Village Living Volume 3 | Issue 12 | March 2013
neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook
A night under the big top
Ball Krewe Queen Nonie Brown Photo courtesy of Dee Moore.
Maxwell and Annie Thompson, Ladies in Waiting, pose with their mother, Genie (left). Sara Frances, Dena and Ellie Kate Berte (right). Photos by Madoline Markham.
By MADOLINE MARKHAM Boutwell Auditorium was transformed into a festive circus the evening of Feb. 8 for the 46th Annual Beaux Arts Krewe Ball. Bold-colored streamers hung around the auditorium alongside the Krewe’s traditional crests and vintage circus posters, bringing the “Under the Big Top” theme to life. Leading up to the presentation of 24 princesses, Krewe members processed into the circus stage to a Sousa march as acrobats tumbled around them. Child pages dressed as clowns sang and danced to circus tunes and
the pop song “Firework” by Katy Perry. King William Edgar Welden and Queen Lenora Ireland “Nonie” Brown, sparkling in their ornate regalia, descended on their thrones, followed by the presentation of Ladies in Waiting Lindsey Harris Badham, Jane Comer Crockard, Anne DeWitt Thompson and Eugenia Maxwell Thompson, and then the 19 princesses: Jane Austin Ault, Beverley Waters Blount, Caroline Brinson Brown, Virginia Clayton Clark, Catherine Jane Compton, Shirley Caroline Crozier, Frances Newman Deaton, Delia Thornton Folk, Sarah Reid Harris, Taylor Gore Hiden,
Margaret Livingston Hindman, Margaret Richardson King, Mary Riley Ogilvie, Sara Frazer Oliver, Margaret Alexandra Pitts, Melissa Jane Teel Robinson, Elizabeth Bailey Troiano, Elizabeth Ann Williams and Alexandra Ray Wilson. Queen Nonie, a graduate of Mountain Brook High School, is
See KREWE BALL | page 20
BEST OF ALDOT: Changes to 280 MOUNTAIN intersections to proceed BROOK Village Living 2013 By JEFF THOMPSON
neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook
Pre-Sort Standard U.S. Postage PAID Birmingham, AL Permit #656
Alabama Department of Transportation Director John Cooper put his foot down Wednesday night, Feb. 6. “So, is this it?” asked Mountain Brook City Council member Billy Pritchard, addressing Cooper in front of more than 300 at Mountain Brook Junior High. “I believe, and ALDOT believes, this is the plan that is appropriate at this time,” Cooper said. And with that, the workshop held to discuss changes to U.S. 280 intersections in Mountain Brook ended, leaving many feeling a compromise had not been reached between residents of Mountain Brook – specifically those served by the intersection of Cherokee Road and U.S. 280 – and those who seek to change it. With Cooper’s word, what can be expected by
WE CALL IT THE BATH-WILL-SHINE-LIKE-NEW-ROOM
November 2013 is a much different system of traffic flow surrounding the Cherokee Road and Hampton Inn/Kovac Center intersections. At Cherokee Road, the signal will not be closed, but left turns and direct travel across the intersection from side streets will be removed. A U-turn lane and median cut-through originally proposed in front of Birmingham Water Works Cahaba Pump House has been relocated to Overton Road. Skipper Consulting President Darrell Skipper, who presented the proposal Feb. 6, said the cutthrough was moved based on submitted comments. Many, he said, were concerned with protecting drivers coming from South Cherokee Road. Those drivers will now have an acceleration lane and 2,800 feet to merge into the U-turn lane at Overton
See ALDOT | page 29
INSIDE Sponsors ................. 4 City ........................... 6 Food ......................... 8 Business .................. 13 Celebrations .......... 14 Living 50+ .............. 15 Community ............. 21 School House ........ 23 Sports ..................... 26 Faith ........................ 28 Calendar ................. 30
Village Living Online.com
Call now for a free, no-obligation estimate.
Scan with your smartphone QR code app to like us on Facebook.
Get the kind of clean that only comes from a team of specialists. Visit Maids.com to learn about our unique 22-step deep cleaning system. Referred for a reason.
RELIABLE TRUTH Richard E. Simmons III
N What do science, history, and logic have to say about the reliability of the Bible? This book presents in a profound way how the Bible reflects the true nature of reality. Reliable Truth is about seeing the world as it is while debunking the myths, legends, and false beliefs of the Bible. “Richard Simmons has hit a homerun with this book.” ~ Kevin Elko, Author and Sports Consultant “Reliable Truth answers the questions that both Christians and tough minded skeptics are asking. I highly recommend this book!” ~ Chris Hodges, Senior Pastor, Church of the Highlands “Great research and scholarship... written in plain language we can all follow. Once I started, I found it hard to put down.” ~ Drayton Nabers, Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice and CEO of Protective Life “Richard Simmons has done an outstanding job…I highly recommend this book.” ~ Frank Barker, Pastor Emeritus, Briarwood Presbyterian Church “A much needed book in our day of relativism.” ~ Tim Kallam, Senior Pastor, Mountain Brook Community Church “This may be Richard Simmons’ best book yet, because Reliable Truth is what the world needs now.” ~ Frank Limehouse, Dean, Church of the Advent “Simmons provides convincing and convicting evidence for the reliability of the Bible...a great book to give to college students, and every pastor and Bible study leader needs to read it as well.” ~ Gary Fenton, Senior Pastor Dawson Baptist Church “Richard Simmons provides the kind of no nonsense scholarship that supports the Bible and Biblical Truth.” ~ Rich Webster, Rector St. Luke's Episcopal Church “...this book takes on the most pressing questions of contemporary society and gives answers to them.” ~ Doug Dortch, Senior Pastor, Mountain Brook Baptist Church “Richard Simmons makes a compelling case for why the Bible is what it claims to be: The Truth.” ~ Larry Taunton, Executive Director Fixed Point Foundation
Richard E. Simmons III
For More Information view www.reliabletruthbook.com or call 205-789-3471
March 2013 â€˘ 3
About Us Photo of the Month
Please Support our Sponsors Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (6) Alabama Power (17) Ann Thomas was crowned Miss Olympian at the annual Mountain Brook High School pageant on Jan. 27. Senior Megan McDowell was the first alternate; junior Hannah Mouyal was second alternate and Miss Congeniality; senior Helen Catherine Reich was third alternate; and sophomore Sidnie Adair was fourth alternate. Photo courtesy of Image Arts.
Always There, Inc .(15) Amy Smith (19) Backyard Adventures (27) Birmingham Botanical Gardens (29) Birmingham Speech and Hearing Associates (16) Briarcliff Shop (19) Brookdale Place (16) Brookwood Medical Center (26) Canterbury Gardens (28) Clover Crawl (20) Cookies By Design (19) Daniel George (10) Davenport’s Pizza Palace (17) Dominique V. Backus, D.D.S (24)
Editor’s Note By Jennifer Gray The votes are in and counted, and we have the results for our second annual Best of Mountain Brook contest in this issue. Thanks to all who nominated and voted for our favorite businesses and places around town. Read who the winners are and be sure to join us in congratulating them next time you stop by their businesses. Also this month, you will see Queen Nonie Brown from Mountain Brook, who reigned over the 46th annual Beaux Arts Krewe Ball held Feb. 8. Read all about King Edgar Welden and Queen Nonie’s court and the wonderful evening that benefitted the Birmingham Museum of Art. Also on our cover, we have the
latest on the Highway 280 plans and coverage from the recent workshop that was held between Mountain Brook officials and ALDOT representatives. With Easter falling in March this month, we have all the latest on Easter egg hunts and church happenings in our community. You will find information about what ages are included in the hunt and other important information. The Reverend Richmond Webster from St. Luke’s also has a column this month in our Faith section. We hope that everyone has a wonderful spring break, but it is also important to enjoy it safely. Dr. Dale Wisely has done a great job of
Eich Plastic Surgery (23) addressing many concerns that parents, especially parents of teenagers, have as they leave for vacation and issues that would be good to discuss as a family before you leave. So here’s to a fun and safe spring break, and don’t forget, we would love to see any special pictures from your trip. Maybe your family will end up as our Photo of the Month for April! There is so much that seems to happen with the start of spring. Please send us all your spring sports news and event details so that we can be sure and get the word out to our community.
Etc. (21) Hufham Orthondotics (25) Isbell Jewelers (8) Issis & Sons (24) Jacqueline DeMarco (13) Lamb’s Ears Ltd. (20) Leaf n Petal (13) Little Hardware, Inc. (10) Lulie’s on Cahaba (22 Mobley & Sons (8) Otey’s (12) Piggly Wiggly (9) Plastic Surgery Specialists (31) RealtySouth (32) Renaissance Consignment & Marketplace (5, 18)
Village Living Publisher : Creative Director : Editor : Managing Editor : Executive Editor: Advertising Manager: Sales and Distribution :
Dan Starnes Keith McCoy Jennifer Gray Madoline Markham Jeff Thompson Matthew Allen Rhonda Smith Warren Caldwell Contributing Writers : Christiana Roussel Kari Kampakis Rick Watson Lt. Michael Herren Interns : Nathan Kelly Clayton Hurdle Megan Smith Published by : Village Living LLC
School House Contributors : Catherine Bodnar- Cherokee Bend, Britt Redden- Crestline, Alison Taylor- Brookwood Forest, Suzanne Milligan- Mountain Brook High School, Hilary Ross- Mountain Brook Elem. , Elizabeth FarrarMountain Brook Jr. High Contributing Photographer: Image Arts Contact Information: Please submit all Village Living articles, information #3 Ofﬁce Park Circle, Suite 316 and photos to: Birmingham, AL 35223 Jennifer@VillageLivingOnline.com 313-1780 P.O. Box 530341 dan@VillageLivingOnline.com Birmingham, AL 35253 For advertising contact: dan@VillageLivingOnline.com
Legals: Village Living is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. Village Living is designed to inform the Mountain Brook community of area school, faith, family and community events. Information in Village Living is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of Village Living. We reserve the right to edit articles/photos as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish or return photos submitted. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 370-0732 or by email.
Please recycle this paper
Renasant Bank (3) Sew Sheri Designs (22) Sharp Remodeling Specialty (28) Snoozy’s Kids (6) Taco Mama (11) The Center For Executive Leadership (2) The Diamond Dealer (9) The Maids (1) The Pantry by Stone Hollow Farmstead (12) Town and Country (27) Travel Planners, Inc. (14) Tutoring Club Cahaba Heights (25) VCA Becker Animal Hospital (13) Village Dermatology (7) Village Park Builders (14)
March 2013 • 5
Kors • Michael Stars • Moth • Nanette Lepore • Nicolle Miller • Paige • Prada • Rock & Republic • Saks • Snow • St. John • Sweet Pea • Tano • Theory • Three Dots • Tory Burch • True Religion • Ugg • Velvet • White House Black
Closet Full? Need Space? Want to make some $$$$$
Style Reborn for Home and Fashion
Renaissance Consignment and Marketplace is ready to receive your prom, pageant, wedding, and mother of the bride gowns. No appointment needed to bring formals.
eed NDresses? Visit our newly expanded formal area with 4,000 square feet exclusively dedicated to formals. With over 2,000 new and consigned gowns, Renaissance Consignment & Marketplace is your #1 source for all things formal.
We are the proud sponsor of 103.7 the Q’s Gown Town event Saturday, March 9. We are accepting gown donations through March 8.
6801 Cahaba Valley Road (Hwy 119) 1/4 South of Hwy 280
Johnson • Burberry • Carlisle • Chip & Pepper • Christian Louboutin • Citizens of Humanity • Coach • Cole Haan • Cynthia Steefe • Dana Buchman • David Meister • Diesel • Dolce & Gabbana • Donald Pliner • Ectetera • Ed Hardy
7 for Mankind • Anne Klein • Anthropologie • Antik Denim • BCBG • Betsey Donald Pliner • Ectetera • Ed Hardy • Ferragamo • Free People • J Crew
• Ferragamo • Free People J Crew • Joe’s Jeans • Juicy • Kate Spade • Laundry • Lily Pulitzer • Louis Vuitton • Marc Jacobs • Matt & Nat • Michael
City Council discusses new safety plan for Mountain Brook Schools By NATHAN KELLY Mountain Brook School Superintendent Dicky Barlow presented an update on school safety adjustments and a request to add a School Resource Officer (SRO) to Mountain Brook schools Feb. 11 at the Mountain Brook City Council meeting. Barlow said he met with current Mountain Brook SRO Bryan Kelley the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Connecticut to discuss how he could improve the safety of students. Barlow cited that Hoover and Vestavia have added SROs and police officers to all of their schools. He felt that the best scenario for Mountain Brook schools would be to add an SRO. Officer Kelley is currently in charge of protecting all six of the Mountain Brook schools. The plan would house Officer Kelley at Mountain Brook High School and an extra SRO in Mountain Brook Junior High School. The two SROs would split the duties of protecting the four Mountain Brook elementary schools. Barlow asked to add an SRO as soon as the City Council could provide the position. The estimated cost for an additional SRO was presented to City Manager Sam Gaston by Mountain Brook Chief Ted Cook. The salary for the SRO would be $65,000 and a vehicle $35,000. Benefits, staff developments, uniforms and other equipment completed the total cost for the SRO at $144,700. Along with the plan to add an SRO, Barlow listed improvements he and the school board have made to Mountain Brook security since the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings on Dec. 14, 2012.
Mountain Brook elementary schools already have outside doors locked according to Barlow, but he said implementing a locked door policy to the high school wasn’t feasible. “We can’t lock the outside doors to our schools,” Barlow said. “Our schools are too crowded already for that to work, and we don’t want to create an environment for our students that makes them afraid to go to class.” The main focus of the security guard at Mountain Brook High School used to be preventing students from leaving the school. That has since changed to keeping unknown persons from coming in the school and making sure they have appointments, Barlow said. Barlow added that classroom door locks have all been checked and replaced since a plan to improve safety was implemented in December of 2012. In Mountain Brook elementary schools, students have been taught to not open any of the locked doors to strangers. “In the future, we want to install an automatic locking system to our doors for lock-down situations,” Barlow said. “If someone robs the Regions Bank or something similar happens close to our school grounds, we can automatically lock the doors to prevent anyone from coming in.” As another long-term goal, Barlow mentioned putting card readers on all doors to schools to keep track of who uses the door and when it is used. He also wants to have security cameras installed in all Mountain Brook elementary schools, a precaution now taken in both the junior high and high school. The Mountain Brook Police Department has always patrolled school parking lots, but now has been given access to school grounds and added a
Mountain Brook Schools Superintendent Dicky Barlow speaks to the Mountain Brook City Council on Feb. 11. Photo by Nathan Kelly.
patrol through Mountain Brook schools. “The new patrol route offers random police protection,” Barlow said. “We don’t know when they’re going to be there, but we know they will be a few times a day.” Lock-down drills have also changed for Mountain Brook schools. The police department now sends a number of officers to monitor the bi-semester drills and presents new scenarios to school principals so students and faculty will be ready for a variety of dangers. “What we’ve learned from the Connecticut tragedy is that it’s not always best to lock everyone in a room,” Barlow said. “Many circumstances call for everyone to be evacuated from the school to a safe location quickly.” Barlow has allowed the Mountain Brook Police Department to use schools for police training. He said it creates a win for the police department for their training and a win for the schools since the officers will be familiar with the layout of the school grounds. In other business, the Council: Heard from representatives of Brasfield and Gorrie LLC, who presented adjustments and costs to the plans for a new fountain in front of the Mountain Brook Municipal Complex. The adjustments were totaled at $121,175. After a
$7,942 bond, the total estimated cost for the new fountain is $386,117. Discussed ALDOT’s plan to improve conditions to Highway 280 with members of Cherokee Forest Neighborhood. The city council expects the plan to be rejected. Approved a contract between the City and Allcom Wireless for the installation and relocation of communication antennae system to the Office Park department location. The option chosen by the council is an eight antenna system plus relocation services, totaling $26,923. Approved the execution of a letter of conditional approval to lease Crown Castle of an additional 831 square feet of space adjacent to the existing communications tower site located at the City Public Works facility. Approved a public hearing for March 11 at 7 p.m. to consider an ordinance amending the Planned Unit Development plan for the Lane Parke development (Ordinance No. 1871 adopted May 21, 2012). Approved the creation of the “City of Mountain Brook Flexible Benefit Plan,” a non-interest bearing checking account at Iberia Bank. Approved an amendment and re-adoption of tree protection ordinance to inform the Mountain Brook Tree Commission of any tree planning to be cut down on public property.
March 2013 • 7
By MICHAEL HERREN
Jan. 18-24 Theft / Motor Vehicle. The theft of a motor vehicle occurred in the 10 block of Gaywood Circle between Jan. 1718. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole the vehicle. The keys were in the vehicle. The vehicle was recovered by the Birmingham Police Department on Jan. 22. The case is still under investigation. Criminal Trespass. A criminal trespass case occurred in the 100 block of Crestwood Road on Jan. 9. The suspect entered a residence that was currently under construction. The suspect was confronted by the contractor and the victim. The suspect has been identified, and a warrant was obtained. Burglary / Residential. A residential Burglary occurred in the 200 block of Richmar Drive on Jan. 22. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s residence and stole a television. Method and point of entry were not determined. Jan. 25-31 Unlawful Breaking / Entering of a Vehicle. A UBEV case occurred in the 3900 block of Seven Barks Circle between Jan. 28-29. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s vehicle and stole the victim’s purse. The wallet from the victim’s purse was located by a citizen and returned. Burglary / Residential. A residential burglary occurred in the 3900 block of Knollwood Drive between Jan. 2829. Unknown suspect(s) forced open the back door of the residence. The amount of property stolen has not been determined. There was no alarm at the residence. Case Investigation Update.
Recently, there was a burglary reported in the 300 block of Dexter Avenue and a Criminal Trespass case reported in the 100 block of Crestwood Drive. The same suspect has been charged with burglary in both cases.
Feb. 1-7 Burglary / Residential Three residential burglary cases occurred in the 900 block of Euclid Avenue on Feb. 1. In the first, an unknown suspect(s) forced open the front door and entered the residence. A laptop was stolen. There was no alarm. In the second, a unknown suspect(s) forced open the front door and entered the residence. Jewelry and an iPad were stolen. There was no alarm. In the third, unknown suspect(s) forced open the front door and entered the residence. An Apple Macbook was stolen. There was no alarm. In all three cases, a champagne-colored Ford Crown Victoria was observed leaving the scene. A residential burglary case occurred in the 2500 block of Canterbury Road on Feb. 2. Unknown suspect(s) broke a glass pane on the back door of the residence and reached inside to unlock the door. Jewelry was stolen from the residence. There was no alarm. A residential burglary case occurred in the 2600 block of Caldwell Mill Lane between Feb. 4-5. Unknown suspect(s) opened a rear window and entered the residence. Silver place settings were stolen. There was no alarm. A residential burglary case occurred in the 3400 block of Westbury Road on Feb. 5. Unknown suspect(s) broke a panel out of the rear door of the residence and entered the residence. A firearm, jewelry and silver place settings were stolen. There was no
alarm. A residential burglary case occurred in the 10 block of Glencoe Circle on Feb. 4. Unknown suspect(s) forced open the rear door of the residence and entered the residence. A television and a laptop were stolen. There was no alarm. A residential burglary case occurred in the 2100 block of Caldwell Mill Trace between Jan. 31-Feb. 4. Unknown suspect(s) entered the residence and stole a laptop, jewelry and silver place settings. Method of entry into the residence is unknown. There was no alarm. A residential burglary case occurred in the 4000 block of Winston Way between Jan. 28-Feb 1. Unknown suspect(s) entered the residence and stole jewelry and custom bowls and plates. Method of entry into the residence is unknown. There was no alarm. Unlawful Breaking / Entering of a Vehicle A UBEV case occurred in the 2500 block of Mountain Brook Circle between Feb. 2-3. Unknown suspect(s) broke the rear passenger window and opened the door of the vehicle. The vehicle was searched by the suspect(s). There was no property stolen. Attempted Theft An attempted theft case occurred in the 3100 block of Cahaba Village Plaza on Feb. 3. The victim was placing packages into her vehicle when a suspect attempted to steal her purse. The suspect fled the scene when the attempt was unsuccessful. The suspect was the passenger in an older model maroon Toyota Corolla. Feb. 8-14 Unlawful Breaking / Entering of a Vehicle
A UBEV case occurred in the 100 block of Elm St. between the dates of Feb. 8-9. A night shift patrol officer noticed a bag on the ground behind the victim’s vehicle. The officer also noticed a GPS hanging from the power cord outside the driver’s door. The officer contacted the victim. The victim stated that unknown suspect(s) had entered the vehicle, but nothing appeared to have been stolen. A UBEV case occurred in the 10 block of West Montcrest between Feb. 8-9. There were two vehicles at this location. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s vehicle and stole a checkbook and a pair of sunglasses. A UBEV case occurred in the 400 block of Mountain Avenue between Feb. 8-9. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole a checkbook. The victim found another checkbook that belonged to another victim inside the vehicle. A UBEV case occurred in the 100 block of Cherry Street between Feb. 8-9. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole a purse and the contents. A UBEV case occurred in the 10 block of Honeysuckle Lane Feb. 8-9. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole a purse and the contents. Case Investigation / Update On Feb. 9, a resident on Honeysuckle Lane called the Police Department and advised dispatch that she heard her neighbor’s car alarm. When she looked out the window, she observed two males running from the area. Night Shift Officers responded to the scene. A short time later, a vehicle attempted to elude a marked unit, and a pursuit of the vehicle was initiated. The pursuit ended in west Birmingham when four suspects stopped the vehicle and fled on foot. Those suspects have not been apprehended. The vehicle had been reported stolen in Birmingham. There was a firearm recovered inside
Spring into flawless skin! Fraxel can change the way you look & feel.
Receive 20 units of Botox FREE with your Fraxel treatment. Dr. Jenny Sobera, Dr. Kristy Curl, and Dr. Meg Cherry Board Certified Dermatologists Shelley Winzeler, Certified Physician’s Assistant www.villagedermatology.net
Call 877-9773 today for your Fraxel consultation
the vehicle. There was also property from the Crestline UBEV cases still inside the vehicle. The cases are being actively investigated. Unlawful Breaking / Entering of a Vehicle A UBEV case occurred at the intersection of Woodhill Road and Beechwood Road on Feb. 10 between 11:50 a.m.-12:50 p.m. Unknown suspect(s) broke the driver’s window of the vehicle, entered the vehicle, and stole a purse and the contents. A UBEV case occurred in the 3500 block of River Run Road between Feb. 12-13. Unknown suspect(s) broke the passenger window and entered the vehicle. A purse was stolen. A UBEV case occurred in the 3300 block of Dunbrooke Drive between Feb. 12-13. Unknown suspect(s) broke the passenger window and entered the vehicle. A bag A UBEV case occurred in the 3300 block of Dunbrooke Drive on Feb. 13. Unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole a briefcase and checkbooks. Burglary / Residential A residential burglary case occurred in the 4400 block of Caldwell Mill Road on Feb. 12. Unknown suspect(s) entered the residence through a rear door. Jewelry and silver place settings were stolen. Theft A theft case occurred in the 3100 block of Overton Road on Feb. 5. The victim was seated at a table, and her purse was hanging from the back of the chair. Unknown suspect(s) stole the wallet from the purse. A suspect has been identified. Case Investigation / Update As of Feb. 14, two suspects have been identified in the recent burglary cases that occurred on Winston Way and Caldwell Mill Trace. Some of the property has been identified and recovered. Investigators are contacting recent victims and meeting with them in an attempt to identify additional property.
“Whether you have sun damage, melasma, wrinkles, stretch marks, scars, issues with pores or other signs of age, Fraxel treatment delivers remarkable results with fast recovery!” – Dr. Sobera
8 • March 2013
Food The blessings of a community – G’s Apple Dreams By CHRISTIANA ROUSSEL The seeds of a business can start anywhere. Some start with a childhood dream, or a fascination with a product or process, or maybe inventing a solution to a problem. For Jennifer Green, the seed for her business began with an apple orchard in nearby Liberty Park. This Mountain Brook mom of two grew up hearing stories about her grandmother’s famous applesauce cake. A few years ago, knowing she loved to cook and bake, Jennifer’s dad asked her to recreate the recipe. It took months of sampling, tweaking things to be just so, but she eventually mastered the taste, texture and flavor. Once that task was complete, she set about making the recipe healthier, reducing the amount of sugar and fat. Jennifer’s attention now speaks for itself. G’s Apple Dreams Applesauce Muffins can be found in the frozen section of grocery stores from Huntsville to Mobile. Made from scratch and without preservatives, these treats can be enjoyed any time of day – with coffee in the morning or as an after-school snack. “They’re fully cooked and come frozen so you can thaw as many as you like at a time,” she said. “As a busy mom, you can just grab some and let them defrost on the way to pick up your kids.” Green has also developed recipes that incorporate the muffins; she thinks her bread pudding is even better using the muffins, instead of day old bread (see recipe card.)
RECIPE Granny’s Bread Pudding Serves 4 1 package G’s Apple Dreams applesauce mufﬁns (12, thawed and quartered) 2 tablespoons light butter, melted 1 cup fat-free half-and-half 1 egg ¼ cup brown sugar 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Spray high-sided baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place mufﬁn quarters in prepared dish. 3. Whisk together half-and-half and egg. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Pour mixture over mufﬁns. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
G’s Apple Dreams founder Jennifer Green. Photo by Amanda Roussel.
Green will be the first to tell you that she needed more than a prompt from her dad to get G’s Apple Dreams off the ground and out of the home kitchen. In the process of developing her product, she discovered a community of like-minded people who were willing to share what they had learned in starting and running their businesses. “I did my research. You can’t just go make muffins and put them in the grocery store. It’s not that simple. A couple of other women from Mountain Brook – Tiffany Denson and Lori Sauers – were kind enough to kind of help me along, giving me suggestions.” Last spring, after securing her
4. Place baking dish in a shallow rimmed pan of water, enough to cover about one inch of the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until set and golden brown. Garnish with vanilla ice cream if desired.
business license, she went to the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center in Florence. “That’s where I went to get my labeling and packaging and make sure the muffins were shelf-stable. I needed a commercial kitchen, and no one in Birmingham had that.” In June, she started calling on grocery stores with her signature applesauce muffins. Andy Verciglio provided her a big break when he bought the product for three local Piggly Wiggly stores. His commitment meant that what might have seemed like a passing fancy, was a viable business. G’s Apple Dreams Applesauce Muffins are now also sold locally to Freshfully in
Avondale. Green oversees every aspect of getting the muffins to market; from mixing and baking to packaging and delivery, her fingerprint is on every package. While her niece, Katelyn Fowler, helps with packaging, it was Green who made the drive to and from Florence to bake her grandmother’s dessert. Knowing the commute was too much to maintain, she called local restaurant entrepreneur George Saris, who also owns Yellow Bicycle Catering. These kitchens are housed in the former Culinard location on Oxmoor Road in Homewood. “He could not have been any nicer. So, I rent kitchen space
from him there. Then, I was very fortunate again with meeting a distributor (and fellow Mountain Brook resident), Copeland Wood. Wood Fruitticher distributes my products for me.” These connections constantly remind Green of the impact community around her, just as she was when her grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease. “When I started the business, I just wanted it to be something more. Giving back to Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama is just the right thing to do. I look at it as an every day fundraiser for this organization. It means so much to me to be able to do that.” Ask Green what comes next for G’s Apple Dreams, and her eyes begin to twinkle. She has agreements in place to sell to 300 other Piggly Wiggly stores throughout the state. She would also like to have Whole Foods Market sell her muffins. “I call myself the butcher, baker and candlestick maker because I work every step of this process.” she said, adding there is a part of her that can see herself once again as she is pictured on the back of her business card – dancing in that apple orchard with her sister. And life can be exactly what her tagline reads, “SIMPLY AMAZING.” Christiana Roussel lives in Crestline and enjoys all things foodrelated. Follow her culinary musings on line at ChristianasKitchen. com or on Facebook or Twitter (Christiana40).
March 2013 • 9
Read past Restaurant Showcases at villagelivingonline.com
358 Hollywood Blvd. 639-1910 Tuesday - Friday, 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. eatovereasy.com
By CHRISTIANA ROUSSEL 115,000 eggs — you’ll find them scrambled, poached and fried, in French toast or huevos rancheros, pancakes and omelettes. 115,000 is a big number to try and get your head around, even in one year, but take a seat in a booth at Over Easy on Hollywood Blvd. and it quickly becomes pretty evident. Owner Steven Jackson recounts the story about how he and his wife Ashley came to own a breakfast place: “We’d just come from a weekend in Oxford, Miss., and had eaten at John Currence’s restaurant, Big Bad Breakfast, there. The food was so delicious but so simple, too.” Opening up something similar in Birmingham seemed like the next logical step. Having grown up in Mountain Brook and with a background in real estate, Jackson knew just where the restaurant should be. When the Coffee Shop closed and the space on Hollywood became available, Over Easy became more than just an idea. The doors opened November 2010, and the tables have been full ever since. “It sounds silly, but the most surprising thing about owning a restaurant is that people show up day after day. It’s like the thing that I hoped for and thought would happen is actually happening! The other surprising thing is the volume and traffic that we are doing here. It is way more than I had originally thought.”
Steven Jackson owns breakfast favorite Over Easy on Hollywood Blvd. Photos by Christiana Roussel.
The restaurant’s décor is simple and clean, mid-century modern Jackson calls it, with a balance of yellow, grey and white. There is plenty of natural light, filtered through shades in the front windows. “Ashley is a graphic designer, and she created the logo, a nice clean design. She also found the handscreened wallpaper, which is perfect for the look we were going for.” The restaurant draws the occasional breakfast eater as well as a whole host of regulars, including two couples who come in every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday since it opened.
“While we can’t hold a table for them, we do try and set one a little before 7 a.m. each weekday and start cooking their breakfasts. They arrive at 7:10, and we serve their regular order, just like clockwork.” While this one group of diners may not deviate from their usual selections, the menu is chock full of many delicious offerings, starting with coffee, organic milks and McEwen & Sons grits from the Birmingham area. Jackson always prioritizes local sourcing. “In the beginning, there were a lot of people, even grown men, who just refused to eat blue corn grits, including
my father-in-law. But now people love them. It was a fun thing to serve, and we stuck with it. And I am really glad we did.” The menu item he is most proud of is the Italian Eggs Benedict, which features poached eggs, crispy prosciutto and Over Easy homemade basil pesto on a polenta cake. “That was my brainchild. I didn’t know exactly how it was going to work, but we made it and I ate it and it was just what I had envisioned. We have a lot of people who come here just for that dish. It is unique, and in my opinion, it’s just killer.”
Jackson notes that they have no immediate plans to expand the Over Easy empire, but that they are continuing to work at things to make them better and better. Just look at those egg sales alone, and you’ll see they are definitely doing something right. Christiana Roussel is a Southern food & lifestyle writer headquartered in Crestline. When not attending biscuit festivals or bourbon tastings, there are four chickens, three dogs, two children and one husband who keep her very busy. Follow her culinary endeavors at.Facebook.com/ChristianasKitchen.
AA Fine Fine 1.03 1.03 carat carat cushioned cushioned diamond diamond,centered centered in in platinum, platinum, graduated graduated calibre’ calibre’ emerald emerald shoulders shoulders and and brilliant brilliant diamonds. diamonds. $10,500 $10,500
The right balance of Boutique wine & Bargains are Budding this Spring at your local Piggly Wiggly Wine Shop THE THE DIAMOND DIAMOND DEALER DEALER
Crestline - 870-5640 • River Run Drive - 776-8755 Homewood - 879-0884 www.pigglywigglybirmingham.com
2902 2902 18th 18th Street Street So. So. •• Homewood Homewood •• 870.4367 870.4367
10 • March 2013
BEST OF MOUNTAIN BROOK Village Living 2013
Best Village Crestline Village
neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook
2837 Cahaba Road, 879-8603 Best Pizza Runner Up: Mafiaoza’s Most Kid Friendly Restaurant Runner Up: Taco Mama
Food and Drink Most Friendly Service Otey’s Tavern
Rodney Davis has been grilling, frying and having fun with the customers of Otey’s now for 20 years. 224 Country Club Park, 871-8435 Runner Up: Gilchrist
Best Casual Dining Billy’s
Since 1979 Billy’s has provided a place to kick back and watch a game or drink with friends while listening to some great local artists. 2012 Cahaba Road, 879-2238 Runner Up: Taco Mama
Best Pizza & Most Kid Friendly Restaurant Jim Davenport’s Pizza Palace
Making pies for over 45 years, Davenport’s Pizza Palace has been a frequent hot spot for families in our area.
Another Broken Egg
The hardest part about eating at Another Broken Egg is choosing what to order, from the Chez B’s Omelet to Bananas Foster French Toast. 2418 Montevallo Road, 871-7849 Runner Up: Dyron’s
Best Ladies’ Lunch Spot & Best Restaurant Dessert Olexa’s
With their soups and salads, European village décor, and the cake — oh, that warm buttercream cake — Olexa’s won both our Best Dessert and Best Ladies’ Lunch Spot by far. 2838 Culver Road, 871-2060 Ladies’ Lunch Spot Runner Up: Chez Lulu Restaurant Dessert Runner Up: Mountain Brook Creamery
Best Italian Food
Best Mexican Food
For 25 years, Giuseppe Magnolia has been bringing his Sicilian recipes to his friends in Crestline. 68A Church St., 879-5947 Runner Up: Mafiaoza’s
Custom tacos and burritos with super fresh ingredients plus cheese dip and drinks draw people to Will Haver’s Crestline taco joint. 63 Church St., 414-9314 Runner Up: La Paz
Best Asian Food Surin of Thailand
Best Coffee Starbucks
You can’t beat a complimentary cup of Coconut Tofu Soup with a $7 lunch special, unless maybe you add sushi to the menu. 64 Church St., 871-4531 Runner Up: Maki Fresh
With an unbeatable Mountain Brook Village location, the national coffee chain was voted Mountain Brook’s favorite for the second year in a row. 2738 Cahaba Road, 868-9130 Runner Up: Church Street Coffee and Books
Best Date Night
Whether it’s steaks or seafood, dishes inspired by seasonal local ingredients, you can’t make a bad choice at Daniel George. You won’t want to miss their lunch either. 2837 Culver Road, 871-3266 Runner Up: Avo/Dram
There’s a reason Carole Griffin’s bakery breads are served all over town — Continental is a champion of all things fresh and local. 1909 Cahaba Road, 870-5584 Runner Up: Olexa’s
Daniel George Restaurant Thank You for Voting Us
BEST OF MOUNTAIN BROOK Village Living neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook
Best Date Night 2837 Culver Road • danielgeorgerestaurant.com • 871-3266
Best Outdoor Space: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Thank you for voting us Best Customer Service Mountain Brook Shopping Center • 2703 Culver Road • 871-4616
March 2013 • 11
Best Church Choir : Canterbury United Methodist
Best Church Choir
Canterbury United Methodist
Best Outdoor Space
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The Gardens’ 67.5 acres are always ripe for a stroll through in-season flowers and plants. Plus, admission is always free. 2612 Lane Park Road, 414-3950 Runner Up: Jemison Trail
Best Community event Crestline Art Show
What began as a handful of local artists gathering together to show and sell their work has grown into a day-long event featuring artists from a 50-mile radius. mountainbrookartassociation.com Runner Up: Christmas Parade
Best Neighborhood Crestline
A true pedestrian community, Crestline residents love walking to the elementary school and wide range of village shops, always full of friends young and old. Runner Up: Cherokee Bend
Best Charity event
Food Truck Round-Up, beneﬁtting Preschool Partners
Seven food trucks converging on the Mountain Brook Mall parking lot must have made an impression — 2012 was the event’s first year, and, look, it won the popular vote. Runner Up: Relay for Life
Best After School Activity Emmet O’Neal Library
Learn something new, hear a good story, talk about a book or have some fun at an afterschool program or just hanging out with the staff. 50 Oak Street, 879-0459 Runner Up: Gilchrist
See them in worship each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. 350 Overbrook Road, 871-4695 Runner Up: St. Luke’s Episcopal
Health and Wellness
Dr. Kevin Alexander
Dr. Alexander took a break from his Crestline office to work in a health clinic in Panama on a mission trip Canterbury Methodist last year. 48 Church St., 871-7361 Runner Up: Dr. Georgia Jones
Best Orthodontist Dr. David Hufham
Anchored by Crestline Elementary and the Emmet O’Neal Library, the village is full of retail and eateries that welcome families by the droves. Runner Up: Mountain Brook Village
Best Local Band/musician ABOG (A Bunch of Guys)
Our Mountain Brook High School source tells us that ABOG’s a capella performances “are amazing every year.” Runner Up: Tommy Mayfield
For the past 11 years, Dr. Hufham has helped every patient that comes through his office to get each of his or her pearly whites working in harmony. 120 Euclid Avenue, 871-8881 Runner Up: Dr. Sherri Weissman
Business and Services
Best Work Out Facility
Mountain Brook YMCA
Whether your sport is spinning, pickup basketball or the treadmill, our Y branch keeps you in shape and having fun while you’re at it. 2401 20th Place South, 870-0144 Runner Up: Levite Jewish Community Center
Best Children’s Store Owner George Jones and his employees offer service and a selection of books, toys and grown-up gifts you won’t find at other stores. 228 Country Club Park, 871-2662 Runner Up: Smith’s Variety
Best Hometown Hero/Celebrity Courteney Cox
Every Friends fan out there has Mountain Brook to thank for giving them Monica Geller. Cox now stars in Cougar Town. Runner Up: Sara Evans
Best Local Personality Mike Royer
Find your favorite newscaster on NBC 13, or walking around Crestline. Runner Up: Bill Bolen
Best Place for Family Outing Birmingham Zoo
Mountain Brook’s neighbor of zoological friends welcomed a record 540,816 visitors last year. Runner Up: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Thank you for voting us
BEST OF MOUNTAIN BROOK Village Living
BEST OF MOUNTAIN BROOK Village Living 2013
2013 Best Pizza and Most Kid Friendly Restaurant neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook
Best Mexican Food
Serving Mountain Brook families for 48 years. Dough and sauce made fresh from scratch in our kitchen.
2837 Cahaba Road • 879-8603
Monday - Thursday, 11am - 10pm Friday - Saturday, 11am - 11pm • Sunday 4:30pm - 10pm
See BEST OF| page 12
12 • March 2013
BEST OF from pg 11
Best Place to Have a Kid’s Birthday Party Sugar
With more than 100 flavors of shaved ice and candy in every shape and color, what more could a kid ask for? 69 Church Street, 637-5042 Runner Up: Davenport’s
Best Store to Buy a Gift & Best Store for Your Hobby Smith’s Variety
Best Local Band/Musician : ABOG (A Bunch of Guys)
You can find just about anything at Smith’s, from sewing novelties, crafts and scrapbooking, to doll or remote control car collectables. 2715 Culver Road, 871-0841 Best Store to Buy a Gift Runner Up: Snoozy’s Kids Best Store for Your Hobby Runner Up: Little Hardware
Best New Business The Pantry
From her new Crestline store, Deborah Stone is serving up her signature goat cheeses, raw juices, micro-green topped salads and take-home food. 17 Dexter Ave., 803-3585 Runner Up: Gia’s Cakes
neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook
If you’re looking for more than just a haircut, Richard Joseph SalonSpa does it all. It even has an at-home spa option. 2410 Fairway Drive, 871-6001 Runner Up: Oak Street Hair Group
Best Store for Men Mobley & Sons
Generations of fathers and their sons have shopped at Mobley & Sons to find the right apparel for weddings, graduations and everyday life. 112 Euclid Ave., 870-7929 Runner Up: Little Hardware
Best Customer Service Little Hardware
In a world of big box stores, Little Hardware holds its own with everything needed for home and garden projects. 2703 Culver Road, 871-4616 Runner Up: Hufham Orthodontics
Best Women’s Clothing Store
Best Place to Buy Home Décor
Popular with all ages, this Crestline favorite offers clothes (and not just pants!) that are stylish yet affordable. 233 Country Club Park, 868-1616 Runner Up: Laura Kathryn
The nationally recognized Mountain Brook Village store specializes in pottery from all over the world and unique table linens. 2402 Montevallo Road, 879-0125 Runner Up: Lamb’s Ears
The Pants Store
Best Community Event : Crestline Art Show
BEST OF MOUNTAIN BROOK Village Living 2013
Making People Happy For 22 Years, It’s An Institution! Voted
BEST OF MOUNTAIN BROOK Village Living 2013
Most friendly service
224 Country Club Park 871-8435
Follow us on Facebook or on the web Oteystavern.com
Live music every Fri. and Sat. night starting @ 9pm.
March 2013 • 13
Around the Villages
Awards presented at Chamber Annual Luncheon
During the Annual Chamber Luncheon, William Tynes, left, recognized Lee Gewin, right, for her contributions to the Emmet O’Neal Library. They are pictured with Library Director Sue DeBrecht, center. Photo by Madoline Markham.
Mountain Brook’s Third Annual Chamber Luncheon recognized people making an impact on different facets of the city. The luncheon was held Thursday, Feb. 7 at The Club. William D. Tynes presented the William Tynes Award to Lee Gewin in honor of her leadership in the 1998-1999 capital campaign that raised $10 million to building the current Emmet O’Neal Library building. City Manager Sam Gaston presented City Works Director Ronnie Vaughn with the City Employee of the Year Award. Vaughn, Gaston said, has created greater productivity in the department since he was hired as
director in 2011. The Robert Jemison Visionary Award was given to Rele Evans in honor of his family’s work to redevelop Lane Parke in Mountain Brook Village. Crestline resident Mike Royer, anchor at NBC 13, was the keynote speaker. After introducing his wife of 19 years, Amy, and sons, high school junior Jack and freshman Will, Royer shared stories about growing up on a rural farm in Indiana, and stories of three people he has met during his career whose actions and words have especially impacted his life.
Swoop offers items for children
Village Dermatology to relocate
Children’s store Swoop is now open in Mountain Brook Village to the left of Avo/Dram. The bright, colorful storefront features toys, novelty items, candy and kids’ clothing. Swoop is located at 2721 Cahaba Road and can be reached at 803-0886. Store hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Village Dermatology will relocate from its current 2901 Cahaba Road building to a space directly across the street. The new location will be 2900 Cahaba Road in the Historic Union Carbide Building. The newly renovated space will include a stateof-the-art skin care facility with more rooms, a separate pediatric reception area, improved laser and aesthetic center, and more convenient parking. The move will take place early this summer. For more information call 877-9773.
easter egg hunt organized by Crestline merchants
New barber at Little Flower Day Spa
The merchants of Crestline Village are organizing the annual Easter Egg Hunt for Saturday, March 30 at 10 a.m. All children ages 10 and under invited. “This is a fun family event,” said Linda Flaherty, event organizer sand owner of Once Upon a Time. “You won’t want to miss it.” The hunt will take place in the field across from the Emmet O’Neal Library, 50 Oak St. The Easter Bunny will be available for photos after the egg hunt. For more information, call Flaherty at 870-7772.
A full service barber has settled in at Little Flower Day Spa in Mountain Brook. Tina Olive opened her first barber shop in Huntsville at age 22. She sold the business when she married and has now come to Mountain Brook. Olive was one of the youngest master barbers when she began her career. She has experience and skill in cutting hair of different ethnicities and uses the straight razor for oldfashioned shaves or a precision edge. Little Flower Day Spa is located at 2816 Culver Road. For an appointment call 515-1699.
Get a Free Exam! It’s a risk-free way for you to see the care and special attention we give to each pet at VCA Animal Hospitals.
Free exam includes:
Status check on weight, nutrition and general health Early detection of heart and/or arthritic conditions Dental check Vaccination overview Review the latest local pet health threats
New Medical Director, Cathy rice, DVm Hospital Manager, roxanne Cunningham
VCA BeCker AnimAl HospitAl 1901 27th Avenue South • Homewood, AL 35209
(205) 453-1047 • VCAbecker.com *Not to be combined with any other offer. Up to 2 pets per household. Exp. 06/30/13. Cashier Code. 700.500
14 • March 2013
Have an engagement, wedding or anniversary announcement? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to have it included in an upcoming issue!
McKinney-Burkett Allie Marie McKinney and Wesley Croft Burkett Jr. married July 14 at Trinity United Methodist Church. Dr. Andrew Wolfe and Reverand David Thompson officiated the ceremony. A reception followed at The Club of Birmingham. The bride is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Michael Eugene McKinney of Homewood. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Croft Burkett Sr. of Mountain Brook. The bride is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a Masters of Tax Accounting. She works for Ernest and Young. The groom is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in chemical engineering. He is a first year medical student at The University of Alabama in Birmingham. The bride was given in marriage by her father. She chose a formal gown designed by Ramona Keveza. The off-the-shoulder lace gown featured a fitted bodice and small lace train. The bride wore a veil of cathedral length with her monogram embroidered at the bottom. Kelsey Brown served as maid of honor. Bridesmaids were April McKinney, Grace Stegall, Michelle Shroyer, Molly Silverstein, Ellen Dendy, Catherine Drummond, Laura Kapp, Kaila Rios, Sarah Suggs, and Abbey Thompson. The groom’s father served as best man. Groomsmen were James Burkett, John Burkett, Todd Boozer, Pritchard Allen, Jeff Bissell, Kenny Budd, Douglas Centeno, Alexander Folk, Chris Geer, Allen King and Daniel McKinney. Serving as
Photo courtesy of Jerrod Brown of Jerrod Brown Studios.
ushers were Robert Bray, Austin Clinkscales, Will Long, Robert Patterson and Kristian Reeves.
After a honeymoon trip to Jamaica, the couple lives in Birmingham.
VILLAGE PARK BUILDERS Where tradition meets innovation Building and remodeling homes and light commercial buildings for Over thirty years www.villageparkbuilders.com 205.802.1818 2900 cahaba road mountain brook, al 35223
Mr. and Mrs. John Lenn Burke of Hoover announce the engagement of their daughter, Brittany Rene, to John Michael Alexander. Brittany is a graduate of The University of Alabama with a major in psychology and nursing. She was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society and Sigma Alpha Lambda Honor Society, and she is currently employed with Children’s of Alabama. Brittany is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Hankins of Hoover, Mr. William A. Burke Jr. of Gulf Shores and the late
Mrs. Lennea Burke. Michael is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Julian Lester Alexander III of Mountain Brook. He is the grandson of Mrs. Julian Lester Alexander Jr. of Hoover, the late Mr. Julian Lester Alexander Jr., Mrs. Earl Franklin Horn of Nashville and the late Mr. Earl Franklin Horn. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a major in finance and a master’s in Business Administration, and he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. Michael is currently employed with Accounting, Economics & Appraisal Group LLC.
A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
March 2013 • 15
After 70 years the Johnsons still make a great team By JEFF THOMPSON
Bill and Carolyn Johnson. Photo by Jeff Thompson.
Inside the bell-shaped locket Carolyn Johnson wears every day is a black-andwhite photo of a tall, 16-year-old man in a jacket and tie. She first put the photo into the locket when she received it at 15, and it is the only one to ever hold the space. She went on her first date with that young man in 1944. Six years later she’d be married to him. Six decades after that he’d still be there, both in her locket and her life. Bill and Carolyn Johnson will celebrate their 63rd anniversary in 2013, along with three children, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The couple grew up no more than two blocks apart in North Carolina. They didn’t associate until high school, but they were both very aware of each other. Bill sold eggs to Carolyn’s mother and delivered the Saturday Evening Post to her family. He also walked by her house to get to school. Carolyn, though, rarely came by Bill’s when she was growing up. “Momma wouldn’t let us go down on that street,” Carolyn said. “‘Those boys are too rough,’ she’d always say.” But Carolyn had her eye on Bill, the one she said was “so cute and goodlooking,” so when the opportunity arose, she asked him to a dance. “And that was the only time she ever had to initiate,” Bill said. After high school in 1945, the couple was divided when Bill joined the U.S.
Navy. Coming in at the end of World War II, he was sent to learn radio operation and then assigned to work at a separation center in Charleston, S.C., where he discharged veterans returning from overseas. Every day, they wrote letters to each other. And every three months, Bill and a friend would take his 1937 Ford from Charleston to Winston-Salem, N.C., where Carolyn was working in a factory making “big money,” she said. Bill, without blinking, remembered that drive was 263 miles. Following the war, Carolyn attended nursing school at Wake Forest University, and Bill attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When they
graduated, they married in 1950. “We got married Thanksgiving Day so we could have a long honeymoon,” Bill said, “because both had to go to work Monday.” After school, Bill tried his hand at working retail but found it wasn’t for him. He soon landed a position with Southern Bell – now AT&T – which soon moved he and Carolyn from their home state. By 1963, the Johnsons were in Baton Rouge, La., after moving five times. “See, back then if they offered you a job somewhere else that was a promotion,” Carolyn said. “You better take it or they might not ask you again.” Then, in 1965, the Johnsons moved for the second-to-last time. The found Mountain Brook and fell in love. “It was the best decision we ever made,” Carolyn said. “It’s our home, and we’ve seen it really grow since then.” They chose Mountain Brook for its schools and raised their children: William III, a doctor; Tommy, an architect; and Julie, a video producer. They are and have been members of Mountain Brook Baptist Church and, through Bill’s active participation in the Rotary Club, have traveled the world. The Johnson, on their most recent move, relocated just outside Mountain Brook city limits on their 50th wedding anniversary to a house designed by their son. “Sure, we’ve moved around a lot, but did we ever have trouble?” Carolyn said. “No, we’re a team.”
16 • March 2013
A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
Life like a novel After escaping Cuba at 16, Sandra Gomez has become an established Spanish-language author
By RICK WATSON Dr. Sandra Gomez’s library shelves are filled with books by Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum and Stephen Coonts. But when she looked for titles in this genre written in her native Spanish, Gomez found none. Spanish speakers had only translations of American novels to look to for this type of suspense fiction — that is, until Gomez started writing. Her new novel, Victoria: In Search of the Past, was published in Spanish, and she subsequently translated it into English. The book tells the story of a young girl with amnesia who was found on a fictional island in the Caribbean. She becomes entangled in intrigue, and faces tragedy. Gomez’s own life reads almost like a novel. She was born in Cuba in 1952 during the Cuban Revolution. Her family members were landowners, and many of them worked in Fulgencio Batista’s government. But things changed when Fidel Castro came into power in 1959. “Everyone kept thinking it wouldn’t last, but it did,” she said. In 1960, the CIA created Operation Peter Pan, which offered approximately 14,000 Cuban children visas to come to the United States when rumors spread that Castro intended to take many from their parents. With this passage, Gomez left her family in Cuba at age 16 and traveled alone to the U.S. via Mexico. She had family in Miami, but her mother also had sister who lived in New York, where Gomez chose to live. Her mother followed a
year later, but her father died in Cuba before he could obtain an exit visa. With her mother working two jobs to pay for her daughter’s education, Gomez attended medical school abroad. “My English was not good enough, so I went to school in Spain,” she said. “My mom is my hero. She worked hard to put me through school.” Just before graduation, political unrest in Spain forced her to complete her medical training in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic. It was there she met her husband, Camilo. The couple returned to New York after college, where she studied and passed the medical board exams. Later, both got jobs in Saint Louis, where her daughter Christina and son Camilo were born. In 1995, her husband received an offer to work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Mountain Brook became their new, and final, home. “We love it here, we’ll be here until we die,” she said. After the move, Gomez made what she said is the best decision she has ever made, to take a sabbatical from medicine to care for her young children and to start writing. Since that time she has written two fulllength novels and a book of poetry in Spanish, all with a regular routine she established: “I get up and exercise, and then I write for two or three hours a day.” She also spends time translating her work.
Author Sandra Gomez has lived in Mountain Brook for 17 years. Photo by Rick Watson.
Gomez, who retired from her private practice last year, is currently working on a third novel, and would love to see her work make the transition to the big screen. She also thinks a Spanish soap opera would be the perfect theatrical venue for her work. Victoria and her first novel, Cristina, are
available at Barnes & Noble and online at Amazon.com. “I love what I do now, it’s thrilling to walk through Barnes and Noble and see my books on the shelf,” she said. Learn more about Gomez at edicionesguajira.com.
March 6, 2013
Can’t-miss March events for seniors LJCC JOY Club March 1: Southern Museum of Flight. $5 per person, $7 simulated flight. Meet at LJCC at 9:30 a.m. Call 879-0411 for more information. LJCC Joy Club Passover. Seder Tuesday. $8.50. 12 p.m. RSVP 879-0411. March 13: Reading The Showmaker’s Wife. 1 p.m. Lunch at noon. RSVP 879-0411. March 12: Reading Sunbonnets to Suffrage: The Alabama Woman, Her First 100 Years. 12:45 p.m. Lunch 12:15 p.m.
LJCC JOY Club
The JOY club (Jewish Older Years) is currently housed in the Levite Jewish Community Center. The club is open to all seniors in the community and is designed to keep seniors independent as long as possible. The club has educational programs, exercise classes, social gatherings, a monthly newsletter, a knitting group, field trips, musical performances, movies, and weekly luncheons. Fees are $50 for non-JCC members, $25 for JCC members, and $175 for exercise for a year. For more information call Mindy Cohen, 879-0411 or visit bhamjcc.org.
Mountain Brook Baptist Church Bible Study. Held every Sunday. 10 a.m. Stretching exercises. Held every Tuesday. 9:15 a.m. Stretching exercises and choir rehearsal. Held every Thursday. 9:15 a.m., rehearsal at 10:30 a.m. March 14: Monthly luncheon. 11:30 a.m. followed by organ concert. March 19: Movie of the Month: Lukewarm. 2 p.m. March 26: Coffee, Coke and Conversation. 9 a.m. in Heritage Hall. March 31: Easter Bible Study. 10 a.m.
March 2013 • 17
A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT
Take control of your hearing Hearing loss is stressful, maybe more stressful than many can imagine. Not only does it lessen the quality of life of those afflicted, but it can also create hardships for loved ones. As a person’s hearing deteriorates – usually due to both exposure and heredity – often he or she refuses to acknowledge the change and seek a remedy. They get frustrated with growing difficulties in communication, but many times it requires the urging of someone close to them to do something about it. When people refuse to acknowledge hearing loss, their loved ones must adapt, said Cynthia Serota, director of Birmingham Speech and Hearing. The additional effort can be exhausting on a spouse or a child, and it can lead to aggravation or
resentment. It’s important for those who see the signs of hearing loss to take ownership of their hearing, their health and their social lives and schedule an appointment with an audiologist. A few easy-to-recognize signs of hearing loss include: ›› Trouble hearing phone calls or talking on the phone. ›› Turning TV volume up significantly higher than a spouse. ›› Accusing others of talking too quickly. ›› Trouble in public places where ambient noise is prevalent. Serota said once a person takes control of their hearing, whether on their own or with encouragement from loved ones, they find that an investment in a hearing amplifier
or aid drastically improves quality of life. Digital technology has both reduced device size and improved sound characteristics. Some devices are even “invisible” like Lyric, which is inserted into the ear canal and is designed for extended wear. “It’s a taxing situation on the brain of someone who can’t hear well to strain and learn facial cues in order to even be involved in their own social lives,” Serota said. “You wouldn’t think of not wearing glasses, right?” Birmingham Speech and Hearing has provided numerous resources online to assist both those suffering with hearing loss and loved ones affected by it. For more, visit birminghamspeechandhearing. com or call 871-3878.
your ﬁrst visit with us! No Contract, No Obligation, Just Genuine Care.
“Keeping You in the Independence & Comfort of Your Own Home” 13521 Old Hwy 280, Suite 153 Birmingham, AL. 35242
18 • March 2013
This is what HOME feels like. Enjoy the Rustic Luxe surroundings as you browse easily from Clothing to Home Furnishings.
Welcome Home to Renaissance. Style Reborn for you AND your HOME. Interested in consigning Home Furnishings?
Email pictures to email@example.com for consideration.
Style Reborn for Home and Fashion 6801 Cahaba Valley Road (Hwy 119) 1/4 South of Hwy 280
A whole new world
March 2013 • 19
Crestline resident launches Healthy Travel magazine By MADOLINE MARKHAM A spa day is on the itinerary for Alison Lewis and her 14-year-old daughter’s spring break trip to the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. In February, the Crestline resident was at Blackberry Farm, and in April she’ll be in St. Barths, followed by a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. These days, the travel journalist gets asked daily to go on an allexpense-paid press trip, and she carefully selects her travels, one trip each month, based on her kids’ schedules. Her life might seem like a dream, but Lewis, a single mom of three, said it’s hard work. She has been working 80-90 hours a week, keeping up her culinary clientele with Ingredients, Inc., the business she started in 2002. At the same time, she has been launching a new magazine, Healthy Travel, to debut this month. Lewis dreamed up, wrote and produced each page of the quarterly publication’s first issue. Its pages are filled with features on healthy women’s getaways, beaches and ski resorts, golf destinations, as well as regular departments on fashion, beauty, family trips, romantic trips and culinary opportunities. For years, Lewis had been a food professional. She worked as food editor at Southern Living, started a
culinary consulting business Ingredients Inc. and a blog by the same name (ingredientsinc.net), and authored two cookbooks. But recently, with a down economy and an increasing number of self-taught food bloggers being hired for what she was trained to do, Lewis set out to diversify her career. Her
aspiration: travel writing. And it was her network that got her there. While speaking on blogging at Atlanta Food and Wine Festival in 2010, someone from CNN asked her to go on allexpense-paid press trip to Italy with journalists from CNN, National Geographic and The
New York Times. Lewis was the only journalist on the trip tweeting and sharing their experiences with her social media. This trip would lead to many more. She started “Tuesday Travel” on her blog and began finding other publishing outlets for her travel experiences. This new area of writing brought back an idea Lewis had while she was at Southern Living: what about a travel magazine geared toward health? On each trip she went on, she saw health-oriented things that would make great features for such a publication. “This is clearer than ever,” she thought. Lewis did not tell anyone about the idea until early 2012, when she ended up chatting on the beach (on a press trip, of course) with Gina Christman, publisher of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. The two hit it off, and Lewis was soon pitching Christman on Healthy Travel and all the advertisers it would draw. Christman offered to present the idea the following week, and within months Lewis was bringing her magazine vision to life as its editor in chief. The spring issue of Healthy Travel is an insert in the March issue of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles and other magazines by the publisher, and from there the publisher will determine if it can stand on its own. With all the ads for the first issue sold and three-quarters sold by early February for the second issue, it certainly seems a viable venture even for something as risky as a magazine launch. Lewis said her kids, Alec (15), Leigh (14) and Zachary (12), have been pretty amazed by seeing their mom’s idea come to reality. “It shows them that if you have a dream or if you come up with a great idea, you have to see it through,” she said.
Alison Lewis, a Crestline resident and experienced food professional, anticipates launching her new magazine, Healthy Travel, this month.
Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® CALL ME TODAY.
Amy M Smith, Agent 3900 Montclair Road Ste 350 Mountain Brook, AL 35213 Bus: 205-870-8820 Fax: 205-870-8810 firstname.lastname@example.org www.amysmithinsurance.com
Gifst Books Tables
An IRA could reduce your taxes and it’s a great way to invest in your future.
Spring items are here at 1829 29th Ave. South • Homewood • 870-8110 www.shophomewood.com
Open an IRA by April 15.
Give yourself a tax break.
Delivery or Pick-up gift cards available 2812 Cahaba Road • Mountain Brook Village 803-1054 • cookiesbydesign.com
20 • March 2013
Krewe Ball pages. Front row: Ellie Kate Berte, Emily Browning Amason, Julia Abele. Mary Patton Day, Alice Monk, Allen Baker. Back row: Sara Frances Berte, Helen Abele, Sarah Petznick, Sarah Huddle, Lauren Walston, Francis Hagan.
Ogden, Francie, Princess Newman, Ogden Sr. and Tucker Deaton.
KREWE BALL from pg now a junior at The University of Alabama, where she is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and majoring in Spanish. A member of St. Peter’s Anglican Church, she has taken several
mission trips. Queen Nonie is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Ireland II and the late Mr. and Mrs. Tom Tartt Brown. She is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Tom
Krewe King Edgard Welden. Photo courtesy of Barbara Harbin.
See more photos at villagelivingonline.com Tartt Brown Jr. and the younger sister of Amanda and Tommy. Her aunt Mallie Ireland was the Queen of the Krewe in 1975; her aunt Kacy Mitchell was a Lady in Waiting in
Free and Open
1972; and her mother was a Princess in the 1979 Krewe Ball. She wore the dress of family friend, the late Barbara Shook. The Shook gown was worn by Barbara’s daughter
Elesabeth when Elesabeth was the queen in 1981; it was then donated to the Birmingham Museum of Art. Queen Nonie’s escort was William Lee Jenkins of Baton Rouge.
March 2013 • 21
Community Country Club of Birmingham prepares to host October’s Mid-Amateur Championship
2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Steering Committee. Front row: Jim Gorrie, Nonie Brown, Murray Priester and Barney Lanier. Back row: Robbie Robertson, Austin Davis, Bill Moor, Jim Richardson, Richard Anthony, Tommy Luckie, Jack Brown and David Ehrhardt. Photo courtesy of Shannon Rumage/Country Club of Birmingham.
By MEGAN SMITH A steering committee is preparing to host the United States Golf Association 2013 U.S. MidAmateur Championship at the Country Club of Birmingham Oct. 5-10. “We’re proud to be able to host it, and it certainly gives our members pride that our courses and facilities are good enough to make us a host for the tournament,” said Richard Anthony, chairman of the steering committee. More than 400 volunteers for the tournament are led by the 12 committee members.
Vice Chair Barney Lanier is in charge of the competition, the grounds, the clubhouse and the volunteers, while Vice Chair Jim Gorrie is in charge of hospitality, communication, transportation and finance/administration. “You have to have good facilities and courses for the USGA to give permission and award you with holding a tournament,” Anthony said. “We want everything to run smoothly.” There will be 264 contestants competing in the championship who will begin practice rounds at the club a few days before the tournament begins.
Wilder and Galloway awarded Eagle Scout On Jan. 13, two Mountain Brook High School students were awarded scouting’s highest honor at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor at Canterbury United Methodist Church. Junior Russell Galloway and senior Patrick Wilder were joined by family, friends, and fellow scouts for the ceremony. Russell’s Eagle Scout project was for Mountain Brook Community Church, where he built a fire pit and four benches adjacent to the youth hut. For his project, Patrick completed a bridge and trail at Red Mountain Park and raised more than $1,000 to donate to park projects. Both boys have been members of Troop 63 since fifth grade and are members of the Order of the Arrow. They have attended several high adventure camps, including a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico last summer.
Patrick Wilder and Russell Galloway
Gardens to host architectural lectures New York Times bestselling author Andrea Wulf returns to the 15th Annual Spencer Lecture at Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Thursday, March 7, joining architect Ben Page as dual speakers at this year’s event. This free, annual event will begin at 10:30 a.m. with Wulf’s illustrated talk “Chasing Venus: the Race to Measure the Heavens,” based on her book of the same name. Wulf will greet guests at a light reception prior to speaking from 10-10:30 a.m. She will be signing copies of her books, which will be available for purchase at Leaf & Petal at The Gardens. Ben Page will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. for his talk titled “Traditions and Transitions.” The architect’s lecture weaves together some
historical threads, going back as far as ancient Rome, as well as some history of Belle Meade, the area of Nashville where Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art is located. He’ll share the influence of landscape architect Bryant Fleming and his personal approach to garden design. Page will greet guests at a reception from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. The Spencer Lecture is made possible by an endowment established by Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens with funds from the estate of William Micajah (Bill) Spencer III. While this event is free, reservations are required, and capacity will be reached. To reserve seats, visit bbgardens. org/spencerlecture. For more information, call 414-3950.
22 • March 2013
A new way of seeing
Junior League past presidents with Andrew Harmon. Photo by Madoline Markham.
By MADOLINE MARKHAM Five-year-old Andrew Harmon’s world became 75 times bigger in December. For the first time, he could see the spikes in the wheels in his toy cars. He could watch when his parents scratched their faces, instead of just seeing their forms. He could watch TV from across the living room instead of two feet away. He is learning to write letters and color inside the lines before he starts kindergarten in the fall. All of these changes came as a result of the Electronic Video Magnifier (EVM). Andrew, who has low vision, now has an EVM in his Homewood home thanks to a grant to Sight Savers America from the Junior League of Birmingham. “This machine opens up a whole new world for these children,” said Chad Nichols, Sight Savers COO. “It allows them to gain a
new independence.” The EVM at Andrew’s home will not only help him but also his mother, Shambra, and younger brother, who are visually impaired. Andrew’s father, Nathan, is legally blind. The grant to Sight Savers for EVMs and other vision needs of children in the greater Birmingham area is one of nine projects totaling $349,000 from the Beeson Community Fund, which was announced by the Junior League on Feb. 4. Other grant recipients are Oasis Counseling for Women and Children’s Child/Adolescent Therapy; YWCA Central Alabama’s Court Advocacy Program; Junior League of Birmingham’s Kitchen for the Kids Mobile Kitchen; McWane Science Center’s Birmingham Children’s Museum; The Literacy Council; The Woodlawn Foundation, Inc.; Childcare Resources to assist with the Supplemental Child Care Program; and Children’s Aid Society.
Sharp, Ezell earn Eagle Scout ranks Carl Sharp Carl Clayton Sharp, a member of Boy Scout Troop 320 at Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church, was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout on Nov. 8, 2012. A Court of Honor Ceremony took place on Jan. 13, 2013 to recognize his achievement. For his Eagle Scout Project, Sharp rebuilt an outdoor worship area at Brookwood Baptist Church, completing construction of eight benches and a lectern for the area. The extra funds that he raised for the project were donated to the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home. Sharp joined scouting in the first grade and went on to earn the Arrow of Light Award. As a member of Troop 320, Sharp earned 21 merit badges and served as Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, Chaplain and Den Chief. He was inducted into the Order of the Arrow. He also spent two weeks at Philmont Scout Ranch. Sharp is a sophomore at Mountain Brook High
School. He plays lacrosse and is an active member at Brookwood Baptist Church. He is the son of Amanda and Victor Sharp of Mountain Brook. He is the grandson of Carl and Marybeth Smith of Birmingham and Shelby Sharp of Montevallo.
Robert Ezell Robert Ezell, a member of Boy Scout Troop 63, was presented his Eagle Scout badge at a ceremony at Canterbury United Methodist Church in the fall. For his Eagle Scout Leadership Project, Robert made improvements to the playground at his home church, South Highland Presbyterian. He designed and led the construction of a raised covered sand box, an herb garden and a wooden game. The playground is used on a daily basis by the SHPC Child Development Center. As a member of Troop 63, Ezell earned 24 merit badges and served as Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader and Scribe. He was also inducted into the Order of the Arrow. Robert earned the Triple Crown of Scouting by backpacking at Philmont Ranch in New Mexico, canoeing at Northern Tier in the boundary waters between the U.S. and Canada, and sailing at Sea Base high adventure camp in the Bahamas. He also participated twice in Troop 63’s Leadership Training weekend at the
University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn. At Mountain Brook High School, Robert is president of FBLA and a member of the Ping Pong Club and Mu Alpha Theta math honor society. He is also a reading tutor in the STAIR Literacy program and is active in his church. Robert is the son of Elizabeth and Mark Ezell. He is the grandson of Bess Owen Yeilding and the late Henry Yeilding of Birmingham, and Mary and Carl Ezell of Bowling Green, Ky.
YOUR LOCAL FABRIC RETAILER
Spring designs are here! Hundreds of patterns to choose from. You pick the pattern, we will take care of the rest. 2832 Culver Rd • 879.8278 • Mon. - Sat
March 2013 • 23
School House MBJH honors ‘Spartans of the Month’ By ELIZABETH FARRAR
MBJH Spartan of the Month students were honored at a breakfast and certificate presentation on Dec. 14. Photo courtesy of Belmont Studios.
Each month, one boy and one girl from each grade at Mountain Brook Junior High School are chosen by a faculty vote to best represent a positive character trait. The students named “The Spartan of the Month” are recognized each month at the school and honored with a breakfast and certificate presentation. The following MBJH students honored during the first semester: September/Respectful: Caroline Monaghan, Blake Fields, Annie Phillips, Alex Pankey, Adele Bird, Patrick Trammel and Omer Tunagur. October/Enthusiasm: Natalie Womack, Clay Stearns, Maggie McPherson, Will Wetzler, Kennedy Schewefler and Cole Wilcox. November/Humility: Sarah Hydinger, Hamp Sisson, Carlee Dawkins, Grace Tortorici, Jack Martin, Sara Chandler Mitchell and William Boyd. December/Compassion: Lilla Burns, Britton Johnson, Cassidy Lippeatt, Will Bryant, Sophia Giovanelli and Eric Voigt.
Celebrating writing at Crestline By BRITT REDDEN Crestline Elementary held its annual Celebrate Writing day on Feb. 22. Authors and illustrators from all over the country spent the day at the school talking with students about their writing careers. Students in each grade had been studying these authors and reading their books for several
weeks prior to the event. Each student also created an art piece related to one of the authors. Celebrate Writing is entirely funded by the Crestline PTO through the fundraisers such as Fall Festival. Parents were invited to attend the event, and A Bunch of Guys from the high school entertained students throughout the day.
Brant Hawkins, Aidan Dillion, Chloe Dillion and Michael stand in front of student artwork based on a book by Kelly DiPucchio and hold books by guest authors Bob Barner, Denise Brennan-Nelson, Kelly DiPucchio, Irene Latham and Diane Z. Photo courtesy of Lucy Hawkins.
24 • March 2013
A ﬁrst-hand look at history
100 years old for a day
By CAROL EDGAR At Cherokee Bend Elementary, we are constantly trying to enhance students’ learning by finding ways to convey the facts and stories directly into the eyes, ears and minds of students instead of simply being read from the pages of a textbook. As a part of this mission, Max Steinmetz, the grandfather of one our students, came to the school on Feb. 1 to share his story of Holocaust survival. His willingness to share his experiences allowed our students to ask questions, enhancing their knowledge and bringing this catastrophic event to life. The most exciting part was the chance for us to see a man who has not allowed his past to negatively define who he is today! His story teaches us of the importance of learning from history,
Mary Frances Torbert , Addie Moss, Jack Steinmetz, Max Steinmetz, Caroline Chamoun and Anna Rose Alexander.
reminding us that tolerance, love and understanding allow us to avoid anger and bitterness in determining our futures. Hearing this message has encouraged us to
Kindergarteners in Robin Kendrick’s class at Cherokee Bend Elementary celebrated their 100th day of school on Jan. 29. The students dressed as centenarians, learned to count to 100 and participated in special activities.
look for ways to apply these ideals in our day-to-day lives, allowing us to make a positive impact on our community by becoming the best that we can be.
Real-life biographies By BRITT REDDEN Third graders in Jessica Barry’s class at Crestline chose a famous person to study and then spent the month of January reading about that person for their Biography Book Reports. Each student put together a one- to three-minute speech about that person and delivered it to their class.
Tracey Barringer’s first grade class, along with the other first grade classes at CES, celebrated the 100th Day of School by dressing as 100 year-old people.
March 2013 • 25
‘Chill Out and Read’ Winter Reading Celebration Smart Parents. Left, kindergarten students Max Hamer, Reed Warburton and Mae Busby on Pajama Day. Right, pictured on Character Day is first grade teacher Paige Slaughter as “Pinkalicious” and students Josie Garrison as “Piggie”, Erin Gilbert as “Gerald” and Pippa Roy as “Bad Kitty.” Piggie and Gerald are from the popular Elephant and Piggie series.
By HILARY ROSS To encourage and foster a love for reading, MBE dedicates a week each winter to celebrate books and reading.
This year, scheduled activities included Pajama Day, which allowed students to wear comfortable PJs to school, and Character Day, where students chose a favorite character
from a book and dressed the part for the day. LMC Librarians Margaret Hudson and Nonie Roby always plan many events that make it fun to read.
Sweets and a dance floor for sixth graders
Call now for Summer Programs! Reading • Math • Writing • Chemistry • Study Skills SAT/ACT Prep • Algebra I&II • Geometry • Calculus
3118 Cahaba Hts Plaza
5291 Valleydale Road
(1/2 mile from 280)
BWF Sixth Grade students Brett Lewis, Joe Saia, Bess Rosenthal, Louise Knight and Anna Catherine Brown.
By BAMA HAGER The Sixth Grage Graduation Committee for Brookwood Forest Elementary led by sixth grade students’ will host five Sixth Grade activities throughout the school year. These events are independent from school events and are held at locations throughout the community. Students enjoyed a Sixth Grade Valentine’s Dance on Feb. 1. A DJ, festive
sweets, hoola hoops and balloons added to the celebration. A special Sixth Grade Graduation Committee has also organized a picnic with Doodle’s Frozen Desserts, a bowling event, a MBHS basketball game night and a dance. Future events include a Spring Dance and pool party after the BWF Graduation Ceremony in the spring. Parents Cheryl Collat, Laura Brown and Jan Grant are on the committee.
Artistic expression at BWF
BWF fourth graders Megan Lee, Virginia Keith, Catherine Taylor and Luke Black. Luke Black’s entry in the competition was bluegrass music on the banjo. He has been taking lessons for three years, and this was his first year in the competition.
By ALISON TAYLOR More than 90 Brookwood Forest Elementary students shared their artistic and creative talents by participating in the Expressions Art Contest this year. Each of the entries explored the theme “Remember when” in one of five categories: visual arts, literature, photography, video production and musical composition.
On Jan. 29, BWF held an artists’ reception to honor all of the students who entered the competition. First grader Ellis Dykes was the won a drawing for a digital camera donated by Perry Computer. The winning entries were then be judged against winners from other Mountain Brook elementary schools. Annie Butrus and Amy Tucker co-chaired this event.
• March 2013
Spartans in state tournament By CLAYTON HURDLE
Spartan senior Malek Grant drives for a lay-up against Pinson. Photo courtesy of Image Arts.
After finishing a 23-6 regular season, the AHSAA Class 6A 10th-ranked Mountain Brook Varsity Boys’ Basketball Team won four games in a row to reach the Northeast Regional final. On Feb. 22, MBHS faced Lee-Huntsville on the campus of Jacksonville State University. Mountain Brook hosted the Area 11 finals earlier this month, where they disposed of Woodlawn and Shades Valley to earn a spot in the sub-regional game. On Feb. 15, the Spartans won the sub-regional against Carver by a score of 60-52. Feb. 20 they advanced to the regional final by beating ClayChalkville, 47-44. Spartan coach Bucky McMillan credits his team’s depth as one of the key factors in Mountain Brook’s success this season. “You can’t just focus against one or two guys when you’re playing us,” McMillan said. “On any given night we can have anyone lead us in scoring.” In the Woodlawn game, 10th grader Tawarren Grant led the way scoring with 13 points. Junior Patrick Keim put up 21 points in the Area final, senior Jeremy Berman led the Spartans against Carver with 17 and senior Malek Grant recorded 20 points in the semifinal win over Clay-Chalkville. “Yesterday was a close game between two close teams,” McMillan said after the game. “We didn’t shoot well, but we played really good defense. Tomorrow I don’t think anyone expects us to win against maybe the best team in Alabama, but crazier things have happened.” McMillan has trusted his players to take care of business in tournament play. From the team leaders such as Keim, Berman and Malek Grant to the deep Spartan bench, the concept that the next game could be the last has resonated all season long. “The mindset has got to be that it’s a onegame season, and what’s happened before this is irrelevant,” McMillan said. “They’ve been playing every game like this all season.”
Mountain Brook tennis squads have high outlook By CLAYTON HURDLE With most of its top players back, the Mountain Brook girls’ tennis team will strongly contend for a Class 6A title repeat. Losing each of its top three, the defending runner-up boys’ team has a more difficult road to travel to win another state title for the Spartans. Regardless of changes from last year, both teams are confident they can make it to the top in 2013. The girls’ team returns four of its top six members from the 2012 campaign. Leading the way is junior Carlee Petro, who has yet to drop a match in singles play. In addition, Sarah Bowron and Mary Martha Grizzle will contribute to Mountain Brook’s 2013 hoped success. “Sarah Bowron is really smart and a National Merit finalist,” tennis head coach Susan Farlow said. “Mary Martha Grizzle is a team captain, everybody loves her. We also have Olivia Howe, who just moved here from Atlanta. She’s a very strong and consistent player.” On the boys’ side, the Spartans lost their three top players. Junior Jacob Weinaker is stepping into a leading role from the fourth spot that he played in last year. Jacob was born into a tennis family as his
father is a tennis professional and his brother, former Mountain Brook standout Jay Weinaker, is playing collegiate tennis. “It’s a big job to handle but I’m looking forward to it,” Jacob said. “Working with a familiar person like your dad or brother makes it a lot easier. I love it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” As the most successful athletic program at Mountain Brook, people look upon both tennis teams to bring home state titles every year. This is an expectation that Farlow doesn’t take lightly. “There’s a lot of pressure because everyone expects us to win the state championship,” Farlow said. “We’ve got a great tradition and parents are very supportive.” Each team is in the midst of a 13-game regular season that will end on April 10. Before its end, both the girls and boys will play two critical matches against perennial rivals Vestavia Hills and Spain Park. “We’re going to start with some easier matches,” Farlow said. “We’ll see what doubles partners work best together and get a feel for who does best. Later on it’s going to be tougher. Spain Park and Vestavia both have good teams.”
March 2013 • 27
National Signing Day at MBHS
Golf girls go for three By CLAYTON HURDLE
Mountain Brook High School athletes on National Signing Day. Photo courtesy of Image Arts.
By CLAYTON HURDLE Seven Mountain Brook student-athletes signed collegiate letters of intent on National Signing Day, Wednesday, Feb. 6. Six members of the track team and
one soccer player signed on to play at the next level. Track athletes that signed letters of intent were Laurie Akin (Washington and Lee), Payton Ballard (Alabama), Harper DeWine (Birmingham Southern), Nick
Halbach (United States Naval Academy), Ann Sisson (Furman) and Brian Smith (Samford). Soccer player Kayla Dowler signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Memphis in 2013.
The Mountain Brook High School Girls’ Golf Team certainly doesn’t lack experience. Each of the top four members of the team has been playing golf at a high level in the Mountain Brook program for at least three years. Together the team won the Class 6A state championship in each of the last two years. The only challenge facing the Spartans now is pulling off a third-straight state title. Head coach Jackie Clayton has confidence that his team will do just that. “The next one is always the hardest one,” Clayton said. “But the girls know that they’re good, and they know the competition against them.” Every member of the 2012 state-winning squad is returning for another year. Each player has improved from last year, and the team is stronger than it ever has been under Clayton’s watch. “I’m watching my girls, and they’re hitting balls 10 to 15 yards farther than they were last year,” Clayton said. “You look at these girls and
think, ‘How can someone that small hit a ball that far?’” Leading the charge for the Spartans will be Tatum Jackson, a junior who has held the top spot on the team for four years. Senior Carolyn McCalley will be in the number two slot and senior Lane Proctor will play in third. “Lane Proctor has been very good in tournaments, especially in the state tournaments,” Clayton said. “Everybody’s one and two are about as good as each other, but she’s about as good as my one and two.” Rounding out the top four is 10th grader Meg McCalley. “We’ve got four top-notch golfers,” Clayton said. “Most teams are lucky to have two players and some only have one that is really good.” The girls’ golf team will play in 10 events during the 2013 season throughout the state. The Spartans will host the Central Alabama Invitational at Timberline on April 17. Mountain Brook will get the chance to defend its state crown once again beginning in Sectionals on April 30 through the final round of the state tournament on May 15.
Fabulous blouses & pants from RENUAR now available at Expires 4/30/13
7023 Meadowlark Dr • 408-4FUN (4386) • wwwbackyardal.com (Turn Between Walmart and Lowe’s)
74 Church Street in Crestline Village • 871-7909 www.townandcountryclothes.com
• March 2013
Faith Life Actually By Kari Kampakis
If love is blind, let’s put on glasses This column is about love — someone says, “Enough.” And if parental love, to be specific. But you think it’s parents who come before I dive in, I want to share to the rescue first, think again. In a story. many cases parents are the worst It’s about a girl I’ll call Anna, enablers. We’re often the last to a happily married, healthy adult. see or admit an issue, despite any As a teenager, Anna had an evidence. eating disorder, and in her 20s This parenting truth is her parents sent her to rehab. It something widely known in was an intense journey, but over counseling circles. As I’ve heard Kampakis time she healed and eventually one psychologist explain it, eight got a new lease on life. out of 10 times when someone brings a Her story is not uncommon, but what troubled soul to her office, it’s a friend or makes it unique is how Anna got treatment. sibling, not a parent. It’s not that we don’t It wasn’t her parents who forced the issue, or love our children. We do. But admitting even Anna herself. While her parents were our child has a problem is painful. It calls aware a problem existed, they weren’t sure to question our parenting skills. And unless how to respond. Not until Anna’s friends the proof is glaring, it’s easier to leave that got involved were they moved to action. rock unturned than to pick it up and see Anna’s friends had noticed her slipping what lurks beneath. into a dangerous place, so they banded So we go on denying. And getting mad together to confront her parents. They said at those who raise concern. And ignoring they couldn’t keep watching Anna do this to warning signs that call us to investigate. herself. Her illness was serious, and unless Even good parents can be oblivious because her parents did something, Anna would die. changes in our child are gradual. What’s Immediately Anna’s parents sought help obvious to others isn’t so obvious when we and turned her over to trained professionals. live under the same roof. The intervention saved Anna’s life. In addition, parents operate under high When I think about this story, I’m struck emotions. We love our kids madly and place by the courage of Anna’s friends. At their them on pedestals, admiring them through age, I was relatively passive. I avoided rose-colored lenses. In this skewed reality, controversy at all costs. I also was self- our ability to stand back objectively and absorbed, and probably too clueless to have see our children as they truly are can be realized the urgency of this situation. In hindered. It can make us easier to deceive short, it’s a good thing Anna’s fate didn’t and more likely to get defensive when rest in the hands of someone like me, criticism’s raised. because someone like me may have taken The truth is, our kids aren’t perfect. the path of least resistance, and hoped the They’re bound to disappoint or surprise us problem would settle itself. somehow. But if we can acknowledge this But problems like Anna’s rarely settle and become a student of their lives, we may themselves. They grow and grow until pick up on details that raise a red flag. We
can address an issue before it gets out of hand, asking ourselves hard questions like: Is my child drinking? I know she hangs with a fast crowd, but I’m afraid to speak up because I want her to be popular. Am I shirking my responsibility as a parent by staying silent? My child’s teacher said she cheated. I chewed the teacher out, but I wonder if she’s right. Should I probe deeper? I hear my son’s on drugs. Could that be why he’s acting weird? I’m told my daughter is the mean girl, but she says she’s being bullied. I saw a hateful text message that she sent. Is there a side of her I don’t know? None of us want to fail as parents. Of all our life goals, raising good kids tops the list. But for our children to thrive, we must get real. We must love them madly but always be aware of blinders that hinder clarity. If love is blind, let’s put on glasses. Let’s apply 20/20 vision to our family even when it hurts. Let’s support parents who make the hard call to seek help for their child, because there is no shame in this. I have tremendous respect for parents who take this step. And while we can’t control the outcome, we can find a little peace knowing we’ve tried our best. Love is bold. Love is honest. Love puts long-term well being over short-term payoffs. Let us remember these truths with everyone we care about, most of all our children. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mountain Brook mom of four with a background in PR, writing and photography. Read her blog at karikampakis.com or ﬁnd her on Facebook and Twitter. Email her at kari@ karikampakis.com.
Easter Events Brookwood Baptist Church
3449 Overton Road brookwood.org 967-0441 March 29: Good Friday Service. 7 p.m. Features the choir, hand bells and a small chamber orchestra. March 30: Preschool and Children’s Egg Hunt and activities 9:30 a.m. Bring dozen (peanut-free) candy filled eggs. March 31: Easter Service. 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church
3405 Brookwood Rd mbpcusa.org 967-5037 March 28: Maundy Thursday service, 7 p.m. March 29: Service of Solomon Approaches, 7 p.m. March 31: Easter sunrise 8:30 a.m., breakfast 9 a.m., celebration of the Resurrection 11 a.m.
St. Peter’s Anglican Church
3207 Montevallo Rd stpetersbhm.org 879-7173 March 28: Maundy Thursday service, 6:30 p.m. March 29: Good Friday service, 6:30 p.m. March 31: Easter service, 10 a.m.
Shades Valley Presbyterian Church
2305 Montevallo Rd svpcusa.org 871-7309 March 28: Maundy Thursday fellowship dinner 5:45 p.m. Worship after. March 29: Good Friday lunch 11:15, worship 12:05 p.m. March 31: Easter service 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m.
Come home to ...
Village Update from Village Living
Your community. Your inbox. Every single week. From Crestline to the Cahaba River, if you love Mountain Brook, you already know there’s only one place to turn for updates. But we’re going one step further: Village Living in your inbox every week. Sign up for our newsletter and never miss out.
Sign up at
Water Included Gas, self-cleaning oven Frost- free refrigerator Dishwasher & garbage disposal Washer & Dryer furnished Central, gas heat & air
March 2013 • 29
ALDOT from page 1
From the pulpit The good life
By THE REV. RICHMOND R. WEBSTER St. Luke’s Episcopal Church I hope it doesn’t sound strange or morbid to say that I enjoy reading the obituaries in the newspaper. To begin, I’m interested in people and in the ordinary dramas that mark our time on this world. Beyond that, I’m fascinated by how these same people, or the loved ones who write about them, wish to be remembered in the first place. Simply put, you can read these stories and connect the dots when it comes to what constitutes something we can only call a “good life.” Faith, family, a house of worship, philanthropy, friends, service to country, hobbies—all of these are valued and bragged about and usually make for good obituary reading. And yet it is equally fascinating that these hallmarks of a good life are not necessarily what they are selling in the rest of the paper, for the advertisements on nearly every page promise something else instead—things like beauty, power, and wealth. I’ve told my friends at Saint Luke’s that during the last few years we have all been like ducks on a pond around here, gliding along the surface of an idyllic suburban existence, while scrambling below just to keep up. We are exhausted, and the worst part of our ongoing recession is
that so many have suffered alone, presenting to the world around us the easy perfection that is expected in our community so that someone will love us. We think. But what if we were to discover that the “good life” is right under our noses, and free? What if we were to discover every day gifts all around us and within us that can feed us and refresh us and remind us we are not alone after all? What if we were able to step off the treadmill of perfection and simply live? We can. Those gifts are here and all around. Those gifts are stuck in the middle of our own everyday drama, and these gifts can be as simple as the eyes of our children, a thank you note, a sunrise, a good dream, a tear, a call from a friend, a thank you note, a kiss by the hospital bedside, honesty, a walk in the park, forgiveness, a good joke, a job well done… Those gifts are here and now, and free and abundant; while they may not be in the advertisements of the newspaper, we surely don’t wait for the obituaries to find them. Look around, give thanks, and live that good life today. Richmond Webster is the Rector of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church.
Road. ALDOT will also install a signal at Overton Road, which will be timed with the signal at Rocky Ridge Road. The signal will prevent drivers from making unobstructed turns from 280 to Overton as they can now, but will protect drivers making U-turns. Skipper said the maneuvers that will now be required of drivers at Cherokee and Overton are “not inherently unsafe” and are common in the Birmingham area. He added that both he and Cooper, as well as other “test drivers” between the ages of 17 and 70, have performed the maneuver more than 100 times and believe safety will not be compromised. At Hampton Inn, the signal will be removed, ending left turns onto the highway from side streets and direct travel across the intersection. Left turns from 280 onto the side streets will be unprotected. Left turns from Office Park onto U.S. 280 will be retained, though travel directly across the intersection will cease. Since ALDOT presented its proposed 280 intersection improvement plan in November 2012, the Mountain Brook City Council has voiced opposition but held off on passing a resolution, mainly at the urging of ALDOT. When the revised plan was introduced in January and did not include retaining left turns from Cherokee Road and at the Hampton Inn/Kovac Center onto U.S. 280, the Council put its displeasure on record. The resolution, passed Jan. 28, requested that the revised plan be further modified to
Skipper Consulting President Darrell Skipper presents ALDOT’s revised and final version of changes to U.S. 280 intersections during a workshop Feb. 6. Photos by Jeff Thompson.
More than 300 concerned residents attended a workshop Feb. 6 to learn what will change at U.S. 280 intersections in Mountain Brook.
include signalized left turns at these intersections. Skipper said in order to retain those, ALDOT would need to drastically extend delays for drivers on side streets. Council President Virginia Smith said that would be just fine. “If residents are willing to live with longer wait times to keep their left turn,
I think that is a compromise,” she said. Smith added that ALDOT had been very responsive to the Council during the process. She also said the Council has submitted its resolution in opposition to Gov. Robert Bentley and would pursue help from local Alabama legislators in getting the governor’s attention on the matter.
• March 2013
Calendar Mountain Brook Events March 3: Scream Free Class for Parents. Hal Edward Runkel, author of ScreamFree Living book series will conduct the class at Canterbury United Methodist Church. Tickets $15, childcare available by reservation. Contact Ellen Thomas at ellen.thomas@ canterburyumc.org or call 874-1533. March 7: 15th Annual Spencer Lecture. New York Times bestselling author Andrea Wulf will speak on “Chasing Venus: the Race to Measure the Heavens,” and architect Ben Page will speak on “Traditions and Transitions.” Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 6:30 p.m. Free. To reserve seats, visit bbgardens.org/ spencerlecture. For more information, call 4143950. March 9: Flip Out For Pancakes. Hosted by Kiwanis Club of Homewood/Mountain Brook to support local youth organizations. 7 a.m.-noon. Homewood High School Cafeteria. Pancake breakfast, children’s activities and silent auction. Tickets $5 each. Email email@example.com. March 18-22: Mountain Brook Schools Spring Break. March 18-22: Spring Break Camp. LJCC. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. Grades K5-fourth. $35/day ($25 for members).Call Betty Habshey at 8790411 ext. 224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. March 18-22: Spring Break Tennis Camp. LJCC. 9 a.m.-12 p.m. for half day, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for full day. $155 ($125 members) for half day, $255 ($195 for members) for full day. Call Dale Clark at 879-0411 ext. 226 or email email@example.com. March 26: Relay Talent Show. 7 p.m. Mountain Brook High School. March 30: Easter Egg Hunt. 10 a.m. Field across from the Emmet O’Neal Library in Crestline Village. March 30: Easter Egg Hunt. Mountain Brook Baptist Church will have an egg hunt, games
and Easter bunny photos. Call 870-7772.
Mountain Brook High School Home Games March 5: Softball vs. Thompson. 5 p.m. March 7: Softball vs. Shades Valley. 5 p.m. March 12: Baseball vs. Pinson Valley. JV at 4:30 p.m. Varsity at 6:30 p.m. March 12: Boys Soccer vs. Vestavia. JV at 5 p.m. Varsity at 7 p.m. March 14: Girls Tennis vs. Hoover. March 14: Softball vs. Hueytown. 5 p.m. March 15: Baseball vs. Elmore County. Varsity at 4 p.m. March 26: Baseball vs. Shades Valley. Varsity at 5:30 p.m. March 28: Girls Soccer vs. Shades Valley. Varsity at 5 p.m. March 28: Boys Soccer vs. Shades Valley. Varsity at 7 p.m. March 29: Baseball vs. Hayden. JV at 4:30 p.m. Varsity at 6:30 p.m.
Special Events March 7: First Rey of Hope Dinner and Auction. Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School fundraiser will be held at The Club. 5:30 p.m. Cash bar, live and silent auction. Individual tickets $200, tables start at $2,500. For more information call 263-0137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. March 7-9: National Wheelchair Basketball Association Intercollegiate National Championship. Eight men’s teams and four women’s teams from across the country will compete at Lakeshore Foundation in Homewood. Competition begins March 7, 3 p.m. Continues March 8, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and again March 9, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information call 313-7400 or visit lakeshore. org.
March 9: 5K Dirty Girl Mud Run. Untimed obstacle course for women 14 and up and athletic abilities. Starting time 8 a.m. at the Talladega Superspeedway. $85 registration, cancer survivors run free. For more information visit godirtygirl.com March 9: Service Guild of Birmingham’s 25th Annual Guild Gala. The Club. Black tie event with cocktails, dinner, a live auction and music. Proceeds go toward The Bell Center for Early Intervention Program. For more information contact Stacey Morales email@example.com or visit www. theserviceguild.org. March 9: 3rd Annual 5K for Kids and NOBESITY Expo. Festival will include games, inflatables and health screens. Open to all runners (under 13 must be accompanied by adult). Registration fee for 5K $20 ($25 day of race), Fun Run $10 ($15 day of race). Legion Field. 8-11:30 a.m.
Save the Date April 19: Relay for Life. Mountain Brook High School Spartan Stadium. More than 2,000 members of the Mountain Brook community will join in the fight against cancer during the American Cancer Society’s signature event April 20: Mountain Brook Art Association 32nd Art Festival. The festival will take place at Crestline Elementary School from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. If it rains, the event will take place April 21.
levels welcome. 2-3:30 p.m. March 19: Documentaries After Dark, film about Machu Picchu. 6:30 p.m. March 26: Genre Reading Group, Salon Discussion: Book(s) of Choice. 6:30 p.m. March 28: Let’s Talk Money series, wealth management info from First Commercial Bank’s Trust & Wealth Management Group and light dinner. 6:30 p.m. March 31: Library will be closed for Easter Sunday. Wednesdays Brown Bag Lunch series. 12:30 p.m. Teens March 1: Game on! Video Game Tournament. 4:30-6:30 p.m. March 5: TAB meeting. The monthly Teen Advisory Board meeting. 5-6 p.m. March 8: Silk-screening t-shirts 4-6 p.m. Children Mondays Toddler Tales Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Chess Club. 6 p.m. Tuesdays Together Time Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Library Out Loud Story Time. 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays *Mother Goose Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Thursdays *Patty Cake Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. SNaP. 3:30 p.m. Saturdays Family Story Time with Mr. Mac. 10:30 a.m. Special Events
Emmet O’Neal Library
Adults March 11: Great Books group discussing “The Country Husband” by John Cheever. 6:30 p.m. March 12: The Bookies book group, discussing “Bull by the Horns” by Sheila Bair. 10 a.m. March 16: Knit & Knibble, all craft and skill
March 6: After-school Special: Didgeridoo Down Under. 3:30 p.m. March 12: Family Night: Authur Atsma with AtsMagic. 5:30 p.m. March 15: Savvy Surfing. 3:30 p.m. March 18-21: Spring break LEGO programs.
Don’t Miss the 5th Annual
Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, March 30 at 10 a.m. Crestline Village Field across from Emmet O’Neal Library
George Jones • Linda Flaherty Event Organizers
Meet and greet with the Easter Bunny after the egg hunt. Bring your camera!
March 2013 • 31
Parenting and Family with Dr. Dale Wisely
Spring break What parents should know
As spring break approaches, Village Living spoke to clinical psychologist and Director of Student Services for Mountain Brook Schools Dr. Dale Wisely. With spring break coming up, and given the realities of alcohol and drug use among teenagers, including Mountain Brook teenagers, what are some concerns that come to your mind? High school students in Mountain Brook work hard at school, and most approach spring break with an desire to relax and have fun. This often translates into plans to party with their peers, which too often includes alcohol and drugs. Add to that recreational activities — boating comes to mind — and we worry every year about our teenagers getting through the week. Let me quickly add, though, that there are many teenagers in this community who don’t drink and who avoid alcohol and drugs. We often fail to recognize those students who are looking after their own health and safety and that of their friends. How do parent attitudes about spring break contribute to the problem? I have a personal term for a problem I have seen. It’s the “Lake Effect,” and I stole the term from meteorology. A number of parents who normally do a great job of supervising their teenagers and setting limits on their behavior get lax at the lake and during vacations. It’s as if they say, “It’s spring break, let the kids have a good time.” They assume that their teenagers are going to be out and around, and they don’t keep up with their whereabouts. This is also when we are most likely to see a relaxing of the family rules about alcohol use. As the parents of teenagers, we should recognize that school breaks are actually dangerous times for our youth, and we need to maintain reasonable limits. Families sometimes travel to countries where high school students meet the legal drinking age in that location. What should parents consider in dealing with that? There are many reasons teenagers should avoid alcohol use. The legal consequences of getting arrested is just one, but there are others related to health and safety. If parents have adopted a “no-alcohol use” policy with their high school students, which is certainly what we recommend and what the law supports, they should enforce that in all settings. Regarding substance abuse, what are the
worries you have about particular substances? There are many out there of course, and statewide there is a concern about synthetic marijuana and the so-called “bath salts.” These appear to be quite dangerous, and there are many relatively unknown and poorly understood compounds in them that vary widely. There continues to be discussion about an increase in heroin use in the Birmingham area, including Over-the-Mountain communities. That said, I it’s still true that statistically we are most likely to see problems related to underage drinking, marijuana and prescription drug abuse. Alcohol use can lead to terrible consequences, including death. It appears that most teenagers who say they drink regularly are highly prone to binge drink, and that is a source of real danger. Most of the abuse of prescription drugs is either prescription pain medication, anti-anxiety medication, or the abuse of stimulant medications such as Adderall. There are increasing concerns on a national level about this problem. What is the role of curfews? Many parents set a fixed curfew. Others set the curfew on a given night, depending on the circumstances — where the teen is going to be, who will be there, what adult supervision will be in place, and so on. I suggest parents continue to enforce a curfew during spring break. Let me mention this concern. Many families go to the beach for spring break, and it is common for teenagers to meet new people from different places. Parents may get phone calls, for example, from their kids with a vague statement along the lines of, “I’m going to hang out at this condo with these people I met from out of state.” To me, this should send up red flags. The people they just met are strangers, and there are all kinds of opportunity there for trouble. We have to remember that drinking and drugs often lead to physical assaults, sexual assault and all kinds of serious trouble. When people are drinking or using drugs, they lose their normal sense of judgment and safety, and that is dangerous. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not at all opposed to people having a good time! I think teenagers should have an enjoyable time on break. However, we challenge parents to review their plans and to resolve to maintain sensible parenting guidelines and to monitor their kids’ whereabouts during spring break and all school holidays. Dale Wisely, Ph.D. has been a child and adolescent psychologist for nearly 30 years.
Seniors presented at Starlight Ball
Front row: Lamar Cooper, Keelyn Callaway, Ann Brooks Johnson, Laura Middlebrook, Kate Register. Second row: Rebecca Lankford, Laura Keel, Dabney Bragg, Alice Brown, Dealie Pope. Back row: Katie Windle, Ann Ellard Turner, Mary Kathryn Chesebro. Photo courtesy of Linda Pope.
Mountain Brook 12th grade girls and their escorts were presented at the 2013 Starlight Ball at the Cahaba Grand on Jan. 26. The venue was transformed into a “Hollywood Walk of Fame” by Robert Logan of Backstage Florists. The 131 presentees, their escorts and guests
enjoyed dinner before the presentation and dancing afterward to the music of 24/7. Sue Register was chairman of the Starlight Ball; co-chairmen were Allison Brown and Carolyn Greene. The ball committee included 25 mothers.