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I’m back. Although I never went anywhere.

The winter of my discontent is thawing. The sun is shining and this growly bear is emerging from his cave.

On Sunday I’ll join the Pickleball gang at a Super Bowl party, cheering for my New England Patriots. And I’m back on the bandwagon for the Fresno State Bulldogs, men’s basketball edition.

If you look closely, you might see me around Selma someplace other than the Fyzical building. (It is my observation that when we are young adults we see our friends and neighbors at the gym and at weddings. In our old age, we see our friends and neighbors at physical therapy and at funerals.)

I am beginning 2019 with a renewed admiration for our city. Mind you, I have liked Selma ever since we moved here some 35 years ago. But like a cautious guy in a long courtship, it took me awhile to actually love Selma.

Some of that had to do with retiring 10 years ago. When I didn’t have to go to work in Fresno five days a week, I could stay home in Selma and begin to see the town in its weekday rhythms. We are a working-folks town, family oriented, generous and passionate about our city — warts and all.

That was evident at last week’s City Council meeting, where some folks opined that the city needed a change in leadership of the Police Department while others disagreed.

It’s an issue common in our culture’s two most partisan passions — sports and politics. In sports, we watch struggling and underachieving teams replace head coaches and managers. As the joke goes, it’s easier than replacing all the players. Was the coach/manager at fault? Maybe, maybe not, but that’s irrelevant. The fans were insistent that a change be made.

The same happens in government, when during difficult times we vote out one gang of scoundrels and bring in another gang that has yet to reach scoundrelhood.

I’ll leave the issue of police leadership to the city council. They are the ones who are accountable to the citizenry. The importance was that the citizenry, while disagreeing on the method of change, was passionate last week that public safety is the biggest issue in our city. 

When your town is being shot up, the natives get restless. It’s up to the elected officials to calm them down.

OK, that was a digression — albeit a significant one. I began this column to tell you about my newfound affection for Selma. 

In the past couple of weeks I have been helping my Aunt Dianne, who is moving to Selma. 

So we have been making the rounds of appliance shops, utility offices, banks, insurance agencies and other places new residents visit when they move cities.

And through it all, trudging from one office to another, my aunt has said to me a few times: “People are so nice here.”

And you know what? She is correct. I guess I knew that, but sometimes you have to be reminded of something to have it reinforced in your brain.

We are a city full of nice people. Helpful folks, kind folks, people who are committed to making this a city we all can be proud of. 

My aunt already knows that, and she hasn’t even moved in yet. 

So let us all remember her observation as we go about our business. Let us remember it as we share our concerns to the people we elected to listen to us. As we go about our lives at work, school, home and church, let us continue to do what we can to make this nice city a nicer one.

See you downtown soon, I promise. In the meantime, keep the faith.

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(Longtime Selma resident Ken Robison is a retired newspaper reporter, editor, columnist and photographer. “Selma Stories runs most Wednesdays in The Enterprise.)

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