Page 1






Photo courtesy Samford Legacy League






Five Houses Welcome Guests for the Samford Legacy League’s Christmas Home Tour

IPC’s House Tour Brightens the Holidays for 68th Year


Arlington Antebellum Home and Garden Prepares for Its Annual 1800s Christmas Celebration PAGE 28


CHRISTMAS EVE EATS Menus for Dec. 24 Dinners Range from Crabs to Chinese Food PAGE 12

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS OTM Cities Host Seasonal Celebrations PAGE 31

A BERRY GOOD MOVE Snyders’ Urban Cookhouse Will Share Space with New Farm Bowl + Juice PAGE 34

2 • Thursday, November 30, 2017



Jingle All the Way


What happens when our annual Holiday Cards issue arrives? Well, in Whoville they say - that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. Look for hundreds of holiday greetings in our Dec. 14 issue from Over the Mountain students, like the one above by B.W. Haddock, a first grade student at Vestavia Hills Elementary East.







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


J O U R N A L November 30, 2017 Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writers: Sarah Kuper, Emily Williams Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Blake Ells, Rubin E. Grant Contributors: Susan Murphy, Jordan Wald, June Mathews, William C. Singleton III, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls Jr., Bryan Bunch Sam Prickett Advertising Sales: Suzanne Wald, Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald Vol. 28, 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 E-mail our advertising department at Find us on the Web at Copyright 2017 Over The Mountain Journal, Inc. All rights reserved. The Journal is not responsible for return of photos, copy and other unsolicited materials submitted. To have materials returned, please specify when submitting and provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All materials submitted are subject to editorial review and may be edited or declined without notification.

heard a toddler singing “Jingle there were 400 pages of Christmas Bells” in the aisle at the grocery CD’s. That’s a lot of “Jingle Bells.” store last week, an unmistakable “Jingle Bells” is one of those songs signal that the Christmas season is that you never outgrow. It’s a hearty, upon us. sing-a-long moment that taps into your With all my plotting and planning happiest childhood Christmas memofor Christmas, I hadn’t even turned on ries. Most everyone sang “Jingle the radio, but, since the bells had offiBells” in a school pageant somewhere cially been jingled, I hurried home and along the way. When my daughter was in high school, the choir director broke out my Christmas CD stash. My always invited the grown-up audience daughter rolls her eyes when I talk to pull out their car keys and jingle about CD’s, but I’m a bricks-and-moralong as they sang, and we did, happy tar kind of gal. All that MP3 stuff to be asked to be part of it because, seems unreliable and, seriously, where sadly, when grown-ups sing “Jingle exactly is this All Powerful Cloud and Bells” in the aisle at the grocery store, how do we know we can trust it? No, I Sue Murphy people tend to stare. want something with a picture on it The perennial “Jingle Bells” that I can hold in my hand. But I digress.  “Jingle Bells” is one connection is interesting because most of us have never been in a The point is, every year, I buy a of those songs that new Christmas CD. I have all the sleigh, one horse or otherwise. Here standards – Tony Bennett, Bing you never outgrow. It’s in Alabama, we don’t do a lot of Crosby, Nat King Cole – but I also through the snow. But even a hearty, sing-a-long dashing have Bette Midler, Jo Dee Messina without the bells on a bobtail, the and Jewel. I have Jimmy Buffett, moment that taps into sleighing song is just plain oh-whatAlvin and the Chipmunks and The fun to sing.  your happiest childhood Irish Rovers. I have Christmas The song is kind of like an emomusic played on dulcimer and flute tional homecoming, linking one Christmas memories. and electric guitar. Last year, I Christmas to another. I was a guest added a CD by Bob Dylan. He’s a at a Christmas party in a memory definite departure from Perry Como, care unit some years ago and when the but listening to a leather jacket rebel entertainer hit the first strains of belt out “Here Comes Santa Claus” “Jingle Bells,” everyone sang, even does my heart good. people who had not spoken in months. I usually run across my new CD on Powerful stuff.    some store display, but I did a research So this Christmas season, while run yesterday on Amazon. The old reliyou’re wrestling the tree into the living ables were still there, but there was a room, trying to shore up the foundasurprisingly wide range of other holiday offerings – tion of your gingerbread house, or puzzling over lights jazz, country, R&B. I’ve yet to see anybody “Rapping that won’t light on one side, go on, sing a little. What Around the Christmas Tree,” but that can’t be far the heck, belt out a chorus or two in the produce aisle away. Neil Diamond made a Christmas album. So did at the grocery store. Who knows? Someone behind the Cheap Trick. I even found one by the Duck Dynasty deli counter might just join in. clan called “Duck the Halls.” Just on that one website, Jingle all the way, my friends. ‘Tis the season. ❖

OVER THE MOUNTAIN VIEWS We asked some of our furry friends at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society:

What would you like Santa to bring you this year?

“A family to hang out with, a ball of string would be nice too.” Ashley

“A warm comfortable bed and a family member that appreciates a nice afternoon nap.” Nancy

“A family that likes the outdoors and that likes to exercise.”

“A family with a big backyard with maybe a water feature.”



For more information about these pets and others, please contact the Greater Birmingham Humane Society at 942-1211.


Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 3


Available Soon By

Richard E. Simmons III Best-Selling Author of The True Measure of a Man

Life for most of us is all about what we do and how successful we are at what we do. However, our perception of success has changed dramatically. Today we not only want to achieve great things, we also want to be well-known and admired for it. Because of the power of television and social media, it is easy to understand the modern obsession with our public image and the desire to win the approval of others.

This book examines what I consider life’s greatest paradox - that strength is found in humility. We are responsible for seeking a humble life and cultivating a humble heart. Humility is a choice that we first make, then pursue. - Richard E. Simmons III Buy locally at: Lamb’s Ears & Smith’s Variety in Crestline Harrison in Mountain Brook Village Seibels in Homewood

Also by Richard E. Simmons III

Books available at and or contact Jimbo Head at

4 • Thursday, November 30, 2017



Dec. 8-10, 15-17 George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker Samford University The Alabama Ballet will perform Balanchine’s holiday masterpiece in the Wright Fine Arts Center. Alabama Ballet remains one of only eight companies in the world licensed by The Balanchine Trust to perform this one-of-a kind holiday treat. Set to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s glorious score, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker features choreography by Mr. Balanchine, a man widely recognized as one of the most influential choreographers of the 20th century, as well as opulent costumes and scenery built from the exacting specifications of New York City Ballet’s production. For more information, visit ❖

H. Goose creates watches for the activities you make time to enjoy.

1811 29th Ave. South I Downtown Homewood, AL 35209 205.874.1044 I

NOV. 30 - DEC. 14

Dec. 1-3

Last Stop Thurs., Nov. 30 Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre This piece, choreographed by BIRMINGHAM Kristopher Ester-Brown, is presented Louise Wrinkle Book Signing through fifteen chapters each with Birmingham Botanical Gardens their own style of music and thematic The launch of “Listen to the Land: Prices startelements. at $285.Showtimes are Fri. and Sat. Creating a Southern Woodland Garden” at 7:30 p.m. and Sun. at 2:30 p.m. will begin with a free reception at 5:30 For more information, visit the “Arova p.m. and a presentation at 6 p.m. with Comtemporary Ballet” Facebook page. book signing to follow. Reservations are required. All proceeds from the Dec. 1 and Dec. 3 book sale will benefit Friends of The Birmingham Botanical Gardens. For MOUNTAIN BROOK more information, visit 81st Annual Carol Service Canterbury United Methodist Church Nov. 30-Dec. 3 Choral music and carols will kick off the holiday season with shows on HOMEWOOD Fri. at 7;30 p.m. and Sun. at 4:30 p.m. Dr. Chandler and Jane Paris Smith Performances are free and held in the Opera Series: “Hansel and Gretel” Sanctuary. For more information, visit Samford University the “Birmingham Southern Concert The theatre presents a favorite Christmas opera by Engelbert Humperdinck, based on the Grimm Nov. 30-Jan. 1 brother’s classic story, on Nov. 30-Dec. BIRMINGHAM 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. Harrison Theatre. Tickets are $20 Brrrmingham general admission and $10 students. Railroad Park For more information, visit  The park is hosting a seasonal ice skating rink for the holidays 7 days a week only closing on Christmas Day. Dec. 1 The Boxcar Cafe will be fully stocked HOMEWOOD with coffee and tea, house-made Christmas with Act of Congress gourmet hot chocolate and warm, Samford University  meals. For more information, visit ASO will join Act of Congress ❖ featuring a blend of tight harmonies, vintage instrumentation and deep musical roots. Wright Fine Arts Center at Samford University. Tickets start at $15. For more information, visit  HOMEWOOD

Jingle All The Way Homewood Public Library Christmas songs and stories of the season will feature storyteller Delores Hydock and the music of Bobby Horton, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Large Auditorium with a light hors d’oeuvres buffet. The program will be held from 7:30-9 p.m. Advanced reservations required. For more information, visit

Choir” Facebook page.

Dec. 1-17


Journal file photo by Maury Wald

When you trade your wingtips for boat shoes or your blazer for a hunting jacket, a high quality, military-grade field watch from H. Goose is one part of your wardrobe that can stay right where it is. Open 9:30 to 5:30 Monday through Saturday – Closed Sunday the 24th.


Holiday Spectacular Red Mountain Theatre Company Celebrate the holidays with holiday music performed by the RMTC Conservatory students alongside some of Birmingham’s best local artists. Shows are Wed.-Sat. at 7:30 and Sat. and Sun. at 2 p.m. Tickets begin at $19. For more information, visit

Dec. 2, 10 and 16 BIRMINGHAM

“The Elves and the Shoemaker” BJCC The Birmingham Children’s Theatre will perform the classic tale on the Wee Folk’s Stage at the BJCC. Tickets are $18 for adults and $8 for children. For more information, visit


Great Russian Nutcracker BJCC Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is set for 3 p.m. and features over-the-top production values, world-class Russian artists, puppets, nesting dolls and hand-crafted costumes. For more information, visit HOOVER

Holiday Greenery Sale Aldridge Gardens From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., purchase greenery, pine cones, acorns, grasses and more for making wreaths, garlands and other holiday decorations. In addition, Roots - located on the property - will be selling ornaments, Christmas decorations and gifts Mon.Fri. from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. For more information, visit

Sun., Dec. 3 HOOVER

ASYO Holiday Concert Riverchase Galleria The Alabama Symphony Youth

Photo courtesy Alabama Ballet



Orchestra will perform a free holiday concert from 2-4 p.m. conducted by Dr. Blake Richardson. For more information, visit  MOUNTAIN BROOK

An Afternoon with the Author Emmet O’Neal Library The library will host a book signing at 2 p.m. for Kristen Iskandrian, author of the acclaimed new novel “Motherest,” which the New York Times called “fearless” in a recent review. For more information, visit

Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 5


Sounds of the Season Samford University This concert of favorite holiday music, both sacred and secular, will feature surprise guest artists and familiar faces at 7:30 p.m. in Samford University’s Brock Recital Hall. Tickets begin at $7.25. For more information, visit


A Bluegrass Christmas Carol -

Virginia Samford Theatre Norton Dill’s new “mountainized” telling of Dicken’s Christmas tale features reimagined characters and The Herb Trotman Band. Shows are Thurs.Sat. at 7:30 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. at 2:30 p.m. Mainstage. For more information, visit

Fireballs the modern alternative


Holiday Movie Series Alabama Theatre The theatre will kick off its holiday movie series with a 7 p.m. showing of “White Christmas” on Dec. 8. Each screening begins with a sing-along


Claus and Paws Brookwood Village The public is invited to bring their cats and dogs to the mall for pet photos with Santa from 6-8 p.m. Pets should be leashed or in a carrier for the safety of all. For more information, visit


Colonial Cristmas Luncheon and Tours American Village Two tours will be offered each day, Tues.-Fri. at 10:30 a.m. prior to a noon luncheon with Martha Washington, and the second tour immediately following the meal. Tickets are $25 and include the lunch, decorated vignettes with costumed historical interpreters and more. For reservations, call 665-3535 ext. 1031 or visit

Dec. 6-7 HOOVER

“A Christmas Carol” Hoover Library Theatre A cast of 16 actors presents a rendition of an old classic filled with surprising humor, lush costumes, 26 Cristmas carols and more at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $27.50. For more information, visit

To: From: Date:

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 t Oct. 20, 2016 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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

Reset your record.

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.

For you, recovery isn’t enough. You need

Thank you for your prompt attention.

to achieve victory over your injury and come

back better than ever. When you team up with Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, we’ll put you back in the position to win.


Walk Through Nativity Briarwood Presbyterian Church Each night from 6:45-8:45 p.m. a free walk will be held through the church’s live nativity will feature 14 scenes depicting Jesus’ life. The performance will feature more than 900 members of the church and live animals, including a camel. Cold weather refreshments and cookies will be available. For more information, visit 

Thurs., Dec 7 BIRMINGHAM

Art Crawl Dowtown Birmingham Local artists and performers will present exhibitions at The Pizitz and throughout downtown Birmingham the first Thurs. of every month from 5-9 p.m. For more information, visit

Go to Andrews to start making your comeback. ©2017 Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center. All rights reserved.

: om:


6 • Thursday, November 30, 2017




items. For more information, contact Katie Johnson rohankatie@gmail. com, call 822-4480 ext. 35 or visit the “St. Peter’s Christmas Bazaar” Facebook page.

accompanied by the mighty Wurlitzer Organ and costumes are strongly encouraged. Showtimes are at various times of day until Dec. 22. For a list of shows and ticket information, visit


Sat., Dec. 9

A Christmas Alleluia Shades Mountain Baptist Church The show will feature the story of Jesus, featuring local artists, musicians and singers. The free show will be held at 2 p.m. and at 6 p.m. Free childcare will be provided to children up to age 4. For more information, visit the “Shades Mountain Baptist Church” Facebook page.

Holiday Craft and Bake Sale Veterans Park The Alabama Wildlife Center will host a fundraiser from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with holiday-themed crafts and ornaments, handmade jewelry, jams, jellies, preserves, baked goods, frozen casseroles, smoked meat, a visit with Santa and more. For more information visit


BRAVO Kamado Grills

Constructed with high-quality ceramic and commercial-grade stainless steel Bravo Kamado grills gives you the flexibility to grill, sear or smoke foods. Built to last by MHP.

2828 Linden Ave. • Homewood • 870-4060

Mike Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Oct.. 2017


Polar Express P.J. Party McWane Science Center Visit with Santa and have a cup of hot cocoa and cookies at 1 or 3 p.m. In addition, “The Polar Express” will show on the IMAX Dome. Special keepsakes will be given to all children ages 12 and under who wear their pajamas to the event. For more information, visit LEEDS

Blue Light Special Art Show Earthborn Studios This event will be held Sat. from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sun. from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and benefits First Light Women’s Shelter. With a donation of $25, guest will receive hot soup and bread served in an Earthborn bowl for the guest to keep. Admission is $2. For more information, visit

Sat., Dec. 9 and 16 BIRMINGHAM

Bell Breakfast This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNALJingle for the McWane Science Center Nov. 2, 2017 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246. Enjoy a hot holiday breakfast, make festive crafts and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. When breakfast is over, take a ride down the slide and head to the IMAX Dome for a private showing of “Santa vs. the Snowman.” Ticket

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

Photo courtesy Birmingham Zoo


Holiday Special!

Tues., Dec. 12 HOMEWOOD

Dec. 8-10, 15-23, 26-31 BIRMINGHAM

ZooLight Safari Birmingham Zoo The annual holiday light festival from 5-9 p.m. features one million lights, holiday music, snowfalls, rides, slides and more. For more information, visit birminghamzoo. com.❖ includes same day admission. For more information, visit

Sun., Dec. 10 BIRMINGHAM

Holiday Soul Alys Stephens Center This holiday celebration features UAB artist-in-residence Eric Essix, along with musical friends Antonio Allen, Melvin Miller, Leonard Julien III, Kelvin Wooten, Kim Scott, Belinda Peoples and Tamara Bodie at 7 p.m. Jemison Concert Hall.  For more inforation, visit alysstephens. org. HOOVER

St. Peter’s Christmas Bazaar St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church The church will hold a free bazaar from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. featuring a wide range of crafts, products and food

Dixie’s Pet Loss Support Group Homewood Public Library This grief/loss group, sponsored by the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, will meet in room 106 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Participation is free, however reservations are requested since space is limited. Contact Randy Hicks, GBHS Volunteer Coordinator at 542-7111.


Wacky Tacky Christmas Light Tour Avondale Brewery Fresh Air Family will host a fundraiser for Gross Out Camp scholarships. Tickets include a guided tour, dinner and a snack. Tour buses will run every 20 minutes from 5-8 p.m., taking guests on a tour of the most outrageous light displays in Birmingham. For more information, visit

Thurs., Dec. 14 MOUNTAIN BROOK

Sursum Corda: Heaven’s Child Canterbury United Methodist Church Birmingham’s renowned chamber choir, led by conductor Lester Seigel, will present carols and holiday-themed works by Brahms, Stephen Paulus and others. The 7:30 p.m. concert is free and will be held in the sanctuary. For

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.

Thank you for your prompt attention.

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

Monday-Friday 9:30-6:30 • Saturday 9:30-5:30 • Sunday 12:00-5:00 in November & December 2830 18th Street South • Homewood, AL 35209 • 205.879.3986. •



Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

off at 6:30 a.m. with an 8 a.m. 5k start and a 9 a.m. fun run start. Post-race activities include carnival games, a kids area, balloon twisting, pictures with Santa, free food and more. For more information, visit or

Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 7

Finally! A new kind of Christmas Tree - Silvertip Fir -


Find More Holiday Events on Page 31 more information, visit

Dec. 14-16 HOOVER

Is it Christmas Yeti? Hoover Library Theatre The holidays get hairy when a family of yetis move in next door in this free, original holiday musical presented by the Children’s Department staff. For more information, visit


The Mutt-Cracker BJCC A new twist on a “classic tail”, Birmingham Ballet’s The Nutcracker

with the addition of dogs performing along side the dancers will begin at 7:30 p.m. A portion of each ticket benefits the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. For more information, visit BIRMINGHAM

Handel’s Messiah & Bach’s Magnificat Alys Stephens Center Celebrate the holiday season with a performance by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra of Bach’s Jubilant Magnificat followed by the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah. Tickets begin at $39. For more information, visit


KultureCity Fit Vestavia Hills 5k Vestavia Hills Baptist Church KultureCity’s 5k run/walk will kick

Meadow Brook Runs US AmeriBank The annual runs will have a US AmeriBank sponsored headquareters with an awards ceremony, gift bags and more. Entry fees are voluntary with a minimum suggestion of $15-25. For more information, visit

Sun., Dec. 17 BIRMINGHAM

Grand Menorah Lighting The Summit LJCC and Chabad of Alabama will host its annual ceremony in Saks Plaza at 4:30 p.m. with the lighting of the Menorah at 5:15 p.m. The event features carnival treats, music, games, a photo booth and more. For more information, visit VESTAVIA HILLS

Briarwood Christmas Festival Briarwood Presbyterian Church The Briarwood Chancel (adult) Choir, Festival Orchestra, Youth Choir and Briarwood Ballet present, “Break Forth Into Singing at 7 p.m. This free program of sacred choral and instrumental music will include classics by Bach, Handel, John Rutter and more. For more information, visit ❖

Available at

To: Leaf and Petal From: Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246 Date: November This is your aD PrOOF from the Over The MOuNTaiN JOurNaL for the Dec. 1st 2016 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.


8 • Thursday, November 30, 2017



Arty Holidays

MBAA Annual Holiday Art Show Dec. 1-17 At The Summit By Emily Williams

Aldridge Gardens Hosts Annual Gifts of Art

Downtown Birmingham • 205-251-3381

Calendars and refills -12 months of 2018 beautifully packaged. The perfect gift for the most discerning person.

Twelve artists will be showcasing artwork in a wide range of mediums at Aldridge Gardens’ second annual Gifts of Art showcase. The event will be Dec. 7 at The House at Aldridge Gardens and will include Alabama-inspired items that organization officials say are perfect for gift-giving. Barbara Dollar of Hoover participated in the inaugural show last year and is returning with handcrafted jewelry. Many of Dollar’s pieces feature her signature tree designs. “I am greatly inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds me living in rural Alabama,” she said. Dollar said she always has loved

Photo courtesy Mountain Brook Art Association

This year, the Mountain Brook Art Association is moving its annual Holiday Show to a new location. The art showcase and sale will be Dec. 1-17 at The Summit in the space to the left of Bed, Bath and Beyond, formerly the location of Coconuts. The free event will feature more than 75 local artists selling handpainted ornaments and paintings of all sizes and prices. In addition, members of the association will participate in daily art demonstrations covering a range of skills and topics. A portion of all sales will benefit the event’s partnering charity, Hand in Paw Animal Assisted Therapy. Show hours will be MondaySaturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 6 p.m. For more information and updates, visit mountainbrookartassociation. com.

The Mountain Brook Art Association Art show features more than 75 local artists, including Joan Curtis, above, selling hand-painted ornaments and paintings of all sizes and prices.

trees and started out making leaf jewelry, but her favored tree designs were inspired by research into her family’s history. About a decade into studying her own family tree, she connected with a cousin who lived in Israel, who in turn helped reunite her with two of her mother’s first cousins. When the oldest passed away, Dollar said she was struck with the inspiration to create fused tree earrings, which she named Edgar’s Trees. “The annual Spring Aldridge Gardens art show is actually where I

showcased my tree jewelry for the first time in 2012,” Dollar said. She said that the ‘new collection’ was well accepted that weekend and she, “felt inspired at every turn and truly found my niche at Aldridge Gardens.” Dollar’s tree designs have since evolved. In addition to creating jewelry from forged precious metals, she often upcycles vintage pieces such as sterling silver spoons into rings, bracelets and pendants. Dollar will be joined in the showSee ALDRIDGE, page 9



Photos courtesy Aldridge Gardens

From page 8

case by fellow artists spanning a wide variety of mediums, including Dan Browning, wood; Heather Hepp, glass; Julie Jackson, jewelry; Patricia Koski, recycled glass; Tracy Leventry, ceramics; Karen Libecap, miniature paintings; Robin Metz, multimedia; Cindy Phillips, ceramics; Joanna Sanders, earthwear; Nancy Walton, fabric; and Ajene Williams, iron. The free indoor show will be from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. in The House at Aldridge Gardens. For more information, visit ❖

Mountain Brook’s Bebenek Joins the Eagle Ranks

Alex Bebenek recently became the newest Eagle Scout with Troop 320, at Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church. Bebenek’s leadership positions have included troop webmaster, instructor, patrol leader and assistant senior patrol leader. At the National Jamboree, he was selected as the senior patrol leader for the Southern Alex Bebenek Contingent of the Greater Alabama Council. He recently was tapped into the Order of the Arrow and completed his Ordeal this fall.   During his scouting career, Bebenek has racked up more than 50 camping nights and about 190 miles of hiking. He attended Philmont in 2016 as well as this year’s jamboree. Bebenek’s Eagle project was to build a 240-foot-long, five-foot-wide gravel trail at Red Mountain Park. He had the help of 18 Scout volunteers who, along with other volunteers, put more than 230 hours into the project.  The son of Paul and Lisa Bebenek, Bebenek is a sophomore at Mountain Brook High, where he has been a member of the math team for the past three years and a member of the school marching and symphonic bands.  Bebenek participated in the UAB

Best robotics competition and the VEX robotics competition while he was in junior high. He hopes to major in computer science in college. Bebenek also is involved in Temple Emanu-El, having had his bar mitzvah in 2014 and his confirmation this past March.  He plans to stay active with Troop 320 as an instructor and guide and hopes to earn several Palms.

Vestavia Resident Releases New Book, “#ChooseHappy”

Vestavia Hills resident A. Lance Jaynes recently made his debut as a published author, releasing his book “#ChooseHappy.” Through this self-help book, Jaynes seeks to teach readers how to overcome whatever is keeping them from achieving their happiest and most fulfilling life. “In short, I wrote this book to help spread happiness to as many people as possible. We make life entirely too difficult and it should be fulfilling and happy,” said Jaynes, in a press release.  Jaynes is a life and happiness coach, specializing in assistance with overcoming past regrets and obstacles that prevent a person from becoming their happiest self. In addition, he has a podcast, “Higher Living,” that is an extension of his work as a life coach.  The book can be purchased at Barnes and Noble or on Amazon in hardcover, softcover or e-book.  For more information, visit ❖

Free Lunch and Learn Seminar:

To: From:

Friday, December 8 • Noon-1 p.m.


Peripheral Artery Disease Grandview Conference Rooms inside Grandview Medical Center 3690 Grandview Parkway Lunch will be provided at 11:30 a.m. Christopher King, M.D., FACC Board-Certified in Cardiology

Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 9


Seating is limited and registration is required.

Call 205-971-7474.

Saturday, December 2nd Wreaths & Swags OF FRESHLY CUT GREENERY, BERRIES AND CONES

Beautiful Poinsettias


Lush, Fragrant Garland BY THE FOOT OR ROLL

Collier Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., 205-824-1246, fax Nov 2017

This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for t Novmeber 30th, 3017 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-124

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.


Thank you for your prompt attention.

Do your legs ache or feel heavy? Do your feet or toes sometimes tingle or feel cold? Do you have sores on your feet that just won’t heal? Those could be symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or PAD. If allowed to progress, PAD can result in the loss of a limb. But fortunately, it’s treatable when detected early. So join cardiologist Christopher King, M.D., FACC, to learn more about PAD symptoms, early detection and treatment options.

Member of the Medical Staff at Grandview Medical Center 99433_GRAN_L&Ldec_10_375x6_25c.indd 1

Look Forward. 10/20/17 11:39 AM


10 • Thursday, November 30, 2017


Decision on Proposed Condo Development on Overton Road Delayed Until December

Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills PTOs Talk Education Issues With Legislators During Forum

A contentious debate over a proposed development on Overton Road is expected to continue into December meetings of both the Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills city councils. Developer Ron Durham is requesting the rezoning of properties along Fairhaven Lane in Mountain Brook and Poe Street in Vestavia Hills so that he can construct a 41-unit condominium development there. Two-thirds of the property is in Mountain Brook; the rest is in Vestavia. The development has triggered strong pushback from residents of the area, who claim that it will add to traffic problems on Overton Road. Some have formed a coalition called “Stop Overton Traffic,” to oppose the development, which their website claims “would negatively impact an already dire traffic situation on Overton Road and the surrounding areas.” The group’s petition against the development also cites objections to the development’s size. Instead, the group suggests it would approve of single-family homes being placed on the property. Developers have argued that the impact on the area’s traffic would be minimal. Skipper Consulting, a traffic engineering company hired by Durham, has said that the condos would add only 25 total trips to the morning rush hour and 30 total trips to the afternoon rush hour, reported. Durham added that the condos were primarily for “empty nesters” who wouldn’t add significantly to traf-

By Emily Williams

Journal photo by Emily Williams

By Sam Prickett

The development has triggered strong pushback from residents of the area, who claim that it will add to traffic problems on Overton Road. fic.

Opponents to the development dispute that number, with some saying it could bring as many as 200 more cars per day, and argue that the roads are far too narrow to accommodate any increase. The development, Stop Overton Traffic argues, could cause subsequent safety problems for surrounding neighborhoods. “What are now quiet residential streets will likely become common cut-through streets as we all try to

avoid the ‘mess on Overton,’” the coalition’s website states. The Mountain Brook City Council held a public hearing on the proposed development on Nov. 13, and public response was so strong that the council delayed its vote on rezoning, electing instead to continue the public hearing during its Dec. 11 meeting. The Vestavia Hills City Council is slated to have a public hearing on the development during its Nov. 27 meeting. ❖

The Parent Teacher Organizations for Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills schools co-hosted a legislative forum Nov. 16 to talk with legislators about education issues. A panel consisting of Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, Sen. Slade Blackwell, R-Mountain Brook, and Rep. David Faulkner, R-Mountain Brook, invited questions from each PTO board about issues such as tenure, arts education and increased teacher certifications. A theme throughout the discussion was the importance that PTO board members and politicians on the panel placed on public forums. A member of Alabama Children’s Cabinet, Faulkner’s duties as a state representative are paired with the cabinet’s mission to more effectively gather opinions from Alabamians about legislative decisions on public education. “I think that the rest of the state could learn a lot from districts that are doing really well, which are right here, which you are a part of,” Faulkner said to the audience, which consisted of school officials and faculty, PTO members and community members. Faulkner and interim Vestavia Hills Superintendent Charles Mason noted that the legislative forum is just one of the ways that he and his colleagues gather opinions and ideas from the community. Mason and Mountain Brook Superintendent Dicky Barlow said some of the most important topics to discuss at the local level are money for education, the advancement in technology fund and the Education Trust Fund. School system officials and community representatives suggested that legislative officials focus on the unique needs of each school system when it comes time to disburse funds to schools, which includes colleges as well as K-12 schools. According to Blackwell, K-12 schools will be getting more money for education because of changes in the division of property tax revenues. Barlow argued that each school system should have the ability to choose how those funds are used within their schools, using as an example ATF funding of tablets. The Mountain Brook school system used ATF funds to buy ChromeBooks for students. But he said ChromeBooks “are somewhat useless as an educational tool” in school districts without the infrastructure to support their use. Waggoner said the Legislature will be discussing the distribution of such funds in the regular session that starts Jan. 9. The topic also was discussed during a forum Nov. 7 that was hosted by the Hoover City Schools Foundation. ❖

A Holiday Tradition

Fill your home with the scent of your favorite fragrances.

The annual Mountain Scouts Christmas Tree Sale kicked off Nov. 18 as 10 local boy scout troops and the Over the Mountain Tree Sale Association continued a holiday tradition that began in 1959. Trees are available at three lots, located on Highway 150 at Target in Hoover at Shades Cahaba Elementary in Homewood or on Highway 31 in Vestavia Hills next to the post office. Clockwise from below, Joe Mullen and Robert Thomason with Troop 320 Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church at the tree lot in Vestavia; Tree shoppers getting an early start; the lot in Vestavia.

2404 Canterbury Road • 871-8297

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Select from over 25 fragrances, including all time favorites Frasier Fir and Cypress.



Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 11

The Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation recently announced its participation in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that is held annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. In addition, Mountain Brook Mayor Stewart Welch signed a proclamation earlier this month recognizing Nov. 28 as “Giving Tuesday Mountain Brook.” “Mountain Brook is such a generous community, it seemed only fitting to ask Mayor Welch to proclaim this year’s Giving Tuesday as Giving Tuesday Mountain Brook,” said foundation Executive Director Stephanie Maxwell.  The foundation will be co-hosting a Drop Off Day for the annual Mountain Brook Stocking Project. Donations can be dropped off at a tent at the Mountain Brook Police Department on Nov. 28 from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. The project is an annual initiative of the Mountain Brook Police and Fire Departments in conjunction with No Shave November. Throughout the month, volunteers from both departments collect money donations as well as donated items to stuff in stockings and give to adult patients of the Bruno Cancer Center at St. Vincent’s Hospital.  The growth of the project led the foundation to get involved, Maxwell noted. In its inaugural year, department volunteers donated 50 stockings; but last year that number grew to 200 stockings.

Journal photo by Maury Wald

Mountain Brook Stocking Project Targets #GivingTuesday

From left, Stephanie Maxwell, executive director of the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation; Daphne Horton, Mountain Brook police officer; Jacqueline Terrell, Mountain Brook parking enforcement officer; and Mountain Brook Police Chief Ted Cook. In addition to the foundation, others in the community have embraced the project, including Mountain Brook Elementary second-grade teacher Katherine Brown and her students in the school’s Girls on the Run club. The club members gathered donations from fellow students, faculty and staff for the first Drop Off Day. While a few items have been marked off of the list, items still needed at the second Drop Off include pairs of soft women’s and men’s socks, toboggans, small packs of tissues, puzzle books, pencils, packs of Goldfish crackers, small bottles of water and full-size candy canes. The stocking project is one of many ways #GivingTuesday can be recognized. “Our residents support so many

worthwhile organizations across the Birmingham metro area,” Maxwell said. “#GivingTuesdayMB is a great way to remind everyone to continue that support on Nov. 28.” #GivingTuesday was started by the organization 92Y to encourage people to give back to their local communities.  “We have been incredibly inspired by the generosity in time, efforts and ideas that have brought our concept for a worldwide movement into reality,” said Henry Timms, founder of #GivingTuesday and executive director of 92Y. “As we embark on our sixth year of #GivingTuesday, we are encouraged by the early response from partner’s eager to continue making an impact in this global conversation.” —Emily Williams

Wishing You the Joy of the Season That Comes With Holiday Traditions (205) 414-3332 (888) 783-7631 800 Shades Creek Parkway, Suite 750 Birmingham, Alabama 35209 Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated | Member SIPC & NYSE |


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CHRISTMAS EVE EATS Menus for Dec. 24 Dinners Range from Crabs to Chinese Food

By Donna Cornelius




1 10-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed 1 tablespoon unsalted butter ½ cup diced yellow onion 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 cup milk


An Italian Christmas Eve

“We do a big splurge for Christmas Eve,” said Leslie Register of Mountain Brook (pictured). “We order stone crabs from Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami and sometimes their Key lime pie. My husband, Jon, will do his homemade onion rings. We might have creamed spinach, and sometimes we’ve done bacon-wrapped filets to have surf and turf.”

Rosalie Molay, who lives in Brook Highland, draws on her family’s roots to cook up a Dec. 24 dinner. Both she and her husband, Joey, have an Italian heritage. “On Christmas Eve, our family enjoys a Sicilian Christmas,” she said. “We serve lasagna, Graffeo Brothers Italian sausage cooked with potatoes accompanied with sautéed bell peppers, onions, Italian-style green beans and rolls.” She said the Molays and the Lorinos, her family, “have been serving this meal for as long as I can remember.” “Over the past few years, we have started ‘ON CHRISTMAS EVE, OUR FAMILY ENJOYS A SICILIAN CHRISTMAS. WE SERVE LASAGNA, GRAFFEO BROTHERS ITALIAN SAUSAGE COOKED WITH POTATOES ACCOMPANIED WITH SAUTÉED BELL PEPPERS, ONIONS, ITALIAN-STYLE GREEN BEANS AND ROLLS.’

Photos special to the Journal

ou usually can count on several things spread out on the table for Christmas dinner: turkey, sweet potato casserole, hot rolls, and maybe Uncle Charlie if he’s indulged in a tad too much spiked eggnog. Menus for the night before Christmas, however, can be more creative and thus more fun – even when there’s a snag in your dinner plans. “We do a big splurge for Christmas Eve,” said Leslie Register of Mountain Brook. “We order stone crabs from Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami and sometimes their Key lime pie. My husband, Jon, will do his homemade onion rings. We might have creamed spinach, and sometimes we’ve done bacon-wrapped filets to have surf and turf.” One year, the Registers had to go surf-less because their crabs were no-shows. “We were looking out the window until 2 p.m. that Christmas Eve,” Register said. “It turned out that our order was in a FedEx bin in Memphis. We ran to Western and picked up steaks and baked some potatoes.” While absentee meal components might throw some folks into a tizzy, Register has plenty of tricks up her sleeve when it comes to hosting festive occasions. She’s the author of “Leslie’s Party Diaries,” a book that not only includes recipes, but plenty of party tips. While you can still get her book – she has about 200 copies left – she also shares her cooking and entertaining know-how through her new blog, Dear Party Diary. She said that while many writers launch a blog first and then write a book, she reversed the order. “I needed a project after I’d finished the book,” she said. “A friend’s daughter who’s a student at Washington and Lee University sent me a ‘blogs for dummies’ checklist and helped me set it up. “I’m doing all the photos for it.” Register said blogging is less stressful than putting a book together. “The blog is not as permanent; with the book, I worried about getting everything right because I couldn’t go back and change it,” she said. “And the blog is free.” You can find the blog at Her book website is “During the holidays, I’ll have recipes on the blog for ‘baby bites’ – small appetizers – and recipes and packaging ideas for food gifts. I’m planning to do something on centerpieces and a cocktail series.” Register shared two recipes from her book that she often whips up for her Christmas Eve feast. “Creamed spinach is nice because it can be made the morning of and baked when needed,” she said. “And for dessert, we either get Joe’s Key lime pie or make Mississippi Muds.”

½ cup heavy cream 1 6.5-ounce container of buttery garlic-and-herb spreadable cheese 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon lemon zest, minced Salt, ground white pepper, ground red pepper and ground nutmeg to taste INGREDIENTS FOR THE TOPPING:

2 to 3 slices of sandwich bread, torn into pieces 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cubed 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Instructions: To make the casserole: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish or spray it with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside. Drain spinach; press between paper towels to remove all moisture. Set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté over medium heat about 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Whisk in flour until blended. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Whisk in the garlic-andherb spreadable cheese until blended. Remove from heat.

Stir in the spinach, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and seasonings. Spoon spinach mixture into baking dish. Spoon the breadcrumb topping over the spinach. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the spinach mixture is bubbly. To make the topping: Process all ingredients in a food processor. Set aside until ready to use. Cook’s notes: Register said this dish can be made ahead, covered and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. Remove it from the fridge 30 minutes before baking. She also said not to be fooled by the amount of spinach because the dish is very rich and will feed more folks than you think. She likes to use Boursin buttery garlic-and-herb spreadable cheese.

adding fun appetizers to the menu, such as an antipasto platter, buffalo chicken dip, baked brie with red pepper jelly, and everyone’s favorite, French onion dip and chips, bringing a little American cuisine to the evening,” Molay said. The Molays have two daughters, both graduates of John Carroll Catholic High School and the University of Alabama. Mary Catherine is a communications graduate assistant in the Mississippi State University Athletics Department. Marena, who’s engaged to Taylor Messina, is a certified public accountant in Birmingham. “The Molay side of our family, Marena’s future in-laws, a few friends, and my daddy, Mike Lorino, come over for the Christmas Eve festivities,” Molay said. “Of course, we always begin Christmas Eve by attending Mass, because Jesus is definitely the reason for the season.” She shared her recipe for a favorite family holiday dish using Graffeo Brothers Italian sausages. “My sister-in-law Mary Ann Graffeo’s family has been making that sausage for years,” she said. “It’s now sold in local stores like Piggly Wiggly and Western.” CHRISTMAS EVE ITALIAN SAUSAGE Serves 20



5 Graffeo Brothers Italian sausages, cut into 2-inch links 3 Idaho potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced 2 to 3 large sweet onions, sliced 3 to 4 green bell peppers, cut into strips

Instructions: Process all 3 ingredients in a blender on high speed until smooth. Serve immediately. Cook’s note: Register likes to use Kahlua coffeeflavored liqueur.

Instructions: Place all vegetables in a large baking dish and add a small amount of water to cover the bottom of the pan. Place sausages on top of vegetables and cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour or until sausages are cooked through. Cook’s note: Molay said she usually uncovers the dish when the sausage is done and allows it to brown in the oven for a few minutes.

Serves 6 Ingredients: ½ gallon vanilla ice cream ¼ cup milk 1 cup coffee-flavored liqueur



Chinese Dinner, By Design

In the beloved movie “A Christmas Story,” Ralphie and his family end up having a fun Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant after the neighbor’s dogs swipe their succulent turkey right off the table. Sandy Naramore and her family eat Chinese on Christmas Eve – but it’s always by design. “We attend afternoon worship at Canterbury United Methodist Church and then have dinner at P.F. Chang,” she said. “My mother treats the entire family to dinner.” Naramore, who lives in Mountain Brook, was the executive director of Mitchell’s Place for nine years. She now has the same position at Magic Moments, a Birmingham nonprofit organization that make wishes and dreams come true for seriously ill children. She said her family has two other important holiday traditions. “On Dec. 22, we attend the live nativity at Mountain Brook Baptist Church after having dinner at Davenport’s Pizza,” she said. “On Christmas Day, I make lasagna for the family.”

ANDREA BAILEY POWERS ‘Celebrating with Family’

Lasagna also is on the menu for Andrea Bailey Powers and her family. “My favorite family Christmas tradition started 30 years ago when my cousin, Kim Corretti, began hosting our extended family from Hoover and

Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 13

LIFE Vestavia for a post-church Christmas Eve dinner of lasagna and baked ziti at her Vestavia Hills home,” said Powers, an attorney with the Birmingham firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz. “While the food is delicious, the joy of celebrating with family is even better. The adults play a game of dirty Santa with lots of side deals and teasing.” She said even bad weather can’t dampen the group’s Christmas spirit. “One of our favorite memories is of a Christmas Eve several years ago when there was a thunderstorm and the electricity was out,” Powers said. “We celebrated by candlelight with lots of red wine. The candles were red, and the next morning the dripped wax and spilled wine looked like something out of a horror movie. It was a Wes Craven Christmas!”


Traditional Tamales

Laura Promer of Vestavia Hills and her family share Christmas cheer – and Mexican food – with friends. “We always make tamales to share at the Monteguts’ house after Mass,” Promer said. “We met when our children attended preschool at our church, Our Lady of Sorrows, and we’ve been celebrating with them on Christmas Eve ever since, even though our children are in college now.” She said she started making the tamales in 2008 after reading a recipe for them in Cooking Light magazine. “They were so popular that I’ve continued making them over the

years,” Promer said. “They are the perfect make-ahead dish, and all the kids and adults love them.”


Inspired by Her Heritage

It’s not surprising that Andrea Griffith’s Christmas Eve dinners are always special. She’s the award-winning executive chef at Pursell Farms, a resort near Sylacauga that’s home to the FarmLinks golf course and Orvis shooting grounds. Griffith, who lives in Greystone, said her Christmas Eve dinners always have been a culinary homage to her family heritage. She is of Irish, Italian and Polish descent, so her family prepared classic dishes from each country or variations of dishes from one country. For a classic ravioli party, she and her family would make different versions of homemade ravioli, and her grandmother would make cacciatore and Italian waffle cookies called pizzelles. To celebrate their Polish heritage, the group would make homemade golabki (stuffed cabbage rolls) or pierogi (dumplings) stuffed with cabbage. “The house would smell amazing when we made Grzaniec Galicyjski, which is Galician mulled wine, with herbs, fruits and nuts – yummy,” Griffith said. There’s also a spirited nod to the family’s Irish side. “Christmas Eve would not be complete without Irish coffee with the favorite Jameson Irish Whiskey,” she said. ❖

To: From 205Date

T MOU Plea poss

If Frid



Thank you to our

2017 Corporate Friends JOE LEE GRIFFIN Foundation

Thomas E. Jernigan Foundation

Dan Anderson Lacrosse Classic



QUIET STRENGTH Christian Author’s New Book Promotes Humility

By Sarah Kuper Christian writer and speaker Richard Simmons has published eight books dealing with topics such as wisdom, success and effective living. Now he’s taking on the damaging effects of pride and discussing how to take active steps toward humility. Simmons is the creator of the Center for Executive Leadership – a nonprofit organization that offers biblical guidance to men through studies and workshops. But Simmons said he feels some of his most impactful work is through the written word. His latest work, “The Power of a Humble Life: Quiet Strength in an Age of Arrogance,” is inspired by the biblical instruction “humble yourself,” Simmons said. “Over the years, I have had the opportunity to speak about pride in contrast with humility and people would approach me to tell me how much it resonated,” Simmons said. Simmons said he writes about God’s expectation that man is responsible for cultivating humility. But most of the time, he said, people do the exact opposite. “We take credit for things in our life instead of recognizing the gifts from God,” he said. Simmons takes many cues from author C.S. Lewis’ writings on pride, but he also incorporates secular research to support the notion that pride is the chief cause of misery. “I talk about the scientific research. It recognizes that humble people are grateful people,” he said. Simmons intends the book to act as a sequel to his bestseller “The True Measure of a Man.” This book extends that text to include something Simmons calls “impression management.” “Impression management is a big part of our lives. The tragedy is that we feel like all our virtues must be known.” Simmons said pride is often rooted in man’s ingrained need for glory or significance. He said people want their lives to matter and

Journal phto by Jordan Wald

14 • Thursday, November 30, 2017

Richard Simmons is the creator of the Center for Executive Leadership – a nonprofit organization that offers biblical guidance to men through studies and workshops. His latest work, “The Power of a Humble Life: Quiet Strength in an Age of Arrogance,” is inspired by the biblical instruction “humble yourself.”

Simmons recognizes that this is no easy task. He said, at its core, humility is unnatural, and people are able to point out pride and arrogance in others while remaining oblivious to pride in their own lives. He said that while people are busy trying to prove themselves, they are actually hurting themselves and those around them. Simmons draws from historical examples of leaders who made decisions based on pride rather than empirical facts. Other important components to combatting pride that Simmons

they are afraid their lives will be inconsequential, so they are constantly trying to prove themselves. Simmons suggests instituting the “discipline of secrecy,” wherein a person purposely abstains from boasting about achievements or attributes. Instead, people should put God in charge of their public relations.


BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN COLLEGE CHOIRS: 81ST ANNUAL CAROL SERVICE Friday, December 1 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, December 3 at 4:30 pm (Sanctuary) Join the BSC Choirs in their annual offering of great choral music and familiar carols, in this longstanding tradition to begin the holiday season! CANTERBURY CHOIRS: LESSONS AND CAROLS ON THE SECOND SUNDAY IN ADVENT Sunday, December 10 at 10:30 am (Sanctuary) SURSUM CORDA, LESTER SEIGEL, CONDUCTOR: “HEAVEN’S CHILD” Thursday, December 14 at 7:30 pm (Sanctuary) Birmingham’s renowned chamber choir presents carols and holiday-themed works by Brahms, Stephen Paulus and more, including new works composed especially for this program. All programs are free. Childcare is available on Dec. 3, 10 and 14 by advance reservation: 205.874.1531


Simmons said pride is often rooted in man’s ingrained need for glory or significance. He said people want their lives to matter and they are afraid their lives will be inconsequential, so they are constantly trying to prove themselves. writes about are recognizing one’s weaknesses and praying to God for strength. Simmons said he hopes this book will change people’s lives. Although Simmons’s work at the Center for Executive Leadership is designed for guiding men, he said this book is for anyone, male or female. “The Power of a Humble Life: Quiet Strength in an Age of Arrogance” is available online and at many area businesses. For more on Simmons’s other writings and the Center for Executive Leadership, visit ❖


Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 15


Tiny Heroes

10-Year-Old Supports Families Facing the Congenital Defect He Overcame By Sarah Kuper

tors and financially help support you in some ways,� she said, “If you are seeing a doctor out of town, they can At 20 weeks pregnant, Liz Rich help find lodging. They are there to was delighted to learn she would be give parents resources and support having a baby boy. from people who have been where Then during the appointment, the you have been.� doctor’s tone quickly turned serious. The Rich family temThe baby was diagnosed porarily moved to with a congenital diaphragGainesville, Florida, while matic hernia, a potentially a doctor specializing in lethal condition affecting CDH cared for Rich and fetal lung development. Par. But today, 10-year-old Even though Par Par Rich is doing well and doesn’t remember anyactively helping to bring thing about being born understanding and hope to with CDH or the following families of babies diagsurgery and lengthy NICU nosed with CDH. stay, he’s got a heart for Par recently was named babies going through what co-captain of the Tiny Hero Par Rich he did. Hope for the Holidays funRich said Par is setting, rather than draising drive. Tiny Hero is a nonfollowing, an example. profit that aims to quickly get infor“He started doing it all on his own. mation and resources to families of He was worried about other CDH babies diagnosed with CDH. When Par was diagnosed, Liz Rich babies. Par is praying for those babies, he cares about these kids,� and her husband, Rusty, used individRich said. ual contacts and the internet to find Par follows the stories of babies support from other families. from diagnosis to delivery, making They found a blog written by encouraging videos and sending small another family whose daughter was gifts to parents and newborns. born with CDH, and they looked to “It is really a God thing how difthem for hope and information. Now, Rich said, Tiny Hero is serv- ferent babies come across our path. It can really overwhelm you and takes ing that same purpose and more. “Tiny Hero can help you find doc- you to a weird spot,� Rich said, “But

Par sends a lovey message to them and it isn’t like he is following in my footsteps. I wasn’t sending care packages or anything.� As part of the Hope for the Holidays fundraiser, Par hopes to raise more than $1,000 using snail mail, social media and word of mouth. Rich said he has taken to fundraising like a pro. The organization’s nationwide goal is $10,000, but Rich said she anticipates exceeding that number. Rich is proud of her son and is following his lead.

“It was super scary, but we were overwhelmed by love and kindness from total strangers. For most of the people we are following, they are total strangers to us, but it makes sense to insert ourselves into their lives because we have been through it,� she said, “There are a lot of people who cared for this little boy they didn’t know.� The money raised through the Hope for the Holidays drive will go toward care packages, financial help for families and other support efforts. For more information, visit tinyhero.

org. The drive runs through the end of December. â?–


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READY TO RUMBLE ival teams met Nov. 16 at The Club to take part in the Robert E. Reed Gastrointestinal Oncology Research Foundation’s annual Finish the Fight Iron Bowl Kickoff Party. The evening kicked off with a pre-party reception for high rollers, followed by the casino party with celebrity dealers representing the football programs at the University of Alabama and Auburn University. The honorary chairs for the evening were Jay Barker, representing Alabama, and Ben Tamburello, representing Auburn. Other celebrity dealers included former players Greg Carr, Corey Reamer, Reggie Torbor and John Parker Wilson. Festivities included music by The Negotiators, a silent auction, a wine pull and a whiskey ring toss. Helping coordinate the event were the members of the foundation’s board, including Dr. Martin Heslin, Dr. Edward Partridge, Dr. Marshall Urist, Carolyn Reed, Randy Reed and Scott Reed. The event featured the 2017 Faces of GI Cancer, five GI cancer survivors who shared their story of treatment and recovery with the foundation and its supporters. This year’s honorees included Ashley Bates, Mike Raita, Holly Richardson, Sophie Slate and Annlee Wood. Funds raised through the event will benefit the foundation’s efforts to fund research at UAB led by Heslin. ❖

Journal photos by Jordan Wald


Robert E. Reed Honors Faces of GI Cancer at Annual Fundraiser

From left: Susan Day, Rosemary Gillepsy, Jenny Reed and David Faulkner.

Elisabeth Branch and Lynn Creighton.

Jennifer Mitchell, Kelli Rucker and Aimee Forbus.

Ashley and Reed Bates.

Dr. Marty Heslin and Mike Raita.

The evening kicked off with a pre-party reception for high rollers, followed by the casino party with celebrity dealers representing the football programs at the University of Alabama and Auburn University.


The Lindy Dance Club welcomed new members at a party held Oct. 24 at Dram Whiskey Bar. This year’s new members are Catherine Gross, Lisa Jernigan, Katrina Logan, Katie Thagard and Leigh Leigh Tortorici. The Lindy Dance Club is a social organization made up of women who graduated from high school in 1985, 1986 and 1987. Its’ main purpose is to gather as a group at least once a year and have another get together with spouses, dates or significant oth-

Photos special to the Journal

In With the New Lindy Dance Club Throws Party for New Members

Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 17


From left, Carrie McMahon, with new members Leigh Leigh Tortorici, Katrina Logan, Catherine Gross and Lisa Jernigan.

ers. Members in attendance at the New Member Party were Brooks Sanders, Carrie McMahon, Margaret Little, Nancy Faulkner, Ivey Brown,

Laurie Wilbanks, Isabelle Lawson, Leigh Anne Haas, Ashley Powell, Sally Lineberry, Julie Littleton Smith, Meg Sullivan, Robin Reed, Jennifer Ard and several others. â?–


Left, Meg Sullivan and Nancy Faulkner. Right, Leigh Anne Haas, Isabelle Lawson and Laurie Wilbanks.

2841 Cahaba Road

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To: From: Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Date: November

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18 • Thursday, November 30, 2017



Going for Gold

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

From left: Eli Gold, Bobby Humphrey, Andrew Edwards, Keith Arendall and Major Ogilvie.

Sunrise Rotary Hosts Annual Iron Bowl Fundraiser

Presenting Sponsor

Featured Partners

B&A Warehouse was abuzz with football festivities Nov. 20 for the Gridiron Tailgate, an annual fundraiser hosted by the Birmingham Sunrise Rotary. Serving as Master of Ceremonies for the event was Eli Gold, joined by mascots Big Al and Aubie. Gold led a question and answer session with former University of Alabama and Auburn University players to get guests in the spirit for the upcoming Iron Bowl. Representing Auburn was Ben Tamburello, Chris

Gray, Joe Cribbs, Terry Henley and Tommy Yearout. Alabama representatives were Major Ogilvie, Bobby Humphrey, Philip Doyle, Antonio Langham, Tyler Watts and John Parker Wilson. In addition, guests were treated to a silent auction, music and plenty of food, beer and wine. Charities benefitting from this year’s event are Magic Moments, East Lake Child Nurturing and Development Center, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the Rotary Foundation. ❖ Sandy Bean, Mark Haas, Ben Tamburello, Chris Gray and Henry Holliday.

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Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 19

SOCIAL Aaron Nelson, Tommy Yearout, Joe Cribbs, Terry Henley and David Dowd.

Charities benefitting from this year’s event are Magic Moments, East Lake Child Nurturing and Development Center, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the Rotary Foundation. Nathan Marcus, Deborah McGill, John Parker Wilson, Leigh Russell and Claude Tindle.

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signed by Garth Brooks, artwork and Supporters of Cornerstone Schools of prompt attention. vacations to destinations such as Alabama spent the evening of Nov. 3 Antigua or Saint Lucia. bidding on popular items during the Longtime Cornerstone supporter 14th annual Harvest of Hope, held at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. and board member John Hornsby was the honoree for the evening. The The event was hosted by program for the evening featured Cornerstone’s Women’s Service Cornerstone successes, a seated dinBoard and included an auction for ner and music. SEC Championship tickets, a guitar

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Heading up preparation and planning for the event was women’s service board President Michele Smith, event chairman Danna Yarmowich, Kate Simpson, Julie Blumenthal and Karen Brannan. All proceeds from the event directly benefit the more than 530 students who attend Cornerstone schools. ❖

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Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 21


Journal photos by Jordan Wald

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Firehouse Ministries Has Guests Bidding on Baskets Guests donned their best denim and made their way to Haven on Nov. 17 for Firehouse Ministries’ annual Blue Jeans and Baskets Bash. A silent and live auction included a variety of themed gift baskets filled with items and gift cards, tickets to the Masters Golf Tournament, sports memorabilia, tickets to the Birmingham Barons or the Birmingham Bulls hockey, a Napa Valley wine excursion and a culinary trip to Tuscany. The evening included a men’s jeans donation collection for the ministry’s clothes closet, which donates an average of 1,000 items of clothing each month. Each donation gave guests a chance to spin a “Wheel of Fortune,” to win more tickets for basket drawings. In addition, music was provided by JKo. Funds raised support Firehouse Ministries in its efforts to care for the homeless community in Birmingham. ❖

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Journal photos by Jordan Wald

the ornament She Really Wants

Tutus Optional

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Music and plenty of craft beer was on tap Nov. 5 at Red Hills Brewing in Homewood for The Dance Foundation’s Tutus, Blues and Brews fundraiser. The afternoon event featured games, a photo booth, raffled prizes, music by the Automatic Slim Blues Band, food served up by Little Donkey and more. Guests had the opportunity to grab tutu kits, giving kids a chance to make and decorate their own tutus at the event or at home. Funds raised through the event benefit the organization’s efforts to provide arts lessons to more than 2,000 students reached each week through studio and community outreach programs. ❖

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Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 23

All Decked Out

By Sharon Smith

Five Houses Welcome Guests for the Samford Legacy League’s Christmas Home Tour

A windowed china room, an indoor dog wash, paintings by a blind artist, a 20-foot waterfall and a collection of more than 100 nutcrackers will be on display to entertain visitors to Samford Legacy League’s Christmas Home Tour on Dec. 7. The event will showcase a collection of five homes in Homewood, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills that range from a few months to more than 90 years old. The seventh annual tour, presented by ARC Realty, also includes a holiday gift market and festive seasonal fare. This one-day holiday tour will be between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The public is invited to tour the homes of Lisa and Randy Freeman, 11 Bonita Drive, Homewood; Rhonda and Tom Powell, 4441 Caldwell Mill Road, Mountain Brook; Cheryl and Terry Spitzer, 4429 Caldwell Mill Road, Mountain Brook; Jeanna and Andy Westmoreland, Samford President’s Home, 1994 Shades Crest Road, Vestavia Hills; and Lisa and Harris Wilson, 4408 Old Brook Run, Mountain Brook.

Photos courtesy Samford Legacy

Special to the Journal

Above, the decorated mantle at the President’s mansion. Below left, the Samford Legacy League’s Christmas Home Tour includes the Spitzer home and pool in foreground and the Powell home in background. Below right, the Freeman home china room.

The Freeman Home

Known as “the corner house with the china room,” Lisa and Randy Freeman’s iconic Spanish Colonial Revival house is a landmark in historic Hollywood. Built in 1927, the house includes antique highlights such as wood beams reclaimed from an 1800s hospital. In contrast, the residence also has contemporary features including floating sinks atop a travertine slab and a wall of windows in the master suite. A 19-foot walnut island and a commercial refrigerator with access from both sides make the Freemans’ kitchen ideal for a family that loves to entertain. The home’s open floor plan and comfortable yet sophisticated décor provide an inviting environment for parties large and small. Recent additions of an outdoor fireplace and a relaxing plunge pool give a serene resort feel to the private backyard. With varied finishes on the floors, walls and ceilings in each room, the Freeman home has interesting textures and unique fixtures that balance and complement each other. A neutral palette of wall colors offers the

perfect backdrop for the artwork of the Freemans’ talented grown children, Kelsey and Nick. The artistic bent of their children is not surprising, given Lisa’s flair as an interior decorator and Randy’s hobby of building miniature model cars. One particularly striking piece on display is Kelsey’s painting of an African child she met on a mission trip. When it comes to Christmas, Lisa’s decorating talents add a festive atmosphere to the house. Fresh greenery of numerous varieties provides a fragrant and natural touch for the holiday season. A tall, spindly tree with white lights

flanks the fireplace, above which a fresh wreath hangs. Garland drapes the mantle while pine boughs, candles and colorful fruit bring in a seasonal accent.

The Powell Home

Just completed in January, Rhonda and Tom Powell’s French country style residence on Caldwell Mill Road was a project more than two years in the making. The tranquility and convenience of this tucked-away area of Mountain Brook offered great appeal during the family’s

search for a new house. The location, they decided, would provide a respite for them, a welcoming yard for deer to visit and space for fig trees and blueberry bushes to flourish. They looked to Christopher Architecture and Interiors to design a house to match the beauty of its surroundings. The firm created a plan with countless materials sourced locally and from far away. Built by TCC Contractors, the Powells’ stately yet inviting residence is constructed of local moss rock and reclaimed antique red brick from Alex City and roofed with Alaskan Yellow Cedar Tapersawn Shakes, selected for how they color as they age. The most striking feature of the house is a solid rock parapet wall, which can be seen from inside and out. More than 45 feet high and four inches thick in places, the wall accommodates two fireplaces, along with builtin cabinetry. “The wall makes quite a statement,” said TCC Contractors’ project manager, Jeff Treglown. “Building it was a daunting feat, but a very satisfying one once complete.” The home’s interior combines simplicity of living, efficient design and beautiful artistry. A butler’s walk provides plentiful dish storage while the large open kitchen offers a spacious island for entertaining. Hand-painted Italian tiles serve as the backsplash of the cooktop. Bathrooms include features such as a three-sided glass shower, a built-in seat of Carrera marble and a tub alcove with floor to ceiling windows. Tess and Dixie, the Powells’ two yellow Labrador retrievers, were clearly considered during the design phase of the house. In the main level laundry room, the counter is mounted at the perfect height to accommodate their crates below. The countertop also shields a pet door, which gives the friendly canines convenient access to the side yard. Complete with a handheld sprayer, a custom-built indoor dog wash in the basement has room to bathe them simultaneously. The Powells look forward to using some of their family’s traditional holiday decorations and incorporating new ones as they celebrate their first Christmas in their new home. See LEGACY LEAGUE, page 26

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24 • Thursday, November 30, 2017


Seasonal Splendor


IPC’s House Tour Brightens the Holidays for 68th Year This time of year, most children are making their lists for Santa and checking them twice. Grownups, on the other hand, likely are checking to make sure their calendars are marked for one of the Birmingham area’s most anticipated seasonal events: Independent Presbyterian Church’s Holiday House Tour. Those who look forward to the annual tour, now in its 68th year, can choose from two dates. Five houses plus the church will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 9 and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 10. Each tour stop, including the church at 3100 Highlands Ave. South in Birmingham, will be festively decorated. Founded in 1915, the church was designed by William Warren, an architect with Warren, Knight and Davis. IPC members will decorate the sanctuary and parlor. A Christmas tea will be available in the church’s Great Hall both days for ticket holders. Jason Turner is this year’s tour chairman, and Elizabeth Faught is co-chairman. While it’s fun to see the church and houses decked out in their holiday finery, the tour has a serious purpose, too. Proceeds help support three church missions: the Children’s Fresh Air Farm, the Open Door Ministry and the Stair reading program. The Children’s Fresh Air Farm is one of IPC’s oldest missions. It’s a six-week summer learning program for underserved children in the Birmingham area. Kids in the program get classroom instruction in the mornings and participate in extracurricular activities such as science, swimming and drama during the afternoons. The program’s focus is to keep children fed and prevent summer “brain drain.” The Open Door Ministry started in 2016 to provide free basic literacy, GED, and English as a second language classes to people who live in the North Avondale and Kingston communities. Free childcare is provided for those who participate. The program aims to help participants achieve their goals of education, employment and family stability. Stair – Start the Adventure in Reading – works with Birmingham City Schools to identify secondgraders who are reading below their grade level. Volunteer tutors work with students one-on-one to help the children improve their reading skills and to boost their self-esteem. More than 700 children have graduated from the program since it started in 2000. In 2016, 56 second-graders graduated from

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

See IPC, page 25

Houses that will be open this year include those of Dr. and Mrs. Raleigh Kent, 2837 Southwood Road, above; Paula and Tom Adams, 4227 Old Leeds Road; Dr. Tommy Bice and Ken Northrup, 2716 Hanover Circle #700; Chris Carter and John Dorsett, 2716 Hanover Circle #201; and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hirsch, 3700 Mountain Park Drive.

Photos courtesy Tom Adams

By Donna Cornelius

The Adamses’ Mountain Brook home is one of five that will be open Dec. 9 and 10 for the Independent Presbyterian Church’s annual Holiday House Tour. When the Adamses bought the Old Leeds Road house, they set about adapting and rejuvenating the house to fit their lifestyle.

Georgian Gem

Tom and Paula Adams’ Old Leeds Road Home Happily Mixes Old and New By Donna Cornelius Old Leeds Road has played an important role in Tom Adams’ life. In 1984, he was dating a woman whose parents lived on that street. On his way to pick her up, he drove right past a house under construction. The woman became his wife, Paula. And the house he saw taking shape at 4227 Old Leeds Road now belongs to them. The Adamses’ Mountain Brook home is one of five that will be open Dec. 9 and 10 for the Independent Presbyterian Church’s annual Holiday House Tour. Birmingham lawyer Eason Balch and his wife, Betsy, were the house’s original owners. Tom Adams is a partner in the Adams Gerndt Design Group, and Paula Adams is an accountant, “We bought this house in the summer of 2016,” Adams said. “Paula and I were at a stage in our lives when the kids were gone. We had the typical Mountain Brook ‘kid’ home – lots of bedrooms, lots of baths, but not much living space. And we like to entertain a lot.” While driving to visit his wife’s parents, who still live on Old Leeds Road, Adams noticed a “for sale” sign in the yard of the house he’d seen being built more than 30 years earlier. “You could hardly see the house from the road because of all the boxwoods and trees,” he said. “We went to see it, and my wife said, ‘I want that house.’ We looked at it at 6:30 and wrote a contract at 7. “I think this was kind of one of those ‘meant to be’ things.” Adams said he thought Betsy Balch had wanted a Georgian house because of the family’s connections to Virginia, where many houses were built in this architectural style. The

publications that include Garden and Gun, Décor and Birmingham Home and Garden magazines.

Flipping the Script

house has 20-foot ceilings, light-filled rooms, and a terrace and pool in the backyard as well as other striking features. “It was a great house with all the limestone and custom doors,” Adams said. “The original owner was a lawyer with lots of books, so there were bookcases everywhere. It just needed updates and a lot of love.” Luckily, Adams has no shortage of expertise in design and construction. Adams Gerndt, now in its 11th year, does custom residential design. The company also furnishes many homes through its design division, Designing Home. “Most of our jobs are in a three- to fourhour radius of Birmingham,” he said. “We’ve done homes at Lake Martin, hunting camps and duck camps.” Adams graduated from Auburn University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in business. He became a partner in a commercial construction company in Birmingham but later decided to return to Auburn to earn two more bachelor’s degrees in architecture and interior architecture. In 1994, he and his family returned to Birmingham, where he worked for an architectural firm. He and Adam Gerndt joined forces in 2006 to open Adams Gerndt Design Group. The company’s work has been featured in

When the Adamses bought the Old Leeds Road house, they set about adapting and rejuvenating the house to fit their lifestyle. “We gutted the kitchen and some bathrooms,” Adams said. “We re-landscaped and painted the exterior brick.” The couple also made the house’s former living room their dining room – and vice versa. Adams said almost everything inside the house is new. “We kept our antiques and our art,” he said. “I love mixing styles, so our furniture is very transitional. I like the juxtaposition of art, antiques and transitional furniture.” Adams said he likes a mix of art styles, too. “I’m a rabid art person,” he said. “I buy it wherever I see something I like. I like mixing Old World landscapes and abstracts.” An impressive display in the living room has a variety of art, including a plan of a French flat given to him by his favorite professor at Auburn. In the dining room, silver pieces, dinnerware in Royal Crown Derby’s Imari pattern and the couple’s collection of Spode’s Christmas china with a holly design will be on display for the tour.

Making it Pop

Although the house’s architectural style is traditional, Adams wanted to give the interior a lively look. “We love color,” he said. “Now, it seems that everything in the design world is monochromatic. We wanted pops of color.” See ADAMS, page 25



From page 24

the program with average reading gains of 86 percent. Hanover Place, the site of two of the tour homes, was built in 1981 in the Highland Park neighborhood. Residents there have sweeping views of the Birmingham skyline to the north, Sloss Furnaces and the BirminghamShuttlesworth International Airport to the east, Red Mountain and Vulcan to the south, and Regions Field and

ADAMS, From page 24

Since the couple enjoys entertaining, the kitchen got special attention. They installed a handsome Wolf stove with a custom metal hood. A deep island has plenty of storage space, and dark blue cabinets set off grey and white marble countertops. The house has four bedrooms, including an expansive space for Tom and Paula. “In the master suite, we both have our own bathrooms and walk-in closets plus a study,” Tom Adams said. “We can pretty much live in there.” On one shelf in the study are two pairs of cowboy boots – one belonged to Adams’ dad and the other to his son. A Christmas tree in the room will be decorated with metal deer, pinecones and cowboy boots. That tree is just one of several that will brighten the house for the holidays.

Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 25

HOME Legion Field to the west. Two of Hanover Place’s 16 units will be open for the tour. The home of Ken Northrup and Tommy Bice has a recently renovated kitchen and an intricate ceramic nativity set carved by Northrup’s grandmother. In the home of Chris Carter and John Dorsett, tourgoers will see an eclectic collection of things that Carter has collected over the years. The Hirsch home was built in Mountain Brook two years ago by a young entrepreneur and his wife, an

artist who once worked for a wellknown designer in Los Angeles. The family needed a bigger home that could balance their entrepreneurial and artistic spirit with the demands of an expanding family. Their house mixes contemporary and traditional design by combining brick and cedar with the more modern elements of steel and glass. The Kents’ original Robert Jemison house in Mountain Brook Estates was built in 1929 in the American Tudor style with brick, stone, timber and stucco. The graduated slate roof creates an

optical illusion of a steeper angle. Renovations made by the Kents since 1990 include the master bath, a paneled den assembled on site, and an enlarged kitchen/den with an added screened porch. The Kents’ house features wood carvings, reclaimed beams, chandeliers, and a 16th century Tudor mantel from England. There’s also a collection of Jacobean, Queen Anne and French provincial walnut furniture. Other items of interest include a collection of tea caddies, a Jacobean tester bed from 1687,

“My wife likes Christmas trees,” Adams said. “We always have a kids’ tree decorated with every ornament our children ever made. That one will be in the keeping room. “I like things to look beautiful. My wife likes the emotional side of Christmas.” Another special Christmas item will be displayed on the mantel of the dining room fireplace. “The first Christmas we were married, my mother-in-law painted a beautiful crèche for us,” Adams said. The Adamses aren’t members of Independent Presbyterian Church; they’re active at Canterbury United Methodist Church and in many Birmingham-area civic organizations. But Adams said they are pleased to help support IPC’s annual event, which benefits several of the church’s missions. “Throughout the years, I’ve noticed that this tour is always a great success,” he said. “We’re happy to be a part of it.” ❖

and an oak Tudor Rose roof boss, which is a decoration in which crossmembers of a roof or ceiling intersect. A wooden carving made after the Black Death, a plague pandemic that swept through Asia and Europe in the Middle Ages, is inscribed with “God’s providence is thine inheritance.” Tour tickets are $30. You can buy them at, at the church reception desk during regular business hours beginning Dec. 1, or at the church and at each home during the tour. ❖

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Next door to the Powells is the home of Cheryl and Terry Spitzer, who also engaged the architectural design services of Christopher Architecture and Interiors. Constructed by Kadco Homes in 2015, the Spitzers’ residence was built to accommodate the large family’s gatherings. The kitchen, equipped to cook for a crowd, features top-of-the-line appliances and decorative interior gas lighting, a vaulted wood ceiling and custom cabinetry. Not to be outdone, the outdoor kitchen boasts a built-in grill, pizza oven, wet bar and limestone fireplace. Inside the spacious home, an illuminated winding iron staircase spans all three stories. While the third floor houses four bedrooms, the lower-level media room has the largest glass rear screen projector in the state and a surround sound system to accompany it. Their comprehensive and versatile home automation system enables the family to control the music, projection and lighting from a phone app. In addition to top-notch entertainment equipment inside, the Spitzer home has an impressive outdoor living space with a gunite pool. Designed and installed by Vickers Pools of the Southeast, the saltwater pool features a built-in hot tub and a waterfall. Plunging 20 feet to the patio’s lower level, the falling water provides a peaceful backdrop for a fireside seating area with an outdoor television. Attention to detail throughout the house is evidenced by finishes such as coffered ceilings, interior brick walls, barn doors, pecky cypress ceilings and interior wood beams. “From helping to find the perfect 4½-acre lot in Mountain Brook to finalizing the last fine detail of the home, it was a collaborative and gratifying process throughout,” said Charles Kessler, president of Kadco Homes. “We have built hundreds of

Photo courtesy Samford Legacy

The Spitzer Home

Legacy League committee members are, front, from left: Janie Howell, Jan Service, Dianne Booth, Jeanna Westmoreland and Harriet Williams. Middle: Cheryl Landreth, Paige Acker, co-chair Terre Curry, Sarah Waller and Pam Matthews. Back: Julie Cundiff, Allison Strickland, co-chair Lisbeth Cease, Sharon Smith and Phyllis Crocker. Not pictured: Ginger Brown, Julie Davis, Caroline Dove and Melinda Mitchell.

homes over the past 30-plus years, but working with the wonderful Spitzer family to achieve their vision was a one-of-a-kind experience.” Holiday decorating brings great joy to the Spitzers, who typically set up seven Christmas trees. One tree is covered in faith-inspired ornaments while another is peppermint-themed and adorned with Hallmark children’s ornaments. In the living room, the bookshelves become a winter wonderland displaying a snow village. A nativity scene from Italy depicts the birth of Christ, whose importance is emphasized in the home’s chapel.

The Wilson Home

The third of the Mountain Brook homes, the Wilsons’ house on Old Brook Run, is just a stone’s throw from U.S. 280. Driving past long white paddock fences and horses en route there, however, it feels much

more like rural Kentucky than suburban Birmingham. Upon arrival at the residence of Lisa and Harris Wilson and their daughters, visitors will find an oasis with views of the pool, fields or woods from almost every room. The barns and pasture, once occupied by Clydesdale horses, provide a bucolic setting for the sprawling onelevel house. Since purchasing the 1950’s house eight years ago, the Wilsons have remodeled the kitchen and master bath and added a bedroom. The home is filled with reminders of family and friends. In the open kitchen and den area, two walls display whimsical floral paintings created by a friend who is blind. Other rooms have portraits of the Wilsons’ three girls, who span in age from 14 to 22. Throughout the house, family furnishings are plentiful. An armoire and hutch from England previously belonged to Harris’ mother while the

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secretary in the living room was his grandmother’s. The chandelier in one of the bedrooms has hung in five family homes. Also evident in the Wilsons’ home, particularly in the man cave, is Harris’ love of big game hunting. His hobby has taken him across the U.S. and to international destinations, from which he’s brought back several wallmounted trophies. Among his trips to Argentina, South Africa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Texas, South Africa is his favorite. Decorating the Christmas tree often leads to storytelling for the Wilsons, whose many ornaments hold special meaning. Every year their three girls each receive an ornament that represents something they experienced during the year. The Wilsons’ tree also includes numerous ornaments handmade by the owners’ grandmothers, and the tree skirt was crafted by Harris’ stepmother, who recently passed away.

The Samford President’s Home

Located in Vestavia Hills at the crest of Shades Mountain, the Samford President’s Home has a view of the Birmingham skyline. The stately home, widely used for Samford University and community functions, sees nearly 10,000 visitors annually. Since the residence was acquired by the university nine years ago, its guest list has included Miss America and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. While honored to host such famous people, Andy and Jeanna Westmoreland most

Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 27

HOME enjoy opening their home to students, to whom they are passionately committed. In fact, the Westmorelands have established a tradition of hosting functions for entering freshmen and graduating seniors, bookending their Samford years with visits to the president’s home. Elegantly furnished throughout the year, the Shades Crest abode is particularly lovely when the Westmorelands decorate for Christmas. Yards of garland embellish the bannisters and mantles, and every room is decorated for the holidays. With 14 thematically decorated trees, the festive home evokes the Christmas spirit. Numerous nativity sets of international origin and a collection of more than 100 nutcrackers, ranging from a few inches to a few feet tall, are on display. In addition to touring the house, visitors can shop from a selection of items at the holiday gift market. Merchants and artists will offer an assortment of jewelry, pottery, art, children’s items, clothing, accessories and home items. Seasonal hors d’oeuvres and holiday treats donated by local businesses and league members also will be available for guests.

Seven Years and Counting

Now in its seventh year, the Christmas Home Tour involves more than 200 volunteers. The tour, which supports scholarships for students with significant financial need, is the Legacy League’s largest annual fundraiser. To date, the Legacy League, a volunteer organization with more than 750 members, has awarded more than

$750,000 in scholarships, which have helped nearly 170 students attend Samford. Many of the organization’s scholarship recipients have faced obstacles including the death or disability of a parent, foster care, inner city violence, parental job loss, homelessness, abandonment and the sacrifices of full-time ministry in a remote place. ARC Realty is continuing to support the event this year. “ARC believes in standing by its core principles of being ‘a relationship company,’” said Beau Bevis, ARC Realty CEO and qualifying broker. “This partnership creates an opportunity for ARC to invest in the lives of young people through Samford‘s Legacy League. We look forward to seeing the leadership qualities and the impact these students have on the surrounding communities of Birmingham.” Premium Sponsors are AllSouth Appliance, Christopher Architecture & Interiors, Kadco Homes, Rare Transportation, TCC General Contractors, Tailgate Guys/PRE Event Rentals and Vickers Pools of the Southeast. Advance tickets for the Christmas Home Tour are available online through Dec. 5 for $25 at samford. edu/legacyleague, which also includes more details about the event. Tickets also are available at the door of featured homes during tour hours for $30. Sharon Smith is director of development for the Legacy League, an auxiliary of Samford University. ❖





28 • Thursday, November 30, 2017

Arlington Antebellum Home and Garden Prepares for Its Annual 1800s Christmas Celebration

Celebrate Christmas in 19th century style as the grand old lady of Birmingham’s West End neighborhood kicks off the season with her usual festive flair.

“Our halls are decked and we’re ready to welcome our holiday guests,” said Stephen Moode, director of Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens. “Christmas at Arlington is one of our favorite events, and we look forward to it every year. It’s our gift to

the city.” Christmas at Arlington begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, with the annual hanging of the green by Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, followed by a candlelight tour and reception. Guests also will meet the “spirits” of some of Arlington’s former residents. The cost of this opening event is $20 per person. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and wine will be served. On Saturday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 2, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., admission to Arlington will be

Photos by Givonne E. Halbert

‘Gift to the City’

By June Mathews



ALL ACROSS BIRMINGHAM, REALTYSOUTH’S STORY IS WRITTEN ONE FAMILY, ONE HOME AT A TIME. We’ve helped more Alabama families buy and sell homes than any other company, but the most important measurement of our success is our customers’ satisfaction.

“I can’t say enough about the patience and professionalism Catherine showed to our family! I appreciated that she would give us honest feedback. We have family moving to town and I’ve already told them to contact Catherine! She’s your girl!!” - Alice Churnock “We have moved twice over the past 5 years and had the opportunity to work with Robert & Beth as both sellers and buyers. You’re not going to find a more focused or energetic team to work on your behalf. If you are in the real estate market you cannot do better than working with Robert & Beth Russom.” - Tammy & Alan Branch “Robin was an answered prayer! Once we selected our home, Robin worked diligently to arrange a quick inspection and smooth closing. She was knowledgeable, friendly, and professional throughout our home buying experience. I would wholeheartedly recommend her to others.” - Blaire Inabinet

A former plantation home surrounded by six acres of landscaped gardens, Arlington has long served as a venue for civic and cultural events, as well as for special and seasonal occasions such as Christmas at Arlington.

free, with donations accepted. Refreshments and entertainment will be available along with tours of the house, the gardens, and the separate old kitchen behind the main house. In addition to several children’s activities, Santa will be available for photos with the kids, and warm cookies will be served. Specially decorated for the season by local floral designers, the home will have a “traditional Christmas feel,” said Moode. Created to enhance the period furnishings, the decorations make use of greenery and other natural touches to reflect how Arlington’s residents might have decorated a century or more ago. “The gardens have also been renovated, so they’re even more beautiful than ever,” said Moode, “and visitors, whether they’ve been here before or not, will also want to see a recently installed set of early 1800s wrought iron gates from a house in New Orleans. They’re a lovely addition to the estate.”

A House With a History

A former plantation house surrounded by six acres of landscaped gardens, Arlington has long served as a venue for civic and cultural events, as well as for special and seasonal occasions such as Christmas at Arlington.

Many a wedding has taken place there, a fitting use for the property since the original homeowner, William S. Mudd, built the house as a gift for his bride around the mid-1840s. The couple remained at Arlington for 40 years. About midway through the Mudds’ residency, the estate briefly came under Union occupation when it was discovered the local furnaces were producing munitions for the Confederacy. So, for the last month or so of the war, Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson commandeered the Greek Revival mansion for his headquarters. Fortunately, though, Wilson chose not to raze the property when he and his men moved on, as Union troops had done with other Southern buildings. Arlington was acquired by the City of Birmingham in 1953 to preserve it as a historical site, and it remains under the city’s ownership today. Located at 331 Cotton Ave., SW., Arlington is in the heart of Old Elyton, a town that played a significant role in the founding of Birmingham and served as the first county seat of Jefferson County. For more information on Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens or Christmas at Arlington, call 780-5656, email arlingtonantebellumhome@ or visit ❖

Bluff Park WindoW Works

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Call 205-542-6094

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Altamont Debaters Ranked Fifth in the Nation

Greenery and Blooms Can Bring a Touch of the Holidays to Décor Indoors and Outside The cornucopias and pumpkins are put away and it’s time to welcome the Christmas season. Poinsettias, greenery fit for garlands and winter-blooming flowers are stocked in garden centers throughout the area, ready for homeowners to deck their halls. Wynne O’Rourke, merchandising manager for Collier’s Nursery located on Old Rocky Ridge Road, shared her tips for decorating to celebrate the holi-

‘Whether it’s an elegant wreath on the front door or garland draped along a stairway railing, there’s just something extra special about bringing freshly cut, fragrant greenery into the home for the holidays.’ days and for keeping the look, and the plants, fresh throughout the season. Greenery is a good starting point for any homeowner, O’Rourke said. “Whether it’s an elegant wreath on the front door or garland draped along a stairway railing, there’s just something extra special about bringing freshly cut, fragrant greenery into the home for the holidays,” she said. But cut greenery has a tendency to dry out. One tip O’Rourke shared for keeping it fresh is to keep it out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources, such as fireplaces and vents. She also suggested spraying pieces with Crowning Glory, a clear liquid that helps greenery hold moisture and stay fresh throughout the holiday season. Outside, instead of tossing a blanket of lights over bushes in the front yard, try conifers as a festive alternative.

“These ‘living Christmas trees’ can be grown in large containers for a year or two, and then planted in the landscape where they’ll mature to their full size,” O’Rourke said. She suggests starting out by planting young conifers in outdoor pots and stringing them with lights. In need of breaking up the sea of greenery? Pansies and violas are great cold-tolerant plants for this area. “Their colorful blooms, along with your seasonal decorations, will create a cheerful welcome for guests.” O’Rourke said. Taking the blooms indoors, red poinsettias are a classic, she said. Pair them with dark green leafy plants and white hydrangeas. “Cyclamen is another one of our favorite winter blooms,” she said. “Their cute, dainty flowers, in white, red and shades of pink emerge throughout the holidays and beyond, lasting well into January and February.” For all indoor blooms, take care not to water them too much or two little if you want to keep them fresh through Christmas, O’Rourke said. “In general, it’s best to water thoroughly, saturating the soil, and then allow the soil to become dry to the touch before watering again,” she said. She also suggested checking to make sure any excess water is drained from poinsettia containers, which often don’t have drainage holes. A final favorite at Colliers are paperwhites, which bloom in clusters of snow white flowers “We have ‘super’ paperwhite bulbs this year – a larger bulb that produces short stems that don’t flop and more flowers per bulb. They also have a milder fragrance. Older varieties were fragrant to the point of being intolerable to some folks,” she said. But if you like the scent, O’Rourke said, the sweet fragrance of paperwhites is a great way to bring in a touch of springtime to break up the strong spiced scents of winter. ❖

The Altamont School’s public forum debate team of Isabel Coleman and David Zell is ranked No. 5 in the nation. The duo is one of only three teams that has secured four gold bids to the Tournament of Champions, the nation’s most prestigious speech and debate tournament. The event will be at the University of Kentucky in Lexington on April 28-30. Coleman and Zell, both seniors, are the first team from Altamont ever to qualify for the tournament in public forum debate. Entrance to the tournament is earned by placing in regional tournaments, according to a statement from the school. Coleman and Zell have earned a bid at every TOC-bid tournament in which they have competed. “Isabel and David are on quite a roll right now, starting with their top 30 finish at nationals last year and continuing into this year,” Dr. Sim Butler of the University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences said in the statement. “They are legitimately one of the top debate teams in the nation. The most impressive part is that they are consistent from tournament to tournament and topic to topic, which is really hard to do without a big team sharing the

workload.” English and debate teacher Katherine Berdy said Coleman and Zell have risen in the ranks among thousands of students who participate in public forum debate across the country.

“In addition to their personal success, they coach fellow teammates three days a week and lead a free, weeklong summer debate camp,” Berdy said. “Their dedication to the art and science of logic, argumentation and rhetoric is astounding.”

The Hoover Board of Education introduced a new Five-Year Strategic Plan during its meeting Nov. 14. The plan covers 2018 to 2022 and includes curriculum/instruction, human resources, integration and communication. Objectives presented for improvement include revitalizing school libraries, updating the former Riverchase Middle School property to create the Riverchase Career

Connection Center, enhancing professional development opportunities, updating websites and increasing social media presence, among others. The plan also includes conducting a facilities assessment in order to create a specific plan for the system to address potential student growth in the future, as well as finishing the system’s rezoning plans for Deer Valley, South Shades Crest and Trace Crossings elementary, Brock’s

Gap intermediate and Bumpus middle schools. According to board officials, the plan is an outgrowth of a Superintendent’s Advisory Council held during the 2016-2017 year.   The current draft of the 20182022 Strategic Plan can be found on the school’s website. Search for “strategic plan” at Comments are welcomed.

Photo special to the Journal

Festive Foliage

By Emily Williams

Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 29


The Altamont School’s Isabel Coleman and David Zell are one of only three teams that has secured four gold bids to the Tournament of Champions, the nation’s most prestigious speech and debate tournament.

Hoover Schools Presents Five-Year Plan

Alabama School Counselor Association and the Alabama Department of Education and provides an opportunity to showcase the effectiveness of a school’s counseling department. This is the second year in a row the program was recognized in the awards, earning it the Silver Rave Award. The award was presented in November during the association’s luncheon in Mobile.

Homewood Counselors Earn Rave Awards

VHCS Offers Suicide Prevention Seminar for Parents

Photo special to the Journal

Journal photo by Emily Williams


Homewood Middle School Principal Jimmie Pearson with counselors AnnaGrace Baldwin and Jimicka Alexander. School officials recently announced that Homewood Middle School’s counselors, Jimicka Alexander and AnnaGrace Baldwin, helped qualify

the school’s counseling program for the Recognition of Accountability, Verification and Excellence Award. The awards program is led by the

Vestavia Hills City Schools will offer a suicide prevention seminar for parents Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. at the Board of Education building. The program, which is offered in conjunction with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, is called “More Than Sad: Suicide Prevention Education for Parents.” It will help give parents information to recognize signs of depression and other mental health problems, initiate conversations and help their child. To register for the seminar, contact Ashley Foster at or call 572-0655. ❖



The Deer Valley Singers participated in the Riverchase Galleria’s Annual Tree Lighting on Nov. 10. Mayor Frank Brocato served as master of ceremonies alongside emcee Brooke Smith of WVTM. As Brocato helped light the tree in the mall, students rode a train with Santa and performed on center stage near the food court.

Photo special to the Journal

Deer Valley Choir Sings at Annual Tree Lighting

VHEW Raises Money With Fall County Fair

Photo special to the Journal

Crowds of kids and parents rounded up their friends for “West’s County Fair,” Vestavia Hills Elementary West’s fall carnival. Great weather set the scene as guests and students played games, won prizes and ate food during the Oct. 19 event. In the parking lot, visitors were greeted by mechanical bull rides, a carnival bake sale and cotton candy. Inside the school, attendees could go through the haunted house or visit the patios for Italian ices, soft drink floats and games. Balloon animals were in high demand, and the classic carnival games filled the classrooms. Money raised for the school will be used for technology, instructional materials and equipment.

Special Delivery Holiday Greetings


Pizitz Middle School sixth graders participated in a weather balloon release on Oct. 30 in conjunction with recent weather studies. The balloon was bought through a grant from the Parent Teacher Organization and incorporated three GoPro video cameras. Remaining in the air until the afternoon, when it landed in Carrollton, Georgia, the balloon gathered data such as wind speed, temperature and atmospheric pressure. According to school officials, the students were involved in every aspect of the project and used their studies to monitor weather conditions and choose the launch date.

Homewood Celebrates Red Ribbon Week

Homewood City Schools recognized National Red Ribbon Week at the end of October, in partnership with the Safe and Healthy Homewood Coalition. The group was formed in 2012, working under the school system to help empower the community and reduce substance abuse through education, awareness and advocacy.  From Oct. 21 through Oct. 31 activities relating to Red Ribbon Week were held in each school, while Homewood High School peer helpers visited the elementary schools and the middle school. The helpers conducted a skit for elementary students, based on Disney characters eating dinner and engaging in conversations about bullying, being a good friend, the importance of honesty, promoting self-confidence and dealing with peer pressure.

Homewood High School peer helpers visited the elementary schools and the middle school. The helpers conducted a skit for elementary students, based on Disney characters eating dinner and engaging in conversations about bullying, being a good friend, the importance of honesty, promoting selfconfidence and dealing with peer pressure.

Leadership Mountain Brook Launches Instagram Initiative

Creative Montessori Students Gather Winter Clothing for Shelters

Leadership Mountain Brook at Mountain Brook High School, a community service program for selected students in partnership with the city, recently kickstarted a new initiative on social media called @ humansofMB. According to Leadership Mountain Brook student Hunt Cochrane, the inspiration for the project was the popular Instagram account Humans of New York. The project provides insight into the personal stories of New York residents. “We hope to reach as many community members as possible in order to encourage community involvement and awareness as well as support of local businesses,” said Cochrane. “By example, we also hope to stress the importance of youth initiative in the community.” The account will feature bios and stories from department heads, merchants and Mountain Brook residents, and the group hopes that the account will foster a greater sense of connectivity between diverse areas of the community. To check out the projects, visit

Creative Montessori preschool students collected more than 100 items of winter clothing for local shelters during a recent collection drive. Items donated during the two-week drive included hats, scarves, gloves, shoes, sweaters and coats for adults and children. Donations were solicited by the children from relatives. Red Class students, ages 3-5, organized the clothing drive. The students were excited to see the

donations grow and to sort through them at the end of the drive, according to a statement from the school, in Homewood.

Gwin Collects Cans for a Cause

Gwin Elementary collected 1,108 items during its canned food drive to benefit the Christian Service Mission. The food, collected in November, went to help local families make Thanksgiving meals, according to school officials. Helping count cans, box items and deliver the goods to the mission were members of the Gwin Student Council.

Photo special to the Journal

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has invited high schools throughout the metro-Birmingham area to participate in the Christmas at the Alys choral showcase Dec. 4. The event is presented by the UAB College of Arts and Sciences Department of Music and will feature members of the UAB choirs, led by Brian Kittredge; the UAB Trumpet Ensemble, led by James Zingara; and the Steel City Men’s Chorus. Over the Mountain schools participating in the showcase include John Carroll Catholic Singers and Mixed Ensemble, led by Maria Wilson; Hoover High School Chamber Choir, led by John Kincaid; and Oak Mountain High School Chamber Choir, led by Michael Zauchin. “Since we have begun inviting special guest performances, many directors have reached out to ask if they can participate,” Kittredge said. “We are expanding our number of performing groups this year, in order to reach as many communities in the Birmingham area as possible. New to the program this year are the choirs from Hoover and Oak Mountain high schools. We are thrilled to have them all participate. “Christmas at the Alys signals the beginning of the Christmas season for my students; but more importantly, it provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with other choirs in the Birmingham area for a meaningful musical experience. It is so inspiring to be able to sing in such an amazing facility. It is the highlight of our year,” said Maria Wilson of John Carroll High School. The performance begins at 7 p.m. at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center in the Jemison Concert Hall. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5 for students. For tickets, call 975-2787. For more information, call 934-7376 or visit cas/music.

Pizitz Sixth Grade Launches Weather Balloon

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

OTM Choirs to Participate in UAB Holiday Show

Photo special to the Journal

30 • Thursday, November 30, 2017

Creative Montessori preschool students collected more than 100 items of winter clothing for local shelters during a recent collection drive.


Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 31


Home for the Holidays


OTM Cities Host Seasonal Celebrations

ver the Mountain cities and chambers of commerce are spreading cheer throughout the season with holiday open houses, parades, tree lighting ceremonies and more. The fun is just beginning, so here’s a look at some of the events to look forward to in the coming weeks:

HOOVER The city of Hoover will deck its halls on Nov. 30 with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at City Hall, beginning at 5 p.m.


The city of Hoover will deck its halls on Nov. 30 with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at City Hall, beginning at 5 p.m. Festivities will start off with a special ceremony in the parking lot, featuring more than 2,000 ounces of hot chocolate, more than 860

Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

Holiday celebrations will continue in Homewood with the annual Christmas Parade, lighting of the star and tree lighting on Dec. 5. The evening will kick off at 6:30 p.m. with the parade starting from Homewood Library. Mayor Scott McBrayer will lighting the star at the top of 18th Street as the parade enters downtown. The parade finishes at City Hall plaza, where Santa will light the tree and pose for pictures. A ceremony will be held to award prizes for parade floats, and the Homewood Chamber of Commerce will provide hot chocolate and cookies. For more information, visit homewoodparks. com.

Photo courtesy Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce


VESTAVIA Having breakfast with Santa in Vestavia Hills last year are, Luke, Levi and Hunter Higginbotham. The free breakfast courtesy of the City of Vestavia Hills is schedule for Dec. 9 from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Vestavia Hills Civic Center.

cookies, music by the Bluff Park Elementary third-grade choir and a performance by the Spain Park High School Jazz Band. Santa Claus will make his grand entrance on a fire truck before sitting down in his workshop to pose for pictures with children. Attendees will

receive a commemorative ornament. Parking will be available at the Hoover Public Library with a shuttle transporting guests to City Hall. For more information, visit hooveralabama. gov.

Mountain Brook

Seasonal festivities continue in Mountain Brook as merchants of Mountain Brook Village See HOLIDAY EVENTS, page 32

Calendar of Events December 9 Vestavia Hills Civic Center, 7:30-10:00 am 1975 Merryvale Road

December 10 Liberty Park Sports Complex to Alston Meadows, 2:00-4:00 pm

Bring the whole family for a pancake breakfast with Santa! Free to attend. No Reservations needed. Breakfast courtesy of the City of Vestavia Hills.

Enjoy the city’s official parade followed by the Liberty Park Christmas Celebration with children’s activities, refreshments, music, pictures with Santa and more!

Presented by the City of Vestavia Hills & the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce Visit for an extended list of holiday events taking place in Vestavia Hills schools, businesses and churches.

32 • Thursday, November 30, 2017



HOLIDAY EVENTS, From page 31

Alan & Co. Jewelry & Express Repair is a family owned jewelry store located in the heart of Vestavia Hills offering express jewelry repair, costume jewelry design, laser engraving, watch batteries and more. The store has been open since April of 2017, previously Alan’s Express Jewelry Repair since 2015. Owner Alan Thompson, above, was the jeweler for the former Jewels by Rose for almost 20 years. “Over the years, I have custom designed numerous pieces of jewelry for customers,” said Thompson. “By designing a piece of jewelry, it is a one-of-a-kind piece. If you can imagine it, I can make it.” Customers have trusted Alan for over 20 years with their jewelry repair needs. Now they can trust him with their jewelry purchases as well. “We will have select fine jewelry on sale this holiday season. Our holiday hours are Monday -Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.” Alan & Co. Jewelry & Express Repair is located at 619 Montgomery Hwy. in Vestavia Hills, 760-6930.

Journal file photos by Jordan Wald

Alan & Co. Jewelry & Express Repair

host its annual open house Nov. 30 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Dec. 3, the city’s annual holiday parade will kick off at 3 p.m. in Mountain Brook Village, complete with holiday-themed floats, musical performances and the opportunity to have pictures taken with Santa. The Cahaba Village Open House will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 5. Finishing off the season’s celebrations will be the Crestline Open House, Dec. 7 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Emmet O’ Neal Library will open its doors at 6:30 p.m. for a live reading of A Christmas Carol at 7 p.m. Guests will be served cookies and hot cocoa while being treated to performances by neighborhood librarians. For more information, visit

Vestavia Hills

With the Christmas tree lit in Vestavia Hills, next on the list is the city’s annual Breakfast with Santa. The free pancake breakfast will be held Dec. 9 from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Vestavia Hills Civic Center. Rounding out the holiday festivities will be the annual Vestavia Hills Christmas Parade on Dec. 10. The parade begins at 2 p.m. at the Liberty Park Sports Complex and heads toward Alston Meadows. The parade will feature holiday-themed floats, musical performances and more, and it will be followed by the Liberty Park Christmas Celebration. The celebration will continue until 4 p.m., offering an appearance from Santa, children’s activities, refreshments, merchant booths and live music. For more information, visit ❖

5MOUNTAIN BROOK On Dec. 3, the city’s annual holiday parade will kick off at 3 p.m. in Mountain Brook Village, complete with holidaythemed floats, musical performances and the opportunity to have pictures taken with Santa. 3HOMEWOOD Holiday celebrations continue in Homewood with the annual Christmas Parade, lighting of the star and tree lighting on Dec. 5.




Alan & Co.

Jewelry & Express Repair 619 MONTGOMERY HWY, VESTAVIA HILLS • 205-769-6930




Left, Scooter and Susie Hammers with grandchildren and, right, Jan and Mike Cobb with grandchildren. Scooter and Mike played football together at Samford University while studying pharmacy, and their wives were sorority sisters.

Crestline Pharmacy Christmas Shoppe


Scooter Hammers and Mike Cobb. Mike and Scooter’s relationship goes back over four decades to Samford University, where they studied pharmacy and played football and where their wives were sorority sisters. Scooter and Mike each have three daughters and now have nine grandchildren between both families. They became part of the Crestline community over 27 years ago with a commitment to service and relationships.

Crestline Pharmacy offers personal charge accounts, free delivery and 7-day-a-week service to provide their customers the best in pharmacy care. The year-round Gift Shop in the front of the store offers a great selection of jewelry, accessories, home décor and gifts for all ages. As the holidays approach, the Crestline Pharmacy Christmas Shoppe opens around the corner on Hoyt Lane with ornaments, linens, pillows, nativities, decorative items and gifts sure to delight. Mike and Scooter invite friends old and new to stop by the pharmacy and Christmas Shoppe this holiday season to see what makes Crestline Pharmacy a unique and special place. Store hours are Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m and Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Christmas Shoppe hours are Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m to 4 p.m and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Crestline Pharmacy is located a 60 Church Street, Crestline Village, 871-0317.

george In Snoozy’s Kids

For 29 years, Snoozy’s Kids has been known for having the best toys, making it a destination for great gift ideas. “Fear not!,” said store owner George Jones, above. “You will not outgrow Snoozy’s Kids!” “With the advent of george - our boutique area in Snoozy’s - our accessory selection has exploded,” he said. “STYLE, PRICE, AND OF COURSE, UNCOMPROMISING SERVICE AT GEORGE WILL HELP MAKE THIS TIME OF YEAR A PLEASURE.”

The wreath has been hung and the tree is decorated and John William Jeweller is offering a wealth of goodies to gift. “Most of the creating is finished, but we didn’t break the hammer. Procrastinators are welcome to shop with us until the fat lady sings - which is fairly soon,” said owner Billy Bromberg. “Of course, our cases are full of jewels. So if you can’t find something special, then you’re not trying.” Bromberg personally purchased all of jewels, and he has a good eye - but since he wrote this, you’ll have to judge for yourself. “HAVE A GLORIOUS HOLIDAY SEASON. IF WE CAN BE A PART OF YOURS, WE PROMISE NOT TO DISAPPOINT.”

“At the bottom it says Crestline Village and that’s where we are - near the coffee shop,” he said. “There is a new liquor store next door, but I’m not trying to imply anything. It’s just a different landmark. “Have a glorious holiday season. If we can be a part of yours, we promise not to disappoint.”

george In Snoozy’s Kids is located at 228 Country Club Park, Crestline Village, 871-2662.

John William Jeweller is located at 81 Church Street, Crestline Village, 870-4367.

Truly ... hundreds of wonderful gift items for all ages under one roof!!

60 Church Street • 871-0317

John William Jeweller

Specializing in tweens to the trendy, george buyers have shopped all the major markets in the nation to bring the most fashion forward accessories to Birmingham. “Style, price and, of course, uncompromising service at george will help make this time of year a pleasure,” Jones said. “Wait til you see their faces when they open a package from george!”

Tween to Trend Accessories In Snoozy's Kids

Crestline Pharmacy Christmas Shoppe

Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 33

Crestline Village 871.2662 Monday-Friday 9-6, Saturday 10-5, Sunday 12-4




34 • Thursday, November 30, 2017


Journal photos by Jordan Wald. Urban Cookhouse (inser)

Kids in fourth through seventh grades can decorate their own yummy gingerbread cookies at this Homewood Public Library event. The class starts at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 4. For more information, visit


A BERRY GOOD MOVE Snyders’ Urban Cookhouse Will Share Space with New Farm Bowl + Juice

By Donna Cornelius


ne of Homewood’s favorite eateries soon will share quarters with a new culinary kid on the block. But there’s only friendly competition here, because both restaurants have the same “parents.” Andrea and David Snyder needed more room than their Urban Cookhouse at 2846 18th St. South in Homewood could provide. That store, which opened in 2010, was the original UC. “We felt like we’d capped out on what we could do with sales at our Homewood location,” Andrea Snyder said. When a large building just a few blocks away, at 1920 29th Ave. South, became available, the Snyders made the decision to move. But they were attracted by more than just

the size of the building, which recently housed Classic Wine Co. and, before that, a bank. “We love our drive-through at our Tuscaloosa Urban Cookhouse, and we love having our own parking there,” Snyder said. “Here, we can have a drive-through, and we’ll have our own parking area with 20 spaces.” The building actually had more square footage than Urban Cookhouse needed, so the Snyders decided to launch another eatery in part of the space. Farm Bowl + Juice Co. will be a healthy-food concept, serving acai bowls, oatmeal bowls, cold-pressed juices made in-house, smoothies and coffee. “We think this is the perfect complement to Urban Cookhouse,” Snyder said. “Farm Bowl will open at 7 a.m., and Urban Cookhouse has more of a heavy lunch and dinner crowd.” She knows not everyone is on a first-name basis with acai, a berry grown only in Brazil. The nutrient-packed fruit – it’s pronounced “ah-sah-EE” – is known as a superfood because of its antioxidant qualities. “When we traveled, we saw acai bowls in places like Nashville and Atlanta,” Snyder said. “We feel like our timing is right.” Acai bowls start with a sorbet-like blend that’s frozen. The blends look a lot like ice cream. In fact, the Snyders’ two children, Ruby and Dylan, think it tastes like ice cream, Snyder said. At Farm Bowl, you pick your base — açaí or oatmeal — and then choose from a long list of ingredients, including fruits, grains, seeds and nuts. Lauren Weekley, who helps with Urban Cookhouse’s marSee GOOD MOVE, page 35


Board a party bus at Brookwood Village at 1 p.m. Dec. 10 to travel to Ozan Winery in Calera for a tour and a sampling of the vineyard’s wines. Then hop back aboard to ride to Kowaliga restaurant on Lake Martin for a four-course dinner. The tours are hosted by Joy King, who appears in “Dining Out with Comedienne Joy” on WABM TV. Tickets are $110 and $120. Alcohol isn’t included, but refreshments on the bus and a souvenir wineglass are. To sign up or for more information, visit


Birmingham Zoo: Kids can join St. Nick for breakfast at the Birmingham Zoo at 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Dec. 16. You can make reservations now for Breakfast with Santa, which includes scrambled eggs, pancakes and sausage plus orange juice for kids and coffee for their parents. All children will get a special treat when they arrive. Tickets include admission to the zoo for the day, a wristband for

See SANTA, page 35

Birmingham Zoo

When a large building just a few blocks away, at 1920 29th Ave. South, became available, Urban Cookhouse owners Andrea and David Snyder made the decision to move. Andrea, above, said they decided to launch another eatery in part of the larger space. Farm Bowl + Juice Co. will be a healthy-food concept, serving acai bowls, oatmeal bowls, cold-pressed juices made in-house, smoothies and coffee.

Bakers will make cookies typical of those made in France, the Middle East, Italy and the United States to sell at this event, set for 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 5 at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. All proceeds will be evenly distributed to the San Jorge Children’s Hospital in Puerto Rico and the Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital in Gaza. The church is at 2061 Kentucky Ave. in Vestavia Hills.



Don’t Forget the Kids

Also like Urban Cookhouse, Farm Bowl caters to kids as well as grownups. The UC menu has children’s options listed under “For Cool Kids.” Farm Bowl’s younger customers will be “So Fresh” kids. “We’ll have ‘So Fresh’ T-shirts and special packaging and sizing for children’s food,” Snyder said. “If you’re a mom, there’s no reason to think, ‘I’ve got to go to one place for

Photos courtesy Urban Cookhouse

From page 34

keting and with systems development at Farm Bowl, said Farm Bowl will simplify the ordering process for those unfamiliar with acai bowls. “Our menu is laid out in a way that makes it easy to order,” she said. “The ingredients are listed on the menu. You pick your base and then pick your toppings.” If you’re not feeling confident or creative about ordering, Farm Bowl will have several suggested combinations. “We’ll also have oatmeal bowls – you can get the oatmeal hot or cold – with our own custom overnight oats, whole food smoothies and coldpressed juice,” Snyder said. “The focus is all plant-based; we don’t have any animal products. Eating this way can be fun and easy. We want people to know that you can achieve specific benefits through the food you eat.” Farm Bowl will follow Urban Cookhouse’s mantra: “Buy local. Eat urban.” “We’re using the same farmers as we do at Urban Cookhouse whenever possible,” Snyder said. “We’ll have Seeds Coffee; we’ll be one of their first wholesalers. Our honey is from Eastaboga Bee Co.” Farm Bowl will have kombucha – fermented tea – from Harvest Roots, another Alabama company.

Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 35


me and to another place for my kids.’” Farm Bowl will implement UC’s autism-friendly program, working with KultureCity, a Birminghambased nonprofit organization that promotes acceptance and inclusion for those on the autism spectrum.

‘We think this is the perfect complement to Urban Cookhouse.’ ANDREA SNYDER

Weekley handles all the employee training and compliance for the restaurants’ program. “We are the first restaurant chain to become sensory inclusive all the time,” Snyder said.

Urban Cookhouse and Farm Bowl will share the same drive-through window. Except for drinks, you’ll need to call ahead to place orders. The restaurants soon will have online ordering, too, Snyder said.

Siblings, But Not Twins

Of course, not everything is the same. Besides their menus, the restaurants have another difference: their appearance. “Urban Cookhouse is earthy and homey,” Snyder said. “Farm Bowl will be all white with pops of color.” Inside the new restaurant, watercolors of a carrot, a beet and a pineapple will brighten the whitewashed walls. Bins will hold fresh fruits and vegetables, and seeds and oats will be on display in clear canisters. Farm Bowl has about 30 seats inside plus a porch, where a graphic

wall will be the perfect Instagram backdrop. The outside space also will have swings – honest-to-goodness individual swings, not porch swings. Snyder said Farm Bowl should open near the end of December. Meanwhile, the new Urban Cookhouse is almost doubling its interior seating. “The new space is 3,200 square feet; the old store has 1,800,” Snyder said. “Here, we have about 85 seats. The old one had 40. “This is what Urban Cookhouse is supposed to be. You’re supposed to be able to move and feel at home. This will give us the kind of experience we want for our customers.” She said there should be only two or three days of downtime between the closing of the old Urban Cookhouse and the opening of the new one. The Snyders also own Urban Cookhouses at The Summit, in downtown Birmingham and in Tuscaloosa. Snyder said they are keeping the place on 18th Street South, where their successful venture started. “It’s real special to us,” she said. “The basement there is where I told David that I was expecting Ruby and where we celebrated anniversaries. There’s a little plaque on the counter there that says, ‘I will give you the confidence to follow your dreams.’ That was my wedding vow to David.” Don’t be surprised to see the old restaurant filled by another food concept from the Snyders. “We’re looking at options,” Snyder said. “We love that space, and we love Homewood for supporting us.” The new Urban Cookhouse and Farm Bowl + Juice Co. are at 1920 29th Ave. South in Homewood. For more information, visit or follow both restaurants on social media. ❖

SANTA, From page 34

unlimited rides, and a visit with Santa. Tickets for zoo members are $25 for adults and $20 for kids. Tickets for nonmembers are $30 for adults and $25 for kids. To buy tickets or for more information, visit The Bell Center: The Bell Center will host two Breakfast with Santa events at Village Tavern at The Summit. One is Dec. 2, and the other is Dec. 9. Both breakfasts are at 8:30 a.m. Ticket sales support The Bell Center’s mission to maximize the potential of infants and toddlers at risk for developmental delay. For tickets or more information, visit Vestavia Hills Civic Center: There’s no charge to attend the Holiday in the Hills Breakfast with Santa, which starts at 7:30 a.m. Dec. 9 at the Vestavia Hills Civic Center, 1975 Merryvale Road. The whole family will be treated to a pancake breakfast with Santa courtesy of the city of Vestavia Hills. For more information, visit The McWane Center: Jingle Bell Breakfast at The McWane Center starts at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 9. Guests will have a hot holiday breakfast, make crafts and visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. After breakfast, there’s a ride down a slide and then a private showing of “Santa vs. The Snowman” in the IMAX Dome. Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for ages 2 to 12, with a $5 discount for McWane Center members. For tickets and more information, ❖

Rehab Reality... by Julie Martin Butler

LOSS Many people consider the death of a loved one as the worst possible thing that can happen. Unfortunately, I have experienced the loss of a child, and recently, the loss of my husband and best friend. Words can simply never describe the pain, so I won’t try, at least not in this forum. What I will say, however, is that for the addict/alcoholic, losing their drug can be just as painful of a loss as any. Drugs and alcohol are their spouse, best friend, and favorite child. Without it, they feel empty, lonely, and the grief associated with this loss is enormous. We have to understand that the pain associated with loss is personal and individual for each of us. For some it might be the loss of employment, marriage, or any number of things that once completed us and are taken away. This is why many people fall into self-destructive behavior. It’s ok to feel the pain. It’s ok not to be ok. But it’s not ok to dwell in it indefinitely or to try to self medicate the pain away. As with any loss, whether personal or for the addict, recovery is a process. For the individual who loses something that can be replaced such as a job the process is simple – get busy and get another one. For those who lose a friend or family member, the task is much harder. Counseling and coping skills are a big part of the program at Bayshore Retreat. Everyone who comes to Bayshore Retreat has a different story. The task at Bayshore is to help each individual deal with his or her loss in a productive way.

Please don’t hesitate to call. We’re here to help.


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


Holiday Gift Guide 2 Thursday, November 30, 2017 • PAGE 36


There is something here for everyone on your list and these items are just a short pleasant drive from where you are right now. Shop local, more importantly shop with our advertisers!!

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Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 37


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18K, Diamond and Pearl Earrings. Signed Elizabeth Gage. AMW, 870-3588.

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Leather Shot Gun Case. Wallace-Burke, 874-1044.

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Porridge bowls by Earthborn Pottery, available in a variety of glazes, $49.50 Alabama Goods, 803-3900.

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3301 Lorna Rd Suite 1, To: AtticAlabama Antiques Hoover, From: Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-978-5880 FAX: 205-824-1246 Date: Nov. 2017


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38 • Thursday, November 30, 2017


Journal photos by Bryan Bunch

Photo special to the Journal


The Unified State Championships are a partnership between the Alabama High School Athletic Association and Special Olympics Alabama. This is the fourth year the championship has been held, and it’s the second in which Vestavia Hills has competed. The Rebels will meet Baldwin County on Dec. 6 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Carson Eddy led the offensive attack with 115 total yards and a rushing touchdown. Below right, J.R. Tran-Reno goes up and over an Etowah player.

ADVANCING LIONS Briarwood Heads to 5A Semifinals With Dreams of Reclaiming Title

By Blake Ells Briarwood Christian’s defense proved too stout for Etowah in the quarterfinals – allowing just 181 yards – and the Lions remained unbeaten with a 31-0 victory. They advance to meet St. Clair County in the 5A semifinals. The Blue Devils successfully contained the Briarwood Christian running game, but the Lions found other ways to create opportunities. “We had some big plays throwing the ball and our defense played really well,” said head coach Fred Yancey. “Sometimes you’ve got to beat them through the air and sometimes you’ve got to beat them on the ground.” Carson Eddy led the offensive attack with 115 total yards and a rushing touchdown. Quarterback Michael Hiers had 231 yards and a couple of touchdowns through the air. The Lions now turn their attention to a rematch that could propel them to a shot at their first state championship in more than a decade. They’ll face a potent St. Clair County passing attack. “Our secondary has really got to play well,” Yancey said. “St. Clair does a lot of great stuff with their passing game, and our secondary has got to stay on them and knock a few balls down. We’ve got to get some pressure on their quarterback. And we need to run the ball better.” Briarwood Christian cruised in the matchup earlier this season with a 31-6 victory at home. But things have changed since Oct. 6, Yancey said. “They’ve improved a bunch since then,” said Yancey. “They’re more comfortable with their new coaching staff and they’re really clicking right now. They’ve got some talented offensive players that do a great job and they’re more efficient than they were in the middle of the year.” That loss earlier this season was

Another Title Run for Rebels Vestavia Hopes to Bring Home Unified Football Championship

By Blake Ells Before the 7A state championship is played Dec. 6 at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Vestavia Hills will meet Baldwin County in hopes of capturing its first Unified football state championship. The Unified State Championships are a partnership between the Alabama High School Athletic Association and Special Olympics Alabama. This is the fourth year the championship has been held, and it’s the second in which Vestavia Hills has competed. Unified teams field five players on each side at a time in a flag football setting; two partners join three Special Olympics athletes for two 20-minute halves of football on a 60-yard field. Partners are recruited from other sports teams at the school – basketball or baseball players who have proven to be excellent leaders. Vestavia Hills and HewittTrussville are the only two teams in


the back half of a two-game skid for the Fighting Saints. Since, they’ve dropped just one more, a 26-7 loss at Wenonah that they avenged last week with a 27-26 overtime win. A season ago, Briarwood Christian fell in the semifinals. Yancey said returning players from that team are eager to cement their legacy as champions; 19 seniors are on this year’s roster. The Lions have won three state championships on his watch, and they fell in the championship games in 2007 and 2010. “They have to put up with me telling them stories about our past and our tradition a lot,” said Yancey. “But I think they like it. They know that someday I’ll be talking about them. They enjoy connecting with the past, and we’ve made a conscious effort that every year, we want to hold our current team to a high standard because the past teams have been willing to do it and they need to do it also.” The other side of the bracket features a matchup between St. Paul’s Episcopal School and Demopolis High School, two tradition-rich programs that also are familiar with the path. ❖

HOOVER, From page 40

and that’s getting to the state championship.” Thompson junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa threw for 3,820 yards this season, the fourth-best single season passing total in state history. But in the semifinals, his Warriors had just 268 yards of total offense, far off its usual potency. “He does a really good job of getting the ball out,” Niblett said. “We had to give him a lot of different looks; whether they were no snap checking or playing fast, we tried not to give him the same looks every time. We tried to make him scramble to his left, because if you let him scramble to the right, he’s going to

the Birmingham metro area that fielded a team this season, but the league hopes to continue its growth. It came to Vestavia Hills as a passion project for varsity head football coach Buddy Anderson and coach Terry Tingle. The team will treat the state championship the same way Anderson would treat a trip for his own squad; players and cheerleaders will leave school early to head to Tuscaloosa for the game. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. Senior Jake Pratt, whose touchdown for the football team went viral earlier this season, is an athlete on the squad and one of the team’s leaders. But he’s had a lot of help in leading the Rebels to the Unified state championship. Austin Ballard, Jamarkese Moore, Daniel Morson, Davis Spain, Thad Smith, Phillip Trawick and Wilson Taylor have also made a big impact on the Rebels’ run toward the state championship game. Parker Turner, Britton Rembert and Weyman Prater are the partners who have helped contribute to the team’s success. “Our kids look forward to it,” wear you out. We tried as much as we could to take away his strengths and

‘It was a physical matchup (last year’s championship game against McGill-Toolen). Both of these groups are different this year, and we’re looking forward to it.’ JOSH NIBLETT to take away their run game.” The Bucs now turn their attention to a rematch with Mobile’s McGillToolen. Last season, Hoover claimed

said Tingle. “Every kid wants to play, wants to be a part, wants to have fun doing it. Our partners are excited about it. Britton is a new partner this year and he wasn’t sure how much he’d like it, but after he played, he thought it was incredible.

Senior Jake Pratt, whose touchdown for the football team went viral earlier this season, is an athlete on the squad and one of the team’s leaders. They love it.” Lee County’s team is the only team to win a Unified state championship, taking the win three years straight. Regardless of this Super 7 outcome, 2017 will see a new champ following Baldwin County’s upset in the semifinals. Tingle hopes he and his assistant coach, Ian Waugh, can help bring it home to Birmingham. ❖ its 12th state championship with a 17-7 victory over the Yellow Jackets at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn. Their shot at a 13th will come in Tuscaloosa. It’s the 17th time the Bucs have been in the state championship game in the past 19 years. Niblett said the team did a good job containing McGill-Toolen’s offense last season. “Our biggest goal last year was containing their big plays and not letting them get the ball over the top,” he said. “We did a really good job. I think they got one big post route on us. It was a physical matchup. Both of these groups are different this year, and we’re looking forward to it.” Niblett and his team took a couple of days off over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend before diving into preparations for the big one. ❖

Thursday, November 30, 2017 • 39




Senior guards Hannah Barber, left, and Kalia Cunningham, right, are key players for the Patriots. Barber, who has been All-State the past three seasons, signed with Alabama during the early-signing period in November.

Tough Start Doesn’t Diminish Powers’ Optimism For Homewood Girls Basketball

By Rubin E. Grant

When Jazmine Powers accepted the Homewood girls basketball head coaching job last spring, it also meant she accepted the 2017-18 schedule that already was in place. “I couldn’t do anything about it,” Powers said. On a scale of one to 10, the opening three games rated a 20. The reigning Class 6A champion Patriots faced 2017 Class 7A champion Hoover in their opener, followed by 2017 Class 7A runnerup Spain Park and then 2017 Class 5A champion Wenonah in the first round of HewittTrussville’s Bryant Bank tournament. Homewood lost all three games, falling in blowout fashion to Hoover (66-40) and Wenonah (59-40) and coming up a little short against Spain Park (57-54). Despite the three losses – already one more than the Patriots logged last season, when they finished 34-2 – Powers believes such a difficult opening act will benefit the Patriots as the season progresses. “I’m glad to go through that early,” she said. “We can learn from it. “I didn’t figure we’d come out and dominate. I knew it would be a process with people adapting to bigger roles before we would jell and click. These girls are really trying. I feel we’ve made some progress and taken some steps forward.” The Patriots bounced back to win their final two games in the Bryant

Bank tournament, routing Fort Payne 72-44 and Briarwood Christian 69-24. Powers inherited a team that won two of the past three Class 6A titles and finished as runners-up in 2016. She also had a solid nucleus to build around, featuring senior guards Hannah Barber and Kalia Cunningham and senior forward Tori Webb. Barber, who has been All-State the past three seasons, signed with Alabama during the early-signing period in November. The 6-foot Webb also is being recruited. “Hannah and Tori have been solid to start the season,” Powers said. The Patriots are minus two key players from their 2017 championship team. Center Ajah Wayne, the 2017 Class 6A Player of the Year, transferred to Ramsay, and senior forward Lia Roberson suffered a season-ending knee injury during the summer. “We’re actually kind of thin right now,” Powers said. “We’re looking to build some depth.” Two players who have caught Powers’ eye are 6-1 senior forward Kayla Mikula and senior guard Kassidy Crawford. “Kayla is a tall, skinny post player who has been playing well,” Powers said. “She started our last two games. It doesn’t necessarily show up in the stats, but she plays as hard as she can. I’ve always thought she had a lot of potential. I’ve been very pleased with her consistency. “Kassidy has really stepped up. She made five three-pointers against Spain Park and scored 12 points against Briarwood.”

Powers is getting acclimated to coaching at the high school level. She starred at Austin High in Decatur, played at Samford, graduating in 2012, and was an assistant coach for the Bulldogs for four of the past five years, including their top assistant last season. This is her second high school coaching job. She spent the 2016 season at Cornerstone School. “I kind of missed the high school level because of the influence and impact you can have on younger girls,” Powers said. “I didn’t go out looking for the Homewood job, but they called me and I felt it was a good place for me.” Powers is following two highly successful coaches, JoVanka Ward, who led Homewood to the 2015 title then moved to Thompson after the 2016 season; and Kevin Tubbs, who resigned following the 2017 championship season to enter private business in Seattle. Powers, however, is not putting any added pressure on herself because of the Patriots’ recent success. “I feel that God put me here and since he put me here he will give me what I need to do the job,” she said. At the same time, she expects Homewood to contend for another title. “I was really excited when I took the job because we have some talented girls whose desire is to play college basketball and win,” Powers said. “I knew they’d be willing to work hard and be coachable. “It’s a long season and, dealing with teenage girls, I am not expecting it to be easy. But getting back to the state tournament is our goal.” ❖

our team to do so well against teams from a state that has such a plethora of talent – that felt good to represent our state.” The team returned home to face a daunting road schedule against some of the best teams in Birmingham. They’ll travel to Wenonah, Pinson Valley, ClayChalkville and Parker in succession before hosting Ramsay and Huntsville’s Randolph. They’ll spend the holiday break in Fort Meyers, Florida, at the City of Palms Classic and in Huntsville at the Huntsville Times Classic. McMillan’s team is still young. Just four seniors lead the group – Britton Johnson, Hamp Sisson, Sean Elmore and William Lineberry. Two of the Spartans’ top contributors are underclassmen. Junior Trendon Watford had 36 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 9-of-12 from the field with 29 second half points, and sophomore point guard Paulie Stramaglia dished out 11 assists. “As a freshman, (Stramaglia) was making plays in the fourth quarter of the state championship that helped us win the game,” said McMillan. “He can take over a game without ever scoring. He knows where the ball needs to go; he knows how to create for others.” It’s a talented young group that has gained a lot of valuable early season experience on its way to a hopeful state championship repeat. “Irons sharpen iron,” said McMillan. “We want to play against really tough opponents. At the end of the year when you’re in the tournament, if you haven’t seen that, if you haven’t been in any real fights, it’s not gonna be easy.” But as talented as the Spartans remain on the court, McMillan is most proud of his team’s character. It’s a group that has three players with ACT scores of 34, 34 and 35, and Johnson is a National Merit Finalist. “I feel very fortunate to be the coach of this team,” McMillan said. “They do everything right. They practice, they work hard, there’s no ego, there’s no selfishness. They’re just a bunch of dudes. It’s a fun group. When you’re in the grind, sometimes you don’t take time to enjoy it, but I remind myself every day that I need to enjoy this group. It’s a special group of players, and I don’t just mean talent; it’s a special group of people.” ❖

Journal file photo by Marvin Gentry

Journal photos by Marvin Gentry

From page 40

Britton Johnson, above, along with Hamp Sisson, Sean Elmore and William Lineberry are the only seniors on this year’s squad.



Convertible Tops Sunroofs Leather Interiors





Vestavia Hopes to Bring Home Unified Football Title PAGE 39

Turkey Trounce

Spartans Beat Top Georgia Teams at Holiday Basketball Tournament

CRUISE CONTROL Journal photos by Marvin Gentry

Hoover Crushes Thompson to Earn 7A Championship Berth

Hoover’s Larry McCammon, above, rolled up 196 yards on 32 carries and had three touchdowns as the Bucs avenged their October loss when it counted most with a 31-12 victory. George Pickens, below, gets past a couple of Thompson defenders on a 69-yard touchdown pass play.

By Blake Ells Hoover cruised in its rematch with Thompson, earning a spot in the 7A state championship game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Dec. 6. Larry McCammon rolled up 196 yards on 32 carries and had three touchdowns as the Bucs avenged their October loss when it counted most with a 31-12 victory. “You knew it was out there,” Hoover head coach Josh Niblett said of his team’s loss earlier in the season. “But this game was about getting to the state championship. If you’re going to let redemption get to you, it’s just getting in the way of understanding what we’re trying to do,

By Blake Ells The Mountain Brook Spartans proved in March that they were the best basketball team in Alabama, and over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, they gave evidence they were arguably the best team in Georgia, too. Bucky McMillan’s team returned from the Holiday Hoopsgiving Tournament in Atlanta with a 79-62 win over last season’s Georgia AAAAAA runner-up Norcross High School and a 59-45 victory over reigning Georgia AAAAAA state champion Langston Hughes High School. That run comes after knocking off Georgia’s South Cobb High School in the Spartan Turkey

‘It’s obviously good for our program and our school. But it’s really good for our state. I don’t think Alabama high school basketball gets the credit that it deserves.’ BUCKY MCMILLAN

Jam. South Cobb made the Georgia AAAAAA semifinals last season. Head coach Bucky McMillan touted his team’s prowess against Georgia foes. “It’s obviously good for our program and our school,” he said. “But it’s really good for our state. I don’t think Alabama high school basketball gets the credit that it deserves. If you ask most people, they’d probably tell you that high school basketball is better in Georgia. There are a lot of places that have a lot of talent, but for

See HOOVER, page 38

See SPARTANS, page 39