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Wedding Shower

Photo by Ana Gregoric Photography

wedding special section

Lillian Jones and Peyton Falkenburg of Mountain Brook recently wed in fairytale fashion, hosting a multi-day affair in Bled, Slovenia. The wedding ceremony took place on an island in the middle of Lake Bled, followed by a reception at the Grand Hotel Toplice. Around midnight, Lillian and Peyton took a quick break from the ongoing festivities to pose for magical pictures in the midst of a brief rain shower. See story, page 24.

2 • Thursday, June 13, 2019




Murphy’s Law

I RED, WHITE AND ‘QUE Details on Fourth of July Celebrations Around Town PAGE 8

IT TAKES TWO Homewood Theatre Announces Permanent Location at Brookwood Village PAGE 10

SURGEONS’ TIES THAT BIND Surgeons Say Working Together Has Deepened Their Father-Son Bond PAGE 14

THE ENCHANTED GARDEN Ballet Guild of Birmingham Hosts 59th Annual Ball of Roses PAGE 18

ABOUT TOWN 4 WEDDINGS 24 NEWS 10 SCHOOLS 29 LIFE 12 SPORTS 32 SOCIAL 18 WE’RE ON VACATION! We’ll return with our next issue July 11. With everything that’s happening “Over the Mountain,” it can be difficult to keep up. That’s why we have launched the OTMJ newsletter. Published every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - we’ll give you a quick recap of the latest news, sports and social events as well as a heads up on upcoming events so you won’t miss any of the interesting and fun happenings in the Greater Birmingham metro area. To sign up for our newsletter, visit Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, @overthemountainjournal, for daily updates on what’s going on around town, too.


June 13, 2019 JOU RNAL Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writers: Ingrid Howard, Emily Williams Photographer: Jordan Wald Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Blake Ells, Rubin E. Grant Contributors: Susan Murphy, June Mathews, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls, Bryan Bunch, Sam Prickett, Lauren Helmer Advertising Sales: Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald, Gail Kidd, Suzanne Wald Vol. 28, No. 22

Over The Mountain Journal is a suburban bi-weekly newspaper delivered to Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and North Shelby County areas. Subscriptions for The Journal are available for $24 yearly. Mail to: Over the Mountain Journal, P.O. Box 660502, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216. Phone: (205) 823-9646. E-mail the editorial department at E-mail our advertising department at Find us on the Web at Copyright 2019 Over The Mountain Journal, Inc. All rights reserved. The Journal is not responsible for return of photos, copy and other unsolicited materials submitted. To have materials returned, please specify when submitting and provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All materials submitted are subject to editorial review and may be edited or declined without notification.

Officially, I’m Out

used to say that the worst job in Now, if it were me, I’d never come out the universe was being a hockey from under the hood, but these brave goalie. Besides the unattractive souls turn on their microphones, stare mask and cumbersome knee pads, right into the camera and, “after furthere was the little matter of being the ther review,” make the last chance, last defense against rock hard objects final verdict call. This pronouncement being hurled at you at very high may be greeted with cheers or booing speeds. Oh, and it’s very, very cold. or loud questioning of the official’s Now, however, I know that I was eyesight or parentage. At the end of wrong. Go ahead. Slap shot that puck the game or race or match, the official directly at my frostbitten toes. Just may have to be whisked from the don’t make me decide whether it arena with police protection under cleared the goal line.  cover of darkness.  Sports officials are a hardy group. Sue Murphy This can’t be fun. With very little protection, they hover I say kudos to these brave souls for over or run alongside the players as even attempting the job. They rush they punt and pass and shoot and up and down making decisions on Sadly, sometimes it slide and are charged with making hoof, getting no recognition at would appear that the the split-second decisions. Was it in or all unless they are wrong. Kind of official has gotten the makes you want to send them a litout? Fair or foul? Intentional or incidental? Ask the New Orleans note of encouragement, a cheery call wrong, and the fans tle Saints. Ask the Auburn basketball “Hang in there, fellow sports enthubecome ... upset. team. These decisions (or lack siast. We all know you’re trying!” No? Wow, tough crowd.  thereof) can make the difference I’m not sure what the solution is between a chance at a national title, to this dilemma. AI umpires? Robot referees? Maybe a trip to the Super Bowl or, in the case of poor Maximum Security, millions of dollars in breeding fees.  we should turn the job over to a fleet of drones hoverBut, who better to make these decisions? I mean, the ing over the field. We could put them in cute little officials are right there, the pair of eyes closest to all striped shirts, but it wouldn’t be the same. Besides, it the action. And you know they didn’t just mosey in off wouldn’t be long before someone figured out how to the street. They’ve been trained and tested and over the hack into the system and every call would actually be years have worked their way up to the coveted posimade by the odds wizards in Las Vegas. tions on prime-time TV. I sure hope we solve this soon. I mean, there are one However, with the advent of TV cameras and the or two other little problems we need to attend to. So Jumbotron, every Regular Joe gets an immediate unofplease, commissioners and stewards and Grand ficial view of the official’s territory and, by virtue of Poobahs of the sporting world, get together and see if his paid ticket or cable package, feels encouraged, nay you can figure out a way to ensure game decisions that morally impelled, to scrutinize every call. are fair and flawless, and let the fans turn their attention Sadly, sometimes it would appear that the official to making disparaging remarks about their hot dogs. has gotten the call wrong, and the fans become ... upset. Just don’t call me. I’m going to focus on less taxing problems, like global warming and world peace.  If the call is reviewable, they hold their breath while Officially, I’m out.  the most official of officials peers intently into a screen.

Over the Mountain Views

What’s your favorite thing about being a father? “All of the checks I get to write!” Charlie Stewart Vestavia Hills

“Watching my kids grow up fast.” Gary Smith Vestavia Hills “I’ve got four kids, so there’s never a dull moment.” Patrick Murphy Vestavia Hills

“I’ve got two great kids, so it’s really easy being their dad.” Tom Cochran Vestavia Hills



Thursday, June 13, 2019 • 3

No Closing Costs on select Mortgages! Buy or Re-Fi and Save Big. See or visit one of our 19 branches for full details. Grand Opening - New Downtown Branch and Expanded Headquarters - Friday, June 14.

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4 • Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thurs., June 13 Sounds of Summer - A Live Music Event What: The Summit hosts its annual event benefiting Magic Moments. In addition to music, enjoy food, drinks, snow cones, food trucks and kids activities. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and a picnic dinner. When: 6-9 p.m. Where: The Summit near Swoozies Website:

S’mores & Pours

What: An evening of local brews, select wine, food, a silent auction, pop-up shops and live music to benefit Camp Fire Alabama programs in our area. When: 5:30 -8:30 p.m. Where: Avondale Brewing Co. Website:

June 13-15 Three on a String in Concert

What: Central Alabama Theatre presents a multi-evening cabaret with Birmingham’s own Three on a String. When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Central Alabama Theatre, Mountain Brook Website:

June 13-30 “My Fair Lady”

What: RMTC continues is production of this gold standard of musicals, which was the recipient of six Tony Awards in its original production, including Best Musical, and eight Oscars, including Best Picture, for the feature film. When: Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sat.Sun., 2 p.m. Where: Red Mountain Theater Company, Dorothy Jemison Day Theater Website:

“Always… Patsy Cline”

What: Virginia Samford Theatre presents this hilarious and poignant musical including many of Cline’s unforgettable hits such as “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Sweet Dreams” and

“Walking After Midnight.” When: Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m. Where: VST Mainstage Website:

Fri., June 14 Art on the Rocks

What: Birmingham Museum of Art’s summer entertainment series features a roster of visual and performing arts. Featured artist in the first installment is San Francisco-based soul, psych-rock band Con Brio. When: 7-11 p.m. Where: Birmingham Museum of Art Website:

Sat., June 15 Annual Fern Show and Sale

What: The Birmingham Fern Society presents their annual fern show and sale. All public entries are welcome. When: Entries accepted, 8-10 a.m.; show, 1-4 p.m.; sale, 1-5 p.m. Where: Birmingham Botanical Gardens Auditorium Website:

Birmingham Heart Walk

What: The American Heart Association hosts a 5k and one-mile walk to help fight heart disease and stroke. Festivities include opening ceremonies, a warm up, bubble wrap stomp and more. When: 8 a.m. Where: Railroad Park Website:


What: McWane Science Center hosts a day to imagine, create and build through the power of play with everyone’s favorite toy building brick, LEGO. When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: McWane Science Center Website:

Birmingham Fairytale Ball

What: Pretty Princess Parties presents princesses, professional princess portraits, a candy buffet, stories, songs, games and more. VIP tickets provide and extra hour with the princesses before the ball. When: 10-11:45 a.m.,1:30-3:15 p.m.

ABOUT TOWN continued on page 6


Managing Sensory Overload KultureCity’s Sensory Inclusive Certification Changes Everyday Experiences for People With Autism

By Emily Williams Across the Birmingham community and throughout the country, you’ll most likely cross paths with a special version of the KultureCity emblem – a sign or decal featuring the organization’s heartshaped logo wearing headphones above the words “Sensory Inclusive Location.” The designation recognizes that officials with the venue have taken steps to train workers to deal with sensory overload and to offer tools to help people who have sensory needs and their families, such as people on the autism disorder spectrum. The Vestavia Hills-based organization at its annual KultureBall, to be held June 22 at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex’s Finley Center, will be raising funds for and celebrating many initiatives, including its sensory-inclusive certification. The organization has noticeably changed the culture surrounding autism awareness and acceptance, according to Vestavia Hills resident Diana Knight. Knight first heard about KultureCity in 2016 through a running friend who knew fellow Vestavia Hills resident Michele Kong. Kong and her husband, Julian Maha, founded KultureCity in 2013. Knight’s first experience with the organization was attending the second annual KultureBall. The KultureCity mission, to create a culture of acceptance and inclusion for people with “unique abilities,” captured Knight. She and her husband, Greg, moved to Birmingham 16 years ago with their 10-year-old son, Jack, who is on the autism spectrum. “I had no experience with someone with autism before Jack,” Knight said, but through her son she learned much. At 26, Jack is a gentle soul, according to his mother. He loves people, running, furry friends and Disney movies. “He has taught me patience, a characteristic I was lacking,” Knight said. “He taught me how to look at the world in a whole new way and, unfortunately, the situation of having a child with special abilities has taught me that society is not always understanding or friendly.” For the Knight family of Vestavia Hills, the sensory-inclusive movement among local venues has been a gamechanger.

Welcoming Locations



KultureCity’s Sensory Inclusive Certification program was born from efforts to make venues around Birmingham sensory-friendly. According to KultureCity COO Uma Srivastava, the first KultureCitydesignated sensory-inclusive venue in the country was The Birmingham Zoo. The zoo began to be sensory-friendly by opening early on a specific day for

Photo courtesy KultureCity

JUNE 13 - 27



KultureCity supporters Greg, Jack and Diane Knight with a Pelham Public Library staff member (center).

families and children with autism. “The issue with having that venue open early one day a week is that a lot of people might not be able to make it on that one day,” Srivastava said. “They have other things going on.” Venues have to go a few steps further to be truly sensory inclusive. “One in six individuals have a sensory issue,” she said. “This doesn’t just affect people with autism. These fea-

Sat., June 22 KultureBALL

What: KultureCity’s annual fundraising event features entertainment, a seated dinner, live auction, and the chance to rub shoulders with local and national celebrities. Proceeds benefit children and families living with autism. When: 6:30-11 p.m. Where: The Finley Center Website: kultureball-2019

tures are catering to a larger community.” People who have sensory needs include individuals with forms of dementia, Down syndrome, PTSD and more. To be sensory inclusive, venues and organizations have to have at least 50% of their staff trained to handle sensory overloads. “Many try for 100%,” Srivastava added. In addition, the facilities have sensory friendly bags available, supplied by KultureCity, that can be handed out to families as they enter. Things such as headphones and fidget spinners, tools to help prevent an overload, are in these bags. “This is great because, while a family may have their own bags, they could have left them at home or in the car, especially when they are traveling,” Srivastava said.

Even Libraries Can Adapt

Among the 25 local venues that are designated sensory inclusive is the Homewood Public Library. Laura Tucker, head of children’s services, said the work began in 2016,

when library patron Mallory Pritchard began working with KultureCity. “She came and talked with me about training our children’s staff on autism awareness and acceptance,” Tucker said. It was an opportunity that she was excited to pursue. “We have been partnering for years with the Horizons school by having interns come into the library to learn library skills on a volunteer basis,” Tucker said. “So, this was another logical step to help support our community more broadly.” The process involved members of the KultureCity team doing in-house training with the department staff. “They also helped me develop a Sensory Storytime and outreach program, which has been an instrumental part of our programming ever since 2016,” she said. “For all of our storytimes, we put out a bin of ‘Quiet Toys for Busy Hands’ for those that need to walk around and fidget during storytimes.” KultureCity also provided the library with noise-cancelling headphones, weighted lap mats and fidget toys that are available on request. Though Tucker said they aren’t used every day, the staff is always glad to have them for those occasional situations where a patron needs them. The organization is continuing its efforts to make more venues inclusive and enhance the features available for sensory needs. KultureCity unveiled its first sensory room at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport in February. The room has low lighting, activity panels and soft furnishings to reduce anxiety. The great thing about the sensoryinclusive movement, in the Knight family’s opinion, is that the features don’t hinder the experience of anybody visiting the venues. “It is wonderful because this program doesn’t take away from anyone else’s experience,” Knight said. “It actually makes it possible for those with sensory needs to experience all their community has to offer. “It has opened doors for Jack to experience so many new things. We are truly grateful for the work of KultureCity.”



Thursday, June 13, 2019 • 5

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The hallmark of Dear Seniors / All Pro Home Care Co. is their exceptionally welltrained caregivers who provide compassion, respect and attentive care for your loved one no matter their location. From in-home care to assisted living, hospitals, rehabilitation and memory care facilities, they coordinate the needs of their clients with the rules and regulations associated with the place they call home. Dear Seniors is committed to finding the right caregiver for every client. Whether searching to find care for your mother or father, another family member or friend, they understand the need to match your loved one with a reliable, energetic and kind-natured professional. “Once the Dear Seniors Custom Care Plan has been determined, we match your loved one’s needs with a caregiver whose skills and

personality are uniquely suited to provide incomparable care,” said Lisa Tinney, director, pictured. The non-medical staff provides services ranging from housekeeping, meal preparation and laundry to companion care and 24-hour in-home personal care such as hygiene, bathing, grooming and incontinence care. “We offer post-hospital care including medication reminders, transferring and mobility assistance. For clients with Alzheimer’s and special needs we offer overnight stays (24-hour care), weekends and holidays checks, safety checks and supervision,” Tinney said. “There are a lot of companies out there and it is important to ask questions, talk to people with similar experiences and recognize that most people in the geriatric health care field are in it because they have a heart for service. When families need help, they should be able to trust  people and their decision. They want to be sure that they are making the right choice for their family member. Client satisfaction is all important.” Dear Seniors / All Pro Home Care Co. is located at 500 Chase Park South, Ste. 110 in Hoover, 401-6999.  


ABOUT TOWN continued from page 4

and 5-6:45 p.m. Where: Noah’s Event Venue Website: “Birmingham Fairytale Ball” Facebook page

Funky Food Truck Festival

What: Attendees will enjoy a vendor area, food trucks, brews and adoptable dogs from the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. A suggested donation of $5 will benefit AIDS Alabama’s programs. When: 1-5 p.m. Where: Cahaba Brewing Co. Website:

Global Water Dances

What: In an effort to engage our community in discussion about the issue of water quality and conservation, local artists and activist will participate in a performance for the International Water Quality Initiative. When: 3 p.m. Where: Cahaba River Walk Park in Mountain Brook Website:

LOCAL 2019

What: Food trucks will be on site at this free celebration of some of Alabama’s best eclectic artists, vendors and musicians, presented by UAB’s Alys Stephens Center. When: 5 p.m. Where: Engel Plaza Website:

Fri., June 21 Funky Monkey

What: Smile-A-Mile’s Junior Board of Directors presents silent and live auctions, complimentary beer, wine, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, music from The Toddfather, silent disco and more. When: 6-11 p.m. Where: Regions Field Banquet Hall Website:

Alabama Theatre Summer Film Series

PERSONAL CARE: Hygiene Care, Bathing, Incontinence Care, Grooming POST HOSPITAL CARE: Care Transisitons, Medication Reminders, Transferring, Mobility Assistance HOMEMAKER SERVICES: Companionship, Laundry Services, Light Housekeeping, Meal Preparation, Transportation, Errands ALZHEIMER'S AND SPECIAL NEEDS: Overnight Stays, 24-hour care - 7 days a week care, Weekends and Holidays, Saftey Checks, Supervision

Call 205-401-5790 We Answer 24hrs

Photo courtesy Mike Foundation

6 • Thursday, June 13, 2019

What: Doors open one hour before showtime for a sing-a-long accompanied by the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ in this film series featuring “Grease” as its first installment. Check the website for additional films and times. When: 7 p.m. Where: Alabama Theatre Website: movies/list/

Sat., June 22 Birmingham Museum of Art-African Heritage Festival

What: Atlanta-based African drumming and dance group Giwayen Mata will perform at this free, family-oriented, festival honoring African heritage through art, crafts, music, dance and more. When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Giwayen Mata performance, 1 p.m. Where: Birmingham Museum of Art Website:

Summer Cahabazaar

What: This free semi-annual celebration brings local artists, makers and non-profits an opportunity to reach the community and features 70+ local vendors, food trucks, live music, a kid’s zone and more. When: noon to 6 p.m. Where: Cahaba Brewing Co. Website:

Mike Slive Foundation Honors Namesake at I’m With Mike 5K The Mike Slive Foundation for Prostate Cancer Research will be hosting its annual I’m with Mike 5K on June 15 at Little Donkey in Homewood. The event raises funds for prostate cancer research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and beyond. This year’s run will be held in memory of Mike Slive, who lost his battle with cancer one year ago. The former SEC commissioner co-founded the organization in September 2017. Since then, the Mike Slive Foundation has raised more than $500,000. Prostate cancer accounts for more than 15,000 new cancer diagnoses and 27,000 deaths each year. Funds raised at the event will benefit the foundation’s mission to save some of those lost lives by funding cutting-edge research and raising awareness. The event will kick-off with registration at 6:30 a.m., followed by 5K runs for adults and children, as well as a one-mile walk. In addition, there will be music, food, kids’ activities, awards ceremonies and more. For more information, visit

Cornhole and CornDogs Charity Tournament

What: Open to the entire Birmingham community, this event features live music, raffle prizes a satellite bar and more. Proceeds benefit Shelby Humane Society. When: 1 p.m. Where: Riverchase Country Club Website:

Birmingham Taco Fest

What: Enjoy tacos from Alabama vendors. Vote for your favorite and enjoy beverages, live music, a kids area and more. Proceeds benefit Birmingham Day of the Dead and Bare Hands Art Club. When: 3-8 p.m. Where: Sloss Furnaces Website:

Zoo, Brews & Full Moon Bar-B-Que

What: Attendees will enjoy samplings of brews from all over Alabama and the southeast, dinner, music, lawn games, animal greetings and walkabouts, rides on the train, slide and more. When: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Where: Birmingham Zoo Website:

June 22-23 Family Camp-out Night

What: Presented by Publix, a section of Railroad Park will be converted into an interactive campground featuring an animal show ‘n tell by the zoo and experts giving lessons on fire safety, first aid and more. Families with children only.


Thursday, June 13, 2019 • 7


When: June 22, 3:30 p.m.- June 23, 8:30 a.m. Where: Railroad Park Website: “Publix Presents Family Camp-out Night” Facebook page

Fri., June 28 What: Enjoy an evening of food, beer and wine provided by Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe, tunes and entertainment with a DJ, and a chance to win prizes playing BINGO. When: 6-9 p.m. Where: Birmingham Botanical Gardens Website:

SAVE THE DATE June 28-29 ZooSnooze

What: Families and groups are invited to bring a tent and spend the night in the Children’s Zoo. Experience the excitement of the zoo after dark and participate in activities while you learn about the animals. 5 years +. When: 7 p.m.-9 a.m. Where: Birmingham Zoo Website: “Nightlife Program: ZooSnooze” Facebook page

Sun., June 30 “Comedy at the Theatre”

What: Goulash Comedy presents

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Horizons Bingo Bash

We Offer: • In-Home Care, Including Bathing, Grooming, Housekeeping, Meal

Preparation, Incontinence Care, Medication Reminders and Transportation

Bill and Whitney Culpepper, above, were two of many who made the most of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Flicks Among the Flowers on June 5, though the viewing of “The Sandlot” was cancelled due to rain.

• Skilled Nursing and Physical Therapy Services • The Only Agency in Alabama Accredited by the Accreditation Commission

of Health Care (ACHC) for Aide, Companion and Skilled Nursing Services

Wed., July 17

• Accepting Blue Cross Blue Shield and VIVA HEALTH commercial insurance for Skilled Nursing and Physical Therapy services

Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Flicks Among the Flowers

What: Make it a date night or bring friends and family, lawn chairs or a blanket to a showing of “Field of Dreams.” Admission is free but a suggested $5 donation benefits the Gardens. When: Gates open, 6 p.m.; film, 8 p.m. Where: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Formal Garden in front of the Conservatory Website: a monthly comedy night, the last Sunday of every month, featuring two shows. The first consist of local and national comedians. The second is interactive and features comedian and local friends. When: 7 and 9 p.m.

Jennifer Mancuso Owner

Call Today: (205) 874-9730

Where: Birmingham Festival Theatre in Five Points Website:

6 Office Park Circle, Suite 315, Birmingham, AL 35223

Fourth of July Calendar of Events begins on page 8

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8 • Thursday, June 13, 2019



Red, White and ‘Cue

Photo courtesy American Village

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Vestavia Kicks Off Independence Day Celebrations with Annual Event; OLS Fired Up for 70th Anniversary BBQ Feast



Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Photo by Rachel Callahan courtesy Vulcan Park and Museum


4 Thurs., June 27 I Love America Night (1)

What: Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce and Park and Recreation presents a night of children’s activities, a Pops in the Park concert by Shades Mountain Baptist Church Orchestra and a family movie. When: 6 p.m. Where: Vestavia Hills High School Website:

Sun., June 30 Music for the Founding of America

What: GBMEA Chamber Orchestra presents music by Colonial-era American composers Alexander Reinagle, Philip Phile, Francis Hopkinson, James Hewitt, William Billings and others. When: 2-4 p.m. Where: Hoover Library Theatre


Website: “GBMEA Chamber Orchestra” Facebook page

annual Independence Day celebration and fireworks show. Bring your own chairs and blankets. When: 5-9 p.m Where: Oak MountainState Park Website: “Fire on the Water 2019” Facebook page

Mon., July 1-5 Star Spangled Science

What: McWane Science Center is celebrating the Fourth of July with science wonder. Enjoy weekly combustion shows, watch them blow up a watermelon and set off a giant red, white and blue soda geyser. When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: McWane Science Center Website:

Wed., July 3 Red, White and Brew Food Truck Rally What: Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC presents an event to benefit

Thurs., July 4 Birmingham Education Foundation featuring food trucks, cold beer and live music by Lamont Landers Band, Legal Limit and Bailey Ingle. When: 4-10 p.m. Where: Avondale Brewing Co. Website: “Heninger Garrison Davis LLC” Facebook page

Fire on the Water Oak Mountain State Park What: The park will host its fifth

The Korduroy Krocodile Wants You! Independence Day Sale

Everything 1/2 SALE Starting July 5th

2828 Linden Avenue | Homewood | 870-4060

Homewood’s Unique Consignment Shop 2912 Linden Avenue • Homewood • 879-0030 Open Tues. thru Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Rick Melanson Peavine Falls Run

What: Serving as the third race in the Birmingham Track Club, this Fourth of July tradition features an 8.2 mile outand-back run. When: 7-10 a.m. Where: Oak Mountain State Park Dogwood Pavilion Website:

OLS Fourth of July Festival (2)

What: The church will host its 70th annual celebration featuring 6,500 pounds of slow-cooked barbecue, games, a rummage sale featuring more than 10,000 items and more. When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church Website:


American Village Independence Day 1776 (3)

What: Enjoy historical vignettes, music, dancing, the Battle of Redcoats and Patriots, salutes to veterans, children’s activities and food options culminating with fireworks at twilights’s last gleaming. When: 11 a.m. Where: American Village Website:

Fourth of July Bald Eagle Talks

What: Oak Mountain State Park presents three talks about the history of the bald eagle and its comeback from an endangered species. Enjoy a visit with Alabama Wildlife Center’s bald eagle, Shelby, and more. When: 11 a.m., 2 and 4 p.m. Where: Alabama Wildlife Center at the new Bald Eagle and Eurasian Eagle Owl enclosure. Website: “Oak Mountain State Park” Facebook page

Homewood July 4th Festival (4)

What: Two blocks of 18th St. S. and one block of 29th Ave. S. will be blocked for a holiday fair including inflatables, rides, music and a view of the Thunder on the Mountain fireworks display. When: 5-9 p.m. Where: Downtown Homewood Website:

Birmingham Barons

What: Four legged bat retriever, Jake the Diamond Dog, will entertain fans at the Birmingham Barons vs. Pensacola Wahoos game and fans

Thursday, June 13, 2019 • 9

FOURTH OF JULY can watch Thunder on the Mountain from their stadium seats. When: 6 p.m. Where: Regions Field Website:

UAB University Bands Summer Band Concert

What: This summer band program culminates in a July 4th performance by a host of Birmingham community band members, college students from any school and upper division high school musicians. When: 7-8:30 p.m. Where: Bartow Arena Website: “UAB Summer Band” Facebook page

4th of July Shindig

What: The Collegiate Recovery Community at UAB presents a sober celebration including an evening of live music by Ice Station Zebra, free food by Saw’s BBQ, yard games and a view of Thunder on the Mountain. When: 7-10 p.m. Where: UAB’s New Freshman Residence Hall Courtyard Website: “4th of July Shindig” Facebook page

Thunder on the Mountain (5)

What: With a variety of firework shells in new colors and patterns, this show will be choreographed to a musical soundtrack featuring a mix of patriotic favorites and popular music. When: 9 p.m. Where: In the skies above Vulcan Website:

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10 • Thursday, June 13, 2019


By Emily Williams

‘Brookwood has been a piece of the community for over 40 years.’

Homewood Theatre Executive Director Kyle Bass and Anne Stephens, specialty leasing and marketing director for Brookwood Village, are working together to create a permanent location for the theater in Brookwood Village across the corridor from Books-A-Million.

It Takes Two

Homewood Theatre Announces Permanent Location at Brookwood Village Win-Win

The partnership is a win-win for both the theater and Brookwood Village, said Anne Stephens, specialty leasing and marketing director for Brookwood Village. “I think bringing in the Homewood Theatre is a good opportunity because it highlights the fact that we are a neighborhood community center, not just a traditional shopping mall,” Stephens said. The shopping center has been working on a long-term redevelop-

ment plan to breathe some life back into its walls. “Brookwood has been a piece of the community for over 40 years,” Stephens said. “So, a lot of the people who grew up in the surrounding areas remember coming here as children.” Brookwood Village completed an interior renovation in 2016 and has been working toward transforming into a mixed-use destination for locals. One big draw for the shopping center has been its outdoor social cal-

Red Mountain Theatre Company Developing Arts Campus in Parkside Red Mountain Theatre Company recently announced the beginning of its Second Act project, creating an arts campus in the Parkside District of Birmingham. The new Arts Campus will be at 1600 Third Ave. S. between 16th and 17th streets south, next to Regions Field. “It has been a dream for us to consolidate our programming in order to better serve our community,” Executive Director Keith Cromwell said in a statement. “We envision an arts campus where artists can create, students can develop life – and theater – skills, and where for-profit and nonprofit can drive economic growth together.” The Tony Award-winning theater company began in 1979 as the Summerfest Musical Theatre, later transitioning into the Red Mountain

Theatre Company in 2007. The new campus will house all of the organization’s projects under one roof, including its season of productions, educational outreach, work-

‘We envision an arts campus where artists can create, students can develop life – and theater – skills, and where forprofit and nonprofit can drive economic growth together.’ RMTC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KEITH CROMWELL

shops, camps and the 32-year-old senior performing troupe The Seasoned Performers, which the organization absorbed in 2016. “RMTC is right at the heart of our city, and this space will allow us to be more efficient and more effective in our mission of enriching, educating, and engaging our community,” said community leader and RMTC board President Kathryn Harbert. Live Design Group will be architects for the project, working with contractors Brasfield & Gorrie and managed by Harbert Realty Services. The arts campus is to include state-of-the art rehearsal and classroom spaces, a next-generation 400seat theater and administrative and shop offices. Construction is anticipated to be complete in summer 2021. —Emily Williams

endar. The Macy’s parking lot is a popular spot to host community fundraisers for non-profit organizations such as the Exceptional Foundation’s Chili Cook-Off and the Community Grief Support’s Magic City Mac N’ Cheese Festival. In addition, the Brookwood Live weekly concert series hosted each fall on the center’s main road also draws a crowd. “I think that (the theater) will bring back some of the people who haven’t been here in a while and will

Studio By the Tracks’ Studio Store Moving to Irondale Temporarily The Studio Store, a Studio By the Tracks gallery for local artists with Autism Spectrum Disorders, closed June 3 for construction. After Studio By the Tracks’ annual Art From the Heart Benefit on June 9, the staff took a few weeks to get the new Studio Store set up at their Irondale location. They expect to re-open there in early July. According to a release, building plans recently were approved for ground-up construction at the Studio Store’s old location, at 2764 BM Montgomery St. in Homewood. The store was first opened in September. “Our first retail venture has been a huge undertaking, but the commissions we have been able to provide to our artists have far exceeded our expectations,” said Artistic Director Katie Thompson. Rather than establishing a new

Journal photo by Emily Williams

The Homewood Theatre recently announced it will have a permanent location at Brookwood Village, on Lakeshore Drive. Since its founding in 2016, the theater has shared space with The Dance Foundation. But theater Executive Director Kyle Bass said the theater started to feel cramped. The group will be moving into its new location, across the corridor from Books-A-Million, and opening its doors later this summer for its 2019-2020 production season. Homewood Theatre’s mission is to provide a first-class theater experience while fostering theater arts opportunities for local actors. The foundation serves as rehearsal and performance space for numerous arts companies and organizations, so reserving time in the theater space was tricky, Bass aid. “We’ve had to have portable sets be taken down every night for the tiny dancers,” Bass said. “We really couldn’t even get two weekends together. They are so popular that we couldn’t get the space. … Even nights of performances they would have an Indian dance class going on down the hall. They have a drum group that comes in some nights. … Some nights it would be tap dancing classes.” In addition to a permanent space, the Brookwood Village location offers popular restaurants such as Brio Tuscan Grille and Cocina Superior, and there is plenty of covered parking. “You can park your car in one spot and do the whole evening,” Bass said, which is important to many of the patrons he has spoken to.

also bring in new people who haven’t ever been to Brookwood,” Stephens said.

Though Bass said he will miss the people and the central location in Homewood, moving to Brookwood Village also is a central location for mall patrons, who typically live in Homewood, Mountain Brook, Birmingham’s Southside and Vestavia Hills. “We are right in the middle of all of that,” Bass said. Over the next couple of months, the retail space the theater will be occupying across from Books-AMillion will be transformed, though Bass said the plan for the interior is undecided. Bass said that, as of yet, he hasn’t found another theater to compare that occupies space inside a shopping center. “We have a show in here Aug. 22,” he said. “So, we have less than three months. I have a 62-day plan so that by the first of August we are ready to get in and acclimate.” Homewood Theatre has six shows scheduled for the 2019-2020 season. The debut performance at Brookwood Village will be “Bill Bugg and Friends Part 2,” featuring popular show tunes in a piano-bar style setting. Tickets prices are $20. Group packages and season tickets are available. For more information, visit and location for the months-long project, Studio By the Tracks has opted to re-open the Studio Store at 301 20th St. S in Irondale, where the Studio By the Tracks artists create their works. “More than anything, we’re taking away from this experience that having this gallery is an integral asset to our mission,” said Studio Store manager Danielle Dyar. “It has provided our artists with supplemental income and has allowed them to be acknowledged alongside other contemporary artists in our community. “It’s really important to us to be able to continue providing this service to our artists, and we are actually pretty excited to be bringing our organization home to Irondale.” Studio By the Tracks provides a social outlet and career path for adult artists with autism spectrum disorders by providing space for self-expression and social engagement at their studio. All materials are supplied at no cost, and the artists directly receive 60% of all sales of their artwork. — Emily Williams


Thursday, June 13, 2019 • 11


ASFA Marks Executive Director Meeks’ Retirement With a Celebration

Photo courtesy ASFA

touched through his decades in the classroom and in school administration. Meeks is only the third executive director in ASFA’s history. While at the school, Meeks worked to bring the school recognition and respect on the local and state levels. He helped persuade legislators to increase state funding to pre-recession levels and

spearheaded the celebration of ASFA’s 50th anniversary. He represented the school on statewide and national committees, including the Artistic Literacy Consortium and the Arts Schools Network. Former Leadership Birmingham Executive Director Ann Florie will fill in as interim executive director of ASFA as the board of trustees con-

ducts a nationwide search for Meeks’ successor. The ASFA Foundation created the Executive Director’s Legacy Fund in Meeks’ honor to support the work of executive directors to address internal and external affairs of the school. The foundation still is accepting donations, which can be made at

From left, Graham Boettcher, Stephen Chazen and Michael Meeks at a retirement party May 23 for Dr. Meeks.

The Alabama School of Fine Arts Foundation hosted a retirement party May 23 to celebrate its executive director, Dr. Michael W. Meeks. Meeks has led ASFA for eight years, capping a 40-year career working in education. The gathering was held in the lobby of the Dorothy Jemison Day Theater at ASFA, which sparkled with tea lights and summer hydrangeas. The festivities included a video highlighting Meeks’ career and family, a jazz ensemble featuring ASFA alum Desmond Sykes and hors d’oeuvres from Yellow Bicycle catering.

Many guests spoke about the positive impact Meeks had on their lives and the lives of the many students he

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12 • Thursday, June 13, 2019




Photos courtesy Ivey family

Billy Ivey’s wooden kitchen table is peppered with Sharpie stains from his 15-year morning ritual.

By Lauren Helmer



In honor of Father’s Day, we asked Billy Ivey’s children to flip the script and write a Napkinism to him. Here are some of their messages of love to their dad.

Quinn age 10.

Father’s Messages of Love

Ivey, who worked in advertising and marketing for 20 years, has used this gift from his father to launch his own business, Napkinisms. Now he’s written a book, does speaking engagements, sells his napkins online and freelances as a marketer. He also partners with corporate sponsors to provide napkin messages to children who may be in particular need of a smile.

y father changed my life one day when he wrote me a note, and the significance of that note really set my compass for the rest of my life,” said Oak Mountain resident Billy Ivey. “When I was 14, he was diagnosed with ALS, and when I was 15, I got cut from the basketball team. And I was devastated, because my father An Accidental Sensation was a great athlete,” Ivey said. Perhaps the beginning of that busi“I came home, and he said, ness was the morning Ivey put Sharpie ‘There’s nothing you can do on that Oak Mountain Man Shares Funny, Uplifting to Bounty paper towel, as usual, and basketball court to make me love you Notes With Kids Through Napkinisms penned, “Remember, every time you any more; there’s nothing you could smile, a mean kid gets diarrhea.” do to make me love you any less. You “I thought it was funny, so I took a are fearfully and wonderfully made. picture of it and sent them off to You are perfect, because you are my school with their notes just like I do every day. I son,’ Ivey remembers. posted it to Instagram, and people just sort of “Then, that night he wrote me a very simple went nuts for it.” said Ivey. note to try to give me some perspective and The lunchbox notes went viral. Thousands of make me feel better the next day, and I’ve mempeople began sharing, commenting and sending orized it.” him letters. He was blown away. “I thought it was fascinating because for 20 Today is your day. Nothing or no one can years, I’ve been in advertising and marketing trymake your day anything other than what you ing to get people to respond in the way they were want it to be. If the weather calls for rain, decide responding to me writing stupid stuff on a napnow that you will enjoy being wet. If a test score kin!” is low, decide that you will work harder and the Teachers were printing out Ivey’s Napkinisms next one will be higher. If treated unfairly for to give to students when they needed a pick-mesomething, smile for all of the many things up. Woman’s Day magazine wrote an article you’ve not been caught for. Attitude is everyabout it. Samford invited Ivey to give a TEDx thing. Today is not yet anything, so fill it with talk and more speaking engagements followed. laughter. Then the Chick-fil-A Foundation asked Ivey to write 300 Napkinism notes for its summer “He passed away right before my 16th birthlunch program for kids in need. He received a day. And I kept the note with me for a long “I posted it to Instagram, and people call after the first batch of notes went out. time,” said Ivey. just sort of went nuts for it.” “They said, ‘You’re not going to believe this. “He wasn’t trying to change my life; he was It was incredible,” Ivey recalls. “The people who just trying to change my day, and he did and he were packing the notes into the lunches were does over and over again,” Ivey said. “That mes“Ever since my daughter was in preschool, laughing, crying, taking pictures of the notes so sage meant a lot to me on that day when I was I’d put a little note in her lunchbox just commuthey could share them. And then the kids were 15, but it means a lot more to me now.” nicating simple messages to let her know that, running around, waving their notes, screaming Fast-forward to today: Ivey’s wooden kitchen basically, daddy loves you,” said Ivey, whose table is peppered with Sharpie stains from his napkin notes of fatherly love for his five kids are and squealing.” See NAPKINISMS, page 16 15-year morning ritual. often hilarious.

Abe age 12.

Merrie Cannon age 14.

Ben age 15.


Thursday, June 13, 2019 • 13


Great Gifts for Great Dads!

Perfect for Dad’s home or office, “Oak Mountain Lake” by W. Eddie is a 20”X24” oil painting, $585. Griffith Art Gallery, 985-7969.

Dad will look sporty in this men’s performance polo, Multi Cationic stripe in Lighthouse Red, $85. vineyard vines, 970-9758

Certified Angus Beef - It’s what’s for Father’s Day. Piggly Wiggly.

Dad will love the Camino™ Carryall by YETI, $149.99, the perfect all-purpose, here-to-there bag for any and every day. Little Hardware, 871-4616.

Celebrate the spirit and the energy of a father who never cracks under pressure with this TagHeuer Steel Chronograph, $1,495. John William Jeweller, 870-4367.

More Gift Ideas on page 15 (Father’s Day is this Sunday!)


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14 • Thursday, June 13, 2019


FATHER’S DAY By Sam Prickett


r. John Mathews tried to talk his son, Winn, out of becoming a surgeon. “It’s a difficult life,” he said, and after a 40-year career as a surgeon, he would know. But Winn decided to follow in his father’s footsteps anyway. Some inspiration came from reading Dr. Ben Carson’s 1992 autobiography “Gifted Hands” while he was in third grade, Winn said, but he also always was around surgery, thanks to his dad. “I’ve been going on mission trips with them since I was really about 1 or 2 years old,” he said. “That was a big influence on me.” On those mission trips to Haiti, aRt, antiques which included one 2½ -year stretch Gifts & DecoR between 1982 and 1985, John performed about 800 major surgeries. Open Mon-Fri 10:30-5:00 pm & When he was old enough to help, 1st & 3rd Sat 10:30-2:30 pm Winn would work in the pharmacy. 2790 BM Montgomery Street After he got into medical school, he Homewood, AL • 205.460.1224 started assisting his father during surgery. “And we’ve gone back a couple of times where he and I have been able to operate with each other there,” he said. “It’s just extremely rewarding to do that.” Now, John and Winn don’t just function as a father-and-son team while on mission trips. They share a practice, the Surgeons’ Group, operat109 Hilltop Business Drive es ing at Birmingham’s Princeton Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 Pelham Baptist Medical Center. John has 824-1246 worked there for 40 years, including 205.985.7969 his residency. He’s currently the hospital’s chief of general our AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for theand bariatric surgery. Winn has e 13, 2019 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.been there for six years. “There wasn’t really any other option for me as far as going into general surgery other than joining my

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Drs. John and Winn Mathews don’t just function as a father-and-son team while on mission trips to Haiti. They share a practice, the Surgeons’ Group, operating at Birmingham’s Princeton Baptist Medical Center.

Surgeons’ Ties That Bind Doctors John and Winn Mathews Say Working Together Has Deepened Their Father-Son Bond

dad’s practice and keeping our presence and our name tied together,” Winn said, then laughed. “It’s hard to get away from him!” One might imagine that the high stakes inside the operating room would place significant stress on any relationship. But John and Winn said

Please initial and fax back within 24 hours. Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, 824-1246 your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday.

Thankfrom youtheforOVER yourTHE prompt attention. r AD PROOF MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the 19, 2018 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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

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.

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that, for the most part, it’s only brought them closer. “It’s something that I think is very rare nowadays, for fathers and sons to do the same thing — much less fathers and sons practicing together and able to tolerate each other while they’re doing it,” Winn said. “It’s improved our relationship. We certainly butt heads every once in a while, but I think the end result has always been great … . It’s rare for a father and son to have someone’s life in our hands, and it’s deepened our relationship as men to each other.”

Student Leading the Teacher

There’s also an element of mentorship, though not always in the direction you would think. Robotic surgery, for instance, is becoming more commonplace, and John said that, in that field, he learns from his son. “In fact, he is so much better at that than me, it’s quite humbling,” John said. “He’s teaching me now! It’s been a wonderful transition … . It’s been a lot of fun learning together, my son and I.” Working alongside each other at Princeton has changed their dynamic, Winn agreed. “It’s really kind of an old-school apprenticeship,” he said. “When I was in medical school and I had a question, he was always someone I could call and talk to him about it. He was extremely open … . Now, working together in a practice, he’s there. I can bounce ideas off him, and he sends me patients that he thinks might be fit for more complex

robotics work. It really went from him teaching me to more of a complementary relationship.” Despite those changes, both said they are motivated by desire “to serve our fellow man,” helping patients even if they can’t pay for it. “As surgeons, we take patients as they come through the emergency room,” John said. “We try to make it our practice not to look and see if there’s any compensation associated with our care.” “We haven’t given up yet — and I haven’t missed a paycheck yet,” he said, laughing. “But it’s been an honor to be able to serve this community.” Both father and son are outspoken in their Christian faith, which Winn said motivates their practice. “Jesus taught us to serve others and also to be a teacher,” he said. “Part of what we do and where we do it is trying to have a ministry … . Whether or not we get compensated is not really part of the issue. It’s really just trying to live each day as Jesus’ example was to serve our fellow man. That’s a huge part of why we (work) at Princeton and why we became surgeons and why we continue to do what we do. Our belief in Christianity has a huge impact on what we do and is probably one of the reasons why we do it well, because he’s blessed us, and why we don’t burn out and still want to do it every day.” Just before returning to surgery, John put it even more succinctly. “We just keep working hard,” he said. “This is our life.”


Dad will have a blast on Father’s Day with an Estes Rockets starter set, starting at $28.99. Engines are sold separately and prices vary based on size and distance of flight. Homewood Toy and Hobby Shop, 879-3986.

Dad will be comfortable and stylish in Zkano socks, $17.99, made from start to finish under one roof in Fort Payne, Alabama. Wild Birds Unlimited, 823-6500.

Thursday, June 13, 2019 • 15


For the dad who likes to tailgate, the rust-proof PK Portable Kitchen, $449, folds for easy transport. Available in silver, graphite and matte red. Alabama Gaslight & Grill, 870-4060.

A Birmingham Museum of Art membership gives your dad discounts on events, classes, the museum shop, the café and reciprocal memberships to more than 100 museums. Birmingham Museum of Art, 254-2565.

Give Dad the gift of better health! For a limited time, all dads get half-off enrollment. Hotworx Vestavia Hills, 502-7511.

For the discerning father, a vintage pair of double-link, stylized cufflinks in 14k gold created and signed by Art Deco jeweler Raymond C. Yard, $1,275. See John Bromberg at JB & Co, 478-0455. BIRDFOOD • FEEDERS • GARDEN ACCENTS • UNIQUE GIFTS

How about a family membership to Aldridge Gardens, so Dad can fish? Aldridge Gardens, 682-8019.

Dad will be the envy of the neighborhood with the Viking grill - retails for $6,639, Alabama Appliance price, $3,995. Alabama Appliance, 777-5154.

1580 Montgomery Hwy • Birmingham • 823-6500 • Joe Perez • Owner/Operator

To: From: Date:

MAKE SURE DAD HAS A BLAST Joe ON Journal, FATHER'S DAY! Over The Mountain PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 June

This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL f June 13, 2019 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

With no wire bristles to worry about, The Ultimate BBQ Cleaning Tool has custom grooves that fit your dad’s grill and is a great alternative to the wire brush, $25. The Cook Store, 879-5277. Assorted Bulova watches, a timeless gift available in every Dad’s taste. Southeastern Jewelers, 980-9030.

Spruce up Dad’s study or den with mid-century modern, signed ducks by Malevolti, $69. Roman Brantley Art and Antiques, 460-1224.

Sure to be an heirloom, Dad will enjoy his Sertado Copper handcrafted flask; 4 x 3 inch and Espadin flask, $120 each; 5 x 2 inch flask, $115. Each flask comes with a copper funnel. Bromberg’s Mountain Brook Village, 871-3276 and The Summit, 969-1776.

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. HIGH-PERFORMANCE ELECTRIC RACE BOAT The Traxxas Blast™ is engineered to be fast, reliable, and easy to drive. The installed water cooling system for the motor helps keeps the Blast cool for longer run times and all day fun!

Dad will be ecstatic when he receives a Cherokee Hawk Damascus blade knife, $149 with leather sheath. Each knife is one-of-a-kind, crafted in Cullman and comes with handmade leather sheathing. Alabama Goods, 803-3900.

2830 18th Street South • Homewood, AL 35209 205-879-3986 • Mon.-Sat. 9:30 - 5:30


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16 • Thursday, June 13, 2019



Cricket, Tea and Trade Training

Rehab Reality... By Judy Butler

Group Brings International Flair to Hoover as it Reaches Hands Across the Globe By Ingrid Howard

Happy Father’s Day - Unhappy in Addiction

“My father is an alcoholic” is a very familiar statement from our clients. Many times we find that addictive behavior begins with the father. This totally makes sense since it’s generally the father who has the responsibility of providing for the family, which can sometimes be very stressful. Likewise as generations are passed down the genetic behavior is passed on – or is it really? Is it genetic or learned behavior? These are questions that will be pondered for years to come. Children observe more than we realize which begs to answer why some who live with chronic alcoholism will never touch the stuff and others take on the behavior of the parent and therefore become alcoholics themselves. The majority of our clients have been male and had families. Hence fathers with addiction. Their choice has been alcohol and their reasons are generally trying to escape. This is why it is so important to get individual treatment to beat the addiction. Rather than going from one 12-step meeting to another our clients receive about 30 hours a week of counseling. The Life Skills portion of our program covers life challenges such as relationships, irrational thinking, money management, etc. Clients bring their cell phone and laptop and are able to stay in touch with family and work. We allow this because many times it helps us identify some of the stress factors the clients endure and address it with them. Before choosing a big box rehab for your dad, loved one or yourself compare everything. Bayshore Retreat’s small home environment is different and it makes a difference.

When Hoover City Councilman Mike Shaw’s daughter Melodi began studying Japanese, Shaw noticed how learning the language and culture gave her a purpose. Now a student at Auburn University with a minor in Asian studies, Melodi’s passion inspired her parents last year to begin a non-profit organization called Destination Hoover International. “Hoover is an international city,” Shaw said. “There are so many different cultures here and so many different countries here. But Hoover’s never really had any international effort dedicated like this. “We wanted to build something that would allow us to take Hoover to the world, improve sister cities and other programs like that, bring the world here, but also recognize the diversity and the different countries that are already here.” The organization ultimately would like to partner Hoover with a sister city, which is a long-term partnership between two communities in two countries. But for now, the organization is planning cultural events in the area and finding ways to connect to people of different backgrounds. “Japan is all about the friendship,” Shaw said. “(Things like) the tea ceremony, the tree planting and dedication we’re doing, that’s what they’re into. With India, it’s all about sports and dancing.” Cricket is a popular sport in India, Shaw said, but it’s almost unheard of in the United States. “So they all go, ‘Well, you know when you’re coming to America, you’re happy, but you’re sad because you’re giving up your love for cricket,’” he said. To remedy this, DHI held a cricket tournament May 4 at The Finley Center. Admission was free, and cricket fans braved the rain to play the sport they love. The organization also partners with German communities in Hoover. Shaw said that German culture typically focuses on a person’s career. The RC3 – Riverchase Career Connection Center – is a new program in Hoover City Schools that

NAPKINISMS From page 12

Ten thousand notes have since been shared through that program. Children’s of Alabama also has implemented such a program, sharing 400 napkin notes each day. “It’s changed my heart. I never thought I’d have the opportunity to partner with a hospital,” said Ivey. “To see an image of a kid with his head bandaged and with tubes coming out of his body holding up a note

Cricket is a popular sport in India, but it’s almost unheard of in the United States. Destination Hoover International held a cricket tournament May 4 at The Finley Center. Cricket fans braved the rain to play the sport they love.

reflects this cultural aspect by teaching high schoolers skilled trades. “There are a lot of students who immediately go to college after graduation, but this is also a way to get a certification in something so you can enter into the workforce,” said Shelley Shaw, Mike’s wife and president of DHI’s board. Shelley Shaw said that, so far, these community events and projects have been well-received. “These other community groups, they’re excited to hear about it, and they want to meet us,” she said.

Program Promotes Economic Development

Not only do these programs foster a good community, but Mike Shaw said having them improves economic development. “You learn very quickly, particularly with Asian countries, that there is a lot of subtlety in the way they communicate and the things they care about,” he said. “It’s very different from Europe or us in the U.S. So part of this cultural understanding is, if you want to have successful economic development, you’d better that says, ‘I bet you can’t say, ‘I am awesome’ 50 times before lunch is over.’ And then to hear the story that he tried. … You know, it’s neat to think that, because of something I did at my kitchen table, that kid sat there in his hospital bed and said, ‘I am awesome. I am awesome. I am awesome.’ Nothing thrills my soul more.”

Small Acts, Big Impact

Ivey marvels that a small, intentional act done in love can have such a powerful impact.

understand the cultures of different people and what’s important to them.” The organization had a fundraiser

with Jubilee Joes that provided scholarships for students who are interested in international studies. DHI announced in April that graduating seniors Caroline McCabe of Spain Park High School and Jessica Bradley of Hoover High School each

had been awarded a $2,000 scholarship. McCabe will focus on business analytics at Auburn University and plans to study abroad. Bradley plans to declare a business administration major with a minor in Spanish. “What we intend on doing is having that relationship with them, following them and being able to tell the community about what they’re doing and how they may come back to Alabama or, even better, come back to Hoover and bring what they’re learning back here,” Shelley Shaw said. The Shaws have lived in Hoover since they had their children, but before that, they both moved around a lot. “So we know what it’s like to be in a different place frequently,” Mike Shaw said. “We want to make sure that people feel welcome, that they know we’re glad they’re here, that there are a lot of opportunities for people in Hoover, and we want to make sure people in the world know who Hoover is so they want to come here or move their company here, (so) they choose Hoover.”

“Each of us has the opportunity to do something small that could potentially make a big difference,” said Ivey. “What is it that you can do? How are you going to show up? Follow those warm-hearted impulses you have. You don’t have to do something grand to do something great.” When asked what makes a good father, Ivey said that, for him, it’s intentionality and being present, showing your kids that they are loved unconditionally, as his dad did for him with a simple note. He’s

taken that love and shared it not only with his kids, but with thousands of kids. “I get pretty laser-focused on my kids, but Napkinisms has opened me up to seeing that we are not alone. We are all in this thing together,” said Ivey. “Everybody needs to feel loved and encouraged. I think that’s an innate need that we all share, but kids especially. Kids need to be reminded, like my dad told me, that they are fearfully and wonderfully made and perfect, because they are.”

‘Hoover is an international city. There are so many different cultures here and so many different countries here. But Hoover’s never really had any international effort dedicated like this.’ HOOVER CITY COUNCILMAN MIKE SHAW


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18 • Thursday, June 13, 2019

George and Mackin Thompson with Ann Bailey and Craig White.

Trent, Turner, Carson, Grace and Hewes Hull.

Lizzie and Betsy French.

The Enchanted Garden Ballet Guild of Birmingham Hosts 59th Annual Ball of Roses


Ellen Coleman and Lee Edwards.

uests were immersed in an enchanting rose garden as they entered The Country Club of Birmingham on June 1 for the 59th annual Ball of Roses, benefiting the Alabama Ballet. The room was filled with shades of coral and bright pink florals accented with live trees and greenery. The evening began with the debut of this year’s 58 presentees in a seated dinner for members and guests of the Men’s Committee, private patrons of the Ballet Guild of Birmingham. It culminated in an additional presentation followed by dancing into the night for guild members and family and friends of the presentees. Mackin McKinney Thompson served as the 2019 Ball of Roses chairman. Madison Whatley Merrill

co-chaired the ball. Virginia Hazelrig Carter planned the Men’s Committee dinner. Jenna Bissell and Lacey Whatley Alford coordinated the gathering of the greenery from the private gardens of donor homeowners around the Mountain Brook and greater Birmingham area. Florals were arranged courtesy of George Jones. Ann Bailey Pritchard White is the 2019 president of the Ballet Guild. Among those in attendance that evening were Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bentley III, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Noble, Mr. and Mrs. Reaves Crabtree, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. Jessie Robinson Taylor III, and Mr. and Mrs. William Shelton Prichard. ❖

Lyle, Jill, Virginia, Sarah and Warren Cain.

Catherine and Margaret Pewitt with Madeline and Katherine DeBuys.

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From left, Martha Smith, CeCe Hartley, Teri Bundy, Michele Smith, Katherine Cox, Leigh Anne Philips, Sallie Chalkley and Miriam Morris.

Twist and Shout

Twisters Dance Club Hosts Spring Party at the Grand Bohemian Members of the Twisters Dance Club recently attended a spring party at the Grand Bohemian. Members, their husbands and guests took advantage of the beautiful setting indoors and outside on the terrace. Officers for this year include President Michele Smith; Treasurer Susie Abbott; Secretary Carolyn Greene; and party chairs Teri Bundy,

Cathy Luckie and Miriam Morris. The Twisters had a festive year, beginning with a party in the fall and followed by a band party in February with the costume theme “The High School Years: 1980s.” There are 150 members in the dance club. Members who attended the spring party included Susie Abbott, Beth Andrews, Steva Austill, Lessie

Brady, Elisabeth Branch, Cille Breckenridge, Alison Bryant, Teri Bundy, Sallie Chalkley, Brooke Coleman, Anna Cooper, Jennifer Cope, Katherine Cox, Lynn Creighton, Cindy Daily, Robin Davis, Tricia Drew, Sarah Duggan, Jennifer Dunn, Kendall Eagan, Frances Faulconer, Jeanne Favrot, Irene Gardner, Betsy French, Tracey Gardner, CeCe Hartley,

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20 • Thursday, June 13, 2019


Photos special to the Journal


Kidada Hawkins; Brooke Coleman; Father Alex Steinmiller, Holy Family Cristo Rey President Emeritus; and Dan Sansone.

Kimberly and Norman Orr, Joe and Tricia Joseph and Bill and Beth Bullock.

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Holy Family Cristo Rey Raises More Than $500,000 at Annual Gala Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School hosted its sixth annual Rey of Hope Gala on April 26 at The Club. More than 400 guests attended the cocktail hour, dinner and auction in support of the mission of the Ensleybased school, which provides a col-

Beth Leon, Kimberly Burrell, Morgan Copes, Susan Griffin and Emily Copes.

To: From: Date:

871-4985 Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., 205-824-1246, fax June 2019

Jennifer and Burton Dunn.

lege-preparatory education to students from economically challenged families through an innovative This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for thecorporate work study program. June 13, 2019 issue. The event raised more than Please make sure all information$524,000, is correct, including an astounding $104,000 in the end-of-event paddle including address and phone raise. number! Guests had the opportunity to meet If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before the press date, a number of Holy Family Cristo Rey your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. students, who served as greeters at the Thank you for your prompt attention. Gala, and heard about student and corporate partner experiences in the debut of the school’s new video, “Voices of Cristo Rey.” Volunteers who helped plan the 2019 Rey of Hope Gala included. Melanie Hill, auction chair; and Kathryn Eckert, floral arrangements. An honorary committee included Stan and Sandy Bass, Tondee and Bob Blalock, Lisa and John Burton, Annie and Greg Butrus, Crispin and Jim Cantrell, Brooke and Daniel Coleman, Becky Dunn, Jennifer and Burton Dunn, Kathryn and Doug Eckert, Susan and Kenneth Griffin, Melinda and Joe Guillaume, Teresa and Darren Hicks, Melanie and Tom Hill, Patricia and Joe Joseph, Meg Chren and Seth Landefeld, Janet

Andrew Penman and Connie O’Brien.

Tom and Melanie Hill.

Kathryn and Doug Eckert with Mike and Allison Brown.

and Matt Lusco, Jean Morrison, Jacque and Leo Shaia, Marianne and Paul Sharbel, and Kelly and Lee Styslinger III. ❖


Art Made with Love

Thursday, June 13, 2019 • 21


Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama Celebrates “Love in the Garden”

The 23rd annual Garden Art Party was hosted at Iron City on May 11, bringing community members together for an evening of silent and live auctions. The theme for this year’s fundraiser was “Love in the Garden.” The party benefits the ACA’s efforts to make a positive impact on the lives of those dealing with dementia. In addition to live music and a cocktail buffet; silent and live auctions featured artwork provided by professional artists and ACA program participants; travel packages; workout/yoga packages; dining experiences; beach condos; wine; jewelry; and more. ❖

Walker and Laura Beauchamp with Anna and Evan Miller.

Jamie and Catherine Cato.




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22 • Thursday, June 13, 2019

Studio By the Tracks Junior Board Hosts Annual Bocce Ball Soiree Emma Allen and Caroline Borders.

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Guests got the ball rolling at Studio By the Tracks’ annual Bocce Ball Soiree. The event, hosted by the studio’s junior board, was held at the Studio Store in Homewood. Held before the board’s annual Art From the Heart Gala, tickets to the June 9 event were raffled off during the evening. In addition, artwork created by studio participants was on display. On the weekend of May 31, the Studio Store closed its doors for the month of June for renovations. The Studio Store will be re-opening the first week of July. Studio by the Tracks is an art studio that provides free art classes to adults with autism spectrum disorders. In addition to free supplies, participants earn a 60% commission on the artwork they sell. ❖

Pride and responsibility drive us to be the best in Marguerite Over the Mountain Journal everything we do. June 2019

Katherine and Jamie Justice.

Allison Counts and Caitlin Krueger.

Katherine Brown and Carolyne Kontomitras.

Kirby Whitehead, Kalli Calvin and Emily Ehrhardt.

Signs of the Season

WHNA Hosts Annual West Homewood Summer StreetFest StreetFest 2019 flooded Patriot Park on June 1 with live music, food trucks, inflatables, face painting and more.

This is your AD PROOF FOR OTMJ JUNE 13, 2019 issue. Please contact your sales representative as soon as possible to As a life-long resident andor achanges third to 824-1246. approve yourOver-the-Mountain ad or make changes. You may fax approval

The fifth annual event, hosted by the West Homewood Neighborhood Association, was intended to kick-off summer vacation. ❖

generation working at Guin,isIcorrect, feel great prideaddress and and phone number! Please make sure all information including responsibility in carrying on the Please initial and fax back within 24 hours. legacy If we haveof nothonesty heard fromand you byhard 5 pm work of the friday before the press date, your ad will run as is. Thank began you for60your prompt attention. that my grandfather years ago. Family is very important to us, and we treat our customers with the same care and respect as members of our own family. It Joseph Braswell Maren and Catie Caponetto. would be a privilege to serve you.

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Thursday, June 13, 2019 • 23


Awards and Officers

The Mountain Brook Alumnae Chapter of Kappa Delta held its annual spring luncheon meeting at the home of Emily Dunn. President Susanne McMillan presented Katie Patrick with the Elizabeth Nesbitt Simpson Service Award, and Melinda Curtis was the recipient of the Garnet McAdams Deramus Community Service award, presented by Alice Womack.   Each award was presented to honor the recipient for their dedication and service to the alumnae chapter and to the community.  New officers for 2019 were installed. They include Susanne McMillan, Adelaide Vandevelde, Ivey Brown, Isabelle Lawson, Katie Patrick, Melissa Seton, Betsy Henley, Dorothy Smith, Gwen Blackwell, Angie Smith and Julia King.  

Photos special to the Journal

Mountain Brook KDs Ring in Spring With Luncheon Meeting

Alice Womack, Melinda Curtis, Katie Patrick and Susanne McMillan.

Others attending the luncheon included Francie Deaton, Lelie Macleod, Julie Kehl, Martha Walthall, Whitney Simon, Sara Beth Wilcox, Kathryn Ely, Emily Dunn, Ann Cox, Martha DeBuys,

Melissa Kenon, Dot All, Torrey DeKeyser, Cynthia Shearer, Lucie Haynes, Kathy O’Rear, Laura Sink, Emily Anderson, Mary Dee Patrick, Laura Rue, Robin Reed, Katie Houser, Cherie Harris, Emily Beaumont, Ashley McMahon, Lisa Flake and Liz Briggs. ❖

Ivey Brown, Isabelle Lawson, Katie Patrick, Dorothy Smith, Gwen Blackwell, Angie Smith, Adelaide Vandevelde, Susanne McMillan, Betsy Henley and Melissa Seton.

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Renee Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., 205-824-1246, faxcare of so many things. Make sure your You take Date: June health is one of them. Regular screenings can This is your AD PROOF from theearly, OVER THE MOUNTAIN the catch problems while they’reJOURNAL easier tofortreat. June 13, 2019 issue. Please contact your sales representative as soon as possible to approve That you in the long run. So man your ad or makekeeps changes. Youstronger may fax approval or changes to 824-1246. up and make an appointment. Please make sure all information is correct, and phone number! Ourincluding team ofaddress providers also provide care for: • Wellness checkups

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nce upon a time, in a village far, far away, a Wishing Bell rang out across the calm waters of Lake Bled, pealing out the hopes of a lifetime of happiness for newly-

weds. The flowery language may sound like a fairytale, but this story is a reality for Lillian Jones and Peyton Falkenburg, who wed in May on Lake Bled in Slovenia. Though neither of them has any genealogical connection to the land, they flew overseas in search of new experiences that embrace old world charm. As every couple’s story starts somewhere, Lillian and Peyton’s began much earlier than either of them can recall. “Supposedly we met when we were 3 in Sunday School,” Lillian said, though she cannot recall the encounter. They grew up in the same grade in school, attending junior high and high school together without too much communication. The couple’s parents, Virginia and George Jones and Frank and Karle Falkenburg, have been friends for years. “Virginia used to model with (Karle) back in the ‘80s,” George said. “So we’ve known them for a long time.” They had even joked about the possibility of their children marrying someday. Though it could have been arranged, Lillian and Peyton’s reconnection occurred naturally. “It’s not romantic,” Lillian joked. “We were at Otey’s Tavern after a wedding and he asked me to dinner. I just said yes.” At the time, both Lillian and Peyton had recently moved back to their hometown. “When I moved back here, I didn’t think I would be here for good,” she said. Lillian is a lover of travel and seeker of adventure, so a life settled in her hometown seemed out of character. She spent her early adulthood living in France, Germany, New York and Slovakia, where her older brother, Jackson, lives with his Slovakian wife and their son. After returning to the Birmingham area, she began working at her father’s Crestline shop, Snoozy’s Kids and george; but it took settling down with Peyton to reseal her hometown roots.

A Southern Element

The proposal was quintessentially Southern, with Peyton surprising her at her grandfather’s hunting camp in south Alabama with four bouquets of flowers. “Each bouquet spelled out the words Will You Marry Me,” she said. “The first one had willow, iris, laurel and lilly ... and so on.” Even though she was committing to a different life than her younger self had imagined, her dream wedding was every bit the magic she expected and more. “Peyton proposed to me in August and I had already booked the venue and the wedding planner in July, because this was where I knew I wanted to get married,” she said. The question on both sets of parents’ minds: Why Slovenia? The country rests in a nook against the Adriatic Sea with Italy to the west, Austria to the north and Hungary and Croatia to the east. Right after Lillian and Peyton first started dating, she went on a backpacking trip for a month, beginning in Slovakia to visit family.

Peyton and Lillian Falkenburg, left, ring the Wishing Bell at Church on the Island where the couple were married. The ceremony included another luck-bestowing Slovene tradition, carrying the bride up 99 stairs to the church.

Her travels finished in the Triglav Mountains on a hiking trip with a guide who pointed out Lake Bled, noting it was a popular wedding destination. In the center of the lake is Bled Island, an ancient land where traces of prehistoric and early Slovene settlements have been found by archeologists. The island is most notably home to the legendary Church on the Island, which is, itself, steeped in history and folklore. One legend has it that the temple of the Slavic goddess Ziva stood where the church sits but disappeared into thin air during battles between pagans and Christians. According to Virginia, when Lillian returned from her trip, she “stated that if she ever married, she desired a destination wedding in Bled, Slovenia. With no current fiance, (George and I) listened but were not fully convinced that any such thing would or should ever happen.” While visiting her son and his family in Slovakia, when the proposal was imminent, Virginia decided to take a road trip through Austria to Bled. “Charm and scenery, check,” she said.    After one serendipitous meeting with a local wedding planner and a visit to the church, venues and potential guest lodging, all of Virginia’s doubts dissipated.

Something New, Something Traditional Lillian and Peyton Falkenburg Arrange Fairytale Wedding on Lake Bled in Slovenia

story by

Emily Williams | photos by Ana Gregoric Photography

Bon Voyage

It was important that a send-off party be hosted in Birmingham for guests who couldn’t make it to a wedding in a foreign country. Not to mention, it would take a bus, boats and staircase of 99 ancient steps to get to the church. While fewer than 100 people would make it to Slovenia for the wedding, several hundred would go to the pre-wedding party. “It was a wonderful way to celebrate with all our friends who truly had a connection to Lillian and Peyton and who were so happy for them,” Karle said. “Some of Lillian and Peyton’s friends who couldn’t come to the wedding came from all over the country to celebrate with them at the party. It was very humbling.” The event, held at The Country Club of Birmingham, included an opulent Champagne, cheese and charcuterie table. It was an opportunity to have a hometown feel that wasn’t to be recreated in Slovenia. “Peyton proposed to her in the woods, so we went to those same woods and cut down about See FALKENBURG, page 28


The Birmingham Museum of Art

The Birmingham Museum of Art is an elegant and modern venue, suited to host any wedding event, such as engagement parties, bridal luncheons, teas and showers down to the ceremony and reception. ”If you choose the Museum for your wedding, you can utilize all of our event spaces – Oscars Café with the dramatic spiral staircase; the Eighth Ave. Lobby, which has the Dale Chihuly colorful blown glass adorning the wall; and the multi-level Charles Ireland Sculpture Garden outside,” said Special Events Manager Jestina Howard, above. “All of the galleries in the Museum will also be open during your event, which gives your guests - who may have never been to the

WEDDINGS & ENGAGEMENTS Museum - a chance to see our wonderful collections. “We only book one event per evening, so you and your guests will have the entire Museum to yourselves,” Howard added. “I have been an event planner for 20 years, managing and executing everything from corporate events to weddings. I have a level of experience that gives total confidence to my clients and allows them to relax and not worry that things will be handled. I’m passionate about what I do and strive to deliver the best experience to my clients so that they will book our venue again for another special event.” Howard’s four tips for planning include: “One: Hire an experienced wedding planner. They can make the process of planning a wedding stress free and you won’t have to worry that all of the details will be taken care of on your special day. “Two: Make sure all of your outside vendors such as florists, musicians, decorators etc. get a copy of the venue’s facility policies so they know what’s allowed and not allowed, how to load in, setup and load out of the venue so nothing is damaged. “Three: Take 5-10 minutes to eat a bite and enjoy your new spouse’s company in private before greeting your guests at the reception. “Four: Think about the age range of the guests you’ll invite to your wedding for seating purposes. Make sure you have tables and chairs or lounge areas if you have an older crowd because they don’t like to stand for very long periods of time. If you have a younger crowd you can utilize more hi-boy tables because they will probably dance more and not sit as much.” Birmingham Museum of Art is located at 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., 254-2681.


Thursday, June 13, 2019 • 25

receiving a free place setting with the purchase of seven place settings. Other benefits of registering at Bromberg’s include discounts for attendant and hostess gifts and 20% off on non-diamond wedding bands. During their 183 years in business, Bromberg’s has come to set the standard for fine jewelry and giftware for discerning people throughout the Southeast. The Registry at Bromberg’s is no exception. The experts at Bromberg’s locations at The Summit and in Mountain Brook are available to help set a table that will be the focal point of cherished memories now and for years to come, even showing couples how to incorporate heirloom pieces and family china in a way that truly reflects their personal style. To learn more stop by Bromberg’s at The Summit, in Mountain Brook Village or go to

Savvy Birmingham brides have long known that creating a Wedding Registry at Bromberg’s de rigueur at least 6 months before the date of a wedding.   With an unmatched selection of fine china, casual dinnerware, crystal and home decor, every couple that registers at Bromberg’s will find the perfect combination of gift choices for their wedding guests to select from. And not only does Bromberg’s offer the most distinctive lines of dinnerware from the most prestigious manufacturers around the world, but they also offer locally crafted dinnerware such as Earthborn Pottery. To keep things simple, the Bromberg’s Gift Letter program keeps couples from having to deal with returns and duplicate items. For each gift purchased from a registry, a beautiful gift letter is sent to inform the couple. After the wedding, the couple can redeem the total value of the gift letters they have received for anything they want in the store. Not only does this simplify everything for newlyweds, but it allows them to take advantage of special offers Lisa Strawn is the lead bridal consultant at Bromberg’s Summit location. including

26 • Thursday, June 13, 2019


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

JB & CO JB & CO is a jewelry boutique owned and operated by John Bromberg, above. His boutique honors a return to an old-world artisan approach to fine jewelry. In an industry that is increasingly focused on mass production, JB & CO chooses instead to focus on the unique with specialties that include bridal, custom and estate jewelry. Bromberg personally works with his clients to select or create just the right piece for the occasion, always adhering to their style and budget. Whether it is a diamond engagement ring, anniversary earrings or a special piece for your day, JB & CO can help you collect your heirloom. His selection of jewelry comes from destinations far and wide, from the finest houses such as Bulgari, Cartier, Hermes and Tiffany, as well as designers Elizabeth Locke, Raymond Yard, Lalaounis, Judith Ripka, Mikimoto, David Yurman, John Hardy, Rolex and more.   Bromberg, a sixth-generation jeweler with decades of extensive experience and longstanding relationships, offers the unique opportunity for his clients to purchase fine jewelry at an exceptional value. “Collect with us,” said Bromberg. JB & Co. is located at 1 Office Park Cir., Ste. 201, 478-0455.



Aldridge Gardens

The Scribbler

Aldridge Gardens is a 30-acre public garden nestled in the heart of Hoover featuring beautiful woods, gardens, walking trails and a serene five-acre lake. “As the director of sales, I am here to ensure that each couple’s day is special and expertly executed from start to finish,” said Amanda Baker, pictured. Ceremonies may be held at one of nine picturesque garden sites - including the Pavilion, a covered, open-air facility and small ampitheater all of which accommodate up to 200 guests. The arbor, shade garden lawn and pavilion provide a beautiful backdrop of garden foliage. Lakeside, woodland stream and patio sites offer stunning water and garden views. The Pavilion and Kay and Eddie Aldridge Art and Historical Museum are perfect reception venues. The museum opens to a large brick patio, offering a spectacular view of the lake, while the gallery features works of noted local and national artists, including a large collection of Frank Fleming sculptures. “Weddings can be inherently stressful but they don’t have to be. Surround yourself with wonderful event professionals and consider hiring a wedding planner to aid in the process. Be yourself and make sure to include details that you specifically enjoy.” Baker said. Aldridge Gardens is located at 3530 Lorna Rd., Hoover, 682-8019.

The Scribbler is a fine paper studio specializing in wedding invitations and all things wedding. “We are a dealer for great companies in all price ranges,” said owner Ginny Hutchinson, right.   “We’re excited to announce we’ve moved to our new location in English Village where our focus is still on becoming experts on the many options available to today’s bride. There are so many options, and we take the time to research so that we can guide them in the right direction. While we are open 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on weekdays, we prefer private appointments for brides.” “When I first bought The Scribbler and C&S Designs in Crestline 11 years ago, I deliberately did not claim to be the ‘wedding expert’ because that takes time and experience. The stationery and paper industry has undergone tremendous change over the years, and I am proud that we have been able to adapt. I want to balance the importance of tradition and proper etiquette with current trends.” “Every wedding is unique, and it is so important that your wedding reflects your style and values,” said Hutchinson.  “We love our brides and their families and like to think we treat them as if they are our family too. Come see us in English Village!” The Scribbler is located at 2102C Cahaba Road, English Village. 271-8135.

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Thursday, June 13, 2019 • 27



Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Eldon Rushing of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Draper Lynne Rushing, to Brandon Christopher Suttles, son of Ms. Stacy Tillman Suttles of Honolulu and Mr. Kelvin Lawayne Suttles of Birmingham. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Norma Lyons Barron and the late Mr. Marcus John Lyons Jr., and the late Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Eldon Rushing, all of Birmingham. Miss Rushing attended Mountain Brook High School. She is a graduate of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University. She is a member of Delta Gamma social sorority and the Junior League of Montgomery. The prospective groom is the grandson of the late Ms. Mamie Jo Murray of Swearengin, Mr. and Mrs. William David Tillman of Birmingham, and Mr. and Mrs. James Leon Suttles of Arab. Mr. Suttles attended Pelham High

Kissel-Watkins School and is a graduate of the Rebecca Lucille “Cille” Kissel of College of Engineering at the Mountain Brook and John Crates University of Alabama. Watkins III of Louisville, Kentucky, The bride-elect is employed by the were married June 8 at Canterbury Alabama Department of Environmental Management. The proUnited Methodist Church. The Rev. spective groom is employed by Sam Williamson officiated the ceremony.   Hyundai Motor Manufacturing of The bride is the daughter of Drs. Alabama. Edward Urban Kissel III and Rebecca The wedding is planned for Oct. Beavers Kissel, both of Mountain 12 at Mountain Brook Baptist Church. Brook. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward U. Kissel Jr. and the late Mrs. Linda Shealy Kissel Share Your Good News! as well as the late Mr. and Mrs. To have our wedding & engagement forms Charles A.J. Beavers Sr., all of sent to you, call 823-9646. Mountain Brook. The groom is the son of Mr. John Crates Watkins Jr. and Mrs. Mary Anne Watkins, both of Louisville. WEDDING REGISTRY He is the grandson of the late Mr. HOME DECOR • CORPORATE GIFTS and Mrs. William S. Wetterer Sr. and 2402 MONTEVALLO RD MOUNTAIN BROOK VILLAGE 205.879.0125 the late Mr. and Mrs. John C. Watkins WWW.TABLE-MATTERS.COM Sr., all of Louisville. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a satin, Pronovias strapless gown with ruching and a sweetheart neckline, creating an old To: Jessica Hollywood glam look. The men wore From: Over The Mountain Journal, 205-823-9646 ph., white dinner jackets.  205-824-1246, fax Sarah Seibles of Mountain Brook Date: May was the maid of honor. Leonora Culp of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL Towels $20 or the June 13th issue. Please contact your sales representative as soon as possible to was the matron of honor. Bridesmaids approve your ad or make changes. were Alexandra Trott of Cincinnati; 2841 Cahaba Road Kelsey Warsinske of San Francisco; Mtn. Brook Village • 205-879-5277 Please make sure all information is correct, Mary Catherine Watkins, sister of the including address and phone number! M-F 10-5 • Sat 10-4 groom, of New York City; and Elizabeth Watkins, sister of the groom, of Nashville, Tennessee. Thank you for your prompt attention. Christopher Haas, of Louisville, was the best man. Groomsmen were William Smith of Atlanta; Shane Connor of Dayton, Ohio; Edward Urban Kissel IV, brother of the bride, of Mountain Brook; Craig Spenlau of Louisville; and David Freiman of Chicago. Theo Spenlau of Louisville was the ring bearer. After a trip to Maui and Kuai, To: From: Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 Hawaii, the couple will live in FAX: 205-824-1246 Louisville. 




Keeping it classy!

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28 • Thursday, June 13, 2019


FALKENBURG From page 24

60 trees,” George said. “On Easter Sunday,” Lillian interjected. “Rented a truck, loaded them up and put them in the East Room at Birmingham Country Club,” George continued. “So, the trees you saw helped decorate it to look like a southern forest.” While it can be difficult to plan a wedding in a country you hardly know, those preparations went seamlessly, Lillian said. In fact, she said, that was easy compared to the guest list of several hundred who attended the sendoff. Lillian’s key to success: use a Slovene wedding planner. They worked with Petra of DA Petra, and their praises for her are copious. Lillian noted, as she and her mother barely knew the area, it was important to hire someone who was familiar with Bled. “We truly had to trust her recommendations for the florist, photographer, videographer, priest, organist, soloist, hairdresser, makeup artist, wedding music … all while working closely with us through the planning process, all beyond expectation,” Virginia said.

A Time in Slovenia

The five-day affair in Slovenia fully embraced the surrounding culture. “None of our guests – except for me, my mom and one other guy – had ever been to this country, which was the goal, to bring everyone to a new place and experience something completely new together,” Lillian said. The Jones’ spent their first night in Slovenia with family. “Arriving on Monday for the Friday wedding was really lovely,” Virginia said. “This allowed us to spend time with our families and guests that landed during the week. All could enjoy activities unique to the area.” The week was spent touring, fishing, golfing and visiting until Thursday, when a traditional rehearsal dinner was held at Bled Castle, which sits on the highest point in the area, overlooking the lake. The festivities started with a “standing reception,” with traditional food and wine including local sausages and cheeses. Folk dancers and musicians performed and invited guests to dance with them. A seated dinner followed, with the menu offering such foods as venison, a local fish called zander and a cream cake. Then Champagne bottles were sabered. “This was special because the sword that was used was sent over to Bled by Peyton’s godmother, on which she had it inscribed with their names and date, but it also said, “Saber the moments of your life,’” Karle said. The wedding day was peaceful, according to both families.

Clockwise from above, Karle, Peyton, Lillian and Frank Falkenburg; The wedding party included close family and friends; In the center of the lake is Bled Island, an ancient land where traces of prehistoric and early Slovene settlements have been found by archeologists. The island is most notably home to the legendary Church on the Island, which is, itself, steeped in history and folklore; Virginia and George Jones with daughter Lillian; Peyton and Lillian Falkenburg. The couple first met when they were 3 in Sunday School.

Lillian wore a remake of Virginia’s wedding dress, Birmingham-based designer Katherine Vier crafting a comfortable, yet ornate gown featuring lace borrowed from its

inspiration. Peyton’s niece, McKay, was the flower girl and Lillian’s nephew, Bennett, was ring bearer, walking in an outfit that had been worn by


his father 28 years prior. There were no bridesmaids or groomsmen. In the early evening, the guests boarded small boats and were taken to the church, then Lillian, Karle, George and Virginia made their way in. The church doors opened and Lillian and George faced their small group of close family and friends as well as a perfectly polished, gold-leaf laden church. “Peyton didn’t see me until I walked down the aisle, which was really special,” Lillian said. Conforming to Slovene tradition, Virginia was seated on the right, rather than following the American tradition of being seated on the left. “My favorite moment was when I walked into the church and Frank and Peyton were standing there at the back of the church,” Karle said. “I loved that Peyton walked me down the aisle and then Frank and Peyton took that last little walk down the aisle together before Peyton married the love of his life.” The ceremony was conducted in English by the head of the Lutheran Church in Slovenia, but everyone said the Lord’s Prayer in their native tongue. The prayer was spoken in Slovene, English, Slovak and, by one guest, German. At the end of the ceremony, the couple rang the church wishing bell, circa 1534. Under one legend, that would portend a happy marriage for Peyton and Lillian. “Because it’s a tourist destination, you only have a short amount of time before the church re-opens for tours,” Lillian said. “When we were walking out with guests throwing rose petals – tourists were there throwing rose petals with them.” The tourist participation helped make the church exit even more of a spectacle, Lillian said. A few of them were even able to snag a selfie with the bride. Lillian and Peyton posed for photos while guests began partaking in the tradition of wedding cake and champagne. The couple then descended the 99 stairs so that Peyton could carry Lillian back up them, another luck-bestowing Slovene tradition. Carrying Lillian and her large dress up the old, misshapen steps was one of the most difficult tasks of the trip. “He couldn’t see the steps under her dress, so I was behind him telling him, ‘Step. Step. Step,’” George said. “And I was telling him, ‘Breathe. Breathe. Breathe,’” Lillian joked. The crowd returned to the hotel for dinner, dancing and several Slovakian wedding games, and a party that went until 3 a.m., Virginia said. Lillian’s older brother Jackson emceed the reception and led the games. In one, a few men were seated in front of a blindfolded Lillian with one pant leg rolled up, and she had to pick which leg was Peyton’s.   “At midnight they brought out a big pot of goulash and bread,” George said. “Because, by then, you’re hungry again and it soaks up a bit of the wine that you have had.” The following day was laid back and the newlyweds had a chance to bid farewell to their friends and family before leaving for their honeymoon. The couple spent the time following their wedding visiting the Baltics, spending time in countries they had never seen before, such as Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Copenhagen, searching for new experiences.

MBHS’s McInerney Earns Coca-Cola and Other Scholarships

Katelyn McInerney, a graduate of Mountain Brook High School, recently was named a 2019 Coca-Cola Scholar. This year, 150 high school seniors were selected from an initial pool of 95,715 applications from across the country. They were chosen based on their academic excellence, leadership and service demonstrated in school and community activities as part of a three-stage selection process. “We believe that identifying these young leaders throughout the country

Barnes to Lead Mountain Brook Board of Education.

The Mountain Brook Board of Education recently announced that Nicky Barnes, who has served on the board since 2015, had been voted in as the new president. Barnes will be taking over for Elizabeth Dunn, who stepped down from the board last month after 10 years of service. With four children who have all attended Mountain Brook schools, Barnes has been an active PTO

OLS School Announces Art Show Winners

Students at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School recently displayed their creativity during the school’s annual Art Show. The children worked throughout the year under the direction of OLS art teacher Andi Arteaga on a variety of imaginative pictures and projects. This year’s winners in fourth grade were John Hails, first; Maxwell Ray, second; and Katie Danks, third.

and encouraging their passion for serving others not only empowers the students, but also lifts up those around them,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, president of the foundation. “The Coca-Cola system is dedicated to giving back to the communities they serve, and the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is proud to be a part of that commitment.” McInerney received a $20,000 college scholarship and traveled to Atlanta for Coca-Cola Scholars Weekend April 4-7. At MBHS, McInerney founded and served as president of the Sign Language Club and is a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient. She also founded and presided over the nonprofit organization Special Siblings, a support group for children who have siblings with special needs. Selected as a Bronfman Fellow, she and 25 other North American teens traveled to Israel. In addition, McInerney also had the opportunity to work in the learning and memory neuroscience lab at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. While there, she worked with a Ph.D. candidate on her study of the genetics of epilepsy. She plans to attend North Carolina State University on its prestigious Park Scholarship and recently has been accepted into the Ben Franklin Scholars Program, in which she intends to double major in chemical engineering and Spanish. member. She served as president of the PTO at Crestline Elementary and Mountain Brook Junior High and on the school system’s PTO Council. She Nicky Barnes has also served on the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation. Fifth grade winners were Melany Farias, first; Violetta Rohr, second; and Ty Sephaphathi, third. Sixth grade winners were Will Magruder, first; Mia Wos, second; and Adam Grimes, third. Seventh grade winners were Georgia Thornton, first; Mary Turkiewicz, second; and Eryn Huie, third. Eighth grade winners were Elsa Ray, first; Zachary Lachina, second; and Mary Evins Tapley, third.

Front, from left: Elizabeth Bendall, Grace Uldrich and Kaili McGrew. Back: VHHS college counselor Oliver Aaron; Mona Fisher, daughter of Ray Hurlbert; Michael Gross; David Martin, son of Lindy Martin; and Vestavia Rotary Club president Jim Carlile.

Three VHHS Seniors Earn Rotary Club of Vestavia Hills Scholarships The Rotary Club of Vestavia Hills recently presented its annual scholarships to Vestavia Hills High School students on May 17. This year, the club awarded each student with $1,750 payable to their

college of choice. The Ray Hurlbert “Strive for Excellence” Scholarship was presented to Elizabeth Bendall. Grace Uldrich received the Michael Gross “Service Above Self” Scholarship.

Finally, Kaili McGrew was awarded the Lindy Martin “Builder of Goodwill” Scholarship. Helping present the awards to each graduating senior was VHHS college counselor Oliver Aaron.

Vestavia Hills Board of Education Names New Assistant Superintendent

School from 2010 to 2017. Vestavia Hills City Schools Superintendent Todd Freeman, Ed.D., said the school system was fortunate to have Rainey on its leadership Aimee Rainey team. “Dr. Rainey has been outstanding in her role as director of student services and has a wealth of successful experience as a former principal and teacher. Her expertise in curriculum and instruction will be most valuable

in advancing our system mission,” Freeman said. In 2016, Rainey received the Women in School Leadership Award from the American Association of School Administrators. In the 2015-16 school year, she was named Alabama Middle School Principal of the Year by the Council of Leaders in Alabama. Rainey earned her bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing science from the University of Southern Mississippi, a master’s in educational leadership from the University of South Alabama, an educational specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Samford University.

Altamont School by Linda McClellan and Sue Comeaux. Lakhanpal has been accepted

and will attend Duke University, where she plans to study computer science beginning this fall. The scholarship is based on excellence in leadership, extracurricular activities, community service and academics, as well as the potential for future success. Lakhanpal is the daughter of Dr. Shaily Lakhanpal and Dr. Geeta Lakhanpal.

school year, Trace Crossings ranked in the top 20 for the highest amount raised, with a grand total of $8,222. According to school officials, the student who raised the most was kindergartener Allie Baker, who raised $350. “Every year we have doubled our amount of donations, and we really wanted to acknowledge our kids for supporting the American Heart Association and the success they had this year,” said Melinda Culberson,

physical education instructor at Trace Crossings. Kids Heart Challenge is a national education and fundraising event in which schools participate to prepare their students for success by supporting their physical and emotional well-being. The event is conducted by physical education instructors, coaches or teachers, and participants jump rope and play basketball, as well as learn how to develop heart-healthy habits.

On June 5, the Vestavia Hills Board of Education named Aimee Rainey the new assistant superintendent of teaching and learning. Rainey, formerly the school system’s director of student services, will start the position July 1. She has worked in public education for 20 years in the capacity of administrator, science teacher and speech language pathologist. Previously, Rainey worked for Florence City Schools. She was principal of Weeden Elementary School from 2017 to 2018 and Florence Middle

P.E.O. Star Scholarship Awarded to Altamont Student

Altamont student Amrita Lakhanpal recently was awarded the P.E.O. Star Scholarship for the 2018- 2019 academic year. The $2,500 scholarship is presented by Birmingham’s Chapter AK of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, an international philanthropic and educational organization. Lakhanpal was recommended for this scholarship by Chapter AK, and the scholarship was presented at the

Photo courtesy OLS School

Trace Crossings Raises $8,000 for American Heart Association

Hoover’s Trace Crossings Elementary School recently was recognized by the American Heart Association for raising more than $8,000 through the Kids Heart Challenge. The award was presented during the school’s annual awards day ceremony. Among seven counties and 120 schools that participated in the Kids Heart Challenge during the 2018-19

Photo courtesy P.E.O. Sisterhood

Linda Sewell, right, director of community relations and communications at Coca-Cola United, recently presented Katelyn McInerney, left, with a 2019 Coca-Cola Scholar $20,000 college scholarship.

Thursday, June 13, 2019 • 29


Journal photo by Maury Wald

Photo special to the Journal


30 • Thursday, June 13, 2019



By Rubin E. Grant

Until Jeri Beck arrived, softball was almost an afterthought at John Carroll Catholic. The Cavaliers fielded a team, but it wasn’t all that competitive. “They weren’t used to winning very many games,” Beck said. “They needed some consistency. They had five different coaches over a six-year period before I came.” Beck had been a successful softball coach for 17 years at Catholic High School in New Iberia, Louisiana. Her teams were frequent participants in the Louisiana state tournament, winning a state championship in 2011 and finishing as runners-up in 1998. Beck left New Iberia after the 2013 season when her husband landed a job in Birmingham. She was hired at John Carroll to teach computer classes. She was approached about helping the Cavaliers’ softball team, but she wasn’t interested because she had something else in mind. “At that point in my career, I didn’t want to be an assistant,” Beck said, “so I told them if the head coaching job came open, I would be interested.” When the job opened in 2015, Beck took over. In five seasons, she has taken the Cavaliers to new heights. This spring, John Carroll advanced to the Class 5A state tournament in Montgomery, reaching the fourth round before being eliminated. The Cavaliers finished with a 29-10-1 record. For her efforts, Beck is the 2019 Over the Mountain Journal Softball Coach of the Year. “We’ve been building for five years, getting better and better,” Beck said. “Last year we won the area (Class 6A, Area 9) and got to regional and at the very least we wanted to get back to regional this year. Everything

SOFTBALL From page 32

West Central Regional. Majors batted .483 on the season, hitting 10 homeruns and 69 RBIs. Widra hit .497 with six homeruns and 43 RBIs. The duo scored more than 100 of the runs that the Jaguars collected in 2019. “It’s an honor and a joy to coach these two young ladies,” said coach C.J. Hawkins. “Maddie and Annabelle both bring an excitement and an elite level of play to our team.


Briarwoods’ Renfroe Counts It All Joy, Even the Losses

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

Beck Takes Cavaliers to New Heights on Softball Diamond


By Blake Ells

Coach of the Year Jeri Beck, center, with Players of the Year Maddie Majors, left, and Annabelle Widra.

lined up and we got to state. At state, we took it one game at a time.”

ALL-OTM SOFTBALL FIRST BASE M’Kiyah Mitchell, Oak Mtn. Hanna Grace Roden, Vestavia Caroline Wooley, Spain Park SECOND BASE Abby Brown, Homewood Taylor Harrington, Spain Park THIRD BASE Alexis Anderson, Spain Park SHORTSTOP Abi Brown, Oak Mtn. Mary Claire Wilson, Vestavia CATCHER Taylor Wheat, Briarwood Gwynnie Hornibrook, Vestavia OUTFIELD Maddie Majors, Spain Park Harper Niblett, Hoover Dawn Autrey, Oak Mtn. Emma Bauer, John Carroll Charity Bibbs, Vestavia Hills PITCHER Macey Ogle, John Carroll Abigayle Parker, John Carroll Annabelle Widra, Spain Park Brookelyn Cannon, Hoover DESIGNATED HITTER Campbell Hecklinski, Hoover Abi Aallarde, John Carroll PLAYER OF THE YEAR Annabelle Widra, Spain Park Maddie Majors, Spain Park COACH OF THE YEAR Jeri Beck, John Carroll

Having these two young ladies receive Co-Player of the Year is an amazing honor for them and for our program. They both have earned the respect from their own opponents and from their team.” While Majors graduated in 2019, she spent years playing alongside Widra. The latter began her high school softball career when she was just a seventh grader. The duo also plays with the same travel ball organization, which has helped strengthen their relationship throughout the year. “Me and Annabelle are really

Beck had a team filled with young players, including several from their feeder schools. The Cavaliers had only two seniors, third baseman Alyssa Barnes and pinch-runner Sydni Dysart. They started a seventh grader in left field, Mallory Ogle; two eighth graders, Kayla Coley-Drayton at first base and Gracie Mills at shortstop; and a freshman, Charlotte Phillips, at second base. Freshman Macey Ogle was one of their top pitchers along with junior Abigayle Parker. Both played left field when they weren’t pitching. Macey Ogle (14-4, 2.85 ERA) and Parker (12-4, 3.73 ERA) were voted to the All-OTMJ team, as were junior outfielder Emma Bauer and sophomore designated hitter Abi Allarde. Junior catcher Claire Boone also had a solid season. Beck has enjoyed the five-year journey that’s taken the Cavaliers from losers to contenders. “It’s been a lot of fun,” she said. “We started with the basics, the fundamentals and the rules of the game. Some of the girls who came to John Carroll had travel ball experience. “Five years ago, no one ever expected this. There was no pressure and we just played to get better. We’ve built on that. Actually, it’s the girls believing we can win and owning that mentality.” Beck believes the Cavaliers can become perennial participants in the state tournament. “I think the expectations have been raised and the girls’ expectations of themselves have been raised,” Beck said. “They want to succeed and be successful and go out and have fun. That’s one of our keys; we do have a good time. Girls play better when they have fun. They also get out and play hard. It’s a happy medium.” close and we’ve been playing for four years together,” Majors said. “To share that moment means a lot.” Majors will play at Auburn next season. She’s excited about the class that the Tigers will bring in with her next season — eight new faces, all over the field. “I can’t wait to watch Maddie play at Auburn,” Hawkins said. “She will truly be missed and (leave) a huge hole to fill in our lineup: centerfield and as a leader.” Widra hopes to fill one of those holes. She’s striving to take more ownership of leading the Jaguars to a

Renfroe shies away from taking credit for the turnaround, insisting that his team was wholly responsible. “We showed up every day and did the same thing we always do,” he said. “We taught. We worked. It’s really a testament to those kids and their upbringing. They stayed the course. “Our central theme was James 1 – count it joy when you face trials of many kinds. Our focus was, ‘Guys, this is like life. You get up off the mat and you keep going. This doesn’t define you, but how you respond to it will.’ If you’re 11-0 or 20-0, sometimes it’s easier to give a lot of praise. We’re grateful to the Lord for that. But we were really grateful to the Lord for the losses. That was the message. ‘We’re going to embrace this and be grateful for the trials; learn from them.’ That was our message. The kids were great.”

Briarwood Christian began the 2019 baseball season by losing its first 11 games. As of March 14, nearly a full month into the season, it was 1-14. Then, the Lions roared back, going 22-7 through region play and into the playoffs to finish as the AHSAA 5A state runners-up. They fell to Springville in the championship game. It’s for that remarkable turnaround that head coach Steve Renfroe is the 2019 Over the Mountain Journal Coach of the Year, as voted on by coaches in the Over the Mountain area. “Everybody knows how we started,” Renfroe said. “But during that time, we felt really great about the kids. We told them at that time that we thought they could be the best team in 5A. When we were 0-11, I told them that they were one of my favorite teams ever, and they hadn’t won a game.” They faced injuries and illness in the first part of the season. Wes Helms had mono and Blake McKenna a wrist injury, and they missed some time. Pitcher Carson McKinney experienced a lot of muscle pain that kept him away from the field a bit. Their return was vital to the Lion’s turnaround; their time away also allowed some younger players an opportunity to get valuable experience. Renfroe feels his team was first at full strength when they reached region play. But it wasn’t just being shorthanded that made the early games difficult. The Lions were facing a lot of 7A competition: Vestavia Hills, Pelham, Spain Park, Hewitt-Trussville. That was by design, and the added handicap ensured that Renfroe’s squad was prepared when it mattered most. “We do that every year,” Renfroe said. “That’s the ninth year in a row that we’ve done it. We play those guys every year, and it’s to help us get better; to play really good people and well-coached teams. They’ll expose you in a hurry if you’re not playing well. It toughens our kids up. They see guys that are going to Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU – great players. When we get to moving on, we’re not going to see anybody better than those guys. I think it builds a lot of confidence in our kids.”

This was Renfroe’s 10th team at Briarwood Christian. He had a team reach the semifinals before, but this was a new high. “They cared about each other,” he said. “They cared about Briarwood. The sum was much greater than the individual parts.” For the first time under his leadership, Renfroe named team captains this season: Guin Renfroe, Noah Whatley, Sam Hamner and Bryce Perrien. He said he felt called by God to award those titles. He spoke with Dr. Shawn Brower, who had experience with naming captains, and they met with the players who would earn the distinction. Brower taught them what a captain was, what a captain does and what a captain doesn’t do. Renfroe will lose those guys to graduation this year; guys he insists were more integral to his team’s 2019 success than he was. “I never in all of my career had captains,” he said. “These kids were the right guys at the right time. They took a really young team and stayed the course and they were tremendous leaders. They had as much to do with that whole transformation as anybody. Every day they showed up, they said, ‘Alright. Let’s get better.’” He’s hopeful about the young team he will return next season because of the legacy that those captains are leaving behind.

championship. “We are a good group and have good chemistry,” Widra said. “Am I sad that (Majors) is leaving me? Yes. But I feel that I will be able to step up and be that leader that my team needs me to be. For me, it’s all about the team and I will do whatever it takes for my team.” While she won’t be filling that centerfield hole, Widra wears a lot of

hats in the field; she pitches and she’s an infielder. Hawkins is confident that in a couple of years, Widra will find her own way onto a college roster. “The sky is the limit for Annabelle’s college choice with her versatility, speed and strength,” Hawkins said. “We are thrilled to have her in our arsenal to go back into the hunt again next year.”

The Sum Was Greater …


Patriots Prowess

Homewood Rolls a Seven in State Championships

BASEBALL From page 32

‘Baseball Is Life’

“You couldn’t show up at Wald Park without seeing him and his granddad,” Harris said. “Baseball is life for him. He wasn’t concerned with girls or a lot of the other things high school students are interested in. He’s laser-focused on baseball.” It’s been that way since Lewis was little, and his grandfather has been right alongside him every step of the way. “I started playing when I was about 5 and started going to the bat-

Homewood Not Alone

Homewood wasn’t the only Over the Mountain school to win multiple AHSAA state championships. Hoover and Mountain Brook both won four crowns. The Bucs won in girls basketball, boys soccer, boys

school career is over,” he said. “It seems like it wasn’t too long ago I was going up to the high school to watch them play. It’s kind of surreal that I won’t be playing there any longer, but at least I get to play another four years.”

ALL-OTM BASEBALL FIRST BASE Wesley Helms, Briarwood Colton Lewis, Vestavia Hills SECOND BASE Jake Rivers, Oak Mtn. Trey Harry, Hoover Lane Willis, Spain Park

Homewood’s Justin Perreault

THIRD BASE Colton Yeager, Mountain Brook Jack Henry Milligan, Hoover SHORTSTOP Caleb Ragland, Oak Mtn. Daniel Patton, Homewood Ben Saway, Vestavia Hills CATCHER Peyton Wilson, Hoover OUTFIELD Colton Ledbetter, Spain Park Robby Ashford, Hoover Micheal Kash, Homewood Will Baynes, Mountain Brook Mason Maners, Vestavia Hills John Marks, Mountain Brook Will Yarbro, Mountain Brook PITCHER Justin Perreault, Homewood Colton Lewis, Vestavia Hills Jackson Kimbrell, Oak Mtn. Carson McKinney, Briarwood Daniel Swatek, Hoover DISIGNATED HITTER Daniel Swatek, Hoover PLAYER OF THE YEAR Justin Perreault, Homewood Colton Lewis, Vestavia Hills COACH OF THE YEAR Steve Renfro, Briarwood

ting cage when I was 7 or 8 with my grandfather,” Lewis said. “He’s been my teacher and my batting practice coach. We are very close. He lives only about five minutes away from us.” This summer, Lewis will spend

All-OTM Baseball Team Players of the Year Justin Perreault and Colton Lewis.

more time working out with his granddad and on his own as he gets ready to head to Jacksonville State. Lewis signed with the Gamecocks in November, choosing them over Samford and Tulane. “It wasn’t too far from home, so my family can come watch me play,” Lewis explained. “I think I’ll get some playing time as a freshman and the new stadium they just built is very nice. “They said I’ll play some first base, in the outfield and pitch a lot. I have just got to keep getting better.” Harris believes Jacksonville State is getting a real gem in Lewis. “I think he has a bright future and has a chance to help Jacksonville State as a two-way player, a lefthanded hitter and pitcher,” Harris said. “If he had been a few inches taller, he probably could have gone to an SEC school.” Two weeks ago, Lewis traveled to Oxford, Mississippi, to watch Jacksonville State play in a NCAA regional at Ole Miss. The Gamecocks reached the regional final before being eliminated by the host Rebels. “That was a lot of fun watching them play,” Lewis said. “Hopefully, we can win a regional while I’m there.” Lewis said he’s going to miss playing for Vestavia Hills, but he’s

ready to move on. “It’s hard to believe my high

The 5-foot-10, 135-pound Perreault is headed to University of Alabama Huntsville to play college ball. He finished his senior season at Homewood with a 10-0 record, one save and an 0.85 ERA. He recorded 84 strikeouts in 66 innings pitched. “He’s a special young man with a great work ethic,” Homewood pitching coach Keith Brown said. “I think pound-for-pound he was the best pitcher in the state.” See OTMJ’s feature story on Justin Perreault from our April 18 issue at


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Harris had him pitch on the varsity. This spring as a senior, Lewis, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound left-handed pitcher/first baseman, showcased his impressive skills as the Rebels reached the AHSAA Class 7A quarterfinals and finished with a 27-11 record. He batted .301 with a .445 on-base percentage and a .951 slugging percentage. He had two home runs, seven doubles, 28 runs batted in and 22 runs scored. On the mound, he was 6-2 with a 1.94 earned-run average and 98 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings pitched. Rival coaches took note and tabbed Lewis as the 2019 Over the Mountain Journal Co-Player of the Year, along with Homewood senior pitcher Justin Perreault. “Obviously I had a good season and I’m proud of all we accomplished as a team,” Lewis said. “I’m very honored. It means a lot to me.” Harris practically gushes in praise of Lewis. “Colton was a dream to coach,” Harris said. “He was our best player for three years and our hardest worker. When your best player is your hardest worker, you always have a chance to have a good team.” Harris has witnessed Lewis’ passion for the game during the offseason. As he helped coach his son’s youth football team, Harris noticed Lewis working on his skills with his grandfather Bud Mollison.

ASHAA. It’s the second consecutive year the Patriots have won the most state championships, claiming six Blue Map trophies during the 2017-18 school year. The Patriots’ seven championships in Class 6A this school year came in boys indoor track, girls indoor track, boys outdoor track, girls outdoor track, girls soccer, boys cross-country and girls cross-country. “Seven is a bunch,” Homewood athletic director Doug Gann said. “I definitely think that’s the most we’ve won in a single school year. I am proud of what we accomplished.” The AHSAA awarded 112 state

indoor track and boys outdoor track. But Hoover didn’t win in football, failing to reach the championship game for only the third time since 2000. With two-time Mr. Basketball Trendon Watford leading the way, Mountain Brook won a third straight Class 7A boys basketball title and added titles in girls indoor track, girls tennis and boys golf. The Spartans are the only school that has won more than 200 state titles, increasing their total to 231 this year. Vestavia Hills won three titles, led by its girls soccer team that finished with a perfect 23-0 record and a No. 1 national ranking. The Rebels’ other two titles came in boys bowling and boys tennis. Briarwood Christian (boys tennis and boys soccer) and Altamont (boys cross-country and boys outdoor track) won two titles.

first time in 13 years before losing to eventual Class 6A champion Pinson Valley. The softball team came within a win of reaching the state tournament and the boys basketball team lost in overtime in the subregional to eventual champion Pinson Valley. Gann said athletic success is just one facet of successful extra-curricular activities at Homewood. “It’s not all athletics at Homewood,” Gann said, mentioning the band, math team and show choir among some other highly successful programs.

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

When discussing who has the best Over the Mountain high school athletic program, Hoover usually is the first one that comes to mind. The Bucs, who are accustomed to winning multiple state championships in a variety of sports, have been the gold standard for the first two decades of the 21st century. But for the just completed 2018-19 school year, the Bucs and everybody else took a backseat to Homewood. The Patriots collected seven AHSAA Blue Map state championship trophies, more than any school in the

titles during the school year with 64 schools winning at least one state title. Scottsboro was runner-up to Homewood with five state titles, coming in boys cross-country, girls crosscountry, boys indoor track, boys outdoor track, girls outdoor track. Gann said a variety of factors contributed to the Patriots’ success. “We’ve got great coaches and talented athletes,” Gann said. “We get great support from the board of education, our administration and our community. And our student body supports all our teams.” Homewood had some other teams make a concerted run at titles. The boys golf team finished as runners-up for the third consecutive year. The boys soccer team reached the state tournament, losing in the semifinals to Fort Payne. The football team won 10 games and advanced to the quarterfinals for the


By Rubin E. Grant

Thursday, June 13, 2019 • 31


Beck Takes Cavaliers to New Heights on Softball Diamond. PAGE 30 Briarwoods’ Renfroe Counts It All Joy, Even the Losses, on His Way to Baseball Coach of the Year. PAGE 30


Patriots Prowess: Homewood Rolls a Seven in State Championships. PAGE 31

Multiple Choice: Majors, Widra, Lewis, Perreault Share All-OTM POY Honors Spain Park Senior and Sophmore Lead 2019 Girls Team

The past and the future of Spain Park softball unite as one in 2019 as departing senior Maddie Majors and sophomore Annabelle Widra share Player of the Year honors from the Over the Mountain Journal, which are determined by vote of Over the Mountain coaches. The Jaguars season was cut short when the team fell to eventual 7A state champion Hewitt-Trussville. Both of those teams had been working to play themselves out of the losers’ bracket. Majors and Widra shone bright along the way, winning the

See SOFTBALL, page 30

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

By Blake Ells

Members of the 2019 All-Over the Mountain softball team are, first row, from left: Caroline Wooley, Maddie Majors, Annabelle Widra, Taylor Harrington and Alexis Anderson, Spain Park; Taylor Wheat, Briarwood. Middle; Charity Bibbs, Gwynnie Hornibrook, Hanna Grace Roden and Mary Claire Wilson, Vestavia Hills; Abigayle Parker, Macey Ogle and Abi Aallarde, John Carroll. Back: M’Kiyah Mitchell, Abi Brown and Dawn Autrey, Oak Mountain; Harper Niblett and Campbell Hecklinski, Hoover and Coach Jeri Beck, John Carroll. Not pictured: Abby Brown, Homewood; Brookelyn Cannon, Hoover and Emma Bauer, John Carroll.

Lewis Displayed Passion, Impressive Skills During His Vestavia Hills Career

Jamie Harris knows a special baseball player when he sees him. Several years ago, Harris laid eyes on Colton Lewis and noticed immediately that he was a gifted player. “I had my eye on him when he started coming to our camps when he was 10 or 11 years old,” said Harris, the head baseball coach at Vestavia Hills High School. “You could tell he was going to be special.” Harris was so convinced about Lewis’ ability that when Lewis reached high school as a freshman, See BASEBALL, page 31

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

By Rubin E. Grant

Members of the 2019 All-Over the Mountain baseball team are, front row, from left: Lane Willis and Colton Ledbetter, Spain Park; Mason Maners and Colton Lewis, Vestavia Hills; Michael Kash, Justin Perreault and Daniel Patton, Homewood. Back: Will Baynes, John Marks, Colton Yeager and Will Yarbro, Mountain Brook; Wesley Helms and Carson McKinney, Briarwood. Not pictured: Trey Harry, Jack Henry Milligan, Peyton Wilson, Robby Ashford and Daniel Swatek, Hoover; Jake Rivers, Jackson Kimbrell and Caleb Ragland, Oak Mountain; Ben Saway, Vestavia Hills and Coach Steve Renfro, Briarwood.



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