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Locals take to the water July 2013 | 1


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FROM THE EDITOR

S

helby Living’s Best of the Best contest is back for a third year! It’s time for you to pick your favorite barbecue, spa or realtor in Shelby County. This is a great opportunity to show support for businesses and organizations in Shelby County, and we hope you’ll participate. We’ve changed the rules a little this year, so make sure to check out the explanation on page 28. Then, head over to our updated website to vote. That’s right. We have a new website! It’s still very much a work in progress, but I’m glad we finally redesigned the dinosaur of a site we had before. The website, which is still at Shelbyliving. com, has updated contact information, magazine pick-up locations and calendar submission forms. We’ll be introducing additional elements to the

website over time, so make sure to check in when you can. This issue of Shelby Living is filled with interesting stories. One of my favorites is about bestselling novelist Cassandra King speaking at the University of Montevallo’s spring graduation. King was a student there in the 1960s, when it was known as Alabama College and only taught women. She shared her college memories with UM’s Class of 2013, and she captivated the entire audience with her witty, funny stories. In fact, I was so smitten with her speech, I decided to print a portion of it. It was the only way to do her justice. I hope you’ll enjoy this issue of Shelby Living as much as I enjoyed putting it together. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or suggestions. Thanks for reading! 

SHELBY Living EDITORIAL Katie McDowell Amy Jones Neal Wagner Drew Granthum CONTRIBUTORS Heather Averett Laura Brookhart Linda Long Lisa Phillips Phoebe Robinson Clarke Stackhouse PRODUCTION Daniel Holmes Jamie Dawkins Amy Baldis Jon Goering MARKETING Alan Brown Jill Harvell Thomas LaBoone Nicole Loggins Rhett McCreight Meagan Mims Laurel Cousins LaShan Johnson Mary Strehle

Katie McDowell, Editor

Katie.McDowell@ShelbyLiving.com

ON THE COVER Six-year-old Benjamin Atwell takes his father, Justin Atwell, for a ride on a paddle board around a lake at Oak Mountain State Park. Cover design: Jamie Sparacino Photography: Jon Goering

ADMINISTRATION Tim Prince Jan Griffey Mary Jo Eskridge Annie McGilvray Hailey Dolbare Christine Roberts Shelby Living is published monthly by Shelby County Newspapers Inc., P.O. Box 947, Columbiana, AL 35051. Shelby Living is a registered trademark. All contents herein are the sole property of Shelby County Newspapers Inc. [the Publisher]. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without written permission from the Publisher. Please address all correspondence (including but not limited to letters, story ideas and requests to reprint materials) to: Editor, Shelby Living, P.O. Box 947, Columbiana, AL 35051. Shelby Living is mailed to select households throughout Shelby County, and a limited number of free copies are available at local businesses. Please visit Shelbyliving.com for a list of those locations. Subscriptions are available at a rate of $12 for one year by emailing subscribe@shelbyliving. com, or calling (205) 669-3131, ext. 21. Advertising inquiries may be made by emailing advertise@ shelbyliving.com, or by calling (205) 669-3131, ext. 11.

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Recreation

WHAT S INSIDE WHAT’S

34 SOCCER S STARS O Outreach program gives special needs kids a turn on the field 40 ON O THE WATER Paddle boarding makes its way P to Shelby County

40 July 2013 | 5


WHAT’S INSIDE

16

30

10 in every issue 7

THE SIMPLE LIFE

8

SHORT STORIES

60

art & culture 10

A RAMBLING ARTIST RETURNS HOME Butch Oglesby shares his passion for photography

12

READING ROOM Alex Beringer shares his favorite novels

SHELBY SPOTTED

80

OUT & ABOUT

82

WHY I LOVE SHELBY COUNTY 13

14

ARTS COUNCIL CORNER SCAC looks to expand musical offerings A NOVELIST LOOKS BACK Cassandra King reflects on her time in Shelby County

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Best of the Best is back!

features 16

THE EXPERIENCE Go behind the scenes at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre

24

LIVING HER DREAM Chelsea resident lands job with Sports Illustrated

28

BEST OF THE BEST Our annual contest is back

30

SECOND TAKE Boutique offers new and consigned clothing, furniture and décor

home & food 46

THE COLLECTION The Fraziers have created a home filled with art, collectibles and memories

54

ALL-AMERICAN DINING The Helena Depot Deli and Grill offers the best comfort food around


THE SIMPLE LIFE

Minimize your life’s Inboxes

D

o you remember the childhood game of “hide and seek?” You could play for hours, taking turns sliding under a bed or ducking behind a sofa. Even in the darkness, flashlights were dug out of the drawers and outside you went to stand ever so still behind a tree Lisa Phillips, owner of SimpleWorks, or bush, barely breathing for risk of Simpleworksmtsp.com having the light shine upon you. lisa@simpleworksmtsp.com Think of how this simple game 205.981.7733 has followed you into adulthood. Now, instead of looking for you in a closet covered with clothes, people are trying to find you in many different places — notes on the kitchen counter, early morning texts, questions appearing on your Facebook wall, voice messages, etc. Here are some ways to minimize your life’s inboxes. Preferred method of reaching you. Communicate clearly with family, friends and clients the best way to reach you. Chances are those methods may be different. A client may best reach you via email where Grandma should call you. Distinguish what makes an emergency. Eliminate. If you don’t check Facebook daily or ever listen to voice messages, reconsider giving that as an option for getting your attention. Set up your voice message to say, “I do not regularly check voice messages. Please text me your message.” You may be missing invitations, updates, etc. because you are not engaged in particular modes of communication on a consistent basis, yet no one knows that. Check frequently. If you actively check messages on your phone, do so often. If you communicate with clients on Facebook, then log in a couple times a day. Go through your mail every day. People expect that you will respond back in a timely manner. Mirror. It is best to “mirror” the way someone has communicated with you. If they call, return their call. If they are texting you a problem, text them back if at all possible. If they stop at your desk to discuss an idea, face to face is the way to follow up. Feeling overwhelmed can happen easily if you have given too many options for being available to someone. Remember to ask someone the best way to reach him or her. So whether you are the one “hiding” or “seeking,” make it easier on yourself by knowing where to find people and where they can find you. It’s that simple. 

Make it easier on yourself by knowing where to find people and where they can find you.

July 2013 | 7


SHORT STORIES

Rise in great shots at Ballantrae

Belk gives CVES a makeover Employees at Alabaster’s Belk department store took time away from the business on May 1 to make several upgrades to Creek View Elementary School’s library and school grounds. From 9-11 a.m., 16 employees from the Alabaster Belk volunteered at the school to build book cases for the school’s library, construct picnic tables for the school grounds and paint inspirational messages on the walls. The volunteers also donated books the store employees collected over the past several weeks, and placed “magic carpet” reading carpets in the school’s library.

The makeover was part of Belk’s 125 days of service in honor of the company’s 125th anniversary. CVES was one of 250 schools across the nation to receive a makeover. Belk partnered with the Hands on Birmingham organization to coordinate several school makeovers in the Birmingham metropolitan area, said CVES Principal Brent Byars. “We are excited to have them here. It will better help the kids to understand the relationship between the community and the schools,” Byars said. — Neal Wagner

GLC welcomes new board The Greystone Ladies Club inducted its 2013-2014 Executive Board of Directors during its May 8 meeting at Greystone Founders Club. Founded in 1992, the purpose of the GLC is to “promote good neighborhood relations and to enhance the sense of community within Greystone,” according to its website. The GLC supports numerous charitable organizations throughout the year. From left: Tina Douglass, vice president of membership; Carole Marks, vice president of communications; Alicia Cuevas, 2012-2013 president; Mechelle 8 | ShelbyLiving.com

Wilder, 2013-2014 president; Kathy Frey, vice president of programs; Carolyn Haynes, vice president of social; Renea Breen, secretary. Not pictured is Barbara Brickner, treasurer. — Staff Reports

Pitching a perfect game in baseball, winning the Triple Crown in horse racing, having an undefeated season in professional football and shooting a hole-in-one in golf are some of the hardest feats to accomplish in sports. Although if a recent trend at Ballantrae persists, you may have to take the last one off the list. The Pelham-run golf course is seeing an influx of players sinking the ball on their first shot, according to Head Golf Professional Hal Brown. “This week we’ve had three in three days,” he said on May 29. Three in a week’s time is an amazing feat in and of itself, but the trend goes farther back than that. Since Alton Ray sank the first on April 25, there have been eight holes in one. Those who have accomplished the feat include Jeff Davies, Stuart Benjamin, Ted Zernhelt, Bill Atchley, Pam Baggett and Don Burford. Keep in mind that Ballantrae isn’t an easy course, nor golf an easy game. So why have there been so many as of late? “I think the skill of the player (is one reason), but it’s a player-friendly course,” said Brown. “It’s a great layout. It’s just a variety of holes (not just one in particular). We have several different par threes.” Still, as often as it seems the holes in one are happening, Brown was careful to point out ut that it is still quite an accomplishment. ccomplishment. “It’s a challenging hallenging game,” he said. “Some people ople go a lifetime without one. It’s a challenging g feat.” — Drew Granthum


OMHS’s Payne wins Gatorade award Oak Mountain’s Toni Payne has been named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Alabama in girls’ soccer. The award, which is given in a partnership between the Gatorade high school sports leadership team and media outlet USA TODAY, is designed to recognize outstanding on-field play, high academic achievement and exemplary character off the field. Payne, who scored 47 goals and passed for 35 assists on the season, led Oak Mountain to a runner-up finish in the 6A State Championship game and also played on the U.S. Soccer under-20 Women’s National team. She finished with 141 goals for her career at OMHS. Oak Mountain girls’ head coach Pete Dakis said the Eagles’ success this season was due in large part to Payne’s play. “She was a critical part of our run this year,” he said. “Her work ethic is unbelievable. She had a huge impact.” In addition to her on-field prowess, Payne managed a 3.63 GPA, and has volunteered as a teacher in her church’s Children’s Ministry, as well as donating time at a homeless shelter and food bank. Payne has signed a letter of intent to attend Duke University on a soccer scholarship. — Staff Reports July 2013 | 9


ARTS & CULTURE

ABOVE: Oglesby focuses on individual landmarks and panoramas of Birmingham, including Railroad Park. TOP LEFT: Shelby County resident Butch Oglesby participated in the Magic City Art Connection in Birmingham in April. BOTTOM LEFT: Oglesby’s work has an antique and textured look.

A rambling artist

returns home Story and photographs by LAURA BROOKHART

F

rom his early adventures with a Brownie Hawkeye camera to his first 35mm camera, given to him by his wife on their first anniversary, to his studio today at Artists on the Bluff in Hoover, Butch Oglesby’s passion has always been to create photos that bring him — and ideally, others — pleasure. Oglesby’s first career was in

10 | ShelbyLiving.com

electronics, installing switching systems for Western Electric Company. After a stint in the U.S. Army as a satellite communications ground station repairman, he attended seminary and found work as a youth minister in Florida. He and his wife, Joy, moved to Birmingham, and Bruce became business administrator/senior adult minister at McElwain Baptist


ABOVE: Oglesby’s rendering of Rickwood Field, which was built for the Birmingham Barons in 1910.

Church. In 1996, they followed a desire to be involved in mission work in Europe, moving to Germany, where he was the pastor of the International Baptist Church of Cologne.  Within a few years and with a master’s degree in communications, Oglesby took a new position as a media consultant.  “It was a dream job. I worked with missionaries in about 22 countries around western Europe, traveling to their locations,” he said. “As media consultant, most of my time was consumed with training personnel on the importance of the Internet, which was relatively new at the time, and how to use other forms of media,” he added. “Everywhere I went, the camera went with me. I often made photos to help illustrate our work in Europe, but I also made many images just for fun.” In 2003, the Oglesbys returned to the United States and settled in Pelham. Butch continued to work for the mission organization as a stateside consultant until 2006, when they made the leap to a full-time photography business and opened a studio in Mt Laurel, which later moved to Hoover.  At art shows in the area, such as the recent Linn Park Magic City Show, Oglesby’s work focuses on individual landmarks and panoramas of Birmingham, translating them into an image more antiqued and textured, even painterly, in rendition. He has applied his technique to landmarks such as Rickwood Field, Leer Tower and iconic theaters, among others, in a gallery wrap presentation. Another recent series was photographed at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Calera. “In this little series I’ve taken a second look at some of the images I’ve made to make them look as haunting as they feel to me when I am there,” he said. Oglesby is available for wedding photography, family and senior portraits, classic portraits and business headshots, as well as commercial photography for advertising and websites. In his studio at Artists on the Bluff, he will teach summer photography classes for creative kids. The second summer session will be held July 15-19. His blog, The Ramblings of an Old Photographer, can also be accessed from his website, BOglesby.com. 

narrows

FA M I LY E Y E C A R E

July 2013 | 11


ARTS & CULTURE

Reading Room: Alex Beringer Story by KATIE MCDOWELL Photograph by JON GOERING

A

lex Beringer is an assistant professor of English at the University of Montevallo. He teaches 19th century American literature and graphic narratives and writes and researches literary history. At the moment, he’s working on a book about conspiracy narratives in 19th century American literature, as well as a series of articles on the history of comics. He lives in Homewood with his wife, Jessica, a writer who researches Ukrainian and Polish culture. What drew you to Shelby County? I came to Shelby County just this year when the opportunity came up to work at the University of Montevallo. Before that, I spent several years as a graduate student and, later, a lecturer at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. When I first came to visit Montevallo, it felt like a very special place. It’s one of only a few public liberal arts schools in the country; this means that it offers students from a wide array of backgrounds the kind of experiences in the arts and social sciences that are generally reserved for expensive private schools. Given the opportunity to work with such interesting students and faculty, I jumped at the chance. Why do you love to read? Reading allows for deeper forms of thinking than we normally encounter in our day-to-day lives. A good work of literature, in particular, may force us to slow down and find a quiet space for reflection, to see an issue, a character or a place from many difference perspectives. For instance, as much as Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” requires a ton of work, it pays its reader back for this effort. In tracing Captain Ahab’s obsession with the white whale, we are asked to spend hours immersed in huge questions about the human condition. But even something as simple as the narrator, Ishmael, looking out at the ocean can cause readers to think differently about 12 | ShelbyLiving.com

how they experience space, how they perceive color, even how they understand the movement of time. I don’t know a lot of other places where this sort of deep reflection is possible. What are your favorite types of books? I love a good novel, especially works that can introduce me to historical and philosophical perspectives that will expand my horizons. Nineteenth century writers like Twain and Melville are favorites, as are newer writers including George Lamming and Junot Diaz. Lately, I’ve also been very interested in graphic novels and comics. People often think that comics are just about a quick gag or childish adventures. But, as far as I’m concerned, even the most seemingly simple comic can be as rich as a finely wrought poem. There are many great new graphic novelists like Chris Ware and Alison Bechdel, as well as old standbys such as Winsor McCay (“Little Nemo”) and Bill Watterson (“Calvin & Hobbes”). Why did you pursue a literary career? I think my decision to pursue a career as a professor stemmed from my enjoyment of talking with others about literature and history. It’s one thing to read literature privately, but to compare ideas and interpretations — whether in a classroom or in writing — just increases the pleasure that I get from reading. 

Alex’s Reading Recommendations “Pudd’nhead Wilson” by Mark Twain This is one of Twain’s funniest — and darkly tragic — novels. Puddn’head Wilson tells the story of how a small pre-Civil War town is turned upside down when a slave woman switches the cradle of her light-skinned baby with the child of a rich white plantation owner. Shenanigans ensue, forcing everyone — readers and characters — to reconsider their preconceptions about race. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Stories” by F. Scott Fitzgerald Most people know F. Scott Fitzgerald for “The Great Gatsby,” but far fewer have read his short stories. They’re well worth it. This collection shows Fitzgerald dabbling in everything from stark social commentary with stories like “May Day” to fantasy with “Benjamin Button.” “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud McCloud offers a great introduction for anyone looking for a deeper understanding of the storytelling techniques of comics. The book itself is written as a comic; this proves to be the perfect way to show readers what makes comics such an important and interesting medium.


ARTS COUNCIL CORNER

SCAC looks to expand musical offerings Storyy by CLARKE CL STACKHOUSE in the community. Its immediate goal is to start group keyboard lessons in the elementary schools, The first step is securing grant money and sponsorships to fund the music outreach programs. “I would love to see more high school seniors receiving college scholarships for marching band and music,” Sullivan said. Private instrument and voice lessons are offered year round at the Shelby County Arts Council. In the future the organization hopes to offer summer music/band camps for middle school students and provide scholarship money for instrument rentals. 

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usic is the universal language that is understood and heard by all. It is a common thread throughout cultures, countries threa ad thr communities and is one of the and comm characteristics of a civilized defin ning ch society. socie ety. The Shelby County Arts Council Th he She knows know ws the power of music to impact changes lives. and chang ““Youth and adults participating music programs tell me in n our m fi rsthand how important music firsthan iss to them,” said Terri Sullivan, th SCAC executive director. S The Arts Council is committed increasing music opportunities to o incre

July 2013 | 13


ARTS & CULTURE

A novelist looks back Cassandra King reflects on her time as a college student in Shelby County

Photograph by KATIE MCDOWELL

Best-selling author Cassandra King once called Shelby County home. King, who has written five novels, attended the University of Montevallo in the 1960s, when it was Alabama College and only taught women. The novelist returned to the University of Montevallo on May 4 to receive a doctorate of letters during the spring commencement ceremony. During her address to UM’s class of 2013, King shared the story behind her book “The Same Sweet Girls,” which was inspired by a group of friends she met in college. Below is a portion of her speech.

W

hen I went off to college in the early ‘60s, revolution was brewing all over the country, but it would take a while before it drifted drift down South. In the great state of Alabama, the ‘60s were still the ‘50s. I won’t be the one to say Alabama is at least a decade behind the rest of the nation. I’ll leave that up to you to draw your own conclusions. Although my mother wanted me to attend Huntingdon College, the Methodist college my grandmother and aunt had gone to, less than 100 miles from my family farm in LA, lower Alabama, I talked my parents into letting me come here instead. At age 18, fresh off the farm, I was a bohemian wannabe, much to my mother’s dismay. My mother spent the formative years of my life trying to shape me into a proper lady and Southern belle. I can not tell you how miserably she failed. My mother dreamed I would become a combination of Melanie Wilkes, Betty Crocker and Susanna Wesley. That’s the mother of John Wesley, as I’m sure any Methodist here today would know. I aimed more for Dorothy Parker and Zelda Fitzgerald. I did not openly defy my mother because women of my generation did not do that. We were raised to be compliant 14 | ShelbyLiving.com

Best-selling author Cassandra King, second from left, receives a doctor of letters degree from University of Montevallo President Dr. John W. Stewart III during the school’s May 4 spring commencement. Also pictured are UM Provost and Vice President Dr. Suzanne Ozment, far left, and UM Board of Trustees member Libby Queen, far right.

and sweet. I thought attending a college of my choice, not my family’s, was the first step in breaking free of the strict Methodism of my upbringing. Hoping to be a playwright, a dream I kept to myself, I majored in English and theater, another minor rebellion. My mother, of course, wanted me to be a home ec major, on my way to getting an Mrs. degree … Much to my despair and my mother’s delight, Alabama College turned out to be a finishing school for Southern womanhood. It still functioned as if it were a girls’ school of the 50s, blissfully unaware of the changing times. We were ruled by the white-handed

glove of the dean of women, who turned out to be even stricter than my mother. My bohemian dreams suffered another crushing blow to find that that Alabama College had a dress code. Female students had to wear dresses at all times, no slacks, jean or shorts on campus. Because of that, to this day, I do not own a dress. Disobey the rules and you would find yourself not only on room restriction, but worse, the dean of women would call your mother. The stirring of something I was later to recognize as feminism was very deep in my subconscious, but I had no way of articulating it at the time. I knew I didn’t fit


in with the beauty queens and sorority sisters who filled the dorms of my college, but I had no idea where I belonged instead. I was pretty sure that I had made a mistake in my choice of college. Fortunately, as it turned out, my pride was the only thing that kept me from begging my mother to let me transfer. I had insisted on coming here. No way would I admit to my mama that I had made a terrible mistake. Besides what would I tell her? That the school was full of Southern belles, and I didn’t fit in? It was an incident at convocation that drew me into a group of women who would eventually become lifelong friends. What exactly is convocation, you might ask? Had you been a student here when I was, you wouldn’t need to. Once a week, the student body was required to attend convocation, and freshmen had to sit in assigned rows. From the balcony, the dean of women, who incidentally looked like a combination of Margaret Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth, kept an eye on her girls to make sure we gave full attention to the speaker. On this life-changing day our speaker was a senior, a beauty queen who gave a talk about her reign as the National Maid of Cotton. She was a stunningly beautiful, poised and gifted speaker, but it was her final line that got my attention. In a honeyed Southern drawl, she assured her audience that although she had been around world, had met with kings and queens and heads of state, she was still the same sweet girl she’d always been. It started with a ripple. Then I noticed that several of the girls around me were fighting to keep from laughing, just as I was. I was astonished to see who they were. Girls I had thought to be shining examples of the kind of young lady my mother longed for me to be, the beauty queens, the campus leaders, the sorority girls. Laughing at convocation was a punishable offense, but several of us were unable to hold it in. We got in trouble, but it was worth it. With that laughter we were connected with each other, breaking through the constraints that bound the women of our generation as tightly as the corsets that bound our grandmothers. We were laughing at the notion that we, like the Maid of Cotton, had actually prided ourselves on being sweet. It was at that moment that we dared to laugh at ourselves and each other that I realized kindred spirits had been on campus all along. Unknowingly, I had been surrounded by reverent soul mates disguised as belles in training. They were as unfit for the role as I was and every bit as eager to burst free. From that day to this one, those of us who got in trouble with the dean at convocation were united. We became and remained the same sweet girls. We aren’t really sweet; we never have been. But we made a pact that we would always stay friends and we would get together once we left our college days behind. We have been doing that now for 45 years. On that day, Class of 2013, the same sweet girls were just a few years younger than most of you are today and we had much to learn. Most obvious is found in the story of how we connected with each other. Sometimes life offers us only a moment and we have to be ready for it. We have to be open to it.  This speech was edited for clarity and space limitations. July 2013 | 15


16 | ShelbyLiving.com


The

experience Go behind the scenes at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre Story by NEAL WAGNER | Photographs by JON GOERING

G

ripping a glossy black and orange Rockbridge six-string guitar, Dave Matthews approached the waiting microphone in front of a crowd of a sell-out crowd packed into Pelham’s Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. After greeting the crowd, Matthews and his band lit off the first note of “Eh Hee,” launching a 20-song soundscape filling the air around the venue sandwiched between a serene wooded mountain and a densely developed stretch of Alabama 119. As nearly 11,000 fans had a chance to hear their favorite musician perform some of his most popular songs live during the early April concert, few in the audience knew what kind of work went into creating their ideal musical fantasy. “We are selling an experience here,” said July 2013 | 17


PAGE 16: Dave Matthews performed for a packed house at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre on April 6. CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Vintage Trouble put on a highenergy opening act for the Dave Matthews Band.

18 | ShelbyLiving.com

Amphitheatre General Manager Patrick Boone. “When they leave here at the end of the night, they don’t have anything tangible to show for all the money they just spent.” The Amphitheatre is the largest reserved-seat outdoor performance venue in Alabama, and predates most of the development in Shelby County. When it was constructed in 1986, was located in the middle of a heavily wooded, relatively undeveloped portion of northern Shelby County. The population around the center also has exploded since the first concert was held at the venue, growing from just a few thousand residents to more than 20,000 today, helping to cement the Amphitheatre’s status as a nationally known outdoor performance venue. The Amphitheatre’s genesis came when New

York concert promoter Tony Ruffino moved to Birmingham with his family in the late 1970s. After seeing success in New York and at the BirminghamJefferson Convention Complex, Ruffino opened the Amphitheatre and the Five Points South Music Hall in downtown Birmingham. Although it was built in a relatively rural area in the 1980s, the Amphitheatre’s location was wellplanned and is still paying dividends to concert organizers today. Despite its status as the largest reserved-seat amphitheater in Alabama, the Amphitheatre is one of the smallest such venues in the country, which places it in a unique market, Boone said. Over the years, the venue has relied heavily on location to build its resumé and solidify its reputation. “We are the smallest reserved-seat amphitheater


in the country, but the largest in the state of Alabama,” Boone said. “That puts us in a unique spot. Sometimes when you go to a concert at an indoor venue, it echoes around and sounds terrible. “At Oak Mountain, there’s nothing to stop the sound, so it sounds great,” Boone said. “The only thing we have to worry about are storms. But in 13 years, I can only think of two shows we’ve had to postpone because of bad weather.” Boone and other LiveNation employees use the Amphitheatre’s location and unique attributes to snag big-name performers year-in and year-out. Successful concerts involve three aspects: A band, a promoter and a venue, Boone said. “We are two out of the three,” Boone said with a smile. “We make a one-day partnership with the band, and we split up the profits at the end of the night.” Over the years, technology has changed the way bands make a living.

License: AL10169

July 2013 | 19


CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT: Organizers try to bring in a range of performers to the Amphitheatre each year, from DMB to country musicians to rappers. A guitarist plays on stage on April 6. Fans file into the venue.

20 | ShelbyLiving.com


Gone are the days when bands toured only to supplement their earnings from new albums. Today, bands rely more heavily on income from live performances, and often try to schedule as many shows as possible during their annual tours. “I remember in the past, a band would tour just to promote their new CD. The day after the concert, there would be a line out the door at the local music shop to buy that band’s CD,” Boone said. “Now, bands make a good living playing live shows.” Because bands typically book shows in large Southern markets such as Atlanta or New Orleans, Pelham is in a prime location to attract big talent, Boone said. “We are right off (Interstate) 65, so a lot of the big bands travel right through Birmingham going from Nashville or Atlanta to New Orleans,” Boone said. “They would be foolish to not stop by and play if they are traveling through here anyway.” Boone and his colleagues at the Amphitheatre always try to book a well-rounded lineup for each concert season, which runs from April-October each year. “One of my biggest goals is to have something for everyone. We want to have rock, jam bands, country, hip-hop and ‘80s bands every year,” Boone said. “And we have seats all the way from the VIP and front-row seats to $10 or $20 seats in the third tier. It’s all about the experience you want to have.” Part of ensuring a great concert experience is making sure attendees and their property are kept safe while they are in Pelham. Since the venue was constructed, it has had a close relationship with the city’s leadership, law enforcement and fire department. “That partnership is something that’s been

21 Weatherly Club Drive Alabaster, AL 35007 205-663-4111 • Fax: 205-663-4134 www.joesitalianonline.com

July 2013 | 21


personal to me for many years,” said Pelham City Council President Rick Hayes. “It’s a symbiotic relationship. When they do well, it’s good for all parties involved.” Because a sold-out concert can increase Pelham’s population by 11,000, traffic control and attendee safety become priorities on concert days. “Sometimes, the concerts will fall during the afternoon rush hour, so that can be a challenge,” said Pelham Police Department Capt. Larry Palmer. “We try to route concert traffic off the interstate, up Highway 119 and onto Highway 31, because (Amphitheater Road) is two lanes all the way in from that side.” Once the concert begins, the city’s police and firefighters are always on hand to ensure everyone is safe. “We work closely with the Pelham police and fire departments to make sure officers and medical staff are always on hand,” Boone said. “People’s lives are precious, so we want to make sure everyone is safe while they are here.” Before each concert, the police department requests attendance numbers from the Amphitheater, which it then uses to put together a staffing plan for the event. “We start off at two officers per 1,000 people, and we go from there. That number may change depending on the band or any number of other factors,” Palmer said. The preparation for each concert doesn’t go unnoticed by the performers. “There is a vibe that is exchanged between the fans and the act. Either you have it or you don’t,” Boone said. “Time after time, we’ve talked to the bands after the show, and they’ve said ‘Man, I felt it tonight.’”  TOP: Fans showed up early for the Dave Matthews Band concert. LEFT: The Amphitheatre attracts big crowds – up to 11,000 people.

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July 2013 | 23


Living her

dream

Chelsea resident lands job with Sports Illustrated thanks to reality show Story by PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON Photographs by TRACIE MARCUM AND CONTRIBUTED

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racie Blackmon Marcum believes in second chances, facing your fears and following your dream. She is living proof that miracles can happen with a lot of hard work, the love of a strong family and taking a risk. “I love sports, photography and writing,” Marcum said. “I am a happily married mom of two great kids. And I bleed Crimson and White.” This fall Marcum’s dream of becoming a professional sports photographer will become reality. She will photograph the University of Alabama football team in action as a Sports Illustrated freelancer. The new gig developed through her participation in the USA network reality show “The Moment,” hosted by Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner. As co-owner of Gridirongirl. org, Marcum, 37, will also blog about her beloved Crimson Tide. Marcum grew up in Wilsonville, the daughter of William and the late Judy Marcum. She attended Elvin Hill Elementary, Columbiana Middle and graduated from Shelby County High School in 1994. One of the defining moments in Marcum’s young life was the tragic death of her mother. Her father became her anchor and his passion for Alabama football became their shared passion as years passed. Marcum began her career as a wedding photographer in Helena, which she gave up after a divorce. “I was just empty,” said Marcum. Love was lovelier the second time around for 24 | ShelbyLiving.com


Open Tuesday - Saturday 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM

4052 Helena Road 205.663.0060

CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT: Tracie Marcum is a Chelsea resident and mother of two. In Marcum’s final assignment on The Moment, she had to photograph stunt pilots. Tracie Blackmon Marcum is looking forward to photographing for Sports Illustrated and blogging for Gridiron Girl this fall.

Tracie when she married John Marcum. They settled in Chelsea with their children Taylor and Kennedi, but she still held onto the dream of writing and photography. In 2012, Marcum answered a Craigslist ad looking for someone to write about the University of Alabama’s football for a women’s blog. Marcum got the gig and began blogging for Gridirongirl.com in March 2012. She’s also a partner of the company. “It’s basically a girls’ guide to football,” she said. “We try to get women interested in the game.” July 2013 | 25


An ad on another website caught her eye, this time for a reality show. She mentioned it to her husband, who decided to nominate her for it. While at work Kurt Warner showed up with TV crew and whisked her away to Los Angeles. For two intense weeks in May 2012, Marcum was trained by awardwinning sports photographer Lou Jones. For her Sports Illustrated interview challenge, Tracie photographed two stunt pilots while flying in

26 | ShelbyLiving.com

a helicopter. The SI team was impressed with her action shots and offered a job in New York where she learned her craft under the best for six months from April-October 2012. She’s now back home in Chelsea and looking forward to the fall football season, when she will photograph the Tide for Sports Illustrated and blog for Gridiron Girl. Dreams do come true. 

Marcum photographed stunt pilots in action on “The Moment.”


MONEY-SAVING ENERGY EFFICIENCY IDEAS

THE SUMMER OF SAVINGS

For over 50 years Alabama Power’s rates have been below the national average, but there are still some easy things you can do to save money and energy, and make your home more comfortable.

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3

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Get a seasonal service. Clean and well-maintained equipment runs more efficiently, so get your system checked before the hottest months ahead.

Install window treatments. This may sound like a decorating tip, but proper window treatments reduce heat gain from the sun.

Maintain a constant temperature. Wide variances in temperature cause your system to work harder and use more energy.

Cook out more. Limiting the use of the cooktop and oven in the summer will help keep your home cooler inside.

Get more energy saving ideas for every room in your home. Scan the code with your phone or visit AlabamaPower.com/save.

© 2013 Alabama Power Company


of the

best best Shelby County

brought to you by:

SHELBY Living

Go ahead. Play favorites. Shelby Living is holding its third annual Best of the Best in Shelby County contest. We’re asking readers to tell us their favorite local businesses and people from the best yoga studio to best children’s clothing store.

1.

You can only vote online this year. Previously, we allowed readers to mail in their ballots, but that won’t be possible for the 2013 contest. Make sure to visit Shelbyliving.com and click on the “Best of the Best” tab at the top of the page to vote.

2.

We only have one round of voting this year. We felt like the contest dragged on too long in previous years, so we decided to eliminate the second round. Make sure to vote sometime between June 25 and July 31.

3. Only establishments located within Shelby County are eligible for entry. 4.

Make sure to include the location for chain stores and restaurants. Otherwise, we won’t count your vote.

5. Don’t vote more than once. We have a few safeguards in place to prevent this, but we’re depending on you to play fair. Voting begins June 25 and ends July 1. Winners will be announced in the October issue of Shelby Living.

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soiree @soho

The Girl Scouts Young Philanthropists Society presents

4th annual

thursday, july 11

food & drinks music great silent auction items role model runway

6–9 p.m. Rosewood Hall at SoHo Square

tickets $25

girlscoutsnca.org/soiree For more information, contact Robyn Tucker at 205-453-9530 or rtucker@girlscoutsnca.org

featuring some of %LUPLQJKDP·VÀQHVW young leaders modeling the latest fashions!

role model runway fashion show Proceeds from this event EHQHÀWWKH*LUO6FRXWVRI 1RUWK&HQWUDO$ODEDPD *Must be 21 or older to attend.

featuring some of %LUPLQJKDP·VÀQHVW\RXQJOHDGHUV

Reed Avant Alexis Barton Catherine Briscoe Leslie Cooper

Setara Foster Brandon Gibson Rhett McCreight Leroy Nix

D.G. Pantazis Madeline Reeves Becky Rogers Will Thuston To purchase tickets:


soiree @soho

The Girl Scouts Young Philanthropists Society presents

4th annual

thursday, july 11

food & drinks music great silent auction items role model runway

6–9 p.m. Rosewood Hall at SoHo Square

tickets $25

girlscoutsnca.org/soiree For more information, contact Robyn Tucker at 205-453-9530 or rtucker@girlscoutsnca.org

featuring some of %LUPLQJKDP·VÀQHVW young leaders modeling the latest fashions!

role model runway fashion show Proceeds from this event EHQHÀWWKH*LUO6FRXWVRI 1RUWK&HQWUDO$ODEDPD *Must be 21 or older to attend.

featuring some of %LUPLQJKDP·VÀQHVW\RXQJOHDGHUV

Reed Avant Alexis Barton Catherine Briscoe Leslie Cooper

Setara Foster Brandon Gibson Rhett McCreight Leroy Nix

D.G. Pantazis Madeline Reeves Becky Rogers Will Thuston To purchase tickets:


Second take Story by HEATHER AVERETT | Photographs by JON GOERING

30 | ShelbyLiving.com


Renaissance Consignment offers new and consigned clothing, furniture and décor

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ane Ann Mueller, general manager of Renaissance Consignment and Marketplace, just might be right. This unassuming shop in the Cadence Place Shopping Center in north Shelby County, flanked on the ends by Cadence Bank and Edgar’s Bakery, very well could be the “best kept secret on Highway 119.” With nearly 10,000 square feet, this two-level boutique is not as tiny as it seems from daily passersby on 119. The expansive shop offers new and consigned clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry and home décor items. From Louis Vuitton to Prada and Gucci to Coach, whatever a shopper desires, a shopper can find. And that also includes their latest line of merchandise – new and restored indoor and outdoor furnishings. This upscale women’s apparel consignment boutique was founded in 2008 by Kathy McMahon. As owner and July 2013 | 31


PAGE 30: Jane Ann Mueller, general manager, and Kathy McMahon, owner, of Renaissance Consignment and Marketplace. PAGE 31: The boutique recently began offering new and consigned furniture and home décor. PAGE 32: Renaissance Consignment recently expanded and now offers clothes, pageant dresses, formal wear and home furnishings in the two-level store.

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entrepreneur, McMahon brings a multi-talented blend of gifts to the table. She is the workhorse behind everything they do at Renaissance and a strong believer in consigning. She loves reclaiming others’ discards and generating new ideas in expanding the consigning market. With McMahon’s creative vision and Mueller’s expertise in running the day-to-day operations— coupled with a market searching for upscale value in troubled times – Renaissance has flourished. “With the state of the economy, the timing was perfect,” Mueller said. Growth has also come with the expansion of the floor space. When the lease for the establishment next door recently came available Renaissance seized the opportunity. Again, timing was perfect and the store budded into a two-story seriousshoppers sanctuary. Besides the high-end women’s

apparel such as jeans, dresses, blouses and pants, Renaissance now offers a second level fully stocked with pageant dresses (from 18 months and up), bridal gowns, formal and semi-formal attire. There’s even a back porch that Mueller calls the “salvage porch,” filled with trash-to-treasure items found by McMahon on her “junkin’ it trips” as Mueller calls them. The boutique recently branched out into home furnishings and décor as well. “With the upward trend in restored furnishings, the expansion into furniture and other home décor was a natural progression,” Mueller said. Renaissance Consignment and Marketplace is located at 6801 Cahaba Valley Road in Birmingham. For more information, visit them on Facebook or contact 205-980-4471 or Customerservice@renaissanceconsignment.com. 


RECREATION

Soccer stars Outreach program gets special needs kids on the field Story by LINDA LONG | Photographs by JON GOERING

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leven-year-old Lindsey Davis can kick a soccer ball. Her heroine is Alabama’s own former soccer pro Mia Hamm. Her favorite afternoon is Sunday because that’s when she gets to participate in Birmingham TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer). “I love soccer,” said Lindsey. “It helps me score goals, and dribble and play games and get medals.” Lindsey has Down syndrome, but she, like the rest of her teammates, star in a league of their own, designed specifically to connect special needs kids to soccer. In only its second year, the volunteer-driven organization is the first soccer program of its kind in central Alabama. Affiliated with the United States Soccer Association as well as the Alabama Youth Soccer League, it is designed to meet the needs of children with special needs. Each player is paired with a sidekick or buddy to help them play the game. “Scoring goals is not really what we’re all about,” said Taylor Smith who, along with his wife, Cindy, founded TOPSoccer in this area. “We’re more about hugs and high fives. To me the biggest thrill is anything the kids do that’s an accomplishment, whether it’s dribbling the ball or simply following instructions. It is all worthy of high praise. There is so much satisfaction for them just to know they’ve done well. Yes, I give out a lot of hugs and high fives.” The Smiths themselves get plenty of high praise for their efforts, especially from the parents of children who are in the program. “I can’t overstate the efforts Cindy and Taylor ABOVE: Soccer players are matched with sidekicks to facilitate a fun and good learning environment for the TOPSoccer players. RIGHT: Participants practice their juggling skills during a practice.

34 | ShelbyLiving.com


July 2013 | 35


have undergone to bring this program to us,” said Brian Rasco, whose 7-year-old son, Matthew, has been enrolled in the program since its first season. “It’s a lot of work, and they don’t even have special needs children. I am very thankful for them. They are a true blessing. I believe God puts people in your life and I feel like he put them in our lives.” The Smiths are modest about what they do, although they arrive at each game 30 minutes early, get stickers ready for each child, answer endless phone calls and questions, coordinate coaches and volunteers as well as a multitude of other tasks associated with the job. Why do they do it? “We just have a heart for special needs children,” Smith said. “I love soccer and when I heard about this program, I said ‘Hey, we need one of these in the Birmingham area.’” 36 | ShelbyLiving.com

Not wasting any time, Smith soon put together a business plan and presented it to the Birmingham United Soccer Association (BUSA) detailing what would be involved. “They gave me 100 percent support, and we went forward,” he said. “So far, we’ve had about 50 kids a season.” The group has two seasons a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. “To me, I think it’s one of the most important programs we’ve ever started, and I’ve been associated with Birmingham soccer for a long time,” said Andrew Brower, BUSA executive director. “I think it’s pretty powerful to see kids have an opportunity to play the game and have such a positive experience and being able to use soccer as a resource to a population that didn’t

ABOVE: Coaches lead players in a variety of fun and active warmups. RIGHT: The volunteer-driven organization is the first soccer program of its kind in central Alabama.


July 2013 | 37


have it provided to them before. I think it’s really cool to see smiles on those kids’ faces and really cool to see smiles on our volunteers’ faces as well.” It’s those smiles that Lindsey’s mom, Tamara Davis, appreciates as well. “Lindsey is happy all the time. She loves being part of a team, and the beauty of this is that her team always wins,” Davis said. “Every team always wins. We’re between seasons right now, but I’m certain that in the fall, we’ll be the first in line to sign up to play again.” Fall registration for TOPSoccer will begin sometime in late August. For exact dates and more information, visit Birminghamunited.com and click on the link to TOPSoccer. 

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The program, hosted through Birmingham’s Birmingham United Soccer Association, utilizes both the outdoor and indoor fields at the SportsBlast Soccer Complex in Shelby County. The program’s focus is to allow participants to have fun and be active while also learning soccer skills. A participant tends the goal while her sidekick lines up a shot during an indoor practice in May. Fall registration for the TOPSoccer program will begin in August.

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July 2013 | 39


RECREATION

On the

water Story by KATIE MCDOWELL Photographs by JON GOERING

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Paddle boarding makes its way to Shelby County

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ne of the fastest growing sports in the United States has found a home in Shelby County. Paddle boarding is a surface water sport that gained popularity in coastal regions during the last decade before making its way inland. Now, you can see riders at Oak Mountain State Park, Lay Lake or even the Cahaba River. “I really feel like paddle boarding is on the cusp of breaking through here like it has in other areas,” said Justin Atwell, a Calera resident and paddle board enthusiast. Atwell, a California native, started paddle boarding about a year ago because he wanted to “get back on a board in a landlocked area.” He loved the experience and soon got his entire family, including wife, Kristi, and three sons aged 20, 13 and 6, hooked. “That’s what was so great about it to me,” Atwell said. “It was something we could do outside together, and it was something we really enjoyed.” Paddle boards, also known as stand up paddle boards, are shaped like a surf board and come in a range of colors, sizes, shapes and materials. Riders stand on the board and use a paddle to propel themselves in the direction they want to go. Paddle boards are typically made of carbon fiber, but inflatable boards are also available. Atwell’s family has three boards — two hard boards and one inflatable. Atwell said the inflatable board is not as fast, but is more versatile — he uses it on the Cahaba River — and easier to transport. Atwell said he’s seen people of all ages ride paddle boards. His youngest son, Benjamin, rides on the front of Atwell’s board, although Atwell’s thinking about getting him his own equipment this summer. “The cool thing about paddle boarding is it’s for all walks of life,” Atwell said. “The paddle boarding community seem to be stokes about getting people to paddle.” Board sizes depend on a rider’s weight and experience. New riders typically use longer and wider boards, which provide more stability. Other sizes and shapes are also available depending on if the rider will use the board for racing or in surf. Oak Mountain State Park also got in on the trend. The park has about 18 boards for rent at the marina, and Alabama Outdoors worked with the park to provide life jackets and paddles for riders. Park Ranger Brian Wallis said paddle boarding is a great family activity and offers a good workout as well.

www.JAllensGis.com

205.432.9775 Follow us on

PAGE 40: Benjamin Atwell, 6, paddles his father, Justin. PAGE 41: The Atwell family — Kristi, Benjamin, Zachary and Justin — began paddle boarding about a year ago. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Zachary, 13, glides through a lake at Oak Mountain State Park. Paddle boards are available for rent at OMSP. The Atwells say paddle boarding is a great family activity. Kristi paddles around the lake.

July 2013 | 43


“I’ve been out and played with them. You get a good upper body workout,” he said. Rental fees are about $20 an hour per board, which includes a paddle and life jacket. The U.S. Coast Guard classified paddle boards as a vessel and requires riders to wear life jackets. While paddle boarding has seen a boost in popularity recently, the modern sport developed in Hawaii in the 1950s and 60s, according to Supglobal.com. Surf instructors used paddle boards to teach beginning students how to surf. Surf pros later used the boards for exercise during the offseason, and the sport eventually gained a following of its own. Atwell has used his paddle boards throughout the country in the last year. He’s paddled the French Broad River and took a board on a trip to Texas with friends. He also recently won second place in a one-mile paddle board race on Lake Martin. The real attraction, however, is spending time with family and experiencing the water in a different way. “For me, the adventurous side is what I enjoy more than anything, going places you wouldn’t be able to go in a boat,” he said.  RIGHT: Benjamin typically rides on the front of his father’s board.

44 | ShelbyLiving.com


ALTOGETHER UNCOMMON . Unorthodox. Unexpected. Unusual. Rather than follow the path of least resistance, creativity is about asking, questioning and discovering new paths to insight. It’s the relentless pursuit of understanding–seeking the world through a new perspective and finding yourself from within. It thrives in an environment that encourages individuality over conformity, and self discovery through community. Because this more than just an education; it’s the unearthing of a true individual. Welcome to Unconventional Wisdom.

go.montevallo.edu July 2013 | 45


The Collection

The Fraziers have created a home filled with art, collectibles and memories Story by KATIE MCDOWELL | Photographs by JON GOERING

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HOME & FOOD

July 2013 | 47


PAGE 44, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A grouping of Sid Dickens decorative tiles in the great room. The guest bathroom features a collection of antique items. Donna and John Frazier’s home is filled with original art. The entertainment room on the second floor. PAGE 45: A guest bedroom features muted tones and sumptuous fabrics. TOP LEFT: Paintings can be found in every room. BOTTOM LEFT: The Fraziers’ daughters used the entertainment room often when they lived at home. RIGHT: The Fraziers’ two-story, brick home is located in Greystone.

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onna and John Frazier’s Greystone home is filled with collections. A grouping of Sid Dickens decorative tiles hangs above the piano in the great room. The kitchen is filled with MacKenzie-Childs’ pieces, and a collection of Hummel figurines, which Donna’s parents brought back from trips to Germany, is on display in the dining room. Donna’s favorite collection, however, is a gallery of photos hanging in the main hallway on the second floor. “This is the most important thing in my house. This is the girls’ lives,” she said. 48 | ShelbyLiving.com

The photos feature the Fraziers’ daughters — Haley, Kendall and MacKenzie. The gallery shows the girls, now in their 20s, at all stages of their childhood — prom, cheerleading, homecoming and graduation. Family has been the center of the Fraziers’ home since they built it about 18 years ago. They loved the wide streets, the location of their lot and the school system. “We just love the community,” said Donna, a Hoover School Board member and owner of the interior design firm The Asbury Cottage. Donna decorated the brick, two-story

home with bright colors and a mix of patterns. She describes her own style as “traditional with a contemporary flair.” She also loves the new trend of decluttered homes and clean lines. “Ninety percent of my business is here in Greystone,” she said. “For the most part, these are very traditional homes … I have to say grounded with that in order to keep the clientele I have here, but I do love the new, clean, contemporary lines.” The home opens into a foyer flanked by a sitting room and dining room. The sitting room offers a cheerful welcome to the home with a red couch


Engage Rotary

Change Lives

July 2013 | 49


CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The second floor hallway is filled with photos of the Fraziers’ daughters. The keeping room features warm colors and gold accents. Donna collects MacKenzie-Childs ceramics. The great room features a mix of colors and patterns.

and colorful floral wing chairs. The dining room is decorated with neutral tones, letting the beautiful dining table and china cabinet take the spotlight. Both rooms offer a glimpse of another of the Fraziers’ collections — original art. “My husband and I are art collectors,” Donna said. “Most of the art around is the home is original artwork.” The Fraziers make a point of collecting pieces by local artists, including Dirk Walker, owner of the Loretta Goodwin Gallery in downtown Birmingham. The great room also features plenty of colors, patterns and art. The room’s dominant color is red — shades of it appear in the rug, drapes and upholstery. An eye for design runs in Donna’s family; her mother did all of the drapes in the house. Collections of Sid Dickens tiles and MacKenzieChilds plates adorn the walls in the great room. “I’ve been collecting for quite some time,” Donna said. “Having three daughters, I plan to hand down a lot of this stuff to them.” 50 | ShelbyLiving.com


Carpet Outlet l

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The kitchen and keeping room are located in an open space adjacent to the great room. The kitchen has a cheerful, whimsical vibe thanks to painted tiles in the backsplash, more MacKenzie-Childs décor and even drawer pulls shaped like fish. A second dining table, surrounded by painted chairs, provides additional seating in the space. With a fireplace, leather seating and a TV, the keeping room allows the family to entertain and cook at the same time. Also located on the ground floor is the master suite, which has a small screened porch overlooking the backyard. The master bathroom was renovated recently, and the focal point is a collection of 16 antique botanical pressings hanging above the bathtub. The botanicals and most of the prints in the house are from Arceneaux Gallery in Homewood. The second floor is home to a large entertainment room, their daughters’ bedrooms and John’s office. John works for Olympus Corporation, and the Fraziers’ oldest daughter, Haley, also joined the company after she entered the work force. While the Fraziers’ daughters are grown, they still visit the home often, and their rooms have barely changed since they left. Haley, 26, lives in Fort Worth, Texas. Kendall, 24, returned to the Greystone area and is the owner of Magic City Cheer and Tumble. MacKenzie, 21, is a student at Auburn University. Although John and Donna have considered downsizing, they decided against it because they love the memories created in their home and the friends made in the Greystone community. For Donna, the strength of those friendships was illustrated several years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The Greystone community sprang into action, bringing meals to the family, driving her to and from treatments and looking after her daughters. “It was just amazing,” Donna said. “This community is just really very caring, very giving of their time.”  CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A guest bedroom features a funky bedspread and whimsical chandelier. A writing desk sits in the master bedroom. Donna uses antique lighting throughout the home. The sitting room welcomes guests into the home.

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July 2013 | 53


HOME & FOOD

All-American dining

The Depot offers the best comfort food around

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isit the Helena Depot Deli and Grill on a Saturday in the summer, and you’ll be greeted by a line out the door. Locals know the Depot offers the best comfort food around. Think juicy hamburgers, cheesy chicken sandwiches, fried onion rings and hot dogs slathered with slaw or chili. Diners gladly wait their turn to order, then have 54 | ShelbyLiving.com

Story by KATIE MCDOWELL Photographs by JON GOERING a seat in the tiny restaurant — a converted train depot built in the 1800s — or at one of the picnic tables overlooking the Buck Creek waterfall. It doesn’t get much more American than this. Owner Matt Bishop said the beautiful view was one of the reasons he bought the restaurant in August 2003. “Truth be told, that right there is the main

ABOVE: The Depot owner Matt Bishop said hamburgers are the most popular items on the menu. RIGHT: The Depot is decorated with railroad memorabilia and vintage items.


July 2013 | 55


56 | ShelbyLiving.com


reason,” he said, pointing to the waterfall from the balcony. “I tell people I could sell Hot Pockets out here, it’s so pretty.” The Depot offers a “simple, short-order menu” with a focus on fresh ingredients. “There’s no secret to it,” Bishop said. “Make it fresh and people will order it.” Hamburgers are easily the most popular item on the menu. The Depot offers a plain hamburger, cheeseburger, bacon cheeseburger, Swiss mushroom burger and chili cheeseburger, all available with plenty of trimmings. Other meals include hot dogs — slaw, chili, chili cheese, corn dog and Polish — specialty sandwiches, grilled sandwiches, salads and plates, including chicken and buffalo fingers. Besides burgers, Bishop said the Philly cheese steak and the cheesy chicken sandwich are popular items. Sides include tator tots, onion rings, chips and fries — cheese, chili cheese and plain. The kids’ menu offers chicken fingers, hot dogs, corn dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches. The All-American menu is only part of the draw for customers. The Depot also offers a heaping serving of nostalgia. — Matt Bishop “The building is the original train depot and freight house built in the late 1800s,” Bishop said. According to the restaurant’s history, “the South and North Alabama Railroad Company constructed the Helena Freight House and Depot about 1872 while repairing damage inflicted by Union raiders in 1865.” For more than 30 years, the depot served as a “hub of activity” because of the number of people and goods traveling to and from Helena. The structure, then located north of Helena’s current railroad crossing, survived a major fire in 1895. In 1905, a new depot was built, and the original was moved by Helena resident C.T. “Tom” Davidson to his backyard, where it served as a storage unit and workshop.

“I tell people I could sell Hot Pockets out here, it’s so pretty.”

CALL FOR A FREE INSPECTION!

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Patio seating is popular in the spring and summer. The building is Helena’s original train depot and freight house from the late 1800s. The cheesy chicken sandwich has grilled onions, bell peppers and Swiss cheese.

July 2013 | 57


58 | ShelbyLiving.com


The structure was moved to its current location in 1999, but it still bears reminders of its past. The floors are more than 100 years old and a rolling door is original to the structure. Old Alabama license plates on one wall are reminders of its time under Davidson’s ownership. Since Bishop took over in 2003, the restaurant has gathered more memories. The Depot’s walls are covered in historic photos, railroad memorabilia and vintage items, including cotton scales, lanterns and even cookware. Bishop said customers donate most of the items to him, including one regular customer who gave him a small vintage bicycle. “She reminds me every time she comes in that it’s hers,” he said. Bishop, whose fiancé also works at the restaurant, also makes a point to keep Helena sports jerseys and paraphernalia on the walls as well. Helena residents make up a huge part of Bishop’s customer base, and he’s made a point of getting involved in the community over the years, including coaching sports teams. “This is a very civic-minded community. It’s easy to get involved,” he said. The Depot is located at 29 Lake Davidson Lane in Helena. Hours are Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. For more information, visit Helenadepot.com. 

off 20% day y r e v E

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Historic photos line the walls. Much of the vintage décor were donated by The Depot’s customers. Picnic tables offer a beautiful view of Buck Creek. Owner Matt Bishop said The Depot offers a “simple, shortorder menu” with a focus on fresh ingredients. Bishop, second from left, and members of his staff.

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SHELBY SPOTTED

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Decorators’ ShowHouse

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The Symphony Volunteer Council celebrated the opening of the Decorators’ ShowHouse in Hoover with a ribbon cutting on April 20.

1. Nan Teninbaum, Miss Alabama Anna Laura Bryan and Sue Parker Trammel 2. Allison Boyd and Jan Greer 3. State Rep. Paul DeMarco and Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey 4. Ramona Griffin and Dawnisha Holland 5. Michelle Speed and Jan Bradford 6. Mimi Jackson and Cheree Carlton 7. Jeff Solomon, Kathie Ramsey and Bill Arrosian 8. Shirley Brown and Donald Jay Howton 9. Linda Griggs and Brenda Duvall 10. Bill Martens and Robert McCorquodale

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11. Roberta Atkinson, Bonnie Cicio, Cheree Carlton and Pat PenďŹ eld 12. Alabama Symphony Orchestra Director of Development John Stone and Kathie Ramsey 13. Patsy Martens and Mary Alice Mosley 14. Rick and Trina Ray 15. Mike Griggs, Kathryn DeCola and Jody Weston

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The Chris Hammond Youth Foundation, which provides ďŹ nancial assistance in the construction and maintenance of recration and athletic facilites in rural communities, held an auction April 21 at the Marriott 280. 1. Terry and Donna Bagwell with Lauren and Jake Pollard 2. Kathy and Charlie Pollard 3. Danny and Joy Harris 4. Meredith Walker and Brooke West 5. Jenny and Lenn Costner 6. Chass, Jarrett and Ashley Bunn 7. Joe Webster, Chris Hammond and Jon Lieber 8. Shawna and Jackson Ragland 9. Roger and Beverly Flint 10. Don Frank with Judy and Marty Brown 62 | ShelbyLiving.com

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11. Brooks and Grant Berry 12. Jake and Jessica Harris 13. Dr. Michael Gallichio with Chris, Andy, Alex and Lynne Hammond 14. Dale and Victoria Benton 15. Caitlin Miller, Taylor Hammond, Coleeta Hammond and Ben Hammond

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SHELBY SPOTTED

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Chris Hammond Youth Foundation golf tournament

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The Chris Hammond Youth Foundation, which provides ďŹ nancial assistance in the construction and maintenance of recration and athletic facilites in rural communities, held a celebrity golf tournament April 22 at the Greystone Legacy Golf Club.

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1. Brian Bateh and Jim Key 2. Zac Ward, Coman Baum and Neil Ramey 3. Bill Dorsey, Dr. Michael Gallichio and Lonnie O’Rear 4. Vic, Raphe and Terry Daniel 5. Mark Everett and Chris Hammond 6. Don Frank and Al Ellison 7. Keith Richards and Karen Gambrell 8. Marty Brown and Kevin McLendon 9. Chuck Woodard and Dale Benton 10. Ray Lloyd, Sherry Hart, Mark Everett and Lynne Hammond

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Montevallo Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament The Montevallo Chamber of Commerce held a golf tournament at the Montevallo Golf Club April 18.

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1. David Lash, Ray Argo and Bill Reid 2. Jerry Fulmer and Paul Doran 3. Anna Sparks and Ashley Barker 4. John Kirby, Martha Lewis and Ben McCrory

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SHELBY SPOTTED

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3 Greystone Ladies Club luncheon The Gresystone Ladies Club held its monthly luncheon April 10 at the Greystone Founders Club. Members wore red for “Go Red for Women,” the American Heart Association’s heart disease awareness campaign. 1. Julie Kim, Wanda Stone and LaRue Carter 2. Brenda Sheehan, Jeannie Johnson and Pam Miller 3. Alicia Cuevas and Mechelle Wilder 4. Nita Yarbrough and Wilma Thompson 5. Therese Haseldon and Kathy Frey 6. Lauren Roden and Bonika Williams 7. Ursula Norcross and Wanda Stone 8. Brenda Arthur and Hendree Moore 9. Shannon Berg and Bobbie Breeding

66 | ShelbyLiving.com

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The West Shelby Relay for Life was held May 3-4 at the Calera High School gym. 1. Umedjon Yuldoshev, Frank Muhagachi, Grace Rodriguez and Tyler Spigner 2. Miss Shelby County Jamie Brooks 3. Front row, Cindy Ross, Tracey Harbuck, Tina McClain, Josh Walker, Patsy Edwards and Beth Copeland. Back row, Brandy Edwards, Ryan Edwards and Terry Edwards 4. Dillon Gray, Sheena Alexander, Azalene Montgomery, Judy James and Sedric Warren

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July 2013 | 67


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4 Leadership Shelby County Golf Tournament

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Leadership Shelby County held its annual golf tournament on April 22 at the Riverchase Country Club. 1. Joey Ritchey and Calvin Gunn 2. Jennifer Whisenant and Carol Bruser 3. Kendall Williams, Leah Anne Lowe and Lynn Cook 4. David Bobo and George Henry 5. Randy and Matt Fuller 6. Kelly Dennis and Chris Latham 7. Calvin Gunn, Frank Bentley and Ferrell Skinner 8. Wallace Williams and Scott Heywood 9. Joe Wadsworth and Mike Cancienne 10. Leslie Greenwood, Peg Hill and Tricia Corbett 68 | ShelbyLiving.com

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Thompson High reunion Thompson High School’s Class of 1963 held a reunion on May 4. The class was the 41st to graduate from THS and had 64 students. The ďŹ rst THS graduating class was in 1922 and had six students.

1. Seated: Cynthia Fulton Warren, Darthy Vernon Moore, Mary Ledford Northcutt, Myriam Davis Cox, Charlotte Mosier Burnett Massey. Second row: Linda Worthy Andrews, Flora Attaway Crowson, John Moore, Sherron Holbrooks Stagner, Martha Standifer Kelly, Shirley Vernon Cordes, Susie Vanderslice Lawley, Janie Hinds Johnston, Deanna Hoagland Harkins Garrett and Mary Farris Roensch. Back row: Bobby Joe Seales, Mickey Massey, Johnny Leemon, Jimmy Jordan and Neil Bailey. 2. Cynthia Fulton Warren, Martha Standifer Kelly, Darthy Vernon Moore and Shirley Vernon Cordes 3. Deanna Hoagland Harkins Garrett, Bobby Joe Seales and Mary Farris Roensch

July 2013 | 69


SHELBY SPOTTED

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Legacy Walk

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Hospice Services of Alabama held its third annual Legacy Walk April 20 at Oak Mountain State Park. 1. Courtney Glenn, Jontรก Davis and Olivia Lacey 2. Chaplain Stan Mills and Kaitlyn Mills 3. Janae Gray and Demond Wiley 4. Lenora Goodman and Alesha Mitchell 5. Octavia Oliver and Jamekia Sharpe 6. Valerie McClellan and Christina Wade 7. Dr. Robert Moore, Tim Hatchett and Tallulah 8. Sedrick King, Tiffany Brown and Simone Davison 9. Jonathan Doss, Adrienne Stewart and Cameron Wilson 10. Dandisha Lewis and Loren White 70 | ShelbyLiving.com

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Music by Harry Warren, Lyrics by Al Dubin Book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble Based on the Novel by Bradford Ropes

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11. Chaplain Willis Smith, Lori RufďŹ n, Jessica Scott and Johnnie M. Franks 12. Dori Turner and Susan Ricketts 13. Jonathan, Jennifer, Jacob, Cailyn and Cowen Cherry 14. Chris White, Micah Braxton, Clinto Green, Kevin Turner and Delon Charley

An unknown becomes a star before it required a reality show. July 11 through August 4, 2013 Dorothy Jemison Day Theater at ASFA Tickets: 205-324-2424 www.RedMountainTheatre.org

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July 2013 | 71


SHELBY SPOTTED

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Walk for Autism

The Walk for Autism, which benefits the Autism Society of Alabama, was held April 6 at Veterans Park in Hoover. 1. Deborah and Steve Boswell 2. Crystal Watkins, Ginny Pearson, Tonya Conner and Leah Ann Martin 3. Heather and Kaley Shirley 4. Edward Butler and Brian Schubert 5. Catherine Milling, Jenna Huerkamp and Naomi Yusafi 6. Tiffany Stephens 7. Gavin Eloff, Cayden Eloff, Kristen Endress, Kurtis Eloff and Josh Eloff 8. Melissa Patel, Kellie Murphree, Emily Allen, Megan Preston, Caty Wilson, Brooke Devore, Sarah Worth, Pamiann Juback and Elizabeth Mosley

72 | ShelbyLiving.com

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9. Ames Filippini, Elizabeth Pate and Anna Shepherd 10. Front row, from left, Sami Ashley, Courtney King, Sarah Keith and Luna Kitzman. Back row, from left, Jess Phillips, Nikki Mead, Caitlin Barringer, Angela Ross, Karen Kitzman and Sora Kitzman 11. Justus and Ashley Isbell with Dr. Karen Dahle 12. Camia Kelley, Aganna Kelley, Ricardo Norwood, DiaNita Norwood and Travae Donald 13. Amber Collins, Angie Baisden and Valerie Toffel 14. Nick Eardley, Ashley Glaze and Sara Martin 15. James C. WhitďŹ eld and Dee Wilder 16. Sherry and Kristen Pate

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July 2013 | 73


SHELBY SPOTTED

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The Oak Mountain High School Relay for Life was held April 26-27 at Heardmont Park. 1. Kyle Ehlers, Gina Sherman, Katie Sherman and Annamarie Tritch 2. Peyton Lee and Alyssa Lamb 3. Kimberly, Kaitlyn and Brandon White 4. Sydney Turner, Blaknie Carlile and Carter Gustin 5. Steve Thomas and Steve Sheaffer 6. Cecilia Crego, Josh Miller, Madeline Edwards and Grant Rogers 7. Tony Portante and Bentley Maddox 8. Mary Grace Sanford and Payton Cato 9. Ellen Taylor, Allie Rose and Mary Claire Pugh 10. Eriko Kato, Emma Honeywell and Gentry Williams 74 | ShelbyLiving.com

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11. Christine Haley and Maddie Everhardt 12. Jack Hamaker and Mary-Walker Lindsey 13. Liz Davis Frost, Lindi DeBoer, Holly Alvendia, Allie Rose, Jordan Moran and Emily Lyons 14. John Chamblee and Sarah Beth Roberson 15. Kody Ehlers, Jake Gregarski, Jaxson Ellis and Miguel Hernandez

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July 2013 | 75


SHELBY SPOTTED

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The 2013 Kathleen P. Bruhn Memorial Leadership Open was held April 15 at Shoal Creek Golf Club. The annual tournament supports Camp Fire’s youth development programs in Alabama, as well as an endowment fund that awards scholarships to future leaders.

1. Camp Fire Alabama CEO Nancy Meadows and Board President Mitch Bruhn 2. Floyd Pharo, Jay Boyd, Carolyn Bruhn and Richard Bruhn 3. Jeff Hamilton, Sandner Hennessy, Jason Frey and Adam Winger 4. Hunter Plott, Joe Grady, Guy Etherton and Bo Jenkins 5. Mike Raita, Wimp Sanderson, Chris Stewart and Don Hawes 6. Katie Patrick and Alison Bruhn 7. Alex Edgeworth, Matt Grill and Mel McElroy 8. The Bruhn family with Amy Wolf, recipient of the 2013 K.P.B scholarship recipient

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76 | ShelbyLiving.com

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Teachers’ luncheon

Retired teachers from Riverchase Middle and Oak Mountain Middle held a luncheon May 1 at Greystone Country Club. 1. Gail Whatley, Jackie Brush, Sherri Mewbourne, Andrea Cameron, Pat Romano, Beverly Lowery, Jen Eubanks, Susan Anderson, Brenda Arthur, Gloria Lester, Patti Standford, Sandra Arendall, Hendree Moore, Chris Turner and Betsy Britain. 2. Susan Anderson and Gail Whatley 3. Patti Standford, Pat Romano and Chris Turner 4. Betsy Britain, Jen Eubanks, Sandra Ardendall and Hendree Moore

July 2013 | 77


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University of Montevallo spring commencement

The University of Montevallo held spring commencement May 4 at the McChesney Student Activity Center. 1. Ariel Williamson, Patricia Stanfa, Laura Vinson and Courtney Smith 2. Ashley Sellers, Kimberly Chastain, Colin Davidson and Daniel Farris 3. Candice Chenault and Kara Burleson 4. Zena Nasiloski and Whitney Mitchell 5. Rebecca Stoltz and Betsy Stevenson 6. Allison Williams, Jamie Wallis, Karen Rogato, Hannah Rabren, Lauren Mitchell and Angela Manzella 7. Rhyan and Tjuania Russell 8. Anna Rubens, Mechay Rush and Michelle Purdy

78 | ShelbyLiving.com

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9. Jordan Perria, Evan Patton and Lisa Nichols 10. Wes Rich, Cassie Rogers, Bretty Roney and Chris Ross 11. Marquea Thompson, Consuella Moorer, Ryan Westbrooks and Ameris Wallace 12. Teresa Wilson, Anna Touchton, Eric Stough and Rebecca Springrose 13. Amber Orr and Brauni Orr 14. Kayla Wideman and Alex Embry 15. Anthony Melton, Will McKinney and Alyssa Maxwell 16. Scott Kaylor, Jessica Little and Magan Carver

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July 2013 | 79


OUT & ABOUT Thyme to Cook

Independence Day 1776

Ongoing

Thyme to Cook: Sign your children up for Thyme to Cook For Kids at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen, 7191 Cahaba Valley Road, Birmingham. Make homegrown meals from freshly picked farmers’ market foods at “From Farm to Fork” from 8 a.m.-noon. Cost: $175. All-day care (7 a.m.-5 p.m.) available for an additional $17 per day. July 15-19 for ages 6-9 and July 22-26 for ages 10-12. Register at Onenineteen.com. Info: 408-6550. Artists Across America: Study the works of Georgia O’Keefe, Andy Warhol, John James Audubon and Grandma Moses through drawing, painting, clay and mixed media at the Shelby County Arts Council’s summer camp, “Artists Across America: Sea to Shining Sea.” Wednesday session will beheld at the 4H Camp. Ages 5-8: July 15-19 from 8:30 a.m.noon at regular price of $135 or contributor level price of $121.50. Ages 9-12: July 22-26 from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at regular price of $200 or contributor level price of $180. Register: Shelbycountyartscouncil.com. Free Friday Flicks: Grab a blanket, friends and family and head to Veterans Park in 80 | ShelbyLiving.com

Hoover every Friday evening for Free Friday Flicks. July movies are “The Lorax” on July 5, “Madagascar” July 12 and “Wreck it Ralph” on July 19. For rain concerns follow Backyard Movie Parties on twitter @BYMovieParties Sundown Cinemas: Watch a free movie every Friday night at Helena’s Sundown Cinemas, sponsored by the Helena Business and Professional Association. Movies begin at 8 p.m. at the Helena Old Towne Amphitheater. July movies are “The Lorax” on July 5, “Hotel Transylvania” on July 12, “Frankenweenie” on July 19 and “Madagascar 3” on July 26. Liberty Day Exhibit: The Shelby County Arts Council will feature the work of local artists in conjunction with Columbiana’s Liberty Day celebration. “The Great Landslide” will showcase the work of Max Newton and William “Bill” Dolley. Exhibit dates are June 28-July 31. The SCAC gallery, 104 Mildred Street in Columbiana, is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

July 3

Big Kaboom: The City of Chelsea will host its seventh

annual Big Kaboom fireworks celebration on Wednesday, July 3 at the Chelsea Park subdivision. Entertainment begins at 8 p.m. and fireworks at 9 p.m.

July 4

Music and Fireworks: Morgan Creek Winery will offer an evening of music and fireworks on July 4 from 6-9 p.m. Chad Fisher of the group FisherGreen will perform. Morgan Creek is located at 181 Morgan Creek Lane in Harpersville. Independence Day 1776: Independence Day 1776 at the American Village will be July 4 from noon until nightfall. Admission charged. See the stories of America’s founding come alive with period reenactors such as Patrick Henry and Abigail Adams, play Colonial games, patriotic music, fireworks and more. Info: Americanvillage.org or 665-3535 extension 1063. Fourth of July crafts: Oak Mountain State Park will offer crafts and flag making for children in honor of the Fourth of July. Meet at the Campground Pavilion on July 4 at 10 a.m. Free after admission to the park. ($1-$3)

July 6

Nature Scavenger Hunt: Oak Mountain State Park will host a Nature Scavenger Hunt Saturday, July 6 at 10 a.m. Meet at the Campground Pavilion. Free after park admission. ($1$3)

July 9

America’s Most Wanted Festival: America’s Most Wanted Festival starring Lil’ Wayne will be July 9 at 7 p.m. at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, 1000 Amphitheatre Drive, Pelham. Purchase tickets at Ticketmaster.com.

July 11

Dirt Road Diaries: Country musician Luke Bryan’s Dirt Road Diaries 2013 tour will come to the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, 1000 Amphitheatre Drive in Pelham, on July 11 at 7 p.m. Purchase tickets at Ticketmaster.com. Rain barrel workshop: A regional rain barrel workshop will be held at the Shelby County Extension, 54 Kelley Lane, Columbiana, next to the School of Technology, on July 11 from 5:30-8 p.m. Workshop fee: $50. To order more than one barrel, let organizers know


when you preregister. Info or pre-register: 669-6763 or wynnnel@aces.edu or leesall@ aces.edu.

July 12

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Lynyrd Skynrd’s Fast Lane tour will come to Pelham’s Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, 1000 Amphitheatre Drive, on July 12 at 8 p.m. Purchase tickets at Ticketmaster.com.

July 19

Miss Shelby County Pageant: The Miss Shelby County Pageant and Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen Pageant will be July 19 at 7 p.m. at Shelby County High School, 101 Washington Street, Columbiana.

July 19-20

Widespread Panic: Widespread Panic will perform July 19-20 at 8 p.m. at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, 1000 Amphitheatre Drive in Pelham. Purchase tickets at Ticketmaster.com.

July 20

Songs of Broadway: Emily Kay Herring will return to the Shelby County Arts Council for “Songs of Broadway” on July 20 at 7 p.m. Herring, assistant professor in musical theatre voice at the University of Alabama, will perform her favorite Broadway show tunes with the audience. Her first show at the SCAC was a sell out and had attendees raving about her performance as Patsy Cline. Visit Shelbycountyartscouncil.com for ticket information. Christmas in July: Who says you have to wait until December for Christmas? Celebrate in July at Oak Mountain State Park by making ornaments and other Christmas crafts.. Meet at the Campground Pavilion at 10 a.m.

Farmers Markets

Columbiana Farmers Market: Columbiana Farmers Market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. through November at W. College Street in Columbiana. Calera Farmers Market: Calera Farmers Market is open Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m. through August at Oliver Park, 9758 Highway 25. Visit Calerafarmersmarket.com. U-Pick’em Blueberries: Pick your own blueberries at Morgan Creek Winery, 181 Morgan Creek Lane, Harpersville, Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through July. Cost is $12 per bucket. Visit Morgancreekwinery.com.

Jacob’s Corner EVENT CENTER

Helena Market Days: Helena Market Days is open Saturdays from 8 a.m.-noon through August at 4151 Helena Road. Mt Laurel Farmers Market: Mt Laurel Farmers Market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m.noon through August at 38 Manning Place. Visit Mtlaurel. com. Montevallo Farmers Market: Montevallo Farmers Market is open through August on Mondays from 3-6 p.m. at Middle Street behind the First Baptist Church. Valleydale Farmers Market: Valleydale Farmers Market is open through August on Saturdays from 8 a.m.noon at 4601 Valleydale Road, Birmingham. Visit Valleydalefarmersmarket.com. Shelby Living is happy to feature community events in its monthly calendar. The event doesn’t have to be free, but it must be open to the public. It also must take place in Shelby County or be sponsored by a Shelby County-based group. Email details to Katie. mcdowell@shelbyliving.com.  July 2013 | 81


WHY I LOVE SHELBY COUNTY

Gareth Vaughan: ‘It’s a wonderful setting for a school’ areth Vaughn is the director of Indian Springs School, a coeducational day and boarding school for grades 8-12. Vaughn was born in Guildford, the county town of Surry, England, which is about 25 miles southwest of London. He has been married to Dorrie Fuchs since 1996 and became a U.S. citizen in 2001.

spent 25 years in Washington. What was the biggest adjustment you faced when you moved to the South? The biggest challenge was persuading my friends in D.C. that I had made a good decision by coming here! Since then, they have seen and heard for themselves what an excellent school Springs is and how much the area has to offer, and agree that this has been a great move for me and Dorrie.

What brought you to Shelby County? The marvelous opportunity to be director at Indian Springs School, which I had long known by reputation as one of the best day/boarding schools in the country.

What do you think are Indian Springs School’s greatest strengths? Its strong academics, commitment to developing independent thinkers, and an incredible faculty, one of the finest in the country.

What’s your career background? After studying biology at the University of York and earning a graduate degree at the University of London’s Institute of Education, I moved to the United States to begin my career in education. I served 25 years as a teacher and educational administrator at Washington International School in the D.C. area, and during that time also did graduate work at George Washington University in D.C. and Columbia University in New York. I left the D.C. area in the summer of 2008, when I became the fifth director of Indian Springs School.

About 40 percent of your students board at the school. What are the benefits of boarding? Boarding affords a truly special experience for all of our students, because it creates an environment where school life and outside-of-school life are blended into one, essentially, family life. Boarding helps create a vibrant school community where learning is a fun, stimulating part of everyday living.

Story by KATIE MCDOWELL Photograph CONTRIBUTED

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What do you love about Shelby County? It is a wonderful setting for the school; we can enjoy being on 350 acres next to Oak Mountain State Park and still be minutes away from a city center and its many offerings. Indian Springs has been a part of the Shelby County community for 60 years and loves 82 | ShelbyLiving.com

having so many Shelby County students and families in our school family. Why did you want to go into education? As a high school and college student, I worked at summer camps and received positive feedback from my supervisors and others about my ability to work well with kids. Because of that positive reinforcement and the fact that I enjoyed working with children, I decided to go to graduate school to become an educator. What do you enjoy most about your job? Every day, I get to interact with the most wonderful group of students and educators. I know that every day, something will happen that will make me smile, laugh and proud. You are originally from England and

If you could be present at any major historical event, what would it be and why? I would love to be part of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, when the World War II allies accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany. Both of my parents were World War II veterans. My father fought with the British Army in North Africa, and my mother operated anti-aircraft guns to help protect London from attack. I would have loved to have seen and experienced VE Day with them. 


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Shelby Living July 2013