Page 1

A Quarterly Community Magazine • Vol. 9, Issue 3

Explore Dream Field Farms Pick your very own pumpkins

Visit the Village Shoppe Check out Auburn’s alphabet

Hunting Party

A father & daughter team

Football Rivalries

Schedules for fall’s favorite games

MonCre Telephone Cooperative • Since 1954 • Local People • Global Service • Ramer, Alabama

Fall 2009

See all the equipment to go cellular available now at MonCre’s main office in Ramer. Cell Phones Batteries Car Chargers Home Chargers Blue Tooth Travel Kits Clips & More

P. O. Box 125 227 Main Street Ramer, AL 36069 334/562-3242

is a quarterly magazine published by MonCre Telephone Cooperative. It is distributed without charge to all members. Send Address Corrections to: MonCre Telephone Cooperative P. O. Box 125 Ramer, Alabama 36069-0125 334/562-3242 e-mail:

Send editorial correspondences to: Advertising Dynamics, Inc. PO Box 1345 Rome, GA 30162 706/290-0202

It is a real feeling of excitement that your MonCre cellular can say, “We’ve got it before you need it!” We think that just about sums up a new chapter in the MonCre Wireless cell phone offerings. From the very beginning, we have sought to provide our area with cellular service equal to, or beyond that of virtually any place in the country. Now we are moving forward with affordable and compliant services. Stop by our office and see the latest phones in different styles and color choices—all served by the highest level of MonCre service. Some of the new offerings going into effect include:

• Free cell phone activation, saving you $35.00 …now through December 31st.

Board of Trustees Brett Sikes, President James May, Vice President Walt Sellers, Secretary Mike Moseley, Treasurer Bobby Cook Eric K. Elliott Ron McGough Charles Parker

• Customers with MonCre landlines can now call MonCre cell customers at no cost. Minutes used will be deducted from cell users plan. • Cell customers with a 450 minute minimum plan have unlimited mobile-to-mobile with any MonCre/ Verizon customers. • Special for December…Pre-Paid phones come available with free activation through the end of the year. At MonCre we will be happy to explain how each cell plan works, and find just the plan right for you. As always, you will find our friendly staff of professionals ready to serve you! Sincerely,

David Hubbard, General Manager

Chris Parris

MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009 • 1

Features: Explore Dream Field Farms Take your family down on the farm to pick pumpkins and enjoy other fall fun, too.---------------------- 10-11

Other Stories & Features: Letter from our General Manager--------- 1 New Cell Phones-------------------------- 3

Visit the Village Shoppe Find out more about items this unique Ramer merchant has for sale in her store------------------------ 12-13

School News----------------------------4 - 6 Football Schedules------------------------ 7 “No Call” Notice- -------------------------- 8 CyberNotes-------------------------------- 9 Swine Flu Information--------------- 14-15

Hunting Party Meet a father and daughter team who hunt rabbits with hounds -------------18 -19

Back row from left: Branch Manager Cindy Overstreet, Leah Norman-Johnson, Dana Edwards and Audrey Livingston. Front row: Geri Hyatt

2 • MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009

Pumpkin Facts----------------------------16 Fall Events--------------------------------17 Chili Recipes------------------------------20

P. O. Box 125 Ramer, Alabama 36069 334/562-3242 email: website:


NOW thru Dec. 31st (save $35.00) GREAT VALUE: Add an additional line for only $11.99! New Cell Phones ! NOW Available

MonCre Offers Service Upgrades with Super Value September 1 - December 31, 2009 Free cell phone activation ($35.00 savings). Also, add an additional line for only $11.99.

October 2009 All customers with MonCre “land lines” can now call MonCre cellular customers at no cost to the land line. However, those minutes used will be deducted from the cell user’s plan. LG Rumor Great Texting Capability! Available in green or orange

November 2009 Your service just got better! Beginning November 7th, all customers with plans that have (or exceed) 450 minutes will see an additional $2.00 monthly charge which allows MonCre cellular customers to call any MonCre/Verizon cellular customer free of charge. Unlimited mobile-to-mobile calls!

Motorola 315 Basic Cell Technology in Black, Blue or Red

December 1

Pre-paid phones now available with free activation until December 31st.

Motorola RAZ/RVE3 in Pink, Burgundy or Black



Blackberry Curve

(2 week delivery required)

MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009 • 3


Coach’s Corner Andy Whatley, the new athletic director and football coach at South Montgomery County Academy, has brought a huge amount of excitement to the Raider athletic program. A number of new players have also added to this excitement, for they bring both depth and expertise to the team. Returning seniors are Will Livingston, Dallas Missildine, Jake Williamson, Josh Pickett, and Tyler Ellison. Two new seniors, Josh Tidwell and Sam Dawson, have joined the team. Both of the new seniors are well-acquainted with Coach Whatley, having played for him last year at Lighthouse Christian Academy, where the team went to the state playoffs and Coach Whatley was named Coach of the Year. Under the Coach’s leadership, SMCA will also field a junior high and a pee wee team.  There is much excitement about these teams, not only because there was no junior high team last year, but also because the team is expected to do a great job! Coach Whatley, his wife Rochell and five cildren all live in Montgomery. Three of these, Kyle, Karson and Kirkland, make the trip to Grady each day with their dad, and the other two will join him when they are older. 4 • MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009

SMCA is very happy to have the Whatley family, the new students who came because of Coach Whatley, and all of the other new students who have joined the Raider bunch this year. Coach Whatley’s calm, yet demanding, demeanor is contagious.  He has brought an uplifting spirit to SMCA which continues to grow each day!

New Teachers & Staff at SMCA South Montgomery County Academy has added a number of new teachers this year. Students are thrilled with these teachers, who bring excellent instruction to their classes. 

Shelby Mainor, a recent graduate of Auburn University, has joined SMCA as the new fifth grade teacher. She also teaches both science and social studies to grades four through six.  Two former SMCA graduates have returned to their alma mater as high school teachers:  J.J. (Wingard) Ferguson commutes from Enterprise to teach science, and Sherry (Hassey) Tucker, who taught two classes last year, now has a full schedule of an assortment of business classes, including accounting and newspaper.

Kristi Ingram, a new resident of the Grady community, has also joined the staff as an English teacher. Mrs. Ingram, a professional photographer, also teaches a class in photography.  Dr. Elba Morton, a Spanish professor at Huntingdon College, drives from Montgomery each day to teach Spanish.  On the days she cannot be in Grady, she sends her husband, Dr. Morton, who is also a certified Spanish teacher. Coach Andy Whatley also drives from Montgomery daily to teach physical education and to coach sports.

South Montgomery County Academy

A new school year has started for teachers, staff and students at South Montgomery County Academy. The backbone of SMCA are teachers who have returned from last year, some having been here only a year and others for many years. The kindergarten program is staffed by Tammy Royal, Libby Jackson, and Vercie McElvy.

Carolyn Missildine, Sarah Morrow (also a graduate of SMCA), Ricky Thomas, Nanette Brown, Pat Norman, and Rhonda Touil returned this year to help SMCA continue to grow. Two part-time teachers have added very popular electives to the program: Dana Edwards with the life skills class and Cindy Duke with art. Other electives added this year are drama and photography. Ironically, two faculty members were actually part of the first teaching staff at SMCA – in 1970!  Carolyn Missildine, who teaches first grade, taught sixth grade the first year the school was opened, and Headmistress Carolyn Hicks taught English. With the dedicated, highly qualified staff of SMCA, this will be another great year of helping students grow academically, spiritually, athletically, and socially.

SMCA CHEERLEADING Team Above Photo: from left to right: Front Row:

The SMCA Cheerleaders won the following awards at this summer’s AISA Cheerleading Competition:

Brittany Sikes Rebekah Halse Monica Boswell Haley Hicks

• 3rd place AISA HOME POM

Back Row:

• 3rd place Extreme Routine

Chelsea Gilmore

• 3rd place Camp Champ Cheer • 6 Superior Universal Cheerleader Association Awards

Beth Meredith Ashley Weston Charlotte Galloway

• Universal Cheerleaders Association Spirit Stick MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009 • 5


New School Leaders Announced at Dunbar-Ramer The Dunbar-Ramer School hosted the elections for the 2009-2010 Student Government Association on September 18, 2009. The candidates completed the application process, campaigned for two weeks and introduced themselves to the student body along with a presidential debate on September 17, 2009. Congratulations to the following students: President: ....................Rickeliea Wright Vice President:...............Aubrey Sankey Secretary:........................ Miracle Lanier Treasurer:...................... Tanesha Moore Parliamentarian:...........Christen Carter 5th Grade Class Representative:................... Samantha Freeman 6th Grade Class Representative:........................ Dominic McFolly 7th Grade Class Representative:.....................Delorenzo Watkins 8th Grade Class Representative: ..................... Brianna Patterson

T he

Village Shoppe

Monogramming & Screen Printing Unique Gifts for Any Occasion & Consignment Shop 2612 Ramer-Grady Road Ramer, Alabama

Welcome Back! 6 • MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009






Sept. 5.............. Louisiana Tech (ESPN)

Sept. 5............ at Virginia Tech

Sept. 03......... at Bowling Green State

Sept. 12............ Miss. State (FSN)

Sept. 12.......... Florida International

Sept. 12......... at Florida 1

Sept. 19............ West Virginia (ESPN2)

Sept. 19.......... North Texas

Sept. 19......... UAB -

Sept. 26............ Ball State (FSN)

Sept. 26.......... Arkansas

Oct. 3................ at Tennessee

Oct. 3.............. at Kentucky

Sept. 26......... at Arkansas State

Oct. 10.............. at Arkansas

Oct. 10............ at Mississippi

Oct. 06........... Middle Tennessee

Oct. 17.............. Kentucky

Oct. 17............ South Carolina

Oct. 24.............. at LSU

Oct. 24............ Tennessee

Oct. 17........... at Florida International

Oct. 31.............. Ole Miss

Nov. 7............. LSU

Oct. 24........... North Texas -

Nov. 7............... Furman

Nov. 14........... at Mississippi State

Nov. 14............. Georgia (at Georgia)

Nov. 21........... Chattanooga

Oct. 31........... ULM - “Band Day

Nov. 27............. Alabama

Nov. 27........... at Auburn

Nov. 07.......... at Western Kentucky

Highland Home Varsity Schedule

Aug. 28........... Daleville (Home) Sept. 4............ Keith (Away)

“World Wide Trojan Pride Day”

“Battle for the Palladium”


Nov. 14.......... at Arkansas Nov. 21.......... Florida Atlantic -

“Salute to Armed Forces and Senior Day Nov 28........... at UL-Lafayette

Sept. 11.......... Reeltown (Home) Sept. 18.......... RC Hatch (Away) Sept. 25.......... Brantley (Away) Oct. 2.............. Francis Marion (Home) Oct. 9 ............. St. Jude (Home) Oct. 16............ Goshen (Away) Oct. 23............ Zion Chapel (Away) Oct. 30............ Luverne (Home)


Varsity Schedule Aug. 28........... Evangel Christian (A) Sept. 4........... Ashford Academy (A) Sept. 11......... Abbeville Christian Sept. 18......... Restoration Academy (A) Sept. 25......... Coosa Valley Academy Oct. 2............. Cornerstone Christian (A) Oct. 9............. Lyman Ward Military (A) Oct. 16........... Chambers Academy (A) Oct. 23........... Crenshaw Christian Oct. 30........... Dixie Academy All games start at 7:00 p.m.

MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009 • 7

Notice to MonCre Customers . . .

No More Telephone Solicitations? The National Do-Not-Call Registry and You MonCre Telephone Cooperative, Inc. reminds you that you can stop virtually all telemarketing calls by registering with the national Do-Not-Call database. You can register by calling, toll free, 800-382-1222, or visit the website You can follow the same procedure to revoke a prior registration. More information can be found at the National Do Not Call Registry home page at

Jobbers for BP Oil Company Products • Lapine, Alabama

Alabama Macon



S 87 BP Food Mart S Ann Street BP Lowndes Montgomery, AL Bullock Troy, AL S Eastdale Mall BP Montgomery, AL

S Luverne BP Luverne, AL Barbour

Butler S Highland Home BP Highland Home, AL Crenshaw

S Perry Street BP Montgomery, AL



S I-65 BP Letohatchee,Coffee AL

Henry S Brundidge BP Dale Brundidge, AL

Covington Blvd. BP S Coliseum Montgomery, AL Geneva

S Ada BP Ada, AL Houston

S Trojan BP Food Mart

Troy, AL

Florida Tom Russell / Jobber

Office: 334-537-4315 Home: 334-288-6296

P. O. Box 38 8 • MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009

LaPine, Alabama 36046

How secure is your password? Not sure? If you use “abc” or “password” it’s not secure at all. Those are some of the most common passwords, and identity thieves love the people who use them. Identity thieves use computer programs to identify accounts that have common usernames and passwords. When they find them, they infiltrate. They set up phishing scams and send out spam or viruses under the account holder’s name. If you use the same password in multiple locations, like your online bank account, they can break into your account and steal your money! The more sophisticated your password, the less likely you’ll be victimized. Recently, Internet Service Providers have seen an increase in the number of network attacks by identity thieves. Luckily, most have excellent engineers to help fight back. If an identity thief infiltrates an account-and they can tell-they either change the password immediately or suspend the account and notify the account holder to change the password.

Tips on choosing a password:

• Choose one with at least 8 characters

• Use lower and upper case letters

• Use numbers

• Throw in a symbol (!)

Here’s a trick. Think of a sentence you’ll remember. For example, “I like my dog, Rover.” Then imagine turning that into a password that annoys criminals: 1LmDr0veR! For more information, please contact MonCre 334/562-3242.

Annoy a Criminal, Change your Password!

Directory Listing Notice If you would like to make a change in your directory listing for the 2010 MonCre directory, please contact the business office by December 1, 2009. Call: 334/562-3242.

MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009 • 9

Fall Family Fun... at Dream Field Farms There can’t be too many kids who have not grown up following the adventures of Charlie Brown in Charles Schulz famed comic strip, Peanuts. A favorite episode, revisited year after year in cartoon and television, finds Charlie and his gang excitedly planning for Halloween. Each year his little friend, Linus, seriously searches for the most sincere pumpkin patch.

In search of “The Great Pumpkin” in Union Springs

10 • MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009

He believes that it is there he will find “The Great Pumpkin,” giver of toys and presents. He has yet to succeed, but he is an optimist. He comes back to the pumpkin patch, blanket in tow, to sit and wait, all the while knowing that he is missing out on trick-or-treating, being with the other kids and the fun of the neighborhood Halloween party. Well, Linus can take heart. It just might be that we have located not only a very sincere pumpkin patch, but a place kids can have a learning experience and a lot of fun, too.

It’s called Dream Field Farms, and troops of children and families have discovered its delightful attraction since it opened last year. Coming from miles and miles, some as far as from Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, make up the 7,200 visitors who discovered and enjoyed the delightful attractions last season. It may very well be the ‘build it and they will come’ theory

that worked so well. Two sisters and their husbands, Cathy and Tom Ellis and Christy and Van Wadsworth, pooled their thinking and ideas to make their dream happen. They had long been talking about the concept, and five years ago the availability of some gorgeous Bullock County Alabama property captivated their imaginations. Tom credits wife Cathy with originating the idea, and together they spend half the year prepping for the season. The other half is spent at home back in Arkansas and on their jobs with Bonnie Plant Farms. Christy, an attorney in Union Springs, is hands on, too. Van is an accomplished carpenter, constructing the building which houses the gift shop and facilities. The concept for Dream Field Farms is to provide a family-friendly attraction to educate as well as entertain. Children enjoy getting the chance to pet and feed the gentle farm animals such as donkeys, pigs, sheep and being introduced to other interesting animal characters. Kids delight in the hayrides, running in the corn maize, squealing at the pig races and taking home their very own pumpkin selected right from the pumpkin patch. Much thought and planning was devoted to developing a wonderful learning and fun experience ‘down on the farm’, and the beautiful rolling acreage is a perfect setting.

The owners of Dream Field Farms cut the ribbon to open the project in September of 2008. (L-R) Front: Christy Wadsworth, Myron Penn (State Senator), Ron Sparks (Commissioner of Agriculture), Van Wadsworth. Second row. Jordan Wadsworth, Matthew Walker, Hannah Walker, Emily Ellis, Caity Meinhardt, Tom Ellis, Cathy Ellis

The big front porch of the gift shop provides a splendid view of the beautiful 12-acre lake and autumn in the Alabama countryside. Granddad can take a quick rest break in one of the porch rockers while the kids are finding their choices in refreshments and treats inside. Regardless of your station in life, it is difficult to resist checking out the assortment of foodstuffs and souvenirs. The 2009 season brings some delightful new additions with the Rubber Duck races, Obstacle Alley, Pumpkin Painting and the rising star of the barnyard, Maybelle, the Milk Cow. All new attractions add to the variety of activities already in place to entertain school and Church groups and families.

Open through November 1st, Dream Field Farms is located at 6376 Highway 82, Union Springs, approximately a 25 minute drive east from Montgomery.

Admission is $8 per person and group rates are available. If you would like more information about Dream Field Farms, just call or visit the website: Phone: 888-215-2725 (Toll Free) or 334-534-6976.

MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009 • 11


he letters immediately jump out to greet you when you first walk through the door of The Village Shoppe. They appear on fun, as well as practical, items of use and wear. There are the popular monogrammed towels, bibs, tote bags, koozies, notebooks and everything else in between. Auburn Brown and mom, Bara Edwards, combined their talents

to bring this innovative shop to the public. Bara serves as the store’s manager. It may well be a new venture for them both, but each has sales and management experience under their stylish belts. “I started with a small embroidery machine in January and decided that it wasn’t big enough. The commercial machine we added last April will do everything!” Auburn says. “If there is something you Auburn Brown and her mother, Bara Edwards own and operate the Village Shoppe in Ramer.

12 • MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009

would like to have monogrammed, just bring it in. We also appliqué, and we’ve already had requests for Christmas items, which we can do by special order.”

department. Charlie coaches the boy’s junior and varsity basketball teams, while Auburn coaches junior varsity girl’s basketball and assists with the varsity girl’s team.

Auburn’s background in business began in 1994 when she worked with her parent’s office at their lumberyard (B&B Wholesale). Later, she gained management skills at Lowes in Montgomery for three years, then as an insurance agent.

She is currently looking forward to growing the business of The Village Shoppe, and her goal is to add new products every month. She has already added the sale of charming new clothes for infants and toddlers, and consignment clothing for all adults and children sizes. Plans even include consignment furniture.

Mixing work with family, Auburn is married to Charlie Brown, who owns Brown Construction Services. They have two teenage daughters who attend South Montgomery County Academy where both parents volunteer in the athletics

Go by The Village Shoppe to see what’s happening and new every day. We think you’ll find there’s something for everyone.. from A to Z.

Monogramming and a variety of creative embroidery are the Village Shoppe’s specialty.

The Village Shoppe also sells recycled clothes from infant to adult sizes on a consignment basis.

The Village Shoppe Open: Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 10 AM to 5 PM Saturday: 10 AM to 3 PM 2612 Ramer-Grady Road Ramer, Alabama

MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009 • 13

Information about “Swine Flu” Avoid the H1N1...for Your Better Health If you are a member of this high risk group, then you need to make sure to take extra precautions to avoid the flu

What is H1N1?


ases of the flu are popping up earlier than expected this year. It is believed that nearly all of these cases are the H1N1 flu or “swine” flu as it has been dubbed in the media because the weather isn’t cold enough to host the seasonal flu. We felt it important to provide you with the same information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) so that you and your family can be prepared in case you become sick.

Don’t Panic If You Become Sick The most important thing to remember is that if you or a member of your family becomes sick with what you suspect is the flu, don’t panic. According to reports in the Associated Press and by the CDC, it doesn’t seem more deadly than regular flu, which kills 36,000 Americans a year and hospitalizes nearly 200,000. But “swine” flu does sicken more children than traditional flu and it spreads very easily.

High Risk Groups Most cases of the seasonal and H1N1 or swine flu have been mild. However, some individuals fall into one of the following high risk groups:

Although dubbed the “swine flu” when it initially appeared in April 2009, the virus is not what scientists first thought. According to the CDC, the H1N1 virus, is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and bird (avian) genes and human genes.

If you think that you might have the flu, then here are some important steps to follow:

• Stay home from work or school. Going out in public exposes others to the disease and helps it spread more rapidly. • Drink plenty of caffeine-free liquids to avoid dehydration • Take non-aspirin pain relievers to reduce fever. Contact your health care provider if you have questions regarding your illness.

Although most people who have been sick with the H1N1 virus recover without needing medical treatment, others have developed more serious complications and deaths have resulted.

When Should I Seek Treatment?

So How Do You Know if You Have H1N1 or the regular seasonal flu?

In children, the CDC recommends that you seek immediate treatment if a child has difficulty breathing or is breathing fast, turns bluish, isn’t drinking enough fluids, has severe vomiting, is hard to wake up or lethargic, or is so irritable the child doesn’t want to be held.

Chances are you won’t. That is unless you are sick enough to go to the hospital. Because the seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus has almost the exact same symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms Illnesses associated with H1N1 can range from mild to severe with symptoms that are much like regular seasonal flu. These symptoms include:

• Fever greater than 100º F

• Healthcare workers

• Cough

• Pregnant women

• Sore throat

• Children and adults under the age of 24

• Runny or stuffy nose

• People who have chronic health conditions such as diabetes and asthma

• Body aches, headache, chills and fatigue

• People caring for infants

• Diarrhea (in some cases)

MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009 • 14

Think You Have the Flu?

If you are an adult and have difficulty breathing, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, dizziness, confusion, severe vomiting or a fever that returns, then you should seek treatment.

Preventing the Flu The flu typically spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People also get infected when the virus gets on their hands and they rub their eyes, mouth or nose.

So, what can you do to minimize your risk of contracting the flu? Get vaccinated. This year two shots will be needed to protect yourself from the seasonal flu as well as H1N1. The seasonal flu shot should be available now at your doctor’s office. The H1N1 vaccine should be available during early October. Pregnant women need both the seasonal flu vaccine as well as the H1N1 vaccine.

Wash your hands thoroughly and often with warm soapy water. Be more aware of what you’ve touched and try to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. If you don’t have soap and water available, hand sanitizers will also do the trick. Avoid contact with those that are sick. This may mean limiting your exposure to friends and family if you know that they are either sick or have been exposed to someone who is or has been sick. Also, you may want to limit your trips to populated shopping venues to avoid coming in contact with someone who has virus.

The Risks for Pregnant Women According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pregnant women are at an increased risk for both the seasonal flu as well as the H1N1. In fact, women who are pregnant, or recently had a baby have a four times greater risk of having severe flu than other well adults. Immunization against flu is safe and effective, even in pregnancy. The vaccine even passes some immunity to your baby, decreasing the chance that your baby will become ill if exposed to the flu. Babies who are less than six months old are not yet old enough to have the flu vaccine. For pregnant women, treatment of flu like symptoms in the first 48 hours is crucial for minimizing the risk to both mother and baby. That’s because immediate treatment shortens the length and severity of your flu illness, and decreases the chances that you will have a serious or life threatening complication. If you suspect that you may have the flu, then contact your obstetrician for an appointment. Please tell them the symptoms that you are experiencing. If you can not get an appointment within 24 hours, you may want to go to the nearest emergency room for treatment.

Women who are pregnant, or recently had a baby have a four times greater risk of having severe flu than other well adults.

Stay home if you get sick. If you do get sick, stay home. Going out in public exposes others to your illness.

For More Information about the H1N1 Virus go to:

15 • MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009

When Autumn cools the temperature and leaves begin to change from their many hues of green to many hues of reds and golds, that’s when the king of the fall fruit raises his big, bright orange head… The Pumpkin!

16 • MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009

Pumpkin seeds can be roasted as a snack.

Pumpkin flowers are edible.

Pumpkins are used to make soups, pies and breads.

The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.

Pumpkins originated in Central America.

In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.

Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds.

The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds.

Pumpkins are 90 percent water.

Pumpkins are fruit.

Eighty percent of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October.

Colonists sliced off pumpkin tops; removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie.

Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them and made mats.

Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine.

Food, Festivals & Football—ah, yes, it’s fall in the South, again. A favorite time of year for many. We hope you enjoy these local events: Oktoberfest Montgomery - Faulkner University Oct. 10: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. A spectacular arts and crafts show with 50-plus vendors, children’s area, entertainment and food. 334-386-7181. Admission charged. Oktoberfest Extravaganza Montgomery - Faulkner University Oct. 10 Enjoy a blend of fun, food, crafts, retail vendors, flea market items, kids activities and more. If you are interested in renting vendor space or need general information, please contact Margie Austin at 334-386-7146 or Fall Governor’s Mansion Tours Montgomery - 1142 S. Perry St. Oct. 16-17: 1-4 p.m. The Governor’s Mansion and grounds will be open for tours to showcase the beauty of the historic home and gardens in the fall. Free tickets for the tours can be picked up across the street at the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop on Finley Avenue. 334-834-3022. Free.

Alabama National Fair Montgomery - Garrett Coliseum Oct 9-18 Midway rides, main stage entertainment, food, information and commercial booths, kids area, livestock and other competition, family faith day, etc. 334-272-6831. Admission charged. Harvest Time at Old Alabama Town Montgomery - Old Alabama Town Oct 1-31: Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Experience harvesting crops of the 19th century. Tours of cotton gin and grist Mill will give visitors a first-hand look at farming in the late 1800s. 334-240-4500. Admission charged. ZooBoo Montgomery - Montgomery Zoo Oct 16-18, 22-25 & 29-31: 6-9 p.m. Montgomery Zoo--A safe alternative to Halloween, ZooBoo provides a fun-filled evening of games, treats, and costumed characters, education presentations, and the traditional haunted ride. 334-240-4900. www.montgomeryzoo. com. Admission charged. Alabama Dance Theatre’s “Dracula” and “Mistletoe” Montgomery - Alabama Shakespeare Festival Nov 7-8: Sink your teeth into the vampire obsession that’s sweeping the nation and come see Alabama Dance Theatre’s “Dracula” a ballet to die for Saturday, November 7th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 8th at 2:30 p.m. A special performance of “Mistletoe” featuring “Favorite Dances” will be performed

Saturday, November 7th at 2:30 p.m. for Children.* Performance tickets are $15-$30. For information call 334-2412590 or visit alabamadancetheatre. com. Tickets may be purchased at the Alabama Shakespeare box office or at asf. net. (*Following the Saturday matinee performance children can meet Santa Claus and characters onstage for an additional $5 charge.) ArchiTreats: Food For Thought: “Modern Alabama” Montgomery - Alabama Department of Archives and History, Washington Ave. Nov 19: Noon. Year of history lecture presented by Hardy Jackson, Jacksonville State University. 334-353-4712. Free. Turkey Day Classic Montgomery - Cramton Bowl - 1215 Madison Avenue Nov 26: 1:00 p.m. Traditional rivalry featuring Alabama State University Hornets of Montgomery against the Tuskegee University Tigers. 334-229-4100. Admission charged. Thanksgiving Weekend Sale Montgomery - Southern Homes and Gardens Nov 27-29: Fri. & Sat., 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Get those unique ornaments and decorations as well as those one-of-akind gifts. Enjoy great sales and savings throughout the store. 334-277-6746. Free.

MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009 • 17

by Ben Norman

Paige McVay and daughter Bailey and two of their beagles.

The sound of bawling beagles hot on the trail of a cottontail rabbit can still be heard in the woodlands of Crenshaw County.


unting rabbits with beagle hounds has been a southern tradition for well over one hundred and fifty years. During the Great Depression, many a farm boy provided the only meat served at the evening meal. More often than not, it was a plump cottontail jumped by his beagle hound. But interest in rabbit hunting has declined during the last decade or two, and the number of beagles and rabbit hunters are at all time lows. Paige McVay of Highland Home is among the dwindling number of hunters who still has a passion for training beagles and chasing cottontails with his hounds. McVay says he started hunting rabbits about four years ago and has been hooked on it ever since. “My uncle, Thomas Ray Kiser, got me started hunting rabbits with beagles. He has been hunting them since he was a boy, and has taught me a lot about beagles and how to train them. Old time rabbit hunters almost always shot the rabbit, but today modern day rabbit hunters take very few rabbits. The fun is in the chase now, not the kill. I guess you could say we have evolved into a sport similar to the old time foxhunters where the fox was always allowed to live so he could run another race. We let the rabbit live to run again, also,” says McVay. Rabbits were hunted with large hounds such as blue ticks and black and tans before beagles became popular in the south. “Beagles don’t run nearly as fast as a large hound and doesn’t press the rabbit as hard. When a beagle jumps a rabbit he is usually running only three to five miles an hour. A rabbit will run in a circle or near circle when the hounds jump him. Rabbits don’t want to leave familiar territory, so in a while the rabbit will come back to near where it was first jumped,” says McVay.

18 • MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009

According to McVay the methods of training rabbit dogs have changed too. “I start off by taking only one young beagle with three or four trained dogs. If you carry more than one young dog at a time they are more interested in playing than hunting. Take only one pup and it will run with the experienced dogs and will concentrate on hunting more. We also use the shock collar as a training aid. People not familiar with a shock collar may think it’s cruel but it’s not. Usually just a few mild shocks will stop a beagle from running deer or doing some other undesirable act. After a few mild shocks, I set the shocker on “buzz” which doesn’t shock the dog but just gives him an audible warning to stop what he is doing,” says McVay. Wildlife biologist say rabbit populations are cyclic in nature with years of high populations followed by a decline and then years of high populations again. Most rabbit hunters attribute low numbers of rabbits to the increase in the coyote population. Habitat changes such as clearing fence rows and mature plantation pine plantings are also blamed for rabbit population declines. McVay says that in the last two years he has seen an increase in the rabbit population where he hunts. “Once land has been clear cut and replanted, for several years the young vegetation provides food for rabbits. When the trees get tall and shade out the underbrush, you won’t find nearly as many rabbits,” says McVay. Landowners who wish to increase rabbit populations can contact their county extension service for a brochure on how to improve rabbit habitat on their land. Allowing old fence rows to grow up, planting clover and wheat food plots, and piling brush to make a “rabbit condo” will usually improve the rabbit population. Brush piles can be made by piling brush over a rock, abandoned farm implement, logs or pipe laid in rows so that when the brush pile is complete there is a cavity near the center for a nest. Some even use a section of 6” pipe for an entrance corridor to the center of the brush pile. This allows rabbits entry, but is too small for fox and coyotes to enter.

Bailey restrains two beagles who are eager to chase a rabbit

Rabbit hunters may not be as plentiful as they once were but new ones are taking up the sport. McVays daughter, seven-year-old Bailey accompanies McVay when possible and is an excellent dog handler. Just as interest in other sports is passed from one generation to another, so it is with rabbit hunters. With young huntresses like Bailey McVay, the sound of bawling beagles chasing a cottontail rabbit will be heard for years to come.

Old time rabbit hunters almost always shot the rabbit, but today modern day rabbit hunters take very few rabbits. The fun is in the chase now . . .

Ben Norman is a writer from Highland Home, Al.

Bailey and Paige McVay praise their beagles after a hunt. MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009 •19

Watching Football • Sunday Evening with Friends • Halloween • Rainy night . . .

add water to make it most again as well as many spices to jazz it up! Start serving your winter chili and dress up each bowl with some cheddar cheese. Add some freshly baked corn bread, and your meal is complete!

Atkin’s Chili Recipe Winter Chili Recipe • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

1 finely chopped onion 3 finely chopped garlic cloves 2 piece of bacon cut crosswise into pieces 2 tablespoons of chili powder 2 cans of cannellini, pinto or red kidney beans 1 ½ teaspoons of dried crushed oregano 1 ½ teaspoons of paprika 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper 3 cups of water Coarse salt 3/4 cup of Monterey Jack Cheese or cheddar (shredded) 2 tablespoons of fine cornmeal 1 ½ cups of chopped winter squash or zucchini 1 ½ cups of frozen or fresh kernel corn (whole)

Directions: The fine cornmeal is use to thicken the chili and the bacon adds a smoky flavor to this bean-based chili. You can also serve lime wedges on the side for an extra bit of garnish flair Begin by cooking the bacon in a chili pot over medium heat until browning happens. Begin to add the onion, garlic, paprika, pepper, oregano, beans and salt into the chili pot. Stir this mixture occasionally for about 10-15 minutes. It is good to mash up the beans a bit. Mix the fine cornmeal with water, corn, squash or zucchini and bring the pot to boil. Begin to reduce the heat and keep stirring until the chili become thick and the veggies are softer. If you find that your chili is a bit dry you can 20 • MonCre IN TOUCH • Fall 2009 •

This Atkin’s chili recipe is made with ingredients that are approved foods in the Atkin’s Diet™. You can still lose weight and enjoy great tasting chili! • • • • • • • • • •

1 Tablespoon olive oil 1 large chopped onion 6 large garlic cloves, minced 2 medium jalapenos, minced 2 lbs. ground sirloin 2-4 Tablespoons chili powder (adjust according to personal taste) 1/2 teaspoon salt pepper to taste 1 16 oz can diced tomatoes (make sure no sugar added) 2 cups chicken broth

Directions: Heat oil in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Saute about 8 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add ground sirloin and cook until brown, breaking up meat with a spatula as it cooks. Add chili powder, salt, pepper, and jalapenos to the meat and onions. Stir in died tomatoes and chicken broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 1 and a half hours. Note: If you want your Atkin’s chili a bit spicy, then mince the seeds and membranes with your jalapenos. If you want your chili milder, then remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapenos.

Three Bean Chili Recipe For those of you who don’t like the meat in your chili, this is the chili recipe for you. It’s fast and easy to prepare. Serve with

shredded cheddar cheese and chopped scallions. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

2 Tablespoons olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped 1 medium red pepper, chopped 1 medium green pepper, chopped 1 large jalapeno pepper (seeded, deveined and chopped) 6 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup beer 2 16 oz. cans diced tomatoes 1 14 oz. can black beans 1 16 oz. can dark red kidney beans 1 tablespoon ground cumin 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce 1 teaspoon salt 1 can vegetarian refried beans with chiles

Directions: In a large pot, add olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add onion, peppers, and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes or until softened. Add beer and stir well. Add tomatoes, black beans and kidney beans, stirring well to combine. Add cumin, chili powder, hot sauce and salt. Stir in refried beans to thicken chili. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Hot & Spicy Chili If you like your chili hot, then try this spicy chili recipe! • • • • • • •

12 oz tomato paste 16 oz tomato sauce 3 24 oz cans red kidney beans (drained) 6 Tablespoons garlic powder 3 Tablespoons onion powder 2 Tablespoons ground cumin 2 Tablespoons parsley

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

2 Teaspoons oregano 1/2 Teaspoon salt 1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper 1 Tablespoon chipotle powder 1 Teaspoon habenero chile powder 1 medium onion, chopped 4 whole red habeneros (deveined, deseeded and chopped) 6 jalepenos (deveined, deseeded and chopped) 2 New Mexican chiles (deveined, deseeded and chopped) 1/2 pound elbow macaroni 1 pound steak of choice 1 pound ground beef 1 pound ground pork 6 oz beer (1/2 can)

Directions: Saute the onion in a small amount of olive oil in a large pot until translucent. Bring to a simmer the tomato paste, tomato sauce, kidney beans, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper, chipotle powder, habenero powder, habeneros, jalapenos, New Mexican chiles, and dry pasta. While this is simmering, grill steak and brown beef and pork in a large skillet. Drain the meat, and season with salt and pepper. Cut steak into very small pieces and add steak, beef and pork to sauce along with beer. Cook for 30 minutes. Serve with grated cheese and chopped onions.

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