Friday, April 19, 2024

You Can’t Do The Wave By Yourself

Carroll Smith
Carroll Smith

A popular pastime for fans at stadium sporting events is doing “the wave,” especially if their team is winning. It starts with a group of people jumping up, throwing their arms in the air, and then sitting back down. Another group nearby follows suit, then another and another. Viewed from a distance, these antics look like a wave rolling through an ocean of people.
The purpose of doing the wave is to indicate excitement and enthusiasm for their team. It’s a group effort and impossible to replicate with just one person.

While writing and producing this issue of the magazine, I heard many success stories related to cotton. What struck me is nobody claimed to be solely responsible for their outstanding accomplishments. Each successful person shared the credit with others for their contributions to the effort.

Tennessee farmer Clinton Evans, who is featured in the cover article, shares his family’s rich cotton legacy established by his ancestors that he and his son, Buddy, strive to continue today. The care with which those who came before him respected the land and the cotton they grew still influences how he runs the operation today.

Evans also mentions Ceolia Parker, an 83-year-old man who “has enthusiastically operated a module builder for many years and never missed a day. Parker spent much of his childhood on this place and shares my love for cotton.”
In Texas, Ron Craft, owner/operator of New-Tex Gin in Plains, was recently named Ginner of the Year by the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association. When asked what was the key to being a successful ginner, he was quick to say, “It’s not Ron Craft. Although I am proud of this honor bestowed on me, it really goes to the entire team at New-Tex Gin. Most of our employees have been here a long time, including the office manager with 20-plus years and the gin superintendent with more than 40 years.”

And Lummus Corp.’s General Manager Ross Rutherford, who regularly contributes to the betterment of the ginning industry, pays tribute in the My Turn column to his former professor, Dr. David B. Parnell, for nurturing him and countless other students at Texas A&M.

“I am a better engineer…and a man…because of him,” Rutherford says.

What these people have in common is personal success and a deep love for cotton. They would gladly “do the wave” to express their passion. But they all will be the first ones to say, “You can’t do the wave by yourself.”

If you have comments, please send them to: Cotton Farming Magazine, 7201 Eastern Ave., Germantown, TN, 38138. Contact Carroll Smith via email at

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