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New Year’s collard greens and black-eyed peas

Checkout lines were four and five people deep at Calhoun Foods on Jeff Davis Avenue. Shopping carts were piled high with leafy, collard greens, bags of black-eyed peas and marbled, strips of hog jowl.

Market Manager Ernest Eaton reached into a shopping cart and pulled out stacks of shrink-wrapped hog jowl. He arranged the packets on a table beneath a piece of neon poster paper that reads, “Happy New Year.” Store Director Jimmie Calhoun looks on and grins.

“Last year we ordered like 50 cases,” Coleman said. “This year we ordered 125 cases”

Kinda like the stock market, we investing in pork right now.”

New Year’s Eve brought a cool wind and a sense of hope for 2009 to Selma.

Selma residents were looking forward to spending more time with family and hopefully living a healthier lifestyle, despite the temptation of black-eyed peas with hog jowl and collard greens on New Year’s Day.

Ann Kinman, a cashier at Carter Drug Co. on Broad Street, said her New Year’s resolution is to lose weight.

“And try and keep my family healthy,” she added.

Lyn Kindall, of Sardis, said her list of resolutions was just too long.

“Probably a lot of things I’ve been trying to do for the past few years,” she said as she walked down Broad Street.

Wanda Richardson, administrative assistant at the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute, said she is looking forward to spending more time with her son, Cameron Stallworth.

“I just want to live,” she said.

Richardson’s co-worker, computer specialist Latia Parker, said New Year’s resolutions could just be overwhelming.

“I have too many to count, I think,” Parker said.

Jim and Kathy Stivender, of Nashville, and Tom and Carol VanLoon, of New Hampshire, were visiting the museum Wednesday.

Jim Stivender said he should be nicer to his wife.

“That would be a good resolution,” he said with a smile.

Kathy added, “There’s a thought.”

Kathy and Carol are sisters. The couples have always been interested in Civil Rights history. Selma was an idea place for them to visit.

“It’s such a historic spot,” Carol said.

Carol said she has high hopes for 2009.

“I will be more optimistic,” she said. “Especially since Obama is now President-elect.”

Bridge Crossing Jubilee consultant Sam Walker said he is also optimistic about 2009.

“Just be more prosperous than I was in 2008,” he said.

Former Selma City Councilwoman Jean Martin said she not only has personal resolutions, but she also has resolutions for Selma.

“I want to see this town put in what’s known as pocket parks or community gardens,” she said.

Martin said these parks and gardens would beautify the city by taking the place of trash-strewn, overgrown lots.

“We have too many of those,” she said.

Martin said she also hopes to clean out her home in 2009.

“I am absolutely, positively going to go through my house and get rid of the accumulation of things from years and years,” she said. “Just clean out my life.”

Now, whether or not Selma residents will stick to their resolutions is yet to be seen.

“Ask me in a year,” Martin said as she laughed.