10.6.22 OTMJ

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OTMJ OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL u OTMJ.COM

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2022

Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

SOCIAL

SPORTS

Maddox Mitchell encouraged runners to “Pink up the Pace” at last year’s Breast Cancer Research Foundation fundraiser in Crestline.

Go Pink!

Photo courtesy Sally May

Her Story

A Postponed Mammogram Might Have Made the Difference Between Living and Dying, Cancer Survivor Sally May Says SEE STORY PAGE 10

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama is among the organizations holding events to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Proceeds will benefit the foundation. On Oct. 9, barbecue chefs will compete for bragging rights at the CahabaQue BBQ CookOff at Cahaba Brewing Company. The annual event features teams of backyard grillers and professionals. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., guests can try all-you-can-eat samples from each team’s BBQ offerings and vote for their favorite while enjoying craft beer and live music. For tickets and more information, go to cahabaque.com. A few weeks later, on Oct. 23, the Pink Up the Pace 5K and Fun Run will be presented by Vulcan Materials Company. Runners and walkers of all ages are welcome to join in the race and fun run, organized by the junior board of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama. The event begins at 2 p.m. at Crestline Field at Crestline Elementary School in Mountain Brook. After See PINK, page 11


2 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

OPINION/CONTENTS

Inside

Murphy’s Law

I GOOD BUSINESS Homewood businesses honored as state Retailers of the Year PAGE 8

SOARING STRINGS Niv Ashkenazi brings history to life on a Violin of Hope PAGE 16

AN ENCHANTED STORY Birmingham Children’s Theatre celebrates 75th anniversary PAGE 16

‘WE LOVE TO COOK’ Greek Food Festival expecting 30,000 visitors PAGE 28

ABOUT TOWN NEWS HEALTH LIFE

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

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SOCIAL SCHOOLS FOOD SPORTS

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

Rest In Peace, Queen Elizabeth

will miss Queen Elizabeth. I didn’t office, Queen Elizabeth brought into know her personally, of course, but the fold, year after year. her reliable presence was comfortI like to imagine that, in her private ing in a strange sort of way. moments, Queen Elizabeth shook her She was always there in her brighthead about some of the cast of internaly colored outfits (saying she “must be tional characters that she was asked to seen to be believed”), shaking hands welcome to the palace, but it never with well-wishers, accepting small showed. She was gracious. She was bouquets of flowers from children. She elegant. I’m going to miss that. seemed, I don’t know, nice, like she Things will change now. That is was the type of person who might gencertain. But, what happens immediateuinely listen to your problems and be ly is clear. The Queen’s son, Charles, able to offer a kind and sensible soluwill succeed her. And his son William Sue Murphy tion. will succeed him. The only question in Maybe none of that is true. Maybe the transfer of power seemed to be she wasn’t like that at all, but I kind who would be given custody of the of enjoyed feeling like she was. In a Corgis. Apparently, Prince Andrew Queen Elizabeth world filled with blustering political was awarded that job. One brother appeared quiet leaders, Queen Elizabeth appeared becomes king. One brother takes quiet and resolved, solid in a world care of the dogs. Such is life. and resolved, solid that is anything but. I’m ashamed to admit that I had in a world that is For 70 years, she held her role as to do a bit of research on Prince both mom and monarch, weathering Edward. It seems he has been quietanything but. the same problems other people do ly fulfilling his royal duties all the – marital discord, wayward chilwhile, a fitting tribute to his mom. I dren, encounters with self-serving wannabes – with was impressed to find out that Princess Anne had been style and grace. When Harry and Megan announced nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. It doesn’t that they would rather not shoulder the duties of the get better than that. But, my favorite story comes from royal family, Queen Elizabeth said, in essence, “Okey 1974, when someone tried to kidnap Princess Anne at Dokey. Leave your keys and credit cards on the table gunpoint. When the assailant, who had already shot on the way out.” Then she put on her hat and went forth three people, ordered her to get out of the car, she is to shoulder those duties herself. You gotta love that. reported to have said, “Not bloody likely.” She’s going Queen Elizabeth knew who she was and who she to be just fine, too. was not. She didn’t really run the kingdom. The people I hope King Charles succeeds in his succession, in Great Britain elect representatives to make all the although I have to tell you that I cannot say “King real decisions just like we do. In the United States, we Charles” without my mind adding the word “Spaniel.” reconsider our choice for president every four years. In The man has big shoes to fill … or maybe, more accuGreat Britain, the position of prime minister is more rately, small ones. Quiet ones. Humble ones. precarious. A person could be ejected from 10 Downing I wish only good things for King Charles. I hope he Street during his or her lunch break. The position is remembers the lessons his mom put forth. They will always up for grabs. But, whoever showed up in her serve him well.

Over the Mountain Views The Beat Goes On

OVER THE MOUNTAIN

Vol. 33, No. 5

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 2022 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.

A pregame performance and a major announcement at halftime set the tone for the Homewood High School Patriot Band’s 50th Anniversary Reunion on Sept. 23. See story, page 26

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

October 6, 2022 JOU RNAL Publisher & Editor: Maury Wald Copy Editor: Virginia Martin Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Staff Writer: Anne Ruisi Photographer: Jordan Wald Sports Editor: Rubin E. Grant Contributors: Susan Murphy, June Mathews, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry, Lee Walls, Bryan Bunch Advertising Sales: Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald, Gail Kidd


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Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 3


4 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

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Through Oct. 21 Watercolor Society of Alabama Exhibition, Workshop

The 2022 Alabama Member Showcase Exhibition and the city of Vestavia Hills hold a watercolor exhibit of Alabama artists. When: MondayFriday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Where: Vestavia Hills City Hall.

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Thurs., Oct. 6 Taste of Hoover

This popular annual culinary event will feature tastings created by local Hoover restaurants, caterers and vendors as well as international spirits, wines and local beers. When: 5-8 p.m. Where: Aldridge Gardens

SPA Trio

Alabama-born soprano Susanna Phillips, Violist Paul Neubauer and Pianist Anne-Marie McDermott will perform as part of the Davis Guest Artist Series in Partnership with the Birmingham Chamber Music Society. Where: Brock Hall Brock Hall at Samford University When: 7:30 - 9 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 7 Maestro’s Ball

The Alys Stephens Center’s Jemison Concert Hall will be the setting for The Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s largest fundraiser of the year. Laura and Jesse Vogtle will host and Nick Willis is the corporate chair. When: 6 p.m. Where: Alys Stephens Center

Oct. 7-8 Jason Brown in Concert

Kick off the 2022-23 season with Broadway legend Jason Robert Brown in concert. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune for his “extraordinary, jubilant theater music,” Brown is equally skilled as a composer, lyricist, conductor, orchestrator, director and performer. When: Times vary Where: Red Mountain Theatre

Oct. 7-9 17th Barber Vintage Festival

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Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

Le Jacquard Francais Trunk Show

For as little as $40 you can help improve the lives of people all across Birmingham through the Junior League’s 21 community projects. Card entitles you to 20% off at over 250 retailers. Where: shopsaveandshare.net

One of the most highly anticipated motorcycle events in the world. The three-day festival features the fan zone with food and entertainment, a swap meet with hundreds of vendors selling vintage motorcycles. Bike

FALL FESTIVAL COMMUNITY NIGHT OUT | THURS., OCT. 6 The city of Vestavia Hills Police and Fire departments will host a community night out for first responders to network with local businesses, civic groups, churches, schools and community volunteers. Activities will include food, a pumpkin patch, a DJ, jump houses, kids activities, vendors and Halloween costumes are encouraged. When: 5-8 p.m. Where: Vestavia Hills City Hall

restoration extraordinaire, motocross pioneer and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Brian Slark has been named Grand Marshal Where: Barber Motorsports Park

Sat., Oct. 8 Rescue Run 5K

The Jimmie Hale Mission will host its annual runs, including a 10K, 5K and one-mile fun run followed by awards presentations. When: 7:45 a.m. Where: Downtown Homewood

Sun., Oct. 9 Three Choirs Festival

The Birmingham Boys Choir, Birmingham Girls Choir and Sozo Children’s Choir will perform at this festival of music. When: 3 p.m. Where: Cathedral of St. Paul

Birmingham Walking Tours

Vulcan Park and Museum will host walking tours in downtown Birmingham, featuring historical discussions. Tour will include Birmingham’s First Avenue South corridor area, once known as “Railroad Reservation” due to the convergence of multiple rail lines. When: 2-5 p.m. Where: Offsite

MBPC Fall Festival

Face painting, a bounce house, live music with Bob Marston and the Credible Sources, games, food trucks, drinks and more will be featured at the Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church Fall Festival. When: 3 p.m. Where: Church parking lot

Oct. 12-16 “A New Brain” UAB Theatre From the Tony Award-winning authors of “Falsettos,” here is an energetic, sardonic, often comical musical

Marlene Cox with her son Eben at last year’s Community Night Out

about a composer during a medical crisis. Contains strong language and mature themes. Where: The Sirote Theatre, Alys Stephens Center

Thurs., Oct. 13 Tacos for Trinity

The 10th annual Tacos for Trinity is a fundraiser for Trinity Counseling, with food, live music and a silent auction. Children are welcome at the event. When: 6-8 p.m. Where: Cahaba Brewing

Sat., Oct. 15 Charity Golf Tournament

Golf tournament in honor of John Wesley Holley and Brody Key aims to raise awareness of the rare genetic disorder Pitt Hopkins Syndrome and funds for the Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation. When: 8 a.m. Where: Highlands Golf Course.

Managing the Mess

The Women’s Ministry at Riverchase United Methodist Church will hold this workshop for women. Rev. Monica Harbarger, executive director at United Counseling, as guest speaker, will help participants learn ways to manage daily and seasonal feelings of being overwhelmed. When: 8:45 a.m. - 2 p.m. Where: Riverchase United Methodist Church

Little Red’s Most Unusual Day

Little Red Riding Hood is brought to life in a children’s opera performed by Opera Birmingham with music by Offenbach and Rossini. When: 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Where: Avondale Amphitheater at Avondale Park

10th Annual Tall Bike Joust

Sixteen fearless jousters will mount tall bikes and compete for the crowds entertainment and the title of 2022 Tall Bike Joust champion in a


OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

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Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 5


OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

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fundraiser for Redemptive Cycles. When: Doors open at 6 p.m., event starts at 7 p.m. Where: Cahaba Brewing Company

Oct. 14-16 and Oct. 21-23 At Home Alabama Ballet A home studio performance of an all-new repertoire that offers a chance to see the Alabama Ballet dancers perform in an intimate atmosphere with complimentary drinks and an affordable ticket price of $20. At Home offers the excitement of live ballet performances in the company’s studio in the Lakeview District. When: Times vary

Sun., Oct. 16 World Ballet Series: Swan Lake

World Ballet Series is a unique concept combining the world’s beloved ballets performed live on the most celebrated stages across the nation. A new production of the classic ballet is choreographed by Nadezhda Kalinina. When: 6 p.m. Where: Alabama Theatre

Wed., Oct. 19 Maestro Goes to Motown

Maestro Ron Bourdages leads the Young People’s Concert Orchestra and Singers performing Motown hits, presented by the Birmingham Music Club. When: 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Where: Alabama Theatre

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Beehive: The ‘60s Musical

The show highlights songs by women who sang in the 1960s, from Connie Francis to Janis Joplin. When: Thurs., - Sat., 7:30 p.m., Sun., 2:30 p.m. Where: Virginia Samford Theatre

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Thurs., Oct. 20 Stewart D. McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association

McLaurin will speak on James Hoban, the Irish born designer and builder of the White House, and the skilled Europeans, enslaved workers, and free laborers who built the White House. He will also speak to the current/modern preservation of the White House. Where: Brock Recital Hall at Samford University When: 7 p.m.

Barktoberfest

Fundraiser for Hand in Paw will feature local beer, fun contests and more to benefit Anna’s Fund, which defrays costs associated with volunteer training and supplies. When: 6-9 p.m. Where: Cahaba Brewing

Fri., Oct 21 Harvest of Hope

Guests will enjoy cocktails, music and mingling followed by a seated dinner, live and silent auctions, a brief program highlighting Cornerstone’s successes over the past school year and recognize Harvest of Hope Honoree, Ford Hamilton, and the Volunteer of the Year, Melinda Helveston. Benefits the students of Cornerstone School. When: 6:3010:00 p.m. Where: The Club

Sun., Oct. 23 Walk to Remember

As part of Perinatal Loss Month, families who have experienced infant loss are invited to join Little Ones Memory Garden volunteers for a time of reflection and healing amid the beauty of nature. This meaningful service features an information table with community resources and culminates in a walk through the Gardens. All are welcome. When: 2 4 p.m. Where: Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Courtesy Linly Heflin Unit

6 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

From left, Kendall Eagan, fashion show chair; Julie Goyer, Linly Heflin president; and Katherine DeBuysfashion show co-chair.

Fashion Show Set for October 12

The Linly Heflin Unit will celebrate its 63rd annual Scholarship Fashion Show on Oct. 12. The annual cocktail gala is the primary fundraiser for the organization and will be held at The Club. This year’s fashion show again will be coordinated with Gus Mayer and will highlight featured designer Jonathan Simkhai. The show’s chair is Kendall Eagan, and Katherine DeBuys is the co-chair. The Linly Heflin Unit is named in honor of Birmingham resident Linly Heflin, who helped establish a Red Cross surgical unit during World War I so that women at home could support the war effort. After her death in 1919, the Linly Heflin Unit was created as a women’s service organization to continue her work. In 1923, the organization began awarding scholarships to women to attend college. This year, 110 young women will receive scholarships of $10,000 per year up to four years to pursue undergraduate degrees at Alabama universities. For more information, visit linlyheflin.org.


OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

fall fun

WITCH WAY Leslie Dawson, Tiffany Linn, Leigh Anna Hall, Michelle Davis and Brooke Ellard at last year’s Homewood Witches Ride.

The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum will host an old-fashioned family fun event with pumpkins for purchase, food vendors, activities and rides on the Pumpkin Junction. Where: Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum

Thurs., Oct. 13 Bone Bash

The Arthritis Foundation will host this Halloween-themed gala, featuring dinner, music, a silent auction and more, presented by Arthritis Foundation volunteers and staff. Proceeds will benefit the foundation’s research, advocacy and public health programs for those affected by arthritis. When: 6 p.m. Where: Vulcan Park & Museum

Sat., Oct. 15 Hay Hoover

The beloved annual event formerly known as Hoover Hayride and Family

• • • • • • • •

Journal file photo by Jordan Wald

Through Oct. 30 Pumpkin Junction

Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 7

ABOUT TOWN

HOMEWOOD WITCHES RIDE AND FALL FESTIVAL | SUN., OCT. 30

Fall Festival begins at 2 p.m. featuring live entertainment, inflatables, food trucks and live performances. At 5:15 a performance by Homewood High School Spangles and drum line. Witches fly at 5:45. Post party at Little Donkey. Funds raised will benefit the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center. Where: Homewood Central Park

with a night of Hocus Poucs fun at O’Neal Library. Fun teen event afterhours library party filled with spooky beverages, pumpkin painting, and an interactive movie activity. Free food and supplies will be provided. Costumes are encouraged. When: 5 8 p.m. Where: O’Neal Library

Sat., Oct. 29 Ross Bridge Witches Ride

Lineup starts at 10:30 a.m. at The Church parking lot, Witches take flight at 11 a.m. and ends at Hometown Fare for brunch apps and drinks. Tickets are required for all riders and passengers. Prizes awarded for best decorated broom (one bike and one cart) and best dressed witch. Benefits Hope for Autumn Foundation Where: Ross Bridge community.

Sun., Oct. 30 Night is now a daytime free familyfriendly fall festival hosted by the City of Hoover. Kids can wear their costumes. There will be hayrides, face painting and balloon artists and local businesses will provide candy. When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Veterans Park on Valleydale Road

Grace House Pumpkin Festival

The junior board for Grace House Ministries will present its 8th annual pumpkin festival to raise funds for the organization’s mission to provide a

home for Alabama girls in foster care. Admission will include a pumpkin, a climbing wall, carnival games, candy giveaways, and food from local vendors including the Milo’s Burger Bus. When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Where: Homewood Central Park

Oct. 16 through Oct. 22 Trick or Trot 5K

Kid One Transport’s tenth annual run will have both in person and virtual

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option. The In Person Race will occur on Oct 22rd at Back Forty Brewing. Virtual event will occur during the week of Oct. 16th. Funds raised will provide transportation to medical care for children and expectant mothers throughout Alabama. When: 8 a.m. Where: Back Forty Brewing

Fri., Oct. 28 Hocus Pocus Night

Kickstart your Halloween weekend

Bluff Park Witches Ride

Get ready to fly (ride) through the street tossing out cackles and candy. Witches meet in the park behind Bluff Park Elementary school, “fly” through the neighborhood. and end at the new Piggly Wiggly Shopping Center, where there will be more opportunity for fun, food, drinks, and more. Benefits The Wellhouse. When: 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.

LOOK FOR MORE FALL FUN IN OUR OCT. 20 ISSUE!

$50 Off Any A/C or Plumbing Repair

Fall Service Call Special! Valid with repair only during normal business hours. Coupon must be presented at time of service. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Some restrictions apply. Expires 11/15/22


NEWS

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Photos courtesy Homewood Chamber of Commerce

8 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

Cookie Fix founder Amy Jason, center, was presented with her Gold Retailer of the Year award on Sept. 21. With her are Rick Brown, President, Alabama Retail Association and Meredith Drennen, Executive Director, Homewood Chamber of Commerce. Above right, Ken and J.L. Shaia were recognized in honor of their 100th year in business. Right, Babbie Styslinger, owner of At Home Furnishings, celebrates Bronze Retailer of the Year award with her team.

GOOD BUSINESS Homewood Businesses Honored as State Retailers of the Year

By Anne Ruisi Three Homewood businesses were named Retailer of the Year by the Alabama Retail Association, and another was named as a Centennial Business on Sept. 21, according to press releases from the association and the Homewood Chamber of Commerce. Cookie Fix was awarded the Gold Retailer of the Year award in the Annual Sales $1 Million to $5 Million category. “We believe in having the best product that fills a niche, providing the best customer service with a warm and engaging customer experience, and building a team that goes ‘above and beyond’ and strives for constant and never-ending excellence in everything we do,” Cookie Fix founder Amy Jason said. “I am thankful for our awesome Cookie Fix customers and our amazing team that makes this dream happen every day.”

“What stuck with me was Cookie Fix’s benevolence and creative sales growth,” noted one of the Retailer of the Year judges. The company serves fresh baked cookies, bars, seasonal desserts and Frozen Dough to Go, as well as complimentary baking accessories such as Dough Maker baking sheets and small iron skillets for baking cookies and desserts at home. Cookie Fix has three retail locations, including company-owned stores in Homewood and Cahaba Heights and a franchise in Huntsville. Cookie Fix also operates a production facility in Hoover, and the company’s Frozen Dough to Go products are in four specialty markets in Alabama and one in Georgia. The company has been recognized by Southern Living magazine, the Food Network and numerous other media outlets. Two other Homewood businesses also were recognized with Retailer of the Year awards.

At Home, Susan Gordon Pottery Awarded

Babbie Styslinger, owner of At Home Furnishings, a furniture, home décor, clothing and accessory retailer, is Alabama’s Bronze Retailer of the Year in the Annual Sales $5 Million to $20 Million category. Styslinger founded At Home Furnishings 30 years ago on 18th Street South, because she said there were no locally owned furniture stores in the area at the time. The Alabama Retailer of the Year judges noted that Styslinger and her staff used ecommerce and social media during the height of the pandemic to stay relevant and keep serving its customers. Susan Gordon, founder, chief creator and owner of Susan Gordon Pottery, is the Bronze Alabama Retailer of the Year in the Annual Sales $1 Million to $5 Million category. Gordon’s store offers handmade

pottery in the form of bowls, vases, dishes, serveware, picture frames and seasonal Christmas décor, as well as ceramic jewelry and framed intaglios. She began selling her pottery online and at festivals in 2013. She first sold to consumers through Etsy, then in 2019 she began selling to consumers directly from her website. She now operates a store front in Homewood. “This is a proud moment for all of us here at SGP,” Gordon said. “I want to thank our loyal customers, who keep coming back to purchase with us and help support a team of 30 wonderful, gifted artisans.”

Shaia’s, Ashley Mac Recognized

Shaia’s was recognized as an Alabama Centennial Retailer in celebration of its 100th year in business. J.L. and Ken Shaia represent the third and fourth generation to operate Shaia’s. Both worked alongside their

father and grandfather at some point in their tenures. “For a business to survive the dramatic changes of the past century is a remarkable achievement. It is fitting to celebrate the enduring first-century contributions Shaia’s has made to Homewood and the surrounding communities,” Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said. Ashley Mac’s, with five Birmingham-area locations, was named Gold Retailer of the Year in the Annual Sales $5 Million to $20 Million category on Sept. 7. The Alabama Retailer of the Year awards, started in 1999, honor retailers who have demonstrated growth, innovation and a commitment to their respective communities. This year’s winners were selected from 42 entries submitted from a pool of 55 nominees; 11 businesses were honored as 2022 Retailers of the Year, with Homewood boasting the most winners of any city this year.

Mayors’ Domestic Violence Forum to Focus on Dating Violence A domestic violence awareness forum set for Oct. 18 and hosted by Over the Mountain mayors has been moved to Vestavia Hills City Hall, Cinnamon McCulley, the city’s director of communications, said. The forum, “Protecting our Teens and Young Adults from Dating Violence,” is being moved from the Vestavia Hills Civic Center due to

delays in its opening. Presenters will include LaRhonda Magras, CEO, YWCA Central Alabama; Allison Dearing, executive director, One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center; Cleola Callahan, senior director of Domestic Violence Services, YWCA Central Alabama; and Susann MontgomeryClark and Rod Clark, founding donors

of the Megan Montgomery Domestic Violence Prevention Fund at The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. Vestavia Hills Mayor Ashley Curry, along with Mountain Brook Mayor Stewart Welch, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato and Homewood Mayor Patrick McClusky are hosting the free event.

The forum, “Protecting our Teens and Young Adults from Dating Violence,” is being moved from the Vestavia Hills Civic Center due to delays in its opening.


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OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

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K Idoor N G AT EHOOVER S S Target Shopping Fieldstown Target Shopping Target Fieldstown Shopping Fieldstown Rd Target Shopping Fieldstown Highway 28th Ave So Hwy 31across Tannehill Pelham Parkway Hwy Shops on InAllison-Bonnett Front of PELHAM Allison-Bonnett 150 across door to ping Fieldstown RdGadsden Highway Highway 28th Ave 280 SoGadsden 28th Ave 31Hwy Tannehill Hwy 31 Pelham Tannehill Parkway Gadsden Parkway Hwyto Gadsden Chalkville Hwy HwyHwy Chalkville Shops onacross Shops InNext Front on of InM Front of T R Allison-Bonnett Hwy 150 across HwyNext 150PELHAM across door to NextINVER door t INVERNESS GREYSTONE Highway 280Allison-Bonnett 28th Ave So Hwy Hwy 31 Tannehill Pelham Parkway Gadsden Chalkville Shops on In Next Front of Allison-Bonnett 150 to Allison-Bonnett Across 280 from Target Shopping Fieldstown Rd Shops INVERNESS Highway 280Pelham 28th Ave So Hwy 31Rd Tannehill Pelham Parkway Gadsden Chalkville Shops on InHwy Front ofSo Allison-Bonnett Hwy 150 door INVERNESS GREYSTONE PELHAM GREYSTONE PELHAM Pelham Hwy Parkway 31 Tannehill Hwy Chalkville Parkway Gadsden Highway on Hwy 280Rd In Chalkville Front 28th Ave of280So Shops Hwy on 31 In Tannehill Front 150 ofHwyRd Pelham Allison-Bonnett Next Parkway door to280 Hwy Gadsden 150 across Hwy Chalkville Next door to Chalkville Shops on In Front ofacrossPelham Hwy 150 across Next door to Next INVERNESS INVERNESS INVERNESS GREYSTONE PELHAM GREYSTONE GREYSTONE PELHAM Center next to Center Center next to Promenade next to Center next next toTCBY next to TCBY across from across from Mtn. 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HEALTH

10 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Her Story

A Postponed Mammogram Might Have Made the Difference Between Living and Dying, Cancer Survivor Says

S

ONE OF MY EARLIEST CHILDHOOD

Courtesy

memories is waiting outside of my dying grandmother’s bedroom while my parents stood at her bedside. She battled breast cancer long before we knew about early detection and cancer typing. In my early 20s, I had three benign breast tumors surgically removed. One of my sisters, at the age of 40, was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. In my late 40s, I detected a lump through self-examination. After a mammogram and an ultrasound, the spot was labeled a mass. By this point in life, I had learned to brace myself for yearly mammograms, aware of my increased risk based on family history. Biannual ultrasounds were prescribed to monitor the fibroid. At age 53, I told my gyn that I feared the lump had grown in size; the mammogram detected a large tumor. More testing led to diagnosis: Stage 3 estrogen/progesterone posi-

tive breast cancer with lymph node involvement. I’ve been in the interior design business most of my adult life. I love the creative process and enjoy longterm client friendships. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my first instinct was to put my career on the back burner. However, a dear friend who preceded me in fighting breast cancer, advised me to continue working at a reduced pace. Thankfully, she understood that staying engaged with people would likely play a vital role in my well-being. My family, friends and clients surrounded me with love and support in ways that made the journey a surprisingly sweet season. When science looks you square in the eye and says “Stage 3 cancer,” your true values become crystal clear. My faith in God and my relationships with people rose to the top. My clients extended flexibility to tackle design needs on my good days

Photo by Becca Brown

ally May of Homewood was 53 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now 57, she and her husband, Ben May, who works for ESPN and the SEC Network, are the parents of two grown sons, Benjamin and Andrew, who live in Atlanta. Here, she shares her cancer story.

‘Of course, my husband, Ben, was my biggest side-line encourager. There were times when I stayed in the bed all day, but the haul felt bearable with him by my side.’ SALLY AND BEN MAY ABOVE

and the luxury to rest on bad days. My friends made a schedule of escorting me to treatment, which they entitled: Sally’s Spa Days. Staying engaged with people and creating beauty were healthy distractions for me. It’s natural for health to become a consuming preoccupation when you’re given a diagnosis; however, relationships carried me over dark days. Numerous kindnesses, which I considered “daily manna,” looked like my favorite coffee order,

cards drawn with crayons and flowers left at my door. I went to St. Vincent’s for treatment. We have always used St. Vincent’s doctors. My St. Vincent’s gyn and several physician friends paved the way for my first oncology consultation with Dr. John Piede. At my initial appointment, Dr. Piede looked right in my eyes while confidently explaining the path forward. I instinctively knew that he was the person I wanted to guide my fight.

My treatment included five months of chemo … a bilateral mastectomy … eight weeks of radiation … and reconstruction surgery. A team brought their medical expertise to the equation and caringly walked me through each step. I am forever indebted to Dr. John Piede, Dr. Susan Saulter, Dr. Tim Bullock and Dr. Al Cohn. Each individual at the Bruno Cancer Center, from the lab techs to the nurses to the valet drivers showed true kindness and I thought, “Oh wow, these people were made for this.” Of course, my husband, Ben, was my biggest side-line encourager. There were times when I stayed in the bed all day, but the haul felt bearable with him by my side. However, an unexpected “plot twist” came when he decided that our leaf-covered yard needed some attention, too. I knew he had gone outside to blow leaves but never imagined that he might tackle the roof. A horrible-sounding “thud” led to me finding Ben, who had fallen 20 feet from the roof onto the concrete driveway. Our dearest neighbors quickly came to my aid as the harsh reality set in that my biggest supporter had been sidelined. Miraculously, he suffered no head or spinal-cord injuries, but complex breaks in multiple bones required numerous surgeries, weeks of rehab and three months of confinement to a wheelchair. A hard season of suffering had just gotten harder. Since my immunities were depleted, I could not stay at the hospital with my husband. Our boys immediately came home. In an epic role-reversal, Benjamin and Andrew stepped in and heroically alternated between staying with their father in the trauma center and their mother in chemotherapy. Ben and I simultaneously experienced the fragility of life and health and the blessing of living in a worldclass medical community. While life is cursed with disease and accidents, there are steps we can take toward preserving our health such as routine screenings and life-style choices. In my case, a postponed mammogram might have differentiated between a treatable versus a terminal diagnosis.

Cancer Doctor Recommends Mammograms, Shares Tips for Lessening Cancer Risk By Anne Ruisi Dr. John Piede, Sally May’s oncologist at Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham, can’t stress enough how strategies for early detection of breast cancer are crucial to preventive care, including mammograms and monthly self-exams. A woman’s first mammogram should happen at age 35, he said. “If it’s completely, normal, you can have the next one at 40. If not,

you must follow up appropriately,” Piede said. Breast cancer is among the top three most prevalent cancers, which also include lung and colon cancer. The odds of developing breast cancer is 1 in 8, or an average of 13%. What can women do to decrease their risk? Obesity is a risk factor, so maintaining a low-fat, low-carb diet and good exercise program are important. Piede also advises women to stay

‘Every case is different. There is no way to generalize diagnosis or prognosis.’ DR. JOHN PIEDE

away from estrogen products, adding that alcohol and tobacco use can affect health. When a woman is diagnosed with

breast cancer, she might hear stories about others’ experiences from family members or friends. She should keep in mind that “every case is different. There is no way to generalize diagnosis or prognosis,” Piede said. “It’s a very complicated disease to diagnose and treat, but we have had tremendous success with treatment and to prevent it from coming back,” he said. “We do have high cure rates for breast cancer these days.”


OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 11

HEALTH

Forge’s Haute Pink Fashion Show Shines Light OUTPATIENT on Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors INFUSION CENTER

PINK From page one

the race there will be music, refreshments and children’s activities, including face painting, a petting zoo and an inflatable obstacle course until 5 p.m. To register or get more information, go to bcrfa.org/events/putp.

seen. The energy in the room was magical, and we can’t wait to see this year’s 10 models and designers take the runway at The Fennec,” Executive

Director Lauren Roberts said in the statement. “We will celebrate everyone in the room who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. So put on your pink and help us raise funds to make sure those impacted by the disease are supported – mind, body and spirit.” Tickets are $75 and can be purchased through the Forge website at hautepink.swell.gives. The ticket includes signature drink tickets, heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts prepared by Tre Luna Catering and Seasons 52. The night’s signature cocktail and mocktail is the Prickly Pear margarita created by Sol y Luna. Entertainment will be provided by DJ Coco. This year’s event emcee is Will Lochamy of Birmingham Mountain Radio. There will also be an on-site raffle of exclusive items from local artisans and businesses.

Fire departments around the state are teaming up once again for the Pink Ribbon Project T-shirt campaign, which raises money for breast cancer research in Alabama and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama. Participating fire departments, including Hoover and Pelham, are selling limited edition T-shirts. Shortsleeve shirts are $15 and long-sleeve

shirts are $20. The Pink Ribbon Project was officially launched in 2011 and since then has raised more than $580,000. Community members and businesses are encouraged to visit a local participating fire station, buy a Pink Ribbon Project T-shirt and take a photo with the firefighters. Check on the foundation’s social media, @BCRFAlabama, if you are interested in being featured.

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

Forge Breast Cancer Survivor Center is returning Oct. 12 with its Haute Pink Fashion Show to focus a spotlight on the 1 in 8 women and 1 in 100 men in Alabama diagnosed with breast cancer. The show will feature 10 of Forge’s clients, volunteers and friends modeling custom fashions created for them by 10 Birmingham-area designers, according to a statement from the organization. It is designed to inspire, honor and remember those affected by breast cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Funds raised will go toward Forge’s mission to improve the quality of life for Alabama breast cancer patients, survivors, their caregivers and loved ones. “Last year’s show was not only a fun night but an important night for our models to feel empowered and

The show will feature 10 of Forge’s clients, volunteers and friends modeling custom fashions created for them by 10 Birmingham-area designers, including Kenya Buchanan, above.

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Getting To: Margareta Annyearly mammogram From: Over The Mountain Journal, phone 205-613-2080 Aug. 19 is Date: important, especially now This is your AD PROOF from the OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL for the Aug. 25, 2022 issue.

It’s important for women to get a yearly mammogram, beginning Please make sure all information is correct, at age 40. And if you have a mother, sister or other close relative Including address and phone number! who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, ask your doctor at Ascension St. Vincent’s if you should schedule a screening Thank you for your prompt attention. even earlier. At Ascension St. Vincent’s, we deliver the comprehensive breast imaging that’s right for you, including: • 3D mammograms

• Digital mammography

• Diagnostic mammograms

• Breast ultrasound

To schedule online, visit ascension.org/StVincentsALMammogram A 3D mammogram may require an additional fee if your insurance carrier does not cover the full cost. Please check with your carrier to determine if you will be responsible for any of the costs. © Ascension 2022. All rights reserved.


12 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

HEALTH

Susan Greene, Whitney Woodard, Ashley Thompson, Erica Thomas, Chris McClendon, Colm and Meg Farmer and Sherri Romanoff.

More than 500 monarch and painted lady butterflies flitted through the air during the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation’s Together in Teal Butterfly Release at Aldridge Gardens on Sept. 18. The flutter of the butterflies’ wings represented how the signs of ovarian cancer can seem so slight. But the repercussions can be life changing, and guests during an afternoon event at the garden’s pavilion honored the women whose lives have been affected by ovarian cancer. Live music by Wellington Avenue was featured and there were vendor displays and educational booths to help guests increase their awareness of the disease’s risks, symptoms and treatments.

On Painted Wings

Butterfly Release Accents Ovarian Cancer Foundation Event

Above, Ben and Silivia Barnwell. Below, Ruby, Jessica and Joel Shults. Below left, Isaac, Jacob and Faith Bruner.

Head Ov

Laura Crandall Brown 5K/10K Race The Laura Crandall Brown Foundation held its annual Head Over Teal 5K/10K race on Sept. 24 at The Preserve in Hoover. This was the 13th year for the event, which is held in September during Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. After the race, participants and supporters took part in fall-themed family fun activities and partook of food and beverages. The event raises funds to provide programs for women who have gynecologic cancer and their caregivers.

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OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 13

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

HEALTH

ver Teal

Above, Katlyn, Erica and Lindsay Gappa. Above right, Stephanie Walker and Jim, Emma and Cecilia Crandall. Left, Irene Goddard, Romona Graffeo, Betsy Fetner, Dianne Baer and Cheryl Bourn.

Foundation Sponsors es in Hoover The foundation focuses on early detection research, awareness education and support services. Since it was founded in 2009, the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation has granted more than $605,000 for ovarian cancer early detection research and educated tens of thousands in the community on prevention information and signs and symptoms. It also has provided emotional, educational and more than $200,000 in direct financial support to thousands of gynecological cancer patients and their families.

Rebecca and Don Byrd

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14 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

HEALTH

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Artwork Inspired by Women Charles Billingsley Performs for Portraits of Hope

N

oted Christian singer Charles Billingsley is the headliner of a Nov. 3 concert at Samford University Wright Center featuring the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

Charles Billingsley

Presented by the Samford University Wright Center and Portraits of Hope, the 7 p.m. concert is a departure for Billingsley as it’s an evening of American standards and classics with songs from his recently released album, “The Shadow of Your Smile.” Portraits of Hope is a collection of original artworks inspired by the women of the Lovelady Center, a

faith-based residential center for women recovering from addiction. Beverly McNeil of Mountain Brook, who represents artists, is the originator. Her husband, John McNeil, is Lovelady’s COO, and she wanted some of her artists to paint portraits of the women at Lovelady. “The artists painted the portraits during the pandemic,” McNeil said. “They did it by live sittings, Facetime, Zoom and photos.” The women pictured wrote their stories to go with the portraits, where they describe their own personal experiences with addiction and of how their lives were transformed through recovery. The portraits and stories were published in March in a book titled “Portraits of Hope.” The website Portraitsofhope.charity offers a closer look at the book. The concert came about after McNeil contacted the ASO and Samford University Wright Center, she said Billingsley is a Samford alumnus, and the Wright Center was happy to make its facilities available. In fact, 20% of the concert’s ticket sales are earmarked for the university’s arts department. For concert tickets, go to tickets. samford.edu.

The portraits and stories were published in March in a book titled “Portraits of Hope.”

Above, portrait of Shay, the first woman to ever enter the Lovelady program, by Daniel Gerhartz. Right, Paige by Sharon Sprung.

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1 6 0 0 7 T H AV E N U E S O U T H BIRMINGHAM, AL 35233 (205) 638-9100 | ChildrensAL.org

Images courtesy Beverly McNeil

By Anne Ruisi


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HEALTH

Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 15

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LIFE

16 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

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Soaring Strings

L’CHAIM 2022

Niv Ashkenazi Brings History to Life on a Violin of Hope

T

L’Chaim honorary co-chairs Gail and Jeffrey Bayer, far right, with family members Annie, Scott, Emory, Pierce and Madison Goldberg. Journal photo by Anne Ruisi

he theme from “Schindler’s List” resonated from the violin played by virtuoso Niv Ashkenazi on the stage at Birmingham’s Red Mountain Theater, producing the heartrending music that won composer John Williams an Oscar. Ashkenazi’s performance was not only a highlight of L’Chaim, the Sept. 18 program from the Alabama Holocaust Education Center. It was an opportunity to hear an incredibly gifted musician perform on a violin once played by a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust. “The best they can figure out is it was owned by a survivor who made it to the U.S. It was probably made in Yugoslavia around the turn of the 20th century. It was one of the first restored,” said Ashkenazi, referring to the collection of instruments known as Violins of Hope. That restoration was done by Avnon and Avshalom Weinstein, a father- and-son team who work in Tel Aviv and Istanbul. These special violins were owned by Jews before and during World War II, according to the Weinsteins’ website, violins-of-hope. com. Many were donated by or bought from survivors or through family members. A Violins of Hope documentary screened during the L’Chaim program introduced the standing-room-only audience to the Weinsteins and their efforts to preserve the precious instruments. One of the violins in the collection was buried by two sisters in The Netherlands during the war and dug up after it ended. “Some played to survive the war, some were forced to play in the camps even as their family members and others walked to their deaths,” Avshalom Weinstein says in the documentary. The violins are symbols of hope and a way to remember those who

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

By Anne Ruisi

Virtuoso Niv Ashkenazi performed on a violin once played by a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust at L’Chaim, the Sept. 18 program from the Alabama Holocaust Education Center.

perished and to honor those who survived. The Weinsteins’ website notes the violins “present the victory of the human spirit over evil and hatred.”

Significant Marks

Ashkenazi’s violin is embellished on the reverse with a Star of David in mother of pearl, indicating it’s a klezmer violin. Klezmer refers to a style of Jewish folk music from Central and Eastern Europe, but it also refers to the decoration on the instruments. Ashkenazi noted Stars of David were just one type of embellishments that might be found. “It’s always very special playing this violin, or any in the collection,” said Ashkenazi, who studied with Itzhak Perlman. “It lets the silenced voice be heard again, as well as the (original) owner of the instrument.” Gail and Jeffrey Bayer, L’Chaim

honorary co-chairs, went to Tel Aviv in May and met the Weinsteins, and spoke of their experience. “It’s a history that must be remembered,” Gail Bayer said.

Cathy Friedman, Henry Panion, Chris Nanni and Fran Godchaux

Dina Diamond, Danny Cohn and Brenda Friedman

Helene Elkus, Lynn Raviv and Mary Rooney

Photos courtesy Birmingham Children’s Theatre

An Enchanted Story

Birmingham Children’s Theatre Celebrates 75th Anniversary By Anne Ruisi

Founded in 1947 as a Junior League volunteer project, today Birmingham Children’s Theatre is a fully professional theater company for young audiences.

What began in 1947 as a Junior League volunteer project to bring a theater experience to Birmingham children is today a professional theater company that has entertained generations of school-age children. Birmingham Children’s Theatre is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a

1920s-themed gala benefit, An Enchanted Evening, on Oct 13 at The Fennec. “It was very much a grassroots effort,” Carolyn Featheringill said of the organization’s early days. Her mother-in-law, Nita Featheringill, was one of the founders. It was just a few years after the end of World War II when Junior

League members decided on a project that would concentrate on children and introducing them to live theater, Featheringill said. “Family lore says they made the costumes and traveled around (the Birmingham area) to bring theater to them,” Featheringill, a member of the organization’s board of directors, said. See BCT, page 17


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There are eight staged productions a year, with shows directed at children from the toddler years to middle school. “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” which ended its run in late September, for example, is geared to toddlers and is an interactive production incorporating movement, play and discovery, Woods said. While toddlers might seem too young to enjoy theater, they really aren’t, she said. “It’s a great gateway to get kids

involved” in theater, she said. “It’s a new experience.” The organization’s nine full-time staff members include the theater group’s Education Department, which conducts after-school classes and summer camps, among other responsibilities. They also offer professional development to educators, Woods said. One new production that will be performed in March next year is “Miss Fancy: Elephant Queen of the Zoo,” a play based on the elephant who

charmed and delighted Birmingham children in the early part of the 20th century. The play was commissioned in 2019 but its production was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Woods said. “We’re excited to be part of it,” she said. An Enchanted Evening will include dinner, jazz and performances. For more information or to buy tickets, go to bct123.org/enchanted-evening.

Imagine your home, totally organized!

BCT From page 16

Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 17

LIFE

At times, family members even pitched in to help when needed. In the early 1970s, Featheringill’s husband, who was 6 feet, 6 inches tall, was recruited by his mother to play the giant in a production of “The Brave Little Tailor.” The first performance was at Philips High School, said Ashley Woods, Birmingham Children’s Theatre executive director. In the first 20 years, the group performed at the Alabama Theatre and Clark Memorial Theatre and was based at the Highland Park Recreation Center for a while. In 1972, during the theater company’s 25th anniversary season, a fire at

“The Emperor’s New Clothes” from 1993. Today There are eight staged productions a year, with shows directed at children from the toddler years to middle school.

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the Highland Park Recreation Center destroyed everything, with two shows left to finish the season, Woods said. By then, there were paid staff and paid actors, and the troupe was scaling up to larger productions. Today, Birmingham Children’s Theatre is a fully professional theater company for young audiences, Woods said. As in its early days, performances are given around Birmingham and have expanded throughout the state, but the theater company is based at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center.

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18 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

GALA IN THE GARDENS Antiques in the Gardens Returns With Gala and Programs

A

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

n evening of dancing and cocktails under the stars awaited guests at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Gala in the Gardens fundraiser on Sept. 29. The event, sponsored by Cooper Construction, kicked off the annual Antiques in the Gardens show, which ran through Oct. 2. It’s a premier antiques event that features nationally and internationally known designers and landscape architects and draws visitors from throughout the Southeast. Gala guests passed through a special garden entrance created by Millhouse Howell. Honored at the gala were longtime botanical gardens supporters Maggie and Will Brooke. ❖

Oscar and Sand Price and Victor and Mary Hanson, Maggie and Will Brooke and Rita and Drew Wright

Theresa Miller and Steve Holmes

Michael Glenn and Carol Clarke and Emily and Bill Bowron

Kellie Robinson, Megan McDowell and Cameron Crowe and Findlay Crowe

Mary Margaret Chambliss, Jane Drennen, Sally Thompson and Jay Snyder

Wally and Janie Evans and Elizabeth and Tom Broughton

Anna and Jim Cooper

Dave and Sarah Stewart


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Megan Randolph and William Dow

Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 19

SOCIAL

Molly and John Stone

Robin Kidd and Leslie Naff

CHARLES BILLINGSLEY in concert with

THE ALABAMA SYMPHONY AN EVENING OF AMERICAN STANDARDS AND CLASSICS

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD - 7PM Samford University Wright Center Benefiting Portraits of Hope For tickets: tickets.samford.edu or 205.726.2853 Mark Thompson and Catherine Pringle

Abby and Joseph Braswell and Hardy and Margaret Mitchell

The Shadow of Your Smile is a big-hearted, show stopping collection drawing from the hits of Broadway, big band, smooth jazz and the Great American Songbook. These beloved standards and classics, newly arranged and powered by Charles Billingsley’s larger than life voice accompanied by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra will be a night to remember. For more information about Portraits of Hope please visit: portraitsofhope.charity


20 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

SOCIAL

Artistic Abilities

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Dinnertainment Raises Funds for Exceptional Foundation

Bains and Kelli Fleming

Eli and Kathryn O’Quinn

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

First Horizon Bank presented Dinnertainment, a fundraiser for The Exceptional Foundation, on Sept. 16. The event, a dinner party billed as “a night of exceptional entertainment by exceptional people,” featured foundation participants who showcased their talents through a variety of musical performances and displays of their artistic abilities. The Exceptional Foundation was founded in 1993 to serve individuals with special needs in the Greater Birmingham area by targeting social and recreational objectives not met by educational institutions or the community at large. ❖

Steve Steed, Sherry Bruner, Mike and Shelli Morrow and Stephen and Jennifer Graben

Katie and Jonathan Ross

Elizabeth Hall, Helen Saab, Catherine Cullom and Kari Thompson

Sarah and Mark Bales

Brett and Libby Faucett

Margaret and David Ellis

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SOCIAL

Symphony 30 Picnic

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens was the setting for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony 30 Picnic. The benefit for the ASO’s outreach mission in Birmingham’s communities featured a buffet picnic from Urban Cookhouse. The symphony performed a selection of music geared to families. Youngsters could enjoy a kids zone with crafts and other activities. ❖

Sarah and Austin Eubanks

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Symphony Takes Its Outreach Mission to the Botanical Gardens

Alice Wahl, Charlotte Wahl, Kristin Bains, Brooke Wahl and Emma Bains

Ethan, Alice and Jennifer McDaniel

Harris and Sarah Centeno

Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 21


22 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

SOCIAL

Rehab Reality... by Judy Butler

Gayle Lightman and Harry Bayer

“Addiction runs in my family”, “my father was an alcoholic”, “my mother suffered from depression” and so on. In the mind of many people with addiction this is real and they are predisposed to have the same problems. In the world of science it’s not necessarily true. In the world of insurance it’s questionable. At Bayshore Retreat, we don’t judge or have an opinion either way. There are many arguments for the disease concept and still others for it being a controllable behavior. One thing is certain that continued use of mind-altering substances does affect the brain and decision-making. This is especially true for those who begin in adolescence while the brain is still developing. For instance as one continues to use drugs, the brain adapts to the surges in dopamine by producing less dopamine or by reducing the number of dopamine receptors in the reward circuit. Finally, resulting a need for more and more drugs. Long-term use also cause changes in other functions of the brain… pain receptors, etc. therefore requiring more drugs to satisfy the need or suppress the pain, ultimately resulting with addiction. Ok, so that’s more than you may have wanted to know. Bottom line, whether you believe that you have a disease or not, believe that there is a cure for it. The holistic approach at Bayshore Retreat begins the healing process physically with sweat therapy, food and vitamins. The varied forms of counseling from individual, to life skills and group sessions help our clients get to the unaddressed issues. The transformation that takes place physically, self-esteem, etc. is remarkable. Most importantly there’s never more than six clients at a time.

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Addiction is a disease

Larry Templeton, Anna Slive Harwood and Bruce Pearl

Beyond Blue Doctor Honored at Event for Prostate Cancer Research

Dr. Edward Partridge was the honoree at the Beyond Blue benefit to end prostate cancer on Sept. 22 at the Protective Life Stadium Club.

Partridge – a former clinician, past president of the national board of the American Cancer Society and director emeritus and distinguished professor at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB – is a founding board member of the Mike Slive Foundation. The foundation is the only dedicated prostate cancer nonprofit organization in the Southeast. Guests partook of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and music by Eric Essix and his jazz trio. Silent and live auctions were filled with sports memorabilia and other featured items. ❖

Howard and Donna Goldberg

Yazmin and Jim Cavale

Jason Patton and Amanda Godwin

Julie Koch, Allison Koch and Charlie and Sheri Perry

Lind Burks and Bill Arant, Charlie and Marcie DeBardeleben

Sorush and Laura Rais-Bahrami

Jimmy and Jodi Lee and Tommy Brigham

Paige and Erin Price and Charlie and Sarah Sexton


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Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 23

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

SOCIAL

Above, Reynolds Henderson, Andrew and Amanda Harrell, Stacey and Frederick Phillips and Jere Phillips. Above right, Chris George, Marty Olliff, Frank James, Lonnie Burnett, Amy Scofield and Monique Gardner Witherspoon

Men’s Hall of Fame Two Inducted to HOF During Women’s Committee of 100 Ceremony

Doug Jones, Lisa Roberts and Sharon Blackburn

The Women’s Committee of 100 held the induction ceremony of the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame on Sept. 20 during a luncheon at The Club. Women’s Committee of 100 President Amy Schofield welcomed Chairman Lonnie Burnett and members of the board of the Hall of Fame, committee members and guests. Inducted into the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame were Gov. Charles Henderson, 1860-1937, who served as the 35th governor of Alabama from 1915 to 1919, presented by Dr. Martin Olliff; and U.S. District Judge Thomas Virgil Pittman, 19162012, who served as chief judge of the Southern District Court from 1971 to 1981, presented by Frank S. James. Dignitaries recognized at the luncheon were former Sen. Doug Jones, District Judge Sharon Blackburn and Ambassador William Cabaniss. Members of the Women’s Committee of 100 include Ann Vroacher, Amy Scofield, Barbara Shepherd, Becky Keyes, Stephanie Byrne, Molly Bee Bloctcher, Pam Wood, Jean Liles, Annie Green, Irene Collins, Rebecca Mason, Kathy Miller, Audrey Lindquist, Eloise Williams, Carla Roberson, Nan Teninbaum, Carolyn Satterfield, Jeanna Westmoreland, Helen Mills Pittman, Donna Dukes,

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24 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

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Colonial Christmas

Lunch & Tour TIC

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

KE NO TS ON W SA LE

Carey Fountain, Graham Boettcher, Thomas Atchison and Cate Boehm

The ReFrame Party Museum of Art Highlights New Offerings in Event

The Birmingham Museum of Art held ReFrame, an immersive celebration with a fresh perspective inspired by art and culture from around the world, on Sept. 29. Presented by Medical Properties Trust, the event focused on what’s new in the galleries, inspired by the museum’s current exhibition, “Light Play.” Guests also were entertained with music, performances, curator-led gallery talks and activities such as nail art based on the museum’s collections. An additional treat was listening to traditional Chinese music played live by a classical flautist in the area housing the exhibition “Hand-Held: The Four Seasons of Chinese Painting.” ❖

December 5-6-7-8-9 $40 per person Call (205) 665-3535 ext. 1031 to make your reservation.

Open to the public Monday-Friday 10a-4p. Regular admission: $11 adults, $10 youth, $9 seniors, free to veterans, active military and children under 5. Visit our website for current public program.

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Katharine Patton and McKenzie Burton

Kristie David and Shelleigh Buckingham

Tiffany Fleming and Adam Good


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Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 25

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Summit Meeting

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Fido Fest Supports Greater Birmingham Humane Society Pooches ruled the roost, or rather, a parking lot area at The Summit, at the Sept. 17 Fido Fest to benefit and celebrate dogs. The area near REI Co-op was filled with pet vendors along with arts and entertainment for animal lovers and their leashed pets. Proceeds benefited the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. ❖

CELEBRATION & SALE

Holland, Molly, Leesa and Adam Green

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

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26 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

Nostalgic Pregame

SCHOOLS

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A pregame performance and a major announcement at halftime set the tone for the Homewood High School Patriot Band’s 50th Anniversary Reunion on Sept. 23. Former band members joined the marching band in the performance, held before kickoff at Waldrop Stadium as the Patriots played Pinson Valley. Alumni were treated to a barbecue dinner provided by Two Men and a Pig under a pavilion at the end of the stands near the scoreboard during the first quarter of the game. At halftime, it was announced that the Patriot Band had been selected to march in next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin. “This is a huge opportunity for our students,” band Director Chris Cooper said. “The St. Patty’s Day Parade is a worldwide parade, and we will be marching with music groups from all around the globe.” The Patriot Band is the largest high school marching band in the state and has appeared in many nationally televised parades, including nine appearances in the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade. The Patriots are not strangers to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade either. The

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

Dublin Performance Announced as Homewood Patriot Band Members Reunite for 50th Anniversary

Former band members joined the marching band in a special 50th Anniversary performance, held before kickoff at Waldrop Stadium. Above, Alan Henderson, Kevin Burke and Will Fletcher. Above right, Kendyl Hamner and Emily Dickinson. Right, Pete Pitts. Below, Cynthia Thompson Parris, Audra White and McKenna Whitaker.

band marched in Dublin in 1993 and 1997. Reunion activities continued Sept. 24 with a tour of the high school’s new band room and fine arts facility, with lunch and a video/slideshow presentation of the band’s 50 years.

Fromer Star Spangled Girls, Lauren Ellis, Jennifer Durban Mann, Sarah Smith Litchfield, Molly Morris Naylor, Grace Ann Sooter Cink, and Jessica Johnson Denton.

Join us for an Open House!

Sunday, Oct. 30 | 2-3:30 p.m. | Altamont Campus Learn more about The Altamont School, one of the nation’s premier independent schools for students in grades 5-12.

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SCHOOLS

Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 27

Edgewood Principal to Be Honored by Music Educators Her support of innovative music programs has earned Edgewood Elementary School Principal Laura Tate the 2023 Outstanding Administrator Award by the Alabama Music Educators Association. “I was really surprised and excited,” said Tate, who didn’t know that school music teacher Sadie Wall had nominated her for the honor. Tate was recognized for her strong support of the school’s music program, which, beyond regular music instruction, includes a choir and drum circle. Wall is the person who proposed the programs, as well as a Fine Arts Night that invites students’ families to join them in playing music. “I’m really thankful and grateful to Sadie for all she does,” Tate said. “I’m really lucky to have an innovative, smart teacher. It’s an honor to support her.” The state Music Educators Association honors outstanding administrators who have shown a special interest and dedication to music

Altamont Student Named Young Hero for Work With Homeless Altamont School seventh grader Ethan Hill has been named a winner of the 2022 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, according to a press release from the school. The Barron Prize annually honors 25 Ethan Hill outstanding young leaders in the U.S. who have made a significant positive impact on people, their communities and the environment. Fifteen top winners, of which Ethan was one, each receive $10,000 to support their service work or higher education. Ethan, 12, created Ethan’s Heart Bags4Blessings to support individuals experiencing homelessness in Birmingham. Since 2017, he and his team have packed and distributed nearly 2,000 survival care bags containing items such as a sleeping bag, cold weather clothing, first aid supplies, food and hygiene products. He works to develop relationships with the people he serves and to refer them to shelters and support services. Most days on his way home from school, Ethan and his parents drive around area parks and homeless camps to check on the estimated 300 people living there. When needed, they provide essentials from a supply kept in their car or return later to help with specific requests. Ethan also partners with local police, who carry his duffel bags and supplies in patrol cars to distribute in areas unsafe for Ethan to visit. Corporate sponsors and individual donors support his work.

Laura Tate was recognized for her strong support of the school’s music program, which, beyond regular music instruction, includes a choir and drum circle. education in Alabama. “We are thankful for our schools’ strong music programs and for our amazing music teachers and supportive Each December, he organizes more than 100 volunteers from across the state to pack hundreds of duffel bags. The next morning, his team serves breakfast in a local park and distributes the supplies. Ethan has also aided a homeless veteran in transitioning to permanent housing and has partnered with a company that makes cots, offering them for free to the people he serves. He began his work as a 6-year-old after noticing a homeless man, whom he now knows as Mr. Marcus, living under a freeway. Ethan researched “emergency needs of homeless individuals,” used his Christmas money to purchase essential items and gave them to Mr. Marcus and others living nearby. “Those without addresses are disregarded, criminalized and judged, but they’re people who want to be seen, loved and supported,” Ethan said in the press release. “I don’t focus on why a person became homeless. I just look at what I can do to make life a little easier for them.” Ethan is using his prize money to finish converting a trailer into a free mobile store for the homeless. The Barron Prize was founded in 2001 by author T.A. Barron and was named for his mother, Gloria Barron. Since then, the prize has honored more than 500 young people who demonstrate heroic qualities such as courage, compassion and perseverance as they work to help their communities or protect the planet. “Nothing is more inspiring than stories about heroic people who have truly made a difference to the world. And we need our heroes today more than ever,” T.A. Barron said in the press release. “Not celebrities, but heroes – people whose character can inspire us all. That is the purpose of the Barron Prize: to shine the spotlight on these amazing young people so that their stories will inspire others.”

administrators,” a Homewood City Schools press release stated. While the state does not require music education in elementary schools, Homewood does have music instruction in its three K-5 schools, Tate noted. Fourth graders at Edgewood, for example, learn to play the recorder and the school has a “wonderful” selection of instruments, she said. Music is an important component in a school curriculum, Tate said. It’s a discipline that helps students develop focus, for example, and enriches their education. “Our philosophy in Homewood for an educated student is to maximize their full potential,” she said. Although the award has been announced, it won’t be presented until after New Year’s. That will happen Jan. 19, when Tate will receive it during the annual Alabama Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference at the BirminghamJefferson Convention Complex.

Hoover Career Connection Center Recognized by Governor Hoover City Schools Riverchase Career Connection Center has been selected as a Regional Best Practice School by the governor’s office, according to a press release from Hoover City Schools. This distinction is awarded to career training programs throughout the state that demonstrate the diverse ways work-based learning is being used. This recognition puts the center in the running for the Governor’s WorkBased Learning Seal of Excellence. Dr. Debra Walker Smith, Hoover City Schools executive The center focuses director of on college and career and career readiness technical and soft skills. It education, serves students at was surprised Hoover, Spain Park and excited and Homewood about the high schools. designation and said it was the result of a team effort. “I am very proud that people outside of our school district recognize the quality of our work,” Smith said. The center focuses on college and career readiness and soft skills. It’s five career training academies are Skilled Trades, Cyber Innovation, Culinary and Hospitality, Fire Science and Emergency Services and Health Science. The Career Connection Center, which is at 853 Willow Oak Drive in Hoover, opened in 2019 and is a high-tech career center with simulated workspaces. The facility is made possible through a collaboration among education leaders, city officials, and business and industry partners. It serves students at Hoover, Spain Park and Homewood high schools.

TICKETS JUST $10!


FOOD

28 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

By Anne Ruisi

From left, Teresa Petelos, Tony Petelos and Irene Tracy hard at work preparing for the upcoming Greek Food Festival. Below, Finley Evans and Hala Valekis.

Photos courtesy Elaine Lyda

H

omemade savory food and sweets based on recipes handed down through four generations of Birmingham’s Greek community will draw about 30,000 people to the 49th annual Greek Food Festival at the Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral Oct 13-15. “It’s our expression of comfort and love,” said Fanoula Gulas, president of the church’s Philoptoches Society, a women’s philanthropy group. “Hospitality is important to our culture.” Sonthe Burge, a longtime parishioner in charge of baking koulourakia butter cookies, agreed. “We love to cook,” said longtime parishioner Sonthe Burge. “This is a way to share our heritage, culture and faith with the community. Menu offerings for the 10,000 people expected each day will include longtime favorites, such as souvlakia, pastichio, Greek chicken, spanokopeta (spinach pie), dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves), Greek rice, veggie plates, Greek salad and gyros. Greek pastries on hand will include baklava; kourambethes, also known as Greek wedding cookies; melomakarana, a Greek honey cookie; and koulourakia, or butter cookie twists. As they have for nearly 50 years, church members prepare most of the food in the church kitchen. “We do all the baking, the pastries and the pastichio,” Gulas said, referring to the popular casserole dish sometimes called “Greek lasagna,” made with Greek-style bechamel sauce instead of the tomato sauce Italians use to make the signature dish. Baking is a major project involving hundreds of pounds of ingredients and hours of preparation. Burge has overseen the volunteers baking koulourakia, a butter cookie, for 30 years. After mixing ingredients, the dough is hand rolled, cut in strips and twisted before it’s baked. “We make more than 1,000 dozen each year, probably 1,100 dozen this year,” Burge said. Volunteers started making baklava in June and continued with cookies at regular baking sessions they call workshops. Sweets were baked in batches. Each batch of koulourakia, Burge said, calls for about 7 pounds of flour and makes 21 dozen cookies. Burge also helped to make other cookies and the pastichio, which is prepared in advance.

‘We Love to Cook’

13,000 Pieces of Chicken, 10,000 Servings of Pastichio, 20,000 Dolmathes and Thousands of Sweets Greek Food Festival Expecting 30,000 Visitors Oct. 13-15 pastichio at once, all automatically. The same goes for the green beans and tomato dish. “It all comes out perfectly,” Graphos said. The ingredients help achieve that perfect taste. The lemon juice used for the Greek chicken isn’t domestic; it is imported from Greece and has more flavor, Graphos said. The seasonings, also imported from Greece, are sprinkled on both sides of the chicken to give it more flavor. “We take a lot of pride in the quality of our food,” Graphos said. Gulas said there is another element that raises the food to a higher level. “Every single item is touched with love,” Gulas said. Food plates will be individually priced and Greek pastries will be pre-packaged and sold in the food lines. Soft drinks and Greek beer and wines will be available onsite to complement the meals.

Constant Cooking

While the pastries and cookies are prepared months ahead of time, the rest of the food, such as Greek chicken, rice and green beans with tomatoes, is prepared fresh every day during the festival, said Pete Graphos, a Crestline resident who has been the festival’s kitchen manager for the past 15 or 20 years. “Last year we cooked 13,000 pieces of chicken, 500 pans of pastichio – each pan has 24 servings. That’s 10,000 servings,” Graphos said. About 20,000 dolmathes, or stuffed grape leaves, were served last year and rice was cooked in two 50-pound batches every hour. The Greek chicken is marinated in lemon juice, butter and seasonings for 24 hours before it is cooked for an hour in one of the church kitchen’s eight convection ovens, Graphos said. Each

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

Music, Tours and Wine

oven can cook 100 pieces at a time, so that’s 800 pieces of chicken cooked every hour. The cooking is constant during the festival, but the kitchen is like a well-oiled machine, with about 10 volunteers at a time working. Great kitchen equipment, including sophisticated Combi ovens that are programmable, and the volunteers help make it a success. The ovens, for example, can cook 20 pans of

Besides good food, there will be entertainment, with Greek music and dance performances by close to 100 church members, from “sweet little kids to high school,” age, Gulas said. Mediterranean and Orthodox souvenirs will be available at the festival’s Greek Market Place, as will the church’s cookbook, “The Greeks Have a Recipe for It,” which has been updated several times over the years with new editions, Burge said. “It’s an easy-to-follow recipe book, it’s not

Koulourakia

Twisted Butter Cookies ½ lb. unsalted butter ¾ cups sugar 3 eggs 4 cups flour 3 heaping tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. vanilla Soften butter and mix with flour. Add baking powder. Beat eggs and sugar and mix well. Add vanilla. Form dough into a ball. Dough should not be sticky. Roll out into ¾ inch strips and twist to make a braided cookie. Place on ungreased pan. Place in preheated 350-degree oven on middle rack for 20 minutes until golden brown. Makes about 6 dozen cookies

hard to use it,” she said. “My copy is from 1981, the fourth printing.” The Holy Trinity – Holy Cross Greek Orthodox parish was chartered in 1906 and is the fourth oldest Greek Orthodox parish in the Southeast. Self-guided tours of the cathedral, the only Greek Orthodox cathedral in Alabama, will be

See GREEK, page 29


Olexa’s to Be Featured on America’s Best Restaurants

By Anne Ruisi

Courtesy

The episode will be aired extensively on the website, americasOlexa’s Catering Cafe & Cakes in bestrestaurants.com, and social Mountain Brook will be featured media channels later, with the date to be announced. online by America’s Best Olexa got her start in the food Restaurants. business nearAmerica’s ly two Best decades ago, Restaurants, a doing bridal national catering with media and her mother. marketing The cafe company opened after focusing on wedding local, indeguests would pendently ask if she had owned restaua restaurant. rants, brought Once the cafe its ABR opened, servRoadshow for ers would filming to warm cake Olexa’s on Oct. 4. slices for “We’re so brides-to-be excited, it’s so to try so they fabulous,” wouldn’t have said Olexa’s to eat cold owner Diane cake that had Olexa’s owner Diane Olexa. Olexa. been stored. Popular “The waitdishes that customers know and love, resses were leaving it in (the microsuch as crepes, quiche and cake, will wave) too long and it was being be highlighted, Olexa said. There served warm,” Olexa said in a press also will be an extensive on-camera release from America’s Best interview with Olexa about the resRestaurants. “So then it went around taurant’s special place in the commu- town that I was serving warm butternity. cream cake, before I even knew it,

Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 29

FOOD and then it became all the rage. They were coming for the cake and staying for lunch.” Olexa’s cakes have been featured in numerous bridal magazines, and the cafe has won several awards for best luncheon. America’s Best Restaurants is based in Florence, Kentucky, and travels the country telling the stories and highlighting the unique food of locally owned independent restaurants as part of the America’s Best Restaurants Roadshow. Over 700 episodes have been filmed.

GREEK From page 28

available during the festival and parishioners will be available to answer “every single question” between 10:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. Organizers suggest schools and church groups call ahead to schedule a tour. “We encourage guests to take a look at the beautiful iconography and art” in the church, Burge said. The festival is not only an opportunity to share the love of good food and hospitality but is a major fundraising effort for the church. The church, in turn, donates a portion of festival proceeds to charities. This year the sale of 1,300 pans of frozen pastichio at $50 each will go to charity, including Children’s of Alabama, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama and the

St. Symeon Food and Culture Fair Set for Saturday St Symeon Orthodox Church on Clairmont Avenue in Birmingham will celebrate its 4th annual St. Symeon Food and Culture Fair on Oct. 8. The event, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature an open-air market with baked goods and gifts from cultures around the world. Hot homemade lunches – including pierogies and kielbasa sausage sandwiches – hot Greek doughnuts called Loukoumades (pictured), Slavic tea and Turkish coffee will be among the food items to try.

Firehouse Shelter, which the church supports by providing a meal once a week throughout the year, Graphos said. The hours of preparation and effort to stage the festival every year are worth it, the volunteers agreed. “We truly enjoy doing this for Birmingham,” Gulas said. “We’ve worked so hard on this. We’re tired, but we love it.” Graphos agreed. “It’s a joyous thing and a lot of fun,” he said. The Greek Food Festival is open 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 13-15, with drive-thru service from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Online ordering will be available at birminghamgreekfestival.net and orders can be taken and delivered just by driving up. Those who want to enjoy their food onsite can do so in the tented dining area.

Church tours, a concert by the church choir and educational talks will be presented.

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OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL


30 • Thursday, October 6, 2022

SPORTS

THE NATURAL

By Rubin E. Grant

PARRIS From page 32

“It was a post corner route,” Parris explained. “I made a double move at the top of the route and Woods put it there and I all I had to do was catch it and run.” Parris has become Ray’s primary target this season. He finished the Benjamin Russell game with three receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Through six games, he has 29 receptions for 560 yards, averaging 19.3 yards per catch, and three touchdowns. He also has gained 853 all-purpose yards. “It’s been a pretty good start to the season for me,” Parris said. “Woods and I are connecting a lot

Shirley Getting a Kick out of Playing Football for Vestavia Hills

Journal photos by Jordan Wald

For someone who has played the international game of football — better known in these parts as soccer — practically his entire life, Vestavia Hills junior Carter Shirley is beginning to act like the American brand of football is his future. Shirley has been playing soccer since he was 4 and plays in the Major League Soccer’s elite MLS Next program, but this fall he decided to give football a try as the Rebels’ place-kicker. He has looked like a natural. Three weeks ago, he kicked three field goals in the first half – covering 36, 23 and 22 yards – to account for all of Vestavia Hill’s points in the half as the Rebels thumped Spain Park 36-7. Last Friday, he booted a 27-yard field goal in the Rebels’ 52-10 homecoming rout of Chelsea. “All my friends had been telling me for a long time I should play football,” Shirley said. “But it was really my stepdad who told me I should go try kicking.” Shirley’s stepdad, Heath Boackle, had played football in high school at Huffman and was instrumental in Shirley teaching himself how to kick a football. “I started off kicking the football with my stepdad,” Shirley said. “I love watching college football, so I watched YouTube videos of college or pro kickers and saw how it worked, how to generate momentum on a kick and how to be pretty accurate.” First-year Vestavia Hills head coach Robert Evans had been on the lookout for a kicker since the spring. Shirley arrived on his radar and Evans considers him a godsend. “He really came out of nowhere,” Evans said. “Our kicking situation was unsettled, so I started recruiting guys who played soccer. “He came to spring training, but he had never kicked before. During the summer, he came up to the school by himself in the heat of the day and kicked. After he kicked a couple, he would take the soccer ball and dribble it to go pick up the footballs and kick again. “He molded himself into a viable kicker. It’s amazing. I never came

Last Friday, Vestavia Hills junior Carter Shirley booted a 27-yard field goal in the Rebels’ 52-10 homecoming rout of Chelsea. Below left, during halfltime ceremonies Kaylee Rickert was crowned Homecoming Queen. She was escorted by her father Jeff Rickert. Below right, Vestavia quarterback John Paul Head follows behind the blocking of senior offensive lineman Jack McMurray.

across anybody who did not understand how to kick a football and now can

kick field goals from 45-50 yards out.” The biggest thing Shirley had to

learn was perhaps the simplest. “After you kick it, you have to take

more than we have in the past.” The two worked out together frequently during the spring and summer and played in some 7-on-7 games to get better acquainted on the field. Parris also did some drills to improve his footwork and route running, turning himself into the Patriots’ go-to receiver and taking better advantage of his speed. He has clocked 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash. “I like to make big plays and I trust myself to do it more than anybody else,” Parris said. “I like to have the ball coming to me.” Homewood coach Ben Berguson likes the way Parris has become accustomed to his new role. “He’s by far one of the best all-

around athletes in the school,” Berguson said. “He has tremendous hand-eye coordination. We don’t mind throwing a 50-50 ball to him because we expect him to come down with it. Him and Woods are the best quarterback-receiver duo we’ve had in a long time. “He’s got that ‘it’ factor. He’s one of our team leaders. Everybody looks up to him. He’s well liked.”

favorite. Right now it’s looking like I’ll play baseball in college, but if I get the opportunity to play football in college I’ll have to look into it.” Right now, Parris is focused on helping Homewood earn a football playoff berth. The Patriots (4-2) sit atop the Class 6A, Region 3 standings with a 3-0 record in region play. They were off last week and will visit Chilton County (3-4, 0-4) Thursday in a region game. Homewood lost to Pinson Valley 21-13 in a non-region game two weeks ago, but Parris described the game as a confidence builder. “We learned we could play with anybody,” he said. “If we don’t come out timid or scared and go in with confidence, we can beat anybody.”

Eenie Meenie

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Parris is also a middle infielder on the Patriots’ baseball team. His athletic future beyond high school might be baseball, but he’s not ready to make that decision yet. “I love both of them,” Parris said. “I couldn’t choose which one is my

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

a little skip step on your swing through,” Shirley said. “It might not seem like the hardest thing, but I had to learn how to do those skip steps.” Shirley had it down pat against Spain Park when he made his first three field goals of the season. “I felt pretty good,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I was nervous. I just focused on the ball and kind of did it.” Shirley’s second field goal was set up after he forced a fumble on a kickoff return. “I don’t think he’s ever made a tackle in his life,” Evans said, “but he caused a big fumble and we got points off a turnover.” Shirley stunned himself with the tackle. “That was unbelievable,” he said, “but a big thrill.” The 5-foot-9, 145-pound Shirley has continued to play soccer this fall. On most days, after he finishes football practice he heads to practice with the Hoover-Vestavia Soccer MLS Next team. “It’s the top league in Alabama,” Shirley explained. “This is the second year for the MLS Next program in Alabama. We have games like on every weekend. We go to Atlanta and Charlotte and also have games in Birmingham. It’s a 10-monthlong season.” Shirley plays on the wing as an attacker. Since he is involved in the MLS Next program, he is not allowed to play for Vestavia Hills’ high school soccer team, but football is another matter and he’s enjoying himself. “I love soccer, but there’s just something about football,” Shirley said. “Now that I’ve started kicking I would like to play in college.” Because of soccer, Shirley won’t be able to attend a kicking camp, but during the offseason he will be working out at UAB with a former kicker. Meanwhile, Shirley has gotten caught up in Vestavia Hills’ push for a playoff berth. With their lopsided victory against Chelsea, the Rebels evened their overall record at 3-3, 2-2 in Class 7A, Region 3. Vestavia Hills visits HewittTrussville (4-3, 2-2) Friday night in a key region game. “This is an important one,” Shirley said. “If we can win out, we’ve got a good chance of making the playoffs.”

WEEK 6 SCOREBOARD Hoover 40, Oak Mountain 0 Tuscaloosa County 38, Spain Park 28 Vestavia Hills 52, Chelsea 10 Helena 31, Briarwood Christian 21 Pleasant Grove 48, John Carroll Catholic 13 Homewood and Mountain Brook were off

WEEK 7 SCHEDULE

Calera at Briarwood Christian Homewood at Chilton County (Thurs.) Tuscaloosa County at Hoover John Carroll Catholic at Ramsey (Thurs..) Mountain Brook at Parker (Thurs.) Oak Mountain at Thompson Spain Park at Chelsea Vestavia Hills at Hewitt-Trussville


Thursday, October 6, 2022 • 31

SPORTS

OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

TWINS

From page 32

Causey, who played at Troy and remains the Trojans’ all-time assists leader, wasn’t new to Briarwood. She was part of the Lions’ volleyball coaching staff from 2015-19, then went to Huntsville for two years as the junior varsity coach at Westminster Christian, a dominant Class 5A program. She returned to Briarwood in 2021 as the strength and

‘We have all the skills, knowledge and team chemistry, but we have to have mental toughness.’ LUANN CAUSEY, BRIARWOOD CHRISTIAN VOLLEYBALL COACH

conditioning coach for girls athletics and assistant volleyball coach. She was elevated to head coach in February after former coach Hannah

Looking Toward State

Mountain. Vestavia Hills was scheduled to play at Oak Mountain Tuesday as part of a tri-match that included Carver-Birmingham. The top two teams from each area will advance to qualifying tournaments. There will be eight qualifying tourna-

Josey stepped down for family reasons. Causey and her husband, Tracey, have lived in Birmingham for more than 20 years and have 15-year-old triplet daughters, Emory, Ellison “Ellie,” and Elizabeth “Lizzie,” who are freshmen at Briarwood. All three play volleyball, with Emory on the Lions’ freshman team and Ellie and Lizzie on the junior varsity.

she’s finished. “She’s an all-round good player,” Causey said. “She has skills to play all over the court.” Juniors Caroline Jones and Lindsey Butler also have been solid contributors. Briarwood began this week with a 2-3 record in Class 6A, Area 9, which also includes John Carroll Catholic, Pelham and Helena. The Lions won both of their games against John Carroll and lost both of their games to Pelham. They suffered a 3-1 setback at Helena last week and were set to play their final regular season area game at home Monday night against Helena. The area tournament is scheduled to begin Oct. 13. “Our goal has always been to get out of the area, but to get out of the area we have to overcome the mental aspect,” Causey said. “We have all the skills, knowledge and team chemistry, but we have to have mental toughness. “We see all those volleyball banners hanging in the gym. We’re trying to get Briarwood back to where it was and reestablish the tradition of the program.”

In the meantime, they are trying to help bring Vestavia Hills a state flag football championship. The AHSAA divided teams into 16 areas this season. The Rebels are in an area that includes Spain Park and Oak

Skilled Lineup

The Lions’ varsity team includes six seniors, headed by setter Jolee Giadrosich. Giadrosich recently surpassed 1,000 assists for her career and now holds the school record. “She’s good,” Causey said. “I probably challenge her more than anybody on the team, but she has responded well.” The Lions’ other seniors are outside hitter Lindsey Weigant, defensive specialist Katherine Jones, defensive specialist Piper Eighmy, outside hitter Siggi Bell and middle hitter Bradford Latta. Versatile junior Stella Helms is the Lions’ leading front row player. She is in line to become the school’s career leader in kills, digs and blocks before

ments with four teams in each tournament. The winner of the tournament will qualify for the season-ending state tournament. The state championship game will be played Nov. 30 as part of the Super 7 Championships in football at Auburn.

“I think we have a very talented team,” Abby said. “We’ve definitely progressed since last year.” Ella added, “My goal is to get to the state championship game. We have the potential to get there. We’re working hard and we’re working to get better.”

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LIONS

Vestavia Hills won four games last week, beating Homewood 33-0 and Spain Park 20-0 at home and Central-Phenix City (26-18) and Smiths Station (267) on the road. In the game against Homewood, Vestavia’s Merritt Kelley, above, tries to split two Patriot defenders; above right, Ella Stephens breaks loose; right, Ally Perry fights for extra yards.

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plays snare drum in the drum line and Abby plays the saxophone. They had to miss the game against Homewood last week because of a band competition. “It’s time consuming and there are some conflicts, but it’s all worth it in the end,” Ella said. The twins’ dad, James Gallaspy, played in the Million Dollar Band at Alabama, and their older brother Grayson Gallaspy was a saxophone player. They were instrumental in the musical instruments the twins play. “I chose to do percussions because my dad’s side of the family played drums and I’ve always liked it,” Ella said. “I started playing drums in the sixth grade and have loved it ever since.” Abby said, “My brother did band and played the sax, so in the sixth grade I started playing sax and really enjoyed it.” If flag football and band weren’t enough, Ella and Abby also play softball for the Rebels. Ella plays center field and Abby plays right field. They have been playing softball for 13 years. Both are trying to decide whether they want to continue their athletic careers in college. Ella said she plans to attend Alabama, where her older brother is a student, but won’t try to play softball in college. She is hoping to play flag football, but right now it’s only an intramural sport at Alabama. Abby remains up in the air. “It’s been a struggle for me, trying to decide if I want to play college softball,” she said.

Journal photos by Marvin Gentry

From page 32

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Hapy Homecoming: Vestavia Hills celebrates Homecoming week with big win Page 30

SPORTS Thursday, October 6, 2022 ❖ OVER THE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL

The Natural: Shirley getting a kick out of playing Football for Vestavia Hills Page 30

Double Trouble

Parris Embraces Role as Homewood’s Go-To Receiver By Rubin E. Grant

H

omewood senior receiver Jackson Parris served notice in the Patriots’ first football game that he was ready to have a breakout season. Parris fielded a punt and weaved 65 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter of Homewood’s season-opening 38-20 victory against John Carroll Catholic. It was the Patriots’ first punt return for a touchdown in three years. “It all happened so fast,” Parris said. “I made one guy miss and then I cut back. I went from

Gallaspy Twins Energizing Vestavia Hills’ Flag Football Team

I

By Rubin E. Grant

‘It’s been a pretty good start to the season for me. Woods and I are connecting a lot more than we have in the past.’

See PARRIS, page 31

PLAYMAKER

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

By Rubin E. Grant

Briarwood Christian’s new volleyball coach, Luann Causey, far right with Lion leaders Jolee Giadrosich and Stella Helms. Giadrosich recently surpassed 1,000 assists for her career and now holds the school record. Helms is in line to become the school’s career leader in kills, digs and blocks before she’s finished.

Up for the Challenge Briarwood Volleyball Team Responding to Demands of New Head Coach

A few months after being named Briarwood Christian’s new volleyball coach, Luann Causey threw down the gauntlet for her players. They accepted the challenge and in the first seven weeks of the 2022 season posted a 33-12 record. “We have a lot of talent, but they have never been challenged the way I challenged them,” Causey said. “I wanted to get them playing at a high level with the capability of doing more than they thought they could.” During the summer, Causey scheduled early morning workouts, had her players attend a team camp at the University of South Alabama and played in a competitive local summer league in Hoover. If that wasn’t enough, she put together a demanding schedule, including a few top tournaments such as the Juanita Boddie Tournament and the Heffstrong Tournament. “I don’t know if Briarwood has ever played a schedule like this,” Causey said. “I wanted them to play as much volleyball as they could. “We have good chemistry and I am hard on them, but I love them and they have responded with respect. Right now, we’re a little tired and are fighting some tweaks, such as ankle injuries, but overall they have done well.”

See LIONS, page 31

Journal photo by Jordan Wald

one side of the field and reversed it back to the other side and just went into the end zone.” Homewood head coach Ben Berguson especially enjoyed it. “That was so cool,” Berguson said. “We hadn’t had one in a while, then all of a sudden he busted it.” Three weeks ago, Parris turned in another spectacular play when he caught a 95-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Woods Ray in Homewood’s 31-24 homecoming victory against Benjamin Russell.

Jackson Parris

dentical twins Ella and Abby Gallaspy had been wanting to play football for some time. They would go out in their Vestavia Hills neighborhood and play throw and catch. “We had a really good time,” Abby said. “I always thought, ‘Why can’t we play football?’” When the Alabama High School Athletic Association sanctioned flag football as a sport in 2021, the Gallaspy twins jumped at the chance to play for Vestavia Hills’ team. “I was super excited when I heard about it,” Ella said. “I’m very competitive and I love football, so I like having the opportunity to play.” This fall, Ella and Abby, who are seniors, are enjoying splendid seasons, helping the Rebels to an 8-1 record. They won four Playing flag games last week, football has beating Homewood 33-0 become a bit of and Spain Park a balancing act 20-0 at home and Central-Phenix for the twins City (26-18) and because both Smiths Station (26-7) on the road. also play in the Ella, who Vestavia Hills throws left-handed, plays quartermarching band. back and Abby Ella plays snare plays linebacker. “They are very drum in the athletic,” Vestavia drum line and Hills coach Debra Abby plays the Broome said. “Ella is a pretty good saxophone. quarterback. She was our quarterback last year. Abby does a good job collecting flags and we rush her a lot too.” Ella, the older of the two by a minute, loves being the quarterback. She accounted for several touchdowns in three of the Rebel’s four wins last week. “It’s a very difficult position from a skill standpoint, learning to make all the throws,” she said. “But it’s also a lot of fun.” Abby says it’s a funny story how she wound up on defense instead of catching passes from her sister. “I had a hard time memorizing all the plays,” she said with a laugh. “We don’t have arm bands like you see in football and for the life of me I couldn’t remember the plays, so they put me on defense.”

Music and Sports

Playing flag football has become a bit of a balancing act for the twins because both also play in the Vestavia Hills marching band. Ella

See TWINS, page 31