News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2005

Steve Stewart

Lesson more important than politics

When George Wallace Jr. was in Somerville recently, he spoke of the assassination attempt on his father's life May 15, 1972, by Arthur Bremer in Laurel, Md.

He said when George Wallace Sr. met Pope John Paul II, he told him he had forgiven Bremer.

"We found a copy of a letter Dad wrote to Bremer. He said, 'If you'll accept Jesus Christ in your heart, as I've done, you and I will be together in heaven.'

"I asked Dad about that. 'Oh, son,' he said, 'if I can't forgive him, my Lord won't forgive me.' So the most important lesson I ever learned from my father had nothing to do with politics. It had to do with faith and forgiveness."

Hurricane in Havana

Volunteers from Beltline Church of Christ who did mission work in Cuba said Hurricane Dennis fortunately didn't wreak havoc on Havana, where they waited out the storm.

Trip organizer Larry Brannan of Huntsville said he knew the storm would hit Cuba but also knew their hotel. That's why he went ahead with travel plans. He did tell Melanie Smith that some thought he was a little crazy. He could feel glass moving from the winds when he left the group's assigned space to check on conditions.

Larry said CNN operates out of the Hotel Libre. Fidel Castro set up his government in the hotel when he came into Havana after the communist revolution.

Forgot to pray

The Morgan County Board of Education jumped right into a lively discussion about the 2006 budget at a called meeting that Bayne Hughes covered.

After about 15 minutes, board member Dora Woodard leaned over to board President Billy Rhodes and whispered, "We forgot to pray."

Billy halted debate immediately and had board members do the pledge of allegiance and pray. Then it was back to the debate.

(A school board member in another county once said they weren't having a public meeting — legally open to everybody — unless they said a prayer.)

How hot is it?

At a Dollar General Store in Athens, Holly Hollman saw a customer staring at the green and white shade tent covering the cash registers.

The store is taking donations for a literacy program. The winner of a drawing gets the tent.

That's not how things appeared to this customer.

"You know it's getting too hot when you've got to have shade inside," he said.

Talking money

The ongoing Morgan County Commission budget hearings are more open than before, Sheryl Marsh says. Each commissioner has more input.

For example, during hearings on nonprofit agencies, Chairman John Glasscock heard from officials of each agency and then allowed each commissioner to express opinions. In most cases, the commissioners agreed on allowances and cuts.

In the past, discussion was limited and you really wouldn't know if requests had been granted or denied except by searching records.

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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