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January 2014

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The Homewood Star Volume 3 | Issue 10 | January 2014

Smoke and ribs

neighborly news & entertainment for Homewood

Hunting for the past

Sam Nakos has been smoking up his father’s barbecue recipes at Demetri’s for decades. Learn his family’s story in this issue.

Food page 11

Ready to run

The famous man in red shoes will be at this year’s Red Shoe Run in SoHo. Find the details about the event, previously known as the Red Nose Run, inside.

Community page 13

INSIDE Sponsors ................. 2 City ........................... 3 Business .................. 8 Food ......................... 11 Community ............. 12 School House ......... 16 Sports ...................... 21 Calendar ................. 22 Opinion .................... 23

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

HMS student Amber Robinson stands outside the tunnel to Shades Cahaba Elementary School and holds a photo of her mom in the same spot decades earlier. The photo was taken as an assignment for the Homewood History Hunt. Photo courtesy of Andrew Tyson.

By MADOLINE MARKHAM The Homewood Jake Collins now knows is not the same one he grew up in. For him, long-familiar places now glisten with a sheen of history. Today he knows that Shades Creek, where

Teacher charges students with capturing the foreign behind the familiar

he fished regularly in high school, once fed into a large lake that lined Lakeshore Drive. His elementary school, Shades Cahaba, was a high school, and his grandfather played on its football field. The tracks where Manhattan Street dead ends into Homewood Park — the ones he thought were once for a train — were an old

streetcar line that ran behind Dawson Family of Faith, where he grew up in church. Sam’s Super Samwiches, whose burgers he eats every Saturday, was a barber shop, and Homewood Barber Shop, another regular stop

See HISTORY | page 18

2014 Year in preview

What to watch for around Homewood this year See pages 6-7

The new Homewood Community Center should open by May.

A new phase of the Shades Creek Greenway will be built in 2014.

Making homes cleaner and healthier since 1987.

2 • January 2014

The Homewood Star

About Us Photo of the Month

Please Support our Community Partners AccelAbility Physical Therapy (15) Homewood High School’s Star Spangled Girls including Laura Wagstaff, Lauren Simmons, Laine Smith and Kensie Kile dressed as toy soldiers from The Nuckcraker for the band’s Christmas concert. Photo by Scott Butler.

Activ Care Living, Mount Royal Towers (16) Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (4) Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe (15) Bedzzz Express (24) Birmingham Speech and Hearing Associates (4) Brandino Brass (11) Briarcliff Shop (18) Edgewood Service Center (8) Edgewood Wealth Advisors (11)

Editor’s Note By Madoline Markham I don’t know about you, but my present trying-to-be-productive thought life is always trying to reign in its preoccupation with reminiscing the past or planning the future. Thankfully, quiet, cold January is ripe for slowing down, staying home and doing just that. Before you flip a few pages to see what we preview for 2014, let’s recap our 2013. The ground broke for the new Community Center, and its usual pool goers found a temporary new home for the summer. Target and Fresh Market opened, and traffic on Lakeshore somehow continued to flow around them. The newly reformed Homewood Arts Council brought the Alabama

Symphony Orchestra to the territory of every kid’s favorite caterpillar as the Homewood High School Band started to prepare to travel to the Rose Parade (catch them on TV on Jan. 1). A grassroots effort sought to bring a new park to Edgewood, and City Council fine tuned plans for West Homewood to one day look like a cross-town 18th Street. Plans for Homewood City School’s property at the former Magnolia Park apartments took shape, and the system started assessing how to accommodate school population growth. HHS’s Indoor Track and Cross-Country Boys won state championships (Go Patriots!).

In the paper, we remembered Edgewood Lake, brought to light an increase in incidents of head injuries, and captured all kinds of memories and faces on our pages. As we enter a new year, our cover story on Homewood Middle School teacher Jake Collins takes us back further to the history of what’s around us but also connects it with today. As his Homewood History Hunt reminds us, our past paints a more full picture of our community, and it informs how we live our present and our future. Cheers to what has been, and cheers to what’s to come this year,

Fi-Plan Partners (13) Harmony Landing (17) Homewood Chamber of Commerce (23) Homewood Family and Cosmetic Dentistry (10) Homewood Parks and Rec (20) Homewood Soccer Club (6) In-Rel Properties (3) Iz Cafe (18) Jacqueline DeMarco (15) Julie Ivy White (7) Marguerite’s Conceits (9) Mitchell’s Place (12) Oxmoor Valley Orthodontics (9)

The Homewood Star neighborly news & entertainment for Homewood

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

Copy Editor: Contributing Writer: Interns: Published by :

Dan Starnes Keith McCoy Madoline Markham Jeff Thompson Katie Turpen Matthew Allen Rhonda Smith Warren Caldwell Michelle Salem Haynes Louisa Jeffries Brian Wallace Sydney Cromwell Lauren Moriarty 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

RealtySouth Marketing (5) Red Mountain Theatre Company (8) Salem’s Diner (11) The Altamont School (12) The Maids (1) The Wade Team (17) Vestavia Hills Soccer Club (23) Vision Gymnastics (7)

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.

Please recycle this paper

Vitalogy Wellness Center (19) YMCA of Greater Birmingham (21)

January 2014

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Mayor’s Minute Dear friends and neighbors, It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. In 2013 our city did very well completing many needed projects and finishing the year again with a surplus. I do not expect any differently for the year 2014! I will address a few projects the council and I are working on and a few issues that seem to creep up over and over again. We look forward to DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) opening in Colonial Brookwood Village, and it appears to be on target for its opening date. We are currently assisting Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins with issues its has encountered with Jefferson County regarding connecting to an existing sewer. We expect those issues to be resolved and are still very optimistic of its opening at the corner of Green Springs Highway and Oxmoor Road. We are also working to make improvements to Lakeshore Parkway and I-65. There is so much congestion in that particular area, and we are currently in the process of doing traffic counts. We have already heard several presentations by different engineering firms that would help alleviate the vast majority of the issues and help traffic move more quickly and efficiently from Green Springs west to Lakeshore Parkway. The council also approved my budget to include funding for the

West Oxmoor Road project that would include straightening the intersection of Green Springs and West Oxmoor, which will make it easier to navigate. Our city continues to work closely with the Regional Planning Commission in our efforts with the West Homewood Revitalization Plan. West Homewood holds so much potential, and we look forward to seeing that area improve greatly. To see detailed information about the plans, please visit I want to particularly thank Vance Moody and Fred Hawkins, District 2 councilmen, for their assistance and support of this project. I would also like to thank Kyle D’Agostino, a District 2 resident and senior principal with Giattina Aycock Architectural Studio, for his knowledge and help with this

ongoing project. We are currently working on a grant to help improve Spring Park in a historic section of Rosedale. We have started replacing fencing in that area already and look forward to many more improvements to such an important part of Homewood. We will also continue to be vigilant on speeding. This year we increased the number of vehicles stopped by 26 percent and saw an increase of 85 percent compared to September through November 2012. Please slow down in Homewood and be very watchful for children. Even with the new sidewalks, residents continue to choose to walk and jog in the streets, and it makes for very dangerous situations. Wishing you a healthy and prosperous New Year. Sincerely,

Scott McBrayer Mayor City of Homewood

Recycle your tree Homewood residents can recycle their Christmas trees now through Jan. 10. The Homewood High School Environmental Club, Community Garden and the city’s Environmental Commission are working with the city to coordinate the recycling program. This year trees can be dropped off at 189 Citation Court off West Oxmoor Road. In the event that an individual cannot drop off a tree, the city’s Streets and Sanitation staff will offer curbside pickup. All collected trees will be run through a chipper, and the mulch they create will be used for landscaping around the city.

When seconds count Homewood’s fire trucks are having a difficult time accessing portions of the city due to narrow streets and on-street parking. Improperly parked vehicles have the potential to cause a severe delay in the arrival of a fire truck at the scene of an emergency. When seconds count, this delay might cause property damage at a fire to increase unnecessarily or a medical emergency to worsen. Please help us maintain adequate clearance for the passage of a fire truck. Keep the following points in mind when on-street parking is required by you or your visitors: `` City Code prohibits parking within 30 feet of an intersection. `` Under City Code, an on-street parked vehicle must leave an unobstructed width of not less than 18 feet of paved street open for the free passage of other vehicles. `` Parking on both sides of the street might leave inadequate clearance for a fire truck. The fire truck is incapable of negotiating the same turns and gap passage of a passenger vehicle. `` Parking in front of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane is prohibited. `` If you have a party or similar function at home, please remind your guests to maintain access for fire trucks. When choosing a parking place for your vehicle, remember to consider how it may affect access by a fire truck. -Submitted by Homewood Fire Department

4 • January 2014

The Homewood Star

Facebook page helps lost pets find their way home

This stray boxer mix is looking for a new home through the Homewood Animal Control Facebook page.

This male cat was found on Raleigh Avenue and is looking for his owners.

By SYDNEY CROMWELL Homewood Animal Control is using the power of social media to reunite lost pets with their owners. They have already succeeded in bringing about a half dozen dogs and cats back to their families. Animal Control Officer Robbie Bagby said she started the page in October to share

success stories and information about lost pets. The page has grown to more than 350 likes, and Facebook fans share the posts with their own friends to help spread information. Bagby recalled one time when she picked up two dogs and posted their photos on the page. In less than two hours, their owners had claimed them.

The Facebook page celebrated the adoption of several cats, including this kitten named Jellybean.

Because of the Facebook page, this pup will soon be returning to her home.

“My biggest goals are for the animals to be reunited, to educate the public and to get animals adopted,” Bagby said. The page has also been the means of getting several animals adopted into new homes. Facebook fans have stepped in and adopted many animals that were left unclaimed. Bagby herself adopted two cats. “I’m a huge animal lover, and I think

any animal needs to be warm, safe, dry and loved,” Bagby said. Bagby hopes to see the page grow so more animals have a chance to return to their owners or find a new family to love them. To learn more or post information about a lost animal, visit the Homewood Animal Control Facebook page or email

January 2014

Fit to serve

Officer Steve Hensley takes his shot after running the obstacle course at the Eastern LawFit Challenge. Photo by Sergeant Eric Hampton.

While you might assume the main causes of death in police work are from gunfire or even vehicular accidents, the number of officers who are dying from heart attacks is on the rise. Too many deaths involve officers who have collapsed either on the job or during a training exercise. Many are under the age of 50. For this reason, Homewood Police recently established a dedicated Fitness Team to help encourage officer fitness, giving them an extra incentive to get and stay healthy. In October, the team travelled to Virginia Beach for the Eastern LawFit Challenge, a competition for law enforcement that brings together departments from across the country. LawFit is designed to test an officer’s physical and mental endurance, combining classic strength exercises, running and shooting skills, much like the PT test an officer will take at the academy in order to graduate. At the competition, Homewood placed in the top 10 in several events and also received the John R. Linn Award, which is given to those who reflect the spirit and commitment of the LawFit Challenge. The team has also created a renewed awareness of the importance of fitness within the department and is encouraging more officers to participate. In June, the team will return to Olive Branch, Miss., to compete in the National LawFit Challenge. So far they have been the only Alabama team to compete but are actively recruiting more agencies from the state to participate. Companies and individuals can sponsor the

Officer Scott Zimmerman spots for Officer Trent Ricketts as he warms up for the bench press competition. Officers Jason Cuccini and Steve Hensley look on. Photo by Sergeant Eric Hampton.

Homewood Police Fitness Team by donating through the Homewood Police Foundation. Donations are tax deductible and will be used to help pay for the officers’ entry fees, uniforms and other expenses involved in representing the City in future competitions. To learn more, contact -Submitted by Homewood Police Department

Sidewalk update By MADOLINE MARKHAM The Homewood City Council has been in the process of fine-tuning details for sidewalk projects in the city. Roseland Drive A new sidewalk of more than 700 square feet on the north side of Roseland Drive was scheduled to be completed by the end of December. The existing curb was brought out, and the sidewalk was placed in the street, rather than in the city’s right of way as originally proposed. In total, the project is estimated to cost $40,000. Street parking was preserved for residents without driveway access, as requested by area residents. In addition, part of the road was narrowed to calm traffic, also a concern of residents. The Council is also considering constructing center islands down on Roseland to further calm traffic and add to its aesthetics “This sidewalk is huge in the linking of Homewood, and this decision was, to date, one of the toughest we have made,” Ward 4 City Council Representative Heather Reid said. “A considerable effort was made to balance the needs of the ward versus the wishes of the

immediately affected residents.” According to Reid and fellow Ward 4 Representative Jenifer Wallis, the sidewalk will be a major connecting point for Edgewood residents to walk to the library and to areas of Mayfair. Mecca Avenue A new sidewalk on Mecca Avenue, a mostly one-way street, will help students who walk from Homewood Middle School to Oxmoor Road. The 646 feet of sidewalk will cost $95,000 for engineering and construction. The project includes building out 4 feet of sidewalk on Mecca and short portions of Highland Road and Peerless Avenue. Mayor Scott McBrayer plans to bid the project to Gresham Smith Partners. Rumson Road In Ward 5, a street survey will be taken to determine the cost of potential sidewalks on Rumson Road, a street where many children play and walk to school. The revised plan would place sidewalks only in the most dangerous section, from Windsor to Yorkshire, and save the rest of the original project, which would cost between $260,000 and $280,000, for the road for future years.

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6 • January 2014

The Homewood Star

2014 Year in preview What to watch for around Homewood this year


Dog Park The new dog park will be located within Red Mountain Park.

(Above) An aerial view of the Community Center toward the end of 2013. Photo courtesy of Aero Photo.

The new Remy’s Dog Park at Red Mountain Park is scheduled to open by January.  At opening date, the park will welcome area dogs with completed fencing and trails. The park will feature three designated areas to accommodate large dogs, small dogs and special needs dogs (elderly, shy, injured or recovering). Drinking water, hoses for on-site baths and other “bells and whistles” will open at

the park later, according to Katie Sullivan, park public relations coordinator. Ken Jackson donated an initial $100,000 from his ‘Mac & Tosh’ Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham to create the park, which is named after his late Jack Russell Shih Tzu mix, Remy. For more, visit

Community Center

Pedestrian Bridge

The new Homewood Community Center could be open for business as early as the first week of April. Rusty Holley of Homewood Parks and Recreation said he hopes to be moved in and settled before We Love Homewood Day, scheduled for the first Saturday in May. Worst-case scenario he sees the center opening in May in time for the pool to open Memorial Day weekend. Holley also said he does not anticipate a

Runners and walkers can look forward to a new route linking Homewood to Mountain Brook. Funding has been secured from both the City of Homewood and the City of Mountain Brook for this year to create a pedestrian bridge on Hollywood Boulevard over U.S. 280. Twenty percent of funding is from the cities, and the other 80 percent from the federal level. As of December, the project was still tied up

break in service between the time the temporary community center facilities close and when the new building opens to area residents. With the contingency cost at approximately $16 million, the facility will feature two fullcourt gymnasiums, a cardio room with more than 4,000 square feet, a pool, a multi purpose room and administrative offices. For more updates on the progress, visit

with the Alabama Department of Transportation on procedural matters, according to City Council member Peter Wright. The cities are both currently working to negotiate the use of property where businesses now stand on the Mountain Brook side and a graveyard is on the Homewood side. The bridge will ultimately be part of a larger trail system that connects with a loop around the Birmingham Zoo.

January 2014

HCS Central Office

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Public Wi-Fi

A rendering of Homewood City Schools’ new Central Office.

The new Homewood City Schools Central Office at the former Magnolia Park Apartments property on Valley Avenue is anticipated to be complete by July 30. The building will be located adjacent to the existing Community Garden so that the main entrance to the building will be a patio or

porch that serves as an entrance to the garden. Other future plans for the property include a greenway along Valley Avenue, a crosscountry course, a 200-meter track, athletic and maintenance storage buildings, parking for baseball fields and tennis courts. As the Central Office looks ahead to future solutions

for school growth, a new school on the property has also been discussed. In addition to Brasfield & Gorrie, William Blackstock Architects, Holcombe Norton Partners landscape architects, LBYD Civil and Structural Engineers and Skipper Consulting are working on the project.

Shades Creek Greenway Phase II

Phase II of the greenway will end at Wildwood.

Construction on a new phase of the Shades Creek Greenway is expected to begin in late 2014, according to Keith Strickland of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood. Phase II runs parallel to Shades Creek north of the existing end point. It will continue under I-65 to the back side of the Jefferson County

Environmental Services Facility. From there, it will travel north and connect with Wildwood parking lots. Once this phase is complete, Phase III will pick up from there. It will cross Lakeshore Parkway in the area behind Lowe’s and extend to West Homewood Park. Phase III will begin

sometime after Phase II is complete. Federal funding will sponsor 80 percent of the project while local funds will cover 20 percent. Ultimately, the completed greenway will allow pedestrians to travel between Brookwood Village and West Homewood Park.

City Council representative Britt Thames tries out the new Wi-Fi service.

Five public locations in Homewod will have a Wi-Fi signal by the year’s end, thanks to funding from the City of Homewood. Wi-Fi at the Senior Center and part of Patriot Park went live in November, and Lee Park, West Homewood Park and Homewood Central Park will also have the service in the coming months. Central Park should go live around the time that the new community center is complete, according to James Yates, head of information technology for the city. All five networks received funding for the 2013-2014 fiscal year from the City Council. The equipment and start-up costs for the first five networks will cost around $16,000, and yearly costs to provide firewalls and content stations will be $1,680 per station. Once the project is completed, the different systems will form a single network so residents can sign in once and move anywhere around the city without losing their connection.

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The Homewood Star

18 Street S.

Homewood Happenings

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January 2014

Now Open Homewood IT, 111 Broadway St., Suite 3, is now open in the space previously occupied by Moxii. The technology consulting firm was founded in 2007. 937-3351.


Planet Smoothie has opened at 1917 Oxmoor Road, Suite 100. The franchise is owned by Todd and Alice Sloan. 803-3883.


Coming Soon Sears Outlet, 277 Lakeshore Parkway, will be opening in January. The store is located in the space formerly occupied by Kid’s Market & Mom, which relocated to Irondale.


DuPont Public House is scheduled to open in early 2014 in the former Lovoy’s location in SoHo, 1830 29th St. South. Chris Dupont, owner of Café Dupont and Mix bakery and café in downtown Birmingham, plans for it to be a casual eatery.


Relocations and Renovations O.M. Hughes Insurance Company has relocated from Montclair Road in Birmingham to its new office at 300 Union Hill Drive, Suite 300. The independent agency has been in business for more than 65 years. 956-4500.


McKinney Capital, a private equity firm, has relocated from Citation Court to 550 Montgomery Highway in Vestavia Hills. 421-0088.


Redstone Church, 600 Montgomery Highway, Suite 208, has relocated from Homewood to the Vestavia City Center. The church is a non-denominational church pastored by Blake Benge. It is located above Newk’s. 422-2376.


News and Accomplishments Johnny’s Restaurant, 2902 18th Street South, Suite 200, is now open for dinner. Nightly specials will be added to its menu of meats and vegetables. New hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 802-2711.


Hirings and Promotions Christopher Architecture & Interiors, 3040 Independence Drive, has hired Brannon Foster, AIA, LEED AP, to join its firm as a project architect. 413-8531.


Anniversaries Christopher Architecture & Interiors, 3040 Independence Drive, is celebrating its eighth anniversary this month. 413-8531.


Business news

Lakeshore Pharmacy, One West Lakeshore Drive, Suite 102, celebrated its 15th anniversary in December. The pharmacy is locally owned by Scherry Bryant, PharmD, and her husband, Robert. 945-8081.


to share? Business news to share? toComing share? Soon Now Open Coming Soon

Coming Soon Expansion Relocation


*sorry no gift wrap during sale*

Anniversary Expansion

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

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

The Homewood Homewood Star Star The

2406 Canterbury road • Mtn. brook Village • 879.2730

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10 • January 2014

The Homewood Star

Business Spotlight 28th Ave S

18 Street S.

Skin Wellness Center





By BRIAN WALLACE Skin reflects the health of your body. It stretches, it sags, it scars. But it also acts as a barrier against injury and bacteria. For centuries the human race has strived to find ways to protect against the elements that affect it. Today, doctors dedicate their profession to just that task, including a newly opened Skin Wellness Center location in Homewood. Founded in 2009 by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Corey Hartman, the practice was originally located on Central Avenue. But with recent growth to his practice, Hartman has moved his state-of-the-art equipment and medically proven skin-care techniques to a bigger, brighter location just behind Alabama Outdoors on Huntington Road. “A big part of what we do is to focus on the patient experience,” office manager Christina Roberts Brown said. “Our bright atmosphere sets a tone for the services we offer.” The aesthetically pleasing design of the building welcomes patients who might be dealing with conditions such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea or skin cancer. “We rely on the highest level of compassionate professionalism and a smooth transition from waiting time to seeing the doctor,” Brown said. “We understand that people’s health and emotional wellbeing depend on a smooth running facility.” In addition to the personal touches, services offered provide the latest skin rejuvenation and anti-aging treatments available. These include

Read past Business Spotlight at

1920 Huntington Road 545-8077 Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 a.m.-noon


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Dr. Corey Hartman has moved his Skin Wellness Center practice to Huntingdon Road behind Alabama Outdoors. Photos by Brian Wallace.

neuromodulators (Botox), dermal fillers, resurfacing treatments, laser therapy, top quality skin care products and laser hair removal. Hartman’s background in psychology and internal medicine provides a wealth of insight into the needs of his dermatology patients. “It takes a lot of years of school and training to reach the level of expertise Hartman has attained

[as a board-certified dermatologist,” Brown said. That means Hartman offers Homewood a service for improving personal appearances as well as disease prevention and therapy that is second to none. And while the staff at Skin Wellness Center would love to see all residents come through their doors, people can do some very basic things to cut down on the number of visits.

“Prevention is the key,” Brown said. “Just washing the daily dirt off of your face every morning and evening gets rid of a lot of disease and bacteria.” Hartman and his staff recommend using sun block regularly, washing with the best skin cleansing products available and ensuring you get regular skin care exams.

January 2014

Demetri’s BBQ

18 Street S.

Restaurant Showcase

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Read past Restaurant Showcases at

Rosedale Dr

280 1901 28th Ave. South 871-1581 Monday-Saturday, 6 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

28 Ave S th


By BRIAN WALLACE For Sam Nakos, there is nothing better than the bond formed by breaking bread with someone. For almost half a century, the Demetri’s BBQ owner and his family have shared their love of conversation and providing stomach-pleasing recipes with customers. Sam’s father, Demetri Nakos, immigrated from Greece to the U.S., where he landed at the Oakland BBQ grill in Ensley. Located in a flourishing steel community in the ’60s, it was really more bar than grill. Demetri was a World War II veteran with a high work ethic and determination to have his own kind of place. “He wanted more grill than bar,” Sam said. “He was a great cook and wanted a family atmosphere.” So after getting some good experience, he moved locations and took over El Rancho BBQ in Homewood. With high visibility located near the old Homewood city hall, he spent the next decade establishing barbecue flavors in the taste buds of local residents. In 1973, he opened Demetri’s BBQ in its current location on 28th Avenue. With his name now entrenched in the area, it was time to make it a family affair. “I was 8 when my dad made me come down and wash dishes,” Sam said. “I certainly paid my dues early.” Watching his dad talk with patrons and treat them like family, he saw the respect they had for him. Today customers still tell Sam about the “Mayberry” feel the restaurant has always had. Sam continues those meaningful relationships

Sam Nakos has worked at his family’s restaurant, Demetri’s Barbecue, practically since it opened in 1973. Photos by Brian Wallace.

with a true concern for their experience in his restaurant. But he also knows that the food has to be great to keep them coming back. Today all kinds of meat — pork, ribs, beef, chicken, turkey, wings — fill out the menu. Sam is always experimenting with breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes and adding new items to the menu. Its menu evolution has reflected society’s diet changes but also his own. “I eat more vegetables now that I am older,” Sam said. “So I am offering more veggies than I ever have.”

The menu now boast a Low Carb Special with chicken served over feta slaw with caramelized onions, but the mainstays will always be available, with one in particular that Sam has eaten for 20 years and never gets tired of. “The grilled chicken sandwich,” Sam said with a smile on his face. “I love that it has taken 25 years to get some of my recipes like that just right. It means I can offer something that was made from skill.” Demetri passed away in 2002, but Sam said the dignity that he established is still a big part

of how people in this area relate to his restaurant. Not only those who come through the door to enjoy things like fried pie with caramel glaze or ribs with all the trimmings. Employees also get a chance to be part of something special. “They not only learn the skills and ethics needed for the restaurant biz and life in general,” Sam said. “But they are family. I would put my waitresses up against anyone’s around and can’t imagine my life without all of them being a big part of what we do here at Demetri’s.”

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12 • January 2014

The Homewood Star


Annual Salamander Festival to take place at Senior Center

A date with Buddy Holly Homewood-based Assistance League of Birmingham will host a date with Buddy Holly on Jan. 25. The night will be one of ’50s fun and includes dinner, drinks, a silent auction and the musical, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story. The fundraiser will benefit the three nonprofit programs of Assistance League: PrimeTime Treasures, Operation School Bell and Operation Literacy. Attendees are invited to wear poodle skirts, leather jackets and bobby socks for the event. The event will be held at the Virginia Samford Theatre at Caldwell Park and begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $100 or $125 for preferred orchestra seating. Call 870-5555 to purchase tickets. To learn more about Assistance League of Birmingham, visit or find them on Facebook.

Colleen Adams and Melinda Thornbury pose with Buddy Holly.

Holmes receives mayor’s proclamation The annual Salamander Festival features a variety of activities for all ages including, of course, salamanders themselves.

Friends of Shades Creek will hold its annual Salamander Festival on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 3-5:30 p.m. at the Homewood Senior Center, located adjacent to Patriot Park in West Homewood. The free event marks the season when salamanders migrate from the mountain of Homewood Forest Preserve by Homewood High School to a wetland pool to find a mate and lay eggs. “If you’re lucky, you might see them do their dance in the wetland pool during the migration,” said Michelle Blackwood, president of Friends of Shades Creek.

University professors will be at the festival to talk and answer questions about salamanders. Educational displays will cover fish, recycling, composting, gardening, fossil tracks, native plants and wildflowers. The festival will also feature music, dancing, a chocolate fountain and other food, and crafts for kids. Festival entry and crafts are free. T-shirts and novelty items will be for sale, and there is a small charge for food at the chocolate fountain. For more information on Friends of Shades Creek, visit

Homewood Mayor Scott McBrayer recently presented to Will Holmes a proclamation in honor of her 101.5 years of age.   Holmes, a resident of Windsor Drive in Homewood for more than 43 years, was presented with the framed proclamation prior to an Amaranth Club luncheon meeting at Homewood Public Library. Holmes is the former director of social work for Children’s Aid and is a graduate of both the University of Chicago and Tulane University. She is a longtime member of the Amaranth Club and is known for her wit, kindness, inspiration and many years of enjoyment in the Club.  Hostesses for the event were Margaret Wiygul, Beth Hardwick, Angela Comfort, Pam Colbert and Jocelyn Bradley. Charles Buchanan, author of Fading Ads of Birmingham, was the speaker, and the event was catered by The Yellow Bicycle.   The Amaranth Club, one of the oldest literary clubs in the area, was founded in 1897 by daughters of many of Birmingham’s pioneer families, and some of their descendants remain among those on the roster.

Scott McBrayer shares the proclamation with Will Holmes in the Homewood Public Library Auditorium.

January 2014 • 13

Put your red shoes on Red Shoe Run

10K, 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run Jan. 11 SoHo Square

Tips for running in cold weather

Ronald McDonald will make an appearance during this year’s race festivities.

By MADOLINE MARKHAM Around 2,000 sets of shoes will hit the streets of Homewood on Jan. 11. Many of them will be red. Previously known as the Red Nose Run, this year’s Red Shoe Run 10 Mile, 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run name fits better with its new sponsor, McDonald’s Restaurant. The red-shoed Ronald McDonald himself will make an appearance, and festivities at SoHo Square and inside Rosewood Hall will include games, face painting and other fun for all ages. Runners are encouraged to wear red shoes to get in the spirit of the event. “A race in January is a great way to

Runners compete in last year’s Red Nose Run in downtown Homewood. Photos courtesy of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama.

start the new year and get back in shape after the holidays,” said Stephanie Langford, special events and marketing manager Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama (RMHCA). “The 10-mile run is a wonderful opportunity for runners who plan to participate in the Mercedes Half Marathon in February.” The race benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. The nonprofit organization provides a safe, affordable, supportive “home-awayfrom-home” for sick or injured children and their families when they travel to Birmingham for medical treatment. It also hosts a place to rest and re-group near DCH Regional Medical Center in

Tuscaloosa. In Alabama, 75 percent of children do not live in a county that offers comprehensive pediatric specialty care, so they must travel to receive needed services. Many come to Children’s of Alabama, the third largest pediatric hospital in the U.S. Families only donate $10-$15 a night for their stay, and it costs RMHCA $65 a night to run each of its 41 rooms. On average, each year, more than 90 percent of the money needed to operate the house is raised through local fundraising efforts and donations, including the Red Shoe Run. For more information on Ronald McDonald House, visit


►► Dress in layers. Start with a thin layer of synthetic material such as polypropylene, which wicks sweat from your body. Stay away from cotton because it holds the moisture and will keep you wet. An outer, breathable layer of nylon or Gore-Tex will help protect you against wind and precipitation. ►► Protect your hands and feet. As much as 30 percent of your body heat escapes through your hands and feet. On mild days, wear running gloves that wick moisture away. Mittens are a better choice on colder days because your fingers will share their body heat. ►► Don’t forget your head. About 40 percent of your body heat is lost through your head. Wearing a hat will help prevent heat loss, so your circulatory system will have more heat to distribute to the rest of the body. ►► Stay hydrated. Despite the cold weather, you’ll still heat up and lose fluids through sweat. Cold air also has a drying effect, which can increase the risk of dehydration. Make sure you drink water or a sports drink before, during and after your run. ►► Take it easy. You’re at greater risk for a pulled muscle when running in the cold, so warm up slowly and run easy on very cold days. Save your tough workouts for milder days or indoors. ►► Remember sunscreen. Sunburn is still possible in the winter because the snow reflects the sun’s rays. Protect your lips with lip balm, too. -Tips adapted from race website

14 • January 2014

The Homewood Star

The Homewood Star


Most Likely to Be Caught Reading The Homewood Star – Dan Starnes

Nominate through Jan. 7 • Vote online Jan. 8-15 Categories: Most Likely to Lend a Helping Hand • Most Community Spirit • Most Charitable • Most Likely to be Seen on the Shades Creek Greenway Most Social • Most Musical • Most Artistic • Best Local Personality • Best Teacher • Best Coach (Youth Leagues) • Best Coach (School) Most Likely to Impact the Community (Elementary Student) • Most Likely to Impact the Community (Middle or High School Student) Best Athlete (Middle or High School Student) • Best Athlete (Youth Leagues) • Mr. Homewood • Ms. Homewood

January 2014 • 15

Survey of students shows alcohol, drug use rates above national average Percentage of Students Reporting Monthly Use by Grade

By SYDNEY CROMWELL Students in Homewood City Schools are using alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs at a higher rate than the national average. Homewood City Schools recently released the results of its 2013 Pride Survey, an anonymous survey of middle and high school students about their use and perceptions of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The Pride Survey is used by schools nationwide and has been considered the official measure of American adolescent drug use since 1998. Homewood’s survey showed that up to 39.6 percent of students are consuming alcohol at least once a month, compared to 35.4 percent on average across the nation. Seventh-graders reported the lowest usage rate, 3.3 percent, and 12th-grade students reported 39.6 percent, the highest rate. Marijuana usage rates remained close to the national average for seventh-, eighth- and 10th-graders, though consumption rates increased with age. Almost 28 percent of Homewood seniors admitted to monthly marijuana usage, which was 5.7 percent higher than the national average. Homewood students’ abuse of prescription drugs was less common than alcohol or marijuana, though still above the national average. 11.8 percent of students in Homewood schools reported using prescription drugs to get high at least once a month, while the national average was 1.1 to 8.1 percent. Rates have declined from 2009,



Prescription Drugs

40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 12th


National Summary





the last time Homewood students were surveyed. The results for other substances, such as tobacco and overthe-counter drugs, have also generally decreased. The Pride Survey also questioned students about parental involvement and their school and community activities. These results were used to determine which factors were most effective in preventing students’ substance abuse. Parental involvement exhibited the strongest relationship with prevention of illicit narcotics use. Of students who said their parents never talked to them about drug use, more than 26 percent used drugs or alcohol on an annual basis. In contrast, only 9.2 percent of children whose parents talked








Data from Homewood City Schools from the Pride Survey and national averages.

about drug use “a lot” also admitted to substance abuse. Setting clear rules about drugs and alcohol makes an even bigger difference. 53.6 percent of students whose parents never set rules reported drug use, while only 13.2 percent of students admitted to drug use when their parents frequently set rules. Other protective factors included attendance at a church or synagogue, making good grades and involvement in school activities. All of these factors showed at least some correlation, with an increase in involvement usually corresponding to a decrease in substance use. Athletic involvement, however, was not a clear indicator of alcohol or drug use; there was no evidence of a trend between frequency of

participation in sports and use of illicit substances. Homewood City Schools have responded to their students’ narcotics use with the creation of the Safe and Healthy Homewood Coalition. The coalition, created in 2012, is intended to bring together leaders from every major section of society — including families, religious organizations, local businesses and the media — in order to create a consistent message against drug and alcohol use. “No one group can help students makes positive choices and reduce drug use by themselves,” said Carissa Anthony, the prevention and development coordinator for Homewood City Schools. “[We hope] kids start getting that message everywhere they go, from

every important person in their lives.” Anthony also said parents should view the survey results as proof of their own importance in preventing drug and alcohol abuse. She hopes this information will push parents to have conversations with their children to dispel myths and set clear boundaries about drugs and alcohol. The survey data showed that repeating these conversations can significantly lower a child’s likelihood to use illicit substances, and Anthony said that setting a caring tone would really drive the message home. “I think that’s a good way to start the conversation: ‘I love you and I want good things for you,’” she said. Anthony also stressed that despite some concerning points in the data, the Pride Survey still showed that most students were making good choices. She said it is important to share this information with students, who frequently believe substance use is more prevalent than in reality. “I think it’s a great idea for parents to have an honest conversation with their kids about the difference between the perception that everybody’s doing it and the reality,” Anthony said. “That’s a really good message for kids to hear.” She also encouraged parents to get support from like-minded parents, monitor changes in their children’s friend groups, be prepared to enforce the rules they have set and model responsible behavior themselves. The complete statistics from the 2013 Pride Survey can be found on the Homewood City Schools website.

16 • January 2014

The Homewood Star

School House HMS Fest features “Algebros” and men in evening gowns

The gift of words

Hall-Kent Elementary third-graders hold up their new dictionaries with representatives from the Homewood Rotary Club.

HMS students and teachers perform in this year’s HMS Fest Showcase Showdown. Photos by Scott Butler.

Inside a packed house, parents, teachers, administrators and friends of Homewood gathered to experience the first-ever HMS Fest at Homewood Middle School recently. The evening kicked off with a spaghetti dinner, and then students and teachers treated the standing-room-only crowd of more than 500 to a showcase of talents. “Our expectations were cautiously optimistic,” said Tracy Thornton, HMS PTO president. “This was a new idea for us, and we just weren’t sure how the students would respond and what sort of engagement we would get from the teachers and parents. I can say our expectations were exceeded on every level.” With a theme of “Keep Calm and Fest On,” the full event featured a mix of components from smoked

meat sales to a cash prize drawing and culminated with the “Showcase Showdown” — a show of entertaining group acts performed by students and a handful of not-so-shy teachers. Acts ranged from dancing to cheerleading to a math rap by a group called the “Algebros.” The Homewood Men Striving for Success group showed their sense of humor with a fashion show that featured five of their members donning evening gowns. The enthusiastic crowd laughed, applauded and showed support by voting for their favorite group with cash donations. All in all, it was an evening of family fun that raised funds to support teacher grants for the school. “Our goal with the Fest was to have a great night that everyone could be a part of while raising important funds

for our school,” Thornton said. Collectively, the Fest raised more than $20,000, which was ahead of projections. “We just couldn’t be more thrilled,” Thornton said. “To see how everyone came together to support our school was overwhelming. And the money is critical. It will allow us to provide technology, such as classroom computer applications, supplemental reading materials and equipment for a variety of subjects, as well as provide a generous donation to our HMS media center that will directly impact our children.” Based on the positive feedback and generous donations from HMS supporters, all indications are this inaugural event will become an annual event. -Submitted by Jen Jackson

Homewood Rotary Club recently delivered donated dictionaries to every third-grader in Homewood City Schools. Rotary members visited classrooms to distribute the dictionaries on behalf of the Rotary Club. They encouraged students

to write their names in their dictionaries to show ownership and emphasized that the dictionaries are the students’ personal possessions. Students are free to take dictionaries home or keep them at school.

A day for vets

Edgewood Elementary School’s second graders recently performed their annual “Salute to Veterans Day” program. Students put on two performances for their classmates and parents.

January 2014 • 17

Sara Hale named Miss Heritage 2014

Miss Heritage finalists were Mackenzie Yelton, Mae Dowda, Miss Heritage Sara Hale, Anna Laws and Annie Livingston.

The Miss Heritage pageant recently was held at a packed Homewood High School auditorium. Sixty-four HHS students from all four grades competed in the scholarship pageant, along with 11 escorts who entertained the audience with an annual dance routine that brought down the house. Sophomore Sarah Hale was crowned Miss Heritage 2014, with Anna Laws being named

Senior Queen, Mackenzie Yelton as Junior Queen, Annie Livingston as Sophomore Queen and Mae Dowda as Freshmen Queen. The pageant host was current Miss Alabama Chandler Champion, with entertainment provided by Miss Tuscaloosa 2014 Cassidy Jacks and HHS’s own musical duo, Uneven Ground. Miss Heritage 2014 was organized by HHS Show Choir teacher Scott Thorne.

Tide or Tigers?

Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

DeLaine Ragland’s third-grade class surveyed the student body about team preferences.

Shades Cahaba students in DeLaine Ragland’s third-grade class decided to celebrate Rivalry Week by surveying the entire student body, faculty, and board of education for their predictions for the 2013 Iron Bowl. Following the morning’s announcements, two students visited each classroom or office to record the predictions. Throughout the day, the students tallied and verified votes, created graphs

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to represent the data and revealed the final results during the afternoon announcements. After all the votes were counted, checked and double checked, the winner was Alabama with 352 votes. Auburn had 242 votes, and 22 people had no opinion. To add a little fun and excitement to the last day before the Thanksgiving break, the students and faculty wore their team colors.

A tradition of window artists

December 2013 marked the 13th year for Shades Cahaba fifth-graders to paint the Christmas windows for Sam’s Super Samwiches. The students enjoyed sharing their art project with the community.

18 • January 2014

The Homewood Star

HISTORY from page 1

(Above) History teacher Jake Collins, left, met his students at Sam’s Super Samwiches one Saturday as a part of their History Hunt. (Right) Kierra Smith, Meg Herndon, Joseph Ingram, Ben Galloway, Caroline McCormick, Max Ross, Ian Meyers, Stanford Massie, Kalell Adamson and Camille Colter pose for what they call an “awkward family photo” at the oldest apartment building in Homewood for a History Hunt assignment. Photos courtesy of Jake Collins.

‘It’s neat to see how students are doing things they like to do but with local history.’ – Jake Collins

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January 2014 • 19

(Above) Atop Red Mountain in the area now below Vulcan, a motor caravan heads south to Montgomery. The original photo was taken around 1910. (Right) At the intersection of 18th Street and Valley Avenue, Camille Colter holds a photo of the Edgewood Electric Railway Track from 1909-1911 while her classmates reenact the laying of the railroad behind her. Photos courtesy of Jake Collins.

for Collins, was once a bar. “I never thought of how before there was I-65 and 280 that downtown Homewood was the only way to downtown Birmingham,” he said. Now the 2001 Homewood High School graduate is sharing his journey through familiar places past and present with his students at Homewood Middle School. Last year a dozen eighth-graders regularly participated in Collins’ Homewood History Hunt. This year, he collected 60 photos in the first nine weeks from just one class. To create the hunt, Collins has pored over the pages of Homewood: The Life of a City by Sheryl Spradling Summe, dug through archival photos and news clippings, and talked with community members who remember the days of Edgewood Lake and streetcars. Every Monday he posts an old photo with clues to find its current location, and students have until the following Monday to find it and take photos of themselves in front of the landmark. The students like to use social media platform Instagram to post their photos, but Collins tells them to keep their accounts set on private

and requires they email him the photo or show it to him in person. Fulfilling the quest earns the students bonus points on their current events quizzes (and an “extra effort cookie” for doing something like talking to the business owner), but the pursuit has turned into more than that. “It’s neat to see how students are doing things they like to do but with local history,” Collins said. He teaches his students about how Edgewood Lake occupied acres where they now play on soccer fields — and left Native American artifacts in its beds once it was drained. But before he opens his mental canon of historical tales, Collins sends students to search for the former sites of Hollywood Country Club, the city hall that was torn down to make way for aloft Hotel, the Edgewood Lake dam, West Oxmoor Furnace and streetcar tracks. Hunt destinations also include buildings that still stand, such as the old Homewood Theatre (now Cahaba Cycles), the area’s seven cemeteries and various historic homes. “I think they like knowing about what was there then,” Collins said. “They like feeling a

part of where they are.” On the week students were assigned to Shades Cahaba School, Amber Robinson’s grandfather, Andrew Tyson, helped her come up with a special photo idea. He had taken a photo of her mother, Jennifer, walking up from the street tunnel under U.S. 31 on her first day of elementary school. Decades later, Tyson came out and took a photo of Amber holding her mom’s photo from that day as a submission for the history hunt. One Saturday last spring, Collins took two students fishing on Shades Creek with the hopes of finding a bridge he saw on a map that led from Oxmoor Road to the back side of the West Oxmoor furnaces that operated in the 1800s. The trio trekked through frigid creek waters and discovered just what they had been looking for. This fall a troop of six history hunters talked to Diana Hansen, owner of White Flowers, the site of the former Dunn’s Pharmacy in downtown Homewood. She was so proud of them for being interested in the history of Homewood that she invited them to her house the next week to give them a tour of her home, the historic Bridges Studio in Edgewood.

That particular group — Maxwell Ross, Camille Colter, Caroline McCormick, Kierra Smith, Meg Herndon and Ben Galloway — gathers every Thursday afternoon in search of that week’s hunt. They try to take a photo with the owner or manager of the location and then pose for what they call an “awkward family photo.” Rashel Post, Maxwell’s mom, accompanies the group on their excursion each week. “I think it’s such a great way to get kids moving and involved,” Post said. “Even though it is in their own backyard, it encourages them to look for history in their world around them. I wish I had a big charter bus to pick up a bunch of kids each week and take them to do it.” Collins has found that even friends he didn’t expect to have any interest are asking about his historical photos. At Open House this fall, parents didn’t want to talk about anything except the History Hunt. For him, though, the biggest mission is sharing the history with the students themselves. “Just like I tell the students they should know whose faces are on their dollar bills, I think it’s important to know what used to be here,” he said.

20 • January 2014

The Homewood Star


Temporary Fitness & Programs Facility 809 Greensprings Highway, Homewood, AL 35209 (Former Jefferson County Satellite Courthouse)

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 camillescruggs@ Location: Temporary Fitness and Programs Facility Days & Times: Tuesday 5:30-6:30pm Thursday 5:30-6:30pm Saturday 9:00-10:00am

Karate Classes are held at the Temporary Fitness and Programs Facility 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

Kindermusik 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. Classes are located to the Homewood Parks Temporary Fitness and Programs Facility. You can enroll for classes at anytime! For more information call or email Kelly at: 205-552-6129 (or)

Belly Dancing with Aziza Class Location: Temporary Fitness and Programs Facility 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 7:00-8:30pm. Beginners start with the basic steps, isolations and shimmies and progress to the intermediate class where you will learn to put the dance together with more advanced steps and combinations plus dancing with the veil; advanced classes include performing with zills, cane, veil with more advanced and longer performances. The classes are for anyone who wants to dance for fun and fitness, as well as those who wish to perform. Aziza has trained dancers to perform for many events in the Southeastern area in addition to dancers who perform regularly at Ali Baba Persian Restaurant in Hoover.


Young Rembrandts Draw amazing things with Young Rembrandts! We believe that drawing is a skill that can, and should be learned by all children. 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. Classes have relocated to Homewood Parks Temporary Fitness and Programs Facility. Please contact Chris Roberson at (205) 943-1923 for more information and to register or visit www. to enroll anytime.

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 intertrain 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 high-energy chess classes are developmentally and cleverly targeted directly at the kindergarten through 7th-grade set! Come join the fun as kids learn to love learning, learn that they are unspeakably smart, and learn how to absolutely cream their parents in chess! The Knight School is not just this year’s and last year’s and the year before’s Alabama State Chess Champions for both K-3 and 4-6; we are also the most compelling, kid-centered chess party in America. Learn more and sign up for our school chess team at or call and chat with Dr. Brooks at (205) 746-4952.

Children’s Ballet with Claire Goodhew Your child can be a fairy, a princess or a butterfly while keeping ballet traditions alive and having fun with classical music. The beginning ballet moves taught are the important foundation for many types of dance. The French names for steps will be introduced. Students will work on coordination, balance, rhythm and flexibility while developing listening skills and strengthening muscles. The environment provided is a happy and age appropriate one. Claire has been teaching ballet since starting as a teenager in Montgomery. Then, after moving to Birmingham, she started teaching with Birmingham Ballet. She has taught preschoolers in Mother’s Day Out and Day Care as well. Girls may wear any color leotard and tights for class, with pink ballet shoes. Classes meet once a week on Monday. Times & Location: Monday 3:45pm-4:30pm / Homewood Parks Temporary Fitness and Programs Facility Please contact Claire to enroll or for additional Information: (205) 879-8780

Homewood Senior Center Gentle Adult Yoga with Jean Campbell

A stressful lifestyle is one of the biggest health challenges of modern society. Although we may not be able to control the circumstances of our environment, we can manage our reactions to them. Exercises, guided breathing practices and maintaining a positive perspective are tools that can help us keep calm and even when life gives us a lot to deal with. Yoga can help develop those tools. Join Jean Marie Campbell for an hour of gentle hatha yoga designed for both beginner and intermediate level students. Classes will begin with a quiet time for centering. After settling in, students will be guided through yoga poses, or asanas, that help keep the spine healthy. Flexibility and strengthening work will be a part of the practice and classes will finish up with time for guided relaxation and focused breathing. Wednesday’s 6pm-7pm at Homewood Senior Center A block of 6 classes can be purchased for $60. Drop-in fee is $13.

Detriot Urban Ballroom Dance Class When: Wednesdays’, Beginning January 8th – 1:00pm Costs: Free Instructor: Lou Lucas Information: Mr. Lucas represents a dance social organization called the Magic City Ballers.

Athletics Homewood Girl’s Softball Homewood Parks and Recreation offers Girls Softball. Games are played during the months of March thru May with All-star play in the month of June. Registration: Begins: January 20, 2014 Online Registration is available at Program Fee: $60 Homewood Residents $80 Non Residents Jakob Stephens – 332-6709 (or)

Homewood Soccer Club Homewood Soccer Club is dedicated to creating a balanced youth soccer program for residents of Homewood and is also open to others with payment of a non-resident fee. There are four levels of play in the Homewood Soccer Club program: Patriots: For age groups U-4 through U-8. Players play once a week with a practice followed by a game. U-8 players have a one time a week practice and play a game on Saturday each week. For all Patriot ages it is an intramural program without any travel. Red Teams: Recreational teams for ages U-9 and up. Generally Homewood Soccer fields red teams up to U-14. Teams practice twice a week and play one game a week. Recreational teams are focused on maintaining a balance of player development, playing with friends, having fun, and a lower level of serious commitment. Teams play 4 home games and 4 games at other clubs in the Birmingham area. White Teams: Recreational Plus for ages U-9 -U-11. Blue Teams: For ages U-11 through U-18. Blue Teams are select teams, put together through competitive try outs. The teams play in the competitive AYSA State League. Games are played state wide, although most are in the Birmingham area. The required level of commitment is high and there are additional costs above those of Red Teams. Detail information about all levels of play, including deadlines, fees and Club philosophy is available on our web site at www.HomewoodSoccer. com , or call The Soccer Office at 205-874-9182.

Homewood Patriot Youth Baseball League HPYBL is a youth recreational baseball league for the citizens of Homewood, as well as, surrounding communities. Please visit our website for more information about the upcoming Spring Season:

January 2014 • 21


Freedom wins State Cup

HMS players named All Metro South

Four Homewood Middle School volleyball players were named All Metro South Players for the 2013 season: Ellie Burkhalter (eighth), Audrey Nabors (seventh), Amelia Davis (seventh) and Taylor Gurram (eighth). Photo courtesy of Lisa Vickery.

Joy League baseball registration set to open Front row: Harrison Wingo, Kalell Adamson, Sam Tucker, Hunter Antonio, Ben Guerrera, Joel Eidson, Connor Smith and Matthew Gadilhe. Back row: Will Mistrot, Lucas Lamb, Jake Henderson, Bradley Taylor, Oliver Walton, Joshua Dale, Ian Myers, Thomas Payne, Will Simmons and Coach Greg Bassett.

Homewood Soccer Club’s U14 soccer team, Homewood 00 Freedom, won the State Cup in November.  The team, coached by Greg Bassett, competed in the preliminaries held in Decatur and advanced to State by defeating Trussville United Fire and ACSC 00 Fire from Alabaster and then tying with the USC Elite team from Huntsville.  In the State Cup in Montgomery, Homewood beat

Huntsville FC in the semifinals and advanced to the finals and won the championship by defeating the USC Elite team. Homewood 00 Freedom will represent the state of Alabama at the President’s Cup regional tournament in June.  -Submitted by Cindy Wingo

Homewood Joy League Baseball begins registering boys and girls for its 57th consecutive season of daytime baseball on Saturday, Feb. 1. Registration continues each Saturday in February from 9 a.m.-noon at Edgewood Elementary School, 901 College Avenue. League games are played on Saturday mornings from March 29 to June 28, followed by a watermelon picnic, and each team practices one hour a week. Boys and girls ages 4-12 are eligible to play. The cost per player is only $30. Now serving its third generation of players, the Joy League has been an important part of youth life in Homewood since 1958 when the league was

founded by the late John J. Smith Sr. Smith, an attorney, was serving as the league’s commissioner emeritus at the time of his death in 2008 at the age of 96. “We have always lived by the motto, ‘There are no bench warmers in the Joy League,’” Commissioner Perry Akins said. “Every player gets to play in every game. We want the players to have fun and learn the great game of baseball.” Last year more than 200 boys and girls played in the league. Akins (823-4929) and Ted Hagler (985-9608) direct Joy League play as commissioners. -Submitted by Bill Hutto

22 • January 2014

The Homewood Star

Calendar Homewood Events Dec. 26-Jan. 10: Christmas Tree Recycling. Drop off trees at 189 Citation Court off West Oxmoor Road. Jan. 1: Rose Parade. 10 a.m. The Homewood High School Band will march. Broadcast on HGTV, ABC, Hallmark, NBC, RDF TV and KTLA. Jan. 5: The Bridal Market. 1-4 p.m. Rosewood Hall. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Visit Jan. 10-12: Pioneer Classic. Lakeshore Foundation. This annual wheelchair basketball tournament welcomes men’s, women’s and youth divisions from the National Wheelchair

Basketball Association. Twenty teams or more from across the country will compete. Free and open to the public. Visit Jan. 11: Red Shoe Run. SoHo Square. 10-Mile, 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run. Benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. Visit Jan. 12: Collaborative Concert Series featuring Birmingham Boys Choir and Patty McDonald. 4 p.m. Brock Recital Hall, Samford University. $10. Visit or call 7679219.

Jan. 14: Edgewood Night Out. 3 p.m.-close of business. Eat at any businesses in Edgewood, and 10 percent of all sales will be donated to Edgewood Elementary.

Jan. 18: Alabama Dance Festival New Works Concert. 8 p.m. Samford University Wright Center. Visit Jan. 19: Friends of Red Mountain Park History Hike Series. 2 p.m. Red Mountain Park. Explore the mountain’s Redding Mine and Morris Mines. Visit

Jan. 15: Coffee with a Cop. 7-9 a.m. Homewood Diner, 162 Oxmoor Road. The program provides an opportunity for citizens to get to know Homewood police officers.

Jan. 21: State of the City Luncheon. 11:30 a.m. The Club. Mayor Scott McBrayer will speak. City employee, fire fighter and police officer of the year awards will be given. Visit

Jan. 17: Koresh Dance Company. 8 p.m. Samford University Wright Center. Visit wrightcenter.

Jan. 24, 26: Rigoletto presented by Opera Birmingham. Friday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2:30 p.m. Samford University Wright Center. Visit wrightcenter. Jan. 25: Salamander Festival. 3-5 p.m. Homewood Senior Center. Educational displays, music, dancing, food and crafts. Visit Jan. 31-Feb. 2: Demolition Derby. Lakeshore Foundation. Wheelchair rugby teams from across the country, including the Lakeshore Demolition team, will compete. Free and open to the public. Visit

Homewood Public Library Events Adults

Jan. 3: Seeing Into 2014: Top 10 Eye Issues for Seniors with Dr. Sara Mullins. Noon. Large Auditorium. Jan. 9: Feng Shui for Life with Katie Rogers: Organize & De-clutter Your Home. 6:30 p.m. Large Auditorium. Jan. 10: Seeing Into 2014: Cataract Symptoms & Treatment with Dr. Sara Mullins. Noon. Large Auditorium. Jan. 13: Resolutions to Revolutions with Dr. Krystal. 6:45 p.m. Large Auditorium.

Jan. 14: Oxmoor Page Turner’s Book Club. 6:30 p.m. Lucretia M. Somers Boardroom. Explore Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone. Jan. 17: Seeing Into 2014: Laser Cataract Surgery with Dr. Priscilla Fowler. Noon. Large Auditorium. Jan. 21: The A, B, C’s of Medicare. Noon & 6 p.m. Room 116, Lower Level. Jan. 23: Author Andrea Mathews on Why the Law of Attraction is Not Working. 6:30 p.m. Large Auditorium. A book signing will follow.


Jan. 24: Seeing Into 2014: Dry Eyes with Dr. Priscilla Fowler. Noon. Large Auditorium.

Jan. 11 & 23: Say Hola to Spanish. 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Thursday. Language learning story time.


Jan. 28: Small Business Seminar: Building a Marketing Plan. 11:30 a.m. Large Auditorium. Hosted by First Partners Bank, Homewood Chamber of Commerce and the library. Free. Make reservations by Jan. 17 for a complimentary lunch. Email Leslie West at or call 332-6620. Jan. 29: The Better Than Therapy Book Club. 2 p.m. Lucretia M. Somers Boardroom. Discussing Life after Life by Jill McCorkle.

Story Time. 10:30 a.m. All ages are welcome.

Jan. 16: Family Night Event. 6:15 p.m. Ages 5 and older. Come celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Wednesdays Story Time. 10:30 a.m. All ages are welcome. Thursdays Mommy & Me. 10:30 a.m. This is a story time for younger patrons and their guest. Jan. 6 & 27: Monday Movie. 3:30 p.m. Full-length children’s movie and hot popcorn!

Jan. 25: Cereal & Cartoons. 10:30 a.m.-noon. Dry cereal only served until 10:45 a.m.


Jan. 15: Teen Movie & Pizza Party. 3:30 p.m. Large Auditorium. Wednesday, January 15, at 3:30 p.m. in the Large Auditorium. Pizza, the movie and special Twilight trivia.


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3439 Colonnade Pkwy, Suite 400 977-9306

20% Off

50 % Off Fall/Winter Items Monkee’s of Mountain Brook 2006 Cahaba Road English Village 783-1240

Two Free Weeks of Personal Training with Purchase of Initial Program

January 10-18

The Cook Store

2841 Cahaba Road Mountain Brook 879-5277

Winter Clearance Sale Up to 50% Off Mid-January

The Fitness Center

Mobley and Sons

3900 Montclair Road Suite 210 Mountain Brook 870-1121

112 Euclid Ave. Mountain Brook 870-7929

50% Off Mircodermabrasion

20% Off Store Wide, Lamps up to 30% Off

*New patients only

Cahaba Dermatology & Skin Health Center 2290 Valleydale Road Suite 204 Hoover 214-7546

25-50% Off Everything in the Store January 6-10

Marguerite’s Conceits 2406 Canterbury Road Mountain Brook 879-2730

January 11-18

Briarcliff Shop

1829 29th Ave. South Homewood 870-8110

Up to 50% Off Select Items Laura Kathryn

61 Church Street Crestline Village 870-5683

Contact stores for exclusions and other details.


Save the Date Feb. 20: 12th Annual Taste of Homewood. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Rosewood Hall, SoHo. $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Visit

HHS Athletics Jan. Jan. Jan. Jan. Jan. Jan. Jan. Jan. Jan. Jan.

7: Girls Basketball vs. Briarwood. 6 p.m. 7: Boys Basketball vs. Briarwood. JV 4:30 p.m., Ninth 6 p.m., Varsity 7:30 p.m. 14: Girls Basketball vs. John Carroll. 6 p.m. 14: Boys Basketball vs. John Carroll. JV 4:30 p.m., Ninth 6 p.m., Varsity 7:30 p.m. 21: Girls Basketball vs. Ramsay. 6 p.m. 21: Boys Basketball vs. Ramsay. JV 4:30 p.m., Ninth 6 p.m., Varsity 7:30 p.m. 25: Girls Basketball vs. Holy Family. 1 p.m. 25: Boys Basketball vs. Bob Jones. JV 2 p.m., Varsity 4 p.m. 28: Girls Basketball vs. Leeds. 6 p.m. 28: Boys Basketball vs. Leeds. JV 4:30 p.m., Ninth 6 p.m., Varsity 7:30 p.m.

Area Events Jan. 10-12: Memphis the Musical. BJCC. $20-65. Visit Jan. 11: Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Walk. 10 a.m. registration, noon walk. Railroad Park. Visit Jan. 11: C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. 4 p.m., 8 p.m. Alabama Theatre. In this Dantesque celestial journey from Hell to Paradise, Lewis draws some of the most fiercely funny characters he ever created. Visit or Jan. 12: Southern Bridal Show. Noon-5 p.m. BJCC. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Call 1-800-523-8917 or visit eliteevents. com. Jan. 15-16: Welcome to Mitford. Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. Shelby

County High School Auditorium. Play based on Jan Karon’s Mitford novels. $10. Visit or call 669-0044. Jan. 16-19: Birmingham Boat Show. BJCC. $10 adults, free for children. Visit Jan. 18: An Evening with Bill Cosby. 8 p.m. BJCC. $33-65. Visit Jan. 19: Reflect & Rejoice: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 3 p.m. UAB’s Alys Stephens Center. ASO Assistant Conductor Roderick Cox leads the orchestra and The Aeolians in this annual tribute to the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visit Jan. 22-23: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Various times. BJCC. $16-76. Visit

2014 Homewood Chamber of Commerce

The best food and beverages Homewood has to offer. Thursday, February 20, 2014 Rosewood Hall at SoHo 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm (205) 871-5631

Title Sponsor

The Homewood Star

January 2014 • 23

Opinion Ordinary Days By Lauren Denton

Thanks for nothing, Barbie Barbie has taken over my fourbut it still broke my heart a little bit. year-old daughter Kate’s life. Well, To that end, I am trying hard to maybe it’s not that drastic, but it’s eliminate the word “pretty” from my vocabulary. I don’t mean that I never hard to ignore the perky, plastic dolls that have taken up residence tell her she looks pretty because I do. in our house over the last year. I did I think every little girl wants to hear that her parents think she’s lovely and all I could to hold them off as long as possible, but she’s a girl and it beautiful. But I’m using my mental seems young girls love Barbies, as thesaurus to replace “pretty” with they have for decades. other, more important, descriptions. What really turned her on to I’m telling her she’s creative, that Denton she works hard, that she’s deterthem was a long trip to Mobile with me to see family. At my parents’ house, mined and helpful and strong. My hope is to my mom and I decided to pull out my old Bar- show her that there’s much more to being a girl bies for Kate to play with, and she was smitten. than just being pretty, regardless of how Barbie I didn’t mind so much because these Barbies or the Disney princesses look. I remind her often of the 1980s were pretty tame. Sure, they had that what makes someone beautiful isn’t what a rather womanly shape, but they wore mostly she looks like, but how kind and considerate modest, tasteful clothes and minimal makeup. and brave she is. Fast forward to the Barbies of now, and it’s Cutting out the word “pretty” won’t change a big, scandalous change. I won’t go into my the world, but I hope it makes a difference in tirade against Mattel (I can get a bit riled up our house. Kate recently had a bad night where about it!), but suffice it to say, many of the dolls she woke up often and didn’t want to stay in and toys popular with little girls do nothing her bed. After sitting with her and making sure to emphasize the importance of inner beauty. nothing was wrong, I told her she needed to be Instead, they offer a version of outward beauty a big girl and try to go to sleep. She didn’t call that most people will never attain, much less the out to me again until the morning. When I went kids in their target age range. in to get her, she said with a big smile, “I was To be fair, it’s not Mattel’s job to teach my a big, strong, brave girl!” If only she can hang children about inner beauty — that’s my job. But on to that picture of herself to drown out all the I realized recently that Kate is taking in more of other voices that will try to tell her otherwise. what these toy companies teach her about beauty Obviously, I think my daughters are both than what I do. And it scares me. For her, the beautiful, but I’d rather them be “big, strong, idea of “pretty” is tied to flowing hair, beautiful brave” girls every day of their life than put too dresses, permanent smiles and perpetual happi- much stock into our culture’s impossible verness. I even heard the words, “Will you dress sion of beauty. me up so I’ll be pretty?” come out of her mouth Lauren can be reached at LaurenKDenton@ a few days ago. I know it was innocent, I know it’s not the same thing as a 13 year old saying it,

24 • January 2014







The Homewood Star






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The Homewood Star vol 3 iss 10 january 2014