News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

She hears the train a-comin’

When you call on Ronnie Thomas for tech support, don't expect to be trapped in voice mail or connected with somebody on the other side of the Pacific.

Ronnie wrote a Real People story about Robert Sutton, 71, of Hatton, who does a great imitation of a mournful train whistle. Readers can go to and actually hear Robert perform, as recorded by Jonathan Palmer.

But Mary McNeill of Moulton told Ronnie in an e-mail that "y'all said that you could hear him whistle on the Web page, but it doesn't work."

Ronnie offered to try to schedule Robert to visit for a personal one-on-one.

Soon she wrote back: "Thank you! I finally got it to work."

That's enough barbecue

What do barbecue experts eat while cooking their specialties at Riverfest?

While the brisket, ribs and chicken were being readied for the smokers, Patrice Stewart took a look behind the scenes. One cook chowed down on a Whopper from Burger King, while another had a wrap-style sandwich from Lagniappes.

"And when the cook-off competition is over, we don't want to see, much less eat, any barbecue for a while," another said.

Saving the best for last

Pat Fite is almost delirious with joy as he nears the end of his year as president of the Kiwanis Club of Decatur, and those who have held club president posts will understand.

Pat's last month included a wide range of business-oriented programs, such as Jim Bradford, dean of Vanderbilt University's Graduate School of Management; oil and gas research specialist Phillip Bording; and Larkin Martin of the Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta.

Pat didn't want high expectations for his last week as president, Patrice says.

"We're going to dumb it down, with John Seymour of the Chamber of Commerce talking about retail development on Oct. 5," Pat announced. "Don't tell him I said that."

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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