News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, APRIL 24, 2005

Steve Stewart

Sneaky snake adds drama to beach trip

Former DAILY reporter Dawn Kent of Birmingham has a new car phobia.

As she told it to Paul Huggins, while preparing to leave Gulf Shores last week, she saw a snake of unknown species crawl under her sister's car and disappear into the engine compartment.

Others assured them the snake would never get into the driver's area, and she and her sister drove separate cars to a mall.

When they returned from shopping and opened the door, they found the snake in the
driver's seat.

Dawn slammed the door, catching the snake's tail. Rescuers came, armed with pocketknives and golf clubs. A man convinced Dawn he could catch it.

The snake slipped through his fingers and slithered straight to Dawn's car, where it crawled into her engine.

Mechanics couldn't find the snake. Taking no chances, Dawn left the car in Foley in hopes the snake would crawl away or die. But nobody has seen it.

Dawn let her brother drive the car home Tuesday, but conceded she doesn't know if she will ever feel safe in it again.

Just don't argue

Soft-spoken and sweet-voiced, Alabama Medicaid Commissioner Carol Herrmann can be tough. A plaque near her desk gives a hint, says M.J. Ellington.

It reads: "Never argue with a woman who is tired — or rested."

The commissioner said a Washington, D.C., attorney, Mel Harkin, gave her the plaque. He helped state Medicaid officials resolve a yearlong battle with federal authorities over Medicaid billing.

Never argue with a woman who is tired — or rested?

"It just means never argue with a woman," she smiled.

Family politics

The first time Athens police Lt. Floyd Johnson III voted, he angered his father.

"When he asked me who I voted for, I told him Ronald Reagan," Floyd recalled. Republican Reagan's opponent was Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Floyd Johnson II told his son the family didn't vote for Republicans.

"He chewed me out because he said my — how ever many greats? — grandfather got his thumb shot off by a Yankee in the Civil War," Floyd said, according to Holly Hollman. "He told me we voted Democrat."

'Mrs. Jordan's' sympathy

For people who like to attend every funeral in town, but don't have the time, the Internet is making it easier to make one's presence known.

One woman who calls herself "Mrs. Jordan" signs online guest books at the Web site of Norfolk, Va.'s Metropolitan Funeral Home, says Clyde Stancil.

Each entry begins with: "To The Family, I read of your loss and want to ..."

Apparently Mrs. Jordan saves her condolences for lonely people, because she rarely signs a guest book that has more than three entries.

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

Leave feedback
on this or