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June 2013

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The Homewood Star Volume 3 | Issue 3 | June 2013

Wedding Trends

neighborly news & entertainment for Homewood

More than a bump on the head Appearing normal from the outside, area students suffer severe, long-lasting effects of mild traumatic brain injury

Explore the latest trends in local as descibed by area vendors weddings inside this issue.

Special page 10

From the pit

Did you know the name Saw’s BBQ is an acronym - and not just the BBQ? Find out what it stands for inside.

Food page 8

INSIDE Sponsors ................. 2 City ........................... 3 Business .................. 6 Food ......................... 8 Community ............. 14 School House ......... 21 Sports ...................... 24 Calendar ................. 26 Opinion .................... 27

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

Hall-Kent Elementary student Will Stephan spends much of his time watching and painting birds during his long-term recovery from a mild traumatic brain injury. Photo by Madoline Markham.

By MADOLINE MARKHAM On Feb. 10, Will Stephan hit his head on the concrete floor during a basketball game. His mom, Marjorie Davis-Trimm, didn’t think much of it. Will got up and walked off the court, and the final three minutes of the fourth-grade Over the Mountain game proceeded. But in the days to follow, Will, a rising fifth grader at Hall-Kent Elementary, was more tired than normal. Then his speech started to slur. He was confused. He couldn’t remember anything. When getting out of the car, he forgot to unbuckle his seatbelt. He tried to throw away dishes instead of putting them in the dishwasher. Will was diagnosed with a concussion, a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that changes the way the brain normally works. Three months later, he was still not able to attend school. He looked fine on the outside, but he was constantly tired and had a headache. The effects of traumatic brain injury

are far-reaching, affecting thinking, sensation, language and emotions. Resting is critical because brain injury depletes brain energy. If a student is studying a lot, the brain has less energy to repair itself. As a part of his brain rest, Will is not permitted to watch TV, play computer or video games, read, listen to music or be in bright light. Many of his days are passed lying on the couch, playing with clay or bird watching. He grows faint after going somewhere for more than 30 minutes, and he always wears sunglasses due to his light sensitivity. His energy might surge, but it dies away after a few days. In the classroom, traumatic brain injury might manifest itself in complications with memory, new learning, attention and processing speed, as well as a decreased frustration tolerance. Increasing incidents of injury Will and his family are not alone.

See CONCUSSION | page 25

Local Concussion Incidents* Prior to 2010: around 25 2010-11: 60 2011-12: 340 *New concussion cases seen by the concussion clinic at UAB Sports Medicine at Children’s of Alabama

National Brain Injury Incidents** 62% 71% 71% Falls

Increase in emergency departments visits for sports-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI) among children and adolescents Sports-related TBI emergency department visits that were males Sports-related TBI emergency department visits that were ages 10-19 Cause half of traumatic brain injuries in ages 0-14

**Data from the Centers for Disease Control from 2001-2009

2 • June 2013

The Homewood Star

About Us Photo of the Month

Please Support our Sponsors AccelAbility Physical Therapy (14) Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (12, 15) Alabama Power (22) Always There, Inc. (19) Birmingham Speech and Hearing Associates (17) Bromberg & Company, Inc. (10) Brookdale Place (11) California Closets (17) Children’s Dance Foundation (23)

The Homewood Chamber of Commerce awarded its Excellence in Education awards to one student from each school at its May luncheon. Winners are pictured in front: Paul Condon, Edgewood Elementary; Griffin Vail, Shades Cahaba Elementary; Kathryne Sides, Hall-Kent Elementary; Rebecca Riley, Homewood High; and William Smith; Homewood Middle. Pictured in the back row are guest Mike Royer of NBC 13, Chamber President Steve Preston, City Council President Bruce Limbaugh and HCS Superintendent Bill Cleveland.

Children’s of Alabama (7) D1 Sports (13) Defining Home (14) Dominique V. Backus, D.D.S (4)

Publisher’s Note By Dan Starnes

Summer’s here Summer has arrived, kids are out of school, and it is time to make plans to keep them occupied. Look no further than the pages ahead for new ideas. You’ll find information on a play featuring H o m e w o o d students (p. 14), improv classes (p. 7), and a whole list of places to go in the surrounding area, courtesy of a Homewood mom who’s tried them all (p. 12). As your family plays around the streets of Homewood and beyond, make sure to capture the fun on camera and send your pictures to us for our Summer Photo Fun Contest. We’ll be collecting submissions through Aug. 1. With all that fun, there’s no doubt

soon mom will need a break. Here’s an idea: she can relax at Escape Day Spa while the family dines at Saw’s BBQ. Check out the articles on both of these Edgewood businesses inside. As I perused this issue, I was reminded of how great it is that Homewood residents are actively involved in the community. In response to citizens’ interests, we have decided to run quarterly ward updates from city council representatives. See the first installment on page 4. Lastly, as we continue to work closely with our school system, I’m constantly reminded what an educated community this is. The Chamber’s Excellence in Education luncheon last month highlighted some of our school

system’s many bright and talented students. Their picture is at the top of this page, and you can see a full report on their accomplishments at Speaking of education, I need to give a shout out to my wife, Dr. Alison Grizzle. Last month she was named Alabama’s Teacher of the Year. She is a Homewood High graduate and the reason this paper was started. Give her a high five if you see her around. I hope that everyone has a great beginning to the summer. Have fun, stay safe and stay informed!

Fair Haven Retirement Community (15) First Lenders Mortgage Corp (21) Harmony Landing (6) Homewood Antiques and Marketplace (13) Homewood Chamber of Commerce (16) Homewood Family and Cosmetic Dentistry (8) Homewood Parks and Rec (20) Jacqueline DeMarco (11) Jo Jo’s Diner on Broadway (11) LAH Real Estate (24) Little Hardware (18) Mobley & Sons (23) Mosquito Squad of Birmingham (9) Oxmoor Valley Orthodontics (6) Plastic Surgery Specialists (25) RealtySouth Marketing (3)

The Homewood Star

neighborly news & entertainment for Homewood

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

Dan Starnes Keith McCoy Madoline Markham Jeff Thompson Matthew Allen Rhonda Smith Warren Caldwell Keith Richardson Contributing Writers : Lauren Denton Merrick Wilson Mollie Bartholemew Megan Smith Nathan Kelly Interns : Caroline Drew Will Hightower Chandler Jones Published by : 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

Regency Retirement Village (16) Renaissance Consignment and Marketplace (10) Rosenberger’s Birmingham Trunk (25) Salem’s Diner (18) Sew Sheri Designs (4) Skin Wellness Center of Alabama (9)

For advertising contact:

Sunny’s Package Store (18)

Legals: The Homewood Star is published monthly. Reproduction or use

The Altamont School (21)

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.

Please recycle this paper

The Center For Executive Leadership (28) The Wade Team (12) Trinity Medical Center (5)

June 2013

City Mayor’s Minute Dear friends and neighbors, A few weeks ago we honored our Homewood Police Department at its Annual Awards Banquet. It’s a very nice way to set aside one night to recognize the efforts of the men and women of the Police Department. In my comments to them, I thanked them for doing their job and then talked about how so many in Homewood lead a quiet life of service. Not all of our employees have big titles or appear on television during the news. They are not well known or easily recognizable. However, their importance to our city is just as great, and their contributions each and every day are beneficial to all of us in Homewood. When we think of police officers and fire fighters, most likely we envision a certain image like a policeman pulling a car over and our firemen fighting a house fire. However, I think of all the times I see them going about a quiet life of service, holding the hand of someone who has been in an accident, looking for a lost person or helping a visitor with directions. All of our employees in the city do things every day that most likely will never make the news. Fleet Maintenance ensures our vehicles are safe, Street and Sanitation comes rain or shine to collect our trash and garbage, our city courts uphold our laws, and our staff at the library assists children and adults every day. Many of you do the same things in your life. You might be a nurse who holds a

patient’s hand before surgery, you might be a minister who prepares your sermon and visits the sick, you might be a teacher sitting with our children and teaching them to count, or you might be a mom or dad attending another event involving your child. Either way, it’s the small things added together that make Homewood home. It has been said that when people are serving, life is no longer meaningless. I appreciate all the small acts of kindness that each of you share every day with someone. I am grateful we have employees, residents and business owners who instinctively do the right thing and go about their day leading a quiet life of service. The Bible says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.” Thank you for loving to serve and thank you for allowing me to play a small part as your mayor. With kindest regards I remain Sincerely,       Scott McBrayer Mayor City of Homewood

Police Department awards officers

During the Homewood Police Department Awards Ceremony in May, Homewood Chief of Police Jim Roberson awarded the Citizen Commendation Award to Benjamin Marshall. Roberson commended Marshall’s efforts during an incident in November 2012 when Marshall assisted police in capturing a suspect in a store robbery. Photo by Jeff Thompson.

Residents report on city meetings on ‘Homewood at Large’ By MADOLINE MARKHAM With changes in the local news landscape, Homewood resident Liz Ellaby saw a hole in coverage of Homewood’s city government. “We needed something because city meeting minutes were not getting posted for a really long time, and there was no way of checking to see what happened,” she said. “People didn’t know that an issue was in the works when it was.” Last fall around the time of city elections Ellaby, a former reporter for The Birmingham News, and several other residents decided to try reporting on city meetings themselves and record what happened online. By November the first homewoodatlarge. post went public. Since then a group of residents has attended every major

city meeting, about five a month, and posted notes from it on the site. “It’s going well, but it’s hard to get enough people lined up especially early in the month,” Ellaby said. The job is not a simple one, according to Ellaby, especially when they try to get their records posted the night of the meeting. “My biggest concern is that we get things right, and with the council that is very difficult because issues come in and out of committee,” she said. “There are lots of meetings and minutes, so we need more people.” Ellaby said they are looking for a pool of volunteers to report on meetings. To learn more or get involved, contact Ellaby at or 617-3275.

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4 • June 2013

The Homewood Star

City Ward Updates Ward 1

Ward Representatives Michael Hallman, 545-3226 Britt Thames, 948-6789 Ward 1 will see new sidewalks in the near future. The current sidewalk on Peerless Avenue will soon be connected to a new sidewalk on Highland Road that will adjoin another new section on Mecca Avenue. This will continue to Homewood Middle School. Students will now be able to walk all the way from Oxmoor Road to the school via a sidewalk. In addition, progress continues on the new Rec Center. Grading is near completion, and foundations are being poured. You can follow the progress on Homewood Park and Rec website, Also, please welcome Octane Coffee to the Ward on Central Avenue. Finally, the Farmer’s Market will be in the SoHo parking lot now through August.

Legend Homewood City Limits 2010 Council Wards


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Ward 2 Ward Representatives Fred Hawkins, 365-2866

Vance Moody, 945-8357

Ward 3 Ward Representatives Patrick McClusky, 746-4695

Walter Jones, 910-8501

Ward 4 Ward Representatives

Heather Reid, 368-4346 Jenifer Champ-Wallis, 515-7647

Ward 5 Ward Representatives

Richard Laws, 410-2765 Peter Wright,, 930-5304

June 2013 The City has finalized the purchase of the property on the corner of Oxmoor Road and Oak Grove Road. We are currently seeking proposals for development that will be consistent with the proposed new form-based zoning for the area. The zoning itself is currently under review by the Planning Commission; it

was presented by the Regional Planning Commission at the Planning Commision meeting in early May. Big #1 Yamaha has opened at the corner of Oxmoor Road and Cobb in the old Lumber Liquidators facility. We are also finalizing design and getting bids for the sidewalk on Kent Lane/Grove Street.

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Each quarter, The Homewood Star will bring you updates from City Council representatives from each Ward of the City of Homewood. Have a question you want answered by a representative in an upcoming issue? Email it to editor@

We have many exciting things happening in Ward 3! Our main project has been sidewalk construction. We have constructed more than 4,100 feet of sidewalk throughout the ward over the last six to nine months. These streets include three sections of Morris Boulevard, two sections of Sterrett Avenue, Hambaugh Avenue and Carr Avenue. Our goal is to provide connectivity throughout the City to access schools, parks, business districts, the Greenway trail, and other connectors and sidewalks. There are other streets in which we are looking to add sidewalks, including Woodland Drive.

We both strongly believe that while it’s only concrete, sidewalks do build neighborhoods, increase property values and provide a tighter knit community. We will continue to listen to constituents on suggestions for new sidewalks and repairs to existing sidewalks. Patrick McClusky serves as Chair of the Public Safety Committee and Walter Jones serves as Chair of the Finance Committee, so as your representatives, we are always open to ideas that come from the Ward. Through our involvement in these committees, we are both looking into a

comprehensive city-wide traffic plan. We believe this plan will help move people more efficiently through the city and prevent cut-through traffic in the neighborhoods. Another exciting project we are reviewing is the proposed Broadway Park at the corner of Carr Avenue and Broadway. This is something many people within the city are reviewing in terms of feasibility and how best to structure this for the Ward. We appreciate all the feedback from Friends of Broadway Park and others and will continue to look for more green space within our Ward.

It is a great time to be a resident in Ward 4! As this article is being written, we are preparing to meet and interview eight applicants for the Ward 4 Board of Education seat, coming open in June. We are grateful that so many people in our Ward have concern for Homewood’s schools and desire to give their time to serve them. We recognize the importance of this process and that the school board appointment will impact the lives of each student, teacher, administrator and parent in the Homewood City Schools. On that note, we would like to express our sincere thanks to Scott Williams, who faithfully served two terms on the Board of Education. This

years of service are greatly appreciated. Another exciting development in Ward 4 is the rebirth of the Homewood Arts Council. Ward 4 members Jennifer Warren and Diane Litsey, along with Ward 2 member Caroline Hubbard and Council Liason Jenifer Wallis have resurrected the Arts Council and have big plans to enhance Homewood’s arts culture, including a coffee house concert series to begin this summer. You never know who you might see performing – rumor has it Ward 4’s own talented Councilwoman Heather Reid will be one of the performers. You can find ways to become involved with the Arts Council or just keep

up with its happenings by visiting its Facebook page, Also exciting for Ward 4 is the ongoing sidewalk discussion. We are slated to build additional sidewalks city-wide this year and are looking to build in those areas that will have the greatest impact in our Ward, specifically Roseland Drive and parts of Saulter Road. Finally, we have (hopefully) enhanced the walkability and safety in our ward by addimg pedestrian crosswalks and traffic signage. We love hearing from you so please feel free to email us with your thoughts!

The most exciting thing on the horizon is our proposed pedestrian bridge at Hollywood Boulevard over U.S. 280. Representative Paul DeMarco is heading up this task, and we remain hopeful we could receive tentative funding for this project this year. It would be a huge asset for our community to link Mountain Brook Village with Homewood and our Hollywood neighborhood in particular. New sidewalks would be added alongside the cemetery

and into the Hollywood neighborhood to connect the bridge with the neighborhood. Speaking of sidewalks, we’re also hoping to have a new sidewalk all the way down Rumson Road to the Shades Valley YMCA entrance. That should help beautify that street and act as a trafficcalming measure. We’ll continue to finish up work on various repairs to existing sidewalks in Ward 5 as well.

And lastly, our new Target adjacent to Brookwood Mall is an asset for our city and an incredible benefit for our Ward 5 residents who live just across the street from the new retail center. It has changed lives in averting long journeys to other parts of town to retrieve those items offered at Target. At least we know it has changed life in our household, and we’re sure the same holds true for many others.

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The Homewood Star

Business Spotlight

Read past Business Spotlight at

100 Broadway Street 414-6062 Monday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Escape Day Spa By MEGAN SMITH Escape Day Spa is located on the trafficheavy corner of Broadway Street and Oxmoor Road, but it’s interior boasts a serene contrast. Guests are greeted by soft green walls and cream molding, dim lighting, candles and decorative lamps. There’s even a blue brick tile path embedded in the wood flooring that creates a Zen-like river through the space. A playlist of tranquil music plays continuously, ranging from running water to flutes and muffled chimes. According to sisters and co-owners Carrie Wheelock, 35, and Alicia Liddon, 33, life is stressful, and sometimes it’s necessary to just escape from everything. Guests can choose from aromatherapy, deep tissue, mommy-to-be, hot stone and relaxation massages ranging from $80-135. Typical massages last 60 or 90 minutes, but 30-minute massages are offered for $45. The spa offers facials, manicures, pedicures, DermaSweep, hair removal and air brushing. Escape also features Xtreme Eyelash Extensions. Liddon, a licensed aesthetician, is Alabama’s only certified Xtreme Lash professional. The sisters are proud to call their spa organic. “I was getting a massage a few years ago, and I started thinking about what I was putting on other people and what was being rubbed into their skin,” Wheelock said. “So everything is organic.” Their top product is Hylunia, a line of creams that is advertised as natural, organic, green, holistic, clinical, vegan, gluten-free and paraben-free. The nail polish used, “spa ritual,” is vegan. Escape Day recently started offering a gel nail polish brand that is infused with B

Sisters Carrie Wheelock and Alicia Liddon run Escape Day Spa in Edgewood.

vitamins so there is no need to pre-soak fingers in acetone. Adding to the clean and green ambience of the spa, Wheelock hand-makes body scrub products. “I use 100 percent dead sea salt, Epsom salts and 100 percent essential oils,” she said. “They come in different scents like peppermint orange, lavender-geranium rosemary and tranquility blend. I like using scrubs because it takes that top layer of dead skin off and makes it easier to absorb healthy oils and lotions.”

Wheelock, who has been a massage therapist for 13 years, first looked at Escape’s current building four years ago when she was considering going into business on her own. She ventured into her own practice in 2008 as “Escape Massage Therapist.” Two and a half years ago, she teamed up with her sister and started Escape Day Spa in Crestline and eventually expanded to include 19 other employees. Then in October 2012 the sisters moved to

downtown Edgewood because they needed a larger location. Wheelock said revenue has almost doubled since leaving the Crestline location, but that that could be from previously turning down customers because of space limitations. Regardless of location, Wheelock has always tried to make her practice affordable for everyone who needs to relax. “We like to keep our prices reasonable,” Wheelock said. “I think it’s made us stand out in hard economic times.”

Gray Wash Table with 6 chairs Originally $1795 - SALE $1295

2925 18th Street South • Homewood 205-871-0585 • Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

June 2013

Business New classes around town New interior design showroom, work space

A new home for Homewood Mortgage

Home interior design store Defining Home is now open near the intersection of 28th Avenue South-U.S. 31 next to the shopping center that houses Bob’s Bikes. Defining Home is mixed retail showroom and trade workroom focusing specifically on the needs of the design community. The front section of the store is a 2,800-square-foot retail showroom featuring furniture and accessories from Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams, Hickory Chair, Oly Studio and other designers. The back 2,000-square feet is a design library and workroom where interior designers can bring clients to work on projects. The business is co-owned by Tom Adams, Tish Fuller and Adam Gerndt. Defining Home is located at 1916 28th Avenue South and open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. For more call 803-3662 or visit

Homewood Mortgage, Inc. has moved from Independence Drive to Rogers Drive. Its new address is 2700 Rogers Drive, Suite 201. For more call 941-1484 or visit

Water garden supplier offers supplies, classes Water Gardens By Design is scheduled to open in West Homewood next to Parkside Salon the first week of June. The wholesaler sells supplies for water gardens and ponds and can design any water feature. Owner Ruth Davis said it specializes in fountains, butterfly koi fish and do-it-yourself pond kits. The store will also offer classes on how to build ponds and water features. Water Gardens By Design is located at 715 Oak Grove Road. Hours will be TuesdayThursday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and FridaySaturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For more call 427-3735 or visit

New Dunkin’ Donuts A new Dunkin’ Donuts location has opened adjacent to Colonial Brookwood Village. The new restaurant will offer Dunkin’ Donuts’ hot and iced coffee, lattes and cappuccinos, and new menu innovations such as Bakery Sandwiches. The new restaurant, located at 505 Brookwood Blvd., is open from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. For more visit

Character on the Spot offers improv classes West Homewood resident Kelly Yoakum is teaching weekly improv drama classes for children through her new organization, Character on the Spot. Character on the Spot improv drama class for children will be held Monday nights from 6-7:30 p.m. A Friendship Club featuring two hours of lesson and games will run Thursday nights throughout the summer. Classes are $35 per child per month or $60 for two months. The improv class will participate in a Character on the Spot Family Improv night open to families in the community on July 26 at 7 p.m. Yoakum, who has been working in children’s programming for more than 20 years, said she hopes to offer more classes in the fall and expand the programs to be city-wide. For more visit or contact Yoakum at 329-0151 or Kelly@

Restaurant Depot to open A Restaurant Depot, a wholesale foodservice supplier, will open this month in the 53,000-square-foot former Bruno’s in Wildwood. The grand opening is scheduled for June 26 during normal business hours. “We will stock over 11,000 items ranging from fresh meat, seafood and produce to equipment and supplies,” said Branch Manager Jon Collier. “The selection alone is a great reason for people to check us out, but we also have the best prices and never charge any membership fee.” The store is located at 126 Wildwood Parkway. Hours are Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday 7 a.m.- 7 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.3 p.m. For more call 942-2211 or visit

Chamber Chat The Homewood Chamber of Commerce has welcomed a new projector coordinator, Tellis Shoemaker. We asked her about what the Chamber has coming up this month.

attending monthly membership luncheons and participating in networking opportunities such as Business After Hours and Coffee & Contacts. I volunteered for the Chamber at events such as Taste of Homewood, helped with membership meetings and took part in ribbon cuttings. I made many new contacts and learned about other Homewood companies while developing new business for my company. In 2011, I was named Ambassador of the Year!

What Chamber events are coming up? Our June membership luncheon will be held on June 18, at The Club from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. David Powell, vice president of managed Tellis Shoemaker services at Teklinks, will be our speaker. We also look forward to Restaurant Depot’s Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Tell us about what you will be doing for the on June 25 and 26. We will not hold a July Chamber. membership luncheon but look forward to As project coordinator, I implement all hearing our August luncheon speaker, Darlene activities related to membership sales and Negretto, CEO of Vulcan Park and Museum, retention. A new Homewood Chamber and her update on one of our most cherished Ambassadors Program has been created with a attractions. mission to recruit and retain members as well as create a positive presence in the community. How did you get involved with the Chamber? These volunteers are also our eyes and ears, I have been involved with the Homewood and I hope that through their efforts we will Chamber of Commerce since 2008 when learn how to better serve our members. I am I was the marketing manager for Dorothy also helping to develop a Chamber Trustees McDaniel’s Flower Market. I took full Program and a Chamber Member Satisfaction advantage of the Chamber membership, Committee.

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8 • June 2013

The Homewood Star

Restaurant Showcase

Read past Restaurant Showcases at

Saw’s BBQ

1008 Oxmoor Road 879-1937 Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

By JEFF THOMPSON Anastasia Nealy’s two staples at Saw’s BBQ are customer favorites. “Miss A” starts every workday at 8 a.m. by making at least 10 pans of macaroni and cheese and four pans of banana pudding from her secret recipes. In the meantime, thick slabs of pork ribs are going on the smoker and will stay there until lunch, and the pork butts that began cooking about this time yesterday start coming off. And by 11:30 a.m. most days of the week, the line is nearly out the door. Sure, it’s only about 40 feet from the order counter to Oxmoor Road, but Nealy, Saw’s manager, said a line like that tells passers-by the food inside is worth the wait. “I think the smaller the club, the bigger the party,” she said. Saw’s BBQ is a Southern dive in every sense. Its walls are slathered with distractions – scrawl from past patrons and football memorabilia, beer ads and articles from popular publications recommending the restaurant for every item on the menu. The entire Edgewood establishment is cramped into a cave where both the walk-in and beer fridges compete with customer seating. You eat where you order, and it seems like they cook where you eat. And it’s exactly the way owner Mike Wilson wants it. “It’s a Southern barbecue place,” Wilson said. “It’s a hole-in-the-wall. We aren’t here to decorate; we’re here to feed you.” In 2009, Wilson, a native of North Carolina, was working in the test kitchens for Cooking Light magazine and smoking pork butts as a hobby. He had amassed a demand for his

Anastasia Nealy makes the macaroni and cheese and banana pudding at Saw’s in Edgewood, which is known for its ribs, pork and sides.

meat, which was soaked in sauce, stored in plastic bags and sold to his coworkers. They encouraged him to open a place of his own, and he wasn’t opposed to the idea. He just wanted to be in Edgewood, but at that time, Broadway BBQ was on the block. Wilson placed a call to Broadway’s owner to tell him, “When you want out, I’m interested.” Well, he wanted out right then, Wilson said. “I think I made that call on a Thursday, and

by Tuesday I was the owner.” Wilson changed the name to Saw’s, an acronym for his nickname, Sorry-*** Wilson. He made a menu of only a few items. It included the Stuffed Taters Broadway BBQ was known for, served steaming and spilling over the cantaloupe-size spud, as well as traditional pulled pork and smoked chicken variations. Other popular items are the Saw’s Original Pulled Pork Sandwich and the Smoked Chicken

The Art of Dentistry

with White BBQ Sauce. Then, there’s Saw’s Ribs. They’re smoked for six hours and promptly wrapped in foil to lock in moisture. The meat disobeys every direct order to stay attached to the bone. The taste is sweet at first, but they finish on the back of the tongue with a snap of pepper and vinegar. The Ribs were listed on the Alabama Department of Tourism’s 100 Dishes to Eat before you Die, which was released in 2012. But the State isn’t the only one raving about the restaurant. Saw’s is highly rated everywhere you look: a 25 (of 30) on Google Reviews; a 4.5 on and; and 93 percent favored on Saw’s was also the only Alabama restaurant listed on Urbanspoon’s Most Popular Cheap Eats list. Miss A said besides the smell of smoked meat that drifts down Broadway every morning, customers love Saw’s consistency. Wilson likes his food to be served the right way every time, and for good reason. “We’ve grown from word of mouth alone,” Wilson said. “You know, if you have a bad experience at restaurant the first time you visit, you’re probably not going to come back. I only get one shot to put it on the plate.” In the past two years, Wilson has opened two other Saw’s locations – Saw’s Soul Kitchen in Avondale and Saw’s Juke Joint in Crestline Park. But Wilson said he has no long-term plans for more growth. “It may take me 10 years, or I may never open another one,” he said. “It’s not about the money; it’s about somebody saying to me this sandwich or this mac and cheese is the best I’ve ever had.”

Deanne L. Vail, DMD & Julie L. Webb, DMD

Homewood Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, LLC Beautiful Smiles For ALL AGES

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1752 Oxmoor Rd.• • 868-4577 No representation is made that the quality of dental services to be performed is greater than the quality of dental services performed by other dentists.

June 2013

Summer Fun Photo Contest

Capture the fun of summer with your camera, and send us your favorite shots of the backyard, lake, beach, mountain, neighborhood, and wherever you and your family are. Our staff will choose the images that most colorfully capture a summer experience. Prizes will be awarded to contest winners. Category One: Any summer fun photo Category Two: A summer fun photo displaying a copy of The Homewood Star wherever you are To enter, email your photos in a jpeg format to Please send high quality images and include a caption and photo credit. Only four entry photos are allowed per person.

The Homewood Star

Deadline for entries is August 1, 2013. We will publish the winners in the September issue as well as post them on our Facebook page and

2908 Central Avenue, Suite 150 • Homewood, AL 35209 398 Chesser Drive, Suite 3 • Chelsea, AL 35043 205.871.7332 • WWW.SKINWELLNESSAL.COM

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10 • June 2013

The Homewood Star

2013Wedding trends

Local vendors share what’s hot for celebrations this season

Weddings are returning to a rustic chic. According to local vendors, styles for celebrations are all about the outdoors, as brides are choosing to mix Southern style with traditional class on their wedding days.

Go outdoors

Vendors are seeing more weddings take place in outdoor venues and locations other than churches. The settings are more relaxed, and include sites from gardens to barns. Joy Oglesby of Blue Moon Photography said popular outdoor venues in the area include Mathews Manor in Springville (mathewsmanor. com); Windwood Farms, an equestrian facility in Pelham (; and The Sonnet House on Alabama 119 in Leeds ( Planning an event outdoors can require more work, as brides must make a backup plan as well. “Always factor in a rain plan and work with coordinator that is possible for any size party you have,” said Elizabeth Furst, events coordinator with Aldridge Gardens. “Factor in preparation for cold as well, and always wear heel covers so you don’t sink into the grass.”

Bring on the boots

Heel covers won’t be a problem for many brides this year though, as more and more are choosing to walk

Photos courtesy of Arden Photography.

down the aisle in something other than stilettos. “We’re seeing a lot of girls want dresses they can wear with cowboy boots, and they’re having their bridesmaids wear boots as well,” said Vickie Burgin, formalwear manager at Renaissance Consignment and Marketplace. “Since the beginning of the year, we’ve probably had a dozen brides ask about boots.” Angela Paul, a consultant with Bella’s Bridal, said while the shoes are becoming less formal, the dresses aren’t. “No matter what the venue is or the theme of the wedding, a bride’s gown can be as formal as

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anything,” Paul said. “We’ve seen ball gowns at beach weddings. Just put those cowboy boots on underneath.” But if boots aren’t the way to go, brides are still finding ways to add flare to their feet. Oglesby said more than once this year she’s seen a bride’s “something blue” be her shoes.

Country chic

Rustic accents are also widely used in country-chic style. Vendors said burlap trims just about everything. “We’re seeing mason jars used for receptions,”

said Karen Jenkins, owner and manager of Hoover Florist. “And burlap is in big time this year. We’ve done bows on bouquets or wrapped the handles in burlap. We’ve also wrapped thin strips around the tops of the jars.” Speaking of parties, this year’s receptions are also increasingly country. Often, brides are having their receptions at the same location as the wedding. “People are making their receptions more laid back,” Furst said. “Instead of formal, sit-down events, this year’s receptions have been more social with things like lawn games and casual food at stations.”

June 2013

• 11

Celebrations Byars-Brown

Photo courtesy of Joy Oglesby / Blue Moon Photography.

Pink is back

With flowers, Jenkins said brides are carrying bouquets with more color, while there is less in arrangements for bridesmaids. Furst said along with the burlap trimmings, pale pink and cream have been widely used in summer weddings, and last fall she saw bright yellows and gray. “Before, pink left the scene,” she said. “Now it’s making comeback in different shades.” Paul said this year’s brides aren’t necessarily looking for white or ivory dresses, and she’s seen an increasing number of requests for blush, light pink and light gold. In addition, many of this year’s

brides are choosing to honor the memory of loved ones in their weddings. Vendors have attached items like a grandmother’s broach and a father’s handkerchief to bouquets.

The first look

As a photographer, Oglesby said one trend she’s enjoyed is that many brides and grooms are choosing to see each other before the ceremony. “We feel there’s a lot of reasons for it, she said. “For one, it helps get the butterflies out. It also allows some time for you and him so you’re not rushed.” Taking time before the ceremony helps the photographer as well, she said.

Jo e Resha, ow ne


“I think it’s an awesome trend,” she said. “It’s good for the photographer because we can do all the photos before the wedding and you don’t have an hour-long gap between your ceremony and party.” Thanks to Hoover Florist (, Blue Moon Photography (, Bella’s Bridal (, Aldridge Gardens (aldridgegardens. com) and Renaissance Consignment and Marketplace ( for contributing to this article. – From Staff Reports

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Mr. and Mrs. Alan Byars of Trussville announce the engagement of their daughter, Rebecca Diane Byars, to Kyle Jarvis Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Jerome Brown of Homewood. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Carolyn Bishop of Birmingham and the late Charles Bishop. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Alma Byars and the late Willie Byars of Birmingham. Miss Byars is a 2006 graduate of Trussville High School and a 2010 graduate of The University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She was a member of Alpha Omnicron Pi sorority. She is employed locally with the Jefferson County School District. The prospective groom is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Turner of Tuscaloosa. He is also the grandson of Mrs. Barbara Brown and the late Mr. Edwin Covington Brown of Lincoln, Ala. Mr. Brown is a 2005 graduate of Homewood High School and a 2009 graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in business management and a minor in Spanish. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. He is employed locally with A588 & A572 Steel Company. The wedding is planned for July 13.

Have an engagement, wedding or anniversary announcement? Email to have it included in an upcoming issue!

12 • June 2013

The Homewood Star

Summer fun

Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. Photo courtesy Ruffner Mountain.

By MOLLIE BARTHOLEMEW Summer is upon us. Hitting the pool and playing around the neighborhood are great, but it’s also fun to get outside Homewood for a new adventure. We’ve compiled a list of things to do just a short drive away, some outdoor and some indoor, some close by and some a little further away. I’ve tried them all out with my family and recommend each and every one. You’ll also find contact information as well as the driving distance and time from SoHo Square to help you plan your trip.

The Homewood Star Sales Manager Matthew Allen tries out the new Beanstalk Forest at Red Mountain Park.

Outdoor Fun

Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve

Red Mountain Park

12 miles, 20 minutes. Enjoy miles of tranquil forest covered trails as well as heart-pumping ridgeline trails. The new architecturally “green” Treehouse Visitor Center boasts a woodland animal exhibit, and the Back Porch is a perfect place for a family picnic. • For the GPS: 1214 81st Street South, Birmingham, AL 35206 Visit or call 833-8264.

8 miles, 15 minutes. Birmingham’s newest green space offers the opportunity to hike 10 miles of hiking trails, bike the seven miles of mountain biking trails or walk the two miles of flat trails. The Tree House at the top of the ridge is a favorite for kids of all ages! For those with older kids seeking more adventure, a thrilling zip line tour through the canopy of trees or the new the Beanstalk Forest adventure will please even the least outdoorsy family member. • For the GPS: 277 Lyon Lane, Birmingham, AL 35211 Visit or call 202-6043.

Moss Rock Preserve and Waterfalls 11 miles, 20 minutes Spend a morning hiking the 10 miles of trails at

Moss Rock Preserve. The trails will whisk you past two cascading waterfalls and through a unique and historic boulder field. These huge rocks were once used by Native Americans as campsites, and today they are popular for bouldering and rock climbing. The rocks are also a wonderland for kids; the rock tunnels are a great for a game of hide and seek. • For the GPS: 617 Preserve Parkway, Birmingham, AL 35226 Visit

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park 31 miles, 40 minutes Discover how Birmingham’s iron industry began on these 1,500 acres through blacksmith

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June 2013 • 13

Displays at the Southern Museum of Flight. Photo courtesy of Southern Museum of Flight.

demonstrations held at Tannehill on the weekends. A mini train also chugs one mile up to Farley Field. Many of the hiking trails available today were used by Confederate troops during the Civil War and are some of the most beautiful sections of the park. Skip rocks in the creek or even bring a fishing pole, as the creek is stocked with Rainbow Trout. Wrap up your visit with something delicious at the Sweet Shoppe for the short ride home. • For the GPS: 12632 Confederate Parkway, McCalla, AL 35111 Visit or call 477-5711.

Argo Drive-In 27 miles, 30 minutes An inexpensive and fun way to spend an evening with the family! Go back to the 1950s with an oldfashioned drive in. Pack an appetizer- style picnic dinner the family can graze on, complete with homemade popcorn. If the evening proves to be a nice southern night, open your tailgate and line the back with pillows or use a blow up mattress in a friend’s truck bed. If you want to move outdoors, BYOC (bring your own chair), grab a blanket and set up shop facing the screen. There is nothing like

taking in a family flick under the southern night sky. • For the GPS: 100 Angus St., Trussville, AL 35173 Visit or call 467-3434.

Indoor Fun Peanut Depot 4 miles, 10 minutes What could be better than a warm bag of peanuts on a rainy day? Drive into the loft district and walk onto cobblestoned Morris Avenue to take a trip back in time. Take in the architecture as you walk into the turn-of-thecentury building that houses the Peanut Depot. Let the kids enjoy the sights and sounds of the antique roasters roasting peanuts the original organic way. Be sure to take a bag to go – the first bag will likely be gone before you arrive back in Homewood. • For the GPS: 2016 Morris Ave, Birmingham, AL 35203 Visit or call 251-3314.

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Vintage Fire Truck Museum 4 miles, 10 minutes Imagine you are 5 years old, dreaming of hopping in an open-top fire truck, honking the horn, running the siren and even pretending you are racing to a real fire. Now wake up – in downtown Birmingham, this is a reality. The Southern Vintage Fire Apparatus Association houses more than 20 vintage fire trucks dating back to 1917. Truck owners and museum staff couldn’t be any nicer or more excited to share their collection with your family. It is a morning well spent and a ball for all who are young and young at heart. Contact Jerry Northington at 903-0050 to schedule a visit.

Southern Museum of Flight 10 miles, 15 minutes Let the kids take off on a morning of adventure at this museum of southern aviation history. The attraction is outstandingly familyfriendly and offers fun for toddlers through teens. A pilots’ playroom includes an indoor mini playground and many aircraft toys, a

Moonwalk, an airplane open for exploration and a flight simulator for kids age 12 and over. An F-4 Phantom provides shade for the perfect picnic spot, so pack a lunch for this highflying fun morning. • For the GPS: 4343 73rd St. N., Birmingham, AL 35206 Visit or call 8338226 for more.

Golden Flake Company 5 miles, 15 minutes Have you ever eaten a warm chip right off the delivery line? Well if not, you’re in luck. Birmingham is home to one of the oldest and most recognizable snack companies in the nation, Golden Flake. The company offers walking tours to ages 5 and up Monday through Wednesday. Come hungry — you will have plenty of time to sample warm chips just off the line, as well as take some bags of fresh chips home with you and all for free! • For the GPS: 1 Golden Flake Drive, Birmingham, AL 35205 Visit or call 3236161.

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14 • June 2013

The Homewood Star

Community Area residents to act in Ramona Quimby production Children’s Dance Foundation StageDoor Youth Theatre will present Ramona Quimby later this month. The play was adapted by Len Jenkin based on the novels by Beverly Cleary. Ramona Quimby is unpredictable, exasperating, boisterous and independent, always aggravating her older sister, Beezus, constantly getting into trouble and sometimes “making a big, noisy fuss” when things don’t go her way. As narrator, Beezus (Beatrice Quimby) introduces the Quimby family and friends and thereby sets the scene for the collection of vignettes that trace Ramona’s tumultuous passage through third grade and through her family relationships. Homewood resident Kneonia Steel will play Ms. Griggs. Homewood students Emma Noble will play Mrs. Frost and Zoe Nelms the doctor, and Ayona Roychowdhury is part of the ensemble. Julie Meadows is directing the production. Performances will be held June 2022 at 7:30 p.m. and June 23 at 2:30

Assistance League honors longtime employee

Bob and Bobbie Nelson with Mary Ann Wade at Bobbie Nelson’s retirement party hosted by the Assistance League of Birmingham.

Lucy Wolter plays Ramona and Kendall Fowler Susan in the 2007 CDF production of Ramona Quimby. The production returns June 20-23.

p.m. at the CDF Studio Theatre at 1715 27th Court South. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased

at or by calling 870-0073. For more on CDF, visit

Assistance League of Birmingham honored its long-serving bookkeeper, Bobbie Nelson, in April at a retirement brunch. The brunch was well attended by members and PrimeTime Treasures craftsmen who came to pay tribute

to Nelson for her unselfish efforts over the past 26 years. Mary Ann Wade, president of Assistance League, wished Bobbie well and thanked her for all she has done to “keep us on track” over the years.

Miss Alabama pageant coming to Samford

Oakmont UMC to hold annual sales, barbecue

Miss Alabama 2013 will be held June 5-8 in the Wright Center at Samford University. The theme for the event will be “Fabulous Females” and will star Anna Laura Bryan, Miss Alabama 2012, and the 51 fabulous contestants. The preliminary competitions will be held Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., and the final competition

Oakmont United Methodist Church will hold its annual United Methodist Women’s Trash & Treasure Sale, Plant Sale, Bake Sale and United Annual Methodist Men’s BBQ on June 8.

will be Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Jessica Procter, Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen 2013, will also be spotlighted. On Friday, June 7, Procter and all of the Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen contestants will entertain with a production number. For ticket information visit

The event begins at 8 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. Barbecue will be served 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oakmont United Methodist is located at 914 Oak Grove Road. For more call 942-4622.

Now open in Homewood!

June 2013 • 15

Arts council holding logo contest, seeking new members The Homewood Arts Council is currently looking for new members and holding a logo design contest. The mission of the council is to support and encourage community art experiences for a creative, diverse and vibrant Homewood. Members of the Homewood Arts Council believe art is important to the life of a community. The council plans to highlight and celebrate the creative spirit of Homewood. The council is looking for a unique design that reflects the city with a touch of artistic flair. Once all entries are received, a public vote will take place on the Homewood Arts Council Facebook page. Once a winner is determined, the winning logo design will become the identity of the Homewood Arts Council. The deadline for submissions is June 15. The council is also looking to fill three ward vacancies and requests any interested applicants to apply by June 15. If you live in Ward 1, Ward 2, or Ward 5 and would like to apply, please send a cover letter and resume to city clerk Linda Cook at For more on the Homewood Arts Council, visit or email

FaithGirlz members with leader Margaret Kloess.

Currently serving on the Homewood Arts Council are (back row) Vice-Chair Diane Litsey (Ward 4), Caroline Hubbard, Chair (Ward 3), Secretary of the Arts Jennifer Warren (at-large) and (front row) City Council liaison Jenifer Wallis.

Treasures for sale at church garage sale Shades Valley Lutheran will hold a garage sale June 6-7. This gigantic sale happens once a year and funds the church’s youth mission trip each summer. Everything imaginable will be on sale: appliances, mattresses, furniture, toys, clothes,

Girls meet for beforeschool Bible Club

household items, decor and more. The sale runs 8 a.m.-2 p.m. each day, and everything will be half price after noon on Saturday. Shades Valley Lutheran Church is located at 720 Shades Creek Parkway. For more call 871-3512.

Every other Friday morning this year, 27 Shades Cahaba fourth graders gathered before school at Do It Yourself Crafts to talk about the beauty of believing as a part of their FaithGirlz Bible Club. Parents and Margaret Kloess led the girls to talk about a Bible memory verse and corresponding character trait. The children ate

breakfast and visited, had a lesson and then walked to school with parents. This is the store’s third year to host both FaithGirlz and a boys Bible study held on Thursday mornings. “Julia is so generous to let both boys’ and girls’ Bible studies meet at her shop,” said mom Tammy Stone of store owner Julia McNair.

Free Friday Flicks move to Hoover This summer, Free Friday Flicks are moving from Homewood Central Park to Veterans Park next to Spain Park High School in Hoover. Movies will be shown every Friday night from May 31-July 19. Films start at dusk. Come early to visit vendors, get food and enjoy fun activities. All movies shown are rated PG. For updates on rain delays or cancellations, follow @ BYMovieParties on Twitter. Veterans Park is located at

4800 Valleydale Road. The schedule is: June 7: Ice Age Continental Drift June 14: Escape from Planet Earth   June 21: The Odd Life of Timothy Green June 28: Hotel Transylvania   July 5: The Lorax July 12: Madagascar 3 July 19: Wreck it Ralph  

16 • June 2013

The Homewood Star

‘Dig into Reading’ programs at library Homewood Public Library kicked off its 2013 Summer Reading Program, “Dig Into Reading” last month. Children ages birth through fifth grade can still register at For the ninth year, Cahaba Cycles is giving summer reading participants a chance to win a bicycle. Visit the library web site or drop by the Children’s Department for contest rules.

Water Play Day. June 18. 10:30 a.m.-noon. Wear your swimwear and flip flops, bring a towel, and lather on that sun screen because we will be playing in the water and enjoying Chick-fil-A lemonade.

Ronald McDonald: July 2. 10:30 a.m. Our favorite clown puts on a magical show.

Zoo to You. June 20. 6:15 p.m. If you missed the Birmingham Zoo program featuring animals you will “dig,” or if you just want to see it again.

Juggling $$$. July 11. 6:15 p.m. Juggler Ron Anglin will help us understand how to juggle our finances while juggling.

Regular events include:

Special programs for the summer include:

Canning for Kids. June 21. 10:30 a.m. Come make a jar of jam with Alabama Extension Service’s Food Safety, Preparation and Preservation Specialist Angela Treadaway. This program is for ages 8-12. Parents welcome. Registration required, opens June 17 at 10 a.m.

Ice Cream SUNday. July 14. 2-5 p.m. Summer readers, come celebrate National Ice Cream Day. It’s never too late to sign up and join the fun.

Summer Monday Movies. Mondays, June 10 and 24, July 8 and 22. 3 p.m. Hot movie popcorn, drinks and fun for the family.

The Mobile Dairy Classroom. June 4. 10:30 a.m. A cow and the best milk product ever concocted — ice cream. Pirate Night. June 6. 6:15 p.m. Don’t miss the revelry! Pirates, pirate songs and games. Zoo to You: June 11. 10:30 a.m. The Birmingham Zoo will bring animals you will “dig.”

Walk-About Puppets. June 25. 10:30 a.m.

Llama Llama Red Pajama PJ Party! June 13. 6:15 p.m. Llama Llama will be here in her red pajamas for an hour of PJ fun.

The Magic City Lego Users Group Mini Build. June 27. 6:15 p.m. Ages 5-12. Space is limited. Registration begins June 17 at 10 a.m. Call 332-6619.

American Girl Program featuring Molly’s Victory Garden. June 14. 10:30 a.m. For ages 5-12. Space is limited. Registration begins 10 a.m. on June 3.

Diggin’ Dinosaurs with the McWane Center. June 28. 10:30 a.m. Ages 8-12. Space is limited. Registration begins June 24 at 10 a.m. Call 332-6619.

BSC Southern Environment Center. July 9. 10:30 a.m. Fun activities will show us why ‘green’ is great.

Maynard, Magic & Music. July 16. 10:30 a.m. Maynard is the funny bird — Steve is the great magician. Jones Valley Farms. July 18. 6:15 p.m. Learn about community gardening, plant something to take home and eat local produce. Water & Melon Day. July 19. 10:30 a.m. The Homewood Fire Department will supply the water, and we will serve up watermelon. Dress for water play; towels, flip flops and sunscreen highly recommended. Rocking Farmer Jason in Concert. July 23. 10:30 a.m. This award-winning children’s music artist will have everyone dancing.

Youth alliance assists Bell Center The Bell Center Youth Alliance spent several hours sprucing up The Bell Center recently. The group of students from area high schools helps support the Center’s mission of maximizing the potential of children birth to three year of age who are at risk for developmental delay. The BCYA also helps

out with fundraisers and events for The Bell Center. If your teenager or a teenager you know is interested in applying for BCYA, contact Denise Williams at or 8793417). For more visit

Front row: Denise Williams, Laura Kate Dinan (John Carroll Catholic High School), Kendall Baecher (John Carroll Catholic High School), Morgan Jemison, Caroline Lytle. Back row: Houston Wingo (Homewood High School), Ashlynn Tittle, Joy Korley (Homewood High School), Garrett McGuffie and Olivia Shull (Homewood High School). BCYA members not pictured include Sam Guerrera (John Carroll Catholic High School), Elise Wood (Homewood High School) and Caroline Harris (Homewood High School).

“Dr. Dinosaur” by Lee Bryan “That Puppet Guy.” July 25. 6:15 p.m. Summer readers, pick up your certificate and special invitation before the July 25, and join us for this DINOmite puppet show. Story Time. Wednesdays. 10:30 a.m. A story time for children of all ages.

Say Hola to Spanish! June 22 and July 20. 10:30 a.m. A mucho fun language program for children of all ages. Cereal & Cartoons. June 15 and July 13. 10 a.m.-noon. Bring your kids to the Children’s Department for some old-fashioned cartoons and cereal. Cereal served until 11:45 a.m. Leaps & Bounds June 7 and July 12. 10:30 a.m. A movement program for ages 30-48 months with an adult partner. Registration required. Call 332-6619 for more information. Dial-A-Story. Miss a story time? Traveling this summer? Call 332-6617 anytime from anywhere.

June 2013 • 17

100 years wise Floyd Stephens to celebrate a century of life

Floyd Stephens has lived in Homewood for 64 years.

By NATHAN KELLY The secret to a long, happy life is a good diet, frequent exercise and lots of quality time with family – just ask Floyd Stephens. He turns 100 years old this month. Born in Savannah, Ga., on June 18, 1913, Stephens has lived through The Great Depression, both World Wars and 17 United States Presidents. His first car was a 1945 Ford, and he got his first television in 1949. How has he maintained a healthy body and mind? Stephens credits most of it to his diet full of fruits, vegetables and fish, and regular exercise, along with countless hours spent with his family of six children, eight grandchildren and nine great-

Floyd Stephens gathers with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for a photo at Homewood Park.

grandchildren. Living long lives runs in Stephens’ family. “My mother lived to 98, my dad to 90, my aunt to 103 and my grandfather lived to 107,” he said. “I guess you can attribute my age a little to genetics as well.” Stephens has lived in Homewood since 1949, and his typical day includes a walk around the roads he has seen change from dirt to cement in his time in the City. He attends mass every day at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church. In June 2010, he received an award from the church for “80 plus years of dedicated support as an acolyte and lector.” The award was presented to him by The Reverend

Martin Muller, whom Stephens called the most influential man in his life. His mother was the most influential woman in his life. Stephens attended college at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, where he intended to become a Catholic priest. That changed when World War II broke out, he said. He enlisted in the United States Air Force to serve during World War II in 1940 and traveled to Guadalcanal, Australia, New Hebrides and New Caledonia over the next three and a half years in service to his country. “Back then, a lot of guys like me who enlisted didn’t have any formal training until they made it overseas,” he said. “I never held a gun in my

hand until I made it to Australia.” After returning from the War, Stephens found a job with American National Insurance Company, where he remained an insurance agent for 31 years. His humble lifestyle, though, stems from growing up through The Great Depression, he said. “I remember the long lines, and there being no jobs. It was downright sad,” he said. “I never knew any different since I grew up in it, but living on beans for every meal really wears on you.’ Stephens’ cherished childhood memories came through sports. He played baseball with his friends on plots of land, he said. He remains a sports fan to this day, rooting for the Atlanta Braves and Alabama Crimson Tide football team.

Stephens said the secret to a happy life is to love your family and God, to follow the law and to never give up on something you love. He lives by the phrase “givers gain, takers lose.” As he approaches his 100th year of life, little has changed for Stephens, he said. Family and faith are paramount to his life, and those traits have not gone unnoticed. His son, Greg, said he doesn’t know if he’ll ever live up to the man his father has been. His values have been passed down to his large family who stays closely knit. The Stephens family gathers in Homewood to celebrate holidays and birthdays. This year will be an extra special one as they celebrate the leader of their family’s 100th birthday.

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18 • June 2013

The Homewood Star

We Love Homewood Day 2013 Rain delayed the fun, but the parade, as always, screamed of why we love Homewood

Left: Laine Litton, age 6, celebrates We Love Homewood Day in May. Above: Sallye Stewart and Kaden Kyzar, 15 months. Right: Parade-goers grab for sweet treats. Below left: The Homewood High Patriot Marching Band. Below: Homewood Officers J. M. Self, J. Self and J. Lucas. Photos by Brian Wallace.




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June 2013 • 19

Five kids and counting A father finds unity in a blended family

By MEGAN SMITH Kile Turner rolled a bicycle out of Toys”R”Us and to his vehicle. Then he returned for another, and another, and finally another, all the same size. Three were even the same color. He laughed at the bemused expression on a bystanders’ face as he explained they were Christmas presents for four of his children — three girls and a boy. While the four aren’t all biologically Turner’s, they are the same age. He has triplets Lexie, Grace and Kit from a previous marriage, and his stepdaughter, Abby, is a week older than them. “I forget that having four kids in the same grade is actually unusual,” Turner said. Turner married his wife, Sara, in 2006, and they lived with her daughter Abby until 2007 when their family expanded rapidly. Sara gave birth to their daughter, Sophie Kate, and Turner was awarded custody of his triplets. Within six weeks, the couple went from living with one child to having five. “The thing I’ve enjoyed most is having a unique relationship with each one,” Turner said. “They each have different strengths and weaknesses.” The four eldest children attend Our Lady of Sorrows and are each involved in separate activities. Grace does cheerleading, Lexie plays volleyball, Abby is on the dance team and Kit hopes to join the football

Kile and Sarah Turner with their children Lexi, Grace, Kit, Abby and Sophie Kate. The Turners are frequent Disney World visitors and are often seen in matching clothes.

team. Lexie and Abby attend ballet classes together, and they’re all active at Trinity United Methodist Church. “At any moment one kid is doing great and another is not,” Turner said. “One will be misbehaving. One will

be crying.” But Turner said he wouldn’t trade what he has for anything. In fact, he’s adding to it. Sara is expecting their fifth girl in June. Their three oldest girls even worked together to throw

her a surprise baby shower. “They did it on their own,” Turner said. “They ordered the cake, set up a location and sent out invites, which shows how much love and respect they have for Sara.”

Turner and Sara are excited for the newest addition to the family and know their older children are prepared because they each babysit Sophie Kate, 6. Turner said girls also tend to team up and pick on their brother, but it’s good because it will teach Kit to deal with women, Turner said with a laugh. “Looking at us, you wouldn’t know we’re a blended family,” Turner said. “The kids fight and play with each other like regular siblings.” They blend together more as a family on their frequent trips to Disney World. Occasionally, all seven can be seen wearing matching clothes, Turner said. The family loves traveling, he said, but the planning for seven people can become overwhelming. “It’s like a military operation,” Turner said, “but my wife is so organized that it works.” Throughout their travels and their constant chaotic trips to Costco, Turner has learned to expect shock on stranger’s faces as he describes his unique family. “It is awesome,” Turner said. “There is never a dull moment. It is definitely a full time job especially at this age and playing chauffeur.” Turner said he has Sara to thank for the happiness he has with his large family. “Taking on triplets was quite an adventure for her,” Turner said. “She makes me a better father.”

20 • June 2013

The Homewood Star

HOMEWOOD PARKS & RECREATION Temporary Fitness & Programs Facility

Programs and services from Homewood Community Center are now located at our temporary facility which is the site of the former Jefferson County Satellite Courthouse, 809 Greensprings Highway, Homewood, AL 35209. Services at this facility include cardio & weight rooms, programs room for fitness and instructional classes, and administrative offices.

Temporary Fitness & Programs Facility Hours

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. Summer camp session classes are listed below: Early Summer Camp Session: June 3rd – 7th / 9am-Noon Late Summer Camp Session: July 29th – August 2nd / 9am-Noon Please contact Chris Roberson at (205) 943-1923 for more information and to register or visit to enroll anytime.

Pool Hours & Information

West Homewood Pool at West Homewood Park

Pool Hours Monday – Saturday: 10am – 7pm Sunday: 1pm – 6pm Deck Phone: (205) 942-4572

2013 Pool Memberships

Purchase and Renew Pool Only Memberships at The Temporary Fitness & Programs Facility Business Office 809 Greensprings Highway, Homewood, AL 35209 (Former Jefferson County Satellite Courthouse) Homewood Residents: $75 Single - $125 Family Non-Residents: $150 Single - $250 Family Membership Notes: West Homewood Pool will be the only pool open for 2013 Summer Pool Season All pool memberships will expire at conclusion of 2013 pool season (Labor Day) Pool membership prices will begin prorating June 15th


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 have relocated 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) Please visit for more information or to enroll

Monday – Thursday: 5:30am – 8:30pm Friday: 5:30am – 7:00pm Saturday: 8:00am – 6:00pm Sunday: 1:00pm – 6:00pm Business Office Hours Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 5:45pm

Summer Pool Information



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


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

Homewood Senior Center

June Events @ Homewood Senior Center Monday, June 3rd at 12:30pm: Senior Center Chorus will host a Recruitment Cookout/Party. Chorus practice normally occurs on Mondays at 1:00pm. Song selections are from various genres and include songs requested by chorus members. Every Monday, from 2:15-4:15pm: Clay class with Joann Brown. Space is limited. Must be a Senior Center member to join this class. For more information, contact Aimee at 332-6502 or Tuesday, June 11th, at 1:30pm: Ladies Tea & Penny Auction. For reservations & information contact Dottie at 332-6501 or Every Tuesday (For all ages of Adults), 5:50-6:50pm: Zumba Dance Fitness integrated with RIPPED Fitness. Open to the public. For info/registration, contact Ashley Harris at 212-4697 or Thursday & Friday, June 13th-14th, 9:00am-Noon: AARP Safe Driving Course (must attend both days). Class is open to the public. For info/registration, contact instructor Joe Ross at 8237067 or Friday, June 23rd, 6:30-9:30pm: Evening Dance with live music by Wayne & Margaret Duo. Open to the public. Admission: $5 for members, $10 for non-members. For dress code & other details, call 332-6500 closer to the event date. Reservations: 332-6500.

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.

Claire Goodhew: Summer Ballet Camp

June 17th – 20th Temporary Fitness & Programs Facility Camp Theme: Creatures Great & Small Time: 4:30pm – 5:15pm Cost: $45 For more information about the camp contact Claire at (205)879-8780

Special Events

July 4th Festival Downtown Homewood

Thursday, July 4th 2013 The City of Homewood and Homewood Parks & Recreation will celebrate the 4th of July in Downtown Homewood. The streets in Downtown Homewood will be closed for vehicles to make way for pedestrian traffic. Our event opens to the general public at 5:30PM. There will be a combination of children’s attractions and rides placed in the streets; unlimited rides wristband will be available for $10. A DJ will provide music and interactive activities for the patrons at the event. Downtown Homewood is by far one of the best locations in the entire metro area to view the “Thunder on the Mountain” fireworks show from Vulcan Park. All of our activities will end at the beginning of the fireworks show.

Athletics 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:

June 2013 • 21

School House

Honor graduates recognized for academic performance

This year’s honor graduates at Homewood High School.

Twenty Homewood High School students were named 2013 honor graduates. Each of these students earned and/or maintained a 4.0 grade point average during their high school academic career, and all are considered number one in class ranking. The Honor Graduates were recognized at all graduation events by special seating and the opportunity to address their peers and guests by speaking at either baccalaureate or graduation.

Honor graduates are:    

Zachary Edward Blomeley Samuel Christopher Campbell Donald John DeMetz III Edward Stevens DeMetz

               

Allise Dannielle Fortinberry Eden Brianne Harris Jacob William Helf Ann Casey O’Neill Hughes Marie Grace Kyle Michael Kessler Lummis Mary Claire Nabors Frank William Palmisano Jr. Rebecca Anne Riley Mackenzie James Sexton Drew Byron Shroyer Megan Elizabeth Spade Gabrielle Voce Smith Grant Dellinger Smith Margaret Alice Williams Tyler Gregory Williams

Grizzle named State Teacher of the Year Dr. Alison Grizzle, a West Homewood resident, was named State Teacher of the Year at a ceremony hosted by the Alabama State Department of Education in May. Grizzle was chosen after an extensive interview process by the state judging committee. She teaches math at Jackson-Olin High. The 14-year veteran teacher of Birmingham schools grew up in Homewood and graduated from Homewood High in 1993. State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tommy Bice announced Grizzle was chosen to serve as the official spokesperson and representative for teachers in Alabama for the next year near the end of a celebration honoring the 12 semi-finalists and four finalists who were nominated for the coveted title. The awards ceremony is held annually in recognition of these teachers’ dedication to education in Alabama public schools. After graduating from Denison University with degrees in mathematics and English, Grizzle decided not to pursue a career as a financial analyst and followed her heart by entering the world of education. She has taught math in Birmingham City Schools since 1999 and chose to teach in high-needs schools because she believes urban districts often have more difficulty attaining and retaining good teachers. She is a National Board Certified teacher who earned her doctorate degree at Walden University. Her greatest rewards come at the end of the school year when students receive their graduation exam results. “My students come running and screaming with hugs and tears and are ecstatic to see the word ‘pass’ by mathematics. It is that day I see

Dr. Alison Grizzle

the fruits of my labor,” she said. Grizzle said she is always looking for ways to help her students conquer their fear of mathematics and achieve success in her class. Over the last several years, Grizzle’s students have averaged an 85 percent pass rate on the mathematics portion of the high school exit exam, including her students with special needs. “I have yet to leave school saying, ‘Today all of my students’ lives were enriched because they had me as a teacher.’ Every day that I leave school, I know that I can always change something to engage more students and impact their learning more effectively,” she said. Grizzle will spend much of the 2013-2014 school year serving as an ambassador for public education and the teaching profession. Grizzle automatically becomes Alabama’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year.


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22 • June 2013

Riley named Presidential Scholar semifinalist

The Homewood Star

Preserving high school memories for a lifetime

Rebecca Riley

Homewood High School student Rebecca Riley was named a semifinalist in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Competition. From this group of 550, up to 141 students nationally will be selected later this year as U.S. Presidential Scholars. Nine students were selected a semifinalists in Alabama. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by executive order of the President to recognize and honor our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. Each year, up to 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

HHS “Heritage” yearbook staff members Grace Bertram, Amelia Hairston, Claire Hovater, Trina Mampuya, Hunter McGarity, Shelley Roman, Symone Shaw, Alex Smith, Ameera Stewart and Rachel Waller work on this year’s book. Photo submitted by Melissa Dameron–Vines.

Members of the Homewood High School yearbook staff spent this school year preserving the memories of a simpler time in their lives, and those of their classmates and friends. Although the “Heritage” yearbook has been produced every year since 1973, each year is unique and relevant to that particular school year and preserves those memories for a lifetime. “Yearbook gives me the chance to take a part of something bigger than myself,” Amelia Hairston

said. “I get to, not only be a part of the memories, but create them.” Alex Smith agreed: “Yearbook is more than putting pictures on a page. It’s capturing the memories of everyone around you and putting them in a place they can keep forever.” Melissa Dameron-Vines has sponsored the yearbook staff this year at HHS.

‘1984’ in 2013

Homewood High School drama students Camille Ponseti and Mohmoud Yagoub perform during the stage presentation of George Orwell’s 1984. The presentation was produced and directed by Jason Kennah. Photo by Pamela Houston.

Blue Bell surprise

-Submitted by Homewood City Schools

Gaines wins English teaching award

Lisa Gaines

Homewood Middle School teacher Lisa Gaines at has been awarded the 2013 Excellence in Teaching English Language Arts from the University of Alabama.

The Office of Research on Teaching in the Disciplines in the College of Education at The University of Alabama selected a lesson plan submission by Gaines for the award.

Blue Bell made a surprise visit to Hall-Kent Elementary School to honor teacher Jerome Isley for being selected as an Alabama 20132014 Elementary District IV Teacher of the Year.

June 2013 • 23

Edgewood, Shades Cahaba students place in Celebrate Science Design Challenge Edgewood Elementary School took home the second place award among 17 schools in the McWane Science Center’s Celebrate Science Exhibit Design Challenge. As a class project, schools were asked to design an exhibit for McWane Science Center for a chance to win cash prizes for their classroom. This creative, cross-curricular project incorporated math, science, writing and technology. Edgewood’s fifth grade enrichment students made the prototype “Ex-CELL-ent Cells” for the challenge. Their project allowed visitors to

learn about the parts (organelles) of the cell and their roles, what the cell organelles look like, and the differences and similarities between plant and animal cells. Visitors would match the organelle puzzle pieces to the cell puzzle base, so they fit in their correct positions. Shades Cahaba Elementary School’s third grade enrichment students also participated in the challenge, and they received the Participation Award for their prototype “Bones of Birmingham.” This project allowed visitors to learn about bones while putting the pieces in the correct place on the statue of Vulcan.

Edgewood Elementary students in Christen Sloderbeck’s enrichment class

OLS students stormin’ to write books The forecast for students at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic (OLS) School was bright and sunny in April as they travelled the halls to learn about various forms of language expression. As a part of the school‘s Fifth Annual Ultimate Author Day (UAD), students celebrated the gift of writing with numerous professionals who visited the school. Children attended breakout sessions including workshops, sharing sessions, special performances, and literaturebased activities presented by professionals and volunteers. Throughout the school year, all students wrote and created original books or another form of written medium. On UAD, the students’ completed work was on display in the OLS Family Life Center Assembly Hall as a part of the day’s

Talent showcase at HMS

Men Striving for Success prepare to host the talent show. First graders Albert Buescher, Alexander Delgado, Riley Newsome, Maria Hare and William Lewis make snow as one of the many activities during the school’s Fifth Annual Ultimate Author Day. This year’s event had a weather theme.

events. “This was our fifth anniversary for Ultimate Author Day, and we are so proud our students,” said Mary Jane Dorn, OLS principal. “It’s amazing to see how confident these students are

about writing now, because they have accomplished something that most people only dream about doing. For some, this was their fifth book, and they believe in themselves to be true authors.”

Homewood Middle School’s organization Men Striving for Success recently hosted a talent show. The show highlighted HMS students as they showed off their talents in hopes of winning the grand prize of $100. Lexi Bresnan and Anna Corrine Lee’s vocal performance “One Thousand Years” won the show. In

second place, Will Lichtenstein sang “When I Was Your Man,” and in third place, Cameron Campbell and Tyler Agnew danced to “Skrillex.” The first place winner received $100, and second and third place winners received $60 each. Funds raised for the show went toward Men Striving for Success’ Homewood Relay for Life team.

24 • June 2013

The Homewood Star


Track finishes third in state

HMS Golf wins Hewitt tournament The Homewood Middle School Golf Team won the Hewitt-Trussville Invitational earlier this season. HMS competed against eight other teams and won by six shots over second place finishers Hewitt-Trussville. The win brought the team’s record to 6-0. Coach Chris Cooper said this is an exciting year for the HMS Golf Team -Submitted by Homewood City Schools

HMS Golf Team members Connor Doyal, Jack Goldasich, Coach Chris Cooper and Jack Poole.

Runners Andy Smith, Mike Rohdy and Fulton Williams at the state meet.

Putnam recognized for dedication to soccer program

The Homewood High School Boys and Girls Track teams finished third in the state 5A Championships in Gulf Shores. The finish completed the most successful year in the program’s history with two runner-up trophies in girls cross country and indoor track and two state championships in boys cross country and indoor track. The track teams both won Sectional Championships in Tuscaloosa before going on to compete in the state meet. The track teams are coached by Tom Esslinger, Josh Donaldson and Rebecca Phillips. The following students earned All-State honors in outdoor track by placing in the top three in their event:

At the recent Homewood High School varsity boys and girls Senior Night at Waldrop Stadium, this year’s class of senior players were recognized and applauded for their years of great service to the high school soccer program. But then the recognition turned to the man who helped them get to where they are today. For the past 11 years, Homewood Soccer Club Director of Soccer David Putman led the club during significant growth and development. Among other things, he formed the Board of Directors and successfully involved large numbers of parents in the progress of the program. Putman knows all the seniors who were recognized — as well as most of the underclassmen and women — because the majority of

• Maiyah Lee, Alexia Dugger-Maye, Alex Studdard, Elyssa Griffin – second, 4x100-meter relay • Mary Margaret Jackson, Ann Mosely

Whitsett, Chandler Bledsoe, Caroline Lawrence – second, 4x800-meter relay • Kiara Williams – second, long jump and triple jump; fourth, 100 meter • Ann Mosely Whitsett – second, 400 meter; third, 800 meter • Kelly Young – fourth, shot put; eighth, javelin • Alexia Dugger-Maye – sixth, shot put • Caroline Lawrence – sixth, high jump • Mary Margaret Jackson – sixth, 800 meter; seventh, 1,600 meter • Andy Smith – third, 3,200 meter; seventh, 1,600 meter • Logan Sadler – third, 1,600 meter; fourth, 800 meter • John Long – fourth, 110-meter hurdles; sixth, 300-meter hurdles • Fulton Williams – sixth, 3,200 meter • Darryl Houston – fifth, triple jump; eighth, high jump • Justin Hardy – fifth, 100 meter • Orlando Swann – eighth, 100 meter • Tristan Lindsey, Andy Smith, Robby Tapscott, Logan Sadler – fourth, 4x800meter relay

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Homewood Soccer Club Director of Soccer David Putman was recognized at HHS soccer’s senior night.

them started their soccer careers in kindergarten or elementary school in the Homewood Soccer Club’s Patriot league years ago. He took a genuine interest in all

the players, watching them — and assisting in no small way — in their growth to become the soccer players they are today.

June 2013 • 25

CONCUSSION from pg 1

He is one of at least four kids in Homewood, including his basketball teammate Michael Baker, who have sustained mild traumatic brain injury in past six months. Prior to 2010, the concussion clinic at UAB Sports Medicine at Children’s of Alabama saw about 25 concussions a year. From August 2010 to May 2011, that number jumped to 60 concussions and from August 2011 to May 2012 to 340 concussions. The clinic is on track to see about the same number this past school year, according to Sports Medicine Director Drew Ferguson. Dr. Joe Ackerson, a local neuropsychologist who has treated Will and others in Homewood, has gone from seeing a handful of brain injury cases a year in the mid-1990s to seeing a handful each week. Some days he sees up to three new cases. According to Ackerson, the increase is due in part to greater awareness about head injury that has made people better at identifying it, and in part because of an over-emphasis on competitive sports at younger ages when bodies and brains might not be ready. A long-term struggle Back in Homewood at the ballpark one day, a friend of Davis-Trimm dragged her over to Ronda Reynolds. “You have to meet her, both your kids have the same thing,” the friend said. Reynolds was already four months into the ordeal when Davis-Trimm’s journey began and was able to share information about doctors and treatments. Reynolds’ daughter, Karli, a rising freshman in Homewood High School, was kneed in the forehead during a cheerleading stunt on Oct. 3. Seven months later, she is still not cleared to return to cheerleading. It wasn’t until early May that she was able to take regular tests with medications and to return to the bright, noisy lunchroom, which could easily drain her brain energy. She still could not take standardized

tests at school’s end, and she still has trouble retaining information. As time has gone on, she has become intimidated by social situations, wanting her mom by her side and getting down because she doesn’t get to interact with her friends. “Not knowing when it’s going to get better is scary, it affects your whole family,” Reynolds said. This spring Karli gave a try at the thing that makes her most happy. She did well in the first two days of cheerleading tryouts, but on the final day her mom said she couldn’t handle her nervousness and didn’t make the squad. “In a 15 year old’s mind where cheer is everything, it was devastating,” Reynolds said. “You do have to let them do stuff in moderation because kids end up going into depression [without doing anything]. Being a teenager is hard anyway.” Reynolds said one of the most frustrating things has been that others thought she was making a bigger deal of the situation than necessary. A lot of football moms tell stories about how their kids recovered from a concussion, she said. But Reynolds knows that head injuries are not all alike. Much like a bruise, a concussion can be an evolving injury “I always thought it was a bump on the head and you go on with life, but unfortunately it is not always,” she said. “It’s a brain injury, not just a bump on the head.” Evolving effects on the brain A brain injury patient can appear healthy from the outside not just during recovery but also soon after the impact. Homewood High School rising senior Joey Crittendon went to the doctor to address a finger injury after a spring break show choir trip with the high school. While there, he also mentioned his head hurting. As it turns out, he also had a concussion from an incident on the trip, although he has not been able to identify the specifics. A vast majority of concussions do not involve loss of consciousness, according to Ackerson.

“Many times you can’t tell what the severity is initially because it takes minutes or hours to fully evolve,” he said. Joey has missed about two weeks total of school and still has lingering confusion from time to time. Normally a star student, he has fallen further and further behind in school. Last year he was first chair saxophone in AllState Band, but when he auditioned this year, he forgot what he was doing part of the way through the exercise and landed third chair. “You never know when he is going to get confused about what he can and can’t do,” Joey’s dad, David Crittendon, said. Joey is living proof that for head injury patients, the ability to do something they would normally do doesn’t mean they don’t have a problem. “To me the biggest thing is when you have a kid with a concussion they might otherwise appear normal,” Crittendon said. “If you just looked at him, you couldn’t tell that anything is wrong with him.” Allowing the brain time to heal is the most important part of recovery. The CDC recommends athletes don’t return to play until are they symptom-free and cleared by a health care professional. Possibly the worst thing a patient can do is get hurt again before the brain fully recovers from the first injury; it can increase the chance of long-term problems. “If you don’t recover from them completely, it can be life altering,” Reynolds said, “that’s the scary part.” Preventing head injury Parents interviewed for this article are advocating for measures identical to head injury prevention regulations: if you see a child get hit in the head, pull them out of the game and get them checked. Ackerson’s mantras is “When in doubt, sit it out.” “It’s when they continue to play with a concussion that they increase secondary and cumulative effects,” he said.

Ackerson agrees that parents shouldn’t pull their kids out of organized sports for fear of brain injury. “In fact, you have a lot more concussions occur outside organized sports than inside organized sports,” he said. “It can happen at any time under any circumstances. If your child is involved in organized sports, you want to make sure coaches and organizations are following state guidelines with training and pulling out kids who get hurt.” Thanks to a state-wide task force led by Ackerson, Alabama passed a law in June 2011 that requires sports organizations to create a concussion and head injury information sheet athletes and parents must sign. Organizations are also required by law to train coaches on how to recognize concussion symptoms and on proper medical treatment, and athletes suspected of concussion must be pulled out of a game. It was after this legislations passed that Children’s and Ackerson saw the most dramatic jump in the number of concussion cases. When it comes to prevention, Ackerson also noted that proper rule enforcement and technique is more important than safety equipment. The silver lining All parents interviewed are hopeful their children’s brains will get more rest this summer and return to a normal state. And for kids still suffering, there is a silver lining. Karli auditioned for the show choir and made it. After eight months, her mom said she is finally starting to get better. Now an avid bird watcher and painter of birds, Will told his mom he wants to pay back HallKent for the audio text books the school bought him. To do so, he plans to paint a Goldfinch for the Fall Festival auction in October. “I just started crying when he told me what he wanted to do for his school,” Davis-Trimm said. “There are so many blessings we have received as we have traveled this path.”

26 • June 2013

The Homewood Star

Calendar Homewood Events

Mondays: Clay Class. Homewood Senior Center, 2-4 p.m. Weekly clay class with instructor Jo Ann Brown. Call 332-6502. Saturdays: Homewood Farmers Market. 2850 19th Street South, SoHo. 8 a.m.-noon. Visit Saturdays: West Homewood Farmers Market. 160 Oxmoor Road, 8 a.m.-noon. Visit June 2: Vulcan’s 109th Birthday Bash. Vulcan Park, noon-4 p.m. A festive outdoor community celebration for the whole family. $3 admission, free for 4-under and Vulcan members. Visit June 5-8: Miss Alabama Pageant. Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. Call 871-6276.

June 5: Brown Bag Seminar. Large Auditorium in the Homewood Public Library, 9 a.m.-noon. Lanelle Henderson, regional development director at Constant Contact, will demonstrate how to grow your business with email and social media marketing. Bring your own brown bag lunch. Drinks and desserts provided. Reservations can be made at June 6-7: Shades Valley Lutheran Youth Garage Sale. Shades Valley Lutheran Church, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Funds the youth mission trip each summer. Everything will be half price after noon on Saturday. Call 871-3512. June 8: Lakeshore’s Amazing Race. Teams of four will race across Lakeshore Foundation’s 45-acre campus completing interactive challenges. Proceeds go to the Lakeshore Foundation. Entry fee is $500/team.

Registration at 8 a.m. Call 313-7400. June 8: Annual United Methodist Women’s Trash and Treasure Sale, Plant Sale, Bake Sale, and Men’s Barbeque. Oakmont United Methodist, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 942-4622. June 18: Homewood Chamber of Commerce Brown Bag Seminar. The Club, 11:30 a.m. David Powell, the Vice President of Teklinks, is the featured speaker. Reservations can be made at June 20-23: Children’s Dance Foundation StageDoor Youth Theatre presents “Ramona Quimby.” CDF Studio Theatre, 7:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. on Sunday). Beverly Cleary’s novel is adapted to the stage, featuring Homewood youth. Tickets

are $10. For tickets visit or call 870-0073. Visit June 26: Restaurant Depot Opening. Visit


July 4: 4th of July Festival. Downtown Homewood, 5:30-9 p.m. Activities leading up to the fireworks show from Vulcan Park. Proceeds go to the H.E.A.T. program at Homewood Parks and Recreation and other community organizations. Contact rusty. July 4: Thunder on the Mountain. Vulcan Park Museum, 9-9:30 p.m. Enjoy Independence Day fireworks from many viewing locations across Birmingham. Call 933-1409.

Homewood Public Library Events Kids Programming Mondays, June 10 and 24: Summer Monday Movies. 3 p.m. Wednesdays: Story-Time. 10:30 a.m. All ages. June 7: Leaps and Bounds. Ages 30-48 months with a parent. Registration required. June 4: Mobile Dairy Classroom. 10:30 a.m. June 6: Pirate Night. 6:15 p.m.

June 20: Zoo to You. 6:15 p.m. June 21: Canning for Kids. 10:30 a.m. Ages 8-12. Parents welcome. Registration opens June 17. June 22: Say Hola to Spanish. 10:30 a.m. All ages. June 25: Walk-About Puppets. 10:30 a.m.

Adult Programming June 6: Alabama Clinical Therapeutics Game Plan for Diabetes Prevention and Treatment. Round Auditorium, 6:30 p.m. June 10: Italian cooking with Chef E. 6 p.m. June 11: The Oxmoor Page Turners Book Club. Boardroom, 6:30 p.m.

June 27: The Magic City Lego Users Group Mini Build. 6:15 p.m. Ages 5-12. Registration begins June 17.

June 11: Zoo to You. 10:30 a.m.

June 28: Diggin’ Dinosaurs with the McWane Center. 10:30 a.m. Ages 8-12. Registration begins June 24.

June 13: Llama Llama Red Pajama PJ Party. 6:15 p.m.

Teen Programming

June 14: American Girl Program featuring Molly’s Victory Garden. 10:30 a.m. Registration begins June 3.

June 5: Teen Movie Madness and Pizza Party. Large Auditorium, 2 p.m.

June 15: The Seven Threats to Your Family’s Security. Room 101, 10 a.m.-noon. June 17: How Feng Shui Can Make or Break Your Health With Katie Rogers. Large Auditorium, 6 p.m. June 18: The ABC’s of Medicare. Room 116, noon and 6 p.m.

June 15: Cereal and Cartoons. 10 a.m.-noon.

June 11: Street Magic Workshop with Tommy Johns. Large Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.

June 18: Water Play Day. 10:30 a.m.-noon.

June 19: Eating Right with Chef E. Large Auditorium, 3 p.m.

June 20: Viewing of award-winning documentary film Arova. Round Auditorium, 6:30 p.m. June 25: Family Night: Look to the Night Sky. Large Auditorium, 6 p.m. June 26: The Better Than Therapy Book Club. Boardroom, 2 p.m.

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June 2013 • 27



Community Events June 1: Juneteenth Culture Fest. Kelly Ingram Park, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Free music, food, games and entrance pass to the Civil Rights Museum. Call 328-9696. June 1: Giving Hands 5K Starfish Strut. Veterans Park, 8 a.m. One-mile run to support Giving Hands. Visit June 1: Alabaster CityFest. Free day of live music, including a 5K fun run. Visit June 2: 7th Annual Preserve Jazz Festival. Outdoor jazz festival at The Preserve in Hoover presented by Tom Williams Lexus. Grammy Award-winning Spyro Gyra is the headliner. $40 general admission. 3 p.m. Visit June 8: Alabama Symphony Orchestra Concert. Railroad Park, 8 p.m. Pre-concert picnic on the lawn at 7:30 p.m. Free Admission. Call 631-4680. June 8: 3rd Annual Black Creek Arts Festival. Art show with local artists’ work, musical entertainment and children’s arts activities. Free admission. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Call 538-3676. June 13: Girls Night Out Operation Beach Ready. Fashion shows, food, local vendors, music and more at The Summit Club. $30. 6-10 p.m. Call 567-4668.

Ordinary Days By Lauren Denton

June 15: Caribbean Festival. Boutwell Auditorium, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Central Alabama Caribbean American Organization presents a day of fun Caribbean style. Free admission. Call 383-6645. June 15: Dixie Reptile Show. BJCC, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Adults $4, children $1. Visit June 16: Bird House Extavaganza. Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, 1-5 p.m. Visit June 22: Smith Lake Poker Run. Registration Party on Friday evening and poker run on Saturday at 9 a.m. Benefits Birmingham AIDS Outreach. $50. Call 322-4197. June 21-22: QuiltFest 2013. Oak Mountain Middle School, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Event includes a quilt show, vendors, demonstrations, door prizes, and a silent auction to benefit Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama. $7 for two-day admission, free for 5-under. Visit June 22: Cast of Impractical Jokers. Alabama Theatre, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Interactive comedy show featuring the cast of the popular TV show. $35+. Visit

June 15: Day on the River. Free environmental education festival for children grades three to six at King’s Bend on the Locus Fork River. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 919-6231.

June 21-22: Rock the South 2013. Heritage Park, 3 p.m. on Friday and noon on Saturday. Music festival celebrating recovery from the 2011 tornados, featuring Sara Evans, The Band Perry, Scotty McCreery, Hank Williams, Jr. and more. There will also be a meet and greet with SEC football legends, hosted by Jay Barker. Two-day admission $49, one-day admission $30. Visit

June 13-15: 34th Annual National Sacred Harp Singing Convention. First Christian Church, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Free admission. Visit mcsr.

June 21-23: State Games XXXI. The largest amateur multi-sporting event in the state, featuring Olympic-style events for Alabama’s youth. Visit

June 13: ArtCard: Porch Party and Blind Art Sale. Live music, food, and art sale benefitting Oasis Counseling. $25. 6-9 p.m. Visit

Pursuing dreams My husband is one of the most to do the thing (whatever that motivated people I know. Goalthing may be); what matters is oriented, go-getter, self-starter perseverance. — call it what you will, but when I went to an author discussion he sets his mind on something, he recently that featured a debut doesn’t stop until he achieves it. author with eight books under While this quality may have her belt. However, she was just made me feel a bit sluggish in published for the first time with the early days of our marriage, the eighth book. She’s been I’ve now come to depend on writing and trying to sell her it. I usually need a little more books for 13 years and has only Denton prompting and urging, not only to now tasted success—if success finish what I start but also sometimes to even means seeing her book on a bookshelf. begin a process in the first place. She plugged away all those years, I’m not lazy, I just tend to get bogged down determined she would see her dream come by the time, energy and, well, motivation true. I know there are a million caveats to that it takes to see certain things through to the — just because you want something really end. Or, I’ll doom myself from the get-go bad doesn’t always mean it will happen — thinking I won’t do a good job. That’s when but I also know regret will be in full force Matt comes in and gives me the push I need in my life if I don’t continue to pursue this to stop thinking about it and just get cracking. dream of mine. The “thing” I’m working on these days is Matt wanted to be an Ironman, so he writing a book. A full-length novel, to be pushed himself as hard as he could and specific. This is my second one, the first accomplished it. The author I talked to one having been completed before I had continued writing and tried to sell her work my second baby, Sela. With one child, I had for over a decade, and she finally made it. I a guaranteed two-hour block of time in the might or might not ever see my own book on afternoons and a couple of free mornings a a shelf in a bookstore, but I can work toward week when Kate was in school. that goal. Now, any “free” time I get is quickly A friend posted this on her Facebook page: filled by the myriad things that have to “Never give up on a dream because of the get done around the house, as most people time it will take to accomplish it. The time know. Writing this thing requires a massive will pass anyway.” I’ve thought about that a amount of perseverance, not to mention long, lot in the last few weeks. Who cares if it takes overlapping nap times from the girls, which a long time to accomplish something? Time isn’t high on their list of priorities these days. marches on, and I can spend that time taking I could go on and on about why I can’t find steps toward a dream or look back one day the time to write, but as Matt has pointed out and wish I had. to me, if I want it bad enough, I will find time Lauren can be reached at to do it. It doesn’t matter how long it takes

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Village Living

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The Homewood Star

28 • June 2013

The Homewood Star


N What do science, history, and logic have to say about the reliability of the Bible? This book presents in a profound way how the Bible reflects the true nature of reality. Reliable Truth is about seeing the world as it is while debunking the myths, legends, and false beliefs of the Bible. “Richard Simmons has hit a homerun with this book.” ~ Kevin Elko, Author and Sports Consultant “Reliable Truth answers the questions that both Christians and tough minded skeptics are asking. I highly recommend this book!” ~ Chris Hodges, Senior Pastor, Church of the Highlands “Great research and scholarship... written in plain language we can all follow. Once I started, I found it hard to put down.” ~ Drayton Nabers, Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice and CEO of Protective Life “Richard Simmons has done an outstanding job…I highly recommend this book.” ~ Frank Barker, Pastor Emeritus, Briarwood Presbyterian Church “A much needed book in our day of relativism.” ~ Tim Kallam, Senior Pastor, Mountain Brook Community Church “This may be Richard Simmons’ best book yet, because Reliable Truth is what the world needs now.” ~ Frank Limehouse, Dean, Church of the Advent “Simmons provides convincing and convicting evidence for the reliability of the Bible...a great book to give to college students, and every pastor and Bible study leader needs to read it as well.” ~ Gary Fenton, Senior Pastor Dawson Baptist Church “Richard Simmons provides the kind of no nonsense scholarship that supports the Bible and Biblical Truth.” ~ Rich Webster, Rector St. Luke's Episcopal Church “...this book takes on the most pressing questions of contemporary society and gives answers to them.” ~ Doug Dortch, Senior Pastor, Mountain Brook Baptist Church “Richard Simmons makes a compelling case for why the Bible is what it claims to be: The Truth.” ~ Larry Taunton, Executive Director Fixed Point Foundation

Richard E. Simmons III

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The Homewood Star  

news, sports and community news source for Homewood Alabama

The Homewood Star  

news, sports and community news source for Homewood Alabama