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MAY 2014



4-H Putting Alabama youth on the right track

Redistricting What it means for rural Alabama


VOL. 67 NO. 5 MAY 2014


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.




11 Beware of ticks

Ticks aren’t just a nuisance. These spider-like insects are second only to mosquitoes in transmitting disease, many of which can have devastating effects.

16 Confederate cycles

An Alabama company is out to make the best motorcycles money can buy, with function and performance valued over styling. No, these aren’t your grandpa’s Harley.

On the Cover: More than 3,000 children, like this youngster enjoying rope climbing, participate every year in activities at the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana. PHOTO: Alabama 4-H Center

32 The ‘Bass Capital’

Lake Eufaula has a well-deserved reputation for producing double-digit bass as well as crappie and catfish. Its 45,000-plus acres along the Chattahoochee River spans part of the Alabama-Georgia line.


340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail:

When you see this symbol, it means there’s more content online at! Videos, expanded stories and more!


National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181

DEPARTMENTS USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311

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Spotlight Alabama Gardens Worth the Drive Fish & Game Forecast Cook of the Month

Printed in America from American materials

Alabama Living

MAY 2014 3

May is National Electrical Safety Month From flipping a light switch to plugging in a phone charger, we use electricity every day, and we oftentimes take it for granted. May is National Electrical Safety Month, so take the time learn more about electricity and steps that can be taken to help ensure its safe use. In 2011, the National Fire Protection Association reports an estimated 47,700 home structure fires in the U.S. due to some form of electrical failure or malfunction resulting in 418 civilian deaths, 1,570 injuries, and $1.4 billion in damage. Safe Electricity provides steps you can take to protect yourself and loved ones—indoors and out:

I Make sure cords are not frayed or cracked, placed under carpets or rugs, or located in high traffic areas. I Do not nail or staple electrical cords to walls, floors, or other objects. I Use extension cords only on a temporary basis—not as permanent household wiring. I Make sure outlets in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, workshop, basement, and garage are equipped with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GCFIs). Test them monthly. I If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker, or has given you an electrical shock, immediately unplug it and have it repaired or replaced. I If there are electrical issues in your home, make sure to call a professional to make the repairs. I Teach children to stay away from electric utility equipment. Never enter a substation, do not play on pad mounted transformers, and fly kites safely away from overhead power lines. I If power lines are down or sagging, stay away, warn others to stay away, and call the utility.

I Check outlets for loose-fitting plugs. Replace missing or broken wall plates so wiring and components are not exposed. If you have young children at home, install Tamper Resistant Outlets (TROs) or cover unused outlets with plastic safety caps.

I When working outside, keep yourself and equipment at least 10 feet away from power lines and service connections. I Always look up for power lines before using long tools like pruning poles and ladders.

I Never force plugs into outlets.

I When trimming trees, be aware that broken or dislodged branches may have also become tangled in overhead electric lines or pushed the wire closer to the ground.

I Do not remove the grounding pin (third prong) to make a plug fit a two-prong outlet.

I Do not use electric yard tools if it is raining or the ground is wet.

I Avoid overloading outlets with adapters and too many appliance plugs.

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For more information on how to prevent electrical hazards, visit

Alabama Living

Lucas’ story: Learn about and prevent electric shock drowning May 17-23 is National Safe Boating Week and draws attention to the need to prepare for a safe season on the water. Working with Safe Electricity’s “Teach Learn Care TLC” program, the Ritz family is taking this time to en-

courage everyone to learn how to avoid and prevent what is known as electric shock drowning (ESD), which claimed the life of eight-year-old Lucas Ritz in 1999. Lucas’ father, Kevin, now works with

the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) as an ABYC Master Marine Technician who trains certified technicians and others. He advises, “Never swim in a marina or around docks with power and boats that are plugged in; but, since people fall into the water in these areas, it’s important they know how to react if electricity is in the water.” If you are in the water and feel electric current, shout to let others know, try to stay upright, and swim away from anything that could be energized. If you are on the dock or shore when a swimmer feels electrical current, do not jump in. Throw them a float, turn off the shore power connection at the meter base, and/or unplug shore power cords. Try to eliminate the source of electricity as quickly as possible; then call for help. If you have a boat or dock, help prevent electrical accidents by inspecting and maintaining all electrical systems

on or near the water. “Have dock systems inspected each year and make sure ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) breakers are installed on all circuits feeding electricity to the dock,” Kevin recommends. “Have all metal bonded and grounded back to the source.” These measures are recommended for boats: Regardless of the size of boat, maintenance of the electrical system should be done by a professional familiar with marine electrical codes. Boats with alternating current (AC) systems should have isolation transformers or equipment leakage circuit interrupter (ELCI) protection, comply with ABYC standards, and should be serviced by an ABYC Certified® Technician. Fuses are rated to protect the wire, not the appliance. If a fuse blows continuously, it should NOT be replaced with a larger one just to keep it from blowing again—something else is wrong. Get it checked out. Have your boat’s electrical system checked at least once a year. Boats should also be checked when something is added to or removed from their systems. Do your part to help prevent electrical tragedies. Learn more and see Lucas’ story at

landscape provides both energy efficiency Tip of the andA well-designed curb appeal for your home. The type of vegetation you


choose is as important as where they are planted. Sunlight streaming through windows and bearing down on the roof

can drive up air conditioner use. Using shade trees and shrubs in your landscaping plan can help reduce cooling costs. In the winter, deciduous trees lose their leaves and let in warmth. Source:

Alabama Living

MAY 2014 5

Wildlife and the Outdoors

Objectives and advantages of prescribed burning By Casey Norris, Wildlife Biologist, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Since humans first appeared, fire has played a role in our development. We have used fire to stay warm, cook food, form metal and clear landscapes. Fire can be a useful tool or a dangerous one if handled irresponsibly. Today, foresters, wildlife biologists and land managers use prescribed burning to remove “waste� on an area and release native grasses/forbs that provide forage and attract wildlife.

To benefit wildlife, prescribed burn objectives include improving habitats for deer, turkey, quail and numerous other species. Many wildlife habitats can be improved by setting back succession, the natural changes land goes through if there is no alteration. For example, a fallow field burned on a set frequency maintains its value for wildlife over time. If the fallow field is not regularly burned, its value as wildlife habitat will decrease as non-beneficial plants invade the area. Objectives of prescribed fire include reducing fuels,

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controlling competing vegetation, improving forage for feeding, improving accessibility, enhancing appearance and helping fire-dependent species. With guidance from wildlife and forestry professionals, a landowner can better determine if a dormant season burn, growing season burn, or a combination of both are needed. A dormant season (fall-winter) burn will maintain the grasses and forbs at the ground layer needed by numerous wildlife species. If conditions are such that understory and midstory vegetation is too thick, a growing season (spring-summer) burn may be needed to remove some of the midstory vegetation and open up the ground layer to allow herbaceous plants to thrive. Prescribed burning holds certain advantages over mechanical and chemical removal of unwanted vegetation in an area. Burning is relatively inexpensive and can cover a large area in a shorter amount of time. Burning also puts nitrogen back into the soil, which is essential for quality vegetation growth. Mechanical removal, such as mowing, disking or chopping requires expenses for equipment and will require more time to treat areas. Chemical removal of unwanted vegetation involves the cost of chemicals and equipment and may require multiple treatments. Prescribed burning requires more man-

power, preparation, and can only be performed during certain times of the year to obtain the desired objective. There are also more safety concerns with prescribed burning. A burn manager must consider weather conditions such as wind and humidity before, during and after the burn. Burn managers also have to consider what effects the wind will have on smoke from the fire hours after the burn has been completed. Location of a burn in relation to an urban area or highway must also be considered. Burn manager certification courses are offered throughout Alabama to teach the Alabama prescribed burn laws and the fine details and considerations that go into proper burn preparation, smoke management and execution. Application of prescribed fire in wildlife habitats continues to be one of the most cost effective and efficient tools available to landowners and land managers. Harnessing the power of nature through the wise use of fire will enhance landscapes that benefit many wildlife species. Please continue to carry the torch! For more information on prescribed burning in Alabama, contact Casey Norris, Wildlife Biologist, 30571 Five Rivers Blvd., Spanish Fort, AL 36527. Call 251626-5474 or email The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR visit

Alabama Living

Make your yard work for you By B. Denise Hawkins

Location, location, location is the mantra in real estate, but it also applies to your yard this time of year when the search is on to lower energy bills and create curb appeal. Positioning the right combination of plants and trees can yield shade, beautify, and unearth energy savings. Such smart or energy-efficient landscaping, claims the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), can on average, provide enough energy savings to see a return on your initial investment in less than eight years. Again, think location. Carefully positioned trees can reduce a household’s en-

from the air conditioner. I Shrubs and trees can form windbreaks or protective walls that keep wind chill away from a home. That’s important because wind speed lowers outside air temperatures, and ultimately saves on higher heating costs. Common turf grass and other low-growing plants are ideal barriers. So are evergreens, especially when combined with a wall or fence to deflect or even lift wind over a home. For best protection, plan on leaving between two to five times the mature height of the trees or shrubs between the windbreak and the protected home.

Made in the shade

ergy consumption for heating and cooling by up to 25 percent. Using computer models, the DOE determined that proper placement of only three trees on your property can save an average household between $100 and $250 in yearly energy costs. This spring, make your yard work for you. Just a few simple landscaping considerations can make a big difference in your home’s comfort and in the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems: I Use trees and plants to shade a window air conditioner. Having shade can increase its efficiency by as much as 10 percent. For good airflow and access, position plants more than three feet

Alabama Living

Indoors, you may b e protected from the sun’s rays, but your energy bill can rise as your air conditioner works harder to keep your house cool and comfortable. Planting shade trees can add to your comfort at home by dropping the surrounding air temperature by as much as nine degrees Fahrenheit. But choosing just the right tree may require a compass and patience while they grow to work for you: I When selecting shade trees, keep in mind the mature height of the tree and the shape of its shade canopy in relation to the height of your home. These factors are important because they should influence how far from the house you decide to plant a tree. Always avoid planting near underground utility lines.

I Shading takes time—a 6-foot to 8-foot deciduous tree planted near a house will begin shading windows in a year. Depending on the species and the home, the tree will shade the roof in five to 10 years. I Make planting shade trees due west of west-facing windows your first priority. I Select a tree that can be planted within 20 feet of the window and that will grow at least 10 feet taller than that window. If you have the space, use as many trees as needed to create a continuous row along all major west-and east-facing windows. I Contrary to intuition, the least energy efficient place for a tree is to the south of a house. Different trees can serve a variety of purposes. To block summer heat while letting sun filter through in the winter months, use deciduous trees or those that lose their leaves seasonally. Evergreens and shrubs, on the other hand, are ideal for providing continuous shade and blocking heavy winds. Also, keep in mind that not all shade plants are tall. Shrubs and sturdy groundcover plants also provide good shade by reducing heat radiation and cooling air before it reaches your home’s walls and windows. Start planting savings and let your yard do all the work—a well-placed tree, shrub, or vine can deliver effective shade, act as a windbreak, and reduce your energy bills. B. Denise Hawkins writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. Sources: U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Energy. gov

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8 MAY 2014

Spot Light

In May

MAY 16 & 17

Poke Salat Festival celebrates 30 years The 30th Annual Poke Salat Festival will be Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17 in historic downtown Arab. The center of the festival is the poke salat, a dish cooked from the pokeweed plant. Most often poke salat is cooked in a mixture with scrambled eggs. It will be available for tasting in downtown Arab at cafes and coffee houses. The festival hosts a variety of vendors and demonstrations of traditional artisan crafting, and will include demonstrations of basket weaving, chair caning, broom making, pottery, wire wrapping jewelry and chain maille jewelry; three staged entertainment areas featuring local bands and singers, dancers, theatrical groups; children’s bounce houses, games, puppet shows, a pet parade, a hula hoop contest, a magician, balloon animal artist, a beekeeping demonstration and local authors. Both days will end with a free concert featuring The Wayne Mills Band and The Jeff Cook Band. For more information, visit

1940s. “Alabama at Work” will focus on the history of work in Alabama and specifically Elmore County. Docent tours of “Dixie Art Colony: a Look at Its Legacy” and “Alabama at Work” will be available to the public on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


MAY 26

Smithsonian’s ‘The Way We Worked’ travels to Wetumpka

American Village remembers Memorial Day

The Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street will bring the exhibition, “The Way We Worked,” to Wetumpka on May 23. The exhibition will be shown in the Elmore County Museum, 112 South Main St., through July 6. Hours for the “The Way We Worked” will be Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Working by the River” encompasses a series of special events that will take place in downtown Wetumpka and throughout the River Region this summer. The Smithsonian exhibition, “The Way We Worked,” has been the impetus and inspiration for a series of other events and exhibitions that will run concurrently. “Alabama at Work” and “Dixie Art Colony: a Look at Its Legacy” hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays at the Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery in the City of Wetumpka Administrative Building.“Dixie Art Colony: a Look at Its Legacy” will explore the life and work of famed Wetumpka artist Kelly Fitzpatrick, a founder and mainstay of the Dixie Art Colony on Lake Jordan. The colony was a place for struggling artists to work, study and play during the Great Depression and into the

The American Village in Montevallo will have a day of remembrance on Memorial Day, with gates opening at 10 a.m. There will be a program at 11 and activities until 3 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.

Alabama Living

Wetumpka will feature several events and showings to run concurrently with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street exhibit, “The Way We Worked.”

The American Village’s Memorial Day program will begin at 11 a.m.

MAY 2014 9

Power Pack

Older Americans benefit from a ‘my Social Security’ account


ach May, groups and organizations around the nation join in celebrating Older Americans Month. Established in 1963, Older Americans Month provides an opportunity for our nation to recognize seniors for their many contributions and share important information to help them stay healthy and active. This year’s theme is “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow.” Social Security has something to help keep you safe and healthy: a suite of online services. Rather than driving or taking public transportation to a local office, you can use our secure, free online services to handle much of your Social Security business. With the amount of time you save, you’ll have more time to spend with

Kylle’ McKinney, Alabama Social Security Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached in Montgomery at 866-593-0914, ext. 26265, or at kylle.

the grandkids or have time for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or local park. Before going for that walk, though, visit Whether you already receive benefits or you’re just starting to think about retirement, it’s a great time to open a my Social Security account. What’s my Social Security? It’s a secure online account that allows you immediate access to your personal Social Security information. During your working years, you can use my Social Security to view your Social Security Statement to check your earnings record and see estimates of the future retirement, disability and survivor benefits you and your family may receive. Check it out at www.socialsecurity. gov/myaccount. After you check your online Social Security Statement, be sure to visit our Retirement Estimator. Like a my Social Security account, you can use it as many times as you’d like. The Estimator lets you change variables, such as retirement date options and future earnings. You may discover that you’d rather wait another year or two before you retire to earn a higher benefit. To get instant, personalized

estimates of your future benefits just go to Deciding when to retire is a personal choice and depends on a number of factors. To help, we suggest you read our online fact sheet, When To Start Receiving Retirement Benefits, available at www. If you’re ready to retire, the online service you’ve been waiting for is our online application for retirement benefits, which allows you to complete and submit your application in as little as 15 minutes at Once you complete and submit the electronic application, in most cases, that’s it—no papers to sign or documents to provide.  Are you already receiving benefits? You can use my Social Security to immediately get your proof of benefits letter, change your address or phone number on our records, start or change your direct deposit information and check your benefit and payment information.  We encourage you to take advantage of our online services and resources, freeing up more time for activities you really enjoy. Learn more at A

Co-op leaders turn out for AREA’s 67th Annual Meeting


ore than 400 electric cooperative leaders from across Alabama recently gathered in the state’s capital for the 67th Annual Meeting of the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. During the meeting, attendees elected statewide officers, recognized 30 co-op directors from 11 Alabama cooperatives who have completed Advanced Board Leadership Certificates, and heard updates from several state department heads and other dignitaries. Re-elected as AREA officers for 20142015 were: Chairman, Patsy Holmes of Central Alabama Electric Cooperative; Vice-Chairman, Randy Brannon, Pea River Electric Cooperative; and SecretaryTreasurer, David Hembree of Cullman Electric Cooperative. Rep. April Weaver presented AREA President and CEO Fred Braswell with a

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framed copy of a joint resolution passed in the last session of the Alabama Legislature designating the first Monday in June as Alabama Lineman Appreciation Day. The group heard from a number of state officials, including Dr. Donald Williamson, state health director; Steve Murray, director of the Department of Archives and History; Secretary of State Emeritus Beth Chapman; Regions Bank economist Richard Moody; Chuck Sykes, director of the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; and Jennifer Whitaker, founder and CEO of Executive Brilliance. Sen. Dick Brewbaker was named Senator of the Year for his support of electric cooperatives and for sponsoring the AREA-supported “move over” legislation. He will receive his award at the AREA Summer Conference in July.

AREA also gave its Pathfinder Award to R. E. “Bob” Adams, longtime director at Dixie Electric Cooperative, for Alexandria Selman, 2014 Youth Leadership his commitment Council representative, to the rural addresses group. electrification program in Alabama, and gave the AREA Chairman’s Award posthumously to Ray Turner, who served faithfully for many years on the board at Clarke-Washington Electric Membership Cooperative. In other recognition, Brian Lacy from Cullman Electric Cooperative received the 2014 Darryl Gates Communicator of the Year award. WTVY-TV of Dothan received the 2014 Award for Media Excellence A

Tick season is here; your best defense is to avoid tick bites The following are some tips to avoid tick bites:

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icks aren’t just a nuisance, they carry many diseases that can have devastating effects. These spider-like insects are second only to mosquitoes in transmitting disease. Although it may be no larger than a pinpoint, a single tick can lay 3,000 eggs, and our unusually cold winter didn’t reduce their numbers. Three species of ticks are endemic in Alabama, and they are commonly known as Deer, American Dog and Lone Star ticks. Tick bites can cause anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, rickettsiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Southern tick-associated rash illness and tularemia. In 2013, the Alabama Department of Public Health Epidemiology Division conducted 1,137 investigations of tick-borne diseases with 290 confirmed cases. However, the actual number may be greater because not all tick-borne diseases are reportable in Alabama. Reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against the diseases they carry. While you should take preventive measures against ticks throughout the year, be extra vigilant in the warmer months of April through September when ticks are most active. People most at risk from tick-borne diseases are outdoor enthusiasts, outdoor workers, pet owners and veterinarians, rural/peripheral settlement dwellers, and anyone else who ventures into tickinfested areas.

Alabama Living


Stay away from wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter, and walk in the center of trails. Tuck pants into socks to keep ticks off your legs and wear light-colored clothing to help you spot ticks. Use insect repellants that contain 20 percent or more DEET on exposed skin and permethrin on clothing. Pay special attention when applying insect repellent products to children’s skin, being sure to avoid their hands, eyes and mouths. Repellents that contain DEET must be reapplied every few hours. Use available products to help prevent tick infestations on pets.

After outdoor activity:

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Inspect children, pets, clothing and outdoor gear, such as backpacks, for ticks. Bathe within two hours. Conduct a full-body check with a mirror, including hair and scalp.

How do I remove a tick?

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Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick, because it may cause the mouth to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with tweezers, leave it alone, and let the skin heal. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub or soap and water. Do not paint the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or use heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible. Tumble dry clothing on a high heat setting for one hour to kill any missed ticks.

What are the symptoms of tickborne diseases?

Many tick-borne diseases have similar signs and symptoms, which include fever/chills, aches and pains and rash. Rashes may appear as circular, “bull’s eye,” skin ulcer, general rash or non-itchy spots depending on the disease. After being bitten by a tick, symptoms may develop a few days to weeks later. If you get a tick bite and develop symptoms, see a health care provider for treatment. Your health care provider will want to know where you likely acquired the tick bite. Save the removed tick, place it in a plastic bag and freeze it in case it is needed to diagnose a tick-borne disease. How does tick-borne disease spread?

Ticks survive by eating blood from humans and animals. When the tick finds a feeding spot, it grasps the skin and cuts into the surface, and then inserts its feeding tube. Ticks can secrete small amounts of saliva with anesthetic properties so that the animal or person can’t feel that the tick has attached itself. A tick will suck the blood slowly for several days. If a human or an animal has a bloodborne infection, the tick will ingest the bacteria or parasites while feeding. At the next feeding, the tick will pass the disease to the human or animal. For more information, go to cdc. gov and type Ticks in SEARCH box. If you suspect you may have a tick-borne infection, please contact your health care provider. A Jim McVay, Dr.P.A., is director of the Bureau of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease of the Alabama Department of Public Health. If there is a health topic you’d like Dr. McVay to write about, email us at contact@

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Putting Alabama youths on the right path A

By John N. Felsher

n old proverb states: “A man who works with his hands and back is a laborer. A man who works with his hands, back and head is a craftsman. A man who works with his hands, back, head and heart is an artist.” That saying isn’t the official 4-H motto, but perhaps reflects what the organization tries to instill in young people. For the record, the official 4-H motto is “To make the best better,” with the official slogan as “Learn by doing.” “The four ‘Hs’ stand for head, heart, hands and health,” explains Dr. Molly Gregg, a 4-H youth development specialist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System based at Auburn University. “The goal of 4-H is to create places where kids can come to learn by doing while having fun. We hope to provide them with opportunities to master skills that will help them make healthier lifestyle choices in the future. Our primary focus is to ensure that kids live healthy and that they develop the skills they’ll need for the workforce.” In 2013, more than 121,000 Alabama youths between the ages of 9 and 19 participated in such diverse 4-H programs as environmental studies, agriculture, wildlife education, engineering and many more topics. Each year, more than 6.5 million people in 90,000 organizations across America participate in 4-H, the youth component of cooperative extension programs. “4-H is the largest youth organization in Alabama and the largest youth organization nationally,” explains Maggie Lawrence, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System communications specialist at Auburn University. “It’s free to be a 4-H member, but some activities may have fees. While its roots are in agriculture, 4-H has expanded into science, engineering, robotics and many other programs. There’s a 4-H program for any young person’s interest.”

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One in seven adults participated in 4-H in their lives

teach their parents. We still have agriculture and wildlife programs, but we also have urban and suburban programs. We’re very involved in STEM programs, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, plus citizenship, leadership and workforce development. One of our more popular programs is ‘Health Rocks,’ about making good decisions for lifestyle choices.” Many young people become involved with 4-H through their local schools. In addition, an extension office in every Alabama county can help with 4-H projects. Full-time cooperative extension professionals work closely with volunteers who conduct programs to fill local needs. Regional extension agents serve two counties. “Extension agents oversee 4-H programs in their two counties and work with volunteers who have undergone extensive training to get certified as 4-H volunteer leaders,” Lawrence says. “Young people can participate in many different disciplines. Our fastest growing program in Alabama is SAFE – Shooting Awareness Fun and Education, where young people can participate in a shooting sports curriculum.”

says. “It has rural kids, urban kids, at-risk kids, kids from poor economic areas, all kinds of kids. Many kids get involved through their schools, but most counties have community-based clubs or special interest clubs. Through community service, kids learn that they can make a difference in solving a problem. If kids have an interest, we’re always looking for opportunities to hook them up with caring adults or programs to suit their needs. If young people have a need, we’ll find them.” No matter the interest or topic, 4-H programs generally stress a sense of belonging, responsiveness, independence, safety, health, mastery of a discipline, hands-on education and generosity to others. Many 4-H alumni become extension professionals or volunteers later in life. “4-H teaches life skills, but 4-Hers tend to be very involved young people,” Lawrence says. “Following through on a project is one of the key elements.” Typically, kids who become involved with 4-H programs do so because they want to learn and experience life, not just watch it on television or a computer. A study conducted by Tufts University determined that young people involved in 4-H programs are civically active and four times more likely to contribute to their local communities than their peers. They

Across America, one in seven adults participated in a 4-H activity at some point in their lives. Some notable people with 4-H experience include Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Julia Roberts, Faith Hill, Johnny Cash, Reba McEntire, Archie Manning, Vice President Al Gore and Orville Redenbacher, the popcorn king among millions of other 4-H alumni. Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through land-grant institutions like Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities, 4-H began more than 100 years ago as a practical, hands-on way to educate rural youths. As the 19th century drew to a close, older generations of farmers steadfastly maintained their traditional agricultural methods, but emerging technologies could improve their lives and productivity. To teach these older farmers to accept new ideas, the U.S.D.A. came up with ways to teach rural youths who could pass this knowledge to their parents and grandparents. In 1882, Delaware College organized a contest to see who could grow the best corn in accordance with their instructions. In 1892, groups in Wisconsin began Volunteers are essential Volunteers form the backbone of 4-H a movement to include youths in various agriculture clubs. Similar efforts, such as efforts. These volunteers come from many tomato and corn clubs, emerged in Ohio, backgrounds with diverse experiences. VolMinnesota and elsewhere by the early unteers help with after-school programs, 20th century. Many of these clubs and weekend events, summer camps and at programs formed the foundation for the other times to pass their experiences and knowledge to new generations. In 2013, 4-H experience. Officially, 4-H came into existence on nearly 2,900 volunteers in Alabama conMay 8, 1914, when President Woodrow tributed more than 96,150 hours of time. Wilson signed the Smith-Lever Act. The If they had charged for their services, act created the Cooperative Extension Ser- the value would have exceeded $2.1 milvice with the mission of “promoting ag- lion. Nationally, more than riculture, human health, the environment 540,000 volunteers donate and well-being in communities.” The act time to 4-H activities. “Alabama 4-H represents also incorporated various programs under the face of the state,” Gregg the 4-H umbrella. The 4-H organization pioneered the thenunlikely idea of including boys and girls in the same programs. In 1924, 4-H adapted its iconic four-leaf clover logo. “4-H started in the agricultural South when parents weren’t willing to make the changes they needed to do to be more economically success- The 4-H Environmental Science Education Center features meeting rooms with scenic views; top right, ful,” Gregg says. “They taught the chapel is a popular site for weddings. youths skills so they could

Alabama Living

MAY 2014 13

At the Coosa River Science School, students get a closeup look at birds like the bald eagle, participate in flag-raising and low ropes wall climbing. The 4-H Center offers scenic meeting space for various groups.

are also twice as likely to participate in afterschool programs involving science or nature and twice as likely to make healthier lifestyle choices for themselves. “There’s a 4-H project for just about anyone,” Lawrence says. “We have some competitive events where young people who

have worked their projects all year can compete at the local and county level. Many go on to compete at the state level. Sometimes, 4-Hers compete beyond state boundaries and interact with peers from other states through national trips and conferences.” While many young people learn about

4-H programs in school, youths interested in 4-H programs should contact their local county extension office. If they don’t see programs they like, perhaps they could start one. For more information on 4-H in Alabama or a list of county extension office contacts, see A



nder the direction of the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation Board of Directors, the Alabama 4-H Center covers 264 acres on Lay Lake at Columbiana. The facility provides hotel rooms, full-service dining, meeting and conference facilities for various groups. Many businesses and church groups use the center to practice team-building techniques, but the needs of children come first. “The center is a non-profit youth organization,” says Kristy Abrams, assistant manager. “We’re open 12 months of the year. More than 5,000 youths go through the center each year. We hope that their experiences will stimulate critical thinking and affect the decisions they make in the future.” Part of the center, the Coosa River Science School began in 1994 with the mission of providing “hands-on experiential learning to connect youths of all ages to the natural world and to foster respect and understanding of the environment.” More than 3,000 children ranging from third grade through high school participate in its programs annually. “Groups come from all over the state and neighboring states to attend Coosa River Science School programs,” Abrams says. “Our goal is to teach environmental and outdoor education in a way that involves the student, the teacher and the instructor. The best way to learn and understand something is to experi14 MAY 2014

ence it first-hand. Kids can get involved in numerous programs. Two favorites are Raptor Track about birds of prey and Herp Journey about reptiles and amphibians.” In addition, thousands of children have been through 4-H summer camp programs at the center since 1980. Campers participate in archery, swimming, canoeing, rope climbing, hiking and other activities. Some campers also participate in talent shows and sports. “Campers participate in a variety of activities that help them develop important life skills in a safe environment while enjoying the fun and excitement of summer camp,” Abrams says. “It’s a great opportunity for 4-H kids from all over the state to get together and meet other kids for a great summer camp experience. The money generated goes to the 4-H Foundation to be used for programs throughout the state.” Founded in 1956, the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit fundraising organization headquartered in Auburn. The foundation raises money for 4-H programs throughout Alabama and manages those funds for the betterment of youth statewide. For more information about the Alabama 4-H Center, call 205-669-4241 or see www.alabama4hcenter. org. For more information on the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation or to make a donation, call 334-844-8596 or visit

Campers scale up and rappel down a 25-foot wall at the 4-H Center.

Alabama Living

MAY 2014 15

Not your grandpa’s Harley Alabama-made machines want to be the ‘Rolls Royce’ of motorcycles By David Haynes


onfederate Motorcycles are not for the casual rider. Every- “longest stroke and highest torque-to-weight ratio you can buy.” thing about these Birmingham-built bikes screams perforThe Hellcat engine, at 132 cubic inches of displacement, is the mance. They look like they’re breaking at least one traffic law largest of its type available in a production motorcycle. Its output just sitting in the parking lot. of 132 horsepower and 150 foot pounds of torque pushes a moNeither are they for the rider with limited financial resources. torcycle that weighs in at a mere 500 pounds. That’s about one With a price range from $55,000 to more than $100,000, Con- horsepower for every 3.8 pounds of weight or one foot pound of federates are aimed at a niche market of well-to-do riders who torque for every 3.3 pounds of motorcycle. appreciate and can afford the premium for the company’s uncomTo achieve this amazing power-to-weight ratio Confederate promising approach to motorcycles. uses the lightest and strongest materials available for each part, The most popular Confederate model – the X132 Hellcat – including wheels and other components made of carbon fiber, projects a unique, all business, no nonsense persona. No plastic custom machined aircraft aluminum for many engine and struccovers or fairings dilute the rebellious soul of a tural components, state-of-the-art braking and bike that appears at first glimpse to be nothing suspension systems, and their own patented more than a gigantic engine shoe-horned betransmission and drive system evolved from tween two wheels and a gas tank. The tiny solo motorcycle drag racing. Anchoring the gigantic seat looks to be an afterthought jutting out from engine is a very hefty flywheel that weighs 50 behind the fuel tank, hovering like a porch just pounds and is unique to Confederate bikes. above the rear wheel. No passengers on this ride. Tying it all together is an extremely rigid When the big V-twin roars to life, windows on frame that’s hand fabricated and shaped like an each side of the massive engine’s casings allow arch that resembles a cat bowing up for mortal a partial view of the spinning, throbbing mecombat. chanical innards of the beast. This is not your Describing the appeal of riding a Confedergrandpa’s Harley. ate, Chambers said his bikes are the ultimate A closer inspection reveals that everything refinement of the “American Way” of road bikes, about the Hellcat is at the extreme bleeding while retaining the “rebel” mystique of freedom edge of design, performance and functionality. and thumbing your nose at the status quo. Nothing is present without a reason. Clutter is “I can roll the throttle on in fourth gear at kept to an absolute minimum. Many compo- Founder Matt Chambers, top photo, 1,800 rpm and there’s no hesitation, no stutter, nents do double duty. For example, the front with one of his no-compromise just raw, smooth, infinite acceleration that feels turn indicators are brilliant LEDs imbedded in Confederate bikes. Above, a Hellcat like a tiger clawing at the road beneath me.” on a lift in the shop. the tops of the fork tubes and the tail light/rear Confederate bikes are fast, too. In August turn indicators are condensed to a horizontal row of LEDs across 2012 one of their motorcycles set the world land speed record of the rear of the seat. Neither is visible until needed. 172.211 mph for unfaired, naturally aspirated, pushrod V-twins According to Confederate founder Matt Chambers, from the over 2000cc at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. beginning the company’s philosophy has been to build the best Chambers, who had a previous career as an attorney in Baton motorcycles with no compromise whatsoever. Everything about Rouge, La., began his love affair with motorcycles as a teenager the bikes is designed to put function and absolute performance and has since ridden or owned nearly every kind of motorcycle over styling and other considerations. made. He started out on British bikes, then while in law school “I believe we are building the Rolls Royce of American mo- got his first Harley Davidson, which he said gave him his first torcycles,” Chambers told me, adding that his machines offer the appreciation for the big American road bike. Later he sampled 16 MAY 2014

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various Japanese high performance sport bikes and paid attention as their technological evolution surged through the 1970s. Chambers went through a period of riding European BMWs and Moto Guzzis before returning to the big American Harley V-twins in the mid-1980s. He started Confederate in 1991 in Baton Rouge after making enough money in his law practice to pursue what he saw as a unique business opportunity. Chambers explained that Harley’s evolution after World War II had taken that company from being the “rebel” brand to the status quo motorcycle choice for Baby Boomers. Design and performance priorities for Harley were being driven by marketing appeal with more emphasis on the Harley brand than the nuts and bolts guts of the motorcycles. His goal was to build a “no compromise” machine in which every aspect of the bike was the best he could make it. He wanted to have the strongest, most rigid, frame; largest, most powerful engine; most robust drive train. In short, he wanted to build a bike that represented the best that current technology could produce, using the skills of the best design and engineering team he could assemble. “I sought out the best designers of drag racing motorcycles,” he explained, and that led him to Sandy Cosman and Martin Windmill in San Francisco, Ca., where he moved his company for 18 months. From that collaboration came the first Confederate motorcycle – the first generation Hellcat – named for the WWII Navy fighter plane. The company returned to Baton Rouge until 1998, then briefly in Abita Springs, La., and later to New Orleans until their building was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Chambers said he chose Birmingham in 2007 as the location for Confederate mostly because of George Barber and the Barber Motorcycle Museum that’s known throughout the motorcycling world as one of the best, if not the best, collection of motorcycles and motorcycling history in the world. He initially wanted, and still hopes to, locate his production facilities near the Barber Museum. To date, however, the right site has not become available. The company is presently located on Birmingham’s Southside in a building that Chambers says they are rapidly outgrowing. Most of the work done there is design and prototype testing and assembly of the bikes from components that are custom fabricated or machined to their specifications from suppliers around the country. He said 60 percent of Confederate buyers are from outside the United States at present, which Chambers thinks is much too high. “I’d like to see it around 25 percent,” he said. Confederate’s dealer network has now grown to about 20 “Distribution/Service Partners” around the United States and six other countries. A To learn more about Confederate motorcycles visit 18 MAY 2014

A ride on an Alabama-made Confederate motorcycle is “like a tiger clawing the road beneath.� At left, design and assembly is made from components customfabricated to their specs.

Alabama Living

MAY 2014 19

Mother’s Day celebrates American Centennial

By Marilyn Jones

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. Washington Irving 


n 1914 Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation officially establishing the second Sunday in May a day to remember mothers. A day of phone calls and cards and gifts; a day to express “our love and reverence for the mothers of our country,” said Wilson. So, how did the tradition begin? Surprisingly it didn’t start in America or even in recent history. In fact, Mother’s Day can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, who held an annual festival to honor the goddess Isis – mythical mother of the pharaohs.

20 MAY 2014

It wasn’t until the 17th century that the tradition of honoring individual mothers began when, in England, the church decreed Mothering Day. Children living in other areas of the country came home to visit and enjoy a family feast. Mothers were presented with cakes and flowers. Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love. Mildred B. Vermont

Americans celebrate Mother’s Day

English settlers discontinued Mothering Day in America although the holiday continued to thrive in England. What would happen instead is that America would invent its

own version of Mother’s Day centuries later. The first North American Mother’s Day was actually conceptualized with poet Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870. “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” author was distraught over the death and carnage of the Civil War and called on all mothers to come together to protest war and violence. She called for an international Mother’s Day celebrating peace and motherhood and proposed converting July 4 into Mother’s Day to dedicate the nation’s anniversary to peace. Eventually, however, June 2 was designated for the celebration. With Howe’s financial backing, the first

Mother’s Day celebrations were held in 18 cities. But, when she discontinued funding the event, Mother’s Day stopped. Nonetheless, the seeds for the idea of a special day to honor mothers had been planted. What is a mom but the sunshine of our days and the north star of our nights. Robert Brault

And so it began…

A West Virginia women’s group led by Anna Reeves Jarvis began to celebrate an adaptation of Howe’s holiday to reunite families and neighbors who had been divided because of the Civil War. When Jarvis passed away, her daughter Anna M. Jarvis campaigned for the creation of an official Mother’s Day in remembrance of her mother and in honor of peace. In 1908 her request was honored. On May 10 the first official Mother’s Day celebration took place at Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, W. Va., and a church in Philadelphia, Pa. Today, Andrew’s Methodist Church is an International Mother’s Day Shrine. In 1992 it became a National Historic Landmark for its significance in the establishment of a national Mother’s Day celebration.

In 1908 Nebraska U.S. Senator Elmer Burkett proposed making Mother’s Day a national holiday at the request of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). The proposal was defeated, but celebrations were still being held all over the United States, Canada and Mexico. Anna M. Jarvis devoted herself full time to the creation of Mother’s Day, endlessly petitioning state governments, business leaders, women’s groups, churches and other institutions and organizations. In 1912 West Virginia became the first state to officially recognize Mother’s Day, and in 1914 Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible. Marion C. Garretty

Mother’s Day in the 21st Century

Although Jarvis was incensed when she realized her beloved Mother’s Day was being commercialized, today it is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States. In fact, more than 70 countries celebrate Mother’s Day in one fashion or another. According to the National Retail Foundation, consumers spent an average of $168 on mom last year; total spending reached $20.7 billion. Hallmark reports 96 percent of all Americans shop for Mother’s Day. Other retailers state it is the second highest giftgiving day of the year behind Christmas.

For restaurants, it is the busiest day of the year and more long distance telephone calls are made on this day than any other day of the year. Perhaps Jarvis’ ideal for Mother’s Day has been sidestepped, but I can’t imagine not remembering a loving mother or grandmother; or an aunt, sister or friend who “mothers” whether they are a biological mother or not. To every mother and every “mothering” woman, Happy Mother’s Day!

Remembering my Mother and Grandmother

Born in 1917, the second of four girls, my mother Hazel Louise Conner Jones was a kind, gentle, soft-spoken lady. Her father passed away when she was 10, leaving her mother, Mabel Olivia Hammerlund Conner, the responsibility of raising five daughters — ages newborn to 12 — on her own. Both women were independent and intelligent, managing their way through the depression, World War II and beyond. Although my grandmother passed away in 1978 and my mother passed away in 2008, they are always with me. This Mother’s Day, and every Mother’s Day, I honor the memory of these strong women who taught me so many valuable life lessons, guiding me with love and assurance. A

MAY 2014 21

22 MAY 2014

Alabama Living

MAY 2014 23

Alabama Gardens

Where our plants come from:

An Alabama story


f your 2014 gardening plans include buying plants for your vegetable plot, flower beds or landscape, you’re likely to be purchasing plants grown right here in Alabama, which is home to a large number of nursery and greenhouse producers who provide not just plants for us, but are also a boost for the state’s economy. “A multitude of landscape plants are produced right here in Alabama including annuals, perennials, cut flowers, ground covers, shrubs and trees,” says Adam Newby, an associate professor of horticulture at Auburn University. Newby and his colleague Glenn Fain, associate professor of horticulture at Auburn, both specialize in nursery and greenhouse production issues and noted that the state’s nursery and greenhouse industry is not only very high-tech, it is remarkably diverse. Among our Alabama plant producers are several large and nationally known growers, but there are also many smaller family-owned operations that, like their larger counterparts, are “all working to bring high quality landscape plants to the market,” says Newby. Alabama’s Gulf Coast region, which offers ideal growing conditions as well as easy access to interstate transportation and close proximity to many major markets, is considered the “Nursery Center of the South,” according to the South Alabama Nursery Association. That region is also known as “The Aza-

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

24 MAY 2014

lea Capital of the United States.” “There’s a good chance that the azaleas in your landscape were produced by a nursery in the Mobile/Baldwin County area,” says Newby. But they and the many other growers across the state produce a wide range of plants, from vegetables and herbs to bedding and houseplants to shrubs and trees, that end up in everything from large retail stores to independent garden centers located across Alabama, the Southeast and the United States. Not only do these greenhouses and nurseries supply us with high-quality plants, they have a huge impact on the state’s economy, says James Harwell, executive director of the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association. According to Harwell, a 2013 economic impact study of Alabama’s agricultural sector estimated that the state’s greenhouse, nursery and floriculture industry supports nearly 7,000 jobs in the state and directly contributes more than $561 million to the state’s economy. (See the full report on the economic impact study of Alabama’s agricultural, forestry and related industries at docs/A/ANR-1456/ANR-1456-low.pdf.) A previous 2007 economic analysis report ( specialreports/sr-7-green-industry.pdf) showed that the state’s “green” industry (which includes nursery, greenhouse, turfgrass and sod producers as well as lawn and landscaping services and garden product retailers) is Alabama’s number one “cash crop,” providing $2.9 billion annually to the state’s economy. So as you buy plants for this year’s garden, you are also likely helping support an important economic sector in our state and getting high-quality plants in the process. As you shop, make sure to not only look for ones grown in Alabama, but also select the handsomest and healthiest of plants from any supplier. Pick plants that

are bushy and have a well-branched shape and sturdy stems—avoid ones that look leggy and spindly. And if you’re buying flowering plants, purchase ones with lots of unopened buds so they will continue blooming long after you get them home. Take time as you shop to inspect plants for signs of any problems, such as yellowing or wilted leaves, evidence of insect or disease issues, damage to stems or to the bark on woody plants, poor root development or overgrowth of roots from the bottom of the pot, weeds in the pot or an overly dry or wet dry potting mixture or root ball. Once you’ve bought them, ensure your new plants feel at home in your garden by transplanting them into the garden, landscape or pots as soon as possible and providing them plenty of water so they can put down roots in your garden. Then sit back and watch them grow, all the while knowing you are supporting a major sector of Alabama’s economy. A

May Gardening Tips d d d d d d d d d

Plant eggplant, pepper and tomato transplants. Sow seed for sweet corn, squash, okra and lima and snap beans. Plant summer annuals and perennials. Plant ornamental grasses and fall-blooming perennials. Seed new lawns. Keep newly planted shrubs and trees and newly seeded lawns well watered. Fertilize houseplants that are growing or blooming. Prune tender deciduous shrubs and vines. Keep bird feeders and baths full and clean.

Alabama Living

MAY 2014 25

Worth the Drive

Bravo for tacos at the beach! By Jennifer Kornegay


hat tops your “must eat” list when you’re visiting Alabama’s beaches? Steamed shrimp? Blackened snapper? Briny fried oysters? Whatever it is, surely it’s some form of seafood. Why travel to the coast and not fill up on the bounty that Alabama’s hard-working fishermen are continually harvesting from the Gulf ’s fertile waters? Because Bravo Tacos exists. Because they make ahh-mazing tacos, burritos and nachos that rival those found in Tex-Mex hot spots like Austin, Texas. (Yep. I wrote that.) Because you can never have enough cheese dip, especially when it’s acting as a hot tub for spicy, smoky, crisped chorizo. Because salsa is fat-free, and you may be squeezing your way into a bathing suit in the very near future. Oh, but wait. That darn cheese dip. Forget the fat-free argument. You simply have to go to Bravo Tacos to eat while at the beach because…because I said so! Right around the corner from the entrance to the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail (another lesser-known treasure of the coast), Bravo Tacos occupies one corner of a strip mall across from a gas station and behind a McDonald’s at the corner of Canal Road. If you’ve ever been to Cosmo’s (just a little ways down Canal Road), and I hope you have, you’ve driven past Bravo Tacos. Do not drive past it this trip. Stop in, secure a spot at one of only a few outdoor tables if you can, and then peruse the neonyellow paper menu to see what speaks to you. Unless you’re tastedeaf, I feel sure the queso fundido will be screaming your name.

Jennifer Kornegay is the author of a children’s book, The Alabama Adventures of Walter and Wimbly: Two Marmalade Cats on a Mission. She travels to an out-of-the way restaurant destination in Alabama every month. She may be reached for comment at

26 MAY 2014

Take heed and order a cup of the molten smoked gouda and jack in which chorizo sausage and caramelized onions are drowning. Add a scoop of house-made guacamole, and you could easily make a meal out of chips and dips alone. But don’t. Because then you’d miss the tacos. The pork carnitas tacos. The chicken tacos. The steak tacos. The “gringo” tacos. The chorizo tacos. (Yes! A sausage taco!) And if you can’t, in good conscience, not order something that swims, go for the shrimp or fish tacos, both fine choices. Oh, and there’s a veggie taco too. You can even have a taco “your way.” Create your personal combination of meat and toppings including one of seven salsas ranging from the pleasantly piquant Tomatillo Avocado to the burning madness of Gila Sauce (which might make you cry) that are all made from scratch using local produce. It’s the same with everything at Bravo Tacos. A commitment to in-season, locally sourced ingredients drives this eatery, as does the idea of “good things come to those who wait.” Despite counter-service and a drive-thru, Bravo Tacos emphasizes that it is not fast food. Everything is made to order, and that means toasty, but never soggy, tortillas and hot things (meats) staying hot, while cool things (lettuce, cheese, etc.) are still cool. And speaking of cool, you must try a liquado, an impossibly refreshing beverage made fresh daily from a variety of fruits. Seriously, do not leave without one. And while you’re at it, grab a tub of guacamole to take with you. You can dip some steamed shrimp in it later. A

Orange Beach

Bravo! Get yourself some grub that deserves a standing ovation (and an encore). Bravo Tacos 4575 Orange Beach Blvd. Orange Beach, AL 251-981-8226

Southern Occasions CO O K B O O K

Guacamole 4 ripe avocados 1â „4 cup onion, finely chopped 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Jalapeno rings to taste, diced (optional) Salt and pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Southern Occasions


Cut avocados in half, around large pit. Remove and discard pits. Scoop out green pulp into mixing bowl. Mash with fork to desired texture. Add onion, cilantro, salt, pepper, lemon juice and jalapenos (as desired). Mix well and serve with tortilla chips. Allison AlabamaMatkin, Living Joe Wheeler EMC

MAY 2014 27

Safe @ Home

It’s swimming season; be aware of water safety issues


’ve seen too many stories in the news lately on drowning deaths. As we return to swimming season, this is a good time to take note of water safety issues, especially where children are concerned. May also marks National Drowning Prevention Month so let’s all take the time to be cautious (while still having fun) around bodies of water. The most obvious tip is to learn to swim. Children should start swim lessons as early as six months of age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that drowning is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 1 to 14. The CDC also states that drowning is the fifth leading cause of death for people of all ages, so everyone should take the time to learn how to swim. Many facilities offer adult swim lessons, so check your local listings

for classes. Swimmers should use the buddy system and always try to have someone along if you plan to be in the water. Children should always have an adult supervising when they are in swimming pools and natural bodies of water, and even bathtubs. Children should also wear life jackets instead of “noodles” or inner tubes as safety devices. The CDC also recommends that adults avoid distracting activities such as reading books or talking or texting on the phone. Adults should stay close enough to reach out and touch young children at all times and should avoid alcoholic beverages while supervising young people. Adults also should get certified in CPR. To find a Red Crosscertified class, visit Let’s do everything we can to make this a safe swim season. A

Drowning prevention & water safety tips Create a verbal cue for your toddler or child that must be Children should learn to swim without goggles. Teach your given by you before he or she can enter the pool.

Never allow your baby/toddler in the pool without a swim diaper.

Create a process the child must go through before entering a pool such as putting on a swim diaper, a swimsuit and applying sunscreen. Never use floatation devices or water wings when swimming or when teaching kids to swim.

Michael Kelley is senior manager of Safety & Loss Control for the Alabama Rural Electric Association.

28 MAY 2014

children to open their eyes under water; if they fall, in they can find the side of the pool or a step and get out safely. For very young children, practice having them put their entire face under water in the bathtub and blow bubbles to build their comfort with water. Create a water safety plan for your family and have water emergency drills with your kids covering how to recognize the signs of someone struggling in water and what to do in this type of emergency. Make sure your guests and kids’ friends know your pool rules before they go outside and get in the pool. Start swim lessons at 6 months of age and continue them year-round at a US Swim School member location. Always make sure your children wear life jackets on boats, personal watercraft and in open bodies of water.

Tips from Sue Mackie, executive director of the United States Swim School Association.

Around Alabama May 24 & 25 Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic The 37th annual Memorial Day weekend competition has drawn about 60 pilots with balloons from across the country. Point Mallard Park in Decatur is hosting the event that is free and open to the public. Peak times to see the balloons fly are early morning (around 6 a.m.) and late afternoon (6-7:30 p.m.) for the balloon glow. Come out early for the morning flights and stay all day for the arts and crafts, local musical enterainment and tractor and antique car shows. Some pilots are offering tethered flights and visitors are welcome to tour the balloons and are enouraged to ask the pilots questions. Visit the Jubilee’s website for a detailed schedule and information: MAY 2 • Fairhope, Under the Stars. This is the 5th annual signature fundraising event for Baldwin County Child Advocacy Center (CARE House, Inc) at Oak Hollow Farm. Call 251937-2055 or 251-989-2555 for information. 3 • Atmore, Mayfest at Tom Byrne Park, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., will feature arts and crafts, Beautiful Baby contest, Pooch Parade, entertainment and food. Free admission. Call the Atmore Chamber of Commerce for information at 251-3683305 or email 3 • Opelika, Garden in the Park, an arts festival at the Opelika Municipal Park. The event is open 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and features a variety of items for sale, all handmade or natural. There will also be children’s activities, entertainment, food and the historic Rocky Brook Rocket circling the park. For vendor information, contact Keep Opelika Beautiful at 334-749-4970 or 3 • Union Springs, 35th Annual Chunnenuggee Fair. Juried arts and crafts show, food, live entertainment and also kids’ games and rides. Contact Elizabeth Smithart, 334-738-4060 or email 3 • Opp, Lew Childre Steel Guitar Concert at the LBWCC MacArthur Campus Conference Center, 12 p.m. The main act, Stonewall Jackson performs at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10, children 6 and under are free. Contact Emilee Gage for information, 334-493-3070 or 3 • Cottonwood, 22nd Annual Down Home Country Fest. The day starts with a $5 country breakfast from 6-8:30 a.m. to be followed by the parade at 9 a.m.

Festival events and entertainment will begin immediately after the parade. For information, call Augusta Welch at 334-691-2671 or 3 • Moulton, Ladies Tea in the garden of Blair and Nita Dixon, sponsored by Friends of the Library. From 2-4 p.m. the Tea will feature a speaker, soloist, guitarists, food and decadent sweets. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Lawrence County Public Library. Call 256974-0883 or 256-974-7620 for information. 3 & 4 • Bayou La Batre, 65th Annual St. Margaret’s Blessing of the Fleet Festival at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church. Open both days 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Boat rides, arts and crafts, seafood, a 4-mile run, land parade and boat parade all lead up to the blessing of the fleet Sunday evening. For additional information, call 251-8242415 or email 10 • Montgomery, 17th Annual Herb Day at the Living Block of Old Alabama Town from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. Enjoy demonstrations, expert gardeners, garden tours and vendors. Free admission. For information visit or call 333-271-6247. 10 • Lake Guntersville, 15th Annual Laranda Nichols Memorial Run/Walk for Hope 5K. Race begins at the Recreation Center at 8 a.m. Registration is $25 for adults and $20 for children. Contact information: Kelley’s Rainbow, 256-891-9864. 16 & 17 • Danville, 27th Annual Multicultural Indian Event at the Oakville Indian Mounds Educational Center. Cherokee, Creek, and Mississippian Native American traditional arts, crafts, music, and dance demonstration will be throughout the park,

as well as art and concession vendors. $2 parking donation requested and face-painting, canoe and wagon rides offered for $1 each. See for more information or call 256-905-2494. 16-18 • Wetumpka, Coosa River Whitewater Festival at Jordan Dam. 8 a.m.- midnight. Admission charged. www. 16-18 • Gulf Shores, Hangout Music Festival. The 3 day festival features 70 bands with more than 30,000 atteendees. Visit www. for ticket information. 17 • Elmore, Alabama’s Antique Tractor Show and Pull. Swap meet, BBQ cookoff, antique tractor pull, pedal tractor races for kids, antique tractors and farm machinery of all types. Gates open at 7 a.m., 10 a.m. opening ceremony and parade at noon. Vendor/BBQ contact: Bart Mercer, 334-399-5929. Tractor information contact: Tony Martin, 334-285-3810. 17 • Crossville, Cody Renfroe Celebration of Life 6th Annual Rod Run. From 4-8 p.m. at Crossville City Park on Hwy 68. Vintage street rods, hot rods, motorcycles and tractors. Entry fee is $20. Trophies will be awarded, food and entertainment available. Donations to benefit Crossville Fire Dpartment. Contact: Stanice or Rickey Gray, 256-302-3637 or 256-659-8352. 17 & 18 • Mentone, Rhododendron Festival. Traditional mountain music, craft demonstrations, art of all mediia, children’s games and activities, a heritage farmstead, and a “Taste of Mentone” are some of the things you can expect for this year’s festival. Contact: 256-845-3957.

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

Alabama Living

17 & 18 • Auburn, Master Gardeners’ 2014 Garden Tour. Tour seven private gardens in Auburn and Opelika and enjoy exhibits at Jule Collins Smith Museum and Auburn University’s Heritage Park Barn. Tickets are $25 for adults; children 12 and under admitted free. Visit for updates. 23 • Wetumpka, The Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street Exhibit “The Way We Worked” on display in the Elmore County Museum. Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The exhibit will run through July 6. 30 & 31 • Tuscaloosa, West Alabama Quilter’s Guild 2014 Quilt Show at Holy Spirit Catholic High School. Quilt exhibits, silent auction, quilting demonstrations, opportunity to win a queen size quilt, vendor’s mall and scissor sharpener on-site. Featured Artist: Laurie Prentice-Dunn. 30 & 31 • Summerdale, 6th Annual Plow Day at the George Underwood Farm on County Road 71. Open daily 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. There will be antique tractor, machinery and engine displays. Demonstrations, swap meet, tractor games and more. For information, visit 31 • Chatom, Music Around the Courthouse. Larry Sparks will headline this very special music event at the Washington County Courthouse from 1-9 p.m. JUNE 6 & 7 • Georgiana, 35th Annual Hank Williams Festival. Admission charged. Call 334-376-2396 or visit

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MAY 2014 29


Rural Alabama will be represented by new faces By Sean Strickler


n Alabama it is widely accepted that the infamous 1901 Constitution, the largest state constitution, was created to protect the most influential people in the state --large landowners and agricultural interests. However, that influence in politics wanes with the shifting of our population from the rural to the urban areas. In 2011, the Alabama Legislature drew new district lines as mandated, ensuring that all Alabamians are represented equally. The theory is that if lines are drawn that meet statistical requirements, all citizens will have the same voice in government. One man, one vote, so to speak. However, does a number decide whether or not you are represented? There are many factors that go into drawing new districts, and since the very people who are elected to represent them draw those districts, the biggest factor is inevitably incumbent protection. Incumbent protection may sound selfserving or, in today’s cynical society, evil, but in many ways it ensures that like-minded people will be gathered into the same districts. An incumbent legislator, in many cases, will try to bring as many people into his or her district who are like them. They will bring together people identified by political party, socio-economic status, and even race, to name a few factors. This method of drawing lines is good for the majority, but it can lead to a group who once had a large influence to now having

less. Such is the case with rural Alabama. When primary elections are held in June many rural Alabamians will see new names on the ballot. These names will be unfamiliar not because they have never been elected, but because the candidates have not represented rural areas in the past. Take for instance AREA’s 2014 Senator of the Year Dick Brewbaker. Before the upcoming election, his district was centered in the city of Montgomery. Now with redistricting, he represents only the eastern part of the city and sprawls into rural Elmore, Covington and Crenshaw counties. Furthermore, if you look at the shift in Senate District 1 that currently serves Lauderdale and Colbert counties under the new maps, the district now covers from rural northwest Alabama to the suburbs of Huntsville. With these shifts, will these senators’ voting interests shift as well? Ultimately, there is nothing that we can do to solve the problem because the districts do have to be apportioned to represent the same amount of people, so the lines must go where the people are. Because of this, it is imperative that residents of rural Alabama remain tireless in their political activity. They must be the loudest voice standing up for the little old lady at the end of the line, and make sure that voice is heard from often and in an effective manner. To find your legislator, visit http://www. A

Sean Strickler is vice president of public affairs for the Alabama Rural Electric Association.

These maps at right show new (top) and old (below) Senate District 25 represented by Sen. Dick Brewbaker. New North Alabama Senate District 1 (left), and old (right).

30 MAY 2014

Alabama Living

MAY 2014 31

Alabama Outdoors

‘Bass capital of the world’ still holds many lunkers By John N. Felsher


ating to 1962, Lake Eufaula garnered an early reputa- so many people are hunting instead of fishing. When the water tion as the “Bass Fishing Capital of the World.” Officially turns cool, grass holds more heat. During warm days, the grass dubbed Walter F. George Reservoir, the impoundment provides cooling cover.” covers 45,181 acres along the Chattahoochee River and spans part Some of the best fishing occurs in Cowikee Creek near Lakeof the Alabama-Georgia border. The main river and numerous point State Park Resort. Some holes in the creek channel drop creek channels combine to create 640 shoreline miles. to more than 30 feet deep, making excellent conditions to run Over the years, Lake Eufaula produced many double-digit bass. deep-diving crankbaits, jigs or Texas-rigged plastics. On one trip, It still holds excellent numbers of 1- to 4-pound bass and plenty Williams and I used his electric motor to troll shad-colored lipless 5- to 8-pounders. It still produces occasional double-digit fish with crankbaits and jerkbaits next to the drop-off edges in Cowikee some topping 12 pounds. Creek. We not only caught largemouth bass, but crappie, hybrid “The lake is well known for producing big stripers and a big channel catfish on the same bass and big stringers of bass,” says Jack Tibbs, lures just a short distance from the resort. mayor of Eufaula and owner of Strikezone “Trolling is a great way to find bass,” Williams says. “When bass anglers see crappie anLures ( “Sometimes, glers trolling, that’s a good time to fish because it takes more than 26 pounds with five fish to both the bass and the crappie are feeding on win a tournament. It produces some doublethreadfin shad. When the shad are up, the digit bass as well as good numbers of crappie. bass are up. Bass also eat small crappie.” Most people come to Lake Eufaula to catch Not far from where Cowikee Creek enbass and crappie, but catfish are often overlooked. named Lake Eufaula ters the main channel near Bird Island, water the best catfish lake in the United States.” depth plunges rapidly from almost nothing to The best lunker fishing naturally occurs in about 60 feet deep. Throw baits up into shallate winter and early spring as giant females low cover near the shoreline and work them swollen with roe stage on ledges before movout toward deeper water. Let baits fall over the ing into the spawning flats, but Eufaula can ledge edge. produce big bass all year long. Spawning “Bird Island is a good place to fish early in traditionally peaks under the full moon in the morning,” Williams says. “Later, fish the March. Spawning usually ends in April, but deeper drops with a Carolina rig or deep-runanglers sometimes still find big fish on the ning crankbait. Early and late, fish the shelves beds in May, especially after a cold winter. Daniel Felsher and Jack Tibbs show off near the shorelines. A north wind blows baita blue catfish they caught on a jug rig, fish to Bird Island. During a west wind, the As grass grows thicker in late spring and which consists of a float and a baited Bradley Unit on the wildlife refuge has good summer, anglers fish matted vegetation with line, to tempt catfish while fishing on unweighted soft plastics. Try working frogs protection and can produce good fish.” Lake Eufaula on the Alabama-Georgia over the grass tops or hit the mat edges with Several other creeks also hold lunker bass. state line near Eufaula. big Texas-rigged worms. Later in the sumLook for creeks with good access to both PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER mer, target deeper creek channels, humps and shallow and deep water and prime woody or ledges with Carolina rigs, deep-running crankbaits or heavy jigs. weedy cover. In addition, several organizations built numerous In the fall, bass often return to the shallows. Target them with artificial reefs throughout the lake to attract fish. topwaters, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. In the winter, anglers need “The Old Creek Town area south of Lakepoint has a lot of to fish slowly and deep. As hunting seasons open, many anglers ditches and stump fields,” Williams says. “Reeves Branch is another may find themselves alone on the best fishing spots. good place to fish. It has an old farm pond that flooded when the “The fall is one of the best times to fish Lake Eufaula,” says Sam lake filled up. White Oak Creek has some good fish. It has some Williams of Hawks Fishing Guide Service (334-687-6266/www. big stump fields near it by the main river. That’s a good place for “The weather is more pleasant and cranking and jigging.” About 25 miles downriver from Lakepoint, deep bluffs near the causeway or the riprap near the dam can hold fish. Also try Sandy Branch, Pataula Creek, Hardridge Creek, Thomas Mill, Barbour, John N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer Chewalla and Chenyhatchee creeks. and photographer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He’s Because the lake straddles the Alabama-Georgia line, anglers written more than 1,700 articles for more than 117 can fish in the main waters with a license from either state. For magazines. He co-hosts a weekly outdoors radio show. Contact him through his website at www. Eufaula area information, call the Eufaula Barbour Chamber of Commerce at 800-524-7529 or visit A 32 MAY 2014

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

MAY. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 JUN. 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

01:52 02:37 03:37 04:52 06:37 07:52 09:07 02:52 03:37 04:07 04:37 --01:07 01:37 02:22 03:07 03:52 05:07 10:22 -08:52 02:07 02:37 03:22 03:52 04:37 -01:07 01:52 02:37 03:37 04:37 10:52 -01:07 01:52 02:37 03:22 04:07 --12:52 01:22 02:07 02:37

Alabama Living

06:52 07:37 08:22 09:07 10:37 01:22 02:07 09:52 10:37 11:07 11:37 05:07 05:37 06:07 06:37 07:07 07:37 08:22 09:07 06:37 07:52 01:22 09:22 10:07 10:37 11:22 11:52 05:22 06:07 06:37 07:37 08:22 09:22 06:07 07:22 08:22 09:22 10:07 10:52 11:22 04:37 05:22 05:52 06:22 07:07 07:37

09:37 10:37 11:37 12:37 -12:52 02:52 09:37 10:22 11:07 11:52 07:22 08:07 08:37 09:22 09:52 10:37 11:22 11:52 12:37 12:37 02:52 08:37 09:52 10:37 11:22 12:07 07:52 08:37 09:22 10:07 10:52 11:37 05:07 12:52 03:07 08:52 10:07 10:52 11:37 07:22 07:52 08:22 08:52 09:22 09:52

02:07 02:52 03:52 04:37 05:52 07:07 08:22 04:22 05:22 06:07 06:52 12:22 12:52 01:22 01:52 02:37 03:07 03:37 04:22 05:07 06:07 07:22 04:07 05:07 05:52 06:37 07:22 12:37 01:22 02:07 02:52 03:37 04:22 12:22 06:07 07:37 04:37 05:37 06:22 06:52 12:07 12:37 01:07 01:37 02:07 02:37

MAY 2014 33

Alabama Recipes

Party Foods

Cook of the month: Nolie Ramsey, Clarke Washington EMC

Fruit salsa and cinnamon-sugar chips Salsa: 2 kiwis, peeled and diced 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced 1 16-ounce carton of strawberries, diced 1 tablespoon brown sugar 3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor (peach is good)

You could win $50! Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are:


Homemade Pizza

May 15



June 15

September “From Scratch”


April 15

online at email to mail to Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Cinnamon-sugar chips: 10 10-inch flour tortillas melted butter Cinnamon sugar: ½ cup white sugar 1 tablespoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, strawberries, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes while the oven preheats to 350 degrees. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with melted butter. Sprinkle tortillas with desired amount of cinnamon sugar, cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and crispy (at least 8 minutes). Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges.

‘Tis the season for parties! The month of May is the time for graduation celebrations, wedding showers, birthday parties, backyard barbecues, baby showers and friendly get-togethers. We hope you will find some recipes in this issue on pages 36 and 37 to use for your next soiree. Don’t forget Mother’s Day is May 11. As we reflect and honor our moms and those who gave us life, let us not forget the other mothers who have mothered us along the way: teachers, aunts, coaches, librarians and neighbors. I am by no means a perfect mom, but I’m blessed to have a wonderful mother who still teaches me new things every day. Mary Tyler Spivey is a graduate of Huntingdon College where she studied history and French but she also has a passion for great food. Contact her at

34 MAY 2014

P.O. BOX 2755 CULLMAN, AL 35056

800-571-2753 • (256) 747-2776 • Steel Truss Manufacturers & Post Frame Builders

Top Only Installed 30’ x 60’ x 12’ - $8,735 36’ x 72’ x 12’ - $11,296 40’ x 84’ 14’ - $13,699 44’ x 60’ x 14’ - $10,945

Packages Include: Pre-Engineered Steel Trusses, 25 Yr. Galvalume Metal Roof & Trim, 2x6 Purlins 2’ O.C., 6x6 CCA .60 Trtd Posts & Woodgrip Screws w/ Bonded Washer Installed prices shown include tax, materials, labor & delivery within 150 miles.

Alabama Living

MAY 2014 35

Bacon-wrapped watermelon rind 1 jar of sweet watermelon rind pickles (drain and set juice aside)

8 ounces of hickory smoked breakfast bacon 1 package of toothpicks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain the pickled watermelon rinds, and cut into bite-size chunks. Cut bacon slices in half. Wrap one slice of bacon around each piece of pickled watermelon rind. Push toothpick through each piece to secure the bacon. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes or until crispy. Drizzle the drained juice over each piece and place back in the oven for 5 more minutes. Let cool for several minutes before serving, as it will be extremely hot. This appetizer is excellent for any kind of party or served at a picnic.

Buffalo chicken dip 1 rotisserie chicken 8 ounces cream cheese 8 ounces ranch dressing

6-8 ounces hot sauce 2 cups cheddar cheese

Spray an 8x8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Shred the chicken. Combine the cream cheese and ranch dressing. Mix all the ingredients together and bake at 375 degrees until heated through and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips or celery. Ally Mills Dorrough, Baldwin EMC

Marla Caver, Central Alabama EC

Party pretzels Large bag of mini pretzels or sticks 1 cup canola oil 1 tablespoon garlic pepper 1 tablespoon lemon pepper

1 tablespoon dill weed 1 package dry ranch dressing

Mix oil and seasonings together. Put pretzels in a large bowl and pour oil mixture over pretzels and mix well. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes at 200 degrees. Put back in the bowl and stir again well. Put back on cookie sheet and return to oven for 20 minutes. Janice Bailey, North Alabama EC

Cream cheese pinwheels 1 can chopped olives, well drained 1 block of cream cheese at room temperature 4 green onions, chopped finely 1 package dry Hidden Valley Ranch mix

1 package large flour tortillas 1 small jar of pimentos, well drained ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for a little warmth)

Mix all ingredients together in medium bowl. Lay out a flour tortilla and spread mixed ingredients thinly, completely covering each tortilla until you run out. Roll the tortilla like a jellyroll, then slice in 1-inch slices. Arrange on a plate and enjoy. Glenda Morrow, Marshall-DeKalb EC

36 MAY 2014

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.

Hot onion soufflé dip 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup mayonnaise 1 bag frozen chopped onions Paprika

Mix ingredients with a mixer very well. Pour into a 9x13-inch greased casserole dish. Sprinkle paprika on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers. Susanne Coleman, Southern Pine EC

Pizza dip 1 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened 1 small jar spaghetti sauce 1⁄3 cup onions chopped 1½ cups grated mozzarella cheese 1 6-ounce can black ripe olives, drained and sliced Artichoke hearts, chopped

Ham and cheese roll-ups Garlic salt Pepper Parmesan cheese Oregano 2 ounces sliced pepperoni – chopped (cook uses more than 2 ounces) Corn chips (cook uses Fritos Scoops)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press cream cheese in bottom of 9-inch glass pie pan. Spread spaghetti sauce over cream cheese and layer remaining ingredients in order listed. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve with corn chips. Serves 8 to 10.

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 3 tablepoons mayonnaise 1 tablespoon

Worcestershire sauce Dash of garlic salt 1 cup finely chopped pecans 8 ounces sliced ham

Mix softened cream cheese and mayonnaise. Blend well. Add in Worcestershire, garlic salt and pecans. Spread mixture over ham slice and roll up. Chill several hours then slice in 1-inch slices. Serve with crackers or chips. As an option, use flour tortillas and layer mixture as above on the tortilla. Kathy R. Pittman, Wiregrass EC

Janet Ludlam, Baldwin EMC

Alabama Living

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MAY 2014 37

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How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace

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GULF SHORES, WEST BEACH – GULF view, sleeps 6 – www.vrbo. com/92623, (404)641-4939, (404)641-5314

FINANCIAL HELP LINES FOR AL FAMILIES BANKRUPTCY ADVICE FOR FREE (877)933-1139 MORTGAGE RELIEF HELP LINE (888) 216-4173 STUDENT LOAN RELIEF LINE (888)694-8235 DEBT RELIEF NON-PROFIT LINE (888) 779-4272 Numbers provided by A Public Benefit Organization

GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie12@centurytel. net, (256)599-5552

METAL ROOFING $1.79/LINFT – FACTORY DIRECT! 1ST QUALITY, 40yr Warranty, Energy Star rated. (price subject to change) - (706) 226-2739 WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA / SOLID WOOD & LOG FURNITURE / HANDCRAFTED AMISH CASKETS / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct (256)490-4025, www.andyswallbeds. com, www.alabamamattressoutlet. com AERMOTOR WATER PUMPING WINDMILLS – windmill parts – decorative windmills – custom built windmill towers - call Windpower (256)638-4399 or (256)638-2352

38 MAY 2014

GULF SHORES, GULF FRONT – SEACREST CONDO: 1BR / 1BA, KING bed, hall bunks, granite countertops, free WiFi – GREAT RATES – (vrbo#435534), (256)352-5721, SMOKIES TOWNSEND, TN – 2BR / 2BA, Secluded Log Home, Jacuzzi, Fireplace, Wrap-Around Porch, Charcoal Grill. (865)320-4216, PIGEON FORGE, TN: 2BR/2BA, HOT tub, air hockey, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)363-1973, www. GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE ON BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585, PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – OWNER RENTAL – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000,, www.

July 2014 – May 25 August 2014 – June 25 September 2014 – July 25

Closing Deadlines (in our office:

GATLINBURG, TN – FOND memories start here in our chalet – Great vacation area for all seasons – Two queen beds, full kitchen, 1 bath, Jacuzzi, deck with grill – 3 Night Special - Call (866)316-3255, Look for us on FACEBOOK / billshideaway WWW.GULFSHORES4RENT.COM Beautiful and great priced condos on West Beach in Gulf Shores. Call (404)219-3189 or (404)702-9824 HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – SLEEPS 2-6, 2.5 BATHS, FIREPLACE, Jacuzzi, washer/dryer – (251)9482918,, email GULF SHORES: … ONE BEDROOM condo on west beach, sleeps 4, full kitchen…Nice pool. Non Smoking. Private Beach Access. Call Jennifer in Scottsboro at (256)599-4438. PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 BEDROOM, 2 bath house – Walking distance to parkway, light# 1 - $85.00 / night – (256)309-7873, (256)590-8758 CABIN IN MENTONE – 2/2, BROW view, hottub – For rent $100 / Night or Sale $199,000 – (706)767-0177 GULF SHORES PLANTATION CONDOS – Beachview sleeps 6, Beachfront sleeps 4 – (251)223-9248 APPALACHIAN TRAIL – CABINS BY the trail in the Georgia Mountains – 3000’ above sea level, snowy winters, cool summers, inexpensive rates – (800)284-6866, www.bloodmountain. com

GULF SHORES RENTAL– GREAT Rates! (256)490-4025, (256)523-5154 or DESTIN, FL OWNER CONDO RENTALS – Pat Green Bush, Owner, greenbush@ – (334)312-6630, (334)244-6581 GULF SHORES BEACH HOUSE – NICE 2 BEDROOM, GREAT VIEW – SUMMER $995 / WK – (251)666-5476 AFFORDABLE BEACHSIDE VACATION CONDOS – Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL – Rent directly from Christian Family Owners. Lowest prices on the Beach – www., (205)5560368, (205)752-1231, (251)752-2366 PIGEON FORGE - COZY CABINS FOR Rent by Owner (865) 712-7633, vrbo. com/483181 GATLINBURG: BEAUTIFUL Mountain Condos. Weekend rates starting at 195.00. Large pool, game room,two hot tubs, grills and wireless internet. Call Jennifer in Scottsboro at (256)599-4438. GULF SHORES COTTAGE – WATERFRONT, 2 / 1, PET FRIENDLY – RATES AND CALENDAR ONLINE, (251)223-6114 GULF SHORES PLANTATION - GULF view, beach side, 2 bedrooms / 2 baths, no smoking / no pets. Owner rates (205)339-3850

PIGEON FORGE 4 BEDROOM HOUSE – VRBO RENTAL 556992 – (256)7178694, (256)717-9112

CABINS / PIGEON FORGE, TN – SLEEPS 2-6, GREAT LOCATION – (251)649-3344, (251)649-4049,

LEWIS SMITH LAKE: NICE 3BR / 2BA house on deep water, covered dock, satellite TV’s, Central heat / air - $100 / night – (256)352-5721,

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

FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE – 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)566-0892, mailady96@yahoo. com GULF SHORES CONDO – 2BR / 1.5BA, sleeps 6, pool / beach access – (334)790-9545 MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 14 – www., (850)7665042, (850)661-0678.   DISNEY – 15 MIN: 5BR / 3BA, private pool – www., (251)504-5756

REAL ESTATE SALES HOME MOVE IN READY NEAR MENTONE, AL surrounded by DESOTO STATE PARK – 3BR / 2BA, Custom Cabinets with granite, Fireplace, Open Living Area, 2 Car Garage, Storage Building – Approx. 1.5 Acres with large rocks $167,500.00 – (256)997-5630, or (205)721-3670, (256)630-3809

TRAVEL CARIBBEAN CRUISES AT THE LOWEST PRICE – (256)974-0500 or (800)726-0954

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; 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.

MUSICAL NOTES PLAY GOSPEL SONGS BY EAR - 10 lessons $12.95. “LEARN GOSPEL MUSIC”. Chording, runs, fills - $12.95 Both $24. Davidsons, 6727AR Metcalf, Shawnee Missions, Kansas 66204 – (913)262-4982 PIANOS TUNED, REPAIRED, refinished. Box 171, Coy, AL 36435. 334-337-4503

Alabama Living

EDUCATION WWW.2HOMESCHOOL.ORG – OPEN Year Round K-12 enrollment. Contact Dr. Cerny (256)653-2593 BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 7558 West Thunderbird Road, Ste. 1 - #114, Peoria, Arizona 85381.

FREE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE – write to P.O. Box 52, Trinity, AL, 35673

CRITTERS CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. REGISTERED, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet records and references. (256)796-2893

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MAY 2014 39

Renewing your driver’s license? Consider getting a STAR ID


he Alabama Department of Public Safety is encouraging Alabama residents to consider a more secure alternative when it comes time to renew their driver’s license. A step beyond an ordinary Alabama driver’s license or non-driver ID, Secure, Trusted and Reliable Identification (STAR I.D.) makes Alabama compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005-that was introduced

40 MAY 2014

during a September 2011 news conference with Gov. Robert Bentley. Congress passed this legislation to ensure safety of citizens and combat fraud following acts of terrorism committed against the United States. It also modified U.S. federal law pertaining to the security, authentication and issuance procedure standards for state driver licenses and identification cards.  Alabama is one of 41 states and U.S. territories that are complying with this federal regulation. And while some of these states and territories chose to comply and require everyone to obtain a REAL ID, Alabama chose to fully comply but allow individuals to decide for themselves.   Before making a decision, you should know when enforcement begins, and that you will need either a valid U.S. passport or a STAR I.D. to board commercial aircraft for domestic flights or to enter certain regulated federal facilities, according to the department.   Originally, the federal government directed Alabama to announce the following STAR I.D. deadlines:  Dec. 1, 2014, for individuals born after Dec. 1, 1964; and Dec. 1, 2017, for individuals born on or before Dec. 1, 1964.  At the end of December 2013, however, the U.S. Department of Home-

land Security announced its phased enforcement plan that would allow it to implement the act in a “measured, fair and responsible way,” with the deadline for boarding aircraft set for “no sooner than 2016.” That means you have no reason to panic if you’re interested in obtaining a STAR I.D. It is fine to wait until you are set to renew your regular Alabama driver license or non-driver ID.   But to make obtaining a STAR I.D. easier on yourself, keep in mind these key points:   You must visit an Alabama Department of Public Safety Driver License Examining Office (available in each county). STAR I.D. is not available at county probate or license commissioner offices. (A complete list of DPS offices can be found at http:// Bring along your birth certificate, Social Security card and two documents verifying your principal residence. You will need these additional documents to establish your identity, date of birth, authorized presence in the United States and address of your principal residence. (A complete list of required documents with examples is at http:// aspx?ID=80&PLH1=plhDriverLicenseStarIDDocumentList)   STAR I.D. costs no more than a regular Alabama driver license or non-driver ID ($23.50 for a renewal, $18.50 for a duplicate).   For additional information on STAR I.D., please visit http://dps. fContent. aspx?ID=80&PLH1=plhDriverLicenseStarIDHome.

Alabama Living

MAY 2014 41

Our Sources Say

Circle of Life


hose who read my articles know that I write from time to time about the circle of life. Everyone’s life is a circle. You are young and cared for. You grow, mature and have your own family. Then you age, die and return to the ending point of life – the beginning of the journey. During life, your personal circle touches the circles of many others. We interact with our parents, grandparents, friends, children and, now for me, grandchildren. Each relationship leaves an impression on your life as the circles of life become more intertwined. As I grow older, I think about my circle of life more often. At times I wonder how I am where I am. God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. I grew up relatively poor in north Mississippi. But we didn’t know we were poor. Almost everyone we knew was in the same situation as us. My mom raised my brother and me and provided our essential needs – a warm home, regular meals, discipline and structure, and care and love. We had all we needed – if not all we wanted – and there was nothing in my early circle of life to indicate I would be where I am today. And I wouldn’t be without the influence and help of others – some that I know and some I never met. My early career was focused on practicing law. Olin Jinright took a chance on me as a young attorney and asked me to join him in the legal department at Hayes International in Birmingham. Ted Jackson and Jim Vann gave me the opportunity to head the legal department at Alabama Electric Cooperative (AEC), now PowerSouth Energy Cooperative. The AEC Board of Trustees gave me the opportunity to be president and CEO in January 2000. Intersection with their circles of life influenced my circle and provided opportunities others have not had. In evaluating my personal attributes I often wonder how much of my personality was derived from my maternal grandfather, Leander Massengill. I never met him. He was killed in 1951, and I was born three years later; but I am convinced he had an influence on my life as well. He was the oldest of six children. His father, Jacob, was legally blind and disabled. The family owned a small homestead that provided a scant living with all the children working the

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative

44 MAY 2014

fields. After serving in World War I, my grandfather worked as a laborer digging the Tuscumbia Canal through north Mississippi and then went into dirt farming. He was proud to be a dirt farmer. He, his brother and one sister rented and bought land throughout the Depression until they had acquired more than 3,000 acres. He married Alma Blackwell, and they had one child, my mother. My grandmother died when my mother was 8, and my grandfather never remarried. Other than his service during World War I, he lived his entire life around Rienzi, Miss. He never lived in a house with air conditioning or any heat other than a fireplace or pot-bellied stove. He never had indoor plumbing and did not have electricity until my mother was a senior in high school. His cars were old farm trucks, and his life was consumed by his daughter and farming business. His other three siblings did not work as hard or fare as well as he and his sibling partners. As my grandfather became more successful, the three other siblings became envious and resentful. My great uncle Vivian (or Bib, as he was known) insisted that my grandfather split his earnings equally among all six siblings. When my grandfather and his sibling partners refused to include the other siblings, Bib began threatening my grandfather. One early afternoon in April 1951, neighbors saw my great uncle Bib walk down the road with his Army-issued rifle to where my grandfather was plowing a field. About 20 minutes later, neighbors reported hearing a shot, and they found my grandfather shot in the back and dead in the field. They speculated that with the amount of time that passed, my grandfather would have most likely have made three to four passes in the field toward and away from Bib before the shot was fired. I often wonder what his thoughts were as he saw his brother who had threatened him standing at the edge of the field armed with a rifle. Yet he kept plowing the field and turning his back with every pass. I also can’t imagine the jealousy involved and emotion of demanding to have a share of another’s possessions – to the point of murdering one’s brother. Even though I never had the chance to know my grandfather, I believe his determination to succeed and follow his convictions regardless of the consequences have influenced my life. I wonder what he would think of me and the luxury in which I can live. I also wonder what it would have been like to have known my grandfather and have our circles intertwined even closer. Thank you for reading. I hope you have a good month. A

Our Sources Say

TVA conducts spring sport fish survey


nvironmental stewardship ranks with clean, reliable, lowcost electricity and economic development as an important part of TVA’s mission of service to the communities of the Tennessee Valley. As stewards of the Tennessee River watershed, TVA is responsible for safeguarding 293,000 acres of public lands, 11,000 miles of public shoreline and 650,000 surface acres of water for future generations. TVA performs many tasks and works with many organizations to maintain and enhance our natural resources and to increase the public’s understanding of why we need to protect them. One of the stewardship activities TVA undertakes each spring is a sport fish survey. This annual event helps to determine the number, age and general health of black bass and crappie populations in TVA reservoirs. The survey predominantly targets three species of black bass: largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass as well as black and white crappie. The survey results are used by state agencies to protect and improve sport fisheries. They are also an important economic development tool for groups holding bass tournaments and anglers keen on catching their next “big one.” This year’s spring sport fish survey was conducted on nine Tennessee River lakes from March 11 to May 1. Each week, a team of TVA biologists spent three days on a different reservoir. They conducted a dozen 30-minute electrofishing trips each day and explored various types of habitat where fish like to congregate. TVA biologists sampled fish at select locations by briefly stunning them with their electrofishing gear. The fish floated to the surface and were collected with nets. They were counted, weighed, measured and then released unharmed. This method is used by state, game and fish agencies, as well as academia.

The public is invited to join the survey sampling, and one day during each reservoir stop is set aside for media. This provides an opportunity for interested parties to see the process and to learn about the health of our reservoirs. Results from this year’s survey will be published later this year. Below is a recap from the 2013 survey. TVA Valley: • 211 observers participated in the 2013 survey. • A total of 9,937 black bass and 2,866 crappie were collected. • 1,245 three-pound, 565 four-pound and 227 five-poundand-over black bass were collected. • These were the highest overall numbers to date in all categories. • The average weight of all collected black bass 10 inches and longer was 1.9 pounds. Eight of the 10 reservoirs had significant increases in three- and four-pound black bass. In Alabama: • Wheeler Reservoir recorded the highest number of fish in the three, four and five pound or larger range. • Wilson Reservoir recorded the highest percentage of harvestable largemouth bass at 81.7 percent. • Guntersville Reservoir had its highest number of four- and five-pound fish to date. • Three of the five reservoirs with a mean weight of two pounds or better were in Alabama. (Guntersville, Wheeler and Wilson) • Guntersville Reservoir had the highest average weight (2.3 pounds) ever recorded in the TVA system for black bass over 10 inches. A

Kevin Chandler is general manager, Alabama District Customer Service, for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

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44 MAY 2014

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Alabama Living

MAY 2014 45

Alabama Snapshots 1





Submit Your Images! JULY THEME:



Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL, 36124 RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. DEADLINE FOR JULY: May 31

46 MAY 2014

Art by me 1. “Our garden gate” SUBMITTED BY W.E. Brown, Kinsey 2. Rooster crowing SUBMITTED BY Ashlan Glisson, Andalusia 3. “ I h a v e e n j o y e d woodworking for years and I like using the beautiful red cedar from here in North Alabama.” S U B M I T T E D B Y Keith Daniel, Woodville

4. “I pulled this log out of Lake Guntersville and it seemed like the perfect s u r f a c e t o p a i nt o n .” SUBMITTED BY Susanlynn Allen, Lake Guntersville 5. Scarlett Laurence, 12, with a painting she completed at age 10 SUBMITTED BY Wendy Laurence, Falkville

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