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Village Living


January 2012 |

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

Steeple Arts-pg 14

MBHS Basketball-

Volume 2 | Issue 10 | January 2012

pg 10

Vlachos proves Saban wrong Village2Village Run returns By WIll HIGHTOWER

Nick Saban was furious. As he paced the Vlachos’ living room, Saban mulled over his situation. He had been hired to coach a disgraced Alabama team back to glory, and he had a specific “process” in mind. And William Vlachos, Saban determined, had no part in it. Saban spoke of grayshirting the 6-foot, one-inch, 294-pound center, whom Mike Shula had recruited but Saban thought was too small. “To be honest, Saban didn’t want him,” Mountain Brook High School football coach Chris Yeager said. “He wanted to figure out a way to get rid of him. When Saban came to visit William at his house, I felt like he really tried to get him to decommit because of his size.” Of course, that was then. This is now. These days, Vlachos is a three-year, allSEC starter for the Crimson Tide, looking to win his second national championship on January 9 vs. LSU. Saban, who did indeed bring Alabama back to glory, has relied heavily on the Mountain Brook graduate to open holes for the likes of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. After New Orleans, Vlachos could become the first Spartan to play in the

January Features Editor’s Note Best of Mountain Brook City Council Kari Kampakis Pointe Ball Village Sports School House Business Spotlight Robert Krauss Dale Wisely Around the Villages Calendar of Events

4 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 15 16 17 18

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popsicle all over his shirt and he’d hang out with me the whole time. And he would say, ‘I want to play offensive line in the NFL.’ We all laughed at that then. But one thing he’s taught us is that you don’t laugh at people’s goals and dreams.” Throughout junior high and high

The annual Village2Village run weaves through the villages of Mountain Brook every January, but each year introduces a new route. “You never know which hills you are going to have to go up and which ones you are going to get to come down,” said Britt Redden, who has participated in the run twice. “It is always very challenging and always best that I don’t ‘ride’ the course before the race.” This year’s race is set for Jan. 21. Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce President Steven Hydinger said that the pretty yet challenging course brings people from inside and outside of Mountain Brook to spend time in the neighborhoods. “It is a lot of fun to see friends and neighbors challenging each other to do the 10K race,” he said. “The 1-mile Run is great [for kids] as well.” “I love that you are running with so many people that you know and that you pass so many people on the way,”

See VLACHOS | page 10

See V2V | page 11

Alabama center and Mountain Brook graduate William Vlachos directs the Crimson Tide’s offensive line. Photo courtesy of University of Alabama Football.

NFL since Major Ogilvie, especially after the recognition he received as a Rimington Trophy finalist, awarded to the top centers in the nation. Yeager remembered seeing Vlachos as a boy at Mountain Brook football camps: “He would come to our camps; I remember he was only about four feet tall. We would give out popsicles, and he would have red

Supporting Sean Fredella


Blue bows lined mailboxes around Mountain Brook in December to welcome home Sean Fredella—a warrior with an army behind him. The 11 year old has battled cancer since age two and this past year has been fighting a rare tumor. For the past several months he has taken pain in stride while receiving treatments in Houston. “I can’t believe how strong he’s been through it all,” said his mom, Nell. “Still, the unknowns, the fear, and seeing the pain in Sean’s eyes and knowing how sick he is from all the treatments is indescribable.” Before Sean returned home from Houston for Christmas, Laura Niemann and daughters Hannah and Courtney made and sold blue bows and encouraged the community to hang them to show their support for Sean. All proceeds from the bows went to Sean’s medical expenses. “My kids wanted to do this to show Sean encouragement when he got home,” Niemann said. Others from the community pitched in throughout the month to make bows. Smith’s Variety, The Scribbler and The Blue Willow all sold the bows. Some sold for as much as $40 and $50 when people were told that the money was going to the Fredella family.

Sean Fredella gathers with friends from Mountain Brook Elementary after returning to Birmingham from receiving cancer treatments in Houston. Back row: George Terry, Fuller Priestly, Sean, Robert Reed and Paul Tyson. Front row: Price Pewitt, Chip Porter and Patton Browning. Photo by Madoline Markham.

The church family at St. Francis Xavier as well as the students, parents and faculty at Mountain Brook schools have all been incredible, according to Nell.

Emotions grew in her voice as she described all the things they have done for their family.

See SEAN | page 16

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January 2012 |

Village Living

Renaissance Consignment Boutique is ready to receive your dresses!! The time is fast approaching for prom, pageant and upcoming weddings. A new year with many events requiring formal wear, so allow Renaissance to be your one stop shop. We would love to consign your dresses and invite you to shop our huge selection for fashionable dresses. We have sizes from toddler to plus, so there is something for everyone! No Appointment needed to bring dresses by for us to look at for consignment.

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You can now Shop Online Anytime, New items added daily 6801 Cahaba Valley Road (Hwy 119) 1/4 South of Hwy 280, Along with Bellini’s, Cantina, and Edgars Bakery Opened 10-6 daily with extended hours on Thursday until 9 pm. Closed on Sundays.

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Village Living


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January 2012 |

Welcome Friends

Village Living

The Sugar Babies shared the stage of the Mountain Brook Holiday Parade with Tribble Reese, Mountain Brook native and star of CMT’s Sweet Home Alabama. Pictured with Reese are Diane Waud, Kay Kelly, Cathy Strong, Libby Suttle, Joyce Lott, Connie Frazier, Mary Ann Wade and Betty McMahon. Photo by Dan Starnes.

Staff & Friends Contributing Writers Susan Matthews | Christiana Roussel | Kari Kampakis Rick Watson | Mary Carpenter| Will Hightower Holley Wesley | Maggie Carter O’Connor | Kaylyn Alexander

School House Contributors Frances Watts -Cherokee Bend Alyssa Monson - 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 | Catherine Pittman Smith Photography

Editor at Large

Publisher Dan Starnes

Joe Samuel Starnes


Published by

Jennifer Gray

Managing Editor Madoline Markham

Creative Director

Village Living LLC

Sales and Distribution Dan Starnes | Angela Morris Rhonda Smith | Jennifer Ogilvie

Keith McCoy

Intern Anne Wood

Contact Information: Village Living #3 Office Park Circle, Suite 316 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. Please recycle this paper

Editor’s Note I love January. Some might the Pointe Ball. This fundraiser say that it is a bit anticlimactic for the Alabama Ballet is in after all of the hubbub of the its eleventh year. Many look holiday season. But there is forward to this event each year something about all of that and enjoying the evening with activity dying down, the cool friends as well as performances air and a new year. New years from members of the ballet and fresh starts are always company. You’ll find all the exciting to me. What will 2012 details including changes to hold? What news events will this year’s event in this issue. shape the months ahead? What For those of you who challenges await me, ready to had tickets to the National teach me lessons, some of them Championship game or ChickJennifer Gray hard I am sure, but ones that will fil-A bowl wrapped up under make me grow into the person I am meant your trees, have a great time. We would to be. love to see pictures from your bowl What will you do this year? What are trips. Please email photos to content@ your goals and dreams? Hopefully you will find inspiration in the individuals we Lastly, don’t forget to vote in our first have featured this month. Sean Fredella ever Best of Mountain Brook competition. has bravely been battling a rare form of We live in such a wonderful and special cancer with the support of his family — community. Many of the businesses here and the support of all of Mountain Brook are truly the best, not just in Mountain with its blue bows. Robert Krauss ddidn’t Brook. Make sure your favorites get your waiting until he was a “grown up” to fulfill votes. Submit the ballot in this issue or his dream as a writer. As a seventh grader vote online at www.villagelivingonline. Robert has published a book. Reading com. All votes must be cast by January about Robert will encourage you to pursue 31, 2012. Results will be published in the your own dreams. March issue. Maybe your goals for this year include getting out and moving more? Happy New Year! Well, you won’t want to miss this year’s Village2Village Run. It is the perfect way to kick off a more active lifestyle for 2012. We have all the details on this fun event. If you have resolved to support the arts more in 2012, then you won’t want to miss

Editor’s Top five 1. Attend a Spartan basketball game. Football may be over, but Spartan basketball is in full swing. 2. Start the year off right. Make a healthy change in your life. Move more and eat better, or share with us your tip for a healthier new year. 3. Do something for someone else. In this issue you will read about individuals making a difference and initiatives like “Blue Bag” snacks making an impact

in the greater Birmingham area and beyond. What will you do? 4. Support your team. Ok, if you aren’t an Alabama fan, that might not be as exciting, but enjoy the bowl games and send us your pictures of your friends and family cheering on your team and having fun. 5. Vote for your favorites in the Best of Mountain Brook competition.

Call for Alabama-LSU National Championship game photos Headed to New Orleans for the big LSU-Alabama BCS National Championship game? We want to see your photos! Email them to

with names of the people in the picture to be considered for publication online and in print. Roll Tide and Geaux Tigers!

Correction In “What gets you in the holiday spirit?” on page 7 of the December issue, we misprinted Sam Gaston’s title as city clerk; Gaston is the city manager.

Please Support Our Sponsors Antiquities (7) Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (14) Amy Smith, State Farm Agent (14) Dyron’s (7) Emmet O’Neal Library (18) Grandmother’s Joy (15) Isbell Jewelers (18) Jacqueline DeMarco (17) LJCC (8) Lulie’s on Cahaba (9) Marguerite’s Conceits (15) Mobley & Sons (10) Mountain Brook Baptist (17) Mountain Brook Chamber (19) Mountain Brook Soccer Club (16) Mtn. Brook Sporting Goods (5)

Otey’s (13) Piggly Wiggly (13) RealtySouth (20) Renaissance Consignment (2) Renasant Bank (3, 16) Saint Luke’s (11) Sew Sheri (12) Steeple Arts (15, 17) The Cook Store (16) The Lingerie Shoppe (9) The Maids (1) The Ridge (11) Town and Country (8) Village Dermatology (5) Vitola (14) Vogue Cleaners (11)

Village Living

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January 2012 |

Village Living

BEST of Mountain Brook 2012

Village Living will be taking votes for the Best of Mountain Brook 2012 competition through January 31. To vote, complete this ballot and return to the ballot box at Gilchrist, A’mano, Snoozy’s, or the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce, or mail to Village Living, P.O. Box 530341, Birmingham, AL 35253. You can also vote online at Only one vote is allowed per person. Results will be announced in the March issue.


*We ask that you list your name to ensure that there is only one vote per person. We will not release your name or in any way associate your name with your voting.

1. Best Cup of Coffee  Church Street Coffee and Books  Continental Bakery  Crestline Bagel  Joe Muggs  Starbuck’s 2. Best Frozen Treats 32 Degrees Mountain Brook Creamery Sugar Yogurt Mountain

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3. Best Dessert Continental Bakery Chez Lulu Daniel George Magic Muffin Olexa’s Ollie Irene Sugar

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4. Best Ladies Lunch Spot  Chez Lulu  Gilchrist  Olexa’s  Surin of Thailand  Zoe’s 5. Best Mexican  La Paz  Mexico Lindo  Taco Mama 6. Best Italian/Pizza Bongiorno Davenport’s Pizza Palace Little Caesars Mafiaoza’s Pizzeria Salvatore’s

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7. Best Casual Dining Billy’s Chez Lulu Davenport’s Pizza Palace Gilchrist Otey’s Tavern Surin of Thailand Taziki’s Zoe’s

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8. Best Special Occasion Dining

 Avo/Dram  Daniel George

 Dyron’s Lowcountry  Ollie Irene

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9. Best Outdoor Patio Avo/Dram Billy’s Overton Mafiaoza’s Pizzeria Otey’s Tavern VINO

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10. Best Wine Selection or Specialty Drinks  Avo/Dram  Daniel George  Dyron’s Lowcountry  Ollie Irene  Western 11. Best Brunch or Breakfast Spot  Another Broken Egg  Chez Lulu/Continental Bakery  Crestline Bagel  Dyrons’ Lowcountry  Magic Muffin  Ore  Over Easy 12. Best Place for Home Décor  A’mano  Antiquities  Belleweather  Bromberg’s  Beverly Ruff  Charlotte Woodson  Christine’s  Circa  Dande Lion  Hen House  Lamb’s Ears  Mulberry Heights  Paige Albright Orientals  Sew Sheri/Suite Dreams  Table Matters  Tracery

Sugar Taco Mama Wholesome by Allie Vitola

14. Best Business for Your Hobby  Grande Jete  Linda Dobbins Dance  Little Hardware  Mountain High Outfitters  Mountain Brook Sporting Goods  Sew Sheri  Smith’s Variety  The Cook Store 15. Best Store for Men Harrison’s Little Hardware Mobley and Sons The Pants Store

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16. Best Women’s Clothing Store Canterbury Clothiers Hayden Laura Kathryn Lulie’s on Cahaba Marella Pappagallo The Pants Store The Lingerie Shoppe Town and Country Village Sportswear

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17. Best Children’s Store  A Tiny Kingdom  Bugs Boys  Christine’s  Grandmother’s Joy  Once Upon a Time  Smith’s Variety  Snap Kids  Snoozy’s

13. Best New Business in Mountain Brook  A Tiny Kingdom  Alektra Runwear  Antiquities  Crestline Coffee and Books  Grand Jete  Hayden  Jacqueline Dillon DeMarco, PhD., Clinical Psychologist  Little Caesars

18. Best Place for Plants or Flowers  Oak Street Garden Shop  Leaf n Petal  Norton’s  Western 19. Best Salon Angel Hair Harper’s Little Flower Day Spa Oak Street Hair Group Richard Joseph Salon 2412 Tonya Jones Salon Spa

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 Trocadero 20. Best Fitness Center/Gym  Birmingham Country Club  Grand Jete  Levite Jewish Community Center  Linda Dobbins Dance  Steeple Arts  Total Fitness  YMCA 21. Best Store to Buy a Gift A’mano A Tiny Kingdom Barton-Clay Fine Jewelers Bromberg’s Lamb’s Ear Marguerite’s Conceits Please Reply The Scribbler Smith’s Variety Snoozy’s The Pants Store

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22. Best Outdoor Spot Birmingham Botanical Gardens Birmingham Zoo Jemison Trail Overton Park

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23. Best After School Activity  Amy Murphy Studio  Dance with Lauren  Emmet O’Neal Library  Gilchrist  Linda Dobbins Dance  Mountain Brook Athletics  Mountain Brook Gymnastics  Steeple Arts 24. Best Mountain Brook Event  Christmas Parade  Homecoming Parade  Legends of Motorsports Car Rally  Market Days  Mystics of Mountain Brook  Halloween Parade  Springalingadingdong  Village2Village Run 26. What suggestions do you have for Best of Mountain Brook categories in future years? ________________________________ ________________________________

Vote online at

Village Living neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

Village Living


January 2012 |


City Council updates Pine Ridge traffic survey underway Skipper Consultants is conducting a study to help reduce the traffic as requested by the residents of Pine Ridge. The study is considering the following elements: Project Initiation/Data Collection, Existing Conditions Analysis, Projected Conditions

Analysis, Final Documentation and Presentations. Skipper will present the findings at the Jan. 10 Council meeting to determine how the city will proceed to resolve the traffic issues.

New phase of sidewalk project Construction on Phase 6 of the Mountain Brook Village Walkway System is scheduled to begin in February or March. The project will build new sidewalks on Overbrook Road, Overcrest Road, Cherokee Road, Shiloh Drive, Knollwood Drive, and Green Valley Road through the city limit line. City Manager Sam Gaston

estimates the project will take four to five months to complete. The Council approved for Sain and Associates to perform construction, engineering and inspection for the project; Walker Patton is bidder for construction. Eighty percent of the project is federally funded.

Overton Park tennis court resurfacing Lower Bros. Co. resurfaced and repaired two tennis courts at Overton Park; work was scheduled to be completed by the end of December. The project included pressure washing to remove stains and dirt, filling in structural cracks, sanding courts

to fix any imperfections to the surface, evening out surfaces with Apple Plexipave Acrylic, painting new white playing lines and sanding and repainting existing net posts as needed. The Council approved the $ 8,000 project in November.

Municipal Complex update The council approved adding $9,802.10 to Taylor & Miree Construction’s contract for their work on the City of Mountain Brook Municipal Complex. The amount is for the changes to the work at the complex originally dated June 27, 2011,

and is in accordance with the cost of other companies working under Taylor & Miree such as Laco Woodworks, Mullins Building Products, Bob Roberts & Company and Southern Painting.

Crossfit Training Facility approved Cory Dill requested conditional use of the building at 2830 Cahaba Road, Mountain Brook Village, for a Crossfit Training Facility. One instructor would conduct training classes as well as oneon-one sessions for up to 10 clients at a time. Proposed class times are 6 a.m. to

9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. A conditional use application has been approved by the council for the operation of the facility. This use is contingent upon their ceasing operations between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

AT&T and Charter franchises extended The city’s franchise agreements with both AT&T and Charter Communications have been extended for five years each.

Each company has agreed to provide services to residents of the city and pay the city 5 percent of their revenue.

Spanish interpreters for courts The council authorized city magistrates to engage the services of Spanish interpreters for municipal court defendants. The interpreters will cost $30/

hour with a two-hour minimum per court session. With one per court session, the time will be rounded to the nearest quarter (1/4) hour.

Updates on wastewater treatment The new permit for the wastewater treatment plant at the high school has some significant changes. Namely, the sampling and testing requirements have been increased from once per month to once per week. The new permit requires samples 52

times per year instead of 12 times a year. EMC will provide a certified wastewater operator who will supervise the operation of the plant. Inspections of the plant will take place a minimum of three times a week.

Crime report online

Find this month’s crime report online at The report will be back in print starting in the

Feburary issue. Thanks for reading Village Living!

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January 2012 |

Village Living

LifeActually By Kari Kampakis

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all fall & winter clothes & accessories going on now! 74 Church Street • 871-7909

Join Us for Our OPEN HOUSE & Group Fitness Launch January 8, 2012 Everyone is Welcome!

Bloom where you are planted What’s your resolution for 2012? Perhaps your plan is to turn a new leaf, to take advantage of the blank slate a new year represents. Eating better... working out...praising more and criticizing less...these are just a few lifestyle changes we often implement to become healthier, happier, better functioning adults. And while I believe in New Year’s resolutions—and applaud anyone who manages to keep them—I think it’s important to remember that being a happier, healthier, better functioning adult also means making the most of current circumstances. Some things we can’t change—at least not now. Life throws curve balls, interrupts plans, gives our dreams on a silver platter to the last person we think deserves them. Nothing we do can budge our situation. We are stuck. Stuck in a job we hate. Stuck at home with small kids. Stuck with an illness or disability. Stuck in a bad relationship. Stuck in a body we don’t like. There’s an old Irish proverb to “Bloom where you are planted,” and ever since Labor Day night—when a storm caused a massive oak tree to fall on my family’s new home, which we’d been in only 10 days— these words have resonated with me. The tree caused extensive damage, forcing us to move back out. We had to find a rental, live with my brother and my mother-inlaw until the rental was ready, and begin major reconstruction on the backside of our home. Ironically enough, we’d spent all summer renovating the front of the house. For six months we lived in a rental, dreaming of the day we’d be settled and finished with projects. Never again did I want to repeat that scenario. In the 10 days I enjoyed my home, I felt a huge relief because our house situation has hung over my head for years. At last my family of six had the room we needed. We could host parties we’d long put off. We could check “Find new digs” off our to-do list and move on with life. And then the tree fell. Life uproots us when we least expect it. We’d barely dug our roots in new soil when

it happened to us. At first, I wondered what lesson I should take. Over time, however, I’ve realized it’s not one lesson I should take, but many. I’ve learned what a blessing it is to have our own home—regardless of size. I’ve learned that God equips us to handle any circumstances. And—here’s the newsflash— I’ve learned my kids can be happy anywhere. Nothing stops them from making memories, and it’s adults— not children—who believe families need a perfect environment to thrive. To my surprise, we’ve been happy in this rental. We’re a minute away from our neighborhood yet in a private location that’s allowed us to bond as a family and has enabled my writing. And while our current situation is a pain, good things have happened, too. Two weeks after the tree fell, I heard from a New York agent I met at a conference last summer. She’d read my entire manuscript and loved it, but she thought parts needed work. She offered fantastic feedback—a gift in itself—and offered to reread it if I made edits. While there’s no guarantee she’ll represent me, I know my novel will be better because of her. I also see this as one step forward in my dreams to be published. So no matter where you are in 2012, try to shine. Don’t wilt in place and make excuses with half-hearted attempts. Maximize on the good in your life. Be the teller at the bank whose line everyone is drawn to because you smile, the FedEx courier who holds doors open and says, “Hello,” the mom who gives motherhood a good name. Dig your roots deep, stand tall and proud, and produce a bloom so exquisite people stop in their tracks and think, “Wow.” After all, someone always takes notice of a beautiful flower. There are too many weeds in this world not to. So keep your resolutions, but add a plan to bloom where you are planted. Start a garden if you wish, and let the fruits of your labor be evident for all to enjoy. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mountain Brook mom of four with a background in PR, writing and photography. Read her blog at or find her on Facebook and Twitter. Email her at kari@karikampakis. com.

“Blue Bag” snacks for neighbors By GATES PORTER

Come by and get this amazing deal!*

Take a tour, join the J and make no payment until April 1, 2012. For our members, come to a group fitness class and get a gift to give to a friend. If your friend joins, you get a free month! *Offer valid only on 1/8/12. Cannot be combined with other offers.

Levite Jewish Community Center 3960 Montclair Road 205-879-0411 The J is a place where people of all faiths & communities come together for wellness of mind, body & spirit.

Fifteen percent of Alabama’s total households have some level of food insecurity, as estimated by the USDA. With this fact in mind, Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church packaged snacks for the Blue Bag program, a part of their Hunger Initiative. The snacks were delivered for Birmingham children who were not in school to receive free and reduced lunches during the holidays. “We often describe Saint Luke’s as a village church – neighbor helping neighbor,” said Kim Kimberlin, the St. Luke’s member who organized the program. “We need to remember all of our Birmingham neighbors. This is a tangible way to reach our neighbors who live only six miles away from those of us living in Mountain Brook.” Saint Luke’s packaged Blue Bags for 150 families of students at Norwood Elementary School who qualify for the free breakfast and lunch program. Seventy families of children in the PreSchool Partners Program also received Blue Bags. Youth prepared bags for Thanksgiving, and senior adults for Christmas. Each Blue Bag contained approximately 20 snack itmes: healthy snack items including granola bars, cereal bars, raisins, pudding for calcium, juice,

Maggie Baker, Margaret Doody and Meghan Beck with prepared Blue Bags for area children. Photo courtesy of Kim Kimberlin.

apple sauce, peanut butter and crackers, cheese and crackers.

Village Living


January 2012 |


St. Luke’s lecture series By SANDY PORTER Renowned theologian Dr. Timothy Luke Johnson will be the 2012 Claypool Lecture Speaker. The Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Candler School of Theology at Emory University will deliver his address on Thursday, January 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Crestline. His presentation, “The Pursuit of Happiness: Jesus and the Philosophers,” creates a playful conversation involving three such thinkers (Aristotle, Epicurus and Epictetus) and the Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel, whose Sermon on the Mount announced a number of conditions for happiness. Sometimes Jesus and the Philosophers agree; sometimes they talk past each other. Together, they remind contemporaries that present-day longings for happiness have an impressive history that needs to be remembered. A former Benedictine monk, Dr. Johnson is a highly sought-after lecturer, a member of several editorial and advisory boards, and a senior fellow at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. He received the prestigious 2011 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his most recent book, Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity (2009, Yale University Press), which explores the relationship between early Christianity and Greco-Roman paganism. Johnson’s research concerns the literary, moral, and religious dimensions

Saint Luke’s members Leslie Naff, Ryan Graham, Parks Gilbert and John Scott, chairman, organized the 2012 Claypool Lecture. Photo courtesy of Sandy Porter.

of the New Testament, including the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts of early Christianity (particularly moral discourse), Luke-Acts, the Pastoral Letters, and the Letter of James. A prolific author, Dr. Johnson has penned numerous scholarly articles and more than twenty-five books. His 1986 book The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation, now in its second edition, is widely used in seminaries and departments of religion throughout the world. Tickets for the lecture are $10 and may be purchased online by going to www. or by calling Barbara at 802-6207. Childcare is available for the event, but reservations are required by Jan. 5. For childcare reservations, call 802-6207. The Claypool Lecture Series was started to honor the service of the Rev. John Claypool, former Rector and one of the county’s most highly regarded preachers and Christian authors.

Pointe Ball celebrates 11 years 871-9696


By MAGGIE CARTER O’CONNOR Eleven years ago, Mountain Brook’s Teresa Shufflebarger and Trent Hull chaired the first Pointe Ball for the Alabama Ballet, and now the 2012 chairwomen, Colin Mitchell and Elizabeth Pharo, are laying plans for the Jan. 28 festivities. Longtime host of the fundraiser, Saks Fifth Avenue at The Summit will once again open its doors to the revelry of the Alabama Ballet’s friends. Building on the anticipation of the Swan Lake performance this spring, the 2012 Pointe Ball will echo the themes of the production. Mitchell and Pharo have planned a “black and white” ball in honor of the ballet production. The night’s honorary chair will be Garland Smith. According to Mitchell, Smith has been a dedicated supporter of the ballet for many years. Amid the spectacle of this blacktie event, which includes cocktails and a seated dinner by Kathy G., will be the unforgettable vignettes performed by the Alabama Ballet. There will be after-dinner dancing with The Soul Searchers. With the growth comes change, and one feature of the previous year’s celebrations, the After Hours party, has been replaced with a separate spring event. This May will welcome the inaugural Derby-themed “Ballet, Bourbon and Bowties.” As the Ballet’s largest fundraising event, the Pointe Ball supports the education and outreach programs at the Alabama Ballet. The CityDance program reaches more than 1,000 inner-city students who would otherwise have very limited

opportunities in dance. By giving free performances at schools, the Alabama Ballet brings its magic to over 10,000 children. In addition to these outstanding programs, funds raised at the Pointe Ball help further the prestige of the Alabama Ballet. As an example, this season the Ballet celebrates its 30th Anniversary with very special performances that include George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Ovation, Swan Lake, and Alice in Wonderland. In fact, the Alabama Ballet is one of only seven companies licensed to perform Balanchine’s Nutcracker. The school also stands alone in the state as accredited by the Royal Academy of Dance and annually trains 200 students. Pointe Ball Committee members include Mitchell, Pharo, Pratt AustinTrucks, Margaret Bond, Kelley Caine, Morgan Cook, Lucy Daniel, Erin Donohoo, Bridget Drennen, Susan Dumas, Caroline Ezelle, Ashelynn Falkenburg, Allyson Fox, Annie Goldberg, Shannon Holt, Carmen King, Lindsey Lacey, Elena Leonard, Cathy Marks, Dottie Mitchell, Jeanne Monk, Richelle Simmons, Carey Thomasson, Ashlee Todd, Lauryn Walker, Tricia Wallwork and Mallie Whatley. Tickets for the 2012 Pointe Ball on Saturday, Jan. 28 are on sale for $350 or $500 for a couple. To purchase, contact Dale Gann at the Alabama Ballet, 322-4300, ext. 31. For more information, visit www.


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Pointe Ball organizers Garland Smith, Elizabeth Pharo and Colin Mitchell. Photo by Jennifer Gray.






January 2012 |

Village Living

Village Sports Basketball season tips off By WIll HIGHTOWER The 2011 Mountain Brook boys and girls basketball teams are hard to label. The best word to describe them? Different. The boys have a noticeable lack of seniors, and the seniors that are on the team have taken odd paths to get there, two of them coming from other countries. That’s not to say that it is slowing down this team. After some early season struggles, the Spartans were 7-3 in midDecember. Matthi Sigurdarson, who moved from Iceland this year to play, and Mario Stramaglia, who moved from Puerto

Rico four years ago, are leading the team in scoring. The coaches call sophomore Patrick Keim the “vocal leader” of the team, and sophomore Sean Eaton is the Spartans’ big man. “I’d be surprised if by the end of the year this team doesn’t make something happen in the playoffs,” head coach Bucky McMillan said. The girls team also is composed oddly; only one senior is on the team. But just like the boys, the girls are not letting that get in the way. The Lady Spartans have been

annihilating opponents so far this year. In their seven wins as of mid-December, the girls have averaged a margin of victory of over 40 points. Losses to Hoover and Shades Valley made the Spartans’ record 7-2. Sophomore Mary Katherine Pinson has been leading the girls in scoring. The youth of this team makes the future bright. Outside of Hoover, the girls look to be one of the better teams in the area and will most likely keep that title for years to come.


center nationally, and he was named 6A All-State. Then came the issue with Saban. Vlachos had gone to camps across the country and was “whipping five-star defensive linemen,” as Yeager put it. Yet Saban still wasn’t a fan. The pivotal moment came in a Marriott in Tallahassee. “So William and I go down to Florida State, who had offered him,” Yeager said. “We were at the Marriott the day before we were going to talk with Coach Bowden, and he asked me what he should do. And I told him that I didn’t think they wanted him at Alabama. And he said back, ‘I’m going to make them want me.’” However difficult the recruiting

process was, Vlachos ended up in Tuscaloosa in 2008, ready for his first season of college football. Although he was redshirted freshman year, he went on to start the next three, including playing in Pasadena at the 2009 National Championship. This season has been his coming-out party, though. He earned preseason allSEC first team honors, and was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week twice for the wins over Florida and Auburn. He was later named all-SEC first team and a finalist for the prestigious Rimington Trophy. Yeager acknowledged that the general opinion on Vlachos is that he is the best center in the country next to Ben Jones of

from pg 1

school, Vlachos worked tirelessly at improving his technique, knowing that he would have to overcome his stature if he wanted to achieve his goals. “When he was in seventh grade, I gave him some foot drills to do,” Yeager said. “It didn’t matter if it was raining outside, snowing, lightning, he was out there doing those drills in seventh and eighth grade. He was extremely focused.” Vlachos’ senior year at Mountain Brook saw the center attain high honors. ranked him as the number nine

Junior Reagan Alexander goes for the block in the 63-58 victory over Thompson.

Georgia. That means the NFL is waiting. “I’ve had a few guys that I’ve coached elsewhere that have gone to the NFL, and the traffic we are getting is very similar,” Yeager said. “This is exceptional traffic. The Colts seem to line up well to pick him, and the Seahawks, Raiders, and Redskins have all called.” The consensus on Vlachos is that he will be picked anywhere from the third to fifth round in the draft in April. As a threeyear SEC starter, going up daily in practice against Marcell Dareus and Terrence Cody, Vlachos seems like a safe pick to succeed if teams can get over his height. But for now, his focus is on a certain date in early January.

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Village Living


January 2012 |


Lacrosse in National Championship Basketball season is here! Go Spartan Boys and Girls!

Go Spartans! Front row: Christian Conboy, Wills Taylor, Jake Levant, Patton Browning, Brayden Puckett, Jack Briskin, Claiborne Crommelin, Luke Hand, William Culp, Jackson Sharman. Second Row: Earl Bradberry, Zach Manry, Will Levant, Park Mendelsohn, Jake Long, Josh Corley, Conyers Hallman, Christopher Harmon, Sean Doud, Ben “BP” Pate. Back Row: Coach Brian Doud, Coach Russell Pate. Not Pictured: Nicholas Cotumaccio, Ty Bailey, Reid Manley, Rhodes Vogtle. Photo courtesy of Theresa Manry.

The Bamalax U-11 Boy’s Lacrosse Team competed in the National Lacrosse Championship, which was held in Tampa over New Years. In their last 12 games of the season, the team was 12-0, having scored just over 100

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goals and giving up less than 25 goals. Of the 30 young men who have held a roster spot this year, 24 different players have scored at least one goal. Almost half of the players are from Mountain Brook.

LJCC soccer team has perfect season

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The LJCC U7 Soccer Team had a perfect 9-0 season and are the CISL Champions: Lawson Evans, Thomas Marriot, Jackson Beatty, Quinn Denson, David Miller, Trent Wright, Nick Boler, Logan Blowmeyer, Ford Moffatt, Landon Friedman and Coach Rebecca Harrison. Not pictured: Jack Windle. Photo courtesy of Jim Beatty.

Swimmers and divers compete at state meet

First row: Ricky Feig, Zach Feig, Arlen Fan, Jack Tucker, Michael Clark, Sam Lidikay, Mason Dillard, and Graham Grigsby. Second row: Mary Clay Carr, Mallie Bromberg, Mallie Lundberg, Anna Smith, Mimi Fullan, Kassey Lundberg, Emily Bolvig, Hannah Elliott, and Frances Conner. Third Row: James McCool, Charles Hoyt, Andrew Davis, Michael Fullan, Jay McElroy, Laine Lidikay, Anne Galloway, Anne Pell, and Laura Middlebrook. Photo courtesy of Image Arts.

MBHS and MBJH swimmers and divers competed at the State Swim Meet held at Auburn University. Divers with place finishes included James McCool, 16th Place for Men, and Laine Lidikay, 11th place for Women. All swimmers had personal best times with the following men placing at State: Andrew Davis finished 10th in the 100 Breast. Jay McElroy, Andrew Davis, Michael Fullan and Charles Hoyt finished 13th in the 200 Medley Relay, posted a best time in preliminaries and then bettered

that time in the finals. Michael Clark, Arlen Fan, Jay McElroy and Michael Fullan finished 16th in the 200 Freestyle Relay with yet more best times posted at preliminaries and then finals. Mallie Bromberg finished 11th while Mary Clay Carr finished 13th in the 50 Freestyle. Mary Clay also placed 13th in the 100 Backstroke. Hannah Elliott, Mimi Fullan, Mary Clay Carr and Mallie Bromberg finished 10th in the 200 Medley Relay and 11th in the 400 Freestyle Relay.


from pg 1 Redden said. “You see many families out in their front yards cheering you on.” The race has averaged about 700 runners over the past five years, but their goal is to break 1,000 runners. Race director Beth Nigri said they started promoting the run earlier this year and using social media in addition to posters and road signs to attract more participants. The run’s After Party will be held in the parking lot of the Western shopping center. The event will support the Chamber’s “Buy Local” initiative. Proceeds from the run will be split between the Mountain Brook Chamber

of Commerce and the Spartans Helping Spartans Pleasant Grove relief effort. Runners who pre-register for the race will receive a t-shirt and a bag with items donated by merchants. In addition, there will be prizes given to the winners in each division. The 10K will start at 8 a.m. and the 1-mile Fun Run at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 21 in Mountain Brook Village. To register for the Village2Village 10K or 1-mile Run, visit or stop by The Fitness Center, 3900 Montclair Road, #210, or Dr. Kevin Alexander, D.M.D.’s office, in Crestline.

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January 2012 |

Village Living

MBE Circle of Friends

Save money with multiple policies By Amy Smith State Farm® Agent In today’s busy world, filled with concern over the rising cost of gas and housing, many of us look for ways to get greater value for our time and money. One way you may not have considered is having all of your insurance needs taken care of in one place. There are advantages to having your car, home, and family protected by the same insurance company. Switching all your policies to one well-respected insurer might save you time and money, not to mention the convenience of having only one number to call for questions or claims.

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Many insurance companies offer a range of discounts that vary by state. Be sure to ask the agent about the availability and amount of any discounts offered by the insurer. Here are some common discounts you should know about: • Multiple line: Your premiums may be reduced if you have more than one policy with the same company or family of companies that covers your car. • Good student: Full-time students (high school or higher) maintaining at least a “B” average may qualify for reduced premiums. • Multiple cars: Your premiums may be reduced if there are two or more private-passenger cars in the household insured by the same company or family of companies. These are just a few of the discounts that may save you money. Once you have considered price, think about the quality of service you expect. The best value should save you both time and money. Here are a few things to consider: • Do you have one person to call when you need help? • Is the insurer available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? • Does the insurer make it easy to file a claim? • Is the insurer available to discuss your needs and help customize a package of services that is best for you and your family? • Do you feel confident in the insurer’s financial stability and ability to pay if your family suffers a loss? Be sure you’re getting the most value for your time and money. Call your agent or insurance company today and ask if you can get more value by having all your insurance needs taken care of in one place.

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MBE Students Ralph Cook, Grace Hull, Ella Cobbs, Robert Reed, Sydney Porter and Jacob Fridy with Lakeshore Foundation athletes Katie Holloway and Bob Lujano.

By HIlARY ROSS Circle of Friends at Mountain Brook Elementary is a weeklong celebration that directs attention to the fact that each of our students possesses unique characteristics that make our learning community diverse. Two special events were held during Circle of Friends Week. First, Hand in Paw volunteers brought three trained dogs, Kosmo, Sally and Simon, for a special presentation to students in preschool through second grade. Here students learned about the Hand in Paw handlers and how their animals help at numerous facilities to improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults. They serve those with physical, emotional, educational or psychological needs through interactions with the professionally trained Animal-Assisted Therapy Teams. Later in the week, Lakeshore Foundation’s Wheelchair Athletes visited third through sixth grades to illustrate that despite having a disability, they adapted so they could continue to participate in and enjoy sport opportunities. Lakeshore Foundation promotes independence for persons with physically disabling conditions and provides opportunities to pursue active, healthy lifestyles. The

facility offers a wide range of fitness, recreation, athletic and education programs to children and adults who experience diagnostic conditions including spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, amputation, and visual impairment. Bob Lujano, a disabled athlete, brought several of his sport wheelchairs and showed the children how he continues to compete in such sports like wheelchair rugby and basketball. Katie Holloway, who has a prosthetic leg, spoke of her competition at the recent Bejiing Olympic games, wowing the audience with the silver medal she won for sitting volleyball. Several students were able to hold and wear her medal! All week the MBE news team broadcasted messages on “Lights, Camera, Action,” and teachers read books to encourage class discussions about attending school with children who have special needs, whether they be physical or cognitive. Additionally, the week honored the special education staff, which includes 20 teachers, therapists and assistants. Appreciation was shown through bringing snacks, providing a luncheon, and giving the staff gift baskets.

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Front Row left to right: BWF 6th graders Lena Bluestein and Kathryn Davis Back Row left to right: Tamara Davis and Humane Society staff receiving the donation.


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Brookwood Forest Elementary had a donation drive for the Greater Birmingham Humane Society in an effort to raise money, toys and blankets for pets helped by the organization. The drive was put on by three BWF 6th grade students: Elana Hites, Leanna Ritchie and Hayden Jones. Two other BWF 6th grade students, Kathryn Davis and Lena Bluestein, wanted to help them and raised $355 for Greater Birmingham Humane Society. They raised

all of the money by selling their own unique designs of duct tape ties, headbands and bracelets. Every last penny went to the Humane Society and it won’t be the last. These girls have raised a lot of money to help the victims of the tornado as well. It is great to see that these students know the meaning of helping out in their community and giving back without expecting a thing in return. It’s the BWF Way.

Village Living


January 2012 |



The Crestline Book Fair in November raised more money than it ever had before. In addition to raising money for the school’s library, students and parents generously donated more than $600 to the “One for Books” Charity Book Drive. All money raised through $1 donations was used to purchase books for Brookville Elementary in Pratt City. Crestline students were asked to make a card and place it on the banner outside the library if they chose to donate to help build Brookville’s library. The banners served as a wonderful reminder to think of others at this time of year.

Anna Langley (third grade), Ella Grace Bowers (fourth grade), Stanton Langley (fifth grade), Thomas Luttrell (first grade), Anna Brooks Bowers (first grade) and Mac Holman (fifth grade, back row) hold the Books for Brookville banner.

Making People Happy For 22 Years, It’s An Institution!

CBS lends a hand during holidays

Live music every Fri. and Sat. night Front Row: Tessa Allen, William Robinett, Sara Frances Berte and Cooper Cashio. Middle row: Emily Russell, Katherine Watson, Hunter Barlow, Carson Robinett and Margie Cashio;. Back row: starting @ Mary Ward, Lucy Bowling, Cate Jones, Frances Lyon, Anne Ross Bethea, Maggie Logan, Elaine Russell and Maxie Samson. 9pm. By FRANCES WATTS

During the holiday season, the Cherokee Bend Elementary School community pledged to help three organizations in the Birmingham area: PreSchool Partners, the YWCA and “Spartans Helping Spartans” tornado relief effort for Pleasant Grove. As Cherokee Bend students gathered donations for these organizations, they learned how each group is making a difference in the community and why their donations matter. Reading is an important part of the learning for Pre-School Partners, so Cherokee Bend students raided their bookshelves and visited stores to gather

books for these promising pre-school students. In an effort to make the holidays brighter for the families living at the YWCA, CBS also collected new, unwrapped toys for the children of these families. Finally, also on the donation wish list were new, warm coats for Pleasant Grove, an area who had many residents lose coats in the April 2011 tornadoes. The holiday donation drive was lead by chairmen Ashley Robinett and Anne Russell. A special thanks goes to Girl Scout Troop 410; each morning during the holiday drive these Girl Scouts accepted and organized the donations.

MBJH competes in Special Olympics

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MBJH Athletes at the Special Olympics.

By HIlARY ROSS Seven athletes from Mountain Brook Junior High participated in a Special Olympics Track and Field Meet held at Jack Wood Stadium in Trussville. Several MBJH peer helpers accompanied the athletes to the meet, cheered them to victory and joined them for lunch afterward. The athletes participated in the 50-meter run, 50-meter assisted walk,

100-meter run, softball and tennis throws, and running long jump. MBJH earned six first place medals, three second and three third. The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

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January 2012 |

Steeple Arts

Village Spotlight

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36 Church Street Crestline 871-5893 Lola Mae Coates was known for always telling her dance students: “Hold your pretty heads high and be proud of yourself.” Even though Coates retired from Steeple Arts in 2002, passing the reigns as director on to her daughter, Deanny Coates Hardy, today the studio still teaches that same self-confidence to a fourth generation of students. “We’ve always said we love children through dance,” Hardy said. All of the current Steeple Arts faculty took dance from the studio while growing up. “We teach so much more than ballet,” said Bee Lewis, who has been teaching at Steeple Arts for about 20 years. “We teach manners, we teach classroom skills, we teach them how to be kind to each other.” “They are not just dance students,” said 35-year dance teacher Annette Troxell. “We care about them and their families, and most importantly we want them to love dance. Mrs. Coates really nurtured my love of dance and music, and I want to pass that on to students.” Steeple Arts stresses classical training in ballet, jazz and tap for all ages. In addition to these traditional classes for children, they offer hip-hop and dance team training for girls and Zumba and ladies’ ballet for women. Many dancers start at Steeple Arts at age two and dance through the end of high school, up to 16 years in all, but each dancer is just as important to the instructors if she



Steeple Arts owner Deanny Coates Hardy along with assistant teachers Tricia Brice and Hannah Barnette and teachers Annette Troxell and Bee Lewis pause during a rehearsal with 5-6-year-old Ballet & Jazz Class and 9-10-year-old Hip-Hop Class students. Photo by Madoline Markham.

is only there one or two years—as it has been since Hardy’s grandmother opened the studio in 1935. Originally located above the old Browdy’s in Mountain Brook Village, the Lola Mae Jones School of Dance moved to the old red Crestline United Methodist Building in 1958 and changed its name to Steeple Arts. Hardy said Steeple Arts tries to stay current with what’s popular by teaching classes like hip-hop and dance team, but they also still hang onto the tradition of what dance is all about. “We teach our dancers grace, poise,

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discipline, respect and responsibility,” she said. Also in her mother’s tradition, Hardy teaches sixth grade ballroom dancing classes each fall. Many parents who took the class over the past 50 years now see the classes as a necessary rite of passage for their children to learn among other things the Foxtrot, Waltz and Swing. “It’s so fun to watch the children through the classes,” Hardy said. “At the beginning of the session, they are so shy, and they become more confident and comfortable with each other. It’s a huge transformation.”

Hardy describes Steeple Arts as being like a family. Younger dancers look up to the older ones who lead them on stage in recitals and who perform for them at the studio’s annual holiday party. They can’t wait to wear black leotards instead of the blue that the younger classes wear, to dance at the party and to perform a solo as a senior in the recital. After more than 75 years, Steeple Arts’ focus is still on this love of dance. “I feel Steeple Arts has touched the lives of so many people over the years and continues to do so today,” Hardy said.

Village Living


January 2012 |


Writing The Knight’s Lance By MADOlINE MARKHAM In elementary school Robert Krauss would write whole newspapers for fun after he got home from school. So perhaps it’s not surprising that the MBJH seventh grader published a novel this fall. The Knight’s Lance, a story of good and evil set in two realms of future medieval times, is now in circulation at the Emmet O’Neal Library and Crestline Elementary library. “Robert has created an imaginative world with funny, consistent characters and wrangled all that into an organized plot that keeps the reader turning pages,” said Emmet O’Neal children’s librarian Rachel Hebert. “The story has comedy, tragedy and catharsis. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with as he gets older and continues to refine his natural talent.” The book was set in a special display along with Robert’s artwork at the Emmet O’Neal in the fall. The story originated in what Robert calls “writing mania” in fourth grade. He had also been reading the Harry Potter books and others about medieval life at the time. “This was my first story that was all my imagination,” he said. Most of his other stories had been spinoffs of books he had read. Two years later, he was charged to come up with a yearlong project for his PAGE class, a program for gifted students, at Crestline taught by Susan Dulin. He had always liked to write and draw, so a book project seemed like a natural fit. Starting with the introduction and two main characters he had already written, Robert followed a story plan to fill in details of the plot and add a new character. After writing and editing with the help of editor Nancy Glaub throughout sixth grade, last summer he drew illustrations and prepared it for publication. With the help of his parents, Bill and Erin, he even got the book copyrighted. Robert dedicated the book to Geoffrey Glaub, a friend who passed away from

STORE WIDE SALE! Robert Krauss, author of The Knight’s Lance, stands with the display case for his book and artwork at the Emmet O’Neal Library, where the book is in circulation. Photo courtesy of the Krauss family.

cancer a few years ago, and Karen Scott, his fifth grade English teacher. After Robert had reworked a fiveparagraph essay for Scott, she said he should dedicate his first book to her. Little did she know that time would come less than two years later. “When I gave the book to Mrs. Scott, she got excited and said she would go home and read it to her 6-year-old daughter,” Robert said. Robert hasn’t been writing quite as much lately because he stays busy with school work and playing baritone in the band, but his writing career is far from over. “The Knight’s Lance certainly seems like sequel material,” he said.

Emmet O’Neal Library Calendar Adults 1/1-1/2- Library closed in observance of the New Year’s holiday 1/3- Thyme to Read-EOL Book Group discussing “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, 6 p.m. at The Library at the Botanical Gardens 1/4- Brown Bag Lunch series, a film on the ancient Celts and the arrival of the Normans in 1066, 12:30 p.m. 1/5- Smart Investing @ EOL with Dr. Andreas Rauterkus, Introduction to Financial Markets, 6:30 p.m. 1/9- Great Books Book Group discussing Saul Bellow’s “Looking for Mr. Green,” 6:30 p.m. 1/10- The Bookies Book Group discussing “In the Garden of Beasts” by Eric Larson, 10 a.m. 1/11- Brown Bag Lunch series, film on the origin of dogs and the bonds they share with their human companions, 12:30 p.m. 1/16- Library closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 1/17- Documentaries After Dark, film on the musical world of the Roma people, 6:30 p.m. 1/18- Brown Bag Lunch series, film on the science of fractals, 12:30 p.m. 1/19- Third Thursdays at Dyron’s Lowcountry, a portion of the proceeds benefit the Library, 4:30-10 p.m. 1/21- June Mays presents “Jane Austen & the British Landscape,” 10 a.m. 1/21- Knit & Knibble, all crafts and skill levels welcome, 2-3:30 p.m. 1/25- Brown Bag Lunch series, storyteller Dolores Hydock performing “Starch in Their Petticoats: True Stories of Strong Women Who Settled the West,” 12:30 p.m. 1/28- Smart Investing @ EOL, panel discussion on couponing, 2-3 p.m. 1/31- Genre Reading Group, Fiction from

the Animals’ Point of View, 6:30 p.m. Teens 1/3- TAB, monthly meeting of the members of the Teen Advisory Board 1/6- Game On! Super Smash Brothers Brawl, 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. 1/13- Scrabble Throwdown!, 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Children Mondays Toddler Tales Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Chess Club. 6 :00 p.m. Tuesdays Together Time Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Library Out Loud Story Time. 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays Mother Goose Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Thursdays Patty Cake Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. SNaP. 3:30 p.m. Saturdays Family Story Time with Mr. Mac. 10:30 a.m. Special Events 1/10- Family Night: Three Pigs and Jack and the Beanstalk. 5:30 p.m. 1/11- After-School Special: Hansel and Gretel . 3:30 p.m. 1/18- Savvy Surfing: Homework Helps . 3:30 p.m. 1/24- Bookmania: Cabin Fever. 6 p.m. 1/26- Bookmania: Cabin Fever. 6 p.m. For more information about any of our programs, you may call us at 445-1121 and find us online at, blogging at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at @ eolib.


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January 2012 |

Village Living

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I have conversations from time-to-time with my son about drugs and alcohol. I know that sooner or later, he is going to ask me if I drank and used drugs when I was in high school. I did do some drinking and some experimentation with drugs. I don’t want to lie to my child, but if I am honest, and then tell him he’s forbidden to drink and do drugs, I will seem like a hypocrite I participated in a planning session recently for a meeting with parents about underage drinking, and this question came up. It was referred to as “the dreaded question.” I can understand why you would dread the question, but I do think there are some options to consider. You could, of course, lie and claim you never drank or experimented with drugs. You say you do not want to lie, and, if you do lie, you run the risk that your son will find out about your history through another source. If he does, you could lose credibility. From the point your child knows you lied, he may well hang on to that as “the issue.” It will no longer be about what he’s going to do about alcohol and drugs. It will be about the fact that you lied to him. On the other hand, if, in your desire to be honest, you start singing like a bird about your own history, again, your son may shift the focus of the discussion to you. You might also cross a sort of boundary of appropriateness by spilling your guts to him. He’s not your spouse or your pastor or your therapist. So, my number one suggestion: Don’t let him turn this into a discussion about you. Let me model one approach one might take: “Well, let me tell you. I did

drink some in high school, and I smoked a bit of pot. I think it turned out ok, and I think that’s because I got lucky. Some other people I went to school with weren’t so lucky, and their choice to drink caused them a lot of trouble. If I knew then what I know now, I’d like to think I’d choose not to drink or try drugs. The truth is, we know a lot more about the dangers of drugs and alcohol than we did when I was in high school. Let me be clear about this: I’m your parent, and it’s my job to set rules based on my best judgment. So, the rule is, I don’t want you to drink or do drugs. It’s illegal and I’m not going to endorse it, and if I find out you are doing it, I’m not going to ignore it or accept it as ok. My own history as a teenager is not what this is about.” I wrote above that my number one suggestion is to not let the discussion shift to being about you. My number two suggestion is to not let the question freak you out. The fact that you’re already thinking about how to answer the question means you’ll be prepared when it comes. Dale Wisely, Ph.D. is Director of Student Services at Mountain Brook Schools and has been a child and adolescent psychologist for nearly 30 years. Dr. Wisely welcomes your questions for future columns; email jennifer@ to submit yours.


CONTINUED from page 1 People constantly bring breakfast and dinner. At one point, an acquaintance from church organized a group to run errands for the Fredella family. “For months, I never went to Walmart or the grocery story,” she said. People would find out what the Fredellas needed, and they handled it. “I am humbled when I think of all the kindness shown to our family,” she said. “There are so many amazing angels in our lives.” Sean was first diagnosed with leukemia before he reached his third birthday. The cancer was treatable and he responded well to the two and half years of treatment. He then had a central nervous system relapse and endured two more years of treatment. On the last day of treatment, scans revealed that the cancer was back. This time it was throughout his body and in his bone marrow, which required him to have a transplant. Sean’s older brother, Ryan, was the bone marrow donor. After the transplant battle, he did well and his life returned to normal for about three years. He played guitar, basketball, and lacrosse and kept up with schoolwork. Then in the fall of 2011, Sean started getting nosebleeds and swollen glands. Tests revealed that cancer was back and this time it was Esthesioneuroblastoma, a

rare form of tumor that’s not normally seen in children. “Children’s Hospital in Birmingham has always been amazing, and we received outstanding medical care here and miss being at Children’s,” Nell said. “But now, with an extremely rare adult tumor, we felt that it made sense to go to the world’s largest cancer center, MD Anderson. We hope and pray that they have had a lot of experience with this type of cancer.” The road has also been long and difficult for her husband, Todd, and her other two sons, Patrick, 17, and Ryan, 15, but they are holding strong with the support of their family and community. “Todd is an amazing husband. He’s a rock,” said Nell. “He holds down the fort when Sean and I are in Houston. He helps keep things as normal as possible for the other two boys. My mom, Joanna Boland, has been wonderful too.” The fight is not over yet for Sean. After these rounds of chemotherapy, he will require surgery to remove the tumor and further radiation and possibly more chemo before this battle is won. Sean’s heros are Spiderman and Superman, but they could learn something about strength from this young warrior. To keep up with Sean, visit http://www.


Jan 13th-21st

20% OFF almost entire stock (some exclusions apply - see store for details) No gift wrap, no exchanges, no returns!!

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

Around the Villages |

Around the Villages Economic Forecast Luncheon

Ward Cheatham of Regions Bank, David Agee of Bryant Bank, Lessie Brady of First Commercial Bank, John Rucker of Stern Agee, John Wilson of Borland Benefield, Steven Hydinger of Brec Development and State Representative Paul DeMarco were panelists and moderators for the Economic Forecast Luncheon held by the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce at Park Lane in December. Photo courtesy of the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce.

Village2Village Registration Party The monthly Tweet Up will be held in conjunction with a Village2Village Run Registration Party on Jan. 10. The event is organized by the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce, and The Magic City Post. It will take place at LeMac Sports Medicine, 720 Montclair Road, from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.welcometomountainbrook. com.

Mtn. Brook has highest quality of life Mountain Brook was ranked as having the highest quality of life in Alabama and the fourth highest in the South. The rankings came from to a new study by On Numbers that considers economic health, traffic, cost of living, housing and education.

January 2012 |


Don Logan to speak at Chamber Luncheon

Don Logan will speak at the Second Annual Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Feb. 9. Logan, a Mountain Brook resident, co-owns Seek Publishing, the Birmingham Barons, and B.A.S.S. Under Logan’s leadership, B.A.S.S., largest membership organization of bass anglers in the country, moved their corporate headquarters from Florida to Birmingham in 2011. Don Logan Logan also worked at Southern Progress Corporation for 21 years before rising to serve as President Chief Operating Officer of Time Inc. He retired from Time in 2006. He currently serves on the Boards of Time Warner Cable, Auburn University Foundation, Birmingham Business Alliance, and The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. The Chamber is excited for Logan to speak to growing local business in Birmingham. “Locally owned businesses are a very important part of our culture and economy,” Logan said. “They are where most of the growth occurs. Individually their numbers are relatively small, but in aggregate they are where most of the new jobs are created.” The luncheon will be held at The Club. For more information, visit or call 871-3779.


Jacqueline Dillon DeMarco, PhD


Clinical Psychologist


Dates & Times: Jan 20 6:30-9:00 p.m. Session 1: “Modern Parents/Vintage Values” Dinner and childcare provided

Jan 21 9:00-11:30 a.m. Session 2: “GROW” Light breakfast and childcare provided *The conference will be aimed at parents raising children from birth to 11 years old. Cost: $15 per person/ $25 per couple (Tickets are available in the church office.) Contact Wayne Splawn at 803-3484 or or Sharon Howard at 803-3445 or for more information.

Individual and Couple Therapy (Adults ages 18+)

SPECIALTIES: ● ● ● ● ● ●

Mood Disorders Grief Trauma Anxiety Stress Management Relationship Issues

500 Office Park Drive • Suite 216 • Mountain Brook, AL 35233

(205) 718-5433



January 2012 |

Mountain Brook Events

Village Living Calendar

1/8- LJCC Open House and Group Fitness

Launch. Open to everyone. Tours, free group fitness classes, blood drive, prize giveaways, and one-day-only membership special. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Special Ultimate Fintess Challenge Class at 11:15 a.m. Levite Jewish Community Center. M More information: 879-0411.

1/10- Tweet Up and Village2Village

Run Registration Party. The monthly Tweet Up is organized by the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce, and The Magic City Post. LeMac Sports Medicine, 720 Montclair Road. More information: www.

1/20-21- Parenting Conference. Mountain

Brook Baptist Church. Friday 6:30-9 p.m., Saturday 9-11:30 a.m. Tickets: $15 per person or $25 per couple, available at the church’s office. More information: Wayne Splawn, 803-3484 or; Sharon Howard, 803-3445 or Sharon@

1/21- Village2Village Run, 10k and 1-mile

Fun Run. Mountain Brook Village. More information: or www.

1/22- ‘Race to Nowhere,’ viewing at Cantebury United Methodist 4 p.m. More information:

Church. tickets@

1/29- Polar Plunge to support Knesseth Israel and tornado relief efforts. 8 a.m. Oak Mountain Lake at Oak Mountain State Park. Registration: $35 if received by Jan. 15, $40 from Jan. 15-29. $10 for pancake breakfast. Register at www.kicorn. org or Knesseth Israel Congregation, 3100 Overton Road.

Music and Arts 1/1-”Passport: Original Paintings from the Travels and Inspirations of Artist Joseph

Longoria.” Little Savannah. Continuing event. More information: 591-1119.

1/1-DJ Ivan Correa Latin Dance, Free Salsa Dancing lessons at 5 p.m. at Bailey Dance Studio. More Information: ivancorrea@ 1/6- ASO Masterworks Presents: Garrick Ohlsson plays Brahms. Alys Stephens Center. More information: 975-9540. 1/13-22- The Village Players present

“Lost in Yonkers.” More information:

1/14- UAB Honor Choir, Alys Stephens Center, UAB. More information: 975-9504.

1/20- 2012 Alabama Dance Festival. Samford University. More information:

1/23- 3 Day Art Class. How Great Thou

ART Publications presents 3-Day Art classes hosted by Essential Church School. More information: www.essentialchurchschool. org.

1/26- The 6th Annual Acoustic Soup.

Hot Soup and Live Music benefitting VSA Alabama. WorkPlay Theater. More information: 307-6300.

Special Events 1/1-”Mapping Birmingham,” Vulcan Park

and Museum. Chart Birmingham’s growth. More information:


Leader to Leader Breakfast Series. Alys Stephens Center, UAB. More information: 975-9540.

1/12-15Southern Bridal Show. Birmingham. Jefferson Convention Complex. Bridal fashion show and more. More information: 1/14-



We Buy Gold

Diversity Coalition and Eastview Healthcare Center’s “MLK Unity Walk.” Railroad Park. More information: www.

1/15- Reflect and Rejoice: A Tribute to

Martin Luther King, Jr. Alys Stephens Center. UAB. More information: 975-9540.

1/17- Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Celebrate and Serve! Volunteer at the Institute on MLK Day, or enter the institute for free that day. More information: 3289696.

1/22- Haute Prom Expo. 3 p.m. Boutwell Auditorium. More information: www. 1/19- Dinner and a Night at the Theatre,

benefitting the Parkinson Association of Alabama. The Best Little Whorehouse will be performed at the Virginia Samford Theatre. More information: Casey Schaeffer, 871-9941, or


The Legacy League’s annual Scholarship Luncheon at Vestavia Country Club. Individual tickets are $50, or a table of ten can be purchased for $500. $25 of each $50 ticket is tax-deductible. More information: legacyleague or 726-2247, ssmith12@

Family Fun 1/7- Story Time on the Mountain. Ruffner Mountain Nature Center at 10 a.m. More information: 833-8264. 1/14- Sid the Science Kid from PBS Kids

television. McWane Center. 10 a.m. More information: 714-8300.

1/21- Winter Birding. Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. 10 a.m. Bird watching hike. More information: 833-8264.

1/28- Miner’s Hike. Ruffner Mountain

Nature Center. Learn about Vulcan and the mining history of Birmingham at 10 a.m. More information: 833-8264.

Save the Date 2/9- Annual Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce Awards Luncheon featuring Don Logan. The Club. More information: or 871-3779. 2/9-11-

Birmingham Fashion Week. Pepper Place on 2nd Avenue South. More information:

2/15- Mountain Brook Elementary Kindergarten Registration. More information:, 871-4608. 2/16- Brookwood Forest Elementary Kindergarten Registration. More information:, 871-4608.

1/26- “Heaven is for Real,” featuring


1/28- FoodBlogSouth 2012. 8 a.m. at

2/24- Annual Guild Gala held by the Service Guild of Birmingham. Country Club of Birmingham. Benefits the Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs. More information: Tommie Ford at

speaker Todd Burpo and the band Read You and Me. Reid Chapel on the campus of Samford University. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. All seats are general admission. More information: or 7262247, Old Car Heaven. Learn how to be a food blogger. More information: www.

Cherokee Bend Elementary Kindergarten Registration. More information:, 871-4608.

2/28- Crestline Elementary Kindergarten

Registration. More information: Mtnbrook., 871-4608.

Emmet O'Neal Library

Introduction to Financial Markets Thursday, January 5th, 6:30 - 8:00PM

Learn about risk and return, understand market fluctuations and government regulations. This program is free, but registration is required.

Coupons, e-mail deals, local bargains, what is worth your time and will really save you money? Just pick up the phone and call 205.995.7990. We’ll let you know what we are currently paying for gold. IT’S USUALLY ONE OF THE HIGHEST PRICES IN TOWN! Bring in your unwanted gold and silver. We’ll weigh it and give you a total amount on the spot.


In 280 Station 448 Cahaba Park Cir Birmingham, AL 35242

(205) 995-7990

Saturday, January 28th 2:00-3:30 p.m. Come listen to our panel of experts as they provide tips, advice and suggestions for the best ways to easily keep more cash in your wallet.

This program is free, but registration is required.

Food will be provided at both events.

Register online at or call 445-1118

The Smart investing@your library series is a grant-funded program developed collaboratively by the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

Village Living


January 2012 |

January Sales Find great deals at these retailers Up to 25% Off

through mid-January Marguerite’s Conceits 2406 Canterbury Road Mountain Brook 879-2730

Christmas Clearance 50-70% Off Fancy Fur 5291 Valleydale Road, Ste. 139 408-1693

Up to 70% Off

Selected Merchandise Mitchell’s Paper Etc. 300 Doug Baker Blvd, Ste.100 408-0216

50% Off Christmas Decorations and 20% Off Fabric Rosegate Design 6801 Cahaba Valley Rd, Suite 102 980-5014

Up to 40% Off Winter Items

Red Balloon Sale Discounts up to 40%

January 28th Homewood Antiques & Marketplace 930 Oxmoor Road 414-9945

Semi-Annual Tent Sale Up to 75% Off January 4-7 Lulie’s on Cahaba 2724 Cahaba Road Mountain Brook 871-9696

Begins January 7 The Lingerie Shoppe 2403 Montevallo Road Mountain Brook 871-8994

Winter Clearance Sale Up to 50 % Off Mid-January Mobley & Sons 112 Euclid Avenue Mountain Brook 870-7929

20% Off Entire Store

Mountain Brook Sporting Goods 66 Church Street 870-3257

20% Off Almost Entire Stock Jan 13th-21st The Cook Store 2841 Cahaba Road Mountain Brook 879-5277

50% Off All Fall/Winter Clothes & Accessories Town & Country 74 Church Street, Mountain Brook 871-7909

Sales last for all of January unless otherwise noted. Contact individuals stores for exclusions and other sale details.



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January 2012 |



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