News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2005

Steve Stewart

Tournament disappoints; team doesn't

The Alabama Blitz dodgeball team finished second at the world cup tournament in Asheville, N.C., last weekend, but team organizer Julianne Lowman said the players were first in sportsmanship.

The tournament, she told Paul Huggins, was not professionally run or sanctioned as advertised. For example, it had only six teams instead of the eight promised, and four were local teams when all eight were supposed to be state champs.

Inconsistent officiating and sudden rule changes also frustrated all teams, but Lowman said the Alabama team never lost its cool.

The team consisted of Russell Moore and Tron Meadows, both of Hartselle; Andrew Hall, Dustin Hall, Aaron Banta and Eric Olson, all of Athens; and Nathan Smith of Decatur.

Under the doom

Toby Roth is Gov. Bob Riley's chief of staff with a nonstop schedule. He's also father to three lively daughters, a 9-year-old and twins who are 7.

M.J. Ellington heard him speak to a delegation from the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce in Montgomery. He began with a story about fatherhood in the state's historic Capitol — and what he hoped was not an apt description of government work.

One day he overheard a daughter describing his new work space.

"My dad, you gotta see his office," she said. "He works in a building with a doom on the top."

Web conclave announced that it is offering a "virtual conclave" during the time that Roman Catholic cardinals are meeting in Rome to elect a pope.

The online event includes Catholics and non-Catholics, men and women, talking about the church and its needs. The group will even do periodic votes.

"Beliefnet makes no claim that the Holy Spirit will be visiting this gathering ..." said the editor in chief.

The idea is to discuss the future of the church, Christianity and religion, he stated.

Melanie Smith comments that you might figure such a gimmick would come from a Web site that also offers "Belief-O-Matic," a way for viewers to discover their religion by answering a few multiple-choice questions.

The way it was

Ralph Lawson of Decatur seemed surprised when Ronnie Thomas asked him to talk about Okinawa and his Marine career.

"I'm not famous," he said.

He picked up a book by William Manchester titled "Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War."

"He is (famous). And I can track my movements in the Pacific by reading his," Ralph said. "Manchester and I were in the same outfit, the 29th Marines, but in a different company. I never met him. But if anyone wants to know how it really was, read the book."

The author died last June.

DAILY Weekend Editor Steve Stewart compiles and edits You Don't Say. If you have an item of community interest, call Steve at 340-2444, e-mail him at, or write to You Don't Say, THE DECATUR DAILY, P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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