News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

A smoky but hat-free trip by bus?

Not everybody was thrilled at City Councilman Ronny Russell’s successful effort to ban smoking in Decatur’s public establishments.

Shortly after the vote, Ronny found himself on a bus full of businesspeople, headed for Tuscaloosa.

Never one to pass up an awkward moment, Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce President John Seymour spoke loudly to Ronny as the bus doors closed, Eric Fleischauer reports.

“Ronny, it’s OK if we smoke in here, isn’t it?”

That’s not all

The laughter was universal after John’s quip. One of those laughing was Decatur City Schools’ Assistant Superintendent Ed Nichols. A definite mistake, Eric suspects.

John, pulling the dagger from Ronny, found his new target.

Recalling a controversial decision by the Decatur school board last year, banning the wearing of hats at ball games, John spoke above the laughter.

“That’s right, Ed. We can smoke on this bus, but no hats allowed, right?”

Recipes for life, meatloaf

Roger Dempsey of Decatur told Ronnie Thomas that his wife, Joan, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease, is not only a good wife and grandmother but was always a hard worker.

“She worked for Cleon Yates when he was Morgan County license commissioner,” Roger said. “She was later a secretary at Gordon-Bibb (Elementary School) before transferring to Julian Harris, where she retired in 2003 on medical disability.

“She worked three years after being diagnosed. She still has that kind of determination.”

A daughter, Nikki Sprader of Mooresville, said Joan for sure never stopped being a mom.

“Today, when I need a meatloaf recipe, who do I call?” she said. “I call Mother.”

A more perfect Union

I once told a candidate’s wife that I liked her husband’s opponent because he was strong on the First Amendment. She responded that her husband was strong on the Second Amendment.

I had to look up the Second Amendment, which contains the right to bear arms. I wondered whether she knew that the First Amendment guarantees freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.

We should “read beyond the Preamble” of the U.S. Constitution, says Decatur’s Stephens Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, in literature promoting Constitution Week.

Good advice. We would learn something.

Jane Rowe is the DAR chapter regent. Constitution Week, Sept. 17-23, celebrates the 220th anniversary of the Constitution’s signing.

A little extra cash

Some people get all the breaks. U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, 64, was born into a family that helped build Kimberly-Clark Corp., maker of Kleenex and Scott towels. He recently reported a net worth of about $11.6 million.

He thus can afford to spend about $10 a week on lottery tickets, and in 1997 he won $250,000 in the District of Columbia lottery. Twice within the past year, he won $1,000 in the Wisconsin lottery, according to The Associated Press.

“I got lucky,” the Wisconsin Republican says.

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

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

Leave feedback
on this or

Email This Page