News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, APRIL 30, 2006

Steve Stewart

Singer has a time to talk, a time to hunt

For his story in Thursday's DAILY about the concert this Saturday in Cullman featuring country stars Gene Watson and John Anderson, Ronnie Thomas worked every angle to snag an interview with John, noted for his big hit, "Swingin'."

Ronnie thought he was getting close after speaking to the singer's manager, John Mills.

"I'll try to connect with him on his cell phone and give him your message and your number," John Mills said. "But I need to tell you that we've just come in off the road, and the last thing John said to me before heading off to a remote area was 'Don't bother me. I'm goin' turkey huntin'.' "

John Anderson is probably as fine-tuned hunting turkey as he is singing from the stage. He never called.

Heavenly help

Some might call Mark Zirbel's business plan risky.

Mark, named the Business Person of the Year by the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce, said he bought Calvin's Cleaners in Athens 12 years ago.

He told Holly Hollman that he learned on the job how to run his business.

"That's what you call the good Lord taking care of the ignorant," Mark said.

Out-whistling 'Dixie'

Thomas Whitman told about 40 people at Decatur City Cemetery on Wednesday, which was Confederate Memorial Day, that he had been to the Confederate section "100 times."

"A train comes through every time," he said. "It's a busy railroad, busy then (during the Civil War) and busy now."

The train didn't come along while Thomas explained the history of the burial site and of fighting in Decatur.

It came when bagpiper John Allen was playing "Dixie."

Learn from history

Former prosecutor Doug Jones struck a somber chord when he recalled civil-rights terrorism in a Birmingham speech, Eric Fleischauer reports.

The man who tried to prosecute 1963 church-bombing suspects asked his audience to remember the past as Latinos and other minorities move to Alabama.

"We can't, folks, let what happened in Alabama in the 1950s and 1960s repeat itself," Doug said. "We in Alabama should lead the nation, because we were hit the hardest."

Foster mom

Zoey's maternal instincts overcame her usual hostility for dogs in Connellsville, Pa.

Zoey is a 2-year-old cat nursing a pug puppy who was rejected by his mother, according to The Associated Press. The black pug takes his meals with three kittens.

Zoey belongs to Kelly Kent; the dog is a neighbor's. He's about the same size as the kittens, but veterinarian William Shepherd said Zoey might not be able to produce enough milk for him when he gets bigger.

In nature, it is not unusual for mothers to adopt, even if the baby is of another species, said the doctor.

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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