News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Wendy N. McDougal

Caudills have a 'Bear' of a vacation

Hello readers! It's a wonderful Wednesday, with so much going on. Let's get right to the "chatter" and see what's happening around town . . .

College World Series

Jim and Mary Caudill, former Decatur residents, enjoyed a baseball-themed trip earlier this summer to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Joining this Father's Day celebration was daughter, Cindi Caudill Jacob of San Antonio, Texas, with son, Chad Jacob, and brother and sister-in-law, David and Stacy Caudill of Raleigh, N.C., with children Grant and Madison.

Jim, a member of the Morgan County Hall of Fame and a 1952 graduate of Baylor, began this family's journey to become third generation Baylor Bears. After David and Stacy both graduated, and Cindi earned a '94 Alumni by Choice Degree, the rest is history.

"We just have to support them in all sporting events," said Cindi. "We were thrilled that the Bears were one of the eight teams to make it to the World Series. We watched them beat Oregon State, then an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over Tulane. We lost two games to rival Big 12 team, University of Texas, who won the World Series this year, but overall we had a fantastic trip and enjoyed cheering for our Baylor Bears."

When not at the field, the Caudills took in the sights of Omaha, Lincoln, and the University of Nebraska.

Jim pastored churches in Decatur, Hatton and Hartselle. With family still in North Alabama, the Caudills visit the Decatur area once a year.

Sounds like a swingin' Father's Day! "Take me out to the ballgame" anytime. Hope it was happy, and hope we see you all sometime when you are visiting.


There is nothing quite like those sweet memories of growing up, whether it was in the exciting hustle and bustle of big- city life or the serene, calm, lazy days of small-town living. We all remember where we spent those early years. For two former Decatur residents, Trisha Thornton Dunnavan and Carla Thornton White, a visit to their hometown and some childhood "hot spots" was a highlight of this summer vacation.

Last Thursday, I had taken my children and some friends to have some inside fun and get out of the heat at Decatur's Skate Castle, owned and operated by J.A. Phillips. After three plus hours of rockin' and rollin' to some new tunes and some old, there were just three of us left on the rink. In fact, J.A. had to ask us to leave so they could prepare for the evening skate. How embarrassing.

Not having ever met, Trisha, Carla and I just laughed at each other going around in circles, each of us in our own little world of enjoyment. Realizing that we (many, many moons ago) were part of that early '80s crowd where rolling skating on Friday and Saturdays was life.

I quickly learned that these two ladies, one now living in Orlando and the other in Atlanta, had placed Decatur on their summer schedule for several reasons. The first, of course, was to visit "Mom," Pat Thornton. Other highlights would include Point Mallard Water Park, picking blueberries and visiting Cook's Museum.

Oh, just to be young again, and slow down long enough to do those countless things we used to love to do. Trisha and Carla both said they had a ball sharing these childhood past times with Trisha's 6-year-old twins, Dane and Grant, and daughter, Emmalise.

Hope these families had a safe trip home. We'll look forward to spotting you around town again when you are back in Decatur.

Class of 1948

Members of the Hazelwood High School Class of 1948 gathered at The Grill on Alabama 20 recently for a reunion dinner. Bailey Terry of Hillsboro organized the festivities, which included guests from Decatur, Birmingham, Huntsville, Hillsboro, Town Creek, Athens, and Florence.

Classmates in attendance included Margaret Bynum Norton, Carnell Terry, Nell Randolph Key, Nell Butler Casteel, Dempsey Rutherford, Harold Ryan, Billie Bradford Lewter, Amelia Moore Green Fromrath, L. Bailey Terry, and Nell Turner Dirks.

Spouses and other guests included Terrell Key, Charley Casteel, Pat Rutherford, Doris Ryan, Carol Terry, Gene Dirks, Marie LeMay, Margie LeMay Halbrooks, Marjorie LeMay, Wayne LeMay, Jim and Sue Thaxton, Dr. Bobby and Amanda LeMay, and Dr. Guy Montgomery.

Dr. Jack (John) Montgomery, Class of '52, spoke briefly to the group about the Hazelwood Scholarship Fund, and urged graduates t consider donating. Checks can be made to Karen Hughes, 1733 Fussell St., Town Creek, AL 35672.

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

Time is running out for those great summer gatherings. If you think they are worth sharing, let me know. Before we know it, we'll start talking about the new school year, fall flings and football extravaganzas.

I would love to hear about your events, programs, family reunions or anything else you may want to share with the community.

Family reunions, graduation parties, summer stories . . . all are great Chatterbox items. Mail your "Chatterbox" news to Wendy McDougal at 2001 Katie Drive S.W., Decatur, AL 35603, or e-mail to

Wendy N. McDougal Wendy N. McDougal
DAILY Staff Writer

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