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Tombigbee EC - We’re here for you, our members August 2012

Tombigbee Electric Cooperative

Youth Tour 2012 Was a Success

Jacob Davis, TEC’s 2012 Washington Youth Tour delegate. Read about his trip on page 5.

TEC Weather News? There’s an app for that!

Tombigbee launches a new smart phone application to keep members informed. Free to all members through October! Read more on page 8.

Annual Meeting

You can still vote, in person, on August 11th at the TEC office in Guin! Read more on page 4. WWW.TOMBIGBEE.ORG

www.tombigbee.net

Tombigbee, the river, the history

Read about the origin of the name, Tombigbee. Read how on pages 6-7.

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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

of

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®

Manager

Steve Foshee Co-Op Editor

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

Vol. 65 No.8 August 2012

Lıvıng

8 TEC’s iMap App Keep up with local weather and TEC

power updates directly on your phone. Now until October 31st we are offering a promotional give-away to our members for the download of a free weather application for select smart devices. Get yours today!

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: advertising@areapower.com www.areapower.coop

12 Ol’ Hank Hung the Moon

ON THE COVER Jacob Davis stands in front of the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C. as he attends the 2012 Washington Youth Tour. PAGE 5

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.

PHOTO BY MIKE TEMPLE - AREA

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 ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:

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

departments

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

Alabama Living

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August 2012  3

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Tombigbee Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees Jim McRae Chair

David Collins Vice-Chair

Curt Morris

Secretary Treasurer

Terry Gosa Dennis Harbor William T. Hulsey Chad Williams Sheila Gunter Warren Williford

Visit our website www.tombigbee.org

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

Manager’s Comments

Annual Meeting and Outages Steve Foshee Manager of Tombigbee EC

I would like to talk about two things in this article; first is our annual meeting. You probably noticed some changes this year, the biggest of which was the ballot and voting materials were in the July magazine. By doing this your cooperative saved about $10,000 dollars in postage, printing and handling costs! Someone once said that by saving $10,000 here and there, pretty soon you are talking about real dollars. Saving real dollars is exactly what we are trying to do. It takes millions to run your utility each year and if we cut operation costs that is just one more dollar we do not have to charge you. So far, even though costs in all areas have gone up significantly, we have not raised rates in four years. We do this by looking for many ways to save money, and conducting the annual meeting in this way is a step in the right direction. As your ballot was in the magazine this year, we feared that many of you, not being used to it, might not participate. Your annual meeting is very important. Participation is your right and also your responsibility. I hope you were able to participate. If you did not mail in your ballot you can still vote in person at our office on August 11th. Registration is at 8:00 a.m. with the business session beginning at 8:30 a.m. If the mail-in ballot was little confusing we apologize and ask that you anticipate your ballots being in the July issue of Alabama Living for next year. The second area I want to discuss this month has to do with outages. Electricity is a mysterious thing for most of us. We use it every day but may not fully understand how it works. One very good question many members ask is “How do you get the lights back on after a storm?” While somewhat difficult to explain, there is a real science behind it. It is important to know that we do not restore power based on who you are. That would not be ethical nor would it help

resolve an outage problem. Our goal is to get every member’s lights back on as soon as possible with the resources we have available. It might surprise you to know that we have over 2,000 miles of line to look after -- that’s enough to go from here to California and start back! Additionally, lines run in a wide range of directions. They go through woods, swamps, down roads and just about everywhere. It’s a big job. After a storm we conduct assessments. These tell us what lines are out. We start at the substations and work our way to the very end of the line. Sometimes a line going to a substation is out. A few months ago someone cutting his pasture on a tractor hit the guy-wire (a stabilization brace). That incident downed the transmission pole and caused 2,500 homes to be out of power. From the substation we concentrate our energy on getting “feeder” lines repaired, as these lines carry power to a community or area. We then work our way down the lines. Many people tell me they did not see a truck but their lights went off for a while then came back on. The reason they did not see the truck is because the problem was several miles away. In the next issue we will have an article that includes pictures and details of why outages occur -- and what exactly we do about it. We will also show you some of the latest technology that is available and how it is used right here at Tombigbee. We will also discuss our phone system, why you may sometimes hear a busy signal and what we are working on to help while, at same time, keeping it affordable. In conclusion, a lot of fine TEC employees work very hard to keep your lights on all the time. But, when they go out, we are here to correct the problem as quickly as possible. A sfoshee@tombigbee.org

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Tombigbee News

Washington Youth Tour 2012 was a Success Article by Brenda Overton IT Manager and Member Services

In April of this year, Jacob Davis, an upcoming senior at Hamilton High School, was selected as a delegate to attend the Washington Youth Tour. There were approximately 50 other students from Alabama that joined students from all over the United States for a weeklong trip to our nation’s capital. On Friday, June 15, Jacob began his week-long adventure by joining the other Alabama delegates in Birmingham for a kickoff dinner at the CheeseCake Factory. The real fun began at 5AM on Saturday morning when everyone arrived at the BirminghamShuttlesworth International Airport. After a lot of stress and unpacking and sending things back with sponsors, all the bags were packed and weighed in under 50 pounds and everyone was off to Baltimore. The first stop on the journey was a tour of Camden Yards which Alabama Living

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is the official site of the Baltimore Orioles. Next, came tours of the WWII Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and the Korean War Memorial. After this long day of travel and touring, it was time to relax with a pizza party and seeing the play, Shear Madness, at the Kennedy Center. Day two included a tour of Mt. Vernon, JFK, RFK, and Arlington House. Then onto the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where three of the AREA students were allowed to participate in the Wreath Laying Ceremony. The day ended with a dinner boat cruise on the Potomac which included a night of fun and dancing. Day three began with a tour of the National Cathedral and the National Archives. Then it was off to take a group photo in front of the White House. The students enjoyed a little bit of free time at the Pentagon City Mall before they toured the Jefferson, Iwo Jima, FDR, and the MLK Memorials.

Jacob Davis

PHOTO BY MIKE TEMPLE - AREA

Day four started with breakfast at Hard Rock Café and then it was off for pictures on the Capitol steps and congressional visits. After a tour of the Capitol, they toured the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and then enjoyed dinner at Union Station. After dinner, the students watched the Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Day five began with a tour of the Air and Space Museum at Dulles and then it was off to tour the Holocaust and Smithsonian Museums. With this being the last night of the Washington Youth Tour, the students were given an All States Farewell Event where they could visit with and say goodbye to all of the new friends they met while in DC. Tombigbee Electric would like to thank Jacob for being such a great representative for our cooperative and we look Alabama Youth Tour’s forward to the selection of stuWreath at the Tomb of dents for next year’s Youth Tour the Unknown Soldier. Events! A PHOTO BY MIKE TEMPLE - AREA

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Have you ever wondered about the name?

Article by Kay Marshall

If you have ever wondered about of the origin of your cooperative’s name, and the origin of the word Tombigbee, then you may find this article interesting. To learn more about it we must first take a short look back at the history of the Tombigbee River itself by revisiting a few bits of historical facts. As you may recall from school day geographical studies, Spain, in the 1500’s, sent out explorers to charter new territories and lay claim to lands and riches. Spain did not seriously explore Alabama until Governor Hernando de Soto led an expedition there in 1540. This trek ultimately ended in his death and the disposal of his body in the mighty Mississippi. Alabama, in 1540, was a land that was heavily occupied by several nations of Indian tribes. The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Chocktaw, and Creek Indians were not happy with the Spanish intrusions into their lands and, under the direction of the great Chief Tuskaloosa, the Choctaws fought De Soto and his men and struggled to retain the lands and the rivers around the Black Warrior. A 6  AUGUST 2012

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great many of our local areas and waterways take their names from our Indian heritage. For example, the city of Tuscaloosa is named after Choctaw Chief Tuskaloosa; the Black Warrior river also got its name from the Creeks and Choctaws “Tushka” means warrior and “lusa” means black. Our namesake river, Tombigbee, begins in northeastern Mississippi and flows south by southeast into western Alabama where it then joins the Alabama River to Mobile. The name, Tombigbee, is derived from the Choctaw word“itumbi-bikbi”. According to Cyrus Byington’s Choctaw Dictionary, it means coffin maker or box maker. Tombigbee is a French, then English corruption of a Choctaw word. In 1736 French explorers came up with what we now call the Tombigbee River from Mobile. They built a fort by a creek known by the Choctaw as Itombi Ikbe Bok, or Coffin Maker’s Creek, which flowed into the river. The French named their establishment Fort Tombeckebe and, in time people in the area called the river, Tombeckbee. It later came to be spelled Tombigbee by English traders and trappers who also came into those lands.

Creek- flowing eastward from the location of the Chickasaw Old Towns - now know as Tupelo. At the confluence of those two streams is born the river variously known as the Los Angeles, Mobile, River of the Chickasaws, Etomba Igaley, Tombeckbee, and lastly, the Tombigbee. It is an impressive body of water stretching almost 600 miles from source to outlet and served by such interesting subjects as Matubba, Buttahatchie, Luxapalila, Oktibbeha, Noxubee,the Black Warrior, and others. Not far above the Gulf, the Tombigbee joins the Alabama to form the Mobile and then proceeds on a majestic scale. The entire river system is one of the largest in America. The Chickasaws and Choctaws were the earliest known settlers along the Tombigbee. They passed interested glances when De Soto journeyed through the area and were even more preoccupied when in 1736 the French attempted to gain control of the region by building a fortress near what was later known as Cotton Gin Port. The Indians lived in virtual

In his book, “Steamboats On The Upper Tombigbee”, highly recognized historian, John Ed Rodabough, wrote “The small streams descending from the hills of Tishomingo and Itawamba counties in Mississippi eventually join to form what was once known as the Itawamba River. The narrow, torturous channel of the Itawamba meanders southwestward until joining the waters -near Old Town www.alabamaliving.coop

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TEC Community

The words to the music are as follows in case you would care to sing along.

isolation and the river knew only their canoes until near the end of the 18th century. Then came the English, Scottish and Irish in the form of trappers, traders and that magic breed of men known as “alligator horses’. Working from such trading centers as the Hurricane (as early as 1791) and Cotton Gin Port (from about 1801), they carved out the beginnings of a river empire. They laid the groundwork for the migrating communities of the region who would eventually form Cotton Gin Port, Columbus and Hamilton, Mississippi, which were the earliest true towns of the area. These pioneers would be the ancestors of a score of other towns that eventually sprang up. All of these towns, grouped along the headwaters of the Tombigbee, share a common heritage and were more closely tied then than they are today.” From the writings and research of scholars such as Rodabough, we see that the history of our river, the Tombigbee, is far ranging and filled with tales of Indians and explorers, of conquests and defeats and the love of this river by the people it affects. Songs and poems have also been

Alabama Living

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“On Tombigbee river so bright I was born, In a hut made ob husks od de tall yaller corn, An’ dar I fust meet wid my Jula so true, An I row’d her about in my Gum Tree Canoe. Singing row away, row, O’re de waters so blue, Like a feather we’ll float, In my Gum Tree Canoe. written about Tombigbee by greats, such as Walt Whitman. The following is from Whitman’s poem - circa 1900 - entitled “Leaves of Grass” Longings for Home, Dear to me the Roanoke, the Savannah, the Altamahaw, the Pedee, the Tombigbee, the Santee, the Coosa and the Sabine, O’pensive, far away wandering, I return with my soul to haunt their banks again. The most prominent reference on the River was in the form of a song called “The Gum Tree Canoe” or Tom-Big-Bee River. The words are by Silas Sexton Steele with music by Anthony F. Winnemore - circa 1847. You can listen to this song online at: www. mudcat.org/midi/midifiles/tombigbee.mid

All de day in de field de soft cotton I hoe, I tink ob my Jula an’ sing as I go, Oh I catch her a bird, wid a wing ob true blue, An at night sail her round in my Gum Tree Canoe. Wid my hands on de banjo and toe on de oar, I sing to de sound ob de river’s soft roar; While de stars dey look down at my Jula so true, And dance in her eye in my Gum Tree Canoe. One night de stream bore us so far away, Dat we couldn’t come back, so we thought we’d jis stay; Oh we spied a tall ship wid a flag true blue, An it took us in tow wid my Gum Tree Canoe.” A [Source: New edition published by S. Brainard’s Sons in 1885; originally published in 1847 by Henry Tolman & Co.]

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Member Services

Power updates through new TEC iMaps application You’ve probably heard the commercials that tout the phrase, ‘There’s an app for that!’ Well, at TEC we are happy to announce that we will offer

members the ability to download the IMap Weather Radio App, customized specifically for Tombigbee Cooperative, from the ITunes Store for free. What will the TEC iMap app do? l TEC iMap users will receive notifications directly from your Tombigbee Cooperative. Notification types include outages as well as important events or news happening within our cooperative. This smart device application will have the ability to send alerts to members that include, but are not limited to, outage reports. If there is bad weather, they will get warning alarms. These alerts and warning alarms will be available to TEC members regardless of where they are so you can keep up with weather news from your home even if you are on vacation. 8  AUGUST 2012

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l TEC iMap users can chose to define up to five locations to receive alerts on. These locations can be pinpointed to specific zip codes and addresses. Based on how much device battery time a user is willing to give, the range of the defined locations that users set up within the app can get as close as 30 feet of the actual location within the general area. l TEC iMap users can get the current radar reports from the area’s they have defined. l TEC iMap users can receive news feeds from area TV channels such as ABC, CBS and NBC networks. Normally this popular iTunes download is $9.99 but, through October 31st, you will be offered cards with redemption codes that will allow you to download this fantastic new resource for free. Redemption code cards are available at the office or at Southnet. Members may also opt to e-mail IT and Member Services man-

ager, Brenda Overton, at info@ tombigbee.com and include their account number, name, and mailing address and a card will be mailed directly to your home. At this time the TEC iMap Weather Radio application and redemption cards are available for Apple device users only. Please note that our developers hope to have it available for the Droid smart device system very soon. We feel this new technology will greatly benefit our members and help us stay in direct communication with you during weather alert situations. Members can still follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates as well. Remember -- this promotion expires on October 31, 2012. After October the app will no longer be available to be downloaded for free. A

www.alabamaliving.coop

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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 www.eutawchamber.com.

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…

PHOTOS BY W.H. “CHIP” GROSS

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 (www.fws.gov/bonsecour) 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.

www.alabamaliving.coop


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@ areapower.com. In between magazines, be sure to keep up with what’s happening at Alabama Living on our web page atalabamaliving.coop, and the AREA website atareapower.coop. 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

S

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

PHOTOS COURTESY ALABAMA DEPT. OF ARCHIVES

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 www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

AUGUST 2012  13


PHOTOS COURTESY ALABAMA DEPT. OF ARCHIVES

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.

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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 www.alabamabasstrail.org.

By John N. Felsher

F

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- jspotfishing.com.) “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, northalabamabass.com), 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

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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.

B

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 www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

AUGUST 2012  19


Circling Cycling

and

Mobile Bay

the

By Cindy Ross

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

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A

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 www.JohnNFelsher.com. 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. JohnNFelsher.com.

22  AUGUST 2012

Summertime ideal for frogging By John N. Felsher

O

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 www.alabamaliving.coop


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

SEP.

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

A

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 csmith@acesag.auburn.edu

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.

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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

Burkville

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

By Jennifer Kornegay

F

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. www.alabamaliving.coop


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 dothanshow@yahoo.com www.dothanshow.com

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 kellydean@townofpriceville.com. 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 www.fortmims.org 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@ areapower.coop. (Subject Line: Around Alabama) or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. 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.

August 25

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: mjhamp5@aol.com. 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. www.freewebs.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 www.fyffecitylimits.com for the application. Contact Brandi Clayton at Fyffe Town Hall at 256-6237298 or e-mail fyffetownclerk@ farmerstel.com.

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 topofthehill@otelco.net www.arabcity.org/historiccomplex.htm

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 theviv@bellsouth.net.

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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 – thebiblesaystruth@yahoo.com, (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 www.pews1.com PUT YOUR OLD HOME MOVIES, SLIDES OR PHOTOS on DVD – (888)6099778 or www.transferguy.com 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, www.sawmillexchange.com 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:  Andrbdw@aol.com 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, beloyd@bellsouth.net 18X21 CARPORT $695 INSTALLED – (706)383-8554 INTERIOR WOODS: CYPRESS, CEDAR, HEART PINE, POPLAR, ASH www.howardcustomlumber.net (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 careconnectusa.org A Public Benefit Org WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct - (256)490-4025, www.andyswallbeds.com, www. alabamamattressoutlet.com 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. naturesbest.scent-team.com 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 www.funcondos.com or call Jennifer in Scottsboro at 256-599-4438. GULF SHORES PLANTATION - Gulf view, beach side, 2 bedrooms / 2

30  AUGUST 2012

baths, no smoking / no pets. Owner rates (205)339-3850 PIGEON FORGE, TN CABINS – Peaceful, convenient setting – (251)649-3344, (251)649-4049, www. hideawayprop.com ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226 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@ yahoo.com 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, annawisener@yahoo.com PIGEON FORGE, TN: $89 - $125, 2BR/2BA, hot tub, air hockey, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)363-1973, www. mylittlebitofheaven.com KATHY’S ORANGE BEACH CONDO – 2BR/2BA, non-smoking. Best rates beachside! Family friendly – (205)253-4985, www.KathysCondo. eu.pn GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE on BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585, hhideaway401@aol.com GATLINBURG / PIGEON FORGE – 2 and 3 BEDROOM LUXURY CABINS – Secluded, home theatre room, hot tub, game room – www. wardvacationproperties.com - (251)363-8576 PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – Owner rental – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000, jamesrny@graceba.net, www. theroneycondo.com 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 jmccracken@gulftel.com 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, www.originalbeachhouseal.com 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@ yahoo.com 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 berniebandy@gmail.com LOGCABIN VACATION – WEEKEND RENTAL – Hottubs, King Beds – Mentone and Guntersville – (256)6574335, www.mentonelogcabins.com, www.vrbo.com/404770 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

www.alabamaliving.coop


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 http://www.vrbo.com/152418, (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, www.brett-robinson.com, 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. duskdowningheights.com, (850)7665042, (850)661-0678.   GULF SHORES / GATLINBURG RENTAL– Great Rates! (256)490-4025 or www.gulfshoresrentals.us, www. gatlinburgrental.us GULF SHORES – CRYSTAL TOWER CONDO - 2 bedroom/ 2 bath, Great Ocean View - www.vrbo.com #145108 - Call Owner (205)429-4886, crystaltower607@gmail.com FT. WALTON, FL CONDO – 1BR, sleeps 6 – Gulfside – Owner (251)3424393, www.seaspraycondos.com, 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 bobnorman67@gmail.com

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 www.PeteOnTheBeach.com, 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:// www.ordination.org

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, bnorman@mon-cre.net

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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Market Place

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Alabama Living

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Energy Tips

Lightening safety tips Many of us simply do not take lightening seriously but it’s time we gave it some thought. Even if you can not see clouds, lightening can strike up to ten miles from the area in which it is raining. This means that if you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance. According to the National Weather Service, in 2011 alone there was 922,217 incidents of cloud to ground lightening strikes in our state. NOAA has reports which shows that six people have been killed by lightening in Alabama over the past decade and our state ranks 6th in the nation for lightening deaths by population. While it may seem like a one in a million chance, it is not a chance worth taking. Due to these statistics, and others across the US, the National Weather Service adopted the use of “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!” as their official motto. It is their hope (and ours) that this may help remind people of the dangers of lightening.

How to Stay Safe if Caught in a Storm l Try to take shelter in a vehicle with a solid metal roof. Close the windows and avoid contact with electrical conducting paths, such as the steering wheel, ignition, gear shifter, or radio. l Avoid water, high ground, or open spaces. l Do not seek shelter under tall solitary trees, canopies, small picnic or rain shelters, or in any open-frame vehicles such as jeeps, convertibles, golf carts, tractors or mowers. l Do not stand near power lines or flag poles, machinery, fences, gates, metal bleachers, or even other people. If you are in a group, spread out so that you are at least twenty feet apart. l If your skin tingles or your hair stands on end, lightening may be about to strike. Squat down low

to the ground with your head between your knees making yourself the smallest target possible. l Use the “bang to flash” method to stay safe during a storm. When you see a flash of lightening, count until you hear thunder. If you count to less than 30 you are in danger of being struck by lightening. l If a person is struck by lightening, call 9-1-1 and care for the victim immediately. You are not in danger of being electrocuted by the victim. Remember that there are several tips that you can use to stay protected from a lightening strike. The best policy is to plan ahead so you do not get caught outside in a storm. After a storm, wait until thirty minutes has passed without lightening or thunder until you return outside. For more information on outdoor electrical safety, visit www.safeelectricity.org. A

Here are some other helpful tips on lightening safety. Please consider adopting them as your own, and teach them to those that you love. 34  AUGUST 2012

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Energy Store

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

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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/www.hawksfishingguideservice.com). “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/www.alapark.com/LakePointResort). 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 www.alabamabasstrail.org. A AUGUST 2012  37


Alabama Snapshots

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My dog

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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


CALLING ALL QUILTERS

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: lpartin@areapower.com or visit the link at www.areapower.coop

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 TEC August 2012  

Alabama Living TEC August 2012

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