Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gates of Old Live Oak

Here's a sampling of the iron grillwork that can be found in Old Live Oak Cemetery. This gate stands at the entrance to the Jones family plot where the little lamb rests atop an infant's grave. Other larger, exquisite monuments are here too. Notice the ironworks company name and Philadelphia, Pa., location at top left.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

St. Andrew's Hall

St. Andrew's Hall stands adjacent to Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church downtown. In the book, Selma, Queen City of the Blackbelt, the author states that Jesuit priests moved Cahaba's Masonic hall to Selma in 1880, and the building became St. Andrew's Hall, a school for boys. However, an article in the June 6, 1884, edition of The Times-Argus newspaper states that work was progressing on this three-story building, and the bricks and lumber were from "...a large, untenanted building" at Cahaba. The supplies were shipped upriver from Cahaba to Selma. While some of the construction materials could have been from a masonic hall, Old Cahawba Park archaeologists have no evidence of one, so it is possible the Masons met in a portion of one of the town's public buildings

Cahaba, which lies at the junction of the Alabama and Cahaba rivers, was Alabama's first capital, and its ghost town lies about 10 miles west of Selma. The capital was moved due to flooding and political reasons. A federal prison was located there during the Civil War, and the town made a good comeback only to be vacated later. Several homes and buildings in Selma are Cahaba originals or have "recycled" materials from Old Cahawba structures installed in them.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Little Lambs

This little lamb curls atop the grave of a baby in Old Live Oak Cemetery. The gravestone reads in part: "Beneath this stone in sweet repose is laid a mother's dearest pride."

A walk through the monuments reveals how short life used to be. So many infants and young children succumbed to illnesses that today are easily cured or perhaps no longer exist. Losing a child or children in the United States was not uncommon in the 19th Century. But now, it is relatively rare. We almost lost two of our children in infancy due to prematurity, but modern medicine and the will of God prevailed. Now, they are adults.

Yet, babies and children still die occasionally...whether by natural causes or accidents, and we all grieve with the families, and some of us wonder why such precious lives are cut so short.

A well-known Alabama radio show commentator lost his two-year-old son less than two weeks ago, and his family's strength has been a testimony to hundreds of thousands of people. During the memorial service, Rick Burgess testified about the source of their strength and how his son's death has challenged him to go to the next level of his Christian faith. He challenges other believers as well. The service was videotaped, and a friend uploaded it to YouTube. The first part of "A Father's Heart" has already experienced more than 400,000 hits, and parts 2 and 3 have more than 200,000 visits and are just as inspirational.

Many Selmians listen to the syndicated radio program, and the YouTube video link is traveling rapidly through our email service providers. The way this father has responded to the death of his youngest son was the subject of many Sunday School and Bible study meetings last week.

(I am posting yesterday's post on Wednesday since we lost power due to high winds last night.)

Monday, January 28, 2008

On Misty Pond

The pond across the fence from our backyard is veiled in a cold mist after last weekend's snow. Since trees have grown up, we can't see the pond at all during summer, but wintertime brings a pretty peek.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Church Steeples

Two of Selma's downtown church steeples are easily visible from this angle of the courthouse and Centre for Commerce parking lots. First Baptist, Lauderdale Street, is on the left, and First Presbyterian's clock tower is to the right. The steeples of Church Street United Methodist Church and St. Paul's Episcopal Church are nearby.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Memorial Stadium

Memorial Stadium is quiet these football games or track meets. Selma High School and some other area football teams use the stadium in the fall, and in spring, it is the site of area and state track meets as well as Special Olympics. On July 4, it becomes the venue for the city's patriotic celebration and fireworks show. In the distance are Bloch Park, the baseball stadium; and Valley Creek Park, site of the walking track, a playground and picnic area. Behind you are tennis courts, a skate park and barbecue pit. War memorials line the stadium's front. Inside are city recreation department offices.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pettus Bridge from the Park

In winter when the trees are bare, Pettus Bridge is easily viewed from Bienville Park on Water Avenue.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Kitty Steps

It's well known that cats don't like to get their feet wet. They don't much care for frozen slush either! So, unaccustomed to snow, this kitty uses as many stepping stones as she can to get where she's going.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Snow-Covered Holly

Our snow-covered holly makes it look like Christmas in January. The snow is gone now, but this sure made a perfect photo opportunity.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Snow-topped Gazebo

While most of Selma's snow melted Saturday afternoon, the miraculous white stuff managed to cling to the roof of this gazebo for another day or two. An almost full moon on Sunday night added to this awesome event when we got to see moonlight reflected on leftover snow.

To: Zentmrs, Jana, Halcyon and American Fork...thanks for making my day with the "Make My Day" bloggers' award! You all make my day with such wonderful photography and interesting posts. I presented awards to 10 photobloggers several days ago, so I guess I will end my "award fest" for now!

Monday, January 21, 2008

King Birthday

Today is a national holiday for the birthday of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Since King was a leader and adviser in the Selma movement, a monument stands in front of Brown Chapel AME Church. Several events honored King in Selma today, including a Unity Breakfast.

While federal offices as well as city and county offices closed for the King holiday today, state offices closed in honor of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's birthday.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ginkgo in Winter

Here's a view of our ginkgo tree in the winter...when it snows once every several years.

To see what this tree looks like in autumn, click here.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


When snow sticks only once every several years (or longer!), no one is too old to get outside and play! These young people enjoyed a snowball fight, and the dog had fun chasing them in the first snow she has ever seen.

It was a great, short-lived snowfall. The whole 1 inch stuck only to the grass, roofs and cars and left the roads alone. This is the biggest snow I remember in Selma since March 1993. Unlike that snow, which was 6 to 12 inches deep, knocked out power and stayed frozen a couple of days, this one was almost melted by nightfall. The weather service reported four inches in Selma. We live a few miles from town and didn't get nearly that much!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Winter Storm Warning

Winter storm warnings are extremely rare in Central Alabama, but here we are, under a Heavy Snow Warning! Accumulation of snow could be as much as six inches...about three inches predicted for Selma. I can't remember the last time snow was on the ground, but it seems it melted about as soon as it accumulated. Anyway, I will let you know tomorrow if this storm came to pass. Generally, when snow is predicted, we just get a cold rain. When it's not predicted, we get a surprise snowfall! Perhaps forecasting has improved since the surprise Blizzard of '93 when up to an inch was expected, and we got a blowing thunder snow of 6 to 12 inches instead!
Oh, that storm happened in the middle of March...during Spring Break!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Craig AFB Legacy

Selma was once home to the largest flying field in the U.S. This Air Force plane greets visitors who enter the Craig Airport and Industrial Complex and is a reminder of the part the Air Force Base played in training pilots. Cadets received advanced training for the AT-6, the T-37 and the T-38. More than 30,000 students flew here between 1941 and 1977 when the base was among those closed during President Jimmy Carter's administration. Today, the runway serves as Selma's airport and has a runway that can accommodate jets. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Load of Logs

Finding your vehicle behind a log truck is a pretty common occurrence in Selma. I bet this truck is headed to International Paper's Riverdale Plant in East Dallas County. The plant produces paper and is a major employer for our area. In fact, forestry and forest products is our county's largest industry.

Marie from Montpelier Daily Photo made my day when she awarded me the "You Make My Day Award" for bloggers. Thank you, Marie!
"The award rules say: "Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times."

Okay, narrowing this award down to just 10 bloggers is very difficult. You all make my day most of the time! However, when I checked to see which ones I seem to just "gravitate" to over and over, here is a portion:
Pat at Guelph Daily Photo,
Southern Heart at Memphis Daily Photo
Clarice at St. Malo Daily Photo
American Fork at American Fork Daily Photo
Smilnsigh at Saratoga Springs Daily Photo
Steve Buser at New Orleans Daily Photo
Z at Based in Villigen
Chris at Nashville Daily Photo
Fabrizio at Torino Daily Photo
Jilly at Monte Carlo Daily Photo

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Townhall Meeting

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, left, (R-Ala.) listens as Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr., right, expresses his questions and comments during a county visit at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library. Shelby has served 30 years as a senator or congressman. He said energy is a big issue for the U.S., and he noted that education, especially in math, science and engineering, is critical since our state and nation must compete in a global economy. Shelby has held more than 1400 county meetings in Alabama and meets in each county at least annually. Other issues at the meeting included a proposed interstate addition through Selma and the Black Belt and assurance that dredging will allow the Alabama River to remain open for river traffic.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Berries by the Bunch

Red berries drape in bunches from this tree next to First Baptist Church, Lauderdale Street. Sorry I can't identify this one, although I would guess it might be a type of pyracantha.
It might be Savannah Holly, since we have many of those downtown.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Children's Quilt

This sampler quilt hangs near the side entrance of the Selma-Dallas County Public Library. The blocks were designed and stitched in recognition of schools and community organizations that contribute to the future of our children.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Boxcar Graffiti

Looks like somebody sent get well wishes to Carissa via freight train!

Friday, January 11, 2008

St. Paul's Episcopal Church

St. Paul's Episcopal Church was founded in 1838, but this English Gothic Revival building was completed in 1875, ten years after Civil War Union Gen. J.H. Wilson's troops burned the original structure during the Battle of Selma. During that battle, the church's rector was wounded and the senior warden killed.
This building was designed by the New York firm of R. & R.M. Upjohn. Its first services were held Easter Sunday, and a number of former Confederate officers were members. They included Lt. Gen. Joseph Johnston, Lt. Gen. Joseph Hardee, Maj. Gen. John H. Forney, Capt. Catesby ap. R. Jones, and Capt. Joseph Forney Johnston, who later became governor of Alabama and a U.S. senator.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Along the Sidewalk

Along the sidewalk between First Baptist Church (Lauderdale Street) and St. Paul's Episcopal Church is a bed of of many bright spots during these cloudy and often foggy days of January. Up ahead in the background are the Centre for Commerce and Dallas County Courthouse.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Walking the Track

Cool days tend to bring walkers to the track at Valley Creek Park. Walking and exercising more are among my priorities for this year. Since I was tagged by Chris in Nashville to share four of my New Year's resolutions, here they are: 1) Exercise more. 2) Try a bunch of new recipes. 3) Refuse to take in any more stray cats! 4) Post a new photo to this blog every day. (Not that easy to do in a relatively small town!) As for categories of sticking-to-these-resolutions, I am VERY SERIOUS.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Freeze-Fried Dogwood Berries

These normally red dogwood berries got freeze-fried (or dried?) the other night when temperatures dropped into the teens and never really made it much above freezing during the day. If you notice the right background, one berry on that branch is black; the other is still red. I hope this doesn't mean there won't be as many blossoms this spring. Extreme cold that alternates with unusual warmth really hurts our flowering plants!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Student Civil Rights Tour

Civil rights tours are common in Selma. I was downtown this morning when I noticed this student group from California crossing the Pettus Bridge. Selma police closed one side of U.S. Highway 80 on the bridge to allow their trek. Prior to the walk, they read first-person experiences of the events of March 7, 1965, when marchers were met on the other side by state troopers and a county sheriff's posse. A melee ensued when marchers failed to turn around after being told they did not have a parade permit. Selma was a center for voting rights and civil rights demonstrations and marches in the 1960s and for years after.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Under the Moss Umbrella

Even in winter, some trees in Selma are never completely bare. Instead, they keep some leaves (such as oaks) and bear the beards of Spanish Moss. While the moss makes its own food and is not considered a parasite, it does shade tree branches from sunlight. Still, I think it's beautiful.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Convenient Gourmet

What's for dinner?
If you didn't plan anything, complete meals are no problem in a matter of minutes if you stop by Mark's Mart on your way home. The West Selma convenience store specializes in convenient gourmet foods and invented the popular chicken swirl. That's a quick grill item made of chicken breast meat, stuffed with beef and wrapped in bacon. Perhaps you prefer beef or chicken kabobs, steak burgers or pre-seasoned steaks. Then there's Cajun pork chops along with stuffed mushrooms. Get some twice-baked potatoes, homemade cakes or pies and homemade rolls, and you've got a meal! Choose from hundreds of brands of wine. Pick up a batch of cheese straws. Try Aunt Mae's homestyle cookies or get a jar of Marion Junction honey. Oh yes, you can buy sacks of charcoal, soft drinks and hot dog buns as well!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Smile! You're on an Antique Camera!

One hundred years ago, a camera like this might have made your picture. It's a studio camera made in 1908 by Eastman Kodak and is on display at the Old Depot Museum.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Feet in Motion

Feet, feet, feet! How many feet we meet!
Especially at a gym in January!

Big feet, little feet, slow feet!
Treading feet, stepping feet...
Cycling feet, weighted feet...

How neat to meet so many feet with so much in common!
Getting the bodies they carry in shape!

This photo was taken in the gym of the YMCA of Selma and Dallas County. Thanks to the owner of these feet in motion for allowing the photograph.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Foggy Travel

Travel was slow the morning of New Year's Eve when a thick fog settled in until mid-morning. This is the U.S. Highway 80 and Alabama Highway 41 intersection a few miles east of Selma. Head straight to go to the South Dallas Industrial Park, Dallas Public Lake and Six Mile Creek Park. Turn left and you can enter the Craig Airport and Industrial Complex just up the road. The airport serves the Selma area, and since it once served the U.S. Air Force, it's big enough to accommodate jets. About 40 miles further east is Montgomery's regional airport where you can board a passenger jet. Hope you travel safely in 2008!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Jan. 1 Theme Day, Best Photo of 2007


It's Theme Day, and my family said "By the Still Water" was the Best Photo of 2007 for the Selma, Ala. Daily Photo. I have to agree, although this picture was actually taken in Marion Junction about 15 miles west of Selma. The photo was posted May 6, and some commenters said it looked like a painting. I took the photo in late evening with a Nikon D70S, no flash, 55 mm focal length, .005s exposure at f7.1 and 1/200 second. It was made at an outdoor wedding reception.
Other photos that I chose for the Selma blog's Best of 2007 are "Goldenrod," posted Oct. 4, "Caught!" posted Oct. 11, "Bird Bath?" posted April 9, "The Running of the Cows," June 26, "Courtyard Fountain" on May 26, "By the Bridge" on July 15 and "Moo at the Zoo" Oct. 5.

Please visit all the other cities' Best Photos of 2007. They are really fantastic!

Paris, France - London, England - Hyde, UK - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Grenoble, France - Stockholm, Sweden - Riga, Latvia - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Manila, Philippines - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Weston (FL), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - New Orleans (LA), USA - Wichita (KS), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - San Francisaco (CA), USA - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Greenville (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysi - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Mainz, Germany - Melbourne, Australia - Portland (OR), USA - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Toulouse, France - Naples (FL), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Brussels, Belgium - Stayton (OR), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Toruń, Poland - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Baziège, France - Nashville (TN), USA - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Prescott (AZ), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Nottingham, UK - Moscow, Russia - Philadelphia (PA), USAEvry, France - Trujillo, Peru - Arlington (VA), USA - Denpasar, Indonesia - American Fork (UT), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Coral Gables (FL), USA - Montpellier, France - Joplin (MO), USA - Pilisvörösvár, Hungary - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Boston (MA), USA - Torun, Poland - New York City (NY), USA - Dunedin (FL), USA - Quincy (MA), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Chateaubriant, France - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Jackson (MS), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Budapest, Hungary - Austin (TX), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - Cypress (TX), USA - Bicheno, Australia - Wrocław, Poland - Brookville (OH), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - Cheltenham, UK - Wellington, New Zealand - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Mumbai (Maharashtra), India - London, UK - Haninge, Sweden - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Arradon, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Orlando (FL), USA - Mumbai, India - Terrell (TX), USA - Bogor, Indonesia - Delta (CO), USA - Radonvilliers, France - Saigon, Vietnam - San Diego (CA), USA - Adelaide (SA), Australia - Belgrade, Serbia - Auckland, New Zealand - Seguin (TX), USA - Inverness (IL), USA - Oslo, Norway - Singapore, Singapore - Las Vegas (NV), USANew York City (NY), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - Torino, Italy - Susanville (CA), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Memphis (Tennessee), USA
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