Selma’s ambassador finally gets her due

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 28, 2003

One of the great frustrations of being a Selmian is being aware of all the good things that take place here that never seem to get noticed outside our city limit signs.

All too often the world at large appears to be interested only in those stories coming out of Selma that involve controversy or disagreement. Even more frustrating, those disagreements are often portrayed out of context or blown out of proportion.

So word that Selma’s own Kathryn Tucker Windham is being honored this weekend in her hometown of Thomasville is good news indeed.

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Miss Kathryn’s reputation as a storyteller extraordinaire is well known throughout Alabama and beyond. She is justly celebrated as Alabama’s Storyteller. Her legacy rests partly on the fact that she has sought out and preserved numerous stories that depict our common humanity, stories that otherwise might have been lost.

But there is another side to Miss Kathryn. In her frequent travels, she is also a tireless ambassador for Selma and for the South. Her gentle stories about people and their foibles are effective tools for tearing down the many preconceived notions that stubbornly persist about this area.

Like so many community-minded Selmians, Miss Kathryn shuns the spotlight. She has become so adept at not drawing attention to herself, in fact, that many of her contributions go unnoticed.

We will not embarrass her by attempting to enumerate them here.

Suffice it to say that in her stories and her countless acts of community service over the years, Miss Kathryn has demonstrated an abiding love of Alabama and its people.

Selma can rightly be proud that she is being recognized in some small degree for her efforts to find the good in people.