News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Cathy D. Wahl

Airport in works for city

From the archives of THE DECATUR DAILY:

75 Years Ago

Feb. 10-16, 1930

An airport will be established in Decatur at the existing Leslie Flying Field, located two miles north of the city.

A Peoria, Ill., corporation says it is interested in manufacturing planes, establishing flying schools, developing air mail lines and developing a system of airports in a straight line from the Gulf of Mexico to Minnesota. If and when the plans materialize, Decatur would be the second city in Alabama to have an airport.

Meanwhile, hundreds of automobiles parked Sunday at the flying field to watch the company's "flying circus." Many people took their first plane ride.

Decatur taxi drivers are required to wear hat badges. The badges cost $2.50.

50 Years Ago

Feb. 13-19, 1955

Morgan County Solicitor Ralph Slate said he is giving public warning that "school is out" for prohibition and gambling law violators in Morgan County. Pointing a finger at private clubs and organizations, the solicitor reiterated that "open and notorious violation of prohibition and gambling laws is over and so far as I'm concerned it will stay that way."

Speake High School's seniors ended their season Friday night with a rousing 84-56 victory over Red Bay, closing with a respectable 17-7 record. McLemore led the team with 25 points, followed by J. Hembree, Legg, Keenum, B. Clark, Moses, Burfield, J.W. Hembree, White and McCaghren.

Eva closed its season with a 94-54 win over Ryan. A. Murphree poured in 30 points and H. Humphries followed with 29. J. McDonald added 17, followed by O. Ammons, Hill, Oaks, Holmes, Chaffin and B. Humphries.

All kinds of organizations named Valentine kings and queens. Patsy Stephenson reigned over Central Baptist Church's sweetheart banquet, with Sue Ann Tucker and Billy Joe Brazelton crowed Valentine queen and king of the Central Baptist intermediate group. Linda Sparkman won the title of "Sweetheart of the Youth Center." Eric Thomas and Sherry Maddox were crowned King and Queen of Hearts at Hartselle Elementary School. Johnny Garrison crowned Meredith Johnson and Joyce Teague the king and queen of Flint Methodist Church's sweetheart banquet.

The Rev. John Horgan, pastor of St. Ann's Catholic Church, broke ground at the site of St. Ann School, Decatur's first parochial school. Spence Lasenby, Tommy Kullman and Roy Shaw assisted.

The L.G. Orr family of Danville is the 1964 Merit Family of the Tennessee Valley Area.

Priceville School's fourth grade students performed a program entitled "I Speak for Democracy." Performers included Watha Summerford, Jeffrey Grantland, Huey Sharp, Martha Gail Chaffin, Diana Parker, Janet Sandlin and Jimmy Thompson.

25 Years Ago

Feb. 10-16, 1980

Susie Rushing, 8, is the only girl participating in Decatur's youth hockey program. She plays for the McDonald's team.

India Harris and Betty Hunter are breathing sighs of relief after the Decatur Junior Service League's Cotton Country Capers that they chaired finished performances last week. Mary Ann Sims, Carolyn Nelson, Chris Headley, Annie Cornell, Mary Daniels, Chris Johnson, Nancy Stevens, Brenda Levie and Bay Naylor hosted a cast party at Decatur Country Club.

Nita Frenzel will chair Decatur Charity League's art auction at Burningtree Country Club. Kay Blackard, Charlotte Horton, Debbie Ward, Laverne Hendee, Joan Eickholt, Mary Sturges, Susan Collier, Dorothy Linville, Susan Newsom, Joanne Hastings, Pat Thublin, Anne Chandler, Wendy Zokoe, Becky Moore and Polly Webb are chairing various committees.

Two men's singing groups are popular entertainers in the area but perform in vastly different styles. The Bachelors IV quartet features Tom Clackley, Terry Reburn, Danny Light and David Woodard with Jimmy Cantrell, director. Decatur's male barbershop quartet includes Jerry Howard Ellis Paulson, Marvin Hale, and Bob Bauer.

Tommy Steadman made Decatur bowling history Monday night by bowling the first perfect game ever at Decatur Lanes.

Don Woods is Hartselle's new head football coach. Bucky Pitts, coach for 11 years, resigned last week to become head coach at Guntersville High School.

Point Mallard will build a three-flume water slide that will open in August.

Beltline Mall Merchants Association officers are Carol Still, Steve Blake, Karen Owens, Anna Hamaker and Louis Blizzard.

Hazlewood Golden Bears won the state 1A-2A indoor track championship in Montgomery. Runners included Jerome Allen, Marcus Sanders, Kerry Goode, Richard Reedus, Roderick Steward, Joseph Langham, Chris Goode, Willie Goode, Jessie Gilchrist, David Thaxton and Clay Williams. Aaron Goode is coach.

10 Years Ago

Feb. 12-18, 1995

B.J. Jones, who died in January, won one of the first Bravo Awards given by the Decatur Arts Council.

Tonya Jones is homecoming queen at Calhoun Community College.

The second annual Black History Awards Program and Banquet will honor Millie Bankston, Ronnie Miller, Collis Stevenson, Nathan W. Tate Sr., Gerald Cross, Donnie Aldridge, Eunice Balentine, Billy Jackson, Athelyne Banks and the late Emma Kate Gray and Lucille Summers.

A $5 million expansion of the riverfront port adjoining Morgan County's largest industrial park could quadruple the cargo and double the jobs at the 3-year-old port. Private investors that include former U.S. Rep. Ronnie G. Flippo proposed the expansion.

— Compiled by Cathy Wahl

THE DECATUR DAILY welcomes the loan of any photos depicting people, places and events from Lawrence, Limestone and Morgan counties for each Sunday's "Valley of Years Past" column. Photos will be returned. Call THE DAILY at 353-4612, or Cathy D. Wahl at 350-6983 or

Cathy D. Wahl Cathy D. Wahl
DAILY Staff Writer

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