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INSIDE Holiday Gift Guide Part II





‘Sharing The Hope of Christmas’

Paige Albright and her faithful friend, Buddy, are eager to welcome virtual guests to the Independent Presbyterian Church Holiday House Tour.

Double Duty Paige Albright Is Heading up IPC Tour – and Opening Her Own House to Virtual Visitors



aige Albright is truly putting her all into this year’s Independent Presbyterian Church Holiday House Tour. She’s the tour chairman, and her house is one of four that will open its doors – virtually speaking – for the 71st annual event. “I’ve been on the tour committee for a long time, but this is the first time our house has been part of it,” she said. Paige said it was a tough decision for the committee to opt for a virtual tour instead of the usual in-person format. But the uncertainty of COVID-19 restrictions led to that choice. “We thought it was important to keep the tour going,” she said. “This is

See ALBRIGHT, page 18

A Different Take on a Festive Tradition This Year’s IPC Holiday House Tour Goes Virtual

The 71st edition of one of Birmingham’s favorite holiday traditions is adapting itself to the realities of 2020. Instead of visiting stops on the Independent Presbyterian Church Holiday House Tour in person Dec. 11-13, those who buy tickets can watch a virtual tour from their own homes. Another twist keeps alive the longtime custom of offering Christmas tea in the church’s Great Hall during the tour. A limited number of Holiday House Tea in a Bag packages will include cookies, ham biscuits, cheese straws and spiced tea mix plus a tour ticket. The cost is $50 per tin; each serves five to six people.

See IPC, page 20

Six Homes Open for Samford Legacy League’s Christmas Home Tour


amford Legacy League’s tenth Annual Christmas Home Tour is set to be held Dec 10. The event during its tenure has raised more than $250,000 to provide transformational scholarships for students who have faced monumental challenges, including homelessness, inner city Photo above violence, the disability or death of a of Anne and parent or sibling, foster care, parental George Lawtons’ job loss, abandonment, parental incarBuckhead home ceration and the sacrifices of full-time taken during a ministry, according to a press release Christmas holiday from the Legacy League. snowstorm. “By sharing the Hope of Christmas through the home tour, the community can be involved in this life-changing mission,” Julie Cundiff, chairwoman of the volunteer committee, said. As with most events this year, the pandemic has changed the look of the tour. Masks covering nose and mouth are required. Each guest will have a temperature check and complete a symptom checklist before entry. Tour guests are expected to adhere to social distancing guidelines and to start the tour at the home and time selected during ticket purchase. Six houses are included in this year’s tour. See LEGACY LEAGUE, page 22

2 • Thursday, November 26, 2020




Murphy’s Law

T PLAY BALL! Vestavia Hills Hosts Exhibition Game on New Miracle League Field PAGE 8

‘TURN OUR PAIN INTO A PURPOSE’ New Software Allows Users to Connect About Life’s Challenges PAGE 10

SWEET TREATS FOR THE HOLIDAYS Les Dames d’Escoffier Members Share Some Favorite Recipes PAGE 24

GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP Grace Fund for Vestavia Hills Secondary Students Soliciting Donations PAGE 33


CORRECTIONS A story that ran in the Over The Mountain Journal’s Nov. 12 edition about a plan to upgrade Mountain Brook school facilities should have said the City Council voted a year ago to seek a 10-mill property tax. The Legislature signed off on holding a referendum on whether to increase the tax, and residents of the city voted to approve it.


That tax has raised $6 million for the school system’s yearly budget. Also in the Nov. 12 issue, we incorrectly identified the founder of Louis Pizitz Middle School’s Living History Day. The event was first held Nov. 8, 2002, and was organized by then-faculty member Jane Sharp with the help of then-Principal David Miles.


J O U R N A L November 26, 2020 Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writers: Emily Williams, Sam Prickett Photographer: Jordan Wald Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Rubin E. Grant Contributors: Susan Murphy, June Mathews, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls, Bryan Bunch Advertising Sales: Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald, Gail Kidd

A Double Batch Christmas

here’s a sign in my laundry room The dough must be extruded that says, “Today, I will try to through a cookie press, a wonderful live in the moment, unless it’s device that turns a wad of dough into unpleasant and then I will eat a cookChristmas trees and wreaths. Sadly, this ie.” I’ve eaten a lot of cookies this year. year it will only be wreaths as the tree But now, me lovelies, it is officially disk met with an unfortunate accident. cookie season, when it would be posiUser error, to be sure. Even though the tively (negatively?) unsociable to leave cookie press has no engine and no a macaroon just sitting there on your clutch, it is still a machine and you plate. know my record with anything mechanMy must-do Christmas cookie list is ical. short but critical. If I get to Christmas With one daughter now living in Eve and there are no spritz sitting town, it will be a double-batch spritz Sue Murphy expectantly on the cookie platter, I will year for sure. Both of my girls can be forced to substitute Oreos or make spritz on their own, and have, Mallomars, which wouldn’t be the along with other taste sensations. My end of the world, but spritz are just If I don’t end up with Florida daughter is a peppermint soooo much better. cupcake superstar, but this pandemic a little flour on the dog, mess has made it unlikely that I will It’s a simple recipe: butter and flour and sugar and vanilla, and it’s just not Christmas. get to taste one this year. I’ll have to thank goodness, the stores still have seek out a scratch-and-sniff sticker to all those things in stock. Just before get me through. My California-nowHalloween, there was an empty space where the canned Birmingham daughter has been tearing it up in the kitchpumpkin should have been, which sent me into a bit of a en of late and is working on a chocolate raspberry cookie that she lovingly refers to as the Katrina Lurkenkranzer. panic, but it all worked out. Because Starbucks has opted NOT to offer its gingerI have everything I need, plus sprinkles. Actually, red bread loaf this year (we’re currently not speaking), I’ll and green sprinkles are just as important as the butter, and it was the one thing that I could not procure until we throw in a batch or two of gingerbread cookies, not just because they taste delicious but because they make the at least got past Halloween. I suppose the spritz would house smell delicious. When I open the oven door, the taste the same with orange and black sprinkles, a more house is filled with the scent of cinnamon and ginger and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” approach, but this is not the year to go off-roading, as far as I’m concerned.  cloves, that magical mix that every holiday candle and Before the sprinkling, of course, I have to make the air freshener tries to capture and fails. dough. Technically, I don’t have to make dough. I could This year, I hope your own home is filled with the purchase really terrific cookies from the bakery, but magical cinnamon and ginger and cloves. I hope you get there’s something about preheating the oven and hauling flour on your dog. I hope that you joyously indulge in a out the cookie sheets that makes it seem like the holidays cookie or three or four, whatever it takes to jumpstart are actually here. If I don’t end up with a little flour on your merry. No cookies? That would be positively (negathe dog, it’s just not Christmas. tively?) unsociable.


The Holiday Cards Issue OTMJ Dec. 10!

Over the Mountain Views

We’re Thankful for Readers of All Ages  

Vol. 30, No. 9

Over The Mountain Journal is a suburban bi-weekly newspaper delivered to Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and North Shelby County areas. Subscriptions for The Journal are available for $24 yearly. Mail to: Over the Mountain Journal, P.O. Box 660502, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216. Phone: (205) 823-9646. E-mail the editorial department at editorial@otmj.com. E-mail our advertising department at mwald@otmj.com. Find us on the Web at otmj.com. Copyright 2020 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-year-old Connor McClain caught up on all the happenings in the Over The Mountain Journal recently while he was waiting for his water play stations to be ready. The tot seems to have a broad range of interests, homing in on pages dedicated to home, social and news, as shown in these photos provided by grandparents Bill and Carolyn Green Satterfield.


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NOV 26 - DEC 10 Editor’s note: Some of the events in our calendar may have been canceled after our press deadline. Please check organiziation websites for the latest information.

Through Dec. 12

contactless visits and photos with Santa by appointment only. When: Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., noon6 p.m.; Dec. 24, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: lower level in front of Von Maur Website: riverchasegalleria.com

What: Hoover’s official start of their holiday season includes a performance by a Hoover City School choir, the lighting of the tree by a Hoover student and Santa’s enterance on a firetruck, ready for pictures. When: 5 p.m. Where: Hoover City Hall Website: hooveral. org

Through Dec. 24 Santa at The Summit

What: Riverchase Galleria has partnered with Volunteers of America to help support our local community and give back to those in need. Spread holiday cheer by donating new coats, hats, scarves and gloves. When: noon-11 p.m. Where: Riverchase Galleria Website: riverchasegalleria.com

Through Dec. 20

What: While this years photo and visit might look a little different the magic of Santa will be the same. Visits will be socially distant, contactless and by appointment only. Masks required. Sensory Santa offered Dec. 5 and 12 from 9-11 a.m. When: Mon.Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m. Where: Inside POSE (a photo experience), Saks Plaza Website: “The Summit - Birmingham, Al” Facebook page

Through Jan. 3

Photos with Santa at Sims Garden

Magic of Model Trains

What: Celebrate the holidays with Sims Garden. Have a “Santa-Safe” photo taken with Santa at Sims Garden. Includes ten minutes with Santa, safely distanced and a gift. By appointment only, simsgarden@ homewoodal.net When: Check Facebook for dates and times Website: “Sims Garden” Facebook page

What: Discover trains of every shape and size inside this exhibit of locomotive displays. From covered bridges and crowded downtown store fronts to multiple train stations, a thunderstorm and a drive-in movie theater this exhibit will keep curious minds entertained for hours. When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: McWane Science Center Website: mcwane.org

Through Dec. 24

Nov. 27-Dec. 13

Photos with Santa

What: Riverchase Galleria is offering

E.L.V.E.S: The Experience

What: This “kids-only” virtual elf saga

seconD hanD rose




Doors open at 9:30 am


Holiday in the Hills Tree Lighting Festival

Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

Warm for the Winter Coat Drive




What: Enjoy entertainment, merchant give-aways, a vist with Santa and the lighting of the tree. When: 6-8 p.m. Where: Vestavia Hills City Hall Website: vestaviahills. org


What: While the annual Christmas Parade in Mountain Book Village is not happening this year Santa is still coming to town, actually a neighborhood near you, in the city of Mountain Brook, and his sleigh will be a Mountain Brook Fire Truck. Be on the lookout on Sunday afternoon. When: 1-4 p.m. Where: Mountain Brook neighborhoods Website: mtnbrookchamber.org is designed for young audiences aged 5-12. One ticket per connected device; limit to two tickets per household. Although more than one child can participate, the experience is designed for one child at a time. Website: bct123.org

Mays plays over 50 roles in a performance staged exclusively for this production. This streaming event brings all the magic of live theatre home for the holidays. Purchase a streaming ticket and receive a viewing link. Website: redmountaintheatre.org

Nov. 27 and 28

Nov. 29-Dec 5

Birmingham Hot Air Balloon Fest

What: Hop a ride on tethered hot air balloons, a kids zone, vendor and craft booths, DJ music and a grande finale featuring a balloon glow and laser show with crowd participatory “count downs.” When: Nov. 7, 4 p.m.Nov. 28, 7 p.m. Where: Birmingham Race Course Website: “Birmingham Hot Air Balloon Fest 2020” Facebook page

Nov. 28-Jan. 3 A Christmas Carol World Premiere Live Capture

What: Tony Award winner Jefferson

The Downtown YMCA: Noojin & White Race to the Courthouse

What: The 34th annual race will be a virtual event with no registration fee but a charitable gift of $25 or more will help the YMCA continue its Covid 19 relief efforts in our community including childcare for essential workers families, blood drives, meals to summer campers, food boxes, school support and more. Website: runsignup.com

Tues., Dec. 1 Hoover Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Dec. 1-22 Alabama Theatre Holiday Film Series

What: The holiday series will return to the historic theatre with new guidelines in place and featuring 22 screenings including seasonal classics such as “Elf,” “Christmas Vacation,” “White Christmas” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and more. When: Check the website for dates and times. Where: Alabama Theatre Website: alabamatheatre.com

Thurs., Dec 3 Jingle and Mingle

What: One of Mountain Brook’s favorite traditions is back. Celebrate the season with Mountain Brook Village and Lane Parke for their Holiday Open House. When: 5-7 p.m. Where: Mountain Brook Village and Lane Parke Website: mtnbrookchamber.org

Holiday Sip and Stroll

What: Kick off the holiday season by shopping at your favorite Lane Parke stores and end the night at any of their delicious restaurants. When: 5-7 p.m. Where: Lane Parke Website: “Lane Parke” Facebook page

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6 • Thursday, November 26, 2020

Fri., Dec. 4 Holiday Shop, Sip and Stroll

What: The merchants of English Village hosts the second installment of their open house. When: 5-7 p.m. Where: English Village Website: mtnbrookchamber.org

Dec. 4 and 5 Holiday Greenery Sale

What: Aldridge Gardens offers fresh greenery and botanical materials for decorating your mantles, mailboxes and entryways. Get greenery for wreaths, along with bows, mailbox cover frames and wreath frames for holiday decorating. When: Dec. 4, noon-4:30 p.m.; Dec. 5, 9 a.m.-noon Where: The patio at Roots Website: aldridgegardens.com

Sat., Dec. 5

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Fox 6 as recording artists Drew and Ellie Holcomb present a nostalgic Christmas program of music and storytelling. All proceeds benefit Christian Service Mission. When: 5 p.m. Where: Your television Website: vestaviahills.org

Cruisin’ Homewood Christmas Parade

What: Homewood is reversing the parade process this years with a drive through parade, where parade entries will remain stationary while spectators drive through the parade route to observe the parade. When: 6:30 p.m. Where: Check the website for the parade route Website: homewoodparks.com

Wed., Dec. 9 One Starry Night A Savior is Born

What: McWane Science Center is welcoming local makers to come and show off their wares. Makers will also teach guests about their specialty skills, learn about some neat trades and maybe even wrap up your holiday shopping list. When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: McWane Science Center Website: mcwane.org

What: Shades Kids’ Ministry will guide families through the City Gate, Stargazer Hill, The Marketplace, The Shepherds’ field and the Stable. Guest will sign in with the census taker, pay the tax collector, enjoy a snack, roundup sheep and make a star craft, learning what life was like when Jesus was born. When: 5-8 p.m. Where: Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Main Campus Website: shades.org

Sun., Dec. 6

Dec. 9-11

McWane Makers’ Market




Shades Mountain Baptist Church: Hope is Alive What: Gather and watch WBRC

Drive Through Nativity

What: Briarwood Presbyterian Church presents a free, live, drive through

nativity featuring scenes depicting the birth and life of Christ. Included will be narrated drama, live actors and animals. When: Anytime between 6:45 and 8:45 p.m. Where: 2200 Briarwood Way Website: briarwood. org

NOV 26 - DEC 10 Dec. 11-13 Virtual Jingle Bell Run

What: Whether you want to run your favorite 5k route, challenge yourself to something new or get moving on your treadmill you can feel good about raising money for the Arthritis Foundation. Each runner will receive a short sleeve t-shirt, medal, and sticker for your water bottle or laptop. Website: arthritis.org

Dec. 11-20 Sounds of the Season

What: Enjoy a virtual holiday concert including carols and classical songs of Christmas with fun holiday tunes. The event features talented singers and music makers form across the state as well as Alabama natives from across the country and around the globe. Website: operabirmingham.org

Sat., Dec. 12 Drive-Thru Breakfast with Santa

What: Holiday in the Hills hosts a free



Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 7

Dunkin Donuts drive-thru breakfast with Santa. When: 7:30-10 a.m. Where: Vestavia Hills Elementary West Website: vestaviahills.org

Bluff Park Christmas Parade

What: Socially distance, wear your favorite Christmas mask and enjoy the sights of the season including floats, bike and walking groups. When: 10 a.m. Where: Shades Cliff Pool. Check the website for more details. Website: “2020 Bluff Park Christmas Parade” Facebook page

Sun., Dec. 13 Vestavia Hills Christmas Parade

What: Enjoy the city’s official parade followed by the Liberty Park Christmas Celebration with children’s activities, refreshments, music, pictures with Santa and more. When: 2-4 p.m. Where: Liberty Park Sports Complex to Alston Meadows Website: vestaviahills.org

Thurs., Dec. 15 Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest- Memories with Santa

What: Call and reserve your family time with Santa and take home a family pack of cookies and cocoa to share together and make a holiday memory. For reservations call 205-978-0158. When: 4-6 p.m. Where: Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest Website: vestavialibrary.org/ events/2020/12/memories-with-santa/

From left, Carlos Izcaray, Chris Confessore and Kevin Fitzgerald.

Maestro’s Ball Goes Free and Virtual This Year

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra is hosting its 2020 Maestro’s Ball as a virtual New Year’s Eve event that is free and open to the public. The concert will begin at 7 p.m., Dec. 31., and include a variety of music played by the orchestra and conducted by Music Director Carlos Izcaray and Principal POPS! Conductor Chris Confessore, in addition to a performance by the Youth Orchestra conducted by its music director and ASO assistant conductor, Kevin Fitzgerald. Commenting on presenting the ball digitally this year, Izcaray said, “The orchestra has delighted audiences across Alabama for almost 100 years, and during times like these when we look for joy and community, we need music now more than ever. Because of this, we are thrilled that we are able to give this gift of music to all Alabamians.” The Maestro’s Ball is the orchestra’s largest annual fundraiser and supports the orchestra’s many artistic performances, its arts education initiatives and outreach programs throughout the year to patrons, students and families across the state. On average, ASO educational programs serve more than 15,000 students and 250 schools each year. For more information about the ball or to make a donation, visit alsymphony.org/MaestrosBall. Since the pandemic began in March, the orchestra has had to cancel or postpone more than 100 concerts and programs. ASO Interim Executive Director and General Manager Mark Patrick said, “While COVID-19 has certainly brought its challenges to our organization, it’s also given us new opportunities to connect with patrons virtually across the state and beyond.” —Virginia Martin

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8 • Thursday, November 26, 2020

Play Ball!

Vestavia Hills Hosts Exhibition Game on New Miracle League Field By Emily Williams

every child involved. “If a child uses a wheelchair, they would have to carry the child, carry the wheelchair, carry a generator to plug in some of these wheel chairs and then, of course, they couldn’t properly wheel them onto the field because of the dirt,” Lawson said. “They all had a good time, but it just wasn’t working.” Vestavia Hills is among a number of organizations for children and adults with special needs, Lawson said. The city is home to Unless U, and nearby are United Ability, the Exceptional Foundation, the Bell Center for Early Intervention and other organizations. “Vestavia East Elementary has a wonderful program for children with special needs, and people will actually move to Vestavia just to send their

The all-inclusive field specially designed to accommodate children and adults with special needs will not only serve Vestavia, but nearby communities as well.

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

The Vestavia Hills Parks and Recreation Foundation, along with the city of Vestavia Hills and its parks and recreation department, gathered Nov. 15 to celebrate the completion of the Vestavia Hills Miracle League Field at Wald Park. The all-inclusive field specially designed to accommodate children and adults with special needs will not only serve Vestavia, but nearby communities as well. “We didn’t want to call it a grand opening or dedication,” said Vestavia Hills Parks and Recreation Foundation President Amy Lawson. “Because of COVID-19 restrictions, we aren’t sure when registration will open.” To properly celebrate the field, an exhibition game was organized between members of the Vestavia Hills High School baseball team and a local special needs team. “The only other Miracle Field in the area is in Hoover,” Lawson said. “This field will serve the Mountain Brook area, Vestavia area and Homewood.” When Lawson assumed her role as president of the Parks and Recreation Foundation, its board had just finished raising money f­ or work the city was conducting at the Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex. “We raise funds for community amenities,” she said. “When the city or the community sees a purpose or fit, they will call on us for help.” In this case, members of the foundation saw a great need for an inclusive space to play a game of baseball.


From left, Amy Lawson, Homer and Leigh Belcher at the newly completed Vestavia Hills Miracle League Field at Wald Park.

“My boys played baseball for the high school and they do a game just once a season playing with a special needs baseball team, which is just not enough,” she said.

The Need Is Great

The game was always fun for everyone involved, but it was also difficult to pull off. Their field just couldn’t accommodate the needs of

kids to that school,” Lawson said. “We live in such a saturated area full of people who would use this facility. It’s just going to be booked all the time.” The city of Vestavia Hills always had been a little short on field space. So, when Vestavia Hills City Schools bought the Berry campus and renovated it to become Louis Pizitz Middle School, the city was able to work with the school system to move some recreational fields around. “For a very long time, the Vestavia Hills community has embraced programmatic activities for its most vulnerable — the special needs community,” said city manager Jeff Downes. “The completion of the Vestavia Hills Miracle League Field will place an exclamation point behind that statement by offering a tangible home to the community’s efforts and its special needs population. Furthermore, the new ‘home’ will be inclusive in one of the city’s prime recreational locations side-by-side with the city’s most competitive athletes. This is a time to celebrate such a milestone.”

Special Needs, Special Amenities

The field is completely handicapfriendly, with a custom-designed rubberized turf that helps prevent injury in addition to being wheelchair-friendly. In addition, the stands accommodate a variety of needs, including outlets for people to plug in oxygen tanks or battery-operated wheelchairs. One of the features that Lawson is excited about will be the forthcoming jumbotron, donated by Buffalo Rock. “Perhaps, if the fields are not being used on a Friday night, because the turf is such that you can lay on it, they could show movies on that jumbotron,” she said. Most importantly, the kids will be able to create their own player presentation videos to be shown during the game, just like their favorite college or professional teams. “This field gives kids and adults an opportunity to actually be a part of a team, play and have practice, build camaraderie and friendships all the time, not every once in awhile,” she said, without any of the limitations of a typical field. Though the work to construct the field has come to a close, Lawson and her fellow foundation members are still hard at work trying to raise additional funds to finance the field. Fundraising began with the sale of brick pavers, the first round of which have been installed. “We’ve sold about 250,” she said. “We can sell probably about 400 more, which would also help. “We are looking for a few more large donors for our naming opportunities.” Lawson said the pandemic put a noticeable halt on fundraising. “That stopped us in our tracks because the grants we had applied for and some large donors we applied for … everything just stopped and it hasn’t picked back up yet,” she said. Support has been good, nonetheless, on the local level from nearby businesses and donors, she added. “We need about another $75,000 to $100,000,” she said. “But, I think when people see the field and how it is being used, it’s going to be really hard not to raise that.” For more information, visit https:// vhprf.org/capital-campaign/.

Fireballs the modern alternative



Journal photo by Jordan Wald

included Branson; Col. Robert I. Channon, U.S. Army retired; Seaman 1st Class William “Bill” Eubank; Lt. Col. Donald Lehman, U.S. Marine Corps retired; Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Daniel Phifer, U.S. Army retired; and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mel Shinholster, U.S. Army retired. In addition, the late Col. Peter N. Derzis was honored posthumously, with a flag presented to his son Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis.

Veterans honored included, above, from left: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mel Shinholster, U.S. Army retired; Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Daniel Phifer, U.S. Army retired; Col. Robert I. Channon, U.S. Army retired; and the late Col. Peter N. Derzis was honored posthumously, with a flag presented to his son Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis.

Thank A Vet

Hoover Kicks Off Month Dedicated to Military Veterans The city of Hoover kicked off its month-long Thank a Vet campaign on Nov. 8, honoring veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces at the Aldridge

Gardens Pavilion. A program highlighted Hoover Freedom Award Winner Lt. Col. Ginger Branson, retired, followed by a flag-folding ceremony conducted by members of the Hoover High School ROTC. City representatives recognized veterans in attendance by giving them each flags. Veterans honored at the event

Roman BRantley

Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 9

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Linda Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 November This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the November 26, 2020 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.


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Rotarians Clean Up Veterans Memorial Park to Honor Vets

Members of the Vestavia Hills Rotary Club tended Alabama Veterans Memorial Park on Nov. 14 as its way to celebrate Alabama veterans. The work was part of an ongoing service project and included pressure washing monuments and clearing limbs and brush from walking trails and parking areas. Participating were, from left, Joe Perez, Maury Wald, Kent Howard, Joe Strickland, Steve Odle, Keith Covington, Jim Carlisle, Dave Mason and Fran Buchan. (Don Wiginton, not pictured)

Mountain Brook Chamber Sets Up New Holiday Bingo Event to Support Merchants The Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce is hosting a new event this year, Holiday Bingo, to spread cheer while remaining safe. According to chamber officials, the virtual bingo event will raise funds for The Mountain Brook Merchant Relief Fund, which was created to support local businesses in their COVID-19-related struggles. Holiday Bingo will take place via Zoom on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m., complete with a selection of prizes donated by chamber members. “We are hoping viewers will gather safely with their families or in small groups such as church groups, supper clubs or garden clubs to play together,” said Molly Wallace, project manager for the chamber. “Perhaps businesses or social clubs will even consider this for their holiday party this year; there is a lot of creativity in ways people can participate.” Those who wish to participate can purchase bingo cards online at mtnbrookchamber.org.

Program your thermostat to 68° or lower.

Set ceiling fans to run clockwise in winter.

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

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


10 • Thursday, November 26, 2020


‘Turn Our Pain Into a Purpose’ New Software Allows Users to Connect About Life’s Challenges

By Rubin E. Grant

Photos courtesy James Morgan


hree years ago, James Morgan and his wife, Caitie, experienced a parent’s worst nightmare: the death of a child. The Mountain Brook couple had gone to the Alabama-LSU football game Nov. 4, 2017, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, and since the game ended late, they spent the night at a friend’s house. They had left their young daughter, Caroline Grace, and their baby son, James Morgan V, with his parents to babysit. The next morning when his parents went to check on James V, he was unresponsive. He had died in the middle of the night. Doctors didn’t give the Morgans a reason their baby, whom Morgan affectionately described as his “little buddy,” had died so suddenly. “He was not ill when he went to bed,” James Morgan said. “We never found out why. The explanation was sudden infant death syndrome. He passed away on the eve of his first birthday (Nov. 5).” The grief was overwhelming for the Morgans, especially since, six years earlier, Caitie Morgan’s father, Buddy Parsons, had died of cancer. The Morgans sought various forms of traditional therapy to cope with their loss, but it wasn’t until they met another couple who had dealt with the same loss that their grief finally transformed and they started on the path toward healing. “They were a great resource for us,” Morgan said. “They asked us the hard questions about how we were doing. They were a lifeline in a way that was not possible to find in traditional therapy because they understood the pain our hearts were in. Seeing how they had found joy again and having them to talk through what we were experiencing gave us encouragement that no one else could have at the time.”  After dealing with their grief, the Morgans sought a way to honor their son. “We wanted to turn our pain into a purpose,” Morgan said. The couple realized others needed to connect over specific, shared life challenges, so Morgan decided to create an app, named Buddys in his son’s honor, that would allow users to find others experiencing similar life journeys, whether they are related to family and parenting, loss of a loved one, medical issues, mental health or relationships. “It’s for somebody who is dealing with difficult life events, going through challenges and needs a way to connect,” Morgan said. Buddys is free and was launched in midSeptember. It can be downloaded through the App Store or Google Play. Here’s how it works: A new Buddys user answers a few questions and builds their profile. Buddys uses its proprietary technology to search for other similar users and suggests connections based on each user’s story. Users can connect in the way that feels most comfortable

Two weeks after son James passed away, the Morgans found out Caitie was pregnant. “It was somewhat of a miracle because traditionally we hadn’t had easy pregnancies,” James Morgan, above with wife Caitie and children Carlisle and Caroline Grace, said.

to them, whether that’s anonymously, through private one-to-one messages, in small group forums or in topic-specific communities. Buddys not only helps the person directly affected, it gives those who have survived, healed or recovered a way to give back, to share the ways they found hope and healing. “We’ve reached 29 different states and have had several hundred users,” Morgan said. “Ultimately, we hope to give our members that ability to find peace and joy in their lives, knowing they are not alone in this world. We all need one another, and it is better to go through life together. Buddys connects us all in a new and exciting way, and we hope everyone can experience it together.” As for the Morgans, since James V died, they have had another daughter, Carlisle, now 2. “Two weeks after James passed away, we found out Caitie was pregnant,” Morgan said. “It was somewhat of a miracle because traditionally we hadn’t had easy pregnancies. “It was a great blessing, very encouraging, something we needed to move forward.”

‘He was not ill when he went to bed. We never found out why. The explanation was sudden infant death syndrome. He passed away on the eve of his first birthday (Nov. 5).’ JAMES MORGAN

Here’s how the Buddys App works: A new Buddys user answers a few questions and builds their profile. Buddys uses its proprietary technology to search for other similar users and suggests connections based on each user’s story. Users can connect in the way that feels most comfortable to them, whether that’s anonymously, through private one-to-one messages, in small group forums or in topic-specific communities.


Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 11


Mountain Brook’s Alison Gorrie Earns Advocate of the Year Award National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 25th birthday of the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and the 100th anniversary of the founding of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. It was hosted by Disability:IN Alabama, the Governor’s Committee

Photo courtesy Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

Mountain Brook native Alison Bradford Gorrie, also known as Alie B., was named Advocate of the Year during the 2020 Disability Employment Summit to promote diversity through inclusion. Gorrie said she was thrilled to be recognized for her efforts and vowed to continue to advocate. “It is such an honor to receive the Alabama Advocate of the Year Award. As an advocate and person with a disability, I believe in the power of inclusion and belonging,” she said. “I also believe in the creativity, innovation and tenacity within the disability community. One fourth of our population is disabled, and I will not stop advocating until people with disabilities have the tools they need to succeed and have a seat at all decisionmaking tables.” Gorrie was born with low vision and launched the nonprofit organization “Song for Sight” at age 16. She has provided the same life-changing resources to others that she has used in her daily life. Now, she frequently speaks about disability awareness and inclusion while she builds her career as a performing artist in New York City and teaches acting and dance classes to other aspiring performers with disabilities. In 2018, Gorrie co-produced and hosted “Able: a series,” which streams on Amazon and is aimed at

on the Employment of People with Disabilities, and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said there are still areas to improve upon when it comes to finding employment for people with disabilities, but the summit was an opportunity for everyone to recognize milestones that play a

vital role in the development of a more capable, fair and inclusive workforce. Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw thanked everyone for their partnerships and help to provide inclusion and opportunities for people with disabilities.

Alie B. Gorrie was born with low vision and launched the nonprofit organization “Song for Sight” at age 16. She has provided the same lifechanging resources to others that she has used in her daily life.

encouraging conversation about the portrayal of characters with disabilities and about the employment of actors with disabilities. As a corporate responsibility coordinator with Brasfield and Gorrie, Gorrie also organizes nationwide trainings to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in every facet of the workplace. The summit was held to recognize

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By Sam Prickett Mountain Brook native Jake Shuford has wanted to be an author since he was a kid, but it took the success of a fellow Indian Springs School alumnus to really get him started. Shuford grew up attending Mountain Brook Elementary and Mountain Brook Junior High before transferring to Indian Springs School in eighth grade. After graduation, he moved to Colorado, studying at the University of Colorado Boulder before moving to Denver, where he currently lives, and starting a career selling orthopedic implants. The five years he spent working in that industry would lead to “The Secret of the Green Anole,” his first novel, which he self-published in September. He was spurred on, he said, by the success of “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Looking for Alaska” author John Green, also an Indian Springs alumnus. “The fact that he went to my high school, graduated from there and became a very successful author, maybe that opened the door for me as well. So I wanted to give it a try,” he said. He’d attempted to write a novel in college but got “swept up in being a college kid” and those plans fell by the wayside. But about a year ago, he said, “It was really bothering me that I wasn’t doing this.” So, he got to work, drawing inspiration from his career. 


A Vision of Writing Mountain

Medical Background Comes in Handy

Only half of his job is sales, he said, the other half is more involved. “I sell the orthopedic implants that go inside your body when you get an ACL reconstruction or a rotator cuff repair,” he said. “Let’s say you tear your ACL, and you go to the operating room a couple of weeks later. I’ll actually be in the operating room with the surgeon, making sure he properly inserts my product inside the patient, and if anything malfunctions or breaks, I have a backup plan for them. I have all the instruments and drills and hammers and all the little gadgets that go with my implant ready to go.” The job doesn’t require a medical degree, but Shuford did participate in a one-year, “very intensive” training program to “get all my bases covered for medical anatomy.” That knowledge, along with his day-to-day duties, became the foundation for his first book. “Every day when I came home from work after being in the operating room all day, my friends would ask me, ‘What surgeries did you do? What procedures did y’all do? What happened in there?’ A lot of people who aren’t in the medical field have no idea what happens in the operating room, and they thought it was extremely interesting. So

Photo courtesy Jake Shuford

12 • Thursday, November 26, 2020


er, so I kind of got all my bases covered with them,” he said. After their feedback, he hired a professional editor “who really got all of the last Brook Author Pens ‘Spooky Thriller’ kinks out and really polished it up.” Though he says he received interto his patients — but, Shuford said, “he est from a publishing company, he does some spooky stuff along the way.” decided to self-publish “just because Shuford has always been drawn to it was my first time and I thought I reptiles and amphibians. could have a little more freedom with “I pretty much grew up with them,” it. It worked out really well, actually.” For his second book, the first draft he said. “I always had pet cats and of which he’s already completed, he’s dogs as well, but I always had snakes and lizards growing up. When I started hoping to go down “the more traditional route” of getting an agent and a doing a little research on the green publisher. anole, it kind of opened up this whole His next book “is going to be in idea.” the same realm of a scary, spooky He started with the simple goal of thriller, but it’s not going to be as writing one page a day, but that evenmedically driven as the first book,” he tually expanded to two pages a day, said. “It’s not going to be a sequel, then three. “Now I think it’s at the point where either. I just wanted to create some new characters, to try something new. I’m writing 10 to 20 pages a day, and Jake Shuford’s first novel, “The I didn’t want to get locked down to a I’m having more fun than I’ve ever Secret of the Green Anole,” came specific niche. But it’s definitely had doing this,” he said. out in September. going to be another thriller.” The whole writing process, from He hopes the just-published the first page to publication, took “almost exactly a year,” he said. “Even “Secret of the Green Anole” can proI decided I’d kind of combine everyvide readers with some reprieve from before I started I had the whole book thing (in his first book). … It’s very “the reality of their daily lives.” mapped out, each chapter, so when I medically accurate. I talk about a lot of “That’s always why I was a big sat down I already had a good idea of surgeries that I’ve seen and been a part reader growing up,” he said. “Life what I was going to write about and of, so not only can you have a creative what was going to happen in that chap- would be hard. You have your schoolstory, but you can actually learn somework, your job, you’re paying your ter. I started writing chapters a day. thing.” That’s when I got the meat of the book bills and taxes, and whenever you get “The Secret of the Green Anole” hope and open up your “Harry Potter” out and was able to get the first draft centers on Dr. Tim Hill, a surgeon fasor “Lord of the Rings,” you name it, done.” cinated with the titular lizard, which is • In-Home Care, Including Housekeeping, it allows you to take a mental escape After theBathing, first draft wasGrooming, completed, native to the southeastern United Care, Bathing, Grooming, enjoy someone else’s creativity. he sent copies to three friends — Medication one a andHousekeeping, States,•andIn-Home its abilityPreparation, to regrow its tailIncluding Meal Incontinence Care, Reminders Overall, that’s what I hope readers veteran schoolteacher, one an English if it becomes detached. He becomes Meal Preparation, Incontinence Care, Medication Reminders and Transportation can gain when they read this book.” major and one “just your typical readobsessed with transferring that ability

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Troop 4 Awards 3 New Eagle Scouts On Nov. 1, Boy Scouts of America Troop 4 at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church conducted an Eagle Court of Honor for Graham Moore, Joe Stuckey and James Comer. Since 1956, VHUMC and Troop 4 have awarded nearly 200 Eagle Awards, with these three boys just the latest to earn Boy Scouts’ highest award.

Graham Moore

Moore began scouting 10 years ago and has held Troop 4 leadership roles, including assistant senior patrol leader and senior patrol leader, while earning 37 merit badges. The troop elected Moore to the Order of the Arrow, and he completed National Youth Leadership Training. He attended six summer camps Graham Moore and was a Camp Sequoyah counselor working in the Nature Center. Moore went on kayaking and rafting trips and backpacked the Pinhoti Trail and at Philmont Scout Ranch, where he summited three mountains over 11,750 feet – Mount Phillips, Comanche Peak and Baldy Mountain. For his Eagle Project, Moore raised $3,600 for the McCallum Park Nature Trail. His project entailed building a trailhead kiosk with roof, signage, trail map, bulletin board and seating. Moore is a senior at Vestavia Hills High School, where he is a member of the Robotics Club, VHHS Choir, Just Singin’ and National Honor Society. He is the son of Michael and Christa Moore, and the grandson of Dr. Melvin Oakley and Deborah Crews Oakley of Mountain Brook and the late Ira E. Moore and Mary Evelyn Barnes Moore. 

Joe Stuckey

Stuckey started scouting with Pack

Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 13

LIFE 352 and, after receiving his Arrow of Light, crossed over to Troop 4, where he held quartermaster, chaplain, librarian and patrol leader roles and earned 23 merit badges. He was tapped into the Order of the Arrow and attended Joe Stuckey Camp Daniel Boone, Camp Comer and Camp Sequoya. Stuckey distinguished himself in marksmanship and was invited to attend the state championships. He also hiked Philmont Scout Ranch with his patrol mates for a 12-day backpacking trip. For his Eagle Project, Stuckey raised $1,600 for an interactive sensory board for the special needs children at Dolly Ridge Elementary School. The panel is designed to soothe, entertain and teach children using interfaces that promote fine motor skills and problem solving. Stuckey is a freshman at Troy University, which he is attending on the Scholars Plus Academic Scholarship, and recently was initiated into Sigma Chi Fraternity.  Stuckey is the son of Amy and Jason Stuckey and grandson of Ashton Stuckey, the late Sherry Stuckey, Rebecca Patterson Wingett and Frank Patterson Sr.

James Comer

Comer started scouting with Pack 352 and enjoyed the Pinewood Derby and campouts such as Cub Haunted and Sleeping With Sharks at the Chattanooga aquarium. In 2016, Comer earned his Arrow of Light and crossed over to Troop James Comer 4, where he held leadership roles including patrol leader, assistant patrol leader, patrol

The Clotheshorse

quartermaster and scribe. The troop elected Comer into the Order of the Arrow and he was inducted into the Coosa Lodge. He also completed the National Youth Leadership Training Course in July 2019 and has earned 26 Merit Badges to date. In addition, he plans to backpack at Philmont Scout Ranch in summer 2021. For his Eagle project, Comer installed 41 trail posts on the hiking trails behind the Library in the Forest.

With his volunteers, he worked more than 200 hours cutting and staining treated wood posts, dug holes and secured posts in concrete. Comer also installed directional plaques to keep visitors on approved trails and assist with confusing turn points. Comer is a sophomore at Vestavia Hills High School. He is the son of Marc and Kristen Comer and grandson of Lee and Cindy Comer and Greg and Jody Dean.

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Attic Antiques Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Date: November 2019

Accepting move-ins at Longleaf Liberty Park.

This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL November 28, 2019 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1

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. We print the paper Monday.

We’ve adapted to the challenges of COVID-19 in the same way we your prompt attention. do everything else — with the highest Thank level ofyou care,forservice and style. You can count on Longleaf Liberty Park to ensure the safest, most secure environment while still providing high-end hospitality and an engaging lifestyle. We’ll continue to follow all CDC guidelines as we welcome new residents and visitors to our assisted living and memory care neighborhoods.


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14 • Thursday, November 26, 2020



Lord Wedgwood Charity Hosts Inaugural Sportsman’s Clay Shoot


Michael and Anne Hayden Orme.

Jo-Ann Moulin, Kim Allen, Debbie Rutherford and Cynthia Thomas.

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

he Lord Wedgwood Charity recently hosted its first Sportsman’s Social and Clay Shoot. Festivities began Nov. 12 with a soiree at Iron City, dubbed the Sportsman’s Social. Activities included food prepared by renowned wild game chef Rick Vonk, a bourbon tasting, a raffle and a live auction. On Nov. 13, a clay shoot was held at the Orvis Shooting Grounds at Pursell Farms. Participants gathered into teams and took part in a shooting competition across the farms’ 15-stand course. Proceeds from the events will benefit the Lord Wedgewood Charity’s mission to place lifesaving AEDs in athletic programs, schools, summer camps and nonprofits across the country. ❖

Steven Paley and Frank Bromberg.

Matt and Mindy Dennis.

Libby and Andy Curry.

Kelli and John Rucker.

Emily and Nathan Holman.

Rosemary Gillespy and Stephanie Byrne.

Jordan Johnson, Tyler Smith and Dena Richardson.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from all of us at

Park South Plaza 1425 Montgomery Hwy., Suite 111 Next to Diplomat Deli in Vestavia Hills Mon.-Fri. 10:00 - 5:00 Sat. 10-3 (205) 822-9173

Journal photos by Jordan Wald


Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 15


Katie and Margot Smith.

Glow Up

Zoo Introduces New Animal Lantern Experience The Birmingham Zoo’s newest event series seeks to celebrate the holidays like never before with a new illuminated experience. The facility kicked off its Glow Wild: An Animal Lantern Celebration on Nov. 18, featuring lantern creations from around the world depicting animal shapes – everything from elephants to pandas to cheetahs and more. Glow Wild will continue on select nights through Jan. 18. �

Roxanne and Carissa Thomas.

Alex and Joe Bowker.







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16 • Thursday, November 26, 2020



All Is Bright

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Vestavia City Center Hosts First Tree Lighting


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Holiday Shopping is too at the Village Poodle!

To kick off the holiday season, the Vestavia City Center hosted its inaugural “All is Bright” Tree Lighting on Nov. 19. Festivities included pictures with Santa Claus as well as the Vestavia Belles. In addition, the Vestavia Girl The Village Poodle Maggie, John, Will and Emily Hubbard. Scouts collected donations for the residents of Glenwood, including puzDecember 5th zles, pens, notepads, markers, adult coloring books, bath sponges, 1 - 8pm cologne, perfume and fidget toys. ❖

Trunk Show

Dawn, Luke, Santa Steve, Levi, Lee and Hunter Higginbotham.

curbside pickup available!

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Lauren Bradford and Mary Coker Green.

Catherine Largent, Mary Claire Magee, Blakely Berryhill and Bentley Brunson.

Gracie Yates and Mallory Pugh.

Thank you to our 2020 Corporate Friends JOE LEE GRIFFIN Foundation

Thomas E. Jernigan Foundation Marian & Steve Phillips

William R. Ireland, Sr. Advised Fund

Stephanie & Jonathan Leftwich


Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 17


Clockwise from above: Willa, Lisa and Leila Johnson; Davis and Darby Baxter and Kristen Smith; and Whitney, Tilly and Joel St. Laurent.

One of the most significant books of the year, “The Impossible Mock Orange Trial,” highlights the anatomy of a high-stakes trial with tension and excitement exploring, “What is justice?”


Happy Holidays! from

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Ted Born and a young untested associate were called upon to defend a tough – seemingly impossible – lawsuit in one of the most challenging county courts in the United States. The facts looked bad: The client, a tire manufacturer, is on trial after a tire blew out and resulted in a vehicular crash with multiple casualties including a child’s death and a brain injury for another child among other serious injuries. The dead and injured were residents of a county where juries had a history of rendering verdicts in favor of local residents against large out-ofstate corporations. Millions of dollars could be awarded to residents, even in minor cases. This case, with racial overtones, leads the reader through a labyrinth of mystery and intrigue no one could have imagined as the trial date of a BIG one looms, with surprises that do not end with the trial.




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Though a work of fiction, this book draws on the author’s decades of experience as a trial attorney to describe the anatomy of a complex trial resulting from the tragic crash of a van into a mock orange (hence the title) tree. The Preface concludes by saying that he is writing to illuminate “issues critical to justice in our courts and what civil justice really means.” In what may be a more important lesson, I would add that justice often needs an assist, and this book illustrates how, from really first-rate lawyering. This is a textbook on how to try a case, and how thorough preparation and clear presentation can make complex issues simple and accessible.

I really liked this book! It was very interesting, the story was compelling, the characters believable, and it was easy to read!

– Peter W. Low, Professor of Law, U. of Virginia and former Provost, U. of Virginia system

– W.S.


GREAT READ! Certainly a legal story but I liked the character developments. It showed [the] perspectives of the characters whether it be racial, socio economic or cultural. There was compassion between characters. I enjoyed the book a lot. – A Kindle Reader – verified purchase


To: From:



18 • Thursday, November 26, 2020


ALBRIGHT From Page One

such a wonderful tradition, but the main reason is that the tour is our major fundraiser for several charities. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to support them as we have in the past.” While going virtual means the tour will venture down a new path, Paige thinks the change has some benefits. “We should be able to attract more people, especially those from out of town,” she said. “Also, we’re able to include some houses that couldn’t have been on the regular tour due to parking issues.” Paige said Hector Sanchez will photograph the houses and help put together a video. “It will be like a real visit,” she said. “Someone will answer the door and welcome you in. It will be very relaxed and informal.” Once you buy a tour ticket on the IPC website, you can download the video to watch more than once. Paige thinks tickets will make thoughtful holiday gifts; there’s an option to send tickets to friends as well as to buy your own on the IPC website, ipc-usa.org.

Tiny Russian Easter eggs called pysanka are painted with tiny crosses and flowers. Paige found them in Santa Fe.

An extra treat is Holiday House Tea in a Bag, a package of the goodies customarily served in the church’s Great Hall on tour days. Kim Martin, IPC’s director of food services, is in charge of putting the bags together. The $50 price includes a tour ticket. “Everyone loves the in-person tours, but this way, you can stop the video and focus on the details,” Paige said. “It’s going to be a fun tour.” She said Cyndy Cantley, Stephanie Lynton and Sybil Sylvester, whose houses are on the tour along with her own, “are all such interesting, creative people.” And although she’s too modest to say it, Paige fits that description as well.

Fireballs the modern alternative

The Albrights’ dining room table is elegantly set with Paige’s wedding china, Waterford crystal and Frances I silver. Acrylic chargers are from Table Matters. Below, Paige has brightened this corner with bold fabrics and striking artwork.

The Albright House

The owner of Paige Albright Orientals in Mountain Brook Village, she’s filled her Canterbury Road home with family heirlooms, mementos she’s brought home from her extensive travels, and, of course, beautiful rugs and textiles. The Albrights’ Colonial woodclad, two-story house was built in 1946. Paige and her husband, Carl, became the fourth owners when they bought the house in 2006. She and her family are longtime IPC members. Oldest son Carl IV attends Birmingham-Southern College, and her other sons, David

and Bibb, are students at Mountain Brook High School. Virtual tourgoers likely will be

fascinated with the tasteful way Paige has given her house impact and interest. In the living room, for example, a

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

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A bar in the Albrights’ den, a favorite gathering place for the family, displays glassware in a practical yet pretty way.

large colorful painting by Alabama artist Judy Ritter catches your eye immediately. But you’ll want a closer look at pieces from her Staffordshire collection, her family Bibles and some tiny Russian Easter eggs painstakingly hand-painted with crosses and flowers. “I found them in Santa Fe,” Paige said. “They’re called pysanka.” The kitchen recently got a new look as part of Better Homes & Gardens’ One Room Challenge. For this biannual event, participants make changes to a particular room and then

Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 19


document what they’ve done with before-and-after photos. “We put in new countertops, pulls, rugs and updated appliances,” Paige said, adding that she enlisted the help of Will Casey from Cottage Supply and Brandino Brass Co. for the project. The den, a few steps down from the kitchen, is an inviting, spacious room with a lofty ceiling. Among the many fascinating objects here are a tall Swedish clock and, close by, a smaller folk art clock. “They’re both from the same time

period,” Paige said. “Neither works – but it’s neat that they’re both set to the same time.” The family will gather for Christmas dinner at the long wooden table in the den and in the dining room, where a Moorish lantern Paige found in Santa Fe hangs. “I used to have a zebra rug here, but now I have a Tibetan rug with fresh colors,” she said. The centerpiece of the master bedroom, added about two years before the Albrights bought the house, is a rug that belonged to Carl’s grandmother. Paige said its lovely blue and green colors were the impetus behind the room’s design. The master bathroom has a clawfoot tub that’s original to the house. Upstairs are the boys’ room, a brightly decorated guest room, and a gallery of family portraits. Paige said that for Christmas, the house will have an outside tree as well as two indoor ones. “Mark Thompson and Jay Draper of SHOPPE in Forest Park will help us with greenery,” she said. During the holidays, tables will be set with heirloom pieces. Paige’s nutcracker collection will be upstairs in the boys’ rooms. Greenery will work in and around her Staffordshire collection. One thing Paige loves most about her home is that its design doesn’t stay the same. “My house is always evolving,” she said. “I’m constantly treasure hunting on my travels.”

Thirteen Distinctive New Homes in Vestavia Hills On the crest of Shades Mountain overlooking Oxmoor Valley, Walnut Hill epitomizes a Wedgworth community: beautiful homes, great views, and energysmart construction. Minutes from I-65 and downtown Birmingham, these thirteen home sites surround a central park. With lots starting at $200,000, Walnut Hill provides a unique opportunity for you to create a custom home in one of Birmingham’s most desirable areas.


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20 • Thursday, November 26, 2020




kitchen a timeless feel with painted cabinets, white marble countertops, stainless steel appli-

From Page One

Salon Summit Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year from the Salon Summit family to yours! We will celebrate completing our third year in business on Dec. 26. The 2020 year was a year to work even harder and appreciate it even more. We have been so blessed to have a supportive clientele in a thriving neighborhood. Because you support us, we were able to continue our support of several very worthwhile causes even during uncertain times. Some of the charities we supported this year may be your favorites too: A-Team Ministries for Childhood Cancer, Birmingham Crisis Center, Canterbury Methodist Medical Missions Team, FirstFruits Ministries, Hand In Paw, Girl Scouts of America, Juvenile Diabetes Research Association, Oak Mountain High School Athletics, Vestavia Athletics, Sickle Cell

Foundation of Birmingham, Robert E. Reed Gastrointestinal Oncology Research, Les Dames d’Escoffier International of Birmingham and Miracle League of Vestavia Hills. We especially appreciate our guests this year and hope you will continue to join us as we grow next year. For our new customers this holiday season, we offer a Holiday Highlight Package which includes a full head of highlights, including toner and blowout for $100. And for the Ultimate Holiday Glow, Terri Mundy is offering a complimentary BIOCELL ELASTIN infusion with every facial ($95.00 value) with your Hydrafacial treatment. We will continue to design our salon experience to ensure each guest enjoys exceptional customer service, beautiful styles and relaxation! Salon Summit is located at 3161 Cahaba Heights Rd., and their phone number is 205518-0406.

The tins will be available for pickup only on Friday, Dec. 11, at the church, 3100 Highland Ave. S in Birmingham. For more information or to buy individual access tickets, which are $20, or the tins, visit ipc-usa.org. Proceeds from the tour will benefit several charities, including the Children’s Fresh Air Farm, First Light Shelter, IPC Community Ministries, and Stair, a program that works with Birmingham City Schools to identify first and second-graders who are reading below grade level. On the virtual tour this year will be the historic church and the festively decorated houses of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Albright III, Mr. and Mrs. Keith Cantley, Mr. and Mrs. Wade Lynton, and Mr. and Mrs. Bill Sylvester.

Clairmont Cottage

A charming one-story cottage in Forest Park is home to one of Birmingham’s most wellknown interior designers, Cyndy Cantley. She and her husband are only the second owners of the house, built in 1956 and originally owned by Third Presbyterian Church. The Cantleys were drawn to the house because of its windows with wavy glass, its symmetry and it’s offering one-level living. They set to work remodeling and updating the well-maintained house. Cyndy, who through Cantley & Company specializes in kitchen design, wanted her own kitchen to be a place to eat with family and friends. A banquette under the corner windows was added, as were large glass mullioned cabinets to hold china and crystal. Cyndy gave the

On the virtual tour this year will be the historic church and the festively decorated houses of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Albright III, Mr. and Mrs. Keith Cantley, Mr. and Mrs. Wade Lynton, and Mr. and Mrs. Bill Sylvester. ances, a farm sink and vintage rugs. The master bath was enlarged by incorporating a closet, and their son’s old bedroom was converted to a dressing room off the master bedroom. Cyndy gilded the chandelier in the dining room herself. Also in the room is a zebra rug, an old French corner banquette and, for some added fun, a giraffe to watch over the diners. You’ll see lots of evidence of the Cantleys’ love of cooking and entertaining plus holiday decorations and tablescapes on the tour video.

Country House Charm

The Lyntons’ home started life in 1934 as a small stone cottage with push-out casement windows. Previous owners had added a master suite and remodeled the interior over the years. Since Stephanie and Wade Lynton bought the house in 2000, they’ve accentuated its English country house appeal by planting pink roses and Boston ivy on the façade and adding a cutting garden. A tiered garden with boxwoods, hornbeams and yews is finished off with cream limestone grav-

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el, a nod to the couple’s Texas roots. Blackjack Horticulture installed the landscaping. The Lyntons also built a 3,000-square-foot addition connecting the existing two-story carriage house to the main cottage, giving the family a formal entry, light-filled butler pantry and large open kitchen. Upstairs, the house gained a master suite, study and bedrooms. Outside, the new addition created an airy courtyard patio, which the Lyntons use for outdoor dining. The builder was Saunders Bradford, and the architect was Poole & Company Architects. The interiors were designed by Stephanie, who owns Stephanie Lynton Home.

Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 21

HOME Designs, Ashley Woodson Bailey, Cyndy Cantley of Cantley & Company, Will Casey of Cottage Supply, Nolen Graves of Red Mountain Iron, Paige Albright Orientals, Rebecca Hawkins Interiors, Architectural Heritage and Tracery Stone.

Sybil isn’t a newcomer to the holiday house tour. She’s added her beautiful touches to other houses on the tour over the years and thinks the first one she decorated was for her friends Betty and Raleigh Kent for the 1994 event. The Kents’ house was featured in a Southern Accents magazine article.

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The Sylvesters’ home is in Williamsburg Way, a townhouse residential community built in 1982 by Perkins Brothers Development Co. The house has four bedrooms, 3 ½ baths, a garage and an elevator that services all four floors. A screened porch faces the woods around the Birmingham Zoo. When the Sylvesters bought the townhouse, it had recently been renovated with custom built-ins and doorways in the living room and custom cabinets and closets in the master suite. The couple updated the master bathroom before they moved in. Sybil is the owner of Wildflower Designs and said she collaborated with other “artistic souls” to create the house’s design. These include Greg Mewbourne

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22 • Thursday, November 26, 2020



Photos courtesy Samford Legacy League


The Israel Home

The home of Linda and Charlie Israel, at 2300 Country Club Place in Mountain Brook, is tucked in a quiet cul-de-sac not far from the buzz of Mountain Brook Village. Relaxed and welcoming, the stone dwelling built by TCC General Contractors in 2018 has no formal spaces, which suits this family with five children and 10 grandchildren. A wood-burning fireplace on the front porch offers a warm welcome to guests, who will also find a fireplace on the back porch, as well as in the living room and master bedroom. Stone accents and lime-washed pecky cypress add a slightly rustic hint to the house. The vaulted ceilings and skylight, along with the seamless transitions from inside to outside, give the home a spacious, airy feeling. Chamfered openings add an elegant touch while functionally dividing the living space from the kitchen. Upstairs, guests will find two bedrooms, a den affectionately called C’s Clubhouse and a rooftop porch. With autumn’s bared trees comes a lengthened vista which feels, Linda said, “like open spaces, miles from city life.”  

The Kreps Home

With a view of their beloved Samford, the home of Carrie and Joseph Kreps at 1524 Woodridge Place is the fulfillment of two college sweethearts’ dreams. Carrie recalls when she and Joseph drove through the neighborhood. “We realized we could see Samford and decided that one day we would live here.” Several years of marriage and two children later, the Kreps moved to their Woodridge home, which they have since renovated extensively. First, came the kitchen, which now is open. Then a master bath remodel escalated into the remodeling of four bathrooms, all with new marble, vanities, fixtures and glass shower doors. A small, dark master bath shower

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 62 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.

Clockwise from above, the Israel home; Anne Lawton with Hayes Kennedy, Tatum Turner, Maddie Flink, Rylie Laughlin Caroline Lawton, Katie Rhodes and Kristen Johnson; The Welden home; Samford University President’s Home.

became spacious, bright and open. The installation of electrical outlets in the vanity drawers reduced countertop clutter, a design trick worth emulating. Carrie selected a neutral decorating scheme with pops of color to create a serene environment throughout the home, which she describes as “French inspired and a bit eclectic.” Two trees are displayed in the home, one dressy and one bedecked with family keepsakes made by the Kreps boys, Carrie and her maternal grandmother. A collection of carolers, started by Carrie’s mom, adds joy to the festive home. The backyard oasis, created by the previous owners, includes an outdoor fireplace and a pond and rock waterfall.

The Lawton Home

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Like the Kreps, Anne and George Lawton met at Samford, never considering where a group project may lead. A somewhat accidental first date and a surprise birthday visit laid the foundation for their relationship, which later blossomed into marriage, a family and a real estate business. The Lawton family moved into their 1504 Buckhead Trail home five years ago, seeking room for entertaining, two home offices and visits from parents.

“Gathering friends together is an important part of life in the Lawton home,” explained Anne. The Lawtons’ spacious kitchen features an enormous wooden island, perfect for Anne and daughter Caroline’s annual mother-daughter cookie swaps. Tour visitors to the Lawtons’ home will find several gingerbread creations displayed along with George’s nutcrackers, a collection started by his mom with each representing a hobby, interest or event from his life that year. In addition to holiday décor, tour guests will see the Lawtons’ grandfather clock, which formerly stood in the room where Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence. Another special piece is a painting by local artist Gina Hurry, who they commissioned to tell the story of their infertility journey. The painting’s three butterflies represent their children, Caroline, Robert and William.

A Southbend House Built by Taylor Burton Company

Just down the street from the Lawtons’ Buckhead home is Southbend, Vestavia Hill’s newest community. A house at 3320 South Bend Circle, newly constructed by Taylor Burton Company, also is part

of the tour. With timeless streetscapes and modern floor plans, the area’s homes focus on a leisurely, low-maintenance lifestyle. The tour house, a brand-new modern-day farmhouse, is packed with amenities. With dark painted custom doors, high ceilings and custom crown molding, this Taylor Burton Company dwelling is warm and inviting. A large open kitchen features a large quartz-topped island, surround sound speakers, soft close cabinets and an apron front semi-divided farm sink. On the main level is the master bedroom suite, a family room, dining room, laundry room, mud room, powder bath and two-car garage. Outside is a covered patio area with stained concrete floor, an outdoor gas fireplace and TV connection. A stairway with a cozy reading nook leads up to three well-appointed bedrooms, a large open room, two bathrooms with custom tile, and both walk-in and pull-down attic storage.

The Welden Home

The Beth and Bill Welden home, at 2308 Country Club Place in Mountain Brook, welcomes visitors through the wrought iron gate of the covered porch. Moving forward is a square pool, flanked by white lawn chairs and crisp black and white striped umbrellas. A large white stone fireplace lies ready to take the chill off a crisp day. With heavy white drapes on one open side and floor-to-ceiling shuttered windows on the other, the room is easily opened to fresh air or closed for coziness. This flexibility continues into the main living area, where a wall of tall glass doors can be opened to bring the outside in. “And that,” said Beth, “was the goal – to live indoors and outdoors as much as possible.” Reminiscent of English homes in the Cotswalds, the Weldens’ stone


Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 23


THE CLEAR CHOICE Cahaba Glass specializes in the installation of custom shower enclosures, mirrors, glass shelving, furniture top glass, cabinet door glass and specialty glass.

The 2020 Christmas Home Tour Committee, from left, Sheila Smith, Mary Margaret Yeilding, Inga Clum, Lauren Taylor, Dianne Booth, Christy McKiernan, Kathy Clay, Jeanna Westmoreland, Tricia Naro, Julie Cundiff (chair), Brenda Stone, Terre Currey. Not pictured: Lisbeth Cease, Kristen Comer, Aimee Dykes, Paula Gossett, Shellyn Poole, Karen Shallenberg and Sharon Smith.

home is painted white, inside and out. With exposed painted beams on the ceiling and floors of wide-planked oak reclaimed from Kentucky, the home features cabinetry of waxed, quartersawn white oak. “This house has the feel that you’ve gone on vacation; it creates magnetism that won’t let you go,” described the builder, Philip Woods. The open kitchen and butler’s pantry provide lots of space for family and friends. The home’s furnishings are a mix of antique and contemporary, including two pieces hewn from bleached roots and a large birdcage dining table. In keeping with the calming surroundings, the Weldens’ chose a simple Christmas motif of white lights and greenery.

Samford President’s Home

The 10th year of the tour is also the final year of the tour for Jeanna

and Andy Westmoreland, Samford University’s first lady and president, who will be retiring in June. They have been the first Samford leaders to occupy the current president’s home, at 1994 Shades Crest Road in Vestavia Hills, and have welcomed tens of thousands of visitors inside, including Miss America and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. With elegant furnishings, lush landscaping and a panoramic view of Birmingham and Samford’s campus, the home is lovely throughout the year, but never as noteworthy as during the holiday season. Yards of garland and twinkling lights embellish the bannisters and mantles, and every room is draped in holiday decor. Numerous thematically decorated trees fill the rooms. Other notable decorations include the Westmorelands’ collection of nativities, procured on their many international trips; their Chrismon

tree, ornamented with gold and white symbols of the Christian faith; and a company of nutcrackers, ranging from a few inches to a few feet tall. Visitors to the home also will be entertained with live holiday music during the tour and receive a special take-home box of Christmas treats at the end. ARC Realty is presenting sponsor of this year’s tour, and premium sponsors are AllSouth Appliance, Community Bank, Southbend and TCC General Contractors. Tickets must be purchased in advance at samford.edu/legacyleague. Prices are $30 per ticket until Dec. 1, then $35 through Dec. 8. There will be no ticket sales at the door. Homes will be open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4 p.m.- 8 p.m. Article submitted by Sharon Smith, director of development, Samford University Legacy League.

To: From: Date:

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Terry Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646 Oct. This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the Oct. 15, 2020 issue.

Please make sure all information is correct, including address and phone number! Thank you for your prompt attention.


24 • Thursday, November 26, 2020


Sweet Treats for the Holidays Les Dames d’Escoffier Members Share Some Favorite Recipes

By Donna Cornelius

I Gia McCollister is a former professional baker who studied and trained in New York and London. She’s now retired and enjoys being a grandmother, baking for her family, traveling, reading and learning something new every day. On five occasions, she participated in The Salon of Culinary Art of New York and won two first prizes, two second prizes and one third prize, all in the wedding cake category.


Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons gingerbread spice 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 3/4 cup unsalted butter 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed 2 large eggs 1/2 cup molasses 1 cup water For the glaze: 1/3 cup water 1/2 teaspoon gingerbread spice 3/4 cup granulated sugar Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-12 cup Bundt pan. Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Stir in the molasses. Add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with rum or water. Mix just until smooth. Bake the cake for 55 to 65 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  While the cake is baking, make the glaze by stirring together all the ingredients. Set aside. Remove the cake from the oven, cool it in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turn it out onto a rack. Brush the cake with the glaze.

Anna Theoktisto’s Swedish Christmas Bread

Anna is a recipe developer and tester for Meredith Food Studios. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, she interned at Bon Appetit magazine. She later joined Hoffman Media as a recipe developer and food stylist and became food editor of the company’s Taste of the South and Southern Cast Iron magazines. This recipe was first published in Taste of the South. Makes 2 loaves Ingredients: 1 cup plus 1 teaspoon whole milk, divided 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1/2 cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees) 2 tablespoons active dry yeast 5 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided 1/2 cup sugar 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 3 large eggs, divided 3/4 cup candied cherries, chopped 2/3 cup raisins 2/3 cup chopped candied citron Whipping Cream Glaze (recipe follows)

In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup milk over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, just until bubbles form around edges of pan. Remove from heat; add butter. Let cool for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup warm water and yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 5 cups flour, sugar, salt and cardamom. With mixer on low speed, add 2 eggs, milk mixture and yeast mixture, beating until a dough forms. Switch to the dough hook attachment; beat until dough is smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes, adding remaining 1/3 cup flour as needed. Add cherries, raisins and citron, beating to combine. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let stand in a warm, draft-free place (75 degrees) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, punch dough down, and divide in half. Divide each half into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-inch rope. Braid 3 ropes together, pinching ends to seal. Repeat with remaining 3 ropes. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place loaves 3 inches apart on prepared pan. Spray loaves with cooking spray; loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let stand until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 egg and remaining 1 teaspoon milk. Lightly brush over bread. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes, covering with foil during last 5 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on wire racks. Drizzle with Whipping Cream Glaze. Whipping Cream Glaze In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cooled loaves.

Laura Zapalowski’s Oatmeal Pecan Pie

Laura Zapalowski is a chef, freelance food stylist, recipe developer and recipe tester. She’s been working in the culinary industry for the past 20 years, including Food Network, Emeril’s Restaurant in New Orleans, Emeril’s Homebase Corp., Southern Living and Health magazines, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Time Inc. Digital Studio, and Meredith Corporation Digital Studio. She also co-owns Homewood Gourmet, a fast-casual restaurant and catering company, with her husband. Ingredients: 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 1 cup light corn syrup 2/3 cup old-fashioned oats 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1/4 cup butter, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon almond extract 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 (8-inch) unbaked pie shell Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine brown sugar and remaining ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Pour evenly into prepared crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Photos courtesy Gia McCollister and LDEI

Gia McCollister’s Gingerbread Bundt Cake

f you’re looking for sweet new ideas for holiday desserts, who better to ask than some very talented bakers, all members of Les Dames d’Escoffier International’s Birmingham chapter? LDEI is an organization of women who are leaders and experts in the food and beverage industries. The group is dedicated to growing, creating, promoting and sharing local food culture. The Birmingham chapter was founded in 2013 with 55 members, making it one of the largest initial memberships in the organization’s history. Members are chefs, restauranteurs, sommeliers, caterers, farmers, food retailers, event planners, cookbook authors, food writers and editors, registered dietitians, food photographers, food and prop stylists, winemakers and wine-industry professionals, food publicists, food-service professionals, culinary educators and hospitality executives. LDEI Birmingham raises money for students, teachers, companies and organizations in the Birmingham area to support their education, fund projects for students, help local food businesses grow and assist local nonprofits. The group usually hosts a sunset fundraising dinner each year, Southern Soiree. This year, with COVID-19 concerns in mind, LDEI Birmingham switched gears with Champagne & Fried Chicken, a drive-through, pickup picnic dinner. Holiday gatherings may look a little different this year for all of us. But, however you’re celebrating, a yummy dessert is always one of the best presents you can give your family and friends.

Gia McCollister’s Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Coarsely chopped pecan pie-glazed pecans (recipe follows) Fresh sage leaves

Pam Lolley’s Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

Pam Lolley is a recipe developer and tester at Meredith Food Studios. A native of Memphis, she studied at Mississippi University for Women. She bakes not only as part of her job but also for her family and friends. Ingredients: 2 cups graham cracker crumbs 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans 5 tablespoons butter, melted 3 tablespoons light brown sugar 4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 large eggs 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice Praline topping (recipe follows) Garnishes:

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Beat cream cheese and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, beating until blended. Pour batter into prepared crust. (Pan will be very full.) Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 8-24 hours. Remove sides and bottom of pan, and transfer cheesecake to a serving plate. Prepare praline topping; immediately pour slowly over top of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/4inch of edge. Garnish, if desired. For the praline topping: Ingredients: 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Cookie Cookie Fix Fix ...because cookies aren’t just for Santa ...because cookies aren’t just for Santa

Homewood Homewood

Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 25



Cahaba Heights Cahaba Heights

Homewood: 205.582.2623

Cahaba Heights: 205.848.8001

1/3 cup whipping cream 1/4 cup butter 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Instructions: Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a one-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Boil, stirring occasionally, 1 minute; remove from heat. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Use immediately. For the pecan pie-glazed pecans: Ingredients: 2 cups pecan halves

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 6 tablespoons dark corn syrup  Instructions: Stir together pecan halves, light brown sugar and dark corn syrup in a small bowl. Spread mixture in a lightly greased aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until glaze thickens, stirring every 4 minutes. Spread in a single layer on wax paper; cool completely, separating pecans as they cool. For the prettiest garnish, leave some in clusters. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

It's time to enjoy a night out We're open inside, outside and just in time for the holidays, our private dining room! Blueprint on 3rd is a polished-casual American brasserie paying homage to regional cuisines.

3000 3rd Avenue South Mon. - Thurs. 5 to 9 p.m. | Fri. & Sat. 5 to 10 p.m.

blueprinton3rd.com | 205-479-3000 Our dinning room is equipped with UV light purification system. We are following all guidelines to comply with Public Health Departments ecommendations for restaurants to ensure the safety of our guests and staff. Curbside service available.

Rehab Reality... by Judy Butler

Blessings Come When We Least Expect Them

It’s hard to believe that we are fast approaching the end of the year. And what a year it’s been! Fortunately with all the corona confusion Bayshore Retreat has been able to hold its own. Oh sure, there have been concessions and modifications such as intense screening of those who come there, reducing our numbers to no more than five instead of the maximum of six, wearing masks, etc., and extending the stay to up to 45 days with no increase in cost to the client. The motivation to continue comes in many forms. For instance yesterday I received a phone call from one of our previous clients “just to check with us” and to let me know how grateful he was to have come to Bayshore Retreat. He shared how much his interaction with Jeff (my son and founder of Bayshore Retreat) had been. He reminded me of words that Jeff had shared with him to always be truthful, no matter what. And the words I had said to Jeff about that. Those same words I had said to Jeff, that I could deal with the truth. I might not like it, but it was easier to deal with the truth than with lies. Meanwhile, this young man had been dealing with his family accepting the fact that he was finally being truthful with them. As he said, it was hard for them to see him being totally honest with them after years of deception. Fortunately, they’ve made it and the relationship today is better than it’s ever been in his life. He says that he owes this, and for that matter his life, to Bayshore Retreat. There’s always something to be grateful for – sometimes we have to look for it and sometimes it finds us.

26 • Thursday, November 26, 2020


Merry in Mountain Brook Merchants Host Mingling and Shopping Events, Santa Comes to Town

Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

Holiday festivities continue in December as the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce and village merchants host holiday celebrations. On Dec. 3, the merchants of Mountain Brook Village will host a Jingle and Mingle event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. This will include participating merchants in the village, including the Lane Parke development, offering specials and sales along with holiday-themed activities. English Village will present its second installment of the Shop, Sip & Stroll holiday event Dec. 4 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to shop at their favorite village stores and end the night at one of the village’s restaurants. On Dec. 6, Santa Claus will be coming to town from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., courtesy of the city of Mountain Brook. Santa will be making his way throughout the city, with a Mountain Brook Fire Department truck serving as his sleigh. For more information, visit mtnbrookchamber.org. —Emily Williams

B. Prince Bezshan Dolatabadi, above, is the owner of B. Prince in Lane Parke. “Being in Lane Parke is wonderful and we love being a part of the Mountain Brook shopping experience,” Bezshan said. B. Prince is a relationship built boutique catering to people with unique taste. “With what we are dealing with this year, our customer’s routines have changed somewhat and we have adapted to their individual apparel and shoe needs and requests,” Bezshan said. B. Prince is an upscale boutique carrying apparel, shoes and accessories. “We like to say Be Beautiful - B. Prince,” he said. “On Nov. 27, join us for early shopping, great discounts and ‘Café with the Prince!’ “On Dec. 3, join us for Open House from 5-7 p.m., with live music, wine and food … and, of course, masks and social distancing. “For added convenience, you can now shop with us online at shopbprince.com,” Bezshan said. B. Prince is located at 271 Rele St., Lane Park, 205-871-1965.

T-shirts now available exclusively at B. Prince. Many portraits to choose from! On Dec. 6, Santa Claus will be coming to town from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., courtesy of the city of Mountain Brook. Santa will be making his way throughout the city, with a Mountain Brook Fire Department truck serving as his sleigh.

271 Rele Street • Lane Parke Mountain Brook • 205-871-1965 www.shopbprince.com



“Continuing a long-time tradition, we are looking forward to the lighting of our Village Christmas Tree. This year the tree arrived on Nov. 16 and will be lit the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 27,” said Ricky Bromberg, president of Bromberg’s with locations in Mountain Brook Village and at The Summit. “Our 30-foot Fraser Fir tree is brought down from North Carolina each year before Thanksgiving. You may have seen the crane required to stand the tree up on the lawn in front of our Mountain Brook store while driving through the Village. It takes up to three days just to add the beautiful combination of approximately 30,000 white and colored lights to the tree, which stay lit through New Year’s Eve. “To our delight, we have seen many people stop to enjoy the Bromberg’s Village Christmas Tree over the years,” said Bromberg. “We have also noticed the numerous photos posted to social media in front of the tree. Stopping for photos with the tree seems to have become a holiday tradition for many families, couples, and friends. “Because of this, we try to add to the fun with a photo contest on social media. We encourage

anyone who posts a picture with our beautiful tree to Instagram or Facebook to use the hashtag #brombergstree and tag us in their post (@brombergs on Instagram and @brombergsjeweler on Facebook).” All tagged posts of pictures with the tree and that hashtag will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Bromberg’s gift certificate. People without a social media presence who would like to enter the contest can email a photo in front of the tree to “mailto:contact@brombergs. com”contact@brombergs.com with the words “Bromberg’s Tree” in the subject line. The prize will be awarded on Christmas Eve. Bromberg’s Mountain Brook is located at 2800 Cahaba Rd., 205-871-3276. The Summit location is at 131 Summit Blvd., 205-969-1776.



Christine’s on Canterbury

Christine’s on Canterbury, nestled just behind Gilchrist on Canterbury Road, is filled with new gift selections, as well as some of the familiar items always in stock. A large selection of paper products is available. “Our new addition of napkins and guest towels from Italy has been in great demand,” said store owner, Jean Clayton, pictured above. To the touch it feels like fabric but is paper. Always popular are the fragrances, but Clayton said that additions have been made with all-natural and eco-friendly lines. Beeswax candles are both natural and festive, and frames are increasingly popular, Jean said. Christine’s carries one of the largest selections of frames in the Birmingham area with prices ranging from moderate to expensive. “We have a broad selection of popcorn flavors

available for the perfect stocking stuffer,” Jean said. “MacKenzie-Child’s continues to expand with new introductions. Bed, bath and table linens from Yves Delorme and Le Jacquard Francais have been a staple for over 40 years.” Christine’s offers a small, European-style shopping experience. Color is abundant with options for all price ranges and free specialty gift wrapping. “We have always felt that the wrap is as important as the gift. Caspari designs are carefully selected for each season,” Jean said. “As many of our customers say, ‘It isn’t Christmas without a gift from Christine’s.’” Christine’s on Canterbury is located at 2404 Canterbury Rd., 205-871-8297.

Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 27

The Happy Olive

A visit to Italy that never ended… led to the love affair with the Mediterranean Diet and lifestyle Vickie and Richard Bailey, right, share so passionately today. When their daughter Shayna studied as a young teacher in Italy, she fell in love with an Italian olive farmer. Ten years later, the Baileys visit Shayna, husband Paolo and children in southern Italy while selecting the artisan oils from farms in Italy, France and Spain that end up in the bright silver fustis at the Happy Olive. The Happy Olive in Lane Parke is an authentic family affair and joyful celebration of a healthy foodie lifestyle. “We love sharing samples and recipe ideas for not just the oils & vins but spices too,” offers Vickie. “We call it a social, sensory shopping experience. When you walk in the store the aroma really takes you away.” Manager/Foodie Kari Hahn serves up the store’s signature ‘vin-tails’ a combination of spirits and vinegars for a ‘boozy balsamic’ taste sensation. Foodie gifts? Si Bella! The Happy Olive is an avid supporter of local makers, and features Mississippi’s Etta B Pottery as well as jams, cookies and honey crafted in Fairhope and Mountain Brook. You’ll find gourmet smallbatch mustard on tap in addictively good Honey Dijon and White Wine Wasabi. Richard is one of the country’s rare certified Mustard

Sommeliers. This holiday the store features a wide variety of foodie gift baskets, charcuterie boards, holiday décor and more.”We have baskets for the grill-master, the bartender, or true-blue foodie on your list. We also make up custom combos as a great option for corporate gifts too. Just call ahead for delivery throughout Mountain Brook, pick up curbside or let us ship it for you - worldwide!” The Happy Olive is located in Lane Parke at 261 Rele Street, 205-703-9003.

WENDT & KUHN Mountain







gift baskets oil & vin combos teas & seasonings handcrafted gourmet mustard ronaldo jewelry - etta b Charcuterie classes

Start a tradition or add to your collection. Hand made and painted for over 100 years, cherubic musician angels to hang on the tree or collect for a complete orchestra.

finds for every foodie!

Available at

2405 Canterbury Road • 205-871-8297

261 Rele Street - Lane Parke - Mountain Brook (205) 703-9003 Mon - Sat 10am to 6pm Sunday 12-4pm Squeaky clean in-store shopping or call us to pickup curbside!

28 • Thursday, November 26, 2020



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

JB & Co

JB & CO is a jewelry boutique owned and operated by John Bromberg, above. His boutique honors a return to an old-world artisan approach to fine jewelry. In an industry that is increasingly focused on mass production, JB & CO chooses instead to focus on the unique, with specialties that include bridal, custom and estate jewelry. At a time when individual service is of the utmost importance, Bromberg personally works with his clients to select or create just the right piece for the occasion, always adhering to their style and budget. Whether it is a diamond engagement ring, anniversary earrings or a special piece for your day, JB & CO can help you collect your heirloom. His collection of jewelry comes from destinations far and wide, from the finest houses

such as Bulgari, Cartier, Hermes and Tiffany, as well as designers Elizabeth Locke, Raymond Yard, Lalaounis, Judith Ripka, Mikimoto, Rolex, Patek Philippe and more. Bromberg, a sixth-generation jeweler, is a member of the prestigious Diamond Dealers’ Club of New York and The American Society of Jewelry Historians. John Bromberg’s longstanding relationships offers the unique opportunity for his clients to purchase fine jewelry at an exceptional value. For the full JB & CO experience, we recommend making an appointment. “Collect with us,” said Bromberg. JB & Co. is located at 1 Office Park Circle, Ste. 201, 205-478-0455.


The Cook Store is a kitchen specialty shop featuring functional pottery, pots, pans and gadgets for cooking and entertaining. “The Cook Store has been a fixture in Mountain Brook since 1975,” said owner Wesley Lassen, with shop dog Lucy below. The Cook Store exclusively carries pottery skillets and sauce pans from The Pottery Works that are stovetop safe on both gas or electric cooktops. The store also offers kitchen linens, bakeware, cookware and more. “You can choose from Le Creuset non-stick cookware, USA Pan bakeware, Wusthof knives and pottery from local potters Tena Payne of Earthborn Studios and Gidge Black,” she said. “We are looking forward to a crazy holiday season of selling, selling, selling and wrapping, wrapping and more wrapping. We have lots of great gift ideas for the person who has everything and the person who doesn’t have enough. Come check out our pottery, great gadgets, wood, holiday towels, melamine serving pieces and dishes and lots more gift items. Our Holiday Open House is Dec. 3, 5-7 p.m. Masks are required and social distancing encouraged. Visit us at thecookstoremtnbrook.com and be sure to check out our Instagram at thecookstore.” The Cook Store is located at 2841 Cahaba Rd. in Mountain Brook Village, 205-879-5277.

Marguerite’s Conceits Marguerite’s Conceits is a specialty boutique featuring fine linens, pajamas, robes and lounge wear, bath and body products, candles, diffusers and aromatherapy products. “We also carry Cinda b luggage and mb greene travel accessories for gals on-the-go,” said owner Marguerite Ray, pictured above. “Our Holiday Open House is Dec. 3 all day! We will have ‘festive’ deals and a drawing for a ‘Holiday prize!’ “For the holidays, we have fabulous and fun Christmas ornaments, yummy treats and ‘feel good’ goodies for all the girls on your list. Our customer service can’t be beat and, of course, we offer beautiful complimentary gift wrapping—many small gift items are pre-wrapped and ready to go—perfect for teacher, friend or hostess gifts!” Marguerite’s Conceits is located at 2406 Canterbury Rd., 205-879-2730.


Jingle Mingle

Thursday December 3 5-7 PM

Join us for our Open House to SHOP, CELEBRATE, and BE MERRY together. To keep everyone safe & healthy we are requiring masks and social distancing 2841 Cahaba Road | Mtn Brook Village | 205-879-5277 thecookstoremtnbrook.com

Cute and comfy pjs for all the gals on your list!

O ne O ffice P ark c ircle , S uite 201 M Ountain B rOOk , al 35223 205.478.0455 • JohnBromberg@JBandCoJewelry.com www.JBandCoJewelry.com

2406 Canterbury road | Mountain brook Village | 879.2730


Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 29


Henhouse Antiques Located in charming English Village for 23 years this month, Ashford Hill for Henhouse Antiques offers beautiful, unique pieces personally selected by owners Barbara Ashford and Judy Hill. In recent years, their daughters, Laura Ashford Gessert and Libby Hill McGowan, have joined the business, adding a fresh contemporary look to what has always been a respected curated shop. Pictured are, from left, Laura Gessert, Barbara Ashford, Judy Hill, Libby McGowan and Jamie Hill. Traveling to Europe several times each year, they gather a collection of English, French, Swedish and Italian antiques, which include fur-

nishings as well as beautiful accessories from the traditional to the unexpected. Henhouse Antiques is located at 1900 Cahaba Rd., 205-918-0505.

Little Hardware In 1946, Lewis Little opened the doors of Little Hardware in Ensley. In 1959 an opportunity presented itself to move to the newly built Mountain Brook Shopping Center adjacent to Mountain Brook Village. Prospective businessman Frank Davies Jr. bought Little Hardware in 1965 from Mr. Little. In addition to being a devoted business-man, Frank Davies Jr. was dedicated to his family. He and his wife had three children, all of whom worked in the store at some point in their lives. His son, Frank Wesley Davies III, permanently joined the team in 1982, which made Little Hardware the family business Mr. Davies Jr. had dreamed about. In 2013, Little Hardware relocated to English

Village in the former Park Lane grocery store location. “We are a family owned and operated business built on service and selection,” said owner, Frank Davies, above, sixth from the left, with members of the Little Hardware team. “We offer barbecue grills, pet food, lawn and garden power equipment, bird feed and feeders. We are a full-line hardware store.” The popular longtime hardware store also sells Benjamin Moore paints and a complete line of STIHL products. “We have lots of great and practical gifts for everyone. We are open from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat.” Little Hardware is located at 2117 Cahaba Rd. in English Village, 205-871-4616.

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English Village presents "Shop, Sip, and Stroll" | Dec. 4th from 5-7pm





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HENHOUSE ANTIQUES • English Village www.shophenhouseantiques.com • 205-918-0505


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All prices are DSRP. Available at participating dealers while supplies last. †The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on. © 2018 STIHL


All prices are DSRP at participating dealers while supplies last. †The actual listed guide bar length may vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on. Check out these reviews and others on the product pages at STIHLdealers.com. © 2020 STIHL

All prices are DSRP at participating dealers while supplies last. †The actual listed guide bar length may vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on. Check out these reviews and others on the product pages at STIHLdealers.com. © 2020 STIHL



Holiday Gift Giving The More the Merrier!

Men’s Holiday Spirit long-sleeve pocket tee in Charleston Green, $48. vineyard vines, 205-970-9758.

Quatrefoil red onyx pendant, $550, in 14K yellow gold, 16” length. The quatrefoil is a long standing emblem of good fortune. Bromberg’s, The Summit, 205-969-1776; Mountain Brook, 205871-3276.

Poppy Hand-Crafted Popcorn is the best popcorn you will ever eat. Eleven flavors to choose from, starting at $7. Christine’s on Canterbury, 205-871-8297.

The Happy Olive bread dipping gift set includes a small bottle of extra virgin olive oil, a pack of handblended seasoning and a bread dipping dish, $29.99. The Happy Olive, 205-703-9003.

Original 20”x16” oil painting by Stephen Pearson, (Yorkshire, England), $350. Griffith Art Gallery, 205-985-7969.

Frank Fleming signed rainstick, 7’x2”, $700. Roman Brantley, 205-460-1224.

Cuddle up in comfort with this faux fur throw. At Home Furnishings, 205-8703510.

Friends and neighbors will enjoy this ornament as a reminder of Christmas 2020, $21.99. Antiquities, 205-870-1030.

Create your own personalized Marla Aaron locks and chains and Zoe Chicco Charms, exclusively available at Etc…, prices start at $95 per charm and $240 per necklace. Etc…, 205- 871-6747. The Kingfisher Wine Tote is the perfect carrier for a bottle of red or white when going to a dinner party, tailgate, or picnic. It features a pocket for a corkscrew, a security strap, molded handles, and the best part is that it stands up by itself, $160. Caliber, 205-917-5800.

Beautiful La Paris brass picture frames, available in several sizes, starting at $72.00. The Village Poodle, 205-423-5443.

Diptyque offers a full collection of elegantly crafted candles, $68-140. One of the world’s finest candles is a perfect gift for that impossible-to-buy-for person. Gus Mayer, 205-870-3300.

Designed by Alabama artist Katherine Baker, this stemless wine glass, $9.99, depicts some of the most iconic images in Birmingham. The size fits comfortably in the hand. Alabama Goods, 205-803-3900.

Anne et Valentin, of France, designs with an “infinite curiosity,” $530. iiis, 5Pts South, 205-930-9394

Corkcicle ice bucket, $75. It will keep ice cold for four days. It doesn’t sweat and is perfect for a bar or outdoor entertaining. The Cook Store, 205-879-5277.

Beautiful jewelry to compliment your style, call for pricing. Levy’s at Gus Mayer, 205-870-9477.

Give the gift of healthy skin with Skin Medica TNS Advanced+ Serum and 1 oz. HAS, $295. Renew Dermatology, .205-580-1500.

Frozen dough to go, perfect to have in your freezer for holiday entertaining. Packs of 15 dough balls, $20; more than 20 varieties available. Cookie Fix, Homewood, 205-582-2623; Cahaba Heights, 205-848-8001.



Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 31

Reusable straws from Lastra Life are constructed of food grade stainless steel and designed to last a lifetime. Easy to use and easy to clean, $35.99. Wild Birds Unlimited, 205-823-6500.

Heritage bands set in platinum with diamonds, $2,650. JB & Co, 205-478-0455.

TNS A+ Advanced+ Serum Improves the appearance of coarse wrinkles, fine lines, skin tone and texture, starting in just two weeks, $295. Smart Skin Med Spa, 205-968-1301.

Give the gift of a good night’s sleep with silken, solid sheet sets by Pine Cone Hill. Super soft and not hot! Marguerite’s Conceits, 205-879-2730.

Cashmere poncho by InCashmere, $118. Shown in rouge, also available in ballet pink, pear green and black. Town & Country Clothes, 205-871-7909.

Small diamond cross pendants in rose, white and yellow gold. Perfect for layering, starting at $300. Shay’s Jewelers, 205-978-5880.

Opus One is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, with dark fruit and chocolate notes, $374. The Overture is made of traditional Bordeaux grapes, $140. R&R Wine and Liquor - Crestline, 205-848-2080.

Holiday Chew Basket $100

Jingle All The Way gift box, $69

Gift Guide continues on PAGE 32

Art by Susan, original hand painted wood block pieces with many designs. Perfect for the hard to please, starting around $20. Three Sheets, 205-871-2337.

Free shipping on select gift baskets & boxes! You are Loved Bundle, $70. Priced separately: Hat, $36; Tumbler, $34; Print, $20. Elizabeth K. Hubbard Art, elizabethkhubbardart.com

2933 18th Street South, Homewood, AL 35209 www.alabamagoods.com Facebook.com/alabamagoods


5299 Valleydale Road, Suite 111 980-9030 southeasternjewelers.net (1/4 mile off 280)

32 • Thursday, November 26, 2020

GIFT GUIDE/SCHOOLS Pinecones laden with bird seed, ready to hang, $14.99. george inside Snoozy’s Kids, 205871-2662.

Ladies 18” 14k yellow gold paper clip chain, $750, and ladies 14k yellow gold necklace and honey bee, $465, in 16” and 18” options. Southeastern Jewelers, 205-980-9030.

Give the gift of beauty with a VIP membership card to Skin Wellness Dermatology, $299. Membership entitles you to over $4,000 in savings and free services. Skin Wellness Dermatology, 205-871-7332.

Antique black and gold 19th century Chinese box with drawer, $425. Tricia’s Treasures, 205-871-9779.


Oak Mountain’s Camp Earns PEO Star Scholarship Daily Power of Defense: Powerful antioxidant serum designed to improve the appearance of lines + wrinkles and promote overall skin health, $150, 50ml; $92, 30ml. Gunn Dermatology, 205-415-7536.

Freshwater twisted pearl necklace, $285. Wallace-Burke Fine Jewelry, 205-874-1044.

peepers by peeperspecs Focus Eyeware filter 40% of harmful blue light emitted from digital devices and offers UV400 protection. Many stylish designs available. Clotheshorse, 205-823-9144.

Johnny Was umbrella boasts a trendy pattern and folds easily for convenient, compact storage, $75. B. Prince, 205-871-1965.

Elizabeth Camp, a 2020 graduate of Oak Mountain High School, recently was presented with the PEO Star Scholarship for the 2019-2020 school year. The scholarship was presented to Camp at her home by representatives of Birmingham’s Chapter B of the PEO Sisterhood, Elizabeth Camp Star Scholarship chairwoman Cheryl Clark and Chapter B President Olivet Willis. The PEO Star Scholarship is a $2,500 scholarship presented annually to a student who showcases excellence in leadership, extracurricular activities, community service, academics and potential for future success. This scholarship program is open to young women who are graduating high school seniors at the time of application and are residents of the United States or Canada. The daughter of Jennifer Camp and Kevin Camp, Camp was recommended for the scholarship by Chapter B of Birmingham. Camp will use the scholarship at Auburn University, where she plans to study engineering.

Hoover Schools to Resume Staggered Scheduling Nov. 30

Bangle bracelets, $175-350. John William Jeweller, 205-870-4367.

Free standing sheep, a perfect addition to your holiday decor, $8. Attic Antiques, 205-991-6887.

Vuarnet high performance sunglasses offer removable side shields for maximum protection, $300. JJ Eyes, 205-703-8596.

Bourbon Balls by Pappy & Company, $38, made with Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year. The Dandé Lion, 205-879-0691.

Why Pay More? Oil change and tire rotation package, includes five quarts of Dexos Full Synthetic Oil, filter, tire rotation * and multi-point$vehicle inspection. Additional oil extra cost. Excludes diesels. Some exclusions may apply. Please present coupon at time of write-up. Cannot be combined with other offers. See dealer for details. Holiday offer expires 11/30/20. Edwards Chevrolet


Beautiful La Paris frames, starting at $60. Interiors by Kathy Harris, 205-970-4161.

One size fits most, versatile, over the shoulder wraps by Simply Noelle can be worn multiple ways, $24.99. Several colors to chose from. Flip Flops & What Nots, 205-967-7429.

Key chain with hand sanitizer, $16.95. Second Hand Rose, 205-970-7997.

Hoover City Schools will return to a staggered schedule upon return from Thanksgiving, beginning on Nov. 30. According to a Nov. 20 release, the change is being made because of a rise in community spread of COVID-19 and the number of people who are contracting the disease.  School officials added that Hoover students and staff are among those contracting COVID-19, and the spread of the disease has created staffing challenges. When students return from winter break, on Jan. 4, the staggered schedule will continue for the first two weeks, according to the release. A fiveday schedule will resume Jan. 19. Under the staggered schedule, Hoover High School students with last names that begin with A through L will attend school in-person on Mondays and Thursdays. Students with last names that begin with M through Z will attend Tuesdays and Fridays.  Spain Park High School students with last names that begin with A through K will attend class Mondays and Thursdays, and those with last names that begin with L through Z will attend Tuesdays and Fridays. When not on campus, students will participate in at-home, remote learning.



Get By With a Little Help

Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 33

Grace Fund for Vestavia Hills Secondary Students Soliciting Donations for Spring Semester

By Emily Williams

Vestavia Hills Rotary Club and Vestavia Hills City Schools PTO would like to thank Hike the Hill partners, sponsors and participants for supporting this event to improve our schools, community and world. Journal photo by Jordan Wald

A new grace fund created by Vestavia Hills City School teachers to support secondary students is soliciting donations for the upcoming spring semester. Rebels Helping Rebels will provide financial support so that all VHCS students in grades 6-12 may have access to school activities and learning opportunities. The purpose of Rebels Helping Rebels is to ensure that costs associated with programs, trips, classes or activities do not prohibit student participation. Faith Lenhart, Vestavia Hills High School dance teacher and Teacher Leaders Program member, said the faculty members who established Rebels Helping Rebels set out to make sure that all students have full access to classes, teams and activities. These teachers identified a need to address financial challenges that could discourage or prevent students from being able to participate in school activities and courses.  “The Rebels Helping Rebels program grew from research and conversations in the diversity and equity faculty committee at VHHS,” Lenhart said. “The goal is to not let financial concerns prevent any student from participating in any program, event or class in our school.”  There are three ways to make donations to Rebels Helping Rebels: by donating to the general RHR fund; donating to specific school groups,


Vestavia Hills High School dance teacher Faith Lenhart, center, with bookkeeper Lisa Greer, left, and English teacher Emily Bedgood, right.

such as arts groups, clubs, the student government association and academics teams as well as to class fees; or donating to specific students. All donations are tax-deductible. Donors contributing more than $100 also will receive a Rebels Helping Rebels support decal. “We hope that families in need will complete the confidential request form so we can support them,” Lenhart said. “The response in donations has been very successful. We are blessed to be a part of a giving community that supports each other.” Jennifer Bailey, VHCS director of student services, said the new program highlights the commitment of

teachers to serve students, both in the classroom and beyond. “Rebels Helping Rebels is a visible demonstration of how our teachers – at the high school and across the district – teach and nurture the whole child,” Bailey said. “This team of teachers identified a potential obstacle for student access to activities and courses and sought creative ways to address it so that all students have the same opportunities.” For more information, visit the vestavia.k12.al.us/vestaviahigh and look for the Rebels Helping Rebels Fee Information page under announcements.

VESTAVIA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL recognized its 2020 homecoming court Oct. 30 during the Rebels’ winning game against Shades Valley. Senior Maddie Hagler was crowned Homecoming Queen, attended by her father, Clay Hagler, right. She also was attended by freshmen Brennan Martin, Scarlett Padgett and Emily Watson; sophomores Mary Katherine Meeks, Abigail Taylor and Quincy Wilson; juniors Laura Ellen Hayes, Morgan Robison and Gracie Watson; and seniors Katy Chen, Kiarra Jacobs, Abby Jemison and Diane Westhoven.

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Vestavia Hills High School Homecoming

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34 • Thursday, November 26, 2020



By Rubin E. Grant ny.

Tyler Davis understands the scruti-

In some measure, he embraces it because he knows that’s how it is when you follow a highly successful coach at one of the top high school boys basketball programs in the state. Davis, in his first season as the head coach at Mountain Brook, said he is ready for the challenge of leading the Spartans’ program. He takes over for Bucky McMillan, who left Mountain Brook at the end of last season to become the head coach at Samford. In 12 seasons at Mountain Brook, McMillan posted a 333-74 record, averaging nearly 28 wins per season, guided the Spartans to the state finals in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s highest classification seven times and won state championships in 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Last season, he led Mountain Brook to a 32-3 record and a Class 7A runner-up finish. Davis had a front row seat for “Buckyball,” coaching the Spartans’ junior varsity and serving as a varsity assistant the past 11 years. So, when he was handed the reins as McMillan’s replacement during the summer, he knew exactly what he was getting into. “I know people will be looking to

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

The Jags have been bolstered by versatile 6-foot-2 sophomore Jordy Griggs, a transfer from California.

see if our style is different and to see the differences between me and him,” Davis said. “We’re still going to play with high intensity the way we did before. We might have some different sets, but we definitely will keep the three pillars of the program: unselfishness, fearlessness and hard work.” If there’s one thing Davis knows, it’s basketball. He grew up in Elkhart, Indiana, where folks in the Hoosier State are as passionate about basketball as folks in Alabama are about football. Davis played at Concord High School in Elkhart, earning a scholarship to Samford. After his playing days at Samford were over and he’d finished his education, Davis began his coaching career in 1999 at Vestavia Hills High School, where he led the junior varsity and assisted with the varsity program for nine years. He came to Mountain Brook in 2008 and coached the junior high ninth grade team for one year before joining McMillan’s staff. He probably could have joined McMillan in his move to Samford, but he preferred taking over the Mountain Brook program instead. “I love being a high school coach,” Davis said. “I am blessed with some amazing talent here and guys who love playing basketball.” Even though he’s under careful observation this season, Davis said the

ones to watch are his players. “This is not about Tyler Davis, but about the guys who are continuing the legacy and the tradition of Mountain Brook basketball,” he said. “We have a whole new starting lineup and a lot of guys who have not played a lot of minutes.” Although Mountain Brook, which has dropped down to Class 6A, has six returning lettermen from last season’s team that narrowly lost to LeeMontgomery 40-38 in the Class 7A championship game, none were starters. When the Spartans opened the season on Nov. 12, they started senior guards Bo Barber and Colby Blackwell, 6-foot-5 sophomore center Julius Clark and senior forwards Mac Swoger and Rayven Turner. Swoger and Blackwell are the only returning players who saw action in the championship game. The 6-foot-6 Turner was ineligible last season after transferring from Jefferson High in Portland, Oregon. Barber transferred to Mountain Brook from Homewood this year. “They will be two of our most dynamic players and fun to watch,” Davis said. Another key player will be senior guard Paulson Wright, who will join the team when the Mountain Brook football season ends. He is one of the

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

All Eyes on Davis in His First Season as Mountain Brook’s Head Basketball Coach

Tyler Davis came to Mountain Brook in 2008 and coached the junior high ninth grade team for one year before joining McMillan’s staff.

football team’s top receivers. “He’s a really good athlete,” Davis said. “He’s a combo guard who can handle it and he’s a good shooter.” Davis’ son Ty Davis, a 6-foot-2 freshman, also figures to see plenty of court time. The Spartans will be competing in Class 6A, Area 9, with Briarwood Christian, Chelsea and Homewood. “Moving to 6A doesn’t change our mindset one way or another,” Davis said. “There are a lot of really good teams in 6A, so we have a lot of work to do to be successful. “The main thing is to make the most of their opportunity to play since,


Young Jags Ready to Showcase Their Talents With Barker Gone By Rubin E. Grant Spain Park girls basketball coach Mike Chase doesn’t want this to be taken the wrong way, but he’s looking forward to coaching this season without Sarah Ashlee Barker on the court. It’s not that he wouldn’t mind if the 2020 Alabama Miss Basketball was still around instead of being a freshman at Georgia, but he gets to coach like he has for most of his 25 years as a girls varsity head coach. “Most teams I’ve coached didn’t have a dominant player like Sarah Ashlee,” Chase said. “Last year was more difficult for me to coach because everybody knew on offense she would have the ball in her hands. We were much easier to defend because they knew what was coming. I’ve had other teams that were more difficult to defend because things were more equally distributed.” Even so, Barker leaves a huge void after leading the Jaguars to the 2020 Class 7A championship while averaging 23.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.9 steals as Spain Park finished with a 32-4 record. “I wouldn’t say I’ve had a player as good as Sarah Ashlee, but I’ve had players just as equally important, whether it’s scoring, leadership, rebounding, whatever,” Chase said. “So, I’ve lost good players before. “We’ve got a lot of good players back this year who were their team’s leading scorer or

rebounder in middle school. They knew Sarah Ashlee was a special player, so they took on a subordinate role and were willing to do whatev-

“Now, it’s exciting to have them step up and fill roles. We can be a little more diverse in some of the things that we do because we’re not so dependent on one person.” er I needed them to do, whether that was playing defense, rebounding or knocking down an open three when Sarah Ashlee got them the ball. “Now, it’s exciting to have them step up and fill roles. We can be a little more diverse in some of the things that we do because we’re not so dependent on one person.”

Plenty of Returning Talent

Chase likes the Jags’ returning nucleus with senior guard Avery Masdon, junior guards Mackenzie Culpepper and Camille Chase, the coach’s daughter, and sophomore forward Katie Flannery. Sophomore forwards Alanah Pooler and Haley Russell also return. “We don’t have to fill what Sarah Ashlee did

as we have seen with the pandemic, every day could be their last game or practice.” The Spartans split their first four games of the season, beating Thompson 46-16 and Sipsey Valley 61-56 while losing in double-overtime at Spain Park 67-63 and at Shades Valley 72-54. One thing that won’t change under Davis is the expectations. “To be honest, the expectations are similar to Bucky’s,” Davis said. “We never said our No. 1 goal was to win a state championship. We want to get 1 percent better every day and by the end of the season to maximize our poten-

with one person, but if Katie, Camille and Mackenzie can score five or six more points a night, we divide up the rebounding and play good defense, we will be all right,” Chase said. “I am excited about our team.” The Jags also have been bolstered by versatile 6-foot-2 sophomore Jordy Griggs, a transfer from California who is already receiving national attention. “She’s been here since the start of the school year,” Chase said. “She’s from the Los Angeles area and is a phenomenal athlete with a lot of talent. She will play whatever we need. She can play all over the place. We’ve even had her run the point, but she’s still got to become a better decision-maker.” The Jags have had some injury issues early on. Camille Chase hasn’t played in a game yet after continuing to recover from a torn ACL in her knee toward the end of last season. She is expected to return this week. Masdon has been dealing with a groin injury but is expected be back after Thanksgiving. Also, Culpepper missed the first week of the season while running cross-country. Spain Park has gotten off to a 4-1 heading into a busy five-game schedule this week, including playing in the BallN Prep Holiday Invitational Friday and Saturday in Huntsville. The Jags will be playing in challenging Class 7A, Area 6, which includes Vestavia Hills, Hewitt-Trussville and Gadsden City, which joined the area after Mountain Brook moved down to Class 6A. “Our area is the toughest 7A area in the state,” Chase said. “There are going to be two teams out of our area who will be eliminated (in the postseason) who probably could win a regional and go to the Final Four.”


CROSS COUNTRY From page 36

Injuries Hobbled Boys

SPARTANS From page 36

Stadium. “This has been some year with all the challenges we’ve had to face because of COVID-19,” Mountain Brook coach Chris Yeager said. “This has been an enjoyable group of players to be around, so I’m glad to have one more week of being around these guys practicing football and getting ready for another game on Friday. “It’s mid-November, and the fact that anybody’s playing is exciting because at the start we didn’t even know if we would have a season this year. I consider ourselves very blessed.” Mountain Brook used a ball-control offense to beat Clay-Chalkville 11-2. The Spartans passed only four times while rushing for 186 yards. Senior quarterback Strother Gibbs led the attack with 111 yards rushing and scored two first-half touchdowns on runs of 4 and 1 yards. Running back Michael Brogan added 91 rushing yards on 23 carries and scored the Spartans’ other touchdown on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter. Relying so heavily on the ground game against the Cougars was by design. “The week before, when we played Gardendale and beat them 6-0, our defense was on the field for 75 snaps,” Yeager said. “Going in we knew we needed to keep them off the field. Plus, Clay-Chalkville had too many quick-strike threats and we wanted to reduce the number of chances for them to do that. “It was really old-school football. Nowadays, teams like to play with a fast-paced nature with a score easy and score often mentality. So we put

Thursday, November 26, 2020 • 35

injuries, but he was disappointed to see the streak end. Scottsboro, which had four of the top eight finishers, won with 31 points and Mountain Brook was second with 73 points. “That was the bitter part of the day,” Donaldson said. “Scottsboro had an exceptional team, so it makes me feel better losing to a worthy team.” The Mountain Brook boys had three All-State runners, Clayton Collins (ninth), John Roberts (10th) and Davis Plowden (15th).

pay off my senior year. But I am a little disappointed the team was not able to get the team title.” Spartans sophomore Clark Stewart earned All-State honors with an eighth-place finish in 19:32.78.

Cole Clocks Fastest Time

Oak Mountain senior Walker Cole turned in the fastest time of the state meet to claim the 7A individual crown.

Oak Mountain senior Walker Cole turned in the fastest time of the state meet to claim the Class 7A boys individual crown. Cole’s 15:13.66 time topped the boys’ competition as he crossed the finish line 10 seconds ahead of Auburn senior Stewart Brown, who clocked 15:23.43. “My original plan before the race was to go easy the first mile and then pick up speed the second mile,” Cole said. “But it was a slow first mile, so I just decided to go faster. “It was pretty exciting to win.” Cole, who has signed with Utah State, finished second in the 2019 Class 7A state meet behind Vestavia Hills’ Ethan Strand, but this time Strand, who has signed with North Carolina, came in 12th in 16:06.92. “It feels pretty good to finish ahead of him,” Cole said. “We’ve been racing against each other a long time.”

consecutive win against the Bucs. Thompson defeated Hoover 39-23 on Oct. 23, during the regular season. Friday’s outcome was never in doubt after Thompson jumped to a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter

en route to a 31-7 halftime advantage. “It didn’t happen tonight,” Hoover coach Josh Niblett said. “We just got behind early and that was the difference.”

Robertson Stands Out

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Meanwhile, the Homewood boys entered the state meet without two of their top runners. Senior Jon Fielding Stogner, the 2019 Class 6A individual champion, missed the entire season because of a foot injury. Talented sophomore Sam Gray was sidelined with a hip injury. During the race, the Patriots’ top runner, Crawford Hope, a North Carolina signee and pre-meet favorite, turned his ankle and came in seventh with a time of 16:09.28. “It was nice and swollen after the race,” Donaldson said of Hope’s ankle. “He was in a lot of pain. I am proud of him for pushing through.” The Patriots’ next-best finisher was sophomore Grayton Murray, who came in 14th (16:56.50). Chelsea junior Miles Brush was the boys Class 6A individual champion with a time of 15:21.41. Donaldson called the Patriots’ third-place finish with 85 points a “good achievement” considering the


Mountain Brook senior Elizabeth Robertson was the individual winner in Class 6A.

in a heavy package and were trying to be as patient as we could be in moving the football and controlling the clock. I think there is still a place for that kind football.” The Spartans’ defense gave up 242 yards total offense, but the only touchdown it allowed came in the first quarter when the Cougars’ Edward Osley scored on a 14-yard run. “They did move the ball up and down the field, but we didn’t let them have the big play,” Yeager said. Senior cornerback Blake Pugh intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter to thwart any Clay-Chalkville comeback attempt. The Spartans will likely have to employ a similar game plan against Pinson Valley. The Indians reached the semifinals with a 34-2 victory against Oxford (11-2), which was the defending Class 6A champion. “Pinson has so many weapons, it reminds me of Thompson,” Yeager said, referring to the team that handed

Mountain Brook’s Robertson easily outran her competition to win the girls Class 6A race, finishing well ahead of Northridge sophomore Mary Mac Collins (19:13.36). Briarwood eighth-grader Mary Grace Parker was fifth (19:26.45). “After a little less than a mile, I tried to separate from the other runners, but another girl followed me,” Robertson said. “But in the final stretch, I really separated. “It is super exciting to win for sure, to see all the hard work I’ve put in since I was in the seventh grade

the Spartans’ their only loss this season, 31-0 on Sept. 25. “I don’t see any weaknesses on Pinson’s team. They’re a solid high school football team and we’ll have to play our best.”

Hoover Falls Hard at Thompson

It’s official. The balance of power in Class 7A football has shifted south, from Hoover to Thompson. Jarrett Crockett rushed for 233 yards on 29 carries and scored three touchdowns on runs of 14, 4 and 10 yards as the defending Class 7A champion Warriors routed the Bucs 52-14 in the semifinals Friday in Alabaster. Thompson (13-0) will play Auburn (11-1) on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa for the Class 7A championship. Hoover finishes with an 11-2 record. It’s the third consecutive season Thompson has eliminated Hoover in the semifinals and the Warriors’ fifth

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Stepping Up: Young Jags Ready to Showcase Their Talents With Barker Gone. Page 34


Thursday, November 26, 2020 ❖ OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

All Eyes on Davis In His First Season as Mountain Brook’s Head Basketball Coach. Page 34



Spartans Robertson, Eagles Cole Claim Individual Titles Homewood Girls Keep Streaking, But Boys Run of State Cross Country Titles Ends

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Clock-Eating Spartans Earn First Semifinal Berth in 10 Years

The Homewood girls edged Mountain Brook with 59 points to 68 to claim their fourth title in five years at the Oakville Indians Mound Park.

Journal photos by Lee Walls

By Rubin E. Grant

Senior quarterback Strother Gibbs, above, led attack with 111 yards rushing and scored two first-half touchdowns on runs of 4 and 1 yards. The Spartans defeated the Clay-Chalkville Cougars 21-10 in quarterfinals Friday night at home. Below, senior linebacker Matt Holloway stops a Clay-Chalkville runner. Mountain Brook visits Pinson Valley Friday.

By Rubin E. Grant The Mountain Brook Spartans are headed to the semifinals of Alabama High School Athletic Association football playoffs for the first time since 2010. Mountain Brook (12-1) will visit Pinson Valley (10-2) Friday at 7 p.m. in the Class 6A semifinals with a berth in the Super 7 Championships Dec. 2-4 in Tuscaloosa on the line. The Spartans, who moved to Class 6A this season from 7A, defeated the Clay-Chalkville Cougars 21-10 in quarterfinals Friday night at Spartan See SPARTANS, page 35

Going into the 65th AHSAA State Cross Country Championships on Nov. 14, Homewood coach Josh Donaldson knew his runners faced an uphill climb to keep their streaks of state titles alive. As it turned out, the Patriots girls team won its third consecutive Class 6A, while the boys finished third behind Scottsboro and Mountain Brook, ending their run of eight straight state championships. The Homewood girls edged Mountain Brook with 59 points to 68 to claim their fourth title in five years at the Oakville Indians Mound Park near Moulton. Mountain Brook senior Elizabeth Robertson was the individual winner with a time of 18:43.15, but the Patriots had four girls earn all-state medals by finishing in the top 15 to claim the team title. Eighth-grader Emma Brooke

Levering led the way for Homewood with a seventh-place finish with a time of 19:27.84. Sophomore Marin Poleshek was ninth (19:38.96), freshman Caroline Wilder 12th (19:56.56) and sophomore Camille Etheridge 15th (20:06.24). Sophomore Sydney Dobbins finished 16th (20:08.27), narrowly missing All-State honors. “I couldn’t be more proud of our girls,” Donaldson said. “Looking at the times of runners from Mountain Brook going in, we knew it would be tough to win again. We finished second behind them in the sectional by one point, and going into the state meet, the virtual race had us finishing second behind them. But our girls stepped up big time. “One of the exciting things is all the girls who scored for us were sophomores or younger. I am excited about working with them as they get older.”

See CROSS COUNTRY, page 35

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