News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Golf buddy Willie Mays became a pal

Darvin Robinson lived in the San Francisco area for 30 years before retiring in 1992 and returning home to Decatur three years later.

He told Ronnie Thomas about a golf outing in California during the 1970s. A friend, Eugene “Smitty” Smith, called and said, “I’ve got a foursome. It’ll be you, me, Bob and Willie.”

He didn’t know who Willie was until baseball immortal Willie Mays walked up. Darvin was cool, responding, “Hey, I know you. You’re kind of famous for tiddlywinks.” He learned that Smitty and Willie grew up together in Fairfield.

Darvin and Willie got along so well that they made a $10 side bet, which Darvin won. He asked Willie to sign the bill but later gave it to a bartender for drinks.

Darvin said the bartender asked, “Is this for real?” then exchanged bills, stuffing the Willie bill into his pocket.

Not just trophies

On several later occasions, Darvin and his wife, Annette, visited Willie at his Atherton, Calif., mansion.

“Most were interested in his trophy house,” Annette said.

“I was spellbound by the design of the residence and the furniture.”

Another goat name

Some have suggested “Nanny” and “Baasheba” as names for the goat that is wandering around Decatur, eluding capture. Sherry Steadman has another idea.

“I think the nanny’s name should be ‘Penny,’ ” Sherry wrote by e-mail. “She is like a bad penny — she keeps turning up everywhere — and besides that, she has been sighted around Pennylane Southeast.”

Sherry and her husband live near Pennylane, and Penny “has visited our yard and blessed it with a gift in the grass,” Sherry added. But “I really hope she is not caught.

“She is a legend, and it is really exciting.”

One too many

The beer at Riverfest may benefit nonprofit agencies, but it still has the usual effect on those drinking it.

Jim Page, one of the coordinators, told Eric Fleischauer that one guest had a few too many and stumbled to the nearest vehicle, trying to climb in. Slight problem: It was a police car. The policeman was not amused.

“Sorry, sir,” the guest slurred. “I thought it was my car.”

The officer’s response: “You’re right. It is.”

Winner out of zone

Melissa Hensler got a “Most Unusual Pet” prize from her township two years ago for her pet rooster. But that was before a neighbor complained.

Now the same township, Irwin, Pa., says the bird is a farm animal in a residential area and it must go, according to The Associated Press.

Melissa, 13, has raised Sundae the rooster and eight other chickens for six years.

The neighbor’s complaint caused a town board to crack down on zoning, and now Melissa’s parents may sue to keep the pets.

“If I had to get rid of them, it would be like losing part of me,” Melissa said.

“I would be losing my children.”

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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