News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Open records can get you into trouble

Lawrence County Revenue Commissioner Tommy Praytor was proudly showing Chamber of Commerce members how to use the county’s new online mapping and appraisal system when he hit a problem, Kristen Bishop reports.

He used his own lot information as an example, and the site showed that he had not paid his property taxes for the year.

Laughing, he assured attendees that his office was still updating the site.

“I’ll bet you didn’t know revenue commissioners also don’t have to pay for car tags, did you?" he said, joking.

Crybaby ghost?

A ghostly image in a video that Crosspoint Community Church created escaped the eyes of its makers.

The Rev. Dave Anderson didn’t notice the glint in Flint Creek until viewers at YouTube started commenting on it. The flicker could be a lens flare, Dave said. But maybe it was something else. After all, the setting was Crybaby Hollow, where legend has it a woman threw a baby off a bridge into the water.

If you want to see for yourself, go to for a link to the video.

Change of course

Musician Zac Hacker, who performed Friday at Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts, told Danielle Komis of how he thought about becoming a preacher at age 18. He already had been playing music in bars for eight years, and he saw himself falling into an unhealthy lifestyle. But fans tried to talk him out of it.

“I had lots of people tell me Jesus hung out with the sinners and all that,’’ he said. “But if you hang out with dogs, you’re gonna get fleas.’’

Thousands at park

Morgan County District 1 Commissioner and Chairman Pro Tem Jeff Clark reported that the opening of baseball/softball season drew a record crowd of 3,000 at the county’s North Park at Priceville. Jeff told Sheryl Marsh he is pleased with how well the park has come along since it opened three years ago.

Honk if you want to talk

Monday’s story in The Daily’s Living section said many people can’t live without cell phones. It brought to mind a real estate agent in a small Alabama town. Back in the ’70s, he owned one of only two or three car phones in town. When the phone rang, his car horn sounded.

Call waiting

And then there’s this story, from an essay by Robert Dallek on

As U.S. Senate Democratic majority leader in the mid-20th century, Lyndon Johnson had to be top dog. He was thrilled to be the first lawmaker in Washington with a car phone.

When Lyndon’s rival, Republican Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, acquired similar equipment, he phoned Lyndon’s limo to say he was calling from his new car phone.

“Can you hold on a minute, Ev?” Lyndon asked. “My other phone is ringing.”

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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