News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

House back on tour after fire damage

Janice and Hal Gaultney plan to fulfill a promise this Christmas season.

In April 2005, fire threatened to destroy their 1901 Gibson-Gaultney House at 305 Lafayette St. N.E., but Decatur firefighters saved it. The grateful couple said if the house ever got back into tour-of-homes shape, all those firefighters and their families were invited.

This week the Gaultneys are arranging for the promised tickets because theirs is one of five houses plus other buildings in the Old Decatur and Albany historic districts that will be open Dec. 9 for the annual tour.

Janice told Patrice Stewart that when updating and rebuilding parts of the kitchen and upper hallway, the couple followed city recommendations that could help prevent fires.

The Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau has tour information and tickets.

Naughty, not nice

Stealing from Santa Claus should be a sure-fire way to make his naughty list.

Holly Hollman says that on Thanksgiving Day, one topic at her dinner table was how someone stole money from the jolly old man while he was in Waynesboro, Tenn.

Santa was at a business visiting with children when someone found Santa's street clothes and took $30 cash from the pocket.

We wonder if the thief will get $30 worth of coal under the tree.

Decaturs clothing line

If you run into someone wearing a "Decatur Girl" T-shirt, don't assume she is from Decatur, Ala.

A couple of Decatur, Ga., women are selling their new $20 baby-doll T-shirt line in colors such as hot pink and lime green to help build pride in their community.

Heather Flury and Penny Ronk plan to expand into "Decatur Mom," "Decatur Dad" and "Decatur Kid" T-shirts soon, as well as taking orders for T's with school names and giving some of the proceeds to the Decatur (Ga.) Education Foundation.

This hot idea could be adopted right here in the Tennessee Valley, says Patrice — or perhaps stores in Decatur, Ala., Decatur, Ill., and other Decaturs can buy up the extra stock when the T-shirts run their course in Georgia.

Frugal came from afar

Tightwad Bank has customers far beyond its hometown of Tightwad, Mo., population 63.

You can understand why. If you wanted to put your money in a bank (as opposed to borrowing from it), Tightwad would be an attractive name.

The bank opened on a shoestring 22 years ago, The Associated Press reports. Up to a dozen checks would arrived daily from people far away who wanted to open accounts and receive a batch of Tightwad Bank checks.

Those checks will become collectors' items because the bank, now owned by UMB Bank Warsaw, will close Jan. 31. UMB Bank has branches nearby, but somehow its name lacks Tightwad's long-distance appeal.

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Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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