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A beautiful pictorial history of Alabama’s churches ranging from small rural churches to towering urban cathedrals.

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Alabama Living’s latest cookbook containing recipes from four years of Alabama Living magazine.

Around Alabama Atlanta Pops Orchestra and The International Tenors The Coffee County Arts Alliance has announced the arts season schedule, which will include perfor-

mances from the Atlanta Pops Orchestra and the International Tenors. The Atlanta Pops Orchestra will

perform a selection of Hollywood hits and concert hall masterpieces at the Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 13. The International Tenors will present “A Three Tenor Christmas” on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at Elba High School. The tenors will sing Broadway hits from classics like The Sound of Music, Cats,West Side Story and My Fair Lady. For information on individual or

Greenville – October 1-November 5 8th Annual Greenville Haunted Firehouse 1198 Norman Road, Greenville Every Friday and Sat. night from 7 - 11 p.m. Admission: $6

Stockton – October 21 & 22 3rd Annual Haunted Trail Bicentennial Park, Hwy 225 – 6:45 p.m.-9 p.m. Admission: $5, children under 3 free Contact: Cathy at 251-580-1826

Fort Payne – October 13 – 15 Finders Keepers Consignment Sale VFW Fairgrounds Building, 151 18th St. NE Thu. 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Contact 256-632-2420 or visit

Lillian – October 22 10th Annual BBQ & Blues Episcopal Church of the Advent, County Road 99 – 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Admission: Free, BBQ dinner with $10 donation

Hanceville – October 15 2nd Annual Arts & Crafts Festival & Car Show Admission: Free, $10 vendor spaces and car show entry Contact: Erika Mead at 256-734-0454 Cullman – October 15 & 16 Alabama Gourd Festival Cullman Civic Center Sat. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission: $3, children 12 & under free Contact: Pam Montgomery at 256-355-4634 Bay Minette – October 15 13th Annual Baldwin Catfish Roundup for the Disabled Grimes Nursery, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Fishing equipment provided. Contact: Jeanette Grimes-Cabaniss at 251-937-5993, Louise Parker 251-580-4178 Chatom – October 15 Chatom Bluegrass and Bluegrass Gospel Festival Washington County Courthouse Square, 2 - 10 p.m. Admission: Free, bring lawn chairs Contact: Shawn Seay at 251-242-5286 or Pell City – October 16 Talladega College Choir Pell City Center, 4 p.m. Tickets: $15, available at box office Contact: 205-338-1974 Prattville - October 22 Spinners Great Pumpkin Runs 8K and 5K Spinners Park Registration 6:30 a.m.

Atmore - October 22 20th Annual Williams Station Day Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission: Free Contact: Sheryl Vickery at 251-368-3305 or Gulf Shores - October 22 Chili Cook-off at Live Bait II Perdido Beach Road – 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tickets: $10 wristbands per person for chili tasting and voting Information/application contact: 251-979-7031 or Tibbie – October 22 Tibbie Arts & Craft Show Tibbie Fire Department – 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Featuring Bar-B-Q Cook off BBQ entry fee: $100 Contact: Randy or Cynthia at 251-847-2589 Vendor Applications: Cullman – October 22 Peinhardt Living History Farm Day 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Admission: small charge For information and brochure: 256-734-0850 or Lake Jordan – October 22 Lightwood VFD Fishing Tournament Bonner’s Point From first safe light until 3 p.m. Entry Fee: $100, additional donations welcome Contact: Daron Hood 334-451-7783 Loachapoka – October 22 Loachapoka Syrup Sopping Day Breakfast at 5 a.m., Syrup sop begins at 7 a.m. Contact: Mathan Holt 334-319-1492 or

To place an event, fax information to 334-215-8623; mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; e-mail to (Subject Line: Around Alabama) or visit

Oct. 13 & Nov. 29

Dublin – October 28 - 31 South Montgomery County Academy’s Haunted Hayride in the Forest Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and close at midnight Concessions will be available Contact: 334-562-3235 or Massey – October 29 Massey School Reunion Massey Fire Station/Community Center 386 Evergreen Road – 2 - 5 p.m. Anyone associated with the school and/or community are invited to attend. Contact: Frances V. Rowe at 256-462-3875, or Wetumpka – October 29 Coaching Clinic Wetumpka High School – 8 a.m.-Noon 5 college coaches and WHS coaching staff covering many topics for coaches of all levels Pre-registration fee: $40; $50 day of Contact: Randy Belyeu at 334-567-5158 Greenville - October 29 Old Time Farm Day 2828 Sandcutt Road, 4 miles west of I-65 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Contact: Carey Thompson at 334-382-2295 Beatrice – November 5 Cane Syrup Makin’ Day Rikard’s Mill, Hwy 65 just north of Beatrice Gates open at 9 a.m., fresh syrup for sale around noon, activities end around 2 p.m. Information contact: 251-575-7433 or Foley – November 5 & 6 11th Annual Heritage Harbor Days Heritage Park, Hwys 98 and 59 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Admission: Free Contact: Linda Hula at 251-943-1300 Enterprise – November 6 Voices of the South, Spirited Choral Music First Baptist Church, 2 p.m. Presented by Coffee County Arts Alliance and Martin-Colley Drug Company Ticket Information: 334-406-2787 or

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 | OCTOBER 2011 | Follow Alabama Living on facebook ®

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season tickets, call 334-406-2787 or visit Tickets are available two weeks in advance for each performance at David’s Westgate Beauty Salon, Enterprise; The Framery, Enterprise; New Brockton Florist, New Brockton; Bradley Florist & Gift in Elba; Wildflowers Florist & Gifts in Elba; The Printing Press in Troy and MaFoosky’s Deli in Daleville.


9/16/11 3:51 PM


Global Connections For more than 75 years electric cooperatives have made an impact at home and abroad By Megan McKoy-Noe

How do you build a better world? By changing one life at a time. Driven by this premise, electric cooperatives brought power and light to millions of consumers across the United States, forever altering the economic fortunes of rural America. Now, with the designation of 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, 900-plus electric cooperatives around the country are celebrating the impact they have made in Alabama and around the world.

Farming Revolution

As late as 1935, 90 percent of rural Alabamians were living in the dark – forced to rely on iceboxes or spring houses to cool food, kerosene lamps for lighting, wood stoves for cooking and fetching water from wells. The reason: Investor-owned utilities had decided that there was no profit to be made extend-


| OCTOBER 2011 |

ing power lines into the countryside to hook up farms and small towns. That’s where the co-op business model came into play. Farmers and other leaders realized central-station electricity service would end the drudgery of rural life. After clamoring for relief for decades, they received a big shot in the arm in May 1935 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order creating the federal Rural Electrification Administration (REA), now Rural Utilities Service. The agency’s mission: provide low-cost loans as well as engineering and administrative support to help electrify rural regions. “Electricity is a modern necessity of life and ought to be in every village, every home and every farm in every part of the United States,” Roosevelt announced. REA financing initially was meant to entice big power companies to begin rural line construction.

When they balked, it soon became clear rural electrification would only be accomplished by farmers and their rural neighbors doing it themselves by joining forces to form electric cooperatives. Work progressed quickly. By October 1940, electric co-ops nationwide were serving 1 million members. Innovations in line building pioneered by REA engineers and the competitive pressure co-ops placed on investor-owned utilities to serve rural areas slashed the cost of providing rural electric service by 50 percent or more. Three-quarters of a century later, electric co-ops are still building a better future by delivering affordable electric service to 42 million members spread across 75 percent of the nation. Alabama’s 22 electric cooperatives serve more than 1 million people in 64 of the state’s 67 counties. But electric co-ops didn’t stop there.

Lighting the World

head to foreign lands for a few weeks to teach local lineworkers safe work practices. Then NRECA staff instructs locals how to maintain simple power grids and run their own utilities. “We’re not only providing a service, we share knowledge and best construction practice skills on a lineman-to-lineman basis,” says Guatemala volunteer Chris Stephens, manager of engineering for Palmetto, Ga.-based Coweta-Fayette Electric Membership Corporation. “Those we help may speak a different language, but they speak the same work.” Funding for this goodwill effort comes in part from the NRECA International Foundation, a registered charitable organization. NRECA International Programs projects are currently under way in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, the Philippines, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Yemen.

Not only does 2012 mark a global celebration of Much More to Be Done the cooperative business model, it also marks the In America, electricity has evolved from a luxury to 50th anniversary of NRECA International Programs, an essential part of daily life. Yet more than 2 billion a division of the National Rural Electric Cooperapeople around the globe still live without power – 64 tive Association million in Latin (NRECA). The America, 500 milInternational Year lion in Africa, and of Cooperatives more than 1 billion 2012 theme, “Coopin Asia. erative Enterprises According to Build a Better NRECA InternaWorld,” shines in tional Programs, the work NRECA reliable electricity International Prostrengthens comgrams does every munities by providday. ing better educational opportunities Working together, and increasing safemore than 300 ty. Access to power U.S. electric coopalso paves the way eratives – including several in Alabama for progress, giving – have delivered the small business a benefits of safe and Fifty years ago President John F. Kennedy asked NRECA to join forces with much-needed boost. the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to export the reliable electric ser“It was a humdemocratic, self-help cooperative model to undeveloped countries vice to more than bling experience, to 100 million people see the way people in 40-plus countries since November 1962. lived compared to what we have,” recalls Craig Carlan “Building a better world takes experience, and a lineman for Clarkesville, Ga.-based Habersham no group has more experience in bringing low-cost Electric Membership Corp., who also worked in Guapower to remote communities than electric co-ops,” temala. “In the village we electrified, kids will have says Fred Braswell, president and CEO of the Alabama the opportunity to get a better education. They have Rural Electric Association. dreams, too, just like we have dreams. Maybe they can At the invitation of President John F. Kennedy, set higher goals now.” NRECA joined forces with the U.S. Agency for InterTo assist NRECA International Programs efforts, visit national Development (USAID) to share electric co-op expertise and export the democratic, self-help cooperative model to undeveloped countries. In many cases, Megan McKoy-Noe writes on consumer and cooperative afteams of volunteer American electric co-op linemen fairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Alabama Living | OCTOBER 2011 |


Co-op Connections Two successful Alabama families have grown up with the cooperative way of life By Minnie Lamberth


Grace and Van Smith, at their family farm in Autauga County


here’s something unique about the way cooperatives conduct business. For one thing, cooperatives are a group of people who voluntarily rely on each other to do what they couldn’t do alone. Any profits that are generated are returned to the members of the cooperative, and they keep an eye on what’s best for the community. Cooperatives also have a commitment to educate members about principles like these. That latter principle is at the heart of the Alabama Rural Electric Youth Tour program. Youth tours are conducted annually in Montgomery and in Washington, D.C., where 17 Alabama electric cooperatives send selected students, expense-paid, to learn about the electric cooperative program, cooperative ideals and leadership attributes. Joe Hardy’s family has extensive experience with these eye-opening trips. Joe, and later his children, grew up as members of the Southern Pine Electric Cooperative headquartered in Brewton. “One of the things I remember is listening to the stories from my parents when they were first able to get electric power in the 1940s, furnished by the co-op,” Joe says. “Life began to change rapidly for the better for them with the connection of electricity.” As part of a farming family, he was also connected to the Atmore Truckers Asso-

| OCTOBER 2011 |

ciation, a cooperative where they bought farm supplies.

Youth Tour to Washington In early 1970, Joe’s high school agriculture teacher selected him for the Youth Tour. “We were very much in the busy season with farming when the time (mid-June) came to travel to Washington,” Joe says. “The trip was absolutely an education. In addition to the delegation of youth from across Alabama, we were grouped with youth from North and South Dakota. It was a great experience to meet all of the other youth as well as the tours of the Capitol that were arranged,” he says. About 30 years later, Joe’s son Ben took this trip himself. “I remember pretty vividly my trip to D.C. with the Youth Tour,” Ben said. He recalls a lot of the sights, as well as the personal connections he made. “I had a great time meeting and spending time with the representatives from neighboring cities and had no idea at the time how many I would see again down the road,” he says. “I ran into one of my ‘tripmates’ during an interview for a scholarship during our senior year, saw another on a college recruiting trip, and was reacquainted with several more of them as we bumped into each other at Auburn University.” Robert Hardy, Ben’s younger brother, was a third member of the Hardy family to travel on the Youth Tour to Washington as a high school student. Additionally, sister Emily Hardy Branch attended the Montgomery Youth Tour.

The Seven Cooperative Principles

1. Voluntary and Open Membership 2. Democratic Member Control

3. Members’ Economic Participation 4. Autonomy and Independence 5. Education, Training, and Information

Co-op roots are deep Robert’s co-op roots run deep. A 2008 graduate of Auburn, today he is assistant manager at the Elberta Farmers Cooperative. “I was brought up on co-ops,” he says. He learned how co-ops band together to help others, like when cooperatives string electric lines for several miles to serve a mere handful of consumers. “(Companies) who did it for profit weren’t going to string lines 20 miles (for just a few consumers).” Robert also saw first-hand how important it was to have a co-op in town to buy supplies for his family’s farm. “Then I started working for them,” he says proudly. One of the benefits of the cooperative model of business, Robert says, is “being able to have a pretty loyal customer base to sell more products. The more we sell, the less we have to charge. If there’s any left over at the end of the year, the customers get it back.” “It’s just a really honest way to do business,” says Grace Smith, a communications specialist for the Alabama Farmers Cooperative, which loosely oversees the various co-op stores across the state. “I think the thing that really makes me respect the idea of cooperatives is people coming together for a common need.”

Spreading the co-op message Grace is serving this year as president of the Alabama Council of Cooperatives, and she often spreads this message about the importance of co-ops, agriculture and farmers in her work. It’s a message she learned early on. A 2006 Auburn graduate, just under 10 years ago, Grace was also on the Youth Tour to the nation’s capital, thanks to her selection by Central Alabama Electric Cooperative. “It really was a very fun trip,” she says. Grace grew up on a farm in north Autauga County, and her father, Van Smith, bought supplies from Central Alabama Farmers Cooperative. Grace remembers

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives 7. Concern for Community

going with him to cooperative conferences. Van is today the principal at Billingsley High School in Autauga County. But when he was a boy, he also learned about cooperative principles from a father who farmed part-time. As a very young child, Van went to farmers co-op meetings with his dad, and he learned more about co-ops in agriculture classes in high school and college, as well as in his early years teaching agriculture in Selma High School. In the mid-1980s, Van and his wife participated in a couples leadership conference, sponsored by the Alabama Council of Cooperatives. “They helped to train us to be leaders that would understand and help support co-op principles,” he says. In the early 1990s, he was selected as a trustee for Central Alabama Electric Cooperative. “The thing that’s most impressive about the cooperative way is how our predecessors gave of their time and treasure to provide the conveniences in the rural area,” he says.

People meeting a need Grace said that her early understanding of co-op principles was vague until her father explained them to her using the example that an investorowned utility makes a lot more money running lines in Prattville than they do in Billingsley. Where they’d have 50 people, or more, per mile of line in Prattville, they might just have two in Billingsley. She said it helped her to understand the idea that people came together to meet a need when no one else would meet that need. “I translate that to the farmers,” she says. Farmers need supplies, such as fertilizer and feed. “This is a way to pool together to get what they need to work each day.”d

Joe and Robert Hardy, on Robert’s wedding day

Alabama Living | OCTOBER 2011 |


Think Pink! The employees at Baldwin EMC in Summerdale have found a way to satisfy two cooperative principles at the same time. In honor of Cooperative Month, the co-op has launched a “Pink Power” campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer. Throughout the month of October, linemen will wear pink hardhats and other employees will wear specially designed T-shirts. Information about breast cancer awareness, including tips for early detection, will be available in all of the co-op’s office lobbies. The 4th Cooperative Principle is member education, and the 7th is concern for the community. Baldwin’s “think pink” campaign satisfies both.d Baldwin employees Erik Aplin and Dianne Brantley


| OCTOBER 2011 |

Alabama Living | OCTOBER 2011 |


Kathryn Tucker Windham was a simple storyteller who became an Alabama icon

Ghost Lady By John Brightman Brock As the world came to love her books, Kathryn Tucker Windham easily became an open one for many Alabama school children who would sit at her feet, listen, watch and believe. Alabama and the world lost Kathryn Tucker Windham June 12, when she died in Selma at the age of 93, following a year-long illness. For decades, this storyteller extraordinaire would turn pages and weave words in slow Southern melodies, adding mysterious glances and a comforting smile. Children through three generations were captivated by accounts of history intertwined with places where even ghosts could come alive. Windham’s widely known book, “13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey,”


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was published in 1969. It would be the first of seven books about ghosts. In all, she would write 26 books. Following her death in June, a few friends gathered at a memorial service, where the author was laid to rest in a pine box of her choosing. As she was slowly lowered into the ground, a homespun “I’ll Fly Away” was played on combs and wax paper, an instrument Windham loved. Left behind were friends and fans of her books, themselves merely aging children who had first believed her personal account about life with a spirit she lovingly called “Jeffrey.” It had been hard to find a seat at the Church Street United Methodist Church that day. At interment, overcast skies hung around New

Live Oak Cemetery for this one-ofa-kind woman, says pallbearer and close friend Dr. S. Michael Mahan of Brierfield.

Storytelling and cane poles Mahan first met Windham in 1967. The dentist remembered when she was working for the Selma Times-Journal newspaper. “She came to me with a tooth problem, and I asked her: ‘Would you consider telling stories in my dental office?’” Mahan recalls. Scores of fourth-graders from Montevallo Elementary School were soon listening to her stories at Mahan’s office. “I wanted to keep my practice young,” he says. Since that initial pool of mostly 9-year-olds, sto-

rytelling at Mahan’s now brings children of the children who first gathered there. “And I had my first grandchild this year,” he adds. Noting Windham’s fondness for a cane pole, stopper and crickets, Mahan got into the habit of picking Windham up Wednesdays, and taking her fishing. It was a round-trip completed in time to return to his home, where adults would gather for more stories, at 6:30 p.m. Many years later, Mahan and friend Mike Cutler picked up Windham, placed her in the bed of a pickup truck wheelchair and all, and carried her to the lake. “She caught some fish,” smiles Mahan. She died a week later. Years earlier Mahan and Windham made a pact to choose their own caskets, his of juniper and hers of pine. “So, for 30 years we argued over who had the prettiest casket,” he says. The day of her funeral, pallbearers “got her box out of the barn, wrapped her in a quilt,” and remained loyal to her

Mother’s life instructions

wishes. Quite a feat in these days, he says. “Jeffrey made her famous,” Mahan says about the ghost she says lived with her. “But she never wanted to be famous.” She wanted simplicity. Windham and her hus-

“Mother’s instructions about life were more exemplary than they were voiced,” recalls her daughter Dilcy Windham Hilley, an executive with the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It taught me the importance of being kind to people, of putting others before myself, and especially of making people feel what they do is of worth, that it matters,” Hilley says. “One of Mother’s favorite stories about her daddy was a lesson in humility. It ends with my grandfather saying to my mother, ‘Kathryn, you are no better than the family we just shared supper with. You are only accustomed to better things.’” Hilley’s brother Ben Windham, former editorial page editor for The Tuscaloosa News, gives a related memory. “Every Christmas morning, after we opened our presents at home in Selma, we would drive to my grandmother’s house in Thomasville for

‘Alabama has many ghosts. Stop in almost any town in the state and if you inquire around, the chances are that you will find a ghost story.’ – Kathryn Tucker Windham 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey band, Amasa, years ago bought a post-World War II three-bedroom, one-bath home in Selma. “She never moved. She lived in that house ‘till she died,” Mahan says. Amasa died in 1956.

Continued on Page 37

Picture of Kathryn with Jeffrey at Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham

Alabama Living | OCTOBER 2011 |



GENERATOR SAFETY Standby generators are great for power outages, but they can be dangerous, too

Send your questions: Safe @ Home Alabama Living P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 334-215-2732

Jason Saunders & Michael Kelley are certified managers of Safety & Loss Control for the Alabama Rural Electric Association.


| OCTOBER 2011 |

If you’ve experienced long-term outages from ice and wind storms, a standby generator may be on your shopping list. Purchasing one requires some careful consideration. A major question is do you need enough wattage to power your entire home, or just parts of it? Identify your necessary electrical needs in the event of a power outage and calculate the number of watts needed. Generator specialists advise a generator that produces more power than all of the equipment combined, plus the initial surge when it is turned on. If you draw more power than the generator is designed to produce, you may blow a fuse on the generator or even damage your connected equipment when it is turned on. You may want to seek help from an electrician to determine your power usage. A portable generator can provide power to a heavy duty extension cord that can service several small appliances and lights. To ensure safety, the load rating of the cord must be more than the sum of the power consumed by the appliances. Do not plug the generator into a wall outlet, because that creates “back feed” – feeding electricity back through your system and meter into the power lines, which jeopardizes the safety of linemen attempting to restore power – as well as anyone who may be near a downed or sagging line. Then,

when the electricity produced by your generator reaches the transformer outside your home, the voltage will be increased from 120 volts to thousands of volts as it travels down the overhead power lines. Generators that are permanently wired into a home should be installed by a qualified electrician who will also install a transfer switch to prevent back feed. That device will automatically separate your home system from the utility system. Your local utility should be notified before directly wiring a generator into your home’s electrical circuit. Portable generators can be handy when used properly, but can be deadly as well, particularly from carbon monoxide fumes emitted by the gasoline engine on the generator. After Hurricane Katrina knocked out power to a wide area of the Gulf Coast, there were 51 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning, including 5 deaths, all of which could have been prevented. Always operate your portable generator outdoors to keep exhaust fumes out of the home. Manufacturers recommend that you operate your generator once a month for at least 10 minutes to ensure that it is running properly. Keep the generator where it will be easily accessible and weatherproof. It’s advisable to have enough fuel for at least 24 hours.d

Alabama Living | OCTOBER 2011 |


Fiddlin’ Around Old Time Fiddlers Convention celebrates American music By Jennifer Kornegay


f you’re a fan of the fiddle, make your way to Athens on Oct. 7 and 8 for the 45th annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention at Athens State University. This granddaddy of fiddling events draws both musicians and music lovers in droves each fall to the campus for a weekend full of fiddling, banjo picking, buck dancing, arts & crafts and more. Reviving the tradition of competition in old-time music, the convention brings some 200 contestants to vie for bragging rights and prize money. “It’s a huge event and really a lot of fun,” says Rick Mould, vice president of university events. There are 18 different competition categories, including several fiddle and guitar categories, harmonica, mandolin, bluegrass banjo, dulcimer, old-time singing and banjo. The convention culminates in a “fiddle-off” between the top two fiddlers, after which the winner is declared Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddle Champion, and takes home a trophy plus $1,000. In recent years, crowds approaching 20,000 have gathered to hear old-time music in concerts and competitions during this all-out jamboree. And this veteran event shows no signs of slowing down, thanks to the energy and


| OCTOBER 2011 |

enthusiasm generated with every stroke of the bow. But it had rather humble beginnings. Athens is the seat of Limestone County, a special spot in our state that many contend has long been a repository of traditional music, including fiddling. In the early parts of the 20th century, weekly square dances accompanied by fiddlers and banjo players were the norm, as were regular fiddling contests held throughout the area. The Great Depression and the increasing reach and appeal of radio and the new-fangled music styles it

delivered led to a steady decline in fiddle contests and traditional music in general. From the 1930s through the mid-1960s, fiddling all but disappeared. Then, a few fiddle aficionados who’d been keeping the craft alive amongst themselves came off their porches and out of their dens. (One of these men, the late Sam McCracken, is an icon in the fiddling world. Twenty of his tunes were recorded when he was in his 80s and are housed in the Archive of Folk Music in the Library of Congress.) These players decided to remedy

the situation facing their beloved art form, and so organized the precursor to today’s convention in the summer of 1966. The overwhelming attendance ensured the event would become an annual affair. Before the next convention, the organizers arranged for Athens College, then a private institution, to host the event each year, with the proceeds from ticket sales going to the college scholarship fund. To date, more than $500,000 has been contributed to the university, and more than 25 endowed scholarships have been created. Year by year, the convention has grown steadily, and in 1978, it moved outdoors on the campus to the open lawn under the antique trees around Founder’s Hall. Committee member Yule Smith has been with the convention since its early days, and recalls a singular event that led to a major growth spurt. “We got some help in the first

years from Howdy Forrester, who was Roy Acuff’s fiddler,” says Smith. “He used to come down and play. Thanks to that, we got some great tips from Roy on how to keep it going and growing. In 1978, Acuff mentioned the convention on his portion of the Grand Ole Opry, and our attendance jumped up about 5,000 people. I credit that one plug with a lot of growth.” Last year, the convention had 150 to 175 competitors, and about 15,000 people came to watch and hear it all. The event also includes 150 traditional arts & crafts booths with handmade and traditional items. “The things we have really complement the old time music,” says Mould. In contrast to some music festivals that feature multiple bands, the convention instead showcases everyday people who so love this style of music that they’ve devoted much of their free time to master it.

“The biggest draws are the jam sessions,” Ron says. “Go back behind Founder’s Hall or any other spot on campus, and you’ll find three or four people who have come together to play, and you’ll have a guy buck dancing to their tunes.” The convention does bring in one “professional” band on Friday night. This year it’s The Quebe Sisters Band. It’s the largest tourist attraction in Limestone County, and its sheer size alone is part of its allure, but the convention’s preservation of the sounds and sights of yesteryear holds its true appeal. “It encourages the old-timey music, as well as old-time arts and crafts,” Mould says. “We’re really trying to keep something of our culture and heritage alive, and I think we are doing a pretty good job.” Smith agrees. “What we are doing means a lot to a lot of people,” he says. Add to that an informal, family atmosphere, plenty of food and pleasant autumn weather, and it is easy to see why people come back over and over again. “We have many who’ve been coming for 30 or 40 years,” Smith says. “They just come to relax and listen to some good music.”d

The 45th Annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention Oct. 7 & 8, Athens State University Tickets: Athens $8 for Friday; $10 for Saturday; $15 for both days. Visit fiddlers for more information.

Alabama Living | OCTOBER 2011 |


Alabama Gardens


You can join the effort to replant trees lost in the April tornadoes By Katie Jackson October is usually a prime time for fall color throughout Alabama, but for many communities hit by last April’s tornadoes, there will be fewer leaves to turn red, yellow and orange or even rake because there are fewer – and, in some places, no – trees left standing. As residents of storm-ravaged areas work to rebuild and recover, several groups are trying to help these communities literally reestablish roots by replacing trees felled and blown away in the winds. One such effort is the Alabama Tree Recovery Campaign, a collaboration between the Arbor Day Foundation and Alabama Forestry Commission. Through this campaign, the Arbor Day Foundation will supply native trees selected to thrive in the affected areas, namely northern red oak, willow oak, Shumard oak, black gum and flowering dogwood. The number of trees available will be based on donations made to the campaign. Anyone wishing to help with this effort can make a donation at alabama. The Forestry Commission’s current role is to assess and


| OCTOBER 2011 |

prioritize communities that were affected by the tornadoes, especially those cities and towns that were directly in the path of or within a half-mile from the storms. Once those communities are identified the commission will contact local leaders to gauge their level of interest in receiving and distributing trees, which the commission will then make available for planting in February 2012, a prime time for tree planting in Alabama. A similar project called Canopy by Design is underway through the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. This grant-funded project targets four hard-hit counties – Cullman, Marshall, DeKalb and Limestone – and will help train volunteer “tree stewards” to plant

Continued on Page 25

Katie Jackson is associate editor for the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. Contact her at

Garden tips for


3 Apply compost to gardens and turn compost piles. 3 Keep bird feeders and birdbaths filled to attract migrating and local birds. 3 Plant trees and shrubs. 3 Test soil and add amendments as needed. 3 Plant cool-season annuals. 3 Dry and save seed. 3 Bring in houseplants that have been living outside all summer. 3 Take cuttings of tender perennials. 3 Harvest and dry or freeze herbs for winter use. 3 Clean and store empty pots, garden tools and equipment for the winter. 3 Visit the Backyard Wisdom blog at www. for regular news and ideas all year long.d

Alabama Living | OCTOBER 2011 |


Teaching Kids to Fish

A Conservation Department program teams pond owners and kids who want to fish By Alan White


n 8-year-old boy stared at the cork as it disappeared beneath the water. He lifted the pole. Something pulled against his line. He jerked the pole upward and moments later a fish landed on the bank. The alarmed boy had never seen a live fish, much less experienced catching one. Nearby adults soon calmed his fear, and he began showing the fish to his friends around the pond. Now he was ready to do it again. This is a typical experience of pond owners who participate in the Pond Owners Mentoring Kids program, which puts willing and qualified pond owners together with children who have never had an opportunity to experience fishing. The program not only teaches children the skill and joy of fishing, but also affords them the opportunity to learn more about the natural world and stewardship of the outdoors. Brenda Morrison, who works for the Aquatic Education Program of the Conservation Department’s wildlife and freshwater fisheries division (WFF), says the goal of the program is to develop a relationship between the student, their families and the pond owner. Many families need a place to fish, and pond owners can step up and meet that need while helping children develop communication skills, social skills and respect for the environment. In order to qualify for the program, a pond owner must provide a stocked and managed pond with a good opportunity to catch fish. The fishing area must be kept mowed with shade and a restroom nearby. The children are supervised by adult volunteers and teachers, as well as personnel from the Aquatic Education Program. The pond owner has no liability risks. For pond owner Bennie Adams, the program has


| OCTOBER 2011 |

been an enlightening experience. He had fished for years and couldn’t imagine anyone not knowing how. But hosting sixth- through eighth-grade students from Collins-Riverside Middle School during a May outing afforded an object lesson to both him and the Northport children. Bennie and his wife Fran own 359 acres in the Sawyerville community, most of which is timber. It has three ponds, the largest of which is 15 acres, and was stocked with bream and bass in 2004. “At least twice a year we have a busload of children fish here from various schools,” Bennie says. “Almost 40 kids from Myrtlewood School came recently. That’s a school with an honors program and students must earn the right to go on field trips. I was surprised that some of their parents had never fished, either.” Many pond owners have developed relationships with certain children and their parents through the program. It’s a great way to share your pond with those who otherwise never have the opportunity to fish. The pond owner controls all activity and decides when someone can fish in the pond. If you have a fishing pond or small lake, why not share it with a group of kids who will never forget their first fish and the person who let them fish in their pond? Call Brenda Morrison at 205-477-6301 or email Alan White is publisher of Great Days Outdoors magazine. To learn more, or call 800-597-6828.

Continued from Page 22 100 trees in each of these towns. To learn more about it call 334-8445699 or email Virginia Morgan at Tony Glover, Extension coordinator in Cullman County who is involved in the Canopy by Design project, notes that the ultimate goal of the project is to provide a model of volunteer engagement and proper tree selection and planting. Proper tree planting is extremely important in any tree restoration effort, says Glover. With that in mind, he developed a one-page Tree Selection, Planting and Care guide that provides information on how to best plant trees. This guide is available at “I wanted to make sure people had good information to give them the best chance of success when replanting trees in their landscape,” he said. “The healthiest plant in the world will struggle if it is not planted correctly, properly watered and maintained after planting.” “Many of the trees lost in our community were large, old trees that were really the wrong plant for the location in which they were growing,” he adds. “This tragic event gives us an opportunity to make wiser choices for the generations yet born who will inherit the tree canopy we plant today.” On another tree note, Auburn’s Toomer’s oaks that were poisoned earlier this year are still alive but their long-term chance of survival is still unknown. While Auburn University officials are looking at replacement options should the trees not survive, they have given the go-ahead for the trees to be rolled during this fall’s football season. To learn more about their status go to /news/oaks_updates.html.d

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.

October Wildlife Management Tips Continue to prepare and plant winter food plots for wildlife. Winter grasses like wheat and oats will provide an attractive food source for deer and other game during the cold months ahead. Disk or till the plots and remove weeds and debris. Sow seeds and cover lightly. Spread fertilizer over the top at the recommended rates. Don’t forget clover. Add a little to your plots and you’ll create a buffet for wildlife that will last until late spring. Let it seed out in spring and then mow it. Much of it will come back later. Mow or disk lanes in Conservation Reserve Program land, corn fields and under power lines to provide more hunting opportunities. Deer love narrow open spaces to walk where thick cover is just a hop away. By mowing narrow lanes, deer feel safe when using them as trails and will soon begin using them as travel corridors.

a.m. p.m. Minor Major Minor Major

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

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

Nov.. 1 - 04:01 08:46 12:46 2 - 05:16 08:01 01:31 3 - 06:46 08:46 02:01 4 02:01 07:46 02:31 09:16 5 03:16 08:46 03:01 09:31 6 09:31 04:01 03:16 10:01 7 10:01 04:46 03:46 10:31 8 10:31 05:16 04:01 11:01 9 11:16 06:01 04:16 11:31 10 11:31 06:31 - 04:46 11 07:16 12:01 12:01 05:16 12 07:46 12:31 12:31 05:31 13 08:31 01:01 01:16 06:01 14 09:16 01:46 01:46 06:31 15 10:16 02:16 02:46 07:01 16 11:16 03:01 04:46 07:46 17 - 04:01 10:01 12:01 18 - 05:16 07:46 12:46 19 12:46 06:31 08:16 01:31 20 02:31 07:46 02:01 09:01 21 08:46 03:46 02:31 09:46 22 09:46 04:46 03:16 10:31 23 10:31 05:31 03:46 11:01 24 11:16 06:31 04:31 11:46 25 - 07:16 12:01 05:01 26 08:01 12:31 12:46 05:46 27 08:46 01:16 01:31 06:16 28 09:31 02:01 02:31 07:01 29 10:31 02:31 03:46 07:46 30 11:16 03:16 05:16 09:01

Alabama Living | OCTOBER 2011 |


Alabama Recipes Oranges

Cook of the Month Jennifer Robinson-Tijsma, Sand Mountain EC

Sweet Orange Salmon 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon orange peel, grated ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground coriander 1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper 4 6-ounce salmon fillets Cooking spray

Combine first eight ingredients in a bowl. Rub mixture on both sides of salmon fillets. Place salmon on broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 8-10 minutes until done and flakes easily with fork.

Prize-Winning Orange Rolls

Wacky Mac Pasta Salad

Dough: 4-4½ c. bread flour 1 c. milk 1 pkg. yeast ¼ c. sugar

1 t. salt 3 eggs ¼ c. butter

Filling: ½ c. butter 1 c. sugar Icing: 1½ c. powdered sugar 2-3 T. orange juice

grated peel of 2 oranges

2 t. grated orange peel

Mix 2 cups flour and yeast in large mixing bowl. Microwave butter and milk to 120 degrees. Add salt and sugar to milk mixture. Add milk mixture to flour and yeast. Beat eggs and add to mixture. Beat at low speed on electric mixer for ½ minute, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in 2 ½ cups flour or enough to make soft dough. Turn dough onto floured cloth or board and knead until smooth and elastic. Shape into ball and place in greased bowl. Turn once to grease all sides. Cover, let rise in warm place until double in bulk. Prepare filling: Cream ½ cup butter and 1 cup sugar. Add grated peel. Punch dough down. Divide dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each into a rectangle ¼-inch thick. Spread ½ filling on each rectangle. Roll up like a jelly roll, starting at long side. Slice 1-inch rolls and place cut side up in greased round cake pans. Cover; let rise in warm place until double in bulk. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Drizzle with icing. Makes 3 pans. Freezes well. Linda Horn, Pioneer Electric Cooperative Want to see the Cook of the Month recipe before the magazine gets to your door? Become a fan of Alabama Living on facebook.


1 package Wacky Mac 1 15-ounce can Mandarin oranges, well drained 4 large scallions, trimmed and finely chopped 3 ribs of celery, trimmed and chopped 2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil

⁄3 cup orange juice ⁄3 cup white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon Kraft Italian Dressing 1 teaspoon curry powder ¾ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon paprika ¼ teaspoon pepper ½ small ripe avocado, diced

1 1

Prepare Wacky Mac according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Place in a very large salad bowl. Add oranges, scallions, celery and chicken. Stir together oil, orange juice, vinegar, Italian dressing, curry powder, salt, paprika and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over salad. Toss gently but well. Top with avocado. Melba Bryan, Cullman EC Oranges are vibrant in color, easy to spot at the grocery store, and a great source of vitamin C. The most popular way oranges are consumed is in a glass as juice. We associate oranges with breakfast so much that we may forget to eat them throughout the day. The citrus fruit is available year-round and keeps well at room temperature. Did you know navel oranges got their name because of the belly-button formation opposite the stem end? The bigger the navel in an orange, the sweeter it will be. Hope you enjoy some of the recipes using oranges this month, and eating them throughout the day.

| OCTOBER 2011 | 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.

Orange Coconut Drop Cookies

Orange and Cashew Chicken

1¼ cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt 1 ⁄3 cup margarine 1 ⁄3 cup flaked coconut

Juice of 1 orange 2 teaspoons fresh grated orange peel 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 egg beaten

Combine the flour with the baking powder, soda and salt. Cut in the margarine. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoon 2-inches apart on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until light golden brown. Makes 36 cookies.

4 6-ounce chicken breasts ¼ cup flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon paprika

¼ cup butter 1 cup orange juice ¼ cup toasted cashews or almonds Cooked rice

Dust chicken lightly in flour mixed with salt and paprika. Sauté in butter until golden brown (turn only once). Add orange juice; cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Uncover, remove chicken to a serving dish. Reduce liquid to a thickened sauce. Pour over chicken, sprinkle with nuts and serve over rice. Shirley Johnson, Cherokee EC

Anna Clines, Sand Mountain EC

Orange Popcorn Balls

2 bags microwave popped corn 1 whole orange rind, grated ½ cup light corn syrup

¼ cup sugar 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons orange juice

In a 4-quart saucepan, stir together grated orange rind (coffee grinder works great), corn syrup, sugar, butter and orange juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stir occasionally for approximately 5 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat, stir in popcorn. Working quickly, rub some butter and a quick dash of water over hands, shape ingredients into 8 large balls or 12 small ones. Tammy Carr, Joe Wheeler EMC

Sherbet Ambrosia Cups

3 large seedless oranges 1 pint orange sherbet, slightly softened ½ cup strawberries, sliced

⁄3 cup shredded coconut ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted


Cut oranges in half crosswise, carefully remove sections and set aside. Clip membranes inside orange shells and carefully remove. Place orange shells in a freezer until thoroughly chilled. Using a chilled spoon, spread sherbet evenly on bottom and sides of orange shells, leaving centers hollow. Freeze about 4 hours or until sherbet is firm. Combine orange sections, strawberries and coconut, mixing well. Spoon about 1⁄3 cup mixture into each frozen sherbet cup; freeze 30 additional minutes. Remove cups from freezer; top each with almonds. Serve immediately.Yield: 6 servings. Becky Terry, Joe Wheeler EMC

You could win $50! If your recipe is chosen as the cook-of-themonth recipe, we’ll send you a check for $50! Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: December Appetizers October 15 January Vegetarian November 15 February Hot Beverages December 15 Please send all submissions to: Recipe Editor P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 or e-mail to: recipes@areapower. coop. Be sure to include your address, phone number and the name of your cooperative.

Alabama Living | OCTOBER 2011 |


Orange Chiffon Cake 2 eggs 1 teaspoon salt 3 oranges ½ cup milk 1 1½ cups sugar ⁄3 cup cooking oil 2¼ cups all-purpose flour Orange Fluff Frosting 2 teaspoons baking powder Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9x1 ½-inch round cake pans; set aside. Finely grate 1 tablespoon of orange zest. Squeeze juice from 2 oranges to measure ½ cup juice. Section remaining orange; set aside. Separate eggs; set yolks aside. Beat egg whites to soft peaks in a large mixing bowl on high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add ½ cup of the sugar, beating on medium speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Combine the remaining 1 cup sugar, the flour, baking powder and salt in another large mixing bowl. Add milk and oil. Beat until combined. Add orange juice and egg yolks; beat for 1 minute. Gently fold in egg white mixture until combined. Fold in zest. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely in pans on wire racks; remove from pans. Frost with Orange Fluff Frosting. Trim top with reserved orange sections. Chill. Makes 12 servings. Orange Fluff Frosting: 2 tablespoons orange zest, finely grated 1 ⁄3 cup sugar

4 teaspoons cornstarch ½ cup orange juice 2 cups whipping or heavy cream

In a small saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in orange juice. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until mixture thickens. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in reserved orange zest. Cover and chill 1 hour. Beat 2 cups whipping or heaving cream to stiff peaks; fold into chilled mixture. Maxine Day, Covington EC

Orange-Cinnamon Pork Chops

4 center cut pork chops, 1-inch thick Salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup onions, chopped 1 jar orange marmalade

¼ cup Chardonnay or other white wine 4 sticks (2-inches each) cinnamon Orange slices, halved (optional)

Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper, set aside. Place onions in crock pot and then pork chops on top. Spoon marmalade over pork chops. Pour wine over all and add cinnamon stick. Cook on low heat for 4 ½-6 hours. Discard cinnamon sticks and serve with orange slices. Wanda Porter, Sand Mountain EC


| OCTOBER 2011 |

Cooking Up

Smiles A Mile Wide

This cookbook is a tribute to kids fighting cancer. All the proceeds from the sale of the books benefit Camp Smile-A-Mile (SAM), a place that gives kids with cancer a place to go for camp. Camp Smile-AMile first began in 1985 with the mission to provide challenging, unforgettable recreational and educational experiences for young cancer patients across Alabama at no cost to their families. After reading this cookbook all the way through, I can tell you there are some really great recipes and wonderful photographs from Camp SAM. I hope as people use it, they pray for and remember these featured children and their families and all the families who are affected by childhood cancer. Ordering Information: Cookbook is $20 or 3/$50 with a $2 shipping charge. Make checks out to Cyclepaths of Monroe County and mail to Deidra Sawyer, 19742 O’Grady Ave, Robertsdale, AL 36567 or email (please put “cookbook” in the subject line), or call 251-776-8979. Include number of copies desired, mailing address and telephone number with all orders.

Orange Balls

1 12-ounce box vanilla wafers ¾ cup shredded coconut ½ cup frozen orange juice

½ cup pecans, finely chopped ¾ cup powdered sugar

Crush vanilla wafers and thaw orange juice. Mix all ingredients well, except powdered sugar. Roll into small balls, roll balls in powdered sugar. Loretta Robinson, Sand Mountain EC

Easy Orange Bread (Biscuits) 1 cup sugar ½ cup butter or margarine ¼ cup orange juice

2 tablespoons grated orange peel 3 10-ounce cans refrigerated biscuits

In a saucepan, combine sugar, butter, orange juice and grated peel. Heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Pour into 10inch fluted tube pan. Place 12 biscuits on sides in a ring around outer edge, overlap slightly. Arrange remaining biscuits in same manner creating 2 more rings, one with 10 biscuits and one with 8 biscuits. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately turn upside down onto platter, serve warm. Jennifer Robinson-Tijsma, Sand Mountain EC

Alabama Living | OCTOBER 2011 |


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| OCTOBER 2011 |

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ADVERTISING DEADLINES: December Issue – Oct. 25 January Issue – Nov. 23 $1.65 per word February Issue – Dec. 23

For Advertising, contact Heather: 1-800-410-2737 or - Subject Line: Classifieds

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Alabama Living | OCTOBER 2011 |




| OCTOBER 2011 |

Alabama Living | OCTOBER 2011 |


Our Sources Say

WHO WILL PAY? Most poeple don’t understand the electric co-op business structure Most people don’t understand the electric cooperative business structure. PowerSouth is a generation and transmission cooperative. We generate or purchase electric power and deliver it to our distribution members to be sold to retail customers like you. PowerSouth is completely a wholesale business – we do not sell to individuals or the public. Our only customers are the retail electric distribution systems that own us. We are insulated from dealing with the public. That makes our business much easier than other utilities, including our distribution members, which deal with the public and the issues that come with those relationships. You may not think very much about people who have trouble paying their electric bills each month or who are almost always in the process of being disconnected, re-connected or asking for relief on their bill, but every electric utility has those customers and must deal with those problems every day. Those problems are not easy to handle. It is difficult for me to comprehend the anguish a customer service representative deals with in responding to pleas

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative


| OCTOBER 2011 |

not to disconnect electric service because there are sick people, senior citizens or young children in the house who cannot do without heat or air conditioning. I doubt you have to deal with such disturbing issues every day. I try to visit each of our distribution members’ board meetings each year. After a meeting with one of our members last month, a few of us were discussing electric cost issues and the problems some people have paying their monthly electric bills. The cleaning crew started cleaning while we were talking, and one of the ladies excused herself for interrupting and addressed the group. She stated she was on disability and had custody of her grandchildren. She said she received just over $400 per month in disability payments. She said she was forced to take the part-time cleaning job to pay her electric bill and other necessary expenses for her grandchildren. She said Habitat for Humanity had added insulation to her house, installed new energy-efficient windows and doors, and provided a new heat pump within the last two years. However, her power bill was always around $275 per month and had not decreased very much with her home improvements. She also mentioned that she did not move her thermostat from 73 degrees because she thought moving it would add to her electric bill. We advised her to turn up

her thermostat to 78 during the summer and drop it to 68 during the winter to conserve electricity. She responded that she would change her thermostat and then asked the question we all knew was coming – what was she to do about her electric bill? That is the question for many people in our communities today. The answer is not easy, if there is an answer at all. Electricity is like a Mercedes. If you want it, you have to pay the bill. Otherwise, who will pay? Electric cooperatives only charge their costs plus a small margin to cover future contingencies, so there is no one to subsidize an unpaid bill other than the other electric customers. There are obviously a finite number of delinquent bills a customer base can carry without putting other customers in jeopardy. The answer becomes more difficult when you consider that if people can’t pay their electric bills, they get no electricity. If electricity is no longer affordable for people in our great society, what do we do about those who can’t afford it? Do we turn a cold shoulder to their basic needs? These are very difficult questions, yet many customer service representatives have to deal with them every day. I’m glad I don’t have their job. Next month, I will explore whether the changes coming in the electric utility industry will help solve the problem. Have a good month.

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will cool if greed will wait.’” Windham did not have a favorite book, “although the Bible likely was in her Top 10,” Hilley says. “Of course like most of the world, she loved (friend) Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ but she read widely on a variety of subjects.”

a second round of gift-giving,” he says. “One particular Christmas, we took along a pre-stuffed stocking – the kind that used to be sold during the holiday season in department stores. “Long before we got to ThomasA blue bottle tree and Jeffrey ville, we turned up a country road, According to the New York Times, and in a few minutes we saw a poor black woman walking hand in hand Windham was born in Selma on June 2, 1918, grew up in Thomaswith a child. Mother pulled the car ville and observed the wonderful over. ‘Give that stocking to them,’ example of her father, a banker and she said. The child took it happily, storyteller. Her commentaries were and the mother smiled. Her eyes aired on Public Radio’s “All Things were all aglow. ‘Look at that,’ she told her child. ‘Santa Claus came for Considered” for more than two you at the store, and now he’s come decades. Her books include “Alabama: One for you again.’ I never forgot that,” Big Front Porch” (1975), “Spit, Scary Ben Windham says. Kathryn Tucker Windham’s advice Ann & Sweat Bees” (2009), as well as the Jeffrey series books. In “13 to her children included one saying Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey” (1969), in particular that Hilley remembers: “Don’t waste your time ironing. Just she wrote about the Red Lady of her alma mater, Huntingdon Colshake it out and walk fast.” lege, “who breezes through Pratt Hilley laughs as she remembers Hall at night in a red gown and one of her mother’s favorite admounder a parasol, silent but for her nitions. When the children were eaclicking heels.” Windham graduated ger to dig into something right out from Huntingdon in 1939. of the oven that was too hot to eat, “I like cemeteries,” she said in a Windham would stop them with, 1987 commentary on Public Ra“Heat will cool if greed will wait.” dio’s “All Things Considered.” “I “The family heard it so often that like to wander around in them and one day at dinner mother asked my admire the craftsmanship of the young son Ben to say the blessing. stonemasons and read the epitaphs He bowed his little head and said, and wonder about the people who ‘God is good. God is great. Heat “I like cemeteries,” she would tell her Public Radio listeners

Windham was a renowned storyteller are buried there.” The blue bottle trees that sat silently at her Selma home capturing spirits along with the framed picture of her and Jeffrey hanging on the wall at Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham convinced friends that Windham did believe in ghosts, especially Jeffrey. Fans can continue to honor her memory by attending the release of her memoirs this fall, according to Jake Reiss, Windham’s friend and owner of Alabama Booksmith. “She was just about finished with her memoirs (when she died),” Reiss says. “When we get an absolute date from the publisher this fall, we will have a final sendoff for Kathryn with publication of her last book.” Reiss pauses, then adds that he and Windham “never hung up the phone without saying ‘I love you.’” Also, through the end of this fall’s semester, Auburn University’s R.B. Draughon Library is sponsoring an exhibit memorializing this “friend of Auburn,” says Dr. Dwayne Cox, head of special collections and archives at Auburn. Windham spoke on campus many times. “Over the years, she gave us drafts of books, correspondence, photographs, artifacts that documented her life and career in Alabama,” Cox says. The free exhibit is on the ground floor of the library. “She was a very friendly, gracious lady, down to earth and a great storyteller,” says Cox. “Mrs. Windham was an Alabama icon. We have witnessed the passing of an Alabama institution.”d

Alabama Living | OCTOBER 2011 |


Alabama Snapshots

Football 1






Submit Your Images! 1. Jaxon Ivey & friend submitted by Ree Haney, Union Grove 2. Breaking free submitted by Jerry Baker, Arley 3. Landon & Jayden Perkins submitted by Joquitta Posey, Cullman 4. Eli Teal submitted by Jeanette Teal, Douglas 5. Devyn Dickerson & Derica Johnson submitted by Beverly Dickerson, Robertsdale 6. Justin Nared submitted by Teresa Hammond, Evergreen


| OCTOBER 2011 |

December Theme: “Our


Send color photos with a large SASE to:

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. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Deadline: October 31

Alabama Living South October 2011  

Alabama Living South October 2011

Alabama Living South October 2011  

Alabama Living South October 2011