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Village Living

| November 2010 |

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

Thanksgiving - pg 9

Drayton Nabers - pg 6

More important than ever: Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation By Jennifer Gray Jenny Motes knows she is fortunate to teach in the Mountain Brook school system. “Before the school year even started, I was able to attend a week of technology training,” Motes said. “I learned how to use all of the wonderful equipment we have in the classroom such as the Interact pad and document camera.” Motes, a first year teacher at Crestline Elementary, uses this technology in her kindergarten classroom daily. “The use of these tools makes classroom time so much more engaging,” Motes said. “The students don’t sit and stare while I teach. They are actively engaged, using the technology. I can have them changing positions in the classroom, using the Interact pad along with me.” The learning experience that Motes and other Mountain Brook teachers are creating for students is possible because of the gifts made to the school system by the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation. The Foundation steps in and fills the funding gaps that are left by statewide

November Features

Cherokee Bend 5th grade teacher, Mr. Haller, using a Smartboard with his students

proration and other funding shortfalls. Mountain Brook resident Lisa Rutherford is on the Board for the MBCS Foundation. “The foundation is critical in helping our students to always move forward with new technologies and techniques that keep them well prepared for the future,” Rutherford said. “Our students are already familiar with the technology being used at colleges and will


• Restaurant Showcase


• Business Spotlight


By Lauren Nix

• Bromberg’s Christmas Tree


• Gourmet Dinners Event


• Village Planters


• Eason Balch


After singing “God Save the Queen” in Saint Bartholomew’s the Great, the oldest church in London, Mountain Brook residents Bob and Rebecca Moody, along with their son Luke, walked across the street to the reception where they would present Bob’s second book of paintings to Queen Elizabeth. In the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Prince Philip and Her Majesty the Queen, Rebecca and Bob were “blown away,” Rebecca said. Then the moment came for the family to remember the rules they were told before the ceremony – how to curtsy, do not speak until spoken to, how to address Her Majesty – because the Queen was making her way to them. “She was so gracious, just as sweet as she could be,” Bob said. Most Mountain Brook residents know Bob as the talented architect who served on the City Council from 2006 until recently. What many people may not realize, however, is that Moody is an exceptional, accomplished artist recognized not only by the Queen of England, but by many, many others. Seven years after their encounter with the Queen, Bob and Rebecca are working on new projects. They hope to complete

• Kari Kampakis


• Blessing the Animals


• Knesseth Israel


• School House


• Calendar of Events


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


The 2010-2011 school year marks the third year in a row that schools in Alabama are experiencing proration. Proration is where the state cuts the funding to the schools. This has happened in the state of Alabama 19 years since 1950. “This (proration) was a $1.3 million impact last year on Mountain Brook schools. This year they anticipate close to a $1 million less,” says Carmine Jordan, director of the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation. Another challenge the Mountain Brook schools are facing for the first time is a drop in its tax revenue. This is revenue generated from property taxes. The amount of property tax paid is based on the value of the property. “Our local school revenues are directly affected by the drop in home values,” Superintendent Dicky Barlow said. “And 59 percent of our budget comes from our local revenues.” A strong school system and high property values go hand in hand. “If our school system isn’t good there isn’t much reason to move to Mountain Brook,” Jordan said. “Our property taxes are some of the highest in the state, although still low for the Southeast. Because of the schools, people want to live in Mountain Brook.” Even if you do not have children in the Mountain Brook schools, everyone in our



• Letter to the Editor

• Dorians

be better students there as a result.” As many Americans have been dealing with economic setbacks that began in 2008, so have school systems across the country. Mountain Brook is no different. Despite the city’s reputation as being one of the most affluent communities in the country, the sting of the longest lasting recession and the collapse of the housing market have been felt here too.

Volume 1 | Issue 8 | November 2010

Watercolors of former Mountain Brook City Councilman recognized worldwide

Queen Elizabeth meets Rebecca, Luke, and Bob Moody

more books, the first being a book of Bob’s watercolors of Birmingham. For this, they would like to take suggestions about what buildings and sites are special to Birmingham residents. “We’re working with a web design company to make it interactive so that

people can suggest things that Bob can paint, and maybe include some stories about why it’s important to them,” Rebecca said. “We want to make it not just our Birmingham, but everyone’s Birmingham.”



A Therapeutic Day Spa

GRAND OPENING Nov 11, 10 am - 6pm

17 Dexter Avenue • 414-6062 •


| November 2010 |

Welcome Friends

Village Living Photo of the Month

Editor’s Note As you read through the pages of this month’s Village Living, you will see there is never a shortage of amazing, talented people in our community. We have a great story on former City Councilman Bob Moody and his artistic talents. Drayton Nabers has just published his book, The Key to Happiness. And Rick Watson has written another profile in our Village Treasures series. This month he sat down with Eason Balch. Our cover story this month focuses on the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation and the tremendous job they do of supporting our school system, supplying them with resources that benefit all students. The level of education that students receive in Mountain Brook is

something every resident can take pride in. Read to learn more about what the foundation does, how it works, and why it is critical. We certainly couldn’t forget Thanksgiving! “Through the eyes of children” features several of our younger residents and their thoughts on the holiday. There is also a lot going on in our villages. Read about the flower planters around the villages, and the return of the Bromberg’s Christmas Tree. Our monthly calendar of events has a lot of great things going on both in Mountain Brook and in Birmingham as we gear up for the holiday season. December will be here before we know it. Please send us all of your special holiday events for our calendar. Submissions need to be sent to Jennifer@villagelivingonline. com by Nov 15. As always, thank you for reading!

Letters to the Editor The Mystics of Mountain Brook Halloween parade welcomed a large and enthusiastic crowd.

Staff & Friends Contributing Writers Erica Breen | Christiana Roussel | Kari Kampakis | Rick Watson Laura Canterbury | Will Hightower | Holley Wesley

School House Contributers Alison Gault -Cherokee Bend Lauren Fowler - Crestline Bama Hager -Brookwood Forest Sherrie Futch- Mountain Brook High School Hilary Ross - Mountain Brook Elem. & Mountain Brook Jr High

Contributing Photographers Image Arts | Alison Gault | Kari Kampakis

Published by


Village Living LLC

Dan Starnes

Sales and Distribution

Editor Jennifer Gray

Creative Director Keith McCoy

Dan Starnes Angela Morris Catherine Cooper Loveman

Journalism Intern Lauren Nix

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

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

Each week I pull appropriate sections out of the Sunday paper and teach my students how to read sections of the paper, but since Village Living is our community paper and it has so much color and local advertisements, it would be a perfect paper for me to use to teach them these skills. If you have any extras around the office I would love to have them to share with the children.

shelter from the elements for those who take the bus system. Call on Eagle Scouts and attorney expertise from Council to build a shelter at Chevron/Pig, top of Montclair, and water tower by the high school.

Amy Stamper 3rd grade teacher Crestline Elementary

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your October issue! Your article on Elbert Jemison, Jr. was a gem, as well as the story on the Irondale Furnace and Kari Kampakis heartfelt column on “Where on Earth is Heaven”. Even though I am not a Mountain Brook resident, I have the good fortune to reside in the 35243 zip code and receive your paper and look forward to the next issue.

We love your paper and all of the recipes, photos, and Mountain Brook calendar of events.This note is meant to raise a community issue to help build some shelters for our wonderful employees at the Pig, other merchants and homes who use the bus service. It seems we have so many beautification perks (i.e. dog bags, event signage), but we have neglected a

Thank you for your consideration, HBT

Rick Goff Vestavia Hills

Jack Miller Awarded Rank of Eagle Scout Jack Miller achieved the rank of Eagle Scout on September 9, 2010 at his Eagle Board of Review. He is a member of Troop 63 at Canterbury Methodist Church. Jack earned 26 merit badges and was elected to the Order of the Arrow. He participated in high adventure trips to Sea Base and Philmont Ranch. For his Eagle Scout project, Jack built a half-court basketball court and benches for the YWCA’s Interfaith Hospitality House in Woodlawn. Interfaith is one of the few homeless shelters that is able to house two-parent families or single parent families with boys over the age of ten. Jack is a Junior at Mountain Brook High School. He is the son of Lisa and Charlie Miller of Mountain Brook.

Meet our Staff Catherine Cooper Loveman Catherine Cooper Loveman grew up in Mountain Brook shopping at Smith’s for candy, buying groceries at Western, and riding the horse at Little Hardware. After she graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, she returned to Mountain Brook. She worked in banking for ten years before becoming a full time mom. She and her husband live in Crestline with their two young children.

Lauren Nix

Lauren Nix was born in Birmingham and moved to Atlanta when she was 10 years old. After living in Atlanta for six years, Lauren returned to Birmingham and finished high school at Vestavia Hills High School. She began attending Auburn University in the fall of 2006 as a pre-med major. She quickly learned that math and science were not her strengths and began to focus on what she had always loved: writing. Lauren is now in her final semester at Auburn and will graduate in December with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Journalism. She loves Birmingham and is very happy to be so close to her family. She hopes to someday be a food or fashion writer, but loves reporting and writing about community events as well.

Village Living

CAHABA VILLAGE Diamonds Direct – 201-7400

Holiday Shopping in Mountain Brook

Thurs., Nov. 11 - Diamonds Direct Champagne Diamond Drop– 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Chance to win a 0.75 Carat Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Valued at $2500. Percentage of all sales benefit Children’s Hospital. Holiday Trunk Show: Friday, Nov. 12 – 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13 – 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14 - Noon – 5 p.m.

Facelogic Spa – 637-1128

3 month Signature Facial Gift Membership, $147 Includes: 3 Signature facials plus free lip or brow wax.

Massage Envy - 834-8140 3 Month Gift Membership. $177 Includes: 3 1-hour massages plus 1 free upgrade choice of Aromatherapy or Deep Heat Relief Therapy. Paper Affair – 977-2275

Extended hours: Mon. – Fri. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sun. Noon – 5 p.m.

Piggly Wiggly River Run – 776-8755

Complete Holiday dinners. Several packages available. Place your order by Mon. Nov. 15 for Thanksgiving or by Fri. Dec. 17 for Christmas and get your choice of a FREE 8” Pumpkin, Sweet Potato or Apple Pie.

MOUNTAIN BROOK VILLAGE Sunday, Dec. 5th - Holiday Christmas Parade - parade will begin at 2 p.m. A’Mano – 871-9093 Saturday, Nov. 20th – Grand Opening of new space! Holiday Shopping hours in December Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sat 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 1-4 Barton-Clay Fine Jewelers

871-7060 Thurs. Nov. 4- Slane & Slane Trunk Show – 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Sun. Dec. 5- Open House – 2 p.m.– 7 p.m. Holiday Hours for Dec. Mon. – Sat. - 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sun. Dec. 12 and 19- Noon – 5 p.m.

Bromberg’s – 871-3276

Nov. 4 - Julia Knight Signing Event Nov. 29 - Lord Wedgwood Signing Event November 28th - Tree Lighting Event and Open House Nov. 19 & 20 - George Mendlebaum Estate Sale Dec. 6 - 9:30-5:30 - John Hardy Trunk Show

Lulie’s on Cahaba – 871-9696

Thurs. Dec. 9 - Open House with refreshments served all day, a trunk show with Simply Earristable Handmade Jewelry and a special St. Nick sale. Holiday Hours: Mon. – Fri. - 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sat. – 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Smith’s Variety Toy & Gift Shop

871-0841 Thurs. Nov. 11 – Holiday Open House 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Wine & hors d’oeuvres, 15% off ALL purchases, free personalization of ornaments &plates/platters, several local artists will be present. First 50 to arrive will receive a gift card for up to $25. Fri. Nov. 12 - Clay Rice, Silhouettist – 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Nov.14 - Arthur Smith, Pastel Portrait Artist Saturday, Nov. 20 - 18th Annual Playday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Roger Day in concert, Little GoldenBooks characters, Pokey Little Puppy and Saggy Baggy Elephant and Wild Thing from Where the Wild Things Are will be in the store. Lots of giveaways and drawings. Extended Holiday Hours: Nov. 26- Dec. 23 Monday thru Saturday - 8:30 a.m. -7 p.m. Sundays – Noon-5 p.m. Dec. 24: Close at 3 p.m. & reopen on Monday, Dec. 27th at the regular time.

Table Matters 879-0125 or 1-866-861-0125 Nov. 10-11 - Craven Trunk Show - 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Hand-built porcelain Dinnerware, serving

| November 2010 |

Santa’s List

pieces, bowls and vases. Nov. 17- Michael Aram Trunk Show The objects range from tableware to furniture, Dec. 11 – Good Earth Pottery Signing Event – 11 a.m.–5 p.m. One-of-a-kind pieces such as dramatic crosses and canisters Save Our Shore - On-going sale of Save Our Shore Merchandise. All merchandise is $15 cash/check (made payable to S.O.S.)

Village Press – 871-5498

Oct. 27- Nov. 7 - Junior League Shop, Save and Share Card During the month of November we will have a sale on personalized items such as embossed stationery, Super Slabs, Foil Stamped Napkins and Guest Towels.

CRESTLINE VILLAGE Crestline Sunday Shopping Days Kick-off – Nov. 21 - Crestline Village - 1 - 5 Dyron’s Lowcountry – 834-8257 Let Dyron’s cater your holiday party with lowcountry and coastal favorites for the holidays. We can cater to your office, your home, many different event venues, or we proudly host private parties in our main dining room (some minimums apply). Norton’s Florists - 313-1904 Fri. Nov. 12 , Sat. Nov. 13 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Holiday Open House at our Crestline Village location with wine, cheese and refreshments. 10% to 15% off home decorations and gifts Fri. Nov.12 – 10 a.m.–1 p.m. – Mud Pie Trunk show with special door prizes Snoozy’s Kids – 871-2662 find special details on our facebook page. Sun. Nov. 21- selected items reduced for 4 hours during the first Holiday Shopping Sunday. Every Sunday from Nov. 21 until Christmas Snoozy’s will be open from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Junior League Shop, Save and Share Card - October 27 – November 7 Purchase a $40.00 card from select participating stores and receive a 20% discount at participating retailers. To learn more about where to purchase a card or what stores are participating please visit Proceeds benefit the mission and projects of the Junior League of Birmingham


Open House 4

| November 2010 |

Village Flavor

Another Broken Egg| By Lauren Nix 2418 Montevallo Road

Great selection of Christmas cards and gifts

Restaurant Showcase

Open Everyday 6:30 a.m – 2:00 p.m.


50 Vine Street • Crestline, 35213 870-4773 or

mudtown eat & drink 205.967.3300

3144 Green Valley Road

Cahaba Heights

FREE Appetizer

Buy One Entrée


Saturday Only, Expires 11-30-10

Featuring Birmingham’s largest selection of Earthborn Studios Pottery by Tena Payne since 2000

Another Broken Egg brings a casual French country atmosphere and a delicious menu to Mountain Brook Village. The restaurant, which began in Destin, Fla., opened last October and serves unique breakfast, brunch and lunch selections seven days a week. The owners, brother and sister Miller and Ashley Phillips, grew up in the restaurant business having parents who owned The Flamingo Café in Destin and knew they would follow in their parent’s footsteps. After deciding he wanted to open Another Broken Egg in Birmingham, Miller Phillips began looking for the right place and decided on Mountain Brook. “I knew that people from Mountain Brook and this area go to Destin and they would know about [Another Broken Egg],” he said. The restaurant, located at 2418 Montevallo Road, perfectly complements the French country theme with large vaulted windows and a quaint patio. Phillips said customers really love the patio this time of year and being able to bring their pets. The only negative aspect of the location to Phillips is getting people from outside the Mountain Brook area to realize it is not difficult to find. The location offers ample parking, however, and is very easily accessible from Highway 280. Another Broken Egg’s menu is full of delicious selections including a variety of omelets, benedicts, burgers and fosters. Phillips says one of the most popular menu items is the Eggs Blackstone which is an English muffin topped with grilled tomatoes, two medium poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce and bacon. The Bananas Foster is another crowd favorite. All menu items are available at any time and all food is cooked to order.

“You can get a hamburger at 7 in the morning or a pancake at 2,” Phillips said. The restaurant offers a new special, a new soup and a new quiche each week to give regular customers some variety. The shrimp and grits special gives a unique spin to the classic dish with panko crusted grits served over a Cajun cream sauce with fresh, blackened shrimp surrounding the plate. This dish is sure to please. Another Broken Egg has a private dining room which is popular for baby and bridal showers, as well as business meetings. The room can seat approximately 30 people. The weekend crowd is large at the restaurant, but Phillips says he has been working with his staff to serve customers as efficiently as possible while still allowing people to enjoy their experience. “I want them to have an experience, and I don’t want them to feel like we’re just trying to get them in and get them out,” he said. Many of the menu items include fresh seafood, which brings another unique aspect to the breakfast offerings. Another Broken Egg is very family oriented and every child who visits receives a balloon. “I intend for it to be family-oriented with this French country feel,” Phillips said. Visit Another Broken Egg for fresh and delicious food in a friendly environment.

Full Life Ahead Foundation to host fundraiser

Introducing the Elements line exclusively for The Cook Store Nov 18th 2pm-6pm & Nov 19th 10am-12pm Come meet the potter and see the new line.

2841 Cahaba Road Mon-Fri 10-5 • Sat 10-4 879-5277

Beth Schaeffer, Judy Barclay and Jan Cobb

Beth Schaeffer, Judy Barclay and Jan Cobb recently gathered at the home of Jack and Beth Schaeffer to discuss the upcoming Full Life Ahead Foundation “HOPE Under the Stars” fundraiser. The event will be held Thursday, November 18th at the Schaeffers’ home in Mountain Brook and will feature a silent auction, live entertainment and a menu from local restaurants and caterers including The Fish Market and B&A Warehouse. Libations have been donated by International Wines. Auction items include a highly collectible Bear Bryant art piece, valued at

$2500, featuring an autographed photo, CD and recording of the ABC Sports Special interview from 1967; original artwork from area artists including Vicki Denaburg; fine jewelry; travel packages; and dinner outings, among others. There will also be a drawing for a pearl and ruby necklace, donated by Barton Clay Jewelers. Tickets for the necklace drawing are $10. Full Life Ahead assists individuals with disabilities in living their fullest lives possible. Tickets for “HOPE Under The Stars” are $60 for individuals and $100 per couple and may be purchased at www. or by calling 205.439.6527.

Village Spotlight | November 2010 |

Constance Longworth Collection 2408 Canterbury Rd.


By Lauren Nix

Business Spotlight

803.4040 Tues - Sat 10-4

Constance Longworth has returned to Mountain Brook and she is thrilled to be back. The onetime Mountain Brook resident moved from her Cherokee Road home to a horse farm on Highway 119 years ago to offer her daughters more opportunity to ride their horses. “I was driving back and forth to the stables and decided it just made sense to live on a horse farm,” Longworth said. Longworth was in the cable television business with her husband, Daryl Harms, and then in the very early 80’s, started traveling internationally doing advance work and design for a royal family, and that graduated into designing for diplomats’ homes and embassies. A 20,000 square foot penthouse overlooking the Nile in Egypt was the last project abroad. It was completed in 2009. There is another one to follow in 2011. “I decided to put the suitcase away and not travel so frequently,” Longworth said. “A bit of retirement, I thought? I found I needed and wanted to stay busy so have now opened my third location. I am very happy to have the opportunity to have a storefront in Mountain Brook Village. It is a delight, indeed. I am excited every day to open the door of my wonderful store.” Constance lives at Brookfield Farm, which was the 2004 Alabama Symphony Decorators’ ShowHouse. She has been involved in civic organizations in Birmingham for years, having hosted many political fundraisers at her farm. She is well known to many Mountain Brook residents, but until this fall has had a store in the Greystone area. The store has a full line of home furnishings including furniture, chandeliers, rugs, lighting and wonderful bedding and window treatments.

You roast the turkeY, We’ll clean the house and everyone will be thankful.

Everyone can appreciate a thorough clean from The Maids. Longworth’s background is in architecture and design and she has traveled the world extensively through her work. “I have designed buildings from the ground floor to finished interiors, both commercially and privately,” she said. Some of the brands offered at Longworth Collection include DrexelHeritage, Lexington, John Richard, Harden, Pulaski and Bradburn Gallery, to name a few. “I love what I do, love the excitement of clients when they get just what they want for their homes,” Longworth said. “And I also love the joy of getting to know all the people on the level of helping with something as personal as their homes. I always strive to make sure that everyone is completely beyond a doubt happy with their purchases from my store.” In addition to the fine furnishings, one is also guaranteed to see one of Longworth’s three Standard Poodles (Rudy, Bo, and Teddy) who take turns coming to the store with her each day. “The business that I love changes year to year, but one thing is always for certain, if the client stays headed towards the traditional, they will always have their monies worth for years and years to come,” Longworth said. Visit Constance Longworth Collection at 2408 Canterbury Road in Mountain Brook Village or call the store at 803-4040.

Bromberg’s tree brightens village By Lauren Nix The Bromberg’s Christmas tree is back this year to bring more holiday sparkle to Mountain Brook Village. The tree, which sits in front of Bromberg’s Fine Jewelers, is a tradition that started five years ago and one that Ricky Bromberg says is the “cherry on top” of all the other beautiful decorations in the village. “We decided to do it kind of as a gift to the city and our customers,” Bromberg said. The tree comes from a grower in North Carolina who specializes in large trees for public areas. Bromberg says the company grows the tree, delivers the tree, puts the lights on the tree and gets it set up in usually one full day. “It really is beautiful,” Bromberg said. “I really think it’s the prettiest tree in Birmingham because there are so many lights, it sparkles like a diamond.” The company will be delivering the tree the week of Thanksgiving. If it arrives before Thanksgiving, Bromberg says they plan to wait until the following Friday to light it. “I think it’s pushing it to light the tree before Thanksgiving,” Bromberg said. The family jewelry store did not have a tree last year and felt that it was necessary to have it back this year. “There was something missing last year

by not having it so we decided to bring it back,” Bromberg said. Bromberg says he receives many comments from people who appreciate the tree and look forward to seeing it each year. “People look for it,” Bromberg said. “Even though we didn’t do it last year and everyone understood, I think everybody’s excited we’re putting it up there.“ Suzan Doidge, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, says she is excited to have the tree back and hopes everyone takes notice of it at the Christmas Parade on Dec. 5. “They couldn’t have it last year, and we’re just thrilled that it is back this year,” Doidge said.

Call now to receive a free, no-obligation estimate


Referred for a reason.



| November 2010 |

Village Living

Knowledge is power.

Get some at our free clinic.

REMODELING DESIGN CLINIC Saturday, November 20 10:00 – 11:30 Case Design Center 3118 Bellwood Drive (Near the Summit)

Its fun, it's FREE You’ll learn: Keys to successful remodeling. You’ll get: Personalized design advice. Realistic budget information. Individualized remodeling plan. RSVP by November 17: Call Rita at 968-6000 or register at



Nabers newest book,

The Hidden Key to Happiness, published By Jennifer Gray

Drayton Nabers didn’t start out his professional life as an author, but he now counts that among his many achievements. Nabers began his career as an attorney but has also held the position of President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Protective Life. He has served as Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, and Finance Director for the state of Alabama. Nabers’ recently published book, The Hidden Key to Happiness, is his second book and takes a look at what it takes to live a happy and fulfilling life. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to Cornerstone Schools. Q. Tell me a little about the book you have just written, The Hidden Key to Happiness. This book has taken me two years to write. It was something I just had to do. It was in my soul to do so. Happiness is not pleasures that come from external circumstances. It’s not about happy hour. It is not about immediate gratification. It is not found in fame, power or money. It lies in three dimensions: - 1. Living in accordance with eternal principals built into God’s creation such as the 10 commandments , which are understood by Christians and non-Christians alike and the Golden Rule. 2. Having a personal relationship with Christ, which grows, and guides us as we walk in his will and 3. all of the blessings that flow to us as a result of living in obedience such as love, joy, peace, and answered prayer. Q. What exactly is obedience? When the word obedience is used people think about an image of something like a German shepherd in a shock collar. You are going to live in accordance with the commands of a person in authority.

But that isn’t what biblical obedience is at all. God puts command in our heart so that we want to obey and delight in obeying - it’s an internal thing. It occurred to me that the bible said a whole lot more about obedience than we have typically heard in Sunday school and sermons and we need to pay serious attention to what the bible says about it. My book seeks to show that as we walk in the will of God, He lavishes blessings on us. If we decide to not walk in His will, then we are cut off from that blessing. So if we want to be fulfilled spiritually then we need to know His will and pray to know that will. The bible was saying that there is enormous blessing in walking in the will of God and being obedient. This obedience is what ultimately brings about our happiness. Q. Well everyone wants blessings and to be happy, so why do you think we so often chose to do our own thing or not obey? Because we don’t understand where our true happiness is. We don’t see reality clearly. A central point in the book is that our faith is weak and if we trusted God and His love then we would make correct decisions with respect to what brings us happiness and not seek happiness in things that are here today gone tomorrow. God’s will is not mysterious when it comes to our understanding it if we earnestly seek it through prayer and scripture, God will make it known to us. We know through circumstances and through counsel of friends and our close relationship to God. Drayton Naber’s book may be purchased at local bookstores and online at www. or from Cornerstone School at

Red Mountain Garden Club holds annual greenery sale

The Red Mountain Garden Club held their October 14th meeting at the Jones Valley Urban Farm in downtown Birmingham. From left to right is Evie Vare, Ane Couch, Ruth Jones, Ro Holman and Holly Goodbody.

The Red Mountain Garden Club will hold it’s 28th Annual Greenery Sale on Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The proceeds benefit The Birmingham Museum of Art, The Birmingham Botanical Gardens and other Community projects. This year, in addition to the traditional items of fresh greenery, wreaths, mailbox decorations, kissing balls and unique gift items, the sale will offer a few preordered

“mobile mailboxes.” A few of the garden club’s talented designers will come to your home and create a personalized mailbox arrangement. For more information and presale orders please contact Melissa Hagan at Preorder forms are also available at The Birmingham Botanical Gardens and online at the Red Mountain Garden Club’s website at www.

Village Living

The Service Guild to “Live Our Legacy” with Dinners on November 20th

| November 2010 |




Restaurant & Market

Oyster Bar - 50¢ Oysters Mon-Thurs, 4pm-6pm

63 Church Street • 637-7460 Fabulous Sunday Brunch! 11-2 Buy 1, Get 2nd Half Off with this coupon

Left to right is : Leslie O’Kelley, Gourmet Dinner Coordinator; Kristie Stewart, Gourmet Dinner Chair; Lori Bailey, Gourmet Dinner Co-Chair

The Service Guild’s annual Gourmet Dinners Event will be held on Saturday, November 20th, at gracious homes and venues throughout the Birmingham metro area. This year’s theme for the event is “Living Our Legacy.” The theme celebrates the work of The Service Guild, which supports The Bell Center for Early Intervention -- a facility for working with children at risk for developmental delay. Each moment Service Guild members spend giving their time for the children of The Bell Center, they are creating a legacy for the children and families that they touch. In order to meet the needs of the Center’s student population, Service Guild members and other supporters are committed to maximizing the potential of children from birth to three years of age who are at risk for developmental delay. The Service Guild Gourmet Dinners Event provides guests the opportunity to enjoy dinners prepared by some of the most celebrated chefs in the Birmingham area while contributing to the future of the children of The Bell Center. In preparation for the upcoming November event, Service Guild members are already planning their menus and venues for these signature dinners. The Service Guild anticipates seating

800 guests at the various dinners in the area. Each dinner will have its own theme, and the menus will be varied and unique. One featured dinner will be held at 3509 Salisbury Road with the theme of “’Tradition’ Al Fare: An Evening honoring the Legacy of the Southeastern Conference,” serve 60 guests, and offer cuisine prepared by The Bright Star Restaurant. This year, a very special event will precede the dinners. Bromberg’s in Mountain Brook will host “Taste of Wedgwood” at 5:00pm as a kick-off to Gourmet Dinners with special guest Lord Piers Wedgwood. This will give our guests the opportunity to socialize, have cocktails and enjoy hors d’oeuvres before departing to the individual dinners. As always, the Service Guild continues its mission to provide the Bell Center children with the tools they need to build a more fulfilling future. The gourmet dinners on November 20th will provide guests the opportunity to enjoy a night out while contributing to the future of the children of The Bell Center. For information about the upcoming gourmet dinners, please contact Kristie Stewart, Gourmet Dinner Chair at 936-0265 or kristiedabbs@hotmail. com. Further information may also be found on The Service Guild’s website www.

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Village planters add beauty By Lauren Nix For the past two years, the villages of Mountain Brook have gotten more colorful thanks to flower arrangements added throughout town as part of a larger beautification project. Artist Sally Legg and City Arborist Don Cafaro both played major roles in the addition of giant flower urns to the streets of Mountain Brook. From the fall of 2008 into the winter of that year, Legg and Cafaro, along with a group of others involved, planned exactly how to incorporate the arrangements and keep them maintained. Before this was even a consideration though, Legg had to

make a presentation to the City Council using posters with pictures to illustrate her ideas. “With it being something that would have such a visual impact on the villages, it needed to be something that they could really see,” she said. With the help of former City Council member Bob Moody, Legg’s idea was approved and the city agreed to fund the addition of the flower arrangements to the streets of Mountain Brook. Once the idea was approved, Cafaro had the task of determining the best way



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| November 2010 |

Village Living

Village Treasure: Eason Balch By Rick Watson

An apocryphal story: Two young lawyers are having lunch when the conversation turns to the oldest partner in the firm. One lawyer says, “I sure hope I look as good as John when I’m ninety.” The other lawyer says, “You don’t look that good, now!” They could easily have been talking about attorney Eason Balch of Mountain Brook. Balch’s own life, he says, has not been remarkable enough for anybody to interview him about it. Other people differ, and so we all get to decide. Balch grew up in Madison, Alabama, with a population of about 500. His family’s farm was a “working” one, so he learned early to chop cotton, milk cows, and help raise and kill hogs to put food on the family’s table. His last three years in high school, he also worked at a Madison drug store. Balch left for Tuscaloosa in 1936, and when he graduated from the University of Alabama’s School of Commerce in 1940, he weighed only 111 pounds. He’d been in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at the university, but when he went into the Army, he was considered “too skinny” to attend OTC. He chose to go in as a private, but his education and work ethic quickly came to the attention of Army brass and the weight restriction was waived. Eason Balch soon entered OCS and became a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. It was at OCS in Virginia that Eason met his future wife Betsy Brock. Balch entered active duty in November of 1941, a month before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Instead of making Balch a foot soldier during that crisis, the Army utilized his organizational skills to help maintain and manage the tools needed to help win the war. He would help organize, and later command, units that maintained

Eason Balch’s military training has served him well

jeeps, ambulances, trucks, command cars, and ordnance – the large artillery weapons used on the front lines. During the early years of WWII, Balch worked at military installations in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida. At a post in Saint Augustine, he befriended an Army doctor in his new unit. When the doctor’s wife learned that Balch was romancing Betsy, she invited her down from Richmond for a visit, and the courtship blossomed further. The two began making plans to marry. But Balch, ever the gentleman, would not tie the knot until he met with Betsy’s father to get permission to marry her. “I

guess it was providence, but the Army moved my outfit back to Fort Bragg, N.C. and Richmond, Va, nearer to Betsy’s home in Richmond, Virginia,” Balch says. They were married in the spring of 1943. Balch continued his training in automotive, small arms, and larger ordnance. Then, the Army transferred him to Camp Pickett, about an hour south of Richmond. With that move, he received a promotion to captain. Then, Balch’s unit shipped out for Europe, landing in La Havre, France, near the site of the historic Normandy invasion. Balch soon got a close-up look at the material requirements of war.

When the German soldiers were forced to flee further north, they left a stateof-the-art Daimler-Benz truck factory in their wake. Balch’s military unit, working with old-time German craftsmen, soon had the plant back in operation. “The DaimlerBenz officials saw the writing on the wall, and knew the war would soon be over,” Balch recalls. In 1945, the Army ordered Balch’s unit to the Pacific to support the war effort against Japan. But then, the U.S. dropped “Little Boy”, the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and the war ended before Balch’s unit arrived. Once out of the Army, Balch wasted no time getting into law school. He first tried the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, but couldn’t find housing, so he headed back to Virginia where Betsy’s family lived. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1948 but still couldn’t find work that paid a decent wage. By that time, Eason and Betsy had two children and he needed a good job. Fortunately, the dean of the Virginia law school had connections in Alabama, and learned that a firm in Birmingham was hiring. He recommended Balch for the position. He and Betsy came to Birmingham for the interview with Martin, Turner, and McWhorter. “Logan Martin went to West Point,” Balch said with a smile, “and he ran the law firm like it was a military unit. All he wanted to talk about was my military experience.” Martin asked Balch if he and Betsy would join him for lunch and they agreed. Balch was offered a position and moved his family to Mountain Brook. “I was so broke I couldn’t afford a house,” he says, “but we found an apartment near Dexter Avenue.” Balch became the eleventh lawyer at Martin, Turner, and McWhorter, one of the oldest firms in the state. Some years later, the name of the firm was shortened to Balch & Bingham. “The name got so long that the receptionist couldn’t get it all out.


Village Living

Through the eyes of children

| November 2010 |

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Thanks By Alden Gibbs, 6th grade Brookwood Forest Elementary My thankfulness lies upon many things, but out of all the things I’m thankful for, my number one choice is my family. They are there for you no matter what. You can always trust them, and they will trust you. You might not have thought about it this way, but who cooks your dinner and stays with you when you are sick? Who loves you more than anyone in the whole entire world? Who have you known all your life and love them with all your heart? Family. Thanks, Mom and Dad. I can’t even explain in words what you mean to me. Even when I don’t show it, I love you, and I always will.

By Ann Carlton Keller, 2nd Grade, Mtn. Brook Elementary On Thanksgiving morning, I wake up early so I can watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I like watching all of the balloons. I also like Thanksgiving food. It is very good. My favorite is the cornbread. It comes hot right out of the oven when dinner starts. The turkey is yummy, too. I can picture it right now: juicy, warm and soft in my mouth. I think the desserts are the very best. The fudge pie is so good. It is gooey on the inside and on the outside it is crispy. My sister likes the pumpkin pie. It is creamy on the inside and flaky on the outside. She thinks it is delicious. Another thing I like about Thanksgiving is getting together with relatives and sharing that delicious food with them. Sometimes there are football games on Thanksgiving. The parents watch while we play. I am thankful for everything I do on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving By Natalie Womack, 5th Grade, Cherokee Bend Elementary What do you picture when you hear the word Thanksgiving? I think of getting to see family and giving thanks to everything in my life. Most people celebrate with a big turkey - juicy and fat - and have a fancy meal. After we eat, my family talks about what’s going on in school or work. When my cousins, my brother, and I get bored we end up going downstairs to play. We usually build forts like the pilgrims built houses. I will always remember learning about how the pilgrims got on the Mayflower to find new land, and hearing how people became sick. Some pilgrims even died. When they saw the speck of land they were filled with joy! The Native Americans gave the pilgrims food, and one time they had a big feast like we do every year.

Thanksgiving By Amanda Roussel, 6th grade, Crestline Elementary I have always loved Thanksgiving: the sights, the smells, the food! Two years ago, my family went on a sailing trip for Thanksgiving. That year, the dinner was fantastic! Can you imagine having lobster for Thanksgiving and getting to wear flip-flops? It was pretty nice. Some people think it is just not Thanksgiving without the classics of turkey, gravy and stuffing. Those things do warm me with a holiday feeling, but that year on the beach was pretty great, too. Maybe that can become our “new” classic!

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| November 2010 | Sports

Village Sports

Spartans headed towards the playoffs By Will Hightower An 8-2 Mountain Brook varsity football team is headed towards the playoffs with a number two seed locked down. With an explosive offense and a solid defense that refuses to let opponents into the end zone, the Spartans are looking forward to a deep run in the postseason, having completed the regular season. “Our goal is to get a little bit better every week,” said head coach Chris Yeager. “We can’t control other teams, or the road to the playoffs, or injuries. But we can control us. The team has done well on that front. All season, the offense has improved, keeping an average of 33 points a game, led by the play of junior quarterback Edward Aldag and playmaking senior wide receiver John McCrary. McCrary is second in the region in receiving, averaging 28 yards per catch and a touchdown every 2.7 touches. “Edward is putting the ball right where we need him to for John to make plays. His (McCrary’s) stats are incredible,” said Yeager. This showed in an astounding display of dominance in the first half against Thompson. McCrary had four touchdown catches in the first half, leading the Spartans to a blowout 42-6 victory. A week earlier, at Oak Mountain, a similar blowout showcased another facet of the Spartans’ offense – the running game. Senior John Beck and Junior Mark Rector contributed four of the Spartans scores in a 42-14 runaway win. But there is more to this team than just statistics and talented players, said Yeager: “This is a high character team that

The swarming defense has come up big this season

has a ton of energy. I knew that going into the season, but you’re never sure how that kind of thing will translate on the field into success. The amount of energy is something I’ve never felt to this degree as a coach. It’s something special.” One thing that has separated this Spartan teams from previous ones, and other teams in the area, is the “gelling” of the junior and senior classes, as Yeager calls it. About 11 juniors play significant minutes, meaning that the load isn’t set on the shoulders of the seniors. “There’s a limited group of students to choose from to play at our school, so it’s important for the group to gel together. You’ve got to have that,” Yeager said. He also commented that Aldag and defensive back Win Cowden have been “the most

pleasant surprises” from the junior class. After beating everyone on its schedule save a close loss to rival Vestavia, Mountain Brook went into the Hoover game with a shot at the region six championship. Unfortunately, the fourth-ranked team in the entire country is playing on another level than anyone else in the state, showing in a 24-3 win. While Hoover keeps on winning, though, the Spartans still will most likely be the number three seed in the playoffs after finishing the season with a win at Buckhorn. Yeager sums up the season best, saying, “It’s a web of relations – the offense, defense, special teams – they all depend on each other. And the energy of each unit throughout the year has been fun to watch.”

MBHS Varsity Football Schedule

Date 8/27 9/3 9/10 9/16 9/24 10/1 10/8 10/15 10/22 10/29

Opponent Shades Valley @ Vestavia @ Pelham Homewood Grissom Spain Park @ Oak Mountain Thompson @ Hoover @ Buckhorn

Result (w) 37-11 (L) 13-17 (w) 35-7 (w) 49-21 (w) 35-0 (w) 35-10 (w) 42-14 (w) 42- 6 (L) 24-3 (w) 34-7

New and improved Mountain Brook Gymnastics Center By Chantal McManus

After five years in the making, the Mountain Brook Gymnastics Center had its official opening on Oct. 19. The opening showcased the newly completed 19,500 square-foot gymnastics center. The construction of the gym was not complete when the gym opened for business in April 2007. After being forced to vacate the building that was later renovated to become the Spartan Arena, over 500 class and team gymnasts were left with no place to practice their team sport. The competitive season for a gymnast is four months long. The practice schedule is twelve months of the year, every year. An empty warehouse in an area of town that required security after dark became the home of Mountain Brook Gymnastics for two years while money was raised and land was secured to build a new gymnastics facility. Families of the displaced gymnasts and others in the community rallied together to support city approval of a new gymnastics center. Green ribbons were tied to street posts, lampposts, businesses and mailboxes all over the community to show support. In the end, the Mountain Brook Board of Education generously donated the land for the new Gymnastics Center and gave an interest-free loan for the building. While construction began at the new sight near the baseball fields on the grounds of Mountain Brook High School, weekly meetings were held by a handful of parent volunteers with team gymnasts. Their goal was to plan for the development and success of the new Mountain Brook Gymnastics Center when the doors opened. Four of the seven parent volunteers that participated in those meeting six years ago now make up the Board of Directors for the Mountain Brook Gymnastics Foundation.

Today the gym is over 7,000 square feet larger than the original gym. It houses a party room for birthday parties and other social events. Birthday parties at the gym have become a hit with children of all ages. Five to 10 birthday parties are hosted each month. The gym also houses a small kitchen, a second floor seating area for viewing, a trampoline running track, a foam pit for soft landings off of uneven bars and a camera room to film gymnasts as they execute their routines. The gym offers classes in tumbling, cheering and gymnastics for children ages two through high school. Beginning classes and competitive team gymnastics practices begin as early as 9 am in the morning. Currently there are over 100 competitive team gymnasts levels 3 thru 9 and over 600 class gymnasts. For the past three summers, camps have been offered as an option for a summer activity for children with working parents or for children looking for a way to fill lazy summer days. Lastly, once a month a Flippin’ Friday is offered. This is a fun filled evening of activity, dinner and socialization for children who attend. Through it all, key staff in administrative positions have held fast to their commitment to the gymnasts who work so hard at their team sport. Even when the future of Mountain Brook Gymnastics was uncertain and their role within the new organization was being redesigned, Team/Gym Director Phillip Acton and Administrative Director Leila Owen worked together to be a constant in a program where everything else was changing. Today there are many other talented coaches who make up the team of teachers at Mountain Brook Gymnastics, including Robert Dillard, former coach of Auburn University.

Sarah Coleman Causey, foreground, and Celie Harris, background, practice their beam routines as they prepare for the meet. photo credit - Alison Gault

Kate Dodson practices under the watchful eye of Coach Robert Dillard. photo credit - Alison Gault

Under the leadership and direction of Mountain Brook Gymnastics Foundation Board of Directors, the construction and restructuring of Mountain Brook Gymnastics has been nurtured. Alabama Gymnastics Education Foundation, the team parent club, has been supportive every step of the way as changes have been made. Alabama Gymnastics Education Foundation (AGEF) and Mountain Brook Gymnastics Foundation (MBGF) work collaboratively to maintain the balance needed for a successful business and a

reputable gymnastics team. Today the team is one of the largest in the state. If you have not been in to see the new Mountain Brook Gymnastics Center, you should make plans to do so. The facility held the first of three home gymnastics meets in October, when over 500 gymnasts came to Mountain Brook to compete in a Compulsory Gymnastics Meet. Great things are happening at Mountain Brook Gymnastics! To learn more, you can visit www.


Spartan Cross Country running to success By Will Hightower

The Mountain Brook High School cross country team is out-running every school in the state of Alabama, with the boys team winning almost all of its meets and the girls team coming in the top three in all meets. The varsity boys have dominated their competition this year. In the past few years, it has been Hoover, Hoover, and more Hoover in first place at metro and state meets. But this year, due to a very deep team, the Spartans have claimed first place in four of their six meets. The excellence has extended across state lines, with Mountain Brook winning the Cowboy Jamboree in Oklahoma, the site of this year’s annual long-distance trip. As mentioned, the strength of the boys team comes from having multiple runners from each grade level excelling on the course. Jack Morgan and Mitchell Lloyd lead the seniors, while Andrew Fix, Jack Miller, Jack Monaghan, and Kyle Sawyer are the strongest juniors. Peyton Ballard and Davis Kelly are the fastest among the youngest varsity members. Morgan, with 5K times around 16:20, typically is the first Spartan to finish, winning a few races and finishing in the top five in all. The other top runner is Ballard, a sophomore, who won the Pelham Invitational with a time of 16:52. The top five on varsity, which are the only ones that count towards the point total, have averaged as low as 17:05, an astounding average for a 5K.

The girls team hasn’t been as prolific as the boys team in terms of results, but the team is still one of the best in the state. By winning the Pelham Invitational and running for several second-place finishes, the girls have improved as the season progressed. Leading the girls are several sophomores – Ann Sisson, Emily Bedell, Kayleigh Cochran, and Kendall Reed. This overflow of talented sophomores points to a very bright future for the girls team. Not to say that the juniors and seniors aren’t contributing – seniors Maggie Carey, Marie DeMedicis, and Annie Newton and junior Nina Brown are among the fastest in the metro area. Bedell has finished first overall several times, her fastest coming in a 19:00 5K run at the Crimson Classic, held in Tuscaloosa. The next finishers typically clock in around the low 20’s. After enduring the grind of having eight meets in a row, the team faces the challenge of sectional and state championships over the next two weeks. Sectionals take place Nov. 4 at HewittTrussville High School, and the state championships are in Oakville, Alabama, on Nov. 14. “The team has been practicing really hard over the past few weeks and we are extremely pumped for sectionals and state,” said Sawyer. “This is where all the hard work pays off.”

| November 2010 |


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The Dorians add sparkle to the Spartans First Row, L to R: Jane Elizabeth Nechtman (Co-Captain), Sarah McClees (Captain), Alison Creighton (Co-Captain) Second Row, L to R: Hannah Kahn, Anna Tracy, Katharine Patton, Leacy Bromberg, Elizabeth Hargrove Third Row, L to R: Mary Katherine Cook, Callie Blitz, Cady Nelson, Anna Robbins, Kate Donlevy, Brinkley Edge, Alex Barnett, Libby Hobbs, Carly Mason, Florence Poyner, Rebekah Patterson, Josie Berman, Elizabeth Drake Fourth Row, L to R: Isabella Keating, Rebecca Turnley, Elizabeth Damrich, Laura Lou Patrick, Jennifer O’Neil, Jennifer Sirkin, Lamar Cooper, Caroline Lee Faculty Sponsor: Heather Wint Coach/ Choreographer: Melissa Tuck

By Melissa and Cady Nelson Nothing adds flare to a high school football game like green and gold sequins, “certainly red” lipstick, and dazzling white smiles, all glimmering under the glow of the stadium lights. Excitement fills the student section when the Mountain Brook High School dance team, the Dorians, march into the stadium to the cadence of the drum line. Since the fall of 1967, the Dorians have performed for athletic and community events to entertain the crowds with their various and impressive routines. They are comprised of a group of well-trained dancers, most of whom have been dancing their whole lives. Their traditional high-

kick routines are unquestionably legendary, and frequently bring crowds to their feet. However, it is not just swaying to the jazz music of the half-time show that makes the Dorians a highlighted part of the game, it is also their spirit that is infectious to the crowd; the girls stand and watch attentively the entire game as well as dance to every one of the band’s songs. Because their excitement is so contagious, the girls are also asked to perform at both the girls’ and boys’ varsity basketball games. Hip-hop and jazz routines are more likely at these games, allowing students to see a different side of this talented group. The Dorians never

fail to bring a smile to the faces of their audience. In the community, the Dorians participate in a variety of social events. These girls can be found in all of the city’s parades, including the “Dawg Daze”, homecoming, and holiday parades. In addition, the Dorians lead a dance clinic for girls in kindergarten through sixth grade called “Dance with the Dorians”. Here, the dancers choreograph and teach dances to the girls which can be seen by their parents at a “show-off.” This helps raise money for the team as well as show young girls that dancing is a fun way to be healthy and make friends.

The peak of the Dorians’ experiences, however, lies in Orlando, Florida, at the National Dance Team Championship. Many hours are spent preparing for this competition in the hopes of reaching national recognition. Last year, the Dorians were named the 17th high school dance team in the nation in the high-kick division. They will compete this year with the goal of achieving an even higher standing. The fact that the competition is located in the heart of Disney World is always a plus! When the Dorians return, only a couple of short weeks pass before they must begin tryouts for a new team. Though it may seem like an excessive amount of work for a high school dance team, the Dorians do it all with optimism for their love of dance and the team experience. Yes, they may have their moments, but any Dorian would agree that being on the team so far has turned 29 dancers into sisters; they all work together to achieve their goals and have a lot of fun doing it. Being on the team is a huge commitment, but one that fosters memories that will be cherished for the rest of every one of these girls’ lives.

12 |

November 2010 |

Village Living

Crosswalk dedicated to former Principal By Jennifer Gray

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Dr. Mike Melvin returned to Crestline Elementary Oct. 11 for the ribbon cutting and dedication of a crosswalk in his honor. The crosswalk runs from the front entrance of the school across Jackson Boulevard to the Board of Education. It is marked with a plaque commemorating Dr. Melvin’s service. All 826 students were there to greet him with their cheers. Principal Laurie King welcomed everyone to the presentation and thanked Dr. Melvin for his eighteen years of service at Crestline. After Melvin announced that he was leaving Crestline to become the principal of a failing school in Mississippi, the PTO knew they wanted to pay a fitting tribute to honor his years of service and leadership at the school. Past PTO President Nicky Barnes shared how Dr. Melvin “made this (Crestline) a place that people wanted to be a part of.” Dr. Melvin was known for being in front of the school every morning greeting students as they arrived and escorting them into school. “He made us all feel welcome,” said Barnes. Current PTO President Carrie Law pointed to Melvin’s contributions while he was at Crestline that will continue. “He paved the way for Crestline to be successful for years to come,” she said. “I can’t think of anything that makes me more proud,” Melvin said of the crosswalk. “It is humbling to see the recognition and knowing how many had to agree to that,” he said referring to the approval of the City Manager, PTO, Board of Education and others who made the crosswalk possible. After leading Crestline Elementary for


Past PTO President Nicky Barnes, Dr. Mike Melvin, Laurie King, Crestline Prinicpal, and Carrie Law, PTO President.

eighteen years, Melvin decided last spring to accept a new challenge. He is serving as the principal for Crenshaw Elementary located in northern Mississippi. Crenshaw has been taken over by the state and is facing many challenges. “My biggest challenge at Crenshaw is the lack of resources,” Melvin said. “The difference between a high performing school like Crestline and a failing school like Crenshaw is night and day.” Generational poverty also plays a big role. Melvin said he is working hard to raise the expectations that his students place on themselves. “I want to see these children desiring to obtain a college degree down the road,” he said. “It is possible, but it takes a lot more work when you don’t have the resources.”



Village Living

LifeAct ually By Kari Kampakis

| November 2010 |

Mountain Brook’s Newest Antiques Shop I recently told my husband that I get most of my news from Facebook. He thought I was joking. Only I wasn’t. “What?” I said, puffing up indignantly. “The newspaper’s too depressing, and I’d rather read about people I know than total strangers. Besides, someone usually posts the really important stuff. What’s so wrong with that?” Harry didn’t reply. He gave a polite smile along with his “I don’t agree with you, but I’ll keep my mouth shut” look. I’ve received many of these looks over the years, and they always keep arguments at bay. Now that I’ve admitted my ignorance on world events, let me clarify that while I understand the importance of politics and such, I have roughly ten minutes each morning to catch up with life beyond my home. As tempted as I am to read Obama’s latest speech on foreign trade, I’d rather see who of my friends is celebrating a 40th birthday, witnessing a child’s first steps, or indulging in a fancy vacation. So while I can’t speak intelligently about the national deficit or latest governor’s race, I can describe the Buddha belly on my college roommate’s baby boy. That counts for something, right? We live in a global world, but the larger it grows, the more I crave a smaller, more intimate news orbit. Through social media like Facebook and LinkedIn, I’ve reconnected with people from every chapter of my life, absorbing them into my current network. I’ve grown so accustomed to reading about people I know that stories outside my circle now seem galaxies away. Unless they’re really riveting, their gravity won’t sustain my attention. I know I sound like the poster child for unenlightened housewives. At the same time, I’m not alone in being drawn to stories inside my bubble. As evidenced by Mountain Brook’s passionate response to Village Living, most of us enjoy reading about people and issues close to home. This publication has, among other things, united us as a community, focusing on stories that provoke dialogue and rallying points. I’m

honored to be part of such a well-thought, engaging publication. I’m also appreciative of the platform that Life Actually has provided me. When I started this column seven months ago, my goal was to get a novel published. But somewhere along the way, I discovered a love for non-fiction. With every story I share, I connect with readers I never would have met otherwise. The fun part is having no idea who it will be. I’ll think I know who I’m writing for—moms like me—only to hear back from someone with entirely different demographics. My great epiphany is that we’re all the same at heart. So where am I going with this? To the launch of my website: www. I created a website because writing for my community has been rewarding—so rewarding I wanted to expand on it. I’m also compelled to share the universal experiences inside my orbit with a wider audience. The more I connect with others, the bigger my bubble gets, helping me understand my small place in this overwhelming world. So check out my online presence and, if you like it, forward it to friends and family. If you know an amazing individual who deserves a shout-out, e-mail me. I’m always seeking story ideas, and through my new blog—Ponytail Mom—I hope to spotlight people who enrich the lives around them by bringing laughter, inspiration, or new perspectives to the table. And while I can’t promise to be a source for White House updates or Wall Street earnings, I can offer a laugh or two. I can also guarantee entertaining stories and photos from my life with four cute but spunky buckaroos. And who knows— depending on what my Facebook friends have posted, I may have breaking news regarding tricks kids play on the Tooth Fairy. That counts for something, right? Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mtn. Brook mom of four girls with a background in PR, writing, and photography. Visit her online at www. or contact her at kampakis@

Library staff recommends books for fall reading By Holley Wesley

If you are looking for a great read this fall, try one of these suggestions from the second floor library staff! Jake suggests the terrifying vampire shocker, The Strain, written by film director Guillermo del Toro and best-selling author Chuck Hogan. Hogan and del Toro exploit every nighttime fear imaginable in this first novel of a trilogy. Holley suggests Daniel Woodrell’s grim, brutal portrayal of contemporary rural life in the Ozark Mountains, Winter’s Bone. The film adaptation of this novel won Best Picture (Grand Jury Prize) at Sundance Film Festival and is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Matt suggests A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. This debut young adult novel (grade 9 and up) from Bray combines dark Gothic fantasy, a Victorian boarding school story, and gossipy schoolgirls to craft a complicated and unusual first novel. Katie suggests Robert Goolrick’s historical novel, A Reliable Wife, about a

woman who answers an ad in the paper for “a reliable wife.” Her actual plans are to be a wealthy widow, but the groom is not altogether honest either. Mary suggests Gary Greenberg’s Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease by Gary Greenberg. The author draws on diverse sources, his own experience as a depression patient, and over twenty-five years of experience as a psychotherapist to explore the packaging and marketing of depression. Amanda suggests David Mitchell’s epic novel of 18th century Japan, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, chronicling the opening of the Japanese Empire to commerce and trade with the Dutch. You may reserve any or all of these titles by phone at 205-445-1121 or online at Visit our blog, www., and look for us on Facebook, too! For more information about programming at EOL, call us at 205-4451121.





| November 2010 | Village Living

Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church Blessing of the Animals By Sandy Porter On a recent Sunday afternoon, in the back parking lot of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, a car door opened. Out jumped two Labrador retrievers with their owners following closely behind them. From a hedge bordering the property emerged a child protectively holding a bunny rabbit. Neighbors strolled up the block to the church with their pets on leashes, and soon the parking lot was a menagerie of barking dogs, meowing cats, children scurrying in circles with their pets, and adults proudly displaying their best friends. Other pets such as birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, and snakes were in cages or animal carriers. All were gathered for the Blessing of the Animals, an annual occasion that takes place at Saint Luke’s in early October near the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, which is Oct. 4. Church members and non-members alike look forward to this communitywide event. After a brief opening song and prayer, priests were available to bless each animal. After the blessing, each owner received a certificate of blessing. This year,

one of the Sunday School classes sold lemonade to raise money for an outreach project, and the youth group was available to wash dogs. Another church member brought pets from an animal shelter that were available for adoption. Many animals were new to the experience, but others come every year, and the priests look forward to seeing their familiar friends. Children especially love this special day where they can ask a loving God to bless their beloved creatures. This year’s group of animals was mostly dogs and cats; however, in past years horses have shown up at the event and another year, chickens surprised the crowd. Saint Luke’s rector Richmond Webster loves this time of interacting with the community. “I particularly love praying with children for their pets -- dogs, cats, rabbits, lizards, you name it. Children bring honesty, hope, joy, and love for God’s creatures, great and small. It’s not sophisticated or theologically complex, just real and wonderful.”

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The Rev. Richmond Webster blesses Catherine Ann Conner’s new bunny while mom Lauren Connor looks on.


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So they just answered the phone ‘Balch & Bingham,’” he recalls. The name stuck. The small firm handled legal work for some of the most powerful corporations in the South, and soon grew to more than 250 lawyers. The litigation that Balch was personally involved in was not the sensational stuff of movies, but the nuts and bolts that keep the wheels of America’s infrastructure turning: licensing of hydro-electric dams, rights of way, labor arbitration, and labor union contracts. In tribute, all three of the Southern Company’s nuclear power plants--Vogtle, Hatch, and Farley--are named after Balch’s former law partners. “They didn’t so much as name a transformer after me!” Balch says, with a wry grin. He was also part of a legal team that worked with Congressional committees in Washington to change legislation that had prohibited non-profit groups such as Southern Research Institute from using experimental chemo-therapies to treat cancer. The downside for Balch, of that year, was that he spent more nights at the Mayflower Hotel in D.C., than in his bed in Alabama. “Betsy and I were married 63 years and had five children,” Balch says, but we lost one child. Eason Jr., Gene Austin Limbaugh, Garden Lanier and Ann Miano are all healthy and they all live nearby.

I have nine grand children and four great-grand children, and they all spend Christmas here.” When Balch is asked about his late wife, who passed away in May of 2006, he looks off into the distance and his eyes get misty. “She was a great lady,” he says. “Alzheimer’s took her. Some people get mean with that disease, but she remained sweet until the end.” At 91, Eason Balch is in remarkable shape. When asked how he remains healthy and active as he gets older, his philosophy is simple. “You eat well, exercise, find work that you enjoy, and keep a positive mental attitude,” he says. “It’s also good to have a hobby, and to stay mentally engaged.” And Balch practices what he preaches. He swims when weather permits, plays golf three times most weeks, plays bridge twice a week, and is an avid reader. He’s also working on his family’s genealogy, and has documented his and his wife’s ancestors back to the 1600s. When asked what he wants to do for the next several years, Balch doesn’t hesitate before answering, “More of the same.” Rick Watson’s book Remembering Big is available at The Little Professor Book Store in Homewood or online at You can contact him at

Village Living

Village Worship: Knesseth Israel Congregation

| November 2010 |


3100 Overton Road Birmingham, AL 35223


email: Rabbi Eytan Yammer became the Rabbi for Knesseth Israel Congregation in July. Sabbath begins on Friday evenings and goes to Saturday night. On Saturday, services begin at nine. How many members do you have? How many on your staff? We currently have around seventy families. We are a small staff with only two people, including myself and our Office Manager Gayle Levine. When was Knesseth Israel Congregation founded and has it always been in this location? We were founded in 1890 and moved to our present location in 2007. We are the only Orthodox synagogue in the State of Alabama. What types of outreach projects are currently the focus of your temple? There are several outreach projects I would like to start doing. First, is I would like t o work with other churches and synagogues in the area. I also want to provide an array of community organizations such as ones dealing with poverty, homeless,

animals, and environmental issues to members of Knesseth Israel. I would like our members to become involved in shelters, food banks and other issues in the Birmingham community. Do you have any annual events that you host each year for your members and community? We have a number of events each year including regular sabbath weekday and holiday prayer services, monthly communal Sabbath dinners, yearly Sukkoth (festival of the tabernacles) celebration, a yearly Simchat Torah celebration. We have New Year’s Greeting Cards so members can send good wishes for the holiday season to their fellow Knesseth Israel members, family and friends. This year we are having a Welcome Brunch and a KI United Appeal Fundraising Dinner. The Welcome Brunch was something that was thrown in honor of me being named the new Rabbi. The KI United Appeal Fundraising Dinner is a yearly dinner that raises money for a different charity every year. Past charities have included Victims

Eytan Yammer (Photo: Lauren Nix)

of Terrorism in Israel, and support towards Birmingham Family Jewish Services. What other groups use your church facility? Boy Scouts What projects are your youth involved in? Right now, we have a very small group of youth. We have a Junior Congregation every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. that is a guided service for the children who attend Knesseth Israel Congregation. I would like to start doing a weekly high school program such as an ethics class or a movie series. I would also like to do more regarding our Bar Mitzvah (Age of Commandments). This is where boys age 13 and girls age 12

become responsible for their actions and observance with the help of their families. I want our teenagers to enter this age with a positive attitude. I would like to start having them do a personal project before their Bar Mitzvah. It’s something they could do on their own and give them the satisfaction of having done it by themselves. Does your church have a Day School or full time child care program? We do not have a day care because their are three very close to our church. But we do offer Shabbat during Sabbath on Saturdays. This is songs and prayers for the youngest kids in our congregation.


| November 2010 | Village Living


To make contribution to the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation, you may visit the website,

cover story

city benefits from a strong school system. “A good school system is a vital factor in the value of the real estate here,” said Leah Rice, an agent with RealtySouth in Mountain Brook. “It unites the community.” Other over the mountain schools such as Homewood and Vestavia have also faced a similar decline in property values and experienced their impact on their school’s budget. But one big difference between Mountain Brook and those cities is the commercial tax base. Schools receive a percent of the commercial taxes collected. What are school systems to do? Fortunately for the Mountain Brook School System, a group of citizens started talking about how to battle the constant budget cuts that faced the schools back in the early 1990’s. The result was the creation of the Mountain Brook City School Foundation. Jordan said that they began by putting together a board to consider the strategies and the role the foundation should play. “In 1994, we started inviting parents to meetings and getting feedback from them,” she said. By 1995, they were ready to start a campaign to raise funds. The goal was to have an endowment so that money will always be there. In that first capital campaign, almost $5 million was raised. “People were given yards signs to put in their yard if they contributed. It really helped draw attention to what we were doing,” Jordan said. Another push came in 2004 with a big campaign that was also successful in meeting a second financial goal. The foundation has been giving back to the Mountain Brook Schools ever since that first year. “We really wanted to give back that first year to show the community that we were going to make a difference in the schools,” Jordan said. And they have given every year since 1995. As of this year, the total amount of

Professional Development: 110,000 Hours of teacher training Staff Development Specialists (Reading and Math)

money that has been given since that first contribution was made went to more than $4 million. Making a difference Crestline Principal Laurie King will tell you first hand how the foundation has impacted teachers. “The Foundation has been crucial in its continued support of Mountain Brook’s professional development efforts,” she said. “Teachers receive stipends for attending summer staff development which are funded by the Foundation.” This past summer, more than 10,000 hours of instruction were given to teachers and the foundation paid for half. “They (schools) would have had to pay that half without us. And look at all the teachers that sign up and go!” Jordan said. Teachers attended 1,712 sessions -- meaning that of the 400 teachers most teachers signed up for multiple sessions over the summer. Lisa Rutherford, agrees. “This is the third year of proration,” she said. “The Foundation helps pay for things we would never have in the school system such as technology, our libraries, and especially the professional development opportunities. Professional development for our teachers allows them to learn how to maximize the tools and technology we have given them and create the best learning experience

possible for the students.” Back to the Basics Requests for funds are made each year. The Board of Education does an assessment of the school’s needs and requests for the next year. Then the faculty does a presentation in the spring in front of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. The Board of Education is always asked to prioritize their needs. In the past, requests for distributions from the Foundation have been for the “extras” in the classroom. However, some of the recent requests have been for items that would have been paid for out of the school budget in the past. “The committee tries to give to the things they think are most effective,” Jordan said. “The areas of teacher training, technology, and library enhancement have been the main focus over the years. These areas will have the biggest impact on the classroom.” Past gifts have included small keyboards that fit the hands of kindergartners. They have also funded reading coaches, and various classroom technologies. Another recent gift has been funding for two math coaches that float between the elementary schools. When asked what impact the foundation has had on Crestline, Laurie

Technology: Computer Workstations Classroom Response Systems Laptop Computer Labs at each school Listening Centers GPS software Data Projectors Video Broadcasting Equipment Document Cameras Classroom Sound Enhancement Systems Science Lab Equipment Portable Video Conferencing System Tablet PC’s Mini Laptops 21st Century Classroom Project Library Enhancement: 5,000 Library Books, supplies, magazines


King said, “I would have to say the technology that the Foundation has funded has been the greatest gift to Crestline. Our field sound systems, document cameras, projectors, and laptops allow our teachers and students tremendous opportunities for truly engaging and challenging teaching and learning.” Superintendent Dicky Barlow said the foundation is crucial to the schools. “The Mountain Brook Schools Foundation has been critical in our effort to continue effective professional development for our staff along with providing technology that promotes innovation,” Barlow said.

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Village Living


Rebecca says she also hopes to send out a cover story monthly newsletter with a free watercolor included to keep people updated on their plans. A book with paintings of the livery halls in London and a book of New York Churches are also possibilities. She is a writer and he a painter, and with their combined talents, the couple has self-published their two books. The first, “Gifts of Grace – Alabama Churches in Watercolor,” was published in 2001 and, as the title suggests, is a collection of Bob’s watercolor paintings of various churches in Alabama along with a description and history of the churches and Bob’s personal experiences there. “It really was fun,” Bob said. “I had traveled the state so much, and I had sketched and painted a lot of churches in Alabama, and I thought we’re going to do a book. And that was just a natural with Rebecca being a writer.” The second book, “The Church Triumphant – English Churches in Watercolor,” is the one presented to the Queen. It is comprised of Bob’s paintings of English churches. James Blott, director of the Historic Churches Preservation Trust, approached the couple and asked them to create this book after seeing their work in “Gifts of Grace.” “[Gifts of Grace] had been out for about two years, and we got a call from an Englishman, and he said that we needed to get involved with the Historic Preservation Trust in England because they were having their 50th anniversary,” Rebecca said. The Historic Churches Preservation Trust is an organization whose goal is to preserve and restore churches in England, and her majesty the Queen is the patron. Bob and Rebecca expected the book to take a few years to complete, but were told if they could have it done by the Trust’s 50th anniversary ceremony, they could present the first copy to the Queen. “We started in October, and he said if you can have it finished by next June

and published, you can present the first copy to the Queen at this 50th anniversary ceremony,” Bob said. “So we worked like fiends and got it produced.” Before the Books After graduating from Auburn University where he earned a degree in architecture with a focus in interior design, Bob began working as a graphic designer for R.G. LeTourneau in Dallas, Texas. Next, he worked for NASA in Huntsville when it was first formed as the Art Director in their future projects department. His department was responsible for illustrating the Apollo I project, and his illustrations were presented to Congress. Each slide was a hand-painted watercolor. “Our future projects department did 56 slides of the Apollo program,” Bob said. After working at NASA for seven years, Bob said he felt it was time to return to architecture, and moved to Birmingham to work for Charles H. McCauley, which was the largest architectural firm in the southeast at the time. After heading their interior design department for seven years, Bob decided to open his own firm, Moody and Associates, which specialized in historic restoration and renovation. Bob and Rebecca have been married for 31 years and working together for 30 of those. After meeting at Redmont Gardens, Rebecca left her job at Southern Living magazine to work with Bob . “She, for not being trained in design, is the best designer who ever worked in the office,” Bob said. “We’ve been a pretty good team.” After 30 years in business, Bob and Rebecca closed the office to write a book. After the completion of the two books, Bob began serving on the City Council in 2006. He says his only regret is not being able to get Mountain Brook Village designated as a historic place on the national register. “I had worked so long in historic preservation and restoration, and

| November 2010 |


An open letter to the citizens of Mountain Brook Dear Mountain Brook residents, After four years on the Mountain Brook City Council, I would like to say how much I have appreciated the opportunity and would like to welcome the newest city council member, Amy Carter. I look forward to her thoughtful contribution and unique perspective. While I thoroughly enjoyed my four years, many very critical development issues impacting our community’s quality of life will arise during the next four and it will take the effort of many citizens to make responsible municipal decisions. I urge everyone to remain informed and engaged. We are all so lucky to have such a remarkable community in which to live, and it is our civic responsibility to guide our City Council in making decisions which will impact all of us. On that note, I want to thank everyone who assisted me during my term, including the countless volunteers for lending their particular expertise toward council decisions. I appreciated each and every person who encouraged me, wrote me, or expressed an opinion indicating their passion and interest in Mountain Brook. Your vision is what keeps this community special and the envy of communities nationwide! During my service on the council, I was continuously reminded of the many, many residents in our city who contribute their Mountain Brook Village, to us, is the most special place in America,” Bob said. Bob was also the only council member to vote against the Lane Park development, a vote he is still confident in today. “I worked in that [industry] for 30 years or 40, and I just feel like my vision for Mountain Brook is what it ought to be, and when you feel that strongly that’s the way you vote, whatever the consequences.” Overall, Bob feels serving for the council was a positive experience and

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time, their experience, and their dollars toward making our community better and stronger. The work of our volunteers is the backbone of what makes this community outstanding - from athletic advocates, cheerleaders, and coaches, PTO volunteers, chamber and event volunteers to library workers, historians, board members, and city officials - thank you! There are hundreds of volunteers in our community, and please know that your efforts are appreciated and do not go unnoticed! I’ve also been privileged to serve with the finest group of municipal employees anywhere in the country. Gaining insight into the efficient workings of our city government and getting to know our staff was one of the true pleasures of my term on the council. Our City Manager, Sam Gaston, has been nationally recognized, but all of our city employees are the best and the brightest in their fields (and also the nicest!) - and we are so fortunate to have them working hard on our behalf. I plan to remain right here in Mountain Brook for the rest of my life. So I hope that like many other volunteers in this community, I can continue to remain engaged and make a positive contribution. It’s a special place with very special people and I appreciated the opportunity to serve in our city government. Sincerely yours, Bob Moody allowed him to learn about the city. “I got to know all of the city and realized we have the very best,” Bob said. “I was amazed at the number of volunteers.” Bob’s work will be featured at the Mountain Brook Art Association’s Holiday Art Show on Nov. 4. For more information on Bob and Rebecca, and to see some of Bob’s watercolors, visit their website at www. or find them on Twitter at


| November 2010 |

School House




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Mountain Brook Junior High Scholars Compete! By Hilary Ross Mountain Brook Junior High recently held tryouts for its Scholar’s Bowl team. The following girls and boys were named by faculty sponsor, Beth Lippeatt, to the teams: 8th grade members are: Wilkerson Anthony, Cooper Barnes, Vince Bolus, Lewis Fitzpatrick, Lindsey Kirk, Jonathan McWane, Richard Rice and Paul Roth. 7th grade members are: Camden Barnes, Maria Betsch, Philip Dulin, Angela Fu, Peter Gerontakis, Graham LeJeune, Rob Pulliam and Patrick Trammell. The two teams of eight students compete throughout the year against ten other Scholar’s Bowl teams in the Jefferson and Shelby county area. Questions include topics such as academics, pop culture, entertainment and music, among other things. In January, MBJH selects a team of six students to compete in the District

First row l-r: Cooper Barnes, Wilkerson Anthony, Camden Barnes, Graham LeJeune, Philip Dulin, Second row l-r: Peter Gerontakis, Lindsey Kirk, Angela Fu, Maria Betsch, Lewis Fitzpatrick, Patrick Trammell, Back row l-r: Rob Pulliam, Richard Rice, Paul Roth, Vince Bolus

Tournament and if the team does well there, they advance to the State Tournament as they did last year as a district finalist.

LIMO RIDE! Second Grade Spotlight at Mountain Brook Elementary (Check our website for rates) INC.


Located Just Off HWY 280. Behind Logans Road House 157 RESOURCE CENTER PKWY . BIRMINGHAM, AL

Brookwood Forest Elementary Boosterthon Fun Run celebrates the theme of Leader Launch By Bama Hager Brookwood Forest Elementary Students participated in the 2010 Boosterthon Fundraiser on Thursday October 7. Students received pledges to complete short laps around the athletic field. Students ran, walked, skipped, and danced around the track to upbeat music. Students completed an average of 25 to 35 laps around the track. Teachers participated by cheering for students, tallying laps and walking a few laps with their students. The Boosterthon is a fundraiser that promotes Fitness, Character and Leadership. The Boosterthon event is organized and executed by the Boosterthon Fun Run Team who travels to schools and promotes the event. Students enjoy the Boosterthon Team visits, games and activities during the two weeks leading to the Fun Run day. The theme for this year’s Boosterthon was “Leader Launch”, and students received daily messages about being positive leaders in school and in life. Students worked together to get pledges from all fifty states. The Boosterthon Fun Run PTO

BWF students get ready to run

Seen pictured here is Mrs. Brewster with her class celebrating National Anthem Day: Colby Blackwell, Wheeler Bowron, Sarah Patton Butler, Daniel Carmichael, Luke Close, Dewitt Colvin, Belle Drummond, Will Earnhardt, Hally Finney, Cami Fowler, Stuart Jinnette, Lilly LeJeune, Graham Matthews, Georgia Montgomery, James Noles, Jack Smith, Hagan Stephens, William Watson and Carlisle Wilson.

By Hilary Ross

Showing a thumbs up for Boosterthon are (left to right) Helen Katherine Schanbacher, Edith Elizabeth Keely, Mary Christine Watts and Sarah Leonelli

chairperson was Elizabeth Long. She was supported in her efforts by a PTO Boosterthon committee and homeroom parents. Parents joined students on the day of the Fun Run and cheered while students completed laps. This Boosterthon Fun Run was BWF’s second Boosterthon. Elizabeth Long reported that the Boosterthon was a huge success and will fund teachers’ special funding requests for their classrooms. Faculty and administration at BWF will use the funds to buy supplies, attend conferences and purchase materials for the classrooms. Brookwood Forest Elementary holds three school wide fundraisers each year. The Boosterthon Fun Run is in the fall. The BWF Silent Auction is in the winter and the Forest Fling Spring Festival is held in the spring. All proceeds from BWF fundraisers are used to enrich the learning environment at BWF through the purchase of supplies, learning materials and enrichment activities.

Mountain Brook Elementary has four classes of 2nd grade students taught by teachers Barbara Brewster, Cassie Jacobs, Ashley Johnson and Julie Tuck. Barbara Brewster, who is in her ninth year at Mountain Brook Elementary, was interviewed for this article. Barbara Brewster, prior to teaching at MBE, was a teacher in Seattle, Washington where she primarily taught 2nd grade. In addition, Mrs. Brewster has taught special education classes for K, 2nd-4th and 6th in Salt Lake City, Utah. In all, she has taught students for 28 years in a variety of public and private settings. Second graders at MBE develop their early reading skills by learning comprehension strategies and enlarge their vocabularies through increasing the volume and variety of reading. Science units are hands-on and include the life cycle of butterflies. In the spring children raise caterpillars and watch them emerge as butterflies. These are released on MBE’s Nature Trail. Music, Foreign Language and Art also are part of the “specials” curriculum 2nd grade students enjoy. Recently in music, Mrs. Brewster’s class took part in the National Anthem Day which celebrates The Star-Spangled Banner and the rich history behind its creation. Music teachers,

Shari Dorsett and Louisa Elmore, taught the lyrics to all MBE students so they could sing the anthem. On a personal note, Mrs. Brewster was born and raised in Birmingham and graduated from the University of Alabama in Elementary Education. She later received a Master’s degree in Special Education at the University of Utah and after working in Salt Lake City, Utah, relocated to Seattle, Washington. While there, Mrs. Brewster also worked in fundraising and development at the Woodland Park Zoo and had some amazing close up experiences with giraffes, gorillas, birds of prey, grizzlies, and of course, the Family Farm pigs! Currently, she enjoys yoga, writing, reading and travelling to visit friends and family in Seattle and the Northeast. After living in Seattle for 23 years, she returned to Birmingham to be near her mother, who was 98 in October, and visits the class each year during the VIP program. Mrs. Brewster has a daughter, a cellist living in New York City, who teaches music and travels around the world to play. Her son, after serving as a Marine, is living in Birmingham and studying to become a firefighter.

School House

| November 2010 |


Boosterthon a blast at CBS

Boosterthon organizers Mary Margaret Hendry, Liz Lee, and Janet Anderson hold signs to encourage the runners.

By Alison Gault Cherokee Bend recently held a Boosterthon fundraiser. The Boosterthon project kicked off with a pep rally, and culminated in a “Fun Run” at the school. Boosterthon promotes three specific values during the nine-day, fun-filled program: Fitness, Leadership, and Character. The students were asked to find donors to contribute by pledging either a flat fee or on a per lap basis. Each class made up a team, and prizes were awarded for both the classrooms and the

team members when certain milestone contribution levels were achieved. Every student participated in the Fun Run, regardless of pledges raised. Parents, grandparents, and neighbors came out to enjoy the festivities on the day of the run, and all of the students appeared to be having a blast. The Boosterthon Fundraiser was coordinated by PTO Volunteers Janet Anderson, Mary Margaret Hendry, and Liz Lee.

Book fair comes to Cherokee Bend

MBE Kindergarten Students Perform Mountain Brook Elementary Pictured here gearing up for the fall book fair are front, L to R, Hannah Cox, Ethan Cox, Lilly Gilbert, and Maggie Reaves. Back row, L to R, are James Hufham, Samuel Cox, Emma Gaines Reaves, Anna Hufham, Lauren Gilbert, Adam Weil, and Aaron Weil.

By Alison Gault The Scholastic Book Fair recently came to the Cherokee Bend School Library Media Center. This fall’s theme was “Here’s to Our Heroes! Reading Saves the Day!” To create excitement prior to the launch of the book fair, each homeroom showed off their “Superpower” by decorating their classroom door. The top three classrooms that won an exclusive Book Fair shopping experience were Kelley Finley’s 2nd graders, Chad

Haller’s 5th graders, and Tracey Barringer’s 1st graders. Students also got in the spirit of the theme by wearing their favorite superhero costumes to school. The book fair was organized by Media Specialists Beth Shea and Kathy Hoskins, with assistance from PTO Parent Volunteers Allison Weil, Kathryn Reaves, Laura Cox, Joanna Hufham, Tricia Pugh, Jackie Michel, and Stacey Gilbert.

Highlands students enjoy the fall By Judy McDonald Highlands students have been enjoying the beautiful fall weather that has finally arrived! Parents, students, and faculty members spent a Saturday morning at Highlands creating a gravel path for the garden. Everyone who participated worked hard with shovels and wheelbarrows to finish the job. Soon after the project was completed, Ms. Armstrong’s and Ms. DeMarco’s Kindergarten Class released the butterflies that they had observed emerging from their chrysalides. It was a day the students were eagerly awaiting as they said good-bye to their butterflies that, not long ago, were caterpillars. The entire Highlands community will enjoy the new garden and all of the opportunities for hands-on learning that this new “outdoor classroom” provides.

Seen pictured here dressed in their favorite pajamas for the performance are kindergarten students Ella Scott Crane, Walker Ray, Tine Latimer, Gus Bailey, Gray Powell, Beverly Milteer, Garrett Gray, Margot Phillips, Bud Riley, Robert Morrow, Woodson Canterbury, Mary Slayden Polmatier and Mama Goose, music teacher Shari Dorsett.

By Hilary Ross

L to R: Pearce MacLeod and Lawson Katz work in the garden

Kindergarten classes at Mountain Brook Elementary recently presented the delightful musical, “Gettin’ Down with Mama Goose”, to parents, friends and family. Led by the direction of music teacher, Shari Dorsett, the musical focused on songs inspired by nursery rhymes, lullabies and children’s stories. The show opened with the title song “Gettin’ Down with Mama Goose”. Other songs featured included “Old King Cole”,

as students playing kazoos, “The Three Little Kittens”, which integrated rhythmic speech, and “Hickory Dickory Dock”. One kindergarten class played Orff instruments and demonstrated a glissando during “The King of France”, while another class performed “Wee Willie Winkie”, using antiphonal speech and playing Orff instruments. The production concluded with all the classes reprising the title song, which resulted in a standing ovation by those in attendance.

20 |

November 2010 |

School House

Mountain Brook Junior High Selects Golf Team

Crestline’s Lunch was Saved! By Lauren Fowler

It could have been a disastrous day. The kitchen was short-staffed, the lunch was custom ordered taco salads or nachos, and the lines of students had begun to dramatically back up. The news of the impending wait circulated around the school. So, who came to the rescue? Crestline’s new Assistant principal: Josh Watkins and Jane Dickens from the front office!

Seen in the photo with Andrea Murray, the three of them worked together as a team, diligently serving Crestline’s students as they went through the line. This show of support and dedication to our students is what makes being at Crestline as a student, parent, staff person or volunteer an exceptional experience that benefits us all.

Boosterthon Blast!

Members of the MBJH 7th and 8th grade golf team: L-R: Jonathan Eyster, Hugh Rowe Thomas, Fischer Priestley, Michael Brown, John Eagan, Bill Perry, Ethan Hughes and Harlan Winn

By Lauren Fowler

By Hilary Ross Mountain Brook Junior High recently held golf tryouts for 7th and 8th grade boys and Coach Bobby Plummer named the following students to the 2010-11 golf team: Michael Brown, John Eagan, Jonathan Eyster, Ethan Hughes, Bill Perry, Fischer Priestley, Hugh Rowe Thomas and Harlan Winn. The golf team will compete in matches against middle schools in our area: Pizitz,

Mrs. Hamilton’s third graders beginning their run.

Simmons, Bumpus, Berry, Homewood, Hewitt-Trussville, and Oak Mountain. Match winners are determined by combining the top four to five player scores from each team for the nine holes played. Last year, the MBJH golf team was undefeated in match play and won the Mountain Brook Invitational and the Metro Tournament. Coach Plummer expects great results from this team as well.

Crestline Elementary School’s student’s had a successful “LAUNCH” off: their 4th annual Boosterthon Run. The fundraising coaches spent over 400 hours in the school prior to the run, teaching students about good character traits: Leadership, staying Active, Uplifting, and Not-bullying, being Courageous, and Helpful. Classes named their teams and

worked together on raising pledges for the run, which resulted in donations coming in from all over the world. The event was a huge success and one that our students look forward to every fall. Money raised will go directly back into the classrooms, so the benefit supports everyone. PTO volunteers Dana Murdock, Susanna Davis, and Leigh Anne Haas helped coordinate the event.

Village Living | November 2010 |


Mountain Brook Junior High Metro Champions!

MBJH Cross Country Pinks Out Cancer!

MBJH 7th Grade Volleyball Champions Celebrate

By Hilary Ross The girls’ volleyball teams have concluded their successful seasons. The 8th grade team, coached by Bruce Henricks, had an overall record of 25-4 and won the Metro Tournament with victories over Berry, Simmons and Bumpus Middle Schools. MBJH players chosen to the 8th grade All-Tournament team were Addison Hoven and Abigail Garrett, while Julia Smith was named Metro Tournament MVP. MBJH players, Kendall Crumbaugh and Caroline Boone, were selected for the All-Metro South Team which honored consistent players throughout the entire season. The 7th grade team, coached by Brook Gibbons, also won their Metro Tournament with victories over Pizitz, Thompson and Simmons Middle Schools and had an overall record of 28-4. 7th grade MBJH players chosen to the All-Tournament team were Kathryn Wason and Sara Carr while Sara Chandler

Mitchell was named Metro Tournament MVP. Sara Carr and Sara Chandler Mitchell were also selected for the AllMetro South Team. Cross Country has also experienced another successful season. Head Coach Mike Abercrombie along with Assistant Coaches Amelia Breeze, Trish Carey, Kelli Moore, John Phillips and Lars Porter trained almost two hundred cross country athletes. Through the months of September and October, team members have competed in several local and regional meets culminating in the Metro South Cross Country Championship Meet held at Veteran’s Park at Spain Park High School. Not only did the cross country team come together to compete in races, but the team and coaches are like a big family and have also had personal gatherings in support and honor of two coaches for two very different reasons. Honored was Coach John Phillips,

who was showered with diapers to celebrate the birth of his new baby boy, Graham Phillips. Diaper sizes were divided between the grades and members of the team so every size, shape and variety of diaper would be on hand. Diapers were quietly collected until the big baby shower where Coach Phillips was surprised with hundreds of diapers and wipes! Also honored was Coach Trish Carey, who is fighting breast cancer, and was the recipient of hundreds of pink balloons and notes of encouragement offered by current and former MBJH track members, who donned pink shirts, shorts, and hair ribbons for the day. The sea of pink carrying hundreds of balloons gathered at MBJH and walked the mile to Coach Carey’s home to deposit the tokens of love and support. To show their continued support for the fight against breast cancer, MBJH cross country athletes decided to wear pink and white jerseys with the initials TC written for

Coach Carey at the Metro Championship Meet. Eleven metro teams attended and competed in the cross country meet and both the MBJH boys and the MBJH girls finished first and were named metro champions. Top 30 finishers from MBJH for the girls were: Virginia Farley, Mary Margaret Bernard, Catherine Campbell, Natalie Jones, Catherine Turner, Hannah Louise Perkinson, Stephanie Webster, Katherine Dodson, Julia Jane Duggan, Brantley Sanders, Millie Livingston, Mary Lee Livingston with Sanders Reed placing 3rd overall and Caroline Kennedy placing first with a winning time of 12:26. Top 30 finishers for MBJH for the boys were: Gene Thagard, William Dodson, Connor Welch, Will Hargrove, Marshall Smith, Cain Poynor, Michael Clark, Sam Lidikay and Drew Williams.

22 |

November 2010 |

Music & Arts

Village Living Calendar

11/1,3- 7-8:30 p.m., Intro to Zydeco Dance Class, Vestavia Hills Civic Center. Learn the basics of this sultry, bluesy dance in this 2-night class with instructors David Doggett and Dolores Hydock. May attend with or without a partner, pre-registration not necessary if arrive 15 minutes early, tickets $10 per person for both nights. Visit or call 951-3463 for more info. 11/2- 7:30 p.m., Alabama Symphony Orchestra: All Baroque at Samford University’s Brock Recital Hall, tickets $30 or $12 for students. Visit www. or call 975-ARTS for more info. 11/2- 12 p.m., Artbreak at Birmingham Museum of Art, 20-30 minute gallery talk followed by lunch at Oscar’s, every Tuesday at noon, free to the public. Visit or call 254-2571 for more info. 11/3- 12 p.m.-1 p.m., Birmingham Public Library, “Artists on Relief: The Men and Women Behind Birmingham’s Murals” lecture by Graham C. Boettcher the Curator of American Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art, free to the public. Visit or call 251-1880 for more info.

Family Fun

11/1- 10 a.m., Children’s Story Time at Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. Story and activity with a nature theme, suited for children 2-5, tickets $3 or $2 for members, visit or call 833-8264 for more info. 11/6- 10 a.m.-12 p.m., M Studio for Kids! sculpture class at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Kids ages 7-12 will create their own sculpture and learn about shape while experimenting with color theory, tickets $20 or $15 for members. Visit or call 254-2571 for more info. 11/6- 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Crestline Fall Festival at Crestline Cumberland Presbyterian Church- 605 Hagood St. This festival will help raise awareness and funds for the Turner Syndrome Society, festivities include face-painting, kid’s bouncy house, “priceless” garage sale, yoga classes, arts/crafts vendors, and lunch from Rusty’s BBQ available. “Priceless” garage sale starts at 8 a.m., all other festivities begin at 10 a.m., free to the public, all donations go to the Turner Syndrome Society. Email or call 879-6001 for more info.

11/3- 3 p.m., Alabama School of Fine Arts Student Recital, free to the public, visit for more info.

11/26-11/28- The Polar Express at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, trains depart at 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets on sale now, advanced reservations required, all seats $25 (2 years of age and older). Runs through the month of December. Purchase tickets at or call 280-0820.

11/4- 4-8 p.m., Mountain Brook Art Association Holiday Show and Sale at Park Lane in English Village, kid-friendly and free to the public. Visit http://www. for more information.

Special Events

11/4- 5:30 p.m., The Harbert Center, FOCUS on Recovery Art Auction, enjoy a wide palette of delicious appetizers, wine and coffee while viewing a stunning collection of incredibly affordable art for every taste and budget, $15 in advance, $20 at the door, visit or call 8227300 for more info.

11/1- 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., monthly bingo game benefitting Birmingham AIDS Outreach, $15 for 5 games, must be at least 19 years old to enter. Call 322-4197 or visit for more info.

11/5- 7:30 p.m., UAB’s Alys Stephens Center presents Bill Frisell’s Beautiful Dreamers, tickets range from $45-$25 or $20 for students, visit www. or call 975-2787 for more info.

11/2- 6:30-7:30 p.m., Southern Museum of Flight, “London Can Take It: American and the Battle of Britain” lecture, speakers will give audiences an overview of how American technology and American pilots helped win what some have called the most important air battle ever fought, tickets are free. Call 934-0901 for more info.

11/5- 8 p.m., Sarah McLaughlan live at the Alabama Theatre, tickets $53+, visit or call 251-0418 for more info.

11/5- 12 p.m., Condoleezza Rice signing her new biography at Books-A-Million Brookwood Village, call 870-0213 for more info.

11/5-6- 8 p.m., Alys Stephens Center, Alabama Symphony Orchestra Masterworks: Brown Plays Shostakovich featuring John McElroy on the trumpet and Justin Brown as conductor and pianist. Tickets $72/$45/$27/$15 and $12 for students. Visit or call 975-ARTS for more info.

11/5- Meet the new Mountain Brook City Council and hear their plans for the Mountain Brook community. Moderated by State Representative Paul DeMarco, this will be an exciting and educational luncheon at Park Lane in English Village. You can register online or call the Chamber office at 871-3779.

11/16- 7:30 p.m. Opera Birmingham presents Elizabeth Futral in An Evening with Elizabeth Futral. Brock Recital Hall, Samford University. Tickets are $50. For more information call 205-322-6737 or visit

11/6 Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama annual Walking to Remember at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover. Registration begins at 7:30 am. All proceeds go to Alzheimer’s research and services for victims. For more information visit or call (205) 871-7970.

11/23 5:30 p.m. Louis Vierne “Solemn Mass” The Canterbury Choir and guest organist James Dorroh present the glorious Mass by Louis Vierne. Canterbury United Methodist Church Sanctuary- Free

Save the date 11/28 - Bromberg’s Tree Lighting Ceremony and Open House 11/20- Service Guild “Live our Legacy” dinners beginning with a 5 p.m. reception at Bromberg’s with Lord Wedgewood. For information visit www. 12/5- 2-5 p.m. Mountain Brook’s Holiday Parade in Mountain Brook Village


11/6- 5 p.m., Ruffner Mountain Wine and Cheese Hike at Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, adults only, reservations required. Tickets $15 or $10 for members. Visit or call 833-8264 for more info. 11/7- 11 a.m.-3 p.m., The Friedman Family Jewish Food Festival at the Levite Jewish Community Center. Food, live music and a preview of LJCC’s comedy musical “Once Upon a Mattres.” Free to get in, food prices as listed. Visit or call 879-0411 for more info.

Gardening/Nature 11/6- Canyon Fest: Celebrating Art and Nature, Little River Canyon Center, all day event with music, art, food, family fun and environmental education. Free to the public. Visit or call 256-782-8010 for more info.

From page 7

to keep the flowers maintained and looking their best. Drainage, watering, fertilization and all maintenance aspects were considered when drafting the maintenance budget for the project. “We figured in all those costs over time to get a maintenance cost per year to be able to budget,” he said. Once all of the specifics were in place, the project was ready to be put into action. Now there are approximately 40 containers overflowing with beautiful flower arrangements throughout the villages. Cafaro said the flowers require two plantings a year and are fertilized and receive treatments every month. A two-person night crew that works in the villages is responsible for watering the plants, but Cafaro said the team is still working on perfecting a lot of the maintenance requirements. “We took a truck that we already had and got it outfitted with a water tank. We got the equipment in place and the personnel, to help the transition as we started taking care of more plants,” Cafaro said. Included in the arrangements are pansies, violas and kale, among others. Legg says they try to keep a similar color theme in all of the pots throughout the villages.

Food & Wine

The Chamber of Commerce has plans to list the flowers in the arrangements on their website for anyone who is interested, especially shop owners who want to include arrangements outside of their business. “The Chamber of Commerce has encouraged shop owners to have flowers in front of their shops,” Legg said. She says she also wants to encourage shop owners to do this to add to the beautification process. “It adds so much character.,” she said. “If they see the type of flowers we’re showing that hold up in this climate, as well as what works out in this full sun, I think that helps people to judge what works here.” Legg says that hanging baskets are a great option for people who don’t have a lot of ground space. Overall, the project has been a great success and received very positive responses from the community. “People tell me that they’ve adopted certain plants. The response has been overwhelming,” Legg said. If a person or group would like to make a donation for city beautification, contact Don Cafaro at 874-0622. Shop owners looking for ideas can contact Sally Legg at 879-3379.

11/7- 2 p.m., Hypertuffa Planter Workshop at Petals from the Past. Jane Jones will help you make your own hypertuffa container to take home, reservations and payment are required in advance, class size is limited so call early, tickets $50. Visit or call 646-0069 for more info. or to make reservations.

SPORTS 11/1-30- UAB Men and Women’s Basketball, various home games at Bartow Arena on UAB’s campus. For full schedule visit or call 975UAB1. 11/1-30- Samford University Men and Women’s Basketball, various home games at Pete Hanna Arena on Samford University’s campus. For full schedule visit or call 726-2050. 11/1-30- Birmingham Southern Men and Women’s Basketball, various home games at Bill Battle Coliseum on BSC’s campus. For full schedule visit www. or call 226-4953.

Theatre 11/1-6- 8 p.m., Terrific New Theatre presents “NOVEMBER”, a new play by David Mamet, Tickets $20, visit for more information. 11/12-14- Red Mountain Theatre Company presents Seussical Junior, a musical that brings Dr. Seuss characters to life. Tickets $20. Visit www.redmountaintheatre. com or call 324-2424 for more info. 11/17-21- UAB Theatre presents “Venus”, Alys Stephens Center Odess Theatre, tickets $15. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Visit or call 975-2787 for more info.

Village Living

| November 2010 |

Now Open

Class. Elegance. Style.

Clark Antiques Gallery 325-1999


3205 2nd Ave. So.

(Three blocks east of Pepper Place)

Monday - Saturday 10-5

Specializing in fine 17th- and 18th-century European antiques, oriental rugs and accessories


| November 2010 |

your favorite home just got better!

Log on today. Mountain Brook Cahaba 205.870.5420

Mountain Brook Crestline 205.879.6330 RealtySouth New Website ad 280Living.indd 1

10/19/10 7:49 AM

Village Living November 2010  

News, sports, and entertainment for Mountain Brook, Alabama

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