News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Generous stranger pays the bill

Joking around paid off for Walter English, 79, on Thursday night at McCollum's Catfish and Seafood Restaurant.

Walter says he and Ursula Howard, 74, both of Decatur, were getting ready to eat when they passed a man they didn't know, about 30 and wearing a leather jacket.

"I said, 'Are you buying?' He said, 'Yeah.' ... I was just joking around because I was in business 40 years, and I was always a buyer unless I had a salesman come in. Then we'd let him buy."

We don't know whether this man is a salesman, but when Walter and Ursula finished their meal, the waitress told them he had paid for it.

Now they'd like to locate the generous stranger. Walter has a boat and wants to take him fishing. If you know his identity, contact me, and I'll pass it on.

Airing their laundry

Jane Stonbraker would have been well-advised to hold off until Monday telling her husband, the Rev. Mike Stonbraker of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, about her cell phone troubles.

As it was, according to Eric Fleischauer, Mike couldn't help but enjoy his opportunity.

"Jane left her cell phone in her smock," he explained to his congregation Sunday morning. "I might have been able to fix it if it had only gone through the washing machine," he said, his best fire-and-brimstone voice revving up. "But no, she had to run it through the dryer, too."

Jane, who is quite practiced in the narrow but useful art of fencing with the good reverend, spoke up.

"Oh, and Mike," she said in a stage whisper — "I forgot to tell you it would cost us $250."

Mama witch

Passers-by were taking second looks at the Halloween display on one Vermont lawn.

Lauren Howard says "The Witch Lactation Station" included a breastfeeding witch, gourd breast and baby witch doll.

"I would hope if witches have babies and the witches would have to feed their babies, they would nurse," Lauren Petrie, the display's creator, told her local newspaper. "I am also advocating being comfortable with nursing in public."

The Petries are considering keeping their one-of-a-kind message on year-round display.

The color of money

The field of Auburn University's Jordan-Hare Stadium is being named after former Auburn coach Pat Dye.

Michelle Tanner says her husband, Blake Tanner of Hartselle, suggests that Auburn could have taken a different approach and raised some money.

His idea: Add Coach Dye's name to the stadium, making it Jordan-Hare-Dye stadium. Then sign up a corporate sponsor: Clairol.

Politics aside

During the Albert P. Brewer awards banquet in Decatur, former Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. told Sheryl Marsh he was not here to make an announcement about any political office.

That was his answer as to whether he planned to run for governor or lieutenant governor.

"They were nice to honor me, and that's what I'm here for," the former governor said of the Morgan County Democratic Party.

He received the Albert P. Brewer Public Service award.

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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