Hunting the streets and alleys of downtown Selma, I found this to be the mecca of antique dealers. There are several dozen dealers in a mere four block area of the main street and a slew of others within walking distance. But this wasn’t the time to frequent any of those as hunger was the calling at the moment. Passing several of the local dealers I walking into Short’s Grille. Just the smell permeating the senses brought a smile to my face and the eight other faces already there looked up when I approached the counter. I’d like to think it was this assignment that had me wearing the CBS News polo shirt and matching hat. But fact had it being the handiest clean thing to wear. “Hey, Mr. CBS man, whatya doin’ in Selma?” was the first thing I heard. I was taken aback somewhat as the second coming of Charles Kuralt I’m not. My take on it was that I was here to photograph small town America, gather human interest stories from those wanting to share what they had to say, and find the real pulse of America. Posting these stories on the web makes us realize that was all have the same issues, deal with similar problems, and have the same desires no matter where geographically we reside.
Lisa and Wanda, who have worked here for five and nine and twelve years, respectively, rendered me a warm welcome. Two eggs over easy, toast and ample cups of coffee came to a whopping two dollars. I thought Wanda had made a mistake and when questioning here, she thought she overcharged me. I have not been used to these paltry and welcomed prices in some time. Even better than the food was the company. I spent time chatting with Wanda and found that she still cares for her ninety-three year old mother, whose grandfather had fought in the Civil War. Hopefully, later this month I’ll get to interview this fine ole Southern Belle. Wanda informed me that she is entering her second life now that she’s reached fifty. Involved in nursing school, she will soon be a memory, a time I’m sure when no will relish. Meeting the co-owner of the Selma News, we commiserated and agreed to meet in the near future to relate the history and human interest stories that make Selma what it is.