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A Great Escape

Vietnam Vet’s Children’s Book Compiled with Stories He Sent Home During Service By Emily Williams

Larry, born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, never felt a strong call to arms during his childhood. His claim to fame at that time was playing on the high school basketball team. After high school, he was scouted to apply for

See MICHALOVE, page 13

In 1977, Larry Michalove, above with wife Sybil, retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel with an aeronautical rating of master navigator and settled into civilian life. The Michaloves later compiled the stories he wrote and created a book, left, that his children shared with grandchildren. Published in 2005 by iUniverse, the book (available on Amazon) won the Military Writers Society of America’s 2005 Distinguished Book Award for Children’s Literature. Right, Larry (back row, center) served in the 16th Special Operations Squadron on AC-13 gunships.

Bates, Alabama Fresh Only at the Pig!

Photo courtesy Larry Michalove

Freezing Cold and the Northern Lights

Journal photos by Ingrid Schnader


s Larry and Sybil Michalove sit together looking through a scrapbook of memories in anticipation of their 60th wedding anniversary in 2020, there are many moments to celebrate. Some moments are bright, but it is the darker ones that seem to remain most clear.  On July 3, 1970, the Michaloves moved into a three-bedroom apartment in Homewood, welcomed by a broken air conditioner and temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. They had their four children in tow, Lisa, 9; David, 6½; Stacy, nearly 3; and Karen, 1½. It might have been the last home they shared together, since in just days Larry was to leave for Air Force training and, inevitably, Southeast Asia.  But during those 14 months on assignment, he found time to put pen to paper.  “I must have over 300 letters,” Sybil said. “He wrote me every day, and then once a week he would send a story” that he had written for the children. In those stories, Larry didn’t discuss his life stationed in Thailand, the 114 combat missions he flew, the successes or the near misses. Instead, he wrote fantasies starring four little children who went on magical adventures to far-off worlds but always made it home in time for dinner. More than 15 years later, the couple unpacked the letters from a stored box and compiled a children’s book, “The Four Little Children, A Likely Story.”  Throughout the stories there are small details that can be traced back to Larry’s experiences. 


2 • Thursday, October 31, 2019




Murphy’s Law

I EASING THE PATH Veteran and civilian volunteers join to support veterans transitioning home PAGE 6

ANOTHER WILD RIDE Homewood Witches Ride for Cancer Society PAGE 10

INSPIRED BY NATURE Floral Designer Holly Carlisle makes holiday decorating more approachable PAGE 30

‘EASY AND NATURAL’ Automatic Seafood & Oysters Brings Fresh to Lakeview PAGE 14


HOME 30 FOOD 34 SCHOOLS 36 SPORTS 40 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 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 October 31, 2019 Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writers: Ingrid Schnader, Emily Williams Photographer: Jordan Wald Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Rubin E. Grant, Blake Ells Contributors: Susan Murphy, June Mathews, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls, Bryan Bunch, Sam Prickett Advertising Sales: Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald, Gail Kidd Vol. 29, No. 7

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

Sing ‘Em If You’ve Got ‘Em

saw a T-shirt the other day that cery store music experience more persaid, “Am I Getting Older or Are sonal, maybe giving every customer a They Just Playing Great Music at quarter and letting them select a song the Grocery Store?” Probably both. from a giant juke box when they get More than once I’ve caught myself their cart. It would be supportive just singing in the produce section. to be given that little bit of individual Music enhances most experiences. validation and you just might shop a little longer in order to hear your song. It’s a key component of both weddings The giant jukebox idea might help and funerals. As part of the prep for increase productivity in the workplace. my daughter’s C-section, the obstetriSame concept, one quarter per person cian asked what music she wanted to each day. You’d probably learn a lot be playing during her baby’s birth. (It about your fellow employees, too. You was James Taylor) Sue Murphy could have guessed that Randall in the I listen to James Taylor, too. He’s mailroom was a Michael Bublé fan, my go-to walking soundtrack when I but who knew Greg in accounting feel like the world is spinning too had heavy metal tendencies? The fast, although sometimes I have to You could have playlist would have to be edited for ease myself into his soothing vibe. If my mind is doing its signature guessed that Randall foul language or suggestive lyrics, but my goodness, if someone was hinky squirrel somersaults, I have to in the mailroom was bold enough to put a potentially meet myself at the corner of Tom Petty and Ed Sheeran and work my a Michael Bublé fan, offensive song out there as his/her in this PC world, the HR way down. but who knew Greg in favorite person might want to do a little A lot of times, I don’t get to choose what I’m listening to. There accounting had heavy intervention anyway.  The concept might not be suited is pre-framed music in the backmetal tendencies? for customer service centers. If ground at restaurants; there’s music you’re calling about an insurance playing in the dentist’s office, I’m claim, you certainly don’t want to sure all carefully chosen to put you hear, “Can you hold? They’re playing my song.” in a receptive mood. Somewhere out there is a person Instead, the employees could be given dedicated music who is looking through a stack of old records thinking, breaks, and hey, if the music moved them to dance, so “I don’t know. What would make a person less anxious much the better. during a root canal?” Every bird has his own song. That’s part of the way In the grocery store, I’m guessing the object is to we know who he is. For humans, I think music gives make you feel both happy and hungry, a difficult mix. voice to something that has trouble coming out in conRealistically, you can’t tell what frame of mind shoppers are in when they come through the door. They may versation. I’m going to try and remember that the next be buying wine and roses for an anniversary celebration time I stop at a stoplight and someone is blaring their or power shopping for a family of five with the last half car radio with the windows rolled down. The poor guy is just trying to share his song. And look cool, which he hour they have before the day care center closes. Their sometimes isn’t, heaven help him.  music needs are different. One person, one quarter. Sing your song, my friend. I wonder if anyone has thought of making the gro-

Over the Mountain Views

What does Veterans Day mean to you? “A day to honor the people that make this great country what it is.” Jim Watson Navy Veteran North Shelby “A way to honor all those who have served and put something greater than themselves first.” Justin Harden Alabama Army National Guard Birmingham “An appropriate reminder that freedom is not free.” Jessica Harden Proud Army Wife Birmingham “A time to show gratitude and of remembrance of those who sacrificed.” Lisa Stone with Garner Thompson Mountain Brook


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Journal file photo by Jordan Wald



What: The Mystics of Mountain Brook hosts its 17th annual Halloween parade. The Mardi Gras-style festivities will feature floats with passengers tossing t-shirts, beads, stuffed animals, footballs and more. When: 4 p.m. Where: Crestline Village Website:

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Thurs., Oct. 31 A Wicked Halloween Affair

What: Don your most haunting attire for this rooftop dance party, featuring signature cocktails and cuisine, a costume contest and more. A VIP experience includes a meet-andgreet with artist John Lytle Wilson and a viewing of his newest triptych painting. When: 6 p.m. Where: Grand Bohemian Hotel Website: “Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook, Autograph Collection” Facebook page



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Fri., Nov. 1 Get Busy Fighting Golf Tournament

What: Laura Crandall Brown Foundation hosts a four person team scramble honoring Ginny Bourland, who passed away in 2017 from ovarian cancer. When: 9 a.m. shotgun start Where: Oxmoor Valley Golf Course Website:


Nov. 1 and 2

Mistletoe Market Holiday Pop-up Shop

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What: The Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills Preschool presents a holiday shopping experience including local artist, monogrammed children’s clothing, holiday decor, photos with Santa and more. When: Nov. 1 and 2 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Where: The Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills Website: “Mistletoe Market Holiday Pop-Up Shop” Facebook page

Nov. 1-3 Disney’s Frozen Jr.

What: Red Mountain Theatre presents 8781_3 Month CD_4.05x12.68_OTMJournal_10.21.indd 1

10/21/19 10:52 AM

a production based on the 2018 Broadway musical. The show features all of the memorable songs from the animated film plus five new songs written for the Broadway production. When: Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 2, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Nov. 3, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Where: RMTC Cabaret Theatre Website:

Sat., Nov. 2 BTC Vulcan Run

What: The 45th running of this Birmingham classic 10k is again the RRCA Alabama State 10k Championship Race. Post race activities include a DJ, food, beverages and adult refreshments. When: 8 a.m. Where: Sloss Furnaces Website:

Walking to Remember

What: Don’t miss the opportunity to honor someone you love and to support families in need of support while living with Alzheimer’s. Proceeds support LocAL Alzheimer’s Services and Research. When: 8 a.m., 10k start Where: Riverchase Galleria, food court area Website:

Southminster Scamper 5k Race

What: Walk or run to the finish line at Southminster Presbyterian Church and Day School’s family friendly race through Vestavia Hills. Activities include vendors, inflatables, children’s activites and more. When: 8 a.m. Where: Southminster Presbyterian Church Website:

Sports Cars at Brookwood Village

What: The Birmingham Motoring Club presents a free fundraising event to benefit Camp Smile-A-Mile. The club will showcase a wide variety of classic and rare European and American sports cars. When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: Upper Macy’s parking lot


Walk to End Epilepsy

What: Join the Epilepsy Foundation in a free walk to raise funds for the Foundation’s mission to raise awareness and advocacy, support its programs and fight to end epilepsy. Fundraising is encouraged. When: 10 a.m. Where: Railroad Park Website:

Dia de Los Muertos Festival

What: The Day of the Dead festival includes public and pet altars, music, dance, food trucks, a Corona beer garden, Hornitos margaritas, an artists market, kids crafts and more. When: 5-11 p.m. Where: Streets of Pepper Place Website: “Dia de los Muertos Alabama” Facebook page

Nov. 2 and 3 Moss Rock Festival

What: This eco-creative festival features art design, a SmartLIVING Market, live music from local talent, baked goods to sample and purchase, beer sampling, a kids studio, local food trucks and more. When: Nov. 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Nov. 3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: The Preserve in Hoover Website: mossrockfestival. com

Nov. 2 and 9 Community Grief Support Hope for the Holidays

What: Steve Sweat, Community Grief Support Clinical Director, will share inspirational ideas and practical coping tips on how to cope with the holidays after the loss of a loved one. A light meal will be served. When and Where: Nov. 2, 9 a.m.-noon, Asbury United Methodist Church, Hoover; Nov. 9, 9 a.m.-noon, Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, Fellowship


Hall. Website: For reservations, call 870-8667

Sun., Nov. 3 Homewood Public Library $5 Bag Sale

What: Fill a grocery bag with books, movies and other items for only $5 per bag. Bags provided by the Friends of the Homewood Public Library. When: 2-4:30 p.m. Where: Homewood Public Library lower level Website:

Out of the Darkness Alabama Walk

What: Join the effort to raise awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy and support survivors of suicide loss. When: 1 p.m. registration, 2:30 p.m. walk Where: Veterans Park Website:

Wed., Nov. 6 Little Black Dress Luncheon and Fashion Show

What: The Assistance League of Birmingham hosts a community event and fundraiser featuring holiday shopping with local vendors, lunch and a fashion show. When: 11 a.m. Where: A private club in Vestavia Hills Website: birmingham/events/little-black-dress/

Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 5

ABOUT TOWN PurpleLight Birmingham

What: This event is a gathering of survivors, family and friends who have felt the impact of pancreatic cancer. Included will be a ceremony honoring survivors and those we’ve lost. When: 6 p.m. Where: Temple Emanu-El Website:

What: This Wine Auction Weekend to benefit children’s charities features Vinter Dinners, a Grand Tasting, silent and live auctions, culminating in an ultimate tailgating experience. When and Where: Check the website for events, times and places Website:

Thurs., Nov. 7

Nov. 9 and 10

Emma’s Circle Luncheon

What: Andrew Bridge, author of “Hope’s Boy,” will be the guest speaker at the eighth annual luncheon to benefit Alabama CASA Network whose mission is to advocate, protect and support every abused and neglected child. When: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Where: The Florentine Website:

Light the Night Walk

What: Join The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in a walk to celebrate, honor and remember those touched by cancer. The walk helps to fund treatment, research and provide patient support services. When: registration, 5 p.m.; walk, 7 p.m. Where: Railroad Park Website:

Nov. 7-9 TumTum Tree Wine Auction Weekend

Alabama Designer Craftsmen Fine Crafts Show

What: The 47th annual show includes over 50 of Alabama’s best artisans featuring handmade items meant to be worn, used in the home or office or as outdoor artistic decorations. Kids can enjoy a free art corner. When: Nov. 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Nov. 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Website:

Sun., Nov. 10 Fall History Festival 2019

What: Oak Hill Cemetery and Oak Hill Memorial Association celebrate Birmingham’s buried history. Meet the colorful characters of our city’s past including encounters with famous and infamous characters. When: noon-3 p.m. Where: Oak Hill Cementary Website:

Tues., Nov. 12 West Homewood Farmer’s Fall Market

Sat., Nov. 16

Market presents a festival featuring around 35 arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, and if the weather turns cold, hot chocolate and marshmallows. When: 5-8 p.m. Where: 160 Oxmoor Rd. Website:

2019 Moonstone Festival

Wed., Nov. 13 Little Hands Serving Hearts Little Brown Bag Packing

What: Join LHSH to support its ministry in packing and delivering 1,500 bags of healthy food to children in the Birmingham area who need assistance over the Thanksgiving holiday. Children 12 and under, but all are welcome. When: 3-6 p.m. Where: Canterbury UMC Website: “LHSH Little Brown Bag Packing” Facebook page

What: This festival celebrating women in music an art features national touring musicians, food, art vendors and more. A percentage of the sale will benefit Girls Rock Birmingham. When: noon-10:30 p.m. Where: Sloss Docks Website:


SAVE THE DATE Fri., Nov. 15 Magical Marketplace

What: Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church presents its annual marketplace featuring art, pottery, jewelry, baked goods, stationery, baby gifts, children’s clothing, holiday goodies and more. When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: VHUMC, Tyson Fellowship Halls Website: “Magical Marketplace 2019” Facebook page

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What: West Homewood Farmer’s

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6 • Thursday, October 31, 2019

Rehab Reality... By Judy Butler


Easing the Path

Veteran and Civilian Volunteers Join to Support Veterans Transitioning Home By Emily Williams

What’s Scarier Than Halloween Fright Movies?

Going to rehab. I spoke to a potential client this week who expressed her fear of going to rehab. Several years ago her son went to a rehab and shared his experience with her. Her fears are warranted, with the ‘strip search’ and taking one’s clothes and belongings that some rehabs require. I’ve seen it first hand with others that I have rescued from such places. It took a while to help her understand that she wouldn’t be in a ‘ward’ with five or six others and would possibly have a room to herself since at any given time two clients at Bayshore have a private room. We take the fear out of rehab because we only have six clients at a time. We have a foyer not a lobby. We allow clients to bring their cell phone. We don’t strip search or take their clothes. It’s about dignity and respect from day one. Getting help with addiction is a huge decision – we don’t believe it should be made worse by demeaning the person who has finally decided to do something about it. To the client, and us, that is huge. This begins a Win Win for us and them. The primary thing is that potential clients understand that we are different from most and that can make a difference in the results. Choosing to get help is scary in itself. “How can I manage without my alcohol or substance that has helped me escape?” “What will others think when they know what I’ve been doing?” What’s even scarier is what happens when the addiction continues.

On Nov. 11, communities throughout the United States will give veterans their attention. But that one day pales in comparison to the contributions veterans have made for the country. Volunteers leading the North Shelby County-based organization Alabama Veterans say one day is not enough. They strive every day to work with veterans who are transitioning back into civilian life, finding ways to help them connect with society, engage socially and navigate their new normal. “Our staff and board are 100 percent volunteers,” said Alan Cook, vice president of the board of directors and a Marine veteran. “We have a mix of veterans and civilians because we want that broad range of people who can offer support and connections. That’s how we can build that bridge for veterans.” Board member Chris Montz is one of the civilians. Montz is a senior loan officer with Benchmark Mortgage’s Inverness location, where he works closely with veterans who want to buy homes. “In our area, there just isn’t a basis for veterans to succeed,” Montz said. “And if we don’t give them those opportunities, we are leaving them behind.” The volunteers emulate the organization’s vision for change in the community. They strive to provide a place where veterans can make meaningful social connections and benefit from a variety of resources, networking opportunities and support. “We help veterans make that transition from military life to civilian,” Cook said. He said that, in the military, “You had structure, you had someone telling you what to do all the time.” But when they arrive home without a job, community or direction, it becomes isolating. “They had that structure, they had that job and that uniform and had like-minded people around them at all times,” he said. “These guys, they don’t have that support system anymore that they had in the military.”

Suicide Risks

The National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics estimates that there are an estimated 377,310 veterans living in Alabama. According to data released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 128 veterans in Alabama took their own lives in 2016. That’s a rate of 34 suicides per 100,000 people, higher than the national rate for veterans, at 30, and for the overall Alabama population, at 20.

With veteran suicide rates that high, Cook and Montz said it is clear that the community isn’t paying enough attention or giving veterans enough support. This year, the University of Alabama announced a collaborative research study with America’s

‘If we have a veteran who is struggling, we can pair them up with a mentor who has been through it. That ends up being really great for both because it also gives the mentor a sense of purpose.’ ALAN COOK, ALABAMA VETERANS

Warrior Partnership and the BristolMyers Squibb Foundation to study why veterans are more likely to commit suicide. Dubbed Operation Deep Dive, the four-year study will look deeply into the effect social isolation had on veterans who took their own lives but had no history of post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health issues. “When a veteran comes home, even if they don’t have PTSD or some kind of traumatic brain injury, they are faced with a lot of questions,” Cook said. “How do I buy a home? How do I find a job?” The lack of direction or easy access to information becomes isolating, causing veterans to further remove themselves from the community. “We want them engaged and not isolated,” Cook said. Alabama Veterans offers a variety of programming, connecting participants with national and local veterans resource organizations, counseling, career opportunities and other resources. “If we have a veteran who is struggling, we can pair them up with a mentor who has been through it,” Cook said. “That ends up being really great for both because it also gives the mentor a sense of purpose.” Montz added that they will coordinate small groups. His and Cook’s church, Church of the Highlands, coordinates small group Bible studies specifically for veterans, for instance. “We also host social events throughout the year,” Montz said. “We’ll provide different experiences and activities at free or reduced costs.”

Mingling Events

Alabama Veteran hosts a variety of

events for different interests, such as bowling nights, TopGolf events, trainer-led rowing events and other activities. At the events, they encourage civilian and veteran participation. “If it remained isolated to just the veterans’ community, and you don’t allow other people in, they’re never going to know what to do,” Cook said. “They’re never going to know how to interact because they don’t know how to get engaged with others.” This time of the year, the organization is preparing for four days of programming around Veterans Day, including the annual War on the Greens golf tournament Nov. 10 and 11 at Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa. The weekend offers local community supporters the opportunity to sponsor a veteran’s participation in the tournament. The weekend will be held in remembrance of fallen service members from Alabama, with honorees annually including a Gold Star Family and a Purple Heart recipient. It also includes a casino-themed Veteran’s Gala on Nov. 10, and community members can sponsor a veteran and their date. “We have a pay it forward mentality,” Cook said. “Those vets who attend usually have never been to any kind of formal event like this. There really wasn’t any kind of event around this time that isn’t focused on the corporate or civilian side of things. Just like our mission, we want to put the focus on the vets, we want the vets to be a part of things.” On Veterans Day, Montz said he, as a civilian, reflects. “Our country has taken a lot of things for granted with our armed forces and veterans,” he said. “I think it’s important to reflect on how much we would be at a loss without the members of our armed forces and our veterans.” From a veteran’s perspective, Cook feels that Veterans Day should also be a day of celebration. Memorial Day is the saddest day of the year for a veteran, he said. There is a certain kind of survivor’s guilt that many veterans feel, especially combat veterans, when they return home. The son of a Vietnam vet, Cook said he knows that group of veterans felt almost no gratitude when they returned home. He also said there is a trend apparent to veterans of the country being most patriotic in the worst of times. “We just want to show them that you survived in order to serve a bigger purpose,” Cook said. “In my opinion, thank you is just not said enough. It’s something that should be said every day.” For more information, visit


Salute to Veterans

Mon., Nov. 4 Veterans Celebration

What: Aldridge Gardens presents a small ceremony recognizing our nation’s veterans along with many veteran Aldridge Gardens members. A reception will follow in the Aldridge Gardens house. When: 9:30-10 a.m. Where: Aldridge Gardens, Veterans Memorial Arbor Website:

Tues., Nov. 5 “Return with Honor”

What: Hoover Public Library presents a documentary screening narrated by Tom Hanks in this powerful and moving film, which tells the story of American pilots shot down in the Vietnam War. When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Where: Hoover Public Library, Library Theatre Website:

Thurs., Nov. 7 Career Day for Veterans

What: Businesses will interview and take applications for job placement in their organizations from veterans seeking work and improved opportunities, and several veterans service organizations will be onsite. When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: The Finley Center Website: vettes4vets. org

Salute to Veterans Ball

What: Speakers include Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato and keynote speaker Major Ed Pulido - U.S. Army (Ret.), Senior VP of Folds of Honor and founder of Warriors for Freedom - at this celebration of our military men and women. When: 5-9 p.m. Where: The Finley Center Website:

Red, White & Boots A Celebration of Veteran’s Day

What: Join singer/songwriters Bobby Boyd, Gerald Smith, Alexis Wilkins, JT Cooper, Dan Demay and Chris Turner and the Band performing songs written from veterans stories. The audience votes on the number one hit. When: 7 p.m. Where: WorkPlay Website: “Red, White & Boots presents A Celebration of Veteran’s Day” Facebook page

Sun., Nov. 10 National Veterans Award Reception and Dinner

What: The perpetual national Veterans Award will be given to a veteran who has made the greatest contribution to further patriotic interest of veterans and veterans


organizations throughout the country. When: 5 p.m. Where: Sheraton Birmingham Ballroom Website:

Alabama Veteran Casino Night Gala

What: Capt. Chad Fleming (Ret.) from Team Never Quit and Marcus Luttrel’s The Patriot Tour will be guest speaker at the event including food, dancing and a little taste of Vegas. When: 5:30-11:30 p.m. Where: Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa Website: “Alabama Veteran Casino Night Gala” Facebook page

Mon., Nov. 11 War on the Greens Golf Tournament

What: Alabama Veteran honors fallen military heroes every year by dedicating this tournament to service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice. When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa Website: “Alabama Veteran, “War on the Greens” Golf Tournament” Facebook page

Veterans Memorial Service

What: A service to honor veterans who have passed away this past year will be conducted by the Forty and Eight, an independent honor organization of male and female U.S. veterans. When: 8:30 a.m. Where: Cathedral Church of the Advent Website:

National Veterans Day Parade

What: Birmingham will honor and celebrate veterans with a parade around Railroad Park. When: 1:30 p.m. Where: Check the website for the parade route Website:

Sun., Nov. 17 Riverchase Patriots Dinner

What: Dr. Lawrence Deluca, M.D., astronaut on STS-50 as chief scientist on the International Space Station, will be the guest speaker at this donationdriven event featuring items donated by Dr. Deluca and local merchants. When: 5-9 p.m. Where: Riverchase Country Club Website: vettes4vets. org

Deck the


this year Enjoy

Mon., Nov. 18


Riverchase Patriots Golf Tournament

What: Vettes4Vets, donating participants, and those interested in helping vets will have the course all to themselves as 18 foursomes with a fifth golfer, which will be a veteran, take to the course. When: Breakfast, 7:30 a.m., 9:30 shotgun start Where: Riverchase Country Club Website:



Alabama Veterans Memorial Foundation Veterans Day Tribute I Nov. 10 What: Alabama Veterans Memorial Park remembers our veterans with a Veterans Day Tribute and StepStone dedication ceremony. When: 1 p.m. Where: Alabama Veterans Memorial Park Website:

Journal photos by Jordan Wald; Ingrid Schnader

Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 7


NOVEMBER 14th 5-8

8 • Thursday, October 31, 2019

By Emily Williams Adolescent suicide rates are on the rise, according to an October report released by the Centers for Disease Control, ranking as the second-leading cause of death for ages 10 to 24 in 2017. The number of suicide deaths for this age group began to climb in 2007, surpassing homicide rates between 2010 and 2011 and increasing 56% by 2017. “If the second-leading cause of death for that age group were a flu or disease, we would have all kinds of commercials about it, all kinds of meetings about it, all kinds of phone calls about it,” said Cindy Wiley, Ed.S., who operates a private practice in Mountain Brook.  Wiley has more than 30 years of experience working with teenagers as a teacher, school counselor and former supervisor of counseling for Shelby County Schools. In addition, she is a founding member of the Alabama Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  When she isn’t focused on her clients, Wiley finds time to speak to various student, parent and school communities about risk assessment development and suicide prevention.  “(Suicide is) so preventable, but kids just don’t get the kind of information that they need to deal with everything going on at this point in their lives,” she


More Than Likes Parenting Conference Speaker to Discuss How Teens Find Their Value

said. Wiley will be sharing her latest discussion topic, “What’s My Value? The Highs and Lows of Teenage Life,” at the All In Mountain Brook High School Parenting Conference on Nov. 4.  Her discussion focuses on the ways in which teenagers find their value in today’s society.  “You want to have a working knowledge of what’s going on around your child,” Wiley said.  She provides tools and information that parents can use to relate a bit better to their children. 

Increased Anxiety

From her perspective, Wiley has seen more anxiety than ever before among her adolescent clients. “Overthinking causes a lot of issues for teens,” she said. “And they come by it so organically because of where they are developmentally.” While most adults know how intense adolescence is, with physical and mental developments in overdrive, external social pressures have changed in recent years.  “We have zero idea what it is like to be a teenager in 2019,” Wiley said. 

“When we were growing up, you could just go home. There was a phone, but it was on the wall. There

‘(Suicide is) so preventable, but kids just don’t get the kind of information that they need to deal with everything going on at this point in their lives.’ CINDY WILEY, ED.S.

wasn’t all of this Snapchat and TikTok, and the fear of being recorded.” Social media is a constant influence now, available at all times with the click of an app icon on your cell phone. There is an ever-present pressure knowing that a single mistake or moment of failure could be captured and posted online, where it might follow you forever. There’s also the constant pressure for exterior perfection. People present their “best self” online, shaped and

defined by what other people deem valuable through likes, views and comments. A teenager’s inner dialogue can become wrapped up in what they see externally, Wiley said. A personally happy experience or favorite photo posted online can become negative with one harsh comment or too few likes.  When a teenager bases his or her own values on what other people like, they begin to lose sight of who they truly are and what makes them happy. “It is 100% OK to be who you are,” Wiley said. “We all have different talents in life and ideas. It would be really boring if we were all the same. So, we have to teach our kids that it’s OK to be you, but we also have to teach our kids to let people be themselves.”  It can be easy to get caught up in what other people think and hide certain feelings that may not seem pretty – worry, sadness and doubt, for instance. For a teenager, hiding aspects of yourself can become increasingly isolating.  “And the things that make us unhappy are things that don’t really

Think Your Kid’s Exempt? Think Again.

By Ingrid Schnader

“My kid’s not going to do that.” Mike Vest, executive director of the Addiction Prevention Coalition, said he is one of thousands of parents who thought that about their children; they’re not going to get involved with drugs or alcohol. That is, until his 17-year-old son came home eight months ago with a JUUL, which is a nicotine vaping device popular among teens and young adults. Vest found the development particularly alarming because he’s spent his whole life surrounded by addiction. As keynote speaker at the Hoover Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Oct. 17, Vest told the room about how his father was an alcoholic, just like his father before him. Vest’s father ended up leaving his family. “My dad didn’t leave our home because he didn’t love us; he was an alcoholic,” Vest said at the luncheon. “My mom couldn’t take it. When he got paid on Friday, he went to the bars and spent it all, so how was he going to take care of two kids?” One day, Vest found his dad sleeping in his car behind the Southern Museum of Flight in East Lake. He talked to him and told him he forgave him.

“My life’s been so much better without you, and don’t take that the wrong way, but when you left in ‘75, my whole life changed positively,” he remembered saying to his father. Vest’s brother was affected differently, though. Their father left at a time when Vest’s brother needed a father figure in his life. “I found my brother in 2010 in downtown Birmingham, Uptown, walking down the streets,” he said. “He was hooked on crystal meth for 35 years.” Even Vest’s nephew has struggled with addiction and is currently in jail. But Vest said that’s a good thing, all things considered. “Why is that so lucky?” he said. “Because I know where he is. I know he’s got food. I know he’s got a place to sleep. I know he’s not doing drugs.”

A Message of Hope

“I’m not trying to make this a depressing thing,” Vest said at the luncheon. “I’m trying to find you guys some hope.” The Addiction Prevention Coalition is a group of people who help those who need to be in a treatment facility get there. He said recovery is attainable if addicts want it. When Vest found his dad sleeping in the car, he asked him how he could

help. His dad was having trouble getting an apartment; there was an apartment in Springville that was only $200 to $300 a month, but he didn’t have any credit, and they wouldn’t let him in. Vest talked to the apartment manager and convinced them to let his father move in. But if his father missed just one rent payment, they said he would get kicked out. He moved in three weeks later, and he lived there until he died. “My dad paid his rent for seven years on the first of the month at that apartment complex,” he said. “All he’d needed was a chance.” But when Vest’s dad found out he had leukemia, he couldn’t put the bottle down to take his leukemia medication. So he died on his recliner in that apartment. He had been drinking since he was 9 years old. Vest was able to help his brother for a while, too. After he found him on the streets, he took him to The Foundry Ministries, which helps addicts recover. He spent a year and a half there getting treatment before he graduated and got a job, a car and a place to live. He was clean for about three years before he died of a heart attack three years ago. “But God gave him one last chance, and he took it,” Vest said. “It takes a lot

of guts to say, ‘I need some help.’ It took him 35 years, but he did it.”

Finding a Solution

Ever since his son came home with a JUUL, Vest started buying drug, nicotine and alcohol tests. “I’m the bad guy,” he said he told his son. “You tell those guys and girls who want to do that, ‘My dad will kill me. He’s going to drug test me when I get home.’” Vest said that this way, his son can use him as a scapegoat when he needs an excuse not to succumb to peer pressure. “I’m not my kids’ friend,” Vest said. “I’m not my kids’ friends’ friend. I’m a dad. I saw it for 40 years in my life.” Many teenagers start their opioid addictions from taking doctor-prescribed medicine after a sports injury or wisdom teeth removal. Vest encourages parents to find an alternative way of pain management. “I say don’t give them opioids,” he said. “What else can we do? We take four Tylenol, four ibuprofen, four Tylenol, four ibuprofen, et cetera, et cetera. I’d rather do it that way.” Getting training in Narcan could also help parents save their childrens’ lives. This nasal spray can reverse an opioid overdose, and Vest said that more than 700 people in the past two


matter, if we think about it,” Wiley said. “How many friends you have on Snapchat. Is that how you base yourself? If I asked (a client) that, they would say no at first, but when we get down to it, that’s it. The perception.” By making an effort to understand a child’s perspective, a parent can become a more effective listener. In turn, they may be able to help their child find a healthier set of values or identify whether help from a professional is needed before deeper mental issues develop.  “It’s funny, what I see in the office is that adolescents are much more at ease with it than their parents are,” Wiley said. “Some of the parents are a little more reticent, because they don’t want something to be wrong with their child.”  Wiley noted that she makes a point to let her clients know that they don’t have a problem, they just need an objective listener. Whether in school or private practice, a counselor offers a safe space to talk and tools to care for oneself.  “They then have those tools for life,” Wiley said. “So when life gets hard in their 20s and 30s, they have tools available to them because they’ve used them before. That is the goal of counseling, so you can selfcare, self-soothe and self-regulate,” she said. “Those are the things that we really want them to learn permanently.” years have received this training at the annual End Heroin walk in Birmingham. In July of 2018, one mother who had attended the Narcan training the previous year called Vest to tell him that she had been able to bring her daughter back to life by using what she’d learned. He told this story to the crowd at the 2019 End Heroin walk and felt a tap on his shoulder after he’d walked off the stage. “She goes, ‘I’m the mom you just talked about,’” he said. “Boy that was exciting. Not only that, she goes, ‘And right here, this is my daughter.’ “She’s alive and well thanks to Narcan training,” Vest said. “So we have one person out of 700. That’s fine.” The Addiction Prevention Coalition also has peer-led student chapters in 15 high schools, giving students an outlet to talk about whatever topics are on their minds. This may be JUULing, nicotine or alcohol. Vest said one girl even wanted to talk about sex trafficking. “It’s just not about smoking a joint that causes these kids to get involved in drugs and alcohol,” he said. “It’s certain things in their lives that no one knows about.” For more information on the Addiction Prevention Coalition, visit Those who need help finding recovery should call the Recovery Resource Center at 458-3377.

New Director Named to Lead UAB Cancer Center

UAB has hired a DNA researcher, across diverse centers, departments Dr. Barry Paul Sleckman, to lead its and schools on the UAB campus and O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer then translate these discoveries into Center as its new director. innovative cancer theraSleckman will take pies in close partnership over from interim director with the UAB Health Ravi Bhatia, who tempoSystem,” he said. rarily was filling the role Sleckman completed after the departure of forhis M.D. and Ph.D. in mer director Michael immunology at Harvard Birrer in April. He will Medical School and has begin the new job Jan. 6. worked with the Brigham Sleckman is a worldand Women’s Hospital, renowned researcher who Weill Cornell Medicine Dr. Barry Paul focuses on understanding and the Siteman Cancer Sleckman how DNA double strand Center at Washington breaks are generated and University. repaired, a topic important for cancer “Directing the O’Neal and immune system development Comprehensive Cancer Center is one and function. of the most vital roles in advancing He now is an associate director of UAB’s multifaceted mission,” said the Meyer Cancer Center at Weill UAB President Ray L. Watts, M.D. Cornell Medicine. “With Dr. Sleckman’s outstanding “UAB is a phenomenal institution leadership, we look forward to buildand a rapidly growing research powing upon the center’s longtime erhouse, fueled in part by the more impact and reputation as a global than 400 talented physician-scientists leader in translational research and and researchers,” Sleckman said in a patient care. As the center pushes the statement released by the University frontiers of precision medicine, we of Alabama at Birmingham. He said will continue translating our discovhe intends to continue the work of eries into more effective prevention, the center to eliminate cancer as a detection, treatment and survivormajor public health problem. ship, and bringing better health and “To do this, the O’Neal hope to patients throughout Alabama, Comprehensive Cancer Center must the nation and the world.” catalyze important cancer discoveries —Virginia Martin

Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 9


Journal photos by Ingrid Schnader


Jamie Pursell, Leaf & Petal

Wesley Lassen, The Cook Store

Dr. Jenny Sobera, Village Dermatology

Jim Moeller, New York Butcher Shoppe

David Dawoud, Domino’s Pizza

Five OTM Businesses Score Top Retailer Awards By Ingrid Schnader The Alabama Retail Association recently recognized Leaf & Petal with the Gold Alabama Retailer of the Year Award in the $5 million to $20 million annual sales category. This is the second time Leaf & Petal – a garden shop with four locations, in Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook and Birmingham – has won an Alabama Retailer of the Year award. In 2013, the Mountain Brook location was a Bronze Award winner in the smallest sales category. “I just feel like Leaf and Petal has been a miracle,” said Leaf & Petal proprietor Jamie Pursell. “I don’t even know how it works, it’s just grown into something that’s so much bigger than me.” The stores have a total of about 50 employees, and Pursell said the award is a tribute to them.

Four other area retailers also took home awards during a ceremony Oct. 22 at Vestavia Country Club. Wesley Lassen of The Cook Store in Mountain Brook won the Silver Award in the annual sales less than $1 million category. “Behind every successful woman is a tribe of amazing people who have her back,” she said as she accepted the award. Dr. Jenny Sobera, founder, owner and president of Village Dermatology in Mountain Brook, won the Bronze Award in the annual sales $1 million to $5 million category. “People ask me sometimes how I do what I do with a business and a family,” she said. “And I always say it’s the people. It’s the people that have supported me throughout my life. It’s the people that I’m around every day.” Jim Moeller, owner of two local

New York Butcher Shoppe locations, won the Silver Award in the annual sales $1 million to $5 million category. “I would like to thank the Alabama Retail Association for this wonderful honor and for the efforts you do to help create a tremendous business climate in the state of Alabama,” he said. David Dawoud, president and owner of two Vestavia Hills Domino’s Pizza locations, won the silver award in the annual sales $5 million to $20 million category. He said he began delivering pizzas in college and now owns nine Domino’s Pizza restaurants with a total of 226 employees. He is the largest employer among the day’s honorees. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be nominated for this award,” he said.

10 • Thursday, October 31, 2019

Another Succesful Wild Ride



A swarm of witches descended on Homewood Central Park on Oct. 27 as the annual Homewood Witches Ride took flight to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. The festivities commenced with a fall festival, co-hosted by Homewood Parks and Recreation, featuring inflatables, face painting, vendor booths and food trucks. After music provided by DJ Steve Sills, as well as Disco Amigos, the witches took off on a two-mile bike or golf-cart ride with vehicles dressed as brooms. To top off the evening, a post-ride party was hosted at Little Donkey, for food and a toast.

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Homewood Witches Ride for Cancer Society

Led by event founder Janie Ford Mayer (center) “witches” took to the streets Sunday for the seventh annual Homewood Witches Ride.

Tammy Flowers and Brett Cole.

Mary Watson, Stacey Morales and Jane Lamb.

Jennifer Rafalsky, Rachel Shultz and Anna Jones.

Rachel Buie and Rebecca Smith.

Sharon Bergeron and Jodie Benton.

Carrie Hicks, Stephanie Whitaker, Rachel Waters, Abnous Samford and Blaire Middleton.

Kim Crawford-Meeks, Heather Wallace, Andrea Snyder and Kelley Winslett

Katie Wells and Caroline Hudson.

Leah Holmes and Annee Cook.

Kapi Ferrell, Shannon Goodwin, Donya Traylor, Morgan Allen, Laura Feld, Kaylis Byrnes, Elizabeth Lee, Erin Greggs and Mindi Perlis.

Heather Ehl, Erica Spreng, Karen Merkt, Brenda DeWitt and Rachell Rice.


Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 11


HOMEWOOD WITCHES RIDE From left: Jen Hicks, Karla Morrow and Stacy Confer. Michele Hill, Melissa Willcox and Christina Crow. Disco witches. See Bluff Park and Liberty Park Witches in our Nov. 14th issue.


Scarecrows Descend on Crestline Village Crestline Village is celebrating with its annual Mystics of Mountain Brook parade on Halloween, but the tricks and treats don’t stop there. Several businesses and banks, along with City Hall and the police and fire departments, joined to host Scarecrows in the Village. There are sidewalk displays and window displays of scarecrows dotted around the village through Saturday for residents and window shoppers to find.

Right, Snoozy’s Kids. Below left, Billy Angell’s Oak Street Garden Shop. Below right, Please Reply.

the future looks good INTRODUCING A NEW SENIOR LIVING DESIGN IN BIRMINGHAM. Journal photos by Maury Wald

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our Prime location is just east of I-459 in the Vestavia Hills/Mountain

Brook communities, offering spectacular Cahaba River views.


Limited-time pre-opening Founder’s Club savings and benefits now available. Call (205) 627-6895 to schedule an appointment today.



451 Liberty Parkway • Vestavia Hills, Alabama 35242 (205) 627-6895 • LIBERTY PARK


12 • Thursday, October 31, 2019

MICHALOVE From page one

West Point but ended up being the third alternate for acceptance. “The first guy decided that he didn’t want to go anymore. Then the first and second alternates both flunked some portion of the test,” he said. “So, they called and asked me if I wanted to go and I said, “Sure.’” After graduating with the class of 1955, he made his way to McClellan Air Force Base in California and spent the next few years in the service. In 1958, Larry served at the Hopedale Air Station, in Canada north of Labrador, the closest town being the Inuit community of Hopedale. He was assigned to remove a radar at the MidCanada Line’s most easterly repeater radar station. “I remember it would get to be about negative 40 degrees,” Larry said. Even at the barracks, housed in a lower elevation camp, snow would pile up nearly to the top of the buildings.  “We could see the Northern Lights,” he said. “In one of my stories, the kids see the Northern Lights, so that was inspired by my experiences up there.” Larry and Sybil married in 1960 and moved to California, where Larry obtained a master’s in statistics at Stanford University. After graduating and having their first two children, they ended up in Hawaii for a few years, where they had two more kids. Both of the Michaloves and their two eldest children loved their time in

COVER STORY Hawaii, and it is mentioned on more than one occasion in the book. During his three years there, Larry flew missions to recover capsules ejected from satellites. The capsules contained images collected by the satellites, and it was Larry’s job to navigate the crew to the drop site – somewhere in the middle of the ocean. Once the drop site was found, Larry said, the crew would open the door at the back of the aircraft and throw out what essentially was a hook on a line at just the right moment to reel in the capsule. He had a knack for navigation and came to enjoy it. “Being able to navigate and find your way just by using the stars has always been something that fascinated me,” Larry said. A series of tales in the book use his knowledge of star patterns, as the children, and their magical, elfin guide Ramor travel to the moon and beyond.

Illness and the Jungle

When the Michaloves moved to Birmingham, the United States had been sending combat troops to Southeast Asia for about five years. The Vietnam War was heavily protested stateside, while hundreds of thousands of men were sent off to battle. In the first few pages of Larry’s book, there is a family photo. “This was the last photo we took before he went off to training,” Sybil said, “because we weren’t sure he was going to come back, so I wanted to get at least one picture.”

After completing combat training, he went home to visit his family before heading off to Air Force survival school training at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington and jungle training near Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Leaving his family at the Birmingham airport – looking back one last time to see Sybil crying on his mother’s shoulder – is a memory that still brings tears to his eyes. The task that welcomed him to Washington was even less pleasant. He underwent difficult training that instilled in him the thought, “Don’t get caught in the first place.” He came out of survival school with a case of pneumonia. “So, I had about three days to lay in bed and try to get well before I had to fly out to Thailand,” he said. “And that was when I wrote the first story.” As he waited in the terminal for his flight to Southeast Asia, he stood with a phone in his hand, trying to say goodbye to his wife for possibly the final time while Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” droned from a jukebox. In the Philippines, Larry mailed the first story home and spent weeks running through the jungle, he said. “There were times when we were eating rattlesnakes or whatever we could find, but it was better (than Washington) because at least it was warm,” he said. The Four Children stories became a way to escape from the stories he didn’t want to tell. They also were a way to continue to connect with the family he


thought he might not see again. After survival school, Larry arrived at his station in Ubon, Thailand, about 50 miles from the Mekong River in Laos. There he served in the 16th Special Operations Squadron on AC-13 gunships. “Our mission was to attack these trucks that would move down the Ho Chi Minh Trail,” he said. In all, Larry flew on 114 combat missions as navigator and earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses and nine Air Medals. “I flew missions at night,” he said. “So, I would come back and go to sleep and then I would write a story in the afternoon once I woke up.” The hardest moments never appeared to influence the tales, and there were times he left them out of his letters to Sybil, too. Larry’s plane took a direct hit on March 26, 1971, over Laos and had to make an emergency landing just across the Mekong in South Vietnam. “And that was on my birthday,” Sybil said. “He didn’t tell me about it until he was back for R&R, and after he did I went back and looked through the letters and there was no mention of any of it.” He didn’t write about the destructive aspects of war or the memories of friends he lost along the way. Instead, he dreamt tales of dancing pumpkins and Martians, or trips underwater or among the stars. Each story served as a teachable moment for his children, relaying the importance of resolving issues from a place of kindness, without

violence. At home, Sybil said, her eyes were always glued to the nightly news and its coverage of the war. Though their eldest daughter and son were old enough to worry about their father, she said, his stories were always something to look forward to. When Larry arrived home after 14 months away from his family, the letters were boxed up and stored. Looking back, he describes his service as something of which he is proud, but if given the chance, he would not do it again. “You know, it was the war that nobody cared about,” he said. “Even when I got back, it was 1971 and people couldn’t have cared less, nobody would stop and thank you for your service.” In 1977, Larry retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel with an aeronautical rating of master navigator and settled into civilian life. The Michaloves later compiled the stories he wrote and created a book that his children shared with grandchildren. It wasn’t until his daughter-in-law shared the book with her class that Larry began to search for a publisher. Published in 2005 by iUniverse, the book won the Military Writers Society of America’s 2005 Distinguished Book Award for Children’s Literature. “One of the things I’ve loved most was getting to go into the schools and read to the children,” he said. Students have written him letters after his visits, thanking him for the stories, as well as his service.

NOV 2-3


Art by Sarah Conklin


The Preserve, Hoover

WATERFALL: Hoover’s Magazine • Starnes Media • This is Alabama LAKE: Bell Media • Birmingham Magazine • Birmingham Mountain Radio 107.3fm • USS Real Estate RIVER: Avadian Credit Union • • Joe Piper VILLAGE GREEN: Babypalooza • Bare Naked Noodles • Beyond the Rock • Bham Now • B-Metro • City of Hoover • Event Rentals Unlimited • Jaguar Land Rover Birmingham • Over the Mountain Journal • Pursell Farms Resort • RealtySouth • SILVERLINER Custom Trailers • WBHM 90.3fm SPOTLIGHT PARTNERS: AARP AL • CartoTracks • Coca Cola United • Jefferson Credit Union • LeafFilter North of AL • Mountain High Outfitters • Precision Chiropractic • REI • Royal Cup • Saiia Construction • SealSmart • Sprouts Farmers Market • The Beer Hog • Top Golf • UAB Callahan Eye Hospital & Clinics • Whole Foods Market


Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 13


14 • Thursday, October 31, 2019

Always Best Care Always Best Care has provided non-medical care and skilled nursing services to local residents for the past six years. “Our team is made up of certified nurse aides, nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists who have extensive experience working with elderly and disabled individuals,” said owner Jennifer Mancuso, above. “Staff members provide a wide array of services, including bathing, vital sign monitoring, medication reminders, meal preparation, companionship, transportation and incontinence care. We take a concierge approach to working with our clients and can manage such things as


SENIORS arranging doctor’s appointments, running errands, taking care of pets and handling aesthetic needs. All care services are supervised by an on-staff RN and a Case Manager who jointly oversee client satisfaction, complete the initial client care assessment and conduct ongoing assessments. “With a team of experienced RNs, LPNs, PTs and OTs, we provide a full continuum of care, including skilled nursing services such as wound, burn and trach care and disease management,” Mancuso said. Always Best Care is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care for private duty nursing, infusion nursing, companion and aide services. Accreditation by ACHC reflects Always Best Care’s dedication and commitment to meeting standards that facilitate a higher level of performance and patient care. ACHC is a not-for-profit organization that has stood as a symbol of quality and excellence since 1986. “We are proud to be the only company in Alabama to be accredited by ACHC for these services,” Mancuso said. “Client satisfaction is paramount to Always Best Care. We cater to the needs of our clients by providing services from just a few hours a day to 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. “Our clients are carefully matched with the most appropriate caregiver, based on their individual needs and care plan,” she added. “All Always Best Care clients receive a customized care plan developed for their particular situation and regular supervisory visits to ensure that the care plan is being followed and updated as needed.” Always Best Care is located at 6 Office Park Cir., Ste. 315, Mountain Brook, 874- 9730. Call 205-874-9830 or email jmancuso@abc-seniors. com for more information.

The Bluffs at Greystone

The Bluffs at leasing and have special Greystone, scheduled to discounts and benefits open in the Spring of through our Founders 2020, is located in the Club.” upscale suburbs of The Bluffs at Birmingham and offers Greystone provides life premiere senior living enhancing personal seroptions. vices that are unique to “We offer studio, one each individual. “We cater to our resand two bedroom apartidents lifestyles and are ment homes to include proud to offer a world of upscale features of granopportunities where resiite countertops and staindents will learn someless steel appliances,” thing new, share wonsaid Elizabeth Milar, derful experiences with Executive Director. “We friends, and take part in have 63 independent livthe activities they enjoy ing and 73 assisted livmost, every day.  ing apartments”. “Our Live, Love, Our amenities Learn Program is deeply include: pickleball court, rooted in the National an indoor pool, bistro, Wellness Institutes 6 pub, indoor and outdoor dimensions of wellness: dining options, yoga stuspiritual, occupational dio, massage/spa area,  “WE CATER TO OUR RESIDENTS LIFE(sense of purpose), arts & crafts studio, STYLES AND ARE PROUD TO OFFER A social, physical, emolibrary, full service WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES WHERE REStional and cognitive.” salon, game room, wellIDENTS WILL LEARN SOMETHING NEW, said Milar. “This proness center, in house SHARE WONDERFUL EXPERIENCES WITH gram cultivates a sense therapy team, in house FRIENDS, AND TAKE PART IN THE ACTIVIof purposeful living in home care team, interacTIES THEY ENJOY MOST, EVERY DAY.” each resident based on tive kitchen (cooking Elizabeth Milar, Executive Director his or her unique gifts demo’s, private family and life experiences. We parties/dinners), children’s play area inside, playground outside, outdoor are making a difference in the lives of seniors and their families every day.” walking trails, and outdoor courtyard areas with The Bluffs at Greystone are located at seating. 6328 Farley Ln off Hwy 280 in Greystone and We offer weekly housekeeping, laundry service the phone number is 379-0322. and transportation services. We are currently pre-

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SpineGroup Alabama

“We are excited to announce the opening of our all new spine center location in Homewood. This state of the art facility will enable us to provide the highest level of spine care, including specialized spine therapy and an on-site internal injection suite. We strive to provide quality care in the most comfortable and convenient setting, and we hope our new location accomplishes just that.” Dr. Mark Downey, Founder, Spine Group Alabama. SpineGroup Alabama is led by Dr. Downey, a physiatrist who specializes in diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of pain-related spinal disorders. He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) since 2007 and uses his comprehensive spine and musculoskeletal training to determine the appropriate line of treatment for a variety of spinal conditions. Specializing in interventional spine, he is able to offer fluoroscopic spinal injection procedures to eliminate spine-related pain and restore normal activities and function. Dr. Downey is a native of Anniston, Alabama. He has been in practice for over 13 years and has performed thousands of spinal injection procedures for patients in the greater Birmingham area. According to Dr. Downey, “the mission of SpineGroup Alabama is to help our patients return to healthy active living through compassionate spine care”. For Dr. Downey, listening to his patients is the first and most important step to helping establish a diagnosis. “I have always believed that patients just want you to take the time to listen and understand their symptoms,” says Dr. Downey. “At SpineGroup Alabama, we strive to treat our

Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 15


Dr. Mark Downey, Founder, SpineGroup Alabama, center, with members of the SpineGroup team.

patients like family and advise the safest and most conservative options available. Many people can recover from painful disc-related sciatica symptoms with non-surgical treatment options like a customized physical therapy plan or a spinal steroid injection to reduce inflammation.” The most common procedure Spine Group Alabama is currently using to alleviate nerve pain is the epidural steroid injection for degenerative disc disease and sciatic nerve pain. “A targeted steroid injection under Xray guidance can reduce the inflammation around a nerve improving the patients pain and overall level of function. We can then incorporate Physical Therapy as the key piece of our long term treatment strategy allowing overall improvement in mobility, flexibility, core strength, and activity level,” said Dr. Downey. Over the last 5 years, Dr. Downey has become a referral center for Radio Frequency Ablation in the cervical and lumbar spine. This 30 minute procedure can eliminate chronic arthritic pain

from the facet joints in the spine, and provide complete pain relief for 12-18 months. SpineGroup Alabama also serves as a referral source for vertebral compression fracture evaluations. When appropriate, a Kyphoplasty procedure can be performed to stabilize the fractured vertebra. This procedure involves placement of a small inflated balloon within the vertebra to expand the fractured vertebra. The balloon is then removed and replaced with cement to internally stabilize the fracture. This procedure often provides immediate pain relief on the same day. Through the use of detailed history, physical examination, X-rays, and MRI studies along with other diagnostic tests, we focus our attention to the proper diagnosis of each patient’s individual pain generator. Once a diagnosis is made, we can begin to look at conservative options including injection procedures and different physical therapy plans. Although medications can provide temporary benefit, we attempt to minimize the need for

long term medications. Due to addiction risk and other side effects, we try to avoid opioid medications in our patients. Opioids in the elderly have been shown to significantly increase the risk of falls, G.I. constipation, and drug interactions. Spine Group Alabama is the only spine center in the State of Alabama to be included in a national listing of spine centers of excellence by Dr. Downey and his wife Kim, live in Vestavia Hills with their 3 boys. age 10, 13 and 15. He enjoys consistent exercise and any outdoor activities with his family including golf, team sports or time at the lake. Dr. Downey is a member of Mountain Brook Community Church where he and his wife have served on the praise team. Spine Group Alabama is located at 10 Old Montgomery Hwy, Suite 220 in Homewood and their phone number is 205-271-6511.

APPOINTMENTS & REFERRALS CALL 205.271.6511 MARK J. DOWNEY, MD Board-Certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specializing in Non-Surgical Spine Care & Interventional Spine

Our Goal: To be recognized as a Regional Spine Center of Excellence that provides the most advanced spinal care, emphasizing non-surgical treatment options for our patients. Our Mission: To help our patients return to healthy active living through compassionate spine care.



10 OLD MONTGOMERY HWY, SUITE 200, HOMEWOOD, AL 35209 Procedures offered: Epidural steroid injections Selective Nerve (Transforaminal) Epidural injections Radio frequency Ablation Kyphoplasty Facet joint injections SI joint injections Hip joint injections Piriformis injections Coccyx joint injections

We offer onsite Digital Xray, Physical Therapy and two state of the art Prodecure Suites.

16 • Thursday, October 31, 2019

Ridout’s Valley Chapel

Ridout’s Valley Chapel serves families in Homewood and the Birmingham area. Nestled in the valley between Shades Mountain and Red Mountain since February 1951, Ridout’s funeral home is beautifully appointed and handsomely furnished, providing a comfortable, warm environment for families, friends and guests. “Ridout’s Valley Chapel’s commitment to personalized service, compassionate care and tradition through the years allows us to be one of Birmingham’s most prestigious funeral, cremation and memorial service providers.” said Managing Director Scott McBrayer. McBrayer also serves as Homewood’s mayor. Funeral planning can seem overwhelming. Losing a family member is an emotional experience, and grief can make the funeral planning process difficult. Pre-planning final arrangements helps relieve your family of both emotional and financial burdens. Ridout’s Valley Chapel also offers support to those who have an immediate need to plan a funeral for a family member or friend who has passed away. A celebration of life focuses on remembering life in a unique and joyful way. With favorite foods, music, decor and more personalized touches, we can help you create a personalized service which reflects your life. “Cremation is increasingly becoming a choice of disposition. Our expert directors can walk you through the planning process and select the service  that is most appropriate for you and the needs of your family,” said McBrayer.   Ridout’s Valley Chapel is located at 1800 Oxmoor Road Homewood, 205-879-3401.




Regenerative Medical Institute Regenerative medicine is the practice of medicine that takes advantage of the newest advancements in biological science. Our medical staff of physicians and practitioners believe in cutting edge medical technologies to approach difficult to treat conditions. The antiquated practice of prescribing medications which only masks symptoms is avoided. Our clinic utilizes therapies aimed to treat the root cause of conditions such as neuropathy symptoms like tingling, painful pinprick sensations, numbness, imbalance, joint pain including neck and back, sciatic pain, cramping, Robert Odell Jr, MD, PhD restless legs, tight muscles, pain after shingles, surgery, or injury. Our treatments are designed to target pain reduction through nerve stimulation and neuromuscular reeducation. The therapy is delivered by pulsed energy waves directly to the affected area without causing pain or discomfort. Pain blocks, IV therapy to reduce pain and inflammation and/or regenerative stem cells treatment may be recommended. “Most patients report an immediate acceptable reduction in pain during treatment and a gradual reduction or elimination of pain (and pain medications) over time,” says Robert Odell Jr, MD, PhD. Our team enjoys educating patients and seeing the results of how alternative methods can improve their health and get back to a more enjoyable life! Take the first step and CALL NOW for a consultation appointment. We accept Medicare and all major insurance plans. Regenerative Medical Institute is located at 1849 Data Drive Suite 1, Hoover, AL Call our friendly staff at (205) 774-8222, Facebook;

Town Village Vestavia Hills Town Village Vestavia Hills is an independent living community for seniors. The community has recently been renovated and offers a wide variety of apartment style choices with full kitchens. Additional care services are available onsite for residents who need additional help with daily activities. Town Village offers a variety of amenities such as an indoor heated pool, walking trail, fenced-in dog park, gardening boxes, all-day dining options and many fitness classes. “Water Aerobics is a favorite among many of the residents,” said Desiree Soriano, director of sales and marketing at Town Village.   Town Village offers great choices for someAnne Martin one who is considering the idea of senior living, whether they are still active in their lives or if they exerpience declined health and favor an independent lifestyle with additional care services.  “I visited seven retirement communities, spent the night in two of them before deciding Town Village was the place for me. In real estate and retirement locations, location is everything. Little Shades Creek is in our side yard – walking along the creek going North, in a half a block you have many restaurants and stores to go to. We are not a lot of marble and glitz but we are friendly and fun. Laughter and loving friendships are all around. My story is continuing here,” said resident Anne Martin.  Tours are available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and by appointment on weekends.  Town Village is located at 2385 Dolly Ridge Road, Birmingham (behind the CVS off of Rocky Ridge Road), 979-2702.

Suffering from Nerve Pain? We can help! Join us for Town Village Vestavia Hill’s


Ridout’s Valley Chapel

December 6th 10 am-4pm.

Come shop for handmade items, clothes, jewelry, art, gifts, food and more!

And our

Do you suffer from:

Numbness/burning pain Leg and arm swelling Hurts to walk CALL FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY!

Holiday Open House December 13th 5-7 pm

Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served RSVP to Christine Buzhardt or Desiree Soriano 979-2702

Painless Cardiac and Nerve Risk Assessment Testing Provided. Take the first step towards changing your life.

Now accepting


ROBERT AGEE, MD Medical Director CRYSTAL STUBBS, CRNP Nurse Practitioner Specializing in Pain Management

HOMEWOOD MAYOR SCOTT MCBRAYER MANAGING DIRECTOR 1800 Oxmoor Road Homewood, Al 35209•205-879-3401


1849 Data Drive, Suite 1 • Birmingham, AL 35244

2385 Dolly Ridge Road Birmingham, AL 35243 205-979-2702



Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 17

Get more out of life at Danberry at Inverness Even more than larger floor plans, gorgeous architecture, and outstanding amenities—Danberry at Inverness frees you to create a lifestyle all your own, with Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care all right here. More peace of mind. And a lot more fun!

Call (205) 443-9500.

Residents enjoy: • Flexible dining options • Transportation • Housekeeping • Fitness Center • Wellness Clinic • 24-hour nursing • Indoor resort-style pool • Full-service salon & spa • Card & billiard rooms • Creative arts studio • Movie theater • And much more!

235 Inverness Center Drive Hoover, AL 35242

Call for Autumn Specials Today!

18 • Thursday, October 31, 2019



100 Years of Female Empowerment

Journal photos by Jordan Wald


upporters of the Linly Heflin Unit celebrated the organization’s centennial during its Scholarship Fashion Show on Oct. 16. The cocktail gala, the 61st annual event for the group, was hosted in The Club’s Gold Room and included a fall fashion show coordinated by Gus Mayer. The featured designer this year was Abbey Glass, an Atlanta-based designer who operates a full-service atelier and boutique-style showroom at The Shops in Buckhead, Atlanta. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Linly Heflin of Birmingham established a Red Cross surgical dressing unit as a way to support the war efforts at home. A group of neighbors would meet at her home to roll bandages, which involved creating various sizes of bandages out of gauze.  Additional units began to pop up throughout the city, and Loveman’s Joseph Loeb eventually invited all of the local units to use the department store’s mezzanine as a work space.  Once the war ended, the group disbanded, and Heflin succumbed to the flu during the epidemic shortly thereafter.  In 1919, a group of women from Heflin’s unit established the Linly Heflin Unit as a philanthropic organization. Its first project was to assist the Christmas Doll Bazaar at Children’s Hospital. Members of the unit decided in the 1920s to focus their efforts on enhancing the education of women. Through the women’s suffrage movement, World War II and beyond, the club has maintained its Memorial Fund, which provides scholarships for Alabama girls seeking higher education.  The organization was founded with 30 members. While it has grown, the group maintains a membership limited to 125 women.  This year, the organization has awarded college scholarships and grants to 27 young women. The scholarships are granted to Alabama women seeking higher education at Alabama universities. The awards are for $6,000 per year for up to four years of undergraduate study.  The annual luncheon and fashion show is the organization’s primary fundraiser, covering monetary needs outside of the Scholarship Trust Fund. ❖

Linly Heflin Unit Celebrates Centennial at Cocktail Gala, Fashion Show

Brittany Nichols, Julie Goyer, Abbey Glass, Tracy James and Nancy Bromberg.

Debbie Drummond, Cindy Hodges, Paige Scott and Kelly Holbert.

Dorothy Dot Tayloe, Mary Louise King, Elizabeth Poyner and Kathy Whatley.

Libba Williams, Julie Goyer, Margaret Wall and Murray Priester.

Paulette Pearson, Wendy McDowell and Bama Hager.

Sydney Holmgren, Perrin Bickert, Jenny Mizzell and Whitney Lucas.

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Michael and Deanna Piztiz with Frank Falkenburg.

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Journal photos by Jordan Wald


Kate Roy and Clay Greene.

Toasting the ‘20s

John and Kelly Hargrove with Bill Pitts.

Wig and Stache Bash Celebrates PreSchool Partners’ 25th Anniversary In the midst of 25th anniversary celebrations, the Young Partners Board of PreSchool Partners hosted its fourth annual Wig and Stache Bash Oct. 17 at Iron City. The theme of this year’s event was “The Roaring ‘20s,” with live music celebrating the time period and guests sporting classic ‘20s flapper attire, as well as wigs, mustaches and more. 

Megan Maher, Perrin Wilson and Caroline Wilson.

Silent and live auctions offered a variety of items, including a series of paintings created by local artist Carrie Pittman in collaboration with PreSchool Partners students.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the school’s mission to equip families of preschool-aged children with the skills necessary to be school ready. ❖

Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 19

20 • Thursday, October 31, 2019



Vive la Gourmandise

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

As the sun set over The Barn at Shady Lane, a feast was served at the Birmingham chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International’s annual Southern Soiree. Guests were greeted with a welcome cocktail created by Steva Casey of The Atomic Lounge with Cathead vodka, as well as beer from Back Forty Beer Company and a selection of Martine’s Wines chosen by certified sommelier Alexis Douglas. A silent auction featured a variety of culinary experiences led by local LDEI members, from cooking with Chris Hastings in one of his restaurants to visiting international markets along Green Springs with Birmingham LDEI President Susan Swagler.   Ralph and Jennifer Yarbrough with Rebecca and John Williamson. The menu for this year’s event was organized by Kathy Mezrano, Pardis Stitt and Kay Reed and featured recipes from renowned chef and LDEI namesake Auguste Escoffier.  The recipes were reimagined by LDEI members, who also prepared the evening’s dishes.  A harvest Stefanie Maloney, Kathy G Mezrano and Ashley Mac. Eric and Julie Helmers. table featured a selection of small plate offerings by Deborah Stone of Stone Hollow Farmstead, Kathy G. Mezrano of Kathy G & Company, Betsy McAtee of Dreamland Inc., Mary Grace Viado of Village Tavern and Kay Reed of Iz Cafe and Iz Weddings & Events. Dinner featured coq au vin with a variety of sides prepared by Kay Reed and Maureen Holt, Andrea Griffith of Pursell Farms, Ashley McMakin of Ashley Mac’s and Mezrano. To finish the evening with a flourish, a selection of two desserts was offered: fall-flavored mini ice cream sandwiches by Geri-Martha O’Hara Erin Isbell and Margaret Ann Snow. Laura Gaines and Barbara Kenyon. of Big Spoon Creamery and a fall apple cake by Brittany Garrigus Cheatham of Satterfield’s Restaurant. Funds raised through the event will benefit the LDEI chapter’s scholarships and grants, awarded to women in food-related fields. ❖

Serving Birmingham since 1958

Member of the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce

Mention this ad to receive a free diagnostic service call.

109 Hilltop Business Drive Pelham 205.985.7969

Susan and Rick Swagler.

Stacey Craig and Connie Craig.

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Summer Soiree Features Evening Dinner of Classic French Dishes Reimagined  


Journal photos by Ingrid Schnader


Michele Smith, Melinda Helveston, Julie Blumenthal, Liz Guest, Buffie Hymer and Danna Yarmowich.

Supporting Students

Cornerstone Schools Host 16th Annual Harvest of Hope Gala The Cornerstone Schools of Alabama’s Women’s Service Board celebrated the arrival of autumn at the 16th annual Harvest of Hope Gala. Held Oct. 18 at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, the gala highlighted the school’s 25th Dakai Tatum-Lee and Wiley Edwards. Kelly Kitchens Williams, Jana Korsch and Doree Nelson. anniversary and honoree James M. Proctor II, a long-time board member and supporter of Cornerstone Schools. Festivities began with a social hour, featuring live music and a silent auction. The evening also included a live auction, heavy hors d’oeuvres and a wine tasting.   “Our mission is to provide as much support as possible for the children attending Cornerstone,” said Julie Blumenthal, president of Cornerstone’s Women’s Service Board. “These kids are our future leaders and we want to do everything in our power to equip them with everything they need to succeed.”  Proceeds from the event will Mary Claire McDougald, Ann Perry, Eve Hennessy and Katie Belue. directly benefit the more than 595 students who attend the Cornerstone Schools.  “We are grateful to all of our faithful friends who give and serve to ensure a bright future for the students of Cornerstone,” said Cornerstone President Dr. Nita Carr. “The mission and work of Cornerstone would not be possible without our generous community friends and partners.” ❖

Michael and Alex Armstrong.

Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 21

22 • Thursday, October 31, 2019


Withering Heights

Salon Summit

Brow Shaping Only $20 Now Through November 30th



Members of Withering Heights Garden Club of Mountain Brook celebrated their 60th year with a party at Pizzeria GM on Oct. 10. A fall theme was carried out with a pumpkin floral arrangement, which was presented at the end of the evening to Jane LaRose as the longest active member, with 41 years in the club.  Club president Marie Goldfarb gave gift bags to all attendees and baked a chocolate cake.  This year’s officers are Marie Goldfarb, president; Emily Rose Morris, vice president; Susan Logan, secretary; and Cindy Williams, treasurer. Those in attendance were Ashley Ferguson, Marie Goldfarb, Kathy Harris, Jane LaRose, Melissa Lassiter, Connie Livingston, Susan Logan, Edith Lyon, Emily Rose Morris, Carmen Morrow, Amy Reilly, Jan Roberts, Betsy Spivey, Marsha Terrell, Betty Lynn Wright, Mary Beth Wood and Susan Yarbro. ❖

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

I’ve been shaping eyebrows for over 20 years and hear the same complaints from nearly every woman in my chair; ”I’ve got one good eyebrow and one bad one”, or “my eyebrows aren’t even” or “they used to be much thicker, now they’re half gone”. Why are brows so important to our overall appearance? University researchers have found that our eyebrows and eyes are the first thing people notice when they see us; the more symmetrical and appealing those are, the more trustworthy and likable we will appear. If you weren’t born with lush, perfect brows…you’re in great company. But there are ways to create a balanced brow shape that will truly enhance your eyes and overall appearance. Three of my favorite tools to use are: -Anastasia Beverly Hills BROW WHIZ, $23 at SEPHORA (comes in several colors) -Pixie – BROW DUO, $16 at Target (has pencil on one end and colored brow gel on the other). -Arch Brow Volumizing Brow Gel by HOURGLASS, $28 at Sephora (great for people with blonde or gray brows). Then of course there’s MICROBLADING, which is more semi-permanent. Color is placed just below the surface of the skin in hair-like strokes. I use my own technique to create a custom brow; believing one pattern does not fit every face. I show some of my work here. If you need some help please give me call!

Garden Club Celebrates 60th Anniversary With Fall-Themed Party

From left, front: Susan Logan, Emily Rose Morris, Marie Goldfarb, Jane Larose, Betty Lynn Wright and Ashley Ferguson. Back: Jan Roberts, Connie Livingston, Betsy Spivey, Carmen Morrow, Susan Yarbro, Edith Lyon, Marsha Terrell, Amy Klinner-Reilly and Melissa Lassiter.

It’s All Greek

NSAL Celebrates 60 Years, Hosts Niki Sepsas for 2019-20 Opening Meeting For the past 60 years, the Birmingham chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters has recognized, encouraged and assisted young artists. The opening meeting of NSAL’s 2019-20 year was held Sept. 18 at the Country Club of Birmingham. Birmingham author and world traveler Niki Sepsas presented a program titled “Hellenic Heartbeat,” in which he described Greek families immigrating to Birmingham to serve in the burgeoning steel industry. Those original families have grown and prospered over the past three generations, serving the community and boosting culture through food, music, literature and dance. Preceding a buffet luncheon, the Rev. Margo Coker, chaplain, gave a devotion and blessing.  Officers introduced for the new year are Gail Ledbetter, president;

Roman BRantley aRt, antiques Gifts & DecoR

Open Mon-Fri 10:30-5:00 pm & 1st & 3rd Sat 10:30-2:30 pm 2790 BM Montgomery Street Homewood, AL • 205.460.1224

Les Filmer, vice president; Catherine Rogers, secretary; Nancy Morrow, treasurer; Margo Coker, chaplain; and Janis Zeanah, parliamentarian. Members in attendance were Edie Barnes, Peggy Carlisle, Mary Lynda Crockett, Barbarann BecketGaines, Dr. Patricia Dice, Judith Hand, Tallulah Hargrove, Sandra Hines, Ruth and Virgil Jensen, Mary Beth Katz, Dr. Katherine Kirkpatrck, Gail Ledbetter, Jerry and Sis Levin, Marie Lewis, Rebecca Mason, Nancy and Bart Morrow, Carla Roberson, Dr. Carolyn Satterfield, Nan Skier, Mildred Allen Taub, Rebecca Thomas, Sue Watkins, Nancy Whitt and Janis Zeanah.  One new member elected at the meeting was Jill Shearin Driver. Founded in 1956, the society offers financial assistance, master classes, performance opportunities, scholarships and career introductions to students studying the visual arts, dance, drama, literature and music. 

Photo courtesy NSAL

Do Eyebrows Really Frame Your Face?


This year’s rotating competition is in the field of musical theater. Applications will be taken from musical theater students who wish to compete for a national scholarship. ❖

Bluff Park WindoW Works f Wood window restoration and repair f Sash replacement, rot repair f Replace broken and fogged glass

f Wood insulated, putty glazed, and composite vinyl replacement sashes

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From left, Les Fillmer, Niki Sepsas and Gayle Ledbetter.


Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 23


Dem Bones


Stephanie Diane Zicarelli of Mountain Brook and Dr. Christopher Michael Bannon of Nashua, New Hampshire, were married December 29, 2018, at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Homewood. The Rev. Balta Pentareddy officiated the ceremony. Concelebrants of the nuptial Mass were the Rev. Frankline Fumokong and the Rev. George Mangiangattu. The couple received a Papal Blessing from His Holiness Pope Francis, which was presented to them during the ceremony. A reception followed at The Club. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Zicarelli of Mountain Brook. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Frances Naro and the late Mr. Joseph Naro and Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Zicarelli, all of Mountain Brook. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Bannon of Nashua, New Hampshire, and the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pagliarani and the late Mr. and Mrs. William Bannon, all of New Hampshire. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore an Enzoani couture dress with a cathedral-length veil. Elizabeth Ann Naro, cousin of the bride, served as maid of honor. Bridesmaids were Caroline Saia and Aleigh Walker, cousins of the bride; and Hannah Kyzar, Sarah Pederson, Sydney Holmberg, Nichole Smith and Shannon Vanden Heuvel. John Bannon, brother of the groom, was the best man. Groomsmen were Austin Baker, Curtis DeJarnette, John Rhodes Farnham, Michael Babston, Shane Welch, Philip Zicarelli Jr. and Vincent Zicarell III, brothers of the bride. The rehearsal dinner was held at IZ the Place in Vestavia Hills. The couple now reside in Huntsville, where Dr. Bannon has joined the practice of North Alabama Oral and Facial Surgery and Mrs. Bannon has joined Huntsville Hospital as a speech language pathologist.


Rebecca Elanor McDaniel and Henry Breneman Stewart were married June 15 at First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham. The ceremony was officiated by Alison Brooks of Chicago Community Mennonite Church. The bride is the daughter of Carolyn and Allen Crocker of Birmingham and the late Robert McDaniel. She is the granddaughter of Adam and Ginni Robertson of Birmingham and Juanita McDaniel and the late Glenn McDaniel of Montgomery. She is a graduate of Homewood High School and Furman University. She received a master’s degree in music from the University of Missouri. The bride is a chamber percussionist and is employed as office manager and development associate for Third Coast Percussion, Chicago. The groom is the son of Rose and Kevin Stewart of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  He is a graduate of Penn Manor High School and Goshen College. He received a master’s degree in music from the University of Missouri. The groom is a composer and is employed as technical services coordinator for the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. The couple reside in Chicago.

Attendees of this year’s Bone Bash on Oct. 17 arrived at The Barn at Shady Lane in costume to support the Alabama chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. This year’s patient honoree was Sydney Hood, and the medical honoree was Dr. Nop Unnoppet of Shelby Advanced Arthritis Care.  Throughout the evening, guests were treated to a buffet dinner by Happy Catering, a bar, music and dancing, a silent auction, a costume contest and a presentation by Arthritis Foundation volunteers and staff.  The Bone Bash fundraiser is a community-driven event that takes place in a few select cities across the country. Proceeds support the Arthritis Foundation’s research, advocacy Shauna and Chris Nix. and public health programs. ❖

Journal photos by Ingrid Schnader

Arthritis Foundation Hosts Birmingham Bone Bash

Penny Witcher, Kim Smith and Jennifer Mancuso.

Terry Mozena, Tim Self, and Jeff Vaughn.

Brad Lynch and Alan Wilson.

Thursday, November 7th, from noon-6pm Friday, November 8th, from 9am-4pm Briarwood Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall 2200 Briarwood Way at I-459 and Acton Road

Free Admission Great Gifts and Keepsakes

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

Unique and Talented Merchants 3301 Lorna Road, Ste. 1, Hoover • 978-5880 •

Door Prizes

Holiday Kickoff Homewood Set to Celebrate the Season

24 • Thursday, October 31, 2019

open late during this event, offering drinks, appetizers and a fun environment for people to do their holiday shopping. To get shoppers in the holiday spirit, local musicians will play sounds of the season.

Those who come out to the event also will have a chance to take a ride on the Homewood for the Holidays Trolley or grab a photo with Santa. This is one of the Homewood Chamber of Commerce’s most antici-

Journal file photos by Jordan Wald


omewood is getting ready for the most wonderful time of the year again, starting with its Holiday Open House festivities downtown on Nov. 7 beginning at 5 p.m. Merchants on 18th Street will stay


pated events and draws thousands of people to the Homewood community each year, the chamber said in a press release. In addition to kicking off the holiday season, the event also encourages members of the community to support local businesses. Also, part of the Homewood for the Holidays campaign is the ninth annual Lighting of the Star, which will be held Dec. 5 at the top of the 18th Street hill in downtown Homewood. Homewood Mayor Scott McBrayer will light the star at 6:30 p.m. This also marks the official start of the Homewood Christmas Parade. Float registration information is available at Santa will light the Christmas Tree in front of City Hall after the parade finishes and then be available for photos. — Ingrid Schnader

The ninth annual Lighting of the Star will be held Dec. 5 at the top of the 18th Street hill in downtown Homewood. Homewood Mayor Scott McBrayer will light the star at 6:30 p.m. This also marks the official start of the Homewood Christmas Parade.



Cookie Fix

Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 25

Cookie Fix is a small batch cookie shop located in Homewood offering delicious fresh baked cookies, seasonal desserts and frozen dough to go. “Cookie Fix cookies are slightly under baked to create our signature ‘crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside’ perfection,” said owner, Amy Jason (right). ‘ORDERING FOR CHRISTMAS IS EASY. NEW FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS OUR ON-LINE ORDERING FOR PICK-UP IN STORE OR FOR SHIPPING BAKED OR FROZEN DOUGH.’

Applause Dancewear Applause Dancewear opened its doors in 1981 and is the largest dancewear store in the Southeast with over 2,700-square-feet of inventory. Originally opened by Buddy and Cindy Wade when Cindy was the choreographer and creator of the Star Spangled girls at Homewood High School, the business was taken over by their daughter Katie Wade Faught in 1992, after attending the University of Alabama and completing a degree in marketing from UAB. “We stock all the latest fashion trends for all styles of dance, as well as any basics need ed

for beginners,” said Fought, pictured above. “We only employ dancers who are able to give expert fitting and advice to all of our customers. “This holiday season we will focus on providing essentials to the multiple Nutcracker performances throughout the Birmingham area, as well as outfitting dozens of church liturgical dance teams for their Christmas specials. We carry ornaments, booties, stocking stuffers and all of the latest winter trends for gifting.” Applause Dancewear is located at 1629 Oxmoor Rd. in Homewood, 871-7837.



Dancewear 1629 Oxmoor Road Homewood 871-STEP (7837)

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Celebrating 38 Years In Business - Family Owned & Operated

For the holiday season, Cookie Fix will have seasonal favorites such as Cranberry Jumble with orange glaze, the Big Apple, Ginger Molasses, Mint Chocolate Chunk, Peppermint Dark Chocolate Chip, Peppermint White Trash and, of course, all the favorite Cookie Fix classics. “With our Frozen Dough to Go in your freezer, you are always ready for a perfect late night snack, entertaining and gifting. Your home gets to smell wonderful; nothing is better than hot cookies out of your oven. And who wouldn’t want to receive a pack of Frozen Dough to Go as a gift this season? “Want to be a dessert queen? Let us teach you how to create amazing, over-the-top desserts at home with our Frozen Dough To Go, our mini Lodge iron skillets, your favorite ice cream and recipes for delicious sauces. These swoon-worthy desserts will make your guests feel so special, with almost no effort on your part.” Cookie Fix makes gifting for business, neighbors and friends easy with beautiful red or white tins, kraft boxes or catering trays. “Ordering for

Christmas is easy. New for the holiday season is our on-line ordering for pick-up in-store or for shipping baked or frozen dough. A few clicks and you are set; no line and no waiting. “For corporate gifting, we can handle your order of one or one-thousand tins. “So many delicious ways to get and give Cookie Fix as you celebrate the blessings of the Christmas season!” Cookie Fix is located at 2854 18th St. S. in Homewood, 582-2623.

26 • Thursday, October 31, 2019


Homewood Toy & Hobby Homewood Toy & Hobby Shop is the oldest toy store and hobby shop in the Birmingham area. “We are family-owned and operated since 1950 with a focus on classic toys for the child inside of everyone,” said owner Tricia McCain, above. “We carry a wide variety of brands including, but not limited to Corolle Dolls, Lego, Playmobil, Melissa & Doug, Lionel Trains and Traxxas Remote Control.” “Whether you are looking for a new toy for a newborn baby, a birthday gift for your

child’s classmate or even a new hobby for Dad, our experienced staff can help you decide on the best item,” Tricia said. “We carry the largest selection of remote controlled toys in Birmingham. We are proud to have over 60 years of business in the hobby industry. “If you are looking for a particular toy, don’t hesitate to give us a call. If we don’t stock it, we can often special order it for you.” Homewood Toy & Hobby Shop is located at 2830 18th Street S., 879-3986.



Tricia’s Treasures This is Tricia’s 38th year doing business as Tricia’s Treasures - almost half a lifetime. When visiting Tricia’s you will find a combination of antiques, accessories, food, fun and a warm gathering place in general, where you may run into an old friend or make a new one. “With 38 years in the antiques business, it has been an amazing journey, filled with hard work, fun, many rewards and friendships that will last forever,” Tricia said. “And the stories and the laughs we have shared in our shop are too many to be told. “We have an amazing staff, all who are eager

to serve our customers in every way. If you have never visited us, we feel that you will be pleasantly surprised at our vast and varied inventory. “Our customers come from cities and states far and near and we will feel very graced with your presence too! Do yourself a favor and put us on your calendar for a visit. “CHECK US OUT ON INSTAGRAM FOR NEW INVENTORY!” Tricia’s Treasures’ hours are Tues.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sat., 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tricia’s Treasures is located at 2700 19th Pl. S, 871-9779.


Every Day is OPEN HOUSE at Tricia’s Treasures So please join us!

Making Christmas Magic for Over 60 Years 2830 18th Street South • homewood • 879-3986

Antiques and Accessories 2700 19th Place South Homewood • 871-9779 Tue.-Fri. 10:30-5:30 • Sat. 11:00-4:30


Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 27


Holiday Express Annual Deck the Heights Kicks off Holiday Celebrations in Vestavia Hills


Wild Things

Blue Willow, Leaf and Petal, Flip Flops and What Nots and Birmingham Physical Therapy. Along the way, attendees will be able to stamp their passport, and a full passport will offer chances to win prizes and free Doodles Italian Ice from Santa. Cahaba Heights holiday celebrations will continue as the merchants association hosts Light the Heights in Meadowlawn Park on Dec. 1 at noon, where teams will decorate a live Christmas Tree. Registration is required.  For more information, visit the “Shopcahabaheights” Facebook page. —Emily Williams

SAVE THE DATE: OTM Area Holiday Highlights


Journal file photos by Jordan Wald

“Coming up on our two-year anniversary the Wild Things team has been busy at work, flowering all over Birmingham and beyond,” said owner Carolyn Chen, above. If you haven’t been inside their shop yet, it’s a must-visit for the holiday season. Part eclectic gift shop, part floral studio—the eccentric design and florists at work will draw you in right away. Inside you can purchase bespoke arrangements, flowers by the stem and bouquets, as well as beautiful greeting cards, potted plants, succulents, coffee-table books and candles. Wild Things is the perfect one-stop-shop for all of your holiday decorating needs and gifts. “Don’t forget to sign up for our next workshop and order your holiday centerpieces, mailbox arrangements, garland and wreaths early,” said Chen. Look out for the Wild Things Blog launching in November for featured weddings and events, seasonal decorating ideas and tips and tricks on flower arranging. Wild Things is located at 2815B 18th St. S., Homewood,,


he holidays are here again, and the Cahaba Heights community will be kicking off the season of giving with community events that highlight local merchants. The Heights Express will travel through Cahaba Heights on Nov. 14 as the city celebrates the third annual Deck the Heights from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Guests at the event, hosted by the Cahaba Heights Merchants Association, can take a ride on a trolley, stopping at various local businesses for holiday-inspired activities for kids and adults. Stops will be at The Heights Village, The

Vestavia Belles will be on hand to welcome people to this year’s Tree Lighting Festival ceremony at Vestavia Hills City Hall on Dec. 3.

Fri., Nov. 22 Lights Up

Oh what fun it is!

Over The Mountain Journal


What: Join the Summit for a magical celebration to kick off the holiday season featuring live music, a parade, fireworks, Santa, a tree lighting, a photo booth and more. When: 5-8 p.m. Where: The Summit Website:

Vestavia Hills Civic Center; and the Christmas Parade and Celebration begins at 2 p.m. on Dec. 8. at the Liberty Park Sports Complex and proceeds to Alston Meadows. Website:

Tues., Dec. 3 Hoover Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

What: This annual city event officially kicks off the holiday season. A Hoover City School choir performs and a student lights the Christmas tree during the ceremony. Santa makes a grand entrance on a fire truck and takes pictures with all of the children. When: 5 p.m. Where: Hoover City Hall Website:

Dec. 3, 7 and 8 Holiday in the Hills

What: The Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce and the City of Vestavia Hills hosts a series of events to celebrate the holiday season. The holidays kick off with the Tree Lighting Festival at 6 p.m. on Dec. 3 at Vestavia Hills City Hall; Breakfast with Santa at 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 7 at

Hoover Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be Tues., Dec. 3.

28 • Thursday, October 31, 2019



Mountain Brook Turns Merry and Bright with Holiday Open Houses, Parade


Journal file photos by Jordan Wald

hroughout the holiday season, the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce and local merchants will host open house events that provide festive community activities and encourage gift-givers to shop local. Crestline Village’s Holiday Open House will kick things off Nov. 14. Participating merchants will offer discounts and special activities from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Even Santa Claus will be stopping by, finding a seat in front of City Hall to take pictures and greet children until 6 p.m. The English Village Holiday Open House will take place Nov. 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., featuring its annual Poker Run.  On Dec. 5, Mountain Brook Village will host its Holiday Open House event from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The city’s celebrations will culminate with the annual Christmas Parade on Dec. 8 beginning at 3 p.m.  The parade will begin at Office Park and travel through Mountain Brook Village, with floats decked out in holiday regalia and performances by Mountain Brook City Schools cheerleaders, dance teams and bands. Festivities continue with pictures with Santa and a pop-up story time under the Bromberg’s tree, hosted by Emmet O’Neal Library. For more information, visit —Emily Williams

The city’s celebrations will culminate with the annual Christmas Parade on Dec. 8 beginning at 3 p.m.



Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 29


Once Upon A Time Once upon a time’s store managers, Jackie Torrance (above right) of the Homewood location and Karen Piazza (above left) at the Crestline location are busy making plans and getting ready for the Holiday Open Houses. This year is extra special for Once upon a time. An exclusive line of Once upon a time Christmas Pajamas has been created using local children’s drawings. This project was the brainchild of Nikki Schoel, Creative Director at Once upon a time. In 2018, Schoel and Once upon a time hosted a contest where children of all ages were invited to submit drawings of their favorite things about Christmas. More than 40 entries were received. Four winners were selected as follows: Juliette Seth age 5, Madeline Wells, age 7, Annie Oser, age 9, and

Camille Haugseth, age 10. “A graphic artist created a design using all four drawings, fabric was printed and pajamas were made for infants through size 14 girl and boy, and lounge pants for adults,” said Schoel. Be sure to visit Once upon a time and checkout these unique and exclusive Christmas Pajamas. The Crestline store will be celebrating its 23rd Holiday Open House on Thurs., Nov. 14, from 4-7p.m., and the Homewood Store will be celebrating its 10th Holiday Open House on Thurs., Nov. 7th from 4-7p.m. The Crestline store is located at 201 Country Club Park, 870-7772. The Homewood store is located at 2900 18th St. S., 870-7776.

Smith’s Variety Since 1950, Smith’s Variety has been a true variety store carrying the staple items you need along with the great gifts for all ages that you want. The store’s toy department features retro as well as new and hot toys. “We have a large ribbon-by-the-yard section, sewing notions, frames, totes, fashion accessories, baby gifts, school supplies, kitchenwares, greeting cards, a party supplies department with an invitation and imprinting area and - last but not least - chocolates and other candies, available by the pound or by the piece,” said owner Jim Glazner, pictured above with his wife Tammie. A Nov. 14 open house - from 5-8 p.m. - will offer 20 percent off storewide; highlighting local vendors along with music, drinks, snacks, book signings, drawings, free ornament personaliza-


tion, free gifts with purchase - limited supply, 25 percent off on personalized Christmas gift labels and free imprinting with Christmas card purchases. Play Day - Nov. 16 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. - will feature costumed characters, like Peppa Pig, Hello Kitty and a T-Rex; giveaways; and many toys for kids to try out. Plus a very special visit from Santa Claus between noon and 2 p.m! “After Thanksgiving we will be open Sundays from noon-5 p.m. with hot spiced apple cider and snacks offered daily along with free gift wrapping on all items purchased. We are a one-stop shop for gifts, toys, wrapping supplies, party needs, candy - everything you need!” Smith’s Variety is located at 45 Church Street in Crestline Village, 871-0841.


Grab a friend and shop while enjoying refreshments and other treats!

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Saturday November 16th, 9:00-4:00 SANTA WILL BE HERE FROM 12:00-2:00!

Featuring artwork from the winners of our Christmas coloring contest, these are available for a LIMITED TIME ONLY! In girls and boys styles, sizes 12 mos - 14.

Meet the reps and play with the toys. There will be toy manufacturers and representatives available to answer questions and to demonstrate products. FREE PRODUCTS given to a limited number of children. Drawings and giveaways from your favorite companies.

WE HAVE ADULT PAN TS TOO! • 205.870.7772 201 County Club Park, Mountain Brook 2900 18th Street South, Homewood

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30 • Thursday, October 31, 2019


Journal photos by Ingrid Schnader

Holly Carlisle of RoseGolden started working with flowers when she got married and, with a friend, made floral arrangements for her own wedding reception.Â

Inspired by Nature

Floral Designer Holly Carlisle Makes Holiday Decorating More Approachable


his Thanksgiving season, if you are planning to have your entire family pile into your dining room to eat turkey and dressing, you might feel tempted to spend a fortune on expensive flower arrangements. But Holly Carlisle of RoseGolden says don’t do it. Her philosophy is to approach decorating with flowers in a much more natural way.  “Most people don’t have time or money to make centerpieces,� she said. “I’m all about demystifying the world of flowers and making it more approachable to people.�

Carlisle started working with flowers when she got married and, with a friend, made floral arrangements for her own wedding reception. “Someone saw it that was a wedding planner that I knew, and she was like, ‘No one in Birmingham does natural-looking flowers.’ I thought, ‘I’m just going to try it,’â€? she said. She started working out of the basement in her house making simple arrangements and teaching herself as she went along. Using nature as her inspiration, she makes designs that are unique to each client. She has spent the past eight years growing her business, and 3½ years ago she moved out of her basement and started working from a studio in Avondale.

Knowing Your Parking Lots

When Carlisle teaches classes on floral arranging, she encourages people to walk around in their yards and see what’s blooming. Even people who live in apartments or don’t have a yard can take a page out of Carlisle’s book. “I walk around my neighborhood,� she said. “I don’t walk in people’s yards, but there’s wooded areas around, and I’ll just go for walks around the woods. I’ll go to the alley here (at the RoseGolden studio) all the time and cut stuff. Who cares if it’s weeds? They’re going to probably come spray them anyways. Get to know your parking lot and different kinds of

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See HOLLY, page 32

Photos courtesy RoseGolden

By Ingrid Schnader

Holly Carlisle’s upcoming Nov. 3 class at Birmingham Botanical Gardens will focus on fall’s transitioning foliage. She will first demonstrate, then attendees will use resources from the Gardens to create an arrangement “celebrating the transition of fall.�

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Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 31

32 • Thursday, October 31, 2019



HOLLY From page 30

trees.” A good way to start the creative process, she said, is to cut nine stems from an accessible yard, alleyway or other wooded area. Take them home, cut the stems at an angle, fill a vase or other vessel with fresh water, and start making an arrangement. “I don’t buy anything. I don’t do anything. It

Baker Lamps & Linens Baker Lamps & Linens is a third generation family business specializing in lamp repair and custom made lamps as well as a large selection of replacement shades. They also carry bedding and linens by Ann Gish, Legacy Home, Lili Alessandra, Peacock Alley, Pine Cone Hill and Traditions. They also have a wide array of accessories, candles, gifts and more. “We have lots of one-of-a-kind items,” said Katie Baker Bolton, above with her mother Dianne Baker-Clelland. “Many of those items are our custom made lamps. We love having a unique look. “If you have a lamp shade that needs replacing it’s always best to bring in your lamp for a proper fitting. We are able to ‘try on’ shades and make all needed adjustments with the lamp in the store. We joke that ‘buying a lamp shade without your lamp base is like buying a hat without your head!’ “Interior Designers and decorators are always

welcome and appreciated, however, you do not need a decorator.” Katie and Dianne are both Interior Design graduates from Auburn University, and they will be glad to guide you in selecting your bedding, lamps and shades. They say pictures, paint, fabric and finishes are very helpful to have when selecting new items. “There are so many inexpensive lamps that can look like a million bucks with a great shade.” “We sell excellent quality shades and lamps. We feel that investing in good quality shades are important. The lamps we make are made with quality parts, and no detail is left unnoticed. We always try to do things the right way the first time.” Baker Lamps & Linens is conveniently located on Valleydale Road, in Inverness, just a 1/4 mile off of Hwy 280.

We've got you MADE in the SHADE!

A good way to start the creative process, she said, is to cut nine stems from an accessible yard, alleyway or other wooded area. Take them home, cut the stems at an angle, fill a vase or other vessel with fresh water, and start making an arrangement.

could be partially weeds, it could be dead. There is always a way to make something powerful out of what is in your environment.” Most florists use foam, which is not friendly to the environment, to hold flower stems in place. This can result in an arrangement that doesn’t accurately reflect what naturally occurs outside, though, Carlisle said. She observes nature and uses what she sees as an inspiration in her work, then holds it in place with environmentally friendly chicken wire. “You let the materials that you cut in your yard dictate to you where they want to be in the piece because you’re inspired by how they appear in nature,” she said. “And that is a way to work with flowers that doesn’t require you to go to a store and buy $300 worth of flowers. “It’s not just about making something pretty. It’s about connection with nature and the seasons.” Keep it simple, and work with what’s available, she advises. Once you feel comfortable making an arrangement with natural materials found in your environment, then you can work up to bringing in cultivated materials in your arrangements.

Baker Pool Jack Baker, owner of Baker Pool Company has been working in the pool business for years. “Summer is over and now is the best time to get work done on your pool,” said Baker.  “We replace pumps and filters. We can replace your vinyl liner of any size. Is your pool leaking? We can find the leak and resurface with fiberglass. “Getting your pool ready for the winter is a major headache, and it’s often difficult to put the covers on. We are ready to help. We are happy to help with weekly maintenance and chemicals. Got pesky leaves? We can fix it. Baker Pool Company wants to be your ‘NEW POOL GUY.’ Call for free estimates on all of your pool needs, 217-2491, and ask for Jack.

Learning More With Carlisle


Lamps & Linens

5299 Valleydale Rd. • 205.981.3330

We do Lamp Repair!

Carlisle used to teach classes in her studio. For the past two years, as a way to help support the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, she has been teaching the Essentially Seasonal Design Series a few times a year at the Gardens. “I try to teach people design,” she said. “How to think like a designer and how to think creatively.” Her upcoming Nov. 3 class will focus on fall’s transitioning foliage. Carlisle will first demonstrate, then attendees will use resources from the Gardens to create an arrangement “celebrating the transition of fall.” The class is $185 for Birmingham Botanical Gardens members and $200 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit

Baker Pool Inc. 205- 217-2491

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Over the Brook and Through the Hills

Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 33

Five Homes on This Year’s Legacy League Christmas Home Tour

Photo courtesy Samford Legacy League

During the Samford Legacy League’s 2019 Christmas Home Tour, guests will be able to tour five homes, taste seasonal fare and shop at the holiday gift market. The ninth annual event, being held Dec. 12, raises funds for the league’s mission to provide scholarships for students with significant financial need and challenging cirThe 2019 Christmas Home Tour Committee members are, from left, front: Lisbeth Cease, Julie cumstances. Presented by ARC Cundiff and Terre Currey. Middle: Jeanna Westmoreland, Dianne Booth, Mary Margaret Yeilding, Phyllis Crocker, Sheila Smith and Ginny Scott. Back: Angie Harris, Dena Barr, Realty, this year’s Christy McKiernan, Kathy Clay and Angelia Spraberry. Not pictured: Inga Clum, Julie tour includes two Duckworth, Sharon Smith and Allison Strickland. homes in Mountain Brook and three in Vestavia Hills. Samford President’s Home, 1994 The Holiday Gift Market will be in Featured homes and their owners Shades Crest Road, Vestavia Hills. the fellowship hall of the First are Christine and Mike Denniston, Church of the Nazarene, adjacent to THIS YEAR’S TOUR INCLUDES 505 Pine Ridge Trail, Mountain the Samford President’s Home. TWO HOMES IN MOUNTAIN Market hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Brook; Meredith and Jeffrey Lees, BROOK AND THREE IN Tickets will be available at a 2113 Vestavia Drive, Vestavia Hills; VESTAVIA HILLS reduced price of $30 through Dec. Angel and Jared Lewis, 11 Richmar 10 or $35 at the door of featured Drive, Mountain Brook; Rushton homes. and Derek Waltchack, 2445 For more information, visit samChestnut Road, Vestavia Hills; and Homes will be open from 10 Jeanna and Andy Westmoreland, a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Rare Opportunity 4 Lots Available

Homesites for Sale in Prestigious Gated Vestavia Hills Community: $109,000 Only 4 lots remain in the exclusive community of Viridian, one mile off Highway 31 on Tyler Road, convenient to Birmingham’s major Interstates, shopping and recreation. Bring your builder or let Wedgworth Construction design and build your dream home.

Mike Wedgworth (205) 365-4344

34 • Thursday, October 31, 2019



Journal photo by Ingrid Schnader


Journal photos by Jordan Wald


Chef Adam Evans and designer Suzanne Humphries Evans always knew they would one day return to Birmingham and open a restaurant.

‘Easy and Natural’ Automatic Seafood & Oysters Brings Fresh to Lakeview


By Sam Prickett

or chef Adam Evans and designer Suzanne Humphries Evans, the decision to open Automatic Seafood & Oysters in Birmingham’s Lakeview entertainment district was just that: automatic. “It’s what our path was,” Suzanne said, “with Adam as a chef and my professional background (as a designer), and with us wanting to get back home … . It was never a question of ‘where’ or ‘what.’ It was just a question of ‘when.’” Automatic Seafood & Oysters first opened its doors at 2824 Fifth Ave. S. in Birmingham on April 1. For Adam, it was the result of a lengthy culinary career that had taken him from his hometown of Muscle Shoals to New Orleans to New York to Atlanta, working with a handful of classically trained chefs and eventually gaining a position as executive chef of The Optimist, at Atlanta restaurant headed by nationally recognized chef Ford Fry. After a few years in Atlanta, Adam and

Suzanne decided it was time to return home. “We both had the same goal of ending up in Birmingham to start our own business,” Suzanne said. Birmingham’s booming culinary scene was a major draw for Adam. “It just so happens that Birmingham is an amazing food town,” he said. “People know what good food and good service is in Birmingham.” Most of Adam’s culiSimple roastnary influences are ed fish with French, he said, thanks to olive oil and his time in New Orleans. lemon juice. “I started learning and understanding how to make flavors, how to build flavors,” he said. “And New Orleans is pretty big on that. They don’t make bland food there, and if you do, I guess you don’t make it as a restaurant. That was eye-opening for me, and I wanted to expand on that.” Even more important, he adds, is where a restaurant gets its ingredients. Sourcing is a huge part of his job, he said.

“A lot of it – most all of it, really – is finding the right products,” he said. He said he was a couple of minutes late to an appointment “because this farmer was

Harvest Market, an independent retailer that offers a variety of local, organic and healthy food options, opened its new location in Hoover earlier this month. Harvest Market has a location in downtown Birmingham, but the Hoover location has much more space. CEO Steve Shelton said the Hoover location will have a full-time wine consultant, a 20-foot salad bar, a full-service deli and more. Shelton was a general manager at Western Supermarkets for 20 years before the business closed in January. In April, Shelton and his partner, Jeff Gentry, took the idea from their now-closed Organic Harvest store in Hoover and opened a store downtown. They partner with local farmers and vendors to supply products to consumers that they wouldn’t be able to purchase at a typical grocery store chain. The new location is at 1031 Brocks Gap Parkway in Hoover. For more information on Harvest Market, visit


The former Market Table restaurant space in Homewood will soon be transformed into SoHo Standard, a new restaurant concept from the team behind SoHo Social. “SoHo Standard will offer a simple, more upscale menu selection in a relaxed, yet refined, atmosphere,” representatives for SoHo Standard said in a statement. The restaurant will have a full bar with premium liquors, wine and a select five to eight beers. The restaurant will be opening in about a month, a representative said. You can follow SoHo Standard on Facebook and Instagram for updates.


showing us this squash he was growing, and it’s the first time he’s sold it to anyone … . I don’t have a team driving toward getting the best product in and helping me

See AUTOMATIC, page 36

The Holler & Dash location on 18th Street in Homewood may take on a new look soon. Cracker Barrel will be converting all seven of its Holler & Dash locations into Maple Street Biscuit Company locations, which is a Florida chain that Cracker Barrel acquired. According to the Maple Street Biscuit Company website, the eatery features community-style seating and serves “comfort food with a modern twist.” Menu items include biscuits, chicken, sausage and shiitake gravies and house-made jams and jellies.

See FOOD NEWS, page 35


Sharing the Loaf

Breakin’ Bread Serves Local Dishes to Support Culinary Arts Scholarships eateries, hosted the annual Breakin’ Bread food festival Oct. 20 at Pepper

Place. While live music played, tastings that highlighted signature dishes of more than 25 restaurants were served.  Birmingham Originals member restaurants and Breakin’ Bread participants include 5 Point Public House Oyster Bar, Ash Neighborhood Grill, Avondale Common House, Bellini’s, Bettola, Bistro V, The Bright Star, Cantina, Continental Bakery/Chez Lulu, dg, Eugene’s Hot Chicken, FoodBar, Homewood Gourmet, Hot and Hot Fish Club, MAFIAoZA’s, Moss Rock Tacos & Tequila, Ocean, OvenBird, Sky Castle, Slice Pizza & Brewhouse, Sol’s Sandwich Shop and Deli, Ted’s Restaurant, Vecchia

Pizzeria & Mercato and Vino. A Makers’ Market featuring Southern craftsmen offered a variety of products celebrating architecture, fine art, fashion and design, highlighting the culture and creativity of the South.

Proceeds from the event will support the Birmingham Originals Grant Program, awarding scholarships to individuals pursuing an education in the culinary arts as well as providing assistance for local entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry.

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Birmingham Originals, made up of a number of Birmingham’s premiere

Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 35


Above, Mark Driskill, Idie Hastings, Chris Zapolowski and Hal Craig. Below, Adam and Leesa Green and Jim and Laurie Jernigan.

Above, Elizabeth Archibald and Brittani Harrison. Below, Maddie Wohlfarth and Mies Von Seebach.


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

FOOD NEWS From page 34

smooth texture and buttercream body, with bright flavor and clean finish.” Visit to learn more about the company.


a new location in Vestavia Hills last month. Located at 1270 Montgomery Highway, this Alabama-based restaurant serves wings, burgers and more in an environment filled with televisions and athletic decor. The new development also includes a Dunkin’ Donuts, which is also scheduled to open soon.

Open House November 8th and 9th Enjoy light lunch and samples!

#1 Pie

Shop in Alabam a!


A James Beard award winner, Jeni Britton Baur, (above) is taking her ice cream concept to Pepper Place. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream has been for sale in local grocery stores, but this will be its first Alabama storefront and is expected to be opened in the spring. According to their website, Jeni’s ice cream doesn’t use synthetic flavorings, dyes or off-the-shelf mixes. It describes Jeni’s ice cream as having a “uniquely

Now taking orders for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday & Corporate Gifts! Call 5291 Valleydale Road, Suite 111 205-874-9880 Hoover, Alabama 35242 Today!

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mention otmj for 10% off To: Emily total purchase From: Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 through Nov 30! FAX: 205-824-1246 Date: March This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the Mar issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

Please make sure all information is correct, inclu address and phone number! Please initial and fax back within 24 hours.


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36 • Thursday, October 31, 2019



Briarwood Christian School

Homewood High School

AUTOMATIC From page 34

source, so that’s been one of my biggest jobs here: getting the right food in the freshest fish, the best vegetables, from the best farms that are around. That’s where it all begins for me. After you get that in, it’s not that difficult to make good food.” For Suzanne, that philosophy of food played into the restaurant’s overall design. “Adam cooks in a seemingly

The Cavaliers celebrated the culmination of Homecoming Week on Sept. 27 with a varsity football game against Fultondale, including a presentation of the 2019 homecoming court. The court included Homecoming King Andrew Wix and Queen Emma Bauer (pictured above), attended by first runner-up Brooke Staley, Mirian Abikhaled, Angie Nelms and Isabella Sutherland.

Photo courtesy Iron City Studios

Spain Park High School

The Spain Park Jaguars played Thompson High School on Oct. 4, drawing Homecoming Week festivities to a close. Senior Grace Foy (above) was crowned homecoming queen during a halftime presentation. In addition, princesses were recognized at each grade level: Marlina Fairweather, freshman; Kennedy Leonard, sophomore; Vivian Gray, junior; and Tegan Gibbons, senior. 

Journal photo by Bryan Bunch

Third graders at Advent Episcopal School recently have been on culinary and cultural adventures in and outside of their classroom. Teacher Lee Stayer spent the end of the first nine weeks providing her students with opportunities to explore lessons in food, Indian culture and life on a ranch. On Sept. 30, chefs and owners of Edgewood’s Greenhouse – Mary Claire and Bray Britton – visited the class for a culinary lesson. The Brittons shared their culinary experiences with students and allowed the class to taste test a new dessert.  The class then took a trip to Pickens County on Oct. 3 to visit pen pals they have been corresponding with at the Dee River Ranch. On the 10,000-acre ranch, the children learned about beekeeping, soil and water conservation, irrigation and cattle. Stayer noted that the kids also enjoyed seeing Callie, a border collie, herd sheep. To finish off recent cultural explorations, Indian Springs School senior Labdhi Mehta and her teacher Shelia Rubin visited the class Oct. 7. While there, the duo shared a special form of classical Indian dance, Bharatanatyam. The students learned that the form of dance expresses an interpretive narration of Indian myths and spiritual ideas from Hindu stories.

John Carroll Catholic High School

Vestavia Hills High School

Photo courtesy Indian Springs

Advent Third Graders Explore New Foods and Cultural Experiences

The presentation of this year’s Homewood High School Homecoming Court was held on Sept. 27 as the Patriots took on Center Point. Senior Ella Malek was crowned Homecoming Queen, attended by Mary Britt Garlington, freshman; TaNya Pledger, sophomore; Ayona Roychowdhury, junior; and Aniyah Grey, Lainey Phelps and Anna Katherine Pitts, seniors. In addition, Paul Condon and Ella Grace Ivey were named Mr. and Miss Fire Prevention, Bella Kimbrell and Kaj Knudsen were named Miss and Mr. Homewood; and Tharthania Diaz was named Miss Aerospace.

Photo courtesy Advent Episcopal School

Homecoming Week came to a close on Oct. 4 at Briarwood Christian School, as the Lions took on John Carroll Catholic High School. Senior Callie Tomlinson (above, escorted by her father Tommy Tomlinson) was crowned Homecoming Queen, attended by class representatives Brooke Metzger, freshman; Mallory Bean, sophomore; Victoria Dickinson, junior; and Lauren Lanier, Anna Katherine Spivak and Audrey Vickers, seniors.

Photo courtesy Belmont Studios

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry


Indian Springs 2019 National Merit Semifinalists

In our coverage of the Over the Mountain National Merit Semifinalists on page 29 of our Oct. 3 issue, we included a photo of the Indian Springs School’s National Merit Commended Students. The 2019 National Merit Semifinalists for Indian Springs are, from left, Jocelyn Lyu, Labdhi Mehta, Evan Dunbar, Ben Standaert, Hunter Crawford, John David Haws and John Slaughter.

easy, streamlined manner, where you’re receiving super-fresh seafood, super-fresh vegetables from the farms, sort of automatically to your table,” she said. That philosophy fit in well, she said, with the name that was on the building when the couple found it: Automatic. The building, constructed in the 1940s, originally housed the Automatic Sprinkler Company. After searching fruitlessly for another name, Adam and Suzanne decided to stick with the original. “It was a word that we felt is part

of the building’s identity and also relevant to the feeling that we wanted to create,” Suzanne said. “It’s pretty easy and natural.” Inside, the restaurant maintains the “classical American modernism” aesthetic of its original era, Suzanne said. She worked to bring a “coastal” atmosphere into the mix as well. “I wanted it really to communicate the feeling of being near water and to support the storyline of all the food,” she said. “We’re near water, therefore it’s believable that the fish and the oysters on your plate are as

As the Vestavia Hills High School’s varsity football team took on Shades Valley High School Sept. 27, students celebrated the end of homecoming week with a presentation of this year’s court. Senior Emma Faulkner was crowned the 2019 Homecoming Queen (above, escorted by her father Stan Faulkner) attended by Mary Hogan Glenn, Emma Nunnelley and Lotte Wambsganss, freshmen; Laure Ellen Hayes, Libby Pippin and Morgan Robison, sophomores; Katy Chen, Abbie Stockard and Diane Westhoven; juniors; and Sarah Beth Corona, Grace Davis, Kate Richardson and Catherine Schaffeld, seniors. Look for Homecoming coverage from Mountain Brook and Hoover high schools in our Nov. 14th issue.

fresh as they are. “We looked at places situated near water, from Miami to Coastal California to New England. We took a spin around the States. We wanted it to feel very authentically American, near some body of water somewhere but not any particular one. So fusing a coastal vibe, a coastal feeling, color palette, textures, with a time period of American architecture and design that we now call classic – that helped inform all of the design choices.”

Ultimately, it’s all about the cumulative Automatic experience, Suzanne said. “The product is the experience, not just the food and drinks, but the total environment of hospitality, the consumption experience. … I think we’re really just trying to represent ourselves, and we’re very fortunate to be doing so in an area that has been exposed to fresh, high-quality food and very attentive, next-level hospitality. It helps us keep moving forward and helps drive us to do the best we can do.”


Two Hoover Teachers Earn Highest National Award for Math and Science Education

It was announced earlier this month that Hoover City Schools teachers Kristin Bundren and Kevin Pughsley have been recognized for their overall excellence in teaching, earning Presidential Awards for Excellence in mathematics and science teaching. The awards are administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. According to the foundation, the presidential award is the highest award given by the United States government to K-12 math and science teachers. During the week of Oct. 14, Bundren, of Spain Park High School, and Pughsley, of Berry Middle School, flew to Washington, D.C., for a ceremony alongside fellow award winners from throughout the country.  Bundren, a 2017 state finalist, is Spain Park’s science department chairman and teaches ninth-grade preAP biology. Additionally, she serves the district as an engaged learning facilitator and member of the curriculum development team.  In a released statement, Bundren said the Presidential Award “celebrates teachers who have a passion for learning and instill that same passion in their students.” “I am honored to be considered for

Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 37


such an award and recognize that achieving this award is only through the support of colleagues who have contributed to my growth as an educator and my students who inspire me daily,” she said. She has preKristin Bundren sented programs at local, regional and national conferences on differentiated teaching, formative assessment, technology and scientific argumentation. According Kevin Pughsley to the release, Bundren uses teaching strategies that incorporate various learning styles to meet different needs of her students. Bundren encourages scientific thinking by using argument-driven inquiry, which allows for problem-solving, discussion and explanation.  Kevin Pughsley, a 2018 state finalist, teaches 10th grade science at

Berry Middle School and previously spent 10 years teaching at Calera Middle School, in the Shelby County School System. “I believe each person is born with a purpose in life, and I’ve always felt that teaching is mine,” said Pughsley. “Over the past 12 years, I have been blessed to teach science to sixth graders, with a focus on building relationships and setting high expectations in a high-energy and positive environment. Winning this award further encourages me that I’m living my life’s purpose. I am grateful for the love and support of my family, colleagues, and students who have helped me become the educator I am today.” Pughsley surveys his students every nine weeks, which has inspired fellow teachers throughout the school to do the same as a way to gain feedback and improve effectiveness. Over the past few years, he has planned and led field trips to Kennedy Space Center in Florida to give students the opportunity to connect firsthand with the material they have studied throughout the year. As a consultant for A-Plus College Ready, Pughsley writes curriculum and teaches summer sessions to earth science teachers across Alabama. The program’s goal is to foster an innovative culture for teachers and to equip and empower them to expect more.

Homewood Band to March in 2021 Rose Bowl Parade

205.638.PIRC (7472) Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC)


Navigating the mental health system for children and teens

The PIRC is generously supported by additional funding from the Hill Crest Foundation, Brasfield and Gorrie, LLC, and the Gorrie family.

On Oct. 18, as the Homewood High School Patriots took on Carver High School, halftime included some exciting news for the Homewood Patriot Band. Marching band directors and staff presented a banner and announced that the band has been invited to perform in the 132nd Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California, in 2021.  This marks the fifth time the band has been invited to perform in the New Year’s Day parade, hosted by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.   The eighth grade members of Homewood Middle School’s band – who will join the high school band next year – were in attendance for the band’s annual Eighth Grade Night and celebrated alongside their future peers.

Award Winning CHOICE







Journal photos by Jordan Wald





PIRC, based at Children’s of Alabama, is a confidential phone response center linking adult callers to mental health resources for children and teens. Service is provided by licensed mental health professionals who educate callers and recommend the most appropriate treatment options. PIRC hours are 8 am — 11 pm, 7 days a week.

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PIRC is NOT a crisis or suicide hotline. Call for mental health resources.

38 • Thursday, October 31, 2019


High Hopes

By Rubin E. Grant

Homewood Distance Runner Crawford Hope Comes Back Strong From Devastating Injury After missing the cross-country and indoor track seasons, Hope had a strong showing in the 2019 ASHAA outdoor meet as Homewood claimed its second consecutive Class 6A title. Hope joined Stone, Logan Justice and Jack Gray as the Patriots’ 4x800 relay team won with an impressive time of 8:00.01. Hope also placed second to Stone in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. “Crawford Hope was exceptional,” Homewood track coach Thomas Esslinger said after the meet. “If we don’t have Will, he wins two state championships.” Gregg Hope was blown away by what his son accomplished at the outdoor meet, especially after his lengthy time away from running because of his injury. “I told Crawford that how he came back would define his running career,” Gregg Hope said. “He attacked his rehab and really got after it. To run the way he did at the outdoor meet three months after coming back from his injury was impressive.” With Stone now starring at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, Hope, a junior, is the Patriots’ top distance runner. On Oct. 19, Hope won the 28th Husky Challenge at Hewitt-Trussville with a sterling time of 15:43.74 while leading the Patriots to victory in the meet. A week earlier, Hope recorded a personal best time of 15:06.61 while finishing fifth in the prestigious Coach Wood Invitational in Whitesburg, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. The Patriots took first place in the boys competition in the 24-team event.

Hoover 34, Mountain Brook 10 Tuscaloosa County 42, Spain Park 21 Vestavia Hills 31, Oak Mountain 10 Homewood 28, Jackson-Olin 6 Briarwood Christian 28, Fairfield 18 Ramsay 61, John Carroll Catholic 7

Hope is favored to win at a Class 6A sectional meet Thursday at Hewitt and is the favorite to claim the individual state title on Nov. 9 at Moulton. “I ran against some of the top runners in my class at Hewitt, and if I am able to do what I did at Hewitt, I think I’ll have a good chance to win,” Hope said.

Dedication to Training

Hope has a strenuous training regimen. He runs about 70 miles a week, running three miles in the mornings and seven in the afternoons. He took up running when he was in the third

From page 32

Journal photos by Lee Walls

Briarwood at Hueytown Homewood at Paul W. Bryant IMG Academy, Fla. at Hoover Mountain Brook at Gardendale Pace at Oak Mountain Shades Valley at Spain Park Vestavia at Huffman

On Oct. 19, Hope won the 28th Husky Challenge at Hewitt-Trussville with a sterling time of 15:43.74 while leading the Patriots to victory in the meet.




Journal photo by Jordan Wald

A few months after enjoying one of the best days of his young life, Crawford Hope experienced months of misery. As a freshman at Scottsboro High School, Hope won the Class 5A 800-, 1,600- and 3,200meter runs at the 2018 Alabama High School Athletic Association Outdoor Track and Field Championships. But that summer, Hope suffered a stress fracture of his femur because his still-developing legs weren’t strong enough to take all the toll he was putting on them. The fracture was severe because it was in the neck of the femur, going into the hip. So, when he transferred from Scottsboro to Homewood before his sophomore year because his dad, Gregg Hope, accepted an assistant track coaching job at Homewood, Crawford Hope was unable to run for the Patriots during the 2018 cross-country season. He was sidelined for six months. “It was really tough,” Crawford Hope said. “I was on crutches for four months. That was tough mentally and physically. And then for the next two months I was barely moving.” Finally, after the doctors cleared him to start running again, Hope resumed his training in February – with great difficulty. “When I started running again, I was out of shape and was winded after 10 or 15 minutes,” he said. “My legs felt like Jell-o.” Then Hope started training with Will Stone, Homewood’s celebrated distance runner, who was a senior at the time. Suddenly, Hope returned to form. “It was kind of a phenomenon what happened,” Hope said. “I started working out with Will and everything just came back. “Will was one of the best teammates anyone could ask for. I learned a lot from him during our one year together, and not just about running.”

This season Griffin, who has started since he was a sophomore, has surpassed 100 tackles for the third consecutive year. He had a 23-tackle game against Center Point early in the season and reached 100 tackles, with 11 tackles against Thompson two weeks ago. He had 103 tackles, including 63 solo and six tackles for losses, heading into Mountain Brook’s homecoming game last Friday against Hoover. In 2018, Griffin recorded 151 tackles and garnered Class 7A second-team All-State honors from the Alabama Sports Writers Association. “It’s very rare to have a player reach 100 tackles three straight years,” Yeager said. “Those numbers are some of the better ones we’ve ever had.”

Preparation and Instincts

Above, Mountain Brook’s Sam Higgins looks for running room as Hoover’s Seth Parker closes in. Top, Darius Morrow picks up yardage for the Bucs.

Preparation plays a key role in Griffin’s tackling prowess. “Before the ball is snapped, I know where it is going,” he said. “It’s a little of instinct and watching film. I feel I have good instincts and I watch a ton of film. I know every team’s formation. I study all week and then use what I’ve learned in the game.” His teammates also are important.


grade, following in his dad’s footsteps. Gregg Hope was a state champion distance runner at UMS-Wright in Mobile in the late 1970s and early 1980s. “He used to bike a lot and I ran beside him,” Crawford Hope recalled. “I ran competitively from the third grade until the fifth grade, then I took a break in the sixth grade. After the sixth grade, I started to take it seriously.” Gregg Hope enjoys watching his son compete. “He reminds me of somebody I used to know,” Gregg Hope said, jokingly referring to himself. “It’s getting easier to watch him, but it’s not easy, if you know what I mean.” Before coming to Homewood, Crawford Hope almost ended up at Vestavia Hills as a teammate of the Rebels’ talented runner Ethan Strand. Gregg Hope was looking for a school system that would challenge his son academically as well as athletically when they decided to leave Scottsboro. “I was planning to go to Vestavia, then coach Esslinger reached out to my father and asked him to come help coach the team,” Crawford Hope said. “I came by the school and fell in love with the team. “I am happy we made the move to Homewood.” Hope and Strand have become friends and Hope also enjoys competing against him, even though Strand has gotten the better of Hope in their two most recent matchups. Strand took first place in the prestigious Jesse Owens Classic cross-country meet on Oct. 5 at the Oakville Indian Mounds Park, blazing to a 15:26.34 finish in the Open Division 5K run, finishing slightly more than 5 seconds ahead of Hope (15:31.97). At the race in Georgia, Hope was about 2 seconds behind Strand (15:04.56), who finished fourth. “I love racing against him,” Hope said. “We kind of push each other to do well and run faster times.”

“I’ve always been in the middle and my teammates have been able to turn plays back to me,” Griffin said. “To have three 100-tackle seasons is big for me and our team.” Griffin was the Spartans’ only returning starter on defense this fall and had to become a vocal leader.

‘He’s always been a player who had led by example, but to lead this season he had to find his voice. He has found his voice.’ “He’s always been a player who had led by example, but to lead this season he had to find his voice,” Yeager said. “He has found his voice.” Griffin knew he had to become more vocal if the Spartans’ defense was going to be playing well. “At the beginning of the season, we had a lot of question marks,” Griffin said. “We didn’t know who would be starting. They were looking to me for leadership. As the season progressed, everybody has become more comfortable and become playmakers. “I’m not a rah, rah guy; I don’t like to talk. But I’ve been more vocal,

making sure that everyone knows what we’re doing.”

Following in the Footsteps

Griffin comes from a football family. His dad, Steven Griffin, uncle Chad Griffin and grandfather Ray Griffin all played college football at Harding University in Arkansas. “I’ve been around football all my life,” Clark Griffin said. “I started playing competitive football when I was in the third grade.” He has aspirations of playing college football, but he wants to finish his final high school season strong. “I have some schools looking at me, but my focus is on the rest of the season,” he said. The Spartans (7-2, 5-2 Class 7A, Region 3) close the regular season Friday at Gardendale (7-2). Mountain Brook was unbeaten before losing its past two games, falling 33-21 at Thompson and 34-10 to Hoover in region play. The losses left the Spartans as the No. 3 seed in the region, meaning they will be on the road for their firstround playoff game next week at Florence (6-4). Even so, Griffin believes Mountain Brook will be a factor in the state playoffs. “I feel like we can make a run,” Griffin said. “I think we can play with anybody. We just have to play hard week in and week out.”

Thursday, October 31, 2019 • 39



Hoover Faces Difficult Road in Quest for First State Volleyball Title

The Hoover Bucs will have to run a gauntlet if they are going to win their first state volleyball championship. The Bucs (32-14) will face Enterprise (32-14) in the first round at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 2019 AHSAA Volleyball State Championships at the Birmingham Crossplex. Should they advance, the Bucs likely would have to face Mountain Brook (56-7) in the semifinals at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Mountain Brook takes on Auburn at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in its first-round game. If the Bucs reach the final, which will be played at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Bill Harris Arena, they could face two-time defending champion McGill-Toolen. McGill (37-9) plays Thompson (32-16) in the first round at 11 a.m. Wednesday. “We’ve got a tough run,” Hoover coach Chris Camper said. “We’re going to have to beat somebody (Enterprise) we haven’t seen and then possibly Mountain Brook to get to the final.” Hoover lost to Bob Jones in semi-

SPARTANS From page 32

For good measure, they won an out-of-state tournament, capturing the Rocky Top Classic in Sevierville, Tennessee. Last weekend, Mountain Brook won the North Super Regional at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, tying a school record for wins with 56 in process and securing a berth in the 2019 AHSAA Volleyball State Championships. But for all they have accomplished, the Spartans still haven’t reached their ultimate goal. “We set a lot of short-team goals and we’ve been checking them off, getting better and gaining more confi-

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

By Rubin E. Grant

Hoover’s Brooke Hoven in action at the North Super Regional in Huntsville last week.

finals in the 2018 state tournament. They fell to McGill in the first round in 2017 and lost to Mountain Brook

in the 2016 final. Although the task is daunting, junior setter Aly Durban believes the

dence,” Mountain Brook coach Vickie Nichols said. “But we’ve been laserfocused all season on winning the state championship. That’s our end goal.” The Spartans (56-7) will begin the final stage of their quest for a state title when they face Auburn (38-18) in the first round of the Elite Eight at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Birmingham Crossplex. The semifinals are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Crossple, and the final is set for 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Bill Harris Arena. “We’re really excited,” Nichols said. “I feel like it’s up for grabs. We can win it – I am not saying we will win it, but we’ve been playing really well. “We played really well in the

regional. We really looked smooth. It was fun to watch.” Because of the No. 1 ranking, the Spartans could be considered the favorites, but Nichols doesn’t see it that way, especially with two-time defending champion McGill-Toolen in the opposite bracket for a potential championship match-up. “I don’t care who’s the favorite,” Nichols said. “It’s a matter of who shows up and plays the best that day. But I do believe we’ve set ourselves in a good position.” Mountain Brook and McGill split their two games during the regular season. The Dirty Dozen opened the season with a win at Mountain Brook, but the Spartans gained a measure of revenge in the semifinals of the Blalock Tournament.

Bucs can rise to the occasion. “I’m really excited and ready to compete at the state tournament,” Durban said. “We’ve got to work harder to get to our goal. We’ve got to play with more confidence. “Confidence is something we’ve struggled with. When we hit a little slump, we tend to get down on ourselves. We’ve just got to flush it and get our rhythm back.” The Bucs enter the state tournament as the No. 3 seed out of the North Super Regional. It’s familiar territory for Hoover. “We’ve had the No. 3 seed four times in the last seven years,” Hoover coach Chris Camper said. “It’s not a bad seed. We’re on the other side of the bracket from McGill, but we’re in the same bracket with Mountain Brook. “Mountain Brook is playing very well. We’ve played them five or six times and they’ve beaten us every time but one. We haven’t executed when we have played them. “But we’re not overlooking Enterprise. We just hadn’t seen them.” Enterprise is the No. 2 seed from the South Super Regional after losing to McGill 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-19)

in the regional final. In the North Super Regional at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville last weekend, the Bucs beat Huntsville 3-1 in the first round (21-25, 25-17, 25-11, 25-13), lost to Mountain Brook 3-1 (25-18, 25-18, 24-26, 25-8) in the semifinals, then bounced back to beat Thompson 3-1 (25-17, 27-25, 18-25, 32-30) to earn the third seed. “We had good balance at the regional,” Camper said. “Rya (McKinnon) played well, our defense was good until the end and Aly set well all weekend. “We’ve got the talent to win the state, but every one of our girls will have to execute for us to take the next step and get where we want to be.” Camper hopes his young team, which has only three seniors, doesn’t get overwhelmed about playing in the state tournament. “All our girls are new and young and if we beat Enterprise we will have to beat a senior-laden Mountain Brook team that knows what the finals are all about,” Camper said. “We’re going to have to execute at a high level for us to win three matches.”

The Spartans have an experienced team, led by five seniors: outside hitter Grace Carr; right side hitter Mary Katherine Fowlkes; twins Ann, a setter, and Liz Vandevelde, a libero; and reserve setter Kate Amberson. Mountain Brook didn’t have any seniors when they were eliminated by McGill in the semifinals in 2018. The Dirty Dozen also ousted the Spartans in the semifinals in 2017. “The biggest difference from last year to this year is we’re more mature and playing with more confidence,” Nichols said. “Instead of players saying, ‘I think we can or I hope we can,’ they know they can. “When we beat McGill in the Blalock Tournament, it was not ‘We’ve done it,’ it was just another step in us moving forward.” Ann Vandevelde believes the Spartans’ demanding schedule will pay dividends in the state tournament. “We’ve definitely played a lot

more matches this season than we have in the past,” said Vandevelde, who was a freshman on Mountain Brook’s 2016 championship team. “To be able to see so many teams has helped us get better. “I honestly believe our team is very strong and we have a great opportunity. We’ve played every team in the Elite Eight but Enterprise. We are ready to play.” If the Spartans don’t claim the title, will they consider the season a failure? “That’s a hard question,” Vandevelde said. “I don’t want to look at the negative. If that is what happens, I’ll be disappointed for sure, but I’ll still be proud of our team ‘cause we have come a long way.” Nichols said that, of course, the season wouldn’t be a failure, then added that a state championship would be “a great ending to a great season.”

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Last weekend, Mountain Brook won the North Super Regional at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.

Hoover faces difficult road in quest for first state volleyball title. Page 31


Thursday, October 31, 2019 ❖ OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Homewood distance runner Crawford Hope comes back strong from devastating injury. Page 30

Spartans Looking for a Great End to a Great Volleyball Season By Rubin E. Grant Mountain Brook won three consecutive Class 7A state volleyball championships from 20142017, but it’s safe to say the Spartans have never had a season like the one they have had this fall. The Spartans opened the season ranked No. 1 in Class 7A and closed the regular season ranked No. 1. They swept the top three tournaments played in the Birmingham metropolitan area: the Juanita Boddie Tournament at the Finley Center in Hoover, the Heffstrong Tournament at Spain Park and the Margaret Blalock Invitational at Homewood.

Journal photo by Lee Walls

See SPARTANS, page 39

This season Spartan linebacker Clark Griffin, who has started since he was a sophomore, has surpassed 100 tackles for the third consecutive year.



ountain Brook senior middle linebacker Clark Griffin has become adept at the game of hide and seek. Since he’s not big by linebacking standards – Griffin’s only 5 feet, 9 inches and 190 pounds — he employs his crackerjack style of football to avoid blockers and bring down ball carriers. “Against big linemen, I use my quickness and instincts to my advantage,” Griffin said.

“I try to hide myself and show myself at the last minute.” Spartans football coach Chris Yeager said that’s part of Griffin’s distinctiveness. “He’s sort of unique,” Yeager said. “He’s a very cerebral player. He understands both sides of the ball, which could make him a good coach one day. He’s always ahead of the ball. He dissects plays and then runs to where the ball is. “Everybody talks about his size, but it makes him hard to block because he’s hard to

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see. I’ve had coaches tell me they couldn’t block him because they couldn’t see him. I think his size is an advantage. He pops up out of nowhere.” Not only does Griffin pop up out of nowhere, he delivers some pop. “He tackles big,” Yeager said. “He’s only about 190 pounds, but he tackles about 230. He’s one of the surest tacklers we’ve ever had and pound for pound, he’s one of the best tacklers I’ve ever seen.” See GRIFFIN, page 38

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Spartans’ Griffin Relies on Smarts, Instincts to Become a Tackling Machine

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