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OTMJ OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL u OTMJ.COM

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

FALL ARTS ISSUE | THEATRE + DANCE + MUSIC + ART

Finding Community Sanspointe Dance Company to Showcase Four New Works at Outdoor Performance

By Emily Williams-Robertshaw

A

new show by Sanspointe Contemporary Dance that tells the story of the evolution of a “sense of community” during the pandemic will debut Sept. 24-25 at the Children’s Fresh Air Farm in Bluff Park. The modern dance “Here” was sparked by conversations organization officials were having in 2020 as they struggled to plan a new season amid many unknowns, said Sanspointe Artistic Director Anna Foshee.

“We were asking ourselves questions about how we lost (community), … how it felt to lose it and how we found it again,” she said. Sanspointe was founded in 2003 and operates out of The Dance Foundation in Homewood, where many of its leadership team, including Foshee, teach other forms of dance. Foshee, a Hoover resident, has been dancing with the company since 2009. She took over her current leadership role in 2016 with co-Artistic Director Sara Wallace. The company provides contemporary dance opportunities to the community through performances, community classes, elementary and mid-

See SANSPOINTE, page 13

UAB Doctors Urge Pregnant Women to Get Vaccinated By Rubin E. Grant Dr. Jessica Grayson understands COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among pregnant women and those wanting to become pregnant in the future. It’s why she took part in two of four recent online panel discussions via Zoom that the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine presented and that discussed the latest information available on the pandemic. Grayson, assistant professor in the UAB Department of Otolaryngology, was joined by two other UAB doctors who treat women and expectant mothers. They ‘I got my first urged pregnant women to Pfizer vaccine get vaccinated, and Grayson on December discussed her own journey the 18th when receiving the vaccine while pregnant. I was 21 weeks “I got my first Pfizer pregnant, and vaccine on December the 18th when I was 21 weeks I was really pregnant, and I was really excited for the excited for the opportunity to keep myself and my baby opportunity to safe,” Grayson said. Grayson said she had no keep myself and complications after receiving my baby safe.’ both doses of the vaccine DR. JESSICA GRAYSON and had a successful delivery in April. “My child is growing normally,” she said. “He’s 4 months old. He’s hit every milestone. He’s happier than my other kid at baseline, but I don’t think that’s vaccine-related. It just happens to be his personality.” Grayson hopes other expectant mothers will get vaccinated to save lives and babies. “There are too many mothers who will never meet their baby because of COVID, and there are too many babies who See VACCINE, page 7

Photo courtesy UAB

SOCIAL

Photo courtresy Sanspointe Contemporary Dance

SPORTS


2 • Thursday, September 9, 2021

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

OPINION/CONTENTS

Inside

Murphy’s Law

T LIVE AND IN PERSON Friends of Botanical Gardens’ Fall Plant Sale set for Sept. 11 PAGE 4

‘FOSTER TOGETHERNESS AND COMMUNITY’ Plans for Hoover Performing Arts Center Beginning PAGE 6

DINNER WITH THE DAMES Birmingham’s LDEI chapter gets ready for a drive-through picnic PAGE 18

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR Vestavia Hills’ Habitat for Humanity club to host concert PAGE 20

ABOUT TOWN 4 FOOD 18 NEWS 6 SCHOOLS 20 LIFE 8 SPORTS 24 SOCIAL 14

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.

Always Be Editing

here have been times when I the new information, and the world have been wrong. I know, it’s a was much better for it. shocker, but it’s true. I haven’t Some decisions are more personally always been quick to change my errolife-altering. Let’s say you didn’t like neous ways, either, but I’m working vegetables as a child and spouted off on it. that, when you grew up, you would The biggest hurdle for aspiring never, never, never eat another stalk of writers is coming to terms with the broccoli. (So there.) Then, when you necessity of editing. They’ve worked did grow up, you had to face the fact hard on their essays or stories or that your health would be much poems. They have taken an emotional improved if you did eat vegetables, so risk and put them out there for public you added them (begrudgingly) to your scrutiny, certain that what they’ve diet. Did your little brother scoff? Sue Murphy done is absolutely perfect. To be told Maybe a little, but the bigger prize was that there are ways their work could be the health benefits you added when improved stings just a tad. They feel you changed your mind. embarrassed. They may push back The thing that is difficult to You do not, cannot, or retreat and take their fledgling remember is that this editing prostory with them. The humbling lesreach a point where cess doesn’t end. You do not, canson that must be learned is that not, reach a point where you have you have all the good writing is always, always a all the information in the world and information in the work in progress. Editing is the path can close up intellectual shop. When to making the best you had at that with new information, it world and can close up presented moment even better. can and should be added to your intellectual shop. The same can be said for the rest repertoire even if it’s emotionally of life. We are constantly having to inconvenient. You may have held integrate new information into our forth on your previous opinion. You path forward. Sometimes the changes are huge. took a position on Facebook, for heaven sakes. But, it Early explorers sailed from their home ports wantis the job of every sentient human being to get past that ing to discover new lands … if they could do so withneed to save face in order to grow and change and out falling off the edge of the Earth. Every map in exis- make life better for themselves and people they care tence told them that the world was flat, but they sailed about. forth anyway and what they ended up discovering was OK, I went the long way around here, but what I’m that the world was (could it be?) round. This discovery trying to suggest is that, even if you have taken a rather was bound to meet with skepticism when they got negative public stance on our current health initiatives home. Max, the map maker, would push back for sure. – getting the vaccine, wearing a mask, practicing social Given the potential scoffing, the explorers would have distancing – breaking ranks now and changing your been understandably tempted to just keep their mouths path forward does not make you look like a fool. It shut and not rock the boat, so to speak. I mean, before makes you a full-fledged, world-changing hero. they left, they had expounded on their extensive naviAlways be editing. It just makes you better. And if gational knowledge to anyone who would listen. Now, people want to scoff at you, they’ll have to go through me. they might look like fools. Still, they bravely presented

Over the Mountain Views

So Exciting!

OVER THE MOUNTAIN

There’s nothing quite like the return of football season to spark school spirit. As Over the Mountain football teams enter Week 4 of the 2021 season, school marching bands, dance teams and cheerleaders have been keeping fans entertained on the sidelines and during halftime. Pictured, a member of the Mountain Brook High School varsity cheerleading squad defies gravity at the Mountain Brook-Vestavia Hills (33-3) game on Aug. 20.

J O U R N A L September 9, 2021 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

Journal photo by Lee Walls

Vol. 32, No. 3

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.


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SEP 9 - SEP 23 Thurs., Sept. 9 Kelsey Starling Memorial Silent Auction

Journal file photo by Lee Walls

A silent auction fundraiser will be held in memory of the late Kelsey Starling, a speech language pathologist at Birmingham’s Tuggle Elementary School who lost her life in a boating accident at Smith Lake on July 4, 2019. The event will raise funds for the Kelsey Starling Memorial Scholarship. When: 6-8 p.m. Where: Cahaba Brewing Company Website: “Kelsey Starling Memorial” Facebook Page.

Evening of Dreams PATRIOT DAY REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY | SAT., SEPT. 11

The city of Mountain Brook will host a ceremony to honor the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, featuring keynote speaker Brian Hastings, director of the State of Alabama Emergency Management Agency. Also participating in the ceremony will be the cities of Homewood and Vestavia Hills. When: 8:30 a.m. Where: O’Neal Library parking lot Website: mtnbrookchamber.org

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

ABOUT TOWN

Sozo Children International will host this annual fundraising gala featuring dinner and a live auction. Funds raised will support the ministry’s efforts to serve at-risk children in Uganda. When: 5:30-7 p.m. Where: the Club Website: sozochildren. org/2021dinner

ZooRendezvous

The Zoo will host its largest fundraiser of the year in a virtual format with a limited, in-person Roaring 20s themed celebration, an online auction launched on Sept. 2. Funds raised will benefit the zoo’s Emergency Animal Fund. When: 6:45 p.m. Where: The Birmingham Zoo/online Website: birminghamzoo.com

Sat., Sept. 11 Smile-A-Mile 5K

Smile-A-Mile will host its annual 5K to raise funds to support the organization’s mission to provide support to patients and families during the childhood cancer journey. When: 8 a.m. Where: Smile-A-Mile Place Website: smileamile.com

Hoover Climb to Remember

The City of Hoover will host its annual Patriot Day Remembrance Ceremony followed by a memorial stair climb in honor of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The ceremony will begin in the Riverchase Galleria’s food court followed by a stair climb equivalent to 110 stories in the north parking deck. When: 8:30 a.m. Where: Riverchase Galleria Website: hooveral.org

Shred and Recycle Day

Vestavia Hills will host a recycle day for electronics as well as shredding services for sensitive files and documents. Household hazardous waste will also be collected for disposal, with the Vestavia Hills Police Department collecting unneeded medications. When: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Where: Vestavia Hills City Hall Website: business.vestaviahills.org

Cahaba Heights Clean Up Day

The Cahaba Heights Merchants will host an event inviting volunteers to help clean up the creek around Meadowlawn Park. Volunteers are asked to bring trash bags, gloves and friends to help out. When: 10 a.m. Where: The Heights Village Website: business.vestaviahills.org

Sept. 11-12 BirmingFAM Festival

The event will feature local music, food, vendors and more to raise funds for the Jones Valley Teaching Farm. Where: TrimTab Brewing Co. Website: birmingfamfest.com

Sun., Sept. 12 Birmingham Walking Tours: Downtown Churches

Vulcan Park and Museum will host walking tours of Birmingham’s downtown churches, featuring discussions about architecture, history, and more. Registration is $25 for museum members and $40 for nonmembers. When: 2-4 p.m. Where: Vulcan Park and Museum Website: visitvulcan.com

Friends of Botanical Gardens’ Fall Plant Sale Set for Sept. 11 The nonprofit Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ annual Fall Plant Sale will return in-person this year, taking place Sept. 11 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Hundreds of plants – ranging from natives, perennials, herbs, tropicals, houseplants, camellias, trees and shrubs – will be available for purchase. Many of the offerings were nurtured at the Gardens by the Friends’ volunteer growing groups. Seasoned gardeners will be on hand to offer expert advice, many of whom have participated in the Jefferson County Master Gardener program. “Fall is a wonderful time to plant, and the Friends’ annual Fall Plant Sale offers our community a terrific opportunity to talk with experts about plants that thrive in Southern gardens and to discover tried-and-true tips and tricks for caring for them,” said Tom Underwood, executive director of the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Proceeds from the sale as well as the purchase of memberships benefit the Friends’ mission to protect, nurture and share the wonders of Birmingham Botanical Gardens. “Each year we educate thousands of schoolchildren about the science of plants and grow thousands of pounds of fresh vegetables to combat hunger in our community,” Underwood said. “We also help maintain the Gardens, spearhead much-needed improvement projects and work to promote the Gardens as a destination of local and regional significance. Perhaps most importantly, you are helping the Gardens grow and thrive, ensuring that future generations will have the same opportunities we have to enjoy this community treasure.” Following a members-only online pre-sale, a members in-person priority shopping event will take place from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10. The sale will then open to the public Sept. 11 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. outdoors in the Formal Garden and Hill Garden. Shoppers are encouraged to bring portable shopping carts to the sale, such as a folding utility cart or wagon. For more information, visit bbgardens.org/fallplantsale.

Photo courtesy Friends of BBG

4 • Thursday, September 9, 2021


Thurs., Sept. 16 Tapas and Taps

Lane Parke will host a fundraising event sponsored by Crawford Square Real Estate Advisors benefiting Magic Moments of Birmingham. Festivities will include local beer, small plates, music and auctions. When: 6-9 p.m. Where: Lane Parke Website: laneparke.com

Sat., Sept. 18 Hold the Fort Races

Presented by Mills Pharmacy, this annual 5K, 10K and one-mile warrior walk will benefit Blanket Fort Hope, which provides services and care to survivors of child sex trafficking. When: 8-11 a.m. Where: Oak Mountain State Park Website: blanketforthope.org

Paws for a Cause 5K

The Shelby Humane Society will host a 5K and one-mile tail waggin’ trek to raise funds for the open-admission animal shelter. The one-mile trek will include an obstacle course that can be run by individuals, teams and is suited for adults, kids and dogs. When: 8:30 a.m. Where: Veterans Park Website: shelbyhumane.org

Oktoberfest

Cahaba Brewing will host its annual Oktoberfest event, including bratwurst from American Butcher, live music, a stein-hoisting competition and more. When: noon-10 p.m. Where:

ABOUT TOWN Cahaba Brewing Company Website: “Oktoberfest” Facebook page

Sun., Sept. 19 Earthbound’s Earthfest

Benefiting Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Earthbound’s Earthfest is an annual outdoor concert. The event is family-friendly and open to pets, and guests under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian When: 2 p.m. Where: Avondale Brewing Company Website: blackwarriorriver.org

Downtown Birmingham Walking Tours: Kiwanis Vulcan Trail

Vulcan Park and Museum will host a tour of the 2.2 mile Kiwanis Vulcan Trail, recently updated by the Freshwater Land Trust, that serves as the center of the Red Rock Trail System. Participants will learn about the history of local mining and ironmaking companies as well as the plant life. Registration is required. When: 2 p.m. Where: Kiwanis Vulcan Trail Website: visitvulcan.com

Together in Teal

The Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation will host this inaugural butterfly release to raise awareness of the silent symptoms of ovarian cancer as well as celebrate ovarian cancer survivors and honor those who have lost their lives. Live music by Wellington Avenue, vendors and more. When: 3-5 p.m. Where: Vulcan Park and Museum Website: nlovca.org

Thurs., Sept. 23 Negro League Legends From Birmingham and Beyond

This panel discussion will be moderated by historian and author Rich Megraw, featuring Larry Lester, current chairman of the Society for American Baseball Research’s Negro League Committee; Bill Plott, author and Society for American Baseball Research member; Larry Powell, author and retired UAB professor of communications studies; Dr. Layton Revel, founder and executive director of the Center for Negro League Baseball Research; and Lamar Smith, board member for the Friends of Rickwood, Rickwood Field SABR chapter and the American Baseball Foudnation’s Development Commission. When: 6-7:30 p.m. Where: Vulcan Park and Museum Website: visitvulcan.com

SAVE THE DATE Sat., Sept. 25 Head Over Teal 5K

The Laura Crandall Brown Foundation will host its annual Head Over Teal 5K and 10K in recognition of gynecological cancer awareness month. Races are pet-friendly and a fall-themed family fun festival will follow the run. Where: The Preserve Website: thinkoflaura.org/ headoverteal

Thursday, September 9, 2021 • 5

Bless Them All, Great and Small John Carroll to Host Second Annual Pet Blessing Ceremony

The second annual Blessing of the Pets will take place Oct. 2 at John Carroll Catholic High School to honor the memory of 2006 graduate Megan Montgomery (pictured). Last year, the event was created by Diane Henderson, a close family friend of the late Montgomery, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 31. In addition to paying homage to Montgomery’s love of animals, the pet blessing is hosted in conjunction with the school’s recognition of St. Francis of Assisi Day. The saint was known for his love of animals and uncanny ability to connect with them. According to a release, family and friends saw a similar ability in Montgomery, who dedicated time to support animal welfare, including serving as a founding member of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society’s junior professional board. “Open to the public, blessing pets is an old tradition in many faith communities, because we love our pets

Photo courtesy John Carroll Catholic

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

unconditionally as God loves us,” a news release states. “We pray for them when they are sick and mourn when they are gone. They are like our family.” Blessings will be performed by Deacon Douglass Moorer of Our Lady of Fatima and Deacon Rick DiGiorgio of Prince of Peace Catholic Church. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. on the outdoor parking lot at the back of John Carroll’s campus, at 300 Lakeshore Parkway in Homewood. For more information call Mike Bouton, director of alumni relations, at 205-986-1266.

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NEWS

6 • Thursday, September 9, 2021

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

‘Foster Togetherness and Community’ By Emily Williams-Robertshaw

The Hoover City Council has approved a plan to study the cost of developing a performance arts and community center. The city contracted with Live Design Group of Birmingham and Theatre DNA of Los Angeles to find potential locations for the building and propose a design concept for the center, including details such as the capacity, parking and proposed features and amenities. According to Councilor Curt Posey, who is the council’s liaison for the Hoover City Arts Council, this is a major milestone years in the making. Discussions about the development of a performing arts and community center have been on the table in Hoover since about 2008, Posey said. When Macy’s consolidated into the former Rich’s department store at the Riverchase Galleria, the council considered using the space now occupied by Von Maur as a community and performing arts facility. “When the discussion came back to the forefront during the 2016 election, I sat down with several local artists’ groups to talk about their experiences and what was truly needed to put Hoover on the map as a destination for arts and culture within the southeast,” he said. “From those discussions, and additional discussions with fellow council members and the mayor, we felt like the first step

should be to create a city Arts Council to provide a conduit between the city administration and the arts community.” Building the council took about a year, and in 2017 the Hoover Arts Council was established to use research and community outreach to develop ways to better provide art experiences to the public. With Posey representing the council and Hoover Library Fine Arts Director Matina Johnson consulting, the arts council is composed of fine arts professionals, business owners and community volunteers, including former Hoover City Schools college admissions counselor Paulette Pearson, artist Sandra Fuller, Hoover Arts Alliance co-founder Linda Chastain, Bluff Park Art Association President Julie Preskitt, Alabama Dance Academy owner Pam Sayle and Birmingham Boys Choir operations manager Tricia Simpson.

Hoover Arts Community Underserved

“Within the research and community outreach that has been conducted by the Arts Council, we found a glaring statistic in regard to performance space within our city versus the number of performance groups within our city,” Posey said. “I don’t think most realized that as our city grew over the past 50+ years, we have more performing arts-based businesses and schools per mile than any city in the state of Alabama.” For example, Posey noted that,

Above, Hoover Arts Council members, from left, Sandra Fuller, Paulette Pearson and Tricia Simpson, taken at the 2018 Moss Rock Festival. Below, a rendering of the Village Green amphitheater, part of the Village Green entertainment district being constructed at the Stadium Trace Village development.

while there are two major dance studios within minutes from each other along U.S. 31, there is no dedicated space in the city for their students and staff to perform. Hoover art schools and companies often have to venture outside of Hoover to host recitals and showcase their work to the public. “Why not find a way to showcase homegrown talent within our own city and allow the city to benefit from the direct and indirect revenue generated from these activities?” Posey said.

Economic Benefits

A performing arts center can also act as a catalyst for redevelopment, he noted, bringing in visitors from surrounding communities and beyond. He’s seen it work firsthand in other communities as the father of a dancer. He has traveled with his kids to competitions held at performing arts spaces throughout Alabama as well as other states. “In the case of our city, we are

blessed to have the infrastructure in place in terms of hotels and retail outlets, and we do have growth opportunities for redevelopment,” he said. “I think a performing arts center will only enhance the infrastructure we have in place and will provide a world of opportunity for the arts in like manner as the Finley Center has for youth sports.” One of the Arts Council’s first successes as they continued to work on the arts center concept involved arranging with the Birmingham Children’s Theatre to host performances of the 2018 production of “Alice in Wonderland” at the Galleria. The council has since been asked to provide input on the design of the Village Green amphitheater, part of the Village Green entertainment district being constructed at the Stadium Trace Village development. The amphitheater will serve as an outdoor concert venue with a projected 1,200-person capacity. “The Arts Council also is looking at yet another live performance opportunity at the Galleria that should be announced very soon,” Posey said. The recent approval to hire Live and TheatreDNA was a long-awaited step. Posey noted that it took two years for the arts council, mayor and City Council to choose the two vendors, which they believe are the best in the business as well as the best options for the city’s vision. A resolution to fund agreements with the two companies was unanimously passed by the City Council in March 2020. Then along came COVID-19. At the next City Council meeting,

Posey recalls, models showed a potential $15 million hole in the city’s budget due to shutdowns and other pandemic effects. Thus, the agreements with Live and TheatreDNA were tabled. “Everything finally came back together in July and now it’s full

‘If we can provide a place that helps foster togetherness and community, exposes our residents to arts and culture from around the world and showcases our homegrown talent by giving them a place to perform, then we have accomplished our mission.’ CURT POSEY

speed ahead,” Posey said. “To say I’m excited would be an understatement, and as odd as it sounds, I do think the pandemic helped because it reminded us all of the importance of fellowship and the energy that comes from congregation,” Posey said. “If we can provide a place that helps foster togetherness and community, exposes our residents to arts and culture from around the world and showcases our homegrown talent by giving them a place to perform, then we have accomplished our mission,” he said.

Photo and images courtesy Hoover Arts Council

Plans for Hoover Performing Arts Center Beginning


OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

AHA Recognizes Honorees for 2022 Heart Ball

VACCINE From Page One

will not meet their mom,” she said. On Aug. 20, UAB was taking care of 39 unvaccinated pregnant women, and 10 of them were in ICUs. Seven were on ventilators because of the very contagious Delta variant. That was extremely concerning to Dr. Audra Williams, assistant professor in the UAB Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, because less than 25% of pregnant women across the nation have at least one dose of the vaccine. Only 10% of pregnant African American women had at least one dose. “The Centers for Disease Control, along with every single major health organization, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, strongly recommends that pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine,” Dr. Williams said. “Any pregnant patient who is considering the vaccine, I strongly encourage you to talk to your health care provider. We don’t want to see you here in the ICU and having to

ees,” Eagan said. “Unfortunately, heart disease and stroke are all too common here in our state, and I have seen firsthand the devastating impact these conditions can have on people’s lives. We are proud to be working alongside the American Heart Association in furthering the organization’s mission and building a healthier community for all.” Kendall Eagan is a CPA and works for the Federal Reserve Bank

According to data provided by the organization, cardiovascular diseases and stroke are the first and fifth leading killers of Alabamians, respectively. The Birmingham Heart Ball highlights the association’s impact on the research and treatment of these conditions, as well as local efforts to implement the association’s mission of being a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit birminghamheartball.heart.org.

Custom Closets, Garage Cabinets, Home Office, Pantries, Laundries Wall Beds, Wall Units, Hobby Rooms, Garage Flooring and more... Dr. John T. Eagan Jr. and his wife, Kendall Eagan, are the honorees for the 2022 Birmingham Heart Ball, to be held March 12.

Birmingham supporting the Quarterbacking Children’s Health Foundation. “My wife, Kendall, and I are incredibly honored to serve as the 2022 Birmingham Heart Ball honorhave your baby delivered early when it’s something that could have been prevented.” Williams cited a study about women having pre-term births as an example of the importance of the vaccine. “Another recent study showed almost 60% increase in pre-term births among women affected with COVID,” Williams said. “All the data shows the benefits of vaccinations outweigh the risks.” Dr. Jodie Dionne echoed Williams’ sentiments while talking about a rumor associated with infertility. “There is zero evidence that the vaccine is linked to infertility,” said Dionne, associate director of UAB’s Global Health in the Center for Women’s Reproductive Health and associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases. “That is a rumor that is out there. I hear it in the work I do in Africa, I hear it from the patients I take care of here in Birmingham, so we have to be clear – there is no association,” she said. The doctors also encouraged spouses to get vaccinated as another layer of protection for an expectant mother and her unborn child.

Bluff Park WindoW Works f f f f

of Atlanta. She has served on several boards and is actively involved with numerous philanthropic organizations across Birmingham, including the Robert E. Reed Foundation, Linly Heflin, King’s Home, the Coastal Conservation Association of Alabama and the Junior League of Birmingham, as well as the upcoming World Games. To date, the Birmingham Heart Ball has raised more than $18 million for local research, advocacy and community education efforts.

Imagine your home, totally organized! Photo courtesy AHA

The American Heart Association, an international nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health, has named Dr. John T. Eagan Jr. and his wife, Kendall Eagan, as honorees for the 2022 Birmingham Heart Ball, to be held March 12. In this role, the Eagans will be focused on driving equitable health for every member of the Birmingham community and raising critical funds to support the work of the organization. Eagan is a board-certified cardiologist with Cardiovascular Associates and has an extensive background in invasive and interventional cardiac, peripheral vascular and venous interventions. A native of Birmingham, he received his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine, followed by an internal medicine residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a cardiovascular disease fellowship at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. A fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Eagan has research experience and been published in multiple articles and publications. He is also a member of the Monday Morning Quarterback Club of

Thursday, September 9, 2021 • 7

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LIFE

8 • Thursday, September 9, 2021

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

‘The Last Man Standing’

Homewood Theatre Kicks Off 2021-22 Season, Embraces Change at Brookwood Village

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

ALYS STEPHENS CENTER

Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, Oct. 14 NEA Jazz Master and Grammy award-winning producer Delfeayo Marsalis, hails from one of the most talented family of jazz musicians. The Uptown Jazz Orchestra’s repertoire ranges from New Orleans street band songs, swing, bebop and the blues to modern and contemporary jazz. Jemison Concert Hall.

Adapting to changes is a skill that Executive Director Kyle Bass and his theater staff has had time to master in 2020 and 2021.

“They have been very gracious with us, a little nonprofit theater.” Homewood Theatre offered their space as a venue for community meetings with the property’s previous owners, who seemed dedicated to a plan to turn the mall into a mixed-use facility with apartments. Bass said Fairway seems to be more invested in feedback from local residents who wish to see the mall continue to be centered on retail and restaurant offerings. “They are local folks, and they know what is important to the surrounding community,” Bass said, noting that some of the new owners’ team members have a history with the mall when it was known as Colonial Brookwood Village. Updates to the building are needed, but Bass said the new owners have been more than accommodating. “They asked us if we would be willing to move to another space in the mall to ride out the construction,” Bass said.

A Season of Adaptations

While it’s another challenge for the young theater, Bass is up for it. Adapting to changes is a skill the theater staff has had time to master in 2020 and 2021. The changes have brought opportunities to create new theater arts experiences. Last year, Bass worked with local actors to create an outdoor storytelling production. Performers created monologues recounting their pandemic experiences, titled “Working Without Pants.” Stories included accounts of losing jobs and even one in which a woman rekindled a love of baking, quit her day job and opened a bakery. “Then we had a guy who works in news and on the radio. He had been laid off for a while,” Bass said. “In one of his stories he said something about getting kind of tired of working without pants. I said, there’s our title.” Over the summer, Bass and his team have

See THEATRE, page 11

Alabama Ballet Sets Its Schedule for the 40th Anniversary Season

Photo courtesy Alabama Ballet

ALABAMA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Private Picnic in the Park, Sept. 26 The family-oriented organization Symphony 30 will host an ASO fundraiser where patrons can order a picnic dinner, including two adult meals, two kid meals, Cookie Fix cookies, beverages, a fall children’s craft and links to download ASO music while eating. Picnic blankets will be available for purchase. Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

By Emily Williams-Robertshaw Homewood Theatre’s 2019-20 season was filled with promise. It was the first season the theater performed in its own venue, which is in Brookwood Village. Executive Director Kyle Bass recalls moving into the space in the summer of 2019 with its first performance held in August of 2019. As they continued through their first fall, the location in the mall seemed to be the perfect fit. “We would hold people’s bags from Macy’s behind the bar,” Bass said. They would also store patron’s leftovers from dinner at a nearby restaurant such as Brio or Cocina Superior in the venue’s refrigerator. “We did four shows in this space and felt like we were rocking and rolling, then, all of a sudden …,” Bass said. Everything came to a screeching halt in March 2020. “We had already planned a music series and were planning to do camps that summer. All of that went away,” he added. Not only were productions in limbo, the mall began experiencing a rapid decline as businesses closed their doors. Some of the major losses were Books-aMillion, Brio Tuscan Grille, Cocina Superior, Jason’s Deli and, most recently, Chick-fil-A. “People have their place where they park when they come to Brookwood Village,” Bass said, choosing to park in their regular area whether they are going to Macy’s or to the food court. As patrons walked through the building, he said they were shocked by how empty it was. “We’re the last man standing,” Bass said, but brighter days are on the horizon. In August, news broke that the majority of the mall had been sold to Birmingham-based Fairway Investments and Pope & Land Real Estate, out of Atlanta. “I cannot say strongly enough that this group, Fairway Investments, is on the ball,” Bass said.

FALL ARTS PREVIEW CALENDAR

Alabama Ballet’s season opens with an Alabama Ballet at Home performance of selected repertoire presented Friday and Saturday in the more intimate atmosphere of the company’s studio in the Lakeview area. Tickets for the event are $20, which includes complimentary drinks. They can be bought at the door as well as online or by phone. Next up is “Ovation,” a mixed-repertory performance being presented Oct. 22-24 at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex theater. In the performance will be segments of classic ballets and contemporary works, including an original work by choreographer Garrett Smith titled “Imitations” and George

Balanchine’s “Western Symphony.” In December, “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” will be performed at the BJCC concert hall. The Alabama Ballet is one of only eight companies in the world granted the rights to perform this holiday classic, which includes opulent costumes and extravagant sets. On Feb. 25-27, the company presents “Blue Suede Shoes,” by Dennis Nahat, at the BJCC concert hall. The ballet is danced to 36 master recordings of Elvis Presley songs, combining classical dance and classic rock with a helping of jazz thrown in. The 90-minute ballet incorporates 280 costumes, all designed by Bob Mackie, and 16 sets. See BALLET, page 11

Sierra Hull, Oct. 16 After making her Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 10, the Tennessee-bred virtuoso mandolinist Sierra Hull played Carnegie Hall at age 12, then landed a deal with Rounder Records just a year later. Now 28-years-old, Hull is set to deliver her fourth full-length for Rounder: 25 Trips. Jemison Concert Hall. Robert Cray Band, Nov. 9 In just over 40 years, five-time Grammy Awardwinning singer, guitarist and songwriter Robert Cray and his band have recorded 20 studio releases, 15 of which have been on the Billboard charts, and played in bars, concert halls, festivals and arenas around the world. Jemison Concert Hall. Chris Thile, Nov. 16 Grammy award winner and MacArthur Fellow Chris Thile, a member of Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek, and now the host of Live from Here, is a mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist with a broad outlook that encompasses classical, rock, jazz and bluegrass. Jemison Concert Hall.

BIRMINGHAM BROADWAY SERIES

Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles Nov. 10 In celebration of the anniversary of Abbey Road, Rain will bring the greatest hits of this epic recording to life, in addition to all your early Beatles favorites. BJCC Theatre. Waitress, Oct. 15-17 Inspired by the beloved film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker who dreams of a way out of her small town. BJCC Theatre.

BIRMINGHAM CHILDREN’S THEATRE

Dot and Ziggy, Sept. 4, Sept. 11 and Sept. 18 With the help of a wise spider, and the encouragement of the audience, neighbors Dot, a ladybug, and Ziggy, a skunk, will learn how to share. BCT is offering a new series of shows specifically for its youngest audiences featuring engaging, interactive, immersive experiences for early learners. Birmingham Children’s Theatre..

See ARTS, page 12


OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Thursday, September 9, 2021 • 9

LIFE

Red Mountain Theatre has announced five shows that will make up the 2021-2022 inaugural season in its new, state-of-the-art facility. The season will begin Dec. 3 with the Red Mountain Theatre Holiday Spectacular, featuring the Red Mountain Theatre Youth Ensemble (formerly RMT Conservatory), along with adults performing classic holiday favorites. The Holiday Spectacular will take place Wednesdays through Sundays, Dec. 3 to Dec. 19. The shows on Wednesdays through Fridays will begin at 8 p.m. Saturdays’ shows will begin at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays’ at 2 p.m. The remainder of the season will include performances of “Once on This Island,” “Once,” “Kinky Boots” and Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” “We’re so excited for the first season of shows to take place at our Arts Campus,” said Red Mountain Theatre Executive Director Keith Cromwell. “Each of these shows offers a unique and wonderful theatrical experience for both audience and performers. We can’t wait to see these shows come to life on our stages.” “Once on This Island is a two-act musical set in the Caribbean Sea that tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl on an island who uses the power of love to unite people of varying social classes.

Photo courtesy RMTC

Red Mountain Theatre Kicks Off a 5-Show Season in December

The play is an adaptation of the popular fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” and garnered eight Tony nominations for its Broadway run in 1990-91, including best musical, book and score. Performances will begin Feb. 11

and be held each Thursday through Sunday until Feb. 27. Thursday and Friday shows will lift the curtain at 8 p.m., with Saturday shows starting at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday shows beginning at 2 p.m. “Once,” a 2011 musical based on

the 2007 film of the same name by John Carney and adapted for the stage by Enda Walsh, tells the story of an Irish street performer known only as ‘Guy’ and his love interest ‘Girl,’ who fall for each other over their shared love of music. Once will make its debut at Red Mountain Theatre April 8 and will run Thursdays–Sundays through April 24. Thursday and Friday shows will begin at 8 p.m., with shows on Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday shows beginning at 2 p.m. Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, “Kinky Boots” is set to a Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper and based on a hilarious book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein. The plot centers on the character of Charlie Price, a man attempting to save his family’s Northampton, England, shoe business who eventually begins to focus on producing highheeled boots for drag performers. The show will premiere June 3 and run Thursdays to Sundays through June 26. Thursday and Friday shows will begin at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. shows on Saturdays and 2 p.m. matinees on Sundays. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” tells the classic story of a girl forced to live with her evil stepmother until a fairy godmother rescues her and delivers her into the arms of Prince Charming.

Performances will begin July 15 and run Tuesdays to Sundays through Aug. 7. Tuesday to Friday shows will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday shows will begin at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and there will be a single 2 p.m. show on Sundays. All performances will take place at Red Mountain Theatre’s Arts Campus, at 1600 Third Ave. South in Birmingham. Tickets can be purchased to each show individually or in various packages. Season subscriptions are available at RedMountainTheatre.org. Individual show tickets will go on sale in October.

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10 • Thursday, September 9, 2021

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

LIFE

•Parent/Toddler •Movement-to-Music •”Let’s Get Moving” for students with disabilities •Ballet •Modern •Jazz •Tap •Hip Hop •Musical Theatre Live piano accompaniment for classes through first grade.

Call or register online 205.870.0073 thedancefoundation.org 1715 27th Ct S, Homewood

Welcome back to Samford Arts We are rolling out the red carpet for our Samford friends to come see our ensembles, guest artists, faculty and more. Make sure to check out our art and music classes for all ages at the Academy of the Arts.

Art Gallery Events:

Matter + Spirit • Tad Gloeckler • Jamaal Barber Samford faculty and student exhibits

Theatre and Opera Events:

The Wind in the Willows • Crumbs from the Table of Joy A Christmas Carol, the Musical • The Laramie Project Dance Concert • The Magic Flute

Music Events:

Faculty Gala and Recitals • A Cappella Choir University Chorale • Orchestra • Jazz Chamber Ensembles • Commercial Music Worship Arts Ensemble • Samford Worship Team

Davis Architects Guest Artist Series: Misha Dichter • Rachel Barton Pine Sandbox Percussion • Invoke

Make sure to check our website for events, times and ticket information at

samford.edu/arts/events.

Street Music Pandemic Brought Five Homewood Residents Together to Form a Neighborhood Band

Photo courtesy The Kensingtons

2021 Season Begins September 7

By Emily Williams-Robertshaw The Kensingtons, a relatively new local band, is made up of five neighbors who knew each other very little, if at all, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Homewood residents Ben Leach, Bob Blalock, Ethan White, Sam Gentle and Chris Horwedel all live on the same street, Kensington Road. What brought them together was a desire to play music and have some fun during the height of pandemic shutdowns. “To me … there have certainly been some very difficult and hard things that have happened over the past year with COVID, but this has been a huge silver-lining,” said Leach, the lead vocalist. For about a year, the band has performed exclusively in their neighborhood. They’ll soon break out of their bubble to play at the Homewood City Schools Foundation’s Grateful Dads concert fundraiser Sept. 26 at Pizzeria GM in West Homewood. Also included in the lineup will be the band Thrine, which also includes Homewood residents. “It’s an awesome opportunity to be a part of something that is raising money and giving back to the city schools,” Leach said. “We were thrilled we were asked.” Each member of the band has a connection to the organization and its impact on the Homewood community. Leach’s oldest son just started kindergarten at Shades Cahaba Elementary School and Gentle has kids who will soon age into the school system. While Blalock’s kids have all graduated, he was a member of the Homewood City Schools Foundation during their time in the school system. “It is a wonderful organization that provides great support for teachers and schools in Homewood,” Blalock said. “When Ben mentioned the possibility, I was all in.”

Bonding During Lockdown

What both Leach and Blalock find to be one of the most fascinating things about the formation of The Kensingtons is that they hardly knew each other before the pandemic. “My wife and I have lived here for about nine or 10 years, and we didn’t really know any of our neighbors,” Leach said. “We should have, but we just didn’t.” White and Blalock were the only two who had an established relationship, but it was simply as next-door neighbors. During the initial shutdowns, the two got to talking at one of White’s

Bandmates Chris Horwedel, Ben Leach, Bob Blalock, Sam Gentle and Ethan White all live on the same street in Homewood, Kensington Road.

lawn parties. He would host them during the weekends with neighbors gathering for drinks outdoors while social distancing. “Ethan kept talking up this idea of starting a neighborhood band,” Blalock said. White knew that Blalock played guitar and wanted him to sign on. Meanwhile, Leach had caught wind of White’s lawn parties and was hoping to join in on the fun. “I drove by one day and told my wife, Laura, we’ve got to get invited to this. We need to be a part of this,” he said. As fate would have it, Leach ended up connecting with White through work. Through his job in commercial banking with Progress Bank, he worked on a PPP Loan for White’s physical therapy clinic, EW Motion Therapy. Leach noticed White’s Kensington Road address, dropped some hints, and White invited him to bring his wife and kids to the next event. At his first party, Leach was asked the inevitable question, “Do you play any instruments?” “Before I could say anything, my wife blurted out, ‘You know, Ben was in a band in college. He was a singer,’” Leach said. While he noted that the last time he was in a band was many years ago, it didn’t matter. He was asked to come back to White’s house on Saturday to play around. “It took on a life of its own,” Blalock said. White, Blalock and Leach worked through a couple of songs that Saturday and were soon approached by Gentle. He’s a physician working in neonatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, but he has a history as a seasoned musician. “He walked up one day and said, ‘Guys, I see what you’re doing here and I’m in. Let’s do it,’” Leach said with a laugh. The group now had a drummer, all of the core makings of a band, and they began meeting on Saturdays to play around with some songs. Their first gig was purely for fun, an outdoor neighborhood concert on Blalock’s wife’s 60th birthday. “We were terrible,” Blalock said, mostly in jest. “We stunk. Especially the lead guitarist, which was the role I was trying to fill.”

Despite being critical of himself, Blalock and the band caught the eye of Horwedel – a seasoned guitarist who wanted to help out. “Chris is a phenomenal guitarist,” Leach said. “He’s probably one of the best I’ve ever played with.” “He is much, much better than I could ever dream of being,” Blalock said. “He rounded out the band and at that point we didn’t need three guitarists. We didn’t have a bass player, so I thought I could figure that out.” Throughout the pandemic, the band has been practicing once or twice a week and periodically hosting concerts for the neighborhood while developing quite a following. Leach notes that one of their last shows in May had an audience of somewhere between 200 and 250 people. “We’re trying to move beyond Sam’s front porch,” Bob said. “So, this show coming up on Sept. 26 will be the first big step.” The band also plans to do host a neighborhood show on Halloween, followed by a performance at a fundraiser for Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic School in mid-November.

Generations United

Audiences will hear an eclectic set list when they see the Kensingtons, but mostly they play alternative and classic rock ranging from the White Stripes to the Rolling Stones. “It reflects our ages,” Blalock said. “I’m the old guy in the band, so I like classic rock, and some of the other guys like Ben and Sam are much younger.” Blalock has found that learning to play her bandmates favorite songs has broadened his taste in music. He’s developed a new appreciation for familiar songs that he had previously overlooked, for example “Times Like These” by Foo Fighters and “Tomorrow” by Silverchair. In turn, he offered up “Rock and Roll” by the Velvet Underground, which is now one of Horwedel’s favorite songs that they play. “COVID has just been awful – all of the sickness all of the death, businesses being shuddered or closing forever,” Blalock said. “But this was something good that came out of it for us. I’ve really enjoyed getting together with those guys and making music. I think we all do.”


OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

BALLET From page 8

“Don Quixote,” a classical ballet about a nobleman obsessed with stories of ancient chivalry, is scheduled for April 22-24 at the BJCC concert hall to close out the season. “This season brings an exciting variety of works, from classic to contemporary and timeless to never before seen,” said Tracey Alvey, artistic director of Alabama Ballet. “It offers a little something for

THEATRE From page 8

everyone – comedy, tragedy, family friendly and one-of-akind. I look forward to bringing these performances along with a wealth of talent to this year’s stage.” Alabama Ballet is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The company began in 1981 as an outgrowth of the Birmingham Civic Ballet, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Ballet and Ballet Alabama, and under the coartistic direction of worldrenowned dancers Dame Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski.

In addition, Alabama Ballet will be celebrating Artistic Director Tracey Alvey’s 15th anniversary and Associate Artistic Director Roger VanFleteren’s 25th anniversary with the organization. Alabama Ballet season tickets can be purchased for $265 online at www.alabamaballet. org or by calling the Alabama Ballet office at 205-322-4300. Tickets to the Alabama at Home performance are not part of the season package and can be bought at the door, online or by phone.

about all we can do.” With the After Dark Series clearly stating an intent to present shows with adult themes, Bass was able to produce the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Proof” by David Auburn. In mid-August, the 2021-22 season kicked off with Part 4 of the theater’s ongoing “Bill Bugg and Friends” show, featuring songs from the Great American Songbook performed by Bugg and other local theater arts legends, such as Kristi Tingle Higginbotham and Jan Hunter. “The few shows we’ve done since the shutdowns, we probably had people stay and talk after shows longer than any that

we used to do,” Bass said. They have even started to open up the doors and allow patrons to spill out into the mall so everyone is able to spread out and socially distance. On the horizon, Bass is looking forward to the season’s next production “Natalie Needs a Nightie,” by Neil and Caroline Schaffner. Bass describes it as a fun, lighthearted comedy with a “Three’s Company” vibe. It will run for two weekends, with performances Oct. 21-23 and Oct. 28-30 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 24 and Oct. 31 at 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit homewoodtheatre.com.

Thursday, September 9, 2021 • 11

Opens Oct. 9, 2021

artsbma.org

EXHIBITION

been trying to rebuild. The theater produced a concert series featuring local musicians and songwriters and hosted Birmingham Children’s Theatre summer camps. Bass also introduced a new After Dark series, something he has been promising his coworkers for a while. They would bring him a show they wanted to produce, but it would be just beyond the theater’s content rating. “We’re not G-rated,” Bass said. “I always tell people we’re just a little bit naughty. That’s

LIFE

LOST REALMS OF

THE MOUNDBUILDERS ANCIENT NATIVE AMERICANS OF THE SOUTH AND MIDWEST Lost Realms of the Moundbuilders: Ancient Native Americans of the South and Midwest (originally titled Spiro and the Art of the Mississippian World) is organized by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. This exhibition is supported in part by the Henry Luce Foundation, the Kirkpatrick Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The local presentation is made possible by the Estate of Mr. Harris Saunders, Jr. and Jean Saunders. Additional support is provided by the Jefferson County Community Service Fund at the recommendation of Alabama Representative Jim Carns, HD 48.

Effigy pipe of seated male figure. Identified as Morning Star or the hero Red Horn. Le Flore County, Oklahoma, Spiro site, 1100 – 1200. Bauxite (flint clay). Photograph by John Lamberton. Image courtesy the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Fayetteville, University of Arkansas Museum. 47-2-1.

Birmingham Museum of Art Over the Mountain Journal ad - 12" x 6.5"


12 • Thursday, September 9, 2021

Art “Needs to be Seen”

Artist Looks Forward to Return of Birmingham Art Crawl and “Good Ol’ Artsy Convos” By Emily Williams-Robertshaw Homewood resident Amber Orr of Amber O’s Art is happy to be back. She is a regular at Birmingham Art Crawl, a community arts event that since it was founded in 2014 has been providing a space for local artists and makers to not only sell their creations but also to engage with members of the community. Birmingham Art Crawl took a break during pandemic shutdowns, returning in May. Events are held on the second Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at The Pizitz. Next up is Sept. 11. “Any art event is crucial,” Orr said. “Our art needs to be seen, espe-

ARTS

cially during this time. “Oftentimes our art can communicate something words cannot,” she

BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART

From page 8 Ruff!, Sept. 25, Oct. 16 and Oct. 30 A “tail” of two shelter dogs: Axel is rough and tumble, Buddy is friendly and eager, Ruff! tackles themes of identity, self-esteem and confidence, friendship and the challenge of stepping forward without fear. Birmingham Children’s Theatre.

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

LIFE

All Things Bright and Beautiful, Oct. 6 - Jan. 2022 This exhibit brings together works primarily from the Museum’s permanent collection that look at themes of power and agency. This exhibition takes its name from a painting by Amy Sherald, whose portraits depict Black sitters with pride, dignity, and joy, representations

added. “I meet many people who art,” she said. “They don’t hold back. couldn’t explain what a piece did to They give praise or criticism without them, but it spoke to them. It made filters. It’s the best. I especially love them feel better, reminded them of giving advice to the ones who are someone.” hesitant (or their parents and guardShe finds that artists need the ians are) about pursuing an art social interaction with each other and career.” the public, as well. Orr’s work is very much a product “For me, returning to of where she is mentally. festival life has been She describes her work as a refreshing,” she said. “I “visual diary,” a product of feel normal, like I have a self-expression. purpose again. I feel at She describes her pieces peace. I feel at home. I’m as stream of consciousness having those good ol’ artsy art, combining abstract and convos again. Man, I really realistic style elements with have missed those simple color and imagery based on interactions.” her mood at the time. While simply being a “I tend to draw a face Amber Orr part of the community has from my imagination or been a blessing, Orr said real life,” she said. “I’m that some of her favorite experiences fascinated with natural hair and the at Birmingham Art Crawl have been exaggeration of eyes and lips.” her interactions with kids. They’re The pandemic was a rollercoaster genuine, she said. not only for Orr but also for her fami“They have the best reactions to ly, and the sense of chaos was reflect-

ed in her work. “I’m a pretty bubbly and social person,” she said. “Being snatched away from my family, friends and art community was torture. My work went from light to dark during the lockdown.” Part of her sadness during the pandemic was due to the isolation that anti-COVID measures created. She found herself emotionally drawn to medical personnel, creating work inspired by and dedicated to the people working on the front lines of the pandemic. Currently, her work is inspired by her daydreams. According to one of Orr’s close friends, she goes into a trance while at work. “As an artist, it’s kinda an involuntary obligation to grow,” Orr said. “Experiences, both positive and negative, have helped mold me into something new. Also, when I feel inspired, I break my comfort zone/routine to shake things up.”

historically only afforded to white people. Pizitz Gallery.

returns to Hoover Library. Registration Required. Children’s Patio.

Wall to Wall - Merritt Johnson, Oct. 6-Dec. 2022 This new ongoing project invites artists to activate the Museum’s lobby and cafe with artwork inspired by the city. The inaugural iteration of Wall to Wall will feature four works created by Alaska-based artist Merritt Johnson. After visiting Birmingham and learning about its environment and inhabitants.8th Avenue Lobby and Oscar’s Cafe.

Artist Talk with Elizabeth Pellathy - HPL Galleries: Artist Talk Series, Sept. 24 Meet artist and educator Elizabeth Pellathy in this Zoom artist talk. She will discuss and share her artwork in this prerecorded virtual event.

Jekyll & Hyde in Concert, Oct. 29-Nov. 7 Based on the classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson, Jekyll & Hyde will feature a score of pop rock hits from multi-Grammy and Tony-nominated Frank Wildhorn and double-Oscar and Grammy-winning Leslie Briscusse.

Moundbuilders: Ancient Native Americans of the South and Midwest, Oct. 9 - Feb. 6, 2022 More than 1000 years ago, Alabama was home to the Mississippian civilization, one of the largest and most important Native American cultures ever to exist, also known as the Moundbuilders, created an empire comparable to that of the Aztec, Mayan and Incan cultures. Jemison Galleries.

THE STATE’S PREMIER PROFESSIONAL BALLET COMPANY

Voices So True: New Native American Art from the Clyde Oyster Bequest, Oct. 9, 2021 - Jan. 30, 2022 Voices So True: New Native American Art from the Clyde Oyster Bequest features the work of seven contemporary Native American artists, whose vision gives voice to Native American perspectives, past and present. Arrington Gallery.

BLUFF PARK ART ASSOCIATION

Bluff Park Art Show, Oct. 2 The Bluff Park Art Association will host its 58th annual art show featuring works in a variety of mediums created by local and regional artists. The Park at Shades Cliff.

ALABAMABALLET.ORG

THE LIBRARY THEATRE

Matt Bryant in Concert, Sept. 8 Electric ukulele player and video artist

Madeleine Peyroux - In Concert, Oct. 4-5 Madeleine Peyroux is an American jazz singer and songwriter. The Library Theatre. Paula Cole - In Concert, Nov. 5 Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter Paula Cole released her tenth studio album, American Quilt, this year. The Library Theatre.

FIND ART BIRMINGHAM

Moss Rock Festival, Nov. 6-7 This 16th annual eco-creative festival invites guests to explore Nature, Smart Living, Art and Design. Hoover Metropolitan Complex.

RED MOUNTAIN THEATRE

Human Rights New Works Festival, Sept. 24-26 The theatre’s annual festival features works that explore difficult issues and emotions to spark world-changing conversations. The four new works presented this year include Memorial, True North, Survivors and Bar Mitzvah in Birmingham. Discovery Theatre. The Addams Family - Young@Part, Oct. 1-3 Featuring young artists, this production will present a comingof-age tale as the Addams family hosts a dinner party for Wednesday Addams’ “normal” boyfriend and his family.

STUDIO BY THE TRACKS

“Music Icons”, through Oct. 3 Studio By the Track’s artist Michael Hall will showcase his series of works titled “Music Icons” in a solo show at Seasick Records. All of Hall’s work will be for sale along with a special t-shirt design. Seasick Records.

VIRGINIA SAMFORD THEATRE

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Oct. 14-21 An eclectic group of six midpubescents compete for the spelling championship of a lifetime. Each of the tweens candidly discloses both comedic and touching stories from their home lives as they spell their way through a series of words, hoping they don’t hear the bell that signals a spelling mistake. VST Mainstage. The Glass Menagerie, Oct. 28-Nov. 7 This memory play by Tennessee Williams, set in St. Louis in 1937, is drawn from the memories of the narrator, Tom Wingfield, an aspiring poet who toils in a shoe warehouse to support his mother, Amanda, and his fragile sister, Laura. Directed by David McMahon. Martha Moore Sykes Studio Theatre. Stars Presents: Madagascar A Musical Adventure Jr., Nov. 18-21 The theater’s VSTARS youth performers will showcase a musical rendition of DreamWork’s hit animated motion picture, featuring Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo, plotting penguins and more. VST Mainstage.


OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Thursday, September 9, 2021 • 13

LIFE

Samford University’s School of the Arts has set a packed schedule starting this month to welcome patrons back to in-person arts events. Performances and exhibits will take place in the Art Gallery, Brock Recital Hall, Wright Center, Reid Chapel, Hodges Chapel, Bonnie Bolding Studio and Harrison Theatre, which had renovations this summer. Additionally, the school will celebrate 15-year anniversaries of Brock Recital Hall and the Bonnie Bolding Studio. “The School of the Arts is excited to have you back in our spaces and cheering for our students,” said Joe Hopkins, dean of the School of the Arts. “It is important to our students to have visible support from our community, and we have a tremendous season planned. We encourage our friends to come back to campus and enjoy the talent of our faculty, students and guest artists.” See the full list of events and details at Samford.edu/arts/events. The season began with the Matter & Spirit art exhibit presented by the Clarence Brooks Art & Design Series and on display at the Samford Art Gallery through Oct. 7. The exhibit features a group of traveling artists, 10 American and 10 Chinese, who explored the relationship between Christianity and art. The Patty McDonald Faculty Gala is the first event of the season. It will be at Brock Recital Hall on Sept. 14, 7:30-9 p.m., and will be available through the school’s livestream. The evening will showcase talented faculty members from the school. The Randy Atcheson Christian Ministry Benefit Concert will be held Sept. 19, 4-5:30 p.m., at Reid Chapel. The concert will benefit the Christian ministry scholarship for Samford students preparing for Christian service as pastors, evangelists, worship leaders, youth leaders, missionaries and other vocations. Clarinetist Brian Viliunas will perform as part of the Mary Louise Hodges Faculty Series Sept. 21, 7:309 p.m., at Brock Recital Hall. Viliunas

SANSPOINTE From Page One

dle school student workshops and other programs. “We’re creating new work for the community and it’s really important to us to make it accessible,” Foshee said. “We don’t want to push anyone away from modern dance.” The company began prepping for the 2021 season in 2020 not knowing what the pandemic landscape would look like today. “We were trying to decide if we could even have a show at the time, so we were thinking outside the norm,” she said. “Let’s make some dance outside. If we can do anything,

Photo courtesy Samford University

Samford Arts Series Returns With In-Person Events

On Sept. 30, the Mary Louise Hodges Faculty Series presents Angela Yoon, soprano, at Brock Recital Hall from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

conducts the Samford orchestra and travels extensively as a guest artist. Samford’s A Cappella Choir will present choral vespers Sept. 24, 5:306:30 p.m. at Hodges Chapel. Parents of students, along with faculty and friends of the school, can attend Tea With the Dean on Sept 25, 10 a.m.-11 a.m., during Family Weekend. The reception will be at the Brock Recital Hall Lobby. The same weekend, Singing in Heaven!, the annual hymn sing, will be happening Sept. 26, 2-3 p.m., at Reid Chapel. On Sept. 30, the Mary Louise Hodges Faculty Series presents Angela Yoon, soprano, at Brock Recital Hall from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. “The Wind in the Willows,” is being presented by the Emma Taylor Theatre for Youth Series Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at Harrison Theatre. The production is a witty and magical adaptation by Moses Goldberg

based on the book by Kenneth Grahame. Set in the English countryside, the tale of friendship and bravery follows Mole’s adventure to explore the Riverbank, during which he makes friends with fellow adventurers to travel through the Wild Wood. On its first night, the production will be invitation-only and will begin at 7 p.m., with preshow activities starting at 6:16 p.m. Subsequent showings on Friday and Saturday begin at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday’s performance at 2:30 p.m. A concert by professor Brad Diamond, tenor, accompanied by John Robertson on the piano will be presented as part of the Mary Louise Hodges Faculty Recital Series Oct. 3, 2:30-4 p.m., at Brock Recital Hall. The Samford Orchestra will perform Oct. 5, 7:30-9 p.m., at Brock Recital Hall as part of the Patty McDonald Orchestra Series. Kathleen Buccleugh, soprano, and

we can do it outside.” “Here” will be presented outdoors at the Children’s Fresh Air Farm, a space that has been a neighborhood haven for Foshee and her children during the pandemic. “Hopefully we will have good weather, but it will be rain or shine because we can move it into the pavilion,” Foshee said. “We’re going to make it work.” Company officials acclimated themselves to the outdoor performance style earlier this summer with its “Tiny Dances.” The event included a multimedia display at the Pizitz Food Hall downtown as well as an outdoor performance. “Here” will feature four new works created by Foshee, Wallace and

Rachel Inman. In addition to the dancers, live music will be provided by Iron Giant Percussion, coordinated by Music Director Justin Wallace with vocals by Wilder Atkins. The show will conclude with a community dance featuring volunteer dancers, or “community movers,” Foshee said. Members of the community were invited to sign up to participate in the finale regardless of their experience on the stage. “We are calling them ‘movers,’ because it is anyone,” Foshee said. “We have some people who have never danced in their life and then some that have.” The movers will begin rehearsals in the coming weeks on a piece creat-

Cindy St. Clair, piano, will perform Oct. 17, 2:30-4 p.m., at the Brock Recital Hall as part of the Mary Louise Hodges Faculty Recital Series. The Fall Combined Choirs Concert will take place Oct. 21, 7:30-9:30 p.m., at Reid Chapel. The event is part of the Steven and Gena Brown Vinyard Choral Series and will feature the University Chorale and the Samford A Cappella Choir. Samford’s newest Commercial Music Ensemble will perform popular music from the 1960s to modern day, in addition to performing originals written by Samford students and faculty, Oct. 26, 7:30-9 p.m., at Boren Courtyard, weather permitting. “Crumbs From the Table of Joy” will be presented by the Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman Theatre and Dance Series at the Harrison Theatre. The production will be 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Oct. 28-30, and 2:30 to 4 p.m., Oct. 31. The history of the Crump family as they move to 1950s New York after the death of their mother is told through the eyes of 17-year-old Ernestine. The coming-of-age story is part of the School of the Arts Diversity Series and is sponsored by Alabama Power and The Daniel Foundation. Chamber Ensemble, featuring several student chamber ensembles will be presented Nov. 16, 7:30-9 p.m., at Brock Recital Hall. The Worship Arts Ensemble Fall Concert will be presented Nov. 18, 7:30-9 p.m., at Reid Chapel. The Dr. Chandler and Jane Paris Smith Opera Series is showcasing opera vignettes during its annual Opera Workshops on Nov. 19-20 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Bolding Studio. “A Christmas Carol,” the musical, will be presented as part of the Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman Theatre and Dance Series Dec. 2-5 at the Wright Center. The presentation will be from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the first three days and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 5. —Ashley Smith

ed with their input. “We’ll be asking them some questions about how they dealt with losing community and how they found community during 2020,” Foshee said. “We’re hoping they will feel comfortable. It’s daunting, but once they get there, I think, on that first day they will realize that anyone can do what we’re doing.” She hopes that the experience will prove to be a form of dance therapy for those participating as well as those watching the show. “Anybody can move their body and it feels good to do that, but you can also tell a story,” Foshee said. For more information and ticket purchase, visit sanspointe.org.

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SOCIAL

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Amy Hagedorn and Sarah Willis.

From left, Jenna Dorlan, Joan Wright, Morgan Emahiser, Jill Hoops and Michael Walker.

A MAGICAL TIME

Childcare Resources’ Fairy Tale Ball Raises Money for Early Learning

W

Tramaine and Mia Yarbrough.

hile attendance was limited because of COVID, no magic was spared as Childcare Resources presented its annual family-friendly

fundraiser. The annual Fairy Tale Ball was hosted Aug. 28 at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham–The Wynfrey Hotel. Kids in attendance were encouraged to don costumes inspired by their favorite fairy tale characters as they participated in character meet and greets and interactive activities. In addition, a silent auction was featured along with live music. Funds raised will help further the organization’s mission to create quality early learning opportunities and a strong academic start for young children across central Alabama. ❖

Timothy Emahiser, Donnie Willis and Danny Willis. Taiya Ponder with Stella and Russ Kolman.

Above, Duncan and Tristan Cook. Right, Ashley Timmerman with Angela, Sunny and Stella Karen.

Jen and Robert Green.


OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Diamonds Are Furever Hand in Paw’s Picasso Pets Gala Raises More Than $200,000

The gala took place Aug. 14 at The Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook. According to event officials, efforts were made to present a safe evening, with masks encouraged and only invited guests allowed to attend to keep the crowd small.

Photo courtesy Hand in Paw

At the 20th annual Picasso Pets gala, presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Hand in Paw supporters raised more than $200,000 to help the nonprofit carry out its mission to improve human health and well-being through animal-assisted therapy. Picasso Pets is Hand in Paw’s largest single source of revenue and ensures that its in-person and virtual services can be delivered free of charge. The gala took place Aug. 14 at The Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook. According to event officials, efforts were made to present a safe evening, with masks encouraged and only invited guests allowed to attend to keep the crowd small. The organization celebrated 25 years of service to the community and the 20th anniversary of Picasso Pets. The gala included a cocktail reception with philanthropic games, a live auction and a performance from the All in One band. Throughout the event, guests sipped on signature cocktails, met Hand in Paw Teams and listened to testimonials. Dr. Jim and Katie Lasker presented the Tweety Lasker Award to Boys & Girls Clubs of West Alabama. The award is granted each year to an organization that partners with Hand in Paw. One of the evening’s most anticipated moments was seeing the completed Picasso Pets paintings that were made by pets belonging to prominent members of the community with help from well-known local art-

Thursday, September 9, 2021 • 15

SOCIAL

ists. This year’s presenters included Don and Melanie Lewis, Abbie and Valerie Richenderfer, Dee Kennedy and CeCe Lacey Kennedy, Kristen McGee, Margaret and Conor Davis, and Emmett and Catherine McLean. This year’s artists included Lila Graves, Liz Lane, John Lytle Wilson, Sarah Mason and Thomas Andrew. “Diamonds are Furever” was the

artistic theme for the night. The inspiration for the 2021 Face of Picasso Pets, Bristol Fulton, was in attendance with her family. The Face of Picasso Pets was designed by local artist Becky Denny, who drew inspiration from the glamour of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Guests were encouraged to wear their sparkly jewelry with their glamorous Hollywood attire to match the theme. ❖

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OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Best in the Business

Kiwanis Club Inducts New Members Into Birmingham Business Hall of Fame As the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, the organization chose nine Birmingham business leaders to induct into its Birmingham Business Hall of Fame. A ceremony was held Aug. 26 at The Harbert Center to honor Grayson Hall Jr., Regions Financial Corp.; John A. Hand, First National Bank of Birmingham; Elmer B. Harris, Alabama Power Co.; Dr. Basil I. Hirschowitz, UAB gastroenterology; Billy Charles Martin, Martin Advertising; William R. Pettiford, Alabama Penny Savings Bank; Dr. Shelley Stewart, o2ideas; and W. Edgar Welden Sr., Welden Field. The private dinner was held for honorees and their families and was livestreamed on the club’s social media pages. ❖

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16 • Thursday, September 9, 2021

Honoree Dr. Shelley Stewart, right, with, from left, Bill Todd and Larry Thorton.

Honoree Edgar Welden, center, with family, from left, Ed and Brooke Welden, wife Louise, and Ann and Jamie Holman.

Honoree Grayson Hall Jr., center, with, from left, daughters Laura Money and Anna Kathryn Johnson, wife Susan Hall and son John Hall.

Grandsons of Honoree Billy Charles Martin, with their wives, from left, Will and Andrea Martin, Hunter and Kelly Martin and Ashley and Michael Martin.

cookmuseum.org


OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Photos courtesy Samford University

From left, Lori L. Sullivan, Dr. Jacqnaii A. Finkley, Dr. April Harris Finkley, Dr. Alicia Hunsberger, Jenny Anderson Waltman and Jason Allen Waltman.

Educational Excellence

Samford Names Drayton Nabers and Lori L. Sullivan Learning for Life Honorees

Samford University President Beck Taylor.

Thursday, September 9, 2021 • 17

SOCIAL

Two Mountain Brook residents, Drayton Nabers and Lori L. Sullivan, were honored Aug. 25 by Samford University at the 2021 Learning for Life ceremony at Vestavia Country Club. The Learning for Life Award, established in 2015 by Samford’s Orlean Beeson School of Education, honors outstanding education alumni who have made a significant impact in the lives of others.

Nabers is co-founder and chairman of The Hope Institute, and Sullivan retired two years ago after serving 40 years as an educator. A 1962 graduate of Princeton University, Nabers earned his law degree from Yale University in 1965. Before returning to Birmingham to practice, he was a law clerk to former Justice Hugo Black on the U.S. Supreme Court. He has been general counsel and chief executive officer of

Drayton Nabers and Liz Huntley.

Scholarship Recipient Christa Chery.

Protective Life Corp. and Alabama state finance director. He served as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court from 2004 until 2006. He also served Samford as director of the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership. Nabers is the author of three books on ethics and leadership: “The Case for Character,” “The Hidden Key to Happiness” and “Priceless: A Life That Counts for Good.” He is an active member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham. He and his wife, Fairfax, have three children and seven grandchildren. Sullivan earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education from Samford. She spent 40 years as an educator in different capacities at Crestline Elementary School. In addition, she has volunteered at her church for ministries and committees, at Samford

through the parents and alumni associations, Legacy League and the School of Education advisory board, as well as with her sorority in the role of adviser. She retired two years ago and has since been spending more time on hobbies, volunteering, traveling and her family, which now includes two grandchildren. ❖

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18 • Thursday, September 9, 2021

FOOD

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

FOODIE NEWS

Middle Eastern Food Festival Returns Sept. 23-25

Photos courtesy Les Dames d’Escoffier

Photo courtesy St. George Melkite Catholic Church

Birmingham Dames will again mask up for Champagne & Fried Chicken at Pepper Place Market on Oct. 3.

Dinner With the Dames Birmingham’s LDEI Chapter Gets Ready for a Drive-Through Picnic

By Donna Cornelius

L

ast year, COVID-19 restrictions had organizations rethinking their usual fundraising events. The Birmingham chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, a nonprofit, professional organization for women in food, beverage and hospitality, came up with Champagne & Fried Chicken, a drive-through picnic at Birmingham’s Pepper Place Market. The event proved to be such a hit that the Dames are hosting it again this year on Oct. 3, 3-5 p.m. For a $150 donation, you get your own tasty picnic. Each basket, designed to feed two people, includes Southern food with a French accent: fried chicken, new potato salad, kale salad, corn muffins, biscuits, fresh fruit, cheese and desserts. You’ll also get a bottle of champagne and a bouquet of fresh flowers. Take your baskets home for your own backyard party or to a Pepper Place picnic table to enjoy while listening to live music. Other fundraiser features are raffles for collections of gift cards from some of Birmingham’s best restaurants and, for additional donations, cocktail kits and premium items such as cooking classes and Spotify dinner playlists. The cocktail kits are $25. Classes being offered for $20 each are: Becky Satterfield: The pastry chef and owner of Satterfield’s Restaurant and El ZunZun shows you how to bake two of her favorite things: French sablé cookies and buttermilk biscuits. Master these French and Southern treats, and then share what you’ve learned. Buyers will receive recipes and a link to a digital class.  

Sidney Fry’s heirloom tomato tart.

Sherron Goldstein: She is the author of “Fresh Fields, A Celebration of Good Food” and “Fresh Fields, Entertaining with Southern Comfort” and the co-author of “From Generation to Generation.” She also is owner-director of her own cooking school, Fresh Fields Cooking. Goldstein’s teaching encourages home cooks to create good food for their families and friends as they create tastes that endure. In this virtual class, she’ll teach you how to make a beautiful and delicious raspberry lemon-mint trifle. Buyers will get the recipe and a link to the digital class. Kathy G. Mezrano:  This is your chance to have Dame Kathy G. teach you how to make mezze, which are small plates or appetizers, including her wildly popular Lebanesestyle grape leaves. Available as a virtual class,

you’ll get her own family recipe, and she’ll show you how it’s done. This award-winning caterer is known for her design skills, so she’ll share presentation tips, too. Buyers will receive the recipes and a link to a digital class.   Andrea Kirkland: A registered dietitian, Kirkland is the owner and founder of Culinary Med Ed. Her Southern roots, along with her career as a food writer and recipe developer, have taught her a thing or two about good home cooking, and she’s on a mission to prove that the words “healthy” and “delicious” can coexist. Her online class will show you how to master comfort food makeovers, and she’ll walk you through her pro tips for giving a hearty chicken pot pie a healthier spin. She’ll reveal the secrets of how to achieve bold, satisfying flavor without any of the guilt. What’s dinner without music? For an additional donation of $20, you’ll get a curated Spotify playlist delivered to your inbox at the beginning of the month for six months. For tickets and more information about the event, visit www.ldeibirmingham.org. Last year’s event was a sell-out, and only 350 baskets will be available this year. Proceeds help the Birmingham Dames fund the future of food in Alabama through scholarships for culinary students of all ages at colleges and universities as well as entrepreneur grants for new women-owned food businesses in the state. To date, the Dames have awarded almost $85,000 in scholarships and grants. Pepper Place Market is at 28th Street and Second Avenue S in downtown Birmingham. See DAMES, page 19

Saint George Melkite Catholic Church’s cooks already have begun preparing (and taste testing) for the 39th Middle Eastern Food Festival, set for Sept. 23-25. “We anticipate a full-fledged festival, though there may be a few modifications made based on CDC guidelines,” co-Chair Annette Ritchey said. The festival will include a selection of Middle Eastern foods, savory and sweet. During the festival, which also marks the church’s centennial year, tours will be offered of the Byzantine church every day until 8 p.m. The festival will be at the church, which is near UAB at 425 16th Ave. South. The hours of operation are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Drive-thru service will be available 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Deliveries can be arranged for orders of $75 or more to the downtown area on that Thursday and Friday. For takeout and delivery orders, call 205492-9621 or email foodorders@saintgeorgeonline.org. The menu includes baked kibbee, stuffed grape leaves, spinach pies, meat pies, falafel, Mediterranean-style chicken and other dishes. For variety, try the Nile Plate or Oasis Plate. The Nile includes kibbee as its entrée and the Oasis includes Mediterranean-style chicken as its entrée. Both plates include rice and green beans cooked in seasoned tomato sauce, freshly made salad, grape leaves and hummus and pita bread. The menu offers vegetarian plates and sides, as well. An array of Middle Eastern sweets will be offered, including zalabieh, a fried doughnut dipped in rose-flavored syrup and dusted with powdered sugar. Arabic coffee also will be offered with or without cardamom. Ten percent of proceeds raised will benefit local and diocesan charities. For further information visit saintgeorgeonline.org.

Taste of Hoover to Return Oct. 7

Celebrating the variety of culinary experiences throughout Hoover, the annual Taste of Hoover fundraiser will take place Oct. 7 at Aldridge Gardens. Representatives from local restaurants, caterers and other food service operations will serve tastings of their cuisine alongside spirits,

See HOOVER, page 19


OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

DAMES From page 18

In the spirit of the fundraiser, several Dames have shared their own favorite dishes that are easy to prepare and to transport for a picnic or tailgate party.

Kathy G. Mezrano

With more than 30 years of experience in the catering and events industry, Mezrano has garnered awards in the catering event industry on a national and regional level. President of LDEI Birmingham, she’s the owner and CEO of Kathy G & Co., a catering and event design firm. She’s also the author of a cookbook for entertaining, “Food, Fun & Fabulous: A Southern Caterer Shares Recipes and Entertaining Tips.” This recipe for potato salad with a French twist is from the cookbook and is one of the dishes in the Champagne & Fried Chicken picnic basket. NEW POTATO SALAD

Makes 6 servings Ingredients for vinaigrette dressing: 1½ tablespoons tarragon vinegar ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 garlic clove, minced 4½ tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper 2 shallots (or substitute 4 green onions), minced Ingredients for potato salad: 2½ pounds new potatoes 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or sour cream ¾ cup celery, diced ½ cup green onions, chopped ½ cup fresh dill, chopped (or 1 ½ teaspoons dried dillweed) 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

Thursday, September 9, 2021 • 19

FOOD Instructions:

For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, garlic and shallots. Gradually whisk in oil, then add salt and pepper. For the salad: In a large pot, cover potatoes with salted water. Cover and boil gently until potatoes are just tender. Drain and cool slightly. Slice warm potatoes and place in a large bowl. Toss with vinaigrette, then let stand for 30 minutes. Mix mayonnaise or sour cream, celery, green onions and herbs into potatoes. Add seasonings to taste. Cover and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature. Can be prepared one day ahead.

Sidney Fry

Treasurer of LDEI Birmingham, Sidney Fry is a two-time James Beard Award-winning food and nutrition writer and editor. Her position as digital marketing adviser at Morgan Stanley adds another layer to overall wellness, with a focus on financial health. She also works as a freelance food and nutrition writer and acts as editorial nutrition adviser for MyFitnessPal, where she maintains a regular column called “Ask the RD.” HERB-PACKED HEIRLOOM TOMATO TART

Ingredients for the crust: 1¼ cups (150 grams) white whole wheat flour 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or roasted sunflower seeds ¼ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper ¼ cup olive oil 3 tablespoons ice water Cooking spray Ingredients for the filling: 1 cup good quality part-skim ricotta cheese (such as Calabro) 1 large egg

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¾ cup chopped fresh basil, divided 1½ tablespoons fresh thyme, divided ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated and divided 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest 1 pound assorted heirloom tomatoes, seeded and cut into ¼-inch slices (or halved, if using cherry tomatoes) Instructions:

To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through pepper) in a food processor; pulse 3 times. Combine oil and water. With processor on, slowly add oil mixture through food chute; process until dough is crumbly. Dump dough into a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate coated with cooking spray. Press firmly into an even layer in bottom and up sides of dish. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. To prepare filling, combine ricotta, egg, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup basil, 1 tablespoon thyme, ½ cup Parmigiano cheese, and lemon zest in a food processor; process until smooth. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over crust. Arrange tomato slices over ricotta mixture, using a circular pattern and slightly overlapping. Sprinkle tomatoes with remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until filling is set. Sprinkle with remaining basil and thyme.

Martha Johnston

Martha Johnston, who with Dame Idie Hastings is in charge of sponsorships for Champagne & Fried Chicken, was vice president of food

marketing and director of business development for Southern Living/ Southern Progress Corp. Johnston also was on the start-up team for Cooking Light. She was president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals from 2003 to 2004 and is a founding member of Southern Foodways Alliance. BEER CHEESE SPREAD

Makes 2 cups Ingredients: 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded ½ cup beer 2 teaspoons soy sauce ½ teaspoon prepared horseradish ¼ teaspoon dried mustard 1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder Instructions:

Place ingredients in a food processor and process until mixture is smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight for flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature with crackers, pita chips, bread or fresh veggies.

Susan Swagler

A founding member and past president of LDEI’s Birmingham chapter, Swagler is a food and lifestyle writer for Alabama NewsCenter and owner of savor.blog. She’s written about food and restaurants for more than three decades. She says this colorful, crunchy salad is “great with grilled anything. In the summer, you might want to substitute halved fresh cherry

It's time to enjoy a night out

tomatoes and crumbled feta for the sun-dried tomatoes and gorgonzola.” COLORFUL COUSCOUS SALAD

Serves 8-10 as a side dish, 4 as a main dish Ingredients: 1 medium fennel bulb 12 sun-dried tomato halves 1 pound asparagus, trimmed 1¾ cups couscous ½ teaspoon salt 6 scallions, thinly sliced 16 oil-cured black olives 6 tablespoons lemon juice 3 tablespoons olive oil 6 ounces gorgonzola cheese, cubed Freshly ground black pepper to taste Instructions:

Trim fennel bulb and remove tough pieces. Sliver bulb and mince the dill-like fronds. Pour boiling water over the sundried tomatoes and let stand for about 5 minutes to plump; drain and sliver the tomatoes. Slice asparagus on the diagonal and steam 3-4 minutes until crisptender; drain and dry with paper towels. In the same pot, bring 1¾ cups water to boil. Stir in couscous and salt; cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes, stir with a fork to fluff grains. In a large serving bowl, toss fennel, tomatoes, asparagus, couscous, scallions, olives, lemon juice and olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Gently fold in cheese. Serve at once.

Blueprint on 3rd is a polished-casual American brasserie paying homage to regional cuisines. We're open inside, curbside and on our patio! Private dining available.

HOOVER From page 18 international wines and local beers. Tickets are $45 for members of Aldridge Gardens and $50 for the public. For more information, visit aldridgegardens.com.

Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

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The annual Taste of Hoover fundraiser will take place Oct. 7 at Aldridge Gardens. At last year’s event were Rita and Darrell Dinkel.

Food will be served all day, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:30 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. Downtown delivery will be available for lunch on Thursday and Friday with a $100.00 minimum order. For takeout and delivery call 205-492-9621. A convenient drive through service will operate until 7:00 P.M.

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


20 • Thursday, September 9, 2021

Rehab Reality... by Judy Butler

From left, Shilpa Gagger, April Lawrence and Dianne Gilmer.

Toss Up

Hoover City Schools Foundation Hosts Inaugural Cornhole Fundraiser

Piper Busby and Kylie Cline.

The Hoover City Schools Foundation hosted its first Cornhole tournament fundraiser Aug. 28 at The Village at Brock’s Gap, raising an estimated $4,000 for its mission. Nearly 70 teams competed in both a competitive competition with cash prizes and a social competition with prizes and gift cards to local businesses. Funds raised at the tournament will support the foundation’s mission to enhance academics in the Hoover City Schools system through professional development, teacher grants and STEM education.

Photos courtesy Vestavia Hills City Schools

The point is we don’t use it as our “program” because we don’t think people should have to pay for something like that. And believe it or not that is the program at most of the big box rehabs – going from one meeting to another with large groups of people. Imagine paying thousands of dollars to eat cafeteria food, go to 12-step meeting and only be allowed to read the Big Book. That’s what happens. We do see the value of AA meetings and take some clients to them because some times this is the only support they will have after leaving Bayshore Retreat. Their friends have moved on or they may be toxic or triggers. The core of our program is physical health with exercise, vitamins and exceptional food. Next is the mental and spiritual health with quality counseling (approximately 30 hours a week)… in the form of individual, group, and Life Skills. It’s about regaining self-esteem and a new lease on life. Some places actually say, “they have to break’em to remake’em”. Most places treat everyone the same. While in reality the addiction might be the only thing they have in common. This is why we say Bayshore Retreat is different and can make a difference. Clients bring their cellphone; laptop, music, books and we even allow them to drink coffee. Yes, that’s another no no at some places. So one may think going to Bayshore Retreat sounds like a mini vacation? Far from it except to say it can be a permanent vacation from addiction and a new beginning of a healthier, happy life.

Love Your Neighbor

Vestavia Hills’ Habitat for Humanity Club to Host Concert Sept. 24

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Being Non-12 Step Doesn’t Mean We Don’t See its Value

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

SCHOOLS

The fundraiser will support the Habitat for Humanity Club as it prepares to build its 17th home in the greater Birmingham area.

Meredith and Ty Tolleson.

Sarah Travis and Lindy Easterling.

Vestavia Hills High School students with the school’s Habitat for Humanity Club are planning a community event featuring music, food and a great cause. The annual “Love Your Neighbor Concert” will take place Sept. 24 at Wald Park, featuring music from Vestavia Hills High School bands. The event will close out the club’s second annual Love Your Neighbor Week, a fundraising campaign that encourages the community through small acts of kindness. The week will also include Love Our Schools Day, Sept. 21; Favorite Business Day, Sept. 22; and Favorite Restaurant Night, Sept. 23. “Love Your Neighbor Week was created last year as a way for our club to

Altamont is one of the nation’s premier independent schools for students in grades 5-12. Still accepting applications for 2021-22 school year! Learn more at www.altamontschool.org

Love Your Neighbor chairs Molly Steur and Rebecca Berry.

pour love and support into our community, which was suffering in the midst of the pandemic,” said VHHS junior and habitat club President Rebecca Berry. “We hope to raise the necessary funds to build another house this year, but the week is also meant to encourage people to do small things with great love.” In addition to Berry, 2021 Love Your Neighbor campaign chairs are VHHS Habitat vice president Jamie Casey, president emeritus Nathaniel Bass and vice president emeritus Molly Steur. Kicking off at 4 p.m., concert festivities will include local food trucks and games on the park’s new Grand Lawn with a lineup of live music beginning at 5 p.m. “We have many exciting events and days planned for this week, including a concert where student bands will be performing,” Berry said. “This concert has been in the works since June of 2020, so we hope to give our community a chance to come together and be joyful.” Funds raised will support the club as it prepares to build its 17th home in the greater Birmingham area. Tickets are available for $15. For more information, visit vhhshabitat.org/ lynw.


Cool for School

SCHOOLS

MBHS Senior Bowron Elected President Pro Tem of Girls Nation

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Homewood Parks Hosts Back 2 School Bash Homewood’s Parks and Recreation Department hosted the annual Back 2 School Bash Aug. 28 at Patriot Park. The event offered an evening of games, music, local business vendors, food trucks, rides and inflatables. Live music was performed by The Negotiators and the Homewood High School Pep Band. Proceeds from wristband sales at the event will benefit the Homewood High School bands.

Thursday, September 9, 2021 • 21

Left, Elizabeth and Taylor Green. Above, James, Jonah, Abigail and Elisabeth Eastman. Below, John, John David and Claire Warner with Bradley Singletary.

Bickley Bowron, a senior at Mountain Brook High School, recently was elected president pro tem at Girls Nation, an annual civic training program run by the American Legion Auxiliary. Bickley and fellow senior Jane Gray Battle (pictured, from left) were selected by Mountain Brook High School to attend Girls State in Tuscaloosa in June. Each summer, about 20,000 young women participate in week-long Girls State programs across the nation. Every American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program operates with the same patriotic values. Students in the program assume the roles of government leaders, campaigning as federalists or nationalists to become city, county and state officials of their Girls State. She was one of two students from Alabama selected to represent the state at the national election program, held in Washington, D.C., in August. At Girls Nation, Bickley was elected by her peers to serve as president pro tem of the Senate. In this role, she helped facilitate legislation to the Senate floor for debate and provided a smooth order of business. Bickley also is a member of New Gen Peacebuilders, YouthServe’s Youth Action Council and the National Honor Society. She also participates in the YMCA’s Youth in Government.

Takes On Life. Sarah Anne was a childhood cancer patient at Children’s of Alabama when she was just two years old, and that experience changed her life. Today, she’s a nurse working with our team of over 300 dedicated pediatric healthcare professionals committed to exceptional patient care and innovative research – driven to find cures and dedicated to helping change children’s lives for the better.

To learn about Sarah Anne’s story and how you can help, visit ChildrensAL.org/committedtoacure

ACCCBD-0002_Sarah Anne_Ad_Over_The_Mountain_Journal-10.375x6.25-PROD.indd 1

8/30/21 9:40 AM

Photo courtesy Mountain Brook City Schools

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL


22 • Thursday, September 9, 2021

SPORTS

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

‘Dynamic Playmaker’

By Rubin E. Grant Although his dad was an All-State linebacker at Homewood, Luke Reebals figured he was better suited for the other side of the ball. The Briarwood Christian Lions have benefited from Reebals’ decision not to follow in his dad’s footsteps. Reebals, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior running back, starred in Briarwood’s season-opening victories against Madison Academy (41-17) and Spain Park (42-8). He rushed for 309 yards on 32 carries, averaging 9.7 yards per carry, and six touchdowns. He also caught seven passes for 101 yards and another score, giving him 410 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns overall. “The first two games were good,” Reebals said. “The first game wasn’t as hard of an opponent and we were able to just get out and play. Spain Park had a good defensive line and was a good test for our offense, but me and C.V. (junior quarterback Christopher Vizzina) were able to do a lot of running.” Reebals ran for 172 yards and two scores on 18 carries and Vizzina ran for 131 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries.

Briarwood head coach Matthew Forester described Reebals as a “dynamic playmaker.” “He has God-given ability,” Forester said. “He’s got great vision and explosiveness. “The first two games he was phenomenal. He worked hard in the offseason, so it’s great to see it all pay off.” Reebals could have been making plays on defense like his dad, Eric, and his older brother, Cal, a former linebacker for the Lions. When Luke Reebals began playing football in elementary school, he also played linebacker, but once he got to middle school, he moved to running back. “I played both ways in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades, but I liked running back better,” he said. “I figured I could contribute more as a running back.”  

Versatile Player

Reebals is a versatile player who at times lines up at wide receiver, giving Vizzina another pass-catching threat. Reebals started at receiver as a sophomore. With the ball in his hands, Reebals is a nightmare for defenders with his ability as a cutback runner. He said he picked that up from his

dad. “I think when I am running with the ball my best attribute is my vision,” Reebals said. “If a team is overpursuing, I can cut back. My dad told me that is the hardest thing for linebackers to deal with.” When Reebals cuts, he can outrun defenders. “I feel like I accelerate real well,” he said. Even though he put up big numbers in the first two games, Reebals said the important thing is that the Lions won. “I don’t care about statistics,” he said. “I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help us win, whether that’s rushing for 100 yards, receiving for 100 yards or just making good blocks so Chris can get off passes.” Reebals’ main goal coming into the season was staying healthy. He had some nagging injuries last season, including an ankle injury that required surgery at the end of the season. “I just want to be able to play every game,” he said. He also wants to help the Lions make a deep run in the Class 6A state playoffs. Briarwood was eliminated by Oxford in the second round in 2020. The Lions opened play in Class

Bulldogs Rout Golden Eagles

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Briarwood’s Reebals Off to Phenomenal Start

Briarwood’s Luke Reebals has rushed for 309 yards on 32 carries, averaging 9.7 yards per carry, and six touchdowns in the Lions first two games.

6A, Region 5 last Friday at home against Chelsea. They will visit Woodlawn in another region game this Thursday.

RAY From page 24

Journal photo by Lee Walls

had thinned out and moved to quarterback, the result of a strong arm he had displayed playing baseball. Harvey moved from the backfield to wide receiver and eventually wound up at tight end in the ninth grade. Homewood head coach Ben Berguson likes the versatility Harvey, who is 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, gives the Patriots. “We can attack with him at tight end, or line him up in the backfield or flex him out as a receiver,” Berguson said. “That’s what is good about him. He can do multiple things.” Woods, 6-2, 200 pounds, split time at quarterback with Susce last year as a sophomore before taking over as the full-time starter this season after Susce graduated. In Homewood’s first two games, including a 9-7 victory against rival Vestavia Hills, Woods accounted for 567 yards total offense (402 passing, 165 rushing) and five touchdowns (four passing and one rushing). “He sees the field real well and he can hurt you with his feet or his arm,” Berguson said. “When we played Vestavia, he was the best athlete on the field. And he’s a team leader.”  

College Prospects

Former Vestavia Hills standout Michael Vice (88) makes a catch during the second half of Samford’s season opener against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at Seibert Stadium on Sept. 2. The junior tight end was one of four Bulldog receivers to catch a touchdown pass in Samford’s impressive 52-14 win over the Golden Eagles.

Woods already has received a scholarship offer from UAB, but Berguson believes he could become a NCAA Division I Power 5 conference prospect. “He’s the real deal,”

“I think our team has a chance to go really deep in the playoffs, but we have to keep getting better each week,” Reebals said. Berguson said. Harvey caught three passes for 31 yards and a touchdown in the first two games. He also is being recruited by several schools, including UAB, Middle Tennessee State, Liberty and Wake Forest. “I think it’s going to be a tough choice to decide where I am going,” Harvey said, “but I want to get through the high school season first.” The brothers wouldn’t mind if they wound up at the same school at the next level. “It’s fun practicing with him and playing catch with him,” Woods said. “We’ve been like best friends growing up,” Harvey said. So, who’s better at their respective position? “I think he’s a heck of a quarterback, but I think I’m better at my position,” Harvey said with a bit of a chuckle. “He’s better at contributing to the team because he’s the quarterback. We’re both super competitive, though.” The brothers would like nothing better than to lead Homewood to a state championship in their final high school season as teammates. The Patriots played McAdory last Friday and will begin Class 6A, Region 5 play with a visit to Chelsea this Friday. “Our goal is to win the region, then make a run in the playoffs,” Harvey said. “We’re really looking at winning the state championship but also having fun and competing,” Woods said.


Thursday, September 9, 2021 • 23

SPORTS

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

HOOVER From page 24

Kendal Thornton is the senior outside hitter.

‘At this point, we don’t know what we have. I don’t know who is going to step up. We have some juniors and a senior outside hitter and a senior setter, but they’ve never played.’ HOOVER HEAD COACH CHRIS CAMPER

The Bucs do have dominating 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter Rya McKinnon returning. She was the 2020 Alabama Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year and the Over The Mountain Journal Player of the Year as a junior after recording 594 kills, 267 digs, a 2.32 passer rating and 50 aces. “Rya has been here since she was 13,” Camper said. “She was on the varsity as an eighth grader. For the first month and half, she was 13 because she didn’t turn 14 until October. She is a relentless competitor who never takes a point off. She is a once-in-a-lifetime player.” McKinnon’s talent has always been obvious, but she has become the Bucs’ unquestioned on-court leader.

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

ing in college – middle hitter Gabrielle Essix at Florida, setter Aly Durban at Samford and outside hitter Sydney Melton at Albany State. Another, Kayla Jemison, is running track at a junior college in Mississippi. Their departure has left a major void this season. “We’re young and inexperienced,” Camper said. “We’ve got to figure out who we are. We’ve got talent, but we’re still trying to figure out who is going to get to play and trying to see what our lineup is.”

The Bucs do have dominating 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter Rya McKinnon, above in a match with Mountain Brook last week, returning. She was the 2020 Alabama Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year and the Over The Mountain Journal Player of the Year as a junior after recording 594 kills, 267 digs, a 2.32 passer rating and 50 aces.

“What I see now is a vocal leader, someone who has grown up and matured,” Camper said. “She steps up her game when we need her to and she’s learning new ways of leading instead of just being the best player.” McKinnon is headed to Howard University in Washington, D.C., next year after initially committing to Louisville. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some seniors at Louisville were granted another year of eligibility, leaving McKinnon without a scholarship guaranteed. So, she looked elsewhere before settling on Howard, one of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities. “She had several schools who wanted her,” Camper said. “She went to visit Howard and fell in love with the school. She’s excited about it. Her dad coaches (football) at an HBCU school (Miles). “They have a good volleyball pro-

gram. They can go toe-to-toe with top 25 schools. They have tremendous talent.” McKinnon is off to a strong senior season for the Bucs, recording 144 kills and more than 50 digs in the team’s first nine matches. Last week, she had 24 kills and 10 digs in a 3-1 victory (25-19, 15-25, 25-23, 25-19) against Mountain Brook and 23 kills in a 3-1 loss (20-25, 25-20, 17-25, 18-25) at Spain Park. The Bucs had posted a 9-3 record before heading to Orlando for the Nike Tournament of Champions last weekend. Outside of McKinnon, the only returning player who played in some rotations in 2020 is junior libero Peyton David. Camper is searching for other players to step up as contributors. “At this point, we don’t know what we have,” he said. “I don’t know who is

going to step up. We have some juniors and a senior outside hitter and a senior setter, but they’ve never played.” Kendal Thornton is the senior outside hitter and Baxley Downs is the senior setter. Among the juniors who have been productive in the early going are defensive specialist Bella Guenster, middle

hitter Alanah Pooler, middle hitter Reese Hawks and defensive specialist Maggie Harris. Pooler transferred from Spain Park and Hawks transferred from Hokes Bluff. “Our team is deep and talented but just inexperienced,” Camper reiterated. “They’re a fun group to coach and they have a lot of room for improvement. We’re going to take our lumps right now, but I think we’ll be a better team in October.”

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SPORTS

‘Dynamic Playmaker’ Briarwood’s Reebals Off to Phenomenal Start Page 22

Big Win for Bulldogs In Season Opener Page 22

Thursday, September 9, 2021 ❖ OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

‘Room for Improvement’ Young Hoover Volleyball Team Searching for an Identity

Journal photos by Marvin Gentry

By Rubin E. Grant After two weeks of the 2021 high school volleyball season, the Hoover Bucs are still trying to find their identity. Coach Chris Camper said it might take the entire regular season for the Bucs to determine what kind of team they have. That was not a problem in 2020, when the Bucs posted a 50-1 record and captured the Class 7A state championship, the first volleyball title in school history. “That’s the greatest team we have ever put on the court in the history of the program,” Camper said. Three players from that team are now play-

‘THE RAYS OF LIGHT’ Thank you Vestavia By Rubin E. Grant

Thank yo Homewood Brothers Shining Bright on the Football Field Thank you Vestavia for your for yourThank support youyour Vestavia for support See HOOVER, page 23

go the usual post-touchdown celebration, they were thrilled to finally make a TD connection in n the third quarter of Homewood’s seasona varsity game. Shopping and eating locally make opening football game at Hillcrest“It was awesome,” Harvey said. “Last year, Thanks for making Donatos a V Shopping and eating locally make all the difference in our comminity. Tuscaloosa with the Patriots trailing by two all my touchdown catches came from Brode Thanks for making Donatos a Vestavia classic Susce. for over 20 years. touchdowns, junior quarterback Woods Ray To catch one from Woods was really speShopping and eating locally make all the difference in our comminity. dropped back to pass and was surprised to see cial. Thanks for making Donatos a Vestavia classic for over 20 years. who was streaking down the field. “We spent the offseason working together It was his brother, Harvey Ray, Homewood’s and it was fun make to see that all that hard work Shopping and eating locally all the difference in paid our comminity. senior tight end. off.” Donatos a Vestavia classic for over 20 years. Thanks for making “I wasn’t expecting him to run that route, a Growing Up go route,” Woods explained. “So, I just threw it The brothers have grown up playing football up and gave him a chance. He did the rest.” together, starting when Harvey was in the third The 25-yard scoring pass was Harvey’s only Shopping andWoods eatingwas locally allThey the difference in our comminity. grade and in themake second. reception of the game, but it sparked Thanks making a Vestavia classic for over 20 years. haven’tfor always beenDonatos a pass-catch duo, however. Homewood’s 37-34 comeback victory against Early on, Harvey was a running back and Hillcrest. Woods was an offensive lineman, playing center “It was a big momentum boost,” Woods said. and right guard. The brothers didn’t get to celebrate the “We had a weight limit, and I was always touchdown because Harvey was injured on the bigger than the other kids. So they gave me a play and didn’t return to the game. Homewood’s Ray brothers have grown up yellow dot on my helmet, meaning I had to play “My foot got stuck in the ground and the Shopping and eating locally difference in our comminity. playing football together, starting when on the line,” Woods said. safety stepped on my ankle,” Harvey said.make all the Harvey, above, in 20 the third grade and By the time he reached sixth grade, Woods Even though the for brothers, dubbed “The Rays Thanks making Donatos a Vestavia classic forwas over years. See RAY, page 22 Junior libero Peyton David. of Light” by some Homewood fans, had to fore- Woods, top, was in the second.

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