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November 2012

Village Living Volume 3 | Issue 8 | November 2012

Remembering Park Lane 1947-2012

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

So long, old friend By MADOLINE MARKHAM Park Lane was a familiar place to Blanche Fields, 96, when she sold her Forest Park home and moved in 20 years ago. Her daughter, Betty Byers, had lived there in the 1960s, and her granddaughter was born there. Back then, she knew Mr. Aurelius Augustus Evans, then owner as well as father and grandfather of present owners and managers F.A. “Rele” Evans and John Evans. Fields, like many residents who have lived in the complex for decades, moved out this summer as its owners, Evson Inc., began preparations to make way for the new Lane Parke development in Mountain Brook Village. “It broke my heart when I had to leave,” Fields said of moving to nearby Canterbury Gardens. “I don’t know how to tell you — it was just home.” And home those 19 buildings were for 65 years of Park Lane residents. For many, passing the office manager’s “test” for admission, meeting people in the laundry room and making lifelong friends are vivid markers in their journey at the start, or end, of adulthood. From the beginning In 1947, fresh after building an apartment complex in Mobile, A. A. Evans built the series of two-story buildings on 21.5 acres on the western edge of Mountain Brook Village.

See PARK LANE | page A8

Greene’s girls Donna Greene, pictured with Katherine Kent and Nicole Mathis, has been leading Bible studies for Mountain Brook teenagers for 35 years. Read her story to learn more about how her passion for mentoring women of the next generation has spread all over the country. Photo courtesy of Wesley Shaw.

See DONNA GREENE | page B1

Foodie’s Thanksgiving Dyron’s Executive Randall Baldwin grew up making Oyster Gratin for Thanksgiving. T. Lish Founder Tiffany Denson always gets requests for her Creamed Spinach Gratin. Ollie Irene Chef and Owner Chris Newsome and his wife, Anna have created a bread pudding that is “familiar, but elevated.”Inside find these plus more area chef’s recipes for their favorite holiday dishes.

See HOLIDAY | page A16

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

INSIDE Sponsors .................. A4 City ............................ A5 Community .............. A10 Opinion ..................... A15 Holiday ..................... A16 Park Lane Apartments, built in 1947, hold years of residents’ memories. The buildings are scheduled to be demolished later this month to prepare for the new Parke Lane development. Top photo by Jeff Thompson. Bottom photo courtesy of the Evans family.

Food .......................... A19 Business .................. A20 Calendar .................. A22 School House .......... B4 Sports ....................... B10

A2 • November 2012

Village Living

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November 2012 • A3

A4 • November 2012

Village Living

About Us Photo of the Month

Sixth grade girls pose for a photo before their first ballroom dance class at Steeple Arts. Back row: Hannah Straughn, Annalie Malone, Alexa Rollow and Sophie Jane Knott. Front row: Catherine Sims, Abigail Shephard and Ela Weintraub. Photo courtesy of Caroline Sims.

Editor’s Note By Jennifer Gray Certain sights around our city have stood for decades as backdrops to our daily lives. Can you imagine Crestline Village without the Steeple Arts building? Or English Village without the line of stores like Billy’s? For many of us, landmarks like these are as familiar as the roads we travel around town every day. But in the coming weeks, Park Lane apartments will be no more as they will be demolished to make way for the new apartments that are part of the Lane Parke project. Like many in Mountain Brook, the first place I lived after graduating from college was 2510-D Park Lane Court

North. Countless other new graduates, young married couples and retired residents have called the apartments home as well. The Park Lane site will have apartments again as part of the Lane Parke project, but we thought it would be fun to revisit some stories from former residents of Park Lane. I think you’ll enjoy reading about their memories and might even relate if you too were a former resident. Also, in this issue, Christiana Roussel spoke to local chefs and got them to share some of their favorite Thanksgiving recipes with their own special twists. You might want to try

adding one of these yummy dishes to your menu this year. It seems like the dishes are barely cleared from the table following the Thanksgiving meal and families start their holiday planning (and football watching). If you like getting a jump on your holiday decorating, you will want to read Mountain Brook interior designer Mandi Smith T’s ideas for how to make personal touches and keepsakes part of your décor. She has a great idea that involves your kids too. I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving celebrations!

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 Holley Wesley Intern : Kaitlin Bitz Published by : Village Living LLC

School House Contributors : Catherine Bodnar- Cherokee Bend, Britt Redden- Crestline, Alison James- 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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November 2012 • A5


Womack now director of MB Schools Foundation By JEFF THOMPSON Anne Womack recently stepped into the position of executive director of the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation. In her new role, she said she hopes to not only continue the organization’s tradition of fundraising success, but also focus on additional outreach and engagement efforts. Womack, 27, grew up in Mountain Brook and was in the school system from kindergarten through her graduation from Mountain Brook High School in 2003. So, when the Foundation was formed in 1992, her education was directly affected, she said. Now, as director, she is looking forward to building on the existing success the Foundation experienced under its previous director, Carmine Jordan. “(Jordan) – along with countless members of the Mountain Brook community – has grown this Foundation into an organization that has become essential to the success of the school system,” Womack said. “I am excited to build on that and add new initiatives to make the Foundation even more effective. I am also excited to be back in my home community working to help the school system that gave me so many wonderful opportunities.” Womack said the Foundation’s mission

under her leadership would remain unchanged – “to mobilize community support and resources for the academic improvement of the school system.” Funds raised become part of a permanent endowment, and to date the foundation has raised more than $4.7 million for the school system. In celebration of its 20th anniversary this year, in October the foundation organized and operated a vendor’s table at the MBHS football game where members Anne Womack is a 2003 MBHS graduate. gave out promotional stickers and sold seat cushions. Womack said it was a successful event the foundation plans ( and to repeat at an MBHS basketball game this make a gift on the new online giving page. “On the website, people can also find winter. “We are working on a few other events as more information about the foundation well,” she said. “And more on those will be and reports on where the money goes,” Womack said. “In addition to giving, we coming soon.” Under her direction, Womack also said encourage people to join us at our events the foundation’s priorities for the coming and spread the word about the ways the year would be to work to establish an annual foundation is making a difference in the giving program at the foundation, as well as schools and the lives of our students.” For more on the Foundation visit focus more on reaching out to alumni of the Mountain Brook school system to engage or call them in the organization’s efforts. Womack 414-0042. The Foundation is also on said the easiest way for the community to Twitter at help the foundation is to go to its website

Schools to hold meetings on drinking and substance abuse

Mountain Brook Schools will hold a series of meetings on youth, underage drinking and substance abuse in November. In previous years, the meetings have been held at homes, but this year they will be in schools. “Our hope is that parents will learn about the status of underage drinking and substance abuse among the youth in our community, what the schools are doing to try to address the problem, and what parents can do to prevent substance abuse by their own children,” said Superintendent Dicky Barlow, According to an email Barlow sent to parents, their main hope is to provide parents with some concrete ideas to consider for dealing with these issues proactively and reactively in their families. They will share information such as that at the high school level Mountain Brook students report higher levels of alcohol use and higher levels of use of some drugs than is seen in national statistics. All meetings will run from 6:30-7:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1-Brookwood Forest Elementary Monday, Nov. 5- Mountain Brook Elementary Wednesday, Nov. 7- Mountain Brook High School Wednesday, Nov. 14- Mountain Brook Junior High Monday, Nov. Nov. 19- Cherokee Bend Elementary Tuesday, Nov. 27- Crestline Elementary School Parents will be notified and invited to come to these meetings through email and other means. They are invited to attend a meeting at a school where they do not have a child if they have a conflict with a time at their school(s). For more information, email studentservices@ or visit MBS-HH2012.


• November 2012

Village Living



Criminal Investigations Division Mountain Brook Police Department Week of Sept. 19-27 Thefts. A theft from a residence occurred in the 2500 block of Park Lane Road on Sept. 19. The victim reported that electronics were stolen from the residence. Method of entry is unknown. A theft from a residence occurred in the 3500 block of River Bend Road between Sept. 19 and 20. A power tool was taken from the backyard of the residence. A theft from a business occurred in the 3100 block of Cahaba Village Plaza on September 22. Property was stolen from the business. A witness was able to provide information that may assist in the development of a suspect. A theft occurred in the 100 block of Hillsdale Road on Sept. 18. This was a telephone scam in which funds were transferred out of the country. A theft occurred in the 3900 block of Montclair Road during the dates of July 1 to Aug. 31. Property was stolen from an office building. A theft occurred in the 2600 block of Park Lane Court East between Sept. 26 and 27. Two air conditioning units were stolen. Status of recent cases. There were three UBEV cases reported in the last update. A potential suspect has been

developed in these cases. In the update from last week there was a burglary reported on Annandale Crescent. Investigators have developed a lead in that case and are following up on it. Week of Sept. 28-Oct. 4 Unlawful Breaking/Entering of a Vehicle. A UBEV case occurred in the 10 block of Carla Circle between Sept. 28-29. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole property. A UBEV case occurred in the 10 block of Peachtree Street between Sept. 28-29. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s locked vehicle and stole property. A UBEV case occurred in the 10 block of Ridge Drive between Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle. No property was reported stolen. A UBEV case occurred in the 100 block of Elm Street between Sept. 29-30. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle. No property was reported stolen. A UBEV case occurred in the 400 block of Meadowbrook Lane. Unknown suspects entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle. No property was reported stolen. A UBEV case occurred in the 10 block of Honeysuckle Lane between Sept. 28-29. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle

and stole property. A UBEV case occurred in the 100 block of Delmar Terrace. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle. No property was reported stolen. A UBEV case occurred in the 900 block of Sheridan Place between Oct. 1-2. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole property. A UBEV case occurred in the 3900 block of Montevallo Road between Sept. 28-29. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle. No property was reported stolen. A UBEV case occurred in the 10 block of Elm Street between Sept. 29-30. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole property. A UBEV case occurred in the 3600 block of Oakdale Drive between Sept. 30-Oct. 1. The suspect entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole property. Night Shift Patrol made an arrest related to this case, and the property was returned. Additional cases in Mountain Brook and other jurisdictions were cleared. The suspect is responsible for similar cases in other jurisdictions. A UBEV case occurred in the 3500 block of Hampshire Drive between Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The suspect entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole property. Night Shift Patrol made an arrest related to this case, and the property was returned. Additional cases in Mountain Brook and other jurisdictions were cleared. The suspect is responsible for similar cases in other jurisdictions. Investigators are following leads in the recent UBEV cases that occurred in the Crestline area. Theft of Property. A theft case occurred in the 400 block of Meadowbrook Lane between Sept.

28-29. Bicycles were stolen from the yard of a residence and were later recovered in the Crestline area. A motor vehicle theft occurred in the 3900 block of Montevallo Road between Sept. 28-29. The victim’s vehicle was recovered in another jurisdiction and returned to the victim. Take Back Day Update. On Sept. 29, the Mountain Brook Police Department participated in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Program. More than 33 pounds of unwanted, unused and expired medication were turned in at the two collection sites. The collected medication will be destroyed at a later date. Week of Oct. 5-11 Theft of Property. A theft case occurred on Randolph Place on Oct. 4. Unknown suspect(s) stole several pieces of lawn equipment from a trailer that was parked on the street. Unlawful Breaking/Entering of a Vehicle. A UBEV case occurred in the 2700 block of Rockledge Road between Sept. 29 and 30. Property was stolen from an unlocked vehicle. Week of Oct. 12-18 Unlawful Breaking/Entering of a Vehicle. A UBEV case occurred in the 2400 block of Park Lane South between the Oct. 12-13. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole property. A second UBEV case occurred in the 100 block of Crestview Drive between Oct. 14-15. Unknown suspect(s) shattered the window of the victim’s vehicle and stole property. A third UBEV case occurred in the 20 block of Pinecrest Road. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole

property. Residential Burglary. A burglary occurred in the 10 block of Honeysuckle Lane between the Oct. 10-15. Unknown suspect(s) forced entry into the residence and stole property. A second burglary occurred in the 100 block of Peachtree Street between Oct. 13-15. Unknown suspect(s) entered the residence and stole property. The method of entry is undetermined. Another burglary occurred in the 200 block of Nash Circle between Oct. 13 and 15. Unknown suspect(s) forced entry into the residence and stole property. A fourth burglary occurred in the 800 block of Euclid Avenue between Oct. 12-15. Unknown suspect(s) forced entry into the residence and stole property. Indecent Exposure. An indecent exposure case occurred in the 2700 block of Culver Road on Oct. 10. The suspect parked his vehicle next to the victim’s vehicle. When the victim looked at the suspect’s vehicle, the victim observed that the suspect was exposing himself. An indecent exposure case occurred at 614 Brookwood Village in the parking lot on Oct. 15. The suspect parked his vehicle next to the victim’s vehicle. When the victim looked at the suspect’s vehicle, the victim observed that the suspect was exposing himself. An arrest was made in the indecent exposure cases. The victim involved in the second case contacted the Homewood Police Department and provided an excellent description of the suspect’s vehicle. Homewood Police Department stopped the suspect a short time later, and the suspect was arrested on unrelated charges. The suspect was identified by the victim and has been arrested.


NOVEMBER 14 -17, 2012



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November 2012 • A7

Library to host Elder Abuse and Fraud Prevention Town Hall Meeting

Meet your Mountain Brook Board of Education members

Brad Sklar

By KAITLIN BITZ Brad Sklar, attorney at Sirote & Permutt, P.C., was recently reappointed to the Mountain Brook Board of Education (MBBOE) for a five-year term. As a graduate of the Mountain Brook schools, Sklar became involved with the board when he was asked to fill the remainder of Dr. Eli Capilouto’s term in October 2010. He sat down with Village Living to discuss his role on the board, the challenges it anticipates as the school year gets underway, and his personal goals as a member of the board. What qualifications and experience do you bring to your position on the Board? I’m a tax lawyer and corporate transaction lawyer here at Sirote, and I think that one of the challenges for school systems in today’s world is budgeting. With the background I have, I

am bringing the same skills that I use for representing clients to the challenges at not only the Mounting Brook School System but also all school systems. In your view, what is the most important task facing the MBBOE in the coming months? Students are 21st century learners, and we are trying to make sure that our teachers are well trained and well equipped to deal with students who learn a little bit differently. Our students grew up on computers, and they come into the classroom and need to be challenged differently. The curriculum has had to evolve in order to meet the needs of these 21st century learners.

that the school system receives from them are clearly the greatest assets that we have. We have wonderful administrators from the superintendent to the cafeteria personnel. We have such great support from parents and community that it makes the job at the schools so much easier.

What do you think is one of the biggest assets of a Mountain Brook education? I think that the parents and the community and the support

What are your goals as far as serving on the board? I aim to truthfully maintain the high standards that have been achieved before me and

Brad Sklar was recently reappointed to the Mountain Brook Board of Education. Photo by Kaitlin Bitz.

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continue to collaborate with the superintendent, staff and fellow board members, which all have great histories and experience. I think that the financial challenges are not going to get any easier and that the state budgetary constraints are going to continue to require that Mountain Brook be more creative in trying to maintain the high levels of professionalism and commitment to the students. I see my role as being part of that team that helps ensure those things in the future.

The Emmet O’Neal Library will host an Elder Abuse and Fraud Prevention Town Hall Meeting as part of its weekly Brown Bag Lunch Series. The seminar will be held from 12:301:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28. The open forum discussion will include experts from the Alabama Department of Senior Services, Alabama Department of Human Resources, Office of the Attorney General State of Alabama and the Alabama Securities Commission. The event, moderated by Representative Paul DeMarco and presented by Alabama’s Elder Justice Alliance, will focus on helping area seniors learn simple steps to protect themselves. The Federal Trade Commission recently released a report stating that it recorded 3,339 identity theft complaints from Alabamians in 2010. That equals nearly 70 complaints per 100,000 residents, a rate that ranked Alabama No. 15 among the states in the FTC report. Experts say many more ID theft complaints are never reported. Identity theft is a type of fraud involving an imposter stealing someone’s personal information, such as a Social Security Number or credit card information. The weekly Brown Bag Lunch Program is held in the library’s meeting room. Attendees should bring a sack lunch. The library will provide drinks and dessert. Doors open at noon, and the program will begin at 12:30 p.m. For more information about the Elder Abuse & Fraud Prevention Town Hall Meeting, call the Emmet O’Neal Library at 879-0459.

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A8 • November 2012

Village Living

Park Lane Apartments have housed area residents for the past 65 years. Photo by Jeff Thompson.

PARK LANE from pg A1

Park Lane was part of a boom of new apartment construction in Birmingham in anticipation of a housing shortage at the end of World War II. Funding for the project was provided through Section 608 of the National Housing Act of 1937 through which mortgages for private apartment construction were guaranteed by the federal government. In 1948, the first residents — mostly young professionals, young married couples and retired people — moved in. Units had oak floors, plaster walls and 36-inch Magic Chef ranges. Surrounding the buildings were newly planted saplings that would become the mature trees we see today. At that time, Mountain Brook Village was primarily a hub of filling stations. The Birmingham Country Club driving range was located where

Park Lane residents have always frequented Mountain Brook Village shops. Pictured is how the village looked shortly after the apartments were built. Photo courtesy of the Evans Family.

the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is now. The Western shopping center property, which would be built in the mid-50s, was a bog. “In 1947 it was a pretty countrylooking place besides Birmingham Country Club,” Rele Evans said, recalling how he helped survey the field where the apartments would be built. Air conditioning would be installed in the apartments in 1969-70 and kitchens and bath were modernized as required, but beyond that the buildings remained much the same for decades. Newly weds then C.H. Chichester Jr., 90, lived at Park Lane with his wife after he returned from the Korean War in 1953. He can easily list off the names of neighbors

from those years. “A lot of good people lived there,” he said. “It was so convenient and economical. We would get together three or four days during the week. None of us had any money to speak of, and it was very pleasant.” Likewise, Ann Henagan and her husband Vann’s newlywed neighbors from 1958-1963 would become lifelong friends. “It was where most people got started, and we were all in the same boat living payday to payday,” she said. “At the end of month, we were all almost out of money and would pool our food and have meals together.” Henagan lived one building over from Martin Devore, who remained a Park Lane resident for more than 50 years and would be her daughter’s

neighbor at Park Lane decades later. The Henagans and their neighbors shopped at Gilchrist and Browdy’s in Mountain Brook Village, and everyone bought their gas from Gus Hogue, who owned a gas station where Barton-Clay is now. Henagan recalled one woman who lived near the floodplains driving her car through the back of her garage by accident. “There are a lot of memories wrapped up in those old buildings for a lot of us,” she said. “There were always nice people that lived there. It was a place your mother would like for you to live when you just got out of college.” Henagan’s daughter followed suit. The first test When Susan



graduated from college in 1988, the requirement to know someone to get in, like many things at Park Lane, had not changed. Her parents had gotten in on a recommendation from an executive vice president at First National Bank, where her dad worked. Likewise, Logan made sure to tell Mrs. Ratcliffe, the longtime manager, that her parents had lived there. “She wanted to know who you knew when you were turning in your application,” Logan said. “When I told her that, she had a unit available for me the next month. And you knew whom you were living with because you had to pass that woman’s test. Everyone who was there was older, or she knew your family or they knew the right people.” Logan’s then-fiancé, Thomas,

November 2012 • A9 thought he could get into Park Lane on this own, but, not being from Birmingham, he did not pass the test and was only able to move to the complex after they married. “She was a pistol,” Rele Evans recalled of Mrs. Ratcliffe. “She had rules that there were to be no bikinis and no inappropriate behavior.” John Evans remembered when he first took over managing Park Lane that a woman came to inquire about her daughter moving into the complex. He told her the deposit was half the first month’s rent, but the woman kept inquiring about the move-in cost. “I had to pay $500 for my older daughter to move in,” she told him. Apparently, Mrs. Ratcliffe ran a side business as well. A community, young and old Logan said it was still the “newlyweds and nearly deads” who lived there in the 80s. “It was a great community,” she said. “Young people kind of took care of the old people, and the old people knew your comings and goings. It was all very prim and proper.” Logan had grown up in Mountain Brook and found herself living near childhood friends and others she found a connection with. Logan’s husband was in law school at Cumberland at the time, so

she said a big night would be walking down to Davenport’s to share a pizza and beers and looking in shops like Pappagallo. “If it was near pay day, we’d stop at Baskin Robbins and get an ice cream cone,” she said. “We had no money, but all our entertainment was right there with Botanical Gardens across the street.” From 1999-2002 Susan Dumas and her husband, George, lived in a second floor apartment in the flood zone where rent was cheaper, and it once flooded twice in six months. The City of Mountain Brook would complete flood mitigation projects for the area in the years to follow. One Saturday the Dumases came home from a football game, and George’s old car was missing in flood waters that had risen. After looking around, they found it in the creek behind the apartment building. “One of our best family stories is that car floating away,” Dumas said. A legacy for the future Susan Henagan Logan is mournful for the end of Park Lane. “I’d like for my girls to live there one day, but it won’t be the same,” she said. “So many people in this community who are somebody started off at Park Lane. You could walk to the villages and knew you

were in a safe place. Now there’s not any really place for a young couple to live before they start a family.” She fears that the new development will not be as affordable as Park Lane and that her 18-year-old daughter will not be able to live there when she moves back to Birmingham and starts a teaching job. However, from the time the Evans family began looking at redeveloping the Park Lane and Western shopping center properties a decade ago, they found it would be cost prohibitive to remodel the old Park Lane buildings. “Granddad built them so well that it was a major ordeal to do any updates on the buildings,” John Evans said. “The lack of washer/dryer hookup was our Achilles heel.” The Evans did, however, see a need for rental properties to remain. In the new Lane Parke development, there will 276 new apartments on 10 acres, as compared to the 22 Park Lane acres. The Evans family hopes that their new Lane Parke development will foster the same kind of community that college grads, newlyweds and retirees have found at Park Lane for so many years. “Dad did a lot for Mountain Brook, and we feel that we are obligated to continue that legacy the best we can,” Rele Evans said.

Do you have memories of Park Lane?

Share them with us!

We’d love to hear your stories and will share some in upcoming issues. Email them to jennifer@villagelivingonline. com or post a comment to

What’s next for the Park Lane property John Evans, principal of Evson Inc., said he anticipates demolition of Park Lane apartments by mid to late November. Residents were cleared out by the end of September this year. Many longtime residents moved to Canterbury Gardens, Redmont Gardens or the new The Hill complex in downtown Homewood. Evans also said that there is security on the property even as the buildings are unoccupied.

They anticipate construction on the apartments will start in February 2013 and retail space construction will start around the middle of 2013. Evans said their team is planning for as little disruption to Mountain Brook Village as possible during the construction. “We feel a twinge of nostalgia, but you have to move ahead,” Rele Evans said. “So we are eagerly looking forward to the new development because we think it will be a step up for Mountain Brook.”

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A10 • November 2012

Village Living

Community IPC Holiday Home Tour to feature Crestline home

Red Mountain Greenery Sale returns

Bob Newton, Heather McWane, Holly Goodbody, Alpha Goings, Pratt Brown and D.A. Tynes prepare for this year’s annual greenery sale. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Corey.

IPC Holiday Home Tour Chairman Amy McCain, homeowner Debbie Tanner and Co-Chairman Jennifer Cope at McCain’s home on Country Club Boulevard.

Celebrating 63 years of holiday tradition, the Independent Presbyterian Church Holiday House will feature two Mountain Brook stops on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8-9. By featuring local homes, IPC members hope to give the community not only a glimpse of original holiday decorating ideas but also home décor tips. Mountain Brook buildings on the tour are Debbie and David Tanner’s 1930 Colonial brick home in Crestline, located at 28 Country Club Boulevard, and The Dungan & Nuquette architecture firm at 1966 Cahaba Road in English Village. Other houses on the tour are the homes of: Andrew Brown, 4201 Cliff Road, Birmingham; Margaret and Bruce Alexander, 212 Shades Crest Circle, Vestavia; Caroline and Mark Clark, 2449 Vestavia Drive, Vestavia; and

Barbara and Sonny Adkins, 51 Chancellor Ferry Road, Harpersville. The church, located at 3100 Highland Avenue, serves tea during the event. The tour runs Saturday, Dec. 8 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 9 from 1-5 p.m. Tickets, which are $20, are available on the church website,, or at any of the homes or the church during the tour. All proceeds support the church’s women’s ministries including the Children’s Fresh Air Farm, which has served Birmingham’s children since 1923 and is now enhanced with the sixweek Summer Learning Program. This year’s tour chairman is Amy McCain and co-chairmen are Jennifer Cope and Kathy Thompson, all Mountain Brook residents. For more information, visit

PreSchool Partners Christmas Tree, Wreath & Garland Sale

Pre-order your holiday greenery and support the children and families of PreSchool Partners! Plus, a portion of each sale is tax deductible. For more information or to place an order, visit or call 205.951.5151. Items available for pick-up at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Sunday, November 25th, Wednesday, November 28th and Saturday, December 1st. *Delivery available. PreSchool Partners is a non-profit preschool preparing at risk 3- and 4-year-old children and their families with the skills necessary to achieve school readiness.

Thirty years ago, Mrs. Caldwell “Jeanne” Marks had an idea that gave birth to an annual tradition — the Red Mountain Garden Club Greenery Sale. This year’s event will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The sale benefits the Birmingham Museum of Art Memorial Garden and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. “Mother had two loves, the Red Mountain Garden Club and the Birmingham Museum of Art,” said Margaret Porter, daughter of Marks and current Red Mountain Garden Club member. “These two organizations married her passions. It is fitting that she imagined a fundraiser that would benefit both groups and engage the community and garden club.” Club members, under the leadership of this year’s sale chairman Holly Goodbody, try to find the best fresh-cut greenery for garlands, wreaths and much more.

This year, as always, you will be able to choose from many original, handmade centerpiece, boxwood trees and kissing balls. Red Mountain Garden Club members, along with Pratt Brown of Pratt Brown Landscapes and Bob Newton of Landscape Services, donate fresh cut greenery for the “do-it-your-selfers” looking for the best Birmingham has to offer, including rich red deciduous holly, hemlock, nandina berries, yaupon holly, variegated acuba and monkey puzzle. You will also find beautiful hand-tied bows and designer ribbon. This year a special section will offer unique gift items as well. To avoid waiting in line on the day of the sale, you may pre-order from Nov. 1-28 by emailing Preorders can be picked up the day of the sale in the Hodges Room at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. For more information, contact Kathryn Corey at or 960-2963.

November 2012 • A11

The Market returns with holiday gifts Local residents can give back to the community while shopping this holiday season. The Junior League of Birmingham’s annual three-day shopping extravaganza, The Market, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 14 through Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center located off of U.S. Highway 280. The Market provides a venue for shoppers to purchase unique items that cannot regularly be found in the greater Birmingham area. New to The Market this year is MADE in the deep south, a one-of-a-kind jewelry line created by Birmingham native Michela Bruno Swafford. The line was developed deconstructing antique jewelry pieces by the pieces mixing them with rustic leather and other vintage pieces. Also new this year, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be special guests at The Market on Nov. 17 from 9-11 a.m. Children under 12 years of age are admitted free to The Market. The Junior League of Birmingham is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The funds raised through The Market support the organization’s 35 community projects.

The three-day shopping event kicks-off with The Market’s Sneak Peek Party on Wednesday, Nov. 14 from 7-10 p.m. Whole Foods Market will offer wines, and Good People Brewing Company will provide beer tastings. The evening will feature a Diamond Giveaway sponsored by Diamonds Direct where attendees will have the chance to win a one-carat diamond with the purchase of a glass of champagne. There will also be a silent auction. Martie & The Market brunch will host Food Network Star finalist Martie Duncan on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 9 a.m. Duncan, a native of Alabama and “party guru,” will share some of her party tips and recipes while showcasing Bromberg’s serving pieces. Tickets to The Market are $12 for general admission or $24 for a three-day Must Have Pass. The Sneak Peek Party is $36 and Martie & The Market is $24. Groups of 10 or more may purchase General Admission tickets to The Market for $10 per ticket. This offer is not valid on JLB quota tickets. All events are open to the public. Strollers are welcome Thursday and Friday after 2 p.m. and all day Saturday. For more details and information on the Junior League of Birmingham’s Market, visit

New to The Market this year is MADE in the deep south, a one of a kind jewelry line created by Birmingham native Michela Bruno Swafford.

Annual Christmas Parade on Dec. 2 This year’s Annual Mountain Brook Christmas Parade takes place on Sunday, Dec. 2. The parade begins at 3 p.m. as Santa and follows a route through Mountain Brook Village on Cahaba Road, Culver Road and Petticoat Lane. Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce will provide live entertainment, holiday floats, a marching band, music, elves

and photos with Mayor Terry Oden, who will arrive on a fire truck. Merchants will be open from 2-5 p.m. There are a lot of surprises planned for this annual event, including a special guest. Pictures with Santa will be taken after the parade in the village. For more information, visit

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A12 • November 2012

Village Living

Fixing 280 one light at a time By JEFF THOMPSON

An Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) proposal to begin addressing the abhorrent congestion on Highway 280 is ready for scrutiny. On Monday, Nov. 19, ALDOT is giving the public the opportunity to review and comment on a new multi-million dollar plan to reduce average drive times down Highway 280. The plan focuses on proposed changes to 26 intersections between Hollywood Boulevard, located less than a mile past the Red Mountain Expressway interchange, and Hugh Daniel Drive, one intersection east of State Highway 119. “Our goal is to shorten a driver’s trip by three to five minutes,” ALDOT Director John Cooper said while speaking to the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce last month. “I believe this will cost $1215 million, and we’ll be able to take it to bid by April and have it done by November 2013.” According to ALDOT Division Engineer Brian Davis, the plan involves a long list of improvements, and the department has a different plan for each intersection. Among other things, the project includes eliminating some access points to thea main highway, reconfiguring side streets and widening intersections. Mostly, though, it’s about the lights. Davis explained that the average cycle for a traffic signal on Highway 280 is 170 seconds, and the highway

is only allocated an average of 65 seconds per cycle. The proposed plan could raise that to an average of 110 seconds. With that extra 45 seconds, a car traveling at the 55 mile-per-hour speed limit – pending it wasn’t stopped by another light – could cover almost seven10ths of a mile. The predicted time savings of three to five minutes may even be an understatement, Davis said. ALDOT is currently installing a high-tech traffic signal system called SCATS along Highway 280, which uses an adaptive computer system to reduce traffic delays by adapting to fluctuations in traffic. That project was bid before the proposal to alter intersections, and the two haven’t been modeled together. But with all the positives that come from a shorter drive down 280, Davis said he is aware ALDOT will be asking drivers to do things differently. At multiple intersections, ALDOT is proposing to remove the ability for drivers to either travel directly across or make left turns. However, the voices of many will likely outweigh the voices of a few. Division 3 Preconstruction Engineer Lance Taylor said some parts of Highway 280 carry more than 100,000 cars a day. “We have got to consider the issues for the 100,000 to be more important than the issues of the couple thousand trying to get from one side (of Highway 280) to the other,” Davis said. “Change is scary and change is sometimes painful, but our goal is to balance that so at

the end of their trip they say, ‘I’m better off because I saved four or five minutes.’” Davis and Taylor stressed the proposal being discussed on Nov. 19 was not the big fix for the highway’s traffic dilemma and has nothing to do with an elevated highway or toll road. In fact, four of the intersections that provide drivers with the most headaches – Rock Ridge Road, Interstate 459, Valleydale Road and Highway 119 – aren’t included. He said these intersections required a more time-intensive and costly commitment from the department. “I think the department will always be working on a long-term solution for 280,” Davis said. “But if you can spend $12-15 million and make a pretty decent improvement in the meantime, then all of a sudden you make it a more usable facility while you develop your solution. “Those people out there need a break and they need it today.” ALDOT will hold its public meeting for the project on Monday, Nov. 19 from 4-7 p.m. at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center, 3660 Grandview Parkway, Birmingham, 35243. For more, see below.

Alabama Department of Transportation Division 3 Engineer Brian Davis, standing, and Lance Taylor, ALDOT preconstruction engineer for Division 3, discuss a proposal to modify 26 intersections on Highway 280. Photo by Jeff Thompson.


PROJECT NUMBER: NH-0038( ) US Highway 280 Intersection Improvements/Access Management From Hollywood Boulevard to Doug Baker Boulevard Monday, November 19, 2012 Cahaba Grand Conference Center 3660 Grandview Parkway Birmingham, Alabama 35243 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Begin Project- Hollywood Blvd.

The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) personnel will be on hand to answer questions regarding the project. The Open House will begin at 4:00 PM. The Comment Period will be conducted between 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM, which includes a presentation on the proposed project. Any person wishing to comment during this period must register at the Sign-In Table. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR FOR INDIVIDUALS REQUIRING SPECIAL ASSISTANCE CONTACT: Mr. Brian C. Davis, Division Engineer Alabama Department of Transportation – Third Division P.O. Box 2745 Birmingham, Alabama 35202-2745 Attn: Mrs. Sandra F. P. Bonner REQUEST FOR SPECIAL ASSISTANCE SHOULD BE RECEIVED AT LEAST FIVE (5) BUSINESS DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING

End Project – Doug Baker Blvd

November 2012 • A13

Mountain Brook Art Association to host holiday show at Brookwood

Artists prepare for Mountain Brook Art Association’s upcoming show at Colonial Brookwood Village. Front row: Diane Hathcock, President Janet Sanders. Back row: Editor Susan Johnsey, David Nichols, Bob Moody, Ron Lewis, Show Chairman Robine Wright, Assistant Treasurer Carolyn Mitchell and Past President Lynn Briggs.

Artists of the Mountain Brook Art Association are inviting the public to a two-week holiday art show in the lower level of Colonial Brookwood Village. The event will run Nov. 17-Dec. 1 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily; it will not be open on Thanksgiving Day. Artwork in all sizes and price ranges from the top artists in the metropolitan area will be available for sale. Ten percent of all sales will be donated to the local chapter of Make-A-Wish

Foundation, a nonprofit that grants wishes for critically ill children Featured artists will appear at the show daily to offer on-site demonstrations. The opening reception will be held Nov. 16 from 4-8 p.m. at Cocina Superior. A Grand Finale party will be held Nov. 30 from 5-8 p.m. at Brio Tuscan Grille. For more, visit mountainbrookartassociation. com.

One of the Top in the Nation.

Dirt Dash 5K and Fun Run at Birmingham Botanical Gardens On Saturday, Nov. 17, the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens will hold a 5K Fun Run and one-mile Family Walk at the Gardens. The 5K will begin at 8 a.m. Entries received by Nov. 16 cost $20. Registration the day of the event will begin at 6:30 a.m. and is $30. The one-mile Family Walk will begin at 9 a.m.

Registration is $20 for adults, $15 for children ages 7-17 and free for children under 6. All proceeds will benefit Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the number one free attraction in Alabama. For more information and to register, visit or email rwalters@

Robert E. Reed Foundation Iron Bowl Party The Robert E. Reed Foundation will host its eighth annual “Finish the Fight” Iron Bowl Part on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at B&A Warhouse. The event will bring Auburn and Alabama fans together in the fight against gastrointestinal cancer. Guest can enjoy a cocktail buffet, complimentary wine and beer, a great silent auction and the sounds of 4 Barrel Funk from

Mobile. The Robert E. Reed Foundation supports GI cancer research and patient care at UAB under the direction of Dr. Martin J. Heslin. The cost is an $85 tax-deductible donation per person. To make a reservation, go online to or contact Executive Director Kathi Ash at 427-5085.

LJCC to host Thanksgiving Day 10K

The 36th annual Sam Lapidus Montclair Run will be held at the Levite Jewish Community Center on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22 at 8:30 a.m. The race will include a 10K as well as a Fun Run that begins at 10 a.m. Online registration is $30. Registration after November 16 or paper registration is $36. The Fun Run is $18. Long sleeve T-shirts will be given to all 10K participants, and short sleeve T-shirts will be given to Fun Run participants. Trophies, sports watches and T-shirts will be awarded to top finishers. Refreshments will be available as

By focusing on quality care for patients and doing what’s right, we have received national recognition. The Joint Commission recognizes Trinity Medical Center for achieving excellence in performance on its accountability measures during 2011 for Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Pneumonia, and Surgical Care. So what does our being a top performer in using evidence-based care mean for you? Peace of mind in knowing that our local care is tops in the nation. Find out more at our website:

well as a medical station; water stations at midpoint and finish; and drawings for Trak Shak running shoes, a dozen turkeys and a Le Crueset Dutch Oven. Packet pick up will be November 21 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the LJCC. Proceeds will benefit Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Hospital of Alabama and the LJCC Fitness Program. For more information, call Dan Tourtellotte, 879-0411. To register, visit

Out of 3,400 hospitals submitting accountability measure data to The Joint Commission, Trinity Medical Center was one of only 620 to meet or exceed the target rates of performance for 2011.

Celebrate family caregivers this month


My grandfather suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for many years before he died. Most of those hard years he spent at home under the care of a family member. Having witnessed firsthand the stress being a full-time family caregiver brings, I have an intense appreciation for the love and heartache that go along with taking care of loved ones during illness, aging and recuperation. I’m so happy to know that

that National Family Caregivers Month is designated to honor and recognize hard workers who fulfill vital roles on the care team. This month, take the opportunity to celebrate National Family Caregivers Month with the library on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m. The Emmet O’Neal Library’s Documentaries After Dark selection this month will focus on a family experiencing the many triumphs and tragedies that accompany dealing with the mysteries of autism.

Heart Attack Heart Failure Pneumonia Surgical Care

65351_TRIN_JointC_4_92x15_25c.indd 1

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10/16/12 12:26 PM

A14 • November 2012

Village Living

Former Mountain Brook Junior Olympian passes the torch By SUZANNE MILLIGAN

I have taught and coached these past 25 years.

Mountain Brook High School has garnered a national reputation for its cross country team. Coach Greg Echols has been leading this program for many years. To go back even further, he is a product of the Mountain Brook school system and was the Trey Hardy, an Olympic decathlete, of his day in Alabama. But little did Echols know that some of the first Brookwood Forest students who were part of his Junior Olympics program would later bring him their children. Susan Berry Molloy is one of those stars who has come full circle. How did you decide to come back to Mountain Brook this year? I grew up in Mountain Brook, graduated at Mountain Brook High School in 1983 and was very familiar with Mountain Brook and its school system. We have been away for 25 years moving to various states throughout the country raising three kids. These last four years, we lived in Phoenix where we did not at all feel a sense of community or true hospitality. And having our last child at home, we felt it was important to her – and us – to get back to a friendly, caring community that has a strong school system. Since my husband and I both have family back here on the east coast, we felt Mountain Brook was the best fit for what we were looking for. You and I were part of the Mountain Brook track program, starting with Coach Echols at Brookwood Forest and his Junior

As part of being involved in your community, you started two track clubs in two different cities. What motivated you? Coach Echols was my inspiration having grown up in his youth track club. My children showed an interest in running and since there was not a youth running club in the area, I began one in Denver, and when we moved to Richmond, Va., I began another one there. My clubs competed in the same Junior Olympic summer meets that I grew up with.  Did you have any reservations about bringing your daughter to Mountain Brook High School? Even though we knew she would have some adjustment issues with having to move away from her friends –as most every child does – we felt that it would not take long for her to make new friends and see all the positive things about Mountain Brook. Susan Molloy, right, with her daughter, Jessica. Photo courtesy of Suzanne Milligan.

Olympics in the summer and as a part of the Indoor Track State Championship winning team. How have these experiences influenced your life away from Mountain Brook? Coach Echols was the PE teacher at Brookwood Forest Elementary School in my seventh grade year. He saw that I, along with many other students at Brookwood Forest, had ability to do well in track and field, so he started a youth track club in the

summer time and recruited me along with several other students to run and compete in the Junior Olympic programs. Those summers with him brought me confidence with myself and taught me to work hard and be a great teammate. But one of the most important things Coach Echols taught me those summers was to have fun while trying to reach your goal. And as long as you are doing that, you will be successful! I have used that philosophy with all the students

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When did you know that Jessica had so much potential? Ever since she was 5 years old, I knew she would be good at whatever she chose to do because she loves to compete! She always competed with her older brothers growing up. When she was 6, she ran her first race, the 100 meter, and, when she did not win, she didn’t give up. She worked even harder at practice the next day. She is always setting new goals for herself. Do you have other children and how old are they?

We have 21-year-old son, Nicholas, who is a fourth year at University of Virginia and a 19-year-old son, Kevin, who is currently attending UAB. You’ve raised three children in several different cities. What are some positive things that you have noticed about Mountain Brook High School? Mountain Brook High School is so well balanced. The high school is so versed in so many different areas where so many of the schools we have been in the other states only have a couple of strengths to their programs. Mountain Brook, of course, is known for its academics, but is highly recognized for its sports and arts programs, too. And as far as the students, they really stand out for their very polite behavior! Did you have hills in Arizona like you do in Alabama for Jessica to train on? Phoenix has many mountains surrounding the area where her high school track team would train a few times a week. Many of the hill workouts were similar to Mountain Brook. When you are not at a track meet or walking your beautiful golden retrievers around Crestline, what do you like to do for fun? Since I have only been here a little over a month, I don’t have that established yet. I love horses and previously worked at a therapeutic horse ranch for exceptional students and would love to work at a similar place if there is one local. 

November 2012 • A15

Life Actually

By Kari Kampakis


Be happy. Be the blessing.

People often think of happiness It’s simply waiting to be noticed. as a reaction. Something happens, Being happy means being and our spirits get a boost. But present in our lives. It means really, happiness is proactive. It’s finding extra pleasure in things cherishing what we already have that make us smile. It means and living life with our eyes open, taking control of our happiness, purposefully seeking moments that and not expecting others — a fill us with joy. spouse, parent or best friend Most of us don’t lead exciting — to carry the burden. No one lives. Exciting events happen, but wants that burden, nor do they Kampakis not on a daily basis. Moments, deserve it. however, are daily. They’re also abundant. Happiness doesn’t land on our doorstep And with each new moment comes a new in a pretty package. Yet so often, we sit opportunity to be happy. Even if we’re around like couch potatoes, waiting for not happy with life, we can be happy in the delivery. It’s a waste of time because the moment. We can savor it as we might no one can manufacture happiness for us. a breeze, knowing it’ll pass quickly, but Happiness can only be made in our heart. enjoying it while it lasts. Only we can kick the gears in motion. As I write this, my two-year-old daughter, And here’s a thought for you: Instead of Camille, is cuddled on my lap. When she expecting others to bless us, why can’t we woke up today, she stood in her crib and be the blessing? It sounds counterintuitive, called for me as she always does, saying, but one great irony of happiness is that “Momma?...Momma?” in the sweetest voice we get more by forgetting our own for ever. These moments flood me with joy. a while and creating it for others. Why? They make me pause and thank God she’s Because focusing on our happiness puts my child. In short, they make me happy. us in a bubble. It narrows our worldview, On a smaller scale, I also find happiness in magnifying our problems. Soon we believe the coffee I’m drinking. It’s from a Keurig, no one has it worse. We get down and which to me is like having Starbucks in my hopeless. We wonder, “What’s the use?” home. Being served by a machine is a treat. and decide to quit trying. It makes my morning better. But if we look outside our bubble, we And then there’s the happiness I feel by see the world’s needs. We realize how good taking the cluttered thoughts in my head we actually have it. We want to help, so we and arranging them into this essay. Through get off the couch and begin using our Godwriting, I sort through life, slowly gaining given talents. It feels good because this is clarity so I can understand what I need to how we were designed to live. By giving know. and doing what a healthy mind and body My point is, happiness exists everywhere. are able to do. As we connect with others,



we find purpose. We find the greatest happiness we’ve ever known from human interaction. Happiness can be ours today, so let’s not put it on hold. Let’s quit telling ourselves we’ll be happy when the right stars align — when we get a new house, a new car, a new job and boss — because that’s an invalid excuse. Happiness is a habit, a way of looking at life. It’s changing our filter so we can find happy moments each day. Without this filter, we stay locked in an unhappy place. As my friend Kim’s mom says, “If you have to move an inch to be happy,











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you’ll never be happy.” Happiness is within reach, and often under our nose. Let’s do ourselves a favor by delighting in simple pleasures, and sharing our joy with others. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mountian Brook mom of four with a background in PR, writing and photography. Read her blog at karikampakis. com or find her on Facebook and Twitter. Email her at


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A16 • November 2012

Village Living


Foodies’ Thanksgiving Oyster Gratin


Randall Baldwin

Executive Chef, Dyron’s Lowcountry Restaurant

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Serves 6-8 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), divided ½ cup chopped parsley ¾ pound fresh spinach, blanched and chopped ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce 1 quart raw shucked oysters 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs Salt and pepper, to taste

3. Add parsley, spinach and Worcestershire sauce to the pan and toss to coat. Remove from heat and gently fold in ½ cup breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 4. Use remaining butter to grease a shallow gratin dish, about 8 inches in diameter. Drain oysters and place in an even layer in the bottom of the prepared dish. Top with spinach mixture. 5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle Parmesan cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs over. Bake for 10 minutes more. Serve warm.

Tiffany Denson

founder and CEO of T. Lish Dressings and Marinades There are two culinary requests Tiffany Denson gets each Thanksgiving. The first is that she makes her signature creamed spinach gratin, and the second is that she makes plenty of her cranberry chutney. “Both dishes not only bring

Dyron’s Lowcountry in Crestline Village is known for Carolina coast classics like shrimp and grits and slow-braised pork with pirlau. But at Thanksgiving, executive chef Randall Baldwin is eager to get back to his Alabama Gulf Coast roots.

2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt 5 tablespoons butter. Add onions and celery and cook until translucent, about 5-6 minutes.

color and flavor to the table, but each makes a fantastic counterpart to the leftover turkey sandwich,” she said. You can find the chutney recipe at or on her blog,

“I grew up making this Oyster Gratin every Thanksgiving. My dad and I would go out to the Mobile Bay and get them directly off the boat and shuck them right there. Now I use oysters from Bon Secour which are plumper,” Baldwin said.

RECIPE Creamed Spinach Gratin Serves 8-10 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 3-4 cups chopped sweet onions ¼ cup all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg 1 cup heavy cream 2 cups milk 5 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided 1 tablespoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper ½ cup grated Gruyere cheese

1. Melt butter in heavy pan over medium heat. Add onions. Cook and stir until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add flour and nutmeg, cook, stirring constantly for two more minutes. Add cream and milk and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. 2. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from spinach and add spinach to sauce mixture. Add ½ cup Parmesan cheese and mix well. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper. 3. Transfer spinach mixture to a prepared baking dish and top with remaining ½ cup Parmesan and Gruyere. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees, or until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.

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November 2012 • A17

Holiday Area chefs to share their favorite dishes for the holiday season RECIPE Cornbread Pecan Bread Pudding 3 ¾ cups prepared cornbread, diced into ¼ inch pieces 3 ¾ tablespoons butter 1 cup celery, finely diced 1 ½ cups onion, finely diced 1 ¼ tablespoons fresh sage, chopped 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the cubed cornbread piece in a single layer on a large rimmed cookie sheet. Toast until crisp, just a few minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. 2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add celery, onion, sage, salt and pepper. Sauté until translucent. 3. Add pecans and nutmeg, and sauté one more minute. Set aside. 4. In a large bowl, combine heavy cream, milk, yolks,

1/3 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground ¾ tablespoon salt ¾ teaspoon pepper, freshly ground 2 ½ cups heavy cream Makes 1/3 cup milk (12) 6 egg yolks 6-ounce 2 whole eggs ramekins

Chris Newsome

Executive Chef and owner, Ollie Irene Chef Newsome’s wife, Anna, will be the first to tell you that choosing just one dish to share was really hard after the number of holidays they have spent together. Ultimately, they chose a perfect example of the food they serve in the restaurant. “This is a twist on Thanksgiving

and eggs, and whisk to incorporate. Gently fold in the toasted cornbread and the sautéed mixture. 5. Spray ramekins with non-stick spray and place them in a roasting pan. Pour mixture among each ramekin evenly. Fill the roasting pan with very warm water, until it reaches the halfway mark on the ramekins. Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes or until set. 6. To serve, Chef Newsome recommends letting the ramekins cool slightly, then running a knife around the inside, and flipping the pudding onto individual plates.

Daniel Briggs

Executive Chef, daniel george Every chef likes to add a personal signature to family favorites. Growing up in Daniel Briggs’ house, serving collard greens was a Thanksgiving tradition.


When he decided to add this dish to the dg lunch menu, he changed it up a bit with the addition of pineapple and chili paste a now-popular addition to the menu.

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dressing – familiar flavors, but elevated,” she said. They like to serve this savory pudding in individual ramekins, cooked in a bain marie, or water bath. “It is rich, but not dense, which is what we love about it.”

Spicy Pineapple Collard Greens Serves 6-8

4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 large yellow onion, diced 1 ½ cups fresh pineapple, diced 2 large tomatoes, diced ½ cup basil 1 cup pineapple juice ¼ cup samba garlic chili paste ½ cup soy sauce ¼ cup rice wine vinegar 1 bunch collard greens

1. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. 2. Add all remaining ingredients except for the collard greens. Reduce heat and let simmer for two minutes. 3. De-rib the collard greens by using a sharp knife to remove the tough center stem of each leaf. 4. Add the greens to the stockpot, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm.

Christiana Roussel lives in Crestline and enjoys all things food-related. Follow her culinary musings online at or on Facebook or Twitter (Christiana40).

A18 • November 2012

Village Living

Making holiday décor meaningful, not just beautiful By MANDI SMITH T While I love keeping up with current holiday trends, it’s just as important for me to keep our decorations meaningful. To me, meaning is derived first from the holiness of the season and second from the traditions our family has developed over the years. To celebrate Christmas, we try very hard to keep the religious purpose of the holiday as the focal point. I often hear people express regret about the hectic nature of December, including the burden of putting up decorations. No doubt, it can become a chore. I think it helps to include some genuine reminders of the joy and peace that are at the center of Christmas. I have also found these items provide a calm, restful environment and, especially as repeated each year, will lead to anticipation that will more than outweigh the burden of locating them in the attic! Nativity scene. Eight years ago, my husband began giving me nativity figures the first week of Advent. Each year he has given me one more character to add to the arrangement, and our children of course love to guess what figure is coming each year. I place the set in a prominent place and decorate it with fresh mixed cedar cuttings, juniper berries, seeded eucalyptus and satin ribbon. Most importantly, it gives us an opportunity to revisit the Christmas story as a family in our home, before we get swept up in all the holiday shopping and parties. Holiday card collection. I have managed to keep every single Christmas card we have received since we have been married. They are sorted by year and wrapped with beautiful satin ribbon in a color that complements the décor for the year. I place them under our tree at the beginning of the season to fill in until the presents begin to arrive. As the gifts begin to take their place, the cards are moved to more accessible place in our home, such as a large acrylic tray on our coffee table. Last year, I included them in the center of our dining room table surrounding an antique lantern filled with a large candle. One night during the holidays, we pick a year or two and look through the cards our friends have shared with us over the years. I’m always amazed to see how our friends’ children have grown. It’s and a wonderful reminder of how important family and friends can be during this time of year. A new take on the Advent calendar. In late November last year, I printed off trivia information related to Christmas for each day in December. I rolled them up and included a label with the day of the month. I then placed them in a basket with ribbon and fresh greenery. Each morning the children would take turns opening the trivia for the day and reading it aloud. There were

Placing your family’s Nativity in a prominent location in the home helps your family revisit the Christmas story throughout the season. Adding fresh greenery and berries makes for an attractive display.

A large lantern with a pillar candle surrounded by wrapped stacks of Christmas cards from past years is a great reminder of the importance of friends and family. Photos courtesy of Mandi Smith T.

lots of random things included like the history of the Christmas tree, directions for making paper snowflakes, even a wassail recipe my kids made and loved! It’s just one more opportunity to make the season meaningful to your family. So, whether you are decorating on a large or small budget, incorporating sentimental traditions into your holiday décor will keep your family grounded during the busy season and memories that will last a lifetime. Interior designer Mandi Smith T retired from practicing law in 2002 to spend more time with her children and to pursue her lifelong interest in home décor. She enjoys helping homeowners looking to update the interior of their homes at an affordable price. She now runs Mandi Smith T Interiors, which specializes in giving clients a fresh look without replacing everything. You can find out more about her style and creativity by visiting her blog, Interior Design Musings. Mandi and her husband John have been married for 13 years and have two children in the Mountain Brook school system.

A new tradition in the Smith T family is Christmas trivia for each day of Advent. Placed in an attractive basket with greenery and a bow, the children open one each day and read it aloud.

Free template for Christmas trivia

Love Mandi’s idea for Christmas trivia but don’t have the time to create one? Visit Mandi’s design blog to download her Christmas trivia and start a new tradition at your house this season. village-living-advent-trivia-calendar.html

Gifts Galore!! Gifts priced right.

Pottery by Earthborn Studios • Tena Payne of Birmingham 2841 Cahaba Road • 879-5277 • Mon-Fri 10-5 • Sat 10-4 •

Pajamas by Pine Cone Hill

2406 Canterbury road• Mtn. Brook Village • 879.2730

November 2012 • A19 Read past Restaurant Showcases at

Restaurant Showcase

ORE Drink and Dine By CHRISTIANA ROUSSEL One almost needs a local to lead the way to the Crestline Park neighborhood, sandwiched in between Euclid Avenue, Montevallo Road and Montclair Road. Nestled in the middle of those windy streets, a few retail shops benefit not only from being a stone’s throw from Mountain Brook, but also from the lower lease rates that come with a City of Birmingham address. There, ORE Drink and Dine has carved out a perfect niche of its own, offering a variety of sophisticated Southern staples in a true come-as-you-are atmosphere. ORE’s Sunday brunch features renowned jazz musician Cleve Eaton and the Alabama Jazz All Stars. And it almost goes without saying that you might catch American Idol winner Taylor Hicks on harmonica, since he is one of the restaurant’s owners. In fact, if you call the restaurant while it’s closed, Hicks answers the phone. Executive Chef Jonathan Brennan and his staff have a knack for rolling out reliable favorites like Filet Mignon with Fingerling Potatoes and Haricot Verts (green beans, to you and me) and Braised Beef Short Ribs with Cheese Grits. More adventurous diners might opt for the Seared Ahi Tuna

starter, which comes with a sweet soy, candied ginger and cucumber salad. Or try the Pork Scallopini with grits, rainbow chard, oyster mushrooms, cippolini onions and a honeydew reduction sauce. Chef Brennan and his sous chef Nate Dale look forward to switching up a few menu items each season. To pair with food, bar manager Ryan Shinn said ORE’s half-priced bottle of wine special running on Tuesday through Thursday nights has been hugely popular. Family dinners are just easy at ORE – traditional burgers, fries and house-grilled flatbreads are menu staples. There are always several fresh salads offered and sandwiches, too. But dinner is not the only meal ORE does well. Sundays are practically synonymous with brunch, and the after-church crowd will find plenty to say grace over. In addition to ORE regular items like the Blackened Tuna Caesar salad or the Fried Green Tomatoes with Crawfish Etoufee, diners can indulge in Fried Chicken and Waffles, Steak and Eggs or Shrimp and Grits Diablo – along with mimosas and Bloody Marys starting at noon. Brennan noted that it’s the ORE Sunday Burger his guests really clamor for: strips of bacon, a fried egg,

1115 Dunston Avenue 745-3920 Tuesday-Wednesday, 5-9 p.m.* Thursday-Saturday, 5-10 p.m.* Sunday brunch, 10:30-2:30 p.m. *Bar opens at 4 p.m.

ORE Drink and Dine bartender Ryan Shinn prepares cocktails for customers. Photo courtesy of Meg McKinney.

cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato and smoked mayonnaise come atop a sizzling patty of fresh ground beef, cooked to order. Alabama ingredients shine here – there’s Conecuh smoked sausage in the house-made paella and McEwen and Sons organic stone-ground grits all over the menu. “I want all our seafood to be from the Gulf (of Mexico),” Brennan said. “I kind of insist on that. Our fish – snapper, grouper,

you name it – comes in whole, and we prep it in house.” Such attention to detail is a sign that the kitchen is devoted to quality ingredients. Guests might be surprised to learn that the staff has their own small garden behind the restaurant, which supplied a few key ingredients this past year. “This summer we had about 15 heirloom tomato plants, some squash, red and green bell peppers and even some English

peas,” Brennan said. “It was fun to just get out there with the staff and grow something together.” The staff at ORE Drink and Dine seems to understand that once you discover what was once “hidden,” you’ll come back time and again. Christiana Roussel lives in Crestline and enjoys all things foodrelated. Follow her culinary musings online at ChristianasKitchen. com or on Facebook or Twitter (Christiana40).

A skilled physician. A partner in good health. RodRigo ValdeRRama, m.d. BoaRd-CeRtified endoCRinologist member of the medical staff at trinity medical Center

Good medical care balances many things, from the body’s needs to the patient’s comfort. Rodrigo Valderrama, M.D., brings that balance to Trinity Medical Center in caring for the complex systems of glands and hormones that keep our bodies functioning properly. A new member of the medical staff at Trinity Medical Center, Dr. Valderrama treats conditions such as diabetes, thyroid diseases, pituitary disorders, adrenal disorders and endocrine hypertension. For an appointment, call 205-599-2450.

800 Montclair Road • Professional Office Building 860, Suite 450 •

65409_TRIN_Vald_10x7_5c.indd 1

10/16/12 12:09 PM

A20 • November 2012

Village Living

Around the Villages New bakery coming to Mountain Brook Village; merchants to hold open houses this month Cookies by Design coming to Mountain Brook Village Cookies by Design, a 20-year old bakery and cookie delivery company, is moving into the former Big Sky Bakery space between Ousler and Bromberg’s in Mountain Brook Village. The storefront is expected to open on Nov. 1. The store was previously located off Highway 31 next to Chuck-ECheese in Vestavia and was primarily known for its mail order and delivery cookie baskets, bouquets and trays as well as personalized cookies. The store customizes cookies for teams, photos, business cards, holidays, dance recitals, babies and any other occasion imaginable. In the new space in Mountain Brook, owner Stacy Lang plans to expand its bakery selection to offer items like brownies and cupcakes. “I wanted to create more of a hometown cookie shop where you can sit down and have coffee and milk and socialize,” she said. “It’s kind of like Starbuck’s but not.” Many of Cookies by Design’s longtime customers live in Mountain Brook and off Highway 280, so Lang decided to move the shop where it

would get more foot traffic from current and new customers. Like they have done for years, Cookies by Design will continue to deliver cookies around the greater Birmingham area and ship to areas beyond. “I want everyone to know that we have great gourmet cookies,” Lang said. Cookies by Design also has a pre-sliced cookie dough fundraising program. The store will be open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. Cookies by Design will be located at 2812 Cahaba Road and can be reached at 803-1054. For more information, visit cookiesbydesign. com.

ALDOT holding public meeting ALDOT will hold its public involvement meeting to discuss the new proposal on Monday, Nov. 19 at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center, located at 3660 Grandview Parkway. An open house to review the project begins at 4 p.m., and will be followed by a comment period at 5 p.m. For more, see page A10.

Villages to hold holiday open houses

Mountain Brook Village merchants will hold an open house on Tuesday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Crestline will hold its open house Thursday, Nov. 15 from 6-9 p.m. For more information on these events, visit

Bromberg’s event to benefit The Bell Center

Bromberg’s and The Service Guild of Birmingham are hosting Lord Piers Wedgwood, international ambassador for Wedgwood China and Waterford Crystal and member of the British House of Lords, to the Bromberg’s Mountain Brook Village store on Nov. 8 for a cocktail reception from 5-7 p.m. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of Wedgwood items will benefit The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs. Bromberg’s will be showcasing items from the Wedgwood & Bently Collection. Lord Wedgwood will also be signing items purchased, including Christmas ornaments.

Ashley Fitts Collection as seen in Cottage Journal

2417 Canterbury Road. Mountain Brook Village Mon - Fri 10 - 4 • Sat 11 - 4


Holiday Open House Saturday Dec.1

Gallery 1930 to hold Gaines art exhibit

Gallery 1930 will hold an art exhibit featuring the work of Patricia Ellisor Gaines Nov. 8-29. An opening reception for the exhibit will be Thursday, Nov. 15 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the gallery, located at 1930 Cahaba Road in English Village. Gaines has received worldwide recognition for her work, which has been exhibited in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston Nova Scotia and Birmingham, among other cities. A former Miss Alabama, Gaines is married to author Charles Gaines. The couple maintains a duel residency in Birmingham and Nova Scotia. For more on the exhibit, call 8701930 or email

Chamber luncheon to feature city officials

The Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce will hold a luncheon featuring Mountain Brook Mayor Terry Oden and the city’s City Council members. This public administration luncheon is held after the election season every two years.

The luncheon begins with networking at 11 a.m. on Thursday Nov. 8 at Park Lane, 2117 Cahaba Road in English Village. Lunch starts at 11:30 a.m. The event costs $25 for members or $30 for nonmembers. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit

Botanical Gardens to feature local art

The Library at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is hosting a show of art by local artists Maud Coirier-Belser and Tom Dameron. The show will feature a variety of works that depict natural outdoor settings. Dameron works in several mediums and depicts local scenes. Belser, who works from a studio at 31 Church Street in Crestline, is known for her brightly colored paintings and her pet portraits and has also illustrated children’s books. The show runs throughout November and December. The Gardens library building is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. The show opening reception will be Thursday, Nov. 1 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. For more on the show, call 4143931. For more on the artists, visit and tomdameron. com.

sic ri. night @

November 2012 • A21

Business Spotlight

Read all the past Business Spotlights at

Laura Kathryn By DANNELLY FARROW Closet purging, wardrobe consultations, trip packing assistance, trunk shows, private parties — Laura Kathryn offers the Mountain Brook community more than just a 10-5 retail space. Owner Leslie Pittman said her store’s services target a variety of ages – from 20 to 65. “We’re an established name,” Pittman said. “People know of Laura Kathryn. We’re able to get a little bit of everyone in here mainly because of our friends and family relationships.” Laura Kathryn offers high-end apparel, jewelry, shoes and handbags from designers including Cordani, Tibi and Waverly Grey. “My main premise is quality. It’s like eating at Whole Foods versus McDonald’s. You’re going to get what you pay for,” Pittman said. Pittman carries the latest trends she knows women will want to wear. “My biggest goal is to educate and inspire customers to be bold and confident in fashion,” she said. While shoppers are still thinking of winter, Pittman’s mind is on spring. She attended New York Fashion Week in September and is excited to bring Spring 2013’s trends to Mountain Brook. “I want people to get outside of their box but feel comfortable, all while bringing trends to this community,” Pittman said. A Mountain Brook native, Pittman has been on a mission to deliver trends and fashion services to her community since she became the store’s manager and assistant buyer in 2006. In 2008 she purchased the business from mother and daughter Laura Vogtle and Kathryn Keith, who originally opened it as a

Above, Laura Kathryn still carries its trademark shoe selection. Right, Laura Kathryn owner Leslie Pittman. Photos by Dannelly Farrow.

shoe store located down Church Street in 1991. Pittman welcomes area residents to book private parties where they can shop with friends and family in a personal and fun environment. To even further connect with her customers, she started a Laura Kathryn blog called “The Bottom Line” to showcase the newest fashions available in the store. The blog can be accessed through the store website. “Fashion is a state of mind. It’s art. It’s a way for people of express themselves. That’s what we offer to Mountain Brook,” Pittman said.

Making People Happy For 22 Years, It’s An Institution!

224 Country Club Park 871-8435

Follow us on Facebook or on the web

Live music every Fri. and Sat. night starting @ 9pm.

Right, Laura Kathryn owner Leslie Pittman recommends this navy blue lace dress by Joie for upcoming holiday parties. Photo by Dannelly Farrow.

61 Church Street 870-5683 Monday- Saturday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. and by appointment

A22 • November 2012

Village Living


Mountain Brook Nov. 1-30- Art by Maud CoirierBelser and Tom Dameron. The Library at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Call 414-3931. Nov. 1- Parent Coffee Talk. 8 a.m. Mountain Brook Junior High Library. Parenting and Communicating with Teens by Dale Wisely, Ph.D. Call 871-3516. Nov. 2- MBHS Homecoming Parade. 2:30 p.m. Mountain Brook High School. Nov. 2- Mountain Brook High School vs. Parker High School. 7 p.m. Football game. Nov. 8- MBHS Band Fall Concert. 7:30 p.m. Mountain Brook High School. Nov. 8- Bromberg’s Event Featuring Lord Piers Wedgewood. 5-7 p.m. Bromberg’s Mountain Brook Village Store. Service Guild of Birmingham will host Wedgewood, the international ambassador for Wedgewood China Waterford Crystal. A portion of proceeds will go to The Bell Center. Nov. 8- Fifth Anniversary Open House. 4:30-6:30 p.m. Mountain Brook Smiles. Refreshments, food, door prizes and fun. Call Cathy Mayo, 423-9140. Nov. 8- Chamber Luncheon. 11:30 a.m. Park Lane in English Village. Featuring the Mountain Brook mayor and city council members. Visit

Nov. 12- American Red Cross Babysitters Training Course. 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. LJCC. $120 for members, $140 for nonmembers. Call Betty Habshey, 879-0411.

Nov. 1-4- Christmas Village Festival. 10 a.m.–8 p.m. BJCC. Visit

Nov. 13- Mountain Brook Village Holiday Open House. 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Visit

Nov. 2- 10th Annual Day of the Dead Festival. 4 p.m. 1st Avenue South. $10 for adults, $3 for children 7-12, free for children under 7. Visit dotd.html.

Nov. 15- Crestline Holiday Open House. 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Visit

Nov. 3- Dirt Dash. 6:30 a.m. Botanical Gardens. 1st annual fun run. Visit

Nov. 15- Patricia Ellisor Gaines Art Exhibit Opening Reception. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Gallery 1930. Gaines’ artwork will be featured November 8 -29. Gaines is a former Miss Alabama and acclaimed world wide for her artwork.

Nov. 3- Story Time on the Mountain. 10 a.m. Ruffner Mountain Tree House. Visit

Nov. 16-Dec. 1- Mountain Brook Art Association Annual Art Show. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Colonial Brookwood Village, lower level. Holiday gifts created by top artists in the Birmingham area. Visit Nov. 21-23- No School. Thanksgiving Holidays. Nov. 22- 36th Annual Sam Lapidus Montclair Run. 8 a.m. LJCC. Call Dan Tourtellotte, 8790411.

Special Events Nov. 1- Anthony Bourdain. 7 p.m. Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center. Chef, author and television host Bourdain will share his insights into the cooking world. Tickets start at $41.50. Call 975-2787.

Nov. 3- Director’s Forever Wild Hike. 10:30 a.m. Ruffner Mountain. Executive Director Robbie Fearn will lead a moderate three-mile hike. Reservations are required. $5 for members, $7 for nonmembers. Visit Nov. 4- Animal Behaviors. 1 p.m. Ruffner Mountain. Instructor Jamie Nobles will teach about animal characteristics and his experiences working at The Birmingham Zoo. $5 for members, $7 for nonmembers. Visit Nov. 6– Little Black Dress Luncheon and Fashion Show. 11 a.m. Benefits Assistance League of Birmingham. Gifts, door prizes, and live music. Call 870-5555 or visit www.assistanceleaguebham. org. Nov. 6- Book Signing. 4 p.m. Alabama Booksmith. Kevin Gillespie will be signing his new

recipe book, Fire in my Belly. Visit Nov. 8- The Firehouse Shelter Fifth Annual 5 Alarm Gala. 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. B & A Warehouse. $50 per person. James Spann will emcee and Les Moore and the In-betweens will provide entertainment. Silent auction will feature gift cards, household items, art, and more. All proceeds benefit The Firehouse Shelter. Email Doug Kovash, dkovash@ Nov. 8-9– Briarwood Christmas Shop. Noon–8 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Friday. Briarwood Presbyterian Church. Event will feature gifts and décor by recognized merchants and vendors. Free to the public. Email Nov. 10- Geocaching. 10 a.m. Ruffner Mountain. Scavenger hunting combined with hide and seek. Visit Nov. 10- Straight “A” 5K. 8 a.m. Avondale Park. Benefitting Cornerstone School. Visit active. com. Nov. 10- Train Show. Pelham Civic Center. Trading tables and train displays will be available. Hosted by Magic Valley Chapter of the Train Collectors Association. Call Charlton McArthur, 8230428. Nov. 12- Birmingham Audobon Society’s Family Bird Walk. 9 a.m. Participants will learn how to use binoculars, learn to identify local birds and use a field guide. Call 7148228. Nov. 14- The Market Sneak Peek Party. 7-10 p.m. Cahaba Grand Conference Center. Whole Foods Market will offer wine and Good People Brewing Company will offer beer tastings. Diamonds Direct will offer the chance to win a one carat diamond with purchase of champagne. Silent auction. Email Nov. 14- Book Signing. 4 p.m. Alabama Booksmith. Rick Bragg will be signing My Bookstore. Visit

Nov. 10- 6th Annual Holiday Market. 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Saint Mark United Methodist Church. Handmade items, baked goods, edible gifts and more. Visa and Mastercard are accepted. Call 8221312.

Nov. 15- Martie and the Market. 9-11 a.m. Cahaba Grand Conference Center. Food Network Star finalist and Alabama native Martie Duncan will share party tips and recipes while showing Bromberg serving pieces. Proceeds go to Junior League of Birmingham. Email themarket@

Nov. 10-11- Whistle Weekend. McWane Center. Train exhibit, The Rocky Mountain Express in IMAX, and free train whistle included with purchase of admission. Visit

Nov. 15- 8th Annual Finish the Fight Iron Bowl Party. 6:30 p.m. B & A Warehouse. $85 per person. Includes cocktail buffet, complimentary wine and beer, silent

When you give to United Way, you’re not just doing a good deed — you’re creating opportunities for a better life for all. Your donations go directly to our partners and initiatives in our community to help those who need it most. The truth is undeniable: doing good feels good. And nothing feels better than making good things happen with a partner like United Way.

November 2012 • A23

Calendar auction, and music provided by 4 Barrel Funk. Benefits Robert E. Reed Gastrointestinal Oncology Research Foundation. Visit secure. Nov. 15- Holiday Tree Lighting. 6:30 p.m. The Outlet Shops of Grand River. Music, entertainment, and the lighting of a 23 foot tree. Visit Nov. 17- “Bird” is the Word. 1 p.m. Ruffner Mountain. Workshop about turkeys as well as other domestic birds. Reservations required. $4 for members, $6 for nonmembers. Visit Nov. 17- Snaps with Santa. 9-11 a.m. Cahaba Grand Conference Center. Free photos with Santa. Email Nov. 18- Mine History Hike. 1 p.m. Ruffner Mountain. Gary Bostany will lead the final mine hike of the season, which also includes a visit to the quarry and other unique mine features of Ruffner Mountain. Reservations required. $4 for members, $6 for nonmembers. Visit Nov. 23- Full Beaver Moon Hike. 4 p.m. Ruffner Mountain. Moderate two- mile hike. Participants will meet at the gate on the Irondale side of the mountain. Leashed pets welcome. Reservations required. $5 for members, $7 for nonmembers. Visit Nov. 24- Wine and Cheese Hike. 4 p.m. Ruffner Mountain. Moderate three mile hike will lead to Hawk’s View Overlook. Reservations required. $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers. Visit

org. Nov. 1, 2, 8, 9- Peter Pan. 2 p.m. Birmingham Children’s Theater. Visit Nov. 2- Alabama Symphony SuperPOPS!: A Broadway Romance with Ted Sperling. 8 p.m. Leslie S. Wright Center. Call 975-2787. Nov. 2-4- Guys and Dolls Junior. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Red Mountain Theatre Company. Tickets are $20. Appropriate for all ages. Call 324-2424. Nov. 2- Peabo Bryson. 8 p.m. Alys Robinson Stephens Performance Art Center. Tickets start at $48.50. Call 975-2787. Nov. 3-5- Death and the Maiden. Theatre Downtown. Visit Nov. 8, 10, 15, 17- Seussical the Musical. 7:30 p.m. LJCC Pizitz Auditorium. Family friendly musical featuring all of Dr. Seuss’s most famous characters. $15 for admission, $12 for students. Call Mindy Cohen, 8790411. Nov. 9- Dido and Aeneas in Concert. 8 p.m. Alys Stephens Center. Visit Nov. 11, 18- Seussical the Musical. 2:30 p.m. LJCC Pizitz Auditorium. Family friendly musical featuring all of Dr. Seuss’s most famous characters. $15 for admission, $12 for students. Call Mindy Cohen, 879-0411. Nov. 16- Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. 8 p.m. Leslie S. Wright Center. Part of Wright Center Series. Visit wrightcenter/default.aspx.

Nov. 24-25- Great Southern Gun and Knife Show. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sunday. BJCC. Visit

Nov. 16-17- Justin Brown plays Bach. 8 p.m. Alys Stephens Center. Visit

Dec. 1- Race to the Heights 5K. 8 a.m. Church of the Highlands Grants Mill Location. Visit

Nov. 17- Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra Fall Concert. 3 p.m. Alys Stephens Center. Visit

Dec. 5- Red Mountain Garden Club Greenery Sale. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Call Kathryn Corey, 3273828.

Nov. 17- The Forgotten Carols. 7 p.m. Leslie S. Wright Center. Musical. $20 for adults and $15 for students. Visit wrightcenter/default.aspx.

Mondays- Yoga. 6 p.m. Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. Visit

Nov. 19-22- Ho, Ho, Ho…A Merry Mouse Christmas. 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. Presented by Birmingham Children’s Theater. Visit bct123. org

Thursdays- Yoga. 8 p.m. Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. Visit Saturdays- Hikes for Tykes. 10 a.m.-noon. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Call 4143900. Dec. 1:-Andrea Lucas Glass Studio Open House. 1-4 p.m. Eclectic stained glass windows, jewelry and more starting at $25. No toddlers, please. Cash or checks preferred. 104 Hunset Mill Lane, Pelham, AL 35124. Call 276- or visit

Music and Arts Nov. 1-17- Secrets of a Soccer Mom. Terrific New Theatre. Visit Nov. 1-17- Love, Loss and What I Wore. 8 p.m. Thursday – Saturday. 2 p.m. on Sunday. Birmingham Festival Theatre. Visit bftonline.





Nov. 23-24 – Cocoa Brown. 9:45 p.m. Stardome Comedy Club. Brown, who costars in Tyler Perry’s sitcom For Better or Worse, will be recording her Thanksgiving Special. Visit Nov. 28- Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis. 7:30 p.m. BJCC. Visit bjcc. org/events.php#. Nov. 30-Dec. 1- Bartok, Mozart, and Dvorak. 8 p.m. Alys Stephens Center. Visit Nov. 30-Dec. 2- West Side Story. 8 p.m. Friday, 2-8 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. BJCC. Visit php#.

November 2012

Village Living

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10/10/12 7:28 AM

Village Living

Volume 3 | Issue 8 | November 2012

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

November 2012 Section B School House pg B4 Sports pg B10 Library pg B12 Leadership Mountain Brook pg B14

Growing up girls The ministry of Donna Greene By MARY NOBLES HANCOCK In 1973, Donna Greene thought she was just taking a summer job leading a girls’ club. Thirtynine years later, her Bible study ministry, now called Community Ministry for Girls, has touched more than 4,000 high school girls and continues to grow every year. Greene, a Mountain Brook resident, has spread her mission to prepare girls to become Godly women who impact their spheres of life for Christ through her six books. She also coaches women, many of whom were once “Bible study girls,” to start their own Bible studies — all over the country and back in Mountain Brook where her studies have met in homes for 35 years. Donne Toomey, who was in Greene’s Bible study from 1979 to 1984, now hosts her daughter Sullins’ Bible study at her home. “I agreed to host Bible study because Donna asked me to, and you can never say no to Donna!” Toomey said with a smile. “Seriously, I was thrilled when she asked because my parents hosted the Bible study for my sister and me, so I was happy to do the same for my daughter. Donna taught us to have an ongoing, personal relationship with God that keeps you grounded during the teenage years and prepares you for what life has in store for you later on, and I wanted my daughter to have this knowledge while making long lasting friendships.” After flying as a stewardess for American Airlines, Greene came to Birmingham in the 1970s to care for her ailing grandmother. It was then that Frank Barker, the pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church, approached her with a special proposal. “Frank asked me if I would work for Briarwood for the summer,” Greene said, “and when I asked

Donna Greene took a group of 18 high school juniors to San Diego in February to help with ministries started there by former Bible Study participant Bradford Greene Phelan. Photo courtesy of Wesley Shaw.

him what he wanted me to do, his response was, ‘Anything you can think up. You have a remarkable gift with children.’” Barker’s 11-year-old daughter, Anita, begged

Fine Jewelry

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

Greene to start a club for her and her friends to teach them how to put on makeup and how to walk and talk like a leader. “Since the church was paying me, we

decided that this ‘club’ should have more purpose than just working with outward appearance,”

See DONNA GREENE | page B9


• November 2012

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November 2012 • B3

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• November 2012

Village Living

School House

MBHS ties record with 29 National Merit Semifinalists

National Merit Commended Students. First row: Zijie Yin, Virginia Wright, Carlyle Brown, Sloan Tandet and Margaret Greene. Second row: Jessica Fraley, Tate Sieber, Carolyn McCalley, Emily Pearlstein and Julia Lott. Back row: Ben Kraft, Mack Barnes, Will Adkison, J.B. Lanier and Joel Michelson. Not pictured: Ben Carter, Patrick Hereford, Kendall Reed and Daniel Rich. Photo courtesy of Image Arts.


National Merit Semifinalists. First row: Kate Perry, Sarah Grace Tucker, Kate Causey, Katie Windle and Isabella Keating. Second row: Philippa Straus, Irene Zhang, Colin Dorsten, Sarah Bowron, Margaret Pritchard, and Lane Proctor. Third row: Sloan Geiss, Laura Rice, Maggie Dodson, Paul Styslinger and Matthew Leeds. Fourth row: Hunter Ross, Cameron Lee, Chase Crumbaugh, Wyatt Moorer, Ben Echols, Miller Sisson, Alex McCullumsmith and Alex Oser. Back row: Annabelle Friedman, Jay King, Jeremiah Mitchell and Jeff Rogers. Not pictured: Michael Harp. Photo courtesy of Image Arts.

Twenty-nine Mountain Brook High School seniors were recently named National Merit Semifinalists, tying the school record set in 2008. The number is also most named from any school in the state of Alabama. Additionally, 19 MBHS seniors were named National Merit Commended Students. National Merit Semifinalists represent less than one percent of United States high school seniors and are chosen based on performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/

NMSQT). “We are proud of these students for this great achievement,” said Mountain Brook Schools Superintendent Dicky Barlow. “It is an individual honor for each student, but also is a tribute to our staff who have contributed to their education as well as to their parents for emphasizing the value of education.” “We are thrilled every year when we learn about our semifinalists,” said Mountain Brook High School Principal Vic Wilson. “These kids do very well in academics, but they also excel in extracurricular activities.”

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November 2012 • B5

Crestline Elementary School holds mascot tryouts

Crestline elects new student council By TRISH HAND

New cougar lead mascot Haise Ogilvie entertains students during the recent mascot tryouts at Crestline Elementary.

By TRISH HAND   On Sept. 26, Crestline Elementary held its first ever cougar mascot tryouts, open to all sixth grade students who wanted to apply. The three applicants each prepared and performed an original two-minute dance routine to music. After the performances, the third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders voted Haise Ogilvie as the lead mascot. Sam Guilsher and Sophia Martin will be the alternate mascots. The mascot will perform at various school events and track meets throughout the year.  

CES elected 24 new student council members for this school year. Photo by Trish Hand.

In late August, each third through sixth grade homeroom class at Crestline Elementary School elected a student council representative for the school year. Third grade representatives are Caroline Bates, Wels Holman, Alden Johnson, Mac McCowan, Coe Murdock, and Lucy Redden. Fourth grade representatives are Laurel Hand, Carey Hereford, Will Oliver, Summer Robinett, Ebbie Stutts, and Samantha Torch. Fifth grade representatives are Logan Brewer, Mary Grace

Lorino, Tess Patton, Crawford Poynor, Georgia Stewart, and Lowery Thompson. Sixth grade representatives are Sam Enslen, Laura Kate Howell, Claire Kimberlin, Hope Methvin, Olivia Rodrigues and Virginia Wahlheim. On Sept. 26, the three sixth grade student council representatives who chose to run for president each gave a speech in front of the third through sixth graders. Winners were Claire Kimberlin, president; Virginia Wahlheim, vice president; Mary Grace Lorino, publicity chair; and Georgia Stewart, secretary. Student council representatives are

responsible for presenting and discussing a specific character trait from the Cougars Care Campaign each month with their assigned classes. Faculty sponsors for Crestline’s student council are counselor Bonnie Lorino, sixth grade teacher Bill Garner and special education teacher Libby Pittman. “It is a unique and uplifting pleasure to work with such great kids as student council,” Lorino said. “They are so responsible in their duties that it makes our job easy as pie!”

Cherokee Bend enjoys Fall Fiesta By CATHERINE BODNAR Families came together for a relaxing evening at Cherokee Bend Elementary on Sunday evening, Sept. 23 for the Fall Fiesta Family Picnic. The families gathered for a picnic and plenty of outdoor fun on the grounds of the school in the fall weather. The

event, organized by Caroline Ezelle and Melissa Robinett and their committee, welcomed around 450 people. Fiesta attendees lined up for food provided by Taco Mama and refreshing sno-balls from NOLA Ice. As friends mingled throughout the evening, everyone enjoyed the musical talents of Sims Crawford and David Donahue.

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Second grader Zachary Touger, kindergartener Kelcie Dowling, and second graders Moira Dowling, Ilana Touger and Christopher Alexander. Photo by Alison Gault.


• November 2012

Village Living

Boosterthon fun returns

Cherokee Bend first grade students celebrate at Boosterthon Fun Run as “Ms. Gaut’s Green Lights” lead the way on Oct. 5. Back row: Katherine Bibb Branyon, Langley Johnson, Georgia Hairston, Lauren Barksdale, Robyn Gaut, Samantha Stewart, Lula Byars and Ashley Courington. Front row: Aaron King, Will Nichols, Drew Bodnar, Connor Hughes, James Ward, Destin Hirsberg, Mastin Gagliano, and Camp Forbus

At the opening ceremony MBE students Will Earnhardt, Francis Hagan, Carolyn Dunn, McClain Robinson, George Simmons, Colby Blackwell, William Dunn, Charles Crommelin, Hagan Stephens and Sarah Patton Butler join Boosterthon Representatives Clay Collie and Andrew Endara.

By ALISON JAMES & HILARY ROSS “HIGHWAY USA” was the theme of the 2012 Boosterthon fundraiser held this fall at Mountain Brook elementary schools. Through the fundraiser, students learned about historical

Brookwood Forest

Brookwood Forest Elementary School’s Boosterthon Fun Run  opened with a highenergy pep rally on Sept. 12 and culminated with the run itself on Sept. 21. Boosterthon Team Leader Austin Hardison, his A-Team and PTO representative Elizabeth Long, along with her 12-member committee, led this event. BWF had 91 percent pledge participation in this year’s Fun Run. Funds raised will go toward technology and teacher training.

BWF fifth graders Brooks King, Will Krueger, Charlotte Gillum and Anna Catherine Sorrels enjoy this year’s Boosterthon Fun Run.

landmarks, cities and leaders. The program, in addition to teaching fitness, education, and character, allows students to “earn” money for the school by receiving pledges for the laps completed during the Fun Run. Children were capped at 35 laps.

Mountain Brook Elementary

Mountain Brook Elementary raised $99,000 through the Boosterthon this year. Meredith Collins’ fourth grade class, “Collins Crushers,” came in first for fundraising for the school, closely followed by first grade class “Slaughter’s Lightening Crew” with Mitchell Nelson’s kindergarten “Royal Shooting Stars” finishing third.

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November 2012 • B7

BWF’s new Parenting the college freshman PTO Brown Bag Series Parenting and Family with Dr. Dale Wisely

In the October column, I wrote about parenting the high school senior. In this column, I offer some thoughts on parenting the college freshman. Normally, when we think about stress, we think about our responses to difficult or negative aspects of our lives. But, it turns out that positive events in our lives are also stressful. It’s not a surprise, really. Putting on a wedding, for example, is a positive thing (one would hope). But it is stressful. So, going away to college, although usually a good thing, is stressful for families and for new college students. Move-in day for a college freshman and his or her family can be exciting and stressful. Having been through this ourselves with our own daughters, I have noted that colleges and universities have invested in making the orientation and move-in process a better experience for families. For example, it is now routine that there is a cadre of students available to help families unload cars and move items into dorm rooms. Parents are often welcomed in elaborate orientation experiences. Most schools now address, during these meetings, some of the things parents should know. After a day or two of excitement getting that dorm room ready, the time comes for the family to leave. This can be awkward and difficult, but this parting can be an important moment and an emotional one. Some things to consider: Know that your child may freak out when you get ready to leave. It’s not unusual. In that case, or even if your new college student seems 100 percent confident, say something reassuring. Say you are confident they will do well and you are eager to help if you

can. Also, know that you or your spouse (or both) may freak out. Try to be responsive to your child’s needs more than your own. If your child is ready for you to leave, go. If he or she needs you to stay a bit longer, try to stay a bit longer. But, don’t overextend your welcome. Parents are often nostalgic about their own college experiences, and this leads to a lot of “college years are the best years of your life” talk. I once heard a college senior say, “I can’t wait until the ‘best years of my life’ are over!” I suspect she meant that college is not heaven, not nirvana. It’s a community consisting of a lot of young people in a relatively small space, some of which are going to have trouble coping with the sudden freedom and the many temptations college has to offer. As parents stay in close touch with their college freshmen, they might want to consider some of the known risks present among college students. Underage drinking is a huge problem on college campuses. Although illegal, it is widely tolerated, even expected. As much as our culture tolerates it, very serious problems can come from it. College students are held accountable legally, as adults, for drinking and for the consequences of their actions when they have been drinking. We all know of tragic cases of deaths of college students related to alcohol poisoning and other dangers associated with binge drinking. Underage drinking, along with college students driving more, means that we see an increase in the rate of auto accidents in college students—second only to brand new 16-year-old drivers. A number of psychiatric problems are prone to emerge in young adulthood, and

the stress of college may be a factor in that. Depression, anxiety disorders and other significant psychiatric problems are a risk for college students. Money problems are common, and this is often a source of great tension in families with college students. I think many of us fail to adequately prepare our children to manage money. It is important to have discussions about this well in advance and to set clear guidelines. Many families are helped by the fact that parents often can monitor their college student’s banking activity online. Sleep problems are routine. The social rhythms of college life often mean students stay up late then oversleep, missing early classes. A dean of students at a university one of my daughters attended said that the single best predictor they had of whether a student would drop out of college is failing to show up for morning classes. Parents would do well to make clear their expectations that their college student will attend classes regularly. Here’s the blessing in all of this: The days are gone when college students could only call home for a few minutes on Sunday night from a payphone in the dorm hall. Cell phones and computers mean that lots of communication is possible, and lots of communication can often help families adjust to the change of having a child off at college. 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 to submit yours.

BWF Principal Nathan Pitner speaks at the first Brown Bag Series meeting.

By ALISON JAMES The Ranger PTO benefitting Brookwood Forest Elementary held its first Brown Bag Series on Sept. 5. Principal Nathan Pitner spoke about the vision of BWF, and kindergarten teacher Diane Waud talked briefly about her summer trip to Teacher’s College and teaching reading at Columbia University. The Ranger PTO welcomes parents of all Mountain Brook schools to attend the Brown Bag Series, the new format for PTO meetings. The next will take place Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 11:30 a.m. in the BWF Auditorium. Attendees are asked to bring their lunches to hear speaker Dicky Barlow, superintendent for Mountain Brook Schools.




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B8 • November 2012

Village Living

Safe Routes to MBE

Alabama State Representative Paul DeMarco speaks at Mountain Brook Elementary as a part of the Safe Routes to Schools initiative.

Crestline students visit moundville Mrs. Barry’s third grade class at Crestline Elementary School visited the Moundville Archaeological Park for the Native American Festival in October. The children enjoyed experiencing Native American culture and heritage through storytelling, arts and crafts, msuic and activities including a live excavation of one of the mounds.

mBJH celebrates breast cancer awarness Eighth grade cheerleaders at Mountain Brook Junior High School celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month at a home game against Pizitz Middle School.

Crestline students Stroud Lowe, Hayes Gibson, Austin Davis and Michael Brooks at Moundville.

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November 2012 • B9

Cherokee Bend student places in chess tournament Cherokee Bend fifth grader Riley Smith placed second in his division at the 2012 Alabama Chess Championship held in Decatur in September. He played in the Scholastic division, which is for grades kindergarten through sixth grades, and was the only student from Mountain Brook to play in the statewide tournament. Riley started playing chess in third grade at The Knight School, an after school program taught by Dr. David Brooks, PhD. at each of the Mountain Brook elementary schools. Riley’s first tournament was a state tournament this past May, and then he went on to compete against 2,200 children in the United States Chess Federation National Scholastic in Nashville. Riley and fellow Mountain Brook student Samson Sands now play chess with ChessKidsNation, whose teacher, Balagee Govindan, offers a class on Monday evenings at the Emmett O’Neal Library for kids interested in learning about chess and those interested in advancing their game.

National Junior Beta Club installs new officers at MBJH National Junior Beta Club membership is awarded by the Mountain Brook Junior High Faculty Council to eligible students entering the eighth and ninth grades based on character, achievement, service and leadership. Newly elected Beta Club Officers are Sara Chandler Mitchell, Treasurer; Helen Catherine Darby, Vice President; Marc Strauss, President; and Anne Compton, Secretary.

ChessKidsNation Coach Balagee Govindan with Colin Bamford, left, a Highlands student who placed first in the Rook division for ratings from 900-1,200, and Riley Smith, who placed second in the Knight division for ratings of 600-900, at the 2012 Scholastic Alabama Chess Championship in Decatur.


Greene said. That first meeting consisted of 12 girls from various churches and denominations, but, by the end of the summer, it had grown to more than 60 girls. After three years, the group had grown so large that Greene decided to quit her job teaching Bible at Briarwood Christian School to teach the girls full time, leading weekly Bible studies for grades 5 to 12. “When all of this began, I had no idea that a ministry was being birthed,” Greene said. “I only knew that I loved girls and enjoyed being with them. I also knew that I loved the Lord and wanted each girl to know Him intimately — for Jesus to be their first priority.” “Donna has truly found her niche with her ministry,” said Kacy Eof, one of the college or post-college-aged women who helps lead studies. “She has made her Bible study a popular and well-liked group in that it draws people in rather than turning them away from Christianity. Starting early will impact these girls’ decisions and the way of life in their futures with college and beyond.” The Bible study continued to grow until an unexpected twist shook Greene and her girls’ world. On June 12, 1998, Greene was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time she was teaching nine bible studies each week to more than 500 girls from 29 different schools. After her oncologist insisted that she slow her life down, Greene decided to focus solely on high school girls, acting as a guest speaker for the younger grades. Greene’s battle with cancer led the Bible study to become heavily involved in community services, especially with Relay for Life and the Hope Lodge of the American Cancer Society. This service not only includes raising money and awareness but also involves visits to patients staying at the Birmingham, Atlanta, Nashville and New York City Hope Lodges. “A long time ago a counselor at MBHS remarked that she had noticed that our girls had the highest form of leadership in the school,” Greene said. “Leadership is developed through serving and learning where personal strengths, talents and spiritual gifts lie.” After 38 years only one question remains: How long will Greene continue leading her Bible studies for Mountain Brook girls? “Only The Lord knows the answer to that. Bible Study does not depend upon Donna Greene. Roots grow deep in the hearts of the girls, and I hope that my ministries will continue for a long time through the young women I have taught,” she said.

B10 • November 2012

Village Living

Sports New rivalries brewing for Spartan basketball teams November schedules

Varsity Boys – Head Coach Bucky McMillan, Coach Christian Schweers Nov. 13 Nov. 15 Nov. 17-21 Nov. 27 Nov. 30 Dec. 4

6:30 p.m. @ Leeds 7:30 p.m. @ Homewood TBA @ North Shelby Tip-Off Tournament 7:30 p.m. Northridge 7:30 p.m. Hewitt-Trussville 7:30 p.m. @ Oxford

Leeds High School Homewood High School Chelsea High School Spartan Arena Spartan Arena Oxford High School

Varsity Girls – Head Coach Mark Cornelius, Coach Amy Barnett

Mountain Brook High School Varsity Boys Basketball starts the 20122013 season with an exciting schedule as realignment has sent the Spartans 6A Area 11 for the next two seasons. But before moving on to opponents like Woodlawn, Vestavia and Shades Valley, Mountain Brook starts the year in November with Leeds, Homewood and the 12-team “North Shelby Tip-Off Tournament,” which is co-hosted by Briarwood and Chelsea during the Thanksgiving break. Later in the year, the Spartans have games against Hoover, Hewitt, Spain Park and Pinson Valley to look forward to.

Nov. 13 Nov. 15 Nov. 17-20 Nov. 27 Nov. 30 Dec. 4

5 p.m. @ Leeds 6 p.m. @ Ramsey TBA @ Hewitt Thanksgiving Tournament vs. TBA 6 p.m. Northridge 6 p.m. Hewitt-Trussville 6 p.m. @ Oxford

JV Boys – Coach Tyler Davis Nov. 15 Nov. 17 Nov. 27 Nov. 30 Dec. 4

4:30 p.m. TBA 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

@ Homewood Spartan JV Tournament Northridge Hewitt-Trussville @ Oxford

JV Girls – Coach Kyle Ritter Nov. 8-10 Nov. 15 Nov. 27 Nov. 30 Dec. 4

TBA @ Vestavia JV Tournament vs. TBA 4:30 p.m. @ Ramsey 4:30 p.m. Northridge 4:30 p.m. Hewitt-Trussville 4:30 p.m. @ Oxford

Freshman Boys – Coach Benny Eaves Nov. 15 Nov. 27 Nov. 30 Dec. 4

4:30 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 4 p.m.

@ Homewood Northridge Hewitt-Trussville @ Oxford

Leeds High School Ramsey High School Hewitt-Trussville High School Spartan Arena Spartan Arena Oxford

Homewood High School Spartan Arena Mtn. Brook High School Old Gym Spartan Arena Oxford Vestavia High School Ramsey High School Spartan Arena Mtn. Brook High School Old Gym Oxford Homewood High School Mtn. Brook High School Old Gym Mtn. Brook High School Old Gym Oxford

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MBHS quarterback Jacob Carroll, filling in for starter Will Brewster, went 9 of 18 for 91 yards and two touchdowns in the Spartans’ game against Huffman on Oct. 19. Photo courtesy of Image Arts.

Spartans prep for playoffs Heading into a matchup with Vestavia Hills on Oct. 26 that would decide which team led the region heading into the playoffs, the Mountain Brook High football team sported the longest winning streak for 6A Region 6 at 8-0. The Spartans, coached by Chris Yeager, sported a suffocating defense through their first eight games of the year, giving up only 66 points. Ranked just outside the top-10 in the state in October, Mountain Brook is poised for another strong playoff push to close the 2012 season. Alabama High School Athletic Association Playoffs begin Nov. 9 and end Nov. 30, with the 2012 Super 6 Finals scheduled for Dec. 6-7 at Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.

November 2012 • B11

Local teen wins fishing tournament

MBJH selects seventh grade dance squad By HILARY ROSS Members recentlywere named to the inaugural seventh grade dance squad for MBJH. Recognizing the need and desire for a seventh grade team, the school held tryouts, and 15 girls were selected for the 2012-13 team. Coach Melissa Tuck said they will perform at seventh grade football games, basketball games, pep rallies and parades. Interested sixth graders should mark their calendars for spring 2013 for tryouts for next year’s team. First row: Adele Bloodworth, Emilyn Hamn, Lucie Christian, Kate Seibels. Second row: Reagan Clark, Olivia Keating, Hayden Sledge, Amelia Debruge, Elizabeth Kinsaul, Anne Mitchell Welch. Third row: Mary Inzer Hagan, Lindsay Kahn, Ellie Martin, Fredda Cardwell, Mary Claire Mauro.

Reid Carter holds two of his biggest fish caught during the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Tournament. He is joined by boat Captain Ulon Lee and angler Timmy Horton. Photo courtesy of Amy Carter.

Reid Carter, a sophomore at Mountain Brook High School, is the new Alabama B.A.S.S. Federation Nation (ABFN) champion in the 1518 year old division. Reid pulled in three fish weighing a total of 7.71 pounds at the recent tournament held on Lake Neely Henry in Gadsden. Along with bragging rights, Reid won a lifetime fishing license courtesy of Alabama Power E.C Gaston Steam Plant, a gift certificate from Academy Sports, a new rod and reel and some great lures. “It was a great day on the lake, and I owe my win to a lot of luck,” Reid said. “I caught everything on a dark green Robo worm on a shakey head rig.”  In the spring of 2013, he will join the adult members of the state ABFN to compete at the Southern Divisional Tournament to be held on Lake Douglas in Tennessee. More information on ABFN can be found at

USSSA Summer Sunday champions The Birmingham Spartans went 4-0 to win the USSSA Late Summer Sunday Championship. The Spartans defeated Alabama Ambush of Clanton by a score of 11-6 in the championship game. Front row: David Stone, Curt Gann, Clark Griffin, Edward Reed, Patrick Neil. Second row: Porter Phelan, Asa Dodd, John Michael Olvey, Jacob Katona, Davis White, William O’Leary. The team is coached by Steven Griffin and Lee Gann. Not pictured: Coach Clay Malcolm. Photo courtesy of Wendy Griffin.

Good luck in the playoffs!

Go Spartans!


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B12 • November 2012

Village Living

Emmet O’Neal Library November Schedule

Adults Nov. 6 - Thyme to Read-EOL Book Group, discussing “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan, 6 p.m., The Library at the Botanical Gardens Nov. 7 - Brown Bag Lunch series, part one of a new series looking back at the 18th century beginnings of our country’s history, 12:30 p.m. Nov. 12 - Great Books Book Group discussing a selected short story, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13 - The Bookies Book Group, discussing “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel, 10 a.m. Nov. 14 - Brown Bag Lunch series, first episode in a film series on the culture and craft of quilting, 12:30 p.m. Nov. 17 - Knit & Knibble, all crafts and skill levels welcome, 2-3:30 p.m. Nov. 20 - Documentaries After Dark celebrates National Family Caregivers Month with a film about a young autistic boy whose parents take him to Mongolia searching for connection, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 21 - Brown Bag Lunch series, film exploring the cognitive and emotional lives of dolphins and whales, 12:30 p.m. Nov. 22-23 - Library closed in observance of Thanksgiving Nov. 26 - Monday Morning Investment Club, 10 a.m. Nov. 27 - Genre Reading Group, discussing the books of authors who have died since 2000, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28 - Brown Bag Lunch series, film about the life and legend of Sacagawea, 12:30 p.m. New tech classes Tuesdays - First Tuesdays – Audiobook Borrowing, Second Tuesdays – iPad Ebook Borrowing, Third Tuesdays – Kindle Ebook Borrowing, Fourth Tuesdays – Nook Ebook Borrowing Thursdays - Second Thursdays – Facebook Basics, Third Thursdays – Beginner Microsoft Word, Fourth Thursdays – Beginner Excel Wednesdays - Technology Tour *Registration is required for all Tech classes, so call 445-1115 to reserve your spot.

Teens (Grades 7-12) Nov. 2 - Game On! A traditional Dia de los Muertos celebration of video games and victory, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Nov. 3 - International Games Day @ Your Library! Games, games, and more games. Plus prizes, prizes, and more prizes! Noon-5 p.m. Nov. 5 - TAB Meeting, the monthly meeting of our Teen Advisory Board, 5-6 p.m. Nov. 9 - Dariana Dervis Crafts, leaf pounding and self portrait collages, 4-6 p.m.

Children Mondays

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

Special Events

*Mother Goose Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m.

Nov. 7 - After-School Special: B’ham Children’s Theatre - The Gingerbread Boy, 3:30 p.m. Nov. 13 - Family Night: Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, 5:30 p.m. Nov. 14 - *Savvy Surfing Computer Class, 3:30 p.m. Nov. 27 - *Bookmania: The Mark of Athena, 6 p.m. Nov. 29 - *Bookmania: The Mark of Athena, 6 p.m.


*Space is limited; please call 879-0497 or visit to register.


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


*Patty Cake Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. SNaP. 3:30 p.m.


Family Story Time with Mr. Mac. 10:30 a.m.

For more information about any of our programs, call 445-1121, visit or, or find the library on Facebook at emmetoneallibrary and on Twitter at @ eolib.

Great Selection of Byers' Choice Carolers!

Dickens 200th Anniversary

Mountain Brook Village • 879.0691

November 2012 • B13

preSchool partners visits the emmet o’Neal Library PreSchool Partners, an outreach program of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, took a field trip recently to the Emmet O’Neal Library in Crestline. PreSchool Partners is a non-profit program dedicated to preparing at risk 3and 4-year-old children and their parents for kindergarten in the Birmingham City Schools. Parents and children met the author and the illustrator of Night, Night Birmingham, a popular children’s book featuring sites around Birmingham. Laurel Fain Mills and Michelle Hazelwood Hyde read their book to the children and asked them if they had ever visited the Zoo or Vulcan, two of the places mentioned in the book. Keeping with the Birmingham theme, the children were then served Bud’s Best Cookies

and Barber’s milk, both of which are made in Birmingham. Children then made door hangers for their bedrooms featuring scenes from the book. Each child received his or her own copy of Night, Night Birmingham to add to his or her home library. While the children were enjoying their “bedtime snack” and art activity, parents toured the library and learned about the many opportunities the library provides. Several parents completed applications for library cards and some even obtained voter registration cards. Volunteers from the Junior League of Birmingham helped arrange the field trip to the library.

Teachers Chappell Anderson and Sally Goings with their students at the Emmet O’Neal Library.

Area teens serve on library board By HILARY ROSS A group of seventh through 12th grade students from area schools aren’t just attending library events — they’re planning them. The Emmet O’Neal Library Teen Advisory Board (TAB) meets monthly with young adult librarian Matt Layne to discuss and plan library programs, make collection development suggestions and serve as ambassadors for the library in their schools and community. TAB recently planned International Games Day to be held at the library Saturday, Nov. 3 from noon-5 p.m. Teens are invited to play board games, video games, card games and more. For more information on the Teen Advisory Board, contact Matt Layne at 445-1141.

Front row: Hannah Wilder, Sarah Margaret Corley, Natalie Womack, Isaac Griffin-Layne, Laine Alby, Carlyle Brown, Michelle Wu, Dabney Bragg, Bethany Rhodes, Ben Kraft, Madeline Marx, Kendall Alby, Kary Reynolds, Hunter Ross, Matt Layne and Mary Margaret Byrne. Back row: Lillian Keith, Anna Welden, Eleanor Swagler, Emma Nichols, Kate Powell, and Daniel Neville. TAB members not pictured: Andy Vahle, Azalyn Gunn, Ben Jackson, Elizabeth Nabors, Emily Wagnon, Emma Claire Jones, Jeremiah Mitchell, Kenya Davis, Maddox Pankey, Peekay Osborne, Rob Pulliam, Sam Reiss, Shannon Mallette, Stanford Hornsby, Zijie Yin, Victoria Boyceand William Pankey.

30% OFF any item in the store during the month of November

Not valid on special orders, sale items, or previously purchased merchandise.

74 Church Street in Crestline Village 871-7909

B14 • November 2012

Did you know?

Village Living

Leadership Mountain Brook students share interesting facts about their city On Oct. 17, Leadership Mountain Brook students made presentations about city departments to members of city administration and the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce. Five groups of Mountain Brook High School students took turns at the podium to discuss what they learned while researching Mountain Brook’s Public Works, City Planning, Police and Fire Departments, Parks and Recreation and the Emmet O’Neal Library. Each group collected and prepared its presentation using media of its choice. Two groups presented videos, two delivered their presentations using online slideshow programs and one group created QR codes that linked to a

website. During the presentations, the audience that included city department heads, MBHS principal Vic Wilson and City Manager Sam Gaston, heard interesting facts students learned in their research. Leadership Mountain Brook is the result of a partnership between the Mayor’s office, MBHS and thr Chamber of Commerce. The program gives students the chance to develop leadership skills, gain knowledge of business management, city government and community service, and to apply these skills within the Mountain Brook area. For more, visit

Mountain Brook Fire Department installs car seats and teaches proper installation method Each month the Fire Department installs dozens of car seats for citizens of Mountain Brook. In addition, a certified officer may also review car seats to ensure their installation is correct. In Alabama, it is mandatory for children age 5 or below to ride in a forward-facing child safety seat. The same law also applies for those who weigh less than 40 pounds. However, up to 90 percent of children’s car seats are installed incorrectly, and children are more susceptible to injury and death in the case of an accident. Anyone interested in the assistance of the Fire Department with a child safety seat can contact them to make an appointment at any time.

Brooks Glover

Emmett O’Neal Library offers three free music downloads a week

Mountain Brook has been recognized as a Tree City USA for 18 years Mountain Brook has always been known for its trees. In fact, 92.03 percent of Mountain Brook is under tree cover. This type of preservation of nature has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation, who awards cities who meet the standards of a Tree City. This includes having a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program that meets the minimum budget per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. Mountain Brook is proud to have met all of these requirements and been recognized for 18 years as a Tree City USA.

Anna Smith

Mountain Brook has the most advanced fire and police training facility in the state of Alabama Located at Public Works across from the Rathmell Sports Complex, the facility includes a firing range and a practice building for firefighters. The facilities are so nice that departments from nearby communities often get permission to use the facilities for training their officers as well. The two-story fire training building is also used for policemen to practice hostage situations and other operations of similar nature. The facility also includes a garage where all the city’s Reid Parrott vehicles are stored when they are not in use. Currently, the city is working on refurbishing two Hummers that they received from the Army for various police operations.

cardholders is something called What? I thought library cards are Freegal Music. The site can be just for checking out books, right? found by going to the library’s Think again. Your library card webpage under the “adult” tab might just be worth its weight in gold. The Emmet O’Neal Library then under “electronic resources” provides many electronic resources by clicking on the link titled on its website from downloading “Freegal Music.” Entering the a magazine or eBook to your iPad barcode number found on the back of your library card will to even learning a new language! Anne instantly provide you with access One thing many Mountain Brook Holman Smith to thousands of songs from Sony residents may not know is that you can also download free music using Music’s catalog. your library card. Each week, Mountain Brook residents Do you ever get sad hearing a song you can download up to three songs in MP3 like on the radio, realizing it might cost you format; downloads are permanent. So go $1.29 to listen to it again on iTunes? Among ahead, download your free music and discover the many exciting online resources available other great online resources to see what your to Mountain Brook residents and library library card can do for you! 

Mountain Brook’s mayor doesn’t have an office

Drew Dickson

Having been through three city halls since the city was founded in 1942, not once has Mayor Oden, or any other mayor, had an official office. The mayor has always worked out of his home. But, for the first time in the 70 years Mountain Brook has been a town, the new city hall, currently under construction, will have an office for the mayor. It might also interest you to know that neither the mayor nor the city council receives a salary. They earn their incomes from their day jobs.

November 2012 • B15

Mountain Brook has a Class 3 fire department

Many know that Mountain Brook has an exceptional Fire Department, but few know that our Fire Department is rated as a Class Three. All around the country, Fire Departments are rated on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the best, 10 being the worst). And Mountain Brook being rated as a Class 3 is quite remarkable regarding the size of our community and the number of stations we have. The Fire Department responded to 3,419 calls in 2011 and does many things to uphold its ranking. For example, all personnel are required to work out for one hour during every shift. Also they are evaluated yearly on their physical fitness and performance at a nearby Alana Bartoletti drill tower. The department on average responds to emergencies in 4.25 minutes. They are able to do so by the strategic placing of each station. Also, most Mountain Brook Fire Fighters are certified paramedics and are able to automatically treat an injury on the scene. But most importantly, the Mountain Brook Fire Department considers itself to be in the customer service business. So no matter what the problem, they will respond and give you the proper care or help you need.

Mountain Brook’s landscape was designed by a visionary of Central Park Robert Jemison had an idea for what he wanted Mountain Brook to be, and Warren H. Manning of Boston brought the idea to life with the help of his partner, Frederick Olmstead. The original development of Mountain Brook began in 1929.

With Jemison and the help of landscape architects Manning and Olmstead, Mountain Brook became a scenic suburb of Birmingham with winding roads and three quaint villages. Manning and Olmstead are renowned for projects such as

Mountain Brook was the first city in Alabama to operate under a council-manager style of government level responsibility. They This means that the meet at City Hall on the city is controlled jointly second and fourth Mondays by the mayor and city of each month at 7 p.m., council, with additional and encourage citizens to help provided by the city attend these meetings if they manager. When Mountain wish to learn more about Brook was incorporated happenings within the city. in 1942, it was the first to Administrative business adopt a government using Mary Nix is handled by the city manager, this system. who is also responsible The mayor serves as the policymaking figure of the city, with for overseeing government operations the city council acting as the legislative within the city. The city manager is body. Elections for mayor are held responsible for the employment of city workers, except the fire chief and every four years. The city council consists of five police chief, who are appointed by the members whom the public elects, and city council. The city manager also they review most issues within the proposes the annual budget, including city, as well as appoint the police chief, long-range goals for the city. The the fire chief and the city manager city manager is then responsible for (with the assistance of the mayor).The regulating the budget and making sure council has community-wide policy all long-range goals are achieved.

Central Park in New York, Biltmore Castle in Asheville and the Chicago Colombian Expo. Their creative geniuses made envisioned the canopy of trees and lush greenery and the villages that tie our community together into a picturesque package.

Charlotte Weaver

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5:04 PM

November 2012

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An Open Letter From A Multiple Sclerosis Victim To Anyone Else Who Craves... Life. Energized. My name is Corky Alexander, and this is my “Life. Energized.” story. One day, while still serving in the military, I was involved in an accident that left me recovering from 3 shattered vertebra and 2 ruptured disks. I was soon discharged and my fitness plummeted. Then, two years ago, while driving to the VA for a check up on my back, something very strange happened. I lost control of my body ... and my car. I crashed into 2 other cars. The doctors thought I’d had suffered a stroke, but a CT scan unearthed the real culprit. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, an inflammatory disease occurring when your body declares war on itself. Your immune cells launch a vicious attack against your nervous system. A crippled nervous system thwarts all attempts at muscular control. I can assure you, the jolting thought of never walking again will take your breath away. But it’s the unrelenting psychological warfare -- the threat of never being able to pick up your kids again -- that’s what crushes your soul. Thank God for my wife - my rock - who said, “You can’t let this stop you. You can’t quit!” It was at that point I reached out to my life-long friend, Forrest Walden, to see if his new gym, Iron Tribe, could help me. Miraculously, after joining Iron Tribe, the tremors in my hand, and the pain in my legs, began to dissipate! Four months later, none of my clothes fit. I’ve had to bore 3 new holes in my belt just to keep my pants on, because I’ve lost 20 pounds. It’s kind of a weird thing; I don’t know what’s going on. The weight, the symptoms, and the depression are gone. My life has been energized, from being depressed to a point not wanting to get out of bed, to now, where the first thing I want to do in the morning is get up and live my life! Iron Tribe works for me, and I believe it will work for anyone. Iron Tribe is much more than just fitness. Iron Tribe is ... LIFE. Energized.

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Village Living November 2012  

News, sports, and entertainment for Mountain Brook, Alabama

Village Living November 2012  

News, sports, and entertainment for Mountain Brook, Alabama