News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Wreck driver was shocked by an angel

Former Hartselle resident Phillip Lee says most of the drama involving his 16-year-old daughter's traffic accident occurred after the wreck.

His daughter, Tori, is on the drama team at Bob Jones High School. She and a friend were leaving a regional competition, which required they wear white pancake makeup.

They had an accident on University Drive in Huntsville, Phillip told Scott Morris.

When Tori's passenger realized they were OK, he went to check on the other driver. She was not injured, but was shaken. In fact, she was really shaken when she saw the pale face peering at her. Her eyes got wider and wider.

Tori's friend finally realized that his extreme makeup caused the driver's shock. He explained that he was OK and was not an angel.

Roll Tide and War Eagle

World War II pilot Ernie Hutto of Decatur, recipient of the Navy Cross, rode an educational roller coaster.

The 1940 graduate of Austinville High School told Ronnie Thomas he spent a year at Florence State Teachers College before transferring to The University of Alabama.

Congressman John J. Sparkman recommended him for the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. But after six months, Ernie asked for a transfer to the Naval Reserve and into the Navy Air Corps. He got his wings and commission as an ensign in June 1944.

He earned the Navy Cross for helping disable Japan's last battleship, the Nagato, in Tokyo Bay on July 18, 1945.

The former Crimson Tider enrolled at Auburn in 1947 because he wanted to become a dairyman. He graduated in 1949.

Option to decline

If you nominate someone for a city board, does he have to serve?

Leave it to Decatur Councilman Ray Metzger to ask an existential question. Martin Burkey says the City Council was discussing names for advisory boards, specifically the Board of Zoning Adjustment.

Ray interjected that Don Gowen, a critic of the city's one-time plan to trade Wilson Morgan Park to developers, was interested in serving, perhaps on the Parks and Recreation Board, but Ray wasn't sure.

"Could he turn it down if I nominate him?" Ray asked.

Officials allowed that he could, and because the parks board wasn't needing members anyway, Ray didn't pursue his almost-nomination.

Hibernating: suburban style

This black bear picked the wrong place to hibernate in Effort, Pa., according to The Associated Press.

The animal camped out under the porch of a home. Residents had suspected for days that a bear was in their midst after they saw that their trash cans had been tampered with. But it wasn't until two children happened upon the bear on Sunday that its exact whereabouts became clear.

On Sunday, Pedro Sainvil sent two of his children, ages 8 and 9, outside to play in the snow. "After 15 or 20 minutes, they came back screaming, 'Dad, Dad! There's a bear under the house!"' Sainvil said.

The bear will be removed by state wildlife officers, authorities 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.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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