News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

$46 won't buy a bride or husband

A couple discovered that their marriage license isn't all they thought. Here's how Clyde Stancil tells it:

After obtaining the license from the Lawrence County Courthouse, the couple began living together in happy matrimony.

The groom's mother apparently told them they were not married so often that it forced the bride to call the courthouse.

"My mother-in-law says we're not married," a clerk there recalls her saying.

"Did the judge or somebody else marry you?" the clerk asked.

The answer was no. But it shouldn't matter, the bride protested, because they purchased a license.

Upon learning someone still has to perform a ceremony to officially marry them, the bride became angry.

"Is that all we get for $46?" she asked.

Bo reunites friends

Two friends, who were born months apart and grew up in Ragland, got together at a Bo Watch party at Mamas Country Diner in Somerville, supporting Bo Bice on "American Idol."

Johnie Seale taught school in Jefferson County 26 years and retired to Somerville to be near her daughter, Gail Sharp. Johnie's friend Ann Abreau traveled the world with her husband, who retired from the Army while they lived in Huntsville. They moved to Winter Park, Fla.

Johnie's husband died in 2001, Ann's in 2004.

"They stay in touch and visit each other," Gail told Ronnie Thomas. "Here they are, acting like kids again, boosting Bo and loving every minute they spend together."

Fans everywhere

You never know who is watching "American Idol."

The subject arose at a Decatur Utilities board meeting, with managers discussing the prospects for finalists Carrie Underwood and Bo. Martin Burkey says someone asked what ever happened to 2003 "Idol" winner Ruben Studdard.

"You've probably got a room with posters on the wall and everything," board member Hugh Hillhouse kidded an underwhelmed DU General Manager Kem Carr, igniting several chuckles.

"It's just a simple chat room," Kem replied.

Time is money

Decatur's George Royer gives time, and his ex-employer matches it with money.

ExxonMobil Foundation recently gave $500 to the Alabama Sheriffs' Youth Ranch at Punkin Center, matching 20 hours' volunteer service by George, an ExxonMobil retiree.

Ranch Director Michael Smith says this has been happening two or three times a year for more than a decade.

"He's extremely interested in these kids, and he's been a supporter for a long time and really cares about their well-being." George, 96, serves on an advisory board and helps with public relations and fund-raising. He visits and calls regularly.

George says the ranch "picks up these children who are abused and so forth and makes something out of them." Nineteen boys live there.

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