News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Birthday girl walks in for photo at 100

Usually when somebody walks into the DAILY office to have a birthday picture shot, it's a preschool child. Friday may have been the first time the birthday girl was 100 years old.

Jessie Pearle Hipp Dugger, whose picture is on page C9 today, was planning at least three parties this weekend for Saturday's birthday. Ice cream and pizza were on the menus.

Jessie, who lives at Country Cottage Assisted Living in Decatur, is a Winston County native who worked as a seamstress. Husband Oscar died in 1967.

She took a special interest in her yard in Trinity, planting trees and shrubs, mowing grass and tending flowers.

"She believed in doing it herself, which I guess is why she's still here," said daughter Jonnie Dugger, 71. "She gets out by herself every morning after breakfast, and she takes her walker and walks around the parking lot by herself. Hopefully if I made it to a hundred, I'd be that well off."

Steal my car, fill it up

Decatur police Sgt. Rick Archer cracked up when patrol officers told him about recovering Michael Donnelly's car.

Most of Michael's belongings remained intact (including his mother's cremated remains, as covered in news stories). And the thief had apparently filled the gas tank, which was near empty when the car was stolen.

"I told them there's a white truck over on (my street) they can go steal next," Rick said, as quoted by Seth Burkett.

Let's rock

Athens Mayor Dan Williams is throwing down the gauntlet, so to speak.

Dan, who wants to promote more activities on the Athens square, would like for Athens and East Limestone high schools to have a battle of the bands there.

The two schools play football Sept. 2 for the first time in decades. Shirts already are on sale, such as the ones some East fans are sporting that say "Beat Athens."

"We can have the cheerleaders and fans there and just kick off football season," Dan told Holly Hollman.

Dan's going to see if the band directors are willing to accept his challenge.

Corporal punishment?

Amid hundreds of spam e-mails coming to THE DAILY, a legitimate one caught Amy Pollick's eye.

It said an Alabama college was offering a "paddling clinic." This turns out to be an outdoor course in canoeing.

Playing it safe

About 10,700 lawyers were expected in Honolulu this weekend for the American Bar Association convention, but the ABA pulled out of sponsoring a surfing competition.

Why? The lawyers are afraid of being sued, according to one of their own, a Honolulu environmental lawyer and surfer named Lea Hong.

Participants will sign liability waivers and lifeguards will be on watch, but that evidently wasn't enough for the ABA.

As The Associated Press observed, "these lawyers apparently have no fear of sharks — unless they're the kind that file lawsuits."

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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