News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Turkey and dressing in Montgomery

Most people probably do not find it odd that the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in Montgomery has a beautiful male turkey, preserved by a taxidermist, to greet visitors.

Visitors may do a double-take, however when they notice the turkey wears a costume.

"This month it is wedding stuff," said Conservation spokeswoman Kim Nix. The turkey, in a tiny "tuxedo" coat and top hat, sits grandly beside a rubber duck decoy in a wedding veil and bridal "gown."

The turkey, not the decoy, sports the traditional bridal garter. No legs on the decoy, explains M.J. Ellington.

An accordion-pleated paper wedding cake, with not even one slice removed, sits beside the pair.

Conservation staff started dressing up the turkey months ago in themed outfits. "The best one was Mardi Gras," Kim said.

Draft beer in a bottle?

Decatur City Councilman Ray Metzger wanted clarification on a proposal to allow draft beer sales in Decatur.

Martin Burkey reports that City Attorney Herman Marks had introduced a resolution for discussion. The resolution would ask the local state legislative delegation to introduce a local act to authorize the sale of draft or keg beer.

"So if I buy Miller Draft in a grocery store, that's not draft?" Ray needled Herman.

"I'm not able to warrant what you get in a grocery store," Herman replied in his best legal lingo, drawing several laughs. "You will have to talk to Miller about that."

Slow 'em down

Worries about the traffic on Alabama 20 between Interstate 565 and Decatur moved city officials to some novel solutions in a lighter moment.

A proposed extension of I-565 into Decatur would take years. The state won't allow Decatur to abruptly drop the speed limit for westbound traffic at the gas stations where so many accidents occur. Officials also worry that multiple curb cuts or traffic lights would bring traffic to a standstill.

At a Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting, City Councilman Ronny Russell wryly suggested speed humps, Martin says. Not to be outdone, Mayor Don Kyle suggested a big roundabout.

Success for ex-paper boy

A former DAILY newspaper carrier, Sam Hocking, marks his 70th birthday today in Dallas, where he has owned a successful computer business for the past 30 years.

"He started delivering the paper when he was 8 years old, in 1943, and did that until 1949, when the family moved to Mobile," a sister, Molly Hocking of Tallahassee, Fla., told Ronnie Thomas. "He worked for IBM before he started his own business, Dallas Data. We're so proud of him."

And so are we. Happy birthday, Sam.

E-mail glut

Summer vacation boredom comes quickly for some sixth-graders. Eric Fleischauer says an 11-year-old boy, freed of his responsibilities at Cedar Ridge Middle School, e-mailed his dad 14 times in his first three hours of vacation.

The dad's colleague proposed a fail-safe, if unorthodox, solution: A spam filter.

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. DAILY staff members contribute many of the items you see here.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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