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The Homewood Star

May 2014 • A1

Volume 4 | Issue 2 | May 2014

Time to read

neighborly news & entertainment for Homewood

A faster trip down Oxmoor Road

The Homewood Public Library is making final preparations to kick off its summer reading program. Learn how to sign up inside.

Community page A17

To market, to market Study recommends significant change to keep corridor traffic out of neighborhoods By JEFF THOMPSON

Fresh produce will return to a farmers market near you later this month. Find details about the markets’ dates and times inside this issue.

Oxmoor Road traffic is expected to change in 2014, and it could be coming as soon as this month. With the opening of the new Homewood Community Center, the corridor could see increased congestion around Central Avenue.

In addition, the Homewood City Council has approved the first step in an expansion of The Exceptional Foundation and for months has been looking at calming traffic around Edgewood Elementary. Anticipating a need for improvement — specifically to keep traffic from further spilling into

neighborhoods — the Homewood City Council commissioned a study of the corridor. It received the results in April and is moving forward with its recommendations. The Oxmoor Road Corridor Study, prepared by Skipper Consulting Inc. and funded by the Regional Planning Commission

of Greater Birmingham, focused on the stretch of Oxmoor Road between U.S. 31 and Palisades Drive. It concluded that the area between Broadway Street and Central Avenue is the most congested portion of the corridor.

See SIGNALS | page A23

Prehistoric treasures

Community page A16


Homewood residents discover 300 million-year-old fossils

Sponsors ................. A2 City ........................... A4 Business .................. A6 Food ......................... A8 Community ............. A15 School House ......... B1 Sports ...................... B10 Calendar ................. B12 Opinion .................... B15


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

Edgewood Elementary students cross College Avenue in front of the school. As the school population increases, the Homewood City Council is seeking to protect pedestrians by reducing the amount of traffic detouring through Homewood neighborhoods. Photo by Madoline Markham.

Brent McCormick, right, and his son, Thomas, found fossils while working on a landscape project in their front yard. So far, the McCormicks have found about 15 fossilized imprints of a scale tree, which lived 300 million years ago. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.

Normal rocks don’t come with scales. That’s what Brent McCormick and his son, Thomas, thought when they were laying riverbed rocks for landscaping at their house. The strange scale-like pattern on some of the rocks was similar to fish or snake scales. Thinking the rocks might be fossils, McCormick and his son began collecting and researching them. “For about 12 hours, I was on the computer,” McCormick said. “I had nailed it down to the Paleozoic period; it was a lumpfish.” With curiosity growing, McCormick decided to follow up his home research with a professional’s opinion. He consulted Scott Brande, a UAB chemistry


professor specializing in paleontology. Brande recognized that the fossils were not, in fact, from a lumpfish; they were imprints from the trunk of a scale tree that lived approximately 300 million years ago. So far, the McCormicks have collected about 15 fossils from a few different kinds of scale trees. Some of these were found by neighborhood children, whom McCormick paid a quarter for each fossil they discovered. Thomas also took some of the fossils to show to his second-grade classmates at Edgewood Elementary. Scale trees flourished in prehistoric Alabama, but the McCormicks’ particular fossils came from a riverbed near the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

See FOSSILS | page A23 Proudly keeping homes cleaner and healthier since 1987


Give yourself a break, call the cleaning service most recommended to family and friends.

Referred for a reason.

A2 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

About Us Photo of the Month

Please Support Our Community Partners

Attendees of the Homewood Grown event held by the Homewood City Schools Foundation enjoyed a farm-to-table dinner in SoHo last month. Photo by Scott Butler.

Send your submissions for Photo of the Month to

Editor’s Note By Madoline Markham Confession: I have an addiction to Facebook. Yes, that means often I get sucked into perusing random details of the lives of former classmates, which sets off an overactive comparison complex that falsely makes me feel like a failure compared to their perfection. But as the editor of your favorite local newspaper, my addiction has also extended to a vigilant watch of The Homewood Star page. Each time I post a story or photo or pose a question, I check back for your likes, shares and comments. Then my over-analytical brain takes off posing hypotheses about why certain posts go wild and others get few views. Over the past few weeks, our two most viral posts have illustrated what we as a

community value: 1. Helping neighbors in need. When flooding plagued residents at Lakeshore Gardens, everyone in Homewood was ready to help. That was evident when I posted that three Homewood schools were collecting gift cards for families affected. Sixty-two shares later, about 25 times more people had seen that post than average, thanks to you spreading the word about how to help. Be sure to check out the full report of how much money was raised for the efforts on page A5. 2. Celebrating our schools’ positive impact. After last month’s Homewood City Schools Foundation Homewood Grown event (see the photos on page B9), I was feeling an extra dose of how

Homewood schools not only mold successful students but also how teachers motivate students to reach their full potential. So it was no surprise that a post on Homewood High School’s ranking on The Washington Post’s list of the most challenging schools in the nation also got near record-breaking shares and likes. Way to go, Homewoood. Speaking of Facebook, be sure to like us if you haven’t already. It’s a great way to keep up with the latest news around our fair city, and we always post reminders of events you read about in print close to their actual date. Happy May to you!

The Homewood Star

Publisher: Creative Director: Graphic Designer: Managing Editor: Executive Editor: Staff Writer: Advertising Manager: Sales and Distribution:

Copy Editor: Contributing Writers: Interns: Published by:

Dan Starnes Keith McCoy Emily VanderMey Madoline Markham Jeff Thompson Katie Turpen Matthew Allen Rhonda Smith Warren Caldwell Michelle Salem Haynes Nathan Pearman Louisa Jeffries Lauren Denton Amy Stillwagon Sydney Cromwell Rachael Headley Homewood Star LLC

Contact Information: The Homewood Star #3 Office Park Circle, Suite 316 Birmingham, AL 35223 313-1780

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253

For advertising contact: Legals: The Homewood Star is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. The Homewood Star is designed to inform the Homewood community of area school, family and community events. Information in The Homewood Star is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of The Homewood Star. 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) 313-1780 or by email.

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Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (A12) Alabama Outdoors (A13) Alabama Power (A11) ARC Realty (A19) Baker Lamps & Linens (A15) Bedzzz Express (A24) Birmingham Speech and Hearing Associates (A5) BL Harbert (B1) Brandino Brass (B7) Brighter Image Dentistry (A22) Bromberg & Company, Inc. (B16) Brookwood Village (A21) Case Remodeling (A14) Children’s Dance Foundation (A6) Christopher Glenn (A15) Classic Gardens (A12) Committee to Elect Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins (B7) Construx (A4) Dawson Family of Faith (B10) Edgewood Wealth Advisors (B4) Escape (A21) Fi-Plan Partners (A6) First Lenders Mortgage Corp. (B2) Fred Smith Group (B9) Harmony Landing (B12) Homewood Arts Council (B15) Homewood Chamber of Commerce (B4) Homewood Family and Cosmetic Dentistry (A16) Homewood Parks and Rec (B8) Homewood Soccer Club (A18, B10) Homewood Toy & Hobby (B6) Issis & Sons (A14) Joe Falconer (B15) Johnny Montgomery Realtor (B4) Julie Ivy White (B11) Kidz Closet Consignment (B14) Mary House Kessler, Ph.D (B14) My Ultimate Mattress (A5) Oxmoor Valley Orthodontics (A18) Planet Fitness (B3) RealtySouth Marketing (A7) Red Mountain Theatre Company (B12) Renaissance Consignment and Marketplace (A3) Salem’s Diner (B11) Samford Summer Camp (A17) Savage’s Bakery (B5) Simply Ponds (B11) Steve French for House (A5) Studio Fitness LLC (B13) Sweet Peas Garden Shop (B2) T-Mobile (A9) The Maids (A1) The Wade Team (B13) UAB Medicine (A10) Vision Gymnastics (B9) Vitalogy Wellness Center (A8) Vulcan Park and Museum (A23)

May 2014 • A3

A4 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

City Mayor’s Minute Dear Friends and Neighbors, Spring is here, and before we know it, school will be out for the summer break. With that in mind, I would like to address a major issue that has been getting some attention lately. Recently, the City Council has been considering some options available to help with traffic flow in our city. Homewood currently has 25,000 residents — at night. But during the day, our city grows to nearly 250,000 people. The city of Homewood requested a traffic study along Oxmoor Road, and the results were interesting to say the least. Among many findings were several options and suggestions including the removal of some traffic lights on Oxmoor Road, particularly in the Edgewood area. I am no traffic expert, but the suggestion to remove some traffic lights has made me a little nervous. It might turn out to be the best option, but before we interrupted a retail shopping district, two large churches, Dawson and Trinity, and Edgewood Elementary, I think the council acted very wisely in asking for more input before making a final decision. I know for a fact they only want to better traffic flow and certainly want you, our neighbors, to be happy with the decisions made. Another contributing factor and a major complaint among residents and businesses is speeding. I have mentioned in previous articles about the city getting stricter on speeding in our neighborhoods, especially with summer approaching and more and more children playing outside. With that

being said, please note the Homewood Police Department will be out in full force on motorcycles and in patrol cars pulling over those who can’t abide by the speed limit. We don’t enjoy giving tickets, but if it saves someone from getting hurt or worse, then that is what will have to be done. I have heard from many of you in support of this, and many of you have called requesting an officer to come sit on your street to monitor traffic. Many of you have started parking cars along your streets, making it difficult for cars to maneuver down your street trying to slow down motorists. But it also causes great difficulty with our fire trucks and causes a dangerous sight distance problem if a child steps from between a vehicle into the street. There’s just no reaction time if that happens. Homewood has always been a community of people who genuinely care for each other. By slowing down, walking on sidewalks when available and limiting the amount of vehicles parked on the street when possible, it makes it safer for everyone involved and shows the care and concern I know we all have for each other. Sincerely,

Scott McBrayer Mayor City of Homewood

Exceptional Foundation expansion moves forward

1612 Oxmoor Road is located directly to the left of The Execeptional Foundation on Oxmoor Road.

By JEFF THOMPSON Concerns aside, the Homewood City Council approved the first step in a proposed expansion for The Exceptional Foundation. During its meeting on April 14, the Council voted 9-1 to rezone 1610 and 1612 Oxmoor Road, located behind the Foundation and across the street from West Glenwood Drive. The rezoning marks the Council’s approval of The Exceptional Foundation’s plan to improve the delivery of its services by building a youth center and additional parking on the site. Council member Michael Hallman provided the only dissenting vote. “We aren’t seeking to increase the number of people we serve, but rather enhance what people from across the nation know what we’re doing in Homewood,” Exceptional Foundation Executive

Director Tricia Kirk said during a previous meeting. Council members voiced concerns before the vote, most related to Oxmoor Road traffic and how access to the expansion would be controlled. However, a motion for defined access was met with a split vote, 5-5. Leading up to the vote, Edgewood residents voiced concerns about the proposed parking lot. According to an online petition created by Amber Kelley, objections included a desire for homes instead of businesses in the neighborhood and concerns about increased traffic. “I wholeheartedly support the important work done by the [Exceptional Foundation], which has provided services for a child in my extended family,” Jan Holland Kimbrough wrote on the online petition. “But the homes in the neighboring Preservation District are essential to the character of this neighborhood.”

May 2014 • A5

Homewood Community Center to open this month

Trial date set for America’s Best

America’s Best Value Inn & Suites is located on Oxmoor Road near I-65.

Parks and Recreation Director Berkley Squires and Park Board Chair Chris Meeks tour the new community center site. Photo by Madoline Markham.

The doors of Homewood’s new Community Center will officially open in mid-May. On Tuesday, May 13, the community is invited to an open house from 4-7 p.m. Homewood Community Center Director Rusty Holley said it will be the optimal opportunity to see the center and what it has to offer. Community members will be able to walk around the building for the first time and ask questions of staff members and instructors of classes such as Zumba. Memberships will also be available for sale at this time. Earlier that day, a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building will be held at 11 a.m. The mayor and park board chairman are scheduled to speak, and light refreshments will be served.

All indoor facilities will open on Thursday, May 15, with normal hours: Monday-Friday 5:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 1-6 p.m. The outdoor pool is scheduled to open on May 23, the day after Homewood City Schools let out for the summer. The $16 million, 51,000-square-foot center features two full-court gymnasiums, a cardio room with more than 4,000 square feet, additional parking, free Wi-Fi, a multipurpose room, a 25-yard competition pool and a recreational pool. B.L. Harbert International was the contractor, and Davis Architects designed the building. For more visit

America’s Best Value Inn & Suites owners have filed a lawsuit against the City of Homewood in response to the City Council’s decision to not renew the hotel’s business license for 2014. The suit, filed March 21 in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, claims the City “acted arbitrarily and capriciously by denying the renewal” of the business license. A temporary restraining order issued by Judge Helen Shores Lee is allowing the hotel to stay in business until its June 9 trial.

According to a report compiled by the Homewood Police Department and City Clerk Linda Cook, the hotel has been the location for 148 arrests and 241 reported offenses since June 2011. Among those, the report lists 35 arrests of wanted fugitives, 20 arrests related to prostitution, 33 drug arrest or arrests related to drug use, two suicides and one homicide. The City Council has conducted multiple executive sessions to discuss the suit, but has released no information since revoking the hotel’s license.

Residents assist flood victims Homewood rallied around its neighbors in Lakeshore Gardens apartments who were evacuated and lost belongings after flooding in the area on April 6 and 7. The American Red Cross temporarily set up a shelter for families in Dawson Family of Faith. Homewood City Schools, which had approximately 80 students and families

affected in the apartments, collected WalMart and Target gift cards at selected schools to assist the families with replacing clothing items. As of April 14, $6,065 in gift cards had been received from faculty and staff and community members for people in need.

A6 • May 2014

The Homewood Star 18 18 Street S.

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Now Open Brighter Image Dentistry is now open at 2908 Central Avenue, Suite 150. Dr. Spencer Maddox’s practice was previously located at 840 Montclair Road. 591-6220. Spartan Fitness - MMA Training, 430 Green Springs Highway, is now open. The facility offers training in MMA, Muay Thai kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, fitness kickboxing and martial arts. 824-8361.


Vita Health & Wellness, 1919 28th Avenue South, Suite 123, is now open. It offers weight management services. 870-1216.


Coming Soon Planet Fitness will be opening a new facility in Homewood Commons shopping center, 140 Wildwood Parkway. The space was previously occupied by Books-a-Million. 719-1722.


Relocations and Renovations Drury Inn & Suites has renovated its hotel at 160 State Farm Parkway. 940-9500.


Edgewood’s Homewood Friends 6 and Family Chiropractic is planning to move this month around the corner from 1015 Stuart Street to 1807 Oxmoor Road. 803-1234. homewoodfriendsandfamily. com. Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower 7 Market is moving from 2560 18th Street South to a new location in downtown Birmingham at the end of June. 871-0092. Fixed Point Foundation, formerly located at 1807 Oxmoor Road, has moved to downtown Birmingham. 414-6311.


News and Accomplishments Advertising and public relations firm o2ideas, 600 University Park Place, Suite 200, has a new agency website and social media presence. 949-9494.

Resolute Running Training Center, 2709 Mamie L. Foster, was featured in the May issue of Runner’s World magazine. Owner and coach Alex Morrow was featured in the “Ask the Experts” section. The magazine has a national circulation of more than 710,000. 492-3670.


Kim McClendon, office manager for Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center, 504 Brookwood Blvd., passed her exam to become a Certified Professional Coder (CPC). This certification is considered to be a top achievement for medical coding in physician offices. 871-9661.


Soca Clothing, 2820 18th Street South, has launched an online store at 879-6788.


Hirings and Promotions Murray Building Company, Inc. has hired Stewart McCoy as corporate equipment manager and Ken Reaves as project superintendent. 802-3917.


Anniversaries Seeds Coffee, 174 Oxmoor Road, is celebrating its first anniversary with a benefit concert on May 3 at 6 p.m. The event will feature coffee tasting and music by The Bear & The Bride, Mandi Mapes, Cardinal and the Clay States. 259-6405.


My Ultimate Mattress, 237 Oxmoor Circle, Suite 107, is celebrating its seventh anniversary this month. The retailer sells mattresses of all sizes as well as bed frames and furniture. 912-7177.


Vulcan Park Animal Care, 1779 Valley Avenue, celebrated its seventh anniversary in April. It is a full-service veterinary medical facility. 870-4500.


Business news

to share?

Sweet Peas Garden Shop, 2829 Linden Avenue, is now open on Sundays from 1-5 p.m. during the spring season. 879-3839.


VisionFirst Eye Center, 1 West Lakeshore Drive, Suite 220, is hosting a Trunk Show on Tuesday, May 6, from 4-6 p.m. The free event will feature food, giveaways, and jewelry and accessories from designers such as Stella & Dot and Tommy Hilfiger. 949-2020.




May 2014 • A7


Briarcliff Shop, 1829 29th Avenue South, will close in May after 54 years in business. 870-8110.


Business news Business news

Coming Soon toshare? share? to Now Open

Expansion Coming Soon

Relocation Coming Soon Expansion If you are in a brick and mortar business Anniversary

in Homewood and want to share your event with the community, If you are in a brick and mortar business let us know. in Homewood and want to share your

Expansion event with the community, let us know.

TheThe Homewood Homewood StarStar If you are in a brick and mortar business in Homewood and want to share your Email with the community, Emailevent let us know.

The Homewood Star

A8 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

Restaurant Showcase

Urban Cookhouse By MADOLINE MARKHAM When David and Andrea Snyder decided to open a restaurant, they didn’t think twice about its location. “We love Homewood and love that most of the shops up and down 18th Street are locally owned and managed,” David Snyder said. “It just feels like there’s an energy in Homewood, and we wanted to be part of that area.” Since then, they have opened a location at The Summit in 2011 and one in Crestline last fall. They credit how being in Homewood draws in people from all over the city for their initial success. “As we looked to expand, we found land owners were already familiar with us,” Snyder said. “We actually got recruited by a few landlords, so that made our transition to The Summit an easy one. It gave the landlords a certain amount of comfort knowing we would do well.” Infused with Latin flavor, the menu features roasted jalapeno vinaigrette on the Pepper Patch Salad, cilantro in their rice pilaf and chipotle flavoring on their braised pork. Much of their seasonal produce comes from Owl’s Hollow Farm in Gadsden. In the summer they gather hundreds

Turkey Crunch Sandwich served with Hot Cheddar Pasta. Photo courtesy of Urban Cookhouse.

of gallons of strawberries from Harvest Farm in Cullman to puree and save year-round for their strawberry lemonade, made from fresh lemons

(no syrup) daily. As delicious as salads like the Berry Good (greens, tomatoes, spiced pecans, feta and a citrus vinaigrette)

are, it’s the warm orange roll that accompanies them that stands out the most. There’s no doubt that the decadent Alabama-based Milly Ray rolls

are made from scratch. Salad varieties are also served as wraps with a choice of one side such as hot cheddar pasta, fruit, garden

May 2014 • A9 Read past Restaurant Showcases at

Rosedale Dr

280 2846 18th Street South 879-0883

28 Ave S

18 Street S.


Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.


Urban Cookhouse’s Berry Good Salad is served with a warm orange roll. Photo courtesy of Urban Cookhouse. (left) Homewood residents Andrea and David Snyder own Urban Cookhouse.

salad or roasted vegetables. The menu offers a selection of sandwiches and “fork and knife” plates with meats and sides as well. Urban Cookhouse’s kamado-style cookers (think The Big Green Egg: lots of taste, no added fat) are to blame for meat as flavorful as lime-marinated steak that tops the Urban Cowboy sandwich along with caramelized onions and peppers, pepper jack and aioli. For catered orders, The Down

Home is a popular choice with smoked turkey and pineapple ham, hot cheddar pasta, broccoli salad and a warm orange roll. With selections like Piggy Mac and Grilled Peanut Butter Fluff, kids are more than welcome. Plus, you’ll find small containers of Goldfish near the drink dispenser in the restaurant. Take Home Dinners for four include a meat, two sides and orange rolls for $22.95. You can call in advance to order one, or it can be ready in 5

minutes if you order at the restaurant. Since establishing their initial menu, the soups and some mixes of vegetables and salads have changed seasonally based on produce they can get from farmers, but not much else has. Still, Snyder said they are looking to add more entrees and appetizer items to the menu in the near future. The Snyders’ focus on local produce extends beyond the menu as well, as is evident on Saturday mornings in the summer. Since the first

summer they opened, they have run a farmer’s market in SoHo. Each year their number of farmers and other vendors has grown, and this year they expect to have more than 20 plus face painters and balloon animals for kids. “It’s fun to see people who come out every Saturday and treat it like a grocery store,” Snyder said. “We want to provide something for the community at the same time we provide an outlet for the farmers who work so hard to be able to sell their produce

at retail prices to the general public.” The Snyder have donated food for the athletic department at Homewood High School, and they like to focus their charitable work in the area where they are located. Most recently, you might have seen Girl Scouts selling cookies on their patio. “My wife and I have been living in Birmingham for close to 15 years, but we really love Homewood and want to be a part of the community,” Snyder said.

A10 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

Business Spotlight Rosedale Dr


28 Ave S th

18 Street S.

At Home Furnishings

Read past Business Spotlight at


2921 18th Street South 879-3510 Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

By AMY STILLWAGON When it comes to the bustling shops along 18th Street South, no Saturday afternoon stroll is complete without a stop into At Home Furnishings. As its name suggests, the store carries everything from candles, rugs and tableware to furniture such as beds and sofas. Over the past 23 years, owner Babbie Styslinger, who also owns the nearby Three Sheets linen shop, has taken the store from a simple futon retailer to a specialty home goods store that offers items from around the country and around the world. Every year Styslinger travels around the U.S. to Atlanta, Dallas, New York and High Point, N.C., for design markets to find the latest trends. They also have ventured as far as India and China to personally select the best products to bring back to Birmingham. Store Manager Paige Rouss said that in her 15 years with the store, she has seen the trends progress in such a way that she wouldn’t even recognize the store from years past. One reason for this drastic change is the ever-evolving inventory. “Some people might not be aware that we receive new merchandise every single day,” Rouss said. This factor alone allows the store to appeal to a wide variety of client tastes and styles. “I think our favorite part of the business is the hunt,” Rouss said. “What’s new? What’s trending? What’s exciting?” In an effort to stay abreast of all the latest trends, the shop has also taken on physical changes. Recently, walls were constructed throughout the store to provide more display

At Home sales associates Amy Atkinson and Sandra Gonzalez flip through a rug catalogue to consider new selections for the store.

surfaces and to showcase products in smaller vignettes. Some of these alluring displays can be seen in the front windows as shoppers pass by on the sidewalk. Staff members change these displays monthly to highlight new products and rotate the inventory. Not an inch of space goes unused when it comes to displaying goods — from light fixtures hanging from the ceiling to the curtains and artwork donning the lofty walls. At the same time, the store feels like a cozy home ripe for a well-set

dinner or a nap on the plush couch. In recent years, more and more clients are also turning to At Home Furnishings’ extensive inventory as a source for wedding registries. Others who come into the store in search of that perfect piece of furniture are often drawn in by the wide assortment of smaller items, such table toppers and decorative accents. An additional unexpected find in this shop is the selection of jewelry and handbags, which have grown in popularity as the store has grown.

At Home sells a variety of pottery and place setting accessories.

“Homewood is such an exciting community to be a part of,” Rouss said. “This street is buzzing every day with shoppers and lunch goers.” The sales staff has a deep love for their clients, and the feeling is evidently mutual, as Rouss regularly receives calls of gratitude for the sales staff’s helpfulness and friendliness. “Our plan for the future is simple — to be the best we can be — to strive to continue to please our customers and be a valuable contributor to the Homewood community,” Rouss said.

May 2014 • A11


Most Likely to be Seen on the Shades Creek Greenway Nivada Spurlock Homewood City Schools wellness coordinator Nivada Spurlock loves to run almost as much as she likes her job. As she says, since 1995 it’s been her role to encourage students to get out there and move and faculty to be more physically fit. She also teaches a student fitness course at Homewood High School that recently won an award, and she organizes Iron Tribe sessions, boot camps, Zumba and other classes for faculty members at schools. Photo by Alec Dixon.

A12 • May 2014

The Homewood Star


Best School Coach John Dorough Edgewood Elementary physical education teacher Homewood born and bred, Edgewood Elementary graduate John Dorough now teaches physical education at the school. In addition to teaching PE at Edgewood, he is an assistant football coach at Homewood Middle School and has coached youth league basketball and baseball for his sons, 18-yearold Lawton and 13-year-old Jack. His love for sports has spread to them. Lawton plays football and basketball and runs track for Homewood High. Jack plays football and basketball for HMS. Photo by Alec Dixon.

May 2014 • A13


Ms. Homewood Kelly Dorough Cofounder of Homewood Home Tees Kelly Dorough is a common denominator for much of Homewood, especially moms of young children. A former Star Spangled Girl, she and her aunt Paula Smalley started a Homewood T-shirt line several years ago. She volunteers at her children’s school, Edgewood Elementary, works in the infant class in the All Saints Episcopal Church preschool and hosts small groups at her house for Church at the Highlands. Photo by Alec Dixon.

A14 • May 2014

The Homewood Star


Mr. Homewood Bill Cleveland Homewood City Schools superintendent Bill Cleveland is a great example of how you can grow up in Homewood and live your whole life here. Cleveland graduated from Homewood schools and Samford University before serving as a teacher, coach and middle school principal. These days, you can see him almost anywhere — school and sporting events, community festivities, at the park or at Dawson Family of Faith on Sundays. “People wonder how he gets to everything,” said Merrick Wilson, HCS director of communications. Photo by Alec Dixon.

May 2014 • A15

Community Scouts to hold pancake breakfast, garage sale

Chuck Tuggle and Michael Lloyd prepare pancakes for Boy Scout Troop 97’s annual breakfast and garage sale, which is scheduled for May 10.

In 2013, Boy Scout Troop 97 raised more than $20,000 during its annual festivities at Trinity United Methodist. This year the Scouts are aiming to exceed that amount. The troop is hosting its annual Pancake Breakfast, Silent Auction and Garage Sale on Saturday, May 10 from 7 a.m.-noon in the Trinity Fellowship Hall and church gym. Steve Lloyd, Troop 97’s scoutmaster, said the fundraiser allows the troop to underwrite scout programs such as monthly campouts and annual high-adventure trips. “This event not only raises much-needed funds, but it brings our adult volunteers and scouts together, modeling many of the principles of scouting,” he said. The garage sale will be offering clothing, household items, crafts, toys, books, electronics, and sporting and camping equipment. Major items such as furniture and appliances will also be available at affordable prices. Scouts from the troop and adult volunteers will help by taking purchased items to shopper’s car. Items not sold at the end of the sale

will be distributed to local charities. The Pancake Breakfast includes pancakes, sausages, coffee, juice and tableside service from the Scouts. Tickets for the all-you-can-eat breakfast are $5 per person and can be purchased in advanced or paid at the door. The silent auction will be taking bids on items from throughout the morning and ending the bids at noon. The troop is asking local businesses to donate an item or service to the silent auction. It is also in search of people who want to donate sewn or homemade items, paintings, and owners of lake houses in Alabama or condominiums at the beach that would be willing to offer for a one week stay or weekend getaway. The troop is in need of auction items and garage sale donations. Please contact Bert Allen at 5405343 or for more information or to arrange a donation pickup. All donations are tax deductible. Troop leadership said they wish to thank the community for faithfully supporting the boys over the years. -Submitted by Marcus Corsini

Run/walk to promote women’s health

Girls on the Run 5K open to public

An event this month is seeking to raise awareness about women’s health. The Women’s Health 5K Run and 1-Mile Mother-Daughter Walk will be held on May 17 on the Lakeshore Greenway. Homewood-based Mommy and Me Time Fitness is helping support the event. Post-race activities will include a bouncy house, parents’ fitness challenge, Zumba dance party, face painting, snow cones and refreshments, all held in the greenway parking lot across from Samford.

Forty-nine Homewood girls will take off on a 5K on Saturday, May 10, and the public is invited to join them. The third annual Girls on the Run 5K will take place at 8 a.m. at Marconi Park in downtown Birmingham. This event is the culmination of the Girls on the Run season, which girls in programs at Shades Cahaba Elementary and Our Lady of Sorrows have been working toward for 10 weeks.

The event is designed to empower women to make their health a top priority, increase the awareness of women’s health issues and highlight resources that are available for health and wellness for women in the state. A portion of the proceeds from this event will be used to sponsor selected girls participation in the Girls on the Run program in the fall. Registration begins at 7 a.m., and the race begins at 8 a.m. Registration for the run is $15, and the walk is $5. To register, visit

The run is also the annual fundraiser for the program. Race proceeds provide scholarships for girls who could not otherwise participate in the Girls on the Run. It is open to the public and features a flat, certified racecourse with chip timing. Registration is available online at through May 7, and race day starting at 6:30 a.m.

A16 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

Get ready for farmers market season The Homewood Market

West Homewood Farmer’s Market

160 Oxmoor Road 2850 19th Street South Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon May 10-Aug. 9, except May 24 SoHo will once again turn into an outdoor market on Saturdays this summer. Urban Cookhouse practices its “buy local, eat urban” motto not just in its restaurant but also in its farmers market. This year the market plans to welcome more than 20 vendors who sell produce, coffee, noodles, meats, flowers, jewelry, pastries and more. Other vendors include popsicles, candles, soaps and dog treats. All

of them come from an approximately 85-mile radius of the market. The festivities also feature cooking demonstrations and kids’ activities such as face painting. Urban Cookhouse co-owner David Snyder said he enjoys being able to provide a service for the community as well as farmers to sell directly to the general public. For more, visit

Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon June 7-July 26* The West Homewood Farmer’s Market is returning to Shades Valley Community Church starting in June. “We want to wholeheartedly do something for the community,” said market manager Kenyon Ross. “The community benefits from the market.” The market will only have up to 14 booths, and the goal is to keep it small. “It’s more intimate,” Ross said. “We want people to come and connect.” With a smaller market, Ross said, customers get to know their farmers and how they

grow their produce. Like last year, each market will feature a theme, such as bees or Alabama tomatoes, and there will be live entertainment and activities for kids. Organizers are also planning the second annual Fresh Start 5K for the fall. Last year the event welcomed more than 150 runners. For more, visit *Following summer market season, West Homewood will hold a night market the third Thursday of August, September and October from 6-9 p.m.

May 2014 • A17

We Love Homewood Day, Spirit Scamper set for May 3

Students run in a previous year’s Spirit Scamper race. Photo courtesy of Homewood City Schools.

By MADOLINE MARKHAM May 3 will bring the return of everyone’s favorite We Love Homewood Day at Homewood Central Park. The day kicks off with the Spirit Scamper run, which starts at Homewood High School at 8 a.m. with a fun run to follow. Packet pickup for the race will be held Friday, May 2, at the Homewood High School gym from 3:30-6 p.m. Back at the park, a $15 wristband will provide unlimited access to rides, and individual tickets will also be for sale for 50 cents each. The climax of the day is the parade of the high school band, cheerleaders and all kinds of vehicles and floats that proceed from the Homewood Public Library to Edgewood starting at 6 p.m. For more on We Love Homewood Day, visit or contact Rusty Holley at 332-6705 or Updates on the event will be announced on Twitter @homewoodparks, on Facebook and on the website. For more on Spirit Scamper, visit

We Love Homewood Day Schedule *All events will take place at Homewood Central Park unless otherwise noted. 8 a.m. Spirit Scamper 5K/1-Mile Fun Run, Homewood High School 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Spring in the Park Festival 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Rotary Club Bake Sale, Exceptional Foundation 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. West Homewood Lions Club Barbecue Sale, Exceptional Foundation 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Arts and Crafts/Vendor Business Expo 10 a.m. Silent Auction 6 p.m. We Love Homewood Day Parade, route from the library to Edgewood 7-9:30 p.m. We Love Homewood Day Street Dance, Edgewood Business District

Summer reading to kick off this month Children and teens can participate in Fizz, Boom, READ!, this year’s Homewood Public Library summer reading program, starting in mid-May. Registration for newborns through fifth-graders starts May 15 online at Participants who register before May 28 will be added to a drawing for two VIP passes to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. The winner will be announced online on June 5. The program kicks off at a picnic complete with bounce houses and food trucks on Thursday, May 29, from 6:15-8:15 p.m. Fizz, Boom, READ! themed events start in June and include a race car challenge on June 3, mobile dairy classroom on June 10, a comedy circus on June 17, and visitors from the zoo on June 24. All of these programs begin at 10:30 a.m. Summer reading for teens from sixth to 12th grade will kick off on June 4 at 3 p.m. with a movie and pizza party. The event will feature a film based on a popular teen novel by Cassandra Claire. For reservations, contact Leslie West at or 332-6620. Teen events starting in June include a snake

Children read outside at the Homewood Public Library during last year’s summer reading festivities. Photo courtesy of Homewood Public Library.

and reptile show (June 11 at 3 p.m.), a balloon show (June 25 at 4 p.m.) and a cooking lesson (July 9 at 3 p.m.). For more or to register for any library program, call 332-6619.

Evening live music events return to Colonial Brookwood Village Live music in the street will return to Colonial Brookwood Village on Thursday evenings from 5-9 p.m. this month. The street that runs in front of restaurants including Brio and Cocina Superior will be blocked off between the parking decks, and bands will perform in front of the mall’s entrance across from Brio and Cocina Superior. Tables will be set up on the street, and people can get food service from the

restaurants while enjoying the music. Dancing is also encouraged. The band lineup is: }} }} }} }} }}

May 1: Top Secret May 8: Street Kar May 15: Groove Daddy May 22: Rock Candy May 29: Bicho Brothers

For more, visit

A18 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

A special calling

Youth Villages trains and supports therapeutic foster parents

By MADOLINE MARKHAM When Joshua came to live with Frances Robinson in 2012, the 6-year-old was not able walk on his own and only ate through a feeding tube. At 37 pounds, he was underweight and in need of an advocate and medical supervision for his developmental delays, lung disorder and cerebral palsy. Today, he weighs nearly 60 pounds and is able to take steps on his own and eat pureed foods. Most importantly, he has an adopted mom. When Robinson first met him, she said there was an instant connection. She knew from the beginning that he was up for adoption and felt called to be the one to adopt him. The adoption was finalized in July 2013. “Joshua was a miracle to me, and I think I was a miracle to him,” Robinson said. “He takes my mind off of my disability, and I hope I am taking his mind off of his. He’s my baby, and I protect him and care for him as if I gave birth to him.” Robinson’s relationship with Joshua began with Youth Villages’ therapeutic foster care program. “The Lord put it on my heart to help someone else,” she said. “I was single and didn’t have any dependents of my own.” Like children in traditional foster care, those in therapeutic care have been taken into custody by DHR because of abuse or neglect, but they require more one-on-one time from foster parents due to a medical diagnosis or an abuse history they are working through. Youth Villages currently serves 22 youth in therapeutic foster care from its Homewood office. As of January 2014, there were 990 children in foster care in Jefferson County, according to DHR. Of those, 158 children were in therapeutic foster care. The key to Youth Villages’ program is being a key partner for these foster families and children. “We offer support to all the families because we

Joshua came to live with his adoptive mother, Frances Robinson, through Youth Village’s program. Photo courtesy of Youth Villages.

know taking care of a child, period, you need support, and we want to make it as rewarding an experience as possible,” said Christi Koons, foster parent recruiter for Youth Villages. The organization not only offers foster parents free training but also regular meetings with a counselor, reimbursement for the costs of bringing a child into the home, free continuing training, 24/7 support and respite care for the weekend. Counselors work with the foster child one hour a week and the family one hour a week.

The next free 12-week training class starts in May and is held on Tuesday nights at Youth Villages’ office on Beacon Parkway in West Homewood. “We try to get them educated about our children so they graduate ready to take on this new role,” Koons said. Following the class, parents work with a placement specialist to receive a child in their home. “We try to connect the needs of the family with the best parent equipped to meet those needs,” said Bethany Sanders, regional manager

of Alabama for Youth Villages. “We get several referrals in a week and need as many parents as possible to make the best match. We would love to have two to three times as many parents as referrals.” Youth Villages is also in need of respite parents to care for children temporarily for a break for the full-time foster parents. Robinson continues to serve in this capacity. Often, biological families are still very involved with children in foster care, meeting their children first for short supervised visits and eventually having the children overnight on weekends. In fact, Youth Villages encourages foster parents to help them reconnect with their families with an ultimate goal of placing them back with their biological families if that is possible. “We encourage our parents to play the same role they would play with their biological children and to be an advocate for the child if their needs are not being met,” Sanders said. Some foster parents are retired and have no other children at home. Others take in children who can become playmates for their children, and both can have a positive impact on each other. No matter their life stage, all therapeutic foster parents have one key quality in common. “It’s a calling, and you have to have your heart in it to help a child in need,” Sanders said. “These are kids who have been through abuse and neglect that makes coping with everyday schedules and structure in life more difficult. The parents that are willing to put in the time for the training and commit to supervision needs are harder to be able to find. It’s a bigger commitment that they have to make.” For more information, contact or contact Christi Koons, foster parent recruiter, at 917-2960 or


June 3 Republican Primary Candidate Guide

May 2014 • A19

District 46 Representative David Faulkner 1. What is your background? I am an attorney, and I have represented and defended individuals, small businesses and corporations in various civil matters for the past 20 years. I have been married to my wife, Nancy, for 16 years, and we have been blessed with three children. I am actively involved in my church and community, teaching Sunday

Steve French

1. What is your background? My wife, Betsy, and I have been married for 25 years and have raised all four of our daughters, Alex, 23, Sally, 20, Lizzie, 17, and Virginia, 12, in District 46, where they all attended public school. We are also very active members of Canterbury United Methodist Church. In addition to my family and church,

Justin Barkley 1. What is your background? My wife, Melissa, and I both grew up in Hoover, where we met in high school. We now live in Homewood, raising our four children, who attend elementary school at Shades Cahaba and preschool at Canterbury United Methodist. We’ve been married 11 years and attend Riverchase United

school, coaching kids, and being active and a leader in the Chamber of Commerce. 2. What is the biggest issue facing the state? While I believe Gov. [Robert] Bentley has done a good job in turning Alabama’s economy in the right direction, we must get it running on all cylinders again. Because Jefferson County is the economic center of Alabama, when the state’s economy performs well, I have dedicated myself to my business pursuits and to serving the people of Alabama. I have been an active Republican all of my adult life and served part of Shelby and Jefferson County as state senator from 1998-2010. 2. What is the biggest issue facing the state in the upcoming year? I think the greatest issue facing our state will be ongoing and stronger

Methodist. My parents didn’t go to college, but I earned scholarships to Harvard and Alabama Law School. I am a practicing attorney representing employers and small businesses. 2. What is the biggest issue facing the state in the upcoming year? Recently, corrupt politicians of both parties have made headlines. Public service should be a noble calling,

we do well, and when the state’s economy performs poorly, it affects us directly. I believe that targeted tax incentives, an emphasis on education and workforce development, and creating an overall pro-business atmosphere are the cure to the economic ills we face. 3. What is the biggest issue facing Homewood in the upcoming year? We have great schools within this district, and we must ensure their continued success. Everyone who intrusion by the federal government into our lives, our businesses and our state. I have always believed that our problems can be solved here at home, and I will stand strong in my opposition to “one size fits all” solutions, like Obamacare, that Washington tries to force on us. 3. What is the biggest issue facing Homewood in the upcoming year? The biggest issue facing Homewood

not a career path. I have never run for office before. I will support term limits and a lifetime ban on lobbying by former legislators. I will be guided by my values and principles, rooted in my faith, and always do what’s best for our community, not for special interests. 3. What is the biggest issue facing Homewood in the upcoming year?

*Requests to candidate Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins for question responses were not received by deadline.

lives in Birmingham is affected at some point by massive traffic congestion, so we must address the transportation problems that exist throughout House District 46 and Jefferson County. We must demand that the people who are elected or appointed to represent us in government are ethical and are serving for the right reasons. We can start with Water Works Board reform legislation being passed.

is maintaining its first-class education system, as well as saving money for future improvements. With my professional financial experience helping municipalities find and save needed money, I can proactively and effectively help leaders do so, therefore, preserving the first-class education system that is so valuable in preserving and improving Homewood’s charming character.

We chose to live and raise our family in Homewood. I am the only candidate who lives in Homewood. Currently, Paul DeMarco is the only Homewood resident in the legislature. It is vitally important that we maintain a Homewood resident in the legislature to continue Rep. DeMarco’s legacy of strong, energetic leadership for Homewood.

A20 • May 2014

June 3 Republican Primary Candidate Guide

The Homewood Star

U.S. House of Representatives Alabama District 6 Will Brooke 1. What is your background? I grew up here and attended the University of Alabama where I received degrees in business and law. I have spent my entire career in Birmingham and am a businessman. I have worked at Harbert Management Corporation for nearly 25 years and am chairman of our real estate services group and managing partner of our

venture capital funds. I like solving problems and have created hundreds of jobs in the Sixth District. My wife, Maggie, and I have been married for 34 years and have three adult children. We love our state and have been active in our church and other charitable and civic activities, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs, United Way and McWane Center.

2. What is the biggest issue facing the state in the upcoming year? Why aren’t there any construction cranes on Birmingham’s skyline? Economic development is essential to creating jobs and building a strong future for our city and state. That’s where I would focus.

2. What is the biggest issue facing the state in the upcoming year? Washington is broken. Washington’s problems threaten the future of each person in Alabama and the Sixth District. Out-of-control deficit spending, the damage done to families and employers by Obamacare and federal regulations that threaten small and big business alike must all be addressed. As your

state representative, I have always worked to support our schools. I have worked with city leaders to improve infrastructure needs. That will continue when I go to Washington.

3. What is the biggest issue facing Homewood in the upcoming year?

This community is part of a special area, and has much in common with the other communities around us. We should work together to reduce costs, improve services and connectivity, and solve shared problems. I would work with our mayors and councils to find solutions and resources and move the ball forward.

Paul DeMarco 1. What is your background? My wife, Jacqueline, and I live in Homewood. I am a two-term state representative of House District 46, which includes portions of Homewood, Hoover, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills. I was born and raised in Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District. Jacqueline and I work here. We will raise our family here.

3. What is the biggest issue facing Homewood in the upcoming year? This is where I live. My wife and I will raise our family here. The

people of Homewood, like every other community, want to continue to prosper. As your congressman, I will fight to protect small businesses from overreaching regulations that threaten jobs. I will support a balanced budget amendment. I will work to repeal Obamacare. We must focus on a limited government that helps rather than hinders the people.

Chad Mathis 1. What is your background? I’m a doctor and small business owner here in Birmingham. I’m typically asked on the campaign trail, “Why would a surgeon want to run for Congress?”, and I tell them it’s because I’m worried we are losing the American dream. I was the first in my family to graduate college and worked in the same

factory as my father to pay for that education. Hard work and sacrifice enabled me to earn my version of the American dream, but that dream is no longer attainable for many Alabamians. 2/3. What is the biggest issue facing our state/280 corridor in the upcoming year?

For the first time in a long time, the biggest issue facing our nation is the biggest issue we face here in both Alabama and on the 280 corridor. The ill effects of Obamacare are no longer reserved to an evening newscast or the headlines of a newspaper, but in fact are something affecting our families, friends and neighbors on a daily basis.

That’s why I have developed a 12-point plan to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered, market-driven reforms. I hope you will join me in this fight to give healthcare back to the patient, opportunity back to small business, and help keep that American dream alive for hardworking Alabamians.

Gary Palmer 1. What is your background? I’ve worked for small business, two major engineering companies and, for the last 24 years, led the Alabama Policy Institute, a public policy think tank ranked as Alabama’s most influential conservative group. 2. What is the biggest issue facing the state in the upcoming year? There are two huge issues: the

impact of Obamacare on businesses and continued high unemployment. Congress must repeal Obamacare and replace it with a patient-centered, market-based plan that puts people in charge of their health care decisions, establishes a national insurance pool for people who can’t get insurance or can’t afford it, and that eliminates the economic uncertainties faced by businesses. With 1 of 6 men age 25-54

unemployed, Congress should utilize our vast God-given energy resources to create jobs and stimulate the economy. In one shale formation out West alone there are 3 trillion barrels of recoverable oil — three times what the entire world has used in 100 years — and the federal government owns almost 80 percent of it. The abundance of natural gas has resulted in cheaper energy that is driving

a manufacturing boom that is benefiting Alabama. 3. What is the biggest issue facing Homewood in the upcoming year? In the context of federal issues, the impact of Obamacare on Homewood-based medical practices and businesses and the stagnant economy. Repeal and replace Obamacare and open up federal energy resources.

Tom Vigneulle 1. What is your background? I come from a background of service. My father was Dr. Richard (Dick) Vigneulle. He was the executive vice president of City Federal Savings & Loan and president of Service Corporation. He later answered the call to the ministry, becoming the founding

pastor of Shades Mountain Independent Church in Hoover. I also learned from him the value of hard work and commitment. Two years after marrying my wife Ginger, we started our own business in Pelham, Royal Bedding Manufacturing, Inc., in August of 1987. Since that time, I have

mastered the bedding industry and learned the challenges of owning a small business. For 26 years, I have had to balance a budget and make hard decisions on spending priorities. I also know what it’s like to face federal regulations on a daily basis. As a small business owner, it hasn’t always been easy, but the

*Requests to candidates Scott Beason and Robert Shattuck for question responses were not received by deadline.

values my father instilled me has allowed us to persevere and live out the American dream. And it’s that dream that I feel is under attack and is the reason I am running. My wife and I also own a family cattle farm in Wilsonville and are members of the Cattlemen’s Association of Alabama.

May 2014 • A21

A22 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

Young artists named finalists in fashion competition By MADOLINE MARKHAM Rigdon Hendricks saw the ocean in a way he hadn’t before this spring break. He was visiting Carlsbad, Calif. when the variation in the color of the water jumped out in a new way. Those reflections of the shades of the ocean inspired his design for Birmingham Fashion Week’s Rising Design Star competition. The competition charges high school and middle school students with designing and creating garments out of unconventional materials. The top of the dress Rigdon designed displays lighter colors like those of the top of the ocean, while the bottom is darker and more varied. To create the design, Rigdon hand-cut paint chips into rigid triangles and lined them on a skeleton of chicken wire and duct tape. The sharp edges in the chips and the spikes on the top and bottom represent a reimagined ocean with sharp edges instead of smooth waves. For an accent at the waist, he used Mod Podge to create a sand belt with a starfish buckle and marble studs. This was Rigdon’s first time to design or create a garment, but he has long enjoyed drawing and wants to major in art and animation in college. Rigdon, a seventh-grader who is homeschooled, and two other Homewood students were among 40 finalists for the competition who displayed their anything-but-cloth garments at the Birmingham Museum of Art in April. Thirty semifinalists’ designs were modeled on the runway during Birmingham Fashion Week at the end of the month. Homewood Middle School eighth-grader Chloe Miller’s dress design was inspired by advertisements in magazines. She deliberately sought out ads where she said the models looked digitally altered and unrealistic in an effort to

Through her design for Birmingham Fashion Week’s Rising Design Star competition, Chloe Miller sought to refute the standards in fashion advertisements.

redeem them through her design. “You should love you for yourself,” she said. “You shouldn’t hate your body because you can’t change it.” The piece in the front center of the dress is a face made of makeup, which represents how she thinks many girls think they must look to be accepted. Another favorite piece of the dress for Chloe is a face she felt looked particularly digitally enhanced, which she covered with part of another ad that read, “I will outlast fear.”

Rigdon Hendricks’ garment was his own take on a reimagined ocean. Photos by Madoline Markham.

To create the design, Chloe used plastic wrap and sculpting wire as a base before hot-gluing on pieces of the ads and applying a layer of glitter. The final element on the dress was a duct tape trim that Chloe said represents the silver lining her dress finds in digitally edited ads, which she said are not realistic at all. Fellow eighth-grader Isabelle Estes, who attends Spring Valley School, drew from an idea she saw on TV show Project Runway where the contestants ironed Solo cups. Isabelle found that the trick didn’t work as

Isabelle Estes created a dress made of Solo cup pieces and yarn for her entry.

well for her, but she stuck with the cup idea and cut them into pieces to glue to the bodice of her dress. To complete the design, she dyed yarn in coordinating blue and purple hues and arranged them into swirls for the designs’ skirt. The final piece of the garment was a zipper down the back of the dress. Isabelle said her grandmother has shown her how to sew, but she prefers to craft her garments. For more information on Birmingham Fashion Week, visit


CONTINUED from page 1 “Becoming a fossil is not a sure thing. Most things that live and die disappear without a trace,” Brande said. “When you find a fossil, you’re actually finding something very uncommon.” The scale tree predates dinosaurs to the time when the earth’s landmasses were coming together to form one enormous continent, Pangaea. At the time, Red Mountain might have been as tall as today’s Rocky Mountains before it was eroded to create sedimentary rock that now sits under the city of Homewood. While the fossils might not be economically valuable, the McCormicks appreciate their find because they “absolutely stumbled into” a chance to learn about the prehistoric world and hunt for treasures in their own front yard. The discovery has made them more observant of what is under their own feet, and they plan to keep hunting for fossils in their remaining landscaping rocks. Stories like the McCormicks’ are not common, but Homewood residents actually walk and drive past fossils nearly every day. Brande said that 100 million years before the scale trees existed, Birmingham was the floor of a warm, shallow sea. This sea was teeming with life, from microscopic plants and animals to the whale that created Alabama’s state fossil, the Basilosaurus. The larger sea creatures did not frequently leave remains, but Brande said today’s shale and limestone rocks are often “built of a billion microfossils” that cannot be seen with the naked eye. The remains of Birmingham’s sea are easiest to see in the Red Mountain Expressway Cut, which was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1987. The cut exposes layers of rock showing corals, skeleton fragments and the shells of clam-like brachiopods, among other creatures. “The gray rock of Red Mountain today, when they were being formed, represented an environment more like Florida or the Bahamas. What you’re actually standing on is an ancient sea floor. A sea floor that was deposited when North America and Alabama in particular were much nearer the equator,” Brande said. “You’re really walking on a mountain of fossils.” For aspiring fossil hunters, Brande suggested contacting the Birmingham or Alabama Paleontological Societies and reading Jim Lacefield’s Lost Worlds in Alabama Rocks, which provides photos and an introductory guide to Alabama geology. The McWane Science Center also has a collection of Alabama fossils on display, including a skeleton of the Appalachiosaurus, a relative of the famous Tyrannosaurus rex. Fossils might not show up in everyone’s front yard, but sharp-eyed and curious Homewood residents still have plenty of opportunities to see millions of years of Alabama’s life and geology.

May 2014 • A23


CONTINUED from page 1 The study found that due to congestion in that area, drivers bypass Oxmoor using Roseland Drive, Mayfair Drive and Manhattan Street — cutting right through the heart of Edgewood. Council member Heather Reid said Homewood residents frequently see vehicles use their quiet roads as detours, causing them to question the safety of themselves and their children. “A vast majority of the emails and calls I receive say traffic is moving too fast through our neighborhoods, and neighbors would like the city to install stop signs or speed bumps as a calming measure,” Reid said. “But those don’t address the bigger issue.” If the Council wants to decrease traffic on neighborhood streets, then it needs to improve flow on its main thoroughfares, according to the study. The solution recommended includes reducing the number of signals and upgrading the system. “The Oxmoor Road signal system is currently not coordinated and is running outdated timings and phasing plans,” the study reads. “This contributes significantly to congestion and undue delay at the study intersections.” In April, the Council’s Finance Committee voted unanimously to recommend the Council purchase GPS timing clocks for signals, synchronize the corridor, install triggers or loops on some side streets and improve several pedestrian crossings. With in-house work, the project could cost less than $20,000, an amount within the budget for this year, Reid said. At this time, the Council does not plan to remove any traffic signals as recommended in the study. The Committee arrived at this decision following urging from Mayor Scott McBrayer and residents on three cross streets whose signals were at one point proposed to be removed. “It’s just too dangerous,” Edgeview Lane resident Sarah Hart said about turning onto Oxmoor from her street. “I can’t see around that curve at all.” Improving flow on the thoroughfare is expected to alleviate potential congestion caused by the Community Center opening. With the new facility, Homewood Community Center Director Rusty Holley said membership is projected to increase by about 33 percent with the new building. The Oxmoor study reported that the busiest intersection on the corridor is at the Community Center. Bridge Street/East Glenwood Drive is the first intersection to receive the flow of cars from Central Avenue and Oxmoor Road headed toward Edgewood. During peak afternoon traffic, the study reported that more than 800 vehicles travel through the intersection. Just beyond it, The Exceptional Foundation originally proposed to install a one-way exit from its proposed expansion, which didn’t meet with Council approval. Citing traffic

concerns, architects working on the expansion have been asked to provide new plans that route traffic to the Foundation in and out through the Bridge Street signal. Clark Bailey of Skipper Consulting said completing all recommendations from the Oxmoor Road Corridor Study will decrease delays on the corridor by 56 percent, and traffic currently using Roseland, Mayfair and Manhattan will reroute to use Oxmoor when capacity is increased. However, revised figures have not been released to account for retaining all signals on the corridor.

Additional conclusions of the Oxmoor Road Corridor Study }} Signals recommended for removal are located at: }} }} }}

Oxmoor Road at Edgeview Avenue/ Havenwood Court Oxmoor Road at St. Charles Street Oxmoor Road at East Hawthorne/Seminole Drive

}} Poor timing or programming of some signals causes unnecessary delays, as vehicles on Oxmoor wait at signals with no opposing traffic. }} Speeds along Oxmoor Road were observed to be reasonable during peak hours. }} Queues do accumulate on the side streets but are usually served. }} Congestion appears to be at its heaviest where signals and side street intersections are closely spaced. }} There were 50 crashes along the corridor in one year resulting in zero fatalities and 11 injuries. The only pattern from the crash data involves the high number of crashes at Broadway due to improper backing from parking spaces. }} Signals at Broadway Street and Evergreen Avenue need to be operated independently. }} Signals need to be upgraded to include emergency vehicle preemption, replace failed detectors and add GPS time clocks for timebased coordination through the corridor.

A24 • May 2014

The Homewood Star


The Homewood Star B

May 2014 • B1

School House B1 Sports B10 Calendar B12

Before they say goodbye Four HHS seniors reflect as they prepare for graduation and beyond What are your college plans and career aspirations? This fall I will attend Auburn University as I work toward my degree in kinesiology (exercise science) with a minor in Spanish and later aspire to be a nurse. What is one of the most significant things you learned in high school? I learned how to really push through the difficult times and see the hard work that I put toward my academics overflow into other areas of life. I saw this my sophomore year as I struggled academically in the numerous classes I was being challenged in. Although I did not see immediate success in the classroom, the following summer I used the determination that I learned in school and put it toward my athletics as I trained for the 2012 Olympic Trials and later reached my goal and competed in the trials.

Genny Pittman

Involvements: Student Government Association, Spanish Club, National Spanish Honor Society, swimming

What will you miss most about Homewood? I will greatly miss the faculty and staff that are so involved in the community. Not only are the parents in Homewood, the places we can go, and the events Homewood hosts fantastic, but seeing board members, teachers and coaches throughout the community constantly supporting Homewood as a whole will be greatly missed. I feel as if everyone who is a part of the school system is also such a huge part of our loving community.

What are your college plans and career aspirations? I will be attending the Honors College of Auburn University this upcoming fall with a longterm focus on either chemical or nuclear engineering. During this time I also plan to apply for a Navy engineering program in the hope of receiving an even better education by serving on a nuclear submarine. What is your favorite memory from your time at HHS? This past semester both of our varsity basketball teams made the state playoffs. We were allowed to travel to the games and as a result missed the majority of the school day. Although both our guys and girls teams lost, the event was greatly enjoyable and memorable.

Yevgeniy Gavrikov

Involvements: Varsity soccer, math team

What will you miss most about Homewood? I will miss being able to play soccer on any given day with my friends, and I will definitely miss being within walking distance of many of my childhood friends. The overall charisma of the area will be missed greatly.

B2 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

Elizabeth Hale

Involvements: Varsity volleyball, Student Government Association, marching band, head drum major What are your college plans and career aspirations? I am planning to attend Rhodes College, though I have not made an official commitment. I plan to study on a pre-medical track with aspirations of becoming a neonatologist or adolescent psychiatrist.

of Roses flag through tears of joy or marching in the We Love Homewood Day parade, I was having a great time.

What is your favorite memory from your time at HHS? Most of my favorite Homewood memories come from time spent with the band, but I don’t think I can pick a singular memory as my favorite. Whether I was teaching drill during a hot July band camp, accepting the Tournament

What will you miss most about Homewood? I’ll miss Friday night football games, waving to neighbors when I get home from school, meeting friends for a casual dinner in Edgewood, my church home at Trinity UMC on Oxmoor, the lunchroom’s Crispitos and the Christmas Parade, just to name a few things. Most of all, though, I’ll miss the sense of community that Homewood has.


Jody Brant

Pam Smith

Joel Brant

Office: 205-942-9696 Cell: 205-305-4348

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Hallie Tarpley

Involvements: Varsity tennis, varsity volleyball, math team, Key Club What are your career aspirations? Ideally, I see myself rubbing elbows with Tina Fey on set of NBC’s crispest new single-camera comedy as we reenact our daily matching cardigan bit. Until that magical day becomes more reality based, I plan on attending The University of Alabama to double major in telecommunications and film and business with a minor in creative writing. What is your favorite memory from your time in high school? I don’t know if I have any Barbra Streisandtype “misty water-colored memories,” but I have thoroughly enjoyed growing up amongst

the quaint shuffle of Homewood. Here I have been able to swim on the same team for 10 years, walk to the library to straighten out those outstanding fees, and learn from some of the most dedicated and intelligent teachers. What will you miss most about Homewood? My favorite city event is Christmas in Homewood. What better season transition than store after store serving free chili? Even though I have developed quite a reputation for violent, excited cider spilling, nothing can negate the joy that forms from the fresh glimmer of new Christmas ornaments and warm, soft Michael Bublé holiday tunes floating in between storefronts.

May 2014 • B3

Whitlock, Parker named Teachers of the Year A committee of teachers, administrators and community members selected Faith Whitlock as Homewood’s Elementary Teacher of the Year and Marta Parker as Homewood’s Secondary Teacher of the Year. Teachers of the Year were first named for each school in the Homewood system. Hall-Kent Elementary School Faith Whitlock Whitlock has been teaching for nine years and has been teaching second grade at Hall-Kent since 2011. She has participated in the Project CRISS Training, served as a supervising teacher for a student teacher and traveled to the state ASCD Conference. She has shared her expertise with teachers at district-level professional development and constantly works collaboratively with other teachers. Edgewood Elementary School Kesha Bowens Bowens has been with Homewood City Schools for seven years. She taught second grade at Edgewood for six years, and she is currently serving as the reading specialist. She

School System Common Core Implementation Team, and she presents not only to the Shades Cahaba faculty but also to the entire system on areas of technology assimilation and Common Core implementation. Homewood Middle School Justin Hefner Hefner teaches eighth grade language arts and is a member of the Homewood City Schools Administrative Cohort. He is also a mentor for first-year language arts teachers, co-sponsor for the Student Government Association and the HMS baseball coach. Betsy Crimi, Faith Whitlock, Justin Hefner, Kesha Bowens and Marta Parker.

has served as a host for the Reading Coach Round Table for Jefferson County Over the Mountain Area Reading Specialists, spoke on “What Teachers Do” at Huntingdon College’s “Yes! You Can Teach!” Conference and is a member of the University of Montevallo Regional In-Service Governing Board.

Tolbert wins American Legion award Jessica Tolbert, a junior at Homewood High School, won first place at the American Legion District High School Oratorical Contest in February. This is her second year to place first at the district level and go on to compete at the division level. Tolbert is a member of the HHS track and field team and a captain of the HHS debate team. She is also a member and chaplain of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 267, YLDP member and Council Senator, and Teen Court Attorney.

Shades Cahaba Elementary School Betsy Crimi Crimi has been teaching first grade at Shades Cahaba for nine years and has 15 years of teaching experience. She was selected by her peers to be on the school’s Visionary Team, a leadership team charged with moving the school ever forward. She also serves on the Homewood City

Homewood High School Marta Parker Parker has taught Spanish at HHS for 13 years and has been recognized by the National Society of High School Scholars and the Shades Valley Rotary Club for Outstanding Achievement in Education. She serves as department chairperson for the world language department, and she serves in both a formal and informal capacity as a mentor to world language teachers and others throughout the school.

Owlmazing obstacles Shades Cahaba Elementary School’s recent Winter Festival featured walks, games, food, a silent auction and the “Owlmazing Race.” For the race, students completed an obstacle course during their physical education classes and asked parents or community members to sponsor them for each obstacle completed. Each class came up with a team name and costumes, and they competed with each other for a spirit stick and prizes. The Winter Festival is the school’s only fundraiser. The money raised provides grants to fulfill academic enhancement requests from the teachers.

Shades Cahaba students dressed in costume to take on the obstacles in this year’s Owlmazing Race.

B4 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

Officially fit friendly

Edgewood PE teacher John Dorough and PE assistant Christa Webb

Edgewood Elementary School and Hall-Kent Elementary School were presented the Fit Friendly School Gold Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.

Hall-Kent PE teacher Justin Bowlby

This program recognizes schools that go the extra mile to help with the health of their faculty, staff and students by creating physical activity programs and healthy eating options.

Geography whizzes head to state competition

Principal John Lowry and Ayona Roychowdhury

Shades Cahaba Elementary student Ayona Roychowdhury and Hall-Kent Elementary fifth-grader Robert Merchant recently won the opportunity to compete in the Alabama State Geographic Bee. The Bee is open to students in grades four to eight.

Lights, camera, action! The annual talent show at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School (OLS) featured singing, dancing, hula hoops, gymnastics and more in more than 30 acts. Many volunteers helped make the show a success, including: event coordinators Shayne Newsome, April Mize, Eleanor Turkiewicz and AnnMarie Jordan; emcee Anthony Turkiewicz; music coordinator Julie Foster; light and sound coordinator Onsite Productions; and volunteers Marcy Fleming, Kara

Barlow, Kim Douglas, Angie Vilchez, Caroline Spears and Christi Lewis, along with many others. The seventh-grade room mothers, students and parents supplied and sold concessions during the evening. A canned good or a cash donation was admission to the show. The goods and monetary gifts collected were given to the Catholic Center of Concern, a faith-based organization that helps the less fortunate in the Birmingham area.

Shawnise Gregory sings “I Believe” from Fantasia.

Support the Homewood Star Gift Certificate Program Shop Locally, Keep your Dollars in Homewood * Easy for customers and businesses to use * Immediate redemption * Can be purchased at the Homewood Chamber Office, by phone or online

Think, Shop, Buy Local Commit to supporting businesses where you live and work. Local stores employ your neighbors and pay taxes that fund your schools, maintain public facilities and improve roads.

Everything Life Has To Offer...Homewood, Alabama

Robert Merchant

Last year Robert won the right to participate as a fourth grader and tied for third place. One winner from each state will advance to the national competition in May at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Homewood High named CLAS Banner School The Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools has announced that Homewood High School has been selected as a CLAS Banner School. The CLAS Banner School program was created in 2001 to recognize schools in Alabama that demonstrate outstanding programs and service to students. HHS was recognized for its innovative health and wellness curriculum. One component is an incorporated course that includes driver education, a LIFE course and a health curriculum, all of which culminates in a communitywide Spirit

Scamper 5K race and wellness fair. In another, “flipped” classrooms require students to complete assignments outside of the physical education class, allowing for time in class to be focused on fitness. In addition, the inclusion of parents in the before- school (Zero Period Incorporated Class) and after-school fitness classes has produced a partnership among parents, students and faculty members. HHS Principal Zachary Barnes and Superintendent Bill Cleveland were recognized at an awards luncheon in Montgomery in February.

May 2014 • B5

Why I love my mom Elementary students share what makes their mothers stand out

“She works hard and never gives up on me. If I’m about to give up, she motivates me to work harder. She is always there to help me keep going. She also goes out of her way to make my birthdays special. She gets me a cake and makes sure our family is there. I always feel special on my birthday because of her.” Kayla Shirley Fifth grade, Shades Cahaba Elementary

“When your father has a herniated disk, she takes care of him for four months wile taking care of the rest of us (me, my two brothers and our nine pets). At my sporting events, she screams her head off for me, and I always know it’s her cause she’s the loudest one there. It helps me do better when I hear her cheering for me.” Reilly Durkin Fifth grade, Shades Cahaba Elementary

“She always gives me hugs and kisses after school and asks how I did in school. She loves me a lot, and I love my mom very much cause she takes good care of me.” Tamara Calhoun Kindergarten, Hall-Kent Elementary

“She lets me visit her library [she is the librarian at Homewood High School], and I love books She makes me feel special when she brings me books home. Tanner Watts Second grade, Shades Cahaba Elementary

“She puts up with all of us and doesn’t complain. When no one else is around, we get our nails done together. She helps me with things and is always encouraging me” Alyssa Elliott Fifth grade, Edgewood Elementary

“She is always thinking about me and how I feel, and we have fun when we go on shopping sprees together. She always takes care of our family, cooks for us, and keeps our house together.”” Liles Morton Fifth grade, Edgewood Elementary

“She takes me to special places like the movies on the weekends. I love going to the movies. She is a sweet person and is always taking care of everyone around her.” Evan Smiley Second grade, Edgewood Elementary

“She and my dad make my birthdays so special. They had a sleep over for me with my best friend for my birthday. They kept it a secret for two weeks. They are fabulous at keeping secrets. She also wakes me up in the morning and gives the best hugs.” Abby McElheny First grade, Hall-Kent Elementary

B6 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

Holocaust book comes to life with author visit

Jumping for heart research Edgewood Elementary School raised $15,687.50 for the American Heart Association thanks to the contributions of more than 300 students. This doubled their total from last year of $7,700 when 100 students participated, which ranked the school as fifth in Central Alabama for most money raised. Edgewood PE teacher John Dorough and PE assistant Christa Webb with students.

Collins receives Newton scholarship

Holocaust survivor Ruth Siegler, center, with HMS teachers Rebecca Stallings and Darby Wesson.

Homewood Middle School students in Darby Wesson’s and Rebecca Stallings’ sixth-grade language arts and history classes heard a firsthand testimony of how to overcome obstacles and live the life you want by Holocaust survivor Ruth Siegler. Siegler discussed the hardships her family endured and the amazing life she had in spite of Adolf Hitler’s attempt to steal her happiness. Students have been reading

Siegler’s memoir, My Father’s Blessing, where she shares her painful past in order to teach future generations. They asked Siegler questions about the book and the obstacles she’s overcome in her life. A few years after World War II, Siegler married and settled in Birmingham. She and her husband, Walter Nathan, opened a clothing store in Homewood, which remained in business until 1986.

Homewood High School senior Madison Collins was awarded the Dr. Jodi Newton Scholarship by the Homewood City Schools Foundation on April 3 as part of the Homewood Grown event. The $1,000 scholarship was established in 2008 by the foundation to honor former Homewood City Schools Superintendent Dr. Jodi Newton. Madison is the daughter of Brian and Suzy Collins. She is a member of the Homewood Varsity Volleyball Team, the Homewood Band, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Peer Helpers, Key Club and SGA, and she served as a facilitator for the Birmingham Civil Rights Youth Forum. She is an active member of Hunter Street Baptist Church, where she serves on the youth leadership team and is a member of the Chi Alpha Choir. Upon graduation, Madison will be attending Auburn University on an academic scholarship where she will be studying pre-Medicine.

Homewood High School Principal Dr. Zack Barnes, Madison Collins, and Homewood City Schools Superintendent Dr.

Bill Cleveland.

May 2014 • B7

HHS ranked nationally as a challenging school Homewood High School has been named one of America’s Most Challenging High Schools by The Washington Post. Only seven high schools in Alabama were ranked, and Homewood High School was ranked fifth in the state. America’s Most Challenging High Schools is a comprehensive look at public high schools across the nation and each school’s level of commitment to offering challenging college-level course work to all students. This year, just 9 percent of the approximately 22,000 U.S. public high schools reached that standard and earned

placement on the list. To determine the ranking, The Washington Post compiled the list based on the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year.

Homewood High School students walk outside the school’s entrance. Photo courtesy of Homewood City Schools.

Students receive Excellence in Education awards

Excellence in Education winners were Mitchell Prewitt, Reed Jeffries, Frances Kyle, Joshua Ndegwa and Frances Kyle.

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The Homewood Chamber of Commerce honored an outstanding student from each Homewood school during its annual Excellence in Education Award luncheon on April 16. The high school student received a $1,000 scholarship from the Chamber. Award winners were: } Reed Jeffries, Edgewood Elementary School } Frank Studinka, Hall-Kent Elementary School } Mitchell Prewitt, Shades Cahaba Elementary School } Joshua Ndegwa, Homewood Middle School } Frances Kyle, Homewood High School

Following the awards presentation, State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tommy Bice spoke about education initiatives for the state. Under his leadership the past three years, the state graduation rate has increasesd from 72 to 80 percent, the highest it’s ever been, after the state provided the individual school systems to do what they needed to do, he said. He also spoke about how business and industry leaders say that high school graduates are lacking intellectual curiosity. In order to address this, the state is using college and career readiness standards in place of a high school graduation exam and is encouraging teaching that involves students solving real world problems.

B8 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

HOMEWOOD PARKS & RECREATION New Homewood Community Center Events For additional information about The New Homewood Community Center please visit:

Open House

Grand Opening Day!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 4:00pm – 7:00pm Homewood Community Center will have an open house; for the public to tour the new facility, meet class instructors and purchase memberships.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

New Homewood Community Center Classes Zumba


ZUMBA is Latin inspired aerobic dance and every class feels like a party. ZUMBA is for all ages, and both sexes! You can burn 500 to 1000 calories in one fun hour! Instructor: Camille Scruggs Contact Info: 256-452-2500 or Days & Times: Tuesday & Thursday: 5:30-6:30pm Saturday: 9:00-10:00am

As the world’s recognized leader in early childhood music and movement, Kindermusik offers a musical learning adventure that will impact your child now and for years to come! This is accomplished through our extraordinary classroom experience and unsurpassed At Home materials. There’s simply no better way to foster your child’s love of music and love of learning. Classes are available for ages 0 to 5 years. For more information call or email Kelly at: 205-552-6129 (or) Kelly.alligood@

Homewood Chess Team

Homewood Chess Team wants you! Beginners are welcome and the first two weeks are always free promo weeks so come check us out! This year take the plunge and join Dr. Brooks and your current Alabama State Chess Champion Chess Team as we laugh and train in daily mardi-gras bead chess tourneys and compete for prizes in our daily music-driven chess puzzlers and watch zany chess movies and inter-face and inter-train with 20 sister chess teams including every Vestavia and Mountain Brook elementary school, The Randolph School, The Altamont School, Tuscaloosa Academy, The Highlands School, five Catholic schools, and many others. There has never been a party-based approach to chess like this, and Dr. Brooks’ unique, kid-oriented philosophy has made us 50-0 in our history, and counting! Our highenergy chess classes are developmentally and cleverly targeted directly at the kindergarten through 7thgrade set! Learn more and sign up for our school chess team at or call and chat with Dr. Brooks at (205) 746-4952.


Classes are held at various times based on age and level of experience. Monthly tuition is $55 - $65. Classes are for children and teenagers ages 4 and up. For more information please contact Master Joe at 966-4244

Homewood Swim Team

360 Personal Trainer Fitness



Summer Pool Information

Class Information Swim Lesson registration is open until all classes are full Swim Lessons are offered through the Homewood Recreation Swim Program. The instruction is provided by the Certified Lifeguard staff. The main objectives of the classes are to teach kids to be “water safe.” Each class session is two weeks long, meeting every day (Monday – Friday) of the two week period. Swim Lesson Fees Homewood Residents: $30 per child per two-week session Non Homewood resident: $60 per child for two-week session For additional information about dates of sessions and descriptions of skill levels please visit: For more information please contact Jakob Stephens at 332-6709

“Holistic sustainable approach to Fitness” Bootcamp style fitness classes coming to Homewood Community Center. For more information of class opportunities, fees and descriptions please visit: homewood-community-center-fitness/360-personaltrainer-fitness/ Michael Brooks –

HYC are a dynamic group of girls who are excited to cheer for the Homewood Youth Football League. HYC is a community cheerleading program for girls in grades 1st through 6th who live in Homewood and/or attend Homewood Schools. The girls are organized into 5 squads by grade level – 1st & 2nd grades cheer together, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grades have individual squads. Please visit our website for more information:

Fitness Classes

Tai Chi – Taught by Galina Waites. Chairs and adapted movements are provided for participants with balance/stamina challenges. Thursdays, 2:00pm. Free to members. Zumba Gold (designed for seniors) with Tai Chi ‘cool down’ Tuesdays, 2:15. 45 minutes of Zumba followed by 15 minutes of Tai Chi to ‘cool down’. The last 15 minutes can also serve as an introduction/review for those interested in the Thursday full-hour Tai Chi class. Free to Senior Center Members. $5 for non-members.

Belly Dancing with Aziza

Young Rembrandts

Homewood Youth Cheerleading

Creative Expression

Mondays, 9:30am Knit & Crochet Class, taught by Sr Ctr member Polly Kelly. Choose your own project and Polly will coach you through it. Free to members. Mondays, 1:00pm Sunshiners Senior Chorus, with professional direction and live, professional accompaniment. The chorus occasionally performs at a facility or venue off-site or for peers at the Senior Center. For fun and visual variety, props and minimal costuming are sometimes used. Free to members. Mondays, 2:15pm Clay Class, taught by JoAnn Brown, recently retired from Homewood School System. Participants may choose the project introduced by the instructor or ‘do their own thing.’ Clay, glazes, and kiln firing are provided. Free to members.

Registration Ends Friday, May 23rd Register Online @ – visit the swim team page OR in person at Homewood Parks Business Office, 809 Greensprings Hwy, Homewood, AL 35209 Monday-Friday: 8:00am-5:30pm Business Office will open at New Community Center – Thursday, May 15th Homewood Parks and Recreation offers competitive swimming age groups 5-18 years of age. This is not a learn to swim program. Swimmers compete against other swimmers with the same age and times during meets. Homewood Swim Team competes through the Jefferson County Swim League (JCSC) against other teams from our area. For additional information call Brook Gibbons at 401-9656

Class Fee: $60 cash only For more information contact Aziza at 879-0701 or Learn the ancient art of Middle Eastern belly dance (classic Egyptian style) with Aziza, award winning dancer, with 36 years of experience in performance and instruction. Women only, ages 13 and up are welcome; with no dance experience necessary to enroll. Each session is 5-weeks long on: Tuesday night for beginners, Wednesday night for intermediates and Thursday night for advanced. Times times are 7:008:30pm.

Draw amazing things with Young Rembrandts! Young Rembrandts classes are both fun and educational, and our step-by-step curriculum is developed to teach fundamental art skills in a nurturing environment that gives children an academic advantage. Our classes are for boys and girls 5 to 12 years of age. Please contact Chris Roberson at (205) 943-1923 for more information and to register or visit www. to enroll anytime.

Homewood Senior Center

Homewood Patriot Youth Football League

HPYFL is responsible for organizing youth football in Homewood and oversees its operation. Please visit their website for more information. Please visit our website for more information:

Swim Lessons

2014 Pool Memberships

Pool Only Homewood Resident Membership $150 – 1st Household member / $25 – per additional household member Membership is valid from date of purchase thru Labor Day This membership prorates the 1st of each month, beginning July 1st Pool Only Resident membership includes: New HW Central Pool & West HW Pool Pool Only Non-Resident Membership $150 – 1st Household member / $25 – per additional household member Membership is valid from date of purchase thru Labor Day This membership prorates the 1st of each month, beginning July 1st Pool Only Non-Resident membership includes: West Homewood Pool

Now Hiring Lifeguard Positions

Please visit the following link to print an application: For questions contact: Jakob Stephens 332-6709

May 2014 • B9

Schools Foundation celebrates with

Homewood Grown event The Homewood City Schools Foundation celebrated its 20th year anniversary at a first-ever Homewood Grown event on the Terrace at SOHO square on Thursday, April 3. The  475 guests in attendance included local corporate sponsors, Homewood city officials, school administrators and teachers, as well as Homewood families who chose to support the Foundation and its mission. Trust Building Services was the title sponsor, while Brasfield and Gorrie was the sponsor of two custom videos. These videos shared what the Foundation does

for the school system and the stories of students who are “Homewood Grown,” including track and field sensation Aaron Ernest. The dinner was catered by Café Dupont with assistance from Melt Food Truck.  The event also feautred soft drinks by Buffalo Rock, coffee by Royal Cup Coffee and dessert by Dreamcakes. Music was provided by Homewood residents Danny Whitsett and Ben Ridlehoover. The Foundation recognized five outstanding teachers with the first-annual Teacher Impact Awards. The teacher

Edgewood Elementary Teacher Impact Award winner Kim Virciglio, center.

Hall-Kent Elementary Teacher Impact Award winner, Lisa Littlejohn, center.

trophies and gift certificates were sponsored by the Samford University’s Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education. Kim Virciglio received the award for Edgewood Elementary, Lisa Littlejohn for Hall-Kent Elementary, Lisa Lorino for Shades Cahaba Elementary, Chris Cooper for Homewood Middle School and Nivada Spurlock for Homewood High School. There was also a presentation of the Dr. Jodi Newton Scholarship to Homewood High School senior Madison Collins for her leadership and character.

Shades Cahaba Teacher Impact Award winner, Lisa Lorina, center.

Homewood Middle School Teacher Impact Award winner, Chris Cooper, center.

Homewood High School Nivada Spurlock, center.

B10 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

Sports Figueroa wins state wrestling title Homewood High School sophomore Carlos Daniel Figueroa won the State 182-pound wrestling title at the USA Team Alabama State Championships in February. Two other Patriot wrestlers, Carlos Jesus Figueroa and Marshall Stone, were both crowned state runners-up. Homewood wrestling is coached by Eddie Crocker and Justin Cannady.

Duo signs football scholarships

State wrestling champion Carlos Daniel Figueroa

Girls Track win Spain Park Invitational The Homewood Patriots Girls Track and Field team won the Spain Park Invitational during the weekend of April 5-7. The Patriots were led by Kiara Williams and Ann Mosely Whitsett, who both won multiple events. Kiara won the long jump, triple jump, and

Swope receives coaching award Eric Swope, pictured with Homewood Middle School boys cross-country team members, was named the 2013 Metro South Middle School Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year.

the 100-meter hurdles; Ann Mosely won both the 400-meter and 800-meter. The HHS Boys team placed third and were led by event winners Andy Smith (800-meter), Alazae Hester-Taylor (triple jump) and Alex Ngei (3,200-meter).

Orlando Swann played No. 9 for the Patriots while DeVonta Barnfield-Rapley was No. 21. Photo by Pamela Houston.

Homewood seniors DeVonta Barnfield-Rapley and Orlando Swann recently signed letters of intent to attend and play football at Monroe College in New Rochelle, NY. The Monroe campus is located just north of New York City in Westchester County, NY.

May 2014 • B11

Cook named to Regional All-Tournament Team Homewood High School junior Malik Cook was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Northeast Regional Basketball Tournament. Cook was also awarded as the Metro Tournament’s Most Valuable Player earlier this year. Photo by Pamela Houston.

Fourth-grade boys place second

The Homewood fourth-grade boys OTM basketball team made it to the finals against Oak Mountain. Front row: Reese Wallace, Peter Griggs, J.C. Daniel, Fox Landgren, Harrison Sims and Brian Condon. Back row: team manager Joe Daniel, Sam Malone, Christian Thompson, coach Kreg Newman, Donte’ Bacchus and coach Will Gardner.

Lady Patriots help outfit feet Golf team kicks off season

Coach Keat Litton and golf team members Aaron Stansell, Parker Smith, Alexander Collins, Sam Goldasich, Sam Drummond, Crawford Flach, Nolen Langford, McKennon Kessler, Joshua Holland, Jack Poole, Duncan McDuff, Connor Doyal and Ben Harris. Photo by Scott Butler.

The Homewood High School boys golf team began its 2014 season at the Blue-Gray High School Invitational in Montgomery. The team finished the tournament tied for

fifth place, with scores of 326-327 for a two-day total of 653. Crawford Flach was the team’s top individual with scores of 8073 (153). He finished tied for seventh place.


Wayne Salem, Owner HOMEWOOD


2913 18th Street S.

Don’t forget my hours of operation’s Monday - Friday: 6:30 am - 2:00 pm Saturday: 6:30 am - 3:00 pm


HHS basketball team members volunteer at A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club.

In the spirit of sisterhood and service, the Homewood High School Lady Patriots spent four hours on Martin Luther King Jr. Day helping others. They volunteered with Samaritans Feet and Hands On Birmingham at A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club. More than 100 members of the surrounding

community received a brief spa day during which they received a free foot washing, a free pair of socks and a pair of free shoes. In conjunction with many sponsors, including Honda, Piggly Wiggly, the United Way and BBVA Compass, the players and coaches helped to make the shoe distribution event a huge success.

B12 • May 2014


The Homewood Star

Homewood Events May 1: Brookwood Live: Top Secret. 5-9 p.m. Colonial Brookwood Village. Visit May 15: Brookwood Live: Groove Daddy. 5-9 p.m. Colonial Brookwood Village. Visit

May 2-4: The Wizard of Oz. Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2:30 p.m. Samford’s Wright Center Concert Hall. The Royal Shakespeare Company adaptation of the L. Frank Baum family classic features the songs you know and love from the 1939 feature film. $12 adults, $6 students. Visit or call 726-2853.

May 17: The Homewood Market. 8 a.m.noon. SoHo. More than 20 vendors will sell fresh produce and more. Visit May 17: Women’s Health 5K Run and 1-Mile Mother-Daughter Walk. 7 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. run. Lakeshore Greenway. Post-race activities will include a bouncy house, parents’ fitness challenge, Zumba dance party, face painting, snow cones and refreshments, all held in the greenway parking lot across from Samford. Registration for the run is $15 and the walk is $5. Visit

May 3: We Love Homewood Day. Homewood Central Park. Visit May 3: Spirit Scamper 5K and Fun Run. Homewood High School. 8 a.m. Visit spiritscamper. com. May 4: The StoryTellin’ Man. 6 p.m. Homewood Park Amphitheater. Dawson’s children’s choirs will perform, and the Cantina on Wheels food truck will be there. All are invited to bring a blanket and enjoy the performance. Visit May 8: Brookwood Live: Street Kar. 5-9 p.m. Colonial Brookwood Village. Visit May 10: Community Garden Work Day. 9 a.m. Homewood Community Garden, old Homewood Middle School site. Visit homewoodcommunitygarden. May 10: Pancake Breakfast, Silent Auction and Garage Sale. 7 a.m.-noon. Trinity United Methodist Church. Boy Scout Troop 97 will hold its annual fundraiser. Breakfast is $5 per person. All donations are tax deductible. Contact Bert Allen at 540-5343 or

Boy Scout Troop 97 is hosting its annual pancake breakfast and garage sale on May 10 at Trinity United Methodist Church.

May 10: The Homewood Market. 8 a.m.noon. SoHo. More than 20 vendors will sell fresh produce and more. Visit May 10: Disney in Concert: Magical Music from the Movies. 8 p.m. Samford University Wright Center. This event is part of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s Red Diamond SuperPOPS! Series. $24-62. Visit wrightcenter. May 11: SuperJazz Concert. 3-4:35 p.m. Brock Recital Hall, Samford University. Big Band concert featuring five saxophones, trombones, trumpets and a rhythm section. Visit superjazzbirmingham.wordpress.

Storewide Spring Sale! 2925 18th Street South, Homewood 205-871-0585 Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

com or call 335-2961. May 13: Edgewood Night Out. 3 p.m.close of business. Eat at any participating business in Edgewood, and 10 percent of all sales will be donated to Edgewood Elementary. May 13: Homewood Community Center Open House. 4-7 p.m. 1632 Oxmoor Road. Tour the center and learn more about its programs. A ribbon-cutting will also be held at 11 a.m. that day. Visit May 15: Homewood Community Center Opening. 1632 Oxmoor Road. Visit

May 19: Homewood High School Graduation. Samford University’s Wright Center. May 20: ASO Concertmaster and Friends: Baroque Trumpet. 7 p.m. Brock Recital Hall, Samford University. Visit or call 975-2787. May 22: Brookwood Live: Rock Candy. 5-9 p.m. Colonial Brookwood Village. Visit May 22: Last Day of School for Students. Homewood City Schools. May 23: Homewood Community Center Pool Opening. 1632 Oxmoor Road. Visit

May 2014 • B13


Homewood Events

Area Events Feb. 22-May 18: Delacroix and the Matter of Finish. Birmingham Museum of Art. The first Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) exhibition in the United States in more than a decade features the work of the leader of the French Romantic Movement, who was often heralded as the “father of impressionism.” Call 254-2565 or visit

May 2: Eric Clapton. 7:30 p.m. Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. Visit

May 1: ArtPlay Parlor Series: Ji on Piano. 7 p.m. Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Ticket price includes beverages, hors d’oeuvres and performance by Ji. Visit or call 975-2787.

May 3: Elements. 7:30 p.m. The Alabama Theatre. Dances inspired by the wonder in the world around us and the world within us, performed by Children’s Dance Foundation’s Upper School students. Free. Visit

May 1: Salsa de Mayo presented by the Gardens’ Junior Board. 6-8 p.m. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Ticket price includes beverages and chips while you learn to make your own gourmet salsa. Visit bbgardens. org or call 414-3950.

The new pool at the Homewood Community Center, pictured here under construction this spring, is scheduled to open May 23.

May 25: Davis Piano Quartet. 3 p.m. Samford University’s Brock Recital Hall. Pianists Carolyn Duncan, Beulah Fowler, Cheryl Walls and Homewood Rotarian Sandra Nelson will feature a mix of musical styles, including classical and show tunes. Benefits Homewood Rotary Club’s Education Foundation. $35 general admission, $50 patron admission. Call 414-2171 or email josh.carnes@ May 27: Congregational Worship Renewal Workshop. 3:30-6:30 p.m. Trinity United Methodist Church. Church of Scotland Christian musician John Bell will lead the event. Call

879-1737 or visit May 29: Brookwood Live: Bicho Brothers. 5-9 p.m. Colonial Brookwood Village. Visit May 31: JoJo’s 2nd Annual Crawfish Boil. 2 p.m. JoJo’s on Broadway, 903 Broadway Street, Suite 105. Live music, kids’ activities, drink specials and crawfish. Call 877-8058. May 31: The Homewood Market. 8 a.m.noon. SoHo. More than 20 vendors will sell fresh produce and more. Visit

May 1: First Thursdays/After Hours. 5-9 p.m. Birmingham Museum of Art. Admission is free, tapas at Oscar’s are $12, and there will be a cash bar. Visit or call 254-2565. May 2: Bards and Brews. 6:30-9 p.m. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Presented by the Birmingham Public Library, Bards and Brews is a poetry performance and beer-tasting series held on the first Friday of every month. Must be at least 18 to attend. Call 226-3670. May 2: Tails in the Trails. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Birmingham Zoo. This event, presented by the Birmingham Zoo’s Junior Board, is a day of cocktails, live music and entertainment. $20 at the door, ages 21 and up. Visit birminghamzoo. com or call 879-0409.

May 2-3: ASO Regions Masterworks Series: Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2. 8 p.m. Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Visit or call 975-2787.

May 3: Mid Alabama Corvette Club Vette Spectacular. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Zamora Shrine Temple. This annual event benefits Magic Moments of Alabama. $5 per car load. Visit or call 541-8681. May 6: Sidewalk Film Festival Event. 6 p.m. Rojo. Networking event for filmmakers and film fans. Complimentary salsa and queso from Rojo. Admission is free. Call 324-0888. May 6: Brit Floyd. 8 p.m. BJCC Concert Hall. Music from all 14 Pink Floyd studio albums with a laser and light show. Visit or call 1-800-745-3000. May 8: 6th Annual Hands Up Together. 7 p.m. Alabama School of Fine Arts Day Theater. Mary Fisher, an activist, author and survivor, will speak. The Collat Jewish Family Services event benefits senior adults and will honor Dr. Michael Saag. Visit

Continues on page B14

B14 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

Calendar Area Events May 9-11: The Beatles 50th Anniversary Celebration. 7 p.m. Workplay. Black Jacket Symphony will perform “Rubber Soul” on May 9 and “Revolver” on May 10. The band will perform both “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver” on May 11. Visit or call 879-4773.

May 18: Birmingham Boys Choir 36th Annual Spring Concert. 4 p.m. Covenant Presbyterian Church, 65 Old Montgomery Highway. Visit May 20-25: SEC Baseball Tournament. Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. Visit secdigitalnetwork. com or call 1-800-732-4849.

May 9-10: Jason Aldean: Burn It Down Tour. 7:30 p.m. Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. Visit

May 22: Sesame Street Live: Can’t Stop Singing. 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. BJCC Concert Hall. Visit

May 9-10: Mamma Mia! May 9 at 8 p.m., May 10 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. BJCC Concert Hall. Musical of a young woman’s quest to discover the identity of her father on the eve of her wedding. Visit or call 1-800-745-3000.

May 23: Dave Matthews Band. 7 p.m. Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. Visit May 24: Happenin Fest. 3 p.m. Good People Brewery. Daylong celebration designed to feature local and touring artists from across the southeast. Ages 21 and up. Visit

May 10: Girls on the Run 5K. 8 a.m. Marconi Park. Annual fundraiser and culmination of 10-week running program for girls. Open to the public. Visit May 10: Birmingham NF Walk. 9 a.m.1 p.m. Railroad Park. Alabama’s chapter of the Children’s Tumor Foundation presents a walk to end neurofibromatosis. Visit or call 936-9447. May 10: Margaritaham. 12-6 p.m. Iron Horse. In conjunction with Iron Horse’s BBQ lunch benefiting Children’s Hospital. Music, silent auction and raffles are included with a $5 donation. Visit or call 914-7953. May 15: Bite Presented by CM Foodservice. 6-8 p.m. Rosewood Hall, SoHo Square. Live music and samplings from restaurants like La Paz, Golden Rule Bar-B-Q, Ezell’s Fish Camp, G-Dogs and Michael’s Restaurant. Visit or call 322-6119.

May 16-17: ASO Regions Masterworks Series: Mozart’s Requiem. 8 p.m. Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Visit or call 975-2787. May 16: Back Forty Beer Company Presents Beer on the Back Porch Music Series. 6-10 p.m. Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. Music, dinner and three drink tokens are included with the purchase of a $25 ticket. Visit or call 833-8264. May 17: Willie Nelson and Alison



Gifst Books

May 17: Zoo Run. 9 a.m. Birmingham Zoo. Run through the zoo to raise money for African Painted Dogs. Visit or call 879-0409.

May 30: ASO Coffee Concert: Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. 11 a.m. Alys Stephens Center. Visit or call 975-2787. May 31: 5th Annual Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival. Noon-9 p.m. DeBardeleben Park. Live blues music and Bob Sykes BBQ. Visit or call 426-1400.


Up to 60% OFF


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


Store Closing st May 21



May 17: Do Dah Day. 11:01 a.m. Caldwell and Rhodes Parks. Parade and day at the park with friends, pets, crafts, food, beverages and music. All proceeds benefit local animal charities. Visit

May 27: Journey and Steve Miller Band. 6:45 p.m. Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. Visit or call 985-0703.



Krauss. 7 p.m. BJCC Arena and Exhibition Halls. Visit or call 1-800-745-3000.

May 25: 8th Annual Preserve Jazz Festival. 2 p.m. Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. Call 390-3800.




The Birmingham Boys Choir will hold a concert May 18 at Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Thank you for making the past 12 years so special!




Mary House Kessler, Ph.D ASCH Certified in Clinical Hypnosis Trained in EMDR

Specializes in working with:

Lessening chronic pain • Lowering anxiety Reprocessing trauma • Getting rid of phobias Habit cessation • Regression therapy Gateway to Change, 2305 Arlington Avenue Birmingham, Al 35205 Phone 205-602-8329 • 205-933-9276 Email:

May 2014 • B15

Calendar Homewood Public Library Adults May 2-3: Dolores Hydock Shows. Friday 6:30 p.m., Saturday 7:30 p.m. Storyteller Dolores Hydock and music historian Bobby Horton will share this uniquely personal glimpse into the world of mothers. $25 for buffet and show. To make a reservation, visit the Adult Services Desk at the library or call 332-6625. May 8: Feng Shui for Life Improvement with Katie Rogers: Living/Family Rooms & Children’s Bedrooms. 6:30 p.m. Large Auditorium. Certified feng shui consultant Katie Rogers will teach families and children how to create good energy and balance in the busiest areas of your home as well as in your children’s bedrooms and play spaces. May 10: Greater Birmingham Humane Society Adoption Day. 10 a.m. Back parking lot. The GBHS Mobile Unit will have dogs that have been screened for good health and behavior. May 10: AARP Smart Driver Course with Anne Walker. 9:30 a.m. Lucretia M. Somers Boardroom. Those who complete the course may be eligible for an automobile discount for up to three years. Registration required: $15 AARP members, $20 nonmembers. To register, call Anne Walker at 637-6100. May 13: Oxmoor Page Turner’s Book Club. 6:30 p.m. Lucretia M. Somers Boardroom. Discussing The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a fascinating and moving story of medicine and family, of how life is sustained in laboratories and in memory.

May 15: Health Matters Film. 6:30 p.m. Large Auditorium. This film lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing how our food is now controlled by corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, and the safety of workers and our own environment. May 20: The A, B, C’s of Medicare. Noon & 6 p.m. Room 116, Lower Level. Karen Haiflich will answer all your questions about how Medicare benefits are currently computed, how to become insured, and how to file a claim. May 22: Learning to Live with Wild Neighbors with David Dionne. 6:30 p.m. Large Auditorium. Join us for a free lecture by David Dionne, executive director of Red Mountain Park, addressing the facts and fiction behind the animals we might encounter in Homewood. May 28: The Better Than Therapy Book Club. 2 p.m. Lucretia M. Somers Boardroom. Discussing Someone Else’s Love Story by the beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson.


*There will be no children’s programming in May as the department prepares for summer reading. May 15-28: Early Summer Reading Registration. Visit and click on Children’s. One summer reader who registers by May 28 will win two VIP Passes to the Tennessee Aquarium. May 29: Summer Reading Kick-Off. 6:15-8:15 p.m. The Children’s Department will kick off a scientific summer of reading for the whole family this evening with bounce houses and food trucks. Bring the family, buy supper from one of the local food trucks and stay to enjoy friends and neighbors.

Joe Falconer, Jr

1220 Alford Avenue 281-1831 Life Member Club of Excellence 40 Year Resident of Homewood Multi-Million Dollar Producer

Join us for 2014

We Love Homewood Day May 3rd Come eat BBQ at the Exceptional Foundation Building (cooked by the West Homewood Lions)

Tickets - $8 each 1 ticket = 2 BBQ sandwiches or 1 lb bulk pork 2 tickets = 1 slab pork ribs 3 tickets = 1 whole smoked butt

Opinion Ordinary Days By Lauren Denton

The business of being a mom When I was a child, I wanted testy, and I’d snap for no reason (well, to be a veterinarian so I could no reason other than sleeplessness and play with animals all day. A hormone swings). I had good days, but few years later, I wanted to be a it was hard to fight the nagging voice neonatologist — likely because that told me I wasn’t as good at the I loved babies and thought it whole mother thing as I thought I’d be. meant I’d get to cuddle them all These days, while I’m certainly day. Once I got to college and the not a pro, I do have a bit better time came to choose a major (and perspective. Adding a second child to a career path), I realized what I the mix (Sela, who’s now almost 2) really wanted to be was a mom. was much easier than adjusting to one Denton Obviously, a woman can be a child. But even now, I have to work to mother and have a fulfilling career, but that just speak truth to the negative voices that still tell wasn’t what I knew. What I knew was that my me I’m not good enough. With a headstrong mom was always home with my brother and 4 year old and a toddler who would rather be me when we were kids. She was home after on top of the kitchen table than standing on school and during the summers when the days the floor like a normal person, I still lose my stretched long. That made an impact on me, patience. I get angry over small things and lose and I wanted to be that same constant presence my temper. I have to apologize to Kate all the in my kids’ lives one day. time for losing it, but at least she’s seeing me Sometime after Matt and I married and we apologize. I read once that kids don’t learn to started thinking about kids, I got it in my head apologize to people they hurt because they that being a mom would be where I’d shine. never hear apologies at home, and I thought, I hadn’t yet found my “thing” — the thing I “Well, at least I’m getting one thing right!” was good at, that I excelled at, that I could The other day, Kate curled up in my lap pour my heart and energy into. I thought if we and said, “You’re the greatest mom in the could just have a baby, I’d be the mom on the whole wide world.” She’s big on superlatives Pinterest pages, making homemade applesauce these days. She recently ate a cookie, shook and handcrafting all my kids’ valentines. I her head in amazement, and said, “This is the wanted to cook nutritious foods for my family, best cookie in the whole world.” I took her organize play dates with neighbors, and take compliment with a grain of salt, but it was still part in the community around me. pleasing to hear. I’m happy that in the midst Now that I stay home and “work” for two of sometimes feeling like a failure, my child sweet little girls, I realize that I romanticized thinks I’m doing okay. And in the business of the whole idea of motherhood and staying home being a mom, she and Sela are the two people with kids. Many moments are magical, but oh, whose opinions matter the most. the hard parts can be intense! Soon after I had Lauren can be reached at LaurenKDenton@ Kate, I truly thought I was a terrible mother. You can also find her tweeting I lost my patience easily, I was on edge and writerly things on Twitter @LaurenKDenton.

B16 • May 2014

The Homewood Star

Homewood star vol 4 iss 02 may 2014  

news, sports and community news source for Homewood Alabama