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April 2014

Village Living Volume 5 | Issue 1 | April 2014

Art party

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Celebrating five years of neighborly news

Lane Parke retail taking shape Developers report several restaurants and retailers have signed leases By MADOLINE MARKHAM

Mountain Brook Art Association’s annual show returns to Crestline this month. Find details inside.

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Results page B9

Return of the trucks

Lynn Ritchie envisions a true gathering space. The streets will be filled with pedestrians. There might be farmers markets on the weekends and live music at night. And her Mountain Brook store, A’mano, will be in the heart of it. Ritchie has finalized a lease to move her store to the first phase of retail development for Lane Parke. Construction on the phase is scheduled to begin this summer. “The more we learned about what the ultimate [Lane Parke] development was going to be like, it seemed really appealing,” Ritchie said. “We are looking forward to a fresh new space.” For now, Ritchie is working on ideas for her new store’s 2,500-square-foot interior, a process she said she finds very exciting. Retail Specialists President Robert Jolly said more than 80 percent of this first retail phase has been leased or is in lease negotiations.

See LANE PARKE | page A19

Lynn Ritchie plans to move her Mountain Brook Village store, A’mano, to the new Lane Parke retail development, which is scheduled to begin construction this summer. Photo by Madoline Markham.

‘Not one more’

Take the Aware survey Support PreSchool Partners at its annual Food Truck Round Up. Read more about this and other April festivals in this issue.

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INSIDE Sponsors ...... A4 City ................ A6 Business ....... A8 Home ............ A15 Celebrations A19

Community .... B3 School House. B5 Sports ............ B15 Faith ............... B17 Calendar ........ B19

A runner crosses the Hollywood Boulevard Bridge over U.S. 280 in early morning traffic. Photo by Dan Starnes.

New options for pedestrian bridge By JEFF THOMPSON

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

The scope of the pedestrian bridge project on Hollywood Boulevard could be expanding. The project is a joint venture to create a walking path connecting Homewood and Mountain Brook. The bridge, as initially planned, would travel along the north side of the Hollywood Boulevard bridge across U.S. 280 and connect a trail system that circles the Birmingham Zoo. During the Mountain Brook City Council’s regular pre-meeting in March, Council member

Jesse Vogtle said some factors uncovered during the project’s development require more consideration. Namely, expenses for both communities have increased beyond what was allocated in their 2014 budgets. In addition, the two communities are concerned about congestion on the bridge following the Alabama Department of Transportation’s (ALDOT’s) U.S. 280 Intersection Improvement Project. “Changes to Highway 280 have created a

See BRIDGE | page A19

Aware started in February as a Facebook group dedicated to parents in the community who wanted to openly discuss issues including depression, drug abuse, addiction and suicide. The closed group quickly grew to more than 600 members seeking that “not one in our community be lost to substance abuse, depression, struggles, despair or suicide.” The grassroots effort brought a suicide awareness speaker to the Mountain Brook City Council Chambers last month and now is seeking community feedback as it looks to take its next steps.

Visit to share your feeback and ideas with Aware. Read more page A7

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April 2014

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April 2014

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April 2014

Village Living

About Us Photo of the Month

Please Support our Community Partners

The Mountain Brook High School Spartans won the 2014 6A state basketball championship for the second year in a row. For full coverage of the championship game and Spartan Swag, visit Photo by Jeff Thompson.

Send your submissions for Photo of the Month to

Editor’s Note By Jennifer Gray If a dose of warm weather and plenty of outdoor activities are what you need to kick off your April, we can deliver at least part of that. While we can’t guarantee weather here in Mountain Brook, there is certainly plenty to do this month that will put a little spring in your step. Several annual April events return this year as we look forward to enjoying warmer weather and outdoor fun. The annual Mountain Brook Art Association art show is always a favorite tradition. Residents enjoy looking at their friends’ and neighbors’ amazing artwork, strolling Crestline field while visiting with old friends and shopping for treasures for their homes. Another popular event is the Protective Life Food Truck Round Up benefiting PreSchool Partners. This 3-year-old

event has grown into one of the city’s most fun and tasty things to do. Held in the Macy’s parking lot at Colonial Brookwood Village, food trucks from around our city park and serve their delicacies. Your ticket gets you three tokens to redeem for any food items from any of the trucks. You can also purchase more tokens if you are still hungry. My favorite is the Rocket Shrimp from Off the Hook, but honestly, there are so many tasty choices that it makes me hungry just thinking about it! If you love New Orleans, Mobile or all things Cajun, then check out the annual Gumbo Gala at Episcopal Place. And the Bo Johnson Memorial Celebration Party is always a fun time, raising money for the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center in memory of a wonderful Mountain Brook resident gone too soon.

This event, held at the Birmingham Zoo, makes for a fun, kid-friendly evening. There are many more community happenings, so make sure you read about them all. On our cover this month, we have highlighted updates to the Lane Parke development and the proposed pedestrian foot bridge over U.S. 280 at Hollywood Boulevard. If you have been wondering what types of stores and restaurants are coming to Mountain Brook Village, you will want to read our update from Robert Jolly of Retail Specialists to learn about the latest on possible new businesses for our area.

Village Living Publisher : Creative Director : Editor : Managing Editor : Executive Editor: Staff Writer: Advertising Manager: Sales and Distribution :

Dan Starnes Keith McCoy Jennifer Gray Madoline Markham Jeff Thompson Katie Turpen Matthew Allen Rhonda Smith Warren Caldwell Michelle Salem Haynes Nathan Pearman Contributing Writers : Kari Kampakis Greg Heyman Interns : Sydney Cromwell Rachael Headley Emily VanderMey Published by : 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 Jr. High Contributing Photographer: Image Arts Contact Information: Village Living #3 Office Park Circle, Suite 316 Birmingham, AL 35223 313-1780

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

For advertising contact:

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

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A Little Something (A12) Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (A8) Alabama Outdoors (A12) Alabama Power (A13) Alabama Symphony Orchestra (B3) Amy Smith (B14) Baker Lamps & Linens (A16) Bates, Roberts, Fowlkes & Jackson Insurance (A7) Bedzzz Express (B20) Birmingham Botanical Gardens (A19) Birmingham Speech & Hearing (B13) Bo Johnson Charitable Foundation (B11) Brandino Brass (A16) Briarcliff Shop (A12) Bromberg & Company, Inc. (A11) Canterbury Gardens (A14) Canterbury UMC (B17) Case Remodeling (A17) Children’s of Alabama (A9) Christopher Glenn (A15) Classic Gardens (A18) Dermatology and Laser of Alabama (A2) Dish’n It Out (B10) E & F Entertainment (B10) Eighteenth Street Orientals (B14) Fi-Plan Partners (A5) Fred Smith Group (B14) Hanna’s Garden Shop (A17) Hufham Orthodontics (B6) Issis & Sons (A15) John-William Jeweller (B13) Junior League of Birmingham (B8) King’s House Oriental Rugs (B6) Kirkwood by the River (A10) Lamb’s Ears, Ltd. (B13) Lane Parke - Evson Inc. (B7) Lane Parke/Daniel Corporation (B12) Leaf & Petal (A9) Levy’s Fine Jewelry (A1) Mobley & Sons (B16) Mountain Brook Art Association (B19) Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce (B4, B19) Oak Street Garden Shop (A17) Olio Oils and Balsamics (B12) Otey’s (A8) PreSchool Partners (B8) RealtySouth (A20) Red Mountain Theatre Company (B17) Renasant Bank (A3) Savage’s Bakery (B5) Secondhand Rose (A19) Sew Sheri Designs (B1) Sherwin Williams (A18) Smart Skin Med Spa (B3) Smart Skin Med Spa (A11) Spring Valley School (B9) Swoop (B10) Taco Mama (B16) The Fitness Center (B2) The Maids (B9) The Scribbler (A10) Tutoring Club Cahaba Heights (B5) UAB Health System Marketing (B18) Village Dermatology (A5) Village Sportswear (A11) Vitalogy Wellness Center (B15) YMCA Camp Hargis Retreat (A6) YMCA of Greater Birmingham (B2)

April 2014

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April 2014

Village Living

City CVS one step closer to moving to former Pig By JEFF THOMPSON Although it was a small hurdle, the proposed new CVS in Crestline Village successfully cleared its zoning requirements for parking in March. City Planner Dana Hazen said a shared parking agreement between two lots surrounding the proposed site will create 275 spaces for the business. Hazen said with the agreement, which was approved by the Council, the tentative development now has a 22-space surplus above

its zoning requirement. The surplus provides CVS with an acceptable number to sacrifice for a proposed drive-through. “After splitting hairs, we got the number we wanted, and we’re happy with it,” Hazen said. The shared parking agreement joins two lots owned by the Scott family in and around the shopping center on Euclid Avenue. The lots are adjacent to several businesses, including the former Piggly Wiggly, which CVS has proposed to occupy. Lissy Frese, an architect with

architectural and interior design firm Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds in Birmingham representing the Scott family, said the shared parking agreement clears the development to proceed with meeting other city zoning requirements. Up next would be application for the drivethrough. Hazen said 11 spots have been targeted for removal along the side of the former Pig, and two spaces would be cut in the parking lot adjacent to Euclid Avenue to comply with access requirements for handicapped drivers.

Cahaba River Park project to be bid By MADOLINE MARKHAM The future Cahaba River Park on Overton Road is one step closer to construction. Phase I was scheduled to go out for bid by the end of March, according to Nimrod Long of Nimrod Long and Associates. Long came before the City Council on Feb. 24 with the latest version of the park plans, which have been reduced in scale since they were initially bid out over budget. The bid process should take six to eight weeks, Long said. Currently the phase is planned to include landscaping, parking,

Cahaba River Park will be built on Overton Road on the corner where this sign currently sits.

parking lot lighting, water fountains, the foundation for a future pavilion, and a path running under the River Run Road bridge to connect pedestrian traffic to Oakdale.

Other facilities, such as an outdoor classroom, pavilion, benches, picnic tables and a fishing ledge could be added in future phases. Currently, $450,000 is allotted in the City’s budget for the park, and the Park Board is heading up efforts to raise around $45,000 in additional private funds. The City acquired the 4.7-acre park property in fall 2011 and began plans for it in early 2012. The park could one day connect to a riverfront greenway trail, similar to the Jemison Trail, and could run 1.5 to 2 miles to the CarrawayDavie House and Conference Center in Vestavia Hills.

CRIME REPORT Week of Feb. 12-19 Burglary/Residential A residential burglary occurred in the 3300 block of Dunbrooke Circle on Feb. 16. Unknown suspect(s) entered the residence through a window and stole currency and electronics. Week of Feb. 20-26 Unlawful Breaking and Entering Vehicle A UBEV occurred on Feb. 26 in the 2700 block of Cahaba Road. Unknown suspect(s) broke out a window and stole credit cards and a phone. A UBEV occurred between Feb. 22-23 in the 3700 block of River Oaks Lane. Unknown suspect(s) entered an unlocked vehicle and stole currency. Burglary/Residential A residential burglary occurred on Feb. 24 in the 3800 block of South Cove Drive. Unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a door of the residence. A vehicle was stolen from the residence. Week of Feb. 27-March 6 Burglary/Residential A residential burglary occurred between Feb. 23-March 1 in the 3000 block of Southwood Road. Unknown suspect(s) entered an unlocked window. A residential burglary occurred on Feb. 27 in the 1700 block

of Somerset Circle. Unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a window of the residence. Week of March 7-14 Burglary/Residential On March 12, a burglary occurred in the 2400 block of Cahaba Road. Unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a door of the residence. Stolen items include electronic equipment and computer equipment. On March 9, a burglary occurred in the 3300 block of Overton Road. Unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a door of the residence. No items were taken from the residence. Case Updates Steven Anthony Forman has been charged in four recent unlawful breaking/entering vehicle cases. The cases occurred on the 3600 block of Montevallo Road, 3600 block of Montevallo Road, 2500 block of Mountain Brook Parkway and 2700 block of Cahaba Road. Forman was arrested by Hueytown Police, and a follow-up investigation by Mountain Brook Police led to Forman being charged in these cases. Sylvester Finney has been charged with theft and burglary in connection to a burglary that occurred on June 23, 2012 on the 3900 block of Shannon Lane. Alabama Department of Forensic Science examined evidence from the crime scene, and the results of the examination were used in this case.

April 2014

Aware group to focus on suicide and other awareness issues By MADOLINE MARKHAM “Not one more” was the phrase the discussion kept coming back to. Some in the room had met through their children in years past, and some had met recently through a Facebook page. But during a planning meeting in March, they all came together with one focus, that “not one more in our community is lost due to substance abuse, depression, struggles, despair or suicide.” This became a mission for the leaders behind Aware, a group whose message is gaining strength in the community. Aware began in February through Mountain Brook parent Sandy Tinsley Lanter. In response to the deaths of three of her son’s good friends over the span of about a year and a half, Lanter started the “Aware” Facebook group. The closed group quickly grew to more than 600 members who posted resources and engaged in discussion. Through the page, a planning committee arose in March to take more formal action in the community. “I can’t imagine the grief the families have faced but fully know the sadness and stress we have faced,” Lanter said of her family’s experience. “It’s time to wake up and help each other. Silence is no longer golden in our town. People are dying.” Members of the committee said they agree with Lanter about the group’s purpose and direction. Most said the issues Aware seeks to address have directly affected them, including Mary Matheson Balkovetz, whose son, Tom, committed suicide in November. “I hope everyone else I love or will love, and all the people they love or will

Anne Mancer speaks at Aware’s first event on suicide awarness in March. The group is now collecting community feedback as it looks to its next steps. Photo by Madoline Markham.

love, avoid that decision,” she said. Joye Coons Madden, who has children in elementary school, said she hopes to help reach out to parents of younger children through Aware. “Because our children are still young, we have time to educate them and ourselves,” she said. “Life comes with struggles and curves, but if we are aware, we can start today with empowering our kids to know when and who to ask for help.” Committee member Lulu Null said she suffers from depression. She said she grew tired of being quiet about her illness and her story. “I want depression to be a disease


discussed like cancer or diabetes,” she said. “I want more people to understand the signs and symptoms of suicide and depression.” Null also started a blog, Surviving the Darkness (lulunull13.wordpress. com), so others might understand what a person battling depression might feel. She said a key to her personal mission is the same as the group’s — that no one would ever be on their own. “I am hoping people will not feel so alone. That they might turn to someone earlier than they normally would or before it is too late,” she said. Having faced mental illness, suicidal ideation and attempt, and loss of a loved one to eating disorders herself, Kat Lawson said it’s time to address issues like these. “No longer can we afford to think of mental health issues, despair or hopelessness as weakness,” she said. “No longer can we view these issues with shame and fear. We have all been touched in our community. It is time to drop the mask, open our hearts, minds and eyes to what is going on and without fear stand up and say ‘Not one more.’” Committee member Anne Mancer planned the first Aware event held in March. It featured a speaker from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at the Mountain Brook Municipal Complex. The next Aware event will be Tuesday, April 3 at 5:30 p.m. at Mountain Brook City Council Chambers. Aware leaders are also asking for feedback as they plan their next steps. Visit to take the group’s survey and search “Aware” on Facebook to join their group.

Live Local event, luncheon to feature Richard Simmons The Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce is gearing up to host a local shopping day and quarterly luncheon this month. The Chamber will kick off a new series of Live Local Saturdays on April 5 in Crestline Village from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Held in conjunction with the Mountain Brook Art Association Spring Art Festival, the Chamber is encouraging residents to come into the village to shop and dine. Merchants will hold special Author Richard Simmons will demonstrations or feature speak about his new book, A Life special guests. Live Local of Excellence, at the Chamber Saturdays will be held in luncheon on April 24. Crestline and other villages in future months. For the Chamber’s April 24 luncheon, Richard E. Simmons III will discuss his most recent book, A Life of Excellence. A Mountain Brook native and frequent public speaker, Simmons works with businessmen in the development of their faith through formal Bible studies, teaching and counseling through the Center for Executive Leadership. The luncheon will be held at Park Lane in English Village. Doors will open at 11 a.m. for networking, and the luncheon will begin at 11:30. For more on either event, visit

Easter Egg Hunt returns The merchants of Crestline Village are organizing the annual Easter Egg Hunt for April 19 at 10 a.m. The hunt will take place in the field across from the Emmet

O’Neal Library, 50 Oak Street. The Easter Bunny will be available for photos after the egg hunt. For more information, call 870-7772.

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April 2014

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Now Open Brick & Tin, 2901 Cahaba Road, is now open in Mountain Brook Village in the space formerly occupied by Village Dermatology. The restaurant will be open seven days a week, including dinner MondaySaturday, and includes a full bar that seats 16. 297-8636.




Overton Rd

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

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Most friendly service

224 Country Club Park 871-8435

Follow us on Facebook or on the web

Live music every Fri. and Sat. night starting @ 9pm. State Farm Agent Robert Bray now has an office in English Village at 600 Olde English Lane, Suite 124. 871-1515.


News and Accomplishments Strong, LLC has changed its name to Strong Automotive Merchandising. The automotive marketing firm is located at 201 Office Park Drive, Suite 220. 313-4000.



Urban Cookhouse, 212 Country Club Park , has been honored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a Blue Ribbon Small Business for 2014. The restaurant was one of about 100 businesses to be selected and will be honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in June. 803-3535. Baker, an attorney with 5 Tammy Jackson Lewis, P.C., 800 Shades Creek Parkway, Suite 870, has been named to the UAB Excellence in Business Top 25 Class for 2014. Organized by the UAB Alumni Association, the class recognizes the top 25 businesses owned or operated by UAB alumni. 332-2100. Stephen Moore, CPA, of Pearce, Bevill, Leesburg, Moore, P.C., 110 Office Park Drive, Suite 100, has been named to the UAB Excellence in Business Top 25 Class for 2014. 323-5440.


Gary Savage, U.S. group president of BL Harbert International, 820 Shades Creek Parkway, Suite 3000, has been named to the UAB Excellence in Business Top 25 Class for 2014. 802-2800.


April 2014

Hirings and Promotions The Crestline office of RealtySouth has welcomed Langston Stabler Hereford and Kim Grumley as new agents, and its Cahaba office has welcomed Emily Getty and Cindy Mackercher as new agents. 879-6330.


The Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association, 400 Office Park Drive, Suite 150, has hired Bill McMahon as chief operating officer. 1-800-869-8738.


Anniversaries The Fitness Center, 3900 Montclair Road, Suite 210, is celebrating 20 years in business this month. 870-1121.


Mountain Brook-based HomeFit, an in-home fitness consulting business, recently celebrated its first anniversary. The business holds personal training sessions and fitness consults in clients’ homes. 675-7412.


Christine’s + bagatelle, 2415 Montevallo Road, is celebrating 41 years in business this month. 871-8297. christines.


Trocadero Salon, 2839 Cahaba Road, celebrated 40 years in business in February. It will be celebrating this milestone in April with events and specials. 870-7650.


Davenport’s Pizza, 2837 Cahaba Road, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in May. Paul DeMarco presented the business with a resolution issued by the Alabama House of Representatives to honor its 50th year. 879-8603.


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Village Living

Business Spotlight

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After 54 years, we will close our doors in May.

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relationship with their trainer and other clients. Some of the Fitness Center’s clients have been regulars for more than 15 years because of the results they have seen. In the two decades that Vic Nigri has owned the Fitness Center, he has seen clients use his exercise and nutrition plans to solve a number of health issues, including weight problems, orthopedic issues, diabetes and high blood pressure. However, he said his clients also regularly experience better moods, increased energy and better



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The Fitness Center has the proper equipment for every kind of workout, including cardio, strength training and athletic conditioning. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.

protocol pretty quick to get those clients the results they need.” Along with customized fitness plans, the Fitness Center staff spends time building relationships. “We take each person individually and we really get to know our clients. And it’s just a friendly, open atmosphere, but people feel safe, they feel secure,” said Beth Nigri, Vic’s wife and the Fitness Center’s co-owner. The Nigris said their clients are also more consistent in their fitness regimens when they have a personal

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After nearly 30 years in the fitness business, Vic Nigri knows it takes more than just a gym membership to get in shape. He believes a healthy lifestyle requires consistency, perseverance and a personalized approach to exercise and nutrition, and this is the foundation of the Fitness Center. The Fitness Center started out as One to One Personal Fitness, which Nigri bought in 1994. At the time, personalized training was still in the early stages of development. “When we started with personal training 20 years ago, it was probably just in its infancy,” Nigri said. “Being on the ground level, so to speak, made a difference in solidifying our program and making sure all the incremental parts of it were in place to bring success to the client.” Personal training at the Fitness Center starts with an evaluation of each client’s current fitness level and goals. From this evaluation, the trainers can build a customized exercise and nutrition regimen to meet these goals. “We’re so seasoned that when someone comes in, it’s an easy read,” Nigri said. “You know exactly what the client needs after talking to that client, and you can adjust your

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Vic and Beth Nigri have owned the Fitness Center since 1994.

relationships with family and coworkers alongside their health benefits. “With all the stresses that society has today, if you can be working out and get rid of stress and do it without using’s going to make a huge difference in your life,” Vic Nigri said. The Fitness Center is also involved in promoting healthy lifestyles and charity in the community as a whole. Beth Nigri is the race director for the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce Village to Village 10K, and the center has been a sponsor of the

Birmingham Zoo’s ZooRun 5K since it began in 2005. The Nigris have also hosted their own fundraisers and collections for local non-profit organizations. In all they do, Vic and Beth Nigri believe that the relationships they have built have made them successful in improving their clients’ health and lives. “That’s what the Fitness Center is, it’s family,” said Beth Nigri. “Clients, trainers, us; we just all feel connected.”

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A forested cathedral, start to finish New book and exhibit examine early planning of Mountain Brook and its impact on contemporary aerial views of the area By MADOLINE MARKHAM In 1926, Warren Manning found himself in a barely accessible mountain wilderness. Today, these forested 4,500 acres south of Birmingham don’t look much different from an aerial view — thanks in part to Manning. Robert Jemison of Jemison & Company real estate had invited Manning down from Massachusetts for his expertise in city planning architecture to develop what would become Mountain Brook. Back then, only Montevallo, Cahaba, Leeds and Overton roads went through the area, so the duo set out on foot, walking terrain with up to 500-foot changes in elevation, to map out creeks, trees, mines and other landmarks before starting their design. With a vision to integrate residential planning into natural environment, Manning laid out recreational areas in the flood plains of Shades Creek and Watkins Creek, roads along ridges and slopes, and residential lots on hills and ridges to offer optimal views. Over the next three years, more than 28 miles of roads, model homes including a Mount Vernon replica on Mountain Brook Parkway, a riding academy, 29 miles of bridle trails and other landmarks would be built, along with plans, sketches and maps for countless other details that distinguish the community today. As early promotional literature

This aerial photograph of the Canterbury-Surrey Road Loop taken last year is one of many of Mountain Brook in the new Birmingham Historical Society book and exhibit. Photo by John Wathen, 2013, Birmingham Historical Society.

billed it, it was “a forested cathedral.” The Stock Market Crash of 1929 brought many of the proposals for grand estates to a halt, but when a boom in home construction came in the late 1950s, the plans for development were already in place. “When my husband’s family bought their lot on Old Leeds Road, the plans said exactly where they would locate the house and where the driveway

This image of a model house and grounds at 2737 Southwood Road was used in promotional literature for Mountain Brook in the late 1920s. Photo by Tebbs-Knell, Inc., New York, New York, November 1927, The Jemison Magazine, January 1928, Birmingham Public Library Archives.

would go,” said Marjorie White, Birmingham Historical Society (BHS) director. Today, after nearly a decade of research, BHS has chronicled Manning and Jemison’s plans for Mountain Brook from 1926-29 in a new book and historical exhibit. Mountain Brook — A Historic American Landscape, an 11- by 17-inch, 80-page volume, paints a

picture of how today’s Mountain Brook reflects its visionaries’ plans by pairing drawings and photographs from the 1920s with contemporary topographical documentation and aerial photographs. The project, originally prepared for the National Park Service’s Historic American Landscape Survey’s (HALS) documentation of the planning of Mountain Brook, is now accessible to anyone in

the community. Along with the book, an exhibit focusing on the roads, “Perfectly Planned: Mountain Brook Roads and Scenic Views,” will run April 13-May 14 in the Community Meeting Room of the Emmet O’Neal Library. An opening event on April 13 will feature remarks by Marjorie White, who headed the book project, and landscape architect Birgit Kibelka. In the exhibition, aerial and eye-level studies, plus archival documentation, will illustrate the development of Mountain Brook Parkway, Overbrook and Beechwood Roads, Dell Road, Cherokee Road, Canterbury and Surrey Roads and Southwood Road. White, who rode in the plane with the aerial photographer last spring, emphasized how little of the residential community you can see under the forest cover. “You see road systems and major amenities, and the houses are all part of this gorgeously woven-together fabric, which is a major piece of land planning,” she said. “[The photos] present something you think you know in a new way and help you conceive how remarkable it is.” Mountain Brook — A Historic American Landscape, will be available at the library event, on amazon. com, or by mail from the Birmingham Historical Society ($35 postpaid), One Sloss Quarters, Birmingham, AL 35222.

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April 2014

One for all

Village Living

Gardens reflects back on 50 years

By MADOLINE MARKHAM A VIP in the horticulture community was surprised when he visited the Birmingham Botanical Gardens a few years ago. “For all our garden is, it’s separate from the community,” he told Gardens Executive Director Fred Spicer. “It’s apparent you are very connected to the community.” What he noted is a point of pride for everyone behind the Gardens. “The Gardens have always been lots of things to a lot of people,” Spicer said. “We are free and open every day of the year. There are not many cultural institutions in the state with that accessibility.” Since Spicer came on board as the Gardens’ first executive director in 2001, the Gardens has been rebranded with renewed focus on welcoming all kinds of people into its gates for a realitybased experience. “More and more, I think people are looking for opportunities that are not on a device,” Spicer said. “We are real and provide exposure to the natural world. People come for solace, relaxation, quiet and immersion in the outside world.” Since 2003, the Gardens’ programming has tripled, especially free hands-on science-based education for children. In fact, the Gardens reimburses transportation costs for field trips for City of Birmingham and Bessemer schools to ensure there is no barrier to access for the children. It might come as a surprise to some that the public horticulture library, which is part of the Jefferson County library system, is the only one in the United States as far as Spicer knows. The Gardens also houses the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) with its plant diagnostic lab, horticulture hotline and other services. Out in the gardens, the Living Collection has plants from every continent, and the wildflower garden boasts arguably one of the largest collections in the Southeast. According to Spicer, there is no other structure in the world like the

Timeline 1960 Birmingham Mayor James W. Morgan spearheaded the movement to establish the Gardens on 69 acres east of the city’s zoo in Lane Park, on the south side of Red Mountain. Morgan envisioned Birmingham’s Gardens as “the biggest attraction of this type in the Southeast.” 1964 The Birmingham Botanical Society, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, was founded to support the Gardens and formed a private-public partnership with the City to run it.

This photo was taken of an art show in front of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Conservatory in 1967. Photo courtesy of Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Today the Gardens furthers its mission to be accessible to everyone in the city as evidenced by its field trip program for students like those from Avondale Elementary who are pictured. Photo courtesy of Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

tea house in the 40-year-old Japanese garden, a unique feature for a city without a strong history of Asian immigration. Its newly renovated conservatory is now open, and 10 major projects from Gardens’ master plan are currently being set in motion. When asked about how the Gardens have

evolved over the past 50 years, Spicer emphasized that they grow and change every day. “It marks the changing of the seasons even on a daily basis,” Spicer said. “A garden is never finished, and gardeners embrace that. Compared to many botanical gardens, we are a baby. Fifty years in some ways feels like we are just getting started.”

2001 Friends of The Gardens, the new name for the Society, hired its first paid executive director, Fred Spicer Jr. 2003 The Gardens rebranded its image. Spicer encourages people who generally only come to the Gardens for a wedding shower or portrait session to take a class, come to an evening event, come after work, come in the winter and come on a weekend to see the full diversity of what it offers and who it attracts. “If people knew all the different facets, support would be more broad-based,” he said, noting how the Gardens, a “lean and mean nonprofit,” relies on the community’s financial support to operate. Next up on the calendar is Earth Day at The Gardens, scheduled for April 26 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Formal Garden in front of the Conservatory. For the event, the Gardens is partnering with Community Garden Coalition for Birmingham to focus on the growing local interest in community gardening. Displays and demonstrations will feature topics such as vegetable garden design, raised bed construction, composting, trellising, rainwater irrigation and beekeeping. The event is free to the public. For more, visit

April 2014 • A13

Spring Plant Sale returns

Area residents shop at last year’s spring plant sale. Photos courtesy of Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

The largest annual plant sale fundraiser of 2014 is coming to a shopping center near you April 11-13. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale will be held at the former J.C. Penney at Century Plaza at 7580 Crestwood Blvd. More than 100,000 plants will be available for purchase, most of which have been nurtured by volunteers at the Gardens. More than 7,000 plant enthusiasts attended last year’s sale. The Signature Plants for 2014 have a golden theme in honor of Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ 50th anniversary celebration. They are GoldDust hybrid mecardonia, Gold Lace coleus, deep yellow calibrachoa, Luck pure gold lantana and golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’). Each is available for just $5. The Spring Plant Sale furthers the Gardens’ mission of promoting public knowledge and appreciation of plants,

gardens and the environment while providing consumers seasonally appropriate planting advice from experts and satisfaction from supporting a worthwhile cause with each purchase. The annual Preview Party and Members-Only Sale will kick off the weekend Thursday, April 10, at 5 p.m. Admission to the Preview Party is $45 in advance and $50 at the door. The Preview Party provides guests a chance to shop early and enjoy food and wine. All who come on Thursday have a choice of one of the goldenthemed Signature Plants. The Members-Only Sale is free to members from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The public sale will be held Friday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 11-3 p.m. Admission to the public sale is free. Numerous opportunities to volunteer are available and can be found at

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale Century Plaza

Thursday, April 10 Preview Party, 5-6:30 p.m. Members-Only Sale, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Public Sale Hours (free) Friday, April 11, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.   Saturday, April 12, 9 a.m-5 p.m.   Sunday, April 13, 11 a.m-3 p.m.

A14 • April 2014

Village Living

What is your favorite thing to do in Mountain Brook in the spring? “In the evening in the spring, there is nothing I love more than walking to English Village and eating dinner outdoors with my family. We throw our jackets in the bottom of the stroller in case it gets cold on the walk back. We enjoy the fresh air and the great food, but what’s more, it really makes me feel like I am on vacation and part of a slower day and age.” -Caroline Gidiere

“I am looking forward to baseball season through Mountain Brook Athletics. Both my boys play ball, and my husband is coaching my youngest. It is fun, and we see all our friends at the ballpark.” -Katie Smith

“Spring is the best because the weather is so inviting, and people start to migrate outside resulting in those great impromptu neighborhood get-togethers. My favorite thing to do is to work on my paintings outside, especially at night because I can hear the happy screams of kids playing outside, and the aroma of backyard cookouts is in the air while I paint. Altogether it’s the perfect sensorial experience.” -Katie Robinson

“I like to do art and plant flowers. Oh, and I also like to go to the Botanical Gardens! I like to do art all the time, so why not spring? It is fun to plant flowers and see all the colors. When the flowers get dead, they put in new ones at the Botanical Gardens!” -Lucy Beasley

“I love to play soccer in the spring! Soccer practice, soccer games, soccer friends! If only there weren’t so much pollen.” -Callie Davis

“Living in Crestline, winter is so quiet... I love spring because all of a sudden I hear kids laughing, basketballs bouncing, runners coming by... all the sounds of people happy to be outside. We catch up with our neighbors, and kids stay up way past their bedtimes. And then when the sun sets, the doorbell starts ringing with ding dong ditchers!” -Langston Hereford

Spring Home Guide

April 2014 • A15

How to make your garden grow By RACHAEL HEADLEY Martin Bachtel has spent the past 12 years in the business of making homes beautiful through landscaping. He has been a horticulturist at Hanna’s Garden Shop for the past five years, working in the purchasing of plants, consulting and sales. Located at 5845 U.S. 280 East, Hanna’s Garden Shop was founded in 1986 by Beaty Hanna and is now owned by his nephew, Steve Hanna. The garden center has grown from a small nursery to a full resource retail nursery complete with plants for every season, products to make them grow and a knowledgeable staff to make it happen. Bachtel consults with customers on what to plant based on their yard structure, sunlight, drainage needs and size. He and the staff at Hanna’s are trained to assist customers in creating and maintaining the yards of their dreams. Going into spring, Bachtel has several tips for making sure you not only choose the right plants but also the right way to grow them. 1. Use resources. If you’re a beginner, utilize book, Internet and people resources. Bachtel recommends two authors, Michael Dirr, a botanist at the University of Georgia, and Vince Dooley, a former University of Georgia football coach with a passion for gardening. Also, the staff at Hanna’s is willing to help you choose the right plants for your lifestyle. 2. Don’t just dig a hole and pop it in. Like people, plants need time to adjust to new surroundings. This is the biggest mistake beginners can make. Take all necessary precautions to provide your new plant with good soil, ideal drainage and optimal sunlight for its needs.

3. Get to know your soil. Along the U.S. 280 corridor, there are significant amounts of clay in the soil. Breaking up the clay and mixing it with other soil will create a natural environment with the nutrients of the added soil. 4. Fertilize at the right time. Bachtel recommends fertilizing but cautions, “Wait a little bit.” After planting, the new plant

might need a little time to adapt to its new surroundings and root for a few weeks. After it begins to adjust, fertilize it. Most plants for the spring will need to be fertilized at the beginning of the summer. 5. Prune if needed. Although not applicable to all plants, pruning stimulates growth in many selections of plants. This will help the plant sprout a brand-new coat of leaves.

Although spring winds down the end of tree season and the time to plant fruit trees, it is a great time for annuals such as petunias, angelonia and finca, and certain perennials, Bachtel said. Tropical plants such as hibiscus and plumbago also work well at this time. Less colorful options for the spring include small shrubs like junipers and pittosporum. For more, visit

A16 • April 2014

Village Living

Spring Home Guide

Canterbury Club’s bounty of flavors By C.R. LENARD The first thing you need to know about the Canterbury Garden Club is this: It’s not really a garden club. Fifty years ago, neighborhood pals Ophelia Massey and Ellen Dahlene decided they wanted a garden club for their area, so they called up their friend Ginny Beck to help them start it. “I told them, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t have enough time!’” said Beck, who had three small children then. But the ladies were persistent and after a few more days called Beck again, this time requesting that she act as the president of the club. “I said, ‘I’ve never been president of anything,’” Beck said with a laugh. “‘I don’t believe you want me.’” Massey and Dahlene insisted that Beck take part as president, knowing that she would lend her easygoing attitude to the club and keep it from being too structured. From there, the Canterbury Club blossomed into 25 charter members who wrote up a constitution and officially voted Beck in as the first president. They also chose to keep the club more socially focused and less horticulturally driven. With so many social events (monthly meetings, two large parties a year, and a trip), food became a large part of the gatherings. As a way to celebrate the club’s first 25 years together, the women collected some of their favorite recipes along with cherished group memories and created a cookbook for the club’s members. The first cookbook, produced in

Canterbury Club president Allene Parnell and Una Coleman, sitting between charter member Carolyn Carter and the first president, Ginny Beck, hold the club’s most recent cookbook, Bounty of Flavors.

1988, was handwritten by club members, photocopied and stapled together to form small paperback books. There was nothing fancy about this first edition, but authenticity and members’ camaraderie are evident in its pages. Not to be missed are the tongue-incheek jokes found throughout, such as the About the Authors section, which

reads: “All members of the Canterbury Club are adept at theft, forgetfulness, good food and good humor.” Should you see one of these original books now, it is clear that they were put to good use as the cover and pages are lovingly tattered and yellowed. In 2013 the group decided to celebrate its 50 years by producing another

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cookbook titled Bounty of Flavors. This time, the club collaborated with Judy Feagin, a professional editor and garden club member, to create a collection of recipes. With its helpful cooking instructions and decorative illustrations, the book is an aesthetic upgrade from its predecessor, but it did not lose its charm simply because it is more polished. Little

notes, stories and memories accompany each recipe, making the book a functional history lesson of the club. Fifty years in, the club is as strong as ever, and according to member Una Coleman, the group has never missed a meeting in all that time. With any luck, residents can hope to see another cookbook in 25 years.

Spring Home Guide

Make your yard a standout this season

Classic Gardens provides treatment to a front lawn. Photo courtesy of Classic Gardens.

The experts at Classic Gardens share their tips By MADOLINE MARKHAM Classic Gardens has established itself as a destination for not only the supplies but also the know-how to create a picture-perfect yard. Mike and Ann Pender started the business 24 years ago when their four children were ages 6 and younger. Today, three of the four children work for the family business, which offers retail, landscaping, irrigation, night lighting and lawn care services. Classic Gardens attracts gardeners to its Center Point greenhouses for its wide variety of plants, including 20 kinds of hydrangeas, 60 azaleas and multiple varieties of maples and dogwoods. “People will pass three to four places on way to Classic Gardens,” Mike Pender said. The garden business is also a destination for its expertise in everything from azaleas to zinnias, and they provide many at-home services in the Over the Mountain area. One key to their advice is recommending a mix of good potting soil and fertilizers for plants — but only the least amount possible, and used properly. With that planting prescription, for the past 20 years, the business has been the No. 1 Fertilome dealer in the nation. The Penders hold a tomato seminar that teaches people to grow 12-foot-tall plants in a container, and they’ve got testimonials to prove their method works. The next two seminars will be held April 12 and 26 at 11 a.m. Still, the biggest segment of their array of services is lawn care. Pender emphasizes that they prioritize providing the best quality of services with environmentally friendly practices. For instance, they can help customers determine that a bug problem that looks like scorpions is actually small ladybugs, and that the most efficient way to treat certain types of bugs requires waiting for warmer weather. When it comes to lawn maintenance, Pender recommends the following tips:

1. Use a pre-emergent herbicide. This treatment kills weeds before they germinate. Pender recommends treatment six times a year, a service that Classic Gardens offers by delivery. 2. Change your mowing patterns. If you mow in the same direction every week, you will create a “nap” in the grass that causes it to lay over. To avoid this, mow east to west one week, north to south the next and diagonal the third. 3.

Mow low, slow and frequently.

Mowing too fast causes grass to be torn instead of cut evenly, which can cause the grass to turn brown. Cutting grass low discourages most weeds and enables the grass to stay as healthy as possible. Pender recommends mowing every week and said that every five days is best, depending on the weather.

4. Water infrequently. Pender recommends watering two to three times a week in the summer and less frequently when temperatures are lower. Watering less frequently encourages roots to grow deeper and hence be more drought-resistant. 5. Get your kids involved. Plant things like blackberries or blueberries, and generally encourage the next generation to enjoy working in the lawn. Classic Gardens is located at 1855 Carson Road, 35215. For more, call 8544005 or visit

April 2014 • A17

A18 • April 2014

Spring Home Guide

Village Living

How to recreate a kitchen or bathroom By SYDNEY CROMWELL Case Remodeling has been a part of Vestavia Hills for nearly 10 years. Designer Randi Kierce described the firm as a “design and build” company, which means Case handles design, contracting and construction. “We build from start to finish,” Kierce said. The designers at Case Remodeling frequently redesign or construct basements, attics and additions for business and residential clients, but their specialty is in kitchen and bathroom design. If your kitchen or bathroom could use a facelift, use these tips from Kierce to make sure your project is a success.

1. Make it blend. Your new

kitchen or bathroom should match the style of the rest of your house. A modern kitchen in a colonialstyle home, for example, will look mismatched and jarring.

2. Mind your budget. Remod-

eling costs can add up quickly, so Kierce recommends creating a budget before you begin and sticking to it faithfully. Keeping a budget in mind will make it easier to avoid bigger, more ambitious redesign projects that you cannot afford.

3. Lighting is key. Proper light-

ing is essential to making your new kitchen or bathroom look good. Make sure to create a balance between overall lighting fixtures and task lighting, such as recessed or track lights.

4. Function before fashion. Make

sure your new space is designed to be useful before you buy “all the pretty things” like plumbing fixtures and appliances, Kierce said. If you have a beautiful kitchen but

cannot cook in it, then the redesign was a waste of time and money.

5. Keep it classic. New design trends may look great, but they change rapidly. Kierce

suggests choosing classic kitchen or bathroom looks, which will look good for years. For more information about Case Remodeling, visit BRIDGE

CONTINUED from page 1 real traffic situation on the Hollywood Boulevard overpass,” Vogtle said. “The impacted cities are starting to scratch their heads and consider pursuing this in a much bigger way.” Vogtle said the use of Hollywood Boulevard as a “Michigan left” — a U-turn site for drivers changing directions or crossing U.S. 280 — has crowded the bridge. Both communities also consider the current bridge unsafe for pedestrians, and the cities are now jointly looking into a simultaneous solution for both issues. “I want us to discuss not only the pedestrian bridge, but I also think it would be smart for us to be proactive on other issues,” Homewood Mayor Scott McBrayer said. That could mean a bigger bridge. For the time being, the development


CONTINUED from page 1 Businesses new to Mountain Brook will make up the majority of the development, as A’Mano and Western Supermarket are the only current stores that have leased space. Jolly said all new businesses are independent or boutique concepts, not national chains. Release of the names of specific retailers will come when granted by the individual businesses, but committed retailers and restaurant concepts include: ÌÌ A concept that features prime steaks ÌÌ A celebrity chef concept ÌÌ A fast-casual taqueria ÌÌ A unique Asian concept ÌÌ Boutique women’s apparel and accessory retailers

April 2014 • A19

of the project has been put on hold while the cities involved arrange a collaborative discussion. McBrayer said he plans to reach out to Mountain Brook Mayor Terry Oden to assemble a meeting among project stakeholders in the coming weeks. “So far, this has just been about sidewalks and a pedestrian walkway across the bridge,” McBrayer said. “We have an opportunity to widen the scope and address all these issues at once.” The current Hollywood Bridge is approximately 50 years old, Vogtle said, and the communities investing in the project are concerned that ALDOT could schedule construction on the existing structure in the near future. This could limit the lifespan of the pedestrian bridge project as it’s currently proposed. Basically, the cities involved want to make sure that if they put up the pedestrian bridge, it isn’t torn down anytime soon. “What a waste of money that would ÌÌ An outdoor store featuring items such as men’s clothing Retail Specialists looked to ads in Garden & Gun and traveled to cities such as Dallas, Winter Park, Charleston, New Orleans and Nashville for inspiration for Lane Parke’s retailers. The company also used Grand Bohemian Hotel’s commitment to the development to anchor the project. “It will attract very unique concepts to Birmingham because there are unique concepts where the other Grand Bohemians are located in places like Asheville, Savannah and Beaver Creek,” Jolly said. “We have been able to leverage that to show that this will be a unique destination that will bring people in. It will create a trade area for more than just Over the Mountain.” In Savannah, Kessler Collection rooms are rented at a base of $309, $339 if you want a river view. In Beaver Creek, Colo.,

be,” McBrayer said. Vogtle said he expects the bridge’s replacement or widening to come up in the joint meeting, which could lead to a request for increased funding for the project. Rep. Paul DeMarco, who initially secured federal funding for the pedestrian bridge, said he believes there is a need to move quickly on creating safe paths across U.S. 280 on Hollywood. He added that he looked forward to working with both communities and ALDOT to make it happen. “When we first started, the idea was to create collaboration between these cities and the state,” DeMarco said. “We got that, and we’ll move forward. This project is about the safety of our residents and anybody else who walks across that bridge. It’s not safe, and thank goodness nobody has been hurt. We need to get this done sooner rather than later.” rates run at $699 for a weekend night or $499 for a weekday. The hotel broke ground in January and is scheduled to open by early 2015. Construction on the neighboring Residences at Lane Parke apartments will have staggered completion with some open by spring and the remaining units open by the fall. A final retail/commercial phase for Lane Parke will complete the development at a later date. In all, the development will feature 72,000 square feet of retail space. Jolly said he anticipates a groundbreaking for the first retail section will be held by this summer. Construction on the Western should take about a year to complete. Developers said they expect to begin releasing names of incoming businesses this month. For updates, visit

Celebrations Wall-Garrison

Mr. and Mrs. Terry Ralph Wall of Mountain Brook announce the engagement of their daughter, Kelly LuAnne, to Mr. James Wesley Garrison, son of Mr. James Gregory Garrison and Mrs. Tracy Newman Vincze of Birmingham. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Coy Wall and the late Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Basil Neal, all of Atlanta. She is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School and the University of Georgia. She was a member of the Sigma Kappa sorority. Miss Wall is employed by the Birmingham Zoo. The prospective groom is the grandson of the late Mr. Jim Garrison of Bourbon, Mo., and Mrs. Carol Schleuter of Bourbon, Mo., and Mr. and Mrs. Paul A. Newman of Birmingham. Mr. Garrison is a graduate of Oneonta High School and Jefferson State Community College. He is a member of the Army National Guard, 2101st TC. Mr. Garrison is employed by the Birmingham Zoo. The wedding is planned for June 14 at Mountain Brook Baptist Church.

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

A20 • April 2014

Village Living





11% 52%


RealtySouth sells more homes than the next 5 competitors combined. When you make good decisions, you reap solid results. 18%

Source: TRENDGR APHIX, Inc. This representation is based in whole or in par t on data provided by the Birmingham Association of RealtorsÂŽ or its Multiple Listings Service for the given. Neither the Association nor its ML S is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the Association or its ML S may not reflec t all real estate ac tivity in the market. (*Sales volume figures are rounded in thousands.)


9% RealtySouth Market Share-VillageLivingFULL.indd 1

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Village Living



A priceless investment

Doug Barton understands the necessity for the property tax rate in Mountain Brook. In fact, Barton believes he wouldn’t be a Mountain Brook resident if it weren’t for the educational opportunities it offers his son James, who is a junior at Mountain Brook High School. Most prospective homeowners would probably cringe at a property tax rate of 41 percent, but that’s seldom the case for Mountain Brook residents who are keenly aware of the many amenities it creates. And education is at the top of the

list for residents raising school-aged children in Mountain Brook. “I do believe our children receive a high-quality education and have more diverse opportunities in the curriculum offered here,” Barton said. Karen Lusk-Smith, chief school finance officer with Mountain Brook Schools, said Mountain Brook’s tax structure allows the school system to provide students with what they need to achieve in every aspect of education. “You move into Mountain Brook and you’re willing to pay the higher millage so that your children are educated,” Lusk-Smith said. “It’s

more like a private education in a public school system.” The result is that Mountain Brook residents appreciate the quality education and other amenities their tax dollars support. “I think our residents do understand what their taxes pay for,” said Steven Boone, city clerk and chief financial officer for Mountain Brook. “Mountain Brook has a 99 mill property tax rate, and it’s the highest in the state of Alabama,” he said. Boone explained that property taxes are collected by Jefferson County, with Mountain Brook


2832 Culver Rd • 879.8278 79.8278 • Mon. - Sat

School House B5 Sports B15 Calendar B18

Quality of life leaves residents satisfied with higher property taxes

Crestline Elementary students gather with Karen Lusk-Smith of Mountain Brook Schools and counselor Bonnie Lorino. The school receives much of its funding from Mountain Brook property taxes. Photo by Jeff Thompson.


April 2014 • A21

Community B3

Schools receiving 34.1 mills of that amount and the City of Mountain Brook receiving 36.7 mills. The city pays 10.6 of what it receives to the Board of Education, for a total of 44.7 going to schools. The result is that Mountain Brook Schools receives $23.8 million of their current $47.9 million in revenue from property taxes. The 26.1 mil tax that Boone is left with generates $13.5 million of the general budget, with the remainder coming from sales tax and other sources such as utility and automobile taxes, construction permits and business licenses. A personal perspective Lusk-Smith is quick to note that she not only works in Mountain Brook but is also a resident there. Her children, now adults, are products of the Mountain Brook school system, and she praises the education they received. “Specifically, I think we’re able to spend a lot more on instruction for children,” she said. “I think the huge difference in this school system is that we’re able to provide professional development for our teachers beyond what anybody else does.” Lusk-Smith said the professional development benefits students daily, with the system spending 80 percent of its funds on instruction and instructional support. The results are indisputable. “Our students score the highest in the state on the ACT and SAT tests, which I think is evident of the education that they are provided here,” she said. “We have more local units than probably anybody else in the state for our size, which means that we pay for them out of local funds,” LuskSmith said. “The state doesn’t provide those

See TAX | page B17

B2 A22 • April 2014

Village Living

B3 April 2014 • A23


Rounding up the food trucks

Annual art show returns to Crestline

Mountain Brook artist Vicky Denaburg talks to visitors at her booth at last year’s Spring Art Festival in Crestline. Photo courtesy of Mountain Brook Art Association.

Area residents pose for a photo at last year’s Food Truck Roundup benefiting PreSchool Partners. This year the event is scheduled for April 26.

Birmingham’s food trucks will converge at Colonial Brookwood Village for a good cause on Saturday, April 26. From 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in the upper Macy’s parking lot, the trucks will feature their local cuisine to benefit PreSchool Partners, which prepares at-risk preschool children and their parents for kindergarten in Birmingham City Schools. Funds raised will directly help the 140 people and 70 children enrolled in the program and reach those who aren’t enrolled. This year’s goal is to exceed last year’s $76,000. Food trucks attending will be Cantina, Dreamcakes, Ezell’s Catfish Cabin, Full Moon BBQ,

Goodies Ice Cream, Mellow Mushroom, Melt, Nola Ice, Off the Hook, Repicci’s Italian Ice, Shindigs, Slice and Spoonfed Grill. Good People Brewery, Supreme Beverage and Coca-Cola will provide beverages, and Birmingham Mountain Radio will provide live music. There will also be two bounce houses, face painting and balloon art by clowns. Tickets can be purchased online in advance for $20 or on-site for $25. Each ticket comes with four tokens to redeem at the trucks and beverage stations. Additional tokens can be purchased, and kids 10 and under get in free. For more, visit

The Mountain Brook Art Association will hold its 33rd annual Spring Art Festival on April 5 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Crestline Elementary sports field. The goal of the event is to highlight members of the Mountain Brook Art Association’s work, to raise awareness of buying local art and to create a venue for the work to be sold. Around 70 artists, including Mountain Brook’s Vicki Denaburg, Barclay Gresham, Thomas Andrew, Lynn Briggs and Mary Mellen, will attend. There will also be live jazz music by Mountain Brook High School students, food vendors including Iz Café, and a floral competition sponsored by Norton’s Florist. Member volunteers in the hospitality tent may also hang a few pieces of their work to

sell, providing a way the entire membership can participate. To emphasize the locality of membership, rules of the club allow only people who live in a 25-mile radius from Mountain Brook City Hall. Each artist will have his or her own 10-foot by 10-foot tent to fill with his or her artwork with prices of their choosing. All artwork showcased is two-dimensional and may be hung on a wall. Artwork ranges in size from miniature pieces to extra-large canvases. Visa, MasterCard, checks and cash will be accepted. If there is rain, the event will be held April 6 from noon-5 p.m. Visit for more.

B4 A24 • April 2014

Village Living

Millhouse, Gorrie Krewe king and queen

Annual Bo Johnson zoo celebration party set for April 6

Boutwell Auditorium was transformed into a Mardi Gras-style carnival in February for the 47th Annual Beaux Arts Krewe Ball. King David McCoy Millhouse and Queen Alison Bradford Gorrie descended on their thrones, followed by the presentation of Ladies in Waiting Elizabeth Douglass Corey, Carolyne Foster Nix, Mary Addison Powell and Winston Ryding Powell as well as the other princesses. King David is employed with Robins & Morton as a senior estimator and is a member of the Auburn University Alumni Association, Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce and the Country Club of Birmingham. Since 1995, he has served as scoutmaster of Troop 86 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. He is married to the former Katherine Meadow McTyeire, and they are the parents of Robert, Katherine Roeder and Adam. Queen Alie B., a 2011 graduate of Mountain Brook High School, is a junior at Belmont University, where she is a musical theatre major, a member of Phi Mu sorority and an orientation leader. She plans to move

The annual Bo Johnson Memorial Golf Tournament Celebration Party will be held Sunday, April 6, from 5-9 p.m. at the Birmingham Children’s Zoo. The event will feature music by Jimmy and Laine, food by Full Moon BBQ, a silent auction and children’s activities. Everyone, golfers and non-golfers alike, is welcome to attend. The party is held each year in memory of Bo Johnson, who passed away from esophageal cancer in 2005. The events have raised more than $500,000 for cancer research since 2006. All proceeds from the party and golf tournament benefit the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. The golf tournament will be held April 7 at Highlands Golf Course with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. The zoo party costs $45 per person at the door, and children younger than age 10 are admitted free.  For more information about the events, visit or the Bo Johnson Charitable Foundation Facebook page.

Flower show coming to SoHo

David Milllhouse and Ali B. Gorie process on the red carpet during this year’s Krewe Ball. Photo by Image Arts.

to New York City after college to pursue artistic endeavors. She is the daughter Mr. and Mrs. Magnus James Gorrie

and the granddaughter of Rev. and Mrs. Forrest Causey Mobley and Mr. and Mrs. Magnus Miller Gorrie.

Bargains return at this year’s JLB Carousel Birmingham’s largest garage sale is scheduled for April 26 and 27. The Junior League of Birmingham’s Bargain Carousel will be held in the former JCPenney location at Century Plaza Mall, 7580 Crestwood Boulevard. There will be more than 100,000 items for sale, including adult clothing, appliances, art, books, music, children’s clothing, electronics, furniture and more.

Proceeds support community projects with the Junior League’s partner agencies. “Last year, I had just moved into a new home and was doing some remodeling, and I found an antique iron chandelier and a brand new sink,” said Ashley Blomeyer of Mountain Brook. The weekend kicks off with a Bargain Bash on Thursday, April 24.

This year tickets will be pre-sold on Friday, April 25 from 3-7 p.m. Bargain Carousel will run Saturday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. ($10 tickets for 8-10 a.m. or $5 tickets from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. with free admission and half-price merchandise. For more, call 879-9861, visit, or like the event on Facebook.

Bama Mills, co-chair of the Garden Club of America Conference; Nancy Long, president of Little Garden Club; and Virginia Smith, co-chair of the conference.

Little Garden Club of Birmingham is hosting a juried flower show on Tuesday, April 8. The event will be held at Rosewood Hall, 2859 19th Street South in Homewood, from 3-5 p.m. as a part of the club’s regional meeting for Garden Club of America. Locally, the Red Mountain Garden Club is also an affiliate. The show will feature floral arrangements, a horticulture division, photography division and conservation division. The show is open to the public. For additional information, contact zoneviiimeeting2014@

Mountain Brook Chamber Luncheon Featuring Richard E. Simmons III

“The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence.” Vince Lombardi, Hall of Fame NFL Coach.

April 24th 2014 Park Lane in English Village Doors open - 11:00 Luncheon - 11:30 Register at or call the Chamber office at 871-3779

B5 April 2014 • A25

School House Rounding up the Rangers

Tennis with Ms. Terry

Tennis instructor Terry Hamilton, center, with students Bennett Coker, Ella Frances Mandell, Emily Moore and Maggie Doyle.


Nicole Hardee, Nathan Pitner, Christy Christian, Krisalyn Crye and Walter Crye at the Round Up.

By KATHLEEN WOODRY Woohoo! A knee-slapping, foot-stomping good time was had at Ranger Round Up, the annual winter auction event benefiting Brookwood Forest Elementary. Ranger Round Up was held recently under twinkling white lights and burlap at Pine Tree Country Club. Guests dined on a barbecue feast while listening to the tunes of Jimmy and Laine, auctioneer Christie King of C King Benefit Auctions and guest emcee Jeh Jeh Pruitt.  A special addition for the evening was Ila and Thatcher Worthen winning the first “Best Of Live”

auction and selecting the “Date Nights for a Year” package as their big prize. This year, the highly anticipated Principal’s Pick was designated for the library renovation project at Brookwood Forest, expected to be completed this summer. Marylon Barkan and Kim Fasking, along with a committee of Ranger PTO volunteers, work year-round to produce a night to celebrate, fellowship and raise money for the school. This event would not be possible without the generosity and support of the many community families and businesses that donated items and services for the auction. 

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If you have ever driven past the Mountain Brook Elementary tennis courts after school, you have no doubt seen Terry Hamilton, better known as “Ms. Terry,” teaching tennis to students. She has been a fixture in the community for 28 years, teaching everyone from preschoolers to grandparents seven days a week on the courts at MBE, Overton Park, MBJH and MBHS.

Hamilton’s tennis career began at age 7 when she played on Brooke Hill School’s first tennis team. She moved on to play tennis at Sweet Briar College and has played on several teams in Birmingham, occasionally playing in tournaments. These days she keeps tennis fun with events like “Crazy Mixed Up Day” at summer tennis camps, where students dress as silly as they want. If you are interested in tennis with Ms. Terry, call her at 540-2958.

MBJH’s spelling champion Robert Dillard, an eighth-grader, is this year’s Mountain Brook Junior High Spelling Bee Champion. Robert is on the “A” honor roll, plays the tuba for the concert band, and was recently selected as one of the “January Spartans of the Month” for displaying the quality of responsibility.

B6 A26 • April 2014

Village Living

Cherokee Bend holds annual writers’ festival

A celebration of writing By LISA STONE Recently 250 Brookville Elementary students joined Crestline Elementary classes to hear famous authors, illustrators and musicians discuss their crafts. Aside from musicians Lee Hurley and Friends, visiting authors at Celebrate Writing Day this year included Dan Elish, Cyd Moore, Kevin O’Malley, Rick Shelton and Ashley Wolff. This was the first year for

Crestline to host its partner school, Brookville Elementary, for the event. Throughout the year, Crestline students collected items such as health room supplies, non-perishable food, shoes, socks, cleaning supplies, books and toys. Faculty, parents and the CES Student Council delivered these items to Brookville Elementary School. Additionally, some Crestline students had pen pals at Brookville.

New York author Dan Elish with Crestline fifth-grader Anne Smith in front of the display of student art based on his book, The School for the Insanely Gifted.

BWF participates in Mercedes Marathon Cherokee Bend students learn to use their superpowers in writing from author and illustrator George O’Connor during the Mountain Brook Writers’ Festival. Pictured are third-graders Ally Prater, Sedona Segars, author George O’Connor, Reed Vickers and Max Kuehnert. Photo courtesy of Aimee Forbus.

By CATHERINE BODNAR Cherokee Bend Elementary hosted several writers during the annual Mountain Brook Writers’ Festival in February. Many PTO volunteers from Mountain Brook Elementary, Brookwood Forest and Cherokee Bend Elementary spent hours planning this annual event to celebrate and nurture a love of reading and inspiration for writing.  Among the authors featured at this year›s Writers’ Festival were Kate Feiffer, George O’Connor,

Heather Montgomery and Barbara McClintock, coordinated by volunteers under Beth Shea’s direction. During the three days, the authors shared their writing and revision process, cartooning and making graphic novels, and their personal stories. Students had opportunities each day to meet and interact with the authors and even participate in several workshops. Many students enjoyed the hands-on and personal approach from each author, including being able to purchase the books and have them signed by the author. 

Julia Butrus, Lizzy Mundy, Spence Otto, Rodney Mundy, Harper Lee, Matthew McCain and Nathan McCain.

By KATHLEEN WOODRY Fifty-one students from Brookwood Forest Elementary ran the final mile of the Kids Mercedes Marathon in February at Linn Park in downtown Birmingham. Children ran the

distance of a full marathon (26.2 miles) over the course of the fivemonth program. The kids trained for the last mile of their marathon by running a total of 25.2 miles before the start of the race with coach Kyle Ritter and coach Kirk McClendon in

PE class or with their families. Each student received a Kids Mercedes  Marathon  finisher’s medal. Christie Mundy served as chairperson for the team of students representing Brookwood Forest.

April 2014 • A27 B7

Parenting and Family with Dr. Dale Wisely

ADHD medication quandary Q: My 9-year-old has been diagnosed with ADHD. I am struggling with the recommendation that he be put on medication. What are the best alternative treatments?

children. The medications have probably been researched more than any medications given for any purpose. I think an honest review of that research, and the experience of physicians, is that the medications for ADHD are largely safe and largely effective. In my opinion, when a child has I say “largely” safe and effective been appropriately diagnosed with Dr. Dale Wisely because there is no such thing, ADHD after a good evaluation, he or she deserves medication treatment. I as far as I know, as a completely safe or believe medication is usually an important a completely effective medication. All part of a treatment program. I prefer to medications — and all treatments — have to think of the other components of treatment be evaluated in terms of the potential benefits not as alternatives to medication, but other against the potential risks. But, as part of that consideration, I believe components of a good treatment program. Before I return to medication, I want to list parents should know that there are very real some of the other components of treatment and very serious potential problems with that are usually needed and, sadly, often having ADHD and not getting appropriately neglected. I believe a person diagnosed treated. There are short-term and long-term with ADHD — including a child — needs problems. As a group, individuals with ADHD to understand the disorder. Parents need who do not receive appropriate treatment tend education to help them thoroughly understand not to do well. They have more academic the disorder. Related to that, parents need help failures. They are far less likely to graduate and support in developing and implementing from college. They have more arrests, more a good behavioral program at home. Finally, divorces, more job changes, and many more but just as important, is the complex matter short- and long-term problems. All that said, it is completely understandable of trying to help the child get the help he or she needs at school. From their doctors, from and appropriate for parents to have their parents and from their teachers, these reservations about any medication. Share children need a lot of help and support. I fear your concerns with your child’s physician and many — maybe most — do not get close to give the doctor a chance to address them. Dr. Dale Wisely is Director of Student Sergetting all they need. Medications for ADHD have always been vices at Mountain Brook Schools and has controversial among the public and the press been a child and adolescent psychologist for but, frankly, far less controversial among the 30 years. professionals who research and treat these

Art Forms celebrates MBJH student talent

Winners of the Art Forms contest at MBJH.

Each year, the Junior Spartan PTO organizes Art Forms, a visual, literary and performing arts competition that affords some of Mountain Brook Junior High School’s most talented students the opportunity to have their abilities appreciated by the community. The visual art works were displayed at the school and on the Junior Spartan PTO website, where for the first time, parents and students

Performing Arts ÌÌ Seventh Grade Third place - Tess Levine Second place - Lucy Windle First place - Stanton Langley & Max Simon ÌÌ Eighth Grade Third place - Hayden Sledge & Lacy Smith Second place - Mary Carrington Gullage First place - Simona Shirley ÌÌ Ninth Grade Third place - Abigail Ross Barlow Second place - Emily Donahue First place - Brantley Goodman Best Overall: Grace Cope Literary Arts Honorable mention, poetry - Emily Bolvig Third place, poetry - Eleanor Swagler Second place, poetry - Kat Goodman First place, poetry - Rachel Estreicher First place, fiction - Sarah Long Best Overall: Sarah Long Visual Arts ÌÌ Seventh Grade - Spartan Choice* Third place - Harrison Little Second place - Mary Frances Torbert First place - Olivia Bell

could vote for their favorite works. The highlight of Art Forms is the annual Showcase at the MBHS Fine Arts Center, where students took to the stage recently to entertain a packed house. After the performances, the winners in all categories were announced and prizes were awarded. Eighth-grader Grace Cope took home the big prize of the night, with her piano performance of “How Great Thou Art.”

ÌÌ Eighth Grade - Spartan Choice* Third place - Lucy Smith Second place - Lucy Smith First place - Macey Miller ÌÌ Ninth Grade - Spartan Choice* Third place - Eleanor Swagler Second place - Emily Bolvig First place - Gabe Ivker *Voted on by MBJH students and families online ÌÌ Seventh Grade Third place - Mary Frances Torbert Second place - Annabel Davis & Harrison Little (tie) First place - Olivia Bell ÌÌ Eighth Grade Third place - Katherine Price Second place - Mary Arden Pennington First place - Macey Miller ÌÌ Ninth Grade Third place - Gabe Ivker Second place - Eleanor Swagler First place - Emily Bolvig Best Overall, Visual Arts Emily Bolvig

B8 A28 • April 2014

Ca$h & Da$h is a win-win By CATHERINE GASQUE

Village Living

Expressions show fosters creativity among students

School events often sell out quickly, but with Cherokee Bend’s Ca$h & Da$h fundraiser, parents can purchase the best seats in the house without leaving home.  This annual fundraiser is an online sale that takes place in February and features services and offerings such as “Principal for the Day” and reserved Chief Parking Spots for carpool and school programs, as well as premium locker choices for a few lucky fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders. This year›s Ca$h & Da$h raised $13,000 in only a few hours. Cherokee Bend mothers promote this year’s Ca$h & Da$h.

Scouts bridge in Arrow ceremony

District winners Frederic Smith (CES second-grader, third place in instrumental performance, grades K-2, and honorable mention in photography), Ann Winston Morano (CES fourth-grader, honorable mention in visual arts, grades 3-4), Emma Fooshee (CBS fifth-grader, third place in visual arts, grades 5-6), Brynn Hannon (CBS fourth-grader, first place in photography, grades 3-4), Mary Patton Hand (CES second-grader, honorable mention in creative writing, grades K-2) and Jared Alon Sedlis (BWF second-grader, honorable mention in video production, grades K-2). Photo by Trish Hand.


Mountain Brook Elementary fifth-grade Scouts from Pack 253 recently took part in the solemn Arrow of Light ceremony that marks the passage from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. Front row: Grant Blackwell, Hugh Cowart, Jeff Schultz, Stuart Jinnette, Fletcher Nunnelley. Back row: Cub Master Bo Tranum, John Curtis Gray, Alex Simonton, Cannon Torres, Rivers Tranum, Theo Simonton, Den Leader Richard Simonton. Not pictured: Will Watson. Photo courtesy of Bo Tranum.

All Mountain Brook Elementary students in kindergarten through sixth grade were encouraged show their creativity by submitting original artwork to the PTO Elementary Arts Council Expressions Contest. Students used various art forms to express their interpretation for this year’s theme, “I Am...” The contest featured five different art categories: creative writing, photography, visual arts, video and a new category, instrumental performance. Categories were then entered by three different grade entries, and winners from each

elementary school competed at the district level, where community artists judged the submissions. Each school promotes the contest in its own way and helps encourage and foster creativity among the students by awarding ice cream treats or doughnut parties to preliminary winners. Kenneth Camp at Cherokee Bend Elementary oversaw technical support for film and music entries this year. The winners were celebrated at the annual District Exhibition at host Brookwood Forest with congratulations offered by Superintendent Dicky Barlow.

April 2014 • A29 B9


Best Coach (School)

Bucky McMillan Mountain Brook High School Basketball Coach Five years into his career as varsity coach, Bucky McMillan led the Spartans to two consecutive state basketball championships in 2013 and 2014. The Mountain Brook High School graduate coached Mountain Brook AAU and OTM teams while playing basketball for Birmingham-Southern College and became the JV coach after graduation. Photo by Alec Dixon.


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B10 A30 • April 2014

Village Living


Most Social Tricia Drew Mom of Four, Hostess Extraordinaire “Tricia’s energy is off the charts, and so her friends could be able to (somewhat) keep up with her, she started a walking group called Step Forward. Immediately, the group grew to over 100 women who walk and/or run in the Mercedes Marathon and other races around the country. She always makes time for friends and is usually the instigator for gatherings, not just of her own friends and family but for her children’s friends. She’s a hostess who would rather have guests stay and talk into the wee hours than leave. And no one ever wants to leave.” -Friend of Tricia Photo by Alec Dixon.

B11 April 2014 • A31


Best Local Personality Kari Kampakis Columnist Kari Kampakis, a freelance writer and former photographer and PR professional, is well known in the community for her thoughts on life and family in her Life Actually column in Village Living. Kari is the mom of four girls, three of whom attend Mountain Brook Elementary. A member of St. Francis Catholic Church, Kari speaks at various women’s and church groups as well as Bible studies around Birmingham. Photo by Alec Dixon.


The Celebration Party Sunday, April 6, 2014 @

The Birmingham Children’s Zoo 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Food by Full Moon Bar-B-Que, Music by Jimmy and Laine (THE HAMS) Dinner, Silent Auction, and Children’s Activities Everyone welcome…..Golfers & Non-golfers! $45 per person($50 at the door) / Children under 10 Free

The Golf Tournament Monday, April 7, 2014

The Highlands Golf Course 1:00 pm Shotgun Scramble Format - Lunch Included

NBC Securities, Sponsor All proceeds benefit UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center

For information: visit or call 205.335-7100

B12 A32 • April 2014

Village Living


Most Community Spirit Suzan Smith Doidge Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce Director “Suzan Smith Doidge has a spirit of giving and service that is like sunshine. She has yet to say no to any project, person or pet in the community. She invests her time, energy and family in Mountain Brook and is a walking, talking, effervescent billboard for our lovely villages. If there is an open house, new restaurant, new shop or a trunk show – Suzan is there to support it! She is also calling all her friends and making a party out of it.” -Pam Colbert Photo by Jeff Thompson.

April 2014 • A33 B13

MBHS produces spring play

Hunter Stanley, Hannah Williams, Hannah Mouyal, Coleman Escue and Mary Kathryn Parrott rehearse for the spring performance.

By MARY KATHRYN PARROTT The Mountain Brook High School theater department’s production of Kiss Me, Kate was a huge success last year, and this year’s show is expected to be nothing less. This year’s musical, Once on This Island, will be performed on April 10, 12, 13 and 14. Tickets are available at the high school. Composed by Stephen Flaherty, the musical is set in the French Antilles of the Caribbean Sea and tells the tale of a young peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy Frenchman when she rescues him from a deadly car accident and nurses him back to health. The peasant girl, Ti Moune (Hannah Mouyal), begged the gods to send her true love, and the result of a dispute between Papa Ge, god of death (Hunter Stanley), and Erzulie, goddess of love (Mary Kathryn Parrott), results in the gods tampering with the lives of the mortals below. With the assistance of Asaka, goddess of the Earth (Hannah Williams), and Agwe, god of water (Coleman Escue), they send Ti Moune on a thrilling journey to conquer death and find true love. Papa Ge ensures that Ti Moune will have to choose between the life of Daniel, the Frenchman

she loves (Reid Parrott), and her own. Will love prevail, or will death’s dark dagger come out on top? Hannah Mouyal, president of the Thespians society, said she excited for the show and her lead role. “It’s such a blessing to have gotten this part because I started from the ensemble my sophomore year,” she said, “It’s crazy to think that I’ve come from not even having a name to playing the role of Ti Moune in just two years.” Director Jesse Tilton stresses that production would not be possible without the ensemble. “Every person is integral to the show, and our cast could not be more talented this year,” he said. With the assistance of choir director John Kincaid and choreographer Delle Kincaid, Tilton selected Once on This Island because he knew the musical offers a time for everyone to shine. The chorus transforms into trees, huts and even tropical storms, which helps the audience understand how important the ensemble is. There will be no set changes – the ensemble takes care of that. Kincaid claims that “this is the best casting job [they] have ever done,” and the cast is positive that this year’s production will not disappoint.

81 Church Street


81 Church St. • 205-870-4367

B14 • April 2014 A34

Village Living

Scouts earn Eagle rank Warren Lightfoot

Warren B. Lightfoot III, a member of Boy Scout Troop 53, recently earned the top Scouting honor of Eagle Scout rank after successfully completing all of the Eagle requirements, including his service project. His project involved overseeing the fundraising and building of a split-rail fence along the entrance to Mountain Brook Community Church on U.S. 280. Funds raised in addition to those required to build the fence were donated to the church’s ministries supporting local missions. In order to achieve the rank of Eagle, Lightfoot earned 21 merit badges over the course of five years as a member of Troop 53, which is chartered to St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Mountain Brook. During his time in Scouts, Lightfoot served in several leadership positions including senior patrol leader. In addition, after being nominated by his troop, he received the Order of the Arrow Award, which is the honor society of Scouts. Lightfoot, the son of Valerie and Warren Lightfoot, is a junior at Mountain Brook High School where he plays on the varsity tennis team. There will be a Court of Honor ceremony at St. Peter’s Anglican Church to present him with his Eagle Scout award.

Kirk Thomas

Kirk Thomas of Boy Scout Troop 63 was recently awarded the rank of Eagle Scout. He was recognized at a Court of Honor ceremony at Canterbury United Methodist Church, the troop’s sponsoring church. Thomas began scouting as a Tiger Cub in Cub Scout Pack 63 at Canterbury, and he earned his God and Me Award and the Arrow of Light, the highest award in Cub Scouting. In 2008, he crossed over into Boy Scouts, joining Troop 63 at Canterbury. He earned 35 merit badges. He also earned the God and Country Award and the World Conservation Badge and spent 60 nights camping. He was elected by his fellow Scouts to the Order of the Arrow and completed his OA ordeal at Camp Jackson. During his tenure with the troop, he served as patrol leader, assistant

senior patrol leader and junior assistant scoutmaster. He attended the Northern Tier High Adventure Program in Minnesota and Canada, where he hiked and canoed more than 125 miles. For his Eagle Scout service project, Thomas designed and constructed 17 sets of bunk beds for Avondale Samaritan Place. The center will house mission groups doing service work in Avondale and the surrounding communities. He raised funds for the project and coordinated volunteer efforts. A junior at Mountain Brook High School, Thomas plays lacrosse and is an active member of Canterbury’s Methodist Youth Fellowship. He is the son of Michael and Ellen Thomas of Mountain Brook and the grandson of Frances Ferrell and L.S. and Sarah Thomas.

Stewart Hawk

Stewart Hawk, a Mountain Brook resident, has achieved the highest rank in Boy Scouts. He is a member of Troop 86 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church under the leadership of David Millhouse. For his project, Hawk designed and built a crossshaped stone garden above ground at St. Luke’s. During his time in Scouts, Stewart has held the positions of quartermaster, assistant patrol leader and senior patrol leader. He earned 22 merit badges. A senior at Mountain Brook High School, Stewart is a member of the varsity cross-country and track teams. He is the son of Alison and Jett Hawk. His grandparents are Elaine Smith, the late Dr. Lamar Smith Jr., Janis Zeanah and Jim Hawk.

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B15 April 2014 • A35

Sports MBJH girls take silver in Metro tourney

Sixth-grade Spartans are OTM champions

The sixth-grade Mountain Brook Spartans Over the Mountain team finished their career with another championship win, this time over Chelsea, 55-19. The team had won the league and the end-of-season tournament in third, fourth and fifth grades as well. Team members are Grace Carr, Courtney Clark, Hollis Clay, Charlotte Gillum, Cate Jones, Frances Lyon, Hannon Tatarek, Ann Vandevelde and Liz Vandevelde. The team is coached by Russell Vandevelde and Carter Clay. Photo courtesy of Adelaide Vandevelde.

Shea signs with Auburn for softball MBJH girls basketball team


The Mountain Brook Junior High School girls’ basketball team, coached by John Phillips, finished the season with a 17-2 record, giving up an average of only 19 points per game. The team came in second in the Metro Tournament with a 3-point loss to Bumpus. Emily Henderson and

Whitton Bumgarner were selected for the All-Metro Tournament team, while Ellen Dulin and Emily Henderson were chosen for the All-Metro Season team. Team members include Anna Brooks Allen, Whitton Bumgarner, Ellen Dulin, Emily Henderson, Claire Kimberlin, Cummings Nelson, Lizzie Perri, Olivia Rodrigues, Hannah Straughn and Grace Turner.

Courtney Shea, a senior at Mountain Brook High School, has signed to play softball at Auburn University. She is the second in her family to sign a scholarship with the Tigers and will wear the same number as her father, No. 93. She has played softball since the age of four and has played on the Mountain Brook varsity team since seventh grade. She was elected to the All-South/All-Hoover and the All Over the Mountain teams for the past three seasons and was also a 2013 All-State first team selection for her play as the Spartans’ catcher and first baseman. In addition, Shea plays travel ball for the Birmingham Thunderbolts. This season she was named to the Top 100 Seniors. She is the daughter of Beth and Richard Shea of Mountain Brook. Her high school coaches are Kaitlyn Griffin and Leslie Batts, and her travel ball coaches are Rock Thompson, Katelyn Boyd and Kaylyn Castillo.

Pictured with Courtney Shea are her parents, Richard and Beth Shea, and her sister, Caroline Shea. Photo courtesy of Beth Shea.

B16 A36 • April 2014

Village Living


BEST OF MOUNTAIN BROOK Village Living 2013 Best Mexican Food

Don’t Miss the 6th Annual

Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, April 19 at 10 a.m. Crestline Village Field across from Emmet O’Neal Library

George Jones • Linda Flaherty Event Organizers

Meet and greet with the Easter Bunny after the egg hunt. Bring your camera!

B17 April 2014 • A37



from page B1

Life Actually By Kari Kampakis

Chasing the good life Several years ago, our family had a huge oak tree fall on our home during a storm. It wasn’t just any home — it was our forever home. We’d moved in 10 days earlier. At last we had the space to spread out and breathe. We’d waited for this a long time. The destruction was major, forcing us to move out. I know God doesn’t work this way, but at first it felt like punishment, a gavel of judgment coming down in the form of tree limbs crashing through my master bedroom ceiling. “What have I done wrong?” I wondered. “What am I supposed to learn from this?” The following nine months were the most chaotic of my life. We moved four times, lived in a rental home with most of our possessions in boxes, and faced several curveballs that compounded the stress. Nothing in my life was normal. I had too many balls in the air, yet none I could eliminate. From the outside, my life wasn’t enviable. It wasn’t pretty, comfortable or convenient. It wasn’t “the good life” we all crave. Yet on the inside I felt something positive happening, a spiritual growth rooted in my constant need to pray. I didn’t pray because I should; I prayed because

I had to. I couldn’t cope alone. One morning in particular, I encountered God differently than I had before. I’d gone to bed very stressed, and before my eyes opened the next day my mind fell into prayer. This had become my morning routine, my automatic reflex. And as I lay in bed trying to mentally gear up for the day, an unspeakable peace came over me. All I could think was, “Jesus.” I sensed Him in the room with me. I felt the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). I found calm within the craziness. Suddenly, I wasn’t overwhelmed anymore. I was happy — extraordinarily happy. I wanted the joy of that moment to last forever. That is when I got it. That is when I realized how hard times present opportunities to encounter God and His son in ways that aren’t possible when life is pretty, comfortable and convenient. When we moved back into our renovated home, our lives returned to normal. Practically overnight my stress vanished. But can I tell you how I felt the first morning I woke up in my new master bedroom? Do you know what went through my mind as I opened my eyes to a calm, serene sanctuary? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.


Gone were my automatic prayers. Gone was my desperation. Gone was my reflex to connect with God. At last I was waking up to an easier life, yet I felt empty. And sad. And a little disappointed. I know Jesus is with me always. I know I can encounter Him in good times, too. But what I learned by stepping away from the comfortable bubble we all normally live in — then returning to that bubble — is how quickly I can forget Jesus when I’m not desperate. Without a concerted effort, I might easily stop seeking Him. The “good life” we chase in this world — it’s actually a good distraction from what truly matters. It doesn’t feed our soul, and that’s why it leads to emptiness. The people we tend to envy are those rich with goods, but the people we should envy are those rich with faith. They’re the ones who have it figured out. They’re the ones getting their spirits renewed daily and drawing closer to Christ. Instead of chasing the good life, how about we chase the God life? How about we think outside the bubble and past the material pursuits we think will bring us happiness? Chasing the God life replaces our fear of bad things happening because we can trust that any

hardships enable God to do His best work through us. It helps us detach from stuff so we can cling to Christ. I realize now that the tree falling on our house wasn’t punishment; it was a gift. It allowed me to see how I didn’t miss my possessions boxed up, my forever home or the security of a bubble. My life was pared down, yet nothing was lacking. I had my family and my God, and they were enough. This Easter season, let’s reflect on whether the comfort we enjoy hinders our ability to know Jesus. Let’s consider where our mind immediately goes in the morning when we wake up. Most of all, let’s remember how desperately we need our risen Savior on good days, too. Only Christ can save us from ourselves, making sure the pursuits we choose lead to eternity, not emptiness. 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” or find her on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Find her personal blog at karikampakis. com or contact her at

units for us. Every school system in the state gets an allotted amount of funds based on their enrollment for teaching units.” Additionally, she said students in Mountain Brook schools are successful because of smaller class sizes that allow for more personal instruction. “The whole reason most people move to Mountain Brook is to educate their children,” Lusk-Smith said. “After their children graduate from high school and move on to college, we see a lot of people move to an area with a different tax base because they don’t need to pay the higher taxes.” The quality of life Mountain Brook residents enjoy hasn’t gone unnoticed by others. The national online real estate brokerage firm and blog Movoto recently ranked Mountain Brook No. 8 on its list of Alabama’s Top 10 cities – the only Jefferson County municipality included on the list. Movoto noted not only Mountain Brook’s student-to-teacher ratios, but also the low crime rates and amenities that include its upscale dining options. A more desirable community Boone refers to an old adage to support his belief that Mountain Brook’s tax structure makes it an attractive location in which to live. “Part of what drives real estate values is location, location, location,” he said. “One of the greatest assets of this community is our school system, and because we have a first-rate school system, it attracts people with schoolaged kids.” The result is that Mountain Brook residents like Barton aren’t worried about the mathematics and red tape of Mountain Brook’s tax structure, focusing instead on the quality of life. “Having lived in various locations in the Birmingham area, I’ve had the opportunity to experience the tax structure and the services provided elsewhere,” he said. “The services we receive as residents of Mountain Brook are top-notch and are delivered as part of the total package.”

B18 A38 • April 2014


Mountain Brook Events April 1: Ten Percent Tuesdays: Sugar. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The retailer will donate 10 percent of its revenue this day to Relay for Life.

Church members’ homes. Contact rosannat@ to participate. Visit brookwood. org.

April 3: Aware Speaker. 5:30 p.m. Mountain Brook City Council Chambers.

April 18: Good Friday Evening Service. 7 p.m. Brookwood Baptist Church Sanctuary. Visit

April 4: Relay for Life. 4 p.m. Mountain Brook High School Spartan Stadium. Visit April 5: Spring Art Festival. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Crestline Elementary Field. The annual Mountain Brook Art Association event features artwork plus music, food and more. Rain date is April 6 from noon-5 p.m. Visit April 5: Live Local Saturday. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Crestline Village. Come into the village to shop and dine. Merchants will hold special demonstrations or feature special guests. Visit April 6: Bo Johnson Memorial Golf Tournament Celebration Party. 5-9 p.m. The Birmingham Children’s Zoo. Dinner, music, silent auction and children’s activities. $45, free for children younger than 10. Visit April 6: Tea and Tablescapes. 2-4:30 p.m. Canterbury United Methodist Church. The tea party will feature shopping and bidding to raise money for Canterbury’s United Methodist Women. Tickets are limited. $25 or $225 for a table of 10. Visit April 10, 12, 13, 14: ‘Once on This Island.’ Mountain Brook High School. Tickets available at the school. April 12: Preschool and Children’s Ministry Family Easter Egg Hunt. 8:30 a.m. Brookwood Baptist Church. Visit April 17: Maundy Thursday Services. 7 p.m. Brookwood Baptist

Village Living

April 19: Easter Egg Hunt. 10 a.m. Field across from the Emmet O’Neal Library in Crestline Village. April 22: Book Release Party with Author Jennie Cunnion. 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Pantry, 17 Dexter Ave. Cunnion, the sister of Mountain Brook resident and author Patti Callahan Henry, has written Parenting the Wholehearted Child: Captivating your Child’s Heart with God’s Extravagant Grace. Visit April 24: Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce Luncheon. 11 a.m. Park Lane, English Village. Richard E. Simmons III will discuss his most recent book, A Life of Excellence. Visit April 26: Food Truck Round Up. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Macy’s parking lot, Colonial Brookwood Village. Food trucks and kids’ activities. Benefits PreSchool Partners. $20 in advance, $25 on-site. Visit preschool-partners. org or email Allene Neighbors at allene. April 26: The Whitings Jazz Duo Show. 8 p.m. Levite Jewish Community Center. $20. Visit April 27: ‘No Place on Earth’ Documentary. 2 p.m. Levite Jewish Community Center. Free. Visit April 29: Spring Fling. 5:30-7 p.m. Dixie Fish Company. Joint event with Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia, Greater Shelby County and Hoover Area chambers of commerce. Visit

Mountain Brook High School Athletics April 1: Boys Soccer Metro Tourney vs. Spain Park. 7:30 p.m. April 1: Varsity Baseball vs. Woodlawn. 4:30 p.m. April 1: Softball vs. Leeds. 5 p.m. April 1: Girls Tennis vs. Vestavia. April 3: Girls Soccer vs. Grissom. 5 p.m. April 7: Softball vs. Woodlawn. 5 p.m. April 8: Girls Soccer vs. Oak Mountain. 7 p.m. April 9: Boys Tennis vs. Spain Park. April 10: Varsity Baseball vs. Vestavia. 5 p.m. April 10: Varsity Baseball vs. Spring Garden. 5 p.m. April 11: Girls Soccer vs. Bob Jones. JV 5 p.m.

Varsity 7 p.m. April 14: Softball vs. Spain Park. 5 p.m. April 15: Boys Soccer vs. Vestavia. JV 5:30 p.m. Varsity 7:30 p.m. April 17: Boys Soccer vs. Briarwood. Varsity 6:30 p.m. April 18: Girls Soccer vs. Shades Valley/Senior Night. 7 p.m. April 21: Softball vs. Clay-Chalkville. 5 p.m. April 21: Boys Soccer vs. Thompson. 6 p.m. April 21: Boys Soccer vs. Northridge. JV 5:30 p.m. Varsity 7:30 p.m.

Area Events Feb. 22-May 18: Delacroix and the Matter of Finish. Birmingham Museum of Art. The first Eugéne Delacroix (1798-1863) exhibition in the United States in more than a decade features the work of the leader of the French Romantic Movement, who was often heralded as the “father of impressionism.” Call 254-2565 or visit April 1-May 2: Assistance League Lobster Sale Ordering Period. Assistance League of Birmingham is selling freshly steamed Maine lobsters to benefit its philanthropic programs. Drivethrough pickup will be Friday, May 9 from 3-6 p.m. at Assistance League of Birmingham, 1755 Oxmoor Road. Call 960-1040 to place your order. April 4-5: Non Life Master Bridge Tournament. 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. both days. Hosted by the Birmingham Duplicate Bridge Club, 144 Business Center Drive in Hoover. Visit birmingham or email April 5: Walk MS. 7:30 a.m. registration, 9:30 a.m. walk. Homewood Central Park. 1-, 2- or 3-mile walk; entertainment; wellness fair. Visit or

April 5: Kidney Foundation Birmingham Walk-a-Thon. 8:30 a.m. registration, 9:30 a.m. walk. Homewood High School’s Waldrop Stadium. Visit April 11-13: Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale. Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Century Plaza, 7580 Crestwood Blvd. More than 100,000 plants will be available for purchase, including this year’s gold-themed signature plants. Visit April 12: Reading, Writing & Rhythms. 12-8 p.m. Avondale Brewing Company. Event features local musicians and benefits Better Basics’ advancement of literacy through enrichment and intervention programs. $15. Visit April 12: Walk With Me. 8 a.m. Veterans Park. Event features a 5K and 1-mile Family Fun Walk, as well as face painting, moonwalks, cotton candy and popcorn. Proceeds go to Easter Seals, which raises funds for individuals and families living with disabilities. Contact Allison Nichols at anichols@eastersealsbham. org, call 314-2187 or visit

B19 April 2014 • A39

April 13: Sozo Children Adventure Run. 3:30 p.m. Hargis Retreat, Chelsea. 100 percent of the event proceeds will be used to save or rescue orphans in Uganda, Africa. Registration is $45. Visit April 17: David Dorfman Dance. 8 p.m. Wright Center, Samford University. The New York dance company will perform Prophets of Funk, an evening that celebrates Sly and the Family Stone’s music and the struggles and celebrations of everyday people. $15-25. Visit wrightcenter. April 19: Brookwood Celebrates. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Colonial Brookwood Village. Part of Birmingham Reads, an event that supports Better Basics’ literacy programs for at-risk students. Bring new or gently used books to donate. There will be music and entertainment. Visit April 21-26: Birmingham Fashion Week. Pepper Place, 2829 2nd Avenue South. Visit April 25-26: Tannehill Rodeo. 6 p.m. gates, 7:30 p.m. rodeo. Trails at Tannehill, 11975 Eastern Valley Road, McCalla 35111. $10 adults, $8 children, free for ages 5 and younger. Visit April 26: The Episcopal Place Gumbo Gala. 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Sloss Furnaces. Forty gumbo cook teams will cook and serve gumbo. Live music by Rollin’ in the Hay, children’s activities and vendors selling theme-related Alabama products. $12 in advance, $15 at the gate, free for children 12 and younger. Visit April 26-May 11: Decorator’s ShowHouse. Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday evenings 6-9 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays 1-5 p.m. 4021 St. Charles Drive. No infants, children younger than 8, backpacks, large tote bags or purses, umbrellas or cameras. Tickets are $20 at the door and benefit the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Lunch is served daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $13. Call 540-7171 or visit April 26-27: Bargain Carousel. Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 1-5 p.m. Former JCPenney, Century Plaza Mall, 7580 Crestwood Boulevard. Giant garage sale benefits community projects with the Junior League of Birmingham’s partner agencies. Call 879-9861 or visit

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

Adults Wednesdays: Brown Bag Lunch Series. Noon doors open, 12:30 p.m. program. April 3: Church & Oak Book Group. 6:30 p.m. Church Street Coffee & Books. Discussing The Dinner by Herman Koch. April 8: The Bookies. 10 a.m. Book group discussing The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin. April 12: Knit & Knibble. 2-3:30 p.m. All crafts and skill levels welcome. April 14: Great Books. 6:30 p.m. Book group discussing a selected short story. April 15: Documentaries After Dark. 6:30 p.m. Film about the Beatles. April 29: Genre Reading Group. 6:30 p.m. Discussing poetry.

Tuesdays Together Time Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Library Out Loud Story Time. 3:30 p.m. Evenings @ EOL. 6 p.m. Wednesdays *Mother Goose Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Thursdays *Patty Cake Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. SNaP. 3:30 p.m. Saturdays Family Story Time with Mr. Mac. 10:30 a.m.

Special Events

April 1: Evenings @ EOL: PJ Story Time. 6 p.m.


April 8: Family Night: Birmingham Children’s Theatre: “Little Miss Muffet.” 5:30 p.m.

April 2: TAB. 5-6 p.m. The monthly meeting of the library’s Teen Advisory Board.

April 15: Evenings @ EOL: Movie. 6 p.m.

April 4: Game On Video Game Tournament. 4:30-6:30 p.m.

April 22 Evenings @ EOL: Boards & Blocks. 6 p.m.

April 11: Improv Workshop with comedian Chris Davis. 4-6 p.m.

April 24: *Bookmania: Wild Born. 6 p.m.

Children Mondays *Toddler Tales Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m.

April 16: After-School Special: Amelia Bedelia Brings Down the House. 3:30 p.m.

April 29: Evenings @ EOL: Book BINGO. 6 p.m. *Space is limited; please call 879-0497 or visit to register.

B20 A40 • April 2014

Village Living

Village Living vol 5 iss 1 April 2014  

Community news, entertainment and sports for Mountain Brook

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