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JUNE 2015


Hot stuff Molding glass into works of art

Snakes alive! Learn which snakes to avoid with our pictorial guide



Chellie Phillips 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.



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

VOL. 68 NO. 6 JUNE 2015

11 Courtin’ Southern style

No texting, Instagram or emails for them. Hardy Jackson’s grandparents courted the old-fashioned way, and they got it right.

34 Florence’s Rosenbaum home

Cal Breed of Orbix Glass in Ft. Payne molds glass into a one of a kind vase. Orbix and the Hot Shop in Orange Beach are two of Alabama’s hot glass studios where artists craft glass into masterpieces. Read more on Page 12. PHOTO: Michael Cornelison

Alabama’s only home designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright offers a glimpse at another era and the design of a genius.

38 Laid-back cheeseburger

Jake’s Fish Camp in Burkville might be hard to find, but once you do, it’s worth it for the humble, hearty food you can savor while watching the creek roll by.

When you see this symbol, it means there’s more content online at! Videos, expanded stories and more!


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

DEPARTMENTS 9 40 41 46 54

Spotlight Outdoors Fish & Game Forecast Cook of the Month Snapshots

Printed in America from American materials

Alabama Living

JUNE 2015 3

Manager’s Comments

South Alabama Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees

Bill Hixon District 1

James Shaver District 2

Raymond Trotter District 3

Ben Norman District 4

DeLaney Kervin District 5

Norman D. Green District 6

Glenn Reeder District 7

James May At Large

Headquarters: 13192 U.S. Hwy 231 P.O. Box 449 Troy, AL 36081 800-556-2060 4 JUNE 2015

New customer charge to take effect MAX DAVIS GENERAL MANAGER

The topic of cost-based rates is not a new one. You may remember us discussing them before in my column. Before making the decision to move toward cost based rates, the cooperative conducted a cost of service study that determined the best approach for the cooperative to better recoup the cost of providing electric service to our members’ homes and businesses. In 2009, the cooperative board approved the move to this type of system which moved the cooperative’s operating revenue away from electric energy sales and put it in a fixed cost or customer charge. It is a more equitable way to distribute the costs associated with serving each of our members regardless of the number of kilowatt hours (kWh) you use. So what do I mean by fixed costs? It’s easy to forget that there are necessary costs involved with connecting your home to the power grid. Your service has poles, wires, transformers, meters, conductors and of course the manpower to set the service up. After that, you have billing, payment processing, service requests and system maintenance that must be carried out each month. Material costs, regulatory costs, and the demand component of your power bill are also factors that must be considered. Even if we never move a single kilowatt over the wires, we still face these expenses in keeping the facilities in place to carry that energy. We knew this process would take some time. In 2009, we made the first change to shift these costs into the customer charge. That move got us to about 50 percent of where we needed to be when we increased the residential single phase customer

charge to $16.00. In 2013, we moved to phase two. This reallocation allowed 75 percent of the cooperative’s fixed costs to be moved into the customer charge ($24.00). In phase three, the customer charge will be $29.00 and it will take effect with your July 2015 billing. This reflects approximately 91 percent of the fixed cost of service. This move will actually result in the cost of energy dropping. By moving more of the fixed charges into the customer charge, we’re able to lower the cost of energy. So you’ll see your energy charge will drop from $11.26 per 1,000 kWh to $10.76 per 1,000 kWh. Cost based rates benefit the members of South Alabama Electric Cooperative by reducing the impact of weather on your monthly electric bill – think about running your heat pump on those 100 degree plus summer days. Also by reducing the cost of energy, this allows you to make larger impacts on your energy savings through conservation. This change also makes your cooperative more financially sound since fixed costs are now being recouped through the customer charge and not in sales. Sales can vary a great deal each month depending on the weather. So what does this all mean to you? For many of our customers this change will be revenue neutral – or you’ll see no change at all in your bill amount. For customers who use more than 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, you might see a small reduction. For customers who use less than 1,000 kilowatt hours you might see a small increase.

South Alabama Electric  Cooperative

Here’s an example:

If you use 1,200 kWh at your home in June OLD Customer Charge Energy Charge Total Electric Charge


$24.00 (1,200 x $0.11256)= $135.07 $24.00 + $135.07 = $159.07

$29.00 (1,200 x $0.10763)= $129.16 $29.00 + $129.16 = $158.16

If you use 900 kWh at your home in June OLD Customer Charge Energy Charge Total Electric Charge


$24.00 (900 x $0.11256)= $101.30 $24.00 + $101.30 = $125.30

$29.00 (900 x $0.10763)= $96.87 $29.00 + $ 96.87 = $125.87

*Illustrations do not include privilege license tax or power cost adjustment. Taxes are set by the state and our power cost adjustments varies each month, however, you can find both of these items on your monthly statement.

As always, we are committed to providing you with reliable, affordable electric service to your homes and businesses. If you have questions or concerns about how this change will affect your account, we encourage you to call our office at 1-800-556-2060. We will do our best to answer any questions and will continue to provide you with services that help you measure and manage your energy use more efficiently in your homes.

South Alabama Electric’s Monthly Operating Report KWH Sold 22,437,897 Average Utility Bill $176.13 Average Use 1,375 kWh

Total Accounts Billed 16,310

Consumers per mile of line 6.07

Total Miles of Line 2,688 Information from March 2015

Alabama Living

JUNE 2015  5

Keeping you safe during and after summer storms No one knows electrical safety better than the experts who practice it every single day. South Alabama Electric Cooperative encourages you to practice safety with these reminders – for during and after a summer storm: Avoid wires and water — When lightning strikes a home during a storm, the electrical charge can surge through pipes and utility wires. That means you can get zapped if you’re touching water or any device that’s plugged in, whether it’s a landline phone or toaster. Skip the makeshift shelter — During a storm, it’s tempting to take cover under a picnic gazebo or golf cart, but in open-sided structures with no conductors to channel strikes, a bolt’s path of least resistance to the ground could be you. On top of that, these structures raise your risk of a lightning strike because of their height. Keep moving toward suitable shelter. Portable generators — Take special care with portable generators, which can provide a good source of power, but if improperly installed or operated, can become deadly. Do not connect generators directly to household wiring. Power from generators can back-feed along power lines

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and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including co-op line workers making repairs. It’s best to hire a qualified, licensed electrician to install your generator and ensure that it meets local electrical codes. Flooded areas — Stay away from downed power lines and avoid walking through flooded areas. Power lines could be submerged and still live with electricity. Report any downed lines you see to South Alabama Electric Cooperative by calling 800-556-2060 immediately. Electrical equipment — Never use electrical equipment that is wet – especially outdoor electrical equipment, which could be a potential danger after a summer storm. Water can damage electrical equipment and parts, posing a shock or fire hazard. South Alabama Electric is a proud member of Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. Along with 750 electric cooperatives nationwide, we have partnered with Touchstone Energy to put safety as our number one concern. For a checklist to assess safety hazards around your home or to take a quick safety quiz, go to http://www.togetherwesave. com/power-of-community/safety.

South Alabama Electric Cooperative

How do transformers work? If we were to ask you to describe South Alabama Electric’s system, you might say, “Poles, wires and those round grey things.” Round grey things? That is often the description given for transformers, the pieces of equipment crucial in converting electricity to a voltage that is safe for use in homes and businesses. So, how do they work? First off, transformers are nothing like those creations of the silver screen. They don’t transform from vehicles to incredible combat robots. Instead, they transform the voltage of the electricity that passes through them. Time for a little electric system 101. Electricity loses voltage as it is transmitted due to the resistance in wires and other components. As a result, higher voltages are used to offset these “line losses,” as we call them. It all starts at the power plant. There, generators produce electricity at very high voltages and use transformers to step up this voltage. Since the power plants are far away, these voltages are necessary to survive the trip over the system to where it is needed. Transmission lines connect to substations. Here is where the transformers step down the voltage to safer, more manageable levels. Depending upon the distance involved to the furthest member and the amount of load served, distribution voltages can range from 7,200 to 24,900 volts. A couple more step-downs and the electricity arrives at your home at 440 volts. Regardless of the shape and size of the transformer, they all work in the same manner. Transformers have two sides, a high-voltage side and a low-voltage side. In normal operation, electricity flows into the transformer on the high-voltage side, where it goes into a coil of wire usually wound around an iron core. As the electricity flows Alabama Living

through this coil, it creates a magnetic field that “induces” a voltage in the other coil. Here is where the magic (aka physics) of transformation takes place. Each coil has a different number of turns. The greater the number of turns, the higher the voltage. The coil on the high side will have more turns than the one on the low side. As a result, the voltage induced on the low side is less. Then transformation occurs. Transformers aren’t just limited to utility use. They can be found everywhere in our daily lives, even if not so obvious as those on South Alabama Electric’s system. The best example is the charger that all cell phones and many other electrical devices come with. These small cousins of utility transformers basically perform the same function. Charging your cell phone with 120 volts will fry it instantly. So, the charger converts the voltage to a more tolerable 5 volts or so. It is important to note that transformers work in both directions. Electricity flowing in on the low side is stepped up to the voltage of the high side. This is why South Alabama Electric educates members on proper connection of home generators. A generator feeding 220 volts into a residential transformer will produce whatever voltage the transformer is rated for on the other side, creating a deadly risk for our line crews and your neighbors. So please, connect your generators according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Or give us a call at 800-556-2060 for advice. It’s always best to be safe. Tom Tate writes on cooperative issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.

JUNE 2015  7

South Alabama Electric Cooperative

Beat the heat with cool products When temperatures soar in the summer, utility bills can do the same. There are several small ways to manage your energy use this summer – and South Alabama Electric Cooperative is always happy to help y o u

with those simple, no- or low-cost ways to save – but for those who are considering remodeling or making larger purchases, here are a few ideas that may help keep your energy use in check and keep your wallet cool.

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If you are making esthetic changes to your home, consider products that will also make it work more efficiently. The biggest energy users in our homes are heating and cooling systems, so if you are making upgrades to your floors and cabinets, consider making some energy efficient upgrades to your HVAC system, too. If you’re making additions to your home or converting attics or basements into living spaces, a ductless heating and cooling system is a great option. A ductless system does not require adding pipes or ductwork to a home’s existing system, making it a more affordable upgrade for many. Ductless systems tend to be more efficient, meaning homeowners will use less energy and save on their electric bills. Your cooperative offers a rebate program making it the perfect time to make the decision to upgrade. For stick built homes, installing a new heat pump with a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) of 15 or higher qualifies for money back to you, our members. If you have a manufactured home, installing a qualified heat pump with a SEER rating of 13 or higher, could qualify for a rebate as well. If making changes to your heating and cooling system doesn’t seem like the right upgrade for now, consider installing a smart thermostat. These “cool” devices learn your behavior and adjust heating and air conditioning settings with a goal

to save energy. Smart thermostats also have the capability to connect to the Internet, allowing homeowners to manage energy use via a smart phone app. There are several smart thermostat options available on the market, and they typically cost between $200 and $400.

Purchasing new appliances?

If you are considering purchasing new appliances that will use less energy, but may not have the budget for a complete appliance overhaul, your clothes dryer is a great place to start as dryers are big consumers of electricity. For example, dryers typically use around 900 kWh each year as compared to a refrigerator, which uses around 455 kWh each year. There have been big developments with dryers in recent years, and Energy Star awarded two standouts – the LG EcoHybrid Heat Pump Dryer and the Whirlpool HybridCareTM Heat Pump Dryer – the 2014 Emerging Technology Award. Using heat pump technology, these dryers offer 40 percent in energy savings if operated on their most efficient settings and can save more than $400 over the life of the dryer. If you are interested in purchasing other appliances or products, remember to visit and check out their “Most Efficient 2015” list to help you determine which products – from windows and HVAC systems to televisions and washers – are the most efficient for your home. And don’t forget that South Alabama Electric is your partner in energy savings. From tools like My Meter located on our website ( which allows you to track your daily energy usage, to energy efficiency experts trained to help you make good decisions for your home, we’ve got your needs covered! April Lollar writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.

In June

Spot Light

Sun, sand and seafood Alabama’s 32 miles of pristine beaches on the Gulf of Mexico set the scene for vacation memories that will last a lifetime. This family-friendly beach destination has seen generations return year after year, and with so much to see and do, it’s no wonder. Beyond the beautiful white-sand beaches and turquoise water, there’s a wide variety of activities and attractions for all interests and ages, including a number of acclaimed festivals. And, of course, plenty of fresh Gulf seafood. Visit to request a copy of the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach 2015 vacation guide.

Alabama chef named seafood cook-off champ Chef George Reis, owner of Ocean in Birmingham, has been crowned the inaugural Alabama Seafood Cook-Off Champion. Reis won the event that was held May 1 as part of the Southern Makers event in Montgomery. Chef Brandon Burleson of Voyagers Restaurant in Orange Beach was named runner-up. Reis will now represent the state in the 12th annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off that will be held later this year. Learn more at

A history of lumbering

Blueberries in Brewton This tasty fruit grows all over Alabama, but Brewton is home to the 35th annual Alabama Blueberry Festival, which this year is from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. June 20 at Jennings Park. There will be arts and crafts, a classic car show, activities for children, live entertainment, cookbooks and T-shirts for sale and (of course) fresh blueberries and blueberry bushes. For more information, call 251-867-3224.

Author Floyd McGowin has released a new book, The Forest and the Trees: A Memoir of a Man, a Family, and a Company, a history of the logging and lumbering business in and around Butler County. A reception and book signing will begin at 5 p.m. June 25 at High Horse Gallery, 126 W. Commerce St., in Greenville. Call the gallery at 334-371-4446.

Want to see more events or submit your own? Alabama Living

Visit to submit an event and view our calendar or email an event to

JUNE 2015 9

Power Pack

Appealing a Social Security decision? Check out the improved online appeal process Social Security listened to customer feedback and made the online appeals process even better. Now, people who disagree with our disability decision can complete their appeal using our improved online appeals process. More than 90,000 people use our online appeals application each month. We’ve certainly come a long way since introducing the online appeal option in September 2007. Throughout the nation, applicants, their representatives, third parties, groups, and organizations use the online appeal process to request review of disability decisions. Responding to feedback from our employees and the public, the new online appeals process is easier to use and improves the speed and quality of our disability and non-disability decisions.

Users told us that the program needed to be streamlined for easier navigation and that it needed to ask for less duplicate information. They also told us that they wanted to be able to complete both the appeal form and the medical report together, and be able to submit supporting documents as part of the electronic appeal request. Our enhanced online appeals application incorporates those suggestions and more. People can now submit both the appeal form and the medical report in just one online session and electronically submit supporting documents with the appeal request. The screen messages are clear and concise, the navigation has been improved, and we’ve beefed up our on-screen help. Additionally, users who live outside of the United States are now

Cooperative leaders gather for 68th Annual Meeting More than 400 electric cooperative leaders from across Alabama gathered April 22 and 23 in the state’s capital for the 68th Annual Meeting of the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Delegates elected Randy Brannon of Pea River Electric Cooperative, Ozark, as chairman; David Hembree of Cullman Electric Cooperative as vice-chairman; and Daryl Jones of Black Warrior Electric Cooperative as secretary-treasurer. In addition, 31 co-op directors from nine Alabama cooperatives were recognized for completing Advanced Board Leadership Certificates. The group heard from a number of state officials, including Seth Hammett, interim chief of staff for Gov. Robert Bentley; Dr. Jim McVay, director of health promotion and chronic disease for the Alabama Department of Public Health; Ed Reed, deputy director of the 10  JUNE 2015

Alabama Securities Commission; Kylle’ McKinney, public affairs specialist with the Social Security Administration; and Ronald Davis, state director of USDA Rural Development in Alabama. Geneva High School senior Savannah Frederick of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, Alabama’s representative to the NRECA’s Youth Leadership Council, also addressed the gathering. AREA also gave its Pathfinder Award to Ruby Neeley of Chilton County, longtime director at Central Alabama Electric Cooperative and PowerSouth Electric Cooperative, for her commitment to the rural electrification program in Alabama. Sen. Greg Reed of Jasper was named State Senator of the Year and Rep. April Weaver of Brierfield was named State Representative of the Year for their support of electric cooperatives statewide. They will be presented with their awards

able to file appeals online. As a reminder, representatives who request, and are eligible for, direct fee payments must electronically file reconsiderations or request for hearings on medically denied Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability or blindness claims. The next time you need to file an appeal, be sure to complete it online at A

Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by e-mail at kylle.

YLC representative Savannah Frederick addresses group.

at the association’s Summer Conference in July. In other recognition, Brian Lacy from Cullman Electric Cooperative received the 2015 Darryl Gates Communicator of the Year award, named for AREA’s longtime vice president of communications who passed away in 2012. A CORRECTION In the story about muralist Wes Hardin in the May issue, the artists for some of Dothan’s murals were incorrectly attributed. The salute to the peanut industry mural was painted by Susan Tooke and Bruce Rickett; Tooke also painted the Johnny Mack Brown mural. The DeSoto mural was painted by Art Rosenbaum.

Courtin’ down South: The way it used to be “In the spring a young man’s fancy, lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Locksley Hall” I was reminded of this line when I came across 14 short notes my grandfather wrote to my grandmother, a correspondence that began in the spring of 1903. I was also reminded of how far courtship today has come from back then, when “thoughts of love” were far more proper and, let me suggest, restrained. He was 17, just out of high school and working in the local drug store. She was 18, had also graduated, and was (in the parlance of the time) “at home.” He was the second son of a prominent, politically connected family. She was the daughter of the local Methodist minister. Her father’s occupation determined how the courtship began, for the first letter, dated March 1, 1903, read simply

The author’s maternal grandparents, probably about 1910. He estimates that Grandma Jessie and Grandpa Buck, whose courtship started in their teens, were likely in their early 20s when these photos were made.

Dear (note the salutation) Miss Jessie (no Fontaine): I would be pleased to accompany you out to the pound supper at Mr. Jim Chapman’s this evening. Your friend, Quincy Waite A “pound supper,” or more commonly “a pounding,” was when guests brought newlyweds a pound of something (flour, butter, etc.) to help them set up housekeeping. Through the spring there were more preaching dates until finally, in July, he made his next move. He sent a gift, a token of his affection.

Miss Jessie Fontaine. May I h av e t h e P l e a s ure o f accompanying you out to preaching tonight. Your friend, Quincy Waite

Dear Miss Jessie, Please accept [this] melon with best wishes and kind regards. Your friend, Quincy Waite

Apparently that worked well, for a few weeks later a similar request was received and accepted. Then he grew bolder, and to help his cause he enlisted a friend, and proposed a double-date, at her home.

She responded (the only reply they saved):

Misses Fontaine & Shamburger. If agreeable we would be glad to call tonight. Your friends, Isaac & Quincy The success of this venture emboldened him to suggest that they be seen at a social gathering that was not at the church. Alabama Living

Mr. Waite, Accept many many thanks for the nice fruit. Your friend, Jessie Fontaine That went over so well that two weeks later he gave her another. This time he simply signed the note “Quincy.” A month later they were on a first name basis.

Dear Jessie, If agreeable I would be pleased to call tonight. Your friend, Quincy No preaching, no “pounding,” just dropping by in the evening. Slowly the courtship played out over the next 10 years, until finally, on Feb. 11, 1913, after they had reached an appropriate age and he was well-employed as a rural letter carrier, they married. Then they settled into a small house across the street from the Methodist Church, which she attended whenever the door opened and he attended when he was not hunting or fishing. There they lived, raised a family, and gave evidence to the old saying, “Marry in haste, repent in leisure.” They took their time and got it right. A

Harvey H. (“Hardy”) Jackson is retired professor emeritus of history at Jacksonville State University whose most recent book is The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera, featured in the January 2013 Alabama Living. His work appears in the Anniston Star and Northeast Alabama Living.

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Special Travel Issue

Artistic impressions:

Glassmaker creates stunning pieces of art By Lori Quiller

Glass artist Cal Breed heats glass in preparation for a new creation.

12 JUNE 2015

Each masterpiece begins with a bulb of molten glass on the end of a hollow iron tube.


erched atop a mountain overlooking Little River Canyon ideas he can bring back to the hot shop, like the time he decided National Preserve and nestled between a thicket of trees to drop hot glass down a hole to see what would come up. The and a pond is an unassuming cabin hiding some of Ala- piece is in the front gallery, and it’s jaw dropping! bama’s most beautiful handcrafted artwork. Orbix Hot Glass has had visitors from Art not borne of pastel-colored paints or as near as Birmingham and as far away as carved from stone or etched from steel. The France, as well as pieces featured in magaart in this cabin is borne of fire. This art is zines, including Southern Living and O: The handmade glassware with clean lines and viOprah Magazine. Breed recently finished a brant colors, some small and some large, all gallery show in Huntsville, and although he stunning in their perfection. doesn’t have a show planned for 2015, he’s Master glass artist Cal Breed and his wife, not ruling one out. He’s a regular participant Christy, formally opened Orbix Hot Glass in in Southern Makers, an annual gathering of 2002, but it wasn’t an easy task. Breed, who statewide creative artists in Montgomery. studied marine biology at Auburn Univer“There have been some pieces that I’ve sity, became interested in glasswork while made and held onto for a while,” Breed says. still in college after seeing an old photo of “Some are harder to let go of than others. stained glass being made. It intrigued him A colorful sample of Orbix glass pitchers. But, there’s a lot of craft that goes into these so much that he decided to take a class in pieces, so I truly enjoy doing those pieces the art of stained glass. that I know will give joy to someone else. I “I was fortunate to find Cam Langley in Birmingham, who can see that here in the gallery when someone looks at a piece showed me just how beautiful glasswork can be,” Breed says. “He for a really long time, and then takes it home. You can just see was a great mentor and friend, and I was able to learn so much something in a person when a piece catches hold. There’s hapfrom him.” Langley passed away in 2013, but his friendship with piness there, and I’m glad to be able to do that for someone.” A Breed and influence can been seen threading through some of the experimental pieces in the Orbix Hot Glass showroom. Check out Cal Breed and Orbix Hot Glass online at www. Glass is a unique substance as a medium for art, Breed says. or While it’s not the easiest substance to use, that’s the main reason why he’s so drawn to it for his work. Watch videos at “There’s something about glass,” Breed explained. “The transhttps://vimeo. com/29691230 parency of it, the color. It changes when we work with it, and it ONLINE changes the light when we look through it. It has a tremendous texture that you only realize after you’ve been working with it for a while. And, you have to work quickly. There’s an amazing amount of concentration that you find yourself in when you’re working with glass. You really get focused on what this object is, or is going to be, when you’re working with hot glass. The question is whether it turns out the way I want it to, or will it go in a different direction?” Pieces can take from five minutes to a month or more to complete, which is a good reason why Breed has extra hands to help in the studio. Artists Eric Harper and Mark Leputa and student Lori Cummings join Breed in making the Orbix masterpieces. Each masterpiece begins with a bulb of molten glass on the end of a hollow iron tube. The tip is quickly placed into a furnace in which the temperature averages 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The glass bulb is brought out, and air is blown into the tube. Within seconds, a small bubble can be seen inside the bulb on the other end of the tube, and then it goes back into the furnace. The process is repeated over and over, adding a few flourishes, depending on what the project is going to be. One thing never wavers -- the glass never stops moving until the piece is finished.

Drawing inspiration from nature

As with all handcrafted art, no two pieces are alike. Breed draws his inspiration from nature around him, and he and his wife truly believe their piece of heaven lies atop Lookout Mountain. Mountain life affords him the time to spend with his family to rock climb, kayak or hike -- all experiences he cherishes and

Fellow artists Cal Breed, Mark Leputa and Eric Harper mold glass into a unique masterpiece. PHOTOS BY MICHAEL CORNELISON

Alabama Living

JUNE 2015 13

Special Travel Issue

Blow your own glass creation at the beach By Lori Quiller

“It’s really all about having a unique experience you can’t do anywhere else in Alabama.”

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A paperweight in the making.

Alabama Living

JUNE 2015  15


he phrase “blowing glass” may sound strange, but it’s precisely what Orange Beach glass artists Adam Burges and Kerry Parks do to create spellbinding works of art with swirls of rich, vibrant colors. As resident artists for The Hot Shop, Alabama’s only public-access hot glass studio located in the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach, Burges and Parks work together to create the stunning creations. So, what’s their secret? “I’ve had people say that it’s like painting on a 3D canvas. That’s true, but with glass, the canvas is a little less forgiving,” Burges says with a laugh. According to Burges, who has been the resident glass artist with The Hot Shop since 2012, the key to working with glass is not only being able to “see” in your mind what you want the glass to do, but to be patient enough with the often temperamental substance to make it yield to your vision. Burges was studying for his fine arts degree at the University of South Alabama, specializing in sculpture, until USA began a glass program that limited the courses available in sculpting. Because the glasswork would be considered three dimensional, the glass courses would be applied toward his degree, so Burges decided to give it a try -- and he never looked back. In fact, Burges furthered his training for a time in Murano, Italy, where families perfected the art of glassblowing for generations. “I love working with glass,” Burges explains. “There’s just something about it that draws me in. It’s an experience that I truly enjoy sharing with others, so that’s why I enjoy teaching it as well.” What makes The Hot Shop special is not only the artists’ dedication to the fine art of glasswork, but also their camaraderie with patrons who visit the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach either to watch projects being made or to take part in a class. “We teach about 90 percent of the time because we want our visitors to get involved and have fun playing with the glass and make something of their own,” Burges said. “It’s really all about having a unique experience you can’t do anywhere else in Alabama. Classes are popular and book quickly with families vacationing in the area looking for something interesting to do.” Burges said the beginner Make Your Own Glass Class is the perfect introduction to learn how to blow glass and make something of your own. The hands-on class includes glass, tools, personal instruction and the opportunity to make a choice of beginner glass creations. A favorite for children, the Make Your Own Glass Class does require that you leave your artwork at the facility overnight to cool, but you can pick it up the next day. Burges also offers one-on-one classes for more adventurous patrons. “We love having kids in the studio!” he says. “It’s so much fun watching their faces when we’re working with the glass. Their faces say it all. We feel the same way!” The Hot Shop offers classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and the gallery is open on Saturdays. Because classes book quickly, advance reservations are recommended. Call (251) 981-2787or visit A

Colors available to add to glass pieces on display at The Hot Shop.

Kerry Parks and Adam Burges, resident artists, instruct a class at The Hot Shop of Coastal Art Center in Orange Beach. Kerry and Adam have worked together for several years since meeting in college. The art center provides classes for people interested in glass blowing and making their own artwork. The Hot Shop is also open for people to come by and watch while the classes are taking place. ALL PHOTOS BY MICHELLE ROLLS-THOMAS

Alabama Living

JUNE 2015  17

Special Travel Issue

History on display

Permanent markers tell stories about an area’s past

By Allison Griffin


hey’re often overlooked by motorists flying down the highway, but the historic markers that dot Alabama’s roadsides are a valuable, permanent resource for history buffs and travelers alike. Two groups in Alabama have had historical marker programs. The Alabama Historical Commission, a state-funded agency based in Montgomery, started its marker program in 1975 to help educate the public about historically significant sites, structures, buildings, objects, cemeteries and districts in Alabama. The marker program is no longer active due to budget cuts. Any requests for markers that come now are referred to the Alabama Historical Association (AHA), a non-profit, volunteer-led and membership-supported organization based in Livingston, whose historical markers program dates to the 1950s.

A committee of the AHA helps interested groups in the purchase and erection of markers for historical sites, and checks the accuracy of information of the proposed marker texts and attests to a site’s historic importance. The AHA’s program is still active, and the group’s website ( has an index of existing markers with addresses, arranged by county. Families and groups interested in erecting a historical marker should note that they must pay for such markers (which can cost in the $2,000 range), and they must do their own research to verify the potential site’s significance. In our April issue, we asked readers to submit photos and memories associated with their favorite markers, and we received responses from all parts of the state. We have published a selection of those submissions.

Sandy Whisenant of Joppa submitted the Corbin Homestead marker in northeast Cullman County. In 2001, Whisenant became friends with Mrs. Anne Ferguson Humphries, who spent much of her childhood at the Corbin Homestead, and it held a special place in Humphries’ heart. Humphries died in 2012 at the age of 82, but Whisenant said that Humphries always wanted the home place to be seen and appreciated by the public.

a health resort with a three-story hotel and many visitors from America and Europe. There were seven springs, one containing iodine water – at that time, the only iodine water found in America.”

Bettye Matkin and Carolyn Chunn Glenn spent two years working to get this Morgan County marker erected, with monetary help from the community and out-of-state friends. Glenn writes: “On very old maps, this was ‘Chunn Springs,’ 18 JUNE 2015

Meredith Brunson, tourism director for the city of Enterprise, submitted a marker to the wellknown boll weevil: “Enterprise is steeped in rich history, but the historic marker that sits downtown on the southeast corner of Main and College streets really tells the story of the city’s claim to fame. Enterprise is the only city in the world with a monument honoring an insect. The Boll Weevil Monument in the heart of downtown pays tribute to the bug that destroyed the thriving cotton crop, leading to the area’s diversification into peanut farming, which remains a staple of the local economy. It is our favorite marker because without the boll weevil, Enterprise might not be the ‘City of Progress’ that we know and love today.”

Ann Biggs-Williams submitted this marker, dedicated to the town of Lottie: “The Lottie, Alabama historical marker at the crossroads of County Roads 47 and 61 in Baldwin County is my favorite historical marker.  Seeing the marker instantly takes me back to 2010 when the entire community came together to plan a Memorial Day event that recognized veterans and placed flags on the community’s graves of area residents that had served in the military. … Having researched the text for the marker, it is a special blessing to pass and see someone reading or photographing our marker.” From Agnes Windsor of Slocomb, whose great-grandparents founded Countyline Missionary Baptist Church and cemetery: “(The) cemetery is my favorite historic marker because it tells many stories. The marker is a reminder of many who have lived here. … A brief history is inscribed on the marker as to who donated the land to the colored people of Countyline and names the oldest grave in the cemetery of 1892 (as) that of Novie Miller Copeland. This is truly a preservation of history and is the third or fourth to be established in Geneva County and the first in Slocomb.” This is from the town of Silas, in southwest Alabama: “The Choctaw County Board of Education built Silas Elementary School in 1936 with support from the Alabama State Department of Education. Students attended the school from 1936-2005.    After nearly 70 years as a school, the building took on a new purpose in 2005 when the town of Silas purchased the property from the board of education.    The town restored the building and opened it in 2009 as the Silas Municipal Complex.  The Alabama Historical Commission added Silas Elementary School to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on June 20, 2013.” From Darrell Brock, a member of Cullman Electric Cooperative: “The little white church and its cemetery, sitting way up on a hill top, so far from the hustle and bustle of normal life, takes me back to an earlier time. A time when the first settlers of the little community in the valley below drove their horses and wagons to the little church Alabama Living

to worship and praise God for the many blessings he had given them. If you close your eyes you can almost hear the church hymns ringing out from the church and down to the community below. It is a place to be close to both God and the past. That is why I love Shady Grove Church.” Another submission from the Cullman area: Old Houston, located a few miles away from present day Houston, was the first county seat for Winston County. In the late 1850s, a log jail was constructed. ProUnion men who were trying to prevent fellow citizens that refused to enlist in the Confederate Army from being imprisoned burned the jail twice during the Civil War. It was rebuilt a third time in 1868 from hand-hewn hardwood logs. … Cullman County was created partly out of Winston County in 1877. Houston was no longer in the center of Winston, so the county seat moved to Double Springs, effective July 23, 1883. Sometime after the move, the jail was sold to others and privately owned and used as a house until the early 1960s. The jail was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. A comprehensive restoration project on the jail was completed in 2008. Margaret Gaston, curator of the Hank Williams Museum in Georgiana, offered this: “The Hank Williams Boyhood Home in Georgiana became one of several sites in Alabama assigned by Alabama Department of Tourism as part of their Hank Trail tourist attractions in 2006. This marker was unveiled at the June 6, 2006 Hank Williams Festival. The reverse side of the marker tells the story of Thigpen’s Log Cabin, a roadhouse a half-mile north of the museum on old U.S. 31. The salvageable remains of the log cabin were dismantled and rebuilt within the Hank Williams Park, adjacent to the museum. Hank & the Driftin’ Cowboys played at Thigpen’s regularly beginning in late 1930s and early 1940s.” A.J. Wright of Pelham sent this photo and a link to his blog post: “Near Pelham City Hall stands a historical marker that includes the following text: ‘Near this site stood Shelbyville, A.T., first county seat of Shelby County; named for Isaac Shelby, governor of Tennessee. Shelby County was established February 7, 1818 by an act of the Alabama Territorial Legislature.’ Yes, the first seat of county government was located where Pelham is now. And yes, the community and the county existed before Alabama became a state.” A JUNE 2015 19

Special Travel Issue

Follow the Alabama AgriTourism Trail for fun, food and fascinating facts By Marilyn Jones


hat do a farm market, a dude ranch and a barn dance have in common? Along the Alabama Agritourism Trail, a lot of candidates fit the agritourism mold, including educational experiences, entertainment and outdoor recreation as well as agricultural sales. Jack-O-Lantern Farm in Muscle Shoals started as a pumpkin patch and now specializes in all kinds of vegetables at the complex on the Tennessee Valley Authority Reservation. “Now we’re a hydroponic farm,” says Steve Carpenter as he guides a small group of curious customers into a greenhouse just off the farm’s small store. “We have more than 3,000 plants in the greenhouses and more in the fields. They grow with water and nutrients; no soil. We produce certified naturally grown vegetables.” Perhaps it’s nostalgia or a better understanding of nutrition, but whatever the reason, there’s been a recent revival for eating fresh food right from the farm. Like Jack-O-Lantern Farm, Sparks Hydroponic Farm near Gurley uses hydroponic methods to grow its produce. “On just one and a half acres we’re able to support 38,000 plants. If that many plants were planted in the ground, it would take more than 20 acres,” says Jimmy Sparks. “Another positive thing is we don’t use as much water,” he says. “In conventional farming it would take 50,000 gallons of water a day to keep the plants thriving. With our hydroponic system, it takes only 2,200 gallons.” Sparks’ farm market offers everything

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Steve Carpenter of Jack-O-Lantern Farm shows how hydroponic farming works.

from strawberries and tomatoes to cucumbers, squash, zucchini, green beans, purple hull peas, corn, okra, turnip greens, baby corn, sugar snap peas and butter beans, and green, red, and yellow bell peppers. It’s Sunday and the tiny town of Elkmont is quiet except for a small restaurant where sandwiches, ice cream and Belle Chevre Cheese are sold. Restaurant walls are lined with magazine articles from national publications. Belle Chevre was also featured in the December 2012 Alabama Living featuring the restaurant’s owner Tasia Malakasis. Behind the restaurant is the 8,000square-foot creamery once used as a warehouse along the railroad that skirted the village. Guided or self-guided, visitors can watch cheese being made by hand as well as taste the different culinary offerings here. Across the state, Wright Dairy has a small farm store near Alexandria where the farm’s fresh milk, cheese and ice cream are sold. “We milk the cows here, we pasteurize and bottle the milk here, and we sell it fresh to you right here on the farm,” says David Wright, the farm’s owner. “Nothing is added, nothing is removed.” As Wright explains his operation, there’s a steady stream of customers coming into the small retail space and others pulling up to the drive-thru window. During the holidays, business is brisk at Wadsworth Christmas Tree Farm in Wetumpka. Frank Wadsworth and his employees are busy helping customers as his wife Lucie makes wreaths under the shelter of the large porch of their office.

“When we open Nov. 21 this year it’ll mark our 36th year of selling trees,” Frank says. Stretching out from the parking lot are rows of perfectly trimmed trees: Leyland cypress, Arizona cypress, Eastern red cedar and Virginia pines. Frank says he works all year pruning trees, mowing, spraying and planting new trees. “We enjoy the end result of our business; the joy our customers get from choosing a tree and taking it home to decorate,” he adds. “Everyone seems to enjoy their experience here; a family tradition for many.” For more information, check A

If you go: Many attractions are open seasonally. Call or check the website for operational hours. This is not intended to be a complete list. Jack-O-Lantern Farm, Garage Road, Muscle Shoals; (256) 386-2335; Sparks Hydroponic Farm, 312 Esslinger Drive, Gurley; (256) 776-9881; www. Belle Chevre Cheese, 18849 Upper Fort Hampton Road, Elkmont; (256) 732-3577; Wrights Dairy, 241 Cane Creek Farm Road, Alexandria; (256) 820-1020; Wadsworth Christmas Tree Farm, 3071 Dexter Road, Wetumpka; (334) 567-6308;

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See more photos and video at


Urban whitewater on the Chattahoochee River

Story and photos by David Haynes


or nearly two centuries the whitewater rapids slept unseen, submerged beneath the surface of the Chattahoochee River, the result of impoundments by textile-era mill dams. But for the past two years these rapids, with names like Ambush, Cut Bait, Monkey Wrench and Wave Shaper, have come back to life on the 2.5-mile-long stretch of river that divides the cities of Phenix City, Ala., and Columbus, Ga. The result is the longest urban whitewater run in the world! River rafting trips and canoe or kayak whitewater enthusiasts are embracing the recently reawakened river, which reopened in 2013, when some 16,000 people took the thrill ride through the frothing white waves on rafting trips. Last year the number jumped to almost 25,000 and this year projections are for even higher numbers. The rapids range in difficulty from Class II to IV depending on the river’s flow rate, which is controlled by Georgia Power Company and typically ranges between 1,000 and 10,000 cubic feet per second. This has produced one of the most challenging whitewater runs in the country with rapids strong enough to flip a large raft at high water. And it’s all right downtown. Both Phenix City and Columbus, which have always been tied together by the river and by numerous bridges that span between the two downtown areas, have each developed “River Walk” trails and parks along the river. In addition to the river-running experience, residents and visitors can enjoy a walk, a run, fishing, frequent

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Great blue herons, like the fellow below, have made a comeback since the Chattahoochee River has been restored to its natural state. The river’s 2.5 mile stretch that divides Phenix City and Columbus is said to be the longest urban whitewater run in the world.

concerts and other special events as well take a ride across the Chattahoochee on a zip line. The zip line’s tower resembles the nest of great blue heron, which, along with other wildlife, has made a comeback since the river was restored to its natural state. Brent Tucker, one of the managers at Whitewater Express, the Atlanta-based company that is the primary outfitter for raft trips, kayak instruction and the zip line rides, says their operation has seen a tremendous increase in business since the river trips began in 2013. And he expects 2015 to see double or more raft trips compared to just two years ago. An avid kayaker himself, Tucker paddles on the Chattahoochee every chance he gets and even surfed his kayak in Wave Shaper Rapid for me to take photographs on my recent visit. The overall visual effect of the river and two cities is one of nature reclaiming its place in the urban environment. While ospreys soar overhead and great blue herons perch to fish from the rocks that separate the rapids’ channels, nearby will stand a fisherman or a jogger or someone having lunch on a park bench, taking a break from a high-rise office building a block away. A For additional information on Columbus/Phenix City and the river-running opportunities and other happenings there, contact the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau (800-999-1613) or visit their website at For information or to schedule a raft trip or zipline tour, contact Whitewater Express (706-321-4720) or visit their website at

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Snakes alive! Feared animals actually serve a vital role in nature

By Allison Griffin


ost of us have an innate fear of snakes. Bring them up in a group discussion and you’re likely to hear at least one person say, “The only good snake is a dead snake.” But that’s just not true, wildlife biologists say. Snakes are carnivorous, meaning they eat other smaller animals. Most readily eat rodents like mice and rats, while others prey on insects. If not for snakes, many areas would be overrun with these pests. Snakes also help farmers by controlling rodent populations in seed or grain storage areas, barns, gardens, fields and houses. Alabama is home to more than 40 species of snakes, but according to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, only six are venomous. Five of the six belong to a group termed the pit vipers; this includes the cottonmouth, copperhead and three rattlesnakes (timber, eastern diamondback and pygmy). The sixth is the reclusive coral snake.

Snakes by their nature are secretive, so their appearance on the family farm or yard will likely send the homeowner running for the house. But unless they are provoked, snakes in North America will not attack. They usually have to be picked up, cornered, stepped on or harmed in some way to provoke a strike; a snake’s first response is almost always to flee rather than bite. The advice from the Conservation Department: Don’t be so quick to kill every snake that’s encountered. Most snakebites are the result of people trying to catch or kill a snake. If you encounter a venomous snake in the wild, just leave it alone. If it is in your yard, consider calling a professional wildlife damage control agent and have it captured and removed before killing it needlessly. Still, for anyone who spends a good deal of time outdoors, it’s worth learning about the six venomous snakes and their markings.

IF TROUBLE STRIKES: Snakebites are uncommon, but can be deadly if not treated quickly. For those who spend a good deal of time outdoors, it’s worth remembering these initial first aid tips, from Children’s of Alabama and the Conservation Department:

+ + + + + + COTTONMOUTH: These are common in Alabama, particularly around any body of water, including swamplands. The name is derived from its white inner mouth, which is often exposed when the snake is disturbed. It tends to stand its ground more so than other snakes.

+ + + + +

Seek medical attention immediately Don’t use a tourniquet Don’t use ice or a cold compress Don’t try to cut into a bite with a knife or razor Remove rings and constrictive items from arms and hands Wrap wound with compression bandages. Go about four inches above the wound, wrapping as you would a sprained ankle Immobilize the extremity Keep patient calm and warm Don’t try to suck the venom out by mouth Don’t raise the site of the bite above heart level Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol


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COPPERHEAD: The cottonmouth’s upland counterpart. Dark brown bands on a coppery lighter background that resemble an hourglass pattern make this snake especially hard to detect in the forest leaf. More are bitten by this snake in the Southeast than any other venomous snake. PHOTO BY DAVID CLINE

EASTERN DIAMONDBACK RATTLESNAKE: The largest rattlesnake in Alabama prefers drier sites such as coastal sandy pine forests. This hefty snake has dark brown to black diamonds along the length of its back. An ambush predator, it often sits coiled and motionless for hours while it waits for small rodents. PHOTO BY RICHARD DOWLING

CORAL SNAKE: Brightly colored bands of black, yellow and red are its signature; it resembles other similarly colored snakes, but old sayings, such as “red on yellow will kill a fellow” and “red on black, friend of Jack” help distinguish it. Bites from this snake are rare and usually associated with someone trying to handle the snake. PHOTO BY ERIC SOEHREN

PYGMY RATTLESNAKE: The smallest rattlesnake is quicktempered and is quick to coil and rattle, though it’s hardly perceptible. Often called a “ground rattler,” it has a light gray background with dark brown to orange blotches along the back. PHOTO BY ERIC SOEHREN

TIMBER (CANEBRAKE) RATTLESNAKE: Varies in color from gray to brown, with dark brown V-shaped bands or chevrons evenly spaced down the length of its body. Its coloration makes it also hard to detect. Usually occupies similar areas to that of the copperhead, but is found in areas that are a little wetter. PHOTO BY RICHARD DOWLING

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Special Travel Issue

Helen Keller grew up in a modest white clapboard house on the edge of Tuscumbia.

Helen Keller’s birthplace A pilgrimage of wonder and respect By Marilyn Jones


modest white clapboard house on the edge of Tuscumbia Anne, and the couple’s other children lived looks as if any one was home to Captain Arthur H. Keller, his wife Kate of them could be found sitting around the dining room table or Adams and their toddler, Helen, who was born June 27, resting by one of the fireplaces. 1880. Their lives were happy and idyllic until, at the age of 19 Built in 1820, only one year after Alabama became the 22nd months, Helen was stricken with a severe illness that left her State of the Union, the main house is of Virginia cottage conblind and deaf. struction. There are four large rooms on the first floor divided At the age of six, Helen Keller was a by a hallway and three rooms upstairs. hard to control, angry child when her A half dozen visitors are welcomed parents decided to take her to see Dr. this day by docent Mary Eubanks who Alexander Graham Bell. Because of this tells the story of a little girl lost in darkvisit, Helen was united with teacher Anne ness, who was rescued by the determinaMansfield Sullivan on March 3, 1887. tion and creativity of her teacher and by If you have seen the play or movie her own intelligence and willingness to “The Miracle Worker” by William Gibson engage with the world. or read Keller’s autobiography, you know Eubanks points to family furnishings that at the water pump in back of this and decorative accents, photographs house, Anne steadily pumped cool water and other treasured mementoes as she into one of Helen’s hands while repeat- Docent Mary Eubanks points out significant leads the group along the hallway past edly tapping out an alphabet code of five Keller memorabilia. the parlor, dining room, master bedroom letters in the other, over and over again. and into a room now used as a museum. Suddenly Helen understood: “W-a-t-e-r” meant the cool Guests are invited to go upstairs to the boy’s room, a trunk room, something flowing over her hand. By nightfall, she had learned and Helen and Anne’s bedroom. 30 words; within six months she knew 625. After a brief self-guided tour of the second floor and museum, guests exit through a small gift shop into the back yard. Here is Visiting Ivy Green the famous water pump where Helen learned her first word, setEntering the home where Captain and Mrs. Keller, Helen, ting her on a path of higher education and fame. 30 JUNE 2015

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Also on the tour is the kitchen building and the cottage where Helen was born. Later Anne used the cottage as a school for Helen. The Shoals Master Gardeners designed, built and maintain the flower beds on the grounds. According to Betty Balch and her husband Dennis, who often work in the garden, the flowers and shrubs chosen were mentioned in Helen’s writings about her childhood home.

Helen’s Life

By the age of 10, Helen had mastered Braille as well as the manual alphabet and how to use a typewriter. At age 16, she could speak well enough to go to preparatory school and eventually to college. In 1904 she graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College. Anne stayed with her through those years, interpreting lectures and class discussions to her. Helen dedicated her life to improving the conditions of blind and the deaf-blind all over the world and brought hope to millions of people. She died in her sleep on June 1, 1968, just a few weeks before her 88th birthday. During her remarkable life, Keller stood as a powerful example of how determination, hard work and imagination can allow an individual to triumph over adversity. She was a respected and world-renowned activist who labored for the betterment of others.

If you go:

Since 1954, when Helen Keller’s birthplace was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, it has been a shrine to the “miracle” that occurred in a blind and deaf seven-year old girl’s life and a place of homage to this remarkable woman. A production of “The Miracle Worker” is performed on the grounds of Ivy Green Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m. from June 5 through July 11. It chronicles the lives of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. Ivy Green is located at 300 North Commons Street West in Tuscumbia. Tours are offered Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed New Year’s Day, Easter, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and December 24, 25 and 26. Admission is charged. A For more information call (256) 383-4066 or

Helen Keller Festival offers crafts, music, food, parade and more

This year’s Helen Keller Festival is June 23-28. Presented by The City of Tuscumbia and located in Spring Park, the festival honors this extraordinary woman and the city where she grew up. Always popular is the Imagination Station where children can participate in building activities, making one-of-akind take home crafts and works of arts. Educational activities also help children understand how people with hearing and vision disabilities learn to read and communicate, and how this affects their everyday lives. The ever popular Helen Keller Festival Arts and Crafts Show features only handcrafted items including original paintings and artwork, hand sewn clothing, toys and jewelry. For athletes or just for fun there’s a 5 Mile and 1 Mile Fun Run, 5 Mile and 23 Mile Family Bike Ride and the Helen Keller Festival Golf Tournament. Coinciding with festival dates are two performances of the “The Miracle Worker,” Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Festivities also include musical performances, food vendors, Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama, a parade and car show. If you go: Coolers, alcohol and pets are not permitted in Spring Park. Parking in Spring Park is very limited. Visitors are encouraged to take the trolley to the park. It runs every 15 minutes and makes pick-up stops throughout the city. For more information, and trolley times and pick-up stops check the website at

From top: The actual well pump where Helen Keller learned the word “water” from Anne Sullivan. The dining room contains several Keller family heirlooms. The parlor as it would have looked in the late 1800s. Helen Keller and her mother’s clothing are displayed in the master bedroom on the main floor. The kitchen and cook’s quarters are located directly behind the house. The kitchen was separate from the main house as a safety measure in case of fire. PHOTOS BY MARILYN JONES

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Special Travel Issue

Florence’s Rosenbaum home is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Alabama legacy T


By Marilyn Jones

he sign along Riverview Drive in Florence marks a brown house looking like several building blocks arranged side by side as the Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House and my destination. I have long been fascinated with Wright, the man as much as his work. And, as Rosenbaum House Director Libby Jordan shows me around the house, I will also, in turn, become fascinated with Mildred and Stanley Rosenbaum as well. The Rosenbaums Mildred was a Vogue model in New York when she met Stanley in the 1930s. They married in 1938. As a wedding gift, Stanley’s parents gave the newlyweds a two-acre corner lot and $7,500 to build their first home. “They had one request,” says Jordan. “And that was that the couple build the house toward the corner of the lot so that the elder Rosenbaums could still see the Tennessee River from their home across the street.” Aaron Green, a local architectural student and friend of Mildred and Stanley, actually designed the first house for the

Rosenbaums, but when his design came in way over their budget, he suggested Frank Lloyd Wright. Green contacted Wright, who designed the house and asked Green to help oversee its construction. The house was built on a slab with concrete floors. There was an L-shaped floor plan, based on Wright’s original Usonian design, and the house was made of cypress wood, brick and glass-mitered windows. The House “This house is considered the purest example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian home,” Jordan says. “Usonian stands for the United State

house of any design in Alabama. Then Jordan opens the door it as if she is lifting the lid of a jewelry box to reveal the treasures inside. Immediately the Wright magic comes into focus as I gaze into the living room and walk into the study; so many features of art and practicality become even clearer. A geometric design — created specifically for the Rosenbaums — was used over and over again in lighting fixtures and shallow windows along the roof line. Many elements were built in, including the bookcases in the living room, desk and book cases in the study, and table and shelving in the dining area. A wall lined with glass doors offered the Rosenbaums a view of the river although it cannot be seen today. The house is decorated with many of the Rosenbaums’ personal items, including Stanley’s books and furniture designed by Wright. Past a small kitchen, divided from the dining area by folding doors, I walk with Jordan down a long hall and into each of three bedrooms which also feature glass doors opening out onto the lawn.

This house is considered the purest example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian home

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of America and was offered as a low-cost home for middle income families,” Jordan continues as we stand at the back of the house, which serves as the house’s main entrance. “With Wright’s plans, a young family could build their own home, fulfilling the American dream of home ownership.” There are only 26 pre-World War II Usonian houses. This is the only Wright

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The Addition Jordan explains that the original house was 1,540 square feet. “But when the Rosenbaum household grew to include four sons, they asked Wright to design an addition,” she says. In 1948, 1,084 square feet was added, including a larger kitchen, a guest bedroom, storage space and a dormitory for the boys. This seamless addition clearly shows Wright’s concept of a Usonian house that could grow as a family grew. But, when Wright was originally approached to design the addition he resisted, so the couple drove to Wisconsin to convince Wright, and he finally agreed. We walk along a very narrow hallway to the guest bedroom now used for display purposes. Along the hallway are closet after closet — just what Mildred wanted and needed with four boys; storage space. Back down the hall we arrive in the large dormitory room with four bunk beds suspended from the ceiling along the far wall. Each boy also had his own built-in storage space for clothes and toys. The Restoration Stanley, a literature professor at the University of North Alabama, passed away in 1983 and the Rosenbaums’ four sons moved away from Florence. But Mildred, devoted to the house, stayed, even though the roof leaked and the heating system no longer worked.

By 1999, the house had reached a critical stage. Years of leaking roofs had damaged the joists, ceilings, walls and exterior trim. Termites had also taken their toll and cored many of the walls. Fortunately the city of Florence developed a plan to save the house, using a capital improvements account funded by a onecent sales tax. Volunteers and professionals also contributed to the restoration. The city spent $600,000 on repairs, using original plans sent by the Wright Foundation. Mildred witnessed the restoration of her home which opened as a museum in 2002. She was even able to lead a few private tours through the house. She passed away in 2006. A visit to the Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House is a look back at another era: a glimpse of the Rosenbaum family and the design genius of Wright. If you go: The Rosenbaum House is located at 601 Riverview Drive in Florence. Visit www. Hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 - 4 p.m. Reservations required for large groups. Call (256) 718-5050. Admissions/ gift shop is located across the street from the house. $8 for adults. $5 for seniors and students. For area information, visit www. or call (800) 344-0783. A

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Sunlight streams into the living room through a bank of doors facing out over the spacious lawn; the dining table and shelving are built-in features of the house; the study is located just off the living room and features a built-in desk and book shelves; shallow windows along the roof line allow plentiful light to stream in.

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Worth the Drive

While away a summer day at Jake’s Fish Camp By Jennifer Kornegay


hile the name of Jake’s Fish Camp is a little misleading — there is no fish on the small menu, and it’s run by a friendly guy named Frank — the place is pretty straightforward about what you will find there: tasty burgers, barbecue and sandwiches; cold beer; and on most weekends in the spring and summer, live music, all in an environment that gives new meaning to the term “laid back.” Sitting on a dark muddy slip of Pintlala Creek flowing to and from the Alabama River, Jake’s was once a marina in addition Frank Janes to a restaurant/bar that welcomed all kinds of characters for more than 30 years. When its namesake passed away a decade ago, the place died with him. But Jake’s son Frank re-opened Jake’s two and half years ago, much to the delight of those who’d once frequented the joint as well as its many new fans. It’s not much to look at: a small cabin painted the color of the pines around it with a covered side porch boasting a water view and an overhead sprinkler system to cool things down in the heat of summer; a pool room up front; a bar and a few tables in the back room lit by neon beer logos; and an outdoor stage out front. Its proximity to the creek is a constant threat, but one that Jake and now Frank Jennifer Kornegay is the author of a new children’s book, “The Alabama Adventures of Walter and Wimbly: Two Marmalade Cats on a Mission.” She travels to an out-of-the way restaurant destination in Alabama every month. She may be reached for comment at

38 JUNE 2015

have always taken in stride. It’s all been completely underwater several times (look for the notation above the front door showing how high the water got in 1990), which explains a lot. “Dad never really bothered fixing the place up too much since we flooded so often,” Frank said. But the food is good, the service is friendly, and Theo the wiener dog — Jake’s unofficial mascot — greets all who come with a tail wag and a loud bark. Frank likes to call his spot “a little FloraBama,” and the description is accurate. It’s nothing fancy, but the experience is all about fun. Frank is particularly proud of the musical acts he’s been bringing in, a slew of the Southeast’s most popular and prolific bar bands, and they’re bringing in the crowds. On a weekend in April, 60s star Billy Joe Royal played at Jake’s. And later in the month, Brandon Self (who’s opened for David Allan Coe) drew more than 200 people with his country music crooning, despite a downpour that pushed the show inside. Even when there’s no musical act scheduled to perform, visitors find their way to Jake’s (and there’s always a juke box playing good-time tunes). They come by land and they come by boat. The spot is definitely off the beaten path, but the drive through countryside or ride down the creek to get there plus the relaxed vibe courtesy of its semi-hidden spot on a bank lined with silvery moss-draped trees is a large part of the appeal, as is the humble but hearty food. It may be simple, but some folks swear that Jake’s hot ham and cheese sandwich is the best they’ve ever had. Frank smokes barbecue out front that’s earned rave reviews from diners, too. But it’s the Jake’s Cheeseburger that is not to be missed. It’s basic and not too big, and the secret to its deliciousness lies in the toppings. Fine chopped onion and shredded lettuce covered in coarse black pepper add crunch and kick that complement the juicy beef

patty blanketed in melty American cheese. Enjoy it all with an icy can of Coke or a brew while watching the creek roll by and listening to some grinning guy picking a guitar, and you’re well on your way to a perfect summer day. A

Jake’s Fish Camp 125 Jake’s Landing Road Burkville, Ala. Burkville 334-263-1991 Check out Jake’s Facebook page to see upcoming bands and events. If you’re using your phone or a car navigation system to find Jake’s, you may get thrown off course. If you’re coming from around Montgomery, head away from downtown toward Maxwell AFB on Day Street and go past the Air Force Base entrance. Not far after that, take a left on Old Selma Road. Follow that for eight miles and look for Jake’s Landing Road on your right.

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JUNE 2015  39

Alabama Outdoors

Powerful nibblers offer tackle-busting action By John N. Felsher


hat started as a subtle, barely noticeable nibble turned into a major tug-of-war battle when the striped fish steadily yanked line from the reel and bent the rod almost to the breaking point as it lumbered toward the rocks. Big sheepshead love hard structure such as the twin rocky jetties marking the mouth of Perdido Pass near Orange Beach. They also frequently lurk around bridge or dock pilings, reefs, petroleum platforms, wrecks or any other solid structures that hold barnacles. Anglers often see sheepshead munching barnacles, crushing the sedentary crustaceans that grow on rocks or pilings with their molar-like flat teeth. “In the spring, sheepshead congregate in big numbers around the rock jetties at Perdido Pass to spawn,” says Capt. Marty Starling of Salty Dog Charters in Orange Beach. “They’ll also hold around the Highway 182 Bridge pilings. They eat the barnacles and crabs on the rocks. They really like fiddler crabs and even eat small oysters.” Sometimes called convict fish for their striped coloration and an innate ability to quickly and easily steal bait from hooks, sheepshead can provide incredible action on light tackle. One of the most abundant and powerful fish in coastal waters, sheepshead rely upon brute strength rather than speed and flash. They often hunker down in entangling cover and dare anglers to bring them to the boat. Often overlooked by anglers seeking 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 Contact him through his website at www.

40 JUNE 2015

Christine Carpenter shows off a sheepshead she caught while fishing with Marty Starling of Salty Dog Charters at Perdido Pass near Orange Beach, Ala. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER

speckled trout or redfish, sheepshead can grow up to 20 pounds. On April 1, 2015, Branden Collier of Irvington landed a pending state record sheepshead -- and that’s no April Fool! His fish weighed 13 pounds, 9 ounces. He caught it on a hermit crab while fishing near Fort Morgan by Gulf Shores. He also caught some other sheepshead that day that nearly broke the existing record of 12 pounds, 15 ounces, set by Drew Parrish in 2001. “Often, the bigger sheepshead will be in the Gulf of Mexico,” Starling explained. “The close platforms off Fort Morgan are good places to look for big sheepshead. Many new reefs they put out north of Per-

dido Pass can also hold some good sheepshead, flounder and speckled trout.”

To catch sheepshead, you’ll need strong equipment

Catching sheepshead doesn’t take much finesse, but it does require stout equipment. With buck-toothed mouths set in powerful jaws studded with strong teeth, sheepshead can mangle tackle. They frequently bite hooks in half or pop lines. Despite their powerful jaws and impressive dental equipment, sheepshead gingerly nibble baits and don’t rush out to attack food. Almost timidly, they examine morsels before deciding to taste them. Often, anglers don’t even

detect subtle strikes. Sometimes, the line simply feels heavy or mushy. Anglers must pay attention to subtle tugs. A sheepshead can quickly strip bait from a hook. Sheepshead occasionally hit flies or other lures, but prefer natural bait. They’ll readily gobble live or fresh shrimp, but also eat live minnows, clams, squid and sometimes even cut bait. More than anything, they relish small live blue crabs or fiddlers. Since they commonly hang around jetties, seawalls and docks, sheepshead offer outstanding opportunities for boatless anglers to land powerful fish. To keep more sheepshead around their favorite fishing places, some people crack clams, or crush crabs and dump them into the water. Other people use rakes or shovels to scrape barnacles off rocks or pilings to chum for sheepshead. Many anglers without access to boats walk out on the Perdido Pass jetties to tempt sheepshead. Besides sheepshead, they might also catch pompano, redfish, speckled trout, flounder, Spanish mackerel and occasional larger fish. People with boats can find a variety of fish in the Gulf of Mexico and the rich estuary north of Perdido Pass. “Perdido Pass can be an exceptional place to catch a variety of fish,” Starling says. “The fishing is different every time we go. One day, we might catch redfish and flounder. The next day, we might catch sheepshead and pompano. Mackerel sometimes come up all the way to the shoreline. We’ve even caught them around the bridge at the pass. Right outside the pass are some big sandbars. That’s a great area to fish for king mackerel.” Perdido Pass separates Alabama Point from Florida Point at the mouth of the Perdido River at Orange Beach. It connects Perdido Bay with the Gulf of Mexico about two miles west of the Alabama-Florida line. The Perdido River flows about 65 miles from Escambia County near Atmore into the gulf and forms a portion of the Alabama-Florida line. “The Perdido River estuary is a good place to look for speckled trout,” Starling says. “Redfish are all over the bays. Anywhere that people can find bait is usually a good place to fish. I never have a destination planned when I go fishing in the morning. I just look at the water and let it take me where we need to go.” A For booking trips, call Starling at 251-9792447. Online, see Alabama Living

Got an outdoor/hunting product or offer a service that people need to know about? If so, this space is where you should be advertising.

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

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

-01:22 02:07 02:52 03:37 04:37 09:52 11:37 -01:07 01:52 02:37 03:22 04:07 --01:07 01:52 02:37 03:22 04:37 11:07 -12:52 01:37 02:37 03:22 04:07 --01:07 01:37 02:22 02:52 03:37 09:37 11:07 ---01:37 02:52 03:37 04:37 -12:52

05:37 06:22 06:52 07:22 08:07 08:52 05:52 07:07 08:07 08:52 09:37 10:07 10:52 11:22 04:37 05:22 06:07 06:52 07:37 08:37 09:37 05:37 07:07 08:22 09:22 10:07 10:52 11:37 04:52 05:37 06:07 06:52 07:22 08:07 08:52 04:22 05:22 06:37 07:52 08:52 09:37 10:22 11:07 11:52 05:22 06:07

08:22 08:52 09:37 10:07 10:37 11:22 11:52 05:07 02:07 07:37 09:07 10:07 10:52 11:37 07:22 08:07 08:37 09:22 09:52 10:37 11:22 05:07 12:52 07:22 08:52 10:07 11:07 11:52 07:37 07:52 08:22 08:52 09:22 09:37 10:07 03:52 04:22 01:07 03:22 08:22 09:52 10:37 11:22 12:07 07:37 08:07

01:07 01:37 02:07 02:37 03:22 03:52 04:22 12:37 06:22 03:52 04:52 05:37 06:07 06:52 12:07 12:37 01:22 02:07 02:37 03:22 04:07 12:07 06:07 03:07 04:37 05:37 06:22 06:52 12:07 12:52 01:22 01:52 02:22 02:52 03:22 10:37 11:07 11:52 12:37 04:37 05:22 05:52 06:22 06:52 12:22 01:07

Alabama's largest consumer publication is offering premium advertising space next to our Outdoors section But hurry because space is limited! THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REACH MORE THAN one MILLION readers every month. Advertise with us and see WHY ALABAMA LIVING IS THE BEST READ & MOST WIDELY CIRCULATED MAGAZINE IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA. Still thinking about it? Consider this:

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JUNE 2015 41

Around Alabama JUNE


Georgiana, 36th Annual Hank Williams Festival. Featuring music, arts and crafts and food. Fun for the whole family. Admission is charged. For information, call 334-376-2396 or visit


Tuscumbia, “The Miracle Worker” on the grounds of Ivy Green, Helen Keller’s birthplace and home. Performances Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. for a free tour of the home and grounds with each ticket purchase. General admission is $10. Reserved seats are $15 and group rates for 20 or more are $13.00.


Chatom, Fashion with a Cause at Chatom Community Center, 6:30 p.m. The elegant evening will feature current and 50s couture styled by fashion blogger Morrell Turner, as well as guest speakers from human trafficking advocacy organizations Hope Haven and Stella’s Voice. Admission is free. Donations will be accepted for these two organizations, as well as the WMU Foundation’s Hayes Endowment to combat human trafficking. www. or


Florence, Frontier Day Celebration at Pope’s Tavern. Step back in time and watch artisans in costume spinning wool, carving wood, working a forge, making brooms, creating corn shuck dolls, and playing dulcimers. For information, call 256-760-6439.



Moulton, Play it Forward Golf Tournament at Deer Run Golf Course. Registration begins at 7 a.m., Survivor Speaker at 7:40, and tournament at 8. $200 per foursome. Pre-registration is not required but requested. All proceeds go to the family programs of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. for information, please contact Caren Stewart at or call 256-318-5375.


Cullman, Rock the South. An outdoor festival dedicated to things as simple as food, music and life. This year’s lineup features artists such as Alan Jackson, Sara Evans, Travis Tritt and Corey Smith. For more information on lineup, tickets and location, visit www.


Brewton, 35th Annual Blueberry Festival. Jennings Park from 8 a.m.- 3p.m. Original arts and crafts, live entertainment, free children’s section, car show, blueberries, blueberry bushes, cookbook, t-shirts, blueberry ice cream, cobbler, funnel cakes and much more.


Clanton, Peach Jam Jubilee at Clanton City Park, 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Live entertainment, family fun, kid zone and more than 150 vendors. JULY


Grand Bay, Grand Bay Watermelon Festival at Festival Park on Highway 90. Friday 3-7 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. No admission charged on the 3rd, $5 for parking and a free slice of watermelon on the 4th.

Montgomery, Alabama Homeschool Expo at the Montgomery Convention Center, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Browse the large exhibit hall and visit with your favorite vendors, many of whom have sales during the convention. Learn more about the laws governing Alabama homeschooling and how to homeschool in a relaxed and intimate environment in Homeschooling For Excellence 101. Stay up to date with all the activities by joining our email list or visiting




Marion, 20th Annual Marion Rodeo at the Perry County Cattleman’s Ralph Eagle Memorial Arena on Highway 14. Gates open at 6 p.m., Mutton Bustin at 6:30, Little Wranglers at 7:15 and the Rodeo begins at 7:30. All tickets are $10, children 3 and under are admitted free. Proceeds benefit the crisis fund for the Perry County Fire Association. For information, call 334-683-4004 and leave a message.

Henagar, 32nd Annual Sand Mountain Potato Festival at Henagar Town Park. Sand Mountain is well known for its rich diversity of agricultural products, including potatoes. Celebrate our heritage with live music, arts and crafts, entertainment, games and fireworks. Event begins at 10 a.m. and culminates with a beautiful fireworks display. 256-657-6282.

Huntsville, July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Enjoy delicious food, patriotic entertainment and breathtaking fireworks. Build your own rocket, experience Space Shot and meet TOPPS and RamJet from the USSRC. The celebration is from 6-10 p.m. on July 4, with the fireworks show beginning at 9 p.m. www.

To place an event, e-mail or visit You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations. 42 JUNE 2015

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Market Place Miscellaneous KEEP POND WATER CLEAN AND FISH HEALTHY with our aeration systems and pond supplies. Windmill Electric, Solar Powered and Fountain Aerators. Windpower (256)899-3850 FREE BOOKS / DVDS – SOON government will enforce the “Mark” of the beast as church and state unite! Let Bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771 –, (888)211-1715 USED PORTABLE SAWMILLS – BUY / Sell. Call Sawmill Exchange (800)4592148 or 713-sawmill. USA & Canada – LUMBER FOR SALE: CIRCULAR SAW Red & White Oak, Hickory, Ash - $1.20 BFT; Heart Pine - $5.00 BFT – 5” Treated Round: One Side Flat Fence Post 8 FT Long $9.50 each - Loring White (334)782-3636 (Tallapoosa) 18X21 CARPORT $795 INSTALLED – OTHER SIZES AVAILABLE - (706) 226-2739 DIVORCE MADE EASY – UNCONTESTED, LOST, IN PRISON OR Aliens. $149.95 - 26 years experience – (417)443-6511 FINANCIAL HELP LINES FOR AL FAMILIES BANKRUPTCY ADVICE FOR FREE (877)933-1139 MORTGAGE RELIEF HELP LINE (888) 216-4173 STUDENT LOAN RELIEF LINE (888)694-8235 DEBT RELIEF NON-PROFIT LINE (888) 779-4272 Numbers provided by A Public Benefit Organization METAL ROOFING $1.79/LINFT – FACTORY DIRECT! 1ST QUALITY, 40yr Warranty, Energy Star rated. (price subject to change) - (706) 226-2739 WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA / SOLID WOOD & LOG FURNITURE / HANDCRAFTED AMISH CASKETS $1,599 / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct (256)490-4025, www., www. $11.00 FOR YOUR FAVORITE PERFUME - Copies of all your favorites.  350 to choose from.  Check us out!! The French Connection, Decatur, Alabama - Gives us a call or check out our web page.

How To Place a Line Closing Deadlines (in our office): Ad in Marketplace August 2015 – June 25 • September 2015 – July 25 • October 2015 – August 25

– (256)355-8700/1-800-472-1094, CERTIFIED GMO FREE OLD TIMEY white and yellow self-pollinating SEED corn – (334)886-2925 HUGE SELECTION OF QUALITY FABRICS AND TRIMS AT DISCOUNT PRICES - Delivered right to your door. - phone: (205)487-8040. Or visit our store, Betty’s Fabric Gallery in Winfield, AL phone: (205)487-2239. Save 10% with coupon AL10 AERMOTOR WATER PUMPING WINDMILLS – windmill parts – decorative windmills – custom built windmill towers - call Windpower (256)899-3850 or (256)638-2352 DAYLILY GARDENS OPENS AT CRENSHAW FARMS on April 15th. We have 6,500 pots for just $5 and 5,000 pots for just $10. Registered daylilies also available plus Antique Shop. Near Bay Minette / Stockton. (251)577-1235, Facebook – Crenshaw Farms Daylily Garden.

Business Opportunities PIANO TUNING PAYS – LEARN WITH American Tuning School home-study course – (800)497-9793

Vacation Rentals AFFORDABLE BEACHSIDE VACATION CONDOS – Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL. Rent Direct from Christian Family Owners. Lowest Prices on the Beach –, (205)752-1231, (205)556-0368, (251)752-2366 CABIN IN MENTONE – 2/2, BROW view, hottub – For rent $100 / Night or Sale $199,000 – (706)767-0177 APPALACHIAN TRAIL – CABINS BY the trail in the Georgia Mountains – 3000’ above sea level, snowy winters, cool summers, inexpensive rates – (800)284-6866, www.bloodmountain. com PIGEON FORGE 4 BEDROOM HOUSE – VRBO RENTAL 556992 – (256)7178694, (256)717-9112 FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE – 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)566-0892, mailady96@yahoo. com MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 14 – www., (850)766-5042.  

GULF SHORES RENTAL– GREAT Rates! (256)490-4025, (256)523-5154 or TOURIST CABINS FOR RENT BY OWNER - (865) 712-7633. Year Round Specials GULF SHORES COTTAGE – WATERFRONT, 2 / 1, PET FRIENDLY – RATES AND CALENDAR ONLINE DESTIN FLORIDA CONDO – ONE Bedroom, sleeps 4, fully furnished, nice and convenient – Great Rates –, (770)942-5530, (770)365-5205 GULF SHORES PLANTATION - GULF view, beach side, 2 bedrooms / 2 baths, no smoking / no pets. Owner rates (205)339-3850 ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226 GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie12@centurytel. net, (256)599-5552

GULF SHORES PLANTATION CONDO - 2/2, Beach Side, Adjacent to Kiva Dunes Golf, Outdoor Pools, Hot Tubs, Indoor Pool, Volley Ball, Lighted Tennis and Beautiful Beaches. Owner Rates (256)797-1107, gailjgunn@ ON TOP OF LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – COLLINSVILLE, AL – BED & BATH for Fisherman and Hunters – Vacationers WELCOMED – (256)557-0091 GATLINBURG, TN – FOND memories start here in our chalet – Great vacation area for all seasons – Two queen beds, full kitchen, 1 bath, Jacuzzi, deck with grill – 3 Night Special - Call (866)316-3255, Look for us on FACEBOOK / billshideaway GULF SHORES GULF FRONT – SEACREST CONDO – 1BR / 1BA, king bed, hall bunks, free Wi-Fi – Summer week $1,077.00 – VRBO #435534 – amariewisener@gmail. com (256)352-5721 CABINS - PIGEON FORGE, TN: Peaceful, convenient location, owner rates – (251)649-3344, (251)649-4049,

PIGEON FORGE, TN: 2BR/2BA, HOT tub, air hockey, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)363-1973, Homeaway#241942

HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – SLEEPS 2-6, 2.5 BATHS, FIREPLACE, Jacuzzi, washer/dryer – (251)9482918,, email

WWW.GULFSHORES4RENT.COM – BEAUTIFUL AND GREAT PRICED condos on West Beach in Gulf Shores – Call (404)219-3189 or (404)702-9824

GULF SHORES PLANTATION CONDO – Family Friendly, Gulfside, 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 5-6, outdoor pools, no smoking, no pets – Owner Rental,

GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE ON BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585,

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


PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 BEDROOM, 2 bath house – Walking distance to parkway, light# 1 - $85.00 / night – (256)309-7873, (256)590-8758

PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – OWNER RENTAL – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000,, www.

BEAUTIFUL PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – Sleeps 6 comfortably, many amenities onsite – Joy (256)878-0211

SMOKIES TOWNSEND, TN – 2BR / 2BA, Secluded Log Home, Jacuzzi, Fireplace, Wrap-Around Porch, Charcoal Grill – (865)320-4216. For rental details and pictures, Email

ORANGE BEACH CONDO – 2/2, Fully Furnished – Gulf & Bayou View $171,900 – Call Destiny (251)786-5200

GULF SHORES CONDO – 2BR / 1.5BA, sleeps 6, pool, beach access – (334)790-9545

Real Estate Sales

PLANTATION HOME – 3BR / 2 BATH – Your own private 140 acres, fishing and hunting in Morgan County –, (256)586-4030

Ads are $1.75 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis; Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each. Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to; or call (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing.; We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards. Mail ad submission along with a check or money order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Classifieds.

44  JUNE 2015

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN .75 ACRE LOT – Approx. one mile from Mentone Valley (atop of MT.) – Excellent investment property - $25,000 – (205)903-4223 LAKE MITCHEL CABIN IN MALLARD COVE, ROCKFORD, AL – Cabin has a large gathering room, kitchen, bath, 2 bedrooms, 3 large decks one covered and a covered boat house $33,500, OBO. Pictures available. E-mail, (601)2593398

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

Musical Notes PIANOS TUNED, REPAIRED, refinished. Box 171, Coy, AL 36435. 334-337-4503 PLAY GOSPEL SONGS BY EAR - 10 lessons $12.95. “LEARN GOSPEL MUSIC”. Chording, runs, fills - $12.95 Both $24. Davidsons, 6727AR

Metcalf, Shawnee Missions, Kansas 66204 – (913)262-4982

Education BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 7558 West Thunderbird Road, Ste. 1 - #114, Peoria, Arizona 85381.

Critters CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. REGISTERED, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet records and references. (256)796-2893

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


30’ x 40’ x 10’ - $5,52000 40’ x 60’ x 12’ - $9,12000

Prices are subject to change • Top and Gable only • Price includes material, labor and delivery within 75 miles

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Best prices on New Xpress Bay Boats and Veranda pontoons. Used inventory changing daily, Service Dept. (334) 427-1428 • Hwy 84 west Andalusia

Alabama Living

JUNE 2015 45

Daddy’s Favorite Recipes Alabama Recipes

Cook of the month: Jane Kendrick Coosa Valley EC Chicken Pot Pie ½ stick margarine 1 onion, chopped fine 2 stalks celery, chopped fine ½ cup flour 2 cups chicken broth

½ cup milk 1 chicken, boiled and deboned 2 cans mixed vegetables (VegAll), drained and rinsed 1 pie crust for top

In large saucepan, melt margarine and sauté onion and celery. Stir in flour and add milk and chicken broth.  Cook until thickened.  Watch carefully and stir slowly, almost constantly. Add chicken and mixed vegetables and mix thoroughly.  Put into 9 x 13 casserole dish. Top with pie crust; use a pastry wheel or lattice roller on crust for an eye-catching presentation. Dot with margarine and sesame seeds if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. 

You could win $50! Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: August September October

Cool drinks Tailgating Homemade candy


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

46 JUNE 2015

June 15 July 15 August 15

Growing up, my Dad always made the best egg sandwiches. I still ask for him to make me one occasionally. Or if he knows I need one, he will make me one without me asking. That’s the thing about Dads: They always know what we need when we need it the most. So cheers to all the Dads who make our lives better, every day. Happy Father’s Day, Pop.

Mary Tyler Spivey

is a graduate of Huntingdon College where she studied history and French but she also has a passion for great food. Contact her at recipes@

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

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.

Dad’s Favorite Breakfast Grits

3 2 6 3/4 1

1/4 1/4 1/8 1/8 3-4

cups water chicken bouillon cubes tablespoons of grits onion, chopped handful of chili cheese Fritos, crushed teaspoon Sazon Goya con culantro yachiote (coriander & annatto) teaspoon paprika teaspoon (heaping) chili powder teaspoon (heaping) cayenne pepper slices Swiss cheese

Add water to large saucepan. Combine all ingredients except grits and cheese. Bring to a boil. Sprinkle in grits and simmer until thick. Stir in cheese till melted and serve. Can be complemented with a fried egg on top. Harold A. Weinbaum III, Joe Wheeler EMC

Don’s Oven “Fried” Chicken 1 4-ounce bag thin potato chips, crushed 4 chicken breasts, skin removed ½ cup sour cream Salt and pepper to taste 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Daddy’s Lemon Chicken


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 can lemon-lime soda 1/4 cup lemon juice Lemon pepper spice Salt & pepper, if desired

2.5 1 1 1 1 1 1/2 1

Rub dry lemon pepper onto wet chicken breasts. Grill until pretty grill marks appear. Place into glass casserole pan, then cover with juice and soda. Sprinkle with more lemon pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Remove foil and let chicken brown on top. Becky Chappelle, Cullman EC

Daddy’s Favorite Casserole 1½-2 pounds of ground lean beef 1 17-ounce can corn (niblets, drained) 1 15-ounce can pinto beans (drained) 1 onion, chopped 2 tablespoons onion powder 2 tablespoons seasoning salt 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon red pepper (optional) 1½ tablespoons lemon pepper 1½ teaspoons pepper 1 6-ounce can tomato paste ½ cup ketchup Brown beef in skillet. Drain excess grease. Add onion and all seasonings to meat and cook until onions are clear. Add tomato paste and mix. Add beans and corn. Stir well and add ketchup. If needed add ¼ to ½ cup of water. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Mildred Nordman, North Alabama EC

Hashbrown Casserole 1 package frozen hashbrowns, thawed 1 stick butter or margarine, melted 2 cups Colby cheese, shredded 1/4 cup minced onion Dash of garlic powder 1 can cream of chicken soup Salt and pepper to taste French fried onion rings, optional

1 1 1 1 8

pounds ground chuck tablespoon olive oil large onion, diced large bell pepper, diced teaspoon salt teaspoon black pepper pound cooked rotini pasta 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes can Rotel tomatoes cup sliced green olives cup sliced black olives 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts ounces grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

Cook ground chuck on medium high, breaking up with spoon until fully cooked. Drain fat. Sautee diced onion and bell pepper in olive oil until soft. Combine meat and all listed ingredients except cheese. Place in casserole dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes until bubbly. Freezes well. Jane A. Smith, Joe Wheeler EMC

Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches 1-2 packages of 24 rolls or any packaged small rolls, either sliced or not, but all connected 2 sticks butter, softened at room temperature 3 tablespoons yellow mustard 1 medium onion, chopped 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon dry poppy seeds (optional) 1 pound of sliced deli ham 1 pound of sliced Swiss cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Poke small hole in one end of potato chip bag to release air and crush chips with cup or sturdy, flat object.  Set aside.  Wash chicken and pat dry.  Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  With hands, apply coat of sour cream to each breast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in bag of crushed chips to coat.  Place on baking sheet and repeat process until each breast is coated.  Drizzle all with melted butter or margarine.  Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes, depending on size of breasts.  Be sure juices are clear before removing from oven.  Do not overcook.  Serves 4.

Melt butter in a 13x9-baking dish in a 350-degree oven. Mix butter, hashbrowns, cheese, minced onion, salt, pepper, garlic and soup. Place in baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and top with French fried onions and bake 10 minutes longer. Enjoy! This is my husband’s and daddy’s favorite!

Cream together, either by hand or mixer, the butter, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce, then stir in onion and poppy seeds. Keep the buns together and if they are not sliced, then slice them horizontally altogether in a slab. Open the slab up, like a book, and spread the softened butter mixture on both sides of the buns. Layer the ham slices and cheese slices on the bottom side only. Then fold the top slab buns on top. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and put them in a preheated 400-degree oven for 15 minutes to melt the cheese and the butter mixture into the buns. Unwrap and cut into individual sandwiches.

Mary Donaldson, Covington EC

Wendi Luther, Central Alabama EC

Victoria Motyka, Baldwin EMC

Alabama Living

JUNE 2015  47

A perfectly ripe peach should yield slightly to the touch, but not be so soft it bruises.

Alabama Gardens

A peach of a month


love June, the month that the famous 20th century garden writer and designer Gertrude Jekyll described as “the time of perfect young summer.” It is that fresh, youthful promise of June that makes me adore it so. It is the month when summer officially arrives (on the Summer Solstice, June 21). And as the weather becomes reliably warm, but not so intensely hot as it will be later in the season, it’s a great month to work in the yard and garden. It’s also the month when we can begin to fill our tables and plates with summer fruits and vegetables of all kinds -- the ones we have been longing for ever since last year. Chief among those fruits, and arguably one of the most popular fruits in the world, are peaches, which are coming into full production in Alabama this month. While August is National Peach Month, June is when the peach is appropriately celebrated in Alabama. One of the oldest, if not THE oldest, of these celebrations is the Chilton County Peach Festival, which has been held since 1947 during the third week in June (this year’s festival is June 20-26). The week-long festival features pageants, a “peach run,” art exhibitions, a cook-off, a fishing tournament, live music, parades, live and silent auctions, barbecue and much more ( or 205-755-2400). But most important of all, it celebrates the importance of peaches to Chilton County, which produces more than 80 percent of Alabama’s overall peach crop. Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@

48 JUNE 2015

T h e peach, w h i c h is ac tu a l ly grown throughout the state, is such an important part of our state’s agricultural economy that, in 2006, the Alabama Legislature designated the peach as Alabama’s official state “tree fruit,” a declaration that raised a few eyebrows in Georgia and South Carolina, two states that are also famous for their peaches, but has nonetheless has stuck. If you want to celebrate the peach and don’t have peach trees of your own from which to pick these lovely fruits, there are myriad opportunities to pick them or pick them up from growers throughout the state. Look for Alabama-grown peaches at roadside stands and farmers markets or check out the website www. to find peach and other pick-your-own fruit and vegetable opportunities throughout the state.

Choosing the right peach

To choose the perfect peach, a rich color and a peachy fragrance are good indicators, but the best test is to squeeze them ever so gently. A perfectly ripe peach should yield a little to the touch but not be so soft it bruises. Of course, if you’re cooking them up for peach jam or preserves, riper ones are fine. And if you’re buying a large quantity of peaches to use over several days, get a mix of riper and less ripe ones. One of the many fine attributes of peaches is that they ripen well even after they are picked. Simply leave less ripe peaches on the counter (preferably not stacked on top of each other) or, to help them ripen faster, store them in a paper bag. To slow down their ripening, keep them in the refrigerator, though check

them every few days to make sure they are not drying out. Another thing about peaches is that they make great gifts. The term “you’re a real peach” is said to have originated from the tradition of giving a peach as a sign of friendship or affection, so if you want to spread some affection and appreciation this June, share your peaches. In fact, since June is the month that we also celebrate fathers (Father’s Day is June 21), think about giving the dad or dads in your life a basket of peaches or a peach pie, cobbler or other dish or make him some peach jam. Most important of all, get outside and enjoy this first month of summer—the peachy month of June. A

JUNE GARDEN TIPS  Plant tomatoes, peppers,

eggplants and sweet potatoes.

 Sow seeds for beans, field  

   

peas, pumpkins, squash, corn, cantaloupes and watermelon. Deadhead flowering annuals to encourage continued blooming. Irrigate (with long, deep weekly waterings) houseplants, newly planted shrubs and perennials and lawns as needed if the weather turns dry. Remove dry and yellow foliage from spring bulbs. Keep an eye out for insect and disease problems in the garden and on houseplants. Thin the new fruits on apple, pear and peach trees to produce larger fruit. Add fresh water frequently to birdbaths and ornamental pools to reduce mosquito breeding.

Alabama Living

JUNE 2015  49


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34 APRIL JUNE 2015 2015

TOGETHER Alabama Living

W e u s e e n e r g y w i s e l y. Saving energy can be easy. Whether you use ceiling fans to cool your home, clean or change your AC filters monthly or keep your thermostat set at 78 in the summer/68 in the winter, every low-cost energy change adds up to make a big difference. We’re in the business of using energy wisely. Together we power your life.

MONTH 2013 35

Our Sources Say

Earth Day 2015: Tax pollution, not profits


ince 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated on April 22. Since its inception, it has morphed into disassociated worldwide events in 192 countries that demonstrate support for environmental issues. A statement by Margaret Mead, a well-recognized anthropologist, environmentalist and author in the 1970’s, has been adopted as the Earth Day gospel: “Earth Day is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts and yet brings people all over the world together into one resonating accord; is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology, the measurement of time and instantaneous communications through space.” The annual celebrations and demonstrations around the world on Earth Day seem to have little connection to the holy day declared by Ms. Mead. The bizarre demonstrations, protests, marches and demands are like a circus and the participants as much clowns as activists. There is no single resonating accord. Technology is condemned – not recognized – for its triumphs. It is a shame some of the Earth Day demonstrations have become so outrageous. They cheapen what could be a true celebration of the world God provided us and how well it has served us. This year, one Earth Day announcement caught my attention, not because it was outrageous on its face, but because it defines the liberal road map for climate change. U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D., Md.) announced at an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) forum (a purportedly conservative think tank) that he will offer a bill, “The Tax Pollution, Not Profits Act” that would tax carbon dioxide emissions and could lead to the repeal of President Obama’s Clean Energy Plan. AEI estimates the bill would raise $1.2 trillion in revenue over 10 years by taxing carbon dioxide emissions at $30 per ton, escalating annually by the inflation rate, plus 4 percent. As an offset, the corporate income tax rate would be reduced from 35 percent to 28 percent. Some of the revenue produced would be used to offset higher energy costs for American households, utilizing federal income tax credits issued under a sliding scale with fami-

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative

52 JUNE 2015

lies living at 150 percent of the nation’s poverty line (currently about $36,000) getting the majority of the benefits. Families with incomes under $48,500 would get smaller tax credits and the tax credits continue to decline as a family’s income declines. The bill would also provide a “multi-billion dollar program to retrain and relocate coal miners and also provide long-term health care and early retirement benefits.” Rep. Delaney said, “In the scheme of the revenues that come from a carbon tax, you can fully take care of these individuals who are great Americans … for the rest of their lives.” So, how will that carbon tax work out for you? A $30 per ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions will increase your electric bill about 25 percent annually. That increase will not only include residential consumers like you, but also industrial and commercial customers. The tax would also apply to gasoline and diesel fuel, which will increase the cost of driving a car and transportation of all goods and products. In fact, everything you buy or use has a fossil fuel input somewhere in the supply chain and will cost more – some more than others. But if your total family income is less than $48,500 a year, you will get some form of tax relief from the federal government. Good luck if it is more than $48,500. How will that work out for businesses? They will have the additional costs of materials, energy, production and transportation I mentioned earlier, but that will be offset by the reduction in their corporate federal income tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent. Therefore, businesses would be able to keep more profits, but there will be a lot less profit for them to keep because their costs will be higher than the corporate tax savings. Their revenues will also decline because people like you and me will have less money to buy things. Tax revenue should also decline year over year as people use less and less carbon-intensive products, goods and services. As tax revenues decline, there will be less and less money for the tax credits back to the people and to offset the corporate tax reduction. That will only result in more taxes to perpetuate the program. And we haven’t even talked about the cost of government administration of the program. We will all lose by paying more for everything we need or want, suffering higher and higher inflation, but the federal government gets a lot more tax revenue. Rep. Delaney’s carbon tax proposal is as much a circus as the other Earth Day demonstrations; however, those clowns are more fun to watch than politicians and not nearly as dangerous. I hope you have a good month. A

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Alabama Living

JUNE 2015  53

Alabama Snapshots



Vacation Selfies


6 3



Submit Your Images! 1. Jennifer and Tyra heading to the Gulf. SUBMITTED BY AnnaMae Jones, Prattville. 2. Missy and Wed Lutes enjoy a cruise stop in Honduras. S U B M I T T E D B Y C i n d y S h a w, Sterrett. 3. Elizabeth’s selfie with Pooh Bear at Walt Disney World. SUBMITTED BY Iris Hamlin, Alpine. 4. Mishayla Boben and Bailey Peacock on a Junior/Senior trip to New York City. SUBMITTED BY 54 JUNE 2015

Allison Peacock, Ariton. 5. Brenda, Joshua and Jason Brock in Branson, Missouri. SUBMITTED BY Brenda Brock, Summerdale. 6. Rob and Jessica Goodson’s first vacation in New Orleans. SUBMITTED BY Jessica Goodson, Monroeville. 7. Adrienne Griggs and Derek Titus snorkeling in the Bahamas. SUBMITTED BY Adrienne Griggs, Lacey’s Spring.


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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 Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. DEADLINE FOR AUGUST: June 30

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