Page 1

Village Living

| January 2011 |

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

Superfan Dick Coffee Jr. - pg 12 MBHS basketball -pg 10

Volume 1 | Issue 10 | January 2011

Village to Village Run kicks off New Year Race to coincide with Winter Market Day

Committee members prepare for the Village to Village 10K and 1Mile Fun Run on January 22. pictured: John Rucker, Amy Jackson, Katherine Cox, Lee Perry, Elizabeth Lyman, Angela Pewitt and Steven Hydinger

January Features • Editor’s Note


• Photo of the Month


• Restaurant Showcase


• Real Estate Spotlight


• Pointe Ball


• Village Fashion


• Village Sports


• Laura Canterbury


• Kari Kampakis


• Village Twins


• Jazz and Faith


• School House


• Calendar of Events


The Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its annual Village to Village Run on Jan. 22 this year. The 10K, or 6.2-mile, race will begin and end in Mountain Brook Village. The course begins near the Botanical Gardens, then passes through English Village and Crestline Village before ending on Petticoat Lane in Mountain Brook Village. “They will wind through the beautiful neighborhoods of Mountain Brook as they run,” said Beth Nigri, race director. This is the second year that a one-mile Fun Run will be included in the event. The course is a smaller circle also beginning and ending in Mountain Brook Village. “It’s an event for the whole family,” said Becky Ingles, committee member and experienced runner. “You can walk and run starting at 8 a.m. and be back in time for the 9:30 a.m. Fun Run if your kids are in that.” The course was revised in 2009 to change the distance from an 8K to a 10K, as well as to add the one-mile Fun Run designed as a family friendly event. Chamber of Commerce President Elect

See V2V, PAGE 18

Marking time at Old Mill

The Old Mill is guarded by an owl pictured on tree branch at left.

By Rick Watson

Pre-Sort Standard U.S. Postage PAID Birmingham, AL Permit #656

By Lauren Nix

As you wind your way down Mountain Brook Parkway through the canopy of oak, pine, and hickory, you come upon a scenic old mill on the banks of Shades Creek. It could easily be the cover photo of a rare and beautiful coffee table book. The Old Mill (aptly named, seeing as it’s more than 80 years old) is not only an icon in Mountain Brook, it’s the official city logo.

According to The History of Mountain Brook by Madge Barefield (Jackson), the Old Mill was an integral part of the overall plan that visionary land developer Robert Jemison Jr. had for the city. Jemison wanted “a picturesque and special place where residents could drop by for a relaxing and refreshing period while horseback riding, or a choice spot for friends to meet for tea.” Jemison, who’s been called “The

Father of Birmingham,” worked with landscape architect William H. Kessler to design the mill and landscape its grounds. Lewis Ford, a local contractor, built the building in 1927 and it opened to the public as a tea-room on July 24, 1927. Even though Mountain Brook Parkway was still a dirt road at the time, people came from all

See Mill, PAGE 19

Start the new year off right with healthy skin! Dr. Jenny O. Sobera, MD

Schedule a complete skin exam in January and receive an Elta MD® Daily 877-9773 suncreen for FREE ($24 Value)! 2901 Cahaba Road (While supplies last) Call and schedule today!


| January 2011 | Village Living

Six wonderful OBs. One wonderful place to have your baby. Just like you, we want the best for you and your baby. And the OBs at Trinity OB/GYN have devoted their lives to providing attentive, individualized care. They’re supported by leading-edge technology and dedicated professionals who care for new moms and babies in our beautiful Women’s Center. We even have a Level III NICU for babies who need a little extra help. For an appointment with an experienced OB, call 205-592-5499. We have satellite offices in Liberty Park, Pell City, Pinson, The Narrows and Trussville.

It’s Personal J.C. Brock, M.D.; Lindsay Killingsworth, M.D.; Mary B. Adams, M.D.; Andy Lemons, M.D.; Natalie Reddington, D.O.; Lewis Schulman, M.D. Traveling from I-20 West

Traveling from I-20/59 East

Traveling North on I-65 or Hwy. 280 North

Traveling South on I-65

• Take I-20 west to Montevello Road (exit 132), exit left

• Take I-20/59 east to I-20 east (exit 130 to Atlanta)

• Take I-459 and exit north to I-20 west (exit 29 to Birmingham)

• From I-65 south take the I-20/59 exit east

• Turn right onto Montclair Road

• Continue on I-20 east to Oporto-Madrid Blvd. (exit 132A), exit right

• Continue on I-20 west to Montevello Road (exit 132), exit left

• Turn right onto Montclair Road

• Turn right onto Montclair Road

• In 1.6 miles the main entrance of the hospital will be on the right

• In 2.3 miles the main entrance of the hospital will be on the right

• In 2.3 miles the main entrance of the hospital will be on the right

52748_TRIN_OBdocs_10x7_5c.indd 1

• Continue on I-20 east to Oporto-Madrid Blvd. (exit 132A), exit right • Turn right onto Montclair Road • In 1.6 miles the main entrance of the hospital will be on the right

12/17/10 12:15 PM

Village Living




| January 2011 |


LOWCOUNTRY lowcountry cooking is more than a culinary tradition. It’s a relaxed, welcoming attitude that makes everyone feel at home. It’s a commitment to keep things simple and uncontrived. It’s a state of mind.

121 oak street

mountain brook


10K Run starts at 8 am • 1 Mile Fun Run starts at 9:30 am • Timing Chips • After Party

Real Estate, Inc.



| January 2011 | Welcome Friends

Village Living

Editor’s Note Welcome to 2011 and the start of the new year! After lots of holiday fun, many of us try to get back on track with our diets and exercise. Laura Canterbury has a great story this month on fitness and what many in our community enjoy doing to stay fit. Speaking of fitness, this month the Chamber hosts the annual Village to Village run. Even if you don’t think you can run a 10K, walkers are welcome and there is a one mile fun run too. It’s a fun way to get out, get some exercise, and enjoy a beautiful run through our villages. Also in this issue is a great feature on twins in our community. You may recognize some of these kids from your neighborhood or church, but you probably didn’t know these fun facts about them! If you are wondering what the “Must Haves” for 2011 are and where to find them in our villages just look to Susan Mathews. She has put together some items from some of the best boutiques in our city. She

offers great suggestions for how to wear these looks and where to find the pieces. Looking your best helps brighten up cold winter days! The thing I love most about living in Mountain Brook is the people. We are so fortunate to have so many amazing and accomplished neighbors! You may not have known it, but Mountain Brook is home to ESPN’s number one football fan in the nation. That’s right! Dick Coffey was given that honor, and we have his story in this month’s issue. Now Mr. Coffey happens to be an Alabama fan. But we know there are also some very loyal Auburn fans in Mountain Brook (myself among them). We would love to have pictures and stories from Tiger fans of your trip to Arizona for the National Championship game. Please email me at Jennifer@villagelivingonline. com by January 15 so we can include your experiences in our February issue. We hope that 2011 will be a healthy, happy, and blessed year for you and your family. Village Living looks forward to sharing it with you.

Santa knew where to find holiday happenings and gift ideas.

Staff & Friends Contributing Writers Susan Matthews | Christiana Roussel | Kari Kampakis | Rick Watson | Laura Canterbury | Will Hightower | Holley Wesley

School House Contributers Alison Gault -Cherokee Bend Lauren Fowler - Crestline Bama Hager -Brookwood Forest Sherrie Futch- Mountain Brook High School Hilary Ross - Mountain Brook Elem. & Mountain Brook Jr High

Contributing Photographers Image Arts | Alison Gault | Kari Kampakis

Published by


Village Living LLC

Dan Starnes

Sales and Distribution

Editor Jennifer Gray

Creative Director Keith McCoy

Dan Starnes Angela Morris Catherine Cooper Loveman

Journalism Intern Lauren Nix

Contact Information: Village Living #4 Office Park Circle, Suite 314-A Birmingham, AL 35223 313-1780

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 Legals: Village Living is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. Village Living is designed to inform the Mountain Brook community of area school, faith, family and community events. Information in Village Living is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of Village Living. We reserve the right to edit articles/photos as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish or return photos submitted. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 370-0732 or by email.

The Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce 2011 board members: Jean Clayton, Amy Carter, Dyron Powell, Steven Hydinger, Frank Davies III, Terry Chapman, Christiana Roussel, Tricia Drew

Winter Market Day Jan. 22 Join Mountain Brook Village on January 22nd during the V2V Run and Shop Mountain Brook. Vendors in Mountain Brook Village will be open for

Winter Market Day. For questions contact: Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce at 205-871-3779 or mtnbrookchamber@

MEDCREST Health Screening Jan. 28-29 MEDCREST will be offering preventative health screenings on Jan. 28 and 29 at the Emmett O’Neal Library. Thecost of the program is $139 per person. A donation will be made by MEDCREST to the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce for community events. Screenings will be conducted from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, and from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday. The MEDCREST program offers: a health status appraisal to

help identify lifestyle and other risk factors; a baseline screening for blood pressure, blood glucose, body fat, body mass index and ultrasound tests for carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm. symptoms. For more information, please contact MEDCREST at 205-870-1140 or Or visit www.

Please Support Our Sponsors Alabama Allergy and Asthma Center Another Broken Egg Clark Antiques Dyron’s Lowcountry Escape Day Spa Grandmother’s Joy Healthy Life and Nutrition Home Fit Birmingham Kiki Risa The King’s House Lulie’s on Cahaba

Marella Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce Mudtown RealtySouth Scribbler St Luke’s The Cook Store Town and Country Trinity Medical Center Tutoring Club Village Dermatology

Village Flavor

Olexa’s 2838 Culver Road 871.2060 Monday - Saturday Hours: 10am - 4pm

For Diane Olexa, owner of Olexa’s Café, Cakes and Catering in Mountain Brook Village, it all began when she was young helping her mother make wedding cakes. “I was always her little helper,” she says. Then, the Gainesville, Fla. native came to Birmingham to attend Southeastern Bible College where her dreams were further pursued when the college allowed her to use their kitchen to start her cake business. She made wedding cakes for brides, and, with the help of her mother, expanded that business into full event catering. “I started doing bridal shows, and it just went from a little girl baking cakes at the Bible College to a full blown business,” Olexa said. In 2004 she expanded to open Olexa’s Café, Cakes and Catering in Mountain Brook Village, which has won multiple awards for its delicious lunch menu and desserts. Olexa’s award-winning cakes are well known throughout the area, especially her warm butter crème cake that is served by

Diane Olexa


By Lauren Nix

Restaurant Showcase the slice and a favorite among all who try it. “People come for the cake, but they stay for lunch,” Olexa said. The lunch menu, created by the Olexa’s mother, features a wide variety of salads, sandwiches, quiche, soups, crepes and, of course, desserts. A favored lunch item is the tomato basil bisque that is served daily. The menu perfectly compliments the European café atmosphere inside, and truly offers satisfying and delicious choices for whatever mood you’re in. The California Cobb Salad is large and delicious. Fresh roasted chicken, crispy lettuce, bleu cheese crumbles, bacon bits, diced red onion, egg and tomatoes are all piled high, while a trio of ranch, house made balsamic vinaigrette and guacamole are all served on the side as dressings. Olexa says this menu item was a musthave for her California native mother. The “Ultimate” Grilled Cheese puts a fresh spin on a classic sandwich with sharp cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses, pesto and a special sauce on golden grilled sourdough bread. It is served with the tomato basil bisque and chips or a salad. This item is sure to please. The menu also offers a quiche of the day and savory crepes along with a large selection of salads, Panini’s and appetizers. If dining at Olexa’s, dessert is a must and there are many options to choose from. The warm butter crème cake is always a delicious choice, but the other desserts, including the warm white chocolate chunk bread pudding and caramel apple pie, are equally pleasing alternatives. Olexa creates cakes that are perfect for any occasion, including birthdays and bridal events. Her catering business includes corporate and social events, as well as weddings. She says the café is a popular and pleasant environment for bridal showers, rehearsal dinners and evening events. Olexa’s is located at 2838 Culver Road in Mountain Brook Village and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit or call 871-2060 for more information.

| January 2011 |


Jan 14th-22nd 20% OFF almost entire stock (some exclusions apply - see store for details) Special Winter Market Day on Sat, Jan 22nd, More details to come. No gift wrap, no exchanges, no returns!!

2841 Cahaba Road • 879-5277 Mon-Fri 10-5 • Sat 10-4

mudtown eat & drink 205.967.3300

3144 Green Valley Road

Cahaba Heights

Get One FREE!!

Buy One Sunday Brunch Item

Does not include specials.

Expires 1-31-11

Class. Elegance. Style.

LJCC open house set for Jan. 9 The Levite Jewish Community Center invites everyone to “A Day at the J – a community open house promoting family wellness of the mind, body and spirit,” Sunday, Jan. 9 from 7a-5p, which also includes the launch of the Ovarian Cycle “Ride to Change the Future” charity event. This largest-ever open house for the Birmingham LJCC will include free group fitness classes throughout the day (including the new Zumba class for adults and kids together); presentations about the many different areas of the LJCC; games, a moonwalk and face painting for the kids; medical practitioners providing wellness advice; pre-packaged food for sale from Promises Kosher Café; numerous drawings for prizes, and vendors offering special promotions. In addition, the event allows attendees the chance to not just benefit their own health, but the health of those in need. The Red Cross Bloodmobile will be taking donations that day and Ovarian Cycle will host its launch event at 3:30p Jan. 9 as a part of the festivities. “We want to show our members and prospective new members what a diverse, family-friendly community center we have here, and how much we have to offer to those with a wide variety of interests,” said LJCC Membership Director Ruth Nomberg. “Plus this is a great way for us to unite as a greater community to help others in need.”

The 2011 Ovarian Cycle “Ride to Change the Future” is a multi-stage ride of 100 virtual miles on indoor cycling equipment (culminating with the finale February 27, also at the LJCC). To participate, individual riders must raise $400 in pledges and each person on a team of six must raise $200 in sponsor dollars. Registration fee is $40 per person. Since launching in 2004, Ovarian Cycle has raised more than $855,000 for ovarian cancer research. Proceeds from the Birmingham event benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, the Ovarian Cancer Institute and the Norma Livingston Foundation. At the LJCC Open House/group fitness launch, some of the group fitness classes as part of the launch Jan. 9 will be held as usual in the group fitness studio and cycle studio. But this time the LJCC will host most of the group fitness classes in the auditorium, including a “fitness sampler” of several classes in one of the many the Center offers free to members each week. The majority of activities for the kids, also including sports activities, will be held in the LJCC gymnasium. For more information on the Jan. 9 Open House event or regarding membership, please contact Ruth Nomberg at 205-879-0411 and rnomberg@bhamjcc. org.


Clark Antiques Gallery 3205 2nd Ave. So.

(Three blocks east of Pepper Place)

325-1999 • Monday - Saturday 10-5


| January 2011 | Village Spotlight

Real estate forecast for 2011 We recently interviewed Ty Dodge, President and CEO of RealtySouth on what to expect in the real estate market in 2011. Q How would you categorize the current real estate market in Mountain Brook? We’re seeing an improvement in the upper bracket markets ($750,000 and above) in Mountain Brook. A year-overyear comparison of 2010 to 2009 shows that, while virtually the same number of properties have sold, sales volume in Mountain Brook increased 13 percent. Given that 2010 has been characterized as one of the most challenging years on record, this is a positive sign. Q What type of home and price range is selling the fastest? There have been more sales this year in the $100,000-400,000 price range, but that’s not unusual. One factor driving sales in the under-$250,000 price range, of course, is the foreclosure market. Q What areas of town are retaining their value the best? Because real estate sales are local in nature, the Birmingham market can’t be compared to other parts of the country. Similarly, different areas of Birmingham can’t be meaningfully compared. The local nature of sales typically requires a close look at specific neighborhoods and, in some cases, streets within a neighborhood. I can say that the average price in the entire Birmingham area has been trending upward since February, 2010, and that’s somewhat inconsistent with other parts of the country.

Arlington Association releases book on historical home

Q Are people looking more for fixeruppers or do they want a home that has already been updated? I would say that the mix of fixer-uppers to move-in condition homes purchased has not changed too much over the past few years. One significant change has been in the number of foreclosures purchased,

Real Estate Spotlight

and these are typically purchased more for value than for aesthetics. Q When is the best time of year to sell typically? Even though recent tax credit incentives have changed buyers’ purchasing patterns somewhat, spring and early summer remain our most robust markets, with the highest number of closings occurring from May through July. However, inventory is also highest during that time of year, so there are more competitive properties on the market then. That said, properly priced properties will sell at any time of year. Q Are financial institutions loosening up their restrictions? In 2007, the standard consumer handbook on mortgages was a small, 15-page brochure. By 2010, that had grown to a full-sized, 104-page booklet. Lenders are faced with increasing regulation, and that will likely continue for some time. Those restrictions, however, are intended to protect consumers and stabilize the lending industry, and from that standpoint, we welcome them. Q What do you predict for real estate in Mountain Brook for 2011? We’re seeing signs of an improving market for 2011, but it won’t be significantly different from 2010. And that’s a good thing. For both consumers and for the real estate industry, an even-paced recovery will be the most healthy and sustainable one. Q Do you feel that property valuations are in line with market value or tax value? The relationship of assessed value to market value has long been a point of dispute, and it will continue to be. In fact, different criteria are used to arrive at each. As always, the assistance of knowledgeable real estate agents is most helpful to sellers and buyers as they make decisions concerning true market value.

The Service Guild of Birmingham 2011 Guild Gala Planned for March 5

L/R Lynn joseph, author Carolyn Green Satterfield, Marsha Rogers, Jane Ellis, VP of the Arlington Board, gather around the book signing table.

With great enthusiasm, the Arlington Historical Association has published Arlington- Birmingham’s Historic House, a history of our nineteenth-century house and gardens. The book contains unpublished family photographs and family stories that span decades. There are essays from Leah Atkins, Marlene Rikard, Lamar Osment, George Jenkins, and memories from Robert Munger Montgomery and Mary Fontaine Montgomery Marcoux compiled by Carolyn Green Satterfield. The book was published to educate the public on their period house museum and on the families who built and preserved the 19th century Greek Revival mansion which predates the founding of Birmingham. In 1952 Arlington moved from being privately owned to becoming part of the city of Birmingham. In 1970, Arlington

was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in Jefferson County. The majestic home stands today with a fascinating legacy, which Dr. Carolyn Green Satterfield tells with interest. Dr. Satterfield will be giving two lectures in conjunction with the book. On Wednesday, January 26 at 12:30, she will speak at Emmet O’Neal Library. “Who Were Those Builders and Preservers of Arlington” is the title of the lecture. On Feb. 1 she will also speak at an 11 a.m. luncheon at the Arlington House Garden Room. “Arlington Weddings from the Mudds and Mungers to the Present” is the title of that lecture. Books may be bought at the Samford University Bookstore: 726-2834 or at Arlington: 780-5656. All proceeds benefit Arlington.

2011 Guild Gala committee, front row left to right, Kim Lepley, Donna Parrish, Tommie Ford – Gala Co-Chair. Back row left to right, Ashley Turner - Gala Co-Chair Auction, Julie Cundiff – President of Service Guild, Katie Bolton – Gala Chair

Save the date! The 23rd Annual Guild Gala and live auction conducted by Jack Granger of Granger Thagard Auctions will be held on Saturday, March 5, 2011, at The Birmingham Country Club. The Gala will provide an opportunity for guests to enjoy a lovely event while also lending support to the worthy mission of the Service Guild. This year’s gala will honor the current children enrolled in The Bell Center, as well as the past graduates with the theme, “Living our Legacy”. The purpose of The Service Guild is two-fold: to provide both volunteer services to the programs of The Bell Center and financial support through fundraising

endeavors. For more than 25 years, The Bell Center has been providing critical early intervention services to children with special needs; this includes physical, occupational and speech therapies, special education services, and nutritional counseling. The Bell Center will serve more than 100 infants and toddlers during the 2010-2011 program year. Mark your calendars to attend the 2011 Guild Gala. Formal Invitations will be sent. For more information about the Guild Gala and the live auction contact Katie Baker Bolton, Gala Chair, at guildgala@

Village Living

Pointe Ball to benefit the Alabama Ballet

| January 2011 |


AND NUTRITION $20.00 OFF First Month !

SENSIFAST The sensible, quick-start dietitian approved weight loss program supervised by registered dietitians. Program includes:

• Individual consultations • Group classes consisting of grocery store tours, cooking classes, and much more... • Delicious nutritional shakes integrated with whole foods

The Real Dietitians of Birmingham


Pointe Ball Committee Pratt Austin-Trucks, Penny Hartline, Susan Driggers, Elizabeth Farrar, Kelly Aland, Gia Rabito, Brenda Schuler, Kim Kinsaul

By Lauren Nix Alabama Ballet patrons and enthusiasts will come together for the 10th annual Pointe Ball on Saturday, Jan. 29 at Saks Fifth Avenue. The event is the largest fundraiser for the Ballet, and this will be the sixth year that Saks Fifth Avenue has hosted the gala. This year’s theme is “Arabesque,” and 3 Graces Design will be creating a Moroccan inspired décor for the black-tie event. “Arabesque is one of the classic ballet poses, and we’re doing a little play on that word, and the theme is going to be an Arabian nights, Moroccan feel,” Elizabeth Farrar, co-chair for the event, said. The Ball will begin at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres served downstairs. At 8 p.m. Ball patrons will move upstairs for a formal dinner prepared by Kathy G & Co. At 9 p.m. the band will begin playing downstairs and the doors will open for Pointe Ball After Hours where younger patrons are invited to join Ball patrons for the remainder of the evening. The event ends at midnight. “We invite younger guests to join us downstairs for cocktails, dessert and dancing,” Farrar said. The MaleMen from Chattanooga are the musical entertainment for the evening, and the Ballet is expected to present a vignette performance during the event. Seating at the Pointe Ball is limited to 400 guests, and Pointe Ball After Hours expects to welcome an additional 200

patrons. There are over 100 women serving on this year’s Pointe Ball committee. Elizabeth Farrar and Penney Hartline are the 2011 Ball Chairs, and Patty McDonald is this year’s Honorary Ball Chair. Ashelynn Falkenburg is the chair of the Pointe Ball After Hours Committee, and there will be a separate invitation for this event. “We have one of the largest and most successful late parties in town,” Farrar said. Mayor William A. Bell Sr. and his wife are confirmed guests to the Ball. Tickets to the Ball are $300 per person or $500 per couple, and Pointe Ball After Hours tickets are $60 per person or $100 per couple. Tickets are available through the Alabama Ballet. Pointe Ball After Hours tickets may be purchased in advance or at Saks Fifth Avenue the evening of the event. All proceeds benefit the Alabama Ballet, which is the state’s premier, resident professional ballet company. The company is composed of 35 professional dancers from five different countries and 17 apprentices. The Alabama Ballet is one of only six companies in the world licensed by the Balanchine Trust to perform the renowned version of Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, and they are the only ballet company in the state to receive an operating grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). For more information visit http:// shtml or call Elizabeth Farrar at 879-2533.

Lingering Light Lifts the Darkness by Barbara Brewster

The importance of reading aloud to children is something that is easily lost in this age of electronics and busy lives. I teach young children; so encouraging and strengthening early reading skills is very important to me. I want the parents of my students to value this also. At our school’s Open House each year, I speak with parents about supporting reading time at home. Most think I mean that the child should dedicate a block of time to reading independently. Don’t get me wrong; this is an important skill children need to develop. All readers, especially young ones, need to have time alone with a book. But how do we train that enjoyment of reading so that a child is eager to make time to sit down and become engrossed in a book? As a teacher, we are taught to focus on

teaching skills and strategies so that we can fine tune our students’ experiences with reading text so that they will continue to improve and raise their reading levels. However, there is another form of skill building that is often overlooked or minimized. It is reading aloud. Sharing a book with a child is a gift that not only gives invaluable benefits to the child, but also to the parent. There is solid research detailing the benefits of reading aloud to children, but I’m not talking about data here. I want to look at using reading to lay the foundation for life-long memories. To illustrate this concept I offer a personal anecdote. After being gone from Birmingham for almost 30 years, I moved back in 2002.


The best selection of antique and decorative oriental rugs

oriental rug cleaning & appraisals The King’s House Oriental Rugs 2807 2nd Avenue S. The Pepper Place 244-1933

Weily Soong, MD Kay Knight, MD Maxcie Sikora, MD James Bonner, MD Patricia Luthin, CRNP

3 Convenient Locations

Homewood • Hoover Highway 280 @ The Narrows For Appointments or Information Call

871-9661 Find allergy relief now -Let us help.



| January 2011 |

Village Living

Village Fashion By Susan Matthews

As you start a new year, it is always a good idea to evaluate your wardrobe and your fashion needs. With meetings, formal affairs, and fun times with family all on your calendar for 2011 you need to know what’s great and where to find it. I have gone to some of Mountain Brook’s best shops and below you will see what I think are this year’s “must haves” in Village Fashion.


Leather Jacket If you want to splurge a bit, a leather jacket is right on trend! Leather is a look that comes and goes, so never give yours away! This season, the look is cropped with a motor-cycle flair. That can be zippers or

padded elbows or some other edgy detail. If you have a cleaner look from years ago, pull it out and rock the trend. This one from Marella is the best one I’ve seen this year. Animal Print Another look that comes and goes is animal print. This season, you need at least one piece of it, whether it’s a pair of gloves or an entire dress! I love this dress from Marella because the animal print is hardly noticeable. Sometimes an animal print can be too loud, screaming you want to be noticed! With this trend, remember to stay subdued and keep the rest of your look simple. The print will say enough.

kiki risa

Fur Vest Another must-have for this season is a fur vest. Every designer made one this season. They’re available in many colors and blends, both real and fake. Whichever you choose to go with, pick a subtle color. Fur never looks good in purple or red! This one from Kiki Risa is nice because it has clean lines and a simple zipper. Here, it’s paired with a white peasant blouse and jeans, but vests can go over almost anything! Slip one on with any outfit, and I’ll bet it works! Remember, Kiki Risa also carries the wonderful Emi-Jay ponytail holders that won’t crease your hair! Black Blazer A fitted black blazer is a must-have for your wardrobe. It completes any look with edge and ease, replacing your old jean jacket. This blazer from Kiki Risa is right on trend, revealing a pinstriped lining. One tip when selecting a blazer is to find one that is fitted with the waist line cinched. Stay away from boxy ones to avoid looking masculine.

Betsy Wall of Crestline is right on trend in a gray fur vest with jeans.

Village Living

Town and Country Bohemian Piece My personal style and everyday look tends to be a bit bohemian. Whether it’s a gown or a small piece of jewelry, even the most conservative dresser can pull this look off. This long tunic from Town and Country is great over leggings and boots. The cut fits all figures and the tye-dye effect exudes effortless and carefree style.

Printed Skirt Another must-have piece is a printed skirt that can go with almost any color top. This one from Town and Country can be worn year-round. It looks Winter-sheek with black boots, tights and a sweater, or

| January 12/20/10 2011 10:03 AM|

VS-MAR- Village LivingAd- 5 x 7.5-CLR:Layout 1


with a red top and black leather jacket. When worn with a blue silk tank and heels, it looks like a Summer dream.

Lulie’s on Cahaba Gown When I receive a special invitation for a black-tie event, I don’t want to go on a mad search to find the perfect gown. Nice gowns are hard to find. My advice is if you ever find a gown you love, buy it, even if you don’t have an occasion to wear it right then.

Back when I had my dress shop, they were hard to find, even at market, where the choices are endless! So many gowns too daring or resemble cheesy prom dresses. However, this one from Lulie’s on Cahaba has a magnificent color and the fit is superb. The fitted bustline and tie around the neck are flattering features, and the flowy skirt portion skims over the hips just slightly. Beautiful! Day Dress Every girl needs a “go-to” dress for garden club, a business lunch, or even a funeral. It should be classy and not too trendy, so that it’s always appropriate. This one from Lulie’s on Cahaba is in a yearround color and has a tailored style. I like how the belt cinches the waist, bringing shape to the dress. To dress it down, you could layer this dress over a fitted longsleeved t-shirt or switch the belt out to match your shoes.

kiki risa clothing

2734 Cahaba Rd 870.7275 Mon - Sat 10am- 6pm

Making way for new spring merchandise - already on the floor join us for savings of

50% & 75%

2121 Montevallo Road (205) 879-5748

2417 Montevallo Road (205) 879 -3999

Mountain Brook Village

Bring this in during the month of January to receive 30% off any single item, including these handmade metal cuffs by Laurel Bassee 74 Church Street 871-7909


Page 1


| January 2011 |


Village Sports

MBHS basketball teams on winning streaks By Will Hightower The Mountain Brook high school boys basketball team is heading into January with an impressive record and a highpowered offense. The Spartans used a great stretch through the month of December to improve to 11-1 on the season. Mountain Brook competes in the toughest area in the state, with teams like Vestavia, Homewood, and Spain Park. 10-1 Homewood looks to be the team’s biggest challenger, but currently Mountain Brook leads the area. “We’re doing pretty well but really the hardest part of the schedule is still ahead of us,” commented junior guard Mario Stramaglia. While that is true, the Spartans haven’t

exactly faced cupcakes. On December 7th, the team beat a tough Hewitt-Trussville 73-59. In that game, no one scored over 14 points, yet the Spartans still scored over 70, a common theme for the season. The team has broken that 70-point barrier in nearly every game this year. Stramaglia, Ryan Austin, Jesse Gettinger, and Brooks McElveen have all led the Spartans in scoring in at least one game this season. “We have a young, inexperienced team this year. That’s probably our biggest challenge to overcome,” said head coach Bucky McMillan. “But that gets better every game as the younger guys get game experience.” Sophomore Sean Eaton and freshman Patrick Keim have received significant playing time, even as the youngest members of the team. The girls team deserves similar recognition, sporting a 10-1 record. The girls have been blowing out opponents, logging wins of 84-18 and 87-30 over Chelsea and Hueytown, respectively. The Spartans lone loss came against Shades Valley on December 10th, by a score of 5651. Collier Ogilvie has led the team in scoring so far, setting a Mountain Brook school record for points in one game. Ogilvie scored an astounding 34 points in that win over Hueytown on December 20th. Both the boys and girls teams have only one loss, beating every team in their path as they close in on 2011. As the Spartans enter into tough area games, watch for more excellence from Mountain Brook basketball. Patrick Keim drives to the basket

Caroline Williams shoots and scores

Mountain Brook Junior High Spartanettes

5th and 6th grade “Yellow Jackets” win volleyball tournament

Seen pictured here are the 2010-11 Spartanettes: Back row: Turner Hull, Laura Stagno, Lizzy Donald, Kelsey Platt, and Jessica Sirkin. 3rd row: Holly Struthers, Dana Kahn, Mary Clark Logan, Caroline leak, Sally Kale Bussman, and Katherine Kinney. 2nd row: Katherine Harris, Adele Smith, Mary Virginia Adams, Evalyn Bargeron, Walton Stivender, Lizzie French, and Carter Hancock.1st row: Sarah Sims Parker, Claudia Rose Keating, Maggie Selesky, Callie Anderson, Molly Barstein, and Anne Merrick Hamilton.

Mountain Brook Junior High Spartanettes are precision dancers who are selected by a panel of judges each spring to represent the school, promote school spirit, and be available for any school service activities. Faculty sponsors are Debbie Stump and Lisa Lewis. The Spartanettes perform at halftime for football and basketball games for the Junior High. They also march in local parades, such as the Holiday parade. Also, this year the Spartanettes are competing at the Alabama Dance Team Championship. The girls have worked very hard to prepare

for the competition and would love a big audience for support. The event takes place on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at Spain Park High School. Spring tryouts for the Spartanette squad will be held on Friday, April 22, 2011 and are open to all 7th and 8th grade girls that enjoy dancing. Prior to tryouts, a clinic is held from April 19-21 for all the girls interested in trying out for the squad. Skills that are important for girls to work on include high kick, double pirouette, split leap, and splits.

Back Row: Ellie Matsos, Madison Thomas, Hannah Bartles, Ellie Ritter Front Row: Mary Margaret Byrne, Elaine McDonald, Libby Grace Gann, Kathy Gonzalez

A team made up of girls from Crestline, Brookwood Forest, and Mountain Brook Elementary schools in the 5th and 6th grade singed up to play volleyball for four Sundays with practices once a week. The Yellow Jackets, who were once known as the Bumble Bees, had a great regular season of three and one. Their one loss was to the green team who they ended up defeating in the playoffs .

The Yellow Jackets won their first playoff game and advanced to the next round and won in a double header that night against the purple team and the orange team known as Orange Crush. By the end of the season, girls were serving over hand and knew how to bump, set, and spike the ball . Several of these girls will try out for a spot on the competitive over the mountain team .


| January 2011 |


Staying fit: a balancing act By Laura Canterbury I grew up thinking that everyone was fit. Every single Sunday after church was one on one time with my father. We could do anything I wanted; as long as it was outside and involved some sort of sport. Fitness is different to everyone. “Being fit to some people means being able to walk around the neighborhood a few times a week without passing out. To others, being fit means completing (or even competing in) an Ironman Triathlon,” Ted Holt says. Holt, an avid runner, doesn’t really care where he is on that spectrum as long as whatever exercise he is doing makes him feel well, eat (slightly) healthier and sleep better. Fitness is no longer simply a snapshot measure of how much you can bench press or how fast you can run a marathon. “I do believe that a balance between healthy eating and exercise is the key,” says Virginia Stewart, a Mountain Brook mother of three. “The best way to get high level fitness results is do something you love! This way you will stick with it for the long haul and stay healthy. You don’t have to do P90X, Boot Camp, etc. However, you want to do all components of fitness. Strength, Cardio, Flexibility, and Nutrition to maximize your health and well-being,” says Tara Robertson, LJCC Group Fitness Director. Robert Jolly, President of Retail Specialists, Inc., mixes up a healthy balance of diet, exercise and fun activities. “Mix it up so your body stays confused: run some, lift some, bike, core strength conditioning, walk 18 holes, hike, sprints, steps, swim, and family walks,” Jolly says. Jolly likes to set a major goal (marathon, triathlon, weight goal), every year to stay focused. The focus, however, does get harder for some as they get older. Each year our

bodies lose more and more muscle mass. “It is just a part of aging and that is why our bodies start to change. It is very important we continue to strength train in order to keep muscle mass and then in turn our metabolism up,” says Robertson. Amanda Davis, a realtor and mother of three boys, thinks it has gotten harder for her too. “Especially when you still like to act like you’re 25, but your body is showing all signs of 35. I have to workout longer and harder and change things up routinely- put it this way, walking everyday just stopped cutting it for me after age 32. I guess I don’t want people to look at me and their first impression be she must be a mom. I love being a mom but I don’t particularly want to look it,” says Davis. Emily Cayne Rowe says that daily exercise is a discipline for her as she raises her three children. “I don’t know if I have found the key to healthy living and a consistent level of fitness, but personally fitness and “healthy living” are just a part of being the best “whole” person I can be. Healthy living is a discipline, just like daily prayer or teaching your children,” says Rowe. Diet and exercise go hand in hand. “Unfortunately, I feel like the older I get, the less my weight relates to exercise and the more it directly results from my diet. Exercise is part of my routine more for its mental and physical health benefits than for actual weight related results,” Stewart says. The Rowe family tries to eat whole foods that are minimally processed. “We try to eat God’s food. If he didn’t make it then it is probably not good for you,” Rowe says. There are lots of nutritional gimmicks and weight loss promises out there.

A group of ten women meet regularly for early morning “boot camp” style workouts in Crestline. Seen here are Langston Hereford, Collins Clegg, Staci Parker, and Laura Canterbury.

“Instead I try through my diet to reach daily nutritional needs. I believe that through lean protein, vegetables and whole grains I can meet these needs more than taking vitamins or supplements,” Davis says. Robertson adds if it is too good to be true then it probably is a waste of money. “If something states you will lose 30 pounds in 5 days then that is just not possible and not the right way to do it,” she says. Fitness can consume you, so it is important to find that balance. “You can overdo anything. If fitness is a vain addiction and not about healthy living and setting and achieving goals, then it can be unhealthy,” Jolly says. Robertson thinks that how fit a person wants to be is very individual. She says that what is fit for her

may not be fit for you or vice versa. Stewart knows that working out for hours and hours would not be good for her. “To me, it’s all about happiness. I’m happy when I am working out and feeling healthy, but not when it takes over my life and does not allow me to spend time with my friends or family,” says Stewart. Rowe adds that she feels that too fit is when that’s all you are or when “fit” becomes your identity. “We need to move our bodies and minds to keep them healthy and well. Fitness in my mind encompasses all the body, mind and spirit of an individual. Nourish all three well and you are sure to be healthy. Fitness is a journey that we all need to continue on for the rest of our lives,” Robertson concludes.

Invest in your health without leaving your home!


BIRMINGHAM “Personal training at your home, on your time.” • 205-675-7412 We bring the gym to you Jeffrey James President Home Fit Birmingham Certified Personal Trainer

FREE initial consultation and one FREE session with any program purchase (A savings of up to $120.00!) with this coupon only





| January 2011 |

Village Living

ESPN’s #1 Superfan Dick Coffee Jr. By Rick Watson The Greek historian Herodotus (484425 BC) once said of the Persian Empire’s courier service, “They are stayed neither by snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course…” If Herodotus were still around today, he might say the same about Dick Coffee Jr. None of the elements—or other possible disruptions--have kept Coffee from attending every football game played by the University of Alabama since 1946. That total comes to 754 consecutive games and counting. The feat catapulted Coffee to national attention back in August when he was named ESPN’s #1 College Football Super Fan in America. Coffee never played organized sports himself, but through the years he’s watched some of the finest college athletes and coaches of all time: Bart Starr, Joe Willie Namath, Kenny Stabler, Shaun Alexander, Mark Ingram, Bear Bryant, Frank Thomas, Nick Saban, and too many others to name. At a recent Quarterback Club luncheon, Saban alluded to the ESPN story when he said to Coffee, “You’re bigger than any of us now. Come sit up here.” Coffee began listening to the Tide on a small radio his family bought from Sears and Roebuck. Frank Thomas was the head coach at Alabama then, and Coffee remembers thinking, “Man, these guys are great!” “I later told Harry Gilmer, who was on the team that defeated USC in the 1946 Rose Bowl,” Coffee says, “that he was the reason I decided to go to school at Alabama.” He entered the army in 1942 and fought the Germans in Europe. His unit, the 10th Armored Division, was gearing up to join other forces in the Battle of the Bulge when part of a building collapsed over the tank on which Coffee was riding. The injuries sent him home with a Purple Heart and a full body cast. Coffee received the “Spirit of the Unit” recognition for his part in maintaining a high morale in his unit, Battery A. The commander gave him the unit’s red artillery flag. Today, Coffee has the flag framed along with his Purple Heart and other commendations. After he recovered from his wartime injuries, he entered the University of Alabama. “I should have worked harder and become a doctor or something,” he says today, with a smile, “but that’s not what I did.” Instead, he started a successful publishing business: printing football and city guides, which incidentally was a way to pursue his passion–Alabama football. “It was the perfect job for him,” his wife Nora says. “Sometimes he worked all night to get a job done, but it also allowed him to go to the games.” His very first game, in 1946, was Alabama-Tulane in New Orleans. But then he broke his foot and had to miss some games. His official streak of consecutive games started later that year. One of the most memorable games for Coffee was Alabama-Georgia Tech in 1960. Alabama couldn’t generate any offense in the first half and had to come back late in the game to win it 16-15. After that game, as the crowd filed out of the stadium, Coffee jumped on the bus and shouted to the team – “You’re the best, baby!” Coach Bear Bryant and his wife were sitting on the front row and the gesture brought a smile to the stoic face of the legendary coach. Dick says he figured it would be OK to jump on the bus since he’d once had coffee with Bryan at a café near the campus. Coffee has held Alabama season

Dick Coffee Jr.

tickets for close to 50 years. “Our seats are good, but they’re not on the 50-yard line” he points out. “But back in the 1950’s when the Tide went through a dry spell and lost a lot of games, you could sit anywhere. I sat with Fred Singleton once on the 50.” In the early years it was less crowded and easier to get around, but Coffee says even though Tuscaloosa is very crowded these days, it’s still much more exciting to attend the games in person because the color, bands, food, and excitement add to the experience on game day. “A lot of people down there want to get away from the crowds, but I want to be a part of it,” he says. Another enjoyable factor in attending games for the Coffees is the friendships that have developed. “We’ve had the same seats for years, and you get to know the people who sit around you,” Nora says. “We’ve watched each other’s children grow up and have children of their own.” Dick and Nora, who married in 1953, have two children: Dick Coffee III, and a younger son Josh who is deceased. Linda, a daughter from a previous marriage, lives in Tennessee. Dick Coffee III, when asked, smiles and says he “had no choice” except to be an Alabama fan. He too attended the University of Alabama, and is the incoming National Alumni Association president. One of Coffee’s favorite destinations is Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee because of the traditional rivalry: “The seats are really close together, but that’s a fun stadium to play in because of the rivalry.” The longest distance that Coffee has traveled was when the Tide played Hawaii, but he’s also crossed the country a number of times when Alabama played USC or UCLA. He was there in 1971 when the Tide

rolled out the wishbone offense for the first time. Alabama was the underdog, but came home with a 17-10 victory. After one of the USC games, Coffee called his family from the Los Angeles home of Alabama native Jim Nabors, who played the hayseed private Gomer Pyle on TV. When you attend as many games as Dick Coffee has, you’re bound to encounter some bad weather. He’s been to games in the rain, snow, sleet, and combinations of the above. Once when the Tide played Boston College, the wind blew so hard it knocked out the electricity to the stadium. Then sleet and snow began to fall. “They had to use a small snow tractor to clear the slush off the yard markers,” he recalls. The games are fun, but Coffee also loves sampling the local foods whenever he travels. Sometimes his approach is an original one. Once when his party was waiting for a table at a restaurant, Dick got on the PA and announced, “Coach Bear Bryant, please meet your party at the front of the restaurant.” This freed up a table for Coffee and his friends. He’s seen Alabama win eight national championships since 1946, but he says one of the most exciting games he’s watched was the win over Miami in 1992. There were times when his health was not the best and he didn’t know if he’d feel like going to a game, but he says that when he thought about the game, it took his mind of his ailment and he made it fine. Coffee has had a stroke and a heart attack, but those both happened in January of 1994. Dick III says his dad has always scheduled his heart attacks and strokes for the off season, so that they didn’t interfere with his football. “By the time football season arrived, he was ready to roll with the Tide,” he says. Nora believes Dick’s upbeat

attitude has been key to his continued good health. The Coffees got word this past summer that ESPN was doing a story on college football “super fans.” The reporter interviewed Coffee by phone so the family knew he would be somewhere on the list. They didn’t realize ESPN did a Top 20 countdown, so they kept looking on the list for Dick’s name. “When we got to the bottom, we realized that he was the #1 College Football Super Fan in America,” says Dick III. “We couldn’t believe it.” Nora was afraid ESPN would want her husband to paint his face or wear a funny costume for the story, but instead they used a photo of Coffee in his red blazer. “Dressing funny isn’t Dick’s style,” Nora says. Even with a streak of 754 games, Coffee, 89, doesn’t hold the record for the most consecutive college games attended. That honor goes to Giles Pellerin who attended 797 consecutive USC games before passing away (1998) in the parking lot of a Trojans’ game at the age of 91. Dick Coffee is a rock star to many in the Tide faithful, and after the games people routinely come over to ask for his autograph. When asked if he thinks he can break Pellerin’s record for most games attended, he says he’s not sure if he’ll be around that long, “but the Good Lord has always looked after me”. He plans to continue attending as long as he’s physically able. Coffee gets around these days with a little help from family and friends. But with a little luck, he’ll surpass Pellerin’s all-time attendance record sometime in 2014. And no doubt celebrate the achievement with a shout of “Roll Tide!”

Village Living

| January 2011 |


LifeAct ually By Kari Kampakis

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old It was 1982—the year rabbit fur jackets were all the rage. I’d gotten mine for Christmas, and like every girl in my fifth grade class, I wore it to Michelle’s birthday party. The fact that it was January and freezing-cold outside didn’t deter Michelle from hosting an indoor swim party. Inside the YMCA ladies lounge, my friends and I changed into swimsuits. We stuffed our winter clothes into lockers and hit the pool. An hour later, we returned to the lounge, shivering and dripping wet. Desperate to warm up, we ripped open our lockers and found…nothing. Someone had stolen everything: our clothes, our shoes, even socks and panties. Even our beloved rabbit jackets. We all stared at each other in shock— then burst into tears. Mass hysteria kicked in as the police arrived and our moms picked us up early. Michelle’s mother— looking out for her daughter, naturally— lit the birthday cake. In between gasping sobs, we sang a pitiful rendition of “Happy Birthday” to my sad friend. Yes, it was a party to remember. And for the rest of that school year, we prayed fervently at Holy Spirit Elementary, asking God to please “find our stuff.” Almost three decades have passed since that cold winter day. And what once seemed tragic in my young, impressionable mind has grown comical with time. To be honest, I now reflect fondly on the experience. Not many people can say they once had all their clothes stolen at a YMCA birthday party. There’s something special about a memory like that. There’s also something special about old friends, isn’t there? I met Michelle in fourth grade, and though our daily lives don’t intersect anymore, we shared enough memories growing up to seal her importance in my heart. As my oldest friend, Michelle doesn’t need cliff notes to my past, explanations of family dynamics, or insight into the formative events that shaped me. She witnessed these things firsthand—even risking her life on occasion when my sisters and I declared war in her presence. The older I get, the more affection I feel toward friends like Michelle, people

who knew me “way back when.” Why, exactly, is that? And why are stories from my adolescence—ridiculous tales like the one above—funnier than anything that happens now? Is it simply the bond of youth, riding life’s roller coaster together for the first time? Never again will the highs seem so high—or the lows so low. Those who experienced the test run with me are hard to forget. Or maybe the draw of old friends has more to do with ease and familiarity. There’s no need to impress, or put up airs, or feign sophistication. Those who knew the early version of me—Kari 1.0—expect nothing but my company when we’re together. Hanging out is comfortable, like spending Saturday in my favorite pair of jeans. And then there’s the sense of self I get from old friends. Like many people, I believe what brought me joy as a child— when I wasn’t trying to be happy—feeds my soul as an adult. Around friends like Michelle, I’m reminded of central themes in my life, consistencies that have always kept me grounded. Whenever I stray too far from these roots, things seem to fall apart. It’s interesting to think the friends I make today—mostly moms I meet through my kids—will qualify as “old friends” twenty years from now. At the same juncture, Michelle and I will celebrate a half-century of friendship. That’s a milestone I never considered when we were prank-calling strangers on Friday nights, giving each other makeovers, and practicing dance moves in front of a mirror. I may have lost a rabbit jacket because of Michelle, but she’s given me plenty to keep. Our good times can never be taken away. And though we only meet up a few times a year, I don’t worry about outgrowing each other. The beauty of an old friend, after all, is the classic fit of the relationship. There’s something special about that. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Mtn. Brook mom of four girls with a background in PR, writing, and photography. Check out her website at or contact her at

Kick off the new year with a good book By Holley Wesley Children just seem to gravitate towards stories which transport them to new worlds populated by strange creatures, unknown languages, and alien landscapes and fantasy fiction certainly fits the bill. Unfortunately, it seems as if many adults lose their affection for magical creatures and enchanted swords as the years go by but we would love to have the opportunity to change your mind or perhaps introduce you to this type of fiction for the first time! The last Thursday of this month, January 27th, the Library is pleased to host its first fantasy fiction meeting at 6:30pm! Our debut selection is George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, the first novel in the terrific A Song of Ice and Fire series. The novel is set in the land of Westeros which, with its royal intrigues, calculated affairs, and political maneuverings, is reminiscent of medieval Europe at its most brutal. Coming in at over 700 pages, this hefty tome will keep you reading far into the night discovering how holding the throne in Westeros truly requires power,

deceit, and lethal cunning! If you would like to start out with something lighter, try Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study. A young woman wrongly imprisoned is offered a bleak choice: die for her supposed crime or take on the job of poison study. Choosing life as a food taster over immediate death, Yelena soon stumbles upon to a nasty plot to assassinate the Commander and must work to keep herself from being eliminated along with the potential target. Galen Beckett’s The Magicians and Mrs. Quent is an engagingly clever novel ideal for grown up fans of Harry Potter or Jane Austen. This fantasy novel of manners set in Regency London is part historical fiction, part fantasy, part romance, and 100% delightful! For more information about the new book group or any of the Library’s regularly scheduled programming, contact us at 205/445-1121 or find us on Facebook! We’re online at and blogging at!


A Therapeutic Day Spa




Botox with Dr. Timothy Stone Massages Facials & Makeup Body Treatments Foot Care Yoga Spray Tan Hair Removal Spa Products Gift Cards Available

Mention this ad for 20% OFF


17 Dexter Avenue •



January 2011 |

Village Living

Village Twins

competitive,” Adelaide Vandevelde says, “but there for each other. It’s funny how well they get along.” In the words of Liz, “Being a twin is great because you always have a buddy with you.”

By Kari Kampakis Is it just me, or are you also intrigued whenever you see parents pulling double duty? I asked some Mountain Brook parents of twins to share their stories and memories. Here’s what I heard:

Margaret and Josh Donnell, 11th grade, Mtn. Brook High School: According to Lisa Donnell, this pair had a secret language early on. “I’d listen to them jabber and then laugh, laugh, laugh without anybody understanding.” Lisa says that as babies, she’d put them down on opposite ends of the crib—only to wake up and find them side by side. “This is before they could even roll over,” she adds.

Caroline and Cameron Lee, 10th grade, Mtn. Brook High School: Born prematurely, these two shared the same crib since they were used to being close in utero. Their mom, Natalie Lee, checked on them often and says they’d always end up closer to one another than the last time she left. As they got older, one would start a sentence, and the other would finish it. “They always know what the other one is thinking,” she says. Today, Caroline is a member of the Dorians dance team while Cameron runs cross country and track. He is working on his Eagle Scout.

Sam and Eliza Harmon, 8th grade at Mtn. Brook Junior High, and Hartson & Stuart Harmon, 10th grade at Mtn. Brook High School: “One advantage of twins is that they have a friend—and someone to fight with—at all times,” says Betsy Harmon, a mom with two sets of twins. According to Betsy, the narrow age gap provides some overlap to simplify things. “I’ve had all four in diapers at the same time, braces at the same time, and playing baseball at the same ballpark. Of course, that also means they’ll be in college together. Yikes!”

Lauren and Eloise Cotten, 6th grade, Brookwood Forest Elementary: Twins are notoriously in sync, and according to Anne-Murray Cotten, the connection goes beyond emotional. “This past Fourth of July, we were at my sister’s house about to eat dinner when Lauren dropped a set of weights on her finger and broke it. Guess who fainted? While everyone hovered around Lauren, checking on her finger, we noticed Eloise going down. She later said she couldn’t stand to see her twin in pain.”

Margie and Cooper Cashio, 3rd grade, Cherokee Bend Elementary: Even as young as six months old, these identical twins found a way to switch identities. “When they were at their grandparents’ house,” Meredith Cashio explains, “she’d put name stickers on them to tell them apart. The girls loved playing with the stickers and would ‘trade’ them—thus winding up with the wrong name.” Annie Stewart and Piper Miles, 9th grade, Mtn. Brook Junior High: “The funny thing about them,” says Anita Miles, “is that they can be mad at each other, but if I step in to correct the one I think is in the wrong, they gang up on me. They are SO protective of each other!” As babies, they’d crawl into one baby bed and sleep “deader”—their way of saying “together.” Today, Piper is a ninth-grade cheerleader and member of the ACE allstar cheer team. Annie Stewart has carved a niche in music and theatre. She currently performs with The Küren Girls, a team of teen vocalists raising money for Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Each month, this talented group records a song to sell on iTunes. (See for more information).

Liz and Ann Vandevelde, 3rd grade, Mtn. Brook Elementary: “Which one are you?” is a question these identical twins hear a lot. Despite different haircuts and clothes, people mix them up, and for simplicity’s sake many call them “AnnLiz.” Nevertheless, they love it. “They’re very

Noah and Pirmin Blattmann, 3rd grade, Cherokee Bend Elementary: How different can two twins get? Just ask Jamie Blattmann, mother of Noah and Pirmin. “They are opposite in every way,” she says. “Pirmin is a blue-eyed blond; Noah has brown eyes and hair. At birth, Noah slept at night while Pirmin slept all day. Pirmin wants to be outside hunting, fishing, and kicking the soccer ball while Noah wants to build Legos. Pirmin is a social butterfly— he loves to laugh and be carefree. Noah, on the other hand, is serious and observant. He’ll probably be an engineer like his dad. Nevertheless, they love each other and are very protective.”

Paul and Kamp McMinn, 2nd grade, Crestline Elementary: “They’re polar opposites but best friends,” says their father Shane McMinn. “You’d never know they’re brothers looking at them, but the bond is there. Even as babies, they could read each other.” Like many brothers, Paul and Kamp constantly roughhouse. “I’ve never seen two people wrestle so much and giggle all the while,” he adds.

Catherine and Alyson Johnson, Kindergarten, Mtn. Brook Elementary; and Massey and Landon Cater, Kindergarten, Crestline Elementary: Oct. 4, 2004, was a busy day at Brookwood Hospital. As Cathy and Eddie Johnson welcomed daughters Catherine and Alyson, another pair of twins—Massey and Landon—was delivered to Mary Virginia and Ken Cater. Though the families didn’t

know each other, Cathy recalls being stopped by Mary Virginia’s mom, who told them to remember the name ‘Cater’ in case they crossed paths again. Years later, the twins met at IPC. They’ve been best friends ever since. “They say they’re going to marry each other,” Cathy says, explaining the pairing of Massey and Catherine and also Landon and Alyson. “Watch out Junior High!”

Frances Boehm Hill and Hunter “Hunt” Garrett Hill, Born July 9, 2010: When school resumed at Mtn. Brook Elementary, one face notably absent in the halls was that of Kaylea Hill, a beloved kindergarten teacher now staying home to raise twins. On July 9th, Kaylea gave birth to Frances and Hunt, born one minute apart. Despite the blur of diapers changes and feedings, Kaylea loves being the mom of two. “Hunt is a mirror image of his daddy— in looks and personality—and is total boy. He even makes manly noises. Frances looks like my mom and has my personality. She’s such a little girl, smiling and cooing all of the time. It’s amazing that we have two little precious people to take care of and love.”

Michael and Andrew Putman, 2nd grade, Brookwood Forest Elementary: Also identical twins, these boys have been called “Michael-Andrew” ever since preschool. In first grade, they played the ‘ole switcheroo trick on their teachers— and with great success. Only when friends ratted them out did anyone realize the difference. The funniest part, says their mom, Kelly Putman, is their refusal to believe that they look alike, much less identical. “They just don’t understand why people can’t figure it out,” she says.

House of Twins By Kari Kampakis

On the corner of Euclid Avenue and Azalea Road, there stands a house with one distinct theme: twins. Yes, in a matter of eleven years, this house has seen three owners—and four sets of twins. All three moms got pregnant while living under its roof. The story starts with Laine and Todd Richie, who bought the house in 1999. After having their firstborn son, Emerson, in July 2001, they conceived boy/girl twins. They moved before delivering Hayes and Olivia, selling the house to Benton and Anna Emblom. From May 2002 until June 2009, the Embloms resided here. They welcomed twin daughters Ella and Camille in March 2004. Three years later, blue bows graced the mailbox when twins Lawton and

Haston joined the family. In June 2009, the house switched owners again, this time to Cole and Anna Gresham. With a laugh, Anna Emblom recalls the conversation at closing. “My husband and I told them ‘Watch out, you may have twins. We had no idea it’d actually happen,” she says. The Greshams welcomed twins Ellen and Cole this past July 13. While life is never dull, they’re adjusting to the chaos and enjoying a home that’s seen two of every baby gadget under the sun. Shortly after moving in, the Greshams had work done to help the house better suit their needs. Oh, and did I mention what company handled the renovation? Why Twin Construction, of course.

Village Living

Jazz and Faith

| January 2011 |


By the Rev. Richmond R. Webster Several years ago a minister stood in the pulpit of Saint Luke’s and declared that Jazz music and faith have a lot in common. That is, they are both a dance between rules and freedom, and as such can be unexpected, exciting, and quite beautiful. In the case of Jazz, one begins with the rules of music, such as chord and tempo, but within these parameters one is given a horn and told to play. Jazz music, like life, is about improvisation, and (if you’ve ever attended a jazz concert) it is new every day. Faith and life work pretty much the same way. Just think about it; we share certain base line parameters, basic beliefs, such as our command to love God and neighbor, but within this framework we too are given a horn and given the opportunity to play in our own unique way; we play with with our unique gifts, our unique passions, our unique loves. This is the meaning of faith, and the joy of living. We are given the chance to make beautiful music each day. For this reason we began hosting a jazz concert each year at Saint Luke’s. The band is amazing in itself; these are hometown men and women who have gone off to accomplish amazing things. One artists plays for Roberta Flack, while another has produced an album for the Temptations. Another artist tours with Justin Beiber, while another plays on a daytime talk

show. They call the band “Top Secret,” and while they only get a chance to play together a few times during the year, once a year they gather in the nave of Saint Luke’s and play Jazz. They play right there in the church, in front of the altar, and this is intentional. They are Christians, these musicians, they are people of faith, and for one night each year they bring their amazing talents before the Lord who made them and gave them their music. They play recognized “Christian” songs, such as old hymns in a new way, but they also play Miles Davis, and John Coltrane, and songs from the streets of New Orleans we thought we had forgotten but leap into our memories like old friends. This music is fresh and new and super, super cool. This music is appropriate for all ages and it is fun. This is show quality, and as a parishioner (who knows such things) so aptly put it, “you can’t hear a band this good in New York City.” We call this event, “God and Jazz,” and these musicians known as “Top Secret” will play again at Saint Luke’s on Friday night, January 28, at 7:00pm. Tickets are a $10 donation at the door, and the experience will be unforgettable. Remember that this is the meaning of faith and the joy of living, God gives us each a horn and tells us all to play!

LIGHTS From pg 7

My children had never lived here and, frankly, weren’t interested or happy that I had chosen to leave their birth home in Seattle. Even though they understood that their grandmother needed me, my solution was not well received. While my daughter Anna chose to attend graduate school in another state, my son Drew decided to quit college and remain in Seattle. My decision left him feeling vulnerable and unsettled. A few years after I moved, he realized that he couldn’t make enough money to live on his own in Seattle and reluctantly followed me south. Drew arrived in Birmingham right in the middle of hurricane season. He had only been in town for a week when Hurricane Ivan hit. I hadn’t fully accepted living in Hurricane Land myself, so I wasn’t well prepared. We lost power early on, and it was three days before our electrical life improved. Living with an angry person is not fun. When that person is your grown son who blames you for what’s wrong in his life and for forcing him to leave his hometown, he’s not the one with whom you want to be stuck in a dark house! On the second day without power, I suggested that we go easy on the flashlight and radio batteries. We didn’t know how long this outage might last or where we might find supplies if we could get out. Glancing around my little apartment, I became concerned. What did I have that could hold interest for a disgruntled, bored 21 year old? My eyes were drawn to the bookshelf filled with treasured books from Seattle. Somewhat cautiously I asked, “Do you want me to read to you?” From the shadowy space between us came his glorious reply, “Sure, Mom.” While I fought the urge to leap joyfully across the room, I carefully meandered over to the shelf and slowly moved the light across a few books. I wanted this moment to last; I wanted to make a good choice because if I didn’t this fragile opportunity could be extinguished in a flash with a short retort like, “Oh, never mind, Mom.” Or “Not that one, I hated it.” Or worst of all, “Forget it Mom.” I found The Tales of Narnia collection which had been a family favorite. “What about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?”

“Sure,” replied the shadow behind me. My heart was literally smiling. I felt like breaking out into song as I removed it from the shelf and began to think about sharing this experience with my son again. Such warm memories of us enjoying books together began to flood my mind. It was a time that I believed had been left in his childhood. I knew better than to comment on any of these thoughts at the time. He was stretched out on the floor in front of the sofa. Settling down next to him, I leaned back and let out a deep breath. It probably sounded like a sigh to him, but its function was to help me relax the growing lump in my throat and steady my voice. The flashlight bathed the book’s pages with a soft, yellow glow that encircled both of us, and, for the next few hours, we easily returned to the magical world of Narnia. Without a doubt, this golden journey wouldn’t have been possible if we had not shared reading aloud when he was young. Each year when I finish telling this story, there is a collective pause in my classroom. I think it’s because they get my point. It was at this point that I used to mention that this memory had special significance as my son was in the Marines and could at any point be put in harm’s way, and our lives might be changed forever. Fortunately, he returned from his military service whole and healthy, and I have returned to the more normal parental concerns that are inherent with having children, no matter the age. As parents, we have a limited amount of time with our children. What will they take with them to make their adult lives meaningful? My mother enriched my life by reading books to me, and I passionately passed that tradition on to my children. Hopefully, sharing this with parents will help shed a new light on reading aloud with their children. After all, who knows when the power might go out! Barbara Brewster is a second grade teacher at Mountain Brook Elementary. She is the mother of two grown children. She has encouraged her students to write about their experiences and is now practicing what she has been teaching others. She may be reached at barbararbrewster@

We’re Serious About Fitness! Treadmills Starting at $799 Ellipticals Starting at $699 Recumbents Starting at $599

We feature brands such as Precor, Life Fitness, Hoist, and Diamondback! Mention This ad For a FREE Equipment Mat!

5406 Hwy 280 East • 995-2929


| January 2011 |

School House

BWF hosts Spelling Bee

BWF celebrates Circle of Friends week By Bama Hager

Christy Christian, Tracy LeSieur, Christy Tidwell, Simona Shirley, Lilla Burns, Tracy Cole

By Bama Hager The annual Spelling Bee was held at Brookwood Forest on Friday, December 3rd. Parents, teachers and students in the audience all agreed that it was one of the most exciting spelling bees of all time. There were many good spellers in the contest and all are to be commended. The girls who ended up as the final two contestants battled it out in an exciting round. Both received a standing ovation from the audience. The winner, 5th grader Simona Shirley, will represent Brookwood Forest in the system wide spelling bee in January. Lilla Burns, who was a very close second,

will be the runner-up. Lilla is also in fifth grade. Principal, Yvette Faught, noticed that the spelling bee contestants received great support from their fellow classmates. “I’m so proud of all our students. Certainly the ones on the stage were all winners, and I am also very pleased to see how their fellow classmates encouraged and supported them,” Faught said. Fourth, fifth and sixth grade students participate in the spelling bee. Sixth grade teacher, Tracy Cole, coordinated the event. She was assisted by three other staff members: Christy Tidwell, Tracy LeSieur and Christy Christian.

Mountain Brook Elementary Spotlights fourth Grade

Seen pictured here is Mrs. Rowan with her class of students: Ruthie Jolly, Ty Clark, Annabelle Fowler, Winston Porter, Lucas Geurs, Patton Browning, Elizabeth Harris, Grace Hull, Hampton Walker, Massey Jordan, Freddie Nunnelley, Champ Lyons, Edwin Fan, Mary Douglas Ray, Stuart Huddleston, DiDi Bird, Mrs. Rowan, Chip Porter, Sean Fredella and Will Smith.

By Hilary Ross Mountain Brook Elementary Fourth Grade consists of five homerooms divided into two teaching teams. One teaching team is Meredith Collins and Lauren Merrill. Mrs. Collins teaches reading, writing, spelling, Alabama History, and grammar to these two classes. Mrs. Merrill teaches math and science to these two classes. The other teaching team is comprised of Kim Hall, Loretta Rowan, and Jennifer Wilson. Mrs. Hall teaches grammar and writing, Mrs. Rowan teaches spelling and reading, and Mrs. Wilson teaches math to all three classes. Each of these instructors also teach their homeroom students Alabama History and Science. Some of the subject material learned in fourth grade includes sharpening writing skills. Students experience writing personal narratives, fiction, and poetry. Students also write descriptive and expository essays. The students also developing grammar skills by finding strong examples in good literature and apply skills in writing. In reading, the students learn to read more complicated stories and practice great reading strategies like making inferences. In science, students learn sounds, electricity, animals, and the solar system. The highlight for science is building cardboard houses and wiring them for electricity. As part of the study of Alabama History, the 4th grade visits Montgomery for a tour of historical sites and participates in a riverboat ride on the Alabama River. In the spring, the 4th grade demonstrates all the Alabama History they learned by performing a wonderful play. Fourth grade also works on building mathematically

literate students and focuses on developing number sense, communicating mathematical thinking, and problem solving. Loretta Rowan was the fourth grade teacher interviewed and shared with me that her love for teaching started when she was a six year old little girl who loved to learn and grew up playing school with all the kids in the Jones Valley neighborhood of Birmingham. Her Great Aunt Mabel Mayfield, who taught 3rd grade at Gardendale Elementary School for 39 years, also inspired her to teach. Mrs. Rowan remembered her love for school and completed her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and the required components for a teaching certificate at the Samford campus in London, England. One of her great professors suggested she come to Mountain Brook Elementary School and she took that advice and has been with MBE for 27 years! Mrs. Rowan hopes she has inspired her students to be excited about learning at Mountain Brook Elementary and has been loved working with the wonderful parents, students, and teachers. She has taught Kindergarten, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades while at MBE. An interesting tidbit about Mrs. Rowan is that one of her former students wrote the winning essay to name the baby giraffe born a few years ago at the Birmingham Zoo. The student wrote about Mrs. Rowan’s love for giraffes, so the Zoo named the baby giraffe “Rowan” in her honor. Rowan is now an adult giraffe living at the Baton Rouge Zoo and recently became a father himself!

Brookwood Forest Elementary celebrated Circle of Friends Week November 16 through 18. Circle of Friends Week is a week highlighting students with visible and invisible challenges, disabilities and special learning needs. Circle of Friends Week is a time for students, faculty, staff and parents to thank the special education team at BWF. The theme of Circle of Friends Week is Open your minds, Open your hearts, Open your circle. Activities during the week remind students to practice understanding, patience, tolerance and inclusion of students with disabilities. Jerry the Frog from the Autism Society of Alabama visited younger grades. Hand in Paw Animal Assisted Therapy Program visited all grades. Clients from Triumph Services, a local program that supports independent living for adults with disabilities, visited third and fourth grade students. Graham Sisson, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office on Disability visited the sixth grade class. Special Educators were treated to a celebratory breakfast and

Assistant Principal, Dru Jones, Superintendent, Dicky Barlow, Director of the Governor’s Office on Disability, Graham Sisson and parent, Bama Hager attended activities during the Brookwood Forest Elementary Circle of Friends Week.

lunch and received thank you gifts from students and parents. Students, parents and faculty showed their appreciation for the work of the special education team. Circle of Friends Week PTO chairperson was Tracy Cron who was supported by a PTO Circle of Friends Committee.

CBS students study famous inventors By Alison Gault Cherokee Bend’s 6th grade class recently performed in a play about famous inventors. Parents of 6th graders and students in grades K - 5 attended one of several performances. During the musical presentation, the 6th graders sang songs highlighting the inventions of Samuel Morse, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Johannes Gutenberg, and Guglielmo Marconi. Several students demonstrated their vocal talents by singing solos during the performances, including Laura Lee Thompson as Mrs. Samuel Morse. All students learned more about the lives of these famous 20th Century inventors after participating in this informative and entertaining musical.

Pictured here is Cherokee Bend 6th grader Laura Lee Thompson performing as Mrs. Samuel Morse.

PAGE students participate in Imagination Challenge

Braden Allemand, Anna Brooks Allen, Anna Elizabeth Byrne, Edward Cain, Stephen Malone, Annalie Malone, Will Welsh, Cole Tangye, Grayson Walters, William Hereford and William Wann. Their teachers are Susan Dulin and Julia Peterson

By Lauren Fowler Crestline fourth grade PAGE students recently participated in a Destination Imagination Instant Challenge Festival at Oak Mountain High School. Students practiced their creativity

through imprompu tasks by building structures and creating performances. Unstructured creative opportunites resulted in things the students are displaying.

School House

| January 2011 |


MBE 2nd Grade Shares Food By Hilary Ross For the past few years, Mountain Brook Elementary 2nd grade students and teachers have teamed with Greater Birmingham Ministries to collect nonperishable food items to help over 300 families in need. Greater Birmingham Ministries is a multi-faith, multi-racial organization dedicated to serving people in need, pursuing justice, and building stronger communities. During its history, volunteers and staff have assisted thousands of area residents and have worked closely with low-income individuals and neighborhoods helping with needs such as food, clothing or shelter. This program, named “From My Pantry to Yours”, encourages MBE 2nd grade children to bring non-perishable food items from their pantry at home to share with those in need. The second grade teaching staff, Ashley Johnson, Cassie Jacobs, Barbara Brewster and Julie Tuck collected the donated items in their classrooms, and then the students put them in sacks and boxes for pick up by Greater Birmingham Ministries. Over 120 food items were collected and will go a long way toward helping those in need this holiday

Seen here sharing their pantry for Greater Birmingham Ministries are MBE students: Payton Flynn, Sarah Patton Butler, Garner Wilkerson, Daniel Carmichael, Byars Stewart, Charles Crommelin, Maddie Ross, and Isabelle Yates.

season. To further the giving spirit of the holidays, the 2nd grade also made placemats for nursing home residents of St Martin’s in Birmingham to use for Thanksgiving Dinner and during the holiday season. Small children making small gestures can add up to a greater, bigger impact when working together. To learn more about Greater Birmingham Ministries and what you can do to help, please visit their website at

CBS students visit the Great Smokey Mountains National Park

Smart Parent. Smart Kid.

• Reading • Math • Writing • Chemistry • Study Skills • SAT/ACT Prep • Algebra I&II • Geometry • Calculus

Cahaba Heights


3118 Cahaba Hts Plaza

5291 Valleydale Road

(near Starbucks)

(1/2 mile from 280)



Literary events held recently at MBE

Pictured here is Cherokee Bend 5th grade teacher Glenn Rice with his students.

By Alison Gault The fifth grade students and teachers at Cherokee Bend Elementary School recently took a week-long trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in East Tennessee. While there, they participated in a week of nature and history study at an environmental center, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. The

experience included an all-day hike, a day in Cades Cove studying pioneer history, stream ecology, forest life, wilderness navigation, and several different night activities. This is an eagerly anticipated yearly event for fifth graders, who begin raising funds to defray the travel costs during their fourth grade year.

Troop 63 attends Scout Leadership Weekend

Seen pictured here at the event are: Nonnie Roby, Library Assistant, Mountain Brook Schools Superintendent, Dicky Barlow, Margaret Hudson, Librarian, and MBE students: Graham Matthews, Vale Lightfoot, Charles Gray, and Sam Sullivan.

By Hilary Ross

Troop 63 in front of All Saints Chapel at Sewanee following the Sunday morning church service.

In late August, Troop 63 at Canterbury United Methodist Church in Mountain Brook, took over 30 boys from the Troop to Sewanee: The University of the South for a Scout Leadership Weekend. The boys heard

talks from several college coaches and administrators, as well as from Mike Tate of Vantage Associates in Birmingham, on the importance of developing character, leadership, and goal setting skills.

Mountain Brook Elementary hosted two annual literary events this semester for students, parents and faculty. The Library Media Center welcomed guests to its Open House as part of Alabama School Library week and a Book Fair was held in the auditorium of the school. MBE librarians, Margaret Hudson and Nonnie Roby, welcomed distinguished guests to the school, including Mountain Brook Schools Superintendant, Dicky Barlow, who participated in reading to students during story time. Also visiting was Alabama State Representative Paul DeMarco. He enjoyed a tour of the Library Media Center and mingled with teachers and students. PTO President Crawford Bumgarner was present to welcome guests and show what a wonderful selection of books and materials we have at MBE. Another literary event held recently at

Mountain Brook Elementary was a threeday book fair for students, parents, teachers and friends. Paperbacks, hardbacks, computer software and other items were offered for sale to help support the school’s library media center. Teachers were invited to participate in the “Wish List” board which allowed parents to make book purchases for their child’s classroom. Children of parents who attended the book fair were eligible for a prize drawing. The winner was able to select $25 in free books for their family and their classroom. Each grade also had a $5 prize winner. MBE PTO chairpersons were Katherine DeBuys and Wendy Griffin. Many parents volunteered to help run the book fair, and the event provided funds for new library materials.


| January 2011 |

Music & Arts

Village Living Calendar

1/7-1/8- 8 p.m. Alabama Symphony Orchestra Masterworks: Szasz Plays Vaughn Williams. Alys Stephens Center, tickets $72/ $45/ $27/ $15/ Students $12. Visit or call 975-ARTS for more info. 1/13- 7:30 p.m. Bryan Regan in concert at the BJCC Concert Hall. Tickets $36.50. Visit or call 458-8400 for more info. 1/14-1/15- 8 p.m. Laura St. John, violinist, at the Library Theatre (located on lower level of Hoover Public Library). Tickets $25. Visit or call 444-7888 for more info. 1/16- 3 p.m. Reflect and Rejoice: A Community Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at the Alys Stephens Center. Tickets $20/ $15/ $10/ Students $10. Visit www. or call 975-ARTS. 1/20- 7 p.m. A Special Evening with Joshua Bell. Alys Stephens Center, admission. Visit or call 975-2787 for more info. 1/21- 8 p.m. Alabama Symphony Orchestra SuperPOPS: Cirque de la Symphonie at the BJCC Concert Hall. Tickets $72/ $54/ $37.50/ $24/ Students $15. Visit or call 975-ARTS for more info. 1/22- 8 p.m. Patty Griffin at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center. Tickets $59/ $52/ $39/ Students $20. Visit or call 975-2787 for more info. 1/28 & 1/30 7:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. (Sun.) Opera Birmingham presents Faust. Samford University Wright Center. Tickets may be purchased by phone at 205-322-6737, online at, or by visiting the Opera Birmingham office at 3601 Sixth Avenue South. Single tickets range from $25 (balcony) to $90 (center front orchestra), and student tickets may be purchased for with a valid ID.

SPORTS 1/5- 2/16 – Mountain Brook Soccer Club Spring Soccer Registration Register online at Open to ages 3-15. Recreational soccer with a great program for every age!

Family Fun

1/1-1/15- Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure, IMAX Theatre at McWane Science Center. Explores the “other” dinosaurs that lived beneath the water 80 million years ago. $8.50 Adults, $7.50 Kids. Visit or call 714-8300 for more info. 1/1-1/31- Wild Ocean, IMAX Theatre at McWane Science Center. admission. Visit or call 714-8300 for more info.

Price is

1/7-1/8- 7:30 p.m. Monster Jam, Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena. Price is admission. Visit or call 458-8400 for more info. 1/20-1/23 Birmingham Boat Show. BJCC exhibition hall. Tickets $9 adults, children 12 and under free with an adult. 205-458-8400 1/26-1/30 Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. BJCC arena. Check or call 205-458-8401 for tickets and showtimes. 1/29 Birmingham Feline Fanciers Cat Show. BJCC Exhibition Hall. Admission. For more information call 205-616-1651 or www.birminghamfelinefanciers. com.

Special Events/Ministry 1/8- 7th Annual Red Nose Run benefitting the Ronald McDonald House. 10 Mile, 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run at Soho Square in Homewood. Visit for specific registration dates and fees. Gift bag includes $10 coupon for Ringling Bros. Circus tickets, a clown nose and long sleeve race t-shirt. 1/8- 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Alabama Safety Expo. Personal, home and auto safety seminar at the BJCC. Email or call 475-4655 for more info. 1/9 7 a.m.- 5p.m. The Levite Jewish Community Center invites everyone to “A Day at the J – a community open house promoting family wellness of the mind, body and spirit,”which also includes the launch of the Ovarian Cycle “Ride to Change the Future” charity event. For more information please contact Ruth Nomberg at 205-879-0411 and

1/8- 12 p.m. BBVA Compass Bowl, Legion Field. Sideline seating $50, other tickets available for $30. Visit or call 1-800-590-3981 for more info.

1/16- 12 p.m.-5 p.m. The Southern Bridal Show, BJCC Exhibition Hall. $10 per adult. Visit or call 800-532-8917 for more info.

1/9 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. “A Day at the J” – a community open house promoting family wellness of the mind, body and spirit. The Levite Jewish Community Center. For more information contact Ruth Nomberg at 205-879-0411 and

1/27- 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. The 5th Annual Acoustic Soup hosted by VSA Alabama’s Junior Patrons. Hot soup and live music, all proceeds benefit VSA Alabama. Tickets $35 single, $60 pair. Contact Meagan Vucovich at Meagan@vsaalabama. org or 307-6300 ext.12 for more info.

1/22- 8 a.m. Village to Village run. 10 K run through Mountain Brook. Also a 1 mile fun run. Begins in Mountain Brook Village.

1/28 at 12:30 Carolyn Green Satterfield will speak at Emmet O’Neal Library. “Who Were Those Builders and Preservers of Arlington” is the title of the lecture.

Theatre 1-14-1/15- 7:30 p.m. The Complete World of Sports by Reduced Shakespeare Company at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center. Tickets $45/ $38/ $28/ Students $20. Visit or call 975-2787. 1/18- 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Documentaries After Dark: Herb & Dorothy Vogel at the Emmett O’Neal Library. Free to the public. Contact Holley Wesley at 445-1117 or for more info. 1/20-1/30- Always…Patsy Cline at the Virginia Samford Theatre. Musical play based on the legendary singer’s life. Tickets $15-$32. Visit www. or call 251-1206 for more info. 1/25-1/28- 7:30 p.m. The Miracle Worker, the story of Hellen Keller and Annie Sullivan. Birmingham Southern College’s College Theatre Mainstage. Tickets $15/ Students $10. Visit form-ticketres.htm or call 225-4780 for more info.

1/29 6 p.m. The Pointe Ball benefitting the Alabama Ballet. Saks Fifth Avenue at the Summitt. for ticket information 1/29 7 p.m. Miss Olympian Pageant (doors open at 6:30 p.m.). Mountain Brook High School

Food & Wine 1/28- 6 p.m. Tapped: A Food & Beer Pairing at Ted’s Garage on 5th Ave. South. Food and beer pairing with live music and silent auction benefitting the Autism Society of Alabama. Tickets $20 in advance/ $25 at the door. Visit for more info.

Save the date 2/17 Mountain Brook Chamber Annual Awards Luncheon featuring Jimmy Rane at The Country Club of Birmingham.Visit www.welcometomountainbrook. com for registration information.

V2V Cover Story

Steven Hydinger says he has seen the event grow in both size and community support over the years. “Anytime that you can show off the sheer beauty of our community with a fun event like this as people run through various neighborhoods and various shopping districts, the exposure you get is just wonderful,” he said. The course is USATF certified meaning it has been measured by a registered professional and ensures accurate distance. Also new to the race this year are timing chips that participants will have on their bibs provided by Zulu Racing out of Atlanta. These will allow runners to know their exact times during specific parts of the race. All pre-registers will receive a t-shirt and a bag with items donated by merchants, and approximately 1,000 people are expected to participate in the certified race, Nigri said. Runners from all over the state are expected to participate as

the race continues to grow in numbers each year. “Our hope is to build it into being one of the top ten races in the Southeast,” Hydinger said. The after-race party will be held near the finish line in the Western Shopping Center with music, food and door prizes. Awards will be given to Fun Run and 10K winners, overall male and female winners and the first, second and third place finishers in each age group for both male and females. Door prizes given at the after party will be items donated by area merchants. “One hope is that it will bring people to Mountain Brook Village and celebrate in the Western parking lot afterward with prizes, music, and certainly to support Mountain Brook businesses,” Ingles said. Pre-registration is available online at and registration the day of the race begins at 6:15 a.m. The 10K race begins at 8 a.m. and the Fun Run begins at

9:30 a.m. Pre-registration fee is $30 and day-ofrace registration fee is $35. Registration fee for the Fun Run is $15 for both preregistration and day-of registration. All proceeds benefit the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce. Along with the Chamber, other sponsors include Lemak Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, Trinity Medical Center, Retail Specialists,

Dr. Kevin J. Alexander and The Fitness Center. Members of the planning committee are: Race Director Beth Nigri, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce Suzan Smith Doidge, President of the Chamber of Commerce John Rucker, President Elect of the Chamber of Commerce Steven Hydinger, Hannon Davidson, Becky Ingles, Angela Pewitt, Amy Jackson, Lee Perry, Alice Womack and Frank Caley. Registration is available online at www. until Thursday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m.

MILL cover story around to soak up the atmosphere and dine at the mill. Prices for meals ranged from 50 cents to $1.75. There was a terrace with tables near the water where diners could listen to the gentle flapping of the wooden paddle wheel while they enjoyed meals and visited with friends. Miss Frances Bomer was the hostess for the tea-room and Mrs. Robert Jemison Jr.--along with Mrs. Ross C. Smith, and Mrs. Crawford Johnson, Sr.--sewed the linen tablecloths and napkins by hand. The tea room remained a popular destination for years, until the impact of the Great Depression found its way to the South. A number of people tried unsuccessfully to revive the popular spot, but money was tight and none of the owners could make enough to stay in business. The Old Mill was an ideal visual marketing tool for Mountain Brook Estates, but it never actually ground any corn. There was, however, an earlier active mill on the property that did grind corn. It was built after the Civil War by John Perryman. Perryman moved to Jefferson County around 1867 and purchased the land on Shades Creek. He used rock and mud from the site to build a small grist mill. Some years later, Perryman took on a partner, John Columbus Holcombe, and the two managed to support two large families from tolls collected from local farmers for grinding their corn. The mill itself was not elaborate --it had no mill race (the channel that directs water over a mill wheel), and the wheel itself was horizontal, making for a left to right grinding action instead of the familiar top-to-bottom of the current mill wheel. In 1887, the Jefferson County area enjoyed a land boom so Perryman and Holcombe decided to close the mill. Perryman sold his share in the mill and his surrounding land holdings for $65 an acre.

| January 2011 |

Village Living During dry periods when the water level in Shades Creek is low, the remnants of Perryman’s old dam are still visible. The original millstone was unearthed during construction, so builders used the stone for the current mill house’s massive fireplace. In time, the property became a private residence and has been maintained by successive owners through the years. Vicky Henderson purchased the property from William B. O’Neal in 1999. Henderson says the mill house had flooded after Hurricane Opal in 1995. She and her son David Jr., along with one his friends, made their way to the house to help Mr. O’Neal clean the water, mud, and muck out of the mill building. They worked through the night cleaning the place, and Mr. O’Neal never forgot the kind deed. Vicky, David, and Mr. O’Neal became great friends. Later, when Mr. O’Neal developed health problems and knew he would have to sell the property eventually, he sent word to Vicky that he wanted her to buy the mill house. She said no. She had loved the place since she was a young child, she told Mr. O’Neal, but she wanted him to stay there. When his family decided to move him up north, he kept insisting that he wanted the property to go to someone who loved it as much as he did. As O’Neal once told her, “Any woman who would traipse down through snake-filled ivy to help an old man get mud out of his house belongs here.” To show the Hendersons he meant business, he sent a lawyer to their home with a contract. After some back and forth, David Henderson Sr. asked Vicky if she really wanted the property. “I’ve wanted that house since I was five,” she told him. “I played in Shades Creek and I made up my mind I wanted to live there someday.” The Hendersons signed the contract, and became the new owners in 1999. “The Old Mill is still a work in progress,” Henderson says. “We hired a contractor from Jasper to rebuild the bridge, and the interior has undergone extensive renovation.” She selected an interior decorator to assist with a great deal


This marker was erected in December

of work inside. Her goal was to maintain the original rustic charm of the original house. Future improvements will include lights on the bridge, in the trees, and over the water to make the property visible and appealing at night. Her son David currently lives in the mill house, but Vicky and her daughter Ivy have also entertained family and friends at the landmark from time to time. The only downside to the mill, she says, is that many people think it’s open to the public. No matter how many “Private” signs are put up, people occasionally walk in to have a look around. The Jefferson County Historical Association, the City of Mountain Brook, and Friends of Jemison Park erected a historical marker in December 2010. One side of the marker is dedicated

to The Old Mill and the other to Robert Jemison Jr. Tom West Jr., spokesman for the historical association, says the Old Mill is significant because of its age and the fact that there’s nothing else like it in Jefferson County. The structure was the first thing built in the Mountain Brook Estates subdivision. The committee that made the Old Mill historical marker possible included Tom West Jr., Mountain Brook mayor Terry Oden, and Dr. Ed Stevenson. The City of Mountain Brook and the Friends of Jemison Park provided funding for the project. Rick Watson’s book Remembering Big is available at The Little Professor Book Store in Homewood or online at www.homefolkmedia. com. You can contact him at rick@

WINTER MARKET DAY January 22nd Mountain Brook Village MOUNTAIN BROOK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 32 Vine Street Mountain Brook, Alabama 35213 • 205-871-3779

| January 2011 |

F ine homes deserve fine representation. At RealtySouth, we pride ourselves on earning the trust of those we serve, maintaining discretion and delivering exceptional service. Consider RealtySouth as your representative in the buying and selling process. With more than half of the current luxury home listings in our portfolio and a 55-year history of integrity and character, RealtySouth is the obvious choice.

2965 Briarcliff Rd, Birmingham 2700 Old Trc, Vestavia Hills 2723 Cahaba Valley Rd, Indian Springs Village 2832 Balmoral Rd, Mountain Brook 4055 Old Leeds Rd, Birmingham 2960 Shook Hill Pkwy, Birmingham 7109 Founders Pl, Vestavia Hills 2968 Briarcliff Rd, Birmingham 7309 Kings Mountain Cir, Vestavia Hills 3013 Canterbury Rd, Birmingham 3453 Brook Mountain Ln, Birmingham 4506 High Court Cir, Hoover 1996 Ves Trc, Vestavia Hills Eight Mile Ridge Dr, Mountain Brook 339 Cherry St, Birmingham 2821 Stratford Rd, Birmingham 2900 Mountain Brook Pkwy, Birmingham 428 Club Pl, Mountain Brook Cullman Co Saintfield Ln, Birmingham 3206 Rockledge Rd, Mountain Brook 1107 Kari Knoll Cir, Birmingham 845 Reynolds Trl, Vestavia Hills 2537 Watkins Rd, Birmingham 700 Carnoustie, Birmingham 2970 Briarcliff Rd, Birmingham 2701 Lockerbie Cir, Birmingham 2750 Pump House Rd, Mountain Brook 4552 Dolly Ridge Rd, Birmingham 416 Full Circle Rd, Childersburg 4249 Abingdon Trl, Mountain Brook 5048 Greystone Way, Birmingham 1011 Lake Heather Rd, Hoover 1246 Greystone Crest, Hoover 710 Sunset Dr, Pell City 794 Killough Ln, Talladega 1162 Legacy Dr, Hoover 8015 Castlehill Rd, Birmingham 2712 Watkins Glen Dr, Vestavia Hills

1590 Tee Rd, Equality 2834 Shook Hill Cir, Mountain Brook 3Hazeltine Walk, Birmingham 4223 Altamont Rd, Birmingham 5206 Mountain Ridge Pkwy, Birmingham 7314 Kings Mountain Cir, Vestavia Hills 311 English Cir, Birmingham 2500 Crest Rd, Birmingham 5200 Greystone Way, Hoover 1076 Greymoor Rd, Hoover 4392 Kings Mountain Ridge, Vestavia Hills 2030 River Oaks Point, Cropwell 2000 Morris Ave, Birmingham 217 Red Maple Dr, Chelsea 1713 Vestwood Hills Dr, Vestavia Hills 1068 Royal Mile, Hoover 2301 St Joseph Rd, Vestavia Hills 2117 Eastern Valley Rd, Bessemer 4262 Old Leeds Rd, Birmingham 1641 Panorama Dr, Vestavia Hills 3000 Southwood Rd, Birmingham 2109 Caldwell Mill Trc, Mountain Brook 4007 Old Leeds Ridge, Mountain Brook 808 Legacy Dr, Hoover 2123 Lake Heather Way, Birmingham 3315 E Briarcliff Rd, Birmingham 5097 Bay Dr, Orange Beach 1300 Duncan Rd, Steele 2015 Shandwick Terr, Hoover 435 Marin Pkwy, Dadeville 2665 Alta Glen Dr, Vestavia Hills Cleburne C Highland View Dr, Birmingham Washington Windy Hollow, Alexander City 2901 Montevallo Rd, Mountain Brook 4830 Old Leeds Rd, Mountain Brook 560 E Willow Way, Alexander City 1017 Lake Heather Rd, Hoover

For more information on these fine properties, search by address.

Luxury GENERIC ad 280Living.indd 1

12/17/10 11:08 AM

Village Living  

Community news and entertainment

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you