News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Ribs, ribbing when family holds reunion

You can usually find plenty of good food at the heavily laden tables of family reunions — and some good-natured ribbing, too.

When you hold a reunion in January, as the Osborn family did, people have to deal with those new resolutions and diets.

"What all have you got on that plate?" Patrice Stewart overheard one woman ask.

"Don't worry, I'm not going to eat it — I'm just going to rub it on my thighs," the other replied.

Singer Ronnie, actor Roddy

Singer Ronnie McDowell, who appeared in concert Saturday in Cullman, told Ronnie Thomas that he was sometimes confused with actor Roddy McDowall.

"Fans would send me 8-by-10 photos of Roddy from the old Batman television series and ask me to sign them," said Ronnie, known for country and pop hits and his tribute song to Elvis Presley. "I still have one."

Roddy McDowall, a child actor who left Britain during the London blitz, starred in movies such as "Lassie Come Home" and "The Planet of the Apes." He died in 1998 at 70.

Watch for fallin' parts

The little car that Ronnie spotted motoring down Spring Avenue Southwest had seen better days.

It had a few small dings and some larger dents. Tape secured a windshield.

But you have to admire the driver's attitude.

"HONK IF PARTS FALL OFF," read one sticker. "Symphony in peril," read a smaller one. And across the back windshield, at the top: "THERE IS NO EXCUSE."

Of course, that could have related to anything.

Drive on, brother!

Helping at the ranch

George Royer, 97, of Decatur continues his volunteer work in support of the Alabama Sheriffs' Youth Ranch at Punkin Center. His latest 20 hours brought in $500 in matching funds from ExxonMobil Foundation.

George, an ExxonMobil retiree, says the foundation's matching money for his work over the years now totals about $15,000.

Can't bury troubles

In rural Northwest Ohio, Matthew Mueller of Akron buried his 1997 BMW after totaling its engine. He avoided a repair bill, but wound up in trouble with the law, according to The Associated Press.

After renting a backhoe and disposing of the car, Matthew, 35, claimed it was stolen and collected $20,000 from his insurance company.

Tips helped police uncover the car and the scheme.

Matthew had to pay restitution, and he was sentenced to a year in prison for insurance fraud, tampering with evidence, falsification and receiving stolen property.

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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