News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Navy’s song gets special treatment

During a Veterans Day ceremony at Florette Senior Center, the Brewer High School JROTC was playing songs of the armed services.

John Godbey says a tape player rang out the anthems of the Army, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marines. But when the Navy's turn came, there was only silence. The tape player had been accidentally unplugged.

A Marine vet had a solution. At his suggestion, the audience hummed "Anchors Aweigh."

Speechless politician

State Postsecondary Chancellor Roy Johnson visited Calhoun Community College to introduce Gov. Bob Riley, but found himself having to fill time as he waited for the governor in a packed Aerospace Training Center auditorium.

Somehow, the chancellor went from talking about Calhoun's financial success to the rebirth of the athletic program to his disappointment that the Houston Astros didn't have any black players on their World Series roster.

After about 10 minutes, he paused and said, "I don't have anything else to talk about" — unusual for this experienced politician.

Bayne Hughes says the governor arrived in the nick of time to save the chancellor.

Learning by listening

Decatur's Board of Zoning Adjustment can deal with momentous matters, but it often soldiers along on minor details, Martin Burkey reports.

The latter include requests for home-business variances, and the questions to applicants never change: Do you store materials? Do you have employees? Do you have deliveries to the house? How do you advertise?

After four or five applicants answer the same questions, the rest get the idea and try to speed things along by answering before they're asked.

"The farther down you get on the docket, the more answers come by themselves," Chairman Jim Bolinger noted.

Short of money, mind

Criminals by definition aren't the smartest of individuals.

A group of youths saw a man digging through trash, looking for aluminum cans.

Police told Chris Paschenko the juvenile delinquents then beat up the man because he didn't have any change.

How many Dumpster divers have a dime to spare?

Cat lands on its feet

A long-haired gray cat may have used up one or two of its nine lives in Wenawatchee, Wash., where it leaped from a pickup, scampered through traffic, fell 70 feet off a bridge and swam 600 feet to the bank of the Columbia River.

Joi Singleton and her husband, Ron, saw the cat hop off the pickup and called the Humane Society, according to The Associated Press. Two officers put the cat into a portable kennel, but it leaped out and over the bridge railing.

A kayaker helped the animal reach shore, and soon it was eating "ravenously" at an animal shelter, said Humane Society officer Jody White.

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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