St. James is still Selma’s calling card

Published 6:14 pm Friday, March 25, 2016

Dear editor,

My friends from Anniston, Birmingham, and Springville want to thank the people of Selma, Greg Bjelke and the pilgrimage staff for the wonderful time we had in Selma this past weekend. I called several prominent citizens about accommodations and all said not to stay at the St. James because it was in such disrepair.

We wanted to be in the midst of history, so we did stay at the St. James, with the understanding we might be disappointed. We were not! Mr. Peterson and his staff went overboard to see that we had a gracious time in spite of all the drawbacks. He must not sleep.

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I’ve never seen such a hard working man! Many apologies were made for conditions out of their control, like no hot water Sunday morning. We were appalled at the rotting window seals, doors, dirty carpets, etc. We felt like we were at a best friends house, and they’d forgotten to clean the guest room. The bathrooms were spotless and the linens were crisp and clean and beds were comfortable. The service for breakfast, lunch and dinner was wonderful. Steaks for dinner were excellent!

Selma, the St. James is your calling card. It is the first thing you see coming over the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Tourism seems to be about your only industry.

With Selma’s connections to antebellum, civil war, slavery, reconstruction, World War II, and civil rights histories, Selma could and should be the south’s premiere destination.

Please refurbish the St. James, brighten it up with period colors making it as beautiful and as proud of it as Sturdivant Hall.

Walking down each corridor every room has a prominent family or person’s name on the door, like a who’s who of Selma. Make the St. James worthy of those names!

I’ve always been told whatever you put in you get back three times as much! I love all of you in my home. Best wishes and warm regards to my old hometown. Russ (Rusty) Jackson, Anniston, Al.

Russ Jackson