News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Wendy N. McDougal

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Courtesy Photo
Decatur High School’s 3:15 Jazz Band joins jazz bands from Austin High School, Cedar Ridge Middle School and The University of North Alabama at Thursday’s annual Big Band Bash at Princess Theatre Center for thePerforming Arts.

Hartselle Newcomers spruce up for spring; jazz at Princess

The search for a misplaced pair of red baseball socks turned a neat room and stacks of clean, folded laundry into a messy heap and left me a wits' end. If you have ever had one of those days, it doesn't take much for the straw to break the camel's back. I had definitely reached the end of my rope this particular afternoon.

I sat trying to reorganize the different piles of pajamas, shorts and T-shirts, trying not to say something I would later regret. After all, it was only a pair of socks. Who cares if they were needed to match the rest of the team at the baseball pictures?

Sandy Johnson, Anne Poole, Jo Ann Stephenson, Sharon Thomson and Linda Teuscher modeled spring clothes from Maison Morgan at a recent meeting of Hartselle Newcomers Club.
Courtesy Photo
Sandy Johnson, Anne Poole, Jo Ann Stephenson, Sharon Thomson and Linda Teuscher modeled spring clothes from Maison Morgan at a recent meeting of Hartselle Newcomers Club.
In all of his infinite wisdom, my 5-year-old stood there eating his ice cream sandwich, watching my frustration and never even thinking of lifting a finger to help me straighten the mess he had made. He smiled and said, "Mom, everything is possible if you just believe." I responded, "Thanks, little man."

We still haven't found the socks, but I certainly will approach my next moment of frustration with a different attitude, realizing that children will be children, and there are certainly more important things to get uptight about than a pair of socks.

Now let's see what the "chatter" is around town . . .

Hartselle Newcomers

Hartselle Newcomers Club kicked off spring with a picnic and fashion show provided by Maison Morgan and owners Mac and Opal Taylor. New residents Annette Dean from Birmingham, Duaine Heart from Florida, Paula Hutt from California and Linda Cave from Indiana and Florida were welcomed. Cave also is the mother of Julianne Williams, an alumni and past officer of the club.

Led by Mary Kennedy, the show offered a peek at the latest spring fashions, with a selection of bright colors and pastels in silk, linen, soft cotton and polyester.

Members Sandy Johnson, Anne Poole, Jo Ann Stephenson, Sharon Thomson and Linda Teuscher shared their modeling talents, while others savored a picnic lunch of chicken fingers, baked beans and slaw. Desserts were prepared by Maison Morgan staff.

Following a recent trip to Hanceville to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the group will meet again April 13 at Pleasant Place Community Center across from Hartselle Medical Center. First United Methodist Church will provide child care.

Contact Sue Kalber, 751-0295, or Sharon Fisher, 751-3171, for more information.

Happenings at Princess

Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts is busy this week. Doors open Tuesday night as "Hank & My Tonk Heroes" take the stage at 7:30. Jason Petty stars.

Thursday night at 7 is the annual Big Band Bash, featuring more than 80 students from jazz bands from The University of North Alabama Studio Jazz Band and Decatur City Schools.

Sponsored by Compass Bank and KIX 96, "Hank and my Honky Tonk Heroes" takes a nostalgic look at Hank Williams and his influence on country music. With an authentic four-piece band, award-winning actor Jason Petty re-creates such hits as "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" and "Your Cheatin' Heart."

The audience will travel back to the beginnings of country music and pay homage to Williams and other country legends such Jimmie Rodgers, Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, The Carter Family, George Jones and Webb Pierce.

Petty tours the country spreading his brand of traditional country music. His performance in "Hank Williams: Lost Highway" earned him five nominations in New York, including an Obie for Off-Broadway's Outstanding Actor.

The Deco Cabaret, a pre-show party, is scheduled one hour before the show. Wine, beer and nibbles are included. Reservations are $15 per person and can be made at the box office.

Big Band Bash, coordinated by Austin High School Assistant Band Director Clay Sloan, will feature full sets of classic big band music from the '30s and '40s, as well as current jazz selections.

UNA's Studio Jazz Band is a multi-faceted musical organization that performs traditional swing, Broadway tunes, and Third Stream Jazz. Under the direction of Lloyd Jones, the 34-member group includes the instrumentation of a traditional swing band and is augmented to include flutes, clarinets, French horns and additional mallet percussionists.

In 2002, it recorded a CD with Decatur native Edsel Holden live at the Princess. Holden will be guest vocalist at Tuesday's event.

Austin's jazz band will perform music from Horace Silver and Duke Ellington along with traditional New Orleans Jazz. The group performs at civic functions and was the featured group at last year's Bash.

The 3:15 Jazz Band, Decatur High School's performing ensemble, is directed by Robbie Stout. It performs 1920s jazz to modern new-age compositions.

Cedar Ridge Middle School's Jazz Band is made up of seventh- and eighth-grade band students who perform at area elementary schools, civic group meetings and community events. It also has performed in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and New Orleans. This year the group is scheduled to perform in St. Louis.

Both events this week are made possible with support from a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, with proceeds benefiting the Princess Theatre.

Reserved tickets for "Hank and my Honky Tonk Heroes" are $25 to $40, with a discount ticket of $25 for students and teachers.

Reserved tickets for Big Band Bash $16 for main floor, $14 for balcony, $10 for upper balcony and $10 for students and teachers. Senior citizen and group rates are available.

For tickets, call 340-1778.

Christian Women's Club

From country recording artist to gourmet cook — that's what special guest Lynne Drysdale-Patterson will bring to Decatur Christian Women's Club. Join the fun at Decatur Country Club at 11 a.m. Friday.

Drysdale-Patterson, who lives in Nashville, will kick the afternoon off with a mini-concert, then will share her cooking talents. She is author of "Feasts of Israel" cookbook and will have them for purchase.

Cost is $13. For reservations and complimentary nursery, contact Clarice Kessinger, 301-9196 or, or Jean Holmes, 353-3336 or

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. E-mail me at or call me at 350-5730.

Wendy N. McDougal Wendy N. McDougal
DAILY Staff Writer

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