News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Mix of fun, sadness in Aruba trip

Bill and Elaine Barber of Decatur celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a week in Aruba, the Caribbean island where Mountain Brook teenager Natalee Holloway has been missing more than two months.

"You didn't see any crime — none whatsoever," Elaine said. "At no point did I feel unsafe." But the Holloway situation saddens her.

Bill said security people were everywhere. They stayed at the Wyndham hotel, where one suspect was spotted the night Natalee disappeared.

Bill's accent reminded a helicopter pilot of Natalee's father, Dave Holloway, whom the pilot had flown around the island. Some Arubans took offense at comments by Natalee's mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, and they posted signs about racism and crime in Alabama.

Bill and Elaine enjoyed beaches, a dinner cruise, snorkeling, massages, and sights such as a lighthouse, a natural bridge and the coast of nearby Venezuela. They recommend Aruba for tourists.

Some beach!

Roy Coley knew what it would take to lure him from Morgan County.

The former Falkville mayor told Ronnie Thomas that he had an offer from a headhunter for a job in Washington, D.C.

"I told him to find me a good beach," Roy said. "He came back and asked, 'What about Key West, Fla.?' I knew pretty much we'd be on our way."

Roy, an Austin High School graduate, is working for the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority.

Tucker's first cone

Most children would be delighted with a trip to TCBY for ice cream. But Deangelo McDaniel found it hard to tell what 2-year-old Tucker Montgomery was feeling.

The son of Decatur's Joseph and Bridgett Montgomery is allergic to milk.

Tucker approached a colorful cone cautiously and never showed any enthusiasm for the ice cream.

"He's this way about most things," his mother said.

Still a small world

What are the chances of Decatur neighbors being born in the same hospital in Indiana?

Pretty good, Therese Donath and Darrin Jones discovered. Both Johnston Street Southeast residents were born in St. Margaret's Hospital in Hammond, Ind., about 30 years apart.

Patrice Stewart reports that Darrin, who builds decks, moved from Hammond to Decatur at age 14, while Therese moved around a lot before retiring in Decatur three years ago.

Eating the merchandise

Appearances can deceive. Luscious red grapes may have seeds, which makes them a hassle to eat.

The grapes in a Decatur supermarket weren't labeled as seedless. I took them to the cashier and asked. She tried looking up the stock number, then said in frustration, "Oh, just eat one!" They were seedless.

Maybe I saved a penny when she weighed them at the checkout.

Send stories for You Don't Say to or call Weekend Editor Steve Stewart at 340-2444. Or write 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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