News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2005

Steve Stewart

Ex-president gets laughs at Hyundai

In Montgomery for the Hyundai grand opening Friday, former President Bush got the crowd of 4,000 laughing with tales from his presidency. Then as he prepared to leave the lectern, the former chief executive opened his jacket to reveal a full-color American flag lining.

He again caught the audience's attention as about 40 dignitaries from the United States and Korea lined up onstage to cut the traditional grand-opening ribbon.

Hyundai spokesman Kerry Christopher gave careful instructions on how the group should cut on the count of five. Several young women held the ribbon in a sharp, straight line for the cutting crew. The spokesman began the count: "one, two ...," and then the elder Bush cut the ribbon. Two large strips of ribbon went down, instead of 40 fluttering sections of color.

Water moccasins

Proving the ivory-billed woodpecker was not extinct required more than persistence for former Decatur resident Bobby Harrison, who now lives in Madison County.

He told Paul Huggins he probably saw a dozen water moccasins each day while he and Tim Gallagher paddled their canoe through Arkansas swamps.

Bobby came across two men from Ohio who had heard of the woodpecker sighting and arrived with all the gear for the wild. But they had hardly hit the water when they saw their first moccasin and turned tail.

Fans far and wide

Monday night on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Jay noted that women in Kuwait were finally getting the right to vote.

He showed film of a Kuwaiti woman at the polls, then zoomed in on what was supposedly her ballot.

She wrote in Bo Bice's name and drew a heart beside it.

At the time, three "American Idol" contestants were in the running, but Jay chose Bo.

No place like home

Bo's grandmother, "Granny Madge" Schofield of Somerville, traveled to Hollywood a couple of weeks ago to cheer the singer.

She told Ronnie Thomas that the best thing about Hollywood "was getting home. I'm no city girl. I felt like kissing the dirt when I reached Alabama soil."

"Granny Madge" conceded, however, that "I liked it for three days. But there's too much traffic for me, too many people for me."

Prime territory

Do all roads lead to Flint? They do if you're District 3 Councilman Gary Hammon or one of his colleagues, whom he routinely harangues about issues in his district and Flint in particular.

The council voted unanimously Monday to allocate up to $25,000 to build walking trails behind Woodmeade Elementary School, cut low limbs and clean out the underbrush — a project Councilman Ronny Russell pursued for more than five years.

"Ronny assured me that the trail will extend to Flint and Burningtree," Gary said, drawing a few laughs.

Send stories for You Don't Say to or call Weekend Editor Steve Stewart at 340-2444. Or write P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609. DAILY staff members contribute many of the items you see here.

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