Village Living November 2011

Page 1

Village Living


November 2011 |

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

MBHS beats Hoover Hooverpg 18

Dana Wolter on holiday decor -pg 10

Volume 2 | Issue 8 | November 2011

There’s no crying in football By ANNE WOOD

Most girls go through a tomboy phase at some point in their lives, but for Evelyn King, the no-nonsense attitude was not just a phase. Evelyn, a third grader at Crestline Elementary, is no stranger to playing organized sports, including youth football. Prior to joining the football team, she had played soccer, softball, and basketball. Evelyn viewed football just like any other sport. Why would it be considered out of the ordinary for her to play football? She had no specific agendas when joining the team, she had no point to prove, she simply loved the sport. “I just love football,” she said. “My older brother has played, and I just wanted to try it.” Evelyn did not show the slightest bit of concern for being the only girl on the team. When asked if she felt comfortable being the only girl on the team, she responded with a simple shrug, grin, and an “I don’t really care.” Evelyn recounts her favorite memory of playing football as she described scoring a touchdown. To a lot of people, this proved that Evelyn did not need any special attention or accommodations. Obviously not much of a girly-girl, she

November Features Editor’s Note City Council MBTV coming soon Paul DeMarco Q&A Kari Kampakis Preschool Partners Village Sports School House Business Spotlight Restaurant Showcase Around the Villages Calendar of Events

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Evelyn King with her coach and teammate at a Crestline football game. Photo courtesy of Langston Hereford.

had to ask her mother repeatedly over the course of six months for permission to play football. The final selling point for Kimberly King, Evelyn’s mother, were questions she carefully crafted with her father’s help: “Mom, can a girl be president?” asked Evelyn.

“Yes,” her mother answered. “Why hasn’t a girl been president yet, then?” “I don’t know.” “Is it because boys are better than girls?” “No.”

“Can a girl really set her mind on doing what she wants to do?” “Yes.” “So, Mom, can I play football?” The reluctant mother changed her no answers to a “we’ll see” and finally told Evelyn the next day that, yes, she could play football. Her mother was not scared of Evelyn getting hurt, though, because of safety rules put into place at Crestline. One of the most effective rules states that if a player is more than 75 pounds, he or she may not run the ball. Kimberly King’s main concern was if Evelyn would be ostracized both on and off the field for being the only girl to play football. Evelyn insists, though, that she has kept the same group of friends that she had before she started playing football. No one has treated her any differently. She also enjoys simply being on the team and having fun. Both she and her mother agree that her coaches and teammates treat her like any other player, and with respect. “I’m so glad we did it,” Kimberly King said. “The reaction has been nothing but positive.” She even says that a few parents

See FOOTBALL | page 20

Macy’s Parade to showcase seniors By MAGGIE CARTER O’CONNOR Libby Hobbs can’t wait to march down the streets of New York City. “When I think about Thanksgiving, I get chill bumps,” said the MBHS Dorians co-captain. “It is going to be the trip of a lifetime and something I will never forget.” Hobbs and three other captains and co-captains of the Cheerleaders and Dorians will be performing in the 85th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Dorian captains and co-captains traditionally receive invitations to perform in the parade, but this will be the MBHS Cheerleaders’ first appearance. “When we realized we were eligible, we decided that very day that we wanted to go and that we would be the first cheerleaders from Mountain Brook,” Cheerleading Captain Morgan Russell said. Russell and fellow captains Allison Ingram and Laine Lidikay will represent the school with Hobbs. Each girl received her invitation based on her leadership position in this summer’s UDA Dance and UCA Cheer camps. These girls are part of a group of 2,200 who will dance in the parade with production company Spirit of America. In late October, each girl participating received a package with their choreography

Macy’s Day Parade participants Morgan Russell, Allison Ingram, Libby Hobbs and Laine Lidikay hold “Big Apple” mailbox decoration. Each year, mailboxes of those going to the parade are decorated prior to the trip. Photo courtesy of Meme Hobbs.

materials and a uniform, including a rain jacket and toe warmers. “Sadly, our green and gold getups aren’t going to make the trip,” Ingram said. The four Mountain Brook girls plan to learn the routines together before leaving for New York, as is expected by the production company.

As a part of its annual community non-profit sponsorship, Spirit of America has asked each girl to donate a sweatshirt for underprivileged New York teens through New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). Parade

See MACY’S | page 31

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November 2011 |

Village Living

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Village Living


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November 2011 |

Welcome Friends

Village Living

2005 Mountain Brook High School graduate and University of Alabama alum First Lieutenant Noel Jordan poses with colleague Captain Roger Snead at COP Sabari, Khowst Province, Afghanistan on Oct. 12. Photo courtesy of Noel Jordan.

Staff & Friends Contributing Writers Susan Matthews | Christiana Roussel | Kari Kampakis Rick Watson | Laura Canterbury | Will Hightower Holley Wesley | Maggie Carter O’Connor

School House Contributors Frances Watts -Cherokee Bend Alyssa Monson - Crestline Bama Hager -Brookwood Forest Sherrie Futch- Mountain Brook High School Hilary Ross - Mountain Brook Elem. & Mountain Brook Jr High

Contributing Photographers Image Arts | Alison Gault | Catherine Pittman Smith Photography

Editor at Large

Publisher Dan Starnes

Joe Samuel Starnes

Published by

Editor Jennifer Gray

Village Living LLC

Managing Editor

Sales and Distribution

Madoline Markham

Creative Director

Dan Starnes | Angela Morris Rhonda Smith | Jennifer Ogilvie

Keith McCoy

Intern Anne Wood

Contact Information: Village Living #3 Office Park Circle, Suite 316 Birmingham, AL 35223 313-1780

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

Editor’s Note November really picks up on the details. You will want to in terms of things going on in make sure you save this date. Mountain Brook. One of our stories this As you make your plans for month is about a program Thanksgiving Day meals and called PreSchool Partners. The family get togethers, it’s always program serves members of fun to reflect on what you are the Norwood and Whatley thankful for. We asked some communities but is made of the students at the different possible through the volunteers, Mountain Brook schools what teachers and many others that they are thankful for. You can come from our community. It is read all about it on page 28. just one example of how people After Thanksgiving, in our city help others in the Jennifer Gray many of us immediately turn greater Birmingham area. I am our attention towards preparing for the sure you know of many other examples of holiday season. We have you covered. our residents making a difference outside Interior designer Dana Wolter has put of our city limits. We would love to feature together some amazing tips and ideas for their stories in future issues. Please email transforming your home for the holidays. me at to Follow her easy tips and they will make a tell me about it. big impact on your home’s holiday look. For our December issue, we are If you need further inspiration, working to include information on all the Independent Presbyterian Church’s annual different holiday events going on in our holiday home tour should fit the bill. We community. If you have an event you have all the details on this event that has would like for us to include, please email become a great way for many to kick off me as well. their holiday season. Tour lovely Mountain Brook homes decorated for the season. We have also previewed the Mountain Brook Holiday parade. This event won’t be until Dec. 4, but we have all the latest

Meet our intern Anne Wood is a junior double major in English and art history at Birmingham-Southern College. In addition to her internship with Village Living, she is the features editor for BSC’s Hilltop News, a tutor at BSC’s Writing Center and member of Kappa Delta Sorority. The Huntsville native has grown to love the city of Birmingham despite the traffic and hopes to stay in The Magic City after graduation. Anne, usually donning Toms and clad only in Urban Outfitters, escapes her busy schedule by strolling through the BMA, reading Yeats poems, blogging and of course... napping!

Editor publishes novel Fall Line, the second novel by Joe Samuel Starnes, editor-at-large for Village Living,debuts this month. Born in Anniston, Ala., Starnes grew up in Cedartown, Ga., and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1989. His first novel, Calling, was published in 2005, and he has had stories appear in The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other places. The novel, published by NewSouth Books of Montgomery, unfolds in 1955, as floodgates are poised to slam shut on a concrete dam straddling the fictional Oogasula River, creating a lake that will

submerge a forgotten crossroads and thousands of acres of woodlands in rural Georgia. The day’s action is viewed through the eyes of Elmer Blizzard, a troubled ex-deputy; Mrs. McNulty, a lonely widow who refuses to leave her doomed shack by the river; her loyal, aging dog, Percy; and a rapacious politician, Senator Aubrey Terrell, for whom the new lake is named. Fall Line is now at the Alabama Booksmith and online book retailers. For more information, visit www.

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Village Living


November 2011 |

City Council updates By ANNE WOOD

New recycling program still not approved Waste Management’s “At Your Door Special Collection” was brought up again at the September 26 City Council meeting. John Beasley of Waste Management addressed the council to promote the special collection service. He stated that medical waste produced by the Fire Department would be covered at the residential rate, which is 75 cents to $1 per

household per month to be charged to the city. He also suggested setting up kiosks in the fire stations for residents to drop off medical waste. Although these proposals were accepted by the council and the audience, no decision has been made. The council will not make an official decision until they have considered it further.

Progress made for new park on Overton Road

The council discussed selecting a final design firm to create a master plan for the proposed park at Overton Road and River Run Drive. While no design-specific decisions have been made, a design team has been approved. After considering several different firms at previous meetings, they accepted a proposal by Nimrod Long

and Associates. The design team will present a contract and master plan at the next meeting. The necessary purchases to move forward with the park have been made. All documents concerning the 4.71+/- acre purchase were closed on September 26.

Crestline Elementary’s new playground in the works Kaye Emack presented the council with updates concerning fundraising efforts for the new playground at Crestline Elementary. While the council has been vocal about potentially contributing to the project financially, no official decisions have been made. There has been discussion of a $20,000 donation upon receiving the results of the recent Boosterthon fundraiser, which raised $5,000 more than last year. The council’s

reasoning for offering their support is rooted in the fact that the playground will be used not only by Crestline students but by families and children all through the Mountain Brook area. This playground will also be Mountain Brook’s first wheelchair accessible park. The council will make a decision at an upcoming meeting. The playground is set to be installed in June of 2012.

Support given for the Exceptional Foundation In light of the mutual support between the city and nonprofit, the council has donated $7,500 to the Exceptional Foundation for the 2010-2011 year. The organization strives to meet the social and recreational needs of the mentally and physically challenged population in the Birmingham area. The Exceptional Foundation has

employed Mountain Brook’s high school students as summer counselors, used Mountain Brook community leaders and residents to serve as assistant coaches in youth basketball programs and participated in the Career Cooperative Education program with Mountain Brook students.

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Gift to The Birmingham Museum of Art The City Council decided to support the Birmingham Museum of Art’s educational ventures by giving them $13,000. Educational programs and classes are offered throughout the year at the Birmingham Museum of Art. In the future,

the BMA wishes to engage a younger audience to instill in children the importance of the arts by way of Family Nights, Book Reads and student art exhibitions. To foster a successful educational department, they must have adequate financial support.

New Public Works director named Ronald Vaughn has been named the new Public Works director by the City Council. He will officially begin his duties on October 24. Now director of approximately 37 employees, Vaughn will work to maintain and update the storm drainage system, traffic control signs and

signals, city roadways, and city rights-ofway. The Public Works department will also regulate Mountain Brook’s involvement with waste management; should the “At Your Door Collection Service” be approved, Vaughn would then be in charge of the new program.

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Crime report By LT. JIM COLE

Report for Oct. 6 This week we had one home burglary and no UBEVs (Unlawful Breaking and Entering Vehicles). The burglary occurred on Rockhill Road between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on October 3. A thief entered the residence through an unlocked door and took a fivepiece silver service. We had very little happening in Mountain Brook this week. In fact the past few weeks have been pretty uneventful. Below is a short summary of what did occur: A drunk man didn’t pay his taxi driver for a fare to Office Park Drive. That man was arrested. A man was passed out drunk on Euclid Avenue. He was arrested. A mailbox was knocked down on Overhill Road. A lost dog on Old Leeds Road was picked up by a man but was later returned to the owner. A minor hit and run accident occurred on Highway 280, but so far there is not enough information to apprehend the offender. There was one identity theft case. Hopefully, there will be an arrest. An arrest was made at an open house party where teenagers were drinking. In a domestic incident, a parent and child had a slight altercation. No police action was necessary. In another domestic violence case, a couple got into an altercation. This occurred at an apartment. The couple had been out drinking, they argued, she knocked some pictures off the wall and he pushed her into a window. There was redness on the side of her head, and he was arrested. Report for Oct. 16 This week we didn’t have any home burglaries, but we did have two UBEVs (Unlawful Breaking and Entering Vehicles). The first UBEV occurred on Heathermoor Road near Mountain Brook Elementary Oct. 9 between 12:12 and 1 p.m. The victim left her purse in her locked vehicle, and a thief broke a window and took her purse. The purse contained her credit cards, driver’s license and other articles. The second UBEV occurred on Cahaba Road between 6 a.m. and 7:10 a.m. on Oct. 11 near Starbuck’s. The victim’s purse was on the front seat of her vehicle, and the thief broke a window to take the victim’s purse. The purse contained credit cards and other items. The most interesting incident this week occurred when a white tailed deer broke into a home on Overton Road by crashing through a garage window. After a brief visit, the deer escaped by crashing out another window. We don’t believe the deer was seriously injured. Below is a summary of miscellaneous incidents: On Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. a student left his saxophone outside the band room at the Mountain Brook Junior High. When he returned the next day, it was gone. So, if you see a strange saxophone, give us a call. A divorced couple got into a minor altercation when the father came to pick-up the children. No arrest. Macy’s loss prevention apprehended two shoplifters on Oct. 6 after a brief chase. Macy’s loss prevention apprehended two more shoplifters on Oct. 9. A mailbox was knocked down on Warrington Road. Some young people from Homewood were returning home from a movie when an argument started. The driver pulled off Highway 280, and the three (two teenagers and one adult) exited the vehicle and there was a minor altercation. There were arrests. On Oct. 7 between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., someone entered a hotel room at the Hampton Inn and took the guest’s credit

cards. On Oct. 9, a woman had her diamond earrings taken from her hotel room at the Hampton Inn. Our detectives already have a suspect in these cases and there will be warrants. On Oct. 9 at 1 p.m., a woman from Oneonta was found sitting in her vehicle on Briar Glen Drive under the heavy influence of prescription drugs. She was arrested. We had a domestic call where an unruly teenager cursed his mother. He was transported to the Juvenile Detention Facility. A woman was arrested for public intoxication on Thornhill Road. She and her boyfriend had been arguing and she decided to go for a walk after some heavy drinking. A man received a facial at a local salon and left without paying. He has been identified and a warrant is on its way. The following week, a warrant was issued. During the night of Oct. 11, a thief broke into the golf pro shop at the Birmingham Country Club and took a cash box. Report for Oct. 20 There were no home burglaries or UBEVs (Unlawful Breaking and Entering Vehicles). Below is a summary of miscellaneous incidents: An inflatable black cat was stolen from a yard in Crestline. A domestic violence situation occurred when a couple got into an altercation. Alcohol was involved, and an alcohol related arrest was made. A mailbox was knocked down with a pumpkin on Sharpsburg Drive. A young white male from another city was walking down Highway 280 while drinking his wine. He was arrested for public drunkenness. A minor hit and run accident occurred on Highway 280. The victim was unable to get a tag number. An elderly individual is missing some property in his home, and it is suspected that a caretaker in the home may be the thief. A woman who was suspected of shoplifting from businesses in Mountain Brook Village was confronted by several shop owners and in the presence of a police officer told that if she enters their businesses she will be arrested for trespassing. We had a domestic call where an unruly teenager cursed his mother and destroyed some household items. We had two identity theft cases reported over the past week. A barber shop in Crestline was vandalized after the owner told some juveniles to leave the area near his business. Vulgar words were written on his building with chalk. An intoxicated male grabbed two bottles of liquor from a bar in English Village. The owner of the bar apprehended the thief after a brief struggle. A ladder was taken from a house on Crestwood Drive during the day on Oct. 18. The ladder was located in the victim’s carport. An iPad was taken from a porch on Peachtree Street on Oct. 17 or 18. The thief has been identified and will be arrested. Three teenagers were arrested on Shook Hill Circle for smoking marijuana. Report for Oct. 27 This was another good week. Despite the two UBEVs (Unlawful Breaking and Entering Vehicles), there were no home burglaries and no other serious incidents to report. The first UBEV occurred on Rockhill Road during the night of Oct. 24. A wallet and cash were taken from the victim’s unlocked vehicle.

See CRIME | page 16

Village Living


November 2011 |


MBTV to launch

New Mountain Brook TV show MBTV will launch on Nov. 21. The segments will be produced quarterly and run on Charter Cable channel 10 and online at www. “The 30-minute news magazine style show will include material that promotes our business community and school system,” said Mountain Brook resident and former TV reporter Scott Mauldin. Mauldin’s company, Vulcan Media, is producing the show for the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce. The show will feature news-style segments on news and events as well as long-form interviews and features. Each will include a special segment devoted to the schools as well as segments on business happenings. Coverage of events like the

Christmas Parade will be a good way for residents to share what they enjoy doing with anyone, anywhere online. “It’s a way to foster community spirit and showcase all the things Mountain Brook has to offer,” Mauldin said. Hannon Davidson at the Mountain Brook Chamber said they hope to create episodes more often in the future depending on sponsorships. “It’s a first of its kind community program that taps into the demand for extreme local news,” Mauldin said. “It’s exciting to see the Chamber and organizations like it running to this form of television and internet programming.” For more information, visit www. or call the Chamber at 871-3779.

Red Mountain greenery sale

Helen Drennen, Elizabeth Tynes, Melissa Hagan, Elizabeth Poynor, Anne Couch and Amy Ager at the RMGC Memorial Garden at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of the Birmingham Museum of Art.

By ANNE WOOD This December the Red Mountain Garden Club, established in 1927 and recognized as a member of The Garden Club of America in 1933, will celebrate its monumental 85th anniversary. Since its founding, the club has strived to maintain a beautiful and fruitful Birmingham while promoting a knowledge and love of gardening. The Garden Club has always sought to foster beneficial growth in the city of Birmingham without making any detrimental changes to the environment. The club’s primary project has been maintaining Memorial Garden at the Birmingham Museum of Art that it built in 1955. Last year the garden was recognized as one of 10 Great Public Spaces by the American Planning Association. Making this year’s Greenery Sale especially exciting is the simultaneous celebration of the Birmingham Museum of Art’s 60th anniversary. “We are embarking on raising funds for a capital project for the garden, which will include state of the art lighting and some much needed hardscape improvements, since the last work was done in the early 90s with the major renovation incorporating

the Ireland Sculpture Garden,” said RMGC president Helen Drennen. This vision of dynamic light fixtures and new technologies can be reached if sufficient funds are met at the annual Red Mountain Garden Club Greenery Sale. The sale is sure to appeal to both art enthusiasts and gardneres alike with its original mailbox decorations, holiday centerpieces, wreaths, topiaries and kissing balls all made by members of the Red Mountain Garden Club. Fresh-cut greenery will also be available for sale for those customers who want to create their own arrangements. The annnual Greenery Sale fundraiser will open Wednesday, December 7 at 9 a.m. and last until 1 p.m. at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. It will support the gardens at the Birmingham Museum of Art as well as the Red Mountain Garden Club’s civic projects. Order forms are also available online if you are unable to attend the event. For more information on the Greenery Sale or to obtain order forms visit www. or contact Helen Drennen at or Anne Couch at

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November 2011 |

Village Living

Catching up with Paul DeMarco By JENNIFER GRAY

I recently sat down at Starbuck’s in Mountain Brook Village to chat with Alabama State Representative Paul DeMarco about issues related to the state and to our city. DeMarco grew up in Mountain Brook, attended Cherokee Bend Elementary School and graduated from Mountain Brook High School. After majoring in journalism at Auburn, he attended law school at the University of Alabama. He is a partner in the law firm Parsons, Lee, & Juliano and represents the 46th district in the state legislature. DeMarco now lives in Homewood with his wife, Jacqueline, a clinical psychologist practicing in Mountain Brook. What current projects are you working on that effect Mountain Brook? On an ongoing basis, I communicate with the Mountain Brook mayor, city council and city manager to discuss local, state and city issues. I also communicate with Mountain Brook School superintendent Dicky Barlow regarding any education issues. I have recently worked to help Crestline Elementary secure grant money for a new playground. Our state has a high rate of childhood obesity, and projects such as this encourage children to spend time outdoors. Recently, I worked with Mountain Brook police chief Ted Cook and other chiefs of police to support the passage of a tougher law on DUI offenders. I also worked with local law enforcement against a proposed bill that would have weakened penalties for shoplifters.

many things I love about our region, and a big reason why people want to live here. We are an outdoor community with lots of runners and cyclists, and this makes us stand out from other places. Whenever I bring people to Birmingham, they are surprised at our mountainous terrain and are inspired by the beauty of our city and state. I also love how the citizens of Alabama came together after the recent oil spill and tornadoes. During these tragic times, the entire country saw a glimpse of the charitable nature of our citizens and the spirit of Alabama. How would you describe your job? Voting on legislation is a very important aspect of the job, but there is much more work that takes place prior to legislative sessions. My primary focus is to stay abreast of issues important to my constituents and provide all possible assistance to them. I also work on issues that are of concern to citizens state-wide. For example, I work with many organizations and individuals in an effort to reduce cancer mortality rates in the state of Alabama.

Your district stretches all the way from Cherokee Road in Mountain Brook through parts of Homewood, along Lakeshore Drive and extending into western Hoover, but you also represent parts of each city. Are there some things in common that you hear from your constituents when you speak with them? The common interest is education; the most important part of a community is to You have lived in Birmingham your have a thriving school system to educate whole life. What do you love about it? the next generation. I work with great OurPrmrs_66954 parks and trails oneGen of Ad the #1936 superintendents and school boards, which _ - are Rdns THIS AD CAN


are some of the best in the state. During the session when education legislation comes up for debate, I always call my school superintendents and ask, “How will this affect our school system?” I am always conscious of how any legislation will effect our school systems and would oppose any legislation that would impair our local school system’s ability to continue the great work being accomplished. How do you feel about the progress being made to reach a settlement on the Jefferson County sewer issue? The most important aspect of this issue is how it will impact the citizens. We have had years of corruption, fraud and mismanagement, and it would not be fair to put all of this debt on the backs of the citizens. I am strongly opposed to the notion that there will be a non-user fee on septic tank users. We want a resolution to the issue now but not something that will drive citizens out of Jefferson County. The legislation I sponsored to create the position of county manager became law, and as of two weeks ago the county hired a manager. I think that is a piece of the puzzle to moving Jefferson County forward, and I am optimistic that we will be able to get this issue resolved. I also sponsored legislation to make county financing more transparent. The law requires public hearings before county bond deals are approved, and the documents must be open to the public. In private practice, you’re an attorney. What areas of law do you specialize in? How often are you actually in the office? I am one of nine partners in the firm of Parsons, Lee & Juliano, P.C. We specialize in civil litigation in state and federal courts

Paul DeMarco represents Mountain Brook in the Alabama House of Representatives. Photo by Ashley Berkery.

throughout Alabama. My partners are great about working with me when I have to be out of the office for legislative matters, but I do spend a great deal of time in the office when not in session. I believe my partners share my belief that it is important for a state representative to be active in the community, and they realize I work extremely hard to do that in Mountain Brook. I believe we should all do what we can to continually improve our community, no matter our role. In your rare “spare time,” what do you like to do? My wife and I both love to run and we try to participate in all local charity races. We also enjoy serving in our church and spending time with our families.

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Village Living

Annual Christmas Parade set for Dec. 4


November 2011 |


Humana’s 2012 Medicare Advantage plans are here! Humana has a full range of Medicare plans. Find out more about which one could be right for you.

Call to schedule an in-home appointment or to find a seminar near you. Birmingham Hilton Garden Inn 520 Wildwood Circle Drive November 4, 11 & 18 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.

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Mayor Terry Oden rides in last year’s Christmas Parade with Hannon Davidson of the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce and members of last year’s Leadership Mountain Brook class. Photo by Dan Starnes.

The Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce will hold the Christmas Parade on Dec. 4 in Mountain Brook Village. The parade starts at 3 p.m., and the entertainment stage will feature acts starting before the parade. The parade will feature holiday floats, local dance groups, MBHS marching band, MBHS Dorians, MBHS homecoming court, music, elves and more. The procession will take its usual route through the village on Cahaba Road, Culver Road and Petticoat Lane. There will be an opportunity for children can take photos with Santa as well. For more information on the parade, visit

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Children take photos with Santa as a part of parade festivities. Santa will be visiting the parade this year as well. Photo by Dan Starnes.

Junior League’s annual Market returns Looking for unique gifts at pocketbookpleasing prices for your loved ones this holiday season? Discover what hundreds of others in our area have discovered this Nov. 16-19 at The Market! The Junior League of Birmingham’s Market meets holiday shopping needs and helps improve the lives of Birminghamarea women and children. “Shoppers can feel good about the gifts and goodies they purchase at The Market because a portion of all their purchases makes a difference in the life of someone in the Birmingham community,” JLB Market Chair Holly Stiles said. Located at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center on Highway 280, The Market includes merchants from all over the state of Alabama and Southeast. Birmingham area merchants participating at The Market this year include: Doo-Dads and Designs, Grandmother’s Joy, Sweet Dreams Designs, Gifts and Gratitudes, Initially 4 U, All Things Gallery, Miche Bag of Birmingham, My Messy Monkeys Children’s Boutique, Sweet Melissa’s Sauces and Seasonings, The Gingerbread Lady, Majestees, Sew Precious, Sophia Designs, J Allens, Nations Outfitters, Shalla Wista Studio, the JLB Gift Shop and Cookbooks and many others. Popular merchants returning this year are: Buckhead Gourmet (gourmet sauces, dips, dressings and marinades), Middle Bay Clothing Company (men’s

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clothing and accessories), Home Fields (3D replicas of college/professional stadiums), Gameday Girl Stuff (gameday apparel and accessories), Dejavu (fashionable clothing and accessories), Hedge Farm (handpoured candles, holiday gifts and decorative items), Under Wraps (designer gift wrap and accessories), The Fuss Boutique (ladies apparel and accessories), Jane Sweet Jane (home décor), Studio Six Thirteen (art) and Haul Couture (fashionable bags). “The Market offers free parking and a first-class, three-day shopping experience,” said Stiles. Special events include the Sneak Peek Party on the evening of Wed., Nov. 16, which offers guests the chance to win a one-carat diamond valued at $6,000 from Bromberg’s. Also, the Market and Muffins event on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 17, is an opportunity to dine on delicious brunch fare such as Millie Ray’s orange rolls while listening to the sounds of the Alabama School of Fine Arts Orchestra Ensemble while shopping stroller free. Additionally, book signings with special guest writers will take place during the Author’s Corners events throughout The Market. Market general admission tickets are $12. All Market events are open to the public. For special event tickets, stroller free shopping hours and more information, visit

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November 2011 |

Village Living

Simplifying our homes in a not-so-simple season By DANA KUBISZYN WOLTER I have a confession to make: I sometimes lose focus on the reason for the Christmas season. Yes, I am a regular churchgoer, I am grateful for my many blessings, and I know Christmas should not be regarded by what I need to buy or how I need to decorate my home. Like most women, I struggle with trying to be more like Mary in a Martha’s world. I always promise myself to slow down, enjoy the holidays, and remember what they represent. Yet, with a husband, three active children, a growing business and the curve balls life throws me, I shamefully admit to having thrown baby Jesus out with the bathwater a time or two. If there is ever a time your home should look beautiful and function as a sanctuary for you, it is during the Christmas season. Life is stressful enough, and your home should be a retreat for calm and quiet. So how can we keep our priorities straight this Christmas and decorate our homes without the stress and pressure? The key, I think, is to accept the idea that less is truly more. By simplifying our home and our lives during the Christmas season, we will have more time and energy to truly reflect on what is important. The season of Christmas is beautiful in itself, and small efforts go a long way. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. No, your decorations do not have to be elaborate; they just have to be a reflection of you and your family. You do not have to have a Christmas tree or a nativity scene on every chest or open space to create a beautifully decorated home. Less is more, so keep your decorations simple and use only what you love and has special meaning to you. Shop locally. Mountain Brook is home

Simple layering goes a long way. Notice the tray holding the nativity scene is filled with greenery. It is placed on top of a tapestry that is laid across the marble chest. The nativity scene is from Mulberry Heights. Photo courtesy of Dana Kubizsyn Wolter.

to some of the finest specialty stores in the Southeast. I shop many of the stores here in our city for my clients’ homes and plan on doing the same for their Christmas décor. Strategically place the decorations you use. When walking into a room, where does your eye go first? Where does it go next? Decide where your focal points are in each room and strategically place a decoration in one or two of these places. Choose holiday colors cohesive with the colors in the room. Just as you want the colors of each of your rooms to flow nicely

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into one another, you want your holiday décor to do the same. If a warm palette is used throughout your home, use warm colors in your holiday décor. If your home has more cool tones, try silver, white or blue tones when choosing holiday colors. Layer contrasting textures. Contrasting textures layered in subtle ways is one way to create dimension and make a room look like it has evolved over time. Think of placing an iron lamp on top of a wooden chest versus a wooden lamp on a wooden chest; apply this same concept to

your Christmas décor. Instead of placing a nativity scene directly on top of a hard surface area such as a glass top table or marble chest, add a little texture with Christmas greenery, moss and magnolia leaves first and then place your Christmas items on top. If you are placing greenery on your mantle, think about mixing in some shiny ornaments or candles to add another texture to the mix. You will be delighted how much prettier your

See HOMES | page 13

Village Living


November 2011 |


IPC members prepare for Holiday House Tour By MAGGIE CARTER O’CONNOR Planning is in high gear for the 2011 Independent Presbyterian Church Holiday House Tour. Celebrating 62 years of holiday tradition, the event will be held Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11. A highlight of the season for so many, the tour is also the principal fundraiser for the IPC Presbyterian Women. All proceeds support the women’s ministries including the Children’s Fresh Air Farm, which has served Birmingham’s children since 1923 and is now enhanced with the six-week Summer Learning Program. Each summer, underserved children participate in programs focused on the traditional subjects as well as the arts and athletics in a Christ-centered environment. Without funds from the Holiday House Tour, these programs would struggle to operate at the same successful level as they have over the past several decades. Chairing the 62nd annual Holiday House Tour is Mountain Brook resident Beth Adams. In 2006, Adams moved to Mountain Brook, joined Independent Presbyterian Church and volunteered as a home hostess for the tour, where she met many new people and took a vested interest in the event. Over the following years, Beth continued to volunteer and served as house chair and the 2010 event’s co-chair. Adams marvels at the graciousness of the homeowners. “The individuals that open their homes for the tour are some of the most generous people you can find,” she said. By featuring six local homes, IPC members hope to give the community not only a glimpse of original holiday decorating ideas but also home décor tips and tricks. These tour homes will showcase modern, contemporary styles with clean lines and simple overtones.

Katharine Edmonds and Beth Adams, chair of the Holiday House Tour, at the Edmonds home, which will be featured on this year’s tour. Photo courtesy of Paul Romjue

IPC members and community volunteers acting as home hostesses will welcome visitors to each home where $20 tickets can be purchased. Participants also have the luxury of independence while touring the open houses and can drive (or carpool) to each of the houses at a leisurely pace. Each ticket will grant access to all six homes on the tour and this year’s bonus home, the Birmingham Home & Garden Inspiration House in Cahaba Heights. Combining traditional and contemporary elements of style, the Inspiration House is a showcase of local designers and vendors including several IPC members. Adams and the women of IPC receive additional leadership from Mr. Robert Hill of Robert Hill Antiques, who actively guides the house selection process. Many IPC men coordinate parking at each tour home and accommodate tour visitors throughout the weekend. While these volunteers are IPC members, the congregation welcomes all friends of the featured homeowners as

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well as interested volunteers to participate in the event as well. Many thanks go out to the volunteers planning the event: Beth Adams, chairman; Robert Hill, selection chair; Langston Hereford, publicity chair; Amy McCain, ticket sales; house chairs Paige Albright, Cyndy Cantley, Jennifer Cope, Kay Grisham, Penney Hartline, Allison Ingram, Kate Simpson, Kelly Sorrells, Sumner Starling, Kathy Thomson and Ellen Walker; Presbyterian Women coordinators Laurie Allen, Melissa Brisendine, Judy Feagin, Cindy Keller, Babbie Shelton and Betty Shreiber; house artists Elaine Swoger and Andrew Hicks. An additional thanks to the numerous IPC Staff members who are integral to the success of the Holiday House Tour. If you are interested in volunteering for the 2011 Holiday House Tour, please contact Independent Presbyterian Church at 933-1830.

2011 IPC Holiday House Tour featured homes Betsy Brown, Betsy Brown, Inc. 2647 Montevallo Road Doug Davis, Tracery Interiors 2644 Montevallo Road Katharine and Bryson Edmonds 4132 Old Leeds Lane Rebecca and Ben Fulmer 3172 Overhill Road Jennifer and Keith Wagoner 1033 32nd Avenue South Independent Presbyterian Church 3100 Highland Avenue South Come by to view the beautifully decorated sanctuary and enjoy a cup of hot tea before, during or after your tour. Birmingham Home & Garden Inspiration House Overton Cove Drive, Cahaba Heights



November 2011 | Village Living

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11/1- Thyme to Read. EOL Book Group discussing Virgin Earth by Philippa Gregory. 6 p.m. The Library at the Botanical Gardens 11/2- Brown Bag Lunch series featuring The Seasoned Performers in “Night Call Nurses; Or, What the Health.” 12:30 p.m. 11/3- Smart Investing @ EOL - Banking and Credit with Dr. Andreas Rauterkus. 6:30 p.m. Register at 11/8- The Bookies Book Group discussing “The Heart and the Fist: the Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL” by Eric Greitens. 10 a.m. 11/9- Brown Bag Lunch series, fourth in a 6-part film series on the ancient Celts, 12:30 p.m. 11/11- Library closed in observance of Veterans Day 11/14- Great Books Book Group. 6:30 p.m. 11/15- Documentaries After Dark. Film on Native American History. 6:30 p.m. 11/16- Brown Bag Lunch series. Film on legendary Western lawman Wyatt Earp. 12:30 p.m. 11/17-Third Thursdays at Dyron’s Lowcountry. A portion of the proceeds benefit the library. 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m. 11/19- Knit & Knibble. All crafts and skill levels welcome. 2-3:30 p.m. 11/23- Brown Bag Lunch series. Film (part one of two ) on the U.S. Mexican War. 12:30 p.m. 11/24-25- Library closed in observance of Thanksgiving 11/29- Genre Reading Group discussing books about happiness. 6:30 p.m. 11/30- Brown Bag Lunch Series. Film (concluding episode) on the U.S. Mexican War. 12:30 p.m. Teens 11/4- Game On! Super Smash Brothers

Brawl. 4:30-6:30 p.m. 11/12- National Gaming Day. 12-5 p.m. Board games, card games, multiple player video games and vintage Donkey Kong arcade game for teens to try out Children Mondays* Toddler Tales Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Chess Club. 6 p.m. Tuesdays* Together Time Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Library Out Loud Story Time. 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays* Mother Goose Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Thursdays* Patty Cake Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. SNaP. 3:30 p.m. Saturdays Family Storytime with Mr. Mac. 10:30 a.m. *There will be no regular programming Nov. 20-24. Special Events 11/8- Family Night: Cinderella. 5:30 p.m. 11/9- After-School Special: Starshine Faces Thanksgiving Special. 3:30 p.m. 11/15&17- Bookmania: Son of Neptune. 6 p.m. For more information about any of our programs, call 445-1121 or find us online at, blogging at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at @ eolib.

Reading the classics as an adult By HOLLEY WESLEY

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I moderate the Genre Reading Group here at the Emmet O’Neal Library. We are different from your average book group in that each participant usually reads a different title. The only thing the books have in common is the genre. I always make a small bookmark for our meetings; something to sort of tie all the different books together. In fact, most of the fun of our discussions comes from searching for, and often finding, a thread of cohesion among the disparate narratives. The bookmark is simply intended to help readers get into a helpful frame of mind for making the connections. I am particularly pleased with the selection I found for our recent discussion of classics. “A book is never a masterpiece: it becomes one. Genius is the talent of a dead man (Edmond de Goncourt).” “Do not suppose, however, that I intend to urge a diet of classics on anybody. I have seen such diets at work. I have known people who have actually read all, or almost all, the guaranteed Hundred Best Books. God save us from reading nothing but the best (Robertson Davies).” “A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read (Mark Twain).” I like these quotes because I don’t necessarily agree with them, and arguments and books go together like cookies and milk. I do believe a book becomes a masterpiece, but I don’t necessarily believe that an author’s death is a requirement. I agree wholeheartedly that reading tastes should range wide and be varied, but the classics can offer that too. I myself don’t read a strict diet of the classics, but I wouldn’t frown upon someone who did. And lastly, I disagree with Mr. Twain on his

assumption that nobody wants to read the classics. I believe people often think they don’t want to read them. That was certainly the case with the book I chose to read for our recent Genre Reading Group meeting, Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I decided to read it after hearing an author, Nathaniel Philbrick, talk about his experiences as the disgruntled son of a Melville scholar. Philbrick refused to read anything (but seemed especially averse to Moby Dick) by Melville on general teenage and young adult principles, and then ended up really loving the work on its own merits when he finally got around to it as a more mature reader. I decided to give it a try and am testifying here that I had a similar experience. I don’t believe I would have ever managed to finish it as a harried, distracted undergraduate, but as a fairly well read 30-something, it was beautiful and harsh and wonderfully outdated all at the same time. Several others who were re-reading something from their own school days had the same impression. The novels were a vastly different read when viewed through the lens of life experience. I believe that is why the classics are the classics and I look forward to seeing what new classics rise to the top over the course of my life. Drop by the library soon and let’s dish about your favorite (or loathed!) classics. For more information about the Genre Reading Group or any of our other regularly scheduled programs, you may call us at 445-1121 and find us online at, blogging at www.eolib., on Facebook at www. and on Twitter at @ eolib!

Village Living

LifeActually By Kari Kampakis


November 2011 |


Smart Kid.

An attitude of gratitude What if you woke up tomorrow with only the blessings you gave thanks for today? This question was posed on Facebook by a former roommate of mine, and it really got me thinking. Like many people, I tend to think of blessings on a general scale, citing ones commonly named: family, friends, good health, a roof over my head. But imagine how long my list and yours would grow if the slate could be wiped clean tomorrow. Things we take for granted–eyes to see, legs to run, ears to hear, hands to feel– would suddenly seem paramount if we thought we’d lose them. I suspect we’d rack our brains to make sure we left nothing out. And it is this attitude–an appreciation for fine details that make our lives better, easier or more beautiful–that I believe leads to fulfillment. In fact, when I look at people who seem genuinely happy, accepting of whatever cards they’ve been dealt, I notice a distinct ability to see the silver lining. Regardless of their situation, they understand there’s always someone worse off. They compare themselves to those who have less, not more, thus realizing how fortunate they are. As I think about gratitude and how healing it is to be specific, I’m reminded of an article I read in which Maya Angelou recounted a dark period early in her career. Severely depressed, she went to see her mentor and told him she was going crazy. “Here is a yellow notepad and a ballpoint pen,” he said. “Write down your blessings.” “I don’t want to talk about that,” she replied. “I’m telling you I’m going crazy.” Her mentor replied, “Think of the

millions of people who cannot hear a choir, or a symphony, or their own babies crying. Write down, I can hear - Thank God. Write down that you can see this yellow notepad, and think of all the millions of people who cannot see a waterfall, or a flower blooming, or their lover’s face. Write down, I can see Thank God.” As Maya filled the pad with blessings, she realized how much she had. That was more than 50 years ago, and since then she’s written every book, poem and speech on yellow notepads, saying, “As I approach the clean page, I think of how blessed I am.” As you count your blessings this Thanksgiving season, go beyond the obvious. Imagine things you couldn’t fathom losing tomorrow, and write them down. If you’re really ambitious, follow Maya Angelou’s lead and compile a list on a yellow notepad. I have no doubt that, given enough time and thought, any of us could fill an entire pad–perhaps even two or three. As for me, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you, my readers. You are a tremendous blessing to me. I’m grateful for everyone who takes the time to read my column, stops me to say they enjoyed a particular piece or encourages me to keep writing. Thank you for sharing your stories and inspiring me to share mine. We’re all in this world together, figuring life out one blessing at a time. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mountain Brook mom of four with a background in PR, writing and photography. Learn about her blog and fiction writing at or find her on Facebook and Twitter. Email her at

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In my dining room I used creams, golds and touches of apricot with fresh greenery, as these are the colors found throughout the interior of the room. Notice the votive candles and fresh flowers mixed in with the greenery. The magnolia wreath is from Tracery Interiors, and the votives are from Mulberry Heights. Photo courtesy of Dana Kubizsyn Wolter.

decorations look just by layering different materials. Pull the outside in. There is nothing like the smell and texture of fresh greenery. Holly, magnolia leaves, fraser fir, birch wood…I love it all. Incorporate natural materials into your holiday décor; your imagination should be the only limit. Involve the family and create tradition. Every year, my girls and I gather the leftover limbs from our Christmas tree along with any other scraps of greenery we can find, and we make a few small wreaths. If you know my girls, you can probably guess which wreaths belong to whom, as they truly reflect each one’s personality. One wreath may be wrapped neatly and tightly all the way around while the other child’s wreath is looser in style. No, they are not always perfect, but each is beautiful

in its own way. Remember the reason for the season. If you see me around town or at a ballgame and I look a little less stressed, know I have perhaps achieved simplifying my own holiday season a little. Christ was born onto this earth in such a simple, beautiful way, and we can gain more from the season by simplifying our own lives during this time. Every day our homes should be a place of calm and peace, but during the Christmas season, they especially should be a reminder and reflection of the true meaning of Christmas and not a reminder of life stresses. Dana Wolter is a Mountain Brook interior decorator and regular home contributor to NBC13 Daytime Alabama. For more decorating tips, follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Dana’s blog on




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November 2011 | Village Living

Steampunk and Shakespeare gears, metals, leathers and dark colors of the Victorian-feeling attire of the Athenians will be in stark contrast to the soft, flowing fabrics and cool colors of the fairies.” Tilton added that the acting will be top-notch. “There is so much talent at Mountain Brook that you can quickly get lost in the show and then suddenly you think, ‘Wait a minute, I’m at a high school production ?!’” he said. “It’s easy to forget that these are high school students and not professionals, even though they are doing an amazing job performing material that professionals find difficult.” Assistant director and senior Emily Siegal said that the best part of it is watching it all come together: “As assistant director, I stand on the outside looking in, and it is incredible to watch these amazing actors work!”

By MARY NOBLES HANCOCK This month the Mountain Brook High School theatre department will be performing the William Shakespeare classic, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. First written in the mid to late 1500s, the play is often attributed as one of Shakespeare’s most famous and produced plays. “It is a romantic comedy that combines three plot lines,” said director Jesse Tilton. “The first deals with the tribulations of Athenian couples that are in love, the second is of fairy mischievousness and the third is the comical performance of the play-within-a-play by amateur actors.” Filling in after longtime theatre teacher Pat Yates retired last year, Tilton decided to take his new position at Mountain Brook and run with it. “As a teacher, I felt that classics are essential for preparing our students for college and for making them well-rounded individuals,” he said. “This is my first year here at Mountain Brook High School, so when I found out that we hadn’t done a Shakespearean show in at least 14 years, I knew I wanted to make performing one a top priority.” “Midsummer is special because it is one of our first collaborative works with our new theater teacher, Jesse Tilton,” said junior Sloan Giess, who is playing the Mechanical Snug the Joiner. “We’ve really loved working with him, and I think his directing has really taken this old show to new heights.” The play’s main story line is that of the star-crossed Athenian lovers. The two couples are compiled of Helena (played by senior Elizabeth Perkinson), Hermia (junior Allie Cannon), Demetrius (senior

During rehearsal for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Joey Weed (Bottom the Weaver) is surrounded by the fairies after his head has been turned into a donkey’s during rehearsal. Titania, the queen of the fairies (played by Tamara Dimant) is at the far right. Photo by Mary Nobles Hancock.

Matthew Powell) and Lysander (senior Mark Hammontree). The play follows them on their twisted journey filled with love, confusion, and plenty of interventions from the ever-mischievous fairy, Puck (junior DeeDee Joehl). Puck is just one of an entire troupe of fairies led by King Oberon (senior Spiro Gerontakis) and his queen Titania (junior Tamara Dimant). The play also features a hilarious group of mechanicals who are hired to perform a play-within-a-play as Theseus and Hippolyta (seniors Reid Fravert and Sara Anne Stringfellow). The comedic group is led by Peter Quince (junior Drew Willoughby) and Nick Bottom (senior

Joey Weed). However, the group’s play rehearsals are thwarted when Puck turns Bottom’s head into a donkey’s. Upon seeing him, Titania falls in love and she and her fairies dote on him nonstop. The play has the added element of being performed in the steampunk style, which is a cross between Victorian era and the more industrial features of turn-of-thecentury innovations like the steam engine. “We’re playing up Shakespeare’s notion that the Athenians were urban (caught up in an artificial style of life) and in desperate need of a paradigm shift provided by living in nature,” Tilton said. “To help emphasize the difference, the

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Mountain Brook High School Black Box Theatre Thurs., Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. Sat., Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. Sun., Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. Mon., Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. Tickets: $10 Purchase tickets by calling 414-3842 or by emailing weatherlyg@mtnbrook. Seating is limited.


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Village Living

SHOP LOCAL helps merchants and residents By ANNE WOOD Local Mountain Brook businesses have joined together on shopmountainbrook. com to promote and sustain Mountain Brook’s unique shops and restaurants. The new website is a joint venture of the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce and Magic City Media. “ has helped me reach out to customers in new and creative ways that I never would have even thought of,” said Snoozy’s Kids owner George Jones. “Most people who we contact through the site and through email we see in the store, sometimes as soon as the next day.” The site allows shoppers to not only purchase products and gift certificates but also to review a business, find restaurant menus, be kept up-to-date on its events and promotions and receive customer service through the website’s live chat option. By viewing the site’s business directory, you can find more than 100

businesses that are organized into over 50 specific categories. The site is just as helpful to store owners as it is to shoppers. According to information provided by the website, 82 percent of all products and services are researched online before a purchase is made. Business owners can partner with the website to receive the promotional benefits provided by being online and a part of that 82 percent. also provides information about shopping locally, and the community aspect of local shopping is promoted on the site’s event calendar, photo of the day page and customer reviews and communication. To support the efforts to keep revenue local, visit For more information on the website, contact Emily Lowrey at 250-9037 or emily@


Women & Money

Sat. Nov. 5th, 9 am - 12:30 pm Are you a female who wants to re-enter the business world or do you need sound advice on savings and retirement? Designed specifically for women who are recently widowed or divorced, this seminar will provide insight into handling your family’s finances. A light breakfast and lunch will be served. The program is free but registration is required. Register online at or call 445-1118.

By ANNE WOOD of capturing and keeping revenue local because it would potentially improve the economy. Dollars spent at locally-owned businesses have three times the impact on the community as dollars spent at chains do. Keeping revenue local creates jobs, funds city services, and promotes community development. Although Hydinger admits that the current “Buy Local” projects are in infant stages, he is confident in their growth. “The chamber has supported the Buy Local campaign for two years now and recently augmented that with projects like,” he said. “The site has really helped enhance our message.” When asked what the main incentive to shopping locally was, Hydringer said, “Simply local support.” To support Mountain Brook and to see your tax dollars being used in your own community, think about if you can buy an item at a locally owned business before you make a purchase. Think local. Buy local.

November 2011 |

Emmet O'Neal Library

Chamber campaign for villages With its local shops and eatiers, Mountain Brook has always been known for its sense of community that the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce is supporting with the “Buy Local” campaign it began two years ago. Steven Hydinger, the 2011 President of the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce, supports the initiative and mentions the chamber’s involvement with the new website As a Mountain Brook native and graduate of MBHS, Hydinger is familiar with Mountain Brook’s sense of unity. Though Mountain Brook does a fair job of supporting local businesses, Hydinger knows that no community is perfect and there is always room for improvement. “We all, myself included, need to continue to remind ourselves to keep our dollars local,” he said. “It is not always possible, but we can try. We should shop locally first, before we look elsewhere to a chain.” Hydinger discussed the importance


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

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Area shops take part in inspiration home

Six Mountain Brook shops are participating in the Birmingham Home & Garden magazine 2011 Inspiration Home. This Cahaba Heights/Overton Village area show home is open for tours Nov. 19 through Dec. 4, and all profits will go to The American Diabetes Association. “Mountain Brook shops are selling products and services that are the caliber we want to represent, and they also have a heart for giving back,” said Cathy Still Johnson, editor of Birmingham Home & Garden. Wesley Lassen, owner of The Cook Store, says she thinks the Inspiration Home is a great way to show off her store in a real life home environment. “We’re a shop, not a home,” said Wesley. “In a home setting, people will see our lines in a different light.” Paige Albright of Paige Albright Orientals reiterates that message. “People sometimes feel like they need to go to Atlanta or New Orleans to get the things

they need for their home, but it’s just not true. We have lots of great resources in Mountain Brook.” Beverly Ruff’s boutique antique shop sells one-of-a-kind antiques and pieces with a vintage look. European antiques from Henhouse Antiques owners Barbara Ashford and Judy Hill are used throughout the house. Suite Dreams has dressed the home’s bedrooms and bathrooms with a luscious ensemble of linens and headboards. And, Mulberry Heights will showcase their diversified line of rare French and English antiques. When Mountain Brook shops join forces, they are able to live out the community atmosphere that makes Mountain Brook special. You can join in their efforts by touring the Inspiration Home for home building and decorating ideas while supporting a worthy cause. Then, remember to shop locally! Find more information at www.

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November 2011 |

Village Living


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This is a hands on cooking class for up to 6 people taught in a setting that will make you feel like you are in the countryside in Sicily. This is a great girls’ night out or even a date night with the wife where you will jump right into the mix and create your own Italian Sicilian dish. Bring your own wine, learn how to cook a tantalizing Sicilian delicacy, and dine outdoors on the loggia overlooking our amazing gardens, pool, Bocci court, and lake. This is an event that will touch all of your senses and leave you wanting more. Call LaTavolo today at 205-259-8789 to schedule a class for your friends, family, or loved ones. Mangiamo!

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Corporate Board members and Mountain Brook residents Ben Patrick, Greg Curran, Mat Johnson & Mac Greaves at the Robert E. Reed annual “Kick-Off” Dinner. Photo courtesy of Kathi T. Ash.

By ANNE WOOD The annual “Finish the Fight” Iron Bowl Party will be returning for its seventh year. All proceeds will benefit the Robert E. Reed Gastrointestinal Oncology Research Foundation who support GI cancer research at UAB, under the direction of Dr. Martin J.Heslin and his team of scientists. The Birmingham-based non-profit organization was established in honor of the late Robert Reed, who passed away in 2002 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Started by his wife, Carolyn, and two sons, Randy and Scott, the foundation continues to gain momentum throughout Birmingham. You can offer your support and help continue this momentum by making a $75 reservation to attend the party. The event will take place on Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the B&A Warehouse. Elizabeth and Tom Jernigan will be recognized at the event for their loyal support and commitment to the Robert E. Reed Foundation.

The event, which is prior to the Iron Bowl game, allows participants to have fun in the spirit of competition while still supporting gastrointestinal cancer research. Guests will enjoy a buffet, complimentary wine and beer, a silent auction, and musical entertainment provided by the Fountain City Players. Along with art, jewelry, clothing and other various items, the silent auction will offer an “Iron Bowl Package” for the weekend of the game. The package includes a Friday and Saturday night stay for six individuals in a beautiful condo on Lake Martin, as well as tailgate food for the winner and guests. The winner will watch the game in the comfort of a beautiful condo and lakefront view from the balcony! For additional information regarding this event contact Kathi Ash, executive director at 427-5085 or visit www.

Brookwood Baptist collecting meal bags For the past two years, Brookwood Baptist Church has joined with First Light Women’s Shelter to provide bags with all the ingredients needed to put a nourishing, delicious, holiday meal on the table. First Light is a center for homeless women and children. BBC has been asked to help again this year. These meal bags will go to the women who have completed First Light’s program and moved into homes of their own for independent living. Brookwood Baptist will provide the

canvas bag for your ingredients and a shopping list. They ask that you purchase every item on the list and fit everything into the canvas bag provided. Bags are available for pick-up from the Welcome Center at Brookwood Baptist Church. The bags should be returned to the Welcome Center anytime before November 13. For more information and the complete shopping list, visit thanksgivingbags or call 967-0441.


CONTINUED from page 6

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The second UBEV occurred on Westbury Road during the night of Oct. 25. A purse, iPod, JVC car stereo and cash were taken from the victim’s unlocked vehicle. Below is a summary of miscellaneous incidents: On Oct. 21 at approximately 9 a.m., a neatly dressed white male approached a homeowner on Caldwell Mill Road and conned him out of $50 by claiming he was out of gas. A bank deposit bag was taken from a local business. Detectives have solved this case. On Oct. 20 a vehicle was struck in a parking lot on Office Park Drive, and the other vehicle involved was driven from the scene without stopping. Also on Oct. 20, two mailboxes were knocked down on East Briarcliff Road between 5 and 7 p.m. Both of these mailboxes were knocked down with pumpkins. A man was conned out of $200 by a

white male who claimed to be the vice president of a tree service. The con artist was described as being Italian looking, around 150 pounds and 5-feet, 5-inches tall driving a red Dodge Ram pick-up truck. A Red Track Mamba bicycle was taken from a carport on Dexter Avenue. The saxophone that was reported stolen at the Mountain Brook Junior High has been located, and the thief has been identified. Detectives are confident that they will be able to get a warrant for this subject. The juveniles responsible for vandalizing the barber shop in Crestline have been identified and are being punished by their parents. This was the result of coordinated efforts between our school resource officer and a school board member. It is another small example of the value of our school resource officer and the relationship he has with school officials. To receive Lt. Cole’s weekly crime email report update, email

Village Living


November 2011 |


Partnering with preschoolers and parents By MARY NOBLES HANCOCK In 1995 a group of Birmingham City Schools volunteer tutors from Mountain Brook realized a problem: The children they were tutoring were lacking the essential skills necessary for success. Wanting to give children a head start on a successful life, volunteers Bill Black and Jeannette Hancock created PreSchool Partners, a special preschool for at-risk children. The program targets children from the Norwood and Whatley communities and has always been supported by many in the Mountain Brook community. “The most rewarding part of working at PreSchool Partners is that I feel like I am making a difference,” said teacher and Mountain Brook resident Angel Garrett. “We test the children at the very beginning of the school year and then again at the end. It is just amazing to see the progress they make.” PreSchool Partners works to equip 70 children, ages three and four, each year with the skills necessary to begin kindergarten. In addition to teaching reading, numbers, shapes and colors, the program also focuses on general behavior, computer skills, music, art and dance. In addition to preparing the children for school, the program helps their parents with essential life skills like stress and anger management, nutrition, child development, family literacy and money management. Families of students are asked to pay a nominal fee for the program, and weekly life skills meetings are mandatory. “PreSchool Partners Monday meetings started out as a chore I had to do,” a parent in the program said. “But over the weeks, I have grown to love going on Mondays. I have made friends with teachers and parents. My child loves school and never wants to miss a day. We1 ShopsofCrestlineParkFINALr1:Layout

PreSchool Partners teacher and Mountain Brook resident Loretta Keller with some of her students. Photo courtesy of PreSchool Partners.

love doing homework and show and tell together. PreSchool Partners helps me have fun with my child.” “PreSchool Partners has shown me the benefits of having an active relationship with my child’s school,” said another parent. “ I plan to continue this throughout the remainder of her educational development.” Children who have graduated from the program have proven to be highly successful, with 60 percent of prior graduates being above grade level in school and consistently on the A and A/B honor roll. Its earliest graduates are just now graduating from high school, and one student has received a scholarship to Stillman afterPage graduating from 10/18/11College 5:48 PM 1



Carver High School. PreSchool Partners executive director and Mountain Brook resident Lella Carl said that in addition to education, students and parents receive vital health benefits. “PreSchool Partners also provides vital health screenings for its students so that any deficiencies can be detected and corrected before the child begins kindergarten, thus removing any barriers to learning,” she said. “These screenings include vision, hearing, dental, and speech and language. We help the parents obtain the services needed to treat any problems found during the screenings.” They also have a speech therapist on staff and assist parents in getting health insurance for their children.

PreSchool Partners is located at Trinity Presbyterian Church on Montevallo Road, but parent meetings are held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church every Monday, just one of many connections the school has to the Mountain Brook community. The executive director, the director of development and six of the teachers all live in Mountain Brook. There are also many Mountain Brook volunteers who support the program by tutoring students, reading to them, providing enrichment activities and providing snacks. Groups from Mountain Brook High School and the youth group at St. Luke’s have also worked with the program. Carl said they hope to increase the expanse of the program. To serve more deserving families at the capacity of their current location, they are adding more students to the classroom. This year is a trial with a slightly higher student-toteacher ratio. “The demand for quality early education is quite high, and while there are some head start programs in Birmingham, there are not enough spots for every child to attend,” Carl said. PreSchool Partners has also just finished a strategic plan determining the future goals of the program. “Our vision is to build on our current success and reach more families in order to make a larger impact in their communities,” Carl said. “We want to continue to provide a quality preschool education for our students as well as continue to teach their parents the importance of being involved in their children’s education.” “We couldn’t do what we do without the support of so many in the Mountain Brook community,” Carl concluded. To find out more about the program or to donate, visit www.preschool-partners. org.

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November 2011 |


Village Sports

Mountain Brook 17, Hoover 9: A community win By WILL HIGHTOWER Conventional wisdom usually holds true in high school football. For the most part, the teams that are traditionally good are good, and the teams that either don’t have the athletes or don’t have the resources are at the bottom. So going into the Hoover vs. Mountain Brook game, conventional wisdom said that Hoover would win, like they had for the last 26 years. Mountain Brook’s players and fans took that conventional wisdom and stomped on it that Friday night in Spartan Stadium, beating the Bucs 17-9 in one of the most memorable nights in recent memory. “It was incredible; one of the best nights of my life,” said senior cornerback Hilyer Isbell, who sealed the win with an interception on the final play. “It was like everything we had dreamed of since we were young and everything that we have worked for finally paid off.” “I’ve never been happier in my life,” senior safety Zach Gillen said. “It was the single most memorable win I’ve ever had,” senior defensive lineman Harry Reich said. “It feels like a big weight has been lifted off our back.” “It’s a really cool feeling to know that we were the team to end the streak,” senior cornerback Alan Gambril said. “Everyone on the team will remember this feeling for quite some time.” Since Berry High School changed to Hoover in 1984, the Spartans had never beaten the team. In fact, no one besides Vestavia had beaten Hoover in a region game since Pelham did in 1999. Both Hoover and Mountain Brook came in at 8-0 on the year, and with a passionate home crowd at their back and the Region 6 championship on the line, the Spartans knew that they had to win this one. In fact, all week, there was never any talk about losing. In the halls of Mountain Brook High School, school spirit took over like never before. The halls pulsated with talk about Friday’s game, much more so than usual. Students ordered 60 shirts for the student section’s “green-out” that read “Beat Hoover,” all of which sold out in less than 24 hours. On Thursday, the front desk was busy handing out “Beat Hoover” stickers that were put on cars, shirts and anything else they would stick to. Cheerleaders took up Gatorade bottles to make noisemakers. And social media sites like Twitter and Facebook exploded with statuses and conversations about the Friday night

Spartan’s receiver Coates Doss runs the ball for a gain. Photo courtesy of Image Arts.

showdown. “The week leading up to the game was crazy,” senior Cole Dunn said. “Everyone really got on board and wanted to win. It was all everyone was talking about.” The night before the game, about 60 students met in the stadium to practice cheers for the next night. “The only other students that meet before games is Texas A&M’s,” principal Vic Wilson said. “Our student section is the best I’ve seen.” The students’ preparation and anticipation paid off; at 5 o’clock Friday afternoon, the student section was packed, infusing the team with energy during their pregame warm-ups. Some students didn’t even leave the school, tailgating after eighth period and heading into the game hours early. Five hours later, they joined the team on the field for a jubilant celebration. “The student section was amazing,” Reich said. “Being that loud for that long…I feel like we really did make a difference,” Dunn said. Apparently others agreed; Jeff Sentell of The Birmingham News, who predicted the Spartans to lose, gave the mythical game ball to the student section. The actual game on the field was a little different than most of Mountain Brook’s games this year. The defense was a little

Good luck in the playoffs! Compliments of

Go Spartans!

shaky in the second quarter, and workhorse running back Mark Rector never really got going, earning 66 tough yards on 34 carries and one touchdown. The Spartans were forced to rely on the passing game to get first downs. Quarterback Edward Aldag hooked up with receiver Coates Doss seven times for 89 yards, many of those for crucial third down conversions. Receiver Gavin Golsan also had another big game, scoring on a 9-yard reverse. Hoover committed two costly turnovers in the red zone in the first half yet still took a 9-7 lead into halftime. But the second half was all Mountain Brook. Senior kicker Warren Handrahan added a field goal along with Golsan’s touchdown, and the defense rose to the occasion. They shut Hoover out and ended the game with Isbell’s pick, ensuring the Spartan’s first region title since 2003. Then it was celebration time. As the students stormed the field, led by principal Wilson, joyous hugs were exchanged and pictures were taken of the scoreboard. Once the celebration calmed a bit, head coach Chris Yeager gave a postgame speech to the players, students and parents on the field. “It was a community effort,” Yeager said of the victory. “This wasn’t just our football team. This win belongs to the

community and everyone who showed up in the stands at 3 o’clock today to support us. I looked up the population of Mountain Brook today. It’s 20,821. I believe that every one of them was here tonight.” Yeager also announced that he would extend the usual 24-hour celebration rule to 72 hours for his players to celebrate the win. For the fans, the celebration will last much longer, remembered as a defining moment for the community. Now, the 9-0 Spartans have homefield advantage in the playoffs. The state championship game, which will be held in Tuscaloosa in Bryant-Denny stadium, is on everyone’s mind. “We are set on a state championship,” Gillen said. “We still aren’t satisfied and won’t be satisfied until we win the state championship and got a ring on our fingers,” Isbell said. You know that conventional wisdom I was talking about? Sure, it takes talent, size and factual information into account. But it forgets about determination, passion and the desire to win. That Friday night in Spartan Stadium, Mountain Brook proved that we are a unified community that has each other’s backs. But we already knew that. Mountain Brook 17, Hoover 9 just showed everyone else.

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Junior High volleyball teams finish season as champions


November 2011 |


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By HILARY ROSS The Mountain Brook Junior High girls’ volleyball teams have concluded their successful seasons. The eighth grade team, coached by Bruce Henricks, had an overall record of 29-1 and won the Metro Tournament with victories over Liberty Park, Hewitt and an exciting final game against Bumpus, which went to a third set. MBJH players chosen to the eighth grade Metro All-Tournament team were Sara Chandler Mitchell and Helen Catherine Darby, while Sara Carr was named Metro Tournament MVP. Sara Chandler Mitchell and Sara Carr were selected for the All-Metro South Team. During the season, the team also won many area tournament championships: Bumpus Tip Off Tournament, Oak Mountain Tournament, Metros vs. CCC Tournament and the Homewood Round Robin Tournament. Team members are Sara Carr, Olivia Chew, Carolyn Crommelin, Helen

Catherine Darby, Margaret Davidson, Anne Raines Doidge, Carly Glidewell, Evans Johnson, Allye Lott, Laine Meisler, Sara Chandler Mitchell, Sarah Winston Nathan, Margaret Pewitt, Cleary Gray Plosser and Kathryn Wason. The seventh grade volleyball team, coached by Brook Gibbons, also had an impressive season with an overall record of 17-8. They were champions of the Thompson Tournament. Caroline Lindsey was chosen to the Metro All-Tournament team while Emmy Kilgore and Elaine McDonald were selected for the All-Metro South Team. Team members are Carter Alexander, Frances Bromberg, Sarah Chitty, Carlee Dawkins, Virginia Farrar, Emmeline Geurs, Noelle Haas, Emmy Kilgore, Caroline Lindsey, Grace Logan, Sarah Lucas, Elaine McDonald, Ellie Ritter, Hollon Skinner and Grace Tortorici. Their manager is Sarah Tate Kelly.

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MBJH selects golf team By HILARY ROSS The MBJH golf team recently concluded its competitive tryouts. Members selected to the seventh and eighth grade boys’ team are Fischer Priestley, Hugh Rowe Thomas, Harlan Winn, Jonathan Eyster, Ben Fuller, Matthew Parker, Chandler Pulliam, Willis Hagan, Thomas McMahon, John Gross, Eland Anthony and Will Bryant.

Last spring, the boys’ MBJH golf team had a successful season winning the Metro Tournament and finishing with an undefeated regular season. Coach Bobby Plummer expects this team will also have a great season, and we look forward to bringing you more golf news in the spring.

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November 2011 |


Mountain Brook youth football


CONTINUED from page 1


While the months of September and October may be dominated by the excitement of SEC football, others enjoy the sport on a more local level with the Mountain Brook Athletics youth football program for boys in second to sixth grades. The girls also get in on the fun by cheering the boys on from the sidelines in their green and white Spartans uniforms. Dads are involved by assisting in coaching, and moms watch anxiously on the sidelines ready to supply water bottles and apply ice

Evelyn King runs the ball down the field at a Crestline Elementary football game. Photo courtesy of Langston Hereford.

Cowboys Sam Graham and James Nichols stop Raider John Fletcher Brown just shy of the end zone. Photo by Alison Gault.

Raider Strother Gibbs stops Cowboy Sam Graham after a long run. Photo by Alison Gault.

packs as needed. Sometimes the competition can be as intense as any Iron Bowl, as any parent of a player can confirm. But overall, it’s a great way for Mountain Brook families to enjoy being outside on a fall day and for the boys to learn to play the game they love. Second graders ease into the competition by playing flag football. There are no league standings or tournaments at this beginning level; it’s really just an opportunity for them to learn the rules of the game. Tackle football doesn’t begin until third grade. The seasons for the upper grades culminate in playoffs and a final “Super Bowl” for the last two teams standing.

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This year, black jerseys must have been very lucky for the third and fourth graders; the Raiders teams in both grades went undefeated. Time will tell if they continue their domination to make it into the big game. In fifth and sixth grades, the steeds were the lucky teams, with the fifth grade Broncos attaining the number one seed after only one regular season defeat, and the sixth grade Colts going without a loss. This year’s Super Bowl games were held MBHS Spartan Stadium on Oct. 30. Please be sure to check out next month’s issue of Village Living for the Super Bowl winners.

of girls, both Evelyn’s age and older, expressed either a regret for not letting their child play or a desire to get their child into the program. It turns out that there was a lot more underlying interest in football from girls than what was thought. Evelyn just happened to be the first one strong enough to pursue her goals. While the coaches treated Evelyn as just “one of the guys,” she still had her girlish quirks. In the height of the boyshave-cooties phase, Evelyn refused to link arms with her teammates in the huddle. “It is the one thing she will not do,” her mother said. “Evelyn keeps her arms right by her side.” Kimberly King is now the football team’s biggest fan. “I thought initially it would be just the one year,” she said, “but if she wants to continue in future years, I’ll let her.”

School House


November 2011 |


Scouting tradition at Mountain Brook Elementary Travel in style with washable accessories and luggage by Cinda b!

2406 Canterbury Road • 879-2703 Pack 253 Bear Den visits Channel 13 News. Clarke Milteer, Cannon Torres, Fletcher Nunnelley, Stuart Jinnette, Rivers Tranum, Hagan Stephens, Theo Simonton, Daniel Carmichael, Jeff Schultz, John Curtis Gray, Alec Simonton.

By HILARY ROSS Participation in Boy Scouts is a big part of living in Mountain Brook, and several Mountain Brook Elementary scouts have gone on to attain the level of Eagle Scout, which is the highest level of scouting. This all begins in the early years and several boys from Mountain Brook Elementary have started their scouting career as a Cub Scout. Cub Scout Pack 253, which serves Mountain Brook Elementary students, is made up of approximately 100 members and is separated into several “dens” by age group. Tiger Den is for first grade, Wolf Den is for 2nd grade and Bear Den is for third grade boys. Webelos I and II are for fourth and fifth grade, and following a formal ceremony called the Arrow of Light, the Webelo II scout becomes a Boy Scout in the middle of his fifth grade year. “Scouting is an excellent way for young boys to develop confidence and participate in activities like camping, sports, canoeing, archery and more,” Bo

Tranum, Pack 253 leader, said. “Scouts work on accomplishments and receive beads, belt loops, or patches when they fulfill requirements to a certain task.” Richard Simonton, who is the Bear Den leader of Cub Scout Pack 253, said their activities include campout at Tannehill, a tour of NBC Channel 13 newsroom, a trip to Moundville to study hunting relics and the Pinewood Derby. At Pack meetings, the boys also have the opportunity to hear interesting speakers such as weatherman Jerry Tracy, who recently spoke to the group about meteorology. Scouting also includes community service, and this Bear Den helps maintain the natural trail at Mountain Brook Elementary as one of their volunteer assignments. Cub Scouting is eligible for all boys in the first through fifth grades, or 7 to 10 years of age. For more information on scouts, please visit the website for cub scouts at: CubScouts.aspx.

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Catherine Sims, Mimi Davis and Sophie Jane Knott at the Crestline Fall Festival.

By ALYSSA MONSON Crestline students enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon of “spooks and boos” at this year’s Fall Festival. New this year was a Kid Zone offering scary fun for those 8 years old and under. Inflatables, carnival games and the always-popular and scary

Haunted House rounded out the venue. In addition, the annual Bake Sale offered everything from cookies to casseroles and raised additional funds for the Crestline PTO.

Red Ribbon Week at Crestline By ALYSSA MONSON Red Ribbon Week is a weeklong celebration of good health and smart choices. Crestline Elementary School students in grades k – 6 kicked off the week with Slogan Day and signed their classroom pledge to remain drug free. Other activities included red dessert day, best dressed “in red” contests and “Cougars are too cool for Drugs!” sticker day. On Friday morning’s broadcast students recited the “Red Ribbon

Pledge” “I pledge to lead a healthy drug-free lifestyle I will say no to alcohol and tobacco I will say no to other drugs I will help my friends say no to drugs I pledge to stand up for what I know is right and stay drug-free and proud!”


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Sixth grade band enrichment

MBE band students Mary Arden Pennington, Kate Ennis, Nan Hollis, Josephine Cleverdon, Avin Niknafs, William Kimbrough, Myya Corkan, Lilli Fowler, Truman Evans and Ned Mitchell.

By HILARY ROSS & BAMA HAGER Sixth grade students from the four elementary schools have the opportunity to participate in band under the direction of Michael Holmes, the Mountain Brook Junior High Band director. Students are transported by school bus each afternoon from Mountain Brook’s four elementary schools to MBJH for band practice. No prior musical experience is required, and students work with the director to select a musical instrument. Instruments include flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, French horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba and percussion. Students may rent, purchase or borrow the instruments they play. Currently, there are 42 sixth grade students in the program that rehearse four days weekly. Each student is assigned an instrument locker in the MBJH band room if they choose to store their instrument there.. “In band, we learn to work as a team, to support and encourage one

another,” Holmes said. “We emphasize self discipline, instill a good work ethic and how to settle into a routine. We set and attain high standards and give each student the individual attention needed to feel successful.” College admission officers cite participation in music as an important factor in making admissions decisions in that it demonstrates time management, creativity, expression and open-mindedness. Several of the MBHS National Merit Finalists for the graduating class of 2011 had a musical background through the Mountain Brook band program. Mark your calendars for the annual Holiday concert on the evening of Tues., Dec. 6 at the Mountain Brook High School Fine Arts Center auditorium. Musical performances will be conducted by the Elementary Band, the MBJH Concert Band and the MBHS Symphonic Band. It promises to be an evening of music you will not want to miss.

MBE annual Halloween carnival

1829 29th Ave. South, Homewood 870-8110

Elizabeth Kohn, Calvin Wilbanks, Graham Matthews, Bay Matthews, Frances Vandevelde, Liz Vandevelde, Ann Vandevelde, Abigail Clark, Eliza Gauldin, Will Garrison, Madison Clark, Caroline Kohn, Remy Garrison, and Daniel Wilbanks at the carnival.


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Every year, a committee of parent volunteers transforms the school playground and covered driveway into a Halloween Carnival where students have the opportunity to enjoy cool rides and fun games for two hours after school. Carnival food was also offered and included pizza, hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn and drinks. Students also participated in the costume contest, where prizes were awarded for the best costumes after a parade through the carnival. This year, students were encouraged to dress as their favorite book character and family/group costumes were welcomed. In another contest, students prizes were awarded for funniest, scariest, most creative, most

original and grossest pumpkins. In addition to festivities enjoyed by the children, a bake sale and auction were available to parents to shop the lunchroom for homemade baked goods, casseroles and soups. Krispy Kreme donuts were also offered for sale. Parents also had the opportunity to bid in an on-line auction which offered items from vendors all over Birmingham as well as teacher outings, parking passes, front row seats to musicals and more. An event that students look forward to annually, the 2011 Halloween Carnival was a big success. Chairmen Laura Clark and Laurie Wilbanks and their committee worked extremely hard to make sure a fun, safe time was enjoyed by all.

School House


November 2011 |

MBJH WEB (Where Everybody Belongs)

WEB leaders Caroline Dunn, Jessica Sirkin and Chandler Law welcome 7th grade student Perry Martin.

By HILARY ROSS MBJH WEB is a Junior High School transition program that welcomes 7th graders to their new school, provides a support system for their transition, introduces them into relationships that otherwise they probably will not experience, and then provides a structure for them to foster those relationships over their first year. Faculty sponsor Chad Sorrells said, “the main goal of the program is to connect the incoming students with their peers. By choosing outstanding 9th grade experts to mentor them, we give the students the skills needed to be successful here at MBJH.” The program begins with the energetic Spartan Day orientation that gets 7th graders excited and proud to be attending their new school. It also encourages them to begin developing relationships with other students as well as learn strategies that will contribute to their academic and social success. The connections made with students from various backgrounds will be revisited at various points throughout the

school year, re-enforcing the value of the relationships. MBJH WEB is built on the belief that students want to and can help other students succeed. Each spring, interested students (who will be 9th graders in the fall) are selected through an application process and are trained to be Web Leaders. As positive role models, MBJH Web Leaders are motivators, leaders, and mentors who guide 7th graders to discover what it takes to be successful in Junior High. After orientation, MBJH Web continues, providing a number of followup activities during the 7th grade year. For example, approximately 70 WEB leaders hosted 250 7th graders at a tailgate party prior to a recent MBHS football game. Attendees played games such as soccer shoot, four square, face and hair painting and a spirit show. After which, students were treated to Chick-fil-a sandwiches, cokes and potato chips. Stay tuned for more exciting events during the year!

Take-Out ONLY!

Dine-In Only!

Take-Out ONLY!

Take-Out ONLY!

Bee keeper visits CBS

James Nichols, Peyton Jones, Mr. Frank Little, Elizabeth Anne Crommelin, and Will Harris.

By FRANCES WATTS For the past ten years, Frank Little has taken the time to come to Cherokee Bend Elementary School to speak to third graders about his hobby, beekeeping. In science, the third graders studied plants. Students learned that beekeeping is an enjoyable hobby that has a big impact on plant life; bees are responsible for pollinating the majority of flowering plants including many of the fruits and vegetables we eat.

“The beekeeper discussed the three different types of bees, worker, drone and queen, and their roles in the hive,” said third grader Pearson Bedingfield. Also during the presentation, students got an up-close look at the inside of a preserved beehive. “What about bee stings?” many third graders asked. Little answered this question by modeling his beekeeping protective wear and admitting he has been stung a few times.




November 2011 |

School House

CBS Boosterthon Keep Your Money Where Your House Is, Shop Locally & Support Mountain Brook Buy Merchandise Buy Gift Certificates Review Local Businesses Create a Gift Registry Get Updates, Like Trunk Shows & Sales & So Much More is a partnership between the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce & Magic City Media. For more information, contact Emily at 205-250-9037 or

Gobble Gobble Gobble That’s turkey talk for “Dig in.” There’s no better time to thank you for your continued business. HappyThanksgiving to you and your family. Amy M Smith, Agent 3900 Montclair Road Ste 350 Mountain Brook, AL 35213 Bus: 205-870-8820 Fax: 205-870-8810

Boosterthon chairs Ann Jones and Michelle Kelly with Cate Jones, Mary Carlisle Jones and Cece Kelly.

By FRANCES WATTS The Cherokee Bend Boosterthon was a big success thanks to the efforts of Chairmen Ann Jones and Michelle Kelly, the Boosterthon Team and especially the CBS students and their families, friends and neighbors who pledged their support. Pledges came from all 50 states and 23 countries. The school plans to use most

of the money raised to directly enhance learning in each classroom at CBS. There are also hopes to spend money on technology and to make upgrades to the playground. The Cherokee Bend School community appreciates all those who extended support to the school during the Boosterthon.

BWF Boosterthon

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BWF fifth graders Grace Turner, Olivia Bell and Grace Flynn at the Boosterthon Fun Run.

By BAMA HAGER Brookwood Forest Elementary School held their third annual Boosterthon Fun Run on Fri., Oct. 14 at the school. Boosterthon is a field day for all the kids and a fundraiser for the PTO, but all students are invited to participate and are not required to raise funds. Students walked, ran, jogged, danced and skipped around the Boosterthon short track. This year’s Boosterthon theme was having an EPIC year. During the week leading up to

the event, Boosterthon Team Members lead students in learning about encouraging each other, playing and exercising together, inviting others to join activities and celebrating others’ successes. Funds raised are used for PTO activities including teacher requested special projects and materials. The PTO chairperson of the Boosterthon was Elizabeth Long assisted by her Boosterthon PTO Committee.

Brookwood Forest students study 20th century immigration By BAMA HAGER

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2832 Culver Rd., Mountain Brook 35223 879-8278 • Mon- Sat

Sixth grade students at Brookwood Forest Elementary School concluded a unit of study about early 20th century immigration by participating in Angel Island and Ellis Island simulations. During the Angel Island simulation, students read and listened to poetry written on the walls of Angel Island. Students used the poetry and pictures from Angel Island to inspire their own wall poems. In the Ellis Island

simulation, students played the role of an immigrant character and went through processing stations to determine whether they would become an American citizen or be deported back to their home country. Both experiences allowed students to better understand how it felt to be an early 20th century immigrant to America. The BWF sixth grade social studies teacher is Jessica Meriwether.

School House

MBHS boasts 18 National Merit semi-finalists


November 2011 |



NOVEMBER 16 -19, 2011 Thursday, November 17 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Friday, November 18 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

National Merit semi-finalists. Front row: Evan McCarty, Kathleen Harris, Brooke Harwell, Ivy Israel, Sallie Grantham, Rachel Fleisig and Matthew Gambrill. Second row: Michael Cullinan, Alec Castinado, Andrew Fix, Mark Hammontree, Taylor Jetmundsen, Nick Gravelee. Back row: Jay McElroy, Will Hightower, Thomas Johnston, Alex Cordover. Not pictured: Anna Wheeler.

By SHERRIE FUTCH Eighteen Mountain Brook seniors were recently named as National Merit semi-finalists. The students are Evan McCarty, Kathleen Harris, Brooke Harwell, Ivy Israel, Sallie Grantham, Rachel Fleisig, Matthew Gambrill, Michael Cullinan, Alec Castinado, Andrew Fix, Mark Hammontree, Taylor Jetmundsen, Nick Gravelee, Jay McElroy, Will Hightower, Thomas Johnston, Alex Cordover and Anna Wheeler. “We are thrilled to have 18 national merit semifinalists at MBHS for the 20112012 school year,” said Principal Vic Wilson. “These students are in the top one and a half percent of all students in Alabama. With our student population at just over 1,000 students, this is an extraordinary number,

and it represents the largest percentage of national merit semifinalists for any school in the state.” These students were among the 16,000 semifinalists named in the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. They will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $34 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the next level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Marching band competes in festival The Mountain Brook High School Spartan marching band took the field at the 47th Annual Mid-South Marching Band Festival held at Gadsden City High School Titan Stadium on September 24. Marching bands from all over the southeastern United States come to Gadsden to compete in field marching performance. The Spartan Band received the highest rankings of Superior Band, Superior Drum Major, Superior Percussion, Superior Dance Line and the Bob Rush Memorial Award of Distinction. The band performed their Motown Show featuring “I Just Want to Celebrate,” “Ain”t No Mountain High Enough,” “Respect” and “My Cherie Amour”.

Saturday, November 19 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Wednesday, November 16 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.



Thursday, November 17 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m

. TICKETS $12 General Admission $24 Market & Muffins $36 Sneak Peek Party $24 3-Day Must Have Pass All events open to the public. Stroller-Free Thursday & Friday until 2:00 p.m. Strollers welcome Thursday & Friday after 2:00 p.m. and all-day Saturday.

For more information or to purchase tickets:


Mountain Brook High School Drum Major Dylan Teague and Band Captain Alec Castinado. Photo courtesy of Kat Lawson.

Trivia experts: MBJH Scholar’s Bowl

Kristian Alfonso will join us as our celebrity guest and vendor. This accomplished actress, best known for her starring role as Hope Williams in the hit soap opera Days of Our Lives will showcase her jewelry line- Hope, Faith, Miracles. Originally, the jewelry design was inspired by and centered on the fleur de lis symbol. Kristian has expanded her line of earrings, bracelets, necklaces/pendants, watches and rings to include many elegant and affordable designs.

By HILARY ROSS Mountain Brook Junior High recently held tryouts for its Scholar’s Bowl team. The following girls and boys were named by faculty sponsor, Beth Lippeatt, to the team. Eighth grade: Angela Fu, Patrick Trammell, Will Turner, Mac Campbell, Madeline DeBuys, Katherine Grace Moore, Graham LeJeune and Charlotte Turner. Seventh grade: Sam Vaughn, Eric Vaughn, Carter Kampakis, Nicole Lee Roberts, Jake Weissmann, Robert Krauss. An interesting fact is the team has two sets of twins named to the team (Turner and Vaughn), and two other halves of twin sets also compete (Trammell and Krauss). The team has matches throughout

the year against other Scholar’s Bowl teams in the Jefferson and Shelby county area. Questions include topics such as academics, pop culture, entertainment and music, among other things. MBJH recently upset reigning state champions, Oak Mountain, and look forward to a very successful season against remaining opponents. The two matches in November will be held at MBJH against Chelsea on November 8 and Bumpus on November 15, where you can catch these whiz kids in action! In January, MBJH will select a team of six students to compete in the District Tournament, and if the team does well there, they advance to the state tournament.

BB&T . Birmingham Coca-Cola . Birmingham Magazine Changing Spaces Moving . Chris Mason, Certified Wealth Strategist Circa Marketing . Diamonds Direct . EBSCO . Huie, Fernambucq & Stewart Inverness Dermatology . Lehr, Middlebrooks and Vreeland Mauldin & Jenkins . Michael S. Beckenstein, M.D. Park Lane Construction . Thomas E. Jernigan Foundation Total Skin & Beauty All proceeds benefit the mission and community projects of the Junior League of Birmingham

26 |


November 2011 | Village Spotlight

Business Spotlight

1930 Cahaba Road, English Village 870-1930

Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Retail pop-ups have been all the rage in recent years. Businesses essentially set up shop in a temporary setting, offering unique and exclusive items for sale. Target creates pop-up locations in Manhattan at Christmastime. Baker and cookbook author Dorie Greenspan did one selling only cookies. The allure of these limitedtime-only ventures is that it allows retailers the opportunity to test the waters of their enterprises. Weeklong or month-long leases are a win-win for owners with vacant spaces to fill AND retailers looking to determine market interest. This is the idea behind how Gallery 1930 came to be. Located in the front half of a onestory white modern building at the corner of Cahaba Road and 20th Street South in English Village, Gallery 1930 is run by Laura Vogtle and her mother, Kathryn Keith. The gallery features the work of Laura’s sister, Meredith Keith. The paintings, some small, some oversized, feature a variety of scenes in black-and-white: a horse at rest, a downtown Birmingham city scene, a flower in abstract. The pieces are grouped in ways that gallery visitors and buyers can envision them at home on their own walls. The building that once housed everything from a gas station to an insurance agency had been vacant for a while when Vogtle struck upon the idea of a gallery pop-up to showcase her sister’s work. “Last fall, I called the number on the lease sign and spoke with the building

Kathryn Keith, Laura Vogtle, Meredith Keith and Amanda Morrissette at Gallery 1930. Photo by Madoline Markham.

owner, Al Rabiee,” she said. They talked through the idea and worked out a deal, allowing a month-long lease of the building last winter. Friends and customers loved the space and how well it complemented the artist’s work. “It was the perfect situation,” Vogtle said. A short time later, Raibee, a successful Birmingham restaurateur, called Laura to discuss his idea for combining two businesses in the one space: a gallery up front and a restaurant in the back. He would need to build out the restaurant portion of the building to accommodate commercial equipment, which would take a little time. Was she interested? No stranger to the Mountain Brook retail scene, Vogtle and her mother once owned and operated Laura Kathryn, an upscale women’s clothing boutique

in Crestline Village (now under new ownership). From the pop-up gallery venture, Vogtle understood the value of the space and how well it suited their needs. “It was Al’s vision to combine the space the way he has,” she said. “We complement each other perfectly. There is a door that adjoins the front and back. If his diners have to wait for a table, they can order a glass of wine and stroll through and see what we have going on in the gallery. For our part, we have been able to host private parties, and VINO can provide the food.” This type of symbiotic relationship continues in the other items Gallery 1930 exhibits. Custom ironwork furniture and accessories by Anniston–based artist Lucy Smith are also on display. “Her work is a natural fit to Meredith’s in this space,” Vogtle said. Visitors can custom order pieces or take home one of



the select mirrors, coffee tables or side tables on display in the gallery. Several pieces feature the quatre-foil design, which is a prominent geometric element in her work. John C. Jones, the southeastern representative for Freeman’s Auctioneers & Appraisers will also call Gallery 1930 his home. Having access to this space lets him bring in one-of-a-kind pieces for display and sale. Nowhere else in Birmingham can guests have access to the variety of photographs, paintings, decorative arts, and other antiques he is able to offer. If the success of the Gallery 1930 Grand Opening is any indicator, this venture will be wildly successful. Approximately 1,500 invitations were sent out, with additional invites done through Facebook. More than 400 guests came through the doors on October 7, marking the beginning of something very special. VINO’s Mediterranean dishes were in play that night. Both Al Rabiee and Vogtle see no end to the ways they can maximize the space at 1930 Cahaba Road and open house gallery events are only the beginning. Al has dreams of offering the terrace space to local produce vendors during warm summer months for a sort of ad hoc farmers market. He’d like to incorporate Stone Hollow goat cheese into some of the VINO menu items. And Laura knows other artists would love to be exhibited at the gallery. They both know the spot is perfect for unique holiday parties. Groups may choose to rent out one half of the space or both, have VINO cater the event and provide the wine. Creating this space took genuine vision and more than a little trepidation. Gallery 1930 and VINO are joining forces, thinking outside the box, to create an enterprise that benefits not only the owners but the community as well.

Buy Local Shop the Villages of Mountain Brook this Holiday Season

Holiday Parade December 4th-3:00PM Mountain Brook Village • Pictures with Santa sponsored by

Village Living

For more information about special holiday events, open houses and sales, go to

Restaurant Showcase 1930 Cahaba Road, English Village 870-8404


Village Flavor

VINO owner Al Rabiee with the restaurant’s Pan Seared Grouper. Photo by Madoline Markham.

Napa. Several wines can be ordered by the glass as well. A special martini menu is available too, featuring variations on the traditional like Apple, Lemon Drop, Pomegranate, and Watermelon. These are priced at $9 each and look delicious and fun. Knowing we had large entrees coming, Amanda and I chose to split a salad and were glad we did. The waiter brought out two small plates, teeming with fresh Romaine, feta, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, tomatoes and toasted pita croutons. The well-balanced dressing arrived in cute miniature ceramic pitchers, allowing each of us to add as much or as little as we chose. Other salad options included a seafood pasta served atop field greens, a house salad and a knife & fork Caesar to which diners can add grilled or blackened chicken or sautéed shrimp. Service was timely and well paced. We

November 2011 |


Monday – Saturday, 4– 11 p.m. A recent Friday evening had this Mountain Brook resident rubbing her eyes in disbelief: there was a veritable traffic jam in English Village. From my vantage point at a white-tablecloth-clad table on the pea-gravel-lined courtyard, I saw dozens of people make their way into the new restaurant at the corner of Cahaba Road and 20th Street South. VINO, open now for just a couple of months, is situated in the heart of English Village but diners will immediately find themselves feeling like they’re somewhere on the Cote d’Azur or Amalfi Coast. Opened by Birmingham restaurateur Al Rabiee, VINO’s menu boasts such offerings as calamari, salmon artichoke skewers, salads, beef and chicken kabobs, simple grilled fish and more. My daughter, Amanda, and I were enjoying a girls’ night out and ordered several things to share. We started with the Artichoke Castroville featuring large California artichoke hearts filled with Bulgarian feta, plump sun-dried tomatoes and herbs. There were four pieces in this appetizer, priced at $6.50. Friends at nearby tables were busy enjoying their choices too: VINO Hummus ($5), Spice Shrimp ($7.75) and market-priced crab claws. With a name like VINO, an extensive wine list is to be expected. VINO features vintages from California, Oregon, France, New Zealand, Australia, South America and of course, Italy. Bottles range in price from $26 for the Massimo Malbec of Mendoza to $180 for the Quintessa from


felt attended to without being rushed. Only seasoned waitstaff are able to pull off this feat, and we appreciated it. VINO’s servers wear desert khaki from head to toe, which lends a cool vibe to the Mediterranean feel. In between courses, we had just enough time to take note of the fantastic location of this restaurant, a building that once housed everything from a gas station to an insurance office. Located in the back half of a cool white stucco building, the restaurant is owned by Rabiee but shares space with Gallery 1930. The arrangement is ideal as the two ventures really complement one another. Our table, one of several located just outside the wide open restaurant doors, was situated perfectly: not too close to others so as to invite eavesdropping but close enough to ensure piping hot dishes when orders are ready. We noted our good fortune in calling ahead for a reservation on this busy night, which afforded us a


spectacular view of a rising autumn moon. Moments later, Amanda and I were tucking into Mediterranean Spinach Lasagna ($12.50) and Veal Ossobuco ($29.75). The lasagna was teeming with bright green spinach and gooey melted cheeses. The marinara sauce was not overly spicy but plentiful, filling up every bit of real estate on the medium-sized white plate. The portion was very generous. My ossobuco, one very large slow-cooked veal shank, was tender and amply accompanied by the requisite melted onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery and tomatoes. I enjoy cooking this Italian specialty at home and know this is a tough dish to perfect in a restaurant setting. A small cocktail fork filled in for the usual marrow spoon, which was a thoughtful touch. We checked in with two tables of friends, also dining under the arboreal canopy. They were enjoying the Fresh Grouper (market price), Stuffed Artichoke Hearts ($12.75) and Capellini Vino ($14.75). There were oohs and aahs all around. The waiter kindly packed up what we could not finish of our generouslysized entrees so that we could save room for dessert. Offering Deep-Dish Key Lime Cheesecake, signature VINO Apple Fritters and Fresh Fruit Cobbler, we instead chose the Chocolate Molten Cake. Achingly gratifying in its warm-center-meetscreamy-cold-ice-cream, we were more than satisfied. VINO is a delightful neighborhood restaurant offering up charming Mediterranean cuisine in a refined but casual atmosphere. No passport required. Christiana Roussel lives in Crestline and is a lover of all things food-related. You can follow her culinary musings online at or on Facebook (ChristianasKitchen) or Twitter (@ Christiana40).

November at

Phillips Frankel Trunk Show and Personal Appearance Wednesday, November 2nd - Thursday, November 3rd 10-5 pm


Come design your own piece with Aurora!

Personal Appearance One Day Only! Wednesday, November 16th 10-5pm



November 2011 | Village Living

What I am thankful for

“My family.” -Marbury Cox, second grader at Cherokee Bend Elementary

“I am thankful for many moments in my life. One moment in my life that I am thankful for is family and friends. Without supportive people in life we wouldn’t be able to do many things that we can do with encouragement and teamwork. My mom, dad, brother, teachers, and supportive friends all play an important role in my life, and I am very thankful for them.” -Caroline Dickens, sixth grader at Crestline Elementary

“When so many people in our state have lost their homes, churches, schools and even lives to the tornados, I have so many things to be thankful for that I don’t know where to start. First, I have a home, a place to worship the Lord and a wonderful school that I get to go to five days a week. In my home, I have plenty to eat, a very loving family and a soft warm bed I get to rest on every night. I also attend a very nice church named Canterbury where I get to praise our Father. There are so many good ministers and Sunday School teachers that are always very generous. I am blessed. Oh, and I almost forgot, my wonderful school, Brookwood Forest! At BWF, there are so many teachers and special people that are making our learning experience more fun. So, this year at Thanksgiving, I hope you have more things to be thankful about.” - Lily Plowden, fourth grader at Brookwood Forest Elementary

“That’s easy. My family and Jesus!” -Henry Branum, kindergartener at Mountain Brook Elementary

“I have a lot of things to be thankful for, but if I had to narrow it down, it would be my family, community, country and my Lord.” -Tillman Drew, tenth grader at Mountain Brook High School

“Though it may sound cliché, I am incredibly grateful for my family and friends. Not only do they love me, but because I know that they will always be my staunch supporters, they are definitely my biggest blessing. I am thankful for being close to people who genuinely care about me, where there is always a shoulder I know I can lean on.” -Paley Smith, ninth grader at the Junior High

“I am thankful for my awesome friends and family. I love everything we do together and how much fun they are.” -Anna Smith, tenth grader at Mountain Brook High School

Grand Opening in Crestline Village!

81 Church Street, Mountain Brook • 870-1889

Around the Villages


November 2011 |

Around the Villages

Vitola Fine Cigars opening soon Vitola Fine Cigars is scheduled to open on Cahaba Road in Mountain Brook Village in mid-November. The 18,000-square-foot store will be the only retailer in central Alabama to feature Davidoff cigars. In addition to their cigar selection, they will sell lighters, cutters, ash trays and other cigar-related accessories as well as pipes, pipe tobacco and pipe accessories. A cigar lounge with leather chairs and specialty lighting will be open to anyone

who wants to come in and smoke a cigar. There will also be cigar lockers for people who want to keep their cigars there and a large walk-in humidor. Owner Harris Saunders III, whose family used to own Saunders Truck Leasing, said that the store will hold cigar events in their space. Vitola will be open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. They are located at 2909 & 2911 Cahaba Rd. For more information, visit

New Hayden clothing in Crestline Hayden women’s and tween clothing store has opened next to Church Street Coffee and Books in Crestline. The store sells jeans and other women’s clothing, jewelry and gift items with various price points. Upstairs you’ll find clothing, jewelry and gifts for tweens ages 7-14. Hayden carries lines such as Tracy Reese, Suzi Chin, Nue, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, Fidelity, Miss Me for

girls and women, and Leather Rock and Chemistry belts. “We really focus on our price points,” said Linda Carter, who owns the store with her daughter, Hayden Carter. “They are what people tell us they like the most.” Hayden is located at 81 Church Street, Suite 105 and is open Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.5:30 p.m. For more information call 8701889 or visit hayden.

Taco Mama to open in Crestline Taco Mama, a fast-casual taco restaurant, is scheduled to open in Crestline Village in early November. The laid-back taqueria will sell tacos, burritos, margaritas and other Mexican


Taco Mama is located at 63 Church Street. For more information, visit www. or call 414-9314.

Save the date: Chamber Luncheon The Mountain Brook Chamber will hold an economic forecast luncheon Thurs.,

Dec. 8 at Park Lane in English Village. The event will feature a banking panel.


Stores hold holiday events

We rounded up some of the holiday happenings around the villages. 11/10- Holiday Open House, 4-7 p.m. Lamb’s Ears, 70 Church Street, 8025700. 11/10- Holiday Open House. Local art on display. 10 percent off all items excluding artists’ work. Wine and snacks. 6-8 p.m. Smith’s Variety, 2715 Culver Road, Mountain Brook Village. 11/19- Annual Play Day. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Smith’s Variety, 2715 Culver Road, Mountain Brook Village, 871-0841. 11/11- Deb Warnat Calligraphy Event. The renowned calligrapher will be available for calling cards, note cards and gift tags on the paper you select. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4-6:30 p.m. The Scribbler, 42 Church Street, Crestline, 870-9590. 11/17- amyelizabeth Collection Jewelry Trunk Show. Elegant yet affordable jewelry designs by Birmingham ’s own Amy Morse. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. The Scribbler, 42 Church Street, Crestline, 870-9590.

11/25- Donuts and Discounts. Once Upon a Time, 201 Country Club Park, Crestline, 870-7772. 11/25- Fabulous Friday. Doorbusters, fabulous food samples, savings and more. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. The Scribbler, 42 Church Street, Crestline, 870-9590. 12/1- Shalla Wista Jewelry Trunk Show. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Lamb’s Ears, Crestline, 70 Church Street, 802-5700. 12/8- Open House. Specials all day, food and refreshments. The Pants Store, 233 Country Club Park, Crestline, 8681616. 12/8- Open house with artist EMYO. Mulberry Heights Antiques, 2419 Canterbury Road, Mountain Brook Village, 870-1300. 12/12- Twelve Days of Christmas with product specials starts. Once Upon a Time, 201 Country Club Park, Crestline, 870-7772.

Trick or Treat continues The Chamber of Commerce’s Trick or Trick around the villages continues through the end of November with participating merchants. Participating businesses have

posters to identify themselves. Cards are still available at the Chamber office, 32 Vine Street. For more information, call 871-3779.

Save the date: Village to Village Run The Village to Village Run is scheduled for Jan. 21. Registration for the 10K and children’s fun run already available on The Chamber of Commerce is hoping for the proceeds to go toward Pleasant Grove rebuilding efforts.



November 2011 |

Food & Wine

Village Living Calendar

11/5-Pepper Place Saturday Market. . More information: www.pepperplacemarket. com.

11/5-Fresh Market on the Green. Begins at 8 a.m. Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort’s

free outdoor market will be set up. The market includes local food and produce vendors, artists and musicians. No registration necessary.

11/6-Friedman Family LJCC Jewish Food Festival. 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. More Information:

Mountain Brook Events

Family Fun

11/2-6-Christmas Village Festival’s Arts, Crafts, and Gifts show. Lasting from

November 2 to 6, the festival will be held at the BJCC. Wednesday is private shopping at $20 per ticket. Thursday through Sunday are open upon purchasing a ticket. More information: 836-7173.

11/7- Story Time on the Mountain. Let nature inspire creativity in your kids. On

November 7 at 10 a.m., a story time will be held at the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. The cost is $3 or $2 for members. More information: 205-8338264 or

11/12- Hogwarts at the Zoo. Birmingham Zoo. Tickets for adults are $14 and $9 for children. More information: 879-0409.

11/1- Thyme to Read. Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ nature-themed book club r. 6 p.m. . More information: Katie Moellering; 445-1118, kmoellering@bham.lib. or Hope Long; 414-3931,

11/3- Mommy Mixer. Swank. 7 p.m. -8:30 p.m. A mixer for parents and potential babysitters. More information: http://mountainbrookchamber.blogspot. com/2009/09/need-help-finding-babysitter.html

11/4-5-Central South Native Plant Conference.Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Registration required. More information:

11/8- Mountain Brook Tweet Up. Sponsored by Free admission, food and drinks. Location to be announced on www. 6-7 p.m. More information: hannon@

11/9-Digital Photography of Native Plants. To learn to take beautiful pictures of native plants, join instructor Bob Farley at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. $40 for members and $45 for non members. 12:30 p.m. More information: 414-3960.

11/12-13-39th Annual fine crafts show and sale. Botanical Gardens will host

several featured artists and activities fit for the whole family. $3 donation per person. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. More information:

11/13- E-cycle Day at Saint Luke’s. The TKO truck will be parked in the church’s back parking lot to collect anything that plugs in or runs on batteries except televisions. Also accepted are batteries, cassette tapes, and CDs. The event hopes to keep electronics out of landfills. 12-3 p.m.

11/16-MBTV goes live on Charter Cable channel 10. More information: 871-3779 or

11/17- Parenting the Teenage Driver workshop with Dr. Wisely. 6:30 p.m.

Charles Mason Building (the central office building across from Crestling Elementary). Free. An email or phone call is requested if you are planning to attend. More information: or 877-8349.

Special Events/Ministry 11/1-18- Community Turkey Stuffing. North Avondale library is having a

community turkey stuffing. Come by and help stuff Abigail the Thanksgiving turkey with nonperishable items for a Thanksgiving delivery. Don’t forget to register for the Thanksgiving drawing for a gobbling surprise. All items will be donated to a community pantry. More information: 592-2082.

11/3- Birmingham’s Finest. The Finest event highlights some of Birmingham’s

leading young professionals whose charitable and civic work stands out as well. The finest will be crowned on November 3rd at Ted’s Garage. Tickets are $60 per person. More information: 870-8565.

11/5- The Vulcan Run. On November 5 beginning at 8 a.m., a beautiful 10k that

is followed by a post-race party will take place. Registration fee is $25. More information:

11/6- Paint N’ Party to End Cancer. Taking place at 3 p.m. at the Upside Down

Plaza, a ‘painting party’ will take place to benefit the American Cancer Society. Have fun painting while supporting a great cause. Registration is $40. More information: Highland Conference Center at 218-0605.

11/6- Out of the Darkness Walk. Presented by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Heardmont Park & Senior Center. Registration will open at 1 p.m. and the walk will begin at 2:30 p.m. More information:

11/16-18- The Market presented by the Junior League of Birmingham. Cahaba Grand Conference Center. More information: http://www.jlbonline. com/?nd=market.

11/17- Beer on the Backporch FUNdraiser. Come relax and support Birmingham’s Backyard Oasis at the Beer on the Backporch FUNdraiser. We’ll have local brews, local food and local music. Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. 6 p.m. More information: 833-8264.

Join us for lunch every month...

THIRD THURSDAYS “How to be a Haute Hostess for the Holidays!” Meet Elizabeth Scokin Elizabeth Scokin is a successful entrepreneur and owner of Nashville based Elizabeth Scokin Productions, a luxury fashion and event planning firm. She has planned events for Lee Ann Womack, Candace Bushnell and Georgette Masbacher as well as chaired the wildly successful Halston Borghese Archives Fashion Show for Lexus.Along with running her own company, Ms. Scokin is also prominently involved in Nashville’s social and philanthropic communities. With her vast experience and talent in the fashion and social world, Ms. Scokin is the Southern authority on the latest styles and fashion trends. In 2007, Ms. Scokin launched the wildly popular Haute Hostess Aprons. They have been featured in Oprah, Glamour, USA Today and several international magazines.

Bring a friend 11:30 November 17th

call or email for your complimentary reservation The King’s House Oriental Rugs and Antiques 2807 2nd Ave S, The Pepper Place


visit our website for information on future third thursdays - • Email us at

Music and Arts 11/1- Grace Bonney book signing. Books-A-Million in Brookwood Village, Grace

Bonney will sign her book “Design Sponge at Home” at 6:30 p.m. Line numbers will be distributed prior to the signing. More information: 870-0213.

11/1- Sidewalk Salon. Enjoy guest speakers and film related topics while relaxing at Rojo from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Friends and colleagues of filmmakers welcome as well as those interested in filmmaking. Tickets are free. More information: 3240888.

11/5- Los Angeles Philharmonic Concert. Taking place at the Bartow Arena on UAB’s campus, the Los Angeles Philharmonic will hold a concert on the evening of November fifth. More information: Tickets can be purchased on There is also a Facebook group titled: “Los Angeles Philharmonic.”

11/15- Book Signing: Christopher Paolini. Christopher Paolini will be signing his

last book in the Inheritance Cycle series titled Inheritance at Books-A-Million Brookwood Village at 6 p.m. Line numbers will be distributed prior to the signing. No previous registration necessary. More information: Christine Corbitt 870-0213 or

11/29- Art Break: Danish Ceramics. Curatorial fellow Nicole Jordan discusses

the new exhibition Tradition Transformed: Danish Ceramics in the Twentieth Century. 12 p.m. Birmingham Museum of Art. More information: www.artsbma. org.


11/3- Seasoned Performers production “Night Call Nurses,” or, “What The

Health?!?” 12:30 p.m. Free. Emmett O’Neal Library. More information: 9785095.

11/6- Catch a Rising Star. Opera Birmingham. 2:30 p.m. Brock Recital

Hall, Samford University. Tickets: $20-$40. More information: www. or 322-6737.

11/11-13- ”My Fair Lady.” BJCC Concert Hall. Tickets start at $25; purchase at More information: 800 982-2787 or 205 458-8194.

11/12- Artplay presents: The Bollywood Experience. Alys Stephens Performing

Arts Center. 10 a.m. Tickets: $8 for kids, $10 for adults. More information: 9752787.

11/13- Golden Dragon Acrobats of China. Alys Stephens Center. 3 p.m. Tickets: $25-$25, $15 for kids. More information:

11/18- The Chocolate Nutcracker. Boutwell Auditorium. 7 p.m. More information: 994-2534.

11/20 & 23- The Sleeping Beauty (Bolshoi) ballet. Carmike Cinemas at the Summit More information: 298-1329.

Your Community, Your Village Living

Village Living |

November 2011 |


CONTINUED from page 1 spectators are also asked to bring toiletries for the teens. “While celebrating a holiday centered on thankfulness, I think it’s absolutely fantastic that the company has found a way to give back, and I’m thrilled to be able to participate,” Ingram said. At the parade, the girls will perform before their largest audience yet. Four-yearcheerleader Ingram said she assumes she will ultimately employ her nerve-calming trick the day of. “I will be pretending like I’m not about to perform in front of millions of people on national live television,” she said. Russell, however, said nerves and butterflies won’t be in the way during the parade. “I will be having the time of my life,” she said. Lidikay said that if she knows she has over-prepared, she won’t be anxious. “Before a performance, I go over the first few moves to reassure myself,” she said. Group practice will begin upon arrival and will continue each day leading up to Thanksgiving Day. While their nights will be busy with practicing for the performance, the girls will sightsee with

the group each day. Lidikay plans to see the Rockettes and take Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel on this first trip to New York. Over the past three summers, Hobbs spent time in class at Long Lake Camp for the Performing Arts in New York, where she developed a love for Broadway and the lights of New York City. “I have compiled a huge list of Broadway shows that I have wanted to see over the years, and hopefully my dream to see some of them will come true,” she said. Hobbs will be celebrating her eighteenth birthday over Thanksgiving week. After the parade, the girls plan to join their parents for Thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant. Lidikay said she hopes they will be catching an early flight back home to cheer the MBHS football team on in round four of the playoffs. The 85th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs Thursday, Nov. 24 at 8 a.m. central time on NBC. No doubt the girls will all be well-prepared and ready to show the nation why they received an invitation to the parade. Hobbs’ motto for staying calm says it all: “Smile, have fun and dance your heart out.”

Bake sale for the Humane Society Hannah Strickland and Mary Belle Johnson organized a bake sale to raise funds to support the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. They raised more than $200 to donate the GBHS. Strickland and Johnson are both sixth graders at Brookwood Forest Elementary. Photo courtesy of Amy Strickland.


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