News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Secret to long work life? Debt

When Ronnie Thomas asked singer Ronnie McDowell how he kept such a vigorous concert schedule after 30 years, he conceded he sometimes gets tired of the road.

"But it's just a part of what we do," he said, and referred to country music legend Ray Price. The two recently were on the same stage in Florida.

"I told him, 'Ray, you're 80 years old and still out there doing it,' " Ronnie McDowell said. "How in the world? What is your secret?"

Ronnie said Ray, known for the hit "Crazy Arms," replied, "Got to get yourself deep in debt. Then you can't retire. Can't die. Got to pay everybody."

Southern attractions

Andy Jones, who travels the country giving presentations to parents and students about Internet safety, found three reasons to be happy about speaking in Alabama.

Andy grew up in Florida, but his job is headquartered in California.

He spoke to groups in Athens, Birmingham and elsewhere in the state, according to Holly Hollman.

"It feels good to say 'y'all,' drink sweet tea and eat barbecue pork for a week," Andy said.

Screaming car tag

While driving on U.S. 31 in Limestone County, Holly Hollman spotted a personalized license plate that was appropriate for its vehicle.

The tag was on a Volkswagen Beetle. The tag said:


No place like home

Nostalgia struck Decatur City Councilman Gary Hammon when his old home place came up in a meeting, Martin Burkey reports.

Among the weed abatements on the agenda was $301 against an address on First Street Southwest.

"That's the house I grew up in," Gary said brightly.

"You ought to mow their grass," Councilman Ronny Russell quipped.

Bad choice of customer

Sheriff's deputy Ed Johnson was in uniform, sitting in a marked patrol car in Orlando, Fla. A man surprised him with an offer to sell him cocaine.

Michael Garibay, 34, of Orlando allegedly walked up to Ed's car at a gas station and asked if he was "straight." Michael explained that this meant "Do you want to buy some cocaine?"

The deputy said yes, and the suspect pulled out a plastic bag containing flat white rock substances.

He asked for cash and got arrested, The Associated Press reported.

Send stories for You Don't Say to steve@decaturdaily .com 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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