It’s good to be here, Selma

Published 11:50 am Tuesday, February 19, 2019

“Is this a one-way trip or will you be bringing it back?” asked the woman at my local U-Haul rental center in Boaz.

“One way,” I told her.

“Oh! So where are you going?” she asked.

Email newsletter signup

“Selma,” I answered.

“Selma? Why in the world are you going there?” she said. I didn’t care for her tone.

“For work,” I told her.

“Well,” she sighed, “I guess that’s as good a reason as any.”

I heard dozens of similar reactions as I told friends, family and others who wanted to know why I was packing up and moving to Selma, Alabama, of all places.

My reason, in case you were wondering, is that I was recently hired as a reporter for this newspaper.

After people learned I was moving to this town, they had a lot of advice for me. I’ll spare you the details, but it was mostly a bunch of, “be careful.”

Selma, to those who have only passed through or read about it in history books, is a deeply wounded town that still hasn’t recovered. A place where you should “be careful.”

All of those warnings made me wonder if I had made the right choice in deciding to load up that 15-foot U-Haul with all of my Earthly possessions and go write for the newspaper.

But those feelings of doubt quickly disappeared with every welcoming smile and handshake from the people of this friendly town.

I’m excited to tell Selma’s stories and I promise to tell them as well as I can, and that each one will be a little better than the one before.

It’s good to be here, Selma. Thank you for having me.