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Birds of a Feather Flock Together Homewood Couple Weds, Shares Passion for Duck Hunting and Giving Back By Sarah Kuper

Homewood residents Claire and Paul Keith are passionate about many things. Both have strong local roots, careers and close family and friends.

But in their December 2016 wedding, two of their passions were on full display: duck hunting and giving back. Paul Keith, a software sales banker by trade, is an avid duck hunter. Claire Keith, pediatrics resident at UAB, has a heart for struggling families. With small details and thoughtful favors, the two were able to share their passions with wedding guests. Like many couples, their love story began with a chance encounter. Only for this pair, their first meeting involved public embarrassment at someone else’s wedding.

Photo by Rae Leytham Photography



FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD Birmingham Culinary Gurus Dish about What’s Hot—and What’s Not PAGE 26

CIVIC SPIRIT BirminghamSouthern College’s Dr. Neal Berte Wins Jemison Visionary Award PAGE 7

HAPPY TRAILS Fitness Fundraiser Turning Wishes into Reality for Critically Ill Kids PAGE 12

2 • Thursday, January 11, 2018



Photos special to the Journal


I BWF Celebrates Colonial Day Fifth-graders at Mountain Brook’s Brookwood Forest Elementary held a Colonial Day on Dec. 14 to celebrate the 13 original American colonies and colonial life. Students dressed in colonial attire, made items, played games and completed chores that Colonial children would have done. Some of the things the children made were orange pomander balls and traditional Colonial holiday decorations. They made tin top ornaments by punching holes in tin to make designs, made their own silhouettes and churned butter.   Two representatives from the Daughters of the Revolution spoke to the fifth grade. They spoke about colonial clothing and a bit about famous Americans at the start of the American Revolution. ❖




There’s so much happening in the Over the Mountain area, we can’t fit it all in the paper! Visit for more stories and photos.


J O U R N A L January 11, 2018 Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writers: Sarah Kuper, Emily Williams Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Blake Ells, Rubin E. Grant Contributors: Susan Murphy, Jordan Wald, June Mathews, William C. Singleton III, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls Jr., Bryan Bunch, Sam Prickett Advertising Sales: Suzanne Wald, Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald Vol. 28, No. 11

Over The Mountain Journal is a suburban bi-weekly newspaper delivered to Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and North Shelby County areas. 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 2017 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.

Restocking Stuffers

another, some happy gifts became had a wonderful holiday season. happy returns of the day. There was fun and frivolity, and The gifts that arrived via the my living room rug came through online highway could be sent back the relatively unscathed. Now, however, same way. On Dec. 26, I imagine we have turned a page in the calendar there was a great flurry of boxing and and it is time to get back to grownup taping and downloading of shipping life with schedules and responsibililabels. The armada of delivery trucks ties of some sort. that spent the whole of December racFor chronic organizers like me, ing across town bringing gifts to all of this can come as a relief. After severthe good girls and boys returned to al weeks of ho-ho-ho, I’m ready for a carry the same gifts back to the wareclearer head and clearer spaces in my house where low-seniority Amazon house. Once the decorations are elves, the ones not now on vacation in packed away and the last few cookies Cabo, will be faced with the task of have been disposed of (or more likely restocking. eaten), I always breathe a little easier. Sue Murphy Gifts of bricks-and-mortar origin The first thing on my reinstituted had to be hand-carried through a to-do list is to find a place for the long customer service line that was gifts that Santa left under my tree. even longer if the recipient did not I got a jazzy new cookbook that A place for everything have a receipt. Once refunded, contains a soup recipe for every single day of the year. That’s right, and everything in its those once gaily-wrapped gifts were unceremoniously dumped into my dear Soup-and-a-Movie group, place … and quickly. the closest wire receptacle, rejected get ready because I will soon be coming at you with Penne and That’s what January coffeemakers piled in with bathrobes and exercise videos and foot Squash Soup with Sage Croutons is all about, Charlie massagers. These refunds may have simmered in my new heavy duty been cheerful, but the resulting carblue soup pot. The movie we can Brown. nage is not a pretty sight. Along the negotiate later, but don’t you worry way, people also returned vats of about the soup. I’m set for the peanut oil, pine tree air fresheners, whole of 2018. leftover packages of Christmas tree The cookbook was easily snack cakes. And everything – everything – is thrown shelved and, after a little shifting, the soup pot is now willy-nilly into a single shopping cart. I cannot do happily settled in the cookware cabinet. There are a willy-nilly. I can’t. It throws me into “Give me that!” few other gifts still on my dresser, but I’m trying to take my time and find each item a permanent home, mode. someplace that makes sense and will give me a reaI will try to restrain myself, to stay home and make sonable chance of retrieving the item when needed. soup and mind my own business, but if you come Otherwise, I’m living my life in a giant junk drawer. across me sobbing as I pry a jelly doughnut off of a But, I’m one of the happily gifted ones. Everything Malibu Barbie in aisle 7, you’ll know that I lost my fit me, in one way or another. Some people were not battle, grabbed an overflowing cart and went rogue.  so lucky. They were allergic to polyester. They already A place for everything and everything in its place had a thing-a-ma-bob. They just couldn’t warm up to … and quickly. That’s what January is all about, their Dipsy Doodle Crockpot. For one reason or Charlie Brown. ❖


What’s your New Year’s health resolution? “I’m a rock climber and I want to climb a V-9 by the end of the year.” Ben Draper Homewood “I’m going to exercise by jogging in the park.” Lacey Jones Homewood “Eat better and exercise more consistently.” Rachael Jones UAB Student

“I want to lose some weight.” Bobby Hill Vestavia Hills



Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 3

Civil Rights and the Jewish Community

Photo special to the Journal

History, Personal Stories and Performance by Neshama Carlebach Highlight Jan. 12-13 Program

Grammy-nominated Jewish spiritual singer Neshama Carlebach, who has worked with gospel choirs to incorporate the traditions of Jewish folk and liturgical music with African music, will perform this Saturday.






The Jewish community’s relationship to the larger Civil Rights movement in Birmingham will be explored during a two-day program the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Forging Ahead: Civil Rights Stories & Song – presented by Temple Beth-El, Temple Emanu-El and the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center – will take place Jan. 12-13. Performances will include music from Jewish and African-American traditions. Grammy-nominated Jewish spiritual singer Neshama Carlebach, who has worked with gospel choirs to incorporate the traditions of Jewish folk and liturgical music with African music, will perform that Saturday. The program is free and open to the public, but tickets are needed. Tickets are available at no charge at The program will focus on the era of Rabbis Milton Grafman and Abraham Mesch, and the social, business and legal interactions of the Jewish community with the Civil Rights movement. The weekend will commemorate the 60 years since the attempted bombing of Temple Beth-El in 1958, as well as the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963. Presenters include former Attorney General Bill Baxley, who successfully prosecuted Robert Chambliss for the 16th Street Bombing; and UAB history professor Pam Sterne King, who has written extensively about Birmingham’s Civil Rights period. Friday’s event, The Context: Circa 1950s Civil Rights and the Jewish Community, will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will include an appetizer reception, Shabbat service and community speakers. It will be held at Temple Emmanuel, 2100 Highland Ave. Saturday’s event, From Seeds of Discord to Seeds of Change: The Attempted Bombing of Temple BethEl and the Murder of 4 Little Girls, will be from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will include the Havdala service, speakers such as Mayor Randall Woodfin and former Mayor Richard Arrington, the performance by Carlebach and a dessert reception. The Saturday night program will be held at Temple Beth-El, 2179 Highland Ave. “It is timely for the Jewish Community to focus on Civil Rights and that era,” said Ronald Levitt, weekend co-chair. “There are stories that have to be told which can guide us in navigating the current landscape.” Also participating in the weekend are Rabbi Doug Kohn and Cantor Jessica Roskin of Temple Emanu-El, and Rabbi Barry Leff and Sarah Metzger of Temple Beth-El, as well as other voices reflecting on the Civil Rights era in Birmingham. For more information, visit, email or call 933-2740. ❖


JAN. 11 - 24

Asian Heritage Festival Birmingham Museum of Art Thurs., Jan. 11 Enjoy art activities for all ages inspired HOOVER by the cultures Hoover Service Club Luncheon and traditions Hoover Country Club represented Guest speaker, Mayor in the Frank Brocato, will give a museum’s “State of the City Address” Asian art at a meeting held from 11 collection. a.m.-1 p.m. Doors open at The 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be available celebration for $18 following the meeting. For will reservations, contact Winnie include art Cooper at 979-5699. Asian Heritage Festival activities, storytelling, face-painting, and more. Jan. 11-12 The festival will end with a special Butoh Japanese dance performance HOOVER in the auditorium. For more information, Simply Ella visit  Hoover Pulbic Library Jazz violinist Regina Carter performs Sun., Jan. 14  Simply Ella - a show celebrating the 100th anniversary of musical legend BIRMINGHAM Ella Fitzgerald. Performances will be Sleeping Beauty held at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $27.50. Lyric Theatre For more information, visit hooverlibrary. This full-scale production, org. choreographed by Marius Petipa

4 • Thursday, January 11, 2018

Fri., Jan. 12 BIRMINGHAM

Dinner on the Dark Side McWane Science Center Guests will be treated to a 6 p.m. before heading to Jedi training where they will discover the science of Star Wars, explore the forces of the galaxy and have a special meet-and-greet with Star Wars characters, followed by a special screening of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” at 10 p.m. For more information, visit

Jan. 12-14 HOMEWOOD

Pioneer Classic Lakeshore Foundation The 31st premier wheelchair basketball tournament will feature 14 adult and five youth teams from across the country. All games are free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Sat., Jan. 13 BIRMINGHAM

MLK Day 5k Drum Run Kelly Ingram Park Over 200 drummers from metro area schools and groups will line up along the race course to keep the beat as the runners and walkers make their way. Activities include a warm up, live music, professional timing, sponsor booths, post party and the race goodie bags including a shirt and a friendly drumline competition. The race starts at 7 a.m. More information at mlkday5kbham. com. PELHAM

Polar Plunge Oak Mountain State Park The Pelham Police Department will host a polar plunge, jumping into the lake, for Special Olympics from 8 a.m.noon. The event includes a costume contest, with judging held prior to the plunge. For more information, visit “Polar Plunge for Special Olympics” Facebook page.

based on the Brothers Grimm version will be at 2 and 7:30 p.m. The State Ballet Theatre of Russia presents 55 of Russia’s brightest ballet stars to bring this celebration of true love onto the stage. For more information visit


The Holocaust in Film Emmet O’Neal Library The library will host its free annual Holocaust in Film series in partnership with the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center Jan. 18, 22 and 25 at 6:30 p.m. and Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. Discussions will be leg by UAB’s Dr. André Millard. For more information, visit

Fri., Jan. 19 BIRMINGHAM

The Rising Star Road Show Lyric Theatre First Note Play presents a showcase of the south’s future stars from 7:30-10 p.m. featuring Jamie Kent, Anthony Peebles and Tim Jackson. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance. For more information, visit MOUNTAIN BROOK

Lender: A Social Book Swap Emmet O’Neal Library The library will host its first free literary mixer for 21 and up at 6:30 p.m. Whether you’re single, new to town, looking to make new friends or looking for a good book, bring a book or two to swap and enjoy hors d’oeurves, adult beverages, games and karaoke. For more information, visit 


The Tradgedy of Carmen Red Mountain Theatre Cabaret Peter Brook’s gripping adaptation of Bizet’s “Carmen” distills the drama into an intense one-act chamber opera. Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sun at 2:30


p.m. Tickets begin at $35. For more information, visit

Jan. 19-21 HOMEWOOD

Barefoot in the Park Homewood Theatre at The Dance Foundation The classic Neil Simon comedy filled with sappy dialogue and witty one-liners will be performed Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. For more information, visit homewoodtheatre. com.

Sat., Jan. 20

Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 5



Carlos Conducts Ravel’s Bolero Alys Stephens Center Experience some treasures of French music at 8 p.m., as the ASO performs two of Ravel’s most loved pieces. Ravel himself described “Bolero” as his only true masterpiece, while “Daphnis et Chloe” features a truly brilliant finale. For more information, visit

Sat., Jan. 27

Fireballs the modern alternative


Red Shoe Run SoHo Square The annual run will include onemile, 5k and 10 mile options. Guests are invited to lace up or slip on their red shoes to support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. For more information, visit ❖



We are the Champions Samford University The Voice of the Crimson Tide and fan favorite Eli Gold will be the emcee for a program featuring music inspired by sports at 8 p.m. in the Wright Fine Arts Center. Enjoy music from Rocky, The Natural, Rudy, Olympic themes, college fight songs, an orchestral setting of “Casey at the Bat,” and more. For more information, visit BIRMINGHAM

Lyric Masquerade Ball Lyric Fine Arts Theatre The Junior Board of the Alabama and Lyric Theatres host a formal event at 7 p.m. featuring The Matthew DeVine Band playing New Orleans jazz, dancing on the stage of The Lyric, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and an open bar including wine, beer, and a signature cocktail. For more information, visit “3rd Annual Lyric Masquerade Ball” Facebook page.  BIRMINGHAM

Amelia Earhart Luncheon Southern Museum of Flight The Museum will host a luncheon at 11 a.m. along with the Alabama Ninety-Nines and the Zonata Club of Birmingham. Keynote speaker is CarolAnn Garratt who holds the world record for circumnavigating the earth. Tickets are $30. All proceeds benefit the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum. For more information, contact Nancy Miller-Borg at (256) 538-2672 or

To: From: Date:

Mike Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Oct. 11, 2016 This is your AD PrOOF from the OvEr THE MOuNTAiN JOurNAl for Oct. 20, 2016 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

Please make sure all information is correct, including address and phone number!

Reset your record.

Please initial and fax back within 24 hours.

if we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, For you, recovery need your ad will isn’t run as enough. is. We print You the paper Monday.

Thank your prompt attention. to achieve victoryyou overfor your injury and come back better than ever. When you team up with Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, we’ll put you back in the position to win.

Sun., Jan. 21 PELHAM

Birmingham Boys Choir Indian Springs School Concert Hall Birmingham Boys Choir collaborates with acclaimed actress and story performer, Dolores Hydock, for an afternoon of stories and song at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission. For more information, visit BIRMINGHAM

BourbonHam The Haven BourbonHam, a bourbon and barbecue fundraising event, is set for 2 to 6 p.m.Those who attend can taste a selection from among 50 bourbons/ whiskeys and award-winning barbecue. NFL playoff games will be televised at the event, which raises money for the National MS Society. For tickets and information, visit

Go to Andrews to start making your comeback. ©2017 Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center. All rights reserved.

6 • Thursday, January 11, 2018

by Judy and Julie Butler

Enablers Forgive Thy Self

Some of the first things parents or partners of people with addiction are called is Enablers. This happens especially from those who can use “tough love” and separate themselves. We get this. When flying the instruction to put on your oxygen mask first now makes a lot of sense. You can’t save someone else until you save yourself. Addiction is different. Sometimes you have to go the extra mile. You have to stretch beyond your comfort zone and understand that drug and or alcohol addiction is not as simple as stopping. It’s physical, it’s mental, and it’s beyond putting on an oxygen mask. It’s beyond 12 step meetings. It’s getting to the underlying reasons and finding the answers and/or coping skills to deal with old or current issues. This is why we say Enablers Forgive Thy Self… it’s not your fault that you don’t instinctively know how to deal with this behavior. It’s not your fault as a parent, partner or loved one you can’t know how things have been processed in his or her life that have led them to self medicate. Physical health comes first. We treat the whole person. The transition clients go through physically is remarkable at Bayshore Retreat. With a healthier body comes clarity and self esteem. It’s more than sitting in meetings. It’s facing the addiction head on and finding peace in knowing that it can end. It’s helping clients find purpose and bringing families together. Many times it might involve weekly testing until they are no longer needed. So Enablers, we understand. We’ll do our best to end addiction and restore relationships.

Botanical Gardens Recognizes Top Volunteers of the Year

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens honored its top volunteers Dec. 13 during its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Linda Massey was presented the Ida C. Burns Volunteer of the Year award for her continual service in many areas of the organization and her significant impact on the gardens. Karon Harmon was presented the A. Brand Walton Jr. Unsung Hero of the Year award for her independent and behind-the-scenes contributions. Protective Life Corp. was recognized as the gardens’ Partner

of the Year for helping multiply its efforts and achieve its mission. Kathy Conolly and Maura Horton were awarded the gardens’ Plantsperson of the Year for sharing their plant knowledge and skills with other volunteers. Mary Frances Colley was awarded Educator of the Year for her efforts to promote public knowledge and appreciation of plants, gardens and the environment. A new award was introduced for 2017, New Volunteer of the Year, which was given to Louise Billings. The gardens relies on its volunteers to help with its day-today operations, from major events to education. This year’s potluck luncheon was held in Strange Auditorium. ❖

BEGINNING BRIDGE LESSONS ︎ Monday, January 22 at 9:30 am, or Monday, January 22 at 6:30 pm

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Photo courtesy Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Rehab Reality...



From left, Kathy Conolly, Linda Massey and Louise Billings.

Samford Grad Publishes Self-Help Book

Thomas Fellows, a graduate of Samford University, recently published his first self-help book, “Forget Self Help: Re-Examining the Golden Rule,” inspired by his own struggles. A native of Atlanta, Fellows graduated high school and Thomas Fellows headed to the University of Alabama, only to leave after 10 days. According to Fellows, he didn’t realize that he was depressed at that point in his life, but the words of the 27-year-old Presbyterian Minister James Goodlet shaped the way he dealt with his illness. While watching the Alabama sororities welcome new members on Bid Day, the minister told Brandon

“to think about another group of girls, though – the ones who were not chosen at all. In a two-minute sequence of time, James taught me what I needed to hear most – to crawl into another person’s skin and walk around in it,” Fellows said in a released statement. After transferring to Samford, Fellows began writing what would become “Forget Self Help.” The book uses literature, history, psychology, scripture and Fellows’ personal experiences to stress the importance of living a fulfilling life, and that in helping others, one helps themself. Fellows lives in Atlanta and is the competition sales team coach at Morehouse College. While one of the sources in the book is the Bible, it also draws from teachings found in books, including “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” as well as historical figures, including Martin Luther King Jr. Therefore, Fellows notes, it is intended to be enjoyed by people of all faiths and backgrounds. Fellows’ “Forget Self Help” is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. ❖

An afternoon of stories and song




JANUARY 21, 2018 - 2:30 PM




For tickets please visit:



Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 7

BSC’s Berte Wins Jemison Visionary Award, Credits Birmingham’s Civic Spirit

By Sarah Kuper

Photo special to the Journal

Birmingham Business Alliance Executive Committee and he chaired the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Dr. Neal Berte, president emeritus Berte also co-chaired the campaign to of Birmingham-Southern College, restore the Sixteenth Street Baptist will receive the Jemison Visionary Church. Award at the Jan. 23 Mountain Brook While his list of accomplishments, Chamber of Commerce Luncheon. contributions and accolades is long, Berte served as president of BSC Berte said he plans to accept the for more than 28 years, seeing the honor on behalf institution of the many volthrough hard unteers he has times and many worked with in changes. his 40 years in A prominent Birmingham. figure in higher “Birmingham education, Berte really does have a was dean of the vibrant civic spirNew College and it,” he said. “This vice president for is a community educational develthat, in terms of opment at the financial support University of as well as volunAlabama, and he teer support, is served as director willing to give to in the Midwest different causes. office of the One example is College Entrance that we’ve never Examination Dr. Neal Berte is president emeritus missed a United Board. of Birmingham-Southern College. Way goal.” Beyond his Berte comes from humble begincareer in higher education, receiving nings. No one else in his family went the Jemison Victory Award is a result to college, but he said they were of Berte’s contributions to Mountain deeply committed to their Cincinnati Brook and Birmingham. community. Berte is the founding chairman of “I learned from their example. I’ve Leadership Birmingham, has served had a long-time interest in the concept as president of the Birmingham of servant leadership – the idea of Chamber of Commerce and has been benefitting others and strengthening president of United Way. your own sense of civic service by He is a member of the

Pride and responsibility drive us to be the best in everything we do. As a life-long Over-the-Mountain resident and a third generation working at Guin, I feel great pride and responsibility in carrying on the legacy of honesty and hard work that my grandfather began 60 years ago. Family is very important to us, and we treat our customers with the same care and respect as members of our own family. It Joseph Braswell would be a privilege to serve you.

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learning from others,” he said. The chamber also will present the William Tynes Award to Dr. Sue DeBrecht. The Chamber Annual Luncheon will be at 11 a.m. at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook. Tickets are available at ❖

‘Birmingham really does have a vibrant civic spirit. This is a community that, in terms of financial support as well as volunteer support, is willing to give to different causes. One example is that we’ve never missed a United Way goal.’

8 • Thursday, January 11, 2018



Support the Siblings

Local Girl Scout Creates Group for Siblings of Children with Special Needs

opens JANUARY 22 There’s a hidden world of science waiting to be discovered in the backyARd


200 19TH STREET NORTH – BIRMINGHAM, AL 35203 – 205-714-8300 – WWW.MCWANE.ORG

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The highest achievement a Girl Scout can tackle is the Gold Award, and Mountain Brook’s Katelyn McInerney is working toward hers with a particularly special project. Inspired by a variety of factors in her life, McInerney has created a support group for fellow siblings of children with special needs, dubbed Special Siblings, which will host its first meeting of the new year Jan. 14 at the Homewood Public Library. “As a sibling of a special needs child, my childhood was very different than that of my peers,” McInerney said. “Also, this past summer I volunteered at a special equestrian facility, where I met several families of special needs children, including the siblings of special needs children.” McInerney noted that she has learned many important lessons from her sister, lessons that have empowered her and made her a better person. Patience and compassion are tools that she has fine-tuned with help from her sibling, learning to be a more patient supporter on her sister’s bad days as well as more patient with everyone else she meets in her life. “Also, I have learned to be compassionate,” she added. “When I look at my sister, I do not see her special needs, I see all of her amazing qualities that make her unique and wonderful, and that was the most important skill I have learned from her and one I want to help develop in the support group participants.” Part of the group’s mission parallels the mission of the Girl Scouts. McInerney said she wants to help empower girls to be leaders and have a positive impact on their communities. “This project emulates that mission through its goal of preventing bullying and reducing mental health stigma and its method of connecting people who weren’t previously connected,” she said. Her biggest hurdle to jump during the planning process was the location. The meetings originally were to be held at

1/5/18 11:08 AM

Katelyn McInerney, right, with her sister at a recent Special Siblings event.

the Red Barn, where she volunteered for equestrian courses. She later realized that the group needed a more centrally located place to meet and began contacting local libraries. Homewood responded with an offer to host the group. She held her first meeting Nov. 12 and the group has had two meetings since; but the Jan. 14 meeting will be a little bit different, involving discussion and activities centered on the topic of coping strategies. “My vision for the group is for it to grow as a group and beyond the group; I want each of the ‘special siblings’ to be empowered to do more for their sibling and other special needs children and to be inspired to raise awareness for disabilities,” she said. In her journey to bring her support group from concept to creation, McInerney said another hurdle has been marketing the group and spreading the word about the group to other kids and young adults. “The community of special needs is not especially tightknit in Birmingham, so that is one thing this non-profit has tried to combat and eventually alter,” she said. One of the best tools has been social media via a Special Siblings Facebook account and on Instagram @ specialsiblingsbham. ❖

Photo special to the Journal

By Emily Williams



Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 9


A ceremony was held in December at St. Peter’s Anglican Church to honor the retirement of Troop 53 Scoutmaster George Elliott, who was joined by officials from around the district as well as members of his troop. A final patch was presented to the scoutmaster, commemorating his service to his troop.  Elliott has served with the Greater Alabama Council of Boy Scouts of America as vice president of properties of the executive committee.  In addition to his volunteer work with the Boy Scouts, Elliott is a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham. He and his wife, Shirley, live in Vestavia Hills and have three adult children.  Elliott has been succeeded in his role as Troop 53 scoutmaster by Franklin Bradford, who previously served as assistant scoutmaster. ❖

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Troop 53 Scoutmaster Honored at Surprise Retirement Ceremony

SURPRISE PARTY George Elliott, right. Below, from left, Walter Rush Jr., Chris Laycock and Jim Stephens.


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10 • Thursday, January 11, 2018

‘Changing the Mentality’

Hoover Mayor Spends His First Year in Office Focused on the Next 50 Years red, and with the help of the city’s contributions and their hard work and their really running the ship in a very conservative way, they were able to finish in the black this year,” he said. “I think they had a positive cash flow.” Working to shape a plan for the city’s future, though, required a more complicated change in mindset, Brocato said. “We focused a great deal on changing the mentality of the way our city was developed,” he said. “We had to change that mentality not only inside City Hall, but also from the builders and developers in our city. … What we’ve talked about for a year is how we wanted the city to emerge (going into) the next 50 years.” Some of those discussions involved emphasizing sidewalks and greenspaces, he said. “We talked about making (the city) more walkable. Any type of developments that occur, we wanted to make sure that they had sidewalks. If there were any commercial developments, (we made sure) that they also had more of a village-type of appeal, rather than the old-style shopping center.” To accomplish that, the city created a full-time position of city planner, a role that previously had been filled on a contract basis. The job was filled by Mac Martin, who had served as city planner for Athens, Alabama. “What he’s done is to reinforce our vision,” Brocato said, pushing the design of new developments away from traditional outparcels to some-

Purple Parking for Veterans Area Businessman Brings Wounded Warrior Project to Birmingham

By Sarah Kuper

Chris Ajlouney is a busy man. He is an owner of several area Piggly Wigglys, he plays an active role in the revitalization of Birmingham neigh-

borhoods, and he owns rental properties in the Eastlake and Woodlawn areas. But he said one of the most meaningful and fulfilling things he has done lately is provide designated


Our programs improve our community and our world.


Ir n City Chef

Contact David Martin, Vestavia Hills Rotary Club President at

types of businesses, in particular, those involved in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. “I feel like we had a really, really good year in that particular area,” he said. “We were able to land two really significant companies that are STEM or white-collar types of businesses ... that are going to result in over a thousand jobs coming into the city of Hoover.” Iberia Bank, for one, is moving its regional headquarters into the city, while McCleod Software, a Birmingham-based trucking technology company, announced in December that it would be relocating to Hoover. “To get that many folks in one year, to get those types of professional jobs into our city in one year was quite an accomplishment,” Brocato said. As with city planning, Brocato said economic development in the city has been buoyed by the creation of a full-time position dedicated to just that. Greg Knighton, a former vice president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, was hired to fill the new role in late November. “Not only is he really one of the leaders in economic development in Alabama, we’re happy that he is also a longtime Hoover resident,” Brocato said. “So we have someone who wakes up every day and thinks about how he’s going to recruit businesses into our city and spends his day primarily focused on that.”

Frank Brocato was elected mayor in August 2016 with 52 percent of the vote, beating out incumbent Gary Ivey.

thing a little more pedestrian-friendly. “He has come in and helped us negotiate that and to help those developers catch that vision as well,” Brocato said. “You’ll see that in all of our new developments, just what I’ve been talking about.” Brocato also said the city had been diligently working to identify a downtown area for Hoover — another part of his “village-type” vision for the city.

Economic Diversity

But Brocato’s vision for Hoover’s future isn’t constrained to physical appearances. There’s a need for economic diversity as well, he said, which involves supporting the historically retail-centric city’s existing businesses while also bringing in other parking spaces at his businesses as part of the Wounded Warrior Project. On a trip out of town, Ajlouney noticed a business with a parking spot outlined in purple paint with a notice reserving the spot for veterans and service members wounded during their time in the military. Ajlouney resolved to bring the idea back to his stores in Birmingham. “I looked at the spot and said, ‘I like that.’ People who served our country deserve that,” he said. Ajlouney called the national Wounded Warrior Project office to see about acquiring the signs. He initially received two signs, and after he installed them, people started to take notice. “Next thing I know is I’m getting phone calls left and right thanking me and I realized we need to do this all over the state because of everything veterans have done for us,” he said. He called back to ask for more signs and he was initially turned down. “I told her I needed 18 signs and she said the signs aren’t cheap,” Ajlouney said, “So I told her that I would pay whatever it costs and give a donation. She talked with her boss and then said, ‘I can’t turn you

ks to the generosity of these Participants, Community Partners and Corporate/Individual Sponsors for pporting Vestavia Hills Rotary Club and our programs to improve our community and world.

Bringing in Citizens

Transparency and communication with Hoover citizens has been another focus of Brocato’s first year, he said, and it’s a priority that will extend into 2018. “We have held four ‘Future of Hoover’ meetings around our city, and they were just an opportunity for our citizens to have dialogue with their city officials. … And it went over very well. If there’s anything we learned out of it, it’s that we need to continue to have these neighborhood meetings,” he said. “People really appreciate that and love being able to come in and talk about the city and the direction it’s going.” That opportunity will come sooner rather than later, with discussions of a soon-to-be unveiled comprehensive plan slated to begin in January, Brocato said. “We’ll be going into the neighborhoods over the next few months and getting feedback from our citizens,” he said. As far as his plans for the next three years of his term, Brocato said he wants to “stay the course.” “I mean, we just had a year of diversifying our economy,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we don’t lose that focus (or) our focus on the way we want our city to develop.” Continued support for public safety departments is another priority, he said, as is working closely with the Riverchase Galleria — the city’s economic nexus — to help it continue to thrive as a retail hotspot in the age of online shopping. “There are lots of good things going on in this city,” he said. “We’re pretty excited.” ❖

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Frank Brocato’s first year as mayor of Hoover coincided with the city’s 50th anniversary, and Brocato spent most of that milestone year, he said, refining and implementing a vision for what the city’s next halfcentury will look like. Brocato was elected mayor in August 2016 with 52 percent of the vote, beating out incumbent Gary Ivey and challenger Steve McClinton without a runoff. Brocato, a former fire marshal who had retired in 2015 after 42 years with the Hoover Fire Department, ran what he described then as a grassroots campaign that emphasized supporting Hoover schools, developing a city master plan and fostering governmental transparency. A year into his four-year term — which he shares with the city’s seven-person city council, for whom he repeatedly states his admiration — he said progress has been made on all three fronts. Increasing financial support for Hoover’s schools was arguably the primary issue for Brocato’s campaign, and his fulfillment of that goal is the first thing he mentions when asked about his first year in office. “We were so happy to be able to do that,” he said, referring to the city’s allocation of $5 million to the Hoover Board of Education in its 2017 budget, double the $2.5 million in funding it gave the previous year. For years, the school board had operated with a deficit as high as $10.4 million, though that deficit had begun to shrink even before Brocato took office. Brocato said that, when Hoover schools finished 2017, that deficit had been eliminated. “They had years of finishing in the

Journal file photo

By Sam Prickett


Chris Ajlouney said one of the most meaningful and fulfilling things he has done lately is provide designated parking spaces at his businesses as part of the Wounded Warrior Project. The Piggly Wiggly in Bluff Park, above.

down.’” Ajlouney said it took some time to get the signs up and the lines painted, but with each one, more people began to say, “Thank you.”

Would People Use Them?

He said he initially worried that people wouldn’t respect the spots when hard-pressed to find somewhere to park. “But I’ll go to the Clairmont store, where at lunch every parking spot is full but the Wounded Warrior spot. People are honoring what it means,”

he said. Ajlouney said that, more often than not, he sees cars parked in the spots, and it makes him feel like all the effort was worth it. “It was overwhelming. It made me feel good that I did something good for society and that the community is taking part,” he said. If Ajlouney spots someone getting in or out of a car parked in the spots, he tries to go up and say thank you. He hopes others frequenting area Piggly Wigglys will try to do the same. ❖


Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 11


Journal photos by Emily Williams

furnished with basic necessities that were donated by C3 vendors, including couches, beds, chests of drawers and porch furniture. Beatty and his team are looking for help to outfit the homes with items that each resident will need when they move in, such as bed linens, kitchen items and televisions. “There’s a saying that a house is made of bricks and stones but a home is made of hopes and dreams. While the structures are beautiful, the most important thing is that, when you

‘One in 68 children born today will be diagnosed with autism. It impacts an entire family, and Glenwood has a great track record in helping people with autism.’ JIM BEATTY, VICE PRESIDENT CAPSTONE COLLEGIATE COMMUNITIES

support this project, you truly help people with autism and their families live better lives. Think about what home means to you. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of giving a gift that helps people reach their potential?” Beatty said. In addition to providing the three cottages, which will be celebrated with a grand opening Jan. 17, C3 leveled land next to the developed property in the hope that Glenwood and its supporters will build more housing. ❖

In the middle of the three homes, a fire pit leads to a large pavilion overlooking Turkey Foot Lake, which can be used by the cottage residents as well as all of the Glenwood community.

A New Hope

Glenwood Campaign Funds the Finishing Touches for New Cottages By Emily Williams Capstone Collegiate Communities has finished the construction of three new cottages for Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Center that will provide residences for 16 adults with special needs. “It’s a very exciting project that feels really good when you know that you’re providing not just a house, but home for people who otherwise might have a hard time living as independently as these homes allow,” said Jim Beatty, vice president of C3.   Along with acquiring donations, C3 created a capital campaign and recently met the goal of $2.2 million needed to pay for the project.  “Our goal from the beginning is to raise enough to build beautiful homes that the people served by Glenwood deserve and to raise a little more to help get the programs started,” said Beatty.  With housing for adults and young adults being a great need for the facility, C3 executives were adamant about not only lending their services, but taking charge of the campaign to help fund it. “One in 68 children born today will be diagnosed with autism. It impacts an entire family, and Glenwood has a great track record in helping people with autism,” Beatty said. “Our company has been successful, and we felt this was a project where we could offer our expertise and, with our great vendors, come

together and do something amazing for the community.” The team reached its fundraising goal near the end of the year, just as they put the finishing touches on the homes, which were begun in May. Each cottage is designed to be appealing, but special touches also meet the needs of Glenwood residents. According to Beatty, it was important for each room to have its own bathroom, with a walk-in shower and a tub to suit any resident’s physical abilities. The common areas in the cabins are an open floor plan with a kitchen and large granite island on one side and a living space on the other. Each cottage additionally includes a private porch, which the builders feel will be a great asset when residents’ families come to visit.  In the middle of the three homes, a fire pit leads to a large pavilion overlooking Turkey Foot Lake, which can be used by the cottage residents as well as all of the Glenwood community.  “The setting is beautiful, and we feel that The Hope Cottages are in keeping with the natural setting. The homes are gorgeous because that’s what everyone deserves. In fact, everyone who has seen them has said, ‘I wouldn’t mind living here,’” Beatty said. Though the goal has been met monetarily, Beatty said there is still a need for donations, particularly in the form of home goods. The cabins are

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12 • Thursday, January 11, 2018



Happy Trails Photos special to the Journal

Fitness Fundraiser Turning Wishes into Reality for Critically Ill Kids

Trailblaze Challenge participants vary in age, stages of life and levels of hiking experience, and the reasons for their participation – though basically altruistic in nature – differ from person-to-person.

By June Mathews Giving, it’s often said, is good for the soul. But Make-A-Wish Alabama’s Trailblaze Challenge takes charitable involvement to a whole new level. Through individual efforts to raise money for granting the wishes of more than 300 children with critical illnesses, Trailblaze Challenge participants benefit in body and soul. A fitness program and a fundraiser rolled into one, Trailblaze Challenge is an endurance experience involving 14 weeks of graduated training alongside Make-A-Wish staff and seasoned hike leaders. The program culminates in a 26.3-mile hike on the scenic Pinhoti Trail in the Talladega National Forest. Trailblaze Challenge, said Valerie Gerber, director of development and marketing for Make-A-Wish Alabama, was inspired by a similar event hosted by a sister chapter in North Carolina. “They did really well with it, so we gave it go, and it was successful here, too,” she said. Seventy hikers, well more than the original goal of 40 hikers, took part in the 2017 Trailblaze Challenge, the first for Make-A-Wish Alabama. The challenge raised $230,000 for the organization’s mission, and it started to build another layer of committed volunteers. Thirty of last year’s participant have signed up for 2018. “For me, the best and most unexpected outcome is that some of the people who hiked in last year’s program are still some of my closest friends,” said Gerber. “A fantastic community of hikers has formed from this.” Trailblaze Challenge participants vary in age, stages of life and levels of hiking experience. The reasons for their participation, though basically altruistic in nature, differ from person-to-

Deb St. John of Hoover, above left, had not been active for several years due to health reasons and was intimidated at the mere thought of hiking 26.3 miles in one day. Brooks Gant of Vestavia Hills, above center, a married father of two, identifies with the parents of the wish kids and feels compelled to do what he can to ease the pain. Sean Spiegelman, above right, of Homewood, a 27-year-old who, since college, has thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail and spent a season in Guatemala guiding on active volcanos, among other adventures.

person. For example, 44-year-old Brooks Gant of Vestavia Hills, a married father of two, identifies with the parents of the wish kids and feels compelled to do what he can to ease the pain. “I cannot even begin to imagine what these parents are going through,” he said. “Seeing firsthand the difference these wishes are making in the lives of these children and their families, and of course the BIG hike weekend last year … . It truly was an experience I will never forget.” An avid trail runner and mountain biker, Gant has been hiking and backpacking for more than 10 years and spends as much time as possible outdoors. Deb St. John, however, had not been active for several years due to health reasons and was

‘I cannot even begin to imagine what these parents are going through. Seeing firsthand the difference these wishes are making in the lives of these children and their families, and of course the BIG hike weekend last year… it truly was an experience I will never forget.’ BROOKS GANT

intimidated at the mere thought of hiking 26.3 miles in one day. “But I needed a good challenge, and this was for a good cause,” said the 54-year-old Hoover resident. “So, I attended an informational meeting, and as soon as I met a wish kid and her family and learned their story, I was hooked. How could I not give the time and effort to help these kids and their families?” The training, said St. John, was one of the hardest things she’s ever done, but she gritted her teeth and plowed through the pain. Nowadays, back and arthritic issues that have plagued her for years are so faint she rarely even thinks of them. And like Gerber, she discovered an unexpected bonus. “I now have new lifelong hiking friends,”


The RESTORES Study Can regular exercise combined with resveratrol (a dietary ingredient found in grapes & red wine) have a positive effect on your overall physical health? Journal photo by Jordan Wald

she said. Among St. John’s new network of hiking friends is Sean Spiegelman of Homewood, a 27-year-old who, since college, has thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail and spent a season in Guatemala guiding on active volcanos, among other adventures. “To be honest, I didn’t really know much about Make-A-Wish until I saw a billboard last year for the challenge and read up on what the foundation is about,” Spiegelman said. So even though his original motivation for getting involved in the Trailblaze Challenge may have had more to do with hiking than supporting a cause, Spiegelman now has a much greater appreciation for MakeA-Wish and its mission. “It’s certainly becoming more personal for me over time, and I want to increase my involvement in the years to come,” he said. Gant, St. John and Spiegelman are three of the 30 hikers from last year’s inaugural Trailblaze Challenge to sign up for the 2018 challenge. “Our chapter will grant about 120 wishes in 2018, but we have approximately 300 children currently waiting to receive a wish,” said Gerber. “The Trailblaze Challenge program will help us grant more wishes to Alabama children and get people out on the beautiful trails in our state.” Informational Trailblaze Challenge meetings are being held throughout January in Birmingham and Huntsville. To get involved, potential participants should RSVP for a meeting at❖

Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 13


Troy Grauel’s, center, surprise trip was revealed to him, alongside friends and family, Dec. 18 at the Zoo’s Full Moon Bar-B-Que Wild Slide exhibit.

Dr. Thomas Buford and the research team at the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine are looking for volunteers to help evaluate the effects of combining physical exercise with resveratrol.

Full Moon and Make-A-Wish Partner for Big Reveal at the Birmingham Zoo Full Moon Bar-B-Que partnered with Make-A-Wish Alabama through the Adopt-A-Wish program to send 15-year-old Birmingham native Troy Grauel and his family to Washington, D.C. Troy’s surprise trip was revealed to him, alongside friends and family, Dec. 18 at the Birmingham Zoo’s Full Moon Bar-B-Que Wild Slide exhibit. “Full Moon Bar-B-Que has been a strong supporter of Make-AWish Alabama for years, and their involvement has made a tremendous impact on the children and families we serve,” said Pam Jones, president and

CEO of Make-A-Wish Alabama. Troy’s love of animals inspired his wish to travel to the nation’s capital to visit the Smithsonian National Zoo and the Museum of Natural History. He suffers from pituitary Langerhans cell histiocytosis, a rare condition that has changed his life and necessitated many hospital stays and doctor visits. “It has always been a top priority of Full Moon BBQ to connect to the communities we serve and give back,” said Joe Maluff, co-owner of Full Moon. “When you can do something to improve a child’s life, no matter how big or small, it is the right choice.” ❖

To: From: Date:

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For more information, please call: 205-996-4086 Mention the RESTORES study

Jenny Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Dec. 2017 This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the Jan. 11, 2018 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

Please make sure all information is correct, including address and phone number!


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14 • Thursday, January 11, 2018



Holiday Celebration

Photos by Dee Moore

14 Young Women Presented at the Redstone Club’s Christmas Ball

From left, Caraway Mims Bruhn, Anna Katherine Healey, Marie-Constance Scott, Clotilde Westcott DeLara Cobbs and Allison Murray Manley.

Turner Nicholson Hull, Evelyn Blackwell Fite, Virginia Walker Delony Sewell, Mary Stewart Beasley and Holly Mayfield Struthers.


he Redstone Club’s 110th annual Christmas Ball was held Dec. 16 at the Country Club of Birmingham. More than 160 members of the Redstone Club and their guests attended the group’s annual Christmas celebration. President of this year’s ball was Joseph M. Farley Jr., who attended with his wife, Ginny. Ball chairman was J. Bailey Knight III, who attended with his wife, Margaret. The floor committee chairman was Edward Rosamond Christian, at the ball with his wife, Emily. Sybil Brooke Sylvester and her team at Wildflower Designs installed the decorations for both the seated dinner that preceded the ball and the East Room of the Country Club, which hosted the presentation. Classic elements in green and white colored both areas. Above the presentation walkway hung a handmade chandelier resembling a delicate ball gown skirt, while the room was lit by a soft glow of tiny Christmas lights. The white-gowned debutantes carried simple bouquets of clustered white garden roses. This year’s presentation class included 14 young women, all college seniors, from a wide range of schools around the country. The presentees wore traditional long white dresses and gloves, a complement to their chosen escorts’ black tuxedo tails. Overseeing the class were Ladies Committee members Mrs. Courtenay R. Bloodworth (Kim), Mrs. Henry Claiborne Crommelin (Jane Houston) and Mrs. Arthur Key Foster III (Walton). Those presented at this year’s ball were: Caraway Mims Bruhn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Calhoun Morrow and Mr. and Mrs. Glover Mitchell Bruhn. Kathleen Merrell Dunn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Evans Johnson Dunn. Turner Nicholson Hull, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hewes Turner Hull. Allison Murray Manley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Duncan Young Manley Jr. Virginia Walker Delony Sewell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Banks Sewell III. Mary Virginia Adams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Seth Adams, sponsored by Dr. Henry Crommelin Jr. Mary Stewart Beasley, daughter of Mr. and

Elizabeth Drake Faulconer, Kathleen Merrell Dunn, Elizabeth Baylee Edwards and Mary Virginia Adams.

Mrs. William Martin Beasley Jr., sponsored by Dr. George Wheeler Matthews Jr. Clotilde Westcott Delara Cobbs, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Westcott Cobbs Jr., sponsored by Mr. James Somerville McLester French. Elizabeth Baylee Edwards, daughter of Mrs. Julianna Trammell Edwards and the late Sterling William Edwards, sponsored by Mr. Leon Wyman Edwards. Elizabeth Drake Faulconer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Percival Hunter Faulconer III, sponsored by Mr. James Wylie Shepherd Jr. Evelyn Blackwell Fite, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Blackwell Fite, sponsored by Mr. Joseph McConnell Farley Jr. Anna Katherine Healey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Seale Healey, sponsored by Mr. Francis Minor Shepard Ager. Marie-Constance Scott, daugh-

ter of Mr. and Mrs. Porter Ledbetter Scott, sponsored by Mr. John H. Morrow. Holly Mayfield Struthers, daughter of Mr. Michael Lee Struthers and Mrs. Rachael Bloodworth Struthers; sponsored by Mr. Courtenay Renneker Bloodworth. At the ball luncheon, held Dec. 15 at the Mountain Brook Club, the presentees were introduced to the club membership and given background on the long history of the event and the club itself. Also remembered were the 17 members of the 1967 presentee class, who’s 50th anniversary was celebrated. The “golden girls” from that year were: Allison Webb Bass, Ann Lloyd Berry Clark, Evelyn Laban Dobller, Elizabeth McDavid Farnsworth, Margaret Jones Finn, Gillian White Goodrich, Elizabeth Frommeyer Hoke, Carol Kennedy Johnston, Lynn Gregory Letson, Frances Nabers Maury, Barbara Burns Merrill, Jeanne Forsyth Powell, Susan Curry Prutzman, Carolyn McDavid Ray, Julia Hawkins Ribley, Betsy Jordan Simmons and Alice Houseal Vinson. The ball followed a members-only cocktail party and dinner, spread between Birmingham Country Club’s East Room and dining rooms. Music chairman John R. Simpson arranged the evening’s accompaniment. For the cocktail party and the presentation, the Sonny Harris Trio Band set the musical atmosphere. Following the presentation, the Perfect Ten Band out of Atlanta took the stage, turning the formal setting into a rocking dance hall. Club president Farley and ball chairman Knight were spotted on the dancefloor late into the evening alongside a crowd of presentees and dates. The 2017 Redstone Club officers and board of governors members are: Farley; Richard Murray IV, vice president; Nelson Straub Bean, secretary-treasurer; James W. Shepherd Jr., traditions chairman; Courtenay R. Bloodworth, Robert M. Couch, Francis H. Crockard III, James H. Emack Jr., Claude B. Nielsen, William B. Wahlheim Jr., J. Reese Murray III, finance chairman, and Arthur Key Foster III, camp chairman. ❖ From left: J. Bailey Knight III and wife Margaret, with Joseph M. Farley Jr. and wife Ginny.

Photos special to the Journal



Above, from left, Char Bonsack, Debbie Reid and Skip Wadhams. Left, Sandra Wilson, Roberta Atkinson, Susan Atwood and Beverly Stein.

Eggnog, Decorations and Art Symphony Supporters Gather for Christmas Celebration

Robert Raiford and Zane Rhodes recently hosted the annual Symphony Volunteer Council Christmas Party at their home, with hors d’oeuvres, wine and the Christmas special, eggnog. Char Bonsack, president, welcomed members and guests, who toured not only the house’s Christmas decorations, but also the collection of paintings, playbills and glass pieces. Bonsack introduced Daniel Szasz and his wife, Dr. Alina Voicu. Szasz is celebrating his 20th year as the symphony concertmaster and recently was honored at the 2017 Maestro’s Ball.

Other guests in attendance were Bob Black, Shirley and Bob Brown, Sue Watkins, Tallulah Hargrove, Janis Zeanah, Diane and Herb Rossmeisl, Jonnie and Rich Venglik, Rick Bonsack, Molly Bee and Tom Bloetscher, Debbie Reid, Janet Lauer, Michael and Lynne Meeks, Virginia and Shine Guthrie, Jack and Terry Standridge, Betty Jo Gorman, Bobbie Holland, Nadene Siniard, Chandler and Jane Smith, Alex and Sally Hood, Roger and Linda James, Sandra and Bob Wilson, Liz and Tom Warren, and Mary Alice Mosley.

Also attending were Betsy and Joe Cooper, Roberta and Jim Atkinson, Skip and Bob Wadhams, Joyce Wise, Lin and Jim Musgrove, Jere Madonia, Nan and Phil Teninbaum, Randy and LaDonna Gibbs, Jean and Rick Sim, Peggy Kennedy, Susan and John Atwood, Beverly and Phil Stone, Emily Omura, Aggie Pollock, Diane Ray, Mary Wimberly, Deb and John Sellers, Phyllis and Tom Davis, Frances and Jon Clemmensen, Carolyn and Bob Orchid, Jo Broadwater, Dorinda Smith, and Eric and Cheree Carlton. ❖

Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 15

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16 • Thursday, January 11, 2018



Elements of the Far East Photos by Hank Spencer

Beaux Arts Krewe Announces 2018 Princesses

Anne Pickering, Allie Vogtle, Mary Seldon Andrews, Anna Catherine Gillespy and Annie Wyatt.

Anne Simmons, Cate Harmon, Kendall Crumbaugh, Caroline Luckie and Camille Jernigan.

Chandler Law, Anne Douglass Williams, Ellen Given, Mallie Given and Mary Keller Greene.

Lucy Gardner, Mary Boyd Crosier, Mary Evelyn Sprain, Sanders Reed and Kaylor Kidd.

Maggie Tapscott, Emme Slayton, Haley Bradford and Emmie Stutts.

Walton Stivender, Oliver Little, Catherine Turner, Stella Kontos and Elinor Anthony.

The 51st annual Beaux Arts Krewe will be Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. at Boutwell Auditorium, featuring the presentation of 35 young women as princesses of the krewe and the crowning of a queen. The annual event, which raises money for the Birmingham Museum of Art, has a Chinese theme this year designed to transport partygoers to the elegant and intricate decor of the East Asian country.  This year’s presentees are: Catherine Wheelock Giti Ahmad, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jaffar Ahmad. Mary Seldon Andrews, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Seldon Andrews. Elinor Clay Anthony, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Eland Anthony Jr. Haley Elizabeth Bradford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stacy Gray Alliston and Mr. and Mrs. William Taylor Bradford. Mary Boyd Crosier, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Ray Crosier. Kendall Elizabeth Crumbaugh, daughter of

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Chalmers Crumbaugh III. Lucy Elizabeth Gardner, daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. H. Huey Gardner. Anna Catherine Gillespy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Palfrey Gillespy. Ellen Elizabeth deBernière Given, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sommerville Wilkerson Given. Margaret Allyn Pratt Given, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Perry Given Jr. Mary Keller Greene, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Keller Greene. Catherine Brevard Harmon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Brame Harmon. Camille Elizabeth Jernigan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Jernigan. Kaylor Elizabeth Kidd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. D Bradford Kidd. Stella Christine Kontos, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Steven Kontos Sr. Chandler Thorogood Law, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Hershel Law Jr.

Helen Oliver Little, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Brawner Little III. Caroline Goodwyn Luckie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas George Luckie. Margaret Bell McCalley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Winston T. McCalley. Katherine Beall Michaux, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thornton Cooke Michaux. Alice Lee Naughton, daughter of Mrs. Cynthia Lynn Cannon and Mr. Stephen Albert Naughton. Anne Genevieve Pickering, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Mark Pickering. Caroline Sanders Reed, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Andrew Reed. Walker Evans Sanders, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Rutledge Sanders Jr. Anne Kinsman Simmons, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Winn Simmons. Emily Symington Slaton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Warren Slaton Jr. Mary Evelyn Sprain, daughter of Mr. and

Not pictured: Catherine Ahmad, Meg McCalley, Katie Michaux, Alice Lee Naughton, Evans Sanders and Claire Wilson.

Mrs. Robert Henry Sprain. Walton Leigh Stivender, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Richard Stivender. Mildred Eugenia Stutts, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Gillis Stutts. Margaret Elizabeth Tapscott, daughter of Mrs. Julie Berte Tapscott and Mr. Robert Wayne Tapscott Jr. Catherine Claire Turner, daughter of Mrs. Catherine Smith Turner and the late Jon M. Turner. Kathryn Alline Vogtle, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Stringer Vogtle Jr. Anne Douglass Williams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Douglass Williams. Kathleen Claire Wilson, daughter of Dr. John Wilson. Antoinette Dunn Wyatt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Hunt Wyatt. ❖


Merrily Caroling


Guild of Birmingham Music Club Celebrates the Holidays

On the evening of Dec. 9, as lawns glistened with new fallen snow, members of the Guild of the Birmingham Music Club celebrated at the Mountain Brook home of Heidi and Sam Yates. About 70 guests celebrated the annual Prelude to the Holidays party, hosted by Vicki and Mat Lukens and Margaret Hubbard and attended by club President Judy Anderson. Guests were greeted by Sam Yates. Pianist Lou Lanier entertained the crowd in the living room with her renditions of favorite Christmas carols and other music, playing next to the spectacular 12-foot decorated tree. The banquet dining room table was decorated with rectangular mirrors, the two on each end having two silver candelabras with two white porcelain ducks in the middle. In the center were two elevated mirrors that held a silver ornament tree and fresh greenery with red berries. The table was laden with hors d’oeuvres including dips, ham, crackers, cheeses, green beans and pasta salad. All were donated by members. Also on the table was the Lampkins’ traditional large platter of beef tenderloin coupled with three different sauces and rolls. In addition, decorated cupcakes, cookies and other desserts were served. Among the many guests enjoying the evening were Charlann Anderson, Judy and Charles Anderson, Roberta Atkinson, Francislee and Ashby Boulware, Elna Brendel, Nancy and Kevin Canada, Anne Carey, Cheree and Eric Carlton, Kay and David Clark, Betsy

Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 17


Now through Saturday, January 13th

Clockwise from above, from left, Betsy Cooper, Judy Anderson and Lesley DeRamus; Murray and Ann Vaughn; and Becky and Greg Keyes.

Cooper, Martha Lee and Billy Culp, Naomi and Kirk Cunningham, Cheryl Davidson, Lesley and Sterling DeRamus, Roxanne and Perry Given, Judy and Jim Haise, Angie and Allen Holder, Sandra and Elam Holley, and Fran and Buddy Howard. Also celebrating the occasion were Nancy and Ed Jones, Becky and Greg Keyes, Anne and Tom Lamkin, Jean and Curtis Liles, Nancy and Bart Morrow, Beverly Parks, Fiona and David Pratt, Lochrane and Mell Smith, Michele and Mabry Smith, Nan and Phil Teninbaum, Ann Vaughn, Heather Waldron, Mary Ellen West and Judy and Edward Wiggins. ❖

English Village • 1900 Cahaba Road • 918-0505

18 • Thursday, January 11, 2018




Vestavia’s Premiere Green Home Community Viridian offers all the charm of a vintage neighborhood with the latest energy-efficient green homebuilding technologies. These authentic, one-of-a-kind homes are tucked in the woods in a unique gated community off Tyler Road, with prices starting in the $600s. Two lush parks and an abundance of green space provide privacy and a sense of history for this significant property. (205) 365-4344

For the 75th year, young women were honored at the Holiday Assembly. Thirty-six honorees were presented in the East Room of the Country Club of Birmingham at the Dec.15 event. The young women had a seated dinner with their dates in the dining room before the presentation ceremony, in which they were escorted by their fathers. Family and friends joined the honorees on the dance floor to the music of Familiar Faces. Those presented at the 2017 Holiday Assembly were Helen Caroline Abele, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Fletcher Abele Jr. Anna Brooks Allen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Michael Allen. Emma Elizabeth Blakely, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Martin Blakely Jr. Melanie McCaa Bradford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Wade Bradford; Perry Ann Brody, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Henry Brody. Emilie Anne Brown, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Randolph Brown. Margaret Whitton Bumgarner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen James Bumgarner. Anna Elizabeth Bromberg Byrne, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Russell Byrne. Lucy Catherine Byrne, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kelly James Byrne. Mary Ann Carmichael, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Beatty Payseur Carmichael. Ella Caroline Cobbs, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Glenn Cobbs. Annabel Mountain Davis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Scott Donald Davis. Mary Mozelle Davis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Scott Donald Davis. Isabelle Virginia DeBuys, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Forrester DeBuys III. Hannah Grace Doss, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Coates Doss. Eleanor Elizabeth Edwards, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Hugh Edwards II. Laura Lacy Gardner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Terrell

Photos by Dee Moore

Annual Assembly Recognizes 36 Young Women

Front, from left: Abigail Adylette Shepherd, Mary Jane Elizabeth Rose, Helen Caroline Abele, Anna Beverley Hoyt. Back: Annabel Mountain Davis, Laura Lacy Gardner, Mary Ann Carmichael, Katherine Elizabeth Kehl and Mary Mozelle Davis.

Anna Catherine Sims, Martha Lucille Walthall, Virginia Marguerite Williams, Mary Douglas Ray. Back: Elizabeth Halsey Hamilton, Lucy Parsons Reich, Anna Elizabeth Bromberg Byrne, Eleanor Lillian Kerr and Mary Elizabeth Vaughn.


Attic Antiques Antiques • Vintage Industrial

In Store Sale!

Tue.-Sat. 10-4:30 5620 Cahaba Valley Road


Perry Ann Brody, Melanie McCaa Bradford, Emilie Anne Brown, Lillian Evelyn Perkins. Back: Hannah Grace Doss, Margaret Whitton Bumgarner, Eleanor Elizabeth Edwards, Ella Elizabeth Lukens and Grace Shepard Hull.


Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 19



Gardner. Virginia Alexis Grammas, daughter of Ms. Mary Ann Schanbacher Grammas and Mr. Peter Alexander Grammas. Elizabeth Halsey Hamilton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Buckner Woodford Hamilton III. Anna Beverley Hoyt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Wills Hoyt. Grace Shepard Hull, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hewes Turner Hull. Katherine Elizabeth Kehl, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Grant Kehl. Eleanor Lillian Kerr, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Davidson Kerr. Valerie Bennett Lightfoot, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Warren Bricken Lightfoot Jr. Ella Elizabeth Lukens, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert James Lukens Sr. Lillian Evelyn Perkins, daughter of Ms. Laura Beers Perkins and Mr. Charles Belgrave Perkins. Mary Kathryn Rainer, daughter of Ms. Julie Shipp Rainer and Mr. James Walton Rainer IV. Mary Douglas Ray, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Bradley Ray. Lucy Parsons Reich, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Raymond Reich. Mary Jane Elizabeth Rose, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Andrew Rose. Abigail Adylette Shepherd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Wylie Shepherd Jr. Anna Catherine Sims, daughter of Ms. Caroline Edwards Sims and Mr. George William Sims II. Mary Elizabeth Vaughn, daughter of Ms. Elizabeth Seibels Vaughn and Mr. Joseph Collin Vaughn. Virginia Tynes Wahlheim, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Bernhart Wahlheim Jr. Martha Lucille Walthall, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hardwick Cox Walthall. Virginia Marguerite Williams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Douglass Williams. ❖

Valerie Bennett Lightfoot, Isabelle Virginia DeBuys, Virginia Tynes Wahlheim, Anna Brooks Allen. Back: Emma Elizabeth Blakely, Lucy Catherine Byrne, Virginia Alexis Grammas, Mary Kathryn Rainer and Ella Caroline Cobbs.

february 2018



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Homewood Couple Weds, Shares Passion for Duck Hunting and Giving Back Claire and Paul served as bridesmaid and groomsman for mutual friends. Before the Lake Martin wedding, the two had never met. As Claire recalls it, the father of the groom gave a toast at the rehearsal dinner that called out Paul – pointing out that he was balding, getting old and hadn’t brought a date. “Then Paul gets up and says, ‘Thanks for ruining any chances I had with the girl in the purple dress!’” Claire said, “I was the one in the purple bridesmaid’s dress.” By the end of the weekend, Paul had worked up the nerve to ask Claire out on a date, and before long the two were engaged. Ever the romantic, Paul followed in his soonto-be father-in-law’s footsteps by proposing to his bride by putting an engagement ring in a nutcracker. Only the nutcracker Paul used was painted like a duck hunter. It took a short 10 months to plan their Christmastime wedding in Fair Hope, at St. Joseph’s Chapel and the Grand Hotel Marriott. Claire said she was drawn to a wintery design scheme using metallics and soft lighting. Her gown was a Hayley Paige design with a jeweled bodice and layered tulle skirt. Bridesmaids wore navy, and flower girls carried wreath bouquets. Amid the sparkle and sophistication of the couple’s nuptials, a hint of camouflage completed the look. “People blew duck call whistles instead of holding sparklers when we left the reception,” Claire said. Guests were given ceramic duck Christmas ornaments as favors. But the gift was more than just a nod to Paul’s favorite pastime. “All the ornaments were made by Prodigal Pottery. The proceeds went to King’s Home,” Claire said. Prodigal Pottery is a non-profit ceramics studio affiliated with King’s Home that provides jobs to women fleeing domestic abuse and homelessness. The handmade ornaments were one of the couple’s favorite details of the evening. Claire said she remembers standing at the altar and turning to see all the guests who had come to support and encourage them. She hopes that by incorporating duck hunting into their wedding, she and Paul sent guests away with a smile and a favor that reminds them of those less fortunate during the Christmas season. ❖

Photos by Rae Leytham Photography

From page 1

Amid the sparkle and sophistication of the couple’s nuptials, a hint of camouflage completed the look. “People blew duck call whistles instead of holding sparklers when we left the reception,” Claire said.

It took a short 10 months to plan Paul and Claire Keith’s Christmastime wedding in Fair Hope, at St. Joseph’s Chapel and the Grand Hotel Marriott.

Guests were given ceramic duck Christmas ornaments as favors made by Prodigal Pottery. The proceeds went to King’s Home.

Giving Back

The Keith’s just celebrated their first anniversary and are enjoying life in their Homewood home.


Aldridge Gardens Aldridge Gardens is a 30 acre public garden nestled in the heart of Hoover featuring beautiful woods, gardens, walking trails and a serene five acre lake. The site also features nine picturesque ceremony sites and two reception facilities. “As the director of sales, I am here to ensure that each couple’s day is special and expertly executed from start to finish,” said Amanda Baker, pictured above. “I have been blessed to be working in the specialty event world for over 10 years and I have loved every moment of it. “Our vision is to be a premier venue for visitors to experience how nature and art can work for the mutual benefit of both,” she said. “Our staff is committed to providing the highest quality service throughout the planning and execution of your event. At Aldridge Gardens, we want to help make your day unique and unforgettable!” Ceremonies may be held at a garden site or in the pavilion - both will accommodate up to 200 guests. The arbor, shade garden lawn and pavilion are located at the front of Aldridge House and provide a beautiful backdrop of


hydrangeas, azaleas and seasonal plants and shrubs for weddings. Lakeside, woodland stream and patio wedding sites offer the sights and sounds of water, hydrangeas and seasonal plants and shrubs. The Kay and Eddie Aldridge Art and Historical Museum and the Pavilion are both perfect reception venues. The museum opens to a large brick patio and offers a spectacular view of the lake. The art gallery features artworks of noted local and national artists and is the home of a large collection of Frank Fleming sculptures. The Pavilion is a covered, open-air facility with lighting, fans and a small amphitheater to provide additional seating. A catering kitchen and public restrooms are located nearby. “Enjoy the planning process,” Baker said. “Weddings can be inherently stressful but they don’t have to be. Surround yourself with wonderful event professionals and consider hiring a wedding planner to aid in the process. Be yourself and make sure to include details that you specifically enjoy. That’s what will make your special day all the more memorable.” Aldridge Gardens is located at 3530 Lorna Road, Hoover, 682-8019.

David Bley Photography

Unique and Unforgettable


Bromberg’s For the finest in quality, for seven generations the people of Alabama have chosen Bromberg’s, America’s oldest family-owned retail store for fine jewelry, watches, custom jewelry design, premier bridal registry and giftware. “WE SHOWCASE THE LARGEST AND FINEST SELECTION OF CHINA, CRYSTAL AND SILVER IN THE SOUTHEAST, AND SO MUCH MORE.”

“We are Alabama’s oldest business,” said Ricky Bromberg, above. “We have been retailers since 1836. One could say we have more experience in the engagement ring and bridal registry business than anyone else around today.

Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 21

“From the world’s most perfectly cut diamonds by Hearts on Fire to the alluring optical delights of our full line up of engagement and wedding rings, we offer the finest quality bridal jewelry collections to suit everyone’s taste,” Bromberg added. “Best of all, our inhouse Master Jeweler Philip Flenniken can create a one-of-a-kind design that you will treasure forever. “We showcase the largest and finest selection of china, crystal and silver in the Southeast, and so much more. We offer brides many incentives such as our gift card system and completion program, discounts on wedding bands and attendants’ gifts and a free gift when you register. And that’s not all—when a bride receives or purchases seven place settings they get the eighth one free!” Bromberg’s is located at 2800 Cahaba Rd. in Mountain Brook, 871-3276; and 131 Summit Blvd. at The Summit, 969-1776.

22 • Thursday, January 11, 2018



Whether it is a diamond engagement ring, anniversary earrings or a special piece for your day, JB & CO can help you collect your heirloom.


interest. Christine’s offers a small, European-style shopping experience. Color is abundant with options for all price ranges and free specialty gift wrapping. Christine’s on Canterbury is located at 2404 Canterbury Road, 871-8297.

JB & CO JB & CO is a jewelry boutique owned and operated by John Bromberg, above. His boutique honors a return to an old-world artisan approach to fine jewelry. In an industry that is increasingly focused on mass production, JB & CO chooses instead to focus on the unique with specialties that include bridal, custom and estate jewelry. John Bromberg personally works with his clients to select or create just the right piece for the occasion, always adhering to your style and budget.  Whether it is a diamond engagement ring, anniversary earrings or a special piece for your day, JB & CO can help you collect your heirloom. His selection of jewelry comes from destinations far and wide, from the finest houses such as Bulgari, Cartier, Hermes and Tiffany, as well as designers Elizabeth Locke, Raymond Yard, Lalaounis, Judith Ripka, Mikimoto, David Yurman, John Hardy, Rolex and more.   John Bromberg, a sixth-generation jeweler, with decades of extensive experience and longstanding relationships, offers the unique opportunity for his clients to purchase fine jewelry at an exceptional value. “Collect with us,” said John Bromberg. JB & Co. is located at 1 Office Park Circle, Ste. 201, 478-0455.







*Select patterns

Christine’s on Canterbury, nestled just behind Gilchrist on Canterbury Road, is filled with a broad selection of categories such as gifts, paper products, fragrances, frames and linens. “Linens are such a vital part of any home, and at one point in history one’s linen collection was an indication of status and wealth,” said Jean Clayton, owner of Christine’s on Canterbury, pictured above. “Today’s lifestyle is so busy, we find many women are attracted to tablecloths that never need washing and linen napkins you never iron. Both products have been well received for color, design, and quality. “Monograms have been of interest for centuries, but the question is always whose. We try to guide the bride on this decision; however, for many years linens were considered part of the

bride’s trousseau and bore her personal initials.” Christine’s offers linens for bed, bath and table. While white and ivory remain popular, color and design are experiencing a renewed


Christine’s on Canterbury

One Office Park circle, Suite 201 MOuntain BrOOk, al 35223

205.478.0455 •


Clubhouse on Highland Nestled in the Highland Park Historic District, Clubhouse on Highland is a fine Arts and Crafts-style event venue fit to accomodate a variety of occasions, from fundraisers and seminars to rehearsal dinners and weddings. “Established in 1947 as a clubhouse, it was built in 1910 as the finest home in Birmingham,” said Director Bob McKenna, pictured above, center. The venue boasts chandeliers, beveled crystal windows, a grand central staircase, a wrap-around porch and a European-style courtyard. “A place where good things happen, supporting groups and individuals who are making Birmingham and the world a better place, our mission is to create more love and consciousness in our community and promote sustainable

Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 23


practices to be good stewards of our environment,” McKenna said. The venue is fully furnished with a state-of-the-art sound system, tables, chairs, linens and is open to all catering and other vendors. “We have been working with brides and grooms for the past 70 years,” McKenna said. “Since the full renovation 12 years ago, we have been working with brides and grooms who desire old-world charm with all of the modern conveniences.” The venue can accommodate intimate dinners of up to 300 throughout most seasons and up to 150 for during the winter. “When planning your wedding, focus on the love and the relationship,” McKenna said. “Have fun and enjoy the whole experience of creating a wedding and weaving your two families together.” Clubhouse on Highland is located at 2908 Highland Ave. S., 324-9633.

Clubhouse on Highland

Shay’s Jewelers For more than 10 years Shay’s Jewelers has been providing customers with fine diamond and gemstone jewelry. SHAY’S HAS A GREAT SELECTION OF FASHIONABLE DIAMOND AND COLORED GEMSTONE JEWELRY...

“When it comes to jewelry repairs or custom jewelry design, our knowledgeable staff, inhouse gemologist, and experienced jeweler offer the highest level of customer service,” said Shay Morgan, owner.

“We provide free cleaning and inspection of our customers’ jewelry in store. Shay’s has a great selection of fashionable diamond and colored gemstone jewelry. We offer competitive pricing on loose diamonds. We also have a wide variety of anniversary and special occasion jewelry.” Shay has been committed to the jewelry industry for more than 20 years, providing brides and grooms with the essentials needed for their weddings as well as bridesmaids jewelry and gifts for groomsmen. “We want you looking spectacular, so don’t forget to stop by and let us clean and inspect all of your jewelry before the big day!” said Morgan. Shay’s Jewelers is located at 3301 Lorna Road, Suite 1, 978-5880.

"A Place Where Good Things Happen"

STACKABLES Host your event with old world charm and elegance, in the true style of gracious Southern hospitality. Originally built in 1910 by Molly and W.S. Brown, the fully renovated home now offers state of the art video and sound. Perfect for intimate meetings of 12 guests to large festivities of 400 people. 2908 Highland Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35205 (205) 324-9633 •

3301 Lorna Road, Ste. 1, Hoover • 978-5880 •

24 • Thursday, January 11, 2018


Please Reply

Please Reply offers 19 years of experience for all of your wedding invitation and etiquette needs, carrying not only stationery but all kinds of year round gifts for every occasion. They have everything from start to finish for your special day including “save the dates,” stationery, wedding books, cups, napkins, bags for hotels, wedding programs, wedding suites, hostess gifts, bridal party gifts and more. “At Please Reply we specialize in working one-on-one with brides so that they can find exactly what they’ve envisioned for their special day,” said Katie Smith, owner of the business, pictured above. “One of the ways that we can help them do this is by allowing them to schedule an appointment where we are able to use our extensive knowledge in wedding etiquette to find the perfect bridal suite. We love working with our brides and finding the perfect invitation. We build a relationship with them and they end up coming back to us for years for all of their paper and gift needs.” Please Reply has an invitation for anyone, offering a variety of styles for any budgets. “You do not have to spend a fortune on the wedding suite to have something gorgeous.” Please Reply is located at 42B Church Street, Crestline Village, 870-4773.


The Birmingham Zoo

Vulcan Park and Museum

Vulcan Park and Museum is an iconic cultural institution providing a unique venue for weddings and events. With its woodsy landscape and stunning views of the city, it has been the scene of many first dates, first kisses and marriage proposals, as well as offering a variety of romantic settings for wedding ceremonies. Vulcan Park and Museum has become one of Birmingham’s most celebrated wedding venues, thanks to beautiful, spacious indoor banquet rooms and scenic outdoor spaces that offer breathtaking views from atop Red Mountain. In addition to a private event space, Vulcan also offers a truly unique experience on Valentine’s Day with an ‘I Do with A View,’ package creating a beautiful and hassle-free wedding experience. When planning your big day, consider a venue that will be uniquely memorable to your guests. Since reopening in 2004, Vulcan Park and Museum has all of that and more. Vulcan Park and Museum is located at 1701 Valley View Dr., 933-1409.

“Are you looking for a beautiful and unique venue for your upcoming event? The Birmingham Zoo can accommodate 10 to 3,000 guests in one of our numerous rental facilities,” said Special Events Manager Lindsey Renfro, picture above, middle, with special events coordinators Aubree Neal and Hayden Raughley. With accommodations ranging from the Zoo Lodge, a rustic stone cottage in the woods, to a night under the stars in the Trails of Africa Safari Peak, the Birmingham Zoo offers an unforgettable experience for both event hosts and their guests. New for 2018 – the Birmingham Zoo’s Henley Park Event Lawn is open and ready for your next event. The lawn includes a stage area and thousands of layout opportunities. “Take advantage of this new venue to host your weddings, corporate events and parties,” Renfro said. “The Zoo also offers event extras including animal demonstrations, greetings and walkabouts that are sure to create a truly extraordinary event experience. By hosting your event at the Birmingham Zoo, you are helping to fulfill the Zoo’s mission of inspiring passion for the natural world.”  The Birmingham Zoo is located at 2630 Cahaba Road, 397-3859.

Cahill Anniversary

Josephine Mary Mangione and Robert George Cahill were married at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in East Thomas on Dec. 18, 1967. The groom’s uncle, Father C. J. Bogetto C.M., officiated the ceremony. A celebration of their 50th anniversary was held Dec. 17 in the chapel of Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Hoover. Father John Fallon said Mass and renewed their vows in the presence of their children and grandchildren. A celebration luncheon following Mass was held at the Vestavia Country Club, given by their children and spouses, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Dean of Montgomery, Mr. and Mrs. Nick Sellers of Vestavia and Mr. and Mrs. Scott Sanfratel of Mountain Brook. The Cahills have 10 grandchildren. Robert George Cahill is a retired District Court judge for the state of Alabama, and Josephine Cahill has been a homemaker and nana to her grandchildren.

I Do with aView 2.14.18 Say “I Do” or renew your wedding vows at Vulcan Park and Museum. Valentine’s Day wedding packages are now available for purchase starting at $500! Reserve your spot to tie the knot today! 205.933.1409 x113 |

For complete details and a list of confirmed vendors visit us online at:

Koozies. Bridesmaids & Groomsmen Gifts. Napkins. Save the Date. Wedding Books. Specialty Items. Bring this ad in to receive 20% off one in-stock item by February 28th. Some exclusions apply. 42B Church Street Crestline Village | 35213 205.870.4773

Share your good news with 82,500 of your closest friends in Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and North Shelby County, when you announce it in Over The Mountain Journal! To have our wedding & engagement forms sent to you, please call 823-9646.

LP2189 / MR2453


Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 25




Margaret Livingston Hindman and Clayton Glen Avery were married Nov. 25 at The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Ruston, Louisiana. The Right Rev. William Easterling officiated the ceremony. A reception followed at Ruston Country Club. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Ward Hindman of Ruston. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Robert Avery of Jonesboro, Louisiana. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a family heirloom gown of candlelight satin and organza with a re-embroidered Alencon lace bodice. Appliqued lace medallions edged the organza and satin train. Her veil was edged with pearls. She carried a hand-tied bouquet of blush O’Hara garden and white Vendela roses, blush Majolica roses, white lisianthus and white rancunculus. Silver and seeded eucalyptus were mixed throughout. Elizabeth Ann Coldiron of Memphis, Tennessee, and Andrea Victoria Stacy of Richmond Heights, Missouri, were maids of honor. Bridesmaids were Sarah Dendy Johnson of Bernice, Louisiana; Jessica Marie Morris of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Julia Samantha Tobacyk of Ruston; and Dana Rock Meschwitz and Natalie Kaye Rabb of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The junior bridesmaid was the bride’s cousin, Eliza Patricia Woodrow, of New Orleans. The flower girl was Madelyn Claire Ramsey of West Monroe, Louisiana. Brothers of the groom, Justin Ryan Avery and Robert Cole Avery of Jonesboro, were best men. Groomsmen were Christopher Taylor Booker of Woodlands, Texas; Kyle Matthew Broussard of Houston; Murphy John Foster Chestnut IV of Jonesboro; James William Hindman, brother of the bride, of Austin, Texas; and Brien Grett Weydert of Baton Rouge. Ringbearer was cousin of the bride, George Alexander Woodrow, of New Orleans. The couple will live in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Courtney Carolyn Bradshaw and Christopher Bryan Baldwin were married Nov. 4. at the Chattooga Club in Cashiers, North Carolina. The 12:30 p.m. ceremony was officiated by the Rev. Curt Benham of The Village Church at Vinings, in Atlanta. The bride is the daughter of Douglas Aldert Daniel and Mr. Creighton Thomas Bradshaw of Atlanta. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Thomas Bradshaw of Atlanta and the late Mr. and Mrs. Frank Cleveland Parker Jr. of Statesboro, Georgia. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Baldwin of Birmingham. He is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Ward Vogtle Jr. of Birmingham and the late Mr. and Mrs. George Hull Baldwin Jr. of Jacksonville, Florida. Attending the bride at an intimate wedding ceremony was her sister, Lindsay Daniel Wegener, as matron of honor. Flower girl was Kathryn Faulkner Kirtley, niece of the groom. The father of the groom was best man. Ring bearers were Wesley Thomas Bradshaw Jr., nephew of the bride, and Christian Rhett Kirtley, nephew of the groom. 

Your wedding, Your style. Reader was Blue Bellingrath Daniel, niece of the bride. The bride received a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Richmond Graduate University. She is employed by Peachtree DBT in Atlanta. The groom received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington & Lee University and a master’s degree in business administration from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is employed by SunTrust Bank in Atlanta. The couple resides in Atlanta. 1 4 2 5

To have our wedding & engagement forms sent to you, please call 823-9646.

Montgomery Hwy, Vestavia Hills | 205.822.9173 |

Park South Plaza 1425 Montgomery Hwy., Suite 111 Next to Diplomat Deli in Vestavia Hills Mon.-Fri. 9:30 - 5:30 • Sat. 10-3 (205) 822-9173

1425 Montgomery Hwy, Vestavia Hills | 205.822.9173 |

Offering designer and custom designed engagement rings, wedding bands and wedding day jewelry




26 • Thursday, January 11, 2018


Food, Glorious Food Birmingham Culinary Gurus Dish about What’s Hot – and What’s Not

By Donna Cornelius


f Andrew Knowlton had his way, none of us would have spent the past year eating zoodles in loud restaurants staffed with waiters who say, “Can I explain how the menu works?” In December 2016, the Bon Appetit deputy editor compiled a list of “Food Trends We Hope Disappear in 2017.” I’m not sure how many of the trends he mentioned actually vanished. Our entire family ate lobster rolls (“They were never that good, and only tolerable during summer vacation while staring at a body of water,” Knowlton wrote.) at Disney World just last October. But the article is a fun read, and not just because it’s funny. All of us who love food are fascinated with trends – what’s hot and what’s not. So what can we look forward to seeing more of this year? CHRIS HASTINGS

Hastings is the chef and coowner of Hot and Hot Fish Club and Ovenbird Restaurant in Birmingham. He opened Hot and Hot in 1995. In 2012, Hastings was awarded best chef in the South by the James Beard Foundation. He opened his second restaurant, Ovenbird, in 2015. Hastings has been featured on Iron Chef America, Man Fire Food, and Bizarre Foods. He’s also been written about in The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit, Gourmet and Garden & Gun. What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? From a consumer’s point of view, the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene this year was the opening of so many new and diverse restaurants. There was a wide variety of cultures, styles of dining, and price points that were part of that expansion, which are all great things for the consumer. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? In 2018 we will see a continuation of that trend. How about nationally? Nationally, the trend is still moving toward more casual restaurants due to lower price points. People are cooking less in their homes and are overscheduled in their lives, so they need to eat at places they can afford more frequently.  However, the fast-casual expansion has slowed way down due to saturation in that segment of the dining. Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? This past year there were no trends that were so objectionable that I would see a problem. If you could eat at any restau-

Tops on the National Restaurant Association’s 2018 predictions for menu trends are new cuts of meat – shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas Strip steak and Merlot cut. (No, I don’t know what these are either.) Also on the list are house-made condiments, street foodinspired dishes and ethnic-inspired breakfast dishes such as chorizo scrambled eggs and coconut milk pancakes. On the flip side, the association’s survey of 700 professional chefs found that artisan cheeses, heirloom fruits and vegetables, and house-made charcuterie aren’t the culinary cool kids anymore. Whole Foods Market entered the fray with its forecast of upand-comers. Its No. 1 trend is floral flavors. “Foragers and culinary stars have embraced edible petals for years, but floral inspiration is finally in full bloom,” a press release from the company said. “From adding whole flowers

rant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why? Francis Mallmann’s restaurant El Garzon in Uruguay. BRANDON CAIN

Brandon Cain is the partner, owner and chef of three Birmingham restaurants: Saw’s Soul Kitchen, Post Office Pies and Roots & Revelry. What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? I would say without a doubt the news about Food & Wine moving to Birmingham was a big deal. And us opening Roots & Revelry and then being voted best new restaurant was nice also. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? I hope to see it get settled in this year with all of the new places that just opened last year. I feel like we have some amazing chefs and restaurants in our city that a lot of people still don’t know about yet, but they will soon. How about nationally? Nationally, I feel as though we are just going to have to stay the course. Zagat just named Birmingham for the second year in a row as a major food destination city, and we all need to make sure to live up to the hype. Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? I think the whole active charcoal thing needs to go. I’m sure that it could be cool if done right, but I feel like no one does it well enough. At the end of the day, it tastes like a mouth full of wet grit and old smoke. If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why? I would say Chef René Redzepi’s restaurant Noma in Copenhagen. My

reason why is because I was lucky enough to get to attend his pop-up in Tulum, Mexico, last year, and it was amazing. He only cooks with ingredients that are hyper-local to where he is, so, for example, there is no citrus that grows in Copenhagen, so he uses brown ants which are high in acidity instead of fruit. I am super amazed at his creativity and knowledge of how to use his ingredients in a way that is completely outside the box. JASON BAJALIEH

Bajalieh said he’s proud to continue his family’s tradition of providing Birmingham with fresh ideas and trendy eats. His restaurants include Sol’s Sandwich Shop & Deli, Slice Pizza & Brewhouse and Sky Castle. What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? Birmingham embraced Middle Eastern flavors.  What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? I think we will see a trend in activity-driven venues, the “Top Golfs,” if you will. I think a boutique bowling alley with a restaurant is on the horizon, more venues with activities attached to keep you around longer. In addition to that, with the saturation of restaurants in downtown, I think we will see more local fare venture out into the suburbs like Trussville and down Highway 280.  How about nationally?  Exotic flavors. Middle Eastern-inspired food is going to be a big hit in 2018 both locally and nationally. Spices such as turmeric, harissa, cardamom and za’atar will take front row seats.  Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017?  Social media foods: Don’t judge a food by its

and petals into dishes to infusing botanical flavors into drinks and snacks, this top trend makes for a subtly sweet taste and fresh aromatics. Look for flowers used like herbs in things like lavender lattés and rose-flavored everything.” We asked some of Birmingham’s most prominent food folks to give us their predictions for the Magic City and beyond and to tell us which trends need to fade away. Just for fun, we asked each to choose a restaurant anywhere in the world at which they’d most like to eat. Only three picked an American eatery; the rest said they’d love to visit restaurants in places ranging from the South of France to Uruguay. Even if you’re not planning to venture outside the Birmingham city limits to dine, no worries. Our experts agreed that the future of food right here at home is bright. As Mary Drennen from Nourish said, “All the locals know what a real treasure we already have.”

Instagram looks. The internet goes gaga over these trendy images, but the reality is most of these gimmicky meals are made to look good instead of tasting good. If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why? There’s no specific restaurant. I’d rather use the Anthony Bourdain approach and get into local establishments in foreign areas to learn more about each individual ethnic cuisine and cooking methods. TIFFANY DAVIS AND MARY DRENNEN

These two culinary school graduates met while they were working at Cooking Light magazine. They’re the owners of Nourish, a Birminghambased company that delivers handmade, healthy meals.

momentum towards more healthy options across the entire food industry, which I think the restaurants will follow. How about nationally? Birmingham has slowly, but surely, followed suit to bring convenience to our community (i.e. Uber, Shipt). Innovation through technology and distribution will be key for all businesses, including the food industry, in 2018. Those that can streamline the logistics and still manage to make money will be the ones that get the chance to scale. This will be a big year for us. Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? We are really anxious for avocado toast to go out with 2017. It’s certainly tasty but ready for its departure from the food scene! If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why? Davis: Give me a true Chinese dumpling shop, and I’m golden. JORGE CASTRO

What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? Drennen: The growing food scene in Birmingham surprises me every year. I think it was nice for our city to get recognized by national media over the last 12 months (such as articles in the New York Times and Sports Illustrated), but all the locals know what a real treasure we already have. More young entrepreneurs – us included – are taking great risks in Birmingham to better the city as a whole. And I think it’s continuing to reap rewards. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? We are so excited about the new restaurants slated to open in 2018. We are watching a strong

Castro is the co-owner and general manager of Cantina Tortilla Grill at Pepper Place. He’s an active board member of The Birmingham Originals and Bare Hands Gallery, where he helps organize events such as Breakin’ Bread and the Dia de Los Muertos Festival. In 2012, he started the Food Truck Coalition. What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? I am really blessed to be a part of the board for the Birmingham Originals. We put on Breakin’ Bread, a wine, beer and food festival, every year. We just had our 15th festival this past September, and it was a huge success. We are really proud of how well it


turned out and that we were able to support Jones Valley Teaching Farm with an $8,000 donation. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? Birmingham has really exploded with new restaurants in the past couple of years. I think it’s really great to have places like Pizitz Food Hall that exposes Birminghamians to different types of cuisines which have always been accessible in larger cities.   Something else to note is there are more and more locally owned restaurants opening. I like that we are becoming a city well known for its local restaurants. It’s really important to support local businesses because the local businesses are the ones that make a name for Birmingham.  How about nationally? Again, I really like the food hall concept and see it working well in all types of communities but especially making its way into cities and towns in the Southeast. Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? I can’t think of any. I think more than disappear, we can improve what we have. If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why? Alcalde Restaurant in Guadalajara, Mexico, which is owned by one of the best chefs in Mexico. He uses all locally sourced and authentic Mexican ingredients in his menus. TIMOTHY HONTZAS

The chef and owner of Johnny’s Restaurant was a 2017 semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s best chef in the South award. The Homewood eatery gets its name from the original Johnny’s Restaurant that Hontzas’ grandfather, father and uncle opened in Jackson, Miss., in 1954. What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? Breakfast – BBB (Big Bad Breakfast), to be exact – plus Hero Doughnuts, biscuit restaurants and the like. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? It may seem like a trite answer, but more local produce sewn in between ethnic and Southern cuisine.  How about nationally? The ability to take a whole animal and utilize every part, and yes, it’s very possible – for example, lamb necks, shoulder, shank, intestines, hog maul (not to be confused with pork belly but similar) and chitterlings with a twist, as well as snapper throats and grouper cheeks as Greeks have done in the past. Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? Let me preface this answer: I love pork; however, I think menus have been saturated with pork belly. If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why?

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FOOD Antoine’s. I’ve just never had the time – and when I did, in my younger days, all my concern in NOLA was football, concerts and whiskey. But please, no mint jelly on anything. REBECCA WILLIAMSON

While training at Le Cordon Bleu in London, Williamson discovered that chutney was one of the more versatile items in traditional British kitchens. In 2013, she started Holmsted Fines, which offers chutney flavors like her original green tomato, balsamic red onion, apple jalapeño and peach. Southern Living named the Birmingham-based company’s products in its 2017 Best Southern Made Products. What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? I am seeing chefs who are being inspired by world cuisines and/or their travels bringing those foods and flavors into the Birmingham market. I think they are being appreciated because people are traveling more and have an appreciation for cuisines in places that are harder to travel to, like Asia, being brought to their doorstep in restaurants around town. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? I think we are going to see more food trucks with more international cuisines. We’ll see “street food” but with a twist, using local and fresh meats and produce. This is an amazing way for start-ups to get a feel of the market with their niche foods and build clientele. How about nationally? Quick service seems to be a trend that I have been reading about a lot. I think the American population is demanding higher quality food but at a quicker pace than traditional restaurants. Places like Zoe’s and Taziki’s are good examples. What do you see in the future for craft food producers like Holmsted Fines? I think there is going to be a real uptick in small crafted foods, especially farm-to-jar foods that are either fresh or fermented. I think the fermented market like kimchi is growing really fast; it is a super healthy food and it is relatively easy to start up. Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? I would like to see bacon jam or other bacon condiments go away. The beauty of bacon isn’t just the flavor but the texture, and when it is put into a condiment or an ice cream, it loses one of its best qualities: its crunchiness. #keepbaconcrunchy If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why? This is the hardest question because I have a long list, mainly a dream list. However, at this very moment it would be The Black Swan in Oldstead, England. It was just named the world’s best restaurant, so for obvious reasons I would like to try it.

The more I read about the restaurant and the location, the more I’m dying to go. It is a pub on three acres of kitchen gardens in North Yorkshire that produces fresh produce daily. Having lived in England for a few years, I really appreciate small pubs with their unique and charming atmosphere. Cozy pubs tucked away with outstanding food with a captivating scenery will never fail! GEORGE MCMILLAN III

The Birmingham chef opened FoodBar in Cahaba Heights in 2013. Before that, he was co-founder and co-owner of Daniel George in Mountain Brook Village. What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? The Pizitz Food Hall downtown has contributed to a new diversity in the Birmingham food scene and all in the same spot. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? I think we’ll see continued growth in chef-owned and -operated restaurants. This growth will showcase the talent and flavors of our city and region. How about nationally? Hopefully more of the same nationally as well. It’s still hard to run a restaurant, but it’s exciting to see more people going for it! Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? Just eat the bun, man. If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why? Faviken in Sweden. Chef Magnus Nilsson forages and hunts to collect the earth’s bounty and serves it with rustic elegance. With less than 20 seats and just a few wooden tables, you know it’s all about the food.

grants that support our growing food community. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? After an epic year of restaurant openings in 2017, you will see fewer openings for sure – but a couple of the most anticipated openings will be worth the wait. I’m looking forward to Adam Evans’ restaurant opening in Midtown. And of course, El Zun Zun opening in Cahaba Heights this spring. It’s an exciting and challenging time to open a restaurant in the Magic City. You must remain vigilant and creative to make your business successful. While food, cocktails and wine have never been more popular, we’re competing for the same guests and workers for our businesses. My hope is that we will have more people moving into the city to support all of these businesses. How about beyond Birmingham? After the past year of turmoil and uncertainty, I believe food will harken back to simplicity and purity. Chefs will seek even more authenticity by reaching back into the history of their respective cuisines. I have spent a lot of time in Mexico this year and eating food from all around the country searching for the most authentic Mexican and Latin experience. The cuisine at El Zun Zun will be the food of the abuelas (grandmothers) and done as purely as possible. Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? I have spent my life in the hospitality industry, and I value service as one of the most integral parts of the experience. Therefore, I would like to see a return to great table service. I understand the perceived cost savings and convenience of walk-up counter service, but it creates barriers to a great experience and profits for business owners. If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which

one would you choose and why? This question is a bit unfair as I have hundreds of restaurants that I would like to eat at in 2018. But if I was forced to make a selection right at this moment, I would say Hartwood on the Yucatan Peninsula. Hartwood beckons all chefs who find themselves envious of Eric Werner and Mya Henry, the couple who ditched the big city to follow their hearts in Mexico. The restaurant is located in the jungle, and all of the food is cooked over fire with local products. The Yucatan is an exciting food region in Mexico, and I imagine I would very much like Eric and Mya’s interpretation of it. WILL HAVER

Haver is the owner of Otey’s Tavern in Mountain Brook’s Crestline Village and founder of Taco Mama. What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? Wow! Tough question. I love seeing all the new offerings from talented chefs and restaurateurs who have been perfecting their craft and getting their start in the business. All the development downtown, Pizitz Food Hall that opened in early 2017 jumps to mind, and downtown as a whole continues to impress. Same for the continued development of Avondale. Birmingham has become such a great food town that it’s easy to take for granted, but when you travel around, you quickly see how fortunate we are. If you love restaurants and food, you are in heaven in Birmingham. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in


Schmidt is the executive chef of El Zun Zun, a LatinAmerican restaurant opening this spring in Cahaba Heights. She also is a past president of the Birmingham chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International. What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? Champagne & Fried Chicken was the most exciting thing that happened in the Birmingham food scene. C&FC is the fundraising event organized by the Birmingham chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International. … Aside from being a premiere event, this group of women in the food community raised over $26,000. The monies will be used for scholarships and


Open Monday-Saturday 11am-2pm & 5pm-9pm 521 Montgomery Hwy, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216 • (205) 823-1505

28 • Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018? I think you are going to see more and more great restaurants opening. I think the economy is getting some momentum where people are willing to go out and spend more of their money on dining and entertainment. You have to get out and support these great restaurants in order to keep the train moving. Supporting local restaurants and retailers is key to encouraging a city’s economy. Circulating local dollars is huge for us. How about nationally? I am not as well versed on the national scene as I am in tune to the local culinary scene, but I am betting the same thing is happening on a larger scale as well. Revitalization of downtown areas seems to be the trend. I feel people are wanting to live, work and eat within a smaller footprint. Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? Not really. I think people are making better choices when it comes to food. There is zero reason in today’s food movement to eat poorly. I love that! If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why? Locally, I eat at all the great ones we have here every week. So I am going to go with Gene and Georgetti steakhouse in Chicago. I believe it is Chicago’s oldest steakhouse. It opened in 1941. I have been wanting to get there but have not found the time yet, but I am going to make it happen in 2018. ERIN SHAW STREET

The freelance writer, editor and content strategist is the editor of “What to Eat in Birmingham,” which she describes as a “hyper-local food site.” What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? The opening of Pizitz Food Hall. The diversity of the food now offered … is the realization of a lot of hard work and dreaming of many people, including the independent restaurant owners who took a chance by opening a location in this hub. It’s a destination that is a long time in coming. And I’m super proud that my “What to Eat” colleagues and founders were part of the team that helped make it happen. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? More of everything, I hope. I think we’ll see more people taking concepts that they have tested in popups moving to brick and mortars, like what we saw with Hero Doughnuts opening in the fall of 2017. I think we’re also going to see more options in Birmingham for people who are focused on building a lifestyle around wellness – more juice options, heartier salad fare, vegan offerings, kombucha and non-alcoholic beverages. Just don’t call them mocktails.  How about nationally? Well, for one, we are in the middle of a reckoning in terms of kitchen culture and the


FOOD treatment of women, as well as a long-overdue examination around the cult of the celebrity chef. How restaurants are managed and how women and people of color are treated will continue to be front and center in national discussion. Also, there will be a continued discussion around the “Instagramification” of food and its impact on food media, restaurant design and how we talk about food. I believe we’re at a time where people want good food without the hype. Beautifully prepared food, quality ingredients and a smart approach to cooking – along with rich culinary heritage – bring people to the table time and time again. The good thing is we’ve always had that in Birmingham, no filter required. Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? Referring to food as “clean.” Unicorn foods (which is rainbow coloring on everything). People obsessing about third wave coffee (spoiler alert: the fourth wave is coming, and it’s a return to first wave, which is un-fancy, straight-outof-a-can coffee). Also, before my baristas shoot me looks, I love all waves of coffee, but we need to chill out a bit. If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why? I’d choose to eat at a restaurant in Puerto Rico destroyed by the hurricane and recently re-opened. I’m inspired by the grass-roots work of chef Jose Andres, who has fed people there since the hurricane. His nonprofit’s work there is winding down, and restaurants are beginning to open up. I’d love to visit a local restaurant and eat arroz con jueyes with them. That’s really what food is about to me: the fundamental exchange that happens between people over a meal. AL RABIEE

Rabiee ran Anthony’s and 22nd Street Jazz Café restaurant in Southside for more than a decade and later sold it to open Assagio and Southside Bohemia in Five Points South. He now owns and operates Vino and Gallery Bar, a Mediterranean and Italian eatery in English Village. What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? Zagat’s naming Birmingham as one of America’s Top Food Cities, and Food & Wine relocating its headquarters to Birmingham. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? I’m seeing people eating more organic, clean, simple lifestyle food starting with plant-based breakfasts. How about nationally? Tastier Middle Eastern foods, Persian, Israeli, Lebanese, Moroccan and Syrian foods, where food has always been medicine, too! Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? Very strict diets,

i.e. military diets. If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why? La Pergola in Rome. It offers the best ambiance, best view of Rome, best service and best Mediterranean food. SUSAN SWAGLER

Susan Swagler was a restaurant critic for nearly two decades. These days, she travels the state writing about restaurants for Alabama NewsCenter. What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? Well, we certainly saw a lot of new restaurants opening, and that’s always thrilling. But one thing that really excites me is that more restaurants are trusting their customers to recognize and embrace authenticity. We have real Filipino food in Birmingham now as well as authentic Ethiopian and Jamaican restaurants, to name just a few. Street foods from all over the world are showing up on local menus. Our Chinese restaurants and Korean barbecue joints, especially, offer adventure on a plate, and I love that. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? I see more restaurants being flexible on service and offerings and truly catering to the customer. Especially between lunch and dinner service. Many restaurants – new ones like Roots & Revelry as well as beloved favorites like The Bright Star – are accommodating diners who want to have a drink and something light during those in-between hours. They are offering small, set menus of little bites or a simple burger. I think this is in keeping with a larger trend toward all-day dining. How about nationally? Healthy menus with clean foods sourced locally and prepared simply will continue to be a welcome trend, I think. I especially get excited about dishes that are uncomplicated – with very few, very fresh ingredients that shine on their own. I’m seeing a lot more of that. Sometimes, more often than you’d think, a little salt and pepper is all it takes. Some restaurants are even taking a hyper-local approach to their food, growing their own produce and harvesting eggs onsite. David Bancroft of Acre in Auburn, with his blackberry-bush hedges and parkinglot pears, had a great head start on this trend. Also, I’ve noticed a lot more house-made condiments on menus. Seems you can pickle just about everything. Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? Weird colors, especially where you wouldn’t expect them. Starbucks had a pink and blue Unicorn Frappuccino at some point. I’ve seen rainbow-colored bagels. Also, there’s a blue wine that’s been available in Europe for a while and is now in the states. We’re not talking Blue Nun. The wine is actually blue. A bright, cobalt, almost-neon, very

Instagram-ready blue. That’s just strange to me. From what I’ve read, it’s a blend of red and white wines that common sense says will equal pink, but it’s colored blue by organic pigments in the grape skin. Natural or not, I’m going to pass. Also, I still don’t understand why cauliflower’s moment isn’t over yet. If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why? La Chevre d’Or in Eze, France. The reason: That would mean I was back in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Eze is a walled, medieval hilltop village in southern France. It’s near Nice, and it’s similar to SaintPaul de Vence but with fewer tourists. My husband and I visited Eze late last fall – just a few days after La Chevre d’Or closed for the season. We saw the famous view, though, and it’s one of the most incredible views along the French Riviera – red-tiled roofs of the pretty village, beautiful hillside villas and the gorgeous blue Mediterranean Sea. So I guess we have to go back. BRIAN MCMILLAN

McMillan is the lead cheesemonger at Busy Corner Cheese, one of the eateries at the Pizitz Food Hall. What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? I think the headline is that it was a year of firsts for us. To name a few as a city, we got our first Ethiopian restaurant, our first poke restaurant, ramen shop, Nepalese spot and cut-to-order cheese shop. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? I honestly don’t anticipate a lot of innovations and openings in the next year or so, but I sure would like to see us get a Jewish deli and a proper Irish pub. I am optimistic. How about nationally? Nationally and here, I believe that there will be a change in how the industry treats women chefs and professionals. Quite honestly, it is something that is long overdue and hopefully leads to being able to attract talented women to this industry. It all needs to start with respect. I have been lucky in my life to work with so many gifted and determined women. Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? I think in the last several years there has been a trend towards turning chefs and beverage professionals into rock stars. I would like to see more people return to a more humble, working-class approach to the craft. I am starting to see it in restaurants around the city, and I honestly love it. If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why? Well, I am about to go to Mexico City and eat at Pujol by Enrique Olvera, so I am excited about that. He seems very committed to elevating Mexican cuisine and produce to a world-class level.


Harden is the executive chef at Bartaco in Homewood. He began his culinary career as a line cook at Birmingham’s Silvertron Café and then worked at Jim & Nick’s BarB-Q, Bravo Brio and the Cheesecake Factory. What was the most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene in 2017? The most exciting thing that happened on the Birmingham food scene is really the food scene itself. Birmingham over the years, and especially the year of 2017, has seen a tremendous growth in the culinary world. We’re seeing more talented chefs, more unique restaurants opening up in the neighborhood, and now more than ever I am excited to see where the next year takes us. I’m really proud to be a member of the Birmingham community. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2018? Since the food scene is growing rapidly in Birmingham, it has been amazing to see the various styles of concepts and restaurants that are flourishing in this micro-city. As there becomes more variety, I do believe that there will be a bigger focus on more locally owned fast-casual restaurants. People want great food and a great experience, but they also appreciate the fast pace of these fast-casual restaurants. How about nationally? Again, fastcasual seems to be dominating the culinary space on a national level as well. People crave great food, but they also crave the accessibility of having great food fast. In addition to the fast-casual approach, I’m seeing a big trend in biscuit houses as well as a focus on nontraditional tamales. Are there any current food trends you’d like to see disappear along with 2017? There are a couple of trends that are phasing out slowly with 2017. Towards the end of 2016, it was all the rage to be gluten-free. Now that glutenfree is more widely understood, I’m seeing more chefs and restaurants preparing gluten-free menus – not because it’s a trend, but because it’s a lifestyle. Gluten-free is not disappearing, it’s just getting a different perception from the culinarians in the industry. What’s great about Bartaco is that we serve really flavorful tacos that happen to also be gluten-free. Another trend that is going away are foodie deals like the “2 for $20” options. Guests want higher-quality ingredients and to experience variety in the flavors of their meals. If you could eat at any restaurant in the world in 2018, which one would you choose and why? The list is incredibly long. However, one restaurant that I have wanted to visit my entire culinary career is The French Laundry (near San Francisco). It is one of the top recognized restaurants in the world, and Thomas Keller is a legend in the hospitality industry. I would love to bring my wife there on a date, as she is very much a food enthusiast just like me. ❖


Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 29


Laying Down the Law

Spain Park and Vestavia Hills Law Academies Wins Big at State Competition

The Hugh Maddox Award went to Spain Park’s Defense Team 255, above. This team received one of the four bids allotted to attend the National Judicial Conference to be held in Chicago over the summer.

Considered the state champions, Prosecution Team 203 will be moving on to represent Alabama at the National High School Mock Trial Championships in Reno, Nevada, in May. Team members include captain Jessica Shaw, Kathryn King, Laina Henry, Carson Milling, Andrew Renfroe and Zack Manry. The Hugh Maddox Award went to Spain Park’s Defense Team 255, including team captain Jared Schaffer, Gaven Pudlik, Caroline Kendrick, Reagan Chavers, Raymundo Lopez and Mathew Smith. This team received one of the four bids allotted to attend the National Judicial Conference to be held in Chicago over the summer, according to a statement from the school

POP Robotics Places First and Third at Best Competition

Prince of Peace Catholic School’s robotics team received two awards at the Best Robotics Competition, held recently in Tuscaloosa. The team won first place for their team website and third place for the most robust robot.   The 12 POP middle school students competed against five other middle school teams and 15 high school teams. In addition, the team had a showing in all five categories of the competition. The categories are: building and programming a robot made from raw materials; designing a marketing presentation and marketing booth; drafting an engineering notebook; and displaying spirit and sportsmanship throughout six weeks of preparation for competition day.

Berry Middle School Hosts Local Author for Writing Workshop

Birmingham author Chandra Sparks Splond visited Berry Middle School this fall to speak with students who work as editors on the school’s literary magazine, The Phoenix, and to offer them writing tips and tricks. Splond visited teacher Dianna Minor’s class, where she presented information about the writing perspectives with which she is familiar: novelist, editor and publisher. Through a hands-on writing workshop, students gained insight into what it means to be a working writer. “The good thing about (the visit) was a perspective about the writing life,” said BMS student Nicole Lober. “Most authors just talk about their books, but this one gave us an inside look.” Minor believes Splond’s message

defense category, led by captain Haugen Woodard and including members Will Landers, Katherine Ford, Ava Gordon, Lydia Owen and Creel Richardson.

Individual members also were recognized during the competition. Anna Douglass earned the title of Most Outstanding Defense Witness and Richey Keith served as chief justice. According to team advisers, Spain Park had six teams in the top 10 at the competition. Those teams and their captains Skylar Billings, team 252; Jessica Shaw, team 203; Victoria Yeager, team 205; Jennifer Broome, team 253; Riley Hiers, team 254; and Jared Schaffer, team 255. In addition, premiere league finishers included Team 231 in second place in prosecution, led by captain Trinity Streeter and including members Grace Foy, Dolan Wilson, Kaddyja Jallow, Samad Gillani and Copeland Johnson. Team 281 took third place in the

Vestavia Hills’ Law Academy won their own high titles. Earning first place in defense was Team 351, led by captain Joey Compton and including members Zack Folmar, Coleman McPheeters, John Bowers, Samuel Water and Hadee El-Kattan. Joey Compton also won Most Outstanding Defense Attorney. The win earned the team one of the other four slots to attend and compete in the National Judicial Conference this summer. In the Premiere League, Vestavia Team 381 earned second place in defense, represented by captain Hanna Sha and members Jason Han, Alex Stern, Will Nickolson, Katy Chen,

Ariel Zhou and Khadija Malik. Mountain Brook High School also was represented at the competition, ranking 15th overall in prosecution in the Major League with Team 303. The team is made up of captain Mead Oliver and members Edwin Fan, Russell Weas, Nikulas Dworek, Elizabeth Vestavia Hills Law Leitner and captain Hayden Sledge. Academy Joey Compton won In addition, Most Outstanding Mountain Defense Attorney. Brook Premiere League Team 331 earned fourth overall in prosecution, with captain Chloe Kinderman and members Ben Harris, Pavel Shirley, Alison Gaston, Lucy Bowling and Julia Rouleau. ❖

of “perseverance” resonated most with students. “In order to be a writer, you must write something every day, not every other day, but every day. It doesn’t have to be a perfect piece, it could be something as simple as jotting down an idea,” Minor said. Another key message delivered by Splond was inspiration. The writer encouraged students to never abandon writing, regardless of the

inevitable “writer’s block.” “She told us not to give up on writing,” eighth-grader Camille Chase said. “That was really helpful because I had been struggling with writing lately.” Splond is an alumna of Ramsay High School in Birmingham and the University of Alabama. After graduating with a degree in journalism, she worked as an editor and publisher in New York City. She

has worked in publishing for more than 20 years and owns West End Publishing. Along with her experiences in editing and publishing, Splond has published several novels. Her book “Spin It Like That” was chosen as a Popular Paperback for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association. Her book “The Pledge” was a 2010 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.❖

Considered the state champions, Spain Park High School Prosecution Team 203, above, will be moving on to represent Alabama at the National High School Mock Trial Championships in Reno, Nevada, in May.

Photo special to the Journal

Spain Park High School’s Law Academy teamed received high marks recently at the Alabama YMCA Youth Judicial competition. Teams from the academy, headed by teachers Craig Thompson, Phillip Pate and Jennifer Smith, won best team in prosecution as well as receiving the Justice Hugh Maddox Award. The Nov. 4 competition pitted 51 seasoned teams representing high schools from across the state against each other, with teams taking either the side of the prosecution or the side of the defense. Additionally, 24 teams competed in the premiere league category, which accounts for first-time mock trial competitors. Students also filled in the roles of witnesses and chief justices. According to school officials, the goal of the Spain Park Law Academy is to create a “school within a school” that gives students “real world experience” while building a connection with local law businesses and institutions. The academy was established in 2006 and is a four-year elective program that offers students the opportunity to apply their law studies in mock trial and moot court competitions. Academy officials said the Spain Park teams earned the academy high marks across the board at the state competition.

Photos special to the Journal

By Emily Williams

Excellence Over the Mountain

One of the nation’s premier college preparatory schools for students grades 5-12

Join us for an Open House January 18, 2018 4:30-6:00 p.m. No RSVP needed Learn more: 205-445-1232

30 • Thursday, January 11, 2018



Patriots’ Daniels Found Niche as BallHawking Cornerback

In Search of His Place

Before the season, Daniels committed to Memphis, but he since has changed his mind because the school’s defensive backs’ coach, Marcus Woodson, left to take a job at Auburn. “It was real tough to de-commit because I felt it was the best place for me,” Daniels said. “Right now, I’m weighing my options. I’m considering Auburn and Arkansas State. “It’s going to be kind of hard to make a decision. I probably won’t decide until signing day.” ❖

TOP VOTE GETTERS Defensive Player of the Year C.D. Daniels, Coach of the Year Fred Yancey and Co-Offensive Players of the Year Hamp Sisson and Larry McCammon.



QUARTERBACK Hamp Sisson, Mountain Brook

DEFENSIVE LINE Joe Bird, Mountain Brook Rob Cook, Spain Park Blake Hester, Spain Park Antoine McGhee, Homewood Cedric Toosen, Spain Park

RUNNING BACKS D’aire Johnson, Spain Park Larry McCammon, Hoover J.R. Tran-Reno, Briarwood OFFENSIVE LINE Will Carothers, Mountain Brook Jacob Feenker, Oak Mountain Michael Maye, Hoover Jayme Simmons, Spain Park Anderson Tomlin, Mountain Brook Cydrick Walker, John Carroll TIGHT END Clay Stearns, Mountain Brook WIDE RECEIVERS Tyshawn Buckner, Homewood Wilson Higgins, Mountain Brook Shedrick Jackson, Hoover George Pickens, Hoover PLACE KICKER Barret Pickering, Hoover

Spartans’ Sisson Ends His Career on a High Note By Blake Ells Hamp Sisson was a three-year starter at quarterback for the Mountain Brook Spartans. The program he leaves behind is much better than the one he took over then, and that was his class’ priority when they began this season. “Last year’s seniors did an incredible job of being leaders for us, and we wanted to continue that legacy,” said Sisson. “We wanted to leave the program better than we found in it in all aspects – on the field and off the field. That was the number one goal. Our second goal

Members of the OTMJ All-OTM Team are selected by votes cast by the head football coaches at Briarwood, Homewood, Hoover, John Carroll, Mountain Brook, Oak Mountain, Spain Park and Vestavia.

LINEBACKERS Nick Belt, Mountain Brook Mark Hand, Briarwood Isaiah Hubbard, Hoover Gabriel Russell, Briarwood Colton Yeager, Mountain Brook DEFENSIVE BACKS Will Brooks, Vestavia Chase Brown, Hoover C.D. Daniels, Homewood Jonathan Hess, Vestavia Zach Nelson, Oak Mountain Andrew Sherod, Briarwood Kris Wilkens, Homewood PUNTER Will Reichard, Hoover

was to make the playoffs and our third was to see if we could win a state championship. “So we met two of those goals, and we did everything we could to achieve that third one. At the end of the day, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” Mountain Brook fell in the second round of the state playoffs to region foe Thompson. Spending the season in the same region with arguably the two best teams in the state made that journey difficult, but schools that play in the region have come to expect nothing else. “It’s definitely a tough region to play in, but we look at that as an opportunity,” said Sisson. “We had a stretch at the beginning of the season where we played three of the top five teams in the state all in a row – Spain Park, Hoover and Thompson – and that’s a great test. We played those games early in the season and we were able to see our mistakes and improve upon those mistakes and we believe we became a better

George Pickens, Hoover

team by the end of the season.” Sisson will be playing football next season, and he has several great schools to choose from. He’ll wait to make that decision closer to signing day, but the schools that seek his services at quarterback are also great academic institutions. He’s also narrowing down what he’ll study. “Something science- or mathrelated,” Sisson said. “I’m not sure what field yet, but something along those lines.” He and his fellow seniors leave behind a legacy they hope continues to move toward the Mountain Brook football program that they knew when they were younger. “We shifted the culture of the program into what Mountain Brook football is supposed to be about,” Sisson said. “Tough, smart players, we shifted that as underclassmen, and as seniors, we hopefully set the bar high for Mountain Brook football. Hopefully, they’ll continue to keep that high standard for Mountain Brook football.” ❖

Journal file photo by Lee Walls Jr.

As a little kid, C.D. Daniels used to watch football on television. His favorite player was college and professional football running back Reggie Bush. “I wanted to be like Reggie Bush,” Daniels said. Well, Daniels, who goes by C.D. instead of his given name, CarDamien, didn’t become a flashy, all-purpose ball carrier like Bush. Instead, he found his niche on the other side of the ball as a defensive back – and a good one at that. During the 2017 season, Homewood’s 6-foot-3-inch, 180pound senior cornerback intercepted five passes, recorded 32 tackles, forced a fumble and blocked three kicks as the Patriots finished 10-2 and reached the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs. For his accomplishments, Daniels is the Over the Mountain Journal’s 2017 Defensive Player of the Year. “He’s the best athlete in the school,” Homewood coach Ben Berguson said. “He’s so long and rangy. That’s why he covers the field so well and what I think will make him special at the next level. “People avoided throwing to his side of the field during the season. That’s why he didn’t have the stats he had his first two years on the varsity.” Daniels finished his high school career with 15 interceptions, two short of the school record. “I didn’t break the interception record, but I think I had an exciting high school career,” Daniels said. The Patriots won their first nine games, but they lost their final regular season game 13-7 at Paul Bryant in Tuscaloosa. Homewood bounced back to beat Fort Payne 28-21 in the first round of the state playoffs but was eliminated in the second round by Clay-Chalkville in a 30-0 game. “The end of the season was disappointing, but it was a lot of fun,” Daniels said. “I had a lot of good moments and it was so good playing with my teammates.”

By Rubin E. Grant

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

By Rubin E. Grant

McCammon Accomplishes Goals as Hoover Wins Another Title Hoover junior running back Larry McCammon set a number of personal goals before the start of the 2017 high school football season. • He wanted to run for 1,000 yards. Check. He ran for 1,498 yards on 185 carries. • He wanted to score at least 20 touchdowns. Check. He scored 21. • He wanted to win another state championship. Triple check. The Bucs trounced McGill-Toolen 48-20 to capture their second consecutive Class 7A title. “I think my season was kind of successful,” McCammon said in an understatement. The 6-foot, 190-pound McCammon accomplished each of his goals despite splitting time in the backfield with Vonte Brackett and Jacquez Allen. “It wasn’t really difficult,” McCammon said. “I just ran behind big (6-4, 300-pound senior guard) Michael Maye and the rest of our offensive line, and we had good coaching.” For his efforts, McCammon is the Over the Mountain Journal’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year along with Mountain Brook quarterback Hamp Sisson. “Larry’s a phenomenal player,” Hoover coach Josh Niblett said. McCammon had two of his best games in the semifinals and final. He rushed for 196 yards on 32 carries and scored three touchdowns as Hoover beat Thompson 31-12 in the semifinals, avenging a regular season loss to the Warriors. In the championship game against McGill, McCammon rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. The 2017 season was only the second season for McCammon as a running back. He played linebacker as a freshman. In fact, when he talks about his style of running, he sounds as if he’s still playing linebacker.


“I think I’m explosive, aggressive and powerful,” McCammon said. Following his sophomore season, McCammon went to work on his physique. “I spent a lot of time in the weight room,” he said. “I wanted to get bigger and more explosive.” McCammon also gave up basketball. “I wanted to just focus on one sport,” he said. That appears to be the right decision. With his senior season ahead of him next fall, McCammon already has received scholarship offers from Arkansas State, Chattanooga, UAB, Troy, Jacksonville State and Liberty. “I don’t think it’s going to be too hard to decide,” he said. “I just have to decide what’s the best place for me.”❖

Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 31



Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Greenhalgh Insurance

Vestavia’s wrestling team is led by seniors Spencer Haddock, above top, Bowman Hill and Cody Hopper. The team placed third in a recent holiday tournament in New Orleans, making them the top-placing team from outside of Louisiana.


Vestavia Hills Leading the Way in Wrestling Evolution By Blake Ells High school wrestling is quickly evolving, as duals have become a form of competition in the past couple of seasons. Previously, the sport was heavily reliant on individual competition, but now, teams also can compete head-tohead. In 2017, Vestavia Hills became the

‘We like to change things up and see different opponents. Getting out of state and seeing the way different teams do things only helps us prepare for when we come back home to compete here in Alabama.’ inaugural champion of the dual format by topping Oak Mountain. They also won the individual state tournament in Huntsville last February. This season, the Rebels have just concluded a stretch that included hosting their own Heart of Dixie Tournament and competing in the Scott Rohrer Hoover Invitational tournament this past weekend. The Rebels won the Heart of Dixie, topping

COACH OF THE YEAR, From page 32

“They’re all friends,” said Yancey. “I lean on them from time to time. We have a lot in common, and they give me good wisdom and advice. I’ve learned every year from coaches that I rub shoulders with, and the coaches in this group are no exception.”

The Old Ways

The young dogs don’t have many new tricks, though. New tricks don’t

Vestavia’s Sam Willoughby, top, works to pin a wrestler from Rome, Georgia, at the Scott Rohrer Hoover Invitational tournament this past weekend.

Central (Phenix City) and Hoover. They also placed third in a recent holiday tournament in New Orleans, making them the top-placing team from outside of Louisiana. “We like to change things up and see different opponents,” said head coach Tee Adams. “Getting out of state and seeing the way different teams do things only helps us prepare for when we come back home to compete here in Alabama.” They’re led by seniors Bowman Hill, Spencer Haddock and Cody

Hopper. The Rebels also have an eighth-grader who already is competing against state’s best competition, Ryan Summerlin. This year’s senior class hopes to repeat last year’s performance as it moves into the second half of the season. “You get a different class every year and this class is working hard,” said Adams. “It’s showing on the mat so far with their records. There’s only five seniors, and they’ve stepped it up. Now we’ve got to finish the season strong.” ❖

really exist in football, Yancey assured. “I don’t think there are any new tricks,” said Yancey. “It’s really a matter of learning which tricks would be good for this particular team. We tweak every year with our eye on getting this particular bunch the best stuff we can. And sometimes, we go back to some real old stuff, because we know that if this group can handle it, it would be really tough to defend or a great thing to do.” Technology and equipment have changed, but the old ideas are tried and true. Yancey said teams are reverting to old tackling practices. “We’re teaching kids how to tack-

le now better than we have in my coaching life,” said Yancey. “And the way we’re teaching them how to tackle now is how I was taught in eighth grade – shoulder tackling, tackling on the legs, that type of thing. It’s a safety factor and we really believe that it’s more of a sure tackle. At some point in the ‘70s, we went to more of a face-up, club-em, hit em with your head, try to knock em out tackling high. But I think we’ve come back to the better way and a safer way.” The Lions have a lot returning and they’ll begin preparing for 2018 in May. It will be Yancey’s 49th season as a football coach. ❖

Marcia Greenhalgh grew up in Forest Park. She met her husband, Russell Greenhalgh (President & Owner of Greenhalgh Insurance Agency), while attending Jacksonville State University and they married in 1970. After Russell flew helicopters in the U.S. Army, they moved to Birmingham where they settled down and raised their family. In 1977 Russell joined his father’s agency (Ted Greenhalgh founded Greenhalgh Insurance Agency in 1937) and Russell’s and Marcia's purchase of the agency in 1980 helped Anne and Ted Greenhalgh, in their retirement. After raising their three children (Eddie, Ellen, and Adam), Marcia also joined Greenhalgh Insurance Agency in 1991 as the Executive Receptionist. She is a beloved and vital part of the agency’s team. Marcia’s interests and talents are many. She has been involved with the Alabama Music Hall of Fame as a volunteer, president of the Birmingham Music Club and attends Canterbury Methodist Church. Since joining the agency, she and Russell have traveled all over

Marcia Greenhalgh

the world. Even with her extensive travel, Marcia will tell you her favorite place in the world is to be at Smith Lake with Russell, their three children, and six grandchildren. Marcia is proud of continuing her father-in-law’s legacy at the agency he founded 80 years ago. She is especially excited about the agency’s new building in Cahaba Heights opening early 2018. Regarding the new building, Marcia says, “It has been our dream for many years. We love Cahaba Heights and our Greenhalgh Insurance clients.”


Greenhalgh Insurance Agency has been proudly serving the Birmingham area since 1937. As one of Birmingham's oldest and most trusted Independent Insurance Agencies, we are honored to continue to protect third and fourth generation families and businesses. To our loyal customers, team members and insurers we say THANK YOU! ADAM AND RUSSELL GREENHALGH


3144 CAHABA HEIGHTS ROAD ~ 967.8800




New Formats Vestavia Hills Leading the Way in Wrestling Evolution PAGE 31

Journal photos by Marvin Gentry


MEMBERS OF THE 2017 ALL-OVER THE MOUNTAIN DEFENSIVE TEAM are, front row, from left: Antoine McGhee, Homewood; Kris Wilkens, Homewood; Joe Bird, Mountain Brook; Mark Hand, Briarwood; Will Brooks, Vestavia; Cedric Toosen, Spain Park; and Andrew Sherod, Briarwood. Middle: Chase Brown; Hoover; Nick Belt, Mountain Brook; Colton Yeager, Mountain Brook; Isaiah Hubbard, Hoover; Zach Nelson, Oak Mountain; and Gabriel Russell, Briarwood. Back: OTM coach of the year, Fred Yancey, Briarwood; C.D. Daniels, Homewood; Jonathan Hess, Vestavia; Blake Hester, Spain Park; and Rob Cook, Spain Park. Not pictured is Will Reichard, Hoover.

OLD TRICKS Briarwood’s Yancey Said Smart Players Made a Good Year Better

By Blake Ells Fred Yancey has been coaching football for almost 50 years; his first team was in 1969, right after college. Being named Over the Mountain Journal Coach of the Year is certainly not the first time the Briarwood Christian legend has been recognized for his leadership, but the accolades never get old. “It means that we’ve had a great season,” said Yancey. “As coaches, we’re at the mercy of 16-year-old boys and how good they play football. When I get an honor like this, it means that the group I just coached did a terrific job.” Each team he’s led over the past half century has its own character, and Yancey can recall each of them, from the state championship winners of yesteryear to the runners-up of 2017. “If you point to a year, I can tell you the highs and some of the disappointments of any of those years,” said Yancey. “This was the smartest team I’ve ever coached. I think out of our senior class, 13 out of 19 of these boys are on the honor society. A slew of juniors and sophomores are very good students, also. This was a bumper crop of smart young men who are really serious about doing things the right way and having a special season.” There’s a fraternity of coaches Over the Mountain, even if they don’t all compete in the same region or classification. Yancey and Buddy Anderson are the elder statesmen, but they both still learn from and rely on their younger peers. See COACH OF THE YEAR, page 31

MEMBERS OF THE 2017 ALL-OVER THE MOUNTAIN OFFENSIVE TEAM are, front row, from left: Cydrick Walker, John Carroll; Wilson Higgins, Mountain Brook; Hamp Sisson, Mountain Brook; and Clay Stearns, Mountain Brook. Middle: Tyshawn Buckner, Homewood; Anderson Tomlin, Mountain Brook; Will Carothers, Mountain Brook; and Larry McCammon, Hoover. Back: Jacob Feenker, Oak Mountain; J.R. Tran-Reno, Briarwood; Jayme Simmons, Spain Park; and Michael Maye, Hoover. Not pictured: George Pickens, Hoover; Shedrick Jackson, Hoover; Barret Pickering, Hoover; and D’aire Johnson, Spain Park.

2017 OTM Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year Patriots’ Daniels Found Niche as Ball-Hawking Cornerback PAGE 30

Mountain Brook’s Sisson Ends His Career on a High Note PAGE 30

McCammon Accomplishes Goals as Hoover Wins Another Title PAGE 30