News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Some nice wheels for a Hartselle boy’s 8th birthday

Jimmy Smith of Hartselle says Aug. 20 was grandson Sawyer Smith’s eighth birthday.

During his party, his dad, Travis Smith, announced he had a “special” birthday present in front of the house. Sawyer ran excitedly to see what it was.

“We were unaware,” says Jimmy, “that my son-in-law, who is a policeman, arrived at the party in his squad car, which he parked on the street directly in front of my son’s house.

“As my grandson ran out the front door to see his ‘special’ surprise, he yelled out, ‘Yeah, it’s a police car!’

“We all got a big laugh when he realized his surprise was not really the police car but a brand new bicycle sitting in the driveway!”

The son-in-law is Chris Free, Falkville police chief.

Her Decatur Daily

The Daily lost a devoted reader on Aug. 17 when Eloise Phillips, 69, of Athens died after an extended illness.

Eloise didn’t just enjoy reading the articles. She took time to call reporters like Holly Hollman and commend them for a good job, or offer advice if a story was incomplete.

She also called Holly when she heard news from Limestone County on the scanner. After a bad wreck, she always wanted to know how the victims were doing.

“I worry about people driving on these busy roads,” Eloise would say.

Now her scanner is silent. Her newspaper is left folded. But her memory is ever alive.

Household conveniences

Building a house can be tough, but Greg Reeves keeps a sense of humor.

He had plenty to say about the kitchen appliances while showing visitors around the house in Chapel Hill Estates that he and wife Jesslyn finished building just in time for the Parade of Homes.

“That vacuums and cooks your food,” he said, pointing at the six-burner gas cook top.

“And see those twin dishwashers? We can store our dirty dishes longer than most folks!”

That home at 3418 Highland Drive S.W. and 27 others will be open for touring from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, the final day of the Greater Morgan County Builders Association’s 2007 Parade of Homes.

Never too late

Eloise Phillips quit high school a month from graduation to marry her military boyfriend.

When she was in her 50s, she got her General Educational Development diploma and took three years of college courses.

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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