I remember the day my qualms vanished. New on the job in July 2002, I did what most historians and genealogists only dream about: I entered the cloistered and sacred “stacks” of our co-publisher, the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) in Montgomery. I viewed the inner sanctum of Alabama history’s most treasured store.
Hosted by Ed Bridges, the ADAH director at the time, I explored nine ﬂoors of rare gems—shelves and cabinets holding myriad records and fascinating artifacts. I even got to touch Hank Williams’s hat and the shoes George Wallace wore the day he was shot. Driving home that day, I thought, “If being editor of Alabama Heritage gets me days like this, I’ll never look back.” And I never have.