Iron City Ink October 2022

Page 1

Stars Align at Carraway

Neighbors happy to see progress made on The Star at Uptown development.

The future of public transportation in Birmingham. 10

New Space, New Hopes

A new home opens a new chapter for Storyteller Overland.

Taking Charge

Stodghill named new Altamont head of school. 16

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Community Editors:

Sports Editor: Community Reporter:

Dan Starnes

Leah Ingram Eagle Jon Anderson

Neal Embry

Kyle Parmley

Eric Taunton

Design Editor:

Editor: Page Designer:

Production Assistant:

Contributing Writers:

Viering Erin Nelson Ted Perry

Simeon Delante

Solomon Crenshaw Jr.

Client Success Specialists:

Digital Marketing Manager: Digital Services Manager:

Graphic Designer:

Warren Caldwell Eric Richardson

Brandon Merkel Matt Spivak

Emily VanderMey


at (205) 313-1780

Advertising: Administrator: Operations Specialist:

Don Harris

Bob Willard

Anna Jackson

Sarah Villar

Advertising inquiries:

system in downtown Birmingham on 2. Photo by Erin Nelson.
Iron City Ink is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. Information in Iron City Ink is gathered from sources considered reliable, but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of Iron City Ink. 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
or by email. Please recycle this paper. Contact Information: Iron City Ink P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205) 313-1780 Please submit all articles, information and photos to: leagle@ P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 Published by: Starnes Publishing LLC ON THE COVER: Donald Jelks, a MAX Transit supervisor, drives one of the new electric buses on the Birmingham XPress bus rapid transport
CITY BEATABOUT CITY BEAT: Alabama leaders celebrate new Civil Rights Trail Market at Birmingham airport. DISCOVER OCTOBER’S BEST BETS: Your quick guide to metro Birmingham music and events scheduled this month. 18 DOWNTOWN: New season for UAB Theatre, Children’s recognized for ECMO Center 17 NECK OF THE WOODS IT’S FESTIVAL TIME: Greek Festival returns this month; a new wine bar opens. 13 SIPS & BITES 7


If you have read this space the last couple of months, you’ve noticed our call for community contributors for this publication. We’ve had some terrific and muchappreciated responses, and we’d still like a few more.

Maybe as you were reading the last issue, you thought, “I have a story idea that Iron City Ink should write.”

Or perhaps you enjoy working with local businesses in Birmingham, and really want to get to know more of them. Let’s talk.

If you have what it takes to add value to the community by being a part of this medium designed to serve and inform the residents, we want to hear from you.

And while you are thinking about that and reading this issue, take note of the stories and advertisers in it. You’ll see variety in both of these categories.

You’ll see Neal Embry’s cover story on the future of the public transportation in the city.

Eric Taunton tells us about a new market at the Birmingham Airport designed to display our city’s Civil Rights Trail and its impact on our world.

You’ll see stories on businesses, events and people who shape our city. We’re here to tell the story of our community, and there’s a lot to tell.

When you look at the businesses who share their message through this medium, you’ll notice all sorts of businesses from service and retail businesses to professionals and medical services. This opens the door for us to work with a variety of businesses.

If you think you have ideas, skills or experience that could be useful to help us better tell the story of the city, please reach out. We’d love to hear from you.


Alabama School of Fine Arts Foundation (9, 15)

Bedzzz Express (20)

Birmingham Museum of Art (5) Bromberg’s (7)

Children’s of Alabama (14) Christmas Village (13)

Hollywood Outdoor Living (12)

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department (19) Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists (14) SouthState Bank (2)


The Altamont School (7) TherapySouth Lakeview (8)

UAB Health System (3)

United Way of Central Alabama (9)

Virginia Samford Theatre (15) Woodlawn United (2)

Pick up the latest issue of Iron City Ink at the following locations or go to for a complete list of our rack locations:

► Birmingham Public Library – Central Branch

► Birmingham Museum of Art

► Charm on 2nd

► Eugene’s Hot Chicken

► Filter Coffee Parlor

► Five Points Market

► Jim Reed Books

► Yo’ Mama’s Restaurant

Want to join this list or get Iron City Ink mailed to your home? Contact Anna Jackson at ajackson

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Stars align for Carraway redevelopment


“This is an important time for Birmingham and especially for our neighborhoods in north Birmingham,” said Robert Simon, CEO and president of Corporate Realty, in a news release. “These communities have been working with us for years, and it’s time for this land to once again be an asset for the city and the people who live here.”

“This was once a source of jobs and economic vitality in this community, and the real story is we’re bringing this site back to life,” Woodfin said in a news release. “This will be one of the biggest and most impactful developments our city has ever seen.”

address those issues,” O’Quinn said.

Corporate Realty has worked closely with the neighborhoods, and this development is going to bring new life and energy to that part of town, he said. “It’s going to be a boon for all the families in that area.”

For14 years, people living near the former Physicians Medical Center Carraway site along Carraway Boulevard have watched it slowly become more and more dilapidated.

Vandals and graffiti taggers left their marks, busted out most of the windows and tore the place up, inside and out. Vagrants took up residence, and weeds and debris took over the sprawling grounds of what for decades was a vibrant hospital campus with 617 beds.

But things are beginning to change. The new owner of the 50-acre campus, Corporate Realty, has started demolition of multiple buildings and is gutting others for them to be refurbished. The redevelopment project is expected to include at least $300 million worth of investment and convert the campus into a mixed-use development with multi-family and single-family housing, restaurants, retail space, hotels and entertainment options.

The development is being called The Star at Uptown, in reference to the glowing blue star that sat atop the hospital building for decades as a beacon to the community. The plan is to refurbish the star as well.

As of early September, at least four buildings had already been torn down, including the former Norwood Baptist Church building that had been converted for medical usage, a building right behind the former Norwood Clinic and two buildings at the corner of 25th Street North and 17th Avenue North. A total of nine buildings were scheduled to be demolished, Corporate Realty said.

Workers have already begun gutting the inside of the old Sanders Emergency Services Building. Several other structures, including the parking decks and main hospital building, are set to be cleaned out and refurbished.

Seeing the dilapidated buildings come down and others being cleaned up is quite a welcome sight for people living nearby, said Charlie Williams Jr., president of the Druid Hills Neighborhood Association, whose community includes the hospital site.

“It’s a wonderful thing for us as a community and a city — one less eyesore in the city of Birmingham,” Williams said. “We view it as an opportunity for revitalization in so many different forms.”

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said he was born at Carraway Hospital (its former name) and knows what the site has meant to the people of Birmingham and surrounding cities.

Work is scheduled to begin in 2023 to convert the hospital building into multi-family housing, and other housing, commercial and entertainment spaces are to be added over the course of several years. On the north side of the campus, preliminary plans show up to 44 single-family houses.

Williams said residents of Druid Hills and Norwood have been working with Corporate Realty since the embryonic stages of the development. They’ve had some disagreements along the way but came together and created “a development that everybody can be proud of.”

Some people in the neighborhood pushed for new single-family housing as a transition into nearby neighborhoods, and the developer cooperated, Williams said. The neighborhoods also realize there’s a balancing act and that the project needs to make economic sense for the developer, he said.

“We want to maximize the site development,” Williams said. “We’re looking to grow Birmingham.”

Birmingham Councilman Darrell O’Quinn, who represented the area that includes the Carraway site before council districts were redrawn earlier this year, said the Carraway property had become a major blight for the community and fostered a lot of undesirable activity.

“The community is just glad to see somebody that owns it who is going to

The development of TopGolf and the Uptown entertainment district, construction of Protective Stadium and City Walk and redevelopment of parts of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex already has started shifting momentum to the north side of Interstate 20/59, and redevelopment of the Carraway site is going to be an extension of that, O’Quinn said.

“I think all of that combined is causing folks to take a second look at places like North Birmingham for potential future investments,” he said.

The Norwood residential community is already seeing ripple effects, O’Quinn said, noting that one house in Norwood recently listed for more than $600,000.

“Twenty years ago, you probably could have had any house you wanted in Norwood for less than $100,000,” he said.

The potential for the Carraway site is promising, O’Quinn said. The parking decks could be utilized to support Protective Stadium, and there is easily a case to be made for at least two new hotels to support the BJCC, he said.

The office market is soft right now, but there is potential for more retail and entertainment options, too, O’Quinn said.

Some consideration has been given to an outdoor amphitheater similar to Oak Mountain Amphitheater, and there also has been talk of a movie theater or bowling alley, he said. “There’s a huge amount of excitement.”

Demolition is underway at the former Physicians Medical Center Carraway Hospital campus Sept. 1. Nine buildings have been slated for demolition at the heavily vandalized property. Additional areas of the campus are slated to be refurbished as part of The Star at Uptown redevelopment project. Photos by Jon Anderson.
happy to see buildings torn down, gutted

Alabama leaders celebrate new Civil Rights Trail Market at Birmingham airport

The airport often is a person’s first introduc tion to the city they’re visiting, and Alabama leaders are seeking to make an immediate impression on visitors through Birmingham’s rich civil rights history.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, Ala bama Tourism Director and author Lee Sen tell, the Birmingham Airport Authority and leadership from Hudson, the leading North American travel retailer, held a ribbon cutting on Aug. 24 for the grand opening of the Civil Rights Trail Market, a retail store in the Bir mingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport that teaches visitors about the Birmingham Civil Rights movement through merchandise.

“An airport can be one of two things,” Sen tell said. “It can be a physical building with security lines and departure gates, or it can tell a story about the destination where you have either landed or taken off from. The Civil Rights Trail Market helps show where Bir mingham has been, and while we may not be proud of it, it shows where we have gone and where we are going. Birmingham will con tinue to push for equality for all people, and I think this market is an important part of that.”

The store features a mural highlighting the local and national civil rights movement, the “Official U.S. Civil Rights Trail Book” written by Sentell, and branded Civil Rights Movement merchandise, according to a press release.

“You often get a first impression from a city based on what you see at the airport,” Woodfin said. “Every city airport I’ve visited recently has found a way to acknowledge its past and how far they have come. They acknowledge their heroes and those who have

made an impact in their community. It’s great to see Birmingham in a position to proudly acknowledge our own heroes like Fred Shuttlesworth and recognize our rich civil rights history as a way to educate visitors in the future.”

Learn more about The Altamont School, one of the nation’s premier independent schools for students in grades 5-12.

A ribbon cutting was held for the new Civil Rights Trail Market at the BirminghamShuttlesworth International Airport on Aug. 24. Photo courtesy of BirminghamShuttlesworth International Airport.
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Business Happenings


Elysian Gardens is now open at 101 40th St. S. in the Avondale entertainment district. It is a 10,000-square-foot outdoor event center, garden bar, sculpture park and music and visual arts venue. 205-545-5030,


The Heights, A Price Hightower Community located at 1291 Heights Ave. in Irondale, will be opening an all-new Community Clubhouse soon for current and future residents’ use. 205-896-1410,

SanPeggios Pizza has announced three forthcoming locations in Homewood, Five Points South and on U.S. 280. SanPeggios currently has three locations in the Birmingham area in Chelsea, Trussville and on Valleydale Road in Hoover.

Little Professor, a Homewood bookstore, has an nounced plans to expand to Pepper Place in Birming


ham. There are plans for this location to include a full-service fixed bar offering coffee, drinks and a light café menu. The space is scheduled to open in October, but they are currently doing pop-up sales on Saturdays at Pepper Place. 205-870-7461,


Ashley McMakin, founder and CEO of Ashley Mac’s, a fast casual café, catering and gourmet-to-go busi ness with five Birmingham locations, is Alabama’s Gold Retailer of the Year in the annual sales $5 million to $20 million category.

Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors has been named as the top firm in the large firm category (250+ employees) in Accounting Today’s 2022 Best Firms to Work For list. The Best Firms to Work For distinction identifies and honors the best employers

in the accounting profession. 205-979-4100,


Storyteller Overland, an industry leader in the class B RV and adventure vehicle manufacturing space, recently named Sam Grimes to the position of Chief Legal Officer. Sam has acted as a legal advisor to Storyteller since its inception and has more than six years of experience representing private and public companies in business law.


Birmingham-based startup Fetch Freight, a national shipping logistics broker, marks two years this month. 800-376-1365,


The Off The Wall amusement center located in the Crestwood Festival Center on Crestwood Boulevard has closed.


TherapySouth is proud to help patients regain control of their lives through restorative movement and wellness as part of our Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Program.

Our PTs work with you and your medical doctor to create an individualized and comprehensive plan to restore the physical strength and sense of well-being that you may have lost during treatment. We’d love to be part of your team!

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New space brings new hopes for Storyteller Overland

Story isn’t just in the name at Storyteller Overland. It’s at the center of what the adven ture van business seeks to do daily.

“Story is at the center of it all,” said founder and CEO Jeffrey Hunter. “People are giving themselves permission to pursue more adven turous lifestyles.”

While much of the company’s initial market was out West in places like California, Hunter said the RV maker, which touts a new and unique design, has found a home in Birming ham, both figuratively and literally, with a new space opening recently at 428 Industrial Lane.

“[Birmingham] is ideal for recruiting and retaining craftsmen, skilled labor and execu tive leadership,” Hunter said. “We absolutely love and adore Birmingham.”

Alabama is “welcoming” and “pro-busi ness,” Hunter said.

The new, 80,000 square foot space is twice the size of the company’s previous space and allows them to expand into Birmingham, which showed an interest in the outdoor life style. Hunter said he is excited about bringing people into what he called the “intergalactic” headquarters of the company, and said it should “up the volume of engagement” in their back yard of Birmingham.

“It’s fun to see people discover us and learn about us,” Hunter said.

Owning a van and taking it all over the country on various adventures is fun for cus tomers on their own, but the business has noted through their marketing and communications efforts with those customers that they’re find ing like-minded travelers as well, Hunter said.

“We get to equip people to find adventure and community with each other,” Hunter said.

As people push themselves “to the edge of

their personal map,” they’re learning that they aren’t alone in that pursuit, Hunter said.

Storyteller Overland features Class B adventure vehicles, dubbed, in various forms, the MODE. The vans are designed to be more agile, smaller, able to fit in a normal parking space, Hunter said. That comes along with what adventurers typically desire, from fourwheel drive to an energy system that allows users to be off-road and off-grid, Hunter said.

The vans can also be financed for up to 20 years and can be insured with traditional agen cies, which Hunter said is unusual for RVs. The Storyteller RVs, he said, allow users to go beyond the “traditional” offerings like camp grounds and other spaces typically reserved for RVs, while having creature comforts like air conditioning and more. The floor plan is also flexible and allows for users to adjust it based on what they need at the moment, Hunter said.

“We’re blessed to have a few MODEs out in the wild in Birmingham,” Hunter said.

Hunter said the market is growing here, allowing for out-of-state visitors to correct some misconceptions they may have about Alabama. Owners from as far out as the Bay Area or the Pacific Northwest will come into town and find how “lovely people are,” which is different than what they expect, Hunter said. They not only find loving people, but biking trails and other offerings they may not have known existed here, he said.

“It just blows people’s minds,” Hunter said.

While the West has more public lands and national parks, adventures can still be had here, Hunter said, and they are just as meaningful. There is a “natural beauty” of river and lake systems here, he said.

The van’s local dealer is Mercedes-Benz of Birmingham. For more information, visit

Guests look at the different features of the Storyteller Overland Mode vehicle at the open house event for the new Storyteller Overland Intergalactic Headquarters in Birmingham on Aug. 20. Photo by Erin Nelson.

COVER: The future of public transportation in Birmingham


The city of Birmingham’s bus system is not as frequent and efficient as it needs to be, said the city’s director of transportation, James Fowler.

“Our system is in need of a revamp to focus on getting ridership up,” Fowler said.

Ridership does appear to be on the rise compared to last year, but that will depend on how the final six months of 2022 go. Through June, 1,967,601 people rode Bir mingham-Jefferson County Transit Author ity buses, compared to a total of 2,568,619 riders last year.

If the first six months come anywhere close to being duplicated from July through December, the city is on pace for just under 4 million riders in 2022, according to num bers provided by the transit authority.

Increasing ridership and other modes of transportation outside of an automobile is a priority of the city, Fowler said. They’ve had conversations with the authority and

“We’re really excited about the new BJCTA leadership,” Fowler said.

The U.S. landscape in the past 100 years has been built around cars, and it will take several decades to undo that and provide more options for residents, Fowler said. There is a good bit of space given up for automobile storage.

As the city repaves roads, they look for ways to add bike lanes and bus lanes, Fowler said.

The Birmingham Xpress-Rapid Transit line began service on Sept. 22 and is the first step the city has taken in “a long time” to implement a system that benefits a wide range of people, Fowler said. During its peak hours, a bus will be available every 15 minutes, meaning people won’t have to wait as long, he said.

The buses run east from west to connect 25 neighborhoods along a 10-mile corridor between Five Points West and Wood lawn. The system uses BRT technology to improve travel time, lower costs and enhance service, and crosses 80,000 jobs.


Shaw said public transportation helps keep “synergy” between communities, allowing people to access different commu nities instead of each city existing as a silo.

“It’s vital because we have to be able to connect people all over Birmingham,” Shaw said.

Increasing opportunities and services offers a chance to make public transpor tation strong again, the way it used to be “before freeways and cars,” Shaw said.

Birmingham has also added Birmingham On-Demand, a microtransit service that serves as a way for users to get where they need to go within a smaller area.

The transit authority is also looking to add more complementary services and more targeted areas of service. For example, downtown ridership decreases after 7 p.m. So instead of running large buses that don’t get filled, there could be a service that allows the few people who aren’t home yet to catch a van that seats 20 people, increas ing efficiency, Shaw said.

Ridership increased a bit over the summer due to high gas costs, which were slowly coming down as of press time. Not only that, but The World Games, held throughout the Birmingham area in July, showed that people will get on the bus. The red line from 20th Street to Protective Sta dium downtown saw 11,000 people ride for the closing ceremonies alone, Shaw said.

“People are willing; they’re waiting on a larger event,” Shaw said.

Benefiting the environment is another key factor to public transportation, Shaw said. The transit authority is making an effort to move more and more to electric

new director Charlotte Shaw. MAX Transit buses arrive at the Birmingham Intermodal Terminal. Photos by Erin Nelson.
[Public transit is] vital because we have to be able to connect people all over Birmingham.
“ ”

buses, lowering emissions.

“Our environment is really import ant,” Shaw said. “And we are our biggest enemies.”

Fowler said motor vehicles are the top cause of the environment warming up.

Shaw lived in Atlanta for 38 years, and asked if Birmingham wanted to become like its neighbor to the east, infamous for its traffic congestion, in the next five years.

“We have to stay ahead of the curve,” Shaw said.

Fowler added that roughly 40 people die each year in car accidents in the city of Birmingham.

“Cars are more dangerous than we real ize,” he said. “It’s something we shouldn’t accept but we have accepted.”

But if residents are going to rely on public transportation and the area is going

to lower traffic congestion, the service must be convenient and reliable, Shaw said. Expansion isn’t possible until options become convenient, such as getting down U.S. 280 faster.

The transit authority is constrained financially, as Alabama is one of just a handful of states that does not provide any state funding for public transportation, Shaw said. The authority does receive $2

million each year from a county sales tax, which was issued several years ago to pay back the selling of bonds, along with other sources of revenue such as funding from local municipalities.

Part of her work as the executive direc tor is to build relationships and increase the funding they do get, as well as submitting grant applications. More federal money is available now due to the recently-passed infrastructure bill.

“For the next three years, money will come quickly,” Shaw said. “We’ve got our catcher’s mitt on.”

Some money is available through the newly-announced “Reconnecting Commu nities” initiative, unveiled this summer in Birmingham by Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

The grant provides federal dollars to reconnect communities disadvantaged by past infrastructure projects, and the city of Birmingham will be taking part in the pro gram, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said at the event with Buttigieg. Fowler said nothing specific is known now, but the city is looking into those opportunities.

Fowler said there is inequity in a world dominated by cars, as some people are not able to own or drive a car, or they might be disabled. In the world as it is, those folks have lost access to transportation, he said.

Public transportation provides connectiv ity between historically different neighbor hoods, allowing for even greater unity in the area decades after Birmingham’s role in the Civil Rights movement.

“There’s no better way to connect people … in various neighborhoods,” Shaw said.

BirminghamJefferson County Transit Authority members ride one of the new electric buses on the Birming ham XPress bus rapid transport system in downtown Birmingham on Sept. 2.

How we started…

Hollywood Outdoor Living (previously Hollywood Pools) was founded in 1986 on Hollywood Boulevard. As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves in knowing our customers, selling high quality products, and offering reliable pool and spa services.

Where we’ve been...

In 2000, we moved from Homewood to 1020 Montgomery Highway in Vestavia Hills. That same year, we acquired Casual & Custom Furniture and began to offer lines of luxury outdoor furniture.

A er more growth in 2005, we moved into our facility at 1441 Montgomery Highway. In 2018, we continued to expand our pool and spa services through the acquisition of Alabama Pools.

Where we’re going…

In 2021, we acquired Alabama Gaslight & Grill, and in 2022, we completed a rebranding and chose our new name: Hollywood Outdoor Living. Our company’s new identity reflects our growth and sustains our legacy of providing luxury pools, spas, grills, lighting, furniture, and fireplaces. Visit our new website, come see us in the store, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twi er!

Home & Garden Fall Guide

Photo by Randy Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash.
Fath Unsplash Relaxation Begins in the Backyard 205.979.7727 1441 Montgomery Hwy Birmingham, AL 35216 POOLS SPAS GRILLS LIGHTING FURNITURE FIREPLACES Make your outdoor living space more luxurious Hollywood Outdoor Living • 205-979-7727 •

New wine bar opens, Greek Festival returns this month


newest Pari sian wine bar, Bar La Fête opened Sept. 2.

Located within the new Mercantile on Morris development and next door to sister restaurant Bandit Pâtisserie (which opened several weeks prior), the wine bar is reminiscent of the street cafés in Paris.

Bar La Fête will feature an extensive wine list, small plates and hand-crafted desserts.

Led by Chef Victor King, the menu features a la carte French-inspired small plates, classic French pastries and desserts from Chef Kristen Hall, along with a selec tion of natural wines, local craft beers and a small selection of high-end spirits.

The restaurant will be open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 4 to 10 p.m. Limited tables are available for walk-in seating on a first come, first served basis. For the dining room and chef’s counter, reservations are encouraged and can be made via Resy.

A lounge area is available for private events, offering a flexible space for both seated (24 guests) and standing (40 guests) gatherings.

For more information, visit lafetebham. com.


One of Birmingham’s oldest cultural events is back for year 49. The Greek Festi val will offer a variety of Greek food and culture.

The event will take place Oct. 13-15 from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. each day at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral, located at 307 19th St. S.

Greek cuisine will be prepared and served by the parishioners of the commu nity during the weekend. All entrees and desserts are homemade and feature the freshest and finest ingredients available.

Menu offerings include souvlakia pastichio, Greek chicken, spanakopita, dol mathes, veggie plates, Greek salad, gyros and homemade pastries such as baklava, kourambiethes, melomakarona, kouloura kia and more.

The open-air festival will feature outside tented seating for diners who want to eat onsite, and drive-through and takeout options for those who want their food to-go.

In addition to the authentic food, guests can enjoy Greek music and dancing, or shop at the Greek MarketPlace, which will feature Mediterranean and Orthodox Christian souvenirs.

Free parking is located in the former Liberty National parking building, located one block away on 20th St. (Richard Arrington Blvd) between 3rd and 4th Avenue.

The Holy Trinity – Holy Cross Greek Orthodox parish was chartered in 1906, and is the fourth-oldest Greek Orthodox parish in the Southeast. Self-guided tours will be available during the three-day festival.

Since 1972, the Greek Food Festival has donated a portion of the proceeds, over $3 million, to local and national charities.

For online ordering and other informa tion, visit

Business news to share? INK If you are in a brick-and-mortar business in or near downtown Birmingham and want to share your news with the community, let us know. Email leagle BJCC Tickets on sale Oct. 3 over 700 booths! arts, crafts & gifts CHRISTMAS VILLAGE FESTIVAL Nov. 2 VIP Tickets: $25 Nov. 3-6 - Gen Adm: $15 205.836.7173 www.christmasvillagefestival.comCall for ticket info or visit Above: Children perform a dance while the crowd watches at the Greek Festival in 2016. Staff photo. Right: Bar La Fête, a Parisian wine bar, opened Sept. 2 in Mercantile on Morris.
courtesy of Bar La Fête.



A free entertainment event featuring a pair of Alabama music artists will shine a light on the independence of blind and visually impaired people.

The Alabama Institute for the Deaf & Blind (AIDB), in partnership with the Ala bama Department of Rehabilitation Services, is hosting the 10th anniversary White Cane Day Alabama from 1 to 5 p.m. on October 15 at the Alys Stephens Center.

Musician David Crenshaw will perform during the event, as will Julius Love of the Blind Boys of Alabama. Additionally, there will be students from the Alabama School for the Blind doing skits and providing informa tion about people in the field who have made accessibility what it is.

“The white cane is a symbol for indepen dence for people with visual impairments,” said Melody Brown, a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist (COMS) with AIDB. “Not every visually impaired person needs a cane or uses a cane, but it's a symbol.”

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson

proclaimed Oct. 15 White Cane Safety Day. It is now White Cane Day.

“A lot of the accessibility advancements that we have in our country right now are based on things that were made to make things accessible for people with visual impairments,” Brown said. “That and people in wheelchairs are the two major impetuses for making things accessible in our country.”

Ann Halpern is a visually impaired woman who lives in the Brookdale University Park Independent Living Facility in Homewood. She uses a white cane and is sometimes amazed that some in the general public don’t know its meaning.

“They think it's a cute cane because it's got a red tip and it's white,” the 82-year-old said. “'Is that your fishing rod that you take out to go fishing? Things like that. They don't understand the purpose of it. When you're carrying it extended in front of you, as you move it left to right you know that your next two steps are safe.”

Brown said White Cane Day brings atten tion to the abilities of the blind and visually impaired. Some people who are visually

challenged don’t realize the possibilities available to them.

“Sometimes when you're visually impaired, you kind of give up on your autonomy,” Brown said. “You kind of just assume it is what it is. I'm gonna always be objectified.

“No, you still have autonomy,” she con tinued. “You still have a voice. You don't just give that up just because you can't see or you can't see as well as you did.”

The 10th annual White Cane Day in

Alabama launches a new set of awards, the AVAs – the Alabama Vision Achievement Awards. The awards recognize individuals who are blind or have low vision and their accomplishments. It also brings attention to professionals who help in the field of the visually impaired.

White Cane Day Alabama is free but per sons attending must register online at wcdal. org. For more information, call senior ori entation mobility orientation specialist Bill Adams at 334-746-0912.

Participants take part in a previous White Cane Day. White Cane Day brings attention to the abilities of the blind and visually impaired. Photo courtesy of Richard Couch.
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Linly Heflin Fashion show returns for 63rd year

The Linly Heflin Unit’s largest fundraiser is back for another year. The Linly Heflin Fashion Show will take place at The Club on Oct. 12.

The all-volunteer organization helps young women achieve their dreams by receiving scholarship money to attend Alabama universities.

Founded in 1919 as a women’s service organization, the Linly Heflin Unit women rolled bandages for World War I soldiers and assisted at Children’s Hospital.

The group was named for a local Red Cross organizer who died in the flu

pandemic. Since 1923, the organization has funded over 3,000 partial scholarships. This year, the unit will provide 110 women scholarships of $10,000 per year to attend an Alabama college or university.

The fashion show fundraiser will once again work with Gus Mayer to bring a festive evening to Birmingham. The Oct. 12 event will begin with a cocktail dinner at 5:30 p.m. followed by seating at 6:45 and fashion show at 7 p.m.

This year, Gus Mayer will be featuring fashions by designer Jonathan Simkhai.

Guest attire is “fall fabulous.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

From left: Jeff Pizitz, Gus Mayer owner; Julie Goyer, Linly Heflin president; Kendal Eagan, Fashion Show Chair and Mitch Johnson, Gus Mayer president. Photo courtesy of Irene Gardner.

Stodghill named new Altamont head of school

CecilF. Stodghill Jr. arrived in July to be the new head of school at the Altamont School.

For the past three years, the Chattanooga native has led the Doane Stuart School in New York through accreditation, growth and the COVID-19 pandemic, but his extensive previous experience in educational leader ship was in the Southeast.

He said he feels like he has come home.

Stodghill said he is excited for his wife Kim, a principal of her own independent college counseling firm, and son Cameron, who is finishing his senior year of high school in New York, to become active with him in the life of the school.

“I’ve never felt as welcomed anywhere as I do here,” Stodghill said. “I feel like I’ve found my people again.”

Stodghill began his new role in July and said to best serve students, every school must adapt to generational values, new understandings about effective education and changing expectations of parents.

“We want to make sure that when a family chooses the Altamont School,

they’re choosing that their children and family will have an experience, that they will be engaged as a family and that they will be in a partnership,” he said.

Stodghill believes Altamont should not only prepare graduates for higher educa tion but also help them find their calling and sustain them in every part of their lives. Serving families in that way requires partnerships outside of the school com munity, and Stodghill sees that Altamont is ideally situated for building those relationships.

“We’re sitting on a goldmine, in terms of global education and practical experi ences, right here in Birmingham,” he said. “Taking full advantage of those oppor tunities would be good for the school’s families as well as the city.”

Stodghill added that any student can walk across the stage and receive a diploma, but practical experience of anything that they want to pursue is going to make them more marketable and successful.

Refining interests in this way before college also can help students avoid higher education stops and starts that can be

rapidly changing college and professional expectations also must include helping students develop the intellectual tools they need to thrive anywhere.

Digital fluency, understanding commu nity needs and the ability to navigate in cultures ranging from rural Alabama to the world’s largest cities are only some of the tools that help education grow and serve students beyond the basics.

It has to be academic, social and emotional, and mental health needs to be addressed, he said.

costly in terms of both tuition and time. Stodghill knows that, in a city of this size, there is not much limit to the ways students could explore their callings.

“I think that will serve not only the Altamont community, but also metro Birmingham,” he said. He noted that some of those opportunities can arise from an invigorated alumni network that links students with mentors in their fields of professional interest.

Beyond these enriching off-campus experiences, Stodghill said preparation for

“We need to be more mindful of learned and expected behaviors, including exec utive functioning. Those things are part of the experience, and I think we have to balance traditional school with progressive learning and living,” Stodghill said.

Specific programs can support all that, he said, but the commitment must be deeper. “It needs to be a cultural shift, and that will help us initiate the next 50 years of the Altamont legacy.”

– Submitted by Sean Flynt, M.S.Ed., APR, Director of Communications, The Altamont School and edited by Iron City Ink.

Cecil F. Stodghill Jr. took over as Head of School at Altamont in July. Photo courtesy of Sean Flynt.
“ ”
We’re sitting on a goldmine, in terms of global education and practical experiences, right here in Birmingham.


New season for UAB Theatre, Children’s recognized for ECMO Center

UAB Department of Theatre announces new season of plays for 2022-23 Theatre UAB will present “A New Brain,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” “Sanctuary City,” and “Into the Woods” for its 2022-2023 season. This season, Musical Theatre student Cooper Ellis will co-direct “A New Brain,” and spring 2022 graduate Bailey Dumlao will direct “Sanctuary City.”

Oct. 12-16: “A New Brain.” From the Tony Award-winning authors of “Falsettos,” this energetic, sardonic, often comical musical is about a composer during a medical crisis. Directed by students Cooper Ellis and Roy Lightner, with musical direction by Carolyn Violi. Contains strong language and mature themes. Shows 7:30 p.m. nightly Oct. 12-15, and 2 p.m. Oct. 16, in the Alys Stephens Cen ter’s Sirote Theatre. Tickets are $15 and $20; students $6; UAB employees and senior cit izens $10.

Nov. 9-12 and Nov. 16-19: “Sense and Sensibility.” A playful new adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel follows the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Dashwood sisters — sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne — after their father’s sudden death leaves them financially destitute and socially vulnerable. Directed by Santiago Sosa. Shows 7:30 p.m. nightly Nov. 9-12 and Nov. 16-18 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 19, in the Alys Stephens Center’s Odess Theatre. Tickets are $15; students $6; UAB employees and senior citizens $10.

Feb. 22-26, 2023: “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” Acclaimed as a modern dramatic masterpiece, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” is the inventive tale of Hamlet as told from the worm’seye view of the bewildered Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters in Shakespeare’s play. Directed by Dennis McLernon. Shows 7:30 p.m. nightly Feb. 22-25 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 26, in the Alys Stephens Center’s Sirote Theatre. Tickets are $12 and $15; students $6; UAB employees and senior citizens $10.

March 6-10, 2023: “Sanctuary City.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Mar tyna Majok returns with an unforgettable account of two young immigrants fighting to establish a place for themselves and each other in America. Contains strong language and mature themes. Directed by 2022 Theatre UAB alumnus Bailey Dumlao. Shows 7:30 p.m. nightly, in the Alys Stephens Center’s Odessa Theatre. Tickets are $15; students $6; UAB employees and senior citizens $10.

April 12-16, 2023: “Into The Woods.” The Brothers Grimm hit the stage with an

epic fairytale about wishes, family and the choices we make. Contains mature themes. Some material may be disturbing to young audiences. Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by James Lapine. Directed by Valerie Accetta, with musical direction by Carolyn Violi. Shows 7:30 p.m. nightly April 12-15 and at 2 p.m. April 16, in the Alys Stephens Center’s Sirote Theatre. Tickets are $15 and $20; students $6; UAB employees and senior citizens $10.

Theatre UAB is the performance company of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Depart ment of Theatre at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. To purchase tickets, call the


The Children’s of Alabama Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Center recently earned a prestigious honor after an international organization dedicated to ECMO support recognized it as a Center of Excellence.

The Extracorporeal Life Support Organi zation (ELSO) recently awarded the Chil dren’s ECMO Center with the ELSO Award

“This is a remarkable achievement by our center, and I am proud of each team mem ber’s contribution to this recognition,” Martha McBride, clinical coordinator of the Chil dren’s ECMO Center, said. “As a Center of Excellence, we are recognized for an excep tional commitment to evidence-based pro cesses and quality measures, staff training and continuing education, patient satisfaction and ongoing clinical care. I am extremely proud to work with such an outstanding, hardworking ECMO team!”

Children’s has been recognized as a Center of Excellence every year since 2013. ELSO announces Award for Excellence winners every three years, and Children’s is a Gold Level Center of Excellence for the second straight cycle.

Children’s started using its new ECMO machines in December 2021, and the ECMO Center has supported more than 30 patients with them so far. Children’s ECMO operations coordinator Jenny Ross led the implementa tion effort as the team completed its initial training on the new machines. Ross facili tated more than 100 additional hours of team training.

– Submitted by UAB University Relations.

Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center Box Office at 205-975-2787. for Excellence in Life Support. ELSO named the Children’s center a Gold Level Center of Excellence. Left: UAB Department of Theatre’s production of “The SpongeBob Musical” in April. Photo courtesy of UAB University Relations. Children’s of Alabama. Staff photo.




Oct. 1 and 22: Amelia Earhart. 11 a.m. Birmingham Children's Theatre. Directed by Jessica Clark. A curious reporter begins to uncover the story of Amelia Earhart’s mysterious disappearance, and what he finds along the way pieces together the thrilling life story of one of America’s most fascinating heroines.

Oct. 1: Pictures at an Exhibition. 7-9 p.m. Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center. Valerie Coleman’s 7 O’clock Shout, an anthem inspired by the tireless efforts of frontline workers in the COVID-19 pandemic, opens the concert, which will also feature two compelling works by Ravel performed by pianist Yakov Kasman.

Oct. 2: Cahaba River Fry-Down. Noon to 4 p.m. Cahaba Brewing Company. A competitive cookoff and festival celebrating the Cahaba River and benefiting Cahaba River Society. Tickets are $20 and include servings of fish, sides, and desserts from our teams. Kids 12 and younger are free.

Oct. 2: Picnic at Railroad Park. Noon to 5 p.m. Railroad Park. The community is invited to celebrate the city’s rich and diverse music, food, drinks, neighborhoods, small businesses, makers and artists. Free event.

Oct. 2: Lightwire Theater's The Adventures of Tortoise and Hare. 3 p.m. Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center. With dazzling visuals, poignant storytelling and the creative use of music from classical to pop, this production brings this tale into a new and brilliant light. Performance is suitable for all ages. General admission tickets $15.

Oct. 2: Teddy Swims. 8 p.m. Iron City Bham. Tickets are $25-$125. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Oct. 7: Tab Benoit with special guests Dirty Dozen Brass Band. 8 p.m. Iron City Bham. Tickets are $31.50. Doors will open at 7 p.m.


Bham. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. ironcitybham. com.

Oct. 20: Blues Traveler 35th Anniversary Tour. 8 p.m. Iron City Bham.

Oct. 21: Hocus Pocus. 7 p.m. Alabama Theatre. A curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century. Tickets $10.


Oct.7-9,Allday,BarberMotorsportsPark, 6040BarberMotorsportsPkwy,Leeds,AL35094.

Barber Motorsports Park. The threeday festival features the fan zone with food and entertainment, a swap meet with hundreds of vendors selling vintage motorcycles and parts, as well as the VJMC gathering, and the Motorcycle Classics show.

Oct. 8: Saint Symeon Food and Culture Fair. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. St. Symeon Church. Featuring an outdoor marketplace, church tours, a choir concert, and a talk about Christian art in the Byzantine tradition. Guests can enjoy breakfast and lunch fare as well as baked goods and gifts.

Oct. 9: CahabaQue BBQ Cook-Off. 1-4 p.m. Cahaba Brewing Company. All event proceeds go to lifesaving breast cancer research across the state. General admission $15 in advance; price increases to $20 at the gate. Children 10 and younger are free.

Oct. 13-15: Greek Food Festival. 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Enjoy delicious Greek cuisine prepared by the parishioners of the community and served by them during the Greek Food Festival weekend. The open air festival offers free admission. Outside tented seating for dining will be available.


Oct.21,8p.m.,AlysStephensPerformingArts Center,120010thAveS,Birmingham,AL35294.

Presented by UAB’s Alys Stephens Center. One of the country’s pre-eminent singer/ songwriters, Rosanne Cash has released 15 albums of extraordinary songs that have earned four Grammy Awards and nominations for 11 more.

Oct. 22: The Rocky Horror Masquerade Ball. 6 p.m. Boutwell Municipal Auditorium. Birmingham’s most extravagant Halloween event. boutwell-auditorium.

Oct. 23: Pink Up The Pace 5K and Fun Run. 2-5 p.m. Crestline Field. Presented by Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama. The event includes a 5K race and “Dolly Dash” 1-mile fun run (kids can run, walk, bike, or “scoot” to the finish line).

Oct. 13: Vision Duo. 7 p.m. Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center. Ariel and Britt formed their duo after becoming co-winners of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition’s Ambassador Prize. Free admission.

Oct. 13: The Midnight. 7 p.m. Iron City Bham.

Oct. 16: “A New Brain.” 2-4 p.m. Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center. Tickets $15$20 general; $6 students; $10 UAB employees and senior citizens. on-stage/2022-2023-season/a-new-brain.

Oct. 16: World Ballet Series: Swan Lake. 6 p.m. Alabama Theatre. A live performance by a multinational cast of 50 professional ballet dancers will bring the most famous love story to life. Tickets $40-$81.

Oct. 18: The Front Bottoms. 7:30 p.m. Iron City

Oct. 28: Coffee Concert: Beethoven's Third Symphony Eroica. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. UAB's Alys Stephens Center. Presented by Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Explore the revolutionary and stirring Eroica (Heroic) Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven.


Oct. 5: UAB Men's Soccer vs USF. 7 p.m. PNC Field. Presented by UAB Athletics. The Blazers host University of South Florida.

Oct. 8: Football: UAB vs. Middle Tennessee. 2:30 p.m. The Blazers host Middle Tennessee State University for Homecoming.

Oct .15: Football: UAB vs. Charlotte. 2:30 pm. Protective Stadium.

Oct. 29: The Magic City Classic: Alabama State vs. Alabama A&M. 2:30 p.m. Legion Field Stadium. The largest historically black college and university (HBCU) football game in the country.



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