Village Living October 2022

Page 1

October 2022 | Volume 13 | Issue 7


Lane Parke Update



A long-awaited, much-anticipated project in Mountain Brook is nearing completion.

See page A12

Home & Garden

MBHS ranks in top 1% of schools in the nation Browse through our annual section for advice and resources on seasonal home improvement projects.

See page B13

INSIDE Sponsors........... A4 News....................A6 Business........... A12 Community...... A16 Events............... A18

Schoolhouse... A20 Sports.................B4 Opinion............. B10 Fall Home & Garden..........B13



ountain Brook High School was recently ranked in the top 200 academic high schools in America, which equates to the top 1% of schools throughout the United States. In the 2022 U.S. News & World Report of best high school rankings, Mountain Brook

Schools came in at No. 27 among public schools with open enrollment, meaning the school accepts any student who is a resident in the city. The other 173 schools on the top 200 list have certain academic standards that must be met before a student can enroll. Mountain Brook Schools Superintendent Dicky Barlow said the rankings include magnet and charter schools. Mountain Brook students do not have to meet

certain requirements before they are allowed admission. “We are a public school and are proud and have an attitude of gratefulness for the community and our teachers and the hard work they put in that shows a lot of different ways,” Barlow said.

See THE BEST | page A22

Students change classes as they walk through the new Spartan Commons at Mountain Brook High School. Photo by Erin Nelson.

‘Sum of the parts’

Mountain Brook honored as top athletics program in state By GARY LLOYD Many high school athletics programs are known for one successful sport, one dynasty. At Mountain Brook High School, that is not the case, and it’s a main reason why the school was recently Mountain Brook High School’s 179 state championship trophies are displayed at Spartan Arena. The school’s athletic program was ranked named the MaxPreps Cup winner fifth in the nation during the 2021-22 school year. Photo by Erin Nelson. for the state of Alabama for the

2021-22 season and the fifth-best athletics program in the nation. The MaxPreps Cup is comprised of a formula that attempts to determine the best overall high school sports programs in the nation. Points were awarded on a weighted

See PARTS | page A21

Village Living

A2 • October 2022


ABOUT CHRIS HERREN Chris Herren, a basketball legend from Fall River, Massachusetts, was an All-American, broke scoring records and was recruited by the nation’s top colleges. Herren realized his lifelong dream of playing in the NBA when he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 1999 and then traded to his hometown team, the Boston Celtics, before losing his career and almost his family to the disease of addiction. In long term recovery since 2008, Chris inspires people to start the conversation on wellness and educate themselves on the disease of addiction. It is his hope that strength will be found in the struggle and communities will come TOGETHER to address the issue treatment and embrace the power of recovery.

DATE: Thursday, October 27, 2022 TIME: 7:00 p.m. LOCATION: Mtn. Brook High School for details PRESENTED BY


October 2022 • A3


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A4 • October 2022

Village Living

About Us Publisher’s Note By Dan Starnes I love small businesses. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to live the life of a small business owner for almost 15 years and because of what we do here, it’s allowed us to work with more than 2,000 others. My heart goes out to other small business owners. It’s always inspiring to hear their origin stories. What prompted them to take the leap? What did they walk away from to pursue their dream? What were their biggest challenges, and what’s the closest they came to failing or quitting? I notice how passionate they are about what they are doing. I notice how they serve their market and approach setting up their systems. It’s always the people, the market and the systems that determine their success or failure. When I read a story like Jon Anderson’s on Borland Benefield in this issue, it’s both inspiring and a little intimidating to think of William Howard Borland Jr.’s baby being 100 years old. What an incredible journey and

testament to people and the decisions made. Imagine all of the other business owners who have been impacted in that time. It’s daunting to think about. The ups and downs and all of the people involved. Imagine the tough decisions that had to be made. The successes and the failures of businesses have a lasting impact on many people, and being a part of the team is a tremendous responsibility. And because of our team’s love of small businesses, we’ll always write about them in this publication both with

full-length stories and in our Business Happenings section. When it comes to the announcements in our Business Happenings sections, I’m of the opinion that we can never have too many. It just has to be a piece of news about a business with a brick-and-mortar location in the community, and the information has to fit into one of our determined categories. Every local business qualifies for at least one announcement per year with recognition of their business anniversary, but I’d guess that most businesses qualify for several more. So, check out this issue's Business Happenings section on A13, and reach out if your business or one you know of deserves a little press. You can find our submission form online at village below our distribution list.


Students in the Art Club wave and blow bubbles from a float during the Mountain Brook High School homecoming parade in Crestline Village on Sept. 9. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Publisher: Dan Starnes Community Editors: Leah Ingram Eagle Jon Anderson Neal Embry Sports Editor: Kyle Parmley Community Reporter: Eric Taunton Design Editor: Melanie Viering Photo Editor: Erin Nelson Page Designer: Ted Perry Production Assistant: Simeon Delante Contributing Writers: Solomon Crenshaw Jr. Sean Dietrich Sarah Gilliland Kari Kampakis Gary Lloyd Bonnie Malec Grace Thornton Client Success Specialists: Warren Caldwell Eric Richardson Digital Marketing Manager: Brandon Merkel Digital Services Manager: Matt Spivak Graphic Designer: Emily VanderMey Advertising: Don Harris Bob Willard Administrator: Anna Jackson Operations Specialist: Sarah Villar

For advertising contact: Contact Information: Village Living P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205) 313-1780

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

Published by: Village Living LLC 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, 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) 313-1780 or by email.

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Please Support Our Community Partners Alabama Power (B3) Alabama School of Fine Arts Foundation (A10, B9) ALL IN Mountain Brook (A2) Always Best Care: ABC Senior Services (A11) Amy Smith Gardner, State Farm (B8) ARC Realty (B5) Bedzzz Express (B1, B20) Bellini’s Ristorante (B10) Birmingham Museum of Art (A13) Birmingham Speech and Hearing Associates (A12) Bromberg’s (A17, A18) Buckets Away Waterproofing (B18) Budget Blinds (B14) Canterbury Gardens (B11) Cardinal Roofing (A2) Children’s of Alabama (B10) Christmas Village (B8) Clark Holmes Smith Oral Facial Surgery of Alabama (A11) Coty Schneider Edward Jones Financial Advisors (A7) Cremation Center of Birmingham (B10) Doug Klick, ARC Realty (B17) Elle (B6) ENT Associates of Alabama (B7) Etc. (A19) flip-flops & what nots (A12) Floss Family Dentistry Crestline (A8) Gardner Landscaping (B13) Guin Service (A1) Gunn Dermatology (A15) Harbin Discount Pharmacy (A19)

Hollywood Outdoor Living (B17) Homewood Carpet & Flooring (B19) Indian Springs School (A6) IOP Services LLC (A16) Issis & Sons (A21) Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department (B2) Katie Crommelin, Ray & Poynor (B7) LAH Real Estate (B19) Linscomb & Williams (B15) Luckie’s Pinestraw (A1) Mold & Mildew Solutions (B16) Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce (A9) Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation (B8) One Man & A Toolbox (A8, B18) Piggly Wiggly (B9) Publix (A23) Ray & Poynor (B1) Ritch’s Pharmacy (A10) Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists (B12) Southpoint Bank (A3) The Altamont School (B6) The Cook Store (B10) TherapySouth Crestline (A24) Trocadero Salon (A18) TrustMark Bank (A5) United Way of Central Alabama (A20) Vapor Ministries/Thrift Store (A7) Virginia Samford Theatre (B12) Vulcan Termite & Pest Control (A20) Walton Financial (B11) Window World of Central Alabama (B5)

Find Us Pick up the latest issue of Village Living at the following locations: ► Brookhill Condominiums ► Church Street Coffee & Books ► Mountain Brook City Hall ► Continental Bakery ► O’Neal Public Library ► Gilchrist ► Levite Jewish Community Center ► Mountain Brook Creamery ► Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce

► Otey’s Tavern ► RealtySouth ► RealtySouth - Crestline ► Taco Mama - Crestline ► Treadwell Barbershop ► Whole Foods Market Want to join this list or get Village Living mailed to your home? Contact Anna Jackson at

October 2022 • A5

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Village Living

A6 • October 2022


Council bans dogs from city fields By SOLOMON CRENSHAW JR. Declaring that dogs and people sharing fields is not working, the Mountain Brook City Council banned dogs from athletic fields in the city during its Sept. 13 meeting. “It’s not working,” Councilman Billy Pritchard declared, acknowledging he received several reports on the matter. “Now they’re starting flag football for younger guys, so until the middle of November, they’re going to be out there, even on Sunday, for a lot of time every afternoon, including weekends and Fridays. “I think what we need to do is prohibit dogs out there, at the very least until the middle of November, period,” Pritchard said. “It’s not working with a hybrid model.” The matter was again extensively discussed during the pre-council meeting when dog owners present again pleaded for some other solution. “We’ve tried,” Councilman Gerald Garner said. “We’ve had people that came in here and talked about (how) we can self-police. Well, that's not happening. We know that, and we’ve heard from our parks and rec department, all of our athletics. We hear from our schools.” Pritchard said the real problem is people not following the already established leash law. Garner said the ordinance can always be changed down the road, “but for now, I just think that we have too much bad behavior.” The council meeting began with John Michael Chandash being awarded the medal of valor for his effort to roust Mountain Brook resident Nelda Pugh, who was asleep in her house that was on fire. Chandash, a senior at Vestavia Hills High School, was visiting his grandparents in Mountain Brook when he observed the fire.

Councilman Billy Pritchard said that sharing fields with dogs and people is not working, and the Mountain Brook City Council voted to ban dogs from city fields at its Sept. 13 meeting. Photo by Solomon Crenshaw Jr.

In other business, the City Council: ► Amended the budget for fiscal 2022, showing the $3.2 million that’s left over from federal American Rescue Plan Act funding. ► Heard from Bill Shea concerning a change order for work that’s been done at Field No. 1 at the Athletic Complex. A subcommittee of council members will continue discussing that matter. ► Heard an update on the house at 751 Bentley Drive, which was targeted for demolition. ► Had a discussion of a request for a stop sign at the intersection of Sherwood Road and Brookwood Road. Council President Virginia Smith suggested that bushes that may impede visibility be cut back to see if that will remedy

the situation. ► Granted a conditional use application for Rougaroux. The eatery can have inside dining during the lunch hour but not use its 22-seat patio behind the building at 2716 Culver Road. ► Granted an application for MPower, allowing the fitness center to expand some of its operation. “What they got approved last night was to add a group class which goes from 10:30 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.,” senior planner Tyler Slaten said. “They basically expanded their front-end allowance for group classes. They also, in that middle-of-the-day window where they were previously allowed to have three clients (and) one instructor, they were approved to have six clients, two instructors. The things that we're

still trying to determine is whether or not the proposed 1:30 group class is approved. I just don't feel like they completely addressed that explicitly.” ► Accepted the proposal of Wright Construction Co. for the Old Leeds Road sidewalk project. It also authorized the contract between the city and The Barrett Group for architectural design of Fire Station No. 2. ► Approved installing crosswalk warning signs with LED flashing lights at Montrose Road and Mountain Park Drive. ► Approved a contractor agreement between the city and Civil & Structural Solutions LLC to repair the roof on the Parks and Recreation Building.

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Village Living

A8 • October 2022

Incumbents, Smith take the day in City Council elections By SYDNEY CROMWELL

Residents arrive at Mountain Brook City Hall to cast ballots in the municipal election on Aug. 23. Photo by Erin Nelson.

After 7,548 voters cast their ballots on Aug. 23, Mountain Brook City Council members Billy Pritchard (Place 3) and Lloyd Shelton (Place 5) are set to return for another term, joined by newcomer Graham Smith in Place 1. Smith won 74% of the vote, Pritchard won 71% and Shelton won 67%. Here’s the breakdown of the 2022 ballot results: ► Place 1: Christopher Powanda – 1,990; Graham Smith – 5,530 ► Place 3: Kent Osband – 2,186; Billy Pritchard – 5,320 ► Place 5: Tate Davis – 2,459; Lloyd Shelton – 5,051 Voter turnout more than doubled in comparison to the 2020 City Council election, when 3,188 people cast their votes. This City Council election was defined by ideological divides centered on Mountain Brook Schools and the operations of the Board of Education. In their campaign materials, candidates Chris Powanda (Place 1), Kent Osband (Place 3) and Tate

Davis (Place 5) all expressed concerns about political motivations and “culture war” issues invading the school system’s curriculum. While the City Council is not directly involved in direction of the school system, it does appoint board members. Smith, Pritchard and Shelton, on the other hand, did not share these concerns and largely focused their campaign platforms on other city issues. Smith takes the place of Alice Womack, who decided not to run for a third term after eight years on the council. Pritchard has served on the council since 2000 and Shelton since 2014. The three winning candidates will take office on Nov. 7 and will serve five-year terms, ending in 2027. Mayor Stewart Welch and the other two members of the council, Gerald Garner (Place 2) and Virginia Smith (Place 4), are also serving five-year terms, ending in 2025. The city of Mountain Brook is shifting to off-year elections, rather than coinciding with state and national elections. City Manager Sam Gaston has previously said that this change will make it easier to handle the logistics of voting machines and poll workers. The winners of the 2025 and 2027 City Council elections will return to normal four-year terms.

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Residents say ALDOT’s proposed 280 changes need tweaking By BONNIE MALEC ALDOT engineers fielded an array of questions and complaints from concerned residents and commuters about the proposed changes to U.S. 280 during an open-house public involvement meeting on Aug. 11. Starting at Hollywood Boulevard and ending at Cahaba River Road, the project would resurface and add an additional lane going each direction to U.S. 280, as well as replace the Pump House Road bridge. When complete, there would be eight travel lanes consistently throughout this stretch of road. Most of the widening to accommodate new lanes would be accomplished by using the existing median and reducing the lane width from 12 feet to 11 feet, according to the ALDOT project description, and the project could start as early as spring 2023. Several neighborhoods between Cahaba River Road and Pump House Road, Briar Glen and Sterlingwood, would see their ability to cross U.S. 280 via the median completely removed. Currently, these neighborhoods only have ingress and egress via U.S. 280. “With the median access gone, we will have to cross several lanes of heavy traffic quickly to get to the light at Cahaba River Road and do a U-turn to go to school every morning,” said Corey Bush, who lives in Briar Glen and whose children attend Mountain Brook Elementary. Matthew Lusco, another resident of Briar Glen, echoed the sentiment about safety. “We have lots of kids in both of these neighborhoods. Take away the median and emergency vehicles will have to go way up and around to get in,” he said. Other residents of Mountain Brook expressed concern about the proposed removal of the acceleration lane coming out of Overton Road. The plan adds a dedicated turning lane with a red-green light. The light would turn green for approximately 40 seconds to allow traffic from Overton to turn right onto U.S. 280. Joan Johnson, who lives in the Lockerbie

Mountain Brook residents attend a public involvement meeting at Mountain Brook City Hall on Aug. 11 to see a map and ask questions of the ALDOT representatives. Photo by Bonnie Malec.

neighborhood just off U.S. 280 on Overton Road and has family who lives on Shook Hill, said removing the acceleration lane will cause the flow of traffic to stop and back up, especially in the mornings when people converge on the road to commute to work and school in Birmingham. “I’m concerned it’s going to be very hard to get out of these neighborhoods,” she said. “Adding lanes to U.S. 280 will just mean more cars coming to use them and now we won’t have easy flow into it from Overton.” Paulette Van Matre has lived off Overton for 35 years and agrees with Johnson. “We appreciate keeping traffic moving, but it is frustrating that we are being truncated to do so,” she said. Both residents also said that ALDOT needs to do something to abate the added traffic noise. Along with the replacement of the Pump House Road bridge, which will remain open

throughout construction, a new exit ramp will replace the existing ramp going east alongside U.S. 280 East. “The existing ramp is substandard,” said Steve Haynes, Assistant Regional Engineer for ALDOT. The new ramp will be longer. Philip Black, a commercial architect who lives in the area behind the exit, said the existing exit serves the local traffic just fine and the proposed location of the new ramp would cause degradation to the environment. “The area is beautiful with old, well-developed trees along the Florida Short. This change would be unnecessarily invasive and require cutting those trees back too far.” DeJarvis Leonard, East Central Region Engineer, answered concerns at the meeting and shared information gained through traffic studies.

“Traffic doubles from the Summit to Cherokee, from 2,700 vehicles to 5,400 vehicles, from around 7:30-8:30 am,” he said. “We monitor U.S. 280 monthly to measure congestion. We believe these operational changes along with additional lanes will help traffic move through faster and more safely.” Leonard added that the public should submit concerns and ideas to ALDOT via, referencing project numbers NH-0038(549) and ST-037-038-012. Sam Gaston, city manager of the City of Mountain Brook, was also in attendance at the meeting and said that Mountain Brook is doing a traffic study on Overton Road to see if any operational changes can be done to absorb traffic and help it flow more freely. The study is currently paused until construction on Crosshaven Road is finished.

Village Living

A10 • October 2022

Garbage service changes begin this month By LEAH INGRAM EAGLE Amwaste will begin providing garbage service for the city of Mountain Brook beginning Oct. 1. There will be two collections weekly at the curb, and collections will be done Monday through Saturday. The first collection may include both household garbage and recycling. Materials collected in the first pickup will be taken to RePower South, where recyclables will be separated from the household waste. Regarding recycling, nearly everything is recycled other than food and organic waste. RePower South transforms approximately 70% of waste into solid commodities or ReEF fuel, which is used as a replacement for coal in industry and energy utility boilers. Bagging debris is recommended, and residents should not place loose yard waste in the first collection because it inhibits RePower South’s ability to sort the recycling from garbage. There is no need to separate garbage and recycling within the 95-gallon cart. Single bags may not exceed 50 pounds. The second collection may include household garbage and yard waste (small amounts of bagged leaves, pine straw, grass clippings and small limbs.) Everything collected in the second pickup will be taken to the landfill. Carts should be placed within 3 feet from the curb by 6:30 a.m. on collection day and are collected from the passenger side only. Routes will begin at 7 a.m. Residents will be provided one 95-gallon rolling cart at no charge. Additional carts can be obtained for a fee by contacting Amwaste or purchasing one at a local retailer. Carts should not be placed on sidewalks, storm drain covers, gutters, steep slopes, under low-hanging utility lines or other obstructions or within 6 feet of fixed objects such as mailboxes, hedges, parked vehicles and trees. Backdoor collection will no longer be a

Trash and recycling receptacles are seen along the curb on Rockledge Road in Mountain Brook. The city will begin using Amwaste garbage services in October. Photo by Erin Nelson.

standard service. However, residents who wish to contract separately for backdoor service may do so by contacting Amwaste directly. The cost for backdoor service will be invoiced quarterly. Residents in condos or townhomes currently collected in a specific area will continue to receive service in that area and are not be required to sign up for backdoor service. Those

who currently have alley collection will continue to receive alley service and will not be required to sign up for backdoor service. There is not a designated bulk trash pickup day with Amwaste, but small bulk trash may be placed at the curb for collection on the second pickup of the week. Bulk piles may be no larger than 3 cubic yards. Limbs and branches may

not exceed 6 feet in length. For leaf collection, bagged leaves will be collected along with debris and bulk collections placed at the curb. Loose leaves placed at the curb will be collected by city crews. The collection schedule can be found on the city’s website at under the Public Works Department section.

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October 2022 • A11

Mayor’s Minute By Stewart Welch III No one is immune to addicwe can attack the disease of addiction and be successtion. No matter the object of ful. For more information addiction, whether it is drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornogvisit raphy, or food, it respects no Dating violence affects socioeconomic, age, gender, or approximately one in three ethnic boundaries. teens in America. Every year, Unfortunately, it is in our nearly 1.5 million high school community and the communistudents are physically abused ties that surround us. Mindful by their dating partner. of this grave concern, All In The Over-the-Mountain Mountain Brook, on whose mayors (Mountain Brook, Board of Directors I am pleased Homewood, Vestavia Hills, to serve, is bringing a popular and Hoover) are joining forces and well-known speaker to again to present a communiStewart Welch III Mountain Brook. ty-wide free program, “Keeping On Oct. 27, Chris Herren, who suffered from Our Children Safe from Dating Violence.” The addiction before and during his time as a player one-hour presentation will focus on the following in the National Basketball Association (NBA), topics: will speak to our junior high and high school ► Recognizing the red flags students at assemblies, followed by an eve► Knowing how to respond ning event for our community and surrounding ► Lessons in promoting healthy, respectful communities. relationships Herren, an All-American high school basThis presentation is specifically designed ketball legend, who, in college, played for for parents of teens and college-age children to Jerry Tarkanian, was able to realize his dream assist in how to have conversations with their of playing in the NBA for the Denver Nuggets children about what to expect in healthy relationin 1999 and later for the Boston Celtics before ships and how to respond in toxic relationships. losing his career (and almost his family) to drug There will be a question-and-answer section and addiction. Since his recovery in 2008, Herren experts will be on hand to answer your questions has spoken to over one million students and com- privately. munity members about addiction and wellness The “Keeping Our Children Safe from Viowith the goal of making a positive difference in lence” program will take place at the Vestavia the lives of others. His message is a positive and Civic Center on Oct. 18 from 6-7 p.m. For more inspirational one of triumph over despair. You information, contact Susann Montgomery-Clark are invited to come hear the Chris Herren Story: with Megan’s Fund at 205-568-7474. “Prevention Starts with All” will take place Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at Mountain Brook High School. This is a free community-wide event for parents, grandparents, and all those who work with youth. We never know when addiction may strike close to home. Plan to attend this uplifting presentation and learn about how as a community,

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Village Living

A12 • October 2022


Lane Parke wait is almost over By LEAH INGRAM EAGLE A long-awaited, much-anticipated project in Mountain Brook is nearing completion. While some of the businesses in Phase 2 of Lane Parke have already opened, an event to celebrate all of them, originally planned for the fall, has been moved to early 2023. “We will still have a lot of retailers opening this fall,” said Suzanna Edwards, vice president of marketing for Crawford Square Real Estate Advisors, the group handling the leasing and management of the property. “There will be a lot of different grand openings leading up a large grand opening celebration once everything is open.” The mixed-use development will include a blend of restaurants, clothing retailers and health-related businesses. It is anchored by the Publix Greenwise Market, the Grand Bohemian Hotel and 257 luxury apartment units. As of press time, there were three of 18 total spaces still available for lease. The lineup of current tenants includes: ► Onward Reserve ► Mountain Brook Eyecare ► Basecoat on Fifth ► tasc Performance ► Crumbl Cookies ► Massage Envy ► Ladybird Taco ► Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams ► Regions Bank ► Gunn Dermatology ► Starbucks ► MARO by Abhi ► Sons Donuts ► Little Buckhead Blue ► Melt ► Ignite Cycle ► Clean Juice

Jonathan Gaines, left, of USA Striping holds the measuring tape with his foot while Jeffery Scott marks the asphalt with chalk in order to stripes crosswalk at Lane Parke, as Phase II of the project continues in Mountain Brook Village on Aug. 30. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Crawford Square Real Estate Advisors CEO Sam Heide said the company has been involved with the Lane Parke project for several years. “We leased and managed Phase 1 and have been responsible for attracting the tenants for Phase 2 of the shopping center,” Heide said. Heide said they were able to lease enough space in order for owners and developers to achieve their goals to break ground and begin construction after Phase 1. Heide said that they were selective and

thoughtful during the process, and he believes that is reflected in the quality tenants. They will continue to be selective in finding complementary tenants for the remaining spaces. “Mountain Brook Village has really become quite a dining destination,” Heide said. “We feel we knew what the community wanted. The food and beverage offerings, apparel offerings and health and wellness offerings coming to Phase 2 are really a nice fit and compliment to one another.”

Several of the stores, including tasc Performance, Onward Reserve, Ladybird Taco and Little Buckhead Blue, are all the first locations of the franchises in the state. “People have talked about this quite a bit for a long time, and I think the excitement level is pretty high,” Heide said. “I think people are really pleased to see it complete, I know I am. As a citizen of Mountain Brook, it’s a great compliment and completion of what's been a project a long time in the making.”

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October 2022 • A13

Business Happenings

Employees at Always Best Care’s Birmingham-area location in Mountain Brook’s Office Park. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Manusco.

Local senior care provider embraces new model By LEAH INGRAM EAGLE The Birmingham-based branch of Always Best Care recently embraced the Care Heroes incentivization model. The partnership with Care Heroes recently launched and will track caregiver activities and reward them with gift cards for providing quality in-home patient care. More than 200 local caregivers will be able to benefit from the Care Heroes incentive program, which gives Care Coins to caregivers for completing tasks, which can be redeemed for gift cards using the Care Heroes mobile app. Birmingham-area CEO and owner Jennifer Manusco heads up the Birmingham location at 6 Office Park Circle in Mountain Brook. She founded the branch in 2013 after seeing the need for in-home care in the community. “Our goal is to join your family's journey and provide the absolute best care plan for your loved one,” Manusco said on her website. “Our entire team has your loved ones best interests at heart, and we'll ensure that

exceptional service and care is provided to all family members.” She said the Care Heroes partnership supports the Always Best Care mission: to help their clients live a safe, independent and dignified lifestyle. Always Best Care was founded in1996 and has helped thousands of families with non-medical in-home care and assisted living referral services. They provide non-medical in-home care services and have more than 225 independently owned and operated franchises throughout the U.S. and Canada. Their caregivers are carefully screened, thoroughly trained, bonded and insured to provide the safest and highest level of care. “Our caregivers treat clients like family and take great pride in the important work they do,” Mancuso said. “Our partnership with Care Heroes is a way to thank our caregivers, while ensuring that Always Best Care continues to consistently exceed our clients’ expectations.” For more information on Always Best Care, visit



Scenthound, a dog grooming concept, is opening a new location on Hollywood Boulevard. This is the second of at least 10 stores that business partners Jacob Lee and Brett Basik plan to open between the Birmingham and Nashville metro areas. Embedded in the name, Scenthound focuses on the five core areas of maintenance that all dogs need: skin, coat, ears, nails and teeth. Monthly memberships, starting at $35, include a bath, ear cleaning, nail clip and teeth brushing. Haircuts and other services can be added on as needed. The Birmingham area store will be located next to Mexico Lindo at 354 Hollywood Blvd. and is scheduled to open in early November.

The lighting shop Village Firefly now has a new owner, Elizabeth Wallace. The shop, which has been in business for almost 23 years, is located at 2816 Culver Road in Mountain Brook and is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Village Firefly on Facebook

ANNIVERSARIES The laundry company Champion Cleaners, 42 Church St., celebrated its 20th year anniversary in September. The company offers free dry cleaning, laundry pick up and delivery. 205-602-3842,


tasc Performance, an eco-friendly athletic apparel store, is opening its first Alabama location in Phase 2 of Lane Park at 2621 Lane Park Road in Mountain Brook. 205-871-3252, Onward Reserve, an Atlanta-based retailer featuring men’s apparel, accessories and gifts will soon open its 14th brick and mortar location in Phase 2 of Lane Parke at 2621 Lane Park Road in Mountain Brook.

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Over Easy, a popular breakfast spot located at 358 Hollywood Blvd., permanently closed Sept. 2. The owners announced on Facebook that they will not be renewing their lease, and expressed gratitude to their staff and customers for the nearly 12 years of business.

Village Living

A14 • October 2022

Partners in the Birmingham office of the Borland Benefield accounting firm are, from left, Lloyd Shelton, Jeffrey Chandler, John Wilson, Charles Polmatier, Clifton Daniel and Jeff O’Neal. Photo courtesy of Seth James Photography.

Borland Benefield celebrates 100 years By JON ANDERSON When William Howard Borland Sr. hung his name on a door in what is now the City Federal building in downtown Birmingham in 1922, he had no way of knowing he was starting an accounting practice that would last 100 years. But that’s exactly what happened. The Borland Benefield firm, now headquartered in the Synovus building on a plot of unincorporated land off Shades Creek Parkway between Mountain Brook and Homewood, is celebrating its centennial. Sixty-five percent of businesses fail during the first 10 years, and only 25% of businesses last 15 years or more, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economist Chris Mayer said there are only about 1,000 companies in the United States that have survived 100 years, and that’s out of more than 32.5 million companies around today. John Wilson, the current president and managing director for Borland Benefield, said the firm’s emphasis on taking care of clients and putting quality first are what helped make it successful. “That’s how Howard Borland did it. That’s how Joe Benefield did it,” Wilson said. “We’re following their lead.” In the early days, the firm’s clientele included personal taxes and commercial accounts in the industrial and manufacturing sector, reflecting the business landscape in Birmingham at the time. Borland became an early leader in the Alabama Society of CPAs, helping grow the reputation of the company and expand the business. He served as president of the group in 1948, according to a history of the company on its website. In 1951, Borland formed a partnership with his son, and the firm operated as William Howard Borland & Son for the next 20 years. The 1970s brought a lot of change. In 1971, Joseph Benefield became a partner, and the firm became Borland, Borland & Benefield. However, a little over a year later, the elder Borland died, leaving his son and Benefield. The younger Borland soon withdrew from the firm to pursue Christian ministry. Benefield in 1972 crafted a partnership with

David Crawford but kept the name as Borland, Benefield & Crawford. As part of the change, the firm moved to Office Park in Mountain Brook and a few years later bought an office building on Highland Avenue in Birmingham. Alice Helms, who joined the firm as secretary and administrative assistant in 1950 and stayed with it for 58 years until her retirement in 2008, said she loved working there. She also was one of seven investors in the building on Highland Avenue. “Mr. Borland was just one of the sweetest men you could ever hope to know,” she said. “And Mr. Benefield was the ultimate gentleman. He never raised his voice, at least not at me.” Working for Borland was a joy, but he also demanded high-quality work, Helms said. “Mr. Borland didn’t like mistakes. You learned that you had to do it right the first time so you wouldn’t have to do it over,” she said. “You didn’t do a sloppy job and get by with it. Somebody checked what you did. It was well run.” The office was always very professional but not stiff, Helms said. “We had fun.” In 1977, Sheldon Webster joined the firm as a partner and helped modernize it, creating an audit department and a tax department. Webster, an adventurer who liked to travel, also helped the firm establish an affiliation with BKR International, a worldwide association of independent accounting firms. That gave Borland, Benefield, Crawford & Webster an international reach and helped it expand its services into securities trades and other arenas. Webster eventually became chairman of BKR International in 2003. William Jeffares and Allen Collins came on board as shareholders in the 1970s and ’80s, and in 1984, the firm opened a satellite office in Florence. In 1985, Jeffares unexpectedly died, and Benefield retired after more than 35 years as a shareholder. In the 1990s, the firm merged with Michael Johnson, and Jeffery Chandler became a shareholder. To accommodate the growth, the firm moved to Southbridge Parkway and shortened its name to Borland Benefield. There were several major changes in 2003: Benefield died, Webster became the worldwide chairman of BKR, Chandler was named president and managing director for Borland

There are not many firms that can say they have that sort of longevity.


Benefield and Wilson became a shareholder. The next decade brought the retirements of Crawford and Webster and several promotions. Dena Davis became a shareholder and took charge of the Florence office, and the firm brought Dede Hutcheson on as chief operating officer. In 2009, the firm moved to an office on Highland Avenue, where it would stay for 10 years until moving to its current location at the Synovus building in 2019. However, before that move, in 2017 Borland Benefield went through a major merger with Lovoy, Summerville & Shelton, which effectively doubled the size of the firm and added three new shareholders — Michelle Granberry, Jeff O’Neal and Lloyd Shelton. The firm gained an office in Auburn with that merger, and its overall staff grew from about 30 people to 50, Wilson said. Wilson, who became managing director about more than a year ago, said the firm’s clientele has changed over the decades as Birmingham’s economy has evolved to include more health care and service companies. Borland Benefield also started a group to serve nonprofits about 20 years ago and has a strong hold with more than 50 clients in that arena, Wilson said. One of the biggest changes the firm has undergone is in technology, he said. Borland Benefield was one of the first firms in the area to use mobile computers in the 1990s, he said. The first mobile computers were carried around in giant trunks, which is much different than the laptops carried around in backpacks today, he said. Also, Borland Benefield a couple of years ago started an accounting services group that greatly automates bookkeeping for clients, with direct

downloads from clients’ banks and credit card companies, he said. Borland Benefield today has thousands of clients, with about 75% in Alabama and more than 50% in the Birmingham area, Wilson said. There also are some international clients, and the continued affiliation with BKR helps serve those, he said. The pandemic slowed down some of the solidification of the last merger, but “we’re really at a point now where we’re poised to grow again,” Wilson said. There are huge possibilities for another merger, he said. There are a lot of CPAs who will be retiring in the next 10 to 15 years, and some may not have succession plans and may want to combine or sell their firms, he said. Borland Benefield has talked to a number of people the past few years, but “the right thing has to present itself,” Wilson said. “If the culture doesn’t work, then it can be really hard to accomplish.” Borland Benefield also certainly likes to see organic growth and has a full-time recruiting team, Wilson said. “The barrier to entry to get into accounting for young people is pretty high,” he said. “We’re spending a lot of time looking for bright, young people, but we’re doing a good job of it.” Part of the culture at Borland Benefield is having a work/life balance, he said. “A lot of people pay lip service to that, but we pride ourselves in not being a sweatshop,” he said. Sometimes you hear horror stories of accountants working late nights and drinking coffee all weekend, but “we try not to do that,” he said. Instead, Borland Benefield gives a lot of its people flex time and alternating remote work days, he said. While Borland and Benefield themselves have been gone for a long time, the firm keeps their names because of the good name recognition and the history of quality work, Wilson said. “We’re proud of it,” he said. “There are not many firms that can say they have that sort of longevity.” And he thinks the Borlands and Benefield would be proud of what the firm has become, he said. “I think they’d be pleased with the size we are now and the things we’re doing.”

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October 2022 • A15

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Village Living

A16 • October 2022

Community Have a community announcement? Email Leah Ingram Eagle at to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.

Local author’s new novel ‘keeps the reader guessing’ Mountain Brook resident Will Bowron released a crime novel called “Vigilant” in June.” Photos courtesy of Will Bowron.

By GRACE THORNTON Will Bowron said he’s had his debut crime thriller, “Vigilant,” in his head for years. He’s been working on it slowly for a long time. When it came out this summer, he said he ended up with something of which he is really proud. “The way I’ve heard a lot of people describing it — basically if you take Batman mixed with Game of Thrones, this is what you get,” Bowron said. “There’s a bunch of points of view of characters, and they’re complex and ambiguous and gray.” Readers might start one chapter enjoying a protagonist but by the end of the chapter be unsure how they feel about him or her. “There’s an interesting cast of characters, and there’s always a little bit of extra complexity there,” he said. “It keeps the reader guessing.” Bowron has always been interested in comic books and the type of comic book hero that has risen in popularity lately. He’s also always loved writing — he earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Rhodes College. But he said when he realized that his passion wasn’t going to put food on the table, he pursued a master’s degree in business administration from Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Along the way he also got experience in the food service industry and worked with some consumer packaged goods companies in the Atlanta area before moving back to work for his family’s business — Red Diamond Coffee & Tea. He now serves as the company’s vice president of wholesale distribution. His writing these days typically happens before sunrise or in the evenings now that he and

his wife, Caitlin, have a 2-year-old and another on the way. “I had a lot more flexibility when I was younger to write for longer periods of time,” Bowron said. “Now it’s finding that balance between family enjoyment and creative enjoyment.” But he’s finding that he feels the deadline pressure more now that “Vigilant” is out and readers are asking for the sequels. “Vigilant,” the first book of the Hudson saga, tells the story of Hamington reporter Taylor Gardner as he tracks Hudson, the creator of a

masked vigilante justice movement. Gardner has personal reasons for wanting to find him — he blames him for the situation that resulted in the death of one of his loved ones. Bowron said the book’s plot was born from the core question of “how far does the effect of violence reach?” “From Gardner’s perspective, readers are immersed in that question as they meet a host of citizens who are just trying to survive — from an exile fleeing justice, a cop owed recompense for her sacrifices, a homeless vigilante intent on making a difference, and a broken hero

desperate to leave a legacy,” he said. Bowron said “Vigilant” is a book for everyone. “If you want to dive deeper into the literary aspects, it dives into the concept of truth and justice and the people who are responsible for creating a better environment for each other,” he said. “And if you want a beach read, an exciting story about crime, something that itches your brain more than a standard Jack Reacher novel, it’s for you.” “Vigilant” is available in hardcover, paperback and Kindle editions. For more information, visit

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October 2022 • A17


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Village Living

A18 • October 2022


Mountain Brook High School graduate Thomas Butrus was inducted into the Naval Academy Class of 2026 in June and completed his six weeks of basic midshipman training. Photo courtesy of Annie Butrus.

From left: Jeff Pizitz, Gus Mayer owner; Julie Goyer, Linly Heflin president; Kendal Eagan, Fashion Show chairwoman; and Mitch Johnson, Gus Mayer president. Photo courtesy of Irene Gardner.

MBHS grad completes Navy training Thomas Butrus recently completed his Plebe summer at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He was one over 16,000 applicants for the Class of 2026 and one of 1,200 who were accepted. Butrus, a graduate of Mountain Brook High School, was inducted into the Naval Academy Class of 2026 in June and completed six weeks of midshipman training as part of Plebe Summer in August. During the training, there is no access to television, movies, internet or music and plebes are only permitted to make three calls during the six weeks of Plebe Summer. Throughout the summer, plebes learn basic skills in seamanship, navigation, damage control, sailing and handling yard patrol craft. They also learn infantry drills and how to shoot 9mm pistols and M-16 rifles. Other training sessions involve moral, mental, physical and professional development and team-building skills. Activities include

swimming, martial arts, basic rock climbing and obstacle endurance and 40 hours are devoted to the instruction of infantry drill and five formal parades. Butrus’ mom, Annie, said that she was surprised to learn that her son is the sixth Mountain Brook graduate in a row to attend the Naval Academy. “Tommy is friends with all of the current midshipmen: Reid Freeman, Sam Graham, Gilbert Amason and Baynes Autrey,” she said. “Baynes is captain of the track team and Mountain Brook alum Susan Molloy is an assistant cross country and track coach at the Academy.” During high school, Butrus was captain of the MBHS lacrosse team, an All-American, president of National Honor Society and vice president of the student body. He said he is honored and thrilled to be a midshipman. – Submitted by Annie Butrus with additional information from the United States Naval Academy.

Linly Heflin Fashion show returns for 63rd year By LEAH INGRAM EAGLE The Linly Heflin Unit’s largest fundraiser is back for another year. The Linly Heflin Fashion Show will take place at The Club on Oct. 12. The all-volunteer organization helps young women achieve their dreams by receiving scholarship money to attend Alabama universities. Founded in 1919 as a women’s service organization, the Linly Heflin Unit women rolled bandages for World War I soldiers and assisted at Children’s Hospital. The group was named for a local Red Cross organizer who died in the flu pandemic. Since 1923, the organization has funded more than 3,000 partial scholarships. This year, the unit will provide 110 women scholarships of $10,000 per year to attend an Alabama college or university.

The Linly Heflin Fashion Show • WHERE: The Club Birmingham • WHEN: Oct. 12, 5:30 p.m. • WEB:

The fashion show fundraiser will once again work with Gus Mayer to bring a festive evening to Birmingham. The Oct. 12 event will begin with a cocktail dinner at 5:30 p.m. followed by seating at 6:45 and fashion show at 7 p.m. This year, Gus Mayer will feature fashions by designer Jonathan Simkhai. Guest attire is “fall fabulous.” For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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October 2022 • A19

Patrons take part in the activities and decorations at Boo at the Zoo at the Birmingham Zoo in 2016. Hoots and Howls, which is replacing Boo at the Zoo, takes place Oct. 15-16, 22-23 and 29-30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Staff photo.

Fall events return to the zoo By SARAH GILLILAND The Birmingham Zoo is preparing to welcome visitors this fall with a full slate of upcoming events. Oktoberfest, a new event for ages 21 and older, is set for Oct. 1 from 5 to 10 p.m. It will include food trucks, a build-your-own Brat station at the Zoo’s Nourish 205 restaurant and other light concessions. Oktoberfest will also include authentic German lawn games like a stein hoist, live polka music and the crowning of Mr. and Mrs. Oktoberfest 2022. Tickets are $40 for zoo members and $48 for general admission. Admission to the event does not include food or drinks. The beer sampling portion of Oktoberfest will require pennies to comply with ABC regulations regarding alcohol samples. Each sample will require one penny, but if guests do not have pennies, there will be a redemption booth at each vendor where larger coins can be “cashed in” for pennies. Coming to the zoo later in October is the Halloween event Hoots & Howls, which is

replacing the former Boo at the Zoo event. Zoo members will need to purchase a candy trail ticket for $3.95 per person or a wristband for $10 per person, which includes unlimited rides and trick-or-treating through the candy trail. Non-members will need to purchase admission to the zoo in addition to a candy trail ticket or wristband. Hoots & Howls will take place Oct. 15-16, 22-23 and 29-30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Finally, while dates have not yet been announced, “Glow Wild” is returning to the Birmingham Zoo during the holiday season. Previously, this event was held on select nights from November through January from 5-9 p.m. While ticket prices have not yet been confirmed, member prices are typically less than general admission. Admission prices also differed between weekday and weekend dates in 2021. Online, advanced ticket costs were also less in 2021 than ticket prices at the gate. For more information on any of these upcoming events, visit

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Village Living

A20 • October 2022

Schoolhouse Have a schoolhouse announcement? Email Leah Ingram Eagle at to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.

2023 Leadership Mountain Brook class kicks off The Leadership Mountain Brook Class of 2023 was introduced to city leaders at the Aug. 15 Mountain Brook City Council meeting. Photo courtesy of Betsy Parker.

By LEAH INGRAM EAGLE Eighteen students were welcomed into this year's Leadership Mountain Brook class at a kickoff event on Aug. 15. Leadership Mountain Brook is a partnership between Mountain Brook High School, the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce and the city of Mountain Brook. The yearlong course is designed to help students to learn more about what makes the community great. To participate, students are nominated by a teacher in the Mountain Brook school system and then take part in a rigorous application and interview process. Students take the one-credit course over two semesters and learn about organization, development, presentation and creative skills. They then come up with and develop a project proposal based on the needs of the Mountain Brook community. Margaret Ann Denton, a 2004 Mountain Brook High School graduate is in her second year as the Leadership Mountain Brook teacher. “I believe that this program is so great for our students because not only do they get to really dive into what makes our community so special, they also have the opportunity to make connections that will last them a lifetime,” Denton said. “This class also provides them valuable communication and teamwork skills that aren't always possible through a traditional classroom setting.” The year begins with presentations to the students from various city leaders. Throughout the year, to take a tour of both the fire and police departments, visit Mountain Brook City Hall to learn what each department does and this year they will have the chance to take a trip

to Montgomery to learn how state government functions “We have the best school system, the best leaders and the best group of city officials around,” Mountain Brook police Chief Jaye Loggins told the students. “You’ll come to not only learn more about our city and community, but see that the people are what make this place so special.” The leadership class will also hear from speakers from around the community and they attend a number of chamber events, including the holiday parade and the Village to Village Run. The students will also work with Avondale Samaritan Place to help the Christian mission put on several holiday events in the Avondale community, Denton said.

“The culmination of this class is students [in groups] come up with city improvement projects each year and present them to the City Council,” Denton said. “Last year's projects included: writing and illustrating an Arbor Day book for the first grade students, a mural on the wall by Crestline Pharmacy and a surprise bench dedication for Suzan Doidge, who recently retired as director of the Mountain Brook Chamber.” Denton said she is looking forward to collaborating with the new chamber director, Emily Jensen, this year. Here are this year’s 18 members of the Leadership Mountain Brook Class of 2023: ► Martha Anderson ► Evelyn Berry

► Hannah Blalock ► Laura Buha ► Randi Cron ► Stutts Everette ► Jackson Herron ► Halli Hollingsworth ► Lily Johnson ► Lauren Jones ► Jack McDonald ► Charlotte Robbins ► Mallie Robinett ► Oliver Salter ► Abigail Sharp ► Mary Frances Springfield ► Henry Sullivan ► Rachel White

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October 2022 • A21

Left: The Spartans celebrate with the Class 6A volleyball state championship trophy after sweeping St. Paul for a third consecutive state title at Bill Harris Arena at the Birmingham CrossPlex in October 2021. Right: The Spartans celebrate with the Class 6A state championship trophy after defeating Pelham 2-1 in double overtime at the John Hunt Soccer Complex in Huntsville on May 14. Photos by Erin Nelson.


CONTINUED from page A1 basis with larger states receiving more points than smaller states (due to more competition), more popular sports (based on National Federation of State High School Associations participation survey) receiving more points than less popular sports, and larger schools gaining more points than smaller schools (based on more competition). According to MaxPreps, the MaxPreps Cup uses a school’s state championships, runner-up and national rankings to determine a point scale. Mountain Brook finished the formula with 1,835 points, the second-most of any public school in the nation. Alabama had seven schools score above the 1,000-point mark. Among them locally were Vestavia Hills (1,448), Hoover (1,415) and Spain Park (1,084). During the 2021-22 school year, Mountain Brook won Class 6A state championships in

girls volleyball, girls cross-country, boys golf, boys soccer, girls tennis and girls outdoor track. The Spartans collected runner-up trophies in boys cross-country, girls indoor track and boys tennis. “It’s a testament to our student-athletes and our coaches, just the work that they put in,” said Mountain Brook Athletic Director Benny Eaves. “Collectively as a group it’s kind of cool because all of our teams across all the programs, our student-athletes buy into the fact that it’s about ‘us and we’ and not ‘I and me.’ That’s the way it is here. We are a sum of the parts. No question.” Eaves said Mountain Brook holds 179 state championships in school history. The most blue maps the Spartans have won during one school year was seven in 1975. The school has tallied six state championships in a single school year four times, including 2021-22. Mattie Gardner led the girls volleyball team to its third straight state championship last season in her first year as head coach. “I think it’s an honor just to be part of a

school and a program that is so successful and celebrates it and values it because it’s rare to be in a school where there are many programs, men’s and women’s, that are successful and are respected,” said Gardner, who is in her sixth year at Mountain Brook. “I really love it here. It’s definitely a culture that I understand and can connect with, a place where I feel like I can thrive and help my players thrive. That’s the special thing about it.” Michael McGovern, the cross-country and track and field coach, graduated from Mountain Brook High School and is in his 22nd year coaching there. He called Mountain Brook an “everything school,” from academics to athletics to fine arts. “I think it’s an unbelievable honor,” McGovern said. “As someone who grew up here, went to school here, competed here, and now coached and lived and worked here, I think it’s awesome that Mountain Brook is getting this kind of recognition.” McGovern said the support of the community, parents and administration helps the

It’s a testament to our student-athletes and our coaches, just the work that they put in.


Spartans compete at the highest level. “I think it becomes a part of the culture,” he said. “It really does. We are going to compete at the state level every year. The expectation is that our cross-country, our track teams, will be in contention for a state championship. I think the kids know that coming in.” Gardner echoed McGovern, saying that the longstanding culture and history helps coaches and student-athletes today. Said Gardner, “One that I didn’t create but one that I’m happy to be a part of and continue.”

Village Living

A22 • October 2022

A student presents during Brooke Collier and Lori Beasley’s INCubatoredu class at Mountain Brook High School. Photo by Erin Nelson.


CONTINUED from page A1 The study ranks schools based on their performance on state-required tests, graduation and how well they prepare students for college. In the report, MBHS received an overall score of 98.88 out of 100, coming in third in the state and first in the Birmingham metro area. It was also ranked No. 71 in STEM high schools. The rankings also showed that Mountain Brook students have the opportunity to take advanced placement coursework and exams and the AP participation rate is 68%. Throughout its 62-year history, Mountain Brook has consistently been ranked in the top 1% of all schools in America, according to an Aug. 5 press release from Mountain Brook Schools. “Although we are very proud of these rankings and recognitions, our real purpose is to provide an effective, challenging and engaging education for every one of our students,” the statement read. “These rankings and recognitions are merely a result of how we do what we do.” MBHS offers 28 Advanced Placement classes and the school has thrived in business classes, fine arts and its nationally recognized debate program. Other schools in the metro area that made the list include Vestavia (No. 4), Homewood (No. 5), Spain Park (No. 8), Oak Mountain (No. 9), Hoover (No. 21) and Chelsea (No. 44). The importance of working together Mountain Brook City Council member Billy Pritchard, who serves as the council’s liaison to the school system, said he was thrilled that the school system received such a well-deserved recognition and that it is due to the “outstanding leadership and service by the Board of Education, its superintendent, school administrators and teachers over a number of years.” Philip Holley is in his fifth year as principal and said this honor is indicative of the importance placed on academics and the high expectations at the school. Holley said that success comes from many things, including the faculty, who give 110% to their students and their profession; the students, who understand the importance of education and the high expectations; and the parents and community who provide incredible support. “When you have teachers, students, and the community all on the same page about the importance of education, great things happen. I feel that this is seen in the high ranking that our school has,” Holley said. Pritchard echoed those sentiments, adding that it is critical to maintain the strong and healthy partnership that has served the community well for decades. “We support and work together with each other whenever needed,” Pritchard said. Welch said it shows how well the schools perform under the current leadership at the city council, Board of Education and school administration levels. “A whole chain goes into making this

happen,” Welch said. “We’ve been ranked well for a really long time. … Our schools have forever been committed to academic excellence, and teachers deserve credit along with the parents who are highly involved.” Barlow said there are many people to recognize for this ranking, starting with the students who “put in the work” and their families. “The parents want the best for their children and that parent and community involvement is essential to having great schools,” Barlow said. Holley said that one of the things he loves about the community is the great relationship between the city, school board and the schools. “I think this is so important in order to have the success that we have had at Mountain

Brook High School,” Holley said. “They have always been incredibly supportive of what we are trying to do each day.” As for teachers, Barlow said Mountain Brook Schools hire really good teachers and make them great. They’ve also been recognized for their professional development program, where teachers are encouraged to grow and be their best. “The bottom line is, we want all of our students when they come to school to feel like this is their home and they are comfortable and in a position where they can engage in learning to the best of their ability,” Barlow said. Welch gave credit to the pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and junior highs that feed into the high school.

“You can’t talk about a great high school without talking about great junior high and elementary schools,” he said. “A lot of students start here in pre-K and go all the way through. We love to hear back from our students when they go to college and how well prepared they are.” Coming out of the pandemic, Barlow said the goal was to do the best they could under the circumstances. A writing lab was created to help students with their writing, along with a math lab where students can receive tutoring and extended services for math. “We’ve added things in our high school program to help our students, not just because of the pandemic, but they're under a lot of stress and have high expectations, so we want to help them in any way we can,” he said.

October 2022 • A23

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Sports B4 Metro Roundup B8 Fall Home & Garden

Guide B13

Spartans wrap up regular season in October By KYLE PARMLEY The Mountain Brook High School football team wraps up the regular season in October. The month features four games in four weeks for the Spartans, three of them Class 6A, Region 5 games and three of them on the road as well. Mountain Brook comes off its open date with a trip to Parker on Oct. 6, the fourth of five Thursday night games for the Spartans this season. Mountain Brook and Parker haven’t played in nearly a decade, but the Spartans have won each of the previous five meetings between the two schools. The Spartans and Thundering Herd were region opponents in 2000 and 2001, with Mountain Brook winning both of those meetings. The teams squared off once again in the 2002 playoffs, before playing once again in the regular season in 2012 and 2013. Parker has spent the last four years in Class 5A before ascending to 6A this fall in the latest round of Alabama High School Athletic Association reclassification. Mountain Brook then heads to Mortimer Jordan on Oct. 14 for another Region 5 contest. The two teams have never met on the field, but the Blue Devils were once a proud 5A program. From 2014 to 2019, Mortimer Jordan won at least 10 games in five of those six seasons, reaching the state championship game once and the semifinals two other times. But with a move up to 6A and a couple coaching changes, Mortimer Jordan combined to win just three games over the last two seasons. The Spartans wrap up region play at home Oct. 21 against Gardendale, in a game that

Mountain Brook running back Jack King (17) catches the snap in a game against James Clemens at Spartan Stadium at Mountain Brook High School on Aug. 26. The Spartans defeated the Jets 42-21. Photo by Erin Nelson.

could very well decide the region title. Gardendale has been successful in recent years and gave the Spartans all they asked for in the two most recent meetings. The Spartans and Rockets faced off in the second round of the playoffs in 2020, with Mountain Brook winning 6-0. The Spartans won 13-10 in overtime in the regular season finale in 2019 as well. Mountain Brook has a 10-5 edge in a series

that dates all the way back to 1966. Mountain Brook concludes the regular season on Thursday, Oct. 27, with a trip to Baker in Mobile. The two teams have never met on the field, but it marks the end of a non-region slate for Mountain Brook that includes four 7A teams. Baker has been a middling program in recent years, averaging just over five wins per season

over the last seven years. The Hornets have qualified for the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, however. Assuming things go according to plan for the Spartans, they will be looking to make the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. Mountain Brook is in its third season back in 6A, having advanced to the state semifinals each of the last two years.

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B2 • October 2022

Village Living


I believe that individuals dealing with a mental health episode or drug addiction should have access to treatment. Jail shouldn’t be the only option. This is an important step towards bridging the gap. — Sheriff Mark Pettway

• • •

Scheduled to open in October 2022, the new Crisis Diversion Center for Jefferson County provides an alternative to jail for individuals with mental illness and/or addiction issues who need treatment rather than incarceration. We made Crisis Intervention Certification a requirement for our deputies so that they can recognize and respond to mental health issues. We provide training to all deputies for this certification; currently, two-thirds of deputies have completed training. Our efforts have resulted in Sheriff Mark Pettway earning 2022 Law Enforcement Executive of the Year honors from Crisis Intervention Team International.

The Mental Health Crisis Center will be located at 401 Beacon Parkway West in Birmingham on the bottom level

October 2022 • B3

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Overgrown branches can brush against power lines and cause outages. They also make power lines more accessible to wildlife.

Keeping you aware of upcoming work is a priority to us. Scan the QR code to see the neighborhoods tree crews will be working in. If you have any questions, please call Alabama Power at 205-257-2155 and request to speak with a member of our utility tree care team. To learn more about how we safely maintain our system or for recommendations on planting the right trees in the right place, visit

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B4 • October 2022

Village Living


UNDER THE LIGHTS Right: Jackson Beatty was one of many standout Mountain Brook players in the win over Minor. Beatty caught just four passes but made the most of them, going for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

Below: Mountain Brook’s Rob Gillespie scored the touchdown that put the game away for the Spartans in the 24-14 win over Vestavia Hills on Aug. 18, catching a 5-yard pass to give his team a 10-point lead.

The high school football season is in full force, with Mountain Brook’s games featuring plenty of standout performances and electric events. Here’s a look at some of the biggest moments from the first few games of the year. Photos by Erin Nelson and William Galloway.

Above: Mountain Brook receiver Clark Sanderson has served an important role for the Spartans offense and on special teams this season. In the Spartans’ 42-21 win over James Clemens on Aug. 26, Sanderson caught three passes for 81 yards and returned a punt 40 yards for a touchdown. Left: Mountain Brook’s Cole Gamble runs the ball during a game between Woodlawn and Mountain Brook on Sept. 9 at Spartan Stadium.

Mountain Brook quarterback John Colvin has had plenty of strong, efficient performances so far this season, perhaps none more so than in the Spartans’ 49-14 win over Minor on Sept. 1. Colvin threw touchdown passes on his first three passes of the game, those going for 42, 53 and 54 yards. He finished 8-of-15 for 209 yards and four touchdowns.

October 2022 • B5




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Village Living

B6 • October 2022

Balanced Spartans team being led by 3 seniors Mountain Brook’s Anna Frances Adams serves during a match against Vestavia Hills at BraaschHatchett Court at Vestavia Hills High School on Aug. 23. Photo by Erin Nelson.

By KYLE PARMLEY The three seniors on this year’s Mountain Brook High School volleyball team do not stand out from the rest of the roster in many ways, and that’s by design. There are no defined superstars on this Spartans team, with the team needing and getting contributions from every player on the roster so far this year. There is also no hierarchy based on seniority or talent; it’s a team effort. Addie Holden, Anna Frances Adams and Caroline Heck have all proven to be key and necessary components to this Mountain Brook squad. “These seniors are very unique in the fact that it’s their senior year and they’re all playing such important roles for our team,” second-year head coach Mattie Gardner said. “They’ve been on the team but haven’t been in a starting role. This year, all three of them are and that’s really special.” They also have taken on Gardner’s mantra of “servant leadership.” As opposed to having an expectation of being catered to because they are seniors, they have had the opposite mentality. “This season has been a lot different in terms of a leadership role, and how we’re looked up to as people that have to step up,” Holden said. “We’ve all talked about trying to be the best we can for our whole team and not just making it about us.” Holden had the most previous varsity experience of the three. She is a setter and can also play defense on the back row. Gardner called her the best serve-receive passer on the team and lauded her leadership abilities. Adams is the team’s libero this year, a critical position to a team’s defense. Gardner challenged her over the summer to earn that spot and she responded. “She keeps earning that jersey and I’m really proud of her for that,” Gardner said.

Heck has shown her selflessness in many ways over her years in the program, but perhaps none more so than this fall. She has played several different positions throughout her career, but when asked by Gardner over the summer where she wanted to play this season, her answer was a very mature one. “She said, ‘I don’t care, I just want to play for this team and have a consistent role,’” Gardner recalled. All three of those seniors have been a part

of the Mountain Brook program as it has won three state championships in a row. They want more than anything to help the program earn a fourth straight and are taking ownership of that journey. “It’s the coolest thing ever winning a state championship, but that’s in the past,” Holden said. “All we want to do is repeat. Thinking about it gets you pumped up.” This team has a bit of a different feel than ones in years past, but that’s not a bad thing in

their eyes. “We’re definitely a different team than last year, and I think that’s good. Everybody contributes something to the team and there’s not a huge difference from people on the bench to the ones on the court,” Adams said. But while the team is different, the goal is the same. The standard does not change. Not if the team is to reach the same heights. “Now, you have to adapt to that standard and meet it,” Heck said.

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October 2022 • B7 Rica Hecker, a graduate of Mountain Brook High School, was part of a local ice skating club that won third place nationally this summer in Kansas. Photo courtesy of Frederica Hecker.

Varsity Sports Calendar FOOTBALL Oct. 6: @ Parker. 7 p.m. Oct. 14: @ Mortimer Jordan. 7 p.m.

Oct. 7-8: Margaret Blalock Tournament. Homewood High School. Oct. 12-15: Area tournament. TBD.

Oct. 21: vs. Gardendale. 7 p.m.

Oct. 19-21: Super regional tournament. TBD.

Oct. 27: @ Baker. 7 p.m.

Oct. 25-27: State tournament. TBD.



Oct. 1: Quad match vs. Pelham, Hartselle, Hazel Green. Hartselle High School. TBD.

Oct. 8: Hole in the Wall Invitational. Arlington, Washington.

Oct. 4: vs. Northridge. 6 p.m.

Oct. 15: Husky Challenge. Hewitt-Trussville High School.

Oct. 6: vs. McGill-Toolen. 5 p.m.

Oct. 27: Sectional meet. Veterans Park.

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Experience Matters

Former Mountain Brook student places in skating competition Mountain Brook native Rica Hecker won bronze at the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating National Theatre on Ice Competition in Wichita, Kansas, as part of The Magic City Theatre on Ice skating team. The team represents the Birmingham Figure Skating Club. This is the team’s fourth consecutive time to make the podium. They were national champions in 2018, 2019 and 2021 in the open division and the 2019 silver medal in the intermediate division. Hecker joined the Theatre on Ice Team at the age of 17. She continued with the team while attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Theatre on Ice is a form of figure skating that brings skaters together to create an on-ice theatrical performance as a team. It combines the grace and athleticism of figure skating with the excitement and artistry of theater and dance. It has two components: choreographic exercise and free skate. During the summer competition in Wichita, the team competed against 11 other teams in their division. In the choreographic exercise (short program), they received 20.74 points, which when combined with their score of 37.59 in the free skate, won the bronze medal with a combined score of 58.33. – Submitted by Frederica Hecker.

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Village Living

B8 • October 2022

Metro Roundup HOMEWOOD

Aspiring Paralympian excels in national championships Gage Hendrix has grown personally and competitively through sports at the Lakeshore Foundation. Photos courtesy of Haley Hendrix.

By ERIC TAUNTON Twelve-year-old Gage Hendrix has only played basketball and swam at the Lakeshore Foundation for two years, and he has already earned multiple gold, silver and bronze medals at two Junior National championships. Last year, Hendrix earned a gold, two silver Brought to and a bronze medal in you by our Junior Nationals and sister paper: this year he’s won one gold, two silvers and one bronze medals in this year’s Junior Nationals. thehomewood “They’re fun and I have a lot of friends,” Hendrix said. “Lakeshore, in general, has been a lifesaver for us since he started, especially since he’s gotten into athletics,” said Haley Hendrix, Gage’s mother. “I think it’s given him an opportunity to feel included and that he can compete." Gage said he’s always wanted to play sports but his doctors advised against it because of his cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects the muscles, coordination and balance. One day, one of his doctors suggested he start playing sports at the Lakeshore Foundation, and Gage has been there ever since, Haley said. “It’s been good for me as a human being and also as a parent,” Haley said. “To see him grow and to see him build those relationships has been great. I think being a part of a team builds so much character in kids and this afforded us the opportunity to do that.” Feeling accepted by other kids has always been a struggle for Gage, he said.

Because his cerebral palsy is less visible than most people’s, it’s harder for people to understand why he’s unable to do certain things, he said. “If you walked up one flight of stairs and he walked up that same flight of stairs, his body feels like he walked three more flights of stairs than you did,” Haley said. “If you walked a mile and he walked it with you, his body thinks he walked three more miles than you did.” Since he started playing sports at Lakeshore Foundation, Gage has made a lot of friends and

has gained more confidence in himself, Haley said. “What it [Lakeshore Foundation] means to us as a family is huge and the difference we’ve seen in Gage is huge,” Haley said. “He wouldn’t tell people for years that he had CP. Because he could walk and he didn’t need anything, he would just say, ‘I don’t know why I can’t do that,’ or ‘I don’t want to.’ After he started doing Lakeshore and sports, he did a PowerPoint presentation in one of his classes about the Paralympics and he posted a picture of himself with all his medals and they were like, ‘What? What is that?’” Haley said sports are “in their family’s DNA.” She used to be a competitive cheerleader and Gage’s father played college and semi-pro football, Haley said. The first sport Gage competed in was swimming, which showed his parents a different side to him they hadn’t seen before, Haley said. “Swim team was awesome and we loved it because it gave him confidence,” Haley said.

“We didn’t even know he was competitive.” He started playing basketball soon after and loved the teamwork aspect of the game, Gage said. “When you’re swimming you’re by yourself but at the same time you’re not,” he said. “With basketball, you have to work together and you have to work as a team and be a team.” Haley said their family appreciates that the sporting events at Lakeshore aren’t condescending or “cutesy.” She said players are aggressive and competitive, but they are also encouraging to one another. “Especially in basketball, where we see the same people at all of these different tournaments all over the country,” Haley said. “They’re very friendly, encouraging and they’ll watch the other games and cheer for you but when it’s their turn, that friend stuff goes out the window.” Gage said he’s excited to continue playing sports at Lakeshore Foundation and hopes to one day compete in the Paralympics.

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We Give 180 To Support Our Students The Foundation invites Mountain Brook families to be a part of its Give 180 fundraising campaign for the 2022-2023 school year. More than 500 families have already donated, and it is not too late to give! The Give 180 campaign represents a $1 donation for each day your student is learning through Mountain Brook Schools. As a thank you, all Give 180 donors will receive a yard sign sharing your support of the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation.

Call for ticket info or visit

Please visit to make your tax-deductible Give 180 donation today!

Grant Helps Mountain Brook Schools For the 2022-2023 school year, the Foundation presented a grant of $514,983 to Mountain Brook Schools. Since its founding in 1992 by forward-thinking community leaders, the Foundation has given a total of $9.32 million to the school system in the areas of technology, professional development and library enhancements. These annual grants are possible thanks to donors like you! This year, the Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary year of dedication to the quality of Mountain Brook Schools. Please visit to learn more about the many projects funded by the Foundation for Mountain Brook students.

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October 2022 • B9



People load onto a trailer for a hayride at the 2021 Hoover Hayride and Family Night at Veterans Park. Photo by Jon Anderson.

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Hoover’s fall festival moves to weekend and daytime By JON ANDERSON The city of Hoover’s annual fall event at Veterans Park is making some changes this year. Say goodbye to the Hoover Hayride and Family Night, and say hello to Hay Hoover, a similar event that is being moved to a daytime weekend date. Typically, the fall event has been held on Brought to a Thursday or Friday you by our night from 5 to 8 p.m., sister paper: but this year it will be on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The city’s new events coordinator, Brittany Callaway, said Thursday nights presented a challenge because it was a school night. Parents had to rush home from work to get kids dressed up in costumes and to the park, and then wind up the night in time for kids to get enough sleep before school the next day, Callaway said. Friday nights were a challenge because of conflicts with high school football games, she said. Having the event on a Saturday will avoid

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both of those problems and allow for the event to be extended from three hours to four hours, Callaway said. Also, moving to the daytime keeps the city from having to worry about lighting issues, she said. It’s hard to light up a park that large that doesn’t have significant permanent night lighting, she said. Kids still will be encouraged to dress up in costumes and have a chance to ride on hayrides and receive candy from businesses and organizations organized by the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce. There also will be food trucks, pony rides, a petting zoo, airbrush tattoos and soccer activities provided by a group called Soccer Shots.

Village Living

B10 • October 2022

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I saw you. It was at an old Piggly Wiggly. The kind with swinging doors and neon letters that don’t all light up. I watched you open the door for an old woman who used a walking cane. You couldn’t have been older than 12. You swung the door open, then wheeled an empty shopping buggy toward the lady. You said, “Here you go, ma’am.” She thanked you. You blushed. It was a fine moment. I also saw you when you stopped traffic to help that dog. You were driving your FedEx truck, making your route. It was a mutt. Tan and white. A pup with hardly any meat on its bones. You ran across three lanes of traffic, waving your hands at the cars. I could read your lips. “Stop! Stop! Please!” you were saying. Three lanes of traffic rolled to a halt. Our vehicles formed a stand-still line while you coaxed a scared animal out of the center lane. Once, I saw you help a child in the Home Depot find his mother. The boy was lost. He walked beside you. When you found his mother, he ran to her. It was a Hollywood-style ending. You stood back several feet to take it all in, smiling. And, by God, I saw you. I saw you pay for that woman’s meal in the Mexican restaurant. The waitress seemed surprised when you

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suggested it. She answered, “You wanna do WHAT, sir?” You whispered, “I wanna pay for that lady’s meal.” Then, you pointed to a woman across the restaurant. She wore a Hardee’s uniform. She had three kids. They were loud, rowdy, sipping dangerous amounts of caffeine and carbonated sugar. You paid, then stood to leave. You never got to see the woman’s reaction. But I did. She was shocked. It was all over her face. Before she left, she placed a tip on the table. Everybody won that day. Even me. It was something to see, sir. Yes, indeed. Sometimes, I worry that you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle — whoever you are. You might believe the things you do go unnoticed. And for all I know,

maybe you’re right. After all, the world has its eyes glued to glowing screens. News outlets obsess over explosions and blood. Turn on the TV. Read a paper. Another day; another dogfight between angry old men wearing Italian suits and lapel pins. But if you ask me, it’s all a bunch of horse pies. And I mean the whole thing. The scandals, the mass hysteria, the gore, the infomercials. But anyway. You don’t care about those things. And good for you. You’re after bigger fish. You care about old people, homeless vets, lost boys, terrified mutts, single parents, drug-addicted infants, prison baptisms, elderly chaplains and animal shelters. Friday-night art classes for the sexually abused, battered women’s shelters and childhood cancer victims. Hard-working women in Hardee’s uniforms. Old women at supermarkets. I know you. And I want you to know you’re a lot more important than you think. In fact, you’re the only bright thing left in this damned old world. And I want you to know that I see you. Sean Dietrich is a columnist and novelist known for his commentary on life in the American South. He has authored nine books and is the creator of the “Sean of the South” blog and podcast.


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October 2022 • B11

Life Actually By Kari Kampakis

For the father who has parenting regrets One huge challenge for every parent is admitting the mistakes we’ve made. If you have regrets as a father — in how you’ve treated your family, disappointed your family or deserted your family — know that it’s not too late to try and make things right. Owning up to your past takes humility, and God can work miracles with a humble, o|pen heart. At the same time, it may not be a quick fix. Depending on the pain you’ve caused, your loved ones may resist your efforts to connect and make repairs. Don’t get mad or prideful, and don’t give up. Reconciliation takes time, and since you're the adult, it is your job to be proactive and act mature. It is your job to pursue the heart of your child like God pursues us, regardless of whether we love Him back. In Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a concept called “sweeping your side of the street.” It means cleaning up your messes and doing your part, even if others don’t. You can’t control your child or make them forgive you (that’s their side of the street to sort through) and if you try to control them, you’ll push them away. You’ll deepen the divide and amplify pain. You can, however, focus on making good choices and owning up to bad ones. And how do you stay strong when you’re sweeping your side of the street yet seeing no progress? How do you keep trying to earn back trust when a situation feels hopeless? By letting God love you as you love your family. His love is transformative because it changes you, equips you and strengthens you from the

inside out. and admitted that he’d My friend Rachel is a change everything if he psychologist who had a could. This admission rocky start with her dad. was a game-changer for His job and ambition their relationship. kept him away from In the years that folhome, and when she was lowed, they grew closer, 10 years old, her parents and her dad was by her divorced. When Rachel side as she graduated from college, got marbecame a teenager, her pain mixed with teenried and finished her doctorate. Then, two age angst magnified her feelings. She resisted her years after Rachel finKampakis dad’s efforts to make ished school, her father amends, so he started to write her letters. died unexpectedly. In an instant, the letThey weren’t just any letters, but ters he wrote her gained new value and rather, eight-page to 10-page letters with significance. life lessons she didn't care about. As a One of his last letters he wrote said, teenage girl, they made her roll her eyes. “At the end of our days, the most lasting Still, her dad kept writing, even when legacy we can hope for is to be rememRachel didn’t respond. bered with love and appreciation by those When Rachel went to college, her we have loved, encouraged, helped and dad made new efforts to connect, and inspired.” Her father accomplished this this time she was ready. She was will- and more. ing to put in the work as they spent time Rachel misses her father every day, together and had deep conversations. yet she knows he’s with her because his Rachel started to visit her dad on week- lessons live inside her. He spent most of ends. They’d go on long walks, cover his life building his idea of perfection, yet every topic imaginable and talk on the the greatest gift he gave her was learning phone for hours. She realized they had from his imperfection. a lot in common, and slowly, she began The moral of the story is this: It’s asking hard questions about his earlier possible to finish strong as a parent even choices. if you’ve made big mistakes. Love conShe told her dad how his choices quers a multitude of sins, and while the impacted her. He helped her understand enemy wants you to stay stuck in regret his journey, and through these conversa- — or to believe that you've made your tions, the most powerful thing happened: bed, so it's no use even trying to restore He apologized. He allowed Rachel what is broken — God created you for to see how much pain he’d held onto more. He created you to parent with a

spirit of strength, not defeat, and to be the father your family needs. Who you’re becoming today matters more than who you’ve been in the past, and even if you’ve made mistakes or got a rocky start, you can choose to step up and finish strong. You can commit to sweeping your side of the street … and doing it exceptionally well. Every child longs for the love of their father. Your kids may not admit it or even know it, but they crave your company, your love, your presence and your approval. If you’re ready to make changes, yet you’re not sure how, start by keeping your motives pure and asking God to lead the way. Get creative if you must, like Rachel's father who wrote long letters that would ultimately open doors and become her lifelong treasure. We all have regrets in life, yet the worst regret is knowing you didn’t try to restore a crucial relationship. Even if your kids are wary, or keeping up a guard, you can find peace in doing your part. You can discover that your life journey is really a faith journey in becoming the person and the father you hope your kids will remember. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mountain Brook mom of four girls, author, speaker and blogger. Kari’s newest book, “More Than a Mom,” and other bestselling books are available everywhere books are sold. Join Kari on Facebook and Instagram, visit her blog at, or find her on the Girl Mom Podcast.

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Village Living

B12 • October 2022

Calendar Area Events Oct. 1: Oktoberfest 2022. The Birmingham Zoo. 5-10 p.m. The event will feature seasonal autumn brews, live music and German food favorites. Tickets are limited and should be purchased in advance before arriving at the event. Ages 21 and up. Visit

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 Antiques at the Gardens. The Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens presents the 16th Antiques at the Gardens. The show will include talks by nationally and internationally acclaimed interior designers, floral designers, architects, landscape architects and furniture designers. Check the website for events and times. Oct. 4. Thyme to Read. 4:30-5:30 p.m. A monthly gathering hosted by the library at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Visit bbgardens. org. Oct. 7: Storytime at the Gardens. 10-11 a.m. This program is designed to promote a love of reading, creativity and gardening, all while gaining the benefits of visiting the gardens and being outdoors. Visit Oct. 8: Yoga in the Gardens. 8:30-9:45 a.m. All levels of yoga experience are welcome. Oct. 8: Forest Bathing. 9:30 a.m.-noon. Through a series of simple invitations, participants open their senses and connect with the living world of the Japanese Garden. Minimum age of 13. Oct. 16: Fall Container Gardening. 2-3:30 p.m. Learn how to prepare a variety of containers for edible and ornamental plantings for the fall season. Oct. 21. Storytime at the Gardens. 10-11 a.m. This program is designed to promote a love of reading, creativity and gardening, all while gaining the benefits of visiting the gardens and being outdoors. Oct. 21: Flicks Among the Flowers. 5-8:30 p.m. A showing of “The Addams Family,” including a costume contest and trick-or-treating for the kids. Movie will begin at sunset (around 6:30 p.m.). Bring a blanket or lawn chair. A suggested donation of $5 is encouraged. Oct. 22: Japanese Garden Tour. 11 a.m-noon. Take a stroll with Norm Geisinger, an experienced tour guide and Japanese Garden horticultural volunteer, as he points out unique cultural installations, water

features and unique plant forms. Oct. 23: 32nd Annual Walk To Remember. 2-4 p.m. As part of Perinatal Loss Month, families who have experienced infant loss are invited to join Little Ones Memory Garden volunteers for a time of reflection and healing.

Oct. 11 and 18: Dungeons & Dragons - For Grades 1012. 4:30-7:30 p.m. Makerspace. Glory, monsters and mayhem await. Oct. 13 and 20: Dungeons & Dragons - For Grades 7-9. 4:30-7:30 p.m. Makerspace. Glory, monsters and mayhem await.

Oct. 28: Storytime at the Gardens. 10-11 a.m. A story followed by a creative craft for preschoolers.

Oct. 25: DIY Yums - Halloween Beverages. 4-5 p.m. Community Meeting Room. Make this Halloween even tastier with simple beverages.

O’Neal Library Events

Oct. 26: Library Loot Book Club. 4:30-5:30 p.m. Conference Room. October’s Library Loot Book Club theme is mysteries and thrillers. Receive a book box full of goodies at the end of the meeting.


Oct. 28: Hocus Pocus Night. 5-8 p.m. Community Meeting Room. Kickstart your Halloween weekend at a night of “hocus pocus fun.”

Oct. 3: STEAM Powered - Grades 4-6. 4-5 p.m. Storytelling Room. STEAM - Infinity Art. Thursdays: All Together Storytime. 9:30-10 a.m. and 10:3011 a.m. Community Meeting Room. Informal storytime and lively music that seeks to build positive relationships with books and the library for all ages. Thursdays: SNaP - Grades 3-6. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Community Meeting Room. Tabletop and video games.

ADULTS Tuesdays: Yoga with Marie Blair. 10-11 a.m. Community Meeting Room. Bring a yoga mat and some water. Registration required. Tuesdays: Beginner American Sign Language Classes. 5:30-6:30 p.m. Zoom Meeting. For teens and adults. This free, eight-week course will provide an introduction to American Sign Language. Classes meet via Zoom. Registration required.

Oct. 10: Breakout Book Club: National Geographic Weird Sea Creatures. 5-6 p.m. Storytelling Room. Kids who are new to reading bring an adult with them to this book club, where they participate together in activities to encourage enthusiastic engagement with the book.

Oct. 2: Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.” 3-5 p.m. Community Meeting Room. A screening of the 1954 classic Hitchcock film.

Oct. 14: Sensory Play, Explore & More. 9:30-10:15 a.m., 10:30-11:15 a.m. and 11:15-11:45 a.m. Storytelling Room. Children move through different sensory stations with their caregiver. Small group at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Free play at 11:15 a.m.

Oct. 9: Long Live Folk Horror. 7-9 p.m. Community Meeting Room. An Under the Mountain celebration. A lecture exploring the themes and lasting influence of the folk horror genre, followed by an hourlong movie.

Oct. 20: All Together Storytime. 9-10 a.m. and 10:30-11 a.m. Informal storytime and lively music that seeks to build positive relationships with books and the library for all ages.

Oct. 10: Great Short Stories - Reading & Discussion Group. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Conference Room. Conversation about short fiction.

Oct. 20: Hot off the Press Book Group. 6-7 p.m. Storytelling Room. Share a book you've enjoyed and get to know some of Ms. Morgan's latest favorites over pizza. For grades 4-6.

Oct. 11: O'Neal Library Book Group. 10-11 a.m. Conference Room. Discussing “Lolly Willowes.”


Oct. 8: Crafternoon. 2-4 p.m. Community Meeting Room. Learn a new craft or work on a current project.

Oct. 13 and 26: Medicare Made Clear - A Simple Guide. 10 a.m.-noon. Community Meeting Room.

Oct. 3: Teen Advisory Board. 5-6 p.m. Community Meeting Room. Earn volunteer hours and improve the library's young adult department by becoming a teen advisory board member.

Oct. 15: An Afternoon With The Author: Micah House. 2-4 p.m. Community Meeting Room. Local author Micah House will discuss his new book, “The Blanchard Witches of Daihmler County.”

Oct. 5: Game On - Teen Gaming. 4-5:30 p.m. Community Meeting Room.

Oct. 25: Books & Beyond. 6:30-8 p.m. Conference Room. Each month, you get to choose. Book clubbing, outside the box.





Family-Owned and Operated Since 1996

October 2022 • B13 SPONSORED CONTENT


Home & Garden Guide

Gardner Landscaping........................................................ B13 Budget Blinds................................................................... B14 Linscomb & Williams......................................................... B15 Mold & Mildew Solutions.................................................. B16 Doug Klick, ARC Realty..................................................... B17 Hollywood Outdoor Living................................................ B17 One Man & A Toolbox...................................................... B18 Buckets Away Waterproofing........................................... B18 LAH Real Estate................................................................ B19 Homewood Carpet & Flooring.......................................... B19

Providing High Quality Service and Customer Satisfaction

Liven up your outdoor space with Gardner Landscaping Gardner Landscaping • 205-401-3347 • When it comes to landscaping, Alabama has it made: There’s a broad variety of trees and shrubs to choose from here. Now is the perfect time to try some out, according to the experts at Gardner Landscaping. “Fall is often considered the best time of year to plant new trees and shrubs,” Grant Gardner said. But how do you choose which ones? A lot of factors come into play when it comes to selecting the right plants for your landscaping, Grant said — factors like sun exposure, soil type, the slope of the landscape and your own preferences in color and type. “At Gardner Landscaping, we take pride in coming up with a plan that meets the needs of each customer and landscape,” he said. That attention to detail is one of the things that sets Gardner Landscaping

apart from many other landscapers. Another is that they have the personnel and resources to get your project completed quickly. “We will normally provide you with the pricing for your project within one day from when we meet with you,” Grant said. Gardner Landscaping specializes in trees and shrubs, and they can use trees and shrubs to create beautiful entertainment and privacy areas. Grant said, “More customers are looking to spend more time around their homes now. We have the best prices in town on large and small trees and shrubs to have great looking landscapes, privacy screens, shade and curb appeal. We also do a lot of clean ups, drainage and landscape borders, as well to get your property where it’s managed correctly. Please call us today, we have the vision to create these enjoyable areas. We would love to help you!”

Best Price for Large and Small Trees, Shrubs, and Privacy Screens At Gardner Landscaping our goal is to exceed your expectations in creating and maintaining beautiful landscapes, hardscapes and lawns. We also work to minimize drainage and erosion issues.

Your Large and Small Tree, Shrub and Drainage Experts CALL: 205-401-3347 EMAIL:

B14 • October 2022

Village Living


Find beautiful new window coverings for fall at Budget Blinds Budget Blinds • 205-824-3300 • The window covering experts at Budget Blinds take the time to understand you and your needs and provide custom window treatments that are perfect for your home. Budget Blinds has any window covering you could ever want. They offer blinds, including wood, faux wood, aluminum, vinyl and composite, as well as vertical blinds and vertical blind alternatives. They offer all kinds of shades, such as roller, Roman, cellular, bamboo, woven wood, pleated, sheer, graphic and solar. Budget Blinds has wood, café and composite interior and exterior shutters. In addition, many window coverings are now motorized and can be controlled remotely. “You get the convenience of being able to control window coverings when you’re not at home, using the apps on your phone,” Budget Blinds co-owner Steve Thackerson says. You can also tie motorized window coverings into your home’s automation system and control them using Alexa or preset them to open or close any time of the day or night. In the fall, with colder weather, Budget Blinds can show you how to use window coverings — cellular shades, cellular shutters

and custom draperies — to help insulate your house. “The cellular shade is the number-one rated insulator on the market,” Thackerson says. The shades have small cell pockets on the side that prevent hot air or cold air from coming in, Thackerson says. “Cellular shutters, when the louvers are closed, block out a

lot of the heat or cold, and the composite material is a very good insulator,” he says. Customers can visit the Budget Blinds showroom or schedule a free in-home consultation. And if a customer finds something they like in the showroom, the Budget Blinds staff goes to the customer’s home to take measurements and make

sure the product will work. “Once you see a window covering in your home, that color or style might not match, or it might not fit the window properly,” Thackerson said. Budget Blinds also provides custom, professional installation by experienced consultants. Thackerson has an additional edge on his competitors because

Budget Blinds is an international company that is celebrating its 30th anniversary. “We get the same products but better pricing and better warranties,” he says. In fact, Budget Blinds “gets an extra warranty that no other retailer gets in the window covering industry,” Thackerson says. In addition to the manufacturer’s basic warranty, Budget Blinds offers a one-time replacement warranty with no questions asked. “We will replace all of the products one time, no matter what happens to them,” Thackerson says. “During a storm, a dog may go crazy and tear up the blinds,” he says. “We can replace them at no cost to the customer.” In addition to the Budget Blinds 30th anniversary, Thackerson and his wife, Michelle, the co-owner, have run their franchise for 28 years and enjoy serving their customers in Greater Birmingham. They have one of the largest individual Budget Blinds franchises and one of the few franchises with its original owners, Thackerson says. To learn more, call 205-8243300 or go to birmingham.


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October 2022 • B15


What is Comprehensive Financial Planning? • 205-868-3331 • Have you ever wondered about the real meaning of the phrase “comprehensive financial planning”? It’s generally agreed that a comprehensive plan should focus on all the areas of your financial life rather than specific financial goals that fail to take into account the impact of other areas of your life. If you are saving for retirement, for example, a comprehensive financial plan will also consider competing demands upon your income and cash flow. For example, a desire to accumulate education funds for a child or grandchild could significantly affect your tax-deferred retirement savings. The amount of available income being lost to payment of income taxes will affect your ability to save. We believe your financial advisor should also assess your risk management and insurance, since your ability to save money for retirement can be undermined by financial reversals that are not covered properly by insurance. A comprehensive financial plan results when your financial advisor develops a plan that is personal to you and based on your ongoing needs, rather than a one-size-fitsall plan. You may need a plan that considers divorce or child custody arrangements, for example, or caring for adult parents, while someone else needs a plan that covers ownership of business assets. A tailored financial plan can provide much more specific advice than a general plan. A comprehensive financial plan generally should cover 6 broad areas (unless an area like College Planning clearly does not apply): 1. Your cash flow and expenses 2. Investment planning 3. Retirement planning 4. Insurance

5. College planning 6. Estate planning Understanding Client Objectives A comprehensive financial plan must begin with a detailed understanding of your objectives. Are you saving for a first home, for example? A vacation home? Do you want to retire early? Do you want to leave a salaried job at some point to launch a small business? What is your family size? What do you want to accomplish in your career? Where do you see yourself in a decade? Two decades? Three? All these questions, and similar ones, are related to your well-being and life goals. Each of them contains a financial component. A comprehensive financial plan is based on goals, and as life circumstances and the outside world change, goals can also change. As a result, your goals, your life circumstances and your portfolios all need to be monitored regularly and reviewed periodically. At Linscomb & Williams, we believe your financial advisor should review your goals and plans thoroughly at least once a year, asking about any changes or updates. Your risk tolerance and asset allocation should be reviewed yearly as well, because your portfolio should be rebalanced to maintain optimal asset allocation. Linscomb & Williams is helping families across the United States, and we’ve been doing so since 1971. We’ve experienced a variety of family situations, market conditions and issues that arise. Whether you’re looking to consider a financial advisor for the first time or thinking about making a change, contact us to see how we can help.



FINALLY FEELING CONFIDENT ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE. Let Linscomb & Williams’ wealth management help build and protect your wealth, no matter what comes your way. 205 868 3331

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For more information call Sheri Robinson at 205 868 3331 or visit Linscomb & Williams (“L&W”) is a registered investment advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. L&W 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.

B16 • October 2022

Village Living


Mold & Mildew Solutions offers new basement waterproofing division Mold & Mildew Solutions • 205-252-9506 • Lee Ramey, owner of Mold & Mildew Solutions, has inspected countless homes, basements and crawl spaces in Birmingham since 1985 in search of the mold and moisture that can damage people’s health. “I’ve spent years perfecting a healthy way of removing mold from crawl spaces and homes, along with water management solutions to prevent mold,” Lee says. “Wet, nasty crawl spaces can wreak havoc on your home and the health of your family,” he says, citing such conditions as allergies and respiratory illnesses. Mold & Mildew Solutions offers a wide variety of services, including mold and moisture inspection, mold surface testing, indoor air quality testing, VOC (volatile organic compound) testing, mold remediation, crawlspace encapsulation, basement mold removal and prevention products, and moisture proofing for crawl spaces and basements. The company is also opening a new basement waterproofing division, says Office Manager Candace Ramey, Lee’s daughter. “We want to take care of your health and your possessions,” she says. The company also follows rigorous industry standards and scientific principles. “We do

things the right way,” she says. Lee says crawl spaces are not intended to be part of the breathing environment, but, because of the stack effect, air travels from the bottom of your home to the top. In fact, 25% to 50% of the air we breathe on the first floor of our home comes from the basement

If you have seen your basement flood before, it will flood again.

Specialists say that up to 50% of the air we breathe comes from the crawlspace or the basement.

or crawl space, he says. The moisture in your basement or crawl space can come from several sources, such as humid air, groundwater seepage and moisture from concrete walls and floors. “This moisture can drift into your home by way of vapor,” Lee says. “The organic material your

house is made of sucks up the moisture and causes mold to grow inside your wall cavities.” “High relative humidity causes rot, mold and energy loss, and attracts pests,” he says. These problems are personal for the Mold and Mildew Solutions staff. “Everybody who works here has

a personal story about how mold has affected them or one of their family members,” Candace says. This includes her father, whose mother had respiratory issues. Lee — known as “The Mildude” — even wrote a book, “Mold Does Not Have to be a Scary Subject,” that you can download from the company’s website. Mold & Mildew Solutions also strives to earn the customer’s trust, Candace says. “We start off with an inspection and build trust from there,” she says. “We find out where the issue is and focus on the solutions they need or what will be best for their situation and budget.” Mold and Mildew Solutions will perform a thorough inspection of your crawl space, basement or home interior and provide you with a report — with digital pictures and thermal imaging, if applicable. Lee also owns a second company in Birmingham, To The Rescue, which cleans rugs, carpets, upholstery, furniture and hardwood and offers water and flood damage restoration. To schedule a consultation with Mold & Mildew Solutions, call 205252-9506 or go to alabamamold. com. To contact To The Rescue, call 205-252-5326 or go to

Finished basements are like having a bonus room under your house. But when water affects your living space and, the health of your family, you have a bonus problem! Now it is time to call Mold & Mildew Solutions, LLC for water and mold management solutions.

We strive to conduct the highest standards of dust containment, and mold control while installing permanent water management systems. We do not want to disturb your indoor air quality. WE CARE ABOUT THE HEALTH OF YOUR FAMILY! We want to communicate with you well so that our employees will know how to respect your home, your valuables and more than anything YOUR FAMILY’S HEALTH.

Provide healthy and dry indoor air for your family by trusting Mold & Mildew Solutions.

We care about your comfort. Basement Waterproofing is not a pleasant experience, but we can overcome the challenges together.

For A Healthier Home with Water & Mold Management Solutions Call 205-252-9506

October 2022 • B17


Doug Klick, ARC Realty Doug Klick, ARC Realty • 205-201-8929 • Doug Klick discovered his flair for the real estate business in an interesting way — through buying his own home. “After purchasing and completing an extensive renovation of my personal home — built in 1916 — I realized I have a passion for helping people realize their real estate dreams,” Doug said. An associate broker at ARC Realty, Doug enjoys bringing buyers and sellers together and helps customers seeking to buy single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and land. Doug helps buyers compete successfully for houses in a strong market. “Due to limited inventory, there are often multiple firstday offers on the same home,” he said. “One thing buyers can do to give themselves a competitive edge is to have the home inspected prior to submitting an offer. With the inspection completed, the buyer can remove the home inspection contingency, creating a competitive edge to help them win the contract.” Doug also shares an important tip for sellers. “To get top dollar in any season, it’s important to take care of deferred maintenance,” he said. “Buyers are paying premiums for properties and expect them to be in the best shape possible. Consider having your home inspected prior to

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash.

Make your outdoor living space more luxurious Hollywood Outdoor Living • 205-979-7727 •

listing so you can make recommended repairs before showings begin.” Doug describes the skill that helps make him an effective agent. “The most valuable thing I’ve picked up, not only in this business, but in life in general, is to ask questions and listen,” he said. “The more you know and understand your clients’ goals, and the needs of the other party to the transaction, the more likely you are to get the parties to the closing table.”

How we started… Hollywood Outdoor Living (previously Hollywood Pools) was founded in 1986 at its original location on Hollywood Boulevard in Homewood. As a familyowned business, we pride ourselves in knowing our customers, selling high quality products, and offering reliable pool and spa services. Where we’ve been... In 2000, we moved from Hollywood Boulevard to a building at 1020 Montgomery Highway in Vestavia Hills. That same year, we acquired Casual & Custom Furniture and began to offer lines of luxury outdoor furniture. After more growth in 2005, we renovated and moved into our facility at 1441 Montgomery Highway in Vestavia

Hills. In 2018, we continued to expand our pool and spa services through the acquisition of Alabama Pools. Where we’re going… In March 2021, we acquired Alabama Gaslight & Grill, a 52-year-old company that offered gas and charcoal grills, luxury lighting, as well as fireplace products and accessories. In 2022, the companies completed a rebranding and chose our new name: Hollywood Outdoor Living. Our company’s new identity reflects our growth and sustains our legacy of providing luxury pools, spas, grills, lighting, furniture, and fireplaces. Visit our new website (hollywood, come see us in the store, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter!

Relaxation Begins in the Backyard

HIGHLAND PLAZA 1920's architectural elegance at its finest! This 2 bed, 2 bath condo at Highland Plaza is one of a kind. Located on the first floor, this one story unit features soaring ceilings and windows throughout.

The open-concept living and dining room is great for entertaining! The kitchen features updated appliances, stone countertops and a beautiful wet bar. Don't miss the covered patio, the perfect spot to enjoy a coffee or cocktail. All condo owners have access to the rooftop deck with 360 degree views of Birmingham and Red Mountain! Conveniently located only minutes from Homewood and Downtown and walking distance to Birmingham's finest restaurants. This unit comes deeded with a two car garage.

Doug Klick

Schedule your showing today!

Doug Klick 205.201.8929

Photo by Randy Fath Unsplash

The large primary bedroom with en-suit bathroom features a soaking tub, walk-in shower, double vanities and two closets. The second bedroom is being used as a stately dressing room and laundry, but could be converted into a proper second bedroom.







205.979.7727 1441 Montgomery Hwy Birmingham, AL 35216

B18 • October 2022

One Man & A Toolbox celebrates 25 years of great service to homeowners One Man & A Toolbox • 205-823-2111 • If your home needs routine maintenance or minor repairs, you may think you can do it yourself and save money. However, even if you believe you have the right skills and tools to do a job, it will likely take you a lot longer than it should, because you don’t do home repairs every day. Most home projects, even small handyman jobs, are better left to the experienced professionals at One Man & A Toolbox, now celebrating its 25th anniversary. One Man & A Toolbox can handle any small project, including minor carpentry, plumbing and electrical fixes. They can also do painting, caulking, shelving and more. “Any odd jobs around your home, we’ll get them done right the first time,” said owner Jay Moss. Moss and company can also do many other special tasks, like putting up decorations or assembling a swing set. “No matter how crazy you think the task is, call us and we’ll try to figure it out,” Moss said.

Village Living


One Man & A Toolbox can also tackle larger home improvement projects. Moss warns homeowners against calling unlicensed, uninsured repairmen from Angi or Craigslist. Many will ask for money to buy materials before starting and won’t return or won’t be available for warranty issues that arise after the job. One Man & A Toolbox has skilled, reliable employees who are licensed, insured and bonded. And the company is here to stay. The 25th anniversary “shows the good reputation we have to be able to stay in business,” Moss said. Call 205-823-2111 or go to

One Man & a Toolbox Handyman Services

Leaky Basement? Here’s what you need to know Buckets Away Waterproofing • 205-222-6443 • Does your stomach sink every time it rains because you know you’re going to have puddles in your basement or crawl space? Water can leak into your home through cracks in the wall, or it can seep through porous materials in the form of water vapor. You don’t have to live with leaks in your home forever, though. You just need a trained professional, such as Buckets Away Waterproofing, to give you a same-day inspection and free estimate. Buckets Away Waterproofing uses quality waterproofing and sealing products to effectively seal your basement or crawl space. They install 14 mm plastic poly boards and FRP panels to ensure that water does not percolate the inner space of your basement. “PolySeal and Flex Seal® are our go-to brands for quality waterproofing and sealing products,” said Brandon Skinner, owner of Buckets Away Waterproofing. With 9 years of experience, our

professionals will ensure that your home is treated with care and caution. We use mobile apps to send reports to you once your job is complete.” Buckets Away offers free estimates and inspections. The business has been locally and family owned and operated since 2017, and they’re committed to treating your home like it’s their own. With a single call Buckets Away Waterproofing, you can rest easy every time it rains. Be sure to ask about their 10% off summer discount! Call 205-222-6443 for your free estimate.


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Always on time – Locally Owned


October 2022 • B19

LAH Real Estate continues to give back to its Birmingham neighbors LAH Real Estate • 205-870-8580 • LAH Real Estate is continuing its longstanding tradition of giving back to the greater Birmingham community during this upcoming holiday season and we want to encourage you to join us! Starting in 2013, our President and Founder Maurice Humphries made it a point to emphasize LAH’s philanthropic efforts. He started an initiative where at the start of each year, agents and staff could recommend any number of charities for LAH to consider supporting throughout the year. Since then, LAH has made numerous contributions to local and national charities that each reflect the core values of our LAH family. Out of the over 50 charities LAH supported in 2021, one of our favorite annual traditions has been our companywide canned food drive, which supports the Community Foodbank of Central Alabama. LAH’s four residential offices in Mountain Brook, Homewood, Crestline, and Hoover compete to collect as much as they can. In 2021, we collected over 500

Foo Shunnarah

Homewood Carpet & Flooring offers the best selection in Birmingham Homewood Carpet & Flooring • 205-518-6423 •

pounds of canned goods. “2020 was such a challenging year for everyone, but it was important for us to still find ways to give back. This canned food drive has been a crucial way for us to support an organization that is so important to so many people in our area, and we’ve been collecting every year since,” Humphries said. LAH Real Estate was founded in Birmingham 30 years ago. We take pride in our strong ties with our community. Support your local LAH office with a canned food donation! We will be collecting through Nov. 21.

To find the best selection of flooring in the Birmingham area, go to Homewood Carpet & Flooring. Owner Foo Shunnarah has offered great service for 16 years and helps customers pick the perfect flooring for their lifestyle and budget. Shunnarah’s motto is “Foo And You: We Are One!” “When I say ‘Foo and You,’ it’s really like 90% of the time you’ll see me if I’m there, and if you have any issues, you’ll talk directly to me,” he said. Luxury vinyl — durable and scratchresistant — is perhaps the most popular type of flooring right now, Shunnarah said. Luxury vinyl tile and planks look almost exactly like tile or hardwood but are much cheaper. “The price is half, or less than half, when compared to actual tile or hardwood,” Shunnarah said.

In August, Homewood Carpet & Flooring began carrying COREtec, the original luxury vinyl flooring. COREtec is waterproof, kid-proof and pet-proof; easy to install and maintain; and comes in many attractive styles. Shunnarah also offers long-lasting porcelain ceramic tiles; beautiful, timeless hardwoods; carpet, a very affordable option; and other specialty products. These products are available in many colors, styles and looks. Homewood Carpet & Flooring offers free measurements, and you can look at products in the showroom or have them brought to your home. The store also offers installation. Financing is available at Homewood Carpet & Flooring, as well. To fill out an application, go to the store’s website and click on the Wells Fargo link. For details, go to




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