Join Us at the Summer Fund and Food Drive JUNe 2013
Follow the trail www.dixie.coop
Stateâ€™s chief history buff Mail Balloting Coming soon to a mailbox near you
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Vol. 66 No.6 June 2013
Gary Harrison Co-Op Editor
Terri Faulkner Alabama Living is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. AREA cooperative member subscriptions are $3 a year; non-member subscriptions, $6. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014.
Alabama Rural Electric Association
AREA President Fred Braswell Editor Lenore Vickrey Managing Editor Melissa Henninger Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Michael Cornelison Advertising Director Adam Freeman 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: email@example.com www.areapower.coop 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
6 Summer of Hunger Hunger impacts thousands in our area. The Montgomery Area Food Bank provides food assistance to those in need. Learn more about how you can help.
12 Follow the trail
Thirteen active wineries are flourishing in our state, thanks to Alabama’s diverse terrain and the dedication of some hardworking vintners.
ON THE COVER: Luscious Blaufrankisch grapes are ready for picking at Jules J. Berta Winery in Albertville.
18 History man
Alabama’s new director of the Department of Archives and History wants to whet the appetites of Alabamians for their history through technology and more exhibits.
Spotlight 10 Power Pack 15 Worth the Drive 20 Alabama Gardens 22 Alabama Outdoors 23 Fish&Game Forecast 26 Cook of the Month 32 Safe @ Home 38 Alabama Snapshots 9
Printed in America from American materials
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BOARD OF TRUSTEES Irvin Wells President • District 4 John Livings Vice President • District 6 Tom James Secretary/Treasurer • District 2 R.E. Adams District 5 Andrew Callaway District 7 Aaron Ellis District 9 Parker Gray Mount District 1 Albert Perry District 8 James Sikes District 3
TELEPHONE Montgomery 334.288.1163 Union Springs 334.738.2500 Toll-Free 1.888.349.4332 24- Hour Outage Reporting 24-Hour Automated Account Information 1.866.285.2359 PAYMENT OPTIONS By Mail: Post Office Box 30 Union Springs, AL 36089 In Person: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday 9100 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36117 402 East Blackmon Union Springs, AL 36089 Night Deposit: Available at both offices Credit Card: Visa and MasterCard accepted in office, online and through automated phone system Online: www.dixie.coop
Proposed Bylaw Change Allows for Greater Member Involvement R. Gary Harrison CEO/General Manager
Over the past few months, I have shared with you regarding the efforts of our board of trustees to get you, our member-owners, more involved in the cooperative’s democratic process. Their plan of action includes allowing our member-owners to vote on cooperative issues by mail. While the plan sounds great, there is a process that must take place before mail balloting can be implemented. This process involves the amendment of our current bylaws. Your Board Secretary/Treasurer Tom James explains, “Bylaws are the rules by which we run the cooperative, and our bylaws have become somewhat antiquated and are in need of updating. Since the bylaws we are currently using were adopted, there have been huge changes in how we live and how we are able to run the cooperative. In order to better fulfill our cooperative goals of helping all of our member-owners to have a better life, in addition to providing reliable, affordable electricity, we need to modernize and streamline our bylaws. However, in order to strengthen the bylaws for the benefit of our member-owners, we must first amend them.” This is where you, our member-owners, come in. Any amendment to the bylaws must be voted on and approved by the memberowners. At the end of July 2013, you will be receiving a packet that contains a brochure outlining proposed changes to the coop-
erative’s bylaws to allow mail balloting, as well as a ballot for you to mark indicating whether you are for or against allowing our member-owners to vote on cooperative issues by mail. The July issue of Alabama Living will contain samples of the ballot and packet so you will know what to be watching for in your mailbox. We encourage everyone to take the time to review the packet when it is received, and most importantly vote. In order for your vote to count, a minimum of approximately 900-1,000 votes must be received to constitute a quorum. While this may seem like a low number to some, it can only be achieved if our member-owners are willing to take action. Ultimately, we would love to see all of our memberowners involved in this important decision making process. As an added incentive to encourage your participation, every member-owner who votes will receive a $5 credit on his or her October electric bill. As I have mentioned before, your board of trustees is excited to be able to offer this opportunity for your voice to be heard. Participation in the democratic process is just one more way your cooperative is looking out for you.A
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Customer Service at Your Fingertips We realize that our member-owners want convenient options to make payments and view information regarding their Dixie Electric Cooperative account. That is why we are always looking for ways to improve the technology available to you. If you have not been to our website recently, you may want to check it out at www.dixie.coop. The website provides valuable information regarding the programs and services available to you as a member-owner of Dixie. And, if you click the pay bill button on the left side of the screen, you can access our customer service portal shown in the image below. While we have offered online bill access for many years, we have recently launched this new portal that offers a more userfriendly look and feel as you navigate to find information regarding your account. Through the portal you can make payments, update your account information, apply for additional services, disconnect service, view your payment history, and view your usage history. You can also sign up for e-notifications, such as e-bill, or sign up for levelized billing. In our efforts to provide you with the best possible service, it is also necessary for us to periodically perform maintenance and upgrades to our billing system, including our customer service portal. During those time periods, you may temporarily be unable to access the portal. If it is necessary for us to take down the system, we make every effort to provide notifications on the home page of our website, and we try to minimize the amount of time the system is down. On June 22, we will be performing an upgrade to the system, and the portal will be down for several hours. During that time, we will be changing the URL to reach the customer service portal. So, if you currently have the portal bookmarked, you will need to go through our home page at www.dixie.coop to access the portal after the upgrade and bookmark the new URL. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but want to assure you that we are working to provide you with the best technology possible. At Dixie, we are always looking out for you.
Our offices will be closed Wednesday, July 4 for Independence Day For account access 24/7, visit us online at www.dixie.coop and select the pay bill button to reach our customer service portal. Also watch the website or check out your June bill insert for news about our new mobile apps.
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Summer of Hunger As school is ending and families are planning their summer vacations to amusement parks and beaches, summer vacation means something very different, and less than sunny, to many kids in our area. “Students living in poverty depend on school-supported breakfasts and lunches,” says Jaime Robards, development and marketing coordinator for the Montgomery Area Food Bank. She continues, “In fact, over half of Alabama’s students receive free or discounted breakfasts and lunches every day.” Many of the students receiving free or discounted meals go home and are unable to eat again until the next school day. Robards says, “The dark cloud on the horizon for these children is that without these meals, there’s no guarantee that they will eat — much less have access to nutritionally sound food.” Childhood hunger is not simply an issue of an empty stomach today. According to a report commissioned by Feeding America and the ConAgra Foods Foundation, childhood hunger can have a dramatic impact on a child’s long-term success. Some of the key findings of the Child Food Insecurity report indicated that: • Under-nutrition during formative years can actually change the fundamental neurological architecture of the brain and central nervous system; • Hungry children do not perform as well in school and have lower academic achievement because, among other issues, they are less able to concentrate; • Hungry children develop more social and behavioral problems because they have less energy and are less able to adapt to stresses; • Finally, as adults, workers who experienced hunger as children are not as well prepared to perform effectively in the contemporary workforce. “It is fair to say that because childhood hunger actually holds kids back, in adulthood it perpetuates poverty, affecting families for generations,” says Robards, adding, “The best way to fight this cycle is through the involvement of the community.” A 2011 USDA report on household food security in the United States indicated that Alabama was one of the top seven states in regards to food insecurity. The report showed that 18.2 percent of the households in Alabama experience food insecurity, with 7.1 percent indicating very low food security. According to the USDA, the difference between low and very low food security is based on the degree in which a household must make changes to eating patterns and food intake. Households classified as having low food security have reported multiple instances of food access problems, but do not report many instances of reduced food intake. Those classified as having very low food security reported lack of access to food, reduced food intake, and disrupted eating patterns. In those instances, family members reported going hungry at times during the year because there was not enough money for food. Although some of those receiving food assistance are unable to work, a large portion of those needing assistance are categorized as the working poor. A report from The Working Poor Project showed that in 2011, approximately 37 percent of working families in Alabama lived below 200 percent of the poverty level. This group is highly vulnerable to unemployment, illness and other unexpected events that can create critical personal and financial hardships. “We are constantly seeing an increase in the number of families needing assistance. On average each year, we provide over 18 million pounds of food to over 800 agencies in 35 counties, which is why donations of money and food are crucial to our operation,” says Robards. “Without support from the community, we would never be able to provide the amount of assistance we offer.”
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What can you do to help?
The Montgomery Area Food Bank can always use volunteers to help in their warehouse repacking nutritious food for distribution. You can also participate in, or host, a food drive. If you, or someone you know, is in need of food assistance, contact 211 Connects. They are a local resource for agencies and organizations in our area. You can reach their office by simply dialing 2-1-1, or they can also be reached by calling 334264-4636.
To learn more about the MAFB, visit their website at www.montgomeryareafoodbank.org
Summer Fund and Food Drive June 28, 2013 Hunger is a year-round problem in Alabama. That is why your cooperative is working hard to do our part to help fight hunger. Join us for the Summer Fund and Food Drive sponsored by WSFA and Dixie Electric Cooperative. We will be at the Chantilly Walmart in Montgomery from 5 a.m. until 7 p.m. collecting monetary donations and food items. If you can’t make it to the drive, donations can also be made through the food drive link on our website at www.dixie.coop. This link will take you to the Montgomery Area Food Bank’s secure online donation center. Some of the items needed most include: • Monetary donations — For every $1 donated the MAFB can provide 6 pounds of food product • Canned meats/proteins such as dried beans, tuna, salmon, ravioli, spaghetti with meatballs • Boxed goods such as dry milk, instant potatoes, pastas, high-fiber cereals • Canned vegetables, such as green beans, peas, okra, limas, asparagus, carrots, broccoli, mixed vegetables, corn • Canned fruits such as peaches, pears, fruit cocktail, applesauce, apricots, plums, prunes, pineapple chunks (low sugar items) Whether your donation is large or small, you can make a difference to a local family. Together we can help eliminate hunger in Alabama.
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EE 4 Y Energy Efficiency For Your Home
Co-op Energy Efficiency Program Loans and Rebates Help Fund Energy Efficiency Improvements Dixie Electric Cooperative is pleased to introduce the Co-op Energy Efficiency Program. The program consists of both a loan and rebate program to help our memberowners manage the cost of installing energyefficient improvements in their homes. While there is value in practicing no-cost and low-cost measures, the more extensive energy efficiency improvements obviously make a bigger impact on your power bill. The process begins with a FREE energy audit by our member services representative, Amy Calhoun, to target efficiency opportunities and decide what upgrades you need to make. Along with the recommendations, she will outline the program options that best fit your needs. Itâ€™s that simple. The Co-op Energy Efficiency REBATE Program offers rebates for the installation of high-efficiency air-source, dual-fuel or geothermal heat pumps. The Co-op Energy Efficiency LOAN Program is designed to help our members improve the energy efficiency and comfort of their homes. We have two low-interest loan options to finance energy-efficient home improvements. One loan option is financed directly through the cooperative, with payments being added to your monthly power bill. The second loan option is financed through an agreement with Regions Bank, and you will make payments directly to Regions Bank. In both instances, financing is dependent upon credit approval. Contact us today to make the first step toward whole-house energy efficiency.
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Environmental center connects kids, nature
The McDowell Environmental Center and Alabama Sierra Club are offering a workshop, “Growing Roots: Connecting Educators and their Children to Nature” June 17-19 at Camp McDowell near the Bankhead National Forest. Thanks to the sponsorship of Alabama Sierra Club, the total cost The Growing Roots workshops will include swims of the workshop in Clear Creek. is only $50 per family and includes two nights lodging and meals. The workshop will allow a limited number of educators to bring their own child or grandchild for hikes to sandstone canyons for geology lessons and fossil digs at the Minkin
Paleozoic Trackway. Participants will combine nature and art through mosaics. Trips to wade and swim in Clear Creek will include lessons on the invertebrates and fish that live in our local Alabama waters. Go to www.cmec.dioala.org/ to download a registration form. For more information or to register for the workshop, e-mail Maggie Wade Johnston, Director of McDowell Environmental Center, at maggie@ campmcdowell.com, or call 205-387-1806. JUNE 28-30
Sportsman’s Expo set for late June
The Covington Sportsman’s Expo will be June 28-30 at the Kiwanis Fairgrounds & Covington Arena in Andalusia. Admission is $10 for adults; children 4 and under will be admitted free with a paid adult. The expo will feature hunter education, gun safety, entertainment, and competitions. Troy Landry and Jacob Landry from the History Channel’s “Swamp People” will be there to meet attendees.
Balloon festival visitors can ride the skies By Lindsay Mott
This year’s Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival, set for June 14 and 15, will offer participants a chance to see one of the most photographed objects in the world up close and personal. Some visitors will also have a chance to get in a balloon basket and take a mini-ride. These tethered rides had been discontinued in recent years, but event organizers have decided to try them again this year, according to Kristin Roberson, marketing and events manager for the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce and one of the festival planners. This is the ninth year for the festival, held at Foley Sports Park on Father’s Day Weekend, and there is much to do and see. The grounds open early for people to visit the local arts and crafts vendors, see the antique tractors, listen to live music, eat and more. Alabama Living
Photo by Sherry Stimpson Frost The Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival will feature some tethered rides available for purchase.
Of course, the main draw is the balloons. They do early morning flights on Saturday around 6 a.m. and nightly glows at dusk on Friday and Saturday. Roberson encourages people to arrive before 5 p.m. for the evening flights to be able to beat the traffic and get the best spot to view the balloons. There are multiple performances of the Disc Connected K-9 World Famous Frisbee Dog Show throughout the day. There is also a free kids’ zone, an interactive reptile display and other educational opportunities for children. Musical entertainment will be avail-
able with local country artist Holli Mosley headlining Friday and the Tip Tops on Saturday. Both acts kick off at 8:30 p.m. During the course of the weekend, the hot air balloon pilots participate in a number of competitions that show how well they can maneuver their balloons. Weather permitting, tethered rides will be for sale for Friday and Saturday for $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. These rides will be limited and can be pre-purchased through the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce or at the festival. The festival will be 2 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 14, and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 15. This year the festival will provide a free shuttle service from Tanger Outlets. For more information, visit www.southbaldwinchamber.com/ gulf-coast-hot-air-balloon-festivaloverview/. JUNE 2013 9
Rural electric leaders attend national, state meetings Electric cooperative leaders from across the country, including some 100 from Alabama, gathered in Washington, D.C., April 29-May 1 for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s 2013 Legislative Conference to learn the latest developments on many issues, including the Rural Utilities Service loan program, coal ash and water heater efficiency. Rural electric leaders from Alabama met with congressional staff during the week to discuss issues pertaining to the state. The 66th Annual Meeting and Trade Show of the Alabama Rural Electric Association (AREA), April 10 and 11 in Montgomery, drew more than 400 electric cooperative leaders and supporters from around the state. AREA’s board of directors named new officers to its board including the board’s first female chairman, Patsy Holmes, a director from Central Alabama Electric Cooperative; vicechairman, Randy Brannon, manager of Pea River Electric Cooperative; and secretary-treasurer, David Hembree, a director from Cullman Electric Cooperative. During the meeting, 39 co-op directors from ten Alabama cooperatives were recognized for completing Advanced Board Leadership Certificates. Speakers included Bill Johnson, president and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority; Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan; Jeremy Oden of the Alabama Public Service Commission; Mike Bird of Federated; Spencer Collier,
More than 400 electric cooperative leaders and supporters from across the state attended AREA’s annual meeting.
director of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security; and Alabama Director of Transportation John R. Cooper. Sen. Clay Scofield was named State Senator of the Year by the association for his contributions to the rural electric program. Rep. Mac McCutcheon was named State Representative of the Year. Cary Hatcher of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative was awarded the 2013 Darryl Gates Communicator of the Year Award. WTVY-TV and WDHN-TV of Dothan each received the 2013 Award for Media Excellence for their well-rounded, balanced and unbiased coverage of electric cooperative activities. The Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives is a federation of not-for-profit electric cooperatives, which provide dependable electricity to more than 1 million Alabamians in 64 counties.
Public employees: Know your benefits By Kylle’ McKinney
We have important information that should be of interest to public employees. If you work for an employer who does not withhold Social Security taxes from your salary, such as a government agency, the p ension you get based on that work may reduce your Social Security benefits under the “Windfall Elimination Provision.” This provision affects how the amount of your retirement or disability benefit is calculated if you receive a pension from work where Social Security taxes were not taken out of your pay. We use a modified formula to calculate your benefit amount, resulting in a lower Social Security b enefit than you otherwise would receive. Why a modified formula? The law requires we determine Social Security 10 JUNE 2013
benefit amounts with a formula that gives proportionately higher benefits to workers with low lifetime earnings. Before 1983, people who worked mainly McKinney in a job not covered by Social Security had their Social Security benefits calculated as if they were long-term, low-wage workers. They had the advantage of receiving a Social Security benefit representing a higher percentage of their earnings, plus a pension from a job where they did not pay Social Security taxes. Congress passed the Windfall Elimination Provision to remove that advantage. In addition to the Windfall Elimination Provision, there is another reduction that could make a difference in benefits a spouse, widow, or widower
can receive. If you pay into another pension plan and do not pay into Social Security, any spouse, widow, or widower benefits available through Social Security may be subject to a Government Pension Offset. Generally, if government employment was not covered by Social Security, any Social Security benefits must be reduced by two-thirds of the government pension amount. To learn more about the Windfall Elimination Provision, please read this fact sheet: www.socialsecurity.gov/ pubs/10045.html. To learn more about the Government Pension Offset, please read this one: www.socialsecurity.gov/ pubs/10007.html. Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs specialist, can be reached in Montgomery at 866-593-0914, ext. 26265, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.alabamaliving.coop
A cool roof creates a cool house By Brian Sloboda Cooperative Research Network
Most homeowners dread the thought of roof replacement or repair. But by installing a “cool” roof you can save money—and energy—for little to no additional cost and effort. Cool roofs reflect the sun using materials that have a special coating. During summer, they stay 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than traditional construction. Because these roofs maintain a lower temperature, less energy is needed to cool the space beneath them. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), cool roofs trim cooling loads by up to 15 percent. This not only cuts electric bills, but also extends roof life, reduces wear on cooling systems, and leads to more comfortable indoor temperatures—es- This diagram by the Cool Roof Rating Council explains how the technology works. pecially in houses with limited insulation or no airSource: Cool Roof Rating Council, www.coolroofs.org conditioning at all. Before purchasing a cool roof, consider adding disadvantage in choosing a cool roof in those places beinsulation to your attic or crawl space because it remains af- cause your attic should already be well-insulated. fordable and provides year-round energy savings. For ceilHere are common cool roof options for residences: ings and roofs, R-30 to R-60 is usually sufficient, depending Tiles. Roof tiles made of clay, slate, or concrete have low on climate. DOE offers a calculator that helps determine the reflectivity and high emittance and are naturally cool roofs. insulation you need based on your Zip code at www.ornl. Cool-colored coatings or glazes can be applied to the tiles gov/~roofs/Zip/ZipHome.html. to boost reflectivity and waterproofing. You can apply a cool In addition, consider installing attic vents—continuous coating on-site or purchase pre-coated tiles, which don’t peak, soffit, or turbine—especially if you’re replacing your cost much more than regular tiles and are offered in traroof. This shrinks heat transfer to living ditional colors, such as brown, green, and spaces. For more information on insulation terra cotta. and attic vent selection, visit EnergySavers. Shingles. Cool asphalt shingles are made gov. with specially coated granules. Unlike tiles, If you decide to go with a cool roof, rehowever, cool-colored coatings are not norsearch the type of roofing you want and how mally recommended for shingles. Wood much protection you need for your area. As the research and development arm shakes are naturally cool roofs if they are the National Rural Electric The coolness of a roof is determined by two of kept bare and not stained with darker colCooperative Association, CRN pursues properties: solar reflectance and thermal innovative solutions that help [State ors. emittance. Solar reflectance simply equates Name] electric cooperatives deliver Metal. Unpainted metal is naturally resafe, reliable, and affordable power to to the amount of solar radiation reflected, their consumer-members. flective but has very poor thermal emitwhile thermal emittance spells out how eftance. It’s a good candidate for cool coatficiently the roof cools itself by re-radiating that heat. ings, either applied in the field or at the factory. The combination of these two properties, called the solar The main cost of installing a cool roof involves the type reflectance index (SRI), is typically shown as a rating from of material you choose. DOE estimates you’ll spend an av0-1. Higher ratings mean increased reflectivity and emissiv- erage of 75 cents per square foot extra for a cool roof, but ity. Cool roofs boast an SRI of up to 0.85, while a conven- you’ll experience quick payback for the investment thanks tional roof may only rate 0.05. to energy savings and a longer roof life. Cool roofs work best in sunny, warm climates where daily temperatures average above 80 degrees Fahrenheit for at Brian Sloboda is a senior program manager specializing in least three months of the year. In northern, colder regions distribution operations and energy efficiency for the Cooperathe opportunity for energy savings may not be as large be- tive Research Network, a service of the Arlington, Va.-based cause there are fewer cooling degree-days. But there’s no National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Alabama Living
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Follow the trail By Teri Greene
active Alabama wineries showcase diversity and dedication of local vintners
Want to tour the wine country? There’s no need to book a trip to Napa Valley. Raise a toast to the wines of Alabama as laid out on the Alabama Wine Trail.
Top left: Grapes thrive in the sandy soil at the Berta Vineyard in Albertville. Above: Jim Eddins, founder of the state’s original winery. Right: The Berta family opened its winery in 2005.
ine is created in and flows through the state in rural enclaves far off welltraveled roads, often at the end of long stretches of highway and gravel driveways. There are 13 active wineries on the Alabama Wine Trail – up from eight when the trail debuted – the oldest one established nearly 35 years ago, others reaping the first fruits of their labor, and plenty in between, winding their way from the hills of the north to the southern coastal area. In 2006, with the introduction of the brochure outlining those locations, the reality was made visible. You can find the trail at www.alabamawinetrail.net or, for updates, www.facebook.com/alabamawinetrail. “We got involved in the early stages trying to create a statewide wine trail,” says Tami Reist, president of Decaturbased Alabama Mountain Lakes Association, which teamed with The Alabama Wineries Association to create a point-by-point guide to Alabama wineries and wine-related events in the state.
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Getting folks to follow three trails – the Plateau, the Valley and Ridge and the Coastal Plain – may lead to a lot of people seeing Alabama in a new light. Visit just a couple, and you’ll get a sense of both the diversity and the dedication of these vintners.
Wine has been Jules J. Berta’s family business for generations in his native Hungary. In 1993, Berta planted his first vineyards in Albertville, Ala. In 2005, on five acres of a 50-acre spread, he and his wife, Becky, officially opened the vineyard and winery. It sits at the end of a country road in the state’s mountainous region. Like most points on the trail, this is a start-to-finish establishment, tended by family. www.alabamaliving.coop
Enter the warm, inviting shop where the Berta wines are available for sale and tastings. Walk through a pair of doors and you’re surrounded by dozens of silos of closely monitored Berta wines. Just outside are countless rows of vines. Justin Bailey, Becky Berta’s son, who with his brothers help run the business, knows the exact location of the grapes that produce each cultivar – even on an overcast winter day, with each branch gray and bare. A small median of land divides the white grapes from the red. “Here are our Cab sauvignon, Cab francs,” Bailey says, pointing to the right, where rows of Cabernet, Merlot, Blaufränkisch, Petit Syrahs and other reds are poised to bloom. The expertise and passion have spread to a new generation in the family. Bailey respectfully refers to the grapes, the wines, the rows and the vineyard itself as “she.” “She’s beautiful when she’s in bloom,” Bailey says of the vineyard in late summer. “You can see the different color reds, whites; Chardonnay will be in gold.”
where we step in. They contact us and we purchase the fruits whenever possible. We get strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, apples and watermelons from local farmers. We have even done a mead (honey wine) where the honey came from Valley Head,” she adds. The array of Berta’s “proper wines” impresses regular visitor Jim Rhodes, a retired Air Force officer who moved back to Alabama after living in France, Italy and Oregon’s wine country. He said the place is brimming with visitors year-round. One is his friend Diana Kennedy of Birmingham, daughter of a California winegrower. Her reaction to the Berta Merlot? “I had yet to taste anything grown and vinted locally that I would dare introduce to my family. Well, this is it! I am so impressed with this wine, and trust me when I say, that’s no easy task.” Becky Berta chooses the whimsical labels for the wines, which also include fruit-based varieties. The most popular are the winery’s signature Merlot; a blackberry Merlot called Dog at Large; Sylvaner, named after its rare white grape; Love Shack, a chocolate Merlot, and the lemon Bullfrog. “In the summertime, you can’t beat her,” Bailey says of the latter. “She’s very light, clean crisp and refreshing. She’s amazing.”
Savor local flavor
The wineries on the trail are widely diverse because of the state’s range of terrain. They are open to guests year-round. It’s best to check the establishment’s website before you go. On the site for Hodges Vineyards in Camp Hill, proprietors Earl and Elke Hodges, who opened it in 2011, point out that GPS devices cannot locate the site. They offer easy-to-follow directions that will get you there. Take heed. At most wine trail locations, guests see where wines are bottled and roam the grounds. And of course, they taste. The samples are half-ounce and quarter-ounce, as regulated by the state. If you fall in love with a wine, it’s best to buy it on-site. Wines can be ordered online, but shipping is roughly $6 to $10 per bottle. Every stop at a winery earns a stamp on your wine trail passport. After eight stamps, you receive a wine glass bearing the names of all the vineyards and wineries on the trail. Fancy bottles and bottle stoppers are sold in the Berta Winery Shop.
Unexpected treasures with help from local farmers
People don’t expect to find such non-native grapes as Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet and Sylvaner – a white grape that, in this state, is grown only at Jules J. Berta – thriving in north Alabama. It all has to do with the distinct soil here. “It’s sandstone and limestone, mixed into one,” Bailey says. “When you get down further into the dirt, the soil here is just about identical to that in Hungary. It’s very sandy, so we excel.” Most of their wines are made with fruit from local farmers, says Becky Berta. “Alabama folks want to know where the fruits are grown that go into their wines. And I love that about our customers, because we have educated them from opening day of our winery about how we process the fruit wines. “They love knowing some of the farmers where we get the fruits. We know how hard these farmers work, and their outlet for indirect sales of their fruits can be hard to locate, so that’s
That includes the one that started it all. Alabama’s southernmost winery, Perdido Vineyards, is also its oldest. Jim Eddins and his wife, Marianne, established 50 acres of native Muscadine grapes in 1972. In 1979, Perdido Vineyards became Native Farm Winery No. 1 in Alabama, the first since Prohibition was lifted. The same year, its Sweet Muscadine was named the Founders First Vintage. That all came after mass protests from the local religious community and a resulting string of rejected loan applications to open the winery. Eddins, 79, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and Vietnam War veteran, is a die-hard advocate for Alabama-made wines. His current mission: “Uncork Alabama,” an effort to lower taxes and spread availability of wine produced in the state. Here, the Muscadine produces both traditional and fortified wines. The Alabama Legislature only approved wineries’ sales of fortified wines, which range from 16.5 to 19 percent alcohol per volume, in 2010. Perdido’s fortified varieties are 25-year-old JUNE 2013 13
muscadine wines with locally grown fruit, including cherry, blackberry, blueberry, satsuma and black currant. On a chilly afternoon, couples gathered inside the winery as Kathy McMahon – “not a sommelier, just a neighbor” – poured from bottles bearing labels created by area artists. With every sip, visitors get brief history and science lessons. The wines’ names recall local lore, and tasters learn of the delicate science to cultivating a Muscadine wine to resemble, for instance, a Riesling or a White Zinfandel, or creating dry wines from the naturally sweet grape. Eddins, a civil and environmental engineer by trade, has mastered the science. He also creates award-winning vinegars with high antioxidant content. His vision, one shared by the folks who laid out the Alabama Wine Trail, is to celebrate and spread the wine created in Alabama. “I’m trying to educate my friends and neighbors,” he says. “You cultivate our people, our land, and you go for excellence.” Becky Berta says all the wineries support each other and share the cost of the souvenir glasses and rack cards. “It would be great if our beautiful state would get involved in promoting us by way of road signage and such,” she says. “Other states do this for their wineries and that would be a great start. The wine trail could really catch on then. We, too, are Alabama the beautiful!” A
Foggy mist enshrouds the Berta vineyards in Albertville.
Choose your own wine adventure Follow any or all of these excursions on the Alabama Wine Trail to discover all Alabama wineries and vineyards have to offer. Check out the websites to learn more. Shelby Trail Excursion Hidden Meadow Vineyard (Jemison) 664 County Road 606, Jemison (205) 688—4648 www.hiddenmeadowvineyard.com
Mountain Trail Excursion Jules J. Berta Vineyards 1409 Darden Ave., Albertville (256) 891-5115 www.julesjbertavineyards.com
Morgan Creek Vineyards 181 Morgan Creek Lane, Harpersvile (205)672-2053 www.morgancreekwinery.com
Wills Creek Vineyards 10522 Duck Springs Road, Attalla (256) 538-5452 www.willscreekvineyards.com
Ozan Vineyards & Cellars 173 Highway 301, Calera (205) 668-6926 www.ozanwine.com
Maraella Vineyard & Winery 5296 Old Us Hwy 278 E., Hokes Bluff (256) 494-1000 www.maraella.com
Vizzini Farms Winery 800 Highway 87, Calera (205) 685-0655 www.vizzinifarmswinery.com
Fruithurst Winery Co. County Road 49, Fruithurst (256) 463-1003 www.thefruithurstwineryco.com
Bryant Vineyards 1454 Griffitt Bend Road, Talladega (256) 493-1260 Find “Bryant Vineyard” on Facebook.com email: email@example.com
White Oak Vineyards 1484 Dry Hollow Road Choccolocco Valley, Anniston (256) 231-7998 http://southernoakwines.com
South Alabama Trail Excursion Hodges Vineyards 230 Lee Road 71 (intersection of 72) Camp Hill (256) 896-4036 www.hodgesvineyards.com Whippoorwill Vineyards 4282 County Road 31, Notasulga (334) 401-9263 www.whippoorwillvineyards.com
Two of the Berta grandchildren enjoy grapes as a snack. 14 JUNE 2013
Perdido Vineyards 22100 County Road 47, Perdido (251) 937-9463 www.perdidovineyards.net
After Alabama Wine Trail voyagers visit eight wineries on the trail, they receive this wine glass bearing the names of all the sites. www.alabamaliving.coop
Worth the Drive
Ugwee’s Ice Cream Shop
Sisters Jennifer and Morgan Pouncey want their shop to have the feel of an old-time soda fountain.
’ll have the chocolate swirl ice cream in a waffle cone. Hold the milk, please.” Think that order is an impossible one to fill? Then you’re in for a sweet surprise at Ugwee’s Ice Cream Shop & Country Store on the outskirts of Georgiana. The shop itself is a surprise. Tucked in a decades-old gas station (the pumps have rotary numbers), a bright lime green counter fronted by six neon yellow and chrome swivel stools is the spot to enjoy a frosty treat, and it draws people from miles around with its soft-serve ice cream and the many delicacies made with it. The next surprises are the shop’s young owners, Georgiana natives and sisters Jennifer and Morgan Pouncey, who are decidedly not “ugwee” and really friendly to boot. The two graduated from the culinary arts program at Trenholm Technical Institute in Montgomery in 2010 and were considering opening a restaurant when an old service station came up for sale. “It was a good opportunity, so we went for it,” Jennifer says. They added the ice cream counter that’s the center of attention at the otherwise ordinary gas-station shop, and carefully picked the specialized stools. “We wanted it to have the feel of an oldtimey soda fountain or ice cream shop,” Jennifer says. And then they named their place Ugwee’s, in honor of the term their father coined one Christmas. “We’re two of four sisters, and a few years Jennifer Kornegay ago, we all got UGG is the author of a brand boots for children’s book, “The Alabama Adventures Christmas,” Jennifer of Walter and Wimbly: says. “Referring to Two Marmalade Cats on a Mission.” She travels how much money to an out-of-the way he’d spent, my dad restaurant destination in Alabama every month. said, ‘My bill for this She may be reached for comment at holiday isn’t going firstname.lastname@example.org. to be ugly; it’s gonna Alabama Living
be ugwee.’ It was funny; Morgan and I both thought of it when we got the place.” But back to that first surprise: the nondairy nature of that cold, creamy stuff they serve. It’s a special brand that’s made with no milk or cream. If you didn’t know though, you’d never be able to tell. It’s thick and rich, and both feels and tastes just like ice cream should. In fact, it’s actually a bit smoother than some other soft-serves. Plus, it finally rights a grievous wrong, giving one neglected group of people the ability to truly enjoy ice cream. “There are actually quite a few people who are lactose intolerant and who just can’t eat ice cream,” Jennifer says. “They can eat ours.” That’s at least one reason that little Ugwee’s brings in some big crowds. That and the ever-changing menu of eight ice cream flavors that can be savored in a waffle cone or waffle bowl, in a shake, in a chiller (mixed with favorite candy bars and cookies) or in a sundae embellished with decadent Ghirardelli’s caramel and chocolate syrups. The banana split contains three ice cream flavors, the requisite banana, strawberries, chocolate sauce, crushed pineapple and whipped cream with a cherry on top. It’s a great rendition of a classic that only deviates in one way: It’s all served with the bananas standing up and the toppings stacked vertically instead of horizontally in a dish. The “Ugwee” sisters are considering a move and/or expansion in the future, so they can have a longer counter with more stools and make more area ice cream lovers happy, but they’ll remain in their hometown. And they do admit to indulging in their own products. Jennifer’s favorite is butter pecan in a cone, while Morgan goes for the strawberry shake. A
I Scream, You Scream… If your taste buds are screaming for some ice cream, visit Ugwee’s Ice Cream Shop at 10801 Mckenzie Grade Road in Georgiana 334-376-2934.
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Top history buff
New Archives director wants Alabamians involved in their history
“We’re an extremely content-rich, tremendous resource for genealogists ... in fact (for) anyone interested in their past. We have tremendous databases. And that is something that will continue in the future. It’s the way the world is moving ...” -- Steve Murray, director, Alabama Department of Archives and History By John Brightman Brock
t’s hard not to notice Steve Murray’s savvy, sensitivity and optimism when he lays out his plans as the new director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery. His cerebral, archival jargon converts quickly to an impassioned appeal to Alabamians to get involved in their own history, and then to make their own. Murray says Alabamians are “inheriting” history, categorically placed in inviting rooms of artifact displays in the large white building across from the State Capitol. Now, they can create their own - whether navigating through the agency’s digital format online - bristling with functionality - or walking the halls, taking the stairs or elevators up to exhibits opening their understanding of who they are. As the chief Alabama history buff, Murray wants to encourage the appetites of Alabamians for their history, through technological means and more exhibits. There are some “great things being done,” Murray said in a recent interview, including the completion of the Museum of Alabama later this year on the archives’ second floor. Eight months after the retirement of Ed Bridges, the Archives’ director for three decades, the 42-year-old, web-centric historical project manager became director in a decision announced in Aug. 2012 and effective Oct. 1. Murray joined the agency in 2006 as assistant 18 JUNE 2013
director for administration, and his responsibilities have included finance, budget, personnel, facilities, development and special projects. Bridges was named director emeritus and is devoting his time to developing the Museum of Alabama.
Pieces of the puzzle
The collections reflect the archival activity ongoing for the last 112 years. “Some of the most fascinating historical artifacts just walk in the door,” he says. “People appreciate what they have in their attics ... those artifacts. Sometimes they are looking for a permanent place for those to go. They tend to have a very strong belief and high degree of confidence that they will be very well-cared for” at the archives. What happens is that these artifacts are used to help the public understand their history. Every time we can fill a gap it helps us to complete the picture.” Alabamians have a vital role to play in inheriting Alabama, Murray says, and his staff will be asking visitors to the Archives to reply to questions facing their state. “We want to make the point, especially to younger visitors, that they are the inheritors. For better or worse, the decisions from the past shape what they are being handed. They have the role and responsibility to make the decisions that are best for Alabamians,” he says. www.alabamaliving.coop
Things are looking up
Murray takes on his new role following years of intense economic hardship for the archives, but “things are looking up a bit,” Murray says. “But we’ll be very careful stewards to look after the resources we have.” The archives’ staff was reduced by 40 percent during the recent recession, he says, so the administrative road ahead should be a “gradual process ... with careful and thoughtful steps, not overreaching. But you don’t accomplish anything unless you set some type of goal. And there’s great work that can be done.” He has been tasked with caring for the needs of Alabama governmental agencies, providing upon request voluminous public records that form the decisions of public officials. “These are the basis of the rights of Alabama citizens,” he says. “We are the custodians of these records for the people of our state.” Then there’s the state’s electronic archives. “How to preserve not just 10 to 20, but 200 to 300 years?” he asks. “How do we protect those records that are being created in the digital realm? We have to be able to preserve them and in a format that will be accessible in technology for continuous change. The records must be available for access .... to write the history of Alabama,” Murray says. In the next few years, Murray aims to make the Archives’ website more user-friendly and “more up to speed in terms of aesthetics” with the look and feel to entice most internet users. “We also want to develop some online apps to enhance visitors’ experience, and develop the opportunity for technology for younger people. They expect it.”
The Alabama Review, he says, that “moved me into the venue of editing and publishing.” He had been in that journalistic realm before, as editor of his college newspaper. So he started as a graduate assistant, then serving as managing editor from 2000 to 2006. “During an overlapping period, I was also managing editor of the Encyclopedia of Alabama from 2002 to 2006.” The EOA, at the time, was a joint venture of Auburn University and the Alabama Humanities Foundation, and he was part of a team with Dr. Wayne Flint, he said. “We fundraised to put this together as a digital resource at no cost to the user.”
Some of the most fascinating historical artifacts just walk in the door
A personal fascination with history
A native of Shreveport, Murray’s love of history began in the northwest and west central portions of Louisiana. “I grew up with a fascination with history, something that started with an interest in archeology and ancient history. I was fascinated with ancient Egypt.” And as he grew older, his historical curiosity was stirred even more from decades of configuring his own roots. Murray reveals a family where maternal grandparents were “children of sharecroppers, growing up in poverty on opposite sides of the Sabine River” - he near Joaquin, Texas, and she near Logansport. “My paternal grandfather grew up on a family farm that Michael Murray homesteaded after the Civil War in rural Natchitoches Parish, La. They owned their own land, farmed and did other jobs on the side. “My paternal grandmother grew up on a large cotton plantation on the bank of the Red River, near Ida, La. Her parents managed the plantation for an absentee landowner. African American tenants worked the plantation. It was a large operation, complete with its own commissary.” A young, aspiring Murray went to Louisiana College in Pineville, La., where 1,100 students worked toward degrees and he pursued “a fantastic education” double-majoring in history and English. Upon graduation, he headed to graduate school at Auburn University, attaining his master’s degree and intending to get his doctorate, although he stopped short. What lay directly in his path was a research assistantship with Alabama Living
In 2006, opportunity knocked at the archives
“Something opened up ... a good fit for my history and project management background. And that was something that the department was looking for, an assistant director for administration.” It was in that capacity that he began to work with Bridges. Dominating his life for a while will be constructing the “Museum of Alabama,” which is the name of the museum within the Department of Archives and History. Completed in 2011, Phase I of the museum included two permanent exhibitions: “The Land” and “The First Alabamians,” both located on the building’s second floor. The museum’s Phase II, being constructed nearby, includes one permanent exhibition: “Alabama Voices.” Undergirding the Museum of Alabama is “Becoming Alabama,” a programming emphasis that took shape through a series of conversations around the state, beginning in the spring of 2009. “Becoming Alabama is not just our effort,” Murray says. “The idea grew with input from other organizations in Alabama working with history and culture. Among them, Alabama Heritage magazine, the Encyclopedia of Alabama, the Shelby County Historical Society and others who are using Alabama as a point of interest in their programs.” An exhibition covering the years 1700 to 2000, “Alabama Voices” is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2013, with a grand opening in early 2014. It will be a very “defining” journey that visitors will enjoy, Murray says. “During those 300 years, it was the people who came here, the motivations they had; the conflict/cooperations defined who we were ... and we became a state. “We gain a better understanding of the past every day,” Murray says. “Like putting together pieces from a large puzzle.” A
Visitors learn about early Alabama in the Archives’ newest galleries. Ed. note: The Museum of Alabama will be temporarily closed until Aug.19 for renovations. Other sections of the Archives will be open. Visit www.archives.alabama.gov for the latest information. JUNE 2013 19
Grow gardeners this summer By Katie Jackson
he summer I turned 8 years old my mother gave me a garden plot—a small grove of spindly trees that we rescued from honeysuckle, then planted with odds and ends of perennials thinned from her own garden. Truth is my little garden was never much to look at, but it was mine-all-mine, no siblings allowed! It was also an example of Mom’s perceptive parenting skills: Working on that tiny space kept me outside and engaged (and out from underfoot…) all summer and it made me a gardener for life. This summer, you, too, can entertain the children in your life—and maybe even cultivate future gardeners or your own little garden helpers—by tapping into kidfriendly gardening projects. For example, container gardening is great fun for all ages, but it is especially ideal for younger children or for families with limited gardening space. By planting herb, vegetable or flower seeds or plants in pots of any size, children can see the botanical process in action and learn about responsibility as they tend those little gardens. If there’s space available, do as my mother did and give the young’uns their own little bit of land for a garden, compost pile or worm farm. Or simply invite the kids to help you in the yard and garden by giving them fun and age-appropriate tasks, whether that’s weeding or watering (just watch out for those “accidental” showers), picking vegetables and fruit for the family meal or keeping bird baths and feeders full. Want a project that combines gardening and play? Construct a teepee frame using lightweight sticks or bamboo then plant vining vegetables or ornamentals around it to form a private fort. Or literally grow Katie Jackson, who recently retired as chief editor for the Auburn University College of Agriculture and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, is now a fulltime freelance writer and editor. Contact her at email@example.com.
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a playhouse using sunflowers for the walls. Blend art with gardening by having the kids draw and install their own garden designs or make garden sculptures from wood, rocks or other weatherproof material. Let them release their inner Jackson Pollock by allowing them to use water-soluble paints on a fence or rocks in the yard. Encourage them to find uses for cast-off items, such as turning old boots or wheelbarrows into planters or garden art. Help them collect leaves, gumballs, pinecones, rocks and other natural items from the garden and yard to make collages, wind chimes, mobiles and other craft projects. Older children who typically crave peer interaction during the summer may find that they love gardening by volunteering with a community or church gardening project. A great option for youngsters ages 8 through 14 is the Alabama Junior Master Gardener program (www.aces.edu/juniormaster-gardener/index.php), which offers a variety of garden education opportunities through schools and day camps. For more information on that option, contact JMG Coordinator Luci Davis at 334-703-7509, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Honestly, the gardening options for children are unlimited and tons of ideas are available online, through local libraries and,
as Luci suggests, at the National Junior Master Gardener website (www.jmgkids.us). As you cultivate those budding gardeners this summer and beyond, do make sure they are safe. Sunscreen and bug spray are vital for anyone working in the yard, as is proper attire such as protective clothing, hats and gloves. Make sure children (and adults!) don’t become overheated or dehydrated while working and playing in the yard, and keep children away from potentially dangerous garden tools, power equipment, chemicals or other gardenrelated hazards. With just a little bit of caution and imagination you and the kids can revel in a summer of gardening and create memories, if not future gardeners. Plus, you’ll probably all sleep well every night! A
June Gardening Tips d June 6 is National Gardening Exercise Day. Such a day does exist and you can even see a hilarious exercise video by searching for National Gardening Exercise Day on YouTube! d June is also National Hunger Awareness Month and National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month. Celebrate by volunteering at a community garden or food bank and sharing produce with your loved ones and others. d Plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and sweet potatoes. d Deadhead flowering annuals to encourage continued blooming. d Irrigate (with long, deep weekly waterings) spring-planted shrubs, especially if the weather turns dry. d Sow seeds for beans, field peas, pumpkins, squash, corn, cantaloupes and watermelon. d Remove foliage from spring bulbs if it has become yellow and dry. d Be on the lookout for insect and disease problems in the garden and on houseplants. d Thin fruits on apple, pear and peach trees to produce larger fruit. d Add fresh water to birdbaths and ornamental pools frequently to reduce mosquito breeding.
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Elusive catfish foils young anglers By John N. Felsher
he end of the school year means three months of freedom from classes, indoor confinement and responsibility for many sportsmen living through that magical age between too young to be left alone and old enough to really assume any major responsibility. Growing up in the age before video games and so many other electronic recreational devices, we made our own summer entertainment by roaming the fields and forests near our homes from sunrise to sunset. Nobody really cared where we went or what we did, as long as nobody called to complain and we returned home for supper uninjured. Frequently, we explored every ditch and creek we could find to see what lurked there or to discover new fishing holes. Most anglers call their favorite places “fishing holes,” but many of our piscatorial pleasure pits really were holes! Occasionally, we found a real pond, but most were merely wide spots in local canals or drainage ditches. We could jump across some. Most reached depths of only one or two feet deep, but to us, each represented a heavenly oasis of freedom from chores, nagging mothers, cleanliness, homework, responsibility, girls and everything else we despised. Dad had this freedom-robbing thing called a “job” that often kept him out of our fishing boat. That really cut into our summer enjoyment. Not to worry, those of us too young to drive frequently bicycled to our secret fishing holes between times when our dads could take us “real fishing.” Sometimes, we just jumped on our bikes and spontaneously headed to a nearby fishing hole – usually when the grass needed cutting or some other onerous chores awaited us. At other times, we planned our angling adventures down to the last details with more intricate machinations than Eisenhower used to land in Normandy. As the chosen day of blissful freedom approached, we scoured our freezers and refrigerators for bait -- frozen shrimp, chicken livers, leftover meats, old hot dogs, bread, cheese -- whatever our mothers wouldn’t terribly miss. Sometimes, we pooled our allowances 22 JUNE 2013
to buy real worms or night crawlers. Side note: Many mothers don’t like to discover a paper bag full of squirming night crawlers in their refrigerators! On rare occasions, we actually had shiners or store-bought crickets left over from some “adult” fishing trip. When we couldn’t find or buy sufficient bait, we caught our own. We scooped minnows, crawfish and grass shrimp from roadside ditches. We snatched grasshoppers and crickets from weedy vacant lots. We overturned pine straw to capture succulent worms. We tore apart rotten logs in wooded lots for grubs or kept some smaller fish from previous expeditions for cut bait. With tempting bait secured, we grabbed our gear, stuffed the bait into our pockets -- much to the chagrin of our mothers who usually discovered “leftovers” on washday -- and pedaled our bicycles to our chosen honey hole. Fortunately, we didn’t carry the amount of gear then that many anglers find so essential now. One hand clutched a rod and a handlebar, while our other hand gripped a tackle box. Often, we headed to our favorite honey hole: “Ol’ Five Pound Canal,” also known as “Fishing Hole No. 3.” Neither name will show up on any maps. We never knew the official name of this waterway, nor did we care. We did care that this muddy drainage ditch flowed through our section of town, widened briefly as it crossed under a four-lane road and had fish in it. We could barely cast across it even when our reels weren’t clogged with sand and mud. Under the bridge, it dropped to about five feet deep during wet weather.
From top: Two young anglers show off catfish caught in a park pond. Timmy Gregson with a channel catfish he caught with some help from Laura Koehle. Russell Bergantino displays a channel catfish he caught while fishing in Lake Seminole on the Alabama-FloridaGeorgia line. A young angler is proud of the catfish he caught in a park pond. Photos by John N. Felsher
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.
Away from the road, the canal narrowed and became shallow again. Most days, it averaged one to two feet deep, but became a raging torrent after a severe downpour. The canal eventually dumped into a nearby river. Periodic floods brought new fish into our honey hole. During low water, fish became trapped in the relative depths under the bridge. Occasionally, we spotted one wary old giant catfish, at least for those waters. We dubbed him “Ol’ Five Pound.” For years, neighborhood boys chased “Ol’ Five Pound.” He tormented us with his infrequent appearances. Sometimes, he surfaced just a few feet from us, taunting us and refusing all offerings. We tried everything to nab, net or hook that cagey critter, including grabbing him with our hands. Nothing worked. With ease, he stripped off our best baits cleanly from our hooks. Occasionally someone actually hooked a big fish, possibly Ol’ Five Pound. Inevitably, he broke the line, straightened or spit the hook and rolled back into the gray-green waters. Sometimes, he tore the guts out of our cheap and ill-maintained reels. Each year, as we grew his legend grew also -- as did his real and imagined size. Always, he seemed bigger than the last time we spotted him. Years later, I heard that someone actually did catch a 10-pound blue catfish from that hole. Same fish? Perhaps, but I prefer to think that Ol’ Five Pound died at a ripe old age after many years of ruling his muddy kingdom and taunting generations of young anglers. A
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
From top: Taylor Whitted struggles to lift a stringer of catfish she caught in a park pond. Cody Harvey shows a channel catfish he caught with some help from Cort Covington. David Bruce holds a catfish he caught while fishing on the Alabama River at Selma, Ala. Photos by John N. Felsher
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Make the most out of your vacation by planning ahead
here are lots of things to consider when planning a vacation: where to go, what to do and how to get there, time and money. For Lacie Waits, planning for the family’s summer vacation begins around Christmas every year. “This way if we want to rent a house, we have a great selection before everything gets booked. Also, some of the rentals offer a discounted rate for early bookings, such as 2012 prices for summer 2013 rentals, or a percentage off for early booking.” Lacie and her husband Mike often use the website www.vrbo.com for booking their vacation homes. “They have rentals all over the world, and many of them One way to plan a work directly with vacation is to pick a state the owner, so I and explore its many have been able to attractions. In South negotiate rates, or Dakota, visitors can visit Badlands National get discounts for Park (below) and see an return visits.” Indian Powwow at St. After deciding Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain. on a location — this year GatlinPhotos by Marilyn Jones
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By Marilyn Jones
burg, Tenn. — the couple considers what amenities they’re looking for in a rental. “I spend countless hours and days scavenging this website and sometimes others to find that perfect place,” she says. “We have two sons, ages 3 and 5. We like to dine out some during the trips, but also prefer to stay in and cook as well. We love to cook, and we get more family time by staying in rather than going out to wait in long lines at restaurants,” Lacie explains. “When we do dine out, we like to research online and talk to locals to find the best spots.” The joy of planning a vacation is being able to choose just the right formula for a successful trip. The Waits family is thinking about a trip to Nashville too, but in this case they want to stay in a hotel. “I am starting to talk to friends and research online since I have not been there in almost 20 years,” Lacie says. “I have really enjoyed researching hotels on www.tripadvisor.com. It gives you detailed information, customer reviews and photos of the locations — professional ones and ones taken by people who have stayed there. “And I always request information from each city so I can plan activities,” she says. “Most times when you get on their mailing and e-mail lists, they will send you information, coupons and upcoming event information.”
Planes, trains, automobiles
The Waits will drive the 300 miles to their vacation home, while others — depending on their destination — may opt to fly. Alabama residents also are fortunate to be able to take the train if it suits their needs or they’re looking for something a little different. Amtrak stations in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Anniston can whisk vacationers away to popular destination cities including Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. There are several things to remember no matter what your mode of travel or who is in your travel party — bring something to do, something to eat and lots of patience.
We always think about children, making sure they have their favorite toys or books and lots of snacks, but adults need to do the same. While driving, listen to a book-onCD to keep your mind off the seemingly endless miles you are traveling. And stop at each state welcome center. It’s good for everyone to get out and walk around. Collect some of the free attraction literature. You may not be visiting this state — just simply passing through — but you can get ideas for future trips and children love to look at the booklets. If you are in the state you are visiting, load up on brochures of the attractions and communities you’ll be visiting to fuel everyone’s excitement. If your journey is by plane, make sure to bring along snacks. Airlines are hard pressed to even offer the tiny bags of pretzels these days. What to bring along to make the journey easier also ties in to what to pack — one of the most important aspects of travel planning and one of the most stressful. The best way to do this, especially if you are packing for the entire family, is to make a list. And once you have a good and efficient list, save it on your computer and reuse it for every trip. Vacations are supposed to be fun; a way
Nearly three million people visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial each year in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
to get away, recharge and rediscover the world around us. Planning is exciting and a very important aspect of travel no matter if you’re going away for a weekend or a month. The definition of vacation is a period of time devoted to rest, travel or recreation. So get out there, have some fun and see the sights!
Super saver travel tips
Save on Gas: Take a One-Tank Trip. Alabama offers so many great tourist destinations from Huntsville’s U.S. Space & Rocket Center to the beach communities along the Gulf of Mexico. Save When You Fly: Bring along snacks for the flight rather than buying them at the airport or onboard. Children and adults are allowed one personal item and one bag as carry-ons, so bring on the full number that your group is allowed and you may be able to avoid checking luggage altogether. If you do need to check luggage, combine suitcases. If you can put everyone’s stuff in one large bag, you’ll cut your costs significantly. Just keep in mind that most airlines have an additional fee
for bags more than 50 pounds. Save on meals: Choose hotels that offer complimentary breakfast or have breakfast in the room. Have your sit-down meal at lunchtime when meal prices are usually significantly cheaper and look for restaurants where children eat free. Also search for fast-food coupons on the internet before leaving home. If a theme park is on your itinerary, check its website before you go. Many offer discounts if you buy your tickets online. Souvenirs: Give yourself — and your kids — a budget. Depending on the age of your children, you can either give them a set amount of money at the beginning of the trip or a certain amount every day. Tell them whatever they don’t spend they can keep. A A family enjoys a leisurely trail ride at Tannehill State Park in Alabama.
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Pie Cook of the Month: Jamie Petterson, Tallapoosa River EC Kentucky Derby Chocolate Pie
1 box Pillsbury pie crust 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted 1/4 cup white sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed 3/4 cup Karo light corn syrup
4 large eggs 11/2 teaspoons vanilla 1/4 cup Maker’s Mark bourbon 3/4 cup chocolate chips 11/4 cups toasted black walnuts whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 10-inch deep dish pie pan with the crust and flute the edges. In a large mixing bowl, on medium speed with whisk attachment, whip butter, sugars, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla and bourbon together until frothy. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in chocolate chips and black walnuts. Blend well. Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until set. Serve warm, or cool completely before serving with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.Yields 8-10 slices.
You could win $50!
August September October
Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: Ice Cream Deadline: June 15 Party Dips Deadline: July 15 Smoothie/Milkshakes Deadline: August 15
Please send all submissions to: Recipe Editor, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Or e-mail to: recipes@areapower. coop. Be sure to include your address, phone number and the name of your electric cooperative.
Why do we love pie? When I think of pie, I think of an all-American dessert, hence the phrase “as American as apple pie.” I also think of all the different varieties which have evolved over the last century. There are fruit pies of all varieties; meringue pies usually made with a gelatin-fruit combination filling, topped with whipped egg whites and baked briefly in a hot oven; ice box pies made with ice cream, whipped cream, or sweetened condensed milk; cream pies usually made with a custard or filling; chiffon pies made with gelatin and egg whites; chocolate and nut pies. It seems the possibilities are endless. Serve up a slice!
26 JUNE 2013
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.
JUNE 2013â€ƒ 27
Peanut Butter Pie
Filling 2½ pounds muscadines ¼ cup plain flour
1 cooled, baked pie shell 1 cup powdered sugar 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/4 cup cornstarch 2⁄3 cup sugar 2 cups hot milk
Cobbler Basic pastry dough for 2-crust pie, unbaked 1 quart prepared muscadine pie filling
1½ cup sugar 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
To prepare filling, wash muscadines and squeeze pulp from hulls, reserving hulls for later use. Heat pulp with juice over low heat until seeds begin to separate (about 45 minutes). Press pulp through a colander to remove seeds; save the pulp and juice and discard seeds. Combine pulp and juice with reserved muscadine hulls and cook over low heat, covered, until hulls are tender, 30-40 minutes. Add flour and 1½ cups sugar (more or less, depending on sweetness of muscadine). Cook until pie filling consistency is reached. Add fresh lemon juice. Preheat oven to 400. Roll out ½ pastry dough to 1⁄8-inch thickness. Place bottom pastry crust in baking pan. Place filling in bottom crust and dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into strips. Arrange in lattice pattern on top. Sprinkle with sugar and bake 10 minutes at 400. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 25-30 minutes longer. Serve hot. Delicious right out of the dish and also with homemade vanilla ice cream. Note: Muscadine pie filling freezes well. When using frozen filling, add lemon juice for freshness or sugar for sweetness. Ashley Parkman Smith,Tallapoosa River EC
2 graham cracker pie crusts 1 can sweetened condensed milk 8 ounces Cool Whip
Mix powdered sugar and peanut butter until well blended. Pour half into bottom of pie shell. Combine cornstarch, sugar, milk, salt and egg yolks and cook over medium heat until thick. Add vanilla and butter to hot, thick mixture and mix well. Pour into pie shell on top of peanut butter and powdered sugar mixture. Beat 3 egg whites until glossy peaks form. Spread meringue on top of pie. Sprinkle remainder of peanut butter and powered sugar mixture to top of meringue. Bake at 350 degrees until meringue is golden brown. Pat Nunn, Marshall DeKalb EC
Pineapple Coconut Chess Pie 2 refrigerated pie crusts 3 cups granulated sugar 3 tablespoons cornmeal 6 large eggs ¾ cup crushed pineapple, well drained
Strawberry Pie 1 can frozen strawberry daiquiri mix
1/4 teaspoon salt 3 eggs, separate yolks from whites 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup flake coconut 1 cup buttermilk 1⁄3 cup melted butter 2 teaspoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1½ teaspoons vanilla
Mix sweetened condensed milk and strawberry daiquiri mix together with a mixer on low speed for about 2 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip until smooth. Half the mixture into 2 pie crusts. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours and enjoy.
Fit crust into 2 nine-inch pie pans. Combine sugar and cornmeal in mixing bowl. Beat eggs well and add to the sugar mixture; beat until well blended. Stir in melted and cooled butter. Blend in remaining ingredients and pour into crust. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until center is slightly set. Serve at room temperature. These freeze well.
Britany Sells, Southern Pine EC
Lela Collum, Franklin EC
28 JUNE 2013
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Around Alabama CLANTON
Peach Jam Jubilee nomic impact, the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce will present the 9th annual Peach Jam Jubilee at Clanton City Park on June 28. If you are seeking a family-friendly event featuring live entertainment, arts & crafts, food, children’s playground and Not too many people who grew up in vintage tractors, the Peach Jam is the place the South don’t like peaches. Many of us to be. have memories of sitting on the porch at The Peach Jam was founded in 2005 grandmother’s home on a summer after- under the leadership of the chamber. Its noon eating peaches fresh from the or- mission is to provide a safe and friendly chard. Nowhere are these memories more environment for the Central Alabama comvivid than in Chilton County, the peach munity to enjoy music, food and activities capital of Alabama. for all ages. The Peach Jam truly offers faTo celebrate the peach crop and its eco- mily fun for everyone. June 8 • Dothan, Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social
Landmark Park, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Celebration of National Dairy Month. Free ice cream, music, cakewalk and more. Admission: $5 for adults, $3 for kdis; members are free. Information: Laura V. Stakelum, 334-7943452 or email@example.com 14-15 • Marion, 18th Annual Marion Rodeo Ralph Eagle Memorial Arena. Main event begins at 7:30 each night. Also featuring “Mutton Bustin” and “Little Wranglers” activities for children before the main event. Admission: $10 for adults and $5 children 12 and under. All proceeds will be donated to the crisis fund of the Perry County Fire Association Information: Jennifer Hoggle, rodeo co-chair, 334683-4004 15 • Brewton, Alabama Blueberry Festival at Burnt Corn Creek Park. Arts and crafts, antique car show, motorcycle show and rally, children’s section, all day live entertainment, strolling magician, fresh blueberries and blueberry bushes for sale, food vendors and more. Information: Brewton Chamber of Commerce, 251-867-3224 or www. alabamablueberryfestival.com 16 • Montgomery, Evangel Church Fathers Day Car Show. Evangel Church, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Open car, truck and bike show. Free breakfast for everyone and free lunch for all participants. Great door prizes and trophies. Registration is free. Contact: Ted Wright,
The best feature of the Peach Jam is that it is absolutely free to the public, and it could not be done without the support of local sponsors. Chilton County businesses and individuals make the difference as they generously give to make this event a success. So, come join us in celebration of “all things peaches” in Chilton County, Alabama during the last week in June. You’ll be glad you did! For more information on the Peach Jam Jubilee, please contact the Chilton County Chamber at 205-755-2400, firstname.lastname@example.org, on peachjamjubilee. com or at www.facebook.com/thechiltonchamber.
334-272-2340 or pre-register at www.evangelchurch.me/show 17-28 • Pell City, 2013 Drama Camp Pell City Center. 1 p.m.-4p.m. daily, final production at 7 p.m. on June 28. Camp open for students ages 5-14 years old and will be taught by Ginger McCurry, Pell City High School drama teacher. Application forms are available at the Pell City Center box office (205-3381974) or www.pellcitycenter.com 20 • Andalusia, An Evening with Tony Mendez Andalusia Kiwanis Center. Sponsored by the LBW Community College Foundation. Social and silent auction begins at 5:45. Dinner will be served and Mr. Mendez will begin at 7 p.m. Mendez is the real-life CIA operative featured in the movie “Argo”. Tickets: $50 ($45 with valid military ID). Sponsorship opportunities are available. All proceeds will support the scholorships and programs of the LBWCC Foundation. Information and tickets contact: 334-8812306 28 • Andalusia, Covington Sportsman’s Expo Andalusia Kiwanis Complex, Hwy 55 South Bypass. Hunter education, gun safety, entertainment, competitions and vendors. www.covingtonsportsmanexpo.com 29 • Cedar Bluff, Liberty Day Town of Cedar Bluff Park. Festivities begin at 9 a.m. Art and crafts, food, rides, antique cars, music and fireworks show over Weiss Lake at 9 p.m. Information: 256-779-6121 or www.cedarbluff-al.org
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.
July 3 • Chatom, Town of Chatom 4th of July Celebration
Chatom Community Center, 5 p.m. Live music by Destiny. Admission and all activities are free, balloon art by Sunshine the Clown, Super Splash water slides, 4-way bungee trampoline, mechanical bull, trackless train and face painting. Food vendors will be available as well as arts and crafts. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Lawn chairs are welcome. Contact: Fran Thornton, 251-680-3075 or email@example.com 4 • Dothan, 4th of July Celebration Holiday Spectacular Park. Gates open at 10 a.m., games and music at 1p.m. A day of family fun in the shade with zip lines, horse shoes, cross cut saw contest, fishing rodeo, face painting, tire croquet, pole climbing, “sump chunking” and tug-a-truck. Musical entertainment to include southern gospel, zydeco, blue grass, southern rock and country along with contests and prizes. Fireworks show at sundown. Food vendors available for lunch and dinner. Admission: $15 at the gate, $10 advanced. Information and advanced tickets contact: Holiday Spectacular, 334790-5112 or www.holidayspectacularpark.com
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JUNE 2013 29
Market Place Miscellaneous FINANCIAL HELP LINES FOR AL FAMILIES BANKRUPTCY ADVICE FOR FREE (877)933-1139 MORTGAGE RELIEF HELP LINE (888) 216-4173 STUDENT LOAN RELIEF LINE (888)694-8235 DEBT RELIEF NON-PROFIT LINE (888) 779-4272 Numbers provided by www. careconnectusa.org A Public Benefit Organization CHURCH FURNITURE – Does your church need pews, pulpit set, baptistry, steeple or windows? Big sale on new cushioned pews and upholstery for hard pews – (800)2318360 or www.pews1.com NEW AND USED STAIR LIFT ELEVATORS – Car lifts, Scooters, Power Wheelchairs, Walk-in Tubs – Covers State of Alabama – 23 years (800)682-0658 18X21 CARPORT $695 INSTALLED – Other sizes available - (706)383-8554 CRENSHAW FARMS DAYLILY GARDEN & ANTIQUE STORE – Open April 15 – June 30 – Located near Stockton – Closed Sunday & Monday – (251)577-1235, http://www. crenshaw farms.com DIVORCE MADE EASY – Uncontested, Lost, in Prison or Aliens. $149.95 - 26 years experience – (417)443-6511 WILDTREE - Raise your income while raising your family! Looking for motivated people who know a great opportunity when they see one or better yet, taste one! Fun, flexible, home based business with an all natural, preservative free product line, from appetizers to desserts. $99 to start! Its risk free if you love to eat! Call, text or email (251)454-5519, firstname.lastname@example.org METAL ROOFING $1.79/LINFT – FACTORY DIRECT! 1st quality, 40yr Warranty, Energy Star rated. (price subject to change) 706-383-8554 WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA / SOLID WOOD & LOG FURNITURE / HANDCRAFTED AMISH CASKETS / 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
30 JUNE 2013
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 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 – email@example.com, (888)211-1715
Business Opportunities 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 PIANO TUNING PAYS – Learn with American Tuning School home-study course – (800)497-9793 AGRICULTURAL COLLATERAL INSPECTION and APPRAISALS – Ag background required – Training courses available. Call (800)488-7570, or visit www.amagappraisers.com
Vacation Rentals GULF SHORES / FT. MORGAN / NOT A CONDO! The original “Beach House” on Ft. Morgan peninsula – 2BR/1BA – Pet friendly, non-smoking – $895/wk, (256)418-2131, www. originalbeachhouseal.com GULF SHORES – CRYSTAL TOWER CONDO - 2 bedroom/ 2 bath, Great Ocean View - www.vrbo.com #145108 - Call Owner (205)429-4886, firstname.lastname@example.org SPRING & SUMMER SPECIALS ON CABINS IN PIGEON FORGE – (865)712-7633 WEEKEND, MONTHLY AND YEARLY CAMPER / TRAILER SPACES ON BEAUTIFUL SWIFT CREEK safe, quiet. Good fishing, boat launching, local hunting clubs in area. Approximately 1 mile to Alabama River by boat – (334)358-7287, (334)365-1317 MOUNTAIN LAKES RESORT – Bronze Membership RV Campground, many amenities $5,000.00 – (256)276-8204 FT. MORGAN GULFSIDE – 2 Bedrooms with Queen Beds, 2 Full Baths, Central Air / Heat, Cable – Rental months March – September. Owners (251)675-2483, cell (251)7093824. LEAVE MESSAGE! WWW.GULFSHORES4RENT.com Beautiful west beach in Gulf Shores – 4 great condos, each sleeps 6. Call (404)219-3189 or (404)702-9824
GULF SHORES PLANATION CONDOS – Beachview sleeps 6, Beachfront sleeps 4 – (251)223-9248 DISNEY – 15 MIN: 5BR / 3BA, private pool – www. orlandovacationoasis.com – (251)504-5756 ORANGE BEACH, AL CONDO – Sleeps 4, gulf and river amenities – Great Rates – (228)3694680 – email@example.com APPALACHIAN TRAIL – Cabins by the trail in the Georgia Mountains – 3000’ above sea level, snowy winters, cool summers, inexpensive rates – (800)284-6866, www.bloodmountain. com GULF SHORES PLANTATION CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, NS / No Pets – Owner Rates – Email seelypartners@yahoo. com or (740)815-7768, www.vrbo. com/414841 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 – www. ss703pensacola.com GULF SHORES CONDO BEACHSIDE – 2 Bed, 2 Bath, 2 Pools, Wireless Internet, Non-Smoking, No Pets (256)287-0368, (205)613-3446 GULF SHORES, WEST BEACH - Gulf view, sleeps 6 - www.vrbo. com/92623, (404)641-4939, (404)641-5314 GULF SHORES CONDO – 1BR, sleeps 4, Gulf-front – (251)342-4393 MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 14 – www. duskdowningheights.com, (850)7665042, (850)661-0678. GATLINBURG: Beautiful mountain condos in a great resort complete with large pool, game room, two hot tubs, grills and wireless internet. Call Jennifer in Scottsboro at 256-599-4438. GULF SHORES RENTAL – Great Rates! (256)490-4025, (256)523-5154 or www.gulfshoresrentals.us GULF SHORES BEACH HOUSE – Nice 2 bedroom, great view – Spring $800 / week, Summer $995 / week – (251)666-5476 GULF SHORES COTTAGE – Waterfront, 2 / 1, pet friendly – Rates and Calendar online http://www.vrbo.com/152418, (251)223-6114
GULF SHORES / FT. MORGAN – AFFORDABLE Private Beach & Bay Homes, 1-9 Bedrooms, Pet Friendly Available – (800)678-2306 – http:// www.gulfrentals.com GULF SHORES PLANTATION - Gulf view, beach side, 2 bedrooms / 2 baths, no smoking / no pets. Owner rates (205)339-3850 GULF SHORES CONDO – 2BR / 1.5BA, sleeps 6, pool, beach access – (334)790-9545 CABINS / PIGEON FORGE, TN – Sleeps 2-6, Great Location (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 GULF SHORES…2 large, one bedroom condos with sleeper sofa and full kitchen…Nice pool . Non Smoking, No Pets. Call Jennifer in Scottsboro at 256-599-4438. Condos also available in Daytona Beach. CABIN IN MENTONE – 2/2, brow view, hot tub – 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 www.vacationsmithlake.com – NICE 3BR / 2BA, deep water, covered dock - $75.00 night – (256)352-5721, amariewisener@ gmail.com PIGEON FORGE, TN: $89 - $125, 2BR/2BA, hot tub, air hockey, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)363-1973, www. mylittlebitofheaven.com FT. WALTON CONDO – 1BR, sleeps 6, gulfside – (251)342-4393 GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE on BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585, firstname.lastname@example.org GATLINBURG / PIGEON FORGE – 2 and 3 BEDROOM LUXURY CABINS – Home theatre room, hot tub, gameroom – www. wardvacationproperties.com, (251)363-8576 PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – Owner rental – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000, email@example.com, www. theroneycondo.com
Fort Morgan / INDIES Condo – 4th Floor, 3/2 sleeps 8, Gulf View Balcony, Pool – Owner discount call (228)343-9611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 GULF SHORES, GULF FRONT – 1BR / 1BA - Seacrest Condo - King bed, hall bunks free Wi-Fi – Owner rates (256)352-5721, amariewisener@ gmail.com HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – sleeps 2-6, 2.5 baths, fireplace, Jacuzzi, washer/dryer – www. HOMEAWAY.com/101769 - (251)9482918, email email@example.com PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath house for rent $75.00 a night – Call Bonnie at (256)338-1957
Real Estate Sales GULF SHORES CONDOS - 4.7 miles from beach, starting prices $54,900 www.PeteOnTheBeach.com, click Colony Club – (251)948-8008 ORANGE BEACH CONDO – 1BR / 1BA. Beachside, tropical décor, beautifully landscaped courtyard, two pools – Only $169,000! Call Steve, Remax / Gulf Shores (251)752-4000 WANTED: 50 to 200 ACRES around Tensaw area for hunting. Call Randy (318)933-0040 BEAUTIFUL SOUTHERN LIVING HOME WITH LARGE FRONT PORCH – ForSaleByOwner.com ID# 22890092 – New Red Bay, AL STONE QUARRY, JOSEPHINE, AL Beautiful 110’ waterfront lot on desirable canal; Geo stone seawall; finished dock, with pilings set for 12’ x 24’ boat house; 60A power pedestal; city water and sprinkler system. Asking $225,000 for lot. ’82 Carver 3007 sale negotiable. Contact Terry at (205)699-1092
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, 6727AL Metcalf, Shawnee Missions, Kansas 66204 – (913)262-4982
Education BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 6630 West Cactus #B107767, Glendale, Arizona 85304. http:// www.ordination.org
Critters CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. Registered, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet records and references. (256)796-2893
How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office):
August 2013 – June 25 September 2013 – July 25 October 2013 – August 25
-Ads are $1.75 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
JUNE 2013 31
Safe @ Home
It’s getting warm again and folks are already hitting the road for summer vacation. There’s no time like the present to revisit driving safety tips before venturing forth
he number one thing to remember, of course, is how important seat belts are for the safety of drivers and passengers….and it’s the law. According to the National Safety Council, seat belts saved more than 75,000 lives from 2004 to 2008. So, please buckle up, and make sure those along for the ride do the same. Before taking any road trips, check to make sure that your air conditioning is functioning properly. It’s also good practice to have your car serviced and inspected for safety before traveling. All fluid levels, including oil, coolant, brake and others, should be checked as well. Tires should also be properly inflated. For every 10-degree Fahrenheit increase in air temperature, tire pressure increases approximately one pound. For those who like to pack everything but the kitchen sink, it’s important to remember that cars should not be overloaded for travel. Check your owner’s manual for the safe weight limit for your vehicle. If you’re traveling with children, make sure they’re buckled in properly. Kids under 12 should always ride in the back seat. For information about correct child passenger restraints, read the PDF at http://dps.alabama.gov/Documents/Documents/ ChildPassengerRestraintLaw.pdf. For locations offering free car seat inspections, visit www.nhtsa.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm. If you’re traveling outside Alabama make sure that you’re also following any other child safety procedures specific to that state.
Children should never be left in an unattended car, and this is especially true when the weather is hot. Follow these tips to keep young people safe during summer travels. h Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open. h Do not let your children play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them that a vehicle is not a play area. h Make a habit of looking in the vehicle - front and back - before locking the door and walking away. h If you are dropping your child off at childcare, and normally it’s your spouse or partner who drops them off, have your spouse or partner call you to make sure the drop went according to plan. h Ask your childcare provider to call you if your child does not show up for childcare. h Always lock vehicle doors and trunks and keep keys out of children’s reach. If a child is missing, check the vehicle first, including the trunk. h If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call the police. If they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible. Cool the child rapidly. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. h Do things to remind yourself that a child is in the vehicle, such as: h Writing yourself a note and putting the note where you will see it when you leave the vehicle; h Placing your purse, briefcase or something else you need in the back seat so that you will have to check the back seat when you leave the vehicle; or h Keeping an object in the car seat, such as a stuffed toy. When the child is buckled in, place the object where the driver will notice it when he or she is leaving the vehicle.
Dangers of Extreme Heat
Michael Kelley is manager of safety & loss control for the Alabama Rural Electric Association.
32 JUNE 2013
Symptoms of heatstroke: Warning signs vary but may include red, hot, and moist or dry skin; no sweating; a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse; a throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; being grouchy; or acting strangely. If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call the police. If he is in distress due to heat, get him out as quickly as possible. Cool the child rapidly. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Information courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
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Our Sources Say
Renewable Energy II
ast month I wrote about my high school buddy, Jimbo Bryant, and his questions about renewable energy. My negative comments probably touched a nerve with those who believe renewables can solve the world’s energy problems, including global warming. When I offer my opinion on renewables, I am usually challenged on why we don’t adopt the European model that has successfully integrated renewable energy into society. So how is the European renewable model working? The 27 European Union countries are required to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050 (compared to 1990). Achieving those goals requires substituting renewable energy for fossil energy. The transition will neither be easy nor painless. The European Commission that developed the standards acknowledges the difficulty and said, “There is a trade-off between climate change policy and economic competitiveness.”
Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative 34 JUNE 2013
The United Kingdom’s Energy Intensive Users Group estimates the U.K. renewable energy subsidy system cost 10,000 manufacturing jobs between 2009 and 2010. Energy costs for U.K. chemical manufacturers are projected to increase 141 percent by 2020 because of renewable mandates. The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change estimates a planned off-shore wind project will cost $8,972 for each of the country’s households. The same energy could be provided by conventional sources for 5 percent of that cost. The Commission further warns that 43 percent of British households will fall below what it terms “the energy poverty line” with fuel bills taking up more than 10 percent of household income by 2020 due to the increased cost of renewables. Spain is often cited as the model for renewable power. The Spanish government heavily subsidizes its renewables program from income tax revenues. (They still pay more for energy; they just pay through income tax instead of electric bills.) A study by the former Zaperto government found that renewable energy subsidies had caused Spanish industrial electricity costs to rise 17 percent above the European average. It further noted the subsidies had increased by a factor of five since 2004. Those subsidies, often cited as the model for the world, cost 3.45 percent of all income tax revenues and have severely damaged Spain’s economy and industrial competitiveness. Denmark is another often-mentioned renewable energy model with its large and growing wind industry. Denmark has developed excellent wind resources yet has the highest energy prices in Europe. Despite these high prices, it has raised its internal carbon reduction levels to 40 percent by 2020 and plans to completely phase out fossil fuels by 2050. Italy uses a renewable cost floor to set
a minimum price for renewable energy, with subsidies to make up cost differences. The floor cost for wind energy is three times the market cost for electricity. A study by Italy’s Instituto Bruno Leoni found the subsidy capital required to create Italy’s green jobs would have created 6.9 times more jobs if invested in traditional industry. Germany uses a feed-in tariff system that requires utilities to buy renewable power at a fixed price that covers developers’ costs plus a profit. Through that model, Germany has developed half the world’s solar power. The reason for this growth is not the efficiency of the resource but the renewable energy subsidies. Germany has Europe’s strongest economy. Will higher energy costs under the renewable energy feed-in tariffs erode their global competitiveness? Fritz Vahrenholt, head of the Department of Renewable Energy at RWE Innogy and a former hero of the German environmental movement says, “We’re destroying the foundations of our prosperity. The cost of renewable energy is putting our automotive, steel, copper and chemical sectors at risk.” Of course, renewable supporters insist that more commitment to and investment in renewable energy resources will make them cost-effective. We have subsidized wind power since the early 1990’s and solar for almost that long, and they are still not competitive. Aggressive renewable programs seem to have only harmed European economies. I would rather invest in cheaper energy resources that provide good-paying jobs and improve our economy than subsidized renewable energy programs that make some people feel better but destroy others’ well-being. Some things just don’t work. Thank you for reading. I hope you have a good month. A www.alabamaliving.coop
JUNE 2013 37
At the beach Submit Your Images! august Theme:
“Back to school”
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. Photos may also be published on our website at www.alabamaliving.coop. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Deadline for august: June 30
38 JUNE 2013
1. Jacey Charlene Moore submitted by April Moore, Vinemont 2. “Kiss on the beach” submitted by Amber Dube, Cullman 3. Jalisha, David, Akeelah and Celeste McWilliams enjoy a day at Destin Beach submitted by Sandra Lee, Forest Home 4. “Got him covered!” submitted by Gaines Smith, Billingsley
5. Ellisa Woodham on her first trip to Panama City Beach submitted by Tami Woodham, Cottonwood 6. Jon Will Bullock at Gulf Shores submitted by Sharon Ivey, Arab 7. Ridge Rogers and pals submitted by Lee Rogers, Salem 8. Jamison Ellis submitted by Corley and Julie Ellis, Columbiana
Southern Occasions CO O K B O O K Here’s just a sample of the delicious recipes you’ll find inside!
Cranberry Baked Beans Tomato with Pork Stuffing Corn Bread Skillet Casserole French Vanilla Eggnog Coffee Caramel Apple Bars Italian Cheese Sticks Coconut Shrimp Candy Cane Cappuccino Apple Banana Crunch Pie Strawberry Pudding Skillet Pound Cake
CO O K B O O K