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Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News September 2018

Wiregrass

Electric Cooperative

Empowering teachers

WEC helps local teachers learn about energy


WIREGRASS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE is a member-owned electric cooperative serving more than 24,000 accounts in Houston and Geneva counties in Alabama and parts of Dale, Coffee and Covington counties in southeast Alabama. 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.

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VOL. 71 NO. 9 n SEPTEMBER 2018

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

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

NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:

American MainStreet Publications 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 www.AMP.coop www.alabamaliving.coop USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311

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Search and rescue

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Safety first

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Captain Joe Barton selected as Silent Hero of the Wiregrass.

Don’t cover up underground transformers with shrubbery.

BBQ favorites

Barbecue flavors have made their way from pork, beef and chicken to shrimp and grilled fish. Get grillin’ with our reader recipes!

D E PA R T M E N T S

ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES:

340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 For advertising, email: advertising@areapower.com For editorial inquiries, email: contact@alabamaliving.coop

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WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! ONLINE: www.alabamaliving.coop EMAIL: letters@alabamaliving.coop MAIL: Alabama Living 340 Technacenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

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:

WEC recently sponsored a group of local teachers to attend the PowerSouth Energy Empower Energy Education Workshop in Destin, Florida. The workshop educates teachers on the electric industry. See story, Page 6. SEPTEMBER 2018 3


Our schools are the foundation of the Wiregrass Board of Trustees John Clark, Jr. District 3 President Donna Parrish District 2 Vice-President Debra E. Baxley District 1 Secretary

Danny McNeil District 4

Tracy Reeder District 5

Kip Justice District 6

Donald Ray Wilks District 7

Greg McCullough District 8

David Winstead District 9

Les Moreland, CEO Wiregrass Electric Cooperative Beginning a new school year is always special. It’s a time when kids are eager to return to class, where they will see friends and, most importantly, continue their educations. But the excitement extends beyond the students. Administrators and teachers are also eager to fulfill their calling to mold young minds. You see, it takes a special person to excel at the demanding task of educating our children. At Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, we know the sacrifices these professionals make and how important their jobs are to our community, state and country. And we want to recognize their commitment. This past May, WEC’s Operation Round Up Charitable Foundation awarded $1,000 scholarships to 21 local high school seniors. We consider helping these deserving students get a solid financial start to their college career an investment in the future of our communities. Our members made these scholarships possible by agreeing to have their monthly energy bill rounded up to the nearest whole dollar. Thank you. That small contribution makes a significant difference in the lives of students. We also began participating in a new program last spring to honor teachers who go above and beyond. Along with 95.5 WTVY in Dothan, we awarded the Wiregrass Teacher of the Month to a deserving educator. Beginning in March, we surprised a total of four teachers in their classroom with the award. Then, we helped them purchase much-needed school supplies for their classroom. The surprised expression on the faces of the teachers receiving the award said it all — they were genuinely happy to be honored. Educators, however, are not award-seekers.

Instead, their careers are committed to helping students grow into successful adults. It was an honor for our cooperative to participate in naming the Wiregrass Teacher of the Month, and we look forward to continuing the award this school year. Meanwhile, we support schools in many other ways. For example, each year we buy signs for the local ballfields and purchase advertisements in yearbooks and football programs. We also partner with WOOF to bring local high school radio broadcasts to you. On Page 6 of this magazine, you are going to read about Empower Energy Education Workshop, yet another way we help our teachers. Today, there is a great deal of misinformation about our industry and how energy is created. Along with PowerSouth, our wholesale energy provider, we want to help change those misperceptions. So, this summer we sponsored a group of local teachers from the Wiregrass area to attend a workshop designed to provide them with better resources to explain the source of electricity. As teachers help to shape the futures of our young people, we feel it’s important they have the correct information about our industry. Points of emphasis include the use of a curriculum designed to inform students on topics such as solar energy and our commitment to providing affordable, reliable electricity. Our schools are the foundation of the Wiregrass area. As your trusted and preferred energy provider, WEC is working to make the Wiregrass better for tomorrow. We are able to do that by helping our schools, teachers and students thrive. n

JOIN US FOR WEC’S 2018

ANNUAL MEETING SAVE THE DATE | OCT. 19 | HARTFORD OFFICE

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www.alabamaliving.coop


WEC Service Area

Contact Information Pictured, from left, are WTVY’s Reginald Jones, Captain Joe Barton, WEC’s Chief Operating Officer Brad Kimbro and WTVY’s Spencer Bienvenu during the taping of the Silent Hero of Wiregrass segment of the nightly news.

Protect and serve Captain Joe Barton selected as Silent Hero

Mailing address 509 N. State Hwy 167 P.O. Box 158, Hartford, AL 36344 Phone 1-800-239-4602 Toll Free Outage “Hotline” 1-888-4-MY-OUTAGE 1-888-469-6882 (24 hrs/day) Website www.wiregrass.coop Find us here:

Joe Barton is a captain in the Covington County Sheriff ’s Posse, a group of 25 men who volunteer to assist the sheriff ’s department and law enforcement in the surrounding counties. The posse’s primary responsibility is search and rescue using tracking dogs and horses. Barton, a member of the group for 25 years, joins other volunteers who use their own money and equipment to carry out their duties. For Barton, participation is part of a tradition. His father, Gene, was one of the original members of the posse formed in 1964 by then Covington County Sheriff Cliff Meredith. For Barton’s contributions to the community, he was selected as the Silent Hero of the Wiregrass for June.

Aiding law enforcement

The Silent Hero award is an innovative partnership between Wiregrass Electric Cooperative’s Operation Round Up Charitable Foundation and WTVY in Dothan. The award is designed to bring recognition to people doing great things for the community who may go unnoticed. “What he is doing through his organization is a community service,” WEC Chief Operating Officer Brad Kimbro says. “Through our Foundation, we are happy to be a supporter of his efforts, and we are thankful we have people like him supporting our community.” The posse can be called for assistance in a variety of scenarios, but they are most often used to help find people. Recently, the posse was called to assist in the apprehension of a vehicle theft suspect in Coffee

Alabama Living

County who fled on foot into the woods. The posse uses a bloodhound for tracking and then four pack dogs to assist with capture.

Find Wiregrass Electric Co-op on Twitter (twitter. com/wec2), Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Multiple skills

Payment Options

In addition to the dogs, the posse also uses horses, boats, four-wheel-drive trucks and ATVs. Technology is also a significant asset. GPS collars and GoPro cameras on the dogs help posse members track the animals. They also are looking into adding drones to their tools. Finding and apprehending suspects is a big part of the job, but the posse also searches for lost children and the elderly. One of Barton’s first assignments was a search for a boy who wandered away from his grandmother’s house on a cold day. The posse worked for hours and finally found him. When he was found, his body temperature was 86 degrees. Another hour and the boy would have lost consciousness. “That was the best one yet,” he says. “There’s no better feeling than when you find them and then take them home to their parents or grandparents.” The posse is not the only such group in the state, but they are one of the oldest. It was formed to assist in Covington County, but their successful reputation has allowed them to also assist in surrounding counties, such as Butler, Conecuh, Coffee, Dale and Geneva. “I am honored to be called a Silent Hero, but the ones serving in our military and first responders are the real heroes,” Barton says. “We are just normal people trying to help.” n

BY MAIL Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, Inc. Department 1340, P.O. Box 2153 Birmingham, AL 35287-1340 WEBSITE Payments may be made 24 hrs/day by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and E-Check on our website at www.wiregrass.coop. PHONE PAYMENTS Payments may be made any time by dialing 1-800-239-4602. NIGHT DEPOSITORY Available at each office location. IN PERSON Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Payment kiosks also available 24/7 in all offices. Hartford 509 N. State Hwy. 167 • Hartford, AL 36344 Samson 13148 W. State Hwy. 52 • Samson, AL 36477 Ashford 1066 Ashford Highway • Ashford, AL 36312 Dothan 6167 Fortner St. • Dothan, AL 36305 For questions regarding sanitation service, call Houston County Sanitation Department at 334-677-4781 or Dothan City Sanitation at 334-615-3820. SEPTEMBER 2018 5


WEC recently sponsored a group of local teachers to attend the PowerSouth Energy Empower Energy Education Workshop to help them learn more about the electric industry.

Empower Workshop preps teachers to tackle energy in the classroom While Shawndrea Gethers didn’t go to the first Empower Energy Education Workshop, she met teachers who did. So, Gethers knew she was in for an experience when she attended this year. While her trip from Rehoboth Elementary School, where she teaches the third grade, took a little over two hours, many of her colleagues traveled much farther. “There were people from three or even five hours away. It was crazy to see the distances people drove to come to this conference,” she says. “I knew then that this was going to be a special experience.” The workshop in Destin, from June 16-18, was sponsored by Wiregrass Electric Cooperative’s wholesale power provider, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative. The event is part of a continued partnership between PowerSouth and its member cooperatives to make sure teachers have the information and resources needed to 6 SEPTEMBER 2018

accurately discuss the science of electricity. “We had noticed over time that students in our schools weren’t getting the full picture of everything that goes into generating and providing electricity,” says Brad Kimbro, WEC’s chief operating officer. The Empower Workshop helps give teachers the tools and understanding to effectively discuss energy with their students. Now in its second year, the workshop continues to reach even more teachers, giving them some much-needed support in the classroom. “It taught us that when children are up and engaged, they can teach themselves,” says LoriAnne Skidmore, a fourth-grade teacher at James A. Mulkey Elementary who also attended the workshop. “You can’t beat the hands-on activities they taught us. Normally you don’t get that in the classroom.”

Outside the comfort zone

Gethers enjoys mixing things up in her classroom. On any given day, she might have her students work on activities with different groups than the day before or partner with someone new on a project. At the Empower Workshop, she was able to experience that same energy as she and other teachers worked alternately with other educators from their students’ age group or teachers from an array of backgrounds. “I’m a people person. So being around all the other teachers, with everyone giving their own ideas and opinions about different activities, it just made everything more exciting,” she says. “Each day I got excited to find out what we were going to do.” Throughout the workshop, educators collaborated on a variety of hands-on activities, including building their own www.alabamaliving.coop


energy-efficient model house on a strict budget, constructing a small electric generator that could power a light bulb, and even mining for “coal” in chocolate chip cookies — complete with fines if the cookie broke. Groups also put on skits about saving energy, giving themselves team names like “The Windmills.” Gethers particularly enjoyed performing as a backup dancer in her group’s version of “The Electric Slide.” “They made it fun. Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone while knowing that you’re learning information you can take back to your school,” she says. “It’s just a great experience.”

Planting a seed

One of the biggest takeaways for Gethers was a better awareness of how much energy can go to waste daily. From not adjusting the thermostat when leaving the house to not turning off lights when leaving a room, she and her colleagues were given a crash course on the small ways unnecessary electric usage can stack up. For Skidmore, it was a better understanding of the challenges in the electric industry that stuck with her. “I had never really thought about how utilities have to think ahead and keep their generation balanced,” she says. “I really didn’t understand what was going on in the background to bring electricity to our homes.” Gethers is already instilling those small lessons in her new students. To help her, she has access to lesson plans and tools attendees were able to bring back from the workshop, as well as the support of other teachers she met. “A workshop like this helps us grow as teachers and educators,” Gethers says. “If there are some things we might not be certain about, we can share them with our colleagues. I exchanged numbers and Facebook information with at least 10 people and have sent them messages.” The participating teachers can enter the classroom ready to share their experience with students. And with the support and resources gained at the Empower Workshop, those important lessons can continue to spread even when class is finished. “I’ve learned through years of teaching that anything you give a child that’s positive, and they hear you talk about a lot, sticks with them,” Gethers says. “If it’s really good, they’ll share it with their friends at school. Then, they’ll take it home to their parents. The more we know, the more positive information like that we can teach.” WEC looks forward to continuing to partner with PowerSouth to offer this training to its Wiregrass area teachers each year. n

Alabama Living

Samson Elementary School’s Paige Burtram and WEC’s Manager of Member Services Rhonda Webb register at the Empower Energy Education Workshop.

Geneva County’s Ashley Tate works with other teachers at the workshop.

Laura Rivenbank, of Heard Magnet School, participates in a group activity during the workshop in Destin.

Teachers got to participate in handson exercises to help them learn more about the electric industry.

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Stay safe! Don’t try to conceal underground transformers Please stay safe and help Wiregrass Electric Cooperative keep your power on by avoiding planting near transformers. “We understand why people may want to do this, but it’s not a good idea for many reasons,” says WEC Vice President of Engineering Jason Thrash. While overhead power lines remain a foundation of the electrical system, Wiregrass Electric Cooperative has moved some infrastructure in its service area underground. In fact, most newer subdivisions have these lower-visibility lines. Underground lines are less likely to experience outages because the electrical network is protected from wildlife, storm damage and other factors that can interrupt service. Also, buried electrical lines may be preferred in some neighborhoods for aesthetic reasons. However, these systems do have aboveground components. The transformer, a critical piece of equipment needed to control the voltage arriving in the homes of members, remains above ground. It is often placed inside a green metal box for protection. Safety is WEC’s top priority for both its employees and its members. Digging near an underground transformer is not safe. Coming into contact with one of the high-voltage wires feeding the transformer can be very dangerous. Also, damaging the wire could cause an outage for you and your neighbors. Plants growing around the transformer can also restrict airflow and limit its effectiveness. Shrubbery around transformers can also increase the challenges for linemen, particularly during an outage. “If plants or shrubbery are blocking the transformer, then we are going to trim back the plants so we can access the equipment and restore power safely,” Thrash

says. “That can cause a delay in power restoration.” Thrash says any plantings must be 10 feet in front of or behind the metal box and 3 feet to each side. Also, when planting, you should consider the size of the mature plants and make sure there is room. Trees should never be planted near a transformer because the root system can interfere with the underground equipment. WEC has a four-year maintenance plan to check and trim back shrubbery near underground transformers. “Overall, people need to accept these underground transformers as part of Covering underground transformers with their yard and not try and hide them,” shrubbery can make it difficult for linemen to says WEC Chief Operating Officer Brad find during an outage. Kimbro. “This helps to ensure the safety of our employees and the people living in the community.” n


| Alabama Snapshots |

County Fair

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

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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 kylle.mckinney@ssa.gov.

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.

PET HEALTH

Protect man’s best friend with adequate shelter

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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

®

ALABAMA HISTORY

Whereville, AL

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

Alabama Living

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: whereville@alabamaliving.coop, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124.

AUGUST’S ANSWER

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.

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Take trails to the

By John N. Felsher

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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

Alabama Living

Mountain biking in Alabama’s state parks is for every age.

SEPTEMBER 2018 13


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

www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2018  15


The

healing power of nature

Flower photos help daughter connect to mom with Alzheimer’s By M.J. Ellington

W

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

N

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: letters@alabamaliving.coop 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:

Fran Pittman

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.

Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2018 19

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 |

Doug Phillips

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


Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2018  21


| Gardens |

Making the most of

adds landscape interest

I

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 katielamarjackson@gmail.com.

22 SEPTEMBER 2018

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.

www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2018 23


| 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

Q:

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-

A:

24  SEPTEMBER 2018

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

www.alabamaliving.coop


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September | Around Alabama

Photo courtesy of the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission.

21-23

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.

2-3

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

3

Cherokee, Coon Dog Cemetery Labor Day Celebration, Live entertainment, dancing, food and souvenirs available for purchase. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. coondogcemetery.com

3

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

3

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

8-9

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.

15  

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

15  

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.

14-16

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

20

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

20

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

Alabama Living

21-23

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

22-29

Eva, Eva Frontier Days. Craft fair, beauty pageant, hayride, community singing and more. For daily schedule of events, visit evafrontierdays.weebly.com.

28-Oct. 8

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.

29

13-15

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.

30

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

Al


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 bookshelf@alabamaliving.coop 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!

M

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 al@alabamaliving.coop – 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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Alabama Living

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.

www.alabamaliving.coop


Barbecued Shrimp

P

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.

Alabama Living

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

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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: recipes@alabamaliving.coop 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.

Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2018 37


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November 2018 Issue by September 25 December 2018 Issue by October 25 January 2019 Issue by November 25 Ads are $1.75 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis; Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each. Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to hdutton@areapower.com; or call (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing.; We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards. Mail ad submission along with a check or money order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Classifieds.

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Vacation Rentals

Musical Notes

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

PLAY GOSPEL SONGS BY EAR - 10 lessons $12.95. “LEARN GOSPEL MUSIC”. Chording, runs, fills $12.95 Both $24. Davidsons, 6727AR Metcalf, Shawnee Missions, Kansas 66204 – (913)262-4982

38 SEPTEMBER 2018

Education

www.alabamaliving.coop


| Marketplace |

Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2018  39


| Outdoors |

Small game animals are a great introduction to hunting

M

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

www.alabamaliving.coop


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

AM Major

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

OCT.

---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

Alabama Living

PM Minor Major

SEPTEMBER 2018 41


Be on the lookout for your

Annual Meeting Packet Wiregrass Electric Cooperative members should stay alert for key information, delivered by mail in September, regarding the 2018 annual meeting. The 9-by-12-inch envelope will deliver details about the gathering scheduled for Friday, Oct. 19, including a registration form, ballot and envelopes to return the completed documents. “These packets include everything our members need to know about the annual meeting, along with all the information needed to register and vote by mail,” WEC Chief Executive Officer Les Moreland says of the move to use mail-in ballots that occurred several years ago. “Switching to mail balloting has allowed a much larger percentage of our members to participate in our annual meeting,” says Moreland. “We look forward to the same efficient process this year as our members take advantage of this convenient way to participate in the life of their cooperative. But, even if you register and vote by mail, we still hope to see you at our annual meeting celebration.” n

In September, you will receive through the mail a large envelope that looks like this.

Inside you will find everything you need to register and vote by mail in the 2018 annual meeting. Vote early! You can still come and enjoy the meeting.

42 SEPTEMBER 2018

You will also find information about door prizes and a copy of the 2018 annual report. We look forward to seeing you there!

www.alabamaliving.coop


i never ... Bobby Groves, Journeyman Lineman

Lose Focus on the Job. Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2018 43


| Our Sources Say |

Big Mike’s Bean House, revisited L

ast December, my article was titled Big Mike’s Bean House. It was inspired by an article my friend, Covington County Circuit Judge Ben Bowden, sent me, “If Everyone Ate Beans Instead of Beef.” The Judge is apparently obsessed with protein because last month he sent me another article from the New York Times, “Memo From the Boss: You’re a Vegetarian Now.” My original article discussed a study done by researchers from Oregon State University, Bard College and Loma Linda University calculating the environmental effect of Americans substituting beans for beef in their diet. One of the researchers, Helen Harwatt, stated, “A relatively small, single food substitution could be the most powerful change a person makes in terms of their lifetime environmental impact – more than downsizing one’s car, being vigilant about turning off light bulbs, and certainly more than quitting showering.” Nine months later, the stakes have risen. This is no longer about a voluntary diet substitution. For people employed at WeWork, it is about their job, their lives, and their livelihood. WeWork, a sponsor of the 2017 Houston Southern Smoke Barbeque Festival, is no longer a safe place for carnivores. WeWork is a large company that specializes in providing shared office space to businesses. WeWork has more than 6,000 employees and controls office space in 23 U.S. cities and 21 other countries. WeWork’s corporate values include a mission to build a community – a place you join as an individual “me” but where you become part of a greater “we.” Last month, WeWork announced it was going vegetarian or meat-free. The company will no longer serve red meat, pork or poultry at company functions and it will no longer reimburse employees for meat during a business meeting. Miguel McKelvey, WeWork’s co-founder and Chief Culture Officer, said, “The decision was driven largely by concerns for the environment, and to a lesser extent, animal welfare. Research indicates avoiding meat is one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their personal environmental impact – even more than switching to a hybrid car.” It appears Mr. McKelvey is a fan of Ms. Harwatt’s study. Mr. McKelvey says, “I don’t eat meat, but I don’t consider my-

self a vegetarian. I consider myself a ‘reducetarian.’ I try to consume less and be aware of the decisions I’m making. Not just food, but single-use plastics and fossil fuels and energy.” Mr. McKelvey also indicates imposing his values on his employees is a natural part of being a corporate leader, “Companies have greater responsibilities to their team members and to the world these days. We’re the ones with the power.” Google tried to impose “meatless Mondays” at two of its many cafes at company headquarters. Employees rebelled, throwing away silverware and staging a barbeque in protest. Lazlo Bock, Google’s senior vice president of People Operations, said, “Human beings really don’t like when you take choice away from them. What people are much more amenable to is nudges. How can you change the environment in a way that doesn’t remove choice, but it sends a signal for people to make a good decision?” Mr. McKelvey says, “We’re coming at it from an awareness and mindfulness perspective. The headline has been meat-free, but this is a much larger effort to develop personal accountability in our team.” There is no question that WeWork has the right to impose meat-free conditions on its employees. This is not a legal issue, it is a control issue about a few executives imposing their personal worldview values on their employees, even if that includes what they can eat at work. It is certainly not the inclusive, open community values that WeWork expresses on their website. WeWork’s policy is simply another attempt to impose a personal restrictionist view of global warming on other people they control or influence. If global warming is a serious problem, it deserves serious treatment, not nonsense about people eating or not eating meat. Some employees will accept WeWork’s mandate. Other good employees will leave because they value their freedom of choice. WeWork and Mr. McKelvey will be the big losers. They would do better by exploring how we all can better live with the results of global warming instead of imposing restrictive conditions on personal lifestyles. Big Mike’s Steakhouse in Andalusia continues to do very well. People routinely wait for a table to enjoy their steaks. WeWork employees will have to look for a table at Big Mike’s Bean House. I hope you have a good month.

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative

44 SEPTEMBER 2018

www.alabamaliving.coop


CALL FOR ENTRIES

10

Alabama Rural Electric Association’s

th

Quilt Competition Our 2019 theme is:

Alabama’s Bicentennial

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: lpartin@areapower.com (The electric cooperative name on front of this Alabama Living.)


| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |

Southern by the signs

Illustration by Dennis Auth

Y

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 hjackson@cableone.net.

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

250

$

$

2019

Deadline to vote is Oct. 31, 2018.

100

www.alabamaliving.coop

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 Hangout

o BJCC

(Birmingham)

(Gulf Shores)

(Birmingham) (Montgomery)

o MPAC

o Alabama Theatre

o Flora-Bama

(Birmingham)

(Orange Beach)

o your choice_____________________

6. Best open-air amphitheater

o Oak Mountain

o Tuscaloosa

o Phenix City

o The Wharf

o Lake Martin

o Helena

o Mort Glosser

(Orange Beach)

(Gadsden)

7. Best lake to spend the weekend

o Guntersville

o Martin

o Weiss

o Eufaula

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

(Foley)

(Scottsboro)

(Pine Level)

o your choice______________________________

Bonus question:

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

$

350!

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.

Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2018  47


September 2018 Wiregrass  
September 2018 Wiregrass