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March Spotlight

Need help starting (or sticking to) a new exercise routine?

If you’ve struggled in the new year to create an exercise or workout routine for yourself or your family, try these ideas from HealthMed Inc.:

Find something you can stick with. If you dread trying to run, try something else. There are countless ways to exercise, including: weight training, at-home workouts, swimming, walking groups, bicycling and group classes (such as Zumba or spin cycle). Local gyms and YMCAs often give free or discounted trials.

Schedule it and plan it out. Starting to exercise requires intentional planning, so take your workout clothes with you to work each day or carve out time on the family’s calendar each week for exercise.

Start small. Know that establishing a new routine is more important than the amount of time you can exercise, or the weight you can lift. Give your body time to adjust to the new demands you’re asking of it.


Archives announces Food for Thought schedule

The Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) has announced the 2020 schedule for its popular Alabama history lunchtime lecture series, Food for Thought. The free lectures are held the third Thursday of every month at 12 p.m. in the Archives’ auditorium in Montgomery. 

This year’s lineup, in part: Paul M. Pruitt Jr., “Julia Tutwiler’s Life of Service,” March 19; Erin Stewart Mauldin, “Gone with the Land: The Environmental History of the Civil War in Alabama,” April 16; Andrew Frank, “Food in the Native South and the Curious Case of Coontie,” May 21; and James R. Hansen, “Dear Neil Armstrong”: Alabamians’ Letters to the First Man on the Moon, June 18.

For the full schedule and more information, visit archives.alabama.gov or call 334-242-4364.


Take us along!

Thanks to those who’ve sent photos of their travels with a copy of Alabama Living! Send us a photo of yourself with a copy of your favorite magazine on your travels and you might win $25 if your photo is published! We’ll draw one winner each month. Send your photo and information to: mytravels@alabamaliving.coop.

Winner: Barbara P. Rugg

Barbara P. Rugg of Daleville submitted this photo while vacationing in Budapest, Hungary. She’s outside the Danubius Hotel Astoria City Center.  Barbara is a member of Pea River Electric Cooperative.  

Jay Goodwin of Wetumpka, a member of Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, took his copy to Little Cayman Beach Resort on Little Cayman Island.

Meredith and James Dixon of Dothan, members of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, took their magazine aboard a 7-day Caribbean cruise aboard the Regal Princess.


Find the hidden dingbat

Last month’s hidden heart dingbat must have been easy to find, as more than 1,000 readers sent in correct guesses. The red heart adorned the sweater of the girl in the “streaker” illustration for Hardy Jackson’s column on streakers on Page 50. Several readers pointed out that the girl was holding a drink in her hand, and Jewel McCormick of Pioneer EC noted, “I’m surprised she did not drop it.” 

Poet Eleanor Madigan, 85, of Dothan gave us a chuckle:

   Enjoying the sudden pleasant weather,

   She wore the heart on her white sweater.

   When suddenly appeared a streaker

   Sporting nothing but his sneaker,

   Acting like a blimey fool

   By showing off the family jewel. 

Nancy Barrentine of Wiregrass EC said she didn’t find the dingbat, but her 9-year-old granddaughter, Katie Adams, found it in one pass. Rheba Chaney of Valley Head always looks for the dingbat from back to front, which made this month’s heart easy to find. At least one reader (we’ll just give her first name, Sue, to protect her privacy) said she definitely remembered the days of streaking because “I was one of them who just had to try it. I always believed you should try things while you can, so you can laugh about it when you can’t.”

Several readers incorrectly guessed the heart was in an advertisement for license plates, but remember: It will never be hidden in an ad. It also won’t be on Pages 1-8. Congratulations to Diane Melton of Montgomery, a member of Dixie EC, our March winner. This month we’re hiding a pair of garden shears. Good luck!

Deadline for submitting your answer is March 9.

By email: dingbat@alabamaliving.com

By mail: Find the Dingbat, Alabama Living, P.O. Box Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124


New website has resources for safer schools

A new website, SchoolSafety.gov, provides one-stop access to federal school safety resources, programs and recommendations to help create a safe and supportive learning environment for students.

The website is for K-12 administrators, educators, parents and law enforcement to prepare for and address various threats related to safety, security and support in schools. The site is one of the key recommendations from the Federal Commission on School Safety, which was established after the school shootings in Parkland, Fla., in March 2018.

The site has access to free information, guidance, best practices and tools that make school safety initiatives more actionable in schools. Topics covered include bullying, mental health, threat assessment and reporting, emergency planning and more.


Letter to the editor

Streakers and Ray Stevens

Let’s all go streaking!  This month’s red “heart” is located on page 50 of the February 2020 Alabama Living on the front of the lady’s sweater in Hardy Jackson’s article about the streakers!  Hardy should have made mention of Ray Stevens’ “streaking” song (“Oh yes, they call him the streak!”)  I was 9 years old in 1974 and vividly remember having a T-shirt (as did several of my friends) that said “Keep On Streaking.” And I also vividly remember a police officer commenting about my shirt that if anyone actually tried it, they’d receive a hefty $500 fine!  Ha!

Enjoyed the article and thanks for the memories!

Amy & Jason Winningham, Decatur

No regrets

I am indeed one of the “boys and girls of February ’74” at AU.

 Along with many of my friends who also participated in that harmless frolicking, I believe we have all lived up to your description of responsible, caring, and devoted adults for the many years that have passed since that period of unexplainable frivolity.

 My BSME ’78 has always been utilized and shared with the best of intentions, as with friends I’ve followed through the years. 

Thank you so much for taking me back to those memories and for doing so in a such a light, inquisitive, and understanding way!  I might not have made the same decisions in the following days, weeks, or months but neither do I regret those choices in the environment that prevailed those few “special” days.  Instead I believe those days to be one of the important events of my transition as a professional.

Write on!

Mike McBride, Silverhill

Email us at: letters@alabamaliving.coop

Write us at: Letters to the editor, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124


Brag about your hometown

Tell us why your hometown is special or unique. We’re looking for stories, no more than 200 words, about Alabama’s towns and small cities (no urban or suburban areas). Email your story to Allison Law, alaw@areapower.com, or mail it to her attention, Alabama Living magazine, 340 Technacenter Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117. Please include your name and contact information. Deadline is March 13, 2020.