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SUNDAY, JUNE 5, 2005
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VALLEY OF YEARS PAST
Mary Lott

Decatur population 15,590 in 1930

75 Years Ago

June 3-7, 1930

Decatur clinched ninth place in the census ranking of the state as the result of effort by the public affairs committee of the Decatur Kiwanis Club and THE DECATUR DAILY.

Decatur moved in ahead of Dothan, and the official population status now stands at 15,590.

Frederick I. Thompson, one of Alabama's most prominent publishers and aspirant to the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate, arrived in Decatur for a conference with friends and supporters.

The Bonanza Quartet of Decatur will fill another radio engagement. Following the appearance of the organization on the program of the Jefferson County singing convention during the day, the quartet will sing from 4:30 to 5 p.m. over WBRC, Birmingham.

Owen Bell, Julian Harris, Jervis Jones, John Snodgrass and Gilbert White were elected to the board of directors of Decatur Rotary Club.

The "Chocolate Drop Minstrel," presented by the missionary societies of Central Methodist Church at Riverside High School auditorium, was a big success.

The entertainment made it certain that Decatur has much minstrel talent.

Gertie Wilson entertained Girl Scouts at an all-day picnic at Swan Lake. Various games and boating were enjoyed at the event.

50 Years Ago

June 3-6, 1955

Officers of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4190 were installed at a regular meeting. Warren S. Reese, past state commander and installing officer, presented the gavel to William Wright, commander. Other officers are Paul Thompson, senior vice commander; Theo DeGraffenried, junior vice commander; Paul Gilliam, post surgeon; Bill Freeman, quartermaster; Harold Damsgard, chaplain; and Paul Stroud and R.F. Hoover, trustees.

Ed Farley presented a certificate of training to Lonnie Johnson, Scout Master from Hatton, during Scout Masters Roundtable and Training Session. Farley is a resident of Moulton and is chairman of the Lawrence District Training Committee.

Charlie Minton, president of the Decatur Junior Chamber of Commerce, presented a check for $150 to L.T. Wagnon, Morgan County Extension agent. The check is to be used for Cole Springs 4-H Club Camp about five miles east of Falkville. Funds from the Jaycees' check will be used to outfit one of the camp cabins with bedding and other necessities for youths of Morgan County.

James Thomas of Athens is first-place winner of the boys division of the 1955 Farm Cooperative Contest for the North Alabama District.

Dr. Arthur Beinderff was named director of the North Alabama Regional Science Fair at Athens State College. The decision was made at a meeting at Decatur High School called by Dr. Madison Marshall, Science Fair director for Alabama.

Residents from Decatur, Huntsville, Russellville and the Tri-Cities attended the meeting.

Newly elected officers who will lead Riverside's student council are Barbara Taylor, president; David Collins, vice president; Judy Johnson, secretary; and Tommy Hobbs, treasurer. Louise Ryan is the student council sponsor.

25 Years Ago

May 28-June 2, 1980

Decatur Model Airplane Club members and others, plus model plane pilots from Birmingham and elsewhere, will fly for charity Saturday in a fund-raising fly-in. Proceeds from the $1 admission will go to the Alabama Sheriffs' Boys and Girls Ranches. The show will be at the club's miniature airfield at the Morgan County Fairgrounds.

Demonstrations will include a World War I "dogfight," aerobatic stunt flying and a performance by scale model helicopters.

Johnny Turner, a graduate of Lawrence County High School, was elected president of the Student Government Association at Calhoun Community College. Carol Coffey of Decatur was elected vice president, Pamela Stewart of Harvest was elected secretary and Rosemary Dougherty of Decatur was elected treasurer.

The Tennessee Valley Traffic Club of Huntsville, represented by Stephen Bridgford of Decatur, sales representative for Yellow Freight System Inc., received the Traffic World Club Attendance Award at the 21st annual Southeast Transportation and Distribution Forum.

The award is presented to the traffic club or other supporting organization having the largest percentage of its membership attending the forum.

Mickey Evers was chosen Boss of the Year by the Insurance Women of Decatur Club. He works for General Adjustment Bureau in Decatur. The club chose Wilma Johnson as Insurance Woman of the Year. She works for Cecil J. Teague Insurance Adjusters in Decatur.

Dr. Ronald Clemmons, a former Decatur resident, has been named head of the music program in the Department of Performing Arts at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Fifteen young bowlers from Decatur and Hartselle placed high in the state junior tournament in Birmingham.

They are Bill Almon, Dwight Satterfield, Donnie Cowan, Jeff Lott, Kerry Hawkins, Tanya Copeland, Steve Clark, Wayne Polston, Paul Lee, James Lawrence, John McCleskey, Jeff Robertson, Lowell Wimberly, Vickie Shelley and Carol Parker.

A grass lizard, common to New Mexico, was found in Priceville by Tony Ryan and Carl Garner, two Priceville boys. The snake-like creature was about two feet long and Ryan said his father, who has lived in Priceville all his life, has seen two of the lizards in the area.

10 Years Ago

June 1-6, 1995

Swing Thru the Valley's mini-golf course continues to operate at River Oaks Center to raise funds for the Volunteer Center of Morgan County. The organization gave awards to companies or groups who built the individual holes. Holes depicting the Morgan County Courthouse and Shadowlawn, home of Mr. and Mrs. Glynn Tubb, tied for the People's Choice Award winners. Susan Twelkemeier designed Shadowlawn and it was built by Steve Reeves, president of Reeves General Contractors. Darren Butler built the courthouse hole, which was designed by Larry Bibbee.

Heather Martin and Erin Maziek, recent graduates of Austin High School, have received full music scholarships to The University of Alabama. Martin plays the bassoon and was second chair at the state contest 1993-94 and was first chair this year. Maziek plays the oboe and was first chair the past two years at state.

Austin band director Ed Nichols said the full scholarships to Alabama "are a big deal. Alabama's wind ensemble is probably one of the top four or five in the Southeast."

Walter Jackson Elementary School students Trey Kyle, Lauren Wilson, Taylor Bailey and Cassie Solway had winning artwork in the National Junior American Citizens Contest sponsored locally by Stephens Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Their kindergarten teacher is Peggy Lamb.

Local author Christopher Fuqua — a.k.a. C. Stephen Fouquet — will lend his sentiments on being a dad as a part of CNN's Father's Day perspective.

An Andalusia native now living in Limestone County, Fuqua recently published "Notes to My Becca: A Father's Thoughts on Welcoming His Long-Awaited Child."

The appearance on CNN is the latest in a series of promotional spots arranged by his publisher, Fairview Press.

The author has published a novel, "Music Fell on Alabama," and also numerous short stories, investigative pieces and poetry.

James Hunter, 17, of Decatur took the second film he directed to a Los Angeles producer hoping for a sale. He was told the film needed more "marketable" qualities. Hollywood translation: a movie star.

The Austin High School student got Charles Napier, a friend of a friend, who had starred in "Rambo" and "Philadelphia."

"I met him last year and we became friends. So I called him one night and told him Hollywood told me not to come back if I don't have some marketable elements and one of them was a movie star," Hunter said. Some scenes for "The River Bridge," the 60-minute murder mystery he took to Los Angeles, were shot at Keller Memorial Bridge. Producers said the film needed an additional 30 minutes of footage to be feature length. That half-hour will be the sequence starring Napier, which Hunter has titled "Conspiracy." Though they are being produced as separate pieces of film, "Conspiracy" will become part of "The River Bridge."

Hunter plans to return to Hollywood when the film is completed in August.

— Compiled by Mary Lott

Mary Lott Mary Lott
DAILY Staff Writer

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