Mobile Bay THE LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE FOR MOBILE AND BALDWIN COUNTIES
PENSACOLA DAY TRIP A SALUTE TO ANN BEDSOLE FARM-FRESH RECIPES GRILLING: WHATâ€™S HOT
HAMP & BANKS
loving life on Dog River
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CONTENTS | VOLUME XXXV / ISSUE 7
JULY 2019 36
To Have and to Host Drs. Amber and Alex Krempa renovated their Spring Hill home with hosting in mind
Fruits of their Labor Local farmers share their stories and summer bounties
Day Trippin’ BLUEBERRY BUCKLE, RECIPE ON PAGE 46 . PHOTO BY ELIZABETH GELINEAU
MB’s guide to some of the best Pensacola has to offer
From doctors to architects, realtors to restaurateurs, there’s no shortage of professional women making their mark on the Bay area. In this special section, page 57, meet the ladies who are raising the bar in their respective industries.
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CONTENTS | VOLUME XXXV / ISSUE 7
JULY 2019 22
ON OUR COVER Hamp and Banks Lott stand beside their owners Lucy Lott and Jennifer Lott on the shores of Dog River after a summer swim. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH GELINEAU
20 WATERFRONT REVELRY / PHOTO BY ELIZABETH GELINEAU A MATCHA TONIC FROM NOVA ESPRESSO / PHOTO BY ELIZABETH GELINEAU MOBILE POLITICIAN AND PHILANTHROPIST ANN BEDSOLE
9 EDITOR’S NOTE 10 REACTION 12 ODDS & ENDS 14 COLLECTIONS Discover updated uses for antique silverware 17 THE DISH 18 BITE-SIZED Expand your grilling horizons with these unex- pected ingredients
20 TASTINGS Nova Espresso brings a kick of caffeine to the De Tonti Square District
32 AMAZING LIFE Ann Bedsole, politician and philanthropist, looks back on a life of service
22 BAY TABLES Lucy Lott shares her love for waterfront hosting 28 SPOTLIGHT Bellingrath’s executive director Bill Barrick reflects on his tenure at the garden and his optimism for its future
75 JULY CALENDAR 80 SPOTLIGHT Michael Knight on his new novel, “At Briarwood School for Girls”
84 ASK MCGEHEE How did Battleship Park get a submarine? 86 IN LIVING COLOR Go back in time with this 1920s photograph from the docks of Mobile’s Star Fish and Oyster Company
Boiling vegetables can cause healthy vitamins and minerals to leak out. Let MB help your veggies retain more nutrients with these grilling tips, page 18.
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july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 7
Mobile Bay VOLUME XXXV
PUBLISHER T. J. Potts Stephen Potts Judy Culbreth EXECUTIVE EDITOR Maggie Lacey MANAGING EDITOR/WEB Abby Parrott EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Amanda Hartin PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Virginia Mathers ART DIRECTOR Laurie Kilpatrick EDITORIAL INTERNS Noah Harrelson Emma Newell
ADVERTISING S R. ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
Joseph A. Hyland Anna Pavao ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Jennifer Ray
ADMINISTRATION CIRCULATION Anita Miller ACCOUNTING Keith Crabtree
Mallory Boykin, Joshua Givens, Roy Hoffman, Hallie King, Tom McGehee, Breck Pappas CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS
Summer Ennis Ansley, Matthew Coughlin, Elizabeth Gelineau, Chad Riley ADVERTISING AND EDITORIAL OFFICES
3729 Cottage Hill Road, Suite H Mobile, AL 36609-6500 251-473-6269 Subscription inquiries and all remittances should be sent to: Mobile Bay P.O. Box 43 Congers, NY 10920-9922 1-833-454-5060 MOVING? Please note: U.S. Postal Service will not forward magazines mailed through their bulk mail unit. Please send old label along with your new address four to six weeks prior to moving. Mobile Bay is published 12 times per year for the Gulf Coast area. All contents Â© 2019 by PMT Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents without written permission is prohibited. Comments written in this magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the ownership or the management of Mobile Bay. This magazine accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photography or artwork. All submissions will be edited for length, clarity and style. PUBLISHED BY PMT PUBLISHING INC .
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EXTRAS | EDITOR’S NOTE
WHAT A TREAT WE HAD A BALL TOURING PENSACOLA FOR THE DAY, WITH THE HIGHLIGHT BEING A CELEBRITY SIGHTING OF PRO-GOLFER BUBBA WATSON AT HIS SWEET SHOP ON PALAFOX! THE HOMEMADE FUDGE WAS PRETTY SWEET, TOO.
s the magazine gathered stories and ideas for this annual entertaining issue, we imagined everything from dinners teeming with silver and china to potlucks on the pier with paper plates. There is no wrong way to gather together with your friends and loved ones, after all. Being summertime, however, I immediately think of serving up fresh local summer fruit. The only thing better than feeding your guests something handmade is feeding them something hand-picked. Anybody can grab a pint or two of strawberries from the grocery store and serve up some shortcake. Seize the adventure, go straight to the farm and pick the strawberries yourself! Picking fresh, local fruit is one of my favorite summer activities, especially with the kids in tow. With the number of U-pick farms on both sides of the Bay offering blueberries, strawberries, and even occasionally blackberries and more, there is serious farm-to-table fun waiting to happen. It’s amazing to watch kids exploring the farm and making the connection between their plates and the dirt. Of course, my crew usually eats their weight in blueberries while still in the field every time we visit Weeks Bay Plantation during berry season, despite my cries to wait until we pay! Even so, you have to love their enthusiasm and willingness to work for their food, so to speak. I especially love finding wild-growing fruits to pick and enjoy. Perhaps I read too many “Little House on the Prairie” books as a child, but something about gathering wild berries makes me feel such accomplishment. There is a mulberry tree growing near my house that blooms with large purple berries at this time of year and calls my name every time I walk past. If you’re not familiar with the mulberry, it is like a softer, more delicate blackberry, without the bothersome seeds but with a stain that demands respect. There is just no way to pick a few mulberries without ruining your hands, your shirt and anything within arm’s reach. But oh, the sweet taste is worth a few purple fingers. Whether it’s watermelon on the wharf or berry trifle at the dining table, make sure to incorporate the summer season into your next celebration!
[LOVE THIS ISSUE] DISH IT OUT MRS. BELLINGRATH, AN AVID ENTERTAINER, AMASSED AN EXQUISITE CHINA COLLECTION, NOW ON DISPLAY AT THE BELLINGRATH HOME MUSEUM. IT INCLUDES A SET IN THE ANTOINETTE PATTERN BY GERMAN CHINA MAKER BLACK KNIGHT. IN TODAY’S MONEY, A PLACE SETTING FOR EIGHT WOULD HAVE COST $7,200.
BERRY CUTE A HANDMADE POTTERY BERRY BOWL IS JUST RIGHT FOR RINSING AND PREPPING THE SUMMER FARM-FRESH BOUNTY. MARIA SPIES 8” POTTERY BOWL, ASHLAND GALLERY I’M NOT THROWING AWAY MY SHOT NOVA ESPRESSO OFFERS A TASTING FLIGHT FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO GEEK-OUT ON THE REALLY GOOD STUFF. ESPRESSO, MACCHIATO AND SPARKLING WATER ROUND OUT THE TRAY. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH GELINEAU
Maggie Lacey EXECUTIVE EDITOR
We looked everywhere for fresh figs to include in this issue, (I have a fabulous fig upside down cake recipe!) but as the magazine works months in advance, there were no figs to be found on either farms or grocery store shelves. You know what I will be looking for come mid-July.
LEAVE A MARK WHAT A TREAT TO HOLD THIS RARE ENGLISH MOTE SPOON FROM THE SILVER MARKET, THOUGHT TO BE ONE OF ONLY TWO LEFT IN EXISTENCE. THE PICTURE BACK SHOWS A BIRDCAGE WITH THE DOOR OPEN AND THE BIRD SITTING ON TOP, ALONG WITH THE PHRASE “FREEDOM, FREEDOM.” PHOTO BY ELIZABETH GELINEAU
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EXTRAS | REACTION
Tell us how you really feel ... HERE’S THE SCOOP
SIP ON THIS
On May’s “Observations,” featuring Bay-area sand
On May’s cocktail, Playa’s Pink Pineapple
On May’s feature, “The Full-Timer,” on the Grand Hotel’s full-time resident
That looks amazing! I definitely need to stop by to try it.
The sand spread gave a perfect perspective on why Mobile Bay [sand] varies. It’s also a smart piece. Good job all around.
- Cortney Morris
- Bill Miller
I love this — makes you want to dive into that pitcher.
- Courtney Dreher Matthews
What a beautiful story. It is such a delight the baton is being passed from mother to daughter.
P H OTO B Y E L I Z A
On May’s “Family Focused,” featuring Jane Tucker Photography
RENOVATED TRANQUILITY On May’s feature on Suzanne Winston’s Josephine, Alabama, “Little Palm Cottage”
- Bryant Galloway Whelan
MYSTERY SOLVED On March’s “Ask McGehee,” featuring the mysterious Floating Island Floating Island appeared as a character in Tom Atkins’ play, “Pigeons.” The mystery of why she walked every day to the docks is solved in his play. Maybe it’s time for a production by a Mobile theater. - Scott Mayfield
Beautiful — makes you want to stay a while.
This article [put] into words what I have never been able to verbalize. Through the years, a trip to Mobile always included a trip to Baldwin County, specifically a drive by the Grand Hotel. My car was going to take me there no matter what. The hotel has a draw, maybe not for everyone, but it always did for me. - Judy Shaw, Olive Branch, Mississippi I knew Patrick years ago. He is the most kind and gentle person, and you really captured him. - Julia Greer Fobes I don’t know him, but I do know the Grand and it’s beautiful. Looks like I may need to take another trip out there. - Chris Vanderheiden Beautiful story. - Cindy Carter
- Salli Beasley [Suzanne] has a gift, and she’s not afraid to use it. - Morgan Lewis Richardson Obsessed [with] the wallpaper and the lime green countertops.
HALLOW GROUND On May’s spotlight on Foncie and Joe Bullard’s barn blessing What an incredible work of art. - Knox McMurphy
- Crawford McWilliams
That barn is breathtaking.
SEEDS OF INSPIRATION
- Nonie Taul
On May’s “Seeds of Change,” featuring Africatown’s community garden
- Victoria Pantovic
How about all that ipe siding?
Every time I pass the Africatown community sign, I always wonder about the story behind it. Next time, I will slow down and enjoy the beauty of this community. - Valerie Endicott
What a light, airy and beautiful space. - Shannon Richardson How adorable is this house? I’m ready to move in! - Mindy Laven
- Luckett Robinson This is so awesome. - Marty Reed Crow Hey, there’s my boy Giovanni! - Kristin Boan
Want to share your thoughts and reactions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Find additional local stories on mobilebaymag.com. Here’s what’s new on the website! Home Sweet Home There were simply too many gorgeous photos from the Krempa home (page 36) to include in the magazine. Go online for the full photo gallery.
Going to the Chapel
PHOTO BY JENNIE TEWELL
We want to showcase your big day! Submit all the details about your wedding with us, and we’ll feature it on the Web. More details online.
Fire Up the Grill We’ve compiled a list of go-to grilling recipes including Shrimp Skewers, Black Bean Burgers, Conecuh Dogs and more. Happy Fourth of July!
Get Inspired The 2019 Mobile Bay Inspiration Home is coming along! Follow the hashtag #MBInspirationHome on Instagram and check out our stories for photo and video updates throughout the summer.
Join Our Email List Get the latest in fashion, food, art, homes, history and events delivered right to your inbox. Sign up for our email list at mobilebaymag.com.
july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 11
EXTRAS | ODDS & ENDS
Smokin’ Hot Summer text by BRECK PAPPAS and NOAH HARRELSON
PENSACOLA It is commonly held that “Panzacola” was the name given to the area by local natives and that the word means “long-haired people.” Take a day trip to Pensacola with us on page 48.
THE BIKINI FRENCH DESIGNER LOUIS RÉARD HAD TO HIRE A STRIPPER TO MODEL THE FIRST
SKIMPY PROTOTYPE 73 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH NAMED AFTER THE BIKINI ATOLL ISLANDS IN THE PACIFIC, WHERE THE U.S. HAD CONDUCTED AN ATOMIC TEST EARLIER IN THE WEEK
“It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews [Shows], Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” JOHN ADAMS, founding father and second president of the United States, speaking about Independence Day
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THE RED FIRE ANT
WAS FIRST INTRODUCED TO THE U.S. DURING THE 1930s THROUGH THE PORT OF MOBILE.
GOTCHA! The Charleston, South Carolina-based bike sharing company is already operating at Auburn University and will bring its teal wheels to Mobile in late summer. Although pricing hasn’t been finalized, a Gotcha rider typically will spend $2 to unlock the electric bike and 15 cents for every minute of joyriding.
ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN PYROTECHNICS ASSOCIATION, THERE ARE MORE THAN
14,000 FIREWORK DISPLAYS EACH 4TH OF JULY. [ NOTABLE OPENING ]
JUST OPENED IN WEST MOBILE!
SCOOPED CREAMERY Nitrogen ice cream Liquid nitrogen, at -320Â°F, freezes so fast that the cream does not form ice crystals larger than 40 microns. These ice crystals are so small they are imperceptible to humans, creating a unique and creamy texture.
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Mote Spoons Rare picture backs attributed to London silversmith and Philadelphia vendor, 18th century
Mote Spoon Made by George Sharp, sold by Bailey & Company, 1850 – 1866
Asparagus Fork “Buttercup,” Gorham, 1899 – 1940s
Butter Pat Mauser Mfg. Co., late 1890s – 1903
Two-Tine Butter Pick “Chantilly,” Gorham, 1895 – early 1900s; “Princess,” Watson, Newell & Co., 1900 – 1928
Traditionally Modern Classic silver gets an updated purpose text by AMANDA HARTIN photo by ELIZABETH GELINEAU
Ice Cream Server “Cellini,” Wood & Hughes, c. 1875
Sardine Server European origin, c. 1900
Ice Cream Forks Bread Plate S. Kirk & Son, 1932 – 1961
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“Old King,” Whiting Mfg. Co., c. 1890 – 1928 “Dresden,” Whiting Mfg. Co., c. 1896 – 1928
TRADITIONAL VS. MODERN Entertaining and silverware go hand-in-hand, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until your next soiree to pull out your cherished pieces. “Silver is beautiful in a casual setting,” says The Silver Market’s P.J. Bass McAleer. Here, P.J. suggests approachable, modern uses for even the most unique utensils. MOTE SPOONS Traditional use: cleaning out tea spouts; skimming tea leaves Modern twist: bar spoon; server for olives or pickled shrimp ASPARAGUS FORK Traditional use: serving asparagus Modern twist: serving crab cakes, pastries or meatloaf ICE CREAM SERVER Traditional use: serving ice cream Modern twist: serving jambalaya, enchiladas, macaroni and cheese, puddings, chicken salad or baked beans TWO-TINE BUTTER PICK Traditional use: serving butter pats Modern twist: serving olives, pickles or sliced tomatoes BUTTER PAT Traditional use: holding a pat of butter Modern twist: ring dish; holding lemon wedges BREAD PLATE Traditional use: holding bread and butter Modern twist: wine bottle holder; child’s plate ICE CREAM FORKS Traditional use: eating ice cream Modern twist: child’s fork; eating heavy hors d’oeuvres SARDINE SERVER Traditional use: serving sardines Modern twist: serving finger sandwiches, brownies, fudge or small muffins and croissants
P.J. Bass McAleer, proprietor of The Silver Market in Fairhope, has spent the last 38 years traveling, speaking and educating audiences about the history and preservation of antique silver, lace and linens. july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 15
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FOOD | THE DISH
Bite of the Bay MB’s contributing food fanatics share the local dishes that made them hungry for more.
FILET MIGNON AT R BISTRO. PHOTO BY SUMMER ENNIS ANSLEY
MARY RISER, Festival Director, Fairhope Film Festival
HAMBURGER AT MS. D’S RESTAURANT “In search of the real Baldwin County, I went no farther than Highway 181 to the former Rebel Lounge, Ms. D’s Restaurant. I chose the county’s best hamburger on a toasted bun with beer-battered onion rings and cornmeal-drenched fried green tomatoes, all homemade. The vegetables come from the produce stand across the street and the seafood from a shop just down the road. It was the best lunch I’ve had in years. No wonder locals crowd the place at lunchtime.” MS. D’S RESTAURANT • 25757 AL-181, DAPHNE • 626-9918 • MSDSRESTAURANT.COM
SOUTHWESTERN BOWL AT FOY “A fresh approach to fast food! The southwestern bowl is my go-to for lunch. It’s healthy, packed with flavor and super filling. Pair it with a cold-pressed juice and you have a healthy, nutrient-packed lunch that doesn’t lack flavor or break the bank.” NICHELLE RODGERS, Marketing Specialist, USA Health
ROBERT BROWN, VP, Pitman Brown Building Company
FOY SUPERFOODS • 119 DAUPHIN ST. 307-8997 • FOYSUPERFOODS.COM
FILET MIGNON AT R BISTRO “This month, I chose R Bistro in the heart of downtown Fairhope. I went with the oven-roasted filet mignon, which was topped with a homemade pesto and Saint-André. Google says Saint-André is the world’s most famous triple cream cheese — I say put it on everything! The combination of flavors was fantastic. And the fingerling potatoes and sauteed vegetables were superb. You can bet your Saint-André I’ll be back!”
J.C. BARKER, General Manager, Mobile Symphony
RED SNAPPER AT THE NOBLE SOUTH “Mobile Symphony Music Director Scott Speck and I had a long dinner at the Noble South. It’s snapper season, and when I saw it on the summer menu, I knew I had to have it. It’s served with mushrooms, garlic and farro with green peas. I finished it all off with a rice flour blueberry shortcake topped with an elderberry sauce and mint. Perfect — an excellent restaurant that never fails to deliver the best food and experience.”
R BISTRO • 334 FAIRHOPE AVE., FAIRHOPE
THE NOBLE SOUTH • 203 DAUPHIN ST.
928-2399 • RBISTROANDPASTRY.COM
690-6824 • THENOBLESOUTHRESTAURANT.COM
What dishes made you drool and left you hungry for more? Share them on our Facebook page! july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 17
FOOD | BITE-SIZED
Turn up the Heat Your grill can dominate more than just burgers and steaks. Give these unexpected grilling ideas a try this weekend. text by MAGGIE LACEY • photo by ELIZABETH GELINEAU
s the temperatures rise in July, kids dash in and out of sprinklers in yards all across town. Teenagers take every opportunity to visit the nearest pool, and cooks near and far inevitably turn to the grill for great summer fare. Sure, you may have mastered the old standbys: hot dogs, hamburgers, maybe some chicken wings or even a Boston butt. Delicious, yes, but these hunks of protein barely scratch the surface of your Weber’s abilities. Fruits, vegetables and even desserts, that’s right, are begging for their chance to soak up a little summer heat on local backyard grills. A generous slosh of olive oil is usually all that’s required to go from plain Jane food to smokin’ hot originals. It’s time to give some new dishes their chance to catch fire.
FIRE AWAY ON FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FOR AN UNEXPECTED SUMMER NOSH
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While it might sound crazy, grilling greens, such as kale, radicchio or Swiss chard, is the way to go. The leaves caramelize, the edges char and you are left with a smoky crunch that adds layers of flavor to your plate.
Slice romaine hearts in half lengthwise and brush generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Place facedown over a medium fire and grill 1 - 3 minutes. Flip briefly and then remove to a platter. Place each half on a plate and top with a drizzle of Caesar dressing and a few shards of freshly grated Parmesan.
BAKED GOODS COOKIES
KNOW YOUR TERMINOLOGY
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Direct Heat The grill space directly over lit coals or a heat source. It cooks with a high heat and is great for searing and charring.
Charcoal Briquettes Long-lasting with a slow, even temperature, briquettes have been the backyard favorite for ages. They do, however, contain additives and chemicals.
Indirect Heat The opposite side of the grill, where a lower, “slower,” fire cooks more gently and evenly.
Hardwood Charcoal Natural hardwood lights faster, burns hotter and produces less chemical smoke but burns out more quickly.
Once dinner has finished grilling, make way for dessert! Place scoops of cookie dough on a baking sheet and place on the grill grate over an indirect fire (about 350 degrees). Close the lid and cook for 12 minutes without opening the lid during cooking. You can also press your cookie dough into a cast iron skillet and place on the grill, cooking in the same way for 25 minutes.
Slice a round loaf of rustic bread into 1-inch-thick slices. Brush generously with olive oil and place over a medium fire until the edges begin to char and the bread is toasted with grill marks. Flip briefly and then remove to a platter. Sprinkle with a generous dash of crunchy sea salt. Serve in slices or cut in cubes to top salads or serve alongside Romesco sauce for dipping.
FRUITS SPICY PINEAPPLE
Slice a pineapple longways into spears. Brush with olive oil and dust with cayenne pepper to taste. Grill, turning occasionally, until slightly charred on all sides, for approximately 10 minutes. Remove to a platter and drizzle with honey. Serve with vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon as a dessert, or chop pineapple and mix with tequila, lime juice and sparkling water for a smoky pineapple margarita.
PEACH AND PROSCIUTTO
Slice a fresh peach into 1-inch slices and wrap with a strip of prosciutto. Brush with olive oil and grill, turning occasionally, until slightly charred on two sides. Remove to a platter and drizzle with honey and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve as an appetizer.
VEGETABLES MEXICAN STREET CORN
Pull the husks back on fresh summer corn, but donâ€™t remove. Tie the leaves in a knot to form a handle and prevent them from burning. Brush the corn with olive oil and roll on the grill until the kernels are charred. Remove to a plate and top with a slather of mayonnaise, a sprinkle of chili powder, a squeeze of lime and a few crumbles of Cotija cheese (feta will do in a pinch).
Wash and halve a medium-sized sweet potato longways, leaving skin on. (Leave small potatoes whole.) Coat generously with olive oil and add a sprinkle of kosher salt. Place potatoes skin-side down over an indirect fire and cook for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. When potatoes are tender and cooked through, move to the hot side of the grill for 5 - 10 minutes to char. Serve warm with a sprinkling of salt. july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 19
FOOD | TASTINGS
Nova Espresso text by MAGGIE LACEY • photos by ELIZABETH GELINEAU
THE IMPOSSIBLE BURGER
he revitalization of DeTonti Square continues with the opening of Nova Espresso, a new coffee shop with clean lines and serious brews. Real estate visionary Robert Isaakson of Lafayette Land Company purchased a 1940s garage and converted it with a coffee shop in mind. Louisiana natives Claire and Tim Gautreaux look the part of a brew crew but claim no prior experience in the industry. He has a background leading worship music, and she worked in fashion in Dallas. They had lived in Mobile in the past, but when they visited from Dallas in 2018 for a friend’s wedding, the couple was amazed at how much downtown Mobile had changed in just a few short years. “We started talking to friends and business owners and got a pulse for what was happening Downtown. The whole vibe felt different — it had transformed. There is a vibrancy that really wasn’t here before.” They made up their minds to move with their expanding family and start a small business.
During their time in Dallas, the couple found a community by regularly visiting a neighborhood coffee shop. They made friends and fell in love with coffee culture. Upon moving back to Mobile, they discovered the tiny garage on St. Anthony and began work on the build out that would become Nova. For the four months prior to opening, the duo ran a pop-up coffee truck to get their name out there. After brewing at farmers markets, estate sales, local restaurants and more, they were ready to hang out their shingle. “The pop-ups were a lot of hard work,” Tim says, “but it paid off. People really found us that way.” Inside the bright white cinder-block structure, caffeine seekers find sleek tables, plenty of sunlight and expertly crafted beverages, including espresso flights and matcha tonics. While the baristas at Nova aren’t cooking food of their own, the award-winning chefs at Southern National are sending over scones, sweets, salads and more to pair with the coffeehouse options. Nova is certainly worth a spin down the city’s new tech corridor to see what it’s all about. MB
Nova Espresso • 306 St. Anthony St. • 287-1379 • novaespresso.coffee 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday – Sunday
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SOUTHERN NATIONAL’S PECAN POUND CAKE SOUTHERN NATIONAL’S BLUEBERRY MUFFIN
[ ON THE MENU ]
NOVA’S LATTE A shot of espresso from Tweed Coffee Roasters in Dallas is topped with hot steamed milk (below left). The Cortado (left) simply has less steamed milk added.
BOURBON MAPLE ICED LATTE Warm flavors chill over ice to create the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Nondairy milks available.
MATCHA TONIC Green tea and Big Jerk ginger beer combine to create a refreshingly bold and bubbly concoction, finished with a squeeze of lime.
SUPER NOVA Truly taste coffee flavor in this fun presentation. Sip on espresso and macchiato (espresso with milk) with a Topo Chico sparkling water to cleanse your palette.
PECAN POUND CAKE
One of the many seasonal sweet and savory food options created by Southern National, this crumbly cake is the perfect accompaniment to a Nova drink.
FOOD | BAY TABLES
Friends, Food and a Waterfront View Lucy Lott shares her secrets for easy weekends on the water. text by MAGGIE LACEY photos by ELIZABETH GELINEAU
rom the back of the property, a golden retriever bounds exuberantly toward the water, tongue lolling and eyes bright. He wears a red bandana, that won’t stay dry for long, in honor of the Fourth of July. He heads straight to the end of the wharf and immediately lunges off into Dog River for a swim. Hamp is in his happy place. It turns out his owner Lucy Lott, opposite, is in her happy place, too. Whether it’s Dog River, Mobile Bay or the beach, Lucy loves spending time on the water with friends and, of course, Hamp. I guess that’s why these two are such a great pair. Lucy has travelled the world and lived in a number of places, but she has always been drawn back home to the water. For that reason, summer is her favorite time of year. The season brings back plenty of coastal childhood memories, and she works hard to make fun, new memories each weekend, as well. Lucy keeps her waterfront entertaining simple and summery. “It’s not a party in the summer without a watermelon,” she laughs. “It’s the easiest — and quite frequently most popular — dish at any gathering.” She equates slicing the watermelon to cutting the cake at a wedding: It can be an event in and of itself, calling friends to gather around and wait with anticipation for that first taste. She also suggests watermelon to remove all of the indecision on choosing the perfect hostess gift to bring to a party. Worrying about what kind of wine everyone might enjoy or what kind of side will go with a host’s main dish can
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take the cool air out of wharf party prep. But everyone is thrilled to see the girl who shows up toting a fresh summer melon. If it was picked up at a roadside stand, all the better. While a watermelon and good wine are standards for the ideal impromptu gathering, for some occasions a few perfectly planned summer recipes are in order. Tomato pie, potato salad and good old West Indies salad line the table this holiday, with a cookie cake brought out of the fridge at just the right moment. Lucy looks for classic recipes that are easy to make for waterfront weekends, but there is no shortage of attention to detail. She says the ticket to her tomato pie is to drain the tomato slices first. “Nothing is worse than a soggy tomato pie!” She played around with recipes until she perfected her own, replacing the typical mayonnaise with ricotta and using plenty of basil for freshness. With one foot always in the water, it’s no wonder seafood makes an appearance on Lucy’s table as well. “My parents have made West Indies since I was little, and I’ve always loved it,” she explains as she carefully breaks apart a head of local bibb lettuce for serving. While most people think of saltine crackers as the utensil for this delectable local dip, Lucy loves to offer a lighter way to eat the crabmeat, as well. Like the watermelon, she has never found someone who wasn’t thrilled to have a friend tote a big bowl of crabmeat to a party. It seems her friends enjoy time on the water as much as she does. As people get married and start families, “I make it known that all the babies and dogs are welcome,” she says. “It’s super special to have the next generation growing up doing the same fun waterfront things we did. The party just keeps getting bigger and better.” When asked about her upcoming Fourth of July plans, Lucy says she doesn’t know where she will be, but it will “definitely be somewhere on the water with friends. We will get together and swim and eat and drink and have good conversation, maybe late into the night. I’m always just happy and thankful that we have this life right here at our fingertips.” It seems we should all take Hamp’s lead this Fourth and take a long walk off a short pier. MB
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TOMATO PIE SERVES 8
Lucy says the ticket to this recipe is to dry the tomatoes (see below). The pie can be served warm, but cold leftovers the next day are also amazing! 4 fresh Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced 1 pie crust 2 tablespoons shredded Swiss cheese 2 cups ricotta cheese 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (optional) 1 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese 3 tablespoons basil, minced, plus more whole leaves for garnish 1 egg salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup chopped bacon 1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Slice tomatoes thinly and lay flat on a paper towel to dry. Flip after 15 to 20 minutes and continue to let dry. 3. Roll out dough and fit to a pie pan. Trim edges to fit pan and then pierce with a fork multiple times. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and lightly scatter shredded Swiss. Return to oven and cook for 7 minutes. Set aside. 4. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, yogurt, Parmesan, basil, egg, and salt and pepper. Add chopped bacon, reserving a small amount for garnish, and combine. 5. Place one layer of tomatoes on pastry crust. Top with a single layer of Vidalia onions. Pour cheese mixture over, then add a final layer of sliced tomatoes. 6. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with basil leaves and reserved bacon. Bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
DILL AND FETA POTATO SALAD
HOLIDAY FLAG SUGAR COOKIE CAKE
SERVES 6 - 8
SERVES 10 - 12
Lucy loves to serve light meals in the summer, but growing up surrounded by boys, she has always needed something substantial on the plate. This light potato salad checks all the boxes. Recipe from the blog, Living with Landyn. 2 pounds small red potatoes 1/3 cup olive oil 2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced salt and pepper, to taste red pepper flakes, to taste 1 bunch scallions, chopped 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, plus more for garnish
2 packages dry sugar cookie mix, plus required ingredients 8 ounces sugar-free Cool Whip 1/2 pound fresh strawberries, sliced 50 blueberries, washed and dried
1. Mix cookie dough according to package directions and spread evenly across a large-rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven according to package directions, baking an additional 8 to 10 minutes until evenly golden brown. Let cake cool to room temperature. 2. Spread Cool Whip evenly across top of cake and refrigerate. 3. Before serving, add fruit into flag pattern. Keep cool until serving.
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Scrub potatoes and rinse. Drop into boiling water and cook for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and let cool. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and scallions. Set aside. 3. Quarter potatoes and add to bowl with dressing. Gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours or overnight. 4. Remove potatoes from fridge and add red wine vinegar, dill and feta cheese. Mix well. Garnish with additional feta and serve.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Lucyâ€™s tomato pie; Samantha Morrissette and Ann Brooks Morrissette carry twins Taylor and Philip down to the river; Lucyâ€™s potato salad; Jennifer Lott and Lindsey Lott swing baby Heintz in the shade of the wharf.
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WEST INDIES SALAD SERVES 10 Lucy says she was a quirky little girl. When most kids were looking for Goldfish, her favorite foods were crab claws and West Indies salad. This recipe is widely known and always appreciated. 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 pound fresh jumbo lump crabmeat, picked through for shells 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup cider vinegar 1/2 cup cold water 1 head bibb lettuce leaves 1 sleeve saltine crackers
1. Line the bottom of a serving bowl with half the chopped onion. Add crabmeat, and top with remaining chopped onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour oil, vinegar and water one at a time over crab and onion layers. Do not stir. Cover and chill for 2 to 12 hours. Serve cold over bibb lettuce, alongside crackers or both!
BELOW, LEFT TO RIGHT Mary Helene McLean, Lucy Lott, Jennifer Lott, Annie Henseler, Ann Brooks Morrissette and Samantha Morrissette enjoy waterfront time together on a regular basis. Having sisters-in-law, children and dear friends close at hand adds meaning to weekend gatherings.
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PEOPLE | SPOTLIGHT
Bill Barrick’s Bellingrath: The Garden of His Life After two decades as executive director of Mobile County’s natural “cathedral,” Bill Barrick retires from a career of stewardship.
text by ROY HOFFMAN • photos by MATTHEW COUGHLIN
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f the 20 million people who’ve walked Bellingrath Gardens since its opening in 1932, few have done so with as much knowledge of its blooms — and depth of feeling for the tranquil and vibrant setting — as Bill Barrick. Nearly every workday for the last 20 years, Barrick has journeyed these paths as Bellingrath’s executive director, a keen-eyed horticulturist aware of soil quality, plant health, irrigation, shade and light. A soft-spoken man with a dry humor, he is also a reflective soul who finds, in a reverential way, the gardens to be a “cathedral” of natural beauty.
“What we do is create a living palette,” he says of the heart of the 65 acres along Fowl River in south Mobile County. “Gardens are never finished. They evolve.” Though hale and hardy, Barrick is retiring this summer on his 73rd birthday. The time has come, he says, to turn over managing the profuse locale — a vast display garden with a seasonal round, along with Bessie and Walter Bellingrath’s historic home — to a new generation. His job has been demanding, not only tending to the landscape with the help of a talented crew, but also heading up a nonprofit, with its responsibilities from managing finances to dialoguing with the board of the Bellingrath-Morse Foundation. Through ups and downs of the economy, hurricanes and an America whose tastes in travel and entertainment have, like gardens, evolved over the decades, Barrick has helped maintain Bellingrath as a refuge for visitors from all over the world — a place to be “soothed,” to learn about nature, to lose oneself, even the least botanical among us, in a place of beauty, outside of time. With his wife, Jessica, who established Friends of Bellingrath Gardens, Barrick plans to travel in retirement. Among their favorite destinations are gardens of the world, from Italy to Japan. But in his final weeks as director, the destination that still captivates him most,
absorbs and inspires him, is the ground beneath his feet. “This is like our child,” he says as he takes a visitor on a tour. “I want to make sure Bellingrath will be taken care of, that it will be nurtured into the future.”
Following the Sun “I was surrounded by horticulture,” Barrick explains, “from the beginning.” Born and raised in Dothan, Alabama, the son of Beth and engineer George Barrick, young Bill discovered gardening pleasures. His grandparents lived 10 miles away in Webb, Alabama, and Edgar Ivey, who would live to 101, was proud of his flowers. “I remember Granddaddy’s rows of zinnias and marigolds. He grew flowers for the church.” In his garage, Barrick keeps a tool of his granddad’s that evokes long-ago days helping out with planting. “When I hold my grandfather’s hoe, I feel connected. It’s worn smooth with his hands.” His mother made their house feel like a nursery. “You could hardly walk on the porch for all the flowerpots.” By the time he was an undergrad at Auburn, he turned
OPPOSITE Bill Barrick, executive director of Bellingrath Gardens and Home, on the garden paths he has walked and adored for 20 years. RIGHT Fowl River drifts lazily in the background at this tranquil spot, where the garden pools slowly flow toward the Grotto.
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his attention to studying the science of plants, focusing on horticulture. A college trip to Bellingrath, where he was fascinated by the Asian garden, deepened his interest. Given his delight in the design of gardens, he got a Master of Science at Auburn, then headed to Michigan State, acquiring his doctorate in landscape horticulture. He signed on as an assistant professor of ornamental horticulture at the University of Florida, and was set, knowing he’d spend his years in the academy. But fate had other plans. One day, at 33, he discovered a mole on the back of his leg — melanoma. It metastasized into his lymph nodes. “I was in experimental chemotherapy for two years,” Barrick says. “What I learned is that, generally, less than 5 percent make it through who have it at that degree. “During my cancer, I realized how lucky I was to be alive.” The experience changed him profoundly. When Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, came calling with an invitation to be its director of gardens, he took the leap. “I thought I’d work there for a year then return to teaching.” At Callaway, he discovered the joy of welcoming visitors to a public garden the Callaway family founded in the 1950s. He realized, without doubt, his passion was design, “the master plan” of a garden setting. He met a young woman from Asheville, Jessica McCollum, who was at Callaway working with South Central Bell. “If I’d known I’d meet and marry Bill I’d have taken botany,” Jessica says, laughing. “But gardens were not part of my life.” They soon were. With Bill over his illness, the couple settled into the sweet life of small-town Georgia as part of the Callaway Gardens community, figuring, as Bill had when a professor 30 mobilebaymag.com | july 2019
at Florida, his career road was straightforward. Another call came, this one from lower Alabama. He was 53 years old. While taking his visitor today on the gardens tour — by the Rotary Rose Garden, up a path of bright phlox, delphinium, and dianthus — Barrick pauses to sit on a swing facing the Great Lawn. He says it was at this exact spot, 20 years ago, where he and Jessica decided to start this new phase of their lives.
Labor of Love Bellingrath was glorious, indeed, in 1999, but it faced challenges, he recalls. Devastated by Hurricane Frederic in 1979, it had lost so many trees that it transformed from largely being “a shade garden” to “a sun garden.” He can look out today and see trees planted when he arrived that have grown majestic. There were structural demands, too, including upgrading of the historic home, designed by Mobile architect George Rogers, where Bessie and Walter Bellingrath hosted friends and dignitaries. The house and gardens had a mystique, given their history, all their own. In “The Gardens That Coke Built” on the Bellingrath website, museum director Tom McGehee recounts that Walter’s $10,000 purchase of the Coca-Cola franchise in Mobile in the early 1900s became the source of the family’s wealth. Walter’s fishing camp, Belle Camp, was transformed into
Bellingrath Gardens and Home. The permanent home was completed in 1935. Updating the house and improving the gardens was one of Barrick’s missions. There was outreach, too. Jessica Barrick started reunions of Azalea Trail Maids, and special events were put in place, like Bellingrath’s Magic Christmas in Lights. And Bill soon made his presence known city-wide, bringing Bellingrath into the civic conversation. “Since we moved here,” Jessica says, “not only has Bill’s creative side continued to prosper but his leadership and community involvement, too. He made connections, built bridges to the community.” He gave increased visibility to Bellingrath as chairman of the National Horticultural Society. All the while, he has felt beholden to the vision of Walter and Bessie. “I’m always asking myself,” he says of changes and developments to the complex, “would it please the Bellingraths?”
Dusk is Barrick’s favorite time of day, and sometimes he finds himself alone, moving along the paths, noting new plantings, making sure the greenhouses tucked behind the trees are in order. Autumn, with its cascading chrysanthemums, is his favorite season — and feeling, in what he refers to as “Zen” moments, spiritual uplift. “Gardens provide rest and restoration,” he says. “Nurturing a garden is like nurturing people.” By Mirror Lake, a serene landscape of water and flowers he revitalized with camellias and azaleas, he finds his own spirit nurtured, too. In his essay, “Creating Gardens of Paradise,” in the book “How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth,” he wrote: “In Genesis 2:8 we read, ‘And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the man he had formed.’ Perhaps that verse alone provides us with the undeniable truth that there is a spiritual link to gardening.” “It’s God’s creation,” he says, as the sun throws long shadows on the falling day, “and we’re called to be stewards.” MB
Roy Hoffman is a writer in Fairhope who’s written for the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall St. Journal. He is author of the novels “Come Landfall,” “Chicken Dreaming Corn” and “Almost Family: 35th Anniversary Edition,” as well as nonfiction books “Back Home” and “Alabama Afternoons.” On the web: royhoffmanwriter.com
OPPOSITE, LEFT TO RIGHT Barrick and wife Jessica sit at the exact spot where, 20 years ago, they decided to make Bellingrath Gardens a part of their lives; Barrick’s grandfather Edgar Ivey lived to 102. At 100, he was still tending to his garden. ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT The Rose Garden is one of the original gardens from the Bellingrath era (although the fountain was a later addition); A panoramic view of Mirror Lake and the Mirror Lake Bridge.
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PEOPLE PEOPLE || AMAZING AMAZING LIFE LIFE
The Amazing Life of Ann Bedsole A politician and philanthropist reflects on her journey from the sawmill to the state history books.
he didn’t particularly enjoy working at her father’s sawmill. Her first job there, her first job anywhere, was as a summer-time clerk in the commissary store. It was run by a temperamental, threatening man, and she constantly worried that a fistfight would break out. Around the age of 16, her father taught her how to scale logs, but that wasn’t much of an improvement, the hot temper of the commissary store manager simply replaced by the heat of open-air labor at a sawmill in Jackson, Alabama. The lumber truck would roll in and the young girl would get to work, measuring the trees for volume and grade and paying the driver for their worth. “I was never really good at it,” Ann Bedsole says, laughing. “I don’t think [my father] ever counted on my scale. I think he had somebody else watching me who knew more about it.” Today, reminiscing on those humid, dusty summers at M.W. Smith Lumber Co. in the 1940s, Bedsole looks out her office window at an equally hot Bienville Square. The foot traffic, she says, keeps the view interesting. “The problem is, sometimes you get too interested.” Knowing what we know now — that Bedsole would go on to become the first Republican woman elected to the Alabama House of Representatives, the first woman elected to the state Senate, a founder of the Alabama School of Math and Science, chairman of the Mobile Tricentennial Committee and, today, chairman of the Sybil Smith Foundation — it’s fun to imagine that teenaged Bedsole, clambering over logs at her father’s sawmill, uncertain about her future. “I always kind of thought I’d just work at the sawmill,” she says. But life, as it often does, had other plans.
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text by BRECK PAPPAS color photos by CHAD RILEY
To Mobile Born Margaret Anna Smith in Selma, Alabama, Bedsole’s earliest memory is of playing with the neighborhood children in a shaded cemetery near her home, under the watchful eyes of family nurses perched on the tombstones. When Ann was 5, her father purchased the sawmill, and the family moved to Jackson. “It was a really good childhood,” Bedsole says. “It was typical of the ‘30s in Alabama. Nobody locked their doors ... If you did anything bad, misbehaved, your mama got a call, no matter where you were.” Surrounded by sandy gullies and acres of loblolly pines, Bedsole and her sister found that the pine straw was thick enough to race their sleds down steep embankments. On the hottest days, the pair could be found at Jackson’s only swimming hole, a natural pool with an anchored platform in the middle. “It was called the Lawless Pool,” Bedsole says. “Because Mr. Lawless ran it. I always thought that was a funny name.” Bedsole spent most of her adolescence in Jackson, although she’d finish high school in Waynesboro, Virginia. “I’ll tell you what, I married when I was 19, and after a while I had two children,” she says. “We married way too young, didn’t know what we were doing, and very quickly decided we would get a divorce.” She studied for a short time at the University of Alabama and Denver University but found herself back home in Jackson in her late 20s. She was introduced to her future husband Palmer Bedsole who, at the time, was dating her closest friend. “[My friend] later told people, ‘I really didn’t
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PEOPLE | AMAZING LIFE
want Palmer, so I just gave him to Ann,’” Bedsole says with a laugh. In 1958, the married couple moved to Mobile where they quickly immersed themselves into the fabric of the city.
To Montgomery Ann Bedsole was fed up. After years of serving as the Republican chairman of Mobile’s Ward 4 (before the district system) and watching a series of failed Republican campaigns, she’d had enough. In 1978, Democrat Sonny Callahan was elected to the Alabama Senate, leaving a vacant seat in the Alabama House of Representatives. Armed with a handbook by Don Siegelman on how to run a campaign, Bedsole launched her political career. “The most fun was the House campaign,” she says. “We were doing the best we could, not knowing anything other than what Siegelman wrote.” Upon becoming the first Republican woman elected to the state House, Bedsole eagerly reported to Montgomery. During her tenure in the House, she played a vital role in the passage of several bills, one to introduce public kindergarten, another to improve a widow’s chances of inheriting her husband’s property if he died without a will. The experience, she says, was rewarding but frustrating. “I really didn’t like being in the House. It’s really difficult to get anything done,” Bedsole says. She recalls the time a fellow female representative backtracked on her promise to vote for a bill Bedsole supported. The woman explained that a male colleague had convinced her otherwise. “He’s just so good looking,” the woman sighed. Remembering this conversation 40 years later, Bedsole slaps a palm on her desk. “I was ready to leave for the Senate right then,” she says. “I just thought, ‘Not even the women can stick together in here.’” After one term in the House, Bedsole opted to run for the state Senate in 1982, again filling a vacancy left by Callahan.
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Bedsole remembers a T-shirt a 70-year-old Mobilian gave her around that time, which read, “A woman’s place is in the House — and Senate.” The night of her victory, a reporter asked Bedsole what it was like to be Alabama’s first female state senator. She gently corrected him. Sybil Poole, she said, held that distinction. No, he responded, Poole had served as secretary of state. “I had no idea,” Bedsole says. “You know, we should have done our homework and looked it up! But it wasn’t important to be a woman. The important thing was to be in the Senate. That’s why I didn’t realize it, because it didn’t really matter.” To some, however, it mattered a great deal. On Bedsole’s first day in the Senate, departing Lt. Governor George McMillan took the opportunity to address the chamber. “You have a woman in here now, and you have to accept the way life is today,” Bedsole says, remembering McMillan’s
words. “Be nice to her, treat her like you do everybody else. “I really appreciated that tremendously,” she says. “But it didn’t do a damn bit of good.” During that first year, Bedsole says, “I couldn’t even get anybody [in the Senate] to go to lunch with me.” Instead, she dined with secretaries or with old friends from the House. But over her three terms in the Senate, Bedsole bore witness to a major change in attitude, toward women and toward Republicans. During her time in the legislature, she played an instrumental role in the creation of the Alabama School of Math and Science (ASMS) and chaired the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. In 1994, rather than seeking a fourth Senate term, Bedsole entered the race for governor. “I think I ran a really bad campaign. I did not stick to Siegelman’s handbook.” Feeling confident of her chances in the
OPPOSITE Bedsole sifts through old campaign materials, such as this bulletin from her second Senate campaign, which cleverly featured dates for Alabama’s hunting season on the back. “Before the Internet, those dates could be hard to find!” she says. ABOVE A small portion of Bedsole’s campaign memorabilia, illustrating a career of service to the citizens of Alabama and Mobile. RIGHT During a 1982 photo shoot in support of her first state Senate campaign, Bedsole poses on Moffett Road, which she had worked to widen during her tenure in the state House.
Republican primary, Bedsole says she prematurely directed her campaign towards the general public. In a runoff election, she lost the Republican primary to the eventual governor, Fob James. “It just broke my heart,” she says.
A Footprint In 2007, Rep. Jo Bonner stood on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, inspired by the recent dedication of the Ann Smith Bedsole Library at ASMS. “To say [Bedsole] has been a political pioneer, as well as personal inspiration to many of us, would be a considerable understatement,” Bonner said. “Madam Speaker, Ann Bedsole has spent practically her entire adult life giving to others, and I ask my colleagues to join with me in thanking her for her commitment to so many wonderful missions.” It’s easy to wonder what has inspired her life of achievement and service — president of the ASMS Foundation Board of Directors, trustee of Spring Hill College
and Huntingdon College, founder of Mobile Historic Homes Tours, Mobilian of the Year, Philanthropist of the Year, three honorary doctorates, induction into the Alabama Academy of Honor and current chairman of the Sybil Smith Foundation, named after her mother. These days, most of Bedsole’s time and energy are focused on establishing an endowment fund for the Sybil Smith Family Village, a transitional housing program and facility at the Dumas Wesley Community Center for homeless women with children. “I think it’s my father. He always said, ‘Don’t go through this life and not leave something. Don’t forget to leave your footprint.’” Bedsole’s footprint is large: three children, seven grandchildren, one greatgrandchild and a legacy that will reverberate for generations of Alabamians. “Mobilians don’t need to remember my name,” she says. “Just take care of these things I’m leaving here.” MB
“To say [Bedsole] has been a political pioneer, as well as personal inspiration to many of us, would be a considerable understatement. Madam Speaker, Ann Bedsole has spent practically her entire adult life giving to others, and I ask my colleagues to join with me in thanking her for her commitment to so many wonderful missions.” — Rep. Jo Bonner in the U.S. House of Representatives, 2007
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TO HAVE AND TO HOST When two hospitable hearts collide, the resulting home becomes a haven for hosting. text by HALLIE KING photos by SUMMER ENNIS ANSLEY
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or Drs. Alex and Amber Krempa — a dentist and clinical psychologist, respectively — hosting guests in their home is an expression of love and appreciation. After marrying in 2011, the couple got the itch to move back to their home state of Alabama to be closer to family. When they began looking for properties in Mobile, Alex’s birthplace, they passed on house after house before stumbling onto the warm and welcoming home of their dreams, a classic Southern home on McGregor Avenue. “We found a house that felt like home, with Southern charm and potential to make it our own,” Amber says. “We came here randomly for an open house, and Alex was captivated by the front porch. He could see the potential for entertaining our friends and family there. We loved the ideas we had for both the indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as the neighborhood feel with the privacy that a large lot surrounded by beautiful trees and plants could offer.” They purchased the home in January 2015 and began to make it theirs. Enlisting the planning and construction expertise of architect Pete Vallas, the eyes for design of Natalie Roe and Rachel Anderson from March + May Design, and the
constructing know-how and green thumb of Phillip Berry of Central Services and Brad Pearson of Southern Style landscape, the Krempas undertook a nearly two-year renovation with an end goal of an open, inviting space. “When brainstorming remodeling ideas, we knew we wanted to create a home to share with others and grow with us for many years to come,” Alex says. “We worked to create a layout with no dead ends, with a natural flow.” That meant removing walls and doorways, opening rooms and implementing a design motif that recurred throughout the home. Soft lines and neutral tones flow through the second story, which serves as the primary living space. The Krempas, Roe and Anderson chose with delicate care each and every paint color, fabric swatch, piece of furniture, accessory and work of art.
“Because they had moved multiple times for graduate school and residency, they sold their home in Atlanta as well as their furniture, as they wanted to start fresh in Mobile with the ability to find furnishings that they loved in their forever home,” Roe says. “We worked the design around some favorite pieces, including a couple headboards and a dining table.” If the second story has a delicate, neutral style, the lower guest level has a more masculine personality, with touches of Southern charm. Staying true to original elements in the house, the Krempas kept the brick floors and dark mahogany wood panels adorning the main surfaces, not pictured, and crafted a second staircase to accent the original stairwell, which was taken from a 1950s church demolition and installed by the home’s original owner. “We wanted the original charm and
ENCOURAGE CONVERSATION In a large living room we like to float the furniture. This provides a more natural and intimate conversation space but also allows for comfortable flow during larger gatherings. Pieces can be moved where standing circulation space is needed. We also like to combine different types of seating. In the Krempas’ living room, we included a large sofa opposite two cozier armchairs. Two smaller ottoman cubes by the fireplace handle overflow seating. There is a TV in that room, but it is conveniently tucked away on the non-focal wall — out of eyesight of either entrance into the room.
Natalie Roe + Rachel Anderson, — March + May Design
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EASY FLOW KITCHEN We opened up the kitchen to become the center of the home by introducing a large cased opening aligned with the front door and entry hall. This new doorway, now one of two ways in and out of the kitchen, also aligns with the center of three new French doors that open the home to a large back porch for entertaining. This enlarged space allowed for a new breakfast room inside the kitchen as well as adding a center island perfect for gathering. The three French doors eliminate the worry of bottlenecks when entertaining.
— Pete J. Vallas, A.I.A., Architect
things that we like to splurge on, such as good upholstery,” Roe says. “Then you finish up with accessories that aren’t as expensive.” The accessories create an effortlessly inviting space. With renovated guest rooms, expanded patios, updated kitchens and endless amenities, the home is any guest’s dream destination. The Krempas have hosted countless fundraisers, holiday parties, college alumni events and socials since they
character of the home, while still making it modern, which was a little harder than we thought,” Amber says. “We didn’t want to rebuild, and we wanted something that kept the character. Everything has that dynamic without seeming old.” Old and new, upscale and modest are juxtapositions that bring balance and functionality to the 1951 charmer. The March + May sisters deliberately sought signature pieces that work together without upstaging their counterparts. “We like a mix of high and low; everything doesn’t have to cost a fortune,” Roe says. “There are some
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BUTLER’S PANTRY / BAR Historically, a butler’s pantry was a transitional space between the kitchen and the dining room. Before modern appliances and central air-conditioning, the kitchen was a source of heat and odors. The butler’s pantry provided a buffer zone as well as a place to move food from pots and pans to serving bowls and platters. Today, we incorporate a butler’s pantry into a new home as a transitional and decorative space. It’s also handy for storing all of those holiday and entertaining items.
— Pete J. Vallas, A.I.A., Architect
DESIGNING ROOMS FOR OVERNIGHT GUESTS We want our friends to feel at home. We always have lots of pillows and blankets, fresh linens and
moved into their home. As medical professionals, bringing together the community is a reflection of their dedication to improving the lives of others. “We enjoy being around others,” Amber says. “Being kind to others is something we both value. We love our home and enjoy being able to share it.” Alex mirrors that sentiment. “We value our relationships with others and want to foster a sense of community,” he says. “We are both busy running local practices and are fortunate to have such a wonderful place to come home to and amazing people to share it with.” MB
linen spray, a luggage rack and space to put away their clothing. Each bedroom has its own bathroom stocked with extra toiletries and a hair dryer.
SMALL DETAILS, BIG COMFORT We do our best to have favorite breakfast foods on hand, and I often put fresh flowers and a basket of snacks out before friends arrive.
— Dr. Amber R. Krempa, homeowner
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FRUITS OF THEIR LABOR The time is ripe for enjoying the bounty of local summer fruit harvests. text by MAGGIE LACEY • farm photos by MATTHEW COUGHLIN • recipe photos by ELIZABETH GELINEAU
nderneath the shade of an old pecan tree, a plywood table holds baskets of peaches. On the ground nearby, a water trough is filled with watermelons sitting on ice, the perfect thirst-quencher for a hot July day. A small metal building holds refrigerated coolers full of delicate summer produce such as freshly picked blackberries, while cantaloupes are piled high on rustic displays marked with handwritten signs: Two for $5. The summer roadside produce stand is a hallmark of the season, calling “DEB AND I HAVE out with the promise of a fresh meal while PUT OUR BLOOD, conjuring a thousand childhood memories of bare feet, sunshine and fresh fruit. SWEAT AND TEARS The farmers who grow the bounty fillINTO THESE ing these stalls are as varied as the produce BERRIES. MORE on display. Some hold just a few acres or a couple of vines, while others tend thouBLOOD THAN sands of trees or plow heavy equipment ANYTHING ELSE.” with hefty price tags. Whether big or small, James Hollingsworth a third generation or just getting started, they all keep a watchful eye on the weather as they turn the south Alabama soil. above and opposite: Thorned blackberry vines don’t deter James Hollingsworth and partner Debbie.
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A Family Empire Art Sessions pulls out a kitchen knife and deftly slices the rind off a wedge of fresh cantaloupe. The flesh is still warm from the sunshine under which it was growing just a few minutes ago. The wholesale cantaloupe buyers who are gathered around wipe the juice running down their hands on the seat of their pants, content with the quality of the product they are loading up. Not long afterward, their pickup truck pulls out of Sessions’ packing house in Grand Bay, loaded down with the weight of a bed-load of melons. Summer is in full swing at Sessions Farm Stand, where the third generation of family is planting, picking and packing local produce of every sort. “We’ve always been diversified,” explains Art, whose father established the farm after returning home from World War II, having survived the attack on Pearl Harbor. Scattered on several large parcels of land,
“WE BUILT THIS PACKING HOUSE FOR THE FUTURE. I AIN’T GOING TO BE HERE, BUT MY BOYS WILL.” Art Sessions
clockwise from top left: farm fresh cantaloupe, watermelons in the field, Art Sessions in his peach orchard, summer strawberries, branches full of peaches at Sessions’ Farm, James and Debbie Hollingsworth’s blackberries
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the Sessionses have 600 acres of pecans, 4,000 mature citrus trees, 60 acres of watermelons, 20 acres of peaches and so much more. They are the area’s largest citrus producer, and come November, you can bet their state-of-the-art cooler will be filled to the brim with crates of satsumas. For now, however, it’s the summer fruit we are interested in. Art’s son, Jeremy, admits this really isn’t good country for growing peaches. “We just don’t get enough cold weather,” he says. Meanwhile, it’s easy to get too much cold for their citrus crop. That’s the upside to diversification — no matter the weather, hopefully one thing will stick. “It looks like we’ll have a bumper crop this year,” Art says, hopefully.
Blood, Sweat and Tears While the Sessionses explain that dry weather is good for melons, over in Elberta, James Hollingsworth says that you can’t drown a blackberry. He and his partner, Debbie, get out in the field in the late afternoon to pick their ber-
BLUEBERRY BUCKLE recipe page 46
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STRAWBERRY CROSTATA recipe page 46
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ries directly into plastic retail clamshells. The less they handle them, the better. “After about 4 p.m., the sun starts to get lower and the berries firm up and are easier to pick without damaging,” Debbie says. The couple tends their small operation themselves, having taken over from James’ brother just a few years ago after he ran the farm for almost 20 years. A winter freeze took the blueberry crop this year, so they are focusing all their energy on the blackberries. James was born just around the corner on 2,500 acres of farmland that his family of seven tended together. His father was the first in the area to advertise his crops directly to consumers via the newspaper each year, and in this way he sold the bounty of 40 acres of corn and 10,000 tomato plants. That was then. These days, James farms a small patch and turns out just one high-quality product that sells for a premium in local markets and restaurants.
Like Family While some are born into the farming life, others choose it. Betty Barbour and husband Jack moved home to Wilmer 30 years ago after inheriting some family land. “We were spinning our wheels and going nowhere,” Betty remembers of the hectic life
“ON NEW YEAR’S DAY, A TRUCK ARRIVED WITH 3,000 BLUEBERRY PLANTS FROM GEORGIA. WE PLANTED THEM ALL OURSELVES.” Betty Barbour
she and Jack led in the business world before becoming blueberry farmers. “We flew into town in Jack’s small airplane and landed in that field over there. The corn grew up around it and we couldn’t get the plane out. And so we stayed.” All jokes aside, owning a farm is no laughing matter. There’s plenty of hard work to go around, not to mention the constant worry of inclement weather. For a period of time, the Barbours had a few greenhouses on the property growing tomatoes and the like,
which allowed better control of conditions and gave some insurance against storms, drought and cold. Hurricane Katrina had other plans for the farm, however, and wiped the houses away. Now in their 80s, the Barbours are content to welcome guests to the farm for u-pick blueberries. Betty’s Blueberry Farm is now at a figurative fork in the road. Though several children and grandchildren have spent summers dabbling with crops, all have pursued other occupations, and Betty wonders how much longer she and Jack will be able to keep up the property. Having a u-pick operation limits the workload somewhat and offers welcome interaction with customers of all walks of life. “Our customers are almost like extended family,” Betty says as she pulls out a drawing of a jar of blueberries made for her by one of her youngest patrons. Repeat customers bring their children and grandchildren back to the farm every year for more than just
good produce. It’s a bonding experience.
Now’s the Time Come July, farmers across Mobile and Baldwin counties are nearing the end of their summer season. Our area is blessed with a warm spring, and seeds go in the ground early enough to have several plantings. By August, however, it will be too hot to keep the plants — or farmers — feeling hearty. Most growers aim to have their final harvest in line with the bumper-to-bumper cars headed to the beach and backyard cookouts of Fourth of July weekend. Given that farmers big and small agreed the crops came almost two weeks early this year, the time is now to snatch up some delicious, fresh-from-the-farm summer sweetness. clockwise from top left: peaches at Sessions’ Farm Market, strawberries in the field, a bucketful at Betty’s blueberries, Betty Barbour
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Strawberry Crostata SERVES 8
A rustic crostata is perfectly imperfect. The fruit pastries are simple for novice bakers to execute, yet taste as lovely as the most intricate pie.
1 cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced 1/2 cup ice water 4 cups strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved 1/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons strawberry jam 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1 tablespoon orange zest 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice 1 extra-large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash turbinado sugar, to taste vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving
1. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and toss into the flour with your fingers to coat. Pulse again until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water through the feed tube. Continue pulsing until the dough comes together. 2. Turn dough onto a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. 3. In a large bowl, combine strawberries and next 5 ingredients until well combined. 4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it forms a 12-inch circle and transfer to the parchment-lined pan. Pile the strawberries in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border of pastry. Fold the excess pastry up over the filling, pleating where necessary. Brush the pastry edges with the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar to taste. Bake for 35 minutes, until the pastry is browned and the filling is bubbly. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. 5. Top with ice cream or whipped cream and serve warm or at room temperature.
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Blueberry Buckle SERVES 12 (from page 5)
2 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup sugar 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup vegetable oil 3/4 cup milk 1 egg 2 cups well-drained blueberries Crumble Topping 1/2 cup sugar 1/3 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 butter, softened
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Blend all ingredients except blueberries until well mixed. Gently fold in blueberries, being careful not to break fruit. Spread in prepared pan. 2. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. Crumble topping over batter. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until topping is browned and center cooked through. Serve warm.
Blackberry Dutch Baby SERVES 6
A Dutch baby is a glorified pancake that rises to soufflĂŠ heights when baked. Be sure to serve it right away, though, as it falls almost immediately. 6 eggs 1 cup milk 1 cup all-purpose flour pinch kosher salt 4 tablespoons melted butter 20 large blackberries powdered sugar for serving
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round pan with straight sides or the pan of your choice. 2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except blackberries and powdered sugar until no lumps remain. Pour into prepared pan. Scatter blackberries over batter and place in preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
Peach Crumble Bars MAKES 12 BARS
This take-on-the-go version of a peach crumble is modernized with healthier ingredients and comes together in a snap. Serve as a dessert with a scoop of ice cream, or enjoy for breakfast with a little yogurt and a sprinkling of toasted nuts. 3 cups peaches 1/3 cup raw cane sugar zest and juice of one lemon 2 teaspoons cornstarch 1 cup old-fashioned oats 1 cup oat flour, made from grinding oats in a blender until fine 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or substitute light brown sugar) 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1. Combine peaches, cane sugar, lemon zest and juice in a heavybottom saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cornstarch and stir to dissolve. Let cook for 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and let compote cool for 15 minutes. 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oats, flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in coconut oil and mix well. Add a heaping cup of oat mixture into a well-greased 8 x 8 glass baking pan and press into the bottom. Set aside the remaining oat mixture. Bake the pan for 10 minutes, until crust is fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. 3. Top crust with the peach compote, then sprinkle the top with the rest of the oat mixture. Bake for another 25 minutes, or until topping is browned. Allow to cool, then refrigerate until completely firm. Cut and serve chilled.
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SOGO STREET SCENE
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DAY TRIPPIN’ Spend the day in our neighbor city, Pensacola, where charming boutiques, original eats and family fun are waiting. text by AMANDA HARTIN photos by SUMMER ENNIS ANSLEY
weet summertime, the season of waterlogged beach towels, sandy floors, pool hair and half-read books. Entertaining is light and casual, with lots of backyard grilling and cold drink sipping. As daylight lingers, so do guests. And sometimes it can feel as though the longer they stay, the shorter our list of local activities grows. But located just 60 miles from downtown Mobile sits Pensacola, whose history rivals the richness of the Port City and whose proximity offers the perfect opportunity for a day trip. MB did just that. The editorial team scoured the city and found a few can’t-miss places, some of which may be unfamiliar to you. Whether you prefer cheering alongside hundreds of baseball fans or reflecting quietly on a park bench, you are sure to find something on our list to tickle your sightseeing fancy. While we are not cartographers, for travel purposes, we’ve taken the liberty of dividing Pensacola into four districts: Palafox Place, SOGO, Old East Hill and Bayside. Within each section are our favorite things to do, see, hear and taste. This guide is certainly not meant to be all-inclusive; its purpose is to provide a starting point for planning your jaunt. So, pack your day bag, and take this guide with you. As you stroll the shaded sidewalks and hallways of places familiar or new, you’re sure to scribble down a few new favorite stops of your own. Happy exploring!
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FOSKO COFFEE BARRE
When thinking of Pensacola, one street comes to mind: Palafox. It’s known as the gateway to Pensacola, Downtown’s main line. The stretch of road between Garden and Government streets was officially named “Palafox Place” in 1979. In 2013, the American Planning Association designated it as one of “10 Great Streets in America,” due in part to its blended British, Spanish and American architecture and the area’s commitment to commercial revitalization. Palafox’s sidewalks are dotted with casual watering holes, restaurants highlighting international cuisine and performance venues. Expansive glass windows and awnings invite shoppers to linger and ogle store selections and menu offerings.
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PHOTO COURTESY FOSKO COFFEE BARRE
OLD HICKORY WHISKEY BAR
DOG HOUSE DELI
PHOTO BY SUZANNAH DRIVER
EAT HERE Take a tour de food down Palafox, starting with waffles and crepes at Fosko Coffee Barre. For lunch, nosh on the Velvet Elvis, a banana-peanut butter-bacon-honey hot dog at Dog House Deli, or The Tin Cow’s Spam Monster, made with Spam, fried egg and bacon sandwiched between two grilled cheeses. End the day with a sampling of tapas from Global Grill or Southeastern Asian cuisine at Khon’s.
SHOP HERE Three can’t miss spots located just off Palafox Street include Bluetique, offering coastalinspired women’s fashion; Properly Posh Baby, delighting shoppers with upscale children’s clothing; and Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Cafe, boasting locally grown produce and the area’s only organic juice cafe — be sure to grab a smoothie. DRINK HERE Spirits are a-plenty, including the hundreds of whiskey selections at Old Hickory Whiskey Bar. For vino aficionados, Urban Swinery boasts over 100 wines that can be served alongside an entree of pork or beef, and Wine Bar offers an enclosed, brick-lined breezeway for midday sips. Be sure not to miss Play, touted as Pensacola’s first “barcade” — the perfect mash-up of neighborhood bar and arcade. LISTEN HERE If your trip is timed right, you’ll be able to catch a Broadway-worthy show at the historic Saenger Theatre. For regional and national bands, check out the more intimate setting at Vinyl Music Hall.
PROPERLY POSH BABY
PHOTO COURTESY GLOBAL GRILL
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SOGO Centered on the southern portion of Palafox Street is Pensacola’s hottest new shopping district. The area known as “SOGO” (an acronym meaning “South of Government”) has enough boutiques, restaurants and activities to whet any visitor’s hankering for uniquely high-end fashion, art, eats and Bay views.
BUBBA’S SWEET SPOT
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CARMEN’S LUNCH BAR
EAT HERE Need a spot with lots of options? Al Fresco, Pensacola’s permanent food truck court, is the place to be. Other lunch options, including madefrom-scratch dishes, such as the crab melt sandwich at Carmen’s Lunch Bar or noodles and sashimi from Nom Sushi Izakaya, can’t be beat. For dinner, pork tenderloin at Dharma Blue or a wood-fired filet at Jackson’s Steakhouse can cure even the heartiest appetite. Want a view with that meal? Check out Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille. SHOP HERE Be inspired at Scout, where thoughtfully chosen women’s clothing and accessories await the most discerning shoppers. Located a couple doors away is Don Alans, offering timeless menswear. Looking for gifts? Visit The Mole Hole for one-of-a-kind art pieces and Fiore of Pensacola for unique treats and floral arrangements.
UNWIND HERE Within the SOGO district are four parks, all of which make for a picture-perfect picnic spot or a relaxing respite from shopping. Located on Palafox is Plaza Ferdinand VII, an outdoor garden and park with a fountain and a bust of Andrew Jackson, located at the spot on which he was inaugurated as the first governor of the then-Florida Territory. To the east of Palafox is Seville Square, a small park with mature oaks and a gazebo, and Fountain Park, which, as its name suggests, features a decorative fountain highlighting various Pensacola scenes. Situated on Pensacola Bay and replete with grassy lawns, water views and paved paths is Bartram Park, so named for William Bartram, a botanist from the 1700s who identified flora and fauna in the region. DON’T MISS Take a nostalgic look back at candies of yesteryear — and treat yourself to fudge and oneof-a-kind ice cream flavors — at Bubba’s Sweet Spot, owned by two-time Masters winner, Bubba Watson. After a confectionery pick-me-up, walk south on Palafox to visit the Pensacola Museum of Art and the nearby Quayside Art Gallery, the largest co-op gallery in the Southeast. [Local tip: “Quayside” is pronounced “Keyside.”]
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OLD EAST HILL
FIVE SISTERS BLUES CAFE
PHOTO COURTESY FIVE SISTERS
While many visitors to downtown Pensacola instinctually turn south off Garden Street, the area to the north, known as Old East Hill, is surely not to be forgotten. In the 1800s, the area became one of the most desired locations for business owners and professionals to live, with the high ground offering protection from storms. Now, the tree-lined streets are known for an eclectic style, creative residents and one-of-a-kind shopping and dining spots.
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PHOTO COURTESY END OF THE LINE CAFE
END OF THE LINE CAFE
SHOP HERE The place to be on Saturdays is the Palafox Market, a yearround farmers market featuring fresh produce, art, plants and baked goods. Duh, located a couple blocks north of the market, is comprised of three showrooms, a warehouse and an on-site restaurant (the chicken salad is divine). Shop for home and outdoor furniture and accessories until you drop. No trunk space? They ship! Located almost directly across the street is Waterboyz, a place to find all things boardrelated, from paddleboards to skateboards. In addition to an in-house repair and customization shop, the store also boasts an indoor skate park and cafe. [Local tip: Want to surf? Waterboyz offers daily board rentals and lessons.] EAT HERE Touting itself as a vegan cafe, coffee bar and art space, End of the Line Cafe offers a new menu every week, including Sunday brunch, inside its rustic quarters. But if itâ€™s fried chicken youâ€™re after, get your fix at Five Sisters Blues Cafe, where downhome deliciousness is their specialty. Iron, open for dinner only, also sticks to Southern cuisine, serving up reimagined dishes with a contemporary twist.
BAYSIDE Some of Pensacola’s best-known spots, such as the Naval Air Station, are located within about a 20-minute drive of the seaport. Other wellloved destinations are a bit closer to the water, just southwest of Palafox. No matter how many times you visit these places, you are bound to see something new each time.
THE DROWSY POET
SHORELINE FOODS JOE PATTI’S SEAFOOD
SHOP HERE No trip to Pensacola would be complete without a stop at historic Joe Patti’s Seafood. Open since 1931, Joe Patti’s sells the freshest and hardest-to-find seafood — from whole octopus to tuna belly — along with seasonings, sides, wine and craft beer. Your selections can be packed on ice in preparation for the trip home. More of a landlubber? Check out Shoreline Foods International Market & Deli and shop the indelible selection of Cretan wines, olives and bottled water. For a quick bite, try the deli’s tri-tip steak sandwich and Caesar salad. EXPLORE HERE Beat the afternoon heat at the National Naval Aviation Museum located at the nation’s oldest naval air station. The Navy base is also home to the world-famous Blue Angels and the Pensacola Lighthouse. With a little prior planning, visitors can go atop the lighthouse to watch the Blue Angels practice. Head back northeast, but not before “refueling” at The Drowsy Poet Coffee Company. Then buy some peanuts and Cracker Jack and cheer the Minor League Blue Wahoos on to victory. [Local tip: The Wahoos’ stadium is located within Community Maritime Park, so it’s worth spending a few minutes before or after the game strolling along Pensacola’s harbor.]
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PELICANS IN PARADISE STATUES What started as a way to showcase local artists, this flock of uniquely decorated, 5-foot-tall pelican statues has grown to include nearly 70, with names ranging from “Pelvis,” the Elvis-inspired avian, and “Grandpa-elican,” a golfplaying elder. Can you find them all?
SPLASH PAD Features a large statue of Spanish conquistador Don Tristan de Luna.
PENSACOLA MESS HALL INTERACTIVE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING MUSEUM Visitors can conduct actual experiments.
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CARMEN’S LUNCH BAR, 407 S PALAFOX ST. B, 850-542-4334, CARMENSLUNCHBAR.COM
SOGO DISTRICT, FACEBOOK.COM/PG/ SOGODISTRICTPENSACOLA
BLUETIQUE, 212 S ALCANIZ ST., 850-4321264, BLUETIQUEPENSACOLA.COM
DHARMA BLUE, 300 S ALCANIZ ST., 850-433-1275,FACEBOOK.COM/PG/ DHARMABLUECAFE
PARKING, DOWNTOWNPENSACOLA. COM/PARKING
BUBBA’S SWEET SPOT, 412 S PALAFOX ST., 850-332-6696, BUBBASWEETSPOT.COM
DOG HOUSE DELI, 30 S PALAFOX ST., 850-432-3104, DOGHOUSEDELI.COM
PELICANS IN PARADISE STATUES, DOPENSACOLA.COM/PENSACOLAPELICANS-IN-PARADISE-STATUES
DON ALANS, 401 S PALAFOX ST., 850-4391762, DONALANS.COM
END OF THE LINE CAFE, 610 E WRIGHT ST., 850-429-0336, EOTLCAFE.COM
DUH, 501 N 9TH AVE., 850-439-0640, DUHPENSACOLA.COM
FIVE SISTERS BLUES CAFE, 421 W BELMONT ST., 850-912-4856, FIVESISTERSBLUESCAFE.COM
TOURIST INFO, 1401 E GREGORY ST., 800-874-1234, VISITPENSACOLA.COM
ENTERTAINMENT BLUE WAHOOS STADIUM, 351 W CEDAR ST., 850-934-8444 SAENGER THEATRE, 118 S PALAFOX PLACE, 850-595-3880, PENSACOLASAENGER.COM
EVER’MAN COOPERATIVE GROCERY & CAFE, 315 W GARDEN ST., 850-438-0402, EVERMAN.ORG FIORE OF PENSACOLA, 15 W MAIN ST., 850-469-1930, FIOREOFPENSACOLA.COM JOE PATTI’S, 524 SOUTH B ST., 850-4323315, JOEPATTIS.COM PALAFOX MARKET, MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. PLAZA ON N PALAFOX ST., 850-4345317, PALAFOXMARKET.COM PROPERLY POSH BABY, 150 S JEFFERSON ST., 850-542-4269, PROPERLYPOSHBABY.COM
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM Kid-friendly museum devoted to Pensacola history with interactive exhibits & educational events.
AL FRESCO, 501 S PALAFOX ST., 850-438-1999, FACEBOOK.COM/ ALFRESCOFRESHAIRDINING
VINYL MUSIC HALL, 2 S PALAFOX ST., 850-607-6758, VINYLMUSICHALL.COM
TRAVELING WITH KIDS? CHECK OUT THESE CAN’T-MISS PLACES:
RESTAURANTS & BARS
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES BLUE ANGELS, BLUEANGELS.NAVY.MIL NATIONAL NAVAL AVIATION MUSEUM, 1878 S BLUE ANGEL PKWY, 800-327-5002, NAVALAVIATIONMUSEUM.ORG PENSACOLA CHILDREN’S MUSEUM, 115 E ZARAGOZA ST., 850-5951559, HISTORICPENSACOLA.ORG/ PLAN-YOUR-VISIT/MUSEUMS-PROPERTIES/ PENSACOLA-CHILDRENS-MUSEUM
SCOUT, 403 S PALAFOX ST., 850-607-7105, SHOPSCOUTONLINE.COM SHORELINE FOODS INTERNATIONAL MARKET & DELI, 1180 W MAIN ST., 850-433-8852, SFPENSACOLA.COM THE MOLE HOLE, 425 ZARAGOZA ST., 850-434-7329, FACEBOOK.COM/PAGES/ THE-MOLE-HOLE/158765257489434 WATERBOYZ, 380 N 9TH AVE., 850-433-2929, WATERBOYZ.COM
PENSACOLA MUSEUM OF ART, 407 S JEFFERSON ST., 850-432-6247, PENSACOLAMUSEUM.ORG PENSACOLA LIGHTHOUSE, 2081 RADFORD BLVD., 850-393-1561, PENSACOLALIGHTHOUSE.ORG PENSACOLA MESS HALL, 116 N TARRAGONA ST., 877-937-6377 PENSACOLAMESSHALL.ORG QUAYSIDE ART GALLERY, 17 ZARAGOZA ST., 850-438-2363, QUAYSIDEGALLERY.COM
PARKS BARTRAM PARK, 211 BAYFRONT PKWY FOUNTAIN PARK, ZARAGOZA ST. PLAZA FERDINAND VII, CORNER OF E GOVERNMENT ST. AND S PALAFOX ST. SEVILLE SQUARE, 311 E GOVERNMENT ST. SPLASH PAD, 980 S PALAFOX ST.
FOSKO COFFEE BARRE, 8 S PALAFOX ST., 850-332-7737, FOSKOCOFFEEBARRE.COM GLOBAL GRILL, 27 S PALAFOX PLACE, 850-469-9966, GLOBALGRILLPENSACOLA.COM IRON, 22 N PALAFOX ST., 850-476-7776, RESTAURANTIRON.COM JACKSON’S STEAKHOUSE, 400 S PALAFOX ST., 850-469-9898, JACKSONSRESTAURANT.COM JACO’S BAYFRONT BAR & GRILLE, 997 S PALAFOX ST., 850-432-5226, JACOSBAYFRONTBARANDGRILLE.COM KOHN’S, 34 S PALAFOX PLACE, 850-9126762, KOHNSONPALAFOX.COM NOM SUSHI IZAKAYA, 410 S PALAFOX ST., 850-466-3125, NOMSUSHI.COM OLD HICKORY WHISKEY BAR, 123 S PALAFOX ST., 850-332-5916, OLDHICKORYWHISKEYBAR.COM PLAY, 16 S PALAFOX PLACE, SUITE 200, 850-466-3080, IPLAYPENSACOLA.COM THE DROWSY POET COFFEE COMPANY, 1023 N NAVY BLVD, 850-602-7524, DROWSYPOETCOFFEE.COM TIN COW, 102 S PALAFOX ST., 850-4662103, THETINCOW.COM URBAN SWINERY, 19 PALAFOX PLACE, 850-332-5536, FACEBOOK.COM/ URBANSWINERY WINE BAR, 16 PALAFOX PLACE, 850-6072089, THEWINEBARONPALAFOX.COM
NOTABLE WOMEN IN THIS SPECIAL SECTION OF MB, MEET SOME OF MOBILE AND BALDWIN COUNTIESâ€™ MOST SUCCESSFUL, INNOVATIVE AND DYNAMIC WOMEN, REPRESENTING FIELDS FROM HEALTH CARE TO REAL ESTATE. ALL MOVERS AND SHAKERS IN THEIR OWN INDIVIDUAL WAYS, EACH WOMAN SEAMLESSLY COMBINES PROFESSIONALISM WITH COMMUNITY MINDFULNESS. JOIN US IN CONGRATULATIONS.
july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 57
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Amanda Comer, 5A Multimedia AMANDA COMER OFFERS HER CLIENTS MORE THAN JUST WEBSITES. HER PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH CLIENTS ALLOW 5A MULTIMEDIA TO CRAFT THE PERFECT EXTENSION OF THEIR BUSINESS.
What is 5A Multimedia? 5A Multimedia is a small boutique design studio providing custom website design. We also offer e-commerce website design and development to help clients sell their products online and grow their business outside the normal retail store. 5A consults with clients on their overall online strategy, starting with a core foundation of their branding and applying that to their website and online presence.
How did you get into design? I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Auburn University in visual communications. From there, I trained with art directors at CNN International who
taught me the importance of web design and how it would continue to grow and converge with broadcast media. I found a passion in website design and continued to explore the industry in Atlanta and later when moving to Fairhope.
How is your expertise unique? As the owner and lead designer at 5A Multimedia, its important to have a strong foundation to build upon with my clients. My broad background in print, broadcast and online media design gives me the knowledge to help any business succeed. I am able to touch on so many facets of a business and find ways to help it grow and succeed with digital marketing. I started 5A in 2007
and have continued to develop a network of talented technical and creative individuals. Together we are able offer solutions that are most beneficial to our diverse clientele.
What contributes to your success? I listen. My clients are the experts at what they do, and their input is vital to a successful outcome. I really love working with each and every client personally. It gives me a chance to know not only their business but the people and stories behind the client. Client relationships are most important. Another passion I have is online usability — making sure my clients’ websites are not only visually appealing but also easy to use.
8390 Gayfer Rd • Fairhope • 583-4218 • 5Amultimedia.com 58 mobilebaymag.com | july 2019
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Misty Hudson Whitehead, Chicken Salad Chick of Mobile and Baldwin Counties FOR MISTY HUDSON WHITEHEAD, OWNING THE CHICKEN SALAD CHICK LOCATIONS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BAY IS A DREAM COME TRUE, AS WELL AS A PERFECT FIT FOR HER AND HER FAMILY. AFTER ALL, CHICKEN SALAD CHICK IS A COMPANY THAT EMPHASIZES LOCAL OWNERSHIP, FAMILY AND GIVING BACK.
What do you love most about owning Chicken Salad Chick? I love talking to our regulars that come in daily and keeping up with their families! It’s wonderful to have a job where you see and get to know so many people. Founded in Alabama, this is a really fast-growing chain. As the company has grown, though, it has kept a strong sense of community and our customers can feel that.
What contributes to your success? Giving back to the community has led to our success, there is no doubt in my mind. Customers want to feel cared for, and as a local business, we have a responsibility to give back to them. Our main focus is supporting local children battling cancer, but that is far from all we do. We recently started a scholarship for students who have put in the most community service hours and involvement, and that is really rewarding to pay forward.
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
What’s next for you? We are excited to announce that, in addition to our current locations on Hillcrest Road, Old Shell Road and in Daphne, you will be able to enjoy our chicken salad in Government Plaza starting this summer and in Foley by early 2020. 2370 S Hillcrest Road • Mobile • 660-0501 • chickensaladchick.com july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 59
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Betty Barnhill and LouAnne Barnhill Harrell Christmas Round the Corner AS LONGTIME OWNER OF FAIRHOPE PHARMACY, BETTY BARNHILL (RIGHT) HAS ALWAYS KNOWN RETAIL. WHEN SHE BEGAN ENVISIONING OPENING A CHRISTMAS STORE, SHE SAW THE CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING NEW FOR FAIRHOPE, AND SHE OPENED HER VERY OWN IN 1994. BETTY HAS SINCE RETIRED, BUT LOUANNE BARNHILL HARRELL (LEFT) CONTINUES TO HONOR THE DREAM. AS THEY SAY AT CHRISTMAS ‘ROUND THE CORNER, “YOU CAN’T WORK HERE AND NOT BE HAPPY.”
What does your business offer that makes it special ? We are open year-round and feature specialty ornaments such as Christopher Radko, Old World Christmas, Karen Didion Santas, nativities, nutcrackers and Mark Roberts fairies, as well as creations and ornaments by local artists. Our buyers are always looking for new and unique items and decor to keep the store fresh and updated.
What contributes to your success? By buying a variety of traditional and unique products, we are able to appeal to different tastes. For example, we have around 20 trees in our store, each with a unique theme. People visiting the area always want something to remember Fairhope by, and we offer locally-crafted coastal ornaments to cater to this. Of course, customer service is imperative, and we look forward
to seeing customers from the area and all over the country throughout the year. Our location in Downtown is also a big plus!
Where do you plan to take the business from here? It continues to grow and change as trends change and new items become available. We hope to continue to grow in the future and possibly have an online store up and going next year.
396 Fairhope Ave. • Fairhope • 928-8822 • christmasroundthecorner.com 60 mobilebaymag.com | july 2019
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Cindy Zebryk, Coldwell Banker Reehl Properties CINDY ZEBRYK HAS BEEN THE NO. 1 AGENT FOR COLDWELL BANKER FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS, JOINING THE COMPANY ONLY SIX YEARS AGO. THE FAIRHOPE NATIVE HAS 27 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY, AND SHE KNOWS THE LOCAL MARKET LIKE THE BACK OF HER HAND.
Why do your services stand out in a crowded field of realtors? Experience and expertise matter! I bring that to the table. My goal is to build clients’ trust and provide them with professional service that exceeds expectations.
What contributes to your success? Connecting with people is at the heart of my success. Listening to clients’ wants and needs to find their best options is my personal goal. I pray for guidance in assisting people with these important investment decisions. I also enjoy networking in the community, serving on the board for Baldwin Realtors, supporting local charities, and thriving on repeat business.
How do you make sure your clients get the best results? I stay on top of the market in order to be the first agent to show a property that will sell quickly. My knowledge of the neighborhoods and the market helps me keep clients informed. I’m constantly on the lookout. I have even knocked on doors of homes that were not on the market and sold them!
What’s next for you and Coldwell Banker? PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
I recently qualified to be a Global Luxury agent and have become a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist. I’ve been awarded International President’s Elite status, as part of Coldwell Banker’s top 3 percent in production. I love my work and helping people achieve their dreams, however, I also love being a wife, mother and grandmother! 24190 US Highway 98 • Fairhope • 680-7964 cell • 990-6622 office • realtorcindyz.com july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 61
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Diane Martino & Jenny Carr, EXIT Realty What do you offer clients? Diane Martino and Jenny Carr are full-service realtors specializing in residential single-family homes, condominiums, land and investment property in both Mobile and Baldwin counties. They are the No. 1 team at EXIT Realty Lyon and are multimillion-dollar producers, winning 12 combined local, state and regional awards in 2019.
How do you make sure your clients get the best results?
We concentrate on building relationships with clients to create a referral-based practice, taking time to really understand our clients’ needs, wants and lifestyles. Understanding what’s important to clients is how we successfully find their dream homes. It’s also our mission to smoothly bring every contract to a close in 30 days or less by personally coordinating every aspect of the process.
What is your focus area? They have listed and closed properties
at all price points. Anything from over a million dollars to under a hundred thousand, they’ve done it. Although they love a gorgeous million-dollar property, some of their most fulfilling clients have been first-time homebuyers.
Why do you love real estate? Every day is a new adventure, and every client is a new friend. Clients become friends, and friends become family. We love what we do, and it shows with our clients!
8 S Church St. • Fairhope • #DianeAndJennySells Team 62 mobilebaymag.com | july 2019
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Leslie Evans, MD, FACOG Mary D. Wells, MD, FACOG Megan B. Dimoff, MD Fairhope Gynecology & Obstetrics What does your practice offer women that makes it special? We strive to create a trusting partnership with each patient by empowering her with knowledge to best guide her healthcare decisions. Our goal for each woman is to help her understand her evolving health needs and to encourage her to be an active participant in her care. We aim to meet our patients’ obstetrics and gynecology needs, as well as overall health and wellness goals by working together.
What contributes to the success of your practice? At Fairhope Gynecology & Obstetrics,
we’ve found a group of partners that practice evidence-based medicine and who genuinely care for their patients. We have a great staff that treats each other like family and always puts the patient first. We strive to be physicians with whom our patients can personally relate. We consider open dialogue and mutual decision-making paramount and want to provide a comfortable and patient-focused experience.
Why do you love your field? As OBGYNs, we are afforded the opportunity to treat women during every phase of their lives. With obstetrics, we
get to care for a pregnant patient, from conception to postpartum. Being present for a couple’s “best day of their lives” never gets old, and we love seeing the babies that we’ve delivered grow up.
How has your practice grown, and where do you plan to go from here? Both medical evidence and the diversity of the Gulf Coast continue to expand, and as that happens, we will continue to provide modern and patient-centered care. We just opened a new state of the art facility where six full-time OBGYNs are ready to help our patients achieve their best health!
19450 S Greeno Rd • Fairhope • 928-1222 • fairhopeobgyn.com july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 63
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Chappell Brady, Hemline WHEN CHAPPELL BRADY MOVED TO MOBILE, SHE RECOGNIZED THAT A COMMON CONCERN WITH LOCAL LADIES WAS A LACK OF SHOPPING. COINCIDENTALLY, OPENING A LADIES’ BOUTIQUE HAD ALWAYS BEEN ONE OF HER DREAMS. THE STARS ALIGNED, AND BRADY OPENED HER HAPPY PLACE, HEMLINE, IN 2012, WHERE SHE LOVES THE SWEET CUSTOMERS AND, OF COURSE, THE CLOTHES.
What sets your business apart from your competitors? Hemline offers a variety of styles at a variety of price points, and we have something for everyone. My biggest competitor is myself. I’m always looking for ways to improve, and Hemline is as well. We have an amazing team and enjoy feedback and working with our customers; we strive to provide the ladies of Mobile with what they need. That means providing options for all styles and receiving new
shipments almost daily. You can check out our Instagram for new arrivals!
Why did you get into your field? Opening a new business was something that I dove into feet-first. Being open for seven years is a huge accomplishment; it wasn’t always easy. I remember calling my mom when I first opened, thrilled that there was someone waiting to get in the door. For me, it’s all about celebrating the little every day accomplishments and milestones.
Who is your perfect client? There is no perfect customer. There are so many inspirational women in my life and the community. Any compliment about the shop or a sales associates from a customer goes such a long way and is so appreciated. I also have the honor of working with young ladies that are learning from their experience at the shop every day, and I hope to encourage them to also brighten people’s days. We want our customers to feel that when they come in the door.
4356 Old Shell Rd., Suite B • 287-6875 • @hemlinemobile 64 mobilebaymag.com | july 2019
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Valerie L. Vick, MD, Andrea McMurphy, MD, and Kimberly Elliott, MD, Premier Medical OPHTHALMOLOGIST VALERIE L. VICK, MD, (LEFT) AND OTOLARYNGOLOGISTS ANDREA MCMURPHY, MD, (CENTER) AND KIMBERLY ELLIOTT, MD, (RIGHT) HAVE OVER 40 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE COMBINED. ALL THREE WOMEN ARE INCREDIBLE AND CARING PHYSICIANS WHO ENJOY TAKING CARE OF THEIR PATIENTS WHILE ALSO BEING MOMS AND MAINTAINING THE BALANCE BETWEEN THEIR PRACTICE AND HOMES.
What is it about your practice that makes it special? Premier Medical is the largest and most established eye, ear, nose and throat clinic in the region. We have the finest physicians and the latest technology to accurately diagnose and treat your medical problem. We have 23 eye doctors and 11 ENT doctors at multiple office locations, creating an environment where multiple doctors can consult on a patient if needed.
What is your role with the group? These three Notable Women have over 40 years of combined experience in their fields. Valerie L. Vick, MD is a board certified Ophthalmologist and has practiced for over 15 years while specializing in ophthalmic
plastic surgery. Andrea McMurphy, MD is a board certified Otolaryngologist and has been practicing for over 14 years and specializes in pediatric and adult ear, nose and throat surgery. Kimberly Elliott, MD is a board certified Otolaryngologist and has been practicing for over 13 years while specializing in pediatric and adult ear disease and surgery.
What contributes to your success? Our teamwork and our long-standing commitment to excellence and patient care are what make us successful. Our eye group provides complete subspecialty care and is the only group in Mobile and Baldwin counties that can claim that. Our group is also the largest provider of ENT care in Mobile and
Baldwin counties and provides allergy testing and treatment with an on-site lab as well as comprehensive hearing services, including dispensing hearing aids.
How has your practice grown or changed, and where are you going from here? Premier Medical is well established and more than 100 years old, and we remind ourselves often how fortunate we are to be in this position. We are committed to continuing our heritage by working every day to become a better practice, and we hope to be able to provide excellent and compassionate care to our patients for another 100 years.
5 locations in Mobile, Daphne and Jackson â€˘ pmg.md july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 65
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Dr. Kimberly Donnellan Facial Plastic Surgeon, Providence Medical Group SERVING THE GULF COAST SINCE 2010, DR. KIMBERLY DONNELLAN SPENT YEARS EDUCATING HERSELF IN FACIAL PLASTIC SURGERY. THE BILOXI NATIVE ATTENDED MEDICAL SCHOOL AT LSU, RESIDENCY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI AND FELLOWSHIP AT THE PRESTIGIOUS CLEVELAND CLINIC. AS SUCH, PATIENTS CAN EASILY BE CONFIDENT IN HER ABILITIES.
What does your practice offer? I offer cosmetic and reconstructive surgery as well as invasive and non-invasive procedures, including laser procedures, injectables, skin cancer reconstruction, trauma and scar revision. Surgically, I’m especially known for facelifts, eyelid surgery and skin cancer reconstruction.
it comes to cosmetic surgery, I have a “less is more” approach. Patients can be afraid of an unnatural result, but I pride myself in offering rejuvenation that is both youthful and natural. I try to thoroughly educate my patients and provide them with realistic expectations, which I think they all appreciate.
What contributes to your success?
How has your field changed?
I’m double board-certified in both otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery. When
I believe social media has resulted in a surge in cosmetic procedures throughout the
world. People are becoming more willing to undergo surgery and laser procedures, and with this change comes a demand for preventative options. This includes earlier use of Botox, facelifts and better skin care to prevent the unwanted effects of aging.
Where is the field going from here? I think microneedling and advances in laser technology are the most exciting parts of the recent growth in the field, but it continues to evolve.
6701 Airport Blvd., Mobile • 411 N Section St., Fairhope • 660-3495 • providencemedical.org 66 mobilebaymag.com | july 2019
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Susanna Smith, Lynn Land, Michelle Sanford, Kara Boutwell and Skyler Martin Southern Cancer Center THE NURSE PRACTITIONERS OF SOUTHERN CANCER CENTER HAVE BECOME AN ESSENTIAL PIECE OF OUR TEAM-BASED APPROACH TO CANCER CARE, GUIDING PATIENTS THROUGH THEIR JOURNEYS AND RAISING THE BAR ACROSS OUR PRACTICE.
What role do your nurse practitioners play? The field of oncology is changing daily, and the role of a Southern Cancer Center nurse practitioner has evolved to handle these changes. Fully integrated into patient care, our nurse practitioners work alongside our physicians and other members of the care team to set treatment goals and provide relief from side effects of both cancer and its treatment.
What sets them apart? Attention to detail. Cancer is complex and so is the treatment. Our nurse practitioners are uniquely qualified to provide care in a variety of ways. They teach individual-
ized chemo education, manage patient symptoms and side effects, and advise the patient on diet and nutrition during treatment. They also develop individual survivorship care plans and follow patients for several years after treatment is complete.
How do they benefit your physicians? Having versatile nurse practitioners available at each of our clinics gives our physicians more time to spend with patients and their families, allowing for more personalized, one-on-one care. By alternating visits with their physician and their nurse practitioner, patients are treated
by two sets of experienced eyes.
What’s next for SCC’s nurse practitioners? Beginning this summer, these women will oversee our Genetic Risk Evaluation and Testing program, providing comprehensive counseling and genetic testing for patients with a family or personal history of cancer. This is an important service, helping patients along the Gulf Coast understand cancer risks and prevention. The nurse practitioners of Southern Cancer Center continue to advance the way we provide care. They have a true passion for their patients and show no signs of slowing down.
5 locations in Mobile and Baldwin County • 625-6896 • SouthernCancerCenter.com july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 67
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Jennie M. Campbell, CMP, CMM, PMP CEO/President Stewart Steelwood Investments, dba “The Stewart Lodges” What sets your business apart? The Stewart Lodges is in the business of connecting and creating great teams. In our area, growth and change are inevitable, challenges are on the horizon, and decisions need to be made. As business leaders, we recognize that we need to take time to research and understand the upcoming growth and change that is already affecting our businesses. At The Stewart Lodges, we are embracing this exciting time for both the Mobile and Baldwin county areas.
How are you on the cutting edge of your field? As the CEO/President of The Stewart
Lodges, I am excited about the opportunities on the horizon, especially for small businesses. Having overseen our investment since 2003, I have had the wonderful opportunity to watch this emerging and sustainable economy. Mobile has been the cornerstone of the four critical areas of infrastructure — airways, highways, railways and waterways — making our area very attractive to foreign investment companies. This has caused a continual expansion of the manufacturing sector, creating an environment of entrepreneurism and small business opportunity. The Stewart Lodges is grateful that we have been a benefactor of this growth and process.
Where do you go from here? Business is about people and connections. As CEOs, we invest in our visions, but I believe it is now time to invest in our people. By understanding change and embracing change, we will not only survive but thrive in this exciting time of opportunity for all businesses in Mobile and surrounding areas. I am grateful and thankful to be part of this amazing time, and our support will continue for this dynamic area. Thank you to Mobile and Baldwin counties for embracing us as investors and for incorporating The Stewart Lodges into your beautiful communities. Onward and upward, Mobile!
32311 Waterview Drive E • Loxley, Alabama • 251-602-1300 68 mobilebaymag.com | july 2019
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Cather McKay, MD Sunrise Dermatology CATHER MCKAY, MD, WILL JOIN THE BRAND-NEW DAPHNE LOCATION OF SUNRISE DERMATOLOGY STARTING AUGUST 1, 2019, AFTER THE COMPLETION OF HER RESIDENCY AT TULANE UNIVERSITY IN JUNE. SHE IS EXCITED TO BRING THE SKILLS SHE’S LEARNED FROM SUCH A STRONG TRAINING PROGRAM BACK TO HER HOME ON MOBILE BAY.
How did you first get into the field of Dermatology? I was first exposed to dermatology during medical school at UAB. Following medical school, I completed an internship in internal medicine and dermatology residency at Tulane University. Dermatology is a field with so much potential to improve the quality of life of patients, which attracted me immediately. Treatment options in skin disease and skin cancer are always advancing, making our work exciting and rewarding on a daily basis.
How do you make sure your patients get the best results? I am very detail-oriented as well as practical, with the goal of providing patients with the most up-to-date, comprehensive and cost-effective care. I pride myself on staying informed of the latest research in the field, and I am a naturally driven and persistent person, dedicated to helping my patients obtain the best outcomes possible.
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
What does your practice offer that makes it special? Sunrise Dermatology offers complete dermatologic care, equipped with doctors and staff who routinely manage complex medical, surgical and cosmetic concerns. We have locations on both sides of the Bay and see patients of all ages.
8832 US Highway 90 • Daphne • 263-9820 • sunrisederm.com july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 69
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Ida Ross Hicks, Swift Supply AS PRESIDENT OF SWIFT SUPPLY, IDA ROSS HICKS DOES WHATEVER IT TAKES TO KEEP HER LOCALLY OWNED FAMILY BUSINESS MOVING FORWARD. HICKS AND HER BROTHER, DAVID, ARE THE SIXTH GENERATION TO LEAD THE COMPANY. IT’S IN HER BLOOD, AND SHE TRULY LOVES IT.
How long have you been at your company? Since it’s a family business, I have been here all my life. I spent two years in Washington, D.C., after college before returning full time in 2003.
What contributes to your success? Employees and customers. Our customers are building some amazing projects, and it is very rewarding to see their projects from start to finish. Our team of dedicated men and women stay focused on providing excellent service to our customers. Our products and services, which include everything from basic building materials to kitchens, baths, closets, trusses, and virtual reality house plans at our DesignGallery, give us an enormous variety of tools to help our customers.
What sets your business apart from your competitors? We are the only company in our area offering virtual reality at the DesignGallery. Our technology, broad product offering, expertise and footprint all set us apart. And a six-generation business, we’ve proven we have long term staying power.
How have you taken risks? We take risks every day in order to be at the forefront of our industry. We have expanded to include a new kitchen and bath showroom, continue to evolve as more than just a lumberyard and have a focus on remaining relevant in an ever-changing world. All are risks we have been willing to take to offer the very best to our customers.
We have the knowledge and team to help our customers see their goals and visions brought to life, and we walk alongside them every step of the way. Knowing that we played a part in helping a family build or remodel their home is very rewarding – that’s what it’s all about. 7300 Dolphin St. • Daphne • 929-9399 • swiftsupply.com 70 mobilebaymag.com | july 2019
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
How do you make sure clients get the best results?
ONSITE AT KIVA DUNES
Abby Davis and Gina Walcott, Walcott Adams Verneuille Architects WAV ARCHITECTS HAS BEEN OFFERING EXCITING DESIGNS FOR OVER 30 YEARS ALONG THE GULF COAST. CO-FOUNDER GINA WALCOTT BRINGS EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE TO THE TABLE, WHILE ABBY DAVIS BRINGS A FRESH PERSPECTIVE TO THE FIRM’S CLIENT-BASED DESIGNS.
What sets your design firm apart?
How do you best serve your clients?
We are a multi-generational firm with broad experience in numerous project types, from hospitals to residential projects and interior design. The creativity we bring to problem-solving and the attention to detail we give to each project, no matter the scale, is special. We also offer a holistic approach to our design process, fostering a unique, cohesive point of view that seamlessly carries throughout each project. Having an in-house interior design team allows carefully crafted a project from start to finish.
Our clients trust us to enhance their daily lives through our designs, and we don’t take that trust for granted. We have developed a method that guides clients through the complex design process to successfully meet their goals. We also respond to projects individually and discern what the client wants, and we work hard to achieve that, always keeping in mind how to best meet their goals in both design and budget. Every client is different, which is what makes our jobs so enjoyable and exciting.
What does the next chapter look like for this established and respected design firm? We recently opened a design studio at the Gulf, expanding our footprint to better meet our clients’ needs at the beaches. As a firm we want to expand upon the architectural legacy WAV has already established, continuing to build spaces where lasting memories can be made. We aim to assure clients that our firm will continue to thrive and serve the Gulf Coast for many years to come.
One S. School St., Fairhope • 1557 Gulf Shores Blvd., Gulf Shores • 928-6041 • wavarchitects.com july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 71
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Savannah Starring, Vellum & Velvet What does your business offer that makes it special? Vellum & Velvet is a full-service interior design studio and home decor showroom that designs homes from plans to pillows. Having been in business for over 25 years and in the same location, we have become a staple on the Eastern Shore for our signature bright, clean, colorful and collected aesthetic.
bedding, accessories and styling. We strive to be accessible and to have open communication with our whole staff, so that you can check on your invoices and provide feedback every step of the way. This keeps you fully in the loop with the product costs, items you’ve approved for ordering and your estimated install date. We want nothing more than for our clients to be involved in the process.
How do you make sure clients get the best results?
How did you begin this journey as a small business owner?
A blend of our signature style with a strong understanding of our clients’ personality is reflected in each home we design. We strive to create a seamless process by collaborating on floor plan development, interior drawings, custom cabinetry, lighting, wallpaper, paint colors and tile, then moving to custom selections: furniture, window treatments,
I became owner of what was formerly Lulu & Me a little over a year ago. As a 3rd generation interior designer, I knew that someday I would like to have my own design firm and storefront. I had no clue it would happen in my 20’s but I am grateful that it did. Having the opportunity to take over an established business was an honor and the 404 Fairhope Ave. • Fairhope • 928-5508
72 mobilebaymag.com | july 2019
people of this community have become like family to my husband and me.
How is the business evolving under your new direction? This business has always thrived, but it was a goal of mine to expand and really be a one-stop home shop. Introducing more retail inventory to the front of the store was something I did simply because I love product — I want our customers to be able to go home with their bedside tables while their bedroom drapes are being made. Bringing different designers on board with different design styles was a priority and we are excited to continue to expand our team, product lines, and territory. With no budget too small and no project too big, we look forward to continuing to help make our clients houses, their home!
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Rebecca Dunn Bryant, AIA W A T E R S H E D LLC IN HER SEVENTH YEAR OF FULL OWNERSHIP, REBECCA DUNN BRYANT IS ON A MISSION TO CREATE BETTER BUILDINGS. WATERSHED DEFINES “BETTER” IN TERMS OF RESOURCE CONSERVATION, FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY, AND BOTH HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL HEALTH. WHETHER YOU LABEL IT GREEN, SUSTAINABLE, RESILIENT OR EVEN CONSERVATIVE DESIGN, SHE JUST THINKS IT’S SMART PRACTICE.
What does your business offer that makes it special? Our firm provides full-service architectural design, sustainability consulting and planning services. We work across market sectors and enjoy helping organizations plan for sustainable development as much as we enjoy working with homeowners plan for the next phase in their lives.
What contributes to your success? I don’t subscribe to the theory that businesses must specialize to succeed. In the natural world, ecosystems achieve maturity, stability and beauty through diversity. That’s our model. We created this firm in the depths of the recession and just celebrated our 10th year of operation. We are still continuing to grow and evolve, so the model seems to be working.
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
What sets your business apart from your competitors? Many architectural firms separate their designers from the technical people. I think that’s both a mistake, and the genesis of many an urban legend about gorgeous buildings that are uncomfortable, unsound or too expensive to operate. It’s important for our architects to have both an artist’s eye and an inner geek. We recognize that people enjoy well-proportioned design without needing to understand the math, and they similarly love the way a building designed in concert with the movement of the sun and natural cycles feels, without needing to understand the science. My goal is to design beautiful buildings that simultaneously do good and feel great.
302 Magnolia Ave. • Fairhope • 929-0514 • watershed.pro july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 73
PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
SPECIAL SECTION | NOTABLE WOMEN
Kim Whigham, Wigman’s Hardware KIM WHIGHAM IS A THIRD GENERATION OWNER OF A FAMILY-OWNED AND OPERATED HARDWARE AND SUPPLY STORE SERVING THE MOBILE AREA FOR THE LAST SIXTY YEARS. THEY OFFER SOUND QUALITY PRODUCTS AND CUSTOMER SERVICE, CARRYING UNIQUE ITEMS THAT ARE USEFUL TO THIS AREA, SUCH AS BOAT LIFTS, CARGO LIFTS, MARINE CONSTRUCTION SUPPLIES, PILING RESTORATION AND SO MUCH MORE.
What is your role in the company?
What contributes to your success?
Owner, Secretary, Treasurer, Advertising, Sales, HR, and I have even been known to cut the grass. When you own a small company you wear a lot of hats. My husband and I are third generation owners, our son and his wife will be the fourth, and we are hoping one or all of the grandchildren will continue to operate this business that has been serving Mobile for generations. We have really grown from a mom and pop hardware store, to a supplier of products geared toward the water and homes that surround us, a vessel supply business for tug boats coming through our waterways, and we are still the local hardware store for the DIY folks.
Dedication, loving what you do and the people you serve. In retail you often work six and seven days a week, nights, weekends, and holidays so you have to love it.
What makes Wigman’s so special? Pleasant and helpful customer service. Wigman’s strives to offer competent and pleasant customer service. Our customers are great, and many have been shopping with us for years.
What sets you apart from your competitors? Wigman’s strives to help everyone who walks in the door, if we don’t have it we will
offer to order it for you. If we can’t get it for you most of the time we can tell you where to find it. Wigman’s does refer customers to other local businesses for the hard to find items, a perk coming from doing business in Mobile for such a long time.
How do you and your business go above and beyond? Wigman’s is a home town company. The love we have for this city, giving back through local ball teams, charitable contributions to worthy organizations and even lending a helpful had to individuals in need. Wigman’s isn’t just another company, we are a long time Mobile, Alabama company and proud to be so.
1623 Dauphin Island Parkway • 471-3138 • wigmanshardware.com • wigmansvesselsupply.com 74 mobilebaymag.com | july 2019
EXTRAS | CALENDAR OF EVENTS
July is heating up! JULY 10 VIEWING THE SUMMER SKY 7 - 9 p.m. Following a brief lecture in the Magnolia Room, guests will gather on the Great Lawn to view the night sky. Telescopes will be set up to view planets and constellations. Guests are encouraged to bring binoculars and flashlights. Free for members; $14 for non-members; $8 for kids 5 - 12; free for kids under 5. BELLINGRATH GARDENS AND HOME BELLINGRATH.ORG
JULY 12 - 13 BLUE MARLIN GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP Watch spectacular fish being weighed in on Friday and Saturday after a week’s worth of fishing festivities. THE WHARF BLUEMARLINGRANDCHAMPIONSHIP.COM
JULY 17 HORTICULTURE REFLECTIONS
JULY 2 WWI PHOTO EXHIBIT 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Step back in time and explore the role that Fort Morgan played in WWI. FORT MORGAN FORT-MORGAN.ORG
JULY 6 INDEPENDENCE DAY STREET PARTY AT THE WHARF 5 - 9 p.m. Enjoy fireworks and familyfriendly activities at The Wharf in honor of the Fourth of July. Admission is free. THE WHARF • ALWHARF.COM
Fireworks JULY 4 FAIRHOPE’S FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVAL AND FIREWORKS DISPLAY 7 p.m. The City of Fairhope invites one and all to the annual Fourth of July concert and fireworks display. HENRY GEORGE PARK AND FAIRHOPE MUNICIPAL PIER • FAIRHOPEAL.GOV
10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Join Executive Director Bill Barrick as he shares insights into his distinguished 40-year career in public garden management. Friday, July 19, will be Dr. Barrick’s last day of employment with Bellingrath Gardens and Home. Free for members; $14 for non-members; $8 for kids 5 - 12; free for kids 4 and younger. BELLINGRATH GARDENS AND HOME BELLINGRATH.ORG
JULY 19 - 21 ALABAMA DEEP SEA FISHING RODEO Compete with more than 3,000 anglers in more than 30 categories of fish. Don’t forget about the Liars’ Contest the Thursday night before the tournament. Also, take the kiddos out for the Roy Martin Young Anglers Tournament Saturday, July 13. DAUPHIN ISLAND ADSFR.COM
To have your event included in the online or print edition of Mobile Bay Magazine, email email@example.com. july 2019 | mobilebaymag.com 75
THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2
MARDI GRAS IN JULY 2 - 10 p.m. Let the good times roll! Mardi Gras flavored beer, such as Moon Pie Stout and King Cake, will be on tap and food trucks will be on site. All-day live music, including Blow House Brass Band and Petty for your Thoughts, will keep you moving.
SCIENCE FICTION, SCIENCE FUTURE Innovate and create through this hands-on exhibit full of robots and virtual realities. Admission: $4 - $17.
FAIRHOPE BREWING • FAIRHOPEBREWING.COM
THROUGH OCTOBER 26
CHEERS! A LOOK AT ALCOHOL-RELATED OBJECTS IN THE BELLINGRATH COLLECTION 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. According to those who knew her best, Bessie Morse Bellingrath “hated liquor worse than God hates sin.” And yet, her collection includes a wide variety of beautiful objects, including glass decanters, Sheffield wine coolers, a ceramic book disguising a liquor flask and assorted glassware. Join Museum Home Director Tom McGehee as he takes a look at these alcohol-related treasures from a teetotaler’s collection. BELLINGRATH GARDENS AND HOME BELLINGRATH.ORG
JULY 29 CHEERS TO CHILDREN 6 - 8:30 p.m. This benefit for the Child Advocacy Center will feature samplings of El Papi signature dishes and wines, along with a live and silent auction, and music by Harrison McInnis. Tickets: $35.
URBAN WILD: STREET AND FOLK ART IN THE SOUTH Embrace the creativity of the South through exhibits at both the Mobile Museum of Art and Alabama Contemporary Art Center. MOBILE MUSEUM OF ART ALABAMA CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER MOBILEMUSEUMOFART.COM
Check out some of these cool events going on all summer. CHRISTOPHER NITSCHE: LIMINAL SHIP II 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Christopher Nitsche creates sculptures, drawings and temporary installations that evoke the visual and metaphorical attributes of ships from hurricane wood debris. Tickets: adults, $12; seniors, $10; active military, $8; free for active military families through Labor Day as part of Blue Star Museums; students, $8; children under 6, free. MOBILE MUSEUM OF ART MOBILEMUSEUMOFART.COM
EL PAPI • CACMOBILE.ORG
JULY 31 CHRISTMAS IN JULY WORKSHOP 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Go behind the scenes of Bellingrath’s famous Magic Christmas in Lights show and learn how you can create your own magic. Guests may select a metal frame and learn how to attach lights to decorate the piece. All materials and a salad / sandwich lunch buffet are included in the cost. Reservations required. Tickets: $43 for members; $40 for members’ children ages 5 - 12; $56 for adult nonmembers; $48 for non-members ages 5 - 12. BELLINGRATH GARDENS AND HOME BELLINGRATH.ORG
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ALABAMA DEEP SEA FISHING RODEO
GULF COAST EXPLOREUM SCIENCE CENTER & IMAX THEATER • EXPLOREUM.COM
MOBILE SCAVENGER HUNT: PARADE THROUGH MOBILE 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Daily. Explore the city’s iconic buildings, great green spaces and Mardi Gras attractions. Tickets: $11. HISTORY MUSEUM OF MOBILE LETSROAM.COM
BIKE NIGHT 4 - 8 p.m. First Wednesday of every month. Drive or motorcycle around Downtown and enjoy beer, food, live music and a good time. Free. BOB’S DOWNTOWN CORNEROFFATANDHAPPY.COM
FAIRHOPE FIRST FRIDAY ARTWALK 6 - 8 p.m. Shop, dine, wine and explore downtown Fairhope on first Fridays. DOWNTOWN FAIRHOPE
DAPHNE FARMERS MARKET 2 - 6 p.m. Pick up local produce and arts and crafts in Daphne. THE CORNER OF MAIN STREET AND SANTA ROSA
MOBILE HAPPY HOUR WATERFRONT CRUISE Tu, Th. Enjoy cocktails aboard The Perdido Queen Paddlewheel among the sights and sounds of the city’s waterfront.
BIENVILLE BITES 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Taste signature Gulf Coast dishes from the best restaurants in Mobile. Walk the historic streets of the Lower Dauphin Street Historic District and hear the stories that have shaped our city’s history. Admission: $55.
1 WATER ST. PERDIDOQUEEN.COM
JULY PERFORMANCES See below for the best Port City stages have to offer.
ONGOING SUMMER CLASSIC MOVIE SERIES 3 p.m. Take a break from the summer heat with the Saenger’s signature summer film series. July 14: “Close Encounters of the Third Kind;” July 21, “A Star is Born;” July 28, “Dirty Dancing.” Tickets: adults, $6; children 12 and under and seniors, $3. MOBILE SAENGER THEATRE MOBILESAENGER.COM
JULY 5 RASCAL FLATTS 7:30 p.m. Sing along to some of the country band’s biggest hits. Tickets: $11 - $99. THE WHARF ALWHARF.COM
JULY 19 - 20 LUKE BRYAN 7 p.m. The country superstar and “American Idol” judge takes the stage. Tickets: $39 - $196. THE WHARF ALWHARF.COM
JULY 12 - 14, 19 - 21, 25 - 28 “DEAD ACCOUNTS” 7:30 p.m. F / Sa. 2:30 p.m. Su. This contemporary comedy addresses family issues. Tickets: $12 - $18. THEATRE 98 THEATRE98.ORG
JULY 26 - 28 “LOVE’S LABOR LOST” 7:30 p.m. F / Sa. 2 p.m. Su. Laugh along to one of Shakespeare’s comedies. Tickets: $15 - $20. MOBILE THEATRE GUILD MOBILETHEATREGUILD.ORG
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AUGUST 3 COMMEMORATION OF THE BATTLE OF MOBILE BAY 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Celebrate the historic Battle of Mobile Bay as Fort Morgan comes to life with reenactors. FORT MORGAN FORT-MORGAN.ORG
AUGUST 3 THE 155TH COMMEMORATION OF THE BATTLE OF MOBILE BAY 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Festivities honoring the Battle of Mobile Bay include demonstrations of military drills and training, as well as the firing of the cannons. FORT GAINES DAUPHINISLAND.ORG
AUGUST 6 FOUNDER’S DAY, MR. BELLINGRATH’S BIRTHDAY 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. In honor of Mr. Bellingrath’s birthday, admission to the gardens and home is free to Mobile and Baldwin County residents. BELLINGRATH GARDENS AND HOME BELLINGRATH.ORG
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BATTLE OF MOBILE BAY. PAINTING BY JULIUS O. DAVIDSON
AUGUST 9 - 25 “A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER” 7:30 p.m. F / Sa. 2 p.m. Su. This Tony award-wining play centers around a distant heir to a family fortune. CHICKASAW CIVIC THEATRE • CCTSHOWS.COM
AUGUST 16 - SEPTEMBER 1 “MATILDA” 7:30 p.m. F. 2 p.m. Su. Experience the classic children’s story from a new perspective. JOE JEFFERSON PLAYERS JOEJEFFERSONPLAYERS.COM
AUGUST 24 - 25 FORT MIMS REENACTMENT AND LIVING HISTORY 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Learn about the pivotal role Fort Mims played in the War of 1812. FORT MIMS • FORTMIMS.ORG
AUGUST 24 DAUPHIN STREET BEER FESTIVAL 6 p.m. Sample microbrews and imports from various local restaurants. DOWNTOWN MOBILE SPECIALEVENTSMOBILE.ORG
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PEOPLE | SPOTLIGHT
At Briarwood School for Girls Mobile native Michael Knight talks his latest novel — a story about ghosts, secrets and what it means to have a shared past.
interview by BRECK PAPPAS and NOAH HARRELSON
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions from the road while on book tour. The novel’s protagonist, Lenore Littlefield, is a student at an all-girls boarding school in Virginia. The details are wonderful — graffiti inside the dorm phone booth, modest teacher housing near campus. What aspects of Lenore’s experience were you able to draw from your own time as an undergrad at Hampden-Sydney College, an all-male Virginia school? There are a number of details in the novel borrowed not just from Hampden-Sydney but from single-gender schools all over the state. There’s the bell in the Briarwood quad, rung by the students at meal times and to signal the beginning and end of class and so forth — that’s taken directly from H-SC. And you’re right, that dorm phone booth is very much like the ones in the dorms and fraternity houses at H-SC. The school colors and the layout of campus are borrowed from Hollins University, where my sister went to school and where I taught for a year as a visiting writer, and the dell at Briarwood bears a resemblance to a dell at what used to be called Randolph-Macon Women’s College and, of course, the name of the school references Sweet Briar. Those are just the physical details. There’s also something about remov80 mobilebaymag.com | july 2019
ing the opposite sex from the social equation that changes the way you form friendships, and I think that’s true of Lenore’s experience at Briarwood and both my experience as a student at H-SC and observing the young women at Hollins University as a teacher. Disney’s real plan to build Disney’s America, a Virgina theme park dedicated to the history of the United States, would have coincided with your time as a student in Virginia. Were you aware of the proposed theme park at that time? The Disney’s America Project coincided with my first year in the MFA program at UVa, and the whole state was caught up in the controversy at the time. Looking back, it’s almost hard to believe, but the notion of Disney as the curator of American history for generations of young people was downright scandalous for a lot of people. Just like everybody else, I had plenty of opinions on the subject, but the truth is I’d mostly forgotten about it by the time I started working on the novel. What I wanted, quite simply, was to write a Virginia book. Almost all of my fiction is either set in south Alabama or feature protagonists from the area, but I went to college in Virginia and did my MFA in Virginia, and
I was a visiting writer at Hollins University before moving on to the University of Tennessee. This time in my life spans roughly a decade — from age 18 to 28 — big, essential, life-shaping years for me. Great years. I even met and married a Virginia girl. I wanted to write a book that investigated and did justice to my experience in Virginia. Given the nature of that experience, I figured that such a book would probably be set on a campus and be about academic life somehow. I’d been working on the novel on and off for about a year and was having a hard time getting the book off the ground when I had dinner with my godfather, Stillman Knight, and he reminded me about the Disney project. Almost right away, I began to suspect that the Disney project might provide an interesting backdrop for an academic novel, adding some texture and complexity and depth that my initial attempts were lacking. In this novel, the past figuratively (and in some cases literally) haunts the present. Why was the proposed theme park and the question it raised — how we should remember the past — such a good vehicle for exploring a place like Briarwood School for Girls? The initial connection between those two
things — the Disney theme park and this fictional boarding school — is pretty straightforward. We’re always haunted by the past on all sorts of levels, national and personal and everything in between. That’s not even a particularly original idea, though it is one that I’ve brooded over in fiction for a number of books and stories now because how we remember the past shapes who are as individuals, who we are as communities, who we are as a country and so on. This idea strikes me as particularly relevant to Briarwood School for Girls — and actual places like it — where there’s such a strong sense of tradition and such a vital connection to a shared past. The experience of a student at such a place in 1994, when the novel is set, was probably not so different than the experience of such a student in 1894, if that makes sense. If I might paraphrase a line from Faulkner, at a place like Briarwood School for Girls, the past is never dead. It’s not even past. We noticed that two characters, Coach Patricia Fink and reclusive writer Eugenia Marsh, both share the names of a St. Paul’s English teacher of yours, Patricia Marsh. Was this an homage to a former educator? I’m so glad you noticed! Neither of those characters bears much resemblance to the actual Patricia Marsh but those are definitely and deliberately references to her. She was a huge influence on me. I was not what you would call an ambitious student, but Ms. Marsh saw a measure of potential and dragged it out of me in her class. She was a force of nature, and she has that in common with Coach Fink. She was also an intriguingly eccentric and deeply thoughtful person, traits she shares with Eugenia Marsh. We love the book jacket, and, upon further inspection, discovered it was designed by your wife Jill. How fun was that collaboration? She’ll be thrilled to hear it. Jill is a talented artist and a professional designer, and she did
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PEOPLE | SPOTLIGHT
a magnificent job. The word collaboration is, however, a little strong. She did almost all of the heavy lifting. I had a vague notion for the cover, involving the school crest and Disney, and I described this to her as best I could, and then she went off and designed seven or eight covers, all very different, all very interesting, only a few of which bore a resemblance to my idea. She absolutely made it her own. Then we sent all of those covers to the publisher and, after some debate, we landed on the existing jacket. You should see the covers we didn’t use! I hated having to pick just one, but the final cover, for me, evokes the loveliness of old Disney animation without being simply pretty. There’s something a little dangerous about those thorns. I should add that I’m grateful to Grove Atlantic for giving me the freedom to approach the cover in this way. That is definitely not common practice in the publishing world.
Michael Knight teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee. He is the author of several works, including novels “The Typist” and “Divining Rod” as well as the short story collection “Eveningland.”
n his new novel “At Briarwood School for Girls,” Mobile’s own Michael Knight takes readers inside the life of Lenore Littlefield, a student at an all-girls boarding school in Virginia. As the book jacket explains, “She plays basketball. She hates her roommate. History is her favorite subject. She has told no one she’s pregnant.” When Disney announces its plans for a historical theme park just down the road, students and teachers are forced to grapple with what it means for the future — and how best to handle the past.
Excerpt from “At Briarwood School for Girls” Outside, snow glittered on the bare branches of the oaks and crusted the roofs of buildings like icing on a display of day old cakes. The ground was pocked with footprints, thousands and thousands of them, charting the progress of all the girls on campus from the dorms to the dining hall and from the dining hall to class and from class back to the dining hall for lunch. Lenore added her footprints to the multitude, the snow just deep enough to crumble into her saddle oxfords and wet her socks. She was halfway to the dining hall, when Mr. Bishop’s dog came bounding up beside her. The dog shimmied and wagged, a tennis ball in his mouth. She heard Mr. Bishop’s voice from up the hill. “Pickett,” he was shouting. “Here, boy.” Pickett did not heed his call. Instead, he sat on his haunches and dropped the ball at her feet.
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Mr. Bishop trotted over, his breath misting in the cold. “Sorry about that.” “No worries,” Lenore said. “I like dogs.” She tried to hand him the ball but he waved her off. “He wants you to throw it.” Pickett was swiping the ground with his tail, eyes fixed on Lenore. So she cocked her arm and let it fly. The ball sailed through the air and Pickett bolted after it, his black coat a perfect contrast with the snow. He fetched it up and brought it back, clearly pleased with himself. “Do you believe in ghosts, Mr. Bishop?” She could feel him staring at her, wondering about her. The thing about Mr. Bishop was, he wanted to teach you something.
That wasn’t always the case. Some teachers wanted to entertain or impress you, some wanted you to like them, some just wanted you to behave for an hour and move along. But Mr. Bishop believed what he said in class. He was almost too earnest. Even now, he was giving her question more consideration than it deserved. “I believe a place can be haunted,” he said, “if that’s what you mean. By the past or history or whatever. And people, too. People can be haunted. But if you mean actual spirits from the other side, then no, I don’t guess I do.” Lenore wiggled her toes inside her shoes. “Why do you ask?” he said. “Oh, you know the stories about Thornton Hall.” Mr. Bishop smiled. “Does this mean you’ve had a run in with Elizabeth Archer?” “I’m pregnant,” Lenore said. She hadn’t meant to tell him. She felt as startled by her revelation as Mr. Bishop looked and she had the strange sensation that she might suddenly float up off the ground, her heels lifting out of the snow and then her toes and she imagined gazing down on Mr. Bishop and his dog, a hovering ghost of herself. “You can’t tell anyone,” she said. “You have to promise.” “Lenore,” he said. “I’m serious, Mr. Bishop.” She heard him say, “Lenore, wait. Lenore. We’re not finished talking about this, Lenore,” repeating her name like an incantation, like it had some power over her but she was already leaving him behind. The dog padded after her for a few steps but Mr. Bishop called him back and this time he obeyed. MB
Excerpted from AT BRIARWOOD SCHOOL FOR GIRLS © 2019 by Michael Knight. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher, Atlantic Monthly Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. All rights reserved.
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HISTORY | ASK MCGEHEE
I understand the USS Drum had a celebration. What is its history? text by TOM MCGEHEE
ABOVE The USS Drum has been a popular attraction at Battleship Memorial Park for 50 years. It sat moored at the park until 1998. Despite surviving harrowing attacks during World War II, the sub was no match for hurricanes and, as a result, was moved to dry land. In June, the USS Drum Crewmen’s Association hosted a reunion and a 50th anniversary celebration.
On April 14, 1969, the USS Drum was donated to Battleship Memorial Park. Two years earlier, its service with the Naval Reserve in Washington, D.C., had ended, and it was designated surplus. With its future in doubt, members of the Battleship Commission made an offer, and it was accepted with the provision that the Drum be maintained to bring credit to the ship and the U.S. Navy. Roughly a month later, it was towed into Mobile Bay where it was met by the Jamelle, one of two official yachts owned by the Alabama State Docks. Among the yacht’s enthusiastic passengers were members of the Battleship Commission, as well as future governor Kay Ivey who, at the time, was an employee of Merchants National Bank. As the submarine was towed northward up Mobile Bay, it got stuck
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in the mud. The overzealous captain of the Jamelle decided to give the sub a push and, miraculously, it worked, although the bow of the 90-foot yacht was damaged in the process. Not surprisingly, the newspaper printed quite a different account and claimed a tugboat had done the work. As the submarine arrived, it was moored to the starboard side of the USS Alabama, with an estimated crowd of 500 to 800 looking on.
A Fish Called “Drum” The Drum is named for a freshwater fish, not a musical instrument. However, its official emblem features an octopus beating a drum and was designed by none other than Walt Disney. The sub was the first
in its class to be launched in 1941 and the first to enter combat in World War II. It would ultimately receive 12 battle stars for its service. While credited with sinking 15 enemy ships, the Drum experienced some close calls. It heroically survived a grueling 16-hour attack by depth charges, and on another occasion, it quickly submerged when spotted by enemy aircraft. In the rush, the captain left his mattress on the sub’s deck, and when it surfaced, the enemy pilots assumed the sub had been sunk and moved on.
Also Called “Pig Boat” The Drum has a length of 312 feet and carried a crew of seven officers and 65 enlisted men. Due to missions lasting as long as two months, provisions were housed in every available space aboard the Drum, including the only two showers. Between poor ventilation and the lack of showers, sailors fondly nicknamed their vessel a “pig boat.” There were many firsts for the Drum during World War II, and when it arrived in Mobile, it became the first American submarine to be placed on public view. Nature has taken its toll over the years, however. Hurricane storm surges led to moving the Drum to dry land in 1998 using a specially dug canal. Salt water has also taken a toll on its hull, and submarine veterans have volunteered to help make necessary repairs over the years. Now in place for half a century, the Drum is a well-established component of Battleship Memorial Park. Both it and the USS Alabama have been designated as National Historic Landmarks. MB
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END PIECE | IN LIVING COLOR
Star Fish and Oyster Company, 1920 Original photo from the Erik Overbey Collection, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of South Alabama â€˘ Colorization by Dynamichrome Limited
Workers unload a bountiful catch onto the docks of Star Fish and Oyster Co., which was located at the foot of Canal Street, just south of the current cruise terminal. By 1946, the company was the largest shipper of snapper and grouper on the Gulf Coast. Do you recognize any of these fishermen? Let us know! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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