News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Feeding the president's entourage

Jackie Grimsley took a call from Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant and was asked to take the catering job of a lifetime — with only three days to prepare to serve President Bush and his entourage.

The owner of The Casual Gourmet in Decatur said she’d try to squeeze Thursday’s presidential visit into her schedule between weddings and other events.

“For the reception for 300, they wanted ham and biscuits, and we also did chicken salad in pastry cups and beef tenderloin and yeast rolls, plus a lot of trays of goodies,” she told Patrice Stewart. She and five helpers also fed the motorcade and provided hot lunches and dinners to about 30 members of the Washington press corps and some Secret Service. She is still bubbling about getting to see the president speak and amazed at the amount of security — and how fast the press gobbled up her food.

Advice from friends

Sometimes you should listen to your friends.

Mary Catherine McAnnally did, and she won the titles of Morgan County Junior Miss and Alabama Junior Miss.

“She wasn’t sure she wanted to enter the Morgan County Junior Miss program last year, but I talked her into it,” Jackson Knox told Patrice.

The longtime friends and recent high-school graduates recalled that Mary Catherine had to miss the first practice. So Jackson, who was also a contestant, taught her the group dance number later. Both Decatur young women are singers, not dancers, so it wasn’t easy.

Jackson is eagerly awaiting her friend’s appearance in Saturday night’s finals of America’s Junior Miss — and hoping those dance numbers go well.

‘I can explain, officer’

A transient taken to the hospital after a friend allegedly struck her in the head with a tree limb explained the injury to police, Seth Burkett says. Lt. Chris Mathews, a police spokesman, said the woman told officers her friend attacked her because she pulled out a knife during an argument with him over money he had lent her to buy crack cocaine.

A golfer’s mecca

A June 7 article out of Long Beach, Calif., takes a shot at Decatur. Scott Morris says you can decide whether it’s funny or insulting — or both.

The article in is about professional golfer Travis Johnson. The article states:

“His biggest financial score came in September of 2005 at a Hooters event in that mecca of aesthetic refinement, Decatur, Ala., where he earned $28,000 for finishing first, plus a bucket of free chicken wings.”

Just between boys

Young people can learn a lot from state officials at Boys State or Girls State.

Utah’s attorney general, Mark Shurtleff, gave romantic advice while speaking at Boys State, according to The Associated Press.

Watch the 1967 movie “Camelot” with a heartthrob, and “she will be your girlfriend,” he said. “... It’s a chick flick, but there’s sword fighting and jousting, too.”

Mark added that he wouldn’t be attending Girls State this year, “so I can’t pass any messages for you.”

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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