The gates as they originally stood just off Cahaba Valley Road at the entrance to Heardmont Farm. Howard Perdue, Jr. built the gates and today they stand at the Park’s entrance near the playground. Photos courtesy of Nancy Perdue Boone.
By KATHRYN ACREE
Today Heardmont, or as it’s officially named, The Park at Heardmont Farm, welcomes kids playing in its ball fields or along its creek beds and football, soccer and cross country teams from around the state. But longtime residents may remember the park was once Heardmont Farm. Like many park and recreation venues, you might think
Howard Perdue, Jr. constructed this small home on Heardmont Farm that was later converted into a sheriff’s substation. Also pictured are corrals on the farm where he raised Polled Hereford cattle.
there is an ancient Mr. or Mrs. Heardmont somewhere in Alabama’s past, but this is not the case.
Heardmont owes its name to Stephen Heard, the first governor of Georgia named in 1781. Heard’s fourth great-grandson, Howard Perdue, Jr., born in 1912, was a well-known Birmingham trial lawyer. Continue reading
By KRYSTI SHALLENBERGER
Heardmont Park boot camp instructor Ashley Dawson prepares for the Ragner Race; her team placed first among the women’s teams. Photo courtesy of Ashley Dawson.
Only once has Ashley Dawson canceled her outdoor boot camp class at Heardmont Park. That was during the infamous April tornadoes.
“It doesn’t matter what people’s (fitness) levels are; I can push them to do more, and they do that every class,” she said.
Some students in her class come off the couch and others are avid marathon runners, but all come together for the same hour-long cardio, weight and core workout.
The goal of Extreme Fit Boot Camps, according to Dawson, is to strengthen the heart.
“What it did for me was to take me to a level of fitness that I didn’t know I had,” she said. And that drive and desire is what she now wants to impart to her students. Continue reading
Coin skirts jingle from the waists of senior citizens. They spin in circles and wave their hands above their heads to the beat of Cee Lo’s “Forget You” and other pop songs.
The ladies of Zumba Gold with instructor Kim Knight at the Heardmont Senior Center. Photo by Mia Bass.
“Our mothers never taught us to shake it like this,” class member Sandra Alliston said. By “shaking it” at the Zumba Gold class at the Heardmont Senior Center, Alliston has lost 40 pounds.
“This isn’t the sort of thing for those who aren’t active,” Sandra Craft said. She’s not kidding. The class lasts 45 minutes. The ladies said that salsa, swing and hip hop numbers are their favorites in Zumba, a work-out class inspired by Latin music and dance.
Craft and Rena Coleman also take part in aerobics and tai chi at the senior center twice a week, along with Zumba. “We’ve been here since the beginning, since the very first class,” they said. The class began with only five or six participants in April of last year but has since grown to upwards of 25.
These Friday Zumba classes are led by instructor Kim Knight and begin at 9 a.m. Classes are free to all Shelby County residents ages 55 and up. Those interested can also join in Wednesday Zumba classes in the fall for only $8 per month. Wednesday classes begin at 1 p.m. For more information, call the Heardmont Senior Center at 991-5742.