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The Future of Food: A Plateful of Predictions for What You May Be Eating (or Not) in 2017


What do artisanal butchery, Buddha bowls, frybread and jackfruit have in common? They’re all making national lists of food trends for 2017. We’ve put our own spin on the still-popular “eat local” movement by gathering predictions and opinions from some Birmingham food folks, including chefs, cooking instructors and a few people who just love to eat. Turn to page 24 to find out what they expect to be eating – or not eating – in the year to come.


FRESH START Vestavia Hills Mom and Marketing VP Begins Her Journey to V2V Run PAGE 12

SILVER WEDDING Mountain Brook Native Melds Traditions in South American Ceremony PAGE 28

OUT THERE Vestavia Secondary Teacher of the Year Brings Expeditionary Experience to the Classroom PAGE 36

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Stop: Get Married

Journal photo by Jordan Wald


Wishing Tree Returns to Homewood

The Homewood Wishing Tree is open to accept the wishes of local community members until Jan. 14. Anyone is welcome to write their wish, dream or goal for the New Year on a tag and hang it on the branches of the tree, which is on 18th Street just in front of the Trak Shak. Tags, yarn and sharpies are available at the tree and guests may “wish” as many times as they would like. The brainchild of Homewood resident Kristen Morrow, the tree is inspired by a neighborhood tradition in San Franciso. Helping bringing Morrow’s concept into reality in December 2014 was City Council member Heather Reid, and it has been a year-end staple ever since. To check out some of the community wishes or gather inspiration for your own, visit the Homewood Wishing Tree Facebook page. ❖



game. Same thing goes for your chilplayed a lot of board games over dren. “A son/daughter is born! Collect the holidays. Our granddaughters presents.” That’s it, as if your family are now in the Candyland-Cootiewere simply pinheaded accessories. Chutes and Ladders stage. Our youngThis is, of course, wrong. Those er grandson is still banned from play pegs matter. Your significant other – because he insists on tasting all the let’s call her Peggy – is crucial. She game pieces. will be next to you as you navigate all At the ripe old age of 7, my older those other spaces. When your well grandson has now graduated to The strikes oil, Peggy will be there. When Game of Life. During his Candyland your uncle leaves you the skunk farm days, he was … well, let’s just say he and it costs $20,000 to unload it, had a loose regard for the rules. On his Peggy will be at your side. If Peggy is third turn, he would miraculously not supportive, it will be difficult to draw the chocolate bonbon card and rebuild after your house is hit by a torsprint ahead to win the game. To his nado. If Peggy is not 100 percent on credit, he also cheated for his poor Sue Murphy board, you won’t be able to enjoy your Grandma who, being less Candyland new yacht. Put a good, decent savvy, would pull the cupcake card, Peggy in the passenger seat and the which sounds like a good thing, but road ahead will be easier, no matter isn’t. “You can draw again, Two things are what happens. Grandma,” he would offer. certain in The Game In The Game of Life, a lot of There are no bonbon cards in things happen and it’s best to be The Game of Life. You spin the of Life: payday and prepared. Just in passing, you will wheel and you take your chances. I taxes. In real life, it’s come across squares that say, “If have the old-school version, where want to buy life insurance, pay you start off as either a pink or blue only taxes. The rest is you $10,000.” Same thing with car and peg in a car with $10,000 in your part effort and part fire insurance. I helped my grandpocket and must immediately decide son with this one. Always buy the whether you want to go to college. dumb luck. insurance. Peggy will remind you, (So much for childhood.) The nonI’m sure. college route hands you a guaranAt the end of the Game of Life, teed low-level salary. If you choose players must Stop and face the Day of Reckoning, to go to college, you have a chance to become a doctor which is not about your eternal soul but your net or lawyer and earn a bit more. The lesson, I suppose, is financial worth. You can become a millionaire or be “go to college,” but the game does not account for forced into the poor house. It’s all in the spin of the plumbers and electricians and one-year-and-out basketwheel. ball stars who spend low-level incomes on shoes. Two things are certain in The Game of Life: payMaybe that’s in the newer version. day and taxes. In real life, it’s only taxes. The rest is Either way, you motor along in your new career for a few more spaces until you arrive at a square that says, part effort and part dumb luck. My advice? Be a good peg. Pick your companion “Stop: Get married.” You dutifully load a random peg peg carefully, and pay attention to the road ahead. in the passenger seat and “Collect presents.” Strangely, And, of course, buy the insurance. ❖ this spouse is not mentioned again for the rest of the


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 12, 2017 Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writers: Sarah Kuper, Emily Williams Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Lee Davis Contributors: Susan Murphy, Jordan Wald, June Mathews, William C. Singleton III, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls Jr., Bryan Bunch Advertising Sales: Suzanne Wald, Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald Vol. 27, No. 10

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.


What are your health goals for the new year?

“I’m going to lose my baby weight.”

“I plan to kick my sweets habit.”

Allison Crawford Homewood

Caroline Stone Homewood

“Stay in good health and avoid pitfalls of middle age.” Suzanne Eberhardt Hoover

““I want to be more healthy all around.” Tristan Tahmaseb Vestavia Hills


Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 3



NEW YEAR NEW EXHIBITION NEW REASONS TO JOIN! Become a member and receive FREE admission to the Third Space Opening Party, an evening of internationally-inspired Southern cuisine and spirits, music, and interactive programming. Be one of the first to see the largest contemporary exhibition from the Museum's collection before it opens to the public. Plus, enjoy exclusive discounts and benefits year-round! Your membership helps us offer FREE admission and FREE programs to more than 150,000 visitors each year. Join today! Join online and receive $5 off your membership with promo code: OTMJBMA VALID THROUGH 1.31.17

OPENING PARTY JAN 27 · 2017 FREE TO BMA MEMBERS $25 FOR NON-MEMBERS 7–9:30PM Third Space is presented by PNC. Additional support provided by the City of Birmingham, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Protective Life Foundation, Vulcan Materials Company Foundation, Robert R. Meyer Foundation, Susan Mott Webb Charitable Trust, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Alabama Tourism Department, Alabama Humanities Foundation, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Lydia Eustis Rogers Fund, and Friends of Third Space. Nick Cave (American, born 1959), Soundsuit, 2009, fabric, with appliquéd crochet and buttons, knitted yarn, mannequin, Collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art 2010.80, © Nick Cave. Photo by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

4 • Thursday, January 12, 2017



Wed., Jan. 18 BIRMINGHAM

Jazz with Wynton Marsalis Alys Stephens Center UAB’s Alys Stephens Center will host a performance by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, featuring 15 of the best soloists in jazz music today, with Wynton Marsalis at 7 p.m. in the center’s Jemison Concert Hall. Tickets begin at $49. For more information, visit

Ask how your business can be made in the Alabama Sun

Photo special to the Journal


JAN. 12 - JAN. 25 Jan. 12 -Feb. 4 BIRMINGHAM









up to



Original Ticketed Prices

“BINGO! The Winning Musical” Terrific New Theatre This original musical will be performed Thurs.-Sat. nights at 8 p.m. and Jan. 22 and 29 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. For more information, visit

Jan. 12-13


“A Sweet Strangeness Thrills My Heart” RMTC Cabaret Theatre The theatre will present “A Sweet Strangeness Thrills My Heart” featuring story-teller Dolores Hydock and Bobby Horton. Showtimes are Jan.14 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15. For more information, visit BIRMINGHAM

Molly Ringwald Hoover Public Library Silver screen icon and jazz sensation Molly Ringwald will perform at the Library Theatre Jan. 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. For more information, visit

BrickFair BJCC East Hall LEGO models will be on display from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. See trains, Star Wars, Bionicle, military, cities, pop culture, mindstorms and more. There will be games and vendors. Tickets are $15 at the door. For more information, visit

Fri., Jan. 13

Sun., Jan. 15



Upcycle City Vestavia Library in the Forest The library will host a craft program to liven up empty wine bottles from 7-9 p.m. All materials, light snacks and wine will be provided. Participants must be 21 years or older. For more information, call 978-4678.

Sat., Jan. 14 BIRMINGHAM

MLK Day 5k Drum Run Kelly Ingram Park The inaugural race will feature Birmingham-area school drumlines and organizations that will line up along the race course to keep the beat as the runners and walkers make their way. Post race activities include vendor booths and a friendly drumline competition. Registration is $30. For more information, visit mlkday5kbham. com.


Sean Gaskel Hoover Library Sean Gaskell will play the kora, a 21-string harp-like instrument from West Africa on Sun. at 2:30 p.m. at The Plaza. He spent an extensive amount of time studying the instrument in The Gambia. For more information, visit BIRMINGHAM

Cinderella The Lyric The State Ballet of Russia presents this full-length ballet for the whole family in two acts choreographed by Vladimir Vasiliev with music by Sergei Prokofiev. Showtimes are 2 and 7 p.m. Doors open one hour prior to each showing. For more information, visit lyricbham. com.


Disney Karaoke Night 1

12/4/16 11:15 AM

Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest January Family Night will kick off with a 6 p.m. hot dog supper and Disney karakoe. A Disney princess will host the 6:30 p.m. show. Everyone who gets up and sings will receive a prize. Sing up for karaoke will be at the door. For more information, visit


Mo Willems & Friends Party Emmet O’Neal Library Etc. presents a Mo Willems & Friends party at 3:30 p.m. There will be skits, crafts, dancing and fun for ages 3 and up. For more information, visit

Thurs., Jan. 19 HOMEWOOD

SCARE Findings Homewood Public Library The Spirit Communication and Research Group will unveil their findings from the three paranormal investigations that were conducted at the library last spring from 6:30-7:30 p.m. This event is free. For more information, visit

Fri., Jan. 20 BIRMINGHAM

Night at The Greatest Show on Earth Sheraton Birmingham Ballroom Magic Moments will kick off its largest annual fundraiser with a private pre-circus dinner from 5-6:30 p.m. featuring favorite kids foods including hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, chicken fingers, chips, cookies and more. During dinner, there will be music, roving magicians, jugglers, and Ringling Bros. ® Circus performers. After dinner, enter the Big Top for reserved seats at the Circus. The performance begins at 7 p.m. All proceeds fulfill wishes for chronically ill children who live in Alabama. Ticket prices vary. For more information, visit 


Jan. 20 and 22 BIRMINGHAM

Three Decembers Red Mountain Theatre Cabaret Opera Birmingham will continue its series with a performance of the Jake Heggie opera exploring three decades in the life of a Broadway diva. Showtimes are Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 22 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets begin at $35. For more information, visit

Sat., Jan. 21 HOMEWOOD

Book Signing with Necole Snider Homewood Public Library The library will host a book signing of “The Girlfriend Notebook,” from 1-2 p.m. The book provides readers a better understanding of the minds of men. Books will be available for purchase and a signing will follow. For more information, visit BIRMINGHAM

Lyric Masquerade Ball Lyric Theatre The Junior Board of the Alabama and Lyric Theaters will host the second annual Lyric Masquerade Ball at 7 p.m. The formal event will feature Adam Devine playing New Orleans style jazz, dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and an open bar. Tickets are $75 each, black tie is encouraged. All proceeds raised through the Lyric Masquerade Ball will benefit the Lyric and Alabama theaters. For more information, visit “2nd Annual Lyric Masquerade Ball” Facebook page.  HOMEWOOD

Red Shoe Run SoHo Square The annual run will include one-mile, 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 or to register, visit

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ABOUT TOWN Emmet O’Neal Library The library will host its annual Holocaust in Film series in partnership with the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center Jan. 22 and Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. and Jan. 26 and 30 at 6:30 p.m. Discussions will be led by UAB’s Dr. Andre Milard. This is a free event. For more information, visit

Wed., Jan. 25 HOOVER

Alabama Hydrangea Society Aldridge Gardens The Alabama Hydrangea Society will meet at the gardens at 1 p.m. The guest speaker for the meeting will be James Horton, director of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, who will discuss the topic of the drought and its effects. This meeting is open. For more information, visit


“Go Figure” Opening Reception Grand Bohemian Gallery The gallery will host an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. featuring a variety of figurative work from several local artists including Amy Piette Collins, Leo Wright, Karen Libecap and several Studio By The Tracks students. The reception will be held in the Gallery from 5-7 p.m. and refreshments will be served. For more information, visit

Sat., Jan. 28 BIRMINGHAM

Golda’s Balcony Temple Emanu-El

The temple will host a performance of Broadway’s longest running onewoman show “Golda’s Balcony” at 7:30 p.m. The show chronicles the life of Golda Meir, one of the most influential women in Jewish history. A meet-andgreet and dessert reception will follow. Tickets are $45. For more information, visit or contact Susan Koretzky at 956-8888.

Homewood Sr. Center This free festival will be from 3-5:30 p.m. The annual event celebrates Shades Creek salamanders and includes nature hikes through Patriot Park, displays showcasing information about ancient tracks and fossils, a photography contest, a presentation about the amphibians from local wildlife experts, live music and more.


2017 Frostbite 5k and FunRun Veterans Park The fourth annual 5k and one-mile fun run will be held at Veterans Park on Valleydale Road and benefits BirminghamSouth YoungLife. Post-race activities will include music, snacks and fellowship. For more information, visit   HOMEWOOD

Salamander Festival

Sat., Feb. 4 HOOVER

Riverchase Loves Artists Riverchase Country Club The Riverchase Women’s Club will sponsor its 11th annual art show featuring 50 artists who work in a variety of mediums. Admission is $2, with proceeds benefitting several charitable organizations. Shuttles will transport guests from parking to the clubhouse. ❖

up to

60% off showroom samples


CAT Scripts Steeple Arts Dance Academy Central Alabama Theatre will introduce its new, free reading series beginning at 7:30 p.m. The play “Sister Women” by Bill Crowe will be read by a cast and will follow with audience feedback. For more information and to reserve free tickets, visit

Sun., Jan. 22 BIRMINGHAM

BourbonHam Old Car Heaven The Alabama-Mississippi chapter of the National MS Society will host a bourbon and barbecue tasting event from 2-6 p.m. Attendees can choose five bourbons from a selection of more than 50 different styles and enjoy BBQ, live blues music and football. Tickets vary in price. For more information, visit


The Holocaust in Film

personal style. elevated. F I N E F U R N I T U R E | D RA P E R Y & W I N D O W T R E AT M E N T S | L I G H T I N G | A C C E S S O R I E S | F U L L D E S I G N S E R V I C E S 2 813 18 T H S T. S O U T H , H O M E W O O D , A L 3 5 2 0 9 | 2 0 5 - 8 7 9 - 5 4 74 | M A N T O O T H I N T E R I O R S . C O M

6 • Thursday, January 12, 2017



The Shadow Tiger

Leadership Vestavia Hills Announces 2016 Community Leadership Awards

By Emily Williams

Photo special to the Journal

After suffering from a heart attack and undergoing open-heart surgery, William C. McDonald III of Mountain Brook made a big life decision: he would finish the memoir his father started. McDonald co-authored the book “The Shadow Tiger: Billy McDonald, Wingman to Chennault,” with editor Barbara L. Evenson. It tells the story of his father, Billy “Mac” McDonald, and his time spent as a pilot working with the Chinese Air Force during World War II. McDonald decided to write the book after he found a photo of his father flying a plane. The image piqued his interest and he looked for the rest of his father’s old documents. He found about 30,000 documents in the basement of his sister’s house, but they were in boxes that had been soaked. McDonald took a hairdryer to each photo and paper, reading along the way stories that recounted his father’s time as a pilot. Among various official documents were letters that

Billy McDonald had written during his time in China. “His life was divided into three parts,” McDonald said. “The middle would have been The Flying Trapeze. This was the first Army Air Corps acrobatic team, much like the Thunderbirds. They performed in front of a million people in their existence.” Later on, Billy McDonald was recruited to be an instructor for the Chinese Air Force and joined Chennault’s Hawk 75 Special Force to fight the Japanese in 1937. He flew in combat as the Chinese capital of Nanking was bombed for 66 days in a row and, according to McDonald, was secretly compensated by the Chinese government for each Japanese plane he shot down. During his time in China, McDonald said, his father lived as a spy, considered by the U.S. Army to be in violation of the U.S. Neutrality Act. After his six-year contract with the Chinese Air Force was over, Billy McDonald had a choice: re-enlist in the U.S. Army and be placed on front

Billy “Mac” McDonald, Lt. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault and John Henry “Luke” Williamson during their time as members of the U.S. Army Air Corps acrobatic team, The Flying Trapeze.

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Mountain Brook’s McDonald Authors Book About Father’s Exploits as WWII Pilot in China

Billy McDonald, above with wife, Nancy, co-authored the book “The Shadow Tiger: Billy McDonald, Wingman to Chennault,” with editor Barbara L. Evenson. It tells the story of his father, Billy “Mac” McDonald, and his time spent as a pilot working with the Chinese Air Force during World War II.

lines for his violations, or continue to work in China. He ended up ferrying cargo and passengers over a highly dangerous part of the Himilayas known as “The Hump,” where 1,600 planes were lost from 1940-’45. His ability to clear “The Hump” without losing any men earned him recognition from the president of the United States. His impressive abilities earned him a ticket home and he made his way back to his home state of Alabama. Billy McDonald kept a close relationship with Chennault for the rest of his life, as well as Madame Chiang Kai-shek, wife and translator for the leader of the Republic of China. Both serve as godfather and godmother to McDonald’s sister. A true testament to how respected his father was, McDonald said, was when Madame Chiang Kai-shek requested that Billy McDonald escort her at Chennault’s funeral. “If anybody deserves a book, this man deserves it,” McDonald said. “He never got a single medal from the United States government, which is a sin.”

McDonald ended up ferrying cargo and passengers over a highly dangerous part of the Himilayas known as “The Hump,” where 1,600 planes were lost from 1940-’45. His ability to clear “The Hump” without losing any men earned him recognition from the president of the United States. McDonald felt that there are too many good stories about his father that have been kept in the shadows due to his separation from the U.S. military, making “The Shadow Tiger” a book of untold stories. “The Shadow Tiger” is available at Barton-Clay Fine Jewelers in Mountain Brook and on Amazon. ❖

Leadership Vestavia Hills will honor outstanding local citizens at the 27th annual Community Leadership Award Banquet on March 2. Former Mayor Alberto “Butch” Zaragoza will be recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his longtime dedication to Vestavia Hills, and Andy and Jane Thrower will be awarded the Distinguished Citizen Award for their work founding the nonprofit organization aTeam Ministries. In addition to serving the city Alberto “Butch” for two terms Zaragoza as mayor and for 40 years with the Vestavia Hills Fire Department, Zaragoza has also served as chairman of the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency, chairman of the Board for the Alabama Fire College and Personnel Standards Commission; president of the Central Alabama Fire Chiefs, Alabama Fire Chiefs Association, and Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs; member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs; and president of the Jefferson County Mayors Association. Husband and wife team Andy and Jan Thrower founded aTeam Ministries in Vestavia Hills in 2009 with the mission to offer spiritual, financial and emotional support to the pediatric cancer community. The Throwers founded the organization following their son Anderson’s fight with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Through its programs, aTeam has helped families by offering extended stay housing near hospitals, paying families’ mortgages and financing experimental therapy. The banquet is open to the community and tickets are $50. Leadership Vestavia Hills is also accepting nominations for its 201718 class now through March 31. Applications will be available March 1. The banquet will be at 6 p.m. March 2 at the Vestavia Hills Country Club. For more information on nominations and the banquet, visit



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Dow Umbach of Mountain Brook Earns Eagle Honor

Dow Umbach, a member of Boy Scout Troop 320 at Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church, recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout and attended a Court of Honor Ceremony on Nov. 20 to recognize his accomplishment. In his career as a scout, Umbach has earned more than 23 merit badges. He has hiked more than 100 miles, paddled more than 75 miles and served in several leadership positions in the troop. He Dow Umbach attended two High Adventure camps, hiking at Philmont in New Mexico and wilderness canoeing in the Boundary Waters of Canada. For his Eagle project, Umbach built a hammock zone with minimal environmental impact at Red Mountain Park where visitors can relax and enjoy the surroundings. Umbach is a senior at Dublin School in Dublin, New Hampshire, where he enjoys snowboarding and lacrosse. He is the son of Ashley and Trip Umbach.

Mountain Brook’s Warren Umbach Awarded Eagle Scout Honor

Warren Umbach, a member of Boy Scout Troop 320 at Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church, recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout, bestowed on him during a Court of Honor Ceremony held Nov. 20. In his scouting career, Umbach has earned more than 23 merit badges and held several leadership positions. He has hiked more than 100 miles, including hiking at Philmont in New Mexico. He also paddled Warren Umbach more than 75 miles and participated in wilderness canoeing in the Boundary Waters of Canada. For his Eagle Project, Umbach built a workout station at Red Mountain Park where visitors can stretch, do pullups, sit-ups and pushups while exercising in one of Birmingham’s most beautiful locations. Umbach is a senior at Dublin School in Dublin, New Hampshire, where he enjoys mountain biking and robotics. He is the son of Ashley and Trip Umbach.

Vestavia Hill’s Wertheimer Earns Eagle Scout Rank

William Wertheimer, of Vestavia Hills, was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout on Sept. 8. As a member of Troop 76 at Liberty Crossings United Methodist Church, Wertheimer earned 23 merit badges, served in several leadership positions and participated in many service

Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 7

PEOPLE projects. For his Eagle Scout leadership project, Wertheimer built a message board and landscaped at The Red Barn, a facility that provides William Wertheimer programs for children and veterans. The project took 194 hours

to complete and used 32 workers. Because he raised more funds than needed for his project, Wertheimer was able to make a platinum donation to The Red Barn. Wertheimer is a freshman at Vestavia Hills High School, where he participates in the Habitat for Humanity Club and Latin Club. He is a member of Liberty Crossings United Methodist Church and participates in the church’s high school youth group. He is the son of Carrie and Dan Wertheimer and brother to Drew and Grace. ❖

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8 • Thursday, January 12, 2017

Building For the Future

OTM Cities Launching Parks, Roads and Commercial Projects in 2017 By William C. Singleton III


Hoover’s new mayor, Frank Brocato, has set his sights on helping the city school system with its funding problems. As the mayor begins to develop the 2017 budget, he has proposed doubling the amount of money the city contributes to the school system to about $5 million annually. Brocato said he expects an increase in revenue, which, along with some strategic arrangement of priorities, should support the extra money to the schools. He does not foresee a tax increase. The city held budget hearings last week, and Brocato said he hopes the budget is approved at the end of the month. The mayor also said the city will move forward with developing a master plan, which he said would “go a long way in helping us manage our growth.” The city of Hoover is also looking to the completion of its 155,000-square-foot indoor multiplepurpose center, to be called The Finley Center after the late Bob Finley, a Berry High School football coach. The center is part of the new, $80 million Hoover Metropolitan Complex. The sports complex, being built next to the Hoover Met, will include NCAA regulation-size fields for soccer, football and lacrosse, NCAA regulation-size baseball fields that also can be used for softball, tennis courts and a walking track and a pro shop. Brocato said he anticipates the Finley Center being completed in May.

The city of Hoover is looking to the completion of its 155,000-square-foot indoor multiple-purpose center, to be called The Finley Center after the late Bob Finley, a Berry High School football coach. The center is part of the new, $80 million Hoover Metropolitan Complex

ing, the property includes a football field, a baseball diamond, a track and tennis courts. City officials are eyeing the athletic portions of the property as recreational areas residents could use until the school system makes more definitive plans. The city formed the Community Spaces Committee to determine the needs and uses of parks throughout Vestavia Hills, and the committee finished a master plan in November. Parts of the plan will be implemented in 2017. The Community Space Plan can be found on the city’s website, at Vestavia Hills also is taking steps to finally build a pedestrian bridge over U.S. 31. The previous council approved allocating $190,000 to build the bridge, which is expected to cost about $1.5 million. The federal government will allocate about $700,000 to the project. Pending approval of the remaining money needed, the bridge project should go out to bid by spring, said Vestavia Hills City Manager Jeff Downes. The long-awaited bridge would provide a safe crossing for pedestrians, including school children and library patrons who park on the west side of U.S. 31 when there are no parking spaces available at the library. The library sits on the east side of the U.S. 31; Vestavia Hills East Elementary, the school board central office and the Vestavia Hills Civic Center sit on the west side. Vestavia Hills also has road projects it expects to start or complete in 2017. The city has about 30


In Vestavia Hills, the city is trying to determine the best use of the old Berry High School property and its athletic fields. The Vestavia Hills school board bought the property from the Hoover school board last year for about $11 million. The city contributed $2 million toward the purchase price. The Berry property sits on 38.5 acres off Old Columbiana Road. Aside from the school build-

miles of residential streets on its three-year paving plan to be resurfaced by 2019. City officials also hope to get started on Sicard Hollow Road improvements the first quarter of this year, Downes said. HOMEWOOD

Homewood Mayor Scott McBrayer said a lot of commercial upgrades are in store for the city in 2017. He cited in particular the Capstone Development, the Oldacre Development and the Wildwood projects. Capstone Properties bought three retail buildings along 18th Street South with plans to tear them down and build a new retail strip as well as make landscaping improvements to 18th Street, McBrayer said. The mayor also expects improvements at the Wildwood Shopping Center to attract new businesses, and that starts with enhancing traffic flow in the area. Oldacre McDonald LLC plans to build two roundabouts in the shopping center to better move traffic on the property. The Nashville-based developer also plans to reinvigorate the stagnant shopping center with a $30 million revitalization project that will include upscale restaurants and other national retailers. The Wildwood Shopping Center straddles Homewood and Birmingham, and both cities have offered financial incentives to support the revitalization project. McBrayer also said the city hopes to take more

Mountain Brook is poised to conduct another citywide survey to determine whether residents are pleased with city services and what their concerns might be, City Manager Sam Gaston said. The survey is taken every three years. “Three years ago, the one we did we were extremely pleased with the results,” he said. “We were about 41 percent above the national average as far as citizens’ satisfaction with our city services.” The city has several projects in store for 2017, including building a restroom at the Mountain Brook Elementary playing field and possibly one at Crestline Elementary playing field. It also intends to construct a $460,000 police and fire training facility at the city’s public works building near the current fire training tower. The training facility will be named after former Mayor Terry Oden. The city also will begin the engineering phase for replacing replacing the bridge at Caldwell Milk Road. “Hopefully, we’ll be bidding it out later this spring or summer,” Gaston said. He added the project is likely to cost about $400,000. The city also has identified 12 bridges in need of repair, but those will be fixed next year and beyond. Mountain Brook officials have also hired Sain Associates to provide engineering work for two roundabouts in Mountain Brook Village. “We’re talking at least four years down the road before all the engineering work is done and the approval process runs its course,” he said. “The grant money has been awarded, but it’s going to be a project done in phases.” The total amount of the project is $3.5 million, with the federal government picking up 80 percent of the cost and Mountain Brook and Birmingham each picking up 10 percent of the tab. “It’s partly in the city of Birmingham where these roundabouts will be going,” Gaston said. ❖ as Tocqueville division chairs of United Way’s fundraising campaign.

United Way Tocqueville Dinner Recognizes Brooke Family

‘Getting involved and seeing many of the partner agencies, you can see how big the needs are in our community.’

Photo special to the Journal

More than 350 guests were in attendance Dec. 1 as the United Way of Central Alabama honored Dell and Dixon Brooke, along with Maggie and Will Brooke with the 2016 Tocqueville Award. The honor was presented during the 21st annual Tocqueville dinner, held at the United Way’s newly renovated Avondale offices. “We feel supporting United Way of Central Alabama enables us to efficiently and effectively have a positive impact across a broad range of needs and in a small way this makes our community a better place to live,” Dixon Brooke said in a released statement. Dell and Dixon Brooke are charter members of the Tocqueville Society and became members of the Deux Million De Dollars Round Table in 2014. Maggie and Will Brooke are members of the Million Dollar Round Table and in 2013 served

concrete steps toward building a new public safety building for the police department and courts. Currently, the police department is spread out in several buildings, and the new facility would consolidate them under one roof and provide more jail space, the mayor said. He hopes to break ground on the facility sometime this year. Recreational projects in the city include renovations at West Homewood Park. The city and parks officials plan to move the pool at West Homewood Park and rearrange current playing fields to accommodate more fields for baseball, softball and other sports. The project also includes building a maintenance facility at the park, McBrayer said. The project should begin this year. MOUNTAIN BROOK

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

For Over the Mountain cities, 2017 brings with it new faces in government, new construction projects, new dilemmas to solve and new hopes.   Three new mayors lead Hoover, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills into the new year. Those mayors, as well as new council members, will get a heavy dose of life in city government as they try to fulfill the needs of their citizens and learn how to run a city.


From left: Dell and Dixon Brooke with Will and Maggie Brooke.

“Getting involved and seeing many of the partner agencies, you can see how big the needs are in our community,” Will Brooke said. The recipients of the annual award are recognized as philanthropists who exemplify the spirit of caring and the power to make a meaningful impact on the community. The society is named after Alexis de Tocqueville, a 19th century French diplomat who had high regard for voluntary associations that worked toward the common good.


Photo special to the Journal


Hatton Smith, CEO emeritus of Royal Cup Coffee, has been honored as the recipient of the 2017 Jemison Visionary Award for his efforts to give back to the community.

Mountain Brook Chamber Announces 2017 Award Winners

The Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce will recognize its 2017 Jemison Visionary Award winner, Hatton Smith, at its annual luncheon Jan. 24. The CEO emeritus of Royal Cup Coffee, Smith has been honored with the award for his efforts to give back to the community. “When I think of Hatton Smith, no one has done more or served as a lifelong champion for education, cultural and social causes,” said chamber Executive Director Suzan Doidge. According to Doidge, Smith’s involvement in the community extends throughout Mountain Brook and beyond. He was instrumental in the development of the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation and, most recently,

actively advocated and raised funds for the return of UAB’s football program. “Smith continues to serve as a role model to the younger generation and is generous with his talent and time,” Doidge added. In addition to Smith’s recognition, the luncheon will honor Western Supermarkets, recipient of Emmet O’Neal Library’s William D. Tynes Award. The award recognizes meaningful service to both the library and the city of Mountain Brook. The company hosts an annual Fall Wine and Food Festival to benefit the library. The annual luncheon will take place at 11 a.m. at the Grand Bohemian Hotel with Richard Yeilding of RBY Retail serving as the keynote speaker. Tickets are $100. For more information, visit or call 871-3779.❖



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10 • Thursday, January 12, 2017



Morgan’s Road

By Lee Davis The time was the mid-1960s. Lyndon B. Johnson was president of the United States, and the country was starting its final drive to put human footprints on the moon. About that same time, a Birmingham developer with a vision was putting his own footprints in a community by purchasing a dairy farm.

Morgan has been a strong voice in the Rocky Ridge/Vestavia Hills community. He served as president of Leadership Vestavia in 2005-2006 and was heavily involved in the efforts to annex Cahaba Heights into Vestavia. The developer was Robert Morgan and the farm, called The Bearden Dairy Farm, would one day become Rocky Ridge. “My father was a homebuilder who developed property all around Birmingham when I was growing

up,” said Robert “Robin” Morgan Jr., who has followed his father’s path as owner of Southmont Development/ Morgan Properties. “Contingent on the sale of the farm was changing the zoning for part of the property that touched Rocky Ridge Road to be commercial and the part of the property across Little Shades Creek to be zoned for multi-family/apartments.” Fifty years later, the landscape is very different. In recognition of the influence the company has had on the community during that time, Southmont/Morgan recently was honored as the 2016 Service Business of the Year by the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce. But the beginning of the elder Morgan’s vision was modest. He sold a small portion of the property to Standard Oil for a service station. A bigger break came later, when he persuaded Western Supermarket to open a store in the area. Soon a drug store followed, and Rocky Ridge was on its way. Another major opportunity came later in the decade with the construction of Vestavia Hills High School. “Jefferson County approached my father about giving the land for a road to allow access from Rocky Ridge Road to the new high school,” the younger Morgan recalled. “He agreed but this potential street would have to extend through a part of the neighbor-

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Photo special to the Journal

Developer Transformed Rocky Ridge Area

Front, from left; Chamber Board President James Robinson, Robert “Robin” Morgan Jr., with son Rob, and Chamber Executive Director Karen Odle. Back: Gary Jordan, Mayor Ashley Curry, Roger Steur and City Manager Jeff Downes. Morgan’s company, Southmont Development/Morgan Properties has been recognized for its influence on the community over the last 50 years.

ing farm known as ‘The Jones Farm.’ The owners wouldn’t contribute their land to Jefferson County for the street. My father knew that this street would be valuable for future development and traded the Jones’ two-plus acres of his land to exactly compensate for the land they lost.” The street was built, connecting Rocky Ridge Road to Limerock Road, where the high school was to be constructed. The new route was christened Morgan Road, named for the original developer. Rocky Ridge’s latest evolution came a few years ago when, after approval from the Alabama Legislature, the area became a designated Entertainment District with art galleries, restaurants, musical venues and other forms of night life. “We always thought that Rocky Ridge would be a good candidate to have a variety of eating and drinking places,” Morgan said. “It’s kind of an isolated place, in a way, and being an

entertainment district brings people in. It’s like a Five Points South or Uptown. People are comfortable walking from place to place looking for entertainment and music.” Popular restaurants such as Café Iz and Johnny Brusco’s Pizza are also natural draws, Morgan said. While some might focus on more glamourous aspects, sidewalks are an important key to any entertainment district, according to Morgan. “You need sidewalk connectivity,” he said. “People need to feel comfortable walking from place to place. We need more sidewalks in Rocky Ridge.” Morgan credits Vestavia Hills City Manager Jeff Downs with much of the inspiration for the success of the Rocky Ridge Entertainment District. “Jeff had worked as a land planner in Montgomery and had experience with entertainment districts,” he said. “He understood how to make the political side work as well.”

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Morgan has been a strong voice in the Rocky Ridge/Vestavia Hills community. He served as president of Leadership Vestavia in 2005-2006 and was heavily involved in the efforts to annex Cahaba Heights into Vestavia. “It’s a rewarding thing to be part of the fabric of a community like Vestavia and see something that we’ve worked on become a big success,” Morgan said. Morgan’s interest in development of property goes beyond the Rocky Ridge area. He is developing 18 acres near Vestavia Country Club for residential use. “I hope to spend more time doing residential developments,” he said. And while Morgan isn’t considering retirement, he has turned over much of the work to his son Rob. “He’s put a lot of energy into the Entertainment District,” Morgan said. Over nearly six decades, Bearden Dairy Farm has morphed from a rural setting to a residential/commercial community and now has the added dimension of an Entertainment District. The collective vision of three generations of Morgans has been a big part of it. ❖

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Edie, above, Fancy Goods Variety’s mascot, was excited to learn the store is being awarded Vestavia Hills Retail Business of the Year.

Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 11

NEWS service, was granted to Your Pie Homewood. Each Monday, the restaurant hosts Community Monday and donates 10 percent of evening sales to a charitable organization. Al Wood, regional director of Still Serving Veterans, was named Homewood Chamber Ambassador of the Year for earning the most points in the group. “As retired military, I continue to enjoy being part of an organization, a team, that rallies together to get stuff done,” Wood said. “The ambassadors are a great group of volunteers who support the Homewood Chamber in their mission to benefit members

while contributing to the Homewood community vitality.” Board members Michael Morgan, assistant to the Samford University president, and Bill Todd, president and partner of o2ideas, received outstanding service awards. Both Morgan and Todd have served the board for more than five years. Morgan served as secretary and vice president of community affairs while Todd served as vice president of community affairs and vice president of business development. The chamber will host its next luncheon Jan. 17 at 11:30 a.m. at The Club. ❖

The Homewood Chamber of Commerce Rising Star Award was given to Real and Rosemary. The restaurant was opened in March of 2016 by Jennifer Mims, right, with business partner Nate Carlson.

Photo special to the Journal

Journal photo by Tommy Wald


Vestavia Hills Honors Exemplary Businesses at Monthly Luncheon

At the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce’s Jan. 10 luncheon, 2016 Business of the Year awards were handed out and recognition paid to winners. While Fancy Goods Variety received the Retail Business of the Year award, Southmont Development/Morgan Properties was honored with the Service Business of the Year award. The award is given to a business that best displays a commitment to supporting the chamber and the community. According to the chamber, Southmont owner Robin Morgan (see story nearby) has devoted much of his time to developing the Rocky Ridge commercial area, partnering with the city to create Vestavia Hills’ first entertainment district, the Rocky Ridge Entertainment District. “Southmont Development/Morgan Properties is a true chamber hero and Robin Morgan is an incredible partner. He is supportive of the efforts to make Vestavia Hills a wonderful place to work, shop, dine and live,” chamber President Karen Odle said in a released statement.

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Homewood Chamber Honors Outstanding Members

At the Homewood Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting Dec. 13, recognition was given to the local businesses and volunteers that have provided superior support to the chamber and community. Mike Warren of Children’s of Alabama was guest speaker for the luncheon at The Club. The Rising Star Award was presented to Real and Rosemary. The restaurant was opened in March of 2016 by Jennifer Mims. The Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center was awarded Business of the Year. According to chamber officials, the distinction is bestowed on a chamber member that has been established for more than two years and provided a significant service to the community. Alabama Allergy and Asthma has been around since 1960 and is a Homewood Chamber Star Trustee. The Community Patriot Award, recognizing a member’s community

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12 • Thursday, January 12, 2017

One Foot in Front Of the Other


Homewood’s Dell’Italia Trains For First Run After Surgery

Photos special to the Journal

By Emily Williams Sidelined from the race course to recover from heel surgery in December 2015, Pat Dell’Italia of Homewood is getting back into the routine of running. She had the same heel surgery on her left foot three years ago, but Dell’Italia said her right foot took a bit longer to get back into the swing of things. To mark her comeback and two heels as fit as fiddles, she has set a goal to finish the Mercedes Half Marathon on Feb. 12, her first half marathon in more than a year. Dell’Italia said she didn’t get serious about running until her kids fled the nest. “I started running about 10 years ago, when I was 50 years old,” she said. “I was fortunate enough to be a stay-at-homemom, so once my kids left I needed to find something to do.” Her solution was to start a Couch to 5K Program, which introduced her to other runners. Saturday mornings in front of the Trak Shak in Homewood became a standing date, of sorts, to meet with friends for some healthy exercise. “Running is a great way to meet people, especially for me because I’m not originally from Birmingham,” she said. “And you meet all types of people.” Though Dell’Italia didn’t start running for the health benefits as much as the social aspect, she has found that it has influenced her habits. “I have a schedule that I keep,” she said. “We pair up with partners to go on runs and support each other.” Especially in her recovery from surgery, having a running plan keeps her trucking along. Every day of the calendar

is filled with something, even if it is a rest day, which earns a sigh of relief at times. “I just feel healthier,” she said. “I’ve also seen a change in how we eat. I eat better and am careful about what I am eating.” An exercise wardrobe can also be added to the list of changes that running has brought Dell’Italia, but her dog is probably her favorite addition at home. Her kids aren’t too interested in being running buddies when they come home to visit, but her furry friend is always game. “She just loves it,” she said. “I never have to worry about her keeping up with me because half the time she’s trying to get my pace up.” As she works back toward her former mileage, Dell’Italia has kept herself as conditioned as possible in her running gym of choice, Resolute Running. She knew owner Alex Morrow from the run-

ning community even before the gym opened. “(Morrow) has really done a great job of working with me to get back on the right path,” she said. “He’s started me out slowly and it helps me stick to the plan. I’m doing everything slowly – probably slower than I would like – but I can tell I’m almost there.” The surgery may have taken her off the track, but she found a way to fit in exercise that kept weight off her heel. “When I couldn’t run, I started taking some of (Morrow’s) TRX classes,” she said. “You use these TRX straps that hang from the ceiling. So you are suspending and using your body weight against itself.” In the TRX classes and the Resolute Running community were people who had gone through recovery similar to Travis’, which she said is always helpful. As she works toward Feb. 12, Dell’Italia isn’t venturing into the unknown. She has run the Mercedes Half Marathon more than once, but this will be the first time she has participated in about five years. “I’m just hoping the weather holds up,” she said. “I’ve been lucky when I’ve run it before that it wasn’t ever very cold.” Since this will be the first race she has run in a year and a half, Dell’Italia’s only goal for herself is to finish and get her medal. “As a runner, you always want to get better and grow from your last race,” she said. “If I get a PR, or personal best, that would be great. But being my first race in a while, I’m just looking forward to doing the best that I can.” The Mercedes Marathon Weekend is Feb. 10-12. Events will begin with the St. Vincent’s Health and Fitness Expo in Boutwell Auditorium on Feb. 10 and 11. The 11th will include the Superhero 5K, the Bell Center Children’s Run and the Kids Mercedes Marathon. The half marathon, marathon and marathon relay will be run Feb. 12. For more information and registration, visit ❖

A Word From the Coach

The man behind the gym that is helping Dana Stephens Travis and Pat Dell’Italia prepare for their milestone runs, Alex Morrow, believes that becoming a good runner is an easily accessible goal for anyone looking to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Though he played sports through college, Morrow started running regularly for fitness 10 years ago to tackle extra weight and his

Alex Morrow’s first tip to transforming into a regular and healthy runner is to take it slow and acclimate to a preferred pace. propensity to make unhealthy life choices. Morrow started Resolute Running as a way to make every aspect of training available to runners, from coaching to weight training to massage therapy. A firm believer that anyone can run, Morrow is quick to dispel myths that allow people to talk themselves out of learning to run. Regardless of how out of shape someone is, he said, anyone can run, which is why there are various Couch to 5K/10K programs designed specifically for new runners. Morrow also noted that the age-old idea that running is bad for the knees has been debunked by medical studies. Any new runner who is worried they are too slow can rest easy


knowing that speed is relative. “We have clients who perform run/walks while others run a sixminute pace all the time. You will always be slower than some but faster than others,” Morrow said. His first tip to transforming into a regular and healthy runner is to take it slow and acclimate to a preferred pace. Next on the list is getting fit for a good pair of running shoes at any specialty running shop. “A decent pair of running shoes can be the difference between enjoying a run or hating it,” he said. “Running shoes do not last forever and there are various types designed to work with your biomechanics.” Once a new runner has the right shoes, it’s time to make sure you stick with your plan and hold yourself accountable. The Resolute community of coaches help keep their runners on track, but people running on their own can try posting their goals on social media for their friends and relatives to hold them accountable. Morrow’s last step for a new runner is to make a running plan with a goal. “We of course encourage you to hire a coach, but if that is not something you can do right now, there are a variety of plans you can find online and in apps,” Morrow said. For more information, visit — Emily Williams

A Fresh Start

Vestavia Hills Mom and Marketing VP Begins Her Journey to V2V By Emily Williams Dana Stephens Travis – a Vestavia Hills resident, wife to a “super dad,” mother to three spunky kids and vice president of account services at blr | further – is on a mission to add another job to her full schedule: running. As the new year rolled around, Travis began a training schedule with Resolute Running in Homewood, where she has set a goal to run in the Village2Village Run, a 10K set for March 10. Before beginning her career, Travis studied dance for more than 20 years. But somewhere along the way she traded in regular exercise for a juggling act: tossing her time between her executive-level job; mothering a 10-, 8- and 5-year-old, and taking care of her mother, her best friend, who is battling Alzheimer’s. “I have preferred and chosen to focus all of myself on the ones I love most, without making room to take care of myself,” she said, “which doesn’t help me stay around long enough to keep taking care of these precious lives I adore so much.” A true novice in the running game, she never had a 5K or a marathon on her bucket list. “I don’t have a relationship with running … . I only run when or if I’m being chased,” Travis said. Her hope is that the regular training ahead and the accomplishment of finishing her first race will spark a love of running and lead to more healthy choices in her life. “At the finish line, I’d love to say that I have a newfound love of running, but most of all, I want desperately for this to be my kick-start into a healthier, lighter weight, stronger, physical and mental self,” she said. “It’s what I know my mom wants for me, if she could tell me.” Now, onto the logistics. To fit running into her already packed schedule, Travis is going to have to start using a word she doesn’t often find herself saying: no. She’s going to have to start turning down commitments that she has been saying yes to for the past decade. “One thing I’ve learned as a caregiver, mother and marketing executive is that no good plan happens without being nimble and willing to shift your priorities at any moment to make something happen,” she said. She’s hoping that making time to fit training into her everyday life, though a big commitment, will serve as an example for her kids of how important it is to maintain personal health and wellness. After her first run with Resolute, Travis said she was just proud that she didn’t throw up. But it isn’t just her physical limitations that Travis will have to overcome. “(The) first obstacle is to say ‘help me’ as many times as needed to my family and friends so that I make my training happen,” Travis said. “My husband has been a huge motivator, and I am so appreciative of his unconditional love and motivation.” OTMJ will be keeping up with Travis as she continues her training for V2V, providing updates on her progress as she works toward a healthier self. ❖


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These days, finding a primary care doctor who takes time to listen can be a difficult task. For Dr. Elaine Colby at Southview Medical Group, P.C., establishing a welcoming and compassionate clinical environment is paramount. “It’s important my patients know they are being cared for, and not feel like a number getting lost in the system,” Dr. Colby explains. In addition, primary care physicians serve an important role assisting individuals in navigating the increasingly complex health care system. “Not only do I advocate for my patients, I also try to practice cost-conscious care and involve my patients in medical decision making,” she said. Dr. Colby, a Birmingham native, graduated from Auburn University and the University of Alabama School of Medicine. “I’m honored and blessed to join Southview, which has a long tradition of excellence in the Birmingham medical community,” she said. Southview Medical Group, P.C., is a multi-specialty group located on St. Vincent’s. It’s Birmingham campus, offers services in internal medicine, family medicine, cardiology, gastroenterology, dermatology, endocrinology and infectious disease. Southview Medical Group is located at 833 St. Vincent’s Drive, Suite 300, 933-4450.

Vitalogy Wellness

Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 13

Today, many individuals are searching for answers to their health problems. Unfortunately, as Dr. Farah Sultan of Vitalogy Wellness, traditional medicine doesn’t always have the answers. “Traditional medicine is based on establishing a diagnosis and utilizing primarily medication to treat and control the issue. While this is needed in many scenarios such as acute infections, heart attacks, strokes and other cases; there are many other conditions, such as auto-immune diseases, where medications don’t help and can, in fact, cause serious side-effects,” Sultan said. “This was the boat I found myself in over 15 years ago. “As my own quest for optimal health has continued, I have created a program using all modalities that have truly helped to heal me.” After Sultan gave birth to her son, she experienced tremendous issues with her thyroid, weight, sleep patterns, as well as exhaustion, food sensitivities, overall well being and sex drive. “I went to a traditional gynecologist and internist,” Sultan said. “None of the recommendations that they had were any different than what I was already doing and I felt no better. I had a newborn, a busy husband and a full practice of patients that needed my help. “I had been exploring alternative/integrative medicine my whole career because I never understood why the focus of traditional medicine was on the symptoms and not the cause. Sultan sought to find the answers to her questions herself and delved deeper into her studies of alternative medicine. “I started attending seminars and got board certified in anti-aging and functional medicine and taught myself nutrition,” Sultan said. “I got exposed to alternative therapies using bio-identical hormones and platelet-rich plasma. “What I found was that I started to improve! My energy, skin, and weight were better,” she said. “I was also able to help all of my patients who had been stuck in the traditional medicine conundrum.” Sultan’s journey with alternative medicine is one she finds both busy and fun, and she is thrilled to share with the world through Vitalogy. “Our signature program, ‘The Vitalogy Pillars of Health’ Approach, is a complete body healing process that is a culmination of my 15 years of experience,” Sultan said. Vitalogy Wellness is located at 2705 20th St. So., 413-8599.

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Volunteers Place Wreaths on Veterans’ Graves at Jefferson Memorial Gardens

In honor of the holiday season, Hoover’s Marynell Winslow coordinated a Wreaths Across America wreath-laying event to honor fallen veterans Dec. 17 at the Currie-Jefferson Memorial Gardens. Winslow is a Gold Star Mother, having lost her 19-year-old son, Ryan, in Iraq in 2006. By raising funds through donations and with the help of volunteers, the group succeeded in laying wreaths on the 560 veteran gravesites in the cemetery. Along with similar ceremonies held at Arlington National Cemetery and more than 800 cemeteries throughout the United States and the world, Wreaths Across America volunteers laid more than 500,000 wreaths on veterans’ gravesides. ❖

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

American Heritage Girls Troop AL-1478 from Our Lady of Sorrows church.



Ann Marie Stephens from Troop 1478 lays one of 560 wreaths placed on veteran gravesites.

This holiday season, Grace House Ministry’s gift wrap booth provided holiday shoppers at the Riverchase Galleria a helping hand. Extending their own helping hand, members of the Hoover Service Club manned the booth Dec. 12-15. Coordinating this year’s volunteer efforts on behalf of the service club was Pam Crider. The gift wrap booth is one of Grace House’s longest-standing traditions. The annual booth benefits the ministry in its mission to provide a home for young girls who have been displaced from their homes due to abuse, abandonment and neglect. ❖

Photo special to the Journal



Hoover Service Club Wraps Gifts With Grace

From left, Pam Crider, Pam Edwards and Paula Campbell.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 15


The Summit Hosts Annual Menorah Lighting


Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Folks gathered at The Summit on Dec. 26 to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, at the second annual Grand Menorah Lighting. With Hanukkah beginning on Dec. 24, three of the eight lights of the menorah shown as Rabbi Yossi Friedman spoke about the meaning of the holiday and led the crowd in a traditional holiday song. The event was coordinated by the shopping center in partnership with the Levite Jewish Community Center of Birmingham, Chabad of Alabama and Temple Emanu-El. Festivities for the evening included music, traditional holiday treats such as latkes, games of dreidel and a fireworks show. ❖


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16 • Thursday, January 12, 2017


Women in White


Sixteen Young Women Presented in Annual Redstone Christmas Ball and Mrs. Sterling Lanier DeRamus, sponsored by Mr. William David Sellers Crommelin. Miss Marguerite MacRae Edmonds, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bryson Glass Edmonds, sponsored by Mr. Thomas Michael Goodrich; Miss Margaret Stabler Greene, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Keller Greene, sponsored by Mr. Philip Howard Boyd; Miss Carolyn Youmans Grenier, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Beaulieu Grenier and Ms. Celeste Crowe Grenier; Miss Helen Thomas Hinds, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Martin Hinds, sponsored by Mr. William Lyle Hinds Jr. Miss Patricia Elizabeth Livingston, daughter of Mr. James Archibald Livingston III and the late Mrs. Livingston, sponsored by Mr. Henry Sharpe Lynn Jr.; Miss Sydney McClure Newton, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Robins Jeffrey Newton, sponsored by Mr. Frederick Weyman Renneker III; Miss Ann Catherine Perry, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Payne Perry; Miss Margaret Louise Pritchard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Camp Pritchard, sponsored by Mr. Maclin Ferdinand Smith III. Miss Lane Jennings Proctor, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Wooten Proctor; Miss Philippa Bainbridge Straus, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Samuel Straus, sponsored by Mr. Frank Mims Bainbridge; Miss Claudia Overstreet Styslinger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Joseph Styslinger, sponsored by Mr. Lee Joseph Styslinger III; and Miss Virginia Carol Wright, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Wright III, sponsored by Mr. Lee Joseph Styslinger III. The presentees were introduced to

Photos by Dee Moore Photography

he Redstone Club hosted its 109th annual Christmas Ball on Dec. 17 at the Country Club of Birmingham with more than 160 club members and guests in attendance. President of this year’s ball was James Henry Emack Jr., who attended with his wife, Kaye. Ball chairman was Richard Murray IV, attending with his wife, Norita. The floor committee chairman was J. Murphy McMillan III, at the ball with his wife, Beth. This year’s presentation class was made up of 16 young women, all college seniors, who were presented in traditional long white dresses and gloves. The East Room of the country club was decorated by Sybil Brooke Sylvester of Wildflower Designs. Raised designs harkened the image of layered strings of pearls above the presentation runway, and a range of simple white flowers mixed with boughs of Christmas greenery created an atmosphere of sophisticated holiday style. Overseeing the class were Ladies Committee members Mrs. William B. Walheim Jr., Mrs. Henry Claiborne Crommelin and Mrs. Arthur Key Foster IV. Debutantes presented at the 2016 ball were: Miss Margaret Russell Bromberg, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hardy Bromberg III, sponsored by Mr. Frank Hardy Bromberg Jr.; Miss Sarah Elizabeth Colvin, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Charles Peyton Colvin, sponsored by Dr. Charles Henry Colvin III; Miss Laura Katherine Crum, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Richard Eric Crum, sponsored by Judge James Hughes Hancock; Miss Mary Eleanor Deramus, daughter of Mr.


Richard Murray IV and wife, Norita, with Kaye and James Henry Emack Jr.

From left: Helen Thomas Hinds, Laura Katherine Crum, Ann Catherine Perry, Marguerite MacRae Edmonds and Margaret Russell Bromberg.

Mary Eleanor DeRamus, Philippa Bainbridge Straus, Virginia Carol Wright, Sydney McClure Newton and Margaret Stabler Greene.

Sarah Elizabeth Colvin, Claudia Overstreet Styslinger, Margaret Louise Pritchard, Lane Jennings Proctor and Carolyn Youmans Grenier.

the club membership and learned about the history of the club and the ball at a Ball Luncheon held Dec. 16 at the Mountain Brook Club. Also recognized at the luncheon were nine members of the 1966 presentee class, celebrating their 50th anniversary: Ellen Terry Beaumont, Grace Lanier Brewer, Shelley Shook Gearhart (Mrs. Frank E. Lindstrom), Margaret Hipp (Mrs. Robert E. Morris), Sally Rainer Lamar (Mrs. William D. Jameson), Margaret Rushton Monaghan,

Virginia Celeste Montgomery, Virginia Ellicot Simpson, Elizabeth Leath Stigler (Mrs. Neil A. Pearce), Paula Stringfellow, Mary Emily Thurlow and Mary Woodward. The ball followed a members-only cocktail party and dinner, spread among Birmingham Country Club’s East Room and dining rooms. Music chairman John R. Simpson arranged the evening’s accompaniment, featuring the Sonny Harris Trio Band for the cocktail party and the Pure Party Band for post-ball danc-

ing. The 2016 Redstone Club officers and board of governors members are: James Henry Emack Jr., president; James Arthur Smith IV, vice president; Gregory Stockton Curran, secretary-treasurer; William B. Wahlheim Jr., traditions chairman; Francis Minor S. Ager; Nelson Straub Bean; Francis H. Crockard III; C. Duncan Hulsey II; William Spencer South; George Clinton Thompson; J. Reese Murray III, finance chairman; and James Mallory Dixon, camp chairman. ❖


Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 17


Photos special to the Journal

Newdome, Lynley and Carith; Amy Jackson Nunneley and Ella, Mary Ponder Wilson Porter and Mary Harbin; Jan Roberts; Misty Brewer Powell and Gracie; Janie Stagner; Amy Snyder; Kendall Lee Stephenson, Leah, Sarah,and Abigail; Julie Vascocu Stewart and

Above, from left; Mae Rose Tyson, Harlie Waldon, Kathryn Bisignani and Madison Bisignani. Left, Ginny McCarroll Bakkin with daughter Kate, Lissa Tyson and Jan Roberts.

Tea Time

Birmingham Alpha Gams Gather for Holiday Event The Greater Birmingham Alumnae chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta held its annual Rosebud Christmas Tea on Dec. 11 at the home of Shauna Broom Hard. Alumnae members were invited to attend with their legacy daughters or granddaughters, and collegiate members from the University of Alabama, University of Montevallo and UAB attended with their mothers.  Alumnae President Elizabeth Estess Wilson welcomed guests to the reception, arranged by Emily Putnam Fulton. Amy Nichols McCain, chapter permanent secretary, was in charge of name tags and registration. Among the guests were: Katherine

McDavid Allen; Ginny McCarroll Bakkin and Kate; Rachel Broom Barnhart and Eva; Angelia Pitts Brady; Laura Gray and Madeline Barron; Greer, Kathryn and Madison Bisignani; Angie Smith Bradberry and Elizabeth; Cheryl Wynn Brakefield and Mary Claire and Katherine; Elisabeth Crow Branch; Tricia Mills Burris and Andrea; Amy Ricks Butler, Anna Morgan and Mary Grace; Collins Crabbe Clegg, Anne Carlton and Libby. Also attending were Elizabeth Hamiter Ferguson; Jennifer Johnson Fruin and Catherine; Ella Clae and Millie Fulton; Nancy Runyan

Gaston and Alison; Mallie, Caroline and Roxanne Given; Mary Dean Gray; Maggie Greene; Claire and Lianne Hand, Judith Hayes Hand; Millie Hard, Kim Rains Hardwick and Emily; Jana Evers Harper; Tara and Victoria Henderson; Meredith McGeever Kynerd, Brooke and Mariel; Pate Renneker Latham; Elizabeth Dreher Lawrence; Kristin Trammell Lindsey and Brooke; Sara Hayden and Susan Logan. Also attending were: Amy Nichols McCain; Karen DeVenney McCollum and Kelly; Dede McDanal Moore and Anne Neal; Kristin Hain McPherson; Katie and Catherine Moore; Alexis Myers; Sara Ketchem

Mary; Katherine Mellen Trammell and Mary Mac; Margie Holmes Tranum; Lyssa Handley Tyson and Mae Rose; Harlie Waldon; Gail Smith Westhoven and Brooke; Paige Whitt; Hayley Wammack Young, Lillie and Stella. ❖

18 • Thursday, January 12, 2017


Photos by Hank Spencer


From left: Margy Troiano, Mary Virginia Adams, Elise Nesbitt, Sarah Sims Parker and Mims Bruhn.

Lizzie Donald, Sarah Cain, Baylee Edwards, Tess Walker and Mary Stewart Beasley.

Alice Bradford, Mary Maude Crenshaw, Caroline Clark, Mae Rose Tyson, Murray Manley and Turner Hull.

Herron Taylor, Anna Kate Healey, Francie Kenan, Adelaide Bromberg and Collier Ogilvie.

The Beaux Arts Krewe will host its 50th Beaux Arts Krewe Ball on Feb. 24 at Boutwell Auditorium. This year, 26 princesses will be presented in the annual celebration, with proceeds from the event benefitting the Birmingham Museum of Art. Young women being presented in this year’s ball include: Mary Virginia Adams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Seth Adams; Mary Stewart Beasley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Martin Beasley Jr.; Alice Elisabeth Martin Bradford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Aubrey Bradford; Alice Adelaide Bromberg, daughter of Mr. William Gregory Bromberg II and Mr. and Mrs. Michael Cummings Randle; Caraway Mims Bruhn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Glover Mitchell Bruhn and Mr. and Mrs. John Calhoun

Princess on Parade

Beaux Arts Krewe Announces Annual Debutantes Morrow. Also being presented are: Sarah Elizabeth Cain, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Edward Lyle Cain Jr.; Ella Carson Carter, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Williams Mackin and Dr. and Mrs. Lee Carson Carter; Caroline Frances Clark, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Crawford Clark III; Mary Maude Crenshaw, daughter of Dr. James Hill Crenshaw and the late Victoria Darby Crenshaw; Sarah Elliott Darnall, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Darnall.

Other princesses include: Elizabeth Harris Forsyth Donald, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Marion Donald III; Kathleen Merrell Dunn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Evans Johnson Dunn; Elizabeth Baylee Edwards, daughter of Ms. Julianna Trammell Edwards and the late Sterling William Edwards; Mary Martha Grizzle, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Louie Grizzle Jr.; Anna Katherine Healey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Seale Healey; Turner Nicholson Hull, daughter ofMr. and Mrs. Hewes Turner Hull.

Also being presented are: Frances Elizabeth Kenan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Kenan II; Allison Murray Manley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Duncan Young Manley Jr.; Elise Faircloth Nesbitt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Mills Nesbitt IV; Collier Morris Ogilvie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Oslin Ogilvie Jr.; Sarah Sims Parker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Stanley Parker; Herron Elizabeth Taylor, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Barton Taylor. Other princesses are: Lottice Howell Taylor, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Malcolm Taylor III; Margaret Meador Troiano, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Meador Troiano; Mae Rose Tyson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marc Bryant Tyson; and Teresa James Walker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Orr Walker Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. Allan Rexford Wheeler. ❖

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Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 19


Meet and Greet

The Mountain Brook Kappa Delta Alumnae Association gathered with mothers, daughters and granddaughters for lunch Dec. 16 at the home of Susanne McMillan. Guests in attendance took time at the celebration to contribute to the Children’s Hospital Intervention and Prevention Services. Attendees included Marlea Foster, Liz Briggs, Melissa Seton, Betsy and Ellis Henley, Melissa Kenan, Katie Patrick, Susan Waggoner, Adelaide and Delia Vandevelde, Amy Hudson, Walton Cobb, Michelle Rosemore, Laura

Betsy and Ellis Henley.

Photos special to the Journal

Mountain Brook KDs Host Holiday Luncheon

From left: Walton and Maggie Cobb, Laura Sink, Emily Sink and Suzanne McMillan.

and Emily Sink, Ann Neighbors, Isabelle Lawson, Andrea Statum, Jennifer Debruge, Laura Rue, Catherine Crabtree, Lane DeWine, Martha DeBuys, Isabelle DeBuys, Cathy McGowin, Mary Ruth

Caldwell, Amy Knight, Elizabeth Outland, Leigh Bromberg, Alice and Natalie Womack, Ann Chapman Cox, Lucie and Ann Chapman Haynes, Suzanne Hughes, Sherrie Bartels, Elizabeth Crommelin, Mary Yancy, Robina and Mallie Reed, Leigh Sullivan, Barbara Lummis, Annie Hughes, Kathy O’Rear, Leigh Anne, Glenn and Catherine Haas, Emily Pruitt, Beth and Elle McMillan, Liz Woods and Meg Krawczyk.

Adelaide Vandevelde, Isabelle Lawson and Andrea Statum. ❖

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20 • Thursday, January 12, 2017


Journal photos by Jordan Wald


Paul Petznick, DMD, FAGD and his advisors have designed the office to be aesthetically pleasing and technically state of the art.

Petznick Dental Set To Open In Homewood Paul Petznick, DMD, FAGD, who has practiced dentistry in Birmingham for 27 years, is scheduled to open his new office in the Brookwood Dental Arts Building near Brookwood Baptist Hospital this week. The office is conveniently located in Suite 6, on the first floor. “I am thrilled that my office is

opening after meticulously preparing the space for general and aesthetic dentistry. The central location makes it convenient for patients in Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, and the greater Birmingham area,” Dr. Petznick said. Dr. Petznick and his advisors have designed the office to be aesthetically pleasing and technically state of the art. “We are pleased to be able to offer digital imaging, soft tissue

laser therapy, electric handpieces, and transillumination imaging technology,” Dr. Petznick said. “We are featuring new and innovative diagnostic services using intraoral cameras to detect caries at an early stage. We are also using advanced systems for early oral cancer screening of soft tissues.” While patients will appreciate and benefit from the latest technology in dental care, they will also notice a warm and caring staff of professionals dedicated to making their visit a positive one. “When patients walk in the door, we want them to experience a friendly staff focused on meeting their dental and aesthetic desires, in a modern, contemporary atmosphere,” Dr. Petznick said. “I grew up in Birmingham, and I am actively involved in the community. Patients know me and will feel right at home. I am excited to welcome patients to Petznick Dental.”

From left: Lee and Catherine Styslinger, Sandra and Terry Oden.

Christmas Whimsy Harlequins Host Holiday Gathering

The Harlequins Club hosted its annual Christmas Party on Dec. 16 at the Mountain Brook Country Club. Decorations paying homage to the holiday season included large gift boxes spread around the room and tables covered in black and red and set with Harlequin statues as centerpieces. The evening began with a cocktail hour, with piano music setting the tone for the evening, and a seated dinner followed. Helping host the evening were club President Catherine Styslinger, with husband Lee; Vice President and party chairwoman Sandra Oden, with husband Terry; and Secretary/treasurer Lynn Ault. New members in attendance included Kim Day, Catherine Cabaness, Wesa Mathew, Diana Walker, Ann Hillhouse and Ellen McWhorter.

Al and Dorothy Naughton

Other guests in attendance included: Sue Alford, Phillipa and Frank Bromberg, Barbara and Winfeld Baird, DeeDee and Earl Bromberg, Ann Bunn, Mollie Cox, Paula and Francis Crockard, Nina Crumbaugh, Eleanor and Gene Cushman, Margie and Sid Davis, Betty Drennen, Punky and Pete

Call (205) 326-7444 to make an appointment. Check out the Petznick Dental website,, for a full description of services offered, the address of the office, an office tour, and information about the Petznick Dental team.

Collum and Diana Walker, Ellen and Holbart McWhorter and Anne Hillhouse.

Eastwood, Betsy Elliott, Henrietta Emack, Marjorie Foreny, Gerry and James Gillespy, Hettie and Howard Hall, Betty Higgins, Liz Hoffman with Jack Trigg, Isabella Maynard with Ivey Jackson. Also attending were Elizabeth and Charles Miller, Bee and Walter Morris, Aland and Dorothy Naughton, Sue Newton, Valerie and Tom Pankey, Ann Pearce, Ruth and Lyndon Pearson, Helen and Walter Gay Pittman, Lois Poe, Patsy Porter, Joyce Ratliff, Kitty and Gordon Robinson, Elberta Reid, Carol Sandner, Gail and Charles Sharp, Virginia and Bobby Shepherd, Beverly Silver, Elaine Smith, Astrid and Sidney Smyer, Mary Ann Weatherly, Doris White with Joe McCracken, Cullen Walker, Sally Wall, Cheryl Williams, and Janie and Walter Wilson. ❖


Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 21

Photos special to the Journal


Lou Ann and George Sherling and Carolyn Featheringill.

Dorothy Hodges, Gordon Lanier and Dale Hoditch.

From left: Martha and Tom Roberts, Wheeler and Lynn Smith, Brad and Katie Dunn.

Moving and Grooving Charades Hosts Fall Dance

On a fall Sunday evening, Nadin Shunnarah, owner of the Pita Stop, opened his Southside restaurant exclusively for the Charades Dance Club members with their husbands and escorts. Chairwomen of the event were Martha Roberts, with husband Tom, and Anne Finch, with husband Rick. Socializing during the cocktail hour were Margaret and Eason Balch, Gayle and Mike Byrne, Anne Carey, Mary and Bobby Cobb, Carol and Jerry Corvin, Carole andCharles Crabbe, Ellen and Russell Cunningham, Naomi and Kirk Cunningham, Judy and Andy Daniel, Deanna and Timothy Davis, Enid and Bill Dean, Sara Lynn and Fox DeFuniak, Katie and Brad Dunn, Louise and Durham Ellis, Carolyn Featheringill, Diane and Tom Gamble, Claire and Pat Goodhew, Annie and Maurice Green, Beth and Rich Henry, and Carolyn and Delmar Hill. A Mediterranean dinner of chicken kabobs, fresh fruit, wild rice, hummus

and pita bread was enjoyed by attendees, including Dorothy and Gerry Hodges, Dale and John Holditch, Mary Ann and Bill Jones, Pam and Rick Kilgore, Anne and Tom Lamkin, Gordon and Gibson Lanier, Barbara and Cliff Lynch, Pat and Wimberly Miree, Josephine and Paul Pankey, Becky Powell, Leslie Puckett, Mary and David Putman, Susan and Lee Reeves, Helen and Ty Robin, and Karen and Brant Sanders. Charades President Dorothy Hodges concluded the dinner with announcements and acknowledgements. Others in attendance included Carolyn and Bill Satterfield, Emily and Tom Scarbrough, Katy and Rick Sexton, Lou Ann and George Sherling, Lynn and Wheeler Smith, Rita and Cliff Spencer, Nancy and Bill Stetler, Barbara and Cris Stone, Susan Strickland, Lana and Harry Thompson, Rae and Steve Trimmier, Kathleen and Ray Watkins, and Sallie and Carlos White. ❖

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22 • Thursday, January 12, 2017

Prelude to the Holidays



Though the weather outside was frigid, the Mountain Brook home of Carmen and Randall Morrow warmed guests of the Birmingham Music Club Guild on Dec. 9. More than 70 guests gathered at the guild’s annual holiday celebration, co-chaired by Beth Adams and Susan Boston. Nigel Kipple welcomed guests as they arrived and pianist Michael Barren played Christmas tunes throughout the evening. Barren, who studies with Guild member Margery Whatley, concluded with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” for member Jean Liles. The Christmas decorations includ-

ed candles, sparkling reindeer, poinsettias, amaryllis and pine cones. A 12-foot decorated tree dressed the den area near a fireplace dressed with colorful stockings. Tables were decorated with holly, pine cones and votive candles and, outside, icicles and white lights framed the porch and arbor leading to the pool area. A banquet table was laden with hors d’oeuvres and centered by a faux fur runner and a candelabra of deer antlers. Tom and Anne Lamkin’s beef tenderloin was sliced for sandwiches and served with crab dip, barbecue wings, ham and cheese melts, sausage balls, warmed brie cheese served with crackers, brownies, cook-

Photos special to the Journal

Birmingham Music Club Guild Celebrates the Season With Music, Food and Friends

Pianist Michael Barren played Christmas tunes throughout the evening. Hosts Carmen and Randall Morrow, right.

John and Susan Boston.

Above, front: Becky Keyes and Judy Anderson. Back: Greg Keyes and Charles Anderson. Below, Pat Grant, Cheree Carlton and Charla Mobley.

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ies and cupcakes. Bob Brown and Bob Black tended bar, serving up drinks from the master bathroom, where a footed bathtub filled with ice chilled wine and beer. Among the guests in attendance were Scott Adams, Judy and Charles Anderson, Roberta and Jim Atkinson, Shirley Brown, John Boston, Mary Margaret Bowman, Cheree and Eric Carlton, Elaine and Oliver Clark, Kay and David Clark, Betsy Cooper, Naomi and Kirk

Cunningham, Lesley and Sterling DeRamus, Janine and A. D. Goode, Judy and Jim Haise, Susan and Wyatt Haskell, Angie and Allen Holder, Becky and Greg Keyes, Kathy and William Pittman, Beth Miller, Sandra and Elam Holley,

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Margaret Hubbard, Nancy and Ed Jones, Nell Larson and Russell Kilgore, Barbara and Robert Klyce, Curtis Liles, Pat and Perry Grant, Virginia McDorman, Carolyn Reich, Beth Miller, Charla Mobley, Kathie Ramsey, Brenda Ross, Joy Schuffert, Lochrane and Mell Smith, Michelle and Mabry Smith, Melinda and Steve Smith, Nan and Phil Teninbaum, Elise Warren, Liz and Tom Warren, and Judy and Edward Wiggins. ❖

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Greystone Ladies Host Holiday Brunch

Photos special to the Journal

The Greystone Ladies Club hosted a Christmas brunch in December at the home of Pam and Steve Yates. More than 100 residents were in attendance as guests enjoyed mingling with neighbors. Music for the event was provided by flautists from Samford University. ❖ Betty Nunis and Marilyn Gross.

Holly Jolly Holiday Sprig O’Holly Garden Club Luncheon Features Carols and Christmas Decor

Members of Sprig O’Holly Garden Club gathered for the club’s annual Christmas luncheon at Vestavia Country Club on Dec. 9. The party room was decorated with Christmas trees and a roaring fire to set the scene for the celebration. Standing guard as guests entered the room were two three-foot nutcracker soldiers, provided by Betty Weeks. Each table was centered with a sleigh and Santa Claus. The event was coordinated by Helen Smalley. Pianist Martha Smith accompanied members as they

sang Christmas carols. President Anne Michaels called on members to share their favorite or most memorable Christmas experiences. Weeks offered a blessing for the luncheon meal, which included fruit, chicken and pasta followed by a chocolate dessert. Guests in attendance also included Marilyn Gross, Jan McElroy, Tallulah Hargrove, Betty Nunis, Adrienne O’Brien, Fay Hart, Virginia Chappelle, Cille Spader and Janis Zeanah. ❖

Pam and Steve Yates.

Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 23


24 • Thursday, January 12, 2017


The Future of Food: A Plateful of Predictions for What You May Be Eating (or Not) in 2017

By Donna Cornelius Google “trends for 2017,” and you’ll find a plethora of predictions for fashion, music, technology and other popular topics. That’s all well and good, but let’s focus on a more pressing concern: food. recently posted an article called “Every Single Food Trend That’s Been Predicted for 2017.” The 81-item list starts with adaptogen supplements (no, we don’t know what those are, either) and finishes up with yogurt (made with milk from creatures like water buffalo and Nubian goats). We admit we haven’t been quite so comprehensive, but we hope you’ll have fun finding out what some Birmingham food folks think we’ll see on our tables this year. Read this while you’re enjoying your breakfast of avocado toast. Oh, wait – that’s so last year. JAMES BOYCE

Boyce is the executive chef/partner at Galley & Garden in Birmingham and Cotton Row Restaurant, Commerce Kitchen and Pane e Vino Pizzeria in Huntsville.

What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene?

The trends in Birmingham are Vietnamese and hot chicken right now. Chain pizza and burger joints are also on the rise albeit more upscale in nature.

I see the Birmingham food scene going James Boyce toward more ethnic types of cuisine – styles that are spice- and herb-driven and contain less fat. I see a rebirth of formal dining as well as the multi-courses meal with wine pairings to accompany.

Are there any current food trends that you’d like to see disappear in 2017?

I’m not a fan of “hot.” I do like some heat, but not hot. So the hot chicken trend is not for me, but I’m sure it will continue.

How about nationally?

Terrill Brazelton


Regional chefs are doing their cuisine in the bigger cities – think Syrian, Calabrian or even Eskimo. Vegetable-driven restaurants will put the emphasis on creating new per-

Brazelton is the chef at Slice Pizza and Brewhouse in Birmingham’s Lakeview District. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene?

Birmingham has come such a long way in the food scene. While some cities have their pro sports leagues, we have five-star restaurants and treat dining out as our entertainment. Birmingham foodies have embraced their roots and eat right where their feet are here in the Magic City rather than heading to our neighboring larger cities like Nashville and Atlanta.  How about nationally?

More and more restaurants are opening. However, there are not enough passionate people working in the industry. Chefs spend so much time cultivating menus to please patrons, and this passion needs to be fluid from the chef all the way down to the servers explaining the dishes.

What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene?

How about nationally?

The farm-to-table movement is great and will continue. Also, Blue Apron and companies that provide recipes and food delivery will continue nationally.


Downey is the owner and chef at Bistro V in Vestavia.

Are there any current food trends that you’d like to see disappear in 2017?

Who am I to judge what people should do? If chefs are doing something well and it is working in their market, I say take a trend and turn it into a true staple!

Links for Living Christian Service Mission Makes Connections for Those in Need PAGE 27

Melissa Hughey Birmingham food scene?

I think comfort food is making a comeback with places like Hattie B’s and Melt. People want the foods they grew up up with – but maybe fancier versions. Our grandparents made their food at home; we like to go out and get it. Are there any current food trends that you’d like to see disappear in 2017?

Putting everything in smoothies. Let’s find another way to cook fruits and vegetables instead of hiding them. Jeremy Downey

spectives on the side item. It is now the star of the show and will showcase its versatility. As fish gets harder to find, there will be an emphasis on sustainable seafood, and that is a good thing. Are there any current food trends that you’d like to see disappear in 2017?

Sliders are dead. Loud restaurants are dead. Kale is not No. 1 anymore. Bye, kale Caesar. MELISSA HUGHEY

Hughey is a dietitian with Option Care Home Infusion. She’s a graduate of Hoover High School and the University of Alabama and has a master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. What do you see happening on the


Lassen is the owner of The Cook Store in Mountain Brook. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene?

Great places for people to pick up good food if they don’t enjoy cooking, like dinner. and Black Sheep Kitchen, both in Crestline. A homecooked meal that you can pick up is a treat. How about nationally?

I think we will continue to see organic as a trend.

Wesley Lassen

James Little


Little is the founder and director of Birmingham Restaurant Week and district manager at REV Birmingham What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene?

Chef-driven, fast-casual, local restaurants like Real & Rosemary are very popular right now and will continue to be. Housemade condiments are huge right now – you see them at local places like Five Points Public House, Dram/Avo, Vino and more. Farmstead and artisanal cheeses are a big trend also and are offered at many local restaurants, including the new Busy Corner Cheese & Provisions restaurant planning to open in See FOOD TRENDS, page 26


Food News PAGE 27


Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 25


‘It Is a Good Time to Be Cooking in Alabama’ What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene?

I see more and more Alabama farmers growing organically or at least sustainably, and the produce has never been so flavorful and beautiful. Surprisingly, the winter season is especially rich with all kinds of greens -- collards, kales, turnip, Swiss chard, spinach, dandelion and other cool weather crops: carrots, turnips, rutabagas, beets, radishes, etc. There are also local producers such as Marble Creek producing and

processing their own free range chickens of incredible quality. It is a good time to be cooking in Alabama. Are there any current food trends that you’d like to see disappear in 2017?

Foams, freeze-dried granules, undercooked egg whites that were darlings of the molecular gastronomy craze are falling out of favor and none too soon for me. Another trend we could do without is rude bartenders. There is nothing wrong with being gracious and polite. ❖

Frank Stitt


Nationally known chef Frank Stitt, along with his wife and business partner, Pardis, owns the highly acclaimed Birmingham restaurants Highlands Bar & Grill, Bottega Restaurant and Café, and Chez Fonfon. The James Beard Foundation named him Best Chef of the Southeast in 2001, and he was nominated for Outstanding Chef in 2008. Highlands Bar & Grill has been nominated for the Foundation’s prestigious award for Outstanding Restaurant each year since 2009. Stitt also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance and was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2009, the most distinguished award given to an Alabamian. In 2011, Stitt was inducted into Esquire magazine’s Restaurant Hall of Fame and to the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.” 

“Bill Priddy made buying our first home easy.” Brandon and Jaimie Burroughs with sons Liam (6) and Lane (8) When Brandon and Jaimie Burroughs decided to look for their first family home, they turned to Realtor Bill Priddy for advice.  “We found a home we fell in love with, but it was a foreclosure and we didn’t know anything about the process,” says Brandon. “Bill walked us through every step.”  With two young boys and busy careers, having professional guidance was a huge help. “Bill worked really hard and attended to all the details.  We didn’t have to know a thing,” says Jaimie.  “We can’t say enough good things about Bill.” Bill Priddy appreciates being a part of the ARC Realty family. “We have the best tools and support available anywhere.”  For more information on Bill Priddy and ARC Realty’s listings, visit

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26 • Thursday, January 12, 2017

FOOD TRENDS, From page 24

the Pizitz Food Hall. A lot of restaurants source local produce and seafood but take it a step further with hyper-local food sourcing, where they are growing produce and other ingredients found on their menu right in their own backyard. By employing this and similar tactics, restaurants have less waste and spend less money on produce, leading to increased revenue. They’re also finding ways to reduce food waste by creating innovative ways to use every part of a food item in some way in their menu. How about nationally?

Anything that can shorten the time it takes to get food and improve that process is a big thing now. Little by little you’re seeing more and more places offering customers ways to get food faster, quicker and easier. You can have the same restaurant or food experience at home through an app like UberEats that offers local food delivered to your doorstep or grocery store models that have “click and pick” and drive-up options like the new Amazon grocery stores. You can walk in and walk out without standing in a line, and that is desirable to consumers.

FOOD I think that we are going to see more of ethnic foods like Ethiopian, Jamaican and Cuban – cuisines full of different types of spices and bold flavors. 

School and the University of Alabama. François is a real estate investment expert. Kali recently cofounded Elysian Fields International, a company that imports saffron from Herat, Afghanistan. They live in Forest Park.

How about nationally?

I think the same trend is already happening nationally. We are seeing many restaurants expanding their spice repertoire and using sumac, cardamom, aji peppers, pimenton, etc. 

What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene?

François: The thing I’m most excited about in 2017 is the opening of the Pizitz Food Hall. It’s a new concept for and addition to the city. I’ve experienced Krog Street Market in Atlanta. It’s awesome – a one-stop place to drink, eat and socialize. In 2016, the creativity in Birmingham was particularly interesting, with Ovenbird, Fancy’s on 5th, The Marble Ring speakeasy, and the affordable and great wine tastings at the one and only Chez Fonfon. The quality of cocktails is great in Birmingham, especially thanks to mixologist Angel Negrin, who can be found at Collins’ Bar and Lou’s. More quality ethnic food in Birmingham would be great. The best Thai food is by chef Josh Haynes, who deserves his own restaurant (versus pop-up dinners), hopefully soon.


Joseph Mitchell


Chef Mitchell is the Jefferson State Community College Culinary and Hospitality Institute’s program director. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene?

Growing and becoming more competitive, which is good for consumers and the industry. We are fortunate to have so many great restaurants and restaurateurs. Driving this growth is the community of patrons willing to dine out and spend money. However, to succeed in the restaurant industry, you have to have repeat business, and you get this through customer loyalty. This is achieved by delivering consistently and producing a product based on quality and excellent customer service. Consumers have so many choicDAVID AND JOE MALUFF es; they will give you a try but The Maluff brothers are co-owners will not return if not satisfied. of Full Moon Bar-B-Que. This will encourage chefs and What do you see happening on the restaurateurs to put their best Birmingham food scene? game on the table (pun intended), Birmingham’s food scene is influKali McNutt and François Braine-Bonnaire raise the bar and provide the best enced from cultures all over the possible ingredients, based on world. Traces of Italian, Greek and Kali: I would definitely mention quality cooking techniques while our own Lebanese ancestors brought chef Josh Haynes, who has Alloy focusing on value. This is good for all their culinary tastes to the Magic City Thai. His knowledge of traditional of us. and are fusing them into restaurant Thai cooking and cuisine is incrediHow about nationally? concepts. Soon we will have even ble. Having dinner at his home is a Nationally, as well as locally here more of a variety of ethnic cuisine treat, especially if you like spice. in Birmingham – we now rank nationoptions like Hawaiian, Israeli and There are some really interesting ally as a top food city to watch – we Ethiopian. food and beverage concepts coming will see a continuance of street foodHow about nationally? out of CO.STARTERS, a partnership inspired dishes, smaller portions at a If you travel to any large city, the between REV, Create value. I believe the inflated menu convenience of online ordering is Birmingham and MAKEbhm. I pricing cannot be sustained without everywhere. Having the option to recently graduated from the program, considerable quality – for example, place orders via smartphones or taband I’m excited to see my classmates foods that are fresh and focused on lets not only eliminates misunderbring their ideas to market. For examflavor and are exciting and nutritionstanding your customer on the phone ple, one guy just moved back from a ally founded. We will continue to see but it also long stint living and attention directed to natural ingredifrees up cooking in ents and environmental sustainabilityemployees Australia. I’m excitdesigned menus, which of course is a inside ed to see his modcontinuance of the farm-to-table conthese resern Aussie concept, cept.  taurants to Ironbark Kitchen, better grow in the coming NADIA RUIZ serve the months. His food is Ruiz, a native of Madrid, Spain, is customers delicious. the resident chef at Sur La Table at physically Personally, I’d The Summit. inside like to have an What do you see happening on the your resamazing but accesJoe and David Maluff Birmingham food scene? taurant.  sible wine bar in Are there Birmingham with esoteric wines from any current food trends that you’d places like Turkey, Georgia and Israel. like to see disappear in 2017? We need more delivery options. I’d As long as people still love their also love an upscale Indian or Afghan barbecue in 2017, all other trends can restaurant. Ethnic dishes I miss the stay!  most are blood sausage, andouillette (French style, not New Orleans style KALI MCNUTT AND FRANÇOIS sausage), bone marrow, ramen and BRAINE-BONNAIRE kati rolls. I wish there were more The two halves of this married options for really good oysters from couple have eaten in places all over outside the Gulf Coast. the world, from François’ native The good thing is that as long as France to Washington, D.C., where we have Chez Fonfon, we will be Kali worked for several years after happy. It is really world class and graduating from Vestavia Hills High Nadia Ruiz always perfect. 

Are there any current food trends that you’d like to see disappear in 2017?

I would like the kale trend to stop! We have inundated the food scene with all things kale – chips, Caesar salads, soups – and it is time to find a different green. JOSH SMITH

The Birmingham News and before that was a food and lifestyle writer for The Tampa Tribune. Her articles about food, books and culture regularly appear in Portico Mountain Brook and Birmingham magazine. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene?

Locally, I see increased appreciation for international foods and ethnic flavors of all kinds. I’m not just talking about restaurants and eating out. People are becoming more adventurous in their own kitchens. With comprehensive food sites like New York Times Cooking, more people are experimenting with different cuisines. And our Asian and Hispanic grocery stores and Middle Eastern markets make this easier than ever and very

Smith, a native of Wyoming, is the owner of Green Guy Gourmet. His company’s handcrafted, small-batch products include organic balsamic vinaigrettes and cricket chews (yes, you read that right) in oatmeal pie and coffee cake flavors. What do you see happening on the Birmingham food scene in 2017?

In 2017, I see more food businesses geared toward deliverable premade meals focused on specific lifestyles like vegan and paleo. I also anticipate seeing more authentic cuisines such as Mediterranean make an entrance into the Birmingham food scene as the market is wide open for fresh flavors.

Josh Smith How about nationally?

I see a trend of grilled PB&J sandwiches being a hit. I feel such items have abundant room for exploration, especially when chefs begin crafting their own butters and jellies. As for savory, I expect to see breakfast sandwiches with a variety of twists, including open-faced styles, to be a hit. Also, be on the lookout for raw, no-bake food items to become more popular, especially within the glutenfree, dairy-free and vegan communities. Are there any current food trends that you’d like to see disappear in 2017?

Being a healthy individual, I would like to see less overstuffed doughnuts, pastries and anything that consists of a heavy dose of sugar. I would also like to see the tapas and small plate trend fade away. Just charge another $5, add a little more food, and call it an entrée. SUSAN SWAGLER

For nearly 30 years, Swagler has written about food for newspapers and magazines across the country. She worked as a restaurant critic for

Susan Swagler

exciting. Hometown Grocery on Green Springs Highway is an absolute adventure. I like getting an unusual ingredient like pomegranate molasses from Nabeel’s market and seeing how many ways I can use it. My current favorite things from the Green Springs-area groceries: fruit in a cup at Mi Pueblo with everything spicy they care to put on it and the huge sangak bread at Mediterranean Food Market. I put this runner-size Iranian flatbread in the middle of the table and let people tear pieces off. Also, I like to surprise my family with unfamiliar sweets from these markets.

How about nationally?

I keep hearing about meat substitutes other than tofu. Jackfruit is one item that keeps coming up. I’ve seen these enormous, spiky fruits (weighing 50 pounds or more) in some supermarkets. Jackfruit has a pearlike flavor when ripe and raw and is savory and meaty when unripe and cooked. I understand it readily absorbs the flavors in which it’s cooked. Also, I’m seeing more plant waters other than coconut and aloe. I’m talking about things like cactus water and maple water and even artichoke water. I think meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron, Plated and HelloFresh will continue to be popular with busy cooks who like to try new things and value fresh, homecooked dishes. Are there any current food trends that you’d like to see disappear in 2017?

Well, I’m glad that cauliflower’s moment is over (although I have a friend who’s still making pizza crust from cauliflower, so maybe it’s not quite over). I’m a little tired of finding chia seeds where I don’t expect them. ❖


By Donna Cornelius

Cocktail Hour

Homewood Library Has a Hot Program Bartender and author Clair Lafferty will present Cozy Cocktails, a discussion of hot drinks for wintertime sipping, Jan. 13 at the Homewood Public Library. Those who attend can take their own mugs to enter a Most Outlandish Mug contest for a chance to win a special prize. The program is in the library’s large auditorium at 6:30 p.m. It’s for ages 21 and older. Tickets are $10 and include two adult beverages

Avondale, East Lake, Fairfield, North Birmingham, Pratt City, West End and Woodlawn. “There are no grocery stores in some neighborhoods, so people – especially those with transportation problems – end up shopping at the corner store and paying high prices,” Hipps said. Another component of CSM’s food ministry is its gardens. Six are on partners’ property throughout the Birmingham area. “We help establish the gardens with our partners, and then they run them,” Hipps said. In addition to one outside garden, CSM’s Avondale campus has a hydroponic and aquaponic garden. Aquaponics is a system that combines conventional aquaculture – in this case, raising fish – with hydroponics, which is cultivating plants in water. “We also do canned food drives,” Marshall said. “Once a year, we do Thanksgiving turkey and ham baskets. This last Thanksgiving, we did about 3,200 baskets. We had about 1,000 volunteers for that. We don’t have people line up here to receive the baskets. We have them visit one of our partners, or we deliver the baskets to their homes.” Marshall said she’s excited about another plan for CSM’s food ministry. “We’re trying to put in a commercial kitchen so that we can have cook-

ing clubs to influence what people cook and how they cook it,” she said. “We can cook together and talk about menus that are healthy but affordable.” While feeding the hungry is one of CSM’s main missions, the organization has other programs, too. Its housing ministry builds and repairs houses to improve living conditions, restore neighborhoods and revitalize Birmingham’s inner city communities. Its outreach ministry focuses on evangelism and provides opportunities for service. “We have about 10,000 volunteers a year,” Hipps said. “They can help out with food distribution, in our shop or in the kitchen. We have only eight fulltime staff members, so volunteers are crucial. You can come in and serve for a couple of hours if that’s all the time you have.” Marshall said entire families can pitch in at CSM. “When you can bring your children in to volunteer with you, it makes a great impact in their lives,” she said. “They can help sort canned goods or put bread in boxes. It’s not just mom coming in; kids come, too, especially during the holidays and summers.” Students come to help from all over the Birmingham area – and they often end up making new friends as well as serving others.

“We have kids from Over the Mountain schools and inner city schools, and we’ve brought them together,” Marshall said. Christian Service Mission was founded in 1971 by Johnny Lynch. Over the years, the organization operated thrift store and women’s shelters as well as providing food distribution. During the 1980s through 2000, CSM operated Food Source, which distributed food to about 60,000 families every month in Alabama and other Southern states. In 2010, Hipps became executive director, and CSM took on the ministry structure it has today. The South Carolina native first came to Birmingham in 1980 to go to Southeastern Bible College. He worked in Chicago as a missionary and returned to Birmingham in 1990. He said he and Marshall went to church together and worked together in other charitable efforts. Marshall, a former AmSouth banker, was at CSM from 1995 to 2005. “She first brought me here,” Hipps said. Marshall left CSM to work at the Center for Urban Missions and then for Changed Lives Christian Center. A few years ago, it was Hipps’ turn to bring Marshall back to CSM. “Tracy drew me back here,” she said. “Our hearts just connect. We have a friendship and are both ministryminded.” Hipps is a member of Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Vestavia Hills. Marshall, who’s from Birmingham, is a member of Metropolitan Church of God in Hoover. Another key staff member is Jamie Barnhart, CSM’s director of operations. The Samford University graduate managed editorial production for Southern Living and Coastal Living magazines for 13 years. She is a member of Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover and is on the board of Grace’s Kitchen and the African Children’s Mission.  Hipps said he didn’t take on the job of executive director without concerns. “The Lord called me here, and I told Him, ‘I don’t know what to do,’” Hipps said. “He said it’s all about the organization’s name – Christians serving the mission of God. It’s about responsible care for the least of these and spreading the gospel.” Christian Service Mission is at 3600 Third Ave. South in Birmingham. For more information about the organization and volunteer opportunities, visit or call 397-9999. ❖

and light refreshments. For tickets and more information, visit

For a list of participating restaurants and their websites, visit

culture booths. For tickets and more information, visit

Restaurant Week Revival

Another Happy New Year

Seasonal Suds

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Tracy Hipps, the executive director of Birmingham’s Christian Service Mission, has a pipe in his office. It’s not the kind your grandfather smoked but a piece of conduit – and it’s a symbol of his organization’s purpose and focus. “We’re about making connections,” Hipps said. Christian Service Mission, with headquarters in Avondale, serves those in need by working with partners that range from small churches and ministries to large nonprofits such as the Lovelady Center and Brother Bryan Mission. “We meet with prospective partners to find out what their vision is,” Hipps said. “Our goal is partnerships – connecting resources with needs. We talk and we collaborate. We’re very relational in what we do. We want to make disciples and to come together.” Hipps said a church pastor recently emailed him to ask if CSM could provide a bed for a family in need. “I told him we had a bed to give to his church, and then the church can give it to the family,” Hipps said. Rhonda Marshall, CSM’s food ministry coordinator, said the organization’s partners are able to provide long-term support to those who need it. “Our partners are ministering to these families,” Marshall said. “If someone comes here to get a bed, they wouldn’t connect with anyone. It would be just a quick fix. This way, they can become part of a local body which can provide continual care.” The food ministry program is a major component of the organization. CSM receives donations from corporate partners, buys large quantities of food at low costs and distributes that food to its partners. CSM is housed in the old Wood Fruitticher Grocery Co. building in Avondale and has about 80,000 square feet of warehouse space – something churches and other groups don’t have. “We have 8,600 square feet of cold storage space alone,” Hipps said. “Our freezer is the size of a basketball gym.” Marshall is in charge of food distribution – a big job since CSM partners with about 50 organizations that serve 10,000 or so families. “Food is a great connector,” Hipps said. “Eighty percent of this city is in a food desert.” A food desert is an urban area in which it’s difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food. CSM targets communities that fall into this category:

Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 27


Tracy Hipps, the executive director of Birmingham’s Christian Service Mission, right, with Rhonda Marshall, CSM’s food ministry coordinator.

Links for Living Christian Service Mission Makes Connections for Those in Need

REV Plans Winter Edition of Birmingham Restaurant Week REV Birmingham is the organizer for Winter Restaurant Week 2017, set for Jan. 20-29. More than 30 locally owned and operated restaurants in the Birmingham area will offer prix fixe lunch and dinner menus. No tickets are needed, but restaurant reservations are recommended.

Chinese Festival Showcases Food, Culture If you didn’t do enough celebrating Jan. 1, you’ll get another opportunity at the 11th annual Chinese New Year Festival on Jan. 28. The event, presented by the Birmingham Chinese Festival Association, is from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. at Boutwell Auditorium in downtown Birmingham. The Chinese American community will celebrate Lunar Chinese New Year with food, colorful stage shows and

Winter Beer Festival Set for Feb. 4 You can try more than 150 craft beers at the first Winter Beer Festival, on Feb. 4 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. Red Mountain Entertainment is presenting the event from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The festival also includes Cooking with Beer demos, a mixology garden and educational programs. General admission, VIP and designated driver tickets are on sale now at and at Birmingham Piggly Wiggly stores. ❖

Rehab Reality by Jeff Butler

So you made it through the holidays. Now what?

Every year we start fresh with new resolves to improve our life. You know the ones: loose weight, stop smoking, join a gym or exercise more, stop drinking and the list goes on. Addiction to alcohol isn’t just a matter of making the decision to quit. For many it’s become a physical need and simply quitting by one’s self isn’t possible. The physical and emotional desires are still there. Bayshore Retreat addresses the physical with 30 days of sauna therapy to cleanse the body, thereby eliminating the craving. At the same time over 30 hours of pier and master level counseling combined with Life Skills coaching weekly helps address the psychological reasons. Unlike the ‘big box’ facilities that provide a 3 or 4 day detox and a 12 step program; the homelike environment at Bayshore Retreat with only 6 clients at a time gives one a better chance beating the addiction for good. Psychology Today lists Bayshore Retreat as one of the TOP treatment centers in the USA and we work hard to prove it everyday.

850-687-6831 Destin, FL Healing water front setting Licensed & court approved


28 • Thursday, January 12, 2017


A Silver Wedding for Magic City Bride Mountain Brook Native Melds Traditions in South American Ceremony

By Sarah Kuper ngagements and weddings incorporate many traditions. Precious metals are used to forge wedding bands and engagement rings. While Birmingham is synonymous with a less precious metal – iron – the small village of Salta, Argentina, is steeped in the rich and beautiful history of silver. That’s one reason Mountain Brook bride Sarah Kate Sullivan chose to marry Salta native Juan Martin Uriburu Quintana with the backdrop of the Andes Mountains rather than the statue of the Vulcan. The two married Dec. 17 at the iconic Basilica San Francisco in a “Silver of Salta” themed wedding that incorporated traditions from both of their cultures. The couples’ romance began when

Sullivan studied in Buenos Aires as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa. A University of Alabama graduate, Sullivan spent time in Washington, D.C., as a congressional secretary before pursuing her master’s degree in Argentina. Sullivan continued in Buenos Aires for her Ph.D. in political science at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. She was introduced to Uriburu during an interview for her thesis project. Uriburu, an expert on Chinese economics and a Mandarin-speaking attorney, met Sullivan for lunch. “After our interview over lunch,” Sullivan said, “he asked me if we could continue our conversation over dinner. It was unclear if this was professional or personal, but after several dinners it became

Sarah Kate Sullivan and Salta native Juan Martin Uriburu Quintana were married Dec. 17 at the iconic Basilica San Francisco in a “Silver of Salta” themed wedding that incorporated traditions from both of their cultures.

clear.” The couple found they had many things in common, including ties to Alabama and Washington, and after 10 months the two were engaged. During their courtship, Sullivan had become enchanted with the beauty and community of Salta, in the northwest corner of Argentina near Bolivia and Chile, and she was eager to share that love with her family and friends. So it was decided that the picturesque town and the historic San Francisco basilica would be the setting for their nuptials.

Photos special to the Journal




A Piece of Cake

Homewood’s New Wedding Library Gives the Power Back to Brides PAGE 30

Weddings Special Section BEGINS ON PAGE 31



Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 29

Experience this bridal event as walking through a visual interactive museum gallery. Bringing inspiration, creative design and insight to the brides. We will bring Alabama Weddings Magazine to life so brides can see, touch and hear how dreams and ideas can come to life before their eyes, while personally meeting the creatives and seeing the essential team-work of all exhibitors.

presented by magazine Sunday, February 19, 2017 1:00pm-4:30pm Grand Bohemian Hotel, Mountain Brook

30 • Thursday, January 12, 2017



A Piece of Cake

Homewood’s New Wedding Library Gives the Power Back to Brides By Emily Williams

Engaged, A Wedding Library owner Stephanie Whitaker, far left and above left, with Engaged librarian Elizbeth Farr.

Photos special to the Journal


rom the time she was a child, Stephanie Whitaker dreamt of her wedding day. Her dream became reality 13 years ago, but her love of planning weddings never faded and took her from working in accounting to creating a space for herself in the wedding industry. That space is Engaged, A Wedding Library. “I’d say Engaged is the middleman between hiring a full-service wedding planner and doing everything on your own,” Whitaker said. Engaged has existed for about nine years, but it recently has evolved into its own business. The idea for the business was born from Whitaker’s decision to purchase a franchise of the “Perfect Wedding Guide” magazine. After about a year and a half of running the magazine, Whitaker said, she opened Engaged as a complimentary resource for brides – a specialized list of local vendors offering everything from food and flowers to the finer details, such as calligraphy. The internet is saturated with wedding planning information and ideas, Whitaker said, and for self-starting brides who like to be hands-on in their wedding planning process, it’s a minefield. Popular planning websites such as “The Knot” and “Style Me Pretty” offer enormous lists of vendors from all over the world but has no way of vetting that each vendor is legitimate. To solve that problem and make the process easier for brides, Whitaker decided to create a vendor list that exists on the local level. “The difference with Engaged is that we have a personal relationship with every single

one of our vendors,” she said. “We know what their work looks like because we have seen it.” The range of vendors is vast, from Birmingham legends such as Kathy G. and Company catering and The Club to a younger girl just added who does calligraphy work for weddings on the side of her full-time job. Every bride is different, Whitaker said, some want to do everything on their own, some want to get involved but don’t really know how to and some just want a full-service planner. “Our main goal is to educate them,”

Whitaker said. “We want to make every option available to them so that this process goes as smoothly as possible.” Brides who visit Engaged’s storefront in Edgewood for a free consultation never leave empty handed. In addition to packets of information and maybe a little gift, Whitaker and Farr give them access to the online vendor list. For $98, a bride can purchase The Library Card. “This is a bride’s best friend,” Whitaker said. “Being on our list is a win-win for vendors, so they offer discounts to our members. It basically pays for itself after one use.” The library also offers packages from $198 to $500, which cover a range of planning support from budget planning to design plans. Pulling from the bride’s Pinterest account and general taste in style, the Engaged girls

work on creating a vision board that shows the bride what colors she seems to favor and look she seems to enjoy. “Then, we take their budget and vision board and match them with vendors,” Whitaker said. “We’ll give them choices of anywhere from two to five vendors for most categories.” Engaged continues to remain involved, sending email reminders, recommended questions to ask vendors, checklists and a wedding-day timeline to give to vendors. “I really could have used the day-of timeline,” Whitaker said, remembering her own wedding. “My flowers were late. We had to take pictures without them and they were handed to us right before we walked down the aisle. … The florist had the wrong time for the wedding.” She chose to plan her destination wedding in Seaside, Florida, which provided its own set of additional complications, having to plan accommodations for her guests while staying on top of her own wedding day checklist. ON TREND

Though Whitaker has been in the business of weddings for more than a decade, she said it’s up to her younger staff members to really keep her up to date on the latest trends. “A big trend we’re seeing is having the wedding and the reception in the same venue,” Whitaker said. She said she feels that the trend is due to the growing popularity of contemporary churches with large stages and auditorium seating that simply doesn’t work well for weddings. There is also a movement back toward classic weddings.

See ENGAGED, page 35

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 and catering, 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 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. Sites 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

Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 31



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 and fans A small amphitheater provides 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 high quality and luxury jewelry, Birmingham residents can come to Bromberg’s, one of America’s oldest family owned businesses for fine jewelry, watches, custom jewelry design, premier bridal registry and giftware. “We are Alabama’s oldest business,” said Ricky Bromberg. “We have been retailers since 1836. One could say we have more experience in the wedding registry business than anyone else around today.

“We offer the largest and finest selection of china, crystal and silver in the Southeast, and so much more! We also 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 Road in Mountain Brook, 871-3276, and 131 Summit Blvd. at The Summit, 969-1776.

“We have been retailers since 1836. One could say we have more experience in the wedding registry business than anyone else around today.” RICKY BROMBERG, BROMBERG’S

32 • Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Birmingham Museum of Art The Birmingham Museum of Art is an elegant and modern venue, suited to host any wedidng event, such as engagement parties, bridal luncheons, teas, showers down to the ceremony and reception. “If you choose the Museum for your wedding, you can utilize all of our event spaces – Oscars Café with the dramatic spiral staircase; the 8th Ave Lobby, which has the Dale Chihuly colorful blown glass adorning the wall; and the multi-level Charles Ireland Sculpture Garden outside,” said Jestina Howard, special events planner. “All of the galleries in the Museum will also be open during your event, which gives your guests who

WEDDINGS may have never been to the Museum a chance to see our wonderful collections. “We only book one event per evening, so you and your guests will have the entire Museum to yourselves. “I have been an event planner for 19 years, managing and executing everything from corporate events to weddings. I have a level of experience that gives total confidence to my clients and allows them to relax and not worry that things will be handled. I’m passionate about what I do and strive to deliver the best experience to my clients so that they will book our venue again for another special event. “I have four tips for couples planning a wedding,” Howard said. “One: Hire an experienced wedding planner. They can make the process of planning a wedding stress free and you won’t have to worry that all of the details will be taken care of on your special day. “Two: Make sure all of your outside vendors such as florists, musicians, decorators etc. get a copy of the venue’s facility policies so they know what’s allowed and not allowed, how to load in, setup and load out of the venue so nothing is damaged. “Three: Take 5-10 minutes to eat a bite and enjoy your new spouses’ company in private before greeting your guests at the reception. “Four: Think about the age range of the guests you’ll invite to your wedding for seating purposes. Make sure you have a tables and chairs or lounge areas if you have an older crowd because they don’t like to stand for very long periods of time. If you have a younger crowd you can utilize more hi-boy tables because they will probably dance more and not sit as much.” Birmingham Museum of Art is located at 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., 254-2681.

Levy’s Fine Jewelry “Levy’s Fine Jewelry is the largest estate and antique jewelry dealer in the Southeast. We specialize in estate, antique and modern jewelry,” said Jared Nadler, above left, with his mother Rhoda Link and cousin Todd Denaburg, members of the family that has owned the business since 1922. “Our bridal selection is extensive,” Nadler said. “We have rings dating back to the Victorian era. The older rings are so beautifully made with such intricate detailing done by hand. Made with filigree detailing or engraving, each is a one-of-akind piece. The rings from the Art Deco era are edgy and bold, have sharp lines and use different color combinations such as onyx, sapphire or emerald. We also have gorgeous estate wedding bands with beautiful engraving. Some of these still have wedding dates or names of the couple engraved on the inside, which makes them so special. With these pieces you get to imagine what the women who had them before were like and make up your own story.”


“We also have a large modern bridal area,” Denaburg said. “There are so many different styles such as classic Tiffany settings, halo settings, vintage reproductions and many others. We have rings set with a diamond already or you can choose from one of the many semi mountings that allows you to choose the size diamond you want for the center. If we don’t have exactly what you are looking for or you would like to alter one of the designs you have seen, one of our four award-winning jewelers can help you design whatever may be the perfect ring for you. We guarantee that you will leave feeling ecstatic in your choice and that once you propose, she will be the envy of all her friends. “Our motto has always been ‘It’s Like Having a Relative in the Jewelry Business’ and the reason is, because we like to think all of our customers are an extension of our family. Our trained GIA staff works to give you the information you need to find what works best for her lifestyle and your wallet.” Levy’s Fine Jewelry is located at 2116 Second Ave N., 251-3381.


Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 33


Popcorn mesh bracelets with genuine gemstones and diamonds handmade in Italy

The Hoover-Randle Home & Gardens The Hoover-Randle Home & Gardens is a historic Southern estate that offers a beautiful backdrop for all wedding events. The 8,000-square-foot interior of the home and the six acres of extensive gardens can be customized to fit all your celebrations -- engagement parties, intimate weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners, bridesmaids’ luncheons and couple showers -- elegant to trendy, barbeques to seated dinners. Barbara and Ed Randle have always loved to entertain in their home, in fact, it has been a hub for family and corporate get-togethers, private weddings and fundraisers for almost 25 years. In 2017, for the first time, the home is available for others to make their memories there. “Starting a new event business is definitely an all-hands-on-deck deal for us,” Ed Randle said. “Our children and our grandchildren are involved, plus our life-long family friend, Tahara Evans, is helping with sales and marketing. Tahara has over

25 years of marketing, sales and event planning experience and is looking forward to working with brides and their wedding vendors.” Members of The Hoover-Randle Home & Gardens staff include, from left, Stacy Randle, Stacy Murdoch Randle, Barbara Randle and Tahara Evans. “The Hoover-Randle Home & Gardens is totally unique. I don’t believe there is another venue like it in this area,” said Tahara Evans. “And, while we would love to be everything to everyone, we realize that is unrealistic. We try to remind our brides the same thing. You can’t please everyone, so don’t even try! Remember this is your special day, and you and your groom should think about what is most important to you. The two of you should make a list of priorities and refer to it often to stay grounded in what is important. And finally, don’t forget to ask for help. The Birmingham area wedding industry offers some of the top professionals in the Southeast, and we welcome the opportunity to work with them.” Hoover-Randle Home & Gardens is located at 2255 Tyler Road in Hoover, 957-9540.

Handmade braided woven bracelets with sapphires

Shay’s Jewelers

petitive pricing on, especially when selecting a diamond with us. We also have a wide selection of anniversary and special occasion jewelry.” braided woven For more than 10 years Shay’s Handmade Jewelers has Morgan has been committed to the jewelry been providing customers with fine bracelets diamondwith andsapphiresindustry for over 20 years while providing brides gemstone jewelry.  and grooms with the essentials needed for their “With a dedicated and passionate staff of weddings.  “When preparing for your wedding, make sure to give yourself ample amount of time for the LORNA ROAD • HOOVER • 978-5880 design and purchase of your rings,” said Shay. Shay’s has a great3301 selection “You may want the bands engraved also, which of fashionable and classic may take a little extra time but is worth the wait when planning ahead.  We offer bridesmaids jewdiamond mountings ... elry gifts as well as options for grooms men gifts. We also want you looking spectacular so Gemological Institute of America consultants, we don’t forget to stop by and have us clean and offer expertise repair and design,” said Shay check your engagement ring along with any jewelMorgan, owner. “We provide free cleaning and ry you will be wearing on your wedding day.” inspection of our customers’ jewelry in store. Shay’s has a great selection of fashionable and Shay’s Jewelers is located at 3301 Lorna classic diamond mountings which we offer comRoad, Suite 1, 978-5880.

Planning an event?

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Celebrate your event at this one-of-a-kind Southern estate. The Hoover-Randle Home is situated on six acres of beautifully manicured gardens in historic Bluff Park in Hoover, Alabama.



CELEBRATIONS 205.957.9540 or 2255 Tyler Road, Hoover, Alabama 35226

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34 • Thursday, January 12, 2017

Clubhouse on Highland Nestled in the Highland Park Historic District, Clubhouse on Highland is fine Arts and Crafts style event venue fit to accomodate a variety of events including 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 Europeanstyle 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



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. 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.

JB & Co. For more than three decades John Bromberg has been working with brides and grooms on there wedding jewelery. In November, Bromberg opened his own fine jewelry boutique at One Office Park Circle. The boutique is easily accessible in the park’s first building off of Cahaba Road where parking is plentiful. As a sixth-generation jeweler with a Gemological Institute of America degree, Bromberg is a member of the New York Diamond Dealers Club. His extensive expertise and long-standing

Clubhouse on Highland "A Place Where Good Things Happen"

relationships allow him to offer clients unique access to exquisite jewelry at an exceptional value. “We have a fine collection of bridal, antique and custom jewelry,” said Bromberg. “We have an expertise in antique cut diamonds and period jewelry, including Edwardian, Belle Epoque, Art Deco, Retro and Modern periods at JB & Company. “Visit the JB & Co. boutique and see these old European-cut diamonds and Old Mine cut diamonds in the classic platinum mountings of the day.” JB & Company is located at One Office Park Circle, Suite 201, 478 -0455.

j b a n d c o j e w e l r y. c o m


Centered Old European Cut Diamond at 1.74 carats flanking Bullet Cut Baguette Diamonds Platinum Mounting

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 •

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“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 2017 – the Birmingham Zoo is set to open a new event lawn later this summer. The lawn will be equipped with a stage area, lighting 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.

Photo special to the Journal

The Birmingham Zoo

Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 35


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,” said Morgan Berney, director of marketing and public relations, pictured above. “In addition to our private event space, we also offer a truly unique experience on Valentine’s Day, ‘I Do with A View,’ our annual package creating a beautiful and hassle-free wedding experience.  “We have been working with brides and grooms since the reopening of Vulcan Park and Museum in 2004. When planning your big day, consider a venue that will be uniquely memorable to your guests. We have all of that and more.” Vulcan Park and Museum is located at 1701 Valley View Dr., 933-1409.

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SILVER WEDDING, From page 28

“Salta is actually a lot like Alabama. It is traditional and conservative and rural with beautiful plantations. Still, my mom never thought she would plan a wedding in Argentina,” Sullivan said. As word circulated that Sullivan’s wedding would take place more than 21 hours away from Alabama, close friends and family grew eager for rather than daunted by the unusual destination wedding. “My aunts and cousins said they wouldn’t miss it and it was the trip of a lifetime. They want to go back.” As wedding planning progressed, both the bride and groom sought to incorporate wedding traditions from their respective cultures, which led to a lot of firsts. “Bridesmaids and groomsmen aren’t usually in weddings there, so it was the first time the church had ever had a wedding with a bridal party,” Sullivan said. The bride and groom each had 12 attendants, and their parents served as the godparents of the wedding, an Argentinian custom. The taupe and silver tulle and jeweled bridesmaids dresses were coordinated by Bella Bridesmaid in Homewood, and the bride’s dress was a satin sweetheart ball gown by designer Augusta Jones. Sullivan found the gown at Carriage House Weddings boutique in Homewood. Sullivan chose a custom lace, Spanish-style bolero to accent her dress and wore a cathedrallength family mantilla veil. The groomsmen wore the formal Argentinian wedding attire of a morning suit. The bride carried a bouquet of white lisianthus and roses wrapped with lace from her mother’s wedding gown. Sullivan arrived at the church with her father in the Uriburu family’s 1937 Dodge convertible coupe with a rumble seat. Sullivan said her vows in Spanish while Uriburu said his in English. The reception was held at a social club in Salta and even more Argentinian and Alabama traditions were on display. The couple had a traditional American wedding cake in addition to a table of sweets with small cakes and pies, as is custom in Argentina. For the dance floor, Sullivan and Uriburu chose music both cultures would enjoy, including classic hits from Elvis and even Bruno Mars’ “Marry Me” as an entrance song. In Argentine tradition, the bride and groom are the last to leave the reception. For Sullivan and Uriburu, this meant the party wasn’t over until 6 o’clock the morning after their wedding. Sullivan estimates there were about 300 guests from 13 countries at the wedding, at least 40 of them from Birmingham. Sullivan is thankful so many traveled so far to share their wedding day in a place so dear to the couple. “We wanted to create an opportunity for people who talked about visiting but hadn’t had a chance. And to meet his lovely extended family,” she said.

The couples’ romance began when Sullivan studied in Buenos Aires as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa. A University of Alabama graduate, Sullivan spent time in Washington, D.C., as a congressional secretary before pursuing her master’s degree in Argentina. Sullivan continued in Buenos Aires for her Ph.D. in political science at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.

“Salta and its surrounding landscape alone are an important reason to visit. It was really our last chance to bring people to see.” The newlyweds enjoyed a short honeymoon trip to the wine country surrounding Salta and will be taking a longer vacation to Antigua this summer. Soon, the couple will relocate to Washington to further their careers and enjoy married life. ❖

ENGAGED, From page 30

People will always love a barn with a big old chandelier as a venue, Whitaker said, but they’re turning back toward classic elegance to dress the tables. Whitaker’s favorite trend, which she finds isn’t really a trend at all, is adding in completely personal touches to a wedding. Don’t think handmade decorations, think little nods to family favorites or traditions. “One of our grooms loves his mom’s sausage balls,” Whitaker said. “So, his mom made probably 500 sausage balls and they passed them around on platters at the wedding.” Whitaker’s brother and his bride took on the non-trend, as well. The couple chose to give out handmade Christmas ornaments from Prodigal Pottery. The ornaments are handmade by women who reside at King’s Home in Chelsea. No matter what a bride chooses, Whitaker and Farr just want them to have fun. “Weddings can bring out the worst in people,” Whitaker said. “We have a small group, Wife Life, that our brides can join in on and we have the best time.” The group meets every second, third and fourth Wednesday of each month to discuss every marital topic imaginable, from finances to marital expectations. In the midst of what Whitaker deems “engagement season” – when grooms plan proposals around Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day – Engaged is hosting the first of one of its regular events “Sweet Saturday” on Jan. 21. Brides and their grooms are invited to taste samples of cakes from each of the vendors on Engaged’s list. There will be cakes covering the office, according to Whitaker, and maybe even a doughnut tower from Heavenly Donuts. For more information on Engaged, A Wedding Library, visit engagedbirmingham. com. ❖

Vestavia Hills Schools, Waguespack said he doesn’t have a simple teaching philosophy. But his experiences and the wisdom he gleaned from them all lead to a simple lesson he believes spells true success for students: Use what you learn. “I want them to see something in their daily lives that is connected to

Journal photo by Emily Williams

‘I ask them to pick about five topics that they are personally interested in and then find a way to connect it to the environment.’

Environmental science teacher Brad Waguespack was recently named Teacher of the Year in Secondary Education by the Vestavia Hills Schools system.

No Reservations

Vestavia Secondary Teacher of the Year Brings Expeditionary Experience to the Classroom By Emily Williams

all in as he leads a classroom at his alma mater, Vestavia Hills High School. Recently named Teacher of the Year in Secondary Education by the


Brad Waguespack has been party to a world of experiences in his teaching career and he’s reeling it



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something we have learned and have the ability to engage in a discussion about it,” Waguespack said. There are always lessons that simply follow the state curriculum, he said, but the bulk of his environmental science class can be connected to current environmental event topics. His ideas in the classroom are a melting pot of experiences from his own education, summers spent leading Outward Bound expeditions, time he spent working as an environmental research assistant, and an eclectic collection of teaching jobs that took him from the remote Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana to New England and back home to Birmingham. His time on the reservation was less about Native American culture and more about the effects class and poverty have on education. There was an 86 percent unemployment rate and tensions were ever-present between Native Americans and mixed-race students. “The reservation is very close to the site of Custer’s Last Stand and the Battle of Little Bighorn,” he said. “And on the other side there’s an Amish community. So, that tension was always present.” During his time teaching at the St. Labre Indian School, tragedies were common and students sometimes were away from school for up to a month, but then returned. Beyond learning the fundamentals of teaching, Waguespack’s favorite lesson from that time was an awareness of how life outside of the classroom affects a student. “You don’t know what a student is going through outside of school,” he said. “You don’t know what responsibilities or struggles they go home to, so you have to be respectful of that.” After 3½ years on the reservation, living off the grid and two hours away from modern city conveniences began to take its toll.

Waguespack accepted an opportunity to move back to New England and teach at an expeditionary school called The Renaissance School. “The curriculum blended what you learn in a classroom with what you learn on an Outward Bound expedition,” he said. Students are taken on expeditions in nature much like the ones Waguespack led during his summers with Outward Bound, engaging in mountaineering, canoeing/kayaking and backpacking. Learning occurs in every step, Waguespack said, from learning how to paddle properly to learning how to work together as a team to safely make it to the top of a mountain. Though his students at VHHS don’t always love the idea, his favorite method of teaching is through group projects, which teach communication skills much like expeditionary lessons do. “Sure, when they’re problemsolving they aren’t on the side of a mountain, but challenges don’t always look that physical,” he said. Waguespack tries to teach students how to properly deal with common communication problems that arise in most workplace environments, whether it’s a co-worker who doesn’t pull their weight or a difference in opinion. In a break from the group mentality, one of Waguespack’s favorite projects is to ask students to create their own TED Talk-style speeches that share an idea they feel could better the world. “I ask them to pick about five topics that they are personally interested in and then find a way to connect it to the environment,” he said. Topics range from “the effect of fashion on the environment,” to “does access to wooded areas affect learning.” “I love when I get to see students use their own creativity and apply it to what they have learned,” he said. Among the many cogs that make up his teaching philosophy is the drive to be the kind of teacher that he remembers from his own experience attending VHHS. “The ones that I remember are the ones that had high expectations,” he said. “They expected us to learn the curriculum and gave us the support to do it.” Waguespack firmly believes that students are capable of learning anything, and every form of failure is an opportunity to learn and grow. “Nobody should ever be afraid of failure, because people fail all the time and in different ways,” he said. “With effort and work and practice, you can get there. There’s real value in that growth.” ❖

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Laura Buder Named Alabama World Language Teacher of the Year

On Jan. 4, Vestavia Hills High School announced that German teacher Laura Buder has been named the Alabama World Languages Teacher of the Year. As the winner, Buder will travel in March to the Southern Conference on Language Teaching and will be in the running for regional honors. Buder qualified for the award after being named Alabama German Teacher of the Year in 2016 by the state chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German. “I was honored and humbled to receive this award because I know how hard world language teachers work around our state,” Buder said Wednesday. “I think it shows that our world language program at Vestavia Hills High School is really doing a lot of good things.” According to the Alabama World Languages Association, Burden was awarded for demonstrating excellence in language education and promoting world language teaching and learning. Buder earned national recognition in 2016 as one of three teachers in the nation chosen for the Teacher of Excellence Award from the German Embassy in Washington.

Brock’s Gap Hosts Toy Drive for YWCA

Brock’s Gaps Intermediate School’s BUCS and SCA Clubs held a toy drive recently, collecting more than 500 toys for the YWCA. Students in the club took a day to volunteer at the YWCA and host a “gift shop” with parents working as personal shoppers, gift baggers and wrappers. Students served as craft buddies, paired up with YWCA kids to craft takehome goodie bags and took pictures with Santa. The event was a coordinated effort between BUCS Club sponsors, counselors Coley Robichaux and Terri Coleman, and SCA sponsors Ashley Sparks and Stephanie Watson.



Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 37

Oak Mountain High School and Spain Park High School both received awards at the Best Robotics Championship on Dec. 3 and 4 at Auburn University. A finalist in the Robotics Award category, Oak Mountain’s robot was considered a top performer, beating out much of the competition on the Bet the Farm-themed playing field. Robots had to plant corn seeds; harvest and deliver corn, hydroponic tomatoes and hydroponic lettuce; secure loose pigs and feed them; and turn on a water valve. The team was also awarded the firstplace title of Most Photogenic Robot. The Spain Park High School robotics team was the recipient of the first-place award for Engineering Notebook, the first-place award for Team Video, and the third-place award for Spirit and Sportsmanship. ❖

Photos special to the Journal

OTM Schools Receive Awards at South’s Best Robotics Championship

Oak Mountain High School’s robotics team won top honors at the BEST Robotics Championship in December.

MBJH Basketball Hosts Holiday Shop For Children’s of Alabama

The Mountain Brook Junior High seventh-grade basketball teams raised more than $500 to buy toys for the Sugar Plum Shoppe at Children’s of Alabama. Once the funds were raised, the teams gathered to buy toys for infants to teenagers and donated them to the shop where parents of patients can select gifts for their children for free. Parents of patients who spend the holidays in the

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hospital are able to shop in the Sugar Plum Shoppe free of charge. Members of the boys team include Edward Barze, Sims Brown, George Cain, Carson Camper, Patch Lyman, Mac McCowan, Will McIlvaine, Charlie McKimmon, Dive Rowe, George Scofield, Evan Shiflet and Jake Thompson. Members of the girl’s team are Harriet Adams, Nelle Bashinsky, Ava Darden, Callie Davis, Greer Golden, Hannah Hitson, Wels Holman, Alden Johnson, Kate Methvin, Lucy Redden, Emma Cate Rutledge and Maggie Windle. ❖

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Newcomer Zoe Watts, 34, is a homeschooler who became eligible under Alabama’s new Tim Tebow law, which allows home school students to participate in high school varsity competition.

From page 40

‘Our greatest strength is that we have a very balanced attack. We can play fast or slow and score either from the inside or the perimeter.’ HOMEWOOD COACH KEVIN TUBBS

Journal photo by Mark Almond

“We hated to see Coach Ward leave because she was so much a part of our lives,” she explained. “But Coach Tubbs is great, too. Coach Ward was more direct and would yell at us sometimes. Coach Tubbs doesn’t yell much. When he’s upset with a player, he makes her sit on the bench.” A real plus for Homewood has been the successful return of junior forward Ajah Wayne, who suffered a devastating knee injury in the loss to LeFlore in the championship final. Wayne is leading the team in scoring with a 13-point per game average. “I don’t think Ajah is at 100 percent yet, but she means so much to our team,” Tubbs said. “She will only get stronger as the year progresses.” The range and versatility of other veterans, including Barber and forwards Tori Webb, Shelby Hardy and Venice Sanders, give the Lady Patriots a scoring punch that few opponents can match. Hardy and Sanders are the only seniors on Homewood’s roster.   “Our greatest strength is that we have a very balanced attack,” Tubbs said. “We can play fast or slow and score either from the inside or the perimeter. Opponents have a tough time deciding how they are going to attack and defend against us. I would hate to scout us and try to decide how to prepare against us.” Tubbs isn’t exaggerating. His team has dominated the opposition so far, averaging 65 points a game while giving up only 38. Barber, a three-time all-Over the Mountain performer, is arguably the straw that stirs the proverbial Patriot drink. Already verbally committed to the University of Alabama, she averages 12 points and five assists per contest. “Having a great point guard such as Hannah is a major part of our success,” Tubbs said. “She could easily average 20 points a game but is much more concerned with our team’s overall performance. There is nobody in the state I would take over her.” Barber said her decision to make an early college commitment has helped her focus on the task at hand. “I wanted to put the recruiting thing behind me so I could fully concentrate on the season,” she explained. “I wanted my full focus to be on bringing a (championship) trophy


back to our school.” Another dimension in the Lady Patriots’ backcourt is newcomer Zoe Watts, a homeschooler who became eligible under Alabama’s new Tim Tebow law, which allows home school students to participate in high school varsity competition. Other contributors include juniors Lia Roberson, Alexia Hood, Kayla Mikula, and Kassidy Crawford; sophomore Maya Maxwell; and freshmen Kennedy Campbell and Kate Schumann. As bright as Homewood’s prospects for another state title appear to be, there are plenty of challenges on the horizon. The Lady Patriots compete in Area 10 against Ramsay, Shades Valley and Parker, which may be the state’s toughest league. “It’s always a tough road to win a state championship,” Tubbs cautioned. “You need a lot of luck just to make it to the final game. This may be the strongest year for Class 6A girls basketball that we’ve seen in a long time. We just have to stay focused and improve in every game.” Tubbs may have a different style from Ward, but the final outcome is the same: winning. Homewood will continue to do a lot of it. ❖

OTM Cheer Cleans Up at AHSAA Class 7A Championship

Front row, from left: Hayden Woods, Ashley Lawson, Kara Brooks, Sydney Garlington, Katelyn Richard, Amber Ajlouny, Sydney Eads, Emily Couch, Anna Mardis and Hannah Henley. Second row: Olivia Bishop, Emma Cunningham, Maddie Lee, Olivia Rodriquez, Grace Heglas, Mackenzie Massey, Noel Rengering, Grace Bonner, Lexi Connor, Harrison Bevis, Amelia Snider, Lauren Thompson, Elizabeth Knerr and Ashley Hopping. Third row: Mia Gage, Brooke Weidler, Senna House, Hannah Cate Armstrong, Catherine Calvano, Lauren Halcomb, Mallory Mardis, Katie Beth Brooks, Morgan Vanlandingham, Holly Prince, Anna Snider and Pressley Lankford. Not pictured: Skylar Bennett.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association hosted the state cheer championship Nov. 19, featuring top performances by local teams. According to Hoover officials, the 7A class is one of the toughest and most difficult cheerleading divisions in the country. Each team performed a two-and-a-half-minute performance that featured tumbling, jumps, stunts and more. Vestavia Hills High School’s team took second place at the competition. After cheering the Hoover Bucs football team to semi-final victory the night before, the Hoover High School Cheerleading team took third place. “We are incredibly proud of these young women,” said Coach Meri Glenn Freeman. “These student athletes have worked so hard and have surpassed all our expectations. We are excited about our Top 3 finish at State and we are looking forward to continuing our hard work as we prepare to compete in Orlando in February at the National High School Cheerleading Championships.” ❖


STOVES, From page 40

place in the individual competition, a strong showing but two spots shy of his coveted goal of a personal championship. Other highlights of his junior year included a first place finish in the Dick Clem Invitational and a second place showing in the Class 7A North Super Sectional. “Winning a state championship was special because Vestavia had not won it in a few years,” Stoves said. “It would be great to do that again, but I also want to earn one in my weight class before I leave here.” Additionally, the 2015-16 season was memorable at Vestavia because it concluded with the retirement of legendary coach Steve Gaydosh, who led the Rebels to 14 state championships. Former Vestavia wrestling star Tee Adams moved from Hewitt-Trussville to follow Gaydosh as the new coach. “They are both great coaches,” Stoves said. “Coach Adams wrestled for Coach Gaydosh when he was a student at Vestavia, so they are obviously a lot alike. Coach Adams may put a little more emphasis on conditioning.” When it comes to conditioning, Stoves doesn’t need the prodding of a coach. He regularly runs

BEASON, From page 40

at least two miles a day. “Staying in shape is a big part of what I do,” he said. “Sometimes I’ll run before school; sometimes after school. It’s not always fun, but it gets to be part of a routine.” Winning wrestling matches also is part of Stoves’ routine. He won first place trophies in the 145-pound class in the Trey Culotta Invitational

‘Winning a state championship was special because Vestavia had not won it in a few years. It would be great to do that again, but I also want to earn one in my weight class before I leave here.’ and the Heart of Dixie Class in December, on his way to 28 victories through the end of 2016.   Stoves’ most memorable victory may have come in his freshman season. In a dual meet against reigning state champion Thompson, Stoves took a 13-3 major decision against the

many years, his Homewood roots are deep. His first teaching/coaching job out of college was at Homewood Junior High in 1966, where he coached basketball and assisted with football. When Homewood High School launched in 1972-73, Beason was the logical choice to become the head basketball coach. He also worked as an assistant for Alvin Bresler’s Patriot football team, which would win a state championship in 1974.

Warriors’ highly regarded Cody Mealer in the 113-pound class. “That match was a big confidence builder for me,” Stoves recalled. “Thompson had the best team in the state and he (Mealer) was one of their best wrestlers. The fact that I could beat him by more than nine points showed that I could be successful at that level.” As is the case with most wrestlers, Stoves has a signature move. His is the single leg move, in which a wrestler gets behind an opponent and attempts to bring him to the mat by getting control of one of his legs. “I’ve done it thousands of times over the years,” he explained. “I like it as a quick way to try to get control of the match early on. If you can control your opponent’s leg movement, you have a good chance to win.” Stoves’ wrestling career will not continue in college. He plans to attend Auburn University next fall, and no school in the Southeastern Conference has a varsity wrestling program. “It would be great if the SEC had wrestling, but unfortunately, that’s not the case,” he said. “So I’m just going to go to school.” Before leaving Vestavia, Jack Stoves still has some unfinished business. There are still two more blue trophies he’d like to add to the Rebels’ trophy case. ❖

“Homewood was blessed with a lot of good coaches at that time,” Beason said, “such as Alvin Bresler, David Jones, Riley Harmon and others I could name. The best thing was that we had a really good bunch of kids with which to work. Having worked in the system previously, I had a pretty good grasp of the talent we had and what they could do.” Beason’s transition period was more than just starting a new basketball program at a new school. There

were also the winds of social change. “We went from a segregated system to an integrated one as the black kids from Rosedale came in,” he said. “It all went very smoothly.” Beason looks back on his life with few regrets. “I spent 41 years in education,” he said. “So I had a pretty full career. It was a nice ride.” Beason’s former players and many friends will have the opportunity to tell him the same thing on Jan. 21. ❖








and softball. “Being a game official gave me a totally different perspective from being a coach,” Beason said. “And I enjoyed it. But you don’t develop the relationships with the kids and others as an official or as an administrator as you do when you’re a coach.” While Beason has been gone for

Thursday, January 12, 2017 • 39






OTM Cheer Cleans Up at AHSAA Class 7A Championship PAGE 38

Last Year’s Disappointment Drives Lady Patriots


Beason Season Former Patriot Coach to Be Honored

More than 10 months have passed, and for the Homewood girls basketball team, the disappointing ending of the 2015-16 season is still a bitter pill to swallow. The Lady Patriots saw their dream of a second consecutive Class 6A title crash on the floor of the BJCC’s Legacy Arena, as LeFlore overwhelmed Homewood 80-65 in the championship finals last March. “The sting of that loss doesn’t go away,” junior point guard Hannah Barber said. “What happened last March still hangs over everything we do. It was a terrible feeling to come that far and lose. We don’t want to experience that again. We are all about making up for last year.” So far in the new season, Homewood has the look of a team on a mission. The Lady Patriots entered 2017 with a 16-1 record and an impressive array of victories, including a 51-43 triumph over perennial Class 7A power Hoover. Directing Homewood’s fortunes is Kevin Tubbs, who stepped in as head coach after JoVanka Ward moved on to Thompson. Tubbs is not exactly a stranger to the Patriot program, having served as an assistant for two years. He’s also the school’s athletic director. In the early going, the transition has been seamless. “The biggest key to our success has been that we have great players,” Tubbs said. “Our focus has been about improving in each game. Our players know that we did not play to our potential in the finals last year and fell one game short of repeating. It was a long spring and summer, so keeping our girls hungry and focused hasn’t been a problem.” Barber said the main differences between Ward and Tubbs are stylistic. See PATRIOTS, page 38

Power of Redemption

Hannah Barber and The Lady Patriots entered 2017 with a 16-1 record and an impressive array of victories, including a 51-43 triumph over perennial Class 7A power Hoover.

STOVES-TOP Rebel Wrestler Hopes to Bring Home Title

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

By Lee Davis

Jack Stoves

As a fourth-grader, Jack Stoves had a dream of participating in athletics. But his goal involved a sport played on a field, not a mat. Young Jack wanted to play football, and his dad had an idea how to make him stronger. “He thought it would be good for me to participate in wrestling,” Stoves said. “It would help with my strength and conditioning.” Stoves later decided that his second choice for

a sport was his best choice, and it’s a decision he’s never regretted. Now a senior at Vestavia Hills, Stoves is one of Alabama’s top wrestlers in his weight class. He’s 28-2 for the season and has his sights set on an individual and team state championship. Stoves was also a major contributor in the Rebels’ Class 7A state championship season last year, during which Thompson’s streak of five consecutive crowns was ended. He took third

See STOVES, page 39

Journal photo by Mark Almond

By Lee Davis

David Beason hasn’t coached a basketball game in 35 years, but he still remembers his final victory at Homewood as if it were played last week. “We were playing Shades Valley in the Region 7 finals at Mountain Brook,” he recalled when contacted recently. “They were a big favorite. At the end, our guy Rufus Hudson drew a charge and sank two free throws to win 40-39. I didn’t tell him to draw the charge. Rufus said he got the idea watching Oliver Robinson (former UAB All-American) draw a charge.” Wins of that caliber were common for the Patriots in Beason’s 10-year run as Homewood’s first basketball coach. Sparked by great talents such as Ronnie Greathouse and Tony Ellis, the Patriots earned two consecutive area titles in 1977 and 1978, including a Final Four appearance in the latter season. Beason started the tradition for quality basketball at Homewood – primarily with homegrown talent – and it continues into the 21st century. “We would get a good move-in every once in a while, but by and large we won with kids that grew up in Homewood,” Beason said. “That said a lot about the feeder programs and youth programs that we had then.” Beason will be honored at a reunion of his former players and associates Saturday, Jan. 21, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Homewood Recreation Center at 1632 Oxmoor Road. All former basketball players, athletes from other sports, student supporters and volunteers who had an association with Beason are invited. Contact Mark Lucas at mjlucas1809@ to RSVP or for more information. “When Mark called me, I was thrilled. I’ve had a pretty busy life and I haven’t had much contact with my former players over the years. I’m very excited about seeing everyone,” Beason, 72, said. “There are a few kids that I’ve seen and many I haven’t talked to since they were in high school. I really appreciate everyone who has worked to put this thing together. It’s going to be a real highlight for me.” Beason has spent the past three decades living in the Smith Lake area, working in school administration. He never coached after leaving Homewood, but he stayed involved in high school athletics as a game official for football, basketball, baseball See BEASON, page 39