Thanks for an amazing ride

Published 1:04 am Saturday, October 30, 2010

Moving to Selma was the first step of my adult life.

I accepted my first full-time job after college, rented an apartment, transferred bills to my new address and, with the help of my parents, packed all my belongings in a mini van and my car.

The people of Selma welcomed me with open arms, literally, and were sincerely interested in what attracted me to come here.

Honestly, I came to Selma for a full-time job.

Although the economy is improving and more jobs are available, positions in a large marker for a recent college graduate prove difficult to find.

Selma offered me an opportunity that I could not resist.

But for such a small town, Selma has “big time” opportunities.

In one year, I met and interviewed Gov. Bob Riley, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, breast cancer survivors, new teachers, presidents of local colleges and trade schools, superintendents and mayors.

I covered programs at elementary schools, ribbon cuttings, back-to-school shopping, shootings, fires, a person threatening to jump from the Edmund Pettus bridge and a murder.

These professional experiences have molded me into a better reporter.

And outside of work, Selma has wonderful attributes I thoroughly enjoyed.

From my year in Selma, I have compiled a list of the things I will miss most about life here.

I will miss the more than manageable cost of living. For the amount of space and the price to rent an apartment, Selma has spoiled me.

I will miss the close proximity of everything. I lived about one mile from work, two miles from shopping and grocery stores, and anything much further than this seemed to be an eternity away.

I will miss the fantastic lunch eateries. I found about 10 pounds thanks to the “meat and three” places with the best catfish, fried okra, sweet potato fries and cornbread I have ever tasted.

There is no place in the world like Selma.

It is only here which the McDonald’s sign is simply the golden arch, we have a Mr. Waffle as opposed to a Waffle House of other towns and barely any businesses open on Sundays. I’ve been told these are part of the “only in Selma” list of the reasons why Selma is unique.

Thank you, all of you, for a year packed with professional and personal learning. Thank you for supporting an idea to raise money for the Claude C. Brown YMCA by turning in money for aluminum cans. In four months, we raised $1,403.42 from donations and cans. That is utterly amazing.

But most of all, I sincerely thank you for your hospitality. I’ll never forget Selma’s Southern charm.

Laura Fenton is the education and general assignment reporter for the Times-Journal. For any concerns or comments, please contact Tim Reeves at 410-1730 or tim.reeves@selmatimesjournal.com.