What makes Lookout Mountain home

Summer on Lookout Mountain means picnics at Point Park, baseball at the Commons, and long hikes under canopies of green. Let us know your favorite trail on Facebook or Twitter.

Warm weather also means outdoor fun, like the 60th annual Fairyland Festival last month, or celebrating CF Awareness on the Cafe's porch. Hold onto your flip flops as we kick off the best time to be Living On Lookout!

Battles for Chattanooga 2.0: Electric Map Becomes Digital Presentation

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Time travel still alludes us. But technology does make it possible to “see” the Civil War’s battles for Chattanooga in a completely new light. See Rock City (SRC) has partnered with local company Juncture, LLC to revitalize the Battles for Chattanooga (BFC) presentation at its museum right outside Point Park.

Time increases the gap between historical events and the present,” said SRC CEO Bill Chapin. “In order to engage current generations, BFC has decided to update the technology used to bring these events to life.

Chattanooga’s Civil War history has long fascinated tourists from across the nation. Now guests will now be able to better visualize the battles thanks to cutting-edge technology. The former electric map has been transformed into a multimedia projection mapping with high color saturation, short-throw digital projectors, solid-state media players and 3-D modeling software.

“Most people don’t understand that the five battles that took place here in Chattanooga were about two factions seeking to control a major economic hub with a huge railroad infrastructure,” says Strat Parrott, Juncture founder and CEO. “As Chattanooga continues to be talked about as a southern city reinventing itself, we need to remember that our city has been a driving force in the nation’s economy dating back to the 1850s.”

The battles for Chattanooga changed the outcome of the Civil War, sealing the fate of the Confederacy. The new show highlights some of the most pivotal moments, including the Battle Above the Clouds and Sherman’s assault on Missionary Ridge before his historic March to the Sea.

After the presentation, guests can tour the famous battlefield above the clouds at nearby Point Park. The museum also features an excellent relic and weapon collection and adjoining bookstore stocked with well-known works about the Civil War.

The media is invited to preview the presentation today at a special ceremony, opening to the public just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

Battles for Chattanooga
1110 East Brow Road, Lookout Mountain, TN
More Info


Memorial Day Artillery Program
Saturday, May 28
10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm
Visitors are invited to bring a photograph or small memento of a friend or loved one who died in the line of duty, as these servicemen and women will be recognized during the program

Ranger-guided Tours of Point Park
Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29
11 am and 2 pm

Cravens House open to the public
1 pm to 5 pm all weekend

Ms. Margie Retires After 19 Years at LMS

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Margie Parker will always be grateful for radiators.

Nearly 20 years ago, her husband’s niece got a job cleaning second shift at Lookout Mountain School. Working in the middle of the night amid the clanging, outdated heating system gave her the creeps, so she took a pay cut and asked the school to hire Margie as her helper.

Today the radiators are long gone, and Ms. Margie has become a fixture in her own right. She’s more famous for her hugs than her mop bucket, but you’d be hard pressed to find a crumb after the final lunch period.

Sadly, next week will be Ms. Margie’s last at LMS. She’s decided to retire this year due to arthritis that makes operating the heavy machinery and navigating the stairs difficult. To say she’ll be missed is an understatement.

Officially Ms. Margie’s job has been to open the school each morning, keep common areas clean throughout the day and perform basic maintenance, which ranges from pencil sharpeners to printers.

To the kids she’s more like a mom away from home. She’s often the first to hear about a loose tooth or weekend plans to visit grandma. One little boy, Charlie Byrum proposed marriage nearly every day from kindergarten through 1st grade.

“I told him I was already married but he would say, ‘We can work around that,’” she says with a smile. “The kids have made this job so worthwhile. I may just be the janitor but I feel like I’ve made a difference in their lives. I so appreciate the time they’ve spent with me.”

The kids have made this job so worthwhile. I may just be the janitor but I feel like I’ve made a difference in their lives. I so appreciate the time they’ve spent with me.

That’s not to say she won’t also miss the parents and other staff. Over the years she has been blown away by their support, including the 8-weeks-worth of dinners they prepared and delivered when she had surgery a few years back.

Ms. Margie is always willing to help where needed, whether that’s covering in the front office or taking apart a jammed door handle. Last year she and her husband, Roy bought the school’s trophy case with their own money, simply because it was needed.

We’re like a family here,” she says. “We all work together to do what’s best for the school. Of the 29 years I’ve worked here, 19 have been at LMS. These are my friends.

And while she’s never taught in the classroom, she shares her love of reading by example. In her rare spare moments, you’ll find her with her nose in a book. Always a voracious reader, one year she kept track of the books she read. The grand total was 166.

Her “retirement” doesn’t include much slowing down. She plans to help a handful of families cleaning houses three or four days a week. She’ll also find time to accompany Roy on one of their favorite past times – combing for deals at flea markets and yard sales.

I can’t sit still for too long,” she laughs. “If I had my choice, I’d rather stay here. And I cannot thank everyone enough for the gift at the PTA meeting. I so appreciate everything they’ve done for me over the years.

The gift was a monogrammed purse with money inside collected from parents and teachers. But she was most touched by the collection of cards and pictures.

I save every single card or picture I’ve received,” she says. “When I look back over the years at my collection, it’s so touching it makes me want to cry sometimes.

Cafe on the Corner and KKB Celebrate CF Awareness Month

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What: CFF Fundraiser at Cafe on the Corner
When: May 24, 5 – 9 p.m.

Come enjoy Kid’s Night at the Café (kids eat free with the purchase of an entrée) and help celebrate CF Awareness Month. Donations of any size will be happily accepted at the event, or you can give online at KKB’s team page.

If you met four-year-old Kenneth “King” Birnbaum on the street, you’d never imagine he takes 13 different medications every day just to stay healthy. Or that he requires a feeding tube every night, and two hours of respiratory therapy each day. 

Being King is hard work, but he seizes every minute of life and you will rarely catch him without a smile!” says his mom, Ginger.

King is one of approximately 30,000 Americans living with Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and progressively limits one’s ability to breathe. Since birth, King has endured approximately 20,000 hours of treatment – and that’s just maintenance therapy. When infections aggravate his symptoms, trips to Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt are often needed, sometimes resulting in two-week stays. All told, he has spent roughly 70 days in specialized care.

But there’s another important number for the Birnbaum family - 170,000. That’s the amount of money they’ve raised for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation since 2011. For the past three years, Ginger and her husband Alex have chaired CFF’s largest local fundraiser, Three Blind Wines.

They also commit to raising roughly $30,000 annually through their National Family Team, Kenneth King’s Believers, or KKB. King’s big sister, Emma Virginia started her own CFF team this year and raised over $2,000 (her goal was $200!)

Ginger also serves as President of CFF’s local board of directors, and co-chairs the national program representing family teams like KKB. She juggles all of these demands with unbelievable energy and optimism, mainly because she knows every dollar donated to CFF goes toward research, patient assistance and patient care.

The drug breakthroughs that have been made possible by CFF keep us committed 100% to raising money for more research,” she says. “We know we’re adding tomorrows, not only for our son, but for all our CF friends.

In fact, one of those friends lives on Lookout Mountain. Bridget and Mike Lane’s daughter, Mary Alice also lives with CF. She will graduate Fairyland School this year.

“It’s pretty cool to have a CF role model right here in our neighborhood!” says Ginger. “Mary Alice is one of Emma Virginia’s favorite older girls. She is quite aware that the money she raises goes to support her friend Mary Alice, too.”

Currently there is no cure for cystic fibrosis, yet numerous breakthroughs have recently been made. The month after King was born Kalydeco was brought to market as the first drug that treats CF at the cellular level. Since there are over 1,800 mutations of CF, it does not treat everyone. But another drug, Orkambi was released this year and has the potential to treat a larger slice of the CF population.

“King does not qualify for either of these drugs because his combination of mutations is more rare,” says Ginger. “But medicines like this give us hope that one day in the not-too-distant future there will be a drug to make our son better."

And here’s where you come in…

Next Tuesday, May 24, Café on the Corner and KKB are partnering to raise money and awareness for CF. It’s the Café’s weekly Kid’s Night, so little ones eat free with the purchase of an entrée. All you have to do it gather your family and friends and head to the Café for a fun evening out. Balloon artist Grandpa Giggles will even be there.

When the check comes, consider the money you just saved and make a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Whatever amount you can spare will add hope – and more importantly tomorrows – for kids like King.

“We are so touched that Ruth offered to do this,” says Ginger. “She is one of those people who truly want to know what progress is being made in research and how it can help King get better.”

Why I Love Lookout: Kate and Rich Boschi

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Kate and Rich Boschi had two deal breakers on their house-hunting list when relocating from Pennsylvania: a short commute and recently updated home. Lookout Mountain gave them both…and so much more.

“If you could describe a fairy tale place to live and raise a family, Lookout Mountain is it,” says Kate, a Plano, TX native.

While many choose Lookout Mountain in spite of the commute, Rich’s job at Chattem is less than a 10 minute drive (a far cry from the 1.5 hour commute he had in Philadelphia). And their almost new construction home is a stark contrast to the 1890’s farm house they’d spent the past year renovating. Both had grown weary of the never-ending project list.

There was another reason for needing a low maintenance home when they moved in May 2012 – the young couple was expecting their first child. They chose Lookout Mountain for its excellent schools, welcoming Catholic Church and strong community.

“We didn’t know anyone up here, so we kind of went out on a limb but we knew in our gut that this would be a great community,” says Kate.

Trusting their intuition has worked well for the couple. They met in London on the first night of Kate’s study abroad the spring semester of her junior year. Rich, who had grown up two hours south of London, had just moved back from Switzerland for a job with Johnson & Johnson. Despite any gaps in culture or age, before long they were discussing marriage.

Kate returned to Texas Christian University that fall, but was back in London spring semester her senior year for an internship with Westminster Cathedral. They married after she graduated and lived in London until Rich’s job transferred them to Johnson & Johnson headquarters in Philadelphia.

A headhunter presented the opportunity at Chattem, and moving to Lookout Mountain wasn’t without a culture shock. They quickly became known as the “pregnant lady and the Brit,” laughs Kate. Even so, both were blown away by how welcoming the community was. Almost before the moving truck was unloaded people were bringing breads, cookies and dinners. When their son was born a few months later, they had dinners for nearly six weeks straight.

Four years and two kids later, Kate and Rich are thoroughly engrained in the Lookout Mountain community. Rich serves on the Parish Council at their church and Kate is on the Youth Group and Stewardship Committee. Rich also volunteers with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Kate is heavily involved with her sorority’s alumni group. They enjoy being walking distance from their kids’ preschool, and playing tennis at the Fairyland Club on weekends – something Rich grew up doing in Havant.

Lookout Mountain has far exceeded our expectations,” says Kate. “We have friends visit from all over - South Africa, Australia, England, California, New York, Texas. They all say they wish they could move here.

King of the Mountain Road Race

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Have you got what it takes to be King?

The annual King of the Mountain Road Race is set for this Saturday, May 7 at Lookout Mountain’s Town Commons. And while it benefits the scholarship fund of Good Shepherd School, the 4-mile race is anything but child’s play.

The thigh-burning course hugs the edges of Lookout Mountain’s point, traveling East Brow Road to Point Park and back on West Brow Road past Sunset Rock. Expect stiff competition – last year’s top male finisher, Geno Phillips ran it in 21 minutes, 53 seconds, averaging a 5:29 pace.

Last year’s top female, Jessica Marlier zoomed through in 24 minutes and 31 seconds. It was her third win in a row, earning her the indisputable title of “Queen of the Mountain.”

Even if you’re not training for Boston, you can still enjoy this community-wide road race. A 1-mile Fun Run/Walk will feature almost as many strollers as sneakers. Good Shepherd students – all under age 5 – are encouraged to enter. Many “run” before they can walk.

Besides the runner’s high, you can feel good about participating. All proceeds go to GSS’ scholarship fund, which provides tuition assistance for families who otherwise might not be able to attend. As Lookout’s only full-time program for young children, GSS plays an important role in the Lookout Mountain community and beyond.

Ready to run? Enter today

More about Good Shepherd School

How Not to Fail at Mother's Day

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Reoccurring holidays can be hard. So here’s a friendly reminder that Mother’s Day is THIS Sunday. If you’ve yet to get a thoughtful, creative gift for the lovely mom in your life (and you are/or have a kid under 14 years old) we have the answer:

Mountain Escape Spa’s annual Mother’s Day Essay Contest

Here are 8 reasons you should make, *ahem* encourage your kids to enter:


If Mama ain’t happy; ain’t nobody happy. That’s a popular saying because it’s true. A spa gift certificate is one of the easiest ways to make mama happy, and the contest is your chance to make it happen FOR FREE!


You can’t lose. Even if your wee wordsmith doesn’t score the grand prize of a “Queen for a Day” spa package, every child who enters receives a free thank-you gift AND a special something for their moms.


Women like spas. Moms LOVE them. That’s because they’re one of the few places on Earth they can get away from the seemingly never-ending “That’s not fair!” or “She’s touching me!” No one will ask her “Where are my shoes?” as if she’s some omnipotent belongings gatherer. It will be an escape, just as the name implies.


The winning essay will be published in the May issue of the Mountain Mirror along with a photo of the winner and their mom. ANOTHER keepsake for Mom? It just gets better and better.


If there’s anything moms love more than getting pampered, it’s receiving a thoughtful gift. Getting your kid(s) to put on paper “What I Love About Mom” is a meaningful, thoughtful and creative gift in itself. When’s the last time it was easy to pull one of those off?


Mountain Escape Spa is conveniently close to home (read, less babysitting time).


Mothers leave spas feeling tranquil and grateful to the person who bestowed such happiness upon them. Hint, hint – you might want to purchase a gift certificate if you haven’t already gotten something. There’s no such thing as “too much” spa time.


Father’s Day is next month. You set the tone here, so get cracking.

So to review:

  • Have your kid pen an essay titled “What I Love About My Mom.”

  • Send it to mountainescapespa@gmail.com or drop it by 814 Scenic Highway by THURSDAY, MAY 5 at 12:00 p.m. Make sure to include your phone number so they can contact you if you win.

  • Sit back and enjoy the fact that you have Mother’s Day in the bag!

Fairyland Festival Celebrates 60th Year

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Thursday, April 28 (rain date May 3)
Fairyland Elementary School field
3:00 until 7:00 p.m.

The signs are up and the booths are soon to follow. Kids can feel the excitement in the air…it’s Fairyland Festival time!

While the 60-year tradition is always the highlight of spring for the elementary set, this year promises to be even more exhilarating with two new attractions: Laser Tag and Photo Booth.

That’s right – the Fairyland School playground will be converted into a laser tag obstacle course. Come early and stock up on tickets if you have any Star Wars fans in your house.

Lines at the photo booth are sure to grow just as quickly. It’s an actual booth, complete with props and signs for maximum camera mugging. Each session comes with the traditional 4-photo strip.

Raising approximately $20,000 each year for Fairyland Elementary, proceeds go toward such things as additional staff positions, a fine arts and music program, technology upgrades and other school equipment. This year’s chair is Kim Brock, with Lesley Wingfield as co-chair.

See Seven States; Save the Planet

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Ok, so going to Rock City this weekend won’t stop global warming. But you CAN celebrate Mother Nature through their EarthDayz special event, held Friday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Recycling and educational demonstrations will be throughout the property, including how to make a rain barrel. Little ones will love the local wildlife encounters, such as meeting a young deer from Amicalola Deer Park or petting an owl with John and Dale Stokes of Wings to Soar. (Don’t miss their stellar birds of prey exhibit at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily.) Also keep your eyes peeled for local animal ambassadors from Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center!

The RockQuest Adventure is available for a $5 ticket upgrade and includes a free climb on the 25-foot Climbing Wall, a bag of polished rocks and a guide with a photo scavenger hunt to look for clues to many geological wonders throughout the park.

As long as you’re supporting Mother Earth, be sure to visit Ruby Falls too. The underground adventure recently received a Green Globe Sustainable Leadership Award – a prestigious honor reserved for leaders in sustainable tourism. To date, it’s only been awarded 11 times with Ruby Falls being the FIRST in the US.

This Saturday is a particularly delicious time to visit the falls thanks to their “Battle Below the Clouds” BBQ cook off. Enjoy live music, free giveaways and “all you can smell” barbeque. Proceeds benefit Lana’s Love, a nonprofit started by Lookout Mountain’s Jim and Cindy Webster after losing their daughter, Lana Beth to Neuroblastoma.

Free Admission to Point Park this Week

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Even if you’ve only thought about taking a trip to Chattanooga, you’ve likely seen the above photo.

The Point Park overlook is one of our city’s most iconic photo ops. And from now until Sunday, you can have this “Above the Clouds” view for free.

In honor of National Park Week, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park are waiving Point Park’s $5 entry fee. An annual event held each spring, this year’s celebration is extra special as it marks the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary.

In addition to free admission, ranger-guided programs are also being held on Saturday and Sunday at Point Park and Chickamauga Battlefield. See below for details, and make a plan for some outdoor fun this weekend.

Lookout Mountain Battlefield (meet inside Point Park entrance gate)

Walking Tours led by Park Rangers
Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24
11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Chickamauga Battlefield (meet inside Visitors Center)

Car Caravan Tour at 10 a.m.
Special Program exploring history of the NPS at 2 p.m.

Baseball Parade April 23

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Two great American past times – baseball and parades – come together on April 23. That’s when all players in Lookout Mountain’s Dixie Youth Baseball/Softball League will kick off their season riding on floats and throwing candy to cheering spectators.

It’s one of the best things about living on Lookout,” says Dawn Pettway, who’s three boys have all participated in the program. “It’s a great way to kick off the season.

The “floats” come in all shapes and sizes – fire trucks, decked-out trailers, pick-up trucks. One year there was even a SWAT truck, she recalls. There have been different routes through the years, but this parade will kick off at Fairyland Elementary. The procession will head down Lula Lake, continuing through the four-way stop onto Scenic Highway and past the Tennessee stores until it reaches the Commons ballfields.

At the end, every team is announced by name and sponsor. With approximately 170 players, parents and grandparents, the crowd can easily swell to more than 500.

There’s a great energy the morning of the parade – the players love it!” says Coach Scott Shell, assistant director of Parks & Playgrounds.

The Parade – as well as the League – relies heavily on parent support. That wasn’t always the case according to Baseball Board President, Lee Dyer. When his sons were playing in the early ‘90’s, Coaches Buck Stamps and Rick Dockery managed and coached the entire program.

“They worked hard and ran a great program, but they needed more hands to take it to the next level,” he recalls.

Taking note of a neighboring league in Durham (on the back of Lookout), Dyer, Gene Williams and others spearheaded the effort of parent coaches. In doing so they were able to grow the league and its offerings, such as “player pitch” for the 9-year-old age group. Before then it didn’t start until age 11.

Dyer’s boys have long since moved on from youth baseball. He has even moved off the mountain, living in his hometown of Trenton, GA, and working in Dalton as a sales rep for Display Craft. He also travels frequently as well as an official with the NFL. Even so, he remains as board president simply because of his love for the game.

In a day when every parent seems bombarded with volunteer requests, it can be easy to grumble about one more “ask.” But the Baseball Parade is yet another example of how crucial parent involvement can be.

When we all come together at the Commons and everyone is cheering the kids on, we’re reminded of why we’re doing this,” says Pettway. “We’re helping them become better players, but more importantly better teammates.

Grab a chair and join the fun! Parade begins at 8:45 at Fairyland Elementary, continuing down Lula Lake Road, through the four-way stop on Scenic, in front of the Tennessee stores and ending at the Commons' ballfields.

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