News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2006

Steve Stewart

Who needs a watch for retirement?

On a rainy Sunday, the Austin High School Science Department had a retirement reception for longtime teacher Dan Whitson. Colleagues gave Dan an hourglass to commemorate 37 years of dedication.

Bayne Hughes says Dan joked that he hopes his life doesn't become a soap opera, referring to the famous hourglass on "Days of Our Lives."

Former Austin Principal Bearl Whitsett, who has been enjoying the easy life away from school for several years, said the good thing about retirement is that time doesn't mean as much.

Black birthday

Tuesday was a black day for Robby Smith, who supervises the bridal department at Jimmy Smith Jewelers in Decatur.

His co-workers dressed in black, decorated a hallway with black balloons, and arranged for the Grim Reaper (Ross Railey) to deliver black flowers.

It was Robby's 40th birthday, and the bookkeeping department, including Sonda Barnes and Eloise McCarley, masterminded the surprise party.

Legislative act

Christina Turner of Decatur has received a ton of newspaper clippings since her husband, Winford, died Jan. 24 at age 63. That's no surprise because Winford, a newspaperman and former revenue commissioner of Morgan County, had friends everywhere.

When a manila envelope came in the mail the other day, Christina thought it was more clippings. It turned out to be a resolution from the Alabama House of Representatives commending Winford for his years of service and expressing condolences.

Rep. Ray Garner, R-Huntsville, sponsored the resolution and sent copies to the family.

Millions in 'budget dust'

Republican Chess Bedsole, a Birmingham lawyer who is running for state auditor, learned about federal spending when he served as counsel to former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C.

Ronnie Thomas says that when Chess, 35, spoke with the DAILY editorial board last week, he put new context on a statement attributed to the late Sen. Everett McKinley Dirksen: "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money."

Chess said that "in Washington today, $50 million is considered budget dust. That little amount is just dusted off."

All's well that ends well

School officials in Reno, Nev., were embarrassed when four busloads of middle-school students traveled four hours to Vallejo, Calif., on a Monday, only to find the gates locked at Six Flags Marine World.

The tour company had failed to look at the schedule. "But shame on us for not checking," said Principal Scott Grange.

They'll reschedule the trip, a reward for top students. I can't imagine the students being too upset in the end if the fiasco gives them a second day out of class.

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.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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