Spotlight | June

Alabama Living Magazine -- By

Alabama co-ops work together in storm recovery

Crews work to repair storm damage in Central Alabama EC’s service territory after the storms of April 19.

April is often a month of volatile weather, and this year was no exception. Fortunately, Alabama’s rural electric cooperatives were ready to answer the call.

Two rounds of severe weather on April 19 impacted an area mostly south of Interstate 20, with significant straight-line wind events alongside large hail and flash flooding, according to the National Weather Service. Extensive wind damage began in Chilton County, where maximum winds were estimated in the range of 80 to 90 mph. The wind damage continued eastward through Coosa and Tallapoosa counties and caused significant damage.

A line of severe thunderstorms also moved through south Alabama, with wind damage in Crenshaw, Pike and Barbour counties. Several cooperatives reported widespread outages, with more than 30,000 statewide reported on April 20. In true cooperative fashion, co-ops that were not impacted immediately offered to help their sister co-ops to restore power. The Alabama Rural Electric Association (AREA), which publishes Alabama Living, helps to coordinate mutual aid after a disaster or weather event.
Four cooperatives received help from 18 cooperatives in Alabama and the Florida panhandle.

Was our May dingbat too hot to handle? Apparently not, as nearly 800 of you correctly guessed the location of the red hot chili pepper on Page 28 as part of the May crossword title.

Some of our readers considered finding the pepper an early birthday present, including Jean Sorrell of Dozier, a member of Covington Electric Cooperative. “It was the first one I’ve found,” she writes. “I’ve been looking for so long! Happy birthday to me!”

Our readers continue to send us poems about locating the hidden object, like Black Warrior EMC member Elizabeth Strickland of Akron, and Shirley Blevins of Hollywood, a member of North Alabama EC, who wrote:

I looked and looked, and to my dismay I didn’t see it that first day.
But on my second look around I found that pepper, whole, not ground. At the crossword, there it lay

As part of the “Y” of the word “May.”

Congratulations to our winner of $25, Cullman EC member Gail Hooper of Falkville. This month we’ve hidden, in recognition of Father’s Day June 21, that perennial gift for dads, a tie. But not just any tie. In this issue, we’ve tucked away a snappy bow tie. The deadline for entries is June 5.

Ways to submit

Submit by email:

Submit by mail: Find the Dingbat Alabama Living, PO Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Take us along

Thanks to all our readers who’ve sent us photos of their travels. We realize due to the pandemic, no one’s doing much traveling these days, but we enjoy seeing your pictures from past travels. We’re including several on this page. If you have any past photos send them to

We also want to see where you’re reading Alabama Living at home! Send us photos of you or a family member reading the magazine in your favorite home location. Send to athome@

We’ll draw a winner for a $25 prize each month, so let us hear from you!

Alabama Living on the Go

Winner – Dr. Linda Raughton, Valley Head (Traveling)

Dr. Linda Raughton of Valley Head, another Sand Mountain EC member, sent us this scenic shot of the Sydney Opera House in Australia taken during her February trip down under.

Alabama Living at Home

Lynn Boyd, Wiregrass EC

Lynn Boyd is a member service representative and lead cashier at Wiregrass EC. She’s reading the May edition the Wiregrass version of Alabama Living, and she was featured on the cover!

Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by June 5 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the July issue.

Submit by email:, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124.

Contribute your own photo for an upcoming issue! Send a photo of an interesting or unusual landmark in Alabama, which must be accessible to the public. A reader whose photo is chosen will also win $25.

May’s answer

The so-called “Lady in the Lake,” at Barber Marina in Elberta, is a fiberglass sculpture created by artist Mark Cline. Cline also created Bamahenge, a sculptural installation also on the Barber property (and also the very first Whereville photo in January 2016). The lady is not always in the water, so if you’re making a visit, call the marina (251-987- 2628; 26986 Fish Trap Road) to confirm she’s not out for repairs. (Similar photos submitted by Starla Moore of Wiregrass EC and Amy Miller, who each win the prize.) The randomly drawn correct guess winner is Brandon Cason, Cullman EC.

Explore Alabama’s natural wonders

Cahaba lilies. Photo by David Haynes

Although the tourism economy has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alabama Tourism Department is continuing to implement cost-conscious initiatives to maintain awareness and encourage tourists to visit the state.

The year 2020 has been dedicated as “The Alabama Year of Natural Wonders” by the tourism department, which released a list of 20 of the state’s most impressive, yet still accessible, natural wonders. A website,, will help travelers find inspiration to enjoy the state’s naturally wonderful outdoors.

The features on the list: Gulf Coast beaches, Mount Cheaha, Cathedral Caverns, the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Dismals Canyon, Natural Bridge, the Coastal Birding Trail, Cahaba lilies, DeSoto Caverns, Rickwood Caverns, Wetumpka Crater, Pinhoti Trail, Little River Canyon, Sipsey Wilderness, Red Mountain and Park, Noccalula Falls, Walls of Jericho Trail, Bankhead National Forest, Cahaba River and the White Cliffs of Epes.

Letters to the Editor

Humor in stressful times

I was delighted to read Hardy Jackson’s “Laughing through tough times” article in the May 2020 Alabama Living Magizine.

I always find his articles entertaining, but the last two sentences just made me giggle. Thank goodness we can find humor during these stressful times. Thank you, Mr. Jackson, for your humor, and to Alabama Living for publishing it.

L. Wahl, Coosa Valley EC

How would you control feral hogs?

I read the letter in the May issue which condemned feral hog hunting as “cruel.” It leads me to a question. How would you control these highly destructive parasites that “cruelly” rob farmers of their hard-earned wage? Too often I have heard people complain that rain on Saturday ruined their entire weekend when it came following a 30-day drought. I fear that too few Americans, used to finding everything they desire in a local supermarket, have much of an idea of what makes that happen.

Alfred B. Coombe Foley

In response to the writer, who claimed hog hunting is cruel (May 2020), are you aware that one feral hog can produce 12- 24 piglets a year and that they cause billions of dollars a year in crop damage, not to mention destruction of habitats that would otherwise support turkey, deer, quail and other wild creatures?

Are you also aware that after 2 months of age, they have no natural predators? How much are you willing to pay for your food when the prices spike due to the devastation by feral hogs? I won’t even get into the diseases they carry to livestock, pets and humans – there are at least 45. One study, done by MSU, showed that in 2012, feral hogs caused $81 billion in damage in 41 counties in southwest Georgia.

Feral hogs are destructive and aggressive and they do not belong in the wild, period. They need to be removed by any means possible. Using dogs and bait stations may seem cruel, but they are more effective methods than doing nothing and it certainly beats the alternative of letting them breed and destroy the environment, including crops, water and soil. I am confident that if you had some ideas that were equally effective that met your standards, you could make a ton of money, so speak up…we’re all ears!

Briana S Powchak Boaz

We want to hear from you!

E-mail us at:

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


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