Page 1

Village Living

| August 2010 |

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

Lessons from Virginia pg 8

School House pg 16

Volume 1 | Issue 5 | August 2010

City Council election August 24









By Jennifer Gray & Dan Starnes Three City Council seats will be decided by voters on August 24. City Council Places 1, 3, and 5 are currently held by Robert Moody, William “Billy” Pritchard, and Jesse Vogtle respectively. All but Moody are running for reelection. Mountain Brook’s City Council consists of five Council members. The Council plus the Mayor make up the governing body of the City. All Council Places are held at-large (as opposed to by district). Terms are for four years with elections held every two years in order to stagger the terms. There are no term limits for City Council members. In addition, Council members are not compensated for

August Features 2

• Sustainable Printing


• Restaurant Review


• Resolutions


• Business Spotlight


• Bagatelle


• Armadillos


• Lessons from Virginia


• Kari Kampakis


• Sports


• Tatum Jackson


• Summer Fun at BBG


• PTO Presidents


• Calendar of Ev ents


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

• Photo Contest

their service to the City. Running in this year’s election are:

City Council Place 1 Amy Gilbert Carter Age: 43 Occupation: Homemaker- formerly an attorney How long have you lived in Mountain Brook? “I lived here as a child until the age of six, then my family moved away. I have lived here 13 years as an adult.” Why do you want to serve on the City Council? “Over the years, I have found myself involved in matters that have come up in my area. I found myself volunteering and bringing issues to my neighbors that

I felt they should be informed about. I wanted to take that involvement a step further and serve the community that I love on the City Council. I want to maintain the unique qualities that we have here. I love being involved with local issues and think I would be a good representative of all of the areas of Mountain Brook.” She has a website which can be found at Frank Galloway Age: 72 Occupation: Attorney with Hand Arendall. Specializes in Municipal Law and Commercial Real Estate. Worked as the City Attorney for Mountain Brook for

18 years and most recently has served as a member of the City’s board of Zoning Adjustments. How long have you lived in Mountain Brook? “I have lived in Mountain Brook for 38 years.” Why do you want to serve on the City Council? “My goal is to maintain the excellence of Mountain Brook’s school system, fire department, police department and Library. There is always room for improvement, but I want to maintain what we have. I think that my experience uniquely qualifies me to deal with some of the issues facing the city.”


A chat with Dicky Barlow By Jennifer Gray

In anticipation of the new school year, I recently sat down with Superintendent Dicky Barlow to discuss the preparations being made, changes that have taken place, and the challenges the school system faces. Mr. Barlow also reflected on his first year as Superintendent. When it comes to summer projects at schools, most people think of physical improvements. Summer is usually the best time for those projects to take place while students are away. This year, the focus has been a little different. Following a ten-year period of large construction projects that resulted in all of the schools being updated, the main focus now is maintaining the facilities “Every year we evaluate the needs of our facilities then execute those projects in the summer,” said Barlow. “This could range from putting fresh mulch down on an elementary school playground to repainting classrooms or replacing an air conditioning system at the High School.” With large-scale improvements behind them, the goal now is to “maintain what we have done, and continue to upgrade the facilities,” he said. One big change that has taken place over the summer involves Crestline Elementary. Dr. Mike Melvin, the Principal of Crestline Elementary School, left to head

Crestline • 871-2662 Mon. - Fri. 9-6 • Sat. 10-5

Dicky Barlow (center) meeting with colleagues

up a failing school in Mississippi. Laurie King, who has served at Crestline as an Assistant Principal was named Melvin’s replacement. Josh Watkins was then hired as the new Assistant Principal at Crestline. “Josh has been an Assistant Principal at a Hoover elementary school,” Barlow said. Classroom technology Also taking place over the summer was the Technology Conference that the teachers attended. Held at the High School, the focus was “teaching teachers how to use these existing technologies more deeply and understanding how they can aid the learning process,” said Barlow. “When we say “technology”, we no longer mean just computers. Our teachers are equipped with all sorts of tools for engaging students

in the learning process.” Over the past four years, different technologies have been incorporated into the classroom. Each classroom, K-12, is equipped with a document camera, data projector, and interwrite pads. Document cameras are the newest version of the overhead projectors of many years ago. A teacher can put anything on the pad, and a camera that is focused on the pad then puts the image up on a screen for the entire class to see. But it doesn’t have to be paper or an overlay like the old overhead projectors. Barlow described how a Biology teacher who is going to have her class dissect a pig, can actually lead the class through the lesson by dissecting on the pad. This



Come see us at DAWG DAZE Incredible savings in our Flea Market tent Saturday August 21 in Crestline Village


| August 2010 |Welcome Friends

Village Living Photo of the Month

Editor’s Note

Summer days in August are often referred to as the Dog Days of summer. But for Crestline Village, that’s just an excuse to host a fun event for all! Find all the details about Crestline’s Dawg Daze inside this issue. Don’t forget, four legged friends are welcome and are encouraged to dress up for the King and Queen of Dawg Daze competition. City Council elections are August 24th, and we have profiled those running. Three spots are open this election. Look inside to find out who the candidates are,

and why they want to serve on the City Council. Make sure you become a fan of Village Living on Facebook. We plan on having more information there, as well as our website, on the candidates and the race leading up to Election Day August 24th. Also, school starts back on August the 17th. Dicky Barlow sat down with us to discuss the school year and what took place over the summer. We also hear from each of the Mountain Brook school’s PTO Presidents as they discuss their school’s fundraisers and other ways the PTO makes a difference. Will Hightower has a great preview of the Spartan’s football season as well as a Little League All Stars wrap up. Here’s to a great start to the school year!

DonÕ t Forget to send your lake photos for the first annual Lake Lover’s Photo Contest

Ghost Busters make appearance at Market Day

Staff & Friends Contributing Writers Alison Gault | Bama Hager | Hilary Ross Judy McDonald | Laura Canterbury | Kari Kampakis Christiana Roussel | Will Hightower | Abby Frazer

James Hard at Lay Lake

Contributing Photographers Image Arts | Alison Gault

Publisher Dan Starnes

Editor Jennifer Gray

Creative Director Keith McCoy

Published by Village Living LLC

Sales and Distribution Dan Starnes Angela Morris

Journalism Intern Erica Breen

Contact Information: Village Living #4 Office Park Circle, Suite 314-A Birmingham, AL 35223 313-1780

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 Legals: Village Living is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. Village Living is designed to inform the Mountain Brook community of area school, faith, family and community events. Information in Village Living is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of Village Living. We reserve the right to edit articles/ photos as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish or return photos submitted. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 370-0732 or by email.

Brant and Michael Hawkins with their ”big catches” at Smith Lake.

The deadline for photos for the Lake Lover’s Photo contest is August 9. There will be four categories of winners : action, kids, pets, fishing.

Alaina Long and Garrett Long wanting to “tube” .....just one more time, PLEASE??????

Winners will be published in the September issue.

E-mail them in a jpeg file to

Sustainable Printing We at Village Living focus on sustainable printing for all of our issues. This is done with the help of Signature Offset, our printing company, who believes firmly in the cause. There are four component of sustainable printing. The first is education. Signature Offset educates their staff, suppliers and customers about their commitment to the environment and they promote awareness and accountability on environmental issues. For our company, we want our printing to incorporate the latest information and advances in green technology. It’s an important issue for us and we want to better the development of environmental standards concerning our papers. The second is fiber sourcing, paper recovery and recycling concerning our paper. These are very important issues for us because we want to promote sustainable forestry and recycling. Paper products are highly recyclable and this is why all paper waste, returned rack copies are always recycled. The majority of the newsprint we use for our papers is from recycled paper facilities. The third is production materials. For the papers, 100% aluminum print plates and soybean oil-based inks are used. Aluminum can be recycled indefinitely, and because the plates can be directly imaged on, there is no extra waste in films, and

developing solvents. Soybean oil-based inks are used because the inks are water soluble and friendly to the environment. Because these inks are not heat set into the paper, it makes the paper product itself easier to recycle. The fourth is community involvement. We want to be an active part of the community so we can show them how we’re using environmental standards and hopeful encourage them to incorporate environmental standards into their home.

Village Living | August 2010 |


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| August 2010 | Village Flavor

Tracy’s Restaurant |

Support the Gulf by shopping here!

Delicious, Fresh Gulf Seafood still available



63 Church Street • 637-7460


mudtown eat & drink 205.967.3300

3144 Green Valley Road

Cahaba Heights Buy One Entrée



Monday-Wednesday After 4pm expires 8-31-10

School year’s resolutions By Christiana Roussel I absolutely adore Autumn. This time of year is like my New Year’s. Fall is a time to reinvent yourself: new clothes, new classes at school, new schedules. I’d even bet there are almost as many resolutions made at this time of year as in January. “I vow to make all A’s this year!” “I’m going to start training for the Mercedes Marathon when the kids are back in school!” “We’re going to eat dinner as a family, five nights a week!” “I’m going to pack the kids’ lunches every day!” By October, just like in March, most of those promises have fallen by the wayside. But, what if you could keep just ONE of those promises? What if you could set yourself up for success and truly improve the way your family eats? How awesome would the payback be? Going to school and learning is basically the sole job your children have. Experts will tell you that a diet containing more protein and fewer carbohydrates will keep your kids focused longer. We’re all pressed for time so most of these suggestions for Healthy Breakfasts, Lunch and Snacks are quick as well as delicious. Breakfast Think outside the box. Everyone loves breakfast for dinner, but what if you made lunch for breakfast? A grilled ham-and-cheese on wholegrain bread or a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich are fast portable choices that offer good sources of fiber and protein. Try using a natural peanut butter for an even healthier choice. The bulk section of Whole Foods Market has peanut and almond grinding machines you can use to make your own nut butters. Check out the honey-roasted peanut butter.

Smoothies – Doesn’t everyone love a drink that comes from a blender? You may have some summer fruits put up in the freezer. If not, there are tons of great frozen fruit packages at Whole Foods Market or Costco. These are a very affordable way to get more fruit into your diet. Add a large scoop of plain yogurt and a splash of orange juice and you have a meal in a glass. And if you don’t finish it all, pour the remainder into popsicle molds for a quick afternoon snack. Think inside the box. Cereal is always fast and easy. And it just makes sense to offer your kids cereal that’s not loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and the like. There are so many choices out there now that offer great taste and good fiber, such as Puffin’s or any of the Kashi cereals. If you can throw a couple pieces of fresh fruit on top, even better. When all else fails, drink a glass of 1% milk. Some people just aren’t breakfast eaters. My daughter eats a ton at dinner but is never hungry at breakfast. Somedays, a glass of milk is the only thing we can agree on. Lunch I am passionate about getting better food in our kids – in all kids. It doesn’t matter if you call it Food Snobbery or a Food Revolution. One look at school lunch menus will tell you one thing: we can do better. When I asked my kindergarten son last year what’s in a Crispito, he replied “Oh mom, they’re awesome! They’ve got meat paste and orange sauce!” All I could do was slap my forehead and wonder where I went wrong. Actually, that’s not all I could do. I can try to reform the school lunch program (a work in progress and a topic


75 Church Street Crestline Village 803-3005

by Erica Breen

Restaurant Showcase

Monday thru Thursday Lunch 11-2 and dinner 5-8 Friday 11-2, Saturday 7-11, Sunday 11-2

Home cooking-close to home

Are you in the mood for a great southern meal? Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner? Then head on down to Tracy’s in Crestline Village. Established in 1974 by Jimmy Tracy, the restaurant has been located in several different spots around Birmingham. Tracy’s began as a hot dog stand in the Lakeview District of Birmingham. After a few years he then opened Tracy’s as a restaurant at UAB in the townhouse building. It originally started as a sandwich place but then grew to include southern food. As Tracy says, “Customers have motivated me to change my menu - I like to give them what they want.” And this is certainly something he is capable of doing. He attended Chef School at Jeff State and while he still cooks a little, he really enjoys being able to dabble in all aspects of the restaurant business. Tracy’s has been in the Crestline location for three and half years. Tracy enjoys being in the Mountain Brook community. “Crestline is a great neighborhood coming from where I was downtown,” said Tracy. Tracy’s offers lunch and dinner Monday thru Thursday, and lunch on Friday and Sundays. On Saturday’s, Tracy’s is a popular spot for breakfast. With biscuits, pancakes, French toast, eggs and sandwiches, you have one great beginning to your day! As for every other day, you will find delicious fresh entrees, vegetables, salads, and sandwiches on the menu. The entrees are changed everyday as well as the seasonal vegetables. Some entrees that he offers are Salmon Croquettes, Spaghetti, Smoked Sausage & Peppers, Hamburger Steak and numerous others. If you are choosing to do the meat of the day you have the option of one, two, or three vegetables. These range from Fried Green Tomatoes, Cucumber Salad, Baked Apples, Mashed potatoes, and Mr. Tracy’s personal favorite, squash casserole. Tracy’s stays true to his roots and still

Jimmy Tracy

offers hamburgers, cheeseburgers, turkey, chicken salad and fried green tomato BLT sandwiches. And he also offers a Greek or a grilled chicken salad. If you’re in the mood for dessert, don’t worry, he can whip you up a chocolate or vanilla milkshake or malt! As I sat down for lunch with my publisher, Dan Starnes, I was struggling with what to order. There were so many things that sounded good and I’ve always been an indecisive person when it comes to ordering at restaurants. I finally decided to get the veggie burger (I’m on a health kick) and let me tell you I was not disappointed. I can say it was one of the best veggie burgers I have had in a long time. It was thick and juicy and in one bite I could taste a variety of delicious vegetables on a grilled burger bun. I savored every bite of this sandwich, who knew eating healthy could be so yummy? Dan decided to do the meat and two vegetable option, and he was also very impressed. He had the Greek baked chicken with macaroni & cheese and collard greens. He said the chicken was baked to the right temperature and the perfect amount of Greek seasonings. The macaroni and cheese was just cheesy enough and the collard greens were just like any true Southerner would love. I can definitely say there was not much talking during this meal! Tracy’s is an excellent place to stop when you need a quick to-go healthy meal at a reasonable price. “At Tracy’s we try to provide as much fresh food, reasonable prices and be as friendly as we can be,” said Tracy. And never fear Mountain Brook, you can take Tracy’s home with you! In the cooler in the front of the store you can find frozen entrees of squash and broccoli casserole, macaroni and cheese and cornbread dressing. So you can eat at Tracy’s or get a meal for later!

Cocktails in The Gardens

Cocktails in The Gardens, Birmingham’s favorite garden party returns for its fourth season on August 12, September 9 and October 14 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the Hill Garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Hundreds of young professionals, garden enthusiasts and local music fans flock to The Gardens to enjoy food and libations from Occasions by Wynfrey, live music from local bands, giveaways and more. Tickets are $15 to each event, but members get in free. “It’s All About The Green” on August 12, with entertainment provided by the new band FisherGreen, a cast of local “musical all-stars” created by Chad Fisher and Heath Green. Occasions will serve up a selection of (free) hors d’oeuvres, including roast beef pinwheels, green apple and chicken salad, mini key lime pies, prosciutto wrapped melon and spinach fettuccini. The signature drink is the ever-popular Green Apple Martini, with wine and domestic beer also available at the cash bar. The series continues on September 9 with the theme “Down Home Delights,” with Southern rocker Hunter Lawley entertaining the crowd and Spiked Lemonade as the cocktail du jour. Jazzy Bonus Round and Black Cherry Rum Punch round out the year on October 14 for the “Autumn Harvest Feastival.” Proceeds from Cocktails in The Gardens help support The Friends’ mission

to educate the public about plants, gardens and the environment. Sponsors of the 2010 Cocktails in The Gardens series include 280 Living, Occasions by Wynfrey, 103.7The Q, James Avery, Fox 6, RealtySouth Young Realtor’s Council, Southeastern Attractions, Blonde Salon and Spa, Décor by Kirsti, Birmingham magazine, Over The Mountain Journal, and Mia Moda. For more information visit www.bbgardens. org/cocktails or contact Shelly McCarty at 205.414.3965 or

About Gardens



Birmingham Botanical Gardens is Alabama’s largest living museum with more than 10,000 different plants in its living collections. The Gardens’ 67.5 acres contains more than 25 unique gardens, 30+ works of original outdoor sculpture and miles of serene paths. The Gardens features the largest public horticulture library in the U.S., conservatories, a wildflower garden, two rose gardens, the Southern Living garden, and Japanese Gardens with a traditionally crafted tea house. Education programs run year round and more than 10,000 school children enjoy free sciencecurriculum based field trips annually. The Gardens is open daily, offering free admission to more than 350,000 yearly visitors.

Village Spotlight | August 2010 |

Snoozy’s Kid’s 228 Country Club Park Birmingham, AL 35213 871-2662

| by Erica Breen

Business Spotlight

Constance Longworth Collection

Monday-Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm

A toy store for all ages

Snoozy’s Kids is definitely not all toys and your typical kid store. When you walk in the brightly colored store your hear elegant French music playing and are greeted by jewelry and purses. As owner George Jones says, “I want moms to be able to shop for themselves while their kids look at the newest toys.” But don’t worry Mountain Brook, there are plenty of toys for the kids to choose from. This August, Snoozy’s Kids will have been opened for twenty-two years. Having grown up in Crestline Village, owner George Jones thought this would be the perfect location for a bookstore. Starting out as a bookstore, Snoozy’s has since grown into a deluxe toy store. Jones says he named the bookstore after his father, whose name is Snoozy. Jones says that Snoozy’s has kept the bookstore tradition with its other stores- Snoozy’s Bookstore at UAB and Snoozy’s Bookstore for Jeff State. You can find almost anything imaginable at Snoozy’s. They sells purses, jewelry, scooters, girl’s dresses, dolls, books, cars, earring holders, etc. Snoozy’s also has a camp section with water bottles and everything you would need for camping, and a pool/outdoor section with all sorts of fun things to help kids enjoy all of summer’s outdoor activities. Snoozy’s has all the newest toy creations such as the XBike, Phiten necklace and bracelet, and Tonaka collector erasers. Jones travels to New York and Atlanta to find exclusive toys and the newest jewelry and accessories. “It’s important for me to have a wide product mix and new stuff for

George Jones my customers,” said Jones. “He’s a genius. Mom’s come in for kids birthday presents and leave with that and hip affordable purses and jewelry for themselves,” said one loyal customer. That is one thing Jones will always offer, things for everyone. He wants moms to be able to come in and feel comfortable letting their kids running around. As Jones says, he really wants the store to cater to all customers and their needs. A customer can come into the store and pick out a gift, and Snoozy’s will then ship that gift to whomever the gift is for. A customer can also call the store inquiring about a gift and Snoozy’s will have a pile of toys ready for them to choose from when they enter the store. And if you’re in a hurry don’t worry, Snoozy’s can have your gift wrapped up, and before you can even say, “That is perfect!” you’ll be out the door. No matter what your price range or age is, you will be blown away by Snoozy’s Kids. A toy store like no other Snoozy’s Kids is the place for you!

Jean Clayton launches Bagatelle

By Erica Breen

Watch out Mountain Brook ... the Christine’s franchise is adding another store to their line! On July 14, they opened Bagatelle, a home design store with French contemporary designs. Bagatelle will be uniquely different from Jean Clayton’s other stores- Christine’s and Christine’s across the street. Christine’s specializes in unique home accessories and Christine’s Across the Street carries the latest in children’s fashions, furniture and accessories. Bagatelle will purely focus on French design for furnishing and furniture of the home. Owner Jean Clayton wanted to make sure this store had a different name than her other two. “I didn’t want people having preconceived notions about this store because it is so different from our other two.” As for the name, Clayton was looking through a catalog and fell in love with the name “Bagatelle.” It means English board game or short composition for a piano, she found it to very unique and thought the name would stand out in Mountain Brook Village. It will be located right next to

Coming to Mountain Brook This September


ine Furniture. Unique Chandeliers. Decorator Rugs. Upscale Candles. Unique Gifts. In-home Design Service. Window Treatments and Bedding. Longworth Collection opened its doors in July 2007, and since then, has evolved into the premier upper-end designer businesses on Highway 280. Aside from the in-store selection, owner Constance Longworth is able to order items from many companies including Drexel Heritage, Lexington, American Drew, Lea Childrens, Bradburn, and Pulaski Furniture Companies, to name a few. A one stop shop for everything for the home, with a guarantee that you will love all you either buy from the store or order. If not, Constance will take it back and go back to the drawing board and find the perfect item. “I want you to love everything you purchase,” says Constance.

Constance Longworth Collection 2408 Canterbury Rd.

(Next to Charlotte Woodson Antiques)


a i l e rn

o C LaRussa Mountain Brook City Council Paid for by the LaRussa Campaign

Christine’s on Montevallo Road. The space had been vacant for a year and a half, and Clayton had rented the spot from 1980 to 1983 for one of her other businesses, so she was very familiar with it. She thought it was a great location and a great layout for a store and she didn’t want to see it vacant anymore. “When I moved to this street, Christine’s was a smaller store at first but when we started getting our French line Yves Delorme we just didn’t have enough




| August 2010 | Village Living

Running & walking groups make exercising more fun By Jennifer Gray

Despite a recent article in the Birmingham News declaring that Birmingham scored an “F” in a recent national index of fitness, exercise and fitness are alive in well in our city! You don’t have to look hard around town to see that we have many avid walkers and runners. If you are out early in the morning, you have seen runners and walkers out on the streets and trails before the heat of the day sets in. Many of these groups have met daily for years. Some groups share the goal of training for a marathon. One such group is Team Dexter. All members happen to live on Dexter Avenue in Crestline. This past April, team members Laura Canterbury, Kristie Stewart, and Ted Holt, along with their spouses, travelled to Massachusetts to run the annual Boston Marathon. Not only did they have a great time, all runners were pleased with their times: Kristie Stewart 4:07:40, Laura Canterbury 3:30:49, and Ted Holt 3:15:25. Other groups get together just to keep each other accountable in their goal to get regular exercise. The Armadillos have been meeting in Crestline every morning for decades. The group started in 1978 with two members, Jon Ballenger and Corky Rushin, running on Euclid each morning. The group added runners Rick Finch and Henry Seibels around 1980 or so. Jon Ballenger came up with the group’s name- Armadillos, and their funny motto says it all: “We are slow and we don’t get out of the road – the ARMADILLOS!”

Members of the Armadillo running group pictured are front row (L-R) Corky Rushin, Libet Leeds, Lessie Brady, Kim Tew, and Morgan Murphy. Back Row (L-R) Rick Finch, Henry Seibels, Sandy Bean, Scott Russell, and Jim Gorrie. They even have baseball caps and t-shirts printed with their motto and a picture of an armadillo. Member Tim Blair has run a marathon on each of the 7 continents while wearing his “Armadillo” hat in each race. T h e Armadillos run four to five miles each morning and vary their route. Although members have run races through the years, they are not currently in training- just out having fun and keeping in shape. Over the years, the group has grown to include current members Corky Rushin, Rick Finch, Sandy Bean, Jim Gorrie, George Elliott, Tim Blair, Bill Niketas, Lessie Brady, Libet Leeds, Kim Tew, Scott Russell, Morgan Murphy and Henry Seibels. Others exercise groups are about

catching up with friends, sharing in each other’s successes and struggles all while they exercise. Morgan Cook says her walking group gets together every morning to exercise “for sanity”. She, Mary Glenn Carlton and Augusta Hassinger have been walking together for more than a year. Each morning, they walk about five miles. “With young children, you have to get out early before they are up, and you need your time with your girlfriends,” says Morgan. Anyway you look at it, exercising with friends is just more fun!! Are you a member of a group that exercises together regularly? We would love to feature your group. Please email jennfer@villagelivingonline. com.

Council? “In the last ten months I have become increasingly aware that there is room for improvement on the City Council. My background in math and engineering will bring a different perspective to the City Council. I want to protect the natural beauty of the city and represent everyone.” She has a website which can be found at

along the right path. He has a website which can be found at

“We are slow and we don’t get out of the road!” – the ARMADILLOS

Left to Right Pictured just prior to the start of the Boston Marathon, Team Dexter members Kristie Stewart, Laura Canterbury, Ted Holt

ELECTION cover story

Temple Tutwiler Age: 57 Occupation: President of Tutwiler Properties Ltd. How long have you lived in Mountain Brook? “I have lived in Mountain Brook all my life. My family moved here in 1929.” Why do you want to serve on the City Council? Mr. Tutwiler notes that he has lived in Mountain Brook all of his life. He says that serving on the City Council is ultimately about paying civic rent. He points to the many boards he has served on over the last 20 years and says that his only real ambition that he has is to leave this place a little better than he found it. He has a website which can be found at

City Council Place 3 Cornelia LaRussa Age: 47 Occupation: Mechanical engineer turned homemaker How long have you lived in Mountain Brook? “I have lived in Mountain Brook for 14 years.” Why do you want to serve on the City

William S. “Billy” Pritchard, III Age: 56 Occupation: Practicing attorney since 1979 How long have you lived in Mountain Brook? “I have lived in Mountain Brook my entire life other than the time spent away at college.” Why do you want to continue to serve on the City Council? Mr. Pritchard points to his ten years of continuous service on the city council which he says give him a firm grasp of the issues the city faces going forward. He says the budget challenges in a shaky economy and the school system’s projected financial deficits as two of the biggest challenges. He says that balancing the city’s budget while maintaining the quality of services and education, while avoiding tax increases will be his priorities. He says that he wants to guide the city in a fiscally responsible manner to accomplish these goals while moving the city forward

City Council Place 5 Mark Roberts Age: 34 Occupation: Commodities Broker How long have you lived in Mountain Brook? “I have lived in Mountain Brook just over one year.” Why do you want to serve on the City Council? “Mountain Brook is one of the best communities in the country. I want to offer my service in any way I can.” Richard “Rick” Sprague Age: 62 Occupation: Architect How long have you lived in Mountain Brook: “I have lived in Mountain Brook for 30 years.” Why do you want to serve on the City Council? “I have a special love and appreciation for the way Robert Jemison laid out the city. It struck me that there are four lawyers on the City council. I think that my background as an architect can bring some special knowledge and understanding of the situations and issues that Mountain Brook is facing.” He has a website which can be found at

Armadillo member Tim Blair in Paris, France after completing the marathon with his well travelled Armadillos hat in tow. Jesse Vogtle, Jr. Age: 47 Occupation: Partner, Balch & Bingham, LLP and President Pro Tempore - City Council 2006 - Present; member Finance and Library Committees How long have you lived in Mountain Brook? “I have lived here my whole life.” Why do you want to continue to serve on the City Council? Mr. Vogtle says that in the last four years that he has served on the City Council, there have been many accomplishments. He points to the balanced budgets, no deficit spending, working with the Board of Education to navigate proration, and park improvements to name a few. He sees unfunded pension liability, potential impact of state proration on student teacher ratios, potential declining property values and tax revenue as challenges looming. He says that he will see that these issues are handled professionally and efficiently. He has a website which can be found at This is a brief summary of the candidates for the August 24 City Council election. Please see our website at for links to the candidates websites and developments over the next few weeks.

Village Living

| August 2010 |


A fun event for the people and dogs of Mountain Brook On August 20-21, head down to Crestline Village for the annual Dawg Daze event and enjoy a weekend with your family and four legged friends! This event begins the evening of August 20 at 8 pm with a family movie night in the grass across from the Emmet O’Neal Library. Grab your family and head down to Crestline Village for a family movie on a giant outdoor screen with blanket seating available on the lawn. in the event of rain, the movie will be moved into the library. Starting at 8 am the next morning the Dawg Daze Parade and Flea Market starts. It begins with a puppy crawl which

is a one mile run for children of all ages! Shortly after begins the Dawg Daze Parade where more than 100 “dawgs” parade down Church Street in costume with their owners. The Canine Queen and King are crowned after the parade ends in front of City Hall. Afterwards stay to enjoy local shops, good food, and music. There will be moon walks, artists and children rides and stores will be having special sales the entire day! Everyone is guaranteed to have a fun day! So register your dog now and get ready for Dawg Daze 2010! For more information please visit www.


Located At

Pet clean up around town made easier

The Colonnade 968-8005

3431 Colonnade Pkwy

By Jennifer Gray

Cleaning up after a pet in public areas is an important part of pet ownership. When not taken care of, it can be a nuisance any time, but especially this time of year. Hot summer temperatures really emphasize the problem. Betsy Dreher who lives on Country Club Boulevard has noticed. Her street is a popular route for walkers and runnersmany with their dogs in tow. “The hotter it gets, the stronger the odor,” she says. “I have even seen some walkers allow their pets to use the sidewalk, then walk right on without cleaning it up.” Some have also noted that in the grassy area across from the library, despite the presence of a dog waste disposal station, owners continue to allow their pets to use that area without cleaning it up. Noticing the increasing problem with owners not always thinking to clean up after their four legged friends, the City took measures to make it easier for pet owners. Stations were installed around town complete with waste disposal bags and receptacles. Also installed were signs to serve as

“friendly reminders”. Current city ordinances do not cover pet clean up. City Manager, Sam Gaston said that the City “ does not have an ordinance in place to require pet owners to pick-up the waste although we do encourage them to do so.” He went on to say, “The Council did ban dogs inside the fenced area at the Tot Lot, but did not include the ban to other parks. In addition, Pets/dogs are prohibited on our playing fields prior, during or after events on the playing fields or athletic complex”. So what is proper etiquette when it comes to your pet? According to Dahloan Hembree who has written on the matter, “Pet etiquette is simply thinking of your neighbor when it comes to your pet’s behavior. Whether you have a dog or cat, pig or goat, not everyone loves animals, so we need to think about how we can make our neighbors happy without violating the rights of our pet.” She goes on to say in her article “Pet Etiquette: A Guide to Proper Behavior for Pet Owners” that first and foremost, cleaning up after your pet is the best way you can show consideration for others- both their personal property and shared common areas, and their health.

There are currently a total of twelve stations in the city. Jemison Park Overton Park MB Elem Cherokee bend Elem Crestline Elem Brookwood Elem MB Jr. High MB Presbyterian Church Across from Library

(2) (1) (1) (2) (1) (1) (2) (1) Located on Brookwood Rd. (1) Located on the corner of Hoyt St. and Country Club Rd

Vote August 24



| August 2010 |

Lessons from Virginia By Abby Frazer

I remember a page from our premarital counseling workbook that asked me to rank a list of potential hardships according to which one would impact me most were it to materialize. I can’t recall what topped my list, but I can tell you what fell in last place: Having a child with special needs. It’s ironic to me that I only remember that one exercise from all of our premarital counseling, and I have to laugh at the naïveté of my answer. But even if I’d known I’d have a daughter with cerebral palsy, there’s no way I could have prepared myself for the intense suffering that lay ahead. Virginia was born in October of 2003, and due to gross medical negligence, she has severe cerebral palsy. I cannot put into words the pain of those first few years. Virginia’s suffering was extreme, and she cried almost constantly. Nothing about motherhood was even close to what I’d imagined. My heart broke daily as I watched her struggle. I thought our family would never have another happy moment. But I was wrong. Over the past few years, the pain and shock have begun to lessen, and our family has started to smile again. Obviously, I’d take away all of Virginia’s suffering if I could, but I’m finally in a place where I can acknowledge some of the blessings that have come from our tragedy. For starters, Virginia’s life has taught me a lot about the profound relationship between suffering and joy. It takes time, but joy always rises from the ashes of suffering. The hard things I’ve been through allow me to experience joy on a much deeper level – and to appreciate moments I might otherwise have taken for granted.

Abby Frazer with daughter Virginia

Virginia’s injuries are somewhat isolating, so we get to spend a lot of time together as a family. Nothing lifts my spirit more than witnessing the bond between my children and realizing that Wills and Eliza love to hear Virginia laugh just as much as Findley and I do. Virginia’s suffering has also changed my perspective on life. I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. It doesn’t matter to me if Wills makes the varsity basketball team, or if Eliza is a National Merit Finalist. What does matter to me is that they become individuals with a heart for those who suffer. I’m already beginning to see the seeds of compassion in their young lives. Virginia embraces life with a vigor that’s taught me firsthand how to seize each moment. For a long time, I was frozen in my sorrow, too overwhelmed by what lay ahead to celebrate today. But I’ve learned that life isn’t ever going to be exactly like I

want it, and if I wait for things to be perfect, I might miss a chance to make her smile. Virginia needs me to infuse as much joy and laughter into her day as I possibly can. We eat a lot of ice cream at our house, and we never miss an opportunity for a dance party. Having a special needs child is an invitation to a slower paced life. I’ve tried very hard to embrace that invitation. Yes, I sometimes mourn the fact that we can’t eat Chick-fil-A in the back of the car in route to ballet lessons, but when I’m honest with myself, I realize I’ve been given the chance to spend time with my children and build strong relationships within our family. There are lots of activities we have to pass up, but the result is a unity I wouldn’t trade for anything. The physical and emotional support that I need to care for Virginia is humbling. I feel lucky to live in a place that really

does seem like a village at times. Our first Christmas in Mountain Brook, we went to see Santa Claus ride into the village on a fire truck. The entire hour we were there, we didn’t see one person whom we knew. When we got home, I realized Virginia had lost one of her new gloves. Oh, well, I thought, I’ll never see that again. When I went to get the mail the next day, there was her tiny pink glove. I still don’t know who returned it – or how they knew it was Virginia’s – but it seemed magical to me. That gesture made me feel like people could tell we had our hands full, and they were doing what they could to lighten the load. I felt very welcome. I often come home to find homemade bread on my doorstep, or a note of encouragement in my mailbox. Tammy at Gilchrist knows to make Virginia’s milkshake a little on the thin side. Mr. Joe at the Western always offers to push my grocery cart so I can maneuver her wheelchair. Having children, especially ones with special needs, reminds us all that we really do need to live in community. We need to push ourselves to get to know our neighbors and encourage those who bear extra burdens. Virginia is a tremendous blessing not only in our lives, but in the lives of all of the people in our community who have come to know and love her. When I think back to the workbook page from our premarital counseling, I realize that not only would it have been impossible to wrap my mind around the heartbreak of having a child with special needs, it also would have been impossible to get even a glimpse of the joy and love Virginia brings to my life. Abby Frazer is a Mountain Brook mother of three who enjoys reading, writing and listening to sports radio. She seeks to provide hope and humor through her blog,, where she writes about her family’s unique journey through life. She can be reached at

Children’s Arts Guild’s “Heaven’s Heroes” helps local children The Children’s Arts Guild(CAG) is dedicated to the belief that all children should learn through the arts and have the opportunity for a culturally enriched life. To realize this vision, the CAG was formed to exclusively support the Children’s Dance Foundation( CDF). Through their annual Spring Fashion Show, CAG members were able to raise a record-breaking amount of money for CDF programs. Leading the way in a remarkable show of generosity are Region’s Bank – the show’s Headline Sponsor – and 43 local businesses/ individuals who united to ensure that hundreds of under-served Birmingham children enjoy the gift of music and dance this year! Through a program called Heaven’s Heroes, companies and individuals donated money to help sponsor a site served by Children’s Dance Foundation. Each week, CDF dance instructors and pianists travel to more than 30 schools and social service agencies throughout the community to serve the approximately 1700 children who are either at-risk or live with disabilities. This is in addition to the classes CDF offers to the community at large in their Homewood studio. The 2010 Heaven’s Heroes and their sponsored Outreach Sites are: The Bell Center: Mr. and Mrs. Dixon Brooke, Jr.; Dr. Benton Emblom; Surgery South, LLC; Mr. and Mrs. Champ Lyons, III; Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP; The Title Group; Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society; Mr. and Mrs. Nestor Kampakis; Rail Connection and 2 anonymous donors. Avondale Elementary-English as a Second Language Program: EBSCO;

Pictured from left to right: Kerri Windle, Incoming CAG President; Greer Cotton, Fashion Show Chair; Linda Friedman, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP; Diane Litsey, Director-Children’s Dance Foundation; Amy Maher, Drs. Rohner and Maher Pediatric Dentistry; David & Kristin Carpenter, Borland Benefield PC; Sonthe Burge, Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society; Denisa Keith, First Commercial Bank; Amy Williams, Fundraising Co-Chair; Allison Ingram, CAG President

Skin Pathology Associates; Jim ‘N Nicks BBQ; Mr. and Mrs. Tom Jernigan; Balch & Bingham, LLP; and Mr. and Mrs. John Windle. YWCA Kids Corner: Mr. and Mrs. Cary Cooper; Village Dermatology; Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz, PC; Elizabeth Brennan and Gray Powell; and Starnes & Atchison, LLP. YWCA Summer Camp: Flower Magazine; Birmingham Hide and Tallow; Mr. and Mrs. Colby Clark; The Paulson Foundation and an anonymous donor. United Cerebral Palsy – Hand in Hand: Sterne Agee; Circa; Mr. and Mrs.

Jim Ingram; Renasant Bank; Mr. and Mrs. Denton McLane; Allwin E. Horn, IV, PC; Borland Benefield, PC; Dr. and Mrs. Colin Stewart; Drs. Rohner and Maher Pediatric Dentistry; R.E. Grills Construction and First Commercial Bank. My Place – Birmingham Coalition for the Homeless: Dr. and Mrs. Robert Robinson UAB Engel Therapeutic Preschool: Drs. Gerald and Gina Karcher; Dr. David Deatkine, MDVIP; Dr. Michael Keller and Clark, James, Hanlin & Hunt, LLC. These businesses and individuals were honored at a reception on June

30th at the Children’s Dance Foundation building. The representatives were given a tour of the facilities and met some of the CDF staff. They were able to view the engraved plaques that will be displayed at each of the Heaven’s Hero sponsored sites as well as enjoy a delicious lunch. The Children’s Arts Guild members leading the fundraising efforts this year were: Allison Ingram, President; Greer Cotton, Fashion Show Chair; Casey Horn, Fashion Show Co-Chair; Betsy Lefkovits, Fundraising Chair; Tiffany Polmatier, Fundraising CoChair and Amy Williams, Fundraising CoChair.

| August 2010 |

Getting back into the groove of school


By Laura Canterbury

It’s time to trade in flip-flops for tie shoes, hotdogs for hot lunches and catching fireflies for catching zzzs. The transition is not always easy, but with some planning and a little creativity, going back to school can be something to celebrate. The first step is making sure you manage your mornings. “Most of us aren’t morning people (well, at least I’m not), so the key is preparing the night before. We lay out our clothes, have our backpacks filled with homework and lunch bags ready to pack. In the morning, it’s important for us to have some margin in terms of time so we aren’t rushing,” said Meredith Brown, a Mountain Brook mother of four. Experts say the mornings set the tone for the day. Here are a few more tips to get off to a good start: Make it easy for your kids to be self-sufficient. Hang coats on hooks that they can reach; buy shoes with easy fasteners and pants that are easy to pull-on. Keep quick breakfast items on hand: oatmeal bars, individual yogurts, trail mix and bananas. Minimize distractions. Turn off the TV and put away the video games. Focus on getting ready for the day. Organize yourself. Get up 15 minutes earlier, make a to-do list for the day, check the calendar and be sure you have enough cash for lunch money and field trips. Next to managing the mornings, lunches are very important to a happy student. “We love to order lunch and all the extras you get to order the older you get. Now that I will have a 4th grader I cannot even imagine what my bill is going to be. I do not have picky eaters and I must say the days that I have visited for lunch I was really impressed! Cindy Gillium (head of the lunchroom at Mountain Brook Elementary) is awesome,” said Diana Browning, a Mountain Brook mother of four. For parents who pack their child’s lunch you should be sure to pack lunches that your children will eat. If you pack a tofu sandwich on whole wheat, it doesn’t matter how healthy it is if your child dumps it in the garbage or trades it for something better at the lunch table. If possible, it is always better to substitute homemade treats for store-bought sweets. Made-fromscratch peanut-butter cookies and oatmeal bars are better than highly processed snacks. Another lunch packing trick is to pack sandwiches using frozen bread. It will thaw and be fresh by lunchtime. Keep everything cold with a frozen juice box. Finally, how to juggle it all. “It’s nice to have down time in the summer, but it’s also nice to get back into routines come fall. It’s just a matter of figuring out what works best for everyone. Part of that with a bigger family is limiting the activities we do after



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school. Kids still need that down time to just be kids (and not to be over-scheduled at such a young age),” said Brown. Here are some more ideas to keep your family busy, but not overbooked: Present your child with a few choices. “Do you want to take gymnastics or soccer?” Experts recommend that children only participate in one sport each season. You want to avoid scenarios where your child has to eat meals and change uniforms in the car. Make time to eat as a family. Try to arrange activities so your family can still sit down to dinner together at least a few times a week. Studies show that kids who eat dinner with their parents four times a week or more are more likely to be A students. Don’t take away favorite activities as punishment for bad grades. Enroll your child in activities that you all can sustain. Mastery of a sport or a skill builds confidence for life. “It is tough to transition back to schedules, sports, and big demands on moms and being a taxi service. I think you have to take day by day and then you realize you are half way through the fall,” Browning adds. Each family is going to have different routines, but the key is to have a routine and then the children will know what to expect each school day. “There is probably a reason that I have four boys. We do not brush hair and are lucky if we get our teeth brushed in the morning, but we do get there fed, usually backpacks in tow and most mornings on time!” laughs Browning.

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Vote August 24



August 2010 | Village Living

Altamont School to host award winning Quartet

MBBC Vacation Bible School This year at Mountain Brook Baptist Church their vacation bible school was called Saddle Ridge Ranch. It was from July 12 - 16 and it was available to 4 years through completed 6th grade. It was a big success with 500 children enrolled. Each day, the school age group met in the Sanctuary for a Joint Worship Rally. Following Worship, children rotated

The Old City String Quartet, jubilant after winning the Gold Medal and Grand Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in May: From left to right: Camden Shaw, cello; Joel Link, violin; Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola; Bryan Lee, violin.

In a great scoop for the Altamont School, The Old City String Quartet, Gold Medalists and Grand Prize Winners of the 2010 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, will perform Haydn, Bartok and Debussy at the School’s Cabaniss Fine Arts Center on Thursday, August 19, at 6 pm. The concert is free and open to the public. Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, the quartet’s violist, is the sibling of Altamont graduate, Adrian, and students, Stefan and Flavia. She is also the cousin of ASFA student Carmen Johnson. The quartet will be performing for students at ASFA during the school day on August 18, at the

invitation of Music Director Kim Scott. The quartet spent part of the summer performing and recording in Los Angeles with the International Chamber Music Festival of Malibu. Its members will spend the summer at such renowned festivals as the Marlboro, Ravinia, Angel Fire, and Kneisel Hall music festivals. The quartet also won 2nd prize in November in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions (the only string quartet to make it to the finals), and Milena won the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in England in March.

(by age groups) to Bible Study, music, arts & crafts and recreation. “We had a great week of teaching the children,” said Sharon Howard, Director of Children and Family Ministries. “They are special to God and Jesus loves them and wants to have a relationship with them. God has something special in store for each of them to do.”

MBBC Vacation Bible School

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DICKY BARLOW cover story

enables each student to see from his or her own seat. No more crowding around a table so everyone can see the teacher demonstrate the lesson. Interwrite pads also provide a new tool to teachers that they haven’t had in the past. Teachers can write with a stylus on a pad that they can carry around the classroom and whatever the teacher writes is projected onto the board in front of the class. The teacher can allow the students to also use the pads to show how their group arrived at an answer, for example. Teachers also have a microphone they wear and their classroom is equipped with speakers so that no matter where a student sits in the classroom, they can hear the teacher. “Our technology training that the teachers go through during the summer is aimed at helping them to maximize these different devices that they already have in their classrooms. There are all kinds of Internet applications that can be used too, such as Google Docs, that is a free online tool,” Barlow says. “We want to help teachers discover new applications for the technology that they have,” he said. When asked what he thought the future held in terms of technology in schools, Barlow said, “Digital textbooks. It will be interesting to see who will secure the rights from the textbook companies to offer those through either a Kindle or Nook or other digital reader. It is definitely in our future.” One new technology being tried this year is the Smart Board. It is being tested in one kindergarten classroom at each of the elementary schools. It is a white board at the front of the classroom that is an interactive computer. Students can go up to it, and using a stylus, click and drag objects or go through teacher led exercises. “The funds that the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation gives us, allows us to try things in the classrooms and be innovative. They play a crucial role in our schools,” Barlow said. Economic crisis creates biggest challenges That role may become more important

in the future. The economic woes that have effected so many have taken a toll on the Mountain Brook schools too. “The economic situation has been fatal to many systems across the state. Thankfully, we had a three-month fund balance going into the crisis. Because we have had the reserve, we have been able to dip into it,” he said. How bad has it been for the school system? For the 2007-2008 school year, the estimated budget for our school system was $50 million. For the upcoming 20102011 school year, the budget is estimated to be $45 million. This has resulted in tough decisions. There will be thirteen less teachers than last year. The goal was to cut expenses “without greatly effecting instruction.” “This year, we have projected for the first time a decline in local revenue because of the decline in property taxes,” said Barlow. Local revenues make up 58% of the budget. That means, as Mountain Brook Schools look to the future, the Foundation may be focused more on necessities in the future, and not just a means to provide opportunities for innovation in the classrooms. Reflecting on the past year The accomplishment that Barlow is most proud of from last year is the renewal of the ad valorem tax by voters. “We had a tax renewal vote in January, and 97% of people who voted, voted for it,” he said. This was an extension or renewal of the ad valorem tax that has been in place, but was a major victory for the schools because the vote came in the midst of the financial crisis. “Without the renewal, it would have been devastating. This money accounts for roughly $6.1 million of our budget. One of my goals is to be fiscally sound, and this was an important step.” Looking back over his first year as Mountain Brook’s Superintendent, Barlow said that what he has liked most is the opportunity to look at the school system from a balcony view and see it in its totality. “To see what takes place in all our schools and having the opportunity to work with the people we have in our system and the parents has been amazing,” he said. “ I have a new appreciation for the quality of professionals in our system.”

Village Living

LifeActually By Kari Kampakis

Daddies Be Good To Your Daughters By Kari Kampakis I saw an old friend recently and asked about his little girl. He immediately turned to mush. The transformation advanced like this: His head tilted. He smiled. His body softened as if he’d been microwaved five seconds. In a final gesture, he rapped on his heart…one, two, three times. He never did speak, however. He didn’t have to. I know it sounds sappy, but the relationship between daddies and daughters turns me into putty, too. In fact, if you ever see me driving down the road with tear goggles on, I’m probably listening to some country tearjerker like “Butterfly Kisses,” “I Loved Her First,” or Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl.” Any lyrics that remind me of my girls as babies— then fast-forward my imagination to their wedding days, where they’re waiting to be given away—pull my heartstrings in every direction. Given this, is it any surprise that I have a soft spot for doting dads? I can spot them in crowds and, fortunately, see plenty in our community. Many are guys I knew in college, cool daddies who rocked the house at band parties—always with a beer in hand. I run into them at birthday celebrations, the ball field, even the Tot Lot, and smile at the evolution. Sixteen years ago, I never would’ve believed they’d wind up pushing strollers, wearing Baby Björns, talking proficiently about Disney princesses and potty training. But here they are, taking parenting by the horns. I love it. Today’s dads are hands-on, and as my mom jokingly notes, this wasn’t the case in her day. Her point hit home years back when my dad asked his four sonin-laws to help assemble a bed. With the bed intact, it came time to add linens. My dad held up the fitted sheet and glanced around in puzzlement. “What do I do with this?” he asked. His son-in-laws burst out laughing. As one wryly remarked, Mom’s assumption of all domestic duties was a lesson she did not pass on to her daughters. But while Dad never changed my diaper, or cleaned up after me, he did provide everything a young girl needs: love, faith, and security. I grew up with one brother and three sisters, but I still felt like Daddy’s girl. My dad has this uncanny ability to embrace our differences in a way that makes each child feel like his favorite. Looking back, I recognize the comfort zone Dad created. He set the standard for how the opposite sex should treat me, and though it didn’t save me from dating some not-so-fabulous guys, it did attune me to warning signs. Whenever someone strayed outside the parameters, an inner

alarm went off. Of course, like many girls I learned to tune the alarm out, press snooze when I wanted more time, but eventually the feeling that something just wasn’t right prevailed. After a certain number of strikes, I wouldn’t like the person anymore. Fortunately, I married the sweetest guy possible. And in silent calculation, I sized him up to my dad and my brother— another father figure to me—while we dated. Would he move heaven and earth to protect me? Does he have God in his heart and make me a better person? Does he love the “real” me, quirks and all? When no buzzers sounded on my laundry list of questions, I knew I could trust my instincts. I now rely on Harry to instill similar yardsticks in our daughters. Obviously, there’s no guarantee that girls who know better will do better—or that those whose fathers fall short will settle later on. People disprove this theory every day. It is fair to suggest, however, that daughters of devoted dads have a leg up in future relationships. If nothing else, they won’t waste years of their life wondering why they can’t trust those of the XY chromosome. If you have a little girl, remember that she craves more than the obvious “I love you.” Like her larger counterparts, she picks up on every subliminal cue. So before she loses her baby fat, or fixes her buck teeth with braces, assure her she’s beautiful. State it as a fact, not opinion. When she sits by you in church, hold her hand protectively, squeeze it from time to time. Tell her you’re proud of her just because—before she brings home straight A’s, or declares a new achievement. And as you watch her dance routine for the fifteenth time, plant a smile on your face. When she’s up on stage, peering into a dark audience, that smile is what she’ll see. The older she gets, the more she’ll roll her eyes, tell you you’re overprotective, complain that you embarrass her. Deep down, however, she’ll be grateful someone cares so much. Your attention will make her feel worthy. And isn’t that what we all want, daughters who feel worthy? Who have a core of confidence in place for when the world starts chipping away? It saddens me to think not all girls find early validation at home. On the other hand, there are plenty of daddies knocking the ball out of the park. And to them I’d like to say, keep up the good work.

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Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mountain Brook mom of four with a background in PR, writing, and photography. Contact her at kampakis@

Emmet O’Neal Library summer wrap up By Holley Wesley

August signals the end of Summer Reading at Emmet O’Neal Library with the Adult Summer Reading Program finale, Bad Art Night! Kids don’t have all the fun! Grown-ups, come indulge your inner child on Tuesday, August 10th at 6:30pm with a variety of art activities like pipe cleaner sculpture, collage, and mixed media. Katie and Holley will be on hand to make sure the art remains truly horrible and motivation will be provided with images from MOBA, the Museum of Bad Art. At the end of the night, participants will vote on the worst in each category and the winners will receive Village Gold Cards! This auspicious evening will also see one lucky winner go home with the Adult Summer Reading Program Grand Prize, an iPad! Listen to Katie’s interview about this program on

WBHM’s radio show, Tapestry, airing on Friday, August 6th! As summer winds down into the beginning of another school year, the Emmet O’Neal Library will be switching gears from summer fun straight into curriculum support. Study materials and spaces, research databases, and a dedicated staff await! Visit us online at www.eolib. org and Friend us on Facebook! Also, mark your calendars because you don’t want to miss out on the Annual Western Supermarket Fall Food & Wine Festival benefitting the library! This year the event will be held at the Birmingham Zoo Pavilion on Thursday, September 30th, 5:30pm-8:30pm. For more information, call 205/445-1121.


| August 2010 |

Vote August 24


August 2010 | Sports

Village Sports Hopeful Atmosphere for Mountain Brook Football

MBHS Varsity Football Preview 2010 Fast Facts

2009 Results: 4-6 (3-6 in division play) Thompson Pelham @ Vestavia @ Homewood Carver @ Oak Mountain @ Cullman Hoover @ Spain Park Gardendale

W, 34-7 W, 36-17 L, 24-3 L, 17-6 W, 47-0 L, 14-10 L, 28-13 L, 30-0 L, 22-6 W, 21-14

2010 Schedule: Aug 27: Shades Valley Sept 3: @ Vestavia Sept 10: @ Pelham Sept 16 (Thurs): Homewood Sept 24: Grissom Oct 1: Spain Park Oct 8: @ Oak Mountain Oct 15: Thompson Oct 22: @ Hoover Oct 29: @ Buckhorn Key Losses: QB Chris Branch, WR/KR Bradford Houseal, DE Wilson Love, WR Spencer Martin, WR Bo Morgan, K Daniel Barstein

Mark Rector and Edward Aldag

By Will Hightower The 2010 high school football season is upon us. After a season devoid of playoff football in 2009, Mountain Brook is looking to rebound with some new faces at key positions. The schedule is tough, as always, but head coach Chris Yeager says the potential this year’s team has is what to focus on. “We really try to focus on each player, not on comparing the wins and losses from one year to the next. We want our program to reach its’ maximum potential.” While Wilson Love, who is headed to Alabama to play for the defending national champions, was the biggest name to graduate from the team last year, the most visible loss on the field will be the offensive firepower the Spartans had last year. Three of Mountain Brook’s biggest playmakers graduated, leaving holes at quarterback and in the receiving corps. Chris Branch led the team at quarterback in 2009, reaching such heights as player of the week after a win over Pelham, in which he engineered a secondhalf comeback with over 300 yards passing and two touchdowns. The wide receivers will miss Bradford Houseal, Bo Morgan, and Spencer Martin, the recipients of most of the Spartans’ touchdown passes last year. Houseal also electrified the crowd with punt and kick returns, averaging 36.1 yards per return. But by giving some underclassmen playing time and nurturing talent all the way down the depth chart, the coaching staff is confident Mountain Brook can rebound from these losses and come out even better than last year’s somewhat disappointing 4-6 record. “It’s always exciting to see how new players at any position will do. As valuable as experience is the enthusiasm of people new to their position is always refreshing,” said Yeager. Hope for the future lies in the Gardendale game last fall, a 21-14 win. Mark Rector, a sophomore at the time, scored all of the Spartans’ points with two touchdown runs and a touchdown catch. Not only did Rector carry the team, but the quarterback for that game was none other than another sophomore – Edward Aldag. Due to an injury, Aldag got the start. This tough win proved that without the senior playmakers, the younger talent could produce. And Gardendale was no easy out – the Rockets finished at 5-5 on the year, ahead of the Spartans in the Region 6 standings. Because it was the last game of

Edward Aldag

the 2009 season, the Spartans look to carry momentum to this year, much like a college team might use a bowl game victory. Yeager said the starters would not officially be names until August 16th, about a week before the first game. But certain players have received more playing time in practice. Rector isn’t expected to see major playing time this year based on practice time, with senior John Beck on his way to a starting role at running back. “Hopefully John and I will rotate in and out as the season goes on,” said Rector. Aldag has taken the most snaps at quarterback, with Harris Anthony and Thomas Shows, two older players, being just behind him in the race for the starting spot. Out of the ten opponents on the 2010 schedule, none loom larger than the Hoover Bucs. After all, Hoover is the USC of high school football. They don’t have to

Mark Rector

start from scratch each year – they simply reload. The Bucs are a perennial contender that Mountain Brook has never beaten on the road. They rendered a 30-0 beat down in Mountain Brook last year. That means that this year the Spartans will get their chance to break their loosing streak at Hoover. Besides just the Bucs, teams like Spain Park and Vestavia are always tough. Yeager agrees: “Region 6 is the toughest region in high school football. Every one of our region games is incredibly challenging.” But a win over Hoover isn’t necessary for a successful season – as long as Mountain Brook can win close games this year, a skill they seemed to lack last year, they have a good chance at a winning record and a playoff run. Spartan fans hope the team can replicate the success of the 2008 team, the last time Mountain Brook made the playoffs.


Sports | August 2010 |

Mountain Brook Baseball among Area’s Elite By Will Hightower In an astounding display of dominance on the baseball diamond, seven Mountain Brook all-star teams either won or finished runner-up in their metro tournaments. From the t-ball level on to twelve and under teams, the top young ballplayers of Mountain Brook’s rec leagues are organized into National and American teams for allstar baseball, to compete with other area teams. Even though Mountain Brook has limited field space and has certain age rules that make it where the teams are generally younger than their opponents, almost every all-star team overcame these obstacles with the kind of winning Mountain Brook baseball hasn’t seen in recent memory. At the youngest age group, the 6U National team finished runner-up in the Hoover East Tournament, beating Helena, Homewood American, Hoover East American, and Pell City to advance to the finals, where they lost a close one to Hoover East National, the host team. Team members include Jackson Beatty, Alex Abele, Mac McCowan, Heath Griffin, John Abele, Hayes Gibson, Will Monroe, Wyatt Brooks, Bibb Albright, Carter Brooks, and George Scofield. The 1st Grade National team competed in two tournaments, the Pell City Classic and the Metro Tournament, achieving runner-up status in both of them. The final of the Pell City tournament was a tight, extra-innings battle with Vestavia that ended in a heartbreaking loss. Fortunately, the team redeemed themselves with a victory over the same Vestavia team in the Metro Tournament, advancing to finally lose to Shades Mountain in the championship game. Team members are: Strother Gibbs, Robert Grubbs, Rob Gunn, Ryan Kampakis, Graham Matthews, Caldwell McCraney, John Wilson Miller, Blake Pugh, Gordon Sargent, Charles Law Schilleci, Miles Waldrop, and Braxton Wetzler. The 3rd Grade National won the Metro Championship, the youngest Mountain Brook team to do so. Team members include Colin Bussman, Brendan Brogan,

Hayden Bruno, Phillip Gaut, Brant Griffin, Sean Kirk, Hamp Lyons, John Marks, Henry McTherson, Bradley Tinson, Robert Reed, and Paul Tyson. The 3rd Grade American team, nicknamed the “Green Machine,” won the Metro Tournament, and went on to win even more. The team ended up as champions of the state USSSA All-Star Tournament. The 4th Grade National team went 131, beating Homewood, Shades Mountain, and Pell City to advance to the Metro Championship Game, where they pulled out a dramatic win over Pell City by scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth to win 5-4. Team members are: Nicholas Belt, Culver Benedict, Phillip Bethea, George Carbonie, Hill Cater, John Galloway, Parker Garrison, William Lineberry, Walker McCraney, George Shannon, Andrew Sink, and Hamp Sisson. The 5th Grade National White team pounded their opponents by a combined score of 126-30 to win the Metro Championship. The team easily won the championship game over Oak Mountain National 13-3. Players include Jeb Brown, Sam Harris, Jackson Lyon, Barrett Tindall, Matthew Bullock, Will Wetzler, Andrew Carney, Taylor Bramlett, Chandler Cox, Conner Bussman, and Christopher Hellums. Finally, the 6th Grade National team finished runner-up in their Metro Tournament. The team was the top seed going into the double elimination tournament, but couldn’t get past Pell City. Two losses to Pell City placed them second in the tournament. Team players are: Bert Bellande, Parker Bethea, Carter Byrd, Jackson Dewine, Hayden Dickens, Mason Dillard, Joe Donald, Peter Gerontakis, Walker Pittman, Drew Smith, Lawton Sparks, and Ben Tucker. This show of excellence from top to bottom is indicative of the progress of the Mountain Brook baseball program. As these players grow and improve, watch for them to win not only on the all-star level, but hopefully throughout their junior high and high school careers.

Front Row: Sam Harris, Christopher Hellums, Andrew Carney, Matthew Bullock, Barrett Tindall, Jeb Brown Second Row: Jackson Lyon, Taylor Bramlett, Will Wetzler, Chandler Cox, Conner Bussman Back Row: Coach David Lyon, Head Coach Ray Bullock, Coach Craig Tindall, Coach Drew Carney

7U National baseball team wraps up season

left to right front row: Caldwell McCraney, Robb Gunn, Strother Gibbs, Graham Matthews, Gordon Sargent and Miles Waldrope, middle row: Blake Pugh, Robert Grubbs, Ryan Kampakis, Braxton Wetzler, Charles Law Schilleci and John Wilson Miller, back row: coaches Bubba Pugh, Jason Grubbs, Rob Wetzler, Michael Schilleci and John Miller.

State Girls champ Tatum Jackson By Erica Breen

Tatum Jackson recently won the 14-15 age division at the 47th Girl’s State Junior Championship in golf. She had the third best score of all age groups. Village Living recently talked with the golf star and learned more about her achievements and love for golf. Tatum has won numerous tournaments and was named most improved junior player by the Ladies Birmingham Golf Association last year. Her goal is to ultimately be successful on a national level. Q What made you start playing golf? A My dad first got me started in golf. He saw my potential and signed me up for the Ladies Birmingham Golf Association (LBGA) clinics and play days. I didn’t like it at first, but as I started improving he signed me up for local tournaments. As I got better, I began enjoying the game much more. Q How long have you been playing golf? Do you play at school? Belong to a club? A I have been playing golf for 4 years. I have played for Mountain Brook High School since I was in 7th grade (I’m going into 9th grade in the fall). I am a member at Pine Tree Country Club and I’m currently the Women’s Champion. Q What do you enjoy about golf? A The thing I enjoy most about golf is meeting new people. I have met some great people through golf and made a lot of new friends from around the country. I also enjoy playing courses in places I wouldn’t have visited otherwise.

8U Spartans finishes in top 5 Tatum Jackson wins 14-15 age division at the 47th Girl’s State Junior Championship

Q Tell me a little bit about the championship. Were you nervous? How did you feel when you found out you had won? A On the final day of the state championship, I was six shots behind the leader in my age division and tied for third overall. Although six shots sounds like a lot, in golf scores can change quickly, so I just wanted to shoot a good number and hope for the best. You never know how your fellow competitors will play so you just have to focus on your own game. The course was very difficult because of the speed of the greens. Even if I hadn’t won, I would have been pleased with the way I improved my score each day. I was excited to learn I had won and finished alone at third overall.

The 8U Spartans competed in the metro tournament at Liberty Park, and finished in the top 4. Those four teams were invited to participate in the state tournament in Gulf Shores. The team finished in the top 5 in the state tournament. Here they are pictured with their medals from the metro tournament. Pictured are Coaches Melinda Curtis, Kevin Tatarek, and Jared Flake in back row.Standing, L to R: Cate Jones, Hollis Clay, Hannon Tatarek, Frances Lyon, and Cami Curtis.Kneeling, L to R: Lillie Kate Prather, AC Clegg, Brice England, Caldwell Flake, Evelyn King, Blaire Clanton


| May 2010 | Village Living


room,” she said. This is what From page 5 prompted her open Bagatelle. It will mainly carry the two French lines Yves Delorme and Mis en Demeure. Yves Delorme combines the latest technical methods along with natural fibers to create outstanding linens. Their linen collection is known for its tiny details, creativity and its ability to last throughout the years. Yves Delorme now has expanded to offer decorative accessories, fragrances, furniture and lifestyle luxury products for the home. Mis en Demeure offers high-end furniture, accessories and objects for the home. They are known for their ability to combine different time periods by having combinations of classical and contemporary styles in their products. Recently both stores have formed a partnership to be sold together in select stores across the world. They are both luxury brands and they compliment one another very well. Bagatelle will be the first independent store in the United States to carry Yves Delorme. The company currently owns 2530 stores in the United States and three

international states. Clayton thinks that Mountain Brook Village will be the perfect location to put this type of store. “We are a high traffic area and we also draw many out of state customers.” “It is different from any other home concept store around here and I hope it will be successful.” Bagatelle will offer many things that no one has ever seen before. When you walk in you will feel as if you are not in Alabama anymore. With real pine floors and pine rafters, and modern cabinets with exquisite French Design you will feel as if you are in Europe and indeed shopping the streets of France. Every item has a unique aspect or small detail that will really make a room special in your home. From gorgeous mirrors, to grand chandeliers and a wall piece made of keys from around France, you are sure to find something. Everything is also reasonably priced so everyone is guaranteed to find a French item from this store. So if you’re in need of “French flair” for your home or are just wanting to leave Alabama for a minute, stop by Bagatelle! It is sure to become a true treasure in Mountain Brook!

What will you miss most about summer?

Jacob Carroll, 8th grade, Mtn. Brook Junior High: “Being able to play ball all day long. I’ll also miss not having class and homework.”

Grant Abele, 3rd grade, Crestline: “Swimming at the pool and going to camp.”

Anna Brooks Bowers, Kindergarten, Crestline: “Mommy.”

Margaret Polk, 4th grade, Mtn. Brook Elementary: “Getting to spend time at the lake with my family.”

Olivia Hunt, 2nd grade, Cherokee Bend: “I am going to miss going to the beach, Selma, and Lake Toxaway.”

Katherine Butler, 6th grade, Brookwood Forest: “Sleeping in and going to the beach.”

Emma Wells, 10th grade, Mtn. Brook High School: “I’ll miss the freedom, hanging out with friends, and sleeping in!”

Village Living | May 2010 |


Summer Fun at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens By Hilary Ross

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens (BBG has been host to several weekly camps throughout the summer for students entering kindergarten through sixth grade. Camps included a variety of favorite topics such as nature and the outdoors, plants and our environment, cooking, art and more! Programs are designed to actively promote creativity and discovery through fun learning experiences. Many of the teachers have educational backgrounds and bring their knowledge to the summer camps. Camps are weekly and divided into Grades K-2 and 3-6 so that the material taught is age appropriate. Students continue to learn throughout the summer while having fun. The cooking camps centered on planting herbs and preparing summer treats with them such as rosemary bread, mint chocolate chip ice cream and lavender lemonade. Other students took part in the growing and harvesting of vegetables from the Bruno Vegetable Garden and then created tasty cuisine from the fresh ingredients. Art classes included using watercolors, oils, pastels and acrylics to paint beautiful pictures of various subjects throughout the gardens and culminated in an art show on the final day.

Neely Carruthers plays hide and seek with her doll in the gardens.

Camille Gillum is dressed like her doll, Kit. Nature and environmental classes allowed children to bring their backpacks, cameras and binoculars to explore the wildlife and biodiversity within the gardens. Some campers were taught the use of technology with digital cameras and global positioning systems, then created a web page and digital scrapbook. Perhaps the most well-attended and exciting addition to the classes this summer was a new camp called BBG Adventures with “American Girl”. Mother and daughter team, Robin and Emmeline Geurs, enchanted over twenty K-2nd students by exploring the gardens through the eyes of an “American Girl”. Students were invited to bring their favorite doll and participate in daily arts and crafts, stories and songs, recipes and projects, inspired by the lives of American Girl characters Kit, Rebecca, Addy and Julie. The camp ended with a sorbet social with girls and dolls in the lovely, picturesque Rushton Garden. For more information on summer camps and classes taught at the BBG, please contact Ellen Hardy at 414-3950 or, please visit the website at

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August 2010 | School House

PTO Presidents discuss their role Amy Knight Brookwood Forest Elementary Tell us a little about yourself. I am married to Sid and we have four children. They are Sidney (14), Lee (11), Louise (9), and Cole (6). I grew up in New Orleans, La. and attended the University of Alabama. My husband and I have lived in Birmingham for twenty years and in Mountain Brook for nine. We are active members at Canterbury Methodist Church and I am on the staff there, as well. I also have fun as a Mary Kay consultant in all my free time! What are the events that your PTO sponsors each year? The BWF PTO sponsors a Boosterthon Fun Run, the Scholastic Book Fair, a Silent Auction, and the Forest Fling as our major fundraisers. The PTO money that is raised through the various fundraisers is used for a wide variety of expenses. The largest portion goes to supporting teacher proposals submitted to the Executive Board every year. These proposals are for things such as special classroom supplies

or educational conferences among other things. We also support about 20 PTO committees that help celebrate our teachers and our students. We are so fortunate to have such a supportive group of parents and community neighbors so that we may give back to the school and supplement our children’s education experience. What other positions have you held in the PTO? I have been the 1st V-Pres., 2nd V-Pres., Silent Auction Chair, Book Fair Co-Chair, Teacher Appreciation Co-Chair, Pre Kindergarten party Co-Chair, Gift Wrap Co-Chair, and volunteered on several committees over the years. What are your goals this year for your school’s PTO? My goal this year for the BWF PTO is to meet and exceed the teachers’ and staff’s needs that aren’t met by the state due to proration. Theses are tough times, financially, for everyone so anything the PTO can do to help ease that strain for the teachers, and ultimately our children, would be a great blessing.

Carmen Morrow Mountain Brook High School Tell us a little about yourself. My husband, Randall, and I have lived in Mtn. Brook for 15 years. We have two children. Madison (19) is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University. Parker (16) is a junior at Mtn. Brook High School. I have worked as a high school Spanish teacher and currently enjoy substituting. I love reading, volunteering and just about anything creative. What are the events that your PTO sponsors each year? Penney Hartline is chairing an outstanding committee of volunteers for the fundraiser at the high school this year. This year’s theme is “We’re All in This Together!” Donations will go straight to the instructional needs of students and faculty. To participate in the fundraiser, please see the Parent link on the high school’s website. The Mountain Brook High School PTO also sponsors a College Admissions Workshop, a reception for Fall Open House, receptions following several awards

ceremonies throughout the year, monthly PTO meetings, assistance in the library, hospitality for counselors and students during various testing days, assistance maintaining the school grounds, and more. What other positions have you held in the PTO? I have served as the Halloween Carnival Co-chairman at Mtn. Brook Elementary, MBJH PTA President, PTA Council President and Fundraiser Chairman at MBHS. I have also enjoyed volunteering on various committees. It’s a great way to meet people! What are your goals this year for your school’s PTO? Our Goals for the MBHS PTO are to have 100% parent participation in membership and in our fundraiser. We hope to serve Mtn. Brook High School with our volunteer hours and expertise as well as to help fulfill classroom and student needs in such a way that our students will continue to have an outstanding high school experience, preparing them for college and beyond the classroom.

Carrie Law Crestline Elementary Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Tennessee. I am a graduate of Auburn University. I moved to Birmingham in 1993 and married my husband Bucky in 1994. We have 3 children: Chandler (13). Libby (11), and Tripp (8) and have lived in Crestline for over 11 years. Currently my main hobby is chasing 3 children, but when time allows I love to play a little tennis and read a good book. What are the events that your PTO sponsors each year? The events that our PTO sponsors are Cougar Contributors, Boosterthon, Fall Festival, and our Fall BookFair. Through our Fundraisers, the Crestline PTO was able to provide support for our teacher’s classrooms and our library during these

difficult economic times. What other positions have you held in the PTO? Some positions I have held at Crestline are Body Trek, Teacher Appreciation, Spring Open House, Book Fair and Executive Committee. What are your goals this year for your school’s PTO? My main goal for this year is to hopefully do the job that my predecessors have done so well – that is making sure that our PTO supports and provides Crestline with whatever it needs so that the school faculty and teachers can do what they do best – educate our children. Crestline also has a new principal this year. While Laurie King is no stranger to Crestline, I would like to be able to assist and help her in any way that will make her first year run as smooth as possible.

Suzanne Dickson Mountain Brook Junior High Tell us a little about yourself. I am married to David Dickson and our son Drew (14) is in ninth grade at the Junior High. We moved to Mountain Brook eleven years ago from Nashville. My interests include cooking, gardening, reading and spending time at the lake. What are the events that your PTO sponsors each year? MBJH PTO sponsors two major fundraisers: Magazine Sales and Spartan Spirit Cards (cards that give discounts on products and services in the Mountain Brook area). The moneys raised benefit the school in many ways. We help purchase extra materials and equipment for the faculty and staff. Some of the events we

sponsor for the students are dances, a day of orientation for incoming seventh graders, Career Day, Shakespeare Day and a week of anti-alcohol and drug awareness education. We also sponsor a community service club that promotes volunteerism and conducts service projects that benefit

the Birmingham area. What other positions have you held in the PTO? I have served as 1st VP at the Junior High and Chair of the Silent Auction and Writer’s Festival at Brookwood Forest Elementary What are your goals this year for your school’s PTO? Our goals this year are to provide extra curriculum materials, curriculum enhancement programs, community involvement programs, social activities for students and faculty appreciation.

Crawford Bumgarner Mountain Brook Elementary

Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Birmingham, went to Highlands Day School (as it was called back then), Mountain Brook Junior High and Mountain Brook High School. After graduation from Vanderbilt University, I worked for an investment firm for 12 years. I am married to Stephen Bumgarner, and we have two daughters, ages 11 and 9. My hobbies include tennis, exercise, reading, and now PTO. What are the events that your PTO sponsors each year? The MBE PTO’s main events are the Boosterthon, Halloween Carnival, and Spring Fling. In addition, we will be the host school of the Writer’s Festival this year. Through the generous donations of our MBE families, the PTO is able to raise funds to support all of its budget requests. Several years ago, we changed our approach to fundraising. Rather than asking for small contributions throughout the year (via

booth sponsorships and t-shirts, etc…), we call on our families to donate what they can to the Boosterthon Fun Run. In addition, we have some companies/families who are willing to give $1000 to become Lancer Level Sponsors (there are benefits that go along with this level of sponsorship). What other positions have you held in the PTO? I have chaired our Halloween Carnival and Spring Fling, as well as been a room mother and served on a number of other committees. What are your goals this year for your school’s PTO? I feel certain that all of the Mountain Brook PTO’s are well-oiled machines, and I am not looking to reinvent the wheel. My hope is our PTO will continue to support Mountain Brook Elementary with necessary people and funds to ensure the academic excellence we have all come to expect. Along these lines, we aim to give teachers the tools and technology they need in the classroom. With cuts in state funding inevitable, our role as a support system is more important than ever.

Tracy Bragg Cherokee Bend Elementary Tell us a little about yourself. My husband, John, and I have four children, and this year they’ll attend three different Mtn. Brook schools. Neither John nor I grew up here, and we’ve really enjoyed living in this community. We are especially grateful for the excellent school system and the influence of these remarkable educators on our children. What are the events that your PTO sponsors each year? The three major fundraisers hosted by the CBS PTO are the fall Boosterthon Fun Run, our Winter Auction and Dinner and the Spring Carnival. We’re grateful that our fundraisers have been financially successful, but it’s also important to us that they’ve given us time together as a community. During our Auction and Dinner, the teachers host neat events in their classrooms for a special night for the students while parents talk, eat, bid, and talk some more. Carnival is a full day of laughter and play with painted faces, colored hair, and, if you’re a dunking booth victim, wet clothes. Boosterthon is new to us this fall, but we’re looking forward to the character development and unity this

event promises to bring. What other positions have you held in the PTO? With four children we’ve been blessed to have been at Cherokee Bend for a long, wonderful time. There are a zillion ways to help in our PTO, and it’s amazing to see the number of parents (over 100) who will chair a committee this year. Through the years and with lots of help, I’ve chaired or co-chaired Registration, New Family Dinner, Auction, Sportswear, Gift Wrap, Mock Election, Carnival Booths, Volunteer Coordinator, Fall Fling, and Carpool. There are so many talented and thoughtful people that I’ve met and learned from by working with them in PTO. What are your goals this year for your school’s PTO? Following the lead of those who’ve served before me, I’d love for our PTO to continue to welcome all parents and to support their ideas, time and talents to serve our school. We’ll need this powerful force of people to raise needed funding and to coordinate the many events and efforts that enhance our children’s education. The CBS parents, teachers and administrators are such an outstanding group of people; it’s a sincere honor for me to be a part of this organization.


School House | August 2010 |

Summer camps at Highlands School

Arrive in Style

Karate, Dance, Young Rembrandts, Chess, Jewelry Making, Greek Mythology, Computer technology, Math Games, and Bike Safety are just a few of the specialty camps that have been taking place at Highlands School this summer. Highlands’s students and students from

around the Birmingham community have enjoyed a variety of summer adventures as they participate in week-long camp sessions. Visit our website, www. to learn more about the 2010-2011 school year and all of our Highlands School programs.

Teachers are students too!

During the summer months, teachers in Mountain Brook receive Professional Development to learn, improve, and hone teaching techniques. These summer seminars cover a wide range of topics. Dru Jones, Assistant Principal at Brookwood Forest Elementary reported, “Teachers spend many hours in professional development over the summer months. They spend time in both system-wide workshops, special topic conferences, and self-directed small group workshops.” Brookwood Forest Elementary faculty will participate in a technology conference during the next weeks. During these grade specific workdays, teachers aligned their teaching in Mathematics with the new curriculum framework created, implemented and adopted by Mountain Brook Schools. The group worked to

graduates awaiting their diplomas..

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Graduation week for 6th graders The sixth grade at Mountain Brook Elementary enjoyed a week of events which included the 6th grade play, the graduation dance, and Honors Day and Graduation. Opening the Honors Day ceremony were 6th graders, Robert McCown and Frances Hancock, who led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Then 6th grade students, Connor Welch and Mary Myers Huddleston, led the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. Many students were recognized for being Library Media Aides, Puppeteers, Broadcast Crew, Band, Art, Flag Raisers, Safety Patrol, Community Helpers, Gym/ PE Helpers, JUNA teams and PAGE members. Frances Hancock and Robert Waudby were awarded Outstanding Media Helpers. Eric Voigt was recognized for winning the spelling bee for MBE and the Mountain Brook District. Alex DeBruge was named for winning the Geography Bee and qualifying for the State of Alabama Geography Bee. Dylan Bowen won the award for Outstanding Spanish Student. Thirty-five students were recognized for Academic Achievement, which is maintaining all A’s and B’s throughout 6th grade. Twenty-five students were awarded

me Welco o Back t ! l Schoo

Academic Excellence, which is maintaining all A’s throughout 6th grade. Twentyfour students were given the Presidential Academic Fitness Award, which requires a 95% average from 4th-6th grades and a 90th percentile on the SAT test. Math Awards given at Honors Day included the first place finishers in the Pythagorean contest, Duncan Manley, and in the Euclidian contest, Chase Reynolds. In the Stock Market project, Ann Kathryn Miller and Harris Miller placed right behind the overall winner, Joe Donald. Frances Conner and Duncan Manley won the Physical Fitness Award, which is given to the girl and boy who have the top scores on the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. Ella Jernigan and James Franklin were the winners of the Theresa K. Mayer Outstanding Citizenship Award, which is presented to the most exemplary sixth grade girl and boy student as determined by the faculty. Seen here in photo one are Frances Conner and Duncan Manley with their Physical Fitness Trophies and in the second photo are Ella Jernigan and James Franklin posing with their Theresa K. Mayer Outstanding Citizenship Awards.

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Elementary Students from Mountain Brook attend Karate Camps By Hilary Ross

International Karate Federation has been teaching karate camps to elementary students from Mountain Brook this summer. The summer camps have been held at various elementary schools and have included such classes as katas, weapons and sparring. Karate is the Japanese art of selfdefense employing hand strikes and kicks to disable or subdue an opponent. There is a progression of ten belts, ranging from white (beginner) to brown with black stripes, before a student can test for a black belt. Each level of belt requires more discipline and knowledge as the student progresses in rank. Black belts also have levels ranging from 1st to 10th degree. At the camps, students were allowed to train to gain better knowledge of the use of the weapons used in karate. Some of the weapons covered in class were: nunchukus, which are two hardwood sticks joined at

their ends by a short length of cord, bo, which is a wooden staff approximately six feet long, sais, which are unsharpened daggers with two unsharpened projections by the handle, tonfas, which are a pair of hardwood sticks with short handles and katana, which is the Japanese word for sword. Katas are the combination of positions and movements, which are performed in various karate exercises. Some of the katas studied during the camp were Nesis, Ro Hai Sho and Ten Shin, among others. Karate teaches respect, tolerance and discipline and above all students have fun and gain confidence. For more information on classes taught by International Karate Federation during the school year at Brookwood Forest Elementary, Cherokee Bend Elementary, Crestline Elementary and Mountain Brook Elementary, please visit the website at

Instructor YonDan Cheryl Schrimscher, Lori Smith, and students: Riley Smith, Alexa Rollow, Harrison Gorham, and Belle Drummond.


August 2010 |

Village Living


for another time!) The other thing I can do is to ensure that my kids take food to school that I want them to eat. Here are some tips: Invest in some attractive durable lunch containers that your kids will enjoy taking to school. The Container Store offers tons of options that are cute AND BPA-free. To keep it organized and cool, look into the new reusable ice cubes and ice mats for

sale at places like World Market and Target. Don’t forget a drink container for milk or ice water. Food on a stick. When you can’t make one more sandwich, try making savory skewers filled with cubes of cheese, chunks of turkey and cherry tomatoes. Or how about rolled up slices of salami and cheese that can be dunked in fresh tomato sauce? Or fresh fruit kabobs with a naturally sweetened yogurt dip? We’ve all seen enough pre-packaged lunch products to know how much kids love to play with their food and dunk it. Just make it

yourself, with real ingredients you can pronounce. Of course, the old stand-by for today’s lunch is last night’s dinner. Leftovers can still be well-received if you start with things they like: rotisserie chicken and pesto pasta with bell peppers; chunks of grilled lamb and potatoes; strips of flank steak rolled in a whole wheat tortilla with salsa on the side. Snack-time So, you overslept and didn’t pack lunch this morning. Or, your 1st grader just

wasn’t ready to tackle tabbouleh today. Whatever the reason, kids come home from school starving. We call this dinner #1 at our house. Dinner #2 doesn’t happen until Dad gets home so we need something to tide us over. I keep a few lower shelves in the pantry stocked with kid-friendly snacks (same in the refridgerator, where they have a drawer.) I stock what I want them to eat and put it in easy reach. There are some great kid-friendly protein bars and snack packs out there. Just read the labels and know what you’re feeding your kids. Whole Foods Market offers a fabulous variety of snacks kids love, that come without artificial colors or sweeteners. Some of our other favorite snacks include: Edamame. Our freezer is packed with bags of these soy beans that can be cooked at a moment’s notice. Simply bring a pot of water to a boil and throw them in for about five minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Kids love to pop open the shells and eat the edamame beans like popcorn. Chocolate-covered frozen bananas. Strawberry-lemonade popsicles. Fill popsicle molds with real lemonade (I also like any of the Santa Cruz Organic lemonades) and add two sliced strawberries. Freeze. Okay, keep reading. Jicama sticks with cinnamon sugar OR a lime-juice dressing. Jicama is a large root vegetable that is very crunchy, like a water chestnut. This large thin-skinned brown vegetable can be found in the produce section of Whole Foods Market. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin and slice into large sticks, about the size of your fore-finger. Jicama is pretty neutral in flavor and is a good source of Vitamin C and Potassium. Try it! Recipes: Yogurt Dip for Fruit Kabobs Combine 2 tablespoons fruit preserves with 1 cup plain yogurt. Stir to combine. Store in an air-tight container and refrigerate until ready to eat. One Easy Dinner with Leftovers for Lunch GRILLED FLANK STEAK WITH ROSEMARY AND GARLIC Serves 4, easily doubled for leftovers Ingredients: ¼ cup olive oil 4 large garlic cloves, chopped juice of 1 large lime 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs of your choice (oregano, basil, cilantro) 1 1½ -pound flank steak Directions: 1. Whisk oil, garlic, lime juice and herbs in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Add steak; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, turning steak occasionally. 2. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. Remove steak from marinade, letting excess drip off. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Grill or broil steak until cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to platter. Slice thinly on diagonal across grain. 4. Serve with brown rice and grilled vegetables. Chocolate-Covered Frozen Bananas Slice a banana into 1-inch thick slices and place on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Insert a toothpick into the center of each and freeze until hard. Using your microwave at 50% power, melt dark chocolate chips. Be careful not to scorch the chocolate. Dip frozen banana slices in chocolate and place back on cookie sheet. Freeze and store in an airtight container. Christiana Roussel is a Crestline mom of two and a lover of all things food-related. She has worked in a Fort Worth cooking school and completed a brief stint in the Southern Living Test Kitchen, testing Cook-Off recipes. She is a member of Southern Foodways Alliance and Slow Food. Follow her blog at ChristianasKitchen.blogspot. com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Music & Arts


| August 2010 |

Village Living Calendar

Family Fun

8/1- 6 p.m., Jazz in the Park Concert Series, Birmingham Railroad Park, 205-616-

8/2- 7 p.m., BAO Bingo, Birimingham AIDS Outreach, tickets $15, for more info call

8/3- 12 p.m., Artbreak at Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham Museum of

8/6,13- 10 a.m., “Wild About Books” Zoo Storytime with Books-A-Million,

8/6- 11 a.m., Documentary an Inconvenient Truth, 1112 Montgomery Highway,

8/6- 6 p.m., Movies on the Mall in Trussville - Great family films and rides for Kids!,

8/7- 10 a.m., Forstall Art Presents: Ceramics with Frank Fleming., Forstall Art

8/7- 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Consignment Chic’s Sales Tax Holiday Bus Tour of Consignment


Art, 205-254-2571 205-978-3684

Center, contact 205-870-0480

8/8- 5:30 p.m., 8th Annual ArtPartners Live Auction and Showcase, live and silent

auction featuring works of art created by community artists and individuals with chronic illnesses, B&A Warehouse, tickets $100, call 205-307-6300 ext. 10 or visit

8/13- 5 p.m., Art on the Rocks, Birmingham Museum of Art, http://www.artsbma. org/events/art-on-the-rocks

8/14- 6 p.m., Music & Fireworks in the Vineyards, Morgan Creek Vineyards, contact 205-672-2053

8/19- 6 p.m., The Old City String Quartet, Cabaniss Fine Arts Center at Altamont, free

8/28- 8 p.m., Jonny Lang, Alys Stephens Center, tickets 205-975-2787

Food & Wine


Birmingham Zoo, 205-870-0213 call 205-655-7535

Shops, Collage Designer Consignment, Tickets $29 with free lunch, call 205-LOV-CHIC

8/8- 2:30 p.m., Introduction to Family History & Genealogy, Birmingham Public Library, 205-226-3665

8/12-8/27- 8 a.m., Aldridge Botanical Gardens: Heads Up Alabama! Exhibit, Aldridge Botanical Gardens, 205-682-8019

8/14- Train Rides at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, 205-382-3946

8/21- 7 a.m., Birmingham Start! Heart Walk, Linn Park, contact 205-510-1500 8/28- 6 p.m., Fairy Tale Ball, Birmingham Sheraton Ballroom, tickets $150 Family of Four, $70 individual adult tickets, contact 205-252-1991

8/28- 9 a.m., Zoo Olympics at the Birmingham Zoo, Birmingham Zoo, tickets $12 Adult/ $7 child, call 205-879-0409

Summer Movie Series

8/7,14,21,28 - Cooking Demonstrations, Pepper Place Market, visit

8/1- 2 p.m., Oklahoma!, Alabama Theatre,

8/8- 5 p.m., UAB Presents “Uncork Education”, UAB National Alumni Society to

Host Wine Tasting, Silent Auction, Flower Stems 213 Richard Arrington Blvd, tickets $30 each or $50 per couple, call 205-934-3555

8/12- 6:30 p.m., Soiree@Saks, Live music, appetizers, beverages & silent auction, Saks Fifth Avenue, $25 (includes choice of wine tasting or two beverages), call 205-980-4750

8/26- 6 p.m., “The Taste of Birmingham,” features cuisine from the Birmingham

area and will benefit two children’s organizations, Grand Ballroom of The Club, visit for more details.

8/20,21- 6th Annual Sloss Furnaces Stokin’ the Fire BBQ and Music Festival, Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, 205-324-1911

8/14- 6-9 p.m. Boiling ‘N Bragging- An all you can eat low country boil & football

season kick-off party benefiting Children’s Hospital Critical Care Transport. Otey’s Tavern in Crestline. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Kids 10 & under are FREE. Hourly activities for kids & adults along with special appearances. Featured band The Hurlers. Register online at events

Gardening/Nature 8/5- 6:30 p.m., Gardening Tips for Going Green with Sallie Lee, 1112 Montgomery Highway, 205-978-3684

8/7- 10:30 a.m., Gardening 101: Herbs & Herbs Swap with Sallie Lee & Salena Stalker, 1112 Montgomery Highway, call 205-978-3684

8/7- 10 a.m., “Playful Mosaics: Can you Pique Asslette? (Part one),” Aldridge Botanical Gardens, call 205-682-8019

8/8- 2 p.m., “Playful Mosaics: Can you Pique Asslette? (Part two),” Aldridge Botanical Gardens, call 205-682-8019

SPORTS 8/1,7,8,9,10,11,18,19,20,21,22,31- Birmingham Barons home games, Regions Park, game times vary, for tickets call 205-988-3200

8/7- 9 a.m., Southeastern Outings Canoe Trip on the Tallapoosa River, Tallapoosa River, call 205-410-9996

Save the Date: Dawg Daze August 21st in Crestline Village

8/6- Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Homewood Park, www.homewoodparks. com

8/7- 2 p.m., Lady and the Tramp, Alabama Theatre, 8/7- 7 p.m., Gone with the Wind, Alabama Theatre, 8/8- 2 p.m., Gone with the Wind, Alabama Theatre, 8/14- 2 p.m., Peter Pan, Alabama Theatre, 8/14- 7 p.m., The Birds/Psycho Double Feature, Alabama Theatre,


8/15- 2 p.m., On The Town, Alabama Theatre, 8/21- 2 p.m., Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Alabama Theatre, 8/21- 7 p.m., Ghost Busters, Alabama Theatre, 8/22- 2 p.m., Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Alabama Theatre, 8/28- 2 p.m., Pocahontas, Alabama Theatre, 8/28- 7 p.m., A Hard Day’s Night, Alabama Theatre, 8/29- 2 p.m., South Pacific, Alabama Theatre,

Theatre 8/6,7- 7 p.m., “He’s Not The Man I Married” presented by Virginia Samford Theatre, tickets $20, call 1-877-71-AMRAE

8/7- 7 p.m., Crescendo Event- Theatre Productoin State Fair, Arts Council of the Trussville Area Community Theatre, Tickets $10 adult, $8 seniors, call 205655-7145

8/19-29 LJCC presents the romantic comedy production Crossing Delancey,

LJCC Auditorium at 3960 Montclair Road. Shows are Thursdays at 7:30p, Saturdays at 8p and Sundays at 2p. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students. For reservations, call 879-0411 or go to

Do you know of events in our community? We would love to include them. Please email by the 15th of each month for the publication in the next month’s issue.

Market Day Photos Ann O’Neal and Elizabeth Godwin found something to take home

Sales could be found everywhere.

The Lingerie Shoppe’s Lara Meadows and Jane Holbert .

Katherine White, Caroline White, and mom Elizabeth Erdreich White who live in Boston came while in town visiting family in Mountain Brook.

Caroline Gidiere with daughter LouiseGidiere and son Bud Gidiere(peeking out) stopped by Gilchrist to cool off.

| August 2010 |

RealtySouth News

Industry News

Statistical Information

Village Living August 2010  

News, sports, and entertainment for Mountain Brook, Alabama

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