News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Businesses bring jobs and candy

Decatur City Council members seem to like two types of new businesses — big new industries that bring lots of jobs and tax revenue, and small businesses that bring tasty treats.

The council rezoned 3.6 acres south of Mill Road and east of Norris Mill Road from agricultural to light industry for Mary Howard, who wanted to convert an outbuilding into a kitchen for her candy-making business.

"You were told we do require samples?" Councilman Ronny Russell said, at least half-seriously.

Mary was ready, though, and came forward with a cellophane-wrapped package.

"Can we have an intermission?" Councilman Gary Hammon asked.

"Bribe!" shouted Mayor Don Kyle.

Poker politics

Scheduling a friendly poker game for a DAILY story proved a challenge.

Reporter Lauren Howard contacted the district attorney's office to confirm that gambling in a private, social setting is legal.

While a few hands of poker amongst buddies are permitted under state law, some players — and potential politicians — opted not to publicize their hobbies.

"I'm out! What would my future constituents think?" joked one.


Country singer Harold Russell of Cullman recalls his early years when he played Jamboree USA in Wheeling, W.Va.

Harold told Ronnie Thomas that country music legend Faron Young frequented a nearby club after he finished his show at the Jamboree.

"He loved to slick that jet-black hair back and flirt with the women, going from table to table.

"He came up to me and said, 'You look pretty levelheaded. How about walking around with me and watch my back? I don't want a jealous husband to sneak up behind me and knife me.'

"I went along with him. And most seemed to get a big kick out of his company, even jealous husbands."

Ready for anything

Sixty-two-year-old Frank Ready of Decatur is about as crusty as they come, Eric Fleischauer says. Frank prides himself on telling things as they are. Even if that requires strong language, which it usually does.

Despite two strokes that left him confined to a wheelchair, Frank insists he has no complaints. "I don't let nothin' bother me but the flies. And I've got a fly swatter for them."

Calendar girls

Three employees at the Morgan County Courthouse have calendar names: April Pendegraph, May McCartt and June Berry.

April and May work in District Attorney Bob Burrell's office, and June is a courthouse security officer.

They're all extremely nice and smile a lot, Sheryl Marsh says.

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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