OTMJ 3.21.24

Page 1

A River Runs Through It

Mountain Brook Native Follows Her Passion to Become One of Few Female Fly-Fishing Guides in Jackson Hole

Julia Bell Pope has spent countless days fishing on Wyoming’s scenic Snake River, but she’ll never forget one day in particular.

Her fly-fishing client for the day was a 6-year-old girl who arrived dressed head-to-toe in pink — and then learned to fly-fish quicker than anyone Pope had ever seen.

“It was like looking at a little version of myself,” Pope recalls upon meeting the girl.

Pope too liked to dress in pink as


Staycation Ideas

IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT TO WYOMING for spring break we have lots of other great options for fun adventures close by. From outdoor activities at the zoo, the gardens, Ruffner Mountain and Red Mountain Park; to fun science activities at McWane Center, and educational outings at the Musuem of Art, Sloss Furnaces and Vulcan Park, there is something on our list for everyone.

Highest Honor

Associate Dean Receives Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Genetics

Dr. Bruce Korf, Ph.D., FACMG, associate dean for genomic medicine and distinguished professor of genetics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been named the recipient of the 2024 American College of

a girl and was drawing skirts and dresses from a young age, but it was ultimately fly-fishing that would win her heart as a professional passion.

Growing up in Mountain Brook, Pope took camping trips to Western North Carolina with her dad and his cousins, who are avid fly fisherman, so she learned the sport on the Davidson River in the Brevard area.

In her early years, Pope also traveled to national parks in the Western United States with her family; they’d

See FLY-FISHING, page 7

While studying fashion at the University of Kentucky, Julia Bell Pope, (above in Wyoming) first began to “crave being outside and standing in a river.”

Birmingham Alabama Sports Hall of Fame

Nestled in Birmingham’s Uptown District and attached to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is a draw for anyone who’s interested in Alabama sports history. There are more than 6,000 pieces of sports memorabilia in the 33,000-square-foot museum, which makes it one of the largest sports halls of fame in the country.

See STAYCATION, page 6

Medical Genetics Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine’s David L. Rimoin Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Genetics.

The award, the highest honor given by the ACMG Foundation, recognizes individuals with careers that have significantly contributed to the field of genetics and genomics and whose characteristics embody that for whom the honor is named.

“Dr. Korf is a leader in our field, demonstrating true leadership in defining the medical discipline of genomics,” said ACMG Foundation President Nancy J. Mendelsohn, M.D., FACMG. “He is a dedicated teacher, championing genetics education and training, and an inspiring and devoted educator. He is an international leading authority as a clinician and scientist on the underlying pathophysiology, diagnosis and clinical care of patients with neurofibromatosis.”

Over the course of more than four decades of research, clinical practice, and service, Korf, of Vestavia Hills, has authored more than 154 peerreviewed publications, 92 non-peer-reviewed manuscripts, 60 book chapters and 18 books. Korf’s work has earned the respect of patients and colleagues alike, helping students who are pursuing their own contributions in genetics while consistently advocating for medical genetics education to be integrated into mainstream healthcare.

“Dr. Korf has been one of the most influential

Courtesy Julia Bell Pope
KORF, page 8
Photo by Lexi Coon
Bruce Korf, M.D., Ph.D., associate dean for Genomic Medicine and distinguished professor of genetics at UAB is the recipient of the 2024 American College of Medical Genetics Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine’s David L. Rimoin Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Genetics. Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Guest Column Inside


Tom Luckie earns Silver Medal Award from American Advertising Foundation






Hoover Senior Center is almost like a second home to volunteer



OTM National Merit Scholarship finalists announced PAGE 20

TThe Hope of Easter

here seems to be a sense of hopelessness pervading our country today. I have read a great deal about the disturbing rise of deaths of despair (drug overdoses and suicide) among our younger generation. In a New York Times article, there was a discussion about the escalating suicide rate, and Robert Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard, put his finger on what appears to be the heart of the problem: hopelessness.

A sense of hopelessness also seems to be a problem with the older baby boom generation, which I am a part of. Many boomers are beginning to realize that they are approaching the end of their lives.

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul makes a keen observation on why this happens. In II Corinthians 4:16, he says that many people lose heart because their bodies are deteriorating. It is a stark reminder that they are no longer youthful and their lives will end sooner rather than later. Paul says that as Christians we do not lose heart though our outer bodies are aging, our souls are being renewed day-by-day.

This is why we need to live with hope. I heard someone say, ‘hope is the engine that drives your life.’

The prospect of our own mortality can be discouraging and even a source of great fear. This is why we need to live with hope. I heard someone say, “hope is the engine that drives your life.” The reason is, how you live your life today is influenced by how you perceive your life in the future.

This is why the resurrection of Jesus is so important to our lives. It is the ultimate hope for Christians. It is the ultimate anchor as we face the future, knowing that death is in our future. In reflecting upon death, the famous historian H.G. Wells says, “We are up against a force that cannot be defeated.”

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.

Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald

Copy Editor: Virginia Martin

Features Writer: Donna Cornelius

Staff Writers: June Mathews, Anne Ruisi

Photographer: Jordan Wald

Sports Editor: Rubin E. Grant

Contributors: Evelyn Byrne, Solomon Crenshaw

Jr., Madoline Markham Koonce, Susan Swagler

Advertising Sales: Julie Trammell Edwards, Gail Kidd

I believe the fear of death is amplified today because modern people have drifted away from life’s great foundation. This fear begins when we decide we do not need God because we believe we can do just fine without Him. Without realizing it we take on a position in the universe that is too big for us to handle on our own.

We need hope. We need to be able to face our mortality with peace so that we can live our days on this earth with real joy.

One of my favorite verses that relates to the Easter message is II Corinthians 1:8-10. Paul speaks about how he consistently faces death and how he puts his trust not in just any God, but in the “God who raises the dead.” He then boldly declares it is “He on whom we have set our hope.”

Then Peter tells us in I Peter 1:3,4 that we have “a living

Over the Mountain Views

Inaugural Event

A big crowd turned out last Saturday for The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs inaugural Bell Center 5K and Children’s Run, presented by Daniel Corporation. The Bell Center provides vital early intervention therapy for hundreds of children from across Alabama. One of the most loved traditions of the community is The Bell Center Children’s Run. In its 22nd year, the event is an opportunity for children attending therapy at The Bell Center to cross the finish line in celebration of all the progress they have made over the year.

hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” He goes on to say that in heaven we have an imperishable inheritance that will not fade away. It is “reserved in heaven for you.”

One of my favorite illustrations of hope comes from Philip Yancey. It’s a true story of American POWs in a German prison camp in World War II. They lived with great despair. They had no idea what the future held for them. They were clueless because they got no information from the outside world. They all wondered if they would ever see their families again. Is Germany winning the war? They had no idea and there was a lot of hopelessness.

But unbeknownst to the German guards, a couple of American engineers were able to put together a make-shift radio and they were able to start getting news. They heard that the allies had moved across Europe. Then they heard that they were coming into Germany and then they got word that the German high command had surrendered and the war was over.

Because of communication breakdowns, the German guards didn’t yet know that the war was over. So they kept guarding the POWs there in the prison camp, but as the word spread among all the prisoners, a loud celebration broke out. Yancey says, “For three days, the prisoners were hardly recognizable. They sang, they waved at the guards, they laughed at the German shepherd dogs. They shared jokes over meals. On the fourth day, they awoke to find they were now free men.”

For three days, their circumstances hadn’t changed. They were still in prison. They ate the same food, they slept in the same beds, they were guarded by the same German guards, but now they knew the final outcome, and it changed everything.

This is how God intends for His people to live their lives, with great joy as we anticipate the future, because He’s told us what the final outcome is and what the ultimate destiny for us is going to be. And it should change everything as we live our lives each day.

Best-selling author Richard E. Simmons is the founding director of The Center, a faith-based ministry in Birmingham. Much of Simmons’ life has been devoted to giving back to the community by advising businessmen and professionals. Visit richardesimmons3.com for his blogs, books, talks and more.

2 • Thursday, March 21, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL OPINION/CONTENTS OVER THE MOUNTAIN JO U RNA L March 21, 2024 Vol. 34, No. 11 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 2024 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.
Place supporters dress to the nines for annual fundraiser RICHARD Participating in the Children’s Run were, from left, Olivia and Ashley Deason, Savannah and Monroe Scott. Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Through March 31


An art exhibit featuring works by Homewood native Chip Ghigna is on display at Homewood City Hall (right). Featured paintings are from Ghigna’s “Higher Realm” series. When: During regular City Hall hours. Where: Homewood City Hall Gallery

Thurs., March 21

Dogwood Festival Luncheon

Author and Birmingham native Sophie Hudson will be the guest speaker at this annual event, which will include a silent auction. For more information, contact the Vestavia Hills Beautification Board at dogwoodluncheon@gmail.com.

When: Doors open at 10 a.m. Where: Vestavia Country Club

Taste of Homewood

Enjoy samples from over 25 local restaurants at the 21st Annual Taste of Homewood. Tickets include unlimited samples of food and beverage, live entertainment and more. When: 5:308 p.m. Where: Rosewood Hall Plaza

Moonlight Movies

Bring a blanket or lawn chair and treat yourself to a to-go dinner or drink at Lane Park for a screening of “Mama Mia!” When: 6-9 p.m. Where: The Green at Lane Parke

Tunes on Tap/Opera Shots, Opera

Birmingham and ASO @ Back Forty Opera Birmingham soprano Kathleen Farrah Buccleugh joins the Alabama Symphony for a free 1-hour concert featuring selections from “La Boheme,” “Sweeney Todd” and “The Secret Garden.” This is part of Opera Birmingham’s annual series of casual pop-up concerts throughout the community continues with a free performance. The shows are designed to break down the stereotypes of opera. When: 6:30 p.m. Where: Back Forty Beer Co.

The Truth About the Israel/Hamas War Novelist and Hollywood screenwriter

Dan Gordon, a former member

of the Israeli Defense Force, will be the speaker at this event. An RSVP is required t by visiting chabadofalabama.com. When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Chabad of Alabama

March 21-24


“Hadestown” is the winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. It intertwines two mythic tales – that of Orpheus and Eurydice and that of King Hades and his wife, Persephone.

When: Various showtimes Where: BJCC

April 11–13



Spring Plant

Member Priority Shopping: Thursday, April 11

Open to the Public: Friday, April 12

Saturday, April 13

Thursday, March 21, 2024 • 3 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL ABOUT TOWN MAR 21 - APR 4
presented by Presented by PNC, with generous support from the Alabama Power Foundation, Vulcan Materials Company, the Warner Foundation and Protective Life Foundation. Heroes & Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume is curated by the Walt Disney Archives. bbgardens.org/spring A facility of the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board, Birmingham Botanical Gardens is the result of a public/private partnership between the City of Birmingham and the nonprofit Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, a mission-driven membership organization that seeks to protect, nurture, and share the wonders of the Gardens.
now open! Birmingham Museum of Art Feb 17–Aug 18
Sale is back at the Gardens. Get ready for spring planting by shopping hard-to-find plants specially selected for our region by
volunteer growers. Check or card only. Bring your own cart or
Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Sat., March 23

Homewood Easter Egg Hunt

Homewood welcomes the Easter Bunny at this egg hunt, where there will be games and prizes, and children will hunt for eggs with their own age group. The Easter Bunny will be available for pictures, and don’t forget to bring your own Easter egg basket! When: 10 a.m. for kids up to age 3 and ages 6-7; 11 a.m. for kids ages 4-5 and 8-10. Where: Patriot Park

16th Annual Rumpshaker

5K and Fun Run

Support the fight against colorectal cancer by participating in the Rumpshaker 5K and Fun Run. Money raised helps to educate individuals and raise awareness about colorectal cancer. When: 8 a.m. start for 5K Run/Walk; 9 a.m. for 1 Mile Fun Run. Where: Regions Field

Sun., March 24

Arabian Nights Purim

Celebrate the Jewish holiday with Chabad of Alabama with a Moroccan Purim Feast, drum circle, petting zoo, face painting and henna tattoos! RSVP at chabadofalabama.com.

When: Megillah reading at 4:30 p.m., party starts at 5 p.m. Where: Chabad of Alabama

March 26-28

Presenting: Super Cat and the Reptile Robot in the Tremendous Tickle Trouble

Cass and Ray are best friends who enjoy different things. Ray enjoys scary movies and smores. Cass prefers ice cream and comedies. They even sometimes disagree on how to play their favorite game: The Adventures of Super Cat & Reptile Robot! Will their friendship survive? When: 11 a.m. Where: Birmingham Children’s Theatre

Thurs., March 28

Sean Dietrich

Sean Dietrich, the popular writer known as “Sean of the South,” will appear at the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest for a morning of storytelling presented by the Friends of the Library. When: 10:30 a.m. Where: Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest

Fri., March 29

Easter Eggstravaganza

Spark your Easter weekend with an egg hunt and lots of fun at the


Easter Eggstravaganza! There will be a petting zoo, a craft and snack to enjoy. Hunts are divided by age groups with a limit of three eggs per child. All eggs will have candy or a prize. This event is best for toddlers to kids in third grade. When: Egg hunt begins at 11 a.m., with activities until 1 p.m. Where: Wald Park

Sat., March 30

Easter Egg Roll

Bring your basket for the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce’s Easter Egg Roll. This well-loved annual tradition will include a visit from the Easter Bunny, who will be ready to pose for photos with the kids. When: 10 a.m. Where: The grassy field by the O’Neal Library

Sakura Cherry Blossom Festival

Join the Japan-America Society of Alabama and the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens in celebrating the Sakura Cherry Blossom Festival. This family-friendly event will feature cultural exhibits and activities for all ages. When: 10 a..m.4 p.m. Where: Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Thurs., April 4

Acts of Kindness Gala

The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind Foundation invites you to an elegant evening of Acts of Kindness, an event celebrating the limitless potential of Alabama’s children who are deaf, blind, deaf and blind, and multidisabled. The fundraising event will feature dinner, a live auction and a performance of “Sister Act.” When: 5 p.m. Where: Red Mountain Theatre

Fri., April 5

Space Prom

Dress to impress in your shiny, spacey best and be sure to bring your dancing shoes to celebrate the last visible solar eclipse in the country for the next 20 years! Those attending will receive free eclipse glasses and enjoy games, food and drinks. This event is limited to adults 21 and older. Register at oneallibrary. org/evet/9881603. When: 6-8 p.m. Where: O’Neal Library

April 5-7

Alabama Ballet

An Evening of Twyla Tharp featuring the music of Frank Sinatra will include two iconic pieces by the legendary American choreographer that you won’t want to miss. When: Various times Where: Alabama School of Fine Arts, Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre

April 5-21

Sister Act

After witnessing a murder, disco diva Deloris Van Cartier must hide in a convent disguised as a nun in this feel-good musical comedy. When: Various times Where: Red Mountain Theatre

Sat., April 6

Rocky Ridge Battle of the Bands

The 5th annual Rocky Ridge Battle of the Bands, where middle and high school musicians compete to see whose band or solo act is tops. The event, sponsored by Mason Music, features VIP guest judges who decide the winners in different categories. When: 5 p.m. Where: Rocky Ridge Plaza

Bark and Wine

An evening of dining, cocktails, live music and dancing, along with a live and silent auction, all benefiting the Shelby County Humane Society.

When: 6 p.m. Where: Windwood

4 • Thursday, March 21, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL ABOUT TOWN cookmuseum.org Tween to Trend Accessories In Snoozy's Kids CRESTLINE VILLAGE 205.871.2662 Check Out Our Fluffle of Bunnies! Bluff Park WindoW Works Call 205-542-6094 LocaLLy owned and operated f Wood window restoration and repair f Sash replacement, rot repair f Replace broken and fogged glass f Wood insulated, putty glazed, and composite vinyl replacement sashes
Individuals of all ages are invited to join Shades Mountain Baptist Church’s community egg hunt.The church will have egg hunts to accommodate varying abilities, games, crafts, door prize raffles and treat bag options with different types of candy or trinkets and dessert trucks for treat purchases. When:
Where: Shades
9:30 a.m.-noon
Mountain Baptist Church
THE DATE Courtesy

Homewood Way of the Cross Set for Good Friday

A longstanding Good Friday tradition will continue in Homewood with the Way of the Cross procession March 29.

A number of the city’s Christian churches participate in the annual event, which commemorates Jesus’ carrying the cross to his crucifixion on Calvary.

A wooden cross symbolizing the one Jesus carried through the streets of Jerusalem to his execution and died upon will be carried during the solemn procession, which will begin at 2 p.m. at Homewood’s Central Park.

Clergy from several churches lead the procession through the Edgewood neighborhood to the end point at Edgewood Presbyterian Church. People often join in as it winds its way through the community. Along the way, they reflect on the last hours of Jesus’ life, sing and read scripture, according to the website of Trinity United Methodist Church, which helps organize the event.

Participants in last year’s walk, right, pass in front of Trinity United Methodist Church.

Pharmacy Camp Bulldog

A summer camp for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors

Participants will engage in hands-on lab demonstrations, participate in unique service projects, tour local health care facilities and pharmacies in Birmingham, and more. Learn more about the program and start the application today!


Learn More
To: Marguerite From: Over the Mountain Journal 823-9646 ph Date: March This is your ad proof for March 21, 2024 OTMJ Please contact your sales representative as soon or make changes. Please make sure all information is correct, including address and Thank you for your prompt attention. 2406 Canterbury Road Mtn. Brook Village 205.879.2730 Are you ready for Spring Break? We are, come see us!
Journal file photo by Jordan Wald



From Page One

Aldridge Gardens

While it’s known for its beautiful hydrangeas, Aldridge Gardens’ 30-acre campus offers several opportunities for a pleasant outing. Walking dogs on a leash and fishing in the lake are allowed Monday to Thursday. Storywalk, sponsored by the Hoover Public Library, is a delight for younger children who can read a book on 18 panels as they walk through the gardens.

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

Mad for motorsports? Then you’ll want to visit the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, which contains the world’s largest motorcycle collection, the world’s most extensive collection of Lotus cars and an assortment of other rare and unusual cars. It also features a professional car and motorcycle racecourse.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Described on its website as a cherished place of respite and inspiration since 1962, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens encompasses 67 acres of serene beauty. More than two dozen garden spaces reflect the region’s terrain and showcase many plants that thrive in Southern gardens. There’s also a glass conservatory with many species of plants. The whole family can wrap up spring break at the Sakura Cherry Blossom Festival on March 30 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The gardens are open seven days a week. Admission is free.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian. It’s a cultural and educational research center that promotes a comprehensive understanding of the significance of civil rights developments in Birmingham.

Birmingham Museum of Art

Help your family explore and appreciate the world of art with a visit to the Birmingham Museum of Art. There’s a diverse collection of more than 27,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and

decorative arts and an outdoor sculpture garden. Visitors can take part in their own scavenger hunts through the museum’s galleries; information is available at both entrances. Don’t miss the special exhibit, “Heroes and Villains: The Art of Disney Costume,” open through Aug. 18. Capt. Jack Sparrow’s pirate togs and Cinderella’s gorgeous blue ballgown are among the array of stunning costumes from Disney’s live action films.

McWane Science Center

Spring break day camps for pre-school to kindergarten-aged children and for older kids in grades one to six will be held, but the science center also will be open to visitors. Popular handson permanent exhibits include the Shark and Ray Touch Tank and the Bubble Room. Fossils of dinosaurs that once roamed the state are in the Alabama Dinosaurs exhibit, and The Explore! Lab is devoted to hands-on exploration of geology, paleontology, anthropology and zoology.

Negro Southern League Museum

Before Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball, black players had their own leagues. The Negro Southern League Museum tells the story of African American baseball in America through the eyes of Birmingham, with the largest collection of original Negro League baseball artifacts in the country.

Red Mountain Park

Hike the trails of the 1,500 acres in Red Mountain Park in southwestern Birmingham, once the site of extensive iron ore mining – one of the industries that helped build the Magic City. While the iron mines closed decades ago, this urban park is a recreational venue that offers 16 miles of trails accessible to hikers and bike riders. There are three tree houses and a 6-acre off-leash dog park. Your pups are welcome on the trails with

you, as long as they’re on a leash. On Tuesdays from 5:45-7 p.m., enjoy group walks geared to various pace and skill levels. No registration is required.

Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve

Another former mining center turned urban park is Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve in northeastern Birmingham. There are 1,038 acres of biodiverse urban forest that connects East Lake, Irondale, Roebuck Springs and greater Birmingham via 14 miles of trails. The preserve, pavilion and trails are open Tuesday through Saturday, and the Nature Center is open Thursday through Sunday.

Southern Museum of Flight

One of the largest aviation museums in the Southeast is right here in Birmingham near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. More than 100 aircraft are housed in the 75,000-square-foot facility, along with engines, models, artifacts and paintings to present civilian, military and experimental aircraft and memorabilia from the earliest history of powered flight. It’s also home to the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame, with more than 70 biographical plaques highlighting individuals important to Alabama aviation history.

Vulcan Park and Museum

The original iron man, a 56-foot-tall statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and forge, towers over Vulcan Park. A 10-acre park is spread out atop Red Mountain, and visitors can enjoy an observation tower, a museum and the view of the city in the wide section below the ridge.

Montevallo American Village

The Spirit of ’76 is alive and well at American Village in Montevallo, which celebrates and brings to life the country’s stories of liberty and sacrifice set in a sprawling Revolutionary War-era village. The Patriot Sampler program held Monday to Friday offers a variety of activities, including playing Colonial games, meeting famous patriots like John Adams and viewing the film, “Choosing to be an American People,” in the West Wing of Independence Hall.

6 • Thursday, March 21, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

ultimately decided Death Valley in California was their favorite place in the world. Pope even has a picture of herself standing in the Snake River — where she is now a fly-fishing guide — outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming, when she was about 6 years old.

While studying fashion at the University of Kentucky, Pope first began to “crave being outside and standing in a river,” she said. “Flyfishing is very calming and very relaxing. It makes you slow down in really pretty places.”

She’d considered moving to New York or Florence, Italy, after college, but just as the world was shutting down for the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 and she was preparing to graduate, she decided to take a westward turn instead.

fly-fishing guide school and started guiding in the summer of 2022.

“It wasn’t ever what I expected to do, but now I don’t see myself doing anything else,” she said.

Pope said her dad’s biggest concern about her working in fishing was that she’d lose her love of it, but “I have found that hasn’t changed one bit,” she said, even as she works many 12-hour days six days a week

different walks of life and never know who is going to be in your boat that day.”

Few Female Fly-Fishing Guides

Pope is one of few females in the fly-fishing industry. She is the only female guide out of the 18 on staff with her guide shop, Snake River Angler, and she estimates that five of the guides out of the approximately 250 in the Jackson Hole area are female.

through the summer.

Pope would go on to take a “stab at a real-word desk job,” running shipping and logistics at Giv’r Gloves in Jackson Hole for a year and a half, but the whole time she craved being outside and was fishing as much as she could — even if it meant starting her workday at 6 a.m.

So she signed up for a weeklong

“I was surprised by how easy it can be to learn to fly-fish if you take some time,” she said. “It’s very approachable and a lot less complicated than people think it is, especially when you have a guide.”

About 98% of the job as a flyfishing guide is dealing with people, Pope said, which she really enjoys as a “huge people person.”

“You learn a lot about how people work,” she said. “You interact with

“We call our clients the night before we meet them, and they are sometimes surprised J.B., as I go by in Jackson Hole, is a girl,” she said. “For every negative interaction, though, I have had eight other incredible interactions, and often people request a female guide. Women tend to be a lot more patient, so I think it’s a gentler day.”

Though Pope said fly-fishing can be an intimidating environment, she knows her skin is thick.

“My mom is a lawyer and started practicing when there weren’t a lot of women in law, so I think I have always been around strong women,” she said.

Building on the artistic skills she learned sewing and painting growing up, Pope has also started tying flies and most recently has been using

pheasant feathers a client from Wisconsin sent her from his hunting trips for her flies.

“When you get fishy clients — clients who have fished a lot — and they see your flies, it opens up a whole other range of conversation on the boat,” she said.

Pope is also putting her fashion degree to use working with the buyer for Snake River Angler on inventory and meeting with sales reps. It can be hard to find good women’s fly-fishing clothes, she said, but the women’s side is starting to catch up with the men’s.

Simms, a fishing product brand, incorporated a lot of the design ideas Pope and her female colleague shared with them recently, “which is a huge

compliment,” she said.

While most of the fly-fishing clothes Pope wears are non-patterned, she always adds a patterned buff, hat, or pair of Chacos “to add a little pizazz,” she said.

“I like to look cute when I guide and wear things that function well,” she said. “I think if you look good, you work better, period, in any job.”

On occasion, she even dons pink.

To book Julia Bell Pope as a flyfishing guide in Jackson Hole, call Snake River Angler at 307-733-3699 and request her. She recommends booking fly-fishing guides as early as possible when planning a trip to the area.

The perfect place to host your next party or event, no matter what the occasion may be!

Come play and take home the games you love the best! We are very different from a traditional arcade. You can come and play, but also buy any game you see in the store. Keep the fun going with BumperNets

Come see us during Spring Break!

Thursday, March 21, 2024 • 7 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL LIFE
■ 41st Year Sponsors ■ GRANTS Alabama State Council on the Arts & the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency • City of Birmingham Community Arts Grant Program PLATINUM Kinetic Communications BRONZE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama • Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau • Joe Piper, Inc. • Publix Super Markets Charities STEEL Bancography • City of Birmingham • Coca Cola United • EventWorks Rentals • Sloss Furnaces Foundation, Inc. ■ MEDIA ■ Babypalooza • Bham Now • Birmingham Business Journal • Birmingham Lifestyle • Birmingham Mountain Radio 107.3fm • B-metro • EXCURSIONSgo.com • High Level Marketing • Homewood Life • Over the Mountain Journal • Starnes Media • The Birmingham Times • The Birmingham Lede • WBHM 90.3fm ■ Featured Artist ■ Bryce Speed, “Three Foot”, Acrylic, 2023 April 26-28, 2024 ● Sloss Furnaces www.magiccityart.com BumperNets is America’s First Table Tennis Store BUT THERE’S SO MUCH MORE! RIVERCHASE GALLERIA | 205-987-2222 | bumpernets.com Pinball,
pool and more!!
the latest arcades, table sports such as
air hockey,
From Page One
Courtesy Julia Bell Pope

Family Tradition

Tom Luckie Earns Silver Medal Award From American Advertising Foundation

Tom Luckie considers himself, well, lucky. Or, to use his word, “fortunate.”

That’s how the Luckie & Co. chairman described being selected earlier this month as the recipient of the prestigious Silver Medal Award from AAF Birmingham, the local chapter of the American Advertising Foundation.

AAF Birmingham’s Silver Medal Award recognizes ad professionals for their work to further industry standards and foster creative excellence and social responsibility. It’s one of the highest honors presented by the organization and is known as the nonprofit’s lifetime achievement award.

“I guess they couldn’t find anybody else,” Luckie quipped.

“It means that the advertising business has been good to me and my family,” he added, striking a more serious tone. “It’s not me, but our company. This is our 71st year in business and I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of great people who do a lot of the heavy lifting. I’m getting a little long in the tooth, but I am surrounded by a lot of bright people. A lot of people are behind this and I just happened to be the guy they honored.

“It’s a nice honor. Twenty-five years ago to the day (March 1), my brother, who’s deceased, was given this award and that’s what makes it special. My dad also received it and so have several others in our company.”

Established in 1959, AAF’s Silver Medal Award Program is presented annually to AAF members in local communities across the United States. The organization presented the Silver Medal Award to Luckie’s father, Robert “Ace” Luckie, in 1963, and to his brother, Robert Luckie III, in

1999. Five other executives from the agency have earned the award in the firm’s history.

“Tom’s positive and decades-long impact on Birmingham – not just the ad community – is measured in the hundreds of professional careers he’s nurtured, the countless clients he’s counseled and dozens of nonprofit organizations he’s supported,” said John Gardner, president & CEO of Luckie. “He leads with integrity and honesty and has for his entire career.

On behalf of all Luckie team members, I am so proud to congratulate Tommy on this well-deserved honor.”

Luckie, founded in 1953 by Ace Luckie, celebrated its 70th year in business in 2023. Over the decades, the company has worked with companies in health care, travel and tourism, consumer packaged goods and financial services, including Regions Bank, RaceTrac, Jack’s Family Restaurants, Alabama Tourism and the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, Alabama Power, GlaxoSmithKline, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Panama City Beach.

Today, Luckie & Co. is among Birmingham’s top five advertising agencies and Atlanta’s top 10 as ranked by the Birmingham Business Journal and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Technology Influence

Tom Luckie has a marketing degree from Auburn University and an MBA from Samford University. In 1977, he joined the family business.

His 47-year ad agency career has taken him through countless changes in the global advertising industry and in Birmingham business. After he was named CEO in 2010, he helped lead the company’s evolution from a traditional ad agency to a data-centric marketing shop, earning national attention and awards for its integrated use of

‘It’s a nice honor. Twenty-five years ago to the day (March 1), my brother, who’s deceased, was given this award and that’s what makes it special. My dad also received it ...’ TOM LUCKIE

data to inform strategy in advertising, PR, social media and more. In 2022 he was named chairman.

“The biggest change in the industry is 100 percent technology, the mobile phone, digital media and social media,” Luckie said. “If you go back to, say 1975, there were three people in New York making decisions about what you watched and when you watched. But now if you want to watch something, you can just watch it.

“But even with all the technology and the mobile phone, you still need great people with great ideas who know how to leverage things across different platforms,” Luckie continued. “What worked five years ago might not be relevant now, so you still have to come up with great ideas and communicate them with the consumer

because there are a lot of likes and dislikes and tastes out there.

“You have to find the right content in the right context. You still have to have the ability to keep the attention of the consumer. Sometimes humor works, and sometimes you have to communicate straightforward with people.”

In his life outside the company, Luckie is an active member of multiple groups in the Birmingham community and spends time with his family.

Even so, Luckie isn’t planning on retiring any time soon.

“I still enjoy working,” he said. “I’ve already given up a lot of things I don’t like to do, but we’ve got some great people and smart people, so I still enjoy coming in and being around the young folks.”

The Homewood Chamber of Commerce board of directors has named Shay Gartman as the new executive director for the chamber.

Gartman replaces Meredith Drennen, who served as the executive director for nine years.

Gartman had been the chamber’s office and events manager since 2021, according to an announcement issued by the chamber. In that role, she spearheaded coordination for events such as the Homewood Chamber Annual Golf Classic, Taste of Homewood and the monthly membership luncheons.

She will begin in her new position March 25, following the 21st Annual Taste of Homewood event.

Gartman said in the announcement that she is “thrilled” with the promotion and credited chamber leaders as her mentors.

“Homewood is special because of its schools, businesses, churches, superior police force and fire departments, dedicated city officials and employees, and residents,” Gartman said in the announcement. “It is my belief that Homewood businesses set the standard as stakeholders in the Homewood community and the surrounding areas, and my aim is to continue spotlighting and promoting all the efforts that go into making Homewood a great place to live and do business.”

From Page One

figures guiding my career, and I suspect there is a long line of clinicians and scientists out there who would say the same,” said J. Daniel Sharer, Ph.D., FACMG, a professor of clinical genetics in the UAB Department of Genetics. “He has been and remains one of the world’s leading authorities — both as a clinician and a scientist — on the underlying pathophysiology, diagnosis and clinical care of patients with neurofibromatosis.”

When learning that he was the 2024 recipient of the Rimoin Lifetime Achievement Award, Korf stated that he was surprised to receive the award but also humbled for having the honor bestowed upon him.

“Having an award that bears Dr.

Rimoin’s name is also a particular honor and very meaningful, given our many years of collaboration on Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics and in the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics,” Korf said.

A world-renowned neurofibromatosis (NF) expert, he is known for spearheading the effort to drive its evolution from clinical diagnosis and surveillance to the possibility of treatment. Korf’s research has contributed to providing new choices and hope to people with NF and has been instrumental in coordinating multi-site research collaborations needed to ensure adequate participants in clinical trials for this rare disorder.

“If there’s one thing that ties the clinic and the lab together, it’s what I describe as a sense of urgency that patients feel,” Korf said. “Although it’s a time-consuming and laborious

process to get from understanding a mechanism behind NF to producing new therapies, there really is an urgency to do this, given the challenges that people and their families who live with these conditions face.”

Since joining UAB in 2003, Korf’s contributions to medical research have not been limited to NF, as he leads UAB’s Undiagnosed Diseases Program, which is part of the National Institutes of Health’s Undiagnosed Diseases Network, as well as leading two population-level genomics projects: the All of Us Southern Network, part of the NIHled All of Us Research Program, and the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative, a statewide program.

He is also the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Human Genetics and serves as principal investigator of the Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trials Consortium, a Department of

Defense-funded research program that allows researchers around the country to pool administrative resources, share findings and recruit study participants.

“You go to the clinic and see that day’s patients, and then you go back to your office or go home and may think about other things, whereas the patients you’re seeing take their condition home with them and live with it every minute,” Korf said.

“I have witnessed his compassion. He’s always pushing to get meaningful research data back to physicians and patients so patients can get the diagnosis and care that they need,” said Dr. Deeann Wallis, Ph.D., professor in the UAB Department of Genetics.

Korf’s research has made a significant contribution to understanding human health, and contemporaries are quick to recognize its overall impact.

Gartman and her family have been residents of Homewood for more than 20 years. She has four children, including one Homewood High School graduate and three currently in the Homewood School System.

Board of Directors President Hugh Nickson said board members considered a wide variety of qualified candidates.

“Shay Gartman stood out because of her professional administrative work with our chamber for the last few years. Our directors and members have come to know her as one who has the attitude to sustain and the aptitude to build upon our chamber’s 84-year legacy of service to Homewood,” Nickson said.

“Serving Homewood has been the highlight of my career, and I have loved my time in this role,” Drennan said in the announcement. “With well-established ties to Homewood and a unique skill set, I feel confident that Shay will do a fantastic job serving our community. I look forward to seeing how Shay takes the chamber to a new era of growth and support for local businesses.”

8 • Thursday, March 21, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL PEOPLE
Shay Gartman Courtesy
Homewood Chamber Promotes From Within to Fill Executive Director Role

‘A Coach of Distinction’

Wright Was the Kind of Coach Parents Wanted their Children to Play for

Richard “Dickey” Wright learned the importance of a coach’s impact from the very best.

He got his start as a student coach working with Hall of Fame coach Bob Finley at W.A. Berry High School. He spent most of his professional coaching and teaching career in the Homewood City School System working with such great mentors as Hall of Fame coaches Gerald Gann and Bob Newton.

He was a fast learner.

On March 18, Wright will be joining 11 others who will be inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2024 at the 34th annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet to be held at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Spa Convention Center.

2005) and had one runner-up team (2001). The 2000 team (14-1) won the memorable five overtime game with Benjamin Russell. The 2005 team was 15-0, allowing opponents an average of only 8.8 points per game. In 2006, he took over as head football coach, holding that position for five years. The 2006 team

2005. He served on the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee for six years. He received the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Service Award in 2018.

“My first association with Dickey was a student in my seventh grade physical education class at W. A. Berry,” coach Gerald Gann said. “Dickey played junior high and varsity football as a wide receiver. During his college years, Dickey helped coach our junior high football, basketball and baseball teams. He was an excellent coach and teacher of fundamentals.

Those individuals selected with Wright are: football coaches Phillip Lolley, Perry Swindall and Rick Rhoades, who led Mountain Brook to a 14-0 record and a state football championship in 1976 in his only year at the school; football and track coach Eddie Brundidge; basketball coaches Chucky Miller and Thomas “Mike” Boyd; baseball and football coach Ron Nelson; softball and baseball coach Christopher Goodman; AHSAA administrator Kimberly Vickers; and selected from the “Old-Timers” Division were coach/administrators Frank “Swede” Kendall and Cornell “C.T.” Torrence.

The W. A. Berry High School 1971 graduate lettered in track and football for Finley. He attended Jacksonville State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Wright began his teaching career at Homewood Middle School in 1981, serving as athletic director and coaching football and wrestling. His football teams compiled a record of 75-27-1 and were 1981 Jefferson County middle school champions.

In 1993 he was promoted to defensive coordinator in football and head wrestling and golf coach at Homewood High School. During his tenure as defensive coordinator, Homewood won five state championships (1995, 2000, 2002. 2004,

advanced to the third round of the playoffs.

As wrestling coach, his teams won five Class 5A state championships, including four in a row from 2002 to ‘04.

The 1995 championship was followed by runner-up finishes in 1996 and 1997. He had 37 individual Class 5A state champions, 74 sectional champions and 106 state placers.

Wrestling USA Magazine gave him the Alabama State Man of the Year Award in 2002. The magazine said Homewood had won a repeat state championship after overcoming several obstacles: “sickness, injuries, a late start because of being in the state football finals.” Homewood rallied to defeat Gardendale, which had won the sectional title.

“All of Dickey’s successes for football and wrestling are impressive, but his biggest asset to Homewood City Schools was his dedication to his players, coaching and his teaching profession. Dickey was a coach that you would want your son or daughter to play for.”

Coach Bob Newton’s impression of Wright is similar.

“I had the pleasure of working with coach Wright at Homewood High School for years,” said Newton. “He served as a coach of distinction who made a difference in the school and in the lives of athletes in wrestling and football.

“He’s the type that says, ‘Where do you need me? How can I help?’ It’s a principal or superintendent’s dream person.”

“He served as wrestling coach for many years and won multiple state championships as well as leading a number of young men to be individual state champions.

“He served as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach during my time as football coach, and he was an integral part of our ability to win five football state championships.

When Wright gave up the football position after the 2010 season, he continued to serve the school system, coordinating school buses, helping with residence verification and assisting with general supervisions.

“He’s the type that says, ‘Where do you need me? How can I help?’” said Homewood Schools Superintendent Bill Cleveland. “It’s

a principal or superintendent’s dream person.”

Wright retired from public education in 2013. He then coached at Shades Mountain Christian for two years to close out his coaching career.

Bill Plott is a veteran journalist and one of the state’s most prominent high school sports historians.

He coached three National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award winners – Bert Newton, Seth Garvin and Forrest Milsap. He had six high school All-Americans and three high school Academic AllAmericans.

Wright was named Southeastern Coach of the Year in 2001 and the National Federation of High Schools Coach of the Year for Alabama in

“Coach Wright has dedicated himself to students and spent his entire career helping young athletes develop. He coached both of my sons in wrestling and football with both earning state titles in wrestling. He helped them become adults of strength and resilience, knowing the rewards of hard work and dedication. Coach Wright has been a part of multiple championships in multiple sports and has helped others to be champions.”

2700 Culver Rd, Mountain Brook Village 205-870-9210 Walk-In’s Welcome! Tues. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. | Sat., 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. TREADWELL BARBER SHOP Always look your best! Especially Easter Sunday! Your Easter outfit starts here with a great haircut! Park South Plaza • 1425 Montgomery Hwy., Suite 111 Next to Diplomat Deli in Vestavia Hills 205-822-9173
Photo AHSAA Former Homewood High School coach Richard “Dickey” Wright is set to be inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.


‘I’m Busy All the Time’

Almost Like a Second Home to Volunteer

You could say four years of high school home economics and crafting skills learned in her youth laid the groundwork for Helen Tankersley’s retirement and her work as a volunteer at the Hoover Senior Center.

At 77, the Hoover resident is an energetic crafter who shares her skills in the community in a variety of ways, including teaching and enhancing the décor of the senior center’s tables for its monthly senior luncheons.

“If I can help one person in any way, I just feel good,” she said.

She learned how to knit and far beyond sewing basics at Lawrenceburg High School in her native Tennessee, Tankersley said. By sophomore year, she and her classmates were hand sewing a baby’s dress and a slip to go with it, and during junior year, she made a full-sized, three-piece suit – with a lining.

She lived in Tennessee and worked at South Central Bell in Nashville until 1984, when she moved to the company’s Birmingham office for a job that offered better opportunity for promotion. She made the move from Music City to the Magic City, bought a home in Hoover and the next year, on Jan. 25, 1985, met her future husband, Richard Tankersley.

He was a runner and member of the Birmingham Track Club. The couple often spent Saturday mornings at a race, followed by breakfast. She wasn’t a runner at first, although eventually she started running. “I was a cheerleader,” Tankersley said.

She supported the group at races and served as track club president for two years.

“That was only because they couldn’t find anybody else to be president,” she said, adding that she edited the club’s newsletter for 10 years.

“It was and still is a good track club. The running community here is a great group. Really, they are very caring,” Tankersley said.

Richard was such an enthusiastic runner that when the couple married in her hometown in Central Tennessee in 1988, they drove to East

Tennessee that evening so he could run in a midnight race in Pigeon Forge, Tankersley said. Her track club participation tapered off after Richard passed away in March 2007.

“It was not the same” without him there, she said.

Tankersley continued working after her husband’s death but retired several years later, in 2014. With more time on her hands, the Hoover Senior Center became her second home.

“I’m busy all the time,” she said.

Her love for fiber crafts that began in high school led to teaching crochet and becoming involved in other activities there, including having served as president of the senior center’s advisory board.

During her years at the senior center, members turned to Tankersley for help with simple troubleshooting their smartphones and computers since she had a background in telecommunications and computers. She got the center’s permission to volunteer at a set time once a month to help seniors with their tech questions, like how to download an app.

Twelve people showed up at once, which was “over-

whelming,” Tankersley said, realizing it would be better to help them one-on-one. She now helps other seniors twice a month, on the first and third Tuesdays of every month.

At any given time, table decorations for the center’s monthly luncheons might very well have been some of her creations. In 2022, her last year as advisory board president, for example, at Halloween she crocheted and knitted 24 little pumpkins, and at Christmas, she made 120 Christmas stockings that were a little smaller than a smartphone.

Work Expands Beyond Center

While the senior center is a big part of her life, activities outside the senior center keep Tankersley busy, too. She teaches classes at Knit Birmingham, a shop on Claremont Avenue on Southside, where she’s currently giving lessons in Tunisian crochet and how to create granny squares.

She enjoys a variety of crafts, including knitting and quilting, and makes items for people in need. Baby blankets and bibs are among the children’s items she makes and those for seniors include shawls, hats and booties. Tankersley said she does this as a way to give back in gratitude for the people who showed kindness and care for her late mother, who had dementia.

During her years at the senior center, members turned to Tankersley for help with simple troubleshooting their smartphones and computers since she had a background in telecommunications and computers.

Testing crochet and knitting patterns for designers from around the world is another aspect of retirement Tankersley enjoys.

She’s gained a sterling reputation for her skills on ravelry.com, a website for people who enjoy knitting and crocheting. Pattern testing involves making an item to see whether the design is accurate and can be made according to the instructions before the design is released.

“I’ve been told that one lady in Australia likes the way I test, and she (has) contacted me several times to do some testing,” Tankersley said.

10 • Thursday, March 21, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL
Journal photos by Jordan Wald Hoover Senior Center Is At 77, Hoover resident, Helen Tankersley (above right), is an energetic crafter who shares her skills in the community in a variety of ways. Below, Tankersley with her knitting group at the Hoover Library. She also teaches classes at Knit Birmingham, a shop on Claremont Avenue on Southside, where she’s currently giving lessons in Tunisian crochet.

If you’re like most people, when it comes to your home you know maintenance is critical to keeping it up, but it’s hard to get around to doing it on a regular basis.

“You don’t have to remember when things need to get done. We schedule maintenance just like you would lawn maintenance or pest control. Once a quarter we come and do the work!”

This sometimes leads to larger issues down the road which can cost more money, cause safety issues and/or lower home value.

Trublue of Birmingham just announced

their new program to solve the home maintenance issue… A Quarterly Maintenance Subscription.

As owner Rick Batson explained, “You don’t have to remember when things need to get done. We schedule maintenance just like you would lawn maintenance or pest control. Once a quarter we come and do the work!”

Trublue is a national company that has rolled out this program across the nation.

First, Trublue sends a technician to evaluate the home and see the equipment and areas where service will be needed. It also can uncover issues if there are any existing. Once the assessment has been done the maintenance program is set up and a quarterly maintenance schedule is established.

If you’d like to learn more or have a home maintenance program set up contact Mur or Roxanne at 205-839-3818.

Thursday, March 21, 2024 • 11 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SENIORS GRACEFUL LIVING KIRKWOODBYTHERIVER.COM Retreat-Like Setting Discover Kirkwood by the River, where nature’s beauty meets effortless living for more than 40 years. Our Life Plan Community offers maintenance-free amenities and a serene atmosphere where family, friendship, independence, and health converge. With expanded options like Cottage Living and enhanced dining, along with a modern Assisted Living and Memory Support building, Kirkwood ensures peace of mind and personal security while you cherish life’s priorities. To learn more or to schedule a tour today, call 205-956-2184 or visit kirkwoodbytheriver.com INDEPENDENT LIVING | MEMORY CARE | ASSISTED LIVING | SKILLED NURSING Schedule or Get a Free Estimate 205-839-3818 Home Repairs & Maintenance Serving Seniors & Busy Homeowners Ask About How to Start A Home Maintenance Program Grab Bar Installations Threshold Repairs Widen Doorways Dryer Vent Cleanoout Metal Ramps Wobbly Rail Repairs Bathroom Updates Replace Door Handles & Cabinet Pulls Sheetrock Repairs SPRING SPECIALS $50 Off Senior Home Safety Repairs SPRING SPECIALS NEW SUBSCRIPTION BASED SERVICE FOR HOME MAINTENANCE ANNOUNCED

How to be an Effective Advocate for Your Senior Parent

Being an effective advocate for your senior parents can be both rewarding and challenging. Here are some key steps you can take:

Before you begin:

• Understand your role: You are your parents’ voice and representative, ensuring their needs and wishes are heard and respected.

• Prioritize communication: Open and honest conversations are crucial. Talk to your parents about their preferences, concerns, and future plans.

• Gather information: Educate yourself on senior care options, available resources, and potential challenges they might face.

Steps to advocacy:

• Build a strong foundation:

• Develop trust and respect: Listen actively, be empathetic, and validate their feelings.

• Empower your parents: Encourage them to participate in decisions whenever possible.

• Involve siblings and family members: Build a support network

and share responsibilities.

• Become informed:

• Learn about their health: Attend doctor’s appointments, ask questions, and understand their medical needs.

• Research senior care options: Explore in-home care, assisted living, nursing

homes, and other possibilities.

• Know their legal and financial situation: Understand their documents like wills, power of attorney, and insurance policies.

• Communicate effectively:

• Ask clear, concise questions: Avoid jargon and ensure you understand the answers.

• Be assertive, not aggressive: Advocate for their needs respectfully and confidently.

• Document everything: Keep records of conversations, decisions, and agreements.

• Seek support and resources:

• Connect with senior advocacy

organizations: They offer guidance, information, and legal assistance.

• Join online communities and forums: Connect with other caregivers and share experiences.

• Consider professional help: Geriatric care managers can offer comprehensive support and guidance.

Additional tips:

• Be patient and understanding: Aging can be an emotional and challenging process.

• Focus on solutions and collaboration: Work with healthcare providers and other professionals to find the best solutions.

• Take care of yourself: Advocate for your own well-being to avoid burnout.

Remember, being an effective advocate is an ongoing process. Be patient, adaptable, and willing to learn as your parents’ needs evolve.

Dale Anderson is the Communications Director at Always Best Care. For more information about advocating for your senior parent, contact Always Best Care at 205-874-9730 or mail us at jmancuso@abc-seniors.com.

have been extremely impressed with the quality of service that Always Best Care has provided.
Best Care has lifted a huge burden from my shoulders. I highly recommend them.” —Jane Merrifield
12 • Thursday, March 21, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SENIORS
More than 1 million hours of service provided over the past 10 years. 205-874-9730 | jmancuso@abc-seniors.com INFORMATION More than 1 million hours of service provided over the past 10 years. 205-874-9730 | jmancuso@abc-seniors.com SCAN FOR MORE INFORMATION Reliable in-home care for Over the Mountain seniors.
More than 1 million hours of service provided over the past 10 years. 205-874-9730 | jmancuso@abc-seniors.com SCAN FOR MORE INFORMATION


Mitchell’s Place Supporters Dress to the Nines for Annual Fundraiser

Partygoers celebrated the Academy Awards while raising money for Mitchell’s Place during the A Night at the Oscars gala at Haven on March 16.

Mitchell’s Place specializes in improving the lives of children affected by autism and other developmental disabilities, and it focuses on early learning for preschool-aged children. Guests were treated to cocktails and a gourmet meal and given the chance to bid on exclusive items during silent and live auctions. Later, they danced to the sound of the Emerald Empire Band. ❖

SOCIAL Thursday, March 21, 2024 • 13 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL
Journal photos by Jordan Wald Villeta Linton, Pat and Michelle Schiffman, Gene Linton Nancy and Allen Meisler Rick and Eve Hirsch, Lori and Todd Edlin Virginia and George Jones, Lillian Falkenburg Clint and Lauren Lee Jill and Brian Murphy Sarah and Nathan McIntosh Carter and Brittany Slappey Heather and Eric Brown Lauren and Hunter Graham Kristin and Blake Raggio

Dinner and a dance party were among the highlights of Homegrown, a Homewood City Schools Foundation fundraiser at Haven on March 8.

The event included a welcome from college football analyst and Homewood alumnus Cole Cubelic, remarks from foundation President Mitchell Greggs and schools Superintendent Justin Hefner and a dance party with DJ Stillz.

Foundation board member Stephanie Mays announced district staff and teacher awards. Edgewood Elementary office assistant April Harrell won the District Support Staff Award. Teacher Impact Awards were given to Hall-Kent Elementary first grade teacher Haley Nall, Edgewood Elementary third grade teacher Katie Moore, Shades Cahaba Elementary fourth grade teacher Ashley Helf, Homewood Middle School seventh grade social studies teacher Austin Bonds and creative writing and improv comedy teacher Amy Marchino. ❖

Spring Break Ready?



Fundraiser Highlights Homewood Teachers and School Staff

14 • Thursday, March 21, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SOCIAL
Journal photos by Jordan Wald Michael and Erin Dumas, Blake and Matt Cobia Joanna Newton, Carol Chestnutt, Mike Hathorne Lawson and Taryn Hopper David and Katherine Driskill Marshall and Cary Beth Rivers Ben and Carrie Coleman, Leeza and Brian Naugle Kate Thomspon, Emily Yates, Lauren Leach Marshall and Cary Beth Rivers Lawson and Taryn Hopper Anna Miller, Rebecca Brown


The organization’s junior board presented the 19th annual event, which raises money for the private Christian school. The school’s mission is to offer students in grades K4 to 12 with a rigorous academic program while focusing on character development. ❖

Thursday, March 21, 2024 • 15 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SOCIAL 330 Rele Street | Mountain Brook Village 205.871.7060 | bartonclay.com Time for chrisTmas! Now open in Lane Parke New, Collectible Antique Dolls Open Thur. - Sat. 10am - 4:30pm Mary Charles’ Doll House 2820 Petticoat Lane Mtn. Brook Village 870-5544 COME SEE US IN HOMEWOOD! 1901 Oxmoor Rd. 205-870-5544 Mary Charles' Doll House Dolls, Doll Houses and Minatures Wednesday - Saturday 10am - 4pm Schoolhouse Rock Cornerstone Schools Fundraiser Entertains Adults
Journal photos by Jordan Wald Joshua Hamilton, Emily Frandsen, Allison and David Seamon
Florentine on March 8.
evening of live music, event games, giveaways
a silent auction marked the Schoolhouse Rock fundraiser for Cornerstone Schools at The
Allison McGee, Jessica Jones Mark and Jane Emanuelsen Brett and Nicole Hart Elise Blackberry, Bo Garrett Haley and Conner Jones
109 Hilltop Business Drive Pelham www.GriffithArtGallery.com 205.985.7969 Acrylic on
Acrylic by Maya
Catherine Cullom, RT Davis, Allie Elliott
Maya Eventov
Cooper and Ashley Killion
Nikki and Rob George To: Attic Antiques From: Over The Mountain Journal, PHONE: 205-823-9646 FAX: 205-824-1246 Date: March This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the March 23, 2023 issue. Please fax approval or changes to 824-1246. Please make sure all information is correct, including address and phone number! Tues.-Sat. 10-4:00 5620 Cahaba Valley Road 991-6887 Come See All Our Spring Items
Mark and Marcia Thompson

Winner, Winner …

Las Vegas Greets Birmingham in Pink Palace Casino Night

An elegant evening of food, casino gaming, a silent auction and live jazz music drew guests to Pink Palace Casino Night at Soiree Event Gallery on March 9.

The event was the 16th annual casino night fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama. Money raised supports breast cancer research in the state.

Guests took advantage of the Las Vegas-style gaming, including blackjack, poker, roulette and craps, with “winnings” cashed in for a chance to win prizes. Another feature of the evening, Diamonds and Drinks, allowed guests to make a donation for a glass of bubbly and a chance to win a pair of diamond hoop earrings. ❖

16 • Thursday, March 21, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SOCIAL 5299 Valleydale Road, Suite 111 980-9030 southeasternjewelers.net (1/4 mile off 280)
Journal photos by Jordan Wald Tom Noon, Vivian Davis, Beth Davis, Meredith Satterfield, Jennifer Gagliano Carter Billingsley, Meredith York Shannon and Brett Dudney Sandra and Dan Muntner, Richard and Denise Cortes Jennifer and Mark Craig, Lisa and Andrew Yeager Haley and Chris Clark Kathy and Roger Paiml Kerry and Carol Adkins Melanie and Jay Nichols Dorothy and Michael Donaldson

ABC 33/40 chief meteorologist James Spann was the guest of honor at the 12th Annual Hoover Service Club’s “Hearts in Harmony” gala fundraiser March 2 at the Hoover Country Club.

The evening began with a cocktail hour and silent auction, followed by dinner and a live auction. The emcee for the event was Will Lochamy and Hoover City Council President John Lyda was the auctioneer. The Hoover Belles helped take photos of guests.

All money raised goes to high school scholarships for Hoover and Spain Park students in need, as well as meeting additional needs in the Hoover community, such as Hoover Helps, local food banks and more.

Thursday, March 21, 2024 • 17 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SOCIAL
Hoover Service Club Gala Funds Scholarships
Hearts in Harmony
Journal photos by Jordan Wald Bonnie Campbell, Khristi Driver Tracey and Susette Clark-Walker, Karen and James Spann Dennis and Leigh Hulsey Dennis and Susan DuBose Steve and Stephanie McClinton Debbie and Travis Rutherford, Frances and Frank Brocato Beth and John Lyda

Luck of the Irish

Homewood Rotary’s St. Patrick’s Day Party Features Dinner, Auctions

St. Patrick’s Day came a bit early for Homewood Rotary members and their guests at a party at the Valley Hotel on March 2.

The event, held to raise money for scholarships for college-bound Homewood High School seniors, included an Irish-themed buffet dinner, a signature cocktail, music from Hooley and silent and live auctions. ❖

Shamrock Shindig

Music, Balloon Drop Hightlight ARC Fundraiser

Two days before St. Patrick’s Day, it was an evening for the wearing of the green at the Shamrock Shindig.

Live music, a balloon drop with prizes and a photo booth were among the activities at B&A Warehouse. The party, a fundraiser for ARC of Central Alabama, also included food and drink and a grand prize drawing.

The ARC provides services for people of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ❖

18 • Thursday, March 21, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SOCIAL
Journal photos by Jordan Wald Jan Hanson, Melinda Underwood Rosemary and Greg Greaves Lura and CD Denson, Jeff and Allison Phillips Robert and Camelia Holmes, Courtney and Jebari MIller Glenn and Martha Ellis Greg and Peggy Powell Mike and Sandy O’Kelley Amy Greene, Susan Stewart Monica and James Reed, Andrew Reed, John Michael and Kalei Reed Journal photos by Jordan Wald Annabel Hart, Suzanne Hart Rodney Davidson, Valerie Wyatt Casey and Pete Bartok Jason Patton, Amanda Godwin Suvas and Jalba Berawala
Thursday, March 21, 2024 • 19 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SOCIAL Dinner and a silent auction were among the highlights of One Starry Night, the Assistance League of Birmingham’s annual fundraiser, on March 7. The event’s setting atop Red Mountain at The Club set the stage for the evening. Proceeds help support the league’s Operation School Bell, which provides clothing to Birmingham-area children in need who attend public school students in grades K-8. Journal photos by Jordan Wald To: Dean Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-823-9646 March 2023 This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL March 21, 2024 issue. Please email approval or changes. Please make sure all information is correct, including address and phone number! Thank you for your prompt attention. Vintage Interiors Antiques & Vintage Wares for the Home & Garden 2838 PELHAM PKWY 205-620-1900 VINTAGEINTERIORSAL.COM Happy Easter! Call for a free in home design consultation and estimate 205-551-9061 www.closetsbydesign.com Call for a free in home design consultation and estimate 1-888-500-9230 closetsbydesign.com Locally owned and operated! 2024 All Rights Reserved. Closets by Design, Inc. Closets byDesign® Imagine your home, totally organized! Custom Closets Garage Cabinets Home Offices Wall Beds Pantries Laundries Wall Units Hobby Rooms Garage Flooring Media Centers OTMJ 40% Off Plus Free Installation Terms and Conditions: 40% off any order of $1000 or more or 30% off any order of $700-$1000 on any complete unit order of custom closet, garage, or home office, and any other products. Take an additional 15% off on any complete unit order. Not valid with any other offer. Free installation with any unit order of $850 or more. With incoming order, at time of purchase only. Expires 3/10/24. Offer not valid in all regions. SPECIAL FINANCING FOR 18 MONTHS! With approved credit. Call or ask your Designer for details. Not available in all areas. Follow us AN EXTRA PLUS TAKE 15% Off Locally Owned and Operated. Licensed and Insured. One Starry Night Assistance League Goes Atop Red Mountain for Glittering Event Lauren Tanner, Mary Catherine Roche, Kathleen Boudreaux Butch and Nancy Waldrop Shannon Hayslip, Carol Kraftsow Janet Perry, Sherry Murer Susan and Charley Willis Debbie Anderson, Paula Beeton, Catherine Shields

OTM National Merit Scholarship Finalists Announced

Dozens of Over the Mountain high school seniors have attained finalist status in the competition for National Merit Scholarships.

About 15,000 finalists nationwide are in the running for 7,140 scholarships, according to the scholarship program’s website. Scholarships consist of $2,500 single-payment National Merit Scholarships and corporatesponsored and college-sponsored scholarships.

Scholarship winners will be announced beginning this month. The nonprofit National Merit Scholarship Corp. has conducted the prestigious scholarship program since 1955.

20 • Thursday, March 21, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SCHOOL
Riley Pierce Claudia Williams John Mark Williams Jakub Hel BRIARWOOD Isaac McCollum Benjamin Smith ALTAMONT HOOVER Cynthia Liu Elias Mrug Alexander Kim Ananya Mohanraj Rishi Yellamraju ALABAMA SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS Nicholas Godwin Julia Downs MOUNTAIN BROOK William Stringfellow Grant Cooper Nate Hendrickson A.T. Moak Patton Hahn Jackson Short Anne Lichty J.K. Roberts Emmanuelle Lamontagne Mary Katherine Malone Henry Stallcup Grayson Hydinger Caitlin Speake Nathan Allendorf Turner Holmes Emily Turner Branum Lloyd Ann-Massey Bowman Sam Holmes Davis Till Will Lisenby Ham Mandell Livy Holt Kenneth Robinson Parker Chase Dylan Morgan Arhum Pabani Andrew Phillips Foster Thompson SPAIN PARK Mason Waldron Evan Peng Julius Lappalainen Madison McCullars Yeseung Shin Katherine Farquha OAK MOUNTAIN
Thursday, March 21, 2024 • 21 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SCHOOL Windows so stylish, they turn heads. From woven shades to shutters to elegant drapery, we carry countless layering options to match your style and meet your budget. Call for a free consultation: 205-824-3300 Please visit our showroom located: 2130 Columbiana Road, Vestavia Hills BudgetBlinds.com Design, Measure, Install We Do It All With You 000.000.0000 BUDGETBLINDS.COM/YOUR LOCALPAGEHERE © 2021 Budget Blinds, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Budget Blinds is a trademark of Budget Blinds, LLC and a Home Franchise Concepts Brand. Each franchise independently owned and operated. © 2023 Budget Blinds, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Budget Blinds is a trademark of Budget Blinds, LLC and a Home Franchise Concepts Brand. Each franchise independently owned and operated. HOMEWOOD
Front: Jackson Kittinger, Naomi Jones, Emma Chiesa, Maggie Player, Maren Smith, Kayla Warren and Kenneth Wang. Back: Anna Chason Wiggins, Benjamin Shacka, John Roberts, Mira McCool, Nathaniel Bernstein and Gordon Pavy. Front: Riley Newsome, Danielle Qin, Carol Li, Shayna Jotani, Jessica Ma and Anusha Singh. Back: Hunter Carroll, Patrick Ball, Daniel Cheng, Arav Singh, Drakeson Hu and Hansen Sha. NOT PICTURED: Stephen McCollum, Hoover; Anna G. Parks, Spain Park; Edward Pang, Vestavia Hills

The Big Dance

Samford Facing Blue-Blood Kansas in NCAA Basketball Tournament

Bucky McMillan’s mobile phone was blowing up for most of last week. He received more than 2,000 text messages and countless other phone calls.

That’s what happens when you are the men’s basketball coach at Samford University and you lead the Bulldogs to their first appearance in the Big Dance since 2000.

“It’s been a crazy week,” McMillan said.

The Bulldogs earned their NCAA Tournament bid by winning their firstever Southern Conference Tournament title with a 76-69 victory against ETSU in the championship game March 11 in Asheville, North Carolina, at Harrah’s Cherokee Center.

“We had a lot of people in Birmingham who came to Asheville with us and we celebrated a lot into the night,” McMillan said. “So it was fun.”

On Sunday, Samford (29-5) learned it would be the 13th seed in the Midwest Region and will play No. 4 seed Kansas (22-10), one of college basketball’s blue bloods, Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Obviously, I’m very excited for our program to be on the national scene,” McMillan said. “Those that have been following our program know this is a special team. It’s a special group of guys, the way they represent our university goes hand in hand with our university, how hard they work, how unselfish they are and the confidence in how they approach their business on a day-to-day basis.”

This is Samford’s third trip to the NCAA Tournament, having previously gone in 1999 and 2000. This will be the first-ever meeting between Samford and Kansas in men’s basketball.

The Bulldogs join UAB, Auburn and Alabama in the field of 68, with those three all playing their first-round

games Friday in Spokane, Washington.

Samford celebrated its berth Sunday with a March Madness Selection Show Watch Party in the Edgewood neighborhood of downtown Homewood, presented by Bandwagon Sports.

“We’re not going for exercise,” McMillan quipped. “I think we realize the hardest game is always the first game. If you can get by that, anything can happen. We’re not going to just be a part of the show. We’re going on a mission and to play hard-nosed, unselfish and fearless basketball.”

McMillan relished seeing his team achieve its goal of a conference title.

“I’m so happy for this team, I’m so happy for Samford University,” he said afterward. “I remember sitting in here our first year and playing as a 10 seed, we won six games and at the end of the year we lost by 35 or 40 points to Mercer. I remember we had to recruit players for my first recruiting class, and we had to convince them that we could win this league. I said in the press conference that we would win this league and win this tournament, and we did.”

McMillan is in his fourth season at Samford after a successful run as head basketball coach at Mountain Brook. During his 12 years at the helm of the Spartans, McMillan won 333 games, averaging nearly 28 wins per season, and five state championships.

His first season at Samford finished 6-13 overall, 2-9 in SoCon play. In his second season, the Bulldogs fin-

ished 21-11, winning 20 games for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign. In his third season, the Bulldogs won their first regular-season SoCon title since joining the league in 2008 with a 15-3 conference record as they finished 21-11 overall again, giving the Bulldogs consecutive 20-win regular seasons for the first time in program history.

McMillan, who been named the SoCon Coach of the Year for three straight seasons, was confident that he could turn Samford into a consistent winner. Their 29 victories this season are a program record, eclipsing the previous mark of 25 wins set during the 1938-39 season.

McMillan brought his successful brand of basketball – known as “BuckyBall,” an up-tempo style of play with relentless pressure defense and frequent substitutions – to Samford.

“I knew it would translate if you have good enough players who like to play,” McMillan said.

“I’ve always been a head coach and I am committed to what we believe in. It’s all about player movement and ball movement and committing to defense and rebounding.”

“It took us the first year to get it right. We had to get rid of guys who were not prepared to play for the team. It’s been a gradual build.”

Junior forward Samford Achor Achor, who is originally from Melbourne, Australia, and came to Samford from Chipola College in Marianna, Florida, is Samford’s leading scorer (15.8 ppg) and rebounder (6.1 rpg). He scored 25 points and grabbed nine rounds in the SoCon final against ETSU and was named the

‘We’re not going for exercise. I think we realize the hardest game is always the first game. If you can get by that, anything can happen.’

tournament’s most outstanding player. The Bulldogs have two seldomused players from Mountain Brook on their roster, senior forward Grayson Walters and sophomore guard Paulie Stramaglia. But the main local guy has been Jermaine Marshall, a senior forward who’s from Brighton and played at Hueytown High School. He had 23 points and eight rebounds in the victory over ETSU, earning All-Tournament honors.

“He’s probably the face of the team,” McMillan said.


“He’s been with us for three years. He’s a fun player to coach. He played at the University of Akron for a year and came here on a leap of faith. We weren’t good at all, so I am happy for him to be playing in the NCAA tournament.”

Hoover Soccer Coach Hopes to Increase Awareness About Down Syndrome

When Rusty Cowley and his wife, Emilie’s, first child, Theo, was born

with Down syndrome 2½ years ago, Cowley was thrust into totally foreign territory.

“It opened a whole new world for

us, not only with the needs of our son, but with the Down syndrome community,” Cowley said. “It’s not only families who are impacted but others in the community.”

So, Cowley, in his first season as the Hoover boys varsity soccer head coach, decided the Bucs would host a Down Syndrome Awareness game last Saturday, when the Bucs took on Dothan.

Cowley invited all students from Hoover’s feeder schools, both elementary and middle, and promoted the event with Down Syndrome Alabama and other support groups throughout the Birmingham area, including United Ability.

Down Syndrome Alabama, in Hoover, is dedicated to supporting peo-

ple living with Down syndrome, their families and their communities throughout Alabama.

United Ability, in Birmingham, provides innovative services connecting people with disabilities to their communities and empowering individuals to live full and meaningful lives.

“I want to grow our community outreach and expose our kids to the community of people with Down syndrome,” Cowley said. “I want our players and other students to see what impact they can have on people with Down syndrome.”

The event included family-fun activities while the game was being played.

“We had a good turnout from the public and we had a handful of students come out,” Cowley said. “It was a good

showing for our first one.

“World Down Syndrome Day is Thursday, so that might have affected the turnout. A lot of people are waiting until then to have their activities.

“We’re going to try to look at it for the future and see what changes we need to make, whether we want to continue to do it on a Saturday or on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday when we usually play our games.”

As for the game, Hoover defeated Dothan 2-0 to improve its record to 7-22. Junior Conrad Hernandez scored the Bucs’ first goal on an assist from Patrick Anderson and senior Reese Kearney scored the other goal on an assist from Benjamin Bruns.

Sophomore goalkeeper Sawyer Houlditch recorded the shutout.

22 • Thursday, March 21, 2024 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SPORTS
photo by Jordan Wald
Journal photo by Jordan Wald Samford celebrated its berth Sunday with a March Madness Selection Show Watch Party in the Edgewood neighborhood of downtown Homewood. The event included family-fun activities, above, while the Hoover vs Dothan game was being played.


From page 24

of them are older players, but they picked me. I feel really blessed.”

Hoover coach Krystle Johnson isn’t surprised, especially after the way Ford improved throughout the season.

“As a player, she’s gotten a lot better,” Johnson said. “Last year, she struggled to find her role, but we had four senior post players she went up against in practice every day and that prepared her for this season.”

Ford was brilliant in the postseason at the regional and state tournaments, averaging a double-double with 21.5 points and 11.0 rebounds to earn MVP honors in both tournaments.

She had 25 points and eight rebounds in a 58-46 victory against James Clemens in the Northwest Regional semifinals. She followed that with a 16-point effort, including two clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and nine rebounds as the Lady Bucs rallied from a 13-point deficit in the final period to beat Bob Jones 58-55 in the regional final.


From page 24

Mountain basketball coaches.

“I didn’t expect that,” Brown said. “I appreciate it. I think I played good, although there were some games I probably could have played harder.”

The final three games of the postseason certainly didn’t fall into that category. The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Brown was dominant.

He scored 22 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in Hoover’s 77-53 victory against Thompson in the Northwest Regional final.

“DeWayne is a nightmare matchup at the high school level,” Thompson coach D.J. Black said afterward.

Brown scored 28 points, sinking two 3-pointers, and grabbed eight rebounds in the Bucs’ 57-49 victory against Central-Phenix City in the Class 7A semifinals at BJCC’s Legacy Arena.

“He’s the engine,” Central coach Charles Burkett said. “If you take him off the floor, I think we are the better team. He brings that much attention.”

Brown scored 15 points, making six of seven shots from the field, collected 11 rebounds, handed out three assists and blocked three shots as the Bucs routed Enterprise 59-34 in the championship game. Brown was named the Class 7A tournament MVP.

“I just wanted to win, and for us to win I needed to play a little harder,” Brown said. “I was doing whatever the team needed for us to win.”

Brown is a difference-maker, according to Hoover head coach Scott Ware.

“When DeWayne is the court, we’re obviously a better team,” Ware said. He’s an incredible talent and he continues to grow and grow his game.

“Because of his basketball IQ, we run a lot of things through him. Our guys trust him to make plays.”

With another year left in high

Ford had a career-high 28 points, sinking 11 of 13 shots from the field, and 15 rebounds in a 71-56 victory against Auburn in the Class 7A semifinals at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena. Then, in the championship game, she scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Hoover defeated HewittTrussville 58-56 to capture the title.

“I remember sitting in the bleachers at Wallace State before we played James Clemens and telling her she

school, Brown is already approaching 50 offers from colleges, including just about all the schools in the Southeastern Conference. Brown’s dad, DeWayne Brown Sr., played at UAB in the late 1990s.

“I haven’t made any decision yet,” Brown said. “I might have some more offers coming in.”

All-OTM Team

Brown heads up the 2024 All-OTM Boys Basketball Team. He is joined by two of his teammates, junior guards Salim London and Jarrett Fairley.

London averaged a team-leading 17.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals. He shot 40.8% from 3-point range (58 of 142). Fairley averaged 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

Homewood landed two players on the team, senior forward David Stone and sophomore guard Kaleb Carson. Stone averaged 10.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game and Carson averaged 7.0 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals.

Stone is headed to Maryville College in Tennessee to play in college.

Vestavia Hills placed two players on the team, senior guard Jackson Weaver and senior forward Jordan Ross. Weaver averaged 13.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists. He is headed to the

could easily average 25 points and 12 rebounds in the last few games,” Johnson said. “She came close.”

Ford’s performance conjures up memories of Johnson, who was a 6-foot-4 post player and an All-State player on the Lady Bucs’ 2001 state championship team before going on to play at UCLA and Alabama.

“I don’t know if you can compare us,” Johnson said. “I was more physical, but she is way more efficient. I’m excited to see how her career progresses. I tell her she can become one of the better players to come out of Hoover in her own right.”

Ford already has a college offer from Mississippi State and is being recruited by several other NCAA Power 5 conference schools. She said she doesn’t quite know yet what to think of all the attention she’s receiving from colleges, saying simply, “It’s nice to know my hard work is paying off.”

All-OTM Team

Ford heads up the 2024 All-OTM Girls Basketball Team. She is joined by two of her teammates, junior guard

University of Alabama in Huntsville to play in college. Ross averaged 11.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.5 blocks. He is going to Tennessee to play football.

Spain Park also had two players voted to the team, senior forward T.J. Lamar and senior guard Korbin Long. Lamar averaged 13.0 points and 6.9 rebounds. Long averaged 14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

Senior guard Ty Davis was Mountain Brook’s lone representative. Davis, who is headed to Creighton, averaged 17.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.6 steals, leading the Spartans to the Class 6A championship game before a heartbreaking 52-51 overtime loss to Buckhorn.

Rounding out the team are Briarwood Christian sophomore guard Drew Mears and Oak Mountain senior guard Grey Williams. Mears was the area’s top scorer, averaging 23.6 points. He also averaged 3.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.1 steals. Williams averaged 12.5 points and 2.3 assists.

Coach of the Year

Homewood’s Tim Shepler was voted 2024 OTM Boys Basketball

Kaitlyn Gipson and senior guard

Ariana Peagler, both standout defensive players. Gipson averaged 8.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.1 steals and surpassed 1,000 career points for her career. Peagler averaged 8.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.7 steals.

Vestavia Hills, Homewood, Mountain Brook and Briarwood Christian all had two players voted to the team.

Vestavia Hills’ representatives are junior guards Sarah Gordon and Jill Gaylard. Gordon averaged 20.3 points and 5.8 rebounds. She has scored 1,575 career points. Gaylard averaged 9.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

Senior forward Kayla Warren and sophomore forward Ellis McCool made the team from Homewood. Warren averaged 9.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.2 steals. McCool averaged 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds.

Mountain Brook’s two players are senior guards Emma Stearns and Sara Passink. Stearns averaged 10.5 points while shooting 40% from 3-point range. Passink averaged 6.0 points and 3.5 assists.

Briarwood’s representatives are

Coach of the Year after leading the Patriots to a 24-9 record and their first regional final appearance since 2016. Homewood lost 55-49 to Mountain Brook in the Class 6A Northeast Regional final, coming up a win short of reaching the Final Four.

“It’s always honoring whenever your peers vote for you for such an

both sophomores, forward Emma Kerley and guard Ann Tatum Baker. Kerley averaged 11.9 points and 8.2 rebounds. Baker averaged 13.4 points, 3.8 steals and 2.3 assists.

Oak Mountain senior forward Raegan Whitaker rounds out the team. She averaged 10.1 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists. She is headed to Southern Illinois to play soccer in college.

Coach of the Year

Hoover’s Johnson was voted 2024 OTM Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.

“I’m actually shocked,” Johnson said. “I never expect it because people expect us to win. It’s an honor to be recognized.

“It was one of the toughest coaching jobs I’ve had to do. We were inexperienced at the beginning of the season, and we had a tough schedule outof-state and in-state, trying to get our girls to play to the highest level.

“It’s pretty remarkable to win the last four state championships because of the talent and good coaching in 7A.”

award,” Shepler said. “As a team, we didn’t talk about win-loss expectations. We talked a lot about being the best version of yourself and if that happened, we’d be satisfied.

“We had some guys who really wanted to play hard to get better. I give the kids a lot of credit for what we accomplished and my coaching staff.”

Thursday, March 21, 2024 • 23 OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL SPORTS
DO YOU NEED HELP Locating a Licensed REALTOR, Buying or Selling real estate I'll refer you to one. 40 years programming.. Training U-with Word I repair desktop PCs I make house calls. Larry Taylor & Assoc. 205-224-2784
Player of the Year Khloe Ford and Coach of the Year Krystle Johnson, Hoover. Player of the Year DeWayne Brown, Hoover and Coach of the Year, Tim Shepler, Homewood

The Big Dance: Samford Facing Blue-Blood Kansas in NCAA Basketball Tournament Page 22


Thursday, March 21, 2024 ❖ OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Hoover Soccer Coach Hopes to Increase Awareness About Down Syndrome Page 22


Brown’s Hard Work Pays Off in OTM Boys Basketball Player of the Year Honor

Hoover junior center DeWayne Brown is a firm believer in hard work.

Ask him how the Bucs were able to repeat as

Class 7A boys basketball state champions and finish with a 30-3 record, he’ll say hard work.

Ask him how he was able to expand his shooting range beyond the 3-point arc, he’ll tell you hard work.

Ask him how he was able to average 15.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.6 blocks while shooting an incredible 70.5% from the field (201 of 285), once again he’ll respond hard work.

Brown’s work ethic and performance was visible whenever he stepped on the court, earning him the 2024 OTM Boys Basketball Player of the Year honor in balloting by Over the

See BOYS, page 23

Hoover’s Ford Grows Into OTM Girls Basketball Player of the Year

Khloe Ford didn’t expect to become one of the top young girls basketball prospects in the state.

She had grown up playing softball and fig-

ured her athletic future was on a diamond, not a court.

Then, Ford hit a growth spurt in middle school and her parents persuaded her to play basketball.

Now a 6-foot-3 sophomore at Hoover High

School, Ford is showing that mom and dad certainly knew best.

This season, she averaged 13.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks, helping Hoover win its fourth consecutive Class 7A state championship and finish with a 28-7 record.

For her performance, Ford was voted the 2024 OTM Girls Basketball Player of the Year in balloting by Over the Mountain coaches.

“I’m in shock,” Ford said. “There are a lot of good players out there who work hard and some

Journal photo by Jordan Wald Members of the 2024 All-Over the Mountain Boys Basketball Team, front, from left: Salim London, Hoover; Jarrett Fairley, Hoover; Kaleb Carson, Homewood; Drew Mears, Briarwood Christian; Korbin Long, Spain Park; and Grey Williams, Oak Mountain. Back: DeWayne Brown, Hoover; David Stone, Homewood; T.J. Lamar, Spain Park; Jordan Ross, Vestavia Hills; Jackson Weaver, Vestavia Hills; and Coach of the Year: Tim Shepler, Homewood. Not pictured: Ty Davis, Mountain Brook. Members of the 2024 All-Over the Mountain Girls Basketball Team, front, from left: Kaitlyn Gipson, Hoover; Ariana Peagler, Hoover; Sara Passink, Mountain Brook; Jill Gaylard, Vestavia Hills; Ann Tatum Baker, Briarwood; and Kayla Warren, Homewood. Back: Coach of the Year: Krystle Johnson, Hoover; Khloe Ford, Hoover; Emma Stearns, Mountain Brook; Sarah Gordon, Vestavia Hills; Reagan Whitaker, Oak Mountain; Emma Kerley, Briarwood Christian and Ellis McCool, Homewood. Journal photo by Jordan Wald
See GIRLS, page 23
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.