Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News September 2018
Planning for the future
Manager & Co-op Editor Scott Spence
ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. Subscriptions are $12 a year for individuals not subscribing through participating Alabama electric cooperatives. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office.
The healing power of nature Nature photographer Elmore DeMott began photographing one flower every day to share with her mother who was diagnosed in 2016 with Alzheimer’s disease. “No matter what your hardships, you can share through flowers,” she says.
VOL. 71 NO. 9 n SEPTEMBER 2018
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Fall is the beginning of county fair time for many of our readers who shared their favorite photos with us.
We visit with Doug Phillips, longtime host of public TV’s “Discovering Alabama,” who’s in his element in the backwoods of our state.
Barbecue flavors have made their way from pork, beef and chicken to shrimp and grilled fish. Get grillin’ with our reader recipes!
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In this issue: Page 11 Page 28
11 Spotlight 22 Gardens 29 Around Alabama 40 Outdoors 41 Fish & Game Forecast 34 Cook of the Month 46 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop ON THE COVER:
Melissa Cook leads the Economic Development efforts for the city of Arab. Together with Mayor Bob Joslin, they have worked through the summer on a strategic planning effort to position the city for positive growth into the future. The Arab Electric Cooperative is one of many partners that have been fortunate enough to contribute to and learn from this effort.
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Making things right takes…effort P.O. Box 770 331 S. Brindlee Mountain Pkwy. Arab, AL 35016-0770
Jerry Holmes President District 4
Ty Smith Vice President District 9
Dianne Prestridge Secretary-Treasurer District 3
Max L. Hyatt District 1
Mark Holmes District 2
Charles S. Whisenant District 5
Charlie Grifﬁn District 6
Roger Head District 7
Charles W. Whisenant District 8
Scott Spence General Manager P. O. Box 770 Arab, Al 35016 • 256-586-3196 ofﬁce • arab-electric.org Have you ever heard someone say that “practice makes perfect”? That phrase is often used in the context of sports and practicing a special skill or hobby. However, that statement contains a very flawed logic. Think about it: a golfer could practice a really bad swing every day and consistently get worse at golf. A baseball player could consistently fail to use eye discipline and swing hard at every bat, only to have an awful batting average. Examples abound, and the principle is clear: practice does not make perfect. Time does not magically make things better. To chase perfection, which for most of us is an impossible goal, near perfect effort is required. With all of that said, another phrase that strikes a deep sense of resentment is “it just takes time.” I reject that phrase in most cases as well because it is usually proffered as a passive excuse for a lack of results. The premise is often that time will get things done, when we all know in reality that effective people get things done. Again, it is understood that none of us are perfect. That is not what this is about. Our goal as a cooperative is about the effort to consistently pursue perfection. Here are some efforts so far this year: Residential deposit campaign: this past spring, we reviewed the TVA regulations for residential deposits and revised 2,145 deposits that were paid in excess of the maximum allowed. This work took months and involved a lot of manual adjustments, but we mailed letters explaining the partial deposit refunds to those impacted. It was a lot of work for a team that was significantly under-staffed, but the goal was accomplished. This was the right thing to do for those members and TVA is satisfied with the results achieved. At the time of this writing, 15 Standard Operating Procedures have been benchmarked, evaluated, written and reviewed by one or more regulatory bodies to ensure we have checks and balances regarding a variety of financial practices. Auditors and regulators demanded this kind of work, and our Members deserve to know that finances are managed in this manner. Sensitive Member and employee data safeguards have been established and continue to be resolved. There are guidelines to protect sensitive information, and we are working (mostly after hours) to ensure compliance with these requirements. Compliance efforts to ensure our crews are fitted with personal protective equipment (PPE) have
begun in earnest. This effort will never be complete because technology and requirements do evolve over time, but as of this writing, we have taken the required steps to ensure compliance, for now. Hundreds of “danger trees” have been removed across the AECI service territory. These trees interfere with power reliability and pose a threat to crews at night when they are trying to safely restore your power. Thousands more trees need to be removed at best, or, at the very least, trimmed back. There are lots of other efforts we would be honored to share with you if you are interested. At this time however, I want to transition towards “what else” we are working on that you should learn about soon. In the fall of 2018 we will conduct a thorough review of each commercial and industrial account deposit. Due to a variety of regulations, those accounts will receive interest credit, retroactive to September 2015. This will include approximately 2,250 accounts and a lot of oversight to satisfy the requirement AECI was subject to in 2015. They will all receive letters explaining the details of their account and why this was required of AECI by TVA. We will follow up with an article explaining the details for the rest of the Membership as well in the local media. Late 2018 and early 2019 will provide the time desired for testing and implementing the rest of our website to make it easier for Members to set up payments, view account information, and stay connected with just about anything from the Cooperative. More information will be available with the details and features as we exit the testing phase. Over the next year, we will be working with competent electrical engineers, teams from TVA, and private contractors to evaluate the reliability of our local electrical distribution system. We are aware of some glaring needs, and the right people are working on studies to help us evaluate the most economical and reliable long-term solutions. Again, more information will be made available as it becomes available. These processes usually require several years. There are obviously other efforts going on every day, but these few warranted some specific communication in advance. Again, this will not be the only communication, but the message is important enough to be repeated a few times to help ensure we reach as many Members as possible. Thank you for allowing us to earn your trust. We understand that takes…effort over time.
Democracy In Action 4 SEPTEMBER 2018
| Arab EC |
Faces of AECI: Wayne Mahathey From the General Manager’s Perspective Scott Spence General Manager Earlier this year I started a new feature in this magazine. The majority of employees at your Arab Electric Cooperative are going about their daily responsibilities the best they can to do a good job for you. Most of them are quiet about this. They usually do not request or receive much external attention for a job well done. Perhaps it is humility that motivates some of those high-performers. Whatever their internal motivation(s) may be, the successes of the high-performers need to be shared with you, and this space is one format in which I will do that. Here’s how this article works: 1) I introduce what this person does to serve our members 2) some of their good work habits are highlighted 3) they share some level of personal information with which they are comfortable sharing. Every employee that will be featured in this effort has full rights on whether they appear at all, and if they choose to do so, they also have full editing rights over how much information they share with you. The General Manager obviously selects higher-performers to share. Mr. Mahathey keeps a fleet of bucket trucks, digger derricks, pickup trucks, tractors, and all kinds of other gasoline or diesel machines and tools operating safely and effectively. In summary, if it has wheels and one of the AECI logos on it, Wayne is personally responsible to make sure it is operating safely and maintained. As you can imagine, maintenance is extremely important on equipment like this in order to maximize the useful life of the equipment and thereby recoup as much as possible from that investment. One of the things I think we all appreciate the most about Wayne is the grass has never grown under his feet. He moves. He never stops. His determination is worthy of recognition. For example, no matter what the situation, Wayne is all about finding the next thing to repair or maintain. On those rare occasions where nothing is broken, he will jump in to help others without being asked to do so.
His willingness to work truly epitomizes what we know about Wayne Mahathey. To my knowledge, not one employee has stated any words similar to “that’s not my job” since January. My best, and educated guess is, that Wayne has never even entertained that kind of thought. He ain’t scared to sweat, and if I could pass on one single thing to the next generation of the American workforce, I would make them all follow Wayne for a day. Then at the end of the day, I would whisper to that future generation of workers, “that is how you get stuff done, go and do likewise.” When Wayne is not at work or on call, he enjoys calling square dancing and spending time with his family on his farm. I hope this introduction was useful. Our Members deserve, and we will strive to find and retain, this kind of work ethic for the members of AECI.
I’ve been in the energy industry a few decades now, and it has been my privilege to contribute to some awesome things of massive scale. However, I have never been more proud of any group of men than I was of this group. Their positive attitude and incredible work ethic on a really hot day was awesome. This group of men removed trees on a hot summer day so that your local power grid could be more reliable and safe. Their effort demands our respect.
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| Arab EC | Electric co-ops have a special stake in the Wyoming Integrated Test Center. The power plant is owned by Basin Electric Power Cooperative, which is based in North Dakota. Source: Wyoming Infrastructure Authority
Inventing a new solution for greenhouse gas Co-ops and scientists team up on an innovative approach to energy and the environment. By Paul Wesslund Later this year, five teams of scientists and engineers from around the world will start packing up and relocating their laboratories to a patchwork of gravel lots next to a coal-fired power plant in northeast Wyoming. Their mission: nothing less than finding beneficial ways to reuse greenhouse gas that’s released into the Earth’s atmosphere. They aim to grab the carbon dioxide gas from the burning coal before it can contribute to climate change, and turn it into something that might be part of everyday life, like concrete, plastic or liquid fuel. Dan Walsh sees value in the Wyoming research even beyond reducing the environmental effects of coal plants. Walsh is the senior power supply and generation director for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). He says it would be great if we stopped thinking of the carbon in carbon dioxide as nothing more than waste. “We see a need to take carbon dioxide and turn it into a useful product,” says Walsh. That won’t only reduce waste at coal power plants, he says, but also for users of other carbon-based fuels like natural gas and gasoline. 6 SEPTEMBER 2018
“The electric power industry is no longer the largest generator of carbon. The transportation industry now owns that title,” says Walsh. “We have to do something, not just for power, but for the planet to come up with a way to utilize carbon dioxide in a beneficial way.”
A breakthrough for humanity
The Wyoming launching pad for that high-flying goal brings together far-flung partners—from the state’s governor, to electric co-ops, to a group that awards multi-million dollar prizes “to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.” Two years ago, the XPRIZE, a private innovation group based in California, announced $20 million in prizes “for transformational approaches to converting (carbon dioxide) emissions into valuable products.” The final prizes will be awarded in 2020. In May of this year, XPRIZE narrowed the applicants to 10. Five of those will be setting up shop later this year on the Wyoming test site. The other five will be operating out of Alberta, Canada. Electric co-ops have a special stake in the Wyoming test site: the power plant is owned by Basin Electric Power Cooperative,
| Arab EC |
which is based in North Dakota; and financial support has come from another co-op, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association based in Colorado, as well as the NRECA. The XPRIZE finalists that will be building their labs at the Wyoming site are: •• BREATHE—from India, working to produce methanol, which can be used as a liquid fuel. •• C4X—from China, developing new ways to produce plastics. •• Carbon Capture Machine—from Scotland, producing building materials. •• CarbonCure—from Canada, specializing in cement and concrete processes and products. •• Carbon Upcycling UCLA—from California, making a substitute for concrete. During the next six months, those teams will be setting up “mini-factories” at the Wyoming test site, says Jason Begger, executive director of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, which oversees the site, whose formal name is the Wyoming Integrated Test Center.
Begger says the teams will be setting up to access the ductwork and piping providing flue gas from the power plant, which contains about 12 percent carbon dioxide. They’ll be developing the technology to separate and convert the carbon dioxide from the flue gas and show that their projects can turn waste carbon into useful products. The test center project started with a state government initiative to plan for the future of the region’s coal resources, and has been quickly connecting to the larger worldwide effort to capture and use carbon dioxide. In June, the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority formally partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Carbon Capture Center, a testing site in Alabama established about nine years ago. That agreement will mean closer cooperation with the Carbon Capture Center’s experience and its network of experts.
Connecting with other researchers
The Department of Energy’s Carbon Capture Program Manager John Litynski explains how the agreement benefits the Carbon Capture Center as well: “We can only test up to 1.5 megawatts, which we
call small pilot scale. The Wyoming test center has the capability to test up to 18 megawatts … which we would call large pilot.” For years, the Department of Energy has been exploring ways to remove the carbon dioxide from power plant emissions. The basic problem they’ve been trying to solve is that the process is expensive and uses up a huge share of the electricity produced by the power plant in the first place. One of the longstanding ideas for managing greenhouse gases has been to remove the carbon dioxide from the power plant emissions, then inject into underground rock formations, an idea called carbon capture and storage. But the XPRIZE and the Wyoming test center take the different approach of finding something more useful to do with the carbon dioxide than storing it permanently underground. The Department of Energy has recently been adding the quest for new uses of carbon dioxide to its research. The main focus of the DOE effort is to search for better ways to remove the carbon dioxide from power plant emissions. The DOE’s Litynski says that this year the department is spending $90 million to research carbon capture. It’s spending about $12 million on carbon utilization, up from about $1 million three years ago. This summer, DOE issued a $13 million request for research projects on “Novel methods for making products from carbon dioxide or coal.” While headlines about coal and climate change have been generating controversy around the globe, the Wyoming test center is heading in a different direction. NRECA’s Dan Walsh credits the center’s international collaboration of government, private groups and electric co-ops with “a great vision” for rethinking one of the world’s biggest energy dilemmas. Paul Wesslund writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape.
Later this year, teams of scientists from around the world will set up laboratories at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center in an attempt to develop technology that can turn waste carbon into useful products. Source: Wyoming Infrastructure Authority Alabama Living
SEPTEMBER 2018 7
| Arab EC |
Beat Beatthe the Extreme Extreme Heat Heat
HEATHEAT STAY STAY INFORMED: INFORMED: Check Check local local ALERTALERT
During During periods periods of extreme of extreme heat, heat, hothot weather weather mixed mixed with with outdoor outdoor activities activities cancan lead lead to dangerous to dangerous situations. situations. According According to the to the CDC, CDC, people people cancan suffer suffer heat-reheat-related lated illness illness when when their their bodies bodies areare unable unable to properly to properly cool cool themselves. themselves. During During extreme extreme heat, heat, follow follow these these guidelines guidelines to protect to protect yourself yourself andand your your loved loved ones. ones.
news news forfor extreme extreme heat heat alerts. alerts.
STAY STAY COOL: COOL: If you If you dodo notnot have have access access to to an an air-conditioned air-conditioned space, space, visit visit a shopping a shopping mall mall or or public public library library forfor a few a few hours. hours. STAY STAY HYDRATED/DRESS HYDRATED/DRESS APPROPRIATELY: APPROPRIATELY: Drink Drink fluids fluids regularly, regularly, regardless regardless of of activity activity level. level. Wear Wear lightweight, lightweight, light-colored, light-colored, loose-fitting loose-fitting clothing. clothing. DON’T DON’T leave leave anyone anyone in ainclosed, a closed, parked parked vehicle. vehicle.
Source: Source: Centers Centers for Disease for Disease Control Control andand Prevention Prevention
DODO check check onon elderly elderly friends friends and and neighbors. neighbors.
Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month
Turn off kitchen, bath and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you’re done cooking or bathing. When replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models. Source: energystar.gov
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| Alabama Snapshots |
Sunset at the 2014 Cullman County Fair.SUBMITTED BY Cindy Wilson, Cullman.
Lilly and her best friend Terryn, both 10 years old, riding the carousel at the National Peanut Festival. SUBMITTED BY Lindsey Winburn, New Brockton.
Miranda, Eliott and Ellyott Stanton at the Baldwin County Fair. SUBMITTED BY Miranda Stanton, Loxley.
Montana Rain Mathewson’s first Poultry Show at the Dekalb County Fair. SUBMITTED BY Rosa Lee Weaver, Henagar.
Little Miss Cullman County Fair - Isabella Grace Jones, September 2017. Winning prizes and a crown at our county fair! SUBMITTED BY Tina Jones, Vinemont. Kamikaze ride at the 2017 Cullman County Fair. SUBMITTED BY Chris Sears, Cullman.
Submit Your Images! November Theme: “Veterans” Deadline for Nov: Sept. 29
SUBMIT PHOTOS ONLINE: www.alabamaliving.coop/submit-photo/ or send color photos with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www.alabamaliving.coop and on our Facebook page. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Alabama Living
SEPTEMBER 2018 9
| News you can use | SOCIAL SECURITY
Don’t be misled by false Medicare or Social Security ads
nline and otherwise, there’s a lot of information out there, and sometimes it’s difficult to tell what sources are credible. With millions of people relying on Social Security, scammers target audiences who are looking for program and benefit information. The law that addresses misleading Social Security and Medicare advertising prohibits people or non-government businesses from using words or emblems that mislead others. Their advertising can’t
Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
lead people to believe that they represent, are somehow affiliated with, or endorsed or approved by Social Security or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Medicare). People are often misled by advertisers who use the terms “Social Security” or “Medicare.” Often, these companies offer Social Security services for a fee, even though the same services are available directly from Social Security free of charge. These services include getting: • A corrected Social Security card showing a person’s married name; • A Social Security card to replace a lost card; • A Social Security Statement; and • A Social Security number for a child.
If you receive misleading information about Social Security, send the complete ad, including the envelope, to: Office of the Inspector General Fraud Hotline Social Security Administration P.O. Box 17768 Baltimore, MD 21235 You can learn more about how we combat fraudulent advertisers by reading our publication What You Need to Know About Misleading Advertising at socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10005.pdf. You can also report Social Security fraud to the Office of the Inspector General at oig.ssa.gov/report.
Protect man’s best friend with adequate shelter
any of our outdoor dogs could use extra bit of TLC. The primary concern is safety. They need to be in a confined space. Four dogs were shot and killed in our tiny neighborhood in the last 3 years for trespassing. A few months ago, as I was coming home from work, I watched a young German shepherd proudly trotting back from a chicken house with a chicken in its mouth. Next time, he may not be so lucky and will run a risk of getting shot. An ideal boundary is a physical boundary, like a good quality fence, 4 to 6 feet tall. These fences are not hard to build. In deciding on the height of your fence, take into consideration your dog’s jumping or climbing abilities. Half to one acre of fenced area will be sufficient in most cases. The cost is not exorbitant. One can plant evergreen trees along the fence to make their house an island of tranquility and increase their property value. The perimeter can also be established with an “invisible fence.” For some highly impulsive dogs, the wireless fences may not work. When they are chasing something, they simply ignore the electronic signal but when things settle and it is time to come home, they don’t want to risk Goutam Mukherjee, DVM, MS, Ph.D. (Dr. G) has been a veterinarian for more than 30 years. He works part time at Grant Animal Clinic and is a member of North Alabama Electric Cooperative.
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coming back though the radio field again. Please talk to a professional. Placing a dog on a restraint, such as a chain or tether, can be OK if done for a short period, or while supervised, and if the tether is secured in such a way that it can’t become entangled with other objects. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained or intensively confined in any way, can become neurotic, unhappy, anxious and often aggressive. Also, collars should be comfortable and fitted properly. After the perimeter comes the concern of shelter. Our summers are brutal and our winters can be challenging. A good rule of thumb: if it isn’t tolerable for you, it probably isn’t tolerable for them. A simple
hut with raised flooring can be easily built over a weekend. It is wise to block north, south and west sides of the shelter. If constructing a building is not in your plan, buy the biggest enclosure you can afford. Place the enclosure about 6 to 8 inches above ground on a small deck. If you don’t have a garage full of power tools, this a valid excuse to buy some. Be careful about providing heat for the winter months in the shelter. A friend’s mobile home caught fire from the heating lamp in the dog shelter. Have a qualified electrician handle any electrical work. Dogs are social animals! Even outdoor dogs need regular human interaction. If possible, bring the dogs inside after dark. In the end, let’s not forget them outside! www.alabamaliving.coop
September | Spotlight Medal of Honor recipients to speak at POW/MIA Recognition Day Alabama will officially honor the sacrifices made by America’s prisoners of war, those who are still missing in action and their families on POW/MIA Recognition Day, Sept. 22. A ceremony will be held on the south lawn of the state Capitol. The day’s events, hosted by the American Legion of Alabama, Rolling Thunder of Alabama and various veterans service organizations, begin at 10:15 a.m. with a motorcycle POW/MIA Honor Ride from the VA Regional office to the Capitol. The opening ceremony begins at 11 a.m. The guest speaker will be Capt. Gary Michael Rose, a Vietnam War medic who repeatedly risked his life and exposed himself to enemy fire to ensure the safe return of dozens of fellow soldiers during a bloody four-day mission in Laos. Rose was awarded the Medal of Honor on Oct. 23, 2017. Maj. Gen. James Livingston, awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic action in 1968 during the Vietnam War, will give the keynote address. He served in the Marine Corps for more than 33 years before retiring Sept. 1, 1995. For more information, visit www.va.alabama.gov.
An empty table is a place of honor set in memory of fallen, missing or imprisoned military service members. Each part of the table setting has significance, including the slice of lemon, symbolizing the bitter fate of the missing or captured; the salt, symbolizing the tears of their families; and the lighted candle, a reﬂection of hope for their return.
Barbecue competition comes to Decatur Barbecue takes center stage Sept. 14-15 with the annual Riverfest at Ingalls Harbor in Decatur. Riverfest brings together pit masters from across the country for competition as festivalgoers enjoy family-friendly fun and live music. Riverfest is recognized by the state of Alabama as an official State Barbecue Championship competition and is sanctioned by, and conducted under, the rules of the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Riverfest is also the third and final leg of the North Alabama Triple Crown, a dual sanctioned barbecue competition for North Alabama. The winner of the Triple Crown will be announced and presented a trophy and cash prize at the event. The cook-off is open to professional and amateur teams. A one-day ticket is $15 per person; ages 10 and under are free. Weekend passes are $25 per person. For more information, visit www.mosaicnorthal.org/riverfest.html. And check out pages 32 and 34 in this issue for more on barbecue!
This Month In
Honoring Our People
Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! Winner is chosen at
September 1, 1904
Football star and actor Johnny Mack Brown was born in Dothan, Alabama. Nicknamed the “Dothan Antelope,” Brown earned national notoriety as a halfback when he led the Alabama Crimson Tide to an upset victory over the Washington Huskies in the 1926 Rose Bowl, one of the most important games in southern football history. Later in his life, Brown led a successful career in the Western film and television industry, including the lead role in the popular 1930 film “Billy the Kid.” Brown was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1969 and the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1785
random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by Sept. 10 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 for an upcoming issue! Send a photo of an interesting or unusual landmark in Alabama, which must be accessible to the public. A reader whose photo is used will also win $25. Submit by email: email@example.com, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124.
This is all that remains of the original front entrance to Chilton County High School in Clanton. When a new school was built, the building became Henry M. Adair Junior High. Later, a new middle school was built near the high school, and this building was torn down. The random guess winner is Ethel Mae Gill of Central Alabama EC.
SEPTEMBER 2018 11
Take trails to the
By John N. Felsher
any Americans grew up riding bicycles as their primary form of independent transportation until they learned how to drive automobiles. In recent years, cycling enthusiasts have taken their sport to higher levels, literally and figuratively. Today, Alabama offers riders abundant trails running through terrain as varied as sandy beaches and mountaintops. “When it comes to mountain biking, Alabama is a hidden gem,” says Philip Darden, manager of James Bros Bikes in Opelika and the Alabama representative on the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) executive board. “The state really has a lot to offer bikers from beginner to expert levels. The quality of rides is exceptional. I’ve ridden many different trails and some of my favorites are right here in Alabama.” In 1989, SORBA (sorba.org) formed to promote mountain biking and added regional chapters for cycling aficionados. Many association members periodically volunteer to build and maintain biking trails on public properties. “I really encourage anyone who wants to try mountain biking to contact one of the riding associations,” suggests Mary Anne Swanstrom, president of SORBA-Huntsville (sorbahuntsville. org). “Mountain biking is not about speed. It’s about the experience and the camaraderie of riding with other people. I’ve seen children as young as three years old ride bikes that don’t even have pedals. The children push their way along.”
Learning to ride
Chewacla State Park has a partnership with Central Alabama Mountain Pedalers (CAMP) that offers a great trail system to the public.
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People who want to try mountain biking shouldn’t buy the first cycle they see in a department store. People riding rugged mountain trails need strong equipment that can take abuse. “There’s a big difference between riding a bicycle around the neighborhood and going on a mountain trail,” says Marcus Tillman, trail director for the Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association (neaba.net) and the Anniston recreation trails manager. “Quality mountain bicycles start at about $400 to $600. More advanced bikes might cost $1,000. I’ve even known people to pay $15,000 for a custom state-of-the-art bike.” Writing a big check doesn’t necessarily put a rider on the correct seat. Like riders, bikes also come in varied sizes. Darden recommends visiting a bike shop to get the proper equipment specifically suited to one person. “In the last few years, mountain biking equipment has really gotten much better,” Darden says. “A prospective mountain biker needs a bike that fits that person’s size. People at a bike shop know www.alabamaliving.coop
Varied terrain makes Alabama a mountain biking destination Photos by Billy Pope, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources how to put a bike together for a specific person. A correctly sized bike is more enjoyable to ride.” Besides the bike, a rider needs a good helmet, which might cost $40 to $60. Many experienced riders also recommend wearing full-fingered gloves with padded palms and comfortable biking shorts with chamois pads. A new cyclist might also buy a small backpack to hold valuables, snacks, cell phone, maps and other items while riding. Even with the best equipment, someone who hasn’t ridden a bicycle in years should not immediately hit the toughest mountain trails. Start pedaling around the neighborhood to build up leg muscles and endurance while becoming familiar with the equipment. Then, ride an easy trail, perhaps one with a few small hills, and progress from there. “Someone getting back into biking should ease into it and learn how to use the equipment properly,” Tillman says. “Riders need to become comfortable with when and how to shift gears properly. People also need to practice braking. Grabbing just the front brake is usually not a good idea. People need to learn how to use the rear brakes and feather the front brakes.”
All kinds of terrain
Fortunately, riders ranging in skill levels from beginner to expert can find many trails coursing through diverse habitat all across Alabama. Many city, county and state parks offer trails of varied lengths and degrees of difficulty. In addition, cyclists can ride trails through many national forest or Forever Wild properties. The largest state park in Alabama, Oak Mountain sprawls across 9,940 acres just south of Birmingham. Cyclists at all skill levels can ride several trails. Experienced riders like the Double Oak Trail, also called the Red Trail, which runs approximately 22 miles through mountainous terrain. In 2010, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) placed Oak Mountain on its list of Epic Rides, making it one of the “must ride” trails in the world. Chewacla State Park south of Auburn offers riders more than 30 trail miles. Named for the Central Alabama Mountain Pedalers (www.camp-sorba.org) who helped build and maintain it, the CAMP Trail runs about a mile through relatively flat terrain around the campground. Other trails, like the eight-mile long For Pete’s Sake Trail, wander through rugged rocky terrain. “As a former president of CAMP, I’m most familiar with
Mountain biking in Alabama’s state parks is for every age.
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Chewacla State Park has become a prime destination for mountain bikers. The Central Alabama Mountain Pedalers (CAMP) group has constructed many miles of biking trails and structures such as this ramp at the park.
Chewacla,” Darden says. “We want to build trails that are easily can also bike through parts of the Talladega National Forest, inaccessible so people can jump into the sport without any previous cluding Coleman Lake Recreation Area north of Heflin. experience and feel comfortable riding. We also want riders to In northern Alabama, many people ride the trails at Monte have opportunities to progress in their skill levels so they continSano State Park near Huntsville. In the fall, park visitors enjoy ue to grow as mountain bikers.” spectacular views of mountains emblazoned with colorful foliage. CAMP and other volunteers worked to construct a dual slalom Riders can choose among 14 miles of trail that range from very trail, the first of its kind in the state and unique to most of the easy to extremely difficult. The adjacent Monte Sano Land Trust Southeast. The Chewacla trail will host the Southeastern CollePreserve offers another 20 trail miles. giate Cycling Conference’s 2018 Mountain Bike Championship in “Northern Alabama has some wonderful bike trails,” Swansearly October. trom says. “On Monte Sano, the The Coldwater Mountain We want to build trails that are easily accessible terrain is rocky so people need Doug Ghee Nature Preserve to have some ability to ride the and Recreation Area (www.al- so people can jump into the sport without any trails. Mountain biking is a wonabamaforeverwild.com/cold- previous experience and feel comfortable riding. derful way to enjoy nature and water-mountain) covers 4,183 the mountain scenery while – Philip Darden, Opelika getting good exercise. It’s a very acres of Forever Wild property in the foothills of the Appasocial sport, whether people just lachian Mountains by Anniston. Because of its status with the get out with a few friends to ride or they join hundreds of other IMBA, people from surrounding states and even foreign counpeople participating in an organized ride.” tries frequently visit Coldwater Mountain, giving the Anniston Although lacking mountains, cyclists can still find ample area a tourism boost. cycling opportunities in southern Alabama. In Mobile Coun“The greater Anniston area has more than a hundred miles of ty, Chickasabogue Park provides 17 miles of trails wandering trails,” Tillman confirms. “In terms of habitat, Alabama is one of through hardwood forests, sandy pine flats and over bridges the most varied states in the union, but the crown jewel is Coldcrossing lowlands. In southeastern Alabama, Dothan coordinatwater Mountain. It has 37 miles of trails right now, but when we ed with the Alabama State Lands Division to build a 319-acre finish, it will have 70.” park that features 10 miles of trails. The new Duck River Reservoir in Cullman just opened a 20“The Dothan Forever Wild trails are multi-use, but their primile hiking and mountain biking trail that circles the entire lake. mary purpose is for mountain biking,” says Evan Lawrence with Susan Eller with the Cullman Economic Development Agency Alabama State Lands. “The terrain is somewhat flat, but the city says it’s already attracted cyclists from across northadded some features. The trails go through mixed hardern Alabama, and they intend to market it to local wood and pine forests and cross Beaver Creek, which is residents but also to create tourism dollars. very swampy.” South of Anniston, Cheaha State Park offers inAll over Alabama, cyclists can usually find a place to credible riding opportunities. Cheaha Mountain, the ride close to home with a quick internet search. For Alhighest point in Alabama, reaches 2,413 feet. People abama state park information, see www.alapark.com. 14 SEPTEMBER 2018
SEPTEMBER 2018â€ƒ 15
healing power of nature
Flower photos help daughter connect to mom with Alzheimer’s By M.J. Ellington
hat started out as a trip of curiosity to take a few photographs led one Alabama woman to a professional career as a nature photographer. The career, in turn, led Elmore DeMott to a personal commitment to capture an image of a different special flower each day to share with her mother, Elmore Inscoe, who has Alzheimer’s disease. The convergence of DeMott’s sophisticated nature and plantation burn photographs and “Flowers for Mom,” her ongoing daily photographic gift to her mother, will be on display in September at a Tuscaloosa art gallery. Proceeds from sales of her work will benefit Black 16 SEPTEMBER 2018
Warrior Riverkeeper, a nonprofit that advocates for clean water. DeMott began photographing one
Rose from a friend’s garden photographed in Montgomery.
See more photos at alabamaliving.coop
flower each day as a way to have a daily personal connection with her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. The result is a topic that draws on Inscoe’s fond memories but also acts as a link to today through her daughter’s work. DeMott said the discipline of achieving the perfect image of a new flower each day for her mother has been a challenge, but she said the impact on people outside her family has been a wonderful surprise. “Never did I dream that ‘Flowers for Mom’ would be so far-reaching. People literally send me pictures and ideas from all over the world,” DeMott says. The www.alabamaliving.coop
“Flowers for Mom” will be the focus of a fundraiser from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at Harrison Galleries, 2315 University Blvd., Tuscaloosa. The public is invited to the fundraiser to benefit the nonprofit Black Warrior Riverkeeper, which works to protect the endangered habitat along the Black Warrior River and its tributaries in 17 counties. The exhibit will be at the gallery through Sept. 21.
Gleaning from the gardens
This pink dogwood blossom, shot in rain in Florence, took hours of waiting for just the right light and shows results of being patient, something that Elmore DeMott recommends for even novice photographers.
Photos by Elmore DeMott daily contact with her mom is important and the search for a different flower, a different angle, the perfect light in which to photograph have made DeMott look at things differently now. “Much to the chagrin of my youngest daughter, I like to set a background as much as the foreground. So doing can take a photo from average to amazing. Unlike furniture, one cannot move a tree, so there is a lot of luck involved in having things that will line up and give a great background,” DeMott wrote in a “Flowers for Mom,” blog post on her website. The particular flower she refers to in the post is a bright pink dogwood tree blossom captured in the rain. Alabama Living
DeMott’s mother is an outdoorswoman from Montgomery who, with her husband, Jim Inscoe, bought and expanded the private Jasmine Hill Gardens near Wetumpka. The previous owners designed their garden as a private tribute to the flowers and statuary of Greece. The Inscoes expanded the gardens and opened them for public access. Mrs. Inscoe also taught her daughter the art involved in taking care of and arranging beautiful flowers so much a part of the gardens. Now, DeMott says her father, the family flower expert, gives her ideas for her mom’s flower photos and suggests places where she might want to check for a blossom. “It is fun now to walk through Jasmine Hill with my father. It gives me the greatest joy to talk about flowers with him in a positive way,” she says. DeMott said she is touched by the feedback she gets from others. “In a positive way, it has been a beautiful thing to share through flowers, through art and speaking about the challenges our family is going through with Alzheimer’s disease,” DeMott says. “No matter what your hardships, you can share through flowers.” How the girl who grew up in a nature-loving family evolved from a Vanderbilt University math graduate and banker into a photographer – who chronicles images in nature with a different angle – is a story with twists and turns that come together as art. “Nature photography has always been my favorite because I’m outside,” says
DeMott, who loved spending time outdoors on the property her family owned in Elmore County. One day, her husband, Miles DeMott, suggested she go with him to a controlled plantation burn and take her camera. Before long, DeMott’s early photo exhibits of pine trees and her controlled burn fire shots began to take their place in gallery showings, and her career as a nature photographer took off. The controlled burn photographs, sometimes printed on aluminum, give a dramatic shimmering backdrop for the orange flames licking the undergrowth beneath towering pine trees. DeMott still loves photographing pine trees she remembers from childhood. She and her husband are co-authors of a book of her pine tree photographs, “Chulee – Spirit of the Pine Tree.” She also drew on the experiences as a member of a quail-hunting family for the dramatic images in her controlled fire burn photographs. Decades ago, the men in the family and their friends went quail hunting. In that era, women did not hunt quail, but the practice has opened for women in recent years, she says. Burning the undergrowth on quail plantations enables hunters to walk without obstacles, see clearly where they are going and enjoy nature. The controlled burns remove undergrowth that could catch fire rapidly with more damaging results if the source were from natural causes. DeMott said she hopes her photographs encourage people to take time to see the beauty in nature as a way to rejuvenate. “Beauty is all around Elmore DeMott us. Seek it,” she says. Photo by Mark Dauber
For information about Elmore DeMott’s photography: elmoredemott.com. Foxglove at Jasmine Hill Gardens and Outdoor Museum, property that DeMott’s outdoorsloving parents bought and developed outside Wetumpka.
For information about Jasmine Hill Gardens outside Wetumpka: jasminehill.org. SEPTEMBER 2018 17
Land trust helps preserve north Alabama’s natural spaces
By Aaron Tanner
orth central Alabama is a diverse natural area, with an abundance of caves, sinkholes and plants and wildlife unique to the region. But this part of the state has also rapidly exploded in population. The Land Trust of North Alabama is a non-profit dedicated to conserving natural resources and preserving vulnerable land for people in the Tennessee Valley. Since the late 1980s, when the organization was formed to prevent the west side of Monte Sano Mountain near downtown Huntsville from being lost to sprawl, the Land Trust has preserved more than 7,000 acres of land in five counties throughout North Alabama, along with creating more than 70 miles of public trails. “As our city grows, we need to be responsible about how we grow in order to save the beautiful natural spaces we have,” says Melanie Manson, marketing director for the Land Trust of North Alabama. A portion of the acreage owned by Land Trust of North Alabama is held strictly for conservation value. But seven Land Trust preserves in Madison and Jackson counties are open to the public, each offering unique natural features along with different amenities for people to enjoy: Blevins Gap, Harvest Square, Chapman Mountain, Rainbow Mountain and Wade Mountain. The Land Trust also maintains Keel Mountain and Roy B. Whitaker preserves owned by The Nature Conservancy of Alabama. These preserves receive visitors locally and from outside of North Alabama who are often unaware of the outdoor activities offered there. “North Alabama offers different terrain and unique natural features that can’t be found in other parts of the state,” Manson says. Those who visit Land Trust public preserves can easily visit other nearby natural attractions, such as the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge, Monte Sano State Park and Bankhead National Forest. 18 SEPTEMBER 2018
To maintain the preserves, a land manager and two land stewards continually monitor Land Trust properties for problems, along with hundreds of local volunteers who pick up litter and build trails. Besides maintaining the properties, Land Trust staff and volunteers also host educational programs. “The purpose is to see nature firsthand and hopefully better understand its value,” Manson says. Adults and children can participate in a hiking series each spring and fall while also learning about the history of the area. Although having a Land Trust membership, which funds the maintenance of the properties, is not required to access the preserves, some perks of membership include discounted tickets to Land Trust events, discounts at local businesses and access to a smartphone app that tracks your location along the trails. Yearly fundraisers are held at Three Caves on Monte Sano Nature Preserve, including a concert series in the summer and a dinner and auction event in September. Several new projects are in the pipeline, including the opening of an eighth public preserve near Gurley and future plans to turn a donated former farm in Jackson County on Keel Mountain into a public preserve. The Land Trust is also partnering to build the Singing River Trail, an extensive regional walking and biking trail along the Tennessee River that will link communities in Madison, Limestone and Morgan counties. Overall, Manson is pleased with the cooperation between the Land Trust and organizations at the local, regional and state levels to provide residents opportunities to participate in an active lifestyle by being out in nature. “We believe that if people explore the outdoors and experience nature, they will appreciate the importance of preserving it,” Manson says. Land Trust Preserves are open from dawn until dusk daily and are free. Visit www.landtrustnal.org. www.alabamaliving.coop
‘Alabama Living’ wins tourism advocate award
The statewide staff of Alabama Living, from left, Danny Weston, Laura Stewart, Mark Stephenson, Brooke Echols, Jacob Johnson, Lenore Vickrey, Allison Law.
Letters to the editor
E-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or write us at: Letters to the editor P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 Please include your hometown when you write.
Thankful for the magazine Thank you so much for your delightful and good magazine. I enjoy all your writings in the book, and it is such a blessing. I am thankful we have such a nice book, and (for) one and all to enjoy and read. May God reach down and touch each one who had a part in our beautiful Alabama Living. I love all the nice recipes we get in our magazine also. My heartfelt thanks to one and all who make Alabama Living possible.
Alabama Living magazine was named winner of the 2018 Tourism Advocate Award (Media) at the Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism in early August. The magazine has featured tourism attractions across the state as cover stories and special features over the last several years, and regularly includes events and attractions in its events calendar and Spotlight feature. It is the official statewide publication of the electric cooperatives of Alabama, and is the most widely circulated magazine in the state, reaching more than a million people each month. Editor Lenore Vickrey expressed thanks for the award: “On behalf of the nearly one million consumer members of the electric cooperatives of Alabama that we serve, we want to thank Tami Reist at Visit North Alabama for nominating the magazine, and our friends at Alabama Tourism for all their support.”
We can all get along I usually enjoy reading the “Hardy Jackson’s Alabama” article every month. Last month’s piece [“My Cousin Benny and the snake,” August 2018] started out well until the part about the snake. Why would someone think it is okay to shoot a snake so it can be skinned and have its hide cured? Do people know snakes help keep the tick population in check? And we seriously need help with that. “We can all get along” is a wonderful way to live. So let’s give the snakes a chance to enjoy that idea, too. Rosemarie Hyche Cullman Hardy Jackson replies:
Thank you so much for writing. Please understand, I did not express approval of my cousin’s attitude toward snakes, but only added the reference to skinning and curing to give the reader a better understanding why Benny would go out of his way to run over a snake with a bicycle. Had it been me, I would have pedaled oﬀ in the other direction. In my defense, let me say that I like snakes, though I keep my distance from the poisonous ones. We had a black snake living under our deck. It came out to “sun” every once and a while. I liked to watch it. With it around, the mouse population declined. My son, the scion of the family, was the “snake boy” at the Anniston Museum of Natural History when he was working on a Boy Scout merit badge. Among his many duties was taking the python for a crawl (the snake equivalent of a “walk”). He loves Benny, but like you, he wishes Benny would leave the snakes alone. Today snakes have nothing to fear. Now in poor health, Benny’s snake killing days are over, much to the relief of reptiles in his neighborhood. In the future, when I write about snakes, I will make it clear that they are a special species and deserve to be treated as such.
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Leaster Koen Dumas Millry
‘Cousin Benny and the Snake’ column draws comments Column brought back memories I wanted to tell you how much I related to your article in Alabama Living [“My Cousin Benny and the snake,” August 2018]. It brought back wonderful memories of the time I grew up in Mississippi. Like my parents, I am a farmer and grew up with black people living on our farm. Yes, they worked for us but we never saw color. They were our family. Today the children of those people are my friends and yes, still family. We check on each other, we mourn when our loved ones pass away together and we still work together. Our South has received such a black eye from “outside people” who cannot relate to our culture. Just nice to see a positive thing about the South and her people.
| Alabama People |
Discovering (and protecting) Alabama Dr. Doug Phillips is arguably the most passionate and vocal conservationist in Alabama. He’s an educator and an outdoorsman, and he’s become a familiar face as the host of “Discovering Alabama” for more than 30 years. He didn’t plan to be the face of the program, which is broadcast by Alabama Public Television and has won three Emmy Awards. He originally was going to be a consultant, but he is in his element in the backwoods of Alabama, and relishes the opportunity to educate viewers about the state’s natural heritage and biodiversity. – Allison Law What got you interested in conservation? The show we did on the Locust Fork River is a journey back to my childhood home, which was miles down a dirt road. It was just miles of woods and streams and countryside. I roamed it all and claimed it all and bonded with it all. I went off to West Point, and that was a culture shock. From a country boy to New York. I was desperate to get back to Alabama. I was fortunate to get back and get into graduate school and get a Ph.D. in educational research, where I could really start making a difference in educating about Alabama’s natural wonders and environmental protection. That was still way back when, when the politics was not on the environmentalist’s side. You didn’t start out with the TV show? I started out developing school programs. We ran extended teacher environmental camps and worked with schools to adjust their curricula to get more environmental learning in there. I was literally taking teachers down the rivers, up the mountains and into the wilderness. One of those teachers said to me, as I recall, “this is so inspiring. Now we see how to make connections between our math and our science with the real world, in an exciting way. But you’re going to be leading little groups of teachers forever. You need to start a TV show.” If I heard it once, I heard it at least half a dozen times, when I would hawk the idea, “who would be interested in that?” It wasn’t a hunting or fishing show. (But a) little film crew went out with me, and we shot a bunch of (footage) and put it in the pilot. Alabamians saw it and said, “Wow, what a wonderful state.” Talk more about the show and its relationship to education. We will soon be in our 35th year, and have now joined among the longest-running TV series in TV history. That’s an Alabama TV show we’re talking about. We’ve limped along – you don’t have a lot of money sometimes. But at 20 SEPTEMBER 2018
this point, we have almost 100 shows on every aspect of natural diversity in Alabama. All of those shows are with teacher guides I write to go with them, and they are correlated to support the academic requirements in this state, in science, math, and we try to cover the arts. Certainly environmental science. Geography, history. I’ve been in this business for a while, and I can tell you, we’re the only show that does it this way. Has the show has given you a platform to do public speaking? Yes. I welcome the chance to bring thoughtfulness and substance to this whole topic of our natural heritage and our environment and how we can improve education, because we’re in trouble. People ask me, what’s the biggest environmental threat in Alabama? They think I’m going to say, all that litter. I have to dismiss that. Litter can be picked up. The biggest long-term threat is loss of our rural countryside. Because when that’s gone, there goes your watershed protection, your biodiversity. Look at Atlanta, look at Houston. I ask my audiences, if that kind of growth and change comes here, what’s this state going to be for your children and grandchildren? Some of my political enemies, although they’re friendly enemies, they disagree with me. “All the growth we can get is what we need.” They have their reasons, and they’re not bad reasons. But thinking long-term, where’s that going to take us, people? What should we do? Get serious about long-term planning, and connect education to the land. Are you hopeful for the future of Alabama’s environment and its natural heritage? Depends on what side of the bed I get up on. (laughs) There’s a lot of wonderful new environmental awareness and leadership going on in Alabama today. But I realize that the culture is becoming cognitively disconnected from the land. When you combine that with this profit-driven need for growth, it’s just gotten out of hand in so many places. Alabama has got to quit being ashamed of ruralness. I’ve seen this in some people, who are sort of subconsciously equating our ruralness with ugliness. I tell people, do not equate backwoods with backwards. Ruralness and backwoods is putting us ahead of other regions that have lost all of this. www.alabamaliving.coop
SEPTEMBER 2018â€ƒ 21
| Gardens |
Making the most of
adds landscape interest
f you’ve got moss growing in your landscape, don’t think of it as an enemy. Think of it as a gorgeous, low-maintenance friend. Mossy spots in a yard usually occur in areas that are too shady, wet, acidic and/or compacted to support turf, groundcovers and other ornamental plants. Those spots are, however, prime habitat for mosses, which are ancient (thought to be 500 million or more years old), primitive plants capable of living in some of the most challenging environments, even desert and arctic locales. They’ve also been used by gardeners for centuries to create exquisite botanical settings — think the serene lushness of Japanese gardens. I’ll resist my natural nerdy urge to go into the scientific reasons that moss is amazing, though it’s a fascinating story worthy of further study if you are interested. Suffice it to say that mosses are non-vascular bryophytes that, despite the fact that they lack true leaves, branches or roots, are able to draw nutrients and moisture from even the harshest of environments. Because of this, mosses can grow in places that other plants cannot, including on trees, rocks, bricks, concrete and compacted soils. They can also withstand periods of drought and cold, often becoming brown and desiccated in hard times only to rejuvenate once moisture and temperature conditions improve. If you have moss “problems” in your yard or need a low-maintenance option for a shady, moist area of the lawn, a soft carpet for a rocky ledge, an edging for Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at email@example.com.
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stepping stones or a novel idea for a “container” garden (pots, table-top rocks, terrariums and more), moss is your friend, one you should protect rather than fight. This can be done by nurturing an existing patch (obviously moss already likes that area) or readying a new moss-friendly space by removing grass, weeds and plant debris, such as fallen leaves, from the area to expose bare ground. Existing moss will begin to spread (it reproduces through spores and division) in the area, or you can transplant new mosses into the space. If you’re transplanting moss, which is best done in the fall and spring, you’ll need to water it regularly for the first few months. You may also want to cover the area with lightweight landscape netting to hold new plugs in place and protect them from yard critters that might disturb them before they become established. Once moss has a foothold — which may take a year or longer as moss is a meditative, slow-growing creature — just keep the area clean and moist (especially during extended periods of dry weather). Moss requires no mowing or pesticides and little-to-no fertilizer, though you can boost moss growth by using a light dose of an acidic fertilizer or a drench made from equal parts water mixed with buttermilk, powdered milk or yogurt. So where do you get moss? Moss spores naturally float in on air currents or in water droplets, but transplants of moss can also be gathered from existing patches in your own yard or (ask permission first!) from the yards of your friends, family and
neighbors and even from nursery greenhouses. Collecting moss from the “wild” is discouraged because doing so can damage or destroy natural ecosystems and, because your yard may not provide the proper growing environment, it may not survive the transplanting process. If you can’t find a free source, purchase moss from specialty growers (look online for suppliers) who can also offer guidance on the proper choices for your specific growing conditions. Many books and online resources are available on moss gardening, and public gardens and garden centers and organizations often host moss gardening workshops, too. One fabulous resource is the website of Moss and Stone Gardens (www.mossandstonegardens.com), an amazing place in Raleigh, N.C., where moss gurus David Spain and Ken Gergle illustrate just what can happen if we embrace moss as a friend — a gorgeous, undemanding friend.
SEPTEMBER TIPS Begin drying summer herbs. Sow seed for leafy greens, onions and fall crops of peas and beans. Plant other fall and winter vegetables and root crops. Plant perennials, biennials and spring-ﬂowering bulbs. Prune summer-ﬂowering shrubs. Clean away dead plants and tree and garden debris. Compost lawn, garden and kitchen waste. Keep bird feeders and birdbaths clean and filled to attract resident and fall migrating birds.
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| Consumer Wise |
Well-placed skylights can brighten rooms that lack daylight. SOURCE: NREL/DOE
Do skylights bring sky-high energy bills? By Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen
Our kitchen and dining rooms are in major need of some natural light. We’ve been thinking about installing a skylight, but we’re wondering if that will increase our energy bills. Can you provide any advice?
mance. It’s probably worth spending a little more on a better product, since professional installation takes up the lion’s share of the cost of installing a skylight into an existing roof. That said, even the best skylight has a much lower insulation value than a properly insulated attic. Just as important as finding the right Skylights can bring a little of the outside world indoors and make your skylight is determining the proper size, living space more livable—when they are number and placement. You want adequate installed correctly. light, but too much But they can also can make a room impact your energy less functional on bills and comfort a bright day. Skylights on a steep, level, so you’re taking the right steps north-facing roof by doing some rewill reduce the unsearch ahead of wanted solar heat time. gain in the summer, One downside but this also reof skylights is they duces the desirable can add heat to solar heat gain in winter. your home during Ultraviolet (UV) the summer and light can cause furheat loss during the niture finishes to winter. The amount fade. This can be of impact depends minimized by makupon a number of ing sure your skyelements, including The NFRC label shows insulation value, light has high-qualthe skylight’s energy resistance to heat gain, air leakage and how SOURCE: NFRC ity glazing or by rating, size, place- much light will enter the room. ment and quality applying a special film to the skylight. of installation. You can check its energy efficiency by looking at the skylight’s NFRC Proper installation by a knowledgeable Energy Performance Label, which shows professional is essential to avoid all-toofour important pieces of the energy efficiencommon problems. One serious issue is cy puzzle: water leaks—a problem often caused by • Insulation value (U-Factor) improper exterior installation on the roof. • Ability to transmit solar heat (Solar Flashing must be installed correctly to be Heat Gain Coefficient) effective for the pitch of the roof and the • Ability to allow light to transfer (Visitype of roofing materials. ble Transmittance) Another potential problem area is the • Air leakage. skylight shaft that transmits the light into Finding a unit with the best ratings in all the living space below. Inadequate or poorthese categories will help maximize your ly installed insulation is a source of heat loss skylight’s energy efficiency and perforand can cause ice dams that allow water to find its way into the home. Air leaks in the Patrick Keegan writes on consumer shaft can also cause these types of problems. and cooperative affairs for the Moisture problems can cause condensation National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Write to energytips@ build-up inside the home, resulting in mold, collaborativeefficiency.com for more mildew and rot (especially in bathrooms). information. An alternative option to the regular sky-
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light is the tubular skylight. A small skylight on the roof is connected to a flexible tube that runs through the attic to a room below. This system provides a diffused natural light. The tube is much smaller than a skylight shaft and is easier and less expensive to install. The tube has less heat loss and is less leak-prone. Tubular skylights can fit into spaces that a traditional skylight can’t, and can be a better choice in rooms with high moisture, like bathrooms, saunas or indoor swimming pools. As you consider your options, it may be worthwhile to think back to your goals. Perhaps you can gain more light in these rooms without installing a skylight by trying these steps: • Paint the room a lighter color. • Hang mirrors. • Replace heavy window coverings with lighter ones. • Add indirect lighting such as upward-facing pole lamps. • Trim any trees that shade the windows. If you’ve done your research and decide to move forward with new skylights, I hope you will consider buying the best product your budget will accommodate––and find a contractor with experience and solid references to provide the installation. Good luck! This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency. For more information on skylights, please visit: www.collaborativeefficiency.com/ energytips.
Tubular skylights collect light through an acrylic dome on the roof and transmit it through a highly reflective tube into the space below. PHOTO CREDIT: COLLABORATIVE EFFICIENCY
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September | Around Alabama
Photo courtesy of the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission.
The End of the Trail Remembrance Pow-Wow commemorating the Trail of Tears is Sept. 14-16 in Waterloo.
Aug. 31-Sept. 3 Luverne, Crenshaw County Alcazar Shrine Club’s World’s Largest Peanut Boil. Sale ends Labor Day at 5 p.m. or until sold out. 1704 Montgomery Highway. Aug. 31-Sept. 1 Guntersville, 48th Annual St. William Seafood Festival at Civitan Park, 1100 Sunset Drive. Drive-thru open Friday 4-6 p.m., Saturday 7:30-a.m. until sold out. Park dine-in hours Saturday 10:30 a.m. until sold out. For menu and prices, visit stwilliamchurch.com. Proceeds benefit St. William Catholic Church.
Cullman, Smith Lake Park Sweet Tater Festival. Admission $5. Live entertainment, food vendors, arts and crafts and sweet potatoes. Car show on Monday. 403 County Road 386. Smithlakepark.com
Cherokee, Coon Dog Cemetery Labor Day Celebration, Live entertainment, dancing, food and souvenirs available for purchase. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. coondogcemetery.com
McCalla, Labor Day Celebration and Moon Pie Eating Contest at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Children’s activities and food available. 12632 Confederate Parkway, tannehill.org
Prattville, 66th Annual Labor Day BBQ, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Pratt Park, 460 Doster Road. Barbecue plates, camp stew and various vendors. Prattvilleserviceleague.org
Cullman, Bernard Blues and BBQ Festival. Arts and crafts and music festival 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at St. Bernard Prep School, 1600 St. Bernard Drive SE. Ave Maria Grotto will be open during the festival, admission $3. Festival admission $5, children 5 and under free. Proceeds benefit the school. 256-739-6682.
Decatur, Riverfest Barbecue Cook Off at Ingalls Harbor, 802-A Wilson St, NW. Live music, children’s activities, and award-winning barbecue. Proceeds benefit organizations in the community. Decaturcvb.org
Evergreen, “Paws in the Park” at Evergreen Municipal Park, 1001 Park Road. Music, vendors, food, children’s activities and dog contest and parade. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Waterloo, End of the Trail Remembrance Pow Wow. Free three-day pow-wow commemorates the Trail of Tears and features vendors, food, arts and crafts and entertainment Friday and Saturday night. Commemorative walk at 10:30 a.m. Saturday from the bridge in downtown Waterloo to the landing point where the Indians were put on flatboats to be removed under the Indian Removal Act of 1832. Saturday is also the conclusion of the Trail of Tears 25th Commemorative Motorcycle Ride. Waterloo-al.com
Dothan, Low Country Boil and Auction, Stokes Barn at Landmark Park, 430 Landmark Drive. Enjoy a dish of shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes. Live music and silent auction featuring signed Alabama and Auburn footballs, tickets to various events and more. Tickets are $50 per person and include all you can eat, plus beer and wine. Tickets for children ages 3-12 are $5. To order tickets, call 334-794-3452 by Sept. 13. Landmarkparkdothan.com
Atmore, Taste of the South, hosted by the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce, at Heritage Park, South Main St. & East Craig St. Restaurants and organizations will be competing for the “Best Taste.” Contact the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce, 251-368-3305.
To place an event, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations.
Winﬁeld, 44th Annual Mule Day. Friday night features live music, vendors and extended hours for local businesses. Parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. Vendors, arts and crafts, live music, car show and more. The Skirmish at the Luxapalilla, a Civil War re-enactment, will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday. winfieldsmuleday.com
Eva, Eva Frontier Days. Craft fair, beauty pageant, hayride, community singing and more. For daily schedule of events, visit evafrontierdays.weebly.com.
Montgomery, Alabama National Fair. Garrett Coliseum comes alive with this annual event, featuring livestock shows, photography and art shows, midway rides and musical entertainment. Visit alnationalfair. org for tickets and daily schedules.
Orange Beach, 5th Annual The Wharf Uncorked Food & Drinks Festival at the Wharf in Orange Beach. Features food, wines, silent auction, yacht walk, cooking demonstrations and live entertainment. Event benefits MakeA-Wish Alabama. For event schedule and tickets, visit thewharfuncorked.com.
Birmingham, Alabama Orchid Society’s 34th Annual Orchid Festival and Sale at the Birmingham Botanial Gardens, 2612 Lane Park Road. Hundreds of blooming orchids on display as well as orchid plants available to purchase from vendors. Free. Sale hours are Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 pm., Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Orchid display hours are Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. bbgardens.org
Titus, Bluegrass Festival. Titus Community Center, approximately 10 miles north of Wetumpka on U.S 231, then north on County Road 29. $10 adults, children under 12 free. Bring lawn chairs for live bluegrass music, and enjoy Champ’s BBQ and arts and crafts vendors. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Search “TCC Bluegrass Festival” on Facebook.
Montgomery, Jamey Johnson’s 7th annual Homecoming Benefit Concert. 4-11 p.m. at Cottonwood Golf Club, 7160 Byron Nelson Blvd. Tickets are $20 at the door, or $10 with a new, unused toy of at least $10 for the Toys for Tots Foundation. This outdoor concert features Johnson and his musician friends. Bring lawn chairs; no food, drinks or coolers (food and drinks will be for sale on site). Parking $5. Search “Jamey Johnson Golf” on Facebook.
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SEPTEMBER 2018 29
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 email@example.com Due to the volume of submissions, we are unable to feature all the books we receive. Coastal Alabama Retirement Guide and Coastal Alabama Economic History, both by Mark Fagan, BookBaby (publisher), $30 and $40 respectively (travel) The retirement guide summarizes the factors important for retirement destinations and includes detailed information on such topics as climate, housing, health care and more. It includes a general description of coastal Alabama, including a brief description of each municipality. The economic history book could be used as an educational resource on the history of coastal Alabama, as well as a guide to historical tourism. This book resulted from the author’s research into the history of Mobile and Baldwin counties, and became so detailed that it deserved treatment on its own as a resource for people who love coastal Alabama’s history. Author Fagan is professor emeritus at Jacksonville State University and also wrote “The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail: Its History and Economic Impact.” He has researched retiree migration and retirement communities for more than 30 years. Alabama Lore, by Wil Elrick, Arcadia Publishing and The History Press, $23.99 (Alabama folklore) Alabama is a weird and wonderful place with a colorful history steeped in folk tales passed from generation to generation. Author Elrick, who is from Guntersville, explores the history behind some of the Cotton State’s favorite tales. Treeborne, by Caleb Johnson, Picador, $26 (novel) Janie Treeborne lives on an orchard at the edge of Elberta, Ala., and in time, she has become its keeper. Elberta has seen fierce battles, violent storms and frantic change – and when the town is once again threatened, Janie realizes it won’t withstand much more, so she tells the story of its people. As the world closes in on Elberta, this debut novel from Johnson, who is from Arley, Ala., lifts the veil and offers one last glimpse. Alabama Founders: Fourteen Political and Military Leaders Who Shaped the State, by Herbert James Lewis, The University of Alabama Press, $24.95 paperback (Alabama history) While much has been written about the significant events in the history of early Alabama, there has been little information about the people who participated in those events. The book examines the lives of those who opened Alabama for settlement, secured its status as a territory in 1817, and helped lay the foundation for the political and economic infrastructure of Alabama in its early years. To Raise up the Man Farthest Down: Tuskegee University’s Advancements in Human Health, 1881-1987, by Dana R. Chandler and Edith Powell, The University of Alabama Press, $39.95 (Alabama history) Though the university’s accomplishments and devotion to social issues are well known, its work in medical research and health care has received little acknowledgment. Tuskegee has been fulfilling Booker T. Washington’s vision of “healthy minds and bodies” since its inception in 1881. This book documents the school’s medical and public health history with rich archival data and never-before-published photographs. A Gathering Misery, by Rocky Porch Moore, Southern Yellow Pine Publishing, $15.99 (Southern Gothic, horror) Deborah Ballard is pushed away from July Mountain by her grief-stricken parents into the overbearing arms of the grandmother who has vowed to straighten her out. In this sequel to Clemenceau’s Daughters, family secrets reach beyond the grave to ensnare Deborah in a haunting cycle of cruelty. The author lives in Foley.
30 SEPTEMBER 2018
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Looking for good barbecue? Safety pros are in the know!
ost publications get professional foodies to compile lists of favorite restaurants. But we think we have an even better source: The safety staff of the Alabama Rural Electric Association, which publishes Alabama Living. Why? Our safety guys are always on the road, traveling to provide training and guidance to our 22 member cooperatives and some municipal electric utilities. Among the staff ’s many duties: They conduct monthly in-house safety meetings, crew visits and facility inspections at your local co-op; they train your co-op’s employees on everything from CPR to hazardous materials to poletop rescue; they work with co-op managers and CEOs to provide updates and interpretations from such national regulatory groups as OSHA and DOT; and they coordinate power restoration assistance after weather-related events. These jobs keep them moving all over the state of Alabama, from the mountains of the northeast to the Black Belt to the Wiregrass to the Gulf Coast. And as you might expect, it means a lot of eating on the road! We asked them to tell us their favorite barbecue places around the state, just in time for football season tailgating. Of course, we can’t list every great barbecue joint in Alabama, so drop us a line and let us know your favorite (and why!). Send those by mail to Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org – Allison Law 32 SEPTEMBER 2018
Michael Kelley Director of safety, loss control and regulatory compliance, AREA Home base: Wetumpka Favorite barbecue place: Mud Creek Bar-B-Que, 804 County Road 213, Hollywood, AL 35752; 256-259-2493 Billy Carver and his brother-in-law, Gerry Teal, own and operate Mud Creek, which features a barbecue sauce that is Carolina style – meaning it’s vinegar and mustard based, as opposed to the more ketchup- or molasses-based sauces. It’s off the beaten path in Jackson County, but is known by locals and travelers alike for its great food and friendly service. Safety man says: The hush puppies are a must-try side item, and the barbecue sauce is “the bomb.” Eric Turner Safety specialist, AREA Home base: Cullman Favorite barbecue place: Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, 2520 Danville Road SW, Decatur, AL 35603, 256-350-0404; and 1715 6th Ave. SE, Decatur, AL 35601, 256-350-6969 Big Bob Gibson’s was founded in Decatur in 1925 by Bob Gibson, an L&N Railroad worker who honed his cooking skills on the weekends in a hand-dug barbecue pit. In addition to the delicious smoked meats, the restaurant became famous for its original white sauce. Today, five generations of pitmasters have earned 15 World BBQ Championships and five Memphis in May World BBQ Grand Championships. And the restaurants now feature a signature red sauce in addition to the peppery white sauce served on the barbecued chickens; both sauces are widely available in stores. Safety man says: “They have the best smoked turkey that I’ve eaten anywhere. I’m not a huge pork fan so I base my restaurants on the turkey. Their white sauce is I believe a world champion winner.” Jeﬀ Whatley Training and safety coordinator, AREA Home base: Grady community Favorite barbecue place: SweetCreek Farms, 85 Meriwether Road, Pike Road, AL 36064; 334-280-3276 SweetCreek was also our Worth the Drive feature in August! In addition to the pulled pork, the restaurant serves smoked chicken and St. Louis-style ribs. Safety man says: “All meat is cooked over pecan wood for a mellow smoke taste. You can smell it when you get out of the truck. Homemade sauce combines sweet and savory. Everything is fresh and homemade. Favorite sides are jalapeno-based swamp slaw and broccoli salad. Finish it off with homemade ice cream and cookies.” Buster Bishop Training and safety coordinator, AREA Home base: Billingsley Favorite barbecue place: Jim’s B-B-Q, 3657 U.S. 82, Billingsley, AL 36006; 334-366-4284 Jim’s is still family-owned and operated since it opened in the 1970s, and is likely best known as the place to stop on the way to and from Tuscaloosa for Alabama home football games. Owner Jeannette Hughes told al.com that employees put in 18 hours a day when Alabama plays at home. Safety man says: The smoked pulled pork in their sandwich is piled high and “yum yum. The vinegar sauce is outstanding.”
Check out the barbecue recipes on Page 34.
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SEPTEMBER 2018 33
| Alabama Recipes |
How do you
’Cue? BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY Food/Photography BY BROOKE ECHOLS
34 SEPTEMBER 2018
We’ve all got our own preferences, so feel free to have your barbecue your way.
ork, beef or chicken? Ribs or other cuts? If other cuts, pulled, sliced or chopped and then tucked between a bun or mounded on a plate? Dry rub or sauce? And on the sauce: thick or thin? Spicy, sweet or tangy? Yellow, red or Alabama white? Despite multiple differences, some substantial, some subtle, in the styles and schools of barbecue served across our region, as a general food category, it’s firmly rooted in the South’s culinary consciousness. But there are internal debates down here. Some purists insist if it isn’t cooked low and slow over hardwood coals, it isn’t authentic barbecue. Some folks believe if it isn’t pork, it can’t be called ‘cue. But most of us enjoy it — or at least its signature tastes — almost any way we can get it. Barbecue’s ﬂavors have made their way far beyond traditional proteins to be found on shrimp and grilled fish. Heck, they’re no longer confined to meat. BBQ potato chips or nachos, anyone? And while truly GREAT barbecue can be a bit elusive, and no matter where your allegiances lie, it’s hard to find bad barbecue simply because there’s so much of it. In Alabama, we’ve got plenty of contenders when it comes to restaurant barbecue, from big-name chains to ramshackle shacks pumping out savory scented, siren-song smoke. And in the barbecue game, “amateurs” compete with the pro pitmasters, sometimes at events and often, just in spirit; plenty of home cooks swear (and their friends and neighbors stand by their stories) that their sauce reigns supreme and their ‘cue is championship-grade. Some of our own readers have shown themselves to be quite confident in their barbecue skills by sharing their prized recipes. Try one or two, and feel free to add your own takes or twists. The only real rule when it comes to barbecue? Cook and eat what you like.
24 24 1 2 2 2 3 ½ ½
large shrimp (shelled, deveined, tails left on) slices bacon large onion, sliced cloves garlic tablespoons brown sugar tablespoons soy sauce tablespoons dry sherry tablespoon ground ginger tablespoon chili powder
Remove shells and butterfly the shrimp. (Cut down the back and open up. Devein, but leave the tail on as a handle.) Place a piece of onion on the shrimp. Fold it up and wrap a piece of bacon around it, and secure it with a toothpick. Fix the rest of the shrimp in this way. Mix the remaining ingredients together to make a New Orleans-style BBQ sauce. Pour this over all the shrimp. Leave in this marinade for one hour. Turn shrimp a couple of times while in marinade. Barbecue over medium fire until the shrimp are cooked and the bacon is crispy.
Cook of the Month: Glenda Weigel, Baldwin EMC Glenda Weigel had her first introduction to barbecue shrimp on a trip to New Orleans more than 20 years ago and thought the ﬂavor combo was spectacular. She’s been making her barbecue shrimp ever since. It’s become a fixture in her kitchen, thanks to its delectability and its versatility. “Everyone likes it; it’s so good,” she says. “And you can make it any time of year. It’s really season-less. It’s just as good in the summer as it is at a Christmas party, and it does make a great party food.” It’s also pretty simple to make. “It’s so easy, anyone can do it, even your husband!” she says. SEPTEMBER 2018 35
Alabama’s Own In addition to some of the storied barbecue institutions that are home-based here, our state has another claim to barbecue fame: Alabama white sauce. This tangy, mayo-based liquid goes well with almost anything, but bathe some slow-smoke-roasted chicken with it, and you’ve got a match made in heaven. Sources trace its roots back to North Alabama, where Bob Gibson is said to have first concocted it in Decatur in 1925 when he opened Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q. Its popularity and use have grown and spread alongside the fame of the restaurant and that of current pitmaster and chef Chris Lilly, husband to Big Bob’s great granddaughter, and a member of the Barbecue Hall of Fame.
Aunt Masa's Soul Sauce (Barbecue Sauce) 1 10-ounce can Heinz ketchup (do not substitute) 1 quart apple cider vinegar 1 stick unsalted butter 1 pint Frank's Hot Sauce 2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 tablespoon granulated garlic 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Mix all ingredients together and simmer until the desired consistency. Put into pint canning jars and either refrigerate or process in water bath canner for 20 minutes. This BBQ sauce is great on anything that you barbecue or would normally add BBQ sauce to. Marsha S. Gardner Baldwin EMC
Al’s BBQ Sauce
White BBQ Sauce
¼ cup oil ½ cup Worcestershire sauce ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 8 or 10-ounce tomato sauce ½ cup brown sugar 4-6 shakes hot sauce 20 ounces ketchup 10 ounces Heinz 57 4 ounces liquid smoke ½ cup honey Spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes
6 1 1 3 3 2
tablespoons mayonnaise tablespoon black pepper tablespoon salt tablespoons lemon juice tablespoons white vinegar tablespoons sugar
Mix together and use for basting. Great on chicken. Cook in oven or open grill. Betty Moore Franklin EC
Combine all ingredients. Bring to a slow boil. Simmer 15 minutes. Cool. For ¼ chicken, BBQ 45 minutes; ½ chicken, BBQ 90 minutes. Cook’s tip: For a dark sauce, substitute A1 Sauce for Heinz 57. For Texas chicken: Make a sop of 50 percent vinegar, 50 percent oil and a good shot of pepper. Sop chicken until 20 minutes before done. Then add BBQ sauce. Sandra Largen Central Alabama EC
36 SEPTEMBER 2018
Smoked Fattie 1 pound premium bulk pork breakfast sausage 2 tablespoons BBQ rub of choice, divided 1 1-gallon seal-top bag 1 7.5-ounce cream cheese with chives, at room temperature 2 tablespoons onion, minced 2 tablespoons green or red bell pepper, minced 1 cup mozzarella cheese 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil Prepare grill for indirect cooking or smoker at 250 degrees. Remove sausage from wrapper and place in the seal-top bag. Using a rolling pin, begin flattening the sausage to completely fill the bag and return to the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to re-chill. Sauté onions and pepper in butter/oil until soft. Remove the sausage from the refrigerator, open the top, and with a sharp pair of scissors, cut down each side of the bag but leave it in one piece; this helps in rolling. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of BBQ rub evenly over the sausage. Spread cream cheese over the sausage to within about ½-inch of the edges. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and vegetables over the cream cheese. Using the plastic bag, roll the sausage into a roll like a jelly roll. Be sure no plastic is left on the sausage. Sprinkle the remaining BBQ rub on the outside of the roll. Place sausage roll in the smoker/grill and cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Allow to rest, covered, for 20 minutes before slicing. Elmer Vick Baldwin EMC
Satisfying Succulent Southwestern Barbecued Pork Ribs 3-4 pounds pork ribs, cut into serving pieces 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon pepper 1-2 onions, sliced 1 cup green peppers, chopped Hot chili peppers, to taste 2 tablespoons vinegar 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce ¼ cup soy sauce 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 garlic clove, minced 1 teaspoon celery seeds 2 teaspoons liquid smoke ¾ cup ketchup ¾ cup water ½ cup root beer Place ribs in a pan and season with salt and pepper. Brown in 450-degree oven. Cover with onions and peppers. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over meat. Cover tightly and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Baste occasionally. Uncover for the last 15 minutes to brown.
Coming up in October... Pumpkin! Spicy BBQ Pork Chops 1⁄3 1⁄3 1⁄3 2 ¾ ½ ½
cup hickory barbecue sauce cup steak sauce cup apple juice tablespoons honey teaspoon salt teaspoon pepper teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste 6 bone-in pork chops
Mix liquid ingredients and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Grill covered until temperature reaches 145 degrees, brushing with sauce frequently. Let stand 5 minutes and serve. Debbie Headley South Alabama EC
Lexi Turnipseed Dixie EC
Send us your recipes for a chance to win! September's prize pack winner is Tammy Davis of Baldwin EMC! Themes and Deadlines November: Nuts | Sept 8 December: Party Foods | Oct 8 January: Protein-packed | Nov 8
3 ways to submit: Online: alabamaliving.coop Email: email@example.com Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124
Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year. One gift basket winner will be drawn monthly at random and each name will be entered only once. Items in basket may vary each month. To be eligible, submissions must include a name, phone number, mailing address and co-op name. Alabama Living reserves the right to reprint recipes in our other publications.
SEPTEMBER 2018 37
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Miscellaneous KEPLINGER ALUMINUM BURIAL VAULT CO. in Gardendale, Alabama sells water tested burial vaults to the public saving up to $3000 or more per vault verses funeral home prices. Our vaults protect the contents against water and last indeﬁnitely. Cardboard wrapped, standing up requires 6 1/2 sq. ft. to store and take to cemetery when needed. Alabama made with American materials. $1400 cash, includes local sales tax. Call 205-285-9732 or 205-540-0781 or visit www.keplingeraluminumburialvaults.com OUR 92nd YEAR! CULPEPPER ELECTRIC, downtown DEMPOLIS. LED Fixtures & Bulb! Milwaukee, Klein Tools, Sewage Pumps, Electrical Supplies & Appliance Parts. In-house Service Tech available. (334)289-0211, lmculpepper3@gmail. com, Facebook / Culpepper Electric Co. BANDSAW BLADES FOR YOUR PORTABLE SAWMILL – 1” thru 2” wide and any length. Call Cooks Saw today (800)473-4804 or visit us online at www.cookssaw.com G.W. (BILLY) THAGARD: AUCTIONEER – REAL ESTATE BROKER - Land, Commercial, Residential – AL Lic # 675 – (205)410-6751, bill@gtauctions. com, www.gtauctions.com Visit our Website Let’s get together to talk AUCTION! CHURCH FURNITURE: New pews, pulpit furniture, cushions for hard pews. Big Sale (800)2318360, www.pews1.com 18X21 CARPORT $1,195 INSTALLED – Other sizes available - (706) 226-2739 FREE MATERIALS: SOON CHURCH / GOVERNMENT UNITING, suppressing “RELIGIOUS LIBERTY”, enforcing NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW, Be informed! Need mailing address only. TBSM, Box 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771 – email@example.com, (888)211-1715 METAL ROOFING $1.80/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 – Outdoor Rockers, Gliders & Swings, HANDCRAFTED AMISH CASKETS $1,599 - ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct (256)490-4025, www.wallbedsofalabama.com, www.alabamamattressoutlet.com
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Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News
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Redeveloped Toomer’s Corner ready for Auburn fans
Alabama cattle farmers setting the bar high
College football : Can Bama repeat?
Centre nursery ready for poinsettia season
Archives’ card collection provides link to milestones in history
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38 SEPTEMBER 2018
| Marketplace |
SEPTEMBER 2018â€ƒ 39
| Outdoors |
Small game animals are a great introduction to hunting
any young sportsClayton, the Jackson Counmen begin huntty WMAs, James D. Maring by accompatin-Skyline near Scottsboro, nying a father, grandfather, Upper Delta by Mobile and William R. Ireland, Sr.-Caother relative or friend looking for small game. haba near West Blocton. Since the seasons run Young hunters usually see concurrently, many people more game and fire their lump squirrel and rabbit guns more often when hunting together. True, hunting small game than squirrel hunters occasionwhen sitting still and quiet for long hours in a deer ally kick up a cottontail stand. Following behind while walking along the an experienced hunter, wooded edge of field or youngsters also learn valujump a big swamp rabbit able woodsmanship and Steven Felsher, Brett Pratt and Chester Thompson look for squirrels in a grove of in a hardwood thicket, but stalking skills. people hunt squirrels and towering white oaks. Squirrels like hardwood trees that produce abundant nuts. “Small game hunting rabbits in completely difPHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER ferent ways. provides a great opporMost people use trained beagles to flush tunity to engage new hunters in active cally, sit on a log or lean against a tree to rabbits from impenetrable thickets. When pursuit hunting methods without being listen for claws scratching on bark, objects confined to a shooting house often assoa rabbit bolts from cover, shooters must redropping or branches shaking. Also listen ciated with deer hunting,” says Steve Baract fast. Difficult, but not impossible, some for barking squirrels. nett, an Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater hunters bag rabbits without dogs by taking Many sportsmen hunt squirrels in turns smashing through thickets, kicking Fisheries Division biologist. “Roaming the teams, an excellent idea with accompawoods for small game with a mentor hones grass clumps or fallen logs as others watch nying youngsters. When teams detect a woodsmanship skills and provides an outfor anything that might run out. Chokesquirrel, but can’t quite locate it, one perdoor classroom for plant and animal sign points that limit where rabbits can run, son can remain motionless while the other identification as a bonus.” such as openings in fences or narrow strips walks around the tree. Squirrels frequently In Alabama, squirrel and rabbit seasons of high ground in a flooded wetland, also try to keep tree trunks between themselves run concurrently. They open on Sept. 15 make good places to hunt rabbits. and danger. If the squirrel reacts to the and run through March 3, 2019. People Many WMAs across the state allow person walking, it might present a shot to can bag up to eight rabbits and eight squirrabbit hunting. Some better ones include the other sportsman. rels per day. Choccolocco near Heflin, the Jackson For fox squirrels, sportsmen might head “Most regions of the state have good, County WMAs, Lowndes near White Hall, to Oakmulgee or Blue Spring Wildlife stable numbers of rabbits and squirrels,” Sam R. Murphy near Guin and Skyline. Management Areas. One of the oldest and Barnett says. “Areas managed for mast For the best chances at bagging a swamp perhaps the most scenic WMA in the state, producing hardwoods such as oaks prorabbit, visit the Mobile-Tensaw Delta in Oakmulgee covers 44,500 acres of Bibb, vide some of the best habitat for squirrels. Mobile and Baldwin counties. Hale, Perry and Tuscaloosa counties about Open habitats such as fallow fields, new “There are ample hunting opportunities 25 miles southeast of Tuscaloosa. Part of clear-cuts and brushy openings are havens on all WMAs that have rabbit and squirrel the 392,567-acre Talladega National Forfor rabbits.” seasons,” Barnett says. “Most areas are unest, the habitat consists mostly of hills covWhen looking for squirrels, move slowderutilized for small game.” ered in mature open longleaf pine forests ly through forests. Take a few steps, then In addition, several Special Opportuniwith periodic upland hardwood forests ty Areas will hold small game hunts. Fred stop, look and listen. Watch trees for and swampy drainages. People can also movement or anything unusual. PeriodiT. Stimpson SOA in Clarke County will hunt the surrounding national forest. hold special youth squirrel hunts. Other Blue Spring WMA covers 24,783 acres rabbit and squirrel hunts will be held in of pine flatwoods periodically dotted by Cedar Creek and Portland Landing SOAs hardwood strands in the Conecuh NationJohn N. Felsher lives in Semmes, Ala. in Dallas County and Uchee Creek SOA in al Forest near Andalusia. Other WMAs Contact him through Facebook. Russell County. For details, see www.outthat offer good squirrel hunting include dooralabama.com. Black Warrior near Moulton, Barbour near
40 SEPTEMBER 2018
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. Minor
SEP. 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
----02:07 03:22 04:22 05:07 --07:07 07:37 08:22 09:22 10:22 11:52
04:52 06:07 07:52 08:52 09:52 10:37 11:07 11:37 05:37 06:22 12:52 01:22 01:52 02:37 03:22 04:07
12:37 03:52 11:52 10:22 10:52 11:07 11:37 12:07 06:37 06:52 01:07 01:37 02:07 02:37 03:07 04:07
09:52 10:22 04:37 05:07 05:22 05:37 05:52 06:22 12:07 12:37 07:07 07:22 07:52 08:07 08:37 09:07
---02:37 03:52 04:52 05:37 -07:07 07:52 08:37 09:37 10:37 ----01:37 03:07 04:07 05:07 05:37 --07:52 08:37 09:22 10:37 11:52 ---
05:22 06:52 08:22 09:37 10:22 11:07 11:52 06:22 12:52 01:22 01:52 02:37 03:07 03:52 04:52 06:22 07:52 08:52 09:37 10:22 10:52 11:37 06:22 07:07 01:07 01:37 02:07 02:52 03:52 04:52 06:22
09:52 12:22 09:52 10:37 11:07 11:37 06:07 06:37 01:07 01:37 02:07 02:37 03:07 12:22 07:52 -10:22 10:37 10:52 11:07 05:22 05:37 12:07 12:37 01:07 01:52 02:22 03:22 04:37 09:37 12:37
01:52 03:22 04:07 04:37 05:07 05:37 12:07 12:37 06:52 07:22 07:37 07:52 08:22 08:22 02:37 03:37 04:07 04:22 04:37 05:07 11:37 12:07 12:37 06:22 06:37 07:07 07:37 07:52 08:37 01:22 02:37
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
PM Minor Major
SEPTEMBER 2018 41
42â€ƒ SEPTEMBER 2018
EVEN TEXTERS AND DRIVERS HATE TEXTERS AND DRIVERS. STOPTEXTSSTOPWRECKS.ORG
SEPTEMBER 2018â€ƒ 43
| Our Sources Say |
Same song. Same chorus. I
t’s getting old. Just when you thought that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was safe from being sold, there’s another proposal to do just that. In the President’s FY19 budget request, the President proposed to sell TVA transmission assets and those of power marketing administrations in an effort to generate $9.5 billion over 10 years. But when disapproving members of Congress questioned Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry about the proposal in annual budget hearings, he downplayed the Administration’s interest in such a sale. Not satisfied with that response, 58 members of Congress sent a letter to their colleagues on the Budget Committee opposing any congressional action furthering the proposal. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) led a separate letter campaign to the President opposing the move, along with a dozen colleagues from the Tennessee Valley. Both chambers included language in their annual appropriations bills forbidding the Administration from spending money on efforts to advance the sale of federal transmission assets. For a brief moment, it appeared the Administration had gotten the message. An Energy Department spokesperson confirmed the Administration would not pursue a sale unless directed by Congress. Headlines read, “Trump scraps plan to sell off federal electricity assets.” The plan was dead.
OMB gives plan new life
Until the Office of Management and Budget breathed new life into it. In June, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney released a sweeping plan to reorganize the federal government, which repeated – nearly verbatim – the proposal from the FY19 budget request. “The federal government’s role in owning and operating transmission assets creates unnecessary risks for taxpayers and distorts private markets that are better equipped to carry out this function,” the report restates. “Ownership of transmission assets is best carried out by the private sector, where there are appropriate market and regulatory incentives.” There were swift and hostile responses from Sens. Lamar Al-
exander and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), another lawmaker from a state with a strong public power presence. Other members of Congress tossed cold water on the plan overall, indicating a distinct lack of appetite for rearranging broad swaths of the government. Most of the reorganization would require Congress to make the changes, including the proposal to sell transmission assets. Clearly, Congress isn’t interested in playing ball. And that’s the right answer.
Ratepayers have already paid for assets
TVA receives no federal funding, and its transmission assets have already been paid for by the Valley’s ratepayers. Any sale to a private entity would amount to a transfer of wealth from them. In addition, when the Obama Administration proposed selling TVA under the premise that it had fulfilled its mission, the Valley saw firsthand how a “for sale” sign on TVA had immediate negative impacts on the Valley. Economic development efforts slowed as expanding business and industry had concerns over potential instability for needed power supply, and TVA’s cost of borrowing money suddenly increased. It’s time for the Trump Administration to drop any misguided attempt to raise revenue by selling the assets that have been paid for and belong to the Valley’s ratepayers. Finding savings in the sprawling federal budget is a reasonable and worthy pursuit – but Congress and the Administration need to hear from the stakeholders that would actually be affected by such reforms before deciding which are ready for implementation and which belong on the cutting room floor. To reinforce this message, representatives from cooperative and municipal electric systems in Alabama and the other six states served by TVA sent a delegation to Washington in late July for meetings with the Valley’s congressional delegation. Feedback from them was very positive. With Congress scheduled to reconvene this month, perhaps once and for all this silly notion can be put to rest. On a personal note, this is my last column in Alabama Living. I will be retiring in October following 34 years as an advocate for public power. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you in this column. It has been a pleasure.
Phillip Burgess is Communications, Government Relations and Conferences Director for the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association.
44 SEPTEMBER 2018
CALL FOR ENTRIES
Alabama Rural Electric Associationâ€™s
Quilt Competition Our 2019 theme is:
Mail, or E-mail form below for your entry package. Deadline to submit quilt square is January 25, 2019.
Name: ________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________ City, State Zip: __________________________________________ Mail to: Linda Partin AREA E-mail: ________________________________________________ 340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 Phone: ________________________________________________ Cooperative: ___________________________________________ or Phone: 334-215-2732 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (The electric cooperative name on front of this Alabama Living.)
| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |
Southern by the signs
Illustration by Dennis Auth
ou remember a couple of years ago when they busted TV’s Miss Cleo? She was the Jamaican psychic whose “hotline” offered free “supernatural insight into love and money.” Well, according to authorities, Miss Cleo (who was really Youree Dell Harris of Los Angeles) used the old “bait and switch” on folks who called in. She came on the line and told them to phone another number which, it turned out, charged them about $5 a minute. Now I figure that many of Miss Cleo’s callers could have been Southerners. Not only do we talk a lot (ask us the time of day and we tell you how to make a watch), we have a history of trying to hook up with the supernatural. Many among us regularly consult the astrological section of an almanac and schedule everything from planting to procreating according to the alignment of heavenly bodies. Others consult folks like Henry Baysmore. Back in the 1930s, the 75-year-old Baysmore was interviewed at his Montgomery home. He told how he “started out to be a preacher once” and seemed on the road to success until he found that the Bible said that ministers should keep themselves “unspotted from the world.” He was OK with that until he found that the Good Book also said ministers should “visit the widows.” That presented a problem for, he observed, if “you have ever been acquainted with any widows, you know a preacher can’t visit them and keep himself unspotted.” So, he told his visitor, “I give up preachin’.” What did he do then? He became Montgomery’s Miss Cleo. Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus of History at Jacksonville State University and a columnist for Alabama Living. He can be reached at email@example.com.
46 SEPTEMBER 2018
Those were Depression years and people were uneasy. So Baysmore had plenty of visitors who “wanted to see into the future.” Such advice did not come cheap, $10 a session, but if they protested he simply told them, “If you can’t afford ten dollars for a little supernatural information” then they would suffer the consequences. So they paid up. Though Henry Baysmore gave up preaching to become a psychic, some time ago, riding through Wilcox County, I saw a sign announcing that “Dr. Black,” the “Holy Profet of God,” had discovered a way to combine the two. Apparently ignoring the problem with widows, “Dr. Black” found scriptural foundation for his calling in First Samuel where Saul tries to figure out how to pay a seer for helping him recover some runaway asses. Figuring if Saul could, so could he, and Dr. Black opened the “House of Prayer and Faith,” where religion and folklore were bundled together for believers. According to the sign, anyone who was “crossed up,” “troubled,” or suffering from what he called, with a fine feeling for words, “Lost Nature,” should take Dr. Black on as their “Spiritual Reader and Advisor.” I bet business was brisk. We all know that since forever, a sizable segment of the South’s population has believed that greater forces are at work in the world and that there are special people who can understand them. Sometimes the gifted are found in churches that focus on biblical prophecy and mystical communications like speaking in tongues. Other times these spiritual advisors are found outside any religious congregation, out on the fringes of society. But remember, historically, it is on the fringes of society that so many Southerners have lived. And those Southerners, in trying to deal with troubling questions, have turned to the Bible, the Almanac, preachers, teachers, and people like Baysmore, and Black. Some even called Miss Cleo – long distance. www.alabamaliving.coop
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, 2018.
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 and tell us what’s your choice for the “Best of Alabama!” 1. Best museum dedicated to a famous Alabamian
o Helen Keller
o Hank Williams
o Jesse Owens
o Rosa Parks
o your choice______________________________
o Gulf Coast Zoo
o Animal Safari Park (Hope Hull) o your choice___________________
2. Best zoo/wildlife park
o Birmingham Zoo
o Montgomery Zoo
3. Best new tourist destination
o OWA Park o Memorial for Peace and Justice (Montgomery) o New Alabama Gulf State Park and Lodge (opening November 2018)
o Pirate’s Bay Water Park (Leesburg) o Your choice ____________________________________________
4. Best hometown restaurant or diner ____________________________________________________________________________________ 5. Best music venue
o Iron City
o Alabama Theatre
o your choice_____________________
6. Best open-air amphitheater
o Oak Mountain
o Phenix City
o The Wharf
o Lake Martin
o Mort Glosser
7. Best lake to spend the weekend
o your choice______________________________
8. Best Heisman Trophy winner from an Alabama school
o Pat Sullivan
o Bo Jackson
o Mark Ingram
o Cam Newton
o Derrick Henry
9. Best small college town _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 10. Best shopping attraction
o Tanger Outlets
o Unclaimed Baggage Store
o Sikes & Kohn
o your choice______________________________
What does Alabama not have that you wish it did? Tell us!_________________________________________________________________________________
Name: __________________________________________________________________________________ Address: __________________________________ City: ________________ St: ______ Zip: __________ Phone Number: _________________________ Your Co-op: ___________________________________ Email: ___________________________________________________________________________________
R if you emember, r and y name is d o www. u voted o rawn alaba nline mal at you’ll iving.coop , win
Vote online at www.alabamaliving.coop 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.
SEPTEMBER 2018 47