News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

People beat machines at Holaway's

The cashiers at Holaway’s Market in Decatur, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, are faster than electronic scanners, owner David Holaway told Danielle Komis Palmer.

The store does not use scanners to ring up items, but still manually keys in the prices.

A salesman once tried to sell them scanners, and David challenged him to a duel — scanner versus the old-fashioned way.

His cashiers by far beat the scanner, he said.

Bad luck or no luck

Don’t blame Chris Wright of Cotaco for humming the old “Hee Haw” tune “Gloom, despair and agony on me. ... If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.”

Chris is the pilot/aircraft mechanic who escaped death when the plane he was riding in crashed near Trinity on Aug. 6, 2005, killing the pilot.

On July 17, a wooden propeller struck him in the head at Pryor Field, requiring hospitalization and 52 stitches.

He told Ronnie Thomas that on Friday his wife, Marie, and their 16-month-old son, Jacob, escaped injury when another vehicle hit theirs from behind. Chris was driving in front of them.

Chris said one of the men who worked the wreck had helped him on a medical helicopter after the propeller accident.

“He shook my hand and said, ‘Man, I can’t believe your luck,’ Chris said. “What he doesn’t know is just how blessed I am.”

I’ll fly away

Nell Dirks of Ninth Street United Methodist Church enjoyed participating in its neighborhood party. She was about to head home when the adventure bug bit.

A hot-air balloon was giving tethered rides, and Nell had never been up in one.

She decided it was now or never, and climbed into the basket along with two other passengers.

Up they went, and the experience was wonderful, Nell told Melanie Smith.

The only glitch was getting out of the basket after the descent. There was no stepstool.

The balloonmeister solved the problem: He picked her up and set her out. Nell was still smiling days later.

Mechanical marvel

A woman was astounded at what her grandson found so unusual when he rode in a truck, Patrice Stewart reports.

“You know what they have in that truck?” he exclaimed.

“They have this thing you turn around and around, and the window rolls down. And then you turn it the other way, and the window goes back up!”

Wrong place to burglarize

Break in where the police train their dogs, and you can expect to get caught.

In Gainesville, Fla., police dog handlers arrived at their training facility to discover two men and a woman dismantling copper pipes and wiring, The Associated Press reports.

The three dropped their tools and ran, but not far.

“For anyone to try to run from a whole unit of canines, it’s just a no-win situation,” said Hall County sheriff’s Sgt. Kiley Sargent.

The woman quickly surrendered. One man was tracked to a trash bin behind a nearby convenience store; the other man was treated for a superficial dog bite, just below the buttocks, after his arrest.

Send stories for You Don’t Say to, or call Weekend Editor Steve Stewart at 340-2444.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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