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Team Leader

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Grandview Cancer Center Director Calls Her New Job a ‘Good Challenge’

Dr. Jennifer De Los Santos, director of the new Grandview Cancer Center, said it’s important to empower patients with knowledge and support. “I’m a teacher at heart,” said De Los Santos, who’s been nationally recognized for her work in radiation oncology. Her story and those of others involved in the fight against cancer begins on page 10.





2 • Thursday, October 4, 2018




Murphy’s Law

Tweet Yourself

M HONORING THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE Meadowbrook Post Office dedicated to Lance Corporal Thomas Rivers Jr. PAGE 8

CITY FLAVORS Food tours offer a taste of downtown Birmingham PAGE 27



24 26 29 32 There’s so much happening in the Over the Mountain area, we can’t fit it all in the paper! Visit for more stories and photos.



Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writers: Ingrid Schnader, Emily Williams Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Blake Ells, Rubin E. Grant Contributors: Susan Murphy, Jordan Wald, June Mathews, William C. Singleton III, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls Jr., Bryan Bunch Sam Prickett Advertising Sales: Julie Trammell Edwards, Laura Lane, Tommy Wald, Suzanne Wald

Vol. 28, No. 5

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 2018 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.

one’s post. They can tweet and retweet all day y daughter is trying to impress upon my grandchildren that potty talk is not long. It must be exhausting. I mean, surely no polite and name-calling is hurtful and one would put something in print without an wrong. She is trying, but it’s a struggle. Brother extensive search for just the right words, ever will scribble on Sister’s artwork, Sister will run mindful of their longterm implications.  off with Brother’s new Hot Wheels car and the What if some kind of an airway glut forced bad, bad words start flying. Twitter executives to limit each person to just Oh my goodness, the things we say in one post each day and all Twitter fans across the globe were required to read it? Two hundred and anger! I’m sure everyone can remember a time eighty characters would have to sum up what in their life when their feelings got ahead of you’re thinking for your one day on this planet their sensibilities and they blurted out something that will never, ever happen again. they later wished they could take back. It’s a Let’s go even farther … what if you had only game-changing lesson that the minute words go 280 characters for a whole week? What would out into the air, the havoc they create is you save, what would you leave out that you unleashed. Sue Murphy If only you could put your words on pause, might have put in a workaday tweet?  Imagine consider them more carefully, and select exactly being limited to one tweet a month, or one for the entire year. What if you were only what you wanted to say. That’s what’s so allowed 280 characters for your whole life, in wonderful about putting your thoughts in essence, a condensed version of your life phiprint. You can write things down, look them What if you were losophy, that everybody, all over the world, over and change the words or tone when you only allowed 280 would see and hear? need to. The down side of print is that if you I think I’d have to institute some kind of skip that crucial step, your words are not only characters for post test, a filter of sorts to help me separate released into the ether, they are set in ink, as your whole life, in my personal kernel of truth from my kneeit were, and become evidence, right or wrong, of who you really are. essence, a condensed jerk, emotional chaff. I can chaff with the best I’m not a Twitter follower, (I’m not much them, but I wouldn’t want that to be the version of your life of of a follower at all) so forgive me if I get way I was remembered. Would you? some of the terms wrong, but I read that I saw a quote the other day by Bernard philosophy, that Twitter devotees can post up to 280 characters Meltzer that says, “Before you speak, ask everybody, all over yourself if what you are going to say is true, at a time, that is, unless you live in Japan, China or Korea. I’m not sure why the differthe world, would see is kind, is necessary, is helpful.” Sathya Sai Baba went on to add, “Does it improve the ence, but I’m sure Mr. Twitter has his reaand hear? silence?” Perhaps I’d start there. sons.  Right now, my daughter’s just trying to get So it seems that every day, millions of my grandchildren to stop saying … no, I Twitter users can potentially send out 280 characters of … anything, things they’re thinking about, reacdon’t think I’ll repeat that, let alone retweet that. It wouldn’t be tions to someone else’s post, a reaction to a reaction of somehelpful.  

Over the Mountain Views We caught up with City of Mountain Brook employees participating in Little Leader Day last Sunday and asked ...

What do you like most about working for the city?

“It is the most professional and efficiently run city I’ve ever worked for.” Ted Cook Mountain Brook Police Chief

“They are very family oriented.”

“The people I work for and the people I work with.”

“You can’t beat the equipment and training here. Life saving!”

LaTonya Nash City of Mountain Brook Revenue Clerk

Chris Mullins Mountain Brook Fire Chief

Shari Williams Mountain Brook Police Officer

Next Issue: October 18 Halloween Fun!


Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 3


Handmade Art Show Celebrates 25 Years Supporting Local Artists By Emily Williams

Photo courtesy Bluff Park Art Association

For 2½ decades, the Handmade Art Show has been bringing local artists together in Homewood and will celebrate 25 years with its annual event on Oct. 14. The show began with just a handful of local artists gathering at the home of Carol Richards and has grown into an annual show held at

Homewood Central Park. About 50 artists are participating in this year’s show. The show is an outlet to showcase and support the local arts community. One of the artists who is participating is photographer Kathryn Blackwell of Blackcat Photography. “Watching the tears fall from an awkward teenager’s face when she sees her portrait for the first time, seeing that smile, or hearing the words, ‘I’m beautiful’ was my motivation for pursuing my passion for photography,” she said on her website. Blackwell, a retired school counselor, was inspired to pursue photography in the late 1990s while taking portraits for students participating in an elementary school musical. “Attending Samford University’s Academy of the Arts gave me the

opportunity to grow my skills and widen my scope,” she said. “Today, I am combining many of my images (new and old) to create artistic works.” Blackwell’s work will be showcased alongside many others, with mediums including paintings, jewelry, pottery, leather purses, handpoured candles, glass works, wood works, metal art, handmade soaps, photography, clothing and more. “There are many artists that have participated for years, but we love having 10 new artists this year, which helps keep the show fresh and interesting. We are proud that Handmade has grown into a great Homewood neighborhood art show for local artists to present and sell their work,” said Jill Lindsey, who co-organizes and participates in the event with her sister Valerie Holley. Lindsey and Holley showcase their

Photo courtesy Handmade Art Show.

Popular OTM Art Shows Return

Reclaimed fabric artist Nancy Abney, left, is one of about 50 artists expected to show their work at this years Handmade Art Show.

pottery under the name “Sister Art Pottery.” The show takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., giving attendees a full day to drop by, peruse art and meet with artists. A three-year tradition, the show also will be teaming up with Pickin’

in the Park, an event for local musicians of all skill levels to gather and play various instruments and musical styles. For more information or to preview artists, visit

Bluff Park Art Association Welcomes 38 New Artists for 2018 Show Artists from 10 states, including as far away as Nevada, will come together Oct. 6 at the Bluff Park Community Center for the 55th Annual Bluff Park Art Show. The free event, hosted each year by the Bluff Park Art Association, will feature about 150 artists, including 38 first-time participants. “We’re very excited to have several new artists participating in this year’s show,” said association President Julie Preskitt. “We think that keeps our show diverse and relevant. There will be something for everyone, from the casual art lover to the serious collector.” Artists’ works on display will cover a variety of mediums, including clay, glass, jewelry, metalworking, painting, photography and printmaking. Proceeds from the event will help the association promote the arts in the greater Birmingham area. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., booths will be stationed in front of the community center at 517 Cloudland Drive in Hoover along with music, food vendors and a variety of handson activities for children ages 3 to 8. Free parking and shuttle buses will be available at Bluff Park United Methodist Church, Shades Mountain Independent Church, Bluff Park Village Shopping Center and Shades Crest Baptist Church. For more information, visit or follow it on social media @ Bluffparkartassociation. —Emily Williams




4 • Thursday, October 4, 2018


ABOUT TOWN Photo courtesy Junior League of Birmingham

OCT. 4 - OCT. 18 Oct. 4-7

Antiques at the Gardens

What: The event kicks off with a black-tie gala preview of the show, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and music by Rhythm Nation. Dealers are carefully selected from across the country to bring the finest furniture, art, porcelain, jewelry, silver, rugs and more. Included are tastemakers and the Red Diamond Lecture Series featuring Martha Stewart and Kevin Sharkey. Proceeds support educational programs at the Gardens. When: Gala at the Gardens is Thurs., from 7-11 p.m.; public show hours are Fri. and Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Birmingham Botanical Gardens Website:

Fri., Oct. 5

Homewood Library Ghost Tours

What: Authors and paranormal investigators Kim Johnston and Shane Busby lead an investigation of the haunted Homewood Library. S.C.A.R.E. will bring their team of investigators as well as their specialized equipment to conduct a real paranormal investigation. Guest are encouraged to bring voice recorders, cameras and flashlights. Ages 12 and up. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. When: 7-10 p.m. Where: Homewood Public Library Website:

Oct. 5-6

Grandparenting Matters!

What: Shades Mountain Baptist Church presents a grandparenting conference featuring guest speaker Larry Fowler, founder of Legacy

Junior League of Birmingham Kicks off Shop Save & Share

From Oct. 17 to Oct. 28, the Junior League of Birmingham will host its 13th annual Shop Save & Share fundraiser. The event gives community members the opportunity to support the organization’s more than 30 community projects by shopping with a 20 percent discount at participating local retailers and restaurants in the Birmingham area. “Shop Save & Share gives those in Birmingham a convenient way to not only save 20 percent at more than 500 Birmingham retailers, but also to know the funds used to purchase Shop Save & Share benefits women and children in the Birmingham community,” said Ellen King, Junior League of Birmingham 2018 Shop Save & Share chairwoman. New to the group of participating establishments this year are Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe, City Bowls, Bridal Bliss and Liz Lane Gallery. Since its inception, Shop Save & Share has put more than $650,000 into the community. The purchase of one card can help the league provide necessities for four survivors of sexual violence through the Crisis Center of Birmingham, 10 meals to homeless women and children at Pathways, diapers for one child for a month through the League’s Diaper Bank or a tank of gas for league’s mobile teaching kitchen, the Yummy Truck.  Folks who want to participate can buy a digital Shop Save & Share card or download the app for $40 through Planet Fundraiser, a Birmingham-based software company. Digital cards can be bought at or by texting “SSS” to 660-0030 and can be downloaded and used through the Planet Fundraiser app.  Paper cards also are available and can be bought at select retailers, including Alabama Outdoors, B. Prince, Dear Prudence, Monograms Plus, Snoozy’s Kids, Dermatology and Laser of Alabama, Pure Barre 280, Jack and Jill Shop, Learning Express Toys, Lili Pad and GiGi’s Tween and many more retailers. Visit for a complete retailer listing and more information. Coalition. When: Oct. 5 from 6:30-9 p.m. and Oct. 6 from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Where: Shades Mountain Baptist Church Website: Register online at shades. org/grandconf or call Suzanne at 822-1670 x 582

Sat., Oct. 6

Homewood Health and Safety Day What: Homewood Parks and Recreation presents an event

for the whole family to enhance the quality of life for Homewood citizens through education on how to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Homewood’s fire an police departments will be on the scene with their vehicles ready for inspection and more. When: TBA Where: Homewood Central Park Website:

Shelby Humane Society Bark in the Park What: Alabaster Parks and


2828 Linden Avenue Homewood 870-4060

Recreation hosts an event to benefit Shelby Humane Society. Included will be Shelby Humane Society Adoptables, a low-cost vaccine and microchip clinic, Vendor Row, a costume contest, trick contest, kids activities, wiener dog races and food and treats for you and your dog. Leashed pets welcome. When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: Veterans Park Website:

Blessing of the Pets

What: The community is invited to bring along pets to celebrate their lives and what they mean to our families. Join Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church as the clergy offers them a special blessing. When: 10 a.m.noon Where: The north lawn of VHUMC Website:

Brazilian Day Festival

What: Horizon Church hosts the fourth annual festival to support missionaries and projects in the U.S. and around the world. The event features Brazilian food, live music, a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu presentation, a kids section, moonwalks, slides and more. When: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Where: Horizon Church parking lot Website: braziliandaybirmingham. com

Sun., Oct. 7

Whispers from the Past - A Native American Experience

What: Bring the family and rediscover the culture and contributions of Native Americans. Enjoy demonstrations of flintknapping, pine needle basket weaving and pow wow dancing, along with activities. Authentic Native American items will be available for purchase. When: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Where: Aldridge Gardens Website:

Tues., Oct. 9

Freedom from Addiction Coalition Community Breakfast

What: Join the mayors of Homewood, Hoover, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills for a community breakfast to bring awareness to the current reality of the addiction epidemic. Keynote speaker will be Dr. Brian Brocato. The focus will be on what you can do individually and together to make progress in the battle. When: 7:30-9 a.m. Where: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium - Michael Jordan Room Website:

Emmet O’Neal Library Family Night

What: The library will feature a light dinner, and Birmingham Children’s Theatre will present “Rumpelstiltskin.” When: 5:30-7 p.m. Where: Emmet O’Neal Library Website:

Thurs., Oct 11

Mary Badham Visiting Emmet O’Neal Library

What: Mary Badham, famous for playing Scout in the film To Kill a Mockingbird, will be visiting the library with the Jefferson County Historical Association to speak about her experience with the film and the tolerance and compassion the original novel expresses. When: 6-8 p.m. Where: Emmet O’Neal Library Website:

Tacos for Trinity

What: The Junior Board of Trinity Counseling hosts its sixth annual autumn benefit featuring live music by Tarred and Feathered, food and silent auction. Proceeds benefit Trinity Counseling and its mission to provide affordable faith-based counseling, mental health services and support programs to those in need. When: 6-8 p.m. Where: Good People Brewing Co. Website:

Hearts After Dark

What: The Pediatric Heart Transplant Society Foundation’s third annual event features a cocktail hour and music by the Cahaba River Strings, as well as a


Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 5



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6 • Thursday, October 4, 2018


ABOUT TOWN ghostly Ghoul School, Bat Keeper Chats and more. When: 5-9 p.m. Where: Birmingham Zoo Website


What: In addition to raising funds for the breast cancer movement this 5k and one-mile walk increases awareness, celebrates breast cancer survivorship and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease. When: 7 a.m. with a 9:15 5K start and a 9:45 a.m. One Mile start Where: Regions Field Website:

What: Drink local beer, participate in the popular doggie costume contest, listen to live music and get a caricature of your pup while supporting Hand in Paw. Pets welcome. When: 6-10 p.m. Where: Cahaba Brewing Company Website:

Dancing with the Stars

What: Surgical Care Affiliated presents a one-night competition. Teams will perform a 90-second dance to compete for trophies. Included will be concessions and a cash bar. Proceeds benefit the homeless women and families at First Light. When: 6:30 p.m. Where: The Lyric Theatre Website:

Oct. 11-14 and 18-31

Boo at the Zoo

What: Wear your costume and watch as the zoo transforms into a destination of spooky attractions, themed rides and carnival games. Enjoy trick or treating, inflatables,

Mt. Laurel Fall Festival

What: The community’s annual fall festival will feature a farmers market, craft fair, inflatables, food trucks, live music and more. When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: The Town of Mt. Laurel Website: What: Emmet O’Neal Library hosts an event featuring two horror movies for adults 18 and up and creepy Halloween crafts. Craft supplies, dinner, movie snacks and soft drinks will be provided. RSVP to Holley at or 445-1117. When: 5-10 p.m. Where: Emmet O’Neal Library,



What: Birmingham Children’s Theatre host its first annual Neverland Carnival featuring characters from the land where you never have to grow up. Admission includes dancing, popcorn and select refreshments, crafts, interactions with roaming characters and entertainers, a silent auction and automatic entry into a drawing for a night on the town. All proceeds benefit BCT’s education and outreach programs. When: 1-4 p.m. Where: The Birmingham Children’s Theatre at the BJCC Website:

Tuneful Trick-or-Treat

Nightmare on Oak Street

2pm - 4pm

By Discovery Senior Living

Neverland Carnival

Race for the Cure



Sun., Oct. 14

Sat., Oct. 13



Community Meeting Room Website:

seated dinner, followed by a live auction, where guests will have the opportunity to bid on and win packages to help raise funds for pediatric heart transplant research. When: 6-9 p.m. Where: Vulcan Park and Museum Website:

What: The ASO, Kulture City, Autism Society of Alabama, ASO Junior Patrons and Shipt present a program full of harmonious hocus pocus in a welcoming and sensory sensitive environment.. When: 3 p.m. Where: Alys Stephens Center, Jemison Concert Hall Website:

Magic City Aids Walk

What: Festivities at the 27th annual walk will include a community and business fair, children’s activities, health screenings and live music.




570 Southland Drive, Hoover, AL 35226 | Memory Care Prices, plans and programs are subject to change or withdrawal without notice. Owned and operated by Discovery Senior Living. Void where prohibited by law. ©2018, Discovery Senior Living, RVH-0025 9/18


Covenant Presbyterian Celebrates 40 Years

By Ingrid Schnader

Covenant Presbyterian Church is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special service Oct. 7 with food and visits from some of the church’s founding members. Founding pastor Bill Hay will be interviewed during this service, along with his wife, Cindie, and some of the other founding members.

“The church was founded primarily because of theological concerns,” said interim pastor Sandy Willson. “The mainline church was drifting in its theological commitments, and Bill was really convicted about that. He just felt he should shepherd the people in solid, theological truth.” So, Hay started Covenant, and in the beginning, the church met at Samford University, across the street from where the church is

located now. Wilson said people who visit the church are met with a warm reception. “I have people tell me over and over again how kind people are to them,” he said. On the anniversary, Sunday school will begin at 9:15 a.m. and will be led by the Hays. Worship will begin at 10:30, with a fellowship luncheon planned for noon. For more information, visit

Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 7

Photo courtesy Covenant Presbyterian


Covenant Presbyterian Church interim pastor Sandy Willson.

Pets welcome. All proceeds raised are used at Birmingham Aids Outreach to help provide free services for the community. When: 3-9 p.m. Where: Avondale Brewery Website:

Jazz in the Park

What: Grab a picnic dinner from one of Mountain Brooks local restaurants and enjoy a free community jazz concert for everyone. When: 5-8 p.m. Where: The field in front of Emmet O’Neal Library Website:

Thurs., Oct. 18

Children’s Village Founders Day Luncheon

What: Children’s Village presents the tenth annual Founder’s Day Luncheon featuring keynote speaker C. Allen Greene, director of athletics at Auburn University. Proceeds benefit Children’s Village and their mission to provide shelter, food and clothing to Alabama’s abandoned, abused and neglected children. When: 11:30 a.m. Where: The Club Website: childrensvillagebham. com

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Wig and Stache Bash

What: Preschool Partners hosts an event featuring both a live and silent auction, live music, cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Guests are encouraged to wear wigs, mustaches or other costumes. When: 6-9 p.m. Where: Iron City Website: events

Focus on Recovery Art Gala

What: Focus on Recovery presents its first evening event to replace its Spirit of Recovery Luncheon. Food by renowned Chef Darryl Borden, live music by Steel City Prophets, interactive art, a cash bar and a silent auction. The event will raise awareness and funding for the organization’s long-term transitional program for women in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse. When: 7 p.m. Where: Park Crest Event Facility in Hoover Website: my.focus-on-recovery. org/Gala

Go to to start making your comeback.


8 • Thursday, October 4, 2018


HONORING THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE Meadowbrook Post Office Dedicated to Lance Corporal Thomas Rivers Jr.

When Charon Rivers’ son, Thomas Rivers Jr., died in Afghanistan eight years ago, the one thing she wanted more than anything was for him to be remembered. Charon and Tom Rivers’ longtime friend U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, said he wanted to find a way to honor Thomas Rivers Jr.’s sacrifice. Palmer pursued legislation to dedicate the Birmingham Post Office Meadowbrook Station to him. That station was dedicated to Thomas Rivers Jr. during a ceremony Sept. 18. “I think it’s too easy to forget the sacrifices that have been made, not only by those who have given their lives, but by those who suffered the wounds of war that still live among us,” Palmer said at the ceremony. “So I hope that when people come in to do their busi-

Journal photo by Incrid Schnader

By Ingrid Schnader

Thomas and Charon Rivers with U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer, right, who pursued legislation to dedicate the Birmingham Post Office Meadowbrook Station to Thomas Rivers Jr., who died in Afghanistan eight years ago.

ness at this post office ... that just for a minute, they’ll be reminded

of what’s been done for us and what’s being done for us every

day.” At the ceremony, Charon and Tom Rivers unveiled a plaque and photo of Thomas Rivers Jr. to be displayed in the post office. Thomas Rivers Jr. grew up in Hoover and graduated from Briarwood High School in 2007. Immediately following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Thomas Rivers Jr.’s battalion deployed to Iraq in 2008, and he returned home seven months later. “We were at that age apart where we kind of butted heads through high school,” said his sister, Rachel Walters. “But I remember he came back from the marines, and he just had such a respect for our family, and for God and for our country.” He was deployed again in March 2010, this time to Afghanistan. That next month, he was standing post to watch for

Taliban combatants when he triggered a bomb and died. “I’ll never forget the morning that I got a call ... that another sacrifice was laid on the altar of freedom,” said Palmer. Palmer was out of town when Thomas Rivers Jr. died, but he said he drove home to comfort the family. “But at the same time, being filled with great pride in knowing that young man and knowing the family,” he said. “And knowing what he did not only for our country, but for me. It’s a sacrifice for all of us.” Thomas Rivers Jr. is buried at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo. He was the first Alabama soldier killed in action to be buried there. “You’ve just got to smile when you try to imagine what he’s thinking right now,” said Tom Rivers. “I just know that he’s smiling too.”

Philanthropist, Businessman and Preacher Three Men Have Been Added to the State’s Men’s Hall of Fame

William Houston Blount (1922-2011)

Photos courtesy Samford University

The late industrialist and business leader William Houston Blount, inventor and philanthropist Robert Sylvester Munger and church leader and education advocate Mansfield Tyler were inducted into the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame on Sept. 18. The annual program recognizes men native to or identified most closely with the state of Alabama who have made significant contributions on a state, national or international scale within their professional field. The men, selected by the Hall of Fame’s board of directors after a statewide nomination process, must have been deceased at least two years to qualify. Plaques recognizing the honorees are housed in Samford University’s Harwell G. Davis Library, according to a statement from Samford.

Attending the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame luncheon on Sept. 18 were, from left, Mary Margaret Hendry, great-great-granddaughter of Robert S. Munger; Nan Teninbaum, Past president of Women’s Committee of 100 for Birmingham; Dr. Richard Bailey, Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame Chairman; Josephine Bolling McCall, President, The Ellmore Bolling Foundation; The Hon. Sharon Lovelace Blackburn, Senior United States District Judge Alabama Northern District and niece of Houston Blount; and Beverly McNeil, daughter of Houston Blount.

Blount co-founded with his brother Winton “Red” Blount the Blount Brothers Corporation, a construction firm that eventually became Vulcan Materials Company. It is the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates – crushed stone, sand and gravel – and a major producer of construction materials such as asphalt and ready-mixed concrete. Blount joined the company in 1954 and became executive vice president in 1970 and president and chief executive officer in 1979. He led the firm in dramatic new directions,

Join us for a fundraiser and luncheon highlighting some of Birmingham’s best desserts. The event will use peer-to-peer fundraising tools and social media networking to raise funds for the Magic School Bus program allowing children to attend field trips at Birmingham-Southern College’s Southern Environmental Center and educational programming for the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve.






Purchase tickets, become a sponsor, start a fundraising team at Benefitting the Southern Environmental Center


Munger had helped create Southern Methodist University in Dallas. When Birmingham College, another Methodist institution, needed help, Munger helped provide financial support and in 1918 led a merger with Southern University in Greensboro to create BirminghamSouthern College. He supported First Methodist Church and worked to establish Highlands Methodist. Later, he supported and attended Walker Memorial Methodist in Elyton. Munger bought the 1840s Greek Revival house known today as Arlington Antebellum Home and moved his family there, saving it from destruction.

including supplying Saudi Arabia with materials for the nation’s massive infrastructure projects during the 1970s. Blount also was a community leader who gave freely of his time and expertise in support of various Birmingham charities. He was a board member of the Birmingham Museum of Art and BirminghamSouthern College and supported such organizations as The Alabama Shakespeare Theatre, Alabama School of Arts Foundation and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Robert Sylvester Munger (1854-1923)

Munger contributed significantly to Birmingham’s educational, religious and civic institutions in the early 20th century. He was best known for his patented cotton ginning processes that made the industry more efficient and created a safer work environment. After getting his workplace start in his father’s Texas cotton mill, Munger moved to Birmingham in the early 1890s and merged his company with six other factories to create Continental Gin Company.

Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 9

NEWS Tyler also was one of the originators and chairman of the board of Selma University. The school conferred an honorary doctorate on him in 1890. The board also established the Tyler Medal in his honor. He was known for encouraging African Americans not only to be religious, but to also get an education and acquire property.­ ­—Virginia Martin

Creative Montessori to Celebrate 50-Year Anniversary

Creative Montessori in Homewood will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a Block Party bash from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 14 in front of the school. The school invites all students, parents and alums to join in

on the fun, which will include inflatables, a dunking booth, animals from the Birmingham Zoo, a climbing wall, music and more. The school was established by Barbara R. Spitzer in 1968 as a private nonprofit school that endorses and follows the Montessori method.  —Emily Williams

Mansfield Tyler (1826-1904)

Tyler was a self-educated slave who rose from humble beginnings to represent Lowndes County in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1870 to 1872. His goal was to build a strong public education system. Born near Augusta, Georgia, he came to Alabama with his owner, the Rev. Jacob White, in 1854. There, he found his calling to preach the Baptist ministry. Tyler founded the first Baptist churches of Lowndesboro and White Hall as well as the Lowndesboro School for African Americans. After being ordained in 1868, he subsequently baptized thousands of people in the two churches.

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10 • Thursday, October 4, 2018



Team Leader

Grandview Cancer Center Director Calls Her New Job a ‘Good Challenge’


r. Jennifer De Los Santos has no trouble identifying what she likes most and least about her job as the new Grandview Cancer Center’s medical director. “The best thing is curing cancer,” she said. “The hardest thing is not curing it.” Before joining the Grandview team, De Los Santos, 48, was an associate scientist and professor in the University of Alabama’s Department of Radiation Oncology. She also was co-director of the breast cancer research program and medical director of the Kirklin Clinic at Acton Road. The Grandview Cancer Center, which officially opened in May, is a 26,000-squarefoot freestanding building near the main hospital on U.S. 280. It’s a place for oncology treatment and for research, too. De Los Santos said that while the building and technical equipment were in place when she was hired as director, she’s been able to have a great deal of say about the center’s operation and its direction for the future. “It’s been a good challenge,” she said. Her role as center director isn’t just administrative. “I see every patient who comes through the doors who needs radiation treatment,” she said. “I was brought on board to head the radiation program and to start up some interdisciplinary clinics. This approach will allow all physician disciplines involved in the patient’s care to create treatment plans upfront that offer cutting-edge care with state-of-the-art equipment and therapeutics that are a part of precision medicine.” De Los Santos is from New York but said she has lived “all over the country.” She was a senior in high school when she decided to follow a pre-medical curriculum in college. “There was a comfort level with a career

in medicine since my parents are both in the medical field,” she said. “My father is a surgeon, and my mother has a Ph.D. and is a clinical psychologist.” She smiled as she remembered one aspect of having a surgeon-dad that almost made her shy away from the medical field. “When I was little, my dad would come home and leave his clothes with blood on them on the floor, and I swore I would never go into medicine,” she said. “I think I wanted to be a ballerina until I was a teenager.” After graduating from Emory University in Atlanta, De Los Santos went to medical school at the University of Florida. Several experiences there led her to the fields in which she would eventually specialize. “My first year of medical school, I had exposure to radiation oncology,” she said. “I was placed with Nancy Mendenhall and did another rotation with her during my fourth year.” Mendenhall was chairman of the UF College of Medicine’s Department of Radiation Oncology from 1993 to 2006 and is a leading researcher. “In my third year of medical school, I did a rotation on the oncology service,” De Los Santos said. “I was able to work up a patient with leukemia. We got him into remission, and I found the experience very impactful.” De Los Santos has been in Birmingham for 17 years. She was recruited to the city from Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the three original comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S. She has been nationally recognized for her work in radiation oncology, specifically her research in breast cancer treatment.  “I really enjoy taking care of women,” she said. “I have a connection to my female patients.” She takes seriously the emotional effects of a cancer diagnosis. “We take it day by day,” De Los Santos

habits,” she said. “We empower patients with knowledge and through a supportive structure.”

Research Continues

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

By Donna Cornelius

Before joining the Grandview team, De Los Santos, 48, was an associate scientist and professor in the University of Alabama’s Department of Radiation Oncology. She also was co-director of the breast cancer research program and medical director of the Kirklin Clinic at Acton Road.

said. “We approach patients knowing that they have that anxiety, and we have a team of specialists that includes social workers and psychologists that we expose them to. Our multidisciplinary clinics allow a team of specialists to collaborate and round out our patients’ care.” De Los Santos said she’s a “teacher at heart.” “I spend a lot of time with all my patients, and we try to give them a great deal of education – what they should expect and how they can impact their own care through things like healthy lifestyles and good sleep

Even with the demands of her new position, she is continuing her national studies. “Sometimes cancer wins,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed in research.” She used an analogy to describe her approach to medical care that will be easy for most people in Alabama to understand. “Cancer is a team sport,” she said. “I’m the coach, and the patient is the quarterback. We have a game plan, and we go for a touchdown.” De Los Santos is a board examiner for the American Board of Radiology. She’s also been named to the Best Doctors in America list multiple times. She’s married to Dr. Conrad De Los Santos, an emergency room physician and chief of staff for Medical West Hospital. They have two children. Their son, Jordan, is 15, and their daughter, Katie, is 11. “We live a very active life,” De Los Santos said. She said the family loves skiing – Beaver Creek in Colorado is a favorite spot – and riding. “We have American saddlebred horses,” she said. “I have a beautiful three-gaited saddlebred mare.” She said Katie is an award-winning rider, while Jordan is “more into basketball now.” “My husband just cheers,” she said. De Los Santos said she tries to find a balance between her personal life and her demanding job. “I’ve had a lot of practice compartmentalizing and have great support through my staff here and at home,” she said. “My family is my priority. My job takes a close second.”

A Gut Instinct

Pancreatic Cancer Survivor Lessley Henson Was Named UAB Cancer Center Volunteer of the Year, Among 2018 Faces of GI Cancer

Photo courtesy UAB

By Emily Williams

Lessley Hynson, left, with 2017-2018 Advisory Board President Mitzi Davis and UAB Cancer Center Director Dr. Michael Birrer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the percent of patients who survived pancreatic cancer from 2008 to 2014 was 8.5 percent. The estimated number of new cases for 2018 is 55,440, with an estimated 44,330 deaths. It’s no wonder Lessley Henson sees herself as incredibly fortunate to have survived pancreatic cancer for the past 11½ years. With a passion to give back to UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer

Center, where she was treated, Henson spends much of her time working with support organizations that help fund the center’s mission to cure cancer and support patients. Henson has been an active member of the center’s advisory board since 2014 and recently was named Volunteer of the Year. She also is a member of the Robert E. Reed Foundation Gastrointestinal Oncology Research Foundation. This year, Henson will serve as one of the foundation’s 2018 Faces of GI Cancer and will be honored

at the annual Finish the Fight event Nov. 18. Henson knows that she was fortunate to have gotten an early diagnosis in 2006. Not prone to headaches, Henson, along with her husband, Bobby, went to her local hospital in Laurel, Mississippi, with a terrible headache and a high temperature and blood pressure. She had a CT scan and was diagnosed with renal stenosis and had a stent put in. Her doctor, who was trained at UAB, See HENSON, page 14



Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 11


The Grandview Cancer Center is about to open its doors, bringing this community an important new resource for cancer care. A full range of care, from diagnosis through treatment and follow-up, will be available right here. Services will be provided by a team of cancer care specialists using advanced technology and cancer treatment options. Jennifer De Los Santos, M.D., is the Cancer Center Director. She is a renowned radiation oncologist whose research in breast cancer treatment has gained international attention. She joins more than 20 board-certified physicians and a dedicated staff who will provide our patients with personalized care. To learn more, visit

Jennifer De Los Santos, M.D. Cancer Center Director Independent Member of the Medical Staff at Grandview Medical Center.

3670 Grandview Parkway • Birmingham 205-971-1800

Look Forward. 102129_GRAN_CancerCenter_10_375x12_75c.indd 1

6/1/18 12:58 PM

12 • Thursday, October 4, 2018



A Natural Calling Saint Vincent’s Doctor Devotes Her Career to Helping Cancer Patients Navigate Treatment

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One of Dr. Susan Salter’s favorite rooms in the Bruno Cancer Center at St. Vincent’s Birmingham, where she is a radiation oncologist, is a patient consultation room. Staff at the cancer center donated money to have the room named in honor of one of their late coworkers. “This individual was a key member of the cancer center team for many years, and developed a brain tumor,” Salter said. Though the individual did pass, the consultation room is filled with her memory; rocks she collected and wrote inspirational words and scripture on during her treatment decorate the room. “It was very hard on the staff, but before she passed, she wrote and gave these rocks to every single person in the department,” Salter said. Salter pointed out her rock, resting on a stand on a side table with inspirational scripture written across it in black ink. The stand still had a note attached addressing the gift to Salter. This is just one of many inspirational and touching encounters Salter has experienced working in oncology at St. Vincent’s.

Family Influence

Growing up in Montevallo in a family full of doctors, Salter said, her entrance into the medical field was something of a natural progression. It began with her grandfather, Dr. Paul Salter, who was a surgeon in Eufaula. Her father, Dr. Paul Salter Jr., was a general surgeon at St. Vincent’s and her mother, Dr. Merle Salter, was a radiation oncologist. “Around the dinner table, we were talking about medicine,” she said. Salter said she knew just about every doctor’s lounge in Birmingham from spending time in them when her dad was called in for emergency surgery. “It was a way of life for us,” she said. “It was just a natural progression for me. I knew medical school was going to be hard, but I knew I did not want to do law school.” Save someone knocking on her door to offer her a direct path to become editor for Vogue, Salter knew she would become a doctor just as her brother, Dr. Paul Salter III, and sister, Dr. Sally SalterBlackwell, had. With her husband, Steven Hydinger, Salter lives in Mountain

Photo courtesy St. Vincent’s

By Emily Williams

Growing up in Montevallo in a family full of doctors, Dr. Susan Salter said, her entrance into the medical field was something of a natural progression.

Brook, where her 12-year-old son, Grayson, and 16-year-old daughter, Salter, have helped inspire her involvement in the community. She’s on the board of review for the Boy Scouts and on the board for the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation. Though Grayson is more inclined to a future in technology, Salter sees her daughter making her own way in the medical field in the future. “She would be a great one,” she said. “She’s very caring, very sweet, very smart. Looking at her, you would want her to treat you.” Salter found her place in oncology through her mother, who was a radiation oncologist for 30 years. About 25 of those years she spent at UAB before working in private practice. “When I was a resident, I said, ‘I wanted to see what she did. I had heard so many good things,’” Salter said. “But I thought there was no way I was ever going to do radiation oncology.” Eager to test the waters, she did an elective with her mother, and the rest was history. “Not many people can say it,

but I can say that God put me here to do this. I know that for a fact,” she said. There is an art to radiation oncology, according to Salter. It takes a special touch because it calls a physician to work closely with the patients and help make a battle with cancer – which is often long and arduous – as peaceful as possible. “I’m here to help guide people and make the best decisions. I’m here to help people live whenever possible, and I’m here to help people die,” she said. “Death can be very graceful and peaceful for the family if it has to happen. “I may not always be able to help cure them, but I may be able to help them in other ways.” For Salter, the recipe to a peaceful transition through treatment is creating a community that offers a variety of support programs along with the best techniques, all pieced together by an amazing staff. “I’ve been (at St. Vincent’s Birmingham) for 23 years and there are people who have been here much longer than me – for 30 to 35 years,” Salter said. “Every single


person has been hand-picked by God to serve here, and they stay here.” Just as radiation oncology was a calling in Salter’s life, serving the Bruno Cancer Center in any capacity has been a calling for each of her co-workers. The job requires the staff to have the ability to remain positive for the sake of the patients. One of the people patients meet in the center is concierge and cancer survivor Frankie Vickers. With the help of the St. Vincent’s staff, he was able to navigate through treatment for head and neck cancer as well as prostate cancer, and now he spends his days greeting the patients and families who enter the facility, helping them navigate their experience and providing inspiration. “It starts from valet – the minute you get out of the car – to the minute you leave,” Salter said. “Every person they see knows their name and knows who they are. That’s what sets us apart and makes us the best community hospital in the city.” The goal is to treat the whole patient, Salter said, providing programs such as pet-therapy with Hand in Paw, art classes, counseling and meetings with dieticians along with cutting-edge treatments. Sometimes, she said, it’s just a matter of listening to what a patient is going through and what their caregivers are going through. “Not only are you going through this, but your entire family is going

Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 13

LIFE through this, and you’ve got to give and take with them as well,” she said. “We’re trying to get the whole story … listening to what’s going on and being aware of the family dynamic to help them work it out.

Personalized Treatment

Treating the whole patient in a personalized way is the way of the future in cancer treatment, Salter noted. “I would give up my job any day to find a cure for this,” she said. In the meantime, the world of cancer treatment is advancing before her eyes. Two of the most important leaps that have occurred in her field have changed the way her patients recover from their treatments. Stereotactic body radiation therapy uses focused beams to target cancer, which allows doctors such as Salter to offer non-invasive treatments that in the past would have required surgery. The biggest game changer, to Salter, is treatments for prostate cancer that significantly reduce side effects from radiation treatment. Prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer occurring in American men, behind skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. St. Vincent’s is the first hospital in Birmingham to have the Calypso® technology and the first in Alabama to use the SpaceOAR® System, Salter said. With

SpaceOAR (Organ At Risk), Salter injects a hydrogel that solidifies into a putty-like barrier between the prostate and the wall of the rectum. Radiation moves through the putty, greatly reducing the damage to the rectum. In addition, Salter places GPS beacons in the prostate that allow the Calypso machine to track the prostate, which can move up to a centimeter during a normal radiation process. “When you treat the prostate, if it moves outside of the field, the machine cuts off,” Salter said. “That precision and decreasing the side effects to the bladder and rectum is a game changer, and the treatments only take about five minutes.” It’s all about making treatments as comfortable as possible for patients, Salter said. Outside of radiation treatments, that lies in the vast number of medications that are being created. Salter sees a cure for cancer being found in learning more about what causes each specific cancer and hopefully, finding out how to stop them. “It may not happen in our lifetime, but I think it could happen in our kids’ lifetime,” Salter said. “There will be certain cancers that (we) can cure. “There are certain cancers now that they can basically treat like other chronic conditions such as diabetes,” she added. “You know you’ve got it, but you just keep it in check with different medications and treatments.”





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14 • Thursday, October 4, 2018

Support Systems are Key

HENSON From page 10

then ordered a second CT scan and noticed something in her pancreas. Not wanting to cut any corners, he set up an appointment for Henson with a colleague at UAB. After conducting tests and confirming the presence of a tumor in her pancreas, the oncologist brought in a surgeon, Dr. Martin Heslin, who gave Henson a few options. “He said I had three choices. We could do nothing, because it wasn’t an emergency; we could do a biopsy and test it; or we could do a Whipple,” she said. Henson didn’t miss a beat when deciding to do a Whipple procedure, a surgery that removes the head of the pancreas, part of the small intestine, the gall bladder and part of the bile duct, then reattaches the remaining organs for normal digestion. “Of course, I immediately said, ‘Let’s do the Whipple,’” while Bobby was saying, ‘Hang on a minute. Let’s get some more information,’” Henson said, laughing. “So, I asked Dr. Heslin what he would do, and he said he would do the Whipple.” Giving Heslin some time to gather a team, Henson had her surgery about a week later, beginning her journey into cancer treatment.


LIFE After surgery, chemo and a clinical trial, which all take their toll on the body, Henson said that what she remembers most from that period is the support system around her that made the experience the best it could be. “I was so lucky to have Bobby with me,” she said. “He was always doing a tremendous amount of research, and in all of his searching for the finest surgeons and clinical trials, it was all at UAB.” She added that her team of physicians, nurses and surgeons never missed a beat, and having them all work under the same roof gave her the opportunity to build a family at the hospital. Having a home at the hospital remains important, since she has a monthly appointment to monitor her health. When she walks up to checkin, someone tells her that Alfreda is waiting for her in the lab or Gerald is waiting to start her CT scan, both of whom are regularly in touch, helping her schedule her appointments. “At my lowest and worst, Dr. Heslin’s nurse, Gina, would tell me how pretty I looked. That kindness went a long way and always put a spring in my step,” Henson said, adding that Heslin’s current nurse, Julie Kemp, is always there for Henson to offer support and answer questions.

Above all, Henson had her husband alongside her through the fight. On the days when she wasn’t at her best, he could make things feel all right, and on her better days, he could cheer her up with a visit to an antique store or a day-trip to Florence. “There are many patients who don’t have that support, and they just want someone to talk with about anything at all,” Henson said. “I’ll visit them and we talk about their treatment or Trump or wanting a cold beer.” From experience, she said, having visitors is all about forcing your mind away from where you are, in a hospital receiving treatment for a potentially terminal situation. “This has been the most marvelous journey,” she said. “There are many people who are not going to get the same news I did, who are not surviving, and anything I can do to help provide comfort to them on their journey, I will do.” As a volunteer, one of Henson’s favorite jobs is to visit with patients in the hospital and help host dinners with the advisory board at Hope Lodge. “It’s so special to see patients enjoy themselves,” she said. “Even if they don’t have a hopeful prognosis, there is still hope and joy there.” Having been a patient herself, she knows that one of the most

important things she can do for others is be there to chat about anything. “When you’re going through treatments at the hospital, you can feel closed off from the world,” she said. “It’s amazing what just a little bit of chatting can do.” It isn’t just about volunteering ‘THERE ARE MANY PATIENTS WHO DON’T HAVE THAT SUPPORT, AND THEY JUST WANT SOMEONE TO TALK WITH ABOUT ANYTHING AT ALL. I’LL VISIT THEM AND WE TALK ABOUT THEIR TREATMENT OR TRUMP OR WANTING A COLD BEER.’

Lessley Henson

time for Henson; being able to use her story to advocate and fundraise for the Robert E. Reed Foundation is just as important. She was first connected with the group through Dr. Heslin, who invited her to attend her first Finish the Fight event. The late Robert E. Reed died of pancreatic cancer, and his family started the foundation to fund research for all GI cancers. Henson found she had a lot in common with the group that surrounded her at the event. “I remember two Russian researchers who worked in one of

the labs introduced themselves to me. They already knew my name because of their work and said it was the first time they had ever met a pancreatic cancer survivor,” she said. The funds raised by the organization through the event as well as their other efforts support research to better treat and hopefully cure GI cancers, including pancreatic. “There are so many people who did not have the prognosis that I have,” Henson said. “There are not very many survivors, so when you hear that diagnosis it is terrifying. It is an area of cancer research that hasn’t been very well-served, but it’s getting better with help from people and foundations who are providing funds.” The clinical trial that Henson participated in during her treatment technically ended years before her doctors used it, because too few patients survived. Some of the last remaining doses of the vaccine were sent to UAB and had been sitting on ice before Henson was introduced to them. It was either the vaccine or the grace of God that helped Henson survive, she said, but either way, it’s a cause to help create more opportunities for researchers to create potentially life-changing trials. “UAB has given me my life,” Henson said. “So, I’m happy to give them my time and money in order to help others.”


Grandview Medical Group makes it easier to see a primary care provider in Birmingham – quickly. Just call 205-971-DOCS. Most calls will result in a same-day appointment with a physician or a nurse practitioner at one of our 11 primary care locations. Walk-ins are welcome, too. If you or a family member age five or older needs to see a doctor fast, think Grandview Medical Group. Schedule an appointment online, anytime, with select providers:

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Look Forward. 5/24/18 3:36 PM


By Ingrid Schnader


‘Driven by Hope’

Southern Research Launches Change Campaign

Journal photo by Emily Williams

On Sept. 10, Southern Research launched its “Change Campaign” — an opportunity to build awareness and raise funds for cancer, green chemistry and neuroscience research. “Our passion at Southern Research is driven by hope: hope for a cure, for a cleaner, greener Earth and for lives to be changed – and ultimately saved,” said Art Tipton, Southern Research president and CEO. “Donations to the Change Campaign will allow us to continue to explore important scientific breakthroughs within high-risk, high-reward endeavors that are many times difficult to fund through traditional government grants.” Fundraising will be generated by 30 community leaders, nicknamed “change agents,” from across Birmingham and Over the Mountain communities. Virginia Markstein, a Mountain Brook native and real estate agent for ARC Realty, said being a part of this campaign was an easy decision to make. Her great grandfather was one of the founding members of Southern Research, and a long line of her family members served on the board after him. Additionally, many of her family members have been affected by cancer. “Southern Research is such an amazing organization,” she said. “The fact that they founded seven FDA-approved anti-cancer drugs is pretty amazing, and I can assure you most people in Birmingham don’t know that.” Marcus Chatterton is a Bluff Park resident and a lawyer at Balch and Bingham. He also is one of Southern Research’s change agents and said that a love for science and technology first drew him to the

Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 15


Virginia Markstein, a Mountain Brook native and real estate agent for ARC Realty, said being a part of this campaign was an easy decision to make. Her great grandfather was one of the founding members of Southern Research.

Marcus Chatterton is a Bluff Park resident and a lawyer at Balch and Bingham. He also is one of Southern Research’s change agents and said that a love for science and technology first drew him to the campaign.

campaign. “There’s so many cool things going on in Birmingham,” he said. “And, of course, Over the Mountain, we benefit from all those good things that are going on.” Once he started learning more about the projects that Southern Research funded, his

interest grew. “I’m just so enthused about the things we might be able to accomplish,” he said. For India Vincent, a lawyer at Burr & Forman, it was a combination of things that drew her to the Southern Research Change Campaign.

“Each of the causes within the change campaign – the mind, the body and earth – are all things that affect almost everybody in some way,” she said. “But it’s also the presence of Southern Research in Birmingham and the ability to showcase our community and the strengths of our community, hopefully a little bit outside of the local area.” Other change agents are Turner Burton of Hoar Construction; Bart Crawford of The Title Group; James Childs of Maynard Cooper; Jonathan Geisen of Baker Donelson; William Culpepper of Chester’s International; Key Foster of McWane, Inc.; Miller Girvin of Alabama Capital Network; Lynn Darty of Milo’s Tea Company; Raymond Harbert Jr. of Harbert Management Company; Natalie Kelly of Brasfield & Gorrie; John Fallis of Drummond; Rosa Hooper of Medical Properties Trust; Beeland Nielsen of Coca Cola Bottling Company United; David Perry of Protective Life; Blair King of Alabama Power; Elizabeth Scribner of Regions; David Powell of LogicMonitor; Robert Maddox of Bradley; Michael Stone of Porter White & Company; Mitesh Shah of Maynard Cooper; Will Wright of Protective Life; Chris McCauley of Markstein; Jon Vogel of Wealth Designs, LLC; Shon Thurman of Wells Fargo; and Taylor Peake Wyatt of MotionMobs. Southern Research is a Birminghambased research organization that specializes in drug discovery, drug development, engineering, energy and the environment. The Southern Research Change Campaign will culminate in an event Oct. 11. Donations can be made and tickets to the event can be purchased online at

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16 • Thursday, October 4, 2018



Mike’s Team

Mike Slive Foundation Hosts Sports-Centric Fundraiser to Support Prostate Cancer Research

From left, Robert Levin, Ed Meyerson and Donald Hess.

Above, Paul Finebaum with Julie and Jeff Puriton. Right, Carole and Michael Pizitz.

At the I’m With Mike fundraiser Sept. 27, the Mike Slive Foundation for Prostate Cancer Research offered up the perfect atmosphere for sports lovers at the Alys Stephens Center. Hosted by Paul Finebaum, the evening celebrated the life of the late Mike Slive and his foundation’s mission to promote and advocate for prostate cancer research. Special guests in attendance included SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, University of Alabama men’s basketball coach Avery Johnson, Auburn University men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl and UAB men’s basketball coach Rob Ehsan. A silent auction offered a variety of items for sports fans, including a seat at the College Football Playoff mock selection with the College Football Playoff selection committee; tickets to the 2019 College Football National Championship game with accommodations; a special tour of the SEC Network in Charlotte, North Carolina; tickets to the SEC Football Championship game; coffee with Sankey; a VIP experience at the FOX NFL Sunday pregame show in Los Angeles and more. According to the foundation, there are more than 150,000 new prostate cancer diagnoses and 27,000 deaths each year. Funds raised at the event will benefit the organization’s mission to find a cure for prostate cancer by funding grants for cutting-edge prostate research. —Emily Williams

Jeff Nix, Scott Register, Will Lochamy and Chuck Holmes.

Clockwise from above, Danny Gavitt and Anna Slive Harwood; Heather Jeffcoat and Judd Harwood; Sandy and Beth Pitman; and Chris Davis and Bruce Pearl.

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Birmingham's Premier Professional Vocal Ensemble Lester Seigel, Conductor

At Canterbury United Methodist Church 350 Overbrook Road, Mountain Brook, AL Free Admission ~ Donations Welcome

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Thursday, May 2, 2019

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7:30 pm

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"As usual, [Sursum Corda] filled the sanctuary with exuberant, reflective and heart rending singing." -- The Birmingham News " appealing blend of voices, which come together to produce an elegant, often ethereal, transparent sound -- Fanfare Magazine

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Trent Boughner, Will Cook and Nicholas Muscolino, all members of Boy Scout Troop 76 at Liberty Crossings United Methodist Church, have earned the rank of Eagle Scout and were honored during a ceremony Sept. 16. For his Eagle project, Trent Boughner, son of Natalie and Kevin Boughner of Vestavia Hills, led an effort to upgrade a discus ring, construct a retaining wall and build four benches for the Vestavia Hills High School track team. Boughner led a volunteer crew that worked 116 hours on the project, and he raised $1,200 for the materials. During his scouting career, Boughner went on 31 campouts for 54 nights and earned 23 merit badges. He was awarded the Arrow of Light and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow, a scout honor and service society. Boughner is a member of the National Honor Society, World Languages Honor Society, Latin Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society. He also has earned the VHHS Seal of Biliteracy for Latin. Boughner is a long-distance runner on the VHHS varsity cross-country and track teams and a member of Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Will Cook, son of Kimberly and Greg Cook of Vestavia, built a pavilion at Meadowlawn Park for his Eagle project. The job took a

Photo by Karen Askins

Sursum Corda

Three Vestavia Hills Boys Earn Eagle Awards

From left, Trent Boughner, Will Cook and Nicholas Muscolino. volunteer crew 324 hours and cost $2,900, funds Cook raised through private donors. Cook has gone on 40 campouts, camping for 84 nights, and earned 27 merit badges, as well as an Eagle Bronze Palm. Highlights of his high-adventure scouting activities included a 12-day trek in the mountains and backcountry of New Mexico, at Philmont Scout Ranch, as well as a trip to Sea Base, in the Florida Keys. Cook earned the Arrow of Light and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow. Cook’s extra-curricular activities include singing in the Dawson Chapel Choir, a mission choir that travels each year to perform mission and service activities in other states and countries. He is a member of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church and is active in its student ministry. Cook also works at Panera Bread as part of the Vestavia High School work-based learning program.

Nicholas Muscolino, son of Ann and Chris Muscolino of Vestavia, led an Eagle project to benefit Red Mountain Park. Muscolino’s project involved building comfort zone walls and benches to enhance the Sensory Trail, an outdoor experience adapted for children with special sensory needs. Muscolino camped 54 nights over 33 campouts and earned 26 merit badges, including an Eagle Bronze Palm. He was awarded the Arrow of Light and inducted into the Order of the Arrow. Muscolino is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society. He is a long-distance runner for the Vestavia High varsity cross-country and track teams. Muscolino recently was named a National Merit Semifinalist, a distinction achieved by less than 1 percent of U.S. high school students. He attends Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church.

To: Marguerite From: Over the Mountain Journal 823-9646 ph, 824-1246 fax Date: Sept. 2018 This is your ad proof for Sept. 20, 2019 OTMJ Please contact your sales representative as soon as possible to approve your ad or make changes. You may fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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

Please initial and fax back within 24 hours.

If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the friday before the press date, your ad will run as is.

Thank you for your prompt attention.

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OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL Photo courtesy Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama

Karen Peterlin with honoree Dr. Betsy Bugg Holloway and Gold Award Girl Scout alumna Millie Bearden.

Girl Scouts Host Annual Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama recognized eight women leaders from central Alabama on Aug. 29 at the annual Women of Distinction ceremony. Each award winner was honored for their contributions to their communities through civic, academic or professional involvement and held up as role models for today’s girls. This year’s award winners included Catherine Sloss Jones, Mildred Bell Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award; and Ellyn R. S. Grady, Alice M. Williams Community Impact Award. Sloss Jones, president and CEO of Sloss Real Estate and founder of Pepper Place, was a Brownie level Girl Scout growing

Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 19


up in Birmingham. “Courage, confidence and character are so important, not only as the well-chosen pillars of the Girl Scouts, but to all of us,” Sloss Jones said. “We really now need principled women in leadership, not only in this country, but across the world, so it’s an important time for the Girl Scouts and for women in leadership and for these guiding principles.” Other Women of Distinction were Hillery Head, Liz Huntley, Dr. Betsy Bugg Holloway, Dr. Michele Kong, Tanveer Patel and Tracey Morant Adams. “These women, with their passion, experience and leadership, are role models to our Girl Scouts, inspiring them to be the next generation of outstanding

women leaders,” said Karen Peterlin, chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama. “We are the organization creating, through our skill-building Girl Scout Leadership Experience, the female leadership pipeline – the go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders of tomorrow,” Peterlin said. In addition, the organization added a corporate honoree title this year, which was presented to Vulcan Materials Company. “Women are awesome and smart and have an incredibly high emotional intelligence and work harder than the law allows,” said Lindsay Sinor, assistant general counsel for Vulcan Materials. “It’s a business imperative to bring women into organizations when you want your business to thrive.” People who attended the event, held at the Harbert Center, heard from each of the distinguished women, interacted with and answered questions from local Girl Scouts who are making a difference in central Alabama and enjoyed Girl Scout Cookies. Proceeds from the Central Alabama One Smart Cookie Celebration help to provide lowincome and underserved girls the same access to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience as girls in traditional troops.


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20 • Thursday, October 4, 2018



Unforgettable Evening

Photos by Mo Davis Photography


he Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Carlos Izcaray treated guests to an evening of American-themed music and food at the 2018 Maestro’s Ball. The ball, held Sept. 7 at the Alys Stephens Center, is ASO’s largest fundraising event, with proceeds supporting the ASO’s artistic, educational and outreach programs. The evening, hosted by the board of directors, began with a champagne reception in the center’s lobby. Patrons then enjoyed dinner catered by Idie and Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club in a tent decorated by Sybil Sylvester of Wildflower Designs. The evening’s dynamic program featured works that represent American life and culture, with pieces including Bernstein’s Overture to Candide and excerpts from Copland’s Rodeo. For the fourth year, a Young Professionals Party was held in the Odess Theatre at the Alys Stephens Center, with dancing and a catered buffet by Erin and Brian Mooney of Tre Luna. The Maestro’s Ball Corporate Committee chair was Emmett McLean. The Corporate Committee was Dell Brooke, Dixon Brooke, Will Brooke, George Buchanan, John Carter, Trey Echols, C.T. Fitzpatrick, Wayne Gillis, Melanie Grinney, Chris Harmon, Gordon Martin, Charlie Perry, Lee Thuston, Tim Vines and Jesse Vogtle. ❖

Maestro’s Ball Celebrates American Life and Culture Through Music

From left, Kyle and Chelsey Heslop, Lynn and Benny LaRussa and Megan and Barnett Chenoweth.

Clockwise from above: Peggy and Michael Balliet and Will and Maggie Brooke; Maestro Carlos Izcaray and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin; Dixon and Dell Brooke and Catherine and Emmett McLean; and Sanjay Singh and Dr. Tarika Bhuta.



Coosa Riverkeeper Hosts Annual Cheers to Coosa Dinner Guests gathered Sept. 6 for a special farm-to-table dinner experience at the Clubhouse on Highland for Coosa Riverkeeper’s annual Cheers to Coosa dinner. The evening featured a menu created by chef Miguel Figueroa of Amsterdam Cafe and Moore’s Mill Club in Auburn. Dinner included a charcuterie table featuring house-cured meats and local cheeses; a fresh harvest greens and sprouted grains table with Mexican Street corn salad, brussels salad and more; a meat station with prime rib, roasted chicken and stuffed porchetta; a seafood bar with shrimp and oyster shooters and soy ginger cured salmon; and a dessert table.  The bar served up wine, Good People Brewing Co. and Cahaba Brewing Co. beers and a Coosa Cooler cocktail made with Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka.  In addition, a silent auction gave attendees the opportunity to snag a variety of restaurant and bar experiences, yoga packages, vacations,

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Farm to Table, to River

From left, Hays and Meredith Latimer with Shelley Brockwell.

Suzanne and Bill Andrews. Sandhya Krishna and Mekenzi Esensoy.

artwork, pottery and more. Funds raised through the dinner benefit the organization’s continued

work to keep the Coosa River and its five lakes and dozens of creeks clean. ❖

Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 21


Toast of the Town

All In Mountain Brook Fundraiser Offers Tastes of Local Cuisine

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.

Serving Birmingham since 1958

Hundreds of guests gathered Sept. 16 on Hoyt Lane in Crestline Village for the annual Taste of Mountain Brook, hosted by All In Mountain Brook. The food-tasting event featured tents offering tastings of some of the best foods served in Mountain Brook restaurants. Guests were treated to samples of food from Vino, Black Sheep Kitchen, Bongiorno Italian Restaurant, Newk’s Eatery, Davenport’s Pizza, Icehouse, The Pantry, Continental Bakery/Chez Lulu, Dyron’s Low Country, Taco Mama, Billy’s Sports Grill, La Paz Restaurant & Catering, Grand Bohemian Mountain Brook, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Grille 29, Zoes Kitchen, Midici Italian Kitchen and Piggly Wiggly. Proceeds from the festivities will support All In Mountain Brook’s efforts to enhance and protect the lives of children in Mountain Brook. ❖

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From left, Gayle Jones, LeAnn McMillan and Ashley Kaple.

Stewart Anne Murdock, Elizabeth Conner and Lowery Thompson.

Cameron Hicks, Martha Haley and Kari Kampakis.

Josh Burkhart and Sarah Ager.

Mary Charles’ Doll House New, Collectible Antique Dolls

Member of the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce


Journal photos by Jordan Wald

22 • Thursday, October 4, 2018

2820 Petticoat Lane Mtn. Brook Village 870-5544 Open Thur. - Sat. 10am - 4:30pm

Tiffany Miller with Riley and Asher Kitchings.


Doggone It

Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 23


Bama Bully Rescue Hosts Brewery Fundraiser

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Cahaba Brewing Co. went to the dogs Aug. 18 as Bama Bully Rescue hosted its annual Beer,

Bands and Bullies fundraiser. The event featured a silent auction offering up doggy daycare certificates, gym memberships, diamond earrings, dog treats, toys and more.  A musical lineup for the evening included Atticus Avenue, Blind the Sky, Outshine and DJ Lee J.  In addition, a VIP area featured small batch samplings of beer, brewery tours and a buffet of food provided by Savoie Catering, Foster Style Catering and Bare Naked Noodles. ❖ Left, Claire Hopkins with Lily. Above right, from left: Lynn Lawson and Grace Kuehner; Beth and Doug Kovash; and Michaela Wright and Jessica Kuehner.

Light Up the Night

Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama’s Glow for a Cure Supports Local Patients and Families As the sun went down Sept. 13, the golfers kept playing at Highland Park Golf Course for the junior board of Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama’s annual Glow for a Cure fundraiser. Proceeds from the event supports research and educational opportunities for Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers. The event began with the first nine holes played in the sun, followed by nine holes of “glow-in-the-dark” golf, with lit golf balls, tees and greens. For the spectators in the crowd, a barbeque dinner featuring a silent auction allowed them to be part of the fun, culminating in an awards ceremony to finish the evening. ❖


ooohs & ahhhs Something about Somerby sparks great taste. Calvin is an executive chef at Somerby. He and his staff keep

Above, from left, Miller Piggott, Vance Holder, Lisa Tinney and Walt Till. Below, Tim Meehan, Bryce Barger, Ben Peters and Mark Porterfield.

residents, associates and families healthy and happy with a fine dining experience. It’s demanding work. But the smiles – sometimes even applause – make it worth it. Somerby is Full of Life. What will it spark in you?

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Call us today to learn more or schedule a personal visit.






Nifty Fifty

Cherokee Rose Garden Club Celebrates Half a Century of Service The Cherokee Rose Garden Club, based in the Cherokee Bend area of Mountain Brook, celebrated its 50th anniversary Sept. 25 with a luncheon at the home of member Liz Thuston. Guests were greeted with mimosas and treated to a dining table filled with light hors d’oeuvres as members mingled throughout the home. The club was started by 25 charter members in 1969 and was responsible for the development of the Irondale Furnace Trail. Additionally, they erected street lights in their neighborhood and, in 2016, erected a Little Free Library on the Irondale Furnaces Trail where visitors can take and leave books. ❖

Journal photos by Emily Williams

ber n

24 • Thursday, October 4, 2018

Charter members Ann Dodson and Beth Henderson.

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Dr. and Mrs. Michael Everson of Winchester, Virginia, announce the engagement of their daughter, Michelle Danielle, to Keith Gentry, son of Ms. Carla Gentry of Louisville, Kentucky. The bride-elect is a granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Don Everson of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Percy Glover of Clio, Louisiana.  Miss Everson is a 2007 graduate of Homewood High School. She received a master’s degree in foreign service from the Walsh School at Georgetown University in 2017 and a Bachelor of Philosophy in international conflict resolution, French and Chinese from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012, graduating summa cum laude. She is the associate director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. In addition to her time in Washington and Pittsburgh, Miss Everson has lived and studied in Paris, Beijing and Belfast.  The prospective groom is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Hoisington of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Mr. Gentry received a master’s degree in international peace and conflict resolution from American University in 2016 and a master’s degree in Middle Eastern history from Georgia Southern University in 2012. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2003 and served as a submarine missile technician for 10 years, attaining the rank of chief petty officer in 2012. He is currently an asylum officer with the Department of Homeland Security in Arlington.  Miss Everson and Mr. Gentry have volunteered in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon with Project Amal ou Salam, an organization that supports Syrian refugee children. They met in August 2014 while volunteering at refugee schools near the Syrian border in southern Turkey.  The wedding will be in northern Virginia on November 11.

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


Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 25

SOCIAL ly’s journey with childhood cancer and what Smile-A-Mile means to them. Roddy McKinney also spoke to encourage the guests to support Smile-A-Mile. The event raised more than $100,000, which will support the group’s Hospital Outreach Program and programs at Smile-A-Mile Place. Attending the event were the Worthens, the McLeans, the Goedeckes, Amy and Danny McKinney, Janice McKinney with Roddy McKinney, Jenn and Mark Tarr, Melinda and Ed Aldag, Sumner and John Rives, Hatton Smith, Rosilyn and Ron Houston, Murray and Joe South, Lisa and Patrick Cunningham. ❖

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From left, Patrick Cunningham, Roddy McKinney and Lisa Cunningham.

Going for Gold

Smile-A-Mile raises $100,000 to Fund Programs for Child Cancer Patients Smile-A-Mile recently had a “Go Gold” event at the home of Candice and Lee McKinney to raise awareness and funds for the organization’s programs. The event was hosted by the McKinneys, Nancy and Glenn Goedecke, Catherine and Emmett McLean, and Bevelle and Jamie Worthen. More than 150 guests were served hors d’oeuvres by chef George McMillan of FoodBar. Smile-A-Mile Executive Director Bruce Hooper and Associate Executive Director Kellie Reece spoke to the group about how the organization fulfills its mission to provide hope for the childhood cancer journey. The highlight of the evening was Lisa Cunningham, mother of a cancer patient, sharing about her fami-

To: From: Date:

Candice and Lee McKinney.

Linda Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 April This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOU April 19, 2018 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 8

Please make sure all information is correc address and phone number!

and fax back within 24 hours. “We are impressed with Erle FairlyPlease andinitial ARC Realty.”

If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday.

Nicole and Bill Leitner.

Andy and Kimber Kennedy were familiar with Birmingham, having attended UAB Thank you for your prompt attention. where Andy played basketball for Gene Bartow. When the couple decided to move back here after Andy’s 12-year stint as head basketball coach at the University of Mississippi, they relied on ARC Realty agent Erle Fairly to assist with their home search. “Erle did a fantastic job of listening to what we wanted in a new home. He was concise and precise in showing us homes that met all of our search criteria,” says Andy. “The whole team at ARC Realty paid attention to what we wanted in a new home.” Kimber adds that Erle’s commitment didn’t end at closing. “We called him throughout the process and he was always available, and he still is. We gladly recommend Erle Fairly and ARC Realty to anyone needing help buying or selling a home.” For information on working with Erle and to view his listings, visit

Erle Fairly (205) 807-2500

For more information, visit or call (205) 969-8910. Karen Carroll, Nancy Goedecke and Roddy McKinney.



Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Ashley Tarver isn’t one to shy away from new adventures. Before starting Domestica, she sharpened her culinary skills in exotic places, worked at a restaurant on a private island and at nationally recognized Highlands Bar and Grill and owned her own olive oil company.

Starting from Scratch Ashley Tarver’s New Business Rekindles Her Love for Cooking

By Donna Cornelius Ashley Tarver’s eyes light up when she talks about her new business. The Vestavia Hills native recently launched Domestica, which offers meal prep, kitchen reorganization and even grocery shopping. “I’m a private chef without the expense,” she said. Tarver isn’t one to shy away from new adventures. Before starting Domestica, she sharpened her culinary skills in exotic places, worked at a restaurant on a private island and at nationally recognized Highlands Bar and Grill and owned her own olive oil company. Recently, she had to take a journey of a different sort – one that was so emotionally tough she wasn’t sure she wanted to keep on cooking.

Traveling the World

Tarver didn’t always plan to have a culinary career. She is a graduate of Rhodes College, which she attended with the intention of going on to law school. A semester abroad in Spain led her to get a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language and literature, and she studied Greek and Roman art history and philosophy at the University of Oxford in England. “I moved to Washington, D.C., and worked at a literacy nonprofit,” Tarver said. “It was the best and easiest job I’ve ever had. We were done by about 10:30 in the morning, everyone was young, we had fun in the city – and I realized I didn’t want to go to law school.” When she returned home to Birmingham, Tarver decided to follow a new path. “I told my parents, ‘I’m going to Argentina to cooking school,’” she said. “I had spent a summer in Argentina in college. I was 24 or 25 at the time and didn’t want to do a three-year culinary program, and this

was an intense program that was for one year. I packed my bags and went.” A Dutch friend she had made at the cooking school had gone to Spain to work at highprofile restaurants. Inspired by his experience, Tarver got out her suitcases again. “I went to San Sebastián and worked at two different three Michelin-starred restaurants,” she said. “That was an incredible experience. We worked 16 hours a day. We got room and board, and I lived with nine guys above a mechanic’s shop. We had bunk beds and no other furniture except what we found on the street.” Despite the hard work and no-frills living quarters, Tarver said she’s grateful for the experience. “It taught me a work ethic that I never would have known,” she said. “It was hard, but it was fun. I made lifelong friends from all around the world.” After that, Tarver worked at a restaurant on a private island in the Florida Keys and then at Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, where she said she “learned so much” from owners Frank and Pardis Stitt. She then catered for about a year – which is when her first company was born. Copper Pot Kitchen offered infused olive oils in flavors that Tarver had learned to love during her travels and that she often used in her own cooking. Alabama Goods in Homewood was the first store to carry Copper Pot Kitchen products. “I grew the business from being in one store to 200 stores across the Southeast,” she said.

Heartbreak and Healing

Tarver said that, up until that point, her career had been going in an upward direction. “Then I fell off a cliff,” she said. The most trying experience of her life

started with an offer to invest in her olive oil business. “I was approached by this gentleman and sold a percentage of the olive oil company to him,” she said. “He was very gung-ho about opening a restaurant. I was a little reticent at first. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it. Pepper Place was where I wanted to be, and we found a space and signed a lease. We did a ton of work – and by ‘we,’ I mean ‘I.’” Tarver chose the name Za’atar for the restaurant because she intended for it to highlight Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors with a focus on world spices. “We were 90 days from opening,” she said. “The furniture was in a warehouse, the kitchen equipment was ordered, the paint was picked out, and we had the design completed. I even had people making reservations. “When it came time to choose who would do the build-out, my business partner became very hard to get in touch with.” When she did get in touch with him, she said, “He told me he was out – with no explanation.” Because her business partner had invested in the olive oil company, Tarver lost that as well as the restaurant. “The most difficult moment was when I had to go and sit down with a table full of lawyers and sign away our space,” she said. “It was the hardest thing I ever had to do.” Tarver said she had to make tough decisions about her next step. “I didn’t want to be consumed by this,” said Tarver. “So I let it go.” Tarver said she was devastated by the experience and “spent a lot of time trying to heal.” “I was fairly certain I would never cook again,” she said. “My heart was broken.” During that time, friends and family tried to lift her spirits.

See TARVER, page 28


Breakin’ Bread, set for Oct. 14, is returning to the place where the popular food, wine and beer festival started out. The 16th annual event, presented this year by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Pepper Place, 2829 Second Ave. S near downtown Birmingham. It features tastings of signature dishes from more than 30 members of Birmingham Originals, a group made up of locally owned and operated restaurants. This year, the festival also includes the first Buffalo Rock Makers’ Market, with Southern craftspeople on site to sell handmade art and other creations. Birmingham Originals member restaurants and Breakin’ Bread participants include: 5 Point Public House Oyster Bar, Avo, Avondale Common House, Bellini’s, Bettola, Bistro V, Blueprint on 3rd, The Bright Star, Cantina, Continental Bakery/Chez Lulu, dg, El ZunZun, FoodBar, Homewood Gourmet, Hot and Hot Fish Club, The J. Clyde, Jackson’s Bar & Bistro, JoJo’s on Broadway, Little Savannah, MAFIAoZA’s, Moss Rock Tacos & Tequila, Nabeel’s Café & Market, Ocean, OvenBird, Revolve Kitchen & Brew, Satterfield’s Restaurant, Sky Castle, Slice Pizza & Brewhouse, Sol’s Sandwich Shop and Deli, Ted’s Restaurant, Vecchia Pizzeria & Mercato, Vino and The Wine Loft. Proceeds benefit Jones Valley Teaching Farm at Woodlawn High School. Since 2002, Birmingham Originals has donated more than $125,000 to charitable organizations benefiting children and families in the Birmingham area. The organization began partnering with JVTF two years ago. Since then, 13 students have graduated from JVTF’s internship program. Birmingham Originals also launched an apprenticeship program, hiring two full-time students as employees, and awarded four college scholarships, thanks in part to proceeds from Breakin’ Bread. Breakin’ Bread VIP tickets are $99 and include unlimited food sampling and wine, beer and cocktails; access to the exclusive lounge area; and early entrance at 12:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $35 and include unlimited food sampling and two drink tickets for wine, beer or the featured vodka cocktail. Children under 12 enter for free and have access to unlimited food sampling, non-alcoholic beverages and the children’s area. To buy tickets and for more information, visit You also can follow the festival on social media.

See FOODIE NEWS, page 28

Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

26 • Thursday, October 4, 2018

From left, Megan Couture and Kristine Hutchins at last year’s Breakin’ Bread event.


City Flavors

Food Tours Offer a Taste of Downtown Birmingham Annie Reynolds had just paid for a business license for her fledgling company and, like many new business owners, was wondering if she’d done the right thing. But on her way home, she got a text from a friend that seemed to confirm she’d picked the right time to start Birmingham Taste Tours. The text said Highlands Bar and Grill had won the James Beard Foundation Award for America’s best restaurant and gave Reynolds assurance that the already-hot Birmingham food scene was about to sizzle even more. “My thought was that a food tour in Birmingham was going to happen,” Reynolds said. “I wanted to be the first to do it and to make it representative of our city.” Birmingham Taste Tours offers three-hour walking tours focusing on downtown Birmingham’s food, drink and history. Reynolds started her company last month after about six months of research. The Louisiana native originally set out to be a teacher but said food has always been important to her. “I grew up in the western part of Louisiana – right on the line of Cajun country and country-country,” she said. “My mom made everything from scratch. We lived around a lot of fields, and farmers would bring us what they grew. We cooked seasonally without knowing it.” She said she also learned childhood lessons about hospitality. “When someone came over, you cooked them a meal,” she said. Her first job in food was at Lea’s Lunchroom in Lecompte, Louisiana. “They were famous for not having a menu,” Reynolds said. “They cooked whatever the farmers brought, and we would memorize what we were serving that day. Again, it was more about hospitality. Even if you didn’t like the vegetables that day, you would stay for the conversation.” Reynolds met her husband, Chris, when both had catering jobs as students at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She majored in elementary education. “I also was in the military,” she said. “I was waiting tables in college, and a recruiter who was a customer did his job really well. I joined the National Guard. I did that in college through when we had our first child.” Chris Reynolds’ job brought the family from New Orleans to Hoover about 10 years ago. Annie and Chris have four sons: Caleb, 12; twins Jacob and Brennan, 7; and Andrew, who’s 3. She worked for a short time in the mothers’ day out program at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School in Homewood. She said the long teacher certification process required by the state

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

By Donna Cornelius

Birmingham Taste Tours offers three-hour walking tours focusing on downtown Birmingham’s food, drink and history. Annie Reynolds, above, started her company last month after about six months of research.

and the birth of her twins put her teaching plans on hold. “I did a lot of volunteer work and worked with a friend at her nonprofit,” Reynolds said. “And I became that person that people would text and say, ‘Where should we eat?’ “A friend asked me if we had food tours in Birmingham. I told her no – I thought those were only in bigger cities. She had just done a food tour Chattanooga. I thought, if Chattanooga can have one, we could here in Birmingham. I researched and realized how big food tours are in other cities like Chicago, Charleston, Atlanta and Nashville.” She studied economic reports for Birmingham’s food industry and went on food tours in other cities. If she liked a particular tour, she’d get in touch with the owner afterward and ask for advice. “Everyone was very friendly and helpful,” she said. “I learned that tours need to be walkable and consistent. So I have tours every Thursday and Saturday, rain or shine.” Her experiences and the information she’d gathered spurred her to move forward with her business plan. “I told my neighbors, I’m going to open a food tour business,” Reynolds said. “With teaching, I kept hitting all these roadblocks. But with this, all the doors seemed to open.” Reynolds books tours through her website, Each tour is limited to 12 people, although she can accommodate larger groups through special arrangements. The tours are geared for both locals and visitors, including out-of-towners who are in Birmingham for an organization’s meeting or corporate event. When you book a tour, you receive an email telling you where to meet and where to park. You won’t know all the stops on the tours – that’s a surprise – but you can get an idea of the places you might visit by reading the list of the company’s res-

Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 27


taurant partners on the website. “Each restaurant has to be locally owned and operated,” Reynolds said. “If it has more than one location, it has to have started in Birmingham. I love chef-owned restaurants.” She said one of the “must-have” restaurants on her list when she started out was Café Dupont, the 20th Street North bistro where chef Chris Dupont focuses on regional ingredients with a modern Southern spin. “I felt like I had to get his blessing, and he’s been in my corner since day one,” Reynolds said. Other restaurants that came on board include Bistro 218, Chocolata, EastWest Kitchen and Bar, El Barrio, The Essential, Harvest Restaurant and Bar at the Redmont Hotel, John’s City Diner, Roots & Revelry, The Standard at the Pizitz Food Hall, The Wine Loft, and The Yard at the Elyton Hotel. “We’re adding restaurants all the time,” Reynolds said. She prepped for her role as tour guide by taking friends and neighbors on practice tours over the summer. She also got in touch with REV Birmingham, an economic development organization. “I reached out to REV to tell them about my business and ask for advice,” Reynolds said. “They had me meet with James Little to talk about Birmingham Restaurant Week.” Little is the REV district manager and BRW founder. “We ended up doing a Restaurant Week bike tour with Zyp bikes,” she said. “We oversold the tickets and

ended up with my largest group so far.” Reynolds hopped on a bike herself to lead the tour. Stops included Slice Pizza and Brewhouse, Blueprint on 3rd and Whistling Table, where she said chef and owner Mac Russell told some great stories. Story-telling is a fun part of Birmingham Taste Tours – something Reynolds discovered when she took food tours in other cities. “I love food, but I also love sitting with people and hearing their stories,” she said. “You make all these new friends and learn from them as well as the tour guide.” Reynolds gathers information about each restaurant on her tours and throws in some fun food facts. “There’s a South vs. North controversy about where chicken and waffles originated,” she said. “I dispel the notion that it started in the North. And when we have okra at John’s City Diner and Café Dupont, I talk about how okra was used during Civil War times.” Reynolds invites chefs to talk to her groups and has found that many have a connection to the city’s most celebrated chef. “We’re always doing ‘several degrees of Frank Stitt,’” she said, laughing. While tours now are downtown, Reynolds wants to expand her business to other parts of the city and said she’ll eventually hire other guides as her company grows. But she wants to stick to areas that are foot trafficfriendly. “Walking is important,” she said. “If you get in a car, you don’t get the blueprint of the city.” For more information or to book a tour, visit bhamtastetours. com.


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

Rehab Reality... By Judy & Julie Butler

Warning: Meth is back!

Wait, what? In the light of the Nation’s devastating opioid crisis there is dangerous drug lurking in the shadows. No, it’s not alcohol or marijuana; it’s methamphetamine. While task forces have been looking at opioids, meth has taken a hold. The hold is so strong, in fact, that there has been a 255% increase in overdose death related to stimulant use – mostly from meth. Border Control agents have reported 1020 times more seizures of meth today compared to 10 years ago. Why meth and why now? In 2005, congress passed the Combat Methamphetamine Act which made it harder to get pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient used to make meth. Meth use decreased for a short period after congress’s interference. Where there’s a will there’s a way, so with the help of Mexican drug cartels, meth manufacturers slowly began to get their hands on highly regulated ingredients while authorities were handling the opioid crisis. Meth is now purer and cheaper than ever before, making it more deadly. Most street meth is said to be almost 100% pure and costs just $5 a hit. Meth is taking no prisoners and does not discriminate. Meth abuse is now found across all socioeconomic classes, races, and gender. It’s not even discriminating against other addicts! Many longtime cocaine addicts are switching to meth. A vast majority of heroin users (8090% possibly) also use meth. We’ve seen an increase of clients with this addiction at Bayshore Retreat, as well, and use a holistic approach to help them overcome this deadly substance. If you or someone you know is in this trap call us today, we can help.

28 • Thursday, October 4, 2018


Big Opportunities for Big Spoon

Journal by Ingrid Schnader

Creamery’s Edgewood Location Could Open by End of 2018

Ryan and Geri-Martha O’Hara say they have always wanted to open a storefront in Homewood.

By Ingrid Schnader Ever since Big Spoon Creamery owners Ryan and Geri-Martha O’Hara started their ice cream company, they have wanted to open a storefront in Homewood, they said. By the end of this year or early 2019, they’ll finally be able to do that. Big Spoon’s second storefront will be at 929 Oxmoor Road in Homewood, in a space that previously housed Sprout & Pour. The ice cream will still be made at the Avondale location. The Homewood location will have all the same flavors and a little more seating. “We know we have a really large following in the Over the Mountain area,” Ryan O’Hara said. “So we’re excited to be able to offer a location where they can come more often or have a more easily accessible place.” The culinary duo met in 2010, when they both were working at Bottega, Geri-Martha as a pastry chef and Ryan O’Hara as a savory chef. After they got married in 2014, they decided to try out an

FOODIE NEWS From page 26

GREECE IS THE WORD: FESTIVAL STARTED IN 1972 The Birmingham Greek Festival, one of the city’s oldest cultural food festivals, returns Oct. 4-6. The event features food such as pitas, Greek chicken, gyros and baklava. It also includes Greek music and dancing. The Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral Christian Church’s festival has free admission, indoor and outdoor dining and food plates for sale.

idea that had been on their minds for a while – to open up an ice cream shop. “We sort of naively thought we weren’t starting a business,” Ryan O’Hara said. “We thought we were starting a side project. We thought, ‘Let’s just kind of play around with this idea for a while and gauge some interest and have some fun with it. And maybe eventually, sometime, it will turn into a business.’” They were selling ice cream out of their driveway and at pop-up shops for the next few months. The early days of entrepreneurship were difficult, they said. “We worked seven days a week, and we were probably up working (at) 6 a.m.,” Ryan O’Hara said. “Most of the time we weren’t finishing until 10 p.m. or after. We had a lot of times, it was 2, 3, or 4 in the morning. I remember multiple occasions where one of us just never went home, just worked through the night and kept going.” Geri-Martha said she remembers a time she had to do that. Nick Saban wanted ice cream sandwiches for the A-Day post-game party at The church is at 307 19th St. S in downtown Birmingham. There’s free parking at the former Liberty National building, one block away on 20th Street between Third and Fourth avenues. Drive-through service is available from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. There’s no need to call ahead to place your order. For more information, visit


Some of Hoover’s best restaurants and caterers will participate in Taste of Hoover, set for 5-8 p.m. Oct. 11 at

his house, and he hired Big Spoon Creamery to fill the order. “We just had a bunch of other stuff going on,” she said. “I worked from 6 a.m. one morning to noon the next day straight, without meals or sitting down.” For a lot of people in the early days of entrepreneurship, Ryan O’Hara said, hiring a team is out of the budget. “When opportunities come your way and growth comes your way, it’s just like, ‘Yeah, we’ll do it. I don’t know how we’ll do it, but we’ll figure out a way.’”

Forging a Club

By November 2014, the couple knew they had to find a way to get their name out in the community when it was too cold to do pop-up shops. They started an ice cream club, and for $16 a month, members could get two pints of ice cream delivered to their office or home. “It was super cheap for what you got,” Geri-Martha O’Hara said. “We weren’t so much worried about trying to make money off of it, we just wanted to get our name out Aldridge Gardens, 3530 Lorna Road. Those who attend can get a taste of the city’s range of culinary styles, sample international wines and local beers, and enjoy garden strolls and entertainment. Tickets are $45 for Aldridge Gardens members and $50 for nonmembers. For tickets or more information, visit aldridgegardens. com.


The owners of Red Mountain Expresso in Homewood are opening a new drive-through-only shop on U.S. 280 in November.

there and our product out there.” The club was a hit. The O’Hara’s started out with 13 members that November, and they ended the club a year and a half later with 250 members. “It was so personal,” Ryan O’Hara said. “It was us coming to people’s houses with ice cream. I think people felt this personal connection. And now, when we’ve gotten bigger, I think a lot of those people still feel a personal connection to our business and are still very loyal, and we still see them all the time.” Geri-Martha O’Hara agrees. “We think of ice cream club members as family,” she said. “They’re really close to our hearts.” The couple spent every Sunday during that year and a half driving around Birmingham delivering ice cream to the ice cream club members. Although the route was difficult, it helped get their company’s name out in the community. “We had a ton of ice cream club members in Homewood,” Ryan O’Hara said, “and we’ve already heard from several of them that they’re so excited, because they used to get those deliveries, and they don’t anymore, so they’re excited to have us in their neighborhood.” Both Geri-Martha and Ryan O’Hara say they love seeing their original customers. “I always get really excited when I hear people say ‘I came when it was in your driveway,’ or ‘I was an ice cream club member,’ because I feel like those people are the original people,” Ryan O’Hara said. “They were there when we were nobody.” Although they don’t have a set number of stores in mind, Ryan O’Hara said he thinks the company will continue to grow in the future. “We’re always interested in growth and creating new opportunities for team members,” he said, “and also getting to make an impact in a positive way in more communities.” Bullet Coffee Co. will have highend espresso beverages and brewed coffee. Lunch items made by Mealfit Birmingham will include gourmet salads and chicken wraps and will be offered all day long. “We will be located by the Dairy Queen on 280 across the street from Lloyd’s and in front of Lowe’s,” owner Brantley Visser said. “With direct access to both 280 and Brook Highland, we will be very convenient for all 280 traffic.” Visser grew up in North Shelby County and is a 2006 graduate of Briarwood Christian School. For more information, visit Bullet Coffee Co.’s Facebook page.


TARVER From page 26

“There were some amazing people who supported me, who were there for me,” Tarver said. “There are really good people in this town.”

A New Direction

A friend’s request for help gave Tarver the idea for Domestica. “She was taking care of her mother and asked if I’d do a week’s worth of food for them,” she said. “Of course, I said yes. I put on music, cooked in her kitchen – and knew I still loved cooking. I started cooking for people again privately.” She said Domestica is “a result of what that friend asked me to do – to come to her house, organize the kitchen and cook.” “It occurred to me that a lot of people might need this kind of thing,” Tarver said. “It’s fun to create a menu, cook and organize kitchens so they’re efficient.” She thinks her business will provide valuable services for a variety of people, including busy families, those taking care of older relatives and parents with a new baby. “I’ll clean out the fridge, freezer and pantry,” she said. “Everybody has that 8-year-old jar of jelly in their pantry.” Her services are customized, so she can make dinners for a week, follow dietary restrictions and food preferences, shop for groceries and even handle small parties. She’s partnered with Classic Wine Co. in Homewood to offer the service of pairing wines with meals and to host private events. She said one of the perks of Domestica appeals to her love of hitting the road. “I have a couple of families I travel with,” she said. “That’s awesome. I did a long birthday weekend at the beach with different themed menus, like Mexican night with homemade margaritas.” Despite the heartache of her experience with the restaurant, Tarver said she has no regrets. “I learned about empathy and kindness as well as failure,” she said. “You can be bitter and angry, or you can choose to laugh and find joy. That’s why the simplicity of being in someone’s kitchen and making food for them is so appealing right now. Most people who cook don’t do it for money or fame – they do it to show love, to take care of other people.” Tarver has another project in the works, too. She’s working on a cookbook proposal and said it’s been accepted by an agent, who will market it to publishers. “It’s a labor of love,” she said. “That book will be my tribute to Za’atar and what I would have done there.” For more information about Domestica, call 641-3621 or send an email to Tarver at


Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 29


Dr. Kathy Murphy of Hoover Named State Superintendent of the Year Finalist District 5, all deserving of this honor, which they gave to me. It doesn’t get any better than to be honored by the very people you hold in esteem,” said Murphy. The announcement of the Alabama/Classworks 2019 Superintendent of the Year will take place during the School Superintendents of Alabama’s annual Fall Conference, Oct. 8-10

in Florence. The superintendent recognized will be determined based on career achievements and their success in advancing public education. “This recognition belongs to all of us in Hoover City Schools because it takes all of us to make the school district successful. Without a successful school district, this honor would not have

come my way,” Dr. Murphy added. The superintendent chosen will be honored at a luncheon sponsored by Classworks on March 5, during SSA’s Legislative Conference in Montgomery, and will advance to the national competition. The national winner will be announced at the School Superintendents Association’s National Conference in 2019.

Vestavia Hills Celebrates Buddy Anderson Day On Sept. 4, Vestavia Hills Mayor Ashley Curry and City Councilor Paul Head attended the first pep rally at Vestavia Hills High School to help celebrate football coach Buddy Anderson. Last month, the City Council named Aug. 13 as Coach Buddy Anderson Day, in honor of his years as head football coach, his record as the winningest coach in AHSAA history and his induction into the National High School Hall of Fame. As the school kicked off Anderson’s 41st season, Curry read a proclamation to the student body attending the pep rally, which was followed by a standing ovation.

Photo special to the Journal

Photo special to the Journal

From left, Vestavia City Councilor Paul Head, Linda Anderson, Buddy Anderson and Vestavia Hills Mayor Ashley Curry

Journal file photo

Hoover City Schools Superintendent Kathy Murphy (pictured) has been recognized as District V Superintendent of the Year, making her a finalist for the 2019 Alabama Superintendent of the Year. “I am honored and humbled to be selected as District 5 Superintendent of the Year. There are 16 other superintendents in

Brookwood Forest Elementary Hosts Picnic in the Forest On Aug. 12, Brookwood Forest Elementary staff, teachers, students and families celebrated the start of a new school year with the annual Picnic in the Forest. The family picnic marked the official opening of Ranger Park, the school’s renovated playground. According to school officials, the students in attendance spent the evening playing on the new equipment and enjoying the new sports courts. The newly renovated playground is 15,000 square

feet and includes two basketball courts, an outdoor pavilion, large rubber play surface and interactive musical equipment. In addition, the amenities are accessible for all children, regardless of disabilities. BWF’s PTO first envisioned a redesign two years ago, when they invited students to collaborate in creating a dream playground and outdoor space. Landscape architect Lea Ann Macknally joined the project before inviting Blackjack Horticulture to oversee it.

Some very special guests created excitement for the students at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School this month as the school celebrated Grandpals Day. Grandparents and grandpals attended the PTOsponsored event, celebrating Mass with the students and touring the school.  To finish off the day, a small reception in the school library was held for the guests.

Photo special to the Journal

Students and Visitors Have a Grand Time at School

Join us for an Open House October 18 4:30-6:00 p.m. No RSVP needed

One of the nation’s premier college preparatory schools for students grades 5-12 | 205-445-1232

celebrating years

30 • Thursday, October 4, 2018



By Rubin E. Grant

A Young Vestavia Hills Cross-Country Girls Team Holds Promise for the Future

By Blake Ells

Vestavia Hills’ varsity crosscountry teams are both off to impressive starts. While the boys may have expected it, the girls had a young group coming in. At the Randolph Cross-Country Classic in Huntsville on Sept. 18, the girls finished with a 24, enough to seal a meet victory for the first time in quite some time. They had six of the top 10 finishers, including second through fourth places; freshmen Crawford West and Katy Lambert finished second and third and sophomore Sarah Comer placed fourth, all completing three-mile runs in under 21 minutes. “We’ve not run there before, and

The boys’ team also finished on top at the Randolph Cross Country Class with a 33. Sophomore Ethan Strand and senior Bryce Hutchinson finished first and second. it was definitely a new challenge for us,” said coach Brett Huber. “We have a great group of freshmen that are doing a great job. The girls are really training well together and bonding together. They also had a great outing at the Chickasaw Trails Invitational. They’re off to a great start.” The Rebels’ best girls team was their 2005 group, which finished as the state runners-up. Huber believes this team has the potential to reach the same heights. “When it’s all said and done, as they get older, this may end up being our best group,” Huber said. “That doesn’t mean that they are national champions. It means they train really well. The things that you would look for in a good team, they have those. And they’re making those better each day. They care about each

other. We’re not surprised, but we’re excited to see them doing so well this early in the season.” In addition to West and Lambert, the girls’ freshman class is led by Margaret Patton, who finished eighth at the Randolph Cross-Country Classic. It’s a group that will be exciting to watch for years to come.

It’s All About the Training

“It’s a fine balance when you come in as a freshman,” Huber said. “You want to be respectful to your older runners, but you also want to do your best and train well. They’re doing that. They’re doing a great job as young athletes; learning how to do the things that we do, but also doing the best they can and not holding back.” Huber credits the coaches at Pizitz and Liberty Park Middle Schools for making his job easier. “I couldn’t ask for two better coaches than coach (Jason) Williams at Pizitz and coach (Jonathan) Jeff at Liberty Park,” Huber said. “They’re great at helping young student-athletes grow into competitors and team players. It’s just my opinion, but I’d say they’re the two best middle school coaches in the state. “I can’t describe how much they mean to what we do. They care about their programs and their kids. They’re the first building block to the varsity program. If the kids don’t want to train or if they don’t want to be a team player, that all starts at the beginning. If they don’t catch that when they’re young, a lot of times, they’ll never catch it.” The boys’ team also finished on top at the Randolph Cross Country Class with a 33. Sophomore Ethan Strand and senior Bryce Hutchinson finished first and second, while junior John Ingram finished 5th and junior Andrew Precise finished 11th. One of the biggest annual meets in the state is next on the calendar. “We’ll train through the next week and we’ll be back in Moulton for the Jesse Owens Classic on the first weekend of October,” said Huber. “There will be over 5,000 athletes at that meet. It’s one of the biggest meets in the Southeast.”

‘She Makes the Most out of Bad Passes’

“She is an exceptional athlete,” Camper said. “She’s been in a lot of big matches, so I think that’s why she’s been very comfortable in her role from the first day. “She has saved us so many times in matches. When it looks like it’s going to be a point for the other team, she digs it out for us. It’s easy to make good passes on good balls, but she makes the most out of bad passes.” Last week in a 3-1 victory at Oak Mountain that gave Hoover a 3-0 record in Class 7A, Area 5, King led the Bucs with 51 assists, five digs and two aces. During the weekend, she recorded 144 assists and 33 digs in five games as the host Bucs (24-7) went

3-2 in the Hoover Over the Mountain Tournament before losing in the quarterfinals to Mountain Brook. King entered this week with 710 assists and 151 digs for the season. King enjoys setting, although she has played other positions. “I started setting my junior year,” she said. “I was still hitting as a freshman on the junior varsity. My sophomore year I was still on the junior varsity and I was a player they could move around the court. Whatever the team needed, I’d do. Setter is what clicked the most.” King hopes to play volleyball in college. “I’m talking to a few schools, but I hadn’t decided anything,” she said. Meanwhile, she’s trying to lead the Bucs back to the state tournament. Last year, Hoover was eliminated in the Class 7A quarterfinals by eventual champion McGillToolen. “It didn’t come out the way we thought it would, but if we get back, we’ll know what we’re up against,” King said. “I think we’re pretty good, but only we can answer how good we can be.”

Homewood Crowns Homecoming Queen

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

At the Randolph Cross-Country Classic in Huntsville on Sept. 18, the Vestavia girls finished with a 24, enough to seal a meet victory.

Amiyah King has finally arrived. The senior setter is wasting no time making her presence felt on the Hoover varsity volleyball team. She has become the Bucs’ unquestioned leader. “She has a lot of experience, but this is a new role for her,” Hoover coach Chris Camper said. “She has bided her time. This is the first year she’s been the primary starter at setter and she’s had to learn on the fly how to be in charge. I’m pleased with how she has played.” King acknowledges that it has taken some time for her to settle in, but more than a month into the season, she said, “I think I’ve adapted to it.” “Instead of being in the role of cheering on my teammates, I’m in the middle of the rotation, leading, being the main passer and trying to keep everybody on the same emotional level,” she added. Before this season, King could have been a case study in athletic perseverance. When she was in the seventh grade, she tried out for the Bumpus Middle School team and was cut. Instead of walking away from volleyball and trying another sport, King tried out for a club team and made it. After joining the club team, she began honing her skills. “I kept practicing and got into a rhythm,” she said. With her vastly improved skills, King tried out for the Bumpus team again in the eighth grade, and this time she made the cut. “It’s been a lifestyle since then,” she said. King spent her freshman and sophomore seasons at Hoover on the junior varsity. She finally moved up to varsity her junior year,

in 2017, but she was a reserve player because of the presence of three-year starting setter Jamie Gregg. Even so, King found plenty of time on the court. “She played in almost half the matches last year,” Camper said. “She was critical for us in the Vestavia match last year in the area tournament and helped us come back and win.” When she wasn’t playing, King was the consummate team player, cheering on her teammates while learning from Gregg. Gregg is now a freshman softball player at Mississippi State. “Watching Jamie, I learned how to lead,” King said. “She was a great leader. If we were winning by 15 points or in a tight match, she always had the same mindset, that this is our game. So, I try to stay in the middle (emotionally) and stay consistent.” The insights King gained while watching from the bench have proven invaluable this season.

Amiyah King entered this week with 710 assists and 151 digs for the season.

Journal photo by Mark Almond

Photo courtesy Brett Huber

King Settles Into Leadership Role for Hoover Volleyball Team

In a pregame ceremony on Sept. 28, Homewood presented the 2018 Homecoming Court. This year’s queen is Molly Kathryn Cooper, pictured with her parents, Karen and Chris Cooper. Following the program, the Patriots took to the field, beating Center Point 24-0.



Homewood outside linebacker coach Carter Doyle admits to being a little distracted on Friday nights. Instead of watching to see whether the players he coaches are carrying out their assignments, sometimes he’s caught up in looking at what the Patriots’ middle linebacker is doing. That’s because senior Crawford Doyle is his boy. “It’s really hard for me to watch the outside linebackers,” Carter said. “It’s a lot of fun watching (Crawford).” Crawford Doyle has given his dad, teammates and Homewood fans plenty to see last season and this season. He led the Patriots with 100 tackles in 2017 and is leading them in stops again this fall. He has 35 tackles, including 25 solo, in Homewood’s first five games. He also leads the team with two interceptions, both coming in a 48-6 victory against Helena. Crawford was in on eight tackles in Homewood’s 24-0 homecoming victory against Center Point last Friday. “He processes things so fast he doesn’t have to think, just react,”

SPARTANS From page 32

even the defensive side of the team – which sees them the most – expected a young offense to gel so quickly. “Our offense has blown me out of the water,” said defensive lineman Trey Gory. “They’re a great group of guys; they work hard in practice, they put extra time in.” Gibbs and company’s success has helped the veteran group on the other side stay prepared. “We’ve got a very physical offensive line,” said senior defensive lineman James Burkett. “It gives us a good look so that on Friday nights, we’re prepared for any offense we face.” The trio attributes their defensive success to their coaching staff, particularly first-year coordinator Robert Evans. Evans came to Chris Yeager’s staff from Hoover, where he was part of four state championship teams. “We all bought into what (Evans) wants us to do and I think that’s a big part of why we’ve been successful so far,” Gory said. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a group that has played football together since preschool. “We’ve been playing football for a long time together,” Lee said. “There’s no lack of trust on this team. We all depend on each other to play at our best.”

Homewood head coach Ben Berguson said. “That’s what makes him so good.” At 5 feet, 10 inches and 190 pounds, Crawford is somewhat undersized for a middle linebacker, but he makes up for his lack of size with keen football acumen. “As far as measurements, he’s not a physical specimen,” said Homewood defensive coordinator Freddy Lawrence, who also coaches inside linebackers. “He plays a lot faster than he is mainly because he understands our scheme fully. He does a great job identifying blocking schemes and getting to the football. It’s just naturalborn instinct.” That’s understandable, considering Crawford, an only child, grew up around football with a dad who was an assistant coach, first at Hoover and for the past 11 years at Homewood. “I didn’t push him into it,” Carter said. “He’s just been so interested in football since he was old enough to walk. “When I was at Hoover, I would take him up there during practice and he’d catch the ball and run into tackling dummies.” Crawford started playing for a team when he was in the third grade. The Spartans will remain in Region 3 play on Oct. 4 when they return from a bye week. They’ve spent the week working on themselves and their health, trying to make sure they are physically prepared for what’s to come. “We’ve been trying to heal our bodies; trying to get the soreness out,” Lee said. They’ll travel to 1-4 Oak Mountain on Thursday before beginning a grueling stretch at HewittTrussville, hosting Thompson and at Hoover. Their 2018 season will be defined in October. “This bye has been critical for us because the second half of the season is going to be very tough,” Burkett said. “We have some tough opponents that we’re going to have to play. It’s given us an extra week of preparation. (Oak Mountain) runs an option offense that’s different than a lot of other teams’ offenses. Their offensive line, quarterback, running back – everyone on that offense is very good. The bye week has been

Scoreboard CLASS 7A

Vestavia Hills 41, Shades Valley 21 Pelham (6A) 52, Oak Mountain 21 CLASS 6A

Homewood 24, Center Point 0 CLASS 5A

Crawford Doyle led the Patriots with 100 tackles in 2017 and is leading them in stops again this fall.

In middle school, he played fullback, but once he reached high school he moved to defense. “I prefer defense,” he said. Crawford and his dad are extremely close. Carter grew up in Mobile and played football at Murphy High School. He wanted to go to West Point to play college football, but he found out he was partially deaf in his right ear, so he wound up as a student at Auburn University. Despite their affectionate fatherson relationship, the Doyles talk little during games. “We don’t talk much until the game is over,” Crawford said. “Sometimes, he will give me a high five when I come to sideline. And sometimes, he’ll tell me when I don’t do something right. “He’s tough on me, but that’s because he knows what’s best for me and he wants what’s best for me.” great for regenerating our bodies and preparing for that option attack.” But the seniors will treat October like any other month. Though looking ahead would be easy as the Spartans face a stretch that could be as difficult as that of any high school football team in the state, they remain poised and focused on the current week’s task. “It’s another couple of weeks of football to us,” Lee said. “I’m looking forward to playing them. There are some good football teams in there, and we like competition. There’s nothing different about it to us.” The seniors work to encourage perspective in their younger players as they enjoy strapping on their own pads for their final season. “For us, this is it,” Gory said. “We’ve got to tell them to play hard but have fun at the same time. It’s just football. You don’t need to worry about who you’re playing. They’ve got to go out there and have fun.”

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Schedule - Oct. 5 CLASS 7A

Tuscaloosa Cty @ Hoover (HC) Mountain Brook @ Oak Mtn. (10/4) Spain Park @ Thompson Hewitt-Trussville @ Vestavia CLASS 6A

Minor @ Homewood CLASS 5A

Briarwood @ John Carroll

“I think our defense is getting better every week,” Crawford said. “We really hadn’t had anybody run the ball that well against us.” Homewood plays host to Minor at 7 p.m. Friday at Waldrop Stadium in a key Class 6A, Region 5 game. And of course, Carter Doyle will have difficulty keeping his eyes off his son.


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At home, they seldom talk about football. “He gets on me about my studies,” Crawford said with a laugh. “If we talk about football, it’s mainly about schemes and stuff.” Crawford points to the guys in front of him for enabling him to make plays, especially defensive tackle Antoine McGhee. “My defensive line is pretty good,” he said. “They take up most of the blocks, allowing me to get to the ball. “I’m trying to get a little better each week and help the team as much as I can.” With Crawford leading the way, Homewood, 4-1, has one of the top scoring defenses in the state, giving up only 37 points in five games. The Patriots recorded their first shutout last week in the win against Center Point, holding the Eagles to only 97 total yards.

Hartselle (6A)14, Briarwood 7 Fultondale 55, John Carroll 26

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By Rubin E. Grant

Week 6

Journal file photo by Marvin Gentry

Senior Linebacker Crawford Doyle Gives His Dad, Homewood Fans Plenty to See

Thursday, October 4, 2018 • 31


Attaboy! Crawford Doyle gives his dad, Homewood fans plenty to see. PAGE 31

SPORTS Thursday, October 4, 2018 ❖ OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

King settles into leadership role for Hoover volleyball team. PAGE 30 A young Vestavia Hills cross-country girls team holds promise for the future. PAGE 30 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Sullivan Receiving Another Heisman Award

Journal photos by Lee Walls Jr.

By Rubin E. Grant

The Spartans’ defense has given up just 8.4 points per game through the first half of the season. Above, Mountain Brook defenders, from left, Grant Griffin, Edward Cain and Jay Barze turn back a Rebel runner in the Spartan’s 28-14 win over Vestavia Hills on Sept. 21. Below, Mountain Brook’s Clark Griffin stops Vestavia’s Cooper Bishop. More photos at

STINGY SPARTANS Dominating Defense Helps Propels Mountain Brook to 5-0 Record By Blake Ells Mountain Brook earned a pivotal victory over Vestavia Hills on Sept. 21, a 28-14 decision that allowed the Spartans to remain undefeated not just in 7A Region 3, but overall. It dealt the Rebels their first loss of the year. Their offense was thorough, using long drives to keep their defense off the field. Daniel Wilbanks led the attack with 103 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns, while sophomore quarterback Strother Gibbs was 15-of-18 for 97 yards. He added 89 yards rushing on 16 carries. “They were on the field for eight or nine minutes in the third quarter,” said senior defensive lineman Gavin Lee. “It’s helped us a ton.” That 12-play, 80-yard drive ended with a Gibbs touchdown run of 26 yards. The Rebels had been within one score, and it was the dagger that Vestavia Hills couldn’t overcome. Lee is one bookend of the Spartans’ three-man defensive front. Mountain Brook returned nine defensive starters this year, which led to lofty expectations. And they’ve met them, allowing just 42 total points through the season’s first five games. But not See SPARTANS, page 31

It’s been 47 years since Pat Sullivan won the Heisman Trophy, and now he’s set to receive another prestigious Heisman honor. The Heisman Trophy Committee will travel to Birmingham on Oct. 15 to present Sullivan with its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. Sullivan, 68, is a football legend. After graduating from John Carroll Catholic High School 50 years ago, he went on to win the Heisman while playing quarterback at Auburn University. He also is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 1991. Sullivan has been a head coach at Texas Christian University and Samford University and had assistant coaching stints at Auburn and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Sullivan also is a cancer survivor. He was the offensive coordinator at UAB when his battle with throat cancer began in 2003. He’s now nourished through a feeding tube and has an oxygen tank to help him breathe. Both are the results of radiation treatments that killed the cancer in his throat and a later surgical procedure that caused damage. These days, Sullivan and his wife, Jean, spend time with their children and grandchildren. He also is active in local charity organizations that benefit underprivileged children and serves on the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Advisory Board.

Former Auburn University quarterback Pat Sullivan won the Heisman Trophy in 1971.