News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Wendy N. McDougal

It is of the ACS Golf Championship. Beth Tutwiler, left, of the American Cancer Society with Ronnie Dukes of Pepsi Cola of Decatur LLC, who was honored at the ACS Golf Championship.
Courtesy photo
It is of the ACS Golf Championship. Beth Tutwiler, left, of the American Cancer Society with Ronnie Dukes of Pepsi Cola of Decatur LLC, who was honored at the ACS Golf Championship.

Golf enthusiasts play to aid cancer society

Wendy’s word

Have you ever just not believed your ears? I was at the check-out counter the other day during the back-to-school rush when the teen-aged cashier yelled across the store to her manager, “I have to go to the bathroom!”

My daughter looked at me and said, “Did she just say what I think she said?” My reply was, “Yes, she did. That’s professionalism at its best. Not!”

I am not sure what shocked me more, the girl saying that or the lack of response on the manager’s part. I sure hope this was a one-time incident and won’t happen again.

Now let’s see what the “chatter” is for today...

ACS golf winners

Local golf enthusiasts played against cancer at the American Cancer Society’s recent golf championship in Morgan County, held at Burningtree Country Club. Honoring Pepsi Cola of Decatur LLC, represented by Ronnie Dukes and Rodger Shabel, the championship featured 30 teams and raised more than $24,000.

Golfers competed for bragging rights and many gifts donated by local merchants. Winners were, from Flight I: Domino’s Pizza, Cook’s Pest Control and Bunge; Flight II: John Pearce’s team, Nucor Steel LLC and Allegra Printing Services; and Flight III: Decatur General Hospital, Wilson Machine and Meow Mix/Del Monte.

All proceeds from the event benefit the American Cancer Society’s mission of eliminating cancer through research, education, advocacy and patient services. The American Cancer Society hosts the largest amateur, charity golf championship in the nation.

For more information about the golf championship, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit

“Cousins’ Day”

The summer was a busy one for Russ and Linda Gordon of Hartselle, working hard as hostesses of the third annual Johnson-Laurence reunion. It’s called “Cousins’ Day” because so many have neither the Laurence or Johnson surname now. Folks showed up from as far away as Texas, both Carolinas, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and all parts of Alabama. More than 100 people signed the guest list.

It makes for an interesting family twist when many in the group are related on both sides of the family. For example, Linda Gordon’s mom and her sister, both Laurence girls, married two of the Johnson boys. “One of the older Johnson girls also married one of my mom’s uncles — the youngest Laurence boy from the previous generation,” said Gordon. The family tree diagram since 1900 has sort of a thicket of branches until post-WWII young folks began leaving the farming communities and moving to various cities to find work, and they met and married spouses from other parts of the country,” she said.

Children stayed busy with badminton, softball, horseshoes, croquet and volleyball while the older folks sat in the shade sharing stories about the past or just catching up from the previous year. The meal was a collection of covered-dish delights reminiscent of dinner on the grounds under the shade trees beside the old church cemetery.

Following the meal and group photo, the first annual “Cousins’ Day” auction began, featuring a handmade quilt, homemade jellies, a handcrafted mosaic garden brick, several knitted and crocheted items, a model of the USS Enterprise, some German-made pocket knives, a box of fully loaded water pistols and several antiques.

A unique item was a hickory bark whip carved and braided by Grandpa Henry Laurence several years before his death in 1976.

“The auction was a fun and an interesting way to pass around some family heirlooms and offset the costs of rental equipment for the weekend,” said Gordon.

Celebrated on the last Saturday each July, the reunion is always a fun time, with family members representing all walks of life including preachers, musicians, consultants, corporate executives, secretaries, nurses, entrepreneurs, sales people, factory workers, analysts, engineers, customer service folks, technicians, teachers, retired farmers, accountants, retired military people, software developers and stay-at-home moms.

Hartselle Newcomers

The Hartselle Newcomers will launch the 2007/2008 year with a tea at the clubhouse in Booth Meadows, a residential subdivision off Kyle Road, on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

All newcomers to the community are invited to come. Childcare will be provided by First United Methodist Church. For further information, contact Ruth Carlin, 773-8802, or Sandy Johnson, 751-4540.

Junior League book club

If you are a member or sustainer of the Junior League of Morgan County and love reading, then check this out. The first meeting of its book club will be this month and feature the book “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See.

Anyone interested may contact Alicia Nails at

DHS reunion

Plans are under way for Decatur High’s Class of 1977 reunion on Oct. 5 and 6.

Former classmates and friends will meet at the homecoming parade Friday night and tailgate before the game. Saturday night will feature a barn party at Mallard Stables.

If you or someone you know graduated with this class, visit the reunion Web site at or call Suzy Baggett, 355-6858, or Michael Rudie Plemons, 355-1753.

Look for more exciting reunion details as this draws near.

Anniversary trip

Bud and Juanell Self celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on an Alaskan cruise in May with friends Frank and Linda Little of Decatur.

Then on June 1, they marked their actual wedding date with a dinner and cut a miniature wedding cake at the home of their oldest son and wife, Michael and Resa Self, in Fayetteville, Tenn. Their granddaughter Maria served as a hostess for the evening.

Then they continued to celebrate with a visit to Crowley, Texas, where their youngest son and wife, Greg and Hortensia Self, and grandsons Gregory Jr. and Daniel live. Their daughter, Susan Roberts of the Birmingham area, joined them in Texas, where festivities included a dinner at the Reata Restaurant in Fort Worth and a George Jones concert at Bass Hall.

The couple have four other grandchildren from the Birmingham area: Sarah Darby, James, Rachel and Joseph Roberts. The Selfs married June 1, 1957, in Ensley Community Church, Birmingham.

That was the year he graduated from Auburn University with a degree in electrical engineering. He served five years in the Navy as a pilot and retired with Prestolite Wire in 1994 after serving as plant manager. They now live in Fayetteville.

That’s all for now. It’s been great chattin’ with ya!

Let me know what is going on in your little corner of the world. If it’s special to you and features any of the great people who live in our community, then it will make a great Chatterbox item. Just e-mail me at, or call me at 350-5730. I look forward to hearing from you.

Wendy N. McDougal Wendy N. McDougal
DAILY Staff Writer

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