like the hot stuff – and since their children, now in college, grew up eating spicier foods, they like it, too. Retirement for the Motykas is looming, and while they’re not sure where they’ll retire, they look forward to moving to Alabama, where they’ve vacationed for more than 30 years.
Sriracha Honey Wings 4 pounds chicken wings 1/3 cup sriracha sauce ¼ cup honey ¼ cup molasses 2 tablespoons canola oil or olive oil (I use garlic-infused olive oil) Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine in a large, heat-resistant bowl the sriracha, honey and molasses and set aside. Put the wings into a large plastic bag and add oil. Shake the wings until covered. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder and shake again. Pour the coated wings onto two large-rimmed baking pans, being sure not to crowd the wings. Bake, flipping them once, until crispy and cooked through, about 40 minutes. Pour the hot wings into the heat-resistant bowl containing the sauce and toss until well coated. Serve with celery slices and blue cheese dressing to help quench the heat.
Whether you’re tailgating in a tent, behind a truck bed outside the stadium, hosting friends in your backyard or just hanging out in your den, keep these tailgating tips in mind. Keep it Simple
If you’re tailgating outside, keep highly perishable foods like meats and dishes made with mayonnaise or other dairy products at the correct temperatures at all times. Also keep foods covered as much as possible to prevent contamination from flies and other pests. Have hand sanitizer and wet wipes for easy anti-bacterial clean up that doesn’t require water.
You can go all out on a main dish, but consider adding a few easy-to-eat treats to the menu too. Small, pick-up items that don’t require utensils (or even plates) work best. Think sliders, skewers with cheese and marinated veggies and small cookies, brownies or mini cupcakes in team-colored liners. Or how about some jazzed up popcorn, with servings already placed in colored paper cups? Alabama Living
SEPTEMBER 2015 47
Beef and Bacon Chili
Tiger Corn Dip
2 cans MexiCorn, drained 1 cup mayonnaise 1 cup sour cream 3 chopped green onions 1 can chopped green chilies, drained 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese Dash of sugar
1 pound ground beef ½ cup chopped onion One 14 ½-ounce can of stewed tomatoes Two 4-ounce cans green chilies 2 cups diced, peeled potatoes 2 cups water pinch of salt, black pepper, garlic salt (to taste)
Mix all ingredients together and let sit overnight in refrigerator. Serve with Frito Dip Chips.
Maria Riego, Wiregrass EC
Jason’s Poppers About 10 jalapeno peppers Two 8-ounce packages of cream cheese 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tomato, diced 1 Vidalia onion, chopped, One 12-ounce pack shredded Mexican cheese 2 packs applewood smoked bacon Split jalapenos lengthwise, devein and seed them with a spoon. In a bowl, mix softened cream cheese, tomato, onion, Worcestershire sauce and Mexican cheese. Put mixture into pepper halves and wrap with bacon. Grill on indirect heat until bacon is done and peppers are soft.
Jason Hollingsworth, Tombigbee EC
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In a large pot, cook ground beef with onion until no longer pink. Drain. Add all other ingredients and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.
Glenda Weigel, Baldwin EMC
Chinese Slaw 1 package angel hair slaw 1 cup sesame seeds 1 cup almonds, slivered or sliced 2 packages beef Ramen noodles Dressing: 1 cup vegetable oil ½ cup sugar 1 package beef flavoring from the noodles 1/3 cup rice vinegar Mix together and add dressing about 30 minutes before serving. Pair with chicken fingers or barbecue for Saturday football games.
¼ pound bacon 1 ¼ pounds ground beef Two 15-ounce cans chili beans in sauce One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes ½ of a 6-ounce can tomato paste 1 small onion, chopped 1 ½ stalks celery, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 green chili pepper, chopped 2 cubes beef bouillon ¼ cup beer 1/8 cup chili powder ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced ½ tablespoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon Tabasco ½ teaspoon dried basil ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon sugar ½ teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper ½ teaspoon paprika
In a large pot, brown ground beef and
bacon. Do not drain. Add chili beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, chili pepper, bouillon cubes, and beer. Stir. Add chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, Tabasco, basil, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and sugar. Stir. Cover and simmer on low heat at least 2 hours, or cook 8-10 hours in crockpot on low. Adjust salt, black pepper, and chili powder to taste.
Maryann Littlejohn, Wiregrass EC
Vidalia Onion Dip 3 large vidalia onions 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese 1 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon hot sauce
Saute onions with the butter. Mix remaining ingredients in 1 ½-quart casserole dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Fabulous with crackers! Carla Gwin, Clarke-Washington EMC
Susan McConnell, Black Warrior EMC
Hot Spinach and Tomato Dip
Mexican Black Bean Pinwheels
Two 10-ounce boxes of frozen, creamed spinach, thawed One 28-ounce can of Italian-style diced tomatoes, drained ½ teaspoon garlic powder ¼ teaspoon black pepper ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese 1-pound round rye bread loaves (or bread of your choice)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened 1 cup shredded cheese (your choice) ½ cup sour cream ½ teaspoon onion salt ½ teaspoon garlic powder 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed ½ cup salsa 8 medium-sized flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine spinach, tomatoes, garlic, black pepper and cheese. Set aside. Hollow out both bread loaves, tearing insides to bite-sized chunks. Bake bread loaves and pieces on cookie sheet for 15 minutes. Divide dip evenly into both bowls. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm with pieces.
Rachel Bostic, Central Alabama EC
In a mixing bowl, blend cream cheese, sour cream, onion salt, garlic powder, shredded cheese and salsa. Set aside. In a small bowl, crush black beans into a paste. Take each tortilla and spread a thin layer of the black beans. Top with the cream cheese mixture (about 1-2 tablespoons) and spread evenly almost to the sides. Roll up each tortilla and secure, individually, with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, remove from plastic wrap, cut the ends off tortillas and discard, and slice into 1-2” rings. Makes 35-50+ appetizers, depending on how you cut them.
Amethyst Spear, South Alabama EC
You could win
We welcome your recipes! Please send us your original recipes, developed by you or family members, and not ones copied from a book or magazine. You may adapt a recipe from another source by changing as little as the amount of one ingredient. Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year. Share a story about your recipe! Whether it’s your grandmother’s best cake or your uncle’s camp stew, every recipe has a story behind it. We’ll pay $50 for the best recipe-related story each month.
Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: Nov. Dec. Jan.
Brunch Sept. 15 Peppermint Oct. 15 Chili Nov. 15
Submit: See more Alabama recipes on our social media sites!
Ask the Expert! When it comes to good football food, Alabama restaurateur and a member of our state’s barbecue royalty, Chris Lilly, the pit master at Big Bob Gibson BBQ in Decatur, is the go-to guy for grilling and smoking advice. He shared his tips for creating a fun, friendly and stomach satisfying tailgate experience.
Online: alabamaliving.coop Email: recipes@alabamaliving. coop Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124
Remember, rivalries are for the games, but around the grill we’re all friends. Begin with a clean grill. Scrub the grill grates with a stiff wire brush and then apply a thin coat of oil with a paper towel. Start with a charcoal base and think of adding wood chips as a seasoning as opposed to a main fuel source. Build a 2-zone fire by situating the hot coals on only one side of the grill and leaving the other side void creating an area for both direct and indirect cooking. Keep the grill lid closed for thick cuts of meat and open for thin cuts. Decide how much backyard cooking time you have and then choose the cut of meat. Apply sweet sauces the last 5-10 minutes of cook time. For optimum juiciness, let meat rest after grilling. The thicker the cut, the longer the rest time. Barbecue is more than the meat off the grill; it is an occasion that should always involve your friends and family.
SEPTEMBER 2015 49
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SEPTEMBER 2015 51
Our Sources Say
NERC and the EPA Clean Power Plan
n June 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its proposed Clean Power Plan under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act that would have limited carbon dioxide emissions from existing stationary electric utility generation plants by 30 percent from 2005 emission levels by 2030. The proposed rule would have also required substantial limits of carbon dioxide emissions from electric generation plants as early as 2020. On August 3 EPA issued its final rule, which should be published in the Federal Register and become a regulation as early as August 13. Under the final rule, EPA delayed the initial implementation of carbon dioxide reductions until 2022, but increased the amount of total carbon dioxide reductions to 32 percent from 2005 emission levels by the year 2030. EPA received millions of comments on the proposed Clean Power Plan Rule. PowerSouth and (I assume) all electric utilities filed comments. I suspect almost all electric utility comments warned of implementation difficulties, cost increases, potential reliability issues and unachievable time constraints as a result of the rule. Millions of environmentalists commented that the rule was not tight enough and should impose even deeper cuts in carbon dioxide emissions at a much quicker rate. Of the millions of comments filed, one set the EPA should have viewed as critical were those filed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). While the comments of the electric utilities and the environmentalists are biased because of their vested interests in the issues, NERC is not. NERC is an electric utility industry organization which has no affiliations with any utility other than to regulate and provide oversight of the bulk power grid’s reliability and security and national generation reserve levels. NERC is not particularly interested in cost or generation type. NERC’s only objective is to establish and regulate reliability and security criteria for electric utilities and the electric grid. In its comments, NERC said, “…according to the EPA’s Regulatory Impact Assessment, generation capacity would be reduced between 108,000 MWs and 134,000 MWs by 2020. The number of estimated retirements identified in EPA’s proposed rule may be conservative if the EPA’s assumptions prove to be unachievable. Developing suitable replacement capacity represents a significant
Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative
52 SEPTEMBER 2015
reliability challenge, given the constrained time period for implementation.” Specifically, NERC commented that the EPA’s power plant heat rate efficiency improvements will be very difficult to meet since most utilities have already maximized plant operations and have achieved best practices. Greater reliance on renewable generation will require additional bulk power transmission facilities to be developed to access areas with higher-grade wind and solar resources. Increased natural gas utilization will require challenging pipeline expansion to maintain a reliable source of fuel, especially during the peak winter heating period. NERC states, “Essential reliability services may be strained by the proposed Clean Power Plan. The anticipated changes in the resource mix and the new dispatching protocols will require comprehensive reliability assessments to identify change in power flows and essential reliability services.” And NERC concludes, “While EPA provides flexibility for meeting compliance requirements within the proposed time frame, there appears to be less flexibility in providing reliability assurance beyond the compliance period.” NERC provides EPA a number of detailed recommendations, which include further assessment of the reliability implications of the proposed rule based upon independent evaluations to stakeholders, coordinated regional and multi-regional planning, and assessments to identify areas of concern. It also requests that EPA consider a more timely approach that addresses bulk power system reliability concerns and infrastructure deployment. NERC routinely studies and analyzes the reliability of the bulk power system, including load requirements, available generation and adequacy of the bulk transmission system. Its comments simply request that EPA apply those same standards of reliability measures to the implications of the Clean Power Plan. NERC imposes those same standards on all electric utilities today, and those standards have produced a very reliable electric grid for the country. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said, “There is no way the EPA is going to finalize this rule without being assured that the system will be reliable and cost-effective. We are working with utilities on what needs to be tweaked.” Yet EPA passed its final rule extending the initial implementation only two years but increasing the carbon dioxide reduction levels by an additional 9 percent without implementing a single recommendation made by NERC to measure the reliability implications of the rule. In announcing the rule, the White House stated the Clean Power Plan will establish our president’s legacy. What that legacy will be remains to be seen. I hope you have a good month. A www.alabamaliving.coop
We guarantee the lowest prices with highest quality material and workmanship. Call Today for Pricing! Turn Key Made in U.S.A. 40 year waranty Licensed General Contractor, Semmes, AL.
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SEPTEMBER 2015 53
Alabama Snapshots 2
Submit Your Images! NOVEMBER THEME:
“Let’s Go Camping”
SUBMIT PHOTOS THROUGH OUR WEBSITE: alabamaliving.coop/submit-photo/ OR SEND COLOR PHOTOS WITH A LARGE SELFADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE TO:
Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL, 36124 RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www.alabamaliving.coop. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. DEADLINE FOR NOVEMBER: September 30
54 SEPTEMBER 2015
My Sports Hero 1. Elijah Fiske and Rashad Johnson, Arizona Cardinal and former Crimson Tide safety. SUBMITTED BY April Fiske, Troy. 2. Seth White and KT Harrell, Auburn basketball player. SUBMITTED BY Janet White, Ider. 3. Emaleigh and Mason Wirth with former MSU player Dillon Day. SUBMITTED BY Paula Wirth, Robertsdale. 4. Homer the Brave with Peter Howell. SUBMITTED BY Peter Howell,
Hanceville. 5. Aidan Pelham and Levi Randolph, 2015 Scholar Athlete and Alabama basketball player. SUBMITTED BY Rene Wilkerson, Clio. 6. Autograph session with former Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall. S U B M I T T E D B Y Ry a n L a c y, Auburn. 7. Brittney Plemons with Tim Tebow. SUBMITTED BY Mike Plemons, Hartselle. www.alabamaliving.coop
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