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September 7 - 20, 2012 E-MAIL: ADVERTISING: 256-468-9425

SportsFit: “Xtreme Dedication, Extraordinary Results” By Ali Elizabeth Turner SportsFit, the large and lovely fitness facility located in Athens at 22423 US Hwy 72, (just east of the Publix Shopping Center,) is announcing its fall lineup of activities, contests, classes and fundraisers. The list of amenities for SportsFit members is extensive and growing all the time. SportsFit is open 24/7, with members having unlimited secure electronic access. There is free tanning, a hot tub, a dry sauna in the men’s and women’s locker rooms, a swimming pool, exercise class room, state of the art equipment, and most importantly, a friendly staff. In addition, there is free on site day care during the Continued on pages 16-17

September 7 - September 20, 2012

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September 7 - September 20, 2012

Publisher’s Point

2016, A Most Important Film

Publisher / Editor Ali Turner

Contributing Writers Shelley Underhill Janet Hunt Wanda Campbell Lynne Hart Jeanette Dunnavant Joel Allen Will Anderson Jerrry Barksdale Susie Adams

It’s not often that I go to see a movie on the big screen twice, but I have been greatly affected by the recently released documentary film, 2016: Obama’s America. It is beautifully filmed and written, avoids a number of opportunities for screed, and is produced by bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza and Oscar winning producer Gerald Molen, who won an Academy Award in 1993 for his work on Schindler’s List. The film starts off with something that only Dinesh could accomplish, and that is draw upon his own personal initial similarities to the President. Both were born in 1961, both lived in former British colonies, both went to Ivy League schools, and both were married in the same year, 1992. Dinesh was part of the Dartmouth

Review, and allegedly the President headed up The Harvard Review, although no one has ever seen any of his work. But that is where the similarities end.

Dinesh broke out of a destiny determined for him by his family in India, received a wonderful education at Dartmouth, was invited to be on the White House staff of President Reagan, and has

Publisher’s Point . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 All Things Soldier . . . . . . . . 4 Calendar of Events . . . . . . . . 5 Special Feature . . . . . . . . . 7 Clean and Green . . . . . . . . 8 Jerry’s Journal . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Cooking with Shelley . . . . . . 11 Lifelong Learning . . . . . . . . . 12 What Makes Ronnie Roll . . 13 Cover Story . . . . . . . . . 16-17 Dog Barker . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Health and Fitness . . . . . . 19

September 7 - September 20, 2012

sent by himself at the age of 10 back to America to be raised by his grandparents, and was mentored by self confessed Communist and pornographer Frank Marshall Davis. The President in his book Dreams From My Father is candid about the fact that his grandfather, Stanley Dunham, would get either rip-roaring drunk, stoned or both with Frank Davis, and Barack would listen by the hour as they discussed the follies of the free market system.

But he does have control over returning a gift given

World According to Will . . 21

Security Savvy . . . . . . . . . . 23

The President was abandoned by his father, taken away from his stepfather,

None of this is the fault of Barack Obama. He had no way to prevent being abandoned by his father, being abandoned by his mother, being sent away from his stepfather Lolo ( who was actually quite good to him,) being raised by his grandparents and being mentored by a Communist and pornographer.

Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Medical Update . . . . . . . . . . 22

gone on to be highly successful.

to us by Great Britain in the form of a bust of Winston Churchill. He could respect common good sense and manners. He could side with our ally Israel, and not ignore Benjamin Netanyahu while he goes to eat dinner in the Residence. The President could let us know how he came up by letting us read his thoughts while in college or come clean about the fact he told Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor, that Reverend Wright’s “problem” was that he, (meaning Wright) had to tell the “truth” about their relationship.

Last I checked, telling the truth never ultimately caused any true problems, and I believe you owe yourself the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God. And I also believe you can get a well documented dose of the truth by going to see 2016, which also happens to currently be the 4th most successful political documentary of all time. It also stands to break out of that distinction as its message gathers momentum. Would you consider both helping it to succeed while you arm yourself with unassailable facts? You certainly won’t regret it.

Ali Elizabeth Turner Athens Now Information & Inspiration 256-468-9425 Website:

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All Things Soldier

Josh Mandel And Sherrod Brown

by Ali Elizabeth Turner

There is a 34 year old Marine named Josh Mandel who happens to be the Treasurer of the State of Ohio. He has also been an Ohio State Representative, and is running against long time U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. Josh served as a Marine for eight years, and did two tours in Iraq at the same time I was there. He was involved at times in military intelligence, and served in both Haditha and Anbar, rough places where the Marines were desperately needed. He retired from the Marines with the rank of Sgt. He was first in his class in Boot Camp, first in his class in Intelligence School, and was awarded the Navy and Marine Achievement Medal.

This is a lot to pack into 34 years, not to dismiss getting married in Jerusalem, having several college degrees,

becoming a lawyer and having the guts to take on an incumbent. There is the usual smear

campaign going on from the opposing camp, one accusation being that he adopted a false Southern accent while he was campaigning in coal country. (I don’t believe, however, that Hillary Clinton was called untrustworthy when she gave her now infamous “Ah ain’t no wahz tard” speech. My pupose here is not to defend something that may have been nothing more than silly. But what has recently come against Josh from the Sherrod camp is inexcusable, and another example of just how much career politicians who have never served in the military can become so arrogant they can refer to themselves as veterans, somehow likening the rig-

ors of dodging verbal bullets in Washington D.C. to serving in the beastly heat of Al Anbar.

As was mentioned earlier, Josh was in intel. And anyone who understands the true miracle that occurred in Anbar knows that because of our troops, for the first time in anyone’s memory feuding sheiks came together to defeat a common enemy: Al Qaeda. What happened there became legendary all over Iraq, and the fact that Josh was there during that historical moment will impress me until someone shows me otherwise.

What Sherrod has done that is so despicable, besides referring to himself as “an experienced veteran in the wars on Capitol Hill” is to say that Josh’s experience in Iraq was only “tactical.” Tactical. I’m sorry, but what part of “first in Boot Camp” AND “first in Intelligence School” did you miss, Senator Brown? Do you even begin to understand what it took to accomplish getting sheiks to sit down at the table, all the while keeping them safe from those would just as soon take off their heads?

I know that this kind of stuff goes on in politics all the time, and there are some mistakes that I believe Josh may have made that perhaps need to be addressed. But please, don’t minimize the service of a Marine or any member of our service branches who has volunteered to go into harm’s way in order that you may be safe and free. It’s at the very least unseemly, especially for a United States Senator.

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September 7 - September 20, 2012

Calendar of Events

“Kudzu Chronicles: A Southern Writers’ Event at Art on the Square” Sep 7 & 8

The event will bring published authors and panel discussions to the Athens State University Center for Lifelong Learning in downtown Athens. Attendees may come free to hear authors speak on a variety of topics, and join discussions on writing, getting published and historical research and genealogy. Some of the authors who will speak include Christopher Fuqua, Dr. Julie Hedgepeth Williams, Kris Reisz, Robert S. Davis, Peggy Allen Towns, Rusty Bynum, Sara McDaris, Kelly Kazek, Jerry Barksdale, Bill Hunt, Penne Laubenthal, Charlotte Fulton and Karen Middleton and Frank Travis. Tickets to the Friday night kickoff party are $20 each and attendees can meet the authors and have them sign books, as well as participate in a silent auction of books signed by a variety of southern authors such as Rick Bragg, Winston Groom, Daniel Wallace, Mark Childress, Rheta Grimsley Johnson, and more. For information on Kudzu Chronicles, contact Wanda Campbell at the Center for Lifelong Learning at 256-233-6520.

Art on the Square Sep 8 at 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Juried visual artists will sell their works around The Limestone County Courthouse in downtown Athens, AL. In addition to the visual arts, Kudzu Chronicles, A Southern Writers Event at Art on the Square, will be held downtown, in The ASU Center for Lifelong Learning. Add to that, performing arts and many local musicians who will share the stage that day, with The Alabama Blues Project Advanced Band, and Microwave Dave & The Nukes. Microwave Dave & The Nukes have established a multinational audience. Venues vary from French soccer stadiums to Daytona Beach; and from blues cruises to saloons. One thought remains: Blues lifts the Spirits. The Alabama Blues Society presented the band its Blues Achievement Award in 2001. This juried art show offers all types of art – paintings, pottery, and much more. Contact: for more information. Free admission. Fee to participants.

Athens-Limestone Hospital Foundation’s 15th Annual Crystal Cup Golf Tournament Sep 13 - Two tee times - 8:30am and 1:30pm

Join us at Canebrake Championship Golf Course . Lunch begins at noon. $150 per Player $600 per Team . Rain Date Thursday 9/20/12. Download the Registration Form. Sponsorship Proposal. Register Online. Ball Drop Contest Entry Form and Rules. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to win $2,500!!

Harvest of Quilts Quilt Show Sep 14-15 at 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Sep 16 at 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

The quilt exhibition, vendors, silent auction, door prizes, boutique and bed turning will all be at the Athens State University Ballroom located at 300 N Beaty Street, Athens, AL. Admission for one day is $5.00 or two days $7.00. Hosted by PieceMaker’s Quilt Guild of Athens. Contact Sue Manley 256-233-5346.

September 7 - September 20, 2012

VOAD’s Be Ready Day Sep 14 from 10:00 to 2:00

Everyone is urged to stop by the Limestone Event Center and meet the First Responder groups who are active during disasters and learn more about preparedness. Free lunch will be provided. Contact delores.thompson@ for more information.

KALB Duck & Run 5k Sep 15 at 8:00 AM

Start and ending point will be Big Spring Memorial Park in Athens. There will be one water station mid-way through the course and splits will be called at each mile. Course is certified AL10016JD. Beautiful, shady, rolling but fast course through Athens’ Beaty, Houston, and Courthouse historic districts. Best 5k road course around! Do not miss this race! Great hospitality and prizes! T-shirts guaranteed for the first 200 participants. The first 25 to register will also receive an entry into the Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby for a chance to win $1000 or other great prizes. Prizes: Mid-Pack Award, Best of Limestone County, and a cash drawing (must be at awards ceremony to win). Cash amounts for Mid-Pack and cash drawing will be determined by the number of registered runners. Overall, masters, and top 3 in 5 year age groups for male and female. Early registration $15, race day registration $20, fun run registration $10. T-Shirts guaranteed to the first 200 registered runners. Awards and prizes awarded. Register for this mildly challenging race at, or at or call 256-233-8728 for more information.

AHS Band Cotton Classic Marching Festival Sep 22 at 11:00 AM

This competition will be an all day event and Marching Bands stretching from Tuscaloosa to Nashville are invited. We are estimating a total of 1220 bands. The competition will be held in the Athens High School Football Stadium. The Pride of Dixie Marching Band from UNA will perform as the exhibition band at the end of the day, prior to the awards ceremony. Please contact John Hays at telephone 256-998-0158 or email ahscottonclassic@

Spirit of Athens invites you to “A Celebration of All Things Fried” Sep 29

Downtown Athens, AL will be alive and hoping as the Spirit of Athens first annual “Grease Festival - A Celebration of all things Fried”. It’s Toga time! Mark your calendars for a fried food festival and celebration of the Greek origin of our city’s name. Share your ideas, the quirkier the better! Stay tuned for more details. Contact 256-232-9040 or www.spiritofathens. com.

Bean Day Oct 5 at 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM Come and enjoy the beans atthe Family Life Center of First Baptist Church in Athens to benefit the Senior Center. A plate of white beans, ham, slaw and cornbread—plus a great dessert and a drink will sell for $6.00. Delivery of larger orders can be arranged. For more info call Jennifer at Council of Aging at (256) 233-6412 or Mrs. Greenhaw at 256-232-6643.

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September 7 - September 20, 2012

Special Feature

Frame Gallery: Art On And Off The Square by Ali Elizabeth Turner

Tony Cooper, owner of the Frame Gallery located at 701 N. Jefferson in Athens, began his career as a commissioned portrait artist and photographer at the age of 15. He understands better than most how important the right framing can be for anything designed to be hung on a wall for viewing, and in part learned the trade so that his own pieces could look their best. He also has been a strong supporter of Art On The Square from its inception, and says he “wants to see more venues for the arts.” So, he is choosing to, as Ghandi said, “be the change you want to see” by sponsoring an exhibition at Frame Gallery of the works of local artist Lance McLemore. The exhibition just opened, and will run through the end of October.

Lance’s work is stunning, and has been featured at UAH, from which he recently was matriculated. The exhibit at Frame Gallery is his senior project. It is arranged so that it starts with paintings that show the dark side of human nature, and as one goes around the room, it ends up with a pencil sketch (that is not Lance’s,) of Jesus with a man from biblical times. On one wall there is also one of Tony’s own works in progress, and exhibit attendees will be able to watch him work, something that doesn’t happen often.

Tony has built up his custom frame stock to the point that he is confident he has one of the largest selections of moulding and mattes in the Southeast. He also carries mattes that are made of silk and genuine suede. He has a philosophy when it comes to custom framing. “I specialize in preserving family heirlooms, and just about anything can be framed. A piece of a quilt that may have been ruined can

look beautiful in a frame. So can your five year old child’s first T-ball game jersey, and it doesn’t have to have been from a winning game.” “Even broken stuff can look great in a frame,” he says with convic-

minute. In addition to framing heirlooms, whether broken or whole, Tony is very aware that custom framing essentially creates a “unique piece of fur-

Frame Gallery owner, Tony Cooper, and a personal work in progress. tion. He makes frames “from scratch,” and enjoys running “a true, custom frame shop,” something that is a tad rare these days.Tony says that “nothing is better than a custom framed work, especially for the person who ‘has everything.’” He is encouraging people Tony’s Aunt says, “What are good ideas worth if they aren’t used?”

to think about having such a piece made for holiday gifts, and to get an early start so they don’t get caught at the last

September 7 - September 20, 2012

niture for a wall,” and the true skill comes from not having the frame dominate the object being framed. By contrast, “a lot of people are unaware of

the difference a custom framed mirror can make in a bathroom or other location in a home. It can make a room look completely updated,” he said.

merizing, and my friend keeps it in her office to inspire her to overcome her fear of water. Soon it will be the proud bearer of one of Tony’s frames, and will go on my office wall. I just hope I don’t get so lost in looking at it that I don’t get any writing done!!

Recently I was in his shop, and as he was busy with a customer, decided while I was waiting to take a look at his rack of prints that were for sale. They were varied and beautiful, and obviously would look stellar framed by someone with Tony’s expertise. To my great delight, I found a print for which I had been looking for several years, and let out a happy “No way!!” I had first seen it in Florida, hanging on the wall of a friend, and stare at it for long periods of time each time I go to her home. It was taken by a French photographer, and is of a man standing in the door of a lighthouse while the waves are crashing all around it and him. It is mes-

Tony also greatly enjoys working with his customers to “cocreate” a finished work. “They or I will come up with an idea, play off of it, the idea grows, and by the time we’re finished, we are both happy with ‘our’ work.”

Stop by the Frame Gallery and let Tony create a beautiful, one of a kind framed item as a gift for others or for yourself. He’ll even let you help.

Frame Gallery

701 North Jefferson Athens, AL 35611 256-232-3202 Page 7

Clean and Green

KALB Presents “Top Dog” Awards by Lynne Hart

again...or so we thought.

KALB hosted a luncheon for city and county school administrators, green team leaders, and public officials recently in an effort to encourage increased recycling education and activities within our schools. Why is this Important? Since the 1920’s and 1930’s when mass production became popular, consumers found less expensive products on store shelves. More people could now afford to buy these products. That was a wonderful thing, wasn’t it? Manufacturers discovered that they could keep the price low by using lower quality parts, which would then malfunction or become less desirable leading consumers to buy “new and improved” products. Advertisers then began to train us, the consumer, to want these new and wonderful products. Well, just about the time we learn to use our new phone, computer tablet, or television set advertisers are trying to convince us that we can’t live without the bigger and better version! Landfills So where did we toss all of our outdated, n o - l o n g e r- w o r k i n g , no-longer-fashionable stuff? Most went into the trash can, which was then hauled to a landfill and covered over with dirt never to be thought of

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In 2006, each American man, woman, and child produced on average 4.6 lbs. of garbage per day. Yes, per DAY. Landfills began filling up fast and new landfills were needed. The cost of extracting raw materials from deep inside the earth is very labor intensive and became very expensive. How long could we continue this process before depleting our natural resources? Today many old landfills are being mined for recyclable materials, particularly metals. We finally realized that we have been throwing away materials that could be used again and again with less cost

Felicia Phillips, Principal of Brookhill Elementary, accepting the TOP DOG Award. Brookhill recycled more pounds of material per student than all other city schools during the final month of the last school year. of our natural resources? Young children have open hearts and open minds and are willing to listen to the information provided without preconceived ideas, and before bad habits have become a way of life. If we are going to impact our children through education, it is important that school administrators and leaders understand and support these lessons.

Dr. Casey Lewis, Principal of Johnson Elementary, accepting the TOP DOG Award. Johnson recycled more pounds of materials per student than all other county schools during the final month of the last school year. With Dr. Lewis is Tammy Haymon, KALB’s Education and Communication Coordinator. and a gentler impact on our environment. So Why dents?



What better place to start than teaching our children the importance of protecting our environment through responsible use

to individual teachers. It is our hope that we will continue to have a positive impact on our local and global environment by providing knowledge through educational programs.

We welcome any teacher or school administrator to contact us for more information on how we can be of service.

KALB is a wonderful resource to our schools and

(256) 233-8728

Become a Fan September 7 - September 20, 2012

Jerry’s Journal

Across the Purple Sage by Jerry Barksdale

The long road beckoned me west. I was hankering to see turquoise skies and gray mountains, smell juniper and pinion and ride through purple sage. And, I wanted to see my daughter, Shannon. It was midJuly and I was headed back to Taos. On a sultry Tuesday morning before the sun had burned off the haze, we departed Elk River in a Chevy Caravan loaded with suitcases, maps and snacks. Bonnie Pitts of Tanner was behind the wheel. Leslie, his 12-year-old, blue-eyed and red-headed son, (who could model for a Norman Rockwell painting,) was soon asleep as we chased asphalt toward Memphis. My friend and sometimes red-head, Pat, as well as her niece, Penni Pitts, planned to depart Athens Friday after work, and meet us in Taos. I love history and share it with Leslie, an honor student at Tanner. Near Memphis, I said, “When you see the mighty Mississippi, you’re gonna say ‘Golleee shazam’.” He grinned. As we bumped across the bridge into Arkansas, Leslie, his freckled face to the window, was unimpressed. The great river that once marked the western boundary of the United States prior to the Louisiana Purchase was running 30 feet below normal. We headed west on I-40 where the delta is flat and green as a billiard table. Bonnie looked across the endless rice fields, tugged the brim of his cap, and reminisced. “When I was 16 or 17 we used to come out here in August and September and pick cotton,” he began. “Daddy had an old black, 1937 Chevy with suicide doors. They opened

backward. If you opened them while moving they would jerk you outta the car.”

eggs, if we had it.”

I love a good story. I reached over and punched off the radio. “When was that?” I asked.

“Two fifty per hundred pounds. Around Athens they didn’t pay no more than $1.50 to $1.75. We could make some real money in Arkansas.”

“Ah, about 1957. We lived on Bruce Nelson’s farm near Brownsferry. Daddy would load us four boys up; that was me, the twins, Elwood and Delwood and my older brother, James and we’d leave Ripley

“How much were you paid for picking?” I asked.

Bonnie said he could pick 150 to 160 pounds a day, which came to about $3.25, and his father could pick twice that much. “When my sack was

and occasionally we ate a box of vanilla wafers and a quart of milk for supper.” “For five people?” “Yeah.” Mosquitoes made their lives miserable at night. “We mostly left the door open to catch a breeze and of course didn’t have insect repellant.” He laughed. “The mosquitoes were so big and bad that one fellow got under a cast iron kettle and when they stuck their beaks through, he bent them over so they couldn’t escape.” “Get outta here,” I said. Bonnie laughed again. “They were almost that big.”

Left to Right: Leslie Pitts, Jerry Barksdale and Bonnie Pitts. Photo was made at Vern’s Steak House, Shamrock, Texas on Route 66. about six in the morning. Daddy didn’t have a driver’s license – none of us did.” The ‘37 Chevy got them to the Harrisburg area, where flat fields and endless rows were white with cotton. They stayed in a long, dorm-type building located on a gravel road that housed several families. Water was drawn from a hand-dug well with a rope and bucket. They shared an outhouse with the other itinerant workers. There was no air conditioning, no fan and no screen doors to keep out hordes of voracious mosquitoes. “We rested the first day we got there,” Bonnie said. “Daddy got up between 5 and 5:30 and cooked breakfast which was usually biscuits and gravy. Sometimes, we ate bacon and

September 7 - September 20, 2012

full, (which was about 50 to 60 pounds,) I’d throw it across my shoulders and walk an eighth of a mile to the trailer, and weigh in. Sometimes we were paid right then and didn’t have to wait until quitting time to get our money.” Just before dinnertime someone drove to the nearest country store and bought lunch. “I’d usually eat two pieces of bologna with crackers, an RC and a Moon Pie for dessert,” said Bonnie. “I’d sit on my sack at the end of the row and eat in thirty minutes or less.” They knocked off picking between 5 and 6 p.m. and trudged back to the quarters where his father cooked supper. “We’d eat pintos, fried potatoes and cornbread,” he said. “Every once in a while we had milk

They picked a half day on Saturdays, then went to tiny Mark Tree or Lapanto where there was a store and movie theater. “We went to a movie one Saturday night in Lapanto, and a Mexican cut another Mexican’s head off. We were too scared to go back. On Sundays, we laid around the house or found a creek to play in.” I grew quiet, lost in my own thoughts as car tires hummed on the pavement. One of my earliest memories was picking cotton using a Martha White flour sack that Mama had made for me. And I remember the hot, humid nights with no fan, and swarms of hungry mosquitoes feeding on me; the lack of money and the feeling of hopelessness. I don’t ever want to return to those days. But it was subsistence living that motivated both Bonnie and me to seek a better life. I guess that is something to be said for coming up poor. We chased a setting sun across Oklahoma where the landscape became flat and brown and

spotted our first “Big Texan, Home of the 72 ounce steak” sign just west of Oklahoma City. “Are your ears popping?” Bonnie asked.

“We’re on the high plains,” I said.

The sun was setting behind clouds, casting a red hue across the horizon. “We’d better stop at Elk City and find a room,” I said.

We took our chances and continued to Sayre. No rooms available. We crossed into Texas following old Route 66 and pulled off at Shamrock. No rooms except at a flea bag motel. I’ve hosted bed bugs, previously. No more. We ate at Vern’s Steakhouse located on Route 66 and departed at 10:30 p.m. without filling up with gas. Bonnie doesn’t like to gas up until the needle reaches a certain level that is fixed only in his head. We drove toward Amarillo. Near midnight and almost on empty, we exited for gas and spotted a red neon sign, “Conway Inn.”

“Let’s get a room,” said Bonnie. “We’ll gas up in the morning.”

I entered the office, where a small man from India appeared behind a locked door and bullet-proof glass. “Do you have a room?” I asked. “Guude room.”

“Are the sheets clean and no bed bugs?”

“Guude room. No bed bug, no complaint in turdy years.”

“What’s the name of this place?” I asked. “No name. Just crossroads.”

We crashed at midnight. By my calculations we were within a two hour drive for our first planned adventure.

-To be Continued – Page 9


Dipped, Battered & Fried – A Celebration of All Things Fried! By Jeanette Dunnavant, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

The Athens Grease Festival event planners are very excited about the upcoming new festival they are bringing to downtown Athens, AL. Spirit of Athens Director, Trisha Black shared the following information about the festival. The city of Athens is embracing its love of deep-fried foods and is set to serve up one day dedicated to all things dipped, battered and fried. The inaugural Athens Grease Festival is set for September 29, 2012 in downtown Athens, and along with celebrating the South’s love of fried food, the one day event also pays tribute to the Greek origination of the town’s name. The downtown area will be filled with Southern crafts, Olympic-themed activities, and a variety of food vendors who will offer at least one fried item on their menus. And in the South, fried food is not limited to vegetables and meat; desserts such as fried Oreos and fried Twinkies have become increasingly popular. Organizers are not worried about encouraging others to indulge as long as everyone eats responsibly the other 364 days of the year. No fried food festival would be complete without a contest to see can best dip, batter, and fry. Food vendors and downtown restaurants are challenged with to see who can come up with the best fried vegetable, best fried meat, best fried dessert, and most outrageous. Other activities planned for the day-long event include a bike ride, fun run, and a children’s area. Festival goers are encouraged to wear their togas to what may turn out to be the largest toga party in North Alabama and dance to live music provided by Faron Davis, The Charles and Grant Show, Matt Prater, Richie and Deemer, Joey Thompson and Charles Williams, and The Park Band. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and admission is $5 or $4 for toga wearers. Children 12 years and under get in free. The Athens Grease Festival is organized and hosted by Spirit of Athens, a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Athens. Proceeds from the festival will benefit Spirit of Athens and downtown restoration and renovation projects. For more information, visit or call 256.232.9040. For information about the above event and other Athens-Limestone County events call 256-2325411/256-867-1438 or visit our website www.

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September 7 - September 20, 2012

Cooking with Shelley

‘Bama Caviar by Shelley Underhill

Oh, if you’re willing to put in the work, this tasty treat is a must try! I discovered this recipe this summer when I was getting my fill of fresh cooked okra. What a treat it was... I cooked down my black-eyed peas and okra together. Then, I took out the black-eyed peas and rinsed them in a colander, draining them well. Next I combined them with my chopped tri-colored bell peppers and my real sour cream ranch dressing.

Come to find out there is a similar recipe called Texas Caviar - now you know where I came up with the name for this recipe... And yes, you can cook your black-eyed peas without the okra. Let me know if you try it or if you add or take away anything from it. You can email me at

What you will need: 2 Cans Black-eyed Peas 2 Tbsp. Maggi (Powdered) Chicken Bouillon 3 Tri-colored bell peppers - 1/4 each- chopped very small 1 stalk celery – chopped fine

Mix together 1 8oz container of sour cream 1 envelope of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip mix

Combine peas and bouillon together in a saucepan and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer for about fifteen minutes. Drain peas well and let cool. Combine chopped peppers, celery and two heaping tablespoons prepared sour cream, mix well and refrigerate.

September 7 - September 20, 2012

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Learning As A Lifestyle

Back to School It is that time of year again, an exciting one, when both children and adults are headed back to school. At the Center for Lifelong Learning, it is back to school time also. We just put out our Fall Catalogue, and it is filled with new learning opportunities: Kudzu Chronicles: A Southern Writers’ Event at Art on the Square is this week-end. Friday, September 7 at 6:00 pm several authors will be available to talk with participants and sign books. There will also be a silent Auction for several other books signed by Southern writers. The fee is only $20. Then on Saturday, September 8, from 9:30 to 2:30, there will be panels to discuss writing, publishing, researching and more. And several featured authors will discuss their newest books. The entire event on

by Wanda Campbell

Saturday is free to the public. You can register online, or call 256-233-8260. This is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. During the next year, the Center will be sponsoring several trips to the sites of battles. Dr. Ron Fritze will be giving the history lessons and describing the events that led to the battlegrounds that will be toured. Thursday, September 13, he will begin the series with the

Battle of Farmington. Then on Sunday, September 16, the Center will be sponsoring a trip to Farmington/Corinth, Mississippi for a reenactment of the battles.

with ADHD, Oppositional Defiance or are thinking about adoption, there is a class for you. Information about these classes is our website, or you can call 256-233-8260. If you did not get the cat-

alog, go to the website,, or call 256-233-8260 and we will send you one. If you can’t find what you are looking for, you can always call the Center. We are always looking for class ideas and teachers.

This fall, we are offering a new category of classes in Business. Whether you need to write your resume or you need to study for a certificate program to get a job, we have several offerings for you. The newest certificate program at the Center is the ServSafe Food Manager Safety Certificate. If you are working in the food service industry the Food Safety Certificate is now the law in Alabama. Classes and the exam are offered October 13 and December 17-18. Check out the web site for more information or call 256-2338260. Also new this Fall are several classes in the category of Learning For Life/ Just For Parents. Whether you want to know how to deal

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September 7 - September 20, 2012

What Makes Ronnie Roll

Loving The Job, The Folks, And The Challenges Ahead

by Ali Elizabeth Turner

Ronnie Marks has just been elected to the position of Mayor with a landslide victory, and true to form has both “hit the ground running,” and is anxious to “put the election behind us and get back to work.” There is much to do in our town, even while things are going well over all, his time is necessarily divided between the tasks at hand and planning for what is ahead.

When I asked him about his thoughts on the election, he paused, and made the point that he was “so grateful for Athens’ vote of support.” He explained that all at once he felt “honored, humbled, challenged, and excited.” He added, “Lots of emotions, lots of work to do.” Although we often chat about what is going on in the national political scene, I was struck by the fact that at the time after the local election, the national race was clearly in second place in comparison to all that was needing to be addressed on the city scene here at home.

The love of the Mayor for this town, his understanding

of its history, its people and its potential has always been a comfort to me. He says, “I love this job, the people, and the project management. I want to put the period after project management, and getting the job done well.”

is a reasonable thing to want to offer incentives to potential retail prospects, it is also complicated. There ends up being a gap between the two, one that is going to be spanned by people working together in an equitable manner.

Most of the time when we finish an interview, I feel as though I have received an education, and this time I learned about some of the challenges of retail recruitment vs. industrial recruitment. We in Athens are both blessed by and aware of the fact that in the past year there have been some significant victories in courting industry and bringing more of it to our town. We also know that we need more. Some of the reason why it is easier to get industry interested in setting up shop here is that the regulations and tax incentives for industry are much more clear cut and uniform than those of retail. Things that would attract retail businesses in terms of incentives are more nebulous, and fall under the purview of private investors, and while it

Several situations are before the Mayor and City Council, and prayerful, responsible solutions are being sought. For example, in places where City and County government overlap, what is the best way to streamline? “The people don’t want a growing government, and we need to ask ourselves how we can streamline without compromising services or cause a loss of jobs.” One of the examples he mentioned is that of garbage. Is it the best approach to go to single stream recycling? “It certainly has worked in other cities, and we are looking in to it.”

September 7 - September 20, 2012

which he is unwavering. “People expect us, the city government, to do the right thing,” he said. So, I guess it’s time to “git ‘er dun,” and pray for blessing and wisdom upon our leaders in the days that lie ahead.

As always, we prayed at the end, and then he reminded me to tell you that his belief in building Athens from the inside out through using the team approach is an idea that he both embraces, and about

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September 7 - September 20, 2012

September 7 - September 20, 2012

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Cover Story

SportsFit: “Xtreme Dedication, Extraordinary Results”

by Ali Elizabeth Turner

continued from page 1

following hours: Mon-Fri, 8 am-noon, Mon-Thur, 4pm-8pm, Fri, 4pm-6pm, and Sat, 8am-10:30 am. Caleb Pope is the facility director, and between all the instructors and trainers, there are more than 20 years of combined experience from which members can draw. For a small fee, members can pay for a one on one session with certified personal trainer and Aerobics Director, 31 year old Erin Chambless. She can also provide nutritional coaching as well as set up a personalized exercise program for SportsFit clients. Erin has a real passion for helping people take back their shape as well as their health, and knows firsthand how tough it can be to lose the weight gained during pregnancy. “I love to help people get healthy, and this job also makes it possible for me to spend more time with my kids.” She is also in training to run her first half marathon, and her excitement is contagious.

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Speaking of contagious, I got to chat with 66 year old Marcia Hemphill, who takes between 6 and 7 classes a week! Fitness was a part of her life for a long time, but like so many, running a business slowly took over, and she put on 60 lbs. She has dropped the weight, kept it off, and especially loves the Aqua classes. If you are interested in getting fit in a group setting, the exercise class schedule offers classes which vary from Spin Cycling to Zumba. Zumba, the lively Latin dance based cardio work out, is one of SportsFit’s most popular classes. In addition, you can choose from Yoga, Kickboxing, Muscleworks, Step Circuit, Dance Fusion, Armed and Dangerous, and Guts & Butts. Classes are included in the cost of membership, which, by the way, involves no long term commitment. A new feature is that there are class-only memberships, and non members can pay for individual classes if they choose. Free three

day passes are available, and if members have family or guests temporarily staying with them, there are special rates for them, too. Erin gave me a more detailed description of how the classes are divided by intensity. High intensity classes are Kickboxing, Zumba, and the full hour Step Class. Medium intensity classes are Zumba Gold, (which Erin told me was added in July, and has been a monster hit,) Step Circuit, Spin Cycling and Muscle Works. Low impact classes are done in the water, and are described below. SportsFit has an accessible pool certified through both the American with Disabilities Act and Arthritis Foundation, and it shares the pool with the Encore Rehabilitation facility located next door. To insure maximum comfort for all users, the pool is kept scrupulously clean, maintained at a constant 91F, and has a manned lift that can place those who must enter the pool from their wheelchair into it

safely. The Aqua classes are quite popular amongst those who suffer with arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation has specially designed classes that are low impact, but nevertheless most effective in making it possible for arthritis sufferers

to get a great workout. Each class teacher must be certified by the Foundation before they can teach. Aqua classes are not just confined to those who are working to overcome arthritis, however. Those diagnosed with fibromyalgia and other related diseases can benefit

Erin Chambless, Group Fitness Director and Certified Personal Trainer

September 7 - September 20, 2012

from the Aqua Arthritis classes. For those who just plain love the water and how it feels to exercise in it, there is a class called Aqua Dance Fusion, as well as the Aqua Challenge. Some members use the Aqua Zumba class to learn the Zumba steps before they graduate to either Zumba or Zumba Gold. SportsFit always gets involved in the fight against Breast Cancer during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month. There are specially marked elliptical and treadmill machines which are decorated in pink, and format-

ted so that for each mile walked on either machine is recorded, and 25 cents for each mile walked is donated to breast cancer research. If you are not planning on using the machines, SportsFit is also officially authorized to take donations. Both the Athens SportsFit facility,(as well as the one in Decatur,) participate annually in raising money to find a cure for the diabolical disease that

affects 1 in 8 American women. Everyone knows that the college football season in Alabama is a time of

fierce rivalry between Alabama and Auburn. So, why not get in better shape during the season instead of spending it on the couch? To that end, SportsFit is sponsoring the Alabama Auburn Cardio A demonstration of the use of Challenge beginning Kettle Bells in November. This challenge will allow team members to earn miles on the treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes, and even through the spin cycle class. The team with the most miles logged wins the challenge, and gets put in the drawing for a prize. Hey, for it, remember this: you could kill several SportsFit is the place where “Xtreme dedication brings extraordinary results.”

SportsFit Spin Class

birds with one stone: come to the facility during game time, get on a treadmill, watch the game, root for your team, and get in shape for the holidays! Whatever your level of fitness or desire

SportsFit Step Aerobics Class

SportsFit 1  2  3 

Address: 22423 US Hwy 72, Athens AL 35611 Hours: Open 24/7 Phone: 256-233-3994


Website: Facebook: sportsfit athens decatur

Only one pass per person

Must be at least 18 years old

Offer expires Oct. 31, 2012 September 7 - September 20, 2012

Jonathan Henderson, SportsFit Regional Director Caleb Pope, Athens Facility Director

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Dog Barker

Adoption by Joel Allen

So, you are looking to adopt a new Canine Family Member. There are many places to choose from. You could ask your Veterinarian, check the phone book, google search your area, or even check the Dog Pound. Many dogs need to be loved. Even the “Heinz 57” dog wants to be loved. Here is some advice when looking for that special addition to your family. Consider the size of the dog. Do you want “GIGANTOR”, Medium, or “Itsy Bitsy”? While you consider that, let’s discuss the differences. “Gigantor” (a huge dog with bigger feet than you) is full grown and seems very loving. Having this size dog, you should consider their needs. If they still have a tail, they are normally the right height to clean a coffee table off with one swish or bring a grown man to his knees by tapping him in the lower area. Guys, just think, as you hit your knees in pain they normally come and love all over you not knowing what they have done. Most large dogs need only a couch or lazy boy and they are good. When feeding this size of a dog you should elevate his food and water to chest level.

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“Medium” size dogs are usually about knee to thigh high. With this size of dog you don’t have to worry too much about their tail unless you are a short person, like my Dad. It is good to also elevate their food and water to chest level for them. A dog bed or the furniture (if you don’t mind) will do them just fine. “Itsy Bitsy” dogs are usually called “ankle biters” or teacups. Most dogs this size are prima donnas and do not like many people or dogs. They tend to look up at us when we teach or tell them a command and give us the look like, “What?! You expect me to do that?” Sometimes they even have the “Napoleon” complex where they think they can pick a fight with something bigger than them, never realizing that a quick puff of air will send them flying. Lastly, you should know the first two weeks of your new Canine Family Member are the most important. This is where they acclimate to you and their new home. This is also where their true colors c o m e

please consider supporting your local shelter by asking them what they need or even volunteer to help out. Huntsville has a few shelters also, and they all need help.

forth. Dogs who have been mistreated can show negative behavior within this time frame. It is always best to seek an evaluation from a dog trainer. This can save you time, money, and torn up curtains.

home: The Dog Pound, 256771-7889 (Pricilla) Peace, Love, and Animals, 256-233-4343 (Cathy)

“Remember to love your dogs because they love you. Maybe not the way you want them to, like chewing up your favorite shoes or what not, but that is just love chewing. Be thankful for the time you have with them always.”

Joel and Zues Allen 256-651-2211

If you are unable to adopt,

Now, here are a couple of places in Athens, you can look to find wonderful Canine Family Members in need of a n e w

September 7 - September 20, 2012

Health and Fitness

The Gluten Free Diet

by Janet Hunt

Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment. Is gluten bad for you?

mate familiar sandwich bread, plus hamburger buns, bagels, pizza crusts, and sweet bakery items. Keep in mind many gluten-free products are not fortified with added nutrients and are often high in sugar.

No, unless you have celiac disease, are gluten intolerant, or have a wheat allergy. Why do you think gluten has such a negative reputation these days? It may be largely media driven. Gluten is part of the protein in wheat, which is a good grain that sustains millions around the world in the form of bread. About 1 in every 100 Americans has a digestion system that cannot tolerate the gluten in wheat. What’s the biggest mistake people make with regard to a gluten-free diet? They believe/hope that the health/weight loss benefits from the diet will occur overnight. Everyone is looking for a culinary magic bullet, but it takes work to be healthy. Who should consider a gluten-free diet? Probably anyone, if that means eliminating highly processed foods and eating fresh foods made from healthful ingredients! It is tempting to think that a gluten-free diet will instantly result in weight loss and great health. However, the reason most people find that their health improves on a gluten-free diet is simple: they are, skipping highly processed junk foods.

What do people on a gluten-free diet need to be mindful of in terms of nutrition?

and even chocolate — is gluten-free. The reason that a glutenfree diet is considered restrictive is because wheat flour (a major source of gluten) is included in almost every processed food made in the USA, including: frozen meals, chips and snacks, “health” bars, breakfast cereals, donuts, cookies and cakes. Sandwiches, pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs also involve wheat flour. In addition, all these products usually contain huge amounts of fats, salt, sugar, and additives to prolong shelf life. How can I tell if I have a gluten sensitivity or allergy? Celiac disease and other wheat-related conditions

can have many different symptoms, from bloating and debilitating gastrointestinal upsets to a rash. If you suspect you have a wheat issue, see a physician and ask to be tested, but NOT after going gluten free, because then you won’t have the telltale antibodies in your bloodstream.

turers have now come up with soft, sliced, glutenfree bread that approxi-

If you eat a balanced, varied diet of foods derived from plants (vegetables, grains, beans, olive oil, nuts, fruit) plus eggs, fish and poultry, good nutrition will take care of itself.

What are some easy substitutes for gluten if you like the taste and feel of foods such as pasta? Gluten-free pasta, made from brown rice, soy, potatoes, quinoa, and corn is now available. Up until quite recently, gluten-free bread made from alternative flours tasted awful. Thanks to all the publicity about gluten, manufac-

Gluten occurs ONLY in wheat, barley and rye. Everything else — vegetables, fruits, olive oil, nuts, beans, lentils, rice, corn, dairy products, eggs, poultry, fish, meat, wine

September 7 - September 20, 2012

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September 7 - September 20, 2012

The World According to Will

The Will Anderson Show M-F 6pm-8pm on 800 and 1230AM and 106.5FM WBHP

Thinking Through Libertarianism by Will Anderson As Ron Paul graciously waves goodbye to public service and prepares to enjoy the delights of retirement, his ideas, in most cases thankfully, remain at the center of today’s political debate. If God is no longer mentioned in the Democratic Party platform, the Constitution, thanks to Paul, has finally made it into the Republican platform, as has a plank calling for the much-needed auditing of the Federal Reserve Bank. Ron Paul deserves credit for beginning to rescue a drifting Republican Party—one that in all too many cases wants to use government to attain certain ends— back to its federalist roots. Forget foreign policy for a moment; Paul’s positions in that arena are disastrous and have nothing to do with libertarianism. By definition, to be a libertarian is to be an advocate of free will. Absent anarchy, which, where practiced, is bound to rob some of their free will, our republic, and our Constitution, seem most conducive to libertarianism. As long as I’m not hurting you, nor you me, and as long as we aren’t violating the Constitution, what’s the problem? Take gay marriage, for ex-

ample. Ron Paul personally believes that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, but since the Constitution doesn’t mention it, it is a states’ rights issue. On this, he and President Obama hold the same view. So then, gay marriage can’t be the crucible of one’s libertarianism, as it’s safe to say that Obama will never be accused of being a libertarian. There were other issues that Paul championed, such as allowing states—and not the federal government— to decide how to deal with marijuana, which caught the attention of many in the drug legalization crowd. But William F. Buckley favored marijuana legalization, and it’s a safe bet that this generation of libertarians would find a lot about Buckley not to like, particularly with regard to foreign policy. Here’s an interesting hypothetical for libertarians. Two men, who happen to be homosexual, find a beautiful condo on a picturesque lake for rent, and they decide that it has their name written all over it. The landlord, a retired minister who recently lost his wife and is looking to keep the condo as long as he can af-

ford to, runs a credit check on the two. No problems there. They’re both employed, involved in the community and regularly attend church. The minister, with a good amount of regret, informs the couple that his answer is no. Homosexuality, he

explains, is simply unacceptable to him, and out of respect for his deceased wife—and of allegiance to his religious principles, he won’t sanction the practice of their lifestyle under his roof. The two men, outraged, sue, the ACLU gets involved, and the gay couple wins.

Has libertarianism triumphed? If you answered yes, go back and read the definition of what a libertarian is: an advocate of free will. Genuine libertarians, irrespective of their views about homosexuality are on the side of the landlord.

Offer Ends 9.30.12

September 7 - September 20, 2012

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Medical Update

How In The World Do I Take Care Of Me? by Susie Adams

It must be in part our gene patterns that cause us to take care, and I mean really good care, of those around us. But the real question of good self care comes when we experience our own illness, injury or diagnosis.

an extremity, and is caused by the abnormal accumulation of lymph fluid. It can occur in the face, neck, abdomen and lungs. Although it

October will be Cancer Awareness Month, so let’s think now about how to be ready for all that activity coming our way as we unite to fight this terrible disease. In fact, let’s celebrate that awareness, anticipate the results, and learn to live proactively.

If your health issue happens to be swelling of either your lower limbs or your arms, and is coupled with a cancer that you have been in treatment for-you might be dealing with Lymphedema.

If your swelling does not seem to go down after getting off your feet or lying down, you might have more than just swelling. Lymphedema is a swelling of a body part, most often

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has brought a vast body of information on lymphedema to America. He has several blog sites, and resources that can be helpful.

associated with thickening of the skin, and even a hardening of the limb that is affected. Here are some basics if you believe you are suffering with this condition: Avoid extreme temperatures.

is a chronic condition, it can usually be brought under control by good care and attention to the basic rules. This condition often brings a feeling of heaviness, slight discomfort, and even repeated episodes of infection. Severe cases can be

Avoid infections, and if you travel, you need to have a plan for this possibility.

We have raised 8 children, all adults now. We have added two by marriage, and have a beautiful grandson. We realize

that it is our job, our duty, yes and our privilege to start finding ways to meet the challenge of healthy self care, (as we are not getting any younger,) and we would like to encourage you to do the same.

So, let me ask that one again, how do you take care of you?

Susie Adams is a licensed massage therapist as well as a Ceritified Lymphedema Therapist. She has practices in Limestone County as well as Huntsville. She practices in Tanner, and Huntsville. She can be reached at 256.874.2856 or email to She loves to speak to groups, at no charge, regarding taking care of health despite illness or setbacks. She trained at The Academy for Lymphatic Studies in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Avoid lifting heavy items, as this puts further strain on the swollen area. Avoid insect stings. You can find more information on this subject at The Academy of Lymphatic Studies. Joachim Zuther

September 7 - September 20, 2012

Special Feature

The Trinity High School Reunion: Remembrance And Renewal by Ali Elizabeth Turner The first weekend of September saw Athens once again celebrate the memory and tradition of Trinity High School through a grand reunion which brought together graduates of several classes. They ranged from as far back as the ‘50s up until the last graduating class of 1970. Trinity, which was opened in 1865 for freedmen, has seen much and has a rich history. It is also the site of Ft. Henderson, and is the object of a community dream of being turned into a historical site that would commemorate its importance in both Athens and American history.

While attendees at Saturday’s parade ranged in age from seniors to little ones who are the grandchildren of Trinity graduates, the relaxed joy and anticipation for the food and dance later that night was just beginning. It did indeed feel like a family reunion.

try for 26 years and was in Iraq at the same time as was I, but my true joy was discovering folks who were as nuts about VW Beetles as I have always been. I never expected to

find people who reveled in owning a rag top VW, and we laughed about what odd ducks we were to others. Then the conversation turned to poodle skirts and saddle shoes, and the

laughter really kicked up. What a time that was in our land, when life was much simpler and texting was unheard of. And what a joy it is to celebrate all that Trinity has been and will be. Congratulations on a successful reunion, and may there be many more.

Part of the festivities included a parade through town, with the contest for best float being won by the class of ’65. I could go on about how much I enjoyed chatting with City Councilman Jimmy Gill, one of the event organizers, or CW4 Chambers, who has served our coun-

September 7 - September 20, 2012

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Athens Now September 7, 2012  

Athens Now September 7, 2012

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