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Otmj over the mountain journal u


Thursday, june 2, 2016




never too


Lottie Jacks Finishes What She Started, Graduates College at 85 See story page 12

Retail Champ Ricky Bromberg honored as one of America’s Top 5 Retail Champions. news Page 10

fire man Food, flavor and his father’s example fuel Nick Pihakis. food Page 22

Photo courtesy Samford University

Pack Year Oak Mountain star named top player in state. sports Page 28

In an emergency, it’s about time. The E.R. team will work to have you initially seen by a medical professional within 30 minutes of your arrival in the Emergency Room.

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look forward 4/13/16 2:50 PM

2 • Thursday, June 2, 2016

OTM Schools Rank on Most Challenging List Four Over the Mountain schools made the Washington Post’s 2016 list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. Homewood, Mountain Brook, Oak Mountain and Vestavia Hills High Schools were among 11 Alabama schools that ranked in the paper’s study, designed to measure the schools’ commitment to offering challenging college-level course work to all students. Alabama had one school in the top 10 for the nation. Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School, in Irondale, ranked ninth in the country and first in Alabama on the list. The paper determined the rankings based on the number of advanced placement, international baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. Nearly 2,300 public and private schools across the country made the cut to be ranked in the study, according to the Washington Post website. Among OTM schools: • Homewood scored third in the state and 718th in the nation. • Mountain Brook scored fifth in the state and 975th in nation. • Oak Mountain scored sixth in the state and 1,119th in the nation. • Vestavia Hills scored eighth in the state and 1,348th in nation. For more information on the study and scores for individual schools, see ❖


An article in our May 19 issue, “That’s Your Heartbeat Out There: Crestline Mom Wants to Make Her Son’s World Better,” included incorrect information about Asperger’s syndrome. Celina Miller was misquoted as saying that children with Asperger’s are “very highfunctioning and often nonverbal.” While some children on the autism spectrum can be nonverbal, Mrs. Miller was not making this reference in regard to Asperger’s. The mistake was ours and not Mrs. Miller’s; we apologize for the error and are happy to set the record straight.

in this issue About Town 3 people 8 news 10 life 12 social 16

weddings 21 food 22 schools 24 sports 28



murphy’s law

Caution: The Moving Walkway Is Ending


Well, dear graduates, I’m here to his is it, my darlings. This inform you that the moving walkway is what all of those days and is ending. Soon, you will be ceremohours and years of study have niously dumped, cap and gown and been for, all of those No. 2 pencils all, into the real world, where choosand bell curves and student loans. ing will be your full-time job. This is Every question at the end of every scary stuff. I’d go so far as to say that chapter was leading up to this – gradif you aren’t a bit scared right now, uation day. you’re not paying attention.  Back when you toddled off to If you paid attention during all of preschool, you were handed snubthose previous listen-and-repeat years, nosed scissors and washable markers you’ll come to these choices armed and were gently set upon an invisible with a bit of knowledge and skill, track. Oh yes, Show and Tell and some rudimentary cause-and-effect the classroom gerbil were all part guidelines. If you didn’t pay attention, of the plan. At the end of the year, your job could be harder, but here’s Ms. Anderson handed you off to Sue Murphy the kicker: You still have to do the Ms. Whiffenpoof, and so on and so job. Your Baby Dumpling days are forth, each year a new classroom, Well, dear graduates, I’m over. a new teacher, but the same invisThe moving walkway is ending. ible track. All you had to do was here to inform you that Right here, right now, is when you finish your homework and stay in the moving walkway is stop just being carried along and line. Almost imperceptibly, you ending. Soon, you will be begin the process of being. Where were guided through adverbs and fractions and when i came before ceremoniously dumped, do you want to go? What do you to do? At the end of your e, and if you colored in the right cap and gown and all, want days (And they will end. Don’t ovals, you were patted on the head into the real world, kid yourself.), what kind of person and sent forward. When you reached high school, where choosing will be do you want to have been? This is entirely up to you, you know. I you were given a few more study your full-time job.  don’t care what’s happened to you choices, psychology or sociology, in the past. I don’t care what anySpanish or French, but it was a body’s expectations for you have little like a Disney ride or bumper been. It’s your life now. Get out there and live it. bowling because the track beneath you kept moving Go, do, choose, but choose wisely. Run every forward.     decision through the filter of what you know to be Perhaps you went on to college, where you were good and true. I hope you choose honesty. I hope you offered a plethora of choices (you’ll remember that choose kindness. I hope you choose to commit 100 word from the ACT). You selected a major and a percent of your efforts to something wonderfully highminor and a summer internship. You were given a minded. You’ll mess up from time to time. We all do. much wider berth, but still, if you opted to become But, you will always have the power to fix things and a doctor, you didn’t have to wonder how to accomgo forward. plish that. It was all spelled out in your syllabus. You So, get out there, graduates. Commence to comselected a goal from the university’s list of choices mence. The moving walkway is ending. Step off and and the dean set you on the correct walkway to get go. ❖ there.


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


June 2, 2016 JOU RNAL Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writers: Sarah Kuper, Emily Williams Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Lee Davis Contributors: Susan Murphy, June Mathews, William C. Singleton III, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls Jr., Bryan Bunch Advertising Sales: Suzanne Wald, Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald Vol. 26, No. 19

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 2016 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.

over the Mountain Views On the last day of school, we asked Crestline Elementary students:

What are you most excited to do this summer?

“I’m excited to go to Camp Riverview for a week. I’m going to do dance and gymnastics.” Libby Franks

“I’m going to Atlanta this summer. I’m going to visit the Georgia Aquarium and watch an Atlanta Braves baseball game.” Harrison Dobbins

“I’m going to go to sleep away camp for the first time… What I’m really excited about is canoeing. It’s one of my favorite things to do - and hiking the trails.” Eleanor Couch

“Camp Alpine. I’m pretty sure that what I’m most excited about is playing tennis.” Nate Sartelle

June 2-16 Thurs., June 2 VESTAVIA HILLS

Summer Reading Kickoff Library in the Forest The Library will host a party beginning at 10:30 a.m. to celebrate summer and the grand opening of the Small Fry Training Gym. Activities will include a performance by Beatin’ Path Rythm and free Kona ice. A Global Movements performance will take place in the ampitheater at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit


Steel City Jazz Festival Linn Park The third annual jazz festival will take place June 2-3 at 5 p.m. and June 4 at 11 a.m. featuring contemporary jazz artist from all over the country. There will be a Thursday night kick-off event featuring Grammy-nominated Alvin Garrett (pictured) and Logan The Entertainer at the Harbert Center. Two-day passes start at $150 and day passes are $90 for Friday or $120 for Saturday. For more information, visit steelcityjazzfestbham. com.


Sunset Safari: Expedition Dino Birmingham Zoo Visit the Zoo’s Dino Discovery exhibit at sunset from 6-8 p.m. to get a new view of the prehistoric giants.

Thursday, June 2, 2016 • 3

About Town


Pre-registration is required. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit



Magic City Brewfest SlossFurnaces The 10th annual festival, presented by Free the Hops, will be June 3 from 7-11 p.m. and June 4 from 4-8 p.m. Activities include samples of more than 200 craft beers. J.Clyde will sponsor the Alabama Cask Garden, featuring firkins from all of the Alabama breweries. Tickets are $38 in advance or $45 on location. For more information, visit


Wing Ding Vestavia Hills City Hall Leadership Vestavia Hills will host its fifth annual hot wing cooking competition from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Festivities will include food tastings, performances by Rollin’ in the Hay and a variety of children’s activities. Tickets are $5. For more information, visit BIRMINGHAM

Cahaba River Ramble Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge The Cahaba River Society will host its 5K and 10 mile trail race through the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge to benefit the Shane Hulsey CLEAN Environmental Education Program of

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Built-in Bookshelves Ceiling Fans Spacious Closets Double Vanities Sunrooms or Balconies Patios with Fenced Yards Storage Closet Wooded Views Washer and Dryer

• 2 Clubhouses with Resident Lounges, Fitness Centers and Balconies • EV Charging Stations • Wi-Fi Available in Clubhouse and Pool Areas • 24/7 Online Customer Service

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IDEAL LOCATION BirminghamShuttlesworth international Airport

Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve



od Boule



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Flora Johnston Nature Trail



Birmingham Country Club


Vulcan’s Birthday Bash Vulcan Park and Museum The park and museum will host a 112th birthday party for Vulcan on Sun., June 5, from noon-4 p.m. The outdoor festival will feature music, games and birthday refreshments. Activities will include performances by the Birmingham Children’s Theater, a rock climbing wall, Alabama animals from the Birmingham Zoo, face painting and more. Adult tickets are $7 and kids are $5. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit ❖


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Birmingham Zoo Samford University






Leasing Office

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UAB Hospital



Photo by Jerrod Brown Studios



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Highland Park Golf Course

St. Vincent’s Hospital

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Avondale & Forest Park

Downtown Birmingham


Former Trinity Medical Center

Mountain Brook

Old Overton Club


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205-956-9722 | | 4816 SHARPSBURG DRIVE | BIRMINGHAM, AL 35213 Professionally Managed by



4 • Thursday, June 2, 2016

About Town


Light a Balloon for a Loved One

Photo special to the Journal

Grief Support Agency Hosts Memory Lights Walk By Sarah Kuper On Saturday, June 18, the skies over Homewood Central Park will be filled with hundreds of illuminated white balloons memorializing lost loved ones in the Over the Mountain community. The third annual Memory Lights: A Walk to Remember will be hosted by Community Grief Support Service. Community Grief Support is a local service that offers counseling and resources for anyone grieving the loss of a friend, family member or coworker. By hosting this walk, organizers hope to give attendees an opportunity to heal and celebrate even after a devastating loss. “Our clients are not alone. We’re here to walk the healing journey with them. We are truly finding hope together,” said Lisa Sims Harrison, administrative director of the agency. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a meditative walk. At 8:30 p.m. just before the sun sets, CGS Clinical the Cahaba River Society. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. and the race begins at 7:30 a.m. Admission is $40 for the 5K and $50 for the 10-mile. For more information, visit BIRMINGHAM

Women’s Economic Stability Initiative

Leaf and Petal Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246 May s your aD PrOOF from the Over The MOunTain JOurnaL for the , 2016 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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

AreYou Looking Thank you for your prompt attention. for Full-Time Work?

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.

Literary Vibes 2016 The Spring Street Firehouse This poetry slam fundraiser will include live music from local Birmingham performers from 7-9 p.m. All funds raised will be donated to a local nonprofit which will be revealed at the conclusion of the show. Admission is $8. For more information visit, heyevent. com. BIRMINGHAM

30th Annual Scholarship Awards Luncheon Harbert Center The Metro-Birmingham Professional Women’s Association will host its 30th annual G.R.E.A.T. scholarship luncheon and fashion show from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Night LIght: The third annual Memory Lights: A Walk to Remember, in Homewood on June 18, will be hosted by Community Grief Support Service.

Director Steve Sweatt will lead the group in a “Memorial Moment” as a special tribute to loved ones lost. After the sun goes down, participants will release their large, LED-lit white balloons into the sky. Attached to the balloons will be messages and prayers. Organizers encourage participants to bring the whole family, including pets. Proceeds from the event will go toward funding free grief support services for families and the community. To register for the walk and learn more about CGS and the services it provides, visit ❖

Doors open at 10 a.m. and the event will feature a plated luncheon, fashion show, door prizes and vendor sales. Tickets are $35 and must be purchased in advance. For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page.

Tues., June 7 HOOVER

Cadillac Cares Crest Cadillac The dealership will host its inaugural event benefiting the American Cancer Society from 5:30-8 p.m. A featured speaker from the nonprofit organization will be on hand to discuss the cancer society’s mission. Additional festivities will include a Bromberg’s Jewelry high-end watch display, test drives, a silent auction, music by Billy Gant and food and drinks by Kathy G. Catering. For more information, contact Deise Valenzuela at 930-9200.


Young CPA Charity Golf Tournament Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Oxmoor Valley The annual tournament will kick off with participants from the Exceptional Foundation taking over the putting green and driving range. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. followed by lunch and a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. Following the game, an awards ceremony will be held at the 19th hole with food, drinks and music. For more information, visit ascpa. org.


Opening Reception Grand Bohemian Gallery The gallery will host a reception from 5-7 p.m. to honor its newest exhibit “Joy

It's Time to Grill!

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in Color,” featuring works by Marilyn Sparks. The works will be on display in the gallery through June 24. For more information, visit the “Grand Bohemian Gallery Mountain Brook” Facebook page.

June 10-12


Symphony in the Summer Railroad Park The ASO is returning to Railroad Park to play three free concerts June 10-12. Performances on Friday and Saturday begin at 8 p.m. and will feature classical favorites. A family-friendly event will be held Sunday at 6 p.m. and features a POPS concert. For more information, visit

Sat., June 11 BIRMINGHAM

Take the Reins 10k Good People Brewing This open-course 10K will raise funds for The Red Barn’s “Take the Reins” program, which provides equine activities to veterans, active and inactive military personnel and their families. The race begins and ends at Good People Brewing Co. A $30 registration fee includes a t-shirt and ribbons for age group winners. For more information, visit  NORTH SHELBY

Shelby Show & Go Mt. Laurel Town Square The Show & Go antique and custom car event, benefitting SafeHouse of

Thursday, June 2, 2016 • 5

About Town


Shelby County,  will display classic and custom cars. The free event will include music while guests visit local shops and restaurants. Registered vehicle owners have the option to participate in various vehicle judging categories. Preregistration for cars is $20 and day-of registration is $25. For more information, visit the “SafeHouse of Shelby County” Facebook page.  HOOVER

Community Garage Sale Lake Crest and The Arbors Both the Lake Crest and Arbors communities will host a garage sale from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. More than 50 homes are expected to participate and the event will proceed rain or shine. Balloons will mark the entrance locations of each community as well as the participating homes. BIRMINGHAM


SliceFest 2016 Lakeview District Slice Pizza & Brewhouse will host its fifth annual block party, featuring music and food. The concert will include regional music talent. Tickets can be purchased on at the advance rate of $25 or $35 at the gate. For more information, visit

It’s a New Day in

Memory Care New Name Same Great Community


Dinner with the Dinos Birmingham Zoo The zoo will host a dinner from 7:30-9:30 p.m. featuring an informative lecture on dinosaurs. Following the meal, guests will take part in a guided tour through the dinosaur exhibit. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit birminghamzoo. com.

Birmingham Heart Walk Uptown Entertainment District The American Heart Association will hold its annual walk beginning at 8:30 a.m. Admission is free, but walkers will BIRMINGHAM Memory Care Program: be awarded a t-shirt once they have Magic City Chocolate Challenge raised a minimum of $100. For Anmore Exploration of Discovery Old Car Heaven information, visit birminghamheartwalk. Disability Rights & Resources will DISCOVER Confidence and Self-Esteem a cooking competition centered DISCOVERhost Dining Delights BIRMINGHAM around chocolate. Event activities DISCOVERinclude Fun and Engaging Ira Glass tastings, a silentActivities auction, music, Alys Stephens Center food trucks and dancing. The event DISCOVER Friendships and Belonging The host of “This American Life” on will be held from 5-8 p.m. and benefits NPR, will host an evening of dance the organization’s mission to support and stories at 8 p.m. Bar and lobbies individuals with disabilities. Tickets are open at 7 p.m. and the doors open at $20. For more information, email jean. 7:30. Tickets begin at $39.50. For more or call 815information, visit ❖

Thurs., June 16

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Beautiful kitchens are the heart of your home. And when you buy a new home at Liberty Park before July 31st, you’ll have an extra $6,000.00 bonus to use toward an outdoor kitchen or to add those dream upgrades to our already lavish kitchens. Visit Liberty Park today and take advantage of this very special offer. Limited Time Special $6,000.00 Bonus for upgrades to your new gourmet kitchen or toward an exciting outdoor kitchen.

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Buyer’s incentive of up to $6,000.00 in gourmet kitchen upgrades or towards the construction of an outdoor kitchen area, Liberty Park Joint Venture, LLP, is applicable to homes built by LifeScape Builders, LLC. Such incentive will be disclosed in the sales contract and included on the Closing Disclosure in the transaction. This offer applies only to contracts finalized by July 31st, 2016 and cannot be combined with any other incentives or offers. The information contained herein should be deemed accurate but not warranted. Liberty Park Joint Venture, LLP, Liberty Park Properties, and their respective builders and agents, are not responsible for errors or omissions.

6 • Thursday, June 2, 2016

About Town


By Emily Williams Longtime Studio by the Tracks student, Melvin, recieves help from a teacher as he begins working on a new piece for the Art From the Heart fundraiser on June 12.

Journal photo by Emily Williams

A Studio by the Tracks class feels much like any other school art class, filled with colorful works and students who are eager to show off their latest projects or simply bicker with their peers. The only visible difference is that the students are adults with mental disabilities. Since 1989, Studio by the Tracks has been devoted to providing free art classes to troubled children and to adults who suffer from autism spectrum disorders and mental illness. The class projects seek to provide students with a positive outlet to channel their frustrations and anger. Staff members are constantly encountering outbursts of frustration, a common struggle for individuals with autism. As the class works on paintings, one student finds a flaw in his artwork and begins to criticize himself as he points the problem out to one of the art teachers. Just as he begins to lose his temper, both he and the teacher start to repeat a mantra to remind him not to sweat the small stuff. As he firmly shouts the last words of the mantra, his temper has dissipated and he’s ready to continue working. “Isn’t it amazing?” said Ila Fay Miller, the studio’s founding director. “I say this all the time, but people could really learn a lot watching these students deal with their anger.” Though Miller is retired, Executive Director Suzanne Boozer said the staff is happy to see her walk through the doors most days to lend a helping hand. “When we started this studio, I never had any idea that we would wind up with a place like this,” Miller said. The idea for an art studio that served people on the autism spectrum was born from her experiences teaching at Glenwood Behavioral Center’s Allan Cott School. “I noticed that some of the students were just innately talented and I wanted to give them an opportunity to grow,” she said. The studio still incorporates twice-weekly art classes for children with severe behavioral disorders who are in the custody of the state, but

even collected fans who collect their works. Some of the most impressive and popular student artwork is included in the silent and live auctions at the fundraiser. “One of our students, John Michael, had a

‘All of our students just so enjoy the atmosphere here and you can tell. They also get 60 percent of proceeds for any artwork that they sell, so that added level of income is something that is really important to them.’ Executive Director Suzanne Boozer

piece auctioned off in the live auction and he got to go up on stage with his piece,” Boozer said. “It went for a ton of money … and when he turned around to face us, he had tears in his eyes. That was his reaction to seeing just how much people value his art.” Students aren’t just gaining recognition from community members, local business are increasing their support of the students’ works. One of the studio’s loyal students, Linda, is commissioned to create artwork and is currently represented by Gallery 1930 in Mountain Brook’s English Village. Additionally, the Grand Bohemian Gallery recently held an open house to showcase student artwork as well as a work day May 26 to help the studio prepare for its upcoming fundraiser. “Throughout the years, there was never really a time when I sat down and said to myself, ‘This is what I want my legacy to be,’” Miller said. “It is the community that has really shown us that we have value.” The studio’s 27th annual Art from the Heart benefit will be held June 12 at B&A Warehouse. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a live auction starting at 7 p.m. For more information, visit ❖

Art From the Heart Studio by the Tracks Preps for Annual Auction

much of the day-to-day programming is geared toward adults. In addition to classes for adults with behavioral disorders, the studio also partners with local shelters such as The Firehouse Shelter, to provide classes for homeless men with mental illnesses. “All of our students just so enjoy the atmosphere here and you can tell,” Boozer said. “They also get 60 percent of proceeds for any artwork that they sell, so that added level of income is something that is really important to them.” According to Miller and Boozer, many of the adults who participate in classes don’t have the ability to make any kind of income and often don’t see any validation for their talents. “There is really nothing better than the par-

ents’ reactions when they see what their kids have accomplished,” Miller said. “Speaking as a parent, one of the most important things is seeing your child valued by others. Some of their children are 50 years old and have never been given any kind of recognition.” At the studio’s annual benefit Art from the Heart, an entire room of the venue is turned into a “cash and carry” art sale. With artists and their parents often in attendance, it gives the families an opportunity to see just how many people appreciate the students’ works. “On the day of the event, people will line up outside of the door to the sale,” Boozer said. “I always tell people, if you want something in particular, you better get there fast.” Over the years, some of the students have

Music Makes the Magic City 2016 Maestro’s Ball Hosts Invest in the Arts

As a man who has managed investments all of his career, Charlie Perry knows a good opportunity when he sees one. That’s why he has spent many years and held many positions at the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. “I love music and I love Birmingham. And symphony musicians are as talented as they come,” Perry said. Perry believes investing in the Alabama

‘Birmingham has been through a lot of ups and downs, but one thing that keeps us as one of the great cities in the south is our culture.’ Charlie Perry Symphony Orchestra with time, money and patronage is an investment in the city of Birmingham. “Birmingham has been through a lot of ups and downs, but one thing that keeps us as one of the great cities in the south is our culture,” he said, “We have an extraordinary museum, ballet company and symphony.”

It is his many years of leadership at the ASO, coupled with his passion for the symphony’s success, that has Perry and his wife, Sheri, hosting this year’s Maestro’s Ball on Sept. 9. The annual event is the Symphony’s largest fundraiser and features an orchestra performance, décor by Sybil Sylvestor of Wildflower

Designs, fine dining catered by Hot and Hot Fish Club, and wines generously provided by Susan and Tom Curtin. This will the second Maestro’s Ball for the ASO’s conductor, Carlos Izcaray. “Most orchestras across the nation are having a hard time attracting young people but Carlos is

Charlie Perry and his wife, Sheri, longtime supporters of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, are hosting this year’s Maestro’s Ball on Sept. 9.

Photo courtesy UAB

By Sarah Kuper

young and charismatic. He engages the audience and adds his own flare,” Perry said. According to Perry, this year’s Maestro’s Ball program reflects Izcaray’s Venezuelan background with performances of Latin music. Perry grew up hearing classical performances at his grammar school but he readily admits he is not a classical music aficionado. “I am probably the least-educated person on classical music but I know they are the finest performers in the world,” he said, “I don’t enjoy every piece they play but I know how well they are playing it.” Perry said the Maestro’s Ball is a perfect way to engage those who may not be avid symphony-goers but may be interested in supporting the arts. “The music is superb even for those who don’t go to symphonies,” he said. “It is just the right amount of music and it is always entertaining.” Before becoming the ASO’s endowment chair, Perry served as president of the ASO. Perry co-founded Highland Associates, an independent institutional investment advisory firm, in 1987. He now is chairman of Highland Associates as well as the investment committee for the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health Services Foundation. The Maestro’s Ball will be held Sept. 9 at the UAB Alys Stephens Center. A champagne reception at 6 p.m., followed by a concert at 7 p.m. and dinner on the grounds of the ASC at 8 p.m. For more information on the ball and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, please call 3146917. ❖

About Town

Thursday, June 2, 2016 • 7

Angie Lansdon Photography


“We hit a homerun with Angel Torres and ARC Realty.” Austin and Jennifer Hamm met ARC Realty agent Angel Torres when their sons played together on a little league team. “We had tried to sell our home ourselves,” says Austin, “but after talking with Angel at the ball field, we decided to list our home with him.  He worked hard to help us get our home ready, and it paid off. We sold our home and we gladly recommend Angel as a Realtor.” Angel recently joined ARC Realty. “It’s a rewarding career to help families buy and sell homes,” says Angel. For more information on Angel Torres and ARC Realty, visit

A Relationship Company 4274 Cahaba Heights Court, Suite 200 Birmingham, AL 35243 • 205.969.8910 Angel Torres • (205) 223-1939 •

8 • Thursday, June 2, 2016



Three Wheeled Calling

By Lee Davis After leading Mountain Brook to 68 state championships in track and field over a fourdecade career, Greg Echols decided to retire. But at the relatively young age of 60, Echols still needed a path for the rest of his life. Last February, he found it. Echols, now 61, became executive director of the Greater Birmingham chapter of AMBUCS, a non-profit organization that provides children with disabilities with therapeutic tricycles to give them mobility and independence. Since its founding

‘I don’t know how long the Lord will have me here. But as long as He does, I’m going to do the best I can for these kids.’ Greg Echols in 2007, Birmingham AMBUCS has distributed more than $365,000 worth of trykes and bikes. AMBUCS originally was created as the American Business Club in 1922 and years later directed its emphasis to help children in need. “It’s a calling,” Echols said. “Somebody has to be an advocate for these children.” Echols gets emotional talking about disabled youngsters receiving their tricycles, which are custom-made to fit their particular need. “One thing all kids want to do is play outside and be active with the other kids,” he said. “I remember a child who got his own tryke shouting ‘I’m normal because I’m riding bikes with the other kids.’ You can’t put a price tag on hearing

something like that.” An experience in his own life also gave AMBUCS special meaning to Echols. His son Scott, now 27, lost a leg in an accident at the age of four. “Scott’s accident changed my heart,” Echols said. “I would have given anything to have had something like AMBUCS when he was young.” The practical benefits of a tryke for a disabled youngster go far beyond just having fun, according to Echols. “A problem most children with disabilities can have is being overweight because of lack of exercise,” Echols said. “The use of a tryke can be a great form of prevention for obesity.” All requests for a tryke must come through the child’s physical therapist. Once a child in need is identified, the application and measurement forms are sent to the Birmingham chapter of AMBUCS. If AMBUCS has the funds available, the national office in High Point, North Carolina, is contacted and a custom tryke is ordered to fit the needs for that particular child. If no funds are available at the time, they are placed on a waiting list until donations are received to start the process. “I have 17 requests currently,” Echols said. Once a tryke is ordered, it is shipped to Bayless Machine and Welding Co., a local business that assembles the tryke at no charge. When the assembly is completed, Echols picks up the vehicle and arranges a time when the child’s family and therapist can meet to make sure the tryke fits properly. Once it is deemed ready, the tryke is given to the family. “Some families donate a percentage to help defer the cost and pay it forward. Then we can begin the process to order a tryke for another fam-

Journal photo by Emily Williams

Former Spartan Track Coach Leads Local AMBUCS Non-Profit

Former Mountain Brook track coach Greg Echols, left, is the executive director of the Greater Birmingham chapter of AMBUCS. Former Auburn football and track star Alvin Bresler, right, is a member of the board.

ily,” Echols said. AMBUCS has provided trykes to churches, United Cerebral Palsy, the Bell Center, Mitchell Place, the Exceptional Foundation, Easter Seals, Children’s Hospital, Children’s on 3rd Outpatient Center and other therapy centers. As is the case with virtually all non-profits, a sound fundraising base is essential for AMBUCS’ long-term health. Echols wears many hats in his job as executive director and raising money is among the most important. “Bringing awareness is a big part of it,” Echols said.

In an effort to make sure that 100 percent of funds raised go to the purchase of trykes and ramps, AMBUCS runs a barebones operation. Its Birmingham office is in a converted private residence in Vestavia Hills that also houses several other non-profits. “A $50,000 check is always nice, but for some of the bigger charities it’s not that much comparatively,” Echols said. “For us, a check that size would be a life-changer.” Echols has come up with innovative ideas for fundraising such as the use of social media as well as the Planet Fundraising app, on which a percentage of a purchase from a local supermarket chain goes to the AMBUCS chapter. Another aspect of building AMBUCS included putting together a strong advisory board and board of directors to help guide the direction of the charity. Echols used many of his connections in athletics to put the boards together. “I’ve got close friends on the board as well as parents of the kids I coached,” he said. “I’ve got some folks with track backgrounds, but mainly I’ve got people who have a good heart.” Former Auburn football and track star Alvin Bresler is a member of the board. Much as in the case of Echols, Bresler’s interest in AMBUCS is personal. He has a grandchild with Down’s syndrome. “This is a great cause,” said Bresler, who is the former head football coach at Homewood and Vestavia Hills high schools. “The greatest thing anyone can do is to make a difference in a child’s life, AMBUCS does that.” Echols said that his work at AMBUCS is a calling from God. “I don’t know how long the Lord will have me here,” he said. “But as long as He does, I’m going to do the best I can for these kids.” Echols began his career teaching strong young athletes to run to the best of their ability. Now he’s called to help young people with disabilities enjoy their play time to the fullest. ❖

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Troop 796 Receives Silver Awards Three members of the eighth-grade Girl Scout Troop 796 – Emily Deason, Maria Timberlake and Amelia Beacham – received their Silver Awards on May 1 at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. To achieve the award, members must create a sustainable project that benefits the community. For their project, the students chose to aid the Greater Birmingham Humane Society by producing a digital New Pet Owner Guide which, according to troop officials, was a pressing need for the organization. In addition to printing 100 copies of the pamphlet, a file was saved and given to the society for future use. In addition to the pet guide, the girls built an all-weather toy box for pet toys that are kept outdoors. The girls raised the funds necessary to buy not only the materials to construct the box, but also toys to fill it, and they collected old towels and newspapers to donate to the shelter.

Mountain Brook’s Alex Luttrell Earns Eagle Scout Honor Alex Davis Luttrell, a member of Boy Scout Troop 63 at Canterbury United Methodist Church, has earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Luttrell was recognized during a Court of Honor ceremony March 6 at Canterbury United Methodist Church. In his six-year scouting career, Luttrell has held various leadership positions, including assistant patrol leader and patrol leader. He has earned 24 merit

Thursday, June 2, 2016 • 9



badges, is a member of the Order of the Arrow and attended Sea Base High Adventure Camp in the Florida Keys. For his Eagle project Luttrell built shelves for the Children’s Fresh Air Farm, in Bluff Park. The farm is owned and operated by Independent Alex Davis Presbyterian Luttrell Church, of which Luttrell is an active member, and provides underserved children in the Greater Birmingham area with educational and spiritual opportunities via a six-week summer learning program. The shelves that Luttrell constructed, housed in the farm’s Art Hut, will hold the children’s artwork and provide extra room for art supplies. A Mountain Brook High School senior, Luttrell is a member of the Mountain Brook varsity lacrosse team. He plans to continue his education at the University of Alabama. Luttrell is the son of Mary and Tommy Luttrell of Mountain Brook.

Mountain Brook’s Thomas Luttrell Earns Eagle Scout Rank Thomas Malcolm Luttrell, of Boy Scout Troop 63 at Canterbury United Methodist Church, has earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor in Boy Scouts of America. During his six years as a member of Troop 63, Luttrell earned 23 merit

badges, was inducted into the Order of the Arrow and held various leadership positions including assistant patrol leader and patrol leader. He also attended Sea Base High Adventure Camp in the Florida Keys where he went scuba diving with members from Thomas Malcolm his troop. Luttrell For his Eagle project, Luttrell constructed a new stage at the Children’s Fresh Air Farm, which is owned and operated by Independent Presbyterian Church. The farm, located in Bluff Park, offers a multitude of educational, physical and spiritual opportunities to under-served children of the Greater Birmingham area. The stage will be utilized for performances of Biblical stories, acted out for the children who attend the farm’s programs. Luttrell, a Mountain Brook High School senior, is a member of the Mountain Brook varsity lacrosse team. He is also an active member of Independent Presbyterian Church. He will continue his education at the University of Alabama. Luttrell is the son of Mary and Tommy Luttrell of Mountain Brook. ❖

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Ricky Bromberg Honored As One of America’s Top 5 Retail Champions By Sarah Kuper The Bromberg name in Birmingham is synonymous with fine jewelry and high standards. Now, the Bromberg name has been recognized by the National Retail Federation, as company President Ricky Bromberg was named a top five finalist for America’s Retail Champion Award. Bromberg has served on the Alabama Retail

Bromberg received the award as a finalist on his most recent trip to the capital with the Alabama Retail Association. Before attending the awards banquet, Bromberg and other association members had backto-back appointments with lawmakers from Alabama to raise issues facing retailers in the state. Association board since 2006 and as a member of the executive committee since 2013. He is currently the chairman. The recognition comes after his years of state- and federal-level advocacy for the retailers of Alabama. Bromberg said an experience with his family business is what first had him writing legislators about what he considered a detrimental law for local retailers. A run-of-the-mill sales tax audit

led to fines for the business because it was not aware of a law requiring a business to pay sales taxes on donated items. “This struck me as really unfair so I started writing state legislators. Some got back to me and some didn’t but in the end I got nowhere,” Bromberg said. That’s when he reached out to the Alabama Retail Association. The association works full time to advocate for and promote retail growth in the state. After several years working with the association and lawmakers, Bromberg succeeded and now donations to charity valued at less than $10,000 are no longer taxable. That would be the first of many retail causes Bromberg would advocate. “I got into it and it is right up my alley. I interned in D.C. in college. Plus, anything I can do for the greater good,” Bromberg said. Bromberg received the award as a finalist on his most recent trip to the capital with the Alabama Retail Association. Before attending the awards banquet, Bromberg and other association members had back-to-back appointments with lawmakers from Alabama to raise issues facing retailers in the state. At the banquet, Bromberg remembers feeling honored by the recognition but not particularly deserving. “Being recognized for something I’m just passionate about seems unfair. I don’t know that I was more deserving than anyone else in that room,” he saiad. While Bromberg was one of the men recognized in Washington, he emphasizes that the real honor should go to the Alabama Retail Association because of its tireless efforts. Level Playing Field

Bromberg is currently advocating for e-fairness. He said that, in the past 15 years, online commerce has become more than just a novelty; at least 10 percent of retail sales nationwide are now conducted online.

Photo by Melissa Warnke

Retail Champ

Wrapsody co-owner Terry Shea and Bromberg & Co. Inc. President Ricky Bromberg, shown here in the Russell Senate Office Building, were among 41 nominees for the America’s Retail Champion award. Bromberg was honored Tuesday as a top five finalist for the award.

Online exclusive retailers are not subject to the same tax regulations as brick and mortar stores, which is one reason they can routinely offer lower prices. “It isn’t fair to mainstream businesses who are supporting local Little League teams and donating to silent auctions,” Bromberg said. “We are not afraid of the competition, we just want a level playing field.” Bromberg said he believes it is important for his 180-year-old business to be involved in the community by supporting local charities and being a mouthpiece for fellow retailers. “I really do feel that if you don’t speak up for yourself, no one will.” When he isn’t working with legislators in Montgomery or Washington, Bromberg continues

to run the family business. “Our claim to fame may be that we have been family-owned for so long, but I think people also respect us because we treat our clients and our employees right. That is what has kept us in business for 180 years,” Bromberg said. Another Over the Mountain retail advocate also was nominated for the America’s Retail Champion award. Terry Shea, co-owner and vice president of Wrapsody in Hoover and Auburn, is a member of the retail association board and acts as a mentor to other new retailers and as a media spokeswoman. In 2015, the National Retail Federation chose Shea to testify on behalf of the nation’s retailers at a congressional hearing about proposed overtime regulation changes. ❖

From Dairy Farm to Entertainment District Rocky Ridge to Host First Fridays Events this Summer By Sarah Kuper The Rocky Ridge shopping area will come alive this summer as local merchants, artists and performers

showcase all the area has to offer during the First Fridays series. Beginning June 3 at 5 p.m., visitors can walk or drive to Rocky Ridge, off of Morgan Drive and Rocky Ridge Road, and see through new eyes a vibrant and eclectic community. The area was designated as an entertainment district recently, and now visitors can roam the district

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with alcoholic beverages during certain hours of the week. But First Fridays organizers don’t want the fact that visitors can carry glasses of wine across the street to be the only draw for Friday summer nights. “We want the entertainment district to be a positive thing – not an evolving blasting rock concert. Our goal is quality and family friendly,” said Rob Morgan, one of the organizers of the series. So far, Rocky Ridge First Fridays include acoustic music stages, local merchant tents, aerial acrobatics, a kid-zone and outdoor movie showings. Morgan works with his father, Robin Morgan, at Morgan Properties. The Morgan family has seen to the residential and commercial development of the Rocky Ridge area for more than 50 years.

Now a part of the Rocky Ridge Arts and Entertainment Association, Rob Morgan is working alongside other area business leaders such as Paula Reynolds of Artist Incorporated to take advantage of Rocky Ridge’s new designation. Morgan said the area has come a long way since his grandfather, Robin Morgan Sr., purchased it as a dairy farm in the 1960s. Since then, the family has built up and periodically renovated apartments, shopping centers and restaurants. But the red barn from the farm still stands and is now the art gallery Artist Incorporated. Eager to continue the area’s growth beyond real estate development, Morgan is hoping First Fridays will draw people from other neighborhoods and re-engage local residents. “We are trying to shed light on what Rocky Ridge is. I don’t think everybody knows about the great things we have

‘We want the entertainment district to be a positive thing – not an evolving blasting rock concert. Our goal is quality and family friendly.’ Rob Morgan here,” Morgan said. Part of the association’s planning efforts have gone to ensuring it doesn’t bring in any outside vendors that may See first fridays, page 11


To Market, to Market ... Over the Mountain merchants are what make up much of the charm and warmth of this area. Every summer, each village or community celebrates local businesses and encourages neighborliness with special sales and festivities. Here are a few of those events: Mountain Brook Market Day July 16 For one day only, Mountain Brook Village pulls out all the stops with a European style sidewalk and tent

sale. Nearly every local merchant is involved and many provide music and refreshments as patrons hunt for deals and discover new restaurants and boutiques. The day begins at 8 a.m. and tents begin to come down at 5 p.m. Although the sale is only one day, many merchants have preview days leading up to the event. Crestline Tent Sale Aug. 20 Just in time to finish back-to-school shopping, Crestline Village merchants

Paula Reynolds, with Artists Incorporated, and Rob Morgan,with Morgan Properties, are looking forward to kicking off First Fridays, June 3.

From previous page

compete with something Rocky Ridge already offers. “We want to showcase local merchants. We want to show people that they don’t have to leave here to find something special,” Morgan said. In preparation for First Fridays and other events that may spring up as a result of the entertainment district designation, a new deck has been added to Moe’s Original BBQ and organizers are securing logistical details such as electrical hook ups. Morgan said he anticipates the series will come to be a big draw for the area, and he is thankful for support from the city of Vestavia Hills. “City Manager Jeff Downes has been at most of the organizational meetings and we have a police officer helping us with those logistics,” Morgan said. Reynolds said she is also grateful for the support of the Chamber of Commerce, which has helped with print materials and general needs. But she said she does have a wish list for the city that could enhance the success of the event: “sidewalks to

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will set up sale tents from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Deals and trunk shows along with family-friendly activities will happen all day, plus restaurants will draw weary shoppers in with appetizing specials. Downtown Homewood Sidewalk Sale July 30 For the fourth year, the merchants of downtown Homewood will take over the sidewalks and offer discounts up to 75 percent off merchandise. The sales begin at 9 a.m. and last all day, but organizers encourage coming early for

Tuesday Nights @ the West Homewood Farmer’s Market Begins June 7 Tuesday nights at the West Homewood Farmer’s Market are filled with fresh produce and local businesses showcasing their wares. Food trucks line the parking lot of Shades Valley Community Church and live music keeps energy high. The market was voted 2015’s Best Farmer’s Market in Central Alabama by

Third Friday in Forest Park/Tour de Loo Begins June 17 The Forest Park shopping area is bringing back its Third Friday restaurant and merchant event, during which dining and shopping specials will showcase all the street has to offer. Galleries and shops will be open late and offer refreshments. To add to the festivities, businesses will be elaborately decorating their bathrooms with art installations by local artists. ❖



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Thursday, June 2, 2016 • 11


connect more areas, and eventually a parking deck.” Both Morgan and Reynolds said they aren’t quite sure what to expect June 3 in terms of turnout and, of course, weather. “This is a learning process. No doubt there will be things that come up. All we can do is hope it doesn’t rain and that a good gathering of people show up,” Morgan said. Between the aerial acrobats and offerings of local merchants and artists, Morgan said he does expect visitors will see things they don’t usually see and certainly have not seen in this area before. Reynolds added that the Greater Birmingham Area Humane Society will be set up with puppies available for adoption. Organizers have been spreading the word about the event through social media and local news outlets. Vendors are still invited to submit applications. Organizers plan to continue First Fridays into the fall with some scheduling exceptions made around football season. For more information, visit the Rocky Ridge First Fridays Facebook page. ❖

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“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C. S. Lewis

College Graduate at 85 Vestavia Hills Woman Finishes What She Started

By Sarah Kuper

‘If you have really been dreaming about something for a long time, at least try. If you don’t succeed it won’t be a huge catastrophe because you will know you tried.’

– glad not to have to study for another final or drag herself to an 8 a.m. class after a long night of studying. But unlike the average Samford University grad, Jacks is 85 years old. The octogenarian walked across the Wright Center stage May 14 to receive her degree in biology nearly 65 years after she began her college journey at Samford University, then called Howard University. “I always finish what I start. In this case, I had to have a driving force to do this ... it wasn’t a breeze for me,” Jacks said. Jacks began college in 1948 on a full scholarship from First Baptist Church of Birmingham. Although she worked hard toward her degree, she decided to drop out in 1951 to marry her longtime romance, William Russell Jacks. Jacks said she often regretted not finishing college and she always worried she had disappointed the church that gave her the scholarship. Then, after nearly 60 years of marriage, Jacks’ husband passed away in 2010. “After he died, I spent too many days just doing nothing in particular. It was lonely,” Jacks said. It was time, Jacks said, to finish what she started and get her diploma. Luckily, many of her credits from 65 years ago were still on record and she only needed one more year of classes to earn the degree. Jacks said many things were different this time around. “They didn’t even have ecology classes in 1948 and I had to take two this past year,” she said. She also notes how Samford had many more resources for students than it did when she first attended. “I needed help with writing and so I went to the creative writing department and they helped me write a scientific paper for my independent study,” she said. “Another department helped me print up my poster.” Going in, Jacks worried that she wouldn’t be accepted by the other, much younger, students and that she wouldn’t be able to See jacks, page 14

Photo special to the Journal

Lottie Jacks feels like any recent college graduate

The Graduate Lottie Jacks walked across the Wright Center stage May 14 to receive her degree in biology nearly 65 years after she began her college journey at Samford University, then called Howard University.

Seasoned Performer Former Teacher Publishes, Performs First Children’s Book

By Emily Williams

star turn After retiring from a teaching career, M.H. Smith joined Seasoned Performers, the professionally run group of senior adults who produce live performances and dramatic readings.

Journal photo by Emily Williams

Homewood’s M.H. Smith has always had a

passion for writing and for teaching children, but she never foresaw writing and performing a series of children’s stories or publishing her own children’s book. In retirement, she has done just that. Smith’s “Too Many Elephants,” was published this year. The educational story has been performed for preschoolers for several years by the local nonprofit performance group the Seasoned Performers. After retiring from a teaching career, Smith joined the professionally run group of senior adults who produce live performances and dramatic readings. “Too Many Elephants” isn’t the first story Smith has written, just the first she has published as a book. She hopes it won’t be the last of either.

Her route to the stage wasn’t exactly what she had imagined as a child. “When I was about 11, I wanted to either be a teacher or a Hollywood star,” she said. That doesn’t mean she dreamed of a career in acting. No, Smith wanted to bypass the hard work and head straight to the top with the likes of movie stars such as Jane Powell and Doris Day. “I ended up teaching, so I suppose Hollywood’s loss turned out to be education’s gain,” she said. One of her passions as a teacher was teaching reading skills to elementary students and later middle school students in the Birmingham city schools. “I taught in some of the more distressed areas, where children didn’t have as much access to reading,” she said. “I had a student once point at a

See smith, page 14

Thursday, June 2, 2016 • 13



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From page 12

book on my desk and say, ‘My mom has a book!’” She found that worksheets she had written herself proved to be more accessible to the students than some of the educational materials in the state curriculum. She also used the stories in the worksheets as an opportunity to introduce other subjects. “I found that students responded

to reading something factual just as well as something fictional,” she said. “I started writing about World War II and I remember a student once telling me that he had seen Winston Churchill, which is maybe better than seeing Elvis. What young child knows that Winston Churchill even existed, let alone gets excited about seeing him?” Providing children with the opportunity to develop a love of reading and knowledge was something she grew to love most about her profes-

sion. After retiring, Smith sought to continue educating children through her creative writing with the Seasoned Performers. Though it isn’t the same as a Hollywood spotlight, Smith said she enjoys her post-retirement work better than her time teaching. Her work with the group has given her new goals and the support to achieve them. “I remember my last day of teaching,” she said. “Usually on that last day in May, we would say some-

Embrace each day with peace of mind.


thing to each other like, ‘See you next year,’ or ‘See you in August.’ I remember realizing that I couldn’t say that anymore and thinking, ‘What do I do now?’” Smith found that it was not just important to have something to fill her days after retirement, it was vital. Though she has always written, having a purpose to write and encouragement from the group is what led her to publish her first book. “I wish that I could have had a bit more ambition or gumption when I first started writing these stories,” she said. “At one point I hired an agent for a while, but they didn’t really do anything. After a while I figured out that I could pay myself $50 an hour to do the same job.” “Too Many Elephants” may have been Smith’s first published work, but she hopes it will be the first of many.

“I’m constantly thinking of new ideas,” she said. “It’s just a matter of putting the words down on paper that are in your head.” Smith is ever a fan of the double entendre. “I love to play around with the meaning of words,” she said. “I’m extremely literal. ... If my husband says he has to get something done, I always ask him if he has to get it done or if he wants to get it done. If you want to get something done, you don’t necessarily have to. If I have to get something done, I usually don’t want to do it.” Smith didn’t have to write her own material for her students, she didn’t have to join the Seasoned Performers and she didn’t have to write and publish her own book. But she wanted to, she did, and she created a goal she intends to continue working toward in the future. ❖


nity. She said she always tried to be an example of perseverance to her children, even up to her recent graduation. “They are proud of me,” she said. “I didn’t go in thinking it was this big accomplishment, but I wanted to persevere toward my goal. ... I did not expect all this attention.” Jacks said she received a box full of notes from friends, family and classmates and many of her professors came to her graduation party. She said she is particularly thankful to Samford University for giving her the opportunity to go back and making the experience so great. “Every person I met at Samford was polite and kind. I got a lot of encouragement from the school.” Jacks’ advice to anyone wanting to go back to school or achieve any longtime goal is to at least get started. “If you have really been dreaming about something for a long time, at least try. If you don’t succeed it won’t be a huge catastrophe because you will know you tried.” Now that Jacks has her diploma, she plans on going back to life as a non-collegiate, living and serving the community in Vestavia Hills. But her work studying turkey vultures for her senior independent study has garnered attention from the Audubon Society, and her poster hangs in the school even after her graduation. ❖

From page 12

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keep up. “But everyone was so nice to me and eager to get to know me,” she said. “Professors even gave me opportunities for extra points if I needed it.” Now that she has her biology degree, Jacks not only has a sense of accomplishment but also a renewed outlook on the world around her. “After a year of education at my age, it makes me look at life entirely differently,” she said, “especially nature and everything around me.” But returning to a rigorous academic schedule was not a walk in the park for Jacks. “There were times I felt overwhelmed and thought to myself, ‘Why am I doing this?’ But I really grew in my faith because of the experience.” Jacks said she prayed throughout the year that God would be pleased with her efforts and even prayed the college student prayer that she would retain all the information from courses. Despite the difficulty of her classwork, Jacks said she was able to enjoy and appreciate college more at 85 years old. Between the beginning of her college career and her recent graduation, Jacks raised four children, worked as a medical technician and was heavily involved in her church and commu-

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Thursday, June 2, 2016 • 15



Danberry at Inverness

Danberry residents just returned from the Caribbean! Danberry at Inverness retirement community is redefining the concept of senior living in the Hoover area by emphasizing genuine hospitality, and by placing a strong emphasis on helping its residents have more fun than ever. “At Danberry at Inverness, we like to say, ‘Design your future… fill it with fun!,’ says Lori Krueger, Marketing Director of Danberry at Inverness. “Just ask members of Danberry’s Travel Club, who had an experience of a lifetime with a week in the Eastern Caribbean onboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, The Escape. “We shopped in St. Thomas, took a loop around St. John and swam at Trunk Bay, one of the most prestigious beaches in the Virgin Islands. We toured Tortola by land and sea and visited the original ‘Treasure Island,’ said Lori.   “A few were lucky in the casino while others relaxed in the sun. We each shared the events of our day in the evenings while enjoying the most exquisite cuisine. “While waiting to board our plane for the return home, we started making plans for our next adventure. We all agreed: vacationing with your friends is the way to enjoy life.  “Carefree senior living at Danberry at Inverness makes every day feel like a cruise!” Danberry is managed by Life Care Services™, An LCS Company®.

Danberry at Inverness is located on Lake Heather just off U.S. 280 and Valleydale Road in Hoover, 205-443-9500.

Top: Residents of Danberry enjoy the Carribean sun and its stunning views on a day trip during their recent cruise aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, The Escape. Above: Lori Krueger, top right, Marketing Director of Danberry at Inverness, enjoys dinner with Danberry residents aboard the ship.

Having fun is easy when you are around fun people. Dancing. Playing poker. Gardening. Swapping stories. At Danberry at Inverness retirement community, your neighbors are a lively bunch…engaged and welcoming. Good dinner companions. Motivating exercise buddies. People who share your memories and your desire for a happy retirement, which is why being around them makes everything better. And more fun! |

Call 205-443-9500

Independent • Assisted • Memory Care

235 Inverness Center Drive • Hoover, AL 35242 NP/OTMJ/3-16

16 • Thursday, June 2, 2016



Living Color

Museum Hosts Annual Ball to Benefit Educational Program

Photos special to the Journal


he Birmingham Museum of Art welcomed nearly 400 guests for the 60th annual Museum Ball “The World in Color” on May 6. Taking inspiration from the museum’s current exhibition, “All the Colors of the Rainbow: Uzbekistan Ikats from the Collection of Peggy Slappey,” ball chairs Tom and Elizabeth Broughton worked with Jill Garmon of A.G. Events to create an unforgettable evening. Guests were welcomed to a venue draped in colors from the fuchsia, orange and yellow flower arrangements and linens throughout Richard Marchase and Gail Andrews. the galleries, to the elegant tent on the outdoor plaza which boasted large, natural trees wrapped in florals and suspended silk lanterns. The evening began in the outdoor plaza with Buffalo Redmont Mule signature cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres. After cocktails, Chef George Reis of Ocean prepared a seated dinner paired with DuMol wines, provided by Tom and Susan Curtin. The menu began with gulf coast crab mousse and lobster medallions, followed by cast iron Hereford filet and ending on a sweet note with a chocolate dome served with cardamom ice cream. The evening came to a close back on the outdoor plaza

From left: Jay and Mallie Whatley with Sarah and William Long.

Alice and Carl Thigpen.

Bart and Hampton Stephens.

Elizabeth and Tom Broughton.

Shelby and Joel Kimmerling. Elizabeth Pharo and Carolyn Featheringill.

Peggy and Michael Balliet.

Dora and Sanjay Singh.


Thursday, June 2, 2016 • 17


Help us celebrate tHe Opening Of tHe new pig!

Stop by and "pop a bottle" to receive

30%, 40% or 50% off all of your purchases for the day!

Ila and Thacher Worthen with Bevelle and Jamie Worthen.

with music and entertainment provided by the Atlanta Showstoppers as ball-goers danced the night away. Considered a financial success by Museum officials, the annual ball raised almost $600,000 which will benefit the museum’s education activities. Aiding the ball chairs in the planning of the successful event was a Museum Ball Committee which included Mr. and Mrs. Edward Aldag, Mr. and Mrs. Garry Ard, Mr. and Mrs. Nic Balanis, Mr. and Mrs. William A. Bowron Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Brian Burgess, Mr. Michael K. K. Choy, Dr. James H. Crenshaw, Dr. and Mrs. A. Derrill Crowe, Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Dent, Mr. and Mrs. James F. Dixon III, Mrs. William W. Featheringill,

Mr. and Mrs. C.T. Fitzpatrick, Mr. and Mrs. Brian G. Giattina, Mr. and Mrs. Ted Giles, Mr. and Mrs. Braxton Goodrich, Mr. and Mrs. John B. Grenier, Mr. and Mrs. Layne Held, Mr. and Mrs. Duncan Hulsey, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Jernigan Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan L. Kimerling, Mr. and Mrs. Michael D. Luce, Mr. and Mrs. Bart McBride, Mr. and Mrs. J. Michael McDowell, Mr. and Mrs. Ron Morrison, Mr. and Mrs. James K. Outland, Mr. and Mrs. G. Ruffner Page Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Pharo, Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan H. Register, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Rogers, Mr. and Mrs. Lee J. Styslinger III, Mr. and Mrs. Carl S. Thigpen and Mr. and Mrs. Troy Wallwork. ❖

tueSday, May 31St through Saturday, June 11th

Not applicable on previously purchased merchandise or special orders.

74 Church Street • Crestline Village Mon.-Fri. 10-5 & Sat. 10-4 871-7909

18 • Thursday, June 2, 2016


Spring Forward

Pride and responsibility drive us to be the best in everything we do.


Member of the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce

205-595-4846 •


Mention this ad to receive a free diagnostic service call.

On May 18, the Mountain Brook Kappa Delta Alumnae Association gathered for its annual spring luncheon at the home of Hallie Rawls. The event included the recognition of members for their service and an installation of new officers. Carol Hunter presented the Circle of the Diamond award to her mother-in-law, Margaret Lee Bradford Liles, for 75 years of membership in Kappa Delta. Liles is the mother of Molly Carter and the grandmother of Maggie Carter O’Connor. The Elizabeth Nesbitt Simpson Service Award was presented to Carter and the Garnett McAdams Deramus Community Service Award was given to Sally Legg. Outgoing President Katie Patrick announced and installed the new officers: Betsy Henley, president; Melissa Seton, first vice president; Katie Patrick; Laurie Barber; Betsy Harmon, second vice president; Susan Waggoner, membership chair; Isabelle Lawson, treasurer; and Elizabeth Outland, publicity chair. Students from the Exceptional Foundation led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and delivered a prayer before the luncheon. The liaisons for the chapter include: Leigh Bromberg, University of Alabama; Kaci Chesbro, Auburn

University; Megan LaRussa Chenoweth, Birmingham Southern; and Ashley McGowin, University of Mississippi. Those attending the event included Jane Newman, Dorothy Smith, Sister Rutland, Amy May Hudson, Libby House, Evelyn Prichard, Murray Priester, Kathryn Keith, Cathy McGowin, Ann Neighbors, Jane Brakefield, Romona Shannon, Anne Heppenstall, Sara Beth Blair, Kathy O’Rear, Libba Williams, Catherine Crabtree, Laura Susan Roberts, Laura Lee Wood, Liz Briggs, Mary Dee Patrick, Nancy McCollum, Ann Lee, Marla Foster, Martha DeBuys, Julia Pope, Amy Knight, Irene Gardner, Barbara Lummis, Ann Walthall, Nancy Kimberly, Jane Arendall and Gwen Blackwell. ❖

Cathy McGowin, Libby House and Dorothy Smith.

Kathryn Keith, Laura Susan Roberts and Molly Carter.

©2015 California Closet Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Franchises independently owned and operated.

In Flight

Call today or visit our showroom to arrange for your complimentary design consultation. S E RVI NG ALABAMA AN D TH E FLOR I DA PAN HAN DLE

709 Third Avenue North, Birmingham

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Photo special to the Journal

Serving the Birmingham Area Since 1958

Kappa Delta Alums Announce New Officers

Clipped Wings Members Stay Grounded at Spring Meeting Clipped Wings, a local group of former flight attendants, convened April 20 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens for its annual spring luncheon. The members exchanged plants, wore their wings and topped their ensembles off with hats. The table was decorated with fresh floral arrangements in vases, complimented by antique cups and saucers atop pink lace scattered with pearls. Served for dessert were decorated floral cupcakes placed at each setting. Members in attendance included Melissa Bampf, Coquette Barnes, Giny Beck, Marjie Collins, Doris Davis, Pat Fontaine, Carol

11/10/15 10:16 AM

From left: Amy Knight, Liz Briggs, Betsy Henley and Katie Patrick.

MacMillan Godsey, Suzanne Hoye, Barbara Huffman, Marna McGahan, Karen Nelson, Mary Ellen Parker, Donna Rankin, Betty Ratliff and Margaret Serra.

Any flight attendants, either working or retired, who are interested in joining the group may contact Carol Godsey at 223-1448 or Marjie Collins at 595-5632. ❖

Photo special to the Journal

Joseph Braswell

As a life-long Over-the-Mountain resident and a third generation working at Guin, I feel great pride and responsibility in carrying on the legacy of honesty and hard work that my grandfather began over 55 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 would be a privilege to serve you.


Clockwise, from left: Margaret Serra, Barbara Huffman, Doris Davis, Coquette Barnes, Marjie Collins, Marna McGahan, Giny Beck, Betty Ratliff, Pat Fontaine, Donna Rankin, Karen Nelson, Mary Ellen Parker, Melissa Bampf, Suzanne Hoye, Carol MacMillan Godsey and Karen Nelson.

Thursday, June 2, 2016 • 19



Launching into Spring


Farm Market and Garden Center

Charades Dance Club Elects New Officers

Photos special to the Journal

The Charades Dance Club held its spring luncheon on April 29 at The Club. Dorothy Hodges, party chairwoman, planned the event with the help of Patsy Hanes, Toni Hartley, Laurie Haworth, Nell Henderson, Beth Henry, Carolyn Hill, Carey Hinds and Dale Holditch. Guests were treated to views of the city from the Vulcan Room and patio. A luncheon menu included fruit salad, ham and cheese quiche, asparagus, parmesan-crusted tomato, yeast rolls and orange rolls. Shrimpcolored begonias served as springtime centerpieces. After lunch, Charades officers for the coming year were elected during a short meeting conducted by outgoing President Judy Bewley. The officers for 2016-2017 are Dorothy Hodges, president; Pat Miree, first vice president; Martha Roberts and Anne Finch; second vice presidents; and Patsy Straka, publicity chairman. Bewley will serve as parliamentarian. Continuing to serve for the coming year are Katy Sexton as secretary, Sallie White as treasurer and Katie Dunn as yearbook and webmaster chairman. Guests at the luncheon included Kathi Ash, Margaret Balch, Susan Bowman, Warren Cain, Anne Carey, Barbara Chapman, Caroline Clayton, Mary Cobb, Carol Corvin, Ellen Cunningham, Naomi Cunningham, Anne Dawson, Enid Dean, Carolyn Featheringill, Claire Goodhew, Loretta Hood, Pam Kilgore, Karen Lloyd, Verna Lyons, George Ann Parker, Susan Pitts, Mary Putman, Carolyn Satterfield, Emily

824.0233 • 3351 Morgan Drive 402.2639 • Hwy 150 Hoover Mon-Sat 8-6 • Sun 12-5

Above, from left: George Ann Parker, Judy Bewley, Dorothy Hodges and Katy Sexton. Left, Warren Cain, Naomi Cunningham and Diane Weatherford. Below, Susan Pitts, Lana Thompson, Emily Scarbrough, Anne Dawson, and Marsha Terrell.

Scarbrough, Marianne Sharbel, Lynn Smith, Rita Spencer, Marsha Terrell, Lana Thompson, Janie

Foundation, Regions Bank and Birmingham City Councilman Jay Roberson. ❖

Mad Style

ACS Hosts 25th Annual Mad Hatters Fashion Show

To: Andy’s From: Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 Trammell, Rae Trimmier,FAX: Karen 205-824-1246 Watkins, Kathleen Watkins and Date: May Diane Weatherford. ❖ This is your AD PrOOF from the OvEr THE MOuNTAiN JOurNAl for the May 19, 2016 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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

If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday before27 the Exclusive press date, your ad will run as is. We print the paper Monday. New Homes

Thank you for your prompt attention. in Vestavia Hills

Karen Krekelberg.

from the $400’s

Zoned for Vestavia West Elementary, Vestavia Central Elementary, Pizitz Middle School and Vestavia Hills High School.

For More Information Please Contact Diane Godber (205) 369-5583 I

Photos special to the Journal

The American Cancer Society put a new twist on one of its premier events this year, celebrating the silver anniversary of the organization’s annual Mad Hatters event during an evening event rather than a luncheon. The celebration, held at the Grand Bohemian in Mountain Brook, kicked off with a cocktail hour, followed by a hat judging contest and fashion show. Cancer survivors donned styles provided by Gus Mayer and Judith Bright for the show. Tonya Jones Salon styled models’ hair and Bobbi Brown provided makeup. The event raised more than $300,000 for ACS. Sponsors of the event included the Herman and Emmie Bolden Foundation, the Thomas E. Jernigan

Vine Ripened Tomatoes!

Miss Alabama Meg McGuffin.

Jill Montgomery and daughter, Anna.



Photo by Dee Moore

20 • Thursday, June 2, 2016

Front, from left: El McMillan and Jane Perry Starling. Back: Chloe Jernigan, Ann McQueen Whatley and Ann Chapman Haynes.

Belles in Service

New Birmingham Belles Class Recognized at Annual Presentation

Dirty Dancing

Arlington Historical House and Gardens set the scene for the 48th annual Birmingham Belle Presentation on May 15. The Birmingham Belles is a service organization whose purpose is to give senior high school girls the opportunity and experience of volunteerism and civic responsibility as they gain knowledge about their community. The young ladies presented are visible at city functions throughout the year, serving over 1,200 hours this past year. Their volunteer opportunities include: Arlington Summer Luncheons; delivering cookies baked from Belle recipes to Assisted Living Homes; Birmingham Museum of Art; “Christmas at Arlington;” Big Oak Ranch; Decorators’ Show House; Mystics Halloween Parade; Mountain Brook Art Association Art Show; Mountain Brook Christmas Parade; The Birmingham Zoo; Childcare Resources Fairy Tale Ball; and “Bargain Carousel” by the Junior League of Birmingham. This year, Miss Stella Adams Smith was the recipient of the 2016 Scholarship Fund, established to honor Birmingham Belle founder, the late Mrs. James Mallory Kidd Jr. Serving as Belle presentation coordinators were Julie and Sarah Patton Butler, Elizabeth and Elizabeth Anne Crommelin, Britney and Jane Ryland Elliott, Reed Ellis, Ashelynn Falkenburg Smith, Mary Margaret and Mary Winston Hendry, Meg and Ellie Meadows, Kathryn and Maggie Reaves, and Donna and Caroline Savage. Henry Bruce Barze, James Brawner Little IV, William Cooper Galloway and Connor Ellis Tierney were on hand to assist as well. The Belles presented for 2016-2017 are: Miss Margaret Grace Adcock, Miss Sarah Helen Adcock, Miss Rebecca Carter Alexander, Miss Edith King Amason, Miss Elise Brielle Bals, Miss Emily Catherine Barber, Miss Virginia Bowron Beasley, Miss Emily Paige Berryhill, Miss Caroline Peyton Billingsley, Miss Mary Frances Bloodworth, Miss Anne Coleman Bradford, Miss Mary Johnson Bradford, Miss Jane Elisabeth Branch, Miss Anna Katherine Brian, Miss Caroline Davis Briggs, Miss Jennings Lee Briley, Miss Frances Hardy Bromberg, Miss Frances Murray Brown, Miss Kate McCarroll Bumgarner, Miss Mary Margaret Bromberg Byrne, Miss Virginia Grace Carmichael, Miss Sarah Coleman Causey, Miss Margaret Anne Clark, Miss Parker Tulaire Cobbs, Miss Lucile Fitzpatrick Collins, Miss Sarah Brasfield Cooper, Miss Sarah Margaret Corley, Miss Lauren Frances Cotten, Miss Elizabeth Eloise Cotten, Miss Jane Anne Creighton, Miss Gunter Morén Crommelin, Miss Hunter Caroline Davies, Miss Patricia Ann Davis, Miss Carlee Amanda Dawkins, Miss Mary Margaret de la Torre, Miss Elise Louise Doss, Miss Marion Shook Dukes, Miss Emily Hurst Edwards, Miss Hannah Marie Elliott, Miss Grace Sinclair Evans, Miss Charlotte McCammon Farrar, Miss Catherine Chacheré Flake, Miss Peggy Clare Friday, Miss

Emma Frances Garcia, Miss Frances Elizabeth Gaut, Alden Jackson Gibbs, Miss Elizabeth Rose Gillespy, Miss Elizabeth Berit Grantham, Miss Katherine Harriett Green, Miss Barclay Brooke Gresham, Miss Ansley Caldwell Gross, Miss Glenn Charlotte Haas, Miss Jenna Elizabeth Hancock, Miss Frances Elizabeth Hand, Miss Grace Madeline Harris, Miss Lucille Graves Harris, Miss Sarah Grace Hayes, Miss Ann Chapman Haynes, Miss Ashton Chatham Henderson, Miss Kathryn Taylor Hinkle, Miss Brooke Campbell Holloway, Miss Margaret Jean Holloway, Miss Karli Lynn Howard, Miss Margaret Murray Hughes, Miss Virginia Elizabeth Jager, Miss Chloe Virginia Jernigan, Miss Delaney Nan Jeter, Miss Emma Clare Johnson, Miss Elizabeth Gibson Johnston, Miss Cynthia Claire Jones, Miss Caroline Elizabeth Keller, Miss Sarah Taite Kelly, Miss Mary Jordan Kilgore, Miss Charlotte Roberts Kinney, Miss Mary Margaret Kirkland, Miss Lee Loraine Knight, Miss Mary Elizabeth Laatsch, Miss Nina Elizabeth Law, Miss Caroline Marie Lawrence, Miss Charlotte My-Phuong Le, Miss Virginia Merritt Leak, Miss Nancy Kathryne Letzer, Miss Brooke Alexander Lindsey, Miss Memory Anne Littleton, Miss Grace Anne Logan, Miss Julie Haddon Lowe, Miss Margaret Lynn Lowe, Miss Erin Blake McCraw, Miss Elaine Wright McDonald , Miss Frances Kendrick McFadden, Miss Elizabeth Renneker McMillan, Miss Maggie Elizabeth McPherson, Miss Sarah Scott McPherson, Miss Caroline Jane Monson, Miss Abbey Grace Moss, Miss Sally Jane Neal, Miss Mary Elise Nolen, Miss Anne Frances Norris, Miss Anne Kendall Outland, Miss Anne Marie Perri, Miss Bailey Elizabeth Peterson, Miss Carol Ann Sandner Phillips, Miss Catherine Marie Pittman, Miss Mary Walker Poe, Miss Elizabeth Catherine Polk, Miss Mary Anne Powell, Miss Susan Alexandra Preston, Miss Lindsay Elizabeth Pugh, Miss Alice Jordan Pulliam, Miss Catherine Lucas Quisenberry, Miss Caroline Brown Raine, Miss Anne Helen Ritter, Miss Lillian Herndon Rucker, Miss Anna Helen Rutledge, Miss Helen Katherine Schanbacher, Miss Lealis Grace Schilleci, Miss Anne Lewis Simmons, Miss Caroline Carlisle Sims, Miss Mary Patton Sims, Miss Alexandra Leigh Sirkin, Miss Katherine Hollon Skinner, Miss Mathilde Trueheart Sharman, Miss Sally Coleman Smalley, Miss Lily Caroline Smith, Miss Mary Fletcher Snow, Miss Julia Nicole Springer, Miss Jane Perry Starling, Miss Sammey Ann Steed, Miss Leah Reagan Stephenson, Miss Stella Smith Styslinger, Miss Celia Bright Sullivan, Miss Emma Bolling Hall Taylor, Miss Laura Lee Thompson, Miss Lily Gray Thompson, Miss Marlee Elizabeth Tomlinson, Miss Barbara Grace Tortorici, Miss Anna Craig Tucker, Miss Mary Adelaide Vandevelde, Miss Carolyn Dickinson Wahlheim, Miss Catherine Elizabeth Walthall, Miss Nicole Broatch Waudby, Miss Marion Hanlin Webb, Miss Ann McQueen Whatley, Miss Lucy Kathleen Williams and Miss Mary Eleanor Wolter. ❖

Photo special to the Journal


From left: Anna Henderson Gilstrap, Macy Catherine McClinton, Olivia Kristin Slocum and Grayson Camille Bartlett.

An Elegant Introduction Meet the 2016 Hoover Belles

An elegant flower garden and the grand ballroom of the Hyatt Regency/ Wynfrey Hotel served as the setting for the presentation of the 2016 Hoover Belles. The 33rd annual ceremony was presented by the Hoover Belle Committee, chaired by Kay Witt. Cathy Head served as chair of the Belle Presentation, with a committee that included Cathy Connor, Jennifer Cotney, Vickie Gord Griffith, Kim Milling, Denise Shepherd and Becky Walker. Each belle was presented in the garden gazebo, designed by Susan Huff and Beth Jordan with assistance from Hoover Police Officer Nick Braden. The ladies received bouquets of spring flowers from their fathers or close family members as they were introduced by the mistress of ceremonies, Haley Bagwell Scallions, a 2006 Hoover belle and two-time second runner up in the Miss Alabama pageant. Following the presentation, a celebration was held in the hotel’s ballroom with music provided by the Sonny Harris Group. The 35 young women, all sophomores and Hoover residents, accepted a two-year term serving as ambassadors for the city of Hoover. Each belle must perform a minimum of 30 hours of community service for local civic and charitable organizations. The 2016 Hoover Belles are: Amelia Anne Abernathy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Darrin Henry Abernathy; Anna Marie Auchmuty, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Meadows Auchmuty; Grayson Camille Bartlett, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Charles Bartlett; Grace Catherine Bauder, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Conrad Bauder; and Jordan Sierra Beam, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Byron Beam. Gwyneth Olivia Bishop, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gregory Bishop; Anna Katherine Douglass, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Louis Douglass; Connelley Rose Erwin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Hiter Erwin III; Mia Cameron Gage, daughter of Ms. Barbara Michelle Gage and Mr. Jarrod Randolph Gage; and

Thursday, June 2, 2016 • 21

Weddings & Engagements


Anna Henderson Gilstrap, daughter of Dr. Allyson Sanders Gilstrap and Dr. Jody Edward Gilstrap. Grace Ann Heglas, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Adrian Joseph Heglas; Emma Rose Hill, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. John Robert Hill; Lauren Elizabeth Hoaglund, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Daniel Hoaglund; Ashley Daniel Hopping, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Allen Hopping; Senna Kathryn House, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Benny Kendrall House Jr.; and Ava Rose Indovina, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Scott Indovina. Katherine Justina Jackson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Daryl McDaniel; Sarah Morgan Johnson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joel Todd Johnson; Kathryn Ayers King, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lumpkin King; Piper Elizabeth Latham, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jason Tilton Latham; Rachel Aileen Lebo, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Troy Lebo; and Sydney Madison Lee, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Angel Lee. Macy Catherine McClinton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Sean McClinton; Lillie Mattison McDonald, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Fred McDonald; Elizabeth Barton Robinson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hopkins Robinson Jr.; Slaton Abigail Renee Schneider, daughter of Ms. Renee Yeilding Schneider and Mr. David John Schneider; Olivia Kristin Slocum, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brandon Heath Slocum; and Jennifer Helen Spell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marion Lamar Spell. Kathryn Michele Stubblefield, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stacy Leon Stubblefield; Ashley Elizabeth Thomas, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jared Michael Thomas; Madison Rey Todd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Felix Edward Todd Jr.; Leah Katherine Varnell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Joseph Varnell; Ashlynne Rae Wallis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Michael Garcia; Grace MaeElizabeth Waters, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Lynn McCombs; and Katherine Caroline Winchester, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Martin Winchester. ❖

Caroline Taylor and Stuart Schmidtke were married April 9 at First Presbyterian Church in Macon, Georgia. The ceremony was officiated by the Rev. Hunter Stevenson. The bride is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. William Gibson Taylor of Macon. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Gerald Schmidtke of Vestavia Hills.


Dr. and Mrs. Matthew Karl Abele of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Barbara Carlisle Abele, to Jacob Cole Wheeler, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Ronald Wheeler of Hollywood, Florida.


Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Stuart Clark of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Sarah Elise Clark, to Trenton Stuart Cleghern, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bryon Ray Cleghern of Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Wilburn

Given in marriage by her father, she wore a strapless Paloma Blanca gown with a gathered Dupioni silk skirt with pockets and a beaded bodice of Guipure lace. It had a cathedral-length train. She carried her paternal great-grandmother’s handkerchief and wore her maternal greatgreat-grandmother’s diamond brooch. Catherine Shreve Taylor and Nancy Olivia Taylor, sisters of the bride, were maids of honor. Bridesmaids were Sloan Schmidtke Crawford and Anne Grace Schmidtke, sisters of the groom; Jordan Easter Taylor; Katelyn Gaylor Zickler; Kathleen Alexandra Smith; and Jennifer Elizabeth Ingram.  The father of the groom was the best man. Groomsmen were Chase Mitchell Crawford, brother-in-law of the groom; Sean Christopher Vanden Heuvel; Mark Andrew Zekoff; Stuart William Pope; Jack Bartlett Campbell; Ryan Jay Whatley; and William Hugh Van Hooser.  After a honeymoon trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica, the couple lives in Atlanta.  The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Thomas Johnson Moore Jr. of Birmingham and the late Mr. Moore and Mrs. Donald Carlisle Abele of Spartanburg, South Carolina, and the late Dr. Abele of Augusta, Georgia. Miss Abele is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where she was a member of the university’s volleyball team. She was presented at the Ball of Roses. Miss Abele is employed in Austin, Texas.  The prospective groom is the grandson of Mr. Brian Cary Cornell of Miami and the late Mrs. Cornell and Mrs. Ronald Howard Wheeler of Dixfield, Maine, and the late Mr. Wheeler.  Mr. Wheeler is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where he was a member of the university’s football team. He is employed in Austin. The wedding will be July 30 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.  Howard of Brundidge and the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Clark of Decatur. Dr. Clark received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Samford University, where she was a member of Phi Mu sorority. She received her doctor of optometry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Clark is employed with VisionFirst Eye Center. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Denny Stuart of McEwen, Tennessee, and Mrs. Betty Cleghern and the late Mr. Billy Ray Cleghern of Erin, Tennessee.  Dr. Cleghern received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Tennessee Technological University. He received his doctor of optometry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Cleghern is employed with VisionAmerica of Birmingham. The wedding is planned for September 2016 at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

Rehab Reality by Jeffrey Butler

Who Are We? We are you.

We’ve been the drug addict at his or her wit’s end, knowing his or her life has been reduced to nothing but lies, cover-ups and excuses. We, like you, knew that our lives weren’t right, but we also lacked the strength or humility to admit we were beat. We are you. We are the loved one who doesn’t know what to do. We are the one being eaten from the inside out of guilt, anger, frustration and fear. We are the one who stays awake at night hoping, and at the same time dreading that the phone might ring. We are also the one who spends those sleepless nights searching the internet for help with our addict or addiction. As founders: We are a mother and son who have traveled the road you are on. We’ve had the same frustrations, concerns, anxiety, anger, regrets and remorse that you’re having. We’ve lost friends to death to drugs and alcohol either by accident or deliberately. Our personal struggles and experiences led us to create Bayshore Retreat. First as a place that would be peaceful and inviting,with a tranquil waterfront location in beautiful Destin, FL. We strive to put everything into Bayshore that would help our clients discover themselves, regain their health and address their addiction individually. We know what works and what doesn’t. If you’re ready for a change, call us.

850-687-6831 Destin, FL Healing water front setting Licensed & court approved

22 • Thursday, June 2, 2016



Photos by Angie Mosier

Fire Man

Food, Flavor and His Father’s Example Fuel Nick Pihakis By Donna Cornelius The Cooking Channel show “Man Fire Food” isn’t named after Nick Pihakis, but it could be. Barbecue is still a hot topic for the Birmingham native who started Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q more than 30 years ago. Pihakis opened the first Jim ’N Nick’s in 1985 with his father, Jim. The Birminghambased barbecue restaurant now has 35 stores in seven states. “We’ve gone from my dad and me to more than 3,000 employees,” Nick Pihakis said. He worked at Rossi’s Italian Restaurant, a popular downtown Birmingham eatery, when he was still a teenager and decided on a food-based career early on. It’s a decision he’s never regretted, he said.

“Being in the restaurant business, my friends could come and visit me and eat and drink,” Pihakis said. “It’s always been more than just a job for me.” His father had retired from the insurance business when the two opened their first Jim ’N Nick’s on Birmingham’s Clairmont Avenue. “It was in an old Pasquale’s Pizza building,” Pihakis said. “In Birmingham, there was a tremendous amount of Greek families in the restaurant business, and the most popular ones had barbecue or hotdogs. “I liked the idea of cooking over fire. From an emotional standpoint, you think about backyards and family.” His business ventures these days are sizzling. He and several partners started Fresh Hospitality, which supports entrepreneurs and

helps them expand their brands, about eight years ago. The company’s portfolio includes Big Bad Breakfast, Octane Coffee/Bar and Saigon Noodle House as well as Jim ’N Nick’s and Little Donkey, which Pihakis and his partners opened in 2012 in Homewood. “We do concepts on our own or help others grow,” Pihakis said. Jim ’N Nick’s – now officially Jim ’N Nick’s Community Bar-B-Q – began its growth spurt in 1993 when he partnered with Michael Bodnar and Wayne Lewis, who already had experience in multi-unit restaurant concepts. Since then, Jim ’N Nick’s has become one of the most recognizable barbecue brands in the Southeast. Each store forges close ties to its community, with a local person who owns 20 percent of the business, Pihakis said. “That gives them a real stake in the game,” he said. Pihakis said he’s “food-driven more than anything else.” He’s passionate about supporting farmers and using sustainable, homegrown products as much as possible. “We have our own processing plant to help put farmers in Alabama back to work,” Pihakis said. The toughest part of having fresh, local ingredients on the menu isn’t incorporating the concept into multiple markets, he said. “It’s getting the consumer to appreciate that kind of food, because you have to pay more for it,” Pihakis said. “It’s all about the flavor, about getting them to eat something and say, ‘That’s so much better.’” Just as he started Jim ’N Nick’s because he loved barbecue, he came up with the idea for Little Donkey after developing an appreciation for authentic Mexican food. “I studied it for about five years and traveled all over,” Pihakis said. “The produce we use is unbelievable. We cook our own corn and grind our own masa. I love the flavor profile.” Fresh Hospitality partnered with John Currence and brought the Oxford, Mississippi, chef’s Big Bad Breakfast to Birmingham, opening on U.S. 280 in 2014. The company recently announced plans to open a second Birminghamarea restaurant in Homewood. Saigon Noodle House, also on U.S. 280, will soon have a second location in the Avondale area, Pihakis said. “Their Vietnamese food is wonderful, with so many complex flavors,” he said. “The owners’ grandfather used to sell this kind of food off See Pihakis, page 24

AwArd winning sports photogrAphy

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Photo special to the Journal

Nick Pihakis has expanded his culinary horizons since opening the first Jim ’N Nick’s in 1985 but said he still loves cooking with fire.

Eggs in the ’Ham: Cooking Teams Will Raise Money for Easter Seals

Easter Seals of the Birmingham Area is firing up plans for the fourth annual Big Green Eggs in the ’Ham, the only EggFest in the state. The event is June 11 at Regions Field in downtown Birmingham. It’s open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cooking teams from the Birmingham area will raise funds for Easter Seals Culinary services, drive awareness of Community issues affecting the disability News and community, and help change the Events lives of individuals and families living with disabilities. Teams will arrive at 7 a.m. and light their Big Green Eggs at 8 a.m. AllSouth Appliance is sponsoring the familyfun event, which includes food samples, the Birmingham Barons KidZone, face painting, games and more. Admission is $15 for individuals, $25 for couples and free for children under 12. For tickets or more information, visit “We are excited to work with AllSouth Appliance to continue and grow this event,” said David Higgins, Easter Seals of the Birmingham Area executive director. “We are looking forward to being back at Regions Field, and we are thankful for the growth of this event and the support of the community. “Easter Seals of the Birmingham Area provides services for many in our area. By participating in Big Green Eggs in the ’Ham, you are making a difference in someone’s life.”

Wild Times: Zoo Hosts Brews and BBQ Event

Tickets are on sale for Zoo, Brews and Full Moon Bar-B-Que at the Birmingham Zoo. The second annual event is from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 18. New this year is a selection of craft beer tastings from more than 10 breweries in Alabama and the Southeast. Other drinks include wines and nonalcoholic beverages. Coca-Cola will host a kids’

Journal photo by Emily Williams

Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church began hosting a farmers market on Wednesdays from 7-10 a.m. last month. The market offers seasonal vegetables, fruits, breads, baked goods, cheeses, and meats from local producers. The market will be open every Wednesday, May 11 through Sept. 14, from 7:00 to 11:00 am. The church is at 2016 Kentucky Ave.

Caribbean Celebration: Festival Has Food, Music and Dancing

The fifth annual Caribbean Day is set for June 11, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., in downtown Birmingham’s Linn Park. Admission is free to the event, which is sponsored by the Central Alabama Caribbean American Organization. The family-friendly celebration of Caribbean American Heritage Month will have Caribbean music, face painting, dancing and food, including jerk chicken. For more information visit,

Business Boost: Nourish Foods Vying for FedEx Grant

Nourish Foods is competing in this year’s FedEx Small Business Grant Contest. Chefs Tiffany Davis and Mary Drennen, who met when both worked at Cooking Light magazine, are the owners of the Birmingham-based business. Nourish makes and delivers family and individually portioned healthy, prepared meals in the Birmingham area and across the country. The program awards grants up to $25,000 to 10 small businesses. To vote, visit Voting ends June 13.

Coffee to Go: O’Henry’s Now Offering Growlers

O’Henry’s Coffees Inc. is the first coffee shop in Birmingham to offer growlers of iced coffee to drink at home. The signature iced coffee, Cold Brew, debuted April 29 at the O’Henry’s Highland Park location. The popularity of iced coffee has grown in the past few years, O’Henry’s owner Randy Adamy said. “Our founder, Dr. Henry Bright, could not have foreseen such a demand when he developed our recipe in 1993,” Adamy said. O’Henry’s recipe takes 12 hours to prepare and is made daily.

The 64-ounce growlers are $12. A new growler filled with coffee is $29. Growler refills are $19. Adamy said the growing popularity of O’Henry’s Cold Brewed coffee made it an easy decision to add the growler to the menu. “Many of our guests already purchase our beans, which are roasted locally in our west Homewood facility, to brew at home,” he said. “We are excited to offer another way for our guests to experience O’Henry’s outside of our stores.”

Moving Markets: Urban Cookhouse Events Have New Sites

Urban Cookhouse has moved its farmers markets to more visible and family-friendly spots. “We not only support local farmers by buying local produce to use in our restaurants, but we also support them and other local entrepreneurs by providing an attractive marketplace for their goods to be sold,” said Andrea Snyder, Urban Cookhouse co-owner. Each market will have more than 20 local vendors, live music and a kids’ activity area. The Summit farmers market will be open every Thursday, June 2 to Aug. 11, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. It’s in the Saks Fifth Avenue parking lot. Magic City Face Art will provide face painting and balloon art in the new kids’ area. Mason Music will perform from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Homewood farmers market opens June 18 and runs through Aug. 20. Hours are 8 a.m. to noon each Saturday. It’s at Homewood Central Park. Homewood Musical Instruments will provide live entertainment from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Magic City Face Art will have face painting and balloon art in the new kids’ area sponsored by Homewood Toy & Hobby.

Just Peachy: Chilton County Celebrates Its Favorite Fruit

If you’re passing through Chilton County June 18-25 on your way to the beach, stop and celebrate Alabama peaches. The Chilton County Peach Festival includes the Peach Run, a cook-off, barbecue, art exhibitions, a fishing tournament, pageants, music and parades. For a list of events, dates and locations, visit chiltonchamberonline. com.

—Donna Cornelius

A Market on the Corner Iz Neighborhood Grocery Opens in English Village

By Donna Cornelius Many longtime residents of English Village have fond memories of Park Lane Supermarket, a grocery store that operated in the Mountain Brook neighborhood for more than 40 years. “The freshest vegetables in town and hand-cut meat were trademarks of the store, which also carried commodities considered exotic such as imported fruits and coffees,” writes Cathy Criss Adams in her book, “Worthy of Remembrance: A History of Redmont.” Last month, Iz Neighborhood Grocery opened just a short distance away from the old Park Lane store. The market’s fruits are more likely to come from nearby farmers markets than from other countries, and it has local coffee, too. But owner Kay Bruno Reed wants her newest venture to be as much a part of its community as Park Lane was. “This is the perfect corner for this store,” Kay Reed said. “It’s something that was lacking here.” Since she opened Café Iz in Vestavia Hills in 1999, she’s continued to expand her business. Everything Iz includes Iz Café, Iz Catering and Iz the Place, a private event venue. Iz Good Stuff is the company’s wholesale division. “With our market, we’ve just added one more ‘Iz,’” Reed said. As a member of the Bruno family, well known in Birmingham for its chain of supermarkets, she found that the market was a natural next step for her expanding enterprise. “It’s always been a dream to have this,” Reed said. “The grocery store business was in my blood.” Customers will find almost everything they need to put a meal on the table – whether they want to cook it themselves or buy ready-made dishes. “You can come here, pick it up and cook it,” Reed said. “We have fresh-cut meats, lamb, airline chicken, filet. We have bread from a local baker, Conecuh bacon, eggs from Alpine and milk from Slocomb, Alabama. “We’re going to the farmers markets to bring in different vegetables and fruits – most are Alabama grown – and we’re cooking with them, too.” Prepared as well as fresh foods are plentiful at the market. All-natural roasted chickens are available daily, as are paninis in different incarnations, including a caprese version on focaccia bread with fresh tomatoes. There’s a wide selection of cheeses, including halloumi, gruyere and Carr Valley Cheese’s Chevre au Lait. On the shelves are cool products such as lemon curd, Bittermilk hand-crafted cocktail mixers, and made-in-Alabama McEwen and Sons polenta, grits and rolled oats. Several of Iz Café’s trademark dishes are sold at the market. “Our chicken salad and pimento cheese are what people come in for,” Reed said. “We’re also making our orange rolls and sweet potato biscuits.” In a large freezer are lasagna, turkey tetrazzini, crawfish and chicken hand pies, and other ready-to-take-home creations. You can even find hors d’ouevres to

Journal photo by Lee Walls

Farm to Church: Vestavia Hills UMC Hosting Farmers Market this summer

sampling table. Guests can have food from Full Moon Bar-B-Que and chips from Golden Flake. The family-friendly event also includes music by Park Band, a Talladega Superspeedway pace car and street team, Dino Discovery, animal greetings and walkabouts, and train rides. VIP tickets for early admission and premium parking are $50 for ages 21 and older and $25 for those under age 21. Regular tickets are $25 for ages 21 and older and $15 for those under age 21. To buy tickets, visit birminghamzoo. com.

Thursday, June 2, 2016 • 23



Kay Bruno Reed and her son, Stephen Reed, are bringing fresh and prepared foods to English Village at Iz Neighborhood Market. To see more photos of the grocery store, go to

get your meal off to a tasty start as well as sweet endings, such as chocolate roulage, lemon squares and caramel cake. The market has wine and also sells growlers for holding any of the 12 beers on tap. Complementing the edible offerings is an assortment of fresh flowers. Reed said she knew her way around the kitchen early in life. “I learned from my mother and grandmother,” she said. “When I was 12, I could put a meal on the table.” Those who have grown up watching celebrity chefs on Food Network often

don’t grasp the hard work involved in cooking for a living, Reed said. “Young people see it as so glamorous,” she said. “But if you really love it, it’s most rewarding. After 16 years, we still love what we do.” Iz Neighborhood Market customers are likely to be greeted not only by Reed, but also by her son, Stephen. Although he’s just 25, he’s not new to the family business. “He was working long before he wanted to,” she said, smiling. Stewart Reed, her husband, “does all See cafe iz, page 24


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

24 • Thursday, June 2, 2016


Hoover School Rezoning Delayed for a Year to Allow Study By William C. Singleton III

rezoning plan before submitting it to the court. The plan has been revised several times, but the plan the board ultimately approved at its March 7 meeting affects more than 2,200 students – slightly less than 20 percent of the overall student population. Haikala acknowledged Hoover’s efforts to minimize the impact of rezoning on its minority population. For example, the proposed zoning plan would correct “the district’s current practice of assigning students living in apartment complexes to schools well beyond their neighborhood schools,” according to the court order.

The latest rezoning proposal would affect students living in single-family dwellings as well, “the majority of whom are Caucasian in Hoover,” the order notes. The court also acknowledged that the district has “legitimate school capacity issues.” However, Haikala stated that, “It would be premature to give final approval to the plan at this juncture.”  She said time must be given to weigh the impact of the rezoning plan on the desegregation order. More specifically, the school system must satisfy factors raised in the 1968 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Green v. County School Board of New Kent County, Virginia. In that case, the high court identified six areas that must be considered to determine whether a school board has fulfilled its obligation in removing any vestiges of racial segregation. Those factors include ensuring that black students aren’t discriminated against in student assignment, facilities, transportation and extracurricular activities and that black workers and applicants aren’t discriminated against in hiring and promotion. To satisfy its desegregation goals, the Hoover school system must account for opportunities such as magnet programs and transfer options that allow students whose race is a majority in their school zone to transfer to schools where they would be a minority. Haikala instructed all parties involved in the case to submit written assessments of the Green factors by Jan. 17. She also instructed the parties to present a comprehensive plan for a path to unitary status. Achieving unitary status means a system has eliminated the effects of past segregation and no longer must operate under court supervision. “The Court is confident that the district and the Hoover community will benefit from this assessment, and the Court anticipates that the parties will be better positioned to seek final approval of a student assignment plan for the 2017-2018 school year,” Haikala’s order states. ❖

Event speakers and performers included Beth Wilder, director of the Literacy Council of Central Alabama and 2016 Alabama Mother of the Year; Riverbend, a local band composed of MBJH and Vestavia Hills High School students; and MBJH students Sean Fredella, Abraham Askenazi, Brett

Lewis, George Davis, Francie Adair, Genevieve Wilson, Emily Bebenek, Emily Franklin, Charles Tyndal, Chip Porter, Christopher Thagard, Izzy Narducci and Emma Sanders. For more information about the program, visit ❖

Hoover officials have maintained that growth within the district has created a situation in which most of its 10 schools are either at or nearing maximum capacity. Meanwhile, three of its schools are underutilized and have room to accommodate more students. For those reasons coupled with anticipated future growth in the southwest part of the city, Hoover education officials have proposed new attendance zones. School officials held citywide public hearings and community meetings to get response to the

Hoover students expecting to attend new city schools as a result of the latest district rezoning plan will have to wait at least another year. Implementation of the city school system’s rezoning plan has been put off until the 20172018 school year at the earliest, the district’s superintendent said. U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala recently gave preliminary approval of the city school system’s rezoning plan. However, the judge delayed implementation of the plan to make sure the school district, the U.S. Department of Justice and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund fully assess the impact of the rezoning plan on Hoover’s minority student population. “Stated simply, the school district will not implement the proposed rezoning plan for the school year 2016-2017,” Hoover School Superintendent Kathy Murphy said. Hoover school officials have been cooperating with Justice Department and NAACP Legal Defense Fund representatives as they rework the school system’s attendance zones. Hoover and other Jefferson County school systems are under a long-standing consent decree implemented to address attempts by white communities to establish school systems to circumvent the federal desegregation of public education. For parties subject to the decree, any changes within a public school system that affect its black population must be submitted to the federal court for approval.


‘Stated simply, the school district will not implement the proposed rezoning plan for the school year 2016-2017.’ Hoover School Superintendent Kathy Murphy

The second annual TEDxYouth@MBJH event was held at Mountain Brook Junior High on May 8. The independently organized event, licensed by TED, featured local speakers and TED videos following the theme “Dream of Things that Never Were.” Students organized the event, from theme conception to audio visual needs to breakout sessions. The event was held in the school auditorium and was attended by students of all ages, parents, educators, community members, community leaders and event partners. According to school officials, the purpose of the event was to encourage students to share their innovative ideas for changing the world on any level, from personal to global.

pihakis, From page 22

a cart. These are old family recipes.” The James Beard Foundation has paid attention to Pihakis’ achievements. The prestigious organization that annually presents awards to chefs, restaurant owners and others in food-related jobs has made him a semifinalist several times in its Outstanding Restaurateur category. Community involvement is as important to Pihakis as corporate growth. He’s a member of the board of directors of Birmingham’s Jones

Photo special to the Journal

MBJH Hosts Second Annual TEDxYouth Event

Valley Teaching Farm, which promotes urban farms and teams up with schools to teach children about gardening and nutrition. “We’re in seven schools now,” Pihakis said. Jim ’N Nick’s supports causes related to “teachers, preachers, health and wellness,” he said, smiling. Among these are the Mercedes Marathon, the Seaside, Florida, Half Marathon, and the Cooper River Bridge Race in Charleston, South Carolina. Pihakis and his wife, Suzanne, have three children: Nicholas Pihakis, Constance Pihakis Rutledge and

Catherine Pihakis. All are involved in the family business, he said. Jim Pihakis died in 2000 but left a legacy that his son said he doesn’t forget. “My dad was a teacher and also very involved with athletics,” Pihakis said. “He’d work three jobs to take care of us. He’d paint houses on the side. I got my work ethic from him.” Pihakis said the values on which he and his father built their first restaurant are unchanged. “It goes back to having integrity, to taking care of people,” he said. “The ‘family business’ mentality has never left us.’” ❖

N.E. Miles Student Wins National Writing Competition Marlie Thompson, a seventh-grader at the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School, was recently announced as the middle school winner of a national writing contest. A $25,000 award was donated to the school for scholarships, and Thompson was awarded a scholarship for 50 percent off of her tuition to URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp, a Jewish summer camp located in Mississippi. Thompson’s essay was written after the Miles’ Marlie Thompson Upper School students

participated in the Better Together program, which is an intergenerational visitation program with Collat Jewish Family Services’ Cares program. The Cares program provides cognitive, social and physical stimulation to people with memory and movement disorders. As part of the Better Together program, students entered their reflections about senior citizens, the elderly, growing old and intergenerational experiences in the contest.

Mountain Brook School System Wins International Award The Mountain Brook School System recently was recognized with a Distinguished District Award by the International Society for Technology in Education. The nonprofit organization recognizes and supports educators and education leaders who seek to advance technological standards for education. “Our 2016 award winners are creating innovative digital age learning environments for their students, transforming lives and expanding horizons. We are excited to congratulate these visionary leaders and celebrate their achievements at ISTE 2016,” Jessica Medaille, ISTE chief collaboration officer, said in a released statement. According to a press release, the award was given to the Mountain Brook School System in recognition of the Institute for Innovation. The project is a facet of the school’s Metamorphosis Project, which seeks to provide educators with the support necessary to create a more innovative learning experience for students. The Institute for Innovation, specifically, encourages teachers and students to use technology in educational activities. Each year the project seeks to incorporate pilot programs on a trial basis to see whether they are successful in the classroom. Once a pilot is found successful, the program can easily be replicated and expanded. Ideas that were produced through the 2015-2016 year included a virtual world room, created through the use of multiple projectors and gaming technology. The tool has been used to give students the opportunity to travel virtually to rain forests in Costa Rica and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The district will be honored at the ISTE 2016, a conference held June 26-29 in Denver, Colorado. ❖

cafe iz, From page 23

the logistics” for the company, she said. The couple has another son, Bradley, who’s in the software business in Washington, D.C. Those who visit the market should be sure to take a look at the chalkboards with food-related sayings, such as this one by Lewis Grizzard: “It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” Also posted is Julia Child’s sage advice: “If you are afraid of butter, use cream.” Reed can identify with folks who truly love food. “Even after working all day, I love to go home and cook,” she said. “You have to have a passion for food; I’d give it away if I could.” Iz Neighborhood Market is at 2037 Cahaba Road in Mountain Brook. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or follow the company on social media. ❖

From left: Katie Ray, Mary Louise Howland, Lucy Holman, Lindsay Kahn, Robby Kent, Hannah Cox and Holly Martin.

Mountain Brook Hosts Student Showcase Nearly 75 booths filled the streets of Crestline Village on May 10 for the Mountain Brook City Schools’ inaugural Student Showcase. The purpose of the event was to display the work of various extracurricular and elective courses offered in each of the schools. Participating courses ranged from robotics and language clubs to theater arts groups and school newspaper staff. Tents lined the street between Emmett O’Neal Library and filled the garage of the nearby fire station, with students manning each display to act as docents for their booths. Projects ranged from multi-media displays to demonstrations. As guests filtered through the area, music was provided by Mountain Brook’s choirs and bands. ❖

Virginia Averytt, Caroline Hellums, Emmaline Stewart and Will Monroe.

Near right: Lillie Young and Amelia Moffatt. Far right: Amelia Tynes and Claire Lauterbach.

Thursday, June 2, 2016 • 25

Hoover High Grad to Share Stage with Jazz Great Wynton Marsalis For the second consecutive year, Hoover High School student Tyler Greengard will join a select group of students from across the globe to study and perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and legendary musician Wynton Marsalis through the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Summer Jazz Academy. Greengard, on the tenor saxophone, was selected through an online audition submission to join a group of 42 students attending the program this summer. According to academy officials, members of the academy are “the most advanced and dedicated high school jazz musicians from around the world.” Greengard will attend the program at Bard College in Annandale-onHudson, New York, from July 18 to 31. The two-week residential institute, designed and instructed by Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s managing and artistic director, will serve as an intensive training program to advance the students’ artistic development in jazz music. In addition to the educational components, the program will include several public performances of the student ensembles and the orchestra, featuring Marsalis. These perfor-

Photo special to the Journal


Journal photos by Emily Williams


Tyler Greengard will join a select group of students from across the globe to study and perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra In the fall, he will attend William Paterson University, in Wayne, New Jersey, majoring in jazz studies.

mances will be incorporated into the Bard SummerScape 2016 Festival, a seven-week arts festival that includes opera, music, theater, dance, film and cabaret. Students will perform in big bands and small combos, receive private lessons and take classes in aesthetics, culture, history, performance practice and pedagogy. Greengard, who graduated last month, was a member of the Hoover High School First Edition Jazz Band under the direction of Sallie Vines White. In the fall, he will attend William Paterson University, in Wayne, New Jersey, majoring in jazz studies. ❖

During their visit with students, Sharman Martin and Noah Galloway spoke on the subject of acceptance and signed copies of the books.

Students at Vestavia Hills Elementary West received a visit May 16 from local author Sharman Martin and Noah Galloway. The two guests introduced students to Martin’s newest children’s book, “Bo Meets a Hero.” Her first book, “I Can Play Too!” focused on Bo, a three-legged dog, and his journey for acceptance. Her newest installment in the series introduces Bo to Noah Galloway, a Birmingham native and U.S. Army veteran who lost a portion of his left arm and leg during his service in the war in Iraq. Galloway gained national fame through his participation on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and is currently involved in the FOX series “American Grit.” During their visit with students, Martin and Galloway spoke on the subject of acceptance and signed copies of the books. While Bo is no longer living, Martin brought along another threelegged pet, Trigley. In addition to being a book author, Martin serves as a P.E. teacher for VHEW. ❖

Photo special to the Journal

Photos special to the Journal

Area Vet Introduces New Book to VHEW Students

Students from Mrs. Rowell’s class play sand blocks to “New River Train.”

“Away We Go!” VHEW First-Graders Move to the Music First-graders at Vestavia Hills Elementary West celebrated movement and transportation in their spring musical “Away We Go!” Under the direction of West music teacher Trudye Confessore, each class of first-graders took the stage to play instruments and dance to tunes such as “‘Round the Mountain,” “New River Train” and “The Happy Wanderer.” The students performed the production March 10 and 11 for other students, friends and family.

26 • Thursday, June 2, 2016



all-OTM softball,

pack year,

Photo special to the Journal

Front, from left: Kara Wingard, Gracie Wilks, Celia Brand, Rachel Robb, Ryanne Ritter and Taylor Hanna. Middle: Catherine Clark, Maddie Everhardt, Jamie Donahue, Nikki Panzika, Marcie Marinelli, Taylor Fondren and Lexi Gregson. Back: Head coach Dave Klementz, Abby Adamson, Christina Dorsey, Meredith Edwards, Katie Sherman, Kayla Hoye and assistant coach Rob Haley.

The Oak Mountain High School girls’ varsity lacrosse team finished the season by claiming its third straight state championship. Oak Mountain beat the Mountain Brook High School Spartans 15-7 in the Greater Birmingham Youth Lacrosse Association’s state championship game May 7. The Eagles scored an average of almost 20 goals per game this year while giving up an average of just more than two goals per game. The team finished first among 12 teams in Alabama. Oak Mountain finished the instate season with a record of 14-0 and an overall record of 16-4. Opponents from Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky were part of its nonconference schedule. The Eagles will graduate 12 players from this year’s roster, including Madie Everhardt, who will be playing at the next level for Division II Young Harris College. ❖

Lady Jags rolled to a 40-19 record and finished second to perennial North Alabama powerhouse Sparkman in the Class 7A Tournament at Montgomery’s Lagoon Park. Spain Park’s epic rise is reflected by the 2016 All-Over the Mountain softball team, which was chosen by an exclusive poll of the Over the Mountain head coaches. Six Jaguars were chosen for the squad. Hawkins was chosen co-Coach of the Year, and outfielder Mary Katherine Tedder was chosen co-Player of the Year. Hawkins shares the honor with Vestavia Hills coach Lissa Walker, who guided the Lady Rebels to a surprising birth in the state tournament. Oak Mountain’s hothitting O’Neil Roberson shared Player of the Year honors with Tedder. A junior, Tedder led Spain Park’s attack with a .457 batting average with 74 RBIs and 20 home runs. Her philosophy that softball is a game of failure is a secret to her success. “In softball, you are going to fail more often than not,” she said. “You can be a really good hitter and still fail 70 percent of the time. The key to suc-

From page 28

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

From page 28

Pictured from left are Spain Park’s C.J. Hawkins, 2016 co-Coach of the Year; Oak Mountain’s O’Neil Robertson, 2016 co-Player of the Year; Spain Park’s Mary Katherine Tedder, 2016 co-Player of the Year; and Vestavia Hills’ Lissa Walker, 2016 co-Coach of the Year.

cess is how well a player can handle failure; that shows if they can help carry the team. A player can contribute more from the dugout by cheering for her teammates than someone on the field who has a bad attitude.” Tedder already has committed to the University of Texas. Roberson was perhaps the main catalyst in the Lady Eagles’ rise from mediocrity to an impressive 30-14 record and a trip to the regional playoffs. The junior first baseman, who had little pre-season build-up, batted





Convertible Tops Sunroofs Leather Interiors


.500 with a stunning 21 home runs and 70 RBIs. “O’Neil’s presence gave us a big boost,” Oak Mountain coach Kaitlin Griffin said. “Our pitchers and defense could play with the knowledge and confidence that we were also able to score consistently.” Five other Lady Eagle players were chosen for the team. Roberson said aggressiveness was a prime ingredient in her success as a hitter. “I don’t really have a favorite pitch to hit – it’s just whatever comes to me,” she said. “The key to power hitting for me is to be aggressive at the plate and try not to get behind on the count.” She already has committed to play at Mississippi State University. Other members of the team included Amelia Moore, Linley Splawn and Rachel Walz, Briarwood; Alyssa Barnes and Devon Grace Boyd, John Carroll Catholic; Kristie Looney and Venice Sanders, Homewood; Jamie Gregg, Shelby Lowery, Abby Grace Praytor and Abby Tissier, Hoover; Allye Lott, Mountain Brook; Clara Fuller, Carmyn Greenwood, Abby Jones, Maddie Katona and Ashlee Sanders, Oak Mountain; Kate Campbell, Julianna Cross, Maddie Majors, Jenna Olszewski and Kynadi Tipler, Spain Park; Merritt Cahoon, Taylor Coe, Audrey Maloun and Jessica Perley, Vestavia Hills. ❖

Birmingham honors for three consecutive seasons and has a weighted grade point average of 4.31. She already has verbally committed to play soccer at Auburn University. Even Oak Mountain’s staunchest soccer rivals heap praise on Pack. “Julia Pack elevates the play of her teammates from average to great,” Hoover coach Will Patridge said. “Against Oak Mountain, you have to know where Julia is at all times. She is a talented player with a high soccer IQ that can adapt her playing style on the fly to give teams fits.” Pack is the fourth Lady Eagle to win the Gatorade Player of the Year award. Simone Charley won the award in 2011, Bailee Hartnett claimed the trophy in 2012 and Toni Payne earned it in 2013. Dynasty in Blue…

While Pack won an impressive individual award, the Oak Mountain boys program was building on its reputation as one of Alabama’s most consistent dynasties. The Eagles’ 2-1 victory over McGill-Toolen in the Class 7A finals on May 14 gave them their second consecutive state title.

This year’s squad was as dominating as any, posting a 28-0-2 record. Oak Mountain outscored its opposition by a total of 85-13 and earned 19 shutouts. The victory also marked Oak Mountain’s sixth state championship in just 12 seasons. Even when the Eagles haven’t won the blue trophy, they’ve come close; Oak Mountain

Photo special to the Journal

OMHS Girls’ Lacrosse Takes State Championship

World Champion Fisherman John Hutchinson III, of Mountain Brook, above, recently won the 2016 World Cobia Fishing Championships in Destin, Florida. Hutchinson was fishing aboard the Instigator and caught the tournaments winning fish, weighing in at 88.7 pounds.

has reached the championship game of their classification for six consecutive years. The Eagles won titles in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2016. The 2005 team also was proclaimed national champions. This year’s championship squad was as dominating as any, posting a 28-0-2 record. Oak Mountain outscored its opposition by a total of 85-13 and earned 19 shutouts. Additionally, more than 28 Eagles have gone on to play college soccer. Former Oak Mountain star Chandler Hoffman now plays at the professional level. The boys program has also produced three Alabama Gatorade Players of the Year. The best news for Eagle fans is that the dynasty shows no sign of slowing down. As is the case with most ultra-successful programs, winning feeds upon itself, as more talented players come aboard in search of team and individual honors. Even now, there are young boys in Oak Mountain’s feeder system who are dreaming of the day when they can help their team win a blue trophy. Local Golfers in NCAA….

If there is a sport in which our area is stronger than it is in soccer, it could well be amateur golf. No fewer than six golfers from Over the Mountain high schools participated in last week’s NCAA Golf Championships at Eugene Country Club in Oregon. Representing UAB are Mountain Brook graduate Taylor Eyster, Hoover graduate Will Cannon and Briarwood alumnus John Hayden. The University of Alabama’s Tom Lovelady played at Mountain Brook and Auburn University’s Michael Johnson played at Spain Park. Additionally, Patrick Martin of Vanderbilt University was also a star at Spain Park. Martin was the Over the Mountain Journal’s boy Athlete of the Year for 2015. The Over the Mountain Journal will speak with several of these great young golfers when they return from the tournament. ❖



Thursday, June 2, 2016 • 27

Photo special to the Journal

Mountain Brook U11 Boys’ Lacrosse Team Goes Undefeated

Members of the Mountain Brook U11 boys’ lacrosse team are, front, from left: Evans Oliver, Wil Lucas, Cole Hofbauer, Hudson Young, Destin Hirsberg, Clyde Beavers, Coleman Petrey and Reid Ramsbacher. Middle: Connor Hofbauer, Gus Bailey, Glen Hale, Jackson Young, Tate Hoffman, William Carnes, Fields Mendelsohn, Richard Kinsaul, James Hard, Tyler Waddington, Sam Carroll and Stewart Griswold. Back: Assistant coach Richard Kinsaul and coach Farrell Mendelsohn. The team finished the season with a perfect 13-0 record.

all-OTM baseball,

Vestavia’s Premiere Green Home Community

teams. On the mound, the senior pitcher posted an 8-2 record with 91 strikeouts and only 15 walks. Potter posted a microscopic ERA of .889.   He was also outstanding with his bat, hitting at an average of .295 with 23 RBIs and four home runs. As is the case with most great athletes, Potter doesn’t mind when the burden of a game falls on his shoulders. “At a school with a tradition like Vestavia’s, pressure is a privilege,” he said. Potter’s ability to perform under pressure made an impression. He was chosen in an exclusive poll of Over the Mountain baseball coaches as the 2016 Over the Mountain Baseball Player of the Year. The coaches also chose the All-Over the Mountain baseball team. “No matter how tough the situation, Sonny was always our bulldog on the mound,” Rebel coach Jamie Harris said. “He had so much determination and nothing ever rattled him.” Potter credited his coaches and teammates for his success. “We spent 90 percent of our time in practice working on pitching and defense,” he said. “It was easy to pitch with confidence when you have great guys surrounding you.” Although his high school career has ended, Potter’s life in baseball will continue. He’ll play for the University of Alabama next season. “High school was great, but it’s time to move on,” he said. “I’ll have great memories of my years at Vestavia.” The coaches also chose Oak Mountain coach Derek Irons as the 2016 Over the Mountain Baseball Coach of the Year. In his first season, Irons lead an unheralded Eagle team to a 33-14 worksheet and fell one game short of reaching the state 7A finals in Montgomery. Irons came to Oak Mountain from Charles Henderson High School near Troy. “It’s an honor to be named Coach of the Year, but it’s really a tribute to our players,” Irons said. “They bought

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

From page 28

Coach Derek Irons of Oak Mountain, left, has been named the 2016 Over the Mountain Baseball Coach of the Year, and Sonny Potter of Vestavia Hills is the 2016 Over the Mountain Baseball Player of the Year.

into what we were teaching from the very beginning and worked hard all year.” Potter was joined on the AllOver the Mountain team by Rebel teammates Christian Cusimano, Parker Hershey, Nathan Hospes and Caden Lemons. Other players qualifying for the team were Luis Fuentes and Sam Strickland, Briarwood; Matt Cerfolio, John

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Carroll Catholic; Carson Griffis, Josh Miller and John Marc Mullins, Homewood; Noah Barron, Brock Guttery, Christopher Vacarella and Tyler Williamson, Hoover; Luke Hartman and Clay Stearns, Mountain Brook; Joseph Hartsfield, Gene Hurst, John McDonald, and Mason Williamson, Oak Mountain; Will Battersby and Bryan Sanderson, Spain Park. ❖ (205) 365-4344 OUR 119 YEAR TH


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Legends and Iron


lee davis

Pack Year

Oak Mountain Star Named Top Player

Sonny Potter’s genetic makeup might suggest that he’s a fine athlete. His grandfather was Jimmy Sidle, an All-American quarterback at Auburn University in the early 1960s. While Sidle’s footsteps are large, his grandson more than filled them in the 2016 baseball season. Potter was a driving force for Vestavia Hills as the Rebels posted a 30-8 record, at one time ranking second in the nation among high school

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

Rebels’ Potter and Eagle Coach Lead AllOTM Baseball Team By Lee Davis

OMHS Girls’ Lacrosse Takes State Championship Page 26

Members of the 2016 All-Over the Mountain baseball team include, first row, from left: Brock Guffey, Hoover; Noah Barron, Hoover; Carson Griffis, Homewood; Josh Miller, Homewood; John Marc Mullins, Homewood; and Luke Hartman, Mountain Brook. Second row: Coach Derek Irons, Oak Mountain; Christopher Vacarella, Hoover; Tyler Williams, Hoover; Samuel Strickland, Briarwood; Sonny Potter, Vestavia Hills; Parker Hershey, Vestavia Hills; and Clay Stearns, Mountain Brook. Third row: John McDonald, Oak Mountain; Will Battersby, Spain Park; Bryan Sanderson, Spain Park; Mason Williamson, Oak Mountain; Gene Hurst, Oak Mountain; Caden Lemons, Vestavia Hills; and Christian Cusimano, Vestavia Hills. Not pictured: Luis Fuentes, Briarwood; Matt Cerfolio, John Carroll Catholic; Nathan Hospes, Vestavia Hills; and Joseph Hartsfield, Oak Mountain.

See all-otm baseball, page 27

The Oak Mountain girls soccer team fell short in its quest for the state Class 7A championship, but a Lady Eagle still brought home one of the most prestigious awards in the sport. Sophomore midfielder Julie Pack was named the 2016 Gatorade Player of the Year. Pack scored 18 goals and 17 assists in leading Oak Mountain to a 23-4-1 record and into the second round of the state playoffs. She has 46 goals and 37 assists in her high school career. Pack has earned all-Metro See pack year, page 26 Julie Pack

Spain Remains

There was a time when Spain Park softball wasn’t a very big deal. “Before we got here they even gave an award if a girl just dived for a fly ball in the outfield,” Lady Jaguar coach C.J. Hawkins recalled. “We had to change that mindset from the very beginning.” The mindset did change, and a decade later, Spain Park is one of the state’s elite softball programs. The 2016 season was no exception as the See all-otm softball, page 26

Members of the 2016 All-Over the Mountain softball team are, first row, from left: Coach C.J. Hawkins, Spain Park; Kynadi Tipler, Spain Park; Kate Campbell, Spain Park; Maddie Majors, Spain Park; Alyssa Barnes, John Carroll Catholic; Jenna Olszewski, Spain Park; Julianna Cross, Spain Park; Abby Jones, Oak Mountain; Clara Fuller, Oak Mountain; and Coach Lissa Walker, Vestavia Hills. Second row: Jessica Perley, Vestavia Hills; Audrey Meloun, Vestavia Hills; Merritt Cahoon, Vestavia Hills; Allye Lott, Mountain Brook; Abby Tissier, Hoover; Shelby Lowery, Hoover; Rachel Walz, Briarwood; Maddie Katona, Oak Mountain; O’Neil Roberson, Oak Mountain; and Mary Katherine Tedder, Spain Park. Third row: Taylor Coe, Vestavia Hills; Carmyn Greenwood; Oak Mountain; Ashlee Sanders, Oak Mountain; Abby Grace Prayter, Hoover; Jamie Gregg, Hoover; Devon Grace Boyd, John Carroll Catholic; Linley Splawn, Briarwood; and Amelia Moore, Briarwood. Not pictured: Kristie Looney and Venice Sanders, both from Homewood.

Journal photos by Marvin Gentry

By Lee Davis

Journal photo by Marvin Gentry

Jags’ Hawkins and Tedder Share Top Player, Coach Honors