News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

She retired in famous company

Longtime teacher Alice Ackley will be grand marshal of Austin High School's homecoming parade Thursday.

During an interview with Education Writer Bayne Hughes, Alice said she once joked that she discussed her retirement with Michael Jordan, John Elway and Wayne Gretzky, and they all decided to retire together in 1999.

Ackley said a student actually believed that she knew these sports legends.

Watch out for Sally

Sally, the skittish white dog who frequents downtown Decatur and the pages of THE DAILY, got law enforcement's attention recently.

Holly Hollman reports this conversation on the police radio:

"What's the name of that white dog?"


"Well, Sally's playing suicide."

She must have been running into traffic. Sally's used her street smarts to avoid capture by well-intentioned residents. We hope she knows how to dodge cars as well.

Meanwhile, if you're driving in the vicinity of Second Avenue Southeast, watch out for Sally.

Humanitarian, baseball fan

Rep. Ronald Grantland, D-Hartselle, took special note of the Bob Spurlin story in Thursday's DAILY. Ronald grew up with the retired minister in the Union community near Somerville.

Ronald told Ronnie Thomas that Bob is one of the most caring and thoughtful individuals he has ever known. Bob also holds himself to a high standard, Ronald said.

Ronald said Bob is also an avid baseball fan who, as a youngster, cheered for the Yankees. Ronald backed the Orioles.

"He would grab a baseball bat and pretend to be waiting for the pitch," Ronald said. "He would then ask me, 'Who is this?' as he mimicked favorite players such as Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Yogi Berra.

"I would do the same, except I would try and mimic Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell and other Orioles."

Grilling to give

Morgan County Commission Chairman John Glasscock cooked for a good cause last week.

Sheryl Marsh says he rolled up his sleeves and grilled hot dogs and hamburgers in Cotaco Park, behind the courthouse. John and others netted about $300 to give to United Way of Morgan County. Other events, such as a book fair, were also going on. Hard work paid off.

Getting published

Jackie Reeves tried her hand at writing and submitted an anecdote to Reader's Digest. The short item was about an occasion at the Morgan County Courthouse when a bailiff fell asleep during a trial. The magazine published it.

Sheryl tells us that Jackie, who retired as secretary for Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson, received $300 for the piece.

Bet he has pictures

Gov. Bob Riley was busy with his state job last week, but his fifth grandchild was on his mind.

Both M.J. Ellington in Montgomery and DAILY editors in Decatur heard the governor talk about the new arrival, who was in Birmingham.

"I know I'm somewhat biased, but that little baby is the prettiest thing," the governor said. "It is amazing how one day you don't know them, and the next day they're part of the family."

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