September 2017 clarke washington

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Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News September 2017



Mascot mania Life behind the mask for Aubie, Big Al and company

Get saucy

Perk up meats, veggies with Alabama sauces



Manager Stan Wilson Co-op Editor Sarah Hansen ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. Subscriptions are $6 a year for individuals not subscribing through participating Alabama electric cooperatives. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office.

Outdoors encouragement Many students keep a tradition of leaving school to go hunting or fishing whenever they can. However, for some young people attending the University of Montevallo, the school not only allows them to take great outdoors adventures, but even encourages – and pays them!


VOL. 70 NO. 9 n SEPTEMBER 2017


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

Sullivan takes on new job for Washington County Sullivan believes there are three legs to the stool of economic development.


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





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In this issue: Page 11 Page 28

9 Snapshots 22 Gardens 29 Around Alabama 30 Outdoors 31 Fish & Game Forecast 34 Cook of the Month 46 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: ON THE COVER: Big Al and Aubie are just two of the college mascots who don costumes to inspire football fans in Alabama. See story, Page 12. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: Mark Stephenson


Serving You OFFICE LOCATIONS Jackson Office 1307 College Avenue P.O. Box 398 Jackson, AL 36545 251-246-9081 Chatom Office P.O. Box 143 Chatom, AL 36518 251-847-2302 Toll Free Number 1-800-323-9081 Office Hours 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday (Drive-thru Hours)

It is hard to believe September is already here and fall is quickly approaching. I am looking forward to some cooler temperatures and lower humidity. This time of year, each summer seems to have been hotter than the one before. I know our linemen are also looking forward to cooler temperatures after working outside in the sun. Thank you so much to our linemen. We appreciate all of your hard work, regardless of the temperatures. I also want to wish all our students, teachers and school staff and administration good luck as they begin this school year. Cooperatives around the world operate according to the similar core principles and values. Clarke-Washington EMC was formed based on an accepted cooperative business model in 1936. “The Cooperative Difference” is best summarized by the 7 Cooperative Principles, which are: 1. Voluntary and Open Membership 2. Democratic Member Control 3. Members’ Economic Participation 4. Autonomy and Independence 5. Education, Training and Information 6. Cooperation among Cooperatives 7. Concern for Community Concern for our community is the reason we were founded. The people in our parents’, grand-

parents’ or great grandparents’ generation came together to form CWEMC because of the concern for our community. They wanted to bring safe, reliable and affordable electricity to our rural area. In fact, we were the first cooperative established in Alabama. Our purpose is the same today as it was then: to provide reliable electricity to our members at the lowest possible price. It is CWEMC’s mission to benefit the area and improve the quality of life for people in our communities. While focusing on member needs, cooperatives also work to give back to our communities through programs such as Relay for Life, United Way, Youth Tour, school/community safety programs and our college scholarship program. As employees at an electric cooperative, we come to work every day with one purpose - to serve you. It does not matter if is a cashier in the lobby, an accountant in our office or a lineman out in the field, serving you, our members, is our goal. We want to continue to make your lives better and improve our communities. Rest assured that we work hard daily for continued success as we look ahead and strive to maintain your trust. Thank you.

Pay your bill online at 855-870-0403 Payment Method Payments can be made at our Chatom and Jackson offices with cash, checks, debit or credit cards

Stan Wilson Manager of Clarke-Washington EMC


| Clarke-Washington EMC |

Harvest season Fall is one of the busiest times of the year for farmers. Farming ranks among the top 10 most dangerous professions in the United States. Safety is one of the top priorities at CWEMC and we urge farmers to put safety first. Putting safety first requires alertness, focus and knowledge of potential hazards and safety steps. Take the time to note the location of power lines, so you can remain a safe distance.

Always keep the following electrical safety guidelines in mind: § Always use a spotter when operating large machinery near lines. § Use care when raising augers or the bed of grain trucks around power lines. It can be difficult to estimate distance and sometimes a power line is closer than it looks. § Keep equipment at least 10 feet from lines, at all times, in all directions. § Inspect the height of the farm equipment to determine clearance. § Always remember to lower extensions to the lowest setting when moving loads. § Never try to raise or move a power line to clear a path. § If a power line is sagging or low, call Clarke-Washington EMC.

Alabama Living

If contact is made with a power line, remember it is almost safest to stay on the equipment. Immediately call 911 and CWEMC. If the power line is energized and you step out, your body becomes the path and electrocution is the result. Warn others to stay away and wait for the power to be cut. The only reason to exit is if equipment has come in contact with an overhead line and if the equipment is on fire, which is rare. However, if this is the case, jump off the equipment with your feet together and without touching the ground and machinery at the same time. Then, with your feet still together, hop to safety as you leave the area.


Sullivan takes on new job as Washington County Economic Development Director Mel Ann Sullivan moved to Washington County when she was a teenager. Although she never believed she would move back after college, she found herself returning to Washington County to start a family with her husband in 1996. Sullivan graduated from Millry High School and earned a B.A. in communications from the University of Alabama. In her career, she has held positions in sales, marketing and public relations. For the past 21 years, she has worked in the banking industry in marketing and community development. 6  SEPTEMBER 2017

In 2016, Sullivan published her first book, “I Need a Better Friend.” The book is about friendships - being a friend and having a friend. Sullivan’s book is available in print and within the next five months a Bible study version will be available for purchase. If you prefer an eBook or audio book, it is also available for download. On April 3rd, Sullivan began her new job as the Economic Development Director for Washington County. The WC Economic Development Initiative has existed for more than 13 years and was created to promote job growth in Washington County. Sullivan

explains that the last six years of her career prepared her for this position by not only giving her knowledge about the area but also in the details of project management. “I don’t take any engagement or interaction with someone for granted,” Sullivan said “Developing relationships with others is an important part of my everyday life. You never know whether the person you come in contact with is for just a hello or for something of greater value in the future, whether personally or professionally.” Sullivan definitely considers herself an

| Sullivan | optimist. “You have to be an optimist for this job. You have to look at the sunny side while understanding things that can happen might not be possible or the right timing. Economic development is highly competitive,” Sullivan said. “We have to bring our A game.”

sell. There is no cost involved with listing it,” Sullivan said. Companies use this website to look at possible areas to start up or expand their businesses. Sullivan explained that only having three listings does not help the overall development for the county. Having many options is beneficial for the area.

Mel Ann Sullivan believes there are three legs of the stool of economic development on which she focuses.

A land-use study helps when large landowners want to know about the available land and how it would best be used in an efficient and ethical way. A map of each property is made up of layers, with each layer showing existing railroads, utility lines, wetlands, flood plains, fiber optics, water lines, and sewer lines.

The first leg is relationships. In a county that is so geographically large, it can be difficult to get groups together to collaborate. Sullivan said it is her responsibility to bring partners and investors together to begin conversations and develop opportunities. Since starting her new job, developing and retaining partnerships has been an important focus. The second leg is awareness. Sullivan wants our residents and prospective industry to be aware of the opportunities that are in our backyard. “Many don’t know lots about the industries in our area, and I want to share the good news about what is going on in our community,” Sullivan said. The third leg is education. Sullivan explains that she must expand her knowledge about the area and its economic development opportunities to talk with potential investors about locating in this area. “It is also important for high school students and those coming out of college to be prepared to hit the work force,” Sullivan said. She doesn’t want people to look back and regret what they didn’t do and encourages adolescents early on to be on top of planning their futures.

In the long run, Sullivan’s goal is to halt the trend of declining population through expanding Washington County’s job growth, as workforce development is a huge challenge for this region. She wants to help give future generations the choice of coming back home to live and work. “There is a reason people come back here. There is a reason people stay here. I came back for a reason and I want to promote the good in our area.”

One thing Sullivan enjoys about her job is that her work is never done and there is always something new on the horizon. Currently she has over 70 completed or in process of 160 planned actions. Two short term goals are getting sites listed for commercial and industrial use and completion of a land-use study. Visit and you can search for property sites in Washington County that are available for commercial and industrial use. For Washington County there are only three sites listed for the whole county. Sullivan’s goal is to have 15 sites listed by the end of the year. “I want to reach out to land owners that have a site or land they are willing to

Be sure to check out the Washington County Economic Development Initiative Facebook page. Alabama Living


Generator Safety In an emergency, portable generators are beneficial when an outage occurs and affects your home. But if used improperly, they can be fatal to workers and generator owners. Connecting a generator to the main electrical supply for your house requires the services of a qualified, licensed electrician. At Clarke-Washington EMC, we value safety and the most effective way to avoid an accident is to make sure follow the necessary safety guidelines. §§ Never connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring. This can cause backfeeding along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including linemen working to make repairs and can also affect others served by the same utility transformer.

§§ Keep the generator dry. Operate it on a dry surface under an open structure. §§ Always have a fully charged fire extinguisher nearby. §§ Never fuel a generator while it is operating. Read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation. Never take the shortcut when it comes to safety. We encourage you to protect the well-being and safety of your family during outages and at all times. We also urge you to protect our linemen who rush to your aid during these emergency situations.

§§ Never plug a generator into a regular household outlet. This can also cause backfeeding and pose as an electrocution risk. §§ Always plug appliances directly into generators. Connecting the generator to your home’s circuits or wiring must be done by a qualified, licensed electrician who will install a transfer switch to prevent backfeeding. §§ Use heavy-duty, outdoor rated extension cords. Make sure extension cords are free of cuts or tears and the plug has all three prongs. Overloaded cords can cause fires or equipment damage. §§ Make sure your generator is properly grounded. §§ Never overload a generator. A portable generator should be used only when necessary and only to power essential equipment or appliances. §§ Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting down the generator.


| Alabama Snapshots |

Herman Hickman and great grandson Zander Taylor. SUBMITTED BY Emily Martin, Sylacauga Martha Mercer and her great grandchildren. SUBMITTED BY Martha Mercer, Elmore

Parker Smith. Lena Belle Smith and grandson Troy th, Smi SUBMITTED BY Edith

Carl and Debbie Clark with granddaughters Karleigh, Rylee, Avarey and Presley Sanders.SUBMITTED BY Jennifer Sanders, Andalusia

nton. granddaughter Ellyott Sta Papa Steve Stanton and nton, Loxley. SUBMITTED BY Elliott Sta

Woodie Glenn and granddaughter Danielle Hickman.SUBMITTED BY Woodie Glenn, Rockford.


Submit Your Images! November Theme: “Heirloom Quilts” Deadline for November: September 30 SUBMIT PHOTOS ONLINE: or send color photos with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at and on our Facebook page. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos.

Alabama Living



Social Security Q&A


ver the next two issues, I would like to share with you some common Social Security questions I receive on a variety of topics and my answers. Question: My child, who gets Social Security, will be attending his last year of high school in the fall. He turns 19 in a few months. Do I need to fill out a form for his benefits to continue? Answer: Yes. You should receive a form, SSA-1372-BK, in the mail about three months before your son’s birthday. Your son needs to complete the form and take it to his school’s office for certification. Then, you need to return page two and the certified page three back to Social Security for processing. If you can’t find the form we mailed to you, you can find it online at: Question: I’m trying to figure out how much I need to save for my retirement. Does the government offer any help with financial education?

Letters to the editor

Answer: Yes. For starters, you may want to find out what you can expect from Social Security with a visit to Social Security’s Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity. gov/estimator. The Financial Literacy and Education Commission has a website that can help you with the basics of financial education: Finally, you’ll want to check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which offers educational information on a number of financial matters, including mortgages, credit cards, retirement, and other big decisions. Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at

Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at


Rural hospitals need new revenue sources


hirty-two of Alabama’s 46 rural hospitals are operating at a loss. That’s according to information recently developed by iVantage Health Analytics for the National Rural Health Association. Six rural Alabama hospitals have closed since 2009, tied with Georgia for the most closures in any state. An additional 14 rural Alabama hospitals have been identified as being at risk of closure. Simply by being there, rural hospitals attract additional health care services and provide vital economic development opportunities for their service areas. With 41 of Alabama’s 67 counties projected to lose population between 2010 and 2040, our rural areas cannot afford a more threatened economic future by losing their local hospital. The struggle to keep rural hospitals open is very complex. Rural hospitals receive lower reimbursement for the same service than hospitals in more urbanized areas.

Dale Quinney is executive director of the Alabama Rural Health Association, 1414 Elba Highway, Troy, 36081.


This poses a constant financial challenge. Continuing to offer health care services, such as obstetrics, that consistently cost more to provide than is reimbursed, is very important to the perception of local health care. Such consistent losses cannot be sustained forever. In addition, government programs and private insurance have established admission and length of stay requirements that place many rural hospitals in a position of having daily inpatient censuses below the number of beds available for inpatient services. Rural hospitals do not exist only to serve the local population. They provide a front line of health care defense for residents and visitors going through our rural areas who need immediate and critical health care services. In response to financial threats, some rural hospitals are being innovative in welcoming and developing new sources of revenue. The Bibb Medical Center in Centerville and its administrator, Joseph Marchant, are an example. This medical center has 35 authorized beds with an average daily inpatient census of around 14 or 15. This facility operates an affiliated rural Continued on Page 31

E-mail us at: or write us at: Letters to the editor P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 Nurse practitioners article appreciated Thank you so much for highlighting the situation in our state that nurse practitioners face in practice. Your article (August 2017) was right on target. We have several schools in our state who graduate very qualified nurse practitioners who are excited and ready to care for the patients in Alabama and they can be a very significant part of the solution for inadequate healthcare in our state. They are willing to live and work in very rural areas, and many already do so. Statistics strongly support patient satisfaction with the care nurse practitioners provide. Why do we continue to ignore the resource for healthcare that they provide? Thank you for such a timely and important piece! Susan Holmes, EdD, MSN, CRNP Troy University School of Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner Program Whereville thanks What a pleasant surprise to open the (August) issue of Alabama Living to discover the photo of Jasmine Hill Gardens in your Whereville photo contest! Thank you for all you have done to help our attendance at Jasmine Hill! Jim Inscoe, Proprietor, Jasmine Hill Gardens and Outdoor Museum Photo contest I want to thank Alabama Living magazine for sponsoring the reader photo contest (July 2017) and especially for the honor of placing second along with the $50 award. I am not a native of Alabama but have always claimed Ozark as home. I returned to Ozark nearly 20 years ago for family reasons and have been here ever since. My friends are steeped in Southern tradition and its culture has enriched my life. I’ve learned to love grits, cold sweet tea and “Steel Magnolias!” I guess you could say I’m Northern by birth and Southern by choice. We are fortunate here in Ozark to have the Dowling Museum/Ann Rudd Art Center downtown on the Square. It has been a cultural outreach to artists, amateur photographers and writers for more than 16 years and a place to express our vision and ideas through the arts. Thanks again for the recognition and for providing the opportunity to share the view through my lens! Carol Luckfield Ozark

SEPTEMBER | Spotlight

Whereville, AL Guess where this is and you might win $25!

USDA provides food safety, ‘kitchen confidence’ tips Do you need a little “kitchen confidence?” The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service invites home cooks to gain some confidence in the kitchen by refreshing their perspectives on food safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year, approximately 48 million Americans suffer from foodborne illness, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Many of these illnesses can be prevented by changing behaviors in the kitchen. Be confident in your food safety skills by visiting www., by calling the Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-MPHotline or downloading the FoodKeeper app on your digital device. You can also chat live with a food safety specialist in English or Spanish at, available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday.

This month in

Alabama history Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by Sept. 6 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the October issue. Contribute your own photo from an upcoming issue! Send a photo of an interesting or unusual landmark in Alabama, which must be accessible to the public. A reader whose photo is used will also win $25. Submit by email to, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124.


Jasmine Hill Gardens and Outdoor Museum near Wetumpka features more than 20 acres of year-round floral beauty and classical sculpture, including statuary that honors Olympic heroes. Learn more about “Alabama’s little corner of Greece” at (Photo submitted by Dayna Coker.) The random drawing winner is Beverly Trawick of Dixie EC.

Alabama Living

September 14, 1964 The USS Alabama arrived in Mobile after completing a 5,600-mile voyage from Bremerton, Washington. The voyage was the longest nonmilitary ton per mile tow in history. The ship returned home to Alabama after a statewide fundraising campaign that collected more than $800,000, including $100,000 donated by schoolchildren. On January 9, 1965, the USS Alabama Battleship Park opened to the public in Mobile, eighteen years after the ship was decommissioned on the same day in 1947. More than 2,000 people, including schoolchildren, politicians, and veterans of World War II, attended the opening ceremonies as Gov. George Wallace received the ship on behalf of all citizens of the state.



Spreading sc

College mascots say life behind t They lead us in victory, console our defeats, and comfort with unwavering support. They are the mascots of college football. Requiring good grades, excellent physical conditioning, and the ability to ham it up in front of thousands, life is challenging in mascot mania. But life is good for those who don the suit. They love it. Here are some of Alabama’s favorites. By Emmett Burnett

Blaze the Dragon

It’s not easy being green. It’s not easy walking on campus with wings and a tail either. But at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Blaze the Dragon does just fine. UAB’s reptile of renown originated in 1995. But the name “Blaze” was predestined, from 1978, after the school’s sports teams were nicknamed by student vote. “They tried other mascots,” recalls Ryan Martin O’ Connor, coordinator of cheerleaders. “We considered a rooster, and Viking, but finally felt Blaze was best.”

She adds, “No mascot has a suit like ours. The wings are huge and if not careful, his tail can knock you down.” He has to be very careful in a crowd. And he is always in a crowd. Everybody wants to be around him. And Blaze rocks. “Most people think mascot performers are extraverts,” says Ryan, “but that’s not necessarily the case. Many are more comfortable in the suit than out of it when it comes to performing crazy antics.” For a bulky winged serpent, this leaping lizard can cut the rug. Blaze owns the dance floor. UAB sources confirm, when performing “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae,)” no dragon is better.

Big Al

Named by University of Alabama student vote in 1979, Big Al the elephant is one of the most recognized sports mascots in America. His first public appearance was at the 1980 Sugar Bowl. Today he appears everywhere. “When donning the elephant suit you become more than a mascot,” explains Big Al coordinator and former Alabama cheerleader Jennifer Thrasher. “You are an ambassador of the University. You must represent us in a positive way.” Bama’s elephant is known for football games but sports are just part of the job description. He makes hundreds of public appearances annually and encounters situations from jubilant to sadness. “Big Al visits a lot of children’s hospitals,” Thrash12 SEPTEMBER

er says. She related one such visit: a young child stricken with cancer too weak to offer little more than a feeble smile. “Big Al sat at the little girl’s bedside, quietly holding her hand in silence,” Thrasher says. Later in private, the mascot removed the elephant head, revealing a college student with tears streaming down her face. And then there is game day. “Every time you put on that massive head you are part of something bigger than you,” recalls Justin Sullivan of Nashville, mascot from 2011 to 2016. “I had no experience when selected as Big Al. I went from nothing to Bryant Denny Stadium, in front of 150,000 people. Even today it seems surreal.”

t i r i p s l choo

d the mask rewarding SouthPaw and Miss Pawla Love is in the air at the University of South Alabama, Mobile: SouthPaw and Miss Pawla are engaged, in a classic tale of jaguar romance. OK, it’s probably the only tale of jaguar romance, but earlier this year, at a USA pep rally, SouthPaw proposed to fellow jaguar mascot, Miss Pawla. She nodded yes. The affirmative came as little surprise because Miss Pawla has flirted with SouthPaw since she has known him, just like she does with most males. It is who she is and part of why USA loves them both. “South Paw is the strong silent type,” says USA Cheer Coach Bre Kucera. “He is athletic, 7 feet tall, and dresses in accordance with the sporting event represented.” Pawla is

shorter and a prissy–flirty feminine feline. They are cool cats, and in South Alabama, “cool” is not easy. “It takes heat endurance to be our mascot,” Kucera says. “A football game down here can be 100 degrees on the field.” Try being in that heat totally encapsulated in simulated jaguar fur. Not a problem for SouthPaw and Miss Pawla, because love conquers. And the only heat these two are concerned with are the warm hearts they have for each other.

Cocky the Gamecock

For the last five years, Niki Martin has been Cocky the Fighting Gamecock of Jacksonville State University. Martin graduated in April, relinquishing her title as rooster with an attitude. But as all costumed performers say, even after you’re gone, the mascot lives on. “Oh yes, I was a crying mess,” Martin laughs, about giving up her feathered friend. “But it has been so rewarding. To put a smile on someone’s face, even for five seconds, helps them and helps me.” Cocky goes beyond mascot. This bird is hilarious. “He is always in trouble, always doing something he should not be doing,” adds head cheer coach Dave Almeita. “That’s why people love him.” But despite the rooster’s rants, no one cries

fowl. “He’s a prankster but not a jerk,” Martin s a y s . “A f t e r pulling a joke on someone, I always offered a handshake or hug, to show it’s all in fun.” Martin is credited for developing Cocky’s signature strut and personality. “Cocky is the guy the girls love and the guys want to be like,” she says. Few people know for the last five years Cocky was a woman. Even less know Cocky was Martin. When asked what is it like being famous yet anonymous inside a mascot suit, Martin says, “It’s like being Clark Kent and knowing you are Superman.”


Tuskegee’s Golden Tiger Herschel Freeman has a dilemma. He loves children but also portrays the feisty Golden Tiger for Tuskegee University. Kids and giant cats don’t often mix and Herschel is caught in the middle. “It happens at almost every game,” the sophomore business major and mascot says. “I’ll be standing there in the costume and here comes a parent with a baby to thrust in my arms for a picture.” The child is terrified. “Mascots can’t talk in uniform,” Freeman laughs. “But

sometimes I want to shout to the dad, Oh, come on, man! I’m a 6-foot tiger standing on two legs! What do you expect this baby to do?” Like all good mascots, Freeman excels at reading situations. “I always let young children approach me. I don’t walk up to them.” And though he cannot speak, “I nod and make gestures. With experience, you become good at it.” Also like all good mascots, actions speak louder than words.

Aubie the Auburn Tiger

In 1979, Auburn University student Barry Mask was selected as the first Aubie the Tiger. “I wanted Aubie to be four things,” recalls Mask, who today is a Montgomery banker. “He had to be a good dancer, prankster, a ladies man, and love children.” Oh, how the tiger roared. Today Aubie holds 9 UCA National Championships, more than any college mascot. He was the first inductee into the Mascot Hall of Fame, and is a state legend. The 1979 Iron Bowl solidified Auburn’s mascot as a cat to reckon with because, of all people, Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. During the pre-game, Coach Bryant leaned against a goal post. Barry was Aubie. Wearing a crimson jacket and houndstooth hat, just like Alabama’s coach wore, Aubie sneaked up behind Bryant. Curious as to why

T-Roy, Trojan of Troy

All hail mighty T-Roy: Warrior of the Wiregrass, gladiator of goodwill, and Trojan of Troy – now new and improved. “He has a new and improved head and facelift,” says Kyle George, Troy University’s associate athletic director for marketing and sales. T-Roy first appeared in the mid-1980s. The upgraded one was seen throughout Alabama this summer on a state tour, but his official debut is September 9 at Troy’s first home football game. The big noggin now allows better visibility through the eyes and improved neck support for the mascot’s interior human. And not a moment too soon. Because when it comes to big man on campus, T-Roy rocks. “One cool thing about mascots is they can go where a live person can’t,” adds Kyle. “They lift spirits and make people happy just by being around them.” The red-capped wonder frequently appears at children’s events, birthday parties, hospitals, alumni gatherings and almost anywhere his schedule allows. But he walks a fine line between muscle-bound warrior and helmeted loveable softie. T-Roy is a powerful warrior through and through but a friendly one. He is stern yet fun. Toddlers are


the crowd was cheering, the Bear turned to the Tiger, and did a double-take. Barry remembers, “In front of thousands, I was face to face, looking into squinting steel blue eyes of a legend glaring back at me.” Seconds later, Coach Bryant’s stare transformed into a smile. Pointing at the tiger’s houndstooth headwear, he chuckled, “Nice hat, Aubie,” and walked away. Aubie has been cutting edge ever since. Mask, who later served in the Alabama House of Representatives, occasionally meets current mascots, and offers advice: “If you are not pushing the limits, you are probably not a good Aubie.”

as comfortable with him as adults. Typically, three to 5 students are helmet–ready at any given time. One wears the suit. The others attend the mascot. They are trained in the ways of Troy and Trojan spirit, ready to lead in battle or hug sweet babies. See ya’ later, gladiator. Here’s to those who push the limits, wear the suits, and bring fantasy to life for the joy of all the fans of  College Town, Alabama.

Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2017  15

State of sauce Alabama-made sauces perk up meats, veggies and more

By Jennifer Kornegay


ven most novice cooks know that marinades and sauces are easy and effective ways to amp up the flavor factor of a variety of foods. Meats, seafood and veggies all benefit from a pre-cooking soak and a slather, sprinkle or dip afterwards. Lots of folks like to make their own, but there are plenty of Alabama-made products to choose from, too. These tasty options range from classics like salty steak saturators to innovative creations that rely on more exotic influences. Here are a few favorites from around the state.

Berdeaux’s Since he was old enough to eat table food, Jim Berdeaux has been enjoying the thick, tangy steak sauce and the tomato-based, slightly sweet barbecue sauce his grandfather whipped up when he was the chef at Montgomery’s Pickwick Café in the 1940s. “We made his sauces for every family get-together, and when I was in the paper business, I started making them and giving jars to clients as gifts,” he says. Once the sauces were tasted outside of the Berdeaux family, the positive response was overwhelming. When he retired from the Air Force, Jim decided to base a business on the recipes (and the clamoring requests for them) and created Berdeaux’s Sauces in 2010. The company is based in


Montgomery, and the sauces are made in Chancellor, Ala. Today, in addition to the steak and barbecue sauces, Berdeaux’s produces Sweet Island Dipping Sauce, a lively blend of pineapple and pungent horseradish. All the sauces are completely natural, with no MSG, high-fructose corn syrup or liquid smoke, a point Jim’s really proud of. “My sauces’ purity is what makes us stand out,” he said. “You can taste the difference.” Get some: At shows and special events around the South, specialty stores in central Alabama like Derk’s Filet & Vine, Queen’s Steaks ‘N Wines, Tucker Pecan and more and online at

Pilleteri’s Pilleteri’s Liquid Marinade was born out of necessity. The patrons of owner Charles Pilleteri’s Birmingham butcher shop and deli, Mr. P’s, wanted something to flavor the steaks and chops they bought from him, and so he created a dry seasoning blend and then a robust marinade based on the same flavors. “The original inspiration came from a Montgomery butcher shop that’s now closed, but I modified the recipe and added my own spin,” he says. The dark marinade is low in sodium (only 17 percent), yet it has just the right sharp, salty punch, with notes of garlic, black pepper and Worcestershire too. Charles has since added other sauces (hot sauce and wing sauce) and products like rubs and seasonings, but the original marinade is still his bestseller. He’s now also distributing other Alabama-made sauces, like Ollie’s Bar-B-Q sauce. Get some: at Mr. P’s Butcher Shop and Deli, 813 Shades Crest Road in Birmingham; select Publix, Food Giant and Piggly Wiggly locations; and online at

Charles Pilleteri’s Mr. P’s Original Marinade is still his best seller. PHOTO BY RAY MARTIN

Super Turnip Green Super Turnip Green Pepper Sauce is one-upping the bottles of soggy, faded-green peppers that are standard sights on tables at Southern restaurants. With its Serrano pepper base, it’s sweet on the front end, combusts with a pop of well-rounded heat in the middle and ends with a blast of vinegar zipping across your tongue, combining the sensations into an unforgettable bite. The sauce’s namesake and mascot, a Southern hero named Super Turnip Green (STG) – who sports overalls and a full-

face mask – is just as memorable, and that’s by design, as Drew Folsom, owner of the Birmingham-based company (and STG’s “agent”), explains. “The sauce is all about a love of South, Southern foods and the country lifestyle, and STG embodies that. He’s a good ole country boy with just a little edge.” Legend says the sauce recipe is STG’s, but that he wanted to keep his identity a secret, so he gave it to Folsom to bottle and sell. True or not, one thing is certain: Just a few dashes of this concoction added to anything from greens and peas to fish and fried chicken (STG’s favorite way to use it) will wake up your food’s flavor potential. STG just launched a new product, Super Turnip Green Presents: Colt Ford Pepper Sauce, a fiery, full-bodied liquid created by country music artist Colt Ford. Get some: in select Winn-Dixie, Piggly Wiggly and Western Supermarkets in Central Alabama and Publix locations in and around Birmingham. Check your local store too; STG is currently expanding distribution.

Front-door delivery In recent years, Alabama has become known for its barbecue, including the sauces served in some of our most storied ‘cue institutions. With a just a few clicks and a credit card, you can have them shipped right to you and add the work of masters to your creations. Dreamland Bar-B-Que, Costa’s Famous Bar-B-Q, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q, Full Moon Bar-B-Que, Alabama Living

Jim N’ Nick’s Bar-B-Q, Saw’s BBQ, Ollie’s Bar-B-Q, Demetri’s BBQ, SEPTEMBER 2017 17

Howton Farm’s

More to love

In tiny New Hope in north Alabama, Steve Howton has been playing with spice combos and cooking up his Howton Farm’s sauces since 2003. He’s worked in construction for years but was always making his own barbecue sauce. And he still is; while he has a “day job,” he makes every batch of his savory sidekick for slow-smoked meats as well as his newer offering, a zesty, ginger-infused, sesame-seed-studded Salmon & Sushi Sauce (which also adds pizazz to chicken) by hand, using the best ingredients he can find. “Lots of folks ‘cheap out’ in the sauce industry, but the product suffers when you do that,” he says. “That’s why I’ve kept everything in my control, so I can ensure the quality is high.” Check out his selection of dry seasonings too. Get some. Order at or on eBay.

Alabama’s a pretty saucy state, boasting so many homegrown sauces we can’t adequately cover them all in one article. Here are a few other condiment companies worth checking out. Learn more about them and where to get them on their websites. Sweet Melissa’s spicy sauces, Birmingham Alabama Sunshine hot sauces, Fayette T-Lish dressings and marinades, Birmingham SlapHappy BBQ Sauce, Birmingham Daddy Natty’s Bar-B-Q Sauce, Birmingham Sneaky Pete’s hot dog sauce, Birmingham Simmering Sensation Cooking Sauces, Killen Jala Jala BBQ Sauces, Huntsville

Moore’s Marinades & Sauces The smoky, piquant jolt of Moore’s Original Marinade has been charming taste buds for a long time, starting with diners at Moore’s Landing restaurant in Jasper, who couldn’t get enough of the house marinade and started buying it by the Styrofoam-cup-full to take home. The eatery closed years ago, but thanks to the LaRussa family, who purchased the restaurant’s recipe, the name and taste live on in Moore’s Marinades & Sauces, the company they founded in Birmingham. Today, Moore’s has expanded to include three marinades and six wing sauces that are distributed nationwide.


Dale’s Seasoning sauce, Birmingham

The company’s brand manager, Garland Reich, outlined what she thinks has fueled its success and continued growth. “We are a family-owned company, and we make real Southern products,” she says. “Moore’s really captures the flavor of the South.” While the marinade that built the company is still beloved, Moore’s most popular product (out of nine) is its Buffalo Wing Sauce, a pout-puckering, blazing orange elixir that will electrify your mouth. Get some: in major grocery stores around the country.

Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2017  19

| Worth the drive |

From waitresses to restaurant owners

Sisters attracts customers from across Alabama Go with us as we visit Sisters at Story and photos by Ben Norman


hen sisters Pat Rogers and Geraldine Golden decided to leave their jobs and open Sisters Restaurant in Troy, they both had a lot of apprehension. Geraldine was working as a waitress at a local restaurant and Pat was in the insurance business, although she had worked as a waitress before. The former owners of the property that is now Sisters Restaurant approached Pat and Geraldine about buying the property and opening a restaurant. “They said they would work with us any way they could and encouraged us to give it a try. I was all for it but Geraldine was holding out. I finally convinced her to let’s give it a try, so we rented the building for the first year then bought it,” Pat says. “To get started, we borrowed $10,000 from Jeff Kervin at Troy Bank and Trust. He had faith in us, and has stuck with us. The business did well from the start. “My mother, Juanita Golden, had taught Geraldine and me to cook when we were girls. We just didn’t know how to cook for so many, but we learned fast. I did most of the cooking to begin with and Geraldine helped out when needed. We wanted to serve food just like our customers ate at their mother’s and grandmother’s house.” Sisters Restaurant opened serving country cooking, and the ladies intend to continue that style. Its specialties are corn, peas, butterbeans, squash, turnips, collards, and they still use their mother’s recipe for chicken and dressing. Customers drive from Dothan, Montgomery, Luverne and all around to eat lunch with them, which they consider quite a compliment. “We haven’t forgot what made us successful, and that is our customers,” Pat says. The restaurant Sisters Restaurant also has become 13153 U.S. Highway 231 in Troy, known for its desabout two miles south of serts, such as its Walmart; 334-566-0064 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday; all-you-can-eat buffet starts at 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday; Troy closed Saturday; all-you-can-eat buffet from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday Email:

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Customer favorites: Geraldine Golden, left, and Pat Rogers hold pans of bread pudding and banana pudding.

homemade banana pudding. It is on the “One Hundred Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die” list and has been featured in Southern Living magazine. Another favorite is the bread pudding, made from a secret recipe. “We always buy quality products in order to maintain our delicious country style of cooking. The first day we opened we had rice on the menu. It was an off brand and stuck to the pan and didn’t taste good. I told the customers that day that if they would stick with me I’d promise never to serve anything like that again. From then on we have only used Uncle Ben’s rice,” Pat says with a chuckle. Both Pat and Geraldine laugh when they discuss Geraldine’s reluctance to go into business for themselves. “Pat came back all excited when she went and looked at the building the first time,” Geraldine says. “She was ready to get started, but I wanted no part of it. She finally got me to go look at it, but I told her I didn’t want any part of it. I found all kind of excuses not to do it but she talked me into it. I would go home and cry after work for a month or two. But our customers really supported us, and I relaxed and then began to enjoy the work and all the customers we saw every day. It was just fear at first, but I got over it.” Sisters Restaurant celebrated its 20th anniversary in March. They have completed several additions to accommodate the growing number of customers and the kitchen has been completely remodeled. Sisters Restaurant offers a country buffet on Thursday night, with the main attraction the white meat or fatback and tomato gravy. They also serve a seafood buffet on Friday night. Sisters is open for lunch every day but Saturday. One customer asked if he could look in the kitchen. When asked why, he said, “With food this good, I just thought my grandmother might be back there doing the cooking.” It’s hard to top a compliment like that. Ben Norman is a writer from Highland Home, Ala.

Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2017  21

| Gardens |

The roots of fall flavor: Carrots, radishes, beets and more


grew up watching Bugs Bunny go to great lengths for some carrots. Me, though, I didn’t “carrot all” for them. That is until I tasted the sweetness of a crisp, garden-fresh carrot and began to appreciate Bugs’ infatuation with them. If you’re fond of fresh carrots, you’re living in the right state. Alabama’s climate allows us to grow carrots and many other root vegetables as both spring and fall crops. And now is the ideal time for a fall planting. There are lots of reasons to love root vegeta- Root vegetables are easy to grow and have few disease or pet issues. bles, but it’s their diverse array of flavors — from sweet to zesty to they are perfect for gardeners of all skill earthy to nutty — that make them espelevels. In addition, root vegetables don’t cially appealing on salads and as cooked need a lot of room to spread out their root dishes. And these days they are available in systems so they are ideal for small garden an equally diverse array of colors, shapes areas or for planting in containers (just and sizes. make sure the pots are deep enough for Take color for example. In addition their taproots to fully form). to the familiar orange carrot that Bugs Root vegetables can also be inter-plantadores, we can also nibble (or chomp) on ed with one another or with other crops, red, purple and yellow carrots. Today’s and they are easy to grow in succession radishes range from the standard reds plantings — sow a few seeds every couple and whites we all know and love to radof weeks and you’ll always have a new crop ishes with pink and black skins and yellow, coming on. pink and green inner flesh. The same goes Best of all, root crops have few disease for beets — think beyond the typical puror pest issues (yes, wild rabbits can be plish-red beet to golden, pink and striped a problem, but they can usually be conoptions. trolled with repellents — no Elmer Fudd Then there’s shape. How about a little or Mr. McGregor techniques needed) and round carrot that looks more like a beet require little pampering. or a radish, or radishes and beets that For optimal production, they need six look more like carrots? Or maybe a giant to eight hours of sunlight each day, about daikon radish that weighs more than a an inch of water each week and a loose pound? The options are abundant! (“fluffy”), well-drained soil that is free of Because root crops are easy to grow, weeds and of rocks, dirt clods or other debris that might hamper their growth. The soil should be rich in potassium and phosphorus (but not too much nitrogen) and have pH levels between 5.5 and 7, so Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and for best results test your soil and make editor based in Opelika, amendments to it before you plant. Alabama. Contact her The easiest way to grow root vegetables at katielamarjackson@ is from seed, and most of these plants have 22 SEPTEMBER 2017

small, sometimes tiny, seeds so it can be hard to nail their ideal plant spacing. If you end up with overcrowded seedlings, simply thin them but don’t throw those seedlings away! They, like the leafy tops of most root vegetables, are edible and can be used to add fabulous, interesting flavors to salads, stir fries, pastas and other dishes. While the season for spring-planted root vegetables is limited by hot weather, which can make them tough and bitter, many fall-planted root crops can be left in the ground and harvested well into the winter months. Cover them with a thick layer of mulch during the cold months and you may well get to enjoy them until its time to plant the spring crop. Imagine, garden-fresh carrots for months on end … just don’t let Bugs know.

September Tips   

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Harvest and preserve late summer herbs, vegetables and fruits. Start collecting instructions and supplies for winter garden projects. Begin keeping an eye out for sales of garden and outdoor equipment and furniture. Test your garden and lawn soils. Spend some time outside at night to determine any outside lighting needs. Plant fall crops such as cabbage, collards, celery, garlic, onions and root crops. Keep mowing the lawn and irrigate if needed. Plant perennials and biennials and spring-flowering bulbs. Divide perennials and thin or transplant irises and daylilies. Clean up garden and landscape areas and keep those bird feeders and birdbaths clean and filled.

Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2017  23

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Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2017  25

Cast your vote for the Best of Alabama for the chance to win

Vote online for a chance to win an extra





Deadline to vote is Oct. 31, 2017.


It’s back! Once again, Alabama Living readers have a chance to vote on the places and things that make our state great! We’ve got some new categories this year. So check out the questions, write in your answer for each one and tell us what’s your choice for the “Best of Alabama!”

FOOD 1 Best seafood restaurant


2 Best Alabama-made burger



Best recipe from “The Best of Alabama Living” cookbook



Best game to hunt/fish/trap in Alabama


Best hiking/biking trail



TRAVEL 6 Best historic hotel



Best “living history” experience


Best small town for unique shopping


Best day trip in Alabama


Best Alabama souvenir







Best article you’ve read in Alabama Living in the last year


Best thing about living in Alabama



Name: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Remember, if your name is drawn and you voted online

Address: ___________________________________ City: _________________ St: _______Zip: _________ at, Phone Number: __________________________ Co-op: _________________________________________ Email: _____________________________________________________________________________________

you’ll win



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

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Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2017  27

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September | Around Alabama daily schedule of events, visit

Photo courtesy of Tamra Trull.


Winfield’s Annual Mule Day Parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23.


Section, Section Labor Day Festival. Musical entertainment featuring gospel, bluegrass, country and rock and roll. Children’s games and rides. Food available. Volleyball, horseshoes and dominoes. 256-228-3414

nection near Fred’s. 5-7:30 p.m. Restaurants and caterers from Chilton County will be available with samples of their food. Tickets $25. Proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Chilton County and Senior Connection.



Arab, Arab Community Fair at Arab City Park, 844 Shoal Creek Trail NE. Free. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 50 vendors selling various goods. Music entertainment and family-oriented activities.


Courtland, Celebrate Gen. Joe Wheeler’s birthday at Pond Spring. Entrance to the grounds, re-enactment and concert is free. Admission to the Wheeler house is $8 for adults, $5 seniors/college students/ military, $3 children 6-18 and free for children under 6. Tours offered from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Facebook-Pond Spring, The General Joe Wheeler Home.


Cullman, Bernard Blues and BBQ Festival. Arts and crafts and music festival from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at St. Bernard Abbey and Prep School. Homemade quilts, brooms, pottery, jewelry and other various art crafts available. Food and drinks also available. Admission $5.


Clanton, Taste of Chilton County at Senior Con-

Bridgeport, 24th Annual Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride. Kickoff rally Friday downtown featuring live bands, vendors, Indian dancers and drummers. Free. Motorcycles line up at 7 a.m. Saturday morning for the ride from the Alabama-Tennessee line to Waterloo.


Troy, Ma-Chis Lower Creek Indian Tribe of Alabama Pow Wow. Early history and culture of Southeastern Indians. Demonstrations of beading, basket making, flint knapping, and canoe making. Native and non-native foods and arts and crafts available. Free. Troy University, 600 University Ave.


Alabama Gulf Coast, 30th Annual Coastal Cleanup. Support Alabama’s waterways by participating in the Alabama Coastal Cleanup. Meet at one of the 30 clean-up sites as we work to make Alabama beautiful. 8 a.m.-noon. For more

information and a list of cleanup locations, visit


Cullman, 3rd Annual Caring for Cullman Concert benefitting the Good Samaritan Health Clinic. Featuring Triumphant Quartet and Bama BluGrace. 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Cullman High School auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m. and general admission tickets are $15. A love offering will be received. 256-255-5965


Dothan, Low Country Boil at Landmark Park. 6-9 p.m. Shrimp boil to help maintain and operate Landmark Park. Shrimp, corn, sausage and potato boil, music and silent auction.


Winfield, 43rd Annual Mule Day. Friday night is Mule Night Madness, with live music, vendors and local stores will be open late. Parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. Vendors, arts and crafts, live music and dancing, car show and more. The Skirmish at the Luxapalilla, a Civil War battle re-enactment, will take place at the city park Saturday and Sunday.


Jasper, 4th Annual Fishing 4 a Cure 4 ALS Bass Tournament at Smith Lake Dam. Launch from safe daylight until 3 p.m. Registration begins at 4 a.m. Guaranteed first place payout of $5,000. All proceeds donated to the Alabama ALS Chapter.


Falkville, 20th annual Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama Festival, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Native American arts and crafts vendors, dancers, drummers and John T. Wayne, “The Duke’s” grandson. $5 for adults, 6-14 $3, 65 and older-$3. 256-734-7337


Opp, 10th Annual Scarecrows in the Park Ribbon Cutting at Frank Jackson State Park, 100 Jerry Adams Drive. 12 p.m. Scarecrows will be on display during October and November. Park admission is $4 ages 12 and up, $2 ages 4-11 and seniors. Golf cart tours avaliable for senior adults. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 334-4885033 or 334-493-3706. For information regarding the ribbon cutting, contact the Opp Chamber of Commerce at 334-4933070.


Titus, 17th Annual Titus Bluegrass Festival. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bluegrass music, barbecue and crafts. Admission $5, children 12 and under free. Titus Community Center, 5879 Titus Road.


Eva, Eva Frontier Days. Craft fair, beauty pageant, hayride, community singing and more. For

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.

Alabama Living

Evergreen, Conecuh County’s second annual “Paws in the Park” at Evergreen Municipal Park. Live entertainment, vendors, children’s activities and dog parade. “Paw Patrol” will be on hand for a meet and greet and photos. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 251-227-9860

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| Outdoors |

Montevallo encourages students to get outdoors


any students keep a tradition of riodic lectures related to the outdoors. trips aren’t just to a museum. Since 2015, leaving school to go hunting or “It’s a scholarship for students who have students fished for redfish and speckled fishing whenever they can. Howa passion and desire for the outdoors,” says trout in Venice, La., and caught blue marever, for some young people attending the William Crawford, program director. “We lin in the Bahamas. In Alabama, the stuUniversity of Montevallo, the school not have scholarships for people with athletdents hunted ducks, deer and quail as well only allows them to take great outdoors ic skills or music skills. Why not have a as caught largemouth bass. adventures, but even encourages – and scholarship program for students who love “Anything we can do to introduce our pays them! the outdoors and are good at it? students to the outdoors, we try to do it,” Dr. John W. Stewart grew up exploring “We’re educating our students on differCrawford says. “Most of our students grew the salt marshes of Delaware, but missed ent career opportunities in the outdoors up hunting white-tailed deer and bass fishthe outdoors when he attended college industry by bringing in different speaking. We’re trying to introduce them to new away from home. Now the University of ers. As part of the program, the students things as well as let them do the things Montevallo president, he began the UM also get involved with doing conservation they’ve grown up doing. It’s so fascinating President’s Outdoor Scholars Program in projects to try to teach them how to put to see these students start to love and un2015 to encourage students derstand the importance of to learn about future emeverything in nature.” ployment opportunities in Any high school senior the outdoor industry with with a desire to become inan emphasis on conservation volved in the outdoors or go and game management. into an outdoors-related in“The University of Mondustry can apply for a scholtevallo’s President’s Outdoor arship. Students can also Scholars Program is comtransfer in from community mitted to educating the next colleges. The scholarship generation on the values of money comes from various work ethic and conservation individual, corporate and to lead the way in protecting foundation donors. our heritage for the benefits “We’re looking for any of our wildlife, lands and natstudents who want to furural resources,” Stewart says. Students enrolled in the University of Montevallo’s President’s Outdoor Scholars ther their education and be The program awards Program participate in various outdoors activities including fishing and hunting. associated with a program scholarships averaging Here, Ashley Hawk, J.T. Russell and Porter James learn shooting skills and tied to the outdoors,” Crawabout $2,500 a year toward gun safety at a firing range. (Photo courtesy of the University of Montevallo’s ford says. “We appreciate any President’s Outdoor Scholars Program) their education for up to help we can get from donors four years. In the first year, the program back something in the lands and natural who want to support the program and help provided eight students with more than resources and make things better.” these students stay connected to the outThe outdoors scholars and the UM bass $20,500 in scholarships. In the second doors. If not for them, we wouldn’t be able fishing team participated in the “Gone year, 22 students received $43,000 in to do this.” Fishin’, Not Just Wishin’” event at Oak scholarships. This year, about 40 scholarIn August 2017, the Alabama WildMountain State Park. The students taught ship recipients began the 2017 school year. life Federation honored the University of The outdoors scholars must maintain about 1,000 young people from Jefferson Montevallo President’s Outdoor Scholars at least a 2.5 grade point average. In addiand Shelby counties how to bait hooks, Program with its Conservation Educator tion, they must attend monthly on-camcast rods and catch fish. They also released of the Year award. The university also plans pus meetings and other activities related about 2,000 fish. to build a lodge on campus to house scholto hunting and fishing. They must also The outdoors scholars also participated arship students. It should open in 2018. “The lodge will be our little hangout complete coursework on the outdoors and in a Kidz Outdoors event at Soggy Bottom where we can have meetings and students the environment, learn how to prepare fish Lodge in Linden, Ala. The event helped can store their outdoors equipment,” and wild game for the table and attend pechildren with disabilities take part in variCrawford says. “It will also have a boatous outdoors activities. The Kidz Outdoors house where our fishermen can store their event raised $54,000 to be used to take terJohn N. Felsher is a boats. We’ve very excited to have that adminally ill children on a hunting trip of a freelance writer and dition.” lifetime. photographer who writes For more information, contact CrawProbably the most popular part of the from Semmes, Ala. Contact him through ford at 205-665-6216 or email Wcrawprogram, besides receiving money to athis website at www. Visit outdoortend school, is that the students take ious “field trips” through the year. These 30 SEPTEMBER 2017

Continued from Page 10

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.

health clinic to offer patients an option to the emergency room where care and reimbursement options may better benefit the patient and hospital. Approximately 24,000 primary care encounters were seen in this clinic last year. There is also an affiliated 131-bed nursing home with a current 92 percent occupancy rate. However, this facility has established a 79unit senior retirement community as a part of the hospital campus with 100 percent occupancy and a waiting list. This service has long-term benefits for the medical center since the majority elect to become residents in the affiliated nursing facility when independent living is no longer possible.

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Alabama Living

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One of Bibb's garden homes.

Residents are typically 55 or older and have underlying health care needs that prompt them to live near a medical center. The garden homes and apartments are available at highly impressive rates that include utilities, high definition Direct television, and lawn care. Other services such as meal delivery, laundry, etc. are available on a fee-for-service basis. Local physician care, dental care, Federally Qualified Health Clinic services, the cafeteria, and other services are readily available for community residents. The hospital offers health care advice and assistance in matters such as Medicare plan selection. In addition to a new revenue stream that contributes to the financial stability of the medical center, the services of this retirement community are resulting in savings to individuals, families, and programs by delaying long-term facility residence for several years. Another new revenue stream involves its cafeteria service, now named the Cahaba Lily CafĂŠ, which has become one of the community’s favorite eating establishments, serving more than 24,000 non-patient meals last year. With an uncertain reimbursement future, our rural hospitals and medical centers are encouraged to respond with innovation by developing additional revenue streams that may make the difference between remaining open or closing.ď Ž SEPTEMBER 2017 31

ALABAMA BOOKSHELF In this periodic feature, we highlight books either about Alabama people or events or written by Alabama authors. Summaries are not reviews or endorsements. We also occasionally highlight book-related events. Email submissions to Poles, Wires and War: The Remarkable Untold Story of Rural Electrification and the Vietnam War, by Ted Case, $15.95 (history) During one of the hardest chapters in American history, electric co-ops volunteered to win the war in Vietnam. They didn’t win the war, but in his new book, the author tells a riveting story of how they tried. He argues that the success electric co-ops had in the conflict that divided our nation just might have helped that southeast Asian nation recover more quickly by demonstrating the value of bringing electricity to the countryside. What followed was a classic battle of enormous personalities, foreign and domestic political and military maneuvering, and a determined band of people who brought electricity to the American countryside, fighting the odds to bring light to a war zone halfway around the world. Case creates a fast-paced narrative as crews race the collapsing war to pass bylaws, organize the co-ops and tangle with corruption, bureaucracy, in-fighting, and oh yes, Viet Cong soldiers determined to destroy what they were creating. In the end, in less than four years, three electric co-ops were bringing electricity to more than 8,000 members. Order online at Here We May Rest: Alabama Immigrants in the Age of HB 56, by Silvia Giagnoni, NewSouth Books, $29.95 (current events) Alabama’s 2011 Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, also known as HB 56, sought to criminalize the lives of undocumented immigrants. The law triggered lawsuits and brought widespread criticism; federal courts later gutted much of the bill. Author Giagnoni, herself an immigrant, wrote the book to explore the needs and relationships of others who shared the experience of immigration. She frames the bill in larger political, social and cultural contexts to help explain the current sentiments toward new immigrants in Alabama. Once in a Blue Moon, by Vicki Covington, John F. Blair, Publisher, $26.95 (novel) Against the background of Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign, a group of struggling individuals are thrown together, tenants of a benevolent landlord in a Birmingham, Ala., neighborhood that has seen better days. The neighbors form their own brand of community, lifting each other up and bringing hope for a better future back into their lives. The author, who grew up in Birmingham, asks questions about family, faith, race, class, and ultimately, hope. The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry: Auburn Vs. Georgia, by Douglas Stutsman, Arcadia Publishing and The History Press, $21.99 (Southern sports history) The rivalry between Auburn University and the University of Georgia began in 1892 and has largely been a competition more brotherly than bitter. According to one legend, Auburn’s “War Eagle” battle cry originated at the first game between the two schools. Renowned UGA coach Vince Dooley graduated from Auburn, while Auburn coach Pat Dye was an All-American at UGA. Journalist Stutsman recounts the unforgettable games, moments and personalities on the 125th anniversary of the Deep South’s oldest rivalry.




2,548 sq. ft. under roof •




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| Alabama Recipes | Cheese Buttons prepared by Jessica Stephenson.

Cheese, please These cheese-centric dishes are sure to make you smile By Jennifer Kornegay, photos by Mark Stephenson


hen you hear that a casserole or a dip is cheesy, that’s good. You happily pay more for extra cheese on a pizza. When someone wants you to smile for a photo, they tell you to say “cheese,” knowing that the word alone will bring such joy to your heart that it will shine through on your face. (And also, the way you must move your mouth to form the word forces it in the direction of a smile. But the word “fleas” would do the same thing, and you don’t hear photographers using that prompt.)

when the word “cheese” moved from slang denoting wealth to a derogatory word for something or someone that was “showy” or “gaudy.”

The point is, the word cheese and its variations are often positive. Until they’re not. If someone tells you a lampshade, television show, outfit or anything not food-related is cheesy, that’s negative. So how and when did this use of the word enter our lexicon?

No matter what things outside of the food world earn the title “cheesy” in your book, when it comes to eating, we flip the adjective back to affirmative, so much so it’s a safe bet that most of us don’t just say “cheese, please,” but “more cheese, please.”

A quick Internet search reveals several possibilities, but most trace its origins back to England in the mid- to late-1800s,

And as our taste buds know and some of our reader-submitted recipes show, you really can’t have too much cheese.


Over time, its meaning has broadened. Folks today can use it as described above, but also as a synonym for tacky, sappy, inauthentic and more. And the term is highly subjective. What one person deems cheesy could just as likely be adorable, sentimental, fashionable or funny to someone else.

Fan favorite

According to info compiled by the USDA, Americans consumed more mozzarella in 2016 than any other type of cheese. The stringy, stretchy “pizza cheese” has held the top spot for the last six years, with cheddar coming in second.

Cook of the Month

Harper Reed

Tallapoosa River EC

Ten-year-old Harper Reed has always been interested in cooking, thanks to his family. “We have a small organic farm and grow a lot of our own food,” his mom Anna says. “And his dad does most of the cooking and always has the kids in the kitchen helping out.” His Cheese Buttons are treats he developed while cooking with his grandmother, and they offer a fresh take (and shape!) on the classic cheese straw with the addition of Rice Krispies. “He just loves them, and we all love the crunch from the Krispies,” Anna says. “It’s different.” Harper knew the recipe was a hit with his loved ones, but he didn’t think about submitting it until his mom suggested he practice his typing skills. “I thought he could type up some recipes to brush up, and if they were typed, why not send some in to the magazine.” So he did. He was both surprised and thrilled to be named Cook of the Month. “He’s so excited,” Anna said. “It means a lot.”

Alabama Living

Cheese Buttons 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated, at room temperature 2 cups plain flour ½ pound butter, melted ½ teaspoon red pepper 2 cups Rice Krispies Sprinkle of salt ¼ cup chopped pecans Sprinkle flour on cheese and pour on melted butter. Add red pepper. Add Rice Krispies to mix, and knead by hand until well blended. Roll into marble-sized balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Flatten with fork. Sprinkle with salt and chopped pecans. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Cut oven off and do not open door for two hours. If they become soft they can be heated in a 200-degree oven for a few minutes.


Tangy Cheese Ring 1 pound grated extra sharp cheddar cheese 1 cup chopped pecans ¾ cup mayonnaise 1 small onion, finely chopped ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce 1 ⁄8 teaspoon garlic juice or garlic paste 1 small jar of strawberry preserves Mix all ingredients and make into a circle and pour the preserves in the middle. Serve with your favorite crackers.

Tangy Cheese Ring prepared by Allison Griffin.

Jill Coale Wiregrass EC

Stuffed Mushrooms 1 3 4 4 1⁄3

package of mushrooms, stemmed tablespoons olive oil ounces cream cheese, softened slices bacon, cooked and chopped cup mozzarella cheese Parmesan cheese

Cheddar Salsa Biscuit Bites Cheese Frenchies 12 6 12 2 1 1 2

slices white light bread teaspoons mayonnaise slices cheese cups milk egg package cracker crumbs cups cooking oil

12⁄3 1 ½ ¼ ¼

cups self-rising flour cup shredded cheddar cheese cup salsa cup margarine, melted cup water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean mushrooms. Place them in a dish, cup side up, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in oven 12 minutes. Microwave the cream cheese until soft and mix in bacon. Remove mushrooms from oven, sprinkle with salt and pepper, turn them over and salt and pepper again. Stuff mushrooms with cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake 5 more minutes.

Spread mayonnaise on six slices of the bread. Place two slices of cheese on top of the bread and top with the remaining bread slices. Cut each sandwich into triangles. In a mixing bowl, beat egg with milk. Dip each triangle into the milk-egg mixture and then dredge in cracker crumbs. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry each triangle until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Generously spray large cookie sheet with vegetable spray. In a large bowl, combine flour and cheese; mix well. Add salsa, melted margarine and water; stir until just combined. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently just until smooth. Press or roll out dough to 12-inch by 6-inch rectangle. With sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into 2-inch by 1-inch strips. With thin spatula, place strips about ½ inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake 11-13 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve warm. Yields 36 biscuit bites.

Summer Watson Cullman EC

Julia C. Fleming Southern Pine EC

Peggy Key North Alabama EC

Please send us your original recipes, developed by you or family members, and not ones copied from a book or magazine. You may adapt a recipe from another source by changing as little as the amount of one ingredient. Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year.

Coming up in October...Pies! 36 SEPTEMBER 2017

Send us y ur recipeso !

Online: Email: Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 Please include a phone number and co-op name with submissions! Alabama Living reserves the right to reprint recipes in our other publications.

Three Cheese Fondue 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese 8 ounces shredded Swiss cheese 8 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese 2 tablespoons flour Dash hot sauce 1 12-ounce bottle of good beer Pinch of salt and pepper For dipping: Granny Smith apple slices Soft German pretzels Sourdough bread pieces Combine all ingredients. Heat over low heat, stirring until melted through. Keep warm and dip apples, pretzels and bread pieces. Kirk Vantrease Cullman EC

Mini Pizzas 1 six-count package English muffins 2 cups shredded cheese, any kind 1 cup mayonnaise 1 bunch green onions, chopped fine 1 teaspoon garlic salt Slice each muffin in half and place on an ungreased, foil-lined baking sheet. In large bowl, hand mix the cheese, onions, garlic salt and mayonnaise. Evenly divide the mixture onto each muffin half. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven. Cut each muffin into four pieces and serve. Linda G. Morton Pioneer EC

Recipe Themes and Deadlines: Nov. Sweet potatoes Sept. 8 Dec. Edible gifts Oct. 8


Here are a few Alabama cheesemakers worth checking out.

Belle Chevre, Elkmont At her creamery in north Alabama, Tasia Malakasis turns goat milk into silky, tangy artisanal cheeses and cheese spreads whose textures and tastes have racked up more than 100 national awards. Eat: The sweet-tart fig and honey breakfast cheese Dayspring Dairy, Gallant This family farm raises sheep, and the fuzzy, fluffy ladies in the flock provide the main ingredient for Dayspring’s sheep-milk caramels and a selection of rich and flavorful sheep-milk cheeses. Eat: Ewetopia Aged Gouda Sweet Home Farm, Elberta This spot in south Alabama was the first licensed cheesemaker in the state, beginning operations in 1984. Every ingredient for every cheese comes straight from the farm, from the milk harvested from their pasture-raised herd of Guernsey cows, to the herbs and garlic grown in the onsite garden. Eat: The Bayside Blue

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.

South of the Border Cheese Pasta 1 pound pasta (can use elbow, penne, ziti or your favorite macaroni) 1 16-ounce jar cheese sauce 2 cups tomato salsa (mild, medium or hot) 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

South of the Border Cheese Pasta prepared by Lenore Vickrey.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, cover and set aside. In large saucepan, combine cheese sauce, salsa, and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Heat through, stirring until well mixed. Add cooked pasta to cheese mixture, stir. Put in casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Janice Bracewell Covington EC Alabama Living


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Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2017  41

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2  AUGUST 2016


| Our Sources Say |

More transparency


few weeks ago, an article about the California Legislature caught my attention. They have passed a bill establishing a requirement that 60% of the state’s electricity be renewable by 2025 and 100% to be renewable by 2045. I know California has a lot of renewable energy, but I was interested in how such aggressive goals could be achieved. I looked further and found that Hawaii has made a similar commitment to be 100% renewable by 2045. Also, San Francisco; San Jose; San Diego; Rochester, Minnesota; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and East Hampton, New York, have made commitments to be 100% renewable between 2020 and 2035. More interestingly, three cities – Aspen, Colorado; Burlington, Vermont; and Greensburg, Kansas – claim to already be 100% renewable. These accomplishments and goals are interesting considering that electricity generation in the U.S. in 2016 was comprised 30% from coal, 34% from natural gas, 20% from nuclear, 1% from oil, and 15% from renewables. The renewable distribution was 6.5% from hydro, 5.6% from wind, 1.5% from biomass, 0.9% from solar, and 0.4% from geothermal. How do three cities get 100% of their electricity from renewables if only 15% of the country’s electricity is renewable? Solar has natural obstacles like night and clouds. The wind doesn’t always blow, especially in Vermont. Biomass burns up an awful lot of trees. Geothermal works pretty well if you have a volcano. Hydro works well when rivers run, but it has just about been thrown out of the renewable club because of alleged damage to fish and mussels. The trick is – and it is a trick – the cities claiming and states desiring to be 100% renewable use the electric grid to supply their electricity with non-renewable electricity when renewable electricity is not available and use renewable credits to cover the difference. The purchase of renewable credits to cover the shortfall of renewable electricity doesn’t mean the states or cities are being served by renewable power 100% of the time. If the sun is not shining, the wind is not blowing, or the rivers are not running, then there is not enough renewable power to serve all those that claim to be 100% renewable. Those states and cities are instead being served by coal and natural gas generated electricity from the electric grid, yet claim to be 100% renewable. It is just labeled “renewable.” Simply, this is how it works. Electricity supply is real-time, at the speed of light. If you have a light on in your house, an electric generator is producing electricity right now to keep that light

shining. Electricity cannot be stored in volumes approaching utility scale. PowerSouth’s Compressed Air Energy Storage Unit converts electricity to compressed air during off-peak periods and uses the compressed air to generate electricity on peak. A few other utilities have pumped-storage hydro generators that use off-peak electricity to pump water back over dams so it can be used on peak to generate more electricity. However, those projects are insignificant compared to the volume of electricity on the grid at any moment. Batteries are not effective at utility scale and provide no significant electric storage application. Practically, all electricity is generated at the time it is needed. Renewable power suppliers generate electricity when the renewable resources are available – the wind is blowing, the sun is shining, the rivers are running. They sell their electricity onto the grid for the market price but retain the renewable credits and sell them to the renewable cities and states. The cities and states purchase some electricity directly associated with the renewable credits but also purchase additional energy credits that are paired with non-renewable electricity from the grid when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow to create the illusion that all their electricity is renewable through the credit purchase. The irony is that the renewable labeling process would not be possible and would not work without the presence of reliable fossil-fuel generated electricity that is always available from the grid. Fossil-fueled generation is the foundation of reliable electric service, and it will remain so. The process also has a price. The renewable cities and states pay the normal price for electricity off the grid plus a premium for the renewable credits to create the renewable illusion. And it is an illusion. Renewable cities and states will have more renewable electricity than average, but at no time will 100% of the electricity its citizens consume be renewable. Using the electric grid to create this illusion is a treat for the renewable cities and states. Cities that won’t let you park your car in a downtown parking spot without paying a fee use the grid to displace renewable power with non-renewable power, but they don’t pay a fee to the grid for the right to call on reliable power when its renewable electricity is not available. Renewables have an important role in the country’s power supply mix. However, an approach without the political posturing and false, misleading claims would be much more productive. We need more transparency and less renewable lies. I hope you have a good month.

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative


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| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |

Illustration by Dennis Auth

Football in Dixie

Fall approaches. Football season. You can argue, as many do, that in different parts of our nation different sports are more special (Indiana and basketball come to mind) but down in Dixie, football has few competitors. Now, I’ll grant you that NASCAR runs football a good race – pun intended. NASCAR is a sport with roots in the pleasures of regular folks, of which we have a bunch. All along a line beginning around Birmingham and running up into Virginia, a line that followed the hardscrabble farms and mill towns of the Piedmont, folks souped up their beat-up cars and ran whiskey from still to town. And when they weren’t racing “revenuers” they raced each other. On the other hand, football began as the sport of Southern elites – the ones who could afford college. And there weren’t many of those. But once it got started (in 1877, Washington and Lee took on Virginia Military Institute in the first football game in Dixie) it did not take long for the sport to filter down to high schools. It helped that football enjoyed a seasonal advantage. Cotton was picked, tobacco harvested and corn pulled, so country kids and town kids could play together. 46  SEPTEMBER 2017

Class distinctions blurred. Lots of folks participated. Eleven on a team. Substitutions were frequent. And there were auxiliary groups – cheerleaders, bands, pep clubs – which made football a true school event. Football was also a measure of a community. How do you know local schools are good? The football team is a winner. Where is evidence of civic pride? In the stands on Friday night. The sport drew in parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, friends of the family, and just plain fans. The following was equally intense among African Americans, for in the pre-integration South, teams and schools were the pride of the black community. The advent of radio spread the game even more. The University of Alabama’s 1926 Rose Bowl victory put Dixie on the map, especially in the minds of Southerners. Other events further broadened football’s appeal – the GI Bill sent more Southern boys and girls to college where they developed institutional loyalties that included loyalty to a football team. Then came TV. When ABC began broadcasting football, the pageantry and excitement was beamed right into Dixie’s living rooms.

Come September, everything fell into place. At the end of the work-week, small towns across the South closed down for the high school game, and on Saturday afternoon friends (and foes) gathered around the TV to watch a college contest. Football also followed the trajectory of Southern history. In 1960, when an integrated University of Southern California football team whipped the Crimson Tide, that defeat, (according to Alabama assistant coach Jerry Claiborne) “did more to integrate Alabama in 60 minutes than Martin Luther King did in 20 years.” Of course, integration was more complicated than that, but when football fans at white schools began to believe that winning was more important than segregation, segregation didn’t stand a chance. So, it seems to me, because of football, Dixie is a better place than it might have been. That says a lot.


Harvey H. (“Hardy”) Jackson is Professor Emeritus of History at Jacksonville State University. He can be reached at hjackson@

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