These knockout roses across the street from the library are hot and thirsty! Consistent temperatures of around 100 degrees are challenging flower and vegetable gardens to the max this summer, and hey, we are just now getting into summer!
Selma Mayor George Evans and Fire Chief Mike Stokes talk at the recent grand opening of Phoenix Park. The "Welcome to Selma" fans came in handy on a hot day. (Notice the faux blue door in the background. It was featured in my June 9 post.)
She weaved the stories of our ghosts and legends and folk remedies and religion and charmed the whole world. Beginning as a pioneering female police reporter in Montgomery, her writing later graced the lifestyle pages of The Selma Times-Journal, and she freelanced and authored books about ghosts all across the South. Other books featured southern and Alabama Black Belt culture, including "Alabama: One Big Front Porch" and "Twice Blessed."
I could list her many honors and other accomplishments, but she probably would want to be remembered most as a storyteller. Years ago, at a social occasion for business women, someone who didn't know her asked, "And what do you do?"
"I tell stories," she replied succinctly.
And she told her stories magically. I first heard her at the Calico Fort festival in Fort Deposit, way back when I was a college student. The children who surrounded her on the ground were, well, spellbound! She eventually became famous at the National Storytelling Festival up in Tennessee and was mistress of ceremonies at the Alabama Tale-Tellin' Festival here every October. Oh, how we'll miss her!
But, we will also miss her neighborliness and humble, humorous and generous spirit. Within two days of my husband and I moving to Selma more than three decades ago, Kathryn, who lived across the street, welcomed us with a home-baked cake. Even after her fame spread far and wide and after she was well along in years, she sometimes volunteered at the Visitor Information Center, and there were many times that I saw her out picking up litter on residential streets. Then every New Year's Day, she invited everybody to her home for black-eyed peas and cornbread for good luck. She stayed mostly in the kitchen, cooking cornbread and stirring peas all day long.
In the preface of "Twice Blessed," Kathryn reflects on her "greatest blessings" as being her "loving family and stimulating friends" and says that through her life, "happiness, like a cloud of applauding angels, has accompanied me and urged me on."
And I imagine that Heaven's angels are applauding her arrival tonight.
Under an umbrella and under a hat are the practical places to be beneath a glaring sun and temperatures in the upper 90s. Artist and architectural designer Karen Weir sits in Phoenix Park beneath an umbrella at the park's grand opening last week. Not only did she help with the park's design, she also made her unique necklace!
Black-eyed susans bloom in profusion at the Kenan's Mill mill house. The miller once lived here, but it is now rented for meetings, receptions and reunions and owned by the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society.
Its grand opening arrived Friday with colorful balloons, speakers, refreshments and the installation of locally manufactured patio furniture.
Originally the idea of George Needham, who drew plans for beautification of the lot once occupied by the Phoenix Building, a modified version designed and sponsored by individuals, businesses and the city of Selma gives people a place to relax and picnic on Water Avenue. It also affords a better view across the street from the St. James Hotel. The patio furniture and umbrellas were donated by Plantation Patterns, a company located at Craig Industrial Park.
"Under Construction" is the City Daily Photo Blogs theme for June 1, and here is yet another picture of construction along Water Avenue. Utilities are going underground and sidewalks are being renovated. Come see!