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Village Living

| May 2010 |

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

Spring-a-ling-a-ding-dong pg 17


Volume 1 | Issue 2 | May 2010

pg 11

Legends of Motorsports cruise into Mountain Brook By Michael Seale Mountain Brook Village streets will host an exhibit of “rolling history” on the afternoon of Thursday, May 20, kicking off the Legends of Motorsports weekend in Birmingham. Classic race cars from the 1960’s through the 1980’s will parade through the village and be on display. Racing legend Bobby Rahal, a partner in Historic Motorsports Productions, will then take this new venture to Barber Motorsports Park for its inaugural event from May 21-23. Mayor Terry Oden said this is a chance for Mountain Brook to showcase the city. “Hopefully, it will become an annual event,” Mayor Oden said. The shops in Mountain Brook Village will stay open late that day. There will be various specials at the village restaurants and food and spirits available. There will be live music on a stage in the village. Mayor Oden emphasized that parking will be an issue. He said that it will be important to find out where the park and

May Features • Photo of the Month


• 35 years of SHIP


• Avo | Dram


• Business Spotlight


• School House

6 10

• Kari Kampakis


• MBE History


• Village Worship


• Matthew Mayfield


• Calendar of Events


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

• Legends Street Closings

walk and park and shuttle stations are and to arrive early. To kick off the historic weekend, on Thursday, May 20, more than 100 cars will travel down US 78 then to Montevallo Road through Mountain Brook Village, with racing legend Mario Andretti serving as the parade’s Grand Marshall. “The vehicles on display will be a combination of cars from area collectors and the weekend’s participants in the race,” said Zoom Motorsports spokesman Jeff Ewing. “The Barber Motorsports Park is very excited about hosting this inaugural event.” Ewing said these classic cars can exceed $1 million in value. Makes and years of the cars will vary, from Mercedes, Ferrari, Lotus and several other staples in the auto racing industry. “This is a chance for families to go out and do something a little different,” Ewing said. “The fact that this is Rahal’s first event unveiling his new project makes the event

Mario Andretti, seen here in his 1978 F1 championship car, a Lotus 79, will be the Grand Marshall of the parade

in the village pretty special.” “This is important,” Ewing added. “And it speaks a lot about what the city of Mountain Brook is doing – providing a perfect setting for this event and being a gracious host.” The event will take place from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m., and some streets will be closed at noon in anticipation of the parade and exhibition. (See street closings map on page 10.) Historic Motorsports Productions LLC

(HMP) is a business partnership dedicated to staging premium historic racing events and related lifestyle experiences under the Legends of Motorsports brand at premiere North American venues. The philosophy of HMP is to retain all that is good about contemporary historic racing events and enhance them by making them dramatically more enjoyable for fans and participants alike. For the public


Life, Love and Fly Fishing By Michael Seale

I consider myself, relative to most people I know and grew up with, to be somewhat of a city slicker. I am more comfortable on a sidewalk than I am a nature trail, and my experience with the great outdoors likely pales in comparison to most people in Alabama. I did not grow up camping, hunting, or doing much fishing. And most of my time I have spent outdoors in my life has been on a baseball field or a golf course. That being said, I do enjoy going fishing when I can, being outdoors and enjoying what nature has to offer. But in all of my years on this earth, I had never attempted the art of fly fishing. I have been dying to learn, as I have watched people doing it on television or in movies and let’s face it, it just looks “cool.” Luckily, I found Dr. David Diaz, one of the best instructors in the country, right here in Birmingham. Mountain Brook’s Rob Rogers, owner and operator of Deep South Outfitters in Altadena Square, has Diaz on staff to provide his customers with one-on-one instruction on what Diaz believes is one of the finest ways to spend your free time. Diaz, who is a certified instructor by the Federation of Fly Fishing, started this hobby when he was 10 years old, and

perfected the art while a student at the University of Oregon. “Oregon has some of the best places anywhere to fly fish,” Diaz said. He said he was able to spend a great deal of time perfecting his craft in the streams and lakes in and around Eugene, where the university is located, and was pleased to find that Alabama offers plenty of location as well, if you know where to find them. His love of this pastime – a method of fishing that can be chronicled back to 200 AD – is enhanced by teaching others. Diaz has, for several years, held a fly fishing clinic at Cherokee Bend Elementary School for 6th graders, and said he gets a tremendous amount of joy seeing younger people take up the hobby.

Diaz teaches casting at the Colonnade

“Kids are eager to learn,” he said. “And they are easy to teach because of that. They seem to ‘get it’ by imitating what they see.” He said the week-long program at Cherokee Bend has received a lot of support and has grown in popularity each year. I wondered if Diaz was telling me about this because he was wary of teaching an “old dog new tricks,” so to speak, when I approached him for a lesson. I am easy to coach and eager to learn, but I feel that regardless, Diaz could teach anyone to not only learn his craft, but learn to love it as well.

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| May 2010 | Welcome Friends

Village Living Photo of the Month

Editor’s Note Well spring is officially here, the weather has turned warmer and the pollen is out in full force. Mountain Brook schools get out for summer vacation this month, and you can tell that the kids know it’s almost here! Thank you so much for all of the positive feedback on our first issue of Village Living. Please continue to share with us events that you know of in our community and individuals who are being honored for achievements. Several of our stories in this issue came from ideas our readers shared with us. You can email me with stories or pictures

Reader Responses Thanks to Tricia Irby for submitting our photo of the month featuring her children enjoying Easter. Jack (7) on the left, Audrey (2) in the middle, and Allison (5) on the right

Staff & Friends

I loved the newspaper- great articles- great photos. It is the perfect newspaper for Mtn. Brook. Can’t wait to get the next one. Catherine Loveman

Contributing Writers Alison Gault | Bama Hager | Hilary Ross Judy McDonald | Julia Peterson | Kari Kampakis Michael Seale | Will Hightower

Contributing Photographers

at In this issue, you will see that there is a lot going on in May. Dr. Melvin, the principal at Crestline, is leaving after 18 years to take on a new challenge, there is a great article about fly fishing, and the highly anticipated Legends of Motorsports is coming to Mountain Brook Village. We also wanted to start highlighting the women who put together the school updates for our School House section. They work so hard to pull together pictures and stories. We have started with Hilary Ross of Mountain Brook Elementary and will feature each school’s writer over several issues. For our summer issues, we would like to include stories on the various vacation bible schools taking place and other camps in Mountain Brook, such as sports, band and art. We continue to look forward to hearing from you. Jennifer

Got the first issue of Village Living in my mailbox last week and LOVED it! Just wanted to say, “Well Done!” Amy Stamper Congratulations on the first issue of VILLAGE LIVING. I did not know it was in the works, so it was a pleasant surprise when it showed up in our mailbox. It is well constructed, interesting and informative just what our community needs. Linda Fisher

Hilary Ross grew up in Decatur, Alabama. After graduating from the University of Alabama, she worked as a legal assistant for many years in Birmingham. Active in many charitable and nonprofit organizations, Hilary also has been the technology chairman for the past six years for Mountain Brook Elementary PTO. In 2008, she began serving as the publicity chairman for MBE and enjoys taking photographs and writing pieces that showcase school events. Currently enrolled in landscape design classes, Hilary and her husband live in Mountain Brook and have three children. She can be reached at

Shay Allen | Alison Gault

Publisher Dan Starnes

Editor Jennifer Gray

Creative Director

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

Michael Seale comes to Village Living as an Associated Press Award-winning journalist with more than 10 years experience in media. A Mountain Brook High School graduate and resident of Mountain Brook, he spends a great deal of his free time involved in youth sports in Mountain Brook, both as a coach and as an official. He and his wife, Robin, live in Crestline.

Keith McCoy

Published by Village living LLC

Sales and Distribution Dan Starnes Angela Morris

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253

Contributing Graphic Designer

Keith McCoy grew up in Starkville MS, and graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in Graphic Design. He and his wife Erin, moved to Birmingham so she could attend grad school at UAB. Keith has been the Creative Director for 280 Living since June 2008, and has recently started a web design company Chilly Water Design. Keith can be reached at

Jenifer McCormick 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.

Will Hightower is a sophomore at Mountain Brook High School who writes for the MBHS newspaper, Sword & Shield. He will serve as the sports editor for the Sword & Shield beginning next fall. Will runs track and cross country and is involved in the Interact community service club. He will be writing about athletics at the high school and community level for Village Living.

Reader Easter Photos

Raughley Wise & mom Rebecca Wise

Patrick, Meredith, and William Wessel

Henry Branum

Gigi Volman

Village Living

| May 2010 |

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| May 2010 | Village Flavor



by staff writer

Restaurant Showcase 2721 Cahaba Rd. Mountain Brook Village

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SHIP celebrates 35 years of fun By Jennifer Gray Sarah Creveling and Lucia Chambers had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Both women were among the first kindergarten teachers at Crestline Elementary. It was summer, and they wanted some extra money, so responding to an ad in the paper, they showed up to interview for a job that turned out to be selling cookware. On their way home from the interview, they spied a wooden ship in the backyard of a Forest Park home. It was a lightbulb moment. Creveling said that she had recently attended a Junior League conference that featured a program called “Sail” that was designed to help children avoid getting behind during the summer months. That sailing theme, combined with the backyard wooden ship, lead Creveling to suggest to her friend that they ask the owners to use the wooden ship and create a program of summer fun for children centered around the idea of sailing on imaginary adventures. The homeowners said that the ship, which was actually part of their sandbox, was not being used and gladly gave it to Creveling and Chambers. “At the time, there was no Zoo camp or all of these other options for summer activities. SHIP was it.” said Creveling. Educational research at that time was pushing the importance of play in a child’s development, and the program emphasized just that. SHIP, which stands for Summer Happiness in Play, was first held in the Girl Scout house on Vine Street, then at Mountain Brook Elementary School for 18 years. Now the program moves around to the different elementary schools each summer depending on which school is available. Another change to the program

was the departure of Lucia Chambers after she went to work at Emmett O’Neal library. Lucia was replaced by Peggy Pate, who has helped run the program along with Sarah Creveling for the past 20 years. But some things don’t change, and that is part of the magic of SHIP. The boat that the campers sail away on is still called the SS Happiness. Each summer, children still enjoy the thrill of making the famous Rainbow Cookies (colorful sugar cookies that the children shape into a rainbow). Days are spent creating fun arts and crafts, dramatic play, reading, music, and days always include a visit to the Popsicle Tree. Each year features a theme, usually based on a children’s book, and they try not to repeat a theme for at least 10 years. This summer’s theme is a mystery aboard ship. Another SHIP tradition is that the ship is always involved in a storm at some point during the week. There is music that accompanies this and Creveling said they still use the same LP record as they used that very first summer. She said that one child remarked during a recent summer camp, “That’s the biggest CD I’ve ever seen!” Over the years, Creveling estimates that around 7500 kids have registered to set sail on the SS Happiness. Anyone you talk to that’s attended SHIP has fond memories to last them a lifetime. Sarah Creveling shared the summer camp’s recipe for Rainbow Cookies. “Last Christmas, I found a Betty Crocker Rainbow Cookie Mix at Garden Ridge! Imagine the money we could have made if WE had suggested that to Betty Crocker!” she said.


Tom Sheffer, owner of Avo and Dram had a moment of brilliance when he decided that patrons could order from either menu. I remember when the restaurants first opened, someone explained, “Dram is a whiskey bar with food and Avo is a fine dining restaurant.” Neither description gave a fair description of the culinary excellence that takes place at each restaurant. To fairly write the review, I figured that I should make a minimum of two trips this month—one to experience the downstairs and one to better understand the ambiance of the upstairs dining. But, anyone who has eaten at either restaurant really knows that I was working to justify two dinners out at the same restaurant in the heart of Mt. Brook village. While at Dram, we mixed and matched from both menus. We began with the avocado appetizer from Avo’s starter menu, which was a perfectly fresh avocado blended with picco de gallo. For my meal, I ordered the Inside-Out burger with sour mashed sweet potatoes. The inside-out burger is stuffed with Kentucky Barren County blue cheese. The bread is not your typical bun but has a lightweight freshness about it, which makes the burger less heavy. When I bit into the burger, the way that the cheese oozed from the inside and moistened the bread and the burger gave a special delight to my taste buds. My friend ordered a California burger from Avo, which is topped with blue cheese and prosciutto and served with the matchstick fries. The fries were the type that won’t just let you have one or two. I found myself constantly on his plate looking for another bite. The night ended with the tarte tatin, which was a house-made puffed pastry stuffed with apples and topped with ginger-white chocolate ice cream. For the second meal, we made reservations at Avo and decided to order completely from Avo’s menu. We decided to order in a way that would order in a manner that gave us the most exposure in one sitting. I insisted that we eat out on the upstairs balcony because the evening was a perfect spring evening in the village with a perfect temperature and people walking throughout the village, visiting Starbuck’s and the Mt. Brook Creamery. We began our meal again with the avocado appetizer from the starter menu. I know that some of you may be questioning this decision since I had already experienced this luxury in the first visit. But, I could not resist. The homemade pita-style fried chips with the fresh avocado spread were beckoning me

from the kitchen. The fresh oysters looked great, but I had to have some more avocado dip. I can tell you that when we arrived, we stopped and conversed with a couple of friends eating on Dram’s front porch, who were enjoying cocktails and oysters, and they were very happy with their appetizer choice. Next, we ordered the chicken-fried lobster and the crepes saigonnaise from the “mids” section of the menu. The crepes were filled with shrimp, squid, scallions, and sprouts and topped with a tomatojalapeño chutney. The chicken-fried lobster was a couple of strips of lobster that were battered and cooked like grandma’s fried chicken. Scrumptious is the only word that I can currently think of to appropriately describe this starter. Because we began with three starters, we decided to share the prime tenderloin of beef, medium rare. The meat melted in my mouth. As if the mouthwatering steak was not enough, this entrée included a truffled goat-cheese twice-baked potato and haricots verts. I love good carbs, despite what the trainer may say. But, honestly, I would break any carb-counting diet for another bite of that twice-baked potato. As I finished my meal before my friend, he stated, “I am glad that they split the steak for us in the kitchen,” understanding that I would have been taking more than my share had we been sharing on the same plate. We ended our evening with a French press of decaffeinated coffee and two desserts: the carrot cake and the cheesecake pancakes. The cheesecake pancakes were unique and were a bit more like pancakes than cheesecake. I guess for me, this delightful dessert was like miniature pancakes blended with cheesecake filling. I ordered the carrot cake, which was obviously extremely moist and made with fresh carrots. As the desserts were coming to an end and my friend reached for a last bite of the carrot cake, I found myself glaring at him until he halved the size of the bite that he was about to take. I needed to ensure that I had enough left to complete my dining experience. Don’t forget—Before you go, you should make sure to become a fan of Avo and Dram on Facebook. They regularly post great menu additions and, once in a while, even throw in a special offer for their facebook fans.

Mountain Brook Sports Corporation Annual Golf Tournament set for May 18 The 12th Annual Mountain Brook Sports Corporation Golf Tournament will be played on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at Highland Golf Club. Shotgun starts are at 8 am and 1 pm. The cost to play is $250 per player, which includes lunch and range balls, or a $1,000 sponsorship includes a foursome, lunch and range balls. Mountain Brook Sports Corporation is a charitable organization founded in 1998 to raise money from the Mountain Brook community to assist the funding of athletic facility improvements at MB High School and MB Junior High. MBSC is completely independent from the Mountain Brook School System, the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation, and Mountain Brook Athletics (Recreational Leagues). Some of the MBSC funded initiatives over the years include: Construction of the Football Field House and Press Box at Spartan Stadium Purchase of computers and video equipment for the football and baseball

programs Purchase of new mats for wrestling and cheerleading Resurface of the track at Spartan Stadium Supported purchase of flags for Cheerleaders Purchase of golf bags and financial assistance to golf teams for non-capital needs Purchase of a volleyball serving machine Construction of new indoor softball batting facility Financial assistance to the volleyball and basketball programs for non-capital needs Financial assistance to the cross country teams for travel to the national meet in Idaho Purchase of new video equipment for High School Boys and Girls basketball Purchase of new capes for the Dorians Purchase of new goal nets, a kicking wall and new protective net for Soccer For more information, please contact Mike Morrison at 871-0451.

Village Spotlight

The Pants Store | 233 Country Club Park, (205) 868-1616 By Michael Seale The sign on the door at the pants Store reads “Since 1950,” and although that does not signify how long the store has been in Mountain Brook, it does relay just how long the Gee family has been in the clothing business. “My granddad was a pants wholesaler and was selling pants out of the trunk of his car,” said co-owner Michael Gee. The first Pants Store opened in Leeds in 1950, and the business just grew from there. The Pants Store in Crestline Village has been a part of the Mountain Brook business community since 2006, and has been offering residents a wide variety of quality men’s, women’s and youth footwear, shirts, jackets – and of course, pants – ever since. Gee said he has enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of the business community in the city where he grew up. “We grew up in Mountain Brook, my brother and I both live in Crestline, so it was a natural fit,” Gee said. Michael Gee and his brother, John, have taken over the daily operations of the Pants Store business from their father, Mickey Gee. The business now has four stores (Leeds, Downtown,

Michael Gee

By staff writer

Business Spotlight

Trussville and Crestline). Each store is slightly different than the other, as the brands and inventory cater more to the customer base in that particular area. The Crestline location has become popular quickly because of the wide selection and brands that the store offers, such as Columbia, Carhartt, Guy Harvey, Merrell and many others. The Pants Store stays busy throughout the year, and the store is holding a sale in May, with everything in the store sold at 20-percent off (some exceptions). But with the stress of running a business, coupled with working with family, would understandably take its toll on many people. But Michael Gee says nothing could be further from the truth. “I got to work with my dad every day for about eight years, and I work with my brother every day and somehow we have survived and not killed each other,” Gee said. But he added on a serious note, “Who gets to see their family every day? I think I am pretty lucky.”

| May 2010 |


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Kiki Risa has ribbon cutting in Mountain Brook Village One of Mountain Brook’s newest businesses recently celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting and reception in Mountain brook Village. Merideth Lavendar and Marisa Fortenberry introduce Kiki Risa to the Village. Kiki Risa features women’s clothing, accessories and eveningwear. Merideth said they knew the location was the perfect spot as soon as they saw it. “We just loved it the first time we walked in.” This is the second Kiki Risa location. The first store has been a success in Destin since 2000.

Mayor Oden, Elisabeth Lyman, Marisa Fortenberry, Merideth Lavendar

Lorie Johnson Foundation Golf Tournament scheduled for May 17 A golf tournament benefiting the Lorie Johnson Foundation is scheduled for May 17 at Highland Golf Course, with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. All proceeds go toward supporting cancer patients and their families, one of the aspects that makes the foundation so unique. Steve Bishop of Treadwell’s Barber Shop in Mountain Brook Village is the chairman of the foundation and said he thinks the tournament, which already has 10 teams signed up already, “should be a good time for everyone.” The tournament will have a maximum of 25 teams, and will be played as a fourperson best ball format. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. In addition to prizes, all participants will have food provided and a gift bag. “We have put together some great goody bags for everyone. And there is a trip to Hawaii for anyone who scores a hole-in-

one,” Bishop said. Cost for entering the tournament is $400 per team and sponsorships are also available for anyone wishing to sponsor a hole. The Lorie Johnson Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that was founded in February 2008 in honor of Lorie Johnson (Please see Lorie’s story). When our friend and namesake, Lorie Johnson, was diagnosed with breast cancer we realized that there is limited financial support for women with cancer, The Lorie Johnson Foundation was established. Our purpose is to assist women who have been diagnosed with cancer through education, awareness, active fundraising, and financial support for medical bills, living expenses, and travel. For more information, please go to www.loriejohnsonfoundation. org, or email the organization at info@ loriejohnsonfoundation

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| May 2010 | School House

Cherokee Bend Elementary School

Relay for Life

4th Graders travel to Montgomery The 4th graders celebrated finishing their tests by taking a field trip to Montgomery. The trip was in conjunction with their Alabama History studies of state government. The students toured

numerous historical and governmental sites, including the State Capitol, the State House, the Governor’s Mansion, and the Rosa Parks Museum.

Annual Expressions Arts Contest

Holding the team banner are Charley Bragg, Jake Weissman, Sarah Coleman Causey, and Lindsay Pugh.

Fifth grade students have been busy participating in this year’s American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Their team name is “Where There’s a Will There’s a Way.” The name is in honor of Will Nichols, the brother of 5th grader Sam Nichols and 2nd grader Jane Nichols. They have been

raising money through fundraisers such as lemonade stands in the neighborhood, selling homemade cards, bake sales, and asking neighbors and friends to donate. The night of the walk is Friday, April 16th. The students will walk the track at MBHS to raise awareness that cancer never sleeps.

Busy students enjoy Woodworking with Parents This month, testing, testing, and more testing was the theme for Cherokee Bend Elementary School students. SATs, ARMTs, and SAGES testing all took place during the month, so it seemed like students were either taking tests, practicing taking tests, or sharpening their number 2 pencils in preparation for tests. Between all the testing, though, students were able to find the time to participate in all sorts of fun activities, including the annual Woodworking Day for the kindergarten

students. They filled the cafeteria with their fathers, grandfathers and friends to make crafts such as birdhouses, toy cars, airplanes, etc. The students learned how to build things out of wood and discovered how to use hammers, nails, sandpaper, wood glue and saws. Afterwards, the children painted their completed project to take back home. All students, family and friends enjoyed participating in the woodworking crafts activity.

Some of the students also found the time between testing to entertain the lucky parents in attendance at the monthly PTO meeting. Students that participated in the annual Expressions arts contest displayed and performed their award winning entries, and the talented winners from each category received their ribbons. Some of the winners in the literature category read their entries, including 2nd grader Maxie Sansom, 1st grader Carlitos

Norris, 4th graders Lauren Gilbert and Carrie Davis, and 5th grader Rachel Ryesdorph. Winning videos by 2nd grader Sibley Powell and 4th grader Max Gault were shown from among the winners in the video production category, and the parents were also treated to the musical performances of 6th graders Rix Curtis and Cole Summersell. Expressions winners among the school wide entrants are listed below.

Expressions Art Contest Cherokee Bend Elementary 2009-2010 Winners Literature K-2: 1st - Maxie Sansom 2nd - William Watts 3rd - Lilly Gilbert Honorable Mention - Carlitos Norris Honorable Mention - Mary Carlisle Jones 3-4: 1st - Lauren Gilbert 2nd - Dagny McCullumsmith 3rd - Carrie Davis 5-6: 1st - Lindsay Pugh 2nd - Rachel Rysedorph 3rd - Lindsay Pugh

Visual Arts K-2: 1st - Anne Woodke 2nd - Allie Story 3rd - Sara Frances Berte Honorable Mention - Charlie Gault 3-4: 1st - Olivia Elam 2nd - Carolanne Berte 3rd - Cody Story Honorable Mention - Maggie Duggan 5-6: 1st - Meredith Featheringill 2nd - Caroline Lowe 3rd - Sam Williams

Video Production K-2: 1st - Sibley Powell 3-4: 1st - Ryan Barlow 2nd - Max Gault 3rd - Natalie Read 5-6: 1st - Jake Weissman

Musical Composition 3-4: 1st - Dagny McCullumsmith 5-6: 1st - Rix Curtis 2nd - Elijah Welman 3rd - Cole Summersell

Photography K-2: 1st - Maggie Logan 2nd - Maggie Logan 3-4: 1st - Haskin Jones 2nd - Anna Hufham 3rd - Max Gault 5-6: 1st - Cole Summersell 2nd - John Pelham

Pictured here wowing the parents with his award-winning musical composition is 6th grader Rix Curtis.

Some of the visual arts winners included kindergartners Allie Story and Ann Woodke, and 2nd grader Sara Frances Berte.

Shown here are the winners in the video production category, 4th grader Max Gault, 2nd grader Sibley Powell, 4th graders Ryan Barlow and Natalie Read, 5th grader Jake Weissman.

D.E.A.R Encourages Students to Read All Cherokee Bend students concluded the month of testing by relaxing with a good book during D.E.A.R. Week (short for “Drop Everything and Read”). Parents were encouraged to read to or with their children every night for the entire week. Another activity planned for the week was a book drive, in which students collected and donated new and gently used books for a local elementary school The week ended with a Scholastic Book Fair kick-off. The library was transformed into a 1950’s diner, and students were encouraged to come to school in 50’s attire. All in all, it was a fun and busy month as we are heading into the home stretch of the 2009 - 2010 school year.

1st Graders Mary Carlisle Jones and Campbell Anderson enjoy reading about polar bears together during D.E.A.R. Week.

Cherokee Bend clips provided by Alison Gault

School House | May 2010 |


Crestline Elementary School

Jump Rope/Hula Hoop Beloved Principal Leaving Crestline team has active year

Crestline’s Jump Rope/Hula Hoop Team

Crestline’s Jump Rope/Hula Hoop Team has been very busy this year. They have performed at the University of Alabama, Birmingham Southern, UAB, the Exceptional Foundation, Mountain Brook

High School, and Samford University with the Harlem Globetrotters. The 70 member team, made up of 2nd-6th graders, began 10 years ago and is coached by LuAnn Wall and Randy Stephens

Long time Crestline Elementary Employees to Retire This Year

Peggy Pate, Vicki Ellenburg, Brenda Lanier, and Edna Rush


Retiring 1st grade teacher How long have you been at Crestline and in what position? I have been at Crestline for 12 years and I teach first grade. However, I have been teaching for thirty-two and a half years. The first six-year olds I taught are nearing the ripe old age of forty. What will you miss most? I will miss the children the absolute most. They make me smile and laugh each day. I looked at my husband and asked him if he would be able to do that! I think he feels challenged. What do you plan to do in your retirement? My husband wants me to take a “season of rest”, but everyone who knows me knows that my “tail-lights” are always on. I am constantly moving and on the go. I will continue my involvement with the Be Who You Want To Be program that mentors children in Birmingham and Jefferson County. I have a passion for helping children stay in school, so I will be volunteering at area schools and helping any way that I can.

BRENDA LANIER – Retiring Child Nutrition Program How long have you been at Crestline and in what position? 15 years in the Child Nutrition Program What will you miss most? My co-workers and the kids.

What do you plan to do in your retirement? Volunteer at my church, exercise, and play games at a local community center.


Retiring 2nd grade teacher How long have you been at Crestline and in what position? 6 years as a student, 9 years as a parent, and 19 years as a teacher What will you miss most? “The Crestline Family” (Students, faculty and staff, and parents) What do you plan to do in your retirement? Reconnect with family and friends and spent time with grandchildren

Edna Rush –

Retiring Kindergarten paraprofessional How long have you been at Crestline and in what position? I have been at Crestline for 18 years as an assistant teacher in kindergarten. (My sister says I need to say kindergarten paraprofessional.) What will you miss most? I will miss my Crestline “family” which includes the staff, who are my best friends, the children and their parents. What do you plan to do in your retirement? I plan to enjoy my grandchildren, sew, knit, spin…and do things with my husband… travel or just do something on the spur of the moment.

Crestline clips provided by Julia Peterson

By Jennifer Gray

Dr. Mike Melvin will be leaving Crestline Elementary School after 18 years as Principal that have seen tremendous growth in both the student body and the school itself. Crestline Elementary Melvin wants to Principal Dr. Mike Melvin see if the skills he has developed and the knowledge he has gained through his experiences at Crestline can make a difference at another school. So, Dr. Melvin will be leaving a school system where he has had all of the best possible resources in terms of faculty, parents, building, and technology, to go to an elementary school in Crenshaw, Mississippi that is failing. Crenshaw Elementary has been taken over by the state of Mississippi. It is up to Melvin to turn the school around and help give the students a good education and a chance for success. “Crenshaw is the polar opposite of Crestline in every way, “ said Melvin. More than 80% of parents of Crenshaw students do not have a high school education, and the medium income of their families is $20,000 below the national average. Of the 172 students, 100% qualify for free or reduced lunches. What would lead Melvin to such a school after being at one of the best? “I felt like God wanted me to utilize the knowledge I have gained to help a struggling school,” he said. Melvin said that early on in his career as a Principal, a position he has held not only at Crestline, but two other schools, he came to realize that the elementary level

was where he wanted to spend his career. “It is where the foundation is laid for their entire educational experience. I realized I wanted to remain at an elementary school so I could be a part of that.” Melvin will actually be a paid employee of the University of Mississippi. He is being brought to Crenshaw through the Barksdale Reading Institute. Jim Barksdale, the President and CEO of Netscape founded the Institute. In 1999, he donated $100 million dollars to create the Institute and asked that it be administered through the University of Mississippi. The purpose is to help failing schools with staff development, literacy coaches and grants. The state has turned Crenshaw over to them, and they, in turn, have hired Melvin. Melvin said that his first priority would be hiring the best people he can. “The strength of any business or school is the people,” Melvin said. Crestline’s recognition by the Federal Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School in 2000 is something that Melvin said he is most proud of. He is also proud of the two major construction projects that Crestline has undergone while he has been there. Dr. Melvin said that he will miss Crestline, especially the people. “This whole situation has shown me how important relationships are here. The concern for others and how the people here look out for one another is amazing,” he said. He went on to say that he has been fortunate to work at a school where he has the most cooperative and helpful parents that he has ever worked with. “They truly want to be partners with the staff here. The staff at Crestline is so professional. The concern they have for every child is amazing.” Good luck Dr. Melvin!


| May 2010 | School House

Mountain Brook Elementary School

Trip to Urban Farm helps teach nutrition First grade students from Mountain Brook Elementary recently went on an educational field trip to Jones Valley Urban Farm, which is a community nonprofit project in the heart of Birmingham that promotes sustainable agriculture and alternative land use. The farm grows organic produce and flowers to educate the community about healthy food. The field trip was in conjunction with the Mountain Brook school system nutrition and health standards as well as

the first grade’s current unit of study on living things and the Earth’s resources. Students learned how to grow plants and grow healthy by making good food choices in a series of fun, hands-on activities. The visit also included students touring the farm, harvesting vegetables and learning about nutrition. Students then walked to the YMCA Youth Center test kitchen where they washed, prepared and enjoyed foods made with the fresh produce such as kale, carrots, strawberries and red pepper. Students also learned to make guacamole from avocados, tomatoes, garlic and juice squeezed from fresh limes.

MBE Students enjoy Field Trips

Students from the class of Jennifer Wilson are seen here in the Space and Rocket Center: Brian Barr, Madison Clark, Hunt Cochrane, Ben Collier, Truman Evans, Emily Griffin, Mary Carrington Gullage, Nan Hollis, Olivia Keating, William Kimbrough, Caroline Kohn, Davis Latimer, Ellie Martin, Mary Claire Mauro, Bill Miller, Ned Mitchell, Katie Pharo, Leland Randleman, James Roth and Hamp Sisson.

Fourth grade students from Mountain Brook Elementary recently went on a field trip to Huntsville, Alabama to visit the Space and Rocket Center in conjunction with the solar system unit of study. Students enjoyed a toured guide through the museum and then watched the imax movie Hubble.

With fresh vegetables and fruits at Jones Valley Urban Farm are first grade students: Dewitt Colvin, David Laney, Colby Blackwell and Leah Mancuso.

Also during the field trip, the children experienced a hands-on science lab. During the science lab, the children explored the Martian terrain and investigated how parachutes are used in the space program. Then students designed their own parachute and tested the fall rate.

Kindergarten visits Josie’s Place

Washing strawberries for use in fruit smoothies is Francis Hagan and displaying his plate of healthy foods is Rivers Tranum.

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Seen here at Josie’s Place are Kindergarten students from the class of Tanya Anastasia: Bibb Albright, Juliet Barnes, Bickley Bowron, Henry Cardwell, Cory Fan, Lauren Grubbs, Jack Hanaway, Elizabeth Kohn, John McMillan, Emily Moore, Jackson Ogletree, Griffin Park and Ashley Pitts.

Kindergarten students from Mountain Brook Elementary recently went on an educational field trip to Josie’s Place in Warrior, Alabama to learn about animals and farm life. The field trip was in conjunction with the Kindergarten’s current unit of study on farms and animals. The farm was named in memory of the owner’s horse, Josie, and has several chickens, goats, sheep and horses for the

children to feed, pet and groom. Josie’s Place also has a cow named Elizabeth and a new baby pig named Wilbur after the character in the book, Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White. The visit included a hay wagon ride and learning how life on a farm was long ago by seeing the original one-room farm house. Touring the one-room school house, looking in the general store and having a picnic on the farm completed the trip.

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Fifth grade students from Mountain Brook Elementary recently went on a field trip to Montgomery, Alabama to participate in the program HEAL, that reinforces Healthy Eating and Active Living through school curriculum and family outreach extension. The program was supervised by Physical Education teachers, Coach Cherry Thomas and Coach Matt Cain and the 5th grade teachers. MBE 5th grade students were part of students from all over Alabama which visited the Capitol to demonstrate the program, which is in its third year. Students were greeted by Governor Bob Riley and First Lady Patsy Riley. The students also walked with the Governor and the First Lady and took part in aerobic exercises to strengthen muscles. After being quizzed on healthy eating, the children learned how to make nutritious and delicious foods.

Award Winners Libby Hancock, Coach Cherry Thomas, and Emma Brown

MBE had several award winners this year at the conference. Libby Hancock was the overall State HEAL award winner for the essay contest. Emma Brown was the winner of the HEAL essay contest for MBE. Coach Cherry Thomas won the HEAL Alabama teacher of the year award. Seen pictured here are these award winners from MBE.

Mountain Brook clips provided by Hilary Ross Mmountain brook

School House

| May 2010 |

Brookwood Forest Elementary Kindergartners Invite Grandpals for the Day Brookwood Forest Elementary school recently held their annual Grandpals Day for Kindergarten. Grandparents of Kindergarten students are invited to a special music program and reception at BWF. Grandpals day was held the morning of March 26. The visiting grandparents and special family friends enjoyed the show, visited classrooms and attended a reception in their honor. BWF Kindergarten teachers are Sammye Davis, Heather Hutto, Tara Smith and Diane Waud.

Pictured are Olivia Rome with her grandparents, Linda & John Luce who attended Grandpals Day.

Writer’s Festival Features well known Authors Brookwood Forest Elementary recently held their annual Writer’s Festival. The Writer’s Festival is a celebration of writing and reading held at each Mountain Brook Elementary school in March. During the week, children’s authors visit the elementary schools and talk about their craft. After school each day, students can purchase one of the authors’ books and have the book signed by the author. Students learn about the writing process and publishing process. Daily assemblies led by each author are an opportunity for students to interact with nationally acclaimed authors.


Special Olympics Soccer Brookwood Forest Elementary students accompanied by Special Education Staff recently participated in Special Olympics Soccer at Soccer Blast on Highway 280. Throughout the school year students with physical or developmental disabilities participate in sports activities organized by Special Olympics of Alabama. Students have enjoyed soccer, bowling, track and basketball events this year. The Brookwood Forest participants exemplified the Special Olympics Motto which is “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” Brookwood Forest Special Education Teachers are Susan Foster, Louise Griffin, Michelle Hale, and Kristin Snowden. Special Education Aides attending special olympics events are Melisa Suttle, Andrea Chapura, Dan Gilliland, Chappel Anderson, Brian Harper and Nancy Pritchard. Henry Hager

Brookwood Forest students, Hunter Harwell and Emilie Harwell get their novel signed by visiting author, Gordon Korman, at the school’s recent Writer’s Festival. Some of Korman’s best known books are Zoobreak, Kidnapped and The Everest series.

Annual Forest Fling a Huge Success

Guiding Creativity By Alyce Blach Leslie Wingo, in charge of the Art Department at Brookwood Forest Elementary, has been teaching for 20 years. Her students work with paint, clay, straw and many other materials. She helps everyone enjoy creating beautiful works of art.

Max Evans

Leslie Wingo and Ben Blach

Highlands School Fling committee pic: Organizing the recent BWF Forest Fling are PTO committee members: L to R: Jeannie Hoffman, Kim Hobbs, Janet Krueger, Lisa Dorough, Alatia Butler, Hayley Young, Dara Tribble, Margaret Mullen, Mary Virginia, Bethanne Taylor, Julie Sfakianos, Dabney Blum

Brookwood Forest Elementary held their annual Forest Fling Fundraiser on April 16. Forest Fling is a hugely popular family event and BWF’s annual spring fundraiser. It’s an outdoor carnival with fun games, crazy slides and rides, a 25’ rock wall, and a host of interactive booths for the kids to enjoy being kids yes, that translates to messy fun! We have everything from cookie decorating and spin art to face and fingernail painting along with a wet and wild 6th Grade Dunking Booth. Our BWF Idol winners will make a special appearance and Jamm Entertainment will keep everyone mov’n and groov’n all day. This is a super fun day for the kids and a great way for parents and sponsors to help the PTO support this wonderful school. The event was April 16

from noon until 3 pm. Major sponsors for the event included Cory, Watson, Crowder and DeGaris, Dreamland BBQ, Land O’ Frost, Landscape Workshop, Advanced Internal Medicine, P.C., Ocean/26, Classic Flooring, Inc., Orthodontics at Liberty Park, Piggly Wiggly, Drs. Sherri Weissman, Shawn O’Bannon, DMD, Brantley Sanders with Wells Fargo Advisors, Pucker Powder, and Baugher Design and Remodel.

Sixth Grader Ben Tucker awaits his fate in the Brookwood Forest Forest Fling Dunking Booth.

Harrison Pyburn climbs the Climbing Wall at the Brookwood Forest Forest Fling this spring.

Kindergartners at Highlands School have been “all a buzz” about some of the changes that can be observed in spring such as the weather, and the life cycles of animals and bugs. Dr. Randall Haddock, PhD, Field Director with the Cahaba River Society, visited our students recently to help us learn more about bugs. He took the students on a “Bug Hunt” in the woods around our campus. To the delight of the students, centipedes, roly-polys, grubs, worms, beetles, and a queen ant were found. Dr. Haddock discussed with the students the habitats and some of the differences between these creatures and how they each help our environment.

Dr. Randall Haddock, PhD, searches for bugs with Miss Suzan’s Kindergartner

Volunteers work at Community Garden

Forest Fling PTO Committee leaders were chairperson, Jeannie Hoffman, Margaret Mullen, Dabney Blum, Kelly Putman, Bethanne Taylor, Maurine Halpern, Julie Sfakianos, Alatia Butler, Jen Rotenstreich, Hayley Young, and Kim Hobbs. Brookwood Forest clips provided by Bama Hager Mmountain brook

Bug Hunt held at Highlands

On Thursday, April 1, Highlands School’s Middle School students, along with their teachers, and Head of School, Mrs. Kathryn Barr, spent time working in the Community Garden, located behind Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church.

This event was one of many philanthropic community projects in which Highlands students participate. The students planted seeds and plants that will eventually help feed the hungry in Birmingham through Magic City Harvest.

L to R: Eli Cohen, Luke Parish, Miaya Webster, and Wesley Madden

L to R: Middle Schoolers at Highlands planting seeds at the Community Garden

Highland clips provided by Judy McDonald Mmountain brook


| May 2010 | Village Living

MOTORSPORTS cover story

this translates to events that are imaginative and wellpresented. For participants, an elevation of this beloved sport through a markedly higher level of customer service. These difference-makers include minimizing inconveniences, increasing on-track time and maintaining an environment that is equally comfortable and stylish. Based in Zionsville, Indiana, HMP’s principal owners are avid historic racers and businessmen Zak Brown, Bobby Rahal and Peter Stoneberg. For more information about the Legends of Motorsports racing event at the Barber Motorsports Park, and to purchase tickets to the weekend’s races, please go to or Below is a map of Mountain Brook Village for the day of the event. Please note the street closings. There are some park and walk and park and shuttle locations listed to the right. At the time of publication, there are still details to be finalized. Please go to to keep up with any developments such as start times for shuttles. All information will be posted there as it becomes available.

Legends of Motorsports Thursday May 20th 3pm to 8pm Mountain Brook Village

Streets will be closed to traffic and blocked off for pedestrians and vintage cars, so there will be no parking in the village.

PARK AND WALK LOCATIONS: • Birmingham Botanical Gardens • Shades Valley Presbyterian Church • LAH Offices - Employee parking ONLY with parking sticker PARK AND SHUTTLE LOCATIONS:

• Macy’s at Colonial Brookwood Mall • Birmingham Zoo • Mountain Brook Office Park

See all event updates including shuttle start times at

Village Sports | May 2010 |

Village Sports


MBHS Sports Wrap-Up By Will Hightower

High school sports are in full swing at Mountain Brook High School, from the newfound success of the golf, baseball, and soccer teams to the sustained excellence of the track team. The 2010 year will go down as one of the most prolific in Mountain Brook High School history if things keep going the way they have started. Highlights of the year in athletics include the undefeated golf and tennis teams, the state-ranked soccer teams, varsity baseball making the playoffs, and the track team’s dominance. The Spartan golf team has certainly contributed to the success of athletics at the high school. The varsity guys started their season on a high note with a 12-stroke win at the West Alabama Classic in February and haven’t let up. After a mid season win at the Bradley Johnson Tournament, Mountain Brook headed to the Azalea City Invitational in Mobile. The guys jumped out to a quick lead and ended up an astounding 21 strokes under par, a tournament record. “Three 1st place finishes in three tournaments is a good start according to anyone’s standards,” commented Benny Eaves, the head golf coach. “On a side note, we have had two players commit to scholarship offers - Juniors Stewart Jolly (LSU) and Tom Lovelady (Alabama),” Eaves said. “We are very happy for those guys. I expect we may have a few more being recruited in the next three to four months.” The girls’ golf team has been slightly overshadowed by the guys’ success, yet the season the Lady Spartans are playing is nothing to be ashamed of. Girls’ head coach Jack Clayton said, “We are having a terrific season this year. We are very young, but very competitive. We have defeated Spain Park, the defending State Champions, and one of two teams favored to win this season.” Senior Milan Ballard, junior Patricia Stutts, and sophomore Virginia Drennen led the girls to a strong showing at the Hike the Hills tournament, in which Mountain Brook tied for second with powerhouse Auburn, a mere two strokes behind Spain Park. The varsity soccer team complements the excellence of the golf team well. After a heartbreaking loss in the state championship game last year in sudden death, the boys are hoping replicate their postseason success and have another shot at a title. Notable victories have come over #5 Homewood, #7 Prattville, #9 Thompson, and a tie with #1 Hoover. The Spartans also beat Tulsa Memorial (Oklahoma). Nathan Diehl received the special honor of being named to the North/South All Star Game, and Billy Massey leads the team in scoring. Webb also named several other team leaders, stating, “Billy Massey is our

The undefeated varsity golf team

Junior Andrew Barnes watches his tee shot

leading scorer at the moment, but Alex Reddy, Chris Steinkampf, and Michael Pace have also played very well. Wilson Fisher and Peter Oakes have split time in goal and both done admirably.” Keep up with the varsity soccer boys in their quest to win state a year after having it within their grasp. The girls’ soccer team has matched the boys’ success with an impressive record and a ranking in the state. Ellie Mouyal has been a force for Mountain Brook defending the goal this year, with Laura Ladd Graves and Mary Morgan Weed also leading the charge into the playoffs. The varsity baseball team has completed their season on a roll, winning 13 out of their last 17 games. After winning only one game out of the Spartans’ first ten, Mountain Brook’s season looked all but lost. But that, says senior catcher Stephen Hayes, was necessary to learn how to play as a team: “After starting the season 1-9, the seniors really stepped up and took leadership and we started playing together and started to accomplish our full potential.” The new season was looking fine after an opening-night 5-3 win over Pinson Valley, but things went downhill from there. The Spartans hit a rough patch, losing nine straight games, including a trying loss in a shutout at Pelham. But then Mountain Brook rallied, executing a terrific mid-season comeback to win 13 of their last 18 regular season games. Hayes named seniors Cody Jones and Robert Shoulders as crucial to the team’s amazing turn around, which included a long awaited for victory over rival Vestavia, the third-ranked team in the state, and a sweep over area nemesis Homewood. While the softball team does seem CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

Spartan JV soccer team

Spartan player goes for the ball with his head

Mountain Brook fights for possession of the ball

MBHS Varsity Soccer Team Up for a Cure MBHS Girls and Boys Varsity Soccer teams donned pink jerseys as they played their last home games of the regular season to collect and donate the gate ticket receipts to Soccer for a Cure, a non-profit organization raising funds for cancer research. Together the teams raised over $1,000 for the American Cancer Society on Seen pictured here are the MBHS Varsity players, coaches and educators. Picture courtesy of Image Arts.

“Soccer for a Cure” night. Cancer is something that has or will touch all of us at some point, whether through personal experience or that of a loved one. The MBHS soccer teams wanted to help raise awareness and funding for research by playing the game they love for one night for a higher purpose.

12 |

May 2010 |


Village Sports CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE run-of-the-mill in comparison with the excitement of the baseball team, the girls should not be overlooked. The varsity track team has completed its regular season on a high note and is en route to the state championships after yet another successful year. With meets that began in Lexington, Kentucky in late February and ended in Knoxville, Tennessee in April, the Spartans have traveled far and wide on a quest to obtain the boys’ state title and to go for a historic four-peat on the girls side. On April 9-10th, MBHS hosted the annual Mountain Brook Invitational, one of the largest meets in the state that included over 2,000 athletes. In what was one of the highlights of the season, senior Layton Dorsett won both the mile (4:20) and two mile (9:37), freshman Charlie Forbes won the 200 hurdles, and junior Jack Morgan and Dorsett scored points in the 800 (half mile), and the Spartans won the 4x800 relay. Forbes also finished second in the 110 hurdles, capping off a performance coach Greg Echols called “amazing for a freshman.” The guys finished fourth out of many participating teams from around the Southeast. The girls won both the 4x400 and the 4x800 relays along the way towards a first place finish at the Mountain Brook

Invitational out of numerous teams. Individually, Catherine Diethelm, a junior, won the half mile (2:16), with fellow junior Annie Newton and freshman Kendall Reed also placing in the top five. The depth for the Lady Spartans has kept them a step ahead of all contenders and helped put them in a position to win state. A girls’ state title would once again establish Mountain Brook dominance in track to become only the second program to win four straight girls’ championships in Alabama track history. “As far as going for our 4th in a row, it will be a tough one,” said Echols. “Our goal each year is to do the best we can and compete with all we have for the team and each other. Hopefully if we accomplish that goal, we will be in a position to win. I don’t think the girls really feel any pressure.” It was overtime in the championship game of the biggest lacrosse tournament of the year. With sudden death frying his nerves after a long, intense game, sophomore Robert Schuler took the ball and went at the goalie. On the way back from this trip downfield, Schuler was being mobbed by teammates after a gamewinning shot to win the Dan Anderson Lacrosse Classic. “It was really a lucky shot,” said Schuler. “But it was enough to win the

The Spartans receive some coaching tips, with Cori Pack (left) and Anne Pell (facing the camera)


As fans look on, Mountain Brook makes contact with a pitch

Junior Taylor Mitchell vaults at the Mountain Brook Invitational

A Lady Spartan slides in safely

The Men’s track team

A Spartan long jumper in mid-jump during the largest track meet in Alabama, the Mountain Brook Invitational

The Lady Spartan track team Mountain Brook closes in on a goal against Hoover

Ryan Lichtenstein hands off the baton to John Roberts Leonard during the 4x100 relay

A high jumper for Mountain Brook

Will Moor during a lacrosse game

No. 12 leads the charge downfield


| May 2010 |


Jr. High Girls Softball Team Metro Champs

Team coaches are Brook Gibbons and Kristi Harris. The players include:(Back Row) Caroline Boone, Colee Harkins, Neil McDonald, Grace Morrissette, Caroline Milligan, Mary Glenn Waldrop, Anne Marie Bonds. Front Row - Erin Rector, Anne Peyton, Katie Littleton, Brooke Tucker, Madalyn Rosenthal, Suzie Sarcone, Neely Francis not pictured; Isabelle Mulkin The Mountain Brook Girls Junior High softball team repeated as tournament champions by beating Thompson Middle School 4-5 in the Birmingham Metro South Softball Tournament March 27, 2010. This was the

tournament. Definitely the best moment of the season so far.” The JV team advanced all the way to the final to face Southlake Carroll, and won on Schuler’s shot in sudden death. The varsity team hasn’t had quite the dramatic flair that the JV team possesses, but a win over lacrosse powerhouse Hoover for the first time in nearly three years has helped to make this season memorable. Outstanding varsity players are Charlie Deer, Elliot Skinner, John Somerall, Walker and Crawford Cox, Julien Speyer and Rud Yeates, while Jack Luckie, Patrick Fredella, Jackson Niketas, and Will Sharp lead the JV team. Both the JV and varsity Mountain Brook lacrosse girls have been busy with numerous games and the Dan Anderson Lacrosse Classic. The JV team is led by captains Kendal Jaffe, Anna Wheeler, and Anna Patterson, while the varsity has had a tougher season, but has picked up some momentum recently with wins over Hoover and John Carroll. The JV Lady Spartans have won difficult road games over both Oak Mountain and Huntsville. When asked what she thought of the team, JV coach Claire Mitchell said, “I am so proud of all the progress this team has made since last year. I could not ask for a better team.” Mountain Brook’s season will continue through May. The varsity has been off to a rougher

first time in tournament history that a team won back to back championships. During the tournament, the MB Jr. High girls defeated Clay 7-0, Simmons 10-5,Thompson 5-4 and Thompson again in the championship game.

start, with a tough 7-9 loss to Ramsay, a team that has significantly improved over the past year. The Lady Spartans also suffered a loss to Vestavia, but came back to beat John Carroll at the end of March, followed by a win over Hoover early this month. The varsity, with the help of five JV players, had the experience of playing in the Dan Anderson Lacrosse Classic. This tournament hosted teams from all over the country, including Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Featuring some of the top players in the state, the varsity tennis guys are rolling right along through their season without any bumps in the road. Joey Francis, Patrick Lucas, Loris Orsolini, and Trey Carter are the top players on a team that is hoping for a state title three-peat. Sophomore Nelson Jetmundson bragged, “We are one of the teams to beat this year.” The girls’ team is 7-2 on the season, with Sara and Lauren Douglas, Elizabeth Lucas, and Farris Ann Luce leading the way. With very successful programs across the board, Mountain Brook is having quite a year in athletics. Make sure to keep up with all Spartan sports, but especially the baseball team as they advance through the playoffs, both soccer teams as they try to hold their state rankings, the track team in their quest to continue their streak of state dominance, and the tennis and golf teams in their attempts to stay undefeated.

The Spartan varsity baseball team surrounding MBHS principal Vic Wilson

2010 summer basketball camp For Boys & Girls 2nd to 6th Grade

Mountain Brook Junior High School To Enroll Online: Contact Jay Nelson


Bryan Watford clears the bar on pole vault

Reid Freeman, a 2nd grader at Brookwood Forest, playing catcher. Reid made an extremely acrobatic move to catch a foul ball pop-up for a very important out. (photo by Alison Gault)

Head Coach Lee Gann and a Spartan baseball player on senior night


| May 2010 | Village Living

LifeActually By Kari Kampakis

Angels Among Us


It’s easy to see heaven in a baby. I gaze into the eyes of Camille…my adoring fourmonth-old who flashes a gummy smile every time I glance her way…and the radiance blinds me. Finding a halo on a toddler who just hosted a tea party with toilet water, on the other hand, takes concerted effort. Likewise for the daughter who throws cutup chicken in her little sister’s milk and accuses her of being “evil.” I had a tough time deciding on an angle for this piece. Determined to focus on Mother’s Day, I debated how to celebrate the world’s deepest love without glossing over the hair-pulling frustration that threatens to leave me bald. Every time I sat down at the computer, the kids did something to annoy me—making it impossible to create pleasant commentary. Write when they’re asleep, I told myself. When their eyes are closed, and chests are rising and falling in a sweet rhythm, they look like cherubs again. “Children are a gift from God”—with this I wholeheartedly agree. Never have I felt as close to the Man upstairs as I have in the delivery room, holding for the first time a slimy, seven-pound miracle pure and unblemished by a dirty world. “Euphoric” hardly describes the emotions triggered when a newborn baby crosses the line between heaven and Earth. But in the months that follow, things inevitably change. Dinners stop streaming in, my starry eyes blur into bleary eyes, expectations and responsibilities reappear. Adrenaline rushes turn into mad rushes. I’m forced to give up guilty pleasures like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and emerge from hibernation. More drastic than changes in my life are changes in the baby. She starts cooing, crawling, and cruising. She learns to talk… and talk back. Even at an early age, she shows a gift for throwing tantrums in public. Red-faced and flustered, I endure stares from shell-shocked onlookers and silently vow to never again take a baby to Target, or Old Navy, or anywhere else for that matter. The halo is fading.

Or is it? Could it be I’m just not looking hard enough? I had an experience last year that reminded me of God’s presence in my children—even as they age and misbehave. I was lying down with Marie Claire, then two, for naptime. With her back molded against my chest, she began to suck her thumb. Gradually her eyes grew heavy. They closed. She looked so peaceful and content I stroked her milky arm until her breathing hit a slow, deep stride. By every indication, she was asleep. Mission accomplished. I started to slip out, but an instinct held me back. The chance to hold one child without others tearing at me like a Rotisserie chicken was too rare to let pass. With Marie Claire’s warm body in my arms, a flood of sudden gratitude swept through me. I am so blessed, I thought. Why can’t I appreciate that every minute of every day? Why do I lose it when things don’t go my way? Vaguely aware of my mouth opening, I said, “Thank you, God.” Two seconds later, Marie Claire’s thumb popped out of her mouth. She looked over her shoulder and, in that melodic voice I love, whispered, “You’re welcome.” Well, suffice it to say that I gaped at my child as if Lazarus had risen from the dead. Some may consider this a funny coincidence, but to me it was a testament of God’s sense of humor. Somewhere above the clouds, He had to be laughing. And it is in that spirit that I wish every mother a calamity-free Mother’s Day. The angels God gives us are not the serene, harp-playing kind we see in collectible stores. Our angels have dirty faces, runny noses, impossible-to-fix hair. They generate more comedy than harmony and infuse our lives with absurdity. As imperfect as they are, however, they are perfect for us, and perfect reflections of their marvelous Creator. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mtn. Brook mom of four with a background in PR, photography, and writing. If you have feedback or a story/column idea to share, contact her at


ine Furniture. Unique Chandeliers. Decorator Rugs. Upscale Candles. Unique Gifts. In-home Design Service. What more do you need to whip your house into shape? 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 instore 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. A one stop shop for everything for the home, with a guarantee that you Chandeliers, love all you either buy from the Accessories & Gifts, will store or order. If not, Constance will take it back and go back to the drawFine Furniture, ing board and find the perfect item. Carpet & Rugs, “I want you to love everything you Custom Bedding & purchase,” says Constance.

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Marie Claire, Sophie, Ella, and Camille Kampakis.

Ball of Roses & Ballet Guild to Celebrate 50 Years

Seventy young women will be presented at the annual Ball of Roses, sponsored by the Ballet Guild of Birmingham, on Saturday, June 5 at the Country Club of Birmingham. The First Ball of Roses was held in August of 1961. Eleven young women from Birmingham were presented at the Ball. Each year, the ball is sponsored by the Ballet Guild of Birmingham, which is an invitational organization of young women dedicated to supporting the ballet in the Birmingham area through fund raising and volunteer work. Founded in 1959, the Ballet Guild was organized to promote and foster

the development of ballet in Birmingham in addition to raising funds for its support. Since its inception, the Ballet Guild has raised approximately $1.1 million dollars for the ballet. This year, the Ball of Roses celebrates its 50th anniversary and continues to serve as a vital fund raiser for the Alabama Ballet. The 2010 Ball of Roses chairwoman is Elizabeth Read and co-chairwoman is Elizabeth Rich. Carole Sullivan of Lagniappe Designs will be handling the floral decorations for the ball. Guild President is Caroline Little and Executive Vice President is Shannon Holt.

Village Living | May 2010 |

Mountain Brook Art Show Presents Awards to Artists

The Mountain Brook Art Asssociation held their 32nd Annaul Art Show in Crestline on April 10. Two awards were given : Gus Pappas, owner of the Norton’s Florist chain, presented the Norton’s Florist Annual Floral Competition Award to Lynn Briggs of Mountain Brook. Each winter Norton’s offers a grand floral arrangement for the artists of the Mountain Brook Art Association to recreate on canvas. The beautiful paintings are judged at the club’s Annual Spring Show in Crestline. D.A. Tynes, of the Mountain Brook Library Foundation stands with the painting she selected as a gift to the foundation from the Mountain Brook Art Association. Ms Tynes selected a painting of the Emmet O’Neal library’s garden statue by Barclay Gresham. The Mountain Brook Art Association donates a painting by one of it’s artists at the Annual Spring Show to be hung in one of the community’s buildings to be enjoyed by all. The next MBAA show will be the Third Annual Holiday Show Nov 4, at Park Lane in Mountain Brook.

When Mountain Brook Elementary celebrates its 80th anniversary this May, we will recognize not just the longevity of one of our fine elementary schools, but celebrate the story of one of our oldest, and most treasured buildings. Robert Jemison, who’s company Jemison & Company is responsible for the development of Mountain Brook Estates, gave 11 acres for the construction of Mountain Brook Elementary as part of their development plan for the area in 1928. The Jefferson County School Board was responsible for the school at the time and oversaw the process. In 1929, the design that was created by county architects Denham & Denham was completed. The new school consisted of eight rooms. Village landscape architect William H. Kessler planned the athletic fields and playground. Once there was a central school in the area for students to attend, students no longer went to school at Shades Cahaba. Mountain Brook Elementary became the second consolidated school in the growing Shades Valley area. Since construction was not completed when the school year began that fall, students were taught temporarily in four rooms above what is now Gilchrist’s until the school was ready. The beautiful English Tudor styled building cost approximately $45,000, and it welcomed 143 students serving primary through junior high grades. The English Tudor style complemented the beautiful homes that Jemison was building in his Mountain Brook Estates development. Mary Alice Beatty Carmichael, who graduated from MBE in 1951, and her husband Donald were both students at Mountain Brook. Mrs Carmichael remembers that there was just the one wing to the building, and that when the windows were open, “you could hear the nearby horses neighing”. “There was still lots of farmland around at the time,” she said. The school served grades 1-8 when she was there, and she said that if you did not live in the county, but wanted to attend, you could pay to attend MBE, which was still a county school at the time. She remembers several students from Homewood and also from the city of Birmingham who were paying students. Mrs. Carmichael also said that a memory of her husband Donald’s is that boys who were very well behaved and made good grades were allowed to leave school to go cut the grass or do other work during the school day. “Boys worked really hard to get good grades so they could get out of school!” she said. There were also

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Village History Remembered Mountain Brook Elementary School 1929- 2009

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Organize Your Life Today! Gus Pappas presented the Floral Competition Award to Lynn Briggs


strict rules at school. “Spit balls could get you suspended and the next worse offense was chewing gum,” she said. In 1959, the City of Mountain Brook took over control of the school from the Birmingham Board of Education and created their own Board. As the number of young families continued to move to Mountain Brook, many of them moved to the newer areas of Cherokee Bend and Brookwood Forest. The number of school-aged children began declining in the Mountain Brook Elementary area of town, and in the early 1970’s, there was talk of closing MBE and moving all of the students to the newer elementary schools or one consolidated elementary school where the Junior High is. The Junior High would have moved to the same campus as the High School. One of the residents that became involved in the effort to keep MBE open was Mary Alice Carmichael. “In August of 1971, I heard rumors that the City was going to close the elementary school and sell the property. There was talk of a gas station and condominiums,” Carmichael said. “This was unacceptable to me. We had moved our family to Canterbury Rd so that our children could go to the elementary school and walk to school,” she said. Mrs. Carmichael called then Mayor of Mountain Brook, Allan Rushton, to ask him if the rumors were true. He said the City was considering it, and that it would come up for a public vote in November. Mrs. Carmichael and her husband worked to organize a group of parents from their neighborhood. They also got an engineer, an attorney, Real Estate professionals, and past PTA presidents to help get the word out. The engineers explained that MBE, with its wooden beams, was a safer structure during a fire than a newer building with steel beams. The group also looked at demographic trends and other information to make their case before a city board. They made their case from many angles including the real estate tax revenue the city would get as property values continued to rise with new families moving in. When the measure came to a vote in November, it was voted down and the school remained open. Mrs. Carmichael said it was a huge lesson for her. “If you don’t like something, you can change City Hall’s mind if you work hard enough.” The school has continued to grow and expand its buildings over the years. They celebrate their 80th anniversary this month. Those planning to attend should RSVP or call 8703976.

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Friday, May 7th 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

downtown at Harbert Plaza or in Mountain Brook Village to shop for your Mother’s Day gifts. All proceeds from the sale benefit the YW’s homeless child care center.

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16 |

May 2010 | Village Living

Village Worship Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 3736 Montrose Rd in Crestline. Their services are at 8:00 a.m. Rite I, 10:30 a.m. Rite II, and 5:00 p.m. Rite II Contemporary Service. Rich Webster is the Rector at Saint Luke’s.

What outreach projects are currently the focus of your church? Outreach is an integral part of who we are at St. Luke’s. Of our total income, 1/3 is used for outreach. Even in this economic recession, it was important to our members to maintain How many members do the same level of outreach. you have and how many We are involved with clergy on your staff? many different programs St. Luke’s has 3000 and agencies around the Rich Webster, members and we have 6 full city, as are our members, Rector at Saint Luke’s but one of our unique time ministers on staff. projects is called PreSchool When was St. Luke’s founded, and has Partners. This program offers a topit always been in this location? notch preschool education for children in In 1949, St. Luke’s was founded and 3K and 4K primarily from the Norwood met at a farmhouse on what is now the site community. The school is on Montevallo of Emmett O’Neal Library. Sunday School Rd, but meets at St. Luke’s on Mondays classes were held across the street at the for parent workshops and programs and fire station, which was a big hit with the enrichment activities for the children. This kids. A few years later, St. Luke’s bought program has been an important part or the Steeple Arts building from what is now our church for 15 years. It has cemented the congregation of Canterbury Methodist the relationship between the Crestline and Church. Billy Hood, who was a member of Norwood communities. It has also resulted St. Luke’s, owned a paint store and helped in a spin off ministry called the Norwood announce the arrival of St. Luke’s to that Resource Center that is housed in that building by painting it red. Legend has community so that it can serve the people it that he started this early on New Year’s in their own neighborhood with services Day, so that when everyone got up, they such as tax preparation, helping with would see the newly painted church. utility bills through the JCCO, computer In 1957, the church moved to its current classes. They also hosted a home tour that location on Montrose Rd. The parish hall, saw 500 visitors come to the community. known as Graham Hall, was completed Members of St. Luke’s, through outreach first, and housed services until the church ministries like these, are able to connect was finished in 1962. It was designed by with the larger Birmingham community. Nelson Smith, a Crestline architect and We try to be very intentional about offering church member. Lee Graham, the Rector, our members the chance to be connected wanted a church building that was a work to the city and build relationships with the of art and looked both ancient and modern. people we are helping.

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had no idea I was about to not only embark on a fly fishing tutorial, but also a lesson in physics, geometry, golf, and even marriage. To Diaz, fly fishing incorporates so much of what we do in our everyday life, which is why he says, “It is the most exciting way to catch a fish.” So with fly fishing lessons also come a great deal of soul searching and life lessons as well. We proceeded to his “casting pond” in the Colonnade Office Park (where, incidentally, no fishing is allowed, bit Diaz is allowed to give his casting lessons). I had watched fly fishing several times, so I assumed I could just pick it up and take to it like I would anything else. But there is so much more to it, which is what made me realize why so many people develop such a passion for it.

Dan Starnes, this newspaper’s esteemed publisher, and I accompanied Diaz to the pond, where we went through a series of lessons on where to hold the fly rod, how to hold it, how much line is needed, threading the line, etc. We turned away from the water to first learn the perfect cast. I was wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap, which Diaz asked to turn backward temporarily for one particular exercise in casting. “I know it feels silly. And we all look like our IQ lowers a lot when we do this, so don’t worry this is temporary.” I wish I had remembered that, because I foolishly kept my hat turned that way for most of the lesson. Diaz has a wonderful way of patiently allowing his pupils to make mistakes while correcting those mistakes with stories and

We are also proud to partner with other Birmingham area churches in the efforts of the Birmingham Hospitality Network. Do you have any annual events that you host each year for your members and the community? Our Claypool Lecture Series, named for our longtime Rector John Claypool, takes place each year. This year, we hosted Ron Hall and Denver Moore, the authors of Same Kind Of Different As Me. We had 3000 attendees and had to move the program to the Samford Wright Center in order to accommodate the crowd. We are also pleased to offer each April, God & Jazz. This event offers beautiful jazz music in our sanctuary. It began with a sermon Dan Mathews of Trinity Church Wall Street preached at St. Luke’s. He said that God is a lot like jazz. He gives us a framework but a lot of space to play music in our own way. This event represents that God asks each of our members and neighbors to play with the gifts we are each given. Tell us a little about your youth program. We are very pleased to have a new youth minister named Lars Porter. Lars is the former Birmingham Southern men’s and women’s track coach and is now the assistant track coach at Mountain Brook Junior High. He has gotten our youth involved in an inner city basketball league, PreSchool Partners, and mission work in Sawyerville (Hale County) and the Appalachian Service Program. The kids also participate in Young People Painting Birmingham. Our youth programs are for 7th thru 12th grade.

philosophies that make sense to anyone. He talks often of simple lessons we should all remember from school, that all apply to fly fishing. Angles, force and resistance, speed and accuracy – all tangled up in what appears on the surface to be an easy task until you try to do it. I struggled a little to remember my high school Physics classes and formulas I had once written on my hand so I could remember them for quizzes in Fred Stephens’ class many moons ago at Mountain Brook High School. I attempted to recall Geometry lessons and angles and vectors. But it all came together once I made the perfect cast. And nothing pleases Diaz more than a perfect cast. “You felt that, didn’t you?” he asked with a smile as I stood on the bank looking goofy with my hat still turned backward. I did feel it. And like a perfect tee shot in golf or that feeling of hitting a baseball right on the sweet spot, it just felt right. Like everything was aligned. He looked at me and said with a stern look, “Remember what you did and how that feels and repeat it.” Unfortunately I did not. I was giving too much slack on my line, which is strangely similar to some of the criticism I give myself in many of the things I do in my life. Doing something right, and then allowing too much leeway when repeating the task. Again, a wonderful way that this activity is so indicative of how we are as people. “It’s about resisting and then giving a little,” Diaz said, and then looked down at my left hand and noticed my wedding ring. “You’re married, so you should know a little about that.” Diaz says there are several correlations between fly fishing and marriage, because they are both a “partnership involving cooperation and compromise, with tremendous rewards.” The thought made me smile, and brought me a deeper understanding of why so many people develop a passion for fly fishing and why it becomes a part of a person’s life. Diaz wouldn’t be an instructor

Does your church have a Day School or full time child care programs? We do have a Day School for infants through 4K. We have really worked hard to re-introduce a Christian curriculum. Parents wanted not just a preschool, but to know that their children will learn about Jesus here. We are using some really neat programs like our Atrium where kids learn about God through a Montossori style of Christian learning. What do you think makes St. Luke’s unique? We are big and small at the same time. We are one of the largest Episcopal churches in the country, but we are in a community and neighborhood that is warm, relational, and easy to fit into- just like the village it is in. It is a place where children cover the halls, runners stop by for a drink of water, and stangers come in to pray. To learn more about Saint Luke’s, or to volunteer with any of these outreach ministries, visit their website, or call 205-871-3583.

if he did not love what he instructs, but allowing others to share his love for the sport so easily is another one of Diaz’ gifts. While I explained before that I do not get to fish as often as I would like, I also was once an avid golfer – not very good at it, but avid nonetheless – and Diaz was able to put simple fishing terms into golf terminology to help me understand what I was doing wrong and how to do it right. “We all want to hit the long drive and power everything through. Swing hard and muscle it in there, don’t we?” he asked. I agreed. But I knew where he was going with this. Letting the club do the work in golf is one of the first lessons you learn. And making sure your short game is just as good – if not better – than your ability to crush the ball off the tee is a recipe for golf success. It is also completely applicable to fly fishing. He explained that accuracy, and letting the rod do the work for me was what would make me a better fisherman. It was about finesse, and patience and timing. He was right. I was able to perform a flawless cast four times in a row, which is when Diaz announced that the lesson would conclude there. “I think that is a good note to end on,” he said. “Wouldn’t you like to always finish a round of golf on a good shot?” (again with the golf analogy). The intertwining of golf, and relationships and poetry and physics and baseball and everything else that makes my life wonderful was also what made my lesson so enjoyable. And that, I believe, is what makes Diaz such a successful instructor. He is able to apply the techniques and philosophies of his hobby to what your interests are. And he can do it with an intuitive knowledge that makes him one of the more likable guys I have ever met. This article is the first part of a series – watch for the second portion in the June issue. For more information on how to set up a lesson with David Diaz, visit Deep South Outfitters at 4700 Cahaba River Road, or call 205-969-3868.

Village Living

| May 2010 |



Colorful characters line up for the parade

By Michael Seale What do you get when you blend a parade, a mock beheading, and a celebration of a beautiful spring together? You get Mountain Brook’s newest festival, Spring-a-ling-a-ding-dong. The festival is the brainchild of Continental Bakery and Chez Lulu owner Carol Griffin, and takes place in English Village on May 22 from 10 am until 4 pm. It is a family-friendly event that includes an annual maypole dance, sidewalk vendors, a bread toss, free food and a giant puppet parade led by Griffin herself. The Feed and Seed Band from Atlanta will provide music. The concept for the event was conceived when Griffin was trying to find a way to collaboratively celebrate the coming of spring while trying to “wash away” the

previous year’s negative events. “I wanted to do something where were putting death away, putting away bad luck, and bringing in new hope.” Griffin said she has always had a fascination with European Spring festivals, and decided to research the traditions and elements involved in many of these festivals to put together a similar event for English Village. “On the 15th anniversary of the bakery, we did a mock beheading of Marie Antionette, where I was Marie Antoinette, and that was a big hit, so we have incorporated that into our festival.” The mock beheading, which in no way depicts graphic imagery, symbolizes the end of the cold and winter and the beginning of new life, and kicks off what is sure to become a fun tradition in the village. “We name all of the

horrible things that happened in the past year and say goodbye to it,” Griffin added. “We really enjoyed last year’s festival,” Griffin said. The 2009 festival was the first, and Griffin said she has used what worked from last year’s event to make this year’s even better. “We will have even more kids activities, a hula-hoop contest, a photo booth, a chicken petting booth and an eating contest, too.” The eating contest, Griffin said, “is about the difficulty level, not about the quantity of food.” She said local farmers, vendors and sidewalk merchants will display goods and products available for sale, just like an old-fashioned street festival. “This is going to be fun, it’s that simple,” said Griffin. She said the turnout for last year’s event was large, and she hopes to have an even larger crowd this year, and build on the success for future festivals to come.

Let the fun begin!

Saturday, May 22 10am - 4pm English Village

Kids participate in The Bread Toss

Local farmers sell their produce

Marie Antoinette prepares for beheading

The festival is dog-friendly

Local merchants sell their wares

Children’s activites


| May 2010 | Village Living

Mtn. Brook’s Matthew Mayfield defines By Michael Seale When the Mountain Brook High School Class of 2001 celebrates its 10-year reunion next year, at least one guest at the celebration would be considered somewhat of a celebrity. Matthew Mayfield, who says he cannot believe his class is coming up on 10 years out of high school, has been one of the hardest working musicians in the country these days, and that hard work is paying off. Myfield’s latest EP, Man Made Machines, was ranked #1 on the Most-

Photo by Boozer Downs

“local boy made good”

downloaded Album List for the Singer/ Songwriter genre when it was released last month, and his popularity continues to grow nationwide. The producers of the popular ABC television drama “Grey’s Anatomy” have used Mayfield’s music during two shows this past season, and he was asked to play for the prestigious South by Southwest Music festival in Austin, Texas, this year. But this popularity and success did not come overnight. Mayfield has paid his dues, so to speak, as a working musician climbing his way up the ranks, with as many setbacks as accomplishments along the way. “I started playing guitar at age nine,” Mayfield said of his first venture into the music world. “I broke my leg playing football shortly afterwards and had a cast on for 5 months. I would sit with my Guns N’ Roses tapes in my Walkman and learn those songs and solos note for note. “I worshipped Slash as a kid--he was like a superhero to me. My mom took me to see his side project, Slash’s Snakepit, when they came through town and I got to meet him. I was 11 years old. I didn’t know what to say. Nabbed his cigarette butt out of the ashtray and have been secretly (and not so secretly) trying to channel his energy ever since.” After graduating from MBHS, Mayfield went to college for a year but decided to pursue music full-time, and had a brief taste of the big time with his band, Moses Mayfield. “I started the first version of that band when I was 18, dropped out of school at 19 and started pushing hard, playing anywhere and everywhere. We got

signed to Epic Records in 2005, made a big expensive record on their dime, got wined and dined, toured the country with some big acts, and it was a blast.” Moses Mayfield enjoyed some commercial success on their major label, but found that the music business is not quite as kind to musicians as Mayfield once thought. “In the end, politics and label issues got in the way and we parted ways in late 2007. The band quickly dissolved and I started looking for a new way to do things as an independent solo artist.” Mayfield found that “new way.” He has released several digital EP’s as a solo artist, each one selling even more than the last. “I’ve released six EPs since Fall of 2008. Been putting one out every month since January, and the response has been pretty amazing.” He said he feels getting himself more exposure, both live and recorded, has helped his success. “It seems the more wood you throw on the fire, the brighter it burns,” Mayfield said. “I’ve figured out how to make records quickly and on the cheap, but without compromising the integrity of the songs. I think it’s a good situation for everyone. The constant output is a little overwhelming, but I like the challenge.” Mayfield said his exposure on “Grey’s Anatomy” was a surprise to him, and not something he had arranged himself. “The ‘Grey’s’ gig has been pretty amazing for me,” he said. “TV and film truly are the new radio, and I’ve been lucky to have some love from that show. It’s all been a fluke, nothing I’ve orchestrated. I just hustle as much as I can and hope that people like the music. If you’re confident in the art you’re putting out, those people seem to pick up

on it and take to you.” This summer, Mayfield is working on a new project with the trio, The Blue Cut Robbery. “I’m gonna put out an EP with the rock trio at some point and then do my first solo full-length in June,” he said. “My friend Paul Moak is a brilliant producer in Nashville. I’m excited to get that rolling. And the touring thing is looking like it’s gonna pick up again this summer as well.” Mayfield’s local popularity is explainable, with his roots deeply planted in Birmingham, but his fan base continues to grow beyond the region, and he attributes that to giving his fans as much music as possible. “I think you’ve got to keep the output stream as constant as possible. Always have something coming,” he said. “Whether it’s a new record, new videos, new ways to get involved, new tour dates - people want to get on a moving train. They don’t want to see anything idle. So I try to keep things in motion at all times. And touring is important, but it’s really tricky. You want to make each show count. When I was 19, I would play anywhere for some gas money and beer. But now, I’ve got to make a living making music. Nothing fancy, just a living. I think you have to tour in a way that makes the most sense for you.” Mayfield is on the cusp of becoming a true star in the music business, and his fans have a true connection with him. He continues to find new methods to reach his existing fan base and build a larger one in the process. “There’s a new thing I’ve just gotten involved with called Pledge Music, which is basically a way to get the fans closer to the creative process than ever before, while supporting an amazing organization called the International Justice Mission (for more information on this project, the details can be found at www.pledgemusic. com/projects/matthewmayfield.

Vote for

It will be an honor to serve you — because citizens in Jefferson County are tired of career politicians running their lives. We can do better, and we will with your help. Jefferson County should be nothing more than a business, created for the sole purpose of managing the services that it provides for its citizens. It should be operated as a business — well-managed, staying within its budget and striving to reduce costs for you. Please join me for change that will make our county more productive, efficient, honest and competent, and one that will give us the best “bang” for our tax dollar. It is time that we demand an end to unnecessary taxes, fees and wasteful spending.

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Music & Arts

Village Living Calendar

| May 2010 |


Family Fun

5/2- 6:00 p.m., Magic City Choral Society presents Homeward Bound, Alys

5/1- Butterfly Encounter exhibit opens, Birmingham Zoo,

5/2 - 7:00 p.m., ASO presents Aretha Franklin, BJCC concert hall, 251-7727

5/8- Mothers Day Special at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, Calera, AL,

5/3 - 8:00 p.m., Van Morrison in concert, BJCC arena, 458-8400

5/15- Doo Dah Day Festival, Caldwell and Rhodes Parks, animal parade begins at

Stephens Center,

5/7 - 8:00 p.m., Mo’Nique in concert, BJCC arena, 458-8400 5/9 - Norah Jones in concert, Alabama Theatre, ticketmaster- 800-745-3000 5/14 - 7:00 p.m., Tim McGraw Southern Voice Tour, special guests Lady

Antebellum and Love & Theft, Verizon Wireless Music Center, 985-4900

5/15 -8:00 p.m., ASO presents Joshua Bell, Alys Stephens Center, 251-7727 5/16- 8:00 p.m., Bryan Adams in concert, BJCC theatre, 458-8400 5/18-7:30 p.m., ASO Concertmaster and Friends, Brock Recital Hall, Samford University, 229-5126


11 a.m.,

5/15- 5th Annual Birmingham Zoo Run 5K benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, contact Amanda Baker, 989-0098

5/22- Migratory Bird Day at the Birmingham Zoo, 5/22 Spring-A-Ling-A-Ding-Dong in English Village- Maypole, Puppets, free food, & fun

5/29- Out of School Blast at the Southern Museum of Flight, children’s activities including r/c flying demos, bounce house, face painting, 833-8226

5/29- 1st annual Lucky Ducky Race, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, 477-5711


5/21- 11:00 a.m., ASO Coffee Concerts, Alys Stephens Center, 251-7727 5/21-5/22- 8:00 p.m., ASO presents Region’s Masterworks, Beethoven’s Emporer Concerto, Alys Stephens Center, 251-7727

Food & Wine 5/1 Pepper Place Saturday Market- every Saturday from 7 a.m. until noon. Free Admission

5/6 each Thursday 4 p.m.- 6 pm.- Piggly Wiggly in Crestline- Wine tastings 5/8 Episcopal Place Gumbo Gala- 11a.m.-2p.m. Caldwell Park on Highland Ave.

5/16 Temple Beth-El’s Kosher BBQ Contest- kid’s activities, team competition, and BBQ for sale

5/22- 1st Annual Bob Syke’s BBQ and Blues Festival. Tannehill State for tickets and information

5/1- 5/2- 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. WERA Regionals- Motorcycle Road Racing at Barber’s Motorsport’s Park.

5/8 7th Annual Ovarian Cancer Motherwalk- Crestline Village. Walk and 5K 5/12- 5/16 Region’s Charity Golf Classic- Robert Trent Jone’s Golf Trail at Ross Bridge

5/17 Lorie Johnson Foundation Golf Tournament at Highland Golf Course, 8 a.m.,

For more information, please go to, or email the organization at info@loriejohnsonfoundation

5/18 Mountain Brook Sports Corporation Golf tournament at Highland Golf 205-870-3257

5/20- 5 p.m.- 8 p.m. Indy 500 Legends of Motorsports Motorcade- exhibit featuring old and new Indy cars with music, shopping, food, and special guests. Mountain Brook Village

5/21-5/23 8a.m.- 5 p.m. Legends of Motorsports racing- Barber Motorsports Park.


5/26- 5/30 SEC Baseball Tournament- Regions Park

5/1-2, 5/6 - 5/8 8 p.m. Dead Man’s Cell Phone- Birmingham Festival Theatre for tickets

5/31 7:30 a.m. LJCC Memorial Day Triathlon and Off-Road Triathlon

5/1 & 5/2, 5/6- 5/8 7:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. Grey Gardens- Virginia Samford


Theatre 205-251-1206.

5/1 8 p.m. Gala celebrating 50 years of theatre at the Levite Jewish Community

5/7- 5/9- 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., Aldridge Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale,

5/6-5/8, 5/13- 5/16- Shout! The Mod Musical- Red Mountain Theatre Company-

5/8- 5/9- Glorious Gardens Tour hosted by the Birmingham Botanical Gardens,

5/7- 5/8- Shakespeare at Sloss- Muse of Fire

5/21- 6:00 p.m., Aldridge Botanical Gardens “Hydrangeas Under the Stars” Garden

5/ 13-5/16-, 5/20- 5/22 7:30 p.m. Much Ado About Nothing- Birmingham Park

5/23- 1:30 p.m., Alabama Wildlife Center Audubon Teaches Nature Series, Oak Mtn.

Center featuring Barbara Streisand tribute artist.



Players- Homewood Central Park 205-590-0155.


contact Shelly McCarty, 414-3965

Gala, 682-8019

State Park, 663-7930

Village Live Music Listings



5/1 - William A and Local Celebrity 5/4 - Will and Sarah Mason 5/5 - Otey’s Team Trivia with Will and Lance 5/6 - Jerry Ryan of 3 on a string 5/7 - The Negotiators 5/8 - Altamont 5/11 - Will and Sarah Mason 5/12 - Otey’s Team Trivia with Will and Lance @ 8pm 5/13 - Frank and Gary 5/14 - The Magnetic Elite 5/15 - The Acousticats 5/18 - Will and Sarah Mason 5/19 - Otey’s Team trivia with Will and Lance @ 8pm 5/20 - Brett Taylor and Meridith Leymance 5/21 - The Jakes 5/22 - Little Memphis Blues Orchestra

2012 Cahaba Road Mountain Brook, AL 35223 (205) 879-2238

Every Sunday - Carlos Pino (Brunch 11am-3pm) 5/1 - tba 5/6 - Jason Speegle & Company 5/7 - Mile Marker 7 5/8 - tba 5/13 - Pharmhand 5/14 - Randy Buell Band 5/15 - Rescue Dogs 5/20 - Tamed Dogs 5/21 - Slow Dog 5/22 – Spoonful

224 Country Club Park Mountain Brook, AL 35213 (205) 871-8435

5/25 - Will and Sarah Mason 5/26 - Otey’s Team trivia with Will and Lance @ 8pm 5/27 - Jason Bailey Trio 5/28 -Electric Monkey Wrench (Grateful Dead Cover band ) 5/29 - Sure Why Not

Open Door Café

1115 Dunston Avenue Mountain Brook, AL 35213 (205) 879-6659

5/1 – Scott Hudson & Clinton Mann 5/2 – Jazz Brunch with Cleve Eaton & Alabama All Stars 5/6 – Brandon Peebles & Joe Breckenridge 5/9 – Jazz Brunch with Cleve Eaton & Alabama All Stars 5/13 – Stuart McNair 5/14 – Earthbound 5/16 – Jazz Brunch with Cleve Eaton & Alabama All Stars 5/22 – Tonal Vision 5/23 – Jazz Brunch with Cleve Eaton & Alabama All Stars 5/27 – Stuart McNair 5/30 – Jazz Brunch with Cleve Eaton & Alabama All Stars

20 |

May 2010 | Village Living

Village Living May 2010  

News, sports, and entertainment for Mountain Brook, Alabama

Village Living May 2010  

News, sports, and entertainment for Mountain Brook, Alabama