News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Cell phones make friends of strangers

Susan answered her cell phone. It was Frank.

"Is that you, Susan? I was trying to get your father. How're you doing? ... How's he? ... How's your mom? ..."

Susan didn't know Frank, but they chatted at length. She told him her father and mother were on vacation and how to reach them. Finally, it dawned on both that they were talking about strangers.

It seems that Susan's co-worker George, who once carried the same cell phone, has a grown daughter named Susan.

(True story. Names changed to protect the embarrassed.)

'Politics' translated

Ronnie Thomas passes along the advice that a friend gave Lucy Baxley after voters elected her lieutenant governor, presiding officer of the Alabama Senate. Lucy told Decatur Rotarians about it:

"He said, 'Remember this the first time you call a session to order. 'Poly' is a Latin word for many, and 'tics' are blood-sucking creatures.' "

Crime and kindness

Elkmont made the news when two bank robbers with assault weapons fled into the countryside Aug. 12.

Kindness also prevailed that day, according to Holly Hollman.

As law officers scoured the area in the heat, the Elkmont Volunteer Fire Department gave them food and water. Firefighters kept the fire hall open so authorities and reporters could use the restroom.

When Athens Mayor Dan Williams drove by and saw reporters standing in the sun, Dan and his wife got them ice cold bottles of water.

Pleasant scent of Spanish

Spanish teacher Elizabeth House painted her room at Decatur Heritage Christian Academy a few days before school started.

She told Bayne Hughes that the paint smell was still so strong when classes began that she lit a vanilla candle.

After a couple of days, a kindergarten student told her, "Your classroom smells like Spanish."

Suspicious package

A package with no return address arrived in the mail at a Decatur fast-food restaurant, and a manager deemed it suspicious.

The manager found plastic razors and a note inside, reading "Use on face and neck," and called police.

Police told Chris Paschenko the plastic-handled razors were still in their original package, and officers didn't know why they were sent to the restaurant.

Maybe it was a customer's way of saying he'd like the employees shaven his way.

Golden Bears, Crimson Tide

Walter C. Williams, 67, moved to Athens more than two years ago from Pasadena, Calif.

He told Ronnie Thomas that he had been to so many Tournament of Roses parades leading up to the Rose Bowl that he had lost count.

"I'm a big football fan and used to root for California," he said, "but they could never beat the farm boys from the Big 10."

And where does his allegiance lie today?

"To the Crimson Tide," he said.

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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