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Village Living

| February 2011 |

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

V2V race results -pg 13

Sports -pg 12

Volume 1 | Issue 11 | February 2011

Local ladies inspired to start businesses By Laura Canterbury Got that entrepreneurial spirit? You aren’t alone. In fact, two out of three teenagers who completed last year’s Junior Achievement Poll said they hope to start their own business one day. But it takes more than a good idea and a desire to be your own boss and to launch a successful venture. Just ask three local women. Tracy Joyce, Amy Morse and Lucy Gaede are all their own boss. The businesses they own and run started in their homes in Mountain Brook. “I do prefer working out of my home,” said Tracy Joyce, owner of Little Lavender, an online consignment boutique. “I can pull and pack orders before my kids get up in the morning or while they are doing their homework. I can take Amy Morse of amyelizabeth Collections with some of her pieces. a break from work and take care of other household duties. It is however, Lavender while her husband, Tommy, was said. “Moms dressed their children in nicer harder at times because you do not know away on a fishing trip. She went to UAB’s clothing to go to day school. I thought they where to draw the line and call it a day small business center to develop a business could consign their children’s clothing and plan. make a little return on what they bought from work.” “I knew the area I lived in,” Joyce the clothing for. I also thought other Joyce came up with the idea for Little

February Features • Editor’s Note


• City Council Recap


• Restaurant Showcase


• Business Spotlight


• King Cakes


• Village Fashion

8 10

• Village Sports


• Auburn Fans at BCS


• Kari Kampakis


• Brooke Wilkerson


• School House


• Calendar of Events


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

• Valentine’s Gift Guide

moms would love to purchase fine clothing at a great discount,” Amy Morse, owner and creator of amyelizabeth Collections, a custom jewelry design business, caters to women of all types, ages and lifestyles. Morse thinks designing her jewelry and working from home is easier. She likes that her customers can benefit from the more flexible office hours. “Retail is part of my DNA. People say that I am right-brained and creatively dominant,” Morse said. “A boutique business was only natural considering my creative genes, love for jewelry and work history. Each client is as unique as a piece of jewelry I make. I combine individuality and design in each one of a kind piece.” Lucy Gaede also enjoys making one of a kind pieces. The Lu-C shirts are a big hit with children and adults and to think where it all started. “My favorite white shirt had a stain on it so I took a pair of white jeans that did not fit anymore and cut strips and sewed


Chamber luncheon to feature the “Yella Fella” By Rick Watson Jimmy Rane, CEO of Great Southern Wood and a philanthropist better known as the “Yella Fella,” accepts only a fraction of the invitations for speaking engagements he receives. “It has to be something really special for me,” he said. The Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Award Luncheon on Feb. 17 fits that bill. Rane will be the featured speaker of the luncheon themed “Brighter Days Ahead.” Rane, head of his own education foundation and a trustee for Auburn University, likes what he sees in local schools. “The Mountain Brook school system is doing something right, and they could serve as a model for other communities,” he said. It is his concern and passion for education that led Rane to establish the Jimmy Rane Foundation, whose mission is to send young people to college. In the 10 years since the foundation was established, 150 students it supported have graduated. “They’ve gone to Harvard, Princeton, Auburn, Alabama, Wallace State, Old Miss, or anywhere they want to go,” Rane said. “All they have to do is keep their grades up and behave themselves and we’ll pay their way.” Several of the scholarship winners

Jimmy Rane said Mountain Brook schools can serve as a model for other communities.

have gone on to be doctors, lawyers, and into other professional fields. “We have some real success stories,” he said. Rane said he is excited to come back to Mountain Brook and share some of his ideas for Alabama’s future with local businesses. “I think the best is yet to come for Alabama businesses,” he said. Rane took a small retail company,

selling treated fence posts and other lumber to local farmers in Abbeville, and turned it into an industry-leading wood preservative manufacturer with more than 600 employees in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Florida and Texas. “When you go from nowhere to

See Yella Fella, PAGE 9

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| February 2011 |

Village Living

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1/13/11 8:37 AM






Call today to make reservations for our special, lowcountry valentine’s day dinner. our Valentine’s menu will be available friday, feb. 11, saturday, feb. 12, and monday, feb. 14. chef phillip baio has created a one-of-a-kind menu featuring a maple glazed pork belly appetizer, a seared diver scallop salad, a petite filet, deep fried flounder, and sea salt truffles with chocolate pudding for dessert. our valentine’s menu can be ordered prefix for $55, prefix with our chef’s wine pairings for $75, or each of our special menu items is available a la carte. seating is limited, so be sure to make a reservation for any of our three special nights. We will also be serving our regular menu items during our valentine’s seatings.

121 oak street

mountain brook


Village Living

| February 2011 |

hundred wedding gowns --- veils and slips too!

Coats – Jackets – Furs – Belts – Scarves – Jewelry to boot and of course over 100 couture/designer hand-

Did you know we have over 1,000 Prom-Pageant and After 5 dresses --- Over 200 pairs of Designer

We are Alabama’s largest selection of consigned designer fashions. We feature two loft-style stories of over 6,000 sq. ft. of fabulous clothing, shoes, purses, and accessories that will take you from everyday to that special formal event.

Bring this slip for early 9:00 am Admission The largest selection of Designer Consignment clothing in Birmingham!

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Jeans --- 3 racks of Chico’s clothing ---- over 400 pairs of slacks --- hundreds of skirts ----- over 600 casual dresses and coordinated outfits –-- More

shoes and boots than we care to count --- over 1,000 tops and sweaters , vests and Blazers -- a few

Hardy • Ferragamo • Free People • J Crew • Joe’s Jeans • Juicy • Kate Spade • Laundry • Lily Pulitzer • Louis Vuit-

ton • Marc Jacobs • Matt & Nat • Michael Kors • Michael Stars • Moth • Nanette Lepore • Nicolle Miller • Paige • Prada • Rock & Republic • Saks • Snow • St. John • Sweet Pea •


& Pepper • Christian Louboutin • Citizens of Humanity • Coach • Cole Haan • Cynthia Steefe • Dana Buchman • David Meister • Diesel • Dolce & Gabbana • Donald Pliner • Ectetera • Ed

7 for Mankind • Anne Klein • Anthropologie • Antik Denim • BCBG • Betsey Johnson • Burberry • Carlisle •



| February 2011 | Welcome Friends

Village Living

Gus Pappas (left) and Sally Wilkerson were on hand from Norton’s Florist to greet V2V overall winner George Heeschen. George finished the 10k race in 34:51.

Staff & Friends Contributing Writers Susan Matthews | Christiana Roussel | Kari Kampakis Rick Watson | Laura Canterbury | Will Hightower Holley Wesley | Barbara Brewster

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

Contributing Photographers Image Arts | Alison Gault | Kari Kampakis


Village Living LLC


Sales and Distribution

Creative Director

February is such a fun month! There are all those hearts and candies, a school holiday (President’s Day), and lots to do and be proud of here in Mountain Brook. If you aren’t sure what to get that special someone, your children, a dear friend, or teacher, check out our Valentine’s gift guide. There are some great items that can be found locally and will be sure to bring a smile to the one who receives it. Hopefully you made it out to the Village to Village race January 22. It was a lot of fun, and we have the race results for you in our Sports section. Another exciting community event is the Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards luncheon February 17. Jimmy Rane of Great Southern Wood is the featured speaker. If you are interested in attending, contact The Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce at (205) 8713779 email:mtnbrookchamber@bellsouth. net to inquire about limited reserved seating.

For all those college football fans who didn’t get to make the trip to the BCS Championship Bowl, we have you covered. Laura Canterbury has a first hand account of what it was like to be there, and pictures of many of our residents savoring the victory. For many, February is when they begin to “cut back” because of the season of Lent. But before you say no to sweets and other indulgences, you might try enjoying the King Cake tradition. Christiana Roussel has a great story on the cakes and where to get them locally. And one thing you are sure to want to attend is the annual Friends of Emmet O’Neal Library Book Sale. Bring the kids, this event is for the whole family. All proceeds go to fund the amazing programs our community is fortunate to have at our local library. No matter what your interest, you will find a great book at a great price. As always, please send us any news or story ideas as well as events for our calendar to Jennifer@villagelivingonline. com

City Council recap By Barbara Brewster Because of bad weather The Mountain Brook City Council rescheduled its regular Monday, January 10 meeting to Thursday, January 13. The meeting began with a presentation to James L. Priester by Mayor Terry Oden, who read a resolution thanking Mr. Priester for his service on the Mountain Brook City Planning Commission from 2003-2010. The council gave Mr. Priester a standing ovation following Mr. Oden’s presentation. Among the resolutions approved by the council was a recommendation to the ABC Board for the issuance of a beer and wine license for Pianeta 3, the new restaurant located in the former Browdy’s

location in Mountain Brook Village. An ordinance for a stop sign was approved for the intersection of Northcoate Drive and Warrington Road following testimony by residents from that neighborhood. The City Council Chamber and offices have been relocated to 3926 Montclair Road, Suite 232, during the renovation of the Mountain Brook City Hall. The Mountain Brook City Council regularly meets on the first and fourth Mondays of the month at 7:00 PM. For more information see the city’s web site ( and Charter Cable Channel 10.

City Council meetings on the road If you have never been to a Mountain Brook City Council meeting, now may be a good time. With the Church Street municipal complex leveled and construction beginning on the new facility, the City Council is holding its monthly meetings at locations thoughout the city. In January, meetings were held in the

temporary City Hall and at Brookwood Forest Elementary School. On February 14, the meeting will be held at the Junior High auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. Meetings will be held at the Board of Education building on February 28, March 28, April 15, and May 23. All meeting times are at 7 p.m.

Published by

Dan Starnes Jennifer Gray

Editor’s Note

Dan Starnes Angela Morris Catherine Cooper Loveman

Keith McCoy

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

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

Meet our Writers Barbara Brewster Barbara was born in Birmingham and graduated from the University of Alabama. After graduation, she began her teaching career in Jefferson County and continued it when residing in Salt Lake City and Seattle. While living in Seattle, she was also active in fundraising activities for Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. Barbara is currently teaching second grade at Mountain Brook Elementary and the mother of two grown children.

Please Support Our Sponsors A’mano Another Broken Egg Case Remodeling Clark Antiques Dyron’s Lowcountry Escape Day Spa Four Corners Gallery Home Fit Birmingham Huffham Orthodontics Kiki Risa King’s House Michelle’s Mountain Brook Soccer

Mudtown Otey’s RealtySouth Remon’s Renaissance Consignment Scribbler St Luke’s The Lingerie Shoppe Trinity Medical Center Tutoring Club Twist Technology Village Dermatology

Village Flavor

| February 2011 |

Pianeta 3 out-of-this-world pizza, pasta & more |


By Alison Grizzle

Restaurant Showcase

Not the pizza of your childhood 2713 Culver Road, Mountain Brook Village 639-1446 The gourmet pizza served at this new establishment is a refreshing change from the typical pizza pub and is a great addition to Mountain Brook Village. Pianeta 3, located where the old Browdy’s was, is a restaurant with a diverse menu, making it a good choice for lunch or dinner. For many in Birmingham, knowing that it is a George Sarris venture is enough to warrant a visit. Photographer Gary Tramontina, journalist Bob Blalock, former pizzeria employee Derek Blalock, and chef Franklin Biggs along with Sarris, combined their various areas of expertise to bring this great addition to the village. In addition, this team brought in Chris Hammack, a former manager of Davenport’s Pizza Palace to help bring the vision to life. Because the lunch and dinner menus are different, we decided to try Pianeta 3 for both meals. For my lunch, I chose two pieces of pizza with a side salad and publisher, Dan Starnes, chose one slice of pizza, a soup, and a salad. This may sound like a typical lunch but this is no typical pizza, soup, and salad. Each day, Pianeta 3 offers a “red slice” and a “white slice.” This day, the red slice was a thin crust pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, grilled chicken breast, and roasted red pepper; the white slice was a thin crust with mozzarella, feta, red onion, and asparagus; the soup—a butternut squash and the salad was decorated with honey-balsamic vinaigrette. As I peered at the choices of other customers, it appeared that there was not a

Franklin Biggs and Gary Tramontina along with the other partners brought new life to the old Browdy’s location.

bad choice to be made. The lasagna looked scrumptious, the portabella mushroom sandwich looked mouthwatering, and the roasted vegetable sandwich seemed to be a great choice too. For dinner, we chose The Sarris Special, a thin crust pizza covered with smoked salmon, crème fraiche, capers, red onion and goat cheese, topped with fresh dill. But this was not an easy choice. Innovative pizzas aren’t the only thing you will find on the menu. Although the dinner menu has many amazing pizzas from which to choose, there are also main courses such as roasted


pork tenderloin, grilled Italian sausages, and sautéed fish of the day. You can also select from multiple pasta dishes that looked amazing. Some of the pizzas offered on the dinner menu include choices such as, The A & P: asparagus, prosciutto, caramelized shallot, goat cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and mozzarella topped with fresh thyme, Bob’s BLT: Applewood- smoked bacon, tomatoes, pesto, goat cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano with fresh arugala tossed in a light vinaigrette, and Low Country: shrimp, applewood- smoked bacon, cremini mushrooms, spicy tomato

sauce, mozzarella, white cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano, topped with freshly grated nutmeg and green onions. And, there’s more good news—all of the seafood is fresh and is supplied by the Fish Market! At first, I wondered why anyone would move into the Browdy’s space with the upcoming plans for Lane Parke. But it sounds as if all goes well, Pianeta 3 will be moving into the new development upon completion of the first phase. If you haven’t stopped in yet, don’t delay! A lovely atmosphere and delicious, fresh food await you.

Class. Elegance. Style.

Food, Fun, Music & Spirits Serving incredible food and good times for over 20 years. Kitchen hours Mon thru Sat 11am - 9pm

Book your party today! 224 Country Club park 871-8435 Follow us on Facebook or on the web @

Clark Antiques Gallery 3205 2nd Ave. So. (Three blocks east of Pepper Place)

325-1999 • Monday - Saturday 10-5


| February 2011 | Village Spotlight

mudtown eat & drink 205.967.3300

3144 Green Valley Road

Cahaba Heights Buy One Entrée



Monday-Wednesday Entrees $16.99 and under after 4:30 expires 2/28/11



k E OTT tain Broo . P un RE

OK o U CEBO M A T I F d N N US O FUR Culver R FIND 7 0 27

93 0 9 . 1 (205) 87


The Scribbler

42 church street 870-9590

In the year 2011 one might think that stationery and note cards are obsolete. However, The Scribbler owner says, “Nothing replaces the tangible communication you receive from a personal, hand-addressed envelope especially in this technological era of email and instant messaging.” Located down the street from Steeple Arts in Crestline Village, The Scribbler is a quintessential Mountain Brook shop, offering the services of a friendly staff and a personalized, customized approach to purchasing stationery and gift items. Having grown up in Mountain Brook, Ginny Hutchinson recognizes and strives to tend to the needs of our community. Begun in 1980, The Scribbler exists today as one of the community’s most recognized establishments, but this was not always the case. “Early on”, says Ginny, “The Scribbler was run out of someone’s basement.” She purchased The Scribbler in 2008 shortly after discussing the business with her friend Carolyn Greene, owner of C&S Designs. Having been previously employed by AmSouth for eighteen years, Ginny left the bank with a strong background in public relations and a sense of layout and design. As owner of The Scribbler, Ginny has combined these talents with her creative nature, and has since been able to introduce many of her own ideas into the production of purchasable items. The Scribbler is well known for its quality production of stationery; however, the shop offers much more. In addition to holiday and birthday gifts, The Scribbler also carries popular brands of bath and body products, customized napkins, plates, novelty items, and calling cards. In preparation for Valentine’s day, the store is selling several special products, namely, O’ Sugar! candy jars, which are perfect as elementary school valentines for children to pass out to their classmates. Ginny also plans to establish a special section in her store devoted exclusively to Alabama products in order to strengthen the shop’s emphasis on community. Also in keeping with its small town image, most printed items sold at The Scribbler are manufactured inside the store itself through the use of an old-fashioned heat press. Like many institutions in the area, The Scribbler was impacted by the recent economic crisis; however, rather than

| By Gates Porter

Business Spotlight

Ginny Hutchinson

facing the usual fates of a recession-era small business, Ginny and The Scribbler were able to cope with and take advantage of such a fiscal climate. Thanks to Ginny’s copious experience in the field of public relations, she succeeded in overcoming the trials of the recession by intelligently managing the prices of her wares to suit the needs of The Scribbler‘s patrons, while simultaneously working off the disadvantages of larger manufacturing companies to secure her materials at a more reasonable price. Throughout the years of managing The Scribbler, Ginny has witnessed many changes in the store, mostly as a result of numerous innovations in technology. Once an exclusively “Over the Mountain” store, The Scribbler is now able to cater to the needs of customers throughout the Birmingham area and beyond, thanks to the addition of online ordering. However, The Scribbler, being the personable Mountain Brook store that it is, manages to straddle the dichotomy between the technical innovations of a big business and the amiable charms of a small town shop. Indeed, one of the biggest features that has defined, and continues to define The Scribbler, is its emphasis on personalization. From Valentine’s Day candies to wedding invitations to the usual “War Cam Eagle” sports novelty items, The Scribbler offers the opportunity of customization with the purchase of almost any product. For more information about The Scribbler and for the option of online ordering, visit

20th Annual Mad Hatters’ Luncheon February 24 Women from across central Alabama will be using their fashion accessories to fight cancer at the 20th annual Mad Hatters’ Luncheon and Fashion Show on Thursday, February 24 at The Club. The event will take place inside the Grand Ballroom at the facility, and it benefits the American Cancer Society. Judging of hats takes place at 11 a.m., followed by a parade of hats beginning at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon will start at noon and includes a fashion show by Gus Mayer. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative hats in the categories of: Hats of the Year 2020, Roaring 20’s, News Events 2010, Fight Against Cancer. Money raised at the event will go to the American Cancer Society for education programs, cancer research, advocacy efforts, and patient support programs. For tickets, please call 205-930-8885.

Pictured at last year’s event are Harriet Maloof, Pat Weil, and Margaret Kidd

Village Living | February 2011 |

It’s time for King Cakes By Christiana Roussel We are deep in the middle of King Cake season y’all. Every year since we’ve been married, my mother-in-law sends us a King Cake just after Epiphany. This is not her nod to the Biblical calendar or a finger-wagging at her lapsed-Catholic son. No, growing up in New Orleans, my husband will tell you, he can mark time on the calendar by the foods they ate. Red beans and rice on Mondays. Oysters in any month with an “R” in it. And King Cake for Mardi Gras season. This time of year – Epiphany to Lent – is a time when some cultures celebrate the ritual and revelry of religion: delighting in the anniversary of Jesus’s birth while being mindful of the upcoming time when He was crucified and abandoned. In places with the tradition of celebrating Mardi Gras or Carnival, King Cakes are a hallmark. Catholic tradition tells us that it took the Three Kings (or Wise Men) twelve days to reach the manger in Bethlehem, hence The Twelve Days of Christmas. This is the origin of the pastry’s name. The large braided wreath of dough is laced with cinnamon sugar, iced, then decorated in the three royal colors of purple, green and gold. It took me many years of King Cake sampling – an endeavor I took quite seriously – to determine who makes the best ones and what qualities make it just so. I have even undertaken the task of making one myself, only to realize that baking is an art and a science, one best left up to the experts. No matter how much handholding Emeril provided in his recipes, I just could not master that dough. A truly excellent King Cake is made of an airy, brioche-style dough. It can be filled with cream cheese or in some cases, jams. A bad King Cake, though usually edible, is tough and dense but still boasts the obligatory colored icing. Only when you take a bite do you realize you’ve been duped by the pretty colors and the promise of a present inside. King cakes come with a special surprise: a tiny baby, baked INSIDE in less litigious communities. Stories abound as to what it means if you “get the baby” in your piece of King cake. Some folks say that’s how the Queen of Carnival was decided in New Orleans. My father-in-law tells a story about how all of the debutantes would do the “Dance of the Cake” and then slowly make their way to a table in the center of a ballroom, each selecting a slice. I can only imagine how fun that must have been!

Still other people will tell you that getting the baby in your slice means you have to host the next Carnival party or provide the next King cake. But, while legends may vary on what the baby means, it is always seen as good luck and often fought over by the short-people in my house. We have a small collection that has built up over the years and you never know just where you will stumble upon a little plastic baby. In the years we were able to make it to the Crescent City for the annual spring celebration, we bought King Cakes every place we saw them – in Mackenzie’s and Langenstein’s, Winn-Dixie and Time Saver. Like an embarrassment of riches, we bought and ate and bought and hoarded them until we couldn’t button our pants. By the time Lent arrived, we were ready to give up pastries for good. Here in Birmingham, you can find great King Cakes at the following bakeries: Whole Foods Market - $14.99 for plain or cream-cheese filled, Edgar’s Bakery – starting at $35.00, these come with beads too, getting the party started right away, Savage’s Bakery - $17.95 for plain or cream-cheese filled, or Dreamcakes offers King cake cupcakes - $3/each. As I mentioned, my mother-in-law still sends us one from Haydel’s Bakery (www. or 800.442.1342). I can’t tell you the number of years I have arrived home, seeing that big box on the front porch, and thrown everything else aside to just dig in. Heaven. My family is just lucky I share. Like the best stuff in New Orleans, there’s some lagniappe (“a little something extra”) in that box too. Those nice folks add a package of chicory-laced coffee, some beads and a guide to all of the season’s parades. And each year since 1990, they have produced a special porcelain doll to accompany the orders. From Second Liners to Lucky Dog Vendors, each one represents a unique and cherished aspect of the city’s heritage. My personal favorite was 2007’s FEMA trailer. I’ve saved all of these too. The little plastic babies you can have, just don’t try and take my Haydel’s porcelain trinkets. Christiana Roussel lives in Crestline and is a lover of all things food-related. You can follow her culinary musings on-line at or on Facebook (ChristianasKitchen) or Twitter (Christiana40).

Aquarius Dance Club reunites Aquarius Dance Club, inactive for the past ten years, met to renew friendships and reorganize the club. A wine and cheese party was held December 9th at the home of Susan Ritter. Aquarius Dance Club began in 1971. The club was made up of women graduating from high school in 1964-1966 residing in the greater Birmingham area.

The objective of the club was to have one or more parties a year. The club became inactive after 2000. This past September, 2010, Pat Kilpatrick, Patti Summerford, Susan Hoke, Susan Ritter and Marion Wilson began meeting in hopes of reviving the club. Plans are now underway for a spring party....the dawning of a new day for the ladies of Aquarius!

am tial ex i n i r u Yo ays is alw TARY! LIMEN COMP

Let Us Show Your Teeth Some...

LOVE! Mountain Brook Soccer Club Register Now for the Spring Season! Ages 3-16 Dribble-Pass-Score! Come Join the Fun! Every child has a place to play.

Walk-in registration at Crestline Elementary Feb 12 from 9 am -12 pm.

Online registration is open until Feb 16

Aquarius President, Marion Secretary, Susan Ritter



Enjoying the wine and cheese party are Pat Kilpatrick, Susan Ritter, Patti Summerford and Susan Hoke.



| February 2011 |

Village Living

Village Fashion By Susan Matthews

Mountain Brook’s Susan Mathews knows fashion. In her column, she answers all questions related to fashion and can even direct you towards shops in our villages where you can find the best items for your wardrobe. You can email Susan with your fashion questions at Can I wear open-toed shoes right now? Also, how about white jeans? Wearing open-toes shoes to a daytime meeting or luncheon is not appropriate for Winter, however if you are going to a blacktie event and do not want to spring for a pair of closed-toed stilettos, an open-toed, strappy heel will do just fine. An exception to this rule is a peephole pump or booty with a pair of tights. That combination is actually very much in vogue right now. For white jeans...forget the “Easter to Labor Day Only” rule! It’s quite forward to wear them with a sweater, scarf and boots year-round! What can I wear to my kids’ sporting events, other than work-out clothes? A gray, fitted sweatshirt that has a feminine flair, like a boat neck, is great with jeans and clogs. Your favorite team’s jersey is festive as well. Plaid button-downs are also a way to be in style, without trying too hard for such a laid-back event.

Pictured here is Meredith Brown in her Cam Newton jersey at her son’s basketball game, on Cam Newton Day! War Eagle!

How do I transition my wardrobe from Winter to Spring? Keep similar styles, like blazers, skinny pants and scarves, but lighten up your color palette. Dove gray, stone and pastels will replace the dark neutrals of

kiki risa clothing

2734 Cahaba Rd 870.7275 Mon - Sat 10am- 6pm

Winter. Instead of a thick scarf and black leather jacket, try a gauzy scarf and a beige leather jacket! It’s perfect for transitioning into Spring, while there is still a chill in the air. What can I wear to the Pointe Ball or Krewe Ball? Do I have to wear long? Growing up, I was told that black-tie meant women had to wear floor-length gowns and men had to wear tuxedos. While that is still the idea behind these events, times are changing. Short cocktail dresses are often worn by the women. If you choose a shorter dress, make sure it is dressy enough to be appropriate for the event. What are your favorite designers seen on the red-carpet and for everyday living? I always have loved anything by Prada, for their construction and attention to detail, along with their quirky sense of style. I’ve only tried on one Prada dress in my life, and it was in the Prada store in New York City!! It was pretty monumental for me! However, something I love this awards season are all the bright, solid colored gowns by Calvin Klein. The eye just gravitates to these oranges, corals and pinks we’ve seen so far. I think we will see this as a beautiful trend for spring. For everyday living and brands you can find in boutiques, I love, love, love anything by Poleci and Tibi. They offer very different looks, but I appreciate the rock-n-roll edge Poleci brings and the simplistic elegance of Tibi. In Mountain Brook, you can find Poleci at Marella and Laura Kathryn carries Tibi.

Ragland Mackin from Mountain Brook caught at Stella Blu with a look perfect for transitioning into Spring- white boyfriend cardigan, gray and white striped tank, layered necklaces, skinny blue jeans and tan boots.

“Mini Hearts”

For your Sweetie on Valentine’s Day

THE LINGERIE SHOPPE For Special Things - Shop Mountain Brook Village! 2403 MONTEVALLO ROAD MOUNTAIN BROOK VILLAGE, (205) 871.8994

Village Living

Yella Fella cover story

where we are today, you can see why I’m so optimistic,” he said. Rane graduated from Auburn with a degree in Business Administration and in 1970 started at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. He later worked at the Baker, McDaniel, & Hall law firm in Birmingham and they offered Rane

a permanent position upon law school graduation. But a tragic event would soon change the course of Rane’s life – his first wife’s parents were killed in an automobile accident. Rane says his father-in-law was “land rich and cash poor,” but owned a small wood preservative business that sold treated lumber to local farmers. Tax laws at that time were a problem for the estate, so Rane decided to mediate his first case. To help the family maneuver through the legal maze, he agreed to buy the equipment of the small wood treatment business and lease the land. The idea was to sell off the equipment later and recover his money. But Rane’s father advised against the move because he said Jimmy wouldn’t be able to sell the business and would be stuck with it. “Daddy was right, I couldn’t sell it,” he says now, with a laugh. Rane moved back home to Abbeville and opened a one-room law office on the town square with two telephones side-byside. “When one would ring I’d answer, ‘Jimmy Rane law office’ and when the other rang I’d answer ‘Great Southern Wood.” Through the years as Great Southern Wood continued to grow, Rane attended

Team Wins Junior Olympic Regional Volleyball Tournament Title Birmingham Volleyball Club’s 13-1 team, with eight players from Mountain Brook, recently kicked off the 2011 club volleyball season by taking the 13 Club Division Championship at the regional Heart of Dixie Volleyball Tournament. The team, composed mostly of 7th graders from Mountain Brook Junior High, went 4-0 in pool play, winning by an average margin of over 10 points. The young ladies then went on to defeat Delta Force from Memphis, Tennessee (25-5, 2225, 15-12) to win the tournament title.

First row (L to R): Cleary Gray Plosser (7th Grade, Mountain Brook), Carly Glidewell (7th Grade, Mountain Brook), Sarah Winston Nathan (7th Grade, Mountain Brook), Katie Larson (6th Grade, Liberty Park/Vestavia Hills) Back row (L to R): Coach Shawn Matthews, Kathryn Brouillette (7th Grade, Vestavia Hills), Helen Catherine Darby (7th Grade, Mountain Brook), Amanda Paramore (7th Grade, Briarwood), Evans Johnson (7th Grade, Mountain Brook), Carolyn Crommelin (7th Grade, Mountain Brook), Sara Carr (7th Grade, Mountain Brook), Sara Chandler Mitchell (7th Grade, Mountain Brook), Coach Kathleen Bennett.

a resident-study program at Harvard Business School. During his study there he came to understand the importance of establishing a brand name that consumers recognize and trust. He set out to do just that. The vehicle that Great Southern Wood chose to deliver their message was sponsorship of the coaches’ shows for college football teams around the South. The humorous commercials proved so popular they gave Rane incentive to broaden the company’s appeal by launching the YellaWood brand and the “Yella Fella” character. The message was simplified to “Look for the lumber with the little yellow tag on the end,” which signified that the wood was a product of Great Southern Wood. The rest is history. Some have questioned Rane’s decision to keep Great Southern Wood’s headquarters in Abbeville instead of moving operations to a larger city such as Birmingham, Montgomery or Atlanta. But for Rane, the decision was easy. “This is my home” he said. “The ashes of my ancestors are here. Abbeville is a great town with wonderful people. We still have church picnics, town parades, and other events that bring people together.” Ten years ago Abbeville was almost a

| February 2011 |


ghost town, Rane said. Most of the momand-pop stores had long since closed their doors and some of the stores had burned. “It looked like a war zone.” But with the help of Rane and other citizens, the town faced those challenges and things began to change. When Great Southern needed additional office space they bought the old Standard Oil filling station and, instead of leveling the decaying building, restored the property – complete with functioning 1930s-style gas pumps that still pump the fuel for Great Southern’s automobile fleet. Several other buildings downtown were revitalized and pressed back into service. As a result, more and more businesses are moving back downtown. Rane is quick to point out that his decisions have created challenges, but he says that businesses in Birmingham and Atlanta are challenged too. “Life is challenging,” he said. “Communities survive by overcoming these challenges. I think it’s our responsibility to leave this a better place than we found it.” Limited Reserved Seating is available for the Chamber Annual Luncheon on Feb. 17. Please contact The Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce at (205) 871-3779 or


| February 2011 | Sports

Valentines Gift Guide


Michelle’s 81 Church Street # 104 870-1122 Moisurizing shea butter lotion, Bubble bath, Shea butter

The Lingerie Shoppe 2403 Montevallo Road 871-8994 “Signature Lace” Valentine Rolled Thongs

mudtown eat & drink 3144 Green Valley Road Cahaba Heights 967-3300 Our Town Your Town Gift Certificates Clark Antique Gallery 3205 2nd Ave. South 325-1999 Set of six (6) sculptured birds in white porcelain. Price $225.00.


Four Corners Gallery Hwy 280 next to The Fresh Market & Starbucks 980-2600 Leather Photo Frames 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 $84 - $198 each


Give a gift from Remons for Valentine’s Day Spring Line Arriving in February

• Peter Millar • Jack Victor • Alden Shoes • Robert Talbott The Summit • Saks Plaza


Downtown • 290 21st St N


Escape Day Spa Spa Packages 17 Dexter Ave. 414-6062 Create your own spa packages. Choose two or more services. $80 and up.

A’mano 2707 Culver Road 871-9093 Fitted T-shirts Junior and Ladies sizes $27

Valentines Gift Guide

| February 2011 |


Twist Technology 3419 Colonnade Pkwy, Suite 500 588-4288 SONOS S5 Zone Player High–performance, whole house, all-in–one, wireless system. Instant access to endless music from the internet, computer & i Pod. Remon’s The Gentleman’s Clothier Summit- Saks Plaza 977-5512 Available in February Spring collection of Peter Millar apparel

The Scribbler 42 Church Street 870.9590 1 set of 2 personalized boxes of 50 matches for $20. Personalized Candles $40

Renaissance Consignment 6801 Cahaba Valley Road 980-4471 STEAMPUNK, One of a kind jewelry using vintage keys, coins, pocket watches and findings. Prices range from $20.00 to $125.00.


| February 2011 |

Village Sports

Village Sports

Creating controlled chaos By Will Hightower Frustration. Anger. Jealousy. These are the reactions of opposing coaches when Mountain Brook basketball comes to town. You see them stomping up and down their bench, screaming at the refs, and throwing down clipboards – even drawing technical fouls. Usually, these coaches are reserved and calm. And that, above anything else, illustrates the unique style of coach Bucky McMillan’s boys basketball team. The Spartans run what many would call a “system offense;” that is, a style of play that is used to mask a deficit of some kind. McMillan openly embraces what he says is “a lack of the quickness or height that other schools have” as the reason for the quirky style. That mindset is a refreshing change of pace from other teams that grudgingly hold onto conventional styles of play and lose because the other team is more talented. If Mountain Brook went conventional, McMillan realized, there was only a limited ceiling of success the Spartans could reach. “At Mountain Brook, we might not have the height or speed of teams like Hoover or Homewood. We try to eliminate that advantage by forcing the other team to play our way,” said McMillan. What is this style of play? One word cannot describe it. A full court press is employed all game, every game, forcing turnovers as it harasses ball handlers. If the opponent gets past the tenacious press, there is usually a confident Mountain Brook defender ready to take a charge. Once the Spartans get the ball, it’s pedal to the metal, with guards pushing the fast break if they see a numbers advantage. Through all this, players are

constantly diving for the ball and hustling up and down the court, kept fresh by lots of substitutions throughout the game. “Coach tells us to play extremely aggressively but at the same time to play smart. We always battle and are relentless on the court,” said junior guard Mario Stramaglia. Other coaches’ anger stems from the fact that they have never witnessed such a style of play, their team not able to get into a rhythm. Usually, their frustration will lead to a technical foul, giving the Spartans two free throws and the ball, further infuriating opposing fans, players, and coaches. The funny thing is, Mountain Brook isn’t that untalented. Stramaglia has the skills to go the next level, and underclassmen Patrick Keim and Sean Eaton have tons of potential. Not to mention the strong senior class that carries the team. No matter how you see it, Mountain Brook’s system is working. The team won the Big Orange Classic and beat area rival Homewood in a tough road environment. The Spartans, ranked eighth in the state, finally seem to have all the pieces of the puzzle to make a deep run in the postseason. “As long as we believe in our coach, each other, and our system, the sky is the limit,” said Stramaglia. Will McMillan’s polarizing and unique schemes keep working? Or will opposing coaches get over their frustration and figure out how to beat it? The latter seems unlikely, even considering that Mountain Brook participates in the toughest area in the state. Keep watching the Spartans as they advance towards the playoffs.

Patrick Keim and Brooks McElveen defend against Spain Park.

Mountain Brook Junior High Wrestling off to great start By Hilary Ross Mountain Brook Junior High formed its wrestling team in early November and has been practicing and competing in matches and tournaments throughout the winter. The team is comprised of 7th and 8th grade boys who compete in fourteen weight classes against other middle school athletes in the metro area including: Oak Mountain, Simmons, Homewood, HewittTrussville, Thompson, Riverchase, Pizitz, and Berry. Coach John Milton has coached wrestling for nine years and has been the MBJH head coach for the last two years. Assistant Coach Derek Jones has been coaching at Mountain Brook for 4 years, two of which as the MBJH wrestling assistant. The coaches insure the sport is a positive experience for its members. Wrestling is perhaps the best sport for overall physical development and improves an athlete’s muscular strength, flexibility, stamina, balance and speed. It also builds selfconfidence and discipline while promoting self-motivation, determination and sportsmanship. Several members of the team have done extremely well in the matches and tournaments this season. In the Vestavia Hills Kick-off Classic, wrestler Gene Thagard won first in his weight class, while Patrick Fritze, Austin Gandler, Philip Thompson and Tyler Camp won third place in their respective weight classes. In the Homewood Christmas Duals, MBJH won 3rd place overall in the silver division.

Pictured are the members of the wrestling team: 8th graders: Alexander Gonzalez, Austin Gandler, Coleman Escue, Gaines Hartley, Gene Thagard, Matt Adams, Patrick Fritze, Philip Thompson, Sergei Kampakis, Tyler Camp and Vincent Zicarelli; 7th graders: David Favrot, Drew Brown, Drew Pritchett, Drew Reed, Hunter Vaughan, Jeffrey Jones, John Lloyd Reed, Joseph Pewitt, Kemper Sanders, Matthew Davidson, Owen Ross and Thomas Byrne. Photo courtesy of Belmont Studios

At the Pelham St. Nick tournament, wrestlers Gene Thagard, Patrick Fritze and Austin Gandler, won 1st place in their respective weight divisions, while Philip Thompson and Drew Reed placed 5th in their weight categories. Gene Thagard, 8th grade, was awarded “Most Outstanding Wrestler” at the St. Nick tournament, which is an award decided by all the coaches at the tournament. Most recently, the team

competed in the metro duals which include fifteen teams in the metro area. Gene Thagard, Patrick Fritze, Austin Gandler and Matt Adams were named Most Outstanding Wrestlers for winning four or more matches in their respective weight classes during the tournament. At press time, the team was looking forward to the remaining matches and area tournaments, including the Metro

Championship held at Hoover Freshman Campus. If your son is interested in learning the sport of wrestling, Mountain Brook Athletics offers youth wrestling for the elementary grades as part of the winter sports. More information can be found at: or contacting Jamey Harris, at

Village Sports

| February 2011 |


Mountain Brook’s Auburn fans enjoy trip to the BCS By Laura Canterbury “I said it’s great to be an Auburn Tiger, I said it’s great to be an Auburn Tiger.” That chant started at the Birmingham Airport before we boarded the plane and never stopped. It was great to see so many fans from Mountain Brook in all their orange and blue in Glendale, Arizona. I am now just hoping that at some point the “All I Do Is Win” song will get out of my head! Auburn fans made their way to the desert and were not disappointed. “I was very nervous, but knew Auburn would make it happen,” said Anna Emblom, an Auburn University graduate who lives in Mountain Brook. “It was great just being out there, I ran into many people from my hometown and also sorority sisters of mine,” Emblom added. Kristen Sartelle, also an Auburn grad living in Mountain Brook, and her husband enjoyed the experience out West. “When you are a college football fan you experience a whole lot of emotional highs and lows and no team is entitled to ever win a national championship. So, if your team makes it this far, fans should savor every minute,” Sartelle said. Nothing seemed to be able to deter the Auburn football team this season on its march to the school’s first national championship since 1957. The top-ranked Tigers capped their magical year by beating No. 2 Oregon 22-19 at the BCS National Championship Game. In a much lower scoring game than expected, Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton led the Tigers to the title. “I really wasn’t nervous in the final quarter, something inside me just knew we would go all the way,” Tiffany Denson, an Auburn graduate who lives in Mountain Brook said. Auburn’s kicker Wes Byrum kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired sending the confetti flying and the emotions soaring. “It was also great running into people I haven’t seen since graduating in 1995,” Denson added. Those of us out there didn’t feel at all guilty about leaving the snow and ice blanketing behind. We just felt for those who had our children with no school for two and a half days! “Benton and I went to California last year for the National Championship game and it snowed here. My mother kept our

Laura and William Canterbury

Jason Hard & John Barnhart

Collins and Trey Clegg with their children Libby, Anne Carlton, and Ford Clegg before kickoff

David Malone, David Fawal, Joe Lucas, Mary Anna Malone, Patrick Lucas, and Alex Fawal four children last year and this year. I felt so sorry for her when I had to call her AGAIN this year and tell her school was cancelled. She will probably never keep them for a National Championship game again,” Emblom laughed. The hotel where we stayed in Scottsdale happened to host the Duck players and coaches. The staff said they have never seen such down and out players on Tuesday morning. The Oregon fans didn’t appear to have as many people at the game. “I was impressed by the number of Auburn fans that traveled to Arizona. To look around the stadium and see that 70%

V2V Run

On a chilly morning, January 22, 625 runners raced from Mountain Brook Village, to English Village, then to Crestline Village before finishing on Petticoat Lane in Mountain Brook Village. Although temperatures where below freezing, many spectators still gathered along the route to watch the 10K race. Following the 10K race, there was music, food, massages, and other post race festivities in the Mountain Brook Shopping Center Parking lot. Later in the morning, a one-mile fun run took place. All 58 children participating in that run enjoyed themselves. Below are the winners for each age group.

Gordon Martin, Margret Martin, Mark Drew, Lisa Oliver, and Lee Smith seen just after the race

Tiffany and Rush Denson; John Wilson, Thomas, Drue, and John Miller; Anna and Benton Emblom

of the crowd was for Auburn was amazing. And, I am always so proud of the way fans represent Auburn. Restaurant owners, bartenders, cab drivers all over Phoenix expressed how grateful they were that we were there,” Denson said. On the flip side, the Oregon fans were also very friendly. We heard the occasional Roll Tide, all in good fun, but overall the fans were some of the nicest I can remember. In a game that was supposed to be all about two star offenses, from the first minute of the game to the last, it was a battle of the defenses. Although the Ducks put up a very strong fight, it was the Tigers

who ultimately prevailed, proving they are truly worthy of the National Title. On Auburn’s offense, true freshman Michael Dyer emerged as one of their strongest players, rushing for almost 150 yards and at defensive tackle, Nick Fairley led the team to victory by making huge plays throughout the game. Fairley and Newton announced plans to join the NFL draft this season and forgo their senior year at Auburn. “I am very sad to see Cam go. But, he was such an incredible player and led the team and fans with such charisma, I am just glad he was here this year!” Sartelle concludes.

V2V Results Overall Male Winner George Heeschen 34:51

Overall Female winner Deanna Newman 38:52

Male 19 and under Ballard William 37:39 Kyle Sawyer 40:13 Joey Bemowski 40:39

Male 40-44 Eric Sullivan 38:27 Paul Sykes 39:00 Tony Allen 40:45

Female 19 and under Mary Ellard 43:37 Salter Hydinger 53:37 Sylvia Sontheimer 56:37

Female 40-44 Mary Ben Fitts 48:40 Alison Hoover 48:41 Gretchen Hudson 50:17

Male 20-24 Scott Neuberger 41:47 John Orosz III 44:45 Gavin Gillison 48:14

Male 45-49 Jeff Clark 38:18 Mike Schor 42:23 Win Baird 42:26

Female 20-24 Angela Grove 51:55 Whitney Tew 52:15 Allison Barter 53:15

Female 45-49 Elizabeth Anderson 43:55 Tricia Holbrook 47:24 Susan Hales 47:26

Male 25-29 Chad Williamson 41:24 Casey Waite 43:38 Aaron Williamson 45:23

Male 50-54 Tony Robbins 39:44 Mike Tucker 44:10 Mason Cross 44:51

Female 25-29 Emily Waite 43:38 Sarah Portella 44:16 Clarissa Coe 49:14

Females 50-54 Theresa Burst 46:35 Carolyn Bailey 51:58 Beth Adams 53:04

Male 30-34 Thomas McElroy 38:23 John Henegan 44:48 Dixon Thuston 44:58

Male 55-59 Tom Warren 46:59 David Stearns 48:06 Ekkehard Bonatz 51:40

Female 30-34 Ashley Brisco 46:38 Christy Tharp 51:31 Maggie Baggett 52:40

Female 55-59 Margaret Riser 54:39 Melody Izard 1:05:05 Susan Brawley 1:06:52

Male 35-39 Eric Langley 38:11 Thomas Woodring 41: 48 Jeffrey Jones 42:21

Male 60-97 David Micale 48:09 Tom Riser 51:14 Thomas Clark 53:46

Female 35-39 Britt Redden 46:28 Anna- Katherine Bowman 46:34 Marian Dill 48:25

Female 60-97 Jody Coombs 54:25 Diane Eaton 1:13:28 Carol Misner 1:20:16


| February 2011 | Village Living

LifeActually By Kari Kampakis Happy Birthday, Katie!

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Do you have a friend who makes you feel like a rock star? Someone who’d join your fan club whether it had three members or three thousand? That’s the kind of friend Katie Woychak Houser is to me. And in honor of her fortieth birthday, I’m dedicating this piece to her. I met Katie shortly after college graduation—and at the insistence of our two younger sisters. From the Kappa house in Tuscaloosa, Krissie called me one night to say, “Allison and I have been talking, and we decided you and Katie are exactly alike. She just broke up with her boyfriend and needs to get out. Why don’t you call her?” I told Krissie I would but never got around to it. A week later, she called to pester me. “Okay, okay, I’ll do it,” I said, annoyed. So what if Katie and I both lived in Birmingham, worked in PR, and started Christmas shopping in August. Did the fact that we shared a Type-A gene that drove our sisters nuts mean we’d hit it off? Not necessarily. Still, I kept my word to Krissie, if only to get her off my back. I reached out to Katie, and we agreed to dinner at Bottega Café. It felt like a blind date, only instead of romance, a friendship blossomed. That was sixteen years ago, and boy have things changed. Our old Thursday night ritual of drinking wine, cooking Success Rice, and watching Friends and ER before heading to Otey’s for girls’ night out has been replaced by carpools, Happy Meals, and bedtime stories. We’ve replaced paychecks and power suits with husbands and kids. And though we’d never wish our current lives away, it sure is fun to remember the younger, carefree versions of ourselves. Today, Katie is a fellow Mountain Brook mom. She has three girls—Anna Lauren, Emmie, and Addison—and lives five minutes from me. Despite this proximity, our paths rarely cross. But she’s there when I need her. If there’s any trait that defines Katie, it is loyalty. This is the girl who starts planning my baby shower once I pass the first trimester.

She talks up my birthday weeks in advance. When I’m sick with the stomach bug, she drops off Gatorade and chicken noodle soup. The day she receives my Christmas card, she sends a raving e-mail. She remembers my kids’ birthdays and checks in when my parents have a health scare or are awaiting the result of medical tests. Whatever I’m pursuing, Katie cheers me on. When I started dabbling in photography, she hired me to take Anna Lauren’s picture. She told her other friends, and within days they called to schedule sittings, too. When I finished my first novel, Katie begged to read it. Handing over that first manuscript was painful. I hadn’t toughened up to criticism yet, and I knew that too much negativity might provoke me to throw in the towel. Luckily, I trusted the right person. Katie praised it high and low, and though I now see it for what it was—a first draft— I’m eternally grateful for her reaction. I can vividly recall standing in her kitchen, my stomach in knots because she’d invited me over to discuss my book. As she took a deep breath and paused, I braced for a bad blow. But the first words out of her mouth were, “I loved it. I couldn’t put it down.” In that moment, I was a rock star. If you, too, have the privilege of friendship with Katie Woychak Houser, you know what I mean when I say she’d stand in your stadium whether it was pitifully empty or crammed to capacity. She doesn’t seek the stage, or limelight, or even fifteen minutes of fame. No, in a world of attention mongers, she’s refreshingly content to hang back, to stand in the crowd while rooting others on. Katie, you deserve a shout-out. I wish I had a microphone for the job, but these words will have to do. I hope you realize the ripple effect of your subtle, thoughtful ways. Most of all, I hope your fourth decade of life is your best one yet. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mountain Brook mom of four girls with a background in writing, PR, and photography. Visit her website at or email her at kari@

Friends of Emmet O’Neal Library Book Sale- don’t miss out! By Holley Wesley Every February, the Library buzzes like a hive as volunteers pour in, putting in a tremendous amount of time and effort for the Annual Friends of the Emmet O’Neal Library (FEOL) Book Sale! The Library accepts donations of gently used hardcover and paperback books, movies, and music throughout the year and it is through the tireless efforts of the FEOL volunteers that all this material is sorted and displayed to its best advantage! The annual sale, which started in 1965 and has been going strong ever since, is one of the Library’s largest fundraisers. “The Emmet O”Neal Book Sale is a much anticipated event for book lovers of all types,” says FEOL President, Penney Hartline. “This annual event is a win- win for everyone.” Over 7,500 children attended FEOL sponsored programs in 2010 alone, but our Friends group also funds programming for teens and adults! If you’ve been to a program at the Library this year, chances are great that you experienced the benefits of the FEOL Book Sale! The sale will be open to the public Friday and Saturday, February 25th &

26th (10am to 5pm both days) and Sunday, February 27th (1pm to 4pm). Want a sneak peak at the over 18,000 items on sale including first editions, autographed copies, bestsellers, and more? All who donate (or have donated) $25 or more to the Library will receive an invitation to the Book Sale Preview Party on Thursday evening, February 24th (6pm to 8:30pm)! Mark your calendars now so you won’t miss this great opportunity to find current books at discounted prices and help support YOUR Emmet O’Neal Library too! Working to make this year’s sale a success are President Penney Hartline, Book Sale Chair Dana Compton, and their committee. Also going on the month of February: February 5 from 2pm to 3:30pm, get your crafts on at our monthly Knit & Knibble! Knit, crochet, embroider, sketch, draw – we’ll provide snacks and ideas, you provide the creativity! February 8 at 10 a.m., The Bookies Book group discussions this month include Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. February 22 at 6:30pm, Genre Reading Group discusses debut novels.

Village Living

| February 2011 |


Chemo, Courage & Cupcakes


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Rollins Wilkerson and her big brother Garner enjoying a recent trip to Disney World to celebrate the end of Rollins’ cancer treatment.

By Brooke Wilkerson It was another ordinary day in the summer of 2008. My daughter, Rollins, had just celebrated her 2nd birthday, and now it was time for her yearly check-up. Rollins was a healthy toddler, happy and seemingly perfect. There were no signs that something could be terribly wrong. We arrived at our pediatrician’s office on Thursday, June 19. Shortly after Rollins’s height, weight and labs were completed, her doctor returned to tell us we needed to go to Children’s Hospital to have further blood drawn. I rushed Rollins to the hospital and cried while holding her in my arms, terrified of the results. When your entire world rests on a test, crying is all you can do to keep from screaming. We agonized all weekend over the unknown and arrived at Clinic 8 the morning of Monday, June 23rd for a bone marrow biopsy. The devastating news came quickly: her bone marrow was 86 percent full of leukemia. Our world stopped! I’d never felt so helpless and lost in my life. I had to remind myself to breathe, knowing I wanted to stop. After about an hour, we were sent to the 4th tower of Children’s Hospital to begin treatment and more tests. It happened so quickly—one minute my family was healthy and safe, the next minute the world came crashing down. My husband and I spent that first night—and many nights to come—sleeping beside her crib, praying with every bit of energy we had left, knowing and believing all things are possible through Christ. The next day, Rollins’s port was inserted, and her chemo began. I carried her down the long, dull corridor for surgery, terrified to let her go and scared for her future. I didn’t yet know or understand her leukemia and what it all meant. I was crying uncontrollably, praying to wake from a nightmare. The doctors came in to discuss her surgery, and I’ll never forget what one said to me: “And we will put the port here so the scar will be hidden by her bra in the future.” I stopped (for just a second) and smiled at him. He probably wondered why. At that moment, all I wanted to feel was that she’d get through this and be perfect again. Those words gave me the hope I needed. He didn’t have to say it was a common surgery, or A.L.L. was a survivable cancer. He didn’t have to say anything else. It was exactly what I needed to hear, like a voice from God, telling me she’d be okay. The next few months required us to find a “new normal.” I watched Rollins struggle through 28 days of heavy steroids that first month, endure various horrible new chemos, have two blood transfusions and receive bone marrows and spinal taps week after week, month after month. She’d be nauseated one minute and exhausted the next. Still a baby, she was supposed to be playing, happy and free from pain and fear. Day after day, I saw an amazing Godgiven strength in her. Even on terrible days of chemo and treatments, Rollins would find a beautiful smile from within that comforted me. In the months to follow, I’d

learn how to fight alongside her. Rollins continued grueling procedures, treatments and chemo for 2 years and 4 months. I recall a message written on one of many red wagons at Children’s Hospital saying, “Don’t tell God how big your storms are, tell your storms how big your God is!” Relinquishing all control and feeling helpless, I had to entrust God with her, knowing he had mighty plans for her future. I let go, and He caught her. On the glorious day of August 27th, 2010, Rollins received her last dose of chemo! You can probably recall a few pivotal moments in your life when your breath was taken away by something magical, something one-of-a-kind. A time when you catch yourself laughing and crying simultaneously; so overjoyed, so speechless. August 27th, 2010, was that and more. We remembered Rollins’s past and celebrated her future. God had blessed us through this terrible journey and given my family a miracle! Throughout my daughter’s brave battle, I hit rock-bottom several times, falling to my knees and crying out to God. It was the pain of a “mother’s heart,” wanting to take the cancer from my child and bear it alone. But through Rollins’s fight, I was transformed into a life unexpected. I became aware of blessings like never before, simple everyday joys that get overlooked—things as simple as my kids going to bed with no sniffle, sneezes or coughs. These ordinary, uneventful days are now treasured around our house. No surprises, pain or hospital visits…just peace. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from Rollins is to live in the moment. She doesn’t fear tomorrow or burden herself with the past. She doesn’t weigh herself down with the baggage of fear, sadness or “what if’s.” She simply lives for today, never missing what’s in front of her. Cupcakes are one of Rollins’s favorite sweets. They’re perfect for small celebrations—or to put a smile on her face. Following her monthly labs and check-up, Rollins and I like to celebrate her good report with a cupcake or two. Each clear check-up is a special milestone, a reminder of my many blessings, both big and small. As Rollins happily enjoys her treat, I quietly reflect on a precious victory. She doesn’t understand the significance of a tiny cupcake, but for me it’s a reminder of a miracle given and the simple, sweet joys in life…through the eyes of a child. Brooke Wilkerson is a Mtn. Brook mom of two and former elementary school teacher who enjoys writing and painting. Contact her at ONE OF BROOKE’S FAVORITE DEVOTIONALS “This is the blessed life – not anxious to see far in front, nor careful about the next step, not eager to choose the path, nor weighted with the heavy responsibilities of the future, but quietly following behind the Shepherd, one step at a time.” Excerpted from Streams in the Desert.

Inventory reduction sale runs the month of February.

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A God Thing

By Kari Kampakis

Editor’s Note: Following is a story from Kari Kampakis’s blog, found on her website It was posted in November 2010. Something cool happened the other day—and the best part is, it started with a little girl. Her name is Rollins Wilkerson. She loves Barbies, dancing, and princesses. And until her two-year-old check-up— when results of a routine blood test led to a leukemia diagnosis—she seemed perfectly healthy. Rollins lives in my neighborhood. Her brother Garner is in Ella’s class, and her parents—Brooke and Lee—are two of my favorite people. The courage and strength this family showed as Rollins endured chemo and treatment has inspired thousands. Through Caringbridge, Brooke publicly shared her journey. She’s a gifted writer—this despite no training—and with every post I read, I felt she’d taken me by the hand, led me through the darkness of her pain and the light of her faith. Rollins is now four, and after her last treatment in August 2010, I asked Brooke to share her story in Village Living. Brooke e-mailed it to me the night of November 4. Titled “Cupcakes, Courage, & Chemo,” her story touched me. It was full of great quotes, but what stood out most was a verse Brooke once saw on a red wagon at Children’s Hospital: “Don’t tell God the size of your storms, tell your storms the size of your God.” Isn’t that great? I decided this deserved to be passed on, so I posted it on Facebook around 9:30 p.m. Several people expressed positive comments—including a Facebook friend from my hometown, Mark Kessler. I couldn’t remember having seen Mark comment on anything before, so it came as a pleasant surprise.

Twenty minutes later, I received an e-mail. It was work-related, and at the end the person told me that Sara Evans— the country music superstar who lives in Birmingham with her husband, Jay Barker—had posted the same storm quote I had on her Facebook fan page. I thought it was a crazy coincidence. Before I could check out Sara’s page, Mark commented on my post again. Kari, he said, you never know when God will take your testimony and make it HUGE. Mark said he saw my post and loved it. He was texting a friend and sent it to him. His friend’s wife loved the quote and tweeted it to her fans. The wife, it turns out, is Sara Evans. Sara’s Facebook page has 86,000 fans. By noon the next day, the tweet had gotten more than 1,600 “likes.” Two days later, Jay told Mark that it made the Top Twenty Tweets on CMT for the week. It goes without saying that this quote took on a life of its own. As an added mystery, no one knows who coined the phrase—or who donated that particular red wagon to Children’s. When a child finishes chemo, the family decorates and leaves a wagon for patients to use. As Brooke tells it, she saw this wagon at a very low point. She was sobbing her eyes out, wandering around Children’s overwhelmed by fear and a lack of control, when it suddenly caught her eye. “I felt like God was talking to me,” she says. “That’s when I realized I had to entrust Rollins to Him.” Can you guess what the Wilkerson family wrote on their red wagon last August when they donated one to Children’s Hospital? I leave you with one final, thoughtprovoking question: Will the story of “Don’t tell God the size of your storms, tell your storms the size of your God” carry on? Will the chain reaction continue, or has the momentum stopped? I can’t answer my own question, obviously, but I can tell you this: It sure feels like a God thing.


| February 2011 | School House

MI valentine 3:Layout 1 1/12/11 10:47 AM Page 1

BWF teachers participate in professional development By Bama Hager On January 3rd teachers at Brookwood Forest kicked off the new year with a day of learning and working together. The Happy New Year theme for the day was carried throughout the activities of the morning. Nine days each year are set aside for staff members to participate in various professional development activities. Three of those days are scheduled into the school year to allow for on-going learning and for reporting on progress toward school goals. The other six days are scheduled at the beginning and/or end of the school year. Local schools schedule these days in the way that best meets the needs of their staff. This year, Brookwood Forest chose to schedule all of their remaining six days before the school year began. That allowed

Brookwood Forest teachers Louis Griffin, Susan Foster and Mary Jackson work together on an opening activity for a day of staff development prior to the first day students returned for a new semester and a new year.

time for whole group and small group trainings and planning meetings to get everything ready for a smooth beginning of the year. Local schools share professional development time with the school system’s

central office staff. The first day back after winter break was the beginning of a new semester, and a time for schools to create an agenda that support local school needs and goals. The third professional development day embedded in the school year is scheduled for February 21st as a system wide training day. On that day, meetings and training sessions are planned throughout the school system for Mountain Brook staff from all of the schools in the system. Quality staff development is a priority in the Mountain Brook School System, and is on-going through the year. Numerous activities are planned throughout the summer. In addition, teams of teachers may also plan work and/or training they would like and submit those proposals for funding by the school system.

Kindergarten Spotlight at Mountain Brook Elementary By Hilary Ross

Back in Crestline!

81 Church Street . Suite 104 870-1122

Crestline teachers use snow to teach By Lauren Fowler At Crestline Elementary School, Mary Dorough’s second grade class and Vicki Lewis’ fourth grade class have been buddies for years. They combine classes to share experiences of reading, writing, holiday crafts, and other activities. With impending snow coming, the two classes got together Friday afternoon for a lesson in fractions, graphing, and making predictions. Each student first predicted whether or not school would occur on Monday or whether or not school opening would be delayed. They used tally marks to record responses and then made fractions. 15/33 of the participating students said we would not have school at all, and 18/33 said we would have school but with a delayed opening. We discussed whether the fractions were greater than or less than ½. The second activity was predicting how much snow would occur. We created a bar graph using sticky notes to record our predictions. The students then made statements describing information they saw on the graph. The two classes got together Wednesday morning to see how accurate the predictions were and will use the information they learned in case there is another opportunity to predict. They also discussed information they learned from the news about the cause of the storm. These activities gave authenticity to the math and weather concepts studied. The experiences were learned and understood at deeper levels since students could directly relate the information studied to real life experiences.

Mountain Brook Elementary has 5 classes of kindergarten students taught by teachers Tanya Anastasia, Jennifer Jinnette, Megan Still, Rebecca Stivender, and Julie Summers. Julie Summers was interviewed for this article. Julie Summers is in her 15th year of teaching kindergarten at MBE. Prior to teaching at MBE, she taught one year of first grade at Vance Elementary in Tuscaloosa County where she was awarded the New Teacher of the Year award. Kindergarten is so important because it lays the foundation for school. MBE strives for kindergarten to be a positive experience and for the children to love school and learning. Kindergarten is such a rewarding grade to teach because you can see lots of growth with the year and the children are so eager to learn. Today, so many skills are taught in kindergarten through reading and writing workshop, hands-on math games, and science and social studies units. In kindergarten, we also focus daily on life skills to ensure the children are well-rounded and prepared for first grade. Parents at MBE are so supportive and have so many talents. At the kindergarten level, we try to get the parents involved as much as possible and they are a great help throughout the year by volunteering for computer helpers, Celebrity Chef, Celebrity Readers, field trips, decorating gingerbread houses, Mother’s Day Tea, and anything else for which they are needed. My class this year has parents that are writers, photographers, and even

Seen pictured here with Julie Summers as Courtney Cox and author Jim Noles are kindergarten students: Front row: Eleanor Kinderman, Addie Cobbs, Kerry Lyons, Catherine Johnson, Caroline Fowlkes; 2nd Row: Woodson Canterbury, Marc DeBruge, Mary Slayden Polmatier, Alyson Johnson, Blaise LeJeune, Ethan Powell; 3rd Row: Heath Griffin, Reed Harradine, John Noles, Benjamin Parrott, Jack Earnhardt and Sophie Kampakis.

owners of a restaurant, just to name a few of the talents. Recently, our class hosted Mr. Jim Noles, whose son John is in the class. A partner with Balch & Bingham LLP, Mr. Noles has authored several books on Alabama and U.S. history and prepared an educational “Famous Alabamian” Microsoft Powerpoint presentation for our class. To coordinate with the presentation, each child chose a “Famous Alabamian” to research, portray and present facts about that person to the class. Among the famous

Alabamians discussed and celebrated were Helen Keller, Bo Jackson, Mia Hamm, Heather Whitestone, Courtney Cox, and Jimmy Buffet. On a personal note, Ms. Summers was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She graduated from Auburn University with a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education and received her Educational Specialist degree in Early Childhood Education from Samford. Ms. Summers has one daughter, Anna Lauren, who is in third grade at MBE.

MBE holds annual geography and spelling bees By Hilary Ross Mountain Brook Elementary recently held its annual geography bee where the top ten geography students based on preliminary rounds in fourth through sixth grades competed for the honor of being geography bee champion before an audience of parents and peers. Since 1989, thousands of schools have participated annually in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms and spark student interest in the subject. 5th grade history teacher, Bill Andrews, conducted the geography bee. Jackson Lightfoot, 6th grade, won 1st place by answering “Vietnam” to the following question: Tet is an important holiday celebrating the New Year in what country west of the Gulf of Tonkin? The runner up for the bee was David Windsor, 4th Grade. Jackson advances to represent MBE in a written test; and, depending on his score, could qualify for the State of Alabama Geography Bee, which will be held in April. The annual spelling bee was also held

Pictured here after the spelling bee at MBE are: faculty sponsor Suzy Notorianni, Will Smith, winner Mac Thomson, and Jack Martin.

recently where the top twenty-five spellers from preliminary rounds in grades four through six competed for the top prize of spelling bee champion. Participants’ parents and peers watched them spell challenging and difficult words through several rounds until eventually the field was narrowed to the final two spellers. After Mac Thomson, 5th Grade, spelled “feverishly” correctly he won first

place, Jack Martin was runner- up and Will Smith finished third. Mac Thomson went on to represent MBE in the Mountain Brook district spelling bee, which includes participants from the four elementary schools and MBJH. He won that competition by spelling “graduate” correctly, and is now waiting for the Jefferson County spelling bee where he will represent the Mountain Brook school system.

School House | February 2011 |


MBJH Spartan Council

This year’s Spartan Council seen pictured here are: back row: Emma Abele, Austin Chapman, Forrester DeBuys, Hunter Holcomb, Patrick Keim; and front row: Collier Oglivie, Mary Katherine Pinson, Mae Rose Tyson, Anderson Aldag, Wayne Ingram, Jack Royer, Reed Pyburn, Mac Hereford, Baily Martin, Emmie Stutts and Katherine Kinney. Not pictured are Council members Everette Dawkins and Abbie Rodgers.

By Hilary Ross The Mountain Brook Junior High Spartan Council is comprised of eighteen 8th and 9th grade students who exhibit outstanding leadership qualities, school spirit, a positive life style and a willingness to give time and effort to promote Spartan Club. The Spartan Club is the largest organization on campus and is designed to provide positive reinforcement that promotes drug and alcohol free behavior among youth. Members participate in a wide variety of activities, many of which are related to school events. Students who wish to be a member of the Spartan Council apply for membership in the spring and are chosen by the Spartan Club sponsors based on input from the faculty and staff. Faculty sponsors are 8th

grade history teacher, Helen Pruet, and Assistant Principal, David Knott, English teacher, Larry McCain and Physical Education teacher, John Phillips. Another purpose of the Council of Spartans is to provide many opportunities for students to assist the community. Students conduct a canned food drive for local kitchens at Thanksgiving and support the Salvation Army Angel Tree program during the holiday season. Possibly the most anticipated event hosted by the Spartan Council is the leadership conference held annually in the spring in Panama City, Florida for ninety selected students in 8th and 9th grade. The main goal of the Council is to represent model students by exhibiting positive behaviors.

CBS holiday program enjoyed by all

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Pictured here are Cherokee Bend kindergarten students introducing their special guest during the school’s annual holiday musical program.

performed on guitars, flutes, cellos, and drums during the program. The musical is a much-anticipated annual event at the school, and is directed by music teacher Marsha Alexander, with parent volunteer Amy Roberts performing on the piano.

MBHS Theatre students compete in State Trumbauer Competition

MBHS drama students at the recent state competition

Mountain Brook High School Theatre went to the State Trumbauer Competition again this year! The State Competition was held at University of North Alabama. The play the MBHS cast performed was

Smart Kid.


By Alison Gault Cherokee Bend Elementary School recently held their annual Holiday Musical Program. Children in grades K - 3rd sang several different holiday songs for parents, friends and family members during two different performances. Some of the songs performed included “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth,” by some precious, snaggle-toothed, 1st graders; a holiday lights song, complete with colored flash lights, by the 3rd graders; and a show-stealing jazzy rendition of Frosty the Snowman, which brought down the house, by the 2nd graders. The kindergarten class concluded the program with several sweet songs, then introduced the event’s special guest, Santa Claus. Some of the school’s musicallyinclined teachers and talented 5th graders

Smart Parent.

“The Laramie Project”. The students in the play worked very hard and received Best in Show at the Competition (3rd in State), Best Ensemble. Mrs. Pat Yates was named Alabama Secondary Theatre Teacher of the




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Year. Students competed in Individual Events Performances and were presented trophies at the Awards ceremony. Winners wereFor Monologues: Katie Cannon -2nd in State with Contemporary Comedic Solo, Camille Smith -- 3rd in State Classical Monologue, Ali Bloomston -- All Star Cast for one acts. For Duets: Maddie Phillips & Sam Gerontakis -- 1st in Comedic Musical Duo. During the weekend competition there were also students who received superiors on their individual event performances: Duet Readers Theatre Comedic: Meryum Tunagur and Claire Smith and Liz Ann Terry & Emily Siegal, Solo Female Contemporary Dramatic: Liz Ann Terry, Lilly Lanter and Mereym Tunagur, Solo Female Contemporary Comedic: Catherine Pitman and Emily Siegal, Solo Classical Dramatic: Sarah Tompkins. Other winners were Duet Acting Contemporary Comedic: Stephen

Campbell and Ben Flax, Solo Musical Female Comedic: Bailey Edmonds, Maddie Phillips and Ali Bloomston, Solo Musical Female Dramatic: Catherine Pitman and Julia Gannon, Duet Musical Comedic: Bailey Edmonds and Joey Weed, Duet Pantomime: Elizabeth Perkinson and Sara Anne Stringfellow and Courtney Morgan & Barbara Sandlin. Members of play, The Laramie Project were: Ali Bloomston, Stephen Campbell, Ben Flax, Sam Gerontakis, Mark Hammontree, Lilly Lanter, Elizabeth Perkinson, Julia Gannon, Sterling Street, Charles Butterworth, Katie Cannon, Bailey Edmonds, Sloan Gleiss, McKenzie Marion, Courtney Morgan, Maddie Phillips, Parker Pippin, Catherine Pitman, Barbara Sandlin, Emily Siegal, Camille Smith, Claire Stephens, Sara Anne Stringfellow, Liz Ann Terry, Meryum Tunagur, Sarah Tompkins and Drew Willoughby.


Re S




| February 2011 |

Music & Arts

Village Living Calendar

2/1- 2/20 Fertile Imagination: Cast Iron Sculpture by the Sloss Summer

Apprentices: features amazing works of metal art created by Birmingham area high school students . Entrance included with admission to Vulcan Park and Museum. Adults $6 (plus tax); seniors $5 (plus tax); Children 5 – 12 $4 (plus tax); 4 and under free. Call 205-933-1409 or visit for more information.

2/3 6 pm-8 pm. Birmingham Arts Journal Reception. The newest issue of the

critically-acclaimed Birmingham Arts Journal will be celebrated by authors, poets, artists and photographers in a public reception sponsored by the Downtown Public Library. Free admission. Downtown Birmingham Public Library. 6pm- 8pm. Call 205-326-4460 or visit www.birminghamartsjournal. org for more information.

2/4-2/5 8pm. Alabama Symphony Orchestra presents Region’s Masterworks. Distinguished American pianist Peter Serkin performs Brahms’ monumental second concerto. Alys Stephens Center. Admission. Call 205-251-7727 or visit for more information

Family Fun

2/1-2/28 IMAX Theatre at McWane Science Center- Wild Ocean. IMAX Theatre at

McWane Science Center. Admission. Call 205-714-8300 or visit www.McWane. org for more information.

2/1-2/28 Those Daring Wright Brothers & Other Early Flyers Exhibit. Join the

Birmingham Museum of flight as they celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Alabama. The exhibit will feature a Wright Flyer, Curtiss Pusher, and other rare photos and items from the early period of flight. Southern Museum of Flight. Admission. Tuesday- Saturday 9:30am- 4pm. Call 205-833-8226 or visit for more information.

2/11-2/13 O’Reilly World of Wheels. Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex

Exhibition Hall. Adult- $16/ Child- $5. Call 205-458-8400 or visit for more information.

2/12 10am & 11:30am. ASC’s Kids’ Club presents “Extraordinary Americans Who Happen to be...”. A Celebration of Black History Month. Alys Stephens Center. $8- $10. Call 205-975-2787 or visit for more information.

2/13 4 pm. Cathedral Church of the Advent: The Chenault Organ Duet. Raymond

2/15-2/16 Dreamworks Madagascar Live! Birmingham-Jefferson Convention

2/14 Alabama Symphony Orchestra presents Red Diamond SuperPops! Valentines’


and Elizabeth Chenault, duo organists, perform a concert of music for four hands and four feet on the Grieb-Williams Organ at the Cathedral Church of the Advent. Call 205-226-3505 or visit for more information

Complex Concert Hall. Admission. Call 205-458-8400 or visit for more information.

Day with Gladys Knight and the ASO. Seven-time Grammy-winner and true living legend Gladys Knight joins the ASO for one night only! BirminghamJefferson Convention Complex Concert Hall. Admission. Call 205-251-7727 or visit for more information.

2/12-2/13 2pm & 7pm. Red Mountain Theatre Company presents Youth Programs

2/19 David Grisman Quintet. Grisman is best known as a mandolinist/composer

2/17-2/20 and 2/24-2/27 The World Goes ‘Round. A revue of the songs of John

2/19 Kid Rock in Concert. With Jamey Johnson. Birmingham-Jefferson Convention

2/18-2/20 The Virginia Samford Theatre’s award-winning arts literacy initiative,

who is a master of creating “dawg music”. Alys Stephens Center. 8pm. $20$53. Call 205-975-2787 or visit for more information.

Complex Arena. Admission. 7pm. Call 205-458-8400 or visit for more information.

2/25 Cathedral Church of the Advent Mid-Day Musical Menu. The Cathedral

Ringers Handbell Choir, under the direction of Stephen G. Schaeffer, presents a free, 30-minute concert. Call 205-226-3505. Or visit www.adventbirmingham. org for more information.

Showcase 2011. Experience dazzling entertainment by Red Mountain Theatre Company’s Youth Programs. Red Mountain Theatre Company. $20. Call 205324-2424 or visit for more information.

Kander and Fred Ebb. Virginia Samford Theatre. $20. Call 205-251-1206 or visit for more information. STARS presents Children of Eden, written by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin). Designed for middle and high school student audiences, the STARS program features youth performers under the direction of Alabama Teacher of the Year and Troy University theatre professor, Roy Hudson. Virginia Samford Theatre. $15- $20. Call 205-251-1206 or visit www. for more information.

2/25 11 AM. Alabama Symphony Orchestra Coffee Concerts. Our season long

2/18-2/20 and 2/24-2/27 Children of Eden. Freely based on the story of Genesis,

2/25-2/26 8 PM. Alabama Symphony Orchestra presents Region’s Masterworks.

2/18-2/20 Alabama Ballet presents Giselle. Samford Wright Center. Friday and

focus on many of the most beloved concertos of the symphonic repertoire continues with Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto. Alexander Melnikov, Russian pianist. Admission. Alys Stephens Center. Call 205-251-7727 or visit for more information. Our season long focus on many of the most beloved concertos of the symphonic repertoire continues with Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto. Alexander Melnikov, Russian pianist. Admission. Alys Stephens Center. Call 205-251-7727 or visit for more information.

Special Events/Ministry 2/1-2/28 Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Black History Month. Join us for a month

of events and activities commemorating Black History Month. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Visit or call 205-328-9696 for more information.

2/5 8p.m. Broadway in Birmingham presents Bill Cosby. Entertainment from legendary comedian Bill Cosby. Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Concert Hall. $47.50. Call 1-888-611-0964 or visit www.broadwayinbirmingham. com for more information.

2/5 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. McWane Science Center Beaker Bash “The Magic of Science”. $25 for children, $50 for adults, or $125 for a family four pack. Call 205-714-8414 or buy online at

2/10 6 pm at Ted’s Garage (2390 5th Avenue South).The Third Annual Fotos, Frames

& Fun (FFF) Auction and Party benefiting Heart Gallery Alabama. Fotos, Frames and Fun will feature silent and live auctions and food from local restaurants. A separate Kids Zone will feature games and food from Chick-Fil-A and the Great American Cookie Co. FFF tickets are $25 per person/$40 per couple in advance; $35 per person/ $45 per couple at the door. Tickets for children 12 and under are $5 each. Tickets may be purchased at

Heart Gallery Alabama promotes adoption of children currently in Alabama’s foster care system by recruiting professional photographers to take meaningful portraits capturing the unique spirit of each child. Over 600 foster children is currently eligible for adoption in the state of Alabama.

2/17-2/20 Southern Voices 2011. Southern Voices explores culture as reflected in

contemporary arts. This conference is a celebration of writing, music and art. Hoover Public Library. Call 205-444-7820 or visit for more information.

2/20 4 p.m. 3rd Annual Over the Mountain Festival of Sacred Music. Held at

Canterbury United Methodist Church. Choral Concert - “Sacred Choral Masterworks” representing literature from the Renaissance to the Contemporary periods, presented by the Over the Mountain Festival of Sacred Music Chorus, directed by James Brown and accompanied by members of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Free admission. For more information visit http://

2/20 2-3:30 p.m. performance “Two Suitcases and an Accordion: Travelling with the USO Camp Shows in WWII”. Featuring storyteller Dorlores Hydock and WWII USO Camp Show performer Barb Sparkes. First Baptist Church of Irondale 6001 Old Leeds Rd (across from the new Shades Valley High School). Benefitting Alabama Grief Support Services. Tickets are $20. Call 870-0336.

2/25-2/27 10 a.m.- 5p.m. Sunday - 1pm- 4pm. Emmet O’Neal Library Book Sale. A fundraising event benefiting the Emmet O’Neal Library Sale. Includes all types of used books at GREAT prices. Call 205-879-0459 or visit for more information.

Children Of Eden is a frank, heartfelt and often humorous examination of the age-old conflict between parents and children. Virginia Samford Theatre. $20. Call 205-251-1206 or visit for more information.

Saturday 7:30 pm; Sunday 2:30 pm. Admission. Call 205-322-4300 or visit for more information.

2/19 Alabama Ballet presents Snow White. Snow White will be in the lobby after the show for a special meet-and-greet time! Samford Wright Center. 2:30pm. Call 205-322-4300 or visit for more information.

2/24-2/27 Red Mountain Theatre Company presents Bubba’s Revenge. Red

Mountain Theatre Company. Great impersonators, a spooky séance, a foot stompin’ gospel jubilee and a “sensitive” Bubba all combine in this hilarious must-see musical comedy. $30- $35. Call 205-324-2424 or visit www. for more information.

2/26-2/27 Birmingham Ballet presents Sleeping Beauty. Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Concert Hall. $15.50- $37. Call 205-458-8400 or visit

Food & Wine Now- 3/5 Girl Scout Cookie sale. Cookies offered include all-time favorites: Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, Lemon Chalet Cremes, Dulce de Leche and Thank U Berry Munch. Each box sells for $3.50. All eight varieties of Girl Scout Cookies contain zero grams of trans fat. Booth sales at many local stores and supermarkets will start February 11. If eager customers have trouble finding cookies near them, they can visit and use the Cookie Locator button or call 800-734-4541.


2/1-2/28 UAB Men’s/Women’s Basketball. For complete schedule, visit www. Bartow Arena on UAB Campus.

2/11-2/13 Mercedes- Benz Marathon Weekend. Runners and walkers of all abilities can participate in one of our five weekend events including a marathon, halfmarathon, marathon relay, 5k or kids marathon. Linn Park and Boutwell Auditorium in downtown Birmingham. Call 205-870-7771 or visit www. for more information.

Save the date

3/5 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The Exceptional Foundation’s 7th Annual Chili Cookoff. Tickets cost are $10 in advance, $15 at the gate. Children 12 and under are free. You can visit our Chili Cook-Off website at or call 205.870.0776 for tickets.All proceeds from the Chili Cook-Off benefit the programs of The Foundation. The Foundation provides social and recreational activities for mentally challenged individuals in the greater Birmingham area. We serve over 200 individuals, many of which are from the Mountain Brook area.

3/5 7:30 p.m. Birmingham Music Club BRAVO! Birmingham show at Samford

University’s Wright Center. Tickets to the show only begin at $20 with group ticket prices available. Show tickets may be obtained by calling the Wright Center Box Office at 205-726-2407.

Village Living

| February 2011 |


ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT cover story them onto the shirt in a design to cover the stain,” Gaede said. “I was wearing it at the pool and had friends comment on it. They wanted me to do that to some of their shirts,” Gaede laughed. At first, people just put T-shirts in her mailbox and she designed them. As word got around she started coming up with new designs. Friends brought her their husband’s old khaki pants or old jeans. “Seth Adams at Village Sportswear put them in his store and I had a whole new target market,” Gaede said. “I sold short sleeve and long sleeve tees at his store, and I continued to make tanks from home for friends. I now also use cut up t-shirt material along with cut up denim.” But her favorite thing about making her t-shirts is sharing the creative process with a child. “I love when a little girl comes to my house and we rifle through all my fabrics, thread, etc. It is so fun for me to see them come up with a design and watch it be put onto a shirt and completed. They immediately change into that shirt and usually wear it for days straight. Total pride - knowing they designed it!” With each of these businesses being so unique, each owner has a different idea of where they hope the business will go. “I would love to see my company become more nationally and internationally known,” Joyce said. “Currently, I ship to more than 25 states per month, and have recently shipped orders to Korea and Canada.” Morse is hoping to keep her business a little closer to home. “We want each client to feel good about herself as she wears the casual elegance of a piece of jewelry from amyelizabeth Collections. We envision staying a close-knit company, as we value maintaining relationships with our clients. We want to keep control and excellence in our design.” Control is also key for Gaede with children still at home. “I have so many

Lucy Gaede pictured at Snap Kids in Crestine with a few of her Lu-c shirt creations. friends tell me I could go bigger - don’t know how to even get started. It is manageable right now so I can go to the gym, play tennis, go on field trips with my boys, etc. If it were bigger or a “real” company, I would loose the freedom I have right now. Plus, I am more of the creative type than business.” Each woman agrees that there is a side to their business that they truly enjoy. “I love seeing the cute clothes that come in from consignors,”Joyce said. “I also love

Knowledge is power.

Get some at our free clinic.

REMODELING DESIGN CLINIC Saturday, February 19 10:00 – 11:30 NeedCo Cabinets 2901 18th St. S., Homewood

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



seeing the smiles on my customers’ faces during my in-person sales, when they are pleased with their purchases.” “It is so gratifying to please someone with a beautiful design,” Morse said. “When clients return for more, it affirms that we have succeeded in our mission.” Gaede agreed. “I love when friends come and we design shirts for them to give as gifts. We talk about styles, colors, designs the person likes and then put together a design perfect for them. That is

the best, designing for someone else,” she said with a smile. You can contact and support each of our three highlighted women: • Tracy Joyce, Little Lavender, • Amy Morse, amyelizabeth Collections, 205-542-9522 • Lucy Gaede’s shirts can be found at Snap Kids in Crestline and Village Sportswear in Mountain Brook Village

| February 2011 |

You’re invited. Bring your friends. Being a part of Alabama’s #1 real estate services company is too amazing to miss. We invite you to join our team of sales associates. And, to save you the trouble of telling your friends about our wonderful company later, bring them with you now! That’s right, we would like you and your friends to join RealtySouth. The more the merrier. With state-of-the-art technology proven to increase your business, marketing and advertising programs designed to set you and your properties apart from the competition, unsurpassed training and in-house services to help streamline your transactions, why wouldn’t you come on over? It isn’t a leap of faith. It’s a leap of assurance.

For more information on how to become one of Alabama’s leading real estate associates, call Mountain Brook Village Office 205.870.5420

Village Living Newspaper February 2011  

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