Job offer in Alabama..need help

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by teresab, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. teresab

    teresab Well-Known Member

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    My husband has been offered a job in Selma Alabama outside of Mongomery. Does anyone live in the area or know the area? I would appreciate any information you can give. Now we have lived in Pennsylvania all our lives (both in our late 40's with young children) and would like to know what you think of the area. We are homesteaders and wouldn't consider living in any area we couldn't have our chickens and garden...thanks if you can help.
     
  2. chris30523

    chris30523 Well-Known Member

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    You might suffer some culture shock moving to the deep south.. I think just about anywhere you can find a place that allows livestock and such ,you just might have to be willing to commute a bit.
     

  3. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

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    I know the area very well. Where in Selma is the offer? There's definately 2 sides of the tracks there so be careful when house hunting. Pick the wrong one and you'll pay dearly for it. There's some pretty communities w/in very close commutes if you want to be in the country. Be ready for southern inhospitality too. It's a very old area and most are born and raised there. They tend to be rather clannish until they get to know you...and that can take years. Personally I wouldn't live there but I also think that Montgomery is the black hole of the south. (I was raised there, I can say that)
     
  4. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend that moved to TN to escape Selma, nuff said, and he was born and raised there.
    I'm not saying don't move to the south or Alabama. I just don't think Selma would be the place that I would choose.
     
  5. teresab

    teresab Well-Known Member

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    Well so far I am not seeing anything that is convincing us to move!! It is such a big decision when you have lived in one area all your life...and I'm sure it would be culture shock. I appreciate your opinions. The person my husband is in contact with said their people live out of the area ..commute from Prattville but I'm not a cul-de-sac kind of person if you know what I mean. Standard mode of dress for me is tee shirt and jeans and bare feet all summer (except for church!!) I know when my mom moved to NC 20 years ago she was not very welcomed....and my brothers had a very hard time at school because they were "Yankees". But yet the area we live in now is like the land that time forgot. Not moving forward...we aren't gaining business in our area we are loosing it.
    Keep the replys coming if anyone can add any more.
     
  6. BamaNana

    BamaNana Well-Known Member Supporter

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    3 years ago I moved to Equality, Al, which is about 1 hour north of Selma... The peolpe here ask me where I'm from because of my "accent" and they roll their eyes when I say CT, but the last 30 years I lived in Tampa.

    I LOVE Alabama, the easy country life, but this is the "deep" south and you'll hear the "N" word more in one month, than you've ever heard in your whole life. :grump:
    My DH and stopped one day to help a man who had been in an accident,, NO ONE else would stop!! I had to practicly stand in the middle of the road in front of the passing cars before we finally got someone to stop. I asked why no one was stopping and the one guy who did stop said "because he's a Mexican"
    I almost cried..... Here was this poor man covered in blood, needing help and NO ONE stopped because he was Mexican!! :flame: :flame:

    I do so love Alabama though... I just have to learn to ignore the "Dixie-ness" mindset.
     
  7. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    That area of the state would be great to homestead in, but I wouldn't live in Selma ..... you can drive into work and live out in the country. Pine trees and rattlesnakes .... or turkey and deer ... all depends on whatcha lookin for.
     
  8. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    I have lived in Ozark, Alabama and didn't mind it a bit. Of course, I am a person who doesn't feel the need to interact with anyone except my husband and I definitely DON'T have children.

    If you are unsure about how you will like it, it would be wise, I think to spend a little time down there first before making big decisions that could affect your life negatively.

    One thing for certain - the food is a WHOLE LOT BETTER in Alabama than north of the Mason-Dixon line! Yum!

    donsgal
     
  9. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    umm.. Not only are you looking at culture shock but expect HEAT and Humidity.. We're in MO and theres no way I'd want to live further south..Been sweltering here since about April or May this year.

    I'm ready to move NORTH
     
  10. Daddyof4

    Daddyof4 Well-Known Member

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    My experience with Alabama hasn't been bad but if I were to pick an area it would be around Huntsville or Gadsden.
     
  11. Shadow

    Shadow Well-Known Member

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    Me I am originally from Georgia, the wife from PA. We live in extreme north Alabama, been here me for 40 years wife 15 years will both be burried here, Selma, I don't know, its a lot further down south, and just never spent much time there. As for the N word, haven't heard that in a long time, As for the wife being a Yankee yea sure she gets teased some but in good nature, one of the neighbors has called her the little yankee eversince we got married but remember he drove his new John Deer down and wanted her to try it out. Now thats a complement around here, that thing cost in the 6 figures. If you are a good neighbor you will have good neighbors, as for someone having trouble and no one helping thats strange around here a woman in trouble black, white, yellow, mexican the biggest redneck will stop in the rain get the problem fixed and on his way after she is ok. But I personally don't want to live that far south in Alabama, too flat. We have hills all around and its pretty. I know there are pretty areas in other parts of Alabama But here is home.
    As for Culture shock the larger citys are as advanced as the citys in PA, get out in the sticks in PA and you will drop back a couple of decades, thats my experence Have spent lots of time wandering around in PA.
    Guess it would have to do with the job offer and what advantages it would offer over PA. Best of luck and if we can help let us know. By the way the wife is from Hanover, PA.
     
  12. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

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    Selma has a pretty rough reputation but there's a good side and a bad side and there are fabulous outlying communities if you still want to homestead. It is also very much a place that time forgot. Us southerners don't move real fast anyway so it's ok with us. I'd still plan on communting though. Just depends.
     
  13. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    I cannot comment about Selma..never been there in my life..BUT I did move from Strasburg PA to Jacksonville, Alabama..J'Ville is just a tad South of Gadsden in the Northeast Central part of the state. Pick the hottest most humid day that you have ever experienced in your entire life in Pennsylvania..now triple that..and that's what you will experience in Alabama for MONTHS..That is not an exaggeration. That kind of thing takes a lot of getting used to, yet if you love Summer, you'll adjust to it and love it, after awhile..LOL..

    I found Alabamians to be some of the most warm and friendly people on the face of the earth..didn't personally see any more racism there than I saw in PA..naturally, that may be regional.I have no idea. As a total 100% Yankee myself, I can tell you that if I could have tolerated that heat & humidity, I'd still be there. Again, just talking about Alabama in general..if that helps at all. :shrug:
     
  14. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    We moved from near Kansas City, Missouri to Macon, Georgia when I was about to start 7th grade as my Dad got a job offer down there.......This was early 80's but I doubt much has changed.

    You will see and hear more blatant racism then you would believe....the public schools thruout the south are horrible, as the white folks who can find any way to afford it at all send their kids to private schools ( we did, after one day at the public schools, where the teachers and kids were nice, but there weren't doors on the bathrooms or stalls, the books were falling apart, and the stuff they were teaching my sister and I had covered over a year before ).....Then we went to the private schools where the kids were stuck up and pretty cruel about us being 'Yankees'. The private school mentality was so pervasive that EVERY kid on our street went to one private school or another...and we were by no means above low-middle class at that point.

    So racism and education would be to big concerns for me moving their with school age children. Do you want your kids growing up among folks that feel the US civil war never really ended? Does DH's new job have enough of a pay raise to cover several thousand a year for each of your children to get a decent education?

    Here is a link to the best performing Selma primary school:

    http://www.psk12.com/rating/USindivphp/SchID_82117_year_2004.html

    The rest of them are similar to this:

    http://www.psk12.com/rating/USindivphp/SchID_82049_year_2004.html

    One of the Selma primary schools has a majority of white kids, the rest of the schools are almost all black kids. The white families either have moved out of those districts or are sending their kids to private schools I would guess.....

    I am sure the teachers and administrators at those schools are working hard, but Alabama taxes are the lowest in the nation, therefore the schools don't get much money.....nobody will vote for a tax increase while they are sending their kids to private schools either I am sure.

    Anyhow, the south has some very nice folks in it, we really loved our neighborhood and the folks in it. But there are some underlying issues that you should be aware of.

    Oh, and we moved back to the Kansas City area after a couple years, my Dad's job didn't pan out that well down there. And in all honesty, I wished I had stayed in the public schools, at least the kids there were welcoming and friendly as opposed to the rich-kid stuck up entitlement attitude in the private schools....which were hot beds of racism I might add, not one non-white student, teacher or administrator in either of the ones I attended.
     
  15. Selena

    Selena proud to be pro-choice

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    The gov tried to raise taxes a short while ago. The change was you had to make $18 (or was it $20K) before you pay income tax, the current threshhold is $4K!!! There is a lot of business owned land and those folks would have paid more. The anti-tax crowd some how figured out how to get ministers et al to tell their flocks this was something to vote against! Not a big fan of Gov Riley but he is at least realistic. So patrols on the state highways were cut back and a bunch of other items were cut or short changed. Public education is bad news, I don't think some folks have gotten over the 1954 Supreme Court ruling. The middle class is pretty thin in most of the south. I'd think twice about moving my kids there.
     
  16. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was born and raised in Alabama and raised my children in Alabama until their teen years. While I've never lived further south than Montevallo, AL I have to step in and say that my kids and I never went to a school that used torn up books and no doors on the bathroom stalls. In fact, when we moved to Texas my daughter started school at one of the most prestigious high schools in the area. We were surprised to find out she was way ahead of the students there...so much ahead that her senior year she only had one class and she graduated with honors.

    We didn't grow up hearing the "n" word either, nor or any of us racist. In my hometown, at least, blacks are treated just like everyone else. The most popular doctor in town is a black female. One of our school's most popular football players went on to become a minister who leads a predominantly white congregation. The black kids in school are elected by their white classmates to student council, cheerleading, etc. After all, they're just kids like everyone else.

    I can't speak for Selma though as I've never been there. Neither have some of the others who have posted here. Personally, I think you should take into consideration the cultural and climate changes. Everyone keeps talking about racism, but racism is everywhere...not just the Deep South. I agree that it would be a good idea to visit the area and see how you like it.
     
  17. Shadow

    Shadow Well-Known Member

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    Notice that a lot of the comment are from people that have lived in GA for a while 25 years ago but have their opinion and gave it.

    The only way you will know is if the job offer is good enough come and try it. Thats what I did, 42 years ago the company I worked for wanted to open a office in Huntsville, I moved to Huntsville for a year to open the office with the understanding I could move back in a year. Two months after moving I told them I was home and would not be moving anywhere.
    Selma I do not like but there are parts of PA that are wonderful and some that are horrible.
    My wifes mothers taxes are over $5000 a year on her house mine are $400 for a 120 acre farm with all the buildings, That will pay for 2 kids in private school. Huntsville schools are great some of the county schools suck. Same in any state. Come on down look around and see what you think. And the heat and humity is bad but we do not even have airconditioning so if you are not as tough as a 65 year old man, what a wimp. HEH HEH HEH David
     
  18. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We had to move several times when I was younger due to my dad chasing work. I lived in (actually outside of) San Antonio, TX, Jackson, MS, Little Rock, South Africa (when I was about 5) and Birmingham, AL. I've said this all of my life......WHO CARES WHAT AN AREA IS LIKE? IT WILL BE WHAT YOU MAKE IT. I can tell you from experience it doesn't matter where you live....it is the family around you that makes it better. Your kids will make friends. If YOU want friends, you'll make them. If you homeschool, who cares what the schools are like? Your kids will be ahead of them anyway. If you find a place to homestead, who cares what the guy down the road is doing in his place? You'll probably be too busy working the livestock to worry about him. About the "N" word, just be aware that there is and always will be bigots on this earth. They are here, in the middle east, India (do a search on the caste system in India....now that's bigotry) heck they're in Mexico saying one mexican is worse than another.

    I think what you get out of a place is what you put in. You want a nice religious experience? Find a nice church....but beware it is full of sinners like yourself. Want a nice grocery store? Find one. They're out there. Want a nice feed store for the animals? Find one.
     
  19. Swampfoot

    Swampfoot Active Member

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    I am an Alabama native and have to say I wouldn't be crazy about moving to Selma. That part of the state is in the heart of the Black Belt, so named for the color of the soil. You can read more about the region here, http://www.southernspaces.org/contents/2004/tullos/4a.htm. It is a pretty poor region in the south. It can be pretty, there are a lot of nice farms there but I imagine that the wealth is concentrated without a lot of "middle class". The Prattville and Tuscaloosa areas are nice if you don't mind commuting.

    No one can bring up Alabama or the deep south in general without speaking of racism. I think I have heard the "N" word used once in the last twenty years. I was pretty shocked, like others have said that is not the way I was raised. In my traditional southern family we were taught (by example) that as long as a person was honest and hard-working that their race and religion didn't matter. Here is a link to 2004 hate crime statistics and you can see where Alabama ranks in comparison to other states, http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2004/hctable12.htm

    Northerners seem to love or hate the south without a lot of middle ground. I have met people from both categories. For what it is worth, the ones that like the south seem to come from rural areas. I used to work with an older fellow from Ohio. One day one of the younger guys started giving him a hard time about being a yankee. He just looked at him and said, "I've lived in the south longer than you have." Pretty good response I thought.

    By the way, it is definately hot here and every other critter would like to take a bite out of you. You just need to check the place out to see what you think. I'm sure Pennsylvania would be a shock to me, I've never seen more than a few inches of snow on the ground.
     
  20. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

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    I'm a rocks throw from the Alabama line, been here many, many years (way longer than some folks) and have to say that there are very nice areas of Alabama - Selma just ain't one them. I love Huntsville (travel there frequently, matter of fact am going there Labor Day weekend), I like Auburn and Talledega..(NASCAR - yep!!). Gasden is nice, and Dothan is a fair sized town too. Opelika is expanding and not everyone over there chews baccy and wears overalls..lol..they got some folks that is college educated - must have got lost and couldn't find their way back out..but they are there, I promise!

    Alabama does have a school problem, but so does areas of GA (my son attends private school), but I pay out the yazoo for taxes for public school as well, at least in Alabama you can afford private school if you choose because taxes aren't nearly so high.

    I love Piedmont, Alabama and must say some of the nicest people I've met who were total strangers helped me out one Sat. when my hay trailer had a flat, very nice people. As far as racism, you get that everywhere not just in the South. In the country you are liable to have black neighbors and well as white, hispanic, and everything in between. It's how you treat your neighbors which can determine how they treat you. I cut my Black neighbors grass today down by the road as he cuts mine when he cuts his yard..never think a thing about it. At the private school my son attends, there are blacks, whites, hispanics, a Hawaiin, some Jewish Children, a few children from foreign countries and Asian children..all seem to get along just fine and parents do too. So I think it depends on how one perceives racism..you go looking for it and I'm sure you will find it in the South same as in the North or West.

    One thing I gotta say - it is hotter than a scorched hog at a family reunion down here..and humid, goodness some days I can see the mist in the air..that would be the biggest factor in making a move like that, but like someone else said - we do have a/c..lol.

    Oh and speak slowly, us original southerners don't hear that fast...lol..

    Lots of State Parks in Alabama, nice Space museum, Gulf Shores was awesome, don't know if it still is since Katrina blew through..but there is culture in the south, farming, 4H, Churches of every denomination, and you could probably sell that northern house and make enough to pay cash for a house and land down here and have some left over...compared to y'alls prices..well we have deals down here!

    Come down - we won't run ya off till we see what your made of - lol..BTW - there is just as many Yanks down here as "real" southerners I think, if it were so bad, I would think that y'all just stop north of the Mason/Dixon line...half the people I work with are from Chicago, Michigan, Minnesota, and New York!