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July 2014 •

Village Living Volume 5 | Issue 4 | July 2014

Pig on track

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

When farming meets the classroom

Piggly Wiggly is planning to open a new location in Crestline Village adjacent to the existing CVS. Read more details inside.

City page A6

What’s next?

Jones Valley’s leaders see project-based learning as a key to education By MADOLINE MARKHAM

The Crestline Shell station could soon close its doors. Find the complete story in this issue.

Business page A12

INSIDE Sponsors ...... A4 City ................ A6 Business ....... A8 Community .. A13

School House. B7 Sports ............ B10 Faith ............... B12 Calendar ........ B13

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

Seven years ago, three and a half acres of vacant lots in downtown Birmingham were transformed into rows of produce and flowers. Today the farm is still teeming with garden growth, and its life spills over to transform thousands of children outside its boundaries

Jones Valley Teaching Farm board members Mike Moss, Kate Darden and Christiana Roussel and Executive Director Grant Brigham are leading the organization to educate children through hands-on learning on the downtown farm and in schools. Photo by Karim Shamsi-Basha.

with a broader mission. Since starting on its board, Mountain Brook resident Taylor Pursell has watched Jones Valley Teaching Farm’s reach grow from a couple hundred children to more than 5,000. Today its goal is to reach 10,000 students annually. “I think it’s one of the coolest things in the state,” Pursell said.

A leader comes home Much of today’s vision for Jones Valley’s work started in 2011. Pursell was leading the board at the time when Jones Valley founder Edwin Marty decided to leave for a similar project in Montgomery. Pursell heard about Grant Brigham through a friend who knew Grant’s dad,

Tommy Brigham, and knew he wanted to recruit him to lead the farm. Since graduating from Mountain Brook High School, Brigham had learned about the connection between agriculture and education while working for a startup

See FARMING | page A22

A date with the nation’s highest court By MADOLINE MARKHAM Mark Waggoner had not realized how close Chief Justice John Roberts would be sitting. Glancing up to speak, he found Roberts within 10 feet of him, and the remaining Supreme Court justices were positioned to Roberts’ left and right in order of seniority. Within 30 seconds of stepping in front of the court, the justices were peppering Waggoner with questions; most of the six

who spoke asked several. The justices had read the briefs and knew the facts, Waggoner’s position and what the law stated. Now they wanted to hear about the constitutional implications of his argument. Each year the Supreme Court only grants and hears oral arguments for less than 1 percent, or about 75-80 cases, of the approximately 10,000 petitions it receives, according to

See JUSTICE | page A23

Local attorney Mark Waggoner stands on the steps of the Supreme Court chambers after arguing Lane v. Franks before the court this year. Photo courtesy of Mark Waggoner.


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Village Living

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July 2014 • A3

A4 • July 2014

Village Living

About Us Please Support our Community Partners

Photo of the month Cece Boyd, Lucy Evans and an out-of-town friend jump into the waters at Lake Gunterville. Photo courtesy of Catherine Boyd.

Editor’s Note By Jennifer Gray In any career there are momentous moments — moments that capture the purpose of your work, moments are the culmination of everything you have been trained to do. For any trial lawyer, I have to believe that one moment might be arguing a case in front our nation’s highest court. I cannot imagine the level of preparation that goes into a moment such as that or the excitement and nervousness it brings. Mountain Brook attorney Mark Waggoner had that moment. In April, he argued in front of some of the greatest legal minds in our nation as an attorney in Lane v. Franks. You can read about his experience in front of the justices and what this case meant to him on our cover. Also this month, we feature several residents who are known or becoming known for their stage and screen presence. Bill Bolen, who was a longtime fixture of Birmingham TV and radio,

shares how he got into the business and how his faith impacted both the programs he hosted and his journey. And hear from two younger residents, Surina Prabhu and Olivia Burgess, who are pursuing their dreams of acting. First, Surina will star this summer as the lead in the Virginia Samford Theatre’s production of Annie. Olivia, who is a rising fifth grader, talks about dividing her time between Los Angeles and Mountain Brook. Olivia has auditioned for many popular TV shows and films and is most recently to appear in the web series Camp Nottahope. Jones Valley Teaching Farm is by far one of my favorite non-profit organizations in Birmingham. Its mission goes beyond the obvious one of teaching farming and nutrition to teach business fundamentals. Located in the heart of downtown, Jones Valley is an innovative part of the revitalization of the city. See

how it has grown and prospered under the leadership of Executive Director Grant Brigham and many from our community on our cover. In city news, we have a preview of this year’s Market Day that takes place July 19 in Mountain Brook Village. Favorites of this annual event include tent sales and specials all day by local merchants. We also have the latest updates on the proposed sale of the land that houses the Crestline Shell station and an update on the proposed return of the Piggly Wiggly to Crestline. As we reach the middle of summer, remember to send us your summer fun photos. Lemonade stands, lake fun, swim meets, or your 4th of July celebration — any fun summer moments can be entered in the contest. The winners will be featured in our September issue.

Meet our intern Olivia Burton started writing for Mountain Brook High School’s newspaper, The Sword & Shield, in tenth grade and served as its coeditor-in-chief her junior and senior years. An enthusiastic member of Venture Crew 2010 based at Canterbury United Methodist Church, Olivia spent her high school weekends and summers backpacking, caving, rafting and climbing mountains. She also enjoys playing piano and going to local concerts. She recently graduated from MBHS and will be going to Yale University in the fall, where she will miss Alabama’s fried food and mild winters. Olivia can be contacted at

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Dan Starnes Keith McCoy Jennifer Gray Madoline Markham Katie Turpen Jessa Pease Sydney Cromwell Madison Miller Emily VanderMey Wayne Marshall Matthew Allen Rhonda Smith Warren Caldwell Michelle Salem Haynes Nathan Pearman Kari Kampakis Olivia Burton Village Living LLC

School House Contributors: Catherine Gasque & Catherine Bodnar - Cherokee Bend, Lisa Stone - Crestline, Kathleen Woodry - Brookwood Forest, Suzanne Milligan - Mountain Brook High School, Hilary Ross- Mountain Brook Elementary, Elizabeth Farrar - Mountain Brook Junior High Contributing Photographer: Image Arts Contact Information: Village Living #3 Office Park Circle, Suite 316 Birmingham, AL 35223 313-1780

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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.

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A Little Something (B6) Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (B8) Alabama Power (B7) Amy Smith (B6) Andrea Carmichael, Inc. (A16) Batts’ Chimney Services (B7) Bedzzz Express (B16) Birmingham Heart Clinic (A14) Birmingham Museum of Art (A5, B5) Birmingham Speech & Hearing Associates (A8) Bromberg & Company, Inc.(A8) Canterbury Gardens (B3) Children’s of Alabama (B11) Classic Gardens (A18) Columbia Cottage/The Cottages (A18) Construx (A13) Dermatology and Laser of Alabama (A2) Dish’n It Out (A14) Fi-Plan Partners (A22) Fred Smith Group (B3) Home Care Associates (B10) Homewood Toy & Hobby (B10) Hufham Orthodontics (B8) Iz Cafe (A12) John-William Jeweller (B15) Kirkwood by the River (B4) Lane Parke/Evson Inc. (A7) Lane Parke/Daniel Corporation (A20) Little Flower Day Spa (A9) Marguerite’s Conceits (A10) Mobley & Sons (A10) Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce (B1) Mountain Brook Merchants Association (B2) Otey’s (B9) Premier Psychiatry (A16) RealtySouth (A24) Renasant Bank (A3) Savage’s Bakery (A20) Sew Sheri Designs (A15) Sherwin Williams (A23) Swoop (B6) Taco Mama (A23) The Cook Store (A9) The Fitness Center (A6) The Maids (B4) The White Room Bridal Salon (A16) TherapySouth (A17) Trinity Medical Center (B13) UAB Medicine (B15) Vitalogy Wellness Center (B12) Vitalogy Wellness Center (A11) Weigh To Wellness (A21) Winn-Dixie (A19)

July 2014 • A5

A6 • July 2014

Village Living

City Crestline Pig moving forward on new site

French withdraws from District 46 run-off


Alabama House District 46 candidate Steve French announced his withdrawal of candidacy and support of fellow candidate David Faulkner on June 12. French and Faulkner were scheduled to vie in a runoff in the Republican primary on July 15 for the seat currently held by Paul DeMarco. Both candidates are from Mountain Brook. “Recently, life events have gotten in the way of a good plan, and it is no longer prudent for me to continue with this campaign,” French wrote in an email from his campaign sent the morning of June 12, noting that he wished the best for Faulkner. “For the affirmation of the volunteers and the business groups that supported for me, I will always be appreciative.”

A new Piggly Wiggly site is being planned for Crestline Village adjacent to where it was initially announced to be built. The store could open as soon as next summer. Original plans called for building on the property where CVS is currently located. However, the site has been adjusted to sit between the current CVS, the Board of Education building and Crestline Elementary’s field, said Robert Jolly of Retail Specialists. The size of the building, which will face southeast toward the Board of Education building, is still being finalized, but Jolly anticipates it will be slightly larger than the former Crestline Piggly Wiggly. “When the original location we discussed was removed from consideration, the owners felt that this site actually was much better,” Jolly said. “It fits the city planning better, provides for better access and will be a more pleasing physical addition to the community. Committed to doing what is right for all concerned, the owners are pleased with

how this is working out.” A study regarding traffic access from Vine Street for the property has been undertaken, and a report on how traffic flow will work is scheduled to be released soon. The store’s design will be similar to that of the River Run store, which sells wines, beers, home cooked foods, a selection of produce and a variety of meat selections. Retail Specialists is working with both Andy and Stanley Virciglio, owners of the former Crestline store, and Naseem Ajlouny and family, partners in the River Run store, on its plans. “Our group has been working very hard and there has been a terrific come-together of property owners and the city interested in seeing their community being served by a village grocery market,” Jolly said. As of print, Robert Jolly of Retail Specialists was scheduled to present further details about the plan at the June 23 Mountain Brook City Council meeting. Visit for updates on the plan released after the June 23 meeting.

Municipal election qualifying period is this month The qualifying period for the Aug. 26 Mountain Brook municipal election is set for July 1-15. The offices up for election in 2014 are Council places 1, 3 and 5, which are currently held by Amy Carter, Billy Pritchard and Jesse Vogtle. Council members Jack Carl and Virginia Smith and Mayor Terry Oden’s terms all end in 2016. Each is held

for four years. Candidates must file a statement of candidacy and a $50 qualification fee with the City Clerk by 5 p.m. on July 15. Forms are available from the City Clerk. For more information, call 802-3825.


Steve French

David Faulkner

Justin Barkley and Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins were also in the initial primary decided on June 15. District 46 covers Homewood, Hoover and Mountain Brook. Faulkner has served as an attorney for 20 years and is currently a partner with Christian & Small. He and his wife, Nancy, attend St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and have three children.

Mountain Brook ranked second in state for safety Mountain Brook was recently ranked as the second safest city in Alabama by Movoto, a real estate research website. The site looked at places with populations over 10,000 and then ranked them based on FBI crime statistics from 2012. No murders were reported in Mountain Brook in 2012, and it had the lowest violent crime rate in the state according to the figures. A slightly higher property crime rate, putting it at the number three lowest in the state, ranked it just below Helena overall.

The top ten safest cities in Alabama based on the rankings are as follows: 1. Helena 2. Mountain Brook 3. Vestavia Hills 4. Pleasant Grove 5. Alabaster 6. Hartselle 7. Fort Payne 8. Madison 9. Hoover 10. Moody

July 2014 • A7

City to conduct traffic study

The city council added a comprehensive traffic study to its preliminary budget for 20142015. If approved, the study would find solutions for troublesome traffic areas, such as the intersection of Cahaba Road, Lane Park Road, Culver Road and U.S. 280. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.

By SYDNEY CROMWELL The Mountain Brook City Council is placing money in its preliminary budget for a citywide traffic study. This study was originally proposed at the May 27 council pre-meeting as a step toward improving traffic flow in areas that have received a large amount of resident complaints. The results of the proposed study would then determine low-cost solutions for some of the more significant problem areas, such as the Montevallo Road and Church Street intersection, as well as the intersection of Cahaba Road, Lane Park Road, Culver Road

and U.S. 280. The city has applied for an APPLE (Advanced Planning, Programming and Logical Engineering) grant for the project from the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham. The grant would pay 80 percent of the project cost, and the city would fund the remaining 20 percent. City Manager Sam Gaston said they should find out in August if the city has received the grant and if the traffic study is being kept in the budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. If everything goes as planned, the city will select a consultant and begin the study in September or October.

City Council Updates Mountain Brook City Council discussed the following issues at its meetings last month: Criminal charges. A new state law allows the expungement of certain criminal charges from an individual’s records. The law will go into effect on July 7. New restrooms. A new restroom facility for the Brookwood Forest Elementary playing field could replace the current portable restrooms. Children’s library cards. Emmet O’Neal Library Director Susan Debrecht gave a presentation about a new library card for children. The card will allow a child to check out three items from the library, and it is intended to serve as a temporary card until the child’s parent can apply for a regular library card. Debrecht said the cards will be especially helpful for children who walk to the library or come in on field trips.

Potential new tenant for Mountain Brook Village. Jim Priester, junior warden of the Cathedral Church of the Advent, gave a presentation on the church’s desire to use the property at 2416 Canterbury Road as church offices. Linda Dobbins Dance Studio currently leases the space through 2015, and Dobbins said she has no intent to vacate the property. However, the presentation did prompt a council decision to amend current conditional use ordinances. Block grants. The city could engage with Jefferson County to execute a Community Development Block Grant. This agreement will not cost the city money. It would help the county get grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which can be used in Mountain Brook and other communities.

Streets to be repaved Road paving began around Mountain Brook in late May. The city has contracted with Dunn Construction for its 2014 street resurfacing projects. Below are the streets to be repaved in the order that the city anticipates them to be completed.

Work Area 2 `` Overbrook Road (Cherokee Road to Mountain Brook Parkway) `` Cherokee Road (Overcrest Road to Old Leeds Road) `` Brookwood Road (Shookhill to Westbury Road)

Work Area 1 `` Fairway Drive (Behind City Hall) `` East Fairway Drive `` West Jackson Boulevard `` Matthews Drive `` Randolph Road `` Greenway Road `` Country Club Boulevard

Work Area 3 `` Mountain Brook High School Athletic Drive Work Area 4 `` English Village `` Cahaba Road from English Village Lane to city limits

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July 2014 • A9

Now Open The White Room, 2415 Canterbury Road is now open. It was previously located in Cahaba Heights. 970-6767. thewhiteroombirmingham. com.


Alexander Dentistry, 48 Church Street, recently hosted an open house to show the art of Dr. Ruth Penton Polson, who is a part-time associate in the practice. The event benefited Smile for Life, which promotes oral health. 871-7361.


News and Accomplishments Kelly Moore, branch manager of Southern States Bank, 7 Office Park Circle, was named the Homewood Chamber of Commerce’s Ambassador of the Quarter. 877-0195.


Hirings and Promotions Walls Media, LLC, 401 Office Park Drive, has hired Meredith Baxley as a public relations and social media intern. 870-1097.

Vulcan Media, 12 Office Park Circle, Suite 101, is donating public relations services to a nonprofit organization leading tornado relief in Winston County, Miss. To learn more about the effort, visit 585-1313.




L.A. Bikini, previously known as Pure Wax & Tan, has launched a new website,, and now offers sugaring as an alternative to waxing for hair removal. Sugaring is a process by which hair is removed via the application


of a natural sugar-based paste that results in less pain and irritation as well as a faster recovery time than waxing. The business is located at 2800 Cahaba Village Plaza, Suite 170. 637-1128.

The White Room, 2415 Canterbury Road, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. 970-6767. thewhiteroombirmingham. com.


Business news

to share? Now Open Coming Soon

Relocation Expansion Anniversary

If you are in a brick and mortar business in Mountain Brook and want to share your event with the community, let us know.

Village Living iving Email


20% OFF Sale July 18th -26 th

(some exclusions apply - see storee for details)

Market Day in the Village Sat, July 19th

Open early 8am - 10am for additional 10% OFF (some exclusions apply - see store for details)

2841 Cahaba Road • 879-5277 Mon-Fri 10-5 • Sat 10-4 all sales final! no returns! No gift wrap!

A10 • July 2014

Village Living

Business Spotlight rR


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Montrose Rd

By INTISAR SERAAJ-SABREE When Elisabeth Branch’s son Charles turned 1, she had trouble finding clothing she liked for him. Within a few months Branch had opened her own store in the place she has called home since she was her son’s age. Named after Branch’s childhood nickname “Ladybug,” Bug’s Boys carries unique clothing for infants, toddlers and boys up to size 20. Three more children and 14 years later, the business is still going strong for Branch. “Customers love not having to go through all the girls’ things just to find a small rack for boys,” Branch said. “They’re always amazed that it’s mainly a boy’s store.” Still, after Branch welcomed a daughter, Janie, to the family, Bug’s Boys incorporated infant girls’ clothing, which now makes up about 10 percent of the store. “We have things that you wouldn’t find in a department store,” Branch said. “We don’t buy in mass, so hopefully you wouldn’t see yourself walking around everywhere.” The boutique carries various boys’ accessories, gifts and high-quality clothing lines such as Wes and Willy

Elisabeth Branch owns Bug’s Boys in Crestline Village. Photo by Intisar Seraaj-Sabree.

and Kissy Kissy. Customers can find anything from Jon Jons to blazers and smocked clothing to knitwear. Branch goes market shopping in

search of items that will last throughout the season. “We go from [onesies with] bubbles to blazers, button-downs, ties and

khaki pants,” Branch said. “We just help [customers] through the natural growth of boys.” When customers come in,

200 Country Club Park 879-2992 Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

especially if they are new or expectant moms, she advises them on how to pick clothing that their children can grow with. For example, larger-sized, longsleeved shirts and long pants are needed in autumn. Rolling the clothing to shorten the length will allow the child to grow into the clothing, Branch said. She also tells inquisitive customers about what their boys do and do not need, depending on their environment. Play clothes for children apt to get messy are a must if they are out and about. But something cuter and more clean-cut fits a child who mostly stays inside. Still, Branch strongly advises customers to have children try on the clothes and make sure they have room to grow before they make a purchase, if possible. As her children grow and the business ages, Branch finds herself now catering to former employees and their babies as well as longtime customers from Mountain Brook and their grandchildren. “This is my village,” Branch said. “This is where I grew up. This is where I live, and we’ll [always] be right here.”

Summer Linen Sale!

20-75% OFF all bed Linens July 1st-19th



Dress well. Mobley & Sons | 112 Euclid Ave Birmingham, Alabama 35213

Restaurant Showcase

Sneaky Pete’s Hot Dogs

July 2014 • A11

Lane Park Rd

Read past Restaurant Showcases at


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2716 Culver Road 879-8723 Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.





By SYDNEY CROMWELL The classic hot dog is a staple of barbecues and baseball games, but Sneaky Pete’s is not your ordinary hot dog. With toppings like chili, coleslaw, bacon and the famous Sneaky Pete’s Sauce, these deliciously unique hot dogs have long made Sneaky Pete’s a statewide franchise and a Mountain Brook favorite. Sneaky Pete’s full menu includes breakfast foods, burgers, chicken and taco salad, but the most popular item remains the Original Sneaky Pete’s hot dog, topped with onions, sauerkraut, mustard and the Sneaky Pete’s sauce. Other popular hot dogs include the chili cheese dog, the slaw dog and the Junkyard Dog, which comes with every topping. While the hot dogs are a somewhat messy affair, the taste can be worth the risk of a sauce-stained shirt. Pete Graphos founded Sneaky Pete’s in 1966, with a single restaurant on 8th Avenue South in Birmingham. It was one of many Birmingham hot dog stands and shops opened by Greek immigrants, including Gus’s Hot Dogs, Tom’s Koneys, Lyric Hot Dogs and Dino’s Hot Dogs. Not all of these shops survived, but Sneaky Pete’s flourished. Today, the chain is headquartered in Vestavia Hills and has 34 locations across Alabama. Mountain Brook residents and employees started coming to their local Sneaky Pete’s for its quick, affordable meals, but they became regulars because of its comfortable, friendly

(left) Three of Sneaky Pete’s famous hot dogs are, from left, a chili cheese dog, the Original Sneaky Pete’s dog and the Junkyard Dog. (above) The Mountain Brook Sneaky Pete’s is a popular restaurant for locals looking for a new twist on the classic hot dog. Photos by Sydney Cromwell.

atmosphere. Conversation flows freely across the tables and behind the counter between customers and staff who have known each other for years. “It’s real friendly. Saturdays here are kind of like a family day,” said restaurant owner John Ragusa. “It’s real lively. Everybody talks to everybody.” Ragusa has worked at Sneaky Pete’s since 1990 and owned the Mountain Brook location

since 1998. In those 24 years he has seen the universal appeal of hot dogs draw in every kind of customer, from young families and couples to construction workers and white-collar businessmen. Many of them have been eating at Sneaky Pete’s long enough for Ragusa to memorize their orders and watch some of them grow up. “We’ve got some of the best customers in the world here,” Ragusa said. “We’ll have kids in

their 20s and 30s [who] were coming here when they were a child.” Although the franchise has grown and changed, Ragusa and the Original Sneaky Pete’s Hot Dog continue to be a fixture of “great food and good folks” in the Mountain Brook community. “Keeping the employees happy, keeping the customers happy; it’s a daily challenge but it’s fun,” Ragusa said

A12 • July 2014

Village Living

Potential investors could keep Crestline Shell open By MADOLINE MARKHAM Jack King is now seeing new possibilities to keep his Crestline Shell full-service station open. King, who has run the store at 80 Church Street for the past 36 years, said he is in discussions with potential investors about purchasing property but that nothing has been finalized as of print. “We do have something in progress, but I don’t have any new information or details yet,” he said on June 18. King currently leases the property from McPherson Oil Products, who King said sent him legal notification on May 29 stating that he must purchase the property by Sept. 3 in order to remain in business. King said he is not in a financial situation to buy the property. Charles Denaburg, McPherson’s attorney, said King has operated the Crestline Shell for several years with a month-to-month lease, which King could terminate at any time on 30 days’ notice. “The owner is desiring a more permanent arrangement for the property,” Denaburg said in an email. “This matter is a private matter between Jack King and the owner, and we do not think it is appropriate to discuss private matter publicly.” Walter Scott, whose family owns the former Crestline Piggly Wiggly

Jack King has operated the Crestline Shell station for the past 36 years.

property and others in the village, said they put in an offer on the property on June 5, but on June 17, Scott said that their offer had been turned down. “After reading the Village Living [online] article, we certainly didn’t want to see Jack leave,” Scott said. “We told Jack we would be happy

for him to stay and renew his lease for as long as he wanted.” Scott said his family had made an offer to McPherson on the Shell property a year ago when they heard that McPherson was interested in selling it, but McPherson did not accept that initial offer either. King said it is his understanding

that McPherson had an offer to purchase on the property and is giving him the first right to buy it. He and Scott both said they do not know who that potential buyer is. “The space is in the center of village but still is only a certain size and has a limited number of things you can do with it,” Scott said.

“Another retail use is difficult to figure out.” The Shell station is one of two gas stations currently in Crestline Village. According to City Manager Sam Gaston, a BP station once stood where First Commercial Bank is located now, and the properties of the current Aliant Bank and Iberia Bank were at one time gas stations as well. Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce Director Suzan Doidge said she believes the Shell is the only full-service gas station in the Over the Mountain area. Doidge also noted that she would not be for a non-revenue producing entity taking the place of the Shell. “At the Chamber, we’re the champion of small businesses,” she said. “As a community we should fight for the businesses that bring revenue to the community.” Regardless of what happens with the property, King said his business has been affirmed by the community since announcing that it could close. “I think I am good for the community, and the community is great for me,” he said. “It shows because the support I have gotten from the community is overwhelming. A day hasn’t gone by that I don’t get a lot of customers asking how they can help with my situation. It’s been great.”

July 2014 • A13

Community Newest village additions preparing for Market Day Market Day July 26, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mountain Brook Village

Camille Latimer of Ex Voto Vintage and Hutton Fant of Oli.O are taking part in Market Day for the first time this month.

By MADOLINE MARKHAM Elizabeth Adams has been forewarned. Banks Robertson, her landlord, has told her to arrive by 7 a.m. because customers will show up early. Patricia Murray, owner of Table Matters, has explained that hundreds of people will be in Mountain Brook Village that day. Saturday, July 19 will be Adams’ first Market Day, and she plans to be prepared with a tent outside her store, Ex Voto Vintage Jewelry, as well as limeade from her village neighbor, Gilchrist. She said her summer collection will be on display in the showroom, and she will have door prizes and giveaways for

customers that day. Robertson, who also owned Pappagallo, and Murray were around in July 2001 when Market Day started as an expansion of Jean Clayton’s annual Bastille Day sale at Christine’s. They and other longtime village store owners have developed traditions as they mark down their inventory to make way for fall merchandise amidst the July heat. Retailers typically offer discounts up to 75 percent off at the annual event, which is now in its 13th year. Now the village’s newest merchants are getting ready to start traditions of their own. Oli.O owner Hutton Fant said she came to Market Day last year

as a customer and remembers it being hectic but fun. “I have heard great things and that people come out pretty happy as shoppers,” she said. “I think anything where people in the village are coming together is good to be a part of.” Fant said her olive oil and balsamic store would have some sort of store-wide promotion, but as of print, she hadn’t yet decided what it will be, especially since her merchandise is not seasonal. Likewise, Cathy Kelley at the White Room, a bridal shop that moved to the village in June, said she was unsure of specifics but believed her store would welcome people to browse their dress selection and possibly offer refreshments. For the big day, Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce Director Suzan Doidge is encouraging village business owners to wear the chamber’s new “Live Local” T-shirts, which are available for anyone to purchase at Mountain Brook Sporting Goods, during the festivities. For more, visit

Family Promise hosts annual fundraiser auction Family Promise of Birmingham, founded in 1998 as the Birmingham Hospitality Network, is holding its annual fundraising silent and live auction on Thursday, July 17 at 6 p.m. The event will be held at WorkPlay, located at 500 23rd St. South, and will include gift cards, vacation packages, jewelry, sporting events, art and electronics. Tickets are $40, which includes food and beverages. This event is Family Promise’s primary fundraiser. The 15-year-old ministry helps homeless families find a place to stay and places emphasis on keeping families together. Family Promise works with 19 local churches and synagogues, including St. Luke’s Episcopal Church,

Canterbury United Methodist Church, Mountain Brook Baptist Church and Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, to provide food and shelter to the homeless. “On any given day, more than half the guests served by Family Promise are children,” board member Shawn Barnes of St. Luke’s said. “Our goal is to help in maintaining a stable life for homeless families. Most of the families we help are just like ours, but they haven’t been able to overcome a difficult situation.” For more information about attending the auction, giving donations or volunteering, go to, call 918-0246 or email

Fandango Dance Club holds spring supper

Trotter Cobb, Jowane Patton, Mell Smith, Dotty Carley, Sally Beam, Anne Luckie Cobb and Lochrane Smith attended the Fandango Dance Club’s recent supper at David and Susan Silverstein’s home.

A14 • July 2014

Tax-free weekend set for Aug. 1-3

Village Living

Luncheon kicks off planning for Hope Gala

Neal earns Eagle rank

By MADISON MILLER Alabama’s back-to-school tax-free weekend will be held at retail stores throughout the state on Aug. 1-3. It will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 1 and end on Aug. 3 at midnight. Mountain Brook and surrounding municipalities such as Hoover, Vestavia Hills, Homewood and Shelby County will participate in the exemption. The weekend gives back-to-school shoppers the opportunity to buy supplies and equipment without sales tax added. Items that will be tax-free include but are not limited to clothing items under $100, school supplies under $50, computers and other electronics under $750, educational books under $30, and required textbooks more than $30 and less than $50. Several retailers will feature additional sales on top of the tax exclusion. For these businesses, the weekend represents an opportunity for significant sales. “By opting to participate in the tax-free weekend, we gain new customers who are interested in checking out our crazy deals,” Pants Store Women’s Buyer Katherine Sparks said. Only items with an educational value are part of the exclusion. Therefore, video games or electronics sold for recreational purposes will not be included. Some other items that are not tax-free include some clothing items such as belt-buckles sold separately, costume masks, patches/emblems and more. For more information and detailed lists of included items, visit

Otey’s Fest returns Otey’s Tavern’s annual Otey’s Fest will return to Crestline Village on Aug. 2. The event will be held in Otey’s parking lot, and proceeds will benefit a local charity. Three bands will play live music starting at 5 p.m. Otey’s will serve hamburgers and hotdogs, and will have a beer tent on site. Tickets, which cost $15 in advance and $20 at the gate, can be purchased on or at Otey’s Tavern, 224 County Club Park. For more, call 871-8435.

Rebecca Tully Fulmer and Amy Tully. Photo courtesy of Arden Ward.

Carrie McMahon opened her home recently to the American Cancer Society. Chairs Lois Bradford and Pratt Austin-Trucks welcomed dozens of women who have volunteered their time in support of the nonprofit organization’s largest annual fundraiser, The Hope Gala. The 34th Annual Hope Gala will be Aug. 23 at a private club and will honor loyal ACS supporters, the Tully family. The works of beloved Mountain Brook artist, Toni Tully, will be featured. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction, followed

by dinner and live auction. Emcees for the night will be Lenora Pate and Janice Rogers. Guin Robinson again will serve as auctioneer. Young supporters are invited to join the festivities when dancing begins at 9 p.m. All funds raised benefit the American Cancer Society in Birmingham and the Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge. Tickets are $500 per couple for The Hope Gala and $150 per couple for the late party. For tickets, sponsorship information or volunteer inquiries, contact Libba Hardwick at 930-8883 or libba.hardwick@

LJCC hosts Neverland Pancake Breakfast Peter, Wendy, Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys will be at Birmingham Levite Jewish Community Center for breakfast on Aug. 3. The characters will take photos with attendees and sign autographs. Breakfast will include pancakes,

fruit, juice and coffee from 7-9 a.m. Admission is $6 per person and $18 per family. For more, email or call 879041l, ext. 234. -Submitted by Birmingham Levite Jewish Community Center

Sam Neal

Sam Neal, a member of Boy Scout Troop 53, recently earned the rank of Eagle after successfully completing all of the Eagle requirements, including his service project. Sam joined the troop at St. Peter’s Anglican Church as a fifth grader. He earned the Order of the Arrow and attended Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, where he served as crew leader. Sam’s Eagle Scout project was the planning and implementation of a book fair for the YWCA After School Program. The project included soliciting and gathering donated books from fixed collection points at churches, schools and YMCA locations. An additional component of the project included raising money to buy school supplies for the children. The donated books were sorted and categorized according to age group and reading level. During the Book Fair, each child was allowed to pick out eight to 10 books and also school supplies. Sam graduated from Mountain Brook High School in May and will be attending Virginia Military Institute in the fall. He is the son of Comer and Britton Neal.

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July 2014 • A15

Altamont student takes center stage as Annie By JESSA PEASE The sun will come out July 10 at the Virginia Samford Theatre’s opening performance of Annie. This rendition of Annie stars Mountain Brook resident Surina Prabhu as the red-headed orphan determined to find her parents who left her on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage years ago. “It’s exciting,” Prahbu said. “I’ve never really had such a big role. I have had smaller roles, but not the lead.” She is also happy her first lead role is Annie because she said the first song she ever sang was “Tomorrow,” which is a classic song from the musical. Prubhu said she loves the movie Annie and has always wanted to play this role. The 11-year-old, who attends The Altamont School, started singing when she was five, and said she started getting more into theater when she was in fourth grade. She has performed in The Little Mermaid Junior at Virginia Samford Theatre and Cinderella Kids and Beauty and the Beast Junior at Red Mountain Theatre Company. “[The best part is] just getting to do it because that is my love,” Prahbu said. “It is what I love to do, and I love getting to meet new people.” Helping Annie along the way are her sidekicks and fellow orphans who share a hard knock life in

Mountain Brook residents Anna Bella Foster and Clark Stewart (front row) and Surina Prabhu and CeCe Kelly (back row) will play orphans in the Virginia Samford Theatre’s summer production of Annie. Surina will play Annie, the lead role. Photo courtesy of Talia Pepke

depression-struck, 1930s New York City. Playing some of those orphans are other Mountain Brook residents CeCe Kelly as Duffy, Anna Bella

Foster as Tessie (in one cast) and Clark Stewart as Tessie (in another cast). Prahbu said she looks forward

to working with the rest of the cast because it is like being a part of another family — one where you feel happy and welcome. Although she

hadn’t met any of the adults in the show yet, she said she was sure she is going to like them because they also have a love for theatre like she does. For her, being on the stage is natural. She loves singing all of Annie’s songs. “I like to sing either ‘Maybe’ or ‘Tomorrow’ [the most] because they truly express Annie and her uniqueness and how optimistic she really is,” Prahbu said. Prahbu said she never gets nervous either, which she thinks is because theatre is her passion. The only fear she has is messing up her lines, but even then she can call out for them. With choreography and musical rehearsals continuing, Prahbu is excited to perform on VST’s stage in front of an audience with the rest of the cast and her four-legged friend, Sandy. Opening night is July 10 at 7:30 p.m. with shows running Thursday through Sunday until July 27. Thursday through Saturday the show starts at 7:30 p.m., and matinee shows will be Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets for seats in the center section are $35, and seats stage left or right are $30. Students can purchase $15 tickets with an ID. To purchase tickets, call 251-1206 or visit The theatre is located at 1116 26th St. S. in Birmingham.

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A16 • July 2014

Village Living

Allie brothers earn Eagle rank Austin Scott Allie of Mountain Brook has joined his older brother, Brandon Ray, as an Eagle Scout. Both are longtime members of Troop 28 and joined in fifth grade after crossing over from Cub Scouts and achieving their Arrow of Light. Austin’s Court of Honor was held recently at Independent Presbyterian Church, the troop’s sponsoring church. Brandon’s ceremony was held in 2011 at Mountain Chapel United Methodist Church, his home church. For his Eagle service project, Austin constructed 15 clothing racks for Mountain Brook Community Church’s children’s consignment sale, Sweet Repeats, whose proceeds help fund the church’s mission trips. Austin earned 23 merit badges, the Polar Bear Award, Lifeguard, Mile Swim and 50 Miler, and he was inducted into the Order of the Arrow, the Boy Scouts’ national honor society. He participated in the high adventure trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico and was chosen as crew leader by his fellow scouts. During his tenure with Troop 28, he served as assistant quartermaster, quartermaster, assistant patrol leader, patrol leader and junior assistant Scoutmaster. He accumulated 208 miles hiking, 166 miles biking, 102 nights camping, and 55.5 service hours. Austin recently graduated from Mountain Brook High School and pole-vaulted as part of the Spartans’ varsity track team. He has been employed for three years at Altadena Valley Animal Clinic and is a member of Mountain Chapel United Methodist Church. He plans to attend the University of South Alabama, where he has been awarded a full academic scholarship. Brandon’s Eagle service project consisted of constructing and erecting a ceremonial flagpole at Camp Tranquility at Oak Mountain State Park as part of an effort to restore the historic site to its original state.

Brandon Allie

Austin Allie

Brandon used materials that would have been available at the time of the camp’s construction and built a stone base as well. A cast iron dedication plaque was crafted at Sloss Furnaces and placed in the stone base. The flagpole area is on the site of the future Clinton Taylor Memorial Chapel, dedicated to his friend, Eagle Scout Clinton Taylor. While a scout with Troop 28, Brandon earned 22 merit badges and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow. He also earned awards for Polar Bear, Lifeguard, Mile Swim, Wilderness First Aid, Snorkeling and World Conservation. He accumulated 355 miles biking, 135 miles hiking, and 101 nights camping. He was chosen by his peers and served as crew leader at Sea Base High Adventure in the Bahamas onboard

a historic sailing ship in 2009. He served his troop as assistant quartermaster, quartermaster, assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, cooking instructor, senior patrol leader (two terms) and junior assistant scoutmaster. Brandon is a 2011 graduate of Mountain Brook High School, attends Jefferson State Community College, is employed at Mountain High Outfitters, is a member of Mountain Chapel UM, and serves Troop 28 as an adult assistant scoutmaster. Austin and Brandon are the sons of Brian Allie and Liesa Harkey Allie of Mountain Brook. Grandparents are O.R. and Anita Harkey of Navarre, Fla., formerly of Vestavia Hills, and Harriett Hilton of Montgomery.

Area resident competes in Distinguished Young Women Samford University’s Wright Center Concert Hall will host the Distinguished Young Women Program of Jefferson County July 18-19. Thirty-two high school senior girls, representing 14 high schools from across Jefferson County will compete for cash-tuition and college granted scholarships and the opportunity to represent Jefferson County in the Distinguished Young Women Program of Alabama in Montgomery in January. Mary Kathryn Parrott of Mountain Brook High School is a participant in this year’s program. Sarah Grace McDuff, the current Distinguished Young Woman of Jefferson County, will perform special dance routines nightly. Mistress of Ceremonies is 1993 Jefferson County’s and Alabama’s Junior Miss, Ashley Halfman. With a theme of “A Winter Wonderland,” participants will compete in the on stage categories of talent, fitness and self-expression. On the final night of competition, finalists will be selected, along with overall category winners, in addition to the naming of the Distinguished Young Woman of Jefferson County 2015, First-Alternate and Second-Alternate. All tickets are for reserved seating and are $15 each for July 18 at 7 p.m. and July 19 at 1 p.m. Preliminary tickets are $25 each for the finals scheduled for July 19 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through any participant or at the Samford University Wright Center box office each evening one hour prior to each performance, or by calling 907-0210. For more information about the program, contact chairman Eddie Macksoud at 907-0210 or For more information, visit -Submitted by Miranda Wesley

July 2014 • A17

Celebrations Mayer-Erickson

Mr. and Mrs. William Charles Mayer III of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Katherine Walker, to Mr. Kyle David Erickson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Earl Erickson of Altona, Ill. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Jewell Ballard Walker and the late Mr. Tommy Stanley Walker and the late Mr. and Mrs. William Charles Mayer Jr., all of Birmingham. Miss Mayer attended Mountain Brook High School and graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she received a bachelor’s degree in social work. She is a member of Chi Omega sorority and was presented at the 2006 Ball of Roses. Miss Mayer

is pursuing a master’s degree in education at Antioch University in Los Angeles. The future groom is the grandson of Mrs. Priscilla Mae Craft and the late Mr. Morgan Curtis Craft of Kangley, Ill., and Mr. and Mrs. Scott Donald Erickson of Altona. Mr. Erickson is a graduate of R.O.W.V.A. High School and the University of Illinois, where he received a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and sciences and was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. He is the vice president of Lucid Public Relations in Los Angeles. The wedding is planned for early October at Lake Martin.


Mr. and Mrs. Halford Arthur Tillman Jr. of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Grace Dupree, to Harris Bushnell Williams, son of Mr. and Mrs. Turner Butler Williams. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. George K. Moore of Charlotte, N.C., and the late Mr. and Mrs. Halford Arthur Tillman (Tobie and Hal) of Birmingham. Miss Tillman is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School and a 2012 summa cum laude graduate of The University of Alabama, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and was named to Phi Eta Sigma and Gamma Beta Phi honors fraternities. She was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority where she served as academic development chairman. She was presented at the 2011 Ball of Roses. Miss Tillman will receive her master’s degree in speech and language pathology from

Florida State University in August. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mrs. James Joseph Bushnell and the late Dr. James Joseph Bushnell of Birmingham, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Going Williams of Tuscaloosa. Mr. Williams is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School and a 2012 graduate of The University of Alabama, where he earned a degree in construction engineering. He was named to Phi Eta Sigma, Gamma Beta Phi and Sigma Alpha Lambda honors fraternities and was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He is currently employed in the engineering department of Norfolk Southern Railway Company. Following an August wedding and honeymoon trip, the couple will reside in Pittsburgh.

Have an engagement, wedding or anniversary announcement? Email to have it included in an upcoming issue!

A18 • July 2014

Village Living

Stars and stripes forever Crestline resident’s photo becomes USPS stamp By MADOLINE MARKHAM Gary Clark got an unexpected call from his mom in North Carolina the first week of February. “Your stamp is out,” she told him. “I told everyone it’s your stamp.” Clark, a Crestline resident of 20 years, headed straight to the downtown post office and bought books and rolls of the new Forever stamp. Then he got online and ordered postcards with the first issue date, Jan. 28, 2014. Today he proudly keeps a folder full of these keepsakes, including a copy of the Southern Living issue in which the image originally ran. The U.S. Postal Service had originally contacted Clark, a 29-year Southern Living travel photographer, back in 2008 about using his photo after seeing it in the July 2005 issue of the magazine. Clark had captured the image the previous year while shooting a story on Baltimore. He had watched park employees in period costume as a part of the Defenders’ Day festivities and stuck around for the fireworks show on the harbor that night. It was there, after all, that in September 1814, Francis Scott Key penned “The Star Spangled Banner” while watching an American flag flying over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. This year marks the 200th anniversary of that event.

Clark knew he wanted to shoot the flag on the fort in the foreground and with the fireworks over the harbor in the background, but first he had to get permission to enter the fort. Fortunately, the writer he was working with was able to make a few phone calls to connections in Washington, D.C. to grant the request. A breeze kicked up as fireworks started that night, sending the flag into rapid motion. Clark, who was then shooting on film, was only able to get four or five shorts that were usable. The image that would run in the magazine was the best of them. Fast-forward to 2013. Clark was no longer working at Southern Living, and the USPS had lost touch with him in the long process of bringing the stamp to life. A week before the stamp’s dedication service was scheduled in D.C. in March, a PR representative from the USPS finally contacted Clark and invited him to the event the following week. After a snowstorm delay, Clark and his wife, Jill, attended the festivities at the National Museum of American History, where the restored American flag that Frances Scott Key saw is on display. “It was an honor,” Clark said. “They brought me up on stage, and I got to meet the designer of the stamp.” Since then, Clark said friends from high school have sent stamps for him to sign, and he gets excited whenever he sees letters posted

Gary Clark stands with a blown-up version of the postage stamp that now bears his photograph at a dedication ceremony in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Gary Clark.

with the stamp. Since leaving Southern Living, Clark has been dreaming of opening up a camera store

in town and perfecting the art of Instagram @ thegaryclark.

July 2014 • A19

From the whirlpool to a calm sea By MADOLINE MARKHAM Sue Martin had never told her brother and sister-in-law her full story. A few years ago, though, she decided it was time to take them to her world from nearly 30 years ago. Her family members knew the end result, that Martin would become blind as, in her words, she was “sucked down into an out-of-control whirlpool.” But when the climax came, her sister-inlaw gasped. Facing serious depression at age 28, Martin had run away to a friend’s lake house and shot herself in the head. But part of why the story is so shocking is because of what Martin’s life looks like now. She’s blind, yes, but her life experience has taught her that she can do anything she wants to do. “I pulled myself out of the whirlpool by hard work, determination and courage and sailed out onto a calm sea,” she said. “That’s where I am.” Last year, Martin released her memoir, Out of the Whirlpool, and now she is on a mission to promote it and speak about her story. In April, she addressed a group of adults and teenagers as a part of a community awareness event held by Aware. “I’ve got all these things [such as blindness and mental illness] people don’t want to talk about. I want people to ask questions,” she said. “I want people to know we are not defined by our depression or our suicidal thoughts. We can define ourselves. Where I am in my life right now is proof of that.” Although Martin’s experiences might seem extreme, she believes that everyone can relate to her story. She sees herself as an ordinary person who did what she needed to do to overcome obstacles. “No matter where you start out in your life, you are going to experience changes,” she said. “No matter how big or small that change, you don’t know the depth of the determination and courage you have until you are called on to use

Author Sue Martin’s guide dog has become her constant companion. Photo courtesy of Sue Martin.

them.” With the uniqueness of both surviving a suicide attempt and adjusting to vision loss, Martin long knew she had a story to tell. She first wrote out a draft in 1990, but it wasn’t until nearly two decades later that she sat down to fully expound upon her life experience. Around that time, she had read two other memoirs by people who were blind, and she realized it was time to draft a book. Twenty thousand words in, she had

covered her experience in blind rehab, but she paused there until she could finally be honest about the cause of her blindness, the part of the story she had waited all those years to share with siblings. Today, she said her book serves many roles. It enables readers to learn what it’s like to experience blind rehab in both a physical and emotional way. It’s a love story between Martin and her husband, whom she met in graduate school

and married 29 years ago this July. It’s a story of human and dog. “People are finding meaning [in the book] in ways I never expected,” she said. One of Martin’s greatest joys in life is her guide dog. “It was amazing to see the parallel between horse and rider, man and dog,” she said. “There is a level of trust that’s unlike anything I have experienced before. She is the one with the eyes.” Still, she does many things on her own. Martin recorded the audio book herself in the best way she knew. She took her manuscript and divided it into one phrase per line. To record, she had her computer’s screen reader read a phrase, then she recorded that phrase, over and over again through a book of 353 pages. A 1974 Mountain Brook High School graduate, Martin grew up with her family on 4 acres on Pump House Road at a time when everyone in the neighborhood had horses. It was there that she underwent blind rehab, but the next step in her journey involved leaving the state for graduate school. And it wasn’t until she was 46 that she and her husband moved back to her hometown. Still, most people in Birmingham didn’t witness her journey with blind rehab, she said, and she wants her childhood friends to know she largely hasn’t changed. “Blindness has not slowed me down, and through excellent training and attitude, I am the same person I was when I was growing up here in Birmingham,” she said. Despite what the tone of a book on suicidal depression and new blindness might seem, Martin said it’s anything but depressing. In fact, if she is ever looking for something to put her into a good mood, she reads chapter 60. Out of the Whirlpool is available at Little Professor and Jim Reed Books as well as on The audio book is available on iTunes, Nook and For more, visit or

A20 • July 2014

Village Living

A journey toward a calling Broadcaster Bill Bolen looks back at a 50-year career By MICHAEL J. BROOKS Strangers often stop to say hi to Bill Bolen when he is out shopping. “I’m always happy to talk with folks,” said the former newscaster. “I appreciate the fact that they watched me all those years.” Bolen spent nearly 50 years delivering the morning news until his retirement in 2011. Now the Mountain Brook resident said he misses the news business but is happy to get to sleep a little later in the morning. A member and deacon at Brookwood Baptist Church, Bolen is quick to cite the leadership of God in his broadcasting career. Bolen grew up in Selma and said he professed faith in Christ on Easter Sunday in 1940. His best friend in high school became a pastor, but Bolen never sensed that God wanted him to be a preacher, too. While working at the local Sears and Roebuck as a teenager, Bolen

became fascinated with the radio repair shop. After hearing him use one of the early wire recorders in the shop, a coworker asked if Bolen had ever considered a radio career. Bolen applied to Selma radio station WHBB and worked there until he enrolled in the School of Radio Arts at The University of Alabama. After graduation, he served two years in the U.S. Air Force in Yuma, Ariz., writing press releases and meeting with the media for the Department of Information Services. While in the Air Force, he married Vivian Killebrew of Anniston, whom he had met at The University of Alabama. Together they raised a son and three daughters, who all graduated from Mountain Brook High School. Following his enlistment, Bolen returned to Alabama, working at radio station WSGN. When Birmingham added a third television station in 1965, he started at WBMG TV as news director and chief anchor.

Bill Bolen in his Mountain Brook home. Photo by Michael J. Brooks.

The city’s First Baptist Church, where he held membership, purchased airtime and asked Bolen to host “Religion in the News” each week. He moved to WBRC TV two years later, where he hosted a weekly 30-minute religious newscast, and later hosted a monthly religious discussion program. He produced and hosted these programs for 22 years. Bolen’s broadcast work brought about a number of speaking engagements as well as invitations from the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board (now the International

Mission Board) and the Florida Baptist Convention to help with missions teleconferences. “It began to dawn on me,” he said, “that some 20 years after I came back to Birmingham, I was really beginning to do what I had felt the Lord leading me into years before.” Current Brookwood Baptist pastor Jim Barnette said the first time he visited the church on a Wednesday night, Bill and Vivian Bolen were behind the counter serving the evening meal. “That spoke volumes to me that this premier news anchor was willing to

be a servant,” Barnette said. “Bill has shown this servant’s heart on countless mission trips as well.” Vivian Bolen died in June 2011, six months after Bolen’s retirement from FOX6 WBRC. Now 85, Bolen enjoys time with his children, who all live in the Birmingham metro area, and 10 grandchildren. He’s also active in the Shades Valley Rotary Club. The University of Alabama will induct Bolen into the School of Communication and Information Sciences Hall of Fame in October.

July 2014 • A21

Hard choices, self-expression are themes of lawyer’s first novel By SYDNEY CROMWELL High school is a time of difficult decisions — especially for teenagers during the tense years of Birmingham in the 1960s. Mark Hart grew up in the midst of racial integration and the Vietnam War, and this experience inspired him to write his first novel. Hart, an insurance lawyer at Hand Arendall LLC, recently published Fielder’s Choice. The novel centers on the story of Brad, an 18-year-old baseball player trying to get a baseball scholarship to avoid working in the Birmingham steel mills. His life is complicated, however, by the draft for the Vietnam War and the beginning of school and neighborhood integration. Brad must figure out where he stands on these divisive issues and how they will affect his future. “He has to make some choices, and they’re hard choices. He knows whichever way he goes, he’s going to lose something,” Hart said. “Is he going to go his way and risk alienating his coach, whom he needs, or is he

Mark Hart has written a new book, Fielder’s Choice. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.

going to [disregard] how he wants to live his life to get along and try to get the scholarship?” Fielder’s Choice is a novel 10 years in the making, as Hart had to find time to write between working and raising

his three children. The desire to write a book, however, has been with him for decades. “I’ve always wanted to write a book, but it seemed like some kind of frivolous thing. You know, you’re supposed to go to college and get a degree and get a job in the real world,” Hart said. “Since I was 10 years old, I’ve wanted to write a book. So I finally just sat down and started on it, and it was a great adventure.” In Fielder’s Choice, Hart had to find a way to accurately portray the feelings and internal processes of an 18-year-old boy. Hart had his own experiences to draw upon, but it took a while to create an authentic voice for a young man in the midst of internal and external conflict. “The challenge is getting it out of your head and onto the paper in a way that’s meaningful for your reader,” Hart said. “As an author, we see it so clearly in our minds and know what everybody’s thinking. The challenge is to write it so the reader gets it and so it’s enjoyable.”

Hart said he has received positive reactions to his book, including from mothers who said it helped them understand their teenage sons. He hopes that Fielder’s Choice is honest but encouraging for readers as they face difficult choices in their own lives. “I hope readers will get the courage to pursue their own path, to live who they are in life and be themselves,” Hart said. “As part of doing that, I think they need to understand that sometimes there’s a cost with that. That sounds all rosy and everything,

but if you really do go off on the pathway to live fully yourself and fully self-expressed in your life, there can be costs from other people, and paradoxically the biggest costs can be from those who love you and are closest to you.” Hart would like to be a full-time writer after he retires and is currently working on a second novel, which he described as a Kurt Vonnegut-inspired satire about nostalgia. For now, Fielder’s Choice is available on Amazon and at the Little Professor Book Center.

A22 • July 2014

Village Living being able to touch and feel and having gardens at schools is really impossible to replicate,” Goodrich said. “Learning and lessons stick much more when they are learning that way. It’s one thing to talk about nutrition in the abstract, but to plant seed and harvest it, it’s no longer in the abstract.” Brigham envisions students one day participating in their program from pre-K through high school graduation. That’s when he thinks change will happen. “We are supporting what schools are trying to do already with [test] scores and overall growth as people and to prove that hands-on learning can complement and enhance core subjects,” Brigham said. “The byproduct is that the students consume food in different ways and are trying and eating healthy food on a regular basis.” Jones Valley is already starting to see this change take place. After participating in a family kitchen program, they found that 80 percent of families cook more, and 60 percent purchase more fruits and vegetables. In schools, they have seen a 13 percent increase in math scores after students design and build their own mobile markets.


CONTINUED from page A1 nonprofit organization in Uganda. Following that experience, he studied agricultural education from an international development perspective at North Carolina State University. “It was one of my best sales jobs to get him to come back,” Pursell said. “We were fortunate that he had a one-year-old at the time and that his mom and dad lived here in Mountain Brook.” Brigham admits the pull was strong to come back to the place where he had grown up and already had connections. It seemed like the right thing to do, he said. Entering the position of executive director at age 27, he said he felt young and inexperienced but learned how to lead people and develop a long-term plan. He had figured out what to do on the ground in Uganda, and he knew he would at Jones Valley as well. Into the schools Since starting the job three years ago, Brigham has led Jones Valley to take the educational platform from their farm downtown to make an impact at a school level. Through its Good School Food program, Jones Valley integrates urban farming with core curriculum on Birmingham City Schools campuses. Each day at select schools, students receive instruction from a Jones Valley staff member. “When a student walks into a school, that child, regardless of their background, has an incredible amount of untapped potential,” Brigham said. “The style of education we do, hands-on, project-based learning, can release that potential. We see

Students participate in Jones Valley’s Good School Food program. Photo courtesy of Jones Valley Teaching Farm.

ourselves as a catalyst for that, more than we do as a catalyst for healthy eating.” Good School Food was at two schools at the end of the last school year and will be at three additional schools by the close of next school year. The program works with students

in kindergarten through eighth grade, and Jones Valley has plans to also be in one high school soon. The work they do there doesn’t go unnoticed by board members. “When you go out there, you watch kids sliding down slides and planting veggies,” Pursell said. “It becomes

part of their life.” Board president Braxton Goodrich, also a Mountain Brook resident, said Jones Valley’s project-based learning and Good School Food program drew him to get involved with the organization. “Having children learn that way,

Community connections It takes many individuals to make Good School Food and other programs happen for Jones Valley, and many of those instrumental to its leadership make their home in Mountain Brook. In addition to Pursell and Goodrich, Mountain Brook residents Kate Darden, Mike Moss and Christiana Roussel serve on Jones Valley’s board. “You wouldn’t believe how many people from Mountain Brook volunteer on the farm,” Pursell said. “A lot of times I’ll be with a friend, and someone will say they volunteer a

July 2014 • A23 week at a time out there. A lot of the mission for Jones Valley is outside Mountain Brook, but the citizens [here] have really given back in a good way by working at the farm and with these kids who come through it.” Last year Pursell’s rising fourth-grade daughter, Saylors, and her Mountain Brook Elementary classmates ventured to Jones Valley’s flagship garden for its Seed to Plate program. In addition to MBE, Cherokee Bend Elementary students visit the farm on field trips each year. The longtime program is open to any school in the area to attend and welcomed 5,084 students last year alone. “[Saylors] had a blast through several hours of education,” Pursell said. “She had no idea how to plant a garden or cook it or eat it before, but it made an impact on her in one visit. It made a difference that all the kids were doing it together.” Pursell said his neighbor Sid Evans, Time Inc. group editor over titles such as Southern Living and Cooking Light, has been a great supporter. Recently, magazine staff members have welcomed target families from Jones Valley to their test kitchens to show them how to cook and prepare a healthy meal. Together they complete their time by all sitting around a table as a family and having dinner and discussion. Pursell noted the essential role of advocacy for what Jones Valley does and that it’s key for professionals to come see what is going on and better understand the importance of farming and nutrition. “The best way to get involved is to come to an event, because you can engage with the work we do,” Brigham said. Jones Valley’s biggest fundraiser of the year is a Twilight Dinner on the Farm — what Goodrich calls “the best dinner in Birmingham.” This year it is set for Sept. 25 for a ticket price of $1,000 a person. “It’s important that foundations and corporations are the anchor for what we do, but we need individuals’ support as well,” Brigham said. “It’s not an individual giving us $1,000. It’s a collective supporter, and it’s individuals helping us grow.” The farm also offers other fundraisers at lower price points. In June, Jones Valley’s junior board hosted a Cocktails on the Farm event featuring live music and cocktails paired with food from local restaurants, and Frank and Pardis Stitt hosted a Gather Dinner event for the farm as well. The primary goal of all the events is to connect people with the mission and work of Jones Valley, and those involved are eager to share that with their community. “Food is such a central aspect of our lives, and Jones Valley uses it to educate the children in a much better way than if they were just taught from a book,” Goodrich said. To learn more, visit


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CONTINUED from page A1 This year, the case of Waggoner’s client, former Central Alabama Community College President Dr. Steve Franks, was one of them. On June 19, the Supreme Court decided unanimously in his favor, while it reversed a lower court’s ruling on a free speech issue. On April 28, Waggoner, a Mountain Brook resident and chair of Hand Arendall’s Employment and Labor Practice Group, argued in Lane v. Franks. He asked the court to affirm a circuit court ruling that Franks did not violate the First Amendment when he terminated Edward Lane from his position with the college. Lane believed he was fired because of his testimony in another fraud case regarding a no-show employee whom he fired, but Franks maintained that it was because the program Lane managed was cut. Waggoner first realized that the case might be different from others he had tried when the 11th Circuit recognized other circuits had decided the free speech issue differently. Goldstein & Russell, a boutique firm that specializes in representing cases before the Supreme Court, took note of the case and took action on Lane’s behalf. In January, the announcement came that America’s highest court would hear the case. Waggoner’s firm was immediately contacted by lawyers in Washington, D.C. and New York City who more frequently try Supreme Court cases with offers to help with the case. Waggoner said he was thankful that his client had the confidence that Waggoner could handle it on his own. For the month leading up to the April 28 court date, Waggoner worked through what felt like cramming for law school exams in preparation, and he participated in two practice, or moot, arguments with a lawyer consultant and colleagues

Supreme Court artist Art Lien created this sketch of Mark Waggoner as he tried Lane v. Franks in April.

playing the roles of other key players. “It was a constitutional law free speech question. That’s what the Supreme Court cuts its teeth on, so I definitely had to get ready,” he said. Waggoner admits he was nervous as he prepared, but once he entered the court chamber, he was overwhelmed by its ornate decorum and the ambience of the lawyers’ lounge. He had also been told that the justices liked to see lawyers from places like Alabama or Michigan instead of East Coast ones, who come to their court on a regular basis. That morning he sat through the first case on the docket, one about patents, and then came the time for his longawaited one-hour hearing. He listened as other lawyers and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange took their place in the lectern before he stepped up for his 20-minute segment. “They realize their decisions have far-reaching and national impact, and they want you to help them understand not just about how this impacts this case but what ramifications it has in the big picture,” Waggoner said. “If it’s made it to them, it’s not an easy case.

Even though the questioning is hard and can be aggressive, it is focused and respectful, and they are in no way trying to embarrass or belittle you.” Waggoner had entered the court through a basement entrance with metal detectors, but he left through the main doors at the front and found himself at the top of its iconic white steps. “That’s when I was like, ‘Wow, what just happened?’” he said. Back at home now, Waggoner’s firm has posted a photo of him on those steps. He has a quill pen that is given to lawyers who sit at a counsel table in the Supreme Court and a copy of a sketch of himself by Supreme Court artist Art Lien (no cameras are allowed in the court). As his friends can tell you, he has a wealth of stories about the experience that these objects signify. And as of June 19, they remind him that the Supreme Court decided his client’s favor. The Court unanimously affirmed the 11th Circuit’s ruling that Franks was entitled to qualified immunity. The Court also reversed the 11th Circuit on its ruling on the First Amendment free speech issue.

• July 2014

Village Living

Village Living

Living Lyme



July 2014 •

School House B7 Sports B10 Faith B12 Calendar B13


By SYDNEY CROMWELL While playing with neighborhood friends one day, six-year-old Laura Matthews was bitten by three ticks. It seemed insignificant at the time, and her mother, Libby, had no idea of its importance when she removed the ticks and noted the bites in her daughter’s baby book. As Laura grew, she developed several serious medical conditions. Keratoderma made her feet crack and bleed, keeping her from walking barefoot. She bruised easily, and a weakened immune system left her vulnerable to strep and pneumonia. Laura’s short-term memory deteriorated, and she had difficulties communicating. As a sophomore at Mountain Brook High School, Laura began to have seizures. Neither her family nor

a variety of specialists suspected that those long-forgotten ticks were at the root of the problem. “Name an illness, and she was diagnosed with it,” Libby said. “We would just go to these doctors that specialized in the symptoms, and that was how she got treated. Not one doctor was thinking it was one thing, a common cause.” When Laura was 15, a family friend mentioned the possibility of Lyme disease. The family went to a doctor in Tennessee, who tested Laura and found that her many medical mysteries were caused by late-stage Lyme disease. When detected early, the disease can be treated with a course of antibiotics. When it is not recognized, as in Laura’s case, the disease spreads and wreaks havoc throughout the body.

Fifty pills every day, several injections every week and daily naps — that’s Laura’s regimen for supporting her immune system and managing the list of illnesses that Lyme disease brought with it. Now 20 years old, Laura has a variety of conditions, including hyperthyroidism, arthritis, anxiety disorders, severe fatigue, night sweats, short-term memory loss and some skin disorders. She also suffers from co-infections that accompany Lyme disease: Babesia, a malaria-like disease that ravages the immune system, and Bartonella, which can cause heart inflammation, encephalopathy and other disorders. “Anybody who has Lyme disease, if they have a pretty good immune system, they can fight it off,” Libby said. “It’s the co-infections that absolutely wipe you out.”

Anna and Laura Matthews have suffered from Lyme disease for most of their lives. Photo courtesy of Libby Matthews.

Besides the physical damage, Lyme disease is also isolating for its victims. Laura recalled losing several friends after the diagnosis, and many family members still do not understand why she cannot always participate in family functions. She has the support of her parents and 17-year-old sister, Anna, as well as her boyfriend, but said that babysitting her neighbor’s children is a significant part of her social life. “In October [2009], I was diagnosed. I told some of my close friends

that I had been close to since first grade. They totally ditched me, everything. I didn’t have one person,” Laura said. “I don’t have one best friend. I have my boyfriend, and that’s all.” Anna is in a unique position to understand the challenges her sister faces, as she was also diagnosed with tick-transmitted Lyme disease two years ago. Anna’s case is less severe and does not affect her neurological functions, but she still faces

See LYME | page B3

B2 • July 2014

Village Living

July 2014 • B3

Preventing Lyme Disease `` Use insect repellent with DEET when outdoors. The repellent is effective on skin and clothes. To keep ticks off of camping gear, use a repellent with permethrin. `` Avoid tall grass, dead leaf piles and other moist areas where ticks tend to gather. In wooded areas, stay in the center of the trails. `` Do a full-body tick check on every family member, including pets, after being outdoors. Putting clothes in a dryer on high heat can kill any ticks on your clothing. `` Remove ticks with tweezers as soon as you find them. `` Watch for early signs of Lyme and other diseases spread by ticks: fever, headache, fatigue, muscle or joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and rashes (especially in a “bull’s-eye” shape) `` Go to a doctor if you experience these symptoms. Lyme disease can be successfully treated if caught early. -Prevention tips adapted from the Laura Matthews takes 50 pills every day and gets blood tests done every few weeks to manage the variety of illnesses caused by Lyme disease. The tubes pictured hold blood samples to test her blood coagulation and liver function. Photo courtesy of Libby Matthews.


CONTINUED from page B1 Bartonella, hypothyroidism, sudden heart rate or blood pressure drops, von Willebrand disease and gastrointestinal issues. She also had severe anxiety issues, but since beginning treatment, she has joined a choir and Leadership Mountain Brook. Having two daughters with Lyme disease has been both physically and financially exhausting for Libby and her husband, Kit. Treatment for late-stage Lyme disease is not covered by insurance, so the Matthews have spent their savings and retirement fund on medications, tests and multiple yearly visits to their doctor

in Tennessee. Libby described it as “living a nightmare.” “Some days you just get overwhelmed with it all and you just want to stop, but you can’t,” Laura said. Although many people still do not know about Lyme disease’s severity, the Matthews have found support from other families suffering from the disease. Through the Alabama Lyme Disease Association they met Sarah and Julia Israel, who were diagnosed with Lyme about two years ago. Sarah and Julia are 2004 and 2006 graduates of Mountain Brook High School, respectively, and have a congenital version of the disease that was passed on by their father. Sarah is unable to work at a regular

job, and Julia had to quit nursing school because of the disease’s cognitive damage and their unreliable health. Although the sisters feel as if their life is “paused,” both are completely confident that they will go into remission. The Matthews and Israels support each other during the social isolation and long, painful battle of treating Lyme disease. The Israels said that Libby is like a second mother to them and they are inspired by Laura and Anna’s resiliency. “Finding the Matthews girls is heartbreaking because they’re going through so much, and because you’ve been through it you don’t want anyone else to feel that. But it’s also, in a way,

good to have company and people that understand you and understand exactly what you’ve been going through,” Sarah said. The Matthews have no guarantee that either Laura or Anna will ever go into remission, but that does not stop them from planning a successful future. Anna wants to study interior design at Samford University, and Laura works around her memory loss and fatigue to study diagnostic medical sonography at Virginia College. She plans to graduate in 2015. Raising awareness and understanding of Lyme disease is an important goal for the Matthews. Laura makes a video every May for Lyme Disease Awareness Month and spreads

awareness through social media and her personal story. By teaching people to recognize early symptoms and changing the way doctors diagnose and treat Lyme disease, the Matthews hope their personal struggle can keep other families from the same fate. “All of this could have been so prevented if we knew more, if our doctors knew more,” Libby said. “I don’t want anybody to go through this.” To learn more about Lyme disease, visit or cdc. gov/lyme. Follow the Matthews’ story on their Facebook page, Fight for Laura and Anna, or follow the Israels on Sarah’s blog,

B4 • July 2014

Village Living

On the road to the big screen By MADOLINE MARKHAM Olivia Burgess would like to be a film writer and director one day. But first, she’d like a recurring role on a TV show on her way to reach her goals of winning an Oscar and meeting Brad Pitt … and Tom Cruise … and One Direction … and Christina Aguilera … and Adam Levine. Through her acting work, the fourth-grader has already auditioned for major feature films and met Davis Cleveland of Disney Channel’s Shake It Up and Raini Rodriguez of Disney’s Austin & Ally. Olivia’s roles on camera started with modeling at Snap Kids in first grade. A scout noticed her photo and invited her to Los Angeles. That summer of 2012, her family made a trip to California into a family vacation, and she started modeling work. Today she works with agencies J Pervis in Atlanta and Clear Talent Group in Los Angeles and recently signed a new three-year contract with these groups. Olivia, her mom and younger sister CC, now 4, lived in Los Angeles from January to March 2013, and her dad, Brian, and brother, Brody, who attends Mountain Brook Elementary, would visit as often as they could. While there, Olivia’s favorite auditioning role was for Walking with Dinosaurs, and she also recently vied for the role of Jake Gyllenhaal’s

daughter in Southpaw, an upcoming boxing drama with Forest Whitaker, and the character Cassie in Heaven is for Real. “They say this is a business of no’s, but Olivia loves it and moves on to the next one,” Lauren said. “She is very positive about it.” Olivia has also auditioned for a variety of roles on TV shows, including Suburgatory, Criminal Minds and two Nickelodeon shows, as well as a music video with Brad Paisley. Lauren recalls one moment where she realized Olivia would be auditioning with the casting department that worked on Argo. That fact created anxiety for Lauren but not for Olivia, who didn’t know what Argo was. “I am more nervous than her,” Lauren said. “It’s so casual and laid back for her.” Today Lauren and Olivia fly back to Los Angeles when Olivia gets called back for auditions. Her managers help filter through all the possibilities, but there was a time when mom and daughter got on a plane four hours after getting a phone call about a callback. “We enjoy living in Birmingham, as this is home and where we are from, but our time in LA is always wonderful and exciting,” Lauren said. “We manage the opportunities as best we can, and sometimes we can’t audition for everything if the schedule doesn’t seem like a great fit for our family.

Olivia understands this and knows we do the best we can to help support her dreams become a reality.” Olivia’s first line on the International Movie Database (IMDb) came with an online TV series, Camp Nottahope, which launched at the end of May on It will also be edited into a short film for film festivals. The comedy series is about a summer camp (“not a hope”) for children whose parents think they are “dysfunctional.” “Even the counselors had problems,” Lauren said. Olivia’s character lived in the world of make believe where, among other things, she pretended she had a pet unicorn. “It was a lot of fun, and I made a lot of friends,” she said. “You are a completely different person [on set] than you are in real life.” They shot the first five episodes in March and hope to do more in the future. This year Olivia has also been modeling children’s clothing for CWD Kids’ catalogs, shooting fall clothes in the spring and a holiday set in May. “I like to change outfits, get my hair and makeup done, and pose in front of the camera,” she said of the experience. “I like it when they say, ‘Ah, that’s fabulous.’” In all Olivia aspires to do, though, Lauren emphasizes that it’s about her daughter doing what she enjoys and what

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Olivia Burgess has been auditioning for film and TV roles in Los Angeles.

works best for their family. “She has a lot of fun with it,” Lauren said. “At the end of the day, that’s what matters. As any parent would, I try to support my children’s dreams within reason.” Still, when an inappropriate script comes along, or the possibility of filming somewhere far away, such as New Zealand or Alaska, they have turned them down. Lauren also notes that Olivia’s acting has allowed the

two of them to spend a lot of time together traveling and on set, where Lauren must be present since Olivia is a minor. In whatever film possibilities come her way, Olivia maintains her mottos: “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be,” and “Dream big and reach for the stars.” To follow Olivia’s acting endeavors, find her fan page on Facebook.

July 2014 • B5

Western concierge Joe Bates retires after 40 years of service By OLIVIA BURTON Joe Bates saw a lot of change in his 40 years at Western Supermarket in Mountain Brook Village. “The kids I used to see on the bottom of the buggy are now pushing the buggy with their kids,” he said. Bates started working in Western’s produce section on Aug. 28, 1973. Over the years, he saw the transition from S&H green stamps and manual cash registers to the computerized system of the modern age. The one thing that never changed was Bates’s commitment to customer service. Western invited community members to show their appreciation for Bates’s 40 years of service at his retirement party at Western on June 25. Bates said that the reality of his retirement finally hit him when he saw a banner by the store entrance that announced his party. “It’s like a family,” he said. “Well, it is a family. We call customers by name, they call us by name and I’m going to miss that.” Many customers who have moved out of Mountain Brook as far away as Saudi Arabia look Bates up whenever they come back to town. From the produce aisle to concierge, if there’s a job to be done at Western, Bates has probably done it at some point. As concierge, Bates was known for going above and beyond what was expected of him. Although Western does not have a delivery service, Bates helped customers who have difficulty getting the groceries they need. He said that he has several customers from St. Martin’s in the Pines who call him when they need to go shopping. Bates then picks them up and takes them to Western. Store manager Clay Adkins called Bates “the face of Western for most customers” because of

For more than 40 years, Joe Bates worked in customer relations and customer service at Western in Mountain Brook Village. Photo by Olivia Burton.

his customer service skills and friendliness. “I have been shopping here for years and he has always been the quiet smile behind all the other wonderful employees there,” Mountain Brook resident Susan Nabors said, noting that Bates was always quick to help with school or community fundraisers. Although Bates has many fond memories of the store, one in particular stands out to him. During the chaotic snow days last winter,

Bates and several other Western employees kept the store open to help the community. Many people who had become stranded by the ice found food to eat and a warm place to stay at Western. “We spent the night here in the store, and customers were surprised the next morning when we unlocked the door that we were still here,” Bates said, adding that a grocery store is not a bad place to be stuck.

During his retirement, Bates plans to visit his family in Mobile and enjoy the fruits of his labor. Although he will miss the store, he is looking forward to a relaxing retirement. Still, he doesn’t plan to be gone for good,. “I told this company that whenever they need me, I’m always available,” Bates said. “So I’ll be poppin’ in from time to time.”

B6 • July 2014

Summer Fun Photo Contest

Village Living

Deadline is August 3, 2014 Prizes will be awarded to contest winners Category 1: Any summer fun photo Category 2: A summer fun photo displaying a copy of Village living wherever you are

Capture the fun of summer with your camera and send us your favorite shots of wherever you and your family are.

To enter, e mail your photos in a jpeg format to Please send high quality images and include a caption and photo credit. Only four photos are allowed per person.

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July 2014 • B7

School House Business students win competition for second consecutive year Mountain Brook High School seniors Bo Luttrell, Jake Fleisher and Tillman Drew were recognized at the Mountain Brook Board of Education for placing first in the FBLA Marketing Competition for the second year in a row. The team competed in an objective test that

allowed them to advance to a final round, where they evaluated a case study and presented a solution to a panel of judges. Other FBLA winners recognized at the board meeting included Hampton McFadden and Bill Perry for first place in entrepreneurship and Griffin Osborne for third place in business law.

Jill Covington, Bo Luttrell, Jake Fleisher, Tillman Drew, Amber Benson and Brooke Hawkins.

Pack 63 makes new water fountain a reality By LISA STONE

Pack 63 Leaders Tye Warren and Scott Barringer with State Representative Paul DeMarco and Cub Scout Pack 63.

In May, Cub Scout Pack 63 met with Crestline Elementary School principals and State Representative Paul DeMarco for a ribbon-cutting in honor of the new handicap and pet-accessible water fountain they donated to the CES playground. The Cub Scouts sold popcorn and raised direct contributions for the purchase and installation of the fountain. With a little extra help from donations by DeMarco and State Senator Slade Blackwell, the fountain became a reality for Crestline students and the community earlier this year. Principal Laurie King gave a special thanks to the top popcorn sellers, including Peter Ray who sold the most. Pack leader Scott Barringer spoke to the boys about the joy of giving to others. He reminded them to always recall the feeling that donating the fountain gave them and to continue to be helpful, friendly, courteous and kind to their friends, teachers and community.

B8 • July 2014

Village Living

MBJH honors Spartans of the Month By ELIZABETH FARRAR

Front row: Mary Allison Anderson, Katherine Grace McMinn, Kay Kay Benck, Emily Barber, Peyton Billingsley, Heitho Shipp, Emory Alexander, Hannah Wilder, Sarah Margaret Corley, Mary Tynes Flake, Katie Kehl, Mary Margaret Freeland, Rachel Eistreicher. Back row: Daniel Azrin, Alex Prelipcean, Justin Brouillette, Brooks Gaylard, James Burkett, Robert Dillard, Jack SmithT, Eli Sellers, Grant Little, Clay Stearns, Conner Bussman, Alex Pankey, Jay Pankey, Zachary Shunnarah. Not pictured: Sam Vaughn, Katie Cawthon, Lucy Key.

Honoring Mom at CES

Each month, one boy and one girl from each grade at Mountain Brook Junior High School are chosen by faculty vote to best represent a positive character trait. The students named Spartan of the Month are recognized each month at the school and honored with a breakfast and certificate presentation. The following MBJH students were honored during the second semester: January Spartans of the Month for displaying the quality of responsibility: Emory Alexander, Mary Margaret Freeland, Brooks Gaylard, Kay Kay Benck, Robert Dillard, Eli Sellers, Peyton Billingsley and Conner Bussman. February Spartans of the Month for displaying the character quality of self-discipline: Katie Kehl, James Burkett, Mary Tynes Flake, Jay Pankey, Heitho Shipp and Sam Vaughn. March Spartans of the Month for displaying the character quality of determination: Katie Cawthon, Alex Prelipcean, Lucy Key, Jack SmithT, Clay Stearns, Hannah Wilder, Daniel Azrin and Alex Pankey. April Spartans of the Month for displaying the character quality of integrity: Rachel Estreicher, Zachary Shunnarah, Mary Allison Anderson, Katherine Grace McMinn, Justin Brouillette, Sarah Margaret Corley, Emily Barber and Grant Little.

BWF holds book drive By KATHLEEN WOODRY

The children in Melanie Hennessy’s first grade class at Crestline Elementary School celebrated their moms by hosting a tea in their honor.

For two days at the end of the school year, Brookwood Forest Ranger PTO hosted a book drive to collect donations of gently used books to enhance BWF classroom libraries. Enabling a student to put their hands on the right book at the right time in a classroom library is important to the growth of a student. Once the books were collected, BWF sixth graders organized and sorted the books to allow teachers to “shop” for their own classroom libraries. At the conclusion of the teacher shopping days, all unclaimed books were donated to Jonesboro Elementary and Westhills Elementary, two schools in the Bessemer City Schools system affected by the spring tornadoes.

Kindergartner Aubrey Engel holds a book from her school’s recent book drive.

July 2014 • B9

Camp Lancer field day fun By HILARY ROSS Mountain Brook Elementary held its annual field day on the last full day of school. Grades were broken down into three segments to take the field at MBE and participate in a variety of events. These included water bucket races, sponge tosses and four-way tug of war. A deejay also kept the crowd

excited by spinning loud, upbeat tunes. Grades coordinated the color of their clothing and made banners for their classroom to show team spirit. After the events concluded, all children enjoyed an ice-cold popsicle.

Sixth grade girls show their neon field day spirit. Photo by Susan Salter Hydinger.

The end of a chapter

BWF classes compete By KATHLEEN WOODRY

Sixth grade students wait to hear their names called for the presentation of their diplomas. Photo by Susan Salter Hydinger.

By HILARY ROSS Almost 80 Mountain Brook Elementary graduates will enter Mountain Brook Junior High in August with memories of their elementary career highlighted by several events held during sixth grade. Some of the events included a Graduation Dance and Lancer Walk, where students took

one last stroll through the halls of MBE. The next morning, boys in blue sport coats and girls in white dresses accepted their diplomas from Principal Belinda Treadwell. Following the ceremony, a reception was held where parents and students celebrated the end to one chapter of their lives and a beginning of another. -Submitted by Hilary Ross

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This year the Brookwood Forest Elementary Ranger PTO spearheaded Field Day Fifty just before the end of the school year. The event featured four competitive events per grade. Each grade had 50 minutes on the field, including time for popsicles. Each class chose a class color and competed as a team . The winning class for each grade chose an event to compete against Principal Nathan Pitner, Assistant Principal Christy Christian, Robin  Seale and Christy Sorensen.

Virginia Gaddy, Millie Bailey and Avery Knowles.

B10 • July 2014

Village Living

Sports MBHS athletes receive Kiwanis awards

MBHS runners receive distance trophy Mountain Brook High School’s most outstanding long distance track athletes have won the Colonel George V. Irons Distance Trophy presented at the school’s Awards Day in April. William L. Irons, Dr. Irons’ son, presented this year’s trophies to Rachael Reddy and Stewart Hawk. The trophy is given in honor of Dr. George V. Irons Sr., who broke distance records throughout the South as captain of the University of Alabama distance team in the 1920s.

Rachael Reddy, William L. Irons and Stewart Hawk.

Lacrosse players compete in All State Rebecca Blitz, Terry Cooper, Tatum Jackson and Carlee Petro hold their awards from the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham. Photo courtesy of Ben Jackson.

The Kiwanis Club of Birmingham presented its 2014 Athletic Awards program in May at the Harbert Center. The Club has been honoring area senior scholar athletes since 1922. Three Mountain Brook High School students were among the recipients of 15 individual sport awards, three individual awards and two school awards given. Center fielder Rebecca Blitz won Outstanding Softball Player. Rebecca led the MBHS team with .583 batting average, .659 on-base percentage, 34 stolen bases in 2014. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Russ Blitz, she will attend Indiana University on a softball scholarship.

Tatum Jackson won the Outstanding Girls Golfer award. Tatum placed in the top three individually in the state tournament the last four years. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Jackson, she will play golf for Rutgers University. Carlee Petro won the Girls Tennis Award. She will be attending Birmingham-Southern College next year. In addition to the individual awards, MBHS Athletic Director Terry Cooper accepted the Roy Bragg All-Sports Trophy on behalf of the school. It is the second year in a row that MBHS has won this award.

Members of the Mountain Brook High School ladies lacrosse team recently competed in the Alabama All-State Showcase. Members of the Mountain Brook team who made the team included Maggie Miller,

Julia Bell Pope, Olivia Mannon, Coach Hunter Faulconer, Mary Parker Wetzler, Laura Tovar and Libbie Faulconer. In addition, Olivia, Laura and Libbie were named first team All-Alabama.

July 2014 • B11

MBHS track places second in state

Front row: Emily Bedell, Mary Glenn Waldrop, Rachael Reddy. Second row: Sophie Jane Knott, Julia Leonard, Sarah Berryman, Janie Branch, Eleanor Swaggler. Third row: Madeline Debuys, Jessica Molloy, Frances Patrick, Frances Connor, Sanders Reed. Back row: Maggie Gunn, Helen Camp. Photo courtesy of Sanders Reed.

The Mountain Brook High School girls’ track team, under the direction of Coach Greg Echols, finished second out of more than 30 teams at the recent 6A Alabama State Championship Track meet in Gulf Shores. The team produced two individual state champions and numerous top-eight finishes, garnering enough points to bring home the

runner-up trophy. Team members include Emily Bedell, Sarah Berryman, Emily Bolvig, Janie Branch, Helen Camp, Frances Conner, Madeline Debuys, Maggie Gunn, Sophie Jane Knott, Julia Leonard, Jessica Malloy, Frances Patrick, Rachael Reddy, Sanders Reed, Eleanor Swagler and Mary Glenn Waldrop.

Braves are second grade champs Under the lights at Mountain Brook High, Head Coach Eric Schwefler’s Braves team won the second grade Mountain Brook baseball tournament championship. Pictured are David Allen, Grant Robicheaux, Charles Smith, Eric Schwefler, Howie Fell, Billy Allen, Luke Schwefler, Harrison Fell, John Robicheaux, Robert Flynn, George Simmons, Ellis Dykes, Alex Hawkins, Charlie Smith and John Turner. Photo courtesy of Ashley Turner.

Soccer team recognized for state finish

The Mountain Brook Board of Education recently recognized the Mountain Brook High School girls’ varsity soccer team for finishing as runner-up in the 6A state championship. The team is coached by Scott Flowers.

The 2014 MBHS Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team poses at the final four game for the Alabama 6A State Championship. Front row: Katherine Brian, Elizabeth Gillespy, Leigh Haynes, Carlin Pittman, Maggie Clemmons and Baily Martin. Middle row: Alexa Ruttenberg, Lowry Neil, Kathryn Wason, Anna Catherine Gillespy, Elizabeth Clutton, Frances Morris and Ansley Joy Peacock. Back row: Head Coach Scott Flowers, Coach Angela Nardecchia, Julia Garrison, Jessica Sirkin, Heitho Shipp, Cate Armstrong, Laney Smith, Adelaide Kimberly, Sarah Grace Lindsey, Nicole Strahl and Coach Nicole Klein.

B12 • July 2014

Village Living

Faith Life Actually By Kari Kampakis

How to help the grieving Several months ago, a dear friend of mine lost her husband. As multitudes of people flocked to lift her family up and help in their time of need, I reached out to a mom who had lost her spouse years ago to see if she had advice on how to help a grieving friend. It turned out she did. She had excellent advice, in fact, and because grief is relevant to all of our lives, I’d like to share her wisdom. Here’s some food for thought on how to help a friend who has lost their loved one: `` Remember you can’t fix things. When tragedy strikes, we all want to help. We rally around our friend and want to do something. Although there are things we can do, we can’t fix what has permanently changed in their life. When God says He is the “God of all comfort,” this is a deep, rich truth. All true and healing comfort comes from Him. While God may use you to administer some of His comfort, it originates in Him. The best thing you can do for a grieving friend is study your Bible and get to know God better. As you minister love and grieve with your friend, point him or her to the Heavenly Father. `` Don’t judge. There’s no wrong way to grieve a sudden loss. Whatever keeps the person breathing is fine. Don’t allow your feelings to be hurt by a grieving friend, either; it’s your gift to them to overlook anything they might say or do, or not say or do.




The period after a death is not about your friendship; it’s about letting your friend circle the wagons around their family and try to survive. It’s overwhelming, so let him or her focus energy on keeping themselves and their children upright. Have compassion and be very sensitive, but don’t pity a friend who is mourning. While pity is discouraging, compassion instills courage. Pity says, “Oh, you poor thing. This is so terrible for you and your sweet children. What can I do for you?” Compassion says, “I’m so sorry this has happened. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I’m right here with you, every step of the way.” Compassion operates from the truth that your friend can do all things through Christ who strengthens him or her. When you cry for your friend, do it at home. Don’t burden your friend with your tears and anguish. Don’t make him or her comfort you. It’s okay to shed some tears when your friend is crying, but leave the sobbing breakdowns to them. As time goes on, let your friend tell you how badly it hurts. Don’t argue or tell them they have so much to be grateful for when all they can feel is their loss. Certainly they’ll need to count their blessings and practice gratitude, but scripture is full of moments where people (David, Job,






Jeremiah, Jesus) cry out and tell God how hard life is. God doesn’t correct them; He only reminds them that He is present, He is sovereign and He is love. Offer a safe place where your friend can share his or her rawest emotions and thoughts. When you offer help, make it specific. Don’t say “call me if you need anything.” Say, “We’d love to have you and the kids to grill out Saturday night.” Be respectful of your friend’s need to handle the loss his or her own way. He or she is walking in uncharted territory, and you don’t know how he or she feels. Offering uninformed or unsolicited advice can be hurtful. It’s more helpful for them to hear statements like, “I can’t imagine what you are going through, but I can see that God is with you.” Extend invitations, especially on weekends and holidays, because they can be brutal. It’s fine if your friend says no, but keep inviting them. Do this for years to come because it is an ongoing need. Show your friend how you remember their loved one. Text a picture when you see something that reminds you of them (i.e. his or her favorite strawberry cake) or share a thought that comes to mind. It helps them to know how the person lives on in your memories, too. As time goes on, let your friend be a friend to you, too. There will be a day when they feel the need to give back. Don’t treat them as if they’re made of

glass and can’t handle being a friend. It’s healing for them to help you. `` Remember that grieving is a long, slow process. Life will never be “normal” again. There is a new “normal,” and over time it will be good. But just because your friend is getting dressed in the morning, going to exercise and shopping for softball cleats doesn’t mean he or she is “over it” or “moving on.” Be patient as your friend re-learns how to live life. Remember that the loss will hit over and over, often in unexpected moments. `` A grieving person needs their friends desperately. They need the comfort of their Savior even more. Much more can be written on this subject, but this list is a starting point. Above all, approach your friend from a place of love and pray for guidance. Listen for God’s voice and once you receive direction, ask God to use you as a vessel of his love, grace, mercy and compassion. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mountain Brook mom of four girls, columnist and blogger for The Huffington Post. Join her Facebook community at “Kari Kampakis, Writer,” visit her blog at or contact her at Kari’s first book, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know, releases in November 2014 through Thomas Nelson. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon.

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Calendar Mountain Brook Events July 1: Tzofim Friendship Caravan Community Performance. 6:30 p.m. Levite Jewish Community Center. Caravan Asif will be touring the U.S. this summer and they’re stopping in Birmingham. Free. Call 879-0411, ext. 224.

Community Center. Three days per week, Monday,

July 7-31: Football/Sports Conditioning. 10 a.m. Levite Jewish

July 19: Thirteenth Annual Market Day. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mountain Brook

Wednesday and Friday. Ages 8-12. $145 for members, $175 for nonmembers. Call 879-0411, ext. 247.

Village. Discounts up to 75 percent off. Visit July 20: Group Fitness Summer Launch. All day. Levite Jewish Community Center. Spend the day with fellow fitness fanatics. Free to members and their guests. Email lsmith@

July 7-28: Summer Specialty Camps. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Levite Jewish Community Center. Entering grades 2-6. $205 for members, $255 for nonmembers. Call 879-0411 ext. 224. Aug. 2: Otey’s Fest. 5-10:30 p.m. Otey’s Tavern Parking Lot, Crestline Village. Call 8718435.

Emmet O’Neal Library Call 445-1121 or visit for more.

Adults All month: Tech Classes. Small, one-hour, free classes, call Marylyn 445-1115. Wednesdays: Brown Bag Lunch Series. Noon doors open, 12:30 p.m. program. Sundays: The Library is closed on Sunday during summer hours July 3: Church & Oak Book Group. 6:30 p.m. Church Street Coffee & Books. Discussing The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner. July 4-6: Library closed in observance on Independence Day. July 8: The Bookies. 10 a.m. Book group discussing One Summer in America, 1927 by Bill Bryson. July 8: A Hard Day’s Night Fiftieth Anniversary Party. 6:30 p.m. A viewing of

newly remastered version of the film with Q & A to follow. July 14: Great Books. 6:30 p.m. Book group discussing Mary Postgate by Rudyard Kipling. July 15: Documentaries After Dark. 6:30 p.m. Film about the Windsors. July 18: Standing Room Only Presents Mini-Golf. 7 p.m. Ages 21 and up. Registration required. July 22: Let’s Talk Money Financial Education Series. 6:30 p.m. Light dinner served. July 29: Genre Reading Group. 6:30 p.m. Books on travel/vacations/national parks. July 31: Adult Summer Reading Finale: Bad Art Night. 6:30 p.m. Prizes awarded.

Teens July 7: TAB. 5-6 p.m. The monthly meeting of the library’s Teen Advisory Board.

Wednesdays *Mother Goose Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Thursdays

July 11: Circuit Bending. 1-3 p.m.

*Patty Cake Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m.

July 18: Water Balloon War. 1-2 p.m.

Movie for grades 3-6. 10:30 a.m.

July 25: Summer Reading Finale Game On Tournament. 4:30-6:30 p.m. Prizes awarded.

Grades 3-6 programming. 3:30 p.m.


Family Story Time with Mr. Mac. 10:30 a.m.

Mondays *Toddler Tales Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays All ages show. 10:30 a.m. All ages movie. 3:30 p.m.


Special Events *July 8: Third-grade Bookmania: Spaceheadz. 6 p.m. *July 22: Bookmania: Pi in the Sky. For grades 4-6. 6 p.m. *Space is limited; please call 879-0497 or visit to register.

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Village Living

Calendar Area Events July 2: Commemoration of the Passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. 10 a.m. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 520 16th St. N. Free. Call 328-9696, ext. 229. July 3: UAB Concert Choir Bon Voyage Concert. 7-8:30 p.m. Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. Free. Call 934-7376. July 4: Peavine Falls Run. 7 a.m. Oak Mountain State Park. $15. Register on July 4: UAB Independence Day Concert. 7-8:45 p.m. UAB Bartow Arena, 617 13th St. S. Free. Call 934-7376. July 4: Thunder on the Mountain. 9-9:20 p.m. Vulcan Park and Museum, 1701 Valley View Dr. Vulcan Park will be closed for safety reasons, but the fireworks will be visible from many places throughout the city. Free. Call 9331409. July 5: Red, White and Brew 5K Run/Walk. 10 a.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Trim Tab Brewing Company, 2721 5th

Ave. S. Enjoy a complimentary beer and live music after the race. $30 pre-registration, $35 race-day registration. July 10: Summer Film Series Baseball Thursday: Field of Dreams. 7-10 p.m. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. N. An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago Black Sox come. 107 min. PG. There will be a sing-along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before the film. $8. Call 252-2262. July 10: Gaither Vocal Band. 7-10 p.m. Leslie S. Wright Center, 800 Lakeshore Drive. Artist Circle $36.50, Reserved $29.50, Senior (60+) $26.50, Child (2-12) $26.50, Groups of 15+ $25.50 plus two free tickets. Call 726-2853. July 10-27: Annie. Thursday and Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2:30 p.m. Virginia Samford Theatre, 1116 26th St. S. $30-35. Call 251-1206. July 11: Bards and Brews Poetry Slam. 6:30-9 p.m. North Birmingham Regional Library, 2501

31st Ave. N. Free. Call 226-3670. July 11: Summer Film Series: The Blues Brothers. 7-10 p.m. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. N. Jake Blues, just out from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and brother Elwood were raised. 133 min. Rated R. There will be a sing-along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before the film. $8. Call 252-2262. July 11: Rick and Bubba “We Ain’t Never Been No Where” 20th Anniversary Tour 2014. 7 p.m. Leslie S. Wright Center, 800 Lakeshore Drive. Balcony $33, Orchestra $43. Call 726-2853. July 12-13: Alabama Gun Collectors Association Summer Show. Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N. Free for members, small door fee for the public. Call (334) 2721193. July 13: Summer Film Series: To Kill a Mockingbird. 2-5 p.m. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. N. Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era

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South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice. 129 min. NR. There will be a sing-along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before the film. $8. Call 252-2262. July 17: Summer Film Series Baseball Thursday: The Bad News Bears. 7-10 p.m. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. N. An aging, down-on-his-luck ex-minor leaguer coaches a team of misfits in an ultra-competitive California Little League. 102 min. PG. There will be a sing-along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before the film. $8. Call 252-2262. July 18-20: 31st Annual World Deer Expo. Friday 3-10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N. Adults $11, Children $6, Kids 3 and under are free. Call 678-4141. July 18: Summer Film Series: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. 7-10 p.m. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. N. With the aid of the Enterprise crew, Admiral Kirk must stop an old nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh, from using his son’s life-generating device,

the Genesis Device, as the ultimate weapon. 113 min. PG. There will be a sing-along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before the film. $8. Call 252-2262. July 19: Run or Dye 5K. 9 a.m. Barber Motorsports Park, 6040 Barber Motorsports Parkway. Early registration (May 1-July 8) $47, Registration (July 9-19) $57. Teams of four or more save $5 per ticket. July 19: Ray LaMontagne. 7:30 p.m. Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N. Tickets from $37.80. Call 1-800-745-3000. July 20: Summer Film Series: The Long, Long Trailer. 2-5 p.m. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. N. Nicky and Tacy are going to be married. Nicky wants to save up money for a house, but Tacy dreams of starting off with their own home on wheels — a trailer. 103 min. NR. There will be a sing-along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before the film. $8. Call 252-2262. July 23: Mockingbird Tribute. 7 p.m. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. N. Learn about Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird,

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Calendar Area Events get a free copy of Marja Mills’ book The Mockingbird Next Door, and enter for a chance to win a 50th anniversary edition of To Kill A Mockingbird with bookplate signed by Harper Lee. $35. Call 870-4242. July 23-24: Luke Bryan That’s My Kind of Night Tour. 7 p.m. Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, 1000 Amphitheatre Dr. Tickets from $40. Call 1-800-745-3000. July 24: Summer Film Series Baseball Thursday: A League of Their Own. 7-10 p.m. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. N. Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amid their own growing rivalry. 128 min. PG. There will be a sing-along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before the film. $8. Call 2522262. July 25: Summer Film Series: The Big Lebowski. 7-10 p.m. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. N. “Dude” Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it. 117 min. R. There will be a sing-along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before the film. $8. Call 252-2262. July 26: American Idol Live. 8 p.m. Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N. See the

top 10 finalists from season 13 of American Idol. Tickets from $45.25. Call 1-800-7453000. July 27: Steely Dan “Jamalot Ever After” Tour. 8 p.m. Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N. Tickets from $72.65. Call 1-800-745-3000. July 27: Summer Film Series: The Sound of Music. 2-5 p.m. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. North. A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower. 174 min. G. There will be a singalong and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before the film. $8. Call 252-2262. July 31: Summer Film Series Baseball Thursday: The Sandlot. 7-10 p.m. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. N. Scotty Smalls moves to a new neighborhood with his mom and stepdad, and wants to learn to play baseball. 101 min. PG. There will be a sing-along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before the film. $8. Call 252-2262. July 31: Fourth Annual Taste of Birmingham. 6-9 p.m. The Club of Birmingham, 1 Robert S. Smith Dr. Enjoy live music, fireworks and the chance to taste and vote on dishes from Birmingham’s best restaurants. $75. Call 767-9219.

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Village living july 2014  

Community news, entertainment and sports for Mountain Brook