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December 2012

Village Living Volume 3 | Issue 9 | December 2012

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook


sweet Mountain Brook Elementary student plays lead role in annual ballet production Mountain Brook Elementary’s Ella Frances Mandell rehearses for her role as Marie in Alabama Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. Photo by Madoline Markham.

By MADOLINE MARKHAM Ella Frances Mandell watched the curtain just before it opened for Alabama Ballet’s production of La Sylphide this fall. From her seat in the audience, the young ballerina had a revelation. “I can’t imagine what the dancers are doing right now,” she told her mom, Mary Virginia Mandell. And then she thought a moment and realized, “But wait, I can imagine.” Ella Frances, 9, was backstage with the company last year just before the curtain opened for The Nutcracker. She played a baby mouse and an angel. This year she will be with the company again — only this time she will be the lead role. The Mountain Brook Elementary fourth grader will play Marie, known as Clara in other versions of the ballet, in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Wright Center at Samford University. Ella Frances has been taking ballet since she was 3 years old and involved in the Alabama Ballet since her family moved from Montgomery to Birmingham a year and a half ago. “It’s been so fun to watch her get so excited about something,” Mary Virginia said. “You hope your children find something they are passionate about, and it’s exciting when they are.”

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

See NUTCRACKER | page 31

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker Samford University’s Wright Center Dec. 14-16, 21-23

Jolly Old

St. Nick

He’s got a bright red suit and belly that shakes when he laughs, like a bowl full of jelly — and we hear he lives in Mountain Brook. Learn more inside about John Feagin’s role play in the Mountain Brook Christmas Parade and other holiday traditions around the villages.

Holiday page 8

Shooting for State

The Lady Spartan Basketball Team is looking to repeat their successes and head back to the 6A Regionals in 2013. Village Living received a dose of insight from Head Coach Mark Cornelius on what fans can expect this season.

Sports page 25

INSIDE Sponsors .......................4 City ................................ 6 Holiday ......................... 8 Business ...................... 13 Faith ............................. 14

Community ................. 15 Food ............................. 19 School House ........... 20 Sports ......................... 25 Calendar .................... 30

For more information and tickets, visit


December 2012

Village Living

December 2012 • 3


December 2012

Village Living

About Us Please Support our Sponsors

Photo of the Month Mountain Brook High School senior Lamar Cooper, pictured here with last year’s queen Mary Harmon Tyson, was crowned Homecoming Queen at the Nov. 2 football game. Photo by Alison Gault.

Forever connected to Park Lane By BOBBIE HILL I read the Park Lane apartment article with a great deal of interest. When my husband got out of the military in Florida, we moved back to Birmingham in early 1965 and moved into the beautiful Park Lane apartments. At the time I was only 22 years old, and our children had not been born

yet. We lived there for about a year, and I really enjoyed our one bedroom apartment with the large living area and large bedroom. The grounds were always immaculately kept! During this timeframe I did not work, and since we only had one car, walking was my only means of transportation during the day. Walking into Mountain Brook Village was so convenient!

Letter to the Editor Fast forward into present day: I am a long-time single 69-year-old lady with two grown children. For the past 38 years, I have lived within 10 minutes of Mountain Brook Village. I will always have fond memories of the Park Lane apartments in Mountain Brook. Thank you for such an interesting article, which I have promptly cut out and mailed to my son in San Francisco!

Editor’s Note By Jennifer Gray December is a special time just about anywhere, but being in Mountain Brook makes it even better. The lights in Mountain Brook Village twinkling in the trees are a sure sign the holidays are here and memories are ready to be made. Most families have traditions that are an important part of their Christmas or Hanukah celebrations. You will see some of those traditions covered in this month’s issue, and maybe some new ones you want to try this year. The holiday parade kicks off things in Mountain Brook Village. This tradition has grown in recent years and includes many from our community participating in the parade. Grab a hot chocolate or a latte and enjoy the afternoon watching the action come through the village.

The Nutcracker ballet has long been a holiday tradition for many. If you haven’t been in several years, this would be a great year to go to Alabama Ballet’s Balanchine production. Mountain Brook’s Ella Frances Mandell plays the lead character, Marie, in selected productions and there are several other children from our community in the production. We have all the details in our cover story. Holiday lights are always a favorite for all ages. Some displays have been put up faithfully in neighborhoods for decades. On page 10 you can find out where some of the best displays are and other details. One of my favorite traditions is Mountain Brook Baptist’s living

nativity. There is something about watching the events unfold that led to the birth of Christ on a cold night with your family. Children enjoy the live animals, especially the camel. Make sure you check out our calendar of events to keep up with all that is going on. We also have a weekly newsletter that we send out via email each Friday to help you stay on top of what is happening in Mountain Brook and what there is to do. If you would like to receive it, you can sign up at Wishing you and your family a very joyous holiday season,

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

Dan Starnes Keith McCoy Jennifer Gray Madoline Markham Jeff Thompson Rhonda Smith Warren Caldwell Matthew Allen Contributing Writers : Susan Mathews Christiana Roussel Kari Kampakis Rick Watson Mary Kathryn Parrott Holley Wesley 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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A Tiny Kingdom (22) A’Mano (19) Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (24) Alabama Youth Ballet Company, Inc. (20) Aldridge Gardens (27) Amy Smith (22 ) Andrea Lucas Studios (17) Baker Lamps & Linens (26) Birmingham Speech and Hearing Associates (31) Brandino Brass (8) Briarcliff Shop (17) Bromberg & Company, Inc. (16, 18) Brookdale Place (15) Brookwood Medical Center (9) Children’s of Alabama (6) Etc. (25) Festivity (28) Frontera (11) Granger Thagard Associates (22) Hufham Orthondotics (20) iJump280 Isbell Jewelers (19) Jacqueline DeMarco (11) Jimmie Hale Mission (8) Koch Aesthetic Dentistry (11) Lamb’s Ears Ltd. (5, 21) Laura Kathryn (10) Leaf & Petal (7) Little Hardware, Inc. (23) Maid In Birmingham (20) Marguerite’s Conceits (6) MedHelp (29) Michelle’s (13 ) Mobley & Sons (2) Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce (30) Neurology East (10) Otey’s (13) Piggly Wiggly (18) Plastic Surgery Specialists (12) Ray Building Company (15) RealtySouth (32) Red Mountain Theatre Company (16) Red Wing Shoes (12, 29) Renasant Bank (3) Sew Sheri Designs (14) Sharp Carpet (31) Taco Mama (26) The Cook Store (15) The Diamond Dealer (7) The Lingerie Shoppe (14) Town and Country (24) Village Dermatology (5)

December 2012 • 5


December 2012

Village Living



Week of October 18-25 Burglary / Residential. On Oct. 10, there was a residential burglary in the 3000 block of Overton Road. Unknown suspect(s) forced entry through a window, entered the residence and stole jewelry. The residence did not have an alarm. Unlawful Breaking/Entering of a Vehicle. A UBEV case occurred in the 2500 block of Country Club Circle between Oct. 20-21. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole currency. A UBEV case occurred in the 2300 block of Country Club Place between Oct. 20-21. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole jewelry and currency. A UBEV case occurred in the 400 block of Meadowbrook Lane between Oct. 20-21. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s vehicle and stole hunting knives. There was no forced entry. A UBEV case occurred in the 300 block of Euclid Avenue. The case was reported on Oct. 24 but had occurred earlier in the month. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s vehicle and stole a firearm. The method of entry is unknown. Theft / Motor Vehicle. The theft of a motor vehicle occurred in the 10 block of Peachtree Street during the early morning hours of 10/21/2012. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole the vehicle. Week of Oct. 26-Nov. 1 Unlawful Breaking / Entering of a Vehicle. A UBEV case occurred in the 30 block of Ridge Drive between the dates Oct. 25-26. Unknown suspect(s) stole sunglasses and a credit card. The vehicle was unlocked. A UBEV case occurred in the 10 block of Country Club Road between Oct. 25-26. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and searched the vehicle. There was no property reported stolen. A UBEV case occurred in the 30 block of Ridge Drive between Oct. 25-26. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole credit cards. A UBEV case occurred in the 3500 block of River Bend Road between Oct. 25-26. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s vehicle. Method of entry is unknown. There was no property reported stolen. Property was left behind by the suspect(s) and was seized as evidence. Investigators have identified a suspect related to the recent UBEV cases. The search for the suspect and any associates is continuing. Week of Nov. 2-8 Burglary / Residential. A residential burglary occurred in the 3000 block of Brook Hollow Lane between Oct. 31-Nov. 2. Unknown person(s) entered the victim’s residence and stole prescription medication, jewelry and a

firearm. Method and point of entry have not been determined. A suspect has been identified. The investigation is still active. A residential burglary occurred in the 700 block of Bentley Drive on Oct. 3. The victim’s alarm was activated. There was no evidence of forced entry. There was no property reported stolen. Unlawful Breaking / Entering of a Vehicle. A UBEV case occurred in the 3800 block of Halbrook Lane between Nov. 7-8. Unknown suspects(s) broke one of the windows on the vehicle, entered the vehicle, and stole a purse and an iPad. A UBEV case occurred in the 2800 block of Canoe Brook Circle between Nov. 6-7. Unknown suspect(s) broke one of the windows on the vehicle, entered the vehicle and stole property. The property stolen was a briefcase, laptop computer, a firearm and several checkbooks. Week of Nov. 9-15 Burglary / Residential. On Friday, Nov. 9, there were two residential burglary cases and one attempted burglary case yesterday in the same general area. At one residence, one of the suspects spoke to a housekeeper at the front door while the second suspect entered through the rear door of the residence and stole property. The suspect stated that he was at the residence to conduct repairs to the roof and gutters. At another residence, unknown suspect(s) attempted to break in through a rear door. The alarm activated and the suspect(s) left the scene before MBPD officers arrived. The cases occurred in the 2800 block of Shook Hill Road, the 3100 block of North Woodridge Road, and the 3000 block of East Briarcliff Road. The suspects were described as white males. The suspect vehicle was described as a small silver car. Unlawful Breaking / Entering of a Vehicle. A UBEV case occurred in the 2800 block of Canoe Brook Circle between Nov. 6-7. Unknown suspect(s) broke a window on the vehicle, entered the vehicle, and stole a laptop and a firearm. A UBEV case occurred in the 3900 block of Royal Oak Drive between Nov. 6-7. Unknown suspect(s) entered an unlocked vehicle and stole currency and a camera. A UBEV case occurred in the 3700 block of Glass Drive between Nov. 7-8. Unknown suspect(s) broke a window on the vehicle, entered the vehicle and stole the victim’s purse. Suspicious Person. On Nov. 9 a subject entered a church in the Crestline area asking for gas money. The subject provided identification to one of the employees. His identification bore a “Criminal Sex Offender” notification. The MBPD does know the identity of the individual and is investigating the incident to verify compliance. At this point in the investigation, there is no criminal offense.

Pajamas & Robes by Pine Cone Hill

2406 Canterbury road• Mtn. Brook Village • 879.2730

Around the Villages

December 2012 • 7

Lane Parke hotel developer announced Luxury hotel company to develop Grand Bohemian in Lane Parke On Oct. 2, luxury hotel developer The Kessler Collection announced its plans to add Mountain Brook to its short list of destinations. The company, known for its portfolio of 10 upscale boutique hotels and restaurants, has agreed to assist in the development of the new Grand Bohemian Hotel that will be part of the Lane Parke development in Mountain Brook. According to a Kessler release, the 100room hotel will feature an on-site art gallery, Kessler signature Poseidon Spa, meeting and event space, and vibrant rooftop bar and restaurant within the planned 28-acre Lane Parke development initiated by Evson, Inc. Kessler will partner with Evson, which, under the leadership of John Evans and his father, Rele Evans, owns and manages the 58-year-old Mountain Brook Shopping Center and adjacent Park Lane apartment complex. The development will include a third partner, Daniel Corporation of Birmingham, which Evson brought in to oversee construction of a modern apartment complex and commercial, retail and office mixed-use development at the site. Upon opening, according to the release, The Kessler Collection would manage dayto-day operations of the property. While plans are in advanced stages, finalized contracts

and financing details are still pending. “The Evans family is very excited to have Lane Parke as the home of the new Grand Bohemian Hotel,” said Rele Evans, the visionary behind the redevelopment of the project. “Kessler’s commitment is an important step to fulfilling our vision of delivering a legacy project to this city.” When complete, the mixed-use project will total approximately 185,000 square feet of commercial lifestyle retail and office space, 276 upscale apartments and the hotel. Construction of the overall project will commence before year-end with some phases slated for completion in early 2014. “We are incredibly excited to welcome The Kessler Collection and Grand Bohemian Hotel to the Lane Parke project,” said Patrick Henry, chief development officer for Daniel Corporation. “The Kessler Collection’s commitment to quality and service will provide a seamless match to the overall project and serve as a tremendous asset to the Birmingham community.” For more information on The Kessler Collection, visit For more on the new Lane Parke development and to bid farewell to the 65 year-old apartments, visit

New home accessory store in English Village Interior designer Liz Hand Woods has opened a new accessory store, Details, in English Village. The store sells lamps, artwork, side tables, shagreen boxes, pillows, etageres, vases, books, trays, mirrors and seasonal

items. Details is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and 11 a.m.-3 Saturday. The store is located at 2337 20th Avenue South and can be reached at 423-2993. For more information, visit

Taco Mama has new “Back Alley Service” Crestline’s Taco Mama has opened a “Taco Shed” to serve to-go orders through their “Back Alley Service.” Customers can drive down the alley next to Taco Mama and pull up next to the shed. There you can place your order and wait for it, or pick up an order you have phoned in. “If you want to get out of the car and hang out while you place your order, we would

love to have you,” owner Will Haver said. “We will be glad to give you a cold beverage while you wait.” Haver also said they plan to make the space “funky and a little tacky with lights.” The service is available Monday-Saturday, 4-9 p.m. Taco Mama is located at 63 Church Street and can be reached at 414-9314.

Fine Jewelry

Iberia Bank to sell Glenwood Pecans IberiaBank locations in Mountain Brook Village and Crestline Village are selling pecans to benefit Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health Center. The large pecan halves come from southern pecan farms. Pecans are an excellent source of protein and are loaded with antioxidants, may help prevent heart disease and can

contribute to lowering one’s cholesterol. The sale runs through the end of the year. Pecans can be purchased at the branches during normal business hours, MondayThursday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information on Glenwood, visit

Steel Drum Grill open on Overton Road Big Sky Bread Company owners Jeff and Patti Pierce have opened a new casual restaurant, Steel Drum Grill, on Overton Road. “We love cooking seafood and crab cakes we have enjoyed from traveling different places,” Jeff Pierce said, “and we have wanted to open a restaurant for forever.” The menu of salads, sandwiches, pizzas and entrees includes American favorites like an Angus Burger as well as dishes with coastal flair such as Smoked Tuna Dip, Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos, and Shrimp and Grits. The Pecan Chicken Salad Sandwich and Steel Drum Pimento Cheese Sandwich are served on Big

Sky bread. “We want to keep it really simple and prepare our dishes really well,” Pierce said. Pierce said the menu features different specials in addition to its regular items. The owners have outfitted the space with TVs and want it to be a laid back place to hang out. Steel Drum Grill is located at 3150 Overton Road across from Publix and can be reached at 637-1911. Restaurant hours are TuesdaySaturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. For more information and to see a menu, visit

The Diamond Dealer John K. Bromberg & William G. Bromberg II

205.870-4367 On the hill in Homewood 2902 18th Street South Member New York Diamond Dealers’ Club

8 • December 2012

Village Living

Happy Holidays! Mountain Brook’s secret

citizen Santa


same quality they used to be.

John Feagin lives a double life. Most days he’s your average Mountain Brook citizen, but when he straps on his big black boots and gets his suit on, you better get ready. Santa Claus is coming to town. Feagin has played the role of Santa in some way, shape or form for the past 36 years. He’s done everything from birthday parties to company parties. His latest gig has been serving as Santa in the annual Mountain Brook Christmas Parade for the past decade or so.

Do your children or grandchildren know who you are?

What are some of the challenges to being Santa Claus?

The parade used to go down Canterbury Road, and I always had to watch for branches and power lines going down the road at night. The firemen are so cautious when you get up on a fire truck like that though.

Do you get a new suit every year?

I think this is the third one. They have progressively gotten more polyester. They are not made with the

Our oldest daughter sat on my lap one year when she was a child. After she became an adult, we asked if she knew it was me, and she had no idea so I guess my get-up was pretty impressive. Last year, our daughter from Memphis who has two children was here, and she asked if I would dress up. I put on the Santa suit and was sitting in a chair in the living room when they got home. They were so excited and had no idea.

Do you have to stuff your belly or are you naturally plump?

I put a big pillow in my stomach, and quite honestly, it gets a little hot.

Tell us some of your funnier Santa moments from over the years.

One time, this neighbor was giving a Christmas ornament shower for a friend of theirs who was getting married. The idea was for the new

couple to get lots of Christmas ornaments. Except this was in July. She asked me if minded coming and being Santa Claus at the party, so I dressed up. Of course, you can’t see to drive, so Judy (my wife) had to drive me through the middle of Crestline. It’s July and everyone was looking and honking at Santa. That was one of the more unusual times I played Santa.

What’s the easiest way to get on Santa’s naughty list?

Disobeying your mommy and daddy. I always tell kids to listen to their mommy and daddy, brush their teeth before they go to sleep and to go to bed early. But you know the children never admit to being bad.

Do you ever get tired of being Santa?

I don’t ever get tired of it. Sometimes I just don’t feel good. And you don’t want to give (germs) to the children. But most the time, it’s you catching something from the kids.

What’s your favorite cookie? Chocolate chip!

John Feagin plays Santa in the Mountain Brook Christmas Parade.

What do you give someone who has everything

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Healthy for the

December 2012 • 9



The holidays offer many moments of sabotage to maintaining a healthy weight and exercise routine. Parties, office break room sweets and edible gift giving all present opportunities for extra calorie consumption, and tight schedules leave little room for exercising. So what are some ways to help maintain a healthy body during this season of gratitude and thanksgiving? Moderation and watching calories. Embracing moderation when it comes to holiday foods and spirits is key. Be choosy and particular about the calories you ingest. Ask if the calories are the worthy fuel your body needs or is it for pure palatal pleasure? By all means food should be enjoyed, but recognizing this initiative can make the difference in extra pounds. Keep indulgences to a few bites and not a few servings. Exercise even on a tight schedule. When it comes to exercise and time is short, evaluate what you really need. Holidays, work stress and family demands could mean you really need to spend 10 minutes relaxing, focusing on your breath. See the box to the right for some ideas to get in workouts on busy days this season.

Ideas for quick workouts

 Jump rope. If energy is high, a more vigorous quick 10-20 minute workout helps burn some of the extra holiday calories. Grab a jump rope and burn, and you can burn roughly 100 calories every 10 minutes.

 Shop. The average shopping trip will burn about 75 extra calories every 30 minutes of shopping.

 Walk the course. Golfers, if you walk rather than ride, you will burn an extra 50-60 calories every 30 minutes of play.

 Walk or run around villages. Take advantage of the sidewalks within

our community by walking from the Emmet O’Neal library in Crestline to the light on Montevallo via sidewalk for a total of 1.4 miles roundtrip. You could choose to walk there and run back or periodic intervals along the way. If you continue on the sidewalk from Montevallo to the Western in Mountain Brook Village, you will add another .7 miles. So break it down however you want to with walking or sprints and however much distance you want.

 run stadium steps. If you live near Mountain Brook High School, running the stairs will burn off around 200 calories in 15 minutes.

*Calories noted are on average; individual amounts may vary. Keeping a healthy body and mind can be done in conjunction with enjoying this beautiful holiday time. Relying on consuming in moderation and using your time wisely to exercise will help keep extra pounds away. Doing this will free your mind

Keeping fit together is much more fun. Walk together on Montevallo Road are Emily Woods, Lois England and Tara Mayfield. Photo by Jennifer Gray

to focus on your relationships with friends and family during this deeply reflective and joyful time. Lois England lives in Crestline and is the wife of Lee England and mother of R.L., Brice and

Harrison. She is a registered nurse and certified personal trainer. Always an advocate and critic of all wellness issues, her focus with clients emphasizes improving postural weaknesses and flexibility.

10 • December 2012

The traditions return

Village Living

Our favorite things about Christmas in Mountain Brook By KAITLIN BITZ

Living Nativity

Bromberg’s Tree

Live sheep, donkeys and camels will return for the 49th Living Nativity at Mountain Brook Baptist Church. The event began in 1963 and has become a tradition for many Mountain Brook residents. The show’s main participants are the church’s Sunday school classes. The participants act out the second chapter of Luke while a recorded narration is playing. Dotson Nelson, a preacher at MBBC in the 1970s, performed the narration that is still used today.. The associate deacons started this annual event in 1963, and they are still in charge of it today. This year’s Living Nativity will take place on Dec. 21, 22 and 23 at 6:45 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Hot chocolate and refreshments will be available.

City decorations This year’s tradition of decorating the city during the Christmas season has been altered. Garlands, candy, bows and white lights were put up starting the first week in November. However, this year there will be no white lights at City Hall due to

construction. According to Public Works Director Ronnie Vaughn, the tradition will be back in full force next year and include the new Municipal Complex in Crestline, which is scheduled to open in April.

Santa on the Circle Santa on the Circle on Clarendon Road will look a little different this year. The 80-foot pine tree that usually holds Santa’s sleigh and reindeer had to be removed. After meeting with residents and considering the options, the decision has been made to place

a pole within the circle to mount the reindeer on. The pole will be removed after Christmas. Although Santa and his sleigh will be contained within the circle this year, it makes for an even better photo opportunity than years past.

Every year since 2006, Ricky Bromberg begins negotiations in July to guarantee that a 25-foot Christmas tree is delivered to the front of Bromberg’s by Thanksgiving. “It’s so big they have to use a crane to put it in. If you have a crane in the middle of Mountain Brook Village, it has to be a slow traffic day, so the crane hoists the tree up on Thanksgiving Day,” Ricky Bromberg said. “We light it as soon as possible after it’s up. We don’t set a formal date because it varies from year to year.” The Bromberg family considers the tree their Christmas gift to the Mountain Brook community. “It’s turned into something that I think people have a real appreciation for. It’s our pleasure to do it,” Bromberg said. “I think people really love the tree. There are very few things in the world that are universally viewed as positive and I think this is one of them.” The tree stands out from the others in Mountain Brook Village because of the lights. Not only are they mostly colored lights, but there are also approximately 30,000 of them. “It almost sparkles like a diamond,” Bromberg said, “which is an appropriate metaphor for where it is.” The tree fits in with the famed white lights around the

village. “I think most people assume we’ve been doing it for a longer time than we have just because it’s such a natural fit for the village,” Bromberg said. “You wouldn’t believe the number of conversations I’ve had over the years about trying to get it just right. The idea is that you can’t tell the difference one year from the next.”

Zoolight Safari

Santa Mailboxes

The Birmingham Zoo’s annual Zoolight Safari will run each weekend through the month of December from 5-9 p.m. This year, a new ice skating rink has been added to the event. Other features will include a Holiday Express Train Ride, Santa’s Roller Racer Ride, Winter Trail Hayride, animal demonstrations and story time. Photos with Santa will also be available through Dec. 23. This event is free for members and $8 for nonmembers. Extra features and rides such as the train and carousel are priced at $3.50 each. $12 wristbands will also be available for unlimited access to the rides. The new iceskating rink is not included in the wristband.

Children can send their wish lists straight from Mountain Brook Village to the North Pole this year. Santa Mailboxes will be set up throughout the village starting the week of Thanksgiving. The letters will be delivered to Santa, who then responds to every child — as long as they aren’t on the naughty list. Mailboxes are located outside Realty South, outside Gilchrist, at the Post Office near Little Hardware and at the intersection of Canterbury and Petticoat Roads. These mailboxes are an annual Mountain Brook tradition provided through a special collaboration between Mountain Brook Public Works employees and Santa Claus.


December 2012 • 11

Our favorite holiday traditions

“To this very day, I love Santa Claus. He comes to see my entire family, young and old each and every year. What joy and happiness!” -George Brown, Jr.

“Going to Kentucky to open presents with my GaGa, my PaPa, my Uncle and the dogs.” -Tyler James, Brookwood Forest Elementary student

“I look forward to putting out the Nutcrackers and Christmas decorations with my Granny every holiday season.” -William Brown, Cherokee Bend Elementary student

“Spending time with friends and family! My runners up are sitting by the fire and watching football.” -John Carter

“Our three children have a really hard time waiting for Christmas, so they get really excited about counting down the days with our Advent Calendar. It is seven feet tall by about three feet wide, made of linen, and is covered with numbered pockets. My husband, Matt, and I fill the pockets with Bible verses and chocolate kisses. The calendar tracks the days for the kids and gives us a daily reminder of why we are so grateful to celebrate Christ’s birth.” -Katie Morrow

“Getting the whole family in the car and driving around looking at Christmas lights.” -Margaret Cross

“Playing football with my cousins and uncles at Thanksgiving and going to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church” -Coe Taylor, MBJH student

“I spent years putting off dealing with my dental problems. When I found Dr. Koch and his team, I was only looking to x my teeth... I never thought it would change my life!” -Terry B., Actual Patient


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12 • December 2012

Village Fashion

Village Living

By Susan Matthews I have never seen as many trends booming as I have this holiday season! In all the magazines, blogs and fabulous shops we have here in Mountain Brook, we are seeing choices that allow for more personal style from peplums to side-stripers to the cold shoulder in all kinds of

Rita Dixon in a silk blouse and leather skinnies from Marella in Mountain Brook Village.

Holiday trends

fabric, I’ll tell you about them all. Any of these trends would be a great look for a holiday party. Hot fabrics and colors. Fabric trends this season are tweed, velvet, brocade and leather. Show them off with a velvet blazer, leather tank, brocade jacket or tweed skirt. Hot colors are blood red, deep orange and cobalt blue. Peplum. Peplum, a two-inch (or more) ruffle on the bottom edge of a fitted top or at the waist of a dress or skirt, is flattering on a straight body type because it gives a waistline. Women with curvy hips should steer clear of this look, as it can make the hips look wider. The key to wearing a peplum is having your bottom half fitted with a pencil skirt or skinny pants. Silk blouses. An easy trend this season is a button-up silk blouse. Solids and prints are both great. You want to go with a loose and sexy blouse, not stiff and business-like. A solid blouse paired with leather skinnies or printed pants presents a chic yet effortless look. Side-stripers. Speaking of printed pants, the updated version to this look is having the print (or contrasting color) run down the outside edge of each pant leg, also know as the sidestriper. It’s an edgier way to wear printed pants and very slimming to the leg. Mixing prints is still on trend as well, but remember to have one print subtle if the other is bold. Cold shoulder. Everyone loves a sassy top, but you might not like showing your arms. The solution to this is the cold shoulder top. These are long sleeved tops with cutouts at your shoulder so only your shoulder is exposed. It’s a great way to show a little skin without being too revealing. These tops look great with everything — jeans, skirts and dressy pants. It’s the perfect go-to top for a night out! Etc. Other individual pieces I’m seeing are caplets and ponchos, bulky sweaters, statement necklaces made of various chains, gold-tipped

Above, Kirstin Teschner wears a holiday cocktail dress with peplum from Second Hand Rose. Left, Lisa Flake and Kelli Kelly wear side-stripers pants.

heels and boots in every style. I love the look of oxford shoes with skinny jeans, blazers paired with T-shirts and colored jeans, anything with a military influence, and booties in bold colors. Whichever look you go with this season, you’re sure to hit a trend. You can find them in all our great village

boutiques or in the back of your closet. Be creative, mix and match, and tweak some old pieces to look new again. Pair a velvet blazer with an old pencil skirt from a suit that you never wear anymore. You can even pull out those leather pants that you secretly kept all these years!

December 2012 • 13

Business Spotlight

Read all the past Business Spotlights at

Lamb’s Ears Ltd. 70 Church Street 802-5700 Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.* Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.*

Lamb’s Ears Ltd. By MADOLINE MARKHAM Lamb’s Ears has only been selling gifts and décor from its Crestline Village storefront for a year and half, but the store as it is today has been decades in the making. Sisters Elizabeth Gilmore Roberts and Julie Gilmore Howell bought the 20-year-old Cahaba Heights business and moved it Crestline last May. They thought the space was perfect to fill the void the Quilted Cat gift store had left when its owner passed away a few years ago. “Lamb’s Ears had a good reputation as a place to buy a baby gift or a retirement gift or wedding gift — you could always find what you needed,” Roberts said. “We wanted to carry on and respect the work of the prior owners.” The two had grown up in McCalla as siblings four and five of six children in a tight-knit family. Roberts, a resident of Mountain Brook for more than 20 years, has a background in accounting, and Howell recently moved here from Daphne, where she owned several businesses including a furniture retail store. A stroll through Lamb’s Ears reveals collectors items like Radko ornaments, hand-carved German nutcrackers, Italian hand-carved nativities and the whimsical creations of Patience Brewster. Quirky items like a bobble tail dog can be found amongst upscale holiday décor. Local artists who sell work in

Market 46

A Sister Business of Lamb’s Ears Like their store, the Gilmore girls’latest venture started with family. When planning Howell’s daughter’s wedding, the sisters found a strong interest in vintage décor but no local resource for it. And so Market 46, a vintage rental business, was born. And what was the inspiration for the name? The owners’ parents married in 1946. Market 46 can provide vintage china and flatware for up to 300 people, as well as vintage chairs and other furniture items. More information about Market 46 can be found on Howell’s now-married daughter, Emmie Arendell, a professional photographer, now runs the store’s facebook page, blogs and Pinterest account, as well asw works with Market 46.

Sisters Elizabeth Gilmore Roberts and Julie Gilmore Howell own Lamb’s Ears in Crestline Village. The store has a variety of unique holiday gifts and décor items as well as unique gifts for any occasion. Photos by Madoline Markham.

the store include jewelry by Leigh Ann Hurst, Shalla Wista and Laura Gaines, Sara Cavender, Kim Davis (Severity Beads) and Sherri Fairbain; and paintings by Barclay Gresham, Debra Hewitt, Tom Findley and Vaughan Spanjer. In addition to gift items, Lamb’s Ears sells unique tables, lamps mirrors and other home furnishings — all of which the owners pride themselves on selling at great prices. “Customers can come in and tell

us an occasion and a price point, and our associates can find something for you,” Howell said. In keeping with Lamb’s Ears’ “12 Days of Christmas” tradition, the store features a different category of gift each day. Its owners announce each day’s item the night before via email, Facebook and a sign on their door. The store also offers wedding registries for items like china and glassware and a Wish List – what Roberts calls a “registry for

everyone.” Customers can come in and add what they like to their Wish lists, and family and friends can access before a birthday or any other gift-worthy occasion. “We have had such a good welcome from Mountain Brook and its business leaders,” Roberts said. “People in Mountain Brook really like to shop local. We always find nose prints on our windows from where people have looked in when we are not open.”

*After Thanksgiving, Lamb’s Ears extends its weekday holiday hours to 5:30 p.m., and 7 p.m. on Thursdays. It is also open Sundays from 1-4 p.m.

Upcoming events at Lamb’s ears Dec. 3-14 – 12 Days of Christmas Sales Dec. 6 – Sherri Fairbairn Jewelry Trunk Show Dec. 11,18 – men’s Nights Out Dec. 13 – Shall Wista and Laura Gaines Jewelry Trunk Show

Purchase $100 in gift cards and receive $25 FREE through 1-1-13. Happy Holidays from Otey’s!

Book your holiday party now. Call 871-8435 Like us on Facebook and download the Otey’s App for FREE

Serving delicious cheeseburgers and famous cocktails for over 20 years

Come Celebrate the Holidays at Michelle’s... ...”a Christmas Tradition” Michelle’s in Crestline


14 • December 2012

Village Living

Faith Life Actually By Kari Kampakis

Invited to the party: A reflection on Christmas Sometimes I wonder have a shot at heaven?” who I’d be if I were The thing is, I’m not stripped of the earthly fooling myself. As hard layers that define me: as it is to comprehend, my family, my friends, God wants me and my passions and my you to spend eternity achievements. What with Him. He wants to if I lost my home and bring us all home, back possessions, too? What to where He created if I no longer had decent us, where brokenness Kampakis clothes and makeup to is made whole and hide behind, no masks to boost my everlasting happiness exists. confidence? On earth, there’s no such thing as Could I love myself in this raw, a party where everyone’s invited. completely blemished form? Could There are exclusions. Cuts. Guests I find self worth just being a child lists tweaked and whittled down of God? Would I still love Him, or to the most important names. But would I turn away, growing hard to God, every name is important. and bitter over all that I’d lost? Everyone’s on His guest list. These are hard questions but ones We’re all invited to God’s party to consider if we care about eternal in heaven because of grace. His life. Because one day, our earthly grace changes everything, and layers will be stripped off. We’ll be it is a gift we receive for free judged not by what we wore over by accepting Christ Jesus in our our core but our core itself. Like it life. God doesn’t give us what or not, our identity will be revealed. we deserve, He gives more. And I’ll be honest: This frightens me. as we submit to Him, humbly I know how holy God is and how seeking help and forgiveness, His perfect His standards are. The fact grace works miracles in our life. It that He’d even consider me for His makes straight lines out of crooked kingdom is mind-boggling. I’m sticks. Heroes out of vagrants. unworthy and fall so short. Part of Masterpieces out of ashes. As me wants to say, “Are you kidding impossible things happen, we raise me, God? You know the darkness our eyes upward, and wonder if this in my heart, all my guises, sins, joy in our heart - this unspeakable and motives. You see me make splendor — is a taste of heaven. mistakes, and hate myself for them. If so, we want to live there Why waste your time on me? Am forever. I fooling myself to believe I even Christmas is the celebration of a

baby sent to save our world from sin and lead us all to heaven. Christ is God’s ultimate gift of grace, a model of human obedience. Through Him we have footsteps to follow. Through Him we learn to walk. There’s so much suffering in this world, and none of us are immune. Out of the blue we can be stripped of our marriage, our children, our honor and good name. We can lose everything, yet one thing no one can ever take away is our faith. God’s promise of salvation is untouchable. I want this message to be one of hope. Because God is hope. Jesus is hope. Christmas is hope. Any gifts we’re robbed of in this world will be reclaimed in the next. There’s freedom knowing this now, because even in the most painful circumstances, we have a reason to hang on. The future holds rewards. As we celebrate the remarkable birth of Christ, let’s remember God’s love for us and His invitation to heaven. By sending His son into our world, God built us a bridge home. He offered atonement for our sins. His grace does, indeed, change everything. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mountain Brook mom of four with a background in PR, writing and photography. Visit her website at, find her on Facebook and Twitter, or contact her at













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Special events and services highlight area church calendar By KAITLIN BITZ

Canterbury United Methodist Church 350 Overbrook Road 871-4695

Dec. 2: Birmingham-Southern College Service, 4:30 p.m. The service will include lessons and carols. Dec. 4: Jefferson State Community College Service, 7 p.m. Dec. 9: Cumberland United Methodist Church Service of Lessons and Carols, 10:30 a.m. Dec. 10: Mountain Brook Junior High School Winter Concert, 7 p.m. Sanctuary. Dec. 12: CUMC Children’s Christmas Program, 6:15 p.m. Canterbury Center. All events are free and open to the public.

Brookwood Baptist Church 3449 Overton Road 967-0441

Dec. 2: Secret of Snowflake County, 6 p.m. Performed by the Children’s Choir. Dec. 9: Adult Choir Christmas Performance, 6 p.m. Dec. 14: Behold the Lamb, 7 p.m. The Alter Band will perform this musical, which tells the story of Christmas from Moses up to Christ’s birth. The performance is free to the public. For more, call 967-0441. Dec. 24: Candelight Service. 4 p.m., 6 p.m.

Mountain Brook Baptist Church 3631 Montevallo Road 871-0331

Dec. 2: Hanging of the Green Service. 9 a.m., 11 a.m. Dec. 9: Christmas Music. 9 a.m. Presented by the Sanctuary Choir. Dec. 21, 22, 23: Living Nativity. 6:45, 7:30, 8:15. Dec. 24: Annual Christmas Eve Communion Service. 5 p.m.

Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church 3405 Brookwood Road 967-5037

Dec. 2: Hanging of the Green Service. 11 a.m. Dec. 24: Lessons and Carols Communion. 5 p.m.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church 3736 Montrose Road 871-3583

Dec. 5: Service of Lessons and Carols. 6:30 p.m. Holy Eucharist will follow the service. Dec. 24: Christmas Eve Family Service. 3 p.m., 5 p.m. Nursery will be provided.

December 2012 • 15


A rising vocal star By SUZANNE MILLIGAN Stephen Little, the son of Terri and Stephen Little, was a vocal standout recently at the Mountain Brook High School Fall Musical, “Brookie School of Rock.” He took time to share with Village Living and its readers what it is like to be in high school, and how he shares his gifts with his friends.

Remodeling and Home Repair

“Attention to Detail Matters”

How did you get started singing? I have been a part of Big Time Ministries since seventh grade. Big Time is really where I started singing. Andrew King and Tucker Deaton played and sang, and those guys let me sing with them. It was great. How did you decide to get involved in the high school choir? When I was in junior high, rumor had it that choir in high school was fun – and an easy A. I had seen a couple of choir shows, and it looked fun so I chose it as an elective when I did my schedule instead of a third year of Spanish. Singing is a hobby of mine, so I decided to do something I actually liked instead of Spanish again. What was your favorite part of the choir show? Hanging out with the guys (men’s choir) during the practices. It was a lot of fun, and there was a lot of energy. It felt goofy to be up there dancing, but Mr. Kincaid (choir director) told us that the audience loves it if it is goofy as long as the energy is high.   Do you play any instruments? Guitar. I picked it up in seventh grade

Stephen Little performs during Brookie School of Rock. Photo courtesy of Fred Speyer.

after singing with some friends who played. Do you write music? I’ve written three songs. The first song I wrote I performed in Junior High Art Forms. Our band just completed our first original song. I wrote the lyrics and Tucker Deaton wrote the music, and Andrew King is doing the piano licks. Scott Britton plays the base for the band, and Cain Poynor is our drummer   What is the name of your band? We don’t really have a name yet. Right now, we’re Beanstalk and the Jacks. One of our friend’s dads came up with that because we have three short guys and then Tucker

Anne Frank and fall musical performances By MARY KATHRYN PARROTT While to many Southerners fall is associated with tailgating and touchdowns, at Mountain Brook High School the Fine Arts department kicks off the season. The Diary of Anne Frank, newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman and starring Dee Dee Joehl as Anne, was a fabulous beginning to the season. “[This version of the play] really gives the kids opportunities as actors,” theatre teacher Jesse Tilton said. “It portrays Anne as a real young girl rather than a literary figure.” The fall play set a high bar for the next performance, the choir show, which was certainly met! The night began with “Unplugged,” an hour filled with the voices of 33 students in 14 auditioned acts. While traditional instruments such as guitars, pianos and drums were played, Paul Styslinger brought out his “banjo-lele,”

and Hannah Mouyal and Shelton McCullough used pink plastic cups while singing “Call Your Girlfriend.” Soon after “Unplugged,” students appeared on stage as 1980s rockers in “Brookie School of Rock.” Classic songs from this time period such as “Somebody to Love” by Queen, “One Way or Another” by Blondie and “Hit Me with your Best Shot” by Pat Benetar, all choreographed by Todd L. Underwood, were featured in the musical. All of these spectacular performances are held annually, so make plans to attend next year if you missed out. While the Fine Arts department at Mountain Brook High School has drawn things to a close for this fall, it also offers much to look forward to. The choir will be putting on a Christmas performance in which classical carols and more will flow through the air, and Kiss Me Kate will be performed in the spring.

is real tall, so the dad said he looks like a beanstalk compared to all the rest of us. We’re still waiting for the right name though. We got the band started in the summer about five months ago. We meet up about once a week to play and practice. We’re hoping to play at the Relay for Life event at the high school this year.    What bands do you wlisten to? I listen to a lot of country artists. I also like listening to Dispatch, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Needtobreathe. The Band has some good Music, and I have the Eagles on my iPod. When I pick up my guitar at home, I usually sing songs by some of those (artists).

Stephen Ray • Adair McAlister 868-6800

16 • December 2012

Village Living

Boys choir concert set for Dec. 4 The Birmingham Boy’s Choir will perform its 35th Annual Christmas Concert at Mountain Brook Baptist Church. The concert will take place on Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free to the public as usual, but donations are greatly appreciated. The Birmingham Boy’s Choir is composed of boys ages 7-17 from the Birmingham area. Right now, more than 37 Birmingham-area schools are represented within the choir. Looking to the future, the BBC plans to embark on a summer concert tour. Its members have traveled to many different countries on previous summer tours including England, Japan and Canada. This year, they will be touring Costa Rica. The Birmingham Boy’s Choir was incorporated in 1971 by Ken Berg, who is still the reigning choirmaster. Its purpose is to allow talented young men in the Birmingham area to express themselves while learning more about the discipline of music. They hold auditions year round and host enrollment in January and July. For more information, visit

Members of Birmingham Boys Choir. Photos courtesy of Walt Stricklin.

Library to host author of book set in Civil Rights era Tuscaloosa By HOLLEY WESLEY Emmet O’Neal Library Emmet O’Neal Library is excited to welcome author and Tuscaloosa native Walter Bennett back to Alabama for a reception, book signing and talk at the library on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. Bennett’s debut novel, Leaving Tuscaloosa, crafts a story whose characters are involved in a moral, emotional and intellectual struggle. At the heart of the novel are two men – one black and one white – who are involved in a tragic

situation. Set in the Deep South in 1962, Leaving Tuscaloosa tells the story of two young men whose lives are changed forever over the course of one night. The novel was a 2010 Finalist for the prestigious Bellwether Prize for Fiction, a nationwide competition founded and administered by Barbara Kingsolver to celebrate unpublished narratives that explore issues of social change. Bennett, a former lawyer, judge and law professor, resides in Chapel Hill, N.C. For more, call librarian Katie Moellering at 4451118.

Screening for Jewish genetic diseases at LJCC On Jan. 13, 2013, a community-wide screening for potential carriers of 19 Jewish genetic diseases will be held at the Levite Jewish Community Center from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The Birmingham Jewish Federation and Foundation is hosting the screening in partnership with the National Victor Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and in collaboration with physicians from the Department of Genetics of UAB Individuals are encouraged to pre-register online and may obtain information regarding insurance coverage and costs at victorcenters. org. In the past, prospective parents had no way of knowing whether they were carriers of a genetic disease that could threaten the health and life of their children – until it was too late and a child became sick. For Jewish individuals of Central and Eastern European descent, the potential danger is particularly great, since one in four is a carrier for at least one of 19 preventable genetic diseases. Unfortunately, many of these diseases strike in childhood, have no cure and can lead to an early death. A simple blood test is all that is necessary to screen for the Jewish genetic disease panel of 19 conditions. The Victor Center recommends that all at-risk individuals – including interfaith couples and couples getting pregnant through donor egg/sperm – should be screened, with the Jewish partner being screened first. Individuals with one or more Jewish grandparents are considered at risk. Couples should be screened prior to each pregnancy for any new diseases – since there have been new advances in testing, the list of known genetic diseases is constantly being expanded. For more information, contact Caren Seligman, Outreach Director at the Birmingham Jewish Federation, at or visit The LJCC is located at 3960 Montclair Road.

Trunk ShowS Mountain Brook Friday, deceMBer 14th , 9:30aM-5:30pM the SuMMit Saturday, deceMBer 15 th , 10:00aM-6:00pM BroMBergS.coM

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12/11/2012 10:32 AM

December 2012 • 17

Tyson named UA Homecoming Queen Mountain Brook High School graduate Lissa Handley Tyson was named 2012 Homecoming Queen at The University of Alabama Oct. 26, during UA’s annual Homecoming Pep Rally. Tyson, sponsored by Alpha Gamma Delta, is a senior majoring in accounting and finance. She was crowned at halftime of the homecoming football game Saturday, Oct. 27, in BryantDenny Stadium. UA students selected the queen in a general election held Tuesday, Oct. 23. Some 8,962 votes were cast in this year’s election. Lissa Handley is the daughter of Marc and Lissa Tyson. She was the Homecoming Queen at Mountain Brook High School when she was a senior. Lissa Handley Tyson

Student wins free yogurt for a year

John Forrester DeBuys IV, and Wirth Wellington Doss, members of Troop 63 at Canterbury United Methodist Church, were awarded the rank of Eagle Scout in a Court of Honor ceremony on Oct. 14. For his Eagle Scout leadership project, DeBuys organized and implemented a double elimination basketball tournament at The Exceptional Foundation called Hoops for Halloween. DeBuys also worked with the Junior League of Birmingham, who sponsored a Halloween dinner and dance the night before the tournament. DeBuys raised more than $2,000 with his project and made a donation of over $500 to The Exceptional Foundation with the excess funds. For his project, Doss designed and built three large picnic tables and three painted bookcases for the residents at Changed Lives Christian Center (CLCC) in north Birmingham. Changed Lives, which opened it’s doors in September 2010, is a faith based ministry that offers transitional housing for men who are on their way to recover from homelessness. In addition to the funds required to carry out the project, Doss raised more than $2,000 that was donated to Changed Lives. As members of Troop 63, DeBuys earned 21 merit badges and Doss earned 22. Both were inducted into the Order of the Arrow, participated twice in Troop 63’s leadership training weekend at the University of the South, and attended the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base located in the Florida Keys in 2010. Both boys are juniors at Mountain Brook High

Wirth Doss

Forrester DeBuys

School and play on the varsity football team. Forrester is a member of the baseball team, serves as a class representative of the Student Government Association and is a member of the Interact Club as well as the Latin Honor Society. Doss is a member of the varsity lacrosse team and was a charter member of the Mountain Brook Bass Fishing team. Forrester is the son of Katherine and Forrest DeBuys. He is the grandson of Raleigh Kent of Mountain Brook, John and Martha DeBuys of Mountain Brook, and Maida Burrow and Jerry Bush of Grand Junction, Colo. He is the greatgrandson of Patricia Burrow of Grand Junction, Colo. and Minnie Rast of Mountain Brook. Wirth is the son of Kathleen and Edmund Doss. He is the grandson of Elise and Harold Doss of Mountain Brook and Sharon and Edward Sprouse of Columbus, Ga., and the great grandson of Dorothea Dow of Athens, Ga.

Botanical Gardens to host sing-a-long







Merry Christmas




performing holiday songs. It’s a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. Tickets are $20 per person. For more information, visit bbgardens. org.



Abby Seton

Birmingham Botanical Gardens will host Southern Tales at the Gardens on Sunday, Dec. 9 from 2- 4 p.m. The event will feature Bobby Horton and Dolores Hydock telling holiday stories and

1829 29th Ave. South • Homewood • 870-8110





Abby Seton, a student at Cherokee Bend Elementary, was the winner of free yogurt for a year at 32°’s event benefiting the United Way on Oct. 23. Abby will enjoy one free yogurt a week for the next year. The event raised $389 for the United Way of Central Alabama.

Villages welcome two new Eagles


18 • December 2012

Village Living

Don’t miss Indie-cember films at Emmet O’Neal Library Adults Dec. 2 - Reception, Book Signing, and Talk with Walter Bennett, author of Leaving Tuscaloosa, 3 p.m. Dec. 5 - Brown Bag Lunch series, film about historic landmarks from Turkey to Germany, 12:30 p.m. Dec. 6 - Indie-cember Film Fest, Jim Jarmusch directs Dead Man, a mind-bending Western starring Johnny Depp, 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 10 - Great Books Book Group discussing a selected short story, “The Professor’s Houses” by Ursula K. Le Guin, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 - The Bookies Book Group, discussing The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, 10 a.m. Dec. 11 - Documentaries After Dark, film of The Nutcracker from the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12 - Brown Bag Lunch series, second episode in a film series on the culture and craft of quilting, 12:30 p.m.

Dec. 13 - Indie-cember Film Fest, Wes Anderson directs Moonrise Kingdom, a rollicking adventure set on a New England island in 1965, where two 12-year-olds fall in love, make a secret pact and run away together into the wilderness, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15 - Knit & Knibble, all crafts and skill levels welcome, 2-3:30 p.m.

Dec. 18 - Genre Reading Group, Salon Discussion: Book(s) of Choice, 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 19 - Brown Bag Lunch series, film about vintage toys and toy collecting, 12:30 p.m.

Dec. 26 - Brown Bag Lunch series, film about turning points in 18th century American history, 12:30 p.m.

Teens (Grades 7-12) Dec. 3 - TAB Meeting, the monthly meeting of our Teen Advisory Board, 5-6p.m. Dec. 7 - Game On! Video Game Tournament, 4:30-6:30p.m.

Dec. 14 - Knitting with Katie Elkins, making yarn out of T-shirts, 4-6p.m.

Dec. 17-20 - Exam Breaks for Finals. Late Night Study Session on Wed., Dec. 19 from 6-9 p.m. in the Library’s Meeting Room.


Special Events

Mondays *Toddler Tales Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Chess Club. 6 p.m.

Dec. 4 - Family Night: “Santa’s Missing Mail” by All Hands Puppet Productions, 5:30 p.m.

Tuesdays Together Time Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Library Out Loud Story Time. 3:30 p.m.

Dec. 8 - Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Holiday Hairdo Hullabaloo for ages 3 an dup, 10 a.m.-12 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. Saturdays Family Story Time with Mr. Mac. 10:30 a.m.

Dec. 5 - After-School Special: “Hans Brinker and the Quicksilver Rocket Skates” by Atlantic Coast Theatre, 3:30 p.m.

Dec. 8-19 - Enter the Gingerbread House contest Dec. 11 - *Bookmania: Bliss, 6 p.m.

Dec. 13 - *Bookmania: Bliss, 6 p.m.

Dec. 15 - *Chess Tournament: Bring $5 to Children’s Desk to register. Dec. 18 - *Bookplay: Elf Abodes, 3:30 p.m.

*Space is limited; please call 879-0497 or visit to register. For more information about any of our programs, call us at 445-1121 and find us online at, blogging at, on Facebook at emmetoneallibrary, and on Twitter at @eolib.

This Holiday Season, stuff your stockings with Savings!

Visit the wine shop at your local Piggly Wiggly Crestline - 870-5640 River Run Drive - 776-8755 Homewood - 879-0884

December 2012 • 19 Read past Restaurant Showcases at

Restaurant Showcase Bongiorno 68-A Church Street 879-5947 Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. Mondays, 5-9 p.m. Tue., Wed., Thur., 5-10 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 5-11 p.m.

Bongiorno By CHRISTIANA ROUSSEL There are some things in life you just cannot fake – the ability to fly a plane, juggle chainsaws, turn a cartwheel. You might add crafting authentic Italian fare to that list. That’s something that Giuseppe “Joe” Magnolia has been doing for more than two decades at his Crestline eatery, Bongiorno. I recently sat down with Magnolia and his chef de cuisine, Ernie Tate, in between the lunch shift and the dinner rush. From a seat at the front of the 16-table restaurant behind a large spotless plate-glass window, we could watch the world walk by. Magnolia and Tate took turns waving to friendly passers who called out well wishes and compliments on a recent meal — the kind of rapport only developed after 25 years in one location. Giuseppe Magnolia moved to the U.S. from Palermo, Sicily in the 1970s. He turned out some of his oldcountry Italian favorites in New York City before moving to Birmingham in 1977 in search of a warmer climate. Magnolia’s first restaurant venture was Roma in Roebuck. “We had barbecue up front and a pizza oven in the back.” He later moved Restaurant Roma to Pickwick Place in Southside, where they continued to serve southern Italian specialties like

Insalata Caprese, Baked Manicotti and Spaghetti Carbonara. A restaurant patron and friend had a hair salon in nearby Crestline and bemoaned the fact that there were no good places to eat, and soon an opportunity arose for them to move there. Magnolia brought his classic favorites and added several seasonal specialties to Bongiorno on Church Street. Autumn sees the arrival of darker leafy greens like kale, which can be added to stews. Squashes are roasted and served in raviolis or turned into silky soups. When the weather turns colder, the menu will feature items like a Smoked Prime. The dining room comes alive with holiday parties as old friends catch up and new friends share an order of calamari or a bottle of Italian wine. Magnolia and Tate take great pride in the quality of all the food – especially the seafood – they offer customers. Magnolia makes regular visits to the seafood vendor to see what is fresh. “I don’t wait for the truck to come to me. I want to go see what is the best they have and pick from that. Whether it is fish or tomatoes, I want to select my own for my customers,” he said. This attention to detail comes through in entrees like the NutCrusted Snapper or Glazed Salmon. “I buy as many organic items

Bongiorno owner Giuseppe “Joe” Magnolia.

as possible, and we make almost everything from scratch here.” Tate likes to infuse balsamic vinegar with whatever fruits are in season. He boils down the mixture until it resembles syrup, each drop brimming with the flavor of the wine and the fruit. “I made a stone-fruit balsamic this fall that was great. I added some to a lamb dish, with a ruby port jus that our customers loved,” Tate said. Bongiorno is famous for its pizzas that boast a crisp yet slightly chewy crust. Magnolia says he orders the Molino 00 flour straight from Italy, which makes all the difference.

Another specialty of the house is the Fettuccine alla Campagnola, which features a sausage made by Magnolia in-house with signature Italian spice fennel. This sausage is tossed with fettuccine pasta, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, shallots and basil, then topped with a grating of roasted goat cheese. The décor of Bongiorno is soothing – cream-colored walls feature framed Italian scenes and photographs of the family. One particular wall, near the hostess stand, is reminiscent of an entire family album. It reflects the lifeblood of this restaurant, which

is truly a family affair. Son Peter and daughters Abigail, Moniea and Maria all play a role in the daily success of Bongiorno. Sons-in-law Augustino and Oswaldo are also actively involved. When asked if he plans to retire any time soon and let the next generation take over the reins, Magnolia’s eyes just sparkle and he replies, “Everything I love is here. Why do anything else?” Christiana Roussel lives in Crestline and enjoys all things food-related. Follow her culinary musings on line at or on Facebook or @Christiana40.

2707 Culver Road • 871-9093 •

20 • December 2012

Village Living

School House Learning Montgomery first-hand

MBHS Band wins marching awards

By PAM MALDIA Fourth graders at Crestline Elementary recently spent a day in Montgomery touring educational sites while learning Alabama history and how their state government and judicial systems work. At the Judicial Center they learned how the appellate court system works, at the State Capitol Building they learned about the history of government, at the Rosa Parks Museum they learned about Parks’ legacy and the Civil Rights Movement and at the Alabama Department of Archives and History they saw what life was like for the Native Americans, soldiers and settlers. At the State House of Representatives, students were allowed to debate and vote on mock bills before State Sen. Slade Blackwell, who was on-hand to answer questions about how the legislative process works. After the field trip, students made group presentations on what they learned.

Mountain Brook High School Band Captain Will Adkison and Field Commander Laura Semmes. Photo courtesy of Kat Lawson.

Crestline Elementary teacher Bradley O’Neill and her fourth graders pause for a class picture on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol during their field trip to Montgomery.

BWF Peinhardt Farm Field Trip By ALISON JAMES On Oct. 12, Brookwood Forest Elementary second graders visited Peinhardt Living History Farm in Cullman. The trip exposed the children to rural farm life in the 1930s. Students milked a cow, identified trees native to Alabama, used rural farming tools, learned the differences between a mule and a donkey, took a covered wagon ride, visited a rural farmhouse and picked cotton.

Second graders in Caroline Peek’s class at Peinhardt Farm.

Mountain Brook High School Band Captain Will Adkison and Field Commander Laura Semmes lead the marching band in an award-winning season in both the Pell City Marching Competition and the prestigious Vanderbilt Marching Invitational. The band performed selections from iconic rock band Blood, Sweat and Tears and took home superior honors for band, color guard, percussion and field commander at the Pell City contest. Semmes was also awarded best overall field commander. The band was awarded Superior Band and Superior Field Commander at the Vanderbilt Marching Invitational as well as third place overall in their class.

CBS Red Ribbon Week Cherokee Bend students Ellie Kate Berte, Nelson Crawford, Jake Thompson and Richard Brock welcome Bobby Humphrey, a former All-American player for the University of Alabama, Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins, as special guest to kick off Red Ribbon Week.


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BWF Red Ribbon Week By ALISON JAMES Brookwood Forest Elementary celebrated National Red Ribbon Week Oct. 22- 26 with the theme “Elect To Be A Champion.” This campaign, also known as Anti-Drug and Alcohol Awareness, kicked off at BWF on Oct. 19 with a speech from Mountain Brook High School football Coach Chris Yeager to fourth through sixth graders about making good choices. BWF students participated in the campaign by dressing for a different theme each day of the

following week. On “Shade Out Drugs” they wore sunglasses, and on “Be a Champion” they wore their favorite team jersey. Students got to enjoy a healthy snack in their classrooms and wear their favorite hat on Tuesday for “Hats Off To Healthy Choices.” Families all over Brookwood Forest placed red bows on their mailboxes in support of the campaign, which encourages children to make wise decisions where drugs and alcohol are concerned. BWF Red Ribbon Week committee chairs were Gayle Jones and Amanda Sharp.

BWF second graders William Tomlin, Mac Palmer, Avery Knowles and Nathan McCain on “Shade Out Drugs” day during Red Ribbon Week.

Coach Chris Yeager and BWF sixth graders Colton Yeager and Brett Lewis kick off Red Ribbon Week at BWF.

Mountain Brook Elementary holds mock election

Sixth graders Adelia Collier, Emory Alexander, Park Mendelsohn and Jay Barze are joined by poll worker Ella Cobbs.

By HILARY ROSS Mountain Brook Elementary held a mock election where students exercised their right to vote. Members of the MBE Student Council and PAGE (Program for Academically Gifted Education) served as poll workers. Students provided their name to enter the polling location where laptops were ready to record their vote for two elections. The first related to Amendment One, which was whether or not to extend the distributions from the Alabama Trust Fund to the Forever

Wild Land Trust for the next 20 years. The other item on the ballot was for President of the United States. Amendment One passed with 85 percent of the vote, while Romney led in the presidential race with 89.5 percent to 10.5 percent for Obama. The school also participated in a national student vote through the Kid Vote 2012 website. When asked why it is important to vote, Jay Barze said, “Because your vote could be the difference in who wins the election.” Park Mendelsohn added, “It is important to vote so your opinions can be heard.”

22 • December 2012

Village Living

Parenting and Family with Dr. Dale Wisely

Underage drinking:

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Underage drinking is a problem in all communities, including Mountain Brook. Parents continue to express a range of opinions about how to parent regarding this issue. Some parents are uncompromising in making it clear to their teenagers that they won’t turn a blind eye to any drinking. Others advocate some variation on “supervised drinking,” usually with the idea that a gradual introduction to alcohol use may help prevent problems down the road. We have to consider the risks associated with drinking, particularly (1) to excess, (2) when young, with a still-developing brain and (3) especially when not of legal age. The commonality of underage drinking sometimes obscures the fact that it is always illegal and the illegality, in and of itself, is a major risk. It is probably true that underage drinking contributes to the deaths of more teenagers than any other cause. Consider that the top three causes of death among teenagers are accidents, suicide and homicide. Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading direct cause of teenage deaths, but, of course, many of those accidents are alcoholrelated. Alcohol and drugs are a common contributing factor to suicide and homicide. Longitudinal studies demonstrate that good parenting practices are related to decreases in teen alcohol and drug use. What are good practices? Parents should remember that their influence over their teenagers’ choices remains powerful. Peer influences strengthen during the teen years, but that doesn’t mean that parental influence goes away. As parents, we need to decide based on good information what our expectations of our children are regarding alcohol and drugs, and we need to communicate these clearly and frequently. Our best reading of the research is that parents do best by prohibiting the use of alcohol in their teenagers. This is opposed to the not uncommon approach one hears, often expressed like this:

“They’re going to drink anyway, so I want them to drink in the safe environment of our home.” The first problem with this approach is that it is simply not true that all teenagers drink. In Mountain Brook, where we have said for years we have a problem with underage drinking, it is still not true that all teenagers drink. In our last anonymous survey of Mountain Brook students for grades 10-12, 52 percent said they had engaged in some underage drinking in the last year. That’s too many. We have a problem. But it is useful, from time-to-time, to look at those numbers and recall that almost half of our students say they have engaged in no underage drinking in the last year. That’s very different from “they all drink.” Putting that aside, my best reading of the research is that it is a risky practice to permit underage drinking in a “supervised” setting. I believe the best evidence is that supervised drinking leads to more unsupervised drinking, not less. Furthermore, we know that we tend to see, later on, more trouble related to alcohol use — including alcoholism — among those young people who start drinking earlier. We also persist in recommending parents consider what they are modeling for their children in the adult patterns of alcohol use in the family. Ask yourself these questions: First, is there always, or almost always, alcohol when adults get together socially in your home? What message does that convey? Do your kids see you use alcohol to escape or to relieve stress? What message does that convey? Dale Wisely, Ph.D. is Director of Student Services at Mountain Brook Schools and has been a child and adolescent psychologist for nearly 30 years. Dr. Wisely welcomes your questions for future columns; email jennifer@ to submit yours.

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December 2012 • 23

Everything you need

Crestline students with scout leader Jay Skinner. Front row: Reid Till, Henry Skinner and Fletcher Thomas. Back row: Henry Phitzer, Austin del a Torre, James Shepherd and Griffin Darden.


On Nov. 9, Crestline Elementary held its annual Veterans’ Day Program. Fifth grade students performed patriotic songs, and

each veteran who attended was introduced and presented with a flag from a Crestline student. A moment of silence was observed to remember Veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

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Fifth graders Louisa Patrick, Alex Pitts, Jack Higgins, Jessica Brouillette, Ella McDonald and Bianca Loglisci welcome honored veterans: Brigadier General Charles Machemehl, Jr. (Air Force), Tom Taylor (Navy), J. David Higgins (Army), James W. Anderson (Navy), Mayor Terry Oden (Army) and MBE music teacher Shari Dorsett.

By HILARY ROSS In November, fifth grade students at Mountain Brook Elementary took part in a week of patriotism that culminated in the annual Salute to Veterans. A different, notable flag was raised and flown in front of the school each day of the week leading up to the program. These included a 1945 flag flown in Tokyo Bay following World War II, the flag accompanying the Space Shuttle Columbia on a 1992 mission and a century old flag with only 46 stars. Each was accompanied by a marker about its year and importance. The Salute to Veterans included 30 honored guests from every branch of United States

military service. Following a slide presentation, flags representing these branches were installed by the fifth grade Color Guard. Led by the direction of music teacher, Shari Dorsett, the audience heard songs about country, patriotism and American pride. The show concluded with veterans in attendance coming to the stage when the theme song for the branch of service in which he or she served was played. Students then placed a flag pin on their veteran. Guest trumpeter Bradley Jenkins, eighth grade MBJH band student, closed the program with “Taps” to honor and remember those who died during service for our country.

MBE Color Guard: Patrick Neil, Dudley Lawson, Jack Higgins, Will Dobbins, Nate Fulmer, Crawford Golden and Richman Priestley.

871-4616 • Mountain Brook Shopping Center

24 • December 2012

Village Living

Colonial Day at Cherokee Bend By CATHERINE BODNAR On Oct. 12, fifth graders celebrated their second year of hosting the Colonial Fair at Cherokee Bend Elementary. Over the course of the year, students study prehistoric times through the Civil War. Currently they are studying colonization after the Age of Exploration and the founding of the New World. Students have researched different colonies and their government, economy, trade, geography, etc. The students then created a colonial profiles. The students traveled through five stations with their “family groups” to experience colonial life: lantern making, candle making, corn, colonial games and quilting. Fifth grade teachers are Meredith Attar, Chad Haller, Amanda Milazzo and Hannah Peters.

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Katie Ramsbacher, Vann Logan, Charlie Gault and Samuel Cox.

Chad Haller’s class. Front row: Leila Radney, Sibley Powell, Ellie Dayhuff, Curry Elgin, Lillie Kate Prather, Brennan Scott, Davis White and Hays Edmunds. Second row: Jay Rucker, Sam Ryesdorph, Samuel Cox, Dugan Prater, Libby Kerr and Anne Ross Bethea. Back row: Mary Ward, Mr. Chad Haller, Rosemary Lee, William O’Leary, Kate Amberson, William Watts and Vann Stewart.

December 2012 • 25

Sports Lady Spartans return top scorers, eye Final Four By SUZANNE MILLIGAN After a spectacular 2011-2012 season for the Mountain Brook High School Varsity Girls Basketball team (26-7), the Lady Spartans look to repeat their successes and head back to the 6A Regionals in 2013. Village Living received a dose of insight from Head Coach Mark Cornelius on what fans can expect this season. Cornelius, in his second stint as head coach of the Lady Spartans, has coached the program a total of 23 years. He previously played basketball for the University of Alabama and, in 1989-1990, played in two NCAA Tournaments and had one Sweet Sixteen appearance. Cornelius was also head coach of the boys program at Mountain Brook for 10 years, and holds the title of the winningest basketball coach in Mountain Brook High School history. Who are some new faces on the team this year? Seniors Hayden Griffin and Maggie Dodson are a welcome addition to a strong senior class. With juniors Michelle Wu we add depth at the post. We also have a couple of new freshman this season. Sara Carr will play forward, and Nicole Strahl will help us at the point guard position. Who on the team do you expect to have breakout seasons? One thing about this year’s group is that everyone knows about them. Our opponents have been competing against them for several years. Senior Liz Bygrave has been working very hard to step up and have a great year.

How have the dynamics of this team changed from last year? Our loss of Annabelle Friedman to an ACL injury really hit us hard. I have challenged our ladies to step up and fill the void left by Annabelle’s absence. I know that as we go through the year and find the roles that each girls has, then we can be successful. Our style of play will not change. We will get after you from the time you get off the bus until the last horn. My ladies love to play that way, and nothing will change that. What will returning players bring to the table to stay competitive? This group of returners is amazing. Ellie Mouyal is a returning senior this season, and she has had a great off-season. Ellie is tremendous in transition, and we depend or her ability to finish at the rim. Liz Bygrave is a great teammate. She plays several positions, which makes her very important to our overall success. Juniors MK Pinson and Collier Ogilvie are the top returning scorers. Collier became the school’s alltime leading scorer last season, and MK set the record for most points in a single game with 39. Sophomores Abby Garrett and Neely Francis have one year of varsity experience under their belt, and they are expected to really make a statement this season. Abby is a powerful post player, and Neely can shoot as well as anyone around. Depth of this caliber is unusual for high school basketball. Is there one game you are most looking forward to this season? I don’t know if there is just one game that is more important than the other, but there are three games that will show a lot

about the possibilities of the season. Shades Valley, Gadsden City and Oxford will be the strongest opponents that stand between us and a trip to the Final Four. We play each of these schools during the regular season, so that will let us know where we are as a team and what we need to work on if we want to reach our goal. What do you tell your girls to get them motivated and ready to go every week? Make everyday a masterpiece! That is my motto. I want the ladies to understand that we want to get just a little better each day. Other teams may be taller or faster, but no one we be as relentless as we are. We don’t talk too much about winning. Winning comes about by working hard and being the best we can be. Win or lose, at that point we have nothing to hang our head about. What life lesson would you like players to take with them as they look back at the time spent in your program? That there is a right way and a wrong way to go about things. That success is where work and patience meet. I often tell my players that when this is all said and done if the only thing I have taught you is to be a better basketball player then I have failed as a coach. What has been your career-defining lesson? The saying “Jimmys and Joes are better than x’s and o’s” is very true. If I were to put my stamp on one thing, it would be that getting the players to understand the importance of we and not me. Together we can compete with anyone but separately we will not be successful.

Women’s Basketball Coach Mark Cornelius


• December 2012

Village Living

Staying the course Lady Spartan cross country program celebrates 10 years at the top By JEFF THOMPSON Last month, the Mountain Brook Varsity Girls Cross Country Team won its 10th consecutive 6A Alabama High School Athletic Association Championship. Under the leadership of Coach Greg Echols, the team finished seven runners in the top 20 and had no one place below 43 from a field of 199. The program has become a dynasty thanks to the careful balance of coaching, companionship and fun that hold it in place. “My philosophy is I envision a system where kids can take risks and succeed,” Echols said when asked how his system took shape over three decades of coaching. “A lot of my workouts are designed to teach (students) to tolerate pain levels, but many are designed to encourage camaraderie. Both create a tendency for girls to lean on each other. To me, that’s what my job is – to get these kids to believe in themselves and work together.” That philosophy to Echols, in a nutshell, is the importance of being on a team – an idea required to craft a legacy in cross country running. At meets, the score is determined not only by who on the team crosses first but also by who crosses last. Of the 10-member squad, the first five to finish are scored, and the last three can bring that score down. So one way Echols builds his teams is like all other programs – he

has them suffer together. They run 40 miles a week beginning in midAugust and are encouraged to run up to 400 more during the summer. Fore some students, it can be as many as 1,000 miles a year. “I’m selling that I want them to hurt and like it,” Echols said. “I want them to deal with their fear of failure or their fears of getting last, or dying or not living up to expectations. I teach them to be comfortable, and if they know no matter how they perform that they’ll still be loved, they’ll be more likely to find new levels of what their body is capable of doing.” Pain becomes a building block, but, from that pain, so does friendship. And Echols starts both processes early by bringing junior high runners into the varsity program as soon as seventh grade. Leslie Boozer, a former member of the Lady Spartan team, competed on Nov. 17 in the NCAA national cross country championship as Georgia Bulldog. She was pulled up to the varsity team when she was in seventh grade and became part of the foundation for Mountain Brook’s dynasty. Now, as a college senior, she said she had no idea how well Echols’ system was preparing her at the time. “The older girls really took us under their wings,” Boozer said. “We really did not know what we were doing, and none realized how good we were until we looked back. The coaches do great job of keeping a low pressure environment where we

Mountain Brook Cross Country 2012 6A State Champions Jessica Molloy, Ann Sisson, Parker Cobbs, Frances Patrick, Kendall Reed, Emily Bedell, Sarah Berryman, Mary Catherine Ellard, Murray Manley and Anna Grace Morgan.

focus on teammates and doing what we love.” At the 2012 state meet, held at Oakville Indian Mounds Park, Ala., on Nov. 10, sophomore Jessica Molloy was the second runner to finish the more than three-mile course. Her time, 17:29.59, was nine seconds behind the leader and ahead of the third place finisher by more than a minute. Molloy can also attest to the differences in Mountain Brook’s program when compared to others. She recently joined the team after relocating from Arizona, where she said the environment was more serious, and younger girls weren’t allowed to run varsity. She said it shaped the way she acts toward her teammates. “I’m as nice as I can be to our eighth and ninth grade runners. They are so blessed to be on team like this,”

Molloy said. “Where I came from, as an eighth grader I could not get pulled up. You’ve got to give them a hard time sometimes, but they’re such a great aspect of the team. They get so pumped every time they’re on line. They’re just so excited they run out of their minds.” For the rest of the Spartans, senior Ann Sisson placed sixth (18:54.04). Shortly after, two younger members of the team, eighth grader Parker Cobbs and freshman Frances Patrick, placed ninth and 10th with times of 19:12.24 and 19:12.25 respectively. Crossing the line in 15th was senior Kendall Reed (19:20.51), rounding out Mountain Brook’s contributions to the 2012 All-State team. Only the top 15 finishers make All-State, and last year Reed barely missed the distinction by placing 16th. “It means so much to me,” she

said. “I definitely couldn’t have done that without thinking of the other girls on the team and how hard they were running. I didn’t want to let them down.” Reed is the most seasoned Lady Spartan on the 2012 team, first contributing as a junior high student as some of her teammates are doing now. Echols said the current team has several young girls who are learning from a compassionate group of upperclassmen, just as Boozer did nearly a decade ago. It sets a pace for the positive attitude of the Lady Spartans to continue to spread and their dynasty to grow. “These girls aren’t just friends – they’re teammates,” Reed said. “And a teammate is something different than a friend. They will lay it on line no matter what, and a friend won’t always do that.”

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December 2012 • 27

MBJH teams win Metro South Volleyball Tournaments The eighth grade Mountain Brook Junior High Volleyball Team finished its 2012 season with an overall record of 17-8. MBJH players Noelle Haas and Carlee Dawkins were named to the All-Tournament team, and Emmy Kilgore was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. This is the third straight Metro championship for the Spartans and the fourth

championship in the last five years. The seventh grade team finished with an overall record of 18-1. Sydney Carlson and Libby Grace Gann were named to the AllTournament team, and Layne Stone was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Layne Stone and Libby Grace Gann were named All Metro Players for the season.

Seventh graders. Back row: Mary Frances Robertson, Lucy Harrison, KayKay Benck, Addy Parker Spees, Shalini Chatterji, Sarah Kate Horsley, Hannah Bartels, Mary Louise Howland, Coach Gibbons. Front row: Sydney Carlson, Libby Grace Gann, Mead Oliver, Katherine Grace McMinn, Layne Stone, Lacey Jeffcoat, Mary Tynes Flake. Photo courtesy of Bruce Hendricks.

Mountain Brook U9 Girls win BUSA Bash

Front row: Claire Lauterbach, Elise Andrews, Isabelle Smith, Katy Dykes, Ellen Anderson, Sarah Simon. Back row: Coach Toby Dykes, Elle Stokes, Grace Knight, Kate Methvin, Lila Banks Everette, Callie Davis, Kate Lauterbach and Coach Bob Methvin. Photo courtesy of Susan Reynolds.

MBJH teams Metro Cross Country Champions

Cross country runners William Galloway, John Galloway, Spencer Hinson and Griffin Riley hold a trophy from a meet this season. Photo courtesy of Beth Hinson.

The Mountain Brook Junior High School boys and girls seventh and eighth grade cross country teams won Metro South Cross Country Middle School Championship on Pct/ 20 at

Spain Park High School. One hundred, nine girls and 89 boys competed on the cross country teams this year.


• December 2012

Village Living

League Football Super Bowls At the youth football Super Bowls at the MBHS stadium on Nov. 4, the third grade Cowboys fell to the Redskins, 18-0. For the fourth grade, the Broncos bested the Vikings

Seventh grade football finishes season strong

19-12. In the fifth grade game, the Raiders beat the Broncos 20-14. And in the sixth grade game, the Packers came out on top over the Redskins 19-8.

The Mountain Brook Junior High seventh grade football team finished its season with a win to leave them with a 6-2 record. Photo courtesy of Michelle Latimer.

Fifth grade Raiders season recap

Vikings’ Mac Swoger pivots to gain more yardage as he is tackled by Bronco Ethan Shunnarah in the fourth grade Superbowl. Photo courtesy of Alison Gault.

Fifth grade Raiders were runners up in the Super Bowl. Front row: Aaron Vajda, Thomas Latimer, Mitchell Winston, Hugh Seton, Patrick Neil, Addison Harper. Back row: Everett Cross, Harrison Hodges, Jacob Lucas, Holt Bashinsky, Brooks King, Mason Campbell, Will Dobbins. Photo courtesy of Michelle Latimer.

Third grade Redskins were Super Bowl Champions and Regular Season Champions. Front row: Andrew Kelly, David Pruet, Brant Hawkins, Sims Brown, Hudson Brown, Canby Traywick. Middle row: Wyatt Brooks, Grant Johnson, George Cain, Peyton Foy, Elliott Bloomston, Braune Browing]. Back row: Coaches Michael Brooks, Wesley Britt, Joe Leavens. Photo courtesy of Kelli Kelly.

The fifth grade Raiders completed a 6-2-1 season with an overtime win 20-14 versus the tenacious Broncos lead by Sobera, Stone and Reed. This Raider team lead by Thomas Latimer, Patrick Neil and Holt Bashinsky executed the Spartan Varsity offense with the strong support of the offensive line starting with Will Dobbins, then anchored by Aaron

Vajda, Brooks King, Jacob Lucas, Hodges and Mason Campbell. On defense, the Raiders shutdown corners in Hugh Seton and Mitchell Winston played well against the Bronco offense. Defensive linemen Addison Harper and Everett Cross created problems for the Bronco’s offensive line all day long. The Raiders, won this Super Bowl victory, were runner up as regular season champions.

BEST OF MOUNTAIN BROOK Village Living 2013

December 2012 • 29

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

Call for Nominations Village Living will be holding its second annual Best of Mountain Brook competition in the coming months. December: Nominations taken online January: Voting—check print issue or go online March: Winners announced To nominate for the 2013 categories, visit or email by December 10, 2012. All businesses must be located within Mountain Brook city limits.

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Best Local Band/Musician Best Hometown Hero/Celebrity Best Local Personality Best Place for a Family Outing


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• December 2012

Village Living

Calendar Mountain Brook Dec. 2 – Birmingham Southern College Service and Carols. 4:30 p.m. Canterbury United Methodist Church. This event is free and open to the public. Call 871-4695. Dec. 2 – Secret of Snowflake County. 6 p.m. Brookwood Baptist Church. Children’s Christmas choir musical. Call 967-0441. Dec. 4 – Jefferson State Community College Winter Concert. 7 p.m. Canterbury United Methodist Church. This event is free and open to the public. Call 871-4695. Dec. 4: Heart Guild Holiday Luncheon and Fashion Show. Benefits the American Heart Association. 9:30 a.m. Birmingham Country Club. Call 510-1504 or email Dec. 8- First Annual Snow Ball. Benefits the Sperry Snow Memorial Miniature Golf course at Children’s Harbor Lake Martin Camp. $50 suggested donation. Cocktails and live music. 8 p.m.-12 a.m. 2116 5th Avenue North, Birmingham, across from the Redmont Hotel. Dec. 8-9 – Independent Presbyterian Church Holiday Home Tour. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20. All proceeds go to support church’s women’s ministries including Children’s Fresh Air Farm. Visit Dec. 8, 15, 22 – Breakfast with Santa. 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 10:30 a.m. Birmingham Zoo. For members, admission is $14 for adults, $9 for children. For nonmembers, admission is $19 for adults, $15 for children.

Visit Dec. 9 – Canterbury United Methodist Church Service of Lessons and Carols. 10:30 a.m. This event is free and open to the public. Call 871-4695. Dec. 9 – Adult Choir Musical. 6 p.m. Brookwood Baptist Church. Call 9670441. Dec. 9 – Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi. 2 p.m. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Presented by the adult choir. Accompanied by string quartet, trumpet, oboe and basso continuo. Visit Dec. 10 – Mountain Brook Junior High Winter Concert. 7 p.m. Canterbury United Methodist Church. This event is free and open to the public. Call 871-4695. Dec. 12 – Children’s Christmas Program. 6:15 p.m. Canterbury United Methodist Church. Call 8714695. Dec. 13 – Sarsum Corda Vocal Ensemble Concert. 7:30 p.m. Canterbury United Methodist Church. This event is free to the public. Call 226-4957. Dec. 14 – Behold the Lamb. 7 p.m. Brookwood Baptist Church. Call 9670441. Dec. 21, 22, 23 – Living Nativity. 6:45 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:15 p.m. Mountain Brook Baptist Church. Hot chocolate and refreshments available. Call 871-0331. Dec. 24, 26-28, 31, Jan. 2-4 – School’s Out but the J’s in Winter Break. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. LJCC. Grades kindergarten through fourth grade welcome. $25 for members, $35

for nonmembers. Program is led by counselors who will provide safe and fun activities. Visit Weekends – Zoolight Safari. 5-9 p.m. Birmingham Zoo. Admission is free for members and $8 for nonmembers. Rides will be priced at $3.50 each. $12 wristband will grant unlimited access to rides. Visit

Special Events Dec. 1 – Andrea Lucas Studios Open House. 1-4 p.m. 104 Hunset Mill Lane, Pelham. Large and small stained glass windows, jewelry and handmade holiday gifts will be available for purchase. No toddlers please. Visit Dec. 1-2 – 7th Annual Holiday Craft Bazaar. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Noon-5 p.m. Sunday. 41st Street South. This event is free to the public. Call 595-0562. Dec. 1-2 – Enchanted Moments – Stories Told on Ice. 7 p.m. on Saturday, 3 p.m. on Sunday. Pelham Civic Complex. Adult tickets $10, children’s tickets $7 and children 3 and under free. Visit pelhamciviccomplex. com. Dec. 4-6 – Gingerbread White House Christmas. 10:30 a.m., noon. American Village. Lunch will also be served. Tickets are $25. Call 665-3535. Dec. 5 – Red Mountain Garden Club Greenery Sale. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Call Kathryn Corey, 960-2963. Dec. 7 – American Cancer Society Junior Executive Board’s 3rd Annual Tacky Holiday Cocktail Party. 8 p.m. Steel’s 1st & 23. Tickets are $15

in advance and $20 at the door. Visit Dec. 8, 22 – Breakfast in Santa’s Workshop. 8:30-10 a.m. McWane Center. Reservations are required. Adult tickets are $20, children’s tickets are $15. Call 714-8414. Dec. 8 – Jingle Bell Run 5K and Fun Run. 9:30 a.m. Underwood Park. Proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation. For more information, visit Dec. 8, 15, 22, 23 – Polar Express Pajama Party. 4:30-6 p.m. McWane Center. Adult tickets are $11, children’s tickets are $10. Reservations required. Call 714-8414. Dec. 8-9 – The Blue Light Special Art Show. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Cahaba Clayworks and Earthborn Studios. Visit Dec. 8-9 – Stevan Grebel’s The Nutcracker. 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 7 p.m. Saturday. Pelham High School Theater. $10 for general admission, $15 for orchestra seating. Visit Dec. 8, 15, 22 – Breakfast with Santa. 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 10:30 a.m. Birmingham Zoo. For members, admission is $14 for adults, $9 for children. For nonmembers, admission is $19 for adults, $15 for children. Visit Dec. 9 – Southern Tales at the Gardens. 2-4 p.m. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Dolores Hydock and Bobby Horton will present holiday stories and songs. $20 a person. Visit Dec. 14-15 – Snowed in Sleepover. 6 p.m.-9 a.m. McWane Center.

Reservations are required. Tickets for children are $40. Tickets for adults are $20. Call 714-8414.

Music and Art Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9 – Ho, Ho, Ho…A Merry Mouse Christmas. Birmingham Children’s Theatre. Children’s tickets are $8, adult tickets are $10. Visit Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9 – Peter Pan. 2 p.m. Birmingham Children’s Theatre. Children’s tickets are $10, adult tickets are $12. Visit Dec. 2 – Birmingham Girl’s Choir Christmas Concert. 3 p.m. Shades Crest Baptist Church. Free to the public. Visit Dec. 4 – Sum 41’s “Does This Look Infected?” 10th Anniversary Tour. 8 p.m. Workplay. Show is 18+ and an extra $3 will be added on to tickets sold to people under 21. Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the door. Call 879-4773. Dec. 6 – Matt Wertz. 8 p.m. Workplay. Concert. Show is 18 and over and an additional $3 will be added to tickets sold to people under 21. Tickets are $20. Call 879-4773. Dec. 6-21 – Holidaze. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Red Mountain Theatre Company. Tickets run from $30 to $35. Call 3242424. Dec. 7 – The Mutt-Cracker. 7:30 p.m. BJCC. Tickets for children are $20. Tickets for adults range from $25 to $45. Performance benefits Greater Birmingham Humane Society. Call 458-8449.



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December 2012 • 31 Dec. 7 – Drew Holcombe and the Neighbors. 8 p.m. Workplay. Concert. Tickets are $15. Call 879-4773. Dec. 7 – White Rabbits. 8 p.m. Bottletree Cafe. Concert. Show is 18 and over. $12. Call 5336288. Dec. 8 – Holiday Cirque de la Symphonie. 8 p.m. Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center. Student tickets are $12. Tickets for the public range from $14 - $62. Call 975-2787. Dec. 8-9 – Birmingham Ballet’s The Nutcracker. 2:30 and 7:30 Saturday, 2:30

Sunday. BJCC. Children’s tickets are $20. Adult tickets range from $25 to $45. Call 458-8449. Dec. 9 – SuperJazz Concert. 3 p.m. Brock Recital Hall, Samford University. Student tickets are $3, public tickets are $5. Call 335-2961. Dec. 12 – Trans-Siberian Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. BJCC. Performing “The Lost Christmas Eve”. Tickets range from $29 to $59. Call 745-3000. Dec. 14-16, 21-23 – George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. 2:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. Presented by Alabama Ballet. Tickets range from $20 to $55. Call 975-2787.

NUTCRACKER from pg 1

The Alabama Ballet is the only company in the South and only one of seven in the world granted the right for the George Balanchine version of The Nutcracker. Each year, Darla Hoover from The George Balanchine Trust in New York City travels to Birmingham to judge for auditions. And this year Ella Frances made the cut. Since September, the three girls who play Marie in different performances, plus an understudy, have practiced five days a week. “Sometimes there’s pressure at rehearsals, but it’s fun,” Ella Frances said. As the weeks progressed, rehearsals got closer and closer to feeling like the actual production. The girls cast as Marie started rehearsing with nutcracker dolls in early November and then with Alabama Ballet later in the month. “Then it’s not like you are dancing with air anymore.” Ella Frances said. But Ella Frances’ favorite part of the preparation process is when she gets to stay up late to rehearse at the Wright Center. “Then the girls are star-struck by the professional dancers,” Mary Virginia said. Mary Virginia often finds Ella Frances in her room practicing routines while The Nutcracker music plays on an iPad. The Mandells also watch

the movie of the New York City Ballet production. “The costumes from the New York city Ballet version are even so similar; it’s really cool,” Mary Virginia said. Ella Frances carpools to Nutcracker practice with other dancers who live nearby, including her friend and understudy, MBE third grader Lillian Still, which she said makes things more fun “There is always lots of giggling when I pick them up,” Mary Virginia said. Ella Frances has also been a community cast member of Swan Lake and hopes to be in The Sleeping Beauty in the spring, but she will be sad to see this year’s holiday production come to an end. “It’s sad when The Nutcracker is over because it’s so much fun.” Ella Frances will perform as Marie at the Wright Center at Samford University in the 2:30 p.m. matinee on Dec. 22 and as a party girl on Dec. 16 2:30 p.m. matinee and 7:30 p.m. performances of Dec. 21 and 22. She will play Marie in three performances in Anniston in early December as well. There are also performances of the production at the Wright Center Dec. 14-16. For more information and tickets, visit

B8 • December 2012

Village Living

Village Living December 2012  

News, sports, and entertainment for Mountain Brook, Alabama