News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Decorations serve as inspirations

Holiday decorations often inspire friends and neighbors.

In Southwest Decatur, Rosezine Blankenship really got into the spirit and decorated 15 trees in her home, plus one on the patio. Every room, including the bathrooms and laundry room, is decorated with the Santas, angels, teddy bears and other items she has collected over the years.

“I’m just in awe every time I go in there, and you can’t see it all in one visit,” neighbor Doris Murphree told Patrice Stewart.

In Old Decatur, Fred Inglis has a cute Christmas display on his front porch with elves, Santa, a live Christmas tree, a sled and a wagon with gifts spilling out.

“He wanted to do a display for the children this year,” said friend Beverly Burfield. “He has used some of the elves in the past, and the children just loved them.”

Engineering marvel

M.J. Ellington tells a story from the 1950s about a friend from New York who bought one of the trendy silver-colored aluminum Christmas trees.

As an engineer, she put it together from the instructions with no trouble. The woman, who is Jewish and grew up without Christmas trees, had no pictures to go by.

She went next door and asked her neighbor to come see her work of art, expecting compliments. The neighbor walked into the room to see a tree bearing colorful ornaments arranged with care and a little twist. She pointed at the tree and burst into laughter.

“It’s upside down,” she managed to say between chuckles.

M.J.’s friend took a photo of her tree with another modern contraption of the era, a Polaroid camera. Even 40 years later, she shows the photo to friends who enjoy a good joke.

The Christ in Christmas

The Rev. Milton Proctor Sr. is hoping worshippers don’t forget Christ at Christmas.

The church he serves, Garner Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal on Cherry Street Northwest, is having a Christmas Day service. He said Jesus seems forgotten on his own birthday.

“Everyone is getting gifts but the Lord,” he told Melanie Smith.

Garner’s service will be from 9 to 10 a.m.

Take care of that car

You can get a free new car if you’re willing to put up with an old one for a while.

Traveling salesman Peter Gilbert racked up more than 1 million miles on a 1989 Saab 900 SPG, according to an Associated Press story from Milwaukee.

Saab executives passed up a chance to put the car in a Swedish museum, so Peter donated it to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum and told the press he was disappointed that he didn’t get so much as a T-shirt from Saab.

Publicity works wonders. The company decided to give Peter a new Saab 9-5 Aero and offer one to anyone who puts a million miles on a Saab as the original owner.

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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