“Ring by Spring”, a common phrase thrown around on the local campus of Samford University. The idea that many graduating seniors will be engaged by their spring semester has led engaged Samford senior Mary Michael Maddox to capitalize on the phenomenon, and her passion for baking, and open up her very own local wedding cake company. 30th Streets Cakes officially launched March 2 in the kitchen of Mary Michael’s little apartment in Highland Park.
After years of helping her mom out in the kitchen of their family farmhouse in Dothan, Alabama, her daily rituals became her youthful passion which has now led to the start of her first business as she begins the journey of “adulting”. Mary Michael believes in the essence of celebration and strives to create a cake worthy for anyone’s BIG day or anything else worth celebrating. In her biography online she talks about the abundance of celebrations and parties her family threw growing up, she says, “basically anything you can think of, we threw a party for. And when there was a party, there was a cake.”
Mary Michael’s love for the small and simple details of a celebration are visibly seen in her work. Her cakes are simple and elegant with whimsical strokes of frosting laced with wild botanicals. “I believe that our generation has moved passed the desire for perfect elegant cakes and more towards the desire for the natural and simple look.” She finds joy in not only the finished product but also in the process of creating a cake, an art of sorts. “My goal is to create more of an artisanal style of cake.” says, Mary Michael.
If you are throwing an upcoming party or looking for the perfect wedding cake, send Mary Michael an email or stop by her website: www.30thstreetcakes.com. She would love to sit down with you over a good cup of coffee and talk celebrations.
The band lounged around on the couch after a late night practice session, visibly exhausted but genuinely in love with the opportunity they have to make music.
However, The Timid Sons, comprised of Trip Wood, Frank Robertson, Tré Mason and Luke Brown, only get to make this music after their full days of work and school. They come together late at night to practice and develop new songs, and wake up the next day to do it all over again.
The band’s only studio-recorded album to date, a self-titled work, includes its most popular single, Cocaine Lips. This up and coming band loves to play shows in the Birmingham area, but also likes to travel as well.
“It all started when Frank walked up to me in the food court and said he had a song idea,” Wood said. “We weren’t in a band yet, but he proceeded to pull out a napkin with the words ‘cocaine lips and a hurricane smile.’ I was expecting a chorus or something at least, but all I got was a phrase.”
“That ended up being all I needed though; I took the napkin back to my apartment, sat down and wrote the whole song that day. In that moment The Timid Sons were born,” said Wood.
The band’s name, The Timid Sons, came about when Robertson was reading a book called “I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son” by Kent Russell. The book itself is based off a famous Davy Crockett quote.
With a band name and one song under his belt, Wood was ready to churn out music at a rapid rate.
“This book really resonated with us,” Wood said, “The idea that a father would really rail their son and be that openly disappointed with him made the realization that we are all born into expectations. People naturally have expectations of us. While you are born into a world of disappointment, that doesn’t mean that you are a disappointment. While we are imperfect, and while we aren’t necessarily a band with full time musicians, we accept it, move on and make music we want to hear.”
Wood said he had a handful of ideas already in his head from the previous few years. At the time he didn’t think he would actually use them. Some of the lyrics he had were from experiences that happened that month and others were just things he thought about and wrote down.
Following their first song, “Cocaine Lips,” the band spent about a month recording eight songs at Mountain Brook Community Church. The album came together so quickly because Wood would spend days on end recording music, often times sleeping in the studio to maximize histime.
“Back when we were recording, a few days would pass,” Robertson said, “and I wouldn’t have seen Trip, so I would stop by the studio. I found him there multiple times, tucked away by himself, with lots of cups of coffee, some fresh, and some not so fresh. Trip would have this twitchy, kind of crazed look about him, but he was producing our songs at a ridiculously fast rate. Sometimes you just let the man work and appreciate the results.”
At this time, the band was moving quickly and Wood was rushing the entire thing because he wanted to have a couple of singles to release right away. Because of this, only three of the band members actually recorded on the album. It was challenging for their old drummer from Atlanta to drive to Birmingham every so often to record so they began to reach out to find a new drummer.
The Timid Sons faced several challenges in its early days, such as finding a permanent drummer in the Birmingham area, recording for the first time and singing in front of an audience for the first time. Wood said he was unsure of how to carry himself in front of others and found the experience of playing live nerve racking at first.
They are currently working on two new songs including one Trip wrote about a blind man called Jim James. The song, he explained, is about how easily we can get wrapped up in our own frustrations while much worse things happen in the world.
“I was driving back from my Spanish test and was obsessing about how bad I had done. I was drinking my Starbucks, listening to my favorite music, and just being super self-indulgent,” Wood said, “I was going down Lakeshore Drive and reached the part where there isn’t anything for about a mile and that’s when I saw this guy at the bus stop. He was blind, and he was sitting out there on the bench, in the sun, during the hottest part of the day, in the middle of the summer.”
“In that moment it became really obvious how self-indulgent I was being. Some of the lyrics I wrote were completely bashing myself and I had to refrain from keeping them in the song. How could I be so self-obsessed? This man is probably going to work right now, and probably not to his first job, more than likely, to his second one and he is blind. There was just a lot of things going through my mind at that moment and I was able to get it out on paper.”
What does music mean to you?
It’s meant a lot of different things to me, especially in the last few years. If I’ve learned one thing about music, it’d be this: Music can be a stress reliever, a medium to express yourself and so much more. However, once you start expecting something from it, you start to lose it.
How does your music reflect who you are as a person/musician?
Sometimes I worry that it reflects who I am a bit too much: fast, irrational, and not thought through.
Describe a typical day for you.
My average day changes frequently. Right now, the only things that are constant are how much I eat and that I write two songs’ worth of lyrics a day.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What role does your music play in that plan?
Hopefully I’ll still be pursuing music as a career. Like I’ve said before, the men and women that do this full time are incredible. It takes a lot of guts to decide to make your living off of something so inconsistent.
What do you play in the band? How long have you been playing?
I play guitar and have been playing since about 7th grade
What do you do when you are not playing with The Timid Sons?
I work part time and am trying to figure out if I want to go back to school this coming year or pursue full time work.
Is it hard to balance music and work?
The biggest challenge is to feel like I’m being responsible in my pursuit of both. It seems like practices can only happen later at night, but I have to be up by 6 a.m. in order to start my morning for work.
What is your best memory with the band?
One of our first shows back from the summer at a venue called the High Note. It was one of our first shows at a legitimate venue with a real sound guy and PA system, and this stage that was so tall but not very wide. It was one of the first moments that “we’re a real band” clicked in my head.
If four years ago you asked Micah Green-Holloway where he would be attending school, Samford University would have not even been on the list. Fast forward to October 2016, and he is set to graduate with his business degree in May.
“Being from Woodlawn High School,” Green-Holloway said, “I didn’t think I would ever be smart enough or have good enough test grades to make it into Samford. That’s when I learned about this program called My Brother’s Keeper.”
My Brother’s Keeper is a program designed to put inner city high school students into Alabama universities. There were only eight kids selected for this program, and Micah was talented and blessed enough to be one of those students.
Green-Holloway remembers touring Samford one day during his sophomore year where he met President Dr. Westmoreland. “I was talking to Dr. Westmoreland recently,” Green-Holloway said, “And he reminded me of what I told him when we were sitting in his office during my tour. I told him, ‘not too many people make it past my stop sign.’ Not too many people make it out of Woodlawn. I was not going to be complacent. I was determined to make it past my stop sign, and I did.”
It was a long journey to get to Samford, but he has been making an impact ever since he stepped on campus. Green-Holloway made the Dean’s List both semesters of his freshman year, was selected to be a Samford Ambassador, and was given the Freshman Leadership Award. Needless to say, the hard work and determination he had paid off immensely.
Today Micah is an intern at Fix Mart and will be presenting a business idea to the Miami Dolphins, Marlins and Heat in the middle of December. This past summer he interned with the Birmingham Barons to try to get his foot in the door of professional baseball management–his ultimate dream is to be the General Manager of the Atlanta Braves.
Even though Green-Holloway has thrived at Samford, he has never forgotten where he came from and how he got to where he is today. That is why being an Urban Young Life Leader is one of the things that Micah is most proud of.
“I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to invest in the lives of kids the way that so many people have invested in me. When I look at these kids, I see the potential that a few years ago people saw in me, and it excites me to see where they will be four years down the road.”
Green-Holloway wants people to remember a few things when they think about his Samford career. He said, “I want people to remember that I loved the Lord with all my heart, that I not only did well at Samford, but that I left a legacy that lives beyond myself. I want people to see that I left a legacy at Young Life, at Ransom and on the campus of Samford as a whole. I want people to know that I never would have been able to do it on my own, but by the grace of the Lord and His faithfulness throughout the whole process I have been able to leave a legacy.”
Birmingham lays claim to some trendy coffee shops, and Octane Coffee is no exception. Have you ever wondered exactly who the people are behind the counter serving this delightful coffee? They have intriguing stories to tell, and barista/mixologist Trenton Bell, has one of the finest.
Bell graduated from Samford’s Beeson Divinity School back in May of this year. “I felt a sense of calling to go [to seminary]; I felt internally that it was the right next step for me after college,” said Bell. He received his Master’s in Divinity and now awaits the Lord’s next step for his life.
Throughout his life, Bell has always had two main loves: Jesus and music. He felt the Lord calling him to combine those passions for the Kingdom of God and thus, the band Multis Project was born. Multis is Latin for many, and Bell chose this name because the purpose of Multis Project is to promote diversity within music.
Multis Project was somewhat born out of necessity. Bell and his friend, Louie Free, were driving back from a conference they had been leading worship at and were in line for another gig, but there was one problem, the next conference wanted the two guys to bring a band with them. “We put together a group of folks, and tried to put together as much of a diverse team as possible,” Bell said. “We have some hip-hop, gospel, folk and pop all mixed in together. We want to push the envelope and reach out to and unify diverse groups of people.” The band has been doing just that ever since their first performance back in January.
Bell constantly faces the battle of balancing being a full time barista and trying to continue to pursue his passion for making music. However, he does not really worry about it too much. “I trust that we [Multis Project] will go where we need to be at the proper time. We have patience in trusting the Lord, but we are persistently pursuing opportunities,” he said.
So if you need a delicious Carmelatto, or want to book a cutting edge band, look no farther than Octane’s very own, Trenton Bell.
What is the biggest thing you will take away from your time here at Samford?
I learned so many things during my time at Samford about my major, life, and myself. The experiences I had here made me into a better person and prepared me for my future career. The biggest thing I would take away from my time here are the relationships I’ve made. Whether it is with a fellow classmate or a professor who becomes a great mentor, these are relationships I wouldn’t change for the world.
What is the best piece of advice you would you give to undergraduates?
If I had to give advice to undergraduates, I would say that it’s ok to do things on your own. It’s always fun to do things with your friends, but it’s also important to do an activity on your own. It allows you to focus on yourself and after college everyone starts to go do their own things and won’t be just down the hall from you.
What are your plans after for graduation?
My immediate plans after graduation is to move back home for the time being while job searching. I hope to soon be working as a graphic designer in a big city like New York or Boston.
What is the biggest thing you will take away from your time here at Samford?
The biggest thing that I will take away from my time at Samford is the growth and maturation that occurred in many areas of my life. I matured spiritually so much through so many mentors and friends’ counsel and encouragement and through so many opportunities to study the Bible and worship with other believers. I matured academically as I learned how to really study and research and through the professors who I was able to glean so much knowledge from. I matured practically through being independent, making decisions, and facing tough circumstances.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to undergraduates?
The best piece of advice that I would give to undergraduates would be to make the most of the you have time at Samford as well as in the city of Birmingham by intentionally fostering and deepening relationships – relationships with people who are wiser and can mentor and guide you, relationships with peers who can build you up and hold you accountable, and relationships with those who you can pour into, mentor, and disciple.
What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation I am getting married and moving to Wilmore, Kentucky to pursue a Master of Divinity at Asbury Theological Seminary.
The Samford men’s golf team finished 14th in the Mason Rudolph Men’s Golf Championship held at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., Saturday and Sunday.
“The Mason Rudolph field was our most competitive this year. Five top 50 teams competed including Vanderbilt, Florida, and Alabama,” said Samford Coach Al DelGreco.
“Conditions were very difficult for rounds 1 and 2,” he added.
Despite those difficult conditions, The Bulldogs responded to the challenge.
Samford had a team score of 911 (301-311-299), to come in 14th. The host team, ninth-ranked Vanderbilt won the event with a score of 847 (275-291-281). The 19th-ranked Florida Gators came in second at 848 (283-286-279), while 17th-ranked Alabama finished third with a score of 861 (282-291-288).
Senior Zach Hughes led the Bulldogs with rounds of 70, 75 and 73 for a T14 finish in the 78-player field. “Zach has played well all year after returning from shoulder surgery last year,” DelGreco said.
Junior Ivan Truss finished with rounds of 70, 79 and 75 for a T42nd finish, what DelGreco said was Truss’ “best tournament to date.”
The group of Samford freshmen was led by Crawford Flach with rounds of 81, 77 and 74 to tie for 62nd, while Jackson Seawell and Ashton Nix tied for 73rd.
Sam Horsfield of Florida, ranked sixth in the GolfStat rankings, won individual medalist honors with a score of 206 (70-70-66).
With a talented core of young players, DelGrecro is pleased by how his team has progressed this season.
“We still have a lot of work to do but I’m happy with our work ethic and improvements we have made this year,” DelGreco said.
Samford will close the 2015-16 season April 24-26 with the Southern Conference tournament in Pinehurst, N.C.
The men’s tennis team will look to add a fifth game to their four game winning streak as they host
Furman on Sunday, April 3. The team is coming off of a crushing 7-0 win against The Citadel in their last
match, which improved their overall record to 9-4 and SoCon record to 3-1.
Senior finance major Trey Carter, sophomore pre-business major Jake Faundez and engineering physics
major Justin Ghavami are tied for the lead in singles wins for the bulldogs with 9 wins. Carter and
graduate student Leonard Gerch are tied for most doubles wins at 7 with the duo of Faundez and
sophomore pre-business major Eduardo Lourido Sanchez.
The bulldogs have an impressive 7-1 record at home this season.
The paladins have an overall record of 8-7 so far this season. Adam Steryous leads the paladins in singles
wins this season with 10, while Matt Browne and Ben Horst lead the team with 10 doubles wins. Furman
has struggled on the road this reason with an away record of 1-5.
The bulldogs will be looking to improve their SoCon record to 4-1 with a win over Furman before
finishing off the regular season with matches against Mercer and the University of Tennessee at
This Sunday’s match will be played at the Samford Tennis complex at 1 p.m.
The Samford University women’s tennis team will host Western Carolina on Friday, April 1, at the Pat M. Courington Tennis Pavilion. A victory over the visiting Catamounts would keep the Bulldogs undefeated in Southern Conference play and extend their winning streak to three games.
Samford is currently 7-8 overall and 2-0 in the conference. Collectively, the team has outscored its past two opponents, Mercer and UNC-Greensboro, 13-1.
Playing with momentum, the upcoming match could yield a similar result. In 2015, the Bulldogs stormed to a resounding 7-0 triumph over the Catamounts.