News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Movie star unrecognized in Hartselle

Sue Baker Roan of Hartselle piped up when dinner talk turned to the late author William Bradford Huie, her late husband's cousin.

Bill Huie lived in Hartselle and turned out controversial best-sellers such as "The Americanization of Emily." Eight books became movies.

He occasionally hosted movie stars in his home. Cathy Wahl passes on Sue's recollection about Richard Burton, who starred in 1974's "The Klansman," based on Huie's book (and also starring O.J. Simpson).

"Richard Burton was walking around downtown, but nobody recognized him. There were a few people who thought it was somebody who looked a lot like him," Sue recalls. "You just don't expect to see Richard Burton, walking around downtown Hartselle in a black leather jacket."

Do as I say ...

In the interest of safety, two states and the District of Columbia require drivers to use hands-free devices if they talk on cell phones.

Erin McGee, spokeswoman for the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, was asked how it's working in D.C.

Emily McMackin reports her sharp reply:

"A policeman holding a cell phone up to his ear passed me on the road the other day, if that tells you anything."

Lace and totem poles

Spring and summer brides booking the Carnegie Visual Arts Center can relax now that the totem poles and ceremonial masks are gone and Joe Price's framed serigraphs offer a more sedate backdrop.

For a couple of months, the exhibit from the Pacific Northwest was the background of every photo. Imagine showing your wedding photos and having friends ask about the bright red and blue masks resembling all types of animals.

At least one bridal couple and a pair celebrating their anniversary decided not to worry about it and held their events there anyway.

Wooing the voters

San Antonio mayoral hopeful Julian Castro wasn't really in two places at once. His twin brother took his place in a parade, waving to thousands.

The candidate told The Associated Press that he had a conflicting event and didn't intend to deceive anyone.

But opposing candidate Phil Hardberger called it dishonest and deceptive.

"If you're 18 years old and having a date, it might be a youthful prank when you swap out your brother," he said. "But when you're running for mayor of a city with 1.3 million people and sending in your brother as an impersonator ... I do see a problem with it."

State liquor gone

Earlier in this legislative session, lawmakers had to repeal a state law that named an official state whiskey after the head of the company sold some of the good stuff to a minor.

"Makes you wonder about some of these bills," said one lawmaker, quoted by M.J. Ellington. "I think people introduce those just to have something to filibuster about."

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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