Countless, priceless memories in Selma

Published 8:30pm Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Today I wrote my 453rd story and this will be my 52nd column. Yes, my one-year anniversary of living in Selma is here and I could not be happier I chose this position looking back on my graduation from the University of Alabama last May.

In the last year, and in writing those 453 stories, I have been to more than 20 council meetings, covered three trials, four missing person cases, countless murders and shootings and I survived one really dramatic municipal election. I have gone to the Dallas County Jail more times than I ever dreamed I would go to jail to pick up arrest reports daily and sometimes weekly.

I have worn out the phones of city leaders like Mayor George Evans and Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley. Executive Director for the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, Sheryl Smedley, just knows to expect my call.

I have covered four pageants, the Battle of Selma and Jubilee.

I have had only several angry phone calls, but more importantly I have had many emails from sweet, Selma readers that are quick to follow up my stories with compliments.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard something hilarious on the police scanner, i.e. “There is a man dressed like a zombie harassing everyone in the neighborhood.” This gem was overheard on Halloween. I would also like a dollar for all the times I have seen a stray cat, typed in an item for the community calendar or got an adrenaline rush when getting an exciting news tip and had to race to the scene.

I don’t know how many cups of coffee I have consumed or how many Ibuprofens I have taken to help get me through a day of covering Selma’s news. I have had more pedicures during my time in Selma than I have in my 23 years of life combined just so that I can take a deep breath and lower my blood pressure.

But with all of the running tallies I have going on, none tell of the immense pride I have in my new city, the love I have for the people that live here and the lessons I have learned about news and life itself. In my columns I have written about what makes me mad — like community members thinking political candidates would change their lives during the election, or why a teacher at Selma High let her students strip in class. I told the community how upset I was about how long council meetings used to last and how police have yet to find those responsible for the death of Bridget Woods who was struck by a stray bullet in her bed. For the last 52 weeks I wrote about something I was fired up about — but this week I’m just delighted Selma is my home and all of my readers are my friends.

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