News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Mom's just clueless about space

A woman was walking through the Decatur Wal-Mart with two young boys. One, beaming with excitement, asked her a space-travel question.

"Do you know who the pilot of the Apollo 13 mission was?"

She knew the youngster wanted to tell her the answer. With a puzzled looked, she replied, "No, who was it?"

"Everybody knows it was Tom Hanks," the child responded. He then told his friend, "Your mom doesn't get around very much, does she?"

The woman looked at Paul Stackhouse and shook her head. "Six-year-olds!"


It's a question lots of children ask and one that Decatur City Councilman Ray Metzger couldn't resist posing to a franchise applicant at a council meeting.

The council approved the application of Pawel Adamczweki, who wanted to bring his Friendly Ice Cream Truck to Decatur. After council questions on safety and noise, Ray had one more for Pavel Schultz, representing Pawel.

"What do you do in the wintertime?" Ray wanted to know.

"We sleep," Pavel said.

Dollar needs laundering

The owner of a Decatur carwash called police to tell them he found a $1 bill.

Thinking it odd the man didn't just stuff the bill into his pocket, Chris Paschenko asked for more information.

Police said the bill was stained red, and the man thought it might be blood. Police took the bill as evidence.

Friendly negotiators

Even two sides of a contentious contract negotiation can have a little fun.

In search of cheaper power, Decatur Utilities is evaluating whether to dump the Tennessee Valley Authority and find another supplier. Decatur is one of TVA's largest industrial customers, and the agency is understandably keen to hang on to the city.

When DU managers reported the results of a consultant's study to the Municipal Utilities Board, Butch Massey, general manager of customer service for TVA in Alabama, was there to listen.

He occasionally politely interrupted DU General Manager Kem Carr, who was skeptical about TVA's costs, long-term debt and other issues. Kem yielded politely to let Butch state his case.

"I told him to leave his TVA hat at the door because it wouldn't fit through," Kem said, grinning at Butch.

Puppy evacuees

Hurricane evacuations from South Alabama have become routine even for family pets, but a Chihuahua from Satsuma had five times as much trouble evacuating before Hurricane Dennis as she did before Ivan.

Patrice Stewart saw her and five new puppies in a covered kennel in the back of her family's pickup at Decatur's Country Inn and Suites, where 10 human members of the family took turns coddling them.

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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