It’s been an exciting first few weeks on the job

Published 10:57 pm Friday, June 5, 2015

By Derek Thompson

The Selma Times-Journal


The Queen City is becoming more recognizable and doesn’t feel like the uncharted territory it did when I first arrived three weeks ago.

My chances of being spotted as a newcomer by a seasoned local are still up as expected.

I quickly learned if someone hasn’t been here long enough they might as well have a bullseye tattooed on their forehead. This hasn’t been a bad thing though.

While it is easy for locals to recognize a new face, they usually do it with kindness and respect.

They want to get to know people they haven’t met before and genuinely welcome them.

The same friendly people take pride in Selma and share common goals.

Since I’ve worked at the newspaper, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing everything from the community’s veterans honoring those that gave the ultimate sacrifice on Memorial Day to watching proud parents shout and cheer for their sons and daughters in the world of youth baseball and softball.

It was pretty cool to peer out the window on my first day at the office only to watch Bill Cosby march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge as part of the Black Belt Community Foundation’s “Black Belt Children Matter” initiative.

That happened only a few months after President Barack Obama gave a speech in front of thousands who were here to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday.”

The newsroom I work in resembles the community it serves and has made me feel like part of the team while I have tried to be someone they can trust to take the job seriously.

The vacant downtown businesses immediately let you know everything is obviously not sunshine and rainbows, but there isn’t enough bad to ruin the good in Selma.

Even a newcomer like me can see that.

It’s a place where no one is anonymous and everyone is important, which makes you feel more connected to things.

There is a lot of good Selma and I am lucky to be here this summer and see it.