News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Man hands police proof of his crime

A man hankering for a drink, and too intoxicated to stand, chose the wrong place for a beer stop.

Lt. Dennis Hughes stopped at a Sixth Avenue Southeast convenience store known for its frequent police visits. That's where he saw the man stagger out of the building and sit in a car.

Dennis told Chris Paschenko he walked over and asked the man how many beers he'd had. The man held up three fingers and then handed over an open Budweiser.

While Dennis was making an arrest for public intoxication, "the man needed assistance steadying himself," Dennis said.

It isn't every day that someone hands over evidence of a crime. "That shows you how intoxicated he was," Dennis said.

What day?

Austin High School Assistant Principal Beverly Crowell said the Decatur school system's new "Saturday school" is a great deterrent as a discipline tool, "especially when students realize you're taking up their time."

She told a student in trouble that he had to attend Saturday school on Dec. 3. The student hesitated, then asked, "What day is Dec. 3?"

Beverly told Bayne Hughes that as she started to remind the boy that it is Saturday school, he realized what he had said and became embarrassed.


M.J. Ellington says a former state official still blushes at the story that his late mother loved to tell about when the serious little boy learned the origin of Santa Claus.

After an older school playmate told first-graders on the playground who he thought Santa really was, the future official took his troubled thoughts home to his mother. She, a leader in the Baptist church, explained.

The little boy puzzled over the knowledge for a few moments and then said, "I think I'll look into this Jesus business, too."

Productively employed

George Royer of Decatur celebrated his 97th birthday in July, but he's still working and earning money for a cause he believes in: the Alabama Sheriffs' Youth Ranch at Punkin Center. George's latest 20 hours of volunteer service as an adviser, promoter and fund-raiser brought another $500 matching grant from ExxonMobil Foundation. George, who is retired from ExxonMobil, says the money will help renovate a house at the ranch.

George said he appreciates ExxonMobil's contributions, which now exceed $5,000.

Cats' best friend

Saturday's Westchester Cat Show in White Plains, N.Y., will include a memorial service for a dog.

Ginny, a schnauzer-Siberian husky mix, was Cat of the Year at that show in 1998 for finding and rescuing cats, The Associated Press reports. Ginny died in August at age 17.

Ginny once threw herself against a vertical pipe at a construction site to topple it and reveal the kittens trapped inside. Another time, she dug through broken glass to find an injured cat.

Her owner, Philip Gonzalez, said Ginnie "just had this knack of knowing when a cat was in trouble."

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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