Remembering Pelham’s past

Published 3:53 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2018

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“Everyone believes that the school where you teach is the first Pelham High School,” Bobby Joe Seales said, “but they’re mistaken.”

Pointing to the cover of his new book, “Pelham Remembered,” Seales points out that the first Pelham High School shared a building with a church close to Lee Street and the railroad tracks.

Seales and his wife, Diane Brandenberg Seales, married in December 1969 and were soon living in a house on Lee Street in Pelham. Bobby Joe and Diane Seales have lived a life steeped in history, and they’re devoted to the preservation of local history.

“Bobby Joe didn’t want this history to be lost,” said Diane Seales. “That is what made him write the book.”

Seales work as an auditor and corporate credit manager for ITT (International Telephone and Telegraph), while also serving as the Music and Youth Minister for Pelham First Baptist.

After retiring from these two positions, Seales wound up at the Museum and Archives in the old Columbiana Courthouse. He also served as the President of the Shelby County Historical Society, and he is currently the Ambassador for the State Bicentennial.

Seales has worked hard to find amazing photos for the book. He has photos of the city’s mayors, important times in the city’s history and a cap and gown group photo of the Charter ’78 PHS graduating class.

Until Oct. 10, the book is available for order at a $15 discounted price of $29.95. Books ordered by Oct. 10 will ship in mid-November and arrive by Thanksgiving. After Oct. 10, the cost of the book increases to $44.

As Bobby Joe Seales tells me all of the community and civic work that he and his wife are involved in, I realize that their many contacts helped them locate these great old photos. I also understand why neither of them can remember their retirement date.

Find Bobby Joe Seales on Facebook or visit the site to order before Oct. 10 and have your Pelham memories home for the holidays.