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Sweet Home Alabama: 1935

December 1935. "Sidewalk scene in Selma, Alabama." Large-format nitrate negative by Walker Evans for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

December 1935. "Sidewalk scene in Selma, Alabama." Large-format nitrate negative by Walker Evans for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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Today’s Top 5

Cook Grocery Company

In ancient times, it looks like the former site of the Cook Grocery Company per the faded sign across on the top. That was one very small grocery company.

The building had seen way better times by this point. Those things in front might not have been kicked-over sidewalk signs. They may be among the scads of things just falling off the place.

More Than Documentary

What a superb photograph. What wonderful tones and textures in the brilliant sunlight. This evokes all kinds of feelings.

Thanks for adding this one to your collection, Dave.

Character and Depth

The amount of detail in this picture is spellbinding, the way the bricks are textured, the scale in the shop next door, the dog, clothes for sale, tattered posters and faded signs; it really is a treat for the eyes. The car, the shadows, the sidewalk, shoe-shine stands, its exactly how I picture the stories my grandpa tells me about the depression. (Albeit in NYC, not Alabama)

Cole Bros. Circus

The Cole Bros. Circus is coming here in 2 weeks. The cost, unfortunately, is now $20 (regular seating) and $25 (VIP). Probably more fun when it was only a quarter.


I wonder if that's a grocery store the little dog is peering into. She looks like she could use some grub.

More on Sunny South Minstrels

In 1927 Harry Palmer organized and put on the road under canvas the J. C. Lincoln's Sunny South Minstrels. It was motorized and travelled on probably half a dozen trucks. It is not known whether or not Palmer had the show out every season but photos indicate it was on the road at least for 1930 and 1931 seasons. Mrs. Palmer says that Harry's last show was also a minstrel show under canvas and went out of Dothan, Ala. in 1934. It was motorized and also used the J. C. Lincoln title. Photographs indicate the tent was about a 60 ft. round with three 20 ft. middles most of the time but at others it seems a square end tent was used which was usually customary for minstrel or dramatic shows. Mrs. Palmer said the minstrel show had 87 people connected with it and that J. W. Foster, known as "Jockey" was the advance man for several years. Palmer's show was one of the last old time minstrel shows under canvas to tour the country. He closed the show in Centralia, Illinois in 1938 and retired from show business for good. He moved to DuQuoin, 111. where he started the Palmer Press, a printing firm, which he operated until his death Nov. 3, 1958.
-- From The Bandwagon (Nov.-Dec. 1971)


This is really more "Ballad of Curtis Loew" if we're speaking strictly to the Skynyrd lexicon.

All dressed up

I love how these guys are completely dressed to the nines -- possibly with very shiny shoes -- and are lounging as if they have nowhere on earth to go. I've never been to Selma, but I always thought it was way out in the country so it's surprising how 30's hipster the sitters/leaners look, despite what looks like poor circumstances. Only one guy in work clothes in sight.

Minstrels? Yikes!

I would think that Lincoln's minstrel show has probably not appeared much lately. Also, nice ghost inside the building.

J. C. Lincoln's Sunny South Minstrels

Taken from an old Broadsheet circa 1930:



"Featuring the Famous New Orleans Brown Skin Models. See ALVINA the Fan Dancer. Free Street Parade. World’s Greatest Mammoth Minstrel Review. Sweet Singers, Fast Dancers, Funny Comedians."

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