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Hope Floats

Adaptive Aquatics Teaches Disabled to Water Ski and More

Adaptive Aquatics will celebrate its 30th anniversary, as well as a new facility, with its 3-Hour Tour fundraiser April 28 at SoHo’s Rosewood Hall. The non-profit program serves handicapped people of all ages and abilities by teaching them how to water ski using adaptive equipment that meets their special needs. Walker Ray of Mountain Brook, above, has low muscle tone, making traditional water skiing difficult, but thanks to the equipment at Adaptive Aquatics, he can enjoy the sport. See Life, page 10.

Children ages 14 and younger make up the cast of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” presented by the Bards of Birmingham. See About Town, page 6.

The Red Nose Ball lived up to its theme as it raised money for Camp Smile-A-Mile, a year-round program for children in Alabama with cancer. “S-more Fun than Ever” was the theme for the event. See Social, page 12.

The Mountain Brook High School Policy Debate Team won top honors at Emory University’s 56th annual Barkley Forum recently. The team will compete for a national championship in June. See Schools, page 25.

2 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011





The Central Alabama Senior Softball League is getting area senior citizens back in the ball game. See how this group and others are taking seniors back to their childhood hobbies. See Seniors, pages 20-22



rom game nights to quick day outings get more ideas for summer staycations that the whole family will love.


oin the conversation. Sign up on our website to make comments on stories, events and more. rowse through even more photos from the area’s biggest and best social events..

ike us on Facebook and find out what’s going on at the Journal.

In our next issue, step inside some of the beautiful homes to be featured on this year’s Parade of Homes.


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March 24, 2011

Publisher: Maury Wald Editor: Laura McAlister Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Office Manager: Christy Wald Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Lee Davis Contributors: Susan Murphy, Bones Long, Cary Estes, June Mathews, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry Advertising Sales: Suzanne Wald, Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald Editorial Intern: Martha Blanton Vol. 20, No. 6

Over The Mountain Journal is a suburban bi-weekly newspaper delivered to more than 40,000 households in the Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and North Shelby County areas. Hot Property is a paid advertisement. Subscriptions for The Journal are available for $24 yearly. Mail to: Over the Mountain Journal, P.O. Box 660502, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216. Phone: (205) 823-9646. E-mail the editorial department at E-mail our advertising department at Find us on the Web at Copyright 2010 Over The Mountain Journal, Inc. All rights reserved. The Journal is not responsible for return of photos, copy and other unsolicited materials submitted. To have materials returned, please specify when submitting and provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All materials submitted are subject to editorial review and may be edited or declined without notification.

Murphy Airlines

arold and I spent a lot of time traveling last year. The destinations were wonderful. The journeys, not so much. Too many hours shoulder-to-shoulder with people in airports, too many seat backs and tray tables shoved into our laps midflight, too many colorful Susan Murphy phrases mumbled as we struggled to negotiate ticket counters and security lines. It didn’t have to be that way. With a few simple changes, every single passenger could have been, if not floating on cloud nine, at least less likely to go Jet Blue and bail out the emergency slide exit yelling, “So long, suckers!” If I had my own airline, the smiles would start when you bought your ticket. Every ticket would be the same price, no matter when or where you made the purchase. No more secret websites, no pay-nowpray-you-don’t-have-to-cancel-later lockdown fares. There wouldn’t be any luggage handling fees, either, but here’s the kicker: You would be required to check every bag bigger than a briefcase. No exceptions. Security procedures will be security procedures, and there’s nothing even a smiley face airline can do about that, but once you reached the Murphy Air gate area, the pleasantries would resume. I would provide chairs for every single person booked on the flight and a set of restrooms designated for that gate alone that would be hourly sanitized for your protection. The planes would be sanitized, too, wiped clean between every flight. When it was time to board, passengers would embark in a logical, orderly fashion, back seats first, front seats last. Folks who had trouble walking would be seated up front, followed directly by people who had to make flight connections. There would be rows for those who felt like chatting and rows for people who wanted to be left alone,

sleepers at the windows and fidgety people on the aisles. Families with small children would have their own section where we’d serve up juice boxes and Disney movies. If a baby started to cry, the designated flight attendant would rush over with a bottle of warm milk and say, “Bless his heart, he’s hungry/tired/a little scared,” and everyone around her would say, “ahhh.” Before the flight took off, passengers would be instructed to stand up and introduce themselves to the people around them, a gesture that would make people less likely to shove their seats back into their new friend’s knees. In the background, the PA system could play something like “We Are the World, We Are the Children” or “Let There Be Peace on Earth” to help matters along. With everyone in a positive mood, the plane would lift off with our happy, well-compensated pilots at the helm. Flight attendants would be happy, too, because they wouldn’t have to schlep down the aisles with the drink cart. Passengers would already have their drinks and snacks in their hands, pre-selected when they purchased their tickets and handed out in cute little Murphy Airline bags when they boarded. While passengers enjoyed their Coke/cranberry juice/double Jack Daniels, they could watch a video from the list of Murphy Airlines approved entertainment. Only happy, uplifting programming would be allowed, no shock jocks or political pundits, no car crashes or serial killer thrillers. Happy, people. Think happy. To insure future happiness, Murphy Airlines would have its own Do Not Fly list. Passengers who proved themselves rude or unruly would not be invited back, even if they were Gold Card Ultimate Platinum frequent fliers. When we touched down at our destination (on time), passengers would be handed a Murphy Airline Tootsie Pop, a little something to keep their spirits up until they arrived in baggage claim, where their luggage would be already waiting. Murphy Airlines, my pie in the sky dream. Wait a minute ... Murphy Air Moon Pies. ❖


How will rising gas prices affect your summer travel plans?

“It probably really won’t. We go to North Carolina for three months and the gas prices are the same there.”

“The increased gas prices won’t affect airline costs, so it won’t change my travel plans. It’s not a vacation if you drive.”

Kathy Lemley Vestavia Hills

Eldric Fluker Hoover

“I don’t have a major commute to work so I save money there. It won’t affect my travels. I’m a beach person.” Emily Arnold Mountain Brook

“I’m afraid to drive my unreliable car. I hitch a ride anyways.” Virginia Alverson Mountain Brook



Charity League Plans ‘Hear Me Roar’

The Charity League’s annual fundraiser “Hear Me Roar,” will be from 5:30-9 p.m. March 31 at the Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham. The evening, formerly “Rhinestones and Wranglers,” includes a silent auction, seated dinner and live auction conducted by Jack Granger with Granger Thagard. The live auction includes trips to Disney World and Manhattan, a four-day cruise, beach vacation and golf packages, jewelry, an Atlanta vacation package with tickets to a Braves game and the Georgia Aquarium, a Dale Jarrett Riding Experience at the Talladega Super Speedway, a cocker spaniel puppy and more. The auction benefits Children’s Health System Hear Center, Mitchell’s Place and EPIC School. The evening also includes the presentation of the Charity League Lifetime Service Award to three sustaining members: Linda Bachus, India Askew and Renee Booker. Tickets are $75 and include dinner, beer and wine. There also will be a cash bar. Visit to buy tickets or for more information.

‘Hot Biz’ Event Aids Junior Achievement

The Junior Achievement Leadership Council’s annual fundraiser, “Hot Biz in the City,” will be April 7 at SoHo’s Woodrow Hall. The council is a volunteer team of Birmingham young professionals. Junior Achievement helps young people toward future economic success. Through a network of classroom mentors from the business community, the organization inspires students in grades K-12 through curriculum focusing on entrepreneurship, financial literacy and workforce readiness. Junior Achievement of Greater Birmingham serves more than 33,000 students annually. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at

Camp Fire Auction Features Local Artists

Works of art created by local artists will be auctioned March 29 at the Wynfrey Hotel during Camp Fire USA Central Alabama Council’s Decades of Childhood – A 100-Year Celebration. Each participating artist was asked to depict a particular decade to commemorate Camp Fire USA’s past 100 years of service to area children.

The artists will mingle with patrons at a 6 p.m. reception before dinner and a live auction beginning at 6:30 p.m. Children involved in the organization’s programs will give presentations. In addition to the auction, area businesses have provided a few select items for a donation drawing. Camp Fire USA provides programs such as after-school care and summer day camps for under-served children of the community. Sixty percent of its participants are served in

THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 3

classrooms in the Birmingham, Jefferson County, Shelby County, Hoover and Vestavia Hills school systems through partnerships with educators and counselors in grades K-12. Tickets, $80 for the dinner and auction and an additional $20 for the reception, can be purchased by calling 324-2434. The art for auction donated by Dale Lewis, Dian McCray, Yvonne Wells and other artists can be viewed on the organization’s website, ❖


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Allison Wise, Camp Fire USA’s chief development officer, catalogs art for an upcoming auction. Photo special to the Journal

4 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011





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Several classmates from Ramsay’s Class of 1961 gathered recently in front of the new gym to unfurl the official reunion banner. Among those attending were, from left: Don Wiginton, Vestavia Hills; Jean Lyles Foster, Redmont; Susan Green Pitts, Mountain Brook; Mike Casey Vann, Redmont; Mack Meadows, Hoover; Ann Terrell Dawson, Vestavia Hills; Bill Turnipseed, Mountain Brook; and Leland Keller, Mountain Brook. Photo special to the Journal

Ramsay Plans 50th Reunion

Ramsay High School Class of 1961 will celebrate its 50th reunion April 8 and 9. The event includes a Friday night social at Olexa’s in Mountain Brook Village and a Saturday evening dinner and dance at Birmingham Country Club. For more information about the reunion weekend and how to register, visit www.1961ramsayreunion. com.

Town” at Bottega, Ocean and Gianmarco’s; freshwater pearls from Barton-Clay Fine Jewelers; a gift from Jewels By Rose; a chocolate pearl necklace and earrings from Steed’s Jewelers; a Pandora bracelet from Paul’s Diamond Center; and a collection of DuMOL wines from a private cellar. Sibyl Temple was relocated to the crest of Shades Mountain in the 1970s. An historic land-

mark in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, the temple is open to the public and also available for rental for private events. The ongoing enhancement and maintenance of the temple is Vestavia Garden Club’s primary project. The club recently completed a major renovation of the temple grounds. For more information, call Dot Renneker at 822-3416.

Hoover Club Hosts ‘Razzle Dazzle’

Hoover Service Club will present Razzle Dazzle Broadway, a silent auction and fashion show, March 28 at the Wynfrey Hotel. The silent auction starts at 10 a.m., and the fashion show/luncheon begins at 11:45 a.m. Fashions from Belk will be coordinated by Audrey Lindquist, wardrobe consultant. Individual tickets are $40. A table of 10 is $400. Proceeds benefit community charities and scholarships. For ticket information, call Jennifer Caton at 978-7056. ❖

Dinners Raise Funds for Sibyl Temple

Vestavia Hills Garden Club will host “Dining for Sibyl Temple, Gateway to our City” April 8-11. Gourmet dinners will be served in private homes, with all proceeds benefiting the Sibyl Temple Foundation. There also will be a luncheon at Sibyl Temple with raffle items from local merchants. Raffle tickets are $50 and include “Dinners in Vestavia” at Frio en La Paz, Satterfield’s and Bistro V; “Dinners Around

Making plans for fund-raising dinners for Vestavia’s Sibyl Temple are, from left: Lynne Petro, Dot Renneker, Susan Murphy and Sarah White.

Photo special to the Journal

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Fleming Headlines Trinity Conference

Dr. James Fleming, a lecturer and scholar in Biblical archaeology, will be the speaker at this year’s Harry Elliott Bible Conference at Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood. He will speak March 27 during five separate morning and evening sessions, including the 8:45 and 11 a.m. traditional worship services. His theme will be “Turning Points of Jesus.” The sessions are free and open to the public. A snack supper will be available between the 5 and 6:30 p.m. sessions. Fleming is the director of the Biblical Resources and Study Center, an ecumenical organization that serves Christians around the world. He lived and worked in Israel from 1974 to 2006, where he founded and directed the World of the Bible Archaeological Museum and Pilgrim Center in Jerusalem. As an archaeologist, he is responsible for 18 excavations of important sites in Israel. Trinity is at 1400 Oxmoor Rd. in Homewood. For more information, call 879-1737 or visit Dr. Andrew Wolfe is senior pastor.

THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 5



Schubert’s latest cookbook. Rita Wood, founding president of the Auxiliary, is chairing the luncheon. Assisting her are committee members Lois Tipton, Madeline Buchanan, Billie Holleman, Mary Jo Carter, Kelly Orr, Lucy Mason, Amy Reese, Christy Jackson, Laverne Reese, Peggy Devane, Laine Crook and Marsha Drennen, auxiliary president. Tickets are $35 each. For tickets and more information, call Kelly Orr at (205) 4084428. ❖

Getting ready for the Hannah Home Shelby Auxiliary’s Spring Tablescapes are from left: Billie Holleman, Lois Tipton, Sarah Moseley, Lucy Mason and Rita Wood. Artist Connie Crowe donated two pieces of art, angel in oil and a clay tray with a dragon fly for the silent auction for the event. Photo special to the Journal

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Shades Crest Baptist Hosts Arts, Crafts Fair

Shades Crest Baptist Church, 452 Park Ave. in Bluff Park, will host an arts and crafts fair March 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tables are available for a $20 donation. Proceeds will benefit the church’s young women’s mission trip. Crafters may call the church office, 822-1360, to register. Contact Mary Swedenburg at 403-9941 for more information.

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Sister Schubert is Tablescapes Speaker

Sister Schubert, founder of Sister Schubert’s Rolls, is the guest speaker for the annual Spring Tablescapes Luncheon hosted by the Hannah Home Shelby Auxiliary, a support group for the Christian home for homeless and abused women and children. The event is April 6, at the Metropolitan Church of God. Patsy Riley, former First Lady of Alabama, will also be attending. There will be more than 30 tablescapes set by Auxiliary members and friends and a menu prepared by the Culinary and Hospitality Institute of Jefferson State Community College. The event will begin at 10 a.m. with a sip ‘n’ see, Silent Auction and book signing. Guests will be able to enjoy coffees and gourmet pastries while previewing the tables, bidding on auction items and getting an autographed copy of Sister

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March 30 is $30 for the 8K and $20 for the fun run. Late registration for the 8K, on race day only from 6:307:45 a.m., is $35. A kids’ pavilion will offer fun and music provided by Boosterthon. For more information, visit

Rumpshaker to Raise Funds for Colon Cancer Research

The Rumpshaker 5K will return to Sloss Furnaces March 26 to raise funds for colon cancer research and prevention. There will be two race Getting ready for Hand In Paw’s Mutt Strut are from left: Polo with options – a 5K run/walk starting at owner Victoria Frazier, Melinda Carter with Parker, Paige Hardee, 8 a.m. or a one-mile fun run startCassie Moore with Dolce and Matt Lackey with Mable. ing at 9 a.m. Journal Photo by Laura McAlister There will be food, music, goodies and much more. Patricia “Sister Schubert” Registration for the 5K is $30 a Barnes, Lucy “Lulu” Anne Buffett person, and $18 for the fun run. and the Justice Patricia Smith will Visit receive the award. Hand in Paw will hold its for more information. Sponsored by the Southern second annual Mutt Strut: Dog Women’s Committee of 50, the Friendly 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run gala raises funds for the Lovelady April 16 at 9 a.m. at Birmingham’s Center, and the Community of new Railroad Park. Hope Health Clinic in Pelham. Funds raised at the event help Tickets are $50 and are on sale Hand in Paw impact the lives of Despite challenges facing the by members of SWC50 or at Once children with special needs, at-risk local housing market, the Greater Upon a Time in Crestline Village. youth, struggling readers and the Birmingham Association of Home For ticket or corporate table inforchronically and terminally ill. Builders will produce its first Registration for the 5K with one mation, e-mail SWCof50@gmail. Building & Remodeling Expo com. dog is $30; without a dog, the cost March 25-27 at the Pelham Civic is $25. The one-mile run is $25 Complex. with a dog and $20 without. More than 80 Birmingham comNon-runners are invited to panies will participate in the threebring coolers and picnics and visit day show that opens to the public the Mutt Strut Village to hear live at noon Friday and closes Sunday The Race Without Limits, an music, visit local vendors and at 6 p.m. 8K race and one mile fun run benwatch agility/fly ball dogs in action. efiting United Cerebral Palsy of In addition to seeing the latest in For more information or to reg- Greater Birmingham, will be April design trends, the expo will include ister, visit and 2 beginning at Railroad Park in seminars on topics timely for spring click on “Events.” 2011. downtown Birmingham. The Greater Birmingham The 8K race starts at 8 a.m., and the fun run/walk begins at 9:15 a.m. Association of Home Builders will Packet pickup is 3-6 p.m. March follow the expo with its annual Parade of Homes April 1–10. For 31 at the Trak Shak in Homewood more information visit birminghamor 6:30-7:45 a.m. on race day. Three Alabama women will be Participants can register at packet honored as Southern Women of pickup. Distinction at a benefit luncheon Advance registration until March 31 at The Club.

Dogs Welcome at Mutt Strut Run

GBAHB Expo Set for March 25-27

Race Without Limits Has 8K, Fun Run





Luncheon Benefits Lovelady Center, Clinic

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Among those appearing in the Bards of Birmingham’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is Anne Popple.

Photo special to the Journal

Youthful Cast Stars In Shakespeare Play �������������������������������������



619 Montgomery Highway • 979-5611 and join us on Facebook!

Children ages 14 and younger make up the cast of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” presented by the Bards of Birmingham. Productions will be March 25 at 7 p.m. and March 26 at 2 and 7 p.m. at Eastlake United Methodist Church. Tickets will be $8 for adults and $5 for children; children 5 and under are admitted free. ❖



THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 7

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8 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011



Spees Is Revenue Chairman for March for Babies

Executive board members for the Greater Birmingham chapter of the American Society for Training and Development are, from left: Sharon Bryant, Qwin Humphries, Ravi Chabra, Ashley Self, Pete Blank, Lisa Fleming, Dallas Teague Snider, Josh Gilliam, Anna Gaylor, Joe Fehrmann and Merry Bise. Photo special to the Journal

ASTD Has New Executive Board

The Greater Birmingham chapter of the American Society for Training and Development recently announced its 2011 executive board. The board includes: Dallas Teague Snider of Make Your Best Impression, president; Joe Fehrmann of Joe Fehrmann Consulting, president-elect; Pete Blank of the Personnel Board of Jefferson County, past president; Josh Gilliam of the Personnel Board of Jefferson County, vice president of communication; Ashley Self of Thompson Tractor, vice president of finance; Qwin

Humphries of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, vice president of marketing; Lisa McDaniel of BestBiz, vice president of membership; Anna Gaylor of Cobbs, Allen & Hall, vice president of programs; Merry Bise of Vulcan Materials, secretary; Sharon Bryant of Vulcan Materials, volunteer coordinator; Ravi Chabra of Progress3x3, board advisor 1; and Lana Thompson of Thompson & Associates, board advisor 2. The Greater Birmingham chapter of ASTD is a non-profit organization with some 100 members dedicated to adding value for workforce development. For more information, visit

Shane Spees, president and CEO of Baptist Health System, will serve as revenue chairman for the 2011 Greater Birmingham March for Babies, the March of Dimes’ biggest annual fundraiser. Spees is committed to raising $115,000 toward the March for Babies goal of $400,000 to support March of Dimes research and community programs to help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies to begin healthy lives. In Birmingham, March for Babies will be April 30 at the UAB Mini Park, 14th St. and University Blvd. Funds raised by March for Babies support research and community programs at Jefferson County Department of Health, St. Vincent’s Foundation, Walker Baptist Medical Center, Alabama Department of Public Health, UAB OB/GYN, Brookwood Medical Center and Baptist Health Foundation. Baptist Health System is the presenting sponsor of the 2011 Greater Birmingham March for Babies. Other top sponsors include Trinity Contractors, Brasfield & Gorrie, Robins & Morton, St. Vincent’s Health System, Wells Fargo, Maynard Cooper & Gale, and Warren Averett Kimbrough & Marino.

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Lee Ritchie Johnston received “Honors of the Association” at the Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama’s 2010 Convention. Photo special to the Journal

Johnston Receives SHAA Honor

The Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama honored Lee Ritchie Johnston at its 2010 annual convention in Birmingham with “Honors of the Association,” the top award given at the SHAA honors luncheon. The award is presented to an individual whose contributions to human communication sciences and disorders are recognized throughout the professional community. Johnston retired from the Homewood school system and now owns her own business, Success Consultant Services. ❖


YWCA Has New Officers, Directors

YWCA Central Alabama announced its board of directors’ new officers and members at its annual meeting Jan. 31. Officers are: Kathryn Harbert, president; Brenda Hackney, vice president of finance; Carla Roberson, vice president of development; Lajuana Bradford, vice president of planning; Margaret Brooke, vice president of programs; Andrea McCaskey, treasurer; Kathy Hoar, corresponding secretary; and Dalton Blankenship, recording secretary. New members are: Nancy Burton, community volunteer; Kate Cotton, vice president, community relations, Protective Life Corporation and executive director, Protective Life Foundation; Virginia Gauld, community volunteer; Margaret Jones, designer and owner of Margaret Jones Interior Design; Lynn LaRussa, community volunteer; Andrea McCaskey, vice president of human resources, BioHorizons; Laura Poston, Jefferson County deputy district attorney; Valerie Thomas, community volunteer; DeValerie Williams, document services supervisor, Southern Nuclear Company; and Bonika Wilson, president of Wilson Capital Management. The YWCA Central Alabama

presented its Woman of Valor award to Odessa Woolfolk, a longtime supporter. As an educator, community activist and founding leader of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Woolfolk embodies the mission to “eliminate racism and empower women.” The YWCA honored Woolfolk for her many years of extraordinary community service. Debra Stock, YWCA national board chairman, attended the meeting.

Music Club Guild Chooses Winners

The Birmingham Music Club Guild recently announced the 2011 winners of its Music Scholarship Competition. Auditions were March 4 at Birmingham-Southern College. Scholarship awards were given in piano, instrumental and voice categories. First place winners are: Kevin Canada at the University of Alabama for piano, Brian Logan (euphonium) at the University of Alabama for instrumental and Patrick Jones at the University of Montevallo for voice. Runners-up are: Lillian Roberts at Samford University for piano, Kolson Lamb (violin) at the University of Alabama for instrumental and Bryant Bush at

PEOPLE the University of Alabama for voice. Logan was named Best Overall Performer. First place winners receive $1,500 each; runners-ups receive $1,000. The winner of the Best Overall Performer award receives $1,000. The awards are to be used toward study at Alabama universities and colleges. First place winners will perform at the Birmingham Music Club Scholarship Luncheon April 15. ❖

THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 9

Troy Rhone, owner of Troy Rhone Garden Design, won the 2011 Horizon Award on behalf of the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association at the association’s January meeting in Mobile. The award recognizes an individual for outstanding service in the field of horticulture throughout Alabama. The recipient is chosen by his or her peers. Presenting the award to Rhone, left, is Stephen Presley, president of Landscape Workshop Inc. Photo special to the Journal

10 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011




Each summer, Adaptive Aquatics hosts hundreds of disabled Alabamians of all ages and abilities on Lay Lake. Joe Ray, far right in front, teaches the classes. Joe was paralyzed from the waste down in a car accident and has been water skiing ever since. Photo special to the Journal

Hope Floats

Adaptive Aquatics Teaches Disabled to Water Ski and More


Walker Ray, 6, tries water skiing for the first time at Adaptive Aquatics on Lay Lake in Wilsonville. Walker of Mountain Brook has low muscle tone, making traditional water skiing difficult, but thanks to the equipment at Adaptive Aquatics, he can enjoy the sport.



fter a car accident left him paralyzed from the waist down when he was 20 years old, Joe Ray could have given up. Instead, he went water skiing. Now 53, Joe enjoyed the sport so much that he’s still doing it – and he’s also been teaching others with disabilities that they can do it, too. Joe is executive director of Adaptive Aquatics on Lay Lake in nearby Wilsonville. The nonprofit program serves handicapped people of all ages and abilities throughout the state by teaching them how to The 3-Hour Tour is a fundraiser for water ski using adapequipment that Adaptive Aquatics. There will be live tive meets their special entertainment plus a silent and live needs. auction. This year, Adaptive When: 6-9 p.m. April 28 Aquatics will celebrate its 30th anniversary, Where: SoHo’s Rosewood Hall as well as a new facilTickets: $60 a person or $100 a ity, with its 3-Hour couple. Tour fundraiser set for Contact: April 28 at SoHo’s Rosewood Hall. The event will include a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar and entertainment. Tickets are $60 a person or $100 a couple. All proceeds benefit Adaptive Aquatics, which is funded solely through donations. “This fundraiser is very important,” said Natalie Hausman-Weiss of Mountain Brook. “This is such a wonderful program, and Joe is absolutely committed to it. The equipment isn’t inexpensive, but he doesn’t turn anyone away.” Natalie found out about the program through the Lakeshore Foundation, where her son Abraham, 13, plays sports. Abraham was born with spina bifida and is paralyzed from the waist down.

Photo special to the Journal

“We moved to Alabama 111⁄2 years ago, and we’ve just been overwhelmed by all the wonderful programs for our son, and one of those is Adaptive Aquatics,” she said. “Joe Ray has this incredible personality, and he works with each of them to let them know their full potential. When Abraham has gone, he’s felt very empowered.” Empowering those with disabilities is what prompted Joe to get involved with Adaptive Aquatics in the first place. The program was started by Phil Martin in 1980. Phil, a pioneer of adapted water skiing, also worked with Camp ASCCA on Lake Martin teaching those with disabilities to water ski. That’s where Joe learned the skill. The adaptive equipment allowed him to trade his wheelchair for a ski that he could ride on sitting down. “I just loved it, so Phil convinced me to start helping him teach,” Joe said. “It’s just great. Water really is freedom. “For a person with a disability to be free of their chair or crutches or whatever they use – that empowers them in such a way you just can’t measure it.” Susan Ray, no relation to Joe, of Mountain Brook agrees. Her son Walker, 6, attended an Adaptive Aquatics clinic for the first time last summer.

Walker was born with a condition where he has little muscle tone. Susan never really thought about the possibility of her son water skiing until they met Joe. “Joe says everybody can ski, and he’s absolutely right,” she said. “I was a little worried (Walker) wouldn’t be able to get up, but he popped right up. He got it 100 percent and was able to do it all by himself.” Joe’s students are often referred through programs like the Lakeshore Foundation and Camp ASCCA, but Joe does a lot of the recruiting himself. “I get a lot of things I used to think thrown back at me,” he said. “I used to think – I’ve never skied, I can’t swim in a wheelchair. It’s just all about the adaptations. Everybody’s disability is different.” While the sit ski enables those who are wheelchairbound to ski, Joe said they also have equipment for those paralyzed just on one side of their body, people with prosthetics and the blind. The program recently began serving wounded veterans. Adaptive Aquatics serves 600-800 each year from April-Oct. Thanks to the new facility, Joe said, he hopes they can serve even more in the coming years. For more information on Adaptive Aquatics and its upcoming fundraiser, visit or call Joe Ray at 807-7519. ❖



THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 11

Take a Break on a Budget




h, this pesky economy. It has most families looking for ways to trim their budgets, especially when it comes to non-essentials like vacations. And you never know, when you pull up to the pump, if you’ll need a second mortgage to pay for your gas. With that in mind, is it any wonder that the term “staycation” has quickly found its way into everyday jargon? Said to have been coined by a Canadian comedian, Americans began using the word widely in 2008. That’s when gas prices reached record levels and Get more ideas folks began on planning the looking for ways to perfect staycation have fun this summer from without short day trips to traveling an afternoon of far from family fun. home. To come up with some staycation destinations that can be reached from Birmingham on a tank of gas, we figured on a 20 miles per gallon average for cars that hold about 17 gallons of gas. (If you’ve got a gas guzzler, these figures will be wildly off base – we’re just saying.).


Children’s Hands-On Museum 2213 University Blvd. Tuscaloosa www.chomonlineorg 349-4235 Most Over the Mountain folks have experienced the fun of the McWane Science Center. Another option for combining fun and learning is the Children’s Hands-On Museum in downtown Tuscaloosa. CHOM, geared for babies through fifth graders, encourages its young visitors to use their imaginations. Exhibits include a Choctaw Indian village, planetarium, Main Street gallery and hospital. Kids can feel the seats vibrating as they sit inside a “spaceship” at Space Station CHOM and have fun exiting the beaver lodge at Beaver’s Bend via a slide. The museum constantly has special programs and events geared to holidays, so check the website’s calendar before you plan a visit. Old Courthouse Museum 31 North Alabama Ave. Monroeville 251-575-7433 We’re pushing that “trip on


Scotland Ireland


7-Night Ireland & Scotland Cruise The Children’s Hands-On Museum in Tuscaloosa is less than an hour away, and promises to be lots of fun for little ones with its many handson exhibits. Photo special to the Journal one tank of gas” theme a bit with this trip, but not much – and this little town is worth the journey if you’re a fan of Southern literature. While Monroeville isn’t the place for those craving glitz and glamour, a visit to the Old Courthouse Museum can bring a pair of Alabama’s most wellknown writers to life. It’s especially fun for older children who’ve read “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The set for the movie’s courtroom scenes replicated the town’s old courthouse, which was used until 1963. The room is so reminiscent of the movie that you almost expect Atticus Finch – well, Gregory Peck playing Atticus Finch – to walk in. Upstairs in the building are two exhibits which tell stories of reclusive Harper Lee, author of TKAM, and colorful Truman Capote; both have strong Monroeville ties. Docents are well versed and love to share stories about the two writers. There are great finds at the museum’s gift shop, too. Pepper Place Market 2829 2nd Ave. South Opening April 16, downtown Birmingham’s Pepper Place Market offers plenty of homegrown goodies and home-baked treats. And besides farmers and bakers, you can meet beekeepers, hear musicians and get cooking tips from a local chef. Why not rouse the family and head for the market, where you can have a light breakfast and coffee? Then let the kids help shop for fresh ingredients for a simple picnic lunch. Next, head for a green space and enjoy lunch al fresco. Take along bikes if you choose Oak Mountain State Park or fishing poles if you’re heading to Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Or stay closer to town at Birmingham’s new Railroad Park. As a bonus, the kids will be

so worn out that they’ll go to bed early. One can hope. Baseball Bonanza Birmingham Barons Regions Park 100 Ben Chapman Drive 988-3200 If you’re one of those baseball fanatics who have always dreamed of traveling to Major League stadiums around the country, try a mini-version of that adventure. Cheer for our home team, the Birmingham Barons, at Hoover’s Regions Field, and then follow them on the road. The Barons open their season against Montgomery April 7-11 at the Biscuits’ picturesque Riverwalk Stadium and travel to play the Huntsville Stars April 23-27. (Check the website for other dates, too.) Combine a visit to the capital city with a visit to Old Alabama Town, or leave early for Huntsville and tour the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Although it’s not likely that Michael Jordan will have a return engagement with the Barons, you never know which big-name player you’ll see rehabbing with a minor league team – or a future star on his way to the Big Show. Mentone Alabama’s natural beauty is showcased in charming Mentone and the surrounding countryside. See the Little River Canyon National Preserve, where you can travel along a 23-mile canyon rim with breathtaking views of waterfalls. Also nearby is DeSoto State Park; with hiking and biking trails, it’s open every day of the year. There’s no charge to visit the 90-feet-long Old Union Crossing covered bridge at the Shady Grove Dude Ranch. And when you’ve had enough of the great outdoors, walk through downtown Mentone, where you’ll find restaurants and shops. ❖

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Putting Their ‘Heart’ into a Good Cause

12 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011


he 24th annual Heart Ball was held March 5 at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center. The ball was hosted by the Heart Guild of Birmingham. This year’s honoree was C. Phillip McWane, chairman of McWane, Inc. More than 850 attended the event, raising more than $750,000 for the American Heart Association. The evening began with a reception and silent auction followed by a seated dinner, program and live auction. A three-course meal was served. The first course included a grilled hearts of romaine salad with olive oil, lemon and shaved Parmesan; toasted polenta with Texas caviar, pepperoncini and Kalamata olive garnish; and a Tuscan Caesar salad with jalapeño corn muffins and buttermilk biscuits. The second course was a char-grilled tenderloin filet of beef with herbed compound butter paired with Parmesan sautéed breast of chicken with Creole cream, fried green tomatoes, caramelized sweet potatoes with candied pecans and a steamed fresh vegetable medley. Desserts were Southern bourbon pecan pie with whipped cream and chocolate turtle cake with fudge, pecans and caramel. ArtPlay from UAB’s Alys Stephens Center for Arts Education & Outreach performed for the guests. Live music was provided by 14 Karat Gold dance band. Gene Hallman was master of ceremonies. Ron Kirby with Stokes Auction Group was auctioneer.



More than 850 people attended this year’s Heart Ball. Left: Among those there were, from left, front: ball co-chairmen Diana Salter and Kim Hull, Heart Guild president Kristina Hindman and ball co-chairmen Tricia Schencker and Tammy Savage. Back: Mark Drew, Executive Leadership Team chairman; James Kirklin, M.D., Open Your Heart chairman: C. Phillip McWane, Heart Ball honoree and James R. Andrews, M.D., Heart Society Patron chairman. Right: Special guests at the 2011 Heart Ball were C. Phillip McWane, this year’s honoree, with 2010 honoree Dr. Carol Garrison, president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Photos special to the Journal Live auction items included a Heart & Soul gourmet dinner for six at the winner’s home by Chef Chris Zapalowski of Homewood Gourmet, the 24th annual Heart Ball signature painting by

Birmingham artist Tracy McKay, a trip to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York and a Heart & Soul package to Chicago. Kim Hull was chairman of this year’s

ball; Kristina Hindman is Heart Guild president. Mark Drew is the Executive Leadership Team chairman, and Dr. James Kirklin is chairman of Open Your Heart. ❖

Red Nose Ball is ‘S-More Fun Than Ever’


Camp Smile-A-Mile’s Red Nose Ball was Feb. 19. Among those attending were: Above, left: from left, front: Sue Quinn and Bebe Costner. Back: Angie Redmond, John Redmond, Dan Fowler, Jean Costner Thomason, Roy Costner and Sissy Costner Boone. Above: Stephanie and Daniel Sims Left: Lori Rosenthal, Terry Chapman, Mariah Chapman and Jennifer Mitchell Photos special to the Journal

he 2011 Red Nose Ball lived up to its theme as it raised money for Camp Smile-A-Mile, a year-round program for children in Alabama with cancer. “Smore Fun than Ever” was the theme for the Feb. 19 event at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center. The night began with a silent auction, followed by a seated dinner more photos at and live auction. Entertainment was provided by the Undergrounders. Mike Royer with Alabama’s 13 was master of ceremonies; Ken Jackson was auctioneer. Chairmen of this year’s ball were John Daniel and Bob Mitchell. Betsy McAtee is president of Camp Smile-A-Mile. Proceeds from the Red Nose Ball benefit the camp’s mission to provide recreational and educational experiences for young cancer patients, their families and young adult survivors at no cost. ❖



‘A Night Under the Big Top,’ hosted by ...

Glenwood, Autism and Behavioral Health Center was held at The Club Feb. 25. This year’s event, presented by Iberia Bank, featured music by the Undergrounders, casino-style fun and games and a silent auction. The Junior Board, led by president Dowe Bynum, met its fundraising goal of $165,000, with more than 700 people attending. Glenwood serves children with autism. All proceeds from this year’s event will fund Glenwood’s Autism Outpatient Services. With support, Glenwood will be closer to reaching its goal of reducing the diagnostic wait time for children with autism from two months to two weeks. The silent auction included a Louis Vuitton duffle, stays at vacation homes along Florida’s Highway 30A, hunting trips, sports memorabilia and tickets, dinner at Birmingham restaurants, including Fleming’s, Bottega, Kathy G and Flip Burger, and photography packages and art donated by Arden Ward, Helen Gilliland and Daniel Moore. Also auctioned were items from White Room, Ivory and White, Mr. Burch, Bella Bridesmaid, Saks, Bromberg’s, Dorothy McDaniel, Barton Clay, Summer Classics and more. Other members of the Glenwood Junior Board are vice president Michael Philips, event chairman Katie Gulas, secretary and silent auction chairman Cathleen Elliott, past president Vince Schilleci, decorations chairman Christine Smith, public relations chairman Katie Stripling, event graphic designer Lauren Grecus, photographer Arden Ward, Whit Bird, Russ Chambliss, Peter Curtin, Magen Gamble, John Goldasich, Reed Lawrence, Elizabeth McCoin, Maggie O’Connor, Brent Panell, Andy Parker, Adam Robinett, Katie Stripling, Britney Summerville, Will Thuston, Patricia Wallwork and associate member Andy Davenport.

Kid One Transport supporters gathered ...

at Saks Fifth Avenue March 3 for the “Diamonds for Life” pregala party. Guests enjoyed desserts by Ashley Mac’s and Pastry Art, music by DJ Exothermic of Notturnous Music, a galainspired fashion presentation, a “Glam Gala” makeup consultation courtesy of Saks’ Chanel makeup artists and a discount shopping pass for the evening. Kid One Transport’s third annual “Diamonds for Life” gala will be April 9 at the Cahaba Grand conference center.


THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 13


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• Alabama Primitive Yellow/White Beadboard Farmtable • Vibrant Mid 19th c. American Oil on Canvas Still Life • Mid 19th c. French Neoclassical Console • Mid 19th c. Kentucky Walnut Plantation Desk • View Gallery on Facebook, Noordermeer Antiques

Above: Glenwood Junior Board members include, from left: Lauren Grecus, Katie Gulas, Christine Smith, Katie Stripling, Elizabeth McCoin, Arden Ward, Magen Gamble, Cathleen Elliott, Britney Summerville, Tricia Wallwork and Maggie O’Connor. Below: Serving on the Glenwood Junior Board are, from left: Michael Phillips, Andy Parker, Whit Bird, John Goldasich, Will Thuston, Reed Lawrence, Peter Curtin, Brent Panell, Russ Chambliss, Dowe Bynum and Vince Schilleci. Not pictured is Adam Robinett.

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Honoring Kid One’s corporate partner, Mercedes-Benz, the evening will include music, cocktails and a silent auction. Also planned are a seated dinner, live auction by Jack Granger of Granger Thagard &

Associates and a diamond giveaway courtesy of Bromberg’s Fine Jewelers. For more information or to buy tickets to the gala, call 978-1017 or visit www.kidone. org. ❖

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14 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011



The Sherwood Forest Garden Club met ...

recently at the home of Donna Jernigan in Shook Hill Circle. Dicky Barlow, superintendent of Mountain Brook schools, was the guest speaker. Hostesses were Kathy Logue, Becky Keyes and Carole Ann Moorer. Officers this year are Amy Nunneley, Amanda Black, Allison Collier, Amy Maher, Kay West and Joy Wood.

Red Mountain and Little Garden Clubs ...


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held a joint meeting Feb. 11 at the Birmingham Museum of Art. More than 60 members of the two clubs were treated to a floral design presentation by Sybil Sylvester, owner of Wildflower Designs. She was assisted on stage by Chris Carter of Christopher Glenn, Inc. in Homewood. Both garden clubs are members of the Garden Club of America (GCA), a volunteerdriven nonprofit organization made up of affiliate clubs across the U.S. GCA is celebrating its 100th year with a Centennial Tree project, asking member clubs to focus on tree projects in their communities. The two

At Sherwood Forest Garden Club’s recent meeting were, from left: Donna Jernigan, Amy Maher, Dicky Barlow and Amy Nunneley.

Photo special to the Journal

Birmingham clubs are working together to reforest George Ward Park, a project that began last year with plantings across the park. Helen Drennen, president of Red Mountain Garden Club, opened the meeting and greeted guests. Paula Crockard, also of Red Mountain Garden Club, introduced Sylvester. Babbie Shelton, president of Little Garden Club, adjourned the meeting. Hostesses from both clubs were Bama Mills, Ellen McWhorter, Holly Goodbody, Sandra Simpson, Sandy

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Thomasson, LaVona Rushton, Meg North, Pat Forman and Jane Goings. Among those at the meeting were Weesie Smith, Margie Gray, Penny Page, Mary Evelyn McKee, Evie Vare, Millie Hulsey, Katherine Shepherd, Philippa Bainbridge, Laurie Allen, Betty Brower, Lucy Tutwiler, Nonie Brown, Trudy Evans, Barbara Viar, Sid Weatherly, Lyda White, Frances Wheelock, Beth Williams, Sally Worthen, Anne Couch, Margaret Shaw, Betsy Marbury, Margaret Moor and Ashley Spotswood. ❖


Riverchase Women’s Club held a ‘Girl’s Night Out’ ...

The Junior League of Birmingham Sustainers’ ...

Mary Charles’ Doll House New, Collectible Antique Dolls 2820 Petticoat Lane Mtn. Brook Village 870-5544 Open Thur. - Sat. 10am - 4:30pm


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Photo special to the Journal


Other members and guests attending included Jane Byrne, Shaun Byrne, Stephanie Byrne, English Village • 1900 Cahaba Road • 918-0505 Kathy Graham, Lucy Watson, Carolyn King, Marion Kling, Leslie McLeod, Evie Vare, Geny Mears, Louise Gillespy, Elna Brendel, Anne Finch, Diana Turnipseed and Martha Hiden. Also at the event were Kate ���� ������� ������������������������������������������������� � ������������������� ������������������������ ������� ���������� ����������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������������������

in an Alabama small town in the mid-20th century, is required reading in many schools. His more recent books, including “Speaks the Nightbird,” “Queen of Bedlam,” and “Mister Slaughter,” are historical thrillers set in the early days of Colonial America. McCammon signed copies of his books after the luncheon.

Christopher Glenn, Inc.

Antiques, Gardens & Giving

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Hours: 10:00 - 5:00 • Mon. - Sat. UPS/Gift Wrap

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Book Club recently held its annual Valentine’s luncheon at the Junior League building. Chairman Margaret Bowron Smith welcomed members and their guests. Co-chairman Beth Leonard coordinated the luncheon, assisted by members Mimi Arrington, Beth Adams, Kay Clark, Marlea Foster, Maura Goodwyn, Fletcher Chambliss, Penney Hartline, Amy Weber and Lynda Whitney. Jake Reiss of Alabama Booksmith introduced speaker Robert “Rick” McCammon. The internationally known author of 20 books, including New York Times best sellers, McCammon grew up and lives in Birmingham. His book, “Boy’s Life,” set

Above: Among those attending the Riverchase Women’s Club Girls Night Out were from left: Nadine Hamilton, Beverly Stein and Brenda Cook. Left: Also there were Sarah Harfield, left, and Paula Campbell.


March 1. Guests were invited to see an array of products and services, including wine tastings, jewelry shows, fabric arts, health and fitness displays, home décor items, home improvement ideas and hair care and styling. The extended meet and greet hour was followed by dinner and a style show featuring Cabi’s spring line, presented by Nicole Williams. After the presentation of door prizes, Barbara Traywick led members and guests in a line dance. Lynda Kern closed the meeting and reminded members to support the Crest Cadillac Golf Tournament by volunteering their services and buying raffle tickets. The Crest Cadillac Golf Classic is set for April 11 at Riverchase Country Club in Hoover. The event, in its 15th year, is hosted by the Riverchase Women’s Club in cooperation with the Hoover Metro Kiwanis and Crest Cadillac. All proceeds from Riverchase Women’s Club and 50 percent of Hoover Kiwanis Club proceeds will be donated to SafeHouse, with the balance divided among several charities. Gary Ivey, Dave Broderick, Sylvia Sumners and many volunteers are working together to plan this year’s event. For information about participation or sponsorships, call Sumners at 824-9902.

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Saturday, March 26th

HOMEWOOD ANTIQUES & marketplace 930 Oxmoor Road (205)414-9945 (visit us on Facebook)

Mon. - Sat. 10am-6pm Sun. 1pm-6pm

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Brown, Sheard McCulley, Carol Ringland, Jenny Whitmire, Patsy Dreher, Debby Denson, Kathie Ramsey, Babs Buchanan, Nancy Canada, Susie Wall, Susan Elliott, Susan Swagler, Jill Dangler, Diane Weatherford, Dale Holditch, Memily Colvin and Liz Hodges. Members enjoyed gumbo with rice, green salad with beets and blue cheese dressing, buttered rolls, strawberry cake and lime tea. Catering was by Crape Myrtle at the Little Professor Book Center. Tables were decorated with Valentine’s Day flower arrangements which were given as door prizes. The Junior League of Birmingham, a non-profit charitable organization, encourages reading among school-aged children. Book club members donate books, which are distributed to various league projects promoting reading and literacy.

The Exceptional Foundation hosted its annual ...


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16 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011


Chili Cook-Off March 5 in the parking lot of its Homewood location. The event was organized by the foundation’s junior board. The cook-off benefits the foundation’s programs. Winners in this year’s cookoff were: The Maids, grand prize winner; Alagasco Chili Squad, people’s choice award winner; Legally Lethal Chili, first runner-up; First Commercial Bank, second runner-up; Alagasco Chili Squad, fundraising award; and


Members of The Maids winning team included from left: Leann Wood, Rachel Miller, Amber McIntosh and Leslie Moon. Photo special to the Journal BHT’s Bean Team, spirit award. The top 20, in order, were: The Maids, Legally Lethal Chili, First Commercial Bank, Spice Boys, Verizon Wireless Afterburn, Just Chilin’, Kyle’s Posse, ITAC Solutions and Cookin’ Counselors (tie), Porter Capital, Richie’s Chili and Rotaract (tie), Blazing Saddles, Chop and Cook Chili, Chili Chicks and Some Dudes, Smokin’ Bowls, Sizzlin Seniors from Brookdale Place University Park, Regions and Huie, Fernambucq & Stewart (tie) and 3 Men & A Pot The Exceptional Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps meet the social and recreational needs of the mentally challenged population of the greater Birmingham area. For

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The Society of the Revolution recently held a banquet at the Mountain ��������������������������������������������� Brook Country Club to celebrate the birthday of George Washington. ����������������������������������� Photo special to the Journal ������������


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more information, visit www.

The Society of the Revolution ...

held its George Washington birthday banquet Feb. 22 at Mountain Brook Club with president Joe Cox presiding. Before dinner, there was a flag presentation by scouts Keller Briley, Gaines Hartley and John Merritt Briley of Troop 53. New officers and chairmen of the society for 2011-2013 were installed. They included Jim King, president; Jeff Porterfield, vice president; David Allen, membership chairman; Thad Long, genealogist; and Erskine Ramsey, treasurer. SORA Foundation members include Wimberley Miree, Charlie Northern and Joe Cox. Other new officers are Nelson Forbes, Jack Porterfield, Morris Benners Jr., Jim Randolph, Robert Robinson, Charlie Miller, Ed Stevenson, Donald Carmichael and Baker Crow. As dinner began, Cadet Jordan Valdez, Air Force ROTC at Samford University, read the Declaration of Independence. After dinner, Bonnie Atchison, curator of the Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington, spoke about the museum’s collection of 18th and early 19th century items once owned by the Washington-Custis-Lee families of Virginia. Other members and their guests at the banquet included Dee King, Tommy and Mary Ellen West, Mary Alice Carmichael, Clare and Lalie Draper, Henry Lynn Jr., Charles Sharp, Robert and Lalie Given, Richard and Natasha Randolph, Pete and Charles Cox, Betty Montgomery and Eason Balch, Jesse Yates, III, Alonzo Lee Jr. and Win and Barbara Baird. Also there were Katherine Robinson, Jim and Diana Spencer, Olin Barnes, Marjorie Forney, Charles and Judy Anderson, William and Katherine Cox, Elizabeth Miller,

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THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 17

Carolyn Long, Cassie Forbes, Norton and Cynthia Montague, Joseph and Kay Cox, Nan Crow, Russell and Ann Chambliss, Mimi Lanier, Charles and Charlann Anderson and Pete, Richard and Winyss Shephard and Pete and Dana McCarn.

Join our Summer Camp

The eighth annual Weim & Cheese was ...

March 5 at Rosewood Hall in Homewood’s SoHo. The event featured silent and live auctions with hors d’oeuvres from Mafiaoza’s in Crestline. Grey Bar on U.S. 280 served up a signature martini for the event. Key planners for the event were Vanessa Brown, Kim Wester, Tammy Leeth and Mary Linda McDowell. Volunteers from Nashville, Memphis, Atlanta, New Orleans and Ocean Springs, more photos at Miss., along with rescue dogs also helped with the event. Scott Register of Reg’s Coffee House and Katie McDowell were emcees; the Hurlers provided music. Auction items included a framed William Wegman signed and numbered print, a guitar signed by all members of the Zac Brown Band and a Scott Brady painting. Weim & Cheese benefits Weimaraner Rescue of the South, which strives to find homes for weimaraners in need in Alabama, Mississippi and parts of Tennessee, Georgia and Louisiana. ❖

Primrose School at Liberty Park 1800 Urban Center Parkway Vestavia Hills, Alabama 35242



Active Minds, Healthy Bodies, and Happy Hearts


Summer Camp Program Ages 5 - 12 Integrated character

Educational Child Care for Infants through Top: Attending the eighth development program Private Kindergarten and After School annual Weim & Cheese were from left: Michele Pearson, Proprietary Balanced Geno Pearson, Shae Hicks, Learning curriculum Scott “Reg” Register and Carly Minor. Each Primrose School is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools; Active Minds, Healthy Bodies, Above: Also there were, from and Happy Hearts; Balanced Learning; and The Leader in Educational Child Care are trademarks of Primrose School left: Billy and Laura Smith Franchising Company. ©2011 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved. and John and Victoria Beatie. Left: Escorting weimaraner Ziggy at the event were Betsy 64004_Prmrs_LocalAd_ID_1275.indd 1 3/18/11 Bottomley, left, and Vanessa Brown. ®

Journal photos by Laura McAlister

Please join us for the Spring 2011

Trunk Show Wednesday March 23th & Thursday March 24th 10 am - 5 pm Only at


3:36 PM

18 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011

The Civiettes Club presented ...

the Civiettes Gala, an Evening of Runway Fashion & Casino Entertainment Benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham (UCP) Feb. 19. The black tie event took place at the Vestavia Country Club and featured Don and Marsha Hire as honorary chairs. Lesley DeCastro was the cala chairwoman, and Jody Weldon was the co-chairwoman. Michelle Amaral is the Civiettes

SOCIAL Club president. All proceeds from The Civiettes Gala were donated to UCP of Greater Birmingham. The evening commenced with a fashion show featuring styles from Manhattan South, Shaia’s and Doree while guests dined on bibb and strawberry salad, sliced tenderloin au poivre and crab stuffed shrimp, Fontina and potato souffle stack and a dessert trio. Photographer and Birmingham Bombshells owner Angela Karen unveiled her first in a new line of self-designed couture gowns. She


graced the runway wearing the custom red dupioni silk gown that was lavish cut with a strapless neckline, fitted bodice, and flared skirt. After dinner, guests enjoyed casino gaming while listening to the smooth tunes of Goodfellas Jazz with Jeff Lopez and Ken Talley. The Civiettes Club of Birmingham is a non-profit organization that performs service activities and fundraisers for UCP of Greater Birmingham. Comprised of 60 volunteers, this women’s group has a history dating back to 1938.

Above: Having a good time at the Civiettes Club of Birmingham’s Feb. 19 gala were Greg Vedel and Lesley DeCastro. Below: Also in attendance were Walter and Betty DeCastro.

Photos special to the Journal


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Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Arthur Bodine Jr. of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Allison Elise Bodine, to Christophe Olivier Frederic


Mr. and Mrs. Steve Patrick of Tuscaloosa announce the engagement of their daughter, Adrianne Elizabeth Patrick, to William Austin Graham of Tuscaloosa, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Lee Graham of Birmingham. Miss Patrick is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dan Patrick,


Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Joseph Principi of Vestavia Hills announce the engagement of their daughter, Amy Maureen Principi, to Michael Wall Phillips, son of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Phillips of Vestavia Hills. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of the late Mrs. Eva Hisky Fagan Reed and the late Mr. Wallace C. Reed both of Memphis, Tenn., and the late Mr. and Mrs.

Koehl, son of Dr. and Mrs. Christian Koehl of Strasbourg, France The bride is the granddaughter of Mrs. Jack L. Phillips of Mountain Brook, the late Mr. Jack Phillips, the late Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Arthur Bodine and the late Mr. and Mrs. George Winston Barron of Bessemer. She is a cum laude graduate of Vanderbilt University where she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega and numerous honor societies. She studied abroad in France with graduate work at Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg, where she is now employed. The groom has a degree in computer science from Strasbourg, France and is employed at an IT consulting firm. The wedding will be May 14, 2011. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Rains and Ms. Carolyn Rains of Tuscaloosa. She is a 2006 graduate of Hillcrest High School and a 2010 graduate of the University of Alabama. She received her degree from the Capstone College of Nursing and is employed as a registered nurse at DCH Regional Medical Center. Mr. Graham is the grandson of Mrs. William L. Graham and the late Mr. William L. Graham of New Boston, Texas, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Harrod of Montgomery. He is a 2005 graduate of Spain Park High School and attended the University of Alabama, where he was a member of the UA baseball team and received a degree in environmental sciences in 2009. He is employed in the Quality Control Department of Walter Energy. The wedding will be April 2 at First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa. Ernest Principi of Memphis. Miss Principi is a graduate of Vestavia Hills High School and the University of Alabama, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing. She was a member of Chi Omega sorority and the University of Alabama dance team. She is employed by Pathgroup Labs, Inc., as an executive account manager in Memphis. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Barningham of Mystic, Conn., and the late Dr. and Mrs. William Phillips of Newbern, Tenn. Mr. Phillips is a graduate of Vestavia Hills High School and a magna cum laude graduate of Rhodes College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in Spanish. He served as captain of the men’s varsity soccer team. He is employed as a vice president in the investment banking division of Morgan Keegan in Memphis. The wedding is planned for May 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Chapel in Fairhope.


THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 19


Dr. Michael and Mrs. Elaine Morrisey of Vestavia Hills announce the engagement of their daughter, Michelle Ann Morrisey, to Anthony Joseph Bencomo, son of Ms. Cathleen Bencomo of Lomita, Calif. Miss Morrisey is the granddaughter of Mrs. Eleanor Morrisey of St. Cloud, Minn., and the late Mr. Charles Morrisey Sr. and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mardian of Aberdeen, S.D. She is a graduate of Vestavia Hills High School and Birmingham-Southern College, where she received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. Mr. Bencomo is the grandson of Mrs. Flora Altobelli Stuppi of Palm Desert, Calif., and the late Mr. Joseph Altobelli. He is a graduate of Bishop Montgomery High School, in Torrance, Calif., and the Art Institute of California, where he received a bachelor’s degree in culinary management. The bride-elect is a consultant with Deloitte Consulting, LLP in Los Angeles, and the prospective groom is a sous chef with the Long Beach Convention Center and Aquarium in Long Beach, Calif. The wedding is planned for May 20.

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20 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011



FUN AT ANY AGE Area Groups Reconnect Senior Citizens with Their Childhood Hobbies, Passions

A New Stage of Life

Retiree Rekindles Passion for Theater With Seasoned Performers



Gerald Stephens of Hoover steps up to bat at a Central Alabama Senior Softball Association game. Photos special to the Journal

Back in the Game

Senior Players Have a Ball In Softball League of Their Own


Bob Hunter, 76, of Vestavia Hills joined the league early on. JOURNAL EDITOR He had been playing ball with his church uss Arthur in his 70s but was has been finding it hard to keep retired for up with the younger years. But about players. once a week come “They’re all in spring, he gets to their 30s and 40s, so feel like a kid all they move a little bit over again. faster,” he said of the That’s when he church players. “The meets up with felsenior league has just low senior citizens to Russ Arthur, founder of CASSA, applies been great for me. play softball with the ice to his head after getting injured “I didn’t want to Central Alabama Senior during a game. hang up my cleats. This Softball Association’s was something that felt daytime league. right.” “I used to play Little League,” said Russ, There are no tryouts for the senior softa Michigan native who’s now a Pelham ball teams. The only requirement is age resident. “We just feel like kids playing the – players have to be at least 50 years old. old positions we used to play all our lives. However, some of the athletes are over 80 We’re just loving it.” years old. About seven years ago, Russ, 68, started “Olan Hyde, he’s 83,” Russ said. “He’s the senior citizen softball league. The rules our oldest player.” and equipment are modified for the older Russ said the daytime league is typically players, and for the most part, the competithe less competitive one. Starting in March, tion is a bit more laid back. teams play one game a week and, depending At first, the association had only about on weather, play up to 33 games through two teams, but over the years it’s been October. The night league, which typically divided into two leagues, a daytime and a has some of the younger players, starts in nighttime one, each with about four teams. April and ends in October, playing up to 29 CASSA is about the only senior citizen games. softball league in central Alabama, so playAnd just like Little League, Russ said, ers come from places as nearby as Vestavia everybody gets a ball cap and a T-shirt. Hills and Homewood and as far away as See Game, page 21 Montgomery and Dora.


ust because Rick Rivenbark is retired doesn’t mean he can’t pursue his childhood passion. Rick, 74, first got involved with theater when he was in the third grade. “I was in some school plays,” he said. “Then I got to be in a Stetson University play because they needed a child part. We considered that big time.” Rick, now a resident of Galleria Woods in Hoover, would continue acting through college. But after graduation, his career as a clinical and forensic psychiatrist left little time for such hobbies. Even after he retired and had more time, Rick didn’t give much thought to pursuing his love of acting. Throat cancer had taken much of his voice, so he didn’t think he was fit enough to perform anyway. He was wrong. In 1997, Rick was introduced to Birmingham’s Seasoned Performers, a senior citizens acting troupe. He was cast in a nonspeaking role in a play and has been with the group ever since, even after another bout of throat cancer took even more of his voice. “I don’t know if I’d say this was a lifesaver for me,” he said. “But (performing) was something that I thought was Rick Rivenbark is a member of the Seasoned Performers, a gone for me. I’ve been really grateful to the per- senior citizen theater group. Though throat cancer has taken much of his voice, he is still active with the organization’s formers.” dramatic readers. Journal photo by Laura McAlister The Seasoned Performers is a non-profit group; members range from skilled actors to amateurs. The only requirement for joining is age – you have to be at least 55 years old. The group travels throughout the Jefferson County area giving original performances. They do plays as well as dramatic readings. The dramatic reading division is the one Rick chose. Even though his voice was weak, he was still able to do the readings,

See Stage, page 21

Game from page 20

Players congratulate each other after a game. Russ said for many players in the league it’s not so much about competition as it is camaraderie.

Stage from page 20

thanks to a portable sound system. “I did that from ’98-2003, and it was just great to be back doing what I really liked,” he said. “Then my throat cancer returned a third time, and the radiation really dropped my voice. I had to give up reading.” But he didn’t have to give up the Seasoned Performers. Rick still works with the readers division, now more as a director and teacher. He’s also dabbled in writing a few of his own scripts for the group. “I’m still active, and I’m still loving it,” he said. “I like being on

THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 21



the stage, but since I can’t do that, I like teaching. It’s not just reading. It’s really acting, kind of like the old radio shows.” Check them out The The Seasoned readers meet once Performers will host a week for a Baby Boomer rehearsals. Birthday Bash honThe group oring “Cousin Cliff” performs at 3 p.m. March about 70 27 at the Virginia times a Samford Theater. year at nursing homes, schools, churches and clubs. The performances aren’t the

The cost to join the league is $75 for the day league, which provides bats, and $70 for the night league. While games have been played on Pelham city fields, they’ll move to Birmingham city fields at Green Springs Park this year. For any senior who misses the field, Bob said the league is a good opportunity to get back to the game. Players might move a little slower, but it’s still good old-fashioned fun, just like Little League. “Now, instead of everybody saying ‘I got it, I got it,’ they say, ‘you get it, you get it,’ ” he joked. “We’re just having fun. We know we can’t

run or hit like we used to, but we can still play the game.” For more information about CASSA, contact Russ Arthur at

807-3746 or 663-7597, Bob Hunter at 823-2758 or 903-7739 or visit the league website at www.thecassa. com. ❖

Soar With A Higher Hope

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only thing that makes the Seasoned Performers special, Rick said. It’s also the camaraderie. ���������������� He and his wife Nova, who is ����������������������������������� also a member of the Seasoned Performers, host gatherings at their ������� • Primary Care for adults age 15 and older home with their fellow readers, and ������� ������������������������������������������������� • Same or next day appointments rehearsals often end with the read� ������������������� ers going out to lunch. • Hospital rounds “It’s really an intelligent, witty������� ���������� group of people,” Rick said. “We �������������������������������������������������������������� come from a variety of back��������������������������������������������������������������������� grounds. We could probably write a script every time we meet.” ���������������� ��������������������������������������������� For more information about the ������������������������������������ Seasoned Performers, visit www. �������������������������������������� ����������������������������������� or call 978������������ 5095. ❖


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22 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011

OTM Senior Citizen Guide

All of the Over the Mountain communities provide their senior residents with unique opportunities to socialize and participate in a wide range of activities from dance classes to board games. Below is just a sampling of what the area has to offer. The Vestavia Hills Senior Citizen Association meets the second Monday of each month

for lunch and entertainment and is open to anyone 55 years or older. For more information contact Julie Harer at 9780169.

Hoover New Horizons hosts a variety of fitness, social and recreational programs for Hoover residents over the age of 55. For more information call 739-6700.



The Hoover Meal Program provides a daily lunch for Jefferson County residents 60 years of age and older with a donation requested at each meal. For more information call 739-6700. The Lunch Bunch welcomes Hoover’s senior citizens to dine at a different Birmingham restaurant the second Thursday of every

The Hoover Senior Center recently celebrated Mardi Gras with festive beads and mask as well as the traditional King Cake. Among those attending the event were Larry and Liz Enzweiler. month. For more information contact Betty Kuykendall at 979-0742 or Merry Gordon Jones at 428-1331. The Homewood Senior Center offers residents and non-residents the opportunity to participate in various programs including dance classes, board games, computer classes and more. For more information call 332-6500. Shelby Senior Services presents an exciting opportunity for senior citizens to visit Washington, D.C. June 16-21. The trip includes motor coach transportation and visits to the Capitol’s best sights. For more information call 398-0127. The Merry Ellen Estes Senior Community Center at Heardmont Park provides senior citizens with a place to take classes and socialize. For more information call 991-5743. The Silver Sneakers fitness program designed for older adults is now being offered at the Vestavia Xpress brand of the YMCA. For more information call 823-0144. The city of Vestavia Hills offers a free transportation program for the city’s senior citizens. The program takes seniors to appointments, shopping, bank visits, etc. within the city limits. City vehicles are used in this transportation program. The drivers are all volunteers, many from the Vestavia Hills Senior Citizens Association. For further information about this program, call Melissa Hipp at the City Hall. The Knit Wits is a knitting group at the Hoover Senior Center. The group meets Mondays from 9:30 a.m.noon. It’s for true beginners or those wishing to brush up on their rusty skills. This class is taught by volunteer, Francine Pearson. Enroll by calling 7396700.

Songbirds is a choral group made up of members of Hoover New Horizons who perform for various functions in Hoover and surrounding areas. Call 7396700 for more information. Hoover New Horizons hosts book discussions Wednesdays. Join Pam Bainter from the Hoover Library from 9:30-11 a.m. Be sure to check out the book at the Hoover Senior Center a few weeks prior to the discussion. Call 739-6700 for more information. Gabriel Program is a financial management program of the Jefferson County Office of Senior Citizens. It assists seniors at risk for financial exploitation as well as assisting older adults who can no longer manage their financial affairs because of physical or mental disabilities. Contact 325-1429 for more information. Intergenerational Program is a service-learning program to foster positive images of older people to school age children by involving both groups in various activities. Older Adults from senior centers as well as the general population serve as mentors, tutors, oral historians, and participants in show and tell adventures, while students share their skills, talents and ideas with older adults. Contact 325-1429 for more information. The Joy Luck Club is a program of the Levite Jewish Community Center, but you don’t have to be a member of the LJCC to join. The program offers all sorts of activities for seniors including movie nights, exercise, game days and evening outings. For more information contact Mindy Cohen at 879-0411 ext. 233 or – Compiled by Martha Blanton –


Gwin Remembers Student, Teacher

Gwin Elementary students planted a tree in memory of second grade teacher Bob Thomas, who died Nov. 7, 2010, and third grader Stardust Mullins, who lost her battle with cancer Dec. 31, 2010. The school’s annual treeplanting ceremony was held Feb. 14. The Hoover Beautification Board presented the Bob Thomas school with a redbud tree for planting. Principal Linda Joseph read the poem “Don’t Forget the Tree,” and students read quotes and information about trees Stardust Mullins and performed a rap song. Stardust’s classmates hung handmade stars on the tree in her memory, and Mr. Thomas’ students hung handmade leaves.

Winners Chosen at Expressions Contest

Crestline Elementary recently held its 2011 Expressions art contest, sponsored by the Mountain Brook PTO Elementary Arts Council. School winners were honored at the Feb. PTO meeting with Dicky Barlow, Mountain Brook school superintendent, in attendance. Winners for different age groups were selected in visual arts, photography, literature, music composition and video production. Visual arts winners included: Grades K-2: Sanders Oliver, first; Grace Knight, second; Anne McKinley Walker, third; Betty Hemby, honorable mention; and Lillian Pittman, honorable mention. Grades 3-4: Anna Brooks Allen, first; Hannah Straughn, second; Emma Blakely, third; Billy Krauss, honorable men-

THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 23

SCHOOLS tary on the U.S.’s homeless. Category judge John White of White & Stover Innovations awarded her the Special Jury Prize of Future Documentarian of Humanitarian and Social Justice Issues.

National Geographic Honors ISS Student

Indian Springs School junior Laura McMullan of Birmingham has been selected to take part in National Geographic’s On Assignment Program in Italy and Greece this summer. She Helping to plant a tree in memory of a Gwin Elementary teacher and will have student were, from left: students Luke Sanderson, Nicole Waldrop, the opporAnthony Davis, Sumner Dobrava, Trey Dickey, Taylor Lucas and Ben tunity to Shelley. Photo special to the Journal learn from one of the tion; and Annabel Davis, honorHayden Sledge, honorable menmagazine’s able mention. tion. top photoGrades 5-6: Sarah Gladney, Literature winners were: journalists first; Mary Rose Rutledge, secGrades K-2: Annabel Davis, and enhance ond; Alexandria Russel, third; first; and Britt Ware, second. her underand Sara Toms, honorable menGrades 5-6: Robert Krauss, standing of tion. first; and Eleanor Swagler, secphotograLaura McMullan Photography winners were: ond. phy as well Grades K-2: Marechel Video production winners as ancient and modern Italian Sledge, first; Isabella Maldia, for grades 5-6 were: Robert and Greek culture. second and third; and Beau Krauss, first; Heitho Shipp, secLaura is one of only about Murdock, honorable mention. ond; Thomas Krauss, third; and 20 students nationwide to parGrades 3-4: Lucy Reich, first Kendall Alby, honorable menticipate in the program, which and third; Aaron Vajda, second; tion. includes traveling to the Italian Ginny Carney, honorable menSam Vaughn and Eric Vaugn cities of Rome, Pompeii, Capri tion; and Aaron Vajda, honortied for first in music composiand Salerno and the Greek cities able mention. tion. of Delphi, Athens and Náfplio. Grades 5-6: Thomas Krauss, Crestline sixth grader Heitho She will document her expefirst; Bond Elliot, second; Shipp was individually recogriences on film under the guidChristopher Harmon, third; and nized for her video documenance of Massimo Bassano, an Italian-born photographer. The author of the acclaimed photography book “The Color of Science,” Bassano has frequently been published in National Geographic Traveler and on

spoke to the students about perseverance. Two boys and two girls from each grade level are selected to the court of honor each nine weeks. Students are chosen by their teachers based on leadership, citizenship and conduct. Winners included Bonnie DeCarlo, Regan Hardy, Jake Swinson and Ben Cage, eighth grade; Avery Baker, Priscilla Gutierrez, Aaron Dixon and Chase Elliot, seventh grade; and Daryl Wilson, Emma King, Daniel Ulrich and Caleb Roberson, sixth grade. ❖

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Manager/Owner: Michelle Dickey

Selman Speaks at Court of Honor

Liberty Park Middle School recently held its 2010-2011 second nine weeks Lancer Court of Honor. Guest speaker was Brian Selman, former Vestavia Hills student and University of Alabama long snapper. Selman

At Liberty Park Middle School’s Lancer Court of Honor were, from left, front: Caleb Roberson, Daniel Ulrich, Daryl Wilson, Emma King and Reagan Hardy. Second row: Bonnie DeCarlo, Avery Baker and Priscilla Gutierrez. Back: Principal Kacy Pierce, Aaron Dixon, Chase Elliott, Ben Cage, Jake Swinson and former University of Alabama football player Brian Selman. Photo special to the Journal


It’s time to experience a place like no other.

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������������������������ Admission Open House These Crestline Elementary students were winners at the school’s recent Expressions art contest.

Photo special to the Journal

April 10, 2011 | 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm

24 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011


Disney Theatrical dramaturge and literary manager Ken Cerniglia, far left, and Steven Eng founder of National Asian Artists Project present Mountain Brook Junior High Choir students Megan Bemowski and Gracie Friday with their awards. Photo special to the Journal

MBJH Choir Students Win Theater Award

Mountain Brook Junior High choir students Gracie Friday and Megan Bemowski earned a “Freddie G Outstanding Student Direction and Choreography” award at the 2011 Junior Theater Festival held in January in Atlanta. The world’s largest musical theatre festival dedicated to groups working with elementary and middle school students, the

event is presented by New York’s iTheatrics and Atlanta’s Theater of the Stars and sponsored by Music Theatre International and Disney Musicals. The MBJH students, ages 12-15, presented selections from Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man Jr.” for adjudication by musical theatre teacher Holly Stanfield. Bemowski and Friday were named to the Broadway Jr. AllStars, a group of performers representing each of the 54 student

Sebastian Wygoda, front, and Jose Medina, Science Olympiad team members from John Carroll Catholic High School, teamed up for the regional competition at UAB. Photo special to the Journal


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groups at the festival. The students performed the song “Play My Music” from “Camp Rock: The Musical” at the closing ceremonies. Mountain Brook Junior High student Katy Grace Liscomb was one of 68 students out of 2,100 who made a final call-back for the MTI choreography DVDs, choreographed by iTheatrics’ Steven Kennedy. A cast of 20 students will be selected this spring to tape the how-to choreography guides in New York this summer. The MBJH students will perform their full production of “The Music Man Jr.” in May in Birmingham. It will be the organization’s eighth spring musical, with student directors and choreographers. The 2011 Junior Theater Festival at Atlanta’s Cobb Galleria Centre brought together Broadway professionals and more than 2,000 students and teachers from 50 schools and educational theater groups from across the U.S. and Canada.

the top two teams Shades Cahaba Elementary School students in Lisa Lorino’s third grade class designed and constructed “Creative Critters” Valentine mailboxes and bags Feb. 14.

JCCHS Team Earns State Olympiad Spot

The John Carroll Catholic High School Science Olympiad team, coached by faculty members Dr. Susan Lagrone and Mary DiChiara, placed second in the regional Science Olympiad competition at UAB Feb. 19. The team competed against 12 schools. With the finish, John Carroll advanced to the state competition. All 15 members of the team medaled in at least one event at UAB competition. Student winners from John Carroll were: Tianjiao Zhang and Abby Cook, second place, astronomy; Mallory DiChiara and Justin Catt, first place, Disease Detectives; Jeremy Ruppert and Taylor Davis, second place, ecology; Kelvin Smith, John Michael Romano and Jose Medina, third place, experimental design; Meghan Till and Danny Elzein, second place, forensics; Sebastian Wygoda and Jose Medina, first place, mission; Sebastian Wygoda and Noah Merrin, first place, mousetrap vehicle; Tianjiao Zhang and Abby Cook, first place, optics; Mallory DiChiara and Mary Hiller, third place, ornithology; Tianjiao Zhang and Meghan Till, third place, remote sensing; Kelvin Smith and Tianjiao Zhang, first place, technical problem solving; John Michael Romano and Christian Thornton; first place, towers; and Mallory DiChiara and John Michael Romano, third place, Write It Do it.

OMMS Team Wins State Scholars’ Bowl

Oak Mountain Middle School Please send your letter of won first place in the State interest and resume to: ������ ��� Middle School Scholars’ Bowl Tournament held by the Alabama ������� ������������������������������������������������� � ������������������� ������� ��������� ������������������������������������������������������������������

Above: Forrest Terrell shows off his creation. Left: Celie Jackson holds up her mailbox. Photo special to the Journal

Scholastic Challenge Association at Hoover High School Feb. 26. Members of the district/state team are seventh graders Alex Dobson and Hugh McEldery and eighth graders Emily Harrington, Kevin Hubbard, Alexa Pappanastos and Matthew Tindal. The team was undefeated at the Scholars’ Bowl district tournament Jan. 22 to earn the berth in the state competition. Twenty-eight teams from Alabama competed in four pools;

from each pool advanced to the finals. Oak Mountain defeated Altamont School and top-seeded Arab Middle School to meet Challenger Middle School of Huntsville in the final round to win the state championship. Oak Mountain’s seventh and eighth grade teams also won first in their respective Shelby County Scholars’ Bowl Tournaments. Eighth grade teacher Anthony Walker coached the championship team. ❖

Members of Oak Mountain Middle School’s state champion Scholars’ Bowl team are, from left: Alex Dobson, Alexa Pappanastos, Emily Harrington (front), Kevin Hubbard, Matthew Tindal and Hugh McEldery with teacher Anthony Walker. Photo special to the Journal



THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 25

get more of the journal MBHS Takes Top Honors at Debate Competition



van McCarty and Lee Quinn of the Mountain Brook High School Policy Debate Team won top honors at Emory University’s 56th annual Barkley Forum the weekend of Jan. 29. Predating the national competition, the Barkley Forum is one of the most prestigious forensic tournaments in the U.S., attracting the biggest names in high school debate. The Mountain Brook team has a strong record of wins at the local and national level and was the first team from an Alabama school to win the tournament since Woodlawn took the first Barkley Forum in 1956. The team went on to compete in the district qualifying tournament the weekend of March 6, securing spots at this year’s national championship. Evan and Lee earned the only spot in policy debate for the region, and Wyatt Moorer secured one of the two spots in the LincolnDouglas debate. The national championship will be the weekend of June 14 in Dallas. ❖

The Mountain Brook High School Policy Debate Team won top honors at the Emory University Barkley Forum. Above: The team finished off the season with wins at the Barkley Forum and the district qualifying tournament. Below: Lee Quinn, left, and Evan McCarty will compete in the national championship this summer in Dallas. Journal photos by Martha Blanton

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26 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011

Buccaneer, from back cover

Houston would go on to lose to Cullman 6-5 in the tournament championship game. Host Hoover also felt the lash of the Mustangs that day, falling 10-0 despite nine strikeouts from Buc pitcher Nathan Richardson. Spain Park earned its way into the semifinals with a 7-6 win over Tuscaloosa County. Angel got three hits, including a triple that provided the game-winning run after Carter White’s sacrifice fly. Angel also had a home run and a single. Starting pitcher Mikey White struck out four Wildcat batters in five innings. Reliever Colton Freeman earned the victory. In the previous day’s action, Hoover defeated HillcrestTuscaloosa 11-6. Starting Buc pitcher Jonathan Whitehead scattered 10 hits over seven innings to get the win. Preston Sanford led the Hoover attack with three hits and an RBI. Sam Gillikin had two hits and two RBIs; Dalton Roe had two hits and one RBI. Despite the victory, Hoover coach Rick Davis was less than pleased with his team’s overall effort. After the game, he required all of his players to do exercises at the auxiliary field and required

SPORTS four of them to run sprints. “It gets the players’ attention when they are held accountable even when they win,” said Davis. “The best time to do that is when they haven’t kept their focus and didn’t finish strong.” Davis’ ire was drawn by Hoover’s performance late in the game, when Hillcrest produced a pair of run-scoring doubles. Hoover also lost to Oxford 7-0. Houston scored an 8-7 victory over Oak Mountain after the Eagles yielded four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. David Dahl had two doubles, two runs and an RBI for Oak Mountain. Richard Green had three hits and three RBIs. Vincent Lubresky had two hits with two RBIs. Spain Park routed Lebanon of Tennessee 11-0. Colton Freeman and Nathan Brock both belted solo home runs for the Jaguars. Mark Abernathy and Paul Angel each had two hits. Charlie McPherson held Lebanon to only two hits. Oak Mountain defeated Alexandria 16-6. Sam Knotts paced the Eagles with two hits – including a two-run homer – with four RBIs. David Dahl pounded out two hits, including a double with two RBIs. Jacob Pierce earned the win from the mound.

Softball Action

In softball action, the Hoover Lady Bucs picked up several vic-


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Above: Hoover’s Josh Campbell lays down a bunt in the Bucs’ game against Houston County. Above right: Spain Park’s Alex Close pitches against Houston County. Right: Hoover shortstop Trace Turner throws out a Houston County runner at first base. Journal photos by Marvin Gentry tories in the Nike Gulf Shores Classic. The Lady Bucs defeated Hale County 2-1 in a come-from-behind win in the tournament’s final day. Madeline Walley’s RBI drove in Jamie Baxley in the fourth inning. Marcy Harper, who helped her cause with an RBI when she drove in Madison Dickey, earned the win with seven strikeouts in two and one-third innings of relief. The Lady Bucs also lost to Lawrence County of Tennessee 10. Harper yielded only one run and struck out 11 in the losing cause. Hoover started the tournament in strong fashion when Harper pitched a perfect game in a 2-0 victory over Prattville. Dickey had

Spartans, from back cover inning. Byrd’s two-run double was a key moment. He had another double and two more RBIs. Smith had three hits and a double for the Spartans, while Mac Carden, Jamison, and Golsan each had two hits. Carden had a double, and Golsan had two RBIs. Mountain Brook continued its winning ways on the second day, with an 8-5 win over Florida’s Miami Senior. McCrary and Byrd each had two hits and scored two runs. Smith added an RBI triple, while Zach Gillen had two hits. The win sent the Spartans into Wednesday’s tournament finale rematch with Southside. In the aftermath of its tour-

two hits and an RBI; Kalee Sparks and Kasey Weaver added two hits. The Lady Bucs defeated Greenbriar of Tennessee, thanks in large part to a bases-loaded triple by Dickey. Elissa Kelly and Harper each had two RBIs for Hoover. Harper earned the win from the mound, fanning six Greenbrier batters. Sumiton Christian defeated the Lady Bucs 2-0, despite Harper’s 12 strikeouts. Ashley Harris had a pair of hits in the losing cause. Montgomery Catholic also defeated Hoover 4-3, with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Dickey had two hits for the Lady Bucs. nament victory, Mountain Brook heads into the second half of its schedule with a high level of momentum. The real tests will come, however, in the season’s final two weeks, when the Spartans face Class 6A Area 12 foes Vestavia Hills, Spain Park and Homewood in home-and-home round robin match-ups. These games – taking in place in what may well be the state’s toughest area – will determine Mountain Brook’s ultimate fate. But McCrary expressed confidence in his team’s hitting ability as it heads toward the stretch run. “Coach Gann has worked with us on hitting to the opposite field and into the gaps,” he said. “We’ve done pretty well with that.” Only time will tell if the hot hitting will continue in area play.

But for now, the Spartans are on the move. And maybe – just maybe – they’ll get some respect from the poll voters.

Soccer Action

In weekend boys’ soccer action, Vestavia Hills rolled to a 3-0 shutout of Spain Park. Juniors Jack Hopkins and Tucker Freeman, along with sophomore Enrique Camata, scored goals for the Rebels, now 120 for the season. Goalie Marvin Castellenos had two saves for Vestavia. Jaguar goalie Spencer Jack had three saves. In softball play, Mountain Brook fell to Mortimer Jordan 90. Hannah Gilbert led the Lady Spartans with two hits and an RBI.

Birmingham Volleyball Club Wins St. Patrick’s Day Tourney

Birmingham Volleyball Club’s 13-1 team won its second Southern Regional Volleyball Association USA Junior Olympic tournament of the 2011 season recently. Nashville’s Alliance St. Patrick’s Day Tournament Championship was secured when BVC defeated Kingsport, Tenn., in straight sets in the final (25-20, 25-17). The team’s players are from Briarwood Christian, John Carroll, Mountain Brook, and Liberty Park. The Birmingham girls dropped only one game in the entire tournament. Team members include: CG Plosser, Carly Glidewell, Sarah Winston Nathan, Katie Larson, Kathryn Brouillette, Helen Catherine Darby, Amanda Paramore, Evans Johnson, Carolyn Crommelin, Sara Carr and Sara Chandler Mitchell. The team is coached by Shawn Matthews and assistant coach Kathleen Bennett.

Schedules, from back cover and the baseball and softball seasons. For example, the baseball season opens Feb. 21, just as the basketball regionals are going on. That makes it more difficult for dual-sport athletes to make an easy transition from basketball to baseball or softball. And like football and basketball, the opening game of the baseball and softball season should be a big deal for the team and the student body. Instead, there are too many occasions when a baseball team’s home opener is played in bone-chilling temperatures in front of a small crowd consisting mainly of parents and girlfriends or boyfriends. One proposed solution is to push the season start back a few weeks and extend the playoffs into the summer, after graduation. This is a bad idea. The playoffs are supposed to be the most exciting time of the year for any team. But if they hold playoffs after the end of the school year, the crowds will dwindle again. The student fan base will take off to the beach, summer jobs or college fraternity rush parties. Post-graduation playoffs could cause team morale problems as well. Suppose a team reaches the state championship baseball series, which is scheduled two days after the senior class’ Caribbean cruise leaves port? How many seniors who aren’t going to play baseball at the next level would abandon their team to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip? Who knows? For adults, it’s probably easy to forget how much that early summer trip means to a just-

THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 27



graduated 17- or 18-year-old. I remember a couple of decades ago when an ace pitcher for an Over the Mountain school signed with Mississippi State, which was coached at the time by the legendary Ron Polk. Polk wanted the young man to pitch in the EastWest All-Star Classic in early June. The young man wanted to go to Florida with his friends. The pitcher’s high school coach strongly urged him to follow Polk’s “suggestion” and play in the East-West game. The young man ignored the advice and headed for the beach. The pitcher still went to Mississippi State but started out in Polk’s doghouse and never really got out of it. I wonder if, in retrospect, he thinks going to Florida was worth starting off on the bad side of one of college baseball’s all-time great coaches. But at the time, he obviously thought the beach trip was more important. A more practical answer is simply to shorten the regular season. The team that wins the state 6A baseball championship will probably play nearly 60 games. The team that wins the state 6A softball title may play even more games. Most regular seasons for either sport entail more than 40 games. Do we really need that many? Wouldn’t a 30-35 game regular

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Mountain Brook Titans Claim OTM Basketball Title

The Mountain Brook Titans are the 2011 fourth grade Over The Mountain basketball champions. The Titans finished the season undefeated winning the regular season and the tournament titles. The Titans also brought home the 2010 Jingle Bell Jam championship. This is the second consecutive year this team has won the title after claiming the third grade championship in 2010. Team members above are, front row, from left: Robert Reed, Joe Saia, Collin Bussman, Paul Tyson and John Marks. Back row, from left: Colton Yeager, Coach John London, James Burkett, Park Mendelsohn and Champ Lyons.

season be enough? (In the 1970s, round robin against area schools Alabama high schools played that would total 12 games? about 25 games.) Plus, toss in a pair of battles Some coaches will claim they with cross-town rival Hoover, and need the gate receipts that the you’ve got the meat of a challonger season brings, but is it lenging and appealing schedule really that much more money, that would be far shorter than 42 when you consider that a shorter games. And there would still be season would lessen expenses like plenty of time to complete the travel costs? In fact, a shorter sea- post-season playoffs before the son played in more fan-friendly end of the school year. temperatures might actually boost There might be reasons why overall attendance over the long my thoughts about baseball and term, as fewer games might mean softball could be wrong, silly or more student interest, particularly impractical. But if the Alabama in contests against traditional or High School Athletic Association area rivals. really wants to do right for the Another idea would be, in coaches and young men and ������� addition to playing fewer overwomen who play baseball and � ����� all games, is to play more area softball, it might be worth giving ��� � � � ����� games. Presently, the area teams them a look. ������ ��� play a home-and-home round robin with each opponent. In Class 6A’s Area 12, for example, Spain Park will play rivals Mountain Brook, The Hoover Soccer Club will Homewood and Vestavia twice host the ninth annual Hoover each. That’s a total of six area ������������ Havoc Soccer Tournament April games. Why not play a double 15-17.

Hoover Soccer Club Plans Two Events

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The tournament offers competitive and recreational divisions for both boys’ and girls’ teams in U9U13 divisions. For more information, visit The club also will sponsor the second annual Phantoms Golf Scramble April 20 at Timberline Golf Course in Calera. Participants receive 18 holes of golf (including cart), lunch, preround range balls, the chance to win door prizes and a voucher for a free round of golf at Timberline. The event includes two longest drive contests, closest to the pin contests on par 3 holes and a $10,000 hole-in-one shootout. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. followed by tee-off at 1:30 p.m. For more information, call 978-8663.

Come Join Us For Community Prayer Led By Pastor Bill McCall March 28th at 6PM Rain or Shine!


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1708 4th Ave. SW Bessemer, AL 35022





Birmingham Volleyball Club Team Wins Regional Volleyball Association USA Junior Olympic Tournament. Page 27

Jaguars, Bucs, Eagles Fall In Buccaneer Classic Lee Davis

Raising the Stepchild: Fix Baseball, Softball Schedules


Southside with a 13-7 win over Walker. The Spartans used a four-run third inning to take a 6-1 lead, helped by Golsan’s two-run single. When the Vikings answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning, Mountain Brook responded with four more runs in the fourth

have always believed that baseball and softball– through no fault of their own – are sort of the stepchildren of high school athletics in Alabama. First of all, the season starts in February, when most high school fans are following the basketball playoffs. Baseball and softball are warm weather sports, meant to be played in the spring and summer months. That’s why Major League Baseball teams spend millions of dollars for winter training facilities in Florida and Arizona. Also, the baseball and softball playoffs are in mid- to late May, when most high school students are thinking about the prom or eagerly anticipating graduation or summer vacation. In between, high school baseball and softball teams in Alabama are playing a long schedule of games in which only a few count in their region standings. With only three or four schools in each region, most of the regular season slate amounts to being a series of non-league exhibition games. To get an idea how long the baseball regular season is, consider this fact: In the 1970s, the first game usually wasn’t played until AFTER spring break. Now it’s not uncommon for a team to have played more than 20 games before the break begins. And many teams spend their spring breaks playing in local or out-oftown tournaments. Some fans of high school track and field say their sport is the stepchild, and they may have a point. But at least track athletes aren’t competing in February weather, and they wrap up their season well before the end of the school year. Even soccer season ends before baseball and softball. Part of the problem is the overlap between the basketball

See Spartans, page 26

See Schedules, page 27

Hoover second baseman Preston Sanford tags out a Houston County runner during the Beef O’Brady Buccaneer Classic last week. More photos at Journal photos by Marvin Gentry




he Hoover and Spain Park baseball teams were probably thrilled to see the Houston Mustangs of Tennessee pack up and return to the Volunteer State. The Mustangs defeated both the Bucs and Jaguars on the way to a runner-up finish in the Beef

O’Brady Buccaneer Classic at Hoover last week. Spain Park’s 10-3 loss to Houston in the semifinals may have best summarized the frustration of the week for the home teams. Trailing Houston 5-3 in the top of the sixth inning, the Jaguars had runners on first and third with no outs. It was a promising situation, but Spain Park couldn’t quite take

Poll Vault

Spartans Dominate MB Tournament




oing into spring break, the Mountain Brook Spartans baseball team did not appear in the Alabama Sportswriters Association’s poll of the top 10 teams in Class 6A. That may change soon. The Spartans stated their case for a high ranking with an impressive series of performances in their own Mountain Brook Sports Corporation Tournament that ran their overall winning streak to 12 games and placed them at 13-2 for the season.

advantage. The Jags promptly put down a bunt, only to have a runner picked off at second base. Then Spain Park hit into a double play to end the threat. “Getting picked off base and hitting into a double play isn’t the way you beat a good team like Houston,” said Jag coach Will Smith. The Mustangs made the most of their opportunity. They scored

Mountain Brook clinched the tournament championship by outscoring SouthsideGadsden 14-7 in last Wednesday’s final. The Spartans pounded out 11 runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take the win. Hatton Smith scored three runs with two hits and two RBIs, and Wilson Jamison had three hits with three RBIs. Walker Byrd also contributed to the cause with two hits, while Gavin Golsan had two RBIs. Pitcher Harris Anthony earned the win. “It’s a team effort without a doubt,” said Spartan coach Lee Gann. “We’ve got a bunch of guys who are playing good ball at the highest level they can. One thing about this team is that they are very mature and aren’t worried about who’s getting the credit.” The Spartans started their impressive run the previous Monday, opening with a 10-9 win over Southside-Gadsden that wasn’t settled until the 10th inning. Mountain Brook pounded out 28 hits in the victory. “Early in the season, baseballs can look like

Spain Park’s Paul Angel hits the first pitch of the game over the right field fence for a home run in the Jaguars’ game with Houston County. five runs – four of them unearned – in the next frame to secure the victory. Paul Angel homered in the first inning for Spain Park. Mark Abernathy had two hits, doubled and scored a run in the losing cause. Alex Close took the loss for the Jags, who saw their record fall to 17-7 for the season.

See Buccaneer, page 26

golf balls when you’re batting,” said Spartan senior centerfielder John McCrary. “Right now, they’re looking like softballs, with the way we’re hitting.” Mountain Brook followed the win over

‘It’s a team effort without a doubt. We’ve got a bunch of guys who are playing good ball at the highest level they can.’ Lee Gann, Spartan coach

Over the Mountain Journal March 24, 2011  

Over the Mountain Journal March 24, 2011 Senior Citizens and Travel Issue

Over the Mountain Journal March 24, 2011  

Over the Mountain Journal March 24, 2011 Senior Citizens and Travel Issue