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Community Commitment

Retiring President Underwood Put Lakeshore on the International Map but Kept it Anchored at Home


By Rubin E. Grant eff Underwood has been called a visionary, but he considers himself just a guy who cares about his community. That’s what has motivated Underwood as president and CEO of Lakeshore Foundation for the past 30 years. Underwood joined the nonprofit organization in 1991, serving as its first and only president for the past three decades. With him at the forefront, Lakeshore became recognized as a leader in fitness, recreation, sport, research and advocacy for people with physical disabilities and chronic health conditions. “The biggest change has been how we’ve grown from a service to the community to doing things on an international level,”

Summer Makes A Splash OTM Parks and Recreation Departments open up pools for the 2021 season. Above, Nelia Avery, Evie Jones and Julia Elizabeth Peterson at Homewood’s Patriot Park Pool on May 22. Left, opening day at Homewood’s Central Park Pool, May 23. Vestavia and Hoover park pools opened over the Memorial Day weekend.

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

See UNDERWOOD, page 6

Jeff Underwood joined Lakeshore Foundation in 1991, serving as its first and only president for the past three decades.

2 • Thursday, June 3, 2021




Murphy’s Law

I THE FAMILY YOU FIND Four women kept friendship alive for decades, the three who remain united to celebrate their 90th birthdays PAGE 8

WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY 2021 Birmingham Parade of Homes to take place June 18-20, 25-27 PAGE 18

FEEDING A NEED Ascension’s Food Truck Rally raises money for new backpack program to feed food insecure students PAGE 22

THE CARDINAL’S NEST Edgewood celebrates new outdoor classroom PAGE 25



otmj.com With everything that’s happening “Over the Mountain,” it can be difficult to keep up. That’s why we have launched the OTMJ newsletter. Published every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - we’ll give you a quick recap of the latest news, sports and social events as well as a heads up on upcoming events so you won’t miss any of the interesting and fun happenings in the Greater Birmingham metro area. To sign up for our newsletter, visit otmj.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, @overthemountainjournal, for daily updates on what’s going on around town, too.

don’t want you to worry about me. to ask someone else to read it out I’m as lucid as I ever was. OK, loud. That way, you can hear where maybe that’s not all that reassuryour story stumbles. ing, but I’m telling you this in case I think my organizational monoyou should see me talking to myself, logues are completely harmless, but which I seem to do now with some there are also times when I’m trying to regularity. work out a future conversational I was ticking off items on my to-do encounter, like a call to a customer list a few weeks back when I realized service line where I feel like my serthat I was saying each task out loud. vice has not been particularly customLater that day, I caught myself making er-oriented. Or maybe I’m angry about joyous verbal exclamations about the a real life encounter I’ve already had new blossoms on my hydrangeas. and just need a few minutes to vent. Sue Murphy I began to feel a little foolish, what For some reason, venting inside my with the neighbors being within earhead isn’t nearly as effective. The shot, so I pointedly addressed the words and emotions just keep slamrest of my comments to my dog, Every author knows ming into each other and cannot Dave. (He covers for me a lot.) find their way to the cathartic exit. that you should read a I’m not proud of the fact that I get But then, I began to worry. Thinking out loud, is this a probpiece out loud before that angry to begin with, but I know lem? that these auditory lapses usually sending it forth into the benefit future human encounters I give myself a lot of leeway because, peoplewise, I live by because they bring me to a more real world. myself, so there is no one to legiticonciliatory place. I have to be mately receive my pithy comments careful with my verbal venting, and words of wisdom, or lack thereof, and sometimes though, because Dave gets worried that I am talking to that is just the point. When the “Clean me” light comes him and nervously brings me his squeaky cow or some on in my coffeemaker and no matter what I do, the other treasured toy as a peace offering. Poor Dave. He light refuses to go off, I repeat the process saying the did not sign on for this measure of neurosis. cleaning steps aloud, as if my vocal self is giving me In the future, I will try to take my venting on the some measure of validation. The same thing is true road where I can pretend that I am simply singing with my giant Lego projects (my not-so-guilty pleaalong with the soundtrack to “Hamilton,” or something sure). If I actually say the next combination of pieces I equally intense. What I need is a playlist, a string of need to get from the tray, it makes me feel like, yes songs that move from shouting and screaming to calm indeed, I am headed in the right direction. and collected, “Journey from @*&%$ to Nirvana.” Perhaps it’s a holdover from my writing process. Then, my intensity will depend on where I am when I Every author knows that you should read a piece out get to your stoplight, track 2 or track 37 (sometimes it loud before sending it forth into the real world. takes a while). Just remember: I will eventually be Actually, speaking the words helps you to catch any fine. How do I know this? Because I said so. Out loud. errors that slipped by in the silent read. Even better is

Over the Mountain Views

Cap and Gown 2021

Vol. 30, No. 21

Over The Mountain Journal is a suburban bi-weekly newspaper delivered to Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and North Shelby County areas. Subscriptions for The Journal are available for $24 yearly. Mail to: Over the Mountain Journal, P.O. Box 660502, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216. Phone: (205) 823-9646. E-mail the editorial department at editorial@otmj.com. E-mail our advertising department at mwald@otmj.com. Find us on the Web at otmj.com. Copyright 2021 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.

Photo courtesy Vestavia Hills City Schools


June 3, 2021 JOU RNAL Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writers: Emily Williams-Robertshaw, Sam Prickett Photographer: Jordan Wald Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Rubin E. Grant Contributors: Susan Murphy, June Mathews, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls, Bryan Bunch Advertising Sales: Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald, Gail Kidd

For Crying Out Loud

Last year, commencement ceremonies looked quite different. Many ceremonies were delayed, canceled or hosted in a virtual format. The close of the 20202021 school year was all smiles as Vestavia Hills High School celebrated graduation in the football stadium on May 25 (pictured). Other high school graduation ceremonies included Homewood High School on May 15, Briarwood Christian School on May 16, Mountain Brook High School on May 20, John Carroll Catholic High School on May 23, Hoover High School on May 24, Spain Park High School on May 26, as well as The Altamont School and Indian Springs School on May 28.


Thursday, June 3, 2021 • 3

ABOUT TOWN music by JAMM Entertainment, a bounce house, Blue Bell Ice Cream and cookies. The trackless train, one of the most popular features from past parties, also will return, along with moonwalks and art projects for kids. There will be guest appearances by Moana, Princess Tiana, Spiderman and Vulcan himself. The event will include performances by Clog Wild Cloggers and Corazon de Alabama, among others.


More than 15 vendors will be on site, including Simone’s Kitchen ATL, Who Dat Sno Cones, ThirsTea Café and Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co. Beer and wine will be available and Redmont Distilling will be onsite with a special birthday cocktail. The first 500 kids who enter will receive a special Vulcan favor swag bag including $10 Top Golf game play card, Bud’s Best Cookies and other items. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for


children 5-12 and free for children under 4. Ticket prices include all activities and access to Vulcan Museum, Vulcan’s observation tower and the new Linn-Henley Gallery exhibit “From Factory to Field: The Dream of Baseball in Birmingham.” Purchasing advanced tickets is encouraged. Masks and social distancing will be required for those who are unvaccinated. For more information, visit visitvulcan.com.


Photo by Rob Lagerstrom

The Only Sale in Our 99 Year History! MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR INVENTORY

Vulcan Park and Museum to Celebrate Vulcan’s 117th Birthday On June 6, Vulcan Park and Museum plans to celebrate the 117th anniversary of the Vulcan statue with a blowout party. Forged in 1904 by Italian artist


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Giuseppe Moretti, Vulcan is the world’s largest cast iron statue. The celebration, presented by UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and feature





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4 • Thursday, June 3, 2021

June 3-5 Parkside Concert Series

Red Mountain Theatre will continue its soft-opening performances at its new campus, featuring Bobby Horton performing Songs and Stories of The Civil War on June 3-5 in the Discovery Theatre. On June 4-5, MainStage performances will feature Audrey Cardwell and Cecil Washington Jr. When: 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Where: Red Mountain Theatre Website: redmountaintheatre.org

June 4-6 Ovation

The Alabama Ballet will host its annual mixed repertory performance, featuring George Balanchine’s “Serenade” and Agnes de Mille’s “Rodeo.” When: June 4, 7:30 p.m.; June 5, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; June 6, 2:30 p.m. Where: Dorothy Jemison Day Theater Website: alabamaballet.org/ovation

June 4-25 Free Friday Flicks

Each Friday during the month of June,

Friends of Children’s Harbor Auction

a family-friendly movie will be shown at Hoover’s Veterans Park. Movies include, in order of showing, 101 Dalmatians, Trolls World Tour, Tom and Jerry and the Croods: A New Age. When: 6:30 p.m., park opens Where: Veteran’s Park Website: “Free Friday Flicks” Facebook Page

Sat., June 5 Mustang Stampede and All Ford Show

A variety of shiny cars will be on display, along with door prizes, food and cool treats to beat the heat. In addition to the juried car show, guests will get a chance to vote on their favorite car for the “Pupper’s Choice” prize. The event will benefit the Animal League of Birmingham, a non-profit that raises money for local rescues, shelters and animals in need. Registration to enter a vehicle is $15. When: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: Stivers Ford, 1922 Second Ave. S Website: “The Animal League of Birmingham” Facebook Page

An Afternoon with the Author: Susan Finley

O’Neal Library will host a meet and greet book discussion with local author Susan Finley, owner of Trainsmarter in Crestline Village. She will present her book “The Smarter Way: To Exercise, Move, Eat, Think, Live.” When: 2-3 p.m. Where: O’Neal Library Website: o’neallibrary.org

The Friends of Children’s Harbor will celebrate its 15th fundraising year by hosting this annual live auction and virtual silent auction. The funds raised will support a number of organizations whose mission is to provide a camp experience to children. The virtual silent auction will begin on June 4 at midnight and closes on June 11 at 11 p.m. When: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Where: Willow Point Golf and Country Club in Alexander City Website: childrensharbor.com

Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

JUNE 3 - JUNE 17




The city of Vestavia Hills and the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce will host the 39th annual patriotic event featuring a ribbon cutting for Wald Park’s new Grand Lawn, free swimming, a children’s area, sponsor booths, games, inflatables, a Pops in the Park concert and a firework show. When: 6-8:30 p.m. Where: Wald Park Website: vestaviahills.org

June 10-12 Miss Alabama

The 2021 Miss Alabama Pageant will feature 39 candidates competing for the title of Miss Alabama. Candidates will arrive to begin rehearsals on June 8 with a Facebook Live Arrival Ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Where: The Alabama Theatre Website: missalabama.com

Having fun at the 2019 I Love America celebration were, from left: Caroline Youngblood, Charlotte Kellogg, Audrey Kellogg and Ella Youngblood.

June 10-27 Million Dollar Quartet

Virginia Samford Theatre will present this Tony Award-winning musical inspired by a famed recording session featuring Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. When: Thurs.-Sat. at 7:30 p.m., Sun. at 2:30 p.m. Where: Virginia Samford Theatre Website: virginiasamfordtheatre.org

June 11-12 St. Elias Lebanese Food & Cultural Festival

The 23rd annual festival celebrating Lebanese culture will be hosted by St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church. Food can be ordered and picked up via a drive-thru or a walk-up takeout area. Festivities will include a virtual silent auction available through June 12 at 7 p.m. and a variety of virtual events. When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m., daily Where: St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church Website: stelias.org/festival

Human Rights New Works Festival

The Red Mountain Theatre’s annual performance series will continue, showcasing works that explore issues and emotions to spark world-changing conversations. Shows will take place on the Discovery Theatre stage and include “Memorial” and “The Pink Unicorn.” When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Red Mountain Theatre Website: redmountaintheatre.org

Sat., June 12 Magic City Brewfest

The 14th annual beer tasting event hosted by Free the Hops, an all-volunteer non-profit craft beer consumer advocacy group in Alabama.. When: 4-8 p.m. Where: Sloss Furnaces Website: magiccitybrewfest.com

June 12-13 RMTC Showcase

The Red Mountain Theatre Conservatory presents a performance to culminate a year of performance art studies by students in the theatre’s ensembles. When: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Where: Red Mountain Theatre Website: redmountaintheatre.org

SAVE THE DATE Fri., June 18 Funky Monkey

Smile-A-Mile’s Junior Board of Directors will host this annual summer fundraiser, featuring raffles, a live auction, music by Blackberry Breeze, drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvre. When: 6 p.m. Where: Regions Field Website: smileamile.com

Sat., June 19 Juneteenth

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will present this annual day-long festival of heritage and culture celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people in America. When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Birmingham Civid Rights District Website: bcri.org

Father/Daughter Tea

The Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest will host its seventh annual father and daughter tea with space limited to 25 families. The event will be held at the library’s amphitheater and this year’s theme will be “Unicorns and Stardust.” Guests are invited to bring picnic blankets. When: 11 a.m.-noon Where: Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest Website: vestavialibrary.org

June 18-20 Euphonious Music Festival

This socially distanced concert series will be hosted on Father’s Day weekend, featuring a lineup of local and international including headliners Drew and Ellie Holcomb, Moon Taxi and Tonic. When: 5:30-10:30 p.m. Where: The Birmingham Zoo Website: euphonious.ai


Thursday, June 3, 2021 • 5

Journal file photo by Jordan Wald


Thursday, June 24, 2021 This annual West Homewood street festival serves to highlight the community’s local park, businesses and people. Oak Grove will be blocked off to accommodate live music by Rollin in the Hay, inflatables, games and food from Ash, Pizzeria GM, Homewood Nutrition, Neighbors Ice Cream, Los Valedores taco truck, Red Mountain Crawfish and Dixie Dogs. When: 4-9 p.m. Where: Patriot Park Website: “Patriot Park Streetfest” Facebook Page

Thurs., June 24 “Is This Funny… Or What?”

For their first in-person production since COVID-19 shutdowns, Red Mountain Theatre Company’s Seasoned Performers are back with a live comedic performance. When: 10:30 a.m. Where: Vestavia Hills Baptist Church Amphitheater Website: redmountaintheatre.org

Enjoying Streetfest in 2019 were, from left: Mae Rutledge, Mary Lois Foley and Talley Hatcher.

Fri., June 25 United Ability Day

United Ability, a local non-profit that provides innovative services for people with disabilities to connect with their community, is selling t-shirts in honor of its annual United Ability Day. The organization asks that the community wear their shirts on June 25 to show support and spread awareness for United Ability. Website: www. unitedability.org/ourevents/abilityday/






Many Thanks To All Our Sponsors




6 • Thursday, June 3, 2021

Read Out Loud

By Emily Williams-Robertshaw

Birmingham’s Better Basics Kicks Off New Virtual Children’s Book Readings Featuring Birmingham Notables dancer,” Howe said. Next, Birmingham Museum of Art Manager of Public Programs Carey Fountain participated, reading the book “Parker Looks Up” by Parker and Jessica Curry. “It’s about a little girl who sees Michelle Obama’s portrait for the first time,” she said. “That artist of the portrait is Amy Sherald.” It just so happens that the BMA has a piece of Sherald’s work in its collection. So, Fountain was able to not only read the book, but provide background on portraiture and show another piece of Sherald’s work. “A lot of the students we serve wouldn’t necessarily go to the ballet or the museum, so I thought this was a good moment for them to be exposed to that,” Howe said. Howe said the series allows her to get creative with the books to which she exposes students. “We are limited to what we can purchase,” she said. “We pick books based on content for our gift book and then we buy dollar books from Scholastic. Their quality and content is up to par, but a book like ‘Parker Looks Up,’ that’s a $10 book.”

Lack of Reading Materials

According to data provided by Better Basics, 16% of Alabamians are illiterate. Seventy-nine percent of low-income children enter kindergarten not knowing all the letters of the alphabet.


Underwood’s devotion and leadership over the last 30 years.”

From Page One

Three Best Changes

Underwood said. “We haven’t lost sight of our commitment to the community, but we have been able to do things on a much larger scale.” Now, Underwood, 69, has decided to step away and let someone else take the reins. Underwood announced May 20 he is retiring. “This feels like as good a time as any,” Underwood said. “The organization is in a good place and we have a strong leadership team and the future looks bright, so this just felt like the time. “The official date is Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. The search activity (for a new president/CEO) is already under way, so that date could change depending on the search progress.” Underwood’s visionary leadership enabled Lakeshore to experience steady growth. “Jeff Underwood has led Lakeshore Foundation from its humble beginnings to the nationally and internationally acclaimed position it now holds in disability fitness, sport, research and advocacy,” said Mark McColl, board chairman of Lakeshore Foundation. “The board, staff and the Lakeshore Foundation community will be forever grateful for Jeff

When Underwood looks back, three things readily come to mind as major achievements on his watch. Lakeshore became a national and international facility, being designated as an official U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site in 2003, which resulted in Lakeshore Foundation’s long history of advancing adaptive sports. Underwood said getting that designation “is a demonstration to the community and country of our expertise. “We already had that credibility, but that just made it look more official,” he said. As a U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site, Lakeshore hosts national team training camps and international competitions. Since the training site designation, Lakeshore has produced 52 Paralympic athletes, coaches and staff, and those athletes have captured 30 Paralympic medals. Lakeshore also is the High Performance Management Organization of USA Wheelchair Rugby. Additionally, the Lima Foxtrot program for injured military members and the formation of the University of Alabama at Birmingham–Lakeshore Research Collaborative also occurred

Photo courtesy Better Basics

In a typical year, Spring is the season when Amy Howe of Better Basics and her coworkers would be working on one of their largest undertakings of the year. The annual Birmingham Reads events. “This is when we recruit and place a volunteer in every Birmingham City School that we serve in pre-K through fifth grade classrooms,” Howe said. It requires more than 700 volunteers – including representatives of local companies and recognizable faces. Volunteers enter the schools, read a book to the kids and then give copies of that book to each student in the class. According to Howe, in a typical year, the organization hands out approximately 12,000 books to students. Because of the pandemic, volunteers are unable to enter schools, and that number was cut to 6,000 this year. “So, I put my thinking cap on and thought of another way we could have the students hear books being read to them,” she said. “We also still wanted to give books to the children.” She reached out to longtime Birmingham Reads volunteer Mayor Randall Woodfin for a video read-along series. “We always think of Mayor Woodfin because he is such a local celebrity,” she said. “But I also had a thought that we should concentrate on the arts.” With that in mind, she reached out to officials with the Alabama Ballet, who were happy to have two of their company members get involved, David Odenwelder and Isabella Cowles. “They read a fun book called ‘Brontorina’ about a brontosaurus who wants to be a ballet


The Alabama Ballet’s David Odenwelder and Isabella Cowles, above, participated in this year’s annual Reads event.

“A lot of students don’t have access to print once they get home,” Howe said. “At school they do. If they go to the public library they do. A lot of students also don’t have access to reliable internet. So to have books in print at home is so great. It’s also a way to keep kids on track outside the classroom. Children not reading at their level by third grade are 13 times less likely to graduate from high school, and 60% of lowincome families don’t have a single book in their homes.

with Underwood at the helm. “I think our injured military program is something we’re honored to do,” Underwood said. “It’s something the community has supported. Birmingham has risen to the occasion and I’m proud of that. “Another thing is the establishment with UAB Health as a research collaborator. It’s not only delivery of care but studying ways to advance our service and care.”

Local Remains at the Heart

But of course, for Underwood, community stayed at the core of the mission. He led the development of new facilities, an advocacy department and many sports and recreation programs for youth and adults. “I am very proud of the fact that, in the midst of all the national attention, our extraordinary staff and board have kept our members, local athletes and community at the very center of all we do. They are truly the heart and soul of Lakeshore,” he said. Lakeshore’s mission is to encourage and provide opportunities for people with disability to live a healthy lifestyle through activity, research, advocacy and health promotion. Supporting this mission included partnerships with many other organizations, such as a collaboration with Apple to develop the

“A lot of low-income students fall behind in the summer, it’s called the summer slide,” Howe said. “So, this Books for Birmingham campaign is something we are really proud of because we are able to get books in the hands of some students that often don’t have books in the home.” The organization recently kicked off its annual virtual book drive, Books for Birmingham. Last summer, 9,600 books were distributed to Birmingham children. To get these books out to the community during a pandemic, the organization went to great measures. “Last year, we partnered with different organizations that had food stations,” Howe said. “When families would come by and get food, they were also given a book.” Any amount of money can be donated, but for reference, a donation of $50 purchases 12 books. The organization also has wish lists on Amazon and at Little Professor in Homewood, where books can be purchased and donated. Lists can be found on the website, at betterbasics.org, along with a full archive of the videos. Howe said the organization plans for the video presentations to continue to grow. “I’m looking forward to asking someone from the Red Mountain Theatre or have a player from the Barons or have somebody from our fire department,” Howe said. “There are endless possibilities as to who you can ask. You can even have your local barber read.” She also has heard from the community that adults find it fun, as well. “I think, as an adult, you don’t get tired of listening or reading a good children’s book. They are so fun and bring back great memories,” Howe said.

activity tracker for wheelchair users and the construction of dormitories and cottages for visiting Lima Foxtrot participants and athletes. “When I decided to accept the position at Lakeshore, I saw it as an opportunity and a challenge,” Underwood said. “It was an opportunity to come into an organization where there was a strong commitment by the board to build a successful program and a challenge to test myself to see as the first full-time employee, if I could be successful in that situation.”  Underwood is a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee Paralympic Advisory Council. In 2008, he was named by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the chef de mission for the U.S. Paralympic Team for the Beijing Paralympic Games.  Prior to Lakeshore, Underwood worked at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and served as a legislative assistant to former U.S. Rep. Ben Erdreich. He also served as president of the Homewood City Council and as a state senator. He has served on the boards of several community and civic organizations, including the Homewood City Schools, the BryantJordan Scholarship Program and Disabled Sports USA. He was a member of the Leadership Birmingham Class of 1998 and the

Leadership Alabama Class of 2011. Underwood is a 1974 graduate of the University of Alabama, where he received a bachelor’s degree from the School of Commerce and Business Administration. He received his Master of Public Administration in 1976 from Auburn University Montgomery. Underwood was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He and his wife, Melinda, have two daughters, Anna and Maria. They attend Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood. Underwood is uncertain about what his next chapter will be after Lakeshore. “Part of me is glad I don’t have a plan and the other part is terrified I don’t have a plan,” he said. “One day I will wake up wondering what do I have to do today and end up with a full calendar and another day I will wake up and wonder what needs to be done in the yard.” But he has no doubt Lakeshore will continue to flourish. “Lakeshore’s strength is the people,” Underwood said. “It’s not one person, but the community, the board of directors and the staff. It never depends on one person to make it go. “I think the program will continue to shine and grow. I am excited to see what the next chapter is for Lakeshore.”


Thursday, June 3, 2021 • 7


Journal file photo

Former UAB Cancer Center Director Earns Rotary Service Above Self Award

A former president of the National Board of the American Cancer Society, Dr. Ed Partridge, above, received the organization’s national Humanitarian Award in 2013.

the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB, where he worked to not just fight cancer but also disparities in access to cancer treatment. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Black Belt Legacy Award for his work to launch outreach programs in the Black Belt, which trained nonmedical community members to promote cancer screenings and connect low-income patients with care. A former president of the National Board of the American Cancer Society, Partridge received the organi-

zation’s national Humanitarian Award in 2013. Recently, Partridge took on a global project with the potential to make positive change in Alabama. In 2020, he spearheaded an initiative with fellow Rotary member Dr. Isabel Scarinci of UAB’s Division of Preventive Medicine to advance the fight against cervical cancer in Sri Lanka. It is a pilot program with a 20-year goal to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem in Sri Lanka. If successful, the program

During the Rotary Club of Birmingham’s May 12 meeting, member Dr. Ed Partridge was honored with the organization’s Tom Milford Service Above Self Award. Presented to Partridge by Rotary District 6860 Gov. Lee Weinman, the Service Above Self Award is presented each year to only one Rotarian out of every 8,000 members. The award is presented to one who best exemplifies placing service to others over themselves. The district governor selects the winner each year. Partridge is the former director of

will be used in other countries. The initiative involves a partnership between the Rotary Club of Birmingham, UAB’s cancer center, the Rotary Club of Colombo in Sri Lanka, Ashok Leyland Company and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health. In 2020, the program received a $400,000 grant from Rotary International. “It is exciting to see the potential to eliminate this cancer in Sri Lanka and beyond,” Partridge said in a previous release announcing the initia-


tive. “As a practicing gynecologic oncologist, I witnessed all too often the devastating impact of this disease on women and their families, particularly before the discovery of HPV as the cause of this cancer.” The initiative is working to administer the vaccine developed to protect against cancer-causing strains of HPV. In addition, adult women can be screened through HPV testing, discovering their risk for cervical cancer before the disease develops. —Emily Williams-Robertshaw


Mountain Brook First City in the South to Receive AGZA Green Zone Certification

It was announced May 26 that the City of Mountain Brook will be the first city in Alabama and the first in the South to receive the American Green Zone Alliance’s Green Zone Certification, for Crestline Village, English Village, Mountain Brook Village and Overton Park. According to a release, AGZA is a certification agency that promotes low-impact land care practices. An AGZA Green Zone is a defined area of land on which all routine maintenance is performed with battery electric equipment or manual tools. The minimal requirements for an AGZA Certified Green Zone are the elimination of two-stroke equipment used for routine maintenance. Gas blower concessions are made for heavier and seasonal workloads. The transition away from fossil fuel equipment creates a cleaner, quieter and healthier environment by reducing toxic and carcinogenic emissions, noise, greenhouse gases, fuel spillage and waste. AGZA will present the certifications to Mayor Stewart Welch and the City Council on June 7 at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.

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8 • Thursday, June 3, 2021

By Emily Williams-Robertshaw

Throughout their elementary school days, the girls went to church together, became Brownie Scouts together and were hardly separated. What one did, all did ... around, but the four of us just seemed to gel together,” Jean said. Throughout their elementary school days, the girls went to church together, became Brownie Scouts together and were hardly separated. What one did, all did, according to Julia.

Making Trouble

When the group arrived at Sunday School one day and were told they would be split into groups of two in two different classes, it just wouldn’t do. “We got up and walked down the hall,” Jean said. When she told her mother this story years later, Jean’s mother simply looked aghast and said, “Jean, you didn’t.” Luckily, the department head who tried to

Photos courtesy Jean Preston


n May 15, three members of a dynamic foursome met to celebrate turning 90 this year. Jean Dunlap Preston, Lena Wells Crouch, Julia Gardner Wickwire and Jean Underwood Kloess grew up in the same neighborhood, nearly all on the same street in East Lake. The group lost their friend Jean Underwood several years ago, and Julia suffers from advancing dementia. Their combined story began in the early 1930s, when Jean Preston, who now lives at Town Village in Vestavia Hills, moved into town. It’s a story of mischief, love, loss and, above all, the persevering love they have for each other. Jean Preston’s first friend upon arriving in East Lake as a toddler was Julia, who lived right next door. “My first remembrance was the day we moved in,” Jean said. Her mother had hired a sitter who had Jean outside on the porch when along came a toddler who had a bright blonde bowl cut and was ringing a cow bell. As the blonde neighbor rang that cowbell, Jean said their eyes met, and from then on they were friends. The same can be said about her first encounters with Lena and Jean Underwood. All of the girls lived in the same block and were within six months of each others’ ages. According to an account written by Julia in 2008, their East Lake neighborhood had everything they needed within walking distance, and it was rare for people to move in or out. There was their church, Ruhama Baptist; their elementary school, Barrett School; as well as two grocery stores, a drug store, a movie theater, a department store and any other shop you could need. In addition, it was at that time home to Howard College, now Samford University, where three of the women attended college. “There were children and girls and boys all

Friends since the early 1930s, from left, Lena Wells Crouch, Jean Dunlap Preston and Julia Gardner Wickwire along with Jean Underwood Kloess who passed away several years ago, their story is one of mischief, love, loss and, above all, the persevering love they have for each other. Below, all four girls pose for a photo in East Lake where they grew up on the same block.

The Family You Find

Four Women Kept Friendship Alive for Decades, the Three Who Remain United to Celebrate Their 90th Birthdays split them followed them down the hall and allowed them to be in the same class. Why they were being split up remains a mystery. “I’m sure we were misbehaving,” Jean said. “Four can think of a whole lot more to do than one.” And they thought of much risky behavior to brighten their days together. They would ride their bikes to Roebuck to a property that Julia’s father owned and would be gone for hours. They would also walk through the sewers in East Lake. As an adult, Jean couldn’t believe they had done that. What if a big rain had come through and washed them through the pipes, she now wonders. The girls would play in the empty Ruhama Church until the handyman, John, would find them and politely shoo them away. When the church administration fired John, the girls took on a light political demonstration – traipsing up and down the lawn beneath the

open windows of the church conference room during a meeting shouting “Don’t fire John.” “Well, they fired John,” Jean laughed. Lena’s adoptive parents had a family farm that made for a favorite retreat in the summer. Jean recalls more fun spent at that farm on the Cahaba River than even in the neighborhood. “(Lena’s father) was a sportsman,” Jean said. “He taught us how to shoot a rifle … and he took us frog gigging at night.” When the weather was warm, the girls would paddle up the river in a rowboat. “We would get in that little rowboat, go as far up the Cahaba as we could,” Jean said. “Then we had planks and we would lay down on them to take a sun bath and drift down. On Christmases, Julia recalled, the four girls always got the same gifts. “One year it was all skates, next year our bikes, next our desks, next our record players, etc. Santa didn’t dare not bring us the same thing,” she wrote.


On Halloween, there was no treating, but there were plenty of tricks. Jean said they would go around the neighborhood soaping people’s windows or letting the air out of tires. “If boys were with us, we would take the porch furniture and put it up on the top of the house,” she said. Once the girls started getting older and entered Woodlawn High School, many of the memories shifted to dating. Still, they were all together in their neighborhood. While Jean Underwood attended Montevallo Girls College on a scholarship, Jean, Lena and Julia attended Howard College and became members of the Phi Mu sorority. According to Jean, their Spanish teacher would refer to them as “los tres mariposas” or “the three butterflies.”

Enduring Friendship

While life drew the women to different sides of the country and even globe, Jean said they always put in the effort to remain connected. During her first marriage, Jean lived in California for a time during the Korean War. Julia married a Navy man and lived all over the country, even spending time in the Philippines. Still, she would always take time to write a letter to her friends, whether she was weaving tales about their encounters with the Filipino people or just something short and simple. “Getting married and having children, I believe that is the biggest disruption,” Jean said. “Your time is consumed.” After five years of marriage and three children, Jean got divorced and entered the workforce. Lena was a stay-at-home mother. Julia was a military wife. Jean Underwood went back to work after her second child. Jean Underwood even helped Jean get a higher-paying job at U.S. Pipe after her divorce. Over the years, the women would get together, whether for a class reunion or a child’s wedding. “Though I didn’t have a husband and maybe didn’t have a date, I was never left out,” Jean said. “I was the seventh wheel for quite a long time. “We were very fortunate when I married again that all of our husbands understood this friendship.” They have all been there to support each other, even when apart.

Lasting Memories

Nowadays, Jean tries to support Julia in any ways she can, and she has found that what remains the longest might just be those childhood memories made decades ago. Julia’s children have told Jean that whenever they talk about the East Lake days, it brings their mother’s mind back. “I decided that as long as Julia knew who I was, I was going to continue to call her,” Jean said. She’s still calling. When Lena, Julia and Jean gathered in May, Jean noted that it was in some ways difficult to see the toll dimentia has taken. “(Julia) was much more feeble, when before she was the strong one of the group,” she said. Yet when she saw the nature that surrounded the lake house and began listening to stories of her childhood, Jean watched Julia light up and even quietly provide her own commentary.


Thursday, June 3, 2021 • 9


Danberry at Inverness The Unique Choice in Senior Living

In the past, seniors seeking a retirement community Comprehensive health and wellness services for had few options. Often, it was either an uninspiring independent living, assisted living and memory care urban high-rise with few outside amenities or an lifestyles are available at Danberry at Inverness, and upscale development built around a golf-course or they are offered in meticulously designed environwaterfront with few personal services. ments that invite nature indoors. For example, throughBut today’s retirees and tomorrow’s retiring baby out the Danberry at Inverness Clubhouse, nature seamboomers increasingly demand an environment that not lessly blends both indoors and out with fireplaces, the only is carefree, but also offers them ample opportuniatrium lobby, English tea gardens and waterfalls. Here, ties to remain mentally and physically active in a residents can take care of everyday details and enjoy a soothing natural setting. range of first-class amenities (movie theater, creative In other words, they want an address that redefines art studio, bridge and card rooms) and services (library, retirement. mail/communications room). Dining is available in the Danberry at Inverness senior living community, formal dining room and al fresco on the garden terrace. OVER THE life located at 235 Inverness Center Drive in Hoover, justMOUNTAIN JOURNAl off US 280 and Valleydale Road, is an example of an A Dynamic Approach to Wellness inspiring approach to retirement living that feels The advantages of living in one of today’s wellnessunique from the moment one enters its atrium lobby. oriented retirement communities are many: ample Stained-glass windows and a cascading waterfall set opportunities to stay as strong the mood for a retirement lifestyle that emphasizes Danberrynatat Inverness retirement community has been chosen asand independent as of the nation’s toppossible, communities staying in 2013 on SeniorAdvisor.com, the in the mainstream of activities and ural beauty, vitality and personal fulfillment.oneResidents premier online ratings and reviews site for senior living communities events and keeping a healthy outlook on life. Danberry can choose from comfortable one-, two- or three-bednationwide. The SeniorAdvisor at 2013 Excellence Award recognizes senior living Inverness offers exceptional fitness opportunities all room luxury apartment homes which are appointed communities that receive consistently high ratings and positive reviews under one roof, such as “senior-friendly” spa services, with upscale features such as ceramic tile floors, granfrom residents, families, and visitors. “Receiving this des ignation fully equipped fitnesscommunities center, classes including Tai ite countertops and stainless steel appliances. English places Danberry in theatop one percent of all retirement said Danberry Inverness marketing Chi,ataerobics, waterdirector, yogaLori and Pilates, a private seniorgardens and flowering landscapes complete nationwide,” these picKrueger. “We are so proud that so many—especially our residents— heated indoor, resort-style saltwater pool and a ture-perfect residences. consider us to be one friendly of the residents will tell best of the best.” wellness“Our clinic. The award-winning Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Located in Inverness on you thatsure theyour wish they’dhave every opportuni“We make residents architecture and natural surroundings only add to the Lake Heather, Danberry at moved here sooner. They Inverness is a senior living ty to learn, explore and savor life in a whole new peaceful, stress-reducing environment. community for adults 55 and love the carefree, fun-filled way,” said Krueger. “In other “We believe that Danberry at Inverness offers people older with every convenience and rewarding retire-words, we help them design ament futurelifestyle filled with over 55 independent living unlike anywhere else - oneimaginable, and amenity theyfun!” find including a clubhouse with This community really must be seen to be believed, that encourages growth, learning and discovery of new at Danberry. And we love card rooms, a ballroom, at Inverness today, visit things about yourself and your environment,”indoor saidswimming pool,so stop by Danberry serving them!” creative art studio, salon/ DanberryAtInverness.com or call 443-9500. Danberry at Inverness Marketing Director Lori Krueger. lori Krueger, marketing director,

Thursday, March 20, 2014 • 13

Danberry at Inverness

ABOVE: Residents spending time together at Danberry at Inverness. LEFT: The atrium at Danberry at Inverness is the center of the clubhouse. It connects the common areas and provides a place where residents can enjoy a cup of coffee or a cocktail with friends before dinner.

spa, theater, fitness studio, Danberry at Inverness. innovative wellness programs and much more. Residents enjoy chef-prepared menus and dining with friends in the casual bistro or more formal dining room. Services include scheduled transportation, concierge and weekly housekeeping. For those in need of a helping hand, 24-hour licensed professional nursing is available on-site in Assisted Living at Danberry, which offers a comfortable and luxurious atmosphere. On-site physical and occupational therapy also are available. “Our residents will tell you that they wish they’d moved here sooner. They love the carefree, fun-filled and rewarding retirement lifestyle they find at Danberry,” said Krueger. “And we love serving them!” Danberry is the flagship senior housing development for the Daniel Corporation and is managed by CRSA®, an LCS® company. Danberry at Inverness is located on Lake Heather just off U.S. 280 and Valleydale Road in Hoover, 443-9500.

Get more out of life at Danberry at Inverness Even more than larger floor plans, gorgeous architecture, and outstanding amenities—Danberry at Inverness frees you to create a lifestyle all your own, with Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care all right here. More peace of mind. And a lot more fun!

Top: The atrium at Danberry is the center of the clubhouse that connects the common areas, providing a place residents can enjoy a cup of coffee or a cocktail with friends before dinner. lefT: Waterfall at the entrance to Danberry. Above: lori Krueger, left, marketing director and Jaclyn Gardner, executive director of Danberry at Inverness.

Residents enjoy:

• Flexible dining options • Transportation • Housekeeping • Fitness Center • Wellness Clinic • 24-hour nursing • Indoor resort-style pool ARE YOUR VETERANS BENEFITS SAFE? • Full-service salon & spa • Card & billiard rooms • Creative arts studio Our speaker is William G. Nolan, an accredited attorney with the VA and a local Elder Law attorney • Movie theater with the firm Nolan Stewart, PC. Mr. Nolan has written articles about and is a frequent speaker on the subject of Veterans • benefits. And much more!

Congress is in session –

Veterans benefits have been available since WWII... yet there are some in Congress who want to significantly curtail your benefits. If you are a Veteran or the widow of a Veteran, or if you might become a caregiver for a Veteran, please join us for an informative and timely (and free!) presentation on “The Future of Your VA Benefits”.

Call (205) 443-9500.

You will also learn more about services provided to qualified Veterans exclusively by Always Best Care.

The Future of Center Your 235 Inverness Drive VA Benefits

ALApril 35242 Tuesday, April 8 ORHoover, Thursday, 10, 2014 • 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Refreshments and Door Prizes DanberryAtInverness.com 235 Inverness Center Drive • Hoover, AL

Limited Availability!

The changes that Congress proposes are not yet law but their intent is clear – they want to make it much harder for Veterans and widows to obtain their pensions. Consider applying for your pension now, before it becomes more difficult!

RSVP to (205) 443-9500. Limited Seating. In accordance with Alabama Bar requirements, no representation is made that the quality of legal services is greater than the legal services performed by other lawyers. ARPC 7.2(e)

Distinctively Different Retirement Living 235 Inverness Center Drive Hoover, AL 35242


m: e:

10 • Thursday, June 3, 2021

Welcome to

Town Village Vestavia Hills

A Place Where You Belong

Town Village Vestavia Hills is much more than senior housing—it's a way of life. We strive to provide a distinctive lifestyle filled with friendships, life enrichment activities and attention to every detail. Come sit by the stone fireplace, catch up over a cup of coffee, or take a dip in the heated indoor pool. The opportunities for exceptional living are endless here.






Town Village Vestavia Hills “Town Village is an independent living community,” said Desiree Soriano, director of sales and marketing at Town Village. “We offer full-size apartments with full-size kitchens and washers/dryers. We do offer additional care services onsite for residents who need additional help with their activities of daily living. We also have an indoor heated pool (Water Aerobics is a favorite among many of the residents), walking trail, fenced-in dog park, gardening boxes, fresh Farmer’s market, Bistro, and all-day restaurant style dining. We have many valued longterm associates and Anne Martin directors who have adapted to our community’s culture. They have a strong understanding of our mission and philosophy and do so with love and compassion for our residents,” Desiree said.  “I visited seven retirement communities, spent the night in two of them before deciding Town Village was the place for me. In real estate and retirement locations, location is everything. Little Shades Creek is in our side yard – walking along the creek going North, in a half a block you have many restaurants and stores to go to. We are not a lot of marble and glitz but we are friendly and fun. Laughter and loving friendships are all around. My story is continuing here,” said resident Anne Martin.  Tours are available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and by appointment on weekends.  Town Village is located at 2385 Dolly Ridge Road, Birmingham (behind the CVS off of Rocky Ridge Road), 205-979-2702.

Town Village Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646, fax 205-824-1246 March This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the March 21, 2019 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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

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

Thank you for your prompt attention.

Kirkwood by the River, a life plan community for active seniors, is launching an ambitious campuswide expansion with a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, June 3 at 10 a.m. Several local community and civic leaders will be participating. Established by the Independent Presbyterian Church more than 70 years ago, Kirkwood’s initial vision established a comprehensive community where seniors could live in secure and beautiful surroundings with quality housing, care and support services. That concept still defines Kirkwood and provides a strong foundation for its strategic repositioning and expansion plan. “As new generations of seniors consider retirement options, they are interested in more choices and flexibility,” said Kirkwood CEO Chad Carter. “Kirkwood already provides our residents with a secure and peaceful retreat-like setting and the full continuum of health services. This new vision builds on our current strengths plus adds in the new things that older active adults look for in a community, such as wellness programs, social gathering spaces, outdoor living spaces, walkability and excellent dining. The first phase of this expansion includes the new independent living neighborhood, Cedar Ridge at Kirkwood, featuring cottage-style homes situated in the heart of the 120-acre campus. This natural, wooded setting along the Cahaba River will offer “modern mountain living” with two-bedroom homes with open floor plans, natural light, a porch or patio for enjoying

Kirkwood by the River to Launch New Expansion the wooded campus, and the option of adding a fireplace. Other plans for the campus include new dining options with outdoor spaces providing beautiful views of the Cahaba River, a billiards room and a renovated dining room. As a life plan community with the full continuum of care, Kirkwood’s Health Services will see improvements and upgrades that include more private rooms, a new therapy gym, activities spaces and more. “We are honoring our past and looking forward to the future,” Carter said. “We aim to create a ‘destination’ retirement community that fosters a comfortable, friendly, carefree lifestyle.” Kirkwood’s Cedar Ridge is now taking priority reservations at 205-956-2184. If you would like more information on this expansion or the June 3 Groundbreaking Ceremony, contact Sandi Hall at 205-956-2184 or shall@kirkwoodbytheriver.com.


Flu vs. COVID-19: What’s the Difference? For years, October through May has been known as flu season, because that is the time of year when cases are the highest. But this year, another disease is out in full force as well: COVID-19. While there are some similarities between these two viruses, there are also some notable differences. Seniors may be at higher risk for developing more serious cases of COVID-19 or experiencing complications from the virus. Since these diseases are caused by two different viruses – the influenza virus and the coronavirus – it is possible to be infected by both at once. It is important for seniors to be aware of potential symptoms and let their doctor know if they believe they may have either disease.

Similarities Between the Flu and COVID-19 It can be difficult to differentiate between these two viruses because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have identified numerous overlapping symptoms including: • Fever/chills • Cough • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Fatigue

Thursday, June 3, 2021 • 11

LIFE range from asymptomatic to mild to severe cases. However, it appears that COVID-19 is associated with more severe illness than the flu, though this can vary from one person to the next. COVID-19 currently has a higher rate of mortality than the flu, and seems to cause more significant lung damage. Treatment: There are a few antivirals that may be used to treat the flu and reduce symptoms, but currently only one antiviral – remdesivir – has been approved to treat COVID-19, and its effectiveness is still being studied.

• Sore throat • Runny or stuffy nose • Muscle pains or body aches • Headache • Vomiting or diarrhea (more common in children)

(and it’s not just because of nasal congestion), or foods taste differently than they normally do, you may want to let your doctor know so that you can be tested for COVID-19.

Differences Between the Flu and COVID-19 Loss of taste/smell: One major difference in symptoms is that COVID19 can cause a loss of taste or smell, and this not common with the flu. If you notice that you suddenly have trouble smelling your morning cup of coffee

Incubation time: Another difference is that you typically begin developing symptoms of the flu within one to four days of exposure. With COVID-19, it can take anywhere from two to 14 days for symptoms to develop. In addition, COVID-19 appears to spread more quickly than the flu.

Vaccinations: The flu vaccine has been around for decades. It changes every year based on what strain of the disease scientists believe will be most prevalent. The COVID-19 vaccine was just released in December 2020, and received an emergency use authorization. There are currently two vaccines being administered with more in development. Much like the flu vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine could prevent you from getting the virus or reduce the severity of the illness.

surfaces with an approved disinfectant. • Stay at least six feet away from others when possible. • Wear a mask when social distancing is not possible. • Avoid mass gatherings and poorly ventilated areas. • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, or nose as much as possible. If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, talk to your doctor about getting tested. The tests for influenza and COVID-19 are different, so you may be tested for both if your doctor is unsure. Continue practicing good hygiene and safety to reduce your risk of becoming ill.

Preventing the Flu and COVID-19 To reduce your risk of contracting either of these viruses, the following safety precautions are recommended: • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. • Wipe down commonly touched

This article was provided by Jennifer Mancuso, owner, Always Best Care. For more information on our services contact us at 205-874-9730 or email us at jmancuso@abc-seniors.com

Giving Our Best To Your Loved Ones When you want the best for your loved ones, call Always Best Care!

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Presence of symptoms: With both the flu and COVID-19, individuals can

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12 • Thursday, June 3, 2021




Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Exceptional Foundation Participants Celebrate Prom at The Club

Holly Whorton and Stephen Florence.

Lauren and Alex Hammonds.

Anthony Moseley and Morgan Shockley.


he Junior League of Birmingham hosted its 18th annual Prom Night at The Club on May 18 for participants at The Exceptional Foundation. “This is an event that our members look forward to all year, and each year is more special than the last,” said Robbie Lee, The Exceptional Foundation’s public relations director. “Many of our participants may not have had the opportunity to attend their high school prom, so hosting this event is one of

our greatest joys as an organization.” Participants were transported to the ocean floor with the evening’s theme, Under the Sea. While masks were required, attendees were treated to a seated dinner and dancing to music performed by the band Livewire. Prom is one of several Exceptional Foundation dance events that the JLB assists with throughout the year. The JLB has partnered with The Exceptional Foundation for 18 years, making it one of the League’s longeststanding projects. The JLB’s work with the

foundation focuses on its enrichment activities. “At The Exceptional Foundation, we’re so blessed to have the Junior League of Birmingham’s support not only with our Prom event, but in several events throughout the year,” President and CEO Tricia Kirk said. “They have a tangible passion for our mission, and their work for us over the years has had an indescribable impact on our organization.” The JLB’s volunteers set up the Prom, and, in a typical year, also assist during the event.

This year’s COVID-19 restrictions prevented JLB members from attending and from hosting the Pretty at the Prom, at which foundation participants have their hair and makeup done by JLB volunteers. “We’ve worked with The Exceptional Foundation for many years, and the work they do, such as holding events like Prom, is truly incredible,” said Toni Leeth, JLB president. “Seeing the joy on the faces of The Exceptional Foundation’s members at this event never gets old for us.” ❖

From left, Junior League of Birmingham members and volunteers Brittany Norman and Rebecca Beers with Exceptional Foundation President and CEO Tricia Kirk and Vice President of Operations Ginny Bastar. Participants were transported to the ocean floor with the evening’s theme, Under the Sea.


Thursday, June 3, 2021 • 13

Journal photos by Jordan Wald


Nova and Brittany Wiginton.

Lee Panter and Claire Godbee with Gwen and Cleo.

Christian Cottle and Matt Stephens.

Kaitlyn Cudd and Toot.

A Barking Good Time Do Dah Day Moves to Cahaba Brewing, Raises Funds to Support Animals

Ginger and Hudson Pegues.

Cahaba Brewing Company went to the dogs May 15 for the return of the annual Do Dah Day Parade and Festival. It was the first year the event has been hosted at Cahaba; the typical festival location at Highland Park was unavailable due to COVID-19 restrictions. A reverse parade replaced the annual Do Dah Dah parade, with stationary floats lined up along 3rd Avenue by Cahaba Brewing as visitors walked through. The musical lineup included Drew Young Thomas Band, Cam and His Dam Jam Band, DJ CJ The Sticman and Murph Band. Founded in 1979, Do Dah Dah raises funds to support animals in Birmingham and Jefferson County. The proceeds from this year’s festival will benefit the Friends of Cats and Dogs Foundation and the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. ❖

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From left, Lucianne Pugh, Mary Jean Myers, Jean Hendrickson, Becky Keyes, Amy Tully, Lynda Whitney, Judy Long and Nancy Morrow.




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An Historic Year

Journal photos by Jordan Wald




Antiquarian Society Installs New Officers at Spring Luncheon The Antiquarian Society of Birmingham ended the year with an installation of officers followed by a luncheon at the Country Club of Birmingham. Spring flowers arranged by Nancy Jones and Kay Clark centered each table, along with an elegant arrangement on a silver stand highlighting the speaker’s podium. Before the meeting, Anna Williams performed music for the group. This year’s president, Becky Keyes, deftly guided the society through the uncertainties of the past year. As her last duty, Keyes passed the gavel to the 2021-22 president, Amy Tully. Executive board members installed by Judith Hand are Nancy Morrow, first vice president; Lucianne Pugh, second vice president; Mary Jean Myers, corresponding secretary; Lynda Whitney, recording secretary; Judy Long, treasurer; Jean Hendrickson, historian; Becky Keyes, past president.   Society members attending the event were Annie Green, Jane Ellis, Marjorie Forney, Linda Stewart, Nan Teninbaum, Laura Wallace, Elouise Williams, Lucy Richardson, Janet Krueger, Nancy Skinner, Kirk Cater, Jan Smith, Susan Dasher, Redonda Broom, Susan Bell, Sandra Holley, Dottie Hoover, Diana Turnipseed, Beverly Phillips, Audrey Lindquist, Carla Roberson, Donald Roth, Rebecca Taylor, Nancy Terrell, Barbara Klyce, Helen Pittman and Barbara Wall.

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Lena Knight, Jane Ellis, Annie Green, Terri Lyon and Helen Pittman.

Others at the installation and luncheon were Liz Warren, Carolyn Drennan, Terri Lyon, Janeal Shannon, Marsha Duell, Cookie Logan, Phyllis Russell, Lynda Robertson, Rhetta Tatum, Sara Jackson, Annalisa Jager, Betty Northen, Kathryn Porter, Elaine Clark, Cece Dillard, Mandy Adams, Claire Goodhew, Carole Thomas, Natasha Randolph, Elizabeth Wallace, Emily Blount, Joann Fox, Lynda Crockett, Vickie Drummond, Ann Sanders, Alice Turk, Anne Lamkin, Tainey Marcoux, Margie Preston, Elizabeth Koleszar, Gina Martin, Martha Lee Culp, Fran Fendley and Anne Gibbons. The Antiquarian Society of Birmingham was formed in November 1944, devoted to the study and preservation of antiques. The society held the first antiques show in Birmingham at Boutwell Auditorium. Proceeds of the show were given to Arlington Historic House to restore the Plantation Kitchen. The society continues its support of Arlington. ❖

Cookie Logan, Audrey Lindquist, Vicki Drummond and Beverly Phillips.

Marsha Duell, Jan Smith and Amanda Adams.



Vestavia Beautification Members Strut on the Catwalk During Dogwood Luncheon Fashion was on the menu as the Vestavia Hills Beautification Board hosted its annual Dogwood Luncheon on May 12 at Vestavia Country Club. Members took to the catwalk to present new spring fashions from local stores, including Clotheshorse, Dirty Hippie, Fun Stuff, Gigi’s, Mia Moda Boutique, Cradle + Bee, Monograms Plus, Ryan Reeve, Serendipity Boutique, The Lili Pad and Manhattan South. In addition,

Rebecca Brooks and Wendy Henry.

Journal photos by Emily Williams-Robertshaw

In Fashion

Thursday, June 3, 2021 • 15

From left, Nancy Thomas, Millie Kennedy and Leah Ayers.

attendees were treated to a seated lunch and a silent auction. The event was a part of the orga-

Julie Klinner and Jessica Thomas.

nization’s annual Dogwood Festival celebrations, which also include an annual yard judging in April. ❖

Beth Keplinger and Suzanne Wald.

Rare Opportunity 4 Lots Available

Homesites for Sale in Prestigious Gated Vestavia Hills Community: $109,000 Only 4 lots remain in the exclusive community of Viridian, one mile off Highway 31 on Tyler Road, convenient to Birmingham’s major Interstates, shopping and recreation. Bring your builder or let Wedgworth Construction design and build your dream home.


Mike Wedgworth (205) 365-4344


16 • Thursday, June 3, 2021








Journal photos by Jordan Wald


6:30 pm


RSVP: E��� S�������� • E���S������������������������.��� • 205.994.4667

Virtual silent Auction

In-Person Auction event

• The Virtual Silent Auc�on will open to online bidding on June 4, 2021 at 12 a.m. and will end the night before the in-person Auc�on event on June 11, 2021 at 11 p.m. • A�er bidding ends, we will contact you for item pick up. Items can be picked up either in Birmingham or Lake Mar�n, depending on your preference. • You must register to par�cipate in online bidding. Register to bid by clicking the following link: h�ps://fochauc�on2021.ggo.bid. • Once you get to the Virtual Auc�on Page, click on “Get Started” to create an account and add your credit card to register.

• There will be a selec�on of items to bid on in person at Willow Point Golf & Country Club on June 12, 2021. • To limit long lines, there will not be a checkout this year. • Everyone must register to bid at the event by clicking the following link: h�ps://fochauc�on2021.ggo.bid. • Once you get to the Virtual Auc�on Page, click on “Get Started” to create an account and add your credit card to register. • Items will be available to pick up at Willow Point on Sunday, June 13th from 10AM-2PM. If you cannot pick up items then, we will arrange a pickup �me in either Birmingham or Lake Mar�n, depending on your preference.


Barbara Henry, Jean Ingram, Dolores Hydock, Pam Crider, Lynda Wasden, Deborah Weyandt and Peggy Dupuy.

Springing Forward Hoover Service Club Hosts Hearts and Harmony Spring Fundraiser

Members of the Hoover Service Club gathered at Aldridge Gardens’ Pavilion on May 5 for its Hearts in Harmony Springing Forward Fundraiser. The festivities began with a lunch featuring a Southern apple salad, freshly baked rolls, stuffed chicken with a lemon cream sauce, succotash salad with stuffed Roma tomatoes, warm rosemary potato salad and lemon ice box pie. After lunch, acclaimed storyteller Dolores Hydock performed, and a silent auction raised funds for the organization’s mission to support the community and provide scholarships to local high school seniors. ❖

Amy Owen, Kyndall Spooner, Pam Spooner and Gay Cole.

Betty Daigle, Diane Thomas and Selina Ratliff.


Lois Taylor and Sylvia Traynham.

Mitzi Eaker, Mary Sue Ludwig, Debbie Vandiver Rutherford and John Lyda.

JUNE 6 | 1-5PM

From left, Amy Luther, Patsy Martens, Mary Lou Lackey, Joy Patterson, Lark Livingston and Kristin Brittain.

A Helping Hand

Riverchase Women’s Committee Recognizes Beneficiaries of Community Service Efforts On May 13, skies were blue as memWesson and his wife, Lynn, and bers of the Riverchase Women’s Club daughter, Ashlynne, who were recipimet in-person for the first time since ents of donations and of help from the pandemic lockdowns. club to organize their GoFundMe page Members met for lunch at the to purchase a retrofitted van for their Riverchase Country Club on the pool daughter, who has special needs. deck. Ashlynne was born premature with A new slate of officers was installed cerebral palsy and was later diagnosed for the 2021-22 with hydrocephayear, including lus. She also sufPam Roberts and fers from scoliosis Pat Morgan, and epilepsy. presidents; Kelly When club memMiles and Amy ber Lorraine Reed, first vice Donald found out presidents; Lynne that the family Cooper, Mindy needed money to Estep, Miki buy a new van, Edwards and Pat she jumped at the Imms, second chance to help vice presidents; revamp the Sarah and Morgan Patrick Terry Hooks, GoFundMe page. with Amy Luther. treasurer; Lark The Wessons Livingston, received their van recording secrein early May. tary; Lois Molony, corresponding secAlso in attendance was the club’s retary; Sam Branch, new members; annual scholarship recipient, Morgan Sally Elliott, Laurie Johnson and Patrick. Patrick is a recent graduate of Jeanne Barelare, community service; Spain Park High School. She will Nance Kohnen and Teth Lee, historiattend the University of Alabama in the ans; Susan Sheedy, parliamentarian; fall, majoring in communication studand Amy Luther, past president and ies. communications. Other beneficiaries of this year’s Also in attendance were representa- fundraising efforts included Hoover tives of charities and local social causes Helps, Neighborhood Bridges Hoover, that have benefitted from the club’s Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama, annual fundraising efforts. The club Unless U, the Charlie Jean Foundation this year presented donations totaling and the Hoover Police Department’s $9,850 to local charities and causes. charity of choice, Wings of Hope. One of the beneficiaries of not only The club also provides support for funds but fundraising help from the Hoover Kiwanis Club, the Riverchase Women’s Club members Riverchase Country Club and other were country club employee Mike community needs. ❖

Cheryl Alford, Ramona Graffeo, Kay Harris, Kelly Miles and Amy Campbell.

Thursday, June 3, 2021 • 17


Journal photos by Emily Williams-Robertshaw



Mary Kathryn Carney and Thomas Littlepage Martin Jr. were married March 20, 2021, at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church. The wedding ceremony was officiated by the Rev. Frankline Fomukong, followed by a reception at the Country Club of Birmingham. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Daniel Carney III of Mountain Brook. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Daniel Carney Jr., the late Mrs. Sarah Holt


Katherine Grace Limperis and John Taylor Murdock were married May 1, 2021, at 6 o’clock in the evening at First United Methodist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. The Rev. Coy Hallmark of Huntsville officiated the ceremony, and dinner and dancing followed at The Roundhouse. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John James Limperis II. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Betty Sue Groves and the late William Groves Sr. of Huntsville, and Mr. James John Limperis and the late Mary Limperis of Arab. The groom is the son of Judge and Mrs. Glenn Murdock of Birmingham. He is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Robert Gilchrist of Hartselle and the late Mr. and Mrs. Billy Alford Murdock of Enterprise. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a pearl fit-and-flare gown of silk faille with an elegantly draped off-the-shoulder bodice, designed by Allison Webb. The low V back with covered buttons was fin-

Carney and the late Mr. and Mrs. William Edward Hardwick, all of Birmingham. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Littlepage Martin of Sheffield. He is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ray Martin of Sheffield and the late Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Eugene Childers of Florence. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore an off-the-shoulder white satin gown paired with a cathedral veil with flower appliqués. The maid of honor was the bride’s cousin, Caroline Carney Donald. Bridesmaids were Elizabeth Harris Forsyth Donald, Virginia Frances Carney, Lillian Marie Hardwick and Anne Traywick Lovelady, all cousins of the bride, and Courtney Martin Gilley, sister of the groom. Serving as best men were the groom’s father, Thomas Littlepage Martin, and Charles Frederick Mason. Groomsmen were Evan Houston Rutland, Lee William Gilley, brotherin-law of the groom, Brodie Taylor James and Jesse Ryan Cash. After a wedding trip to Cabo San Lucas, the couple resides in Birmingham. ished with a bow trailing to a chapel train. The bride chose to pair her gown with a cathedral length heirloom veil with lace trim which was worn by her mother. She carried a Southern garden-style bouquet of white peonies, garden roses, white astilbe, Italian ruscus and magnolia greenery with cascading ribbon. Attending the bride as matron of honor was her sister, Mary-Morgan Limperis Culver of Washington D.C. Bridesmaids were Margaret Klaesius Ahumada, Brock Elizabeth Brett, Samantha Claire Jarman, Emily Murdock Menendez, sister of the groom, Erin Brinkley Ortman and Jenna Gray Zoghby, all of Birmingham; and Emily Douglas Murdock of San Antonio, Texas. Flower girls were nieces of the groom, Anna Grace Menendez and Annabelle Preston Murdock. Serving the groom as best man was his father, Judge Glenn Murdock. Groomsmen were William Bailey Murdock of San Antonio, Texas, brother of the groom; and Richard Alexander Barineau, Charles Louie Grizzle III, Richard Wayne Lewis, Matthew Becker Menendez, Wade Agerton Wood and Allen Lynwood Yeilding, all of Birmingham. Junior groomsmen were nephews of the groom, Matthew Becker Menendez Jr. and Thomas Alford Menendez. Ushers were David Andrew Culver of Washington, D.C., David Henderson Anthony Jr., John James Burke III and Hunter Lee Houston, all of Birmingham. The bride and groom are employed in Atlanta, Georgia, where they reside following a honeymoon trip to Scottsdale, Arizona.

To have our wedding & engagement forms sent to you, call 205-823-9646 or email: editorial@otmj.com

Rehab Reality... by Judy Butler

Older Clients Love Bayshore Retreat

The following is a text a recent 65 year old client sent to his wife: “Everyone here has been to other rehabs after hearing their horror stories of those other places it would have been very hard for me to stay. God was very good to me – this place is amazing compared to the other places.” This something we hear repeatedly and one reason I love to have someone there with other rehab experiences because they appreciate Bayshore Retreat and help others understand the difference. Over the past 10 years the majority of our clients have been in their fifties and older. The oldest was eighty and there have been a couple dozen seventy or older. The exit interview reflects what they like most about Bayshore and it stems from the food, to the home atmosphere, to the counseling. They love being able to bring their cell phone and laptop – a simple jester on our part that means so much to clients. We’ve had many clients who ran their business from there while taking care of their personal business. It’s a relaxed atmosphere with about 30 hours of counseling each week. Most rehabs offer limited individual counseling and 12 step meetings. We provide individual counseling at least twice a week, group counseling everyday except Saturdays and Life Skills coaching which covers topics such as: Irrational Thinking, Relationships, Anger, Relapse Prevention and Coping, and other real life issues. If you or someone you know have a problem with alcohol and/ or drugs consider getting help at Bayshore Retreat. It’s never too late until it’s too late. Bayshore is different and that can make a difference.

18 • Thursday, June 3, 2021




Without Further Delay

2021 Birmingham Parade of Homes to Take Place June 18-20, 25-27

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

By Emily Williams-Robertshaw

This year’s Ideal Home is Ashley Manor by Centennial Homes, located at 789 Heatherwood Drive in Hoover’s Heatherwood.

Resurgence of Opulence Sprawling Heatherwood Manor Offers Nods to the Past With Glimpses of the Future

By Emily Williams-Robertshaw


hat makes an “ideal” home? It’s a question Scott Underwood, co-owner of Centennial Homes, asked himself after he and co-owner Alan Howard were tapped to produce the 2021 Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builder’s Ideal Home. In a perfect world, he would have liked to have a full year to complete the project. Yet, his company was chosen in the summer of 2020, and planning delayed the project’s start to October. While the majority of the build is nearing its close in preparation for the upcoming 2021 Parade of Homes in mid-June, aesthetic projects and final touches are being finished. What is apparent even without the final touches is Underwood’s vision of what an “ideal home” can be. “This home is the perfect home for me, personally,” he said. It’s a space where he can have it all. All of the bells and whistles that maintain the height of luxury while also simplifying daily life. The house is built for entertaining, satisfying those who wish for an open concept living and dining area while maintaining rooms to retreat. “We’re on 6 acres up here in Hoover, which is a rare thing,” Underwood said. “When you look out these windows, as far as you can see, you own it.” A secluded estate in the heart of Hoover’s Heatherwood neighborhood is hard to come by, according to the listing agent for the house, Gwen Vinzant of RealtySouth. While delivering new technology and concepts, the house maintains a look from the past. Limestone, natural wood and elements of color See IDEAL HOME, page 19

After moving the dates of this year’s Birmingham Parade of Homes from May to June, the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders will kick off the annual spring event June 17. The kick-off party will be held at this year’s Ideal Home, in Hoover’s Heatherwood community and built by Centennial Homes. The custom build with cutting-edge technology and high-end features will set the tone for the tour. The parade will feature 18 new constructions ranging in size from approximately 1,000 square feet to more than 4,800 square feet. The parade runs June 18-20 and June 25-27. Homes will be open for touring from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. each Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. In a welcome letter to attendees, 2021 Parade of Homes Chairman Joshua Dean notes that this year’s parade has something for everyone. “Whether you are a first-time buyer, looking for luxury in a move-up, or someone scaling down, or if you are looking for a remodeling contractor, this event will provide something for everyone,” Dean said. “The homes exhibit the professionalism, authenticity and unsurpassed standards of the GBAHB Builders.”

OTM Connection

Gwen Vinzant of RealtySouth, left, is the listing agent for this year’s Ideal Home built by Scott Underwood, right, co-owner of Centennial Homes.

‘We’re on six acres up here in Hoover, which is a rare thing. When you look out these windows, as far as you can see you own it.’ SCOTT UNDERWOOD, CO-OWNER OF CENTENNIAL HOMES

Homes on the tour that are in Over the Mountain neighborhoods and communities include: • Ashley Manor by Centennial Homes, at 789 Heatherwood Drive in Hoover’s Heatherwood. • Main Level Living by AGH Homes, at 861 Southbend Lane in Vestavia Hill’s Southbend. • Edmond A by Embassy Homes, at 1950 Cyrus Cove Drive in Hoover’s The Cove at Lake Cyrus. • Kinsley A by Embridge Homes, at 1705 Coates Pass in Hoover’s The Park at Lake Wilborn. • Langston 1B by Signature Homes, at 3016 Alley Circle in Hoover’s Blackridge. • Bennett 1B by Signature Homes, at 4005 Olivia Road in Hoover’s Green Trails at Lake Wilborn. • Barnsley 1B by Signature Homes, at 8020 Annika Drive in Hoover’s Abingdon by the River. • Hallman by Tower Homes, at 3903 Sydney Drive in Birmingham’s Sydney Manor. • The Woodlands by Wedgeworth Construction, at 2212 Walnut Hill Drive in Vestavia Hills’ Walnut Hill. For more information and updates, visit birminghamparadeofhomes.com.


IDEAL HOME From page 18

were used to create a European-style comfort. “I wanted the house to have European feel to it,” Underwood said. “Not only that, I wanted it to have some materials that – even though everything is new – looked like we found and curated pieces and then implemented them here in the house.” The four-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom house with two large bonus rooms and space to grow in the basement offers everything from the latest tech down to outdoor space – something that is more popular than ever, according to Underwood and Vinzant. The experience begins in the driveway. As guests turn onto the drive and make their way up to the home, they pass over a small section of brick pavers. It’s purposeful. As guests drive over those pavers and feel the small rattle on their wheels, they sense they are entering a new area. The experience begins. According to Vinzant, Underwood is a visionary when it comes to creating experiences with features that homeowners don’t often think about. “We’re trying to hit all of the senses,” Underwood said. When hosting an event, the resident can have the music that is playing indoors carried outside to the front of the house as guests enter.

HOME “If you are having a party and people are coming up to the house, whatever you have playing on the inside can be played out here. Underwood installed a top-of-theline surround sound system with speakers that are heard but not seen throughout the home.

The Ideal Kitchen

The heart of the home rests just beyond the entryway. A large living space with a grand Indiana limestone fireplace leads to

It’s a space where he can have it all. All of the bells and whistles that maintain the height of luxury while also simplifying daily life. an open kitchen. Countertops throughout the house were sourced from the company Cosentino using their Dekton and Silestone products. The large white slab of stone that is the island is supported by quartered oak, which Underwood notes is new but looks aged. Appliances are mainly sourced from a lesser-known maker of highend ranges, California-based Hestan. “They are super high-end,” Underwood said. “I like to say even

their logo looks expensive.” Underwood also has made space between the full-sized refrigerator and freezer for one of Hestan’s equally full-sized wine refrigerators. Complementing the neutral walls and countertops will be warm cabinetry. “The color here is urbane bronze, which was Sherwin-Williams’ color of the year,” Underwood said. “We’ve carried that through the house,” Underwood said, in window sashes, the walls of the entrance to the master suite and even upstairs in the media area. The cabinetry is also used on the way to the dining room, where Underwood has inserted a short hall featuring a wet bar. On the opposing wall there is space to display bottles or hide them away when entertaining. “It’s a place to really showcase your bourbon collection, which is really popular right now,” Underwood noted. In the dining room, ceilings vault up to 17 feet, where crews inserted wood beams in a trellis design. To get the dimensions correct, Underwood and his team drew the design on the floor in chalk before construction and installation.

Working Areas

Throughout the home, Underwood has a clear vision of who might live there. Off of the kitchen is a “service wing” where homeowners can tuck away their countertop appliances in a

See IDEAL HOME, page 20

Thursday, June 3, 2021 • 19

Planning to Downsize? CALL US FIRST

Through the years the father and son team of Mike and Hayden Wald have helped hundreds of clients make the move you’re considering. They’ve developed effective strategies to make the process of downsizing much easier and their marketing strategy will help you to maximize your sales price. Mike and Hayden have assembled a team of experts to help you with each step along the way. They work hard so you don’t have to. As you’ve probably heard, it’s a seller’s market and your home is likely worth more than you think!

Call Mike and Hayden to discuss making life easier with a new home that better suits your lifestyle.

MIKE WALD 205-541-0940

HAYDEN WALD 205-919-5535

20 • Thursday, June 3, 2021

IDEAL HOME From page 19

Underwood’s crown jewels when it comes to simplifying life’s chores – a scullery. “Scullery is kind of an older term,” Underwood said. “You don’t hear it much anymore, but basically it is more than just a laundry room.” A large island provides space for folding and even a seated area for crafting. “Maybe the kids can even pop up here and do homework while Mom and Dad are working in here,” Underwood said. Vinzant also noted that the space can be used by caterers to prep food

during a party. The cabinetry provides thoughtful tricks, such as a pop up drawer for a sewing machine, a wrapping station, a large farmhouse sink and even a drawer with a small built-in ironing board. Yet, who needs an ironing board when the laundry area includes an LG Styler, a steam clothing care system.

Outdoor Living

According to Underwood, outdoor living was popular even before the pandemic, but homeowners’ desire for outdoor spaces has skyrocketed.

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

large pantry and toss their phone on a charging station in a mudroom. There is a central office space that Underwood believes would be perfect for someone who occasionally works from home. “I think this would be perfect for someone who is working from home, but also someone who is running the household – pay bills, file paperwork, etc.,” he said. At the end of the hallway is one of



In the dining room, ceilings vault up to 17 feet, where crews inserted wood beams in a trellis design.

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A large backyard lawn offers space for a pool to be constructed. “We had plans to put in a pool, but we just didn’t have enough time,” Underwood said. Overlooking the area is the private master porch and a large outdoor living space with outdoor fireplace. There is room for an outdoor kitchen, dining area and seating. Just around the corner is one of Underwood’s favorite outdoor features, a European-style courtyard. “This would be something that someone would really like to use in the evening,” Underwood said. Perhaps a space for cocktails before entering the home for a dinner party. The walled-in space features lush landscaping on all sides, concrete benches and a limestone fountain with two custom design pieces. “That’s not something that I just

went out and bought,” Underwood said. “I designed it and we had it made here, locally so there isn’t another one like it.”

Master Suite Has It All

Off of the living area is a doubledoor entrance into the master suite. There is a seating area in front of another limestone fireplace and doors to a private patio, but Underwood suggests beginning the experience in the bathroom. Along the entire length of one wall is an oversized shower, packed with two separate shower heads and handhelds, four body sprayers and a rain head as well as Bluetooth speakers. “There are no valves on this shower system,” Underwood said. “It’s all digital, so if you want the water to be at a certain temperature you just set it.”



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There also is an option to connect the shower system to your smartphone. “You could turn it on before you get out of bed,” Underwood said. On the way back to the bedroom there is a wet bar, proving you never

‘Before the pandemic, we had people who wanted a smaller house and wanted to downsize. What I’m hearing now is people saying they need more room.’

Thursday, June 3, 2021 • 21

HOME ed clutter. The very top cabinets were kept glass so someone could show off some of their finer things, perhaps a luxury purse collection. “There are also two dressing areas where you can sit down and put on your shoes, and a vanity area where you can put on your makeup,” he said.

Live, Work and Play

soundproofing to create a true movie theater. A living space includes plumbing to create a downstairs kitchen area. There is a full bathroom, and then a space for a full bedroom and ensuite bathroom. “Before the pandemic, we had people who wanted a smaller house and wanted to downsize,” Underwood said. “What I’m hearing now is people saying they need more room.” The owners of one of Underwood’s houses built before the pandemic wanted to downsize, but now they have discussed needing

more space. “Because their day care wasn’t open, the grandparents began keeping the kids during the day,” Underwood said. So, we have three generations in one home, the grandparents keeping the kids and then mom and dad are working from home.” Similar issues also have sparked a diversion from the idolized open concept floor plan. Yes, Underwood said, there is still an open floor plan in the Ideal Home that lends itself to seamless entertaining; but there also are retreats and spaces to get away.

It’s the ideal to have the best of both worlds.

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1901 Oxmoor Rd. 2820 Petticoat Lane Underwood is the first to admit Mtn. Brook Village that the large family home sprawls, 205-870-5544 yet each area offers a different pur870-5544 Wednesday - Saturday 10am - 4pm pose. Open Thur. - Sat. 10am - 4:30pm All three floors are joined via an elevator. Among bedrooms on the top floor is a large media space that will house an 85-inch TV with backlighting. There also is a pool table space with New, Collectible three televisions hanging on the walls. Custom Closets, Garage Cabinets, Home Pantries, Laundries To: Office, Mary Charles Robbins “I envision this being Antique Dollsa place From: Over The Mountain 205-823-9646 ph., Wall Beds, Wall Units, Hobby Rooms, Garage Flooring andJournal, more... have to leave your retreat. where you spend a Saturday night in 205-824-1246, fax “In the morning, you get out of the fall,” Underwood 2820 Petticoatsaid. Lane Date: May 2010 bed and come over here to make a “YouMtn. haveBrook Alabama playing on the Village cup of coffee, then head over to that main TV,” he870-5544 joked. “You also might To: Mary Charles This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOU sitting area,” Underwood said. “At want to have Auburn, Tennessee and Open Thur. Sat. 10am 4:30pm From: Over the Mountain night, before you retire, you can come Georgia playing on these other TVs JuneJournal 3, 2010 issue. Please fax approval or ch 823-9646 ph, 824-1246 fax over here and grab a bottle of wine too.” from the wine chiller and go sit by the The basement level offers another Date: Nov 2018 Please make sure all informati fire.” garage area to supplement the two-car including address and phon This is your ad proof for the OTMJ for the November 15, 2018issue. Plea Much consideration also was paid garage on the main level. possible to approve your ad or make changes. You may fax to the open closet area. So as not to box in the future “You’ll notice that there are no buyer, the basement living spaces initial and fax backincludin within Please make sure all Please information is correct, Charles If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the Friday doors to this closet, becauseTo: who Maryhave beenRobbins kept open to interpretation. From: Over The Mountain Journal, your ad will run as is. We print the paper would want to cover this up,” Underwood’s vision is205-823-9646 of someone ph., 205-824-1246, fax Underwood said. who goes downstairs off of the kitchThank you for your prompt If we have not heard from you by 5 pm of the friday before the Date: The space features a large island May 2010 en and enters a foyer. There is a room Thank you for your prompt with drawers and walls filled with that he feels is perfect for a gym and cabinetry to hide any hanging or fold- another that would lend itself well This is your AD PROOF from thetoOVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the June 3, 2010 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246.

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Feeding a Need



Ascension’s Food Truck Rally Raises Money for New Backpack Program to Feed Food Insecure Students

By Emily Williams-Robertshaw


Gorgeous Gathering Place

Tasting TBL’s Owners to Turn Historic Rucker Place Into Multidimensional Eatery

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

ach year, the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Vestavia Hills celebrates Ascension Day, which occurs 40 days after Easter. Last year’s annual Food Truck Rally had to be canceled because of the pandemic, but this year the event was back with a new cause. On May 13, local food trucks and about 600 guests gathered at the church to celebrate Ascension Day and to support the church’s Backpack Program, which provides weekend meals to food insecure students at Vestavia Hills Elementary School. More than $4,000 was raised for the program. “Sometimes people say a prayer before they have this great meal, and they say keep us mindful of the needs of others,” the Rev. Jack Alvey, rector of Ascension, said. “This is a way that we can have a great meal and a great time but also contribute to a meal for someone who has to go without.” Though the program had existed in previous years in some iteration, it wasn’t resurrected until this past year. The idea was sparked by Alvey’s Leadership Vestavia Hills’ class of 2019. Each class is broken into groups that are given a topic of service. Group members then research the issue as it relates to the local community and come up with ways to solve the issue. Alvey was on Team Hunger. “One of the things that we learned through our research was that about 7.5% of kids in the Vestavia Hills City Schools system are on free and reduced lunch,” he said. “That told us that there was a significant need.” It accounted for about 500 students in the school system at that time. Those percentages were gathered in 2019. Throw in a pandemic amount of job loss and wage cuts and the problem could be significantly greater now. In 2019, members of Alvey’s small group didn’t feel they were in a position to address the problem themselves; they just didn’t have the manpower. “We felt like a bigger entity or institution needed to take it on,” he said. “The seed was planted through my LVH class,” he said. So, it remained until a weekly staff meeting drew it to the surface. It was apparent that COVID restrictions would ease by the event date this year and it was believed the festivities would be a great way to begin bringing the community back together. “One of the things we have really been focusing on over the past few years is how we can be more present in the community,” he said. “How can we meet the needs of the members of our community?” Both the staff and the church’s board of directors were on board not only with the idea for the program but the idea to use funds from the festival to support the new mission. “God just seemed to say this is what you need to look into,” he said. The program is being spearheaded by par-

On May 13, local food trucks and about 600 guests gathered at the church to celebrate Ascension Day and to support the church’s Backpack Program. Above, from left: Anna, John, Amelia and Sara Manasco with Celeste, Lawson, Beckham and Marshall Eppley.

Ella and Anna Gentry.

Mark, Ellie and Colby Welch.

Pearl Ennis and Ridley Tate Box.

Norah, Natalie, Baker and Clark Battle.

ish member Anna Colvin, who serves on the church’s outreach and evangelism team. The program works in partnership with Vestavia Hills Elementary East. “East has been sort of our pilot program,” Alvey said. “If Ascension was a house, we would be zoned for East.” In addition, Alvey knew the school’s vice principal, Cindy Echols, who served with him on Team Hunger. The goal is to provide nutritious foods that are easy to prepare and that kids can take

home for the weekend when they are not in school and able to access the cafeteria. East counselors can identify which students are on subsidized or free meal plans, provide numbers to the church and discreetly dole out the meals. “Because everyone qualified for free lunch this year through the federal relief program, (school counselors) couldn’t identify who was going to be eligible or would really be in need of this service,” Alvey said.

See FOOD TRUCK, page 23

T Squared Holdings LLC has purchased Historic Rucker Place in Five Points South with the intention of creating a new, multifaceted high-end restaurant. Rucker Place originally was built in 1900 as a family home and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The property’s previous owners, Jack and Gail Thompson, operated the space as an event venue following an extensive renovation in 2002. According to a release, the home was purchased for $1.22 million, and the new owners intend to invest another estimated $2 million in the space. The release states that the restaurant will be transformed into a multidimensional concept, including a traditional restaurant and bar, a latenight bar and an al fresco event space. “This will be unique because of five distinct brand offerings that operate out of the same ‘cloud kitchen’,” said executive chef and new co-owner of Rucker Place, Tyler Lyne, who also co-owns Tasting TBL supper club. “The menu concept centers around classic culinary techniques and dishes enjoyed in thriving epicurean cities.” There are also plans to create a patisserie and cafe that will serve breakfast and lunch, provide a catering service and accommodate meal delivery for businesses and families. Lyne has teamed up with co-owner Tim Owens, a native of Texas who recently moved to Birmingham. “I have loved Birmingham, and the people here have been so welcoming,” Owens said. “We knew we wanted to be somewhere in the South and we needed a metro area of at least 1 million people to support this kind of concept. “When we came to visit for the first time, we immediately knew Birmingham was where we wanted to be. What sold it for us was the beautiful culture we found here and how the people treated us — like they had known us for years, extending the most genuine hospitality we had ever felt.” Owens said the vision for the restaurant is for it to become an integral part of the Birmingham community, “whether guests want to dine in with us, stop by for a quick pastry, or order our catering or meal delivery. We’re also happy that Rucker Place will continue to serve as a gorgeous gathering place where Birminghamians can mark special occasions, connect over food and drink, and make amazing memories together.” —Emily Williams-Robertshaw

Journal photo by Jordan Wald


22 • Thursday, June 3, 2021


Thursday, June 3, 2021 • 23


Ready to Grow

FOOD TRUCK From page

Next year looks to be a bit smoother and the program will resume its intended service. There are even plans to provide advertisements for the program at registration.

Sponsors Needed

Those who support the program, whether businesses, individuals or other organizations, can sponsor a child. It takes just $288 to sponsor a child for a year, which provides food packs worth $8 each given over 36 Fridays of the school year. Each meal pack includes two breakfast items, two lunch entrees, one serving of fruit, one serving of dairy, one to three other healthy snacks and one family meal item. Alvey and his fellow church staff

members and parish are hoping to see the program expand beyond both their walls and the walls of East. “We’ve already had people contact us from other churches and other community leaders who want to be a part of this,” Alvey said. “My real hope is that this is sort of a communitywide program that other churches and even business start to participate in.” He envisions situations such as the church sponsoring one week of meals, then a local business taking on another week and so on. “It’s a really cool way to bring the community together with a common goal, especially getting the churches together,” Alvey said. “I think everyone, or at least most people, can get behind the idea of feeding children in the community.” To donate and stay updated, visit ascensionepiscopal.dioala.org.

Jones Valley Teaching Farm has launched its Ready to Grow campaign to raise money to complete The Center for Food Education, a community hub to be built on its downtown teaching farm. The multiuse facility, tentatively slated to open this summer, will allow the farm to reach more students, teachers and surrounding community members to create a hub around food, education, health and youth employment. The center will position Birmingham as a national leader and model for food-based education and workforce development, according to a statement issued by the farm. The Ready to Grow campaign is designed to engage the Birmingham community in outfitting the center with the tools it needs and to allow residents to invest in the farm’s mission through tangible donations. Anchoring the campaign launch is the debut of the farm’s Ready to Grow website, found at ready2grow.org. Donors can browse the website’s online catalog and choose to donate funds toward specific items, such as fruit trees for the orchard, appliances for the culinary studio or tables for the greenhouse. Items range in price from $25 to $2,000, and donors may give a gift of any amount to support the center’s

Photo courtesy

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Jones Valley Teaching Farm Raising Support for New Community Learning Center

Jones Valley Teaching Farm Executive Director Amanda Storey.

greatest needs. The Ready to Grow public campaign aims to raise $200,000 to support completion of the Center. “Our 5-year dream to build our future – The Center for Food Education – is now a reality thanks to the support of our many partners,” said

Jones Valley Teaching Farm Executive Director Amanda Storey. “However, it takes a village to build out the entirety of this project. We now are calling on our Birmingham neighbors to help us bring the center to completion by filling the classrooms, gardens and learning areas. “Our goal is for this center to serve Birmingham as a whole, and we are inviting our fellow community members to be part of this future from the start, in whatever way they can,” she continued. The center, at 701 25th St. N in downtown Birmingham, will accommodate daily field trips and Good School Food instruction, community gardening and culinary programming, quality and affordable fresh produce, increased employment and training opportunities for graduates of Birmingham City Schools, and professional development and training for teachers. For more information about Jones Valley Teaching Farm, visit jvtf.org. —Virginia Martin

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24 • Thursday, June 3, 2021



McClendon Named ‘Sweet 16’ Finalist in State Teacher of the Year

By Emily Williams-Robertshaw

In early May, the Alabama State Department of Education announced the 16 finalists for its oldest and most prestigious awards program. The Alabama Teacher of the Year award competition recognizes teachers throughout the state who inspire their students, foster achievement and passionately prepare them to succeed beyond their school years and into their professional lives. Of the 138 teachers chosen from across the state, Hoover City School’s Pam McClendon has found herself among the finalists for the state title. At Hoover’s Riverchase Career Connection Center, McClendon is

lead teacher for the Cyber “lead learner” model, Innovation Academy. teaching her students that In a February interview the act of learning and with the Over the Mountain acquiring knowledge never Journal, McClendon ends. Learning throughout described her teaching philife is a means to continue losophy: to grow and thrive. “I believe my role as an Her philosophy to coneducator is to provide tinually strive for knowlevery student the opportuedge and growth is somePam McClendon nity to see their value as a thing emulated throughout contributing member in my her professional life. classroom and beyond. Every student McClendon graduated from colis unique, therefore I try to engage lege with a degree in business and students in relevant and meaningful worked in that realm for a decade lessons that allow them to develop after serving in the U.S. Marine their own potential and learning Corps. style.” She returned to school to get a McClendon said she also uses the master’s degree in education in 2002

and became a computer science teacher in 2015. When Hoover City Schools began recruiting staff for its new RC3 campus in 2019, McClendon joined the Cyber Innovation Academy faculty. She assumed the role of lead instructor in early 2020. According to McClendon, teaching during the pandemic was a learning experience. It taught her how important it is to foster her students to become resilient learners. After school classes shifted to virtual learning, McClendon spent the summer of 2020 wondering whether she had done enough as a teacher. She now strives to teach in a more intentional way.

“The pandemic has taught me to be reflective before, during and after every lesson so that, should there be some unusual event that impacts our school community again, I’ve left nothing to chance,” she said. Prior to being named Hoover City School’s Secondary Teacher of the Year in late 2020, McClendon was named 2020 North Alabama Aspirations Educator of the Year. The honor was presented by the National Center for Women and Information Technology. The Alabama Department of Education will narrow the group down to four finalists this summer. The 2021-22 Alabama Teacher of the Year will be announced in August.

Danielle Tinker has been assistant principal at Vestavia Hills Elementary Liberty Park since 2019.

David Howard has been an assistant principal at Vestavia Hills High School since 2016,

New Principals Named for Two Vestavia Hills Schools

Two Vestavia Hills schools will have new principals when students return for the 2021-22 academic year. The Vestavia Hills Board of Education has named Danielle Tinker as principal of Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights and David Howard as principal of the Vestavia Hills High School Freshman Campus. Tinker has been assistant principal at Vestavia Hills Elementary Liberty Park since 2019. While there, Tinker worked with school leaders to identify core values for students to learn throughout the year and partnered with the system’s personnel team to increase student teacher placement and minority recruitment from local universities. Tinker was assistant principal of Erwin Intermediate School in Jefferson County from 2012 to 2019. She holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham as well as master’s and educational specialist degrees in instructional leadership from Samford University. Tinker said she was “over the moon excited” to be named Cahaba Heights principal. “Cahaba Heights is an amazing school doing spectacular things, especially in character education and development, and you can just feel the atmosphere of kindness from students and staff the moment you walk in the door,” Tinker said. Howard’s appointment to the principal’s position at the freshman campus comes after a year of serving as one of the school’s two assistant principals. He and Assistant Principal Jennifer Brown co-led the campus during its inaugural year and established a focus on leadership development to prepare ninth graders for high school life. Howard, who has been assistant principal at Vestavia Hills High School since 2016, previously worked as the school system’s director of administrative services and as a science teacher at Louis Pizitz Middle School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Alabama as well as a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Montevallo. Howard said the school system “has been home for me for the past 24 years.” “I’ve loved being here in Vestavia Hills and working with thousands of students, faculty and staff members since 1997, and I feel extremely honored to get to continue at the freshman campus next year with the amazing team that started it all,” Howard said.

Homewood City Schools recently named Dr. Danny Steele as principal of Homewood Middle School. With 27 years of experience in education, Steele has served as a teacher, coach, administrator at the middle and high school level, and an assistant professor of instructional leadership. Steele now is principal of Pell City High School and will be joining the Homewood School community July 1. He began his career as a teacher at Jackson Olin High School and then Mountain Brook Junior High School before entering into school administration. With 19 years of administrative experience, Steele has earned multiple awards as a school leader, including Alabama Middle School Principal of the Year as well as Alabama’s Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year. 

Rocky Ridge Principal Receives Proclamation From State Representatives Alabama State Rep. David Wheeler recently presented Rocky Ridge Principal Dilhani Uswatte with a proclamation to note her receiving the 2020 Alabama National Association of Elementary School Principals’ National Distinguished Principal Award. The proclamation, presented during a recent Hoover Board of Education meeting, was by Wheeler, R-Vestavia Hills; Arnold Mooney, R-Indian Springs; David Faulkner, R-Mountain Brook; Jim Carns, R-Vestavia Hills; and Allen Farley, R-McCalla. Wheeler called Uswatte the “gold standard” for people who aspire to be principals. “She is admired by her colleagues, teachers, students and parents,” Wheeler said. “We are fortunate to have her in the Hoover City Schools system.” For Uswatte, receiving the award and representing Alabama at a national conference is a tremendous honor.

Photo courtesy Homewood City Schools

Photos courtesy Vestavia Hills City Schools

Homewood City Schools Announces New Principal of Homewood Middle School

Dr. Danny Steele now is principal of Pell City High School and will be joining the Homewood School community July 1.

“Dr. Steele has a strong reputation and history of being an outstanding leader and school administrator,” Homewood City Schools Superintendent Justin Hefner said. “I am excited to see him lead the amaz“To receive this proclamation directly from Representative Wheeler meant so much that … our government would take the time to write this proclamation and take the time to present it despite all of the legislation going on during this busy time,” Uswatte said.

Trace Crossings Elementary Counseling Receives National Recognition Trace Crossings Elementary was one of 139 schools across the country to be awarded a Recognized American School Counselor Association Model Program Designation. The Ramp designation, announced in early May, is given to schools that align with the criteria in the ASCA National Model. It recognizes schools that show a commitment to providing a data-informed school counseling program and an exceptional educational environment. The school’s counseling mission statement is to decrease barriers to academic achievement through student

ing staff at Homewood Middle School.” Steele has presented at numerous state and national conferences and has written several books on teaching and leading in schools. He earned his undergraduate degree from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, and his master’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. From Samford University, Steele received his educational specialist degree in educational administration and doctorate in educational leadership.  “It is an honor and privilege to join the Homewood Middle School team,” Steele said. “I look forward to working with the faculty and staff and families of Homewood to support our students and empower them to achieve great things.” advocacy and to promote student success through a focus on academic achievement as well as social/ emotional, career and multicultural development. It strives to provide a safe environment for students to become collaborators, critical thinkers and problem-solvers who are read for real-world experiences; and to include teachers, parents, students and community stakeholders in establishing equity and critical foundational skills for students’ success, according to a statement. “At Trace, our goal is to meet the needs of all of our students,” counselor Terri Coleman said in the statement. “It was my goal to establish a counseling program that mirrored the American School Counseling Association national model. I disaggregated school data while surveying the desired needs from our staff, parents and students. “I am proud of the many programs we have established that have positively impacted our students and families.” 


Thursday, June 3, 2021 • 25


The Cardinal’s Nest

Photos courtesy Homewood City Schools

Edgewood Celebrates New Outdoor Classroom

On May 25, students and faculty at Edgewood Elementary School gathered for a ribbon-cutting and dedication of the school’s newest outdoor classroom, The Cardinal’s Nest. The new outdoor space was dedicated in memory of David Garrison, Edgewood Elementary’s on-site maintenance person. Garrison passed away Dec. 11. He was known by his Edgewood family as “Mr. Dave” and his grandchildren as “Papa David.” The path to the classroom is lined with stones that were hand painted by students this year. The dedication was hosted in conjunction with PapaPalooza, a spirit day hosted by the Edgewood Parent Teacher Organization that included a

The dedication of the new classroom was hosted in conjunction with PapaPalooza, a spirit day hosted by the Edgewood Parent Teacher Organization that included a cornhole competition and other activities.

cornhole competition and other activities. Garrison’s grandchildren, Edgewood Elementary students

Rotary Grants Scholarships to Three Vestavia Hills College-Bound Students Abby Kate Mason. Chow-Wah will be attending Auburn University, majoring in business analytics and enrolling in pre-law. At Vestavia Hills High School, she was an officer in Ambassadors and co-chair of its fundraiser, on team development for Rebels Impact through Service and Engagement and captain of the swim and dive team. Stockard will attend Auburn

Photos courtesy Vestavia Hills Rotary Club

The Rotary Club of Vestavia Hills has awarded scholarships to three Vestavia High School seniors, which it does each year in honor of Rotarians who have set high standards. The Raymond Hurlbert Strive for Excellence scholarship was given to Rebecca Chow-Wah; Abigail Stockard won the Lindy Martin Builder of Goodwill award; and the Michael Gross Service Above Self scholarship went to

Garrison and Ella Kate, and their classmates got to be the first students to tour the classroom and see the space that will serve the school and

students for years to come. The project was supported by the Homewood City Schools Foundation,

Dr. Benjamin Jones Family, Curb Appeal, Gray’s Tree Service, Twin Construction and Ashley McCullars.

University in the nursing program. During her Vestavia High years, she was a member in the National Honor Society and four other honor organizations, SGA vice president and captain of the Rebelette dance team.

She was selected by teachers and students as Miss Vestavia and was a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Mason will attend the University of Alabama in the fall in pre-pharmacy.

She is a member of the National Honor Society, a member of Vestavia Dance, an active Rockette and a Vestavia Belle. She attends Vestavia United Methodist Church and has been a leader in the Appalachian Service Project.

Congratulations Class of 2021! From left, Dr. Todd Freeman, superintendent Vestavia Hills City Schools, Abby Kate Mason, Rebecca Chow-Wah, Abigail Stockard and Oliver Aaron, college advisor, Vestavia Hills High School.

One of the nation’s premier private schools for students grades 5-12



Plummer Was a Difference-Maker for Hoover’s Girls Track Team

By Rubin E. Grant Chakiya Plummer won only one gold medal when Hoover captured the AHSAA Class 7A girls outdoor track and field championship last month. And it came as a part of the Lady Bucs’ first-place 4x400 relay team win. But probably no one had as a big of an impact on the team as Plummer. As an eighth grader on the varsity, Plummer won the 300-meter hurdles, helping the Lady Bucs win the 2017 Class 7A title. But after her freshman year, Plummer moved to Powder Springs,

HOOVER From page 28

ers at the varsity level,” Moseley said. “With the hard schedule we play, I knew we would take our lumps early on before we could get it right. I didn’t think we’d start off 3-9, but I didn’t see 13-0 either.” The Bucs eventually got it right, especially in the postseason. Unranked Hoover swept No. 6 Bob Jones (26-21) in the first round and No. 1 Hewitt-Trussville (28-6) in the quarterfinals before knocking off No. 3 Florence (29-11) in three games in the semifinals to reach the championship series against No. 4 Auburn. “I think once area play started we

Georgia, and attended McEachern High School. As a sophomore at McEachern, she placed second in the 300-meter hurdles and third in the 100-meter hurdles in the 2019 7A Georgia High School Association State Championships. Meanwhile, the Hoover girls finished a disappointing seventh in the 2019 7A AHSAA outdoor track and field championships. After the COVID-19 pandemic forced cancellation of the 2020 AHSAA state track meet, Plummer returned for her senior year this spring and was once again a major force for the Lady Bucs, despite her best indihad a different focus and a different level of play,” Moseley said. Hoover dropped Game 1 of the championship series 9-2 on May 19 at Paterson Field in Montgomery. The Bucs came back the next day in Game 2 at Riverwalk Stadium to win 8-2 as pitcher Matthew Hawsey (114) threw 5 1/3 strong innings, allowing five hits, walking none and striking out one to get the win. Catcher Lucas Steele slugged a three-run homer in the first inning and R.J. Hamilton had two hits and scored three runs. That set the stage for the dramatic Game 3. Auburn (36-7) took an early 3-1 lead and led 6-2 going into the sixth. Alex Wilson’s two-run single in the top of the sixth brought the Bucs within 6-4, but Auburn answered

with what turned out to be the winning run in the bottom of the inning on Patrick McGlon’s RBI double. McGlon was named the series MVP. Hoover (27-22) mounted one last rally in the seventh. Steele led off with a triple and scored on Carter Short’s one-out single. Ty Truett’s two-out RBI single brought the Bucs within 7-6. A walk loaded the bases before Olson struck out Carr to end it after nearly six hours of action in the final two games. “Our kids didn’t quit,” Moseley said. “Auburn had a great team. They made one more play than we did, and that won’t take away from what we accomplished. “A long time from now, what we’ll talk about is the run they made. I loved being around them.”

Hoover’s Walter Ford in Game 3 of the Class 7A baseball championship series.

vidual result being a second-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.08. “She was a game changer for us,” retiring Hoover track coach Devon Hind said. “We didn’t have her in the 10th grade and we took a nosedive, winding up with only 39 points in the state meet. This year we had 107.50 points, so she was a big difference. “It’s not always the number of

‘She’s all business on the track and the other kids train harder when they see how hard she’s training.’

Photo courtesy Homewood City Schools

points she scores, but the quality of the way she competes. She’s all business on the track and the other kids train harder when they see how hard

she’s training.” The title was especially sweet for Plummer. “It was great,” she said. “After not winning the indoor, we had to win the outdoor.” Plummer wasn’t done, however. She came back May 10-11 to compete in the AHSAA 37th Heptathlon Championships at Hoover. She finished third overall with 4,000 points. Northridge’s Rashni Walker won with 4,479 points and Austin’s McKenzie Harris was second with 4,122. Plummer had two second-place finishes, in the 200-meter dash (25.42) and the 100-meter hurdles (14.75), and was third in the 800-meter run (2:29.40). Her best finish in the four field events was 17th in the javelin. “I finished surprisingly well,” Plummer said. “I didn’t know I would finish that high because I was sixth with one more event. I wanted to get first, but third is good because there were a lot of good athletes out there.” When she wasn’t training or competing, Plummer was at home, doing virtual school for her entire senior year. “I kind of regret I did that,” she said. “I still got my work done, but I probably should have gone back (for in-class learning). I missed being around people, but I was scared of COVID. I didn’t want to get that.” Plummer did attend graduation ceremonies last week at Buccaneer Stadium. She will continue to compete in track at the next level after signing a track scholarship with the University of South Florida in late April. “I was recommended to South Florida by my high school track coach in Georgia, Cedric Sapp,” Plummer said. “He was my track coach when I started running when I was 9. I’ve known him a long time.” Plummer will report to South Florida on June 26, taking classes and getting an early start adjusting to college life. She plans to study exercise science with an eye toward pursuing a career as an occupational therapist. Hind believes Plummer will make an impact on the South Florida track team. “I think she’s going to be a force in the 400-meter hurdles in college,” Hind said.

Chakiya Plummer

‘Game Changer’


Gavin King has been Childersburg High School’s varsity girls basketball coach for four years.

King Now A Patriot

Gavin King Named Homewood High School Girls Head Basketball Coach Homewood High School recently announced Gavin King will be the new girls head basketball coach. King has been Childersburg High School’s varsity girls basketball coach for four years and has led the team to regional appearances, area championships and the final four. He has 12 years of coaching experience and was named Talladega County’s Coach of the Year for 2018, 2019 and 2020. As a head coach, he has compiled a record of 102-29. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Athens State University and has taught world history, U.S. history, psychology, sociology and physical education. “Coach King brings lots of energy to the court and has great vision and expertise in basketball that will help shape our program moving forward,” Homewood High School Athletics Director Doug Gann said. “His passion for building a program from the youth level through high school shows his dedication for developing student athletes. We are excited to have him leading our Lady Patriots.”

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

26 • Thursday, June 3, 2021




Homewood, Oak Mountain and Spain Park soccer players turn in noteworthy performances leading their teams to a state title

OTM Players Named to Super All-State Team

Homewood (18-3-3) captured the Class 6A state title in the 30th AHSAA State Soccer Championships on May 7-8 at John Hunt Park in Huntsville with a 2-1 victory over McGill-Toolen (20-6-4) in the championship game. Homewood’s Yousef Nasser was named the Class 6A boys MVP.

Oak Mountain sophomore midfielder Kierson McDonald’s MVP award was well deserved, considering McDonald had just recorded a hat trick, scoring three goals in the Eagles’ 5-0 victory over the Enterprise Wildcats in the championship game on May 8 in the 30th AHSAA State Soccer Championships at John Hunt Park in Huntsville.

“It feels great,” Nasser said about winning the state title. “I’ve been dreaming about this since last year. It’s been an honor to play with this team.”

“I did not know about that award,” McDonald said. “I was excited. I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness. Thank you!’”

Spain Park edged Davidson 2-1 to win the Class 7A title May 8 in the 30th AHSAA State Soccer Championships at John Hunt Park in Huntsville. Anderson Ivey was named tournament MVP. He was ecstatic about the Jags’ boys finally winning a title.

“I’m so glad I could do it with this team my senior year,” Ivey said. “It’s the first one in school history, so people are going to remember it for a really long time.”

Photo courtesy Rik Tozzi

Last week, Nabors was named to the Alabama High School Soccer Coaches 2021 Super All-State Boys First Team. He was one of four players from Indian Springs to be voted first team. The others were junior midfielder Nathan Tozzi, junior goalkeeper Tosh Sims and senior defender Riley Alexander. Class 6A champion Homewood had two players on the first team, senior midfielder Hardy Smith and junior keeper Luke Keown. Other Over the Mountain players on the first team are Mountain Brook senior forward Patrick Neil, John Carroll Catholic junior midfielder Christopher LaRussa, Spain Park junior defender Alan Melendez and Vestavia Hills defender Mitchell Register. On the second team are Hoover’s Jay Udeh, senior forward, and Dylan Steely, senior midfielder; Mountain Brook’s Joe Armstrong, junior midfielder, and Jack Heaps, sophomore midfielder; Oak Mountain’s Seth Acton, junior midfielder, and Grant Renfrow, senior keeper; and Spain Park’s Jacob Jowers, senior midfielder. Spain Park’s Matt Hall was named the large schools (6A-7A) coach of the year and Tozzi was named the private/parochial school coach of the year. Hall led the Jaguars to a 19-2-3 record and the Class 7A title, the first boys soccer state championship in school history. Tozzi led Indian Springs to its first Class 4A-5A title and fourth state title overall.

Journal photo by Bryan Bunch

afterward. “I’m speechless. I may have scored the goals, but I couldn’t have done it without every single one of them.” Nabors’ performance made Tozzi look like a genius for putting him at striker. “I knew with his athleticism and knowledge of the game he would excel wherever we put him,” Tozzi said. “But he excelled even more at striker than I thought he would, and he did it against bigger schools and everybody else, even though he was facing double- or triple-teams at times. “After we won the state championship, his dad looked at me and said, ‘Yeah, you were right,’ in a goodnatured way.” Colleges have taken note of Nabors, who also plays for the Vestavia Hills Soccer Club. “He’s got a lot of prestigious (NCAA) Division I schools looking at him,” Tozzi said. “I don’t know of any college program that he couldn’t play for.”


Journal photos by Jordan Wald

From page 28

Thursday, June 3, 2021 • 27

Indian Springs boys soccer team finished the season with a 24-2-1 record and the AHSAA Class 4A-5A state championship.

‘Game Changer’ Plummer was a difference-maker for Hoover’s girls track team Page 26


OTM soccer players turn in noteworthy performances leading their teams to a state title Page 27

Striking Change

Indian Springs’ Nabors Excels After Switching Positions, Leads Boys Soccer Team to a State Championship

Hoover’s bid for the AHSAA Class 7A title ended with a one-run loss to Auburn in the deciding third game on May 20 at Riverwalk Stadium.


Hoover Baseball Title Quest Falls Short, but Coach Moseley Still Proud of Team’s Accomplishments By Rubin E. Grant


Hoover mounted a rally when Lucas Steele, above, led off the seventh inning with a triple and scored on Carter Short’s one-out single.

oover baseball coach Adam Moseley sounded more upbeat than disappointed a few days after the Bucs’ quest for the AHSAA Class 7A title ended with a one-run loss in the deciding third game. The Bucs had scored twice and had the bases loaded with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, but Auburn reliever Ryan Olson struck out ‘A long time Hoover’s Cade Carr to preserve the Tigers’ 7-6 from now, what victory and clinch the school’s fourth state title. Hoover was denied its first title since 2017 we’ll talk about after a remarkable run in the state playoffs. is the run they “It was an especially gratifying season,” Moseley said. “I tell people all the time that I wish made. I loved they could have spent one day in our dugout being around because this was an amazing and fun group to be around.” them.’ Coming into the season, Moseley expected to ADAM MOSELEY, have a team capable of making a run at the Class HOOVER BASEBALL 7A title, even though the Bucs lost 13 seniors, COACH including several who are now playing in college, off their 2020 team that had its season cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bucs stumbled to a 3-9 start to begin this season. “It was one of those things where we had so many inexperienced playSee HOOVER, page 26

Indian Springs boys soccer coach Rik Tozzi considers junior forward Jackson Nabors his surrogate son. That’s because Nabors has grown up with Tozzi’s son Nathan, a junior midfielder, and the two are like brothers. Tozzi also is good friends with Nabors’ parents, especially his dad, Jason Nabors. Their close relationship is why Tozzi went to the Nabors and convinced them that Jackson, who just happens to be 6-foot-8, should change positions on the Indian Springs soccer team this year. “For his entire life, Jackson had been a defender,” Tozzi said. “But I told them that Jackson was a striker. Just look at his athleticism, the way he runs, his fluid motions, his foot work and the way he controls the ball. I told them he should be playing up top.” Tozzi’s sales job worked. Jackson Nabors moved to forward this season and the results were better than even Tozzi imagined. Nabors scored 53 goals and had 23 assists, leading Indian Springs to a 24-2-1 record and the AHSAA Class 4A-5A state championship. He was especially dominant and impressive in Indian Springs’ two games in the state tournament May 6-7. He assisted on both of Indian Springs’ goals in a 2-0 semifinal victory over Montgomery Academy and scored both goals in a 2-0 victory over Russellville in the championship game, preventing the Tigers (19-1) from completing an undefeated season. Nabors was named the tournament MVP, but he credited his teammates. “I don’t even know what to say,” Nabors said See NABORS, page 27

Photo courtesy Rik Tozzi

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

By Rubin E. Grant

Nabors scored 53 goals and had 23 assists, leading Indian Springs to a 24-2-1 record and the AHSAA Class 4A-5A state championship.

Profile for Over the Mountain Journal



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