Monday, April 30, 2007

A Time for Everything

"A Time for Everything" was the theme of this Ladies' Banquet table. I like the black and white contrast...simple yet elegant. The verse was chosen from Ecclesiastes 3, and I believe it was the subject of the Oldie Goldies song, "Turn, Turn, Turn." The hostess used clear plates and designed the clock and verse theme on white paper underneath. I took this photo before the table was finished...which explains why there are no glasses or coffee cups. The time for adding those was later!

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Ladies' Banquet

"A Virtuous Woman" was the theme of this tablescape at the annual Ladies' Banquet Saturday night. Held at the Selma Convention Center, the event features elaborate decorations based upon Bible verses. Volunteer hostesses plan and bedeck their tables. This year's worship leader was Bonnie Keen, a Christian singer, author and speaker. The interdenominational banquet is a big night out and is sponsored by Elkdale Baptist Church.
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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Signs of the Times

This feed and seed company operated in an old brick building on Water Avenue for quite a long time. I often purchased Dutch flower bulbs there. Closed now, the store's side view still bears its name.

I wonder what the old signs say. If you look just under the awning (obviously added on), you can still see advertisements from another era.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Crimson Clover

A lush field of crimson clover repeats its appearance each year in this large
field near the city limits.

Against a blue sky and wispy white clouds, the result has an almost patriotic appeal.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Art at the Library

One of the high points of visiting the library is viewing the latest artwork displayed by the locals. I'm not an art critic and have no idea if these creations are good or not. But I would like to know what the artist was thinking when he or she designed them.
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Sturdivant Hall Museum

Here is a view from the sidewalk as visitors approach Sturdivant Hall. The house museum is considered one of the finest Greek Revival neoclassic antebellum mansions in the Southeast. How's that for a pedigree?!
Its architect was Thomas Helm Lee, a cousin of Robert E. Lee, and the home became a museum in the late 1950s. With numerous antiques, portraits, period furniture and formal gardens, it is a must-see for tourists. The site also includes a gift shop.
For more details, visit the Sturdivant Hall website.
Click on the photo for a larger view.
Oh, and yes, it has a ghost!
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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Temple Mishkan Israel

When Selma had a much larger Jewish population, Temple Mishkan Israel regularly served as the place of worship. Built in 1899, the synagogue is primarily used for special services now.

The Jewish presence began growing here in the 1830s. Many came from Western Europe, some to work in early industrialist Phillip John Weaver's 11 businesses or to begin businesses themselves. Others came as merchants, traveling the Alabama River from Mobile to Selma. Through World War II, downtown Selma was dominated by Jewish businesses: Rothschild's, Kayser's, Teppers, Bendersky's, Eagle's, Boston Bargain, Barton's, Adler Furniture, Siegel Automobile, Bloch Brothers Hardware, Schuster Hardware, Hohenberg Cotton Company, Kahn Brick, Lewis Cigar, American Candy.

They were civic-minded as well. Selma has had three Jewish mayors, several city council presidents, chamber of commerce presidents and others. During World War II, refugees from Europe were sponsored by local people.
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Monday, April 23, 2007

Selma City Hall

I'm celebrating the one-month anniversary of Selma, Ala. Daily Photo Blog with a picture of City Hall. The modern building offers a bit of Old South flavor with its wrought-iron trim. The municipal complex was built on the site of the old Hotel Albert (view photo here), which was modeled after the Doges Palace in Venice, Italy. The hotel was demolished in the 1960s when funds could not be raised to save it. Since then, Selmians vowed to save their valuable historic structures if at all possible. Looking up the street on this very glary day, is downtown Selma with the Pettus Bridge in the extreme background.
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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Jacob's Ladder

Our Jacob's Ladder bulbs are blooming, and I have always loved their magenta blooms. I call them Jacob's Ladder, because that is what we call them around here. When I checked the Internet images, there was nothing pictured that looked anything like these. We are sure these are some type of gladiola. So if anybody else has an idea, let me know!
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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Old Depot Museum

The Old Depot Museum preserves not only Selma's railroad history but the culture of the Black Belt region.

Inside, see relics from Native American civilization to the first Gulf War. Exhibits include arrowheads, a hand-picked bale of cotton with weigh scales, a "cadillac" of horse-drawn carriages, cannonballs recovered from the Alabama River, portraits of the town's five Confederate generals, photos and flyers from the Civil Rights Movement, a collection of late-19th Century photographs of tenant farm families, an antique portrait camera, old-time schoolhouse room and much, much more.

Out back, check out the boxcar and caboose as well as the Firefighters Building which displays Selma's first fire bell, a horse-drawn steam fire pump and an American LaFrance fire truck.

UPDATE: More information about this museum can be found at Things to Do in Selma, Alabama where my photo was published by a writer who did not properly credit Selma, Ala., Daily Photo.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Looking Up

Take a walk around town, look up, and this might be the view...tall oaks dripping with Spanish Moss.
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Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Two Bridges

Before the Edmund Pettus Bridge (background) was opened, the Alabama River at Selma had a "horse and buggy" toll drawbridge. This historic marker recalls the days when pedestrians could cross for 5 cents. A two-horse buggy was charged 50 cents. The drawbridge was operated by a bridge tender who lived in the "bridgetender's house," which still stands. Tolls were abolished when the county purchased the bridge in 1900.

The original bridge opened in 1885 and was destroyed prior to christening the new one on May 25, 1940. River traffic could easily pass beneath the modern Pettus Bridge spans, greatly speeding the journey.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Little John's Homemade Root Beer

This photoblog is for those who got thirsty while checking out the "Refreshments" entry of yesterday.

The lemonade and cherry fizz and root beer are special recipes made by
Little John's Root Beer in Kansas. I found a website for them. Just click on the green or go to or email

(I do not own any part of their brisk business!)

They strictly sell at period festivals and living history events, and according to web reports, make this delicious brew in their basement. The best part: Keep your antique bottle, and next year (or at another event this year) they will give you a refill at reduced cost! I imagine those Civil War reenactors travel from battle to battle with their Little John's bottles!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Refreshment, the Old-Fashioned Way

Ahhh....lemonade the old-fashioned way! Bottles of homemade lemonade and cherry fizz were the refreshment of the weekend at the Battle of Selma re-enactment. When you finish the drink, don't throw away the container! Keep it for a souvenir or in the frig with some ice-cold water come this summer.
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Monday, April 16, 2007

Save the Butterfly Day

April 16 is "Save the Butterfly Day" in Alabama, and the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail was declared Selma's mascot in 1982 and the state butterfly in 1989.
Selma is also the "Butterfly Capital of Alabama."
I took this photo of a swallowtail in my zinnia bed several years ago and was fortunate to capture it with its wings spread across two flowers. It was used in a local magazine article about "Madame Butterfly," or Mrs. Mallieve Breeding. She led a community effort to save the butterflies here.

Believing a garden should be "a thing of beauty as well as a thing of conservation," Mrs. Breeding spoke to civic clubs, schools, the city council and anyone who would listen. She explained that butterflies are a sign of a healthy environment, but pollution, overly aggressive mosquito control and lawn care are some of the means that destroy butterfly habitats.

Today, there is a Mallieve Breeding Butterfly Garden at the School of Discovery. Wildflowers have been planted along U.S. Highway 80, and Mrs. Breeding - now a well-known butterfly consultant - remains Madame Butterfly, even to adults who first heard her appeals when they were school children.


Butterflies need trees, flowers and other plants that support the four stages of metamorphosis from egg laying to food to pollination. They also thrive in areas where they can access water in shallow pans and and stones in sunny areas. Sunlight is necessary for nectar production, and butterflies require warmth to maintain temperature.

Trees in the Selma area include: poplar, ash, crabapple, dogwood, oak, persimmon and pear.
Flowering annuals are: marigold, ageratum, salvia, delphinium, impatiens and pansy.
Flowering perennials: daylily, hibiscus, goldenrod, lantana, periwinkle, zinnia, verbena, butterfly weed, canna and black-eyed susan
Herbs include: parsley, mint, chives, onion and rosemary

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Defending Selma

Final preparations are made for the defense of Selma in a re-enactment of the April 1865 battle. Confederate tents can be seen in the background. This photo is from a previous re-enactment.
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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bridge to the Battlefield

Battle of Selma reenactors cross the covered bridge into Riverside Park. The bridge was constructed across Valley Creek and leads from a parking area, playground and walking track in Valley Creek Park to the Battle of Selma battlefield. The main battle re-enactment is on Sunday afternoon.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Top Tunes of the 1860s

Music of the 1860s came alive Friday as school children from across the region attended the Battle of Selma Living History Tour. This musician played and sang Ol' Dan Tucker and Goober Peas as students clapped and sang along. Other demonstrations included a spinning wheel, cannon artillery and riflery, a working military campsite and battle flags history.
Living History Tour photo album
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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Storm Tracking

When the tornado siren blared Wednesday afternoon, I stepped into the front yard - camera in hand - to check the clouds. This ominous appendage drifted around awhile, then (like Carl Sandburg's "Fog") silently moved on. Large hail was reported further north. These clouds were on the southern end of a supercell that formed in West Alabama and hung together all the way to the eastern part of our state.
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Dallas County WalkAmerica

This March of Dimes billboard on Jeff Davis Avenue caught my attention since our family has experienced the effects of prematurity. If I could sponsor my own billboard, it might read something like this:

MOMs: See a doctor; report unusual symptoms.
OBs: Listen to the moms; check out symptoms.
NEOs: Keep in touch with pediatricians once the baby goes home.
PEDs: Listen to the neos. Stay on top of preemie issues.
PARENTs: Seek second, even third opinions from physicians.
NICUs: Please sponsor followup clinics well past age 2.
EDUCATORS: Babies are saved at ever-earlier gestations. Be prepared; you will teach more preemies.
MOD: Thanks for raising prematurity awareness. Remember the BASICS.

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Monday, April 9, 2007


"MY! What a big birdbath we have!"
That seems to be the thought of this feathered friend who stopped to perch upon the park bench and check out the city fountain.
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Sunday, April 8, 2007

Tutu's Market

I stopped here on Friday to pick up a few Easter basket goodies, and everything was so colorful - just had to take a picture. This is Tutu's Market, a fruit-vegetable-flower-gift shop. The hot-pink plastic awning lets the sun shine through, giving the merchandise that bright glow. There are lots of unique items from baby, graduation, Easter and other special occasion gifts.
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He is Risen!

"He is Risen!" is the Easter proclamation today in Christian churches all over the world.

Here, a stained-glass window at Selma's Church Street United Methodist Church depicts Christ's invitation to "Come Unto Me."

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Saturday, April 7, 2007

Common Ground

"Stop and consider life is but a day.
A fragile dewdrop on its perilous way
From a tree's summit."

So reads one faded etching on a monument in Selma's "outdoor museum" known as Old Live Oak Cemetery.

Another tells about a 15-year-old boy "who was fatally injured in the railraod disaster at Dunklin Bridge, Feb. 21, 1879."

A marble lamb with broken feet lies next to this inscription:
"Beneath this stone in sweet repose is laid a mother's dearest pride."
An infant rests there.

A spire memorializes "Our Pastor...who fell at the Battle of Selma, April 2, 1865."

Elsewhere, sculpted crosses, angels, mausoleums and markers denote the contributions of the town's former citizens: mothers who died suddenly, children who succumbed to infectious disease, scores of Confederate soldiers, a former slave who became the state's first black congressman, the first woman (a Suffragette) elected to the state legislature, U.S. senators, a U.S. vice president and founder of Selma, a naval commander.

"There is glory in graves," read the words on the towering monument above them all...and all share common ground now - near the high banks of the Alabama River.

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Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday Cross

"By now it was noon, and darkness fell across the whole land for three hours, until three o'clock. The light from the sun was gone...and suddenly the thick veil hanging in the Temple split apart. Then Jesus shouted, 'Father, I commit my spirit to you,' and with those words he died."

The photograph of a cross monument laden with Spanish Moss was taken at Old Live Oak Cemetery.
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Thursday, April 5, 2007

April and Azaleas

If it's April in Selma, then there must be azaleas. Looking down an Old Town street, this yard and many others are banked with the showy flower. But watch out! A freeze may be coming this weekend. Glad I have already caught most of the Spring Show on camera.
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