What makes Lookout Mountain home

What's on your summer bucket list? A hike to Glen Falls? A mountain bike ride on the Cloudland Connector Trail? Or maybe a road trip to Nashville to see Alan Shuptrine's new watercolor exhibit?

The season has already kicked off with Community Movie Night. There's another in August and here's 5 reasons you can't miss it. Get ready for the fun, because summers on Lookout are anything but lazy!

Fairyland School Art Show

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“It took me four years to learn to paint like Rapheal, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
- Picasso

On April 9, Fairyland Elementary School will celebrate the creativity of all mini masters with their annual art show, held at Lookout Mountain Methodist Church. Everyone is invited to participate.

“We’ve been holding the Fairyland Art Show for years, but this year we really wanted to encourage the entire community to participate,” says Organizer and PTO Board Member DeAnna Willingham.

The show is a celebration of arts on Lookout Mountain, welcoming all mediums and ages. Past entries have included pottery, sculpture, quilts and even pillows in addition to traditional “wall art.” Held from 3:00 until 8:00 p.m., there will be hors oeuvres as well as live guitar from FES piano teacher James Glass.

Cash awards and other prizes will be given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, with categories for Fairyland students, community students and community adults. This year the show will also pay tribute to artistic FES parents such as Amy Ball and Stephanie Hardin.

While adult artwork is welcome, the show is centered on younger artists. All kids are encouraged to enter, no matter how comfortable they are with a paintbrush.

“There’s something really special about a child seeing something they created hanging on the wall,” says PTO President Caroline Williams. “Their eyes and expression…it’s really a neat thing to see.”

Each person is allowed two entries, submitted between now and the week before the show. Art collections will be held at Fairyland Elementary before and after school (7:30 to 8:00 a.m. or 2:30 to 3:00 p.m.) or by contacting Willingham at 423-593-7505 or Deanna@willinghamemail.com.

“I’m happy to collect artwork anywhere on the mountain, then deliver back after the show,” she says.

Paper paintings need to be ready for display, either framed or mounted on cardstock or construction paper.

Fairyland School Art Show
April 9, 3:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Lookout Mountain United Methodist Church

Mountain Spotlight: Roddy Reynolds

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Whenever someone on Lookout Mountain sees an exceptionally well-behaved dog, one question comes to mind: Is that a Roddy Dog?

Roddy Reynolds of Blowing Springs Kennels has been breeding and training dogs for more than 30 years. Walking his nearly 50-acre training facility at the foot of Lookout Mountain, the difference is immediately clear. His climate-controlled kennel is spotless and quiet, even when at its 45-dog capacity.

That’s because Reynolds employs a unique “flushing system,” air circulation, humidity control and his famous “no-bark” policy. He doesn’t train every dog he boards, but he quickly nips any bad habits in the bud such as chewing, incessant barking and digging.

Training doesn’t take long if you’re speaking their language,” he says, surrounded by half a dozen chocolate labs in his indoor training area. With one word, all of them leap onto a high bench and wait patiently for their next command. Their eyes trained on Reynolds, they would sit for hours if he asked them to.

But that’s not all. His proteges can dive to the bottom of a lake to retrieve something, “drive” golf carts, leap over 5-foot fences and even walk each other on a leash. Relying on praise and pressure, his methods aren’t too far from raising a child – start early, be consistent, use effective communication.

If one of his pups does something Reynolds doesn’t like, he responds with a “bite” – a quick nip with his hands at the dog’s shoulder, much like his or her mother would do.

"People like to talk a lot about positive reinforcement in animal training, but name one animal who uses treats to train their young?” he asks. “The animal learns to do something for the treat, not because you told him so."

His methods are intentional but far from punishing. Instead of lying food and water out all day, dogs learn to follow the trainer to eat. They don’t chew their toys to pieces; playtime is high energy and interactive, and dogs are expected to wait patiently until that time.

“Giving your dog food and toys and expecting nothing in return is like humans getting a paycheck no matter what,” he explains. “If you act like a maid, you teach your dog that you are his servant.”

If this seem opposite of everything you’ve ever known about dogs, that’s exactly the point. Even so, Reynolds is far from a drill sergeant with his dogs. His three personal pets are his constant companions, lounging on cots in his office every day.

“I’ve done field trial training and while those dogs do an exceptional job, they aren’t the kind to hang out in your house,” he says. “I wanted both a hunting dog and a pet, which is how I developed my approach to training.”

It’s also how he approaches breeding. There’s a long checklist when finding a mate for his long-time pet, Chief. Head, ears, coat and facial features all have to be just right. He’s looking for exceptional hunting dogs – mostly field champions – but with sweet dispositions.

“It can take years to find the right match,” he says. “Sometimes I can’t really put into words what I’m looking for, but I’ve driven as far as Montana and Texas to find the right mate.”

Since puppies are a rarity, his bread and butter business is training. In a relatively short amount of time, Reynolds and his staff can accomplish anything from breaking bad habits to training service dogs. His focus, however, is “Gun Dog” training.

Blowing Springs welcomes any medium to large size pup under 2 years of age, and draws dogs from all over the Southeast. It’s also one of the only facilities in the nation to work with aggressive dogs.

The most comprehensive program is Reynold’s all-inclusive boarding option. For $1,200 ($1,000 for puppies) dogs spend one month at Blowing Springs, learning everything from basic obedience to dock jumping and retrieving. Private and group lessons are also available ($100 for private; $200 for four 1-hour group classes).

There’s just one requirement – owner involvement. Reynolds strongly recommends visiting as often as possible to understand how to speak their dog’s language.

The hardest part of my job is training the owners,” he says with a smile.

Blowing Springs Kennel is located at 370 Chattanooga Valley Road, Flintstone, GA. Open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., the facility is open for tours during business hours. For more information, visit their website or call 423-413-2314.

mARkeT Madness this Saturday

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March Madness is coming to Lookout Mountain. This weekend, the monthly artist’s market – mARkeT Above the Clouds – invites all ages to vie for top spot in their obstacle course competition. Held on the front lawn of Georgia’s City Hall, you can show your skills in the three legged races, bocce ball, bean bag tosses, egg races and more.

While you’re there, enter to win the grand prize of dinner for 4 at the Chattanoogan’s chef’s table. To enter, simply buy an item from any vendor and receive a ticket for the drawing (held that day at 3:15 p.m.).

Vendors this month include Grace Ratchford with “Graceful Art,” Ashley Roe with “Roe’s Garden,” Emily Bradford with “Coyote Cove Farms” lotions and soap, Beth Spear with “Thirty-One Gifts,” Heather Droke with her air plant and succulent arrangements plus Jim & Allyson’s hotdog with all the fixin’s cart.

March will be one of the last indoor markets, set up in the four-bay garage behind City Hall. As truly a community event, becoming a vendor is absolutely free and can be done by calling organizer Grace Ratchford at 423-991-9940.

This Month on the Mountain: March

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March has come in like a lion, with chilly temperatures and snow still on the ground. But warm weather will hopefully move in quickly - much like the events this month. There are several coming up that are not to be missed. Visit our Community Calendar page for more details.

If you'd like to add something to our calendar, please contact us at editor@livingonlookout.com

Thursday, March 5

Fall registration for Good Shepherd School

Friday, March 6

Special Community Concert at LMPC featuring students from The Juilliard School of New York. LMPC's own Thomas West, baritone, will perform alongside three of his Juilliard colleagues, pianist Matthew Maimone, and cellists Keith Williams and Phillip Sheegog.

Saturday, March 7

PTA White Elephant Sale at Lookout Mountain School

Tuesday, March 10

Registration for Mother’s Day Out at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian School

Friday and Saturday, March 13, 14

Fairyland Elementary School’s production of "Aladdin"

Saturday, March 14

Special Community Concert at LMPC, “My Favorite Piano Pieces with Jim Hangstefer.” Includes an afternoon of piano classics and hymns, including Liszt, Rachmaninoff and more. Will be held in the LMPC sanctuary with a video simulcast in the chapel for people with young children.

Monday – Thursday, March 16 – 19

Fairyland School Book Fair, including community reading by Media Specialist Ms. Cairns. Door prizes and refreshments available, as well as 10% discount on Scholastic books.

Friday – Sunday, March 20 – 22

World Missions Conference at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church. Focusing on “Gospel Ministry in the Post-Christian West” with nationally recognized speakers such as Ralph Cunnington, Michael and Kim Essenburg, Daniel Watts, Holly Tolson, Tim and Annette Gulick, Elizabeth and Paul Musser and more.

Go Greek! Sorority 101 Event Tomorrow

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Go Greek! Sorority 101
Church on Main, 1601 Rossville Blvd.
Sunday, March 1, 2-4

It’s not your mama’s sorority. Virtually everything about Greek life has changed in recent years, starting from the very beginning. First of all, the process of getting in isn’t Rush; it’s Recruitment. Rushee’s are now Potential New Members, and Pledges are New Members.

The differences go beyond semantics. Ten years ago it was who you knew; today sororities are looking for young women with strong academic records and leadership skills. There are now resumes in addition to letters of recommendation.

Needless to say, this can all be very overwhelming – which is why the Chattanooga Alumnae Panhellenic Association hosts their yearly event, Go Greek! Sorority 101.

“The event is a one-stop shop for all you could ever dream of or want to know about Greek Life,” explains Lookout Mountain resident Kate Boschi, who serves on the Go Greek Committee. “It doesn’t matter if you’re totally new to Greek Life or a sixth-generation legacy – you will have all your questions answered as well as some myths debunked.”

“The event is a one-stop shop for all you could ever dream of or want to know about Greek Life.

Held at the Southside’s Church on Main, the two hour event covers the benefits of Greek Life, what to expect with Recruitment, etiquette tips and conversation skills, tips on letters of recommendation and more. The highlight is the fashion show, emceed by Lookout Mountain’s fashion icon Kim Coulter.

Highlighting outfits by local designer Anna Victoria, the show covers every outfit one might need for the week-long Recruitment. The event is held early enough to give moms and daughters time to shop, with money-saving tips like “shopping” their own closets first or buying things that could serve dual purposes. There are also fashion do’s and don’ts, such as pairing a short skirt with a low-cut top. However, the fashion show goes beyond clothes.

“I talk about poise, posture and inner confidence – I always say your best accessory is your smile,” says Coulter. “Even if a girl thinks she’ll never go through Recruitment, these are skills that may benefit her for a lifetime.”

Even if a girl thinks she’ll never go through Recruitment, these are skills that may benefit her for a lifetime.

Sorority 101 is open to any high school senior girl attending any university and her mother. Keeping moms in the loop is helpful so they can feel like they can offer support and not rely on outdated information.

This is a not-to-be-missed event,” says Lookout Mountain mom, Lisa Shanahan attended last year with her daughter, Tara. “It gave us both a clear overview of the process which lowered stress before and during Recruitment.

In the past 5-10 years these types of events have become very common throughout the South. “We brought this event to Chattanooga 4 years ago to ensure that our local girls were as prepared for Recruitment as the others on their campus,” explains event chair Tiffany Holland. “So much has changed in recent years it’s helpful to have both moms and daughters on the same page. In addition to being an informative event we work to make it a fun one for the girls.”

Numerous Lookout Mountain girls attended last year, including GPS Graduate Taylor Walden, who recently pledged Kappa Alpha Theta at Southern Methodist University.

“I definitely felt more prepared,” she says. “Since I’m the only child and no one in my family had ever been in a sorority, I had NO idea what to expect. Having a program like this really relieved a lot of the stress and gave my mom and I a lot of needed information.”

To attend this FREE event, simply RSVP to chattpanhellenic@gmail.com with names of attendees, high school and college (if known).

Night Out for Lookout this Friday

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Debbie Wilson Photography

Night Out for Lookout, benefiting Lookout Mountain School
Friday, February 27 at 6:30 p.m.
Fairyland Club Ballroom
$55 general admission, $45 LMS grandparents

This week, students at Lookout Mountain School will enjoy their daily PE classes, music lessons and science lab. They’ll probably paint something special in art class, or benefit from the one-on-one instruction provided by small class sizes and teaching assistants.

None of these would be available without the funds raised by the Parent-Teacher Association – and this weekend is your chance to support their efforts.

Elementary school is where the magic happens – where children begin their love of learning,” explains PTA parent Ginger Birnbaum, whose daughter is in kindergarten. “We want to ensure that each child remembers their time at Lookout Mountain School just that way – magical!

To do so, she is chairing the sixth annual Night Out for Lookout, held this Friday at the Fairyland Club Ballroom. Sponsored by The Lamp Post Group, this year promises to be one of the best yet featuring music by The Power Players Show Band and a live auction emceed by Henry Glascock.

“We want the evening to share the mission of the PTA, and we have a very dedicated planning committee of 20-plus people as well as a group of Parent Ambassadors to make that happen,” says Birnbaum.

One of the biggest changes this year will be the auction. In addition to the regular roundup of wonderful packages in the silent auction, there will be a live auction emceed by Henry Glascock. Vie for your chance at a Tuscan wine dinner for 10 at Hennen’s; a one week vacation at Navarre Beach, FL; or four East Club tickets with parking pass to the UT/Vandy football game. There will also be an open paddle bid toward the education of LMS students.

Other coveted silent auction items include an LA Lakers jersey signed by Shaquille O’Neal, Southern Surgical Arts package, Alpine Camp for Boys campership, golf for 4 at the Honors Course, Tennessee Titans tickets, Mallie’s Sweet Treats and A Day at the Lamp Post Group.

There will also be numerous sign-up events including the Scavenger Hunt, a Wine Tasting at Meeting Place and Trivia Night. For the kids there are parties for Music, Science, Ultimate Dodgeball, a Welborn Girls Art Party and a father/son campout at Wingfield Farm.

Always a fun evening, Night Out for Lookout is a wonderful opportunity for both the Georgia and Tennessee residents to come together. In fact, one very special auction item was donated by Fairyland Elementary and includes two tickets to their fundraiser Music on the Mountain as well as 50 tickets to the Fairyland School Festival.

We want this to be a community event, bringing together people from all over Lookout as well as the Chattanooga area,” says Birnbaum. “At the end of the evening, we want parents, LMS teachers and faculty, and community members to leave the event feeling more connected to the education of the children at LMS.

Purchase your tickets today online, at the Lookout Mountain School front office or by emailing nightoutforlookout@gmail.com.

A Special Thanks to the Night Out for Lookout Planning Committee:
Heather Biebel, Ginger Birnbaum, Carter Breazeale, Katie Byrum, Michelle Coakley, Heather Corley, Meredith Ensign, Christie Frierson, Julie Garrett, Whitney Garvich, Kelly Grant, Marcie Haisten, Lucia Hopper, Karen Leavengood, Celeste Lindeman, Jennifer Mauss, Mary Ellen Mazo, Windie McGinness, Kristi Murray, Jenny Stickley, Katie Stout, Melissa Youngblood

Snow Day Photo Contest

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There’s nothing better than a Lookout Mountain snow day – and we want to see your very best!

Now through Sunday, post your best snow day pic on our Facebook page and enter to win a $50 gift certificate from Talus Restaurant.

Snow is in the forecast tomorrow, but since Mother Nature loves to be unpredictable, we’re opening this up to ANY year. As long as the photo is taken on LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN in the SNOW, it’s eligible.

Sift through your photo albums and scroll through your phones. If it’s a hard copy or in a picture frame, snap a picture of it with your smartphone to post. (Content counts more than photo quality.) Video is also eligible.

Once you’ve posted to LivingOnLookout’s Facebook timeline, share with your friends and ask them to “Like.” The picture with the most “Likes” by Sunday is our winner.

So get your cameras and pray for snow…let the games begin!

Open to anyone 18 years and older – you do not have to be a resident to participate.

Lookout Mountain Directory Goes Digital

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Need to call your neighbor and don’t know the number? There’s an app for that.

The Lookout Mountain Directory is now available on mobile and desktop browsers. There’s even a way to save it to the home screen of your Apple IOS or Google Android device, allowing it to function as any other app (all free of charge).

As a fundraiser for Lookout Mountain School, the Directory has always been printed on a bi-annual basis and sold at places like Fairyland Pharmacy, Market on the Mountain as well as school fundraisers like Night Out for Lookout and Carnival. While the PTA doesn’t expect the online version to replace the printed one, they acknowledge the growing need for info on the go.

While everyone loves the printed version, we’d had a lot of requests for a digital one,” says Jenny Stickley, LMS Annual Fund chair. “We’re very excited about the flexibility it offers.

You can now also make changes to your own data in the directory by submitting an online form. Not only will this keep information more current, it allows people without landlines to be included – unlike traditional phone books.

The online version was created as a gift to the school by parent Tim Youngblood, Co-Founder and Solution Architect for CodeScience.

The latest printed version of the Lookout Mountain Directory will be released this fall.



On your iPhone, touch the square/arrow icon at the bottom of your phone to add to your home screen. For Android devices, touch the menu at the top right of the Chrome mobile browser and select “Add to Homescreen.” An app “link” will automatically appear.

Off-Broadway Play Comes to Lookout Mountain

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Actor Brad Sherrill at the Sea of Galilee

On March 1, an off-Broadway production will debut on Lookout Mountain, GA. What’s more, it’s showing for free.

The Gospel of John has been performed over 600 times since 2001 in professional theaters and churches across the U.S. and Europe. And during this season of Lent, it will come to Our Lady of the Mount Catholic Church.

“The show is a unique opportunity to witness one of the most beautifully written gospels brought to life,” says Father Tom Shuler, pastor. “We’re honored to bring this ecumenical event to Lookout Mountain. It’s a great way to bring our faith communities together during a very special time of year.”

The show is a unique opportunity to witness one of the most beautifully written gospels brought to life

Actor Brad Sherill – producer and star of the one-man show – spent nearly five months memorizing all 20,000 words of John’s gospel. Even so, he planned to perform his dramatic interpretation of the life and death of Jesus just one time at his home church in Atlanta.

That was in 2001, and the show was immediately praised as “amazing” and “riveting” by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Since then it’s enjoyed successful theatrical runs off-Broadway at New York City’s historic Lamb’s Theatre (2003) and at professional theaters in Chicago, Washington D.C., Toronto and Atlanta. The Gospel of John’s European Cathedral Tour (2007-2009) brought the performance to large, historic cathedrals in the U.K., Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Using about a dozen simple props in various ways, Sherrill transforms the gospel into a captivating drama, presenting the entire story of the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. An estimated 180,000 people worldwide have now experienced a rare opportunity to see and hear an entire gospel presented live in this dramatic way.

"The overriding question here is whether the word of God can work as a drama,” wrote Kathy Janich in her review in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Sherrill proves that it most certainly and successfully can. You need only watch him as John the Baptist, testifying to his first sighting of Jesus Christ, to become a believer. And this moment comes less than 10 minutes into the show."

The overriding question here is whether the word of God can work as a drama...Sherrill proves that it most certainly and successfully can.

The Washington Post adds: “The Gospel of John is a sweaty, gritty tale of a miracle-working idealist who runs afoul of the law. Passion, longing, envy, greed, ambition, intrigue and betrayal -- it's all here, and it is riveting!”

Sherrill has acted professionally in Atlanta since 1983. In 2000, Atlanta Magazine selected him as Atlanta's Best Dramatic Actor, and Creative Loafing named him Atlanta's Best Actor the following year.

He has performed in 20 productions at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre and is an Artistic Associate for the Georgia Shakespeare Theatre where he has acted in over 50 productions in 24 seasons. Sherrill began acting at the age of eleven at Chamblee First United Methodist Church where he is still a member.

Seating for the performance at Our Lady of the Mount Catholic Church begins at 6:00 p.m. There is no need to make a reservation. An offering will be taken for those who choose to contribute.

Mountain Spotlight: Junior League Washboard Band

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If you want to play on Lookout, you gotta have a washboard in the band. But anything can be repurposed as an instrument for The Bandana Babes, artists formerly known as the Junior League Washboard Band.

“We’d sometimes say, here are some dried beans I was going to make for dinner – think I’ll put them in a jar and that will be my instrument today,” jokes Margaret Ann Bentley. “You can make music with anything; a cheese grater with a whisk, wooden spoons.”

She’s sitting in the lobby of the Fairyland Club with band mates Cheryl Stinnett, Emily Brown and Eleanor Dobson. They’re pouring over pictures from their 38 years of playing music together at schools, nursing homes, civic functions and more. They’ve played the zoo, the library, Creative Discovery Museum…even a grocery store grand opening.

“We’ll burst into song anywhere,” laughs Cheryl.

This includes the time they were walking to their Riverbend gig, instruments in hand, and ran into a wedding party on the street. They gave an impromptu concert, singing “Going to the Chapel” as the couple walked from ceremony to reception.

The band started in the late ‘70s as a Junior League placement. The League’s choral group was losing steam and member Anne Rittenberry suggested they convert their talents into a washboard band like the one she was in at the University of Georgia.

The Junior League Washboard Band was born, and would play under that name for several decades. Participating meant committing to three-hour practices and half-hour performances each week. Even so, the placement was so popular at one point they tried to limit the number of years you could participate. The group became known as the friendly and fun ambassadors of the League.

Over the years, about 30 women from all over Chattanooga have participated. Now they’re down to the dedicated core of 13: Margaret Ann Bentley, Emily Brown, Amanda Cauthen, Susan Colmore, Eleanor Dobson, Imogene Konvalinka, Anne Rittenberry, Cheryl Stinnett, Anne Thomas, Sandy Webb, Robin Wheelock, Peg Willingham and Charlotte Witry.

They each sing and play myriad instruments including the bass ukulele, triangle, a bucket with brushes, sand blocks, kazoos, tambourine, a wash tub/broomstick instrument named “Geraldine” and of course, a washboard.

They downplay their musical aptitude, saying their friendship is the glue that kept the band together through children and now grandchildren. While their animated stage presence is undeniable, their talent has kept them booked with gigs ranging from the Walden Club to the Fairyland Festival, where they were the opening act for the Dismembered Tennesseans.

“I remember once a little girl was bragging to my kids about her mother’s high powered job,” recalls Emily. “They said, ‘Well my mom’s in a band.’ She went, ‘Whoa, that’s so cool!’”

The group is still dreaming big, naming The Bluebird Café, the FloraBama and possibly even the Grand Ol’ Opry as possibilities for the future.

“We’re in this for the long haul,” smiles Margaret Ann.

“We’re still dreaming,” adds Emily.

For more images of the Bandana Babes through the years, visit our Facebook page.

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