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Mike Duke’s life-long devotion to amateur radio

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10 Connecting with nature brings welcomed respite 11 Mississippi Cooks: Southern fare from the B.T.C.


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June 2014 I Today in Mississippi

Teens head to Washington for week-long Youth Tour his month, a group of 66 Mississippi high school students will join some 1,600 teens from across the nation for the weeklong Rural Electric Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. Each student is sponsored by his or her local electric cooperative, having earned the trip in a competitive process. Youth Tour turns 50 this summer, a remarkable milestone for any youth-centered event. It is said that Youth Tour grew out of a speech by then-Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson at the 1957 annual meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Johnson envisioned sending students to Washington where they could “actually see what the flag stands for and represents.” Some 28 years ago, electric power associations in Mississippi decided to include Youth Tour as a component of the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi Youth Leadership program. The tour not only rewards students for their participation in the program but also provides them an incomparable educational experience. Whether they have been to the nation’s capital before or not (most haven’t), they see and do new things and make new friends. Youth Tour is a rich, once-in-a-lifetime experience for every student who participates, and we are proud to offer it. We’ll report on our students’ trip to the 2014 Youth Tour in the August issue of Today in Mississippi. ••• This is the time of year when you should expect a rise in electric bills simply because you are using more electricity to keep cool. But there is something you can do to reduce the impact on your budget. To spend less on gasoline, you drive less. To save on electricity cost, use less electricity. Your electric power association can offer

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On the cover Jackson resident Mike Duke never allowed blindness to stop him from pursuing a career in broadcast radio and an avocation in amateur, or ham, radio. Duke has been a licensed amateur radio operator since the age of 14, having learned Morse code at age 12. He shares his personal story and more about the appeal of ham radio in our story on page 4.

budget-friendly tips on reducing your energy use, and there are several online resources to consult, including togetherwesave.com and energy.gov. For now, allow me to make a few suggestions to get you thinking about energy-efficiency every day: • An air conditioner must have a clean, obstructionfree filter in order to work efficiently. We recMy Opinion ommend installing a new Michael Callahan filter every month during Executive Vice President/CEO periods of heavy use, EPAs of Mississippi especially if you have indoor pets. • Raise the air conditioner’s thermostat setting by a few degrees. It will run less and you probably won’t notice the difference. • Launder in cold water. Yes, it will all get clean. • Run the dishwasher in the cooler hours of the day, and use the “air dry” cycle. • Limit your swimming pool’s filtration time to six hours. If the water doesn’t appear clean, increase the time in half-hour increments until it does. In most cases, it isn’t necessary to recirculate the water every day to remove debris; use a skimmer or vacuum instead. Consider installing a timer to control the pump’s cycling. • Run the bathroom exhaust fan while bathing to remove warm, moist air. But don’t let it run more than a couple minutes after you’re done, to minimize loss of conditioned air. Your electric power association was created to provide you with safe, reliable electric service at an affordable cost. Nobody works harder to keep that promise. But ultimately, you are in charge. JOIN TODAY IN MISSISSIPPI

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Vol. 67 No. 6

EDITORIAL OFFICE & ADVERTISING 601-605-8600 Acceptance of advertising by Today in Mississippi does not imply endorsement of the advertised product or services by the publisher or Mississippi’s Electric Power Associations. Product satisfaction and delivery responsibility lie solely with the advertiser. • National advertising representative: National Country Market, 800-626-1181 Circulation of this issue: 430,493 Non-member subscription price: $9.50 per year

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

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Our Homeplace

A water lily bobs peacefully in a Mississippi lake. Taking time to observe the beauty of nature, whether in the wild or the backyard, is restorative to the soul, according to columnist Tony Kinton. See page 10.

Mississippi is ... ... the soft-spoken drawl of the South asking, “Where are you folks from?” The reflection of the South inviting, “Y’all get on down and sit a spell.” The best of Southern hospitality offering, “Let me fix y’all a glass of iced tea.” The most gracious in saying, “Yes, ma’am, than you very much!” The most compassionate in expressing, “Bless your heart.” And my favorite, “Y’all come back! You hear?” –Dottie Dewberry, Maben My Mississippi is the smell of fresh cut grass in the summer, the first leaves burning in fall, listening to the laughter of children at play, sitting in the swing on the front porch in late afternoons with a sweet, cool breeze blowing from the big oaks that seems to whisper, “Come on over.” My Mississippi has a beautiful soul and a warm spirit that welcomes everyone to come and see her beauty. –Jannie Sue Smith, McLain The smell of freshly cut grass, the sounds of birds singing their own melody, a child’s laughter muffled through the pines and the softness of a spring breeze as it brushes my skin. These are the reasons I call this place home. Mississippi lives deep in the heart of this proud Southern girl. – Lesia Bruno, Neshoba County

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

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June 2014

Expert at being an amateur Amateur radio a life-long passion for enthusiast Mike Duke

By Debbie Stringer It is a childhood memory Mike Duke still relishes: listening to rock ‘n’ roll pulled from the ether by a vacuum-tube AM radio. “I would turn it on and wait for the tubes to warm up, then Elvis would come out,” he said. “I thought, this is so cool.” When he found out a person could get paid for playing records on the radio, he announced to his mother, “When I grow up I’m going to work at the radio station.” He was 4 years old. Duke made good on his promise. After earning a degree in communications with a broadcasting emphasis at Mississippi State University, he launched a life-long career in commercial and public radio broadcasting. For the past 26 years, he has been director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s Radio Reading Service of Mississippi, which provides on-the-air readings of print media for people unable to read due to visual or other physical disabilities. Duke is also known as K5XU, the call sign of a self-described amateur radio “junkie” who earned his radio license at age 14. Also known as ham radio, amateur radio is an FCC-licensed form of wireless communication that makes contact possible with other ham radio oper-

After a day at the office, Duke looks forward to settling into his comfortable ators, or hams, on world-spanning frechair, flipping on the electronics and lisquencies. Duke holds the “amateur extra” class tening to the hams’ on-the-air chatter. He tends to license, the listen more highest of than he three talks. license levHow els—as many ham does his radios does wife, Kathhe own? “I leen think I have (K5KKD). five on the They are desk and members of two or the Jackson three others Amateur Kathleen (K5KKD) and Mike Duke both hold “amateur extra” class radio sitting Radio licenses. Her Austrian mother was a radio operator who translated Geraround, and Club. man weather information for American troops during World War II. a couple of At the receivers in storage. I have way more home the couple shares in Jackson, one than I need,” he said with a grin. room is dedicated to their hobby. A wide desk holds both vintage and modDuke’s interest in radio communiern equipment: radios, microphones, cations started at age 10 when his older power supplies, a computer keyboard brother got into citizens band (CB) and keys for transmitting Morse code.

Mike Duke (K5XU) operates his ham radio station at his home in Jackson. His owns and uses both modern and vintage equipment. One of his favorites is a World War II-era J-38 telegraph key, the “straight key” style he used to learn Morse code at age 12.

radio. “That was when I first discovered there was radio out there other than music radio, where you could talk and people would talk back to you,” he said. That interest led him to amateur radio. Talking to people around the world via the airwaves was a mind-blowing prospect for a boy born blind in the small town of Newton. But first he would need to pass a written exam to earn an entry-level amateur radio operator’s license. At that time the exam required proficiency in Morse code, plus some basic knowledge of electronics. By age 12, Duke had taught himself the code. The following year, his parents gave him his first “real” ham radio receiver, a vacuum-tube model made by Hammarlund. “It would light up and get warm on the top and smell good,” Duke said, laughing at the memory. (He still has the receiver and recently had it


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the receiver and recently had it rebuilt by a technician.) His parents supported his new interest in ham radio, he recalled. “My dad would say to people, I don’t care a thing about it but it gives him something to do, gives him some challenges and makes him think—makes him work toward something.” Duke prepared for the license exam with the help of a Braille instructional book, some recorded material and a math teacher’s tutoring. A local ham, also blind, served as Duke’s role model and mentor. “I learned a lot from him, not just about ham radio but being blind and other things. He helped me build that support network that all ham radio operators need at some point. We all help each other put up and fix antennas, and so forth.” Hams from all walks of life share an unusual world-wide camaraderie. Communicating on a regular basis tends to bond people who may have nothing in common other than the enjoyment of their hobby. Hams exchange postcards, called QSL cards, printed with their call sign to confirm radio contacts with each other. This long-standing tradition grew out of their pride in being able to receive distant signals. Hams also have a long tradition of volunteerism in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, including severe weather reporting and emergency communications. Hams provided on-theground weather and damage reports as tornadoes caused extensive damage and fatalities in Mississippi April 28. The desire to participate in such public service efforts motivates many people to become an amateur radio operator. “9/11 and Hurricane Katrina—those two events did more to boost interest in ham radio than anything in recent years,” Duke said. Had his first license exam not been delayed by a vacationing tester, Duke may have taken part in hams’ service as emergency communicators after Hurricane Camille slammed the Mississippi coast Aug. 17, 1969. Duke stayed by his radio for days, listening as hams relayed urgent messages between authorities on the coast and in Jackson. “I spent untold hours listening to that. I was listening when it actually came ashore,” he said. “This was long before cell phones, long before the Internet, long before a

lot of the other backup [communications] sources we have now. At that time, ham radio was it in terms of communications out of the coast for several days.” Amateur radio communication support became critical in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, when conventional telecommunications systems quickly became overloaded. Some 300 amateur radio volunteers provided communication support to enhance security at the recent 2014 Boston Marathon. When amateur radio emerged as a popular avocation in the early 20th century, many hams built their own radios. Some still do, although electronic components have long since replaced vacuum tubes. “It has become computerized, like everything else in the world. There are radios out there that are basically plugins for your computer,” Duke said. Despite all the digital capabilities of modern radio equipment, some hams, like Duke, still enjoy using vintage tubetype equipment too.

For some, it’s easier than ever to get into amateur radio, he pointed out. In the past, visually impaired people who could not see the radio’s metering system had to make modifications to produce audio signals, but this is not necessary with today’s equipment. Proficiency in Morse code is no longer required to obtain a license, a skill Duke likened to learning a foreign language. Yet some hams, Duke included, enjoy flexing their code muscles on the air from time to time. The expense of amateur radio equipment is up to the individual. A basic, hand-held radio for local communications can cost less than $200, according to Duke. “You can spend as much money as you want,” he said. “The ‘bigger boat, bigger fish’ syndrome kicks in: The bigger boat doesn’t always mean bigger fish.” For him, the lifetime of enjoyment and camaraderie ham radio brings is worth every penny spent. He has no

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idea how many hams he has “met” on the radio through the years, but the number surely soars into the thousands around the globe. “Radio is like going fishing. You might land a conversation with somebody across the street or somebody as far around the world from you as you can get. That part of the magic is still there,” Duke said. Just as magical is the realization of his childhood dream—a career in radio broadcasting. “I feel fortunate that I was able to do something that I really had wanted to do my entire life, as far back as I can remember,” he said.

Duke’s workhorse radio is this Kenwood unit.

Field Day tests hams’ skills ing last year’s Field Day. More competitive clubs may contact The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Field Day, June far more, Duke said. 28-29, is a highlight each year for amateur radio operators, “We don’t make a contest out of it like some groups do. or hams, in the U.S. and Canada. Hams set up their stations We’d rather spend a few minutes talking to somebody who in a single location outdoors to operate “off the grid,” using only generators or batteries. The idea is to simulate an emer- walks up and wants to know what’s going on. We’ll let them watch us make some contacts,” he explained. gency situation under abnormal conditions. There are more than 2,000 amateur radio clubs and more During Field Day, hams attempt to make as many on-thethan 600,000 radio amateurs in the U.S., according to ARRL, air contacts as possible during a 24-hour period. the national association for amateur radio. Some 4,000 indi“The true idea of it is to test your emergency equipment and your operating skills,” said Mike Duke, a member of the viduals hold amateur radio licenses in Mississippi. For more information about all aspects of amateur radio, including Field Jackson Amateur Radio Club (JARC). JARC has participated in Field Day for more than 50 years. Day information, visit ARRL.org or the Jackson Amateur Radio Club website The official start of its 2014 Field Day operation is 1 p.m. Sat- at msham.org urday, June 28, in an outdoor space between Bass Pro Shop and Sam’s Club, in Pearl. The event is open to the public beginning Saturday morning, and club members welcome visitors’ questions. JARC members made some 1,000 contacts with Doug Spencer, left photo, a JARC member, helps make contact with other hams during his club’s 2013 Field Day event in Pearl. Todd other hams dur- Warren, right photo, demonstrates the use of a ham radio for a young visitor to Field Day. Photos: Bob Bullock/JARC


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About that Elvis column last month ... irst off, let me fall all over myself apologizing to Dewey Phillips, George Klein and the memory of Elvis Presley (assuming he really is dead) because of a series of errors in my column last month. I incorrectly attributed former WHBQ Memphis disc jockey George Klein as being the first person ever to play an Elvis record on the radio. That isn’t true. It was Dewey Phillips. It was played at WHBQ, though, and at least one person who called this month to help me see the error of my ways said that George was interning at the station at the time and most probably was in the room when the record was played. But that ain’t close enough to even be a half-truth. Dewey Phillips gets the points. And then to add insult to injury, I didn’t even spell George’s last name correctly. But spelling has always been an approximate science with me. Mark Twain said he never thought as much of any man who only held to one way to spell a word. (I bet George never asks my younger brother how I’m doing again. That was the springboard for the whole affair, George asking about me at a Tennessee Broadcasters Hall of Fame luncheon where he sat with my younger brother, Rob.) Anyway, I hope I’ve quelled the rebellion by giving Dewey his due, manually entering “Klein” into my spell-checker, and promising never to zip out another article just because it’s in the wee hours the night before the deadline and I still haven’t written anything. The first whiff that there may be a problem with my last month’s “Mississippi Seen” column came up when my Mendenhall friend Kirk Hill took me on a tour of Simpson County in one of his Model T vehicles. I was shooting a TV feature about the county’s new Heritage Trail and asked if I could romp the trail with Kirk in one of his old cars. We started to take his 1914 Model T because it was 100 years old this year. But instead he brought a later model converted into a pickup. I understand that many old Model T sedans were retrofitted with homemade truck beds

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for use on the farm. It was the perfect vehicle to shoot video from. As we were rolling around the county from place to place Mississippi making converSeen sation, Kirk by Walt Grayson remarked he always enjoys my articles in Today in Mississippi. I modestly thanked him while asking a few leading questions to get him to tell me more about how wonderful my articles are. Kirk told me, “I thought this month’s article was interesting about the degrees of separation between people and Elvis Presley.” I beamed. But then he added, “But it really seemed you didn’t have much to write about.” My beam dimmed. And truth be known, I was searching for a reason to use the picture of the Jacinto Court House and the remark Billy Hester told me about him financing a Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Elvis show in Boonville back in the 50s. Then the emails and phone calls

My friend Kirk Hill drives one of the many Model Ts he has resurrected over the years. He took me on a tour of Simpson County recently. Next time I ride with him, I think we'll talk more about his cars and less about my writing. Photo: Walt Grayson

started coming in about the misspellings and errant attributes and demands for me to recant or renounce or do penitence for or retract my statements. Well, three emails and a phone call came pouring in. I figure there were more folks than that who spotted my mistakes but took Jesus’ advice and withheld throwing the first stone. But one thing comes from all of this.

I am finally convinced Elvis is dead. Because if not, surely I would have heard from him too. Walt Grayson is the host of “Mississippi Roads” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting television, and the author of two “Looking Around Mississippi” books and “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories.” Contact Grayson at walt@waltgrayson.com

Pass it on, Mississippians emember what Billie said,” I remarked to Mr. Roy last April. “If it thunders in February, it will turn cold around the same date in April.” My phone weather alert had warned that the weeks’ lows would be in the 30s. “Everybody knows February thunder predicts cold weather!” he answered. “Only if folks keep passing the information down from generation to generation, as people in the Bible were instructed to do. Besides not everybody has that little gem of info.” My friend Billie also knows most every cure for what ails you. Without her knowledge my doctor(s) appointments would mushroom. She can also usher in miracles. Really. She snaps her finger and corn grows in the shade of an oak—that is, if she's the one planting it. Her thumb

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isn’t just green; all her fingers have flower sprouts for fingernails. This is slightly tongue and cheek, but I’m telling you the truth: She can rejuvenate, even bring life back to life dead plants. If not for Billie Tilley my flowers and shrubs would either die or never bloom. Billie was one of my many students when I was teaching at George County High School. She was smart and very talkative. I had to put her on the front row so I could watch her mouth! She now works for the school system. She keeps the grounds of George County schools looking beautiful. Back to the remedy for ordinary ailments. Check your memory and try to remember what your grandmother told you that old folks used for cures. I’ll only mention a small sampling. Vicks Vapor Rub or Mentholatum salve was used for head and chest colds. Billie said her

Mommy gave her a hot bath and rubbed the salve over her whole body. Especially her chest, armpits, feet, and then put a glob below her nose. My Big Momma rubbed my Grin ‘n’ chest and Bare It placed a towel by Kay Grafe and hot pad on it, then buttoned my flannel pajamas to my neck. I hated it, but I got well. If children or adults had a cough, a syrup was made from honey, lemon, peppermint and a tad of whisky. Or they took a teaspoon of sugar and poured whisky over it for a dose.


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State wildflower Coreopsis shines in landscapes ou can hardly miss the yellow flowers of Coreopsis lanceolata along highways in the summer, so it’s easy to see why this is the state wildflower of Mississippi. Several species of the plant fall under the common name of tickseed. Coreopsis lanceolata grows up to 2 feet tall along roadsides and in prairie-type sites. Its flowers are daisy-like with bright yellow petals and centers. Another common Mississippi native is Coreopsis tinctoria, which many folks call calliopsis. It has the familiar yellow petals but has centers of Southern brownish-red. Several selections Gardening are available in by Dr. Gary Bachman garden centers, and one of the best I have seen is Cha Cha Cha. But if you are looking for a coreopsis for the garden, I always lean towards Coreopsis grandiflora. As the botanical name suggests, this plant is commonly called big-flowered coreopsis. It has

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People used garlic for stomach aches. Have you ever taken castor oil for bathroom stomach problems? An old remedy for teething babies was a necklace made out of the hard core of nettle root. It was a bush with purple flowers and yellow berries, according to Billie. Mothers would string it with a thread and put it around the baby’s neck. When the baby drooled on the necklace it had an aroma that was soothing to the child. Mercurochrome was swabbed on tonsils for tonsillitis and for minor abrasions. Iodine and Merthiolate were used for skinned knees and arms. Still is. Cole tar or fat-back meat for sores (boils) and turpentine for bad cuts. If you were city-raised, some of these remedies sound ridiculous. When folks lived a few miles out of town and didn’t live close to a doctor, they used a remedy that was passed down through generations. Folks also had a large garden and flower beds. According to Billie, above-ground crops

Coreopsis lanceolata is the state wildflower of Mississippi, and it grows frequently along the state’s roadsides and in prairie areas. The huge flowers of Coreopsis Corey Yellow are deep, bold yellow with maroon center splotches. Photo: MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman

broad, lobed leaves with flowers that seem to float on long stems. Coreopsis grandiflora typically has a clumping growth habit in the landscape. The variety Early Sunrise has a semidouble flowering habit. Related to this variety is the variegated Tequila Sunrise. I like this variety so much that I have grown it wherever I have lived for more

than 20 years. It has a compact growth habit with individual, semi-double flowers that are a bright, clear yellow. I also like the coreopsis selection Corey Yellow. Its flowers are huge compared with other coreopsis, and its petals are deep, bold yellow with maroon center splotches. Growing coreopsis in our Mississippi

such as peppers, squash and cucumbers should be planted with the rising moon. Root crops such as potatoes, carrots and onions go in with the waning moon. Billie’s Daddy kept his bushels of sweet potatoes in a large round deep hole lined with pine straw and placed the potatoes there and shaped them like a cone. He added another layer of pine straw and a layer of dirt, then placed a car hood on the top where he had left a hole for retrieval and dryness. I keep my five pounds of sweet potatoes in the kitchen drawer with my five pounds of Irish potatoes. How about you? Note: After I wrote this column I was poking around my many book shelves and found the perfect book for those of us who believe in folk remedies: “Bottom

Line Books: Secret Food Cures and Doctor-approved Folk Remedies” by Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen, published in 2007 by Bottom Line Books. Only $10. Let me know if you think it’s a winner. Nettle was used widely in folk remedies.

Kay Grafe is the author of “Oh My Gosh, Virginia.” To order, send name, address, phone number and $16.95, plus $3.50 S&H to Kay Grafe, 2142 Fig Farm Road, Lucedale, MS 39452.

landscapes and gardens is pretty easy as long as you maintain well-drained soil. Go easy on the watering, as coreopsis will tolerate a droughty spell, but it does best with consistent moisture. Coreopsis varieties produce abundant flowers, especially Early Sunrise. Deadhead spent flowers to keep the plant blooming. This selection freely selfseeds, a trait shared among varieties of coreopsis, and the seedlings are very similar to the mother plant. Coreopsis tends to be a tender, shortlived plant, but the self-seeding trait allows it to act as a perennial. Divide the plant every two to three years to maintain vigor. Don’t forget to share these divisions with your friends and neighbors. Tidy up the appearance of coreopsis plots by pruning as needed late in the summer if the main plants open up or start to sprawl. Now a word of caution: Coreopsis is well adapted for northern Mississippi, but it can struggle in the coastal region because of the winter’s cool and wet conditions. Don’t let this stop you from enjoying coreopsis in southern Mississippi. Just consider it an annual and plant it anyway. Dr. Gary Bachman is MSU horticulturist at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.


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Online voting is now open and closes June 20 at 5 p.m. ANNUAL MEETING - JUNE 26, 2014 - 6 P.M. - SRE’S LUCEDALE OFFICE


June 2014



Today in Mississippi  9

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Nature’s gift : Relief from life’s complexities t is reasonable to conclude that everyone encounters difficulties in life. Some are more complex than others, but regardless of the depth and degree of those rough spots, they can disturb the emotions and even coax the sufferer toward despair. The following is in no way intended to discount those sometimes tragic circumstances; these are real. But the purpose of this writing is to point out those healing glimpses afforded by nature. Not long ago, while on the edge of a despondent episode triggered by some unavoidable demands that have become a real part of living, I happened to stop by a window, outside of which are two bird feeders. This window is down the hall from my office here at home. Be advised that I am not a dedicated birder, not one filled with extensive knowledge of varieties, whether migratory or resident, but I have for many years been appreciative of these marvels of nature. On this day in question, I was unexpectedly presented with a most pleasing and captivating spectacle. The first to catch my eye was the goldfinch, and since this sighting was a month or so back from the time you are reading this, the tiny male was not yet transformed into his most brilliant color scheme. Still, he was adequately attractive. Closer observation revealed 14 of these birds; at least that is what I could count. They flitted about with great abandon, exercising that grand ability omitted from the capabilities of humankind: flight. They would be first on the feeders, then scooting through a crepe myrtle, then on the ground and finally scurrying away as a flock to some tree in the distance, only to return momentarily to repeat their performance. It was all quite marvelous. And then a bird I don’t recall seeing for two years or more. An indigo bunting. A handsome specimen, this one was beneath the feeder collecting scattered seeds. Quickly one became five, their blue feathers glistening in an earlyspring morning sun. They contested the presence of the goldfinches, to which the goldfinches reciprocated. But all managed to snatch a seed and perch daintily

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until that seed was consumed. Then it was back for more. All the while this blue and yellow parade was taking place, additional color was added. Cardinals, the males a bright red. A nuthatch contributed its mottled plumage. The tufted titmouse, though drab in comparison to the more vivid participants, was intriguing just the same. An oriole, almost gaudily dressed, shuffled about on the ground and in and out of low-branch shrubs. He was magnificent. And there were sparrows and doves and chickadees, the latter zipping off to a nearby tree and producing that odd little whistling chirp that has always put my mind in a state of tranquility. Today, as this is being written two weeks after that discovery mentioned above, there are two examples that I seldom see: the rose-breasted grosbeak. Most impressive, this big guy. That outsized beak, though not the most attractive appendage, takes nothing away from the rose breast and dark, almost black wings. Another superb image of natural beauty. A thought arose. These birds were and are on the feeders because the feeders are there. If they weren’t, however, the birds would still be present somewhere. They would not fret that I failed to put out and fill feeders. They would simply move to a location more conducive to their likes and needs. No

whining or scolding or dour mood. Certainly no worry. That latter practice seems fully reserved for folks such as I. An element of regret overcame me. I had, for too many days, been engrossed in justifiable concern, but I had let it run amuck and had not kept that concern in perspective. I was doing all I could to rectify the ongoing situation in which I found myself, or to at least make it a bit more palatable, so why should I worry about things that were beyond my control or capabilities? I shouldn’t. But I was. The birds Mississippi were reminding Outdoors me of a valuable truth. by Tony Kinton It was then that I opted to walk outside, to breathe some spring air and further set those worries aside for the moment. And what do I see? Blooms and blossoms and all manner of restorative elements. An azalea in the back yard was literally bursting to perfection. A squirrel bounced away from an oak and the buried acorns beneath it. A crow cawed in the distance. There was no hint of worry or frantic pacing. Just life playing out in its

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June 2014

mississippi

Cooks ‘The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook’ FEATURED COOKBOOK:

From a small grocery store/cafe in Water Valley operated by two enterprising women—one a talented chef—in a once-derelict 140-year-old building comes a cookbook as enjoyable to read as it is tantalizing. “The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Southern Revival” by store owner Alexe Van Beuren features 120 recipes by Dixie Grimes, illustrated with full-color photographs and enhanced with Beuren’s lively storytelling. The story of the grocery itself is an inspiring example of how hard work, fueled by dreams, can pay off in a rural Mississippi town. The store’s name was inspired by a Ghandi quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Since opening in 2010, the B.T.C. has become known for serving hearty breakfasts and lunches, plus prepared foods like casseroles, salads and spreads—besides local seasonal vegetables and sundry grocery items. Recipes featured in the cookbook include Cora Ray’s Fried Pies, Honey Pecan Catfish, Tex-Mex Pimento Cheese, Hoop and Havarti Macaroni, Watermelon Salad with Feta, and the three recipes reprinted at right. The 240-page cookbook is available in stores in hardcover and as an ebook from online retailers. Signed copies may be ordered from Square Books at squarebooks.com. Price is $29.99. The B.T.C. Grocery is located at 301 N. Main St. in Water Valley. For more information, call 662-473-4323 or go to btcgrocery.com

Ratatouille 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 cup sliced onion 1 cup sliced green bell pepper 1 cup sliced red bell pepper 2 cups sliced zucchini

2 cups peeled and cubed eggplant 2 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash tomato-basil-garlic seasoning 1 (14 ½-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add onion, peppers, zucchini and eggplant, and mix well. Cook 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Sprinkle seasoning over vegetables and stir to combine. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

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Today in Mississippi

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Dixie Dale’s Shrimp Salad 1 cup Old Bay seasoning 1 pound shrimp 4 cups Hellmann’s mayonnaise Juice of 2 lemons 2 Tbsp. dry white wine or dry vermouth 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 3 dashes Tabasco sauce

½ cup finely chopped green onions 3 celery hearts, finely chopped (½ cup) 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley 4 tsp. garlic salt ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper ½ tsp. sweet paprika ½ tsp. white pepper

Bring 6 cups of water and the Old Bay to a boil in a 4-quart stockpot set over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until they start to curl and turn pink, 3 minutes. Using a mesh strainer, transfer the shrimp to a bowl of ice water. Let sit for 2 minutes, drain the shrimp and then put them on paper towels to dry. Peel, devein and chop the shrimp. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, wine, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, onions, celery, parsley, garlic salt, cayenne, paprika and white pepper. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve the salad, add the shrimp and return the bowl to the refrigerator. Serve when chilled. The salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. Serves 4 to 6.

Peach Pound Cake 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature ½ cup Crisco shortening 3 cups sugar 6 eggs 1 (3-oz.) box peach-flavored instant gelatin

1 tsp. vanilla extract 3½ cups all-purpose flour ¼ tsp. baking powder ¼ tsp. salt 1 cup buttermilk 4 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped (2 cups)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a Bundt pan (or four 4-by-7-inch loaf pans) with nonstick cooking spray. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, shortening and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, and then add the gelatin and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the butter mixture and stir well. Stir in the peaches and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before inverting onto a serving plate.

Yellow Squash Au Gratin ¼ cup (½ stick) plus 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter 6 to 8 small yellow squash, sliced (4 cups) 4 eggs, beaten 2 dashes Tabasco sauce ½ tsp. sugar 1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 1 tsp. dried basil ½ tsp. white pepper 1 cup panko bread crumbs 2 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded (½ cup) 2 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded (½ cup)

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, melt ¼ cup of the butter. Add the squash, eggs, Tabasco, sugar, ½ teaspoon of the salt and black pepper. In a sauté pan set over medium heat, add the oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Heat until bubbly. Add the squash mixture, ½ teaspoon remaining salt, basil and white pepper. Cook until the squash is soft, 15 minutes. Drain well and set aside. Put half the squash mixture in the bottom of an 8-by-8-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle with half the bread crumbs and then half of each of the cheeses. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients. Bake until golden brown on top, 15 minutes. Serves 6. Visit our website for more recipes:

This version of a traditional French recipe featuring summer vegetables comes from the “Mississippi Farmers Market Cookbook: 500 Fresh Not Frozen.” Price is $15 plus $2.50 S&H per book. To order, send check or money order (payable to MDAC) to Mississippi Farmers Market Cookbook, c/o Marketing Division, P.O. Box 1609, Jackson, MS 39215-1609. For more information, call 601359-1159.

I

www.todayinmississippi.com

Check it out!


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Today in Mississippi

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June 2014

Marketplace Mississippi

’x 12’ 40’x 60 rn B Pole a ith dw n E close Rollup 0’ 1 ’x 0 (2) 1 ’ Walk (1) 3’x 7

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30’x 4 0’x 10 ’ R All Ste ed Iron el Buil ding K (2) 8’x it 8 (1) 3’x ’ Rollup 7’ Walk $6,77 Kit On 5 ly

Type or print your ad clearly. Be sure to include your telephone number. Deadline is the 10th of each month for the next month’s issue. Rate is $2.50 per word, 10-word minimum. Mail payment with your ad to Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Have any questions? Phone 601-605-8600 or email advertising@epaofms.com

FOR SALE SAWMILL EXCHANGE: North America’s largest source of used portable sawmills and commercial sawmill equipment for woodlot and sawmill operations. Over 800 listings. Call for a free list or to sell your equipment, 800-459-2148, www.sawmillexchange.com WHOLE HOUSE GENERATOR. Minimum H.P. of Tractor 40. Never used. Paid $4280.00. Sale for $3000.00. 228-219-8292. 10.5 Acres, 3 BR, 2 bath brick home, barn, ponds, fishing, hunting. Monticello $110,000. 601-669-1065. CHRISTIAN VALUE GREEN TECHNOLOGY COMPANY seeks mature business professionals for PT/FT business opportunity. Home based office. Career level income potential. Apprenticeship style training/support. 800-972-6983.

VACATION RENTALS SMOKIES. TOWNSEND, TN. 2 BR, 2 Bath Log Home, Jacuzzi, Fireplace, wrap around porch, charcoal grill, picnic table. 865-320-4216, rmmtn@aol.com CABINS, PIGEON FORGE, TN sleeps 2-6, great location, 251-649-3344, 251-649-4049. www.hideawayprop.com APPALACHIAN TRAIL Cabins by trail in Georgia mountains. 3000’ above sea level. Snowy winters, cool summers, inexpensive rates. 800-284-6866. www.bloodmountain.com. GULF SHORES BEACH HOUSE. 2 BR. Summer, $995/week. Fall, $800/week. 251-666-5476.

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June 2014



Today in Mississippi



Help keep them safe while they keep your service reliable Our crews work every day to keep miles of power lines energized. When you see them working along roadsides, please slow down and pass with care. We want our line workers to return home safely at the end of their work day!

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Today in Mississippi

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June 2014

Events MISSISSIPPI

Southern Gospel Music Association of Mississippi Singing, July 12, Petal. Featuring several groups; 6 p.m. Bethel Assembly of God. Details: 662-299-4864, 662-216-3827. Mississippi Opry, July 12, Pearl. Bluegrass, old time, country and gospel music, featuring D’lo Trio and Harmony & Grits; 6-9 p.m.

Admission. Pearl Community Room. Details: 601-331-6672. Pastor Appreciation Celebration, July 13, Bolivar. Honoring the Rev. Arthur J. Thomas with speaker the Rev. James Dennis and choirs; 2:30 p.m. Galilee M.B. Church. Details: 662-820-7146.

‘Picture This’ gets patriotic for July Want more than 400,000 readers to know about your event? Submit it at least two months prior to the event date. Submissions must include a phone number with area code for publication. Mail to Mississippi Events, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300; fax to 601-605-8601; or email to news@epaofms.com Events of statewide interest will be published free of charge as space allows. Since events are subject to change, we strongly recommend confirming dates and times before traveling.

Rockin’ on the Roost Summer Concert Series, June 7-27, Olive Branch. Fridays, 7-9 p.m. Old Towne Main Street, Pigeon Roost Road. Details: 662-393-0888; olivebrancholdtowne.org Vegetable Field Day, June 12, Beaumont. Techniques for producing vegetables and fruits; demonstration garden; 8-11 a.m. Free. Mississippi State University Beaumont Horticulture Unit. Details: 228-546-1013; coker@ra.msstate.edu Friends of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library Book Sale, June 12 & 14 and July 10 & 12, Columbus. Used paperbacks, hardbacks and audio books in most every genre. Columbus-Lowndes Public Library. Details: 618-444-2591; lowndeslibrary.org 13th Annual Noxubee County Juneteenth Festival, June 14, Macon. Parade/drumline, food, gospel and blues music, and fun; 10 a.m. - dark. Free. North Street and Hwy. 14 W. Details: 662-726-5475, 662-352-4738. “Can’t Stop Singing,” June 14-15, Jackson. Musical with “Sesame Street” characters. Four performances. Admission. Mississippi Coliseum. Details: 601-353-0603; sesamestreetlive.com Lower Delta Talks: “Delta Lagniappe: Trends and Tablescapes,” June 17, Rolling Fork. Featuring Sherry Smythe and Sarah Smythe; 6:30 p.m. Free. SharkeyIssaquena County Library. Details: 662-873-4076. Bluegrass, Country and Gospel Singing, June 21, Black Hawk. Featuring Mack Allen Smith & The Flames and Uncle Pug Kea & Bluegrass Friends; 6 p.m. Black Hawk Old School. Details: 662-453-0072; bobbykayalford@gmail.com Third Annual Deanash Children’s Village Car Show and Mustang 50th Anniversary Car Show, June 28, Hattiesburg. Benefits Deanash Children’s Village; 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Spectators free. Pineview Baptist Church. Details: 601-467-1138; andersonstanley58@gmail.com

Bibletones Quartet Homecoming, June 28, Gulfport. Featuring The Bibletones, The Gold City Quartet and Original Florida Boys Quartet; 6 p.m. Free admission. Gulfport Baptist Church. Details: 228-326-6107, 228-284-2306. A Day in the Park, June 28, Crawford. Includes Community-wide yard sale offering clothing, housewares, toys, home decor, tools, more; softball game and concessions. Details: 662-272-5770. 38th Annual Day in the Park, June 28, Beaumont. Entertainment, arts/crafts, food, fireworks; 11:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. Details: 601784-3352. The Voice of the Fourth, June 28, Lena. Vocal competition for all ages; 6 p.m. Admission. Old Lena School. Details: 601-6638101, 601-781-7830. Bruce Sawmill Festival, July 10-11, Bruce. Entertainment featuring The Bouffants, golf tournament, car show, 5K run/walk, arts/crafts, more. Bruce Square. Details: 662-983-2222; chamber@brucetelephone.com

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For our next “Picture This” reader photo feature, we are looking for photos on the theme “Patriotism, Mississippi Style.” Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by June 10. Selected photos will appear in the July issue of Today in Mississippi. Photographers whose photos are selected for publication are eligible for a $200 cash prize, to be awarded in a random drawing in December. I Submission requirements • Submit as many photos as you like, but select only your best work. • Photos must relate to the given theme. • Photos must be the original work of an amateur photographer (of any age). • Photos must be in sharp focus. • Digital photos must be high-resolution JPG files. Please do not use photo-editing software to alter colors or tones. (We prefer to do it ourselves, if necessary, according to our printer’s standards.) • Photos must be accompanied by identifying information: photographer’s name, address, phone and electric power association (if applicable). Include the name(s) of any recognizable people, places and pets in the picture. Feel free to add comments or explanatory notes. • Prints will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We cannot, however, guarantee their safe return through the mail. I How to submit Mail prints to Picture This, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Attach digital photos to an email message, including the required identifying information, and send to: news@epaofms.com If submitting more than one photo, please attach all photos to only one email message, if possible.




June 2014

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REG. PRICE $399.99

SAVE PRESSURE $50 LOT NO.WASHER 68333/69488 Item 68333 shown

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/5/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

SAVE $80

6999

• 3-1/2 Pumps Lifts Most Vehicles! • Weighs 27 lbs.

LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/5/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

900 PEAK/ 800 RUNNING WATTS 2 HP (63 CC) NEW! GAS GENERATOR

• Extends from 6 ft. to 8 ft. 10" REG. PRICE $99.99

REG. PRICE $199.99

LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/5/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

$

14999

LOT NO. 68053 69252 60569 62160

5999

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

LOT NO. 68862

Item 68053 shown

REG. PRICE $119.99

LOT NO. 66619 60338/69381

99

Item 67831 shown

$

100

– Four Wheeler Magazine

RAPID PUMP® 1.5 TON ALUMINUM RACING JACK

$ 1.5 HP ELECTRIC POLE SAW

"The Undisputed King of the Garage"

SAVE $60

VALUE

LIMIT 1 - Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or prior purchase. Coupon good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Offer good while supplies last. Shipping & Handling charges may apply if not picked up in-store. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/5/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

REG. PRICE $29.99

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

$ 99 WITH ANY PURCHASE

calling rFreight.com or by at our stores, Harbodiscount or coupon or prior LIMIT 4 - Good be used with other l receipt. 800-423-2567. Cannot l purchase with origina origina be from must days n Original coupo purchases after 30 es last. Non-transferable. per day. Offer good while supplih 10/5/14. Limit one coupon per customer presented. Valid throug

LOT NO. 69654/95914

SAVE 45%

11999 REG. PRICE $149.99

1799

LIMIT 6 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/5/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

Item 65020 shown

Customers and Experts Agree Harbor Freight WINS in QUALITY and PRICE 16 DRAWER ROLLER CABINET

LOT NO. 67974

SAVE 40%

ITEM 65020 69052/69111

ANY SINGLE ITEM

10 FT. x 20 FT. PORTABLE CAR CANOPY

15

21 PIECE SAE/METRIC GO-THRU SOCKET SET

$

3-1/2" SUPER BRIGHT NINE LED ALUMINUM FLASHLIGHT

LIMIT 1 - Save 20% on any one item purchased at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. *Cannot be used with other discount, coupon, gift cards, Inside Track Club membership, extended service plans or on any of the following: compressors, generators, tool storage or carts, welders, floor jacks, Towable Ride-On Trencher (Item 65162), open box items, in-store event or parking lot sale items. Not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/5/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! PE ON SU UP CO



SUPER COUPON!

NOBODY BEATS OUR QUALITY, SERVICE AND PRICE!

R ! PE ON SU UP CO 26",

Today in Mississippi

$ Item 69654 shown

3299

REG. PRICE $59.99

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/5/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

1-1/4 GALLON SPRAYER LOT NO. 95692/61280

SAVE 42% Item 95692 shown

7

$ 99

REG. PRICE $13.99

LIMIT 9 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/5/14. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

If You Buy Tools Anywhere Else, You're Throwing Your Money Away



Today in Mississippi Singing River June 2014