I usually try to find something not grim to blog about since there’s so much un-funny stuff in this ol’ world, but the demise of the old Cotton Growers Gin in our town just makes me sad. A lot of cotton bales full of farmer sweat and blood have been ginned through the antiquated machinery inside that tin shell.
Before the advent of mechanical cotton harvesters in southwest Oklahoma, people harvested all the cotton by hand. They called it ‘pullin bolls’. As a boy and the son of a sharecropper, Gramps’ dad drug a cotton sack through the fields during the broiling Oklahoma summers pulling bolls by hand. Gramps’ sharecropper grandparents did too. And his great-grandparents. A lot of the cotton they pulled was ginned through the building above.
Cotton farming in those days was often a gut wrenching and thankless task. Once, an old farmer, Claude Whitener, relayed this story to me:
As a young man, he plowed his eighty (acres) with a mule. He sowed his cotton seed, and then a big rain came and washed away his seed. So, he replanted. He worked the field all summer, chopping weeds with a short-handled hoe. Then he pulled the bolls by hand and hauled his crop to the gin on a wagon pulled by mules. After he paid his ginning bill he had enough money to buy a new pair of overalls. The end. (Of everything…including his farm.)
Claude chuckled a little about it, but I have a good imagination and Gramps and I have a lot of experience with dragging a living from the ground. I could read between the lines.
Anyway, goodbye old landmark cotton gin. May you fetch a lot of money at the scrap yard.
Now, this was amusing–the demolition company’s sign preparing to crash to the ground with another wind gust or two.
**An update on the sign above–I drove past it a while ago and it had succumbed to the wind gusts from last night’s storm and was lying face down upon the ground, demolished.
Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy the Punches Family tearin’ up When My Time Comes To Go.
*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just like ’em.