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News for members of Singing River Electric Power Association

4 Carving his niche: Woodworker Mike Hobgood

18 Picture This: Readers’ funny pet photos

21 The Dickersons make music

Periodical postage (ISSN 1052 2433)

a family affair

2 I Today in Mississippi I October 2013

October 2013 I Today in Mississippi

Cooperation works for electric cooperative members rom childhood we are taught the value of working together to get things done. Young athletes aren’t the only ones to learn that through teamwork and cooperation, we can accomplish goals impossible to reach on our own. October is National Cooperative Month, a good time to reflect on how cooperatives, including your electric power association, unite members to obtain goods and services they could not (or could not afford to) obtain on their own. Cooperatives of all kinds serve more than 1 billion member-owners throughout the world. In the U.S., about 30,000 cooperatives operate for the benefit of 350 million members (many are a member of more than one cooperative). These cooperatives provide a huge array of products and services in the worlds of finance, insurance, agriculture, housing, manufacturing, energy and others. You know many of them: Ace Hardware, Land O’Lakes, the Associated Press, your own electric power association and maybe a local credit union. Some 1.8 million Mississippians are served by 25 local electric power associations. Collectively, these electric power associations distribute electricity to an estimated 85 percent of the state’s land mass. Each electric power association is a cooperative created, owned and controlled by its members—the people who use its services—through the election of directors at the annual membership meeting. Cooperatives excel at service, the fundamental reason for their existence. They are driven by the needs of their members, rather than the profit motives of investors. They offer goods and services at the lowest cost possible, without added profit margins. Most of Mississippi’s electric power associations were formed by local farmers in the mid-


On the cover Walthall County resident Mike Hobgood expresses appreciation for the beauty of trees in his woodworking, including chainsaw carving. Hobgood is also the driving force behind Sawdust and Splinters, the first event in Mississippi to feature logging sports and chainsaw carving events. See story on pages 4-5.


Our Homeplace

My Opinion Michael Callahan Executive Vice President/CEO EPAs of Mississippi

1930s, when the federal government made lowinterest loans and expertise available to them for the construction of rural electric distribution systems. These farmers wanted affordable electric service to improve their quality of life; their productivity lagged without electric lights, pumps and motors to boost efficiency, and they were fed up with living in the “dark ages.” Mississippi was an early leader in the creation of electric power associations as the movement spread nationwide. Electric cooperatives grew rapidly because of strong demand for their service. Almost 1,000 electric cooperatives now serve 42 million people, both rural and urban, in 47 states. Your electric power association provides a valuable service you may not even know about: consumer advocacy. Mississippi’s electric power associations serve as your legislative watchdog, always alert for proposals that could impact our ability to bring you safe, affordable and reliable electricity. We continuously monitor legislation on the state and federal levels and work to inform lawmakers of our members’ interests. Through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and their own local electric power association, our members have a voice in national energy policy proposals. In short, we all work together to improve both the environment and the quality of life for future generations. JOIN TODAY IN MISSISSIPPI


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

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

Vol. 66 No. 10

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: 447,479 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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A sunny sky and cool temperatures mark the first day of autumn at Calling Panther Lake, a state fishing lake located in Copiah County. Completed in 2002, Calling Panther is a 512-acre lake offering 23 camping pads, a hiking trail, boat ramp and fishing among standing timber. A fishing pier accommodates anglers on foot. Information and a map are available here:

Mississippi is ... ... anticipation of the fall hunting season right around the corner. Planting food plots on hot late-summer days. Blooming spider lilies, letting me know Oct. 1 is near. An unexpected cool front in September. Leaving after school on Friday with your son, heading to the deer camp! Hearing a distant high school band on Friday evening from your tree stand. Meeting up with all your old friends that you’ve missed over the summer. — Kirk Christian, Alexandria, La., and Fayette Mississippi is cicadas practicing jazz on sultry afternoons, Fields of Queen Anne’s lace, their tutus bobbing, White egrets feasting on Bush Hog-served platters of grasshoppers, Humming push mowers leading partners in seasonal dance, The sentry crow heralding, “All’s well!” Melting ice cream drips racing toward chubby hands, Chameleon corn donning brown suits in late August. — Desireé Wilson, Steens Mississippi is full of great churches, peaceful, beautiful. Good-hearted, friendly, hard-working neighbors are plentiful. A safe haven, full of hospitality, four seasons and good schools. I love Mississippi! —Joseph E. Colna Jr., Pontotoc County Mississippi is the sea breeze from the Sound. The squawking gulls on the wing. Children on the beach at sunset. The pines lining our highways and byways. The smiles adorning faces. — C. Davis, Biloxi

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: Please keep your comments brief. Submissions are subject to editing.



Today in Mississippi

October 2013

Carving his niche Self-taught in many skills, Mike Hobgood has a soft spot for woodworking By Debbie Stringer Mike Hobgood makes his living fabricating industrial metal products, but his heart is rooted in wood. “I could devote all my time to my business and make a heck of a lot more money but not be as happy. I love woodworking,” he said. Since boyhood, Hobgood has been intrigued with wood and has strived to learn all he can about both native and exotic species. He plants trees, saws logs, collects wood, carves wood, turns wood, builds furniture and crafts gunstocks. “I’m a wood nut,” he said. “There’s not a man alive who appreciates more than I do the sound of the wind whispering through the trees and the beauty in the grain of the wood.” Hobgood, a member of Magnolia Electric Power Association, lives in Walthall County in the 3,000-square-foot exposed-beam house he built some 15 years ago. He constructed most of the exterior from a 90-foot cypress log he pulled out of the Amite River. “It was 52 inches in diameter and had almost 7,000 board feet of lumber in that one log,” he said. Nearby stands the large metal building he built to house Hawas Inc., his industrial metal fabrication company. There he designs and builds such custom equipment as giant augers, a log washer, conveyors thousands of feet long and barge loaders for customers across the country. Farther down a path, past a small pond, is Hobgood’s “playground,” equipped with wood sheds, a large workshop and a wood kiln, all of which he built. The sheds and the workshop house Hobgood’s huge stash of boards, logs, roots, stump wood, burls, limbs and woody vines. It seems nearly every species of wood is represented, both native and exotic. “People ask me what I’m going to do

with all that wood. I don’t know,” he said. Hobgood appreciates the unique patterns, colors and textures of the woods, as if each piece were a work of art from nature’s gallery. Spalted hickory is a favorite. “It is absolutely beautiful,” he said. Hobgood grew up with three brothers and two sisters on his family’s farm in Walthall County, where his dad raised hogs, planted row crops and helped operate a dairy. In the early mornings before school, he roamed the woods with a flashlight, hunting squirrels and listening to the night sounds. To him, the forest was a wondrous place to explore. He was an intensely curious child eager to learn and unafraid to try his hand at new skills. “Whatever I had an interest in, I wanted to learn more about it,” he said. On visits to his maternal grandparent’s house in Sandy Hook, Hobgood would stop to admire the finely crafted wire and picket fences built by his grandfather, a wagon maker who had little more than his hands and his pride to work with. Young Hobgood took a lesson from those fences: “Take a little pride in what you do. That was an inspiration to me,” he said.

Mike Hobgood used this chainsaw with a 48-inch bar to carve the likeness of an Indian from yellow poplar about three years ago. The piece, standing over 10 feet tall, is the first large-scale work he carved with a chainsaw. The themes for much of his woodworking are inspired by Native American imagery and art, including this large-thanlife sculpture, above.

October 2013


Today in Mississippi



near the Bogue Chitto River, west of Tylertown. Hobgood is busy with preparations to make Sawdust and Splinters an event to be remembered. From crafting the awards in beautiful woods to building an outdoor arena with 90-foot poles for climbing, he is devoting immense time and effort to ensuring the success of what he hopes will become an annual event. After the dust settles and the competitors head home with their trophies, maybe Hobgood can return to his real love: working with wood.

Using a chainsaw, Hobgood carved this mountain lion and cave from a single log. Carving a horizontal composition like this one presents unique challenges, but Hobgood is motivated by challenge. Below are examples of his woodturning. The bowl is a classic form made of spalted maple. The bottom, staves and neck of the vase are made of black walnut from the first tree he cut as a child. Other woods in the 10-inch-tall piece are birdseye maple, redwood lace burl, holly and ebony.

When he was 9, Hobgood chopped down some small trees and “actually halfway constructed a log cabin.” He and his brothers were “tinkerers” who learned to fix things themselves, like bicycle brakes and chains, rather than rely on replacements. As a young teen, he learned to trap animals and stretch hides. Once when his animal traps needed repairs, Hobgood sneaked into his dad’s farm shop to weld them himself. It was his first attempt the fundamental skill that would help shape his future. Not every new attempt was successful. At age 11 he felled a large tree that crushed his dad’s chainsaw “simply because of my lack of knowledge,” he said. “That gave me a determination to do things and an ambition to want to learn,” he said. Inspired by watching wood ducks in a swamp, Hobgood tried carving a duck from a block of cedar with a pocketknife. His mother gave him paints and a local taxidermist donated a pair of duck “eyes” to the project. All he needed was a paint brush, “so I took a flat toothpick and chewed the end of it to make it like a brush.” At around age 12, Hobgood decided to build a gunstock from a piece of a large black walnut log lying in a brush pile. “I live to learn every day, so I asked

my mom to take me to the library. I wanted to research black walnut trees.” Despite being told black walnut was too hard to cut, Hobgood enlisted the help of a visiting logging foreman to prove the naysayers wrong. “When I saw him cut it, I said nothing is impossible. If he can do it, I can do it,” he said. The gunstock project opened a new world of woodworking skills and knowledge to him, Hobgood said,

A few years ago Hobgood picked up his chainsaw not to cut a tree but to revisit chainsaw carving, a craft he briefly explored 20 years earlier. Now it is one of his favorite pursuits. “I love it,” he said. “It’s my therapy.” Displayed on his front lawn are several chainsaw carvings, including his first large-scale piece: a spear-wielding Indian standing more than 10 feet tall. Using a chainsaw with a 48-inch bar, Hobgood carved the figure from a single log of yellow poplar 4 feet in diameter. Nearby is a mountain lion crouched in a cave, a challenging horizontal composition Hobgood carved from a log 5 feet in diameter. “I’m always in search of a gigantic log to carve, which is so hard to find,” he said.

Throughout the country including the proper way to dry wood to are others, men and women, who share prevent warping. He has since built sever- Hobgood’s thirst for tough challenges involving wood, from carving to timber al more gunstocks, each one distincutting. Seven years ago, he conceived an guished by carved designs, inlay and striking combinations of woods—includ- event to bring some of the best of them to Mississippi. ing black walnut. He envisioned a competitive showcase He also became a prolific wood turner, that would attract world champion lumproducing bowls, vases, rolling pins and berjacks, nationally recognized chainsaw shakers on his lathes—one of which he built at age 17. Many of his woodturning carvers and pole climbers. It would be the first event of its kind in the state. projects are inspired by the forms of The result is Sawdust and Splinters, set Native American pottery. Their intricate for Oct. 31 - Nov. 1 (see sidebar). For construction may feature staves, inlays and woods of contrasting colors and pat- three days, the sounds of chainsaws and axes tearing into wood will fill a pasture terns.

Champions to compete at Sawdust and Splinters With the help of volunteers, sponsors and the community, Mike Hobgood is setting the stage for a three-day event that is creating a lot of buzz among lumberjacks and chainsaw artists across the country. Sawdust and Splinters is set for Oct. 31 through Nov. 2, rain or shine, at Shirard Gray Estates, located off Highway 48 between Magnolia and Tylertown. Logging sport competitions include axe throwing, double buck sawing, a men’s underhand block chop, Jack & Jill team bucking, a standing block chop, hot saw, speed climbing, tree topping and more. Competitors will include Mike Sullivan, six-time hot saw world champion and holder of more than 200 overall lumberjack titles, and Nancy Zalewski, who holds the world record in the women’s underhand chop. Nationally recognized chainsaw artists will show off their skills in a speed carving event. Food and arts/crafts vendors will set up booths, and there will be activities for children. Attendees should bring lawn chairs but no food or beverages. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the gate. For complete information, call Saw-Axe-Spur Production Co. at 601876-9635 or visit the website at:



Today in Mississippi I October 2013

Want to really soar? Don’t let fears ground you A hot air balloon chases the moon at the Grenada balloon festival a few weeks ago. Of course, the balloon never gets to the moon. But it comes a lot closer to it than people who never leave the ground. The Natchez Balloon Festival is Oct. 18-20. Photo: Walt Grayson

friend of mine wrote a song years ago called, “Afraid to Fly.” The gist of it is you’ll never get anywhere in life (literally or figuratively) if you’re afraid to fly. It was a dirge to his lack of musical success because his fear of airplanes kept him at home. I thought about that song the other day in Grenada. I was watching first-time fliers getting ready to go up in hot air balloons. That reminded me of my first balloon ride in Canton one Fourth of July weekend many years ago. Larry Torgerson was my pilot. I was more than nervous as I climbed into the basket. It seemed to me that the top edge of it only came up to about my knees. Actually it was more like waist-high. But I still thought it would be easy to fall out. The balloon was tugging at the ropes, ready to go. Larry gave the word, the ground crew let loose and off we went. I was rolling videotape all the way up. So all I was seeing was what was in my viewfinder. That’s about like watching it on TV. When we got up to around 800 feet and everything started looking the same, I glanced up for real. And I quickly closed one eye and started looking back through the camera again! I’m sure Larry had given many, many people their first balloon ride


and I suppose he sensed my fear. “Walt,” he said. “Don’t worry about being up this high. If the human body falls over about 50 or 75 feet you’re gonna die anyway. Just the higher up you are the more time you have to think about it on the way down. So just relax and enjoy the ride.” Somehow, I wasn’t comforted. But I did set the camera aside and I did enjoy Mississippi the ride. And a ride in a hot air balloon is like no Seen other kind of flying. From by Walt Grayson a commercial jetliner you can usually see nothing. A helicopter is a lot of fun. I’ve been up in our news helicopter at WLBT many times. You get close enough to see stuff in a helicopter. But from a hot air balloon you can shout at people on the ground and they can holler back up at you, and you can see 360 degrees around you. And a balloon ride is amazingly quiet and still. Since you are traveling at the same speed as the air, there is no breeze as you stand in the basket

until you start to either rise or descend. There are birds down below you. And both of you are flying! Of course, birds have control over what direction they are going. You don’t. A hot air balloon is completely at the mercy of the winds. Whichever way the winds blow, that’s the way you go. That’s one reason I like to watch balloons fly. They paint the normally invisibly air currents overhead with color, following the same rhythmic movements as the atmosphere. I was at Grenada a few weeks ago as first-time fliers climbed into the wicker baskets below their balloons, nervously giggling, fidgety, not knowing what to hold on to. Questioning why in the world they had decided to fly in a hot air balloon to begin with. Logic tells you that if you want to live you’ll stay out of that thing on the ground. But then your spirit whispers, if you really want to live, climb in! Because to really get somewhere, you can’t be afraid to fly!

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:

October 2013 I Today in Mississippi I 7

Picture This: Share your fondest Summer Memories What about summertime do you miss the most? What memories of summer can brighten a bleak winter day for you? Tell us in pictures! Summer Memories is the theme of our next “Picture This” reader photo feature. Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by Nov. 25. Selected photos will appear in the January 2014 issue of Today in Mississippi. “Picture This” is a reader photo feature appearing in the January, April, July and October issues of Today in Mississippi. We publish a few of the most eye-catching photos that best illustrate the given theme. Photographers whose photos are selected for publication are eligible for a $200 cash prize, to be awarded in a random drawing each December. Photos are selected for publication based on their overall quality, relevance to the given theme, visual impact and suitability for printing on newsprint paper. (Dark photos usually do not print well. We look for bright photos with good contrast and sharp focus.)

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 eligible for publication may be either color or black and white, print or digital. • Photos must be in sharp focus. • Digital photos must be high-resolution JPG files. Please do not use photo-editing software to correct colors or tones. (We prefer to do it ourselves, if necessary, according to our printer’s standards.) • Please do not send a photo with the date appearing on the image. • 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. • Prints will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We cannot, however, guarantee their safe return through the mail.

How to submit Mail prints to Picture This, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Attach digital photos to email and send to: If submitting more than one photo, please attach all photos to only one e-mail message, if possible. Or, mail a photo CD to Picture This, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 391583300. Question? Call Debbie Stringer, editor, at 601-605-8610 or email:

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Today in Mississippi I October 2013

Marvels and majesty of the 10th month

Mississippi Outdoors by Tony Kinton

Black gums are quick to embrace the dress code of autumn. Photo: Tony Kinton

ctober is a strange one! Retaining its Latin root octo, it is certainly no longer the eighth month. It was, at least in the Roman calendar. But when the Julian and Gregorian calendars were combined and January and February inserted, October became the 10th month. The name stuck, thus the somewhat curious cause of that basically erroneous designation. But that is of no real consequence. The overriding factor is that for those with a propensity to absorb the marvels and majesty found outdoors, your time has come. If there is a perfect month to be outside in Mississippi and surrounding areas, it is this one. Save the occasional rain and thunderstorm, the weather is generally pleasant. Not too cold and not too hot. There will be some of each but usually not in the extreme. Everything in the temperature spectrum is practically just right. Maybe a sweater at night and a sleeve during the day. And the skies of October are spectacular. There are haunting and distant sunrises that give the attentive admirer a feeling


of being drawn upward toward that far-off source of life and light. Sunsets are breathtaking. Depending upon weather conditions, these can be orange or yellow or some shade of red that would be near impossible to replicate in any medium outside nature. A look upward from mid-morning to early afternoon generates a deep sense of awe. The heavens spread out in a display unseen at other seasons. Vastness is accentuated by the grandest of all azures, and to see and reflect upon this is to recognize how truly miniscule we are in the midst of such greatness. There is a new fashion show on stage in October. At first it may seem a dichotomy, this flare for color instigating a prescribed end, but in reality it is not. It is simply a form of rebirth. And in this perfectly blended recipe, beauty is more than abundant.

Look for the yellows, the dim greens, the reds, the oranges, the mottled browns. They will be available in every direction, a wonder-

land of sentiment, an equal balance of melancholy and joyous abandon. Black gums will have early on embraced this morphing of dress code. By now sweet gums and hickories and poplars and river birches have followed the example. Sumacs may yet hold tightly to their maroon and mottled leaves, offering an

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October 2013

avalanche of color, spangling understory edges of an aged and quiet wood. Oaks contribute to the spectacle as well. Some are more hesitant than others when it comes to the emerging schemes of decoration, but varying shades of red and brown and yellow will be present. Not uncommon it is to encounter a particular collection of red oaks that let go their finger-sized leaves at the smallest hint of a breeze. These rustle downward in a most agreeable chatter and dust the passerby with a gentle and wispy touch. It is the palpation of freedom. Even that browned and curled foliage not yet loosed from ancient giants is a study in the extraordinary, a respite from the

mundane, an exercise in aesthetics. Sounds are ubiquitous. Over there are those piercing, rhythmic notes of a pileated woodpecker. Out a way, down by the creek, a wood duck squeals. Along the fence in that lonesome corn patch, withered stalks bump and rattle in the wind. These are accompanied by a constant crescendo and decrescendo of crickets and grasshoppers and katydids. A finer symphony was never scored. It is music that brushes hard against the very soul, not unlike that of Beethoven. As day becomes old, sounds change. A wood thrush chirps at the threat recently advanced against daylight. An owl hoots from its perch. Night wins the


Today in Mississippi



prize of dominance, and those nights are mesmerizing. Overhead is alive with more stars than can be imagined, these most likely viewed as a crisp chill nibbles at ears and noses. But sunrise will come again— tomorrow. It will be another glorious and robust October day that should not be neglected. Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. “Uncertain Horizons,” book two in Kinton’s “Wagon Road Trilogy,” is now available. Order from your local bookstore or online at:

Is it really true that women are smarter than men? he truth has finally been verified, confirmed and demonstrated that women have smartened themselves to the point that we’re pulling ahead in the race. Though there’s not a man on Earth who would own up to the statistics that researchers have nailed. We must understand this situation. It’s not that all women are more intelligent than all men. Just the majority of us. I’ve only chosen six categories out of 14 that have been scrutinized in comparing the genders. There are more studies on the horizon. Just so you’ll know I’m playing on a level race track, I will admit that some women have what I call a Grin ‘n’ “predisposition for making Bare It involuntary, impulsive deciby Kay Grafe sions.” Acting out of reflex rather than using their gifted minds. I’ll even go so far as to say that they (we) do this more often than men. Therefore, since God created us in His image, our choices are moral, but unlike Him, we tend not to think before we act. More on that later. I’ll name six areas where women excel over men: 1. Women are better learners than men. Studies from the University of Georgia found that we are better learners, more attentive and are flexible at expanding our minds. 2. Women are smarter! Researcher James Flynn checked the I.Q. of women from around the world and found that women were on top. 3. Women also graduate from college more than males. Women tend to finish, whereas men


quit more often. 4. Women eat healthier. 5. Women live longer. The recent New England Centenarian Study said women lived from 10 to 15 years longer. 6. Women invest better. Of 100,000 portfolios reviewed, women’s investments had higher returns. I could go on but my favorite husband will probably read this. I’ll have to show him my findings to prove I’m right, then he’ll say, “Research can be manipulated.” Then he’ll remind me of just a few of my bad choices in the past week. I was washing my hair and thought the odor was very different. I dried my face and checked the bottle. Oh, my. It was Sugar’s shampoo. Our pup. I don’t get a real suntan anymore, not since my insensitive husband began calling me Freckles. On occasion I use a self-tanner. I was out of the tanner I usually wear, so I grabbed another brand when I was shopping. After using it my arms were covered in brown streaks. I scrubbed using soap and cleansing cream. No luck. I had an idea. I took a sponge from my Mr. Clean package. You know, those wonderful little pads that take marks off the walls. Take my advice. Don’t try this. My arms turned bright red and became as rough as sandpaper. Then they began to hurt like a burn. That was two weeks ago. I’m still hiding from the public. And keeping cotton in my ears to repel Mr. Roy’s laughter. Ladies, we may be smarter than men, but we must practice not making impulsive decisions. 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.



Today in Mississippi I October 2013

October 2013 I Today in Mississippi



Container gardening extends fresh herb season ith fall officially here, many gardeners hooked on cooking with herbs may start to worry about how they’re going to cook once it’s too cold to grow herbs outside. Although many gardeners still have herbs growing strong, others may dread reaching for the little red and white cans in the cupboard once it’s too late to go outside and snip something fresh from the garden. If that’s your worry, you can make some preparations Southern now to keep Gardening enjoying those by Dr. Gary Bachman fresh summer herbs during Mississippi’s winter months. The first way to avoid using dried herbs is to grow your own indoors over the winter. I’m happy to tell you that it’s really easy to propagate many summer herbs and grow them during the winter months. Start by collecting 3- to 4-inch-long cuttings from new growth. Many garden herbs are producing new growth as the


temperature decreases from summer highs. Use sharp scissors or pruners, being careful not to smash the cut ends. Once you collect the stems, there are two options for propagation. The first is to plant the cuttings in small pots, first dipping the cut ends in rooting hormone to encourage faster rooting. This powder is readily available at your favorite garden center. Plant the stems in a good-quality peat or seedling mix and water well. Preserve humidity and moisture by covering the pots with a clear plastic dome. A plastic storage bag works great with round pots. Roots form after about four to six weeks, and you can place the plants in their permanent containers. The second option is one you probably learned from your grandma. Simply place the cutting in a jar or glass of water. Replace the water every day, and the cutting will start to root in as few as seven to 10 days. Once the stems have rooted, they are ready to transplant. Since you will be growing these herbs inside your window sill, be sure to choose attractive varieties so you can enjoy their visual aesthetics and culinary delights. Many of the basic herb species are available in variegated or multicolored foliage. Remember, we eat with our eyes

Basil is a favorite herb to grow at home, but it requires the most attention when temperatures drop. This Siam Queen basil can be grown indoors during the winter. Photo: MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman

as well as our mouths. The multicolored varieties work well in recipes, but their best use may be as flavorful garnishes. If you want fresh herbs but don’t want them as permanent winter window accessories, consider growing them in containers instead. This way, they can spend time outside when temperatures are moderate and then be brought indoors during cold snaps. Common sage is used in many traditional winter season recipes. Although

you can grow the plain green varieties, one of my favorites is Tricolor. This selection has green leaves with white margins accented by the addition of pink and/or purple. It looks gorgeous in a container. Basil is one of the top herbs gardeners want to grow, but it also requires the most attention when the temperature dips. Purple basil is in high demand, and it comes in some beautiful varieties. The Mississippi Medallion winner Purple Ruffles is an outstanding plant that has fragrant, deep-purple leaves with curly margins. There are many colorful and tasty herbs that you can grow during the winter months, and many of these are available right now at your favorite garden center. Among the benefits of growing herbs in containers during the winter are that they are manageable and require limited weeding. You will be surprised how many herbs you can grow in a tight space in containers. Be sure to place your containers where they will be easily accessible, and you will always be able to enjoy the fresh herb goodness whenever the recipe calls for it. So even if you only have a small patio, balcony or a sunny kitchen window, you can still enjoy fresh herbs all winter. Dr. Gary Bachman is MSU horticulturist at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.

12 I Today in Mississippi I October 2013

Lee Hedegaard, General Manager & CEO Lorri Freeman, Manager of Public Relations Amanda Parker, Public Relations Specialist For more information, call 601-947-4211/228-497-1313 x 2251 or visit our website at

SRE to distribute $1,747,886 in capital credits to members

Singing River Electric’s board has approved a return of $1,747,886 to the members, which represents capital credit refunds from 1971-1974. This follows last year’s return of over $1.2 million to the members for capital credit refunds from 1965-1970. As a member-owner, you have a

share in the earnings of your not-forprofit electric cooperative. Singing River Electric’s rates are set so the Association has enough revenue to operate, make payments on loans and have some reserve funds. If margins are made beyond these needs, they are assigned to the members in the form of capital credits. The amount of capital credits assigned to a member is based on the amount of electricity used during a particular year. When appropriate cash is available, Singing River Electric’s board of directors can approve returning a portion of a member’s capital credit in the form of a check or credit. Members, during the years of

1971-74, with an account that is still active and receiving a billing statement each month will receive a credit on their bill automatically and do not have to fill out paperwork. Previous members who had an account from 1971-1974, but no longer have an active account, must visit between October 1 and December 31 to receive instructions and download necessary paperwork to claim their capital credits refund. Completed documentation must be returned to Singing River Electric’s Lucedale office by 5 p.m., Tuesday, December 31, 2013.

Capital Credits: The Benefit of Membership Members receive electric service from Singing River Electric.

Margins are assigned to an account for each member: The funds become capital credits.

Singing River Electric uses sales revenue to pay expenses.

At the end of the year, revenue minus expenses equals net margins.

Singing River Electric retains the capital credits to operate the co-op. Capital credits are returned to members in the form of a


The board of directors decides annually the amount of capital credits to return to members.

Lee Hedegaard, General Manager and CEO, Singing River Electric

Ceiling fan tips

Jeff Gray Member Services Representative

Running ceiling fans when you are in the room can save money on your electric bill. The largest energy cost in your home comes from your air conditioning/heating system. Suggested thermostat settings are 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter. Each degree adjusted away from these settings could add 5 percent to the cost of heating or cooling your home. When running ceiling fans in the summer, you can adjust the thermostat up 1 degree to 79 degrees and be just as comfortable. The same goes for winter by adjusting your thermostat down by 1 degree to 67 degrees. This will save 5 percent on the largest energy load in your home. Only use ceiling fans in rooms that are occupied, and never leave them on continuously when no one is home. The fan direction should move air downward in the summer. Air moving across your skin makes you feel cooler, so you should be able to turn up the thermostat by 1 degree. The fan can be set on any speed. In the winter, the fan direction should move air upward, moving the warmer air at the ceiling down to a useable area. The fan speed in winter should be set on low.

October 2013

Today in Mississippi  12a

Carbon capture and storage challenges Balancing environmental concerns and affordability The Obama Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed regulations on new power plants by setting strict emission limits as part of the Climate Action Plan. These new regulations restrict the future use of coal to generate affordable electricity. Carbon-dioxide emission limits for new coal plants will be reduced by a whopping 39 percent, and the sole solution proposed for meeting this new limit is carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, which is a prohibitively expensive technology that is not yet commercially viable. President Obama has made it clear that he plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through whatever means available. He asked the Environmental Protection Agency to expand the reach of the Clean Air Act to include carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants, something the Act was not intended to include. This mandate will impose massive new climate costs on our wholesale power provider, South Mississippi Electric, and will ultimately increase the cost of electricity for all Singing River Electric members. The Clean Air Act was created to protect the public from different types of air pollutants. At the time it was written, greenhouse gases were not considered a pollutant. The Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency to set and revise national ambient air quality standards for common widespread pollutants to be implemented by each state. The standards in effect currently include six pollutants: sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, particles, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and lead. The Environmental Protection Agency is also authorized to issue control technique guidelines to help states reduce emissions from power plants, one being carbon capture and storage technology. Right now, the President is talking about this technology as though it is fully functional. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has cited Mississippi Power’s Plant Ratcliffe in Kemper County, Miss., as using this technology. Mississippi Power’s parent company, Southern Company, disagreed, saying that Plant Ratcliffe should not be used as a standard for future coal plants for a variety of reasons. Mainly, the plant in Kemper County will use the capture portion of this technology, not the storage. After the plant becomes operational, the carbon dioxide from the Kemper County plant will be captured, piped and sold to companies for enhanced oil recovery. These new regulations will restrict % emissions for new coal plants and South Mississippi Electric’s ability to generate affordable electricity, without offering an affordable replacement of coal as a fuel source. We are unsure how future regulations may impact current coal production. It is our mission at Singing River Electric to work with South Mississippi Electric to provide a balance of reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electric energy to our members.

Natural gas 52.2

CCARBONN CAP CAPTURE PTTUREE & SSTORAGE STTTOOORA ORAG AGE GE Carbon Captur Capturee and Storage St (CCS) is a technology designed ttoo preven pr preventt the carbon dioxide xide (CO ( 2 ) produced by large power plants and factories factories from entering ering the atmosphere a by storing it in designated ed geological br down into three three complex c formations. The CCS technology echnology can be broken steps: eps: (1) capturing the CO C 2 ; (2) Transporting the CO2 too a storage s location; and (3) storing and maintaining taining the CO C 2.



Separating CCOO2 from om other gases in the exhaust e gas stream and pressurizing essurizing the CO C 2 into a liquid state capable to be transport ansported. transported.

Moving ving the CO C 2 from the plant boundary to a permanent permanen storage site. Transportation of CO2 is likely lik to be through pipelines similar too those used to t transport natural gas.

Injecting the CO2 into tion and then monitoring it to in a deep geologic formation monit ensure safee and effective tions include oil and eff storage. Potential storage formations gas reservoirs;s; deep saline reservoirs; r and deep,, un-mineable coal c seams.

C02 SSTORAGE C0 TOR TO O ORAGE Saline Reserv Reservoirs oirs Oil and Gas Reserv RReservoirs oirs Deep, Unmineable CCoal Deposits

SRE’s generation mix: Coal 38.2% Nuclear 7.2%

Hydroelectric 2.4% Replacing coal, which is nearly 40 percent of SME’s generation resources, will likely increase generation costs and in turn, SRE member electricity bills.

12b  Today in Mississippi  October 2013

Clearing right-of-way means a safe and reli Singing River Electric has a consistent right-of-way maintenance program, which includes clearing trees and limbs from around power lines. “We actively clear the right-of-way for two reasons: for the safety of our members and employees and for the reliability of our system. Keeping the power lines clear prevents power outages and helps our employees repair damaged lines quicker,” said Singing River Electric Manager of Risk Management and ROW Buck Williams. By clearing trees and limbs away from the lines, children can’t climb trees and come in contact with the lines. Also, individuals working with farm and construction equipment can easily see the lines and avoid contact. Unfortunately, large construction equipment contacting power lines and injuring workers is a concern nationally. The ultimate goal is to prevent power outages. By clearing trees and limbs, Singing

River Electric can prevent small outages caused by wind from afternoon thunderstorms and prevent major outages during hurricanes and tornadoes if the trees and limbs are already cleared around the lines. “During Hurricane Isaac in 2012, members who lost power saw it restored quickly, in part because of our right-of-way reclearing efforts,” said Williams. Singing River Electric’s current right-ofway maintenance program rotates through the cooperative’s 7,000 miles of line and 41 substations every four to five years. “Since our power lines branch out from the substation, we begin there and follow the lines out,” explained Williams. The trees and limbs around the power lines are cut and trimmed, and the grass and underbrush are bush hogged and sometimes cut by hand. Any limbs in residential yards are cleared and chipped. This process usually takes two to three days.

“Singing River Electric strongly encourages our members not to plant trees under or near power lines,” said Williams. Here is a quick rule of thumb for Singing River Electric members to use when planting trees or building structures: • The right-of-way on three-phase power lines is 40 feet or 20 feet on either side of the line. • The right-of-way on single-phase power lines is 30 feet or 15 feet on either side of the line. When planting trees, it is also important to think about the diameter of the tree when it is fully grown. Considering the full height and width of the tree at the time of planting can avoid side trimming the tree later, which can take away from its beauty. “We are moving forward with a consistent right-of-way program for both safety and reliability, which improves service to our members,” said Williams.

Above: The large blade on the Jareffe is maneuvered around the power lines to safely remove overhanging limbs. Left: A large machine, called a Jareffe, has a long arm that safely cuts limbs of all sizes away from the power lines. The Jareffe is insulated, making it safe to use around the lines.

October 2013  Today in Mississippi  12c

able system

Remember to plan for the growth of the tree you plant. Large Trees

Medium Trees

Small Trees

40-45 feet from lines

35 feet from lines

25 feet from lines

Oak, Elm, Hickory, Maple, Pine, Sweet Gum, Poplar, Sycamore

Bradford Pear, Magnolia, Ornamental Cherry, Fir, Spruce

Dogwood, Redbud, Crape Myrtle, Crabapple, Japanese Maple, Holly

In addition to reliability and safety, Singing River Electric also clears the right-of-way to comply with Mississippi state law. To learn more about the 10-foot rule, visit

12d  Today in Mississippi  October 2013

Caroline Bradley George County High School

Victoria Cason Anna Del Castillo

Wayne County High School

Ocean Springs High School

Guess where we went last summer! If you're an 11th grader served by Singing River Electric, make this year memorable by participating in the 2014 Leadership Workshop in Jackson, Miss., and Tour of Washington, D.C.

Scan to like us on Facebook!

See your Guidance Counselor today for more information.

October 2013  Today in Mississippi  13

Watts Happening OCTOBER 1 - NOVEMBER 2 SEWARD FARMS CORN MAZE Family fun starts with the Corn Maze, full of twists and turns, and continues with a huge PVC slide, animal farm alley, a cow train ride, pony rides, children’s play area and more. Admission charged, cash only. Time: Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. - Field trips by reservation Location: Seward Farms, 10836 Tanner Williams Road in Lucedale Contact: 228-641-3936 or OCTOBER 5 36TH ANNUAL ZONTA ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL “DAY IN THE PLAZA” Enjoy Pascagoula’s premier event featuring arts and crafts, live entertainment, food, exhibit booths, antique car show and children’s activities. Time: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Location: Downtown Plaza in Pascagoula Contact: 228-990-1856, 228-218-6774 or OCTOBER 6-13 17TH ANNUAL CRUISIN’ THE COAST Thousands of classic cars converge on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for a week of rock and roll, drag races, sock hops and cruising along Highway 90. Time: Check website for complete schedule of events along the coast Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast Contact: 888-808-1188, 228-385-3847 or

OCTOBER 19 PRAISE IN THE PARK This Christian music festival will feature Building 429 as the headliner with more bands performing. Admission charged. Time: Free pre-concert event begins at 11 a.m. - Gates open at 3 p.m. Location: Lucedale City Park Contact: OCTOBER 19 SUPER SATURDAY A family-friendly event featuring hands-on activities throughout interactive rooms providing one-of-a-kind learning experiences for children of all ages. Time: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Location: Aaron Jones Family Interactive Center, 1415 Skip Avenue in Pascagoula Contact: 228-938-6503 or OCTOBER 19-20 23RD ANNUAL GAUTIER MULLET & MUSIC FEST Shop for hand-crafted items, learn about the Gulf Cost in a hands-on exhibit, toss a mullet and enjoy food and entertainment. Time: Saturday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Location: Gautier on Dolphin Drive between Lowe’s and Singing River Mall Contact: 228-215-0828 or

OCTOBER 12-13 87TH ANNUAL SACRED HEART BAZAAR This festival features food like gumbo, po-boys and more as well as bingo, live entertainment, silent auction, children’s activities and more. Time: Opens at 11 a.m. both days Location: Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 10446 LeMoyne Blvd. in D’Iberville Contact: 228-392-4526 or

OCTOBER 19-20 13TH ANNUAL OCEAN SPRINGS RENAISSANCE FAIRE Go back to the Middle Ages with armored jousts on horseback, sword fighting, medieval dancing and enjoying special music and perod food. Proceeds benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Time: Saturday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. - Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Location: 4900 Riley Road in Ocean Springs Contact: 228-239-2131 or

OCTOBER 14-19 GEORGE COUNTY FAIR Enjoy rides, livestock showings, crafts and food exhibits. Time: Opens various times each day Location: George County Fairgrounds on Old Highway 63 South Contact: 601-947-4223

OCTOBER 20-27 92ND ANNUAL JACKSON COUNTY FAIR Enjoy thrill rides, livestock shows, arts and crafts displays, food booths, exhibits, music and more. Time: Opens various times each day Location: Jackson County Fairgrounds, 2902 Shortcut Road in Pascagoula Contact: 228-762-6043 or

Singing River Electric and its members are reaching out to help the community through NHN Energy Assistance. In this program, SRE members check a box at the top right of their billing statement to allow their current and future power bills to round up to the nearest whole dollar to help a neighbor. (Donations range from 1¢ to 99¢ and average $6 per year, and donations can be stopped at

any time.) Contributions will be given to our local United Way for a one-time annual distribution to eligible SRE members who cannot pay their power bill. We ask our members to consider contributing to SRE’s NHN Energy Assistance fund. Your dollars, along with your pennies, nickels and dimes, can help SRE raise thousands of dollars to help others. You can make a difference in the lives of senior citizens, disabled individuals and those who are less fortunate in our area. Please consider checking the box to participate in NHN Energy Assistance. It just takes a little to make a big difference in our community.

STEP 1: Check the box on your billing statement to participate in the NHN Energy Assistance program. STEP 2: Your monthly bill will be rounded up to the nearest dollar amount. You can choose to end this service at any time.



Today in Mississippi


October 2013



Fast or slow? Ideas for cooking slowly or under pressure

Autumn Turkey Chili 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil 1 lb. ground turkey 1 yellow onion, chopped 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin 1 (15-oz.) can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed 2/3 cup chicken stock or broth

2 tsp. minced garlic 2 tsp. chili powder 2 tsp. sugar 1/2 tsp. cumin 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp. ground allspice 1 pinch nutmeg 3/4 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. pepper

Place vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. When meat is almost browned, drain off any excess fat, return to heat and add onion, cooking just until they sweat. Transfer browned meat and onion to a slow cooker, and cover with remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Set the cooker to Low, cover and let cook 8 hours before serving. Serves 6. Optional: Serve topped with plain Greek yogurt and a fine drizzle of real maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.

Italian Yellow Squash Casserole 6 medium yellow squash 2 Tbsp. butter or margaine 1 small red onion, diced 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Two cookbooks from Quail Ridge Press, of Brandon, address two very different approaches to meal preparation: slow cooking over a period of hours and pressure cooking to put meals on the table in a fraction of the time. Both methods offer convenience and can ensure a satisfying dinner at the end of the day, says Bob Warden, the author of “Great Food Fast: Bob Warden’s Ultimate Pressure Cooker Recipes” and “Best of the Best Presents Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes,” and a frequent guest on QVC. We’ll start out slow: In “Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes” ($24.95), Warden says slow cooking is all about the convenience of preparing a meal for the entire family in one pot—without sacrificing quality. “There is always a bit of magic when you toss a few ingredients into a slow cooker and dinner comes out,” he writes, “but there is even more magic when the ingredients are simpler, fresher and better tasting.” Warden presents more than 125 recipes, some inspired by classics, some reinvented with fresher ingredients and some entirely new. Most of the recipes are suitable for a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Warden includes tips and advice for slow cooking and a shopping list for commonly used ingredients. Warden’s “Great Food Fast” ($19.95) targets users of electric pressure cookers but the recipes can be adapted for stove-top pressure cookers. His goal was to demystify cooking under pressure with clear, concise directions, and to deliver more than 120 recipes that are easy and affordable. “It contains recipes that I consider to be the best I’ve ever written,” Warden writes. If you plan to replace an old stove-top pressure cooker or want to try pressure cooking for the first time, consider the electric models. You will be amazed at their ease of use; basically, you put in the food, press a few buttons and walk away. They offer a range of cooking modes, including simmering and browning. Some have buttons for cooking specific foods, like rice and soup. Both of Warden’s cookbooks are available where cookbooks are sold. Or, order from Quail Ridge Press at 800-343-1583 or:

1 tsp. minced garlic 1 tsp. Italian seasoning 3/4 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. pepper 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend

Cut yellow squash into 1/4-inch or thinner slices. Place butter and onion in a saucepot over medium-high heat, and sauté until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Whisk together evaporated milk and flour, and add to the saucepot, stirring frequently. Bring to a rapid simmer and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir Parmesan cheese, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper into the thickened sauce. Place sliced yellow squash and Italian cheese blend into a slow cooker and pour the thickened sauce over top. Stir to evenly distribute sauce. Set the cooker to High, cover and let cook 2 hours. Serves 6. Optional: Use a combination of both sliced yellow squash and zucchini, and stir in 1/4 cup diced roasted red peppers before cooking to add more color and flavor.

Country-Style Ribs 3 lbs. country-style pork ribs 1 tsp. paprika 1/2 tsp. onion powder 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 yellow onion, diced 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar 1 (18-oz.) bottle prepared bold barbecue sauce 1 Tbsp. minced garlic

Generously rub ribs with mixture of paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat, until nearly smoking hot. Add ribs and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Add yellow onion to the skillet, remove from heat and deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar, scraping any browned bits from the bottom. Transfer ribs, onions and all liquid from the skillet to a slow cooker and top with barbecue sauce and mined garlic. Toss ribs to coat with sauce. Set the cooker to Low, cover and let cook 8 hours, or until meat is fork-tender. Serve ribs drizzled with the sauce. Serves 6. Note: Depending on the water content of the pork, the sauce may thin out as it cooks. If sauce is too watery before serving, simply ladle it into a saucepot and rapidly simmer on the stove until thickened, about 15 minutes.

October 2013

More about the electric pressure cooker • Today’s pressure cookers are safe and easy to use, but you should read the manufacturer’s manual before use. Electric cookers have digital controls that regulate heat and cooking times automatically. • Recipes for electric cookers can be adapted for stove-top pressure cookers. • The timer begins counting when the electric cooker is pressurized. • An electric pressure cooker cooks quietly. A digital display tracks the cooking process. • A “quick release” typically means opening a steam valve to let the pressure release quickly. Use an oven mitt to protect your hand from the steam and keep your face away from the valve. A “natural release” means to let the cooker sit until the pressure dissipates on its own. Consult the cooker’s manual for specific instructions.

Perfect Honey Dijon Chicken 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs 1/4 cup Dijon mustard 1/4 cup coarse (whole-grain) mustard 3 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. light-brown sugar 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. onion powder 1 cup chicken stock or broth

Place chicken at the bottom of the electric pressure cooker. Whisk together Dijon mustard, coarse mustard, honey, brown sugar, salt and onion powder to create a Honey Dijon Glaze. Spread half the glaze over the chicken in the pressure cooker. Reserve remaining glaze. Pour chicken broth into cooker, securely lock the pressure cooker’s lid and set to 8 minutes on High (15 psi). Let the cooker’s pressure release naturally 10 minutes before quick releasing any remaining pressure (follow manufacturer’s instructions). Use tongs to remove chicken from liquid in the cooker. Spread with reserved glaze before serving. Serves 4. Note: For even more flavor, place the glazed chicken under a preheated broiler set to High for 2 to 3 minutes, to brown before serving.

Today in Mississippi


Chuck Wagon Beef Stew 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil 2 lbs. stew meat, cubed Salt, pepper 1 large red onion, chopped 1 Tbsp. minced garlic 1 Tbsp. chili powder 1 tsp. cumin 1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juice 3 1/2 cups beef stock or broth 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro 1 (15-oz.) can pinto beans, drained 1 cup whole-kernel corn 2 Tbsp. cornmeal 1 (6- to 8-oz.) can refrigerated biscuits

With the electric pressure cooker’s lid off, heat oil on High (15 psi) or “brown,” until sizzling. Season stew meat with a generous amount of salt and pepper, place in the cooker and sauté until lightly browned. Add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, tomatoes, beef stock and cilantro. Securely lock the cooker’s lid and set for 20 minutes on High. Perform a quick release (follow manufacturer’s instructions) to release the cooker’s pressure. With the cooker’s lid off, set to High or “brown.” Stir in pinto beans and corn, and bring to a simmer. Stir in cornmeal, stirring constantly to prevent clumping, and simmer 2 minutes to thicken. Separate refrigerated biscuits, drop in and let simmer 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

Tender Poached Salmon 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. salmon fillets 1 cup chicken stock or broth 1 Tbsp. minced garlic Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon 1 Tbsp. light-brown sugar 1/4 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper

Add all ingredients to the electric pressure cooker. Securely lock the pressure cooker’s lid and set for 6 minutes on High (15 psi). Perform a quick release to release the cooker’s pressure. Serve immediately, drizzled in juices from the cooker. Serves 4.



Today in Mississippi


October 2013

Mississippi Marketplace 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, ten 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

FOR SALE JACK FOSTER HANDMADE SADDLES. Hazlehurst, MS 601-894-3809, West Monroe, LA 381-397-0086. 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. LAS VEGAS VACATION OWNERSHIP, Sleeps 4, Floating Units, Strip Location, Deeded, 901-262-4853. HANDMADE POT HOLDERS, Camouflage and colors, 2 for $5. Starline Knight, 2189 Col. Neill Rd., Crystal Springs, MS 39059, 601-894-2185. 2002 CITATION 5th WHEEL. 33 ft. Good condition. 3 slideouts, washer/dryer combo, oak table/4 chairs, queen bed, sofa/2 recliners. Pd. $50,000, asking $16,500 obo 601-304-2062. 2006 DENALI 5th WHEEL CAMPER. 33 ft. new condition, used one time. Every option available in 2006 except fireplace. 2 air conditioners, corner shower, washer/dryer connections, 2 recliners. Queen bed slide and double bed/sofa in living area slide. Optional size refrigerator, hot water heater and water system, with outside shower. $20,000 obo. Raymond, MS. 601-953-2158.

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Hattiesburg, MS • 1-601-296-0550 Our Prices Include Labor & Metal Sides Also Available in Wood Sides

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Painted Sides

October 2013

30’ x 40’ x 50’ x 80’ x

Today in Mississippi


50’ x 10’ . . . . . . . . .$7,126 60’ x 12’ . . . . . . . .$10,287 75’ x 14’ . . . . . . . .$15,196 120’ x 16’ . . . . . . .$36,874

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Join Walt and many other Mississippians as they open their life albums and share their memories in words and photographs. This collection from the readers of Today in Mississippi prompted Walt to pull related tales from his vault of experience, collected while living in and traveling throughout his home state. “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories with Walt Grayson” is a valued gift, and the book is sure to become a collector’s item.



Today in Mississippi

October 2013

Picture This:

Funny Pets 1. Hogan, a bullmastiff, must have fetched one ball too many. Jessica Tiner, Buckatunna; Dixie Electric member 2. Zoey is a good sport about silly cat tricks. Hunter Keck, Gulfport; Coast Electric member 3. Billy Billy not only hides but sleeps in this watering can. Shauna Crouse, Braxton; Southern Pine Electric member 4. Sam naps in the bird feeder, daring birds to protest. Phyllis Smith, Yazoo City; Yazoo Valley Electric member 5. Jasper’s closest buddies are this cat and a red hen. Madison Raybourn, Laurel; Dixie Electric member 6. Is Bella Mia asking for a manicure? We don’t think so. Carol Becnel, Union Church; Southwest Mississippi Electric member 7. Don’t tell Wally summer is over. Dani Pendarvis, Jonesville, La. 8. Cheetah is thankful her owner has left for kindergarten. Dana Riddle, Lucedale; Singing River Electric member 9. Could Rudy enjoy anything more than chasing kids around the pool? Christina Odom; submitted by Sherry Odom, State Line; Singing River Electric member 10. Max, a rescued dog, tries running up a tree to nab a squirrel, maybe to impress Belle the beagle. Sandra Ray, Lucedale; Singing River Electric member

1 2


4 6


October 2013




Today in Mississippi


11. We wonder how Sir Thomas reacted when the AC unit kicked on. Brenda Whitley, Vicksburg 12. Watch what I can do to this toy with these teeth, Seamus says. Melanie Fuelling, Meridian; East Mississippi Electric member 13. Maggie the mule mugs for the camera. Polly Jackson, Enterprise; East Mississippi Electric member 14. They can look so innocent when they’re not ripping upholstery. Anita Graham, Conehatta; Central Electric member 15. You want me to do what? B.J. asks. Robbie Roberson, Hattiesburg; Pearl River Valley Electric member

Our next theme:

Summer Memories See page 7 for details.


11 14


13 15



Today in Mississippi


October 2013

October 2013


Today in Mississippi



fill the stage and music fills the air at the

Ole Union Opry House By Nancy Jo Maples My toes tap to the tunes of a three-generation country music band inside The Ole Union Opry House in central Mississippi. “This family’s music will never die,” Union resident Harold Carleton says to me as he wanders among the crowd visiting with friends. About 120 locals have gathered for the evening entertainment of the town’s Country Day held every fourth Saturday of August. The Dickerson Family Band has been a mainstay of the annual craft festival since the event began 37 years ago. However, the Dickerson family’s music started long before then. Spearheading the group is 86-year-old Doris Dickerson. Doris began playing fiddle at about age 11 when he built his own rendition of one from a ukulele. His siblings and offspring make up the band creating the epitome of a family affair. That observation was the cornerstone of Mr. Carleton’s comment. Doris’ brother Billy strolls to the microphone with his guitar. Billy’s daughter, Jolene Dickerson Smith, joins him. Side by side they sing and strum a duet, “Rolling in my Sweet Baby’s Arms.” Hands from the crowd clap to the tune. The Ole Union Opry House is full this special night. The five recliners and two couches in the back corner were claimed early in the evening. Everyone else found metal chairs or a booth. Spectators visit with one another during songs, but never talk loudly or miss the music. The opry house and the musicians who play here embody the soul of this community—good, hard-working families who enjoy old-fashioned entertainment and each other. Jim Ogletree and his wife, Melissa, own the Ole Union Opry House, located on Bank Street in downtown Union. The site once housed a retail shop. When the building became vacant, the Ogletrees purchased it and opened it as an entertainment hall in January 2012. Ogletree views the venue as a community service. He grew up with community service imbued on him by his late father, who served as mayor of Union for several terms. After the younger Ogletree graduated from the University of Mississippi he returned to his small home

town to run the family grocery business. Opry house admission costs nothing; however, the Ogletrees appreciate spectators who purchase burgers and soft drinks at the concession stand. Proceeds from snacks help pay the Opry’s electric bill. Ceiling fans with pull chains hang from a wooden plank ceiling that reveals its age through chippings of paint. The white walls showcase huge whimsical black lettering that proclaims “The Ole Union Opry House” and feature silhouettes of musicians shouldering guitars or singing into stage microphones. It’s a perfect setting for the Dickerson family, who play anywhere from house porches to professional stages. While the band’s ages run the gamut, even the young ones have a following of fans. Josh Dickerson, Doris’ grandson, is popular among central Mississippians. Doris’ sons Dennis Dickerson and Glen Dickerson live in Nashville where they earn livings in the music industry. Glen plays at the Grand Ole Opry for legendary singer Jean Shepard. Dennis is an executive for Warner Brothers. Another son, Randy, earned a doctoral degree in music and works in music education at the University of Wisconsin. Doris’ other two sons, Ed and Wayne, pastor churches, pick guitars and sing. Ed preaches in Decatur and Wayne has a church in North Carolina. Doris’ daughter Sue and her husband, Bo Collier, also sing and play. They grew up on a dirt road in Hudson’s Chapel Community between Union and Sebastopol. Doris and his wife instilled in their children the love of Christ and encouraged clean living free of smoke and alcohol. Dickersons fill the stage and music fills the air at the Ole Union Opry House. Various

ages meander about the room while the musical selections teeter from old country and western to southern rock. Before I realize the time, two-and-half hours slip around the clock and the band packs to leave. The night’s party has ended. Yet, I’m at peace recalling Mr. Carleton’s words and knowing that this family’s music will never die. Writer Nancy Jo Maples can be reached at 188 Ernest Pipkins Road, Lucedale, MS 39452 or via email at

Photos by Gina Riley

Doris Dickerson, 86, has been playing fiddle since he was 11. Three generations of his family make up The Dickerson Family Band, above, including niece Jolene Dickerson Smith, left.


Today in Mississippi

October 2013


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

Nichols-Boyd Pumpkin Patch, Oct. 1-31, Brandon. Hayrides, corn maze, old-fashioned playground, farm animals. 601-829-0800; Carthage Arts & Crafts Festival, Oct. 4-5, Carthage. Carthage Coliseum. 601-267-9231. Craft Fair and Bake Sale, Oct. 5, Brandon. Handmade gifts, baked goods, more. Free admission. Nativity Lutheran Church. 601825-5125. Bricks and Spokes, Oct. 5, Vicksburg. Allbike rides, all skill levels; 10- to 62-mile routes include old Mississippi River bridge. Begins downtown. 601-634-4527; The Dark Zone, Oct. 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, Brandon. Haunted house, concessions; 7-10 p.m. Not recommended for 5 and under. Admission. Frank Bridges Soccer Fields. 601825-2094, 601-832-9172. Harvest Festival, Oct. 12, French Camp. Craft demos, sorghum making, music, horseback rides for kids, quilt/craft auction, more. French Camp Historic District, Natchez Trace Parkway. 662-547-6482; Lower Delta Talks: “Holt’s Story,” Oct. 15, Rolling Fork. Presentation on Holt Collier by Minor Ferris Buchanan; 6:30 p.m. SharkeyIssaquena County Library. 662-873-6261. 11th Annual Golf Classic, Oct. 15, Gulfport. Bridges Golf Club. 228-467-9048; Red Roots Concert, Oct. 16, Vickburg. First Baptist Church; 7 p.m. 601-636-2493; Gulf Coast Health Educators Golf Tournament, Oct. 17, Gulfport. Four-man scramble. Supports prevention, management of chronic diseases. Windance Country Club. 228-864-1122, 228-238-2085. Fall Flower and Garden Fest, Oct. 18-19, Crystal Springs. Seminars, garden tours, food, much more; 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Free. Truck Crops Experiment Station. Bukka White Blues Festival, Oct. 18-19,

Aberdeen. Blues, exotic animal show, BBQ contest, arts, crafts, inflatables, more. Blue Bluff Recreational Area. Free. Caledonia Days Festival, Oct. 18-19, Caledonia. Skylar Laine concert Friday, 7 p.m. Vendors, car/tractor shows, dice run, entertainment, more. 662-356-4117. Consign it, Honey! Women’s Consignment Sale, Oct. 18-21, Hattiesburg. Clothing, accessories, maternity, more. Free admission. Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center. 601-270-6595; Fright Night, Fridays & Saturdays, Oct. 1831, Horn Lake. Haunted Spook Trail; 7 p.m. Latimer Lakes Park. 662-393-9897. Haunted Firehouse, Oct. 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, Nov. 1, Meridian. Bailey Fire Station No. 3; 7 p.m. Facebook (Bailey Haunted Firehouse). Piney Woods 5K Run/Walk & 1-Mile Fun Run, Oct. 19, Picayune. Fun run begins 8 a.m; 5K 8:30. Senior Center of South Pearl River County. 601-798-9892; Delta National Forest Trail Ride, Oct. 19, Rolling Fork. Delta National Forest, Long Bayou Greentree Reservoir. 662-873-6256; Bachtoberfest, Oct. 19, Pascagoula. German festival with music, dancing, games, food; 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Admission. Riverfront. 228-8964276. The Pointe Works, Oct. 19, Brandon. All handmade crafts, door prizes, food, more. Free admission. The Pointe Church. Ocean Springs Renaissance Faire, Oct. 1920, Ocean Springs. Jousts, sword fighting, falconry, blacksmith, reenactments, games. Admission. Riley Road. 228-239-2131; Gautier Mullet and Music Fest, Oct. 19-20, Gautier. Two stages of live music, kids area, mullet toss, arts, crafts, more. Dolphin Drive. 228-215-0208; Old Biloxi Cemetery Tour, Oct. 22 and 29, Biloxi. Self-guided tour with 10 historical reenactments; 4-7 p.m. Free. 228-435-6339. 2 Mississippi Museums Groundbreaking Ceremony, Oct. 24, Jackson. Future site of Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, downtown; 10 a.m. 601-576-6545. Great Delta Bear Affair, Oct. 26, Rolling Fork. Music, arts, crafts, magic show, chainsaw woodcarver, Indian mounds tours, fireworks, children’s games, more. Downtown. 662-8736261; Fall Festival, Oct. 26, Petal. Entertainment including Tyler Farr, arts, crafts, children’s village, more. Rice and Beans Ministries to sell food bags for families of Costa Rica. Hinton Park. 601-545-1776. Dancing Rabbit Festival, Oct. 26, Macon. Arts/crafts, music, 5K run/walk. 662-7264456; Blues, Que & Brew, Oct. 26, Picayune. Music festival, art market; bring lawn chairs; 5-9 p.m. Downtown. 601-799-3070; Hogtoberfest, Oct. 26, Vicksburg. Hog cookoff and craft beer festival. Southern Cultural Heritage Center. 601-631-2997; Fall Festival, Oct. 26, Carriere. Auction, fun jumps, hayride, arts, crafts, general store, more. Byrd’s Chapel United Methodist Church. 601-799-0323. Fall Fun Fest, Oct. 26, Olive Branch. Carnival games, craft wars and contests, haunted house, hay rides, costume contest, live music, more. Queen of Peace Catholic Church. 662895-5007 Church Bazaar, Oct. 26, Louisville. Breakfast buffet, homemade goodies, silent auction, more. Whitehall United Methodist Church. 662-803-8222. Double 16 Hunting Club Sixth Annual Halloween Trail Ride, Oct. 26, Poplarville.

Entertainment, suppers, spooky hayride, camping. Admission. Gumpond area. 601-5505905. 93rd Chase Futurity and 119th National Fox Hunt, Oct. 26 - Nov. 2, Grenada. Grenada Lake. 662-226-2060. Christmas Handworks Bazaar, Nov. 1, Starkville. Handworks by Mississippi artisans, casseroles, bake sale, sandwich shoppe, holiday entertainment. First United Methodist Church. 662-323-5722. “The Magic of Sand and Mud” Art Exhibit, Nov. 1, Biloxi. Pottery and glass; 5-7:30 p.m. Gallery 782. 228-388-4088. Whistlestop Weekend, Nov. 1-2, Meridian. Combines Soule Live Steam Festival, RailFest, Carousel Organ Assoc. of America Fall Rally, Smithsonian exhibit “The Way We Worked.” Free. Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum, Soule Live Steam Works. 601-693-9905; Greenfield Cemetery Candlelight Tour, Nov. 1-2, Glen Allan. Costumed storytellers portray individuals buried in Washington County’s oldes cemetery. Confederate camp. Admission. St. John’s Episcopal Church ruins. 662-839-4000; Facebook. Beehive Marketplace, Nov. 1-2, Kosciusko. Local artist showcase, demonstratons, Country Store, silent auction, more. Free. Mary Ricks Thornton Cultural Center. 662-289-4761; Grillin’ & Chillin’ BBQ Festival, Nov. 2, Taylorsville. BBQ competition, arts/crafts, car/truck/motorcycle show, carnival rides. Bellamy Brothers perform at 4:15 p.m. Taylorsville Town Park. 601-785-4756. Kemper County Heritage Day, Nov. 2, DeKalb. Free admission to Historical Museum, BBQ, country music, antique cars. 601-9342649, 601-743-5560. 14th Annual Old Time Day, Nov. 2, Leakesville. Demos to include cane syrup making, corn grinding, more; wagon train, auction, mule pule, entertainment, vendors. Batley Farm. 601-394-2385; Puckett United Methodist Women’s Mission Market Place, Nov. 2, Puckett. Vendors, raffle items, soup lunches, holiday casserole orders, more. 601-591-5570. Fall Picayune Street Fair, Nov. 2-3, Picayune. Arts, crafts, exhibits, antique car/motorcycle shows, entertainment, more. 35th Annual Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival, Nov. 2-3, Ocean Springs. Free admission. Downtown. 228-875-4424. Pascagoula Gun Show, Nov. 2-3, Pascagoula. Admission. Jackson County Fairgrounds. 601-498-4235.

October 2013

Aberdeen Main Street Merchant Open House, Nov. 3, Aberdeen. Election Day Dinner, Nov. 5, Poplarville. Raffles, door prizes, bake sales; 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. CrossRoads Distribution Center. 601-9588883. Harvest Festival, Nov. 5-9, Jackson. Blacksmithing, sawmill, cotton gin, grist mill, train/hay rides, carousel, barnyard animals, general store, more; Admission. Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum. 601-4324500, 800-844-8687; 24th Annual Magnolia State Gem, Mineral, Fossil and Jewelry Show, Nov. 810, Pascagoula. Admission. Jackson County Civic Center. 228-229-8781. Gulf Coast Veterans Day Parade, Nov. 9, Biloxi. Parade begins 11 a.m. Ceremony at City Hall. Also, Red White and Blue on the Green festival. Downtown. 228-669-4997; Pearl River Ramble, Nov. 9, Picayune. Challenging 10K and 5K walk/run on back roads; pancake breakfast. Registration 7 a.m. Henleyfield Community Center. Moss Point High School Cheerleaders Thanksgiving Variety Sale, Nov. 9, Moss Point. Clothing, housewares, books, toys, more; 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. Church of Living God. 228-623-7933. Capital City Gun Show, Nov. 9-10, Jackson. Admission. Wahabi Shriners Building, I-55 S. Exit 88. 601-498-4235. Mississippi Coast Jazz Society Dance and Jam, Nov. 10, Biloxi. Hard Rock Casino; 2-5 p.m. Admission. 228-392-4177. Veterans Day Laying of the Wreath Ceremony, Nov. 11, Gautier. Special guests and dignitaries. Hosted by American Legion Post 1992, City of Gautier; 11 a.m. Veterans Tribute Tower, Hwy. 90. 228-627-1887;



TICKETS: $12.00 IN ADVANCE $15.00 AT THE DOOR (IF AVAILABLE) Contact Church Office at 228-475-2938 or John George at 228-219-5759

Mississippi Fruit & Vegetable Growers Conference and Tradeshow, Nov. 13-15, Choctaw. Educational presentations, area farm tour, trade show. Pearl River Resort Silver Star Conference Center. Piney Woods Heritage Festival, Nov. 1516, Picayune. Exhibits, demonstrations of traditional skills and crafts. Admission. Crosby Arboretum. 601-799-2311.


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Today in Mississippi Singing River October 2013  

Today in Mississippi Singing River October 2013