Mike Simpson CO-OP EDITOR
Diane Hale ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. AREA cooperative member subscriptions are $3 a year; non-member subscriptions, $6. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014.
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AREA PRESIDENT Fred Braswell EDITOR Lenore Vickrey MANAGING EDITOR Allison Griffin CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mark Stephenson ART DIRECTOR Michael Cornelison ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Jacob Johnson ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Brooke Echols COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Laura Stewart ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES:
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VOL. 68 NO. 11 NOVEMBER 2015
5 SMEC Website
Check www.smec.coop for our new look. Find account information, bill pay and more with easier navigation.
26 Coaxing blooms with bulbs
Turkey time is just around the corner for many as they prepare their Thanksgiving feast and family gatherings.
Start now with a few pebbles, containers and the right bulbs, and you can have colorful blooms all winter. But you’ve got to be patient!
30 Tip top meals
Hand-cut steaks and fresh Gulf seafood are big draws for visitors to Bon Secour’s Tin Top Restaurant and Oyster Bar.
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9 40 41 46
Spotlight Cook of the Month Outdoors Fish & Game Forecast Snapshots
Printed in America from American materials
NOVEMBER 2015 3
Board of Trustees David Henderson Larry Godwin R. Lee Bailey James P. Carmichael Roland Hendon James H. Bowman III
Raymond C. Long Leo Bomian Danny Lacey
402 Main Street West P.O. Box 277 Rainsville, AL 35986 (256) 638-4957 fax www.smec.coop In case of power outages, you may call us 24 hours a day: Rainsville-Powell-FyﬀeSylvania 256-638-2153 Bryant-Higdon-Flat RockHenagar-IderPisgah 256-657-5137 Fort Payne 256-845-1511 Valley Head-Mentone 256-635-6344 Collinsville-Geraldine 256-659-2153 Section-Langston-Marshall Co. 1-877-843-2512
Why do electric bills go up in the winter? It’s a good question. Even if you don’t use electric heat, you may notice your bills are higher during colder months. Several factors can contribute to those higher bills, including: • Warm baths that feel great especially on cold days. Heating extra water increases your electric bill. Water heaters should be properly insulated. • Holiday cooking and baking and those bright holiday lights all use more electricity.
• Shorter days and longer nights mean lights stay on longer. • Most heating systems use electricity for some functions, such as operating the fan, and many run almost continuously when it’s cold. • Electric blankets that feel so cozy cost money to operate. • Some may use the clothes dryer more often in the winter. • Space heaters are an added expense.
facebook.com/SMEC.coop 4 NOVEMBER 2015
Sand Mountain Electric
SMEC has a new website SMEC recently updated its website to make it easier to navigate. The cooperative’s site has been completely redesigned to make it easier for members to do business with their electric cooperative over the Internet. There is also a mobile app available on Apple or Android smartphones. The new website is more than a source of information. From the website, members can: • Pay their bill • View their usage history • Set up e-mail or text alerts • Read Alabama Living magazine • Set up bank draft or auto-pay • E-mail with a question or concern Visit SMEC’s redesigned website today at www.smec.coop and see all the possibilities it offers.
Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month: Reduce energy for water heating. Take simple steps like lowering your water heater’s temperature and installing low-flow showerheads to reduce your water heating bills. Alabama Living
The SMEC office will be closed Wed., Nov. 11 for Veterans Day and also Thurs. & Fri., Nov. 26 & 27 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. NOVEMBER 2015 5
See how easy it ca to live comfortab
Whatever the weather brings, you’ll be ready. Make your hom Visit 2eScore.com to find out how energy efficient your home is to improve it. With a high eScore you can afford to live
See how easy it can be to live comfortably. options, rebates Whatever weather brings, you’ll be ready. Make your home theand bestprogram it can be. details with you. Getting started istheeasy! Visit 2eScore.com to find out how energy efficient your home is and what you can do
STEP to improve it. With a high eScore you can afford 3 to live comfortably.
Register online or over the phone. Simply visit www.2eScore.com or call 1-855-2eScore (1-855-237-2673) to get started.
STEP 2 Contact a Quality Contractor Network (QCN) member to begin the work you want to do. A list of QCN members in the area will be provided on the website or over the phone. A QCN member can discuss
6 NOVEMBER 2015
Get a FREE quality assurance inspection AND an eScore evaluation of your home. A TVA-certified energy advisor will evaluate your home to provide an eScore and a list of improvements to raise your home’s eScore, install instant savings upgrades, and provide access to more rebates to help make your home as energy efficient as possible. Now you’re ready to tackle the next project to make your home more energy efficient. www.alabamaliving.coop
Sand Mountain Electric See how easy it can be to live comfortably. Whatever the weather brings, youâ€™ll be ready. Make your home the best it can be. Visit 2eScore.com to find out how energy efficient your home is and what you can do to improve it. With a high eScore you can afford to live comfortably.
Rebates and Financing are available through the eScore program for those who qualify. Alabama Living
NOVEMBER 2015â€ƒ 7
2015 COLLINSVILLE TURKEY TROT
with arts and crafts booths that will line both sides of the street with goods to sell and a petting zoo, complete with turkeys.
Saturday, November 14 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Free Parking and Admission Activities for all ages Enjoy food vendors with Polish sausages, smoked turkey legs, deep fried Oreos, funnel cakes, baked goods from the Portersville Homemakers Club, Girl Scout cookies and BBQ just down the street. Collinsville Baptist Men will have hot dogs and hamburgers. An antique tractor show is planned along 8 NOVEMBER 2015
The event is hosted by The Collinsville Historic Association (CHA) and it began in 1912 as an appreciation day for a local department store. Hosted tours of the renovated portions of the Cricket Theater and the old Liberty Bank Building are planned. In keeping with the tradition, toy turkeys will be tossed at 1:30 p.m. in the Cricket Theater area. Toy turkeys may be exchanged for the prize listed on the attached tag, which includes frozen turkeys, gift cards, gift baskets and cash. “As was the purpose 103 years ago, the Historical Association wants Turkey Trot to bring people to Collinsville to enjoy a day in our special town. We want our guests to learn about what we are doing and leave wanting to come back soon”, said Martha Barksdale, CHA treasurer. www.alabamaliving.coop
Red Bay begins season of plays The Bay Tree Council for the Performing Arts in Red Bay will kick off its 2015-2016 season with its first production, “Hallelujah Girls,” by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten on Nov. 12-15. Next will be “Dearly Beloved” on Feb. 11-15, 2016, and the season ends with “Arsenic and Old Lace” by Joseph Kesselring on April 28-May 1, 2016. All productions will be held at Community Spirit Bank’s Weatherford Centre in Red Bay. For information, visit the group’s Facebook page or contact Beth Hammock at 256356-9286.
In appreciation of hunters
The town of Pine Apple will hold its 20th annual Hunter Appreciation Day beginning at 9 a.m. Nov. 28 in the downtown area, featuring arts and crafts, live entertainment and an antique car parade. Prize money will be awarded later in the day to the winners of the Les Moorer Memorial Big Buck Contest. The event is presented each year as a way to say thank you to hunters and their families who make the area their home, as well as to celebrate the opening of hunting season. For more information, visit www.pineapplealabama.com.
Turkeys are synonymous with Thanksgiving, and Americans ate 46 million of them during the 2014 holiday. If you’re preparing a big bird for your holiday table, consider these 4 T’s of turkey food safety from Butterball:
aw: Place unopened turkey, breast side up, on a tray in the 1 Th refrigerator. Allow at least 24 hours of thawing for every 4 pounds of turkey.
Always use a meat thermometer to test done2 Temperature: ness. It should reach 180 degrees Fahrenheit in the thigh,
170 degrees in the breast and 165 degrees in the center of the stuffing.
hour storage: Store leftovers in separate containers 3 Two within two hours after cooking.
4 Three days to eat: Leftovers will last 3 days in the refrigerator. Safety Tip The American Red Cross and its partners have launched the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign to encourage households to check and install smoke alarms, and to practice fire drills at home. On average, 7 people die every day from a home fire, and 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day. Learn more at www. redcross.org. Want to see more events or submit your own? Alabama Living
Visit www.alabamaliving.coop to submit an event and view our calendar or email an event to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOVEMBER 2015 9
Helping veterans and active duty military On Veterans Day, the nation honors men and women who risk their lives to protect our freedom. Social Security honors veterans and active duty members of the military every day by giving them the respect they deserve. A vital part of that is administering the Social Security disability program. For those who return home with injuries, Social Security is a resource they can turn to. If you know any wounded veterans, please let them know about Social Security’s Wounded Warriors website. You can find it at www.socialsecurity.gov/ woundedwarriors. The Wounded Warriors website answers many commonly asked questions, and shares other useful information about disability benefits, including how
veterans can receive expedited processing of disability claims. Benefits available through Social Security are different than those from the Department of Veterans Affairs and require a separate application. The expedited process is used for military service members who become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs. Even active duty military who continue to receive pay while in a hospital or on medical leave should consider applying for disability benefits if they’re unable to work due to a disabling condition. Active duty status and receipt of military pay doesn’t necessarily prevent payment of Social Security disability benefits. Although a person can’t receive Social Se-
curity disability benefits while engaging in substantial work for pay or profit, receipt of military payments should never stop someone from applying for disability benefits from Social Security. Learn more by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors. Social Security is proud to support the veterans and active duty members of the military. Let these heroes know they can count on us when they need to take advantage of their earned benefits. A
Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by e-mail at kylle. email@example.com.
Honor Flight honors Alabama heroes Though many of our veterans have seen the world as part of their service to the country, the national Honor Flight Network aims to take them only to Washington, D.C. But it’s a trip of a lifetime: A chance to visit and reflect on the memorials that were erected to honor them. The Covington Region Honor Flight took a charter bus full of veterans and their appointed guardians to the nation’s capital in early October. The whirlwind 24-hour trip, which included a bus ride from Andalusia to Atlanta and a flight to D.C., included stops at the World War II, Women’s War, Air Force, Korea and Vietnam memorials, as well as the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Veterans from many of our nation’s conflicts, including WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, were represented on the trip. Honor Flight regional hub staffers directed the group and provided wheelchairs and logistical support to the veterans, some of whom are in their 80s and 90s. U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions made a stop on the charter bus to welcome the veterans to D.C. Later in the day, U.S. Rep. Martha Roby sent a cadre of her staffers 10 NOVEMBER 2015
to welcome the group to dinner at a Washington restaurant. Unfortunately, the day was shrouded in wind and rain, with showers following the group throughout the day and making the memorial visits a challenge. But as one might expect from a group of veterans,
there was little complaining. And the veterans were warmly received at every stop – travelers at the airport terminal applauded, cheered and shook the hands of the veterans as a French horn player serenaded the group with the songs of all the military branches. A
A bystander shakes the hand of Air Force veteran Addison Dozier as the Covington Region Honor Flight enters the terminal at Reagan National Airport. PHOTO BY ALLISON GRIFFIN
Holiday menus challenge people with diabetes, but planning pays oﬀ Food plays a central role in many portion sizes. alcohol add calories, but it can family celebrations and parties at holiday You don’t need to abandon your meal increase your appetite. Don’t drink times, especially during November and plan totally, but you have some leeway. alcohol on an empty stomach. December. If you have diabetes or are Here are some tips for eating healthy and • At celebrations, dessert is frequently trying to prevent having Type 2 diabetes, delicious food at special events: the highlight of the event. Most this season can be especially challenging • Have a light snack of a non-starchy sweets contain a lot of carbohydrates because of the large number of festive vegetable or protein before you arrive, so you will want to keep portion occasions that seem to revolve around so you’re not too hungry and can sizes small. Plan for dessert by eating eating. more easily avoid the temptation to more vegetables earlier in the meal, Your health care and saving calories provider may have and carbohydrates for discussed with you a small portion of a how certain foods dessert you really want. may affect your blood Remember, with sugar more than other care and moderation, foods. But this doesn’t holiday meals and mean you have to traditions do not forego all your favorite have to disrupt your dishes. People living diabetes control. With with diabetes still some preparation, you can enjoy tempting can enjoy a healthy food at holiday meals and happy holiday. Just and parties without dine in moderation overeating or feeling as part of an overall deprived. healthy eating plan. When preparing This recommendation to go somewhere you holds true for know there is going to People with diabetes can still enjoy tempting foods without feeling deprived. everyone, not just be a lot of food offered, people with diabetes. planning ahead really helps. Anticipating overeat. To learn more about eating healthy at the menu allows you to select the foods • If it’s appropriate, such as at a covered family functions and special occasions, that will be easier to fit into your meal dish meal, bring food that you know visit adph.org/diabetes. A plan. If you are unsure what will be you really enjoy and that fits into served at a special event, check it out your meal plan. when you arrive. If there’s a buffet line, • Make smart food selections, eat Jim McVay, Dr.P.A., is take small bites of the food choices that slowly, and savor your food. Resist director of the Bureau of you think you might like so you can save second helpings. Health Promotion and Chronic Disease of the your portions for the foods that taste the • Quench your thirst with water instead Alabama Department of best. Try to choose healthier, fresher, and of soft drinks or juice, and limit Public Health. less-processed alternatives in appropriate alcohol. Not only does consuming
Letters to the editor From our Facebook page: We love your article “Horses that heal” (September)! It is so very important that people know about these facilities, and they are often very Alabama Living
Let us hear from you! Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org overlooked, which is so sad. It is awesome that you listed facilities, and help promote the need for volunteers as well. We heart emoticon this! Whinny Wisdom, Decatur
I also love that same article and I’m obsessed with horses! That article is my favorite one from this issue. It’s very inspiring to read something like that and realize what a huge impact God’s beautiful creatures can have on people. I pray that he blesses these children every day and they continue to heal more and
more while being around these amazing workers and animals. (Unfortunately, I have scoliosis and can’t ride but I love getting to spend any time I can just petting horses and also taking pictures of/with them.) Tammy Warren, Montgomery
NOVEMBER 2015 11
Scott Hunter, quarterback for the Tide in 1968, has a conference with Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant about a play that would lead to the team’s victory.
For state’s football fans, Iron Bowls inspire memories
Alabama residency usually includes at least one Iron Bowl memory. For in this state, calling the Alabama–Auburn rivalry a football game is like calling Godzilla a lizard. Both are much more. By Emmett Burnett
ere are a few of the thousands of men and women who bleed crimson when cut or whisper “War Eagle” while sleeping. These are their stories. This is their Iron Bowl.
12 NOVEMBER 2015
From 1968-70, Prichard native and Mobile area resident Scott Hunter was quarterback for the Crimson Tide. His coach was Paul “Bear” Bryant, who, shall we say, was opinionated. “Iron Bowl 1968 is a favorite,” Hunter recalls. “I called timeout, for a sideline conference with Coach Bryant and assistants.” Hunter wanted to run a play action pass but assistant coaches, www.alabamaliving.coop
knowing it had not worked in practice, objected. The quarterback told Bryant, “Coach, this will work. Let’s run it.” Bryant pushed the assistants aside and replied to Hunter, “OK. If you think it will work, run it.” And as Hunter ran onto Legion Field turf, Bryant shouted, “And by God it better work!” It did. The Tide won, 24-16. In a 1981 press conference, newly hired Auburn football coach Pat Dye was asked, “How long will it take to beat Alabama?” He answered, “Sixty minutes.” “But there’s more to it,” smiles the Auburn icon, who today lives in Notasulga, which is between Auburn and Tallassee. “This guy, unrecognized, shouted his ‘how long’ question from the back of the room. I paused, deliberating my response. Knowing that beating Alabama requires your best the entire game, I answered, ‘60 minutes,’ as a compliment to Alabama. That reporter gave an unfair question and I gave a smart answer.” One of Dye’s favorite Iron Bowls was 1982, remembered now as “Bo Over the Top.” With two minutes left on the clock, Auburn marched the field and scored with running back Bo Jackson leaping over the defensive line - touchdown and 23-22 victory. “It ended Alabama’s nine-game winning streak,” Dye recalls. “And it was a historical moment for me and Auburn. Since that game, both teams are pretty well matched in wins and losses.” In 1972, Mobile teenager Bradley Byrne was taking college placement exams. “We took a break,” recalls Byrne, now a University of Alabama graduate and U.S. Congressman representing House District 1. “Someone turned on a TV to the Iron Bowl. I felt good because we were winning 16-0.” After com- U.S. Rep. Bradley pleting tests, Byrne checked Byrne, R-Mobile, a lifelong Alabama fan. the score again. “We lost 17–16? It took me a long time to receive an acceptable explanation of just how that happened.” But the congressman has witnessed many Bama victories since then, watching with wife Rebecca. Unfortunately, like the Congress he serves, the House of Byrne is a house divided. Rebecca Byrne attended Auburn. Former state representative Barry Mask was the first Aubie, mascot of the Auburn Tigers. In the 1979 Iron Bowl, the Wetumpka area resident-as-Aubie was photographed mimicking Alabama’s Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. The tiger and the Bear both leaned against a goal post, each outfitted in houndstooth hats and blazers, before cheering thousands. “But Coach Bryant didn’t see me,” says Mask. Barry Mask, the first Then he turned around, did a double- Aubie mascot. take, and approached the Auburn tiger. “Face to face I looked into those steel blue eyes not knowing what to expect,” recalls the mascot. Finally, breaking his intense Alabama Living
Rod Bramblett, the voice of the Auburn Tigers.
stare, the famous coach pointed at Aubie’s head, chuckled and said, “Nice hat.” (See photo, page 14) Among the most famous Iron Bowl games are the “Punt Bama Punt,” the 1972 contest; “Bo Over the Top” in 1982; and Iron Bowl 2013, the most famous second in football history. Auburn sportscaster Rod Bramblett helped made that second famous. The New York Times calls his play-by-play broadcast “The Call of a Lifetime.” With one second left, and a 109-yard missed kick runback, Auburn won 34-28. “Holy cow!!! Oh my God!!!...Auburn wins!!! Auburn has won the Iron Bowl!!!” Bramblett’s words blared over almost every radio in the state. Like many, he had trouble believing it. “I heard the replays the next day just like everyone else,” he recalls. “It took a while to sink in. I kept thinking, ‘Did that really happen?’” “I am glad the broadcast contributed to putting Auburn in a positive light,” he says. And as for the famous last seconds, Bramblett laughs, “I probably need some new material. But that call has been very good to me.”
The Mitchell family enjoys tickets and sideline passes to the 2014 Iron Bowl. Their daughter, Moriah, won the “Be A Champion and Read” contest.
Denice an of Smiths S d Nehemiah Mitchell ta sports fana tion aren’t big tics, but aft er their oldest child , and sidelin Moriah, won tickets e Iron Bowl, passes for the 2014 th their Crimso e family showed n helped cele Tide allegiance and b big accom rate their little girl’s plish Moriah, a p ment. Station Ele upil at West Smiths m the “Be A C entary School, won hampion a nd Read” contest, de si reading in gned to promote Ala schools. Th bama’s public e grand pri ze: tickets to the big ga Tide fan, a me! Moriah is a big nd was hap py to put on her crim so Iron Bowl in n and white for the Tuscaloosa . There, Mo the tailgate riah walked among rs, took pic tu the schools ’ cheerlead res with e got a hug from Big A rs and l (she even agreed to a pictu “We will ne re with Aubie). ver forget Iron Bowl, the 2014 th defeated A e year Alabama uburn, wh ich cherry on to p for our lit was the girl,” her m other, Den tle Bama ice, says. NOVEMBER 2015 13
Tuscaloosa’s Lillie Leatherwood seldom saw Iron Bowl games during her 1983–87 Capstone years. She was busy training and running track, which won her an Olympic Gold Medal. “But during practices, I was glued to the TV for the Iron Bowl,” she says. “And I will always love the Van Tiffin kick” in 1985, when Alabama kicker Van Tiffin made a 52-yard field goal with zero time re- Lillie Leatherwood, former Alabama athlete maining. Alabama won 25–23. now a Tuscaloosa As a Tuscaloosa Police officer, she and police officer. has worked crowd control on Iron Bowl Saturdays. “People expect automobile traffic to be heavy,” she says. “But the foot traffic around the stadium is amazing. It is a sea of people.” Rick Smith witnessed an Iron Bowl miracle. In the 1970s he recalls sitting in Legion Field during a storm. “I noticed Coach Bryant peering at the sky,” the Foley resident said. “Lo and behold, almost immediately the rain stopped!” After the game, Smith noticed Coach Bryant again, gazing at clouds. “The rains returned as we drove home,” says Smith, who thought, “Coach Bryant really can part the waters!” Weather was a defining memory for Regina Coleman, a former Auburn student and avid Auburn fan. “I remember an Iron Bowl played at Legion Field back during the late ‘70s, or possibly the ‘80s, when my husband and I sat in the upper deck, while waiting for a tornado watch to lift. Memories of this Iron Bowl were mainly (of a) torrential downpour and prayers of, ‘please keep us safe.’ Auburn did win in a squeaker, but mostly I was just thankful to make it out of the stadium alive and in one piece.”
fan-friend, courtesy of business associate tickets. Returning the favor, Fisher’s Crimson Tide buddy invited him to a 50-yard line 1993 Iron Bowl visit, courtesy of the friend’s employer. “It isn’t often Auburn and Alabama fans share their fondest football memories together,” Fisher says. Sharing them from a cushy skybox doesn’t hurt either. Crimson Tide sports announcer Eli Gold is hard pressed to pick a favorite game. “Anytime Alabama wins is my choice,” he says. “The most memorable ones for me are any leading to national championships.” But Gold perhaps sums the Iron Bowl best. “I have had the pleasure and luxury to broadcast many college and NFL games,” he says. “They are good, many are excellent, but different from the atmosphere and excitement of the Iron Bowl.” He continues, “The Iron Bowl is the best and biggest. The teams are always nationally ranked and the entire state revolves around the game, year in and year out. It is the best college rivalry there is. Period.” We agree. Roll Tide and War Eagle. Period. A Eli Gold, longtime voice of the Crimson Tide.
And yes, we can get along. Gadsden resident and Auburn fan Mike Fisher shared a Sugar Bowl skybox game with an Alabama
A rivalry’s history
Barry Mask, the first Aubie mascot.
The ﬁrst Iron Bowl was played in Birmingham’s Lakeview Park on Feb. 22, 1893, when Auburn won, 32-22. The inaugural game drew less than 5,000 people. Contrast that to Iron Bowl 2014. With 100,000-plus in attendance, Tuscaloosa’s BryantDenny Stadium held more people than the combined population of Dothan and Selma. The title “Iron Bowl” is credited to Auburn’s legendary football coach, Ralph “Shug” Jordan, as a reference to Birmingham, the “Iron City” game’s host. Ironically, later, Auburn vigorously lobbied to move the game from Birmingham to the school’s Jordan-Hare Stadium. This is the same stadium partially named for Jordan, who named the game for Birmingham, the city Auburn moved the game out of. Confused yet? Alabama and Auburn fans have encountered many disagreements over the years. But today’s game is almost genteel compared to the early ones. The early 1900s rivalry was plagued with accusations of bias, misappropriations of funding, contract disputes and coaching arguments. Each team’s supporters accused the other of ill-gotten deeds of dubious means. Enough was enough. In 1907, the gridiron contest was suspended until Alabama and Auburn could compromise, restore peace, and quit bickering. It took them 41 years. The game resumed in 1948. Incidentally, Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant suggested the contest by referred to as “the Brag Bowl,” because winning team fans, for the next 364 days, miss no opportunity informing losing team fans of the ﬁnal score.
This year’s Iron Bowl is set for Saturday, Nov. 28 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn. 14 NOVEMBER 2015
NOVEMBER 2015 15
On the trail Tracking beagle helps catch game law violators, lost hunters By Ben Norman, Photos by Mark Stephenson
When this tracking dog gets on the trail of a poacher or lost person, the odds are they will be found in short order. 16â€ƒ NOVEMBER 2015
renshaw County Conservation Enforcement Officer Brad Gavins has a new partner to assist him in the enforcement of Alabama’s fish and game laws. Holeyfield is a 10-year-old tracking beagle trained to trail a human scent rather than a rabbit scent like most beagles. Trained by the Alabama Department of Corrections to trail escaped prisoners and other criminals, he now assists Gavins in apprehending game law violators, searching for lost hunters, children, and dementia patients or for any emergency involving a lost or missing person. Gavins and Holeyfield have also assisted other law enforcement agencies in the tracking and apprehension of home invasion suspects and other criminals. Gavins says Holeyfield was trained by the Alabama Department of Corrections and used for several years with that agency. “The Department of Corrections prefers a dog that barks on the trail of a fleeing criminal. The reason they prefer a barking dog is because in the pursuit there are often multiple law enforcement agencies involved, and they can tell by the barking where the subject is headed. A barking dog on the trail of a fleeing felon also causes stress on the one being pursued, causing them to be more likely to make a mistake that results in their apprehension,” says Gavins. But Holeyfield does not bark on the trail and is referred to as a silent trailer. “A silent trailer may be an excellent trailer, but they just don’t bark when trailing. While this is an undesirable trait for a dog trailing escaped prisoners, it is exactly what we want when investigating fish and game law violations. For example, I may note where a hunter parked their vehicle so I can return to the site after they leave and use Holeyfield to backtrack to the area hunted to determine if the area is baited, or other illegal activity is going on. I can often follow Holeyfield right up to the bait pile rather than having to search all over the woods looking for it. When doing this type investigation, we don’t need a dog that barks,” said Gavins. Trespassing on private land is a common complaint received by conservation officers in Alabama. The officer often arrives after the trespasser has left the area, and about all an officer without a tracking dog can do is search the area or ride rural roads looking for the trespasser. “Rather than just tryAlabama Living
NOVEMBER 2015 17
ing to visually track a suspect or searching the woods hoping for a visual contact, I can often put Holeyfield on the trail and track and apprehend the trespasser. They usually don’t even know we are on their trail until we walk up on them. I have been called many times to assist wardens in other counties where they are having trespassing problems.” Gavins says Holeyfield has a lot of stamina and is relentless when he gets on a trail. “I was called by a warden in an adjacent county to help him apprehend a trespassing suspect he had complaints on. We found the suspect’s tracks and started trailing him with Holeyfield. We trailed him … for several hours. The suspect hit a dirt road where his wife was supposed to pick him up. She wasn’t there because she was arrested earlier for trespassing. The suspect hid his gun in a brush pile and started walking down a dirt road. Holeyfield led us right up to where the gun was hidden. We confiscated it and then tracked the
These dogs are on call
suspect down the road to his house. Holeyfield just doesn’t give up. After several hours and a long walk through the woods, he led us right up to the suspect’s door. We made an arrest and got a conviction in this case,” Gavins says. According to Gavins, tracking dogs like Holeyfield are proving how useful they are in Alabama and other states. Because Holeyfield has proven such a valuable tool, another Alabama warden is scheduled to obtain a tracking dog soon. “Due to budget constraints and less wardens in the field, I think we will see more and more wardens with tracking dogs. They can save a lot of man hours while doing an investigation,” Gavins says. The majority of Alabama sportsmen are lawabiding citizens, but for those tempted to throw out a little bait or take a buck or gobbler out of season, beware. Holeyfield may be on your trail. A Ben Norman writes from Highland Home. A group of tracking beagles, handled by Lt. Adam McDaniel, works on a training run near Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore.
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The tracking dogs at Staton Correc- the prisons, and from the time they’re often assume that the dogs are searchtional Facility in Elmore know that when weaned, the puppies are trained to fol- ing for an escaped inmate, but McDaniel Lt. Adam McDaniel pulls the truck up to low leads and track people, eventually says that’s not usually the case. The dogs their kennel, the work is about to begin. learning to traverse all manner of woods, also track missing children, or dementia water and roadways. Inmates are used to patients who have left home. The teams And they love it. They bark, howl and paw at the also patrol the perimeter of the prisons, chain-link fences to get McDaniel’s atsearching for “ninjas” who try to drop tention, eager to show off for the boss off drugs and throw phones over the (and perhaps earn a tasty reward). prison fences for inmates. And they don’t know what their The dogs are well conditioned, so day holds. McDaniel may be loading the officers have to be able to keep up. them up for a training run, a medical The handlers, however, often wear a checkup, or for a real-world call to assist bulletproof vest, snake chaps and other equipment that weighs them down, another law enforcement agency. and must traverse downed limbs and McDaniel is one of four on the team thickets of briars as well as drop offs of K9 handlers at Staton. That team, like Lt. Adam McDaniel releases a pack of beagle puppies for a training run. The puppies are just and fences. But both man and dog are seven others that are headquartered at beginning to learn to track, and are trained using up to the task. prisons around the state, assists law en- treats as positive reinforcement. forcement on the city, county, state and “Just like these inmates try to beat PHOTOS BY ALLISON GRIFFIN federal levels. us, they’re going to try to beat the Each team, which is on call 24 hours a lay down a track to train the dogs. Older, dogs,” McDaniel says. “I can’t let that hapday, seven days a week, trains and han- well-trained dogs can track a man for 6 to pen. I can’t let my dog down like that, and dles passive tracking dogs, mostly beagles 8 hours, or even longer. I can’t let my team down like that.” - Allison Griffin and bloodhounds. The dogs are bred at Bystanders who spot a tracking team 18 NOVEMBER 2015
NOVEMBER 2015 19
Wartime memories WWII vets return to USS Alabama
By Emmett Burnett
SS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park employees have noticed an interesting phenomenon. When some former crew members board the ship, they stand straight, strong, and stride the gangway with a spring in their step. Ninety-year-old veterans become 20-year-old solders again, men like Fred Francis. “People don’t realize how big it is,” beams the 1943-1945 Seaman First Class, speaking aboard the ship he once shot Japanese aircraft from. “When I first saw the Alabama, I thought it was massive. The biggest thing I’d ever seen.” During World War II, Francis worked an airplane catapult in his service on the ship now moored on the shores of Mobile Bay. His team catapulted American airplanes off the ship and into the sky. “You had to do it just right or the pilot would break his neck,” he says. Francis and a dozen-plus former World War II shipmates were in Mobile earlier this year, for their annual reunion and observing the 50th anniversary of the USS Alabama’s opening in Mobile. Today it is one of the state’s leading tourist destinations. But when William Hahn called it home, tourism was far from mind. Hahn, now 91 and living in Maryland, was a machine gunner. “If enemy planes got past the smaller guns, it was our turn,” he recalls. “I shot a few planes, can’t tell
you how many, but I did. It was our job. We did what we had to do.” Florida’s Frank Radulski was the ship’s radar operator in 1946. “Back then radar and electronics filled entire rooms on ship!” the Florida retiree recalls. “Today that same technology is on that thing.” He laughs, and points at an iPhone. Daniel Glass was one of the youngsters at the crewmate’s reunion. He is only 87. But he recalls his first time onboard, at age 17. “In 1945 wartime, the walk wasn’t this leisurely,” he smiles. “We were in a hurry, to learn our jobs, load the ship, and set a course to sea.” The ship was nicknamed, ‘The Lucky A.’ But if the men who served on it hear you say that, you may get your feelings hurt. “They prefer ‘The Mighty A,’ says the Alabama’s curator, Shea McLean. “Lucky” implies it dodged combat, which is completely false. This ship received 9 battle stars. It shot down 22 Japanese enemy combatants. You don’t do that by luck. You do it by being well trained and so good at your job, the enemy was blown from the sky before given any strike opportunity. However, there were fatalities and injuries onboard, The USS associated indirectly with the Alabama (BBheat of battle. 60), moored The 12-story tall floating on the shores of Mobile Bay, fortress is 680 feet from one of the stem to stern, half as state’s most long as the popular tourists destinations. PHOTO BY EMMETT BURNETT
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NOVEMBER 2015 21
Empire State Building is tall. At any given Frozen in terror, guilty crewmen looked time of service, more than 2,500 were on up at the military minister, and braced for board. It was a battleship first. But it was time in the brig. After a stern pause, the also a seaworthy city. chaplain, reached down, scooped up the It had barber shops, a jail, butchers, money, stuffed it in his shirt pocket, and cooks, dry cleaners, a full orchestra, post said, “Boys, let’s just consider this a donaoffice, and an outdoor open-air movie tion to the church.” And walked away. But regardless of calling, social status, theater. A fully equipped medical facility included an operating room, capable of race, or creed, when the “Battle Stations!” performing major surgeries. The Alabama alarm blared over loudspeakers, you befielded a league championship baseball came a sailor. Every man had a job. You either shot the enemy or team. Having crewmate and All-American assisted those who did. Cleveland Indians’ Bob They also battled the Feller as pitcher probweather. ably didn’t hurt. “The Alabama experienced at least two By 1940s standards, the ship’s population huge typhoons,” notes McLean. “The ship was was larger than many top heavy and bobbed in towns in the state that rough seas like a cork.” bore its name. It was a There are reports of hurman’s world (no women ricanes, when the ship allowed). Many men listed/swayed in great started as teenagers and waves so powerful that grew up fast. men left footprints – on One could join the the walls. Navy at age 17 with Of the several thouparents’ permission. Or WW II Veteran USS Alabama crew you could falsify docu- member Daniel Glass, aboard the sand total who served ments like the Alabama’s USS Alabama. aboard the USS AlaPHOTO BY EMMETT BURNETT bama, miraculously, 15-year old sailors did. Gambling was forbidden on ship – in most returned safely. About 600 are still theory. “There’s a story of men playing with us. Soon they, too, will be a memory. “These men walked away from a safe cards,” says McLean. “They stationed a lifestyle and put themselves in harm’s way,” lookout to warn of approaching officers.” But the game was so good, the lookout says Battleship Memorial Park Executive forsook his post to watch the gamblers, un- Director, Bill Tunnell. “I never forget that. til an ominous human shadow cast over The freedoms we cherish were made posthe forbidden proceedings. It was the ship’s sible in part by the men who served on this chaplain. ship.” A Right, from top: Mess Hall, lunch on ship; sailor steering the ship; crew members receiving haircuts. They only had one style; the ship had professional butchers, bakers, cooks with fully stocked kitchens; crew members aboard ship during World War II. BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS COURTESY OF USS ALABAMA BATTLESHIP MEMORIAL PARK
Below, left: More than a dozen men who once served aboard the USS Alabama attended their annual reunion at the ship in Mobile, in April, 2015. PHOTO BY EMMETT BURNETT
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NOVEMBER 2015 23
Three keys to understanding the EPA plan on climate change By Paul Wesslund
he U.S. is in the process of taking a giant step in the noisy process of changing how we generate and use electricity now that the Environmental Protection Agency has released the final version of its Clean Power Plan. That contentious process will continue for years, or even decades, as advocates warn of nothing less than destruction of the economy on the one side and the destruction of the planet on the other. This current energy focus is the result of President Obama’s Aug. 3 announcement of what he called, “A plan two years in the making, and the single most important step America has ever taken in the fight against global climate change.” Two days after that announcement, 16 states, including Alabama, asked the EPA to put a hold on the plan, calling it illegal and saying it would raise utility bills. The plan would reduce the burning of coal to produce electricity, which now generates more than one-third of our electric power, and increase the use of renewable energy sources like solar and wind. The huge effects of those changes, and the complex and controversial ways they would happen, guarantee that the Clean Power Plan will be setting the nation’s energy discussion for the foreseeable future. Here are the key things to know about the EPA Clean Power Plan:
Over the next 15 years, the plan would change the U.S. energy economy The Clean Power Plan targets the 1,000 fossil fuel-burning electric power plants in the U.S., aiming to cut carbon dioxide emissions by one-third. The Plan also sets out a way for that to happen. It calls for states to work with the power industry and submit a carbon dioxide emission reduction plan to the
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the law the EPA is using as a basis for the Clean Power Plan, the Clean Air Act, does not allow the EPA to require states to make such large-scale changes to their energy economies. The EPA says the Clean Power Plan has been carefully written to comply with the law. The August 5 letter cites other objections to the Clean Power Plan, including that it would “coerce states to expend enormous public resources and to … prepare State Plans of unprecedented scope and complexity. In addition, the State’s citizens will be forced to pay higher energy bills as power plants shut down.” Additional lawsuits are expected from other opponents. There is also strong political opposition. Elected officials in Congress as well as state governments have called on states to refuse to submit carbon reduction plans.
federal government by September 2016. A two-year extension can be requested. Reductions would begin in 2022 and would be completed by 2030. To replace fossil fuels, the Clean Power Plan encourages renewable energy. Opposition could delay the plan The 16-state request for a delay actually seeks to kill the Clean Power Plan. The request, in the form of an August 5 letter to the EPA, says that the agency should hold off on implementing the plan because of the states’ intention to sue the EPA. The planned lawsuit would claim that
Electric co-ops say plan would raise electric bills, hurt rural economy Electric co-ops cite special concerns about the effects of the Clean Power Plan because of their higher share of low-income members and often already-fragile rural economies. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association warned of the expected increase in electric bills as a result of power-plant closures. “Any increase in the cost of electricity most dramatically impact those who can least afford it,” said NRECA. “The fallout from EPA’s rule will cascade across the nation for years to come.” A Paul Wesslund writes on cooperative issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumerowned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.
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Coaxing spring to come a little early T
hough pumpkins, gourds, mums, fall leaves and the like are beautiful and abundant this time of year, sometimes you just need a little reassurance that spring will again return. One of the easiest ways to get that reassurance is to plant spring-blooming bulbs, both in the yard and for the house. Here in Alabama, the best time to plant late winter and early spring flowering bulbs in the landscape is in the fall, a process that can continue into December and even January. Now is also a fine time to buy bulbs as holiday gifts or to “force” potted bulbs into bloom. Forcing bulbs (I like to think of it as
See more photos at alabamaliving.coop
coaxing bulbs) into bloom is relatively easy. All you need is a little advanced planning, an attractive container and the right growing conditions — some pebbles or a sterile, lightweight potting media, a little bit of water and some time in the dark. Oh, and a touch of patience. While many types of bulbs can be convinced to bloom inside during the winter, some such as paperwhites and amaryllis are easier because they do not require a chilling period. Others, such as crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips, need to be exposed to a period of colder temperatures (typically 30-45 degrees F for a few weeks) to bloom well. You can achieve this chilling requirement by keeping loose or potted bulbs in a cold frame or in an unheated attic, cellar or garage or by keeping loose bulbs in a breathable bag (paper or mesh are ideal) in your refrigerator’s vegetable drawer for several weeks (read the bulb packaging labels to determine specific chilling requirements). Just make sure to keep the bulbs away from any fresh fruits and vegetables that may emit ethylene gasses, which can damage the bulbs’ latent blooms, and label them as nonfood items so no one unwittingly tries to taste them (they can be poisonous if consumed)! Though specialized bulb forcing containers are available at many garden shops, you can also use a wide range of attractive
pots or containers that you may already have on hand, the selection of which will depend on whether you want to grow the bulbs in pebbles or in a potting mix. If you’re using the pebble method, choose a shallow waterproof dish or clear glass container (so you can better monitor water levels). If you’re using a potting mix, any pot that is at least twice as deep as the bulbs you are planting will do. The pebble method works best for paperwhites, crocuses, hyacinths and other smaller-sized bulbs. Simply place about two inches of clean pebbles or small decorative rocks (you can use marbles or decorative glass for this as well) in the bottom of the container, nestle the base of the bulbs into these pebbles so that the bulbs are close together but not touching, then add enough additional pebbles, glass or marbles to snug the bulbs in firmly. You should be able to see the tops of the bulbs through the pebble layer. If you’re planting bulbs in a potting mixture, fill the pot half full with the potting media, position the bulbs base-side down, then cover them loosely with more potting media so that the upper halves of the bulbs are still visible. Add enough water to touch the base of the bulbs if they are in pebbles; for potting mix-planted bulbs, add enough water so the potting mix is moist but not wet. Now is when patience is needed. Place
Bulbs • Some supplies you’ll need to force bulbs into bloom include pottery or containers (any size is fine), water, pebbles or a lightweight growing media. • Space the bulbs apart in a shallow dish with pebbles deep enough to leave the tops showing. Add water until moist. • Some bulbs will do better in soil. Fill a pot half full with potting media, position the bulbs base-side down, then cover them loosely with more potting media. • These bulbs are ready to be placed in a cool, dark area of the home. PHOTOS BY ALLISON GRIFFIN
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the containerized bulbs in a cool, dark place (closet, basement, etc.) and leave them alone for three weeks or so, then start checking them weekly to look for signs of sprouting. Check the water levels periodically to make sure they don’t completely dry out. Once you see shoots — which can take four to 10 weeks depending on the bulb type — bring them out of storage, water them and place them in a cool room (60 to 65 degrees F) with low light until they begin to bloom. When blooms appear, the plants can be moved into a warmer environment, though if you want to prolong bloom times keep them in cooler parts of the house. To keep a steady supply of bulbs in bloom, make up new pots of bulbs every two or three weeks and repeat the process so that something new will be coming into bloom throughout the winter months. To learn more about coaxing bulbs into bloom, check with your local garden center, search for information on the Internet (the American Daffodil Society is a great source at www.daffodilusa.org) or get a copy of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s publication “Home Bulb Forcing” (publication number ANR-1325) at www.aces.edu or through your local Extension office. A Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@ gmail.com.
NOVEMBER GARDEN TIPS Plant woody shrubs, vines, trees and roses. Store unused pesticides in sealed containers and place them in freeze-protected locations. Fertilize shade trees. Turn the compost pile. Test your soil and begin adding needed amendments once the results are in. Apply mulch to newly planted trees and shrubs and tender perennials. Plant beets, carrots, radishes, garlic and asparagus. Plant pansies, sweet peas, poppies, snapdragons, larkspurs and delphiniums. Keep bird feeders cleaned and filled.
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In this feature, we highlight recent books either about Alabama people or written by Alabama authors. Summaries are not reviews or endorsements. We also occasionally highlight bookrelated events. Email submissions and events to bookshelf@ alabamaliving.coop
Carrying Albert Home, by Homer Hickam, William Morrow, October 2015, $25.99 Hickam is the best-selling and award-winning author of, among other books, Rocket Boys, a memoir of his life in a small West Virginia town (which was made into the movie October Sky.) While working on his writing career, Hickam worked for the U.S. Army Missile Command assigned to Huntsville, where he still maintains a home. His new book is the tale of a young couple and a special alligator and the crazy 1,000-mile adventure they take together – a family epic told with warmth and downhome charm. Center of Gravity, by Laura McNeill, Thomas Nelson, July 2015, $30.99 hardcover (domestic suspense) Ava Carson’s picture-perfect marriage has unraveled, leaving her to fight for her children by digging deep into the past in this chilling tale. This novel by McNeill, who now calls the Alabama coast home, is about “the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we’re told,” she says. How to Ruin Your Child in 7 Easy Steps, by Patrick M. Quinn and Ken Roach, David C. Cook, June 2015, $15.99 (family/religion) This “how not to parent” resource takes a fresh look at how the Seven Deadly Sins are the root of modern parenting problems. Quinn, teaching pastor at Frazer United Methodist Church in Montgomery, says parents can help their children by putting before them a vision of a loving and trustworthy God. The People’s Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today, by Dave Hoekstra, Chicago Review Press, October 2015, $25.99 (food/history) Montgomery’s Odessa’s Blessings restaurant is featured in this new book that explores the vital role that soul food establishments have played in creating social change and making history. (More than half of the restaurants featured are in the South.) Fabled, by Vanessa K. Eccles, Bound and Brewed, April 2015, $19.99 hardback (fantasy) Rowena thinks the Grimm’s infamous podcasts are simply another teen fad until she finds herself trapped in a land of nightmarish storybook characters. She must become her own hero when she finds herself bound by the kingdom’s darkest family. Author Eccles is from Dothan and graduated from Troy University. Pasture Art, by Marlin Barton, Hub City Press, March 2015, $16.95 paperback (short story collection) Set in the Alabama Black Belt, the stories in this work explore the history, culture and spirit of the people who live there, as well as those who came before them. The Alabama author has published two other collections and two novels and teaches in the Writing Our Stories program for juvenile offenders in Mt. Meigs. 28 NOVEMBER 2015
Around Alabama NOVEMBER
South Baldwin County, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, in conjunction with GlenLakes Golf Club, will offer private, free memory screenings in various locations in Fairhope, Foley, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Please call 251-752-8742 for location site and appointment. Beatrice, Pioneer and Cane Syrup Makin’ Days at Rikard’s Mill Historic Park, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. A full day of interactive learning for children. Admission: $5 students; teachers are free Thursday and Friday only. Moulton, 6th Annual Harvest of the Valley Farm Toy Show and Sale. Lawrence County High School Auditorium. Friday 6-9 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission: $4 ages 11 and up, free for children 10 and under. Information: Dwight Vanderford, 256-974-6960 or 256Pike Road, 49th Annual Pike Road Arts and Crafts Fair at the historic Marks House. Fun for the whole family with more than 250 artists and crafts exhibitors, BBQ, fried chicken, chicken salad and more. Admission: $5. www. pikeroadartsandcraftsfair.com.
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Clanton, Chilton County Arts Festival at Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Information: Mack Gothard, 706-299-4596 or email: chiltoncountyartscouncil@ hotmail.com. Fairhope, 3rd Annual International Fairhope Film Festival. Festival tickets include a wide variety of films, filmmaker panels, and time with film industry leaders. All film venues are within walking distance. Opening night will showcase Alabama-native Monnie Wills’ new film “What Lola Wants” and include an outdoor reception. Prices: 8 pack for $75; 4 pack for $40; individual for $15. www.fairhopefilmfestival.org. Red Bay, “Hallelujah Girls” play at Community Spirit Bank’s Weatherford Centre. The play is perfect for church, senior citizen and all other groups, with a meal provided for some nights. Information for groups contact: Beth Hammock, 256-356-9286. Cullman, Vinemont Band Boosters Annual Craft Show at the Cullman Civic Center. Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 60 vendors with unique crafts,
Home of Sarah Elizabeth and Josh Lambert, Cullman
products, clothing and more. Door prizes are drawn throughout the entire show. Additional information, visit our Facebook page: Vinemont Band Booster Craft Show. Newell, Southeast Alabama Medical Center Foundation’s 1st Annual Clay Shoot at Ravenwood Sporting Clays. Proceeds from this event will go to meet the most pressing needs across the various services and programs provided to the patients and their families served at the Medical Center. Become a sponsor, sign up a team or for more information, call 334-673-4150. Atmore, 45th Annual Poarch Creek Indians Thanksgiving Powwow. Gates open at 10 a.m. Admission: 11 and older, $5, children under 1, free. Information: Chris “Ding Ding” Blackburn, 251-368-9136 ext. 2052 or email email@example.com. Pine Apple, 20th Annual Hunter Appreciation Day in Downtown Pine Apple. The arts and crafts festival will be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. with live entertainment on stage at the Town Gazebo. Antique car parade begins at 12 p.m., with the Big Buck Contest from dawn to dusk and final scoring at 6:45 p.m. Information: 251-746-2293, 251-746-2660 or www.pineapplealabama.com. Arab, 6th Annual Christmas in the Park/ Santa in the Park at Arab Historic Village, 6-9 p.m. Each Friday and Saturday evening until Christmas, Santa will be visiting along with music, crafts, millions of lights and
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Stockton Sawmill Days Baldwin County Bicentennial Park, Nov. 7 Sawmill days celebrates Stockton’s history and heritage as home to the ﬁrst sawmill in the State of Alabama and the important impact the timber and forestry industry has had in the development and sustainability of this community and throughout the state. Step back in time to the days when logging was done with draft animals, baskets and quilts were made by hand, and food was cooked in cast iron pots over open ﬁre. Tickets are $10 adults, $5 children ages 5-12 and free for children under 5. Don’t forget your lawn chair! Information: 251-937-3738, on Facebook or stocktonsawmilldays.org.
To place an event, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations. Alabama Living
much more family fun. Admission: $5 per person over 2 years, no more than $20 per family. Information: 256-586-6397 or 256-586-6793 or email@example.com. DECEMBER Georgiana, Watermelon Wine: The Poetry of Americana Music at Hank Williams’ Boyhood Home and Museum. Award-winning author Frye Gaillard, writer-in-residence at the University of South Alabama, shares the stage with singersongwriter friend from Nashville, TN, Anne E. DeChant. Limited seating, door prizes and a night of country music as it was in the beginning. Information: 334-376-0064 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Bridgeport, Christmas Parade sponsored by CUBB (Citizens United for a Better Bridgeport). Lineup will be at the Masonic Hall on Alabama Avenue. This year’s theme is “Wow! What a Year in Bridgeport!” Information: Dot McDonald, 256-4952502 or Doris Janney, 256-495-2908. Cullman, Christmas Tour of Homes presented by Share Club of Cullman. Pictured above is the home of Sarah Elizabeth and Josh Lambert, built in 1939 and located in the historic area of Cullman known as Quality Hill. Proceeds from the tour will benefit Hospice and other local charities. Information: Share Club President Jackie Donovan, 205-9083555 or email@example.com.
Like Alabama Living on facebook Follow Alabama Living on Twitter@Alabama_Living NOVEMBER 2015 29
Worth the Drive
Enjoy tip top seafood and steaks at the Tin Top By Allison Griﬃn
he Tin Top Restaurant and Oyster Bar, tucked away amid the old oak trees at a four-way stop in rural south Baldwin County, is a textbook destination eatery. But that hasn’t kept locals and Alabama beach vacationers alike from finding it and enjoying its hand-cut steaks and fresh-caught Gulf seafood. And that’s just the way owners Bob and Patty Hallmark like it. When the Hallmarks were looking to open a place in the early 2000s, Bob remembered an old restaurant in the area named Mimi’s. Back in the 1960s, Mimi’s guest register was filled with patrons from all 50 states and 34 countries. All those people coming down a little dirt road -that was reason enough for Bob to believe that hungry guests would find them at this place, just a short walk from the Bon Secour River. “I’ve always believed that if it’s good, people will find you,” Bob says at their restaurant, which just celebrated its 11th anniversary. “We wanted a destination point, and boy, we got one.”
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Tin Top owners Bob and Patty Hallmark, right, with Jack and Louise Taylor, left, who own the building. The Taylors have been mentors to the Hallmarks over the years. PHOTOS BY ALLISON GRIFFIN
They opened on Friday, Aug. 13, 2004. A month later, Hurricane Ivan slammed into the coast, its 120-mile per hour winds and 14-foot storm surge leaving a path of destruction through Baldwin County. But the Tin Top, housed in an old country store that had already weathered Hurricanes Camille in 1969 and Frederic in 1979, held up. The utility companies restored power relatively quickly to the nearby fisheries and seafood industries, and the Tin Top came back online, too. The restaurant didn’t have a lot of food left, but the Hallmarks cooked what they had and helped feed folks who remained without power. “There was some good community things going on during that time,” Patty recalls. Ironically, the destructive storm helped put the new eatery on the map, as locals quickly spread the word.
More than a steak place
Bob, a building contractor by trade, was renowned among friends and family for his outstanding steaks. The Hall-
marks originally opened the Tin Top because “there was not a good place to get a good steak in Baldwin County,” Patty says. But any place that’s a short drive from the ocean has to have fresh seafood, as the Hallmarks soon learned, and they buy theirs locally. Bob based their fried shrimp recipe on the much-loved Nan Seas restaurant on the western shore of Mobile Bay, which closed after Hurricane Katrina. “I said, if we’re going to do fried shrimp, I want something like that,” Bob says. “Our fried shrimp are very, very, very good.” Other seafood specialties include the popular sauteed crab claws and the seafood stuffed catch. “We make our own stuffing, and we cover it with lobster sauce on top,” Patty says. The best dish, in Bob’s opinion, is the seafood stuffed pork chop with a cranberry jezebel sauce, which has “a flavor combination that’s second-to-none.” The seafood stuffed mushrooms are
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A lunchtime seafood platter, featuring grilled and fried shrimp, grilled snapper and seasoned lima beans with Andouille sausage and collard greens.
another popular dish. But Bob is still a beef “fiend,” as he says, and takes immense pride in his steaks. “Our beef has been compared to Ruth’s Chris,” he says, noting that they use handcut, premium beef. Those are the highlights, but the menu is almost overwhelming -- the offerings for appetizers, lunch, dinner, desserts and cocktails cover multiple blackboards on the walls. Friday night is chef ’s special night, and they offer rotating specialties each weeknight along with blue plate specials at lunch. But most of the menu is available, lunch or dinner. The restaurant is open in the warmer Good steaks, fresh seafood at Tin Top Restaurant and Oyster Bar 6232 Bon Secour Highway, Bon Secour 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. SundayThursday (restaurant closes on Sunday during the cooler months, so call first) 11 a.m.-10 p.m. FridaySaturday 251-949-5086 www.tintoprestaurant.com
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months for Sunday champagne brunch; if you’re there on a Sunday, check out the Tin Top Eggs Benedict (the familiar poached eggs and Canadian bacon topped with a fried green tomato and crawfish sauce).
“We’re too involved with it,” Bob says. “You’ve got your signature on everything that goes out. We sell the freshest food we can get our hands on. We pride ourselves on selling local Gulf shrimp and seafood.” A
The Hallmarks opened a second location in Tuscaloosa a few years ago, which was originally a clone of the Bon Secour restaurant. But that location has evolved into a sports bar and grill, an attempt to catch the younger professional crowd and game-day fans (the downtown restaurant is just a mile from Bryant-Denny Stadium). But running two restaurants is difficult, and the drive back and forth between the two is draining. Staffing and management issues at the Tuscaloosa location have also taken a toll. Though Bob is from Tuscaloosa (Patty is from Saraland), it’s clear the Hallmarks consider the original Tin Top location as their home. “People who have multiple restaurants, I tip my hat to them,” Bob says. But they’ll never be in the chain restaurant business.
Bob Hallmark lived in New Orleans for eight years, and that Cajun flair is evident in his signature Oysters Fenton – sautéed oysters in a house blend steak sauce with lemon, rosemary and pepper, served with toasted French bread.
NOVEMBER 2015 33
Praline French Toast Casserole
Strawberry Yogurt Crunch
Southern Scalloped Tomatoes
PHOTOS BY MICHAEL CORNELISON
Best Bets for
hen I was a kid in the late ’70s and early ’80s, brunch wasn’t really a thing. If we ate breakfast late on the weekends, we still called it breakfast. I don’t know who it was, or when it happened, but some genius simply smashed two words together, and created a new way for us to do some of our favorite morning-time foods. Bruch has become more than a meal for most; it’s an experience.
I was grown before I had my first “brunch,” and today, it’s something I relish. Meant to be enjoyed on lazy Saturday or Sunday mornings, brunch is best served to a group, and lingering around the table chatting and munching is a quintessential part of the fun.
34 NOVEMBER 2015
It’s especially practical around the holidays, when you’ve got hungry friends or extended family in your home. It’s no harder than whipping up a large lunch and offers the comforting appeal that is the hallmark of many breakfast dishes. The ideal brunch menu includes something savory, something sweet and something fresh (like fruit or even basic roasted veggies like asparagus or zucchini). And of course, copious amounts of good coffee. Our readers submitted a bounty of brunch recipes, so choose one or two from each category above, and you’ve got an impressive brunch spread that will wow your guests and leave them full and happy till dinner. - Jennifer Kornegay www.alabamaliving.coop
Gluten-Free Cranberry Almond Pecan Scones
Brunch, Italian Style
Brunch, Italian Style 1 dozen large eggs 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 1 pound Italian sausage (hot or sweet), casings removed, crumbled 10 frozen hash brown patties 2 large red bell peppers, chopped 1 large sweet onion, chopped 1 pound button or baby bella mushrooms, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon crushed dried oregano 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dried basil 1 tablespoon margarine or butter 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped finely 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Cook of the month Jacqueline Bonn, Covington EC Writes Jacqueline:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; spray 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with vegetable spray. Fry Italian crumbled sausage in olive oil until browned; remove from pan, drain on paper towels. Sautee bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, garlic cloves, oregano and crushed red pepper in same pan, set aside. Fry frozen hash brown patties until soft (4-5 minutes) in same pan, cut into chunks, set aside. In same pan, melt margarine or butter; add scrambled eggs, parsley, basil, salt and pepper to taste. Alabama Living
This is my own recipe which has undergone several changes over the 48 years that my husband and I have been married, during which he served many years in the Army. We love to have a special brunch-type breakfast once a week, so my husband started by making standard omelets. Recently, I decided to do a scrambled egg version, adding special ingredients that expressed my Italian heritage. This version would be perfect as a brunch entrée; it’s basically a one-pan meal.
Cook until eggs are still soft and fluffy; remove from pan. Layer 1/3 egg mixture in bottom of sprayed casserole dish. Add 1/3 pepper, onion, mushroom layer. Add 1/3 hash brown patties and sprinkle with 1/3 mozzarella cheese. Repeat these layers 2 more times, finishing with mozzarella cheese layer. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve with biscuits or warm Italian bread slices and a fresh fruit salad. Casserole serves 6 -8. NOVEMBER 2015 35
Brunch Basics Make as much of your menu as you can the day or night before. Eggbased casseroles (like several of the recipes here) can be made ahead and refrigerated. In the morning, take them out and let them come to room temperature, cover with foil and then pop them in a 325-degree oven for about 30 minutes to warm them through.
Praline French Toast Casserole 8 eggs 1 ½ cups half-and-half 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar 10 to 12 slices soft bread Topping: 1 stick butter ½ cup packed light brown sugar 2/3 cup maple syrup 2 cups pecans, chopped Generously butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Mix eggs, half-and-half, maple syrup and brown sugar in a large bowl. Place bread slices in greased baking dish and cover with egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let soak overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove from refrigerator. For the topping, melt butter in a saucepan and add the sugar and maple syrup. Cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in pecans. Pour over the bread and bake 45-55 minutes. Allow 10 minutes before serving. Mrs. Harold Batchelor Covington EC
Strawberry Yogurt Crunch ¾ cup butter, softened 1/3 cup packed brown sugar ½ cup all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup quick-cooking oats 1 cup flaked coconut, toasted 1/3 cup chopped pecans, roasted
36 NOVEMBER 2015
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed 2 cartons (6 ounces each) strawberry custard-style yogurt Toast coconut and roast pecans. Use food chopper and process oats about 30 seconds. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Combine the flour, cinnamon and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in the oats, coconut and nuts. Remove 1 cup for topping and place in a small pan. Press remaining oat mixture in an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Bake this along with the mixture in the small pan at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes or until light brown. Cool on a wire rack. In a large bowl, fold whipped topping into yogurt. Spread over crust. Crumble oat mixture, which was baked in the small pan, over the top. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Yield 12 servings. Elaine P. Brooks Southern Pine EC
Southern Scalloped Tomatoes 2 ½ cups tomatoes 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided 1 cup bread cubes 1 medium onion, chopped 2 tablespoons sugar A few drops of Tabasco Salt and pepper to taste Dash of sweet basil A couple slices bacon, cooked and broken into small pieces 1 cup shredded cheese for topping Crushed crackers for topping
Breakfast Egg Rolls 1 small onion, peeled and sliced 1 small knob ginger, peeled and diced 2 cups shredded cabbage 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper 3 eggs ¼ teaspoon chili flakes 2 green onions or shallots, finely sliced ¼ bunch fresh cilantro ¼ cup crisp fried garlic In a small saucepan, cook the onion and ginger in the olive oil until translucent. Add the cabbage and 1/3 cup of water. Cover with lid. Cook for 5–8 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, crack the 3 eggs. Add salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons water. Beat with a fork until eggs are well mixed. Heat a 10-inch nonstick pan with a little oil in the bottom. When the pan is hot, add in a little of the egg, swirling the pan at the same time to cover the base. Place the pan back over the heat and continue to cook until the egg has solidified. Gently flip, using a spatula. Repeat with the remaining egg mixture. Lay out the cooked egg sheets on a chopping board or clean flat surface. In the center of each, lay a couple of spoons of the cabbage, place on top a few cilantro leaves, sliced green onions, a little sprinkling of dried chili and crisp fried garlic. Roll up and serve immediately. Robin O’Sullivan Wiregrass EC Strawberry Yogurt Crunch
Using a 10-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Add bread cubes and brown lightly. Remove from skillet and add remaining butter or margarine. Melt and add onions, browning lightly. Mix all other ingredients except cheese and crushed crackers and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with crushed crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Add cheese and cook 10-15 minutes longer. Paul Barton Black Warrior EMC
Gluten-Free Cranberry Almond Pecan Scones 1 cup almond flour 2/3 cup garbanzo bean flour 1/3 cup brown rice flour 1 teaspoon xanthan gum 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 3 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup of EACH dried cranberries, chocolate chips, and chopped pecans ¼ teaspoon almond extract 1 1/3 cup whipping cream Drizzle: 1 cup powdered sugar ¼ teaspoon almond extract enough water to reach right consistency Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, xanthan gum, and salt. Add cranberries, pecans, and chocolate chips; fold in whipping cream and almond extract. On lightly floured surface (use gluten free flour), knead dough three times. Divide in half and pat each into 6-inch round circles. Cut each circle into 6 wedges and place each wedge 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 10-13 minutes or untilgolden brown. Cool 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheet. Meanwhile, mix powdered sugar, almond extract, and enough water to bring to drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm scones. Esther Briddick Joe Wheeler EMC
Frittata Muﬃns 6 strips ready-to-serve bacon or 6 strips regular sliced bacon, cooked crisp 6 heat-and-serve sausage patties 4 small mushrooms, diced 2 green onions, thinly sliced (use white and green parts of the onions) ¼ cup finely diced red, green, yellow or orange pepper 6 extra large or jumbo eggs ¾ cup whipping cream ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided Fresh fruit for garnish – sliced cantaloupe, strawberries, etc.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside a 6-cup non-stick jumbo muffin pan. In a skillet over medium heat, brown sausage, remove from heat, drain and then crumble into a small bowl. Crumble bacon. Reserve. Return skillet to medium heat, add mushrooms and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. With a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms to a small bowl and reserve. Add onions and peppers to skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat. In a large measuring cup or mixing bowl, beat eggs, then add cream, salt and pepper. Add 6 ounces grated cheese. Add bacon, sausage, mushrooms, onions and peppers. Mix well. Pour egg mixture into muffin pan and prick with a fork to settle the mixture and remove air bubbles. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 30–40 minutes or until set. Test by inserting a knife in the middle of one of the frittatas. If set, the knife will come out clean. Garnish with fresh fruit and serve. Karen Harrison Cullman EC
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We welcome your recipes! Please send us your original recipes, developed by you or family members, and not ones copied from a book or magazine. You may adapt a recipe from another source by changing as little as the amount of one ingredient. Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year. Share a story about your recipe! Whether it’s your grandmother’s best cake or your uncle’s camp stew, every recipe has a story behind it. We’ll pay $50 for the best recipe-related story each month.
Biscuits and scones can also be made ahead. Make your dough and cut or form into individual treats, then pop in the fridge. Bake them as directed the morning of your brunch.
Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines: January February March
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November 15 December 15 January 15
Submit: Online: alabamaliving.coop
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124
Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.
NOVEMBER 2015 37
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Ads are $1.75 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis; Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each. Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to email@example.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.
38 NOVEMBER 2015
NOVEMBER 2015 39
Helping warriors heal Taking combat vets outdoors to heal unseen wounds By John N. Felsher
n March 2007, during his second tour the water learning how to deal with every- some World War II vets hunting and fishof duty in Iraq, Mark McDuffie’s life thing and started bringing other wounded ing and got the idea to found a non-profit changed forever. warriors fishing. Then, more people asked organization,” Sullivan recalls. “We’re a He worked alongside an explosive me to run charters so I did that to help ministry that enables combat-wounded ordnance disposal team when a roadside defray the cost of taking those warriors.” veterans to enjoy God’s great outdoors. bomb exploded. The blast killed two men A licensed captain, McDuffie runs We enable our Purple Heart recipients and horribly injured McDuffie, a 10-year Wounded Warrior Fishing and now char- from all conflicts to get together in an Air Force veteran from Geneva, Ala. The ters excursions from Panama City, Fla., to outdoors setting at no cost to them. We bomb severely injured try to do anything outhis legs and feet. He doors that they would also suffered numerous like to do. We want to shrapnel wounds to his help them do things that face, throat and elsethey may not be able to where. do on their own.” “I went through 58 Not a veteran himself, surgeries, some experiJeep saw what his fathermental,” the veteran rein-law endured after recalls. “I can still walk turning from Vietnam. with my own two feet Wayne Mitchell, a badly and enjoy the things I wounded Marine, took did before, but can’t run. about two years to physI’ve been blessed by the ically recover from his Good Lord to be able to injuries, but mental and still get around.” emotional scars stick for Medically retired life. Seeing how Mitchell from the Air Force in coped with his injuries 2009, McDuffie took inspired Sullivan to do A hunter doesn’t allow his disabilities to prevent him from taking down a trophy. another government job something for other vets. as a civilian. After a year, he finally had Orange Beach, Ala. He also fishes profes“Many vets back then were spat upon enough. He decided to do something not sional redfish tournaments. when they went through airports in unionly to help himself, but others who sufOne day, McDuffie met Jeep Sullivan, form. Wayne got a job and went on with fered battle wounds. a Baptist preacher from Bonifay, Fla. The his life. He ran marathons and numerous “I got fed up working for the govern- now retired pastor shares McDuffie’s vi- other races. We want all Purple Heart vets ment,” he says. “I walked into a colonel’s sion of helping wounded veterans. He to know that someone loves them, cares office and said I was going fishing. Every- founded Jeep Sullivan’s Wounded War- for them and wants to minister to them.” one laughed. I spent considerable time on rior Outdoor Adventures in 2011. Not Although based in Florida, Sullivan’s affiliated with Wounded Warrior Inc. organization brings veterans on advenor groups with similar names, Sullivan’s tures wherever possible. In Alabama, warJohn N. Felsher is a organization assists combat veterans to riors hunt hogs and deer. McDuffie takes freelance writer and photographer who heal mentally, emotionally and physically them fishing. lives in Semmes, Ala. through various outdoors adventures. He “We probably do more in Alabama, He co-hosts a weekly outdoors show that is arranges hunting and fishing trips, golf- Georgia and Mississippi than other placsyndicated to stations ing outings and other activities for recipi- es,” Sullivan says. “We even did an alligain Alabama. For more ents of Purple Hearts, the badge of honor tor hunt in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta earon the show, see www.gdomag.com. Contact him through his website at www. given to those wounded in battle. lier this year. For the bass tournament, the JohnNFelsher.com “Several years ago, I started taking vets came in Friday before the event. We 40 NOVEMBER 2015
A veteran demonstrates modified wheelchair.
fed them at a big fish fry and put them up in cabins for the night. The next day, they fished.” Sullivan’s group tries to pair older vets from Korea, Vietnam and even World War II with younger Iraq and Afghanistan vets. “They help each other,” Sullivan explains. “It’s all part of their healing process. Our goal is to help these soldiers to smile and forget their problems for a while as we honor them for their service. The difference between our organization and similar groups is that we work to facilitate healing the whole soldier -- body, soul and spirit. We understand that our wounded military personnel are injured as a family. Therefore, they must heal as a family. We incorporate family outings along with our adventures. My wife, Meg, takes the vets’ wives shopping, to the beach and other places.” One vet at the September fish fry told a story. He said that he spent three years sitting in his bedroom trying to drink himself to death. He first participated in some hunting activities with Sullivan’s group about two years ago and joined several more since. “He’s been with us on numerous occasions and now brags about how much the experience helped him,” Sullivan says. “For younger guys, just seeing older vets get through the same problems makes them believe that they can do it too. Getting together with comrades who shared similar experiences helps tremendously. It also helps them to know that many ordinary Americans are behind them and willing to do whatever we can to help them.” More information: 850-326-1771, jeepsullivan.com; 850-499-8385, or woundedwarriorfishing.net. A Alabama Living
Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before and an hour after. Minor peaks, half-hour before and after. Adjusted for daylight savings time.
a.m. p.m. Minor Major Minor Major
NOV. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 DEC. 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
10:16 11:31 --01:16 02:46 09:16 10:16 11:01 11:46 07:16 08:01 08:46 09:31 10:31 11:16 --01:46 03:16 08:46 09:31 10:16 11:01 11:31 -07:46 08:16 09:01 09:46 10:31 11:31 -01:16 07:46 09:01 10:01 10:46 11:31 07:16 07:46 08:16 08:46 09:31 10:01 10:31
02:31 03:16 04:31 06:01 07:16 08:31 04:01 04:46 05:46 06:31 12:01 12:46 01:31 02:01 02:46 03:31 04:16 05:16 06:31 07:46 04:01 04:46 05:31 06:01 06:31 07:01 12:16 01:01 01:31 02:16 03:01 04:01 05:01 06:31 03:01 04:16 05:01 05:46 06:31 12:01 12:31 01:01 01:46 02:16 02:46 03:16
03:31 05:16 11:01 08:01 02:01 02:46 03:16 03:46 04:31 -12:16 01:01 01:46 02:46 04:01 06:01 07:46 08:16 01:31 02:01 02:31 03:01 03:31 04:01 04:31 12:16 12:46 01:31 02:16 03:16 04:31 11:01 07:16 01:01 01:46 02:31 03:16 04:01 -12:16 12:46 01:31 02:16 03:16 08:46 10:16
07:46 09:01 12:31 01:16 08:46 09:31 10:01 10:46 11:31 05:01 05:31 06:01 06:31 07:16 07:46 08:46 12:01 12:46 08:46 09:16 09:46 10:16 10:46 11:16 11:46 05:16 05:46 06:16 07:01 08:01 09:16 06:01 12:16 08:16 09:16 10:01 10:31 11:16 04:46 05:16 06:01 06:31 07:01 07:46 04:16 05:31
NOVEMBER 2015 41
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ASK ABOUT REBATES THROUGH TVA’S NEW eScore PROGRAM (256) THIS AREA’S THIS AREA’S LARGEST MOST AWARDED *Call for Details TVA DEALER TVA DEALER
638-6608 AL Certification #89464
GET 12 WINDOWS INSTALLED FOR LESS THAN $60 A MONTH*
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A Division of David Johnson Construction Co., Inc. (256) 638-6608 (256) 574-3057 1-800-523-5816
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NOVEMBER 2015 43
Our Sources Say
Jetson-style technology no longer futuristic D
o you ever get the feeling that you’re living in George Jetson’s neighborhood? You’re probably not alone. George, his boy Elroy, daughter Judy, wife Jane – and Astro, everyone’s favorite space dog, lived in Orbit City in a home equipped with space age conveniences. The animated television series, popular in the early 1960s and even today in syndication, takes a futuristic view of life amid quirky technological advances that the show imagines human beings will use in 2062.
The future is now
Although we’re almost half a century from 2062, technology eerily similar to that used by the Jetsons is in the marketplace today and regularly used in our homes and businesses. Have you recently used Skype, Google voice or Facetime to talk and see your grandkids in real time from distances far away? George and Jane used something similar, as Jane frequently spoke with her extended family and George routinely got an unwelcome call from his boss, Mr. Spacely. Keypads in the Jetson home were programmed to take care of menial chores. The housecleaning was handled by robotic vacuums, not unlike today’s devices that remotely clean your carpets and floors by “learning” the shape of the room. Dinner was prepared effortlessly with advanced contraptions that resemble today’s microwave ovens. And the devices that controlled the environment in the Jetsons’ home resemble today’s smart thermostats that use an infrared eye to see when you are home, learn your habits and control temperatures and other operations. New space age gadgets are everywhere, aren’t they? Your local home improvement store has all kinds of new innovations. And no doubt more are coming. They are being tested and fine tuned today and will be in the marketplace tomorrow.
Co-ops embrace technology
Electric cooperatives are in the forefront of this new technological wave and have come light years since their formation in the mid 1930s. While unbelievable, 85 years ago about nine out
of 10 rural homes were lacking basic electric service. When electric co-ops were first forming, state-of-the-art equipment like we use today simply wasn’t an option. Groups of men gathered their strength to raise utility poles, and spools of thick, electrical wire were unraveled and strung individually. Once the poles were set in place, these ambitious men climbed the poles to hang the wire. Today, digger/derrick trucks are used to dig holes and place utility poles and electric lines, along with bucket trucks that have replaced the majority of climbing. These advancements not only improve the safety of our line workers, but they also make the process less strenuous. Much like setting poles and stringing electrical wire, clearing rights-of-way is no longer done by hand; thanks to technological advances, power saws and tools have made clearing much easier.
Focus on energy efficiency
While customers a few decades ago were satisfied with basic electric service, today that is no longer the case. Thanks in part to technology, customers are more demanding and want more value for their dollar. In response to these changing customer expectations, we are focusing our research and development and customer-service efforts on energy efficiency. The end result is impressive. Refrigerators use less electricity, and dishwashers use less hot water. Air conditioners have higher efficiency ratings, and LED light bulbs are brighter and use less energy. Your electric cooperative offers energy efficiency programs to help you manage your energy use. Whether you’re sealing air ducts, replacing older appliances or improving your home’s insulation, your co-op has valuable programs and services to help you stretch your energy dollar. In addition, we are employing state of the art solutions like advanced metering that allows your cooperative to pinpoint outages and reroute power when needed. It helps us control operating costs and improve service reliability, thus helping keep your electric bills more affordable. Even George Jetson would be impressed. A
Phillip Burgess is Communications, Government Relations and Conferences Director for the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association.
44 OCTOBER 2015
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Let’s go camping!
Alabama Snapshots 1
RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www.alabamaliving. coop. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos.
1. Rick Leigeber and Jeﬀ Prizsa always roast marshmallows on camping trips. SUBMITTED BY Carolyn Leigeber, Cullman. 2. Tanner Gaither, Cecilee Gaither and Hollison Sudduth at Corinth Campground in Winston County. SUBMITTED BY Jamie Sudduth, Houston. 3. Karen, John, Sterling and Skylar the dog at Ft. Wilderness Campground in Disney World. SUBMITTED BY Karen Bobe, Gulf Shores. 4. Azaria Watson, Layla Twitty, Nakiya Ragland’s first
camping trip with grandma at Smith Lake Park. SUBMITTED BY Carol Twitty, Cullman. 5. Lydia Raye Jordan’s 7th birthday camping trip with friends. SUBMITTED BY Warren and Lydia Christian, Cottonwood. 6. Hank and Madie Oliver hiking and backcountry camping at Walls of Jericho, Forever Wild Land Trust. SUBMITTED BY Misty Oliver, Fyﬀe. 7. Wiley Hatﬁeld and Skipper camping at Guntersville State Park. SUBMITTED BY Sharron Hatﬁeld, Valley Head.
Submit Your Images! January Theme: “Twins” Deadline for January: November 30 SUBMIT PHOTOS ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop/submit-photo/ or send color photos with a selfaddressed stamped envelope to: Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124
46 NOVEMBER 2015
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