CITY COUNCIL COMEDIAN Council regular approaches business with humor. 6
Vol 7 | Issue 12 | November 2022 As Trussville As It Gets
Trussville Veterans Committee chairman acts as ‘citizen soldier’ to serve. 8 Be all smiles. All over town. With offices in Hoover, Trussville, Alabaster and Greystone appointments are convenient for everyone. Visit BhamSmile.com to schedule a free consultation.
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EDITOR’S NOTE | KYLE PARMLEY The fall is such a crazy time. School is in full swing, with all of the extracurricular activities that come along with it. The holidays are just around the corner. It can be a lot. I feel the pressure this time of year to make sure I do all the things expected of me, be all the places I’m expected to be, and see all the people I’m expected to see. But one thing I want to ensure that I do this fall, especially as we enter the holiday months, is to regularly take a step back and enjoy all that’s going on. I don’t want to get caught up in the chaos and miss out on the joy of everything going on around me. I hope that you will be able to do the same as well. Lean into your people and make the most of each day. Thanks for supporting this newspaper each month. Happy reading!
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
The Hewitt-Trussville marching band performs at halftime of a game against Vestavia Hills at Hewitt-Trussville Stadium on Oct. 7. The Huskies defeated the Rebels 45-37. Photo by Erin Nelson.
Please Support Our Community Partners Bedzzz Express (20) Birmingham Orthodontics (1) Bonnie Hicks ARC (7) Bromberg’s (9) Children’s of Alabama (12) Clark Holmes Smith Oral Facial Surgery of Alabama (6) Cleaview Strategy Partners (15) Deerfoot Memorial Funeral Home (12) ENT Associates of Alabama (11) Homewood Carpet & Flooring (6) Lee Marlow, RealtySouth (9)
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Please recycle this paper. ON THE COVER: Master Sgt. Chad Carroll, Logistic Plans with the U.S. Air Force, stands beside a veterans monument at Veterans Park in Trussville. Photo by Erin Nelson.
BUSINESS HAPPENINGS NOW OPEN Dynamic Discs Iron City opened a location in Trussville on Sept. 20. It is located behind the Taco Bell on North Chalkville Road. It is the company's third location in the area, with stores in Homewood and Gardendale as well. Dynamic Discs Iron City offers disc golf equipment, apparel and accessories from all major disc golf brands. 205-703-4743, dynamicdiscsironcity.com Brian's Flooring & Design has opened its fourth showroom in Trussville. Situated right on Main Street next to the Half Shell, this new showroom will be filled with the latest luxury vinyl, hardwoods, porcelain tile, laminates and carpet. Brian's Flooring & Design has previously opened showrooms in McCalla, Shelby County and Birmingham. 205-582-6633, shopbriansflooring.com
NEWS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS Regions, with Trussville branches at 193 Main St. and 429 Main St., was fined $50 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and ordered to refund at least $141 million to customers the bureau said Regions harmed with illegal surprise overdraft fees. From August 2018 through July 2021, Regions charged customers surprise overdraft fees on certain ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases,
even after telling consumers they had sufficient funds at the time of the transactions. The bureau found that Regions leadership knew about and could have discontinued its surprise overdraft fee practices years earlier but chose to wait while the bank pursued changes that would generate new fee revenue to make up for ending the illegal fees. Regions issued a statement, saying that “although Regions Bank disagrees with the CFPB’s characterizations, the bank cooperated with the investigation and is pleased to move forward. Agreeing to the settlement reflects Regions’ desire to focus its attention on continuing to support customers through a wide range of account enhancements that have already lowered fees for many customers.” 205-228-7560, regions.com The Training and Organizational Development Department of the Personnel Board of Jefferson County recently announced that 142 individual Merit System employees have successfully completed certificate programs. Four of those local government employees are from the city of Trussville, as Caleb Hancock, Evan Massey, Matthew Panepento and Constance Watkins all earned various certificates. They were recognized at a celebration on Sept. 23 at the Historic Boutwell Auditorium. 205-279-3660, pbjcal.org
PERSONNEL MOVES Henry Coker, D.O., Internal Medicine, recently joined Grandview Primary Care in Trussville, 5890 Valley Road. Dr. Coker received his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Samford University and his master’s degree in collaborative special education from Auburn University (with a concentration in autism and behavior disorders). Coker received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Atlanta. He completed his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at University of South Alabama Hospitals and Clinics in Mobile. 205-655-7600, grandviewmedicalgroup.com Randall Aldrich, Cindy Bentley, Vincent Keith, Maggie Moore, Cindy Gregg, Monica Allan and Clay Robinette have joined EXIT Realty Southern Select, located in Trussville at 183 Main St., Suite C. This EXIT Realty office is a proud member of EXIT Realty Alabama's rapidly expanding network of independently owned and operated brokerages across the region. 205-913-0396, exitrealty.com
Community Have a community announcement? Email Kyle Parmley at firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.
Trussville council regular approaches city business with humor Richard Epstein, a Trussville resident and regular attendee at Trussville City Council meetings, stands in the council meeting room at the former Trussville City Schools building Sept. 21. Photo by Erin Nelson.
By GARY LLOYD Trussville City Hall was packed Aug. 9, the night the Trussville City Council decided the fate of the Glendale Farms Preserve development. Richard Epstein walked in 10 minutes before the meeting began, because they are typically sparsely attended, and looked for a seat. “Glad everyone came to see me,” he said to everyone and no one in particular. Epstein has lived in Trussville 20 years, and he started attending city council meetings to learn about the city, to find out if projects would or wouldn’t be done. He’s been asking questions since the beginning. In 2004, he was pleading to city officials to ease traffic congestion on Chalkville Mountain Road. In 2007, he reported about issues with the lack of a traffic signal along U.S. 11. In June 2017, he asked four
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different questions during public comments. Minutes from a November 2020 meeting shows that Epstein “made a variety of suggestions.” Epstein tries to attend all city council meetings. “You can learn what’s going on in the city and see if you can do anything that you think will help your area, too,” he said. Epstein described himself as “bashful” as a joke, because to know a jokester is to know Epstein. Jokes aside, he said he was “outspoken.” “When I think it’s for the betterment of the individuals or the surrounding area, I don’t mind speaking up,” he said. “They [the council] like to kid me, and I like to kid them, but I’m trying to say some things kidding hoping that they’ll really do something about it. In business, you’ve got to do it. If it’s wrong, you do something else.” Epstein ran a family business in Birmingham for years — selling work and hunting
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clothes, boots and dry goods. When the family business closed, Epstein worked in purchasing for an iron and metal company, where he stayed for more than 20 years. When his division closed, he moved to an aluminum company to work in its purchasing department. When he retired, he drove to St. Vincent’s East to say hello to a friend who worked there. Epstein was introduced to volunteering, and he’s been doing that the past seven years. He greets people and makes up packets for patients. “I enjoy going around and meeting the different people at the hospital,” Epstein said. “Quite a few of them know me and talk to me. I don’t care who it is, the executive office — I go in there all the time and say hello or give them a suggestion.” Epstein is 79 years old and has had Type 1 diabetes for 65 of them. For a time, he served as president of a Birmingham diabetes society. Despite others saying it couldn’t be done, Epstein called up Bill Talbert in New York, an International Tennis Hall of Fame member who also had Type 1 diabetes. Epstein, looking for Talbert to visit Birmingham, name-dropped big-time doctors he knew. Not long after, Epstein picked Talbert up from the airport. “You know, I get scared,” Epstein joked. “I’m afraid what they’re going to tell me. I’m very bashful.” Perhaps the best part of Epstein’s public
There’s only so much they can do without help from the community. They all work hard. A lot of people don’t believe that, but I know it. They kid me, and when I tell them something, I kid around with them a lot. But a lot of things they do listen. I don’t know if they’re going to do them or not, but they all work hard, no matter who it is.
comments at Trussville City Council meetings is that Mayor Buddy Choat and the five council members understand it. They know he’s serious about city business, but they know he’ll approach issues in an amusing way. “He always brings some interesting comments to our council meetings,” Choat said. “One which is true, I’m sure, is that Carole, his wife, looks forward to him being at every meeting so he won’t be in the house.” Epstein, married to Carole for 52 years with two kids and three grandkids, was
quick to say that he wouldn’t want the mayor or council’s job because all residents can’t be satisfied. “There’s only so much they can do without help from the community,” he said. “They all work hard. A lot of people don’t believe that, but I know it. They kid me, and when I tell them something, I kid around with them a lot. But a lot of things they do listen. I don’t know if they’re going to do them or not, but they all work hard, no matter who it is.” Epstein has tried to help where he can.
He’s asked the city to restripe yellow and white lines on roads. He even priced out a striping machine. He’s asked the city to place signs in front of his neighborhood to advise motorists not to block the intersection. The two projects he’s focusing on right now are a new city swimming pool and a generator for the Trussville Civic Center. Epstein told a story from years ago, when he ate lunch four times per week with a former Birmingham Police chief. One day, while walking down the street, Epstein and his friend saw a man on the ground, likely drunk. The chief knew the man, asked him what was wrong, pulled him up and told him that he thought he was going to stop drinking. The chief, Epstein said, told the man he better not see him in that condition the next time he saw him. They left, and the chief said something that has stuck with Epstein. “’I talk to everybody and I want everybody to talk to me,’” Epstein recalled the chief saying. “To me, a person is a person. I don’t care who it is. And that’s the way I feel.” Epstein knows a lot of “big” people, he said, but like he said, he’s outspoken. After telling that story, that life lesson, he couldn’t let it be the last word. “They still need to paint the lines around the city, and build a pool and put a generator in.”
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COVER STORY: Trussville Veterans Committee chairman acts as ‘citizen soldier’ to serve
BECOMING VETERAN-FRIENDLY T By GARY LLOYD
he crackle in the phone connection meant one thing: Chad Carroll was on the road again. On an evening in August, his navigation was pointed northeast toward Knoxville., for military training. Carroll, a 2009 Moody High School graduate, has traveled extensively in his 12 years in the Air National Guard. Carroll has been to Kuwait, Guam, Japan, Alaska, Hawaii, all over Europe and across the U.S. Carroll is a member of the 117th Air Refueling Wing in Birmingham, which was founded in 1922 and has included a Carroll since 1955. His grandfather, Hoyt Carroll, served from 1955 to 1988. His father, Michael Carroll, served from 1980 to 2009. Chad Carroll has served since 2009. He’s a logistics management specialist, handling all logistics of getting people and cargo to and from destinations. “We’re a big military family,” Carroll said. When Carroll was growing up, his dad would bring him to work. He learned about the work and traveled with his parents to see a lot of the world. It encouraged him, but it was not his first dream. He initially wanted to go to culinary school. Then, he wanted to become a marine biologist. He chose computer science as his major at UAB before deciding he wanted to join the military. At that point, Carroll flipped his major to history to learn more about U.S. history and the military. In 2021, Carroll was named to the new Trussville Veterans Committee, of which he is currently the chairman. Other members include Rob Langford, John Griscom, Linda Burns and Amy Cane. The Trussville City Council’s liaison to the committee is Councilwoman Jaime Melton Anderson, an Air Force veteran. “When Mayor [Buddy] Choat created the Veterans Committee, I don’t think we could have envisioned the immediate impact that group would make in our community,” Melton Anderson said. “Under Chad’s leadership, the committee has honored and supported area veterans through outreach events, memorial services and by promoting our new Fallen Warriors Memorial. Chad has been instrumental in making our Veterans Committee a visible and effective group that honors our veterans, and he has been a wonderful military ambassador for Trussville.” When he was first named to the
Master Sgt. Chad Carroll, of the 117th Air Refueling Wing in Birmingham, left, stands beside his father, Michael Carroll, and grandfather, Hoyt Carroll. Photo courtesy of Chad Carroll.
One of our goals is to make Trussville one of the veteran-friendliest cities in Alabama.
Master Sgt. Chad Carroll, Logistic Plans with the U.S. Air Force, stands beside a veterans monument at Veterans Park in Trussville on Sept. 21. Photo by Erin Nelson.
committee, he spoke to similar groups in Texas, Alabama and Florida to glean ideas. If an opportunity to speak about veterans has been made available, Carroll has taken advantage. The Trussville Veterans Committee hit the ground running. “One of our goals is to make Trussville one of the veteran-friendliest cities in Alabama,” Carroll said. Carroll set up a booth at the Trussville 75th anniversary event on The Mall in June and at Trussville City Fest in September. He spoke to the Trussville City Schools Board of Education a month later. He took the Trussville Rotary Daybreak Club to his Birmingham base in September to tour an aircraft. The Trussville Veterans Committee hosted veteran outreach events and
donated 108 American flags to Trussville City Schools, one for every classroom in the school system. He summed up his career and volunteer work in two words: citizen soldier. “What that means is we serve in the National Guard, but we also serve in our community,” he said. “I like to use that as serving in the National Guard, but also serving in my community to make it a better community and a safer community.” Future plans include the committee naming a 2022 Veteran of the Year in early 2023. “I would say every day I’m working on something with the Trussville Veterans Committee,” Carroll said. “Whether it be an outreach event, checking on veterans,
brochures, a monthly meeting. I would say about every day I’m touching something with the Trussville Veterans Committee, making sure we’re on the ground, getting our name out there and assisting anybody that needs help in the community.” Carroll is working on a book about veterans, a project he has been outlining and shaping for two years. Upon retirement from the military in the next couple decades, he aspires to teach history and hopes to do so in Trussville. For now, when he has the opportunity to speak with students and children about veterans, he shares five rules of success: ► Have a goal every day. ► Once you have that goal, get up. ► Get to work. ► People will doubt you. Get it done. ► Have fun. Carroll said educating the public about veterans, and any first responder, is important. Telling them and their families “Thank you” goes a long way. Said Carroll, “Because at night when we go to sleep in our community, there’s always someone out there watching out for us and keeping us safe.”
Palmer faces Libertarian opponent By NEAL EMBRY Incumbent Republican Congressman Gary Palmer, who represents Alabama’s 6th District, faces a Libertarian challenger, Andria Chieffo, in this month’s midterm election. Chieffo could not be reached for comment ahead of the Cahaba Sun’s print deadline. Palmer Palmer is seeking a fifth term in office. For more information on this race, visit cahabasun.com.
Presbyterian Church; ► Education: B.S. in Operations Management, University of Alabama, 1977 ► Main Issues: fiscal conservatism; reducing regulation; lowering energy costs; replacing the Affordable Care Act; protecting the life of the unborn ► Website: palmer.house .gov ► Social media: Twitter: @USRepGaryPalmer; Facebook: facebook .com/CongressmanGaryPalmer
GARY PALMER (I)
► Party: Republican ► Age: 68 ► Residence: Hoover ► Political Experience: Elected to U.S. Congress in 2014 representing Alabama’s 6th District ► Professional Experience: President of the Alabama Policy Institute for 24 years; worked in engineering, as well as with Focus on the Family ► Civic Experience: Rotary Club of Birmingham; member of Briarwood
► Party: Libertarian ► Age: N/A ► Residence: N/A ► Political Experience: N/A ► Professional Experience: N/A ► Civic Experience: N/A ► Education: N/A ► Main Issues: N/A ► Website/social media: N/A * Candidate did not respond to questions by print deadline.
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The Trussville City Council honored the Trussville Rotary Daybreak Club in recognition of World Polio Day. Photo courtesy of Diane Poole.
Rotary club receives proclamation from city council Rotary International is a global network of neighbors, friends, leaders and problem-solvers who unite and take action to create lasting change in communities across the globe. In 1985, Rotary launched PolioPlus, and in 1988 helped establish the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with other world organizations to immunize the children of the world against polio. These were just a couple of the statements included in a proclamation made by the Trussville City Council honoring the Trussville Rotary Daybreak Club in recognition of World Polio Day on October 24.
Many of the Club’s members were on hand for the announcement of the proclamation on Tuesday, October 11. According to the RI website, Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort. Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. — Submitted by Diane Poole
‘Death notebook’ saga puts superintendent on leave By GARY LLOYD News emerged in September that a Hewitt-Trussville High School student was suspended after making terroristic threats, when authorities discovered that he had created a “death notebook” a year earlier, with the names of 37 classmates inside. Since then,Jodie Real and her family’s lives have been turned upside down. “We are in terror at our house,” said Real, one of dozens who spoke in front of a packed Trussville City Council meeting Sept. 27. Real’s child’s name was in that notebook. “Everybody should be able to go to sleep, and we can’t sleep,” she said, before the emotions became too much and she walked away from the microphone. Trussville Mayor Buddy Choat, speaking the morning of Sept. 27 at a press conference in the city council chambers — formerly the Trussville City Schools Board of Education boardroom — discussed recent safety concerns within Trussville City Schools. During the Trussville Police Department investigation, it was learned that the same student in October 2021 had created a “death notebook” that contained the names of 37 classmates. “The police department was never notified by [the school] administration last year when the death notebook was found,” said Police Chief Eric Rush. “The death notebook
Trussville City Schools central office. Photo by Gary Lloyd.
contained the names of 37 fellow students with five of them having specific ways to die. There were multiple verbal threats about shooting up the school by this same student this year. These threats are what brought the notebook to our attention by the school.” Trussville City Schools Superintendent Pattie Neill released a statement Sept. 26 but did not speak publicly Sept. 27 at the morning press conference or at the evening city council meeting. “The student was brought to the counselor’s
office and met with the principal and counselor,” Neill said. “The notebook was based on the Netflix series ‘Death Note’ where a person can imagine someone’s death and supernaturally make it happen — for example the person in the notebook might be eaten by ants, hit by a bus, hit by a ladder, drowning, etc. It was determined at that time by the principal and counselor and based on the information available that the notebook was fantasy and no further action was necessary other than confiscate the book and monitor
the behavior of the student. The student completed the 2021-22 school year with no further disciplinary problems.” Late in the afternoon Sept. 27, Hewitt-Trussville High School Principal Tim Salem was placed on administrative leave. Assistant Principal Joy Young was named acting principal. Neill was placed on a 60-day administrative leave three days later at a special-called Board of Education meeting. Neill did not attend. “We can only hope to improve and make things better,” Board of Education President Kathy Brown said. Many who spoke called for Neill’s resignation. The next scheduled Board of Education meeting was Oct. 17, after press time. At the Sept. 30 Board of Education meeting, parents and students spoke for more than two hours. Several statements written by anonymous Trussville City Schools teachers were read. One woman who spoke used 37 seconds of her three minutes to remain silent. The 37 seconds represented each of the students in the “death notebook.” She said it was “a bit awkward, unnerving” expecting to hear something and you hear nothing. The audible gasp from the capacity crowd proved the effectiveness of her allegorical tactic. “Our children deserve better,” she said. For the latest on this story, visit cahabasun.com.
Board of Education: ‘We’re committed’ to better communication By GARY LLOYD Addressing the Trussville City Schools Board of Education on Sept. 30 — the day Superintendent Pattie Neill was placed on administrative leave for 60 days and citizens implored the board to vote her out of office — Trussville resident Massey Willingham indicated that the outcry from the community was not solely due to the school system’s lack of communication over a Hewitt-Trussville High School student creating a “death notebook” with names of 37 classmates that went unreported to authorities for nearly a year. He said it was a culmination of years of a broken system. “This is just the dam finally breaking,” he said. The Board of Education is now trying to keep its head above water. Board Vice President Kim DeShazo used the word “communication” six times in a letter to parents Sept. 29. “As to the complaints about communication: Parents, we hear you,” DeShazo wrote.
The Trussville City Schools Board of Education aims to improve communication with faculty, staff, students, parents and the community. Photo by Gary Lloyd.
“I have three kids in the Trussville school system, including one at the high school. I understand your frustration, disappointment, and fear. I am so grateful that we are discussing these issues today instead of after some tragic event. There is nothing we can do to change the events of October 2021 or since.
What we can do is learn from the mistakes and prevent them from ever happening again. I am committed to that and will do everything I can to ensure that our kids remain safe in Trussville City Schools and our families are treated with honesty and respect.” Less than 24 hours after that letter was sent, the Board heard from parents and students for more than two hours. A chief complaint not just now, but for years, has been that Board members do not have school system email addresses. There was long just a tcsboe@ trussvillecityschools.com email address. All five Board members now have individual email addresses. At the Sept. 30 Board meeting, Board President Kathy Brown said a “complete overhaul” of the system’s communications plan was needed. Jason Gaston, who started as the system’s public relations supervisor Jan. 18, 2021, resigned to take a similar role at Alabaster City Schools in September, just days before the “death notebook” story broke. DeShazo said she hoped to keep the
community informed of communications improvements in real time as the Board made decisions. “Anything worth doing is worth doing well,” she said. Late Sept. 30, a school system update from Brown was sent to parents and the community advising of the creation of individual Board of Education email addresses. “The Board of Education was deeply moved by your concerns,” Brown wrote. “We will walk through the process together of increasing communication to faculty, staff, students, parents and our community, review of our special education program and a comprehensive assessment of our safety protocols. Thank you for your support and consideration as we address these issues moving forward.” On Oct. 13, the Trussville City Schools Board of Education hired Frank Costanzo as acting superintendent. Costanzo is the former superintendent of Tuscaloosa County Schools. For the latest on this developing story, visit cahabasun.com.
C wing planning begins for HTHS By GARY LLOYD Plans for the C wing addition to Hewitt-Trussville High School are underway. The Trussville City Schools Board of Education at its August meeting approved an agreement with Lathan Associates Architects to begin the drawings for the addition, as well as an agreement with Arrington Engineering to complete a survey of the high school. According to a document presented at the August meeting, Hewitt-Trussville High School currently houses approximately 1,570 students. The classroom space capacity of the school is 1,600 students and 2,400 students in common areas such as the library, gymnasiums and cafeteria. “There is ample space in the common areas for growth, but classroom space is almost full,” Superintendent Pattie Neill said on Aug. 25. Phase One includes finishing the basement, which will yield eight classroom labs when they are completed about one year after work begins. At 28 students per classroom, that area could hold 224 additional students, Neill said. The original footprint for C wing called for four floors with eight classrooms per floor. However, with the basement yielding eight
classrooms, Phase Two now calls for three floors total. Adding two floors to C wing would equate to 16 classrooms, space for 448 additional students. Using this year’s high school current enrollment of 1,570 students, and including 224 more students in an alternate for a third floor, the final capacity for Hewitt-Trussville High School with a fully completed C wing is 2,466 students, according to the plan. According to the school system’s fiscal year 2022-23 capital plan that was approved in August, the funding year for the C wing addition will be in 2025-26 with a budget of $13 million. Other projects in the capital plan include: ► Cahaba Elementary School outdoor classroom: $225,000 funded by the PTO (2023-24 funding year) ► Hewitt-Trussville High School academy labs: $1.7 million (2023-24 funding year) ► Hewitt-Trussville High and Hewitt-Trussville Middle state lighting: $1.1 million (2023-24 funding year) ► Turf and covered practice field: $8.3 million (2023-24 funding year) ► Hewitt-Trussville High School band carpet replacement: $125,000 (2023-24
Students change classes at Hewitt-Trussville High School. Photo by Erin Nelson.
funding year) ► Security upgrades: $100,000 (2023-24 funding year) ► Fieldhouse renovation, weight room expansion, practice gym: $10 million (202425 funding year) ► New elementary school: $52 million (2025-26 funding year)
► New academy building: $3 million (2025-26 funding year) ► Replacement of mechanical units at Paine Elementary School: $500,000 (202627 funding year) ► Gym roof replacement at Cahaba Elementary School: $500,000 (2026-27 funding year)
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Events Tree lighting, caroling planned for Nov. 27 Fallen Warrior Monument dedication planned Nov. 13 The Trussville Tree Lighting in November 2021. Photo by Gary Lloyd.
By GARY LLOYD The city of Trussville’s community caroling and tree lighting ceremony are scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 27, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The free event at The Mall in the Cahaba Project will include Christmas carols, hot chocolate, cookies and other Christmas activities. Santa Claus will be there to visit with children. The Trussville Christmas Parade is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 10. Parade details will be in the December issue of the Cahaba Sun.
Tree lighting, caroling • WHERE: The Mall in the Cahaba Project • WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 27 4:30-6 p.m. • COST: Free • DETAILS: Christmas carols, hot chocolate, cookies and other Christmas activities. Santa Claus will be there to visit with children.
By GARY LLOYD The dedication ceremony for the Alabama Fallen Warriors Monument is planned for Sunday, Nov. 13, in Trussville. The monument, located in Trussville Veterans Park on Parkway Drive, will be dedicated at 2 p.m. All community members are invited as the 226 Alabama servicemembers that have died since 9/11 — during the Global War on Terror — will be honored. According to the Alabama Fallen Warriors Project, 115 service members were killed in action and 111 died a non-hostile death. Construction on the monument began in August after supply-chain issues and plan revisions postponed the project from an initial goal of being completed by Memorial Day 2022. The project was first approved in November 2021, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held a month later. For more information, visit alabama fallenwarriorsproject.org.
Trussville Veterans Park. Photo by Erin Nelson.
Fallen Warrior Monument dedication • WHERE: Trussville Veterans Park on Parkway Drive • WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 13 2 p.m. • WEB: alabamafallenwarriors project.org
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SPORTS Clay-Chalkville standout wide receiver Mario Craver (4) has been a revelation since returning after missing the first few games this season. Craver led the way for the Cougars’ passing attack in a tough game against defending Class 7A state champion Thompson. In the 17-14 defeat, Craver caught nine passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.
Pinson Valley running back Taurus Chambers (21) was a workhorse for the Indians in their 21-13 win over Homewood on Sept. 23. Chambers scored touchdowns in the first and third quarters, rushing 21 times overall for 92 yards.
Hewitt-Trussville tight end Donovan Price (33) has been a solid addition to the Huskies’ passing game this fall. In Hewitt-Trussville’s big win over Huffman on Sept. 22, Price caught three passes for 23 yards and a touchdown.
UNDER THE LIGHTS
The regular season has officially ended, with several teams looking to extend their seasons deep into November in the state playoffs. Here are some highlights from the middle portion of the high school football season. Photos by Shawn Bowles, Erin Nelson, James Nicholas and Barry Stephenson.
Hewitt-Trussville defensive back Nick Hill had a big game against Thompson. He recovered a fumble on Thompson’s first drive and nearly had a pick-six on the Warriors’ next drive, with a pass breakup. Despite the 14-12 loss for the Huskies on Sept. 30, Hill played a pivotal role in a strong defensive performance.
Hewitt-Trussville wide receiver Jadon Loving has been one of many Huskies to step up on the offensive side of the ball this season. Against Huffman, Loving had a breakout game, grabbing four passes for 73 yards, with two of them going for touchdowns. The Huskies defeated the Vikings 49-8.
Varsity Sports Calendar FOOTBALL
Nov. 17: Girls @ Gadsden City. 7 p.m.
Nov. 3: vs. Huffman. Spare Time. 4 p.m.
Nov. 4, 11, 18, 25: Playoffs. TBD.
Nov. 19-22: Girls at Hartselle Thanksgiving Classic. Hartselle High School. TBD.
Nov. 8: @ Oxford. 4:30 p.m.
BASKETBALL Nov. 3: vs. Gadsden City. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m. Nov. 8: @ Park Crossing. Girls at 5:30 p.m., girls at 7 p.m.
Nov. 21-23: Boys at Thompson Thanksgiving Tournament. Thompson High School. Nov. 28: Girls @ Mortimer Jordan. 6 p.m.
Nov. 9: vs. Pinson Valley. Spare Time. 4 p.m. Nov. 10: vs. Shades Valley, Gadsden City. Spare Time. 4 p.m.
Nov. 29: Boys vs. Mountain Brook. 7 p.m.
Nov. 16: @ Oxford. 4 p.m.
Nov. 12: Girls vs. Hazel Green. Mortimer Jordan High School. 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 30: @ Gadsden City. 4:30 p.m.
Nov. 15: @ Austin. Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 1: vs. Huffman. Spare Time. 4 p.m.
Nov. 17: Boys vs. Hueytown. Legacy Arena. TBD.
Nov. 2: Warrior Classic. Oak Mountain Lanes. All day.
Nov. 5: State meet. Oakville Indian Mounds Park.
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Opinion Southern Musings By Gary Lloyd
Thinking outside the press box The Pentagon was always the goal. The one in Arlington, Virginia? Lord, no. The one in Trussville. Ask any man my age: If he was a boy growing up here in Trussville, and he played Little League baseball, his hope was to spend any free time, before or after his weekend game, in a folding chair on the top floor of the Trussville Baseball Association press box, fingertips a mess with concession-stand nacho cheese. It was the best view in the park, and it made a kid feel like he was on top of the world. My goal, long after my Little League career ended, was to spend a lifetime in press boxes, traveling with my laptop and tape recorder to press boxes across this country, from Turner Field in Atlanta to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. I started covering high school sports in college. The first football game I ever covered in Tuscaloosa, I do not remember there
being a press box. The next humble you often. I tripped on a dip in the floor — was week, I found a seat in the press box, which became it a hole covered by the carpet? — at a baseball a safe haven for dozens of folks from the monsoon park in Montgomery. In an outside. I ruined my shoes unnamed closer-to-home interviewing the coach on town’s press box, I was hit the field after the game. At with a hat that a mad dad another high school game, threw in frustration. His son I sat on a flipped-over wasn’t even on the team. I five-gallon bucket. lost three pounds in sweat You pay your dues as a in a tiny, stuffy press box sports reporter, but every so at another local field, a Lloyd often it pays off. I watched wooden structure that at the the Crimson Tide from the Bryant-Denny time seemed more like a makeshift deer blind Stadium press box during two seasons, and than a press box. Heck, it may have been a drank enough free Dr. Pepper to embarrass deer blind, after all. Forrest Gump. It’s another world up there. I looked forward to football games at An athletics department staffer hands you the Hoover Met, because I could charge game stats while you eat your third ice cream my phone in the press box and maybe even sandwich. eat a slice or two of pizza. Covering ClayHigh school press setups, however, Chalkville’s 2014 state championship from
Sean of the South By Sean Dietrich My cousin’s daughter is making a list of things she’s grateful for. It’s a Thanksgiving-themed assignment for school. She asked for my help. And when a kid asks you for help, it makes you feel eleven feet tall. “It would be an honor,” I said. “Thanks for asking me.” “You’re welcome.” “What made you choose me?” “Well, I was thinking maybe you could write my list while I ride bikes with my friends.” “Wait a second. Aren’t you gonna do any work?” “Of course,” she explained. “I’ll be your editor. Now get busy.” Editors. Well, I don’t mind naming items for which I am grateful. I will start by writing that I am grateful for cold weather. Admittedly, I don’t love the weather itself, but I enjoy what the cold represents. It means November is here, it means the holidays are close, it means I have to put on my winter coat to use the toilet in my trailer home. Gratefulness item number two: cinnamon brooms in the supermarket. Man, I love these things. I could sniff them for hours in the grocery store. I am grateful for sweet potato pies, and Butterball turkeys that are deep fried by men who wear overalls. And for squash casserole,
the Jordan-Hare Stadium press box was memorable, sans the recent tragedy that was the K*ck S*x in 2013. I’m rarely in a press box these days. I can say with some certainty I’ve never been in the press boxes at the home stadiums of Hewitt-Trussville, Clay-Chalkville and Pinson Valley, the programs I’ve covered most. I suppose growing up can change your perspective. The games aren’t really about my view from a stadium’s highest point. They’re about covering them from the front lines, where I see Sharpie-inscribed wrist tape honoring a teammate who died, where I watch coaches wrap their arms around their players, where I’m within earshot of the postgame prayer. It may not be a press box seat, but those are the best views in the stadium. Gary Lloyd is the author of six books and is a contributing writer to the Cahaba Sun.
green bean casserole, cheese the aroma of truck exhaust potato casserole, hash brown on a cold morning. casserole, collards, and I am grateful for the way cornbread dressing. my wife looks when she’s sleeping. Her face relaxes, Reruns of the Andy Griffith Show. My late father’s and she snores gently with Case pocket knife. And her mouth open. good music. In moments like that, I This is the time of year like to see how many cockwhen radio stations play the tail peanuts I can carefully old stuff. Nat King Cole, place into her open mouth Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, without waking her. My Old Blue Eyes, and Alvin all-time record is nineteen. Dietrich and the Chipmunks. When she awoke, she spit I am grateful for the way dogs wake you out the peanuts, and tried to gut me with a up in the morning. And for Hallmark Channel set of car keys. movies. Especially the cheesy movies that are I am thankful for the way the sun comes out about as clever as a scoop of ham salad. and warms the world when we need it most. The plots all go something like this: The sun is poking through the clouds while I Beautiful young business woman from write this. And it’s enough to make you stop big city visits her hometown after twenty and stare. years and falls in love with a handsome My cousin’s daughter is still riding bikes flannel-shirt-wearing widower and former with friends, laughing. She breezes into the country-music singer who owns a golden driveway, then slams her brakes. She is out retriever named Max and is trying to save his of breath, rosy cheeked, and alive with childtown from bankruptcy by opening a Christ- hood. An entire lifetime is ahead of her, and mas bakery with his lovable but prediabetic she doesn’t even know it. grandpa, George. Boy gets girl. They kiss. The I was her age once. I was happy, like her. end. I could watch these movies until April. And I believed in things. Big things. But then I also love cast iron cookware, old coffee life happened. Our family fell on hard times, cans of bacon grease, the taste of pepper I lost myself. The details don’t matter because gravy, Conecuh sausage, gaudy socks, and my story is your story.
Life is hard. Sooner or later, everyone learns this. It’s no revelation. Life is unfair, unforgiving, indifferent, and out to kill you — at least that’s what some people believe. But I don’t believe that. Not that it matters what I think, but if you ask me, life is artwork, hanging on a museum wall. Not a single stroke of paint is out of place. It’s magnificent. And I hope one day to see this painting from the Other Side. Maybe then, I’ll see how good things, bad things, and the sad things join to make a breathtaking portrait. And how everything matters. Both the great, and the minuscule. From cinnamon brooms, to the hours spent in a hospital waiting room. Neighborhood cats, cheesy movies, and the way my mother hugs me and refuses to let go before I do. “Are you done with my list?” my cousin’s daughter says. “Yeah, I’m done.” “Hey!” she says, inspecting my work. “You misspelled ‘cinnamon.’ I thought you were supposed to be a freakin’ writer, man.” Editors. Sean Dietrich is a columnist and novelist known for his commentary on life in the American South. He has authored nine books and is the creator of the “Sean of the South” blog and podcast.
Calendar TRUSSVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Nov. 7 and 21: Teen Ceramic Ornaments. Join Ms. Norma in creating a ceramic ornament. This is a two-part program. Please make sure you can attend both before signing up. 6th-12th grades. 4-5:30 p.m.
Mondays and Thursdays: Yarn manglers. Knitters and crocheters, join for fellowship and creativity. Ages 18 and older. Mondays 5:30-7:30 p.m., Thursdays 2-4 p.m.
Nov. 8: T.A.B. Teen Advisory Board is a place for local teens to get involved with their library. 8th-12th grades. 4-5 p.m.
Thursdays: Children’s storytime. Join Ms. Alicia for stories, songs, bubble time and lots of fun. Birth through pre-K. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Nov. 1: Ukulele Club. Come play, learn and perfect your skills with a professional ukelele player. All ages. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 2: Video Game — Free Play. A free-play video game program with several gaming systems and games as well as a large projector for use. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. 6th12th grades. 4-5:30 p.m. Nov. 3: Pokémon Club. Bring your friends for an hour of playing and crafting in the library auditorium. K-6th grade. 4-5 p.m. Nov. 3, 10 and 17: Life Skills Series. Join us for this multipart life skills program for teenagers. This month is Healthy Eating with Jennifer Conn, Scholarships and Financial Aid with UAB, and Safety with the Trussville Police Department. 6th-12th grades. 6-7 p.m.
Nov. 8: Christmas Craft Program. Mason jar snow globes. Materials provided. Registration required. 6:30-8 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10: Dungeons and Dragons. Registration required. 9th-12th grades Nov. 9 and 6th-8th grades Nov. 10. 4-5:30 p.m. Nov. 14: Hogwarts Academy. Games, crafts, food, prizes and all things magical will happen. Make sure to register. Wizard robes encouraged. 6th-12th grades. 5-6 p.m. Nov. 14: Books and Brews. Ferus Artisan Ales. November’s title is “Memphis” by Tara M. Stringfellow. Ages 18 and older. 7:158:15 p.m. Nov. 15: Manga Club. Teen Book Club for manga and anime fans. The book will change every month. 6th-12th grades. 4-5 p.m. Nov. 16: Adult Book Club 2022. This month’s title is “The Maid” by Nita Prose. Ages 18 and older. 2-3 p.m.
Nov. 16: Video Game Tournament. Each month we will play a different competitive game. Prizes for the victors, and refreshments for all. Registration required. 6th-12th grades. 4-5:30 p.m. Nov. 17: Understanding Medicare. Educational seminar about Medicare options with Linda Reynolds. Ages 18 and older. 1-2 p.m. Nov. 17: Middle Grade Book Club. Join us for a special event as we discuss, “Song for a Whale” by Lynne Kelly, learn some basic sign language and make a themed craft. 3rd-6th grades. 5-6 p.m. Nov. 17: Speaker from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Join us with Ashley M. Wright from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency for a look at all that they do finding and identifying our missing heroes. All ages. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 19: Robotics Club. This club will dive into the basics of coding and allow you to use those skills to program robots. Registration required. 6th-12th grades. 11 a.m. to noon. Nov. 28: American Girl Club. This month we’ll talk about Felicity. Registration required. K-5th grades. 4-5 p.m. Nov. 29: Let’s Duel! We will be playing a variety of card games and board games so feel free to bring your own cards or games from home. 6th-12th grades. 4-5 p.m.
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