Let's go indoors on this first day of summer...inside where the ceilings are tall and the air conditioning is cool.
We have arrived back at Sturdivant Hall, the antebellum mansion that is Selma's showplace. This room is one of the parlors and features Victorian furniture and an Oriental rug...very typical for the time as many furnishings were imported from Europe.
Hmmm, I wonder if the Ghost of John Parkman could be seated in the chair at the corner table or perhaps watching from the entrance hall. Shortly after we arrived, the great double front doors opened by themselves, and a breeze blew by...only our tour guide reminded us there was no breeze outside, just thick humidity that was as still as the angel statue over by the water garden. She greeted the moving air as if it was alive, even welcomed it!
Then she told us how the home's owner, bank president John Parkman, had been arrested during Reconstruction, something to do with speculating in cotton futures and losing the assets. He was taken to Cahaba Federal Prison and locked up as if he was a common criminal or heaven forbid, a ***Yankee! His young wife was left to manage the property and raise their two children. Their good name was tarnished. But friends worked out a plan. They would rescue Parkman by boat in the Alabama River, if he could just escape those walls and run for it!
He did escape! He did run for it! But he never made it to the boat. A guard shot toward him, and some say he died from the gunshot. Others say he just drowned in the river... so close, but just a few feet too far from freedom.
Now, a century and a half later, the ghost of John Parkman haunts Sturdivant Hall. But he holds no thoughts of evil. He just wanders the mansion looking for his long-lost family.