Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News November 2019
Their final resting place Veteransâ€™ cemeteries honor those who served
Manager Louie Ward Co-op Editor Kevin Hand ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-proﬁt, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. Subscriptions are $12 a year for individuals not subscribing through participating Alabama electric cooperatives. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing ofﬁce.
Adventures in the Black Belt
The rich soil of Alabama’s 23 Black Belt counties has created an excellent habitat for deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife. The non-proﬁt Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association continues to work to capitalize on that rich habitat for tourist dollars and economic development.
VOL. 72 NO. 11 n NOVEMBER 2019
POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014. ALABAMA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION
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Farm life is near and dear to many of our readers, who shared their favorite farm photos this month.
Singing from the heart
Time for apples
Top 4 American Idol contestant Jess Meuse is back home in Slapout and continues to write and sing.
Now that the air is finally cooler, it’s the perfect time to enjoy some reader recipes using our favorite fall fruit.
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On the farm
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In this issue: Page 11 Page 28
11 Spotlight 29 Around Alabama 32 Gardens 34 Cook of the Month 40 Outdoors 41 Fish & Game Forecast 46 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop ON THE COVER: Carolyn Evans of Dadeville places a ﬂag at the Fort Mitchell grave of the late husband of a friend. Evans’ husband is also buried at Fort Mitchell, near Phenix City. PHOTO: Jim Plott
NOVEMBER 2019 3
TallapoosaRiverElectricCooperative Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. P.O. Box 675 15163 Highway 431 South LaFayette, AL 36862
Board of Trustees C.B. Parker, Jr. President District 6 - Daviston
John Adcock Vice-President District 2 - Woodland
Bruce Boswell Secretary/Treasurer District 1 - Seale
Phillip Bryant District 7 - Opelika
Jeff “Bodine” Dodgen District 5 - LaFayette
Mary Ann Walker District 3 - Opelika
To pay your bill online: Go to www.trec.coop and click “Payment Options.” Save time and money! In case of POWER OUTAGES day or night CALL... 1-877-456-8732
4 NOVEMBER 2019
Thankful for blessings Louie Ward Manager of Tallapoosa River Electric I was enjoying a sunset recently and I realized that it wasn’t many years ago I didn’t take notice of such things. Speaking of things that I appreciate, I appreciate time with friends and family more than ever. As we approach Thanksgiving, I pray you are looking forward to time with friends and family. On a lesser note, I appreciate it when things work as they should. I have an appreciation for keeping them in good working order. It is during time away from work at Thanksgiving that I check out things around the house such as caulking around doors and windows. I look for plumbing leaks. I can perform such tasks as looking for a leaky duct on my heat pump but I have a licensed and trusted HVAC dealer come check out my heat pump around this time of year also. I want to make sure that before cold weather comes, it is working at optimal efficiency. I don’t know about you, but during heating season and again in cooling season, my electric bill goes up significantly as the weather reaches its seasonal extremes. That seasonal fluctuation in my electric bill reminds me that I want to make sure I am not wasting money to run an inefficient HVAC system.
Perhaps you are like me and have trouble motivating yourself to get started with small tasks like these, but try to remind yourself that these are very inexpensive and will return your monetary investment and increase your level of affordable comfort. I pray you enjoy your Thanksgiving activities. Talk to you next month.
Tallapoosa River Electric Cooperative ofﬁces will be closed Thursday and Friday November 28 & 29 as we celebrate Thanksgiving. We will resume normal business hours on Monday, December 2. TREC wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.
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NOVEMBER 2019 5
| Tallapoosa River |
If using a space heater to take the chill off, do so safely. By Safe Electricity
Electric space heaters can help quickly warm a room. However, they can be as dangerous as convenient if used improperly. Safe Electricity urges everyone in the home to understand the importance of using space heaters safely: •• Purchase only space heaters that have been safety tested and UL approved. Make sure the unit is equipped with an emergency tip-over shut-off feature and heating element guards. Read and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions for operation and care. •• Before using a space heater, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition. •• Check to make sure the heater is clean and in good condition, and have all problems professionally repaired. •• Place the heater out of high-traffic areas and on a level, hard, non-flammable floor surface — NOT on carpets, furniture or countertops. •• Space heaters have one purpose — to provide supplemental heating. Never use them to thaw pipes, cook food, or dry clothing or towels. •• Remember to keep space heaters at least three feet from combustible liquids like fuel, spray cans and paint, as well as flammable items such as draperies, blankets and sofas.
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME REMINDER Don’t forget to fall back on November 3! Set your clocks back by one hour.
•• Never allow pets or children near an electric heater. Accidental contact could result in serious shock or burns. •• Do not overload circuits. Never use extension cords or multiple plugs with a space heater, and make sure the unit is not plugged into the same circuit as other electric appliances. •• If your space heater is plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and it trips, don’t assume there is something wrong with the GFCI. Immediately stop using the heater until a professional can check it — if not, a serious shock could occur. •• Never leave space heaters unattended. Turn off your space heater and unplug it before leaving the room or going to bed. •• Replace older space heaters with newer, safer models. Many people also use electric blankets to keep warm during cold winter nights. Before plugging in electric blankets, check for any damage and inspect cord for frays, cracks or cuts. Electric blankets should not be tucked under the mattress and nothing should be placed on top of the blanket while it’s in use, including comforters and bedspreads. Pets should never be allowed to sleep on the electric blanket.
Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month Trim your holiday energy costs by choosing energy efficient LED lights! LED holiday lights use less energy and can last up to 40 seasons. They’re also easier to install – you can connect up to 25 LED strings without overloading a wall socket! Source: energy.gov
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| Tallapoosa River |
| Tallapoosa River | FALL SAFETY TIPS FOR KIDS!
Fall is finally here! The leaves are changing, the weather is cooler and the holidays are just around the corner. But Fall also brings a higher risk of home fires and electrical safety hazards. Read the safety tips below and fill in the blank with the correct term from the word bank.
1. Candles and _____________ should only be used by adults. 2. An adult should always stay in the kitchen when something is _____________. 3. Smoke alarms should be tested every _____________ to ensure they are working. Batteries should be replaced at least once every _____________ or right away if they start to â€œbeep.â€? 4. Make sure all _____________ are blown out before leaving a room. 5. Keep any items that can burn away from the stove, toaster and other cooking _____________.
WORD BANK MATCHES
MONTH Answer Key: 1. matches 2. cooking 3. month; year 4. candles 5. appliances
| Alabama Snapshots |
On the Farm
Josh, Sam, Nate and Paul Redd on our poultry farm. SUBMITTED BY April Redd, Coker. Davis Hood giving “Moo” her daily hug. SUBMITTED BY Donna Wilson, Sulligent.
Hayley and son, Weston, walking in high cotton on the family farm. SUBMITTED BY Hayley Walters, Auburn. Wyatt catching hens. SUBMITTED BY Savannah Cooper, Robertsdale.
Indie, Axil and Touché enjoying the sunshine. SUBMITTED BY Miranda Byford, Hartselle.
Send us your “Our First Photo” with your spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, child or family! Deadline to submit is November 30. Winning photos will run in the January issue.
Online: alabamaliving.coop Mail: Snapshots P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 Alabama Living
RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www.alabamaliving.coop and on our Facebook page. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos.
Tom Mauldin hauling hay on his John Deere. SUBMITTED BY Sarah Mauldin, Florence.
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Spotlight | November SOCIAL SECURITY
Certain disability payments and workers’ compensation may affect your benefits
Many people working nowadays have more than one job. This means they have several sources of income. It’s important to keep in mind that having multiple sources of income can sometimes affect your Social Security benefits; but, it depends on the source. Disability payments from private sources, such as private pensions or insurance benefits, don’t affect your Social Security disability benefits. Workers’ compensation and other public disability benefits, however, may reduce what you receive from Social Security. Workers’ compensation benefits are paid to a worker because of a job-related injury or illness. These benefits may be
Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at email@example.com.
paid by federal or state workers’ compensation agencies, employers, or by insurance companies on behalf of employers. Public disability payments that may affect your Social Security benefits are those paid from a federal, state, or local government for disabling medical conditions that are not job-related. Examples of these are civil service disability benefits, state temporary disability benefits, and state or local government retirement benefits that are based on disability. Some public benefits don’t affect your Social Security disability benefits. If you receive Social Security disability benefits, and one of the following types of public benefits, your Social Security benefits will not be reduced: • Veterans Administration benefits; • State and local government benefits, if Social Security taxes were deducted from your earnings; or
November crossword We hope you enjoyed completing the October crossword! We did hear from a few of our readers that the type was too small to read, so we hope we’ve fixed that this month. This month’s puzzle has some references to Alabama’s bicentennial as well as some famous Alabama people and places. Enjoy! Let us know what you think at letters@ alabamaliving.coop. Answers on Page 45.
• Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You can read more about the possible ways your benefits might be reduced at socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10018.pdf. Please be sure to report changes. If there is a change in the amount of your other disability payment, or if those benefits stop, please notify us right away. Tell us if the amount of your workers’ compensation or public disability payment increases or decreases. Any change in the amount or frequency of these benefits is likely to affect the amount of your Social Security benefits. An unexpected change in benefits can have unintended consequences. You can be better prepared if you’re informed and have financially prepared yourself. Visit socialsecurity.gov/planners for information about your options for securing your future.
Across 1 First words of a famous Lynyrd Skynyrd song, ___ ___ Alabama 5 Hero of the Civil Rights movement, initials 7 Mountain Music or Feels So Right, for example 8 Alabama Governor, 2 words 10 Site of the US Space and Rocket Center Museum 15 Thought 16 Historic university founded by Booker T. Washington 17 Cheaha, for example, abbr. 19 Arts degree 21 Native Americans who originally occupied some of present day Alabama 25 Auburn coach ___ Malzahn 26 Stretch of coastline also called the Miracle Strip, 2 words 29 Target 30 Rapper prefix 31 Brothers who were the patriarchs of Alabama Sacred Harp music Down 1 Brown quickly at a high temperature 2 Ocean motion 3 Alabama’s Bicentennial cook book, 5 words 4 Magnificent tree: there are many in Alabama 5 Ava DuVernay’s Selma, for example 6 River craft to use on the Flint River, for example 9 Christmas time 11 ___ Alabama Battleship Memorial Park 12 Compete (for) 13 Element suffix 14 Baby sheep 16 Donald L. ___ Civic Center on the campus of FSU 18 Plate on a car 20 Request 22 Former Governor of Alabama in the early 20th century, Emmet 23 Walked in deep water 24 Tiara Pennington wears one as Miss Alabama 2019 27 First word in a Brazilian city 28 Can material
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November | Spotlight
Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by Nov. 7 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the December issue. Submit by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Contribute your own photo for an upcoming issue! Send a photo of an interesting or unusual landmark in Alabama, which must be accessible to the public. A reader whose photo is chosen will also win $25.
This sculpture of Truman Capote’s hat and thick-rimmed glasses is just one of the art works in the Literary Capital Sculpture Trail project, which memorializes the many talented writers who have Monroeville roots. This sculpture, located at the southeast entrance of the Monroe County Museum, was created by Morgan Harrison. The trail was unveiled in April 2019, and all 14 sculptures were created by University of Alabama students. Learn more at monroevillemainstreet.com (Photo by Lenore Vickrey of Alabama Living) We received a sweet note and photo from Annalee Chance from Troy, above, a member of the South Alabama EC. She says she’s visiting all the counties in Alabama for her fourth-grade project and recently visited the Monroe County Courthouse and saw the statue. Thanks for writing, Annalee! The randomly drawn correct guess winner is Donna Carney of Black Warrior EMC. Alabama Living
Find the hidden dingbat! Our October dingbat, an orange pumpkin, was well hidden but most all of the nearly 1,000 guesses got it right. One reader claimed it was in an ad on Page 15, but remember, we will never hide it in an ad. Another reader saw the pumpkin on the left fender of the pink Volkswagen on Page 11. But the pumpkin dingbat was actually in a photo on Page 20, as part of the chair’s upholstery where Mae Robertson is sitting with her grandchildren. Marjorie Cook of Vernon, a member of Tombigbee EC, said it took her a long time to find it, but she did spot the pumpkin when she put her magazine in the sunshine. There must have been something in the cool fall air that inspired several readers to wax poetic with their submissions. From Susan Needham of Cullman EC, we got these verses: It’s October now, so It’s time for a scare The dingbat’s on page 20 On the front of Mae’s chair. And Eleonore Madigan of Dothan wrote: Leafed to page 20 when I saw The upholstery of the chair has a flaw In the shape of a round pumpkin Ah-ha! The dingbat for which I was huntin’ Congratulations to Terry G. Whittington of Ariton for being chosen as the correct guess winner! This month we’ve hidden a turkey. So quit your gobbling and get to looking! By mail: Find the Dingbat Alabama Living PO Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 By email: email@example.com
November 13, 1833
A dramatic meteor shower filled the sky with approximately 30,000 meteors an hour in an event remembered as the night stars fell on Alabama. The shower inspired the title of Carl Carmer’s 1934 bestselling book Stars Fell on Alabama, which related Carmer’s experiences in Alabama in the 1920s through the dramatized voice of a northerner. Part memoir and part cultural analysis, the book received high praise by The New York Times and the northern press. Many Alabamians, however, believed Carmer purposefully disparaged the state by focusing on negative aspects of its culture, including Ku Klux Klan parades, foot-washings, and voodoo rituals. www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1596
White House ornament commemorates helicopter housed at Fort Rucker Fort Rucker, Alabama’s largest military installation and home to U.S. Army Aviation, was the site of a commemorative event to celebrate the 2019 Official White House Christmas Ornament, which is in the image of a helicopter. The ornament commemorates President Eisenhower as the first sitting president to fly in a helicopter. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company with a facility in Troy, has built the presidential helicopter since Eisenhower’s first use in 1957. Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, and Gov. Kay Ivey were on hand for the official presentation of the ornament at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker recently. The original VCH-34 Army One helicopter is housed there. Each year since 1981, the White House Historical Association has created the official ornament, which is American-made by a veteran-founded company. The ornament is $22.95 and can be purchased at whitehousehistory.org or by calling 800-555-2451. NOVEMBER 2019 11
Todd Newkirk looks over the graves at Alabama National. The cemetery was built about a decade ago to provide a central location to serve the Birmingham metro area and beyond.
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Final resting place Alabama’s four veterans’ cemeteries honor those who served
Story and photos by Jim Plott
ike soldiers at attention, battalions of white markers stretch out across the fields in perfect formation. Below them are soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen. They are compatriots linked by more than common soil. Some died in service; many others survived the decades before finally falling to old age. All sacrificed. Alabama has four cemeteries dedicated to the men and women who have worn American military uniforms. They are shrines and places of reflection to the people who fought at places like Chateau-Thierry, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Incheon, Saigon, Baghdad and Kabul. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs oversees Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo and Fort Mitchell National Cemetery near Phenix City. The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs manages cemeteries under the same VA regulations in Spanish Fort and Mobile, although the one in Mobile is at capacity and open only to surviving spouses.
Burials and headstones at all the cemeteries are free for the veteran, spouse and dependent children. That includes in-ground casket or cremation burials or in a columbarium for urns containing cremated remains. “Everything from the gate to the headstone is free. That saves a family anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000 at a minimum,” says Todd Newkirk, assistant director at Fort Mitchell and interim director at Alabama National. Newkirk, scanning the pristine grounds of Alabama National, believes there is a more plausible explanation why service people choose to call a veterans’ cemetery their final resting place. “You are among your brothers and sisters at arms,” Newkirk says. “You are a veteran, and this is a place that honors veterans 24-seven. And as long as there is a United States of America this place is going to be taken care of. People are going to be here every day, all day taking care of the cemetery.”
Reminders of sacrifice
Air Force Lt. Col. Kenneth Bourland was the first active-duty service person to be buried at Alabama National, which was dedicated in 2008. The Birmingham native, who flew numerous helicopter missions in Iraq, died in February 2010 when the hotel where he was staying during a humanitarian mission in Haiti collapsed during an earthquake. He was survived by a wife and two sons, then ages three and one. “Our daughter-in-law was the one that made the decision whether he would be buried at Arlington National Cemetery (near Washington D.C.) or here,” says Bourland’s mother, Adrienne Bourland. “I am very glad she made the choice for him to come back to Alabama. It has allowed us be involved in the ceremonies and the activities.” Adrienne Bourland and her husband live in nearby St. Clair County and remain members of a volunteer support staff that helps conduct special ceremonies at the cemetery on Veterans and Memorial hol-
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Local veteran groups display the colors at the groundbreaking of a scenic overlook at Alabama National.
Overlook planned for National Cemetery
ed in 2008 and 2012, respectively, to meet the burial needs of World War II and Korean War veterans. All three cemeteries adjoin historical grounds. Alabama National is adjacent to American Village, an educational facility that contains replicas of historical structures. Fort Mitchell National Cemetery abuts a replica of Fort Mitchell, an early American outpost and a link to the Federal Road which opened Alabama to early settlers. The Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery is near Fort Blakely, which was the site of the largest Civil War ‘I see America here’ battle fought in Alabama. Fort Mitchell National was established Each cemetery conducts commem31 years ago at the urging of the late U.S. orative ceremonies on Memorial Day Rep. Bill Nichols and state Sen. Joseph and Veterans Day, and many lay wreaths Smith of Phenix City, on the headstones at both of whom conChristmas. Those certended that Alabama emonies are generally deserved a national conducted by support cemetery. Their arcommittees, vetergument was fortified an groups and Scout by the fact that Fort members. Benning, Ga., lies just Newkirk, however, across the Chattasays he can’t help but hoochee River. reflect on the sacrifices “Mr. Joseph Smith provided by those enwas actually the first tombed every time he person buried here,” Bob Barefield of the Support drives in the entrance. Newkirk says. “He Committee for Alabama National “This is the best job actually died before it Cemetery addresses a group for the I ever had in my life,” opened, and his wife groundbreaking of the scenic overlook. Newkirk says. “I did had him disinterred 21 years active duty in (from another cemetery) and reinterred the Air Force and 15 years as a civilian in here.” the Army and so it is special to me. I see Alabama National and Alabama State America here. I see my brother and sisters. Veterans Memorial Cemetery were creatIt’s just an honor to be here.” idays. Kenneth Bourland’s family has also moved back to the Birmingham area from Florida where they were living at the time of his death. Alabama headstones, carved from Sylacauga marble, include a person’s name, rank, branch of service, date of birth and death and a symbol of religious belief. “The last two or three spaces are for an optional inscription that the next of kin is able to select,” Newkirk says. “They can put whatever they want on those lines as long as it is appropriate.”
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An artist rendering of the overlook at Alabama National. The overlook, above Shoal Creek, is being built through private donations and is expected to be complete in January.
By January, families of veterans buried at Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo will have a place to gather and reflect on the cemetery grounds while their loved one is being interred. The Support Committee of the Alabama National Cemetery broke ground in September on a wooded overlook above Shoal Creek at the edge of the cemetery. The volunteer group, which provides programs at the cemetery and assists survivors of veterans with burial needs, undertook the project in January 2013 when it began raising private donations for the structure. Bob Barefield, SCALNC chairman emeritus, says burial regulations don’t allow graveside services and families are limited to the time they can spend at an outdoor shelter (conducting what serves as a graveside service). “Families are having to leave and then come back to visit the gravesite after interment,” Barefield says. “Once this is available, this will be a place where they can go and quietly reflect not only the tragic side of losing a loved one, but the better side because that overlook is so serene and so peaceful that it makes you think of better times.” www.alabamaliving.coop
NOVEMBER 2019â€ƒ 15
The Black Belt’s rich soil creates a special place for sporting adventures By John N. Felsher
ourished for centuries by several rivers depositing nutrient-rich black, loamy soil, the Black Belt region extends across 23 counties in central Alabama. That fertile soil created outstanding agricultural land, but also created excellent habitat for white-tailed deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife. Although hunters and fishermen frequently visit the region, area residents wanted to do more to promote it. In 2009, they formed a non-profit group called the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association to collectively promote the special region as a destination for hunting, fishing, canoeing, camping, hiking, birding and other cultural, artistic or historic endeavors. “About 10 years ago, a group of dedicated
conservationists with a passion for hunting and fishing came together in an effort to stimulate economic growth in Alabama’s Black Belt region,” says Thomas Harris, president and founding father of the ALBBAA. “The Black Belt hasn’t been as successful with industrial recruitment when compared to other areas in the state, so it made perfect sense to capitalize on the abundance of natural resources that are readily available here. Tourism is a strong contributor to economic development, and we set our goals to collectively promote and brand the region as an outdoor destination. The results of our recent economic impact study proved that we were right on target.” The ALBBAA enlisted the help of noted sporting personalities Ray Scott, foundA hunter prepares to take a shot at a rising covey of bobwhite quail. Although most people come to the Black Belt to hunt white-tailed deer and turkeys, the area also offers quail hunting and a variety of other sporting opportunities. PHOTO BY TODD SAUERS
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er of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, and Jackie Bushman, founder of Buckmasters. Both men grew up hunting the Black Belt. Scott, Bushman and others hosted television commercials and promotional videos encouraging people to visit the region. In addition, the association and its supporters aired TV commercials in 93 major markets across 32 states. The association even published a coffee table book on area hunting and fishing heritage and traditions, which will be available for purchase this month. “Our partnerships across the region continue to grow and strengthen,” says Pam Swanner, who has served as the ALBBAA director for nearly 10 years. “Many projects have been conducted or are in the development stages with other organizations, such as the Chambers of Commerce, tourism councils, Black Belt Treasures, Alabama Tourism Department, Alabama State Parks and many others. More than 137,000 outdoor enthusiasts nationally receive monthly newsletters sharing outdoors news about the Black Belt.” In addition, ALBBAA cultivated relationships with major media associations to bring in writers and broadcasters from around the country to experience hunting in the Black Belt and fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, catfish and other species in area rivers and lakes. These journalists published numerous articles and aired multiple radio and television broadcasts throughout the nation. People took notice. “Our web traffic steadily increases each year,” Swanner says. “From January to August 2019, we’ve seen a 228 percent increase in the number of inquiries over the same period last year. We also ramped up paid Google ads and social media advertising, plus facilitated our photo contests through our website. These efforts drew more traffic to the website, which resulted in more inquiries. Our Facebook followers now number almost 20,000.”
Alabama hunters enjoy one of the longest turkey seasons in the country; most are harvested in the spring season. PHOTO BY TES RANDLE JOLLY
Big economic impact
When people visit the Black Belt for whatever reason, they contribute to the local, regional and state economies. According to the 2018 Economic Impact Study on Hunting and Fishing in the Black Belt, spending by sportsmen in the area increased by 18 percent since 2011. The study also shows a 29 percent increase in salaries and wages earned by people in the area, which resulted in a three percent increase in state and local tax revenues during the
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Outdoors enthusiasts can find many lakes and rivers in the Black Belt region where they can enjoy canoeing and other aquatic sports. PHOTO BY PAUL BROWN
same period. The total economic impact by hunters and fishermen in the Black Belt increased by 13 percent since 2011. About 1.2 million hunters and fishermen spent $3.2 billion in Alabama pursuing their favorite sports in 2018, the study revealed. This created 73,553 jobs. About 364,000 of those sportsmen spent 8.2 million man-days hunting or fishing in the Black Belt. Although the 23 Black Belt counties comprise just one-third of the state, 42 percent of all hunting expenditures in Alabama occurred in the region. “The steady growth we see in sportsmen and women visiting the Black Belt to pursue their outdoor adventures is encouraging and reinforces our commitment to the initiative,” Swanner says. “It’s validation that we must continue building on that momentum so that we are always moving the economic needle forward to give area residents a better quality of life.” Many people hunt or fish locally, but more than half of all sportsmen, 51.6 percent, spent at least one night away from home to hunt or fish in 2018. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of non-resident sportsmen, 78.6 percent, stayed overnight in Alabama, but so did 43.5 percent of resident hunters and fishermen. About half of the overnighters stayed on property they own or lease, but the rest had to find lodging. More than 80 percent of all hunt lodges in Alabama sit in the Black Belt. Many visitors to Alabama bring their families and stay several days. Besides hunting or fishing, people might visit other area attractions. While away from home, these people not only pay for lodging, but also buy food, fuel, supplies and other items, not to mention non-resident hunting and fishing licenses. Non‐resident sportsmen spent nearly $108 million to hunt or fish in Alabama in 2018. Two-thirds of all non-resident hunters coming to Alabama visit the Black Belt. About 29 percent of non-resident anglers fished in those counties. While regional lodges offer excellent hunting opportunities for deer and other game, many sportsmen prefer to do it themselves. Some better wildlife management areas include David K. Nelson near Demopolis, Lowndes near White Hall, Barbour near Clayton and Oakmulgee near Selma. People can also hunt some smaller Special Opportunity Areas. See outdooralabama.com/ hunting/special-opportunity-areas. These efforts reach more than hunters and fishermen by encouraging eco-tourism, canoeing, birding, hiking and other activities in the region. The association also worked to create a leisure market program called “Feed Your Adventure – Flavors of the Black Belt Trail” to encourage people to sample such locally made items as cheese straws, cookies, pepper jellies, rubs and sauces, savory and sweet pecans, sausages, baked goods, craft beers and spirits plus many other items. To find out more about the Black Belt, visit alabamablackbeltadventures.org or search for “Alabama Black Belt Adventures” on Facebook. www.alabamaliving.coop
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Always keep a safety line attached to your full-body harness when you are climbing up and down a tree.
Complacency often leads to tree stand accidents
Story and photos by David Rainer Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
he Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division’s Hunter Education Program wants to teach old hunters new safety tricks. Actually, these are not new safety tricks, but experienced hunters seem to be failing to follow them, according to last year’s hunting accident reports. During the 2018-2019 hunting seasons, 15 treestand accidents were reported, and more than half of those individuals were age-exempt from having to complete a hunter education course. Of the five who did take the hunter ed course, all under the age of 40, only one was wearing a full-body harness when the accident occurred. “That full-body harness probably saved his life or saved him from serious injuries,” says Marisa Futral, Hunter Education Program Coordinator. “He fell asleep in his stand, but he lived to see another day. “Three of the 15 accidents were fatalities. Still, a lot of these injuries could have been 20 NOVEMBER 2019
prevented with a full-body harness.” Those born on or after Aug. 1, 1977, must complete the hunter education course before they can purchase a hunting license. But Futral urges everyone who plans to pursue game this fall to take the hunter ed course. For information on hunter education courses, visit outdooralabama.com/ hunting/hunter-education-alabama. “Even if you are grandfathered in, there’s always something you can learn,” she says. “I’ve noticed over the years that the hunters who don’t have to take the course are the ones having the accidents. “I think the mentality is they’ve been hunting their whole life and get complacent. But those older hunters could learn a lot by taking the hunter education course, which is a lot more than firearms safety. The No. 1 hunting accident is falling out of trees. That is covered extensively in the hunter ed class.” Of the three fatalities, none were wearing
a full-body harness. Two of the fatalities were using climbing stands, while the other was in a hang-on stand. The accident reports indicated one fatality occurred when the hunter was using a climbing stand and was about 21 feet off the ground when the straps on the stand broke. The other fatality using a climbing stand also fell 21 feet when rusty connectors broke as he was sitting in the stand. “One of the problems is that people aren’t inspecting their equipment before they climb,” Futral says. “You cannot leave your stands in the woods all year and expect them to be safe.” Futral also stresses that hunters should be connected to the tree in some way when they are climbing and descending the tree. Several accidents have occurred when hunters have been wearing safety harnesses but fell going up or coming down the tree. Several products are available that keep hunters attached to the tree at all times. www.alabamaliving.coop
WFF Hunter Education stresses the following 11 guidelines for using a treestand safely: Always use a pull-up rope to raise your firearm into your hunting stand.
T Always wear a safety harness, also known as a fall-arrest sys-
tem, when you are in a treestand, as well as when climbing into or out of a treestand. Statistics show that the majority of treestand incidents occur while climbing in and out of a stand. T A safety strap should be attached to the tree to prevent you from falling more than 12 inches. T Always inspect the safety harness for signs of wear or damage before each use. T Follow all manufacturers’ instructions for use of a safety harness and stand. T Follow the three-point rule of treestand safety. Always have three points of contact to the steps or ladder before moving. This could be two arms and one leg holding and stepping on the ladder or one arm and two legs in contact with the ladder
before moving. Be cautious that rain, frost, ice or snow can cause steps to become extremely slippery. Check the security of the step before placing your weight on it. T Always hunt with a plan and, if possible, a buddy. Before you leave home, let others know your exact hunting location, when you plan to return and who is with you. T Always carry emergency signal devices such as a cell phone, walkie-talkie, whistle, signal flare, PLD (personal locator device) and flashlight at all times and within reach even while you are suspended in your fall-arrest system. Watch for changing weather conditions. In the event of an incident, remain calm and seek help immediately. T Always select the proper tree for use with your treestand. Select a live, straight tree that fits within the size limits recommended in your treestand’s instructions. Do not climb or place a treestand against a leaning tree. T Never leave a treestand installed for more than two weeks since damage could result from changing weather conditions and/or from other factors not obvious with a visual inspection. T Always use a haul line to pull up your gear and unloaded firearm or bow to your treestand once you have reached your desired hunting height. Never climb with anything in your hands or on your back. Prior to descending, lower your equipment on the opposite side of the tree. T Always know your physical limitations. Don’t take chances. Do not climb when impaired by drugs, alcohol or if you’re sick or unrested. If you start thinking about how high you are, stop climbing.
Always be aware of what is downrange beyond your target before firing.
T Alabama hunters also had several firearms-related accidents
during the 2018-2019 season with three fatalities and two non-fatal incidents. T Two of the fatalities were self-inflicted. One was in a shooting house when the accident happened. The other occurred when the hunter fell, and his handgun discharged. One fatality occurred when a hunter was mistaken for game. T One of the two non-fatal accidents happened during a dove-hunting outing. The shooter covered another hunter while swinging on a dove. Failure to check beyond the target, a deer, resulted in the second non-fatal accident. T When I write about having a safe and enjoyable hunting season, I always list the 10 commandments of firearms safety: T Treat every firearm as if it is loaded. T Control the muzzle of your firearm. Keep the barrel pointed in a safe direction; never point a firearm at anything that you do not wish to shoot and insist that your shooting and hunting companions do the same. T Be sure of your target and beyond. Positively identify your target before you fire, and make sure there are no people, livestock, roads or buildings beyond the target. T Never shoot at water or a hard, flat surface. A ricocheting bullet cannot be controlled. Alabama Living
T Don’t use a scope for target identification; use binoculars. T Never climb a tree, cross a fence or jump a ditch with a loaded firearm.
T Store guns and ammunition separately. Store firearms under lock and key, and use a gun case to transport firearms.
T Make sure your barrel and action are clear of all obstructions.
T Unload firearms when not in use. Never take someone else’s word that a firearm is unloaded. Check yourself.
T Avoid drugs and alcohol when hunting or shooting. Even some over-the-counter medicines can cause impairment.
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| Worth the drive |
Belly up to the buffet at the Roadkill Café
The Roadkill Café is off the beaten path and draws patrons by word of mouth.
Story and photos by Emmett Burnett
o paraphrase a popular jelly commerAn accidental name cial, “With a name like ‘Roadkill’ Roadkill Café’s roots trace back to the it’s got to be good.” In Elberta, property’s 1989 purchase. Owner Ala., it is. and Elberta resident Marvin WilA classic dish at the Roadkill The diner has a fan base liams leased the building out Café: homecooked fried from across the street to as a restaurant. But in 1999, chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, across Canada. The unhappy with the diner’s green beans and biscuit. restaurant’s fried quality, Williams refused chicken – beto renew the tenant’s loved bird of lease. In the summer Baptists – is of 2000, a new restauserved dairant opened with the ly as are Williams family in delectable charge. But it needpork chops, ed a name. country fried Marvin’s son and steaks, and a current co-owner/ host of downmanager, Mike Wilhome, small town, liams, recalls: “Getbig taste entrees. ting the restaurant Red beans and rice, ready to open was catfish and mullet, sauhard. It was in terrible sages, biscuits and gravy, condition. Dad jokingly butterbeans and cabbage, wrote on a piece of cardfresh veggies, vats of banana board, ‘Roadkill Café’ and pudding, and more are offered taped it to the front window.” either daily or on designated Marvin’s wife saw the makeshift days. sign and with alarm proclaimed, “Y’all It is said that Roadkill Café’s all-youwill NEVER call this place ‘Roadkill Café!” can-eat buffet is possibly the best $11 investNever say never. Next summer Roadkill Café ment in Baldwin County. But I know what you’re will be 20 years old, and so will the name. thinking: “Okay, the food sounds good, but what’s up with that Mike took the reins in 2005 upon his dad’s request. “He asked me name, ‘Roadkill?’” Fair question. to watch the place while he was in Hawaii for a week’s vacation,” the Let’s put your concerns to rest. There is no roadkill at Roadkill son recalls. Mike still watches it. Café, so take your armadillo au gratin business elsewhere. Here is The day starts about 4:30 a.m. when the stoves are fired up. Evthe story of a beloved restaurant, exemplifying hospitality, serverything is hot from the kitchen and ready for serving by 10:30 a.m. ing great food, and named for woodland creatures who left this until closing at 12:30 pm. That’s right, on most days you have two world with tire tracks. hours dine time. Make it count.
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Ironically, even though it’s about 16 miles from Gulf Shores, Roadkill is not a beach tourist attraction per se. “We are not on the ‘beach highway,’” Mike says, referencing nearby State Highway 59, the Foley - Gulf Shores connection. “Beach travelers don’t see us, so they don’t know we are here.” But everybody else does. The dining room seats 92 and averages 70 to 100-plus visitors daily during its twohour-per-day operation, Sunday through Friday. Sunday’s closing is a bit more lenient – around 1 p.m., to accommodate after-church seating. Roadkill does not advertise except for word of mouth, customer testimonials, and snowbird referrals. The street-facing banner sign above the front door, “Roadkill Café,” turns heads as well. “People tell me they have driven by this place for 10 years,” Mike says. “They were curious but apprehensive about going in something called, ‘Roadkill.’” But once you’re in, you return – often. “We have been coming here at least twice a week for years,” says frequent customer Brenda Myers of nearby Foley, about her visits with her husband John. “The country
fried steak is great. Don’t miss it.” The menu is advertised exclusively on an in-diner chalkboard. Keep your social media, for in here, chalk rules. Thursday is butterbeans and cabbage day. Fridays are set for catfish and mullet and chicken is daily. For more information either call ahead or heed the chalk. Explaining the charm of Roadkill Café, Brenda Myers notes the restaurant’s draw is beyond good food. “Mike and the people here are just so nice,” she says. “After one visit you are family. By the second visit you and everyone working here are on a first name basis.” Brenda adds with a laugh, “All the waitresses are sweet and sassy.” Thirty minutes after opening, the seating area is full. Happy patrons surround the buffet stations supporting the twin peaks of fried chicken and pork chop mountains and trimmings. Servers offer an insider tip: “Our chicken is delicious but so is our banana pudding. Save room!” She’s right. I did. Shakespeare once scribed, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” In Elberta, that rosy name is Roadkill. Above, Mike Williams, co-owner of the Roadkill Café, stands by the chalkboard menu with today’s specials; Left, hungry patrons fill up on country cooking at The Roadkill Café, which is only open at lunchtime for limited hours; below, a mountain of the restaurant’s famous fried chicken.
25076 State St. Elberta, AL 36530 251-986-5377 Hours: Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday; 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; closed Saturday.
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November | Around Alabama
Photo courtesy of National Peanut Festival.
The National Peanut Festival attracts 200,000 fairgoers over its 10-day run.
month, Montgomery, “We the People: Alabama’s Defining Documents,” a Bicentennial exhibition of our state’s six constitutions, will be on display beginning Nov. 3 at the Alabama Department of Archives and History, 624 Washington Ave. wethepeoplealabama.org.
Gulf Shores, 12th annual Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Beer Weekend at The Hangout, 101 E. Beach Blvd. Craft Beer Festival is 6 to 11 p.m. Friday and will feature live music. Oyster Cook-Off begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. Live music throughout the day Saturday. Hangoutcookoff. com.
Arab, Cherokee’s of Alabama 19th Annual Fall Indian Powwow. Arab National Guard Armory, Highway 69 West. Vendors, arts and crafts, demonstrations all three days, Native American dances and drumming on Saturday and Sunday. Grand entry is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday. All dancers welcome. Trade blanket at 7 p.m. Saturday. Free admission; bring blankets and chairs for this outdoor family event. Contact Mystic Gazer, 256-590-8109.
Dothan, National Peanut Festival. 5622 Highway 231 South. Each day of the largest peanut celebration in the world will have live music, agriculture events and midway rides. For a complete list of daily events and admission prices, visit nationalpeanutfestival.com.
Greenville, Butler County’s Bicentennial Celebration. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Confederate Park/ Pioneer Cemetery. Speakers, performances, historic “in costume” dramatic reading, Boy Scouts’ flag ceremony, patriotic songs, traditional music, history displays, tours of local churches, the Ritz Theater and Pioneer Cemetery, and children’s hands-on discover history area. 334-382-6959 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fitzpatrick, Pumpkin SMASH. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dream Field Farms and Pumpkin Patch. Enjoy a family fun day with the cow train, farm critters, jump pad, boating and concessions and pumpkin demolition. There will be a variety of ways to smash the leftover farm pumpkins, as well as those brought by guests. $8 admission; half price if you bring your own pumpkin. Email Jennifer@dreamfieldfarms. net to bring your own destruction apparatus. Dreamfieldfarms.com.
Pike Road, Pike Road Arts and Crafts Fair, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historic Marks House. More than 250 vendors will sell unique arts and crafts in time for Christmas shopping. Special children’s activities and plenty of food vendors. Pikeroadartsandcraftsfair.com.
Dixonville, fourth annual LaRae Harvest Festival and Dixonville 200, a cultural heritage celebration of this Escambia County community. Special guest will be area
native William Lee Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys. Agricultural displays and booths by FFA chapters, vendors with Alabama-made products, artisans, a 5K race and fun run and good Southern food. Local singers and musicians and a performance by Bo Bice, an Alabama native and “American Idol” runner-up. 464 Highway 41 South. Search “LaRae” on Facebook.
Beatrice, Monroe County Museum’s annual Cane Syrup Makin’ Day, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rikard’s Mill. The mill will be transformed into a pioneer village as history is brought to life by rural heritage demonstrators. Food vendors will be on site. $5 per person, seniors and under 12 $3. 251-575-7433 or email mchm@ frontiernet.net.
Sylacauga, Cancer Outreach and Community Hope (COACH) Holiday in the Country. Stewartville Volunteer Fire Department, 41 Old Coleman Road. All-you-can-eat pancakes from 6 to 10 a.m. for $6; vendor market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a holiday chili cook-off and a holiday doggie pageant at noon. All proceeds benefit cancer patients in Coosa County. 256-496-2548.
Orange Beach, Chalk Art Festival, Main Street at the Wharf, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring the fall season to life with your colorful ocean-themed creations. You can start your own sidewalk masterpiece for $5 or stand by and watch the pros create works of art. Alwharf.com.
To place an event, e-mail email@example.com. or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations.
Florence, W.C. Handy Birthday Celebration, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Celebrate the birthday of the “father of the Blues” and enjoy a musical performance, refreshments and free admission to the W.C. Handy Home, Museum and Library, 620 West College St. 256-760-6434.
Prattville, Holiday Open House, 1 to 4 p.m. at the Prattville Creative Arts Center and Gallery. Stop by for light refreshments and find unique items for your Christmas list. 334-595-0854.
Millbrook, Emmy Awardwinning actor Ed Asner in a one-man staged reading, “A Man and his Prostate,” 7:30 p.m. Recommended for ages 18 and up. The Millbrook Theatre, 5720 Main St. millbrooktheater.com.
Hartselle, Southern Market Days “Flannel and Frost” Vintage Market, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sparkman Civic Center. Farmhouse décor, handmade items and unique finds. Santa will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. 256-773-2581.
Alpine, Art Extravaganza at Plank Road Station, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. All types of artists display and sell their wares at this event, which includes down-home entertainment and cooking. Highway 21 in the Winterboro area at the Aljerald Powers Memorial Lodge. Plankroadstation.com
Centre, Women’s Club of Weiss Lake annual tour of homes. Cherokee County Country Club, 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at any home, the Chamber of Commerce or club members. Refreshments will be served in the club dining room. Visit the Women’s Club of Weiss Lake on Facebook.
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NOVEMBER 2019 29
| Alabama People |
Playing with her whole heart Singer/songwriter and guitarist Jessica Meuse always gets a reaction when she’s introduced as a native of Slapout, Ala. “People are like, ‘wait, what?’” she laughs. She’s back home in the tiny Elmore County town, continuing to write songs and perform. Meuse is best known for reaching the top four in season 13 of “American Idol,” and became the first person in the history of the show to perform her own original song during the finals. Her first full-length album, “Halfhearted,” was released in 2018, and she’s planning to record again in 2020. We asked her about her upbringing and her experience in Hollywood. – Allison Law Talk about growing up in small town, rural Alabama. How did it shape you as a musician? I’ll be very honest with you, I was not the most accepted kid in school. I was actually bullied quite heavily. Music was the thing that I had when I went home. When everyone else was at prom, I went home and practiced, and I ended up teaching myself guitar. … I also got into violin – that was actually my first instrument. I auditioned for the Montgomery Youth Orchestra, and I worked my way from the back to the front. … I think I was so dedicated to my craft and being better and always learning because I wasn’t accepted by my peers. It forced me to focus on something that actually made me happy. Do you still play violin? I do. I’m rusty, don’t get me wrong. You can tell when I play that
I was once a lot better than I am now. … I know this is weird, but I play it mentally a lot, so I think about it in my head. I also taught myself piano. Anything with strings, if you hand it to me, I can figure it out. Most folks know you were on “Idol,” but you went on “The Voice” first. Yes. In 2012, I was on “The Voice” season 3, and nobody turned around. It was not good feedback. It was very negative toward me. … I remember getting on the plane (to Hollywood), and thinking, “I’m going to make it.” You get out there and you realize, it’s so cutthroat, it’s so hard core, and I felt for the first time, I’m not going to make it. My hopes got totally shot to the ground. So I went back home, and I was in college full time, and I kept working on my degree and I kept singing. I just don’t have the “give up” bone in my body. I just can’t do it. Then came “American Idol.” It was very surreal to keep getting through and hitting my goals. I tried to take the most constructive criticism from the judges. Not opinions, those are two different things. My favorite judge was Harry Connick Jr., because he had the most technical stuff. My violin and classical music background allowed me to understand what he was saying. So he helped me the most as an artist. Then, boom, top 4, and I was like, I didn’t see that coming. Do you keep up with any of your fellow contestants? One of my buddies is (fellow Alabama native) Bo Bice. I know Taylor Hicks too. We’re all buddies. Bo’s really a good dude. I love him to death. We actually did a duet on “Halfhearted,” called “Without You.” We work together with the Helena Miracle League. What other charitable causes do you support? I have a handful of very, very, very important causes to me. One of them is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Sometimes I work with the Children’s Cancer Association, and the LA Children’s Hospital. Just kids in general, since they’re our future, I want to do what I can to help them and show them that the world is good. The other cause is domestic violence. I’d been looking for this cause for such a long time, because I’ve been through my own stuff, and I’ve never talked about it and I feel like it’s time to. (She recently played at a kickoff party for FavorHouse of Northwest Florida, a shelter for domestic violence victims.) What’s next for you? I’m always writing, because anytime there’s an experience or something I can live through, (I like to) write it out in a way that will hopefully inspire others. A lot of my music is about finding your inner strength of being tough, even when you don’t feel it. There’s always a song to write.
Follow her on her website, jessicameuse.com, and on her Facebook page. Interview edited for length.
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| Gardens |
Need holiday gifts?
“Shop” your garden! I f you’re trying to find locally sourced, distinctive and affordable gifts this holiday season, here’s an idea: “shop” your garden. Gardens are, after all, about as local as you can get, plus they are stocked with gift ideas likely to suit everyone on your shopping list. For example, foodies will relish fresh herbs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and edible flowers and seeds that may still be growing in your garden. Use herbs, edible flowers and fall fruits and vegetables to make batches of giftable jams, jellies, pickles, oils, vinegars, sauces, salsas and the like. You can also use them to create herbal teas, seasoning mixes and rubs, simple syrups, juices and ciders, or use them to infuse garden flavor into baked goods and liqueurs and other spirits. If fresh items are unavailable, those canned, dried, frozen or fermented vegetables and fruits you put up this summer will be equally appreciated. Pamper someone on your gift list by using herbs, flowers and other garden crops to make soaps, scrubs, lotions and bath oils and salts. Or use them to create useful products such as sachets, potpourris, air freshening sprays and other household and cleaning supplies. For the decorator types on your list, leaves, flowers and seeds make beautiful dried arrangements or can be pressed to create frameable botanical art. They can Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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also be used to embellish or imprint candles, stationery, stepping-stones, clay pots, journals and much more. Vines can become wreaths, baskets and sculptures, and foliage and flowers can be used to wrap or decorate holiday gifts. Nature lovers will likely appreciate crafts and decorations made from cones, acorns, nuts, leaves, bark and dried produce (think okra and gourds, for instance) gathered from your garden and yard. For bird and wildlife lovers, many of those same items can be turned into wildlife feeders such as cones rolled in suet, nut butters and seeds. For sustainability-focused folks on your list, upcycle old rakes, shovels, trowels and other garden tools into holiday decorations or year-round yard art. Gently used tomato cages can be woven with foliage, lights, ribbons, vines and other adornments to create a festive holiday tree. Silverware, dishes, chains and even plastic bottles and other household items can be repurposed into wind chimes, rain chains, plant markers, birdfeeders and more. Use your DIY and craft skills to revive old baskets, watering cans, buckets, wheelbarrows, pots, aprons and work shirts into something fun and functional. Or go uberDIY and build potting or park benches, plant stands, cold frames, trellises or bird houses and pollinator hotels as gifts. Need gifts for fellow gardeners? That’s really easy! Share mature plants, rooted cuttings, seeds and bulbs from your garden, or use extra herbs, succulents, cacti and other plants to create terrariums and potted plant collections. And you can re-
ally thrill them with a bag — or truckload — of pine straw, leaves or compost. If your garden’s giftable stock is low at the moment, no worries. Give IOUs for future harvests of flowers, herbs, produce, seeds, bulbs and cuttings as gifts. You can also make a gift of your gardening knowledge by offering to advise or mentor a novice gardener or by volunteering your muscle and time to help cleanup someone’s garden and landscape. Better yet, invite someone into your garden for a visit or a little quiet time. Need more ideas or inspiration? Look for local workshops, or find ideas and instruction online, in magazines and in books such as The Crafty Gardener: Inspired Ideas and DIY Crafts from Your Own Backyard by Becca Anderson or Gifts from the Garden:100 Gorgeous Homegrown Presents by Debora Robertson.
NOVEMBER TIPS • Plant cool-season annual vegetables and flowers.
• Water newly planted shrubs and
perennials, especially if the weather is dry. • Test your soil. • Sow wildflower seed. • Divide perennials. • Prepare irrigation systems and gardening tools and equipment for winter. • Use fallen leaves as mulch or add them to compost. • Cut back on water for houseplants.
Taking a look at the cancer trilogy: Prevalence, cause and prevention
hat causes cancer? Many things! Probably the most important factor is genetics. Certain genetic makeup has us more susceptible to having cancer. We all became more aware of genetic mutations for cancer as Angelina Jolie tested positive for breast cancer mutations and went through a double mastectomy. These mutations tend to run in the family, like from grandmother to mother to daughter. Luckily for humans, as we marry out of a close genetic group, genes get diluted and reduce the risk for cancer. Unfortunately, we do the exact opposite in pets. By selectively breeding, we amplify some of the harmful genes over generations. Only by inbreeding we create a “breed” and inadvertently concentrate these cancer-causing genes. Examples will be boxers with mast cell Goutam Mukherjee (Dr. G), DVM, MS, PhD., has been a veterinarian for more than 30 years. He owns High Falls Holistic Veterinary Clinic in Crossville. Email questions of general interest to email@example.com.
tumors, rottweilers with osteosarcoma, golden retrievers with blood vessel tumors, and so on. However, the genetic codes do not tell the whole story! Just because a mother had breast cancer does not mean that the daughter will get the same. A boxer dog may carry the genes for mast cell tumor, but that does not necessarily mean that she will get cancer. Beyond genetics, lifestyle, nutrition and many other factors play a role in the expression of a gene. My father’s family has a long history of lung disease, but by not smoking, I can reduce my chances of getting asthma. Our internal hormones can be counted as influencing factors. In humans, 80 percent of the breast cancers are estrogen-progesterone dependent. Similarly, unspayed dogs have a higher risk of breast cancer. Interestingly, viruses can also cause cancer, like feline leukemia in cats; 30 percent of cats infected with feline leukemia virus will develop intestinal cancer.
Editor’s note: Second of three parts Environmental factors also come into play in the expression of cancer genes. These factors include the food we eat, the air we breathe and even radiation from the sun. As an example, white cats and dogs are prone to skin cancer from lack of protective melanin on their skin. Second-hand tobacco smoke can cause oral squamous cell carcinoma in cats and nasal cancer in dogs. Some herbicides are implicated in bladder cancer in Scottish terriers. One study from Italy showed that dogs living in the industrial areas had an 8.5 times higher risk of developing lymphoma than those living in urban areas. Another similar study found that tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma was 10 times more common in animals living in cities than in those living in more rural environments. All these evidences suggest that there may be link between different chemicals and cancer in pets. So what do we do? Stop eating, drinking and going outside? Wait for the next installment in January.
NOVEMBER 2019 33
| Alabama Recipes |
Forbidden Fruit? BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY STYLING/PHOTOS BY BROOKE ECHOLS
hen we think of fruit and fall, apples often come to mind. Most varieties are ripe and ready in autumn, getting plucked from rows of trees covering orchards from late August into November. This harvest has tied them to many of the dishes we enjoy during this season. Classics like caramel and candy apples are quintessential treats found at fairs; apple pies often make appearances at Thanksgiving feasts. Yet, unlike some other produce that we Southerners like to stake a regional claim to, apples are grown widely across the globe. According to the U.S. Apple Association, in the United States, apples are grown commercially in 32 states but are grown in some form in every single state. Outside our country, China is the world’s top producer, followed by the United States. Other spots high on the list include diverse locales like Poland, India, Russia, Italy, France, Chile and Turkey. In fact, apples are so ubiquitous, they are often used to represent “fruit” in general. And this familiarity has made them a favorite character in multiple myths and legends across cultures where they are attached to concepts like youth, beauty, friendship, luck and even immortality. In our country, the apple’s key place in phrases like “apple of my eye” and “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” (pointing to the fruit’s powerful health benefits) makes further positive connections. But the apple has a dark side too. We talk of “bad apples” and how just one can ruin everything. In some legends and stories, apples are agents of discord and envy and have been employed in treacherous schemes (remember that poisoned apple in Snow White?). And even though the Bible does not name the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden as an apple, it’s what we often see depicted and what many of us visualize. These things directly conflict with the apple’s other attributes, begging the question: At its core, is the apple good or evil? Neither. It’s a piece of fruit, folks. But a big bite into a crisp, fresh apple is good, and the addition of the apple’s sweet and sometimes tart taste to a variety of dishes is a good thing too. So, check out this issue’s reader-submitted recipes, leave judgement out of it and get your apple a day any way you can.
34 NOVEMBER 2019
Apple-Pecan Pork Chops
Apple and Pear Taco
Easy Apple Crisp for Two
4 2 1 1/2 2
2 2 1 1 1 2 1 ¼ 15 2 4
3 2 2 2 1/4 1/2
boneless pork loin chops, cut about 1-inch thick tablespoons butter cup (about 2) red apples, cored and thinly sliced, skin on cup pecans, chopped tablespoons packed brown sugar Salt and pepper, to taste
Trim fat from chops. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; set aside. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat until it sizzles. Add sliced apples; cook and stir about 2 minutes. Push apples to the side of skillet. Add chops; cook about 4 minutes total, turning chops on each side to sear; move apples aside as needed. Spoon apples over chops. Sprinkle with pecans and brown sugar. Cover. Cook, covered for 2-4 minutes more until chops are done. Serve chops topped with apple slices and cooking juices. This dish goes well with cooked white rice or mashed potatoes, and a green vegetable on the side. Jackie Whitehead Baldwin EMC
apples (any variety) pears lime tablespoon sugar teaspoon cinnamon teaspoons butter, divided tablespoon heavy cream cup strawberry jam drops Tabasco sauce tablespoons tequila pieces flour tortilla (or 8 small)
Peel, deseed and slice the apples and pears. Place them in water with a squeeze of lime juice. Strain the fruit, combine with sugar and cinnamon. In a pan, melt 1 teaspoon butter and cook the fruit for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove fruit from the pan and reserve. In the same pan make a strawberry sauce: add a teaspoon of butter, a tablespoon of heavy cream, the strawberry jam, Tabasco sauce and tequila, cook in low heat until smooth. Roll each tortilla with ¼ of filling. Plate and decorate with the strawberry sauce. Sharlene Parker Baldwin EMC
medium Gala apples, cut in chunks tablespoons white sugar tablespoons margarine tablespoons brown sugar cup all-purpose flour teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the apple chunks in a greased 6-cup baking dish, and cover with the white sugar. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl until the mixture looks like meal and spread it over the apples. Bake until bubbly, about 35 minutes. Serve warm and top with ice cream if desired. Sheree Powell Central Alabama EC
Recipe Correction! Our featured Cook of the Month recipe for October was a Cream Cheese Cornbread. It is a delicious recipe as is, but we received many concerned calls and notes about the absence of cornmeal in the ingredients. It should have read "1 cup self-rising cornmeal," not flour as originally listed. Thank you to our many loyal readers for bringing this to our attention. Easy Apple Crisp for Two
NOVEMBER 2019 35
Smoked Turkey and Apple Panini
Fresh Apple Cake
2 cups sugar 1½ cups cooking oil 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 eggs, beaten well ½ lemon, juiced 1 teaspoon salt 3 cups flour 1¼ teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg 3 cups fresh apples, peeled and chopped 1½ to 2 cups pecans, chopped
1 tube crescent rolls 2 medium-size tart apples, peeled and quartered 1 cup sugar 1 cup orange juice 1 stick margarine Cinnamon
Combine sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs, lemon juice and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat well. Mix flour and baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to sugar mixture and beat again. Add apples and pecans, mix well. Bake in a tube pan that has been greased and floured for 1½ hours at 325 degrees. Caramel glaze: 1 cup sugar ½ cup buttermilk ½ teaspoon baking soda 2 tablespoons corn syrup ½ cup butter ½ teaspoon vanilla extract Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over low heat and boil 10 minutes. Pour over hot cake. Charlotte Graves Sand Mountain EC
Unroll crescent rolls and separate into 8 triangles. Microwave apple slices for 3 minutes. Remove and put 1 apple slice on each crescent triangle. Pinch edges to seal. Place in greased 8-inch square baking dish. In a small saucepan, bring sugar, orange juice and margarine to a boil. Pour over dumplins (dumplins will float to the top). Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream or Cool Whip. Eva Wright North Alabama EC
A Fat Doctor’s Apple Pie 1 1 ½ 3 1 ½
stick butter cup flour cup brown sugar ounces cream cheese teaspoon cinnamon cup pecans, chopped
Mix together the butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, cream cheese and pecans. Form mixture into a roll like refrigerator cookies. Chill for 2 hours.
½ cup raisins 4 or 5 medium-size apples 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup sugar Slice apples and arrange in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon, raisins and sugar over apples. Slice the refrigerated roll into rounds and place over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Lexie Turnipseed Dixie EC
Smoked Turkey and Apple Panini 1 1/4 1 1/4 4 4
Granny Smith apple pound smoked turkey thin-sliced deli meat Vidalia onion, chopped cup mayonnaise slices Provolone cheese slices sourdough bread
Peel and chop onion then sauté in a skillet with a little oil until onions are soft. Mix sautéed onions and mayonnaise together in a small bowl. Core and thinly slice the apple, leaving the skin on. Start heating up the panini press or George Foreman Grill. Spread onion mayonnaise on the sourdough bread. Then add the smoked turkey, Provolone cheese and apple slices making 2 paninis. Place paninis on the panini press or George Foreman Grill, close lid and cook 5 minutes then serve. Kirk Vantrease Cullman EC
36 NOVEMBER 2019
Cook of the Month
Laurie Creech, Central Alabama EC Laurie Creech likes apples; she likes them so much, she bumped up the quantity of apples called for in a recipe she got from a friend at church to create her Autumn Squares. She also added more cinnamon. But she doesn’t love all apples. She prefers them cooked and cooked in something sweet. “I like them hot and gooey, like in a pie or any dessert, like these bars,” she said. She’s been making her Autumn Squares for about 15 years, and while she bakes them year round, she particularly enjoys having them on hand for Thanksgiving. “They’re delicious, but they’re also really quick and easy to make, so I like making them for the holidays,” she said.
Autumn Squares 4 eggs 2 cups brown sugar 1 tablespoon butter 1½ cups all-purpose flour 1½ teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup pecans, chopped 1½ cups chopped apples Confectioners sugar and cinna mon, for dusting on top
Cream sugar, butter and eggs. Beat in vanilla, flour and baking powder to creamed mixture. Add pecans and apples. Pour into two 9-inch pans and bake at 350 degrees until done. Cool and sift powdered sugar and cinnamon on top. Cut into small squares to serve.
Mail order form and payment to: Best of Alabama Living Cookbook P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124-4014
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Please send us your original recipes (developed or adapted by you or family members.) Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year.
To be eligible, submissions must include a name, phone number, mailing address and co-op name. Alabama Living reserves the right to
reprint recipes in our other publications.
NOVEMBER 2019 37
| Consumer Wise |
Six efficient holiday gifts to give (or keep!) By Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen
With the holidays approaching, I’m starting to think about unique gifts for my family and friends that won’t use too much energy. Can you share any ideas?
Solar backpack. Price: $30 to $325: Walking or biking to the office, the field or a mountain lake? It may sound crazy, but you can actually make the most of the sun’s energy with a solar backpack. These handy devices collect and store enough electricity to power a phone, tablet or even a laptop. The solar panels stitched onto the back of the packs are flexible and waterproof. Best of all, they have all the features and functionality of their traditional non-solar cousins.
It’s always a great idea to give energy efficient gifts! Here are a few ideas based on a range of prices. You might even want to keep one or two of these for yourself!
Smart power strip. Price: $15 to $100: Smart power strips are the perfect gift for your tech-savvy family members and friends because they’ll likely need the extra outlets for their many devices. Smart power strips give more control than traditional ones. By plugging the main hardware item, such as a computer or monitor, into the master outlet, you can easily control the rest of the devices. When that main device is turned off, everything else plugged into the strip also powers off. Some smart power strips can also be operated through a remote control or smartphone app, and some include programmable timers.
E-bike. Price: $250 to $9,000: Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are regular bicycles with an electric motor that can be engaged as needed. E-bikes are becoming increasi n g l y popular with people who face challenging terrain, bike to work and don’t want to work up a sweat, or perhaps find regular cycling too physically challenging. Studies also show that e-biking can bring many of the same physical benefits as non-assisted pedaling. They even come in foldable versions. One downside is they are heavier than regular bicycles.
Smart thermostat. Price: $30 to $600: A smart thermostat can adjust the temperature by learning your energy use habits over time, which saves you money and keeps you more comfortable. It can also be controlled through a smartphone app. Just make sure you’re going to use all of its functionality before taking the leap. Patrick Keegan writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. Write to energytips@collaborativeefficiency. com for more information.
38 NOVEMBER 2019
Electric scooter. Price: $80 to $3,000: The $49 foldable, foot-powered scooter that exploded onto the scene a decade ago has grown up in a big way. In some larger cities, electric scooters are now available to rent at various locations, found and paid for via app. Or you can buy one to use for your daily commute
or as a fun way to simply scoot around t h e neighb o r hood. Higher-quality versions will have longer range, larger tires and better suspension – along with a higher cost, of course. The catch is that they’re still largely confined to paved surfaces.
Energy efficient tablets. Price: $40 to $4,000: You may already have at least one tablet in your home, but have you considered how energy efficient it is? Try this: Instead of using your TV to binge that new show, consider an ENERGY STAR-rated tablet, and you can use seven times l e s s power! Simply look for the ENERGY S TA R label when you’re shopping for new tablets.
Looking for an efficient gift that costs practically nothing? Enjoy a good book and a cozy evening at home, which requires no energy use at all. Don’t forget to put on your favorite sweater and pair of fuzzy slippers so you can lower the thermostat a couple of degrees. Now that’s an energy efficient evening worth repeating! This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency. For more information on energy efficient gifts, please visit: www.collaborativeefficiency.com/energytips.
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NOVEMBER 2019 39
| Outdoors |
A chance to touch (and fire) pieces of history
hen he was just out of high school, my father, Henry what they want to shoot, instructors make those firearms ready, “Hank” Felsher, enlisted in the Navy as a 17-year-old kid load them and put them on a bench rest so the customers can and served as an aircraft gunner in the Pacific during shoot them comfortably.” World War II. He never said much about combat except, “I really Many people visit LMMG to celebrate a life event, such as a liked firing the machine guns.” milestone birthday, anniversary or retirement. Corporate groups When I visited Lake Martin Machine Gun in Eclectic, I finally come as a team-building experience. Some people just want to understood exactly what he meant. I grew up firing all kinds of fulfill a “bucket list” experience or perhaps honor a departed vetfirearms, but never felt such sheer power and exhilaration from eran loved one. any gun until I squeezed the trigger on a .50-caliber machine gun, “All kinds of customers come see us,” says Jodi McGirt, David’s just like the ones my father shot daily 74 years ago. wife who serves as an instructor and range safety officer. “Many Dubbed “Ma Deuce,” the Browning M2HB first entered service of them never held a firearm or fired one. Some people are afraid with the U.S. military more than 80 years ago and remains a frontof guns, but our primary focus is for everyone to have a safe, enline powerhouse today. Few people outside of the military ever get joyable experience. Even people who are hesitant to shoot always to fire such a gun – until now! have a ‘thrill grin’ of satisfacEstablished in 2016, Lake tion afterward.” Martin Machine Gun allows Jodi grew up with a father customers to legally shoot a and brothers who hunted, but .50 caliber warhorse and sevshe wanted more. She became eral other historic and modern an NRA-certified firearms fully automatic firearms. The instructor and founded the list includes some veterans of Lake Martin chapter of A Girl both sides during World War & A Gun Women’s Shooting II such as a Thompson subLeague (www.agirlandagun. machine gun, M-1919 .30-calorg). This organization helps iber machine gun and some women shooters advance to legendary German firearms whatever skill level they wish among others. to attain. “The genesis of the shooting “I started shooting as a perexperience was to bring some David McGirt, owner of Lake Martin Machine Gun in Eclectic, shows his sonal desire to learn more and firearms from history back to wife, Jodi, how to operate a Browning M2 .50 machine gun. This type of get more comfortable with fireheavy machine gun has been used by U.S. military forces for more than life and allow people to expe- 80 years and is still in front-line service around the world. arms,” she says. “It grew into a rience shooting those firearms desire to share that knowledge PHOTOS BY JOHN FELSHER in a safe, educational environwith others, especially women. ment,” says David McGirt, owner of Lake Martin Machine Gun Many women might be intimidated going into a large gun shop (LMMG) and a former Marine Corps fighter pilot. “Most people to purchase a firearm. One of the classes I teach is about how to only see these firearms behind glass in a museum or on TV and select the right firearm for each individual. Our objective is to in movies. On TV and in the movies, they are not represented improve skills for self-defense or competitive shooting and get accurately.” women familiar with firearms and how to use them.” Private citizens can legally own automatic firearms if they go People can also shoot their own rifles and pistols at the Elmore through the appropriate background checks and obtain proper County range and buy ammunition on site. Eye and hearing prolicensing as required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms tection are available for people who do not bring their own. and Explosives. Since LMMG completed the necessary legal pro“Elmore County is honored to be home to a place where peocedures, people who visit the range can simply pick out whatever ple can actually touch history,” says Cary W. Cox, of the Elmore guns they want to shoot under the watchful eyes of trained range County Economic Development Authority. “The sounds, smell safety officers and instructors. and excitement of firing fully automatic firearms is not something “Because of the licensing we have, we can allow people to shoot that translates well into words or video. People must experience our firearms in the safe environment at our facility,” McGirt says. it.” “These firearms belong to us. We are not selling them, but merely On this month of Veterans Day, remember those who served. renting an experience to people. When customers arrive, they’ll To make an appointment to visit Lake Martin Machine Gun, see get a little history lesson on the firearms. When customers decide lakemartinmachinegun.com or call 888-660-6462. John N. Felsher lives in Semmes, Ala. Contact him through Facebook.
40 NOVEMBER 2019
DOUG HANNON’S FISH & GAME FORECAST 2019 NOVEMBER
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
2:42 - 4:42 3:30 - 5:30 4:18 - 6:18 5:06 - 7:06 5:54 - 7:54 6:42 - 8:42 7:30 - 9:30 8:18 - 10:18 9:06 - 11:06 10:42 - 12:42 11:30 - 1:30 NA 1:06 - 3:06 1:54 - 3:54
3:06 - 5:06 3:54 - 5:54 4:42 - 6:42 5:30 - 7:30 6:18 - 8:18 7:06 - 9:06 7:54 - 9:54 8:42 - 10:42 9:30 - 11:30 11:06 - 1:06 11:54 - 1:54 12:42 - 2:42 1:30 - 3:30 2:18 - 4:18
9:09 - 10:39 9:57 - 11:27 10:45 - 12:15 11:33 - 1:03 NA 1:09 - 2:39 1:57 - 3:27 2:45 - 4:15 3:33 - 5:03 5:09 - 6:39 5:57 - 7:27 6:45 - 8:15 7:33 - 9:03 8:21 - 9:51
9:33 - 11:03 10:21 - 11:51 11:09 - 12:39 11:57 - 1:27 12:45 - 2:15 1:33 - 3:03 2:21 - 3:51 3:09 - 4:39 3:57 - 5:27 5:33 - 7:03 6:21 - 7:51 7:09 - 8:39 7:57 - 9:27 8:45 - 10:15
2:42 - 4:42 3:30 - 5:30 4:18 - 6:18 5:06 - 7:06 5:54 - 7:54 6:42 - 8:42 7:30 - 9:30 8:18 - 10:18 9:06 - 11:06 9:54 - 11:54 10:18 - 12:18 10:42 - 12:42 11:30 - 1:30 NA 1:06 - 3:06 1:54 - 3:54 2:42 - 4:42 3:30 - 5:30 4:18 - 6:18 5:06 - 7:06 5:54 - 7:54 6:42 - 8:42 7:30 - 9:30 8:18 - 10:18 9:06 - 11:06 10:42 - 12:42 11:30 - 1:30 NA 1:06 - 3:06 1:54 - 3:54 2:42 - 4:42
3:06 - 5:06 3:54 - 5:54 4:42 - 6:42 5:30 - 7:30 6:18 - 8:18 7:06 - 9:06 7:54 - 9:54 8:42 - 10:42 9:30 - 11:30 10:18 - 12:18 10:42 - 12:42 11:06 - 1:06 11:54 - 1:54 12:42 - 2:42 1:30 - 3:30 2:18 - 4:18 3:06 - 5:06 3:54 - 5:54 4:42 - 6:42 5:30 - 7:30 6:18 - 8:18 7:06 - 9:06 7:54 - 9:54 8:42 - 10:42 9:30 - 11:30 11:06 - 1:06 11:54 - 1:54 12:42 - 2:42 1:30 - 3:30 2:18 - 4:18 3:06 - 5:06
9:09 - 10:39 9:57 - 11:27 10:45 - 12:15 11:33 - 1:03 NA 1:09 - 2:39 1:57 - 3:27 2:45 - 4:15 3:33 - 5:03 4:21 - 5:51 4:48 - 6:18 5:09 - 6:39 5:57 - 7:27 6:45 - 8:15 7:33 - 9:03 8:21 - 9:51 9:09 - 10:39 9:57 - 11:27 10:45 - 12:15 11:33 - 1:03 NA 1:09 - 2:39 1:57 - 3:27 2:45 - 4:15 3:33 - 5:03 5:09 - 6:39 5:57 - 7:27 6:45 - 8:15 7:33 - 9:03 8:21 - 9:51 9:09 - 10:39
9:33 - 11:03 10:21 - 11:51 11:09 - 12:39 11:57 - 1:27 12:45 - 2:15 1:33 - 3:03 2:21 - 3:51 3:09 - 4:39 3:57 - 5:27 4:45 - 6:15 5:11 - 6:41 5:33 - 7:03 6:21 - 7:51 7:09 - 8:39 7:57 - 9:27 8:45 - 10:15 9:33 - 11:03 10:21 - 11:51 11:09 - 12:39 11:57 - 1:27 12:45 - 2:15 1:33 - 3:03 2:21 - 3:51 3:09 - 4:39 3:57 - 5:27 5:33 - 7:03 6:21 - 7:51 7:09 - 8:39 7:57 - 9:27 8:45 - 10:15 9:33 - 11:03
The Moon Clock and resulting Moon Times were developed 36 years ago by Doug Hannon, one of America’s most trusted wildlife experts and a tireless inventor. The Moon Clock is produced by DataSport, Inc. of Atlanta, GA (www.moontimes.com), a company specializing in wildlife activity time prediction. Alabama Living
NOVEMBER 2019 41
EVEN TEXTERS AND DRIVERS HATE TEXTERS AND DRIVERS. STOPTEXTSSTOPWRECKS.ORG
NOVEMBER 2019â€ƒ 43
| Our Sources Say |
The mission and the message I
get a number of responses and comments on the articles I write for Alabama Living. The overwhelming number of comments are supportive and complimentary. However, others are critical of the content and, sometimes, personally demeaning. For example, one reader writes, “Month after month, I read Gary Smith’s editorial with a sigh and eye-rolling. But, enough is enough. Stop giving this guy a platform! It is a disgrace that he has a position of power and is using his influence to perpetuate misinformation and antiquated ideas. Gary Smith’s writing is idiotic.” Another reader writes, “He is a coal promoter and denies global warming exists. Therefore he is stupid and a liar! Stop spreading YOUR lies Mr. Smith, as Alabamians deserves better than you!” Finally, another reader writes, “You’re the sort that gives capitalism a bad name. Profits and moola rule your thinking and as Freud said, ‘Sanity is the ability to face reality.’” Those are harsh indictments from people who have never met me and have no idea of the challenges we have at PowerSouth – and that the electric utility industry, in general faces. I assure you that we face the realities of providing reliable service every day.
PowerSouth is an electric cooperative formed 78 years ago to provide the wholesale power requirements of its distribution members (customers). Our mission remains to provide safe, reliable and affordable electric power to our members. PowerSouth has no stock, and its only investors are those members to whom we provide electric service. Representatives of those members serve on the PowerSouth Board of Trustees, set the policies that guide PowerSouth’s business and that set the rates for the electric power they receive. We are a true cooperative, not-for-profit, and owned and governed by those we serve. PowerSouth’s members provide service to some of the poorest counties in the United States. We and our members invest in those communities to promote economic development, create jobs and improve the lifestyle of the people we serve. We do all we can to build the infrastructure in our service area to improve quality of life for the people that live there. Our employees live in those communities, and many of them contribute in their free time to the communities’ success. Electric cooperatives have made tremendous investments in rural America. Cooperatives are much different than for-profit businesses. Any savings and profits are passed on to our members. Likewise, cost increases are passed on the members. Our incentive is completely aligned with our interest in providing safe, reliable, affordable electric power to our members.
Cooperatives are governed by elected representatives of their members. Electric cooperatives provide electric service for all members, but because of the nature of electric service it is very difficult to provide all members exactly what they may want, including a selection of generation options. PowerSouth will close its coal plant at Leroy, Alabama, next October. We are building a new natural gas plant, which will be more environmentally friendly. Also, even though we will continue to pay for the coal plant, the addition of the natural gas plant will not increase our cost of service. We are also installing solar generation, not for environmental reasons, but because solar generation is cheaper than some forms of generation, at least while the sun is shining. However, solar is not the only answer to safe, affordable and reliable electric service, regardless of how much you or I may want it to be. The demands on the electric grid are constantly changing, and solar does not react to the changes. Providing reliable electric service every second of every day is a very complex and difficult challenge. The sun does not shine all the time, and batteries, at this time, are not an affordable solution. Some responsive generation resource is required for reliability. We have no bias for or against electric generation from coal, natural gas, wind, solar or any other source. However, we do have a bias against uneconomical or unreliable generation resources. Personally, I have no economic interest in using any form of generation over another or in the profitability of PowerSouth. PowerSouth has no stock; therefore, I receive no stock options like executives with publicly traded companies. We return excess margins to our members and have no profits, so we have no profit-sharing plan. I have never been compensated by PowerSouth in any way other than a straight salary. The message of my articles is that the proposals of many politicians to resolve climate change will not be free and will increase your cost of electricity, regardless of your beliefs about climate change. You may be well off and not care about higher costs; however, many of your fellow members are working hard to make ends meet, and affordability is their highest priority. People do need to know there are consequences for actions and non-actions. PowerSouth’s mission of providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity for the rural areas of Alabama and northwest Florida serves all of our members well. It would be great if everyone could have exactly what they want. To support one’s opinions with the use of personal derogatory criticisms is just mean-spirited and offensive. I truly hope you have a good month.
Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.
44 NOVEMBER 2019
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NOVEMBER 2019 45
| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |
The Box eterans Day. My Father landed in Europe in the fall of 1944, went into the line, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was there when Germany surrendered. He never talked about it, much. So my memories of his war consists of fragments of a few stories, the V-mail he sent Mama, a little journal which he kept, and the box. As long as I can remember, the box was on a shelf in a bedroom closet. It was wooden, and you can tell from the finish it was military issue. It was just big enough to hold what Daddy put in it when he came home. Once they were souvenirs. Now they are memories that I inherited, with the box, when Daddy died. There is a metal-cased New Testament and an English-to-German phrase book, handed out in full anticipation of invasion and victory. A few German coins and insignia from a German uniform. There is a German paratrooper knife, a remarkable bit of Teutonic engineering designed so that with the flip of the wrist out comes a double-edged blade for cutting the chute-lines when you hit the ground. And folded into one side is an awl-like metal rod, the size of a pencil, tapered to a sharp point, which Daddy once said could be used with lethal efficiency by the man from whom he took it. And a Nazi banner. Bright red still after all these years, with the white circle in the center and in that a black twisted cross, the swastika. The banner was one of a hundred or more that hung from light-poles along the main street of a town Daddy “liberated.” Even today, by itself, more than half a century later, it evokes an involuntary shudder, just as it was meant to. But of all the things in the box, the one Daddy always paused over is the Jugend knife. About the size of what I strapped on my belt when I was a Boy Scout. As decorative as practical, it was the sort of Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus of History at Jacksonville State University and a columnist for Alabama Living. He can be reached at email@example.com.
46 NOVEMBER 2019
Illustration by Dennis Auth
thing that might be given as a prize in some contest or competition. Like the banner, it still has its luster – the black enamel sheath and handle, and on the pommel, the same contorted symbol. Hitler Jugend. Hitler Youth. “I took it off a boy no older than you,” my Daddy told me when I was hardly in my teens. “He and some others his age had been sent out to dig fortifications. This and a shovel was all he had.” I didn’t ask if any were killed. I didn’t want to know. And I don’t think he would have wanted to tell me. Not the way he looked at me then. Like a father wondering what he would
have done if that boy was his boy? But these are my memories of his memories. I don’t know why my father kept these particular souvenirs – likely they were not chosen so much as blundered upon. He also sent home a picture, a watercolor, he found rolled up in the gutter of a shelled street. It hangs in my office today. We owe a lot to our veterans. We need to honor them. And remember what they did for us. And do what they want us to do. Which in my father’s case, is to do what we can to keep from creating any more veterans. Now that would be a tribute. www.alabamaliving.coop