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October 2012 • POWERING YOUR COMMUNITY

Wiregrass Electric Cooperative

Together We Achieve...

www.wiregrass.coop

2012

Annual Meeting

Peanut Festival

Celebrate the mighty Peanut with WEC this year

Annual Meeting Expect your voting packet this month! Details inside Covers_TOD_Template.indd 43

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Two Exclusives from Alabama Living ORDER YOURS TODAY!

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Churches Alabama

A beautiful pictorial history of Alabama’s churches ranging from small rural churches to towering urban cathedrals.

of


Vol. 65 No.10 OCTOBER 2012

Lıvıng

CEO

Michael McWaters Co-Op Editor

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

Alabama Rural Electric Association

AREA President Fred Braswell Editor Lenore Vickrey Managing Editor Melissa Henninger Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Michael Cornelison Advertising Director Adam Freeman

5 Christmas Art Contest

Together We

WEC’s fifth annual art contest! Learn how your child can be featured in Alabama Living Magazine.

12 Alabama post offices and Depression-era art Many Alabama post offices benefited from a federal program that aimed to put artists back to work during the Depression. Writer Marilyn Jones details some of the stories behind those post office murals that can still be seen.

Achieve...

2012

Annual Meeti ng

ON THE COVER

Your Annual Meeting packet should be arriving soon! Find out more information about this important event on Page 8.

Advertising Coordinator Brooke Davis Recipe Editor Mary Tyler Spivey ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES:

340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail: advertising@areapower.com www.areapower.coop

22 The hunt is on

John Felsher takes an in-depth look at quail hunting in the state.

departments

NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:

Spotlight 10 Power Pack 26 Alabama Gardens 28 Worth the Drive 30 Alabama Outdoors 31 Fish&Game Forecast 32 Cook of the Month 36 Consumer Wise 46 Alabama Snapshots 9

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

Wiregrass Electric crews were dispatched to help aid those in need during the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac (Page 7). Printed in America from American materials

Alabama Living

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OCTOBER 2012  3

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Wiregrass Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees

CEO’s Comments

Time to celebrate Michael S. McWaters

CEO of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative Donald Ray Wilks District 7 President

Kip Justice District 6 Vice President

Debra E. Baxley District 1 Secretary

Donna Parrish District 2

John Clark, Jr. District 3

Danny McNeil District 4

Tracy Reeder District 5

Greg McCullough District 8

Nolan Laird District 9

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I think it’s very fitting that the Wiregrass Electric annual meeting is held in October — which happens to be National Cooperative Month. There’s no greater example of the cooperative spirit than the activities surrounding the annual meeting, so it’s certainly appropriate for its timing to coincide with our country’s celebration of the cooperative business model. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with people who remember when those first lines were extended to their farmhouses and the magic of electricity lit up their nights. I’ve seen people start and expand businesses in their hometowns thanks to the reliable power source from their cooperative. I’ve known countless people through the years who found jobs close to home at factories that were recruited through the help of the electric cooperative system. I have watched electric cooperatives literally improve communities and enrich lives across this state. And the most powerful thing of all is that these electric cooperatives are not power companies from Washington or some other state, coming in and giving us what they think we need. These electric cooperatives are companies formed decades ago by the people who live in the communities served, and which today are still governed by local citizens elected by their neighbors. For many years, the annual meeting was the symbol of that sense of community. Hundreds of people gathered on a Saturday each fall to hear reports from their board and management. They came to fellowship. They came for a chance to win a door prize. And they came to check up on their cooperative and see how things were going.

In recent years, Wiregrass Electric started seeing a trend that was happening across the country. People’s lives are different now, busier. With so many activities, so much going on, people were finding it more difficult to take several hours out of a weekend to participate in the annual meeting. It’s not that they weren’t interested, they were just busy. I am especially proud of how our members responded to that challenge. In true cooperative fashion, they took a vote. The overwhelming majority said they wanted the option to vote by mail, as well as by coming to the annual meeting. That way, more people could have a voice in the election of their board of trustees, or any other business coming before the membership such as proposed changes to the bylaws. Of course, we also needed to inform our members on the progress of the cooperative. We responded by creating a detailed Annual Report — in fact, it contains even more information than we could cover at an annual meeting. We send it to every member of the cooperative (you received it recently in your mail balloting packet). Thank you for taking part in the life of your cooperative. If you have not already done so, please take a moment to complete and mail in your ballot. And please spend some time reading through the annual report to learn about the progress of Wiregrass Electric. This year’s theme is “Together We Achieve.” Who is we? That is Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, its employees and board, our power supplier PowerSouth, our statewide association AREA and — most importantly — YOU, our members. Let’s celebrate all we have achieved together. A

www.wiregrass.coop

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Your  Cooperative Contact Information

WEC annual Christmas card art contest! As the holidays approach, Wiregrass Electric Cooperative is looking for entries for its fifth annual Christmas Card Art Contest. Any student in Kindergarten through 5th grade is eligible and encouraged to apply. The overall first-place winner will receive 30 printed cards featuring their artwork to mail to their family and friends, as well as a $50 gift certificate to Michael’s craft supply store. The first place design will also be featured on the front cover of the 2012 WEC Christmas Card and the December issue of Alabama Living (with credit given to the student). Second- and third-place winners will receive a $25 gift card to Michael’s craft supply store. In addition, one winner from each school will receive a $10 gift card. All students entering the contest will receive a gift. To enter, please fill out the form below or visit www.wiregrass.coop and click on “My Community.” From there, select “Christmas Card Design Contest.” Deadline for entries is Oct. 15. After filling out the form, please return, along with all artwork, to: WEC Christmas Card Contest, P.O. Box 158, Hartford, AL 36344 (or you may turn in at any WEC office.) Please do not fold the artwork. The winner will be announced by November 9. Wiregrass Electric Christmas Card Art Contest Rules: • This contest is open to any student living in the Wiregrass area. • Only students in Kindergarten through 5th grade are eligible to participate. • Artwork must be approximately 8-1/2” x 11” in size – do not fold artwork. • Artwork should be of a Christmas theme. • Artwork must be an original creation of the child. • Artwork should be in color (markers, crayons, paint, etc.). • This entry form or a reasonable facsimile signed by parent or guardian must be enclosed with artwork. • Deadline to turn in the artwork is October 15. • Only one entry per child. By submitting, I give permission for identification of my child and his/her artwork in WEC’s publications and website.

Student’s Name: Name of Parents or Guardian: Address: Telephone Number: Email Address: Grade in School: Name and City of School: Teacher: Are you a member of WEC? (For our information only - Not necessary to enter.) For questions, contact Cary Hatcher, WEC by phone at 334-944-7115 or 1-800-239-4602; or by email chatcher@wiregrass.coop.

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Business Phone: 1-800-239-4602 (24 hrs/day) Office: Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Samson closed 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.) Toll Free Outage “Hotline” 1-888-4-MY-OUTAGE 1-888-469-6882 (24 hrs/day) Website www.wiregrass.coop Find Wiregrass Electric Co-op on Twitter (twitter.com/wec2) and on Facebook

Payment Options BY MAIL Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, Inc. Department 1340, P.O. Box 2153 Birmingham, AL 35287-1340 WEBSITE Payments may be made 24 hrs/day by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and E-Check on our website at www.wiregrass.coop. PHONE PAYMENTS Payments may be made any time by dialing 1-800-239-4602. NIGHT DEPOSITORY Available at each office location. IN PERSON Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Hartford 509 N. State Hwy. 167 Hartford, AL 36344 Samson 13148 W. State Hwy. 52 Samson, AL 36477 Closed from 12 p.m - 1 p.m. Ashford 1066 Ashford Highway, Ashford, AL 36312 Dothan 6167 Fortner St. Dothan, AL 36305 For questions regarding sanitation service, call Houston County Sanitation Department at 334-677-4705. OCTOBER 2012  5

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Survey shows member satisfaction, increased concern for energy efficiency L a s t M a y, Wiregrass Electric Cooperative conducted a member survey to find out how it could better serve its community. Some 250 members responded from across the service area. They reported that, nine out of 10 times, they had a great experience with WEC. About 50 percent of members say they had come into contact with the cooperative during the last year for a reason other than having to pay their bill. Of those, over ninety percent were happy with how they were treated by their cooperative. They reported that cooperative employees were knowledgeable, courteous and professional. “We were given great scores in prompt response and quality customer service,” says Brad Kimbro, director of member services for WEC. “I can tell you that each employee here has

worked very hard to provide that level of satisfaction.” As for reliability of service, WEC again earned outstanding marks. Nine out of ten respondents felt that WEC provided reliable electricity. “Our operations and engineering crews were very happy to hear that,” says Kimbro. “They go out during all hours, in all weather to help make sure their neighbors have access to electricity.” These values are well above the national average for utility companies. The survey also described changes in the members as well. The survey gathered demographic data, as well as trends about what members find important involving electricity. More of WEC’s members are now concerned about the price of electricity. Also, 90 percent of members are taking active measures to control electric costs. That’s a

large increase from less than half of respondents in 2010. As the effects of the 2008 recession continue to be felt, many are looking for areas where they can tighten their belt. While the price of electricity has largely stayed the same over the years, it is one area where people can try to save money. As a result, there is a huge increase in members who are turning off their lights, unplugging appliances and adjusting their thermostats to increase their home’s energy efficiency while decreasing their power bill. “We were very happy to learn that so many are trying to use less electricity,” says Jessie Ingram, manager of energy services for WEC. “Over 20 percent of our members have installed compact fluorescent lights, and almost as many are starting to seal their windows and doors. The less electricity people use, the more it helps all of us.” A

Voting/Registration Notice In the three Board of Trustees positions under consideration for election this year (Districts 2, 5 and 8), two qualified for District 2: Donna Parrish and Steve Mounce; two for District 5: Tracy Reeder and John K. Hughes. These Trustee positions will be decided in the election. No other candidates filed for District 8 other than the current trustee, Greg McCullough. Wiregrass Electric Cooperative met all notification requirements by informing members of the nominating procedures and deadlines. Specifically, members were

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informed and reminded that the cooperative’s bylaws require a person seeking a position on the Board of Trustees to submit a petition containing the signatures of at least 15 members of the cooperative who reside in their district. Such petitions must be presented to the cooperative’s CEO no later than 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting. In accordance with Article IV, Section 3 of the cooperative’s bylaws, the two persons with the majority of votes will be deemed elected as Trustees for their respective districts at the close of the Annual Meeting.

www.wiregrass.coop

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Your  Cooperative

WEC begins new safety campaign

Many employees of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative perform hazardous jobs on a daily basis. Given what electric providers do and how they choose to serve their community, there is no way around that fact. Recently, WEC introduced a new campaign to help remind everyone of the cooperative’s number one goal: safety. “This isn’t an easy job,” says Nathan Worsham, safety and compliance coordinator for WEC “but, when safety is our first goal, a hazardous job does not have to be a dangerous job.”

The new campaign is titled: Every Day, Every Life, 100% Safe. In conjunction with the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives (AREA), WEC will be displaying a newly crafted logo throughout its communication efforts, both internally and externally. “We appreciate WEC’s commitment to this new campaign,” says Lenore Vickrey, vice president of communications for AREA. “This focus on safety makes sure that each member of the Wiregrass family can do their job without fear.” A

Wiregrass Electric Cooperative sends help during

Hurricane Isaac

Wiregrass Electric Cooperative sent a four-man crew and serviceman on Aug. 30 to Southwest Mississippi Electric Power Association in Natchez to assist with restoration during and following Hurricane Isaac. “We send crews to help out our neighboring states whenever there is a disaster,” says Jerry Sorrells, manager of operations. “We thought it was going to be us this time.” Issac’s first projections showed the storm hitting the Wiregrass almost head on. “WEC crew members are a dedicated group that want to help in whatever way they can. We were glad to help get the lights back on for those in Mississippi.” About half of Southwest Mississippi EPA’s members were without power by August 30. Southwest Mississippi EPA serves 29,000 meters in nine counties in southwestern Mississippi. The area, which was also devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, suffered high wind and flooding from Isaac. Because of flooding, assisting crews had a

Alabama Living

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WEC linemen Ben Miller, Chad Sorrells, Robbie Daniels, Ryan Stewart and Mark Dillard were dispatched to help restore power to the residents of Natchez, Miss.

difficult time getting through to some areas in their service territory to restore electric service. “It was difficult going for awhile,” says Sorrells, “but they were able to get the job done and help out.” Electric cooperatives across Mississippi and Louisiana called on crews from across the country to assist in restoring electric service even as Hurricane Isaac hovered just offshore. The Alabama Rural Electric Association (AREA) coordinated assistance from the 20 electric cooperatives in Alabama. “As part of a network of almost 1,000 electric cooperatives nationwide, Wiregrass Electric offered assistance to those cooperatives affected by the storm,” said Mike McWaters, CEO Wiregrass Electric. “This is one of our basic cooperative principles in action — neighbor helping neighbor. We know that they would return the favor if disaster strikes our area.” A OCTOBER 2012  7

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Annual  Meeting

The 2012 Annual Meeting of your

Wiregrass Electric Cooperative

Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 Registration and voting from 9 to 10 a.m.

Business Meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. following registration and voting

at WEC Headquarters building on Hwy. 167 N in Hartford

Grand Prize $500 Plus many other door prizes will be given away!

Can’t attend the Annual Meeting? Vote by mail! Every mail ballot will be registered for door prizes including the $500 grand prize. Remember, you do not have to be present to win, so mail your ballot today!

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www.wiregrass.coop

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Spot Light

In October

A band from Birmingham competing in the “Bluegrass Band” category plays for the crowd at the 2010 Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention.

Oct. 5 and 6

Fiddlers convention will feature ‘fiddle-off’ Called the “Granddaddy of Midsouth Fiddlers Conventions,” the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention in Athens carries on the tradition of old-time music competitions. Some 200 contestants will vie for top prize money Oct. 5 and 6 at the festival that 15,000 people are expected to attend from more than 30 states. The convention culminates in a “fiddle-off ” between the top two fiddlers. The winning fiddler is declared “Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddle Champion,” and takes home a trophy and $1,000. A total of $11,850 will be awarded to contestants. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the music, arts and crafts vendors and festival food. Cost is $8 for Friday, $10 for Saturday and $15 for both days. Children ages 12 and under are admitted free with a parent. Call 256-233-8201 or visit www.athens.edu/ fiddlers for more information. Oct. 12 and 13

Selma festival of tale tellin’ scheduled The 34th Alabama Tale-Tellin’ Festival will be Oct. 12 and 13 at Carneal Arts Revive in Selma. Enjoy storytelling for the whole family that begins at 7 each evening with The Dill Pickers, Delores Hydock and Carmen Agra Deedy. Concessions and the Swappin’ Ground open at 5:30 p.m. A

Alabama Living

memorial tribute will be given to Kathryn Tucker Windham, “Miss Kathryn,” each evening of the event. Tickets are $15 for adults ($25/both nights) and $10 for children 12 and under ($15 both nights). Call 334-878-ARTS for more info or visit www.artsrevive.com.

Artist Amos Kennedy and a visitor look through his posters at the Kentuck Festival of Art.

Oct. 20 and 21

Contemporary, folk art on display at Kentuck Nationally recognized for the quality and diversity of its offerings, the Kentuck Festival of Art celebrates artistic styles ranging from folk to contemporary. Each of the more than 300 artists participating in Kentuck is either invited as a guest artist or is selected by a jury based on the quality and originality of their work. Entertainment includes storytelling, children’s activities, blacksmith demonstrations and more. (Oct. 20-21) Visit www.kentuck.org for more information.

For more Alabama Events, visit Page 29. october 2012  9


Power Pack

Forty-two crews totaling 170 men from all but three of Alabama’s 22 electric cooperatives traveled to Mississippi and Louisiana over Labor Day weekend to help restore power to areas affected by Hurricane Isaac. Crews from Baldwin EMC, Black Warrior EMC, Clarke-Washington EMC, Covington, Marshall-Dekalb, Pioneer, Joe Wheeler EMC, Pea River, Sand Mountain, Coosa Valley, Tallapoosa River, Southern Pine, South Alabama, Cullman, Central Alabama, Tombigbee, Wiregrass, Cherokee and Dixie electric cooperatives were involved in the restoration effort. Co-ops in Mississippi and Louisiana were grateful for the help. “Our system, located across 12 counties in the rural wooded areas of south central Mississippi, received continuous rain and wind for nearly three days during the storm,” says Randy Wallace, general manager at the Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association in Columbia, Miss. “As you can well imagine, that made the job of clearing trees and restringing lines uncomfortable and dangerous.” Yet Alabama’s crews “arrived in the midst of the bad weather and pitched right in,” he adds. “Their professionalism and hard work under difficult conditions reflect the true spirit of cooperation and mutual aid.” “Your cooperative crews helped our Louisiana electric cooperatives restore power to over 125,000 homes and businesses that lost electric service as a result of the storm.” said Randall Pierce, CEO of the Association of Lousiana Cooperatives. “Each time we experience an event like Hurricane Isaac, I am reminded of how grateful I am to work in an industry where sister cooperatives rush to the aid of those who have been damaged by such a storm. There are not adequate words to properly express our deep gratitude to you.”

Photo by Ron Stewart, Electric Power Associations of Mississippi.

Co-ops glad to help fellow crews during hurricane-related outages

Crews were faced with many issues like broken poles and high water levels while working to restore power in Mississippi and Louisiana.

PhotoS by James Thomas, AREA.

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www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living adds legacy staff Adam Freeman joined the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives (AREA) as director or advertising and marketing in September. Freeman’s grandfather, John Mills, worked in advertising for AREA in the late 1960s through the early 1980s. Freeman was formerly an account executive at Lamar Advertising and a sales professional at Edwin Watts Golf Shops, LLC in Montgomery. He is a graduate of Auburn University Montgomery. Brooke Davis was named advertising coordinator in June. Davis had previously been a marketing assistant, working with advertising requests and contracts for Alabama Living, as well as contributing to other areas

of the magazine. A l i fel ong resident of Montg o m ery, she graduFreeman ated from Alabama Christian Academy and attended Au b u r n Un ive rsity at Montgomer y. She has worked w i t h AREA Davis since 2007. Both Adam and Brooke look forward to working with Alabama Living’s advertisers.

Electronic payments: The best (and soon only) way to get your benefits By Kylle’ McKinney

Chances are, if you receive Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or any federal payment, you receive it electronically. More than 90 percent of people getting monthly Social Security benefits already receive electronic payments. If you don’t yet, that’s about to change. There is a U.S. Department of Treasury rule that does away with paper checks for most federal benefit and nontax payments by March 1, 2013. With a few exceptions, this mandate includes Social Security, SSI, Veterans Affairs, Railroad Retirement Board, Office of Personnel Management benefits, and other non-tax payments. People required to switch have the option of direct deposit to a bank or credit union account or they can have their monthly payment directed into a Direct Express debit card account (Treasury’s debit card program). Please visit www.godirect.org to learn more. So, why the push for electronic payments instead of paper checks received in the mail? There’s a list of reasons Alabama Living

an electronic payment is better than an old-fashioned paper check. • It’s safer: no risk of checks being lost or stolen; • It’s easy and reliable: no need to wait for the mail or go to the bank to cash a check; • It saves taxpayers money: no cost for postage and paper and printing; Treasury estimates this will save taxpayers $1 billion over 10 years; and • It’s good for the environment: It saves paper and eliminates the need for physical transportation. If you still get your check in the mail, don’t wait for the new rule to go into effect next year— sign up for electronic payments now. Please visit www.godirect.org today and begin getting your Social Security and SSI payments the safe, easy, reliable way — electronically. Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached in Montgomery at 866-593-0914, ext. 26265, or by e-mail at kylle.mckinney@ssa.gov. october 2012  11


Celebrated art may be as close as your old post office By Marilyn Jones

T

he lobbies of Alabama post offices are usually bustling artist had to meet with the Postmaster and local residents. The Post places where people in a hurry to conduct their business Office Department’s approval then had to be obtained, and finally might not notice the wall murals and other artwork deco- the plans were submitted for final approval by the Section. The art rating the buildings, and probably don’t realize it might have been was meant to provide the average American with a public outlet executed by an American master if the building dates back to the to view professional art. 1930s or early 40s. From 1934 to 1943, artists were selected for the 24 post office In Atmore, for example, there is a mural depicting several chil- projects in Alabama. Nationwide more than 1,300 murals and 300 dren at a rural mailbox looking through the mail just after the sculptures were commissioned during this time period. One permailman has delivered it. Titled “The Letter Box,” the mural was cent of the funds appropriated for a building project were set aside painted by Anne Goldthwaite in 1938. Goldthwaite, considered for these “embellishments.” The larger the project, the more money one of the South’s most important regionalist artists, also painted was budgeted for art. The standard New Deal Post Office carried the mural at the Tuskegee post office titled “The Road to Tuske- a decorative allotment of $650-$750, covering a space about 12 by gee.” This mural, painted in 1937, features a rural carrier delivering 5 feet above the Postmaster’s door. mail, as well as a train, airplane and a mule-drawn cart. There was, of course, controversy. The argument went that, at The art, and construction of the post offices where they are a time when money was short, how could the government spend displayed, were part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s promise when he money for artwork? As Harry Hopkins, Roosevelt’s relief adminisaccepted the Democratic nomination for president in 1932: “I trator, said in response to criticism of federal support for the arts, pledge myself to a new “[Artists] have got to eat deal for the American just like other people.” people. This is more than When touring the state a political campaign. It is to view New Deal arta call to arms.” work, you’ll find positive Part of that call was images — the hard realithe New Deal Post Office ties of American life durWorks initiative to provide ing the Depression are not work for artists who, like illustrated on post office many Americans at the walls or building exteriors. time, were struggling to The artwork offers a snapmake ends meet. shot not only of history George Biddle, a Philabut also of hope. Every Connecticut painter Aldis B. Brown painted “Local Agriculture—A.A.A. piece of post office art has delphia artist, first sug1939,” directly on the wall for the old Oneonta Post Office now used its own story: a window gested the idea of commisby the Blount County Board of Education. The mural depicts local sioning artists to decorate into the artistic tastes of scenes and buildings. The central section shows the benefits of modern federal buildings. In 1933, the 1930s and ‘40s, what scientific methods of planting. Photo by MICHAEL CORNELISON a pilot program — the subject matter residents Public Works of Art Project — was created as a New Deal initia- felt best reflected their community, and the artists — their suctive. Although it lasted only six months, the program employed cesses before and after the artwork was created for the Post Office. thousands of artists to produce works for public buildings. Because A few of the art pieces have disappeared over time, while others of the pilot program’s success, project administrators created a unit are in need of repair. In some cases these masterpieces have been within the Treasury Department, the Section of Fine Art, which moved from their original locations. became known simply as “the Section.” By understanding the value of these art pieces and their imArtists were not chosen on the basis of need, but through anon- portance to Alabama and American history, they can be saved ymous competitions. Some were well established with national and cared for in the manner for which they deserve, ensuring reputations, such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. Others their preservation for future generations. These treasures are lowere young unknowns whose commission provided them with cated throughout the state. If you haven’t yet visited any of the their first public exposure. Depression-era postal facilities, take the time — it’s everyone’s Well known or novice, only the best artists were selected for the heritage. A projects. They were expected to follow an adaptable format — the Jones is a retired writer/editor for the Postal Service and has been art was to reflect the town’s heritage. Artists visited communities Marilyn a published journalist for more than 30 years. She is currently a freelance for weeks at a time, actively engaging citizens and resident histori- feature writer specializing in travel. Her articles have appeared in major ans in dialogue to discover the history, traditions and stories that newspapers including the Boston Globe, Akron Beacon Journal and Chicago helped shape their community. To make sure that happened, the Sun-Times as well as regional magazines.  12  october 2012

www.alabamaliving.coop


Photos used by permission of the united states postal service. all rights reserved.

Detail of Oneonta Post Office mural.

Photo by Sandy Scott

Alabama New Deal Post Office Art Alexander City (stored awaiting restoration), Atmore, Bay Minette, Brewton (missing), Carrollton, Enterprise (now in the Public Library), Eutaw, Fairfield, Fort Payne (at Landmarks of DeKalb County), Guntersville (old post office), Haleyville (mural painted over), Hartselle (Hartselle Chamber of Commerce office), Huntsville, Luverne, Monroeville, Montevallo, Oneonta, Opp (missing), Ozark, Phenix City, Russellville, Scottsboro, Tuscumbia (in storage) and Tuskegee.

Little is known about the old Guntersville Post Office mural, “Indians Receiving Gifts from the Spanish,” Alabama Living painted in 1947 by Charles Russell Hardman. Photo by Michael Cornelison

Tuskegee’s Post Office mural, “The Road to Tuskegee,” was the 1937 work of Montgomery artist Anne Goldthwaite. Photo by Sandy Scott

Tuskegee Post Office mural artist’s signature.

Photo by Sandy Scott

october 2012  13


Preserving post office art for future generations By Marilyn Jones

14  october 2012

Photos used by permission of the united states postal service. all rights reserved.

I

t has been at least seven decades since post office murals were painted — years of sunlight and other environmental elements slowly fading the original brilliant colors and covering the art with a film of microscopic debris. Because of postal budget considerations, in many cases it’s the community or its historical societies that have taken on the fundraising to pay for preserving these art treasures. Parma Conservation, Ltd. — a Chicago-based specialist in restoration and recovery of historic artwork — is known for its expertise in restoring murals and is often called upon to handle the painstakingly tedious job of restoring post office murals. Since its founding in 1998, Parma Conservation has conserved more than 200 historic murals in municipal buildings, museums, post offices, churches and schools across the United States. Parma conservators use a scientific evaluation process to determine the appropriate treatment. The artwork itself governs which conservation approach is the most thorough, proper and safe. Often the murals need surface cleaning. Parma’s methodology is based on chemicals and techniques that will remove foreign material while protecting the original surface. Cleaning systems are designed specifically to meet the cleaning requirements of each particular artwork. Parma has adopted cleaning technology developed by leading conservation scientists in the United States and abroad. Though certain cleaning technology can provide greater predictability and control to the conservator, according to Parma’s website, it must also be emphasized that conservation relies heavily on practical data, where professional experience is critical. The science of the particular artwork, its deficiencies, and its merits, and the unique characteristics of the particular artwork are always guiding parameters in both the choice and execution of safe and appropriate materials and techniques. Any pre-existing paint chip-losses or scratches in the surface may be filled with a compensating filling material. Filling materials must be compatible, react consistently with the artwork and also be 100 percent reversible. For more information about post office mural preservation and conservation, visit the website www. parmaconservation.com. A

Lee R. Warthen of Washington D.C., painted “Cotton Scene” for the Hartselle Post Office. Photo by Sandy Scott

Conrad A. Albrizzio painted “Shipment of First Iron Produced in Russellville,” in fresco on the walls of the Russellville Post Office in 1938. Photo by Sandy Scott

Harwood Steiger painted the landscape titled “Harvest at Fort Payne” in 1938 for the Fort Payne Post Office. The artwork is now located at the Richard C. Hunt Reception Hall, owned by Landmarks of DeKalb County. Photo by Michael Cornelison

www.alabamaliving.coop


“Early Settlers Weighing Cotton” was painted in 1939 by William Sherrod McCall for the Montevallo Post Office.

Photo by Michael Cornelison

Above and right: This mural, painted originally for the Hartselle Post Office, now hangs at the Hartselle Chamber of Commerce. Photos by Sandy Scott

Alabama Living

october 2012  15


Opossums of Alabama Pasty-faced, long-nosed, with a crooked toothed grin, the opossum is nature’s blind date gone horribly wrong.

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ranted, the white-headed wonder’s beauty rivals its intelligence – zero. But we don’t even give the critter enough respect to spell its name right. Whose idea was it to start possum with an “O”? But I digress. Like it or not, possums - I mean opossums - are here to stay. Alabama’s only marsupial (an animal carrying its babies in a pouch, like a kangaroo) loves it here.

“There are no accurate Alabama opossum population surveys,” concedes Dr. Jim Armstrong, wildlife specialist/professor at Auburn University. “But there is no danger of extinction. Few animals adapt environmentally better than these guys.” Nothing makes them sick. Opossums show remarkable resistance to disease, rarely carry rabies, and are practically immune to rattlesnake and water moccasin bites. The little fellow can live 10 plus years but seldom makes it past age three. Predators like dogs, coyotes, and 18-wheelers are a opossum’s grim reaper. “We treat hundreds annually,” says Susan Clement, biologist with Mobile’s Environmental Studies Center. The facility cares for and releases locally injured wildlife. Susan, the compound’s wildlife 16  october 2012

rehabilitation supervisor, notes, “Most opossums brought in are babies, orphaned by mothers killed by cars.” Sadly the little ones are often found still clinging to their dead parent. “Opossums can’t jump very well,” adds Armstrong. It isn’t quick, and doesn’t have the speed to get out of the way.” They don’t get out of the way of food either. “It eats anything,” he notes. Delicacies include insects and vegetation but it is also a connoisseur of garbage can cuisine. Leave a bowl of dog food out overnight and Fido has competition. Like diet, habitat is no problem either. Opossums lodge comfortably in the deepest forest or your attic. They bed down near woodland streams or snuggle under automobile hoods. And then there’s this “hanging from their tail thing.” “They don’t,” answers the Auburn professor, about the tail tale. “I’ve been around opossums all my life and have never seen one suspended upside down.” The naked rat-like appendage provides balance but a 10-pound adult is too heavy to hang by its tail. Here’s more opossum pondering: If provoked, it will play dead but don’t count on it. Opossums have 52 razor sharp teeth, more than any other animal in North America. “If cornered, their first response is to snarl, hiss, and flash its toothy smile” says Armstrong. It’s where the expression “grinning like a opossum” comes from. Call its bluff and “Operation Playin’ Possum,” is deployed. The involuntary shock/fainting/death-like state is a good idea in theory. Unfortunately, playing dead may fool humans but dogs find the possum’s ploy hilarious, just before ripping it apart. “And beware,” Armstrong warns, “A possum may attack when provoked,” coming at the aggressor biting, clawing with 52 teeth locked and loaded.

“But they are generally good natured, even sweet,” says Fruitdale resident Richard Petcher. More than 10 years ago Richard had one as a pet. “Percy” would sit on his shoulder as he walked through town (New Brockton, Ala.). “I’d take him to various church functions and civic events.” Occasionally Percy traveled in Petcher’s briefcase, especially inside the town restaurant. The diner had a sign, “No dogs allowed,” which Percy was not. So in they went. “It loved the restaurant’s pork chops,” Petcher recalled, about his marsupial dining companion. “His little snout would stick out of the briefcase and grab pieces of meat I fed him. In those days one could legally keep wildlife pets.” Today there are fines for harboring a concealed opossum without a license. “Even if legal, they would not make good pets,” Susan Clement responds. “’Opossums are loveable but oh man, they are dumb.” Boomer, the center’s resident house opossum, illustrates her point. As I sit on the ground, the center’s mascot approaches me, pauses, and crawls over my leg, continuing its journey to nowhere. “He thinks you are a log.” A opossum may

hiss and growl but it also says “duh” a lot. Boomer doesn’t worry about predators. The bigger than a housecat adult male is the Mobile Environmental Center resident “House Opossum.” A www.alabamaliving.coop

Photos by Emmett Burnett

By Emmett Burnett


Alabama Living

october 2012  17


Curtiss Shaver and his family’s roots run deep in farming: from left, Zane, Jolea, Curtiss, and Traci holding Sophie.

Hometown Hero Wins National Award By Ben Norman

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he sound of the siren was getting louder now, bringing new hope to 18-year-old Curtiss Shaver as he lay on the ground with his left leg hopelessly caught in a combine’s auger. “I had already made my peace with God and accepted the fact that death was imminent,” he remembers. “Now the wail of the sirens meant the ambulance and rescue vehicle would be there any moment and I would at least have a chance to survive. I can’t put into words how good the sound of that siren was.” A few moments before getting trapped on that fateful day of Sept. 2, 1992, Shaver had been combining corn on the family farm in Pike County. The combine jammed, and as Shaver looked for the cause of the malfunction he slipped and got his leg caught in the auger. His quick thinking enabled him to stop the rotating auger by jamming it with a wrench. 18  october 2012

“The jammed auger was causing the combine’s belts to slip and generate enough heat that the machine was in danger of catching fire,” he says. A large plume of black smoke rose from the combine. “I thought, ‘Oh, no now I might burn to death.’” A construction crew from South Alabama Electric Co-op in Troy was working nearby and heard Shaver’s shouts for help. Crew foreman Evans Williams sent Toney Greer and Regal Hamm to investigate while he and Mike Shiver attempted to free a stuck truck. “No one can imagine how glad I was to see Toney and Regal,” Shaver says. “Regal got the combine engine switched off and ran to a nearby house and got them to call for rescue. Toney stayed with me and encouraged me to hang on. The ambulance and rescue team arrived along with Mr. Malcom Dickey who attempted to cut the auger in half with a cutting torch. His torch www.alabamaliving.coop


soon ran out of oxygen but he cut it enough they could pry it up Crown Royal. In an essay, Cox described the adversities Shaver to get my leg out. had overcome to become a fireman. “Curtiss has never let his “If the South Alabama Electric boys hadn’t responded to my disability hold him back,” Cox says. “He expects to be treated like cries for help, I would not be here today. The ambulance took everyone else. He puts his heart into everything he does.” me to the hospital in Troy and I was later transferred to Dothan Contestants were chosen by vote on Facebook. Shaver received by helicopter where my leg was amputated and I spent a month the most votes and won. As part of his award, The Brickyard 400 in the hospital. When I got out, I pretty much did my own rehab race held July 29, 2012, was officially named the Curtiss Shaver for about six months and then started using my artificial leg. Us- Brickyard 400. He went to Indianapolis, Ind., to attend the race ing the artificial leg was hard for one to two years, but now it is named in his honor. Before the race, a surprise celebration was just second nature.” held in Shaver’s honor in Troy. “I was just honored and humbled Having a good family support system was important for his at winning the award and I was proud to represent firemen across recovery. “My parents Jimmy and LaRue Shaver and brother Jim the country,” he says. were great,” he says. “My girlfriend at the time of the accident, Twenty years ago, a teenage Curtiss Shaver lay trapped in a Traci Garner, was so good to me I decided I had better marry combine awaiting death. A paramedic “getting down” on a wailthat girl. We have three ing siren as he rushed to children: Zane, 11, Jolea, 9, Shaver’s aid gave him new “If the South Alabama Electric hope. Just a few years later, and Sophie, 2.” boys hadn’t responded to my Within a year Shaver another young paramedic was doing many of the was speeding down the cries for help, I would not be things he had done before road with red lights flashhere today.” losing his leg. And someing and now he was the thing else happened. one “getting down” on a “I kept thinking about how hard my rescuers worked to save siren as he sped to an injured person’s aid. That paramedic was a me,” he says. “I began wanting to be a part of this profession that young man by the name of Curtiss Shaver. saved lives and helped people. I developed an overwhelming Today at 37, Shaver is just as dedicated to helping people as he desire to be a fireman and paramedic. I volunteered with the was when he first joined the Goshen Volunteer Fire Department Goshen Volunteer Fire Department, became an EMT, and went as a teenager, and the citizens of Goshen and Pike County are to work with Haynes Ambulance. mighty proud of their very own Hometown Hero -- Lt. Curtiss “During this time I was constantly applying with the Troy Fire Shaver. A Department to be a fireman. I got a break when Mayor Jimmy Ben Norman is a writer from Highland Home, Ala. Lunsford and Fire Chief Ray Rhodes hired me,” says Shaver. Current Troy Fire Chief Thomas Outlaw has nothing but praise Troy Fire Department Lt. Curtiss Shaver gives 110 percent for Shaver. “Curtiss is just a fine fellow, excellent family man and a every day, say his co-workers. truly dedicated fireman,” he says. “He has never expected anything but to be treated like the other firemen. He gives you 110 percent every day.” Shaver received second and third degree burns fighting a fire shortly before he was sent to fire school in Ozark. “I created quite a scene when I showed up at fire school with one leg and second and third degree burns,” Shaver says with a laugh. But he made it through fire school and excelled at his job, rising through the ranks to his present rank of lieutenant. Shaver got an opportunity to test his organizational skills recently at a school bus wreck near the Old Barn Restaurant in the Goshen community. “We had approximately 40 children, most with at least some injury, to deal with all at once. You just have to triage and tag each one according to the seriousness of their injuries. The community came together fast and Old Barn owners Johnny and Beverly Taylor opened up their home as a “field hospital” and I began classifying injuries. We had the least injured on the porch and the more serious injuries were on beds in the Taylor home. I didn’t want to overload any one hospital so we used Luverne and Troy hospitals. As it turned out we didn’t have any life-threatening injuries.” Because of his dedication to his job and true desire to help people in need, a fellow fire department lieutenant, Brandy Cox, entered Shaver in the “Your Hero’s Name Here” contest, also known as The Hometown Hero Award contest, sponsored by Alabama Living

october 2012  19


20  october 2012

www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

october 2012  21


Old South traditions survive in the heart of Alabama By John N. Felsher

About 15 feathered rockets exploded into our faces as the pointer jumped through entangling brambles. Dodging birds hurtling at us, we snapped off four rounds, bagging two birds while others sailed into an impenetrable brier patch where neither dog nor human could follow.

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or centuries, scenes like this delighted sportsmen each fall as they followed enthusiastic dogs through thick brush in pursuit of King Bob, the most majestic of all native North American game birds. Hunts become major social events. However, these regal fowl have suffered setbacks in recent decades because of several factors.

“The wild quail population has been declining for decades throughout the Southeast,” laments Carrie Johnson, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division top quail biologist. “Most of the decline has to do with agricultural changes.” Small family farms separated by hedgerows largely disappeared as giant agricultural corporations combined fields and

plowed every inch of available ground to maximize profits. Without cover, skunks, foxes, raccoons, opossums and other predators raid quail nests and eat adult birds. With little demand for fur products anymore, few people still trap furbearers. Consequently, predator populations surged in recent years. Increasing numbers of hawks and other federally protected Northern bobwhite quail range across most of eastern North America from the Midwest to the Southeast. Photo by John N. Felsher

PhotoS by John N. Felsher

22  october 2012

www.alabamaliving.coop


raptors also contribute to declining quail populations. “Farmers don’t leave any fencerows up anymore,” Johnson explains. “Quail don’t have any cover from predators. With predator populations increasing, we’re hearing more complaints about raccoons and opossums from urban areas.” Ironically, one much maligned predator actually helps quail populations. People blame coyotes for eating too many birds and destroying nests, but song dogs actually eat few quail. They frequently eat feral domestic cats, among the most ruthless destroyers of small birds. Coyotes also chase foxes away from quail habitat. “Quail show many adaptations for dealing with predators,” says Wes Burger, a professor of wildlife ecology at Mississippi State University. “Quail are a very prolific species because they are so vulnerable to predators. For the most part, coyotes are not very efficient predators of quail. Coyotes eat a lot of rabbits and mice. To some degree, coyotes are very beneficial to quail because they exclude foxes from their range. Foxes are very efficient quail predators. The reason quail populations have declined is because of a loss of habitat.” Bobwhites occur in varied habitats, including tall grass fields and brushy rangeland. They also flourish in longleaf pine savannahs with good understory that provides cover and seeds to eat. Quail don’t do well in thick forests with little undergrowth, but thrive in some crop fields where they can find edge cover in the form of weeds, grass clumps, briers or woody thickets. Some landowners intensively manage properties to enhance quail habitat by thinning trees and encouraging more grass growth. They plant native grasses, grains, Alabama Living

legumes, and other food sources, such as partridge peas, wheat and millet. They selectively burn tracts of land to clear away dead vegetation and increase successional plant growth. “It takes intensive management to make and preserve quail habitat,” Burger advises. “Where that occurs, quail are abundant. Quail respond well to proper management. They have a high reproductive rate. When people create the right habitat on a sufficiently large scale, quail can quickly find it and colonize it. Because we understand quail habitat, intensively managed places probably have more quail than they ever did.” The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources intensively manages some public tracts to create good quail habitat. Some wildlife management areas where sportsmen may find wild quail include Barbour, Blue Springs, Mulberry Fork, Mallard Fox Creek, Swan Creek and Geneva State Forest. “We have quail restoration projects on several wildlife management areas,” Johnson advises. “We’re taking out some thick, undesirable trees by clear-cutting and replacing them with longleaf pines, the original native species for those areas. One of the biggest efforts is the longleaf pine restoration on Barbour Wildlife Management Area (WMA). We have a decent wild quail population on that area right now. We’ve seen population increases on that area in the past few years.” Located near Clayton, Barbour WMA covers 18,924 acres. In Covington County near Andalusia, Blue Springs WMA includes 23,370 acres. Geneva State Forest, the largest state forest in Alabama, covers 7,120 acres of mostly longleaf pine forests southeast of Andalusia. Located near Deoctober 2012  23


Some hunting preserves use wagons pulled by all-terrain vehicles to bring dogs, hunters and equipment to the hunting spot. Two shooters get off the wagon when the dog points a bird.  Photo by John N. Felsher

catur, Mallard-Fox Creek WMA spreads across 1,483 acres with Swan Creek WMA adding another 8,870 acres. In Tuscaloosa and Walker counties near Tutwiler, Mulberry Fork WMA covers 35,360 acres. “On public lands that we manage for quail, we’re seeing quail population increases,” Johnson proclaims. “We also have quail enhancement projects at Freedom Hills and Skyline/James D. Martin WMAs. Freedom Hill WMA has had decent quail populations in the past. We’re going to expand habitat restoration efforts. On many public areas, we’ll be doing native grass and shortleaf pine restoration projects. Hopefully, these efforts will benefit quail populations in Alabama.” Freedom Hills WMA covers 8,540 acres in Colbert County near Cherokee. Skyline/James D. Martin WMA spreads across 26,968 acres in Jackson County near Scottsboro. “Wild quail populations go up and down over the years,” Johnson explains. “With a mild winter and an early breeding season in 2011-12, this year should be really good for quail. We’ve heard many good reports. In many areas, people say they’ve heard quail for the first time in 10 24  october 2012

or 15 years.” With wild quail sometimes difficult to find, many people turn to commercial shooting preserves that release pen-raised birds. Some preserves use mule-drawn wagons and guides on horseback to recreate old-style Southern plantation quail hunting. Others pull wagons from gasoline-powered “mules.” “Hunting preserves give people good opportunities to go out and enjoy quail hunting the way it used to be,” Johnson says. “It’s also a great way to get kids involved in the outdoors because they don’t have to sit still and quiet. Kids see lots of action.” Not subject to annual population fluctuations, preserves maintain stable bird populations artificially. Some shooting preserves release birds just before the hunters arrive. Others release quail weeks before the season begins so that birds link up with wild quail and learn survival skills. Throughout the season, preserves periodically release birds to supplement the population. A few pen-raised birds join native wild quail coveys and survive long enough to reproduce. “We have some wild quail, but good

pen-raised birds are actually harder to shoot than wild birds,” says Keith Walker, owner of the 2,300-acre Taylor Creek Shooting Preserve (251-583-4793/taylorcreekshooting.com) south of Mobile. “Wild birds live in those fields and already know where they want to go before anyone flushes them. When they get up, they all go in the same direction. Pen-raised birds that haven’t been out in the wild too long don’t know where to go. They’re unpredictable when flushed and might go in all directions.” Hunting preserves also give sportsmen more days afield. On commercial preserves, the season lasts from Oct. 1 through March 31 each year. This year, the Alabama wild quail season runs from Nov. 10, 2012, through Feb. 28, 2013, although some public properties may set different season dates. Sportsmen may bag up to 12 bobwhites per day. Whether on public or private property, following a brace of dogs in anticipation of a covey rise still thrills many Alabama sportsmen. With proper management, populations of the highly prolific birds can rebound quickly in areas with proper habitat. A www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

october 2012  25


Power Plants

Mum’s the Word By Katie Jackson

October Gardening Tips d Plant shrubs and trees. d Clean dead plants from garden beds and clean dead limbs and other debris from orchards. d Plant spring-blooming bulbs such as irises, daffodils, crocuses and tulips. d Apply mulches around shrubs and young trees and in garden beds. d Add fall leaves to compost piles. d Plant turnips, winter greens and onion sets. d Bring container plants in for the winter, making sure they are not infested with any insects or diseases. d Test garden soil and begin adding amendments and organic matter to garden areas. d Clean bird feeders and baths and refill them for the fall migration.

Katie Jackson is associate editor for the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. Contact her at csmith@acesag.auburn.edu

26  october 2012

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ndoors or out, in pots and vases or in the ground, few plants say “fall” as well as the mum, and considering that they are available in a wide range of colors, textures and sizes, the only problem with mums is figuring out which ones to use and how to take care of them for long-lived beauty. Mums, short for chrysanthemums, are native to Asia and northeastern Europe and have been revered literally for ages for their culinary, medicinal, insecticidal and symbolic qualities. While many cultures associate them with lamentation and grief, in the United States they have become emblems of the celebration and festiveness of fall. Today the selection of mums includes about 30 species and hundreds of cultivars and hybrids that have been developed as both perennial and annual plants. Picking the right mum for your needs may take a little effort as you weigh the choices of color (from white and yellow to many shades of orange and red to purple) and flower shape (button, pompom, daisy- and spider-like among them) but the effort is worthwhile. Mums are beautiful in flower beds as mass plantings and as accent plants. They can be potted for outdoor or indoor display and mixed in with other fall plants and decorations, such as pumpkins and ornamental cabbage and kale. Best of all, with a little care and attention, they can be overwintered and kept for years and also propagated. As you select mums this year decide if you want to treat them as annuals or perennials. Florist or exhibition mums typically do not do well if planted in

the ground and may not survive even Alabama’s milder winters, but garden or hardy mums can easily be overwintered and used to grow mums for the coming year. Want to prolong the bloom life of mums this fall? Resist buying mums that are already in full bloom and, instead, buy ones that have lots of unopened blooms. Deadhead the spent blooms through the fall to encourage new blooms, and keep potted and inground mums well watered. If you are incorporating them into a garden bed, place them in a sunny spot and in well drained soil and they should thrive with little additional effort. A layer of mulch on will help protect them through the winter as well. To learn more about growing mums in Alabama, check out the Alabama Cooperative Extension publication Fall Garden Mum Production in Alabama (www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR1096/ANR-1096.pdf). Of course mums are not the only fall plants to consider. Those ornamental cabbages and kales I mentioned earlier as well as marigolds and pansies and violas can be planted this month and most will thrive and bloom into the winter. If your fall decorating plans include a pumpkin or two, then get them as fresh off the vine as possible. That means that buying them from a pick-your-own patch is truly ideal, or buy them from a produce stand that has purchased them locally. And just FYI, medium-sized pumpkins are considered the best for carving, while small ones are the best for cooking. A www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

october 2012  27


Worth the Drive

Peanut butter festival in Brundidge is a nutty good time By Jennifer Kornegay

Brundidge

Go Nuts Don’t miss the 21st Annual Peanut Butter Festival. Saturday, October 27 Downtown Brundidge 334-670-6302 www.piddle.org Free admission

To help celebrate Alabama’s 2012 “Year of Food,” each month freelance writer Jennifer Kornegay will take you to an out-of-the-way restaurant worth the drive.

Jennifer Kornegay

28  OCTOBER 2012

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lvis sightings have been on the decline in recent years. Seems like the King may finally have passed on to the great Jungle Room in the sky. Yet, every autumn, during the last weekend in October in downtown Brundidge, Ala., there’s a chance he’ll appear, in all his side-burned and sequined glory, munching on his beloved peanut butter and banana sandwich. You might see clowns marching behind him, the Moonshine Queen riding in front. They’re all a part of the Nutter Butter Parade, which concludes a day full of nuttiness and old-fashioned fun at the city’s annual Peanut Butter Festival. This year’s event on October 27 is the 21st Peanut Butter Festival, and this free “harvest and heritage festival” began as an attempt to honor and celebrate the role peanut butter processing has played in Brundidge’s past and present. “The Brundidge Historical Society wanted to do something that brought the city together and reflected our history,” says Jaine Treadwell, projects coordinator for the Society. “The Johnston Peanut Butter Mill was here in 1928, and we believe it was the first company to make peanut butter commercially in the Southeast. At the height of its operation in the 1930s, it was putting out two million jars of peanut butter a year. A second mill, the Louis-Anne Peanut Butter Company was also at full production during this time. Both of these companies sustained our community through the Great Depression and beyond.” Peanut butter was made continually in Brundidge until the 1960s. In light of all this, the society agreed that a Peanut Butter Festival was more than appropriate. Today, anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 people agree each year and congregate in downtown Brundidge to indulge in all kinds of peanut butter treats as well as participate in some interesting and ambitious peanut butter projects. The day starts with the 5-K Peanut Butter Run and continues with live entertainment, contests, games, a George Washington Carver presen-

tation, a peanut butter recipe contest, the Nutter Butter Parade, a street dance and more. “A lot of our churches and community organizations have booths and serve the things made with peanut butter that they’ve cooked up,” Treadwell says. “The Historical Society makes a bunch of little sample peanut butter sandwiches for folks to try. We pair just about anything you can think of with peanut butter on these sandwiches: pickles, pimento cheese, fried bologna. You name it; we’ve tried it.” The construction of the state’s largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a group effort, as is the goat-dressing contest for kids. “The big sandwich usually ends up being about 20 square feet,” Treadwell says. “When it’s all done, we cut it up and give it away to festival guests.” Younger festival guests benefit from some unique kids activities provided courtesy of the agriculture academy at Goshen High School. “They do a greased pig contest and a goat-dressing contest where teams of kids compete to see who can get an entire outfit on a goat first,” Treadwell says. Other attractions include live bands and an antique peanut butter-making machine churning out the condiment the way it was done decades ago. The entertainment is mostly local talent, bluegrass and gospel groups playing the music of yesteryear. There’s even a square dance. Treadwell believes all this wholesomeness coupled with the natural appeal of peanut butter makes for a welcoming, family friendly feeling that keeps drawing people back. “There’s nothing pretentious; we obviously don’t take ourselves too seriously,” she says. “It’s just down-home people doing down-home things, with lots of good things to eat, lots of games and contests, lots of good music and plenty of laughter.” After more than 20 years of successfully hosting the event, it seems clear that Brundidge and old-fashioned fun go together like peanut butter and jelly, and bananas, and pickles, and … A

www.alabamaliving.coop


Around Alabama Cullman - 14th Annual Alabama Gourd Festival, October 20 & 21 Cullman Civic Center Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission $3 Children 12 & under free Come see the beautiful, original pieces of gourd art. They make unique gifts for you or that special someone on your list who has everything. Learn how the artists achieve their special techniques with the many demonstrations throughout the weekend. If you’re not satisfied with just watching, you can participate October 5 & 6 • Dothan, KCBS Sanctioned

Barbecue Competition Houston County Farm Center Fri. 5 - 9 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Oktoberfest theme, entertainment, demonstrations and barbecue sampling. Admission: Free to spectators, low entry fee for participants Contact: The Main Event, 334-699-1475 or www.porktoberque.com 6 • Folsom, 6th Annual Fall in Folsom Moore-Webb-Holmes Plantation 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Featuring all-natural Holmestead Beef Burgers, 20 historic farm buildings with live demonstrations, live music, pumpkin patch, hayride and more. 6 • Robertsdale, Honey Bee Festival and 3rd Annual Honey Bee 5K Run and 1 mile Run/Walk Honey Bee Park, Hwy 59 N. Vendor information: Central Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, 251-947-2626 Run information: www.cbef.org 6-27 • Leroy, St. Stephens Park Haunted House Ghost Trail through the old town and spooky hay rides. Admission: $6 per event, ages 12 and up; $4 ages 5-11; 4 and under free Contact: 251-247-2622 or kat7777@ netzero.com 12 & 13 • Phenix City, Russell County 2nd Annual Stampede Rodeo Arthur Sumbry Park, gates open at 5 p.m. Contact: Larry Laney, 334-297-6670 or ljlaney@yahoo.com 12 • Monroeville, Ghost Stories at Rikard. Rikard’s Mill Historical Park,

6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Pumpkin featured games, bonfire and spine-chilling ghost stories from the area and Haunted Swamp Trail for those brave enough to see ghosts of Native American Indians, Confederate Soldiers and the Headless Horseman of Gin House Bottom. Food vendors on site. Contact: 251-575-7433 or mchm@ frontiernet.net 13 • Greenville, Daybreak Farms Corn Maze Adventures 600 Dunn Road. Pioneer EC’s Annual Meeting held will be held here on the 13th featuring the Touchstone Energy Hot Air Balloon. Contact: 334-312-0772 or www. daybreakfarmsal.com 13 • Montgomery, “The Lovely Patient,” presented by Sylvester K. Folks Davis Theater of Performing Arts Showtime 6:30 p.m. Tickets:$20 advanced, $25 at the door $2 from each ticket goes to Joy to Life www.elyjrtheatre.com 13 • Waverly, 21st Annual Waverly Barbecue. Waverly Community Center, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Barbecue chicken and pork, arts and crafts, barnyard bingo, auction and door prizes. 13 • Orange Beach, 2nd Annual Chili Cook-off. The Compleat Angler at the Wharf, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Silent auction, chili tasting and voting, SEC football on TVs. Tickets: $15, children under 12 free Contact: Patsy Layfield, 251-709-3898 or www.treasuresoftheisle.com

To place an event, mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; e-mail to calendar@ areapower.coop. (Subject Line: Around Alabama) or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations.

in a class. Don’t miss the exhibition room where gourd artists and growers have entered a juried competition. You will be amazed at the talent and creativity of the artists. Even the kids can get in on all the gourd fun.Bring them by the free kids’ patch booth where they can decorate their very own little gourd and take it home with them. Contact Pam Montgomery at 256355-4634, email gourdzilla@aol.com or visit our www.alabamagourdsociety.org

12 & 13 • Butler, 9th Annual Butler Fest. Downtown Butler Memphis Barbecue Cookoff, Backyard Cookoff, Little Porkers Cookoff, 5k run, 2 mile walk, various vendors, entertainment and street day both nights. Information: 205-459-3793 or butlerfest09@yahoo.com 19-21 • Arab, 11th Annual Fall Festival. National Guard Armory Cherokee Road Singers, Luck of the Draw Dancing and food. Contact: Matonda Hill, 256-316-8474 19 • Selma, Haunted History Tours’ Cahawba Spirits Investigation Hear personal and historical accounts of sightings from guides and watch Central Alabama Paranormal Investigation demonstrate the art of “ghost hunting.” Admission: $15, advanced tickets required for the 90-minute deluxe wagon tour Contact: Selma-Dallas County Tourism, 800-45-SELMA or www.cahawba.com 20 • Bay Minette, 14th Annual Baldwin Catfish Roundup for the Disabled Grimes Nursery, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. All disabled persons and volunteers welcomed. Fishing equipment provided. Information: Jeanette Grimes-Cabaniss, 251-937-5993 20 • Millbrook, 15th Angel Fest St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Bake sale, silent auction, children’s carnival, entertainment, vendors and food. Contact church office: 334-285-3905

20 • Dothan, Fall FURfest Cottage Antiques, 9 a.m - 2 p.m. Outdoor festival featuring antiques and antique appraisals, collectibles, art, bake sale, and other unique vendors. Contact: 334-693-5277 20 • Selma, Haunted History Tour 5 p.m. - last tour begins at 8 p.m. Tour magnificent antebellum Sturdivant Hall to hear stories of its resident ghosts, drive by haunted residences and participate in living history tour at Old Live Oak Cemetery. Admission: $15, ages 12 and up only Contact: Linda Vice, 334-636-5506 or linda.tourism@yahoo.com www.alabamasfrontporches.com 20 • Demopolis, Tombigbee Haints and Haunts 2012 A spine-tingling presentation of stories about real people, true history and ghosts. Tickets: $15, for tickets and information: Canebrake Craft Corner, 334-289-9644 or marengohistory@ bellsouth.net 20 • Thomasville, Thomasville Ghost Walk Other activities include costume contest, hay rides, carnival, food vendors and craft booths. Tickets: $5 per person or $15 per family Information: Karen Dean, 334-8307305 or Debra Allen, 334-636-1542 or d.allen@thomasvillealchamber.com More events on page 31

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Alabama Living

october 2012  29


Alabama Outdoors

Putting a spin on coastal Alabama fishing By John N. Felsher

S

unlight glints off the wobbling gold blade flashed in the dingy water, attracting the attention of the marsh marauder with the black spot on its tail. The enraged redfish broke from its weedy shoreline lair and bolted toward the vibrating bait, creating a discernible veeshaped wake. With a quick lunge, the beast smashed into the lure, mangling the dangling wires and stripping line from the reel. As temperatures cool in the fall, redfish turn more aggressive. Prowling shorelines, sandbars and reefs, they smash whatever they can grab in their powerful jaws. Redfish prey heavily upon shrimp, mullets, menhaden, minnows and other morsels, but above all, they relish crunching crabs. “Redfish eat anything, but they love crabs,” says Bobby Abruscato, a professional redfish angler and guide with A-Team Fishing Adventures (www.ateamfishing. com/251-661-7696) in Mobile. “I’ve probably caught more redfish on spinnerbaits than any other bait. With the blades spinning, I believe redfish think a spinnerbait is a crab. The flash from the blades might also produce some reaction bites.” John N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer and photographer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He’s written more than 1,700 articles for more than 117 magazines. He co-hosts a weekly outdoors radio show. Contact him through his website at www. JohnNFelsher.com.

30  october 2012

Anglers use a variety of spinnerbaits to tempt redfish. Safety-pin spinners, the kind most commonly used by bass anglers, employ bent “arms” that suspend one or more blades over a usually skirt-tipped head. An in-line spinner consists of a straight wire extending from the head with a blade rotating around the wire. Many saltwater anglers throw beetle or harness spinners, also called jighead spinnerbaits. This type resembles a safety-pin spinnerbait, but the wire harness temporarily attaches to a jighead tipped with a soft plastic minnow or shrimp imitation. Because the components separate, a harness spinner gives anglers considerable flexibility to switch blades, jigheads or trailers easily as conditions change. Among the most versatile lures on the market, spinnerbaits work well around thick cover. In dense grass, buzz spinnerbaits

Lisa Snuggs shows off a redfish she caught. Photo by John N. Felsher

along the surface or “wake” them just below the surface. In areas with submerged grass, run spinners just over the tops of grass tips, barely touching them. Pause occasionally to let the bait helicopter down into the cover with the blades whirling. Redfish often strike falling baits. Although frequently used in shallow water or around thick cover, spinnerbaits also work in deeper water. In deeper water, “slow-roll” spinners just off the bottom, barely turning the blades. Let the blades plink against oyster shells. Occasionally hit the bottom to make mud trails. Anglers can also “yo-yo” baits up and down. Alabama anglers may keep up to three redfish per day all year long, each between 16 and 26 inches long with one oversized fish. Most reds run about four to 15 pounds, but these spot-tailed predators may exceed

70 pounds. Eric Easley holds the state record with a 45.25-pounder he caught near the mouth of the Mobile River in 2007. The Mobile-Tensaw Delta feeds a vast estuary that provides abundant places to catch redfish. The line of demarcation between fresh and salt water blurs daily so anglers frequently catch redfish and freshwater species in the same areas at the same time. Highly tolerant of fresh water, reds often swim quite far up the coastal rivers in the fall. “Late fall is a great time to catch redfish on spinnerbaits in the delta by Mobile,” Abruscato advises. “After the first freeze, fish go to the river deltas to seek out the deepest water they can find. The delta has some 20 to 30 foot depths. The Fowl River is the shallowest of the rivers. It runs about 12 feet deep. The Grand Bay area is another good area for redfish in the fall.” The fourth largest estuary in the United States, Mobile Bay covers 413 square miles of southern Alabama and measures about 31 miles long by 24 miles at its maximum width. One of the richest and most diverse delta ecosystems in the nation, it averages about 10 feet deep, but several deep rivers feed into the system. The Alabama and Tombigbee rivers merge to form the Mobile River near Mount Vernon. The Tensaw River branches off the Mobile River. Together, these and several smaller streams feed into Mobile Bay. The Dog, Deer and Fowl rivers enter the western side of Mobile Bay. The Fish and Bon Secour rivers flow into the eastern side of Mobile Bay. The Spanish, Appalachee and Blakely rivers also feed the system. “The Mobile Bay area offers a variety of fishing opportunities,” says Capt. Lynn Pridgen of Captain Lynn’s Inshore Adventures (Captlynnsinshoreadventures.com/251214-5196). “Even on a bad day, there are unlimited places where we can fish. Fowl River is a hot spot during the winter. The Dog River can produce some decent fish. Redfish move along the banks of those rivers chasing bait.” As the temperatures cool down, coastal fishing usually heats up! With so much water available, anglers should find many places to toss spinnerbaits or other lures at redfish this fall. A www.alabamaliving.coop


Around Alabama

Continued from page 29

Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before and an hour after. Minor peaks, half-hour before and after. Adjusted for daylight savings time. a.m. p.m. Minor Major Minor Major

OCT. 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

08:52 10:07 11:22 - - - - - - 01:37 03:22 04:22 10:52 11:22 - - - - 07:52 08:22

01:52 02:37 03:22 04:22 05:37 07:07 08:22 09:22 10:22 05:22 05:52 06:37 07:07 12:52 01:22

02:07 07:07 02:52 07:52 03:37 08:22 09:07 12:52 10:52 02:07 09:07 02:52 09:52 03:37 03:52 10:22 04:22 10:52 04:52 11:22 05:07 11:52 12:07 12:22 12:22 05:52 12:52 06:07 01:22 06:37

NOV. 1 08:16 01:01 01:01 06:01 2 09:01 01:31 01:31 06:31 3 09:46 02:01 02:16 06:46 4 11:01 02:46 03:31 07:16 5 - - 03:46 07:46 12:01 6 - - 04:46 07:46 01:01 7 - - 06:01 08:16 01:31 8 01:31 07:16 08:46 02:01 9 03:01 08:31 02:31 09:31 10 09:16 04:01 03:01 10:01 11 10:01 04:46 03:31 10:46 12 10:46 05:46 04:16 11:16 13 11:31 06:31 - - 04:46 14 07:16 12:01 12:16 05:31 15 08:16 12:46 01:01 06:01 16 09:01 01:31 02:01 06:46 17 10:01 02:16 03:01 07:31 18 11:01 03:16 04:31 08:31 19 - - 04:01 10:16 12:01 20 - - 05:16 07:31 12:46 21 12:46 06:31 01:31 08:31 22 02:46 07:46 02:01 09:01 23 08:46 03:46 02:31 09:31 24 09:31 04:46 03:01 10:16 25 10:16 05:16 03:31 10:46 26 10:46 05:46 04:01 11:16 27 11:16 06:31 04:31 11:46 28 11:46 07:01 - - 04:46 29 07:31 12:16 12:31 5:16 30 08:01 12:46 01:01 05:46 Alabama Living

20 • Cullman, Pre-electrical ’30s and ’40s at the Peinhardt Living History Farm, 9 a.m.-3p.m. Gristmill, sawmill, forge, covered wagon rides, quilting for all ages. Admission: small charge Contact: 256-734-0850 or biohn781@aol.com 20 • Selma, Hear the Dead Speak Old Cahawba Archaeological Park Guided walking tour of Alabama’s most famous ghost town lasts 45 minutes. Admission: $4 Information: 334-872-8058 20 • Rockford, Rockford’s Octoberfest Celebration - 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Full day of music featuring vendors of all types. Admission: Free Contact: Callie Thornton, 256-786-0894 or cthikr@gmail.com 20 • Hanceville, 3rd Annual Mudcreek Arts Festival. Downtown Hanceville. Art show, arts and crafts, entertainment, German food, children’s activities. Contact: Erika Mead, 256-734-0454 or www.emead@cullmanchamber.org 20 • Evergreen, 10th Annual Evergreen Sausage Festival and Alabama Barbecue Association Backyard Division Cook-Off Downtown Evergreen, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: Free, for vendor booth and Barbecue registration contact: Carol Reed, 251-578-1707 or creed@evergreenal.org 23 • Enterprise, “Fiddler on the Roof” Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m. Musical featuring music, dance, poignancy and laughter. Information: 334-406-2787 or www. CoffeeCountyArtsAlliance.com 27 • Greenville, Old Time Farm Day County Road 25, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Old tractors, miniature horses, mule plowing, peanut-pickin’, quilting, cane mill, syrup making, milking, butter, cake walks, facepainting and much more. Information: Carey Thompson, 334-382-8989 or Diane Ponder, 334-382-8669 27 • Atmore, Williams Station Day Pensacola Avenue, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Arts & crafts, entertainment, storytelling, hayrides, heritage display, old time cane milling and more. Admission: Free

Contact: Atmore Chamber of Commerce, 256-3683305 or www.atmorechamber.com 27 & 28 • Clanton, Chilton County Arts Council Artist Showcase CCPAC Jeff State Community College Sat. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. Arts and crafts inside the Exhibition Hall. Contact: Elizabeth Byrd, 205-294-2400 or chiltoncountyartscouncil@hotmail.com 27 • Grove Hill, 13th Annual Pioneer Days & Antique Tractor Show Clarke County Historical Museum, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Free living history event featuring costumed re-enactors demonstrating life in early Alabama. Live period music, old-timey kids’ games and more. Contact: Kerry Reid, 251-275-8684 www.clarkemuseum.com 27 • Orange Beach, Adult Halloween Costume Party Orange Beach Community Center, 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Live music, prizes for best, most original and tackiest costume. Tickets: limited number available Contact: Jane Woolwine, 251-974-2355 November 2 & 3 • Moulton, 3rd Annual Harvest of the

Valley. A.W. Todd Coliseum Fri. 6-9 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Formerly Moulton Farm Toy Show & Sale. Concessions available. Admission: $3, children under 6 free; vendor set up fee: $10/table Contact: Dwight Vanderford, 256-974-6960 (leave a message) 2 & 3 • Andalusia, Covington County Quilters’ Guild Quilt Show. Kiwanis Building Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Vendors, door prizes, quilts for sale. Tickets: $3 Contact: Three Notch Cottage Quilt Shop, 334427-8458 or ccquiltguild@gmail.com 3 • Bay Minette, Antique Car, Tractor, Truck and Motorcycle Show. Halliday Park, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Early registration discount until October 26. Information: 251-580-0627 or 251-379-6521 9-11 • Tallassee, 14th Annual Battles for the Armory. Historic Gibson View Plantation Civil War Reenactment, battles on Saturday and Sunday at 2p.m. Period Ball Saturday evening. Admission: $5 adults Contact: Chris Tribble, 334-391-4017 october 2012  31


Alabama Recipes

Tailgating Cook of the Month: Kassie Luster, Central Alabama EC Cajun Pork Burgers with Remoulade Sauce Remoulade Sauce:

1 cup tartar sauce 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning 1 tablespoon capers, chopped

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish 3 dashes hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate covered for one hour.

Burgers: 11/2 pounds ground pork 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning 2 scallions, green part only, thinly-sliced

1 teaspoon hot sauce 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper Hamburger buns lettuce, tomato, onions for garnish

In a large bowl, combine ground pork, Cajun seasoning, scallions, hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Wet hands to prevent sticking and shape into 4 patties, forming them slightly larger than the size of the buns. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in fridge if not cooking immediately. Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking. Place burgers on hot oiled grill and cook for 5-6 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Serve hot on toasted buns with lettuce, tomato, onions and a dollop of remoulade sauce.

These Cajun Pork Burgers were really easy and fun to make. I have never made my own remoulade sauce before so this was a great recipe for me to try. When I mixed all the ingredients together, I looked at the sauce and wondered why it wasn’t “pink” like the sauce I normally see on my fried green tomatoes. I put the bowl in the fridge, covered it, and an hour later it was pink! I was excited to try it, to say the least. It was very good and gave the Cajun Pork Burger a kick of flavor. Next time I make these, I will make the patties a bit thinner so they will cook faster.

You could win $50! If your recipe is chosen as the cook-of-the-month recipe, we’ll send you a check for $50!

Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: December Cakes Deadline: October 15 January Breakfast Deadline: November 15 February Heathly Snacks Deadline: December 15

Please send all submissions to: Recipe Editor, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Or e-mail to: recipes@areapower. coop. Be sure to include your address, phone number and the name of your electric cooperative.

32  october 2012

Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.


Mini Tacos

1 pound ground beef 1 package of wonton wrappers 1 package taco seasoning 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

Toppings: diced jalapeños (adjust for personal taste) black olives sour cream

Brown ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning per package directions. Stuff wonton wrappers into greased muffin pan with corners facing up. Add taco meat to stuffed wonton wrappers then top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Top with favorite toppings such as jalapeños, black olives and sour cream *Can also substitute canned chicken for ground beef. Steve Buckelew, Arab EC

Teresa’s Party Cheese Ball

Baked Beans With A Kick

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

2 2-ounce packages Buddig beef, diced 3 green onions, thinly sliced

Mix all of the ingredients together using a hand mixer. When incorporated, spread into a ball shape and chill. Serve with your favorite crackers. Hillery Cordes, Central Alabama EC

8 slices of cooked & crumbled bacon 28 ounces canned pork and beans 15.5 ounce can of chili beans (drained) 3/4 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed) 1 8-ounce can enchilada sauce

1 tablespoon allpurpose flour 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (optional)

Combine all ingredients; mix gently and place in greased 2-quart casserole dish. Bake uncovered at 475 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375, bake for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. 1 cup of shredded monterey jack cheese may be added once removed from the oven (optional). Denise Lynn, Marshall DeKalb EC

Alabama Living

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october 2012  33


Donna’s Favorite Red Tomato Salsa 12-15 ripe tomatoes, chopped 4 medium onions, chopped 2 cups green sweet banana peppers 1 whole garlic clove

4-5 medium green bell peppers 11/2 cups hot green peppers 2 cups white vinegar 3 tablespoons salt 1 cup white sugar

In a food processor, finely chop all vegetables except tomatoes. Set aside. Add vinegar, salt and sugar into a large boiler pot. Add chopped tomatoes and other vegetables. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 hours until very thick. Pour into jars and seal. Yields 4 pints. Donna Hindman, Cherokee EC

Asian Slaw

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

4 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts 1 (17.5 oz) bottle of buffalo wing sauce 1 package dry ranch salad dressing mix

1 stick of butter or margarine, sliced 6 large rolls (your preference)

2 packages beefflavored Ramen noodles 1 10-ounce package angel hair slaw 1 cup sliced almonds 1 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1 bunch green onions, chopped 1 cup oil 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Mix marinade: beef flavoring from noodles, oil, sugar and vinegar. Crush noodles (inside package for easy clean-up). Layer in this order: noodles, slaw, almonds, sunflower seeds then onions. Pour marinade over the layers and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving. Jean Gaylord, Coosa Valley EC and Baldwin EMC

Place chicken breasts into slow cooker. Add entire bottle of buffalo sauce, and cover the chicken with package of dry ranch. Set slow cooker on low for 6 to 7 hours. After chicken has cooked, use two forks to shred the meat. Once chicken is shredded, add sliced butter to meat and let meat soak for additional 10 to 15 minutes. Pile meat on to rolls, add cheese or ranch dressing for extra flavor. Bobbie Breckinridge, Cullman EC

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Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.


Alabama Living

october 2012  35


Cooperation Nation

Glenn English, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, spoke about the cooperative difference at NRECA’s 2012 Annual Meeting, themed “Electric Cooperatives Build a Better World.” Sources: NRECA

Members support community empowerment in global co-op celebration By Megan McKoy-Noe, CCC

A

s every craftsman knows, the right tool can make or break a project. For more than 75 years the electric cooperative business model—when wielded effectively by engaged members—has served as a handy instrument to improve the quality of life in rural areas. How can a community harness a business model to enact change? Cooperatives—democratically governed businesses operating on an at-cost, not-for-profit basis—are unique. While profit-driven utilities worry about Wall Street, electric co-ops focus on Main Street. “At a time when folks are losing faith in big corporations, we have a great opportunity to showcase the many ways the local, 36  october 2012

consumer-owned and member-controlled cooperative form of business benefits communities across the country and the world,” declares NRECA CEO Glenn English. That holds true for all types of cooperatives. Agricultural co-ops, for example, fight for fair prices for farmers while marketing co-ops provide nationally known branding for products. Credit unions lend at competitive rates, and grocery co-ops give shoppers a say in what’s stocked on shelves. Member-owned cooperatives come in many shapes and sizes. But all boast a common foundation of core principles that puts people first. Cooperation thrives in Alabama, with

more than 256 co-ops serving more than 2 million members, notes the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Cooperation. Alabama’s co-op economy employs more than 10,000, and nationally more than 2.1 million jobs are supported by co-ops. The United Nations General Assembly designated 2012 as International Year of Cooperatives (IYC 2012), under the banner “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.” The resolution recognizes the vital role cooperatives play in the economic and social well-being of nations around the globe and encourages countries to foster cooperative development as a way to generate local wealth, employment, and marketplace competition. www.alabamaliving.coop


Dame Pauline Green, president of the International Cooperative Alliance, spoke to electric cooperative leaders at NRECA’s 2012 Annual Meeting. Sources: NRECA

Dame Pauline Green, president of the International Cooperative Alliance, celebrated IYC 2012 with electric cooperative leaders at the annual meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the Arlington, Va.-based national service organization representing more than 900 consumer-owned, not-forprofit electric cooperatives, public power districts, and public utility districts. Green said the fact that electric co-ops serve 42 million people “shows that even in the most developed country in the world, the cooperative model of business has a proven track record of commercial success and deep roots in local communities.”

Spilling the (co-op) beans!

tric Membership Corporation. The effort, nicknamed, “Hoosiers Power the World,” was coordinated through NRECA International Programs, a division of NRECA created 50 years ago to assist developing countries in delivering safe, reliable, and affordable electricity. After several intense weeks of scaling ravines and climbing poles set on cliffs, the Indiana electric co-op contingent connected 170 families to life-changing electricity. But the cooperative business model goes a step further. More than a thousand small-scale cooperative coffee producers in southwestern Guatemala receive a fair price for their coffee, affordable credit, and more through a partnership with Equal Exchange. Owned by 103 workers and based south of Boston, Mass., Equal Exchange helped start the Fair Trade movement 25 years ago. Through their fair trade imports of coffee and other goods like olive oil, bananas, and chocolate, the co-op offer consumers a way to connect with, and support, farmer co-ops in developing countries. “The cooperative model offers an important vehicle for economic empowerment,” explains Rodney North, spokesperson for Equal Exchange. “Working with small farmer cooperatives strengthens rural communities worldwide, protects the environment, and helps builds a just and sustainable food system.”

build local communities in many ways, including volunteering with Boys and Girls clubs, serving on the boards of the United Way and other charities, and tackling economic development challenges through chambers of commerce.

‘My Co-op Rocks’

Grocery co-ops give members something to sing about through the bi-annual “My Co-op Rocks” video and photo contest at www.mycooprocks.coop. Organized by the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), the program rewards creative co-op members with up to $1,500 in co-op gift certificates; winnings can also be donated to a non-profit organization. “So many people simply aren’t aware of what a cooperative is, how co-ops operate, or how many opportunities they have to become involved with co-ops in their own communities,” explains Kelly Smith, director of marketing & communications for NCGA. “The more that co-op members engage with this contest and similar events designed to build awareness, the better. We are Stronger Together!” The latest round of the competition kicked off on Sept. 1, and entries can be submitted through the end of October. “If you think your co-op rocks, tell us why! Creating a video to celebrate the impact your co-op makes in your community is a fun way to share the co-op story with your friends, family, and the co-op nation as a whole,” encourages Smith. “Post your video or photo today!”

Great coffee offers a strong aroma, complex flavors, and a hint of cooperation. While a cup of joe may be a morning staple in the Western world, some coffee Powering communities Engaged electric co-op members attend growers providing that critical caffeine boost don’t enjoy simple luxuries like elec- annual meetings and use the power of the tricity. A perfect case study of cooperatives cooperative network to have their voices Connect to co-ops Are you looking for way to change in powering a community and empowering heard by elected officials. Electric co-op employees represent member interests and your community? Team up with cooperamembers is in the Central Ameritives in your area; to find cooperacan nation of Guatemala. tives near you, visit go.coop. You For four weeks this fall, the Incan also learn more about co-ops dianapolis-based Indiana Statewide at stories.coop, which highlights a Association of Rural Electric Codifferent cooperative every day. operatives sent 32 volunteer linemen and support staff from various Hoosier State co-ops to three Sources: University of Wisconsin, small coffee-producing villages NRECA International, Equal in the mountainous Guatemalan Exchange, National Cooperative province of Huehuetnango (proBusiness Association nounced way-way-ten-nang-oh). Megan McKoy-Noe, CCC, writes “I want to make things better on consumer and cooperative for those folks, and I feel really affairs for the National Rural These Guatemalan farmers sell coffee beans to Equal Electric Cooperative Association, privileged to be able to go,” comthe Arlington, Va.-based service Exchange through the Asociación Chajulense Va’l Vaq ments Stephen Campbell, a line organization for the nation’s Qujol, nicknamed ‘Chajul.’ foreman with Martinsville.-based 900-plus consumer-owned, notSources: equal exchange for-profit electric cooperatives. South Central Indiana Rural ElecAlabama Living

october 2012  37


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38  october 2012

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Vacation Rentals GULF SHORES / GATLINBURG RENTAL– Great Rates! (256)490-4025 or www.gulfshoresrentals.us, www. gatlinburgrental.us GULF SHORES COTTAGE – Waterfront, 2 / 1, pet friendly – Rates and Calendar online http://www.vrbo.com/152418, (251)223-6114 FALL COLORS AT MOUNTAIN CABIN, WEARS VALLEY NEAR PIGEON FORGE – Fully furnished, 3 / 2 – Brochure available – (251)649-9818 GATLINBURG CONDOS AND CABINS now available for the fall season… Beautiful Autumn mountain views… Call Jennifer in Scottsboro at (256)599-4438. CONDOS also in DAYTONA BEACH and GULF SHORES. Check them out at www.funcondos. com GULF SHORES PLANTATION - Gulf view, beach side, 2 bedrooms / 2 baths, no smoking / no pets. Owner rates (205)339-3850 PIGEON FORGE, TN CABINS – Peaceful, convenient setting – (251)649-3344, (251)649-4049, www.hideawayprop.com GULF SHORES BEACHFRONT CONDO – Sleeps 6, closest to State Park, Alabama – For photo tour and

rental info visit www.meyerre.com, 705 Royal Palms ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226 CABIN IN MENTONE – 2/2, brow view, hottub – For rent $100/night or Sale $199,000 – (706)767-0177 GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie12@centurytel. net, (256)599-5552 GREAT LAKE LIVING, LEWIS SMITH LAKE - 3BR/2BA, 2 satelite TV’s, gaslog fireplace, deep water, covered dock Pictures, http://www. vacationsmithlake.com/ $75 night (256) 352 5721, annawisener@yahoo. com PIGEON FORGE, TN: $89 - $125, 2BR/2BA, hot tub, air hocky, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)3631973, www.mylittlebitofheaven.com KATHY’S ORANGE BEACH CONDO – 2BR/2BA, non-smoking. Best rates beachside! Family friendly – (205)253-4985, www.KathysCondo. eu.pn GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE on BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585, hhideaway401@aol.com GATLINBURG / PIGEON FORGE – 2 and 3 BEDROOM LUXURY CABINS – Home theatre room, hot tub, gameroom – www. wardvacationrentalproperties.com, (251)363-8576 PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – Owner rental – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000, jamesrny@graceba.net, www. theroneycondo.com GATLINBURG, TN – Fond memories start here in our chalet – Great vacation area for all seasons – Two queen beds, full kitchen, 1 bath, Jacuzzi, deck with grill – 3 Night Special - Call (866)316-3255, Look for us on FACEBOOK / billshideaway ALABAMA RIVER LOTS / MONROE COUNTY, AL – Lease / Rent – (334)469-5604 HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – sleeps 2-6, 2.5 baths, fireplace, Jacuzzi, washer/dryer – (251)9482918, www.homeaway.com/101769, email jmccracken@gulftel.com

PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath house for rent $75.00 a night – Call Bonnie at (256)338-1957 GULF SHORES / FT. MORGAN / NOT A CONDO! The original “Beach House” on Ft. Morgan peninsula – 2BR/1BA – Pet friendly, non-smoking – $695/wk, (256)418-2131, www. originalbeachhouseal.com CONDO IN ORANGE BEACH ON BEACH AT PASS – 1,000 square feet, 1st Floor, Long Term Renter – Call OWNER (205)822-4876 GULF SHORES - 3BR / 2BA ON BEACH – W/D, 4 queen beds, sleeps 8 - VRBO#354680 Gulf Shores East – (251)979-3604 APPALACHIAN TRAIL – Cabins by the trail in the Georgia Mountains – 3000’ above sea level, snowy winters, cool summers, inexpensive rates – (800)284-6866, www.bloodmountain. com GULF SHORES CONDO - 4 miles from beach or outlet mall, 2BR / 2BA, pet friendly, http://www.vrbo. com/396334, (251)213-0688. TENNESSEE’S FINEST SMOKY MOUNTAIN VACATION GETAWAY! Cozy cabins by Owner – (865)712-7633 FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE – 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)566-0892, mailady96@yahoo.com PENSACOLA BEACH CONDO – Gulf front – 7th floor balcony – 3BR / 2BA, sleeps 6, pool – (850)572-6295 or (850)968-2170 ORANGE BEACH, AL CONDO – Sleeps 4, gulf and river amenities – Great Rates – (228)369-4680 GULF SHORES CONDO – 1BR / 1BA, LG pool, beach access - $95/night, $50 cleaning fee – Call Bernie at (251)404-5800, email berniebandy@ gmail.com MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 14 – www. duskdowningheights.com, (850)7665042, (850)661-0678.   DISNEY – 15 MIN: 5BR / 3BA, private pool – www. orlandovacationoasis.com – (251)504-5756

Camping / Hunting / Fishing ANDALUSIA AREA RV CAMPGROUND FOR HUNTERS/ FISHERMEN - on Point ‘A’ Lake Nightly, weekly & monthly rates Reservations (334)388-0342, www. shacrvpark.com

www.alabamaliving.coop


Real Estate Sales/Rentals MOUNTAIN TOP HOME – MENTONE, AL – 2BR / 2BA on 13.3 secluded acres over looking 5 acre lake. Beautiful View - $185,000 – (256)634-8017 GULF SHORES CONDOS - 4.7 miles from beach, starting prices $54,900 www.PeteOnTheBeach.com, click Colony Club – (251)948-8008 JACKSON COUNTY, AL – 40 ACRES, PAINT ROCK VALLEY – House, barn, vineyard, creek, county road frontage. BEAUTIFUL! (931)307-1242, www. PaintRockProperty.com MOUNTAIN LOT – ELLIJAY, GA – Amenities: 4 Lakes, Trout Stream, Pool, Tennis, Clubhouse, Gated / Guarded - $19,900 – (678)416-9214

Travel CARIBBEAN CRUISES AT THE LOWEST PRICE – (256)974-0500 or (800)726-0954

Musical Notes PIANOS TUNED, repaired, refinished. Box 171, Coy, AL 36435. 334-337-4503

Alabama Living

PLAY GOSPEL SONGS BY EAR - 10 lessons $12.95. “LEARN GOSPEL MUSIC”. Chording, runs, fills - $12.95 Both $24. Davidsons, 6727AR Metcalf, Shawnee Missions, Kansas 66204 – (913)262-4982

Education

How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office):

BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 6630 West Cactus B-107767, Glendale, Arizona 85304. http:// www.ordination.org

December 2012 – deadline October 25

WWW.2HOMESCHOOL.ORG – Year round enrollment. Everybody homeschools. It is just a matter of what degree – (256)653-2593 or website

February 2013 – deadline December 25

FREE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE – write to 23600 Alabama Highway 24, Trinity, AL, 35673

Critters CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. Tiny, registered, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet records and references. (256)796-2893 ADORABLE AKC YORKY PUPPIES – excellent blood lines – (334)301-1120, (334)537-4242, bnorman@mon-cre.net

January 2013 – deadline November 25

-Ads are $1.65 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis -Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each -Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to hdutton@areapower.com or call (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing. -We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards Mail ad submission along with a check or money order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Classifieds.

october 2012  39


Market Place

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www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

october 2012  41


WEC holds conference to educate members about new addition to the Move Over Law On Aug. 1, Wiregrass Electric Cooperative held a press conference to discuss Alabama’s new addition to its Move Over Law that provides for utility workers as well as law enforcement officials. “We want the safest working conditions possible for our employees, regardless of the work area,” says Nathan Worsham, safety and compliance coordinator for WEC. “When our linemen are repairing power lines, it makes sense that drivers should move over to give them space.” Several other states have similar laws protecting utility workers who often spend their days working directly beside dangerous traffic. Alabama’s “move-over” law requires drivers to move over and slow down when they encounter an emergency responder or utility vehicle stopped along

the roadside. The law requires that motorists on a two-lane road move over as far as possible without leaving their lane and slow down to a speed at least 15 mph below the speed limit. Those driving on a four-lane road should move over an entire lane or slow down at least 15 mph as well. Alabama State Trooper Kevin Cook was present at the conference to discuss the law. “If a driver fails to obey this law,” says Cook, “he or she would be fined $25 for the first violation, $50 for the second and $100 for the third.” Several media outlets were also in attendance, including WTVY-4, WDHN18, WDFX-Fox 34, WOOF radio and Rickey Stokes News. “I want to personally thank everyone who participated today,” said Brad Kimbro, director of member services for WEC. “Our utility workers

State Trooper Kevin Cook and Sean Strickler, AREA vice president of public affairs, speak with the media during the press conference on August 1.

are in hazardous environments daily, not only by dealing with electricity but also on the roadways. This law helps protect them. We are very thankful for it.” A

Coffee County Arts Alliance 2012-2013 season The Coffee County Arts Alliance is continuing its 38-year tradition of bringing performing arts to the Wiregrass area. The current season has already featured performances by the Euclid Quartet, The Association and the Honky Tonk Angels. Everyone is encouraged to come enjoy the remaining performances for this season. On Oc. 23, at the Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center, the CCAA will be performing “Fiddler on the Roof,” a musical set in Russia during the early 1900s. It centers around a man, Tevye, and his daughters as they struggle to keep Jewish tradition alive in the modern age. On Dec. 4, Elba High School will host “That Mancini Magic." This group performs songs of renowned composer Hen42  OCTOBER 2012

WEC_Oct12.indd 34

ry Mancini. Led by pianist Mac Hampton and Cecil Welch, who was Mancini’s trumpet player for more than 20 years, the show will be fun for all ages. The 2013 series will begin with Ricky Skaggs & the Kentucky Thunder, "TAP – The Show" and the Piney Woods Arts Festival. Tickets are available at the following locations: David's Westgate Beauty Salon and the Framery (Enterprise), New Brockton Florist (New Brockton), Bradley Florist and Gift Shop and Wildflowers Florists and Gifts (Elba), MaFoosky's Deli (Daleville) and The Printing Press, Inc. (Troy). All performances associated with the CCAA are made possible by support from corporate and individual memberships, by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. A

 Fiddler on the Roof Oct. 23, 2012 • 7 p.m.

Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center

 That Mancini Magic! Dec. 4, 2012 • 7 p.m. Elba High School

 Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky thunder Jan. 17, 2013 • 7 p.m. Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center

 TAP The Show Feb. 28, 2013 • 7 p.m. Elba High School

 Piney woods arts festival Apr. 6–7, 2013 • 9 a.m.–5 p.m. , 12–4 p.m. Enterprise State Community College

 Birmingham children’s theatre Fall 2012 & Spring 2013 Enterprise & Coffee County Schools

www.wiregrass.coop

9/20/12 2:56 PM


To some, it may seem a little nutty that 160,000 poeple would turn out to celebrate peanuts. But those folks obviously don’t know how important the little legumes are to the Wiregrass. That’s because more than half of the nation’s peanuts are grown within a 100-mile radius of the city of Dothan, earning it the nickname “The Peanut Capital of the World.” It’s no surprise, then, that peanuts are celebrated here. Each November, thousands gather for the 10-day National Peanut Festival, considered the largest peanut festival in the country. Dating back to the late 1930s, the first festival began as a modest 3-day event to honor the peanut. And aside from a short break during World War II, it has been held annually for the last 64 years. From Nov. 2 to Nov. 11, attendees of the 2012 festival can enjoy live entertainment, crafts, games, rides and food at the city’s fairgrounds, located three miles south of Ross Clark Circle on Highway 231 South. Of course, Dothan’s love for the peanut doesn’t end when the festival does! The city’s peanut pride is visible 365 days a year, thanks to more than 60 peanut statues on display throughout the community. Part of a public art project called “Peanuts Around Town,” these five-foot-high, 400-pound fiberglass creations are the brainchild of Dothan’s Downtown Group, a collection of area merchants, artisans and agriculturists. The first statue was actually procured from a local estate sale, and as the result of a contest, was repainted as an old Southern gentleman. Today, he stands proudly along Foster Street, advertising the many shops and restaurants of downtown Dothan. Others in the series include Elvis Nut, the Paper Boy, State Trooper Peanut, Armed Forces Peanuts, Kiss

Alabama Living

WEC_Oct12.indd 35

photos by Cherokee Spivey

National Peanut Festival starts November 2 in Dothan

Wiregrass Electric Cooperative employees Deanna Albritton and Ashley Gardner run the WEC booth last year. Be sure to stop by the Wiregrass Electric Co-op booth at the 2012 National Peanut Festival!

Goodbye to Breast Cancer Nut, Captain Cash, Sheriff Sam, and Nuts About Safety — a Dalmatian and fire hydrant duo sponsored by the Dothan Fire Department. Wiregrass Electric Cooperative even has their own peanut outside of its Dothan office, fashioned to look like a lineman nicknamed “ElectroNut.” “Through our rural roots, Wiregrass Electric is a supporter of agriculture throughout our area,” says Cary Hatcher, manager of member relations. “Our booth at the Peanut Festival demonstrates our support of this tremendous community event and gives us an opportunity to educate everyone that visits about energy conservation.” A

OCTOBER 2012  43

9/20/12 2:56 PM


Our Sources Say

Green on Green

I

n July, the Department of Interior announced its Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) that includes plans to develop 17 solar projects on 285,000 acres on government lands in six western states. The PEIS indentifies the best areas for establishment of Solar Power Zones, creates the least conflict with resource development, has access to existing or planned electric generation and provides the best incentives for solar development. The Department stated that pre-approved environmental impact studies and streamlined environmental approvals would allow the solar projects to move very quickly. The only remaining obstacle was a 90-day protest period before the projects could be finalized. The Department announced that it “…will continue to work to break down the barriers to production of solar power.” The projects were endorsed by most high-profile environmental groups, including the National Resource Defense Council. All factors seemed to be aligned for an expedited approval process and a quick start for the solar projects. However, three environmental groups, Western Lands Project, Basin and Range Watch and Solar Done Right,

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative Alabama Living

have filed formal correspondence that often precedes environmental lawsuits. The groups’ complaint alleges the Department of Interior “failed to analyze numerous impacts of solar energy plant development within several of the solar energy zones” and “the solar zones would result in the virtual privatization of public lands.” Further and surprisingly, the complaint states, “no scientific evidence has been presented to support the claim that these projects reduce greenhouse emissions, and the opposite may be true.” The complaint cites studies at the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of California – Riverside that suggest “soil disturbance from large-scale solar development may disrupt Pleistocene-era caliche deposits that release carbon to the atmosphere when exposed to elements, thus completely negating the solar development carbon gains.” Finally, the complaint states, “the environmental impact of these solar panels are long-term – decades to centuries long – and threaten the habitat of endangered species, including the desert tortoise, Mojave fringe-toed lizard, flattailed horned lizard, golden eagle and desert bighorn sheep.” I am not sure what the releases of carbon from Pleistocene-era caliche deposits means, but it sounds like the complaining groups allege that the solar farms will result in the release of carbon to the atmosphere and that solar generation doesn’t really reduce greenhouse gases after all. I don’t know if the com-

plaints have any factual basis or if the complaining groups are actually true environmental groups, but if they do and they are it is a fine time to tell us that solar generation really doesn’t reduce carbon emissions after the government has spent millions of dollars on solar development. Electric utilities are accustomed to these types of complaints because they are often leveled against us when we apply to build power plants, transmission lines or substations. It is interesting that environmental groups are attacking projects that are considered to be environmental friendly and carbon friendly. It will be interesting to see how the Department of Interior and its supporting environmental groups respond to the attacks on their pet projects. It will also be interesting to see how they take their own medicine. Finally, it is interesting to see Greens turn on Greens. While these environmental groups argue about what type of generation releases the most carbon emissions and spend millions of dollars on efforts to stop any type of new electric generation, electric utilities continue to use legacy generation to keep the lights on, air conditioners running, businesses open, hospitals operating and economies moving. Same story – they argue and electric utilities produce. Thank you for reading. I hope you have a good month. A

october 2012  43


Consumer Wise

Q

: I thought about installing a couple of ceiling fans to reduce my electric bills. I heard they can also save during winter. How do I correctly size, choose, and operate a ceiling fan?

A

INSET: Decorative ceiling fan with the blades extended above the attached light fixture. ABOVE: The mechanism used to retract the fan blades. Source: FANIMATION

Cool Breeze, Cooler Electric Bills Ceiling fans, when used properly in conjunction with your thermostat, can help lower electricity use

James Dulley is a nationally syndicated engineering consultant based in Cincinnati.

Alabama Living

:C ei ling fans can cut your electric bills year-round, but before you run out and buy a few, it’s important to understand how they save energy. If you install a ceiling fan and don’t adjust your thermostat settings accordingly, you may be more comfortable, but it actually increases your summertime electric bills. The important thing to remember is that the fan itself does not cool air or things—fans cool people, so they should be turned off when the room is empty. During summer, ceiling fans cool the skin by creating a downward breeze, which should make you feel comfortable enough to turn up the air conditioner a few degrees. Look at the pitch of the blades to determine which rotation direction makes the air blow downward. Setting the thermostat higher saves much more electricity than the ceiling fan consumes. In general, during summer, run the ceiling fan on medium or high speed to create the cooling effect. During winter, flip the small switch on the side of the ceiling fan housing to reverse the blade rotation. Run the fan on low speed so it creates a gentle upward breeze (away from people in the room), which will force the warm air—which naturally rises—back down where it’s needed. Then, you can set your furnace a few degrees lower and save energy there, too. Some new ceiling fans also have a builtin electric heater with a hand-held remote thermostat/control. It functions the same way as a standard ceiling fan during summer. During winter, it automatically reverses rotation when it is switched to the

heating mode. The heater allows you to take advantage of zone heating. The size of a ceiling fan is rated by the diameter of the blades. This is more important during summer when you want to feel the breeze on your skin. A common sizing rule of thumb is to use a 36-inch fan for rooms up to 150 square feet, a 48inch fan for up to 300 square feet, and a 52-inch fan for up to 450 square feet. For larger rooms, use two fans spaced about one-quarter of the way in from opposing walls. Price is often a good indication of the quality of a ceiling fan. Better ceiling fans typically have a greater pitch (twist) on the blades. This requires a more powerful motor, but it moves more air at a lower rotation speed. Lower speed results in less sound and less chance of annoying wobble. Some motors use more copper wire in the windings, up to several miles’ worth, so they have a higher price. A hand-held remote control is a convenient feature included with both inexpensive and pricier models. Natural wood blades are attractive, but inexpensive ones made of synthetic materials are generally well balanced. A rubber-mounted hub reduces noise and vibration. Even the best ceiling fans may require you to attach small balancing weights to stop wobble at high speed. The following companies offer ceiling fans: Broan, 800-558-1711, www.broan. com; Casablanca Fans, 888-227-2178, www.casablancafanco.com; Emerson Electric, 800-237-6511, www.emersonfans. com; Fanimation, 888-567-2055, www. fanimation.com; and Reiker, 800-2837031, www.buyreiker.com. A

Send your questions to: James Dulley Alabama Living 6906 Royalgreen Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45244

You can also reach Dulley online at

www.dulley.com

october 2012  45


Alabama Snapshots

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My Dog II 7

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Submit Your Images! “Me and someone famous” december Theme:

Send color photos with a large self addressed stamped envelope to:

Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL, 36124. Rules: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Deadline december: 31 46  for october 2012October

1. “Lucy” loves her flower submitted by Mark and Jamie Woods, Vinemont 2. “Rusty” and “Patches”: “Let me in, it’s cold out!”submitted by Donald Mitchell, Talladega 3. Ben and “Copper” submitted by Sherri Brothers, Boaz 4. Suzy Rupp, Carol Davis and “Nattie” ride the waves at Crane Hill submitted by Carol Davis, Birmingham

5. “Ava” at her local farmer’s market submitted by Jennifer Newby, Birmingham 6. “Sawyer” hikes at Desoto Falls submitted by Betty and Maria Lacy, Wadley 7. “Rascall” is pleased to see his person submit ted by Leesha Jones, Vinemont

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CALLING ALL QUILTERS

AREA’s 7 Quilt Competition th

The theme for this quilt is ‘Spotlight on Alabama’s Official State Symbols’

Judges for the sixth quilt competition

What is it?

• A competition for all cooperative handworkers to make squares for the 7th AREA cooperative quilt • We would like to represent as many cooperatives as possible. • Winners will be given statewide recognition and have their square included in the quilt. PARTICIPATION IS FREE! For information and guidelines, please complete the form below and mail or fax it to: Linda Partin Alabama Rural Electric Association P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 Fax: 334-215-2733 or e-mail: lpartin@areapower.com or visit the link at www.areapower.coop Alabama Living

I would like to participate in AREA’s 7th Quilt Competition. Please send guidelines and information to: Name ________________________________________ Address ______________________________________ City __________________________________________ State _________ Zip ___________________________ Phone ________________________________________ E-mail ________________________________________ Cooperative ___________________________________ october 2012  47 (Listed on cover of magazine)


Alabama Living WEC October 2012  

Alabama Living WEC October 2012