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August 2012

Southern Pine

Electric Cooperative


a n n u a l m ee t i n g

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Two Exclusives from Alabama Living ORDER YOURS TODAY!

Southern Occasions cookbook

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

COOK BOOKS @ $19.95 each _____ CHURCH BOOKS @ $32.95 each _____ TOTAL: ___________ shipping included





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Churches Alabama

A beautiful pictorial history of Alabama’s churches ranging from small rural churches to towering urban cathedrals. 2  AUGUST 2012



Vince Johnson Co-Op Editor

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

Alabama Rural Electric Association

AREA President Fred Braswell Editor Lenore Vickrey Managing Editor Melissa Henninger Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Michael Cornelison Advertising Coordinator Brooke Davis Recipe Editor Mary Tyler Spivey ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES:

340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail:

Vol. 65 No.8 August 2012


6 It’s Annual Meeting time, again! Sat., Sept. 1 is Southern Pine’s 2012 Annual Membership Meeting. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Make your plans to attend and be sure to register to receive a free prize. You must also register to be eligible to win prizes during the Business Meeting.

12 Ol’ Hank Hung the Moon

ON THE COVER: It’s Annual Meeting time! Use the numbered ticket on the cover to register for free prizes.

Writer John Brightman Brock discusses a new book on Alabama’s famed Hank Williams with author Rheta Grimsley Johnson. Her memoir reveals how his music touched her life, and how others feel a similar pull to the talented singer/songwriter.

20 Cycling the Coast

On a bike trip from the Northeast to explore Alabama’s Coastal Connection, Cindy Ross discovers “hurricane balls” and what happens to fish brought up quickly from the ocean.


National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311


Spotlight 10 Power Pack 16 Alabama Bass Trail 23 Fish&Game Forecast 24 Alabama Gardens 26 Cook of the Month 28 Worth the Drive 38 Alabama Snapshots 9

Printed in America from American materials

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August 2012  3

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Southern Pine Electric Cooperative

Manager’s Comments

Attend Your Annual Membership Meeting

Brewton Headquarters: 2134 South Blvd. P.O. Box 528 Brewton, AL 36427 251-867-5415 District Offices: Atmore 39 West Sunset Drive Atmore, AL 36502 251-368-4842 Evergreen 205 Wild Avenue Evergreen, AL 36401 251-578-3460 Frisco City 3943 Bowden St. Frisco City, AL 36445 251-267-3196 Toll-Free Outage Reporting Number

1-866-867-5415 Board of Trustees Vernon Baggett


Hilbert Hall

Vice Chairman Allen Lang

Secretary-Treasurer Bobby Ballard David Cook, Jr. Dwight Maloy Keith Pugh Cleve Roberson Aaron White

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Vince Johnson Manager of Southern Pine Electric Cooperative


ike most companies, Southern Pine adopted a new mission statement during our last strategic planning session. The purpose of that mission statement is to capture, in one sentence, the focus of our business. Our mission statement reads: Southern Pine’s mission is to provide our member-owners with reliable, competitivelypriced electric service while adhering to our core principles of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. I truly believe that this statement defines our focus perfectly. Every day Southern Pine’s focus has been on providing safe, reliable, competitively-priced electric service to our members. We have chosen to focus on our core business—providing electricity. I believe if we focus on anything other than providing service to our members, we have missed the mark. I am proud that our board of trustees and employees continue to put YOU our members first in all that we do. I encourage you to take part in the 2012 Annual Membership Meeting that will be held

on Saturday, September 1, at W. S. Neal High School. Programs and entertainment for the youth will begin at 10 a.m. in the old gymnasium and will last until 2 p.m. There will be games, food and pony rides available to all youth throughout the day. If you like good gospel music you will not want to miss this year’s meeting. Entertainment will begin at 9 a.m. with a wellknown group from Conecuh County, The Gospel Melodies. At 10:30 a.m., The Hoppers will take the stage and will sing many of your favorite gospel songs. I am looking forward to hearing these two groups and I encourage you to attend. The business session will begin promptly at 1 p.m. During the business meeting we will discuss the latest issues facing your co-op and how we plan to address those issues. We will share the financial condition of your co-op, as well as conduct our trustee elections. Please mark your calendar for Saturday, September 1, 2012. I look forward to visiting with you at W. S. Neal High School. Thank you for your continued support of your co-op. A

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Southern Pine Office Hours Brewton Office 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Atmore Office Evergreen Office Frisco City Office 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Balance Sheet January 1 to December 31, 2011

Payment Options

What we own (assets): Original cost of system $ 69,595,385 Amount depreciated 26,866,396 Value after depreciation 42,728,989 Cash & cash equivalents 1,880,679 Other investments 15,220,432 Accounts receivable 5,458,910 Materials & supplies in warehouse 498,140 Prepayments & accrued assets 197,107 Deferred debts 37,379

During normal office hours at our Atmore, Brewton, Evergreen or Frisco City offices.

total value of system:

$ 66,021,636

total liabilities

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& capital:

After hours at any of our offices by leaving your payment in our convenient night deposit box. E-check, VISA or Mastercard credit or debit card payments may be made anytime on our Web site at: Mail your payment to: Southern Pine E C P. O. Box 528, Brewton, AL 36427

What we owe (liabilities): Members’ membership fees and deposits Owed to RUS, CFC, Co-Bank Current bills payable Accumulated taxes, interest, insurance, etc. Member ownership in system

Cash, check, VISA or MasterCard credit or debit cards, or by money order. Payments may be made over the telephone using a VISA or Mastercard credit or debit card.

$ 1,286,553 3,143,186 2,052,634 10,895,893 48,643,370

$ 66,021,636

Convenient payment points. Pay bill from the 1st - 10th of each month at: James Brothers Furniture, East Brewton; United Bank, Flomaton; Excel Hardware, Excel; and People’s Exchange Bank, Beatrice. Ask about our Levelized Billiing, Credit Card and Bank Draft payment options. You will need to fill out paperwork for these options.

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Southern Pine 2011 Revenue Average Number of Accounts

Revenue Types


18,796 Homes & Public Buildings 6 Irrigation 1,843 Commercial & Industrial 8 Street Lighting Other: Allocations - Associated Organizations


Total Revenue

$29,637,516 14,304 15,748,865 9,630 986,665


Where your dollars came from S

GRAPH LEGEND 63.4 % Homes & Buildings 33.9 % Commercial & Industrial 2.7 % Other

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Southern Pine

Southern Pine 2011 Expenses expense item Cost of power $34,027,465 Operation & upkeep of system 4,550,026 Depreciation of system 1,811,995 Interest on money borrowed 168,023 General expenses: Insurance, administration, consumer accounts, offices, etc. 4,023,264 Taxes 214,110

total operating expenses


Operating margin Non-operating margin

1,434,075 1,671,151

total margin


Where your dollars Went GRAPH LEGEND 71.0% Power Cost 9.5% Operation 8.4% General 6.5% Margins 3.8% Depreciation .4% Interest .4% Taxes

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Free health fair for Southern Pine members D. W. McMillan Hospital staff on hand for fair Each year at Southern Pine’s Annual Membership Meeting, D. W. McMillan Hospital of Brewton, Ala., kindly provides a free mini-health fair to all registering Southern Pine members and their families. Your co-op greatly appreciates D. W. McMillan Hospital’s dedication and concern for Southern Pine members and hopes you’ll take advantage of the opportunities the fair will afford: 1. Blood pressure screening. 2. AccuChecks. 3. Glucose screening vouchers. 4. Cholesterol screening vouchers. 5. Information about Alzheimer’s and other local support groups, self-help and educational programs facilitated by the hospital and in conjunction with other organizations, and much, much more. Be sure to take advantage of this great free opportunity!

All Southern Pine Electric Co-op offices will be closed on Monday, Sept. 3, in observance of Labor Day. Offices will reopen at normal times on Tuesday, Sept. 4. 8 august 2012

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Spot Light

In August aug. 25

Folk roots festival planned for late August PHOTO BY MICHARE HARE

The Black Belt Folk Roots Festival will be 8.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 25 in Eutaw at Courthouse Square. The celebration will bring together craft persons, musicians, dancers, storytellers, artists and more. Call 205-372-0525 for more information, or visit

Aug. 16

USS Alabama marks 70th anniversary The public is invited to attend the 70th anniversary of the commissioning of the USS Alabama in Mobile on Aug. 16. Battleship Memorial Park has been open for 47 years and has consistently been one of the top tourist attractions in the state. Admission is free all day to Alabama residents with a photo ID. For more information call 251-433-2703. Aug. 15-Sept. 22 Aug. 13

Buzz over to Attalla to learn about honey bees Honey bee exhibits and free honey tasting will be part of Honey Bee Awareness Day Aug. 13 at Attalla City Park in Attalla. Attendees may also view and purchase beekeeping equipment. Call 256-538-1872 for more details.

Muscadines ripe for picking in Millbrook Stroll through Barber Berry Farm in Millbrook from Aug. 15 to Sept. 22 to pick muscadines and scuppernongs. Visitors can also select from a variety of vegetables growing in the hydroponic garden, which are picked daily and sold at the fruitstand. The farm is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call Barber Berry Farm at 256-5494710.

For more Alabama Events, visit Page 29.

Watermelon time! Easy carving tips

• Have the whole watermelon at room temperature when you carve. The cuts will be easier to make when the watermelon is not cold. You can chill the watermelon in the refrigerator after cutting and before serving. • Cut a small, thin, flat piece from the bottom of the watermelon before Alabama Living

carving. This will make a flat base, making the watermelon more stable when carving. • Draw the design on the watermelon rind with a fine/medium point waterproof marker or a sharp pencil before you cut. • After you’ve drawn the design on the rind, insert toothpicks in key

places to use as guides for your cuts. • Use a sharp knife with a pointed tip – the sharper the knife, the easier and cleaner the cuts will be. Be careful! • For better grip and to help protect your hands, use a fresh, new thick pair of gardening gloves with gripper palms. • Be creative and have fun! National Watermelon Promotion Board

AUGUST 2012  9

Power Pack

Outdoor pursuits abound at Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge By W.H. “Chip” Gross

10  AUGUST 2012

tional wildlife refuge, its 7,000 acres of varied wildlife habitats—beaches and sand dunes, scrub forest, fresh and saltwater marshes, freshwater swamps and uplands—is still a lot of land to explore. But likely the best thing about Bon Secour is that it lets you experience a touch of wild Alabama coast—the refuge has been named one of the ten natural wonders of the state—while at the same time having the convenience of nearby condos, shopping, restaurants, golf courses, night life and the other activities of Gulf Shores. Like I said, something for everyone. And did I mention it’s all free? Well, at least Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is…


If you enjoy the out-of-doors and are looking for a family-friendly location offering something for everyone, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, just a few miles west of Gulf Shores, fits the bill. And did I mention it’s free? The refuge offers excellent birding, hiking, fishing and wildlife photography, to name just a few of the outdoor activities, but is best known for its miles and miles of white-sand beaches bordering the Gulf Coast. When the public beaches at Gulf Shores are packed with people on spring break, the beaches at Bon Secour are amazingly vacant. Nearly deserted might be a better description. And as a result, it’s easy to find your own piece of oceanfront paradise where you can wiggle your toes in the warm sand while your kids play along the shore. The four marked hiking/birding trails through the refuge include Jeff Friend (wheelchair accessible), Centennial, Pine Beach and Gator Lake. A large, covered wildlife viewing tower overlooks Gator Lake, and yep, there are alligators in Gator Lake, so watch your step if you venture off any of the main paths. “Gator Lake used to be freshwater,” says Sean Williams, park ranger, “but storm surge during the last few hurricanes has temporarily turned it to saltwater. The alligators don’t stay in the lake much anymore because of that, but they do come there to feed occasionally. Gator Lake will eventually become freshwater again; we just don’t know how long the changeover will take.” The refuge’s name, Bon Secour, comes from the French meaning “Safe Harbor.” It’s an appropriate moniker, as the area provides sanctuary for migrating birds, nesting loggerhead and Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, as well as the endangered Alabama beach mouse. Considered relatively small for a na-

W.H. “Chip” Gross is the outdoors editor for Country Living magazine in Ohio. He and his wife try to visit Bon Secour every year.

To get there Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge ( is located about ten miles west of Gulf Shores. From State Route 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway) on the north edge of town, take State Highway 180 approximately eight miles west to the refuge headquarters where you can pick up a free refuge map. To access the beach, turn south off State Highway 180 onto Mobile Street (just past the refuge headquarters) and drive to the parking lot at the end of the road.

Building on a legacy You might have noticed a new name in the masthead on Page 3 of this issue. In June, I was honored to join the staff of the Alabama Rural Lenore Vickrey Electric Association as vice president for communications and editor of Alabama Living. I say honored because it is indeed a privilege to follow in the footsteps of Darryl Gates, whose reputation with AREA is and remains wellknown and respected across the state. Darryl and I worked together in the newspaper business, back in the days of IBM Selectric typewriters, waxers and pica poles. While I changed jobs a few times to continue working in the newspaper and public relations

worlds, Darryl found his niche as editor of this magazine. It was obviously a good fit, as he stayed with AREA for the next 30 years, building and shaping Alabama Living into what is now the largest consumer publication in the state. What a legacy on which to build! While I bring to AREA more than 35 years experience in writing, editing and public relations, I am just getting started learning about the world of cooperatives, and utilities in particular. I am already impressed with the truly cooperative spirit I’ve seen exhibited in our local managers, their staffs, and directors who have welcomed me to the AREA family. As a daily newspaper reporter and editor, I learned the best way to learn about a subject was to ask questions. And I’ve been asking a lot! I don’t plan to stop, so get ready. I love to meet

people and tell their stories, and I look forward to meeting you, the members of our Alabama co-ops and readers of our magazine, and hearing your stories. You can reach me at lvickrey@ In between magazines, be sure to keep up with what’s happening at Alabama Living on our web page, and the AREA website Both sites have a link to the digital edition of Alabama Living (handy if you’ve misplaced this month’s recipes!). If you’re on Facebook, please “like” us and follow us on Twitter @Alabama_Living and @ ALRuralElectric. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Winning by using less

Contests are a fun, creative way to encourage energy efficiency By Brian Sloboda Cooperative Research Network

In the U.S., where competition impacts almost every activity, utilities are getting in on the act by creating contests between consumers to see who can achieve the biggest cut in household electric use. But you don’t have to wait for your electric co-op to organize an energy efficiency challenge—you can plan one yourself for your family, neighborhood or a community group. If you can access your monthly, weekly or even daily electric use through your co-op’s website or a personal energy management device, then your calculations will be easier. If you can’t, you’ll need to depend on your monthly electric bill. To compete against your neighbor, both of you must establish an energy use baseline—that’s the number you will compete against. So pick an upcoming month as your baseline, and compare your use that month versus the same month last year. The goal will be to record the greatest percentage reduction in electric use from the previous year without spending more than $50. The secret to winning may involve tapping the amazingly creative imagination of your children. From other contests, kids suggested such winning strategies as: • Camp outside for a few days

Alabama Living

• Cook meals on a grill instead of in the kitchen • Watch less TV, disconnect the video game system, turn off the computer—which might also have the side effect of creating more family bonding time • Unscrew some lightbulbs • Unplug battery and cell phone chargers • Cut down on appliance use by running washing machines and dishwashers only when full Once the competition starts, engage everyone in your house to brainstorm ideas on how to reduce energy use, and have everyone develop a list of things to do. Try to turn everything into a game, such as equipping kids with caulk guns to “shoot” energy leaks around windows. The best part of a contest like this is that everyone wins because they save energy and money. Electric co-ops that have implemented similar competitions report average household energy savings ranging from 9 percent to 58 percent. Best of all, the energy efficiency steps you take will continue to provide benefits for years to come. Brian Sloboda is a senior program manager specializing in energy efficiency for the Cooperative Research Network, a service of the Arlington, Va.-based National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

AUGUST 2012  11

Hank Williams Memoir tells why the legendary singer’s music lives on 60 years later


yndicated newspaper columnist Rheta  Grimsley Johnson for years dreamed of having the time to write about Alabama’s Hank Williams, the celebrated country singer whose songs of pain saved her own heart from the lovesick blues. In her recently published book, Hank Hung the Moon And Warmed Our Cold, Cold Hearts, she paints the pain of a man who, she writes, “fell too fast,” and of her own relationship to his death. In the prologue, she sees Hank’s death “on one end of January 1953 - New Year’s Day - and I was born on the other, January 30,” as a “cosmic connection.” The book, she says, “in a way tells my whole life story through Hank.” The mere mention in her newspaper column of Hank and his soulful sad songs recorded in the late 1940s and 50s would result in a deluge of responses from loyal Hank fans. Yet while the urge to write the book was strong, like most writers, the last thing Johnson wanted to do after writing each day was to come home and write even more. In 2001, now down to writing only one syndicated column a week, she left Atlanta to write from home in Iuka, Miss. In 2009, she moved her memoir to the front burner and dedicated a full year to working on Hank Hung the Moon. Now that she was writing something longer than a 550-word column, she had to convince herself that she could be more expansive than she’d been used to with her newspaper column. “It’s hard not to be distracted when you need to write. I had an advantage. My husband was teaching a history course in Colorado Springs, Colo., so I stayed home every day and wrote while he taught. I was able to concentrate and avoid distractions. “I had all these ideas and thoughts from 12  AUGUST 2012


By John Brightman Brock

the column writing,” she says. While she didn’t plan to write a biography of Hank Williams, or a story about his death, she decided her own memories would tell why his music lives on, 60 years later. Hank’s music had always been on the soundtrack of her life,  she  says.  Johnson began gathering information for the book 35 years ago as the basis for her own memoir, matching her life in the 1950s and 60s against a template of Hank’s in the 1940s and 50s. Johnson doesn’t remember not hearing Hank’s music. “I was seven when we moved to Montgomery and Hank music was everywhere - coming out of pickup truck windows, oozing out of businesses, playing on my father’s record player. I imagine the first time I heard Hank music was on my father’s player when I was much younger than seven.” Cast against Johnson’s yesteryear world of 78-rpm records and 5-cent Cokes, Hank Williams, the singer, the lover, the undeniable  truthsayer, provides his soulful soundtrack and wisdom for her 191page book. Within those pages, the reader can almost hear Hank sing, and the sad feeling the music evokes stays in the gut until you feel comforted by his pain - as Johnson was.

“I’m passionate about Hank,” she admitted in an interview about the book. “It was a pleasure to hole up and write the book, and nobody told me to turn down my music.” ‘HANK HUNG THE MOON’ IS UNFILTERED RHETA Her Hank book reveals a playful Johnson, poking - sometimes all-out jabbing - at her religious roots. “That’s the way I felt,” she says. Religious references are throughout the book, such as the comical “holy shrine of the outhouse” where her father kept the revered home generator. “So many people remember outhouses. They were embarrassed by them, then suddenly it was OK. They were part of the ‘club.’” Pressed further, she clarifies, “I was a Southern Baptist,” emphasizing a past affiliation, while her religious references seem to continue in her mind, scattered throughout the book like cigarette butts on the floor of a bar room where Hank’s music would have been playing in the jukebox. She’s thankful for her religious roots, which give her a descriptive platform from which to write about the “Hank that heals.” “The fact that music helps us through life’s rough patches, this is a good thing,” says the author. “And growing up Baptist is a good thing if you’re a writer, for literary allusion and provocative language.” Johnson metaphorically sets the scene for Hank’s June 11, 1949 Grand Ole Opry debut, describing his turning “wine from water when he healed the sick of heart and did encore after encore ... A relative few witnessed those miracles, 3,574 to be exact,” she writes. After Hank dies, she recalls a popular congregational refrain from an old gospel hymn, “Up From the Grave He Arose.” Johnson says she couldn’t help but think of Hank rising up to take back his

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2012  13


place among his faithful. “Hank wasn’t so much a celebrity in our minds as a distant cousin or close friend who had died far too soon. He spoke our language and knew our secrets and made us feel better about our troubles and foibles. He was not so much in the ground as all around, having made that successful transfer to immortal status.” Johnson’s book was published March 15, and she sold her first copy the day before her talk to an overflow crowd at an Architreats program at the Alabama Department of Archives and History, in Montgomery. It was her tribute to a stillpowerful Hank, and to his often mournful music in a hard-knocks world. As Alabama author Winston Groom advanced a fictionalized Forrest Gump rambling through baby boomer lives, Johnson’s musical memoir bonds with readers who may feel it is their own story being told. “It’s been interesting to tour with this book and hear f o l k s s ay, often while misting over, that they remember the first time they heard a Hank song,” Johnson says. “All of us who string words to gether in feeble attempts to tell a story half as well as Hank, all of us think we have something to add to the legend, another way to interpret genius. Mostly we want an excuse to get closer to the music and the man,” she writes. Growing up in his footsteps, in Montgomery, it was like all the planets aligned, Johnson says. “To ignore it would have been a sin.” Hank’s music told family secrets, and so does Johnson’s book, which includes references to his songs, his Drifting Cowboys band, his popularity and shenanigans. She mentions Hank Jr. and especially Hank Sr.’s “lost daughter” Jett Williams, who was born 24 days before Johnson’s own birthday in 1953, and is the subject of Chapter Three. Unknowingly they “both grew 14  AUGUST 2012

up good little Alabama girls who wanted to please,” she wrote. “In a region that bronzed its baby shoes and Confederate heroes, we came of age.” Johnson learned to buck her trendy teen love of The Beatles, among other names that rocked the music world. She opted for Hank. The book cover illustrates that transition with scribblings of “I love Hank,” “Rheta plus Hank equals love,” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” The book was written for boomers who share her memory of simpler times ... “when Hank roamed the Earth,” the book jacket says. A WISE OLD SOUL Johnson identifies with Hank, and readers will, too. Her fondness for Hank defines a culture that can’t shake its addiction to a man whose words still resound in lonesome refrains in songs like  “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “I Saw the Light” or “Kaw-Liga.” Sometimes, she cuts to the core, as when she refers to his drug and alcohol addictions: “Hank, an alcoholic since his teens, had been at least once to a Prattville dry-out sanitarium.” But love conquers all, and it’s no different for Johnson, who quips, “Adults called him by his first name, and always added ‘Ol’ in front of Hank, as if he’d been 89 instead of 29 when he died. ‘Ol’ Hank’ was, of course, also what Hank called himself, and we all bought it. A wise old soul - that was Hank.” “Hank lost his footing too soon, too young,” writes Johnson. “I think that without Hank we might have lost ours, too.  He lost his life that we might be saved, or something like that. A happy Hank would have been his gain and our loss. A happy man could not have written ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.’” She pulls from her own grab bag of memories one telling anecdote that, for Johnson, reveals a Hank whose voice still sings for the unlucky in love.

“I remember one late night when my divorce was imminent, headed toward home from some distant (newspaper) assignment, riding alone in a Mustang meant for two. ... I could hear a country station through the static. I could hear Hank,” she writes. “For the first time, I fully appreciated how ol’ Hank articulated loss, better than anyone perhaps save Shakespeare, and in far fewer words. Hank had walked in my shoes. “Misery not only loves company, she needs for the company to sit up late drinking with her, commiserating, and reciting poetry. She needs for the company to sing her back home. “A n d Han k did.” A Hank Hung the Moon … a n d Wa r m e d Our Cold, Cold Hearts is available through your favorite local or online retailer, or from NewSouth  Books, 334834-3556, or at www.newsouthbooks. com. ISBN:  978-1-58838-284-9. Trade cloth, 192 pgs., $24.95. eBook ISBN: 9781-60306-118-6. $9.99 Rheta  Grimsley Johnson has covered the South for more t h a n t h re e decades as a newspaper repor ter and columnist. Her re porting has won numerous awards, and in 1991 she was one of three  finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. In 1986 Johnson was inducted into the Scripps Howard Newspapers Editorial Hall of Fame. Syndicated today by King Features, Johnson’s column appears in about 50 papers nationwide. She is the author of Poor Man’s Provence and Enchanted Evening Barbie and the Second Coming, both published by NewSouth Books.

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2012  15

The Alabama Bass Trail On March 8, Gov. Robert Bentley announced the Alabama Bass Trail to promote 11 of the best fishing waters in the state. This is the third of a four-part series focusing on those lakes and rivers.

More bass trail: Three Alabama lakes offer diverse fishing habitat

For more information on the Alabama Bass Trail, see

By John N. Felsher


rom shallow weed beds to deep rocky points and sheer bluffs, these three lakes in the Alabama Bass Trail offer bass anglers varied habitat to tempt largemouths and giant spotted bass.

Lewis Smith Lake

Neely Henry Reservoir

Lewis Smith Lake snakes across 21,200 acres of Walker, WinNeely Henry Reservoir runs more than 77 miles down the ston and Cullman counties. Deep, clear and blue, the lake drops Coosa River and covers 11,235 acres near Gadsden. Created to more than 300 feet in places. Just a few yards off some bluffs, for hydroelectric power in 1966, Neely Henry probably holds water may drop to more than 70 feet. more spotted bass in the 14- to 20-inch range than any other The lake on the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River almost Alabama lake. resembles a giant octopus gripping part of the Bankhead Na“Neely Henry breaks down into three portions,” explains Joel tional Forest. Numerous creek arms create more than 500 miles Hodges of Lake Neely Henry Guide Service (256-613-9056/www. of timbered shorelines where rocks and points provide outstand- “The upriver section is more riverine with ing cover for largemouth and current. The midsection has Kentucky spotted bass. a lot of ledges and grass. The “Lewis Smith Lake is diflower end of the lake is comferent than any other Alapletely different. It’s the widbama lake,” says Brent Crow est part of the lake with a lot of North Alabama Guide of pockets.” Service (256-466-9965/www. In a bass tournament,, who the winner generally needs grew up fishing the lake. to catch five bass totaling “It’s a deep, clear mountain at least 19 to 20 pounds, lake without much grass or Hodges said. The event big woody cover. In the past few bass generally falls in the 5.5years, it produced at least to 6-pound range, but the one 11-pound largemouth lake occasionally produces and a couple of 10-pounders 8-pound largemouth. Mark Menendez, a professional bass angler, lands that I know about.” “In the summer, Caroa bass he caught. (Photo by John N. Felsher) Although the lake conlina rigs work great on the tains an excellent largemouth population, Lewis Smith Lake ledges,” Hodges advises. “Crankbaits are another good option. produced five world-record spotted bass over the years. Phil- Around the grass, use frogs or swimming jigs. A lot of people lip C. Terry of Decatur caught the current state record spot, an flip the grass and laydowns with soft plastics.” 8-pound, 15-ounce fish, there in 1978. For spotted bass, most anglers throw soft plastics around river “From Duncan Bridge back to Cullman is a good place to fish channel ledges or bridge pilings. Shad-colored crankbaits also for spots,” Crow recommends. “A shaky head jig with a finesse work well. worm is one of the best techniques to use on Lewis Smith. In the “Neely Henry is basically a river with a few backwater creeks,” spring, topwater baits dominate. In the winter, a jig with a plastic trailer is one of the best baits.” Continued on Page 37 16  AUGUST 2012

While fishing at Lake Eufaula, Sam Williams shows off three bass he caught at the same time on an Alabama rig, which uses multiple baits on a single harness. (Photo by John N. Felsher)

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2012  17

Tom Nelson of Saraland remembers, “when I was a kid, the old folks told me how to plant kudzu seeds: Throw it and RUN!”

Kudzu’s southern invasion: Asian vine introduced to U.S. now covers millions of acres By Emmett Burnett

Plant kudzu near your house; two months later it’s on your house. Six months later it is your house.


ack in the 1930s, the U.S. government distributed 80 million seedlings of a new Asian “wonder vine.” Congress believed this vine was the answer to soil erosion and good livestock forage; plus, it was a lovely shade plant. And that’s how we got kudzu, which we’ve been trying to give back ever since. Kudzu vines can grow 12 inches a day, reaching 100 to 200 feet long. The tuberous roots reach depths of 12 feet and weigh up to 200 pounds. “The weed that ate the South” encompasses one quarter million Alabama acres, thriving on vast rolling hills and urban parks, from the beaches of Gulf Shores to the mountains of Gadsden. It suffocates any other plant life in its path. “During the 1930s, soil erosion was a huge state problem,” says Stephen F. Enloe, extension weed specialist at Auburn University. “We were looking for anything that could stop it.” Kudzu seemed like a good fit, so the oriental vine soon became one of Alabama’s first Chinese imports. By the 1940s we were kudzu crazy. Kudzu clubs organized throughout the South. Alabama towns promoted festivals complete with “Miss Kudzu” Beauty Queen contests. Seeds were sold by mail order. As an incentive to plant our new power plant, the government offered $8 an acre for growers to sow their farms in kudzu. By 1946, three million acres

18  AUGUST 2012

were covered. By the 1950s, Congress, scientists, farmers and others collectively said, “Uh-oh.” To our dismay, we realized kudzu was the gift that keeps on giving. “What we never learn,” says Enloe, is that “you can’t just uproot a plant (or animal) from its native habitat and transplant it somewhere else without consequences.” China has insects, disease and other factors that keep native kudzu in check. The United States does not. None of the natural enemies of Asian

kudzu accompanied our botanical visitor to Dixie. Once it was planted here, nothing held it back. Tom Nelson of Saraland remembers, “When I was a kid, the old folks told me how to plant kudzu seeds: Throw it and RUN!” Kudzu is a survivor, spreading by seeds when its vines bloom. Tentacles drape over fences, trees, basically anything standing still. It also spreads on the ground by vines running along the soil, establishing root crowns that shoot new vines in all directions. It grows in almost

any soil type in any light conditions. And we discovered something about kudzu the Chinese never told us (they were too busy laughing). Just because the vine is in the garden doesn’t mean it stays there. Yes, it helped prevent soil erosion, but then it smothered everything growing on the soil it saved. Livestock food didn’t pan out either. “Ironically, cattle love kudzu and it is nutritious to some extent,” says Dr. Nancy L. Loewenstein, research fellow extension specialist at Auburn University. “But you can’t bale or harvest it.” The U.S Department of Agriculture banned kudzu in 1962 from the list of cover plants permitted under the Agricultural Conservation Program. In 1970, the USDA listed kudzu as a common pest weed. Government officials proclaimed that just as kudzu was introduced to Alabama, it would be removed. Well, how’s that working for you? But all is not lost. The mean green machine can be stopped. “But it’s not easy,” warns Dr. James H. Miller of the U.S. Forest Service in Auburn. “Everyone in an infested area must work to kill it.” If four neighbors have kudzu and only three remove it, it does no good. In small yards, kudzu can be mowed, pulled, and dug up. Larger areas require chemical treatments. “But it must be stopped,” adds Enloe. “Kudzu can cut power lines, cover road signs, and obscure highway visibility. It must be killed. You cannot ‘cut back’ kudzu.” A

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2012  19

Circling Cycling


Mobile Bay


By Cindy Ross

They (trails) snake through forests of dripping Spanish moss and alligator ponds 20  AUGUST 2012


t Wintzell’s Oyster House in Mobile you can have your oysters “fried, stewed, or nude.” We have them all ways, along with baskets of fried green tomatoes, fried pickles, bread pudding and key lime pie. We’re toasting to the beginning of a new adventure: a six-day circumnavigation of the Mobile Bay on bicycles. Our family is here from Pennsylvania, along with friends from Michigan, and we’re traveling Alabama’s Coastal Connection, a 130-mile scenic byway highlighting the resources and attractions of the southern tip of the state. In 2009, it was designated a National Scenic Byway. You can drive it in a car, but we want to savor it, so we’re cycling. The visitor’s bureaus helped us tremendously with arranging our accommodations, securing our bikes and put new meaning to the phrase “Southern hospitality.” We are not roughing it on this adventure, but stay in hotels, condos and inns. Our family’s gear fits in one bike trailer that we attach to a rental bike. We are not planning terrific miles. Hard-core cyclists can do what we are doing in two days. But it isn’t just about the exercise; it’s mostly about the experience. It’s about visiting shipyards and watching them work on the actual Pirates of the Caribbean boat, and stopping in Bayou La Batre, the hometown of Forrest Gump’s buddy, Bubba (where the author lives). It’s also about strolling through beautiful Bellingrath Gardens among 100-year-old azalea bushes in full bloom. We cross a long bay bridge to get to Dauphin Island and watch pelicans dive straight down like torpedoes to spear fish. On the island are monstrous ancient Indian mounds with trails that snake through giant live oaks with weeping moss.    We visit Fort Gaines and listen to can-

Alabama Living

nons being shot by reenactors. We also visit an Estuarium (an aquarium on the estuary), where we feed baby shrimp to the underside mouth of a helmet crab as it slowly pulls it in like a conveyor belt. We stroll in a gorgeous pine forest at the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, stop at a roadside stand to eat boiled Cajun peanuts, and cycle along muddy bayous where old boats are turned upside down and swamped with marsh grass growing inside them. Ferry rides are always fun and the Mobile Bay Ferry across to the Fort Morgan Peninsula is no exception. Once there, we hike through beautiful Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and look for rare pitcher plants and dig our toes in sand so white and sugary fine that you need sunglasses. Lunch is at The Hangout in Gulf Shores, the scene of one of the largest music festivals in the country. We dine on “Cuban cigars” of spicy rolled-up pork, and look at the hundreds of Pez containers, Troll dolls and metal lunch buckets decorating the walls. There are 11 miles of paved multi-use trails called the Hugh Branyon Backcountry Trails in Gulf State Park that are a joy to ride through fast. They snake through forests of dripping Spanish moss and alligator ponds. In nearby Orange Beach, we visit the Indian & Sea Museum run by a family of seamen. Half the museum’s contents appear to be items they’ve caught, including what exploded out of 450-pound grouper fish. Our docent says that when t he y are broug ht up quickly, the fish get the bends and

“their stomachs and eyes explode,” so everything they ate and swallowed comes out whole. We take a few hours off to switch up our sports and kayak in winding Graham Creek, which empties out onto Wolf Bay. A show of six pelicans dive-bomb fish, so close they startle us as they drop out of the sky only a few yards away. We stop for dinner at Tacky Jack’s, and as I eat my grouper’s avocado-encrusted flesh, I wonder what might have been in his gut at the moment of death. With only two days left until we reach the head of the bay and complete our circle, we admire how prettily tanned we all are, as well as already quite smart about the Alabama Gulf Coast/Mobile Bay. As we begin to complete our circle, we make a stop at the Weeks Bay Reserve to learn about “Hurricane Balls,” massive threefoot long balls of small sticks that cling together during a hurricane (much like tumbleweed) and grow in size as the wind tosses them. Tonight in the pretty little town of Fairhope, where the downtown trees are completely covered in gold fairy lights, a white-haired man in a long trench coat pulls a pitch pipe out of his pocket and inserts it into his mouth. Suddenly, he belts out an Italian opera at the top of his lungs. We are serenaded throughout the course of our meal at Pinzone’s Italian Restaurant, and conclude the journey with a toast to yet another successful adventure. We’re leaving here with not only a vast storehouse of knowledge about this beautiful and rich area, but also an appreciation for the wonderful people we’ve met along the way. A

AUGUST 2012  21

Alabama Outdoors

Alabama Living welcomes new outdoors columnist In this issue, Alabama Living welcomes outdoor columnist John N. Felsher. Each month, Felsher will contribute a column describing some aspect of outdoors recreation of interest to Alabama sportsmen. The column may describe a hot saltwater or freshwater fishing technique or destination, a preview of an upcoming hunting season, an outdoor adventure tale or some other Alabama outdoors topic. Felsher has already contributed several articles to this magazine describing the lakes of the Alabama Bass Trail (see page 16). In this issue, he also tells how to catch bullfrogs in his column at right. Originally from Louisiana, Felsher now lives in Semmes where he works as a fulltime freelance writer and photographer with more than 1,700 bylined articles for more than 117 magazines to his credit. Upon graduating cum laude from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1984, Felsher served 12 years as an Air Force officer. Returning to Louisiana in 1996, Felsher served as the outdoors editor for several newspapers in Louisiana and Arkansas. He currently co-hosts a weekly outdoors radio show on WNSP 105.5 FM in Mobile. He is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and Southeastern Outdoor Press Association Ducks Unlimited named him its Conservation Writer of the Year. The Louisiana Wildlife Federation and the National Wildlife Federation named him their Conservation Communicator of the Year. Contact him through his website at John N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer and photographer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He’s written more than 1,700 articles for more than 117 magazines. He co-hosts a weekly outdoors radio show. Contact him through his website at www.

22  AUGUST 2012

Summertime ideal for frogging By John N. Felsher


n sweltering summer nights when where two ditches intersected. even the air seems to sweat, huntWorking in pairs, we caught our frogs by ers armed only with spears and hand. One person would shine lights into headlights search the forbidding swamps, the frog’s eyes to temporarily blind it while bayous, rivers, lakes and ditches of Alabama the other tried to sneak close enough to for bellowing beasts. grab it. Some particularly wary amphibians Occasionally, lights reflect a triangle of immediately jumped into the sanctuary of dots along a bare shoreline or vegetation the culverts as I approached, but I usually patch where a bellowing predator lurks. caught enough frogs for a few meals. O n s u ch s u m m e r Sometimes, we could nights, sportsmen purtempt frogs sitting in sue bullfrogs, cruising roadside ditches by waterways while slowly “cane poling” with cloth scanning shorelines or attached to small panlily patches with powerfish hooks. “Cane polful lights. When a light ing” for frogs required beam illuminates a frog, stealth and teamwork. its white chin and eyes One person, the “shintypically shine like two Steven Felsher prepares to gig a er,” illuminated the frog dots hovering over a frog while walking along a swampy and stood in front of shoreline. bright cottony throat it to capture the frog’s (Photo by John N. Felsher) splotch. attention, but not too At night, frogs sit on dark shorelines close to spook it. Another person, the “anwaiting to snatch any prey that might ven- gler,” approached the amphibian from beture too close. They eat almost anything hind with a rod or stick holding a length they can catch and stuff into their mouths of fishing line “baited” with a strip of red from insects to crawfish and even small fish cloth or string. or other animals. They even eat other frogs. The “angler” dangled the hooked cloth a Bullfrogs can thrive in even the small- few inches from the frog’s face to simulate est habitat, as long as it remains reasonably a flying insect. Cloth color probably really wet with some access to dry ground or didn’t matter because a bullfrog can’t resist structure. Rivers or lake shorelines provide anything looking even somewhat edible if unlimited frog habitat good for hunting the it appears within lethal range of its tongue. voracious amphibians. Canals and small Typically, the green predator slashed out its ditches coursing through agricultural areas tongue reflexively to swallow the dangling can provide outstanding frog habitat. Small cloth and hook in one gulp. Of course, streams meandering through upland forests people can also use actual bait, such as and ponds dotting the landscape can also a worm, cricket or moth, dangled in the hold numerous frogs. same manner. Although most sportsmen glide along The state of Alabama does not regulate the shorelines of their favorite amphibian bullfrog harvests. Sportsmen may catch haunts by boat, froggers on foot may still them by any means, all year long without jump into the action. As a boy, I used to limit and without buying special licenses. walk along roadside ditches near my home Besides catching them by hand or “cane -- some barely a few inches deep and dry poling,” many people snatch frogs with part of the year. These “neighborhood spring-loaded mechanical grabbers that frogs” frequently hid in pools of slightly grip the amphibians when a trigger touchdeeper water at the base of culverts or es them. Sportsmen may also use barbed

spear-like gigs, archery equipment or nets. The flat end of a paddle can also stun a frog sitting in a weedy patch. After catching frogs, drop them into a securely tied sack or a locking ice chest. With powerful legs, bullfrogs can jump long distances and may knock the top off an unlocked ice chest. Some people stick frogs on an old pin and hole fishing stringer by puncturing their chins and inserting the metal pin. A Southern delicacy, fried frog legs covered in spices taste so delicious that many restaurants serve them. To clean a bullfrog, kill it and chop off its legs and feet. Then, remove the skin from the legs, leaving only tender white meat. A note of caution: Carefully remove the white or yellowish nerves that run down the length of the legs. Even severed, these nerves can cause frog legs to jump and twitch. Remember the experiments in high school biology lab? In some cases, the disembodied legs might actually jump from the frying pan as soon as they hit hot grease. To really see some jumping action, try this trick on your unsuspecting mother or spouse -- but only once! A

Steven Felsher shows off a bullfrog he gigged near a swampy ditch. (Photo by John N. Felsher)

Alabama Living

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

AUG. 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

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

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

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


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

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

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

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

AUGUST 2012  23

Power Plants

Keeping Cool By Katie Jackson


lthough the winter and spring of 2012 were incredibly mild, this summer has had some scorching moments. That probably should not surprise us—we do live in Alabama, after all—but this summer’s record highs have made it downright dangerous to be in the garden at times. As the summer winds down this month, temperatures are still a long way from dropping, so take precautions if you’re working outside. The best strategy to beat the heat is to work in the garden early in the day before the heat becomes intense. Working later in the afternoon or early evening is also an option, although the day’s heat may still be lingering that time of day. During the hottest days of summer, do less labor-intensive chores or find chores that can be done in the shade. Be especially careful if you are mowing or using other motorized equipment because the heat of engines can make you even hotter. And don’t forget to take a break regularly and step inside to an airconditioned space to cool off. What you consume can also affect your body temperature. Drink plenty of cool, not necessarily cold, fluids, including good old plain water, water with lemon or cucumber added for some zest, or even sports drinks if you’re expecting to sweat a lot and

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

24  AUGUST 2012

possibly lose electrolytes. Cool foods such as raw vegetables and fruit, popsicles and ice cream also can help keep you comfortable. Wearing cool clothes is another way to beat the heat. That’s not to say you should strip down to your skivvies. In fact, baring too much skin can be dangerous in its own way, resulting in lots of scrapes and cuts, excessive exposure to biting insects or poisonous plants and, of course, UV rays. Instead, wear lightweight, light-colored, breathable pants, shorts and shirts and consider investing in clothes made of UV ray-blocking fabrics. (Don’t forget your sunscreen, either!) Oh, and wear a loose-fitting, lightcolored hat for sun protection. One with a full—preferably wide—brim is better than a baseball cap because it shields more of your skin, but flap hats, which provide a brim and extra material that covers your neck, are especially effective, if not especially fashionable. Applying water to your skin as you work is another good idea. Keep a spray bottle filled with cold water handy to spritz your face, neck and wrists. Wear a wet handkerchief around your neck as well. And, heck, take a run through the sprinkler if you get a chance. Most important of all, know the signs of heat stroke: Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, headache, muscle cramps and aches and dizziness are primary symptoms. Getting immediate treatment for a heatstroke can literally be a life or death situation. In other words, be cool this summer! A

August Gardening Tips , Keep an eye out for insects and disease on all ornamental and vegetable plants and treat for problems before they get out of hand.

, Harvest summer vegetables early in the morning when the flavor is usually at its height.

, Sow seeds of cool-season

flowers such as snapdragons, dianthus, pansies, calendulas and other cool-season flowers in flats or in the garden for mid-to-late fall bloom.

, Keep garden areas weeded

and remove spent vegetable plants from the garden area to keep down on diseases and insect problems.

, Irrigate lawns if rainfall is

scarce, using deep, long waterings so the water soaks in completely.

, Begin sowing seeds for

turnips, rutabagas, beans and peas for fall crops.

, Divide irises and plant new ones.

, Prune away old blackberry canes and add fertilizer.

, Select and begin to order fall bulbs.

, Use mosquito repellant and

sunscreen when you’re out in the yard or garden.

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2012  25

Alabama Recipes

Budget Friendly Cook of the Month: Elouise B. Shaffer, Baldwin EMC

Low-Fat Turkey Basil Fried Rice

4 tablespoons olive oil 2 pounds regular ground turkey meat 2 cups chopped Spanish onions 3 tablespoons fresh minced garlic 2 fresh cayenne peppers, deveined, seeded and finely minced (may use hot banana or Serrano peppers)

1 teaspoon sea salt ¼ cup soy sauce 1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash original 2 ½ tablespoons sugar (may use Splenda but sugar is better) 1 full cup fresh julienned basil 6 -7 cups finished, perfectly cooked long grain white rice

In large skillet on medium heat put oil, add turkey and cook until browned. Add onions and let cook for 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium high, taking care not to burn. Add pepper and garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Let things on bottom of pan brown well, then add soy sauce, Mrs. Dash, sugar and salt. Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add basil, cook 2 minutes. Turn off heat, leave on eye and gently mix in rice. Let meld for thirty minutes, even better for next day. (If at any time the bottom of pan is sticking or becomes too dry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water or broth. This will cook out without changing the flavor of dish.)

I am always on the hunt for a good bargain. I love the “buy one get one free” items at grocery stores, and I usually read the inserts in the newspaper to see what is on sale before I head out to shop. One day I was in the checkout line and the woman in front of me in line totalled more than $100 in groceries. Then she handed the cashier a stack of coupons. After a couple Ramen (it doesn’t get any cheaper minutes of scanning, the woman ended up paying only $23. I asked her how she did it than this) Noodles and she told me she works on her couponing 1 pound ground beef However, whatever you for four hours a day. Maybe (as we got more like or whatever you I need a class on couponing, prosperous we have left over in pantry because I only saved $7. upgraded to ground will work. chuck) 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 2 3-ounce packages (if you like spicy), beef-flavored Ramen optional noodles Salt and pepper to taste If your recipe is chosen as the cook-of-the 2 cups water month recipe, we’ll send you a check for $50! Veggies of your choosing Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: (we like chopped September Microwave Meals Deadline: July 15 onion, sautéed carrots, October Tailgating Deadline: Aug. 15 can of corn (drained), November 30 minutes or less Deadline: Sept. 15 and small green peas).

You could win $50!

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 electric cooperative.

26  AUGUST 2012

Brown meat. Season with 1 packet seasonings. Remove from skillet and heat. In skillet, combine 2 cups water, noodles from both packets (broken up). Cover, simmer for 5-8 minutes or till pasta is done and water is gone.  Add veggies, salt and pepper, and remaining seasoning packet. Heat through. Add cooked ground beef. Mix well. Can top with green onion slices before serving. Joy Steincross, Baldwin EMC

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.

Rice Casserole

Hamburger Hash

1 pound ground beef 1 small onion, chopped 4 medium potatoes, shredded

1 1/2 - 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown ground beef. Add onion and cook until tender. Drain meat. While meat is browning, peel potatoes and keep in cold water. While meat is draining, dry and shred potatoes. In same skillet used to cook meat, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add shredded potatoes. When potatoes are brown, add ground beef. Add salt and pepper and stir well.When potatoes and meat are cooked thoroughly, turn heat off and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Cover with lid to help cheese melt, then serve (note: the cook uses a non-stick skillet for this recipe). Donna Malone, Marshall-DeKalb EC

1 10 1/2-ounce can beef consommé, undiluted 1 10 1/2-ounce can French onion soup, undiluted 1 cup uncooked longgrain rice

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup golden raisins 1/2 cup chopped cashews

Combine first three ingredients along with two tablespoons of butter in a lightly-greased 10x6x2-inch baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until all liquid is absorbed. Sauté onion, raisins, and cashews in 1 tablespoon butter until onion is tender. Sprinkle mixture over cooked rice. Becky Terry, Joe Wheeler EMC

Dollar Stretcher Dinner

1 pound ground chuck or deer hamburger 1 onion, chopped 1 head of cabbage, shredded

3 cups cooked rice Medium or mild picante sauce

Cook ground chuck or deer hamburger, add onions and cook until translucent. Add cabbage, cover with lid and steam cabbage until desired consistency. Add cooked rice and stir. Serve topped with medium or mild picante sauce. To really stretch the recipe use less meat and more cabbage and rice. Jamie Petterson,Tallapoosa River EC

Basic Macaroni Salad

4 cups elbow macaroni, cooked and drained 1/2 cup mayonnaise 2-4 tablespoons pickle relish 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons salad oil 1 teaspoon yellow mustard 1 small jar pimientos, chopped salt and pepper to taste

Country-Style Ribs with Sauerkraut 1 pack of country-style ribs (boneless and cut pork ribs, usually 4-5 pounds)

1 32-ounce jar of Vlassic sauerkraut 1 16-18 ounce bottle of barbecue sauce, any flavor

Mix everything together in a large bowl. Stir well. If you need more juice add 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar. This can be made into a meal by adding 1 cup of cubed cheese, or 1 can of tuna, or 1 can of chicken, or leftover cut-up chicken, or cooked ground beef.

Drain sauerkraut. Place ribs, sauerkraut and barbecue sauce into large (6-quart) crockpot and cook on high for 4-6 hours. Stir occasionally, breaking up pork. Serve warm. Serves 6. Dinner costs less than $10.

Maxine Day, Covington EC

Angela Jacobson, Dixie EC

Alabama Living

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AUGUST 2012  27

Worth the Drive

Okra Festival draws crowds to Burkville


Go & Eat Okra Festival Saturday, August 25 11a.m.-Until Burkville

By Jennifer Kornegay


or the last decade, Barbara Evans has been hosting what many attendees call a “big family picnic.” Big is certainly right. The annual Okra Festival held each August draws hundreds, even thousands, to a field behind Evans’ art gallery in Burkville in Lowndes County. Last year, more than 800 people enjoyed the event. Yet it all began as a simple neighborhood party. Evans and her friend Alice Stewart came up with the idea after looking for a way to bring their tiny community together (Burkville’s population is around 300). “Alice loved to cook, and I love to paint, so we decided to hold a party that focused on local food and art,” she says. “The first get-together was in 1999, and it just kept getting bigger. We say that the first official Okra Festival was in 2001.” The “party” kept adding more and more guests every year, and today, the festival is the biggest thing going in the area. “It’s really a celebration of our special little community,” Evans says. “The neatest thing about it is that you see all colors, classes and ages coming together. We eat together, we laugh together and we sweat together.” She acknowledged the one drawback to holding the mostly outdoor event in August: “It’s pretty stinkin’ hot. But people really don’t seem to mind.” In fact, it was the especially hot, dry summer the year of the festival’s founding that inspired its name. “That year when Alice and I started it, it was boiling hot, and we were in a drought,” Evans says. “Everything around that had been green was burnt brown; the only thing left living was okra. I told Alice, ‘That okra is just like Southern people; it is tough, it keeps going, like the people of Lowndes County.’” Stewart agreed, and the Okra Festival was born. Stewart passed away a few years ago, a victim of breast cancer, but Evans has kept things going and growing as the event’s coordinator and host. The Festival takes place in and all around her art gallery, a renovated barn called Annie Mae’s Place. Annie Mae is the name To help celebrate Alabama’s that Evans paints 2012 “Year of Food,” each under, and the walls month freelance writer of the space are covJennifer Kornegay will take ered in her eclectic, you to an out-of-the-way colorful pieces as restaurant worth the drive. well as quilts and works by other local talents. During the Festival, artists from Lowndes and surrounding counties set up booths, offering visitors a true Jennifer taste of the area’s culture and contribKornegay uting to the event’s 28  AUGUST 2012

popularity. Jewelry, paintings, sculpture and more are up for grabs. But the main draw is the event’s namesake: the humble okra. While our state is no stranger to food festivals (there are dozens held each year), the Okra Festival is a little different, according to Evans. “It is just not as commercial as some others have become,” she says. Of the pounds and pounds of okra picked, cooked and then consumed at the Festival, most comes from fields right across the street from Annie Mae’s. Everything else edible at the event, whether okra-related or not, is from Lowndes County. Evans has kept it local. “All of our food vendors are from the county,” she says. “And there’s a ton of food.” Reminiscent of the famous “Forrest Gump” scene, she rattled off a list. “We’ve got fried okra, pickled okra — which goes like crazy — gumbo with okra, okra wrapped in bacon, the okra casserole that Irene Williams makes, and I make okra pie.” Evans’ okra pie is actually okra quiche, but she shared a secret. “If I called it quiche, I don’t think anyone would buy it. Pie sounds better,” she says. Complementing the okra dishes is a nice selection of Southern comfort food classics, including barbecue and homemade ice cream. Plenty of children’s activities and live music from local jazz and blues musicians round out the afternoon of food and fellowship. “People describe it as a big family picnic,” Evans says. “And people come year after year because it’s laid back and there’s no admission.” Plus, there are no vendor fees; the artists and cooks keep everything they make. There’s always something unexpected awaiting visitors to the Festival. At press time, Evans still hadn’t made up her mind about this year’s surprise. “We try to do something a little crazy,” she says. “One year we had camel rides, but I’m not sure yet what we’ll have up our sleeves this time.” Guess you’ll just have to go to the Festival to find out — and to eat your fill of farm-fresh okra. A

Okra Goes International Since 2002, Amos Kennedy, a famous Alabama poster artist, has been designing and printing posters to promote and commemorate the Okra Festival. Each of Kennedy’s posters is a unique work of art, hand-printed letterpress on chipboard using oil-based inks that are color-mixed by sight (not a formula), but his Okra Fest series garnered a whole lot of attention. A few of the posters have made it to the Smithsonian and even all the way to Europe. Kennedy will be at the Festival this year, creating his posters in person.

Around Alabama Fyffe, UFO Days. (Unforgettable Family Outing)

Bring the family for an out-of -this-world experience at the eighth annual Fyffe UFO Days. With live music, arts and crafts, activities for the kids, antique tractors and cars and more, this will truly be an Unforgettable Family Outing. Gates open at 9 a.m. and admission is free, the entertainment is free, even the parking is free. Come out to the Fyffe Town Park located on Graves Street, adjacent to Fyffe School. The first sighting was on Feb. 11, 1989 with the second occurring the following night. In those two nights in the small town of Fyffe, Alabama, with a population of less August 18 • Dothan, Dothan Indian Artifact Show

WestGate Gym, 501 Recreation Road. Indian artifact vendors displaying pipes, bowls, spears, arrowheads, clothing, jewelry, books and educational displays. Flint Knapping demo, raffle and refreshments. Contact Troy Futral at 334-821-5823 or e-mail

18 • Russellville, Antique Tractor

Show in conjunction with Watermelon Festival – 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. Trophies and prizes Admission: Free Contact Mike Powell at 256-332-7652

18 • Priceville, Priceville’s Annual

Cruise In Veterans Park, 520 Hwy 67 South – 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Family entertainment with Natchez Trace performing, free kids area, food and refreshments. Contact Priceville Municipal Building at 256-355-5476 ext. 102 or 25 & 26 • Tensaw, 199th Anniversary of Fort Mims – 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. 1813 re-enactments between settler, militia and Indians. Contact Claudia Campbell at 251-5339024 or visit 25 • Burkville, Alabama Okra Festival 278 Harriet Tubman Road, Burkville 11 a.m. - until. Family-friendly event with live music, food, local produce and preserves, arts and crafts, kids activities. 28 • Troy, A Taste of Pike County United Way Chili Cook-Off Park Memorial United Methodist Church – 5:30 - 7 p.m. Admission: Free; Chili Taster Ticket: $1 (receives bowl of chili and a vote ticket for their choice of the best chili) To enter the cook-off and for additional info contact: Jane Thrash, 334-372-5915 or 334-344-0859

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

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than 2,000, more than 50 people called the police department to report strange lights and shapes in the sky. There was no disputing that the credible witnesses, including the police officers, saw something unexplainable. As a matter of fact, it was so believable that the Alabama Legislature made Fyffe the official UFO Capital of Alabama in April 13, 1989. The UFO (Unforgettable Family Outing) Days Festival began in 2005 as a way of remembering that pivotal time in Fyffe’s history. It was also brought about as a way to give families an inexpensive way to go September 3 • Ider, Mule Day

Ider Park, Hwy 75 just north of Ider 4-way stop. Parade at 9:30 a.m., gates open immediately following parade Mull pull, Draft Horse show, car show, arts and craft vendors, children’s games, food vendors, homemade ice cream, BBQ and much more Admission: $2, Children 5 and under free Contact Town Clerk, Jackie at 256-657-4184 (Mon.-Thur. 8-4) 7 & 8 • Cullman, Annual 10 Mile Community Yard Sale County Road 1545 (Goldridge Road) Contact: 256-737-0604 or for a map e-mail: 8 • Rosalie, Old Timers Day 13th Annual Music Festival –10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Handmade crafts, gospel, bluegrass, country and golden oldie rock music. Serving country cooked plates. Admission: Free Contact Wayne Barrentine at 256-605-4991 or e-mail rosaliecommunitycenter@gmail. com. rosaliecommunitycenter

out and have fun together. As the sightings themselves drew a crowd to Fyffe, now so does the festival, having become one of the biggest and best festivals of DeKalb County and Sand Mountain. And you can still see flying objects over Fyffe as hot air balloons have become a vital part of the festivities over the years. Vendors are welcome. Visit for the application. Contact Brandi Clayton at Fyffe Town Hall at 256-6237298 or e-mail fyffetownclerk@

15 • Arab, Arab Community Fair Arab City Park, 232 City Park Dr. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Fair is an all-day event with arts and craft vendors, music, performances and food. Admission: Free Contact: Juanita Edmondson at 256586-6397 or

28-30 • Estillfork, 12th Annual Ole Timey Craft & Bluegrass Festival Paint Rock Valley Lodge & Retreat, 4482 County Road 9 Friday, 1-9; Saturday 9-6; Sunday 10-5 Contact Eddie or Vivian Prince at 256776-9411 or

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Market Place Miscellaneous FREE BOOKS / DVDs – Soon government will enforce the “Mark” of the beast as church and state unite! Let Bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771 –, (888)211-1715 CHURCH FURNITURE – Does your church need pews, pulpit set, baptistery, steeple or windows? Big sale on new cushioned pews and upholstery for hard pews – (800)2318360 or PUT YOUR OLD HOME MOVIES, SLIDES OR PHOTOS on DVD – (888)6099778 or SAWMILL EXCHANGE: North American’s largest source of used portable sawmills and commercial equipment for woodlot owners and sawmill operations. Over 800 listings. THE place to sell equipment. (800)4592148, TRUE SOUTHERN COOKING AT ITS BEST! Southern Cooking With Andy Bedwell is a cookbook with over 450 recipes passed down from a family of fabulous cooks. The most unique feature of this cookbook is “Andy’s Notes” about her Southern family recipes.  The cookbook also includes the history and front cover photo of the Civil War Blount Plantation. This is a Cookbook Collector’s Dream! $20 per book- $5 shipping - Andy Bedwell, 705 Coosa Drive, Gadsden, AL 35901 - email: NEW AND USED STAIR LIFT ELEVATORS – Car lifts, Scooters, Power Wheelchairs, Walk-in Tubs – Covers State of Alabama – 23 years (800)682-0658 HANDMADE AMERICAN GIRL DOLL CLOTHES FOR SALE – (985)641-1512, 18X21 CARPORT $695 INSTALLED – (706)383-8554 INTERIOR WOODS: CYPRESS, CEDAR, HEART PINE, POPLAR, ASH (251)847-2334 DIVORCE MADE EASY – Uncontested, lost spouse, in prison or aliens. $179.00 our total fee. Call 10am to 10pm. 26 years experience – (417)443-6511 METAL ROOFING $1.79/LINFT – FACTORY DIRECT!  1st quality, 40yr Warranty, Energy Star rated. (price subject to change)  706-383-8554

HELP LINES FOR ALABAMA FAMILIES - MORTGAGE BEHIND??? Call (888) 216-4173 BANKRUPTCY ADVICE??? Call (877) 933-1139 OWE BACK TAXES??? Call (877) 633-4457 DISCOUNTED DENTAL Call (888) 696-6814 CREDIT SCORE COACH Call (888) 317-6625 NONPROFIT DEBT HELP Call (888) 779-4272 A Public Benefit Org WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct - (256)490-4025,, www. AERMOTOR WATER PUMPING WINDMILLS – windmill parts – decorative windmills – custom built windmill towers - call Windpower (256)638-4399 or (256)638-2352 CUSTOM MACHINE QUILTING BY JOYCE – Bring me your quilt top or t-shirts. Several designs available – (256)735-1543 KEEP POND WATER CLEAN AND FISH HEALTHY with our aeration systems and pond supplies. Windmill Electric and Fountain Aerators. Windpower (256)638-4399, (256)899-3850

Business Opportunities PIANO TUNING PAYS – Learn with American Tuning School home-study course – (800)497-9793 START YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Mia Bella’s Gourmet Scented Products. Try the Best! Candles / Gifts / Beauty. Wonderful income potential! Enter Free Candle Drawing - www. EARN $75,000/YR PART-TIME in the livestock or equipment appraisal business. Agricultural background required. Classroom or home study courses available. (800)488-7570

Vacation Rentals GULF SHORES / FT MORGAN BEACH HOUSE - 3/3 . A short walk to the Gulf of Mexico - WINTER rental $9OO. OO A Month, plus half of utilities – Summer rental $850.00 a week, sleeps 6 adults – Call (251)540-7078. BEAUTIFUL CONDOS / GULF SHORES, GATLINBURG AND DAYTONA BEACH…See pictures and get details at or call Jennifer in Scottsboro at 256-599-4438. GULF SHORES PLANTATION - Gulf view, beach side, 2 bedrooms / 2

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baths, no smoking / no pets. Owner rates (205)339-3850 PIGEON FORGE, TN CABINS – Peaceful, convenient setting – (251)649-3344, (251)649-4049, www. ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226 PET FRIENDLY PIGEON FORGE CABINS - Affordable prices, great amenities - (865) 712-7633 GULF SHORES CONDO - 2BR/1BA Affordable Rates & Beachfront - Call (256-507-1901) or email brtlyn@ CABIN IN MENTONE – 2/2, brow view, hottub – For rent $100/night or Sale $199,000 – (706)767-0177 GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie12@centurytel. net, (256)599-5552 GREAT LAKE LIVING - 3BR/2BA, 2 satelite TV’s, deep water, covered dock - Pictures www.vacationsmithlake. com. $75 night - (256) 352-5721, PIGEON FORGE, TN: $89 - $125, 2BR/2BA, hot tub, air hockey, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)363-1973, www. KATHY’S ORANGE BEACH CONDO – 2BR/2BA, non-smoking. Best rates beachside! Family friendly – (205)253-4985, www.KathysCondo. GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE on BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585, GATLINBURG / PIGEON FORGE – 2 and 3 BEDROOM LUXURY CABINS – Secluded, home theatre room, hot tub, game room – www. - (251)363-8576 PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – Owner rental – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000,, www. GATLINBURG, TN – Fond memories start here in our chalet – Great vacation area for all seasons – Two queen beds, full kitchen, 1 bath, Jacuzzi, deck with grill – 3 Night Special - Call (866)316-3255, Look for us on FACEBOOK / billshideaway

ALABAMA RIVER LOTS / MONROE COUNTY, AL – Lease / Rent – (334)469-5604 HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – sleeps 2-6, 2.5 baths, fireplace, Jacuzzi, washer/dryer – (251)9482918, email PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath house for rent $75.00 a night – Call Bonnie at (256)338-1957 GULF SHORES / FT. MORGAN / NOT A CONDO! The original “Beach House” on Ft. Morgan peninsula – 2BR/1BA – Wi-Fi, pet friendly, nonsmoking – $895/wk, (256)418-2131, GULF SHORES - 3BR / 2BA ON BEACH – W/D, 4 queen beds, sleeps 8 - VRBO#354680 Gulf Shores East – (251)979-3604 AFFORDABLE BEACHSIDE VACATION CONDOS – Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL. Rent Direct from Christian Family Owners. Lowest Prices on the Beach – (251)752-2366, (205)5560368, (205)752-1231 PANAMA CITY BEACH: 1BR / 1BA CONDO on Thomas Drive - $500 week – (334)798-4249, orglancer33@ GULF SHORES CONDO - 4 miles from beach or outlet mall, 2BR / 2BA, pet friendly, http://www.vrbo. com/396334, (251)213-0688. GULF SHORES CONDO – 1BR/1BA, LG pool, beach access, $95/night, $50 cleaning fee, Call Bernie at (251)4045800, Email LOGCABIN VACATION – WEEKEND RENTAL – Hottubs, King Beds – Mentone and Guntersville – (256)6574335,, TWO GULF SHORES PLANTATION CONDOS – Excellent beach views – Owner rented (251)223-9248 GATLINBURG, TN CHALET - 3BR/3BA Baskins Creek – Pool, 10 minute walk downtown, Aquarium, National Park – (334)289-0304 FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE – 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)566-0892, mailady96@yahoo. com PENSACOLA BEACH CONDO – Gulf front – 7th floor balcony – 3BR / 2BA, sleeps 6, pool – (850)572-6295 or (850)968-2170 ORANGE BEACH, AL CONDO – Sleeps 4, gulf and river amenities – Great Rates – (228)369-4680

GULF SHORES BEACHSIDE CONDO available April thru December – 2BR / 2BA, WiFi, No smoking / No pets – Call Owner (256)287-0368, Cell (205)613-3446

GULF SHORES COTTAGE – Waterfront, 2 / 1, pet friendly – Rates and Calendar online, (251)223-6114

ALWAYS THE LOWEST PRICE $65.00 – Beautiful furnished mountain cabin near Dollywood, Sevierville, TN – (865)453-7715

MOUNTAIN CABIN, WEARS VALLEY NEAR PIGEON FORGE – All conveniences, 3 / 2 – Brochure available – (251)649-9818

GULF SHORES CONDO – 1BR, sleeps 4, Gulf-front – Owner (251)3424393,, Unit I104E

GULF SHORES PLANTATION CONDO: 2BR / 2BA, No Smoking / No Pets – $814 / week + $150 refundable deposit – email seelypartners@yahoo. com, (740)815-7768

GULF SHORES BEACH HOUSE – Nice 2 bedroom – Summer $995 week, Fall $800 week – (251)666-5476 MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 14 – www., (850)7665042, (850)661-0678.   GULF SHORES / GATLINBURG RENTAL– Great Rates! (256)490-4025 or, www. GULF SHORES – CRYSTAL TOWER CONDO - 2 bedroom/ 2 bath, Great Ocean View - #145108 - Call Owner (205)429-4886, FT. WALTON, FL CONDO – 1BR, sleeps 6 – Gulfside – Owner (251)3424393,, Unit 105A

Real Estate Sales/Rentals WE PURCHASE SELLER FINANCED NOTES, Trust Deeds, Contracts for Deed, Commercial / Business Notes and more, Nationwide! Call (256)6381930 or (256)601-8146 LAKE GUNTERSVILLE – APPROXIMATELY 3.25 ACRE LOT in CEDAR COVE SUBDIVISION – deeded enclosed boathouse w/ electric lift and remote control roll up door – on Mink Creek and Main River – $115,000.00 or OBO – (205)424-5543, (205)565-1545 FOR SALE BY OWNER – ORANGE BEACH CONDO ON OLE RIVER w/ deeded boatslip – 3BR / 3BA, fully furnished – Owner occupied, never rented – (256)353-6847 or (256)6546847 - $329K

412 +/- AC PRIME HUNTING LAND IN CONECUH COUNTY managed Stewardship Forest, good road system, house, barn, pond, 100+ AC merchantable timber (no contracts) - Inquiries to (334)319-2251 or

Education FREE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE – write to 23600 Alabama Highway 24, Trinity, AL, 35673

GULF SHORES CONDOS - 4.7 miles from beach, starting prices $54,900, click Colony Club – (251)948-8008

BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 6630 West Cactus B-107767, Glendale, Arizona 85304. http://

LAND FOR SALE IN CLARKE & WASHINGTON COUNTIES - 277 acres on dead lake with duck pond/power/ hardwood - WWW.SKIPPERINS.COM OR CALL JOE SKIPPER (251)769-8044

WWW.2HOMESCHOOL.ORG – Year round enrollment. Everybody homeschools. It is just a matter of what degree – (256)653-2593 or website

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

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

Critters CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. Tiny, registered, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet records and references. (256)796-2893 DIXIE K9 – NOW OFFERING HIGH PERFORMANCE GERMAN SHEPHERD PUPPIES FOR SALE to the general public. Healthy pups from great bloodlines.  Act now! Call Danny in Atmore for details: (251) 379-5755 ADORABLE AKC YORKY PUPPIES – excellent blood lines – (334)301-1120, (334)537-4242,

How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office): October 2012 – deadline – Aug. 25 November 2012 – deadline – Sept. 25 December 2012 – deadline – Oct. 25 -Ads are $1.65 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis -Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each -Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to hdutton@areapower. com or call (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing. -We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards Mail ad submission along with a check or money order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Classifieds. Alabama Living

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Southern Pine

Here’s your 2012 Southern Pine Annual Membership Meeting map Get the 411 on what’s happening and where For our members’ convenience, Southern Pine has created a map to show you where certain Annual Membership Meeting events will occur on Saturday, Sept. 1 at W. S. Neal High School in East Brewton. As usual, we will have local and professional gospel music in the Auditorium, as well as the business meeting. You’ll have access to the free health fair, pony rides, face painting, free food and prizes. We’ll have a baby-changing station set up, too. Just check the map on this page to locate the different events you are seeking. Have a great time and remember to register your attendance at the Annual Meeting!

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Our Sources Say

Your Worst Problem?

If you were to ask people what they think the greatest problem facing the world is today, you would get many different answers. If you asked a senior citizen about the future of Medicare, they might answer that health care is the greatest problem. Others might say our government’s debt level is worse. Someone from a third world, central African country would likely say that finding enough for their family to eat each day and using animal dung or wood fires to heat their huts and cook their food would be the greatest problem. Someone who attended the United Nations Environmental Summit in Rio de Janeiro might respond that our greatest problem is global warming caused by anthropogenic (man-made) carbon emissions. People’s views of problems always come from different perspectives. For instance, global warming is responsible for 27,000 deaths each year if we assume all deaths from floods, droughts, storms, heat waves and freezing were exclusively caused by global warming (which no one does). By comparison, lack of clean drinking water and sanitary disposal of waste kills almost three million people in third world countries each year.

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative 36  AUGUST 2012

Inhalation of smoke and pollution of dung and wood fires kills another two million people. Another million people die from outdoor air pollution caused by wood fires. In total, about six million people die each year from old-fashioned pollution – more than 200 times as many that die from the worst-case effects of global warming. Yet global warming gets 100 times more press and notoriety than other types of pollution. The Sierra Club promotes its “Beyond Coal” and “Beyond Natural Gas” campaigns to replace fossil fuel-fired electric generation with much more expensive wind and solar generation. The Obama Administration backed the Waxman-Markey Bill that would have reduced U.S. carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 to mitigate the effects of global warming. Other so-called experts warn that we have reached an environmental tipping point, and the world as we know it cannot survive if we don’t immediately curb our appetites for carbon-based energy. Celebrity opponents of carbon emissions and global warming offer a more frivolous approach. Al Gore advocates tree planting, properly inflating tires, riding bikes and car pooling as world-saving solutions. Sheryl Crow, one of my favorite singers, says we should limit ourselves to a single square of toilet paper. To be clear, if global warming is truly a problem, inflating tires, planting trees and using one square of toilet paper will not save us.

Why do so many adopt global warming as their issue instead of the health of third world countries? The U.N.’s “Sustainable Energy for All” purports to provide all people of the world access to energy but places most of its efforts on “green” technologies like solar power. Solar power is certainly better than no power at all, but it ends when the sun goes down. Why not consider fossil-fuel solutions to these pressing problems? The simple answer is that U.N. elites don’t consider fossil fuels to be an appropriate solution for third world problems because of global warming. Providing a weak, expensive form of power like solar power when a strong, affordable supply of fossil-fueled power is available is like telling those without bread to eat cake. Dr. John Christy, the Alabama State Climatologist, a climate scientist, former missionary in Kenya and global warming skeptic, has one of the better statements about the lack of energy, “Without affordable energy, life is brutal, hard and short.” Finally and more importantly, it is not as much fun to do something tangible for the poverty-stricken people in Kenya as protest for the welfare and health of future prosperous American generations. And doing something for people dying today is just hard work. Thank you for reading. I hope you have a great month. (Ideas for this article came from an article by Mr. Bjorn Lombard published recently in The Wall Street Journal.) A

Stephen Browning, a professional bass angler, lands a bass he caught near a grass bed while fishing with his son Beau. (PhotoS by John N. Felsher)

Continued from Page 16

Crow explains. “For spots, I recommend shaky heads or small crankbaits. A jig is another good spot bait. When the water runs through the dam, the upriver parts of the lake can be really good for spots.”

Lake Eufaula

Dating to 1962, Lake Eufaula garnered an early reputation as the “Bass Fishing Capital of the World.” Officially dubbed Walter F. George Reservoir, the impoundment covers 45,181 acres along the Chattahoochee River and straddles part of the Alabama-Georgia border. Over the years, Lake Eufaula produced many double-digit largemouth. It still produces occasional double-digit fish, including at least one 12-pounder in 2009. Generally, spots comprise about 25 to 30 percent of any bass catch. In late winter or early spring, fish hang on the creek channel edges. In the sumAlabama Living

mer and fall, many anglers fish matted vegetation. Later in the summer, target deep creek channels, humps and ledges with Carolina rigs or deep-running crankbaits. In the fall, throw topwaters, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. “During the spring, the lily pads hold a lot of fish,” says Sam Williams of Hawks Fishing Guide Service (334687-6266/ “Fall is one of the best times to fish Lake Eufaula. When the shad are up, the bass are up. Find baitfish and you’ll find bass.” Many anglers fish Cowikee Creek near Lakepoint State Park Resort (334687-8011/ Not far from where Cowikee Creek enters the main channel, the Bird Island area can hold big bass. Some other better creeks include Reeves Branch, White Oak Creek, Sandy Branch, Pataula, Hardridge, Thomas Mill, Barbour, Chewalla and Chenyhatchee creeks.

Since the lake straddles the AlabamaGeorgia line, anglers can fish in the main waters with a license from either state. For Eufaula area information, call the Eufaula Barbour Chamber of Commerce at 800524-7529, or see www.eufaulachamber. com. For more information on these lakes and others on the Alabama Bass Trail, see A AUGUST 2012  37

Alabama Snapshots






My dog




Submit Your Images! october Theme: We had so many great photos of

pooches come in that we felt compelled to run additional images, so October’s theme is “My dog II.” Send color photos with a large self addressed stamped envelope 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 for october: August 31

1. “Roscoe” and “Buddy” admire squirrels submitted by Fred and Sandra Braswell, Wetumpka 2. Shelby Handley and her pal “Gravy” submitted by Chris and Angie Handley, Clanton 3. Army Specialist Joseph Edward and his bulldog “Georgia” submitted by Donna Richards, Gaylesville

4. “I got it!” “Norma Jean” in action submitted by Wesley McCravy, Vinemont 5. “Ruby” and “Pop” take a nap submitted by Suzanne Palicki, Mesick 6. Madison and “Taco” submitted by Jean Thompson, Greenville 7. “Winston” submitted by Katie Brown, Arab 8. “Bo” submit ted by Barry and Nancy Kimbrough, Mount Hope


AREA’s 7 Quilt Competition th

The theme for this quilt is ‘Spotlight on Alabama’s Official State Symbols’

Judges for the sixth quilt competition

What is it?

• A competition for all cooperative handworkers to make squares for the 7th AREA cooperative quilt • We would like to represent as many cooperatives as possible. • Winners will be given statewide recognition and have their square included in the quilt. PARTICIPATION IS FREE! For information and guidelines, please complete the form below and mail or fax it to: Linda Partin Alabama Rural Electric Association P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 Fax: 334-215-2733 or e-mail: or visit the link at

I would like to participate in AREA’s 7th Quilt Competition. Please send guidelines and information to: Name ________________________________________ Address ______________________________________ City __________________________________________ State _________ Zip ___________________________ Phone ________________________________________ E-mail ________________________________________ Cooperative ___________________________________ (Listed on cover of magazine)

Alabama Living SPEC August 2012  

Alabama Living SPEC August 2012