News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Confederate flag on grave of Union man

A column item about dueling Auburn and Alabama flags in a cemetery reminded Bobbie Johnson of Falkville that somebody misjudged her great-great-grandfather’s loyalty.

Returning to this area after being gone 50 years, she visited the grave of John Anderson Parker at Evergreen Cemetery in south Morgan County.

“Someone had drilled a small hole in his marker and placed in it a Confederate flag,” Bobbie said. “I don’t know whether it was the person’s ignorance or a bizarre joke because the man was a member of the 1st Alabama Cavalry — Union.

“The next time that I visited the cemetery, the flag was gone, so my guess is that the person became informed.”

Bad address for politician

There was just too much water at an Athens Planning Commission meeting.

Public Works Director James Rich was trying to explain plans for Watercress subdivision, which is near the Waterford development and the subdivision where Mayor Dan Williams lives.

“What’s the name of your subdivision, Mayor? It’s something Gate.”

Ronnie Marks, the City Council’s representative on the commission, quickly answered, “Watergate.”

The reference to President Nixon’s scandal got a few chuckles, according to Holly Hollman.

“No, now I don’t live in a place called Watergate,” the mayor replied. It’s Westgate.

Rain? No problem!

Gov. Bob Riley reveled in the rain falling on drought-parched Montgomery last week.

The rain meant moving a news conference indoors and away from a dramatic backdrop on the avenue of flags outside the Capitol.

“You know it is the start of a great day when you have to come in because it is raining,” the governor said, as quoted by M.J. Ellington.

Coming up empty

Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church youths held “trick-or-can.” Teams went to homes and, instead of asking for candy, asked for canned goods to donate to the Committee on Church Cooperation.

They learned a tough lesson on the public’s perception of teenage guys.

The teams with girls or young children did great. Eric Fleischauer’s teenage son, John, shook his head ruefully.

“Only a few families gave us any at all,” he said. “And one of those gave us empty cans!”

The contributor thought they were collecting recyclables; the young men didn’t have the heart to explain.

Save your receipts

Newlyweds Larry and Mariam Orenstein of the Milwaukee area paid just under $10 a night for a room at The Palmer House in Chicago in 1947 — and 2007.

That penthouse suite normally rents now for $1,600 a night.

The 136-year-old hotel allows guests who visited more than 50 years ago to come back at the same price if they can produce an original receipt, The Associated Press explained. Customers have taken advantage of this offer fewer than 10 times in 25 years.

The Orensteins are 81, and their 12-year-old grandson paid their bill.

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.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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