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Mike Mouron to Receive Mountain Brook’s 2020 Jemison Visionary Award By Emily Williams


Nolan Turner’s Love for Football Turns Him Into Key Player for Clemson

hen Mike Mouron was first told he would be receiving the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Jemison Visionary Award, it was a complete surprise. He wasn’t even aware he had been in the running for the award, which is given annually to someone who has gone above and beyond to help the city. “I don’t think I realized the magnitude of it,” Mouron said. “And then, when the president of the chamber of commerce talked about it being tantamount to being the citizen of the year ... that raised it to a


See MOURON, page 12

he PlayStation Fiesta Bowl was a rollercoaster for JoyceMarie Turner and her son Nolan, a junior safety for the Clemson Tigers. Early in the fourth quarter of the NCAA football semifinal playoff game at Sun Devil Stadium, Turner was beaten on a 23-yard touchdown pass for Ohio State as the Buckeyes took a 23-21 fourth-quarter lead. “Oh my gosh. I was just crushed,” JoyceMarie recalled. “I thought, ‘That was Nolan.’ My heart hurt for him.” Clemson would retake the lead 29-23, only to see the Buckeyes drive down the field. “I was assuming we were most likely going to lose by one point,” the mom said of an anticipated touchdown and extra point. “I just, I couldn’t watch any longer. I just put my head in my lap.”

See TURNER, page 25

Journal file photo by Lee Walls

Photo by Catherine Pittman Smith

For Community and Country

By Solomon Crenshaw Jr.

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2 • Thursday, January 23, 2020




Murphy’s Law

V STATE OF THE CITY Brocato’s speech highlighted the city’s “growing and diverse economy” PAGE 8

FRIENDS OF SHADES CREEK Festival marks the annual migration of the elusive salamander PAGE 10

LEADERSHIP VESTAVIA HILLS 2019 Community Awards winners announced PAGE 12

A LOT LIKE MANHATAN Couple finds the walkable community they were looking for in renovated Eastbury PAGE 20


otmj.com With everything that’s happening “Over the Mountain,” it can be difficult to keep up. That’s why we have launched the OTMJ newsletter. Published every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - we’ll give you a quick recap of the latest news, sports and social events as well as a heads up on upcoming events so you won’t miss any of the interesting and fun happenings in the Greater Birmingham metro area. To sign up for our newsletter, visit otmj.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, @overthemountainjournal, for daily updates on what’s going on around town, too.


J O U R N A L January 23, 2020 Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writers: Emily Williams, Sam Prickett Photographer: Jordan Wald Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Rubin E. Grant Contributors: Susan Murphy, June Mathews, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls, Bryan Bunch, Solomon Crenshaw Jr. Advertising Sales: Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald, Gail Kidd Vol. 29, No. 11

Over The Mountain Journal is a suburban bi-weekly newspaper delivered to Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and North Shelby County areas. Subscriptions for The Journal are available for $24 yearly. Mail to: Over the Mountain Journal, P.O. Box 660502, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216. Phone: (205) 823-9646. E-mail the editorial department at editorial@otmj.com. E-mail our advertising department at mwald@otmj.com. Find us on the Web at otmj.com. Copyright 2019 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.

If I Ran the World – Installment #562

ariety is good. The world is in the restaurant, but I couldn’t make a far more interesting because similar compromise with the shower. there are different types of International shower chaos wouldn’t people, different genres of music, difbe that difficult to remedy. I’m guessferent flavors of Kool-Aid. When I ing most of the plumbing fixtures are write my column, I bank on the fact made by a handful of companies. If we that readers will be open to a slightly gathered all the CEO’s and gave them different point of view. some sensible guidelines, surely they In certain instances, however, it’s would be able to see the benefit of havnice to be able to approach a situation ing a single beautiful and useful design. confident that you will know exactly What say we save the whole build-ahow to proceed. Along those lines, I’d better-mousetrap quest for actually like to make a case for standardized catching mice, an upgrade I would perSue Murphy plumbing. sonally love to see. Really, I had a Some showers have one handle mouse visitor in my attic over the holithat controls both the temperature days but when I went to the hardand the water force. Even if it ware store to seek a solution, all of I had already used up the remedies were too horrible to requires several soggy attempts, there’s only one sweet spot to masthink about. A mousetrap that eventhe bulk of my ditzy ter. Other showers take a two dial tually released the poor creatures American points the approach – twice the effort, twice into a more welcoming environthe room for error. There are rain ment? There’s a worthy challenge. night before when I showers and handheld showers and Anyway, back to the shower couldn’t figure out how conundrum. showers where the water comes Just so the Plumbing squirting out of multiple nozzles to turn on the Nespresso Summit doesn’t sink into defensive simultaneously, which I’m guessing camps, let me say that, yes, the two machine. would be quite a surprise if you handled rain shower/ handheld weren’t expecting it. combo was an artful idea, but it may When I travel, I make a point of not be the right one going forward. deciphering the resident shower code before I even Or maybe it is. Just tell me so I can figure it out once unpack my toothbrush. In one hotel, I finally deterand for all. If anybody’s asking, I wouldn’t recommend mined that I had to slide one lever clockwise then my home’s shower set up, a weird configuration where depress a knob on a second handle in a counterclockyou first turn on the separate water dial, then pull down wise fashion until the water reached the desired temper- on the faucet nozzle. There are no instructions anyature. I was relieved to figure it out because I was where. going to be embarrassed to have to call down to the Think about it. If this effort were successful, from desk … again. I had already used up the bulk of my here on in you could check into any hotel, enter anyditzy American points the night before when I couldn’t one’s home and be assured of a pleasantly successful figure out how to turn on the Nespresso machine. The shower experience. OK, on that last part, I really would desk clerk was very patient with me and I did get the get the homeowner’s permission first, otherwise you thing running, but then couldn’t figure out how to turn could end up taking a shower in jail. it off so I stayed up half the night watching until the Standardized plumbing. Next on the agenda … selfmachine turned off by itself. After that, I had my coffee flushing toilets.

Over the Mountain Views

What’s the best party in town?

We all agree it’s the Jazz Cat Ball, the GBHS’ largest fundraiser! See story, page 6

Jude, a 1-year-old German Shepherd mix, can’t wait to meet his perfect family. This spunky pup loves to play, walks well on a leash, and is a semi-professional fetch player. Is this fluffy pup for you? Come visit Jude today!

Into lowriders? Then check out Boudin, a 9-year-old Basset Hound mix. This plus-size fella likes to live life in the slow lane and is searching for a home where he can enjoy the little things in life! Think this shorty is the one?

Liz is a 2-year-old Shepherd mix. She loves to play ball and knows how to sit. Stop by today, take a load off and meet Liz.

Speaking of the Jazz Cat Ball, Freddy is one cool cat! This 2-year-old gray tabby loves to kick back and relax! Even at parties!

For more information about these friendly animals and others available for adoption, please call 205-942-1211or visit gbhs.org.


ROAR the Cure Gala to Honor the Late Jimmy Koikos

Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 3


Save Save Save Save AAA Travel AAASTravel how how ! ! S AAA Travel how S AAA Travel Show!!

Radiation, Oncology Accelerated In 1974, Koikos and his brother, Research, also known as ROAR the Nicky, became the sole, joint owners Cure, recently announced it will of the restaurant, which has earned honor the late Jimmy Koikos, former many accolades under their leaderco-owner of the legendary Bright Star ship. Bright Star celebrated its centenRestaurant in Bessemer, at nial in 2007 and was the its ninth annual ROAR 2010 recipient of the James James Bond Gala. The gala Beard Foundation’s award is Jan. 25 at The Club. for “American Classic Koikos died Nov. 17 Restaurant.” after a seven-month battle “Jimmy was a consumwith bone cancer. mate supporter and gentle“Jimmy was one of our man, and it is a tremendous earliest and one of our honor to showcase him as staunchest supporters each our 2020 honoree,” year as the ROAR organiThompson said. “He was Jimmy Koikos zation seeks to raise funds such a hero to the ROAR to help fight cancer here at organization and to the the University of Alabama at physicians of UAB’s radiation oncolBirmingham’s radiation oncology ogy department, whose efforts Roar department,” said Martha Thompson, supports.” president of ROAR the Cure. “His This year’s gala will celebrate the tireless support has enabled us to raise life of Koikos, as well as the theme thousands of dollars for this very “License to Cure.” Festivities will important cause.” include dinner, a live auction presentKoikos was born April 21, 1938, ed by Granger, Thagard & Associates in Bessemer. His childhood home was and dancing to music by the band Total Assets. about one mile from the Bright Star The funds raised through the event Café, where his father was part will be matched dollar for dollar by owner. He attended the University of UAB physicians. Alabama after graduating from For more information, visit Bessemer High School but cut his Roar2020.givesmart.com or roarthetime short to take on a managerial cure.org. – Emily Williams role at the Bright Star.

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JAN. 23 - FEB. 6 Thurs., Jan. 23 Shades of Harmony: A Celebration of Black History

What: Through music written by black composers, and compositions inspired by the African American Spiritual, students will come to have a profound awareness of the struggles that have continued to inspire change. When: 10 a.m. Where: BJCC Concert Hall Website: alabamasymphony.org

Friends of Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest Fundraiser

What: Vestavia Library kicks of the new year with a fundraiser, featuring celebrated storyteller Dolores Hydock. Dolores Hydock Tickets required. When: 10-11:30 a.m. Where: Vestavia Library, Community Room Website: vestavialibrary.org

Robben Ford

What: This five-time Grammy nominee achieved worldwide fame for being a solo artist and for his collaborations with a diverse musical who’s who, including Miles Davis,

February 1, 2020 9AM – 2PM 9AM – 2PM Saturday, February 1, 2020 Saturday, Pelham Civic Center Pelham Civic Center February 2020 500 Ampitheater Road 9AM – 1,2PM 500 Ampitheater Road Pelham, AL 35124 Pelham, AL 35124 9AM – 2PM

George Harrison, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Dizzy Gillespie and more. When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Alys Stephens Center, Sirote Theatre Website: alysstephens.org

Pelham Civic Center 500 Ampitheater Road Pelham Civic Center Pelham, AL 35124

Jan. 23, 26 and 30 The Holocaust in Film

What: Keeping the history and lessons of the Holocaust alive, the Emmet O’Neal Library will continue its free, annual Holocaust in Film series, in partnership with the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center. When: Jan. 23 and 30, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Jan. 26, 2-4 p.m. Where: Emmet O’Neal Library Website: bhecinfo.org

Jan. 23-Feb. 9 Cabaret

What: With a score featuring songs that have become Broadway musical classics, “Cabaret” is a fierce, meaty musical. When: Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m. Where: Virginia IslandsWebsite: Samford Theatre,Cayman Mainstage virginiasamfordtheatre.org

Ampitheater Road AAA Also, call or500visit your Also, local call or visit your local AAA Pelham, AL 35124 branch January 25 – February 8, branch January 25 – February 8, 2020 to take advantage of to take advantage of 2020 Also, call or visit local AAA these amazing offyour ers during our these amazing offers during our branch January 25your –Sale! February 8, Travel Sale! AAA Travel AAA Also, call or visit local AAA 2020 to take advantage of branch January 25 – February 8, amazing off ers duringofour 2020 to take advantage AAA TRAVELSthese WITH YOU AAA TRAVELS WITH YOU Sale! AAA Travel these amazing offers during our AAA Travel Sale! CALL: XXX.XXX.XXXX XXX.XXX.XXXX CALL: (205) 978-7030


XXX.XXX.XXXX CALL: XXXXX Road Xx Xxxxxxxxx Xx Acton VISIT: VISIT: 2400 XXXXX Xxxxxxxxx Birmingham, AL 35244 XXX.XXX.XXXX CALL: Xxxxxx, XX XXXXX Xxxxxx, XX XXXXX CLICK: AAA.com/TravelShow Cayman Islands CLICK: AAA.com/TravelShow XXXXX Xxxxxxxxx Xx VISIT: *The value listed is per booking and equals the*The totalvalue of thelisted featured Line Onboard $35 – $150 , plusAmerica the DineLine Around Package person forthe twoDine Around Package of $44 per person for two is perHolland bookingAmerica and equals the total Credit of the offeatured Holland Onboard Creditofof$44 $35per – $150 , plus 1


2 people3. 1Featured Holland America Line Onboard Credit people2, plus the14 $50 beverage card per personpeople for two is based on double and Credit for newoffer bookings , plus the $50 beverage card per person for two people3. 1offer Featured Holland Americaoccupancy Line Onboard is basedmade on double occupancy and for new bookings made Jan. 23-Feb.

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between 25 – February 8, 2020. Onboardbetween credit isJanuary for guests 2 sharing a stateroom length1 and of sailing. Onboard credit isand offered thelength following stateroom 25 –1 and February 8, 2020. Onboard and creditvaries is forbyguests 2 sharing a stateroom variesin by of sailing. Onboard credit is offered in the following stateroom CaymanJanuary Islands amounts: cruises 7 – 14 days: $35 for interior, $50amounts: for oceancruises view, $75 lanai, $35 $75 for for interior, verandah$50staterooms cruises 15 days and longer: $50 interior, $75 forcruises ocean15 days and longer: $50 for interior, $75 for ocean 7 –for 14 days: for ocean and view,$100 $75for forsuites; lanai, $75 for verandah staterooms andfor$100 for suites; view, $100 for lanai, $100 for verandah staterooms suites. travelersstaterooms receive halfand the$150 stateroom amount. is inhalf U.S.thedollars and isamount. nonrefundable, view,and $100$150 for for lanai, $100Single for verandah for suites. SingleOnboard travelerscredit receive stateroom Onboard credit is in U.S. dollars and is nonrefundable, Show Your Love nontransferable, not for cash value, expires at the end of that cruise, mayvalue, not be used atin the end casino. Onboard or reserve nontransferable, not forandcash expires of that cruise,credit and cannot may notbebeused usedtoinpurchase the casino. Onboardshore creditexcursions cannot beorused to purchase or reserve shore excursions or Caymanamenities Islands What: The fifth annual King’s Home 1 onboard in advance (must be done on board). Offers are capacity-controlled and may be modified or withdrawn without prior notice. Other restrictions may apply. amenities in advance (must beLine doneOnboard on board). are–capacity-controlled may be modified or withdrawn *The value listed is per booking and equals theonboard total of the featured Holland America CreditOffers of $35 $150 , plus the Dineand Around Package of $44 per personwithout forShips’ twoprior notice. Other restrictions may apply. Ships’ 2 2 The Netherlands. 2Dine Around Package 3 1 Registry: includes oneNetherlands. dining experience at America bothPackage Pinnacle Grill andone Canaletto. Applies one and in stateroom/suite. Dine Around dining both Pinnacle Grilltwo andonly, Canaletto. Appliesmade to passenger one and two only, in stateroom/suite. people , plus the $50Mailbox beverage card per personRegistry: for twoThe people . Featured Holland Lineincludes Onboard Credit offerexperience is basedtoonatpassenger double occupancy and for new bookings “Show Your Love” Valentine’s 3 3 Maximum one dinner package per8, stateroom. Reservations must be made once onboard the ship. Gratuities notbyincluded. Applies to passenger and two only, in stateroom/suite. Maximum one dinner package per stateroom. Reservations must be made once onboard thecredit ship.one Gratuities notthe included. Applies to passenger one and two only, in stateroom/suite. between January 25 – February 2020. Onboard credit is for guests 1 and 2 sharing a stateroom and varies length of sailing. Onboard is offered in following stateroom 1 Decorating Benefit will continue. *The valuecruises listed booking and equals $50 the total of the America Line Onboard Credit ofalcoholic $35 –for $150 ,non-alcoholic plus the Dine Around Package permay person two Maximum two beverage cards$35 perfor stateroom. CanMaximum beocean used for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. restrictions may apply. twofeatured beverage cards per stateroom. Can beAge used for and beverages. Age restrictions apply. amounts: 7is–per 14 days: interior, for view, $75 forHolland lanai, $75 for verandah staterooms and $100 suites; cruises 15 days and longer: $50offor$44interior, $75 forforocean 2 3 1 people , plus $50$100 beverage card perRestrictions personOffers forapply. two people .suites. Featured Holland Onboard Credit offer iswithdrawn based onatdouble occupancy and forand new made view, fortothe lanai, for verandah staterooms and $150 Single travelers receive half thenotice. stateroom amount. Onboard credit is in U.S.1, 2020 dollars is bookings nonrefundable, “Cupids” will decorate mailboxes with Offers $100 subject change without notice. Offers may bewithout withdrawn atAmerica any timeLine without Travel will take place February from 9am – 1pm.will Certain subject toforchange notice. Restrictions apply. Offers may beShow any time without notice. Travel Show take place February 1, 2020 from 9am – 1pm. Certain between January 25 –forFebruary 8, 2020. Onboard credit for guests and 2 members sharing stateroom and varies by Benefits length ofand sailing. Onboard credit is offered invary theBenefits following not cashmembers value, expires at the end ofis that cruise, may notAAA bea Travel used make intothe casino. Onboard credit cannot be used to purchase or reserve shore excursions restrictions may apply. AAA must make advance reservations through obtain Member savings. Member Benefits may based on departure restrictions may apply.1 and AAA must advance reservations through AAA Travel to obtain Member andstateroom savings.or Member Benefits may vary based on departure a signature largenontransferable, pink and red bow amounts: cruises 7 – 14 days: $35 for interior, $50 for ocean view, $75 for lanai, $75 for verandah staterooms and $100 for suites; cruises 15 days and longer: $50 for interior, $75 for ocean onboard amenities in advance be done are capacity-controlled andresponsible mayarebesubject modified or orwithdrawn prior notice. Association, Otherforrestrictions may Ships’ date. Rates are accurate at time(must of printing andondate. areboard). subject to Not for errors omissions. Alabama Motorists Inc.oracts as apply. an agent for Motorists Association, Inc. acts as an agent for RatesOffers areavailability accurate atand timechange. of printing and to availability andwithout change. Not responsible errors omissions. Alabama 2 verandah staterooms and $150 for suites. Single travelers receive half the stateroom amount. Onboard credit is in U.S. dollars and is nonrefundable, view, $100 lanai, $100sign for Registry: Thefor Netherlands. Dinein Around Package includes experience at use bothyour Pinnacle Grill To and Canaletto. passenger one Alabama and twovisit only, stateroom/suite. and place a “ Show Your Love” the various cruise & tour providers featured at thetheshow. To one learn how we collect and visit the privacy link atto AAA.com. Motorists Association, Inc. various cruisedining & tour providers featured at information, the show. learn how weApplies collect and use your©2019 information, theinprivacy link at AAA.com. ©2019 Alabama Motorists Association, Inc. 3 cannot be used to purchase or reserve shore excursions or nontransferable, not for cash value, expires atReservations the end of that cruise, and may not be used in the casino. Onboard credit Maximum one dinner package per stateroom. must be made once onboard the ship. Gratuities not included. Applies to passenger one and two only, in stateroom/suite. All Rights Reserved. All Rights Reserved. the yard. When:Maximum For more information, onboard amenities in advance (must be doneCan on be board). Offers are capacity-controlled and may beAge modified or withdrawn without prior notice. Other restrictions may apply. Ships’ two beverage cards per stateroom. used for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. restrictions may apply. 2 Registry: The to Netherlands. Dine notice. AroundRestrictions Package includes one dining Grill notice. and Canaletto. Applies passenger one and1, 2020 two only, in stateroom/suite. Offers subject change without apply. Offers may beexperience withdrawnatatboth any Pinnacle time without Travel Show will totake place February from 9am – 1pm. Certain 3 Maximum per stateroom. Reservations be madethrough once onboard the ship. Gratuities not included. Applies to passenger one andmay twovary only,based in stateroom/suite. restrictionsone maydinner apply.package AAA members must make advancemust reservations AAA Travel to obtain Member Benefits and savings. Member Benefits on departure Maximum two beverage cards per stateroom. Can be used for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Age restrictions may apply. date. Rates are accurate at time of printing and are subject to availability and change. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Alabama Motorists Association, Inc. acts as an agent for Offers subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply. Offers may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Travel Show will take place February 1, 2020 from 9am – 1pm. Certain the various cruise & tour providers featured at the show. To learn how we collect and use your information, visit the privacy link at AAA.com. ©2019 Alabama Motorists Association, Inc.

4 • Thursday, January 23, 2020



O’Neal Cancer Center’s 2020 ArtBlink Gala to Honor Edwards Family

Photo courtesy UAB

There is more than meets the eye at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB’s annual ArtBlink gala. Taking place Feb. 1 at the Kirklin Clinic, ArtBlink is the main fundraiser for the cancer center’s advisory board. Seventeen local artists will create original works of art in 90-minutes, and guests will bid on them in a silent auction. Money raised from the evening benefits the center’s Fund for Excellence, which supports high-priority research efforts at the center, including recruiting faculty and supporting young investigators in their cancer research. Each year the board selects an ArtBlink Director’s Circle honoree – someone who has contributed to the center’s success greatly over the years. This year, the board honors Leon Edwards and the Edwards Family, (pictured at left) who have helped further cutting-edge research at the center for many years. Edwards’ son, Lee, is president-elect II for the advisory board. Edwards and his family have owned and operated Edwards Chevrolet, a Birmingham-based dealership that has been in business for more than 100 years. “Community support is more vital than ever for the growth of the Cancer Center and its mission to reduce the burden of cancer in the state of Alabama,” Dr. Barry Sleckman, director of the center, said in a release. “We live in an era when new targeted therapies are coming online rapidly, and it is critical to educate our entire community about the importance of being treated at a place where patients have access to the very latest therapies and clinical trials that can lead to durable cures of what were recently incurable diseases.” In addition to live artwork, the gala will include a cocktail dinner by IZ Catering and dancing to music by The Schmohawks. Tickets are $150 per person and can be purchased online, at artblink.org, or by calling 205-934-1603. – Emily Williams

visit the website Where: various locations in the Over the Mountain area Website: kingshome.com

Fri., Jan. 24 Zelda’s Ball

What: Adults, ages 21+, celebrate Alabama’s favorite wild child and the start of 2020 with a ‘20s theme party. Find your way through the door hidden behind a bookcase into a roaring speakeasy. When: 7-9 p.m. Where: Emmet O’Neal Library, Community Room Website: eolib.org

Jan. 24 and 26 Independence Eve

What: Opera Birmingham continues its successful chamber opera series with a new one-act opera exploring the troubled journey of race relations in America. A pre-show chat and post-show talk-back are available. When: Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 26, 2:30 p.m. Where: RMTC Cabaret Theatre Website: “Independence Eve” Facebook page

Website: bhmchinesefestival.org

Book Signing with Vicki Flynn

What: Homewood Public Library hosts a book signing with Vicki Flynn, author of “A Splinter of the Cross: 25 Years in a Cult.” When: 1-2 p.m. Where: Homewood Library, Large Auditorium Website: homewood.libnet.info

Jan. 25 and 26 Birmingham Feline Fanciers CFA Allbreed Cat Show What: Breeds from around the country will compete for titles. Included will be vendors with catrelated items for sale, and local rescue and humane organizations will have cats and kittens available for adoption. When: Jan. 25, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Jan. 26, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Zamora Temple Website:

Sun., Jan. 26 Magic Moments Magic Show

What: Enjoy a night of magic with Magician David Gerrard and several previous magic moments recipients. The evening includes a family pre-party from 2-3 p.m. with children’s activities, a photo booth, face painting and more. When: 2-5 p.m. Where: Lyric Theatre Website: magicmoments.org

Wonder Women Cybersecurity for Tween and Teen Girls, Part II What: Girl Spring offers its second cybersecurity talk geared for girls 6th-grade and up and moms. This interactive workshop gives attendees skills to navigate the web safely. Part 1 is not necessary for Part 2. When: 3-5 p.m. Where: Artplay Website:

“GirlSpring” Facebook page

Mon., Jan 27 DRUM TAO 2020

What: “Japanese entertainment” for a new generation that completely surpasses expectations, TAO’s stage is created through performances consisting of “Wadaiko-drums” and the melody of Japanese flutes and harps. When: 7 p.m. Where: Alys Stephens Center, Jemison Concert Hall Website: alysstephens.org

Jan. 30-Feb. 1 Hoover Library Book Sale

What: Great deals on hardbacks, paperbacks, children’s books, DVDs, audiobooks, music and more. Most items are priced under $1. All proceeds benefit Friends of the Library. Preview Sale for members


What: The Homewood Historic Preservation Commission presents the premier of a short documentary, by Kenzie Greer, about Homewood’s historic pink house. Enjoy refreshments, the history and touching stories of the house. When: 7 p.m. Where: Rosewood Hall Website: “Screening of “The Pink House” Short Documentary” Facebook page

Sat., Jan. 25 BTC Adam’s Heart Run

What: Participants have the opportunity to select a 5k, 10k or 10 mile distance run. Included will be face painting and balloon animals, post-race snacks, free race photos and more. When: 9 a.m. Where: Oak Mountain State Park Website: birminghamtrackclub.com

Journal file photo

Chinese New Year Gala

What: The Birmingham Chinese Festival Association presents its New Year celebration featuring a traditional Chinese performance, food, dancing, games and art. When: 10:30 a.m.2:30 p.m. Where: Boutwell Auditorium


Jan. 30. Join at the door for $15. When: Jan. 30, 6-8 p.m.; Feb 1, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Where: Hoover Public Library Website: hooverlibrary.org

Jan. 30-Feb. 15 Terrific New Theatre: Every Brilliant Thing

What: This pop-up show by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe, starring Nick Crawford, is a play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love. When: Thur., Fri, and Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m. Where: In the Youth Center at the Magic City Acceptance Center Website: theterrificnewtheatre.com

Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 The Enigma Variations

What: Revel in Elgar’s magnum opus, which contains a series of musical sketches of the composer’s friends. Gain insight into the music by attending Concert Comments each night at 6:15 p.m. in the ReynoldsKirschbaum Recital Hall. When: 7 p.m. Where: Alys Stephens Center, Jemison Concert Hall Website: alabamasymphony.org

Sun., Feb. 2 Winter Wake-Up: A Hibernation Celebration on Groundhog Day

What: Due to the Zoo’s resident groundhog, Birmingham Bill, going through hibernation, one of the Zoo’s owls will be predicating this year’s weather outcome. Learn about Groundhog Day traditions from all over the world, listen to keeper chats and more. When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; prediction, 10 a.m. Where: The Birmingham Zoo Website: birminghamzoo.com


jazz, classical and American folk music. When: Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 2 p.m. Where: Red Mountain Theatre Co. Website: redmountaintheatre.org

Sat., Feb. 8 A Night at the Oscars Gala

What: For the first time in history, Mitchell’s Place has moved its gala, in support of Autism Spectrum disorder, to a Saturday evening. Enjoy dinner, Hollywood-inspired drinks, live music and a live auction. When: 6-11:30 p.m. Where: The Theodore Website: Photo courtesy Alabama Ballet

Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 5

ABOUT TOWN mitchells-place.com

Thurs., Feb. 13 Scholarship Luncheon

What: Samford Legacy League hosts a fundraiser, featuring a silent auction and Whitney Capps, author of “Sick of Me: from

Transparency to Transformation,” national speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries and more. When: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Where: A private club in Vestavia Hills Website: samford.edu

Fri., Feb. 14


Whitney Capps


Rockin’ Ballet

Pointe Ball Showcases Elvis-Inspired Ballet

Alabama Ballet will host an evening of dinner and dancing Feb. 8 at the 20th annual Pointe Ball at The Club. The theme for this year is “Formal Fifties,” and a selection from “Blue Suede Shoes” will be performed, according to an announcement from the group. The full-length ballet is set to 36 Elvis Presley songs and combines classical ballet with classic rock. The ball begins with an intimate performance by Alabama Ballet’s professional company members in the ballroom of The Club. Following the performance, guests, along with artistic director Tracey Alvey and members from the company, will be served a gourmet dinner. Dessert and dancing to the music of Celebrity All Star Band follows dinner. Proceeds from Pointe Ball, the organization’s largest special event fundraiser, help fund extensive education and scholarship programs. Honorary chairs for the event are Cameron and Scott Vowell, corporate chairman is Jeremy Retherford and gala chairwomen are Mary Bradley Anderson and Lauren Pearson. Tickets are $450 per person and $700 per couple. To buy tickets or for sponsorship information, email information@alabamaballet.org. —Virginia Martin

Mon., Feb. 3 Friends of Hoover Library: State of the City Address

What: Mayor Frank V. Brocato will give the State of the City Address. When: Refreshments, 9:45; program, 10 a.m. Where: Hoover Pulblic Library, Fitzgerald and Shakespeare Rooms Website: hooverlibrary.org

Tues., Feb. 4 Nina Campbell Lecture and Reception

What: Join the Birmingham Museum of Art for an evening with this internationally renowned interior designer and author of “Nina Campbell Interior Decoration” Elegance and Nina Campbell Ease.” Book singing to follow with copies available for purchase. When: 5:30-8 p.m.

Where: Birmingham Museum of Art Website: artsbma.org

Feb. 6-May 7 Grief Share

What: Trained facilitators who have experienced grief will provide tools and resources necessary to move forward in this 13-week series. College age or older. Registration includes workbook and refreshments. When: Thursdays, 7-8:45 p.m. Where: Faith Presbyterian Church Website: griefshare.org/groups/63460

SAVE THE DATE Feb. 7-23 Porgy and Bess

What: Red Mountain Theatre Company will perform George Gershwin’s final work for the musical stage, known worldwide as a masterpiece and an “American Folk Opera.” Based on DuBose and Dorothy Heyward’s play, “Porgy and Bess” combines elements of

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Spread the Word

Jazz Cat Ball Raises Money and Awareness for Pet Shelter By Emily Williams

The Ugly Truths About Rehabs

When people call about treatment at Bayshore Retreat many of them can’t believe the cost ($24,500.00 for 30-35 days). First, I realize they aren’t looking at what we provide. Starting with a beautiful home on the water; chef prepared gourmet meals; deep tissue massages each week; and last, but not the least, unmatched counseling to the tune of approximately 30 hours a week. Oh, and did I mention there are only six clients at a time? Now compare that to about 85% of the places out there that have hundreds of beds, cafeteria food, vending machines for snacks and 12 step meeting after 12 step meeting. They will promise everything to fill the hundreds of beds they have. They even fly clients to their location and once the person is there and before they leave it “oh by the way, your insurance didn’t pay for this or that”. These are the horror stories I’ve heard from clients who find us and come to Bayshore Retreat. Other things they do are taking the belongings of the clients (patients) and make them wear hospital gowns – seriously. Yeah, we agree that people have what some may call as a disease, but we think of them as clients who have a problem. There is a lot to consider when you or someone you love has a problem with addiction. Do your homework. Compare everything. Bayshore Retreat will be hands down the most affordable and deliver the most for the money. Call me today and give the greatest gift to yourself or someone you love. Addiction is something that can be controlled with the proper help.


For as long as Janet Lusco can remember, she has been passionate about animals. Throughout her childhood, Lusco was known to bring home the occasional injured animal she stumbled upon. If it was reasonable to have 15 dogs living in her Homewood house, she would; but her cat, Callie, doesn’t want much company beyond her owners. “She’s half ragdoll and half calico, so she almost acts like a dog. They call it a ‘kitty-pup,’” Lusco

‘Love for animals is something that brings us all together. These defenseless scared pets that we rescued need us to be their voice.’ said. “She’ll get up on her hind legs and come when you call. ... She is just so frisky and playful.” Though she isn’t in a place to bring home wounded birds or puppies, she has found a way to give back to animals through her work on the board of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. “As I got older, I have been searching for a way I could really make a difference for these animals

that I love so dearly,” she said. “So, being asked to be on the board and later to be chairman of the Jazz Cat Ball was a dream come true, and I realized what a wonderful opportunity this was for me to put my passion to use.” Lusco will chair this year’s Jazz Cat Ball, the GBHS’ largest fundraiser, along with her husband, Matt Lusco. The event will take place Feb. 1 at the Sheraton Birmingham, complete with casino games, a large silent auction, a seated dinner, dancing and other activities. “I know none of us can do everything, but we can all do something, so find your way to help, whether it’s giving money, giving your time, fostering, adopting, washing towels for the shelter or spreading the word,” Lusco said. “We can all make a difference.” Lusco wrestled with ways to aid animals in need for years because, knowing herself, she knew she couldn’t walk into a shelter and volunteer one-onone with the animals without adopting each one. “When I look into their scared and sad eyes in the shelter, it is too hard on my heart,” she said. “So, I help in other ways.” Lusco admires the people who work or volunteer directly with the animals, showing them a bit of love, medically caring for them and even providing counseling for dog owners in need or potential adopters. “It’s all about being able to be the voice to these

Photo courtesy Janet Lusco

Rehab Reality...


Matt and Janet Lusco will chair this year’s Jazz Cat Ball, the GBHS’ largest fundraiser.

animals, because they don’t have a voice,” she said. “They give so much love and companionship to us, so we have to protect them.” As chairman of the Jazz Cat Ball, Lusco’s goal is to get the word out to people who haven’t attended the ball before. It’s all about spreading awareness to new faces. “Love for animals is something that brings us all together,” she said. “These defenseless scared pets that we rescued need us to be their voice.” For more information, visit gbhs.org.

Riverchase Loves Art Show Takes Art to the Country Club on Feb. 1

Just in time for Valentine’s Day shopping, the Riverchase Women’s Club will present the 14th annual Riverchase Loves Art show. The art show will take place Feb. 1 at Riverchase Country Club, and it will showcase a variety of mediums: paintings, pottery, jewelry, photography, textiles, glass, fresh flowers and more. Artists include Hunter Bell, David Byland, Claire Cormany, Walt Costilow, Troy Crisswell, Suzanne Dabbs and Christy Evans, Terry Crump and Kirsten Roberts, Michael Davis, Lindsey Donald, Helene Fielder, Alicia Guyton, Maddie Harper, Julie and Harry Hearne, Rickie Higgins, Brooke Hoekstra, Tom Homann, Jerri Ann Huffstutler, Leigh Ann Hurst, Michelle Leach, Joy Maples Ledvina, Bev Mabry, Dawn Manakides, Dan McDaniel, Lisa Mergen, Robin Metz, Cindy Miller, Vaughn Milner, Angela Morris, Kate Morris, Dragana Obradovie, Jerry Otts, Craig Roderick, Elizabeth Seidel, Ednina Shrestha, Ben South, John Sowell, Libby Tate, Holly Williams, Jamie Wilson and Diana Vest. Participating artists are hand-picked each year by the show’s planning committee. Doors will open at 9 a.m. and the show will continue until 4 p.m. Admission is $5, and proceeds from the event will benefit a charity chosen by the Women’s Club. For more information, visit riverchaselovesartists.com, or call 205-988-4140. — Emily Williams

The art show will take place Feb. 1 at Riverchase Country Club, and it will showcase a variety of mediums: paintings, pottery, jewelry, photography, textiles, glass, fresh flowers and more.

Photos courtesy Riverchase Women’s Club

6 • Thursday, January 23, 2020



Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 7


8 • Thursday, January 23, 2020


Hoover Adds to Its Influence With Work on Economic Development, Focus on Roads and Developments, Mayor Says Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato delivered his 2020 State of the City address to the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 16, recapping what he called an “extremely busy” 2019 that he said established the city as “a model for our state and for our country.” Brocato’s speech highlighted the city’s “growing and diverse economy” that managed to attract a variety of businesses despite national challenges in the retail sector. “We are holding our own,” he said. “The top national companies are finding their way to Hoover. Local small businesses are making investments in our city along with the national firms, and it’s particularly gratifying to see all the family-owned businesses opening all over the city.” The city, he said, issued 1,684 new business licenses in 2019, “representing a variety of industries including retail, professional firms, insurance companies and restaurants.” He pointed in particular to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s new medical clinic on Stadium Trace Parkway, the $2 million expansion of dental implant company BioHorizons, and the $12.5 million capital investment of McLeod Software. Those companies, which operate in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, were drawn to Hoover in part because of the city’s investments in technological innovation, Brocato said. He said the city has embraced “small cell sites,” which provide 5G wireless service throughout the city, and “miles and miles” of fiber cable throughout the city.

“Having this infrastructure in place will lead to numerous possibilities and opportunities for new businesses and services with the provisions of ‘the internet of things,’” he said, referring to the rapidly expanding sector of webcapable smart devices and appliances. “Think about autonomous vehicles. That’s where we’re going.” That eye to the future, he said, included the city’s pending collaboration with private investors to establish the Hoover Artificial Intelligence, Logistics and Operations incubator and accelerator program on Riverchase Galleria’s campus. “This new asset will grow the next generation of corporate operations in Hoover,” he said. The incubator, he said, would also “bring a new dimension to the redevelopment of the Galleria campus,” which last year saw the closing of Sears, one of its largest retailers. The city’s comprehensive plan, approved in July, proposed transforming the Galleria into a mixed-use downtown area for the city. Part of that is underway; Regions Bank, Brocato said, has announced it will relocate 700 jobs to the Galleria campus. “We’ll continue to diversify Hoover’s economy with mixed-use commercial assets, recruiting high-tech businesses including health care, information technology, banking, and we want Hoover to be a leader in building its entrepreneurial economic system,” he said. “I’m excited about our future.”

Progress on the Comprehensive Plan

Brocato’s speech also highlighted that comprehensive plan, a fulfillment of one of his 2016 campaign promises. “When I asked you to elect me as

Growing Influence

Journal photo by Sam Prickett

By Sam Prickett

2019, along with a 47% decrease in burglaries and a 19% decrease in breaking and entering. The city would continue its commitment to public safety, Brocato said, with its new $4 million police training facility, which broke ground last year and is expected to open this summer. A new fire station on Stadium Trace Parkway also is under construction, he added.

Brocato’s State of the City address to the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce highlighted the city’s “growing and diverse economy” that managed to attract a variety of businesses despite national challenges in the retail sector.

your mayor, I promised that we would establish a plan to guide the city’s future growth and development,” he said. “We now have a citywide plan that lays out a vision for Hoover’s future land use, transportation, natural resources, our services, quality of life and economy.” That plan includes numerous improvements to the city’s transportation infrastructure, he added, including a new interchange along South Shades Crest Road, “which would bring significant traffic relief to western Hoover – and really, the western side of Jefferson County.” He also pointed to plans for the Cahaba Riverchase Greenway, a development that includes a half-mile walking trail, as well as sidewalk paving plans for Bluff Park, Patton Chapel Road, Municipal Drive and Municipal Lane. The latter two projects, he said, should begin construction early this year. One completed capital project, the

Hoover Met Complex and Finley Center, had its first full year of use in 2019. “The impact that it’s had on the community in the metropolitan area is really remarkable,” Brocato said, emphasizing events such as last year’s SEC Baseball Tournament and the upcoming USA indoor national pickleball championship, which is expected to bring more than 1,000 visitors to the Hoover area in June. But the Hoover Met’s “most remarkable statistic,” Brocato said, came from its all-inclusive playground and splash pad, which received 90,000 visitors in its first 109 days of operation and received national and statewide awards for “allowing people, regardless of their physical ability, the opportunity to play like everyone else.” Brocato also highlighted the city’s crime rate, which he said has continued to decline. He pointed to the 21% decline in robberies between 2018 and

All of these developments, he said, have helped Hoover to take on a much larger role in both regional and statewide affairs. That includes a nonpoaching agreement between 22 municipalities in the area, all of whom pledged not to lure businesses away from each other, and a costsharing vehicle maintenance agreement between Hoover and Pelham. “We believe we can both work together and find common areas where we can save everyone money to be more efficient,” Brocato said. “It really helps the entire metro area.” Hoover’s statewide influence has grown, as well, Brocato said. He joined a quarterly meeting with the mayors of the state’s 10 largest cities, which recently was expanded from five, and met with Gov. Kay Ivey and state legislators to discuss the city’s legislative priorities. “We’ve made great strides in the past three years telling Hoover’s story, and now we’re leaders in the state with significant input and opportunities to steer the direction of the critical legislation that affects all of us,” he said. “We’re working every day with organizations that have an impact on our city and the entire Birmingham-Hoover metropolitan area, and we now have a voice at the table. That isn’t something that you can sit around and wait for. You have to be willing to get involved, and we in Hoover are willing to get involved.”

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Funeral Procession Through Five Cities Celebrates Homewood Fire Chief John Bresnan A funeral procession in honor of the late Homewood Fire Chief John Bresnan wound through five cities, from the Homewood Church of Christ to his final resting place at Jefferson Memorial Gardens in Trussville. His casket was transported atop a fire truck, with antique and contemporary fire department vehicles from around the state joining in the procession. Bresnan died unexpectedly on Dec. 10 while on duty. He took on the role of fire chief in 1992, making him the longest-serving fire-chief in Alabama’s history, according to the Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs. At left, the procession passes Homewood City Hall.

Wald Park Construction to Complete Ball Fields, Aquatic Complex in May

It was about this time one month ago that Vestavia Hills officials announced an expectation to have Wald Park’s new baseball fields finished by spring, but things can change quickly when it comes to construction. Following a Jan. 10 tour of the park with TCU Consulting Services representatives, city staff announced some good news and some bad news. “Due to the discovery of an unforeseen major electrical issue at Wald, it is not possible to have the ballfields completed in time for this years spring baseball season,” read a Jan. 10 Facebook post on the Parks and Recreation Department’s page. According to Downes, accommodations for the spring baseball season have been nailed down. The Parks and Recreation Department will host community league games at fields in Liberty Park, Vestavia Hills Elementary Dolly Ridge and the old Berry Campus, which soon will be the new Louis Pizitz Middle School. Hoover East Sports Park will also host some games. For the good news, Downes noted that construction of the new aquatic complex is currently on schedule, “to be open by Memorial Day.” In the coming months, the commu-

nity can expect to see more progress on the next phase of construction at the park. This includes projects to construct playgrounds, tennis courts and dog park. The parks and recreation board noted in its Nov. 19 meeting that, after receiving high quotes from contractors, tennis courts site has been regraded and storm piping put in to make the job less complicated and, hopefully, cheaper. It was also noted that a few playground firms have been selected for consideration. After selecting a firm, a basic design will be created and presented at community meetings. In addition, a new maintenance building will be constructed so the city’s maintenance staff can move out of temporary offices in the old Gold’s Gym building, which then will become a community building. “Construction and sequencing decisions are made by the city council rather than the park board,” Downes said. “The council will be discussing the entire Community Spaces program during its late January strategic planning session.” The two-day planning session will take place on Jan. 29 and 30. – Emily Williams

Mountain Brook Celebrates National Law Enforcement Day With Blue Blood Drive

Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 9


Journal photo by Jordan Wald





Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Follow these tips to lower your power bill.

Mountain Brook’s Crestline Elementary School hosted a blood drive on Jan. 9 as part of the National Blue Blood Drive, which celebrates National Law Enforcement Day. Similar drives were hosted throughout the nation, organized by local chapters of the organization Concern of Police Survivors in partnership with the American Red Cross. Above, Mountain Brook Police Chief Ted Cook with Red Cross nurse Courtney Duke. Right, Crestline Assistant Principal Josh Watkins, prepared to give blood.

Program your thermostat to 68° or lower.

Set ceiling fans to run clockwise in winter.

For more ways to save by making your home more energy efficient, visit AlabamaPower.com/tips.

© 2020 Alabama Power Company

Raise your blinds to let the sun help heat your home.


10 • Thursday, January 23, 2020


Save the Salamanders and Shades Creek Festival Marks the Annual Migration of the Elusive Salamander

tion.” The group has seen a slow but steady growth in its numbers, Blackwood said. “We used to average around 10 to 15 people at our meetings, and now we’ve been averaging 25 to 35 people at our meetings.” But the group reaches the most people through the Salamander Festival, which celebrates its 16th year this month. The festival is a retooled version of an event the Friends of Shades Creek started in 2000 but rescheduled to coincide with the migration of the spotted salamander. Part of the festival’s goal is to promote awareness of the salamander itself, which spends most of its life underground in nearby forests.

Journal photo by Maury Wald

Time to Mate

Above, Friends of Shades Creek co-founder and current President Michelle Blackwood. When it comes time to mate salamanders begin a dangerous trek to these vernal pools near Shades Creek.

By Sam Prickett Nature lovers of all ages will gather at Shades Valley Community Church on Saturday for the annual Salamander Festival, an event that mixes arts and crafts, music and education in an effort to raise awareness of Homewood’s ecological diversity. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Shades Creek, an organization dedicated to the protection and maintenance of the 56-mile-long stream that flows through Homewood, Mountain Brook, Hoover, Birmingham, Irondale and Bessemer. That group, founded in 1998 as an offshoot of the Alabama

Rivers Alliance, has been a steady presence in the Homewood area, offering a variety of educational programs and advocating for protection of the creek and its many tiny inhabitants, such as the spotted amphibian that gives the Salamander Festival its name. “Alabama has over 132,000 miles of rivers, and some of them don’t get treated very well,” said Friends of Shades Creek co-founder and current President Michelle Blackwood. The all-volunteer group has worked over the past two decades to combat some of the problems threatening the creek’s ecosystem. “Some of Shades Creek’s main



problems are trash, litter and pollution,” Blackwood said. “A lot of the pollution is sediment, and a lot of that comes from improper development and flooding that causes riverbanks to erode and fall into the creek,” he continued. “When there’s a lot of sediment in rivers and creeks, that smothers out the insects and other small animals that live in that stream, and when they get smothered out, then the fish don’t have anything to eat. So it just goes on up the chain.” Friends of Shades Creek have advocated to stop many of those problems, Blackwood said, by supporting initiatives such as the Homewood Forest Preserve, which resulted in the permanent protection of 65 acres of woodland near Homewood High School. The group also worked with Samford University to stabilize creek banks near the college’s soccer fields, partnered with an engineering company to install erosion-reducing stone in a tributary of Shades Creek, and collaborated with the Nature Conservancy to create and raise awareness of a Shades Creek watershed management plan. “Sometimes it’s just reporting on things so that other agencies like the Cahaba Riverkeeper or the Jefferson County Department of Health can take it from there,” Blackwood said. “We put some of those issues in their court, but we continue to monitor

and watch things. Because we really don’t have any official jurisdiction, we can’t really enforce things. But there are people in the city that can, and we make contact with them.”

Education is the Key

Instead, most of the organization’s efforts fall into the educational realm. It hosts 10 informational meetings per year at the Homewood Public Library – on the second Thursday of every month, excluding June and July – featuring “speakers on relevant conversation topics,” Blackwood said.

‘They (salamanders) represent a lot of other creatures that are living out there that depend on wetland areas, creeks and rivers.’ The organization also hosts an annual canoe trip on the Cahaba River, of which Shades Creek is the largest tributary, to see the blooming of the river’s famous lilies. “That’s our main source of promoting safety and conservation on the river,” Blackwood said. “Anyone who wants to come can participate. We really feel strongly that when you get out on a river or out on a stream, that really helps you have an apprecia-

“We probably wouldn’t even know they were there if not for their migration,” Blackwood said. “And when they come out it’s usually on a rainy night, so there’s not a lot of opportunity to get to know them unless you happen to turn over a log at just the right time and happen to see one.” When it comes time to mate, however, the salamander begins a dangerous trek to the vernal pools near Shades Creek that can lead it into harm’s way, for instance by crossing Lakeshore Drive. Friends of Shades Creek’s efforts have included putting up barriers on that road when they know the migration is in progress to prevent the species from being destroyed by traffic. “I would say that’s been a win for us, to actually get people engaged in that,” Blackwood said. But the salamander also serves as an icon of the creek and its surrounding wetlands, partially because it can be so fragile. “They represent a lot of other creatures that are living out there that depend on wetland areas, creeks and rivers,” Blackwood said. “We think it’s important for people to realize that we’re not just protecting the water, but the riparian areas and the forest near the rivers.” The festival, which will take place Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Shades Valley Community Church, offers free admission and a variety of activities, including a family nature hike; storytelling by herpetologist Jay Eubanks; dancing with Edgewood Dance Center’s Alessia Lovreglio, which is meant to evoke the mating dance of the spotted salamander; and music from local bluegrass group Rob Angus and the Over the Hillbillies. There will also be interactive displays from approximately 20 environmental groups. “It’s an educational get-together, and you’ll be able to learn a lot while you’re there,” Blackwood said. For more information about the Friends of Shades Creek or the 2020 Salamander Festival, visit shadescreek.org.


Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 11


BCRFA Announces Record-Breaking $1,050,000 Investment in Alabama Breast Cancer Research car tag sales. More than 13,000 vehi“Ten years ago, the treatments Brewery’s CahabaQue, which netted cles in the state have the Breast more than $26,000. were pretty standard everywhere,” he About half of the total was raised Cancer Research tag, 2,400 of them in said. “Now, with new research coming through sales of the BCRFA specialty Jefferson County. online so rapidly, it’s very important that, no matter how small the nodule is, that you go somewhere where you’re going to get the very latest in standard of care and the option to be involved in clinical trials that could affect your outcome in the long term.” All of the donation remains in Alabama to support local research, which has the potential to make a national impact. “I was diagnosed in 2008 with triple negative breast cancer, and I have been free of cancer since 2012,” said BCRFA board President Jill Carter. “So, this is really personal to me,” and has affected the lives of her relatives and friends, as well, she said. Working with the BCRFA is just one way that Carter feels she can * make a difference for the breast cancer patients who are being diagnosed today and those in the future. “One in eight women will get breast cancer and one in a thousand men,” she said. “So, it has impacted almost everybody in one way or another. And it would be great if we could make a positive change and get rid of this disease.” 2421 CANTERBURY ROAD • MOUNTAIN BROOK Events in 2019 that helped the BCRFA reach its record-breaking total 870-1030 | SHOPANTIQUITIES.COM | @SHOPANTIQUITIES • In-Home Care, Including Bathing, Grooming, Housekeeping, were the city of Gardendale’s Charity Youth Football Tournament, which Meal Preparation, Incontinence Care, Medication * VERY FEW EXCLUSIONSReminders raised more than $6,000; and Cahaba

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January SALE

From left, BCRFA Executive Director Beth Bradner Davis and Board President Jill Carter with O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Barry Sleckman.

By Emily Williams The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama on Jan. 10 made its largest donation ever – for $1,050,000 – to the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB for breast cancer research in Alabama. The check was presented at a luncheon at The Club, where the foundation also announced recipients of its 2019 Pilot Grant Awards. “It’s huge for UAB because it will enable a lot of studies that deal with very basic understanding of breast cancer, but also dealing with specific issues related to the population and what puts them at risk for breast cancer,” said Dr. Barry Sleckman, director of the center, “and then, of course,

issues with the population and what makes it difficult for them to access the very best breast cancer treatment.” This marks the largest donation the BCRFA has been able to present in its 24 years. It was made up of funds raised through a variety of year-round, community-driven events organized by the foundation and sales of specialty breast cancer research license plates. “We talk about (how) awareness and breast cancer awareness – the first major awareness campaign, with the pink ribbon – was primarily for early detection,” said Sleckman. The awareness focus has shifted, Sleckman said, to how important it is where a patient gets treated, no matter how bad the diagnosis is.


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12 • Thursday, January 23, 2020



Leadership Vestavia Hills to Honor 2019 Community Awards Winners

A new year has arrived, and it’s time for Leadership Vestavia Hills to reflect on the past year. The community leadership program will host its 2019 Community Awards dinner Feb. 25 at Vestavia Country Club, presenting awards to Dr. Audie Woolley and Gina and John Henley. Woolley, chief of pediatric otolaryngology at Children’s of Alabama, will receive the Distinguished Citizen Award. The award is given to a Vestavia Hills resident who has made significant contributions regionally, nationally or worldwide. A native Texan, Woolley is a graduate of Angelo State University and attended medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center. He completed a residency in otolaryngology head and neck surgery at Washington University–Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, and then took on a fellowship at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital. At Children’s of Alabama, Woolley’s work has helped children throughout the state. In 1995, he spearheaded the hospital’s cochlear implant program, which has performed more than 700 cochlear implants. He is also the co-founder of the Woolley Institute of Speech and Education, formerly named the Alabama School of Hearing. A featured speaker nationally and internationally on the topic of otolaryngology, he has published numerous articles and book chapters. Woolley and his wife, Ally, have four children who grew up in Vestavia Hills.

The Henleys

The Henleys will be honored with the Citizen of the Year Award, which recognizes residents who have contributed to the community and quality of life in Vestavia Hills across many years. John and Gina Henley have been married for 24 years and have made their mark on many

MOURON From page one

whole new level. It almost raised it to a level I’m not sure that I am worthy

Photos courtesy Leadership Vestavia Hills

Dr. Audie Wooley

At Children’s of Alabama, Woolley’s work has helped children throughout the state. He spearheaded the hospital’s cochlear implant program, which has performed more than 700 cochlear implants.

John and Gina Henley have been married for 24 years and have made their mark on many levels, including working with the business community, city government and the school system.

levels, including working with the business community, city government and the school system.

Gina Henley, a Birmingham native, has served as a volunteer coordinator for The Bell Center for Early Intervention, has been a mem-

of receiving.” There are a lot of people who do many things for the city, Mouron said. He will be honored with the award at the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Luncheon, to be held Jan. 30 at the Grand Bohemian Hotel.

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The entire experience has been a humbling one, Mouron said, “especially since I’m a native.” He has lived almost his entire life in Mountain Brook. He spent most of his childhood living on Euclid Avenue near Crestline Village and graduated in Mountain Brook High School’s first graduating class. “My wife, Kathy, and I have three sons, and all of them live in Mountain Brook with their wives and children,” Mouron said. “That’s three sons, three daughters-in-law and eight grandchildren.” That’s 16 people with the Mouron name living

in the city, along with his motherin-law and his sister-in-law. When Mouron’s former classmate and friend, Stewart Welch, was elected mayor of Mountain Brook, Mouron was called upon to serve on the city’s Planning Commission – his first foray into local government. Since Mouron was a real estate developer – he founded Capstone Development Partners in 1990 – it was a perfect fit.

A Bridge to Service

Outside of lending his contributions to the planning commission, Mouron has been able to do a little something extra for the city he loves. In 2018, the Mouron Family Foundation donated funds to help pay for a pedestrian bridge over Shades Creek in Jemison Park, which was installed and opened in January 2019. “Through my work with the city, I became aware that there was a gap between what the bridge was going

ber of the Service Guild of Birmingham and works in development for the St. Vincent’s Foundation. John Henley, raised in Andalusia, has worked in insurance and risk management for nearly 30 years and is an agent with State Farm. The couple contributed to the school system in a variety of ways while their two daughters, now college-aged, attended city schools. John Henley was a presenter for Junior Achievement, was active in the VHHS Band Parents Association and coached for the Vestavia Hills Girls Softball Association. Gina Henley has held various PTO leadership positions at her children’s’ schools. She has contributed to the Vestavia Hills City School Foundation and chaired its main fundraising event, Dinner and Diamonds, for two years. While vice-chair for the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce, Gina Henley served as a liaison among the chamber and the city’s schools and Parent Teacher Organizations. She also is active in the Vestavia Hills Beautification Board and has chaired the Dogwood Festival three times. On a civic level, John Henley served as a city councilman for four years. In addition, he started the Breakfast with Santa event, part of the annual Holiday in the Hills celebration, and remains actively involved each year. He was a charter member and president of the Vestavia Hills Sunrise Rotary Club and has held multiple leadership roles, including president, with Leadership Vestavia Hills. The Henleys are members of St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church, where they volunteer often. The Community Awards dinner will begin at 6 p.m. Feb. 25 and will include a seated dinner and program. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at leadershipvestaviahills.com or at the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce offices. —Emily Williams

to cost and what the city had accumulated,” he said. “So, we were happy to step in and make up the difference.” The bridge serves as an alternate route for park visitors who do not wish to brave the stepping stone path. “My sister, who is not clumsy, stepped on a wet stone one time and cut herself badly,” Mouron said. Preferring to remain outside of the spotlight, the family’s foundation often doesn’t put its name on anything they do. It typically sponsors college scholarships for the children of Mountain Brook first responders. When Mouron was told he could donate the bridge funds in honor of another group, that sealed the deal. Therefore, the foundation’s plaque on the bridge pays homage to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. In addition to thanking those who serve, Mouron wanted it to be a reminder for his grandchildren when

they cross the bridge that their family greatly respects those who serve. “I am passionate about our armed forces,” he said. “I never had to serve. My sons have never had to serve. “So, I think realizing that we could dedicate it to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces made it special for us. That’s why I put the family foundation name on it. I want the people who have served who cross that bridge to know that my family at least is very appreciative of what they do.” Veterans have noticed, he added. Mountain Brook resident retired Gen. Charles C. Krulak, 31st commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, wrote Mouron a letter after seeing the plaque. “He said that he and his wife do the trail all the time and how much it meant to him to have somebody dedicate it to the men and women of the armed forces,” he said. “I kept that letter. I don’t keep a lot of things, but I kept that.”


Vestavia’s Alvin Bresler Wins Top Award from Alabama AGC Alvin Bresler, co-managing director of J. Smith Lanier & Co., recently was presented with the Alabama Associated General Contractors’ Capstone Award. The award was presented Jan. 16 during the BuildSouth Awards Banquet, which kicked off AGC’s centennial year celebrations. “Alvin is a consummate professional,” Billy Norrell, CEO of Alabama AGC, said in BuildSouth, the magazine for the group. “His trustworthiness and ethics make working with him a great pleasure.” Bresler got into the surety bond and contractors’ insurance industry after several years as a football coach, including being head coach at Homewood High School in the 1970s where he led the program to its first football state championship in 1974. He is a native of Birmingham and graduated from Shades Valley High School with a football and track scholarship to Auburn University. In 1970, he broke Auburn’s record

Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 13

LIFE hard and they are very loyal, humble for the longest touchdown pass people. That was enough for me.” reception in a game against Georgia In April 1999, Bresler moved Tech – an 85-yard touchdown to J. Smith Lanier & Co. to start reception from quarterback Pat a Birmingham office with four Sullivan. That record was tied in 1988 employees, became co-managing but not broken until 2004. director in March 2000 and now Bresler received the Cliff Hare oversees 42 employees. Award, which is the highest award During the course of an athlete can receive at his career, Bresler earned Auburn. the trust of his clients He was picked in the 6th and brought a level of round of the NFL draft but dedication, determination declined because of a knee and professionalism to his injury, opting to become a job, BuildSouth said in his coach instead. bio for the award. After coaching, Bresler “We have worked found his career in the contractor insurance and with Alvin for 35 years, we bonding industry. never considered anyone Bresler began working else. His dedication, Alvin Bresler with Engel-House/Corroon knowledge and wisdom & Black, which is now Willis Towers, are unsurpassed. We knew he in 1978. would deliver the most high-quality When he interviewed with the opportunities available,” said Ricky surety bond producer Frank ‘Pig’ Tant of East Alabama Paving Co. House, himself a former major “He is a true gentleman, business league baseball player, Bresler said, professional and a great friend.” “He told me that he would make Bresler has a long history with me successful in the construction Alabama AGC. Over the years he has industry in the surety bond/contractor served on multiple AGC committees, insurance arena. He said that including being extensively involved contractors are like football coaches with the state convention committee. – they are self-confident, they work He served as the Alabama AGC State

Associate Board president in 1988, and in 2003 he was the recipient of the Henry T. Hagood Jr. Associate Leadership Award. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, Bresler received the CompTrust AGC Top Producing Agency award.

Bresler and his wife, Becky, who will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in June, live in Vestavia Hills. They have three married daughters and 10 grandchildren. – Virginia Martin


Rotary Group Reaches $1 Million Total Donation to Children’s of Alabama Children’s of Alabama recently presented Rotary International District 6860 with a recognition plaque on the Pillars of the Community display in the hospital. The plaque honors the group for donating more than $1 million to the hospital over a 10-year period. Since 2009, the 52 chapters of Rotary International District 6860 have hosted Boiling ‘N Bragging, a preseason college football tailgate party that benefits the Critical

Care Transport program at Children’s. The care team transports nearly 1,000 critically ill and injured children each year by helicopter, jet and ambulance. The team members include highly trained registered nurses and respiratory therapists with the experience to provide age-appropriate care. “When time matters most, our team works quickly to transport ill and injured children,” said Jason Peterson,

RN, who is transport coordinator for Children’s. “We are so thankful for the generous support we have received from the members of Rotary International District 6860.” This year’s Boiling ‘N Bragging will be Saturday, Aug. 22 at Otey’s Tavern in Mountain Brook.

For more information contact Tina Tombrello Wos, Director of Admissions | (205)940-2400 or twos@jcchs.org JCCHS | 300 LAKESHORE PARKWAY | BIRMINGHAM | AL | 35209 WWW.JCCHS.ORG

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Register for our free Spotlight Session today. Visit aarpfoundation.org/ReGenAL or call 855-850-2525. Since 2009, the 52 chapters of Rotary International District 6860 have hosted Boiling ‘N Bragging, a preseason college football tailgate party that benefits the Critical Care Transport program at Children’s.

This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it.


14 • Thursday, January 23, 2020



Fifth Annual Lyric Masquerade Ball Raises Funds for Theater Preservation


Elizabeth Ross, Sara Smith, Tatum Higginbotham, Hadley Algren, Hayley McGowan and Rachel Lomax.

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

ith Carnival season in full swing, the Junior Board of the Alabama and Lyric Theatres hosted its fifth annual Lyric Masquerade Ball on Jan. 18 at the Lyric Theatre. Guests donned masks for the formal affair, with festivities including a silent auction and dancing on the theater’s stage to music by The Matthew DeVine band. Drinks, heavy hors d’oeuvres and specialty tastings were served, provided by a variety of local vendors that included Coopers’ Craft bourbon, Cookie Fix, El Barrio, Ghost Train Brewing, Post Office Pies and Redmont Distilling Co. During the evening, attendees could roam throughout the theater, and VIP guests took behind-the-scenes tours of the building’s history and renovations. An official after-party was hosted by Dread River Distilling Co. following the ball, featuring specially named cocktails commemorating the historic theaters. Funds raised through the festivities and a portion of Dread River’s food and drink sales benefit Birmingham’s historic Alabama and Lyric theaters. ❖

Beth Casey and Emmy Miller.

Anna Akers, Laura Lantrip and Robert Macarthur.

Knox and Rachel Ashford.

Matthew and Kara Spearman.

Will and Lauren Lewis.

Elizabeth Bazzel and Katie Rush.

Jay Rucks and Carolyn Diamond.

Katie and Nick Woods.

Rachel Williams and Josh Durante.

Hollis Crutchfield and Rachel Vines.

Phil Johnston and Emily Laster.

Lauren Cleavelin, Kaitlyn Peterson, Morgan Lott and Molly Stephan.



Celebrating Sisterhood

Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 15

Members of the Delta Delta Delta Birmingham Alumnae chapter gathered Dec. 15 at the home of Liz Lee for a Christmas Party. Multiple generations of Tri Delts gathered to meet new members, socialize and partake of drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Lee was joined by her mother, Mary Colquit Evans, and daughter, Rosemary Lee, who are both alumnae. Also attending with fellow family alums were Kathy Harris and her daughter Celie, Gina Karcher with her daughter Emma Karcher and niece Lizzie Cooper, Dana Lemak with daughters Elizabeth and Emily Grace, Argie McDonald with daughter Elaine, Suzanne Vinson with daughters Adele and Anna, and Margery Whatley with daughters Kendall and Lindsey. Others attending included Birmingham Alumnae President Catherine Pewitt, as well as Kimberly Bean, Joy Boozer, Bebe Burkett, Susannah Camp, Missie Crawford, Adele Culp, Julie Edwards, Catherine Gross, Jane Howard, Mary Lee Gwaltney, Noelle Haas, Valerie Lightfoot, Kathy Pearce, Shannon Riley, Sara Schilleci, Anne Sherrod, Shirley Ann Stringfellow, Anne Watson and Elizabeth Wyatt. ❖

Photos courtesy Tri Delts

Christmas Party Brings Together Generations of Tri Delt Alums

Rosemary Lee, Liz Lee, Argie McDonald and Elaine McDonald.

Lizze Cooper, Gina Karcher and Emma Karcher.

Lindsey Whatley, Margery Whatley and Kendall Whatley.

Dana Lemak, Susannah Camp, Emily Grace Lemak and Elizabeth Lemak.


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16 • Thursday, January 23, 2020



Home for the Holidays

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Also attending were Jim Appleton, Adrian Bewley, Regina Currie, Doris Davis, Carol and Max Godsey, Jhan Hodges, Luna and Dave Hollett, Suzanne and Jim Hoye, Carolyn and Walter LaGroue, Karen and Keith Lloyd, Karen and Ron Nelson, Mary Ellen and Bill Parker, Becca Parsons, Donna Rankin, Margaret and Tony Serra, and Rhonda and Eric Thompson. Clipped Wings is a group of former Flight Attendants who gather informally four times a year. For more information, contact Carol Godsey at 205-223-1448. ❖

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Rhonda Thomas, Barbara Huffman, Carolyn LaGroue and Karen Nelson.

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

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In the midst of the seasonal hustle and bustle, members of the Clipped Wings gathered Dec. 14 to celebrate Christmas at the home of Luna and Dave Hollett. As guests entered the home, they were greeted with flutes of champagne and a tempting display of hors d’oeuvres. Every room in the home was aglow with lit garlands and trees, complementing members’ holiday attire and setting the stage for a festive evening. The holiday theme continued with dinner tables dressed in colorful cloths, gold and red chargers and Christmas centerpieces. Chef Ray Franklin of Chef Chef Catering and his knowledgeable staff prepared a meal of fresh garden salad, roast pork loin, mashed potatoes and haricots verts. The grand finale was warm, New Orleans-style white chocolate bread pudding, straight from the oven. As each course was served, Franklin described the dish and how it was prepared. Following dinner, the party moved downstairs for after-dinner refreshments and a lively game of White Elephant, also known as Dirty Santa. Members had been invited to “regift,” bringing a lovely gift they had received but could not use. The annual event was hosted by members Luna Hollett, Leslie

Photo courtesy Clipped Wings

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BBBS Hosts Awareness Event, Sets Goal to Pledge 30 Mentors in January January is National Mentoring Month, and to celebrate and spread awareness, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Birmingham hosted an awareness event at Good People Brewing Co. on Jan. 17. The organization has set a goal for the new year, to find bigs for the 130 Birmingham children who are on the wait list for a mentor. For the month of January, the organization hopes to pledge 30 new mentors. At the event, guests took part in games, lucky players earned prizes, and all learned more about the mentoring program at the BBBS. For more information on becoming a mentor, visit bbbsbhm.org/resolution. ❖



Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 17

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

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Vicrtoria, Cristina and Rafael Correa.

Isaac and Erin McDow.

A Southern Afternoon

Bourbon and Barbecue Fundraiser Supports MS Research Guests at the annual Bourbonham fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s AlabamaMississippi chapter spent the afternoon of Jan. 19 sipping bourbon and sampling barbecue for a worthy cause. The event is one of the chapter’s signature fundraisers. It supports its mission to fund multiple sclerosis research and enhance the lives of those affected by MS. While distiller ambassadors served samples of more than 50 bourbons and whiskeys, festivities throughout the venue included a watch party for the AFC and NFC playoff games, a silent auction and live blues music. In addition, educational seminars were provided for guests looking to learn more about bourbon. The event was inspired by Brian Guilbeau, a bourbon lover who continues to help plan the event. Helping coordinate the affair were Scott Thorne, Jennifer Ely and Kate Schroeder, among others. ❖

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Kait Hill, Mitchell Garnett, Meagan Willis, Paige Lindsay and Thomas Kirby.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society Alabama-Mississippi Chapter President Andy Bell with Bourbonham founders Scott Thorne and Brian Guilbeau.

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Matt Register and Katie Gilbert.

Robert and Becky Reese with Jeff Long.

18 • Thursday, January 23, 2020



Now, Back to Business

BMC Celebrates a New Year After Reflecting on Fall Festivities

Caroline and Samuel Nordlund, Angela and Jeffery Flaniken and Pat Grant.

Photos courtesy BMC

Charla Mobley, Roberta Atkinson, Abigail Workman and Michelle Rushing. Mary-Noel Sellers, Beth Adams and Nancy Canada.


Birmingham Jingle Bell Run Raises More Than $88,000 for Arthritis Foundation

Michelle Rushing, Barbara Klyce, Elise Warren and Sandra Holley.

The Arthritis Foundation’s Alabama-Mississippi chapter hosted the annual Jingle Bell Run Birmingham on Dec. 14 at Railroad Park, raising more than $88,900 for the foundation. Runs included a 5K, one-mile fun run and a Santa Chase kids run. This year’s medical honoree was Dr. Courtney Crayne, an attending physician at UAB/Children’s of Alabama who specializes in rheumatology. She was appointed to serve on the Government Affairs Committee and Early Career Investigators Subcommittee for the American College of Rheumatology. Crayne graduated from Cornell University and received her medical degree from UAB. She has met with state and federal officials to advocate health care policy reform to provide better patient care for people with rheumatic disease. The patient honoree was 11-year-old Marley Wilkes, who was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at age 8. ❖

Above, Mike and Meghan Hellenga. Below, Zack and Katie Willard.

Jerry Tinsley (Santa) with Liles, Sibi and Dagney Walker.

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

The Guild of the Birmingham Music Club celebrated the close of an active season this month with a New Year’s program, featuring a concert by harpist Abigail Workman. Throughout the fall, the club attended concerts and hosted socials to promote and foster the appreciation of music and the performing arts in the Birmingham community. Festivities began with a November cocktail party at the home of Nancy and Kevin Canada, chaired by Beth Adams, Nancy Canada and MaryNoel Sellers. Also in November, the Samford University String Quartet – composed of Caroline and Samuel Nordlund along with Angela and Jeffrey Flaniken – performed at The Club for the Guild Coffee and Membership Meeting, hosted by Pat Grant. Members next celebrated the holiday season with a party at ServisFirst Bank, chaired by Elizabeth Broughton. Since the New Year’s event, members have started planning the club’s annual spring scholarship auditions for college students. Since 2004, the Guild, which has 200 members, has funded and administered a prestigious scholarship program for young musicians attending colleges in Alabama. Its mission is to support young musicians in their education. ❖


Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 19

Photo courtesy Holiday Assembly


Escorted by their fathers, the young ladies were presented in the club’s grand East Room.

Welcoming a New Class Holiday Assembly Celebrates 77th Year

The 77th annual Holiday Assembly was held Dec. 20 at the Country Club of Birmingham. The season began with a festive mother-daughter tea in September held at Mountain Brook Club. On the night of the ball, the presentees and their dates enjoyed a private seated dinner. Escorted by their fathers, the young ladies were presented in the club’s grand East Room. The room was adorned with hundreds of twinkle lights as well as winter greenery and flowers by Sybil Brooke Sylvester/Wildflower Designs. Presentees are high school juniors who have a mother, grandmother or aunt who was previously presented at Holiday Assembly. The presentation was followed by a dance with guests of the presentees and music by Familiar Faces. Those presented at the Holiday Assembly were: Carolyn Campbell Boyd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Howard Boyd Jr.; Katherine Wade Bradford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Wade Bradford; Dorothy Jane Christian, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Rosamond Christian; Margaret Moore Clapp, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Brian Clapp; Elizabeth Anne Wilkinson Crommelin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William David Sellers Crommelin. Millie Martin Dorman, daughter of Ms. Walker White Dorman and Mr. Evan Clifford Dorman; Margaret Foley Doyle, daughter of Drs. John Scott Doyle and Mary Nabers Doyle; Mary Douglass Evans, daughter of Ms. Mary Simmons Evans and Mr. Jonathan Scott Evans; Frances Parker Faulconer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Percival Hunter Faulconer III; Lilla Caldwell Flake, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jared Gray Flake. Payton Elizabeth Flynn, daughter

of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hayes Flynn; Martha Camille Fowler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Samuel Fowler; Francis Eleanor Hagan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Willis Cobb Hagan III; Mary Winston Parker Hendry, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Parker Hendry; Katharine Allan Howell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Allan Howell; Sarah McCarty Huddle, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clark Christian Huddle. Katherine Tracy Jeffcoat, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Robert Jeffcoat; Catherine Peyton Jones, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Leroy Jones; Jessie Katherine Jones, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Hoyt Jones; Mary Carlisle Jones, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Haskin Williams Jones; Ann Carlton Keller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Carlton Keller; Mary Caroline Kracke, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Lee Kracke Jr. Anne Pearce LaRussa, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Gregory LaRussa; Anna Raines Manley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Reid Stephens Manley; Mary Catherine Holton Martin, daughter of Ms. Catherine Andee Holton and Mr. Bryan Taylor Martin; escorted by Mr. Alex Holton Bell; Taylor Lee Morris, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Fowlkes Morris Jr.; Jessica Lee Randolph, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Rutherford Randolph IV. Olivia Kerr Robinson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lee Robinson Jr.; Isabel Ray Swoger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Scott Dempsey Swoger; Helen Dade Walthall, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kennon Dade Walthall; Emma Kathryn Williams, daughter of Ms. Melanie Buttram Williams and Mr. Thomas Craig Williams; Frances

Carlisle Wilson, daughter of Ms. Anna Brantley Fry and Mr. John Golightly Wilson; Ila Danielle Worthen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Thacher Worthen Jr.; Isabelle Clayton Yates, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dustin Blake Yates. ❖

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20 • Thursday, January 23, 2020


A Lot Like Manhattan

Couple Finds the Walkable Community They Were Looking for in Renovated Eastbury

hen it was announced last year that the Hill luxury apartments in Homewood were being transformed into the Eastbury – a 122-unit condominium development – Ronald Chaffin and Evgeniya Koshelyaevskaya were in the process of buying a house in Homewood. But that announcement, they say, made them change their plans. Now, they’re scheduled to become some of the Eastbury’s first tenants. The decision to transform the property, at 1804 Oxmoor Road, was meant to appeal to a wide variety of customers – “folks who want a lower-maintenance type of lifestyle, where they can have a place in an urban setting, whether they’re traveling as professionals, young or old, downsizing or upsizing,” said Farris Properties portfolio manager John Chapman. Chapman said Eastbury’s location, a short distance from downtown Homewood, has an “irreplaceable” appeal. That’s certainly the case for Chaffin and Koshelyaevskaya, who first moved to Homewood in 2016. Previously, the couple had split their time between a Manhattan apartment and a second home in Bradley Beach, New Jersey. When they decided to move to the Birmingham metro area for Chaffin’s job as a health insurance executive, they considered a variety of areas, including Mountain Brook,

Crestline, English Village and Highland Park. But they settled on Homewood because, in many ways, it resembled their previous homes. “In Manhattan, once we got home (from work), we walked everywhere,” Chaffin said, “and Bradley Beach was a small Jersey Shore town. We just liked living in a small community, and we were really interested in places where we could walk. We were attracted to Homewood, really, because of the town center.” The couple moved into the Hill, living there for two years before moving into a smaller, less expensive apartment complex as they prepared to purchase and move into a new house. “But when the Eastbury converted to condos, my wife already knew exactly which unit she wanted,” Chaffin said, laughing. “It was a good opportunity, so we just decided to leave the house alone and proceed with the condo,” Koshelyaevskaya said. The couple said they had outgrown their two-bedroom apartment at the Hill, and their new three-bedroom unit at the Eastbury will allow enough room for them, their young child and their dog. One- and two-bedroom units also are available at Eastbury.

‘In Manhattan, once we got home (from work), we walked everywhere and Bradley Beach was a small Jersey Shore town. We just liked living in a small community, and we were really interested in places where we could walk. We were attracted to Homewood, really, because of the town center.’

Photos courtesy The Eastbury


By Sam Prickett

Upgrades, Amenities and Location

They also were drawn in by the upgrades that were made to the units during the conversion from apartments to condos.

Hill luxury apartments in Homewood have been transformed into the Eastbury, a 122-unit condominium development.


Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 21


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“They added more lighting, they added crown molding throughout and tall baseboards in the main living areas,” Chaffin said. “New floors, new tile … . The bathrooms both have showers. They’ve definitely made something more appropriate that you would buy versus rent.”

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To: From: “They added more lighting, they added crown molding throughout and tall baseboards in the main living areas,” Chaffin said. “New floors, new tile … . The bathrooms both have showers. They’ve definitely made something more appropriate that you would buy versus rent.” Koshelyaevskaya added that the Eastbury’s overall infrastructure, which includes a swimming pool, an outdoor kitchen, a fitness room, offstreet parking, garage spaces and storage rooms, also was a draw. “We just thought, we really don’t want to put time and effort into maintaining a yard,” Chaffin laughed. But the couple said the location in the middle of Homewood remains the biggest appeal of the Eastbury. “The park is not far away; the library is not far away. It’s really, really walkable, kind of its own community, and I like that about it,” Koshelyaevskaya said “And it’s safe.

The police station is close by, and that made me feel safe … and very importantly for those of us who have kids, the school district is very good.” But being able to walk to downtown Homewood was the “most important” part of the decision to move into the Eastbury, the couple said. “One of our favorite things to do is to go out to eat, and we liked the restaurants,” Chaffin said. “On the weekend, we like to get up in the morning and go sit somewhere and have a cup of coffee. There are several places we can go have breakfast or brunch. The main street has good restaurants, and we expect them to continue to get better as the area further

develops. And the shops are really interesting. If we want to go and browse, buy gifts or anything like that, there’s a good selection.” Another “significant consideration,” Chaffin said, is the short commute to downtown Birmingham, where he works. “I have a seven-minute commute, which is great. I wouldn’t want to be any farther down Highway 280, and I wouldn’t want to be any farther down Independence Highway (U.S. 31), because I don’t like to spend that much time in the car,” he said. “To us, it was all about convenience.” For more information about the Eastbury, visit theeastbury.com.

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Minimize to the Max


Embridge Homes Embraces the “Jewel Box” Trend, Offering Luxury-Living in Smaller Spaces

Downsizing to a smaller home no longer means downgrading your lifestyle to fit in a smaller space. With the “jewel box” house trend taking over, buying a smaller home in a new community often includes an upgrade. The trend toward smaller houses with quality materials and detailing along with custom built-ins has been growing steadily for more than a decade. It is a style of homebuilding embraced by developers in Over the Mountain communities, where land is often limited but luxury is often expected. One such company is Embridge Homes, which is developing two new communities in the Lake Wilborn area of Hoover, The Parc and Water’s Ridge. Both communities offer homes ranging from three to five bedrooms that go all out on the interior finishes, while keeping lot sizes on the smaller side to promote walkability within the community. “For this neighborhood (The Parc), in particular, probably about half of our buyers are downsizing,” said Kristi Parker, one of the three Embridge Realty real estate agents who serve the communities. Parker, along with her fellow agents Karen Wallis and Kyle Forstman, has seen intense growth in the market for downsizers over the past three to four years. “In the past, people were looking for the big home sites and bigger homes,” said Parker. “Now, that has kind of gone away because developers are developing with smaller home sites.” While the sites are smaller, the homes are working overtime on the

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By leaving the living area as one large shared space, there is more room to fit the walk-in pantry, walk-in bedroom closets and extra space in the bedrooms. When it comes to creating a jewel, it’s all about using the space to the max.

interior to give owners everything they want, as well as a few extras they don’t know they need, “because your kids still come home to visit,” Parker said.

Meet ‘Kellyton’

The Parc’s Kellyton home is the perfect example of a jewel box house. Builders just finished their latest model for this floor plan, at 2989 Zilphy Street, which offers two ways to live. “We’re not that cookie-cutter builder,” Wallis. “The homes may look similar on the outside, but inside customers get a lot of choices. They get to make it like a little jewel.” The basic floorplan features mainlevel living with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. A staircase near the guest bedrooms leads to a secondfloor attic space, which can be finished out to include a second den, as well as a fourth bedroom and third bathroom. “It actually goes from about 2,100 square feet up to 2,800 square feet, if you choose to finish it out,” Parker said Guests enter the home, passing through a covered front porch and into a foyer. The style is like a shot-

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gun house, turned up a notch. Past the foyer is a completely open concept along one side of the house. An open gourmet kitchen with space for a dining table leads to a large den with vaulted ceilings.

Parker noted that, while many of their buyers are downsizing, a multitude are not. Younger families tend to want some of the same things that empty-nesters do: efficiency, community and affordable luxury. “We had about 30+ people in the home (on Jan. 9) and it just flowed so well,” Forstman said. People were able to mingle on the front porch, throughout the living space and spilled out onto a back patio – which features a built-in fireplace. Two guest bedrooms, one bathroom, a laundry room and a master suite are private access, positioned

along short hallways off the main living area. “What I love most about this home is that this is a 3/2, but you have a flex room,” Parker said. Just slightly smaller than a guest bedroom, the flex room has a double-door entry off the foyer. “You have the option for a dining room, an office, a study,” Parker said. “It could actually be a playroom. Whatever you needed it for, you’ve got an extra room right there.” When it comes to creating a jewel, Wallis noted that it’s all about using the space to the max. That means offering plenty of storage and plenty of space in the bedrooms and bathrooms. “In the end, those are the things that really add up for people,” Wallis said. “They don’t want an itty, bitty, tiny bedroom. They want a bedroom of decent size.” By leaving the living areas one large shared space, there is more room to fit the walk-in pantry, walk-in bedroom closets and extra space in the bedrooms. “In your master bathroom, it does feel like that luxury spa,” Wallis said. “We do the freestanding tub, the frameless shower doors and all of that. It

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may not be the largest in the world, but you aren’t skimping on that quality and that feeling, because you feel like a million bucks in here.” Though there are plenty of upgrades that can be tacked on to a new build such as this, buyers who are looking to save some cash can expect luxury even at the home’s base pricing. “Even paired down, you still get quartz countertops,” Wallis said. “You still get hardwood floors. You still get crown molding and a farmhouse sink, the spa bathroom.” The three things that people typically upgrade are the kitchen, the fireplace and hardwood in the master, which Parker noted are all easy on the wallet. Another included perk at The Parc is at the back of the house, where the two-car garage also includes a third space for a golf cart. “If you have a golf cart, it’s perfect, because you can just bee-bop down to the park or the lake,” Parker said. “Not everybody has one, but you do have (a) lawnmower or equipment. Some people want a workstation. You still have people – a lot of men, mostly – who are looking for that tinkering station, and you’ve got a whole sector over there that you can use for that.”

Low Maintenance and Energy Efficient

Luxury that you can see is all good and fine, but the jewel box house offers much more that isn’t as tactile as high-end appliances and cabinetry. “When someone is retiring, they are looking for something that is going to be their last home, their forever home,” Forstman said. “They are looking 20-30 years out and say, ‘I want to start afresh, so I don’t have any maintenance to do in the foreseeable future.’” To get into a dream community, such as Homewood, Forstman noted, people looking to save some money while they downsize often lean toward older houses. They then spend a sizable amount renovating the space to get what they want, which is typically a more open concept and more energy efficiency. New luxury builds like those that Embridge creates are built to be energy efficient and low maintenance, Forstman said. Embridge, for example, uses a concrete composite form of plank siding, which helps insulate the interior. Low-emissivity windows also insulate by minimizing the amount of infrared and UV light that enters the home. “My mom lives in one of our houses. I lived in one of our houses, and power bills and gas bills – all of that – they’re great,” Parker said. “You will not find a room that is a


different temperature than the other,” he continued.” In many cases, Forstman, Parker and Wallis said, people are looking for things their last house didn’t give them. ”We have several plans where you can walk straight into the kitchen,” Parker said. “So, you park in the driveway and you bring your groceries right in. You’d be surprised how many customers have asked for that.” One of Forstman’s customers was moving out of her tri-level home in Bluff Park, looking specifically for easy access from car to kitchen. “She said, ‘I’m just so exhausted bringing groceries in,’” Forstman said. “She is widowed, so she was having to do things like lugging the groceries up the stairs all on her own.”

Sense of Community

A major draw, as well, is the sense of community that isn’t as easily obtained while living on a larger plot

Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 23


farther from neighbors. Forstman had two customers last week who were searching for just that. “One customer told me she just wanted to be somewhere where she could make some friends,” he said. “Where she is from, she lives on a large lot on a lake. It’s the resort life for her, but, because the lots are so large, people go and hang out on their pier on that lake they have. They

don’t socialize with their neighbors.” His other customers are a young family moving from Mountain Brook into a five-bedroom, four-bathroom house. “The wife said she would absolutely not move anywhere that didn’t have sidewalks, because they want to be able to get out and walk,” he said. “The appeal for them was to be able to walk to the park. It’s two blocks from their front door to all of that recreation.” Safety is a bonus for community members, as community spaces such as the park are monitored by cameras. There also are plenty of neighbors around to watch out for each other. “Last night as I was leaving, there were kids riding their scooters,” Forstman said. “One kid was bouncing his basketball all the way down the sidewalk.” It made him think about his own two sons. They don’t have the ability to do something like that, as Forstman lives on a busy Hoover street. Parker noted that, while many of their buyers are downsizing, a multitude are not. Younger families tend to want some of the same things that empty-nesters do: efficiency, community and affordable luxury.

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Students at N.E. Miles Host BBQ Fundraiser for Youth Philanthropy Program

Upper school students at N.E. Miles Jewish Day School served up plates of barbecue to faculty, family and friends on the evening of Jan. 16, raising funds along the way for an ongoing philanthropic fundraising project. The event was organized by upper school students in a youth philanthropy class – The Abroms Center for Excellence Youth Philanthropy, Leadership David and Emil Antselevich. and Social Justice Initiative – that seeks to teach kids about fundraising and nonprofit organizations. Throughout the program, students learn about social injustices and identify areas of need in the community. They then learn about organizations that address those needs and develop relationships with the people who run them. Through this class, students develop leadership skills and embrace the value of Tikkun Olam, a concept in Judaism that translates to “repairing the world.” At the end of the year, the class will Above, Samuel White and Rabbi allocate funds raised throughout the Yassi Friedman. Below, Naomi and year to organizations of their choosing. —­Emily Williams Abigail Fenton.

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Mountain Brook Schools Recognize Teachers of the Year Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year at Mountain Brook City Schools for 2019-20 were recognized recently. Cherokee Bend Elementary’s Sarah

In addition, teachers of the year were recognized for each of the schools. Other winners were Ana Terpo, Bluff Park Elementary; Kaitlin McPeake Emily Fogleman, Brock’s Gap; Suzanne Dunbar, Deer Valley Elementary; Kristina Fowler, Green Valley Elementary; Cherry Johnson, Greystone Elementary;

Stephanie Williams, Gwin; Michele Ross, Riverchase; Sara Thomas, Shades Mountain; Karen Miles, South Shades Crest; Hannah Johnson, Trace Rebecca Besch Crossings; Christy Hall, R.F. Bumpus Middle; Amanda Giles, Simmons Middle; Lisa Smith, Hoover High School; and Victoria Bye, Spain Park High School.

Jackson was named Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Mountain Brook High School’s Brock Rotter was named Secondary Teacher of the Year. Jackson is a speech-language pathologist. She previously taught at Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health Center, where she worked with preschool and school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders and other mental health disorders.

She joined the Cherokee Bend faculty in 2012. Rotter is a government/economics teacher at MBHS. He began his career in 1998 teaching English, history and government and economics. He took a break from 2005-2009, opening retail businesses throughout the region, before returning to education and eventually joining the MBHS staff in 2012.

OLS Students Bag Lunches for Holiday Service Project Kindergarteners, first and sixth graders at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School packed more than 750 lunch bags for the homeless last month. Bagging and donating lunches was part of a special Christmas service project. This was one of the many service projects that the school participated in to help others during the holiday season. More projects will be conducted throughout the year.

Photo courtesy OLS

Benny Freidman and JJ Stein.

On Dec. 17, the Hoover Board of Education surprised its Hoover City Schools 2019-20 Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year in their classrooms. Rocky Ridge Elementary fourth grade teacher Kaitlin McPeake was named Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Rebecca Besch, seventh grade teacher at Berry Middle School, was named Secondary Teacher of the Year. McPeake has been an educator for 10 years and Besch for 20. Both now advance to the statewide Alabama Teacher of the Year competition.

Berry Middle School Classroom Expansion Continues In early December 2019, Berry Middle School Principal Chris Robbins announced the timeline of the school’s $7.1 million classroom expansion. The project, nicknamed “The Berry Build-Out,” began Dec. 21 following a Dec. 18 groundbreaking and is expected to take an estimated 18 months to complete. The three-story addition includes 10 classrooms, three science labs and a teacher workroom. An enclosed hallway will connect the addition to the rest of the school. Everyday procedures, such as carpool and bus drop-off, have been adjusted to accommodate construction; one-half of Berry’s west parking lot has been fenced off. Morning carpool and bus procedures have not been changed. As of Jan. 6, afternoon bus dismissal will take place at its regular time, 3:153:22 p.m., but buses will load at the front and east sides of the building. Afternoon carpool will take place from about 3:20 p.m. to 3:42 p.m., after buses have finished loading.

her diabetes, titled “Can Cats Sense Changes in Blood Sugar Levels?” She was diagnosed when she was in preschool. For her project, Roberts used cats to evaluate whether they were able to sense changes in blood sugar levels. Judges for this year’s fair were Hilltop alumnae Leah Fox and Maddie Stewart. Fox is in the Peace Corps and is a Fulbright Scholar, National Merit Scholar and a Jet Scholar. Stewart is pursuing a PhD in pharmaceutical development.

Photo courtesy Hilltop Montessori

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

McPeake, Besch Named Top Teachers in Hoover

For her project, Roberts used cats to evaluate whether they were able to sense changes in blood sugar levels.

Hilltop Montessori Students Win With Science Project Inspired by Diabetes Rachel Roberts, a sixth grader at Hilltop Montessori School, won Hilltop Montessori’s science fair Dec. 6 and will move forward to compete at UAB-Cord in March. Roberts’ project was inspired by

MBHS’s Byars Stewart Named State PowerPoint Champion Mountain Brook High School student Byars Stewart recently was selected as Alabama’s champion in the Microsoft Office Specialist Championship for the PowerPoint category. Participation in the tournament included completing online tests regarding Microsoft programs, in which Stewart received a perfect score on the PowerPoint MOS test. Stewart will travel to Dallas this summer to compete in the U.S. National Championship.


Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 25


Backto-Back Champs

When Briarwood Christian School’s Grayson Morris and Tucker Smith went wire-to-wire to bring home the 2019 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, they became the first high school team to repeat as national champions. The duo now is set to add another first to their resume when they become the first high school anglers to fish alongside the pros at the iconic Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk in March. As 53 of the world’s best anglers take off to compete on day 2 of the Bassmaster Classic, they will be led onto the waters of Lake Guntersville by Morris and Smith, B.A.S.S. has announced. Surrounded by friends and family last Thursday at a pep rally celebrating their national championship wins, Morris and Smith were surprised to learn they not only would be fishing on day 2 and participating in Classic festivities, but that Academy Sports + Outdoors would be pro-

TURNER From page one

Cheers from fans around her and throughout the stadium prompted her to raise her head. “Everyone started screaming around me and saying, ‘Nolan caught the ball.’” The game-clinching interception stamped No. 3 Clemson’s ticket for its date at the Mercedes Benz Superdome against No. 1 LSU in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Jan. 13. But Clemson couldn’t stop LSU and its record-setting Heisman Trophy quarterback Joe Burrow. LSU knocked off Clemson 42-25, denying Clemson consecutive national championships. Turner finished the title game with six solo tackles and four assists. He nearly had an interception on thirdand-2 at the LSU 33 in the third quarter with Clemson trailing 28-25. LSU scored two more touchdowns to end Clemson’s reign.

Like Father, Like Son

For the Turners, the national playoffs were just part of the journey, the unanticipated, unbelievable expedition that took Nolan Turner from being the son of a college and pro football legend to an unrecruited high school star to a two-time national champion. Turner’s father was former Alabama fullback Kevin Turner, who played eight seasons in the National Football League – three with the New

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Briarwood Champions Will Add to List of Firsts with Bassmaster Classic Appearance

From left, boat captain J.T. Russell with Grayson Morris and Tucker Smith who have won back-toback Bassmaster High School National Championships.

viding a specially wrapped boat for their use during Classic Week. “I’m speechless and so thankful,” Smith said. “It is amazing that we’ll be the first high school team in the Classic, and I know we wouldn’t be in this position without the support of our families and coaches.” As the realization they will be participating in the Bassmaster Classic set in, the duo immediately began planning how to make the most of the opportunity. “To be honest, my first thought is how I’m going to catch fish on Guntersville,” Morris said.

England Patriots and five with the Philadelphia Eagles. The elder Turner experienced chronic traumatic encephalopathy and died in March 2016 due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Nolan – who wears his father’s No. 24 jersey number – wishes all the time that Kevin Turner were in the stands to see him perform. “I know he’s always watching,” Nolan said. “I know where he is. It gives me that peace and I’m not too worried about it. Yeah, it would be cool for him to be down here on Earth to experience and talk about some of those things together.” JoyceMarie, Kevin’s ex-wife, admits that football’s role in his demise made her apprehensive about their son playing the sport. But, like his father, Nolan loves football. She recalls Kevin coaching Nolan in his youth and telling her something he knew she didn’t want to hear when he was 8. “‘He’s a natural out there. He’s not like the other kids,’” she recounted Kevin saying. “‘It’s not because Nolan is my child and you know I never pushed football on Nolan. But he’s a natural out there. He just gets it.’ “That was that,” JoyceMarie said. “There forward, he just shined every time he went out there and he loved it.” Nolan remembers talking with his dad about football and the danger of the sport. “He always had confidence in the game and how it’s developed over the years, how people handle head trauma

“I never thought I’d be fishing the Classic this spring, but now I want to make sure I learn from the pros while we have the chance.” After spending the day on the lake, Morris and Smith will return to Birmingham, where their five-fish bag will be weighed-in to the cheers of thousands of fishing fans at the BirminghamJefferson Convention Complex. “Academy Sports + Outdoors is excited to partner with B.A.S.S. and provide Grayson and Tucker the opportunity to fish alongside the pros on Lake Guntersville,” said Lawrence Lobpries, senior vice president of marketing at Academy

now differently than they used to,” Nolan said. “We had that discussion and he was always comfortable with me playing.” As a senior at Vestavia Hills High School, Nolan was a 2-star recruit, one who had garnered little attention from major college recruiters. His best offer was to be an invited walkon at Alabama, his dad’s alma mater. Fate dealt him a better hand when, following a 45-40 loss to Alabama in the National Championship Game in January 2016, four Clemson defensive backs declared for the NFL Draft. Suddenly, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney needed to plug holes in his secondary. After watching Nolan’s video, the former teammate of Kevin Turner came to Vestavia and offered Nolan a scholarship. “It all happened really fast,” Nolan recalled. “One thing changed and, boom, I ended up here at Clemson somehow.”

Sports + Outdoors. “We’re excited to help grow the sport by not only elevating the 2020 Bassmaster Classic through our title sponsorship, but also promoting youth participation in fishing.” While the big stage of the Classic will be new to them, Smith and Morris already have tasted the spotlight. The duo appeared as part of a series called Winning Edges – an educational and inspirational show produced by high school students. The pair also has received a long list of accolades off the water in recognition of their dedication to conservation and community service projects. Morris and Smith have managed a private lake, adding fish habitats and baitfish. While Smith has volunteered for years with the Kampfire for the King events benefiting the King’s Ranch and Hannah Home, Morris has done mission work in Haiti, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Smith was one of 12 young anglers named to the 2019 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team, while Morris earned honorable mention. “I am so proud of what Grayson and Tucker have accomplished as well as how they have given all of the glory and praise to God for these opportunities,” said Briarwood fishing team coach Curtis Gossett. The 2020 Bassmaster Classic, which runs March 6-8 and includes giveaways and celebrity appearances, will be the culmination of 50 years of top-tier tournament bass fishing. Daily launches will take place at Civitan Park in Guntersville, with daily weigh-ins and the annual Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo held in Birmingham at the convention complex. For more information, visit bassmaster.com.

lot of confidence in our offense for them to go down and score, which they did. We just had to go back out and make one more stop.” On the field after the game, Swinney picked up the story from there. “I told Nolan right after we scored, I said, ‘That’s why you don’t put your head down. It ain’t over,’” Swinney told ESPN’s Rece Davis. “I said, ‘You’re gonna get the winning, you’re gonna get the interception to win this game.’ That’s what I told him.” And as though the coach were looking into a crystal ball, that’s just what happened. “I was in cover-2 so I had to get back there, read No. 1 (Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields), get my eyes back inside,” the safety said.

“The receiver shut it down and I was kind of left out there in the middle of the field by myself.” In hindsight, Nolan believes Olave, the receiver who beat him earlier, saw him on top in coverage and broke off his route. Fields, feeling the pass rush, was already making the throw. “The ball was in the air and I just went and made a play,” Turner added. “It was a big change, for sure, in emotion. It went from a low to a high right there. I was just focused on that next play.” And, he said, he felt the presence of his father with him. “I always do,” Turner said. “Whenever I put No. 24 on, I feel it. I represent him when I’m out there, wearing his number on my back.”

Look Toward the Next Play

On a late December night before a new decade was born, Nolan twice ended up in the brightest spotlight of his football career. On the first, he was beaten by Chris Olave on the touchdown pass that gave the Buckeyes a 2-point lead. “I got beat inside a little bit and I was probably playing with the wrong leverage,” Nolan recalled. “I was pretty mad at myself (but) I always have a next-play mentality for me. I had to let that one go and come back out there and keep playing. “We had a lot of time left. I had a

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26 • Thursday, January 23, 2020



By Rubin E. Grant

REBELS From page 28

It was part of the Rebels’ near total domination as they steamrolled Bob Jones 63-15, recording 10 pins in the 14 weight classes and losing only three matches. “We performed really well,” Vestavia Hills coach Tee Adams said. “It’s probably the best we’ve performed all season. It was a collective team effort.” The triumph was extra sweet for the Rebels.

TURNAROUND From page 28

returned to Homewood. Shortly after he returned, he got his old job back, replacing Jazmine Powers, who had left to become head coach at Bob Jones High School in Madison.

Getting the Team Back Together

Tubbs was familiar with the play-

Roll On

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

The Vestavia Hills boys bowling team is not dwelling on its 2019 state championship. “That happened last year,” Vestavia Hills coach Todd Evans said pointedly. “We’ve moved on to a new challenge.” That new challenge will be the Alabama High School Athletic Association State Bowling Championships Thursday and Friday at Oak Mountain Lanes in Pelham. The first round will be Thursday and the championship round Friday. The final day’s competition will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network. On day one, teams will play three traditional 10-pin games to determine seeding for day two. The day two matches will be elimination rounds and teams will be placed in 16-team, single elimination brackets. They will bowl one traditional game and three Baker games. In the traditional game, five bowlers from each team bowl a full 10 frames. In a Baker game, five bowlers combine to bowl a single 10-frame game. Bowling starts at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m. on Friday. The finals are scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday. The Rebels will have three seniors competing who were part of the 2019 championship team: Martin Maners, Nick Watts and Reese Merritt. Maners is a Jacksonville State baseball signee and Watts plans to bowl in college. Junior Walter Reed, whose older brother Beau starred on the 2019 team, and sophomore Smithson Yielding round out the Rebels’ starting five. Seniors John Christiansen and Josh Turner and junior Riley Giardina provide depth. “We have a really good, deep team,” Evans said. “Everybody has something they do really good. “But this team is different from last year. Last year’s team would try to outscore you individually and hold their own in the Baker. This year’s team is a better Baker team and not as good individually.” Last week, the Rebels were knocked out by Spain Park 1,448 to 1,397 in the semifinals of the South Regional at Camelia Lanes in Mobile.

The Rebels will have three seniors competing who were part of the 2019 championship team: Martin Maners, left, Nick Watts and Reese Merritt.

Vestavia Hills’ Boys Bowling Team Eager for Chance to Repeat as State Champs

Bob Jones had eliminated Vestavia Hills in the Class 7A Duals semifinals the past two years en route to winning the Duals title in 2018 and finishing as runners-up in 2019. “It felt really good,” Willoughby said. “We’ve been working hard the last couple of years and coming up short. This year we’ve continued working hard and everybody is getting after it. “This was a win for everybody, including the JV (junior varsity) guys, who had been working hard, too. I am glad we had a chance to show off what we can to.”

ers he was inheriting. “I coached many of them in the seventh and eighth grade, so it was not like I was coming in with a brand new team,” Tubbs said. “Last year, Homewood started two sophomores and a freshman, so I’ve gotten the benefit of that experience.” The Patriots received a big boost when 6-foot-2-inch senior center Kassidy Schnoer decided to rejoin the team. She had played as a freshman and sophomore but decided to concentrate solely on volleyball her

Rebels sophomore Zach Furry, who is ranked No. 1 in Class 7A at 106 pounds, pinned Bob Jones’ Peyton King in 3:26. Four other Vestavia wrestlers recorded pins in fewer than 2:00 minutes: Bryant Segars at 128 pounds, Leighton Reese at 134, Trey Saunders at 197 and Bryce Littleton at 222, Hasting Roberts at 115 pounds, Christopher Hays at 122, John Edwards at 162 and Dawson Ray at 287 also recorded pins. Chandler Merrill was the only Vestavia Hills winner who didn’t record a pin, scoring a 7-2 decision against Bob Jones’ Jamie Clark at 154.

junior year. Tubbs’ presence on the bench lured her back to the basketball court. “She came to me and told me she wanted to play her senior year,” Tubbs said. “She’s a good player. She’s made a huge difference. She’s come in like she never stopped playing.” Schnoer leads the Patriots in scoring (17.0 points per game) and rebounding (8.0 rebounds per game). Cassell is glad Schnoer decided to return. “We played with her when we

Spain Park went on to win the regional title, defeating Auburn 1,601 pins to 1,313 in the final. The Jags totaled 1,010 pins in the traditional round and posted a 235 team score in the second game of the Baker series. Cameron Park led the Jags’ championship match win with a 238, the top individual total in the traditional round. The Jags’ Austin Gothard rolled a 211 in the final. Cooper Kelley had a 254 in Spain Park’s semifinal victory against Vestavia Hills. Reed rolled a 279 in the Rebels’ quarterfinal victory against Oak Mountain, ending with 1,640 to 1,390 for the top single game of the day. Oak Mountain and Hoover also will be competing in the boys state tournament. The Vestavia Hills and Spain Park girls teams advanced to the state tournament from the South Regional. Watts knows the Rebels’ boys face a stiff challenge as it attempts to successfully defend its title. “It’s hard to repeat,” Watts said. “We don’t have as much talent or good athletes as we had last year, but we have good competitors. We come at different angles.” Evans is optimistic about the Rebels’ boys chances despite their regional loss to Spain Park. “We’ve been to the state tournament the last four years and only once have we won regional,” Evans said. “I feel pretty good about our team. We had a kid, Reese Merritt, who couldn’t bowl at regional because of a stomach virus, but he’ll be fine for state. “All that said, Spain Park played a heck of a game against us. They hit shots, but we didn’t do what we’re supposed to do. They’re talented and they’re definitely playing well, but anything can happen. If we do what we’re supposed to do it doesn’t matter what they do.”

The Rebels advanced to the semifinals and was to host Huntsville on Wednesday. Huntsville advanced with a 36-25 victory against HewittTrussville. “Huntsville has a really good team, but if we get after it and do what our coaches tell us, we can beat anybody,” Willoughby said. Oak Mountain will visit Thompson in the other Class 7A semifinal. The semifinal winners will meet in the Duals Finals championship match at 6 p.m. on Friday in the Bill Harris Arena at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

were younger,” Cassell said. “We are comfortable playing with her.” Schoner is one of only two seniors on the team. Reserve guard Kennedy Campbell is the other. Cassell leads a strong junior class that also includes guard Anna Grace Gibbons, forward Anna Gibbons, guard Kate Gann and forward Alex Hershbine. Sophomore guard Caidyn Cannon has been a major contributor. She’s the younger sister of former Patriot Tori Webb. “She has really come on

strong and played really well,” Tubbs said. Sophomore forward Olivia Outman, a transfer from McAdory, and sophomore guard Katelyn Pope are valuable reserves. The Patriots’ regular-season area title means they will host the area tournament in two weeks. Cassell believes Homewood will be a factor in the postseason. “I think as long as the team believes in what we’re doing, we can go as far as we want,” she said.


Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 27


HOMEWOOD From page 28

run in the Octameet with a time of 2:17.78. Mountain Brook’s Tessa Allen was second at 2:24.34 and Homewood’s Celie Jackson third at 2:25.39. Phelps was even more impressive in winning the 1,600, clocking 5:03.41. Jackson was a distance second at 5:18.44 and Mountain Brook’s Lily Hulsey was third with a time of 5:19.13. “She’s looking really good right now,” Esslinger said of Phelps. Meanwhile, Brooks cleared 12 feet to win the pole vault. “She’s having a great season,” Esslinger said. “We’re waiting on that big PR (personal record). She’s been hanging around 12 feet for a while, but she’s real consistent and solid. We think she’ll have an opportunity to jump at the next level.” Homewood freshman Brooke Walden took second in the pole vault, clearing 11 feet, and Mountain Brook sophomore Emma Grace Holt was third, clearing 9 feet, 6 inches.

Homewood’s Crawford Hope finished second in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:17.25.

Mountain Brook freshman Clark Stewart won the 3,200-meter run with a time of 12:00.64. Spartans junior Grayson Scott finished second in the high jump and long jump. The Homewood boys totaled 69.50 points to finish third in the Octameet. Thompson won with 117 points and Hewitt-Trussville was second with 80

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Boys Teams

Homewood senior Alex Brooks cleared 12 feet to win the pole vault.





points. “Our boys had a really good meet, finishing third behind two 7A schools,” Esslinger said. The Patriots’ only individual winner was sophomore Spenser Lamb in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.50. Mountain Brook’s Hugh Stokes was second, clocking 8.84. “Spenser is a great kid,” Esslinger said. “He was third in the state outdoor

110-meter hurdles as a freshman. He’s a really hard worker. He’ll definitely be in the mix when we get to state.” Esslinger also was pleased with the Octameet performances of junior distance runner Crawford Hope and senior pole vaulter Walker Smith. Hope finished second in the 1,600meter run with a time of 4:17.25. Thompson senior Jace Jones took first with a time of 4:13.89. Homewood senior Carson Bedics was third at 4:19.35. “Crawford ran the third-fastest time in the country this season,” Esslinger said. “He just finished behind the guy who has the fastest time in the country, Jace Jones.” Smith finished second in the pole vault, clearing 14 feet, six inches. “That’s an indoor school record,” Esslinger said. “He made a really good attempt at 15 feet.” Thompson junior Dominique Hall won the pole vault with a clearance of 15 feet. The Octameet was the next-to last meet for the Patriots before the state meet. Homewood will compete in the Last Chance Invitational on Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at the CrossPlex. The Patriots boys have won two consecutive Class 6A state titles and five crowns in the past seven years. Esslinger expects them to make a run at three-peat, although they will face stiff competition from Opelika and Northridge. “It will be tougher for our boys,” Esslinger said, “but I think we’ve got a chance.”

Register online! Deadline Feb. 3! FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED!

Roll On: Vestavia Hills’ boys bowling team eager for chance to repeat as state champs. Page 26


Back-to-Back National Champs: Briarwood duo claims another fishing title. Page 25

Thursday, January 23, 2020 ❖ OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Homewood Takes Hump Day Phelps, Brooks Lead Homewood Girls to Octameet Indoor Title

See HOMEWOOD, page 27

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Homewood’s girls indoor track and field team appears primed to continue their Class 6A dominance. The Patriots outclassed the competition last week in the Hump Day Octameet, hosted by Mountain Brook at the Birmingham CrossPlex. With senior distance runner Lainey Phelps claiming victories in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs and senior Alex Brooks winning the pole vault, Homewood totaled 103 points, well ahead of two Class 7A schools, second-place Thompson (87.50 points) and third-place Mountain Brook (76 points). “We had a good meet,” Homewood coach Tom Esslinger said. “I think we’re getting where we need to be for state.” The 50th Alabama High School Athletic Association State Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held Feb. 7-8 at the CrossPlex. The Patriots have won the past three Class 6A titles. “Right now, on paper, we’re the heavy favorites to win again,” Esslinger said. “I feel good about our girls. We have a lot of experience and a lot of good athletes.” Phelps, a multiple-time state champion, is at the top of the list. She easily won the 800-meter

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

By Rubin E. Grant

Above, Hasting Roberts and his Vestavia teammates steamrolled Bob Jones 63-15 at home last week, recording 10 pins in the 14 weight classes and losing only three matches.

Homewood senior distance runner Lainey Phelps (above left) claimed victories in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs. Mountain Brook’s Tessa Allen (above, next to Phelps) was second in the 800meter at 2:24.34. Homewood totaled 103 points, well ahead of two Class 7A schools, secondplace Thompson (87.50 points) and third-place Mountain Brook (76 points).

Tubbs’ Return Sparks Homewood’s Girls Basketball Team’s Turnaround

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

By Rubin E. Grant

Junior guard Anna Grace Gibbons.

6A No. 4-ranked Carver-Birmingham on Jan. 9. Junior point guard Brinley Cassell gives Kevin Tubbs laughed when he heard the most of the credit to Tubbs for the turnaround. question: How has the Homewood girls basketTubbs’ return meant a return to his style of ball team gone from winning only 10 games last basketball, playing up-tempo on offense and season to winning 20 games this season? pressing on defense, while also using a match“That’s a good question,” up zone in the half-court. But Tubbs said after his chuckle. according to Cassell, it’s not “If I knew, I could bottle it up just his system that has led to ‘It’s the way he and make a lot of money.” the Patriots’ success. Turning serious, Tubbs “I think the main thing last coaches. He’s for credited the Patriots’ players. year is we didn’t have a lot of us. He encourages “They’re a great group and confidence,” Cassell said. they play really hard,” Tubbs us and when we do “With him coming back, he said. “We have 12 girls on the put a lot of confidence in us. something wrong, roster and we play about 10 “It’s the way he coaches. kids every game.” He’s for us. He encourages us he picks us up.’ Homewood (21-2), ranked and when we do something BRINLEY CASSELL No. 10 in the Alabama Sports wrong, he picks us up.” Writer’s Association Class 6A Tubbs was part of JoVanka poll, won its 20th game with a Ward’s staff when Homewood 62-16 blowout of Shades won its first Class 6A state Valley last Tuesday. The Patriots picked up their championship in 2015 and led the team to the 21st victory with a 64-37 rout of Huffman last title in 2017 with a 33-2 record. Friday to clinch the Class 6A, Area 10 regularAfter the 2017 season, Tubbs moved to season championship. Seattle to join his brother in private business. The Patriots’ only two losses were to At the end of 2018, Tubbs and his family See TURNAROUND, page 26 Chelsea, 67-57 on Dec. 5, and 61-50 to Class


Willoughby, Rebels Dominate Bob Jones in Wrestling Duals By Rubin E. Grant

Sam Willoughby already was playing football when his dad, Lee Willoughby, suggested he also try wrestling. Lee Willoughby had been part of a state wrestling championship team at HewittTrussville in 1988 and encouraged his son to give the sport a try. “He took me out there on the mat, and I liked it,” Sam Willoughby said. “I’ve been wrestling eight or nine years now.” Willoughby, a Vestavia Hills High School senior, still plays football. A 5-foot-10-inch defensive back, Willoughby was named to the 2019 All-Over The Mountain Journal football team. He doesn’t have a preference for one sport over the other. “I like to work hard at both,” Willoughby said. Right now Willoughby is working hard wrestling, although he spent less than a minute on the mat last Friday when the Rebels hosted Bob Jones in the first round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Duals Class 7A tournament. Willoughby, ranked No. 3 in Class 7A at 170 pounds, took only 45 seconds to pin the Patriots’ Josh Sutton. See REBELS, page 26

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