News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

As a drag racer, Decatur's 'Cigar' Holt 'beat the best'

Billy "Cigar" Holt of Decatur traveled to Henderson, N.C., to receive a plaque from the East Coast Drag Times in appreciation for his dedication to the sport of drag racing.

Billy, 74, told Ronnie Thomas that friends nicknamed him Cigar because he always had a stogie in his mouth.

"I smoked them down so close to the end, they said I had a chew of tobacco and a cigar at the same time."

During the event at Henderson sponsored by the Vance County Tourism Department, Billy delighted the audience by talking about his drag racing days.

"I never considered myself the best," he said, "but I beat the best."

Roll Tide

There's nothing like bitter rivalry to spark fundraising.

Elementary-school students at Danville-Neel proved it in a drive for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. Teachers Beth Hardin, Teresa Brown and Jennifer Whitney set up collection jugs for Auburn and Alabama fans leading up to Saturday's game.

Alabama fans won, collecting $564.52 compared to $372.88 for Auburn.

Beth told Paul Huggins she wanted to keep the cancer relay on people's minds and maybe make a few hundred dollars. Twice, she had to reconstruct a bulletin board graph because the totals far surpassed her expectations.

Squeaky moose

Sixth-grader Sarah Fleischauer, a member of the Cedar Ridge Middle School Band, has taken up the tenor saxophone.

Her dad, Eric, says she's doing a great job, but she is not always happy with the sounds that come out of her instrument. As she practiced in her room, there was a loud squeak, followed by a muffled "Darn." Then, "Dad!"

"Yes, dear?"

"I still sound like a love-sick moose."

A good, bad example

Negative campaigning bothers Rick Paler, with some exceptions.

Eric reports that Rick, a Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce board member, poked fun at chamber President John Seymour.

Rick told his colleagues that negative campaigning might be appropriate if John were to run for office.

"As my dad used to say, 'He's a good example of a bad example,' " Rick said.

Don't go there

A juror's remark may have been a joke, but it went over about like bomb humor in an airport security line.

In New Cumberland, W.Va., someone reported hearing a juror in Glenn A. Stewart's robbery trial say, "We have to find this guy guilty in a hurry so that we can get home," according to Circuit Judge Martin J. Gaughan.

The judge questioned two jurors and then declared a mistrial, The Associated Press reported. So Glenn gets a new trial.

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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