News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Lucky ride on elevator in Las Vegas

An elevator ride in Las Vegas last spring took Murphy Brown to an unexpected discovery.

The owner of Church's Chicken and board member of the Decatur-Morgan County Minority Development Association told Paul Huggins that the elevator delivered the speaker for Monday's 13th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast.

Murphy just happened to be riding with Farrah Gray, a 21-year-old who became a millionaire at 14. Murphy overheard some of Farrah's conversations and told him his story was unbelievable.

Murphy immediately invited him to speak at next week's breakfast, and Farrah promptly accepted.

Absent, but not forgotten

Chris Wright told Ronnie Thomas that one of his proudest moments in aviation came in 2003, when he served as crew chief for pilot Dave Morss of Redwood, Calif., in the National Championship Air Races at Reno, Nev.

Dave invited Chris back the next year. And Chris, 37, of Cotaco looked forward to returning to Reno in September for a "three-peat" in the 2005 competition. But an airplane crash Aug. 6 near Trinity critically injured him.

Dave's wife, Karen, sent Chris photos from the event. He dedicated the races to Chris, another proud aviation moment.

Untidy reindeer?

Four-year-old Jack Hughes, the grandson of Gary and Judy Hughes of Trinity, got a stuffed reindeer for Christmas, Bayne Hughes says.

A family member asked Jack if the reindeer would sleep in his bed that night.

"No," Jack quickly responded. "He might poop in my bed."

Putting out a fire

Fire extinguishers proved their worth for Morgan County garbage workers when a truck caught fire, Sheryl Marsh says.

Garbage Director Ricky Brooks said a driver and two collectors were running a route on Holcomb Road in the 1988-model truck when the driver saw smoke coming from underneath the hood.

The men got extinguishers from the burning truck and a nearby truck. Ricky said they had the fire out when he arrived. No one was injured.

Questions keep coming

Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, was enjoying himself at a committee meeting, M.J. Ellington reports. He criticized Gov. Bob Riley for not including someone from the committee on his prison reform task force last year.

"I was on this talk show this morning and people asked me about the task force," John said. "People kept asking me questions about the task force. I told them I don't know anything about the task force and I couldn't answer them."

He went on and on until he was interrupted by his cell phone ringing.

"Probably somebody calling about the task force," he said as he pulled the phone out of his pocket.

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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