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Spring / Summer 2011

Garden DĂŠcor ‘Perfect’ Jeans 9 Tips For Saving Money


50 new things :LY]PJL :H]PUNZ :H[PZ *

Downtown ‹



 (*past five years) 


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meet our staff Publisher Samuel P. Martin Editor Wanda Lloyd Writers Teri Greene Jill Nolin photographers Julie Bennett David Bundy Lloyd Gallman Amanda Sowards Mickey Welsh Contributing writers Deborah Hayes Moore Cecelia Hanley Robyn Bradley Litchfield Paul Sullivan Design director Holly Calloway Advertising sales manager Tina St. Clair To reserve advertising space in the next issue call (334) 261-1553 Published by Custom Publications Design Division of Advertiser Media Group 425 Molton Street P.O. Box 1000 Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 261-1553

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The information in this magazine is gathered and compiled in a way to ensure maximum accuracy. Custom Publication Design cannot, and does not guarantee the correctness of all information furnished, nor the complete absence of errors or omissions; hence, no responsibility for same can be, nor is assumed. In the event of error or omission for paid services of this magazine, the liability shall be limited to a pro rata abatement of the charge paid to Custom Publication Design, but in no event shall such liability exceed the amount payable to Custom Publication Design. ©2011 Custom Publication Design Division of The Advertiser Media Group. All Rights Reserved.



in this issue


From the editor................................................7


No. 1 Issu

e 1 t Win

ter 2011

Accessorize your garden space.......................8

Finding the perfect jeans............................. 16 How to manage your money...................... 21 50 new things in downtown....................... 22 Women in business...................................... 33 Social Scene................................................... 38 Calendar of events....................................... 62

50 new th ings Do

wntown* *

past 5 year s

On The Co Alley Bar ver - Olivia Cram . Photo b er works y David B in the ice undy bar at the

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our new publication Welcome to the inaugural issue of MGM Magazine, a publication about lifestyle and fun things to do in the capital city. We plan to present stories about local culture each quarter with a presentation that may please the reading palate of men and women who are movers and shakers in Montgomery as well as those who enjoy the city’s finer things. How many times have you visited a city like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago or New York City and you spent a lot of time enjoying restaurants, taking in a concert or walking around to see the historic sites? And if you have run into people from those cities and asked them about some of the same places you visited, many may say they’ve never enjoyed the same amenities in their own hometowns. Perhaps the same thing is happening in Montgomery. When was the last time you’ve been downtown for dinner, a concert, a festival or to take in some history? It’s a scene played out day after day by visitors to the capi-

tol city – people who come to Montgomery for conventions, business meetings or vacation tours. Many who live in the River Region may think they’ve seen it all in Montgomery, but if you haven’t been downtown lately for anything besides commuting to work, you’ve missed a lot. To kick off the first issue, we asked reporter Jill Nolin to find all the “new” features that make downtown Montgomery unique and fun -- sites and situations that didn’t exist five years ago. She didn’t come back with a dozen ideas, not even a couple of dozen, but 50 new things in downtown. Her article includes photos of many of the featured items. After going through the 50 items, we hope you’ll check off all that you have already enjoyed, and make plans to discover many that may be “new” to you. - The editor

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accessorize garden space Art, lighting, containers dress up garden space

By Cecelia Hanley

No one says dirt has to be drab. From fountains, to bird baths and statuary, there are countless ways to make a garden glamorous. But take a step back before diving in, gardening experts caution. Gardeners should take stock of their space. How big is the yard? Is the soil mostly clay? Or is your garden space the balcony at your apartment or condominium? “You need to talk to someone knowledgeable in the area, someone locally. HGTV doesn’t do a good job (locally),” says Sonny Hodges, manager at Southern Homes & Gardens Landscaping in Montgomery. Hodges says the soil in Alabama is different than other regions of the country, so plants will grow here that you won’t see on television. Photos by Amanda Sowards, taken at Green Thumb Nursery and Southern Homes & Gardens.

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But more than plants and flowers go into a garden. According to the National Gardening Association, 10 percent of households purchase garden accessories, whether they are something as simple as a birdhouse or weathervane, or as complex as tiered fountains. Decorating a garden personalizes the space. Bruce Butterfield, market research director of the National Gardening Association, suggests treating the garden as another room of your home. Plan or sketch out how the garden should look, and most of all consider the climate, Butterfield says.

Size matters with art, fountains

When displaying a piece of art, such as a statue or a sculpture, don’t hide or try to wedge it into your garden -- its size will make it a focal point. The same rules that apply to interior decorating apply to decorating outdoors -- except weather is a factor. The piece should be durable. “Speaking in terms of an art object, it will be focal point and will weather nicely, forming a nice patina,” says Marcia Weber, who has owned Marcia Weber Art Objects in Montgomery for 20 years. In Weber’s own garden, she displays a one-of-a-kind birdbath. “Not several days go by that birds don’t bathe in it, and it’s a work of art,” she says. Garden art and flowers should complement each other. Southern Homes & Gardens advertising coordinator Phil Easter says many pieces of garden art will have single or darker tones, and brighter flowers and shrubbery such as dwarf euonymus, dwarf gardenias or dwarf nandina can accent, not obscure the piece. Marcia Weber Art Objects sells a few pieces of outdoor art by Georgia artist Mike Esslinger. The pieces range in price from $295 for birdbaths, to larger pieces, such as a weathervane that is 15 feet tall and costs $695. Of course, small statuary is available at many nurseries, garden and big-box stores, but exercise restraint when buying a mushroom, fairy or a woodland creature. A few rabbits on display is fine, but too many makes the colony seem as if they hopped right out of a Hitchcock film. “People don’t buy one, they buy 200,” says Hodges. “Small garden statuary is difficult to use with taste. If you’ve got 30 in your front yard - it’s overkill.” To use small statuary correctly, less is more, and shouldn’t be the main focus of your garden. The small statuary should be submerged in the landscape, blending in and set down low, says Hodges. The woodland creature should look as if it lives in the garden, not infesting it. Fountains, however, don’t require a minimalist approach. To get that relaxing sound, Easter suggests the fountain pump should have a little extra “oomph” to move the water, as well as a bit of cascade to create a relaxing sound. Fountains are popular in Montgomery because of the warmer climate. Residents can sit outside and hear the re-

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Resources for garden


• Gardeners Supply Company 1-800-876-5520, • Harwell’s Green Thumb Nursery 4211 Troy Highway, Montgomery 288-1410, Hours: Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, closed • Marcia Weber Art Objects 1050 Woodley Rd., Montgomery 262-5349, • National Gardening Association 802-863-5251, • Southern Homes & Gardens 8820 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, 387-0440 3561 Wetumpka Highway, Montgomery, 277- 6746 Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, closed

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laxing cascading of water for most of the year. “What we’re finding in our stores is that they want the sound of water, which tells me that you have to put the fountain close to where you’re spending time,” Easter said.

Shop carefully for lighting

Spending time in the garden isn’t just for daylight hours. A lighting plan should be included in initial garden sketches. The plan should include displays, art and pathways. “If you’re treating the garden like decorating a room in your house, think in terms of having some lighting out there,” Butterfield says. “Have it blend and complement the style of your home.” Many garden stores and some of the big-box stores sell solar lights, which don’t require cords to be connected to a power source. Solar lights absorb the sun’s rays and turn on when the sun goes down. They should be placed in direct sunlight for the best functionality. But shop carefully. Some solar lights may not have the power to fully illuminate a path or a part of the garden. “I’ve seen some of it be very successful, some of it’s wimpy,” Easter says. I know they’re making improvements. If I want to do put it along the walkway, I want it to actually light the walkway.”

Containers dress up space

Garden containers and urns offer a simple way to dress up a garden or an outdoor space. Butterfield says contain-

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er gardening is popular because they’re portable, swapping out the contents is easy and they can reflect the style of an individual. Easter agrees. “An urn can be simple, terra cotta with no moldings or accent, or it can be one of the metals, or one of the glazed ceramics that would add a lot of color,” Easter says. But as with any decorating task, gardeners should consider the function. Containers are made of materials ranging from plastic to glazed pots, but what material is best suited for a gardener’s purpose depends on the taste of the gardener, the purpose of the container and how long the gardener wants the container to last, explains Will Harwell, of Harwell’s Green Thumb Nursery. “People are using containers instead of the ground due to space or because they can reach them easier (than in ground gardens) or they have bad drainage (in their yard),” Harwell says. A glazed pot might decorate a front stoop or a patio better than a terra cotta pot -- if that’s what the house and gardener’s style calls for. If you’re still not sure how to design your garden, take inspiration from your neighbors’ yards. “Walk through your neighborhood, look at plants, surfaces and garden material,” Hodges says. “That really doesn’t cost anything but time.” ■

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in search of perfect jeans By Teri Greene

There was a time when women of a certain age – let’s say older than 35 – had three options when it came to wearing jeans. One, they could throw out the notion of wearing denim altogether (taking the advice of their grandmothers.) Another option – “mom jeans,” those horrid, high-sitting, pleated elasticwaist pants that became a joke after a viral video parody on “Saturday Night Live.” Or they could raid their daughters’ favorite hip boutiques – or even their closets – for some Juicy Couture or other low-slung styles custom crafted for the 18-year-old’s super-skinny physique, which, after one look in the mirror were decidedly just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Luckily a company called DISH has created a jean line called DESI.

Left: Desi Jeans “Feel the Fit”

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A flattering fit?

DESI Creative Director Donald Johannesson said he became aware of that elusive, even mythological fashion item — the perfect, flattering, hip, stylish jean for the not-so perfect body — after hearing complaints from 30-something and middle-aged female friends. He found that even the most avid over-30 fitness buff knew all too well that gravity and time are unstoppable forces, but that fact should not keep them from nabbing the ultimate pair of dream jeans — curve-hugging, stomach-flattening, butt-lifting, non-sagging. It was a tall order, but Johannesson believed he was up to the challenge. He said DESI jeans, which come in the usual variety of styles such as Capris, boot-leg, flare, straight-leg and skinny, are designed around a “no bag/no sag” philosophy. So, just how is this possible? We asked the Vancouver, B.C.-based Johannesson in a recent phone interview with MGM. It turns out the whole process is very high-tech. With an extremely appealing name— “Lipoconstruction.” “It is manipulated by the fabric and the placement of pockets. It’s called T-400 fiber, and it is not common in the market. It is something that started only in the last couple of years,” Johannesson said. We’re all familiar with Lycra, the essential element in stretch jeans; but anyone who’s worn stretch jeans knows that after mere hours of wear, that sleek fit has lost its shape and can be a baggy mess. That’s where DESI tech swoops in and saves the day. Johannesson said that bag-and-sag element is the result of Lycra absorbing heat from the body – when it warms up, it expands, and your jeans “grow.”

Tech For tush and tummy

With the new jeans, Lycra is spun with a special blend of polyester – the T-400 fiber – that counteracts that gradual sag effect while maintaining the comfort and ease of fit. The Lycra works with the polyester to give – and keep – its “memory,” he said. The polyester also means the jeans are easy-care. Yet they still look trendy and fashion-forward, he said, crafted by denim makers in denim mills, using the same weave size and indigo dye used in your favorite pairs of jeans from years past. According to the company, DESI jeans can trim an inch to an inch-and-a-half from the tummy area because of the fabric and the sewn-in front pockets. In the back, the construction as well as the placement and size of the back pockets “gives you a butt lift without the pain,” Johannesson said. “You want the bottom of the pocket to hit where the bum starts to hit the back of the thigh. It’s also the angle – the

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DESI Jeans offer styles for a wide range of body shapes: • The Curvy Fit in regular rise (Sophia) is for the hourglass shape, adding length to the torso and giving the illusion of extra height. • The inverted triangular shape benefits with the Curvy Fit in mid-rise (Barbra) providing a smooth curve from the waist to the hip. • The triangle shape in the Tailored Fit in midrise (Faye) trims away any excess fabric and makes the hips more balanced to the shoulders. • The Tailored Fit in regular rise (Katharine) is for the rectangular shape. It keeps the hipline trim and perfectly balanced to the shoulders. • The slim rectangle shape can wear the Trim Fit mid-rise (Maggie) which keeps the hips and thighs narrow without being constricting and making the torso appear longer and thinner. • Another choice for the slim rectangle shape is a tailored fit in low-rise (Julie), which gives the waist importance by shortening the distance between the lowered waist and hip.


To Buy

DESI jeans are available locally at these boutiques: Elaine’s, Inc., 60 Plantation Way, Montgomery, 334-270-1757 or 800-811-3742 Studio South, 755 Ohio Ferro Alloys Rd. in Mt. Meigs, 334-215-0507

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most attractive angle of the pocket is parallel to the back waist.”

a new niche

It’s new science and new design, but making perfect jeans for not-so-perfect bodies shouldn’t be a novelty, Johannesson said. He believes that for modern women, it’s a necessity. “We always remind ourselves that all women are not created equally,” he said. “Women have been putting up with, ‘I’ll just squeeze into these,’ and in the contemporary market, it was easy to get away with that excuse, that women are willing to experience a little pain to fit into a pair of jeans. “But by the time a woman has reached her 40’s and 50’s, she’s had it with that. Now, at last, she’s become so vocal. These are the women who started jeans for women as a trend, but as they aged they were not able to buy jeans for themselves,” he said. “Fortunately, they are letting manufacturers know, ‘If I don’t like something, I’m not going to buy it.’” Women won’t have to shovel out exorbitant amounts for the jeans – prices range from $87 to $125 per pair. “Our slogan is, ‘Premium quality jeans at sensibly affordable prices,” Johannesson said. The DISH company, which also has a line that caters to the 18-35-year-old crowd, calls DESI’s developing niche “contemporissy,” merging the hip, trendy components you’ll find in the juniors department with the comfy fit women seek in the Missy section. DESI, Johannesson said, “is DISH’s older sister, her mother, her aunt. People are waking up to the fact that there’s a market out there, and this woman will not settle for anything less.” ■

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living frugal - 9 tips for simple savings From “The Little Book of Living Frugal” by Dr. Charlotte Gorman 1. If you are looking for a used car, sible. Heating water costs money. why not visit car rental agencies? Nor- 6. If your grocery store has sold out mally, their cars have been regularly serviced and properly maintained for customer use, which could save you money on repairs and time at the repair shop. 2. Limit the purchase of clothes with frilly lace or other trimmings that may wear out before the rest of the garment. 3. Turn off the gas pilot light during the summer. 4. Use Kitchen and bathroom ventilating fans sparingly during cold weather. In just one hour, these fans can blow away a houseful of heated or cooled air. 5. Cold water is usually cheaper than hot water. Make an effort to use water from the old water tap for doing as many of your household tasks as pos-

of the “advertised special,” that enticed you to the store in the first place, ask the manager if a comparable item an be substituted, and if not, ask for a rain check. 7. Grocery shop alone. Spouses, roommates and especially children may influence you to buy more items. 8. Use a soaker hose rather than a sprinkler for watering plants. Less water is required when a soaker hose is used because the water is concentrated on the soil nearer the roots and there is less evaporation. 9. Remove unnecessary weight from the trunk of your car. An extra 100 pounds decreases fuel economy by about 1 percent for the average car. ■


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new things downtown *

By Jill Nolin Photos By Lloyd Gallman, Amanda Sowards, David Bundy and Mickey Welsh

It’s becoming a common refrain among city officials: If you haven’t been to Montgomery lately, you haven’t been to Montgomery. Especially in the last five years. But what does that mean exactly? The most dynamic area of the city’s renaissance has been downtown, where revitalization started slowly a few years ago on the riverfront and is now growing with rapid-fire speed. And this, despite the economic downturn of the past few years. If you haven’t been downtown lately for entertainment, enlightenment or enjoyment, or you just don’t know where to start, MGM Magazine has put together a list of 50 things that were not downtown just five years, in many cases not even two or three years ago. Who knows? With the pace of growth and change in Montgomery’s downtown, we may need to come up with another list five years from now.

*past 5 years MGM Magazine  23

1. A water tower – on a sidewalk!

Water towers are certainly nothing new to downtown Montgomery. Used as actual water storage tanks many years ago, the rustic metal structures are rather commonplace. Others can be seen atop several buildings. But city officials mixed things up, and miffed historic preservationists in the process when one of the water towers was put at the entrance of Alley Station. The decision prompted a controversy centering around the historic “appropriateness” of a water tower straddling a sidewalk (not very). Almost two years later, the water tower still stands on the ground and has become an iconic, grand entrance for Montgomery’s evolving downtown entertainment district.

2. Pedicabs

It’s half-carriage, half-bicycle, and it will save you from enduring the long walk to your car after a Montgomery Biscuits game. The Montgomery Pedicab Company, which was started by two 20-something young professionals, began offering its “urban transportation” services last year. The rides, which are free (tipping is encouraged), offer a different way of getting around. Founders Andrew Cole-Tyson and Clay McInnis hope the service will encourage people in the community to use their own bicycles as transportation when possible.


3. Montgomery Police Department River Destrict

The Montgomery Police Department River District Office is now at the Alley Station. Thank goodness we have the protection of Montgomery’s finest.

4. Food! Options!

Five years ago, the dining-out possibilities in downtown were -- at best -- limited. Now the hungry masses have more options. All within the last three years, Dreamland Bar-BCue, SaZa’s Serious Italian Food, Wintzell’s Oyster House, The House, Baumhower’s, Smoothies and Things and Bama Bistro have all opened restaurants in downtown, giving folks choices when it comes to spending their dining dollars. Chick-fil-A also recently opened a cafeteria-style store in the RSA Tower for those looking for a quick bite. A deli is also slated to open in Alley Station in February. When it comes to finding delicious sustenance in downtown, the menu has grown – and is growing.

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5. A renewed interest in business activity

Five years ago, downtown Montgomery still looked like the place businesses started to abandon during the 1960s and 1970s. And although parts of downtown still suffer from that type of neglect, the business scene in downtown isn’t the sad story it once was. Over the last couple of years, white-collar businesses have started making a move back to downtown.


Business activity in general has also picked up, with a new Downtown Business Association forming last year.

Hook’s Boat and Waverunner Rentals, which rents wave runners and pontoon boats on the riverfront.

6. Cobblestones at the restored Court Square

10. Three parking decks

Drive carefully, but enjoy the view of the stones around the fountain.

7. Klein & Son clock

This well-known downtown landmark left its celebrated spot in 1986 for a 23-year stint in front of the Klein & Sons location on Zelda Road. When it returned to downtown a year ago, many people who remembered the vibrant downtown of their youth saw it as a symbolic signal of a return to a bustling Dexter Avenue. Time will tell if that will be the case.

8. Way-finding

Signage for tourist destinations

9. Street vendors

It’s not an ordinance that many people take advantage of, but the city has designated a significant portion of downtown as a “vending district.” So far, Montgomery has two street vendors: the hot dog stand, Dave’s Dog House, that is usually located on Tallapoosa Street (across from the Renaissance Hotel, Spa and Convention Center) and Captain

The city has added 937 spaces to the its public parking inventory in just the last three years. The intermodal parking deck on Molton Street opened in 2007, and the decks on Coosa Street and Washington Avenue both opened in 2009. You may have to walk a few blocks and pay a few dollars, but there is definitely a place for you to park now.

11. A master plan

The city of Montgomery contracted with Dover Kohl & Partners in 2007 to create the master plan that guides many of decisions made today.

12. Urban farm

With a groundbreaking ceremony held in November, work on an urban farm is underway near Overlook Park and the riverfront. The non-profit Hampstead Institute partnered with the City of Montgomery to raise funds for the project, which is intended to promote healthy living in the city. The farm will also include an educational children’s area named the Ken Groves Memorial Children’s Garden in memory of the city’s late planning director who conceived the idea for the farm. Plans include community plots and a market stand to sell fresh produce.

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7 7 13. Trees – lots of them

Sure, there were trees downtown five years ago, but you would not have found what planners call “street trees.” The city has planted 1,573 trees in downtown in the last five years (as of late December). Most notable for its arbors are Bibb, Commerce, Monroe and Tallapoosa streets. “That is a lot of hardscape that has been replaced with greenscape,” says Montgomery’s urban forester, Russell Stringer.

14. Bicycle cops 15. Alley Station

Five years ago, the Alley Station entrance on Commerce Street was the wall of a building, and the Tallapoosa Street entrance was literally an alley -- a dirty, uninviting one. Since then, the city has cut through a building on Commerce to create the L-shaped Alley Station. The city also paid for improvements to that creepy alleyway, pulling up old railroad tracks and putting down handsome pavers. All said, the city invested a little more than $1 million in the infrastructure improvements and then watched as businesses started to open up in the formerly abandoned buildings.

16. Glimpse of renewal for lower Dexter Avenue

After being mostly abandoned for decades, the lower part

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of Dexter Avenue is poised for large-scale redevelopment. At year’s end, city officials were negotiating with developers who expressed formal interest in redeveloping some of the dozen or so properties that the city purchased in 2010. Each project is likely to include a mixed-use approach. That could mean that, in the next two years there may be anything from retail stores, restaurants, exhibition spaces, residences, bars and offices on the now mostly deserted block. Five years ago, this would have been a laughable effort. Now, emboldened by the success at Alley Station, the city and developers seem primed for the challenge.

ports and Bodega de Mendoza. Attendees had more than 150 wines to choose from.

20. Half-Marathon

Two years ago, the city established the first long-distance running event in Montgomery. With Hyundai as a lead sponsor, the city has drawn thousands -- many from out of town -- to the starting line for the half-marathon racing

17. Maxwell Boulevard

The former Bell Street, which connects downtown to Maxwell Air Force Base, was renamed to Maxwell Boulevard in 2010 to pay homage to the military installation that has been a major part of the city for a century.

18. Horse-drawn carriage

Want to see downtown from a different perspective? Catch a ride in a horse-drawn carriage through Capitol City Carriage Service, which also offers rides at EastChase.

19. Wine festival

The inaugural Riverwalk Wine Festival on the riverfront was held last year. There were 11 different wineries from across the country, including Alabama Crown, Pinnacle Im-


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15 event. The route starts and ends in downtown, with the rest of the course winding through neighborhoods. The event has grown with the number of runners nearly doubling in the second year. Could a full marathon be next?

21. More rental spaces for private events

Looking for a facility with character and ambiance for a private soiree? You won’t have trouble finding a classy spot in downtown these days. Even aside from spaces at hotels those are available too, though - other venues have opened in downtown that would be an enchanting space for special events. 129 Coosa at the Alley Station block opened first in 2008, and others are following suit.

22. Wi-Fi

Throughout most of the city’s history, Court Square has been where the pulse of Montgomery could be most keenly felt. Now it’s where you can get a Wi-Fi signal. Downtown Wi-Fi hot spots are City Hall and the Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library.

23. $10 parking tickets

Nothing quite says downtown maturity like growing costs associated with parking. While bigger cities are known

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for scarce parking spots and a pricey penance for staying too long, Montgomery has had its relatively unsubstantial $4 fine and 25-cents-per-hour street rate. In 2009, the city bumped the fine up to $10 and the rate up to 50-cents-anhour. Maybe walking a few blocks to and from a parking deck isn’t so bad after all ...

24. Acorn-shaped pedestrian light fixtures Look up and enjoy them.

25. Intermodal transportation center

In 2007, the city opened its new transportation hub on Molton Street, giving public bus patrons a large, indoor, airconditioned waiting area with televisions. The intermodal also has a parking deck, space for public meetings and office space for city staff.

26. Effort to redevelop Three Points neighborhood

Once a thriving neighborhood, what has become known as Three Points has been a distressed area of town since Interstate 65 plowed through decades ago. The city’s intention is to change that and transform the community into a place where tourists will want to visit (the last leg of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail goes through the neighborhood). In the last year dozens of properties in

the area were acquired through a public-private partnership. City officials and members of the developing company, the Five Star Consortium, are modeling the project after what was done to redevelop the Sweet Auburn neighborhood in Atlanta.

27. Bass Anglers Sports Society (BASS) 28. A fire/rescue boat

With increased activity on the Alabama River in downtown, the city purchased a fire/rescue boat so first responders will be able to get to any mishaps on the water.


29. Entertainment District

Pub crawls became popular downtown last year, but it also made local officials aware of a law that put a limit on the partying. Pub crawl participants, who pay money for an armband, could drink at each location but were restricted from walking around with open containers. Now, after the Alabama Legislature made downtown an official “entertainment district,” partygoers in downtown can buy a drink at one bar and walk around downtown with it.

30. Entertainment Express

To help imbibers get home safely, the city started a trolley route called the Entertainment Express that serves Old Cloverdale and Maxwell Air Force Base (the latter has been the more popular route). Riders pay $1, and the trolleys run from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m.

31. Observation tower & pedestrian bridge on the riverfront

To get there, go through the parking deck at the Intermodal facility on Molton Street near the Alabama River.

32. Living space

Several residential options, from traditional apartments to lofts, have become available over the last few years, but reportedly not enough to satisfy demand. Look for more residential spaces to open downtown as the “city center” becomes the new hip place to live in Montgomery.

33. A popular night life 34. Conversion to two-way streets

The one-way streets in downtown may help traffic flow smoothly, but city officials say they make the traffic flow too quickly. The process of de-one-waying the streets in down-


33 MGM Magazine  29

town started a few years ago and will gradually continue in phases as money is available. The intention is to slow down the traffic and make downtown more pedestrian friendly.


35. Harriott II riverboat 36. Roundabouts More traffic control.

37. The RSA judicial building

The latest RSA addition to downtown, a 12-story office complex is actually being built above and around the old Alabama Supreme Court building. Historic preservationists bitterly fought the project because of the significant alterations made to the building, but RSA representatives argued that the finished product would actually preserve parts of the historic structure -- paying tribute to the past and looking to the future.

38. The Renaissance Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center

Arguably the most significant change to downtown over the last five years, the Renaissance symbolizes downtown Montgomery’s resurgence (along with Riverwalk Stadium, which opened for the Biscuits first season in 2004). When the Renaissance opened in 2008, it changed the climate of downtown and brought with it a new energy (and a nighttime light show). Thousands of people now come to Montgomery each year because of conventions and special events associated with the Renaissance.

39. Montgomery Performing Arts Center

Deserving of its own recognition, the Montgomery Performing Arts Center (fondly known as MPAC) is located within the Renaissance Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center but has brought dozens of stars and acts who might not have been in the River Region otherwise. Some of the big names that have performed there include Lyle Lovett, Peter Frampton, Cedric “The Entertainer” and Jamey Johnson – and that’s just from 2010.

40. The smell of barbecue

Drive along Tallapoosa Street and try – just try -- to ignore the sweet smell of barbecue coming from Dreamland Bar-B-Cue, which opened across from Riverwalk Stadium in 2010. They say “Ain’t nothing like ‘em ... nowhere.”

41. Outdoor movies at the Ampitheater 30  MGM Magazine


42. A roof-top garden (at Alley Station) 43. Underground utilities and streetscaping on Commerce Street 44. SmartCode zoning


This zoning, which applies to all of downtown, is what makes mixed-use developments possible. Prior to the City Council requiring mandatory SmartCode zoning in 2006, the existing buildings in downtown could only have one purpose. Now, retail, offices and residences can coexist. This type of zoning is intended to create walkable communities that foster the sense of community that existed before the rise of the automobile.

45. Dragon boat race

The Montgomery Dragon Boat Race and Festival in August is a fun event presented by two local nonprofit organizations to raise public awareness and financial support for their unique programs.

46. New government buildings

Several buildings in downtown have been reclaimed and turned into government buildings. Montgomery County has moved into the old Montgomery Advertiser building


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on Washington Avenue. The city of Montgomery moved several of its departments into 25 Washington Ave. The Montgomery Water Works expanded into a building on Coosa Street. The Montgomery Housing Authority is in the process of moving to South Lawrence Street.

47. Diversity

The most diverse social spot in Montgomery has become the city’s downtown. People from all walks of life and with different backgrounds can be seen eating out or having a drink in the area. Many people from out of town are also often out and about while visiting, adding another layer of depth to the city’s social scene.

48. Dauber Gallery

The Dauber Gallery in Alley Station features the fine art photography of Mark Dauber and paintings by Margaret Dauber. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday.

49. High gravity/craft beer

Because of a state law that passed a year or so ago, high gravity and craft beer can be sold in Alabama. Several establishments downtown have taken advantage of that new privilege. Available at the Alley Bar and Dreamland

50. People, after 5 p.m.

Five years ago, downtown dissolved into a wasteland after 5 p.m. each day. Workers would get in their vehicles and leave downtown until their return the following morning. Now, 5 p.m. is just the beginning of a shift change, as people start to fill the restaurants and bars. ■

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women taking care of business By Paul Sullivan

Women represent more than onethird of people involved in entrepreneurial activity, according to a report by SCORE, a resource for small business tools. Women-owned firms accounted for 6.5 percent of total employment in U.S. firms in 2002 and 4.2 percent of total revenue, based on U.S. Census data. The number of women-owned firms continues to grow at twice the rate of all U.S. firms (23 percent vs. 9 percent). The greatest challenge for

women-owned firms is access to capital, credit and equity. Women start businesses for both lifestyle and financial reasons. Women often run businesses from home to keep overhead low. Who are some of the Montgomery area’s trailblazing women who run businesses? Here is a look at four local women who lead companies that range from large enterprises with multiple locations to a small motherdaughter operation.

Clare Weil

Clare Weil admits she is an optimist. That character trait spurred her to open a UPS store in Prattville in the midst of an economic downturn. Adding a new location, situated in east Prattville next to McAlister’s Deli, also meant that the Huntingdon College graduate would be operating a total of four stores stretching from the Chantilly Parkway area in east Montgomery to Prattville. But the toughness of the task didn’t deter Weil, despite the challenging economic environment.

Clare Weil owns 4 local UPS Stores. (Julie Bennett)

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“I have a big helping of optimism,” Weil said. “There may be a recession out there, but I don’t plan to participate. We have services, and people need those services.” The UPS store, which is located at 2751 Legends Parkway near McAlister’s and in front of Target, specializes in custom packaging and shipping. In the 12 years that Weil has been in the business, she has packed mounted deer heads, dried cotton stalks, and shipped live magnolia Christmas wreathes. She has shipped art work including such expensive works as paintings by Picasso and sculptures made of glass and papier-mâché, and she has shipped pies, cookies, and even a complete Thanksgiving dinner. “I have shipped grits all over the world,” Weil said. “Some areas of this country don’t know what grits are, let alone sell them, so we ship them for customers. Another popular holiday item is Conecuh County sausage.” The UPS Store also ships large items, such as dressers, wardrobes, and desks. Deciding to take her we-ship-it-all attitude to Prattville was not a decision she made hastily. Weil pondered the expansion for a year. “I scoped it out,” Weil said, adding that she would watch the traffic flow in the new Prattville Town Center, as well as the number of people walking in the area.

Amy Michaels runs Mickleboro’s in Festival Plaza. (David Bundy)

“It’s a huge investment, you have to think about it,” Weil said. “I thought the time was right. It’s a great community.” And the assessment by the mother of two was on target. “People come in and say we are so glad you are here,” Weil said. “It has taken off quickly and has the potential to be my No. 1 store.” Diana Lacey, Weil’s daughter, manages the Prattville location, which is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


* Handbags * Shoes * *Women’s Costume Jewelry* * Brooches * Hair Accessories* and much more... 5325 Young Barn Rd. Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-213-1272 Fax: 3345-213-1273 Email:

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More than 120 years ago, Mickleboro’s opened in Marion under the watchful eye of John Connor “FaFa” Mickleboro. In 1978, his granddaughter, Jane Carter Michaels, would open a jewelry store under the same name in Old Town Shopping Center along McGehee Road in Montgomery. Now the fourth-generation owner, Amy Michaels, shows the same drive and enthusiasm for the field that her greatgrandfather must have possessed to open the first store in 1890. “It’s an exciting business,” Amy Michaels said. “We get to know customers on such a personal level. We enjoy them.” Amy Michaels joined the family business in 1982 to help her mother. That decision brought the fourth generation into the jewelry trade. And she was quick to ground herself in the industry. Before coming to work, she went to California to study and graduate from the Gemological Institute of America. The six-month course in Santa Monica earned her a Gemologist in Residence Degree. Since then, she has added the title of Certified Gemologist with the American Gem Society, and earned a Fellow diploma from the Gemological Association of Great Britain.

Amy Michaels explains that her pursuit of knowledge is one way to help Mickleboro’s grow. “I try to be the best I can be to offer the best to our customers,” she said. To better serve her clients, she also moved the family store about six years ago to Festival Plaza Shopping Center along Vaughn Road in east Montgomery. There, on the eastern edge of the shopping center, Mickleboro’s offers leading designer lines of jewelry, a bridal registry, custom jewelry design and other services. She also has put in some more affordable jewelry, below $100, to appeal to more customers.

Erica Clark and Earline Clark

The mother-and-daughter team that runs a floral and gift shop on Forest Avenue in Montgomery know one sure way to keep family relations in harmony. Like good role players on a championship squad, each remains in her respective field of expertise. Earline Clark, the mother and a retired educator, is the veteran floral designer and arranger. Her daughter, Erica Clark, handles customer relations and the business side of the enterprise that is located about two blocks south of Jackson Hospital. The arrangement has served both well as E and E House of Flowers and Boutique is now more than four years in business. Like so many small ventures, the business began in the home until demand forced a transition from home shows to a storefront. “We realized from the showings that people loved our floral arrangements,” Erica Clark said. With their decision to open, the Stillman College graduates also are establishing a family tradition. Earline Clark said a member of the family also runs the Jackson Floral Shop near the Choctaw County town of Butler. For her part, Earline Clark is content letting her creative impulses contribute most to the business. She prepares floral arrangements, gift baskets and other items. “I like being creative and seeing the work come togeth-

7780 Atlanta Hwy at Somerset Shoppes 334.396.9950 Lunch: Tues – Fri 11:00am to 2:00pm Dinner: Tues – Sat 5:00pm to 10:00pm

Erica Clark and her mother Earline, own E & E House of Flowers and Boutique. (Julie Bennett)

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er,” Earline Clark said. “We are able to experience the joy from what we’ve created when we see the customers’ faces light up.” Erica Clark sticks to working with those customers and making sure the business grows and satisfies repeat clients. The team’s offerings have expanded to include fashion accessories, Bible cases and covers and other gift items. They are also selling Sidekicks “go anywhere” shoes that come with a small carrying pouch, and a new line of high-end bath and body products. One piece of clothing, Earline Clark explains, can be worn 100 different ways. To back up her claim, she says that the store sells a DVD that explains how the clothing can be adjusted to fit 100 ways. A lot of our clothes are “one size fits most,” Erica Clark said. The team’s goal is to use the calming music and water fountains in the store to make customers feel at peace when they shop. They have expanded their spa services to help meet that goal of giving clients a stress reliever. The Clarks don’t want to offer just another flower store. They want to provide a place of respite, Earline Clark said. “Leave your worries at the door,” she said.

Larra Wallace AL-0000402847

c Mystical Treasures Emporium Reiki Japanese energy technique promoting self-healing through deep relaxation

New Age Bookstore & Metaphysical Supplies 1500 Mulberry Street Montgomery, AL 36106 • 356-6444

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If you need some prodding to stay on an exercise routine, Curves owner Larra Wallace can provide it. Wallace and her staff regularly contact members of Curves who haven’t been showing up to exercise. Wallace encourages them to recommit to the program. “We will call or send them postcards telling them we miss them,” Wallace said. And Wallace means it. She sees her work inspiring women to get in shape as part of her Christian mission to help others. “I’m very happy serving women, which is part of my relationship with God,” she said. “We have been able to help them get off medication, or lower their blood pressure and lose weight.” The successes follow Wallace’s decision to end course work at Auburn University to help operate two Curves locations. She had worked part-time at the fitness business for her mother, Alice Trudel. She saw an opportunity to start her career when Trudel decided to retire. “I had been working some on weekends, so when they needed a manager it was either make Curves a career, or finish college,” Wallace said. “I said college can wait.” She also met her husband in Montgomery, which helped cement her decision to stay in the capital city and take on Curves. Now the Jefferson Davis High School graduate and her partner, Jennifer Hand, own the Atlanta Highway location while Wallace operates the Zelda Road store. Wallace is passionate about what Curves offers women.

Resources for women

in business

She said Curves helps women by keeping them on the move. The 30-minute exercise program includes 30 seconds each at 24 different stations. The stations form a circuit that women go through twice. A warm-up precedes the routine, which is a total body workout, Wallace said. “You get a cardio workout and strength training of every major muscle in the body,” she said, adding that the heart rate stays up because the women are moving the entire 30 minutes. Some stations include machines that check heart rates to make sure they are where they need to be, Wallace added. Wallace recommends customers visit at least three times a week. Along with exercise, Curves offers diet and weight management training, she said. ■

Women in business forum The Women in Business Forum addresses the networking and professional development needs of female executives in Montgomery and the River Region. The Forum has a service component that encourages female business leaders to serve as a community resource, embrace diversity and develop leadership capacity. Contact: Nancy Beggs, 334-230-8356 or by email at nbeggs@

Alabama capitol SCORE 600 South Court Street, Montgomery, contact: Rick Williams, 240-6868.

National association of women business owners Larra Wallace at her Curves fitness center on Zelda Road (David Bundy)

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were you seen?

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Alabama Shakespeare Festival 25th Anniversary Gala

A Gift to the State:

25 years ago, many came from across the state and the nation to join the late Wynton “Red” Blount, and his wife, Carolyn, for opening night of the permanent home for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

A Teen Remembers:

Winston Wilson Reese, then a teenager, recalled the event as “the most glamorous and star-studded evening Montgomery had ever seen.” As chairwoman of ASF’s 25th Anniversary Gala, she set the bar high for the social event of this season.


A Night of Sparkle:

As a celebration of the past and a salute to the future of the theatre, bright lights focused on many silver-clad arrivals who were treated to surprise after extraordinary surprise until the wee hours.

Flora and the Bard:

In the Grand Lobby, the Shakespeare statue was surrounded by more than a thousand stems of roses, hydrangea and fragrant stock. Covered in orchids, wooden anniversary swans had been commissioned for display that night as a tribute to those obtained by “Red” Blount to float on the lake in Blount Cultural Park.


Left: Carrie Banks stands in front of Shakespeare’s statue at the ASF 25th Anniversary Gala (Jon Cook)

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A Silver Welcome:

ASF Development Director Eve Loeb, who had also been at Opening Night 1985, helped welcome the more than 400 arrivals to the Silver Anniversary Gala celebration. Shakespearean-costumed volunteers served as Town Criers and those who ushered guests along silk drape-lined corridors, bamboo-dressed staircases, and into breathtaking rooms.

Anniversaire Extraordinaire:

Designed by Bob Vardaman of Events Management, the long night of celebration was implemented with dramatic flair to feature unexpected elements at a high-energy “Midsummer Night’s Scream” cocktail party on the Octagon Stage; A Wicked Winter Wonderland dinner hosted in elegantly transformed rehearsal halls; songs of nostalgia by legendary entertainer Dionne Warwick on the Festival Stage, followed by an “All’s Swell That Ends Swell” After Party.


Dramatic Success:

Appropriately planned as a dramatic evening and as a benefit for ASF, the gala celebration was embraced by impressive corporate support to underscore the value of the theatre. Patrons helped the successful event net nearly a half-million dollars. Photos By: 1-3 Lloyd Gallman; 4-18 Photography by the Robertsons; 19 Garry Brantley; 20-21 Jon Cook


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1. Guests enjoyed a variety of unexpected entertainment at the high-energy cocktail party on the Octagon Stage 2. ASF board chairman Jimmy Lowder, and his wife, Margaret, with Dianna Frossen, and anniversary gala chairwoman Winston Wilson Reese and her husband, Judge Gene Reese 3. Dionne Warwick performs 4. Shakespeare’s statue was surrounded by flowers for the occasion 5. Event designer Bob Vardaman before surprising guests at the Wicked Winter Wonderland Dinner 6. Anniversary swans were designed and built by sculptor Vince Buwalda, and decorated with orchids as a tribute to “Red” Blount and the Cultural Park property 7. Wynona Wilson, Peggy Mussafer, Elizabeth Hunter, Carol Goodwyn 8. Stuart Yelverton (Red’s oldest granddaughter) and Kay Blount Pace (Red’s only daughter) 9. W. Blount IV and Diana; Ashley and Sam Miles; Caroline and John Blount 10. “Red” Blount’s son Tom Blount, center, with friends from around the world 11. Will and Lee Sellers. Will’s father was board chairman when ASF opened





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12. Hyundai President Lim and his wife, toasting with Mayor Todd Strange and others at the “Wicked Winter Wonderland” dinner 13. Special entertainment at the “Midsummer Night’s Scream” cocktail party included dancers and a juggler 14. The Caddell Family: standing from left, Kirby, John and Robin Caddell with Charlie Warnke; seated, Joyce Caddell; Cathy Caddell, standing right






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15. Denton Hawk with Mark Bullock, who welcomed arrivals as the ASF Town Crier 16. Judge Vanzetta McPherson and her husband, Thomas McPherson with Judge Delores Boyd, right 17. Carrie Banks costumed as an ASF character 18. Miles and Elmore DeMott costumed as ASF characters 19. ASF Producing Artistic Director Geoffrey Sherman 20. Blount grandchildren and guests




Artist’s Market With the transformation of the Museum Store last year, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts was frequently filled with guests expressing an interest in meeting the artists whose works are offered for sale.

Artists In Action:

In response to their requests, the Museum created an opportunity for patrons to meet the demonstrating artists through “Artists in Action”, and to watch as they created treasured works of art during special events.


Artists Market:

Over 40 regional artists arrived with their paintings, photographs, pottery, jewelry, glass, and various works on fiber to present their creations at an inaugural Artists Market.

Dine and Shop:

700 guests flocked to the Museum and enjoyed lunch in the Museum’s Café M, and the opportunity to meet the artists and purchase a piece of original artwork for themselves or someone special on their gift lists.



Photos: Contributed 1. Local artist Barbara Davis 2. Artist Enid Probst creates mosiacs 3. Margaret Barber makes carvings in her pottery 4. The Museum’s Artist Market

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Montgomery Ballet’s Holiday Tradition

1 Holiday Favorite:

For almost four decades, the Montgomery Ballet has produced “The Nutcracker” as a holiday favorite and special gift to River Region residents and visitors.

Christmas Eve Magic:

In the captivated audiences of the Davis Theatre, all had an opportunity to witness the ballet company’s version of the magic of a special Christmas Eve when a toy nutcracker comes alive to lead a fight against a royal rat; when a Christmas tree grows to dizzying heights; and when a Prince and a Sugar Plum Fairy are among those whose pirouettes highlight the holiday dream sequence.


A Holiday Gift:

This year, the East Montgomery ballet company scheduled 5 days of performances in the Capital City, all sponsored by Caroline and Guice Slawson. School children were entranced during special LEAP performances, while members of the military were entertained during a special show.

Holiday Spirits:

On Opening Night, ballet company representatives joined members of its board of directors, patrons and area VIPs

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at a champagne and cocktail reception sponsored by Gwyn and Bob Pirnie at Nobles restaurant.

Visions of Sugar Plums:

Children in the weekend’s matinee audiences were invited onstage after the final curtain call to enjoy Sugar Plum Fairy parties, to receive Christmas stockings and to meet the company’s costumed dancers. Photos: 1-3 Heath Stone, 4-8 John Black 1. A scene from “The Nutcracker” performed by the Montgomery Ballet 2. Nicole Padilla as the Sugar Plum Fairy 3. Patrick Willison and Karen Licari as the Nutcracker and Clara 4. Richard and Priscilla Crommelin-Ball with sponsors of “The Nutcracker”’s Opening Night Reception, Gwyn and Bob Pirnie 5. Ed and Jane Reed, left, with Montgomery Ballet Board president Karen Herman and her husband, David 6. Judy and Al Head, the Executive Director of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, with Lynn and Bob Beshear 7. From left, Jenni Payne and Charlotte Mussafer 8. From left, Jim and Elmore Inscoe with Katherine Woodson and Dae Miller




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Krewe Of Athenians’ Annual Ball


The Krewe of Athenians hosted its 61st annual ball, using “Swan Lake” as the inspiration for the elegant event planned to emphasize the dramatic presentation of its queen, a ballerina.

The Ballerina:

With years of local, national and international dance training to her credit, Queen Liza Lang Cardinal made her grand entrance amid a majestic scene set within the Convention Center at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa.

Novel Monarchy:

The Krewe’s “first literary king”, who remained disguised during the evening, proclaimed his pride at being the first king to have danced with his queen in a ballet performance in the years before she received her royal crown.


Homage to Grand Mere:

The king also paid a royal red rose tribute to the grandmother of the queen, Clare Bowman Cardinal, the Athenians’ first queen in 1950.

Swan Lake Revisited:

The spectacular event included an opening skit with new members of the organization performing a scene in drag; the introduction of eleven debutantes as Maids of the Court; the bows of nine adorable Princesses of the Court; and weekend celebrations honoring the royals that featured golden crowns, pate choux swans and book-shaped chocolates. Photos: Paul Robertson Photography

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1. The King of the Krewe of Athenians with Queen Liza Lang Cardinal, the daughter of Lang and Louis Charles Cardinal, III 2. Queen Liza Lang Cardinal with her paternal grandmother, Clare Bowman Cardinal, the mystic society’s first queen in 1950 3. Teri Aronov congratulates Athenians’ Princess Josie Aronov 4. Maids of the Court Lillian Arnau Wilson, Elizabeth Lundy Starke. Glenn Pearson Poundstone, Blair Henderson Parks, Elizabeth Taliaferro Bromberg and Laura Martin Andreades 5. Maids of the Court Elizabeth LeClair Bemis, Sarah Katherine McGahee, Kimberly Ashlyn Pouncey, Martha Houston Sasser and Lucy Oliver Upchurch 6. Princesses of the Court, from left, Catherine Pierson Hartley, Elizabeth McAlister Fitzpatrick, Evelyn Isabel Drumwright, Lela Suzanne Davidson, Josephine Ilyssa Aronov, Katharine Provost Moore, Kerry Elizabeth Lyons, Anne Frances Little and Ella Stuart Hicks 7. Maid of the Court Lucy Oliver Upchurch presented by her grandfather and father, William Upchurch, Jr. and William Upchurch, III 8. Maid of the Court Elizabeth Bemis was presented by Robert Ramsey and her father, John Bemis 9. Athenians’ Princess Ella Stuart Hicks holds the queen’s scepter






9 MGM Magazine  47

Diamond Princess Ball Date Night with Dads:

Invitations were delivered throughout the land to young girls in grades 6 and under, requesting their attendance at the Landmarks Foundation’s 6th Annual Diamond Princess Ball. Wearing their finest dresses and gowns of silks, satins, velvets, taffetas and heirloom laces, the River Region’s princesses arrived with their special dates -- dads, granddads, uncles and other special men in their lives.

A Royal Kingdom:

Bob Vardaman of Events Management had transformed the Terrace Level Ballroom of the Capital City Club into the Royal Kingdom of Landmarks. No moms were allowed in the land of pink and silver fabric-draped canopies and silver wonderland trees, as each princess was crowned with a sparkling tiara.


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Royal Entertainment:

All enjoyed favorite treats from a royal buffet, but spent most of the time on the dance floor with DJ@Large until the fairytale hour of eight o’clock.

The Royal Treasury:

Event chairwoman Florence Young and her husband, Bob, were joined by Landmarks director Bob McLain, Al Bouler and Betty Ann Lloyd (aka Lucas Tavern owner Walter Lucas, and his wife, Eliza), as a reminder that proceeds from the ball will be used to enhance the educational programs at Old Alabama Town.


Photos: Photography by the Robertsons 1. Claire Gary, with her father Brian Gary, left, and Sarah-Scott Sellers with her father Rick Sellers, right, were among the young ladies in red 2. John Williams and his daughter, Princess Julia Williams 3. Back row from left, Lt. Col. Robert Munson, Lt. Col. Kyle Gresham, and Craig Vinson, and their daughters, front row from left, Amy Munson, Ingrid Gresham, Sarah Munson, and Adele and Anna Vinson 4. From left, Mary Frances Harper and her father Tripp Harper; seated left, Michelle Rosenberg and Sydney Sullivan; Center – standing left, Josie Rosenberg and Michael Rosenberg; standing center front, Lauren Sullivan; seated right, Charles Sullivan and Maggie Kinney; standing right, Chloe Czapla and her father Peter Czapla 5. Months in advance of the ball, Princess Mary Wallace Brittain requested a private meeting with her grandfather, Jim Klingler, to ask him to be her date 6. Teenage Reception Committee Princess Lucy Massey receives her tiara 7. DJ @ Large played favorite tunes for princesses and their dates. A good time was had by all on the dance floor



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Four Museum Headliners


Quadrupled Attention:

The simultaneous openings of four headlining exhibitions were celebrated during a reception event welcoming almost 900 guests including Gov. Bob Riley and his wife, Patsy Riley to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. On view in the galleries were Annie Leibovitz WOMEN; ‘Fantasies and Fairy Tales: Maxfield Parrish and the Art of the Print; Giovanni Balderi: Italian Marble Sculpture from Pietrasanta; and a tribute to Helen Keller.

Special Guests:


All enjoyed selections from appetizer, soup and dessert stations as they mingled with Italian sculptor Giovanni Balderi; and amid more than 60 photographs of celebrities and every day women with former Leibovitz In-House Art Director Tom Hossler.

Memorial’s Arrival:

Private donations allowed the State to commission Utah figurative sculptor Edward Hlavka to create the memorial bronze of Alabama native Helen Keller,

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which is on view in Washington, and a second cast that traveled the state to honor Keller and her accomplishments. The governor joined guests to celebrate the statue’s arrival in Montgomery. Photos: Contributed 1. “Annie Leibobitz: WOMEN” exhibition sponsors Loree and Owen Aronov with former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley 2. “Annie Leibobitz: WOMEN” exhibition sponsors Ferrell and Bobbi Patrick, and Corinna and Barry Wilson 3. Sponsors of “Giovanni Balderi: Italian Marble Sculpture from Pietrasanta” – from left, Al Head, representing the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and Barrie and Laura Harmon, with Giovanni Balderi, second from right 4. Former First Lady Patsy Riley introduces the Helen Keller Memorial Sculpture 5. From left, As co-sponsors of “Fairytales and Fantasies”, representatives of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama celebrate at the museum’s Opening Night, including, from left, JongHyun Ji , Sheron Rose, Meejung Kim, Soomee Ji, Christina Park and Robert Burns 6. The Helen Keller Memorial sculpture at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, a stop on the Helen Keller Statue State Tour



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Montgomery Assembly

50 Years:

2010 closed with a long night of fun and favorite music as the Montgomery Assembly hosted local high school students for the celebration of its 50th Anniversary at the RSA Activity Center.

Get this Party Started:

Assembly president Debbie Hobbs, dance chairwoman Catherine Hook and several fellow board members, made plans for hundreds of teens in grades nine through twelve to enjoy the music of the AzIzZ band from Atlanta as they packed the dance floor throughout the night.


Dance Wonderland:

In honor of the 50th anniversary, decorations chairwoman Lee Sellers, transformed the Activity Center into a Winter Wonderland, in time for Master of Ceremonies Hampton Hook to introduce the Assembly’s members as they walked with their escorts through an area filled with lighted trees infused with flower blossoms.


Socializing in the East:

Several East Montgomery families opened their homes to host dinner parties earlier in the evening as special celebrations for the Assembly’s honorees and their guests. Photos: Contributed 1. Honoree Tom Brewbaker was presented with his escort Dawson Haynes 2. Enjoying a pre-dance dinner party at the home of honoree Lilla Bea Granger were (Back row l-r) Hall Massey, William Haynes, Will Hayes, Benton Hughes, Kit Birdsong, Sam McLain, Hudson McIntire; (Front row l-r) Caroline Franklin, Garrett Barnes, Lilla Bea Granger, Sarah Paige Massey, Lillian Roth, Elizabeth Bear, and Layne Williams 3. Montgomery Assembly honoree Lizzie Hobbs and her escort, Marshall Lee 4. Will Hayes escorted honoree Lilla Bea Granger 5. (Back , l-r) Sam Moody, Zach Reid, Will Jones, Eli Cohen, Will Braden Hill, Forrest Burley, and Chris Hynniman; (Front row, l-r) Emory Johnston, Claire Wilder, Catherine Meriwether, Harrison Robertson, Hannah Haynes, Janie Hampton, Leeanne Phillips

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Women in Business Gathering

1 A Special Opportunity:

Carlan Consulting CEO, Carol Carlan, was the inspirational guest speaker for hundreds of attendees at the annual gathering of Women in Business. The professionals who came to hear her, were also taking advantage of the opportunity to network, develop relationships, and to build leadership opportunities.

Their Hosts:

Southeast Cherokee Construction, Inc. was the Presenting Sponsor for the event hosted at the Wynlakes Golf and Country Club by the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.

Being the First:


This year’s event included the presentation of the area’s first Athena Award to a local businesswoman in recognition of professional excellence, community service and mentoring. The Chamber is the only organization in the state licensed to present this prestigious award.

Helping Women:

Other event sponsors included Copperwing Design, Entec Stations, Down with the Pounds, Wilson, Price, Barranco, Blankenship & Billingsley; Jackson Thornton; and Thompson Insurance, Inc. Photos: Jamie Martin 1. Professionals across the River Region attend the Women in Business Annual Gathering in the Swan Ballroom of the Wynlakes Golf and Country Club 2. Area professionals network during the Women in Business Gathering 3. Robin Barca, Baptist Health and Chair of the Women in Business Forum; Donni Ingram, ADECA and ATHENA Award winner; Candace Love, Bou Cou and Chair of the ATHENA Award committee; Nimrod T. Frazer Jr., Chair, Industrial Partners and Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce 2010 Chairman of the Board of Directors. 4. From left, Springna Zhao of Next Financial Group, Angela Stiff and Nell Rankin of Copperwing Design, and Heidi Lee of Jackson Thornton


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Blue & Gray Colonel’s Ball A Grand Night:

Renowned for its elegance, the Blue and Gray Colonels Association hosted its 61st Annual Ball, honoring debutantes, candlelighters and Citadel cadets and their families during a spectacular evening at Garrett Coliseum.

The Ambiance:

With the Blue and Gray’s logo projected on its large exterior, the coliseum’s interiors were completely transformed with the inclusion of a luscious forest of trees filled with volumes of orchids and white lights. Living statuary posed, and hundreds of yards of white fabric draped the ceiling to complement the handpainted neo-classical scene that served as the backdrop for a majestic throne and an elaborate presentation setting.



Honoring a Generation:

More than 1000 guests were captivated by the pomp and circumstance of the introduction of 30 Maids of the Court during the coronation ceremony of Blue and Gray queen Susan Wesley Wilson, the granddaughter of Wynona White Wilson and the late James “Jim” Winfrey Wilson.


The Young Queen:

With great fanfare, Queen Wesley and her father, James Winfrey Wilson, III delighted the guests by mastering the intricate “Wedding Dance” steps the young Queen of England makes with Prince Albert in the movie, “The Young Victoria”. The Maids of the Court and their escorts followed with their rendition of an enchanting Presentation Dance.

Support of the Arts:

The Alabama Dance Theatre continued it’s long tradition of performing

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for the ball’s guests, while the legendary Peter Duchin and his Orchestra marked 32 years of entertaining for the Blue and Gray Colonels in Montgomery. Blue and Gray’s 2010 Artistin-Residence Barrett Bailey was on-site to paint a scene from the ball during the evening.

After Party in the East:


Photos: Lloyd Gallman


Just after midnight, Susan and Jim Wilson hosted a breakfast honoring the queen at the Wynlakes Golf and Country Club, with members of the court, their escorts, families and special friends dancing into the wee hours to the music of the City Heat band from Atlanta.

1. Blue and Gray Colonels Queen Susan Wesley Wilson and her escort, Nimrod Frazer III 2. Queen Wesley dances with her father, James Wilson 3. The Alabama Dance Theatre continued a tradition of performing at the Presentation Ball 4. Barrett Bailey was the Blue and Gray Colonels Artist in Residence, capturing an image of the night’s presentation 5. 2009 Queen Elissa Tyson and 2010 Queen Wesley Wilson 6. Maids of the Court 7. Maids of the Court and their escorts perform a Presentation Dance 8. Maid of the Court Morgan Leigh Ramsey, dances with her father, Robert Ramsey 9. Maid of the Court Sidney Caroline Holt with her father, Barry Holt, Sr. 10. Maid of the Court Rebecca Winston Hunter, cousin to Queen Wesley, was among the debutantes presented during the evening 11. Maid of the Court Alexa Hayden Wise was presented by her father, John Wise, Jr.




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Mystic Order of Minerva Ball In Montgomery’s history of debutanting, none continues the tradition of presentations resembling those at the Court of Queen Victoria like the Mystic Order of Minerva. Long white kid gloves are secured each year, golden chairs are placed, and peacock feathers are included in fan-backed bouquets. All have been required elements of the mystic society of women’s annual presentations for over 60 years. As guests receive their invitations, nothing is looked forward to more than the designs and colors of pastel gowns the honorees select to showcase as they make their grand curtsies to Minerva. For “M double-O M’s” 61st Annual Ball, eight of the season’s debutantes were elegantly attired in blues, greens, pinks and yellows as they were formally introduced by Master of Ceremonies Robert Bruce Rinehart, and presented on the arms of their fathers, grandfathers and uncles. Family and friends congratulated Minerva and the debutantes as they enjoyed a late supper, and dancing to the music of the Syndicate Band. Photos: Photography by the Robertsons 1. Mystic Order of Minerva honorees, from left, Martha Houston Sasser, Martha Burke Chapman Rice, Liza Lang Cardinal, Mary Susan McDowell, Blair Henderson Parks, Mary Evelyn Parker, Lucy Oliver Upchurch and Glenn Pearson Poundstone 2. Minerva and two members of her Court oversee the annual presentation 3. Glenn Pearson Poundstone dances with John Curran Sullivan, Jr. 4. Mary Evelyn Parker dances with her uncle Michael Perry Mason 5. Martha Houston Sasser dances with her grandfather Justice James Gorman Houston, Jr.

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Squires Holiday Dance

Dinner and Dancing:

Junior and senior members of the Squires organization gathered at dinner parties hosted in East Montgomery homes to kick-off the festivities associated with the teens’ 43rd annual dance.

Groovin’ and Movin’:


After dinner, they were officially honored as more than 400 area high school students joined them in the ballroom of the RSA Activity Center for a night of dancing to The Groove Merchants band.

Medieval Décor:

The dance included a lead-out presentation of more than 60 young men in grades 10-12, who were recognized amid décor reminiscent of the medieval area and the castles of armored knights.

Mothers and Sons:


As a tribute to the family bond, mothers of Squires take great pleasure in hosting the event for their sons. East Montgomery resident Michelle Bemis spearheaded planning as chairwoman of the festivities; and also welcomed more than 40 fellow mothers to a pre-ball luncheon, where Squires cofounder Anita Folmar, was a guest of honor. Photos: Contributed 1. Trinity Presbyterian School students enjoyed a pre-ball Dinner Party in an East Montgomery home before attending the dance, including, from left, Squire Luke Carlson, Catherine Autry, Nan McRoberts, Squire Hunter Chambliss, Anna Moore, Ches Clements, Rebecca Teal and William Stabler 2. Senior Squires Brannen McMahan, left, and Cory Stanaland, right, with Madison Singleton and Emily Kearley 3. Squires and their dates from several Montgomery area high schools enjoy their evening together. From left, Michael Bemis (Montgomery Academy), Rob Chisenhall (St. James), Lindsay Davis (St. James), Sammy Woolard (Trinity), Mitchell Newell (Trinity), and Evan Shafer (Macon East). 4. Back row, from left, Senior Squires Andrew Crum, Michael Bemis and William Hughes, enjoyed a pre-ball dinner with their dates, from left, Laura Kent Garrett, Alex Garcia and Grace Haynes


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Mystic Order of Revelry Ball

Stepping Out:

Members of the Capital City’s oldest men’s mystic society stepped out in white tie, tails and top hats to serve as hosts of the Mystic Order of Revelry’s 83rd Annual New Year’s Eve Ball.

Putting on the Ritz:

They joined their King at the Montgomery Country Club to commence the evening’s celebratory tableau with the presentation of the Krewe’s radiant queen, Blair Henderson Parks. Briefly masked for her big reveal moment, she delighted the guests wearing an ensemble designed by Mystick Couturier, featuring a cream and honey gold brocade satin gown embellished with topaz Swarovski and Aurora bead crystals, with a matching regal collar.


Royal Blue:

Her royal court included eleven of the season’s debutantes who wore long gowns of royal blue from Bridals by Penolia; and eight young masters of area families who served as adorable Pages.

Midnight Revelry:

As the clock struck twelve, colorful balloons were released from the ceiling, and guests’ noisemakers heralded 2011. The Tapesty band played “Auld Lang Syne” in the grand ballroom, and Frankie Velvet and the Mighty Veltones made for a rockin’ New Year on the club’s main level.



Photos: David Bundy 1. The King and Queen of the Mystic Order of Revelry 2. The queen’s ensemble was designed by Mystick Couturier 3. The queen’s mantle 4. Maids of the Court Anne Mckenzie McEntire, front, and Mary Frances Har-

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ris, left, are escorted during the ball 5. Maid of the Court Chapman Rice 6. Pages to the Court, from left, Carlyle Chandler, Web Cowden, James Dockery, and William Engelhardt 7. Pages to the Court, from left, Robert Eskridge, William Marks, Walton Norrell and Charles Warmington 8. Jack “Skip” Darrell Parks, a proud father of the Queen 9. Lady of the Court Alice Beale McLemore 10. Lady of the Court Elizabeth Lundy Starke






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Les Mysterieuses

Favorite TV:

From the favorite shows of yesteryear to today’s top-rated small screen hits, the mystic society of Les Mysterieuses had everyone recalling theme songs and characters in sitcoms, westerns, detective, dramatic and reality series during the celebration of its 99th annual Mardi Gras Ball.


Mardi Gras Madness:

Paying tribute to “Rawhide”, the “The Brady Bunch”, “Charlie’s Angels”, “Happy Days” and the ladies of “Sex In the City” , everyone also loved Lucy as the oldest mystic society in Montgomery entertained its guests at the Montgomery Country Club for Fat Tuesday cocktails, an entertaining tableau, and a night of dancing with the Chris Weaver Band. Photos: Lloyd Gallman 1. The mystic society’s officers were introduced with their husbands, as “The Brady Bunch” 2. Fred Flintstone of “The Flintstones” and Lucille Ball of “I Love Lucy” at the preball cocktail party 3. The ladies became “Sex In the City” dancers 4. “The Pink Ladies” brought back memories of Pinky Tuscadero and the Pinkettes from “Happy Days” 5. Members of Les Mysterieuses came costumed as Jeannie from “I Dream of Jeannie”, and J-Lo, aka Jennifer Lopez of “American Idol”

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Dancing With Celebrities




Raising for Relay:

Inspired by the ABC Network’s hit show, “Dancing with the Stars”, eight local professionals and a media personality hit the ballroom floor for “Dancing with Celebrities”, a local benefit for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Wine, Dinner and Dancing:

At the pre-event for the area’s only 24-hour charitable walk, generous friends cheered them on during a wine tasting reception, a fabulous dinner, and a showcase with Strict Tempo Ballroom studio professionals.

Hip-shakin Star:

With cool moves and a cha-cha, area veterinarian Donny Goodwin beat out those who encouraged the crowd with the paso doble, swing, tango, mambo and rumba.


5 helped raise more than $44,000, and celebrated by showing off their own talents as they danced the night away. Photos: Ricky Lewis 1. Dancing with Celebrities dancers, from left, Sandy Garner, Sieu Tang Wood, David Marlow, Laura Cruse, Melissa Johnson, Tommy Glass, Doris Hydrick, Kim Traff, Bert Miller, Linda Glass, Peter Frohmader and Donny Goodwin 2. Winner and local veterinarian Donny Goodwin, with Linda Glass of Strict Tempo Ballroom studio 3. David Marlow of Strict Tempo Ballroom studio and celebrity dancer, Melissa Johnson of WSFA TV-12 4. Local businesswoman Sieu Tang Wood with Big Bert Miller of Dreamland BBQ 5. “Dancing with Celebrities” creator Sherry Nath, 2nd from left, with dinner-dance committee members from left, Ashley Brandle, Lynn Ray and Crista deButts

Relay Green:

Voting with dollars and donations, cheering patrons

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see you at … May Dates with the Bard: Enjoy fast-paced comedies and tales of power at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival; For tickets and more information, call 271-5353 or visit Moonlight and Magnolias – thru May 29 Much Ado About Nothing – thru May 21 Julius Caesar – thru May 21 History Celebrated: The First White House of the Confederacy 2011 Wine & Cheese Fundraiser Gala and kick-off for the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States. Thurs. May 5; 5:30-7:30; Church of the Ascension. For more information, call 242-1861 or visit (Ticketed/ Donation) Relay for Life: The area’s only 24-hour walk offers everyone in the community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer; a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society; Fri. May 6 thru Sat. morning, May 7; Faulkner University; For more information call 288-8543 or visit Flimp Festival: The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts celebrates more than two decades of hosting this annual day of activity for families. Sat. May 7; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Flimp’s Chart Art Competition for artists of all ages, Fri. May 6, 10 am – 5 p.m; For more information visit or call 334/240-4333 Cinco de Mayo: The Newcomers Club of the Greater Montgomery Area will host its festive event for members and guests, May 7; For more information go to Touchstone Society Party: The Jackson Hospital Foundation honors its highest level donors during its annual Benefactor Party and dinner hosted in a local residence. Thurs. May 12; For more information about the Touchstone Society, call the Foundation’s office at 293-6940. (Invitation Only) Celebration of the Arts: Outstanding Alabama artists are honored during a gala evening hosted by the Alabama State Council on the Arts; Tues. May 17; Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Keep up to date on the honorees by visiting www.arts. or call 334/242-4076 (Ticketed event)

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Jubilee City Fest: Enjoy a weekend of great music and family fun activities amid downtown’s streets. Fri. and Sat. May 20 – 21; For more information call 334/834-7220 or visit www. Ballet, Boots and Barbecue: A fundraiser for the Montgomery Ballet; Tuesday, May 24; at the Bartlett Ranch, Pike Road. (Ticket/donation) For more information, call 409-0522 Montgomery Debutante Assembly: Fri., May 27; Montgomery Country Club; Young ladies are introduced to society to officially kick-off Montgomery’s new “ball season” each year. (Invitation Only)

June Making Homes Safe Havens: A culminating event on June 23 will celebrate a series of benefits for the Family Sunshine Center hosted in area homes and businesses from Mar. 15 through June 15, in area homes and businesses. (Donation/Ticketed events) For more information call 334/206-2100. Summer Art Camps: The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts will conduct fun-filled art camps and group lessons in drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, print-making and art activities with different themes using various media; week-long, half-day, or all day for ages 6 to 13; Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to Noon and 1:00 to 4:30 p.m; June 20-24; July 11-15; July 18-22; and August 1-6; For fees and more information, visit Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance: June 23, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Join Museum Docent Alma Freeman in examining works of art created by Phoebe Beasley in response to the poetry of Langston Hughes. Before the gallery talk, Curator of Education Tim Brown will introduce the movement known as the Harlem Renaissance, with which Hughes’ work has become synonymous. Hughes was among the visionaries who led the nation in the artistic and intellectual exploration of African-American history. For more information, visit www.

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MGM Magazine - Spring/Summer 2011  
MGM Magazine - Spring/Summer 2011  

The inaugural issue of MGM Magazine, a publication about lifestyles and fun things to do in the capital cityof Montgomery, Alabama