News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Birds, bees, pumpkins in church

Heading children’s church during the contemporary service at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church is not for the timid.

Cathy Strickland brought a pumpkin to the front of the sanctuary and asked the dozens of children how people are like pumpkins, Eric Fleischauer reports.

She was aiming for an analogy on how God chooses us, cleans up our insides and lights us up. One young girl, however, was on a different channel.

“I know!” she said loudly. “Pumpkins make little pumpkins just like people make babies!”

Unfinished business

When Hartselle formed its city school system in 1971, an oversight left key property — including the J.P. Cain football stadium, junior high school and tennis courts — under the ownership of the Morgan County Board of Education.

Bayne Hughes reports that the Morgan board recently approved the long-overdue transfer of property, but not before Superintendent Don Murphy and board members joked that they should make Hartselle pay them 1 mill of property taxes to buy the land.

School board President Jimmy Dobbs suggested county board members should get free admission to Hartselle football games.

“I told (Superintendent) Mike (Reed) he owes me a favor for this one,” Don said.

Bootlegger’s insurance

A contractor helping with renovations at The Daily grinned when he heard the police radio scanner chattering nonstop in the newsroom.

“I listened to that constantly when I was growing up,” he told Eric. “It was before Decatur went wet, and my stepfather was a bootlegger. He wanted a heads-up if the cops were coming, so he never turned it off.”

Hi-fi budget

Decatur Mayor Don Kyle said he and Todd Russell, the city’s information systems director, have been investigating what a sound system would cost for City Hall’s seventh-floor meeting room.

Councilman Ray Metzger, who wears a hearing aid, has complained he can’t hear everyone. Council President Billy Jackson said the city should spend as little as possible on equipment.

“Do you realize who you’re talking to?” Don said, referring to Ray, a man known for bruising pennies with the strength of his pinch.

Chris Paschenko laughed when Gail Busbey, chief financial officer, said the city’s penny pinchers might suggest tin cans tied to a string. Billy joked that he hoped the city wouldn’t have to include the purchase in a bond issue.

Dead Democrat wins

How strong was the Democrats’ November surge?

Voters in the Monroe, N.C., area elected Sam Duncan to the Union County Soil and Water Conservation board a month after he died. He got 12,000 votes and defeated the sitting chairman, according to The Associated Press.

The Democratic Party had published newspaper ads and distributed literature supporting Duncan. Party officials said they didn’t know he was dead.

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.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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