City loses local legend

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Folks are always looking for good news about their hometown and in Selma, George “Cap” Swift was a good source for that information.

Swift, 86, was owner and operator of the city’s Visitors Tourism Information Center. He died Saturday in a local hospital.

It is the loss of a local legend. Swift was an icon who could tell more about life in Alabama’s Black Belt than the many local books that lined the shelves of the tourism center.

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Swift, a former member of the Selma City Council, served for a number of years as president of the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, where he worked tirelessly to promote tourism in Alabama’s Black Belt.

A native of Selma, Swift was a product of its public schools.

A musician – he played the bass – Swift formed a local band that was in demand to play at dances and parties until World War II when he entered the Marines Corps and served in combat.

After military service, he returned to Selma and remained until his death one of the city’s strongest and most vocal supporters.

Swift published a visitor guide for Selma and distributed copies free.

Friends say he never lost his enthusiasm for his hometown.

But Selma has certainly lost one of its greatest advocates.