Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Cotton Pickin’ Excerpts

carroll smith
Carroll Smith,
Editor

Fall has arrived, and it’s cotton pickin’ time. In the My Turn column that appears each month on the back page of Cotton Farming, the authors — our readers — often wax nostalgic as they recall personal cotton pickin’ experiences. To get everyone in the mood for harvest, I am sharing some My Turn excerpts that exemplify these musings from the past.

Peanut — A Cotton Pickin’ Cat,” Cindy Faulkner, January 2022. In 2007, I wondered if Peanut would ride the picker again or freak out from the noise and movement. She was 100% house cat, not a barn cat. I took her up the steps on my shoulder. … She has picked cotton with me for 16 consecutive years even though she is only 15 years old.

A New Cotton Sack,” Neil Joiner, October 2021. I’m not sure why I thought a new cotton sack would improve my picking skills, but it was like the call of the sirens that sailors hear on the ocean. I asked Uncle Emmett if I could charge it and pay him back when I picked some cotton. He didn’t try to talk me out of it or tell me I’d have to ask Daddy. He sent me on my way with that new cotton sack and my own charge account.

California Cotton Picking Contest Of 1935,” Stan Wilson, September 2020. The Bakersfield Californian, which was an afternoon paper at the time, reported that just before noon, Luis Castenada had picked 368 pounds with a bag waiting to be weighed. His brother, Trinadad, was second with 352 pounds. Bets were being taken as to which brother would win.

A Cotton Pickin’ Exciting Time,” Francis & Sally Hulshof, April 2018. So, she lifted her cotton sack onto the horse’s back. She was going to get on too, but the horse took off, and the cotton flew everywhere! Boy, was she in trouble.

Not A Cotton Picker,” Patrick Shepard, June 2016. Hal said he was watching his brother pick, and their father remarked, “He’s a cotton-pickin’ dude.” Hal nodded. “That he is.” Then the father regarded Hal, smiled, and said, “And you’re a dude pickin’ cotton.”

Cotton Harvest and ‘Winner’ Suckers,” Marcia Kiser, April 2016. And at six years old, I didn’t have the weight, or the strength, to tromp any cotton down. All I did was sink. As soon as I could, I cried “uncle” and asked to get out and return to the safety and security of the pickup.

Riding To The Gin,” Robert Royal, September 2014. When the truck started the steep climb up the elevated highway bank, my face got plastered against the back glass. From there, I could see the trailer buck and kick behind us. Truck tires growled viciously in the grass. When the old Chevy jerked the trailer across the ditch, it seemed to explode as if Zeus had energized the lightning bolt logo with 10 million volts. 

To read these essays in their entirety, click on the titles above or check out all of our My Turn columns here. Here’s to a bountiful harvest!

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