News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JUNE 18, 2006

Steve Stewart

Honey dog story revives memories

Wednesday's column item about a dog named Honey reminded Jane Bradford of Decatur about a guide dog by the same name.

This Honey, a female German shepherd, belonged to Cecil Hartselle from Hartselle. He was a blind teacher of organ and piano in the 1940s at Anderson College and Theological Seminary (now Anderson University) in Anderson, Ind.

"When he went out on the front porch calling for Honey to come home, it was that dog, not his wife," said Jane, now 76.

Jane attended that college, and Cecil was a friend of her family. He was a short, thin man with long fingers, "marvelous for a pianist," she said.

Helen Keller's bridge?

Jane says Cecil Hartselle studied at some of the same places as Helen Keller, the deaf and blind woman from Tuscumbia who inspired millions.

As a girl, Jane met Helen Keller in Decatur and thanked her for Keller Memorial Bridge, which at that time carried U.S. 31 across the Tennessee River here.

"She laughed. ... She said, 'That's a memorial, and I'm not dead yet.' "

In fact, Keller Bridge was named after Helen Keller's brother William S. Keller, the first director of Alabama's highway department.

Where's that dog?

The Honey story reminded John Godbey of a dog in his family named Surprise. Heads would turn when, in search of the dog, they'd yell "Surprise!"

Pageant vandalism

Someone wasn't after the Miss Congeniality award at the Miss Alabama pageant in Birmingham, Barry Sublett says.

When Katie Boyd, Miss Point Mallard, went to put on her white two-piece swimsuit for dress rehearsal, she saw that the pads in the top had been cut out.

Instead of being irked, Katie found the sabotage flattering. Someone apparently felt she was too much competition.

The suit was repaired, and Katie went on to become first runner-up. The person with the scissors remains at large.

Silence in class

Now there is a cell-phone ring tone that older people can't hear.

Presbycusis, or aging ear, afflicts most adults over 40 or 50, reducing their ability to hear frequencies higher than 8,000 hertz.

In classrooms, students' high-frequency phones can ring while teachers are clueless. Not all teachers, though.

The New York Times tells about a high school class on Long Island, where teacher Michelle Musorofiti heard one of these phones.

"You can hear that?" a student inquired.

"Turn it off," she demanded.

Michelle just looked old to her students. She is 28.

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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