News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

At 6, David has traveled the world

David Alexander Hollingsworth, 6 — whom Richard and Tanya Hollingsworth of Hartselle adopted in Ukraine along with Natasha Elizabeth Hollingsworth, 5 — is quite the conversationalist.

Their grandmother, Peggy Moran of Hartselle, told Ronnie Thomas about one of their chats.

"He said, 'Well, Gran, are you an international traveler?' I replied, 'Well, no, I'm not.' He asked, 'Did you ever go to Poland? Did you ever go to Russia?' I said, 'No, I don't believe I did.'

"He responded, 'Well, I'm an international traveler. I have been around the world.' "

The height of safety

If you haven't been to Birmingham's Vulcan Park since its renovation, you're missing a thrill, says Chris Paschenko.

The renovation restored Vulcan's open-air observatory, which gives an unmatched view of Birmingham from atop Red Mountain. An enclosed glass structure was removed.

A $6 elevator ride dropped Chris off near the top of the Roman god of fire and forge's 124-foot pedestal. Chris wondered how safe the grated floor was when he felt it bend under the weight of other spectators.

Chris' dad said, "Son, you can take comfort knowing the renovation was likely awarded to the lowest bidder."

Quick and final

Melanie Smith learned some religious trivia while researching a story on being shriven, which means confessing sin and being forgiven.

She discovered that "to shrive'' is the religious underpinning for the phrase "short shrift," which today means to dismiss without proper attention.

A long version of the phrase is certainly not forgiving. "Give him a short shrift and a long rope'' is an English saying that means hang a criminal quickly and don't bother much with his confession.

Librarians vs. nuns

The Boone County Library spelling team consists of "voracious readers with a certain verbal attitude," said librarian Cindy Brown.

They had won three consecutive annual Corporate Spelling Bees for Literacy in northern Kentucky. But this year the nuns were returning as competition.

The Sisters of St. Walburg Monastery in Villa Hills were champions for years before taking a five-year break, according to The Associated Press. Sister Mary Carol Hellmann admitted that "librarians give us a scare." But Cindy found the nuns formidable: "They have that strong Latin background."

And the winners are ... the librarians! The nuns came in second Thursday.

The Learn-to-Read Council of Athens and Limestone County plans its own Corporate Spelling Bee on April 1 at Athens High School. Teams must enter by March 23. Call Rhonda Andrews, 230-3050.

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. This column appears Sundays and Wednesdays.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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