Village Living June 2024

Page 1

Mountain Brook family’s passion for design, decor runs 3 generations deep

Kacy Carroll says when she was growing up, her aunts — Phyllis Lyons and Buffy Hargett Miller — would faux finish everything.

“They were always painting something,” she said. “Phyllis was probably painting my cousin Allie if she sat still long enough.” Carroll just assumed at the time that her childhood was the way everyone grew up. She thought it was normal for her grandmother to turn the car around to go get something out of a trash pile and make it into something amazing, or for her aunts to craft on family vacations. But turns out, it wasn’t.

See CREATIVES | page 26 Summer

As the days get longer, there’s more time to pack in all the fun Mountain Brook has to offer. Check out something new this summer while staying close to home. LEARN JAPANESE, PLAY VIDEO GAMES OR LEARN ABOUT STAGE COMBAT

All this and more is on the calendar for summer at O’Neal Library, located at 50 Oak St. For teens, there are Dungeons & Dragons sessions and creating DIY pet

and a foam party. For adults, there are language lessons, off-the-beaten-path movies and open mic nights. To check out the details, visit

kids, there
TRY AN ART CLASS OR BOOK CLUB AT THE GARDENS It’s not just flowers and plants — though if you haven’t been to see those, they’re very much worth the trip. Track meet raises $80K for school foundation. Gone Fishin’ event introduces area kids to fishing. Sponsors 4 City 6 Schoolhouse 8 Business 10 Real Estate 12 Events 14 Sports 18 Community 21 Opinion 23 INSIDE See page 8 See page 16 Run for funds Playing ‘Hooky’ GUINSERVICE.COM Serving the Birmingham area since 1958. 205-595-4846 AL#12175 June 2024 | Volume 15 | Issue 3 MOUNTAIN BROOK’S COMMUNITY NEWS SOURCE VILLAGELIVINGONLINE.COM | STARNESMEDIA.COM BROUGHT TO YOU BY SERVING MOUNTAIN BROOK, THE 280 CORRIDOR, HOMEWOOD, HOOVER, TRUSSVILLE AND VESTAVIA HILLS See SUMMER | page 27
toys. For
something beautiful
From left: Phyllis Lyons, left, Kacy Carroll, Hargett Miller, Allie Nielsen and Betty Drennen at Hargett’s home in Mountain Brook. Lyons and Hargett, Drennen’s daughters, and Carroll and Nielsen, her granddaughters, are all artists in different media. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.
Activities to explore around Mountain Brook
in the city:
People walk along the path of the Jemison Park Nature Trail in 2023. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.


class of 2024

Mountain Brook High School

we love our graduates and are excited for what the future holds for you

2 • June 2024 Village Living June 2024 • 3 Your Choice for Physical erapy - Hands On Care Close To Home and Work Scan this QR code to schedule an appointment. TherapySouth Liberty Park (205) 874-9523 3800 River Run Drive Suite 102 Birmingham, AL 35243 TherapySouth Crestline (205) 871-0777 205 Country Club Park Birmingham, AL 35213

About Us

Editor’s Note By Tim Stephens

As the new editor of Village Living and other Starnes Media publications, it’s great to be “home.”

This is a literal and figurative statement. Since college brought me to Birmingham (and UAB) in 1991, it feels as if I’ve called almost every metro municipality home at some point. It’s good to be back.

It’s also good to be back in journalism after a few years with tech startups.

It feels full circle. My media career began at the old Birmingham Post-Herald and carried me to the Orlando Sentinel, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Along the way, our teams pioneered many digital innovations that are now common.

You’ll begin to see these influences with Village Living.

A mentor of mine once defined news as “interesting people doing interesting things.” The Mountain Brook is full of people like that. We want to tell those stories.

We have many new content plans that will debut this summer. I encourage you to connect with our social channels, visit our website and reach out to me anytime at tstephens@

For advertising, contact:

Please submit all articles, information and photos to:


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Alabama Power (18)

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Cook Museum of Natural Science (24)

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Simeon Delante Sarah Villar

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Issis & Sons (17)

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Linscomb Wealth (19)

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Mid South Liver Alliance (6)

Mountain Brook High School (2)

Mr. Handyman of Birmingham (16)

One Man & A Toolbox (20)

One Source Heating Cooling and Electrical LLC (8)

Contributing Writers:

Jr. Kari Kampakis Ashley Rogers Grace Thornton

Client Success Specialist: Business Development Exec:

Warren Caldwell Don Harris

Parrot Structural Services

LLC (17)

Piggly Wiggly (5)

Ritch’s Pharmacy (13)

Southern Home Structural

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TrustMark Bank (5)

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Control (22)

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of locations throughout the community. For a list of pick up locations, scan the QR code below or go to villageliving


4 • June 2024 Village Living
Stephens Jon Anderson
Ingram Eagle Kyle Parmley
Sweeney Ted
Lee Hurley Melanie Viering Erin Nelson
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High Quality Service and Customer Satisfaction is our priority We’re committed to surpassing your expectations for your beautiful outdoor spaces by creating and maintaining landscaping, hardscape installation and effectively minimizing drainage and erosion issues. Your Large and Small Tree, Shrub and Drainage Experts | BEST PRICE for Trees, Shrubs Astroturf & Privacy Screens Gardner has the Call to schedule your landscaping plan 205-401-3347 June 2024 • 5 Don’t stop planning for a bright future. Get a $25 bonus with Student Checking. Make the grade by opening a Student Checking account and we’ll give you $25! Open your account online at or visit a branch to learn more about our account just for students. Minimum $50 deposit required to open. To receive the $25 credit, the Student Checking account must be opened between April 1 - June 30, 2024, remain open for 30 days and have a balance greater than $0.00 at the time of the credit. The $25 credit will be deposited into the account on the next business day after 30 days from the date of account opening. Limit of one $25 credit per account.


Council considers options for Halbrook Lane traffic

To close or not to close, that is the question. The answer is not as easily defined.

Residents who live on and near Halbrook Lane and Arundel Drive attended the Mountain Brook City Council’s pre-meetings on April 22 and May 13 to discuss whether Halbrook Lane should be closed to cut-through traffic.

Halbrook homeowners have asked that the city vacate their street to stop motorists from using it instead of other thoroughfares that were designed for higher volumes.

Some concern was expressed on April 22 for Mountain Brook’s relationship with neighboring Vestavia Hills, whose residents and first responders have used the thoroughfare. Councilman Lloyd Shelton said that concern ranked lower in his priorities than giving residents of the street the relative calm they desire.

“I’m not concerned with hurting Vestavia’s feelings, quite honestly,” Shelton said. “We’ve thrown out even more hypotheticals. There’s one issue and there’s a solution, and that’s to close it off.

“We’ve said, ‘Well, we can put planters in the middle of the road. We’ve talked about a speed bump farm,’” he said. “We’ve talked all about those things, but none of those are typically used to control volume. Those [address] speed issues.”

Council member Graham Smith cautioned that the decision to close the street could yield “unintended consequences,” particularly since the traffic would be diverted to neighboring streets like Cromwell Drive.

“We always have [those consequences] in all of our decisions,” she said. “I do worry about Cromwell [Drive]. Specifically, we’ve had our police department and our fire department say

they’re uneasy with the solution of closing this road because it [affects] their response times.”

Police Chief Jaye Loggins at the April 22 meeting acknowledged the cooperation and support that Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills have provided to one another. That was particularly evident when the shooting at Vestavia’s St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church occurred on June 16, 2022.

“I’m not totally averse to closing the road, but I’m uneasy to even attempt that without having tried some remedial action in some sort of direction,” Smith said, citing no-cut-through

signage and a Google map divergence.

City attorney Whit Colvin cautioned the council that vacating the street to make it private is not an easily reversed decision. If Halbrook Lane becomes a private street, access would be determined by adjacent property owners.

Council member Billy Pritchard said the council and Colvin should lay out the process by which the road would be closed.

“We ought to communicate it to Vestavia and tell them this is where we are headed,” Pritchard said. “I know Vestavia is their world

and Mountain Brook is our world. They’re looking out for their folks; we’re looking out for ours. I don’t think we just all of a sudden go off without some kind of cooperation about communicating what’s getting ready to happen, so they can make the appropriate steps themselves. That’s what it seems like to me.”

On May 13, traffic engineer Richard Caudle of Skipper Consultants presented a list of tactics the city will try in order to reduce traffic on Halbrook without closing the street. That list includes:

► Performing traffic counts and speed studies for a 24-hour period on a weekday on Kyle Lane, Orleans Road and Christopher Drive

► Consulting with the city attorney and other city staff to prepare a truck route and truck restriction ordinance for the city

► Finalizing the design for speed hump installations on Asbury Road and Halbrook Lane near the Mountain Brook/Vestavia Hills city limits

► Finalizing temporary chicanes (which add curves to existing lanes to slow traffic) on Asbury Road, Arundel Drive and Halbrook Lane

► After installation of the speed humps and chicanes, performing 24-hour traffic counts and speed studies on Cromwell Drive, Arundel Drive, Halbrook Lane, Kyle Lane, Orleans Road and Christopher Drive

► Consulting with the city on construction of sidewalks on Arundel Drive and Halbrook Lane

► Preparing a temporary roadway closure and detour plan for construction of sidewalks on Arundel Drive and Halbrook Lane

“We’re trying to find out what the ramifications are of closing it,” Smith said on May 13. “If we just slow down the traffic by putting

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The city council is considering solutions to reduce cut-through traffic on Halbrook Lane after resident complaints. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

in these alternative methods — like the speed humps, the chicanes — then how much traffic will go into the neighboring streets? We worry about those unintended consequences.”

Gerald Garner and Lloyd Shelton repeated during the pre-meeting that they think vacating the street is what’s best for their residents. Shelton said later that he understands the need to follow the steps Caudle presented.

“We’re trying to work together and find ... is there an answer, is there a solution out there that will help the neighborhood and does not [promote] through-traffic?” Shelton said. “This is difficult. If it were easy, we wouldn’t have been talking about it for two years. It involves another city, so it’s complicated.”

Scott Planson of Vestavia Hills called the option of adding chicanes “ridiculous,” noting that installing sidewalks is the clear solution.

“You’re not going to get the road shut down,” he said. “You said it in the first meeting. You said it today. You’re kicking the can down the road to put chicanes in and put speed bumps in and then buy sidewalks. Why not buy sidewalks now?”

Council President Virginia Smith said officials in Vestavia Hills have been very cordial in their discussions on the matter but “they’ve made it very clear that they do not like this idea [of vacating Halbrook] ... and they do not consider putting speed bumps or anything on their side other than signage.”

The council voted on May 13 to approve a no-cut-through ordinance for Halbrook Lane and Arundel Drive, which Colvin said backs up the posted signs in the area.

After the meeting, Virginia Smith said that despite the number of differing opinions, she doesn’t consider this a “no-win situation.”

“For us, it’s a very methodical, step-by-step, hope that we can reduce traffic. We would like to reduce it without having to immediately close it,” she said. “But, as we said in the meeting, we’re trying to help them.”

In other business, the council:

► Agreed to submit an application for a TAP grant for segments of sidewalks in the city. Those new segments will be along Brookwood Road and Old Leeds Road. If successful, the grant would be an 80-20 split of a $1 million project, with the city paying $200,000.

► Heard the first reading of an amendment to Chapter 38 of the Mountain Brook Code, which governs activity on municipal property, including parks. Pritchard noted a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling could affect the constitutionality of the amendment.

► Accepted the low bid of $979,009 from CB&A for the drainage project on Montevallo Lane and Mountain Avenue.

► Approved a contract with Alabama Power to install security cameras in and around Jemison Park. The project will have no upfront cost; the city will be billed with its regular power bill.

► Approved a contract with the Friends of Jemison Park for the Woodland Trail bridge that will cross Shades Creek in Jemison Park. The Friends have raised the funds for construction of the bridge, which will be turned over to the city after it is complete. The plan is for the bridge to be built in August, with a likely opening no sooner than September.

► Accepted the proposal with Architectural Graphic and Design Specialties Inc. for wayfinding signage replacement panels in the city.

► Approved a contract with The Pave Team LLC for the Brookwood Forest Elementary School parking lot ramp.

► Recommended approval of a restaurant retail liquor license for Frida’s Cocina & Cantina, which was set to open in early May.

► Authorized the sale or disposal of certain surplus property.

► Reappointed Brandon Plowden to the board of landscape design.

► Accepted the annual report from the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce.

Pesky mosquitoes!

Summer is getting into full swing, just in time to entertain family and friends on your porch or deck. Unfortunately, your little party is a dinner bell ringing for mosquitoes!

I was recently visiting with Dana Hazen, our director of Planning, Building and Sustainability, and she shared a great idea we can all use to help eradicate mosquitoes.

Dana led the charge for Mountain Brook becoming the state's first recipient of the Bee City designation and has been instrumental in creating the pollinator garden at City Hall, including the actual planting.

To tackle our mosquito problem, she has a deviously simple plan. There is a product, Mosquito Dunks, that you can purchase at Little Hardware or many garden stores. They look like little donuts and are specifically designed to kill mosquito larvae. If you have a fountain,

Dear Friends,

This year, the Friends of Jemison Park celebrated the completion of a major renovation to our City’s central open space and greenway. Your support, and the support of our overall community, made this stunning renovation possible.


In collaboration with the City of Mountain Brook, we orchestrated design changes to the park which showcase the natural beauty of their special property. The new, wider, asphalt trail is located closer to Shades Creek and much farther from the busy parkway. Access trails from the parking areas make the entire paved trail usable for those with limited mobility. A new bridge will be built this summer linking the Chief’s Woodland Trail to the main trail, creating a new one mile loop trail. As an aside, if you haven’t explored our new trails along both sides of Shades Creek, you should. The views and overall experience are amazing!


The main park renovations are complete, and the park opened on schedule. Consistent with our original mission when the Friends of Jemison Park was formed over 50 years ago, we have plans to nurture this oasis in our city. Funding permitting, we will continue to plant additional native trees and wildflowers, as well as add plants along the creek to protect against erosion.


The Friends’ continued efforts are dependent upon you. Help us celebrate the natural treasure of our City’s trail system by donating to Friends of Jemison Park. We rely on your support.

On behalf of the Board of Friends of Jemison Park, thank you!


Jemison Trail:

• Remove known invasive plants from the Park.

• Plant additional native trees and plants.

• Establish a riparian meadow filled with wildflowers and native grasses to assist in erosion control.

• Monthly trash creek cleanup.

just drop one in. It won't harm birds or other pets. They last about 30 days and cost about $1 each.

Under the Planning, Building, and Sustainability section of the city's website, Dana even shows you how to create your own mosquitokilling machine using a simple five-gallon bucket, a handful of straw or leaves and a Mosquito Dunk.

If you start now, you may be able to enjoy a mosquito-free summer.

• New interpretive signage using historical photographs to showcase the history of the park and trail.

Overbrook Nature Trail:

• Improve drainage, remove rocks and roots on trail and resurface with a new layer of stone.

Watkins Creek Trail:

• Rebuild the stepping stone path across the stream


• Mail a check payable to ‘Friends of Jemison Park’ Friends of Jemison Park P.O. Box 530813 Birmingham, AL 35253

• Donate online: or use the QR code: June 2024 • 7
Mayor’s Minute Stewart Welch III Lloyd Shelton speaks during the May 13 city council meeting. Photo by Solomon Crenshaw Jr.


Track meet raises $80K for school foundation

More than 700 students from all four Mountain Brook elementary schools participated in a track meet on April 16 and 17, which raised over $80,000 for the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation.

“It's a fundraiser that the foundation has been doing for the past several years, which gives the opportunity for all of the elementary schools to come together and fundraise for the foundation,” said Rachel Weingartner, the foundation’s executive director.

Third through sixth graders from Crestline Elementary, Mountain Brook Elementary, Brookwood Forest Elementary and Cherokee Bend Elementary can register to take part in the annual meet and spend time in their PE classes training for the different events, which include a 100-meter dash, 400-meter dash, one-mile run and a relay race. There is also a shot put and long jump for the field components.

The event is held over two days at the Mountain Brook High School track. The schedule is divided so that third and fifth graders compete on the first day and fourth and sixth graders on the second day, so the events can be completed in a reasonable time.

The fundraising comes from each student’s $45 entry fee. Students receive a specific colored T-shirt to represent their school, along with a drawstring bag with items from the

Above: Participants in the Brookwood Forest Elementary girls track meet. Right: A Mountain Brook Elementary student takes part in the long jump competition. Photos courtesy of Mountain Brook Schools.

event’s sponsors. The money raised becomes part of the funding that is later given out as grants to the schools.

“It’s a fun-filled two days,” Weingartner said. “This is a really fun, school-spirited event and one of the only opportunities for all four elementary schools to get together. Dozens of junior high and high school track students also volunteer to help make [the event] run.”

Each school’s track coaches also help facilitate the events. Express Timing is outsourced to handle the race timing, so it is done like an actual track meet.

Weingartner is the sole employee of the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation, which is separate from Mountain Brook Schools. The

foundation funds its own budget, with the sole purpose to fundraise for the school system.

“Every year we raise money, and part of that is also [having] a set amount we give off of our endowment fund to the school system,” Weingartner said. “That’s the most important part — giving money back to schools.”

Over 30 years, the foundation has given more than half a million dollars to the Mountain Brook schools. These funds pay for extras in the classroom that would not otherwise be purchased, including technology like VR goggles or software and innovation simulations for math and science. It has also funded math and reading coaches at each elementary school.

8 • June 2024 Village Living
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Mountain Brook High School ranks 4th in state

Mountain Brook High School was ranked among the top public high schools in Alabama, coming in at number four, according to 2024 rankings released on April 23 by U.S. News & World Report.

Here’s the magazine’s complete Top 11 public high schools in Alabama:

► Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School, Montgomery

► New Century Demo High School, Huntsville

► Homewood High School

► Mountain Brook High School

► Vestavia Hills High School

► James Clemens High School, Madison

► Spain Park High School, Hoover

► Hewitt-Trussville High School

► Brewbaker Tech Magnet High School, Montgomery

► Oak Mountain High School, Shelby County

► Hoover High School

U.S. News and World Report ranks schools based on college readiness; achievement on state proficiency tests; graduation rates; percentage of students taking and passing Advanced Placement tests; and performance of Black, Hispanic and low-income students.

Mountain Brook, which ranked No. 306 nationally out of more than 25,000 public high schools, had 59% of students take at least one AP exam and 51% of students passed at least one AP exam, according to the magazine. The school had 81% of students deemed proficient in math, while 69% were deemed proficient in reading and 75% were deemed proficient in science.

The Mountain Brook High School student population is 94.6%, while 5.4% percent are in minority groups and 3% are economically disadvantaged, according to the magazine.

In 2023, Mountain Brook High School was ranked in second place on the magazine’s list. June 2024 • 9 Door Hardware Cabinet Hardware Decorative Interior Lighting Brass & Copper Lanterns Mailboxes & Posts FireBalls & Logs Gate & Barn Door Hardware 2824 Central Avenue #100 Homewood, AL Monday - Thursday: 8am-5pm Friday: 8am-1pm 205.978.8900 It’s all in the Details
Mountain Brook High School. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Business Business Happenings


The Tribe Hair Co. salon is now open at 2412 Canterbury Road in Mountain Brook. The luxury hair salon offers hair color, highlights, cuts, hair extensions and makeup and is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 205-834-8274,

The Curry Corner recently opened at 2037 Cahaba Road in English Village, in the previous location of Chester’s Test Kitchen. The restaurant serves authentic Indian foods such as butter chicken and tandoori dishes, along with a full bar. The restaurant is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Cleere, a designer clothing resale business at 6 Office Park Circle, Suite 116, now has a new online store. The company will accept new or pre-owned designer clothing, accessories, shoes and jewelry to sell. The online store features top items in the Cleere inventory and can provide buyers doorstep delivery within 3 miles of Mountain Brook, or shipping to any location in the U.S.

The local mother-and-daughter duo of JoLeigh and Summer Payne have now opened Card My Yard in Mountain Brook. The business allows customers to choose from customized yard signs to celebrate life’s milestones, such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and more. 205-999-0529,

Mizzen+Main, a popular menswear retailer, opened last month at The Summit Birmingham. The store is known for its classic men’s dress shirt but also carries other men’s clothing and golf attire. Customers can stop by Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. 205-407-4188,

Swarovski recently opened at the Summit Birmingham. The store offers the finest in crystal and created diamonds. They also specialize in jewelry, watches and other gifts. Shoppers can visit the store Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. 205-316-3254,

Tina’s Market previously known as Teenie’s TakeHome Market in Mountain Brook, has opened at 3027 Central Ave. in Homewood. The market is a place for shoppers to stop in for a take-home meal or grab treats, baked goods and other local vendor items.

Tina’s Market hours are Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


English Village prepares to welcome the new Mexican restaurant, Frida’s Cocina & Cantina, in the location previously occupied by Civitas, 2031 Cahaba Road.

The Laguna Beach jewelry company Gorjana will open at The Summit Birmingham soon. The company is known for gold jewelry crafted to layer, mix and match. The store will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. 205-201-0094,


MaryDee Snow, president of MaryDeeTravel, has been awarded a Top Travel Specialist designation by Condé Nast magazine for outstanding European family travel. MaryDeeTravel is located at 2900 Cahaba Road, Suite 100D. 205-454-4999,


Home décor store Home With Hechart has celebrated three years at 2003 Cahaba Road, Suite 101, in English Village. The store offers interior design guidance to customers looking for furniture, gifts, lighting, textiles and much more. The store is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by appointment. Customers can also shop the extensive online collection. 205-202-3133,

The Fitness Center, 3900 Montclair Road #210, has been helping clients stay healthy for 30 years. The business offers personal training, cardio, mobility and strength training, as well as a wellness program that includes nutritional guidance and planning. The Fitness Center is located above the Crestline Post Office. 205-870-1121,

Bossi Leisure is celebrating three years at 2003 Cahaba Road in English Village. The retailer offers everyday staples for a woman’s wardrobe, from shoes to skirts and jackets. The boutique is open from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 205-201-6735,

Davenport’s Pizza Palace has been family owned and operated since 1964. That makes this year the pizzeria’s 60th year at 2837 Cahaba Road in Mountain Brook. The restaurant serves thin-crust pizzas and salads in an old-school style atmosphere, complete with arcade games to play while you wait. Open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 4:30-9 p.m. 205-879-8603,

Onward Reserve is celebrating one year at 390 Rele St. in Lane Parke. The men’s clothing store carries items for college game days, T-shirts, sport coats, footwear and accessories. Customers can shop Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. 205-518-5048,

The Publix GreenWise Market has served shoppers at the Lane Parke location at 1000 Jemison Lane for five years. The store offers organic and specialty groceries and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. 205-802-9189,

The Summit location of Emmy Squared Pizza has been open for one year. The pizzeria offers Detroit-style pizza, sandwiches, brunch and more. Customers can dine Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and beginning at 10 a.m. on the weekends. 205-994-8685,

The Birmingham Boys Choir celebrates 51 years in various locations around Birmingham. The nonprofit was formed to allow boys in the greater Birmingham area to learn music reading literacy, vocal skills and more.


Business News to Share?

Do you have news to share with the community about a business in Mountain Brook or the greater Birmingham area? Let us know at business-happenings

10 • June 2024 Village Living

Leaf & Petal: Half a century tending to plants and customers

There was a widespread “houseplant craze” when Rudy Daniels founded Leaf & Petal in Mountain Brook Mall in the 1970s, and he intended his garden shop to be different from the competition.

From the beginning, Daniels was committed to the quality of his merchandise and customer service, and as a result, Leaf & Petal has been a Birmingham fixture for five decades.

Now owned by Jamie Pursell, Leaf & Petal serves its customers in four separate locations around Mountain Brook and Birmingham, a testament to the success of their approach.

Pursell joked that he was not even born when Daniels founded Leaf & Petal.

“That’s one point that I’ve always thought was funny and a testament to just how long-running and well-established the Leaf & Petal business is,” Pursell said.

Leaf & Petal’s first location, behind Mountain Brook Mall on Culver Road, made an impression by selling houseplants shipped from Florida. Five years later, the garden shop moved to its present location on Cahaba Road.

When Daniels began his garden shop, his only employee was a recent Mountain Brook High School graduate.

“I had some fabulous young people work for me through the years,” Daniels said. “Some of those employees went on to become doctors and lawyers, while others began their own plant nurseries.”

Although the Daniels family sold Leaf & Petal to Pursell in 2005, Daniels remained at the shop for seven more years. He “handed over the reins slowly and mentored me,” Pursell said. “He taught me everything I know.” “Rudy trained employees (including me) from day one how to hold the door open for ladies and speak to the clientele respectfully, with old-fashioned Southern manners,” Pursell said. “These are values and manners that we still train our associates to practice to the present day.”

Two longtime employees also stayed through the change in ownership. Wendy Gamble has worked at Leaf & Petal since 1976 and Lanelle Driver, who became their bookkeeper in the 1970s, continues to handle sales reports and remitting monthly sales taxes.

“We have been so blessed to have so many wonderful and loyal people stay with us,” Pursell said. “This has led to us building real relationships with our customers, our vendors and each other. We truly are a family.”

By 2007, the Pursells had expanded Leaf & Petal to three locations, after acquiring a storefront behind The Summit shopping center and opening the Botanical Gardens Gift Shop through an agreement with The Friends of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. They expanded


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to Cahaba Heights in 2018.

Originally offering houseplants, pots, macramé and similar items, Leaf & Petal’s merchandise has expanded to both indoor flowers and larger outdoor plants, including annual flowers, trees, shrubs and seasonal greenery.

Pursell said the garden shop introduced Silvertip fir Christmas trees to Alabama.

“We get excited by finding new and exciting things first and then seeing our customers get excited about the new, beautiful things as well,” he said. “I’ve always thought that Leaf & Petal in so many ways is simply a product of its environment. We hear all the time that we have such beautiful things, but the truth is that Leaf & Petal carries beautiful things because its customers have excellent taste.”

Leaf & Petal was named the Alabama Retail Association’s 2021 Retailer of the Year, and last year Southern Living magazine named Leaf & Petal the “Best Garden Center in Alabama.”

The plant shop’s golden anniversary was celebrated earlier this year. “We were very honored by the turnout,” which included the local chamber, city officials, former state Rep. Paul DeMarco and longtime customers, Pursell said. “Everyone was especially excited to see Rudy and how happy he is and how great he looks.”

“There wouldn’t be a Leaf & Petal if it wasn’t for the customers,” Daniels said. “We were really blessed.”

Leaf & Petal’s original location is at 2817 Cahaba Road, Suite 2322. Learn more about their products and locations at June 2024 • 11
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Jamie Pursell trims rainbow sunblaze roses at Leaf & Petal in Mountain Brook Village on April 29. Leaf & Petal is celebrating 50 years of business in the Mountain Brook community.
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Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.
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Recently sold homes in Mountain Brook


► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 3,058 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: Overton Park

► LIST PRICE: $799,900 ► SALE PRICE: $1,019,000

► ADDRESS: 4335 June 2024 • 13 2714 Cahaba Road, Mountain Brook | (205) 871-1141 Prescriptions | Wellness | Gifts | & More Prescription Delivery Available Stop in for bug spray and itch relief & stay well with Ritch’s minus buzzing & itching theenjoyoutdoors
ADDRESS: 4600 Old
► BED/BATH: 4/3.5
sq. ft.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Mountain Brook
LIST PRICE: $1,395,000 ► SALE PRICE: $1,601,000
► ADDRESS: 3008 Brook Hollow Lane
► BED/BATH: 4/2.5
FOOTAGE: 3,335 sq. ft. ►
$699,000 ►
► ADDRESS: 3717 Wimbleton Lane
NEIGHBORHOOD: Brookwood Forest
LIST PRICE: $1,200,000 ► SALE PRICE: $1,200,000
5/4.5 ►
4,430 sq. ft. ►
SQUARE FOOTAGE: 3,184 sq. ft.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Mountain Brook
LIST PRICE: $699,900 ► SALE PRICE: $676,000
► ADDRESS: 3569 Hampshire Drive ► BED/BATH:
► ADDRESS: 3817 Dunbarton Drive
Wilderness Road ► BED/BATH:
sq. ft. ► NEIGHBORHOOD: Mountain Brook ► LIST PRICE: $274,900 ► SALE PRICE: $259,900
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Events Mountain Brook events guide

O’Neal Library


Tuesdays: Patty Cake – Lapsit storytimes. 9:30-9:50 a.m. and 10:30-10:50 a.m. Ages infant to 18 months.

Tuesdays: LOL Extra – Various Themes. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Grades K-2.

Wednesdays: Toddler Tales Storytimes. 9:30-10 a.m. and 10:30-11 a.m. Ages birth to 4K.

Wednesdays: Movers & Makers Storytimes. 1:30-2:15 p.m. Ages 3-5.

Thursdays: All Together Storytimes. 9:30-10 a.m. and 10:30-11 a.m. All ages.

Thursdays: SNaP – Various Themes. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Rising grades 3-6.

Fridays: Sensory Play, Explore & More. 9:30-10:15 a.m. and 10:30-11:15 a.m. Free Play from 11:15-11:45 a.m. All ages. Registration required.

June 3: Reading Buddies. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Grades K-6.

June 10-13: Reading Camp. 2:30-3:30 p.m. Grades K-2.

June 10: Makers Camp. 3-4:30 p.m. Grades 3-6.

June 10: Breakout Book Club – “Trim Sets Sail.” 5-6 p.m. Emerging readers.

June 11: Xtreme Hot Off the Press Book Club. 6-7 p.m. Rising grades 3-6.

June 17: Illustrator Art Club – Art inspired by Rebecca Dudley. 2:30-3:30 p.m. and 4:30-5:30 p.m. Grades K-6.

June 24: Geoffrey Glaub Memorial Camp. 2:30-3:30 p.m. Grades 3-6.


June 3: Reading Buddies Training and Volunteer Opportunity. 2-4:30 p.m.

June 5: Game On. 3-5 p.m.

June 7: Taste the World. 2-4 p.m.

June 10: Parks & Recreation Outdoor Volunteer Opportunity. 10 a.m. to noon.

June 12: Dungeons & Dragons One-Shot. 2-5 p.m.

June 14: Book Crafts. 2-4 p.m.

June 17: DIY Pet Toys. 1-3 p.m.

June 19: Library Loot Book Club – Book Bingo. 4-5:30 p.m.

June 20: Beginner Sewing Workshop. 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

June 21: Barks & Books. 1-3 p.m.

June 24: Menstrual Kits for Way Station. 2-4 p.m.

June 28: Stage Combat with Red Mountain Theatre Company. 1-3 p.m.


Mondays and Thursdays: Beginning Japanese Language Classes. 5-6 p.m.

Tuesdays: Gentle Yoga – With Marie Blair. 10-11 a.m.

June 3: Mahjong Meet Up for Experienced Players. 10 a.m. to noon.

June 4: Maker Lab Creation Station – Perler Beads. 2-6 p.m.

June 4: 80s Adventure film series – “Ghostbusters.” 6:30-8:30 p.m.

June 5: Student Recital. 11 a.m to noon. Join us for a live concert from a trio of student musicians!

June 8: Crafterday. 9 a.m. to noon. Work on your project and visit. No formal instruction provided.

June 9: Under the Mountain film series – “The Lair of the White Worm.” 7-9:30 p.m.

June 10: Great Short Stories – “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Carol Oates. 6:30-7:30 p.m.

June 11: The Bookies – “Chenneville” by Paulette Jiles. 10-11:30 a.m.

June 18: O’Neal Library Board Meeting. 8:45-9:45 a.m.

June 18: Neurodivergent Community Group. 6-7 p.m.

June 25: Books & Beyond – Reader/Viewer Choice. 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Vacation Bible School roundup

Churches around the area will be hosting Vacation Bible School events throughout the month of June. Here are some of the ones happening in the Mountain Brook area.


► Where: 3449 Overton Road

► Date: June 17-19

► Time: 6-8 p.m.

► Theme: Start the Party — Celebrate the good news

► Ages: All ages

► Register:


► Where: 350 Overbrook Road

► Date: June 10-13

► Time: TBD

► Theme: Camp Firelight — Summer Camp Adventure with God

► Ages: Rising 4K through fifth grade

► Register: $20 per child; $40 for two children or more.


► Where: 3631 Montevallo Road

► Date: June 10-14

► Time: 9 a.m. to noon

► Theme: Breaker Rock Beach

► Ages: Age 4 through rising sixth grade

► Register:


► Where: 3001 U.S. 280

► Date: June 10-13

► Time: 9 a.m. to noon

► Theme: Scuba — Diving into friendship with God

► Ages: Completed pre-K through fourth grade

► Register:

Various places of worship in Mountain Brook are holding Vacation Bible Schools this summer. Staff photo.


► Where: 3405 Brookwood Road

► Date: June 3-7

► Time: 1-4 p.m.

► Theme: Camp Firelight — Summer Camp Adventure with God

► Ages: All ages

► Register: $20 per child;


► Where: 3207 Montevallo Road

► Dates: June 10-13

► Time: 9 a.m. to noon

► Theme: Elements of Trust

► Ages: Age 3 through fifth grade

► Register: $25 for one child; $50 for two or more children.

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Gone Fishin’ event hooks students

What better way to close out the school year than an officially observed opportunity to play “hooky”?

More than 200 children with disabilities and their parents and teachers from Homewood, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills city schools enjoyed a special field trip on May 15. The annual Gone Fishin’, Not Just Wishin’ event enabled students to experience the joys of fishing and other fun activities such as inflatables, arts and crafts, face painting and lunch at Oak Mountain State Park.

This year marked the fourth year of participation for students from Homewood, Mountain Brook and Vestavia, but the event itself is a tradition dating back almost 30 years, which covers multiple days and is open to students from Jefferson and Shelby County Schools.

“The big part of the day is teaching these kids and their parents — families are welcome — to come be a part of a lifetime recreational activity, something they can share as a family,” said Debbie Bailey, the event coordinator.

Even if students didn’t succeed in landing a fish, they did walk away with a free T-shirt and some good memories.


► For more photos, view our online gallery at villageliving

The event was supported by a group of approximately 60 volunteers, including students from the UAB Physical Therapy program, PNC, Cadence and Regions banks and the Homewood, Mountain Brook, Pelham and Vestavia fire departments.

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Bo Finch, a freshman at Mountain Brook Junior High School, fishes during the Gone Fishin’, Not Just Wishin’ event at Oak Mountain State Park for special education students in Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills and Homewood city school systems on May 15. Photos by Erin Nelson Sweeney. Left: Robert Rinkoff, a kindergartner at Brookwood Forest Elementary, paints his hand as he makes a handprint painting with Sarah Tranum, a special education classroom aide. Right: Rickey Jackson, a fourth grader at Crestline Elementary, touches a small fish that he caught.
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Spartans sweep in dramatic fashion

The Mountain Brook High School tennis teams did it again.

For the third time since 2017, the Mountain Brook boys and girls swept the state championship trophies, doing so for the second straight year. The Spartans took home the Class 6A boys and girls titles April 26 at the Mobile Tennis Center.

However, the path to get there was far from straightforward. The boys dominated the Class 6A competition, but the girls prevailed in a thrilling faceoff with St. Paul’s to win.

Mountain Brook’s boys scored 84 points to win the state title for the second straight year. No other team was close, with runner-up Hartselle scoring 39 points.

“This team was very determined,” Mountain Brook coach Susan Farlow said. “They wanted to win every position and were heavy favorites, for sure. Everyone had some tough matches, but as a whole, the boys team was the heavy favorite.”

The boys nearly pulled off their goal, winning eight of nine possible courts in the competition. In singles, Luke Schwefler, Guy Mitchell, Max Gayden, Hews Goodson and George Dumas won championships. Thomas Austin narrowly fell in the No. 3 singles final in a third-set tiebreaker.

The Spartans dominated the doubles competition as well, with the tandems of Gayden and Schwefler, Mitchell and Austin, and Goodson and Dumas each cruising to victory.

St. Paul’s gave Mountain Brook a stern challenge on the girls side, pushing the Spartans to the end.

It came down to the doubles competitions, as the two teams were tied following the six

singles flights, each team staking a claim to three titles. The No. 2 tandem of Ann Coleman and Mae Mae Lacey prevailed against Northridge, winning 13-11 in a third-set tiebreaker. The No. 1 group of Pippa Roy and Annie Lacey followed that up with a win to give the Spartans the title.

“There was a lot of jubilation on our side,” said Farlow, who noted that the No. 1 tandem stopped its match to take in the rest of the No. 2 match. “This group of senior girls knows how to compete.”

As tough as that final match was for the No. 2 pair, there was a tough semifinal match

just to get there. In straight sets, Coleman and Lacey defeated a St. Paul’s tandem that had previously knocked them off earlier in the season.

Mountain Brook scored 72 points, to 69 points for St. Paul’s. It is the girls program’s seventh consecutive state title, subtracting the canceled 2020 season.

Mountain Brook took three of the six singles courts, with Ann Royal Goodson, Mae Mae Lacey and Mary Jackson Darnall winning at No. 3, 5 and 6, respectively. Pippa Roy advanced to the semifinals at No. 1 singles, while Annie Lacey and Mary Neale

Polk reached the final in the other two singles brackets.

The No. 2 doubles tandem of Polk and Darnall won a match to reach the second round. That is now 61 total state championships for the Mountain Brook tennis programs, 33 for the girls and 28 for the boys.

“It was sweet,” Farlow said.

Schwefler and Mitchell are the two seniors for the Mountain Brook boys and will be tough to replace. There are six seniors on the girls team, with Polk, Mae Mae Lacey, Annie Lacey, Roy, Coleman and Liza Brewer all departing the Spartans’ lineup.

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The Mountain Brook High School boys and girls tennis teams won the Class 6A state championships on April 26 at the Mobile Tennis Center. Photo courtesy of Mountain Brook Athletics.

Spartans complete 2nd straight triple crown

For the third consecutive year, the Mountain Brook High School girls outdoor track and field team won the Class 6A state meet.

The meet was held May 2-4 in Gulf Shores.

This also marks the second year in a row that the Spartans have won the “triple crown,” as the girls program has won the cross-country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field state titles in back-to-back years.

The Spartans dominated the meet, scoring 114 points, well ahead of runner-up Fort Payne’s 63.5 points. Northridge, St. Paul’s and Homewood rounded out the top five.

Annie Kerr stole the show for the Spartans,

setting a 6A record in the pole vault. She won the competition, clearing 13 feet, 4 inches, to set a personal record. Kerr was also third in the triple jump, setting another personal best mark.

Lucy Benton took the top honor in the 800meter run, posting a time of 2 minutes, 13 seconds. She also finished second in the 1,600 and fifth in the 400.

The relay teams were outstanding, as the 4x400- and 4x800-meter squads crossed the line first. The 4x400 team posted a time of 4:02, while the 4x800 team ran it in 9:25.

Callie Kent and Kennedy Hamilton also reached the podium in running events. Kent was third in the 800 and Hamilton was third in

the 1,600, as each set personal bests. Hamilton was also fourth in the 3,200.

Mary Katherine Malone finished up a 2-3-4 finish in the 1,600, crossing the line fourth right behind Benton and Hamilton. Her best performance was a second-place showing in the 3,200.

Sophie Grace Rhodes was third in the javelin throw, with teammate Ella Meadows in fourth. Livy Holt was fourth in pole vault.

Anne Lawson Finch was seventh in the 300-meter hurdles and eighth in 100 hurdles. Lea McCauley finished eighth in the 300 hurdles. Anna Erdberg was sixth in the 3,200.

In the discus throw, Jane Earnhardt finished sixth and Annabelle Avery finished ninth.

Mary Jim Doyle was ninth in high jump. Ella Trotter, Lucy Pankey, Kayman Hamilton and Sarah Francis Walker also contributed to the team win.

Northridge won the boys title, with Mountain Brook finishing 13th as a team.

The highlight of the day was the boys 4x800-meter relay team, which won the competition with a time of 7:52.

Hudson Rukstalis-William placed fifth in the 800, with Branum Lloyd finishing eighth. John Roberts was seventh in the 1,600 and the 3,200. The 4x400 relay team was fifth. Stewart Griswold, Tate Hoffman, Brooks Bazemore, Braden Little, Stephen Meadows and Connor Brown were also part of the team. June 2024 • 19 Imagine feeling confident about your financial future. 205 868 3331 Expertise and Insight. Investment, tax, and planning strategies Trusted advice. Fiduciary wealth management Confidence and Clarity. The context you deserve Let Linscomb Wealth design a comprehensive plan for you. Linscomb Wealth (“LW”) is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Previously operating as Linscomb & Williams, Inc., LW is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cadence Bank. Services offered by LW are not guaranteed or endorsed by Cadence Bank. LW is not an accounting firm, and does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. This ad is not legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment advice. Consult with your independent attorney, tax advisor, and other professional advisors before changing or implementing any financial, tax or estate planning strategy. Not FDIC-Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value
Above: Mountain Brook’s Lucy Benton competes in the girls 4x400-meter relay during the AHSAA Class 6A, Section 2 track and field sectionals at Hewitt-Trussville Stadium on April 27. Right: Mountain Brook’s Annie Kerr competes in the pole vault. Photos by Richard Force.

Spartans capture 1st state soccer title since 2013

The Mountain Brook High School girls soccer team achieved greatness on May 11, winning the program’s fifth state title with a 2-0 victory over Briarwood in the Class 6A state championship game at John Hunt Park in Huntsville.

The Spartans have been atop the sport before, although it has been a decade since they were last in the state final four. Mountain Brook previously won state titles in 1994, 1995, 2008 and 2013, and finished as the state runner-up in 2014.

“I didn’t know it was going to be that cold,” said a soaked Adam Johnson, moments after the Mountain Brook coach received a celebratory shower.

Mountain Brook (15-3-4) put it all together this season, capping off a brilliant playoff run by defeating the Lions. Langston Lilly and Sophie Hicks converted penalty kicks to provide the totality of the game’s offense.

“That was fun,” Johnson said. “I love watching them play. To be able to see a team so young come together and get that monkey off their back. I lost count of all the alumni that were texting me before the game.”

The Spartans did not allow a goal all postseason, shutting out Parker, Homewood, Mortimer Jordan and Athens in the semifinals on May 9 to reach the state final. Mountain Brook goalkeeper Laine Minich saved four more shots in the final to finish off the perfect playoff run. She allowed only eight goals all season and was named the tournament’s MVP.

Mountain Brook’s roster features no seniors and only three juniors, with Laine Minich, Virginia Poe and Langston Lilly leading the way. There is a youth movement amongst the Spartans.

“It’s incredible to see them live the experience and grow from it,” Johnson said. “That’s going to propel us into the future.”

Briarwood (14-5-4) had an impressive season as well, defeating Hueytown, Helena, Northridge and Montgomery Academy to get to the championship game.

“We didn’t play our best, and in a game like

this, you’ve got to play your best. We weren’t quite as sharp as I hoped we’d be,” Briarwood coach Ryan Leib said.

Briarwood’s win in the semifinals avenged last year’s loss in the same round.

“It was awesome getting back to the final four and getting past Montgomery Academy,” Leib said. “Getting here, it’s a bummer to lose.

They played their hearts out. Great effort from our kids.”

Briarwood will graduate

for the

“Those four led this team here,” he said. “It’s great getting here, it just stinks right now.”

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Makenzie Key, Erin Gilbert, Katherine Lloyd and Kirstin Wolfe. Gilbert was the team’s captain and Leib had positive words group as a whole. Mountain Brook celebrates its 2-0 win over Briarwood in the Class 6A championship game at John Hunt Park in Huntsville on May 11. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Sharing a love of soccer

2 Cherokee Bend

sixth-graders start Extended Day Program

Cherokee Bend sixth graders James Summers and Charlie Screws both enjoy playing soccer, and they came up with an idea to teach younger kids how to play the game.

The boys, who both play club soccer for Alabama FC, already practice together after school and decided to use that time and their knowledge of the game to teach soccer to Cherokee Bend students in the Extended Day Program.

Summers said they met with Cherokee Bend Principal Brannon Aaron and Assistant Principal Carla Dudley the Monday after spring break to have a brainstorming session.

“Mrs. Dudley and I were blown away by the effort they put into their presentation and their desire to mentor these young learners,” Aaron said. “We asked them to come back with something more formalized, and they came to the next meeting with a presentation and an advertising flier.”

After receiving approval, Summers and Screws began holding the first after-school, student-led soccer clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They

were also allowed to borrow the school’s equipment instead of having to purchase their own.

“It was such a fun process to watch them come up with a plan and present it to Mr. Aaron and Mrs. Dudley,” said Summer Summers, James’ mom. “They worked so hard on it on their own, and I am so impressed with the support Mr. Aaron and Mrs. Dudley have shown them along the way.”

The classes were held on Tuesdays for kindergarten and first graders, while Thursdays were for second and third graders. For about an hour each day, the boys taught drills and passing and had a scrimmage. Each day could have anywhere from four to 12 participants.

“Tuesdays were their favorite, because it is a younger group of kids,” Summer Summers said. “I think the third graders challenge them a little more, which will be a memory at some point.”

Aaron said the boys not only teach specific soccer skills but, more importantly, serve as role models, “instilling enthusiasm and confidence in each of the students in their program.

We are incredibly proud of these inspiring young men and the impact they are making at Cherokee Bend. I’ve been impressed to see the heart they have for those kids.”

When asked what they learned from their teaching experience, the boys both agreed that “some of the kids weren't as well behaved as others, and that kids aren’t very good listeners sometimes.”

James Summers said that not many kids at Cherokee Bend are playing soccer, and they want to encourage them to do so. He said this experience taught him how to create a business and how to handle younger kids. June 2024 • 21 Community Have a community announcement? Email Leah Ingram Eagle at to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue. 205.415.7536 | 32 Church Street, Mountain Brook, AL 35213 391 Rele Street, Mountain Brook, AL 35223 Scan QR Code and follow us on Instagram for our Summer Specials REMEMBER TO WEAR YOUR SPF FOR A RADIANT SUMMER GLOW!
Charlie Screws, left, and James Summers spent two afternoons each week this spring leading an after-school soccer clinic for Cherokee Bend Elementary students. Photo courtesy of Summer Summers.

Retired Mountain Brook teacher publishes first book

When Andrew Grayson was a freshman at the University of Tennessee, he was focused on studying architecture, a career that would carry him through the first 32 years of his adult life.

But something happened in his core English composition course that year that would shape his second and third careers: his professor took notice of his writing.

“They asked, ‘Wouldn’t you like to switch your major from architecture to English?’ And I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do, but from then on, I had this idea in the back of my head to write,” Grayson said.

And now the Mountain Brook native has released his first book, “The Christmas Meeting,” with a second book coming soon.

Grayson said “The Christmas Meeting,” a young adult historical fiction novel set during the Civil War, has a Hardy Boys adventure feel. The main characters get some help from a collection of artists, authors and others, like Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens, who were alive during that time and are now well-known.

Grayson’s second work — “The Five-Year Samaritan,” which should be completed in the next couple of months — is not a sequel, but it is connected.

“It’s about a high-school English teacher who grew up as the child of parents who both worked for FEMA and moved from place to place, from disaster to disaster,” Grayson said.

Like his first book, it has a Hardy Boys feel — the character ends up in a haunted house as a child, and there’s an escape through tunnels. Later, there’s a murder mystery to solve after someone is kidnapped live on Facebook.

“The Five-Year Samaritan” contains the origin story of “The Christmas Meeting” too. But it’s not aimed at young adults, and in a way it also takes on some autobiographical

They asked, ‘Wouldn’t you like to switch your major from architecture to English?’ And I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do, but from then on, I had this idea in the back of my head to write.

elements — after Grayson’s career in architecture, he started a second career as a teacher.

He came up with the first draft of “The Christmas Meeting” while he was working on his master’s in education at UAB, then he went on to teach English for four years at Hewitt-Trussville High School and six years at Mountain Brook Junior High, his alma mater.

He said it was a “very rewarding time” and that he was happy to give back. During his time in Mountain Brook schools, and then his own kids’ time there, he saw the difference a good education could make.

“When I retired from that and had the time, I really started focusing on writing,” Grayson said. “I got in a writing group with one of my fellow teachers at Mountain Brook High School, and we started reading each other’s stuff and giving feedback. That gave me the impetus to keep writing and keep the story advancing.”

For more information on his work, visit

22 • June 2024 Village Living
If your pest problem gets too much to handle... 205-663-4200 BACK... they’re It’s tick season - and they can be anywhere outdoors. Keep you and your family tick bite free by... including your yard Examine yourself immediately after walking through tall grass, wooded areas, or anywhere domestic or wild animals roam. At the end of the day do a thorough tick check in a full length mirror - and we mean a down to the birthday suit check. Wash your clothes and shower. Call The Best to Fight The Pest
Andrew Grayson, a retired English teacher at Mountain Brook Junior High School, recently published his first young adult novel, titled “The Christmas Meeting.” Grayson will be holding book signings at several locations this summer. Photo courtesy of Andrew Grayson.
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Why every mom needs to prioritize rest

When I was younger, I didn’t believe in rest.

Especially as a new mom, my reserve didn’t feel empty because my heart felt so full. When I was tired, a nap made everything better. I was good to go again.

But with age, I have changed my tune. I have seen firsthand how not making time for rest leads to burnout, exhaustion, loneliness, emptiness and lost joy.

Some exhaustion can’t be cured with a nap, a vacation or traditional ideas of self-care. Some exhaustion seeps deeply into our bones, and only time with God and healthy lifestyle rhythms can truly restore us.

Sadly, we often feel like we can’t rest as moms. We worry that if we stop moving, we may crash or lose momentum.

And what then? Who will hold the family together? What if it all comes unglued? What if our rest leads to chaos — and we end up more stressed than before?

Nobody knows the family juggling act quite like mom, so we stay in motion and resign ourselves to living with overwhelm.

Clearly, this isn’t sustainable. And when we stay in this cycle, our family feels like a burden. We get irritated as they enjoy themselves while we work hard.

Moms, it may be hard to believe this, but the world will keep turning if you rest. Your family won’t go up in flames, and you won’t lose

momentum. Instead, you’ll recharge. You’ll gain distance from your stress and problems. You’ll feel lighter and happier as you bond with other moms over the highs and lows of life.

In the Bible, Jesus said to give our burdens to Him. He modeled healthy lifestyle rhythms. Since people always needed Him, He set boundaries around His time. He showed us how to rest, even in times of pressure:

► Before choosing the 12 apostles, Jesus retreated to a mountaintop to pray all night.

(Luke 6:12-13)

► In the middle of a fierce storm with His disciples, He fell asleep on a boat. (Matthew 8:24)

► After hearing about John the Baptist’s death, He withdrew on a boat to grieve in a solitary place. (Matthew 14:13)

► He ate His last meal before death with only his disciples. (Matthew 26:17–29)

► He kept the Sabbath holy. (Luke 4:16)

Rest is essential to long-term health. It recalibrates the soul, amplifies God’s voice and brings peace. But rest has never felt more elusive because we live in a world of unrest. Besides family, work, and personal responsibilities, you face 24/7 demands for your time — nonstop emails, beeps and notifications — that make everything feel urgent.

When I grew up, it was considered rude to call someone after 9 p.m. Families had a buffer

that let them rejuvenate at home. But now, that buffer is gone. It’s no longer taboo to reach out at a crazy hour. Today’s world has no boundaries, and this presents more ways to spend your time — and to compare yourself to other moms.

The good news is, it’s not all urgent. With God’s help, you can prioritize what is important over what is urgent. What someone else considers “urgent” may not be part of His plan for you, and rather than let external demands drive your schedule, you can pause and listen to Him.

As humans, we tend to veer toward one extreme or the other, toward burnout or inaction. But even the biggest go-getter on the planet will eventually crash, burn or snap if they don’t pace themselves. The traits that our society applauds us for (responding quickly, working non-stop, thriving on activity and keeping an impossible pace to feel accomplished and stay in others’ good graces) will at some point take a toll on our health and soul.

Countries like the United States glorify the hustle. We treat busyness like a badge of honor. But if you ask me, it’s clear we have a problem based on the many best-selling products and trends that promise to ease our stress. Weighted blankets, CBD oil, essential oils, melatonin tablets, diffusers, therapy dogs, sound machines, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy candles, silent retreats and popular apps like Headspace and Calm are all a sign of our times. They show

how desperate we are to escape the frantic pace of society and the restlessness inside our minds.

We all have crucial work to do, and we all want our lives to matter. But we’ll never be our best selves if we live with our hair on fire. To go the distance, we need grace and downtime. We need to stop, breathe, pray and give thanks for the life we’ve been given.

One comfort of the Christian life is knowing how God works with small offerings. He values your heart over your output — and multiplies what you give Him. So if you feel tapped out, it’s OK. Just bring what you have to the table, and let God take it from there.

Mothers need rest for the same reasons that everyone needs rest: Because we are human beings, not human doings. Your value comes from being a child of God, not outward success. Even on your best days, you have limits. You need rest and renewal. Value your health as you hope your children will value theirs. Help the next generation learn from our mistakes and understand the cost of a life that never allows time for downtime, renewal and rest.

Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mountain Brook mom of four girls, author, speaker, and blogger. Her bestselling books are available everywhere books are sold. Join Kari on the Girl Mom Podcast as well as Instagram and Facebook. June 2024 • 23 Opinion Hoke Animal Clinic Family Owned Since 1985 Surgery • In-house Pharmacy Grooming & Boarding • Behavioral Training Nutritional therapy • Wellness and More! 205-956-6096 | 1559 Cooper Hill Rd Convenient Care with In-House Surgery Our Full Hospital Services Include: Soft Tissue Surgery Mass/ Tumor Removal Cystotomy Gastrointestinal Obstruction Anal Gland Removal Prolapsed 3rd Eyelid Gland (cherry eye) And More... Orthopedic Surgery Bone pinning/ Fracture repair ACL Repair Femoral Head Ostectomy Family owned for 30 yearsYour Pets are Our Family

get awayFOR A DAY

Come enjoy a hands-on, immersive experience at the Cook Museum of Natural Science

At the Cook Museum of Natural Science in downtown Decatur, visitors of all ages learn about the wonders of nature — and not by looking passively at dry, dull, traditional displays.

Instead, they enjoy an exciting, handson, immersive experience featuring state-of-the-art interactive exhibits.

Less than 90 minutes from Birmingham, the facility is open seven days a week all summer and offers families the chance to make amazing memories together.

The Cook Museum will mark a big milestone on June 7 when it celebrates its fifth anniversary at its current location.

“Since opening in 2019, the museum has continued to find new ways to fulfill its mission to engage, excite and educate visitors, and we’re honored to celebrate this special milestone,” said Kara Long, the museum’s Director of Collections and Gallery Experience.

Visitors can take part in the celebration during the museum’s fun, exciting Fifth Year Anniversary Weekend June 8 and 9. In addition, the museum will host a Member Appreciation Day on Saturday, July 13, with games, crafts and snacks. More information on these big events will be available soon.

The museum is also celebrating its anniversary by opening yet another exciting, interactive experience — the Mining Sluice. This new hands-on, outdoors experience allows visitors to mine — and take home — their very own gemstones. Different sizes of mining bags loaded with hidden treasures are available for purchase in the Courtyard.

The Mining Sluice will be open on select days and have special operating

hours that are weather dependent and vary from the museum's exhibit hours.

General Museum admission is required.

“We are thrilled to offer another interactive educational experience to our visitors with the addition of Cook Museum Mining Co.,” Long said. “We hope the excitement of mining gemstones inspires memories and learning in all ages. That's what the Cook Museum is all about.”

The Mining Sluice is a great addition

to the museum’s other cool experiences. Attendees touch a meteorite. They climb to the top of Big Tree. They’re mesmerized by moon jellies. They build a volcano and watch it erupt.

“Hands-on, immersive experiences engage people through more than listening, reading or watching,” said Joy Harris, the Cook Museum’s marketing coordinator.

In addition to big events, there are other ways visitors can participate in

Cook Museum of Natural Science

Where: 133 4th Ave. NE, Decatur Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; Noon to 5 p.m. Sundays (from Memorial Day to Labor Day) Call: 256-351-4505


celebrating the museum’s fifth anniversary.

► Monthly Giveaways: Each month Cook Museum will host a week-long social media giveaway with amazing prizes. Follow the Cook Museum on Facebook and Instagram for more information and to enter to win.

► Membership Gift: Throughout 2024, a commemorative tote bag and sticker will be given out to each membership purchased or renewed.

► Doodle Bug Activity Guide: Visitors to the museum can take home a Doodle Bug Activity Guide, packed full of fun ways to continue the learning at home and online at Discovery Hub after your visit. Offered while supplies last.

As always, the museum also offers a great lineup of classes, camps and special events.

For more information about the Cook Museum, including hours, admission prices and memberships, call 256-3514505 or go to

For more about the Museum's Fifth Year Anniversary, visit cookmuseum. org/five.

24 • June 2024 Village Living SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Spend a day with American patriots in the 18th century

Enjoy red, white and blue all-American family fun this summer at the American Village. The “Hidden Heroes: Revolutionary Spy Adventure” offers something for patriots of all ages.

Learn to become a spy, outsmart the redcoat forces and join the Continental Army. Read the Village Gazette upon your arrival at the Visitors Center to find out each day’s revolutionary events. Food trucks will be onsite every Saturday.

Starting Friday, May 31, escape the heat at the cinema. The summer film series will run every other Friday evening (May 31, June 14 and 28, July 12 and 26) in the West Wing of Independence Hall theatre. No admission is required, but a donation is suggested. Beer, wine and food trucks will be available on Constitution Green to provide refreshments before the film. Enjoy the American Arts & Crafts Fair on Saturday, June 1. See painters, soap makers, potters, jewelry makers, wood workers and metal workers create and sell their works.

On July 4, join your family, friends and neighbors at the American Village to celebrate Independence Day 1776! Fun, food, fireworks… you’ll find it all, bigger and better than ever. Admission is $5 for adults and free to veterans, active military and children 4 and younger. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the family-friendly fun lasts through

American Village

Where: 3727 Alabama 119, Montevallo

Summer hours:

Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (June-July)

Admission: Adults $11, students and youth (ages 5-17) $10, seniors $9, and free for veterans, active military and children ages 4 and younger

Call: 205-665-3535


twilight’s last gleaming.

For a complete schedule of summer events, visit the American Village online at

Summer is the perfect time for families to enjoy the zoo

Summer, with long days and gorgeous weather, is the perfect time for families to enjoy outdoor attractions like the Birmingham Zoo.

Covering 122 acres, the zoo is home to 550 animals of 180 species from six continents, including zebras, orangutans, elephants and a jaguar.

The only Alabama zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the facility draws 500,000 visitors annually.

Visitors can see the Birmingham Zoo’s new baby giraffe, Mopane (pronounced Mo-Paw-Nee). The first giraffe born at the zoo since 2014, Mopane was born in April to mother Ruby and father Jalil, with the help of the zoo’s animal care team.

“We’re overjoyed to welcome this beautiful baby giraffe to our zoo family,” said Chris Pfefferkorn, the zoo’s CEO and President, calling the birth “another step” in the zoo’s work to help conserve giraffes.

There are lots of animal experiences at the zoo, including goat walks and bird feedings, some at the Junior League of Birmingham Hugh Kaul Children’s Zoo.

Visitors can also enjoy riding the Red Diamond Express Train and climbing the Full Moon Bar-B-Que Adventure Tower.

The zoo also hosts special summer events:

► June 8: Zoo Brews, with craft breweries and food trucks. 6-9 p.m. Ages 21 and older.

► June 15: Pancakes and Princesses, an enchanted day in a magical court of characters during the Royal Pancakes and Princesses Breakfast. 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For even more fun year-round, become

Birmingham Zoo

Where: 2630 Cahaba Road

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Call: 205-879-0409


a member. Members enjoy unlimited visits as well as discounts on events, camps, classes and more.

Located at 2630 Cahaba Road, the zoo is open Wednesday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, including membership packages, go to or call 205-879-0409. June 2024 • 25
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CONTINUED from page 1

It was the product of being born into a family that has “the eye” — the Mountain Brook residents have long been known for being able to see beyond what’s there and envision something beautiful.

It started with Carroll’s grandmother, Betty Drennen, whom Lyons calls “a Southern belle.”

“Mama did Imagination Incorporated — that was the name of her flower business,” Lyons said. “Back in the day, they used to have huge cocktail parties and debutante balls, and they’d be written up in the paper.”

Drennen went to England and trained under Sheila Macqueen, who had decorated Westminster Abbey for the coronation and wedding of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as the wedding reception of then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Miller said her mother and the women she worked with back home were known as “the flower ladies of Birmingham,” some of Mountain Brook’s early master floral designers. And Miller and Lyons grew up learning from them.

“We worked for them; we carried buckets and learned the floral,” Miller said.

But she and her sister also “had this sort of creative eye” that came out naturally in the business — a gift they inherited from their mother.

That’s something that can’t be taught, Miller said.

And it’s something that’s blossomed into long design careers for both Miller and Lyons.

Lyons was an art teacher in Baldwin County Public Schools for 10 years, then art director at The Exceptional Foundation in Homewood for seven years before she retired. Outside of her day job, she’s done everything from decorating to making jewelry to faux finishing and marbelizing walls.

And she’s worked alongside Miller, who for 28 years was the senior stylist at Southern Living magazine. Miller also built a floral business on the side, and over the years, she created the backdrops for up to 25 weddings and events each year.

Her sister has been right there with her.

“I call us the creative crazies, because that’s what we were,” Miller said. “We’ve always been ‘designing women.’”

Miller said her sister has a gift for taking something old and blending it seamlessly into decor.

They both fondly remember Christmas trees they decorated in people’s homes around town over the years, and they rattle off stories of times they drove to venues in the middle of nowhere with a carload of decor to set up for a magazine shoot.

“We would style shots, food shots — I brought all the props,” Miller said.

Lyons also worked at different points in the prop room for Southern Progress, which published Southern Living as well as publications for Lowe’s Home Improvement.

“Lowe’s would pay me to come up with different ways to use their products for Southern Living,” she said. “I would take three mailboxes and paint them different colors to hold the kids’ stuff in the kitchen, or I’d take a toolbelt and Velcro it to the side of the bed to hold things. This was before Amazon, before you could just buy everything ready-made.”

It was part of a shift for Lowe’s, a time when they changed the game and started marketing their products to women, not just men. Lyons helped with that shift.

And so did the next generation — Carroll also worked with Lowe’s on their magazine later on, using all Lowe’s products to design spaces in homes.

Carroll — whose father, developer Jay Drennen, is Lyons’ and Miller’s brother found her way into design somewhat unexpectedly, almost like a family magnet pulling her in.

“I was a marketing major; I’m really good with numbers, and I never thought I could do design for a living,” she said. “But as I got older, I fell into spots that showed my gifts, and I decided to pursue them.”

For the past 10 years, she has run Kacy Carroll Studios, designing home and business spaces by selecting colors, hardware and high-end furnishings.

Like her aunts, Carroll loves for it to be a

“ ” I call us the creative crazies, because that’s what we were. We’ve always been ‘designing women.’

family affair — she often brings in Miller to do the finishing touches with decor.

“They’re very crafty,” Carroll said, “and I’m more of a structural type.”

But they all have “the eye,” and they have something else that ties them together: their favorite color is chartreuse. Lyons, who has pops of chartreuse all over her living room, said it’s the new neutral — “everything goes with it.”

It’s also the favorite color of Lyons’ daughter, Allie Nielsen, who lives in Andalusia and runs Vine + Branch, a shop that offers luxury faux floral and moss designs along with Southern wild Smilax (or greenbrier) pulled fresh to order.

Nielsen also tried a different path before leaning back into the creativity she grew up


with — she used to be a lung transplant nurse in Chicago. Now with Vine + Branch, she collaborates with her aunt and cousins too.

“I’ve sent containers down to Andalusia, and she’ll fill them with arrangements and send them back for clients,” Carroll said.

They all have projects all over the place at any given moment, but for Lyons and Miller, their primary creative outlets have shifted recently — on the last weekend in March, they decorated for their final two weddings.

“I just retired from doing big weddings and events,” Miller said. “I want to make more time for my passion, which is painting.”

She quickly added, “and other creative projects.”

One family project they have planned for the near future is to redo a room at the Foundry, a rescue mission and recovery center in Bessemer.

“I’m excited about this next chapter, because it won’t be as stressful,” Miller said.

But slowing down isn’t really in the family’s genes. At 94, Drennen is still very much into “other creative projects” too, and Lyons said she’s “as alive as she can be.”

Drennen is still providing guidance in the gardens at her daughters’ Mountain Brook homes, which are next door to each other and connected by a patio.

“We love our gardens — Mama has taught us to do that,” Lyons said.

They have many pass-along plants — plants that have survived for years by being passed from one person to the next.

“We did a video on pass-along plants in the garden with my mother, and it got about 80,000 views,” Miller said.

She said Drennen has also already had two pop-up shops this year at the local retirement home where she lives. Residents can charge their purchases at Betty’s Beads and Bangles to their room account.

For merchandise, Lyons said she takes her mother’s vintage jewelry and beads and blends them to make “elegant, elaborate statement necklaces and cuff bracelets” all of which are $10. Over the years, Drennen collected a lot of pieces in her travels, and she had spaces at shops like Hanna Antiques and Irondale Pickers.

Now her daughters love helping style her collection into new things.

“We have crafternoons, and our husbands hate it,” Lyons joked.

But their husbands can’t stop it, just like Lyons and Miller can’t stop their mother from checking out other people’s discarded items as they drive around town.

“Trash to treasure is a big part of Mama’s heart,” Lyons said. “The other day, I was driving her back from the doctor, and she was like, ‘Slow down, there’s a trash pile.’ She does it every time, and I say, ‘What are you going to do with it, Mama? What are we going to do with the chair?’”

And every time, she’s got a vision.

Village Living 26 • June 2024
Above left: Luxury faux orchids designed and painted by Allie Nielsen. Nielsen is a third-generation artist, following in the footsteps of her grandmother, Betty Drennen. Above right: A vintage jewelry design, compiled of old jewelry from Betty Drennen’s collection and created by her daughter, Phyllis Lyons. Left: A mixed media piece on canvas by Buffy Hargett Miller, who is also Drennen’s daughter. Photos by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

CONTINUED from page 1

Birmingham Botanical Gardens offers a calendar of events all summer that range from superhero camp to art classes and from storytime to nature activities. They even have a monthly book club for adults called Thyme to Read. To find out more about what’s going on at the gardens, visit BBG, which is located at 2612 Lane Park Road, is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.


Every day, about 550 animals of 180 species are ready to host you and your kids at the Birmingham Zoo for a day of fun. You can buy a ticket for the day or get an annual membership, and for an extra fee you can ride the train and try out the adventure tower. Check out for more information.

If you’ve got a prince or princess living in your house, you can also bring them to the zoo’s Pancakes and Princesses event, open to all royalty on June 15 in three seatings. Costumes are encouraged, and special animal friends will be present for the fun. For more information or for tickets, visit pancakes-and-princesses-2024-2.


Across Mountain Brook, there are neighborhood pools and other places to get in the water. The Mountain Brook YMCA and the Mountain Brook Club both require a membership but also provide other amenities. For more information, visit or


If you’re tired of your same old workout or inspired to get started again, consider trying a new gym — Mountain Brook is full of different kinds of individual and group workouts. Consider interval training at X4 Fitness, spin classes at Ignite Cycle, a variety of movement workouts at Thrive Pilates + Yoga, barre classes at Barre3 or personal training at The Fitness Center, just to name a few.


Mountain Brook Village and Lane Parke are always great places to shop, but especially on Market Day. Visit the village on July 20 for a day of sales, shopping and fun hosted by the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce. Make it a girls day, a family day, a day to get your Christmas shopping done early or simply treat yourself. You’ll be in good company — this tradition has been going strong for 23 years.


Thanks to Mountain Brook’s sidewalk and trail system, you can head right out of Davenport’s Pizza Palace, Brick & Tin or any other restaurant in Mountain Brook Village and go for a walk through Jemison Park, a 54-acre linear greenway that offers a slice of nature in the city. It’s a great spot for jogging, hammocking and bird watching, and the city recently completed upgrades such as a newly designed

and paved trail that is wider, longer and ADA accessible. When you’re done, top it off with a waffle cone at Mountain Brook Creamery (2715 Cahaba Road).

Another trail to try this summer is Alabama Veterans Memorial Park, the city’s newest park. In addition to a moving memorial, it offers 22 hilly acres to explore on a paved walking trail, along with a dog park. Mayor Stewart Welch calls it a “hidden gem.”


The Grand Bohemian Hotel (2655 Lane Park Road) is known for its rooftop bar, with a oneof-a-kind view of the city. While you’re there, check out the Grand Bohemian Gallery. It’s not an afterthought added to a hotel — gallery director Michael Berna said the freestanding building is a “fabulous” space with lots of windows and light.

In the past year, he has implemented a more modernist, abstract appeal to the art and design on display. Alabama artists Ted Metz, Scott Vaughn Owen and Timothy Poe are among those whose work has been displayed there. For more information and to check out the current exhibitions, visit grandbohemiangallery. com.


Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, you can get out on the course for some sun this summer. Mountain Brook has two golf clubs

The Country Club of Birmingham (3325 Country Club Road) and Mountain Brook Club (19 Beechwood Road). You’ll need a membership for both. For more information, visit and


Cahaba River Walk (3503 Overton Road) is a great spot to enjoy both land and water. There’s a short paved trail and much longer unpaved trails for hiking or biking. There’s also a pavilion, exercise equipment and a dog park. If you’re into fishing, swimming or rafting, you just need to bring your own equipment. Visit mtnbrook. org/parksrec/page/cahaba-river-walk for more information.


If you haven’t picked up a pickleball paddle yet but have been wanting to, now is a great time — Mountain Brook’s supply of courts is constantly growing.

Four pickleball courts and a public restroom are open by Crestline Elementary (3785 W. Jackson Boulevard). Lights at those courts can be turned on with a button near one of the pickleball gates.

The two tennis courts at Overton Park (812 Oak St.) also have pickleball lines painted on them. Because the courts aren’t lit, they’re open from 7 a.m. to sunset.

Before you go for the first time, check out this rules tutorial to get you started: what-is-pickleball/official-rules/rules-summary. The rules may seem complicated, but once you get going, it doesn’t take long to catch on.

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The O’Neal Library offers numerous activities throughout the summer as part of the summer reading program. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Luxury living has arrived in the Crestline Park neighborhood! Introducing The Legacy on Montevallo, an exclusive collection of just 17 townhomes inside a gated community. Offering a highly desirable location, live just 5 +/- minutes from charming Crestline Village with its fine dining and chic boutiques. Enjoy upscale living with Thermador appliances, durable yet elegant quartz countertops, custom millwork touches, and curated lighting and tile selections. Spacious and flooded with natural light, experience whimsical interior courtyards in select plans. Relish the low maintenance lifestyle with main level Master suites and garages, private covered porches, and sensibly sized, fenced-in backyards. Come see for yourself why The Legacy on Montevallo is the perfect place to call home in this coveted Birmingham neighborhood


To learn more about KADCO communities, Contact Jessica Armstrong • Cell 205-382-3725 • Office 205-985-7171

Email or visit

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