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News for members of Dixie Electric Power Association

Spring Things to love about

6 Pottery makes history in Monroe County

13 Old ways still work at Fulmer’s Farmstead

Periodical postage (ISSN 1052 2433)

14 Reader photos celebrate springtime in Mississippi


2 I Today in Mississippi I April 2014

Students challenged to lead now and into future What are the qualities of an effective leader? A group of 76 Mississippi high school juniors found the answers to this and other leadership-related questions at the 28th annual Electric Power Associations of Mississippi Youth Leadership Workshop Feb. 26-28 in Jackson. The hands-on workshop brought together students from schools across the state to participate in team-building exercises, meet their legislators, tour the state Capitol and hear words of encouragement from business leaders and motivational speakers. “This program prepares and challenges young people to make a difference in their schools and communities,” said Ron Stewart, coordinator of the statewide program. “These young people are eager and willing to serve now. It’s our goal to provide them with

the appropriate resources and proper training. “At their age, it’s not an easy task to be a leader. But if we invest in these young people and provide proper guidance, they will be better equipped to making the right decisions, and making a positive impact on others,” Stewart said. The workshop offered the young people an opportunity to interact with other students likewise interested in fulfilling a leadership position and serving their community. Stewart emphasized the program is built around using the cooperative philosophy: working together to accomplish a mission. “We have an exceptional group of young people in our class of 2014,” Stewart said. “As our future leaders, they will make us all proud.” Gov. Phil Bryant, luncheon speaker, encouraged students to have bold ideas and be willing to make tough decisions. “You

must have a vision for your future,” said Bryant. “You must educate those around you as to what you want to accomplish in life and enlist them to help in your efforts. Build relationships. Then you will be an effective leader and reach your full potential.” The students earned the expense-paid trip to the workshop in a competitive selection process sponsored by their local electric power association.

Electric Power Associations of Mississippi

YOUTH LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP ALCORN COUNTY EPA Madison Bickert, Corinth Alissa Ann Wiliams, Corinth CENTRAL EPA Abbey Adams, Carthage James Halbrook, Brandon Laryssa McBeath, Union COAST EPA Chet Dastugue, Kiln Matt Edwards, Saucier Clay Garrett, Poplarville Caleb Hebert, Poplarville Cassidy Monk, Biloxi Neely Walker, Gulfport DIXIE EPA Brooke Bullock, Petal Obrie Scarbrough, Laurel EAST MISS. EPA Craig Cawthorn, DeKalb Jarrius Carter, Noxapater

Ty Fulton, Louisville James Gibson, Meridian Taylor Gore, Meridian Haley Gunter, Meridian Kiaa Haynes, Louisville Madison Johnson, Preston Asia McCoy, DeKalb Emily Owen, Quitman 4-COUNTY EPA John Taylor Champion, Pheba Jena Dees, Columbus Tanner Fant, Starkville MAGNOLIA EPA Mitch Fortenberry, Sandy Hook Brittany McGuire, Smithdale NATCHEZ TRACE EPA Kristen Marsh, Houston Audrey Moore, Houston NORTH EAST MISS. EPA Walker Abel, Oxford

Lizzie Gardner, Oxford Desirae Gladney, Oxford Alli Hayward, Oxford Lindsey Ann Hill, Oxford Jack McClure, Oxford Abbey Pate, Oxford

PONTOTOC EPA Jesse Tutor, Pontotoc

NORTHCENTRAL EPA Maura Jane Autry, Holly Springs Kyle Brassell, Olive Branch Jordan Galtelli, Olive Branch Teresa Garcia, Byhalia Ericka James, Olive Branch Kennedy Johnson, Olive Branch Spencer Johnson, Olive Branch James Long, Olive Branch Micah Nichols, Olive Branch Camille Wehrman, Nesbit

SOUTHERN PINE EPA Reagan Holifield, Stringer Woodsen Pryne, Collins

PEARL RIVER VALLEY EPA Kelvin Alford, Foxworth Zachary Broom, Foxworth

SINGING RIVER EPA Hunter Cooper, Ocean Springs Grace Munro, Ocean Springs Jacob Rogers, Lucedale

SOUTHWEST MISS. EPA Shelby Coleman, Union Church Raigan Smith, Brookhaven TALLAHATCHIE VALLEY EPA Marlee Barnett, Courtland Ryan Darby, Batesville Samuel Davis, Batesville William Gibson, Water Valley

Trevor Hawthorne, Batesville Spencer Rushing, Batesville Jaron Vescovo, Grenada Jerrett Williams, Charleston TOMBIGBEE EPA Austin Black, Marietta Ben Booth, Tremont Brooke Frederick, Tupelo Katie Hester, Nettleton Cole Holland, Fulton Lily Pittman, Mooreville Jordan Smith, Saltillo TWIN COUNTY EPA Bobby Amos, Greenville Shelby Ann White, Leland YAZOO VALLEY EPA William Clark, Yazoo City Wister Hitt, Yazoo City

Bullock wins Leadership Award Brooke Bullock, sponsored by Dixie Electric Power Association, accepts the Youth Leadership Award from Ron Stewart, senior vice president of the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi. A junior at Petal High School, Brooke is a member of the National Honor Society, show choir, band and Spanish Club. She is also active in dance and is a classical pianist. In her community, she is involved in the Leaf Foundation and a founder of Clothe the Country, an organization promoting clothing donations for the needy. She is the daughter of Greg and Suzanne Bullock of Petal. Brooke will serve a one-year term as Mississippi’s representative on the national Youth Leadership Council of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The award includes a $1,000 scholarship.

Leadership Class of 2014


April 2014 I Today in Mississippi

Good vibrations infuse Youth Leadership event ood vibes were bouncing all over the place during the 28th annual Electric Power Associations of Mississippi Youth Leadership Workshop, held in Jackson last month. Over the course of the three-day event, 76 student participants representing schools across Mississippi were bombarded with positive, confidence-building messages from adults who truly care about their future. Each year we invite the students’ legislators to join them for a visit over breakfast. This is often the first time most, if not all, the students have ever met face to face with their state senator or representative, and we’re proud to give them the opportunity. It isn’t always easy for legislators to attend our workshop breakfast; they are terribly busy people who often have to rush to early-morning committee meetings at the Capitol. Yet so many of them tell us this annual breakfast is important to them, and they return year after year. For that we are humbled and grateful. We always invite the governor to speak at the workshop, and this year Gov. Phil Bryant gladly accepted, though it was tough to squeeze the appearance into his packed schedule. But he, too, cares deeply about young people—and their potential role in Mississippi’s future. First of all, he encouraged the students to stay in Mississippi after college graduation and start their careers here. Mississippi is growing faster than about 40 other states in the country, he told them, and we need their bright minds to help guide us into the future. Bryant said energy is a bright spot in Mississippi’s economy, with the state ranking 17th in the nation for oil and gas production. Also, Mississippi’s affordable energy costs are an advantage for the state in attracting new business and industry. Electric power associations

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play an invaluable role in keeping Mississippi’s electricity supply affordable and reliable. And all economic development opportunities depend upon a reliable source of energy at a reasonable cost. In closing, Bryant emphasized the value of team work to achieve success in life: “Leadership is about having a vision and getting enough people to help you accomplish that vision. You cannot do it My Opinion by yourself,” he said. With those words, Michael Callahan Executive Vice President/CEO Bryant left for his interEPAs of Mississippi view with the media, and the students headed for an afternoon of fun, creative team-building exercises. Throughout the workshop, we encourage the students to express their views, ask questions and contribute to decision-making and discussion. We try to create a supportive environment in which they feel confident to spread their wings a little, and to speak up. And in 28 years of workshops, they have never let us down. These students are bright leaders anyway—that’s how they win competitions to participate in our Youth Leadership program—but they seem to bloom at our workshop. They mix with scores of students they’ve never seen before but who share the same high standards of academic excellence, school and community involvement, and leadership potential. In fact, one of our former Youth Leadership students now wears a crown. We’ll have more about her in next month’s issue. JOIN TODAY IN MISSISSIPPI

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On the cover

Today in Mississippi

A female American goldfinch clings to the stem of a daffodil in this beautiful portrait of springtime by Jeff Johnson of Quitman, a member of East Mississippi Electric Power Association. See more readers’ photos illustrating the theme “Things to Love About Spring” on pages 14 and 15.

OFFICERS Brad Robison - President Randy Wallace - First Vice President Keith Hurt - Second Vice President Tim Smith - Secretary/Treasurer

EDITORIAL STAFF Michael Callahan - Executive Vice President/CEO Ron Stewart - Sr. Vice President, Communications Mark Bridges - Manager, Support Services Debbie H. Stringer - Editor Trey Piel - Digital Media Manager Rickey McMillan - Graphics Specialist Linda Hutcherson - Administrative Assistant

Vol. 67 No. 4

EDITORIAL OFFICE & ADVERTISING 601-605-8600 Acceptance of advertising by Today in Mississippi does not imply endorsement of the advertised product or services by the publisher or Mississippi’s Electric Power Associations. Product satisfaction and delivery responsibility lie solely with the advertiser. • National advertising representative: National Country Market, 800-626-1181 Circulation of this issue: 462,543 Non-member subscription price: $9.50 per year

The Official Publication of the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi Today in Mississippi (ISSN 1052-2433) is published eleven times a year (Jan.Nov.) by Electric Power Associations of Mississippi, Inc., P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300, or 665 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, MS 39157. Phone 601-605-8600. Periodical postage paid at Ridgeland, MS, and additional office. The publisher (and/or its agent) reserves the right to refuse or edit all advertising. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Today, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300

Visit us online at www.todayinmississippi.com

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Our Homeplace

A three-dimension mural, created by Morris McCain, challenges viewers’ perceptions in downtown Tupelo. Pictured is a portion of the mural; the entire work spans 85 feet along the side of Reed’s Gum Tree Bookstore and features books by Mississippi authors. The mural was named Mississippi Best Public Art in 1997.

Mississippi is ... ... like living in a world all its own, and if you’ve never lived here, you never will have known the joy of walking down a country dirt road, or fishing off a river bank while watching a sneaky little toad. Listening to the sound of a tractor in a field, Dogs a’ barking and pigs in a squeal. Driving downtown to the big city mall, Getting ready for church on Sunday, where you feel loved by all. Good old Mississippi is to the place to be. Stop by anytime, then you too will see. – Danny Peterson, Kiln M is for magnolias, mothers and memories I was born in Mississippi S is for summertime and a whip-poor-will’s call S is for syrup making in the fall I bore my sons in Mississippi S is for swimming holes S is for stumping toes I buried my kin in Mississippi P is for Friday nights and playing ball P is for a baby’s pallet in the hall I am a Mississippian. – Charlotte Waller Gatlin, Wayne County Sounds I love from south Mississippi: Church hymns on Sunday morning, First pecan of fall hitting my bucket Gently lapping Gulf waves, Visiting geese honking their way from pond to pond, Military aircraft training at Stennis, Keesler, NCBC, ANGTS – Janet Necaise, Kiln

What’s Mississippi to you? What makes you proud to be a Mississippian? What do you treasure most about life in our state? Send your thoughts to Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158, or email them to: news@epaofms.com Please keep your comments brief. Submissions are subject to editing.

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Today in Mississippi



April 2014

Respite in Old River Country few weeks ago, Miz Jo and I took a few days off during spring break. Now, it has been quite a few years since we had school children and needed to run away. But we have a friend who is a teacher, and she was ready for a break. So she and her artist husband and Jo and I hit the road. We headed for a place that is not all that far away in distance—only 30 miles south of Woodville, Miss.—but is not connected psychologically to Mississippi nearly as closely as it used to be. We headquartered ourselves in the middle of Old River Country at St. Francisville, La. Way back when all of this was plantation country, everything from New Orleans to Natchez and northward up into the Delta was all part of the same place, because everything along the lower Mississippi River was connected by cotton back then. Nowadays, you feel like you are going somewhere when you cross the state line into Louisiana. But the state line is just a line on a map. That line, by the way, used to divide two countries. It was the border between the young United States and the colony of Spanish West Florida to the south. Fort Adams was built in extreme southwest Wilkinson County, Miss., the farthest southwest point in the nation back then. The fort was put there to protect our young country from invaders coming up the Mississippi River. But in

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1803 when everything to the south and west was taken into the United States by the Louisiana Purchase, Fort Adams no longer protected anything in particular. It eventually withered away into the little pocket of population that it is today. The 31st parallel dividing Spain and America back then is now simply the state line between Mississippi and Louisiana, south of Woodville. Lower River Country is interesting because bits and pieces of it have survived not only through the antebellum period but even since colonial days. Some of the West Indian-influenced louvered porches on places like Oakley Plantation at St. Francisville seem to take you back in time. Audubon painted many of his “Birds of AmerMississippi ica” at Oakley Seen and spent time by Walt Grayson in Natchez too. Other ties connecting Mississippi to these parts include Sarah Knox Taylor Davis, buried at St. Francisville. She was Jefferson Davis’ first wife who died shortly after they were married. Davis’ boyhood

Oakley Plantation is not all that far from Woodville, Miss., at St. Francisville, La. All this part of the country was once tightly connected by the cotton economy. And to some degree or another, there are still ties that reach across state lines. Photo: Walt Grayson

home is just up the road at Rosemont Plantation at Woodville. And Sarah’s father, who became President Zachery Taylor, had a plantation in Jefferson County north of Natchez. One of the historical markers at Rodney says Taylor likely was at his Mississippi plantation when he learned he had been elected president. It was interesting riding around that part of Louisiana and Mississippi, finding the scattered old houses. But I have to tell you that when we got back to Natchez, we were hit in the face with a

town full of what we had just seen samples of elsewhere: old Lower River architecture and the leftover lifestyle. It was worth the break to get away from home for a few days just to come back and see anew what has been right here all the time. Walt Grayson is the host of “Mississippi Roads” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting television, and the author of two “Looking Around Mississippi” books and “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories.” Contact Grayson at: walt@waltgrayson.com


April 2014

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Today in Mississippi

It’s not just anyone’s place.

IT’S YOURS.

Imagine the possibilities with Kubota’s L Series compact tractors. ©Kubota Tractor Corporation, 2014

www.kubota.com

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Today in Mississippi I April 2014

Unearthing the Past Janis Suggs Dyson explores her grandfather’s successful pottery business and its impact on residents in the Monroe County area By Debbie Stringer Long before Tupperware became a household name in America, utilitarian pottery played a prominent role in everyday domestic and farm life. People depended on hand-built pottery to preserve food, serve “vittles,” churn butter, put up pickles, pour tea, store salt, take drinking water to the fields, cool milk in the well, mark graves, feed livestock and serve in countless other ways. It took a lot of potters to keep up with the demand, including one busy familyowned shop in Smithville, in northern Monroe County. From the early 1900s through 1956, W.D. Suggs Pottery produced whatever customers needed, from churns to flue thimbles to ash trays—all made by hand. William David (“Mr. Bill”) Suggs was an exacting craftsman whose wares looked good, functioned well and endured for generations. He learned the trade from his father, Joel Green Suggs, an Itawamba County farmer who operated a small pottery mainly to supply his own needs. Like his father, W.D. farmed. But he soon became a successful entrepreneur devoted to growing his family’s pottery business and teaching employees to produce high-quality products. By Janis Suggs Dyson the early 1940s, sharecroppers were farming his land, and he was personally delivering truckloads of W.D. Suggs Pottery wares to stores and

Dyson’s own collection of Suggs stoneware pottery includes a brown churn made around the turn of the 20th century, a 2-gallon churn with the company’s label, pitchers, a mug, a toy churn and a hat-shaped ash tray. All were made of clay dug within 30 miles of her grandfather’s pottery at Smithville.

farms from Texas to Georgia. Suggs’ employees, it was said, could make anything out of clay.

Suggs typically used three colors of glaze—white, brown and black. Many items were embellished with bands of cobalt blue glaze. Crocks and churns bore the blue company stamp and a number denoting the capacity in gallons. Growing up at the Suggs place, Janis Suggs Dyson paid little attention to the goings on at the Jug Shop, as her grandfather’s pottery was known. After W.D.’s death in 1948, his oldest son and Dyson’s father, Rex, managed the pottery. “I took it for granted. I didn’t think anything different about that pottery being down there, and I had no thought of it being special,” said Dyson, an artist who lives in Houston with her husband, Clyde. They are members of Natchez Trace Electric Power Association. Pottery made by Suggs is sought today by collectors of traditional Southern folk art and artifacts. A Suggs churn that once sold for pennies per gallon of capacity commands a far more impressive price today. Dyson owns several pieces of Suggs

pottery, as well as some of her grandfather’s ledgers. His handwritten entries, dating as far back as 1909, reveal business transactions, workers’ wages (sometimes paid in merchandise), glaze recipes and other details. About six years ago, Dyson decided to learn all she could about the pottery and share her findings in a book. “I had the knowledge, I had his ledgers, I had the want-to and I can write. So, I thought, I guess it’s up to me,” said Dyson, a former newspaper staff writer. She started out by interviewing former Suggs employees, some of whom she remembered from her youth. They responded with enthusiasm and seemed pleased to share their memories and details of pottery operations—and a few funny stories. “As they would tell me the stories I didn’t already know, I was enthralled,” she said. Dyson inferred from their comments a sense of gratitude for the livelihood and skills the pottery provided them through


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W.D. Suggs, above, stands beside his Dodge truck, loaded with churns for delivery. In his pottery’s heyday, Suggs delivered wares in eight states. Dyson interviewed former Suggs employees and researched extensively for her book, “Turning Clay into History,” right. The cover art is her own work.

a time of economic depression and war. Eulon Summerford said the pottery was the only company besides the sawmill operating in Smithville until 1954. He explained in a 2009 interview with Dyson how workers dug clay once or twice a year, mostly from a pit some 30 miles away in Alabama, and hauled it back in a wagon pulled by mules. (An old army dump truck replaced the wagon in later years.) The pottery operation sprawled over several acres surrounded by farm fields and woods north of Smithville. It encompassed a round, or beehive, kiln about 12 feet in diameter, two groundhog (tunnelshaped) kilns and a building that housed potter’s wheels, drying shelves, a glazing room, a clay mill and other equipment. Summerford told how “Mr. Bill” would expertly stack the pottery in the delivery truck himself, without using hay or other packing material despite the long days of travel ahead on gravel roads. He described W.D. Suggs as a man of “dry wit and quiet disposition” who built

rent-free houses for his employees from hardwood cut on his property. One day, Suggs came walking down the road with something under his arm, Summerford recalled. “It was a radio and my daddy said, ‘Mr. Bill, I can’t pay for that.’ Mr. Suggs said, ‘You’re not supposed to. It’s a gift.’” June Whitehead, who remembers Suggs from the Jug Shop, wrote in a 2007 letter to Dyson of her admiration for his workmanship: “I have several flower pots, a churn and a pitcher, all turned by Mr. Bill. If you examine the handles carefully, you will notice the bottom of the handle is his thumbprint. He would take his thumb and press it into the clay in order to secure it to the piece. I was fascinated by the way he painted the blue stripes. He simply touched the brush to the churn and the potter’s wheel did the rest ... always a perfect band of blue.” Dyson included these and other personal stories in her book, “Turning Clay into History: The Story of W.D. Suggs

Pottery.” Released last fall, the softcover book includes local history, historical photographs, photographs and descriptions of Suggs pottery, details of pottery operations and the contents of her grandfather’s 1909 ledger. Dyson painted two pieces of Suggs pottery—a churn and a pitcher—for the cover of the book. The story of Suggs Pottery reflects not only the history of one family but a common history shared by folks living in the area in the late 19th and early 20th century, Dyson pointed out. “The vocations that they had back then were teacher, preacher, store owner, farmer and potter. That’s about all there was in this area.” Her grandfather employed a number of people to cut wood and haul coal to fuel the kilns, dig the clay with a pickax, turn and glaze pottery, and fire the wares in kilns up to 2,500 F. It was hard and dirty manual work, all done without the aid of electricity until Monroe County Electric Power Association extended service to the area in 1936. Production soared as electricity became available to power new motorized pottery wheels and lights to illuminate work spaces. The pug mill, a crude clay mixer once driven by mules, was replaced by an electric clay mill. The pottery’s heyday was just ahead— during the war years—and the boost in production made possible by electric service would prove invaluable. In the late 1940s, as more farm houses received electric service, W.D. Suggs decided to modernize the Dyson visits the remains of the old Suggs beehive kiln, left, located on private property in Monroe County. Her Suggs pottery collection includes, right, a bird bath stand (incised to resemble tree bark), a decorative planter and a jug for storing honey or syrup.

churn. He asked one of his best potters to make a churn that would hold an electric motor attached to a paddle. It worked and several electric churns were sold. By the 1950s, however, the popularity of new lightweight plastic, glass and metal containers spelled doom for heavy utilitarian pottery. Suggs’ business continued to dwindle until the pottery finally closed in 1956. Today, the beehive kiln and a few scattered shards of pottery are the only evidence of the bustling shop that was once so important to the area. Mimosa saplings sprout from the domed roof as the kiln, designed by Dyson’s father, slowly deteriorates into oblivion in a pasture. Yet the story of Suggs Pottery lives on in the pages of Dyson’s book—and in the collective memory of the rural people for whom it provided a livelihood. “Turning Clay into History: The Story of W.D. Suggs Pottery” is available from author Janis Suggs Dyson. Price for Mississippi residents is $30.91, including tax and S&H; $29.16 for orders out of state. Send check to Clay Pot Publishing, P.O. Box 121, Houston, MS 38851. For more information, call 662-542-9004 or visit: suggspottery.com Dyson is available for presentations before organized groups.


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Today in Mississippi



April 2014

Close-to-nature camping:

The mystique of canvas o coaxing is necessary. I easily enough fall headlong into nostalgic bliss whenever the briefest consideration of such matters crosses my mind. But being in the midst of fellow campers, all inhabiting various shapes of canvas structures is a veritable jubilee for one such as I. And that is what took place at the Pre-Spring Arrow Fling near Birmingham, Ala., the last weekend in February. It was a traditional archery shoot, but it was also, and perhaps even more so, a gathering of like-minded folk who find no odor more pleasing than that of canvas and no sight more thrilling than white walls and pyramids lining a creek or resting peacefully on a ridgeline. For anyone who has followed my writing over the years, and certainly there are at least five or six such individMississippi uals, you are Outdoors aware of my fasby Tony Kinton cination with tents. This pleasant malady has afflicted me since childhood; I see no diminishing of the lure. Tents hold me in their grasp. A gentle, mysterious grasp, but a firm and protracted one that shows no sign of surrender. I like it that way, with no desire to break free.

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Tents speak of freedom, mobility, refreshment. And they speak of security. Home, if you will. Regarding security, I have slept comfortably warm in a tent when outside a Montana blizzard howled and tormented, bringing deep snow and temperatures that dropped to minus 21 for three consecutive nights. I have ridden out winds so strong that moving about mountain peaks was risking extreme danger. I have curled in a sleeping bag and waited for riotous thunderstorms to pass in countless venues. And through them all, the tents involved stood firmly anchored and completed their chores of protecting occupants. One could ask for nothing more. So it was, in a similar setting as these mentioned and a night-long bout with thunderous and torrential elements, that I found myself at the Pre Spring. Join me on the journey via these photographs. Perhaps these will better define the sentiment I have for canvas tents than my words ever could. Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. His newest book, “Rambling Through Pleasant Memories,” is now available. Order from: tonykinton.com

Here, kitty kitty t was a rare warmish Saturday in early March when Mr. Roy and I decided to truck on down to Mobile after lunch to see a movie and have an early dinner at Outback, Blooming Onion included. The movie was a comedy in black and white titled “Nebraska.” We enjoyed the afternoon and it put us in a good mood, until we arrived back home. The decision had been made to leave

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my year-and-a-half-old, white, demure cat Oaklee outdoors, though I wouldn’t be there to protect her. She spends much of her time in the oak tree. There’s a porch around my tree house where she hides. She tries to stay clear of my two older cats, who harass her, and Mr. Roy’s blue heeler is a chasing machine. Outside she lives her life on the run. Oaklee doesn’t stand up for herself. She’s humble and prays a lot. She lies on her back with her paws in a praying posi-

The author’s camp, top, complete with canvas cook shack and oak furniture Kinton built for this specific purpose. A tipi, above left, was commonly used for the primary dwelling of Native Americans in the West. It is a complete system for living, providing room for gatherings, sleeping and cooking. No scene is more serene and alluring than a canvas tent, above, its stovepipe reaching upward at sunrise. Photos: Tony Kinton

tion. At night I let her sleep in an adjoining room next to our bedroom. Oaklee and Sugar, our mini Schnauzer house pup, play hide and seek and seem to love one another. The decision to leave her outdoors was made by you know who; the man I live with believes he has the wisdom of Solomon. He said, “If we’re ever to have peace around here, Oaklee must learn to defend herself.” I was dubious. I watched as she ran up the oak and leaped onto a limb, hiding herself among the leaves. Though it was tough, I managed to hold back most

of my tears. One or two slipped out and leaked down my cheeks, unnoticed by Mr. Roy. The day was sunny, which took my worries Grin ‘n’ away. I actually Bare It wasn’t conby Kay Grafe cerned about the dishes I left in the sink and the overflowing basket of unfolded clothes sitting in the middle of


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Nasturtium a tasty addition to gardens hopping in a garden center in the spring confronts visitors with an almost dizzying array of new plants with flower colors that seem to go beyond our imagination. But today, I’m not writing about any of those plants. I want you to consider an old-time garden staple that many gardeners forget about—the nasturtium. I’ve been growing nasturtiums in my garden and landscape for the past couple of years and couldn’t be happier with the results. Nasturtiums Southern Gardening are a good choice for the garden by Dr. Gary Bachman because they are beautiful and so easy to grow. In addition to requiring very little attention, nasturtiums are versatile and edible. That’s the trifecta for plants in my garden. Their variety of flower colors is amazing. The warm yellow, red and orange flower colors shout out for attention when planted in the full sun. There also are bicolors with dark eyes and double flower selections. Each flower has a long spur on the back that contains sweet nectar. The flowers are held on long stems and seem to float above the dark-green, peppery-tasting foliage. I’m growing at least four varieties this year. Alaska has green-and-white variegated foliage, along with flowers of yel-

low, crimson, salmon and cherry. It has a mounding growth habit. Empress of India is an heirloom that dates back to the Victorian era. Its dark-green foliage acts as the perfect background for the dramatic scarlet-red flowers. Night and Day is an elegant combination of bright, clear cream and dark-mahogany flowers. Jewel Mix is my favorite. It has red, orange and yellow single and double flowers. Nasturtium flowers and their foliage are edible and can make a nice appetizer that pleases the eyes and the palate. The Alaska nasturNasturtiums are tium has green-and-white variegated foliage. It has a mounding growth habit and yellow, crimson, salmon and cherry flowers. Photo: annual plants, and now MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman is the perfect time in Mississippi to sow the seeds right where plants like to be grown on the dry side, flowers and foliage. Mix whipped cream cheese with finely chopped fresh herbs you want them in the garden. The seeds but don’t let them dry out completely. are large and resemble a convoluted pea. Feed every other week with a water-sol- (we like fresh basil), and put the mixture into a piping bag. A zip-top bag They will germinate more quickly if you uble fertilizer to keep flowering at its with a corner cut off works well. Gently soak them overnight. Set the seed about peak. I like to grow them in containers so I pipe the mixture into the nasturtium an inch deep, spaced 8 to 10 inches flower until the center is filled. Arrange can move the plants around my landapart. the stuffed flowers on a bed of nasturscape. Keep the plant dense by pruning With direct seeding, there’s always the vining stem tips. Pinch off the faded tium foliage. This is best served at room the possibility of “accidental weeding,” temperature so the floral notes of the flowers to promote more flowers, but but the leaves are unique and easy to nasturtium flowers can be enjoyed. recognize. You can always start in small since the flowers are edible, you So choose nasturtiums for your garshouldn’t have any fading flowers to pots and transplant them to the garden den this summer, and you can enjoy pinch off. when they get bigger. It takes about 50 Whenever nasturtiums are in season, them in the landscape and on the table. days after sowing for the plants to start a crowd-pleasing appetizer around the flowering. Dr. Gary Bachman is MSU horticulNasturtiums tolerate less-than-perfect Bachman household is stuffed nasturturist at the Coastal Research and tium flowers. Gently wash a bunch of soil, as long as it is well drained. These Extension Center in Biloxi.

the bedroom floor. The day gave me hope that spring would soon fulfill its yearly appointment. My driver and I engaged in a political discussion concerning health insurance, military cuts and the need for building new infrastructure. I know it’s hard to believe, but I do get serious on occasion. We arrived home by 6-ish. This was before daylight saving time, so it was almost dark. It didn’t take long to locate Oaklee in a tall pine. She was sitting on a rotten little 3-foot limb miles up the tree, meowing, “Mama, Mama,” with every breath. Of course she wouldn’t budge to come down. The perpetrator

placed his tallest ladder next to the tree, which didn’t reach 20 feet, then went into the house to watch Mike Huckabee on TV. He assured me Oaklee would work her way down to the ladder. I ran out to the workshop and gathered small pieces of wood a foot or more long, a hammer and huge nails. Taking one board at a time I climbed up the ladder and began to nail the steps on the pine tree. I hate to admit this, but my idea failed as the ladder rocked. “Hold your horses, get down from there!” It was the man I thought earlier in the day had wisdom. “I’ll call Randy Brown,” he said.

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Randy’s our friend, carpenter, and high-rise painter. He must also have flawed wisdom. He told Roy the cat would be OK until morning. He was partly right; the cat didn’t fall, but the temperature dipped and she was hungry. Next morning Randy had duct-taped Oaklee’s bed to the top of his ladder. But no, she wouldn’t jump in. He had to leave but left his ladder, hoping she’d get the message. She didn’t. I retrieved my hammer and nails. “Oh, no you don’t!” a voice rang out. By afternoon Roy called a contractor who had a bucket truck. They saved her life, and mine. Halfway down the pine she

sprang out of the bucket and landed on top of the truck. No injury. Thank you, fellows, for saving two lives. “There should be a moral to this story,” I said. “Yes, there is,” he said grinning, “your cat spoiled a perfectly good day.” “How about this one: Your blue heeler chased her up the tree. Only then did she spoil a perfectly good day.” Kay Grafe is the author of “Oh My Gosh, Virginia.” To order, send name, address, phone number and $16.95, plus $3.50 S&H to Kay Grafe, 2142 Fig Farm Road, Lucedale, MS 39452.


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Proudly serving members since 1938

Weather, natural gas:

We can’t afford the ‘all but one’ energy strategy Let me take you back several weeks That’s a situation that many electric to the extremely cold weather we had utility companies are facing as federal in January and February. Temperatures regulations make it more difficult and during that period dipped into the more expensive to use coal as a fuel for teens — much lower than we are generating electricity. How will we accustomed to in south Mississippi. keep warm in the winter and cool in Fortunately, we were the summer when coal is able to provide the power no longer available? How you needed to heat your will our factories, schools, home or business even and businesses continue to though South Mississippi operate as they do now? Electric Power Association, The EPA is pushing which supplies electricity to utility companies to rely Dixie Electric and 10 other more and more on natural Mississippi co-ops, set a new gas as the primary fuel all-time winter peak on source for electric energy. Randy Smith Tuesday, Jan. 7. Natural gas prices are very General Manager unpredictable. In 2012, the Actions by the U.S. price was near $2 for a million British Environmental Protection Agency thermal units (mmBtu). During the (EPA) and the administration in Washington, D.C. have many in our recent cold spell, the price spiked to more than $6 per mmBtu before setindustry concerned about whether tling back to around $4.28 mmBtu in we will continue to have affordable late March, which was the cost during and reliable electricity. most of 2013. During the bitter winter, American Due to the severe cold weather Electric Power (AEP), which provides electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states, from Texas to Ohio, reported that 89 percent of its coal capacity that is scheduled to be retired by the middle of 2015 was up and running due to the demands for power during the cold weather. Let’s put this in terms we can all understand: A large portion of the electricity that kept the customers of AEP warm during this winter was provided by a fuel source that won’t be available starting next year.

and the demand for electricity, several utilities with natural gas-fired generating facilities could not get the natural gas they needed to meet the increased demand. If we have another winter like 2014, the laws of supply and demand will likely cause natural gas prices to skyrocket, meaning your monthly electric bills will soar. And will the natural gas supply, along with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, be enough to power the entire nation? We believe coal, natural gas, solar power, wind, geothermal, nuclear power and other fuel sources should all be part of the nation’s energy policy. Simply stated, we need an “all of the above” policy that includes coal to keep this country running. We urge you to make your voice heard in this extremely important issue by logging on to www.action.coop and sending a mes-

sage to the EPA. “What I’m asking you to do is do what you’re doing today. Be as honest with us as you can. Send in your comments. We’ll consider those,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said to representatives of the electric power and coal industries while taking a plant tour in North Dakota. “Frankly, you need to be as upfront as you possibly can on the existing facilities, about what concerns you.” “Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., who also participated in the discussion, raised industry concerns that the standard proposed for new power plants is not achievable, and what EPA has in store for the current coal fleet can only be met at a high price to consumers,” according to Electric Co-op Today. This is too important of an issue for any of us to be standing on the sidelines. We hope you will get involved. Source: Electric Co-op Today


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Changes for accepting credit/debit card payments As of March 31, 2014, Dixie Electric can only accept credit/debit card payments through the automated phone system, pay online at dixieepa.com or at the counters in the offices. Employees will no longer be able to accept credit/debit card payments over the telephone; however, phone payments are still acceptable through the automated system.

you set up your account online, it is quick and easy to return each month and make your payment. Also, My Account offers printable copies of your bill, e-billing, and charts on your energy use. I Come by any of Dixie Electric’s three office locations to make a credit/debit card payment during regular business hours. Member service representatives and cashiers will be happy to assist.

Why did Dixie Electric’s management make this decision? This decision was made in order for Dixie Electric to maintain compliance with the Payment Card Industries’ Data Security Standards. These standards are set by the credit card industry to protect consumers from fraud. Recently, these standards were tightened for handling credit/debit cards payments. In order for Dixie Electric to maintain compliance and continue to offer credit/debit cards as a method of payment for its members, Dixie Electric’s employees must abide by these standards.

How will this rule affect me? This rule requires members to handle their own credit or debit card payments or come in to an office location in person. Here are several convenient payment options offered to members: I Call (601) 425-2535 and make your credit/debit card payment by using the automated phone system. Simply have your account number and credit/debit card number available when you call. This is the only number answered by the automated system. In the coming weeks, the automated system for payments will be Ways to pay your electric bill with your credit or debit card available at night at this same number. I Visit dixieepa.com, click on My 1. Call (601) 425-2535 and choose the option to pay your bill. Account and pay your bill online. Once

2. Visit dixieepa.com, click on My Account and pay your bill online.

Dixie Electric continues right-of-way clearing in 2014 Dixie Electric will continue over the next few months to clear trees, underbrush and limbs from the right-of-way extending out from the following substations: • West Waynesboro substation - Maynor Creek • Burr Creek substation - Moselle and Union • Petal substation - City of Petal along Highway 42, Sunrise community and Macedonia Road

• Hoy substation - Shady Grove, Moss and Soso • Buckatunna substation - Chicora, Progress and Robinson Junction Clearing the trees and limbs from power lines provides numerous benefits, which include protecting individuals from the dangers of electricity, decreasing the number of power outages, and making power restoration quicker and safer.

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s t n e d u t S strengthen

“The leaders of this program saw the potential in me and many other young people. They provided me with the foundation to discover my place as a leader and the steps I needed to take to achieve my goals. It was a memorable event in my life, and now I have the opportunity to use the life lessons I learned in my quest to help others.” Miss Mississippi Chelsea Rick

2007 Youth Leadership Workshop participant

Dixie Electric Power Association

their leadership abilities

Dixie Electric Power Association recently sponsored two high school juniors for the 28th annual Youth Leadership Workshop. Brooke Bullock and Obrie Scarbrough were selected by Dixie Electric to attend the event Feb. 26-28 in Jackson. Each year the three-day workshop brings young people together to strengthen their leadership abilities and to learn about state government. This year, 76 students from different areas of the state attended the workshop, coordinated by the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi. Brooke and Obrie visited with their state legislators, toured the Capitol for a close-up view of state government at work, and participated in activities designed to enhance their leadership skills. Gov. Phil Bryant, a strong supporter of the Youth Leadership program, spoke to the young leaders during a luncheon. “I commend each of you on your past accomplishments and look forward to the contributions you will make for the future,” Bryant said. “I encourage you to stay in Mississippi and work with us in maintaining a quality place to live and work.” The Youth Leadership program attracts students serving in leadership roles in their school and community. The objective is to equip them with the tools necessary to enhance their skills, increase their confidence and encourage them to take a more active leadership role.

The workshop’s activities and students for the future, with an munication. During one session, put to the test when they weigh issues facing their generation. “You have the power to make Chelsea Rick told the group in h the students to turn their passio do,” she said. “Prepare yourself munity service work. This progra stand your leadership role and w future endeavors.” Rick, a 2007 Youth Leadership the electric power associations f for students. “We are proud to sponsor this understand the importance of p enrich the lives of our young peo manager of Dixie Electric. “This p

Students meet state lawmakers in Jackson

The students meet their local legislators at a breakfast during the workshop. From left are Representative Larry Byrd, Senator John Polk, Brooke Bullock, Obrie Scarbrough and Representative Gary Staples.


April 2014



Today in Mississippi

Dixie Electric’s students take top honors at the workshop Brooke Bullock was selected as the top student from the group of 76 young people (see page 2) and will represent Mississippi on a national youth leadership board. She will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Obrie Scarbrough won the leadership award and a $500 scholarship. In bottom photo, Brooke and Obrie receive their awards from Ron Stewart, statewide youth program coordinator. Sen. Chris McDaniel visits with Obrie and Brooke in the Capitol rotunda. In bottom left photo, Brooke participates in a team-building exercise.

exercises were created to help empower emphasis on teamwork and good com, the students’ critical-thinking skills were hed the pros and cons of many pressing

e a difference now,” Miss Mississippi er inspiring presentation. She challenged on into action. “Do what you are called to through education, and act through comam and its leaders help you better underwill be a support group for your

p Workshop participant, commended for providing this valuable resource

s outstanding program because we providing training opportunities to ople,” said Randy Smith, general program focuses on helping young people realize their full potential. We commend Brooke and Obrie for their active involvement in school and community activities. They are true leaders and we wish them well.” “The program was developed to Gov. Phil Bryant encourages the students to continue their quest to be an outstanding help young leaders determine leader. Bryant, a strong supporter of the their strengths and weaknesses Youth Leadership program, was the keynote while showing them ways to speaker at a workshop luncheon. become better leaders. Then we encourage them to return home and put their skills to use,” said Ron Stewart, statewide program coordinator. “We challenge these young people to go out and make a difference in the lives of others, exemplifying true leadership. Today, as evident by the work of Chelsea and other past participants, we see the fruits of our labor throughout Mississippi and it’s rewarding.”

Obrie Scarbrough and Brooke Bullock



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They wake before the sun, pour steaming cups of coffee, and kiss their family goodbye. After swinging by the office to get the day’s orders, Dixie Electric’s linecrews and servicemen climb into their trucks and head out. Our lineworkers form a solid team with one job: to deliver safe, reliable electricity. But that job can change in a million ways when rough weather steps in. Let’s take a moment and stand in a lineworker’s boots. Linemen have to work safely, smart and efficiently—all the while 30 to 40 feet in the air, wearing sturdy, thick rubber gloves. On a typical day, lineworkers maintain electrical distribution lines or build service to new homes and businesses. They have a lot on their plates. But when our dispatch center calls our servicemen or line crews with a problem, everything else takes a backseat. Power restoration takes precedence on a lineworker’s to-do list. These brave men are always on call. Dixie Electric’s servicemen and line crews stand by to serve you 24 hours a day, weekends and holidays. Can you imagine getting a call at 3 a.m. telling you to work outside during bad weather? Not many people are willing to face storms. Our lineworkers face harsh elements daily, all to serve you.

Lineworkers also focus on safety; the lives of coworkers are on the line. Job safety is important to everyone, no matter your occupation. But for lineworkers, there can be no slip ups or careless actions. Mistakes can cost a limb or life. That’s one of the reasons lineworkers form a brotherhood. When you put your life in the hands of co-workers every day, they become more than colleagues. They’re family. That sense of family extends to electric co-ops across the nation. One of our principles is cooperation among cooperatives. Dixie Electric’s lineworkers help other co-ops in their time of need, and they extend that service to us, too. It’s reassuring to know if a severe storm strikes, a national team of lineworkers stand ready to answer the call. To be ready to respond no matter the situation or weather conditions, lineworkers are highly trained. At Dixie Electric, lineworkers go through regular training to ensure they can work safely with various kinds of equipment. The equipment gets tested regularly, too. These highly skilled employees light our homes and businesses every day. They endure harsh weather and long hours, all to make our lives better. Please take a moment to thank them.

Get your photo made with the Easter Bunny! Tuesday, April 8 Dixie Electric’s Laurel Office 1863 Highway 184, Laurel (601) 425-2535

Thursday, April 10 Dixie Electric’s Petal Office 1312 Highway 42, Petal (601) 583-1131

Noon – 7 p.m. First Child: $10 Each additional child: $5 Pets are welcome. You will receive your photos on a CD.

Dixie teaches safety around electricity Groundman Shelby Ivey and Safety Manager Joe Donald spoke to fifth grade students in Jones County in February, explaining how to stay safe around electricity and the precautions that linemen take to work safely with electric energy.

Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

American Cancer Society ®


April 2014

Spring forward

Prepare for summer heat, increase energy savings Adding a few items to your list of spring chores can help make your home more energy efficient and deliver electric bills that won’t make you sweat when temperatures soar. Start with your air conditioner. Spring and early summer are good times to make sure that your air conditioning unit is ready to work when you flip the switch: • Get help from a professional who can inspect and service your unit. • Give your air conditioner a do-it-yourself cleaning. Shut the unit off, and clear away leaves and yard debris outside. Inside the unit, clean or replace filters that can restrict air flow and reduce overall efficiency by making the air conditioner work harder on hot summer days. Dust the fan blades if you can do so safely. Make sure air can flow freely over the inside and outside coils. Vacuum registers to remove any dust buildup. • Check weather stripping. When using window units, ensure that weather stripping is in place. Placement should be between the middle of the top window pane and the bottom pane.

Check out your roof. See how well your roof has weathered the winter. Few things can shorten the life of your home faster than a roof leak, even a minor one can damage your attic insulation before you know it. A roofing professional can assess and repair things like loose or missing shingles, repair leaks, and clear gutters.

Make your electric cooperative a resource. The energy advisors at Dixie Electric can help you determine the right steps for your home. Also, visit dixieepa.com and click on the Home Energy Calculator for energy efficiency guidance, a home energy library and information for your children on saving energy. If you visit Dixie Electric at one of its three offices, you can pick up free brochures on energy efficiency, heat pumps and other energy savings tips. Article written by B. Denise Hawkins. She writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. Sources: U.S. Department of Energy, and Energy.gov.

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Italian Squash Pie

mississippi

Cooks FEATURED COOKBOOK:

4 to 5 cups sliced fresh squash 2 Tbsp. butter 1 medium onion, chopped Salt, pepper to taste 1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. basil 1 can Pillsbury crescent rolls 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard 2 cups Mozzarella cheese 2 eggs, beaten

Sauté squash and onions in butter until tender. Add salt, pepper, oregano and basil; pour into mixing bowl and set aside. Prepare pie dish with cooking spray and line with crescent roll dough. Spread Dijon mustard onto dough. Add cheese and eggs to squash mixture. Pour into pie dish. Bake at 350 F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until just golden.

Mechatto’s Salad Dressing

‘Dinner with Friends’

1 Tbsp. Wesson Best Blend oil 1 (16-oz.) jar Blue Plate mayonnaise 1 cup Heinz ketchup 1 tsp. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. Louisiana hot sauce 2 Tbsp. fresh minced garlic (or to taste) 1/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice Pinch dry mustard

Developed in 1937, Wister Gardens, located just north of Belzoni, has been called the Delta’s Garden, a place to stroll through an oasis of beauty in a region where farm fields stretch to the horizon. The Friends of Wister Gardens works hard to keep the gardens beautiful and to enhance its offerings, in part by raising funds through sales of their cookbook, “Dinner with Friends.” Its recipes were inspired by Southern, Cajun, Creole, Italian, Asian, Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines. Ingredients include locally sourced farm-raised catfish, freshwater prawns, rice and cornmeal. Members of the Belzoni and Isola garden clubs helped collect the recipes, some of them contributed by local gourmet cooks and chefs from across the Delta. The cookbook will be available at the Wister Gardens Workshop on Saturday, April 26, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. There will be presentations from horticulturist Felder Rushing on Southern gardening and design, Bob Wilbanks on floral design, and Lauren W. Leflore, a culinary artist from Viking Cooking School. To order the cookbook, send $20 plus $7 S&H per book to Friends of Wister Gardens, 1440 Miss. Hwy. 7, Belzoni, MS 39038.

Coat sides and bottom of a mixing bowl with oil. Combine remaining ingredients in bowl and whisk to a smooth consistency.

Noel’s Black-eyed Pea Cornbread 1 tsp. butter 1 lb. pork sausage 1 medium onion, diced 1 cup white plain cornmeal 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 eggs 1 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup vegetable oil 8 oz. (2 cups) grated Cheddar cheese 1 (15-oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained 1 can cream-style corn 1 can Ro-tel tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter. Brown sausage in a large skillet. Add onions, sweat (cook over medium-low heat until translucent) and drain. Whisk together meal, flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Beat eggs, buttermilk and oil together in a medium bowl. Add egg mixture to meal mixture, stirring until just moistened (will be lumpy). Stir in sausage mixture, cheese, peas, corn and tomatoes. Pour into baking dish, smoothing top. Bake until golden brown, about 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Strawberry Salad 2 bunches romaine lettuce 1 purple onion, chopped fine

1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds 1 pint (or more) fresh strawberries, sliced

Chop lettuce and toss with remaining ingredients. Dressing: 2 cups mayonnaise 1/2 cup raspberry vinaigrette 1/2 cup half-and-half

3 Tbsp. raspberry jam 2 Tbsp. poppy seed 2/3 cup sugar

Mix dressing ingredients with a mixer and pour over salad.

Catfish Allison 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened 6 Tbsp. mayonnaise 6 green onions, chopped fine

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce Generous dash Tabasco 6 to 8 catfish fillets

Combine cheese, butter, mayonnaise, onions, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Butter mixture may be made 24 hours ahead and kept refrigerated. Poach catfish fillets in lightly simmering water for 4 to 5 minutes. Gently lift fillets from the water and set aside to drain. For individual servings, place fillets in au gratin dishes and cover with 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture. Broil for 2 or 3 minutes, until the cheese mixture browns. Or, place fillets into a lightly sprayed baking dish. Cover each fillet with the cheese mixture and brown under the broiler. Carefully lift fillets from the dish onto plates and spoon some of the pan juices over each serving. Serves 6 to 8.


fulmer’s farmstead and general store April 2014

By Nancy Jo Maples Hardly anyone leaves Fulmer’s Farmstead and General Store without a loaf of bread. “We bake 40 to 50 loaves a day plus muffins. We’re known for our baking,” owner Jeanette Fulmer said. Fulmer’s Farmstead and General Store in Perry County is also known for jams, jellies, daily plate lunches, unique kitchenware, raw sugars and an annual pecan festival. Open year-round, the store is located at 510 Wingate Road in Beaumont, five miles from Richton and five miles from New Augusta. The store opened four years ago, stemming from the Mississippi Pecan Festival which will celebrate its 28th run this September. However, there is plenty to do between now and September at Fulmer’s. The second annual Homesteaders’ Gathering is set April 18-19. This twoday event offers specialized indoor classes for a $25 registration fee. Session topics include “green” cleaning products for households and personal hygiene, herbal medicine, biscuit making and canning. General admission to the exterior exhibits at the Homesteaders’ Gathering is free. Outdoor demonstrations will be conducted on topics like growing and maintaining grapes or using horse-drawn farm equipment. Booths will exhibit honey bees, lye soap, fried cracklings, and more. A highlight on Friday night, April 18, will be $20 steak suppers and live bluegrass and gospel music. Along with its home-baked bread and muffins, the store sells Amish rockers, unique kitchen utensils, flour, oatmeal and raw sugar in bags, sizes one to 50 pounds. Plate lunches from a daily menu are sold 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. The dining area seats 90 guests and is perfect for prayer groups and civic clubs. The farmstead is popular for school field trips and can accommodate 150

Clockwise from top left: Tennessee broom maker Wayne Thompson demonstrates his craft during a special event at Fulmer’s. A century-old log cabin invites porch sitters. Patrick Bodine, of Wiggins, demonstrates wheel-thrown pottery. The mule-pulling contest at the annual Pecan Festival draws a crowd, and a young contestant poses with her prize-winning entry in the festival’s Prettiest Rooster contest. Photos courtesy of Fulmer’s Farmstead and General Store

students. Children can watch and sometimes participate in planting and harvesting crops or cutting hay. Two century-old log cabins sit on the property and feature women dressed in early 20th century costumes baking biscuits on a wood-burning stove. School children can help with the biscuit making and with churning milk into butter. Student adventures include a wagon ride and myriad farm activities depending on the season. For example, school children might bottle-feed baby goats in the spring. The farmstead grows a variety of produce and all farming is done with handoperated or horse-drawn antique equipment. It sells freshly grown seasonal items like onions, broccoli, cauliflower

and lettuce at its general store as well as at farmers’ markets in Hattiesburg, Laurel, Ocean Springs and Gulfport. “We planted 3,500 tomato plants last year that are not the shipping kind. Our tomatoes ripen on the vine and are ready to be eaten or canned when they’re picked,” Jeanette said. Jeanette and Ken Fulmer moved from Jackson County to Perry County in the 1980s and started the Mississippi Pecan Festival. The pecan orchard covers about 15 acres and is the cornerstone of their family-run operation. The pecan festival began as a one-day event and has evolved into a three-day extravaganza of exhibits and entertainment. It includes a mule-pulling contest, 300 arts and crafts exhibits, a pecan-baked-goods competi-



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tion, a beauty pageant and a prettiest rooster contest. The festival drew 25,000 visitors last year. Tickets are $10 per person. Each December, the Fulmers host Christmas in the Orchard with carolers, musicians, wassail and an evening meal of Cornish hens with the trimmings. Hamburgers are sold at outdoor concession stands. Cabins are decorated for the season, gingerbread is cooked on the wood-burning stove and a live nativity scene gives visitors pause. Horse-and-buggy rides are available and fire pits dot the landscape for roasting marshmallows. Christmas in the Orchard is a free event, excluding the meal. For those who can’t attend the April, September or December special events, the store is a unique travel stop any time of year. It is open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Signage along highways 15 and 98 signal the store’s location and the aromas of each day’s freshly baked bread signal guests to leave with a loaf. For more information call Fulmer’s General Store at 601-964-8222 or visit: fulmersfarmstead.com Writer Nancy Jo Maples can be reached at 188 Ernest Pipkins Road, Lucedale, MS 39452 or: nancyjomaples@aol.com


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Things to

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1 Early spring daffodils; Rita Frederick, Brandon 2 Bluebird family portrait; Susan Whatley, Florence; Delta Electric 3 Pretty girls Kaley and Kalynn McCammon with bunnies; Shaunna McCammon, Bruce; Pontotoc Electric 4 Going fishing; Norene Martin, Kokomo; Pearl River Valley Electric 5 Fishing with friends in Jeff Davis Lake; Shirley Burnham, New Hebron; Southern Pine Electric

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Canada goose mom with goslings; Melissa Campbell, Pontotoc; Pontotoc Electric Keaton Carol Benton, 16 months, and her “Pooh”; Ed Benton, Florence; Southern Pine Electric Eryn’s first time to fish; Cherri Griffin, Philadelphia; Central Electric Face time with a yellow jacket; Suzanne McClain, Maben; 4-County Electric


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10 Farm dogs want to four-wheel too; Kaye Sowell, Brandon; Southern Pine Electric 11 Emily Knox helps Nana pot flowers; Jo Nell Foster, Columbus; 4-County Electric 12 Tripp White, 2, sports a turkey feather nearly as big as he is; Rhonda Cornelius, Maben; 4-County Electric

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15 13 A tiger swallowtail butterfly stuns with its beauty; Patrick Walker, Meridian 14 Fully clothed, Abby Clark dashes through the sprinkler; Dawn Clark, Olive Branch; Northcentral Electric 15 Spring is all about bream fishing for Christopher Burton; Judith Smith, Franklinton, La. 16 Ruby relishes a warm spring shower; Guy Buford, Brookhaven; Southwest Mississippi Electric 17 Spring wildflowers frame Elliot Walsh; Jane Saul, Purvis; Pearl River Valley Electric Our next “Picture This� theme: Patriotism, Mississippi Style Selected photos will appear in our July issue. Find photo submission guidelines at: todayinmississippi.com


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April 2014

Events MISSISSIPPI

EASTER SUNDAY APRIL 20

Want more than 400,000 readers to know about your event? Send it to us at least two months prior to the event date. Submissions must include a phone number with area code for publication. Mail to Mississippi Events, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300; fax to 601-605-8601; or email to news@epaofms.com. Events of statewide interest will be published free of charge as space allows. Event details are subject to change, so we strongly recommend calling to confirm dates and times before traveling. For more events, go to www.visitmississippi.org.

“This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement,” through Aug. 17, Jackson. The work of nine activist photographers. Mississippi Museum of Art. Details: 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org “The Slave Series: Quilts by Gwendolyn A. Magee,” through May 18, Jackson. Narrative art quilts. Admission. Mississippi Museum of Art. Details: 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org “Wings Into Spring”: New Albany Home and Garden Show, April 4-5, New Albany. More than 20 seminars, special guests, vendors, crafts, more. Fairgrounds. Details: 662316-0088; newalbanygardening.com 23rd Annual “Celebrate the Gulf” Marine Education Festival, April 5, Pass Christian. Live animals, Raptor Road Show, youth fishing rodeo, more. Pass Christian War Memorial Park. Details: 228-475-7047; grandbaynerr.org Mudbug Bash, April 12, Hernando. Crawfish plates, auctions, restaurant samples; 6-11 p.m. Admission. Panola Street. Details: 662328-5704 ext.112; palmerhome.org. Heart Walk, April 12, Lucedale. 5K fun run/walk, children’s activities, more. George Regional Hospital. Details: 601-947-0709; georgeregional.com Hollis Long Memorial Dulcimer and Ole Tyme Music Festival, April 12, Tishomingo. Dulcimer sales/demonstrations, crafts, entertainment. Tishomingo State Park. Details: 662-438-6914; park info: mdwfp.com Cedar Hill Farms Annual Easter Egg Hunt, April 12-19, Hernando. Egg hunts, pony rides, animals, more. Admission. Cedar Hill Farms. Details: 662-429-2540; gocedarhillfarm.com Strawberries & Cream Festival, April 13, Picayune. Celebrates history of old strawberry farm; 1-3 p.m. Robert F. Brzuszek signs new

book “The Crosby Arboretum.” Free admission. Crosby Arboretum. Details: 601-799-2311; crosbyarboretum.msstate.edu Easter Drama, April 18, Hazelhurst. ECCC Drama Team to perform “Road to Calvary”; 7 p.m. Mt. Sinai United Methodist Church. Details: 601-654-3834. Fulmer’s Homesteaders Gathering and Horsedrawn Auction, April 18-19, Richton. Free admission. Fulmer’s Farmstead, Wingate Road. Details: 601-964-8222; fulmersfarmstead.com Annual Daylily Sale, April 19, Meridian. Meridian Daylily Club sale of many varieties and colors; 8 a.m. Lauderdale County Co-op. Details: 601-527-2442. Southaven 34th Annual Springfest, April 24-26, Southaven. BBQ cooking championship, carnival midway, more. Snowden Grove Park. Details: 662-280-2489 ext. 283; southaven.org Relay For Life of Hattiesburg, April 25, Hattiesburg. Tatum Park. Other area Relay For Life events May 2: Marion Co., Columbia High School; Petal, Willie Hinton/Relay Park; and Lamar Co., Sumrall High School. Details: 601543-8874. Annual Taste Fair, April 25, Hurley. Taste more than 30 dishes with emphasis on “Dishes for the Holidays”; 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Admission. Full Life Assembly. Details: 228-588-2670, 601-770-2245. Wister Gardens Workshop, April 26, Belzoni. Admission. Wister Gardens. Details: 662-836-6471, 662-836-7996. Destiny Goss Memorial Cruise for St. Jude, April 26, Lucedale. Motorcycle ride and poker run, BBQ chicken, live music, auction, raffle. George County Senior Citizens Center. Details: 601-770-1142, 601-508-2202. Fourth Annual Rabbit Run for St. Jude, April 26, Star. 10K and 5K races, children’s fun run. Details: 601-842-7947; rabbitrunstar.com Annual 8-Mile Yard Sale, April 26, Greenwood Springs. Clothes, toys, car/truck

parts, more; 7 a.m. until. Details: 662-3156955. Sixth Annual Dog Fest, April 26, Meridian. Contests, vendors, more. Lauderdale Agri-center. Details: 601-776-2558; ecmkc.org Double 16 Hunting Club Seventh Annual Spring Trail Ride, April 26, Poplarville. Entertainment, camping, food. Gumpond area. Admission. Details: 601-550-5905; Facebook: Double 16 Hunting Club Trail Rides. Hernando Farmers Market, April 26 - Oct. 25, Hernando. Foods, music, special events; 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Earth Day Celebration April 26. Hernando Courthouse Square. Details: cityofhernando.org/farmersmarket Confederate Memorial Service and Picnic, April 29, Hernando. Sons of Confederate Veterans event; 2 p.m. Free. Hernando Memorial Cemetery. Details: 662-393-4448; bullfrogreb@aol.com Sherman School Reunion, May 2-3, Sherman. Sock hop, 50th anniversary of school’s closing, more. Sherman Library. Details: 931-320-2441; mrtsix3@bellsouth.net George County Firefighters Association BBQ Challenge, May 3, Lucedale. Live music including Ricochet, vendors, food; 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. Admission. George County Fairgrounds. gcffabbqchallenge.org Lake Washington Homes, Gardens, Historical Sites Tour, May 3, Glen Allan. Self-guided tours, lunch at Highland Club, vendors; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission; advance ticket sales only. Glen Allan United Methodist

Church. Details: 662-571-0139, 662-379-7007. Day in the Park, May 3, Morton. Arts, crafts, food, domino tournament, antique tractors, Jeff Bates concert 8 p.m. Admission. Farris Municipal Park. Details: 601-732-6252. Calhoun Cares 5K Walk/Run, May 3, Bruce. Benefits local families battling cancer; 8 a.m. rain or shine. Registration fee. City Hall. Details: 662-983-8736; spedbailey@hotmail.com Gospel Concert, May 3, Pearl. Chuck Wagon Gang, Tim Frith & Gospel Echoes, Southern Plainsmen Quartet; 6:30 p.m. Pearl Community Center. Details: 601-906-0677. The Gardens of Madison County, May 3-4, Madison and Ridgeland. Tours of six gardens, cooking demos, more. Details: 601-856-4455; mragardens.com “Hooked on Fishing”: Kiln Business Council Fishing Rodeo, May 3, Kiln. McLeod Park. Details: 228-332-1816; j.redshaw@mchsi.com “Power of Pink” Poker Run, May 3, Petal. Back roads route to Laurel. Breakfast 8:30 a.m. Hinton Park; riders depart 9:30 a.m. Benefits Pink Ribbon Fund. Rain date: May 10. Entry fee. Details: 985-788-1724. Pass Christian Historical Society’s Tour of Homes, May 4, Pass Christian. Tours of five homes; 2-5 p.m. Details: 228-452-0161; passhistory.org Pioneer Day, May 10, French Camp. Period demonstrators and artisans, square dancing, more. Natchez Trace Historic Village. Details: 662-547-6482; frenchcamp.org/historic


April 2014

HARBOR FREIGHT

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Today in Mississippi



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Today in Mississippi



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Today in Mississippi Dixie April 2014