Alabama Living August 2022

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Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News August 2022

Electric

COOPERATIVES of ALABAMA

We have winners!

Top entrants in 2022 photo contest

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STATEWIDE

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Electric

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

AREA President Karl Rayborn Editor Lenore Vickrey Managing Editor Allison Law Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Danny Weston Advertising Director Jacob Johnson Graphic Designer/Production Coordinator Brooke Echols

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 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

Winning photos

Drew Senter’s photo of a Baldwin County sunrise was one of several reader photos taking Honorable Mention honors in our 2022 Photo Contest.

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Printed in America from American materials

AUGUST 2022

My boat

Summer months are perfect for getting out in our boats, as evidenced by our readers’ photos.

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WWII vet honored

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Primed for peppers

Romay Davis, age 102, recently received a national award at the National WWII Museum for her unique wartime service. Red, green or yellow, cooked or raw, sweet or spicy, peppers are a nutritious snack and easy to add to any meal.

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D E P A R T M E N T S 11 Spotlight 25 Around Alabama 28 Outdoors 29 Fish & Game Forecast 30 Cook of the Month 38 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop ON THE COVER

Look for this logo to see more content online!

VOL. 75 NO. 8

This photo by Tonya Daugherty of Cullman EC won first place in the People category of our 2022 photo contest. She took the photo of her granddaughter, Mar’Kayela, at Hubert’s Tulip Farm in New Market in March. See more winners, Page 12. PHOTO: Tonya Daugherty

30 WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

ONLINE: EMAIL: MAIL:

www.alabamaliving.coop letters@alabamaliving.coop Alabama Living 340 Technacenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

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Some farmers are making the switch to electric tractors, but many continue to utilize diesel-powered tractors. Electric tractors lack the battery power that many farmers need for a long day of working in the fields. Photo Credit: Brandon O’Connor, National Resources Conservation Services

Emerging electric farming equipment By Katherine Loving

It’s no surprise that sensitivity to fuel costs and a growing desire for energy independence are driving innovation in electric vehicles. Similarly, these same factors are creating increased interest in electric farming equipment. Running a farm is traditionally dependent on oil and gas to keep the machinery operating. Fuel costs impact the bottom line of agricultural production and are a major driver of food prices and farming revenue. One major new change for farming equipment is the trend of switching fossil fuel-powered equipment to electric equipment. Electric tractors are now commercially available from multiple manufacturers as well as niche, electric-only companies. There are many benefits of replacing diesel motors with electric motors. Highly-efficient electric motors can operate at 90% thermal efficiency, which helps to provide cost savings over time, compared to diesel motors that operate at 30% to 40% thermal efficiency. But there are significant barriers to electric farming technologies. Electric tractors cost about a third more than traditional tractors. Battery life for electric tractors typically ranges from three to six hours depending on hauling weight and workload, which can be a nonstarter for many larger farms where tractors are expected to run all day doing heavy-duty work. While battery life can be problematic, advancements have been made over the last few years. Some tractors can carry two batteries, allowing for a mid-day switch 4 AUGUST 2022

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without returning the tractor to a charging point. At this stage of development, electric tractors are likely better suited to smaller farms or vineyards. There are additional electric equipment options available for the farm. Utility terrain vehicles tend to look more like their gas-powered counterparts in terms of capability and price, making them an easier entry into electric equipment on the farm. The future of electrification on farms may be focused on renewable energy, either in the form of solar power or waste heat recovery systems. There is ongoing research into the feasibility of placing solar panels on farms coupled with a battery storage system, then using that system

as a fuel source for electric tractor batteries. Solar power is already being used to directly power autonomous precision sprayers for row crops. There are still limitations on heavy-duty use of electric farming equipment, but research and development will continue until these electric technologies are on par with their diesel or gas counterparts. With more time and investment, electric farming equipment will likely become more widespread in the coming years. Katherine Loving writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. Electric tractors are now commercially available from multiple manufacturers, like the John Deere SESAM shown here, as well as from niche, electric-only companies. Photo Credit: John Deere

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Save a life: Avoid distractions while driving By Anne Prince

Some temptations are hard to resist. For me, it can be especially challenging to turn down that last piece of chocolate cake. While driving, we typically hear that “ding” on our phone, alerting us to a text or call coming through, and we sometimes feel the urgent need to check it. We know we shouldn’t, but we reason that we’re going to make an exception––just this once. So, why do we indulge in behavior we know to be wrong, dangerous and in many states, illegal? Call it hubris. According to AAA research, most people feel they are better-than-average drivers. After all, we have busy lives and are accustomed to multitasking. But mounds of research and thousands of deaths every year prove otherwise. August is Back to School Safety Month. As a new school year begins with young drivers and school buses back on the road, I thought it would be a good time to remind folks, including myself, of the dangers of distracted driving. The reality is that using a phone while driving creates enormous potential for injuries and fatalities. Distractions take a motorist’s attention off driving, which can make a driver miss critical events, objects and cues, potentially leading to a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one of every 10 fatal crashes in the U.S. involves distracted driving, resulting in more than 3,000 deaths annually. I find this statistic heartbreaking considering so many of these accidents could easily be avoided if we’d simply put down our phones while driving. Distracted driving is considered any activity that diverts our attention, including texting or talking on the phone, and adjusting the navigation or entertainment system. Texting is by far one of the most dangerous distractions. Sending or reading one text takes your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. In addition to refraining from texting while driving, we can help keep the roads safe by moving over for first responders and other emergency vehicles. Additionally, if you see utility crews Alabama Living

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conducting work near the roadside, I’d encourage you to move over when possible and give them extra space to perform their work safely. At your electric utility, safety is foremost in everything we do––for our employees and the members of the communities we serve. We routinely remind our crews of the dangers of distracted driving, and we hope you’ll have similar conversations with your teens who may be new to the roadways and are especially susceptible to the lure of technology. Let’s work together to keep everyone safe on the roads. Remember: that text can wait and waiting just might save a life. Anne Prince writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56% of the nation’s landscape. AUGUST 2022 5

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Stay one step ahead of the utility scammers By Paul Wesslund

In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received 5.7 million incident reports in the consumer marketplace. About half of those were identified as fraud and a quarter as identity theft. Those statistics don’t tabulate utility fraud specifically, but the Better Business Bureau says it receives about 1,000 complaints of utility scams each year.

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM UTILITY SCAMS

Let’s look at a few common scenarios of utility scams:

UNKNOWN CALLER

• You receive a random call. The caller says you didn’t pay your last electric bill and your power will be cut off immediately––unless you pay right now by credit card over the phone. Caller ID shows it came from the utility; they even told you the exact amount of your most recent bill. • You receive an alert that you overpaid your utility bill and to get the refund, you need to provide your financial information. • A friendly couple in uniform knocks on your door saying they’re from the power company and are following up on high-bill complaints from your neighbors. They just need to take a look at your utility bill so they can get the information code to make sure you aren’t being double-charged. • These real-life stories may seem like obvious scams. Who would ever fall for them? It turns out about one in four people.

Never give personal information to an unknown visitor or caller. Demands for payment by gift card or cryptocurrency should immediately raise red flags. When in doubt, call your electric co-op directly.

Scammers take you by surprise

While most people do the right thing and hang up the phone or contact their utility rather than handing over money or private information, more than $6 billion in losses to various scams were reported in 2021. According to Utilities United Against Scams, the typical cost for each victim who lost money was about $500. Reading about avoiding utility scams makes it sound pretty simple. But the thing about scammers is they take you by surprise. They might be the most charming people you ever met. They might be the meanest and most intimidating, bullying you into acting. It can be hard to say “no” in the moment. One busy businessperson ended up handing over $1,000 just to get through another one of the day’s fast-paced distractions. Scammers are notorious for recognizing when people are most vulnerable—Christmas, right after a hurricane or tornado, or with the approach of really hot or cold weather. Fraud reports skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic—FTC figures show complaints rising from almost 3.5 million in 2019 to more than 5.5 million in 2021.

The latest trends in utility fraud

Con artists keep up with technology—they’ll come at you through email and texting. In one of the top recent scams, you’re

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told to pay by gift or cash card, giving the swindlers the card and PIN number so they can have easier access to your money. (Hint—a utility will never ask you to pay by gift card.) Another new scheme tells you to pay your bill with cryptocurrency. Your electric co-op will not require you to pay by bitcoin or similar methods. The best way to avoid being a victim of a utility scam is to call your electric co-op directly. Scammers will try to rush you into acting, but no billing situation is so urgent you can’t check on it. If you do lose money on a scam, don’t be embarrassed. Report it to your electric co-op. The state attorney general is responsible for going after fraud and will want to know about any suspicious schemes. You might even be able to get your money back. Letting the appropriate contacts know about a scamming operation can help protect others in our community and let you feel secure in enjoying your electric service. Paul Wesslund writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56% of the nation’s landscape.

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Alabama Living

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ELECTRONICS WORD SCRAMBLE You can be more energy efficient by turning off unused electronics. Many electronics consume energy even when they’re not being used. Unplug them to save energy. Unscramble the letters below to reveal electronics you can turn off when not in use. Use the pictures for clues and check your work in the answer key.

1. NEPOH EHGRRAC

2. MGAE NOESCLO

3. LCAEB XBO

4. EWROP PRTIS

5. ONSILEETIV

WORD BANK Power strip

Television

Cable box

Phone charger

Game console

ANSWER KEY: 1) PHONE CHARGER 2) GAME CONSOLE 3) CABLE BOX 4) POWER STRIP 5) TELEVISION

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| Alabama Snapshots |

My Boat Anchored off New Bight, Cat Island, in The Bahamas. Our boat’s name: Rainbow’s End. SUBMITTED by Alfred Coombe, Foley.

Spent many hours enjoying my boat and catching fish. SUBMITTED by Dewitt Scott, Slocomb.

Graves family enjoying Lake Martin. Krystle, Brianna, Braxton, Kenedi, Kenley, Kage, Maddox and Kenneth. SUBMITTED by Kamie Graves, Opelika.

Grandkids on the pontoon boat in the Warrior River. SUBMITTED by Tammy Collins Brand, Oak Grove.

October theme: “Cotton Fields” Deadline to submit: August 31 Online: alabamaliving.coop Mail: Attn: Snapshots P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 Alabama Living

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Just my speed! SUBMITTED by Melissa Manjone, Silverhill.

SUBMIT to WIN $10! 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 alabamaliving.coop and on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to have photos returned. AUGUST 2022 9

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Spotlight | August

Find the hidden dingbat!

Co-op representatives visit with lawmakers in D.C. Directors and managers of Alabama rural electric cooperatives met with members of the state’s congressional delegation, including Sen. Tommy Tuberville, in Washington, D.C., in June to discuss issues important to the electric cooperative industry.

Endangered historical sites sought for Places in Peril Each year, the Places in Peril program calls public attention to a select number of Alabama’s threatened historical and archeological sites. Places in Peril is a listing of some of these properties and seeks to raise awareness of them in an effort to create meaningful solutions and generate support for their preservation. If there’s an irreplaceable historic building or site in your area threatened by demolition or neglect, this may be your opportunity to save it. Nominations will be accepted through Sept. 30, 2022. Each submission will be evaluated for its significance and level of threat. Through a partnership, the Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama Trust have created this program to become a catalyst for preservation. Alabama Heritage magazine publishes the Places in Peril listing each year. For more information, visit ahc.alabama.gov and click on “protect and serve” and click “Places in Peril.”

A good night’s rest important for job safety Sleep deprivation can be more than a nuisance during the workday. Healthy sleep patterns ensure safe practices in all aspects of daily living. The safety staff of the Alabama Rural Electric Association notes these hazards associated with sleep deprivation: Responses are delayed; higher risk of making errors; judgment can be affected; can lead to poor communication; and can affect your mood. Some tips to increase good sleep: maintain a healthy diet; exercise regularly; and limit time on electronic devices prior to going to sleep. Whether it’s driving, operating machinery or basic interactions with co-workers and consumer-members, sleeping well increases daily success. 10 AUGUST 2022

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We probably received more phone calls and emails (and even comments on our Facebook page!) about June’s hidden dingbat than any other. Several folks accused us forgetting to hide it. But we did, and we admit, it was a hard one and not easily seen without some magnification. The airplane was “flying” on the hook of the fishing lure on Page 48. Congratulations to the 55 readers who actually found it, and to the randomly drawn winners Randy and Debbie McKinley of Atmore, members of Southern Pine EC, who said they had to use a magnifying glass to spot it. At least one reader, 9-year-old Bronner Nyberg of Wetumpka, found it quickly, reports Amanda Nyberg. But several of you wrote to us about your repeated efforts to find the plane, including David L. Ihde of Opp, who thought he spotted it in a photo on page 34 in the bushes, or on the earrings on Judy Snead on Page 23. “Finally after looking at the picture of the fishing lure about 50 times, I noticed the dingbat on the left side of the metal hook at the head of the lure. A truly excellent hide and a real challenge to find!” Don Henby of Andalusia described it as “perhaps your most devious concealment to date. I usually find it soon, but this time was hard so I decided to enter for the first time.” For the July issue, we took it easier on you readers! The hotdog was in plain view in the photo of the musicians on Page 16. Congratulations to our randomly drawn winner, Jenell Fuller of Elba, a member of Covington EC. This month, we’ve hidden a chocolate chip cookie, in recognition of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Month, so get yourself one for a snack and start looking! Remember, it won’t be in an ad and it won’t be on Pages 1-8. Sponsored by

By mail: Find the Dingbat Alabama Living PO Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 By email: dingbat@alabamaliving.com www.alabamaliving.coop

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August | Spotlight

Take us along! We’ve enjoyed seeing photos from our readers on their travels with Alabama Living! Please send us a photo of you with a copy of the magazine on your travels to: mytravels@alabamaliving. coop. Be sure to include your name, hometown and electric cooperative, and the location of your photo.We’ll draw a winner for the $25 prize each month.

Whereville, AL

The Gresham children of Loxley took their magazine on a short annual apple picking trip to Fort Mountain in north Georgia. They are members of Baldwin EMC.

Susan and John Rutledge of Ider, members of Sand Mountain EC, recently visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy and took their magazine along.

Matthew & Julie Timberlake of Enterprise carried their magazine with Buc-ee’s on the cover to a real Buc-ee’s in Terrell, Texas. They are members of Covington EC.

Russ and Phyllis Porter took their magazine on a trip to Mystic, Connecticut, where they saw the statue of John J. Kelley, US National Marathon champion, Olympian, and 2002 Hall of Fame inductee. They are members of Baldwin EMC. David Butler and Sue Suggs from Lincoln, members of Coosa Valley EC, traveled to the Dry Tortugas National Park and took Alabama Living along. The park and Fort Jefferson are 70 miles west of Key West, Florida.

Alabama Living

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Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative, if applicable. Submit by email: whereville@alabamaliving.coop, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Contribute a photo you took 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 chosen will also win $25. July’s answer: The “globe,” as it’s known, sits along Highway 11 between Fort Payne and Collinsville, in the Collbran community. It’s permanently mounted in front of Little River Outfitters, owned by Kennith Wigley and his daughter. (Note: Internet searches for Little River Outfitters will direct you to an unrelated Tennessee business.) Reached by phone at his business, Wigley gave Alabama Living the background on the interesting landmark. As many readers noted, the globe is related to the Shriners organization. Lettering on one side of the globe says, “The man with the red fez is on top of the world.” Wigley says originally there was a life-size statue of a Shriner on top, but it has not been found. The globe was originally located at the Southeastern Shrine command in Florida, and “a tornado got it and sent it across Florida,” Wigley says. A collector friend of Wigley came across the globe at some point. Wigley, himself a Shriner, bought it from the friend about 20 to 25 years ago, who had it transported in pieces to northeast Alabama. He had the pieces bolted together and bolted to a concrete pad; fortunately, no tornadoes have taken it away since. “We’ve been lucky,” Wigley says with a chuckle. He’s had the map and the lettering repainted three times so far and is getting ready to have it repainted again to battle the wear and tear from the elements. He says people stop to take photos of the landmark almost daily. The winner for the June contest (the Jesse Owens sculpture) is Mardre Williams of Central Alabama EC. The randomly drawn correct guess winner for the “globe,” the July landmark, is Leslie Gibbins of Southern Pine EC. AUGUST 2022 11

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Photo conte 2022

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big thank you to all the talented Alabama Living readers who entered our sixth annual photo contest this year! More than 150 photos were entered by photographers from all parts of the state, from the mountains of north Alabama to the sun-kissed Baldwin County beaches. We asked for and accepted entries on our website from May 1-31, and you answered the call. As in past years, we asked for photos in one of four categories: Alabama Travels, Animals, People and Seasons. We limited the entries to two per category, per photographer, so each photogra-

pher could enter up to eight photos total. Each first-place winner gets $100, and many of the honorable mentions are shown in the following pages. But really, the winners are all of our readers who get to see some of the photographic talents of our state’s residents. Our judge, Julie Bennett, is an award-winning photojournalist based in central Alabama. She is on staff at the Media Production Group at Auburn University and teaches photojournalism in the College of Liberal Arts.

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ntest

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First place

ANIMALS Arthur Davis, Baldwin EMC Judge’s comment: The composition of this photo is spectacular, with the curve of the branch and the angle of the bird. The colors are eyecatching and the detail is sharp.

Honorable mention

PEOPLE Lindsey Green, Arab EC; photo of her grandmother, Ozell Green Judge’s comment: Super nice portrait. The honesty and detail in her face make for an interesting shot and I instantly want to know more about her.

Honorable mention

ANIMALS Susan Allison, Baldwin EMC Judge’s comment: I love the composition of this photo. It focuses on a part of the butterfly we don’t often think about because we are usually distracted by that beautiful wingspan.

Alabama Living

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First place

SEASONS Brent Eanes, Theodore, Ala. Judge’s comment: The lighting in this photo is amazing. I love that the photographer took this photo from the shadow side, giving that caterpillar a glow and providing us with a view of spring we don’t often see.

Honorable mention ALABAMA TRAVELS Arthur Davis, Baldwin EMC Judge’s comment: What a great angle! Very unique take on how to enjoy one of Alabama’s lakes. Well done.

Honorable mention

SEASONS Anjana Henry, Joe Wheeler EMC Judge’s comment: I can’t help being chilly just looking at this one. The frozen pyramid framing the blue bird is a super nice touch along with the icicles. 14 AUGUST 2022

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Alabama Living

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Honorable mention ALABAMA TRAVELS Drew Senter, Baldwin EMC Judge’s comment: This is simply beautiful. The shadows and highlights captured here really do magic hour justice. Lovely detail.

Honorable mention ALABAMA TRAVELS Kacy Sloat, Clarke-Washington EMC Gracie Sloat, 10 Judge’s comment: I feel like I’m there, or at least wishing I was. Nice work on the exposure here … that snow white sand can be difficult to work with in the midday sun.

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First place ALABAMA TRAVELS Carlee Davis, Tallapoosa River EC Chad Greene and Sarah Grace Chapman Judge’s comment: There is so much energy and action packed into this frame. Nice work stopping all that motion and I love the natural late-afternoon light filtering in behind them.

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Alabama centenarian

nationally recognized for unique WWII service By Minnie Lamberth

T

o say that Romay Johnson Davis has led an interesting months,” the museum’s Silver Service Medallion description notlife would be an understatement of the century – and that ed. “Davis and her 6888th Battalion colleagues sorted, repackwouldn’t even cover the amount of time she has been on aged, and redirected an average of 5.85 million pieces of correthis earth. spondence per month. In comparison, another unit processed “I enjoyed, I guess, just about everything I’ve ever done,” the only 624,000 pieces in December 1944. The 6888th’s high pro102-year-old Montgomery resident says. “I have lots of memoductivity continued in Rouen and Paris, France.” ries, lots of special memories of special people.” Davis’ primary responsibility was still as a driver, in both EnDavis is one of six surviving members of an all-Black Women gland and France. “When an officer needed to go somewhere, one Army Corps (WAC) unit, the 6888th Central Postal Directory of the drivers would take them,” she says. However, she also sortBattalion, which deployed overseas in 1945 to sort a backlog of ed mail when not on the road. “That’s what we were there for, to mail for servicemen far from home. The six are slated to receive a get the mail situated and on its way to the men.” Congressional Gold Medal, thanks to The unit was deactivated when it legislation signed by President Biden returned to the states. Yet Davis had in March 2022. many more years of accomplishments As the oldest survivor, Davis reahead of her. While in New York, ceived a Silver Service Medallion in she met and married Jerry Davis, a June from the National WWII MuseLowndes County native who was a um during a ceremony in New Orlecarpenter for the New York subway ans. According to the museum website, system. She also graduated from New the medallion is awarded to “veterans York’s Traphagen School of Fashion and those with a direct connection to and embarked on a 30-year career in World War II who have served our fashion design with Glen of Michigan, country with distinction and continue a children’s clothing manufacturer. “I to lead by example.” That’s a descriplearned a lot about fashion, how to tion that fits her well. make patterns, put them together,” she Born Oct. 29, 1919, Davis grew up in says. “I guess I had a knack for design, King George County, Virginia, as the making things. It was easy – very, very only girl among five brothers. She was interesting.” She later earned a master’s working in Washington, D.C., at the degree in education from New York U.S. Mint when World War II began, University and also worked in real esand shortly after that, all her brothers tate. had joined the military. “When I was When her husband retired in 1999, the last one left, I asked if I could go Davis moved with him back to his too,” Davis recalled. She become part home state of Alabama, and she still of the newly created Women’s Army stayed busy. She earned a TaekwonCorps, attending boot camp at Camp do black belt in her 70s, and after her Breckinridge in Kentucky. husband passed away, she went back There, she trained to become a drivto work at a Winn-Dixie grocery store er. It seemed like a better choice than when she was 80 years old and worked her other options. “I grew up in the Romay Davis, 102, was honored with the Silver Service part-time until age 101. “I enjoyed becountry, with sheep and flowers and Medallion at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans ing at the store,” she says. in June. Here she’s shown with one of the student animals and birds,” she explains. “I leadership award recipients at the ceremony. In addition to national recognitions, like the outdoors.” So when she was Davis has also been celebrated in her PHOTO COURTESY THE NATIONAL WWII MUSEUM asked what she wanted to do, she said, adopted hometown. For her 101st “I don’t want to clerk. I don’t want to cook. I don’t want to clean birthday in 2020, she was the honoree of a parade that culminata house unless I have to. So driving is the only thing left.” As a ed with the reading of commendations from Gov. Kay Ivey and result, she spent a lot of her military service outdoors. a proclamation from Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed declaring Davis was assigned to serve in a specialized unit made up of her birthday as “Romay Davis Day.” 855 African-American women who were given the task of sorting Southeastern Groceries, Inc., the parent company of Winn two years’ worth of backlogged mail. They started in February Dixie grocery stores, also named the Romay Davis Belonging, 1945 in Birmingham, England, and worked around the clock to Inclusion and Diversity Grant in her honor. The company will sort nearly 18 million pieces of mail in a record-breaking effort. announce grant recipients shortly before Oct. 29, when Davis will “The Army gave them six months, and they did it in only three turn 103.

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FA L L F O OT BA L L F OR E C A ST

In 1849, French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr made a profound statement: “The more that things change, the more they stay the same.” Old Jean-Baptiste must have been watching the SEC Network. There have been three major changes in Southern college football in the last 55 years. In the late 60s, the recruitment and signing of African American athletes improved and changed the direction of college football forever. The other two changes happened in the last couple of years: the open transfer portal and the advent of N.I.L. (Name, Image and Likeness). This fall, Alabama will have four new offensive transfer starters who started last year at Georgia Tech, Vandy, Louisville and Georgia. Their best corner started last fall at LSU. The rich get richer when you mix these players with top-ranked recruiting classes. In a touch of irony, Auburn may start a transfer quarterback from Texas A&M who beat Bama after they lost Bo Nix to the transfer portal and Oregon. Game program sales are expected to be high just to keep up with the roster changes. N.I.L. has allowed the athletes to “cash in” on their social media popularity. Basically, the NCAA has taken the NASCAR approach: “Have at it boys!” Some players are legally earning hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, in some corners, a bidding war has ensued for players. 2021 ALABAMA Recap: Nick Saban has brought the Tide program to the point that anything EXCEPT winning the National Championship is a disappointing season. Last year, for the first time in 25 tries, one of his former assistant coaches beat the former boss when Jimbo Fisher’s A&M Aggies won in College Station. Bama went on to beat Georgia for the SEC championship only to lose the Natty to former assistant Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs. Quarterback Bryce Young won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore. His Heisman moment was the final drive against Auburn in the Iron Bowl for the win. 2021 AUBURN Recap: First year coach Bryan Harsin led the Tigers to a 6-7 record that could very easily have been a 10-win season. There were only two noncompetitive games: Georgia and Texas A&M. Failure to “finish” cost the Tigers in four of the losses. A questionable failed fade pass from the 2-yard line against Penn State. Lost 28-20. Against South Carolina, going for 4th and 1 in the 2nd quarter, leading by 7. Incomplete pass. Lost 2117. Against Alabama, sacked Bryce Young 7 times but allowed him to drive the length of the field and convert 4th downs. If Auburn makes a first down on 3rd and 1 from the 37-yard line, they are rolling Toomer’s Corner. Bama wins in 4 overtimes, 24-22. Against Houston in the Birmingham Bowl, the Tigers needed just one stop for a winning season. Lost 17-13. 20 AUGUST 2022

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SEC Prediction: In the last 15 years, the gap between the favorites in each division has never been wider. Alabama in the West and Georgia in the East have distanced themselves from the rest of the pack. In the past, you could predict that one of the divisions was going to be a tossup. Not this year. SEC East Prediction: 1. Georgia 2. Kentucky 3. Tennessee 4. Florida 5. South Carolina 6. Missouri 7. Vandy. The battle is for the runner-up position. Kentucky is solid. The Vols are on the rise but have to play Bama. How long will it take Billy Napier to get the Gators on the right path? SEC West Prediction: 1. Alabama 2. Texas A&M 3. Ole Miss 4. Arkansas 5. LSU 6. Auburn 7. Mississippi State. Bama has October 8 circled, when A&M comes to town. The Aggies have recruited great but must get more consistent. Ole Miss will be the surprise team due to all the transfers. Alabama Outlook: The Tide will enter the fall as the number 1 team in every poll. Why? They have the reigning Heisman Trophy quarterback; the most dominating defensive player in Will Anderson; the Greatest Coach of All Time in Nick Saban. The schedule is favorable with A&M in Tuscaloosa. The defense has a chance to get back to the dominating days of the past. 12-0. SEC champion. Auburn Outlook: In an unusual schedule, the Tigers play their first 5 games at home. They have to be at least 4-1 when they travel the next week to Georgia. Running back Tank Bigsby is one of the best in the SEC when he stays healthy. Owen Pappoe has to step up as the defensive leader. Auburn fans are going to get more restless if programs like A&M, Arkansas, Ole Miss and LSU pass them by. 7-5 record. CFP Playoffs: Pencil in Alabama and Ohio State. The other 2 slots will be between Georgia, Clemson, Utah, and Notre Dame. Prediction: Bama beats Clemson in Peach Bowl. Ohio State beats Utah in the Fiesta Bowl. Alabama beats Ohio State for the National Championship 37-24. Rammer Jammer once again! Brad Bradford is a former football staff member at Alabama and Louisville. His wife Susan Moseley Bradford is a former Auburn cheerleader. His blogs can be found at hairinabiscuit. com. Brad is also an author and motivational speaker. Contact him at coachbradbradford@gmail.com

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Alabama Living

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| Gardens |

Watering wisely will help your lawn and garden through a hot summer Water of course is essential not just for our lawns and gardens but for all life on Earth, so it’s important to use this precious natural resource in a careful, sustainable way. Judicious water usage also saves us time and money. But developing a smart, affordable irrigation plan seemed intimidating to me until I couched it in terms of plants, soils and equipment. Water requirements vary among plant species and their locations in the landscape, which means a single yard may have a variety of different irrigation needs. For example, the bank of mop-head hydrangeas planted in a sunny, dry spot along my carport and the herbs growing in pots on my patio need frequent watering to survive. In contrast, the well-established oak-leaf Well-placed drip irrigation can deposit water directly onto hydrangeas growing in a shady the roots of plants rather than on their foliage. spot near my house, my beds PHOTO COURTESY ALABAMA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SYSTEM of native wildflowers and even ack in June when the weather was the warm-season grasses in my lawn rareespecially hot and dry and my house ly, if ever, need watering. Knowing this, was full of grandchildren, I pulled I set up hoses and sprinklers based on out an old oscillating sprinkler thinking zones, which has made watering more I’d efficiently water my plants and my much convenient and efficient. grandkids at the same time. It was soon Soil types also impact watering choices, obvious that the sprinkler was fine enterand a single yard may include an assorttainment for the children but far from adment of different soil types and condiequate for my plants. tions. My landscape has areas of clay and The device’s arching sweep of water sand but also spots naturally rich in orcertainly cooled off the kiddos but more ganic matter. By knowing which soil types droplets wafted off into the air than landare where, I adjusted the rate and pressure ed on the lawn or surrounding plants and of my irrigation equipment so water didn’t hardly any of that moisture reached the run off or run through the soils too quickplants’ roots where it was needed most. ly. I also used mulches to increase water Imagining the summer ahead would be retention around the base of some plants hot and possibly droughty, I decided it and I plan to amend my soils with organic was time to up my irrigation game. matter this fall.

B

Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@gmail.com.

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Correction in July column: Endangered green pitcher plants are found only in five northeast Alabama counties (Cherokee, DeKalb, Etowah, Jackson and Marshall).

Technology, too, is important, and it has improved exponentially since I bought that old sprinkler head. These days we have access to high-tech automated systems and smart controllers that can help us time irrigation applications based on factors such as rainfall and soil moisture. And a variety of more efficient hoses and sprinklers are also available to make manual irrigation easier and more effective. I’ve been making small investments in better equipment, which I hope will provide big returns. By understanding the importance of these three factors, we can all develop wiser watering plans for the rest of this year and into the future. If you want to delve deeper into those plans, check out the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Alabama Smart Yard Landscape page at aces.edu, and click on “topics,” then “landscaping.” Also see a posting on drought tolerant landscapes. For personal advice, contact your county Extension office or Master Gardeners group or talk to someone with your local water utility office for guidance. In the meantime, here are a few simple ways to water wisely without making a huge investment of time or money. • Water in the early morning (preferably 4 to 7 a.m.). • Place irrigation hoses and sprinklers to deposit water directly onto the roots of plants rather than on their foliage. • Ensure sprinklers are watering plants (and possibly grandchildren) rather than concrete and asphalt. • Repair leaks in hoses, sprinklers and irrigation systems and around spigot connections. • Group plants with similar watering needs together whenever possible. • Replace thirsty plants, including lawn grasses, with native and drought-tolerant species. • Use natural mulches in garden beds and around newly planted trees and shrubs to retain more soil moisture.

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Alabama Living

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AUGUST 2022 23

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SOCIAL SECURITY

Social Security is ready when you’re ready to retire

W

hen you think you’re ready to retire, we’re here to help you make an informed decision about when to apply for benefits. You should decide based on your individual and family circumstances. Would it be better for you to start getting benefits early with a smaller monthly amount over a longer period? Or perhaps wait for a larger monthly payment over less time? The answer is personal and depends on several factors, such as your current and anticipated cash needs, health, and your family history on longevity. Most importantly, you should study your future financial needs and obligations, and estimate your future Social Security benefit. The best and easiest way to estimate your future Social Security benefits is with a personal my Social Security account. You can create your free account at ssa.gov/myaccount. Use your account to see how much you might receive each month based on the age Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at kylle.mckinney@ssa.gov.

August Across 1 Barbecue sauce popular in North Alabama (3 words) 8 “___ made some beans” 10 Goes with 5 down, 2 words 12 Loudspeaker system 14 Alabama _____, cocktail 17 Indian corn 18 Banana _____ (desserts) 21 Includes in a recipe 24 ____ ____ tomatoes, 2 words 28 Added line to a letter, abbr. 30 Barbecue offering 32 Yellowhammer drink ingredient 33 Much-used greens in Alabama dishes 34 Cake featured on our May cover 35 Cooks in a way Down 1 Creates a dish quickly, 2 words 2 Cocktail addition 3 Distinct period 4 Well-known beer, in slang 5 Iconic Southern dish, goes with 10 across 6 Not tasted yet 7 Former 9 Actor Kilmer of ‘’Top Gun’’ 11 Compass direction, abbr. 13 Sushi offerings 15 Kid’s pie stuff 16 Tractor-trailer 19 Preserved, in a way (with fruit) 20 Complain to 22 Guacamole or fondue, e.g. 23 Red wine 24 Top pick, informally 25 Water bird 24 AUGUST 2022

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at which you want to start receiving benefits. We encourage you to weigh all the factors carefully before deciding when to begin receiving Social Security benefits. This decision affects the monthly benefit amount you will receive for the rest of your life and may affect benefits for your survivors.

Social Security’s online retirement resources

Whether you’re ready to learn about, apply for, or manage your retirement benefits, our online resources make it easy for you to find the information you need. How easy? You can do it from your computer, tablet, and even smartphone! On our website, you can: • Get our publications. • Estimate your benefits with one of our many calculators. • Find your Full Retirement Age. • Learn about benefits for a spouse and family members. • Apply for benefits. • Mange your benefits once you start receiving them. You and your loved ones can discover all these resources at ssa. gov/retirement.

crossword 26 Red or black beans’ partner 27 Zero

by Myles Mellor 29 Fries, salad, etc. 31 Rich cake with rum

Answers on Page 37 www.alabamaliving.coop

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Around Alabama

SEPTEMBER

2-4

Bessemer Gem and Mineral Show, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Bessemer Civic Center, 1130 Ninth Ave. SW. $5 adults, $3 teens and under 12 free. Browse through more than 100 tables of unique gem, mineral and fossil specimens from a variety of vendors. Search the event’s page on Facebook.

3

Arab SugarFest 2022, Arab City Park. Morning begins with Sugar Rush 5K run, which leads into the marketplace arts and crafts juried vendors show. Food trucks on site all day. Cornhole tournament, Miss SugarFest Pageant, Sweetie Pie kids’ area and more. Classic car cruise-in and live music on stage begins at 4 p.m. Night ends with fireworks show. ArabCity.org or see the event’s page on Facebook.

The Franklin County Watermelon Festival will be Aug. 19-20.

AUGUST

5-6

Cullman Rock the South, York Farms, 1872 County Road 469. Known as “The Biggest Party in the South,” this two-day concert event features country music star headliners Morgan Wallen and Alabama, as well as other music acts including Hardy, Jamey Johnson, Koe Wetzel, Jimmie Allen and Colt Ford. RockTheSouth.com

5-6

Athens 30th annual Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days, 20147 Elkton Road. Sponsored by the Piney Chapel Antique Engine and Tractor Association, this family event will include antique power exhibits, a tractor ride and fish fry on Friday and wheat threshing exhibits. $5 admission; 12 and under free. Free parking. Gates open at 7 a.m. Search for the public group on Facebook.

5-6

Killen Killen Founder’s Day at Killen Park. The town’s version of a block party has fun for the entire family, including music, food and a car show from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Search for the event’s page on Facebook.

5-14

Opelika Opelika Theatre Company’s production of Disney’s “Newsies,” Southside Center for the Arts, 1103 Glenn St. The musical is inspired by the real-life 1899 Newsboy Strike and captures the strength of young people when they join together and stand up to injustice. OpelikaTheatreCompany.com

13

Dothan Wiregrass Museum of Art’s Yard Party for Art. The museum’s annual art, music and tech festival on the museum grounds. Gates open at 6 p.m. with the first music act at 6:30 p.m.; music continues until 10:30-11 p.m. Enjoy the art installations at the museum as well as yard games and an energetic lineup of original music. Food and drink vendors will be onsite. Presale tickets are $20 until Aug. 10. YardPartyForArt.com Alabama Living

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13

Mobile USS Alabama living history crew drill, USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, 2703 Battleship Parkway. Every other month, historical re-enactors dress in WWII period uniforms to demonstrate what life aboard ship was like during wartime. Check ussalabama.com to confirm drill date or call 800-GANGWAY.

19-20

Russellville 41st annual Franklin County Watermelon Festival. This free family event in downtown includes food, vendors, a car and truck show, 5K and one-mile fun run, tractor show and kids’ area with rides and games. Live music each evening on the main stage. And of course, plenty of watermelon to eat and associated contests. 256-332-1760 or FranklinCountyChamber.org

26-27

Troy 30th annual Pike County Cattlemen Rodeo, Cattleman Park. Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday with the rodeo at 7:30; gates open at 4 p.m. Saturday, with a family Western festival at 5 p.m. and rodeo at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $10 in advance or $12 at the door; 12 and under free with accompanying adult. PikeCountyCattlemen.org

27

Fyffe UFO Day, Fyffe Town Park, 9 a.m. This annual event features a full day of musical entertainment, food and craft vendors, children’s activities and inflatables, antique tractors, cars and bikes and hot air balloons. Search for the event on Facebook.

27

Montgomery fifth annual Hog Days of Summer BBQ and Music Festival, 2 p.m. at Union Station Train Shed, sponsored by the Druids Charity Club. Music on two stages, spanning blues, country, rock and Americana influences. Barbecue from the River Region’s best restaurants. See the event’s Facebook page.

4-5

Cullman Smith Lake Park Sweet Tater Festival. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday (Labor Day). Live entertainment, food vendors, arts and crafts vendors and of course sweet taters both days. Car show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday. Admission $5 per person, and armband allows for entry both days. Search for Smith Lake Park or Cullman County Parks on Facebook.

9-10

Huntsville 2022 Whistlestop Festival, John Hunt Park. Festival opens at 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. Multiple barbecue competitions, tastings and live music. WhistlestopWeekend.com or call 256-564-8100.

9-10

Jasper 2022 Foothills Festival, entertainment district of downtown Jasper. 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 10:30 pm. Saturday. Live music begins at 5 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday; headliner is the Drive-By Truckers at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Free. FoothillsJasper.com

23-25

Springville Homestead Hollow Festival, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn about early Alabama history and pioneer living with live demonstrations about wood carving, blacksmithing, wood stove cooking, tours of original cabins and more. Plenty of children’s activities and food vendors on site. HomesteadHollow.com Call or verify events before you make plans to attend. Due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, some events may change or be canceled after press time.

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. Like Alabama Living on facebook

Follow Alabama Living on Twitter @Alabama_Living

AUGUST 2022 25

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| Consumer Wise |

Ready, set, (your) thermostat!

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer when you are home and awake, and warmer at night or when away.

Smart thermostats are easy to program, can learn your preferences and set a schedule that automatically adjusts the temperature. PHOTOS COURTESY MARK GILLILAND, PIONEER UTILITY Resources

Q: A:

schedule that automatically adjusts the temperature. Some have geofencing, which adjusts the temperature based on the distance your smartphone is from home.

How do I operate my thermostat to use less energy and still be comfortable?

Heating and cooling account for about half the energy used in a typical home, so it’s a great place to use less energy. When used wisely, your thermostat can help reduce wasted energy. Here’s some information on thermostat types, common operational misconceptions and best practices you can start today.

Types of thermostats

Mechanical thermostats are easy to control by adjusting a dial or sliding switch. The downfall is you must make temperature adjustments manually, which is easy to forget. They are inefficient because they typically heat or cool the home beyond the set point. If your cooling is set to 72 degrees, a mechanical thermostat may actually cool your home to 70 degrees before it turns off, wasting energy. Then it might not come on again until the home reaches 74 degrees. That four-degree temperature change is noticeable and can lead people to adjust the thermostat setting down even more, which wastes more energy. Also, some mechanical thermostats contain mercury. You can determine that by removing the front plate and looking for small glass bulbs. If your thermostat contains mercury, replace it and find a way to properly recycle it. Digital thermostats are more accurate, efficient and some are programmable, which is a great option for people who don’t have internet or don’t want their thermostat data tracked. Smart thermostats—which require an internet connection— are Wi-Fi-enabled and can be controlled using a smartphone app. Programming is easier, and you can track and manage use and temperature data. However, that data is shared with the manufacturer. Smart thermostats can learn your preferences and set a Miranda Boutelle is the vice president of operations and customer engagement at Efficiency Services Group in Oregon, a cooperatively owned energy efficiency company. She also writes on energy efficiency topics for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives.

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Misconceptions about thermostats

A common misconception is the higher you turn your thermostat up or down, the faster your home’s temperature will change. Turning your thermostat down to 55 degrees to cool your home faster is like repeatedly pushing the elevator button and expecting it to come faster. It’s likely you will forget you adjusted it and waste energy by over heating or cooling the home. Set your desired temperature for heating and cooling or program your thermostat so you don’t make extreme adjustments. Many people believe it takes more energy to heat or cool a house instead of leaving it the same temperature. The larger the temperature variance between inside and outside, the more energy your system uses. Setting your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours a day can save up to 10% a year on your energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Best practices

Use these heating and cooling tips from the DOE to add efficiency and savings to your home: • Set it to 78 degrees in the summer when you are home and awake, and warmer at night or when away. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter when you are home and awake, and cooler at night or when you are away. • Upgrade to a programmable or smart thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature throughout the day and when you leave the house. • When on vacation, set your thermostat to 85 degrees in the summer and 55 degrees in the winter. • In the summer, fans allow you to set your thermostat about 4 degrees warmer without feeling it. Remember, fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you leave a room. Use your thermostat to optimize energy efficiency and find a balance between comfort and affordability. www.alabamaliving.coop

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Alabama Living

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| Outdoors |

Invasive aquatic plant can threaten waterways

T

he Mobile Area Water and Sewer System closed Big Creek ing all five Gulf Coast states. In Alabama, people first discovered Lake when it discovered giant salvinia growing in the 3,600giant salvinia growing in two ponds in Auburn in 1999. Soon after acre reservoir near Semmes. that, people identified it in the Tallapoosa and Chattahoochee watersheds as well as ponds in Lee, Montgomery, Greene, Pickens, MAWSS officials sprayed the lake with herbicide to kill the noxious plant and built a boat washing facility near the only landing Russell and Sumter counties. on the water-supply reservoir. The impoundment on the EscatawMore recently, researchers detected it in Gainesville Reservoir pa River watershed partially reopened to fishing and boating in and backwater sections of the Tombigbee River. A pond in Autauga County contained a bad infestation. Giant salvinia in the June 2022 after remaining closed for 10 months. People must wash Elk River, which flows into the Tennessee River, probably died out their boats and trailers before launching into Big Creek Lake to from cold. As a tropical plant, giant salvinia thrives in warm water, curtail the spread of the invasive plant. but a hard freeze could kill it. “We sprayed the giant salvinia with an EPA-approved product,” “The occurrence of giant salvinia is sporadic in Alabama,” says Bud McCrory, MAWSS director. “We’ll never get giant salvinia out of the lake completely, but we’re going to try to mitigate Armstrong says. “We eliminated it in certain areas and weather how it spreads. The boat washing will help reduce our risk at some took care of it in other places. We’ve had reports of it in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta in expercentage.” treme southern Alabama. Native to southeastern I would not be surprised if Brazil, this aquatic fern it’s in some backwater argrows extremely rapidly. eas with limited flow in the In ideal conditions, it can delta. It’s a freshwater plant double in size in less than a so it probably can’t handle week and quickly dominate too much salt like in Moportions of any freshwater bile Bay.” system. Once established, The plant probably came giant salvinia chokes out to the U.S. for aquariums native plants and reduces or water gardens. When dissolved oxygen levels in people no longer wanted the water. to maintain an aquarium, “Giant salvinia grows they probably dumped it at such a high rate that it into the nearest stream, shades out the bottom,” pond or lake. In addition, says Dave Armstrong, the flood conditions can overAquatic Nuisance Species flow ponds and water garCoordinator for the Alabama Division of Wildlife Giant salvinia is an aggressive, fast-growing exotic that chokes out native plants and dens, washing the plants and Freshwater Fisheries. can kill everything beneath it that depends on sunlight to survive. into nearby rivers. “It’s amazing how deep this Giant salvinia can surPHOTO COURTESY ALABAMA DIVISION OF WILDLIFE AND FRESHWATER FISHERIES vive out of water for up to a stuff will grow. It grows to year. In addition, the plant clings to boat hulls and trailers. When where there’s very little sunlight. It grows in layers upon itself until someone launches a boat carrying the plant into another system, it completely fills in a small pond from top to bottom.” the invader multiples prolifically in its new home. People also theOne of the most aggressive aquatic plants, this fast-growing exotic can grow so thick that boats cannot pass. It blocks the sunorize that particles can attach to the legs and feet of wading birds light, killing everything beneath it that depends upon sunlight to like herons and egrets. Once established, the plant rapidly takes survive. over portions of that waterbody. “When giant salvinia covers the surface, it kills the plankton,” “The main way this plant spreads is by sticking to boat hulls Armstrong says. “All fish require plankton, at least when they’re and trailers,” Armstrong says. “It’s so clingy it’s almost like Velcro. young. Small fish, prey for larger fish, eat plankton. If the plant Little eggbeater-like hairs on the leaves grab onto anything. Birds reduces phytoplankton and zooplankton in a system, fish won’t ingest it and spread it that way. Once it gets into a system, spraying get enough food to it.” masses of it is the only way to control it.” To help curb the spread of giant salvinia and other noxious exThis noxious invader currently exists in at least 11 states includotic plants, always wash boats and trailers or anything else before launching into another waterbody. To report giant salvinia infesJohn N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He also hosts an outdoors tips show for WAVH FM tations, contact Dave Armstrong at 251-331-7050 or email Dave. Talk 106.5 radio station in Mobile, Ala. Contact him at j.felsher@ Armstrong@dcnr.alabama.gov. See giant salvinia on outdooralhotmail.com or through Facebook. abama.com and other internet sources.

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www.alabamaliving.coop

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CECIL PIGG STEEL TRUSS, INC. P.O. BOX 389, ADDISON, AL 35540

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DOUG HANNON’S FISH & GAME FORECAST 2022 AUGUST

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

SEPTEMBER

Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr

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

EXCELLENT TIMES A.M.

7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06 10:54 - 12:54 11:18 - 1:18 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 2:54 - 4:54 A.M.

7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 9:54 - 11:54 10:06 - 12:06 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42

GOOD TIMES

MOON STAGE

PM

8:06 - 10:06 8:54 - 10:54 9:42 - 11:42 10:30 - 12:30 11:18 - 1:18 11:42 - 1:42 12:06 - 2:06 NEW MOON 12:54 - 2:54 1:42 - 3:42 2:30 - 4:30 3:18 - 5:18 PM

8:06 - 10:06 8:54 - 10:54 9:42 - 11:42 10:18 - 12:18 10:30 - 12:30 12:06 - 2:06 NEW MOON 12:54 - 2:54 1:42 - 3:42 2:30 - 4:30 3:18 - 5:18 4:06 - 6:06 4:54 - 6:54 5:42 - 7:42 6:30 - 8:30 7:18 - 9:18 8:06 - 10:06 8:54 - 10:54 9:42 - 11:42 10:30 - 12:30 12:06 - 2:06 FULL MOON 12:54 - 2:54 1:42 - 3:42 2:30 - 4:30 3:18 - 5:18 4:06 - 6:06 4:54 - 6:54 5:42 - 7:42 6:30 - 8:30 7:18 - 9:18 8:06 - 10:06

AM

PM

2:09 - 3:39 2:57 - 4:27 3:45 - 5:15 4:33 - 6:03 5:21 - 6:51 5:48 - 7:18 6:09 - 7:39 6:57 - 8:27 7:45 - 9:15 8:33 - 10:03 9:21 - 10:51

2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27 5:45 - 7:15 6:11 - 7:41 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 9:45 - 11:15

AM

PM

2:09 - 3:39 2:57 - 4:27 3:45 - 5:15 4:21 - 5:51 4:33 - 6:03 6:09 - 7:39 6:57 - 8:27 7:45 - 9:15 8:33 - 10:03 9:21 - 10:51 10:09 - 11:39 10:57 - 12:27 NA 12:33 - 2:03 1:21 - 2:51 2:09 - 3:39 2:57 - 4:27 3:45 - 5:15 4:33 - 6:03 6:09 - 7:39 6:57 - 8:27 7:45 - 9:15 8:33 - 10:03 9:21 - 10:51 10:09 - 11:39 10:57 - 12:27 NA 12:33 - 2:03 1:21 - 2:51 2:09 - 3:39

2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 4:45 - 6:15 4:57 - 6:27 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03

We apologize for the discrepancy in the calendar dates and the days of the week in the forecast charts in last month’s magazine. The dates were correct, although they did not correspond to the correct days of the week. Thanks to the readers who let us know!

The Moon Clock and resulting Moon Times were developed 40 years ago by Doug Hannon, one of America’s most trusted wildlife experts and a tireless inventor. The Moon Clock is produced by DataSport, Inc. of Atlanta, GA, a company specializing in wildlife activity time prediction. To order the 2022 Moon Clock, go to www.moontimes.com. Alabama Living

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| Alabama Recipes |

S

Primed for

Peppers

Food styling and photos: Brooke Echols

ummer and fall are the prime seasons for fresh peppers, whether you’ve grown them in your garden or picked some up at your local farmer’s market. “They are low in calories and burst in flavor,” says Sheree Taylor, Human Sciences Regional Extension Agent for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. “Peppers can be crisp, sweet or spicy.” Not to mention they come in green, red, orange or yellow colors and sometimes a bit of all four. All colors of peppers have nutritional benefits, Taylor says, but red peppers actually have higher antioxidant and phytonutrient levels, because they are riper. They also supply more potassium, Vitamin C and folate, she adds. But all peppers are nutritious and easy to add to any meal. “People can slice them, eat them raw, grilled, sauteed or roasted. When preparing foods with peppers, be mindful that boiling or cooking them may cause a loss of 50% of the nutrients,” Taylor advises. Instead of boiling or steaming, she recommends dry heat methods such as stir-frying or roasting. “Peppers can bring not only color to our plate, but flavor,” Taylor says. “They are packed with nutrients and can be incorporated in ways that can fit the desires of anyone’s tastebuds.” – Lenore Vickrey Stuffed Pepper Bowl

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Cook of the Month: Louis Toth, Arab EC

T

here are many great ways to use peppers in delicious ways. My favorite way is to make Brooke Burks a dish sweet and colorful. In the summer, I like to keep things light and delicious, so using multi-colored bell peppers in dishes is a great way to do that. As pleasing to the eye as the tummy, these peppers quickly steal the show! Enjoy! Find more easy recipes like this one from Brooke at thebutteredhome.com.

Sheet Pan Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetables 3-4 8-ounce chicken breasts or tenderloins 1 zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 yellow squash, cut into bite-sized pieces 1-2 bell peppers, sliced, any color 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper ¼-½ cup crumbled feta cheese 1 teaspoon dried oregano 2 tablespoons minced garlic 2 tablespoons lemon juice Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken on one end of a sheet pan (parchment paper optional). Dice and prep vegetables and place in a large bowl. Drizzle chicken and vegetables with a bit of olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Arrange vegetables next to chicken on the sheet pan, making sure they are in a single layer. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes, checking often to stir vegetables or turn chicken. Chicken is done when it reaches internal temperature of 160-165 degrees. Allow to rest before serving. While chicken and vegetables are baking, assemble ingredients for dressing. In a medium bowl, combine minced garlic, lemon juice, oregano and olive oil. Whisk together well. When protein and vegetables are done, arrange as desired on a serving platter. Drizzle dressing over chicken and vegetables right before serving and garnish with feta cheese. Photo by The Buttered Home

Alabama Living

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Like many of us, Louis Toth remembers watching his mother and grandmother cook meals during Louis Toth his growing-up years. “They never wrote anything down,” he says, so using his engineering background, he recreated those favorite childhood dishes and tweaked them to his liking and those of his son’s family in Arab, where Louis moved after retiring from his job in New Jersey. His grandparents emigrated from Hungary, where dishes like stuffed peppers and stuffed cabbage rolls were staples in their diet. His winning “Stuffed Peppers” recipe calls for ground pork, which results in a sweeter flavor than the traditional ground beef. He also cooks his peppers on the stove, not the oven. “I enjoy the pork,” he says, and so do his granddaughters, who enjoy helping their granddad in the kitchen. “I also like to make meatballs with a mixture of ground beef and pork. It makes a difference in the taste.”

Stuffed Peppers 5½ quart Dutch oven or stock pot 7 medium-large, green bell peppers (other color peppers are also fine) 1 pound ground pork 1 cup raw, long grain, white rice 2 28-ounce cans tomato sauce 2 cups whole milk or half and half (or more for a creamier sauce) 2 cups water (to adjust sauce thickness) 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika ½ teaspoon Kosher salt Parboil rice to begin. Place rice into a strainer and rinse with cold water. Bring a large pot of water (sufficient to completely cover the raw rice and allow for its expansion during cooking) to boiling. Add rinsed rice, return to boil, then reduce heat to gently parboil the rice for 10 minutes; strain rice, rinse with cold water and let cool. Cut tops off of the peppers and carefully scoop out the seeds and membranes. In a large bowl whisk together the tomato sauce, milk and water. In another large bowl gently mix the pork, cooled rice, paprika, salt and 1/2 cup of the blended sauce together. Stuff the peppers 3/4 full with the meat mixture. (Mixture will expand slightly when cooked.) Place stuffed peppers standing up in a tall pot or Dutch oven. Gently pour the remaining sauce mixture over the peppers to cover. (If you have any leftover filling, you can form them into meatballs and add to the pot.) Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes. To serve: Place a pepper in a serving bowl and ladle some sauce over the pepper. Serve with white or rye bread on the side.

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Stuffed Pepper Bowl 1 2 1 1 4 8 1

pound ground beef cups rice, cooked tablespoon olive oil onion, diced bell peppers, chopped ounces mushrooms, chopped 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, do not drain 1/2-1 cup beef broth or water 1 15-ounce can black beans (optional) 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese or more, to taste 2 teaspoons chili powder 2 teaspoons cumin 2 teaspoons smoked paprika 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon cilantro 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper Salt and pepper, to taste Cook rice according to package instructions. Brown beef in skillet until cooked. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about five minutes. Add bell pepper and cook until almost soft, about seven minutes. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, cooked beef, broth (or water), black beans if using, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for twenty minutes, adding more broth if it begins to run dry. Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Serve immediately over rice. Note: depending on temperature of pan or other factors, you may need more or less broth.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Jalapeño Peppers 9 4 1/4 18

jalapeños ounces softened cream cheese cup raspberry preserves slices bacon

Cut the jalapeños in half, scrape the seeds and ribs from the pepper. Combine raspberry preserves and softened cream cheese. Fill each pepper boat with cream cheese and raspberry preserves. Wrap each pepper with bacon and place on a baking pan. Preheat grill to 350 degrees and place peppers on the indirect side of grill for 30 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the cheese bubbly. Kirk Vantrease Cullman EC

Peppers and Onions Skillet 1 pound ground beef or turkey 1/2 yellow green and red bell peppers, chopped 1 medium onion, chopped 1 zucchini squash, chopped 1 tablespoon cooking oil 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon garlic powder Cook meat and drain, then sauté chopped vegetables for 10-15 minutes. Add in one tablespoon oil, add meat back in with seasoning and cook for 10 minutes. Lends Dodd Joe Wheeler EMC

Be creative with your peppers:

• Chop a variety of colors and add to salads with greens, pasta salad or tuna • Saute with onions as a side dish • Add to omelets, quiche or pizza

Raspberry Cream Cheese Jalapeno Peppers

Kelsey Rumler Wiregrass EC

Holiday Cookie

CONTEST

Calling all bakers! Do you have a favorite holiday cookie recipe or special cookies you take to all the holiday parties and cookie exchanges? Share your favorite holiday cookie recipes with us for a chance to win! Enter online at www.alabamaliving.com. Each entry must include your name, address and phone number as well as the name of your electric cooperative. Entries may also be mailed to Alabama Living Cookie Contest, PO Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Entry deadline is September 2, 2022.

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Submit to win $50!

Recipes can be developed by you or family members. You may even adapt a recipe from another source by changing as little as the amount of one ingredient. Chosen cooks may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year. 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.

Themes and Deadlines:

November: Turkey leftovers | August 5 December: Holiday Cookie Contest | September 2 January: Kids who cook | October 7

3 ways to submit:

Online: alabamaliving.coop Email: recipes@alabamaliving.coop Mail: Attn: Recipes P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

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Alabama Living

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| Our Sources Say |

A plan W

e’ve always heard, “You need a plan to get anything done.” That is taught in all business schools and recognized by people who don’t manage anything other than their own lives. My favorite quote about “plans” is from the noted philosopher and past world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until they get hit in the mouth.” Most of us in following our plans have found Mike is right. We start with a plan, something goes sideways, and we find ourselves adrift. Climate movement plans -- whether the Paris Accord, Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050, elimination of all fossil fuels, the immediate mandate of electric vehicles, or others -- are really all different concepts promoted by different people and groups with various motives. For instance, some groups feel nuclear power is a great substitute for fossil fuels because it is carbon-free. Other groups totally reject nuclear power as too dangerous or too expensive, or those groups are concerned about nuclear waste. In addition to already disjointed directions and inconsistency of climate plans, the entire climate movement was punched in the mouth by Vladimir Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Serious people are now questioning how the most basic concepts of climate plans can be achieved. I commented in an earlier article about Biden Climate Czar, John Kerry, and his comments regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine and how he hoped the invasion didn’t result in lost focus on climate change actions. The comment (while just silly as thousands of people were being killed in an invasion) demonstrates a lack of understanding of energy basics and how energy is used. For instance, how effective will an electric tank be? How could you recharge it in the middle of a battle? Gasoline or diesel fuel are much better wartime solutions. Equally so, how about electric helicopters or airplanes? And you can’t rely on systems only developed for wartime. Supply chains and delivery systems must be developed and maintained for normal commerce – not during times of war. A plan to reduce carbon emissions must meet certain parameters and have specific economic attributes to succeed against punches in the mouth from Russia, the weather, or the economy. A successful plan must recognize that success and wealth are built on readily available and affordable energy. This country was built on cheap energy, and its success will always depend on cheap energy. Some in the climate movement feel cheap energy is ruining the world and that energy must be restricted for the good of humanity. That philosophy is counter to global devel-

opment and prosperity, and it will never be embraced by the people of the world. A successful plan must also include provisions to bring affordable energy to third world countries and emerging nations. Denying developing nations access to affordable energy by restricting energy growth to only renewable sources is morally wrong. As one African leader recently said, “No country has been built on solar and wind energy.” A successful plan also must recognize the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. It merely changes form. And each time energy changes form, some of it is lost and cannot be converted to electric energy. Current plans naively demand for curtailment of fossil fuels by a certain date not too far into the future and a switch to renewable energy sources like solar and wind. The facts of energy are enough to show that the world will never be completely powered by renewable energy. It is too intermittent. Unlike fossil-fuel fired generators, solar and wind do not have the rotating mass needed to support the stability of the electric grid. Too many in the climate movement think setting certain dates to eliminate fossil fuel use will somehow drive new technology and result in a seamless transition. That is just not the case. There needs to be a serious plan for a successful transition. Any viable path to a carbon constrained future will require “investable” technology. Business always drives transitions, and it requires long horizons to recover research and development costs and capital. Constantly changing plans and directions will not attract the long-term investments necessary to accomplish the goal. Successful plans will also have to bridge political lines and be acceptable to Democrats and Republicans. Both parties must step back from radical positions to find workable, affordable and practical compromises. The extreme “shut it down now” or “we will never change” positions will only lead to further polarization and no viable solutions. Success will never be found behind sidewalk bullhorn politics. The climate change movement has met its Mike Tyson moment. How plans are developed in the future will dictate the direction and success of global energy policy. How the movements and the counter-movements react will decide if any de-carbonization plan will be successful. The Ukraine war presents an opportunity to redesign the global energy future, but I am not optimistic. I expect most everyone will continue to double down on silly and impossible plans that keep getting hit in the mouth. I hope you have a good month.

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.

www.alabamaliving.coop

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| Our Sources Say |

Celebrating hard-working people during the summer heatwaves A

s temperatures continue to soar this summer, TVA and local power companies had six days with energy demand above 30,000 megawatts in June alone. To put that in perspective, one megawatt is enough energy to power 585 homes. For the first time in history, TVA had peak demands above 31,000 MW during a single week in June. Working with local power companies, we were able to ensure our power system in the Valley remained stable, reliable, and resilient at the start of this especially hot summer. Building margins into system planning helps ensure the power grid remains stable and secure during high demand periods, even with the increased load and economic growth seen in the pandemic recovery. According to Jacinda Woodward, senior vice president of TVA’s Power Operations, generating upwards of 30,000 megawatts day after day is not easy, but thanks to a diverse generation portfolio, our dedicated employees managed to maintain reliability day after day. She points out, for example, that using hydro and nuclear assets allowed us to meet the need while keeping costs low. Using simple combustion turbine gas units—which normally serve only peaking power— around the clock helped keep reliability high. According to Greg Henrich, vice president of Transmission Operations and Power Supply, keeping costs low in the face of high demand is a balancing act: “You have to balance between a margin of safety on the system, and maintain low rates by not overpreparing for an extreme event. We have 253 generating assets, so making decisions about which ones we’re going to run and when is a big part of the equation.” Heinrich also notes that the Valley’s transmission system ran efficiently with minimum congestion. He says, “We’ve been running an integrated transmission and generation model for almost 90 years and have TVA employees work to keep air conditioners humming and lights glowing throughout the experience and expertise to perform very well.” the Valley this summer. Both Henrich and Woodward agree that aside from strong asset performance, the key to TVA’s resiliency the needs, and many of us have worked 12- to 14-hour days, day is our hard-working employees. after day, to make sure we were providing optimal power to the Dylan Cornette, a system operator for TVA’s Balancing Augrid,” says Hunter Cason, a coal-hauling foreman at Gallatin Fosthority, spent the heatwave in June running on coffee and adrensil Plant outside Nashville. aline, noting that things were tight and there was a lot to consider “During the triple digit days, we knew our work was helping in dispatching the units we needed to meet the demand. provide reliable power for our friends, families, grandmothers At the plants, pressure was likewise high during the record-setand literally the 10 million people of the Valley who rely on us ting June. when it’s burning hot, freezing cold, or bad weather. We are here “We were moving 10,000 to 13,000 tons of coal a day to meet for them because we believe in the mission of TVA to make life better for people in the Valley.” As high temperatures are expected to continue throughout the Kevin Chandler is the customer relations summer, TVA and local power company teams will remain fodirector, Regional Relations South, for the Tennessee Valley Authority. cused on ensuring electricity remains reliable for the 10 million Valley residents we serve during these extreme conditions. 36 AUGUST 2022

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| Classifieds | How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office): October 2022 Issue by August 25 November 2022 Issue by September 25 December 2022 Issue by October 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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Answers to puzzle on Page 24

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Illustration by Dennis Auth

| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |

Precious memories, and a few surprises S

ome folks are collectors. My mother and father were accumulators. Daddy was 93 when he claimed his 50-yard-line seat in that great Jordan-Hare Stadium in the sky. Mama was 98 when she joined him. That gave them a lot of time to collect. And they did. Once, and only once, did Daddy let me organize and cull his collection. My wife helped. In his storage shed, we found jars in which he kept balls of twine, seed catalogs, and insecticide long since banned by the EPA. We also found a bunch of empty halfpint whiskey bottles, which were full when he went hunting on a cold winter morning. As we carted off “stuff ” to the dump, I heard Daddy mourn “my treasures, my treasures.” He never let us do a clean-out again. Instead, he saved what he could and told us, with unmasked glee, that we would have to deal with it after he was gone. Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus at Jacksonville State University. He can be reached at hhjackson43@gmail.com

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Only we didn’t. We kept it where it was because Mama wanted it that way. As the years passed, she added to the collection. What a collection it was. Daddy’s mother loved stamps, and as her children traveled the world defeating our nation’s enemies and occupying their countries, they sent her letters – stamped. Daddy inherited that passion, so the stamps and envelopes and albums were crammed into a filing cabinet for me to sort through. Like her mother before her, Mama kept a diary – which was mostly a daily account of what they ate, the weather, and who visited. Thrown in were bits of local gossip, and an occasional reference to family doings, good and not-so-good. I found things I could not explain: two Japanese Pesos, currency Japan printed for use in the occupied Philippines. Daddy served in Europe. Who gave him these? A miniature photo of a young man in what appears to be a Confederate uniform. He is holding a wicked looking knife. Who was he? Mama’s senior high picture. Why had I never seen it before? Cute as a button, she was. I know why Daddy cut her out of

the herd. Not that I was surprised. She was Miss Grove Hill of 1934. I know – I found the sash she wore. Then there was the letter Mama wrote to Daddy just after she learned that the attack on Pearl Harbor had changed everything. And tax returns. The accountant told me to keep 7 years, so into the big black trash bags went a decade or more of cancelled checks, receipts, and “thank you for your donation” notes, records of two lives well lived. Among the things they kept was my grandmother’s 1953 application to begin collecting Social Security. The government sent her $26 a month. Not much, but with chickens, a garden in the back yard, family and friends nearby, she got along fine on that. The books my folks accumulated for no purpose other than they enjoyed them were donated to the public library. I also found a list directing me to give such-and-such to so-and-so, which I dutifully did. And I paid off Mama’s pledge to their church. Many precious memories. And even some surprises. www.alabamaliving.coop

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Brought to you by your local electric cooperative

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