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Look for us at Exit 14 on I-22 this fall! SEPTEMBER 2014

Tombigbee Electric COOPERATIVE

Rural Studio Celebrating 20 years of

improving life in Hale County

Amateur radio Spanning the globe and helping out at home

TEC’s new Facility! What you need to know about our move. Pages 6-7 WWW.TOMBIGBEE.ORG


2014 Annual Meeting Update Page 5 Energy Tips Simple but effective tips to help you save money! Page 8.

Best Alabama 20


It’s back! Once again, Alabama Living readers have a chance to vote on the places and things that make our state great! We’ve got some new categories this year, so check out the list and tell us what’s your choice for the “Best of Alabama”!

advice for a newcomer 1. Best moving to Alabama

9. Best historic cemetery

17. Best annual event

city/town with unique 2. Best or funny name

statue or historical 10. Best marker in Alabama

18. place

place to take a 3. Best all-time athlete (past or present) 11. Best Sunday drive

Best non-chain breakfast

Alabama grown 19. Best produce

4. Best Alabama export

random roadside 12. Best attraction

20.Best cook-off event

5. Best movie about Alabama

location in 13. Best Alabama for a selfie

seasoning, sauce, or 21. Best condiment made in Alabama

6. Best place to go on a first date

place to get muddy or 14. Best play in the mud

Alabama dish to serve 22. Best out-of-town guests

7. Best place to get married

outdoor adventure 15. Best destination

Alabama made product to 23.Best send home with “out-of-towners”

8. Best place to retire

outdoor annual festival/ Best thing about living 16. Best 24. jubilee/etc. in Alabama


Best article, feature, photo or helpful tip you read in Alabama Living in the past 12 months

Cast your vote for VOTE ONLINE www.alabamaliving.coop Name: ___________________________________ the Best of Alabama for the chance to win Address: _________________________ City: ___________ St: ___Zip: ________



Deadline to vote is Oct. 15, 2014.

Phone Number: __________________Co-op: ______________________________

Mail to: Alabama Living Survey • P.O. Box 244014 • Montgomery, AL 36124 No purchase necessary. Eligibility: Contest open to all persons age 18 and over, except employees and their immediate family members of Alabama Rural Electric Association, and Alabama Electric Cooperatives; and their respective divisions, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising, and promotion agencies.



Steve Foshee CO-OP EDITOR

Kay Marshall ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. AREA cooperative member subscriptions are $3 a year; non-member subscriptions, $6. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014.



VOL. 67 NO. 9 SEPTEMBER 2014


5 Annual meeting

Updates from the 2014 Annual Meeting

6 TEC’s new facility Information that YOU need to know as we move into our new facility including architectural drawing previews.

16 Hamming it up

In the age of cell phones, texting, internet and other forms of instantaneous global communications, why do so many folks still use a century-old technology?

ON THE COVER Architectual drawing of the beautiful new TEC facility in Hamilton, AL.

30 Southern Bite

A popular blogger, who believes “with a good recipe and confidence, anybody can make anything,” has turned his favorite family recipes into a cookbook.

340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail: advertising@areapower.com www.areapower.coop

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


National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 www.nationalcountrymarket.com www.alabamaliving.coop


USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311


Dear Members, Please review the list of unclaimed checks on page 42 of this issue!

32 33 36

Spotlight Worth the Drive Outdoors Fish & Game Forecast Cook of the Month

Printed in America from American materials

Alabama Living


Tombigbee Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees Jim McRae Chair

David Collins

Manager’s Comments

Take action Steve Foshee Manager of Tombigbee EC


Curt Morris

Secretary Treasurer

Terry Gosa Greg Guin Sheila Gunter William T. Hulsey Chad Williams Warren Williford

Visit our website www.tombigbee.org

Headquarters: P.O. Box 610 Guin, AL 35563 205.468.3325


In this article I would like to focus on two topics; the annual meeting and our upcoming move. At this year’s annual meeting we had close to 900 people to vote. While this is still a positive number, it was down by 300 or so from last year. I have never quite understood why our members do not fully participate. This cooperative directly affects all of our member’s lives and families. You own the business... and we give a $5.00 credit toward your September power bill just for your participation. All that is required of you is to mail the ballot back with your signature -- and we even pay the postage! In our reports we outlined the past year’s performance and the challenges facing us in the future. No doubt you have read of both TVA and Alabama Power closing some of its older coal plants. These are coal plants that have produced low cost affordable electricity for well over 50 years. Taking their place are natural gas plants that produce heat which makes steam that turns the turbines rather than using coal as the heating source. This method also produces carbon - which is why our government is changing regulations that will, basically, put coal out of business. If you believe in global warming or, as they now say, climate change, you are happy about this. If you depend on low cost power then you should not be happy at all. Times are changing and if the coal plants are all

forced to close we will most certainly feel the effect in our bills. In our reports we addressed the fact that China is starting up coal plants faster than we are closing them. They will have cheap power and we will not. From my perspective it seems that things are mixed up. At Tombigbee we have done all we could to hold cost down and I think we have done a very good job doing so. Unfortunately there is only so much one can do when you are told the cheapest source of power has to close. We’d like to encourage you - again - to visit www. action.coop and express your concern to the EPA. In regards to our new facility it looks as though we are moving in October. It is located on the interstate which means you can get to us easily and we can get to you quickly anywhere from Fernbank to Haleyville. Much has been written to explain why the new facility is necessary and why that location was chosen. I hope you will be proud of it as it will allow us to do our jobs better and to serve the area as a whole in many ways. As mentioned in the article on pages 6-7, we will be keeping our phone number. Please take a moment to read the article for other important information on our move. Our October issue will continue to include updates and information as well. A


TEC Annual Meeting

ANNUAL MEETING RESULTS The 2014 annual meeting was held at 8:30 AM on August 9, 2014 at the Guin office building The agenda covered the election of trustees, the reading and approval of the minutes from the 2013 annual meeting and the presentation of the officer’s reports. This year you, the membership, re-elected Jim McRae, Terry Gosa and Curt Morris to the board of directors.

Your voice counts. Visit action.coop today! Alabama Living


We Are Moving! As we put the September issue of AL Living to print, we are in our final planning stages of the move to Hamilton. At this point in time there is a lot of construction happening and there are still a few things that could affect our actual Grand Opening date but we are aiming for mid-October. Look in our October issue for the actual date. A FEW THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW: 1. Where is our new location?

2. What is our new mailing address? Our new mailing address will be: Tombigbee Electric Cooperative 3196 County Hwy 55 Hamilton, AL 35570 It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to those of you who use a bill pay feature from your bank to change the mailing address with your bank. We will have mail forwarding for 6 months after our move, but to ensure we receive your payment on time, please be sure to change the address. 3. What will our phone number be? Our phone number will not change! Due to technology today, we are going to be able to take our current phone number with us. To reach us you can call: (205) 468-3325 or (800) 621-8069 4. What are the different ways to pay your bill? We offer several options for you to make a payment.

Our new physical address will be: Tombigbee Electric Cooperative 3196 County Hwy 55 Hamilton, AL 35570 This is located at exit 14 just off the I22 corridor. Directions: When driving east toward Hamilton on County Hwy 35 (River Road), turn right onto County Hwy 55 just before getting to the interstate. If driving away from Hamilton going west on County Hwy 35 (River Road), cross the interstate and turn left onto County Hwy 55.


 Mail your payment 3196 County Hwy 55 Hamilton, AL 35570  Visit our website: www.tombigbee.org Click on My Account and log in.  Use our mobile app – it’s FREE!! Our app is available on all platforms. Just visit your app store and search for takeCHARGE or Tombigbee Electric. Log into it the app using the same credentials as online.  Call our automated phone system (205)468-3325 or (800)621-8069. Choose option 3 and then option 2. Note: You MUST have your account number  Drop your payment off at one of our three payment locations: • Our office - 3196 County Hwy 55 Hamilton, AL 35570 • People’sTrust Bank – 1281 Military Street South Hamilton, AL 35570 • State Bank & Trust – 7370 US Hwy 43 Guin, AL 35563 NOTE: Payments made at banks must be made on or before the due date and you must have your payment coupon. www.alabamaliving.coop

TEC’s Facility

Artist renditions of the new facilty. As mentioned, we will have actual photographs of the new facility in the October issue and, of course, the announcement for our Grand Opening! For this issue we’d like to provide you with a few of the architectural drawings done of the facility to give you a preview of the interior and overall general appearance.

View of the TEC Lobby

View of the Southwest Corner

Located at the front of the building there is a community room that will be used to feed and house linemen in storm events. The octagon in the front of the building is our lobby and our appliance display depicted in the top drawing. All bill payments can be made in this area. Also it will contain a small display of the past, present and future of electricity.

Alabama Living

View of the Northwest Corner

The southwest corner of the new facility contains approximately 25,000 sq. ft. and will be used as our material warehouse and garage for our trucks and large equipment. The northwest corner of the new facility is where the drive into the cooperative is located. The north end of the building is for appliance pick up. A


TEC Energy Tips

Seal air leaks to save energy Before you turn the heat on this fall, do a sweep of your home to learn where heat might be leaking to the outdoors.The less heat that escapes, the less you waste - and the more comfortable your home will feel. HERE’S HOW TO INSPECT YOUR HOME:  Look for air leaks. Indoors, check for gaps be-

tween baseboards and floors and at the intersections of walls and ceilings. Find cracks and gaps around electrical, cable and phone outlets on the interior side of outdoor walls. Light a match or a stick of incense and hold it in front of each window in the house. If the smoke blows, those windows are leaking.

 Call an HVAC tech to check on your heating

system. The tech will look for damage, worn-out parts and other trouble-in-the-making. A do-ityourself tip: Change your furnace filters every couple of months during heating season. And if your equipment is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a new, high-efficiency system that will almost certainly lower your heating bills and make your home more comfortable.

 Consider having a professional energy audit.

An energy assessment can find leaks in places where you can’t: inside walls, under floors and in crawl spaces, for instance. Using huge fans and infrared cameras an auditor can find trouble spots and recommend ways to remove them. DID YOU KNOW? TEC does home inspections upon request. Call for more information. A

 Plug the leaks. Sealing those little leaks and

drafts can save you up to 30 percent in heating and cooling bills each year, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates. So caulk holes and penetrations wherever you see them: around faucets, pipes and wiring, inside cracks in your exterior siding, and around windows and doors.

 Add or repair insulation. Especially if your

home is older, it’s likely that your attic has too little insulation or the insulation that’s in it has fallen away from the ceiling, walls and floor it is supposed to protect. Reattach or replace old insulation to reduce heat from escaping through the attic during the winter and from coming into the house during the summer.



Spot Light

In September

SEPT. 12-13

‘Return to Coldwater’ celebrates Native American culture, traditions Oka Kapassa, a special Native American gathering, will be held in Spring Park in Tuscumbia to celebrate the culture and traditions of American Indians who once thrived in north Alabama. The tenth annual two-day event will be on Friday, Sept. 12 and Saturday, Sept. 13. Friday is a day set aside for school children but is also open to the general public. Creek Indian Chief Chilley McIntosh spoke favorably of the people in Colbert County, stating, “As long as our nation remains upon the earth, we will recollect Tuscumbia.” Return to Coldwater is an event not only for the reunion of family and friends, but also for tourists who come to enjoy the celebration of native culture still very much alive in the Tennessee Valley. Many crafts and activities OCT. 7

will be offered, including storytelling, stone carving, flute music, hoop dancing, fancy and traditional dancing, blowgun demonstrations, shell carving, flint knapping, basket making, pottery, archery demonstrations and hair braiding. Authentic foods including frybread, Indian tacos and corn will be served. For Native American dancers will information, visit: demonstrate traditional http://okakapassa. dancing during the gathering in org Tuscumbia.

Authentic native artwork such as this pine needle basket made by Wanda Sylestine, Coushatta, will be available for purchase.

Marilyn Huey, a Cherokee Indian who lives in Springville, demonstrates traditional basketmaking to an attentive observer.

OCT. 4

Elba hosting Gumbo Festival at The Wharf Atlanta Pops The 2014 Lower Alabama (L.A.) Gumbo and Gumbo Masters competitions, and attendees will be able to enjoy not only the Festival at The Wharf in Orange Beach Orchestra food competition, but also college football will be Saturday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. to 9 The Atlanta Pops Orchestra will perform at Elba High School at 7 p.m., Oct. 7. Established in 1945, the Pops is comprised of Atlanta’s best musicians and performs throughout the Southeast. The orchestra will perform a program focused on romantic music from movies, popular tunes and light classics. The performance will include “Somewhere in Time,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Beauty and The Beast,” “West Side Story,” “I’ll Take Romance,” “All the Things You Are” and “Embraceable You.” For information, call 334-393-2787 or visit www. CoffeeCountyArtsAlliance.com.

Alabama Living

p.m. The original two-day event, previously scheduled for Mother’s Day weekend, was cancelled due to the potential of inclement weather.

via a huge outdoor jumbotron and on hundreds of flat screen TVs located inside Baumhower’s Restaurant and Compleat Angler Seafood Grille and Bar at The Wharf.

“Though Aloha Hospitality, The Wharf and the entire City of Orange Beach regrettably had to forego our normal spring event, we look forward to an exciting one-day festival this fall,” says Bob Baumhower, chief executive officer of Aloha Hospitality and a former defensive lineman for the Alabama Crimson Tide and Miami Dolphins. “In true L.A. Gumbo Festival fashion, we will offer attendees a day chockfull of gumbo, artists, college football and live entertainment.”

For this specific L.A. Gumbo Festival, the renowned 4,000-lb. pot that normally serves the “World’s Largest Bowl of Gumbo” will be used for a different purpose. Attendees will have the opportunity to place nonperishable food items in the pot, all of which will be donated to local non-profit organizations. “We wanted to use our massive gumbo pot to do something good for our local community at this particular event,” says Baumhower. “Next March, however, we will again use it to cook up the largest batch of gumbo in the world at the regularly scheduled, two-day festival.” For more information, contact Joy McCord at 251-424-1242.

The upcoming festival will have arts and crafts vendors, gumbo masters competition and live music, including The Budz, Waylon Thibodaux and more. Awards will be given to winners of both the Peoples Choice


Power Pack

If your child is disabled, Social Security can help Cancer is a terrible disease that, although sometimes beatable, can strike a blow to anyone unfortunate enough to face it. It is especially difficult to see children struck by cancer. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, designated to bring attention to the types of cancer that largely affect children. About 13,000 children under age 21 receive cancer diagnoses every year. About a quarter of them will not survive. Those who do will likely suffer with the disease for some time. While Social Security cannot help with the cure, we can offer financial support to children with cancer or any other severe disability. If your child has cancer or another disabling condition, and if your family has low income and few resources, you

may be able to get Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, for your child. If you are receiving retirement or disability benefits, your child may be eligible for Social Security disability insurance when he or she turns age 18 as a “Disabled Adult Child.” To receive SSI or disability insurance benefits, your child’s condition must be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months or result in death. For both Social Security and SSI, you will need to file an application for disability benefits. A good place to start is by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/disability and selecting the “Disability Starter Kit” under “Apply for Benefits.” There, you’ll find a “Child Disability Starter Kit” that includes a factsheet to answer your questions, a link to the “Child Disability Report” for you to complete, a checklist for

your in-office interview with a Social Security representative, and a “Medical and School Worksheet.” A printable version of the “Child Starter Kit” is available. A To learn more, view, print, or listen to an audio version of our publication, Benefits For Children With Disabilities by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov.pubs.

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

Letters to the editor Dear editor, The article on revivals (August 2014) was a delight to read. One has to have grown up and lived that life to really appreciate the article. I was telling my grandson last week that I love this time of year. It reminded me of when I was small and all crops were laid by. And we had some breathing time. He then asked what was “laid by.” Well, the conversation was interesting as I tried to explain. I am very glad I didn’t get into the revival process with him. We were on a charge circuit. Our pastor covered four churches. Not only did we have to attend the week at our church, but we were expected to attend a night or so at the other churches. The entire month of August seemed to be revivals. But, you know that. Your article just hit so smack on the head of what I remember that I just had to say ‘thank you’ for writing and I enjoyed reading it so much! Lynda Emerson, Boaz 10 SEPTEMBER 2014

AREA Summer Conference State Sen. Dick Brewbaker receives the 2014 AREA Senator of the Year Award from AREA President and CEO Fred Braswell at the recent Summer Conference. Guest speakers at the event were Congressman Bradley Byrne and Attorney General Luther Strange, who told cooperative managers and board members they will continue to oppose proposed EPA greenhouse gas rules for existing power plants. www.alabamaliving.coop

Do you have prediabetes? Lifestyle changes may delay or prevent serious illness The vast majority of people with prediabetes don’t know it. Prediabetes is a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes and other serious conditions including heart attack and stroke. The condition classified as prediabetes means your blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes. Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have prediabetes. I have a son in his early 40s who didn’t see any reason to be screened for diabetes because he had been healthy all of his life. A few months ago he became extremely ill, went to the emergency room, and was found to have a very high blood glucose level. After being hospitalized for 10 days and nearly dying, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. No Clear Symptoms People usually find out that they have prediabetes when being tested for diabetes--both can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. During a routine office visit your health care provider can order screenings that indicate prediabetes as follows: • An A1c (a test that measures average blood glucose for the past 2-3 months) of 5.7 – 6.4 percent • Fasting blood glucose (FPG) of 100 – 125 mg/dl • An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) 2-hour blood glucose of 140 mg/dl – 199 mg/dl If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes after six months to one year and be retested annually. The good news is evidence indicates people with prediabetes can take steps to prevent or delay complications that are linked to diabetes. For some people with prediabetes, early treatment can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range. Who Should Get Screened? The American Diabetes Association recommends that the following people be screened: • Adults of any age who are overweight or obese with one or more of these risk factors: • Having a parent, brother or sister with diabetes • Low HDL (good) cholesterol level and high triglycerides level • High blood pressure • History of diabetes during pregnancy or having a baby weighing more than 9 pounds • Being inactive • History of cardiovascular disease • Belonging to an at-risk ethnic group (African Alabama Living

American, Hispanic, Native American, Hispanic American, Asian American or Pacific Islander) • Previous blood test showing prediabetes • People aged 45 or older without any risk factors • Overweight children aged 10 years and older who have two of these risk factors: • High body mass index (BMI) based on child’s weight and height • Family history of diabetes • Signs of insulin resistance or having a condition associated with insulin resistance • At-risk ethnic background Preventing Type 2 Diabetes You will not develop type 2 diabetes automatically if you have prediabetes. Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 59 percent by making lifestyle changes that include: • Losing 7 percent of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds) • Exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week In addition to weight loss and physical activity, your doctor will also recommend that you make changes to your diet that may include eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods. You should also limit your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Even if you can’t reach your ideal body weight, losing even 10 to 15 pounds can make a big difference. Work with your health care provider to avoid diabetes and its complications. Eating right, staying active and taking any needed medications can help you stay healthy. I am pleased to report that my son is now controlling his diabetes by following a healthful diet, engaging in regular physical activity, taking medication and monitoring his blood glucose levels twice daily. He has succeeded in losing 20 pounds and feels much better since he has made appropriate lifestyle changes. Please be screened and follow your health care provider’s recommendations to enjoy b etter overa l l health. Check the Alabama Department of Public Health website at Jim McVay, Dr.P.A., is adph.org/diabetes director of the Bureau of Health Promotion for information and Chronic Disease and educational of the Alabama Department of Public opportunities in Health. your area. A SEPTEMBER 2014 11

In its two decades of operation, Rural Studio has been recognized with numerous a

Auburn’s Rural Studio

Architecture students on a h to improve the quality of life i



s awards from the American and even international architectural communities.


Front view of the Rural Studio offices in Newbern.

at 20: Story and photos by David Haynes

a higher mission e in Hale County Alabama Living

hree-quarters of a century ago James Agee and Walker Evans first brought Hale County, Alabama, into the national consciousness with their book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, which documented the hardscrabble life of poor tenant farmers during the depression-era 1930s. Today that same Black Belt region is making headlines for innovative, creative and practical architecture, thanks to the efforts of Auburn University’s Rural Studio. Based in the tiny town of Newbern, a few miles south of Greensboro on Highway 61, Rural Studio has for the past 20 years been a place where architecture students not only design affordable and useful additions to the community, but also where the same students use their own sweat and labor to carry their visions to the ultimate completion by actually building the structures they’ve designed. Rural Studio was founded in 1993 by professors Samuel Mockbee and D.K. Ruth. Mockbee, who once complained that too many architects had become the “lapdogs of the rich,” believed his architecture students should be ingrained with a higher moral mission to serve the needs of those with more limited means. And for the past 20 years Rural Studio has done just that. An impressive list of community-oriented projects designed and built by Rural Studio students includes Newbern’s town hall and fire station, as well as numerous other civic projects in the nearby county seat in Greensboro, where projects ranging from a sports park, Boys and Girls Club and even a skateboard park have been conceived and executed by Rural Studio’s students. All Rural Studio projects are situated within 25 miles of its home base in Newbern, including several ambitious projects like the Rural Heritage Center in nearby Thomaston and a 110-foot-tall bird watching tower near Marion at Perry Lakes Park. In its two decades of operation, Rural Studio has been recognized with numerous awards from the American and even international architectural communities. Its work here is known around the world and it has become a pilgrimage destination for professionals in the field. Rural Studio, its mission and accomplishments, have been the subject of several books, including the most recent – Rural Studio at Twenty, Designing and Building in Hale County, Alabama – published by the Princeton Architectural Press in 2014. A two-story house on Highway 61 just south of the town center in Newbern serves as Rural Studio’s headquarters. Surrounding the house are various mock-ups of projects both completed and under construction, including a huge greenhouse project that will become the centerpiece of the studio’s self-sustaining agriculture project in coming years. When I visited recently, Natalie Butts, manager of the studio’s 20th anniversary, gave me a short tour of SEPTEMBER 2014 13

Rural Studio students, from left, Sean A playground constructed from steel oil Flaharty, Chloe Schultz, Jeff Bak, drums in nearby Greensboro. Andrew Freear (Rural Studio director) and Mackenzie Stagg put a roof on one of the 20K houses in Newbern.

projects in Newbern that were both completed – like the fire station and town hall – and those under construction, such as the town’s new library. The day of my visit students Will Gregory and Ashley Clark were installing new wooden trim on the facade of an old bank building that is being renovated into the Newbern Town Library. Later she sent me to visit the sites of two “$20K” houses under construction by other student teams just south of town. These houses are an effort to help residents with limited means to have attractive, practical and affordable housing with a price cap of $20,000 as an alternative to the trailer park as residence. Explaining the concept, Rural Studio Director Andrew Freear wrote in the 20th anniversary book: “We looked at the omnipresent American trailer park, where homes, counterproductively, depreciate each year they are occupied. We wanted to create an attractive small house that would appreciate in value while accommodating residents who are unable to qualify for credit. Our goal was to design a market-rate model house that could be built by a contractor for $20,000.” At one of the $20K home sites, Samuel Maddox and Caleb Gardner were pulling wooden concrete forms from the interior “tornado room” for a house 10 miles from Newbern. At another house site closer to town, students Sean Flaharty, Chloe Schultz, Jeff Bak and Mackenzie Staggs were working with Freear to put a metal roof on another of the $20K houses. From there I visited the Lions Park complex in nearby Greensboro, the site of several completed projects as well as the Scout Hut, which is still under construction. One impressive sight was a children’s playground made entirely of colorfully painted, surplus

The bridge leading to the birding tower at Perry Lakes Park near Marion.

Will Gregory and Ashley Clark install trim on a project to convert an old bank building into the new Newbern town library.

55-gallon oil barrels to form canyon-like passageways and mazes that would be a delight for any child to explore. A few hundred feet from the playground is the skateboard park with its waves of concrete interspaced with walkways and shaded sitting areas. While there I ran into a group of architecture students from another school who’d come to see some of what Rural Studio students had built. Around the corner from the skate park was the Scout Hut, which was still under construction. Just down the street is the huge open gymnasium for the Greensboro Boys and Girls Club. Natalie explained that often students who are involved with projects that are not completed before they graduate will return to work as volunteers to help with finishing their projects. Before leaving the area I stopped outside Marion to revisit the Perry Lakes Park Birding Tower. This was a forestry service fire tower located near Demopolis that had been taken out of service. Rural Studio students dismantled the 110-foot-high tower, hauled it to the Perry Lakes site in a cypress swamp near the Cahaba River, then reassembled it minus the enclosed cab at the top. As impressive as the view from the tower is, the boardwalk and triangular-shaped covered footbridge through the cypress trees to reach it are certainly a treat as well. Almost 80 years ago Agee’s prose and Evans’ photographs painted a bleak picture of daylight-to-dark work and squalid living conditions in this part of west Alabama. Today, thanks in large part to efforts by Rural Studio, its mission and more than 150 projects, the quality of life here has improved greatly in the past two decades and will likely continue for decades to come. For more on Rural Studio, visit www.ruralstudio.org. A

Interior of the Newbern fire department, designed and built by Rural Studio students.

14  SEPTEMBER 2014


Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2014  15

Watch radio operator Mike Harbin talk about his hobby at alabamaliving.coop

Mike Hartman, also known as K4MR, is president of the Mobile Amateur Radio Club. PHOTO BY JOHN FELSHER

Hamming it up on the airwaves Amateur radio spans the globe and helps out at home By John N. Felsher

As the 20th century dawned, a new technology sparked onto the world, bringing people from diverse places in contact with each other across the chasms of culture and geography. 16 SEPTEMBER 2014



n December 1901, Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first computer devices and software to talk to people through the radio signal across the Atlantic Ocean, kicking off a boom in keyboard.” wireless communications that persists to this day. By 1909, For years, Redden worked as a professional radio news broadthe Wireless Association of America published a directory listing caster and disk jockey in Montgomery. Commercial broadcast89 amateur radio stations across the United States. ing can reach multitudes simultaneously, but only in a one-way A century ago, in May 1914 to be precise, Hiram Percy Maxim communication -- unless someone uses a telephone to call the founded the American Radio Relay League in Hartford, Con- station. In 1991, Redden became interested in engaging in twonecticut, “to promote and advance the art, science and enjoy- way communications with others throughout the world. ment of amateur radio.” Today, about 200,000 ARRL members “I’ve always been enamored by ham radio,” Redden recalls. continue that goal, part of more than two million amateur radio “I started as a shortwave listener. For a long time, I listened to enthusiasts worldwide. About 2,000 “hams,” or amateur radio international broadcasters on the shortwave band, which is in operators, practice their hobby in Alabama. the same general area as the ham frequencies. Once the FCC “Ham radio is a hobby based around communications activi- removed the requirement for learning Morse code, I took the ties,” explains Ed Tyler, assistant director for the ARRL South- test for a radio license.” eastern Division in Pell City. “Most people get into it because International treaties and the Federal Communications Comof the fun and enjoyment they get out of it, the opportunity to mission designate a segment of the radio spectrum for use by meet other people and expand their own technical expertise and licensed amateur radio stations. To obtain a federal license, proknowledge. Even spective amateur today, there are still radio buffs in the places where people United States must can go and not get pass a proficiency the internet or cell test that covers phone service, but federal regulations, they can get radio basic understandsignals just about ing of radio opanywhere.” erations and other The word “ham,” communications as a nickname for topics. In contrast, amateur radio opcitizen band or CB erators, actually beradio operators do gan as a pejorative not need a license term coined by late or any training, but 19th century profescan only use equipsional telegraphers ment with limited who looked down power and range. upon the amateurs With a license experimenting with in hand, a radio wireless communienthusiast needs cations. In the 19th equipment. People century, “ham” becan start commucame a slang word Ham radio operators are often key to helping with emergency communications during nicating across the for “bad” or “un- severe weather. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALABAMA ARRL globe with basic skilled,” as in a ham actor. Over the years, though, amateur radio equipment that only costs a few dollars or spend thousands for operators adopted the term with pride. more sophisticated technology. To start, an operator needs a In the age of cell phones, texting, internet and other forms transceiver, power supply and an antenna. For an antenna, some of instantaneous global communications, why would so many hams simply string wire through tree branches. people continue to use a century-old technology? Although “People can get into the ham radio hobby with brand new modern amateur radio operators rely upon the same type of equipment for as little as $100,” Tyler advises. “Anywhere that I signal that Marconi generated, as does a cell phone, modern can carry a handheld radio, I can connect with another amateur ham operators use state-of-the-art digital processing systems to radio operator. Many amateur radio operators like to swap equipgenerate, transmit and decode that signal. These operators can ment at “hamfests.” At hamfests, people can get equipment to communicate through a variety of voice, text, image and data operate a 100-watt station for a couple hundred dollars. communications with equipment that shares few traits with old Depending upon atmospheric conditions, radio waves may vacuum tube radios. bounce off the ionosphere, a layer of the upper atmosphere. “Amateur radio is 100 years old,” says Clay Redden, an op- These signals sometimes “ricochet” like a pool ball and hit dierator from Prattville. “The basic radio signal that was used a verse parts of the earth. The signal might hit California one day century ago remains the same, but now we get a lot more help and New York the next day or even go completely around the from modern digital computers. I use several different types of world. Alabama Living


Ham radio operators use digital processing systems to generate, transmit and decode signals. PHOTO BY JOHN FELSHER

“Shortwave and ham radios use similar, but different frequencies,” Redden explains. “At night, the atmosphere becomes a lot more conducive to transmitting radio signals because radiation from the sun can affect some radio waves. Over the years, I’ve talked to people in Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti. I’ve also talked to the astronauts on the International Space Station. I’ve even talked to a Russian at his base near the South Pole. When talking to the Russian, several others joined in after they found out he lived in Antarctica.” Many radio enthusiasts join local clubs all across the state. Experienced operators in clubs can help novices to get their licenses, buy the right equipment and provide technical advice. People can find a list of Alabama clubs at www.hamdepot.com/ states/al.asp. “Amateur radio crosses the entire socioeconomic spectrum,” Redden says. “We’re always looking for more people to participate. Many clubs hold contests where operators see how many stations they can contact in a designated time period. Whoever contacts the most stations could win a trophy or a prize. Many ham operators help with the Cheaha Challenge, a charity bike ride up Cheaha Mountain. In that rugged area, cell phone service is spotty, so event organizers ask amateur radio clubs to help with communications so they can track the riders and provide help to emergency services personnel if needed.” While ham operators never know who might hear their signals or respond, many amateur operators arrange specific times and frequencies to “meet” with their friends of the airwaves. Anyone capable of picking up that signal may listen to the conversation or join in, which makes ham operations so exciting for radio aficionados. “Some people are really passionate abost going to remote places and seeing how many people they can contact,” Tyler noted. 18 SEPTEMBER 2014

Amateur radio can take on a much more serious purpose. A hurricane or tornado can knock down cell phone towers and severely hamper police and other emergency service communications. Many amateur operators own mobile radio equipment that they can take into affected areas and begin relaying messages for response teams. When tornadoes devastated the Tuscaloosa area in April 2011, amateur radio operators responded in the first 24 hours to set up emergency communications and help first responders save lives. “Amateur radio comes to the rescue many times,” Redden says. “In Alabama, we have a strong network of trained storm watchers. Once, I detected a funnel cloud and contacted the National Weather Ser-

‘Alert, Alert, help me!’ When beginning a communication session, many ham operators say something like, “CQ, CQ, CQ, this is (their call sign) calling CQ,” which means the operator wants to talk to anyone who might respond. “CQ” sounds similar to the English pronunciation of the French word “sécurité,” meaning “alert.” Anyone who watched the movie Titanic saw the captain instruct a wireless telegraph operator to

vice. They issued a tornado warning for the Wetumpka area that gave people about a 15- to 20-minute head start to take cover. When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, FEMA set up a staging area in Montgomery to send volunteers and supplies into the stricken areas. We set up a ham radio station to maintain contact with the New Orleans area. When all else fails, there’s amateur radio.” Since the days of Marconi, radio signals bridged worlds. Whether for a brief recreational interlude or to save lives, those old signals still provide vital functions that bring people together through the comforting process of interpersonal communication. For information on ham radio operations, see www.arrl.org. A send out a “CQD” message to inform others about the sinking ship. The “D” stands for “distress,” so the operator transmitted the message “Alert! Distress!” The R.M.S. Titanic sank in April 1912. At about the same time, a new alert message started to gain popularity. In Morse code, SOS, for “save our ship,” is “dot, dot, dot; dash, dash, dash; dot, dot, dot,” a simpler code than the one for CQD. In fact, Jack Phillips, the radio operator on the Titanic, used both CQD and SOS codes when trying to bring help to his doomed vessel. In 1923, radio operators began using the voice command “mayday” to indicate a life-threatening emergency, particularly with aircraft. The word “mayday” sounds similar to the French word “m’aider” in the phrase “venez m’aider,” meaning “come help me.” Mayday remains the international distress code to this day. – JOHN N. FELSHER


Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2014  19

Alabama’s waiting children Adoption process takes time, but rewards can be great Story and photos by Lori M. Quiller


n a warm Saturday under a ily felt the need to do more when the opAlabama Pre/Post Adoption Conneccloudless blue sky, the Dapprich portunity presented itself. They knew the tions is a statewide program of Children’s family gathers at Gateway Park process would not be an easy one, that it Aid Society, funded by Alabama DHR, in Montgomery for a double-header after- would take time, but they also knew that designed to empower adoptive families by noon of baseball. the reward would be great. facilitating stronger bonds and interaction The family patriarch, Darrell, is coach“I was adopted,” Julie says. “So, I feel with all adoptive families. Children’s Aid ing the Saints, dressed in purple and like I could understand Josh’s struggle a Society is a 100-year-old non-profit social white, while his son, Christian, 16, takes little better. When we had Orphan Day at services agency that developed the APAC the field. The rest of the Dapprich family the church, we took a look at the paper- program in collaboration with the Alasits cheering in the stands. The crack of work and the website, and we just knew. bama Department of Human Resources in 2001. The APAC program has offices the bat brings cheers from the bleachers We knew what was right for our family.” in Birmingham, Huntsville, from everyone…except the Montgomery and Mobile newest member of the Dapprich family. to serve adoptive families Six-year-old Josh is a around the state. bundle of energy. Baseball According to Leslie Hales, moves too slowly for him, LCSW, PIP, APAC pre-adoption services coordinator, the and he doesn’t sit still very Heart Gallery of Alabama is long. He grabs his sunglasses, flashes a Hollywood grin often a prospective parent’s over his shoulder, and then first introduction into the jumps down the steps. Josh world of adoption. has soon commandeered his Heart Gallery Alabama Razor scooter and is zipping recruits professional photographers to take portraits of in and around the bleachers. each child, as well as short Carefree and giggling. videos to introduce prospec“Baseball isn’t exactly his tive families to the children. thing,” Julie Dapprich says. The portraits are placed on “He’s more into basketball. display in a variety of venues Since he’s been with us, he’s turned our house into a bas- Julie Dapprich holds her new son, Josh, who adoption was finalized earlier across the state where proketball court!” spective adoptive parents this year. The Dapprich family can learn more about the The family found a child on Heart children in Alabama who are still waiting grew by one in early December 2013 when Josh officially came to live with them, and Gallery of Alabama, which works closely for their forever family. his adoption was finalized in May. But, the with Alabama DHR and Alabama Pre/ That’s just a starting point. As the Dapprocess began more than two years ago at Post Adoption Connections to allow pro- prich family came to realize, sometimes spective adoptive and foster families to you have to start over. Orphan Day at the family’s church. “If you find a child on the Heart Gallery Julie and Darrell were already parents get to know the thousands of children in to three teenagers, twins Christian and Alabama’s foster care system that who are website, you would go through an APAC orientation, fill out some paperwork so the Ashley, 16, and Emily Grace, 14. The fam- awaiting adoption. 20  SEPTEMBER 2014


screening process can begin. Sometimes the child you choose on the website may not be the child for you,” Hales says. “We process you as a potential family not just for the child you choose but for every child in the database. You may not match with the child you choose online, but you may be a better match for another child.” Part of the qualification process for an adoptive family through APAC is a 10week Group Preparation and Selection course that gives the family an inside look into the world of a child that who has lived in foster care and what it will be like to parent that child. In Alabama, this course is mandated if you are planning to adopt a child. Getting to know each other During the course of the 10 weeks, the families get to know one another, bond with each other as they get placed with children, and network as a tightly knit group that often reaches beyond the borders of the classroom andfar after the class ends. Julie said that two of the most remarkable aspects of the adoption process were the classes and how involved APAC has remained with the family after the adoption. “Every time I get a package in the mail from Children’s Aid Society, it’s exactly what I need!” Julie says. “I just got a package of books last week with some books and ideas on coping with a 6-year old. He’s such a blessing to our family, but we do have our challenges, and I’ve been amazed at just how closely our contacts with Children’s Aid have been with us not only through the process but now that the process is over. We all know that we can call on them for just about anything. APAC has social workers, counselors and psychologists to work with us on any issue that can come up after the adoption, and knowing that we can call on them at any time has been a great comfort.” One concern the Dapprich family had early on was how bringing a rambunctious 6-year-old child into the family would affect a family dynamic that included three teenagers. “Of course we talked about it as a family, but what impressed us the most was how the APAC representatives handled it. There’s a questionnaire that you have to fill out in the very beginning to express what you’re looking for with the adoption Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2014  21

or foster child. The APAC reps never ne- Resources. Rogers estimates 5,000 children Alabama DHR charges no fees. Howglected our kids. They always ask us how are currently in foster care. ever, there are legal fees and court costs “Right now we have 260 children whose associated with adopting a child. If the they are doing, especially now that Josh is with us. It was an adjustment. It was an parents’ rights have been terminated…but family is adopting a child that meets the adjustment for all of us. But, to know that they will not be adopted by their current DHR special needs definition, Alabama APAC not only looks out for the children foster parents. About 90% of the children DHR can reimburse the family up to that are going through the adoption but who are adopted from foster care every year $1,000 per child for these fees. Special also the children that are already inside are adopted by the foster parent already needs children qualify for monthly adopthe home speaks to where their hearts are. caring for them. At any given time a few tion assistance payments (better known They care so deeply about the welfare of all dozen of these children may be matched as subsidy). These children also are with a potential family, but the official eligible for Medicaid coverage. There our kids, and that means so much to us.” According to Hales, individuals or placement hasn’t occurred. Some of these are no fees associated with adopting married couples in Alabama are eligible children may have severe mental health is- through DHR, and the office can also for adoption. APAC looks at a prospective sues and are in treatment facilities, so we help an adopting family apply for health parents’ support system because neither don’t recruit for families for them until they insurance and even pay for the child’s the adoption process nor parenting a foster are stable and ready for placement. Over physical. Adopting a child may have its the last several years the population of chil- challenges, but DHR has many resources child will be easy. “We want to make sure that your sup- dren in care has dropped due in large part available to help families cope and thrive port group network is going to be there to the successes our agency has realized in during the process. for you when you adopt this child. Mar- adoption,” Rogers says. In 2013, Alabama fiFor Josh and the Dapprich family, ried or single, you need that support when nalized 526 adoptions, which has decreased things are beginning to settle down and you’re going through the adoption pro- slightly each year since 2009 when Alabama settle in. The family recently took a trip cess and then afterward when you have a finalized 676 adoptions. to Tuscaloosa for another double-header child, because there baseball tournaJosh clowns with his new family members, from left, Emily Grace, Ashley and Christian; are going to be tri- back, parents Julie and Darrell. ment. Exhausted, als just like with any Josh fell asleep on other child,” Hales the ride home. Evsays. “We call them ery now and again, ‘Waiting Children’ the family gets a when their parenpeek into just extal rights have been actly what he’s really terminated and they thinking. “We put him on are in foster care. It our bed when we doesn’t matter the got home, and he age of the child, stretched out, put everyone wants forhis hands behind his ever.” head and said, ‘AhAn estimated hhhh…I’m home.’” 5,000 children are Julie says. A in foster care At any given For more infortime, the number mation on Heart of children in foster care in Alabama Gallery Alabama, varies, and children go to www.heartenter care at varyg al l e r y al ab ama . ing rates because of com. To learn more abuse and/or neabout adopting one glect in their home, of Alabama’s Waitsays Connie Chance ing Children, visit Rogers, LBSW, prowww.childrensaid. gram supervisor of org or www.dhr.alarecruitment and rebama.gov and click tention of the Office on “Quick Links” to of Permanency for go to Adoptions & the Alabama DeAlabama’s Waiting partment of Human Children. 22  SEPTEMBER 2014

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Worth the Drive

If you like Italian home cooking, Mama’s is the place

Eat at Mama’s Mama Misitano’s Place 626 Bloodworth Road, Boaz, AL 256-593-8027 www.sandmtnshootersclub.om

By Jennifer Kornegay


f you’re hungry for some cornbread, collard greens or maybe a good ole hamburger, don’t go to Mama Misitano’s Place. If you’re seeking a fancy atmosphere and servers fawning over you, don’t go to Mama Misitano’s Place. If you want some good Italian home cooking, do go to Mama Misitano’s Place. And when you do go, don’t complain too loudly about the garlic or the amount of basil in the Alfredo sauce. The many regulars around you are loyal; they like what this little eatery is serving up just fine, and some of them are probably armed. Mama’s is part of the Sand Mountain Shooting Club in Boaz, and its owners Dan and Jan Cooper are making Italian food the way their Italian grandmothers did. While they want make their customers happy, they aren’t about to fuss with their family’s time-tested flavors.

Italian beef bowl even your mama would approve of.

“Every now and then, someone will come in, and they don’t like garlic or onions, and I’m like, ‘Do you know where you are eating?’ Then others ask, ‘Got anything other than pasta?’ We don’t. We are an Italian restaurant,” says Dan. Mama’s does offer items other than pasta on weekdays; in fact, it’s only on weekends that you can get a pasta dish. Tuesday through Friday, massive Italian sandwiches dominate the menu. “We do make a ham and cheese sandwich for kids,” Dan concedes, “since they’re young and don’t know what good food is yet.” No matter what day you visit, there’s a good chance you’ll meet a member of Dan’s family. When his daughter is not in the kitchen with her mom, she’s a server. Her daughter also helps wait tables. It’s a true family business, with a family name. “We wanted to honor our heritage and so named the place after my wife’s grandmother,” Dan says.

The Genoa salami pannini is worth the drive.

They’re doing Mama proud, working from the recipes she and Dan’s grandmother made in their home country and in America once they came here. Everything is scratch-made. Jan bakes the bread fresh every morning; herbs and tomatoes come from a small garden patch out back. The shooting club opened in the late 1970s, but Dan opened the restaurant in 1998. It all started when some of his customers at the gun range got hungry. “They wanted something to eat, and there’s not a lot to choose from in the area,” Dan says. “We decided to feed them and to feed them what we grew up on.” Today, Mama’s draws more people coming just to eat than it does from the gun range, but no matter why they end up at the shooting club, they visit Mama’s for the food. Dan’s favorite dish happens to be pretty popular with diners too: the Italian Beef sandwich. Jan splits open a roll and fills it with sautéed peppers and onions and paper-thin sliced beef, slow-roasted in Italian herbs. It’s all covered under a blanket of melted provolone. Other between-bread offerings include the Misitano Meatball, Chicken Italia and the Genoa Salami Panini. There are also pizzas on hand-tossed crust as well as salads, and carb-conscious folks can order any of the sandwiches sans bread; the tasty filling is simply served in a bowl. Desserts are another of Mama’s specialties, especially the Italian Cream Cake. Around the holidays, people order whole cakes and order enough to keep Jan baking from morning to night for days. That’s during the week. On weekends, Mama’s pulls out all the stops for old-school Sunday dinners, which include a range of pasta dishes served family style. “We do those the same way we ate on Sundays; it’s traditional Italian,” Dan says. You’ll have no choice but to observe the “day of rest” literally after filling up on Mama’s unique, yet still rich, Alfredo sauce. “We make it a bit different. We add pesto that’s made with basil from our garden to the sauce,” Dan said. “I’d put that stuff on my cornflakes it’s so good.” Cereal Alfredo is not currently on the menu, but that’s okay. It also goes well with pasta. A

Jennifer Kornegay travels to an out-of-the way restaurant destination in Alabama every month. She may be reached for comment at j_kornegay@ charter.net.



Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2014  25

Alabama Gardens

When and how do I divide irises? September is a good time


ere’s the thing about writing a gardening column: There is so much great information to share and so little space to share it fully. For that reason, I’m prone to offering lots of tips and suggestions, but not so much in the way of detailed guidance. It’s just hard to fit it all in! I always hope that readers who want to know more will seek out a knowledgeable source for assistance—Extension System experts, Master Gardeners, garden-wise friends and relatives, books, magazines and, yes, the Web. And, honestly, even if I had all the column inches in the world, I’d still encourage readers to track down experts who have loads more experience and knowledge than I will ever possess. Still, my ever-creative and reader-oriented editors at Alabama Living offered an idea on how to better address the questions my tips and ideas may evoke. So here’s a stab at it, starting with a question my sister recently asked after reading a tip in my July column: So how do I divide irises? Though the ideal time to divide irises it just after they bloom, in most parts of Alabama it’s fine to divide and replant them (and many other perennials) throughout the month of September, so it seemed an appropriate question to tackle this month. Over time, the rhizomes (main roots) of irises produce lots of “baby” rhizomes that need to be removed and relocated so parents and children alike can thrive, thus the need to divide irises. To divide them, carefully lift the plant clump and its rhizomes/roots out of the ground with a garden shovel or fork, then gently separate individual rhizomes from the clump

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


by snapping or cutting them apart. If you have more than one kind of iris in your yard, you may want to group them according to their color and/or cultivar as you do this. Wash any excess soil off the rhizomes, soak them for 10 minutes in a 10:1 water:chlorine solution, then rinse them with fresh water and allow them to air dry in the shade for at least 30 minutes. From this freshly cleaned and dried collection, select the healthiest rhizomes for replanting or sharing and discard any that look diseased, shriveled or just plain puny. Try to replant them as soon as possible, preferably the same day. As you replant the rhizomes, don’t bury them too deeply. Iris rhizomes need to be close to the soil’s surface and either partially exposed or only lightly covered with soil to reach their full blooming potential next year. Another question my column recently elicited was about cover crops. Cover crops, unlike perennial ground covers used in the landscape, are annual crops that are used to hold and build soil between planting seasons in vegetable gardens. As the summer gardening season comes to an end, you can replant the area with cool-season vegetables (cabbage, collards, lettuces, garlic and onions, for example). But if you’re planning to leave the space dormant this winter, consider planting it with crimson clover, rye, soybeans, hairy vetch, oats and other legume or cereal crops. These crops help hold the soil in place, build soil quality and, depending on the cover crop you choose, can add nitrogen to the soil, suppress weeds, help control some insect and disease pests and attract pollinators. Cover crops will protect and enhance your soil all winter and, next year, can be used as “green manure” by mowing the cover crop in late winter or early spring, letting it dry for a week or two, then working the crop residue into the soil as you prepare the garden for the coming vegetable season. More information on what kinds of

cover crops to use and how to use them in vegetable gardens can be found through your local Alabama Cooperative Extension System office or in the Extension publications Cover Crops for Alabama (available at www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-2139/ ANR-2139.pdf) or The Alabama Vegetable Gardener (www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ ANR-0479/ANR-0479.pdf). And if you have gardening questions, send them on. If I don’t know the answer I will try to find someone who does, and your question may well be fodder for a future column! A

September Gardening Tips d Make notes about what did and d d d d d d d d d d

didn’t work in this year’s garden for use as you plan next year’s garden. Clean dead plants and debris from garden beds and the landscape. Add lawn and garden debris to the compost, along with any organic (non-meat) kitchen waste. Test your soil so you’ll know what amendments to add this fall and winter. Plant fall and winter vegetables and root crops, such as cabbage, collards, celery, garlic and onions. Continue to mow and irrigate lawn as needed. Fertilize azaleas and camellias. Plant winter grass seeds on bare areas. Plant perennials and biennials and spring-flowering bulbs. Divide perennials and thin or transplant irises and daylilies. Clean bird feeders and birdbaths and keep them filled throughout the fall for resident and migratory birds.


Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2014  27

Author documents history of state tourism By John Brightman Brock


im Hollis, a magazine editor in Walker Counbers were replacing names throughout the country, ty, years ago set out to preserve his family’s including in Alabama,” Hollis writes. “The process past. He ended up preserving the past for his of numbering the highways was not done by some fellow Alabamians. willy-nilly, pull-a-number-out-of-a-hat method. The At age 9, in 1972, he chronicled his family vacafirst decision was that highways running north-south tions from when he was 3. Today, at  51, he has a would have odd numbers, and east-west highways museum of tourism memorabilia at his residence. It would bear even numbers. In Alabama, the former is the same home where as a toddler, he was suited Bankhead Highway largely became U.S. 78. The Lee up to join his amateur photographer/teacher father Highway became U.S. 11 and the Andrew Jackson and a not-so-fond-of-traveling mom as they hit the Highway was U.S. 31. The former Old Spanish Trail road ... to see Alabama. was U.S. 90.” Hollis started actively collecting in 1981, his first Alabama for years had been a state that people year in college. His family memories, assisted by carpassed through on their way to somewhere else, he The history of Alabama’s loads of archival files given to him by the Alabama tourism will be the subject says, never coming  to places like Vulcan Park (in State Department of Tourism, fueled his desire to of an Oct. 16 Architreats Birmingham) or Ave Marie Grotto (in Cullman) to write the definitive Alabama tourism book, his 22nd talk at the Alabama vacation. Sometime in the late 1940s or early ‘50s, Department of Archives book. state officials figured it out. In the early ‘50s, Alaand History. See Alabama First, The Story of Alabama Tourism bama instituted posted speed limits. will be the focus of an Oct. 16 Architreats discussion program at the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery. Memories for more than just one family The self-acknowledged “pop culture” author plans to delve deeply During his childhood, Hollis’ family went to Gulf Shores a lot. into his book, which harkens back to a simpler time of flashy road- He saved postcards and brochures. His dad’s 35mm camera imside attractions popping up everywhere, including the “wigwam” ages became “in many ways, the record of my life.” His dad once replica motels that sprouted up to lure the tired traveler. Those were noted on a postcard that the family “had watched the astronauts the days when, along roads like Highway 31, there were no posted land on the moon in our room at a Holiday Inn. (Well, the moon speed limits, just what was “reasonable” to the driver. wasn’t in our room, but you know what I mean, so lay off the smart “It’s going to bring back so many memories,” the author said in remarks),” Hollis writes. a telephone interview from his home located between Birmingham The book is peppered with astounding photos, like the one of and Jasper. “Especially if they (readers) grew up in the state. So the 56-foot-tall cast iron statue of Vulcan - his favorite memory they can remember and now see what they missed. So much of mounted on a 124-foot pedestal, on the crest of Red Mountain, this stuff ... came and went.” overlooking U.S. 31. A 1954 brochure about Alabama’s first Holiday Inn, between Birmingham and Bessemer on U.S. 11, was “more Putting history together elaborate than most,” having 82 rooms, a candy shop, lounge, liThe book keys on Alabama’s at-first  small tourism empha- brary, drugstore, barbershop, gift shop, beauty parlor, assembly hall, sis,  pausing for strong looks at places like Bellingrath Gardens, and a 24-hour service station. near Mobile, which  began as a location for Hollis has turned his home into a colleclocals to discover. See Alabama First examines The Civil War battlements of Fort tion point for all things pop culture - a preserin chronological order a changing Alabama Morgan and Fort Gaines on either vationist mantra he adds to on weekend trips highway and tourist landscape starting from side of Mobile Bay, became tourist to this day. attractions after WW II. That’s author the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. As for Hollis, he re- Tim Hollis behind those shades. “I live in my own memories, someone told lates most easily to the ‘60s. me,” he says, pausing. “When I first started, I “I have always put history together,” Holpreserved my own memories ... and I realized lis says. I was collecting other memories, too.” A At Hollis’ request, Alabama tourism offiSee Alabama First, The Story of Alabama cials turned over a huge amount of memoraTourism is available at local stores and online bilia. File cabinets full of information revealed, at www.historypress.net. among other things, that politician John Hollis Bankhead in 1916 ensured that one of Tim Hollis supplies the nostalgic materials for America’s first transcontinental highways went the popular www.BirminghamRewound.com through Alabama. “By 1926, (highway) numwebsite, through which he may be contacted. 28 SEPTEMBER 2014


Around Alabama

Titus Bluegrass Festival • September 27 Each genre of music has its own familiar tune and bluegrass is no exception. All it takes is the unmistakeable twang of a banjo and the quick hum of a fiddle, and you can probably guess the type of music you’re about to hear. If you enjoy bluegrass music mixed with a little gospel and country, the Titus Community Center invites you to its 14th annual Bluegrass Festival Sept. 27, from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Featured acts include the Justice Family Band, Big Canoe Creek, Laurie Harris Band, Mike Ray and Dixie Flavor. The festival will be held on the lawn, so bring your chairs and picnic blankets. Barbeque and beverages will be available for purchase but no alcohol or pets are permitted. Admission is $5 for ages 12 and up and free for children under 12. For more information, email titusbluegrassfestival@gmail.com or check out their Facebook page. SEPTEMBER 11-13 • Prattville, Alabama Master

Beekeepers Symposium at Hunter Hills Church. There will be classes and testing for the apprentice, journeyman and master levels. Classes for the beginner beekeeper as well. For more information and registration, visit www.alabamamasterbeekeepers.com. 13 • Arab, Arab Community Fair at the Arab City Park/Historic Village, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. To reserve a vendor booth, set up a demonstration, or bring a group to perform, contact Juanita Edmondson at 256-586-6397 or 256-550-0290; email: topofthehill@otelco.net. 13 • Brewton, Soul Food, Blues and Jazz Festival held at the John L. Fisher Community Center. Children’s fun land, live entertainment and a cookoff featuring six categories. Contact: Connie Baggett, 251-809-1777 or Alline Manuel, 251-296-0633. 16-20 • Boaz, 57th Annual Marshall County Fair at the Boaz VFW Fairgrounds. Gates open at 5 p.m.; admission is $4, kids 5 and under are free. Tuesday is Kid’s Day with free admission for kids and adults from 4-6 p.m. Contact: Marvin Cocchi,

fair manager, 256-593-9470 or email boazvfw@att.net. 18-20 • Birmingham, 33rd Annual Middle Eastern Food Festival at Saint George Melkite Catholic Church, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Church tours, nightly entertainment, and various vendor booths will be open daily. www.saintgeorgeonline.org. 18 • Enterprise, The Moonlighters perform at the Enterprise Civic Center, 6:30 p.m. Big band music, dinner and dance. Featuring songs: “I’ll Be Seeing You”, “What’s New”, and “Satin Doll”. Information: 334-406-ARTS (2787) or www.CoffeeCountyArtsAlliance.com. 20 • Pine Hill, Depot Day to be held at the Pine Hill Municipal Complex, 9 a.m. Arts and crafts, food, music, children’s activities, entertainment and much more. Fundraiser for local civic organizations. Admission is free. Call 334-963-4351 for information and “like” us on facebook at Town Pine Hill (Pine Hill). 20 • Ft. Payne, Pet Pawrade at the Ft. Payne Boom Days Celebration. Registration at 9:30 a.m. and pawrade at 10. Visit and like “Human Society/Animal Resources DeKalb” on Facebook to register and for additional information. Also visit www.animalresourcesdekalb.com. Contact: Holly Watson, 256-996-0552 or holly@mentonrealtyinc.com. 20-27 • Eva, Eva Frontier Days. The week-long event features a beauty pageant, bluegrass festival, hayride, community singing, music

Dixie Flavor, whose members are ages 13-16, are slated to perform at the Sept. 27 Bluegrass Festival.

on the square, antique tractor show, car show, craft show, parade and various contests, games and vendors. For information, call 256-796-7023 or 256-318-6735. 26 & 27 • Clanton, Alabama Beekeepers Association Annual Meeting at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center. Featured speakers will be Dr. Dennis vanEnelsdorp and Dr. Karen Rennich. To register, visit www. alabamabeekeepers.com. 26 & 27 • Collinsville, Collinsville Quilt Walk on Main Street. Noon to 5 p.m. More than 500 quilts will be showcased within the historic homes, churches, and buildings of this small town. Proceeds benefit the local library. For further information contact the library at 256-524-2323. 26-28 • Estillfork, 14th Annual Ole Timey Craft & Bluegrass Festival, Paint Rock Valley Lodge and Retreat. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is charged. Bluegrass music, dancing, food and craft vendors, and gunfights in replica Lodge City western town. Contact: Eddie or Vivian Prince, 256-776-9411 or theviv@bellsouth.net. 27 • Foley, Queen Bee Rearing Class and Workshop at the Foley library, 9 a.m. $75 per participant at the door, includes meal. Bring protective gear. Call or email Roger Bemis at 251-2130168 or BemisRoger@hotmail.com. 27 • Russellville, 1st Annual Cruz In to be held at O’Reilly Auto

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

Alabama Living

Parts on Hwy 43. Hosted by Police Department Reserves, 3-8 p.m. Entry fee: $20 per car. Contact: Terri Saint at 256-324-4670. OCTOBER 4 • Dothan, “A Walk to Remember” at Westgate Park. Alzheimer patients and their families will be honored by 1, 3 and 5 mile walks. Refreshments, barbecue plates for $8, music, prizes and more. Donate online or pre-register for the walk at: wesharethecare. org. Walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. with registration on-site at 7:30. Contact: Kay Jones, 334-702-2273. 4 • LaFayette, 6th Annual Chambers County Outdoor Expo held on the grounds of LaFayette Heights Baptist Church, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Vendor booths, antler rack scoring, archery, live music, food, kid’s activities, and door prizes.

Free admission. Contact: Joe Higgins, 706-585-7762 or expo@lhbc.us. 4 • Cullman, Bass Tournament and Music Festival at Smith Lake Park. Music festival, arts and crafts vendors, and food vendors, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Bass tournament, safe light until 3 p.m. Online registration deadline is September 15. www. SmithLakeParkBassFest.com.

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Take a big bite

Check out Little’s blog at southernbite.com and get yourself a copy of the cookbook. It’s available on the blog, at bookstores everywhere and online from Amazon.com. Watch the blog for news of upcoming book signings.

Blogger’s cookbook blends simple recipes and family stories By Jennifer Kornegay


ou’ll find no fancy food-photo-styling tricks or odd ingre- vironmental Education for 10 years (and is still there), he was dients in the food Prattville native Stacey Little has been doing restaurant reviews for The Montgomery Advertiser on the cooking and sharing for years through his popular blog, side. When he stopped writing for the newspaper in 2008, he Southern Bite. Little believes that “three-course gourmet meals created a blog to continue dispensing advice on where to eat. and perfect-looking food are intimidating, and things don’t have “Then one day, I included some recipes,” he says. “That was the to be perfect to be really good.” He carried that philosophy into most popular post I’d ever done.” his cookbook The Southern Bite, a compilation of the recipes, tips After that, Southern Bite became a recipe site, a community and stories on his blog. for folks who love comfort food with Southern flavors. Little It’s a response to the way some food blogs and social media quickly realized what his readers wanted. “They were looking for can make the average home cook feel about their efforts, a feel- home-cooked meals for their families that were easy to prepare. ing Little wants to help others overcome. “I think the main thing With the hustle everyone’s running in today, it can be a real chalI’m doing with the blog and the cookbook is giving people con- lenge to make dinner and eat it together. I don’t have any formal fidence. And with a good recipe and confidence, I’m convinced culinary training. Most everything I know, I learned from growanybody can make ing up cooking in my Garlic Roasted Chicken makes a delicious one-dish meal. anything,” he says. family’s kitchen.” The success of the And so, he began blog and book proves pulling from his famthat home-cooks apily’s recipe collection, preciate his no-nonsometimes tweaking sense, anti-Martha dishes to make them Stewart approach. But simpler. “It was imthey also like Little’s portant to share and stories. Throughout develop recipes that the blog and the book used ingredients peohe has interwoven ple probably already family stories because had on hand,” he says. his relatives are major That sources of his recipes something are the inspiration beextra hind his cooking. “The But it’s not just stories are just my way about the food; it’s to relate to food, and an extra element that including them gave Little offers that’s my blog readers a conmade Southern Bite so nection to me. I think popular: encouragepeople are looking for ment. “The blog and that,” he says. cookbook have given While Little has me the opportunity to had a “day job” as the share my life experimarketing manager for ences and to encourLegacy Partners in En-



age people,” he says. “I love that part of it.” The Southern Bite cookbook wasn’t really part of Little’s plan. “One day, an editor at a publishing house sent me an email saying they wanted to do a book,” he says. “I didn’t believe them at first, so I googled the name, and they were legit.” He included favorites from the blog, as well as new recipes and even some reader-submitted recipes. And when it came time to put it together, he bucked the system and did the food styling for the photo shoot himself. “I wanted it to be the real food,” he says. “I wanted the food in the book to look like what the people who make the recipes end up with.” Little’s blog audience is now bigger than ever, and the book is boasting stellar sales, so much so that a follow-up might be in the works. A

Alabama Living

Try these


A quick flip through The Southern Bite cookbook left me with a difficult choice: what to make and write about. I wanted to make and eat it all, but I narrowed it down to two main dishes, the Garlic Roasted Chicken and Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada Pie. The prep for both was quick and easy, and none of the ingredients required an internet search or trip to a specialty store. The roasted chicken is a one-dish wonder and will leave your entire house smelling yum (if butter melting over garlic is a yum scent to you). But you just can’t beat the enchilada pie. It will more than satisfy your Mexican food craving (and you do crave Mexican food all the time, right? Is that just me?). Plus, it only takes about 15 minutes to put together. Try not to eat it all a suppertime. It’s even better the next day, reheated for lunch. – J.K.

SEPTEMBER 2014  31

Alabama Outdoors

One memorable day in the marsh By John N. Felsher


agging game doesn’t necessarily define a successful hunt. and picked up a stick to poke it. Nothing happened. I don’t know Some hunts create memories that live forever -- for better what caused the snake’s death. Perhaps it suffered a massive heart or worse – because of the experiences in the natural beauty attack as I nearly fell on top of it, but better it than me! of the wilderness. For me, one such memorable hunt occurred many Septem- Lifelong memories bers ago during teal season. Small ducks, blue-winged teal migrate Getting back to business, I placed the duck decoys, fashioned a earlier than other ducks. They begin arriving on the Gulf Coast blind from native vegetation and waited for waves of teal to whistle in late summer and may disappear when the first cold front hits. into range. I waited and waited and waited. Multitudes of other Therefore, the state allows sportsmen to hunt teal in September. birds including pelicans, egrets, herons and diverse shorebirds flew One balmy September afternoon, I paddled through a narrow overhead, but no teal. marsh channel to reach my hunting spot. As I rounded a bend, As I waited, six otters merrily swam into the pond and played the boat nearly bumped into two alligators sunning themselves on among the decoys. Plastic fake birds did not impress them as they the muddy bank, barely a few feet away. One quickly disappeared, snatched fat crabs from the bottom. Floating on their backs, they but the larger one stayed put until the boat began to pass it. Then, held each crab with their two front hand-like paws and ate it as if it plopped into the channel, resting eating a sandwich. on the bottom as the boat glided Aware of my presence, they over it. took turns watching me. One With water barely two feet deep, would approach within a few feet I could easily see it and decided to observe me squatting in the to give it a less than subtle nudge weeds while the others concentratwith the paddle -- perhaps not my ed on catching dinner. Then, anbest decision! Nearly upsetting the other one would relieve the sentry tippy craft, the very surprised alat the observation post so it could ligator sloshed an Olympic 100eat. For a long time, we just studyard thrash through the marsh to ied each other until they ate their get away from this crazy teenager! fill of crabs or simply grew tired of Feel rather cocky after fighting staring at a soggy, muddy, camoumy way through alligators, I finally flaged teen-ager trying to sit still reached the pond where I wanted in marsh grass while being slowly A hunter retrieves a duck he killed while hunting in the marshes. devoured alive by mosquitoes. As to hunt. As I stepped from the PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER boat, I tripped on a root and fell quickly as they had arrived, they face first into the muck – quite literally bringing me back down disappeared when they lost interest. to earth! About an hour before dark, a pair of mottled ducks landed Upon opening my eyes, I stared into the face of a large venom- in the decoys. Not legal during the September season, I simply ous cottonmouth coiled not more than a foot away. Positive the watched them for a while. Eventually, a small flock of teal darted “big moment” had arrived, I closed my eyes tightly and braced for over the pond in waning daylight. I splashed one blue-wing and let the inevitable strike. “Lord, make a place for me. I’m coming soon,” it float in the pond as legal shooting hours wound down. I prayed, asking forgiveness for all sins real and imagined including The dead duck floated undisturbed for several minutes. All of a some I hadn’t even thought of doing yet. sudden, the pond surface erupted in a huge commotion as if a bass After several years, or at least what felt like years in that position, annihilated a surface lure. In a flash, the teal vanished, swallowed I slightly cracked open one eye. Yes, the enormous coiled black whole by an alligator, perhaps even my earlier reptilian nemesis snake was still poised, ready to strike at my nose, but no fangs seeking its revenge. All creatures must eat. pierced my flesh. Mustering some courage, I peeked with both eyes The day ended in a spectacular cosmic kaleidoscope of color and noticed something odd. The snake didn’t move. Curious, I rose as another early autumn day ended. Dying sunlight captured the radiant colors of a strikingly handsome drake wood duck flashing over the decoys as shooting hours ended. I returned home with an empty game bag, but lifelong memories John N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer of a day that would never return. Similar days may occur, perhaps and photographer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He’s even better ones, but never another one just like this one. An old written more than 1,700 articles for more than 117 magazines. He co-hosts a weekly outdoors radio proverb says that a man can never put his hand in a river twice show. Contact him through his website at www. in exactly the same spot. Time, place and exact conditions change JohnNFelsher.com. and never repeat. A 32 SEPTEMBER 2014


Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2014  33

Send your questions to: James Dulley

Consumer Wise

Alabama Living 6906 Royalgreen Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45244

You can also reach Dulley online at: www.dulley.com

Maintain your home’s heating system efficiency


I want to keep my utility bills as low as possible. With the heating season soon upon us, what can I do myself to keep my heating system running at its maximum efficiency and heat output?


Heating and cooling a home contribute to the majority of utility bills for most families. Water heating usually is the second largest energy consumer, typically accounting for about 20 percent of the utility bill. Doing a simple heating system tune-up yourself improves its efficiency, resulting in significant annual cost savings. Since central air-conditioning uses the same air handler (blower and ducts) as the heating system, maintaining your heating system for winter often also reduces cooling costs during summer. Unless your furnace is actually malfunctioning in a significant way or making strange noises, you generally cannot tell if it is operating at peak efficiency. One way to tell is to compare your current utility bills to previous years. Make sure to compare the actual amount of energy used (KWH, gallons of oil, cubic feet of gas, etc.), not just the dollar amounts of the bills. Adjust the amounts accordingly for the severity of the weather measured in heating degree days for each comparison year (www.degreedays.net). Don’t skip your regular scheduled professional maintenance calls just because you have done your own heating system mini-tune-up. There are many areas within a heating system that only a qualified technician can evaluate and adjust properly. A rule of thumb when doing your own tune-up is, if you are not absolutely sure what a part or adjustment screw does, don’t touch it. The first items to check are for safety. With a gas or propane furnace, put several drops of soapy water on any gas-line fittings you find. If the water bubbles at all, there are leaks. Leave your house immediately and call your gas company to have it repaired. With a heat pump, check to make sure the insulation on all of the external wiring looks correct. You can inspect potential ‘bad spots’ – damaged or frayed areas – more carefully once you turn the circuit breaker off. Turn off the electric power to the heating unit at the circuit breaker panel. Remove its side cover to gain access to the blower. Using a vacuum cleaner brush attachment, clean any dust deposits off the blower. You may find bearing oil cups on the blower motor

James Dulley

is a nationally syndicated engineering consultant based in Cincinnati.

34  SEPTEMBER 2014

First, turn off the electric circuit breaker. Remove the cover from the burner and control portion of a condensing gas furnace to inspect. PHOTO BY JAMES DULLEY

of older systems. Put a drop of oil in each cup. If you can find the fan control switch, adjust the temperature setting lower. Common settings are on at 135 degrees and off at 100 degrees. You might try using 110 and 90 degrees. This starts the blower sooner and keeps it running longer as the heat exchanger heats up and then cools down. This may cause a slightly chilly draft when it starts and stops, but it will extract more heat from the system. If you have trouble identifying the fan control switch, call a certified technician and wait for assistance. Replace the cover and make sure all the cabinet screws are tight. While you have the screwdriver or wrench in your hand, check the tightness of any cabinet screws you can find. Having the cabinet well-sealed improves efficiency by maintaining the proper air flow through the coils or over the heat exchanger surfaces. With a heat pump, also check the cabinet screws on the outdoor condenser unit. Set up the thermostat so the furnace starts. Hold a stick of lighted incense near all the joints in the ductwork, both return and supply air ducts, to check for air leaks. If you find leaks, wipe dust off the surfaces and use mastic around the leaking joints. This is a good time to change your furnace filter or clean a central air cleaner element. Consider installing a more effective filter element than the low-cost fiberglass ones that many systems use. This may not help indoor air quality much, but it can keep the airflow paths cleaner for more efficient heat transfer. Check the accuracy of the wall thermostat. You may actually be keeping your house warmer than you realize. Tape a bulb thermometer on the wall next to your furnace. Check the thermometer reading when the furnace shuts off and note the difference between it and the thermostat setting. Now you will know where to set the thermostat to get the indoor temperature you desire. If it is inaccurate, replace it with a new electronic setback model. A www.alabamaliving.coop

Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before and an hour after. Minor peaks, half-hour before and after. Adjusted for daylight savings time. a.m. p.m. Minor Major Minor Major

SEP. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 OCT. 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

--02:37 03:37 04:37 05:07 05:52 -07:07 07:37 08:22 09:07 10:07 11:22 ---01:52 03:22 04:22 05:22 --07:52 08:37 09:22 10:22 11:37 ---02:22 03:37 04:22 05:07 11:22 11:52 -07:37 08:22 09:07 10:07 11:22 ----

Alabama Living

07:22 08:37 09:37 10:22 10:52 11:37 11:52 06:22 12:52 01:07 01:37 02:22 02:52 03:52 04:52 06:07 07:52 09:07 10:07 10:52 11:37 06:07 07:07 01:07 01:52 02:22 03:07 03:52 04:52 06:07 07:37 08:37 09:37 10:22 10:52 05:52 06:22 07:07 12:52 01:22 01:52 02:37 03:22 04:22 05:37 07:07

12:37 10:07 10:37 11:07 11:22 11:52 06:07 06:37 12:52 01:22 01:52 02:22 02:52 03:37 01:22 11:37 09:07 10:07 10:37 05:07 05:37 12:07 12:52 01:22 01:52 02:37 03:07 03:52 08:37 11:22 09:52 10:07 10:37 04:37 04:52 05:22 05:37 12:37 01:07 01:37 02:07 02:52 04:07 09:37 11:37 09:07

04:07 04:37 04:52 05:22 05:37 05:52 12:22 12:22 06:52 07:07 07:37 07:52 08:22 08:52 09:52 02:52 03:37 04:07 04:37 11:22 11:52 12:37 06:37 07:07 07:22 07:52 08:22 08:37 01:22 02:52 03:22 03:52 04:22 11:07 11:22 11:52 12:22 06:07 06:22 06:52 07:22 07:52 08:37 12:37 01:52 02:37



Alabama Living

Alabama Living SEPTEMBER 2014 35

Alabama Recipes


Cook of the month: Norma Jean Roberts, Tombigbee EC Cedar-Planked Salmon 1 15x6.5x½-inch cedar grilling plank 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt 1 ½ teaspoon dark brown sugar 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

¾ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper ¾ teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika ¾ teaspoon chili powder ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 3-pound center-cut salmon fillet, skinned

Immerse and soak plank in water for at least 1 hour, drain. Preheat grill between 350 degrees to 400 degrees (medium-high heat). Combine salt and next 7 ingredients, rub over fish. Place plank on grill rack; grill 3 minutes or until lightly charred. Carefully turn plank over, place fish on charred side of plank. Cover grill with lid and grill fish 25 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Cut fish crosswise into slices.

Do you love using your grill? What is the strangest thing you’ve ever cooked on the grill? I’ve heard many discussions on the benefits of using charcoal over electric and vice versa. I’m interested to hear your opinions. Head over to our Facebook page and talk to us! We love hearing feedback from our readers. In fact, last month it was brought to my attention that Mrs. Varnum’s recipe for “Cream Cheese Frosting” to go with her Zucchini Cake was in fact mislabeled. There is no cream cheese in her frosting. The recipe is correct, but it should have been titled “Frosting.” Thanks to our loyal readers for pointing that out to us! It’s time to dig out your favorite holiday recipes to submit. November’s theme is Thanksgiving recipes and December is Holiday Cakes. I’m getting hungry anticipating the submissions! Mary Tyler Spivey is a graduate of Huntingdon College where she studied history and French but she also has a passion for great food.

it at the Alabama National Fair The Alabama National Fair comes to Montgomery Oct. 3-13 and Alabama Living is sponsoring a cooking contest in the Creative Living Center. Prizes are $500 for First Place, $250 for Second place and $100 for third place. Enter your original recipe using a crock pot with at least one Alabama-made ingredient. For more rules, information and to register, visit

Contact her at recipes@alabamaliving.coop.


Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.

Delicious Turkey Burger 3 pounds ground turkey 1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning 1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Steak or other seasoning for grilling

1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Original seasoning Salt, to taste

Grilled Shrimp

Mix all together and form into patties. Grill patties on charcoal grill for maximum flavoring. Serve on bun with lettuce and sliced tomato. M. Smith, Cullman EC (from the AlabamaLiving.coop recipe archive)

3 3 1½ 2

teaspoons salt cloves garlic, crushed cups olive oil teaspoons liquid smoke

Paprika (enough to make marinade red) 2 pounds shrimp (peel and devein)

Pour marinade over shrimp and cover all for at least one hour. Place in skillet and cook (sauté) until shrimp is done (three to five minutes). Liquid smoke can be used if not cooking on the grill. Shrimp can also be put on skewers and placed on the grill, without liquid smoke. Carolyn Cranford, Cullman EC (from the AlabamaLiving.coop recipe archive)

Bill’s Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken

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

Thanksgiving Holiday Cakes Soups

September 15 October 15 November 15


6 to 8 boneless chicken breasts 1 stick light margarine 1 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce Lemon pepper and salt to taste

In a medium saucepan melt margarine. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, lemon pepper and salt. Remove from heat and add chicken breasts. Marinate approximately 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to make sure all pieces are coated. Heat grill, then turn heat to low. Grill chicken 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and tested done. Bill J. Blake, Coosa Valley EC (from the AlabamaLiving.coop recipe archive)

online at alabamaliving.coop email to recipes@alabamaliving.coop mail to: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Alabama Living

Want to see recipes, feature stories, and other Alabama happenings during the month? LIke Alabama Living on facebook and don’t miss anything!


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38  SEPTEMBER 2014

18X21 CARPORT $695 INSTALLED – OTHER SIZES AVAILABLE - (706) 226-2739 DIVORCE MADE EASY – UNCONTESTED, LOST, IN PRISON OR Aliens. $149.95 - 26 years experience – (417)443-6511 FINANCIAL HELP LINES FOR AL FAMILIES BANKRUPTCY ADVICE FOR FREE (877)933-1139 MORTGAGE RELIEF HELP LINE (888) 216-4173 STUDENT LOAN RELIEF LINE (888)694-8235 DEBT RELIEF NON-PROFIT LINE (888) 779-4272 Numbers provided by www.careconnectusa.org A Public Benefit Organization

Business Opportunities PIANO TUNING PAYS – LEARN WITH American Tuning School home-study course – (800)497-9793 CHRISTIAN VALUE GREEN TECHNOLOGY COMPANY seeks mature business professionals for PT/ FT business opportunity. Home based office. Career level income potential. Apprenticeship style training / support – (800)972-6983 to schedule phone interview.

Vacation Rentals GULF SHORES COTTAGE – WATERFRONT, 2 / 1, PET FRIENDLY – RATES AND CALENDAR ONLINE http://www.vrbo.com/152418 GULF SHORES PLANTATION - GULF view, beach side, 2 bedrooms / 2 baths, no smoking / no pets. Owner rates (205)339-3850 CABINS / PIGEON FORGE, TN – SLEEPS 2-6, GREAT LOCATION – (251)649-3344, (251)649-4049, www.hideawayprop.com ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226 SMOKIES TOWNSEND, TN – 2BR / 2BA, Secluded Log Home, Jacuzzi, Fireplace, Wrap-Around Porch, Charcoal Grill. (865)320-4216, rmmtn@aol.com PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – OWNER RENTAL – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000, jamesrny0703@comcast.net, www. theroneycondo.com

Closing Deadlines (in our office: November 2014 – September 25 December 2014 – October 25 January 2015 – November 25

PIGEON FORGE, TN: 2BR/2BA, HOT tub, air hockey, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)363-1973, www. mylittlebitofheaven.com GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE ON BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585, hhideaway401@aol.com GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie12@centurytel. net, (256)599-5552 GATLINBURG, TN – FOND memories start here in our chalet – Great vacation area for all seasons – Two queen beds, full kitchen, 1 bath, Jacuzzi, deck with grill – 3 Night Special - Call (866)316-3255, Look for us on FACEBOOK / billshideaway HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – SLEEPS 2-6, 2.5 BATHS, FIREPLACE, Jacuzzi, washer/dryer – (251)9482918, www.homeaway.com/101769, email jmccracken@gulftel.com PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 BEDROOM, 2 bath house – Walking distance to parkway, light# 1 - $85.00 / night – (256)309-7873, (256)590-8758 CABIN IN MENTONE – 2/2, BROW view, hottub – For rent $100 / Night or Sale $199,000 – (706)767-0177 GULF SHORES PLANTATION CONDO - 2/2, Beach Side, Adjacent to Kiva Dunes Golf, Outdoor Pools, Hot Tubs, Indoor Pool, Volley Ball, Lighted Tennis and Beautiful Beaches. Owner Rates (256)797-1107, gailjgunn@gmail.com GULF SHORES PLANTATION CONDOS – Beachview sleeps 6, Beachfront sleeps 4 – (251)223-9248 APPALACHIAN TRAIL – CABINS BY the trail in the Georgia Mountains – 3000’ above sea level, snowy winters, cool summers, inexpensive rates – (800)284-6866, www.bloodmountain. com PIGEON FORGE 4 BEDROOM HOUSE – VRBO RENTAL 556992 – (256)7178694, (256)717-9112 FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE – 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)566-0892, mailady96@yahoo.com GULF SHORES CONDO – 2BR / 1.5BA, sleeps 6, pool / beach access – (334)790-9545 MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 14 – www. duskdowningheights.com, (850)7665042, (850)661-0678.  

GULF SHORES RENTAL– GREAT Rates! (256)490-4025, (256)523-5154 or www.gulfshoresrentals.us ORANGE BEACH CONDO: 2BR - 2BA - Beautiful view overlooking gulf. Email for SPECIAL fall rates. jfulton451@aol.com GULF SHORES BEACH HOUSE – NICE 2 BEDROOM, GREAT VIEW – FALL $900 / WK – (251)666-5476 AFFORDABLE BEACHSIDE VACATION CONDOS – Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL – Rent directly from Christian Family Owners. Lowest prices on the Beach – www. gulfshorescondos.com, (205)5560368, (205)752-1231, (251)752-2366 1 – 2 BEDROOM CABINS – PIGEON FORGE – Rent by Owner (865)712-7633

Real Estate Sales NICE 3 BR, 2 BATH FISHING, HUNTING & RETIREMENT HOME on river in Dallas Co. - Recently remodeled with hard wood floors & ceramic tile, metal roof and new A/C unit, large high lot. E-mail smerrill05@bellsouth.net, Cell- 850582-7633 Home 850-939-2054 PERDIDO RIVER WATERFRONT – SEMINOLE, AL – 3BR, 1 BATH, LARGE den, furnished, Boat house, 3 storage bldgs. - $195,000 – (850)572-7575 79 ACRES FOR SALE NEAR POSEY’S CROSSROADS, PRATTVILLE - $2,500 per acre – Borders timberland on 3 sides, partially fenced. Beautiful home site & sunsets. Call today, (334)312-2390 or (334)312-2969

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

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

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


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

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

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

Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2014  39

Pages from the past

Down memory lane with

How many of you remember what you read in Alabama Living in September 40 years ago? What about 30, 20, or even just 10 years ago? Here’s a look back at what we were featuring on the covers in September, back in the day.

1974 Gulf Shores Shrimp Festival Gulf Shores is known as

1984 Dixie EC Extends Helping Hand to

the fisherman’s paradise in Alabama. With its 32 miles of beautiful sandy beaches, this is a great getaway for the entire family. Sunning, fishing, golfing, water sports and most importantly, the Shrimp Festival. Gulf Shores has it all, and never ceases to offer more. Shrimp boats and modern motels await big catches as Alabama’s place in the sun anticipates the rush of participants of this year’s festival. Come and take part in everything Gulf Shores has to offer and enjoy the delicious taste of the Shrimp Festival.

Coopeguanacaste Electric Cooperative in Santa Cruz, Costa Rica, sent its president to learn from our local Alabama co-ops this month. Louis Medaglia has spent the past two weeks attending a Management Seminar and visiting with Dixie EC to gain firsthand knowledge of the intercommunications between the co-op and its consumers, and the board of directors and management. As a result of his time here, Medaglia decided to implement new policies and procedures in Costa Rica that would better serve his customers. One question that Dixie engineers were proud to help him answer concerned the shortage of equipment necessary to build and maintain power lines in Costa Rica. To further Alabama’s helping hand, Dixie EC’s board of trustees also voted to seal the bond between the two co-ops by becoming a sister co-op to Coopeguanacaste in Costa Rica.


How Alabama Got Its State Symbols

Can you name Alabama’s official state horse? Most Alabamians aren’t as familiar with the state’s 14 official symbols as they thought, but it’s never too late to take a crash course on the subject. The racking horse was deemed the state’s official horse back in 1975 for its gait, rapid pace and endurance, and recently Alabama legislation named the red-bellied turtle the official state reptile in 1990. Even though the reasons why this particular turtle was chosen are not widely known, there are speculations about its red-bellied similarity to the term “redneck.” The state flower, the camellia, won its position on the list for its sweet southern charm in 1959. 40 SEPTEMBER 2014

Costa Rica Co-op

2004 Sacred Centennial “Mine was the only church standing,” wrote Rev. A.G. Spalding one evening after services on May 8, 1865. Just one month after Yankee troops destroyed most of the town of Selma, Spalding called his congregation together in prayer for the first time since their capture. The First Baptist Church has been Selma’s keystone ever since that moment in time, and now the church will celebrate its centennial Sept. 19. The first congregation was established in 1842, and in 1904 the church built its second home, which still stands today. The centennial celebration will be held exactly 100 years to the date of the first service, and happens to be on a Sunday, a day very fitting for the commemoration of First Baptist’s historic role in Selma’s history. www.alabamaliving.coop

Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2014  41

TEC Unclaimed Checks

Unclaimed Checks As of August 01, 2014. Please note that, if deceased, the executor must provide documentation.







Energy Store

Save your favorite cook some labor this Labor Day!

Shown: Whirlpool Ceramic Smooth-Top Model # WFE510S0AW Other in-stock ranges in both smooth top, convection and coil top versions from Maytag, Whirlpool and Amana!

For more information on our in-stock merchandise please call our office and ask for Energy Store Rep, Cristi Vaughn, at 205.468.3325 - ex. 245. Financing is available to our members, with credit approval. Just tell us to “Put it on my bill!” Remember, you do not have to be a cooperative member to purchase.

Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2014  43

44  AUGUST 2014


Alabama Living

SEPTEMBER 2014  45

Alabama Snapshots 1




Submit Your Images! NOVEMBER THEME:

“I’m thankful for...”


Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL, 36124

RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www. alabamaliving.coop. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. DEADLINE FOR NOVEMBER: Sep. 30


My Invention 1. John Tope demonstrates his homemade snow machine SUBMITTED BY Terri Tope, Evergreen 2. Bill Hyde connected empty water bottles to run from his air conditioner to his laptop to prevent overheating while in Iraq SUBMITTED BY Vicky Hyde, New Brockton

3. Ding-No-More classic car protector used to prevent other car doors from hitting your classic car while parked in your garage. SUBMITTED BY Walter K. Johnson, Foley 4. Miller Reese Hutchison, Montrose. Among his 1,000+ inventions were the first electrical hearing aid and the Klaxon horn with the famous “Ah-oo-gah” sound. www.alabamaliving.coop



Alabama Rural Electric Association’s


Quilt Competition Our theme is: What put us on the map? Design your quilt square around the idea of what your local co-op area is known for. We need all co-ops represented!

Mail, E-mail or Fax form below for your entry package. Deadline to submit quilt square is December 31, 2014 Name: ________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________ City, State Zip: __________________________________________ E-mail: ________________________________________________ Phone: ________________________________________________ Cooperative: ___________________________________________ (The electric cooperative name on front of this Alabama Living.)

Mail to: AREA 340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 or Phone: 334-215-2732 Fax: 334-215-2733 E-mail: lpartin@areapower.com

Profile for Alabama Living

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