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January 2013

Village Living Volume 3 | Issue 10 | January 2013

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

My father, the hero A story of a boy, an ambassador and how both saw the war

A campaign against cancer


Mountain Brook resident Ren Fortier, above, authored Before the Fields of Crosses in 2003 to preserve stories of his father, left, as an American emissary and member of the global intelligence community, during World War II. Photos courtesy of Ren Fortier.

“The war is going to start,” Ren’s father said. Ren knew it was true. Only hours ago he had stepped off a train from Paris, where the 15 year old had been attending a Boy Scout camp. His days of bicycle riding near the Normandy beaches had been cut short by the call from his father – Lt. Col. Louis J. Fortier. Fortier wanted his son to come home quickly and wouldn’t say why on the phone. But now, Ren knew. His train delivered him to Belgrade, Yugoslavia in August 1939 – back to the lush American Embassy with his mother, sister and father, the U.S. Military Attache to Yugoslavia. In those days, there was no Central Intelligence Agency, but there was a global intelligence community and Col. Fortier held a membership. Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, just days after Ren arrived, and Col. Fortier knew it was coming. He also assumed France would be next, and the country wasn’t ready.

While Crestline kindergartner Slade Anderson is away in Memphis receiving treatment for leukemia, Mountain Brook residents are showing their support by hanging crosses in his honor on doors and mailboxes. Photo courtesy of the Anderson family.

Crosses for Slade page 6

Island dining

See HERO | page 14

Residents await decision on Cherokee intersection By JEFF THOMPSON

Pre-Sort Standard U.S. Postage PAID Birmingham, AL Permit #656

With the comment deadline in the rearview, Mountain Brook residents are hoping they were loud enough to prevent drastic changes to the intersection of U.S. 280 and Cherokee Road. The site is one of 26 intersections targeted by the Alabama Department of Transportation in a November 2012 pitch to reduce congestion on 280. The plan is to remove the signal on the eastbound side of the highway and extend the grass median through center of intersection. Doing so would eliminate both direct travel across the intersection and left turns from both sides of Cherokee Road onto U.S. 280. The proposal drew public outcry and received attention from local officials. As a result, ALDOT extended the submission deadline for comments by a week and launched a website where concerned residents could view engineering drawings for each intersection that may be altered. The proposal covers a nine-mile stretch

Big Sky Bread Company owners Jeff and Patti Pierce have opened a new casual eatery with an island feel. Find more about the menu at Steel Drum Grill inside. Photo by Jeff Thompson.

Food page 13 Alabama Department of Transportation has proposed altering the intersection at Cherokee Road and Highway 280. Photo by Jeff Thompson.

from Hollywood Blvd. to Doug Baker Blvd. “I think what we would like to see accomplished is a safe alternative,” said Ali Powell with, a recently launched information site about the proposals. “Nobody driving down that road wants people making dangerous U-turns in front of them.” Like Powell, many have voiced concerns that driver safety will be-

come a serious issue if the signal is removed at that intersection. “They’re asking drivers coming from Cherokee Road to turn onto 280 with no signal protection during rush hour, merge left through three lanes traffic at moving full speed, move into a turn lane and perform a U-turn into more traffic moving at full speed with-

See ALDOT | page 11

INSIDE Sponsors .......................4 City ................................ 7 Faith .............................. 9 Food ............................. 13 Business ...................... 14

Community ................. 16 School House ............. 19 Sports ......................... 22 Calendar ..................... 23


January 2013

Village Living

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January 2013 • 3


January 2013

Village Living

About Us Photo of the Month

Please Support our Sponsors Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (13) Alabama Foot Institute (23) Amy Smith (21) Baker Lamps & Linens (17) Bates, Roberts, Fowlkes & Jackson Insurance (9) Birmingham Speech and Hearing Associates (15) Briarcliff Shop (8) Brookdale Place (16) Dominique V. Backus, D.D.S 6) Golden Rule Barbecue (5) Hufham Orthondotics (19) Isbell Jewelers (8)

Cancer survivor Sean Fredella was the grand marshal at the Holiday Christmas Parade in December. Photo by Jeff Thompson.

Jacqueline DeMarco (15) Koch Aesthetic Dentistry (13)

Editor’s Note By Jennifer Gray As we kick off 2013, like many I look forward to making goals and plans for the New Year. Maybe you think you want to spend more time with family or give your time to others? Maybe you’ve been thinking about running a marathon or making a conscious effort to shop locally in 2013? Sounds like a good goal. If you haven’t really given it much thought, maybe you will find some inspiration in this month’s issue, starting with the Village2Village Run 10K on Jan. 26. If you’re a mom saying to yourself, “I don’t want to be so overwhelmed and stressed out all the time in 2013,” then check out our story on Kristi Walters.

This Crestline mother of four took a time-management class that ultimately led to writing a book and starting a women’s bible study that has touched many in our community. Read about Saving Super Mom and where these studies will be held starting in January. One way we can all make a difference is continuing in the great tradition of rallying around those in our community fighting illness. Slade Anderson is a kindergartner at Crestline whose life took a major turn in November when he was diagnosed with cancer. Read his story and find out more about “Crosses for Slade” campaign with crosses from Leaf N Petal. And for all of those couples that

became engaged over the holidays, you’ll want to read about local wedding planners Neille Butler and Laurie Grantham of Mariee Ami in Mountain Brook Village. You will also want to make sure and send in your engagement and wedding announcements to Village Living. Email your writeup and a high resolution photo to jennifer@ to be included in an upcoming issue. Whatever your new year may bring, we hope that it is full of love, joy, family and community. Happy New Year from all of us at Village Living!

Lamb’s Ears Ltd (14) Little Hardware, Inc (16) Lulie’s on Cahaba (11) Maid In Birmingham (21) Marguerite’s Conceits (20) MedHelp (10) Mobley & Sons (19) Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce (22) Once Upon a Time (16) Otey’s (6) Piggly Wiggly (10) Plastic Surgery Specialists (17) RealtySouth (23)

Village Living Publisher : Creative Director : Editor : Managing Editor : Contributing Editor: Advertising Manager: Sales and Distribution :

Dan Starnes Keith McCoy Jennifer Gray Madoline Markham Jeff Thompson Matthew Allen Rhonda Smith Warren Caldwell Contributing Writers : Maggie Carter O’Connor Christiana Roussel Kari Kampakis Rick Watson Holley Wesley Lt. Michael Herren Intern : Kaitlin Bitz Published by : Village Living LLC

School House Contributors : Catherine Bodnar- Cherokee Bend, Britt Redden- Crestline, Alison Taylor- Brookwood Forest, Suzanne Milligan- Mountain Brook High School, Hilary Ross- Mountain Brook Elem. , Elizabeth FarrarMountain Brook Jr. High Contributing Photographer: Image Arts Contact Information: Please submit all Village Living articles, information #3 Office Park Circle, Suite 316 and photos to: Birmingham, AL 35223 313-1780 P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 For advertising contact:

Legals: Village Living is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. Village Living is designed to inform the Mountain Brook community of area school, faith, family and community events. Information in Village Living is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of Village Living. We reserve the right to edit articles/photos as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish or return photos submitted. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 370-0732 or by email.

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January 2013 • 5

Crosses for Slade 6

January 2013

Village Living

Community supports Crestline kindergartner undergoing chemo By MADOLINE MARKHAM Last summer, Slade Anderson, 6, announced that he was not going to college and he was not going to get married. He planned to live on the “yellow submarine,” the yellow boat at his family’s lake house. But last week he changed his mind. He now wants to go to college to become a scientist who can find a way to bake medicine into cookies. The Crestline Elementary kindergartner might be undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia, but he has not lost his funny temperament. The vivacious Slade and his infectious grin will be staying near St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis until mid-January, but back in Mountain Brook crosses in his honor are popping up on doors and mailboxes thanks to a campaign started by his aunt, Sarah Kathryn Tarter. “It’s amazing to see people all over the place showing their support and how this has caught on,” Tarter said. Slade was diagnosed on Nov. 20, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. He had complained of an earache while visiting his grandparents in Memphis, and after a doctor’s visit and some blood work, the family received the diagnosis within 24 hours. Acute Lympoblastic Leukemia is a form of cancer in which bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). During treatment, Slade and his parents, Josh and Emily, are living with Emily’s parents in their Memphis home. Afterward, they hope he can

The community is supporting Slade Anderson, who is undergoing chemotherapy at St. Jude, by hanging crosses on doors and mailboxes. Photos courtesy of the Anderson family and Annemarie Axon.

return to Birmingham and make bimonthly follow up visits at the St. Jude Clinic at Huntsville Hospital. For now, Slade’s younger sisters, Elizabeth Claire, 4, and Louise Shelton “Weesie,” 2, are having “cousin camp” with Aunt Sarah Kathryn and Uncle Eddie, who live a street over from them, and cousins Ella, 3, and Pippin, 1. Tarter is quick to emphasize that her mom and many friends and family members are helping care for the girls as well. Debbie Anderson, the very proud grandmother of Slade, her first grandchild, first found the crosses at Leaf N Petal. She and Tarter

were walking through Crestline on Thanksgiving Day when she mentioned she planned to put a cross on Slade’s family’s front door that she had seen at Leaf N Petal. Tarter had just said that she should put one on her door too when the idea came – why not get the community involved? “It’s about the outward sign of support for Slade,” Tarter said. That Friday, Tarter explained Slade’s diagnosis to Jamie Pursell, general manager at Leaf N Petal. At first Pursell was hesitant to take on the project with the craziness of the holiday season. But a little into further the discussion,

he was more than willing to donate a portion from sales of any cross in the store for a fund created for Slade. Tarter then got word about the crosses out on a new Facebook page that friend Vicki Barclay had created. Within a week and a half, 300 crosses had been purchased, and the “Go Team Slade” Facebook page had more than 1,200 likes. “It’s incredible,” Tarter said. The page quickly filled with posts of support – photos of crosses on friends’ doors and mailboxes, and even the Kappa Delta house at Ole Miss (Emily was a KD there in college); updates on when Leaf N Petal ran out of stock

temporarily; a picture of Slade’s Sunday school class at Canterbury United Methodist with cards they had made; notes with prayers and scriptures. And the support doesn’t stop there. Dad Josh and Uncle Jason Anderson have assured Slade that they too will have bare heads. “Slade wants everyone else to lose their hair as well,” Tarter said. “Slade is going to be the only cute one, though.” Crosses, available in a variety of sizes and designs, can be purchased at Leaf N Petal’s Mountain Brook Village and Cahaba Heights locations. To follow Slade’s progress, visit the “Go Team Slade” Facebook page.

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Memory Triangle flag pole dedicated to June Emory The City of Mountain Brook The new flagpole is larger dedicated a new flagpole at Memory than the previous one and has a Triangle outside Crestline Village in new light so that the flag can be hung at all hours. honor of June Emory on Dec. 5. Noting that Emory rarely Emory had come to a City Council meeting about four months ago misses a council meeting, City requesting a new pole be put there. Manager Sam Gaston said that they dedicated the new “She told us if we didn’t get a flag pole that she would mention pole to for her persistence and June Emory dedication to the city. it at every City Council meeting in the future,” City Council President After these remarks, Public Virginia Smith said. “And we knew she would.” Works Director Ronnie Vaughn unveiled a Smith also quipped that they nicknamed the plaque that reads “Dedicated to June Emory, 2012.” area “Emory Triangle.”

Lane Parke construction to begin The beginning of visible construction on the Lane Parke development should start in late January, said John Evans, principal of Evson, Inc., who owns the property. Evans said this would begin with the demolition of the existing Park Lane apartment structures outside Mountain Brook Village. Evson, Inc. closed on their financing with

Daniel Corporation on Dec. 21. After that time, Evans expected construction fencing to go up immediately. It will take two to three weeks to prepare the site by, among other things, securing sanitary sewer lines, he estimated. For more updates on the Lane Parke development and construction, visit villagelivingonline. com.

Cities to discuss synthetic drugs Alabama State Rep. Paul DeMarco will host an awareness program on synthetic marijuana for the public on Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. at Shades Valley Presbyterian Church. The program, co-sponsored by the Mountain Brook Anti-Drug Coalition and A Safe and Healthy Homewood Coalition, will feature a panel including Mike Reese of the Alabama ABC Board, Barry Matson of the Alabama District Attorneys Association, Chief Ted Cook of Mountain Brook Police Department,

Officer Kenny Blackmon of Homewood Police Department and Ann Slattery of the Regional Poison Control Center at Children’s of Alabama. “The purpose of the program is to raise public awareness and concern about the dangers of synthetic drugs such as ‘spice,’ herbal incense and other similar compounds,” DeMarco said. “This is a growing concern in our state and in our local communities.” The program is free and open to the public. The church is located at 2305 Montevallo Road.

CRIME REPORT By MICHAEL HERREN Nov. 16-21 Burglary / Residential • 3700 block of Mountain Park Drive between Nov. 16-18. Unknown suspect(s) broke a window on a door at the rear of the residence, entered the residence, and stole jewelry. •400 block of Botanical Place between Nov. 2-18. Unknown suspect(s) forced open a window at the rear of the residence, entered and ransacked the residence. At this point in the investigation, the amount of property stolen has yet to be determined. •3700 block of Mountain Park Circle between the dates of Nov. 16-17. Unknown suspect(s) entered the residence through an unlocked door at the rear of the residence. Jewelry and currency were stolen. The alarm was not on at the time. •3000 block of North Woodridge Road between Nov. 17-19. The residence is being remodeled, and the point of entry is unknown. Several tools were stolen. The suspect in the burglary case on Brook Hollow Lane that occurred between Oct. 31-Nov. 2 has been arrested and charged with multiple offenses. Nov. 22-29 Burglary / Residential •1000 block of Euclid Avenue between Nov. 16-25. Unknown suspect(s) forced open a rear door, entered the residence, and stole jewelry and an iPod. The residence did not have an alarm. •2800 block of Canterbury Road between Nov. 21-25. Unknown suspect(s) broke a window on the rear of the residence, entered through the window and stole jewelry. •2700 block of Canterbury Road between Nov. 24-25. Unknown suspect(s) forced open a window on the front of the residence, entered through the window, and stole jewelry. •3800 block of Glencoe Drive on Nov. 25. MBPD Patrol responded to an alarm call at the residence at approximately 12:20 a.m. Responding

officers found that the rear door to the residence had been forced open. There appeared to have been no entry into the residence. •70 block of Church Street between Nov. 7-8. Unknown suspect(s) gained entry into the business and stole currency. •3100 block of Ryecroft Road between Nov. 21-24. Unknown suspect(s) possibly crawled through a pet door, entered the residence, and stole jewelry. Unlawful Breaking / Entering of a Vehicle •2700 block of U.S. Highway 280 between Nov. 22-23. Unknown suspect(s) stole a GPS and clothing from the victim’s vehicle. The vehicle was unlocked. •20 block of West Montcrest Drive on Nov. 27. A MBPD night shift officer conducted an investigation after locating a suspicious person. The offense was discovered, and the victim was notified. The case is still under investigation. Nov. 30-Dec. 7 Burglary / Residential •100 block of Cross Creek Drive Nov. 25-26. Unknown suspect(s) forced open a rear door to the residence and entered the residence. The suspect(s) searched residence, but did not take any property. There was no alarm at the residence. Unlawful Breaking / Entering of a Vehicle. •2700 block of U.S. Highway 280 on Dec. 2. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole a purse and the contents. •3000 block of U.S. Highway 280 on Dec. 2. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole a wallet and an iPhone. Dec. 8-13 Unlawful Breaking / Entering of a Vehicle • 3400 block of Pine Ridge Road between Dec. 5-7. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole a radar detector. •3600 block of Montclair Road between Dec. 11-12. Unknown suspect(s) broke the rear passenger window of the vehicle, entered the vehicle and stole a gift card.

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Saving Super Mom Mountain Brook mom writes book, launches ministry By MAGGIE CARTER O’CONNOR Kristi Walters was shocked when her husband discovered her book for sale online in December 2011 – before her final approval to the publisher. As it turned out, the publisher had sold the book to an online distributor who listed it. Kristi credits the early release to the perfect and often surprising timing of a sovereign God who walked her step-by-step through the writing of her book, Saving Super Mom. “This book is a message that God wanted out there first; it’s not my great novel that I have been working on,” she said. Inspired by a time-management course, Walters set out to deepen the curriculum by tailoring it specifically to mothers. With a background in copywriting and event planning, she suddenly saw how well prepared she was for this new endeavor. The book grew from a course in time management and organization to a devotional for moms. The Saving Super Mom Toolkit, an organizational binder available for purchase with the book, makes application of the practices in the book simple. Walters’ message to mothers is to put God first in your plans and let him “save the day.” At

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Saving Super Mom 2, monthly coffee group for those who have already completed the study, launched in the fall. This group meets to fellowship and for accountability and idea sharing based on lessons from Saving Super Mom. its core Saving Super Mom actually encourages mothers to stop focusing on being “Super Mom,” stop competing and comparing with other mothers, and start being who God created them to be. A testimonial devotion book written for individual or group study, Saving Super Mom developed into a community study this spring. By posting a notice at her church and a friend’s email message, Walters hoped to have 20 women express interest in the study. More than 100 moms responded to the message. Delighted by the initial enthusiasm, Walters formed the


first four Saving Super Mom study groups in several Mountain Brook neighborhoods. Since then Walters said, “Super Mom has taken on a life of its own.” Although Saving Super Mom focuses on time management and mothering, the Biblical component of the study is the unexpected aspect. Walters loves meeting women who come to the study for organizational tips and leave with so much more. The ministry that started with Saving Super Mom has developed into p31 Life Ministries, named after the description of the woman of noble character found in


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Saving Super Mom author and p31 founder Kristi Walters with her family: Grayson, Haydin, Alli, David and Natalie. Photo courtesy of Kristi Walters.

Proverbs 31. Walters recalls trying to compare herself to the woman depicted throughout that particular passage and realizing she could not compete with her. One day she realized that a “Proverbs 31 Woman” does not necessarily look like this woman. Although women have varied gifts and talents, today’s Proverbs 31 woman shares the same heart. According to Walters, her daily activities may look much different than the biblical depiction, but by embracing the commonalities women please God just as the Proverbs 31 woman does.

p31 Life Ministries wants to serve the community, women and girls in three facets. p31 women supports mothers; p31 teen has future plans to focus on training young women; and p31 philanthropies is a resource for p31 Life Ministries as well as other community groups for women and children. Published by Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishing Inc., Saving Super Mom by Kristi Walters can be purchased at Smith’s Variety, The Lily Pad or any online retailer in print or ebook. More information can be found online at

January 2013 • 9


If I die young Life Actually When it comes to my should something happen. mortality, my first fear is With that said, I’ve dying too young. My second compiled some words of fear is dying very old, being wisdom for my children. By the last in my generation to sharing them, I hope you’ll go. consider doing the same. ff Genuine interest At times I can imagine in other people will attract myself as the great-great you friends quickly. grandmother sitting in ff Nothing done out the corner of the room at Kampakis of love is a waste. Love’s the Thanksgiving, the one best gift you have to offer. everyone feels obliged to say “hello” ff You’ll spend half your life waiting to but whose dementia and hearing loss — waiting for a test result, waiting make it hard to converse. I can imagine for a relationship, waiting for a staring up into a sea of polite smiles, chance — but remember: What wondering what the awkward silences happens to you while you’re mean and wishing I had someone my waiting is often more important than what you’re waiting for. age who understood me. Given the choice, I’d rather not get ff The world is full of talent. It’s not a lack of ability holding most people to that point. back — it’s attitude. When my earthly life will expire f f People will push you as far as you is a mystery; it could 60 years or 60 let them. Set parameters, and learn days. Today I’m healthy, so it’s easy to say no. to be theoretical. But death can occur ff Get comfortable with being in a split-second. It can come in a uncomfortable. It’s okay to be the car wreck, a medical emergency, a only person in the room not doing fluke event. And while I like to think something. I’ll have a chance to express parting ff Be grateful. This alone puts you ahead of the game. thoughts, there’s no guarantee. The ff Character is who you are in the only guarantee is today. dark. It’s doing right when no one Today I’m alive and able, and, to me, sees. Character enables self-love. that’s reason enough to document life Seek it. lessons I want my children to embrace f f You will make mistakes. You will after I pass. I’ll be honest: This is hard feel ashamed. You will know the to think about, even for a writer. I can sting of regret. Own your choices imagine how daunting the task sounds and accept your flawed nature, to a non-writer. However, I think every using the past to your advantage. parent should have a written legacy. When you learn from mistakes, you wind up in a better place. Even a letter or collection of stories, advice or life-changing moments ff When misfortune strikes, see it as a chapter, not the story of your would prove priceless to our family

By Kari Kampakis

life. A storm in one chapter can create a rainbow in the next. ff Practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is about letting go and releasing anger. Not everyone who wrongs you will ask for forgiveness. Forgive them anyway, and move on. ff Don’t judge. We all need mercy. ff Be real, be authentic, be you. Wear your skin proudly. ff Stay away from toxic people, and don’t enable or justify bad behavior. People must hit rock bottom alone. You can love someone without them being in your life. ff Find a job that pays the bills. If it’s not your heart’s desire, pursue that on the side. Not all passions immediately churn profits. ff Beware of white liars. Small liars become big liars. ff Trust your gut, and value your loved ones’ opinions. When they all tell you the same thing, it’s time to listen. ff Speak the truth, and deal with the consequences. Sweeping the truth under the rug aggravates it, creating explosions down the road. ff There’s no disgrace in falling down. The only disgrace is not getting up. ff Believe in goodness. Don’t let the bad seeds in your life ruin your hope in mankind. ff Stay close to your siblings. Your sibling relationships will be the longest relationships in your life, so nurture the ties. Should the world desert you, I hope your sisters are your last friends standing.

ff Don’t keep score in love. Keeping

score is exhausting and fosters competition. ff It’s better to be alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong. If someone treats you poorly, or puts you on an emotional roller coaster, drop them. A relationship isn’t about you keeping someone else happy. It’s about two people seeking to make each other happy, being better together than apart. (Think of it as synergy, where 1+1=3). ff Say what you mean. Don’t expect others to be mind readers. ff When you’re upset, ask yourself if the issue will matter in one year … five years … 20 years. Chances are it won’t. ff Clean up your own mess. You earned the job. ff Keep God first. He loves you madly and has plans for your future. Problems begin when you drift away from God. A strong prayer life can keep you anchored. This list is a starting point for me, something I hope to build on. What about you? Are you ready to start? As the saying goes, there’s no time like the present. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mountain Brook mom of four with a background in PR, writing and photography. Read her blog at or find her on Facebook and Twitter. Email her at

Canterbury to hold Marriage and Parenting Seminar Canterbury United Methodist Church will hold a Marriage and Parenting Seminar Sunday and Monday, Jan. 13-14. The featured speaker will be Dr. Kevin Leman, an internationally known psychologist and New York Times bestselling author. He has been a contributor to CNN’s American Morning and served as a consulting family psychologist to Good Morning America. Leman has authored The Birth Order Book, Becoming a Couple of Promise, and other titles on marriage and parenting. Leman will speak to combined Sunday School classes Sunday at 9:15 a.m. in Canterbury Center, with no charge for admission. All other seminars will cost $10 each. Sunday 4-6 p.m. he will speak on ‘Making Sense of the Man or Woman in Your Life.” “What a Difference a Mom Makes” will be the top Monday 9:30-11 a.m. in Wesley Hall, and “Have a New Kid by Friday” Monday 6:30-8:30 p.m. Canterbury United Methodist is located at 350 Overbrook Road. For more information and tickets, visit

10 • January 2013

Village Living

Beaux Arts Krewe presents By MAGGIE CARTER O’CONNOR


hen Feb. 8 arrives, so will the Beaux Arts Krewe. As hosts of the 46th annual Beaux Arts Krewe Ball, these gentlemen will don the red velvet regalia as they welcome guests of this year’s royal court. Since its inception in 1967, the ball has featured a King and Queen and their train bearers as well as their courtiers: Guards, Dukes, Ladies-in-Waiting, Princesses and Pages. In the spirit of Mardi Gras, the festivities center around the King and the presentation of the Queen and her Court. The Krewe Ball’s origins date back to the 11th Beaux Arts Jewel Ball for the Birmingham Museum of Art. That year’s ball chair, Mrs. James Mallory Kidd Jr. observed the discarding of ball’s elaborate decorations year after year. She decided to organize a support group for the museum that would have permanent costumes and decorations. Thus, the Beaux Arts Krewe began, and with 125 charter members they were off to a grand start. As a testament to Kidd’s original idea, the Krewe Ball continues to use the same capes, banners, crest and candelabra. This will be Deborah Fleischman’s 30th year to direct the program and create the Page costumes. She works with as many as 40 children of the Krewe to present an entertaining and detailed spectacle at the ball. The Pages welcome the court with tumbling and joyful antics. Following the pages are the Dukes, the King, Train Bearers, the Ladies-in-Waiting, the Queen, and

Annie Thompson, Sarah Reid Harris, Comer Crockard, Elizabeth Ann Williams, Beverley Blount and Delia Folk.

Alexandra Wilson, Clayton Clark, Caroline Crozier, Jane Ault and Nonie Brown.

the Princesses. The young ladies all wear ball gowns of white accessorized with long white gloves. Each is presented by her sponsor from the Krewe and wears a Mardi Gras mask hand-made by the ladies of the Krewe. The 46th annual Krewe Ball will present the following 23 Princesses: Miss Jane Austin Ault, daughter of Mr. William Allen Ault and Mrs. Francie

Marrell Shuttlesworth; Miss Lindsey Harris Badham, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Walker Percy Badham III; Miss Beverley Waters Blount, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Winton Malcolm Blount IV; Miss Lenora Ireland Brown, daughter of Dr. & Mrs. Tom Tartt Brown Jr.; Miss Virginia Clayton Clark, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Lange Clark; Miss Catherine Jane Compton, daughter of

Mr. & Mrs. Jerome Paul Compton Jr.; Miss Jane Comer Crockard, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Francis Hearne Crockard III; Miss Shirley Caroline Crozier, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Ted Archer Crozier, Jr.; Miss Frances Newman Deaton, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Ogden Shropshire Deaton; Miss Delia Thornton Folk, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Glover Mitchell Bruhn and Mr. & Mrs.


Christopher Rush Folk; Miss Sarah Reid Harris, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Ashley Harris; Miss Taylor Gore Hiden, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. William Mudd Hiden; Miss Margaret Livingston Hindman, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Brian Ward Hindman; Miss Margaret Richardson King, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Mark Steven King; Miss Mary Riley Ogilvie, daughter of Mr. &

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January 2013 • 11

Princesses of 2013

Newman Deaton, Taylor Hiden, Catie Compton, Margaret Hindman, Bess Troiano and Maxwell Thompson.

Melissa Robinson, Lindsey Badham, Mary Riley Ogilvie, Sarah Oliver and Maggie Pitts. Not pictured: Maggie King.

Mrs. Morgan Oslin Ogilvie Jr.; Miss Sara Frazer Oliver, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. John Thomason Oliver III; Miss Margaret Alexandra Pitts, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. William Henry Pitts II; Miss Melissa Jane Teel Robinson, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Oliver Gordon Robinson III; Miss Anne DeWitt Thompson, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Michael

DeWitt Thompson; Miss Eugenia Maxwell Thompson, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Michael DeWitt Thompson; Miss Elizabeth Bailey Troiano, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Donald Meador Troiano; Miss Elizabeth Ann Williams, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Turner Butler Williams; and Miss Alexandra Ray Wilson, daughter of Dr & Mrs. John

Stephen Wilson.


ne of these ladies will be revealed as the Queen at the Ball, while four others will be presented as the Queen’s Ladies-in-Waiting. To usher in the week of Mardi Gras preceding the ball, the Beaux Arts Krewe members fly flags at their homes. Although these flags

were at one time given solely to those Krewe members who had been King, they now grace the homes of each member of the Beaux Arts Krewe. Each flag boasts the Beaux Arts Krewe Coat of Arms emblazoned with symbols that represent the organization’s commitment to the Birmingham and the arts.

ALDOT from page 1

out the protection of a merge lane or acceleration lane,” Mountain Brook resident Alan Zeigler said. “It’s a recipe for disaster.” The Mountain Brook City Council gave the issue great consideration. On Nov. 26, residents and representatives of businesses approached the council with safety concerns. The council, in response, drafted a letter stating its displeasure with the proposal and hand-delivered it on Nov. 29 to John Cooper, director of the Alabama Department of Transportation. However, the Council did not pass a resolution to formally oppose the proposal. Not yet, that is, and it likely won’t unless its members feel ALDOT representatives stop cooperating. “The council as a whole has concerns about driver safety regarding the proposed changes. But ALDOT has been listening to concerns, and Director Cooper asked the city not to take a formal position at this time,” Council President Virginia Smith said. However, Smith, in an opinion echoed by other members of the community, added that she felt the change would increase the number of fatalities in the area near the intersection. Other concerns voiced about removing the signal are: * Numerous Mountain Brook Parents living on South Cherokee Road use the signal to deliver children to Mountain Brook Elementary School. * Emergency response times to South Cherokee Road would increase. * Property values would decrease. ALDOT Division 3 Engineer Brian Davis said the organization would have no comment until it has reviewed the feedback it received from the public on the designs, considered those comments and reassessed plans if necessary. “They have been charged by (Gov. Robert Bentley) to do something with 280 and have come up with this,” Mountain Brook Mayor Terry Oden said. “We hope we can change their minds.”

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12 • January 2013


Best Pizza q Jim Davenport’s Pizza Palace q Bongiorno’s q Mafiaoza’s q Salvatore’s

Most Friendly Service q Gilchrist q Ollie Irene q Otey’s Tavern q Tracy’s Restaurant Most Kid Friendly Restaurant q Davenport’s q Gilchrist q Mafioza’s q Taco Mama Best Brunch q Another Broken Egg q Avo/Dram q Dyron’s

Best Date Night q Avo/Dram q Daniel George q Dyron’s q Ollie Irene q Vino


Best Casual Dining q Billy’s q Otey’s Tavern q Surin of Thailand q Taco Mama q Taziki’s q Tracy’s Restaurant

Best Italian Food q Bongiorno’s q Mafiaoza’s q Salvatore’s Best Mexican Food q La Paz q Moe’s q Taco Mama q Mexico Lindo

Best Bakery q Continental Bakery q Church Street Coffee and Books q Cookies by Design q Gia’s Cakes q Olexa’s Best Restaurant Dessert q Daniel George q Dyron’s q Mountain Brook Creamery q Olexa’s q Ollie Irene

Best Ladies Lunch q Olexa’s q Chez Lulu q Daniel George q Zoe’s

Best Asian Food q Chen Express q Maki Fresh q Surin of Thailand q Wok Express

Best Coffee q Crestline Chevron q Church Street Coffee and Books q Crestline Bagel q Starbuck’s

Best Outdoor Space q Birmingham Botanical Gardens q Jemison Trail q Crestline Field q Crestline Tot Lot q Overton Park q Field across from Emmet O’Neal Library Best Community Event q Christmas Parade q Crestline Art Show q Homecoming Parade q Mystics of Mountain Brook Halloween Parade Best Neighborhood q Cherokee Bend q Colonial Hills q Crestline q English Village Best Village q Crestline Village q English Village q Mountain Brook Village

Best Church Choir

q Canterbury United Methodist q Mountain Brook Baptist Church q St. Luke’s Episcopal Best Charity Event q Food Truck Round-Up, benefitting Preschool Partners q Motherwalk q Relay for Life q Western Wine and Food Festival, benefitting Emmet O’Neal Library) Best After School Activity q Dance with Lauren q Gilchrist q Emmet O’Neal Library Best Local Band/Musician q ABOG (A Bunch of Guys, a capella group at MBHS) q Dextone’s (Brent Thompson & Kevin Tartarek) q Goodfellas q Lee Hurley q Oz Hall q The Masons q Tommy Mayfield Best Hometown Hero/Celebrity q Courtney Cox q Dicky Barlow q Sara Evans q Tommy Dewey

HEALTH & WELLNESS Best Work Out Facility q Iron Tribe q Mountain Brook YMCA q Levite Jewish Community Center q The Fitness Center q Zumba at Steeple Arts Best Dentist q Dr. Kevin Alexander q Dr. Georgia Jones q Dr. Roger Smith Best Orthodontist q Dr. David Hufham q Dr. John Phillips q Dr. Christy Jebeles Savage q Dr. Sherri Weissman

BUSINESSES & SERVICES Best New Business q Cookies by Design q Gia’s Cakes q Iron Tribe q Steel Drum Grill q The Pantry

Best Local Personality q Bill Bolen q Eddie Burg q Jack Royer q Mike Royer q Morgan Murphy q Peter Reich q Renee Schmidt

Best Place to Have a Kid’s Birthday Party q A Tiny Kingdom q Davenport’s q Fire Station q Gilchrist q Mountain Brook Creamery q Sugar q Crestline Tot Lot

Best Place for a Family Outing q Birmingham Zoo q Birmingham Botanical Gardens q Emmet O’Neal Library q Jemison Trail/Park q Mountain Brook Creamery

Best Children’s Store q A Tiny Kingdom q Bug’s Boys q Once Upon a Time q Smith’s Variety q Snoozy’s Kids

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Village Living

Best Store to Buy a Gift q Amano q Lamb’s Ears q Smith’s Variety q Snoozy’s Kids Best Women’s Clothing vCanterbury Clothiers q Etc. q Laura Kathryn q Marella q The Pants Store q Pappagallo q Stella Blue q Town and Country q Village Sportswear Best Store for Men q Harrison’s q Little Hardware q Mobley and Sons q The Pants Store Best Place to Buy Home Décor q Amano q Antiquities q Circa q Dandelion q Lamb’s Ears q Longworth Collection q Paige Albright Orientals q Suite Dreams q Table Matters Best Customer Service q Hufham Orthodontics q Little Hardware q Longworth Collection q Snoozy’s Kids Best Salon q Salon 2412 q Angel Hair q Ce’st Bon q Oak Street Hair Group q Richard Joseph q Trocadero Best Store for Your Hobby q Leaf and Petal q Little Hardware q Oak Street Garden Shop q Sew Sheri Designs q Smith’s Variety q Table Matters

January 2013 • 13

Restaurant Showcase

Read past Restaurant Showcases at

Steel Drum Grill By CHRISTIANA ROUSSEL It’s January. It’s cold. It’s dreary. And all you can think about is a trip to Miami or maybe some place farther south. You are in luck, because Jeff and Patti Pierce want to send you on an island vacation. And the best part is that you won’t even have to pack a suitcase or brave the TSA. At their new restaurant, Steel Drum Grill, the Pierces have created an atmosphere reminiscent of a tropical getaway. The walls of the restaurant on Overton Road across from Publix are painted a warm sunny yellow. Large framed photos of sandy beaches and swaying palms adorn one long wall. A fullsized chalkboard boasts not only the daily specials but also the weather forecast in various destinations. The handsome hand-set stone work of the former Sababa location remains and is perfectly suited for the décor here. Their “Welcome to the island, we’re glad you’re here. We hope you enjoy your stay” tag line sums up the restaurant quite well. “We’ve always talked about doing a little restaurant, and the timing was just right on this deal,” Jeff said. “There are a lot of little pieces that came together that we didn’t even see coming.” Patti was quick to add, “We first thought about a coffee shop, just some place where people could come and relax. It was always a ‘getaway’ kind of place.”

Jeff and Patti Pierce opened Steel Drum Grille on Overton Road in November. Photos by Christiana Roussel.

The menu boasts many of the couple’s personal favorites, things they enjoy cooking and grilling together at their home – salads, paninis, fresh fish, crab cakes, ribeyes, hand-cut fries and more. “We were inspired by places like Red Bar (in Grayton Beach, Fla.) and Louis Louis (in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.),” Jeff said. “The menu started with a lot of our favorite things to eat,” Patti said. “We first thought about just a couple salads and maybe five entrees, but it grew to include so many of the things

we love to eat at home.” If the Pierces look familiar, it is with good reason. They were the heart and soul behind Big Sky Bread Company in its former Mountain Brook Village location. Since closing the brick-and-mortar location, Patti said she has missed seeing loyal customers on a regular basis. She takes comfort in knowing they can still enjoy those same Big Sky Breads at local retailers like Piggly Wiggly, Western, Whole Foods Market and now at Steel Drum Grill. Several of the sandwiches feature signature

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Big Sky breads. The Pecan Chicken Salad pairs perfectly with the Big Sky cinnamon raisin. The hearty Three Seed bread is ideal for the Pimento Cheese Sandwich. Jeff still works at Big Sky Bread and will continue to do so, even with the new restaurant. He’s promised Patti he’ll be there in the evenings and on weekends, but Steel Drum Grill is her baby. Helping her run the kitchen will be head chef Guillermo Lopez. Proving how small the restaurant world is, Lopez comes to Steel

Drum already familiar with Big Sky Bread and the quality the brand denotes. Many years ago, he was with the Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club in Orlando, and regularly ordered Big Sky breads for the resort. Little did he know he would one day work with the man who shipped that bread to him. Rounding out the menu will be domestic and imported beers, like Jamaican favorite Red Stripe and south-of-the-border classic Corona. The restaurant’s signature cocktail will be the Steel Drum Screwdriver, boasting fresh squeezed orange juice. Patti said she wants feedback from customers and to hear what dishes they’d like to see. “People travel and always bring back ideas,” she said. “We want to hear those ideas and maybe put them on the menu!” Summer will come soon enough to Mountain Brook. But until it really warms, we can all enjoy a little island paradise getaway at nearby Steel Drum Grill — flipflops optional. Christiana Roussel lives in Crestline and enjoys all things food-related. Follow her culinary musings on-line at or on Facebook, Twitter (Christiana40), Instagram and Pinterest.

14 • January 2013

Village Living

Around the Villages Yoga and movement therapy center to open on Montclair Embody Practice Center is scheduled to open in Crestbrook Plaza next to the Crestline Post Office on Montclair Road at the first of January. The center will offer yoga and Thai chi classes as well as message therapy, physical therapy, and other manual and movement therapies. The business also hopes to host a variety of workshops and conferences. Embody’s therapists specialize in unique therapies including: seldenkais, a movement re-education led by a physical therapist; rolfing, a realignment of connective tissue that helps with postural issues; disceral manipulation, which restores the ability of organs to ensure proper function; and CranioSacral therapy for realignment of the head and spine. Therapists also specialize in private yoga and Thai massage. Embody will hold a free Open House Jan. 12 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Throughout the day it will offer 15 minute samples of massage, CranioSacral therapy, Thai massage and rolfing. Light refreshments will be served, and the staff will be available to answer questions about their services. The following free classes will be offered: Breath and Movement, 8 a.m., led by Margaret Pitteger; Mindful Flow Yoga, 10 a.m., led by Becca Impello; and Restorative Yoga, 12 p.m., led by Lauren Brown. The business is located at 3818 Montclair Road, Suite 100. To learn more visit or call 383-9440.

Botanical Gardens announces new Board Birmingham Botanical Gardens has announced its 2013 Board of Directors, according to a release. Tricia Noble will serve her first term as president. Scott Walton will serve as treasurer, Barbara Burton as secretary, Hanson Slaughter as president-elect, Jeanie Sherlock as vice president of development, Brian Barr as vice president of facilities and planning, Carl Jones as governance chair, and Lou Willie and Elizabeth Broughton as officers. Jeanie Sherlock is one of seven new board members for 2013, a group that includes: Mary Boehm, Chris Boles, Emily Bowron, Beverly Hoyt, Houston Gillespy and Charles Goodrich. Five 2012 board members will rotate off: Shane Boatright, Sheryl Kimmerling, Mike Malone, Fred Murray and Janet Taylor.

Educational series on dementia and care giving An educational series on eldercare options, Alzheimer’s and dementia, and care giving for elderly family members and loved ones will be held Friday, Jan. 18 at the Emmet O’Neal Library. The event is sponsored by Choice Home Care. Free memory screenings will be offered to all participants who pre-register. Session will be held from 5-7 p.m. and a from 7- 9 p.m. The screenings and educational sessions are free, but limited seating is available. Call Choice Home Care at 445-0705 for more information and to register for a memory screening.

HERO from page 1

Ren saw it too. On his trip back to Belgrade, his eyes had been opened. He had seen Europe in migration – a surge of distressed flooding the streets, brought on by the storms of both impending and ongoing war. The Spanish were running from their dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco, and the Norwegians from the German army. The French, in the middle, had nowhere to run. More importantly, they couldn’t. All Ren saw at French train stations were crippled and masked men disfigured by the Great War. In town, all he saw were women. A country’s working class had died in the trenches, and he was alone on a train with what those muddy holes had spit back into society. It made him sad. It was a long ride, and every click in the tracks signaled things were going to change. No more afternoons hiding from the rain in the empty concrete shells of the Maginot Line, no more camping on the grassy hills in the French countryside. Ren’s father knew those places were no longer safe, and he was right. In time, their beauty would transition from serene to haunting. In time, they would be replaced by fields of white crosses. Now 88, Ren, or Louis Renshaw Fortier, a Mountain Brook resident, looks back on those moments and remembers, above anything else, the wisdom and heroism of his father. He called Col. Fortier his best friend, and now understands that his father’s subversive way of teaching him military intelligence prepared him for the rest of his life, which includes an education at the United States Military Academy at West Point and service as an officer in the Pacific Conflict in 1945. After his own military career, he authored Before the Fields of Crosses. The book, published in 2003, documents not only the events of World War II, but also how both he and his father saw – and lived – them. “I really wanted to leave his legacy for my children, I wanted them to know about their remarkable grandfather,” Fortier said, sitting in his living room across from his wife,

Peggy. “On the surface it looked like he had a regular military career, but until you get into all this, you wouldn’t know about his, really, three years of glory.” For his actions between the years of 19391941, Col. Fortier would become known as “The Man Who Saved Belgrade.” In 1941, after sending his children across war-torn Europe to board a ship bound for America, Col. Fortier would throw himself into harm’s way, and come out on the other side the recipient of the U.S. Army’s Distinguished Service Medal. “Lt. Col. Fortier was charged with the mission of making contact…with the German authorities in Hungary with a view to ending the bombardment of Belgrade,” reports on Fortier’s receiving the medal. “From April 8 to April 12 (1941), Lt. Col. Fortier drove through battle and devastated areas under frequent bombing and aerial machine gun fire, and, in order to enter Hungary, traveled on horse, on foot and on a railroad section handcar through 30 kilometers of the demolished zone.” This is the father Ren remembers, the one he reported back to after peeking at airplane parts hidden under tarpaulins on barges sailing the Danube River. This story – and many more – is what he wanted his children to know, and he reports it eloquently in Crosses. Ren married Peggy after losing his first wife, Maureen, to a 14-year battle with lymphoma. He and Peggy now split their time between Mountain Brook and Virginia, where they have a summer home that’s decorated with remnants of both Ren’s and his father’s careers. Ren said he doesn’t feel his life is worth writing about, that his father was the hero and he earned the words in the book. But maybe, one day, when his children stare long enough at the Japanese sword and marriage coat hanging on the wall, they’ll pick up a pen as he did.

Special times... familiar things... treasured memories 205.602.3709

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January 2013 • 15

Business Spotlight

Read all the past Business Spotlights at

Mariée Ami 2404 Canterbury Road Mountain Brook Village 870-4205

Mariée Ami By MADOLINE MARKHAM With a coffee table full of books surrounded by comfy chairs, Mariée Ami’s office feels like a living room. It is from this space its owners talk daily with brides and their moms. “By the time our clients get to the wedding, we have become friends with them, and I know what they want without asking them,” co-owner Neillie Butler said. “We are there for our clients in anything and everything that happens in those 10 months before the wedding, so they really trust us by the wedding day.” Hence, its name: mariee ami is French for “bride’s friend.” “We are a one-stop shop for everything from panty hose colors to etiquette to family relationships,” Butler said. “I am part wedding planner and part counselor.” Armed with a background in corporate event planning, Butler had planned a Sweet 16 birthday party for co-owner Laurie Grantham, whose husband is a law partner with hers. After 18 years as a homemaker, Grantham was ready to start a business around the time Butler was ready to move her wedding planning venture out of her basement — and the two joined together to start Mariée Ami in April 2011. The team at Mariée Ami helps each bride come up with a unique atmosphere for her wedding and then works with vendors to get it in the right

The Mariee Ami team: Lauren Sharps, Mary Baugh, Louise McClure, Laurie Grantham and Neillie Butler.

direction. “Mariée Ami creates the overall look and feel of the wedding, but it’s the bride’s plan. Whatever the bride wants, we will do. We take an overwhelming process and make it enjoyable.” At one wedding, the bride and groom surprised the guests by leaving in an antique fire truck, but there were subtle clues earlier in the reception: match books on the bar and firethemed songs as the final three on their playlist. Another wedding was a complete surprise for guests;

they thought they were attending an engagement party. For yet another, the bride’s parents had passed away in a plane crash. At a reception held at her father’s airplane hanger, there was a flyover during the cocktail hour in honor of her parents. In-house Art Director Mary Baugh designs custom invitations, programs and other paper items for each Mariée Ami bride — just one of many touches that ensures no wedding is planned with a rubber stamp. “The paper suite either starts or

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Mariee Ami planned Julie Fleming and Matthew Cate’s reception at Swann Lake Stables, a venue the business manages. Photo courtesy of Arden Photography.

completes the look of a wedding,” Butler said. If a wedding needs a menu or sign at the last minute, it’s easy to create with the designer is in-house, according to Butler. Mariée Ami plans weddings all over Birmingham and increasingly at Lake Martin and at the beach, but it also manages Swann Lake Stables, a venue located on Sicard Hollow Road that is the perfect setting for the “rustic chic” style that is trendy now for weddings. And much of that trend

has evolved from the bride’s new digital idea book: “Pinterest has been the best and worst thing,” Butler said. “You can see what you like easier but you have to trump all of it. Now we are starting to hear brides say they don’t want a ‘Pinterest wedding.’ We are starting to look at the bride’s pin boards just for inspiration.” And with that inspiration, a special friend sets out to bring to life the day a bride and her mom have been talking about for years.

16 • January 2013

Village Living

Community Schools Foundation celebrates anniversary

Pointe Ball to be held at The Club

Former Foundation President Will Brooke, outgoing Executive Director Carmine Jordan, current Foundation Board President Lloyd Shelton and new Executive Director Anne Womack enjoy a moment at the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Party on Nov. 15.

On Nov. 15, the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary at the home of Laura and Colby Clark. In attendance were those instrumental to the success of the Foundation since its inception. Guests enjoyed food and fellowship as well as remarks from former Foundation

Board President Will Brooke, former Superintendent Charles Mason and current Superintendent Dicky Barlow. Outgoing Executive Director, Carmine Jordan, was also honored. Over the past 20 years, the Foundation has given more than $4.7 million to the Mountain Brook School

System for technology, professional development and library enhancement. For more information on the Foundation, contact Executive Director Anne Womack at 414-0042 or You can also learn more and make a gift at

Hodgens celebrates 100 birthday th

Lucille Hodgens, seated, with her daughter Delores Howard, State Rep. Paul DeMarco and granddaughter Hilary Lanier. Photo by Madoline Markham.

Lucille Stewart Hodgens celebrated her 100th birthday on Nov. 28 with friends and family at the Cherokee Bend home of her daughter and son-in-law, Delores and Sam Howard. Hodgens’ family, the Stewarts, helped build Pell City, where she owned a shop for nearly 40 years. Hodgens, known to most people as “Ma Ma,” was very active in her church and bred German shepherds. “She takes care of every member of her family and is the

strongest person I’ve ever met,” said her granddaughter, Hilary Lanier. Music and the arts are an instrumental part of Hodgens’ family. Delores was Miss Alabama 1961 and a concert pianist, and Hilary was a ballerina. At her birthday celebration, State Rep. Paul DeMarco presented Hodgens with a resolution recognizing her contributions to the state, and a family member read a similar resolution from Governor Robert Bentley.

Pointe Ball Chairs Lucy Daniel and Alyson Fox with Honorary Chair Lyndra Daniel.

On Feb. 2, the Alabama Ballet will host an evening of dinner and dancing at the 13th annual Pointe Ball. For the first year, it will be held at The Club. Proceeds from the Pointe Ball, the organization’s largest fundraiser, underwrite approximately 10 percent of the ballet’s operating budget and make extensive education and scholarship programs possible. Pointe Ball 2013 is cochaired by Lucy Daniel and Alyson Fox of Mountain Brook, and the honorary chair is Lyndra Daniel, also of Mountain Brook. Corporate Chair is Beau Grenier of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. The event begins with an

intimate performance by Alabama Ballet’s professional company members in the Ball Room of The Club. Following the performance, guests along with Artistic Director Tracey Alvey and members from the company will enjoy a gourmet dinner with night views of Birmingham. As dessert is served, the Soul Searchers take the stage to provide fantastic music for guests to enjoy on the dance floor. Tickets to Pointe Ball are $400 per person or $650 per couple. To purchase tickets, call Stacey Turner at 322-4300. For sponsorship information, contact Executive Director Megan R. Cottle at 3221259.

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January 2013 • 17

Three rise to rank of Eagle Ridley Culp Ridley Anderson Culp earned the rank of Eagle Scout on Sept. 13. He is a member of Boy Scout Troop 63 at Canterbury Methodist Church, under the leadership of Harold Wells, Jr. For his Eagle service project, Culp built two picnic tables and two park benches and provided a grill for Fairfield Community Garden. He earned 23 merit badges, attended a high adventure trip to Sea Base, and served as a patrol leader and quartermaster for his troop. Culp is a sophomore at Mountain Brook High School, where he plays on the varsity football and lacrosse teams. He is a member of SGA and Key Club. Culp is an active member of Mountain Brook Community Church. Culp is the son of Jenny and Sonny Culp. He is the grandson of Margery Birdsong and Glenn Culp of Birmingham, and Dr. and Mrs. W.E. Birdsong of Jasper. Tillman Drew David “Tillman” Drew, fellow member of Boy Scout Troop 63 at Canterbury Methodist Church, earned the rank of Eagle on Sept. 13. For his project, Drew partnered with Red Mountain Park to complete the Ishkooda Mine Trails. The trail, forged and cleared by Drew, was more than 450 feet long and included 30 steps. In addition to the funds needed to complete his project, he raised more than $1,500 for Red Mountain Park to place markers at all Eagle Scout projects on site. Drew has held the positions of Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader (twice), Den Chief, Scribe, and Bugler. He is a member of the Order of Arrow Brotherhood, earned 28 merit badges and had 64 camping nights. The Mountain Brook High School junior is a member of the Varsity Lacrosse Team, junior class SGA Officer, Youth Legislature, Latin Club, FBLA Officer, and Ambassadors Club Officer. He is the son of Tricia and Mark Drew. He is the




grandson of Patty and Larry Faulkner of Mountain Brook and the grandson of Mildred and Ed Drew of Macclesfield, N.C. Thomas Skinner Thomas Julian Skinner V, a member of Boy Scout Troop 28 at Independent Presbyterian Church, was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout on Nov. 18. For his Eagle Project, Thomas designed and built two benches for the Alabama Wilds section of the Birmingham Zoo. The project was particularly meaningful to Thomas because he has been a Zoo teen volunteer for four years. He raised more than the funds necessary to cover the cost of the project, and presented a check for $1,200 at his Court of Honor to Zoo Volunteer Coordinator Brooke Estes. As a member of Troop 28, Thomas earned 24 merit badges and served as Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Troop Guide, Historian and Senior Patrol Leader. He was also inducted into Order of the Arrow and received the Historic Trails, Conservation and God and Country Awards. The Mountain Brook High School sophomore plays on the football team and is a member of both the Interact and French clubs. Thomas is a Zoofari Teen member at the Birmingham Zoo and a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Thomas is the son of Kathy and Jay Skinner of Mountain Brook. He is the grandson of Nancy Skinner of Birmingham, and Becky and Hanson Couvillon of Huntsville.

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18 • January 2013

Saint Luke’s Episcopal to host New York Times bestseller for Claypool Lecture Dr. Brené Brown, nationally renowned researcher, speaker and author of the New York Times bestseller Daring Greatly, is the featured speaker for the 2013 Claypool Lecture, sponsored by Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church. This year’s lecture will be held on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Leslie S. Wright Center at Samford University. Vulnerable, afraid and imperfect are words not generally associated with daring and brave, but Brown argues that it takes courage to be vulnerable. “Caring about what people think is important for connection, but taking it too much to heart can crush the spirit and stifle our creativity and innovative thinking,” Brown said. In her recent appearance on Katie Couric’s daytime talk show, katie, Brown said, “Daring to make yourself

feel vulnerable can change the way we live and love, and preventing yourself from being vulnerable – which most of us do on a daily basis – can actually hurt us more than it helps us. “The Hustle for Worthiness” is the theme for her lecture on Jan. 10. “Worthiness is not about who we should be or who we might be or who we could be. It’s about who we are. Right now. Today. It’s about waking up and believing, I am enough.” Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame. In addition to Daring Greatly, she is also the author of The Gifts of Imperfection and I Thought it Was Just Me.   Organizing the event are Saint Luke’s members Robert Boylan,

Dr. Brené Brown

Kelley Fitzpatrick, Kelly Lamkin, Tom Lamkin, Leslie Naff, Leah Rice, Jim Stewart and Jeannette Watford. Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased at or by calling 802-6207. A book signing will follow the lecture. The Claypool Lecture Series is sponsored by Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church and was created to honor the service of the Rev. John Claypool, former Rector and one of the country’s most highly regarded preachers and Christian authors.

Village2Village Run this month The annual Village 2 Village 10K and One Mile Fun Run are scheduled for Jan. 26. Organizers recommend registering early. T-shirts are guaranteed for the first 500 people to register for the event, but last year more than 700 runners participated. The race begins in Mountain Brook Village and is followed by an after party at the Western Supermarket shopping center. For more information and to register, visit welcometomountainbrook. com or

Steven Hydinger, Race Director Beth Nigri, Terry Chapman, Amy Jackson, Kaye Emack, Dan Starnes, Lee Perry and John Evans prepare for the Village2Village Run.

New Year’s Resolutions

Village Living

“My New Year’s resolution is to do less baking and more cooking...and to actually follow through with it.” Rachel Meriwether

In 2013, I want to be more proactive and less reactive! Bill Dobbins

I turned 50 last year. I believe it is time to accept my wife’s invitation to exercise! Jesse Vogtle

I want to have more tea parties with my girls. Nathan Pitner

My new year’s resolution is to be the best grandmother ever! I have a new grandson and that seems most appropriate, especially since I can’t seem to keep any other resolutions. Dru Jones

January 2013 • 19

Crestline Student Council shares about CARE campaign

Sam Enslen, in back, with Olivia Rodrigues, Hope Methvin, Virginia Walheim and Laura Kate Howell.

By BONNIE LORINO Five sixth-grade Crestline Student Council representatives made a presentation on the “Crestline Cougars CARE” campaign to the Mountain Brook Schools Board of Education recently. The CARE Campaign is a school-wide effort that promotes good character. To implement the idea, the student representatives visited their assigned classes each month to share important news about upcoming events and fundraisers, as well as share a script that highlights a character concept for the month. Scripts are provided as guidelines to help encourage open discussions between student council reps and the students in each classroom. Whitney Carr, the teacher representative present at the Board meeting, said she wished the student council could visit more than once a month. “I am very proud of the awesome job my sixth graders did in their presentations,” said Counselor Bonnie Lorino, a Student Council sponsor. “They made me so proud and really represented our school in the most distinguished way. The Board was so complimentary and impressed with what our students are doing to make a difference!”

School House Wishes come true for area foster children By HILARY ROSS The annual Mountain Brook Elementary Holiday Project recently partnered with the Salvation Army to adopt 30 area foster children this holiday season. In all, the project raised more than $10,500. Students held lemonade stands, bake sales and car washes to contribute to the bottom line. Chairmen Kim Kohler and Mary Carson LaRussa oversaw the project, which made wishes come true children ranging in age from 8 months through 12 years old. Each homeroom adopted a child and shopped for wish list items provided by the Salvation Army. Gifts were displayed during a visit from Fox 6 News’ Mickey Ferguson. The fifth grade raised the most funds and won a pizza party for the grade.

Brian Wallace of Salvation Army Public Relations joins MBE PTO Chairman Kim Kohler and Mickey Ferguson of Fox 6 News, and students Annie LaRussa, Grace Kohler, Andrew Kohler, Bennett Strohm and Christian Glenos during the Holiday Project at MBE.

Honoring veterans important to BWF By ALISON TAYLOR Brookwood Forest Elementary held its annual Veterans Day program on Nov. 9. This tradition of paying tribute to men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces has been part of BWF for more than 25 years. Students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades honored those in attendance by singing and paying tribute to the branches of our military. This program gives teachers an opportunity to teach young children about democracy and to honor those Americans who have supported our country through their military service.

BWF fifth grader Will Krueger with (left) his grandfather Jack Krueger, retired Air Force and (right) Frank Williams, his step-grandfather, also retired Air Force.

20 • January 2013

Village Living

To Antarctica and back: Scientists share at MBHS

Providing presents for 88 Angels During the month of November, students at Mountain Brook Junior High raised money for the Salvation Army’s annual Angel Tree drive. During a one-week period, class senators and Spartan Council members collected money to determine how many angels could be pulled off of the Angle Tree. Representatives traveled to Brookwood Mall to pull 88 Angels from the Angel Tree and later shopped for presents for them. In all, students raised more than $6,600. Spartan Council members Patrick Trammell, Butler Wilbanks and Joe Donald with the gifts they bought for children from the Angel Tree.

MBJH hosts annual Career Day UAB Professor Jim McClintock and science teacher Megan O’Neill at the Fine Arts Center. Photo courtesy of Dr. Vic Wilson.

By SUZANNE MILLIGAN Two of Mountain Brook’s most adventurous journeyed to Antarctica in the name of science, and returned to share their stories at Mountain Brook High school. At the invitation of science teacher Megan O’Neill, UAB Endowed Professor of Polar and Marine Biology Jim McClintock spoke about the work he has done on the continent from more than 20 trips spanning 30 years. The focus of his talk was his research on Antarctic animals in the icy waters around Palmers Station. At the end of his talk, he reminded the audience that the ozone layer was healing after the global outlaw of fluorocarbons

and that we can make a change for the better in our environment. Afterwards, McClintock signed his new book, Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Land. O’Neill visited the South Pole in 2009 through the National Science Foundation ARMADA project and in 2007 participated in a climate change project in the North Pole. O’Neill also brings world-renowned scientists whom she knows into her classroom via Skype. She has earned many awards including the Albert Einstein Distinguished Teaching Fellowship award and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching.

Speakers and students at MBJH Career Day: Frances Morris, Mary Myers Huddleston, Carlton Cooper, George Jones, Lori Robertson, Bob Blakely, Austin Reige, Tanner Williams.

By ELIZABETH FARRAR On Nov. 16, the Junior Spartan PTO hosted Career Day for all ninth grade students at Mountain Brook Junior High School. William Doré, retired founder and chairman of Global Industries and grandfather of ninth grader Kaylyn Greene, served as the keynote speaker. Students also heard from career psychologist Dr. Duncan Hulsey and college counselor Jennifer Waters.

More than 50 speakers representing as many disciplines spoke in small groups throughout the day. Career Day closed with a panel discussion with local business owners George Jones, Lori Robertson and Bob Blakely. All speakers stressed the importance of education, goals, hard work and finding your passion. PTO chairs for Career Day were Tanya Cooper, Lindsay Trammell, Adelaide Vandevelde, Carrie Law, Alice Womack and Jenny Nunnelley.



January 2013 • 21

Students shop for books, benefit library

Cleaning before and after parties. Vacuuming Deep Clean Polishing Furniture Dusting

10% OFF January Cleaning


References available •

Third graders Edward Barze, Luke Gilbert, Mem Webb and Halsey Wood with fifth graders Liz Vandevelde, Libba Manley, Ann Vandevelde, Paul Stramaglia and Bryant McMahon.

By HILARY ROSS Mountain Brook Elementary recently welcomed its annual Scholastic Book Fair, just in time for the holidays. The event raised more than $5,000 for the MBE Library Media Center

and added nearly 200 books donated by families to the classrooms. More than two dozen parent volunteers staffed the event, chaired by Wendy Barze and Ashley McMahon in cooperation with LMC School Librarian Margaret Hudson and Assistant Librarian Nonnie Roby.

Great Smokies make for great outdoor classroom

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Hugh Seton, Hattie Noden, Cooper Cashio, Charles Nicrosi, Austin King, Noah Blattmann, Anson Harris, Ella Dorman, Frances Lyon and Sloan Wedge pose for a picture with the Tremont welcome sign before heading out on a class on Life in the Forest.

By CATHERINE BODNAR In October, the fifth graders from Cherokee Bend spent five days at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Their days were spent learning about life in the forest, looking for stream critters, using nature as inspiration

for writing, and hiking through Cades Cove and an 8-mile trail. Each night, students participated in evening activities, including storytellers, folk dancing and a visit from the Knoxville Zoo’s Birds of Prey exhibit. The students had a great week learning, building new friendships and soaking up the mountains.

Thanksgiving celebration at Cherokee Bend

Kindergarten teacher Trisha Humphries’ class. Front row: Claire Robinett, Clarkie Wilkinson, Stella Wallace, Adeline Hatcher, Cannon Mussafer, Hews Goodson, Liam Kilfoyle. Back row:  Tripp Robinson, Caroline Huddleston, Ann Carter Brown, Emily Dean, Harrison Dukes, Ashby Russell, Mason Williams.


22 • January 2013

Village Living

Sports Spartans gearing up for Area play

Senior forward Malek Grant (24), above, drives into the lane against the Hoover High Buccaneers in December. Left, freshman forward Sara Carr (14) puts up a lay up against the Bucs. Photos courtesy of Image Arts.

The Mountain Brook High School Boys Varsity Basketball Team steamrolled its way to an 11-0 record before the Hoover Buccaneers came to town on Dec. 13 and handed the Spartans their first loss of the season 75-73. But Mountain Brook bounced back two nights later, beating Northridge (Tuscaloosa) 72-56 and proving it will unquestionably be the team to beat in 6A Area 11 play. Through the remainder of December, Mountain Brook hosted the Spartan Holiday Shootout on Dec. 21-22, and traveled to Pelham for the Metro Tourna-

ment after Christmas. The team dives into Region play on Jan. 8, when it hosts Shades Valley and starts a string of six straight Area games. Mountain Brook’s Varsity Girls Team also flew out of the

gates in the 2012-2013 season. The team jumped to 9-0 before back-to-back losses to Hoover and Spain Park. The girls also open Area play at home against Shades Mountain on Jan. 8.

January Schedules

Boys Varsity 7:30 p.m. unless noted Girls Varsity Jan. 4: Homewood 6 p.m. unless noted Jan. 8: Shades Valley Jan. 8: Shades Valley Jan. 11: Woodlawn Jan. 11: Woodlawn Jan. 15: @ Vestavia Hills Jan. 15: @ Vestavia Hills Jan. 18: @ Shades Valley Jan. 18: @ Shades Valley Jan. 22: @ Woodlawn Jan. 22: @ Woodlawn (5:30 p.m.) Jan. 25: Vestavia Hills Jan. 25: @ Vestavia Hills Jan. 29: @ Spain Park Jan. 29: @ Spain Park Feb. 1: Pinson Valley Feb. 2: @ Huffman (2:30 p.m.) Feb. 2: @ Huffman (4 p.m.) Feb. 4: Leeds (5 p.m.) Feb. 4: Leeds (Senior Night)



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January 2013 • 23

Mountain Brook Events Jan. 10 – 2013 Claypool Lecture. 6:30 p.m. Leslie S. Wright Center at Samford University. Sponsored by Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church. Tickets are $15 each. Call 8026207.

Sign ups for softball, baseball and tee ball. Visit Jan. 22 – Synthetic Marijuana Awareness Program. 6 p.m. Shades Valley Presbyterian Church. Hosted by Rep. Paul DeMarco. Free to the public.

Jan. 12 – Project Photography – Composing and Capturing a Seasonal Series. $80. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Visit

Jan. 25-26 – Mountain Brook Athletics Spring Sports Registration. 9 a.m.-noon. MBJH. Sign ups for softball, baseball and tee ball. Visit

Jan. 13 – Jewish Genetic Screening. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. LJCC. Screening involves a simple blood test and will be done to test for 19 different Jewish genetic diseases. Visit

Jan. 26 – Capturing Memorable Images. $125. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Visit

Jan. 13-14 – Marriage and Parenting Seminar. Canterbury United Methodist Church. Author Kevin Lehman will speak at Sunday’s 9:15 service for free. All other seminars will cost $10 each. Sunday at 4 p.m. he will speak on ‘Making Sense of the Man or Woman in Your Life.” Monday, 9:30 a.m. “What a Difference a Mom Makes” and 6:30 p.m. “Have a New Kid by Friday.” Jan. 17 – Parenting the Teenage Driver. 9 a.m. Charles Mason Building, Workshop for parents. Free to the public, registration required. Call 877-8349. Jan. 18: Educational series on dementia and care giving. 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. Free memory screenings also offered. Emmet O’Neal Library. Call 445-0705. Jan. 18-19 – Mountain Brook Athletics Spring Sports Registration. 4:30-6 p.m. MBJH.

Jan. 26 – 2013 Village 2 Village Run. 8 a.m. 10K and 1 mile run. Visit welcometomountainbrook. com. Feb. 2 – 13th Annual Pointe Ball. The Club. Tickets are $400 per person and $650 for couples. Call Stacy Turner, 332-4300.

Special Events Jan. 4-5 – Monster Jam. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday. BJCC. Monster trucks for the whole family. Tickets range from $10-$50. Call 800-745-3000. Jan. 12 – Bama Shootout. 8 a.m.10 p.m. BJCC. 18 of Alabama’s best high school boys and girls basketball teams will play. Ticket prices vary by school. Call (502) 435-3255. Jan. 13 – Southern Bridal Show. Noon-5 p.m. BJCC. Call (800) 523-8917 or visit Jan. 20 – Reflect & Rejoice: A Tribute to MLK Jr. 3 p.m. Alys Robinson Stephens Performing

Calendar Arts Center. Presented by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Tickets range from $9-$24. Call 975-2787. Jan. 21 – Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast. 7 a.m. BJCC. Call 324-8796. Jan. 24-27 – Birmingham Boat Show. BJCC. Tickets are $10. Children are free. Visit Jan. 24 – 48th Annual Member Celebration. 5:30 p.m. Botanical Gardens. Tickets are $20 per person and include refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. Call 414-3950. Jan. 26 – Krispy Kreme Donut Dash. 8:30 a.m. Children’s Hospital. Benefits Children’s Hospital of Alabama. Visit

Music/Arts Jan. 12 – The Music of Ray Charles with Ellis Hall. 8 p.m. Leslie S. Wright Center. Tickets range from $27-$69. Call 9752787. Jan. 16 – Justin Bieber. 7 p.m. BJCC. Tickets range from $41-$91. Visit or call (800) 7456000. Jan. 25-27 – Madame Butterfly. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center. Tickets range from $20$90. Student tickets are $12. Visit Jan. 26 – C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. 4 p.m., 8 p.m. BJCC. Tickets range from $39-$89. Appropriate for ages 13 and older. Visit

Emmet O’Neal Library Adults

Jan. 1 - Library closed in observance of New Year’s Day Jan. 2 - Brown Bag Lunch series, film about historic landmarks from Mali to Egypt, 12:30 p.m. Jan. 8 - The Bookies Book Group, discussing To the End of the Land by David Grossman, 10 a.m. Jan. 9 - Brown Bag Lunch series, author Michael Morris will speak about his new book, The Man in the Blue Moon, 12:30 p.m. Jan. 12 - Knit & Knibble, all crafts and skill levels welcome, 2-3:30 p.m. Jan. 14 - Great Books Book Group discussing a selected short story, “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 15 - Documentaries After Dark, film about the prehistoric art in Chauvet Cave in France, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16 - Brown Bag Lunch series, third episode in a film series about the culture and craft of quilting, 12:30 p.m. Jan. 21 - Library closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Jan. 23 - Brown Bag Lunch series, film about 18th century American history, 12:30 p.m. Jan. 29 - Genre Reading Group, Author Study: James Michener, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30 - Brown Bag Lunch series, film about historic landmarks from Bosnia to France, 12:30 p.m.

Teens (Grades 7-12)

Jan. 8 - TAB Meeting, the monthly meeting of our Teen Advisory

Board, 5-6 p.m. Jan. 4 - Game On! Video Game Tournament, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Jan. 11 - Crafting program, 4-6 p.m.


Mondays *Toddler Tales Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Chess Club. 6 p.m. Tuesdays Together Time Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Library Out Loud Story Time. 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays *Mother Goose Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Thursdays *Patty Cake Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. SNaP. 3:30 p.m. Special events Jan. 8-Family Night: “The Giant, the Beanstalk, & Jack” by That Puppet Guy, 5:30 p.m. Jan. 23- After-School Special: Superheroes program, 3:30 p.m. Saturdays Family Story Time with Mr. Mac. 10:30 a.m. Special Events Jan. 8-Family Night: “The Giant, the Beanstalk, & Jack” by That Puppet Guy, 5:30 p.m. Jan. 23- After-School Special: Superheroes program, 3:30 p.m. *Space is limited; please call 879-0497 or visit to register. For more information about programs, call 445-1121 or visit

January 2013

Village Living

Village Living January 2013  
Village Living January 2013  

News, sports, and entertainment from Mountain Brook, Alabama.