Homewood Star May 2024

Page 1

By EMILY REED The Edge, a space located at 815, 817 and 819 Green Springs Highway, is nearing completion of its Phase 1, which includes several dining options. The first phase is expected to be ready to open this summer. The development’s Phase 2 is projected to be finished by late summer or early fall, with plans to lease a few additional spaces before the completion of The Edge project. “Our hope is The Edge is a go-to destination for local Birminghamians and those visiting to gather with friends and families for good times and great food and drinks,” said J.J. Thomas, who is spearheading the development with his wife, Whitney. The first phase consists of seven dining options, with multiple “unique” outdoor spaces throughout the project, according to the developers. WE FIX ROOFS 205•900•ROOF | CARDINAL-ROOF.COM facebook.com/thehomewoodstar Sponsors ............4 News ....................6 Business ..............7 Events ................10 Sports.................13 Opinion...............18 Real Estate ...... 20 INSIDE Homewood freshman from Uganda shows great promise. See page 13 See page 12 Off To Market Miles To Go West Homewood Farmers Market is gearing up for busy summer. May 2024 | Volume 14 | Issue 12 HOMEWOOD’S COMMUNITY NEWS SOURCE THEHOMEWOODSTAR.COM | STARNESMEDIA.COM BROUGHT TO YOU BY SERVING HOMEWOOD, THE 280 CORRIDOR, HOOVER, MOUNTAIN BROOK, TRUSSVILLE AND VESTAVIA HILLS GUINSERVICE.COM Serving the Birmingham area since 1958. 205-595-4846 AL#12175 See THE EDGE | page 23 The Edge: First phase slated to open this summer Construction continues on The Edge development on Green Springs Highway on April 16. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney. Seth and Shelley Grissom and their children Ann Blevins, 4, and Miller, 1, stand outside their home on La Prado Place in the historic Hollywood neighborhood of Homewood. Their home will be part of the Historic Home Tour celebrating Hollywood’s centennial. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.
he 1918 University of Alabama yearbook described a young student named Clyde H. Nelson, the future creator of Homewood’s Hollywood neighborhood, as “a man’s man — and a woman’s, too, for all that! [H]e’ll be worth a million [by the] time he is thirty.” The yearbook was not wrong. By 1924, then-26-year-old Nelson was the head of his own real estate company and soon to be elected president of the Birmingham Real Estate Board. Birmingham’s newspapers were awash in advertisements for the homes he offered for sale, alongside reporting about his various exploits. Nelson dropped invitations to Southside Baptist Church’s Bible school from an airplane, played guitar and sang in a group known as The Realty Trio and, as an amateur thespian, appeared in the first performances held at Birmingham’s Little Theater. See LEGACY | page 22 JIM NOLES Hollywood celebrates 100 years with return of Historic Home Tour ‘Lasting legacy’
2 • May 2024 The Homewood Star SPRING INTO ACTION Hueytown Homewood 1280 Columbiana Road, #160 205.968.1283 SoHo 2610 19th Street South 205.558.6400

Classes & Activities

Central Barre

Tuesday 6:15am

Wednesday 5:15pm

Saturday 8:15am

Homewood Community Center

Central Barre is a small group fitness class incorporating barre, core, cardio, balance, strength training and stretch to give you a complete workout in 55 minutes.  We use a variety of small equipment such as weights, resistance bands, balls and sliding discs to increase variety and provide real results.  ellyngagnon@gmail.com

Dance Trance

Saturday 9:30am-10:30am

Homewood Community Center

Dance Trance is a high-cardio, high-energy dance fitness experience that leaves participants soaking wet!  It is a non-stop workout that feels more like a party than an exercise class. www.dancetrancefitness.com

Fun For All Line Dancing

Beginner and Beyond Beginner line dance instruction encompassing a variety of music genres, e.g., pop, country and R&B. You will learn line dance terminology, line dance steps, and, of course, line dances to specific music.

Homewood Community Center, Fitness Studio 2

Tuesday 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM $5.00 per person per visit funforalllinedancing@gmail.com

North Star Martial Arts

North Star Martial Arts primary focus is to make a life lasting impact on our students, and their families. Classes range from beginners to adults. For detailed class listings and times please visit the park’s website or www.northstarma.com. 205-966-4244 • info@northstarma.com


Vinyasa yoga classes in an energetic environment using upbeat music at Homewood Community Center. All levels welcome.

Friday: 8:00am-9:00am - Basics Class

Friday: 9:30am-10:30am - Regular Class

Contact Marla: 205-223-8564 • mac@yolimber.com

Bench Aerobics Step & Line Dance

Monday: 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Tuesday: 4:15pm – 5:15pm (Step Aerobics)

Thursday: 4:15pm – 5:15pm (Cardio Line Dance)

Cost: Classes are FREE (with donations)

For more information contact Rosa at 205-253-9344 or benchaerobics@bellsouth.net

Homewood Community Center Fitness Studio 2

Royce Head Personal Training

Affordable personal training available to members in the Fitness Center at the Homewood Community Center. Workouts are fast, fun, safe, and effective and each person is started with a program to fit their fitness level. Call Royce for more information: (205) 945-1665

Fast Track Line Dance

We learn the current and classic intermediateadvanced line dances. This class is not for beginners. Saturday 11:00am-1:00pm

Homewood Community Center, Fitness Studio 2

Jackie Tally jgtally@aol.com (or) Helen Woods aquafool@aol.com


FIT4MOM Birmingham provides fitness classes and a network of local moms to support every stage of motherhood. From pregnancy, through postpartum and beyond, we serve our community by offering our fitness and wellness programs to help keep moms strong in body, mind and spirit. View our website for Membership Plans, Passes and Schedule. https://birmingham.fit4mom.com/

Misc. Information

Homewood Parks & Recreation

Senior Center

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention

Wednesdays at 1:30pm

Tai Chi is an ancient mind-body marshal art exercise that with regular practice improves health and wellbeing. It is a moving meditation in the form of fluid, graceful, circular and slow exercises. This class is suitable for anyone, easy on the joints, helps to calm the mind, improves balance and coordination. The program of Tai Chi for Health Institute. For additional information about Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention, contact Galina at: galinawaites@gmail.com

Tai Chi, Sun Style   Mondays at 1:30pm

Tai Chi is an ancient mind-body marshal art exercise that with regular practice improves health and wellbeing. It is a moving meditation in the form of fluid, graceful, circular and slow exercises. During this class participants will learn in more depth about Tai Chi history, principals and styles, will learn and practice Sun Style 73 forms. This class is suitable for anyone who is willing to take the time learning beautiful, liberating and empowering set of movements(forms). For additional information about Sun Style Tai Chi, contact Galina at: galinawaites@gmail.com

Dance Fusion with Galina Thursdays at 1:30pm

Dance Fusion is an easy low impact aerobic exercise, where we learn the basics of many dances around the world while having a lot of fun in the process. Linear movements and occasional turns are simple enough to remember and perform, while energizing music of the program helps with cardio elements and a positive emotional effect. For additional information about Dance Fusion, contact Galina at: galinawaites@gmail.com

Summer Pool Information

For all your summer pool information: membership, hours of operation, swim team, party rentals, swim lessons, etc.

Please visit: www.homewoodparks.com

TheHomewoodStar.com May 2024 • 3 Follow us for athletics, community centers programming and event updates @homewoodparks @homewood.parks @homewood_parks
We Love Homewood Day
Saturday, May 4, 2024
Save the date & come celebrate Homewood! Vendor & Sponsorship information available at www.homewoodparks.com
Homewood Youth Football and Cheer
Register now for the Fall 2024 Season. Homewood Youth Football and Cheer oversee youth tackle football and cheerleading for the Homewood community.

About Us

For this month’s publisher’s note, have some good and some bad news.

First, the good news: This is the last publisher’s note plan to write for at least a while.

And there is no bad news, but we all know that looming bad news captures attention.

More good news is that Tim Stephens has taken over as interim editor in chief for our company.

I’ve asked Tim to improve the Homewood Star and our other newspaper products by making them more relevant, more consistent, more connected and by increasing digital touch points within the community.

In the coming months, you should see noticeable changes in all of these areas of this paper.

You’ll also see a new face and a new voice in this space. What you’ll likely continue to see is us asking for your input and feedback on making our media connect with you more impactfully.

And you should also see new and creative ways to make that happen through all of our distribution channels. As always, welcome your input. You can reach me by email at dan@starnesmedia.com.

Please Support Our Community Partners

Bedzzz Express (24)

Bill White Roofing and Specialty (6)

Birmingham Museum of Art (21)

Bromberg’s (19)

Bryant Bank (18)

Budget Blinds (11)

Cardinal Roofing (1)

Children’s of Alabama (17)

Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham (5)

ENT Associates of Alabama (16)

Etc. (7)

Gaynell Hendricks - Tax Assessor (13)

Green Springs Animal Clinic (15)

Guin Service (1)

Gunn Dermatology (5)

Homewood Family and Cosmetic Dentistry (15)

Homewood Parks and Rec (3)

Issis & Sons (12)

Mr. Handyman of Birmingham (23)

One Man & A Toolbox (8)

One Source Heating Cooling and Electrical LLC (6)

Oxmoor Valley Orthodontics (19)

Piggly Wiggly (17)

Shunnarah Flooring (8)

Sikes Children’s Shoes (10)

Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists (16)

TherapySouth Corporate (2)

TrustMark Bank (9)

Vulcan Termite & Pest Control (10)

West Homewood Farmers Market (2)

4 • May 2024 The Homewood Star
Homewood’s ac land catches a y ball at the fence in left eld during an area game against ountain roo at Homewood High chool on pril . Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney. Join the conversation. Scan the QR code to read us online, join our newsletter and follow us at Get Homewood Star in your mailbox, inbox and online. Find Us The Homewood Star is distributed through direct mail to Homewood residents. You can also find copies at a variety of locations throughout the community. For a list of pick up locations, scan the QR code below or go to thehomewood star.com/about-us. Dan Starnes Tim Stephens Jon Anderson Leah Ingram Eagle Kyle Parmley Melanie Viering Erin Nelson Sweeney Ted Perry Simeon Delante Sarah Villar Publisher: Editor in Chief: Community Editors: Sports Editor: Design Editor: Photo Editor: Graphic Designer: Production Assistant: Operations Specialist: Legals: e Homewood Star is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. e Homewood Star is designed to inform the Homewood community of area school, family and community events. Information in e Homewood Star is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submi ed become the property of e Homewood Star. We reserve the right to edit articles/photos as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish or return photos submi ed. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the a ention of the publisher at (205) 313-1780 or by email. Published by: The Homewood Star LLC P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205) 313-1780 thehomewoodstar.com For advertising, contact: dan@starnesmedia.com Please submit all articles, information and photos to: svillar@starnesmedia.com Katharine Armbrester Solomon Crenshaw Jr. Lauren Denton Sean Dietrich Loyd McIntosh Jim Noles Emily Reed Warren Caldwell Don Harris Contributing Writers: Client Success Specialist: Business Development Exec: PLEASE RECYCLE THIS PAPER
Publisher’s Note By Dan Starnes PHOTO OF THE MONTH


Join us for our Mother’s Day event Thursday, May 2 and follow our Facebook & Instagram for more upcoming events!

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Entrepreneur, artist, and author of the inspiring book Why Not Win, Larry Thornton is a trailblazer who believes in paying it forward. That's why he is investing in Birmingham's future by leaving a legacy gift to the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.

Larry has been a servant leader throughout his career, providing opportunities for others to succeed and build a stronger community.

"When you are as blessed as I have been, what better place to share the bounty than in the community that made it possible," he says.

Trusting the Community Foundation with his legacy was a natural step for Larry because he knows our work is vital to building a better future for years to come.

Visit cfbham.org/legacy to learn how you can join Larry and create your lasting legacy.

TheHomewoodStar.com May 2024 • 5

Finance committee recommends upgrades to city IT security

Homewood’s new information technology director, Brandon Sims, asked the City Council’s Finance Committee on April 15 for more money to better secure the city’s digital resources.

Sims asked the committee to amend the city IT budget from $66,000 to $140,000 to improve security. For example, he said the city doesn’t have a standardized set of software licenses and multi-factor authentication systems, and he’d li e to fi that.

“There’s a number of security and compliance things that we don’t have access to. With our push to get kind of the foundational elements under control, that’s one of the things that like to do,” Sims said.

Finance Committee Chairman Walter Jones said the pgrade ill bring s a lot more efficiency and security.”

“This allows us to standardize and go, ‘Hey, we’re gonna tell you how you can do multifactor to allow us to get the auto reports that we need,” Sims said. “We can also do things like geofencing, where we can cut it down and say, ‘Hey, we shouldn’t see any logins from China. We shouldn’t see any logins from the Philippines,’ or whatever’s going on.”

The committee sent the matter to the full council’s agenda with a recommendation to approve the request.

Additionally, the Finance Committee:

Recommended giving permission for City Engineer Cale Smith to hire for a planning technician position.

Recommended authorizing the mayor to sign a contract with Carr, Riggs Ingram for accounting work.

Recommended declaring a 1999 Ford F-450, a 2009 Ford F-150, a 2013 Ram 1500 and various equipment surplus.

Also on April 15, the Public Safety Committee heard a request to condemn the apartment building at 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 Aspen Cove at The Park at Buckingham. The committee recommended the condemnation to the full council.

The Public Works Committee recommended approval of a request to add 14 parking spaces in the right-of-way at Covenant Presbyterian Church at 65 Old Montgomery Highway.

The Planning and Development Committee recommended setting a public hearing for ay to consider a final development plan for Bank of America to construct a single-story, 4,235-square-foot branch with associated parking at 232 Green Springs Highway.

The Special Issues Committee recommended granting a request to erect a tent in the right-ofway at Little Donkey, 2701 18th Street South, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

The Special Issues Committee recommended setting public hearings on May 6 for three sign variance requests: EVI at 3125 Independence Drive, Suite 300B. Birmingham Wholesale at 401 West Valley Avenue. That is the former Compass Bank operation center location. Southern Immediate Care at 1944 28th Avenue South.

City 6 • May 2024 The Homewood Star
Bill White Roofing and Specialty 3172 Shannon Wenonah Rd Bessemer, AL 35022 (205) 942-8374 • bwroof.com Bill White Roofing and Specialty “Your Roof Is Our Roof” Since 1969 Roof Repair | Roof Replacement | Gutters We believe our commitment to hand-nailing shingles ensures a stronger, longer lasting roof - one better able to withstand nature’s harshest elements. We put YOUR roof on with the same meticulous care as we’ve done with our own. You can count on this tradition
been Bill White Roofing & Specialty Co.” - Steve White Discover Ageless Roofing Craftsmanship Air Conditioning, Heating & Generator Experts Locally Owned & Operated in HOMEWOOD Don’t worry we guarantee all our work!
randon ims the city of Homewood’s T director spea s to the inance ommittee on pril .. Photo by Solomon Crenshaw Jr.

Business Happenings


The Frothy Monkey is now open at 930 Oxmoor Road in Homewood, making it the second location in Alabama for the eatery. The cafe serves breakfast and brunch every day until 5 pm, as well as lunch and dinner, with beverage offerings including coffee, craft beer, wine and cocktails. The recipes are made from scratch, and the ingredients are locally sourced whenever possible. This location is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

659-202-4344, frothymonkey.com

SouthPoint Bank has a new location at 1720 28th Ave. S. that is now open. The new branch offers a full range of banking services, including personal and business accounts, loans, ATM services and drive-thru service. The Homewood location is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

205-503-5000, southpoint.bank

Slice Pizza and Brew recently opened its fifth location at 1010 Oxmoor Road. The new location was previously occupied by New York Pizza, in the heart of the Edgewood neighborhood. The menu includes traditional favorites along with a few new, local menu items. The Edgewood location is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. 205-238-5490, slicebirmingham.com


Regions Bank, with branches at 1 Independence Plaza and 100 Green Springs Highway, was named a silver winner in the Learning Marketer of the Year competition at the 2024 Degreed Visionary Awards, given out by the Degreed enterprise learning experience platform. The award recognizes companies for aligning professional development with business strategies. 205-766-8070, regions.com


Regions Bank, with branches at 1 Independence Plaza and 100 Green Springs Highway, has named John Jordan as the head of retail for its Consumer Banking Group. Jordan will lead an organization of more than 7,500 Regions Bank associates. He comes to Regions from Bank of America, where he spent more than 20 years in retail banking and wealth management. As head of retail for Regions Bank, Jordan reports directly to Kate Danella, head of consumer banking. 205-766-8070, regions.com


The Little Donkey, 2701 18th St. S., Suite 200, has been serving the Homewood community for 12 years. The restaurant prepares Southern-inspired Mexican dishes such as tacos, queso, fajitas and other favorites such as fried chicken. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 205-703-7000, thelittledonkey.com

Neighbors, at 715 Oak Grove Road in West Homewood, has been scooping up ice cream for one year. The sweet shop offers classic and unique ice cream flavors for its scoops, cones and shakes, as well as a candy wall. The shop is open weekdays from 3 to 8 p.m. and weekends starting at noon. 205-518-5521, neighborshwd.com

Business News to Share?

Do you have news to share with the community about a business in Homewood or the greater Birmingham area?

Let us know at starnesmedia.com/ business-happenings

Business TheHomewoodStar.com May 2024 • 7

Developer sets new plan for Weygand Surveyors building

Brian Krogsgard had a plan all laid out.

The Edgewood resident had purchased the Weygand Surveyors building, located on Oxmoor Road in West Homewood. He had gotten approval from the Homewood City o ncil to t rn the t o story office b ilding into a mixed-use development that would feature a combination of retail and restaurant ses on the gro nd oor and office space on the second oor

Then, about six months after the council gave final approval of his plan, rogsgard decided to pivot.

He purchased the Weygand Surveyors company, closing that deal in December 2023. The company’s operations have shifted to the smaller building he owns just east of the twostory Weygand building, which he plans to upgrade.

Krogsgard studies industrial engineering at Auburn University and admits he didn’t know the first thing abo t s rveying ntil he needed surveys for his own home and other buildings.

“Really, my education about the business came from sharing the office and then honestly just digging in,” he said. “More than anything, knew it was a part of the real estate transaction process and knew the value that a survey could provide.”

Importantly, Krogsgard said he understood that eygand rveyors has a significant local presence, particularly in Jefferson and Shelby counties.

“It’s a business with a long-standing name that’s been around for 75 years,” he said. “The opportunity to kind of be the fourth generation, if you will, of that business moving forward was something was really excited about. You’re not starting from zero; you’re starting with a tremendous amount of history behind you. You’re just shepherding it into the next generation.”

The name of the business won’t change,

even though it is a different entity.

“From a customer perspective, it’s still Weygand,” Krogsgard said. “We still have all that history of information and market presence that was important to be maintained.”

Krogsgard said a viability pricing study was done over the course of a year for the redevelopment plan that the city had approved. Ultimately, he found that the project would be enormously over budget.

“After we got the city approval and we got the final constr ction n mbers, things j st didn’t line up appropriately,” he said. “I kind of had to rethink: What are we going to do here and what does that look like, and how do we continue to do a redevelopment, but within the bounds of reality from a pricing perspective and not get out over our skis?”

Those questions led Krogsgard back where he or the b ilding started as an office building.

“I had no desire to do something that didn t ma e financial sense, he said. have a strong desire to do something that think is beneficial to the comm nity locally and this area. One of the realizations that came to is that it is an office b ilding. s m ch as would have loved to add to the fabric of the development activity in the neighborhood, to put in mixed-use entertainment, retail, things like that, there’s also an avenue to improve it as an office b ilding and add to the local workforce with the building.”

The developer hopes to refurbish the larger b ilding to ho se other offices.

“Within the budget that do have, can

ma e it a nicer, m ch nicer office b ilding, he said. “We might be able to put 40, 50 people to work in that building, but then use all those other [neighborhood] resources — the coffee shop and the restaurants and the gym and salons and other things that are here. That’s kind of the angle that I’ve taken on.”

The work of refurbishing the Weygand building began recently, with a new roof.

“I’m taking it kind of one step at a time,” Krogsgard said. “Next is going to be working on that facade to pull it out of the 1980s.”

Behind that facade, he said, is a building that’s got “solid bones.”

“It just needs to be brought into the modern era, for the type of workplace that people want to be in every day,” the developer said. “That’s very possible with what want to do.”

8 • May 2024 The Homewood Star isn’t for everyone. Because Doing it Yourself Residential Commercial Special Projects 205-823-2111 • OneMan-Toolbox.com One Man & a Toolbox Handyman Services Special financing available with a minimum purchase of $2500 Entire Showroom Included, with Approved Credit, See store for details. New Floors Can Be Yours with Special Financing! CARPET, HARDWOOD, TILE & MORE (205) 518-6423 | 813 Green Springs Hwy Call Who? Call Foo! Follow us on social media! Locally Owned & Operated
Brian Krogsgard stands in front of the Weygand Surveyors building on Oxmoor Road. He plans to renovate the building for of ce use. Photo by Solomon Crenshaw Jr.

Thrift Shop expands to meet more community needs

The Assistance League of Birmingham recently completed an expansion of its Encore Thrift Shop to help more children in need throughout greater Birmingham.

For decades, Encore Thrift Shop on Oxmoor Road was part craft store, part thrift store, serving the community as a recreational and social outlet for retirees and senior citizens. However, Assistance League of Birmingham President Katharine Nichols said interest in crafting has waned in recent years, while mission-focused thrift stores have increased in popularity.

Nichols said the Assistance League Board of Directors decided to change Encore Thrift Shop’s mission by expanding the shop’s footprint and its ability to serve more underserved schoolchildren.

“This year, we went for a big change because we were just seeing a decline in crafting, and so we decided thrifting is big, and so we made the switchover around Christmas and opened back up in January,” Nichols said.

Supporting the Assistance League’s Operation School Bell, Encore Thrift Store provides clothing and other essentials to children identified by their school counselors. Since the program’s founding in 1985, Operation School Bell has provided clothing for more than 35,000 children — around 1,500 per year — throughout metropolitan Birmingham.

Through Operation School Bell, school counselors identify children in need in kindergarten thro gh fifth grade, and the ids are bro ght to the Encore Thrift Shop by school bus. There, the children are allowed to shop and try on new clothes in a private dressing room, with the help of an Assistance League volunteer.

Since the environment resembles a department store or bo ti e rather than a sterile, nonprofit environment, shopping for their clothing is fun for the children, Nichols and Assistance League member and volunteer Kay Frazier said.

“They’re excited after they’ve gotten all these new clothes, and then we give them a new book. Some of them never had something like that,”

Nichols said. “We give them coloring books and crayons, things that are fun, along with the clothes. Then, they get back on their bus and they go back to their school, and the way we make the money to do that is our thrift store.”

Nichols said one recent kindergartener was “grinning from ear to ear” when he came out of the dressing room in his first o tfit.

“His teacher looked at me and said, ‘That’s the first time ve ever seen him smile, ichols said.

“When they come here and get new clothes, they feel better abo t themselves. t really affects their self-esteem,” Frazier said.

Additionally, the thrift shop assists children

in middle school, meeting the child and family members at a local clothing store, where they are given a $150 gift card to choose clothes with the guidance of family members and Assistance League volunteers.

Encore Thrift Shop also donates clothing and coats to schools for their clothes closets, as well as supplying clothing and other essential items to families after experiencing an emergency s ch as a fire or ood.

Frazier said the income from the thrift shop and other annual fundraising efforts helps to fund Operation School Bell and its other services. There are still many more people in the

surrounding communities who need their help, she said.

“We had a panel at our fundraiser recently, and they really enlightened us even more than what we knew, because we sit here and Homewood in the middle of this very af ent area and ithin five miles, there are many, many people in need, Frazier said. “That is our goal is to see that no child has to go to school in raggedy clothes.”

Encore Thrift Shop is located at 1755 Oxmoor Road in Homewood. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more about the Assistance League of Birmingham at assistanceleague.org/birmingham.

TheHomewoodStar.com May 2024 • 9
The Assistance League of irmingham’s Encore Thrift Shop on Oxmoor Road in Homewood has expanded its size.
Shop. Encore
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Photo courtesy of Encore Thrift


Homewood events guide

May 3: PAC in the Park Presents “The Little Mermaid Jr.” 5-9 p.m. Homewood Central Park. The Performing Arts Company (PAC) will be performing “The Little Mermaid Jr.” to kick off We Love Homewood Day weekend. The production features students in grades K-12 throughout Homewood and surrounding areas. There will also be local sponsor tents and food trucks for audience members to enjoy while watching the show. homewoodtheatre.com.

May 4: We Love Homewood Day. 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Homewood Central Park. The 5K begins at 7:30, along with the Scoop and Scurry Fun Run. Throughout the day, you can enjoy chalk art, a festival at Central Park, parade and street dance. homewoodparks.com/ wlhd.

May 11: Motherwalk 5K. 8 a.m. Homewood Central Park. Grab your teal tutu and best running shoes, and come out for the chip-timed 5K and 1-mile fun run benefitting the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation. cureovariancancer.org/events/motherwalk.

May 11: 2024 Birmingham Kidney Walk and Celebration. 8:30 a.m. John Carroll High School, Pat Sullivan Field. Come out to enjoy the fun entertainment, children’s activities, breakfast, door prizes and more. This is the Alabama Kidney Foundation's most important fundraising event of the year. birminghamkidneywalk.org.

May 9: Miss Mollie’s Musical Storytime. 9:30-10:15 a.m. Round Auditorium. Preschool.

May 11: Itsy Bitsy Baby. 10:30-11 a.m. Round Auditorium. Ages 0 to 18 months.

May 13: Fiddlesticks Music. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Round Auditorium. Preschool.

May 15: Lil’ Swimmers Storytime with Goldfish Swim School. 10:30-11 a.m. Round Auditorium. Preschool.

May 18: "Dolls Jumping Off the Pages" Viewing Party with the Birmingham Doll Club. 10 a.m. to noon. Round Auditorium & Ellenburg Art Gallery. All ages welcome. Bring a doll.

May 18: Father Goose Poetry Festival for Kids. 2-4 p.m. Large Auditorium. All ages welcome. Join us for this special event celebrating talented young writers from around Alabama.

May 20-Aug. 4: Kids Summer Reading 2024: Adventure Begins in Your Library. Children’s Department. Ages 0 to 12 years. Once signed up, come pick up a goodie bag and a free book at the Friends Bookstore. You’ll receive a calendar reading log to track each day you read or listen to an audiobook. Bring your log to our children’s desk to earn chances for prize drawings.

May 28: Children’s Department’s Annual Bubble Bash. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Library Parking Lot. All ages welcome. We are kicking off our Summer Reading with bubbles, music and treats to beat the

heat. Get your bathing suits ready and slather on your sunscreen.


May 2 and 16: Teen Theatre Thursdays. 4-5 p.m. Round Auditorium. Grades 6-12.

May 2: Teen Advisory Board (TAB). 6-7 p.m. Room 109, Lower Level. Grades 6-12.

May 4: May the 4th Craft With You. 2-3 p.m. Room 109, Lower Level. Grades 6-12. All supplies provided.

May 19: All Ages Craft Swap. 2:30-5:30 p.m. Large Auditorium. All ages welcome.

May 20-Aug. 4: Teen Summer Reading. Ages 12-18.

May 22: Magic: the Gathering for Teens. 3:30-5:30 p.m. Room 102, Lower Level. Grades 6-12.

10 • May 2024 The Homewood Star
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homewoodpubliclibrary.org. CHILDREN

May 30: HPL Goes Medieval — Teen Summer Reading Kickoff. 5-7 p.m. Large Auditorium. Grades 6-12. Come in your best medieval, fantasy or cosplay outfit and dance the afternoon a ay ith modern songs styled ith a medieval air.


Mondays: Virtual Library Yoga with Jackie Tally. 2-3 p.m. Meet on Zoom.

Thursdays: Game Night at the Library. 6-8:30 p.m. Room 1 1, Lo er Level.

May 1: Introduction to Excel 2016 — Part 1. 2:30-4 p.m. Computer Training Lab and Zoom. Join us and learn Excel basics.

May 1: Staff Movie Picks — “Crazy Rich Asians.” 3-6 p.m. Large uditorium. his movie is rated -1 .

May 2-4: Friends Bookstore $7 Bag Sale. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. riends ookstore. ags ill be provided. ll proceeds from the bag sale benefit the ome ood ublic Library.

May 2: Read It & Eat Book Club — “What You Are Looking For Is in the Library” by Michiko Aoyama. - p.m. rban Cookhouse,1 2 2 th venue .

May 3: Momorabilia with Storyteller Dolores Hydock. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Large Auditorium. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on the library s ebsite.

May 4: Homebuyer Education — The Basics and Barriers of Homeownership. 10-11:30 a.m. Room 102. resented by udy oods, financial ellbeing coach -certified housing counselor ith Operation O .

May 4: Adult Crafting With September Reed — Henna. 1 -11 a.m. in oom 1 , Lo er Level. his class is free, but there is limited seating.

May 7: Not Your Mama's Book Club — Spiritual Hypnotherapy. 2-3 p.m. Library Boardroom. No book reading required, discussion group only. oin us as e elcome nn Clark, a spiritual hypnotherapist, ho ill e plain hat you might e perience during one of her sessions.

May 9: Financial Disaster Preparedness. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. oom 1 2, Lo er Level. oin us as enny outh ard, of Operation O in partnership ith egions ank, covers hat to do ith your finances before, during and after a disaster to ensure you re protected.

May 10: Niki Sepsas Presents Maternal Care in the Animal Kingdom. 2-3 p.m. Round Auditorium.

May 13: Clases de informática en español. 2:30-4 p.m. Computer Training Lab.

May 13: Educator Book Club — “Troublemaker” by John Cho. -5 p.m. Library oardroom. Check out this title at hpl. pub catalog.

May 14: Oxmoor Page Turners Book Club — “Finding Me” by Viola Davis. - p.m. Library oardroom. lace the book on hold at hpl.pub catalog.

May 15: West Homewood Read, Watch & Review — Mystery. 1-2 p.m. ome ood enior Center.

May 15: Introduction to Excel 2016 — Part 2. 2:30-4 p.m. Computer Training Lab and Zoom.

May 16: Homebuyer Education: Navigating the Path a d e efits to omeow ershi 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in oom 1 2, Lo er Level. resented by udy oods, financial ellbeing coach -certified housing counselor ith Operation O .

May 16: Miniature Painting with September Reed. - p.m. oom 1 , Lo er Level. e ill provide all you need to paint your o n masterpiece.

May 17: Big Ideas Book Club — Bring Your Favorite. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Library oardroom. Lunch provided. egistration required.

May 18: Creating Book Flowers With Mollie McFar-

land. 11 a.m. to noon. oom 1 2, Lo er Level. ll supplies are provided. Limited seating.

May 19: All Ages Craft Swap. 2:30-5:30 p.m. Large Auditorium. ll ages elcome. ring your unused craft supplies to the adult services desk any day before the event, bagged and clean. e ill set up the tables for the s ap.

May 20-Aug. 4: Adult Summer Reading. Ages 18 and up. ign up online beginning ay 2 at home oodpubliclibrary.org sr. or every three books or audiobooks you check out in-person or online, you earn a chance to enter the eekly dra ing for a gift bag.

May 20: An Afternoon with Gin Phillips. Noon to 1 p.m. Large uditorium. oin us as e elcome author in hillips ho ill be discussing the po er of fiction in the age of phones.

May 20: Dixie’s Pet Loss Support Group. 6-7 p.m. Room 1 , Lo er Level. ponsored by the reater irmingham umane ociety. articipation is free. or reservations, contact enni mith at 2 5- - 5 .

May 21: Balance and Fall Prevention with EW Motion Therapy. 11 a.m. Large Auditorium.

May 21: The ABCs of Medicare. Noon to 1 p.m. Room 116, Lo er Level.

May 21: Seasonal Readings with Sid Burgess. 1-2 p.m. Round Auditorium.

May 21: Forever YA Book Club — “Watership Down” by Richard Adams. - p.m. oom 1 , Lo er Level.

May 22: Google Sheets. 2:30-4 p.m. Computer Training Lab & Zoom.

May 22: Staff Movie Picks — “Jojo Rabbit.” 3-6 p.m. Large uditorium. his movie is rated -1 .

May 23: Bridgerton Trivia. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Large Auditorium. Online registration re uired for each team. egister online.

May 29: Better Than Therapy Book Club — Tom Lake. 2-3:30 p.m. Library Boardroom.

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Farmers market gearing up for busy summer

For 14 years, the West Homewood Farmers Market has delivered fresh food along with an opportunity for residents to build bonds in their community.

The market “is more than just a marketplace,” said CEO and Board Director Kenyon Ross. “It's a vibrant community hub where local producers, farmers and neighbors come together. ere, yo ll find an ab ndance of fresh, seasonal produce, baked goods and unique crafts, all lovingly crafted and sourced from the surrounding area.”

The market is also committed to providing an enjoyable experience for the kids as their families browse. A kid’s table is set up with fun activities, including face painting, balloon creations and the crowd-favorite sprinkler. On select Tuesdays, the Homewood Library also participates in the market and treats young visitors to popsicles.

Between 40 and 60 vendors participate, and there has been a noticeable increase in vendors and visitors at the market in recent years, which Ross attributes to a growing interest in locally sourced products and community-driven events.

“We're thrilled to see this positive trend,” Ross said, “as it speaks to the market's growing popularity and its importance as a focal point for our community.”

Ross said that the market has received enthusiastic support from residents and loyal shoppers.

“The West Homewood Farmers Market fosters a sense of connection and belonging. It's a place where you can chat with the farmers who grew your food, learn about sustainable practices and discover ne avors and ingredients,” he said. “Plus, with live music, food trucks and activities for the whole family, it's a delightful outing for everyone.”

The market will be open from June 4 to Aug. 6 on Tuesdays from 5 to 8 p.m. at 160

Oxmoor Road.

Another option for buying fresh local prod ce is thro gh Till, labama s first online farmers market. Founded in April 2019 by Birmingham couple Will and Hayley deShazo, their enterprise o rished despite the 19 pandemic.

Till is unique in that shoppers can purchase Alabama-grown foods without leaving the comfort of their homes.

“Our online market offers the ability to plan ahead with what is fresh for the coming week and what you can cook with to plan meals

around,” Hayley deShazo said. “It allows those who might not have transportation or those with busy schedules to still prioritize eating healthy and supporting local.”

Depending on the time of year, anywhere from 10 to 20 Alabama growers are featured on Till, and the deShazos keep their customers informed about exactly where their produce is sourced from around the state.

“We are able to build long-term relationships between farms and customers by frequently providing farm updates and sharing stories from the growers you may not get

from a quick interaction at the market,” she said.

Till’s offerings range from typical fruits and vegetables to products like Gulf seafood and homemade peanut butter.

Anyone can make a free account at usetill. com if they have a qualifying delivery zip code, and customers can shop Sunday through Wednesday for a Saturday morning delivery.

The West Homewood community has supported Till for five years, de ha o said, and they hope to gather more customers from the Edgewood and Hollywood areas.

12 • May 2024 The Homewood Star
Patrons attend the West Homewood Farmers Market on opening day in June 2022. The market is held each Tuesday between June and August from 5 to 8 p.m. in the parking lot of Shades Valley Community Church. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Miles to go before I peak


freshman from Uganda shows great promise

Spring break was different this year for Isaiah Davis.

The Homewood High School freshman and his family left their Edgewood home for a trip to ganda. t as the first trip bac to the frican nation where Davis, who was adopted as an orphan, was born.

“My experience has been great so far,” Davis said of his trip via text message, “but do feel most at home in Homewood.”

It’s in Homewood where Davis is making a name for himself in cross-country and track and field. e as one of t o ninth graders to finish in the top in cross co ntry for the labama igh chool thletic ssociation s lass , finishing th overall and as the top male finisher for ome ood igh ith a time of minutes, 19.94 seconds.

The Patriot freshman ran a personal record time of 1 minute, 58.98 seconds in the 800meter during the indoor track season at the ast hance nvitational meet in Birmingham in January. That wound up being the fourth fastest time for a freshman in the nation.

avis finished fifth overall, at . , in the 400-meter at the Icebreaker Invitational indoor meet in Birmingham in an ary, and in early March he was the second overall freshman in the at the e Balance ndoor ationals in Boston, ith a time of . . Kelly McNair, who coaches distance runners at Homewood High, said Davis is very talented, humble and has a lot of potential.

“Isaiah is extremely, extremely talented in the , , , , , and , c air said. “The talent lies in that he could race and be in our top three for all of those. If you are a strong 400 or 800 runner, you're not typically a strong distance guy, like in the 5K. He has the potential to excel across the board.”

The Homewood coach said sprinters typically have a “fast twitch” and distance runners display what she calls a “slow twitch.”

“Isaiah has both,” McNair said. “He just has the talent and the build to compete well from the 400 all the way up to the 5K, which is rare.”

So what’s his ceiling?

“That's a great question, a fantastic question,” McNair said. “I don't even know where his limit is, honestly. My priority with him is going to be to keep him healthy. try not to

overtrain him. don't want to push too much mileage, too much speed work. He's responding well to what we're doing, so I'm gonna continue to hold back a little bit on training right now.

“He's a growing boy, and he's still growing,” she contin ed. Beca se of that, m going to err on the side of caution when it comes to his mileage and his speed. don't want to push him emotionally or mentally, for the same or different reasons that don't want to push him physically.”


Davis said he can scarcely remember a time when he didn’t compete as a runner.

“My kindergarten teacher told me was really fast. think that's when started to build up running a little bit more,” he said. “I was in the top most of the time when was little, running cross-country.”

When he was in kindergarten at Shades o ntain hristian chool, he ran ith t ins Eli and Isaac Wharton, who also had been adopted from Uganda.

“I would stay with Eli and Isaac. Sometimes could beat them,” Davis said. “We were

always way ahead of everyone.” avis has t o brothers year old ico, ho as adopted from the ongo, and Benji, , ho is his parents biological son. B t he counts the Wharton twins of Hoover and oses ald ell of eado Broo as brothers from other adoptive mothers.

ll of them ere orphans in ganda, and all are now ninth graders excelling in track and field in the Birmingham area the hartons at Bessemer cademy and ald ell at Briar ood hristian chool. ve no n them since was little,” Davis said. Davis said his stamina is what allows him to excel in distance races.

“I have some speed,” he said, “but think stamina is what found out have a lot of.” is mother, laire avis, said she and her husband, Joel, have different stories of realizing they wanted to adopt a child.

“I knew in college that wanted to enter a helping profession, and was really interested in adoption,” she said. “I began my professional career working in adoption, and worked with our Uganda program back in 2009.

oel and ... e re hristians, and e also know that we're adopted, and we know what the Bible says abo t being adopted into od s family,” she said. “That always really stood out to us.”

Joel Davis remembers talking about adoption before he and laire ere married.

“We thought it would be something we would be interested in thinking about,” he said. “Especially after we were married, we were doing some trips to a boys’ home in Peru. Then went on a trip to an orphanage in Haiti.

“I think we thought it would be something we did when we were older,” Joel said. Thro gh those trips, ind of, od p lled it to the forefront. fter that trip to aiti, came back and felt like this is something we should do. We should do it now. ”

t that point, they decided to start the process of adoption. laire, a social or er ith the Lifeline adoption agency, said she worked with the agency’s attorney in Uganda.

“I grew to love the culture and the people that worked with over there, even though I'd never been,” she said.

The mother of three tho ght bac to the first photo she received of her oldest son.

“His big, brown eyes,” she recalled. “He was a cute little guy. We had his picture for about a year before we were able to go over there and petition the court.”


While Isaiah is among Homewood’s leading distance runners, McNair is careful not to heap the heavy burden of team leadership on his young shoulders.

“Our seniors and our juniors, they are still leaders of our program,” she said. “Isaiah, his times may be typical of what our top runners would be doing, but he has not taken on that responsibility, and don't want to expect him to.

“I do not put additional pressure on him to take that leadership role,” the coach said. “He'll evolve. Just be a student, be an athlete, continue to evolve, continue to work hard, continue to enjoy the sport.”

Davis knows he’ll run with the veterans during the Homewood team training sessions.

McNair said she hoped her talented freshman runner would train during his time abroad. Days into his return to Uganda, Davis had not yet trained but did have training on his itinerary.

ll train for the , and the , b t ant to specialize in the 800,” he said. “When get back, I'll train with my coaches and see if can be ready to compete.”

Davis said his goal as a runner is “to reach my limit, my max performance and the fastest race can do.”

When asked if he had done that yet, he said no. “My times keep getting faster and faster,” he said. “Every race, keep PRing [achieving a personal record].”

Sports TheHomewoodStar.com May 2024 • 13
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saiah a is a freshman at Homewood High chool runs during trac and eld practice at aldrop tadium. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

The Next Round remains committed to home

Show merchandise from The Next Round has been spotted in parts of the world thousands of miles away, even in parts of Europe.

There may not be many regular listeners of The Next Round across the pond, but it does serve as an example of the digital show’s constantly increasing presence.

The Next Round is based in Birmingham and is live from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, led by the trio of Jim Dunaway, Lance Taylor and Ryan Brown. The three of them, along with producer Sean “Rockstar” Heninger, have been together for well over a decade, joining forces on the radio side in early 2011. They primarily talk sports, but they mix in a little bit of everything along the way out of their studio in the Blue Lake Center.

They branched out in 2021 and took a leap of faith to start their own venture, what is now Disrupt Media. It’s been a steady climb ever since.

Things have evolved, grown and changed plenty in just a couple years’ time. But one thing has remained pretty constant, even as the show’s reach has increased, and that’s a commitment to the Birmingham area. Out of the 12 people currently on staff, 11 of them hail from the area.

“That’s why we’re such a good, tight-knit family,” Dunaway said. “We can reference little things like James Spann in his suspenders on a stormy day, and everyone knows what we’re talking about.”

Heninger, Scott Forester and Taylor Korn are all graduates of Vestavia Hills High School. Jon Lunceford is a Homewood guy through and through. Reade Taylor went to John Carroll Catholic High School. Tyler Johns attended Chelsea. Tim Melton is from Gardendale, while Kelsey Dollar calls Springville home.

The only staff member who is not from the area feels right at home in their midst.

“I’m the Georgia girl and all of the sudden, I’m being adopted into this Birmingham family of people,” said Emily Grace McWhorter, an in field reporter for The e t o nd.

Forester worked in television for nearly 20 years, much of that time at ABC 33/40 in Birmingham. He was recruited to join the company at the outset and serves as the director of

content and video.

ring the first year, orester did m ch of the heavy lifting of the show’s video and social media content. Half of that has since been taken off his plate with the hiring of Korn as the team’s social media director.

Korn is a recent graduate of Auburn University. She learned quickly her job was far from a conventional “eight hours behind a desk” type of job.

This is my first job, so don t have anything to compare it to,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect, because was given so much freedom, because there was no one doing my job before me. They let me do what think is best.”

Korn, a star soccer player during her high school days, still finds a ay to f el her competitive passion. When she is able to create and distribute content from The Next Round that gets shared by larger platforms, that’s a win in her book — as long as the show gets credited for it.

“That’s when get very excited,” she said.

Dollar is able to compete in her own way as well as the director of sales. She has worked with the show’s hosts dating back to their radio days. Securing sponsorship for a last-minute trip to cover the University of Alabama’s recent Final Four run is right in her wheelhouse.

“I think we all have a little bit of that competitiveness in us,” she said.

Reade Taylor is the president, but he downplays the title. He has experience working with on-air talent and on the sales side, so he’s able to blend the two together, and he said the people that he has helped bring on board in the last couple years could not have worked out any better to this point.

“We’re trying to do something where we can all have fun but still build something special,” he said. “We’ve fortunately hit home runs on everything on the employees we’ve got.”

Tyler Johns is sort of a utility man these days. He started with The Next Round as a summer intern and never left, eventually securing a spot on staff.

“That was the plan, to try and work as hard as could to see if there was a spot for me somewhere,” he said.

hen needed, ohns can fill it for eninger, Forester, Lunceford and probably others on any given day.

Melton and Lunceford’s time as coworkers has come full circle. They both worked in radio for many years and got the opportunity to do a late-night show called the “Midnight Meltdown” together in 2012. Ironically enough, Dunaway was one of their listeners back then and called into the show a few times.

Now, the duo is back together and has started the “Meltdown” on The Next Round’s platforms.

“Tim and like all things movies, entertainment and pop culture,” Lunceford said. “We wanted to approach it instead of sports with entertainment secondary, it was entertainment with sports secondary. It’s growing every day.”

“These guys have been very supportive and see the vision,” Melton added. “That right there alone is enough to motivate you.”

A chance meeting in Auburn led to McWhorter landing with The Next Round team. She covered the Texas-Alabama game in her first ee on the job and has greatly enjoyed her time to this point, although she knew nothing of the crew from Birmingham before she was hired.

“I could never dream this up. The Lord has guided my steps in that,” she said.

The number of times that The Next Round’s team, outside of the three hosts, get recognized by strangers is evidence of the platform’s growing audience. The show has incorporated cameras and microphones on the other side of the glass, allowing listeners to hear from Heninger, Forester, Lunceford and Johns on a daily basis. Korn and McWhorter pop into the st dio from time to time to fill in as ell.

“Having been in TV for close to 20 years, was kind of a nameless, faceless kind of person,” Forester said. “But now people every once in a while can see me [on the show]. And every now and then, someone will recognize me in public.”

Those face-to-face encounters are not uncommon for the audience that lives in the Birmingham area.

“Everyone has a home, and our home is Birmingham,” Dunaway said.

14 • May 2024 The Homewood Star
From left to right, Jim Dunaway, Ryan Brown and Lance Taylor interview Auburn University football coach Hugh Freeze during The Next Round. Photo courtesy of The Next Round. Jon Lunceford, operations manager for The Next Round, works on the show April 12. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

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Hometown star making most of NBA chance

Trey Jemison was certainly not expecting the call.

Following a game in January with the NBA G-League’s Birmingham Squadron, Jemison as dissatisfied ith his performance. r strated at how he played that night, he ignored phone calls from his agent, ho had a pretty important message.

“Pack your bags and go to Washington,” Jemison heard his agent tell him, once he answered the phone.

The Washington Wizards had signed Jemison to a 10-day NBA contract Jan. 20, and the Birmingham native made his NBA debut Jan. 24.

“I was in Homewood, driving to Target,” Jemison said. “I pulled over and cried, because was so shocked. I’m thinking, ‘Now I’ve got a shot at this NBA thing.’”

Jemison, who attended Homewood and Hoover high schools and played college basetball at B, sa the oor t ice in his time with Washington. Once that contract expired, the Memphis Grizzlies signed Jemison to a second 10-day contract.

In Memphis, Jemison has made a positive impression over the final stretch of the B season, which concluded in mid-April. He scored do ble digit points for the first time Feb. 6, scoring 12 points against the New York Knicks.

The Grizzlies signed Jemison to a permanent t o ay deal for the remainder of the season, and he made good on their faith in him. e posted a career-high 24 points in a win over the i ards on arch , follo ed by sec ring his first career do ble do ble ith points and rebounds against the Detroit Pistons on April 5.

The last fe months have been a hirl ind for Jemison, who has had several “wow” moments in his brief time in the B . e s had the tas of g arding il a ee B c s star iannis nteto o nmpo t ice. is first career start came against the Boston Celtics, and walking out on

the court and seeing Celtics stars Kristaps Pori is, ayson Tat m and l orford right ne t to him was surreal as well.

This isn t the video game, it s real life, Jemison said.

While in the NBA, Jemison has realized that the training and skill development he has put in over the years has allowed him to reach this stage of his career. B t, he also sees areas of needed improvement, li e holding a more

consistent sleep schedule and playing with more confidence. t s all part of the learning process.

emison had the fort ne of playing in his hometown while he was in the G-League, the minor leag e organi ation of the B . The fact that his parents, sister, godparents and other family and friends co ld see him play so often as a blessing he did not ta e for granted.

emison also credited the coaching staff and his teammates ith the adron for helping him

be able to reach the next level. He played well in Birmingham, averaging 10.9 points and 12 rebo nds per game this season before his call p. fter a m ch needed vacation, it ill be bac to or for emison, as he attempts to stic in the B . e doesn t ant this year s finishing stretch to be the highlight of his professional career.

“It’s one thing to get to the NBA, it’s another thing to get back [next year],” he said.

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emphis ri lies’ Trey emison against the etroit istons on pril at ed orum in emphis Tennessee. Photo by Joe Murphy/ NBAE via Getty Images.

Sports Editor’s Note

What is it about March Madness?

f yo recall seeing me d ring the first fo r days of the NCAA Basketball Tournament in the middle of March, you’re not remembering things correctly.

That’s because not many people ever see me during those days. It’s nearly impossible to pry me away from the television d ring the first t o ro nds of the spectacle that created the phrase “March Madness.”

To me, there’s simply nothing like it. What is it about the tournament that draws the eyes of the nation every year?

Is it the personal investment that comes with creating a bracket? Those are basically a level playing field, ith the person ho doesn t no anything about college basketball having as good a chance as the person who cares way too much about it.

Is it the underdog stories that come from the tournament every year? In no rational world should teams like Oakland (a school not in California) beat teams like Kentucky, yet it happens every single year without fail.

Here in Alabama, it was a special year, with Alabama, Auburn, UAB and Samford all qualifying for the tournament. That certainly created some additional buzz. think it’s a little bit of everything. One of the great things about being a sports fan is cheering for a particular side. When you create a bracket, it automatically gives you a stake in each game.

It adds a level of intensity when the team that you cheer for is in the tournament, whether that’s any of the in-state teams or someone else (I’m a lifelong Gonzaga fan, for whatever reason).

The Cinderella stories are what make it the most special to me, though. Many of us relate to the underdogs. The teams that have no business winning do the unthinkable, giving hope to all of us that anything is possible.

Up until a few years ago, a No. 16 seed (the lowest seed in the tournament) had never defeated a o. seed in the first ro nd of the to rnament. B finally broke that seal with a win over Virginia in 2018. That paved the way for Fairleigh Dickinson’s monumental upset of Purdue in the opening round in 2023.

There’s nothing like it. As a fan, the tournament provides the most awe-inspiring victories, gut-wrenching losses and emotional moments. can’t get enough.

Kyle Parmley is the sports editor at Starnes Media.

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The things could write about pound cake. could go on and on and bore you to death, but won’t.

After my father died, remember visiting a Methodist church with my boyhood friend, and he was introducing me to people. He was raised Methodist, was not. My people were Baptist.

The Methodists were cheerful. My people didn’t believe in cheer. Our pastor preached hard against alcoholism, promiscuity and narcotics because these things could lead to cigarette smoking.

My friend pointed to one lady in the congregation. She was slight, with gray hair and a blue skirt suit.

There are some people you don’t forget. She was one of those people. She had a heavenly glow. People smiled when they passed by her like she was unique.

“Who’s that woman?” asked.

“That is the Pound Cake Lady,” my pal said in reverence.

After the Methodist service, my friend led me to a downstairs fellowship hall. The Methodists put out a bigger spread than any I’d ever seen. There was even a special table dedicated to cornbread and biscuits.

It was too much. Overwhelming. even saw people standing outside the fellowship hall, smoking cigarettes after their meal. It was as though they were unwinding after sin.

The woman in the blue skirt suit placed

Sean of the South

Pound Cake Lady

something on the end of the table. It was a golden, fat, hulking, sacred pound cake.

“Hurry and get some,” said my friend, “before it’s all gone.”

He was right. The cake didn’t last four seconds among those chain-smoking Methodists. But when it disappeared, the old woman replaced it with another.

People blessed her name forevermore. Hallelujah. And so did I.

So every church has a pound cake lady. They are young, middle-aged or elderly, and they are holy. These ladies are messengers, sent to humanity as proof that God is not gl ten free. e loves hite o r, s gar and butter, no matter what diet books say.

If you have doubts whether your congregation has a pound cake lady, just ask your church secretary. She knows their phone number by heart.

Years later, met a young woman at a similar potluck. She was brunette, Baptist, with brown eyes. She and became friendly and spent time together.

One summer, she invited me to go with her family on their annual vacation.

Her family rented a house in Indian Pass, Florida, on the Gulf. When arrived, found

the place filled ith people. They were crammed in that little house, eating raw oysters, laughing and carrying on. There were so many that some had to sleep on coffee tables and in bathtubs. felt out of place.

The girl’s mother showed me to my bedroom, which was down the hall from the brunette’s room.

Her mother said, “This is where you sleep. I’m right across the hall. And remember, can hear whenever your door opens.”

And knew that if tried to exit my room past curfew — even to visit the little boys’ room — would wake up in a graveyard dead. fell asleep that night wondering why was there, on vacation with a happy family. didn’t belong to these people. I’d never belonged anywhere. Ever since boyhood, had a hard time fitting in.

My family was nothing like this family. We were broken and about as unstable as a rickety stool.

The next morning, awoke to a pleasant smell that ooded the ho se. t as a familiar aroma. followed it downstairs.

There, found everyone awake. A big man dressed in seersucker, a woman wearing pearls, a lady with a big sunhat and several

others. They were all singing “In the Garden.”

They asked me to join the singing, so we all sang together as wondered if these people were fugitives from the Searcy nuthouse.

Then some lady said, “We’re so glad to have you here, Sean.”

Everyone agreed with her. And don’t know why, but nearly cried.

And that smell. It was so strong. It smelled like being hugged. Like vanilla. Like prayer meetings on warm Saturday evenings. Like looking at a midnight sky over the Gulf of Mexico.

From the kitchen came the brunette. Young. Smiling. She carried a plate. On the dish was the source of the smell. A slice of warm, yellow, dense pound cake.

Everyone stopped singing. They behaved reverently when she passed by. Boys removed their hats and held them over their hearts.

nd the family atched me ta e my first bite. A bite that would change my life forever. told you, could go on and on about pound cake and bore you to death. But won’t.

just wanted to tell you how came to marry the Pound Cake Lady.

Sean Dietrich is a columnist and novelist known for his commentary on life in the American South. He has authored nine books and is the creator of the “Sean of the South” blog and podcast.

Opinion 18 • May 2024 The Homewood Star BRYANTBANK.COM/PERSONAL BRYBNK-BeyondBank-Print-Half Village Living 2023.indd 1 3/19/23 10:32 PM

The lost art of waiting

had a conversation with Kate, my 14-year-old, the other day about the Pinterest quizzes she likes to take.

On the way to school one morning, she told me about one she’d done recently: “Who is Your Celebrity Doppelganger?” There were other quizzes too, like “What Kind of Dog Would You Be” and “Which Harry Potter Character Are You?”

told her about how used to do quizzes like those, and that they came in my monthly Teen or Sassy magazine. When was young, those magazines were really the only ways we teens and preteens (that was the OG term, before “tween” caught on) had to keep up with our favorite celebrities and what was trendy in fashion, pop-culture and skincare. And to get all this knowledge and insight, we had to wait, checking the mailbox daily when we knew it was close to the time when we’d receive that next once-a-month issue.

We also had to wait for our entertainment. If we didn’t catch a movie in the theater — or even if we did and just wanted to watch it again — we had to wait for the VHS tape to appear on the shelves of Blockbuster or Movie Gallery. Keeping up with our favorite TV shows meant waiting a week between episodes, and waiting months before the next season began in the fall. Who (of a certain age) doesn’t remember having to wait the whole long summer for season of riends to find o t hat happened after Ross accidentally said Rachel’s name at the altar?

And we were OK with not knowing some things — not necessarily by choice, but because we just didn’t know any other way. We were years away from Google, so if we couldn’t remember the name of that actor who played that role in that movie, and no one else around us knew either, we just shrugged our shoulders and moved on.

But these days? We hardly have to wait for anything, whether it’s entertainment, knowledge or household goods. Even when a movie is still in the theater, e can s ally find it streaming online to watch from the comfort of our couch. If we love a particular TV show, we can binge a whole season in a weekend if we want — no more waiting weeks or months. We don’t even have to sit through commercials if we don’t want to! And if we want a new pair of shoes or a pack of Sharpies or a load of groceries, we just open our computer, tap a few keys and presto, it shows up on our doorstep, sometimes on the same day.

Kate can pop online and take a fun quiz or look up news about Taylor and Travis. No waiting for a monthly magazine to get all the scoop. can open my laptop and find o t hat s going on with the Royal Family, what pillow should be using to keep from waking up with a sore

neck or who played the part of the cute kid in that great movie. If need a new pair of tennis shoes, have them shipped to my doorstep in two days rather than going store to store, trying to find the right shoe.

So yes, things are a lot more convenient than they were 25 years ago — or for that matter, even 5 years ago. But sometimes wonder if we’ve lost something important, even as we’ve gained all this timeand energy-saving convenience. Is the glow of immediate satisfaction worth whatever it is we may have lost?

keep thinking about anticipation, and about how there’s something good about wanting a thing badly and not getting it right away. Don’t we teach our kids that? They really want that [insert: toy/leggings/water bottle/whatever], but we tell them, “Sorry, not today.” And we withstand the ensuing tears or heavy sighs because we know it’s good for them.

No matter how old we are, the world we live in tells us if we want something bad enough, we should have it. Not only that, we owe it to ourselves to go out and get it. The great vacation, the bigger ho se, the fancy car. That inencer-trendy wrinkle cream that’s way more expensive than it should be. The upgraded internet service, because heaven forbid we have to wait 5 seconds for a website to load. We want all the bells and whistles, and we want them now.

I’m not saying we need to go back to pre-internet days or watch a TV show one episode at a time or never treat ourselves to something new, fun or helpful. I’m honestly not even sure what I’m trying to say — I’m aiming my words directly at myself as much as anyone else, which makes me want to tread lightly. But I’m curious what it would feel like if we aim to be satisfied ith a little less. f e re ith things going a little slower.

Lord knows I’m not going to start sitting through TV commercials again, but maybe can make myself slow down and wait a bit before clicking that “Buy Now” button. Maybe can choose not to go directly to oogle to find out that actor’s name, but instead try to dredge it out of that far recess deep in my brain. Will it make a difference? Will we feel more satisfied for having made o rselves ait don’t know, but it might be worth trying.

When I’m not writing about my family and our ordinary life, write novels, go to the grocery store, and vacuum dog hair. You can find my books in stores, online, and locally at Little Professor Bookshop. You can reach me by email at Lauren@LaurenKDenton.com, visit my website LaurenKDenton.com, or find me on Instagram @LaurenKDentonBooks or Facebook ~LaurenKDentonAuthor.

TheHomewoodStar.com May 2024 • 19
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20 • May 2024 The Homewood Star Real Estate By the numbers: March 2023 vs. 2024 Note: Real estate data is by zip code, but some parts of these zip codes are outside the city limits. Data provided by the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service on April 7, 2024. ADDRESS: 123 Hena St. BED/BATH: 3/2.5 SQUARE FOOTAGE: 1,973 sq. ft. NEIGHBORHOOD: West Homewood LIST PRICE: $635,000 SALE PRICE: $635,000 ADDRESS: 1833 Windsor Blvd. BED/BATH: 3/2 SQUARE FOOTAGE: 1,636 sq. ft. NEIGHBORHOOD: Homewood LIST PRICE: $400,000 SALE PRICE: $425,000 ADDRESS: 151 Southpointe Drive BED/BATH: 3/3 SQUARE FOOTAGE: 1,327 sq. ft. NEIGHBORHOOD: Homewood LIST PRICE: $400,000 SALE PRICE: $438,000 ADDRESS: 537 Edgecrest Drive BED/BATH: 3/2 SQUARE FOOTAGE: 1,680 sq. ft. NEIGHBORHOOD: Edgecrest Estates LIST PRICE: $349,000 SALE PRICE: $382,500 ADDRESS: 708 Warwick Road BED/BATH: 3/2 SQUARE FOOTAGE: 1,504 sq. ft. NEIGHBORHOOD: Hollywood LIST PRICE: $449,000 SALE PRICE: $435,000 ADDRESS: 1780 Valley Ave. #A BED/BATH: 2/1 SQUARE FOOTAGE: 1,026 sq. ft. NEIGHBORHOOD: Vulcan Park Condominiums LIST PRICE: $165,900 SALE PRICE: $135,000 Recently sold homes in Homewood SOURCE: GREATER ALABAMA MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE
TheHomewoodStar.com May 2024 • 21
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CONTINUED from page 1

But it would be on the other side of Red Mountain, in the heart of Shades Valley, where the native of Columbiana would etch his most lasting legacy.

In October 1924, with $25,000 in capital, Nelson incorporated the Hollywood Land Company, which acquired a 0.75-mile stretch of land along a newly paved road east of the four-year-old Shades Cahaba School.

It was on this land — once home to County Convict Camp No. 5 — that Nelson envisioned a carefully planned subdivision that o ld re ect the panish in enced architecture he had seen on visits to Coral Gables, Florida, and Hollywood, California. The latter would be his development’s namesake.

“[Hollywood] is remote only from the smoke, dirt and noise of the city,” a full-page ad in the Birmingham News declared of the “gently rolling” property, profusely wooded with stately pines and sturdy oaks. “It offers the charm and beauty of the countryside, yet presents all the conveniences desired.”

Or, as the ad put it with a little more punch: “Outside the Smoke Zone and out in the Ozone.”

Teaming with University of Pennsylvaniatrained architect George P. Turner, Nelson and his business partners embarked upon construction of an initial cluster of show houses. Each was an asymmetrical home built in the Spanish Colonial Revival (or Spanish Mission) style, with red-tiled roofs, stucco walls, prominent arches and welcoming patios and courtyards.

By g st , elson s first fo r homes were completed along Bonita Drive and proudly featured in the Birmingham News’ annual Better Homes Show. The quartet included Nelson’s own home — a residence still standing today at 205 Bonita Drive.

Nelson’s two-story Spanish villa boasted e posed beam ceilings, magnificent arch ays in the foyer and den, four sets of French doors, a limestone mantel, stucco walls, a terracotta roof and, of course, a large open porch ith a tile oor and a fo ntain.

Throngs of visitors — some estimated as many as 30,000 — crowded Hollywood to tour the Hollywood show homes and see the interiors furnished by local stores such as Loveman, Joseph Loeb. Ever the showman, Nelson ensured his guests were entertained by panish m sicians and amenco dancers.

The success of what Nelson called the Grenada section of Hollywood led him to plan a second phase of development, where he envisioned a collection of English Tudor Revival homes. In 1926, the Better Homes Show showcased 11 of them, including 312 English Circle, with its multiple cross-gable roof, half timbered e terior and bric fireplace.

“The home ... will be furnished by R.B. Broyles Furniture Company from top to bottom out of regular stocks,” the Birmingham News reported of the English Circle residence. “One of the news features of the R.B. Broyles display will be the Belding-Hall refrigerator equipped with Kelvinator ice machines ...”

“Nappi’s Orchestra will furnish music Sunday,” the News continued. “At night the Alabama Power Company will train plain and colored spotlights on the homes through the murmuring pines, thereby accentuating the rich hues in the stone, brick and rock masonry.”

That same year, Hollywood petitioned to incorporate as a town, with its own mayor and city council. It had nearly 200 residents at the time.

A third show came in May 1927, this time featuring a Spanish villa and an English bungalow. By this point, Nelson could claim over $2 million in home sales in what was, by then, its own town.

“As men with families discover the wonderful good that comes to children raised in the clean and invigorating air of Shades Valley, ... more and more of them will come to Hollywood for home sites,” predicted Ben Cheeseman, one of Nelson’s business partners.

olly ood o ld event ally f lfill that vision. But Nelson’s dreams of even greater real estate successes — such as his hopes of developing a massive country club in the former resort of Shelby Springs — foundered in the Great Depression.

Even as Nelson disappeared from the scene

Left: The Grissom family in their home at 220 La Prado Place, which was built in 1928. The rissoms’ home is one of three that will be part of the Hollywood Historic Home Tour, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the neighborhood’s beginnings.

(ultimately, it seems, chasing oil claims as a wildcatter in east Texas), families continued to come to Hollywood. The community’s life as an independent municipality ended in 1929, when Homewood annexed Hollywood.

The neighborhood was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

Seth and Shelley Grissom, with their two young children, are among the families who have called Hollywood home over the last century. Shelley grew up babysitting in a historic Tudor Revival home on the corner of La Prado Place and La Playa Place, but even as a young teenager, she coveted the brick Tudor cottage across the street. In 2016, she and her husband purchased the home, embarking upon a nearly two-year renovation.

The interior of the rissoms home re ects the vision of architect/interior designer Brian Jernigan while, at the same time, still capturing elements of the home’s origins in 1928: the original front door, the clinker brick, a limestone oored foyer and even the small hole in the dining room oor.

“That’s where the lady of the house could tap a button with her shoe to ring for the servants,” Shelley Grissom said with a mischievous smile.

It’s the character of the home. I drive around the curve on La Prado and see our place sitting on the corner and think, ‘There’s no other house like it.’


Today, there are no servants at 220 La Prado Place — only a soon-to-be kindergartner shadowing her dad in the front yard and a baby asleep in his nursery. In the Grissoms’ eyes, those two may be the best things about the nearly century-old house. But, if pressed, Shelley Grissom has another answer.

“It’s the character of the home,” she said. “I drive around the curve on La Prado and see our place sitting on the corner and think, ‘There’s no other house like it.’ know every

noo and appreciate every crea in the oor — well, except maybe when I’m trying to put the baby down.”

On April 28, the Hollywood Garden Club will offer the chance to walk in century-old footsteps with the Historic Hollywood Tour of Homes. The tour will feature the Grissoms’ home along with the homes at 205 Bonita Drive and 312 English Circle, which were part of the Better Home Shows of 1925 and 1926.

The biennial Historic Home Tour began in the 1980s, but this year’s tour, marking the 100th anniversary of Hollywood’s creation, ill be the first to r since . ccording to the Garden Club, the houses are close enough together to create a comfortable walking tour, and water and lemonade will be offered at each site.

Tickets are $40 and can be bought online in advance or at the door of each home.

roceeds benefit the arden l b s neighborhood bea tification efforts and hades ahaba Elementary.

For tickets, parking details, a tour map and other information, visit bit.ly/ hollywoodhometour2024.

22 • May 2024
Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney. Below: Photographs from the 1950s of 220 La Prado Place show the exterior of the property. Photos courtesy of Amanda Timko.

“Phase 1 of the project consists of renovating the two existing commercial buildings into six different leasable food and beverage spaces, where one tenant has two different concepts,” Thomas said. This includes “four ‘micro’ restaurants with ordering and pick-up windows only, and two more traditional brickand-mortar spaces with indoor seating.”

The plan also includes fenced-in outdoor spaces and an adjacent parking lot, Thomas said.

The seven new restaurants coming to Phase 1 of The Edge are:

Corbeau Wine Bar

Java Coffee


The Standard


Shin Ramen Noodles and Asian Cuisine

The Que*bicle

Cookie Plug

“Whitney and are ecstatic about the tenants coming into The Edge,” Thomas said. “So far, each one is locally owned and existing, successful businesses that any development, and frankly any city, would be thrilled about. The City of Homewood leadership and community have been incredibly supportive. And, fortunately, this concept is not new. We have seen it work in multiple other areas around the co ntry and remain confident The dge ill be a great fit in Birmingham.

Phase 2 of the project will see the construction of a 5,000-square-foot commercial building, targeted for fitness and retail tenants, on the back of The Edge.

In early April, True40 Studio became the first tenant in the project s second phase. True40 offers a whole-body workout, merging high-intensity, low-impact exercises inspired by barre, functional strength training, Pilates and yoga.

This will be True40's fourth location in

Alabama, and second in Birmingham, according to information provided by The Edge.

With the project nearing completion, some local business owners and residents in nearby neighborhoods are anticipating its opening.

“I know for me, am really excited because, selfishly, this is very al able from here live,” said Ashley Berkery, who has lived in Homewood for much of her life. “I know various Green Springs renovations have been discussed in years past, but feel like we are now on the right track to revitalize that area. Having grown up here, have memories of that property being an old Captain D’s and a gas station, so think it is really neat to see young parents come here, like Whitney and J.J., and completely revitali e it. t fits the needs of what we need and want as a community.”

Berkery said seeing the development come to fruition is something she considers a positive change. She thinks it is important for preserving an area that many people love and call home.

“With the exception of moving away for

college, have lived in Homewood most of my life,” she said. “After college, wanted to come back and raise my family here. want to provide that same opportunity for my kids and create a place for them to want to come back to.”

Foo Shunnarah, who owns Shunnarah Flooring, which is within walking distance to The Edge, said the development is an important step in the city’s progress as a whole.

“From the beginning stages to now, have a front-row seat in witnessing the construction of this new entertainment center,” Shunnarah said. “They took an area that needed work and turned it into a really great concept that will undoubtedly be a hit in the area. know am not the only business owner in the area excited about all of the new retail and restaurants that are set to open up this year at The Edge.”

The property for The Edge formerly belonged to Foo’s father, Fred Shunnarah, and his uncle.

Fred Shunnarah owns the shopping center where Foo’s business is located as well.

“My family has known J.J. for a long time now and he is a great family man, so it makes sense that he would create an entertainment center that is family-friendly and great for kids as well as fun for adults,” Shunnarah said. “J.J. has been a wonderful friend to myself and my family, and we’ve enjoyed watching his idea come to fruition.”

West Homewood resident Tracy Colley said her family is looking forward to something that will help improve the area on Green Springs.

“If this becomes successful, hopefully other businesses will follow,” Colley said. “As West Homewood continues to grow, we hope to see more retail and restaurant options open up.”

Shunnarah said The Edge is paving the way for much needed revitalization and life to Greensprings Highway.

“The Edge’s opening is the start of a new chapter for this area,” Shunnarah said.

For more information about the development or pcoming ne s on official opening dates, visit theedgehomewood.com.

TheHomewoodStar.com May 2024 • 23 Mr. Handyman is taking care of Homewood’s “To-Do” List ® like us onfollow us on 205-606-0800 Give us a call! Independently owned and operated franchise.© 2022 Mr. Handyman SPV LLC. All rights Reserved MrHandyman.com Visit mrhandyman.com to learn more about our services All of our technicians are full-time employees and all of our workmanship is guaranteed. Honest. Transparent. Easy to work with and e cient. We humbly aspire to earn your business. Thank you! THE EDGE CONTINUED from page 1
Above: Construction continues on base two of The Edge development on Green Springs Highway on April 16. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney. Top and left: Plans for The Edge development include traditional and micro restaurants a tness studio and other retail tenants, with outdoor gathering spaces and a walkable design. Renderings courtesy of KC Projects.
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