News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Not exactly king's kind of English

Margaret Mefford learned English in grade school in Germany.

“It was British English,” Margaret said.

Not exactly like Southern English. The slang confused her when she moved to North Alabama with her American husband.

When her brother-in-law offered to “carry” Margaret to the store, she balked.

“I thought he wanted to pick me up in his arms and take me,” Margaret told Holly Hollman during an interview at Alabama Veterans Museum in Athens.

When Margaret and her husband left their friends’ homes and the friends said, “See you later,” Margaret took it literally.

“I asked him if we were supposed to go back after a while or if they were coming to our house next,” she said.

Barbering at 80

John Stephens marked his 80th birthday March 24, and he’s still going strong at John’s Barber Shop in the Morningside Shopping Center.

He opened the shop at 1804 11th St. S.E. on March 7, 1963.

But John has been barbering much longer. He told Ronnie Thomas that he began his career in 1954.

Ronnie says the quality of his work remains top-notch, and something else hasn’t changed in 44 years at Morningside.

The shop still doesn’t have a telephone.

Too much irrigation

Volunteer gardeners at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church were putting in a biblical garden when their shovels hit an unusually wet patch of earth.

They kept digging and found that an old water pipe was leaking, said workers and their pastor, Chris Martin.

Repairs slowed the project, but at least the leak was discovered, workers said. They had noticed the water bill was higher than usual but didn’t know why, according to Melanie Smith.

The church’s spot and another at East Lawrence Memorial Gardens will be among the few faith gardens in the state and in the United States, according to Jerry Chenault, urban regional agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Jerry designed both plans.

No council pay raise

Reporter Chris Paschenko left a Decatur City Council meeting to interview someone, and when he returned the meeting had adjourned.

Chris asked council members what he missed. Councilman David Bolding grinned and brought him up to speed.

“We voted ourselves a 60 percent pay raise,” David said.

Not really. David was joking about state legislators, who recently overturned Gov. Bob Riley’s veto of their pay hike.

Comedy as tragedy

The Humor Project notes that April is Humor Month, says Melanie Smith. The organization quips that any month that includes April Fool’s Day and the day that taxes are due has to be considered Humor Month.

Here’s one of the Humor Project’s quotes for the month: “Comedy is tragedy plus time,” attributed to Carol Burnett, whose birthday is April 26.

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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