News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Wendy N. McDougal

At the Special Olympics state championship victory party at the Whitley home are, from left, Jessica Strain, Jessica Chase, Emanuel Elliott, Jackson Whitley and Michael Powers.
Courtesy photo
At the Special Olympics state championship victory party at the Whitley home are, from left, Jessica Strain, Jessica Chase, Emanuel Elliott, Jackson Whitley and Michael Powers.

Decatur students state champs in Special Olympics volleyball

Wendy’s word

As Valentine’s Day came and went, I was reminded of one of the sweetest stories I ever remember hearing about true love and selflessness. I don’t recall where I heard it or when, but the story will always stay close to my heart.

He was a lonely little boy, and his mom knew that Valentine’s Day would be another sad day. She worried because never before had he received a Valentine — not one. He had no one to call a friend. So she was surprised to see his diligence and determination in preparing a special Valentine for everyone in his class.

Valentine’s Day came and in anticipation of his disappointment after school, his mom baked and cooked all day, preparing many of her son’s favorite sweet treats. She watched him walking down the street, waiting to see the expression on his face.

To her surprise, he burst through the door all smiles. Taken aback, she said, “Well, Happy Valentine’s Day. It must have been a good one.”

“It was,” he replied with a smile.” She hesitated and said, “You must have gotten some pretty good Valentine’s cards.” Still smiling, he answered, “No, ma’am.” Confused, she asked, “Then why are you so happy?” With the biggest, proudest grin on his face, he simply said, “Mom, it was a great day because I didn’t forget anyone.” What an incredible perspective!

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

State champions

There is much to be proud of in Decatur. Now we can claim a Special Olympics Division III Volleyball State Championship, thanks to the hard work and determination of Decatur High’s Developmental School.

Traveling to Tuscaloosa for the big event were principal Tom Maynor; coaches Shirley Yarborough and Robin Doss; Robin Fanning, R.N.; and team members Emanuel Elliott, Shawn Brown, James Drake, Matthew Hansen, Jackson Whitley, Michael Powers, Brittney Darnell, Jessica Strain and Cordaryl Robinson. Other staff members working with the developmental program include Karen Alexander, Kim Rutherford and Duel Ray.

Highlights of the trip included a visit to the Bear Bryant Museum at The University of Alabama and dinner at Olive Garden. Bad weather and a power outage at the hotel also caused unexpected excitement. “It was definitely a memorable trip for the kids,” said April Whitley.

“So many of these students have never been out of Decatur, so it was quite an adventure,” Whitley said. “This is just a special group of kids, and we love every minute.”

To honor the championship team, the Whitleys opened their home for a celebration and victory party. “Everyone worked very hard, and we wanted to show them how proud we were of their efforts,” said Whitley.

Historical Commission

The Lawrence County Historical Commission Inc. will meet Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Lawrence County Board of Education building in Moulton.

Guest speaker will be Dr. Chuck Lundquist, physics professor at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, who will talk about the Tombigbee Railroad Survey. For more information, call Mignonette W. Kelsoe at 974-1500.

Herb Society The Morgan County Herb Society met Feb. 7 at the Morgan County Extension Office. President Anne Edmunds called the meeting to order. The devotion was led by Donna Turney, honoring members celebrating February birthdays.

The group decided to rework its herb bed to accommodate planters, eliminating the need for constant weeding.

Two guests were welcomed, Sylvia Walker of Falkville and Nancy Waldon of Decatur.

After playing a tea party game, four winners took home floral arrangements in tea pots: Anne Edmunds, Maude Brooks, Elise Means and Elizabeth Vinzant.

Jean Jenkins drew for three boxes of chocolate that went to Brooks, Christine Grove and Sylvia Walker. Jenkins provided the chocolates, as well as the table décor.

The March program will feature Janice Walding from Lafayette, who will speak on aromatherapy.

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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