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FOR MEMBERS OF COAHOMA ELECTRIC POWER ASSOCIATION

OUR CO-OP

VETERANS NOVEMBER 2020

A FAMILY

BIBLE BUSINESS

DESIGNING

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on the menu

outdoo scene around the ‘sip Make your home more comfortable than ever

co-op involvement

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2 TODAY | NOVEMBER 2020

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outdoors today

grin ‘n’ bare it

This year is one for the books When we look back at 2020, we will shake our heads and recall a time that challenged all of us in ways we couldn’t even have imagined. The COVID-19 virus, a divisive political atmosphere, an abnormally active hurricane season and storms and tornadoes that hit areas of our state hard were all touchstones for 2020 that tested our resolve, patience and endurance. Although some might dwell on the negatives, we all know we have much to be thankful for this November, even though the holidays won’t be the same this year. Electric cooperatives play an integral role in the communities they serve. It’s just part of an electric cooperative’s DNA. Employees of the state’s electric cooperatives live, work and play in the same communities as our members. When storms and tornadoes roared through the state, our linemen were out and about working long hours to power customers back up. Our members lost power and our linemen restored power. For them, we are thankful. Our linemen deployed to nearby states when hurricane damage ravaged other communities to power up those in need. I know our neighbors are thankful. And we are thankful as well, because when we need their help, our neighbor cooperatives will be there for us. When the coronavirus made personal customer interaction — something all of our cooperatives take immense pride in

— impossible for a time, co-ops adapted and made changes that made it easy for members to pay bills, report power outages and access the customer service they deserve. For that, we are thankful. Of course, there are all of the day-to-day blessings we enjoy that we are thankful for — freedom, family, friends, careers and the roofs over our heads. For our friends who may not be as blessed, our communities and churches step up to help. For that, we are thankful. And don’t forget about college football. For that, we are thankful — especially this year! Something else we are thankful for — the men and women who have sacrificed for something bigger than any one person. Nov. 11 is Veterans Day and that’s the time we thank our military veterans for putting on the uniform and serving this amazing country. Although we have a specific day dedicated to it, we know every day is Veterans Day in Mississippi and for those who served, we are thankful. From all the electric cooperatives in Mississippi to you, our members, we are thankful for you. Thanks for being part of our community in the worst of times and the best of times.

by Michael Callahan Executive Vice President/CEO Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi

Mississippi is... Dense gray delta fog, Hard to see, Covers great river bog, But always home to me. Oh to dine on any fine dish, When no one is the least, The house special is catfish. All allowed to join our feast. Towers of longleaf pine, Growing quickly and so high, Covers the land that I call mine, Evergreens touching the sky. History lessons it behooves, To be wary of the crooks, Mississippi to improve, A place of authors, poets and books. Hounds in search of the hare, Running in fields and thickets, Howls fill the southern air, And along with sounds of crickets. Meandering around river bends, Passing cotton bales of white, Uncertain on how it ends, Hopeful we do what is right. by Keith Ball of Petal, a member of Dixie Electric

What’s Mississippi to you? What do you treasure most about life in our state? Send your brief thoughts to Today in Mississippi, news@ecm.coop or mail to P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158

NOVEMBER 2020 | TODAY 3

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picture this my opinion


in this issue

5 southern gardening Release the Snapdragons

7 scene around the ‘sip A look at special people and places around Mississippi

5

11

outdoors today The kayak and the hunter

14 local news 20 feature

50 Nights of Lights is becoming a Delta holiday tradition

The Official Publication of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi

Vol. 73 No. 10

OFFICERS Kevin Bonds - President Eddie Howard - First Vice President Randy Carroll - Second Vice President Ron Barnes - Secretary/Treasurer Michael Callahan - Executive Vice President/CEO EDITORIAL STAFF Ron Stewart - Senior VP, Communications Steven Ward - Editor Chad Calcote - Creative Director/ Manager Elissa Fulton - Communications Specialist Rickey McMillan - Graphic Designer Kevin Wood - Graphic Designer Chris Alexander - Administrative Assistant 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: American MainStreet Publications, 800-626-1181

Circulation of this issue: 484,297

20

the love of 25 for the game Mississippi’s MLB park creator

Non-member subscription price: $9.50 per year. Today in Mississippi (ISSN 1052-2433) is published 12 times a year by Electric Cooperatives 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 all UAA to CFS. (See DMM 507.1.5.2) NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address corrections to: Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300

www.facebook.com/TodayinMississippi

26 on the menu

Flavors for an autumn night

31

31 mississippi seen

It’s time to visit the clock museum

www.todayinmississippi.com

On the cover Christmas lights shine and glow at a past 50 Nights of Lights in downtown Cleveland.

STATE FAIR

Share photos of your favorite memories/scenes from the Mississippi State Fair past or present.

Photos must be high-resolution JPG files of at least 1 MB in size. Each entry must be accompanied by photographer’s name, address and co-op. Attach digital photos to email and send to news@ecm.coop Deadline: Dec. 4. Select photos will appear in the January 2021 issue.

4 TODAY | NOVEMBER 2020


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by Dr. Gary Bachman Gary Bachman, Ph.D., Extension/Research Professor of Horticulture at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. He is also host of “Southern Gardening” radio and TV programs. He lives in Ocean Springs and is a Singing River Electric member.

NOVEMBER 2020 | TODAY 5

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orange, yellow and white colors, with others in between. The plants produce multiple, tall flower spikes, which make them a perfect choice for use indoors as cut flowers. Snapdragons are pretty easy to grow. Keep the landscape bed or container consistently moist, but don’t overwater. I like to feed my snaps with water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer once a month. You might need to deadhead fading flower spikes to keep the plants looking tidy. If you are using them for cutting arrangements, you’ve already taken care of the deadheading. In my experience, snaps won’t tolerate any extended freezing temperatures, but they will hang on through the winter in south Mississippi and provide good color in the cool fall and spring. In the northern half of the state, it’s probably better to consider these as annuals for fall and spring color. Not every garden center will have every variety, so call around to find out what selections are available in your area. One tip I will stress is to buy snapdragons when the plants have tight buds and just a little color peeking out. This will give you a longer, colorful display. Regardless of variety, all gardeners I know who grow snapdragons in their landscape are not disappointed with them, and you will not be disappointed either.

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I like growing snapdragons when the seasons shift to cool weather. The colorful flowers are like a floral kaleidoscope in the landscape. Snaps — my nickname for them — are fantastic for the cool-season cutting garden. The vertical flower stalks add interest as the individual flowers line up neatly in tall bundles. And if you’re really lucky, you can enjoy their soft, cinnamon fragrance on a calm, warm morning. There are quite a few snapdragon series that are great choices for our Mississippi landscapes. The Snapshot series features compact, full plants topped by closely spaced, crowded flower spikes. The flower spikes are big for the size of the plant, and sturdy stems support these big flowers. These snapdragons grow to 10-inches tall and wide. The Snapshot snapdragon mix is a beautiful combination of soft pastels and bicolor flowers. The Solstice snapdragon series is a great choice for landscape use. These plants grow up to 2-feet tall and have a good range of flower colors that includes red, rose, yellow and mixed colors. I really like the intense yellow-and-orange color combination of Solstice Orange Tricolor. If you are a fan of double flowers, there are even snapdragons with this feature. The flowers of the Twinny series are sometimes called butterfly blooms. Twinny Peach, an All-America Selections winner in 2010, has flowers in soft shades of peach, yellow and light orange. While these are all great selections, I consider the Sonnet series as probably the most visible snapdragon we see in the landscape and my personal favorite. The wide variety of colors in the series is one reason Sonnets are so popular. They grow up to 30-inches tall and display red,

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Fans of double flowers will enjoy the Twinny series of snapdragons. The flowers are sometimes called butterfly blooms.

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The average cost of rebinding a Bible is around $125 to $150. Once the books get bigger than 6 x 9, the price goes up, depending on the Bible. He said people, in most cases, can’t just throw away an old Bible. “It’s all about what that Bible means to someone individually. They have notes in them, special inscriptions or they were given to the person by someone special. A Bible can bring special memories to people. It’s a very personal thing,” Sproles said. Sproles said he’s had people come to the shop with missing and torn up pages in a plastic bag because their dog has destroyed their Bible. “They are so upset. They just want to kill their dog. But we have someone who will sit down and sift through the torn up pages. They will use other pages (from other Bibles) to put it all back together again. It happens several times a year,” Sproles said. He also said unless the Bible’s pages are super dry and brittle to the point of crumbling, they can repair the book. He said a Bible is a “living, breathing book” that has a ”heart and soul.” “You read it and reread it every day. It’s the only book you read every day. Everybody has a story with their Bible. Folks may have more than one Bible and they don’t mind lending others out or giving some away but everyone has that one Bible — the Bible they won’t part with,” Sproles said. Sproles added that the work he and his employees do is very satisfying. “Sometimes, when people first see their Bible after we’re done, they weep. They just can’t believe it. We are in the business of making people happy. It’s a highly rewarding job,” he said. Visit norrisbookbinding.com or call 662-453-7424 for more information. NOVEMBER 2020 | TODAY 7

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by Steven Ward It’s hard for people to just throw away a Bible. Even when a Bible is ancient, missing pages and falling apart, most owners can’t bring themselves to just chunk their book in a trash heap. Gib Sproles and his family know about that problem and have been helping out Bible owners for decades. Norris Bookbinding Company in Greenwood has been rebinding and repairing Bibles since 1947. Although the original owner of the business — H.H. Norris — started his shop with primarily library and commercial rebinding work, the need and demand for Bible repair work became evident. Norris taught his employees the craft of Bible repair and, before long, other binderies and publishers around the U.S. began sending bible restoration customers to the Mississippi Delta city business. Today, Norris Bookbinding has an international reputation as the U.S.’s largest Bible rebinding plant. The book binding company has served customers from every state and 30 foreign countries. Gib Sproles, 60, runs the shop today. His father, Charles Sproles, 85 and his uncle, Johnny Sproles were brought in as partners before Norris died in 1967. Charles Sproles worked at the shop since he was 15. The Norris family sold their share of the business to the Sproles family in 1994. Sproles and his family live in Winona and are members of Delta Electric Power Association. Sproles said the business has seven employees. All seven rebind the Bibles by hand. The employees — including Gib Sproles — rebind about 300 Bibles a month. “It takes a few hours to rebind a Bible by hand. There are a lot of steps. Gluing, pressing, resewing — It’s a time consuming process,” Sproles said.

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Sacred Stone of the S Stone of the Sacred outhwest is on the S outhwest is on the B rink of Extinction Brink of Extinction enturies ago, Persians,

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NOVEMBER 2020 | TODAY 9

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by Steven Ward There’s a lot of alignment Aaron Waldron is a field engineer and Tony Wallis spent 23 years in the U.S. between the seven cooperative warehouse worker for Coahoma Electric Air Force working in ground transporprinciples and military values, Power Association. tation and logistics. Although he was which fosters a transition One of five veterans working for stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in between veterans and co-ops, Coahoma’s co-op, Waldron, of Walls, spent Biloxi for 18 of those 23 years, Wallis said Desiree Dunham, NRECA’s five years in the U.S. Air Force working in spent part of his enlistment time overmanager of talent programs. communications where he was tasked with seas in the Middle East fighting the war Veterans bring valuable skill sets maintenance of cable, antennas and radio on terror. Wallis, 47, traveled to Iraq and and are mission-focused as a transmission systems. Kuwait to drive trucks for the U.S. Army result of their military service. Besides providing critical installation and run equipment to multiple bases in and maintenance for 13 air combat comthose areas. mand bases, two air education and training Wallis’ military background was a bases and three air reserve and air guard perfect fit when he went to work for bases, Waldron deployed a year and a Coast Electric Power Association six half working in combat communications years ago. Wallis, of Gulfport, is a warein Afghanistan — six months during the house manager and one of 21 veterans summer 2010 and a year from fall of 2011 employed by Coast Electric. to fall 2012. “There are some similarities between Aaron Waldron Following his time in the Air Force, the military and working at a co-op. Waldron enlisted in the Tennessee Air Although it’s a smaller fleet, we are close Guard and worked as an electrician and at Coast. It’s like a family. And it’s like lineman. Today, he works in transportation that in the military,” Wallis said. as a truck driver for the Tennessee Army Wallis said “it’s a blessing” to be workGuard while keeping his full-time job with ing for an electric cooperative. Coahoma Electric. November 11 is Veterans Day, a day “I enjoy working for the co-op. It’s a to salute the men of women of the U.S, Aaron Waldron Tony Wallis great place to be,” Waldron said. who have made sacrifices to serve their NRECA’s hiring initiative — Vets Power Us — helps co-ops country. address the challenges of attracting and retaining a new workElectric cooperatives have actively sought out and hired force as the industry faces waves of retirements and increasingly veterans for years because of their transferable skills and proven complex technology. The initiative also seeks to raise awareness success in real world situations. of utility careers among veterans, 40% of whom come from rural Veterans add value to the cooperative workforce because communities. they have extensive technical, leadership and safety skills; have “Veterans bring an already matured sense of camaraderie and the ability to learn new concepts and skills; are mission driven; team work to a cooperative that has exponential impact. In a have received crisis and risk management training; have strong lineman role, specifically, the honed problem-solving disposition problem solving skills and work efficiently in high pressure and fast-paced environments, according to the National Rural Electric is invaluable,” said Gerald Gordon, vice president of safety and loss control of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi. Cooperative Association.

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mississippi seen events

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n a tall pine, partially hidden but visible in pieces to one who took time for close scrutiny, he sat proudly. Eyes keen for a fish breaking the surface or simply sequestered there in solitude and wishing no disturbance, I don’t know. But he was there. Not the most common sight in these parts, but then again not terribly rare. A bald eagle. I watched closely. He then slid from that selected limb and spread wings in a grandiose display that spoke of freedom. Overhead now, appearing close enough to touch. The moment was filled with wonderment. At the time, a month or so back as you read this and before the leaves turned orange, brown and gold and the skies azure, I was paddling a small kayak along a waterway that had public land open to hunting on each side. Some specific guidelines were naturally in place regarding that hunting, but it was open, waiting there for use but begging respect. The purpose of my paddling, in addition to general sightseeing, was a scouting mission. I had in mind not the animal that claims the most attention among state hunters — the whitetail — but squirrels and perhaps the wood duck. Seasons for deer and ducks would be along directly but not before squirrels were legal. For you see, I am a squirrel hunter, have been since my dad took me when I was a 10-year-old. That has now been a couple years past six decades. I had long considered such a vehicle for such an endeavor but had somehow never gotten around to trying it. The canoe, yes, but not the kayak. The latter is more effective in a great many situations, and this was one of them. Pull over and explore the countryside. Drag the craft to a flooded

slough for some potential fishing or duck hunting as seasons allow. The canoe will do the same, but weight and bulk can be an issue. Not so much with the kayak. Some might ask why in regards to this entire kayak enterprise. A valid answer is the hunting territory that is available. Streams that course through Wildlife Management Areas, National Forest lands and National Wildlife Refuges across the state afford basic access to surrounding woods, and a float may be the most expeditious means by which to reach them. Age, something with which I have become acquainted, may preclude long hikes to quiet spots seldom visited, but a small watercraft can open some productive venues that are off limits to motorized contrivances. Simply, a kayak — or canoe but with added restrictions — can enhance hunting opportunities. Public lands are many; streams or lakes can become the means by which to explore and hunt some viable sites. And always wear a Personal Flotation Device when on the water. Oh, and you may see an eagle along the way.

by Tony Kinton Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. He lives in Carthage and is a Central Electric member. Visit www.tonykinton.com for more information.

The author paddles along a stream with public land lining each side. He dragged the kayak up the river bank and into an old river run. Wood ducks were there. Photo by Sam Valentine.

NOVEMBER 2020 | TODAY 11

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rdening

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P.O. BOX 188 • 340 HOPSON STREET • LYON, MS 38645 662-624-8321 • FAX 662-624-8327 • www.coahomaepa.com • cepa@coahomaepa.com

Bylaws outline procedure for Annual Meeting Coahoma Electric Power Association will hold its Annual Meeting of the Membership at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, at Coahoma Electric’s Training Center in Lyon, MS. The following is an excerpt from the association’s bylaws pertaining to the Annual Meeting of the Membership.

ARTICLE III Meeting of Members • Section 3.01. Annual Meeting. For the purposes of electing Directors, hearing and passing upon reports covering the previous fiscal year, and transacting such other business as may properly come before the meeting, the annual meeting of the Members shall be held on the second Thursday of February of each year, at such place in Coahoma County, Mississippi, and beginning at such hour, as the Board of Directors shall, from year to year, fix; PROVIDED, that, for cause sufficient, the Board of Directors may fix a different date for such annual meeting not more than thirty (30) days prior or subsequent to the day otherwise established for such meeting. Failure to hold the annual meeting at the designated time and place shall not work a forfeiture or dissolution of the Association. • Section 3.02. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Members may be called by a majority of the Board of Directors, or upon written petition submitted to the Board of Directors signed by at least three hundred (300) Members; any such petition(s) shall be submitted on forms provided by the Association, and the same shall be signed, completed and verified in the same manner as are petitions submitted under Section 4.04 of these Bylaws. Special meetings shall be held at such place within Coahoma County, Mississippi, on such date, and at such hour as the Board of Directors shall fix and determine, and the Association’s Secretary shall cause notice of any such meetings to be given as hereinafter provided. • Section 3.03. Notice of Members’ Meetings. Written or printed notice stating the place, day and hour of the meeting and, in the case of a special meeting or of an annual meeting at which business requiring special notice is to be transacted, the purpose or purposes of the meeting shall be delivered to each Member not less than fifteen (15) days nor more than twenty-five (25) days prior to the date of the meeting, either personally, by mail, or electronically, by or at the direction of the Association’s Secretary, or by the directors or members calling the meeting. Written notice of any meeting at which the Association’s certificate of incorporation will be voted on by the Members must be sent to the Members at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the meeting, and shall identify and describe the purpose of the amendment. If Directors are to be elected at such meeting, the notice of Members’ meeting shall include a statement of the members of the Board of Directors to be elected as provided in Section 4.04. Unless specified in such notice of meeting, no matter may be acted upon at such meeting. If mailed, such notice shall

14 TODAY | NOVEMBER 2020

be deemed to be delivered when deposited in the United States mail, addressed to the Member at his or her address as it appears on the records of the Association, with postage thereon prepaid. The failure of any Member to receive such notice shall not invalidate any action which may be taken by the Members at any such meeting. • Section 3.04. Quorum. Three hundred (300) Members shall constitute a quorum at any regular or special meeting of Members. This number shall be arrived at by adding the number of Members present in person at the meeting to the number of Members represented at that meeting by valid proxies filed as provided by these Bylaws. If less than a quorum is present at any meeting of Members, the officer of the Association who is presiding at the meeting may, at the time stated in the notice and without a motion, declare the meeting adjourned and closed or he may hold the meeting open for not longer than thirty (30) minutes to see if a quorum is present within that time; and the meeting shall automatically be adjourned and closed if a quorum shall not be present at the end of said thirty (30) minute period. The Members present at a meeting at which a quorum is not present shall not have the power to take any kind of action, including, but not by way of limitations, adjourning said meeting to another time or place. • Section 3.05. Voting. Each Member who is not in a status of suspension, as provided for in Section 2.01, shall be entitled to only one vote upon each matter submitted to a vote at any meeting of the Members. A Member may vote at any such meeting either in person or by proxy. At a meeting of the Members where Directors are to be elected, all Members present in person or by proxy may cast one (1) vote for each Director to be elected; each Member may vote his or her own vote plus those proxies executed in such Member’s favor, pursuant to Section 3.06 and 3.07 of these Bylaws. Voting by Members other than Members who are natural persons shall be allowed upon the presentation to the Association, prior to or upon registration at each Member meeting, of satisfactory evidence entitling the person presenting same to vote. At all meetings of the Members, all questions shall be decided by a majority of the Members voting thereon, except as otherwise provided by law or by the Association’s Certificate of Incorporation or these Bylaws or any amendment(s) thereto. Members may not cumulate their votes. • Section 3.06. Proxies. At all meetings of the Members, a Member may vote by proxy executed in writing and signed by the Member, subject to the provisions hereinafter set forth, provided, however, any Member intending to vote by proxy must file the executed proxy at the Association’s headquarters by the close of


Notice to Members

ANNUAL MEETING OF MEMBERS

Happy Thanksgiving

from Coahoma Electric Power Association The business office will be closed November 26 and 27 for Thanksgiving.

In case of a power outage or emergency, please call 662-624-8321. NOVEMBER 2020 | TODAY 15

VERSION #______________ RON Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested STEVEN Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHAD Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ELISSA Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHRIS Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ARTIST ___________ Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested

business on the later of the Monday preceding the annual or special ARTICLE IV meeting or three (3) business days prior to such meeting. A Member may • Section 4.04. Committee on Nominations. personally deliver his or her proxy to the said offices of the Association (a) It shall be the duty of the Board of Directors to appoint, no less or mail the proxy by United States Mail, postage prepaid, addressed to than forty (40) calendar days nor more than ninety (90) calendar days the Secretary, Coahoma Electric Power Association, P. O. Box 188, Lyon, before the date of the meeting of the Members at which Directors are Mississippi, 38645. If the proxy is sent by mail, the date of its receipt in to be elected, a Committee on Nominations consisting of not less than the Association’s office at the above address shall be its filing date. The five (5) nor more than eleven (11) Members who shall be selected with proxy must have entered thereon the name and account number of the consideration being given to provide geographic representation of the member appointed to vote the proxy. No proxy shall be voted at any Association’s service area. No existing Association employees, agents, meeting of the Members unless it shall designate the particular meeting at officers, Directors or known candidates for Director, and close relatives which it is to be voted, and no proxy shall be voted at any meeting other (as hereinafter defined) or members of the same household of existing than the one so designated, or any adjournassociation employees, agents, officers, Direcment of such meeting. No proxy shall be voted tors or known candidates for Director may serve by anyone except a Member. A Member may on such committee. The Committee on Nominaappoint any other individual Member to vote tions shall receive and consider any suggestion his or her proxy, or a Member may appoint the as to nominees submitted by Members. The COAHOMA ELECTRIC POWER ASSOCIATION individual members of the Board of Directors, Committee on Nominations shall meet at a time collectively, to vote said proxy. No Member shall and place set by the Board of Directors. The vote as proxy for more than fifty (50) Members Committee on Nominations shall prepare and at any meeting of the Members. In the event an post at the principal office of the Association at individual Member is appointed to vote as proxy Thursday, Feb 11, 2021 least thirty-five (35) calendar days before the for more than fifty (50) other Members, such meeting a list of nominations for Directors. The at 10 a.m. proxies in excess of fifty (50) shall be assigned Secretary must mail with the notice of the meetCoahoma Electric’s Training Center, Lyon MS to the Board of Directors for voting; and the ing or separately a statement of the number Members of Coahoma EPA’s proxies so assigned and those proxies appointof Directors to be elected and the names and ing the individual members of the Board of Committee on Nominations addresses of the candidates nominated by the Directors shall be voted according to the will of a Committee on Nominations. Reggie Hibbler Harvey B. Rodgers Jr. majority of the Board of Directors. The presence (b) Nominations By Petition. Any fifty (50) Hamp Bass Ann Ruscoe of a Member at a meeting of the Members shall Members acting together may make a nomiRobert A. Boyce Tommy Sides revoke a proxy theretofore executed by that nation by petition and the Secretary shall post William Peal Member, and such Member shall be entitled to such nomination at the same place where the vote at such meeting in the same manner and with the same effect as if list of nominations by the Committee on Nominations is posted. Any the proxy had not been executed. In case of a joint membership, a proxy petition for nomination shall be submitted on a form designated and may be executed by either spouse. The timely presence of either spouse provided by the Association. Each Member signing such petition shall at a meeting of the Members shall revoke a proxy theretofore executed place thereon the date of signing, address and account number of the by either of them and such joint Member (or Members) shall be entitled Member. The Secretary shall mail with the notice of the meeting or septo vote at such meeting in the same manner and with the same effect as arately a statement of the number of board members to be elected and if a proxy had not been executed. A standard proxy form shall be used the names of candidates nominated by the committees and the names of candidates nominated by petition, if any. Nominations made by petition, which identifies the Member by name and Member number, in order to assure authenticity and facilitate the tabulation of votes. If the proxy form if any, received by the close of business at least 90 calendar days before of a Member is lost, stolen, or destroyed, the Association shall furnish such the annual meeting shall be included on the official ballot. No petition may contain more than one nominee. Member with a replacement proxy form upon request, provided that the (c) Notwithstanding anything in this Section, failure to comply with any Member executes a revocation of the lost, stolen or destroyed form, to of the provisions of this Section shall not affect in any manner whatsoevbe witnessed by an employee of the Association. Blank proxy forms will er the validity of any election of Directors. not be distributed in bulk to any Member. Designation of proxies shall be upon forms prescribed by the Board of Directors and furnished by the Association and no other forms shall be recognized or accepted.


Catfish Farmer of the Year Mississippi catfish farmer Will Nobile was one of three farmers named the Catfish Institute’s 2020 Catfish Farmer of the Year.

Farmers of the Year are chosen annually from a large field of many deserving catfish producers in the U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish industry. Nobile graduated from Mississippi State University in 2003. He and his father, Jerry, have 650 acres of catfish ponds, a catfish hatchery and 1,500 acres of row crops. Will’s grandfather started the family farm in the 1940s, and his father added catfish in the mid 1980s. Will grew up working on the farm and took over management after graduating from college. Nobile and his wife, Olivia, live in Moorhead and have two daughters. They are active members of their church and enjoy spending family time together. He serves on the board of directors of Catfish Farmers of America, Catfish Farmers of Mississippi and The Catfish Institute.

Quarantine catfish

INGREDIENTS 6 to 8, 3 to 5 ounces U.S. farm raised catfish fillets 1 can green beans 1 can black beans I can Rotel tomatoes 1 can whole corn 1 12-ounce pack of smoked sausage 1 stick of butter 1 tablespoon Shapley’s seasoning 1 teaspoon ground pepper 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup of shredded cheese of choice 1 can sliced potatoes 1 medium sweet onion

We want to provide a connection between the farm-raised catfish that people know and love and the hundreds of family farms that dot the Southern United States where these fish are grown. Every year, The Catfish Institute (TCI) utilizes the winning farmers in various advertising campaigns. Each farmer is an important part of promoting U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish and raising public awareness of the quality and benefits of eating U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish. “We want to provide a connection between the farmraised catfish that people know and love and the hundreds of family farms that dot the Southern United States where these fish are grown. The Catfish Farmers of the Year are the face of the American farmer producing an American product for the American consumer,” Roger Barlow, president of TCI, said in a news release.

16 TODAY | NOVEMBER 2020

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Evenly place 6 to 8 U.S. Farm Raised catfish fillets in a 9 by 13-inch pan. Combine and spread green beans, black beans, corn and Rotel tomatoes over the catfish fillets. Melt one stick of butter and apply over entire dish. Add remaining seasoning together and apply evenly over entire dish. Cut smoked sausage into 1/2 inch slices and spread evenly over dish. Spread sliced onion and potatoes over fillets. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese over dish. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour or until the catfish fillets are flakey to the touch.


For quick cleanup, Haynes recommends trying slow cooker liners.

Check out these other tips from USDAFSIS for using a slow cooker safely: • Store preprepared items in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Use separate containers for raw meats and other items, such as vegetables. • Cook foods according to recipe directions and use a slow cooker of the correct size for the amount of food to be cooked. • Keep the lid on during cooking to keep the temperature steady. • Remove leftovers from the cooker and store them in shallow containers in the refrigerator within 2 hours after cooking is done. • Throw out any food cooked during a power outage if not at home. Foods completely cooked when the power goes out will be safe in the cooker for 2 hours. Otherwise, finish cooking the food by another method, such as a gas stove or outdoor grill. • Always reheat leftovers in the microwave, in the oven or on the stove. Be sure foods are reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

INGREDIENTS 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, divided 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon cinnamon 2 eggs

½ cup whole milk ¼ cup canola oil 1⁄8 teaspoon salt 4 cups frozen mixed berries or berry of your choice

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Add the eggs, milk and oil. Stir until moistened (batter will be thick). Coat the slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread the batter evenly into the slow cooker. In a separate large bowl, combine the salt, remaining flour (1/2 cup) and remaining sugar (1 cup). Add berries and toss to coat. Pour over batter in the slow cooker. Place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours or until a toothpick inserted into the cobbler comes out clean. Serve immediately. Susan Collins-Smith is a writer for the Mississippi State University Extension Service. NOVEMBER 2020 | TODAY 17

Approved

STEVEN Date_____

These barbecue chicken sliders are quick to make in the cooker. Depending on the barbecue sauce used, they can be healthy, too. Look for tomato or vinegar as the first ingredient in the sauce, not sugar.

Revisions Requested

Spray the slow cooker insert with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken in the slow cooker and sprinkle with spices. Add the sliced onion and water. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until the chicken is done. Drain water from the slow cooker, and shred chicken with two forks or a hand-held mixer. Mix in the barbecue sauce, and heat for 15 minutes. Assemble sandwiches using extra barbecue sauce and other toppings as desired.

Approved

1 teaspoon chili powder 1 small onion, sliced 1 cup water 1⁄3 cup barbecue sauce 8 mini whole-wheat buns

RON Date_____

INGREDIENTS Nonstick cooking spray 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts ¾ teaspoon garlic powder ¼ teaspoon black pepper

VERSION #______________

by Susan Collins-Smith Slow cookers can make dinner time fast and easy any day of the week. The small countertop appliance can cook almost anything — from meats to desserts. Slow cookers come in various sizes that are handy for different dishes. They work by cooking foods low and slow, reaching temperatures between 170 and 280 degrees, according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service. Even at such low temperatures, foods cooked properly are safe because of the extended cooking time, the heat from the pot and the steam created. However, cooks should follow the same food safety guidelines that apply to other cooking methods, said Natasha Haynes, a family and consumer science agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Meat and poultry should always be thawed before cooking it in a slow cooker,” Haynes said. “But be sure to thaw these ingredients ahead of time in the refrigerator. Never thaw meats on the counter or in hot water.”

Revisions Requested

make meals


by Megan Tate Born four months premature, I was placed on 100% oxygen The next day I stayed in bed. I felt awful. By now my for the first several months after birth because my lungs were headache had morphed into a full-blown migraine. underdeveloped. This resulted in retinopathy of prematurity. The next morning when I awoke, I stood up and walked As a child, I dealt with limited vision in my right eye and none into the bathroom, flipping the light switch as I had done in my left. I had friends who suffered from glaucoma and I a million times before. was aware that it could lead to blindness and that it could be It clicked on, but it was still dark. painful. But that’s all I knew. What are the chances, I thought? Mentally, I counted the For most of my life I had limited vision. I could see well number of bulbs in my head. There were two sets located enough to walk around unassisted most of the time and I above the his and hers sinks. Eight of them. What were the could see images to a certain degree. What I saw best, chances all eight had blown overnight? however, was bright colors. Without turning around, I called out to my husband. While learning web design, I discov“Baby, the lights in the bathroom ered I could change the entirety of my are blown,” I said. “They were working computer screen to one solid color, yesterday.” allowing me to tour the spectrum of “No, they’re not,” he said from his My prayer is that Christ will use the rainbow. Little did I know that while position over my shoulder. “They’re on.” my story to help others, that it I was looking at all those beautiful That was the start of a journey that I will strengthen my ministry and shades, I was taking snapshots of them never could have prepared for, one that I that I can be a beacon for him. in my mind for future reference. God find hard to accept and one that I ask God was preparing me for the road that was ahead. daily to change. I just can’t accept that I might be blind for the In the winter of 2013, I noticed that I didn’t seem to be seerest of my life. And I can’t acknowledge that I may never see ing things as well as before. I chalked it up to poor lighting, my those beautiful colors again outside of the snapshots Christ finicky eyes and contrast. I even went to my eye specialist who made sure were stored in my head. said my eyes looked just as they always had. My eye pressure That morning when I walked into my eye doctor’s office, was perfect, and my retina looked flat and stable. In essence, my heart was pounding. there was no medical reason for my decreased vision. But I I was diagnosed with what I would later come to know as knew something wasn’t right. I could no longer see those acute open-angle glaucoma; a glaucoma that creeps on you colors on the computer screen like I once had. like a beast, stealing your sight without warning or apology. One evening in late January 2014, about two weeks before According to my doctor, my once flat retina had also partialmy 25th birthday, my husband and I had settled in to watch ly detached. a movie. By nature, I am an optimistic person. I have a let’s-fix-it attiI usually worked on a jigsaw puzzle while we watched. tude. But three glaucoma surgeries later and more than six But that night I wasn’t feeling well. I sat on the couch instead and a half years of prayers and hopeful thinking and I am still of at the kitchen table and leaned against the couch. blind. I hold on to my faith that there is a reason for everything, I had a persistent headache, something that wasn’t even if I can’t understand what that reason is. completely unheard of for me. My prayer is that Christ will use my story to help others, As the movie progressed, my headache worsened. We that it will strengthen my ministry and that I can be a beacon turned off the TV and I jumped in the shower, letting the for him. So, I keep myself busy. I sing, I write, I take care of hot water massage my throbbing temples. my home and my beautiful fluffy orange tabby as well as the For me, seeing halos, or noodles as I had called them amazing man who has become my eyes. since I was a little girl, was a common occurrence. So, when Megan Tate, a Northcentral Electric Cooperative member, I closed my eyes, noodles flashed across my eyes. They were is a gospel singer. Her music is online at iTunes and Amazon. annoying, but harmless. You can also follow her on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ megantatemusic. NOVEMBER 2020 | TODAY 19

VERSION #______________ RON Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested STEVEN Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHAD Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ELISSA Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHRIS Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ARTIST __________ Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested

MY GLAUCOMA STORY


50 Nights of Lights:

by Steven Ward The tradition started in 2016 with the donation of a 40-foot Christmas tree for downtown Cleveland. Today, the Delta city celebrates a festival of shining Christmas lights that glow for visitors from Nov. 14 to Dec 31. 50 Nights of Lights will feature more than 100,000 lights that transform downtown Cleveland into a winter wonderland. Becky Nowell, the wife of Cleveland Mayor Billy Nowell, has been the mover and shaker behind the holiday event’s success. “It’s definitely an event that has drawn people to Cleveland. It’s so heartwarming to watch people experience it and to see the joy the lights bring to people’s faces. It’s a wonderful event for families and children,” Nowell said.

20 TODAY | NOVEMBER 2020

The first full-fledged 50 Nights of Lights was held in 2017 and since that time, the city has had thousands of visitors attend the opening night tree lighting ceremony and visit throughout the 50 days, Nowell said. The origins of the event stem back to an idea for downtown business owners. A group of Cleveland women including Jane Dunlap, Clemmie Collins and Jo Beth Janoush started the downtown holiday tradition and encouraged business owners to put white lights in their windows and had white light trees installed on the city’s green strip. They dubbed the occasion, “Light Up Your Holidays” and expanded soon after to include rooftop lighting on downtown buildings.


:

A Delta downtown Christmas Then, the Janoush family donated a beautiful, 40-foot tree downtown, along with many other lighted and animated decorations. After seeing the excitement over the new decorations, a committee was formed to expand on what had been started with the goal of making downtown Cleveland a destination place for people to come look at the downtown lights and decorations. According to the city, the committee developed a plan to add white lights to the crepe myrtles downtown and to have a musical theme on Sharpe Street in the sections from Highway 8 to North Street as a tribute to Cleveland’s Grammy Museum, a Candy Land theme on the block of Sharpe Street from North Street to Court Street, and a train theme for The Depot and Train Museum block of Sharpe Street.

Nowell said local businesses, individuals and civic clubs were asked to purchase displays as a donation to the city. 50 Nights of Lights includes lighted Christmas trees, Santa’s elves, carolers, snowmen, candy canes, musical instruments, a train, reindeer playing sports and Santa Claus riding in airplanes, trucks and tractors, Nowell said. There is also a gingerbread house, a tunnel of white lights and a 50-foot poinsettia wreath with lighted candles anchoring the south side of downtown. Because of COVID-19, this year’s lighting ceremony will be virtual, Nowell said. continued page 22

NOVEMBER 2020 | TODAY 21


and a Happy New Year!

The lights will be turned on Nov. 14. Visitors will be able to watch the lighting live on the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce Facebook page, as well as the event’s website, 50nightsoflights.com. The livestream will start at 6:45 p.m. with a preshow followed by the lighting at 7 p.m. COVID-19 will also prevent Santa Claus from visiting with children in person this year, Nowell said. The city’s public works department, led by Public Works Director Ray Bell, is an essential part of the event’s success. Part of the department’s role includes constant maintenance of the lights throughout the 50 days. “They have 160 displays to install. They started working in September and worked all of October to make this happen. We couldn’t do it without them,” Nowell said.


If You Go:

Downtown Cleveland Nov. 14 to Dec. 31 Lights turned on at dusk each day Admission: Free For more information: 50nightsoflights.com

Visitors can walk through downtown to experience the lights or take a driving tour. Danny Abraham, a city alderman and owner of Abraham’s Clothing, said the traffic 50 Nights of Lights brings to the city increases sales at his store but also represents “a remarkable event” that has helped the city transform into an important Delta destination. “You walk outside and see people walking around and talking while looking at the lights and it just looks like a Hallmark Channel movie,” Abraham, a member of Delta Electric Power Association, said. “It gets people in the spirit of Christmas, love and peace,” he added.

and a Happy New Year!

NOVEMBER 2020 || TODAY TODAY 23 23 OCTOBER 2020


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Mississippi woman The

who designs MLB parks

You may not be familiar with Janet Marie Smith, but she is in the business of connecting baseball parks to their urban surroundings. Her dad, Thomas H. Smith, was born in Union, grew up in Laurel and graduated from high school in Ellisville. Her mom, Nell Smith, was from Rockport in Copiah County while her parental grandparents Clarence and Desma Smith lived in Richter. Smith’s dad, a Jackson architect, was also a big baseball fan. Both of those loves were handed down to his daughter. “Dad was a big baseball fan who loved Joe DiMaggio and the Yankees,” said Smith. Smith’s resume reads like the back of a baseball card of a major league all-star. She has worked in Baltimore, Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles, preserving each team’s history, along with creating new fan experiences and settings that are respectful to the histories of the cities and teams. She is the most famous ballpark architect today. It was her work on Camden Yards in Baltimore that propelled the 1981 Mississippi State University architecture graduate to fame. Her vision directed all the seats in Camden Yards to face home plate, widened the concourses and located concession stands where the fans could keep up with the games while they were in line. She included past memories from the Orioles’ former home of Memorial Stadium. She brought the right field foul pole, home plate and a “Welcome Fans” sign to Camden Yards. “Baltimore had beautiful historic buildings to save,” Smith said. “The best of the buildings was the 1899 Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) Warehouse. It is the longest building east of the Mississippi River and the largest brick building on the East Coast and had been abandoned for over 20 years. Today, the Orioles use it for team offices, team spaces, private clubs and restaurants and is open year-round,” Smith said. The warehouse turned out to be the signature of the new Oriole Park at Camden Yards. “The desire in the building of Camden Yards was to respect

the urban environment that we were in, and if you think about it, it was the first ballpark that was built in an urban setting in 70 years. It brings three million people a year into the downtown. We studied the older ballparks that had character and charm. In the end, we wanted to create a traditional ballpark with modern amenities. We did not want to do a full throwback, but we did want it to be as cherished as Fenway Park or Wrigley Field,” she said. Writer and baseball enthusiast George Will said the three most important things that have happened in baseball since World War II were Jackie Robinson taking the field in 1947, free agency being enacted in 1975 and Camden Yards being built in 1992. What is flattering to Smith is that so many other teams chose urban settings for their ballparks. Today, 26 of the 30 teams now have parks in urban areas. What followed Camden Yards was the conversion of Atlanta’s Olympic Stadium into Turner Field, home of the Braves. In 2002, the Boston Red Sox hired Smith to save Fenway Park. The iconic park needed a serious remodel. She added suites and added seats on top of the famous “Green Monster,” widened the concourses and made concession stand improvements. Smith, who also has a master’s degree in Urban Planning from City College in New York, just finished a $300 million remodel of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Today, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer lives in Baltimore with her husband and three children. “My goal was never to work in baseball. I was aiming to change a city,” Smith said.

by Dale McKee Dale McKee is a Waynesboro native who has been writing sports in Mississippi since 1973. Contact him at ddmckee18@yahoo.com.

NOVEMBER 2020 | TODAY 25


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mississippi marketplace on the menu outdoors today scene around the ‘sip picture this my opinion co-op involvement southern gardening

grin ‘n’ bare it

with Martha Hall Foose

26 TODAY | NOVEMBER 2020


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Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the cheese, egg yolks, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and horseradish. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites until they hold a smooth, stiff peak. Fold a third of the egg whites into the cheese. Fold in the remaining whites. Place the toast in a baking dish and spread the cheese mixture over them. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is puffy and bubbly-brown around the edges.

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teaspoon prepared horseradish thick slices sourdough or rustic style bread, lightly toasted

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Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a large heatproof bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine the cream, milk and brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and keep warm. In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook without stirring until the mixture becomes dark amber, swirling the pan if hot spots develop. Whisk in the remaining cream mixture. In a slow steady stream, whisk the cream and sugar mixture into the egg yolks. Add the vanilla and salt. (Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, if desired, for an extra smooth pudding.) Ladle the custard into 6 (4-ounce) custard cups. Line a roasting pan with a dishtowel. Place the custard cups on the towel. Place the roasting pan on the middle rack in the oven. Fill the roasting pan with enough hot tap water to reach halfway up the custard cups. Cover the roasting pan with foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, until the custards barely jiggle when lightly shaken. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and remove the foil. Allow the custards to cool in the water to room temperature. Transfer the custards to the refrigerator and chill for at least one hour. — Serves 6

INGREDIENTS ½ pound hoop cheese or ½ extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups) 4 3 large eggs separated 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Approved

¾ cup granulated white sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon salt

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Martha Hall Foose, the author of “Screen Doors & Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales of a Southern Cook,” won the James Beard Award for American Cooking. Her latest collaboration is “A Good Meal is Hard to Find: Storied Recipes from the Deep South” with Amy C. Evans. Martha makes her home in the Mississippi Delta with her husband and son. She is a member of Yazoo Valley Electric Power Association.

NOVEMBER 2020 | TODAY 27

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INGREDIENTS 6 large egg yolks (save whites for another use, like an egg white omelet) 2 cups heavy cream 1 cup whole milk ¼ cup dark brown sugar

It drives my husband crazy. The first hint of chill in the autumn air, I am ready to stoke the fireplace. When the days shorten, and it’s dark before you know it, whipping-up this glorified cheese toast and pairing it with a spinach salad signifies the season has changed. Whipped egg whites elevate the sharp, red rined, hoop cheese. Whole grain mustard, Worcestershire sauce and a bit of horseradish give the puffed-up cheese topping a whollop of flavor. This is also a favorite dish with the hunters in my family when they come in from the cold. I like to serve this with a little dollop of Major Grey chutney or a sweet and savory pepper jelly.

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These little cups full of exquisitely creamy custard with the welcome Fall flavor of dark brown sugar are fancy enough for sit-down dinner in the dining room with the good china and comforting enough for snuggling up with on the couch. This comes together pretty easily, especially if you have all of your pots, pans and utensils ready before you begin.


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Mississippiʼs electric cooperatives ... serving more than 1.8 million Mississippians NOVEMBER 2020 | TODAY 29


mississippi seen

mississippi is...

events

mississippi marketplace on the menu outdoors today Culotta Insurance & Investments Many planned events were canceled Serving Miss-Lou STATEWIDE Since 1992 because of the around COVID-19 crisis, so the we scene ‘sip picture this have had far fewer events to feature 1-844-AGENT4U in this space as a result. As more areas my opinion co-op involvement FIXED INDEXED ANNUITIES of Mississippi open back up and groups and organizations feel comfortable about holding public events, we intend to include those details here. So, if you have an upcoming event for December or January, please email the details to news@ecm.coop. Events are subject to change or cancelation due to COVID-19. Please confirm details before traveling.

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Puckett Methodist Women’s Missions Market Place, Nov. 7. Puckett. Event will include vendors with handmade items, a rummage sale, raffle items and a soup lunch café for $5. Frozen casseroles will be on sale to help you get through the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Proceeds to go to help children on the autism spectrum attending the Center Ridge Outpost summer camp. Funds will also go to our Friends in Need campaign to help those with cancer and other medical expenses. Table space is available for $25. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Puckett United Methodist Church, 6412 Highway 18. Details: 601-591-5570 or 601-214-7834. Gingham Tree 48th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival, Nov. 14. Lucedale. Food, family and fun. Sponsored by the Lucedale Fine Arts Club. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. George County Fairgrounds, 9162 Old Highway 63 South. Details: ginghamtree.com. Vancleave Arts and Crafts Fair and Book Sale, Nov. 21, Vancleave. More than 35 arts and craft vendors will be present with hand-crafted items for Christmas gifts. Plus, book sale and kid crafts. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Conrad Mallette Multi-Purpose Arena. 5125 Ballpark Road. Details: 228-283-0576 or 228-826-4143. Big Pre-Thanksgiving Eve Gospel Singing, Nov. 21, Pearl. Featuring Tim Frith and the Gospel Echoes, Jason Runnels, Revelations, Danny Bishop and the Bros. 4 Quartet. 6:30 p.m. Pearl Community Center, 2420 Old Brandon Road. Details: 601-906-0677 or 601-720-8870. Stringer Alpaca Festival, Nov. 21. Stringer. Feed the alpacas and llama, learn new fiber arts, shop alpaca store, peruse arts and craft vendors, enjoy some great food from vendors. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A Stroka Gene-Us Alpacas, 383 County Road 155. Details: astrokageneusalpacas.com or 716-863-4366.

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WE PAY TOP DOLLAR FOR COLLECTIONS For arrowheads and indian artifacts. We also buy other collectibles such as military relics, antique firearms, coins, pocket knives, gold and silver. Located in historic Oxford, Mississippi

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Trees of Christmas at Merrehope, Nov. 23 to Dec. 30. Sundays – Nov. 22 and 29 and Dec. 6, 13 and 20. Meridian. Tour exquisitely decorated historic homes, Merrehope and F.W. Williams. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. 905 Martin Luther King Dr. Details: 601-483-8439. Merrehope.com. 37th Annual Christmas at Landrums Homestead, Nov. 28 and 29. Laurel. Step back in time and take a Christmas walking tour of the past. Working homestead with over 85 buildings, entertainment, Civil War re-enactment, dulcimers, wagon rides, gem mining, clogging, blacksmith, woodcarving, shooting gallery, candlelight tour, arts and crafts, music, food and much more. Landrum’s Homestead & Village, 1356 Highway 15 South. Admission $10 children 3 and under are free. Details: 601-649-2546.

Christmas Candlelight Tours at Landrums Homestead & Village, Dec. 3, 12 and 19. Laurel. Step back in time and take a Christmas walking tour of the past with thousands of white lights and candlelit pathways. Beautiful Christmas music, tour our working homestead with over 85 buildings, enjoy hot chocolate, marshmallow roast, funnel cakes and smokehouse open. Landrum’s Homestead & Village, 1356 Highway 15 South. Admission $10, children 3 and under are free. Details: 601-649-2546. MS Gulf Coast Beekeepers Association, January 2021. Group to offer free, basic beekeeping mentorship program outdoors with individual mentors. Mentors live in Jackson, Harrison, Stone and George counties. Pre-registration required. Details: 601-716-5557 or 847-529-6493


by Walt Grayson 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.” He lives in Brandon and is a Central Electric member. Contact him at walt@waltgrayson.com.

NOVEMBER 2020 | TODAY 31

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in there, too. It’s one of those collections that you might take all in at a single glance. Or you might get absorbed with one clock, marveling at the mechanics of it — how it measures time in chunks as long as months, then down to weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds — all on the same device. The sound of 400 clocks all ticking at once is mesmerizing. And it changes as you walk around the room and get closer to or farther away from some of the louder or softer clocks. It all blends together like water rippling over rocks in a brook or a horse galloping. Or someone walking deliberately along a path. It occurred to me that the combined sounds of all of the clocks are movement related — going toward a destination. The brook to the sea. The horse to the finish line. The hiker toward home. Individual, each clock just ticks — suggesting someone in a rocking chair. A lot of movement but little progress. But that’s life. Stymied, or moving away from or toward something. Away from youth but toward maturity. But ultimately — toward next spring when we have to reset all of them again.

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We had hobby shows back when I was in grade school. My best friend collected matchbooks. You remember those free packets of matches beside the cash registers at restaurants and places like that with their logo on the cover? His mom was in the military, so he had matchbooks from all over the world. Others had stamp collections. I can’t remember all of the hobbies anymore. I Scotch-taped my arrowheads onto poster board and showed them. Is there a psychology to hobbies that points to some longing in our personalities? Some emptiness buried in our DNA that we try to fill by collecting or building or painting? Maybe it’s something meaningful from our childhoods that we attempt to recreate. Cooking. Or picking up old radios at flea markets. I don’t want to think about it too much or I might really figure it out and ruin the fun of hobbies. Cullis and Gladys Wade had an interesting hobby. Finding and repairing old clocks. They donated their collection to Mississippi State University. There are about 400 of them displayed in the Cullis Wade Depot — the Mississippi State Welcome Center. The Clock Museum is free. Next “time” you are in Starkville and have some “time” on your hands, stop in and look around. I’m glad I’m not the person in charge of all of the clocks this time of year. Changing from savings time back to standard time would mean having to reset all of them. And that would take a while to do. A lot longer than it takes just to keep them wound. Most of the clocks in the collection are from the 1800s and 1900s. Although some go back as far as the 1700s. Most are American and some European. I think there is an Oriental clock

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