A relatively uneventful day yesterday also proved to be educational. I cycled into town for some morning exercise and was fortunate enough to speak at length with Dennis Davis, who co-owns the local newspaper.
The Selma News prints a weekly edition every Thursday. He has been with the news for the past 38 years, starting working as a newsboy at the age of 11. He relayed this, his town, was formed after the Civil War in 1867 and is the hub of several rail passages. Selma is the junction of the Norfolk Southern and CSX rail systems.
At one time this sleepy little town was the hubbub of commerce
until approximately ten years ago when the local Walmart came to town. Soon thereafter, eleven storefronts bid there adieu to local patrons. At the present time most people work out of town, many making the forty minute trip to Raleigh, the state capitol. Selma also is home to the oldest train depot in the state of North Carolina.
Dennis told me that the biggest claim to fame for the town was invention of Vicks Vapor Rub. Almost everyone of my generation can remember mom applying this to your chest and covering with a tea towel in order to soothe a cold, the flu, or whatever ailed us at the time. Dr. Landsford Richardson invented the topical analgesic in 1911. Why isn’t it then name Richardson’s Rub or balm or analgesic. Well, simply stated, the name was far too long to put on the jar. So Dr. Richardson named is new balm after his brother-in-law an thus it’s been known to millions of households over the past century as Vicks Vapor Rub.
The town also houses The American Music Jubilee which we will visit during their Saturday evening performance and report later. Dennis told me that some 20,000 visitors visit theatre annually for performances that equal that of nearby Myrtle Beach as well as acts in Vegas. The Ice House performances wow many a crowd each Friday evening with country western style enjoyment that may go as far back as Patsy Cline. Not wanting to steal all the morning of a busy newspaper man, I thanked Dennis, knowing I would run into him later and rounded the corner to lunch again at Short’s Grille where Wanda was again working the counter.
She saddled me with the best cheeseburger I ever had. Southern style, with onions, mustard and a helping of hot dog relish this was accompanied by a heaping of fries the likes you had never seen. All this total a whopping $3.75 Again, I was in food heaven. I needed to take the long way home after that helping of lunch and pedaled past what was the local IGA,
and started into the nearby countryside. This is farm land, which can be evidenced by the first cutting of the hayfields. And I was reminded of the days of assisting my father-in-law of putting up as many bales as possible for the coming fall and winter. My, how I hated those days in the field and so yearn that I could be there again, helping, talking, and just being around “Bob.”
And so goes another day of retirement.