Sunday, May 26, 2024

My Turn

We at Cotton Farming would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the My Turn column through the years. Many of our readers have told us this is their favorite page in the magazine.

As we embark on a new year, we pause to reflect on last year’s submissions and invite more members of our “cotton family” to tell us their stories. Here are some memorable excerpts from 2017.

January 2017, Bob Walker: “I have many memories from those days, but some of my fondest involve a man we called Toot. … He loved to hunt, fish and tell tales. He taught me so much about life and how to always be happy, even when you don’t have a lot.”

February 2017, Bobby Skeen: “A few years later, I was hired as the Mid-South regional communications manager for The Cotton Board, alongside three guys who would become my ‘brothers in cotton’ and dear friends — Monty Bain, Bob Stanley and Brent Murphree. Since I was the youngster of the bunch, they ‘took me to raise’ in many ways I am thankful for.”

March 2017, Niki Gallian: “I remember the years well. Taking cotton stalks, mini bales and cottonseed to show and tell in elementary school. Learning to drive on the gin yard with all my cousins. Taking friends to play in the cottonseed piles for endless hours of fun and laughs.”

April 2017, Ross Rutherford: “When it comes to working in the cotton industry — and cotton ginning in particular — you either immerse yourself in it, or you just get a little wet and move on. I would be one of those ‘immersion’ types. This industry gets in your blood.”

May 2017, Dr. Ed Cherry: “Now as I go to meetings in a retirement capacity, I am often referred to as ‘a former industry icon’ and ‘the smartest man in America.’ I can’t do anything to deny those comments but say thanks for the wonderful memories.”

June 2017, Ron Smith: “In looking back, my time as a cotton entomologist has been 45 seasons of picking on the terrace row.”

July 2017, Dorothy Young: “Another time, our preacher’s son was checking cotton close to town and wasn’t where he was supposed to be when the crew leader came to pick him up. We looked and looked and finally got up the nerve to call his mama to tell her we couldn’t find him. As it turned out, he had walked home and had been there all afternoon!”

August 2017, Bob Griffin: “Talking to consultant friends and praying are the only ways to keep my sanity during the heat of the battle. And most days, I do not have time to go somewhere to eat so I have learned to cook on the intake manifold of my truck motor.”

September 2017, Dusty Findley: “Upon finishing high school, I had delusions of becoming a mechanical engineer via Texas A&M…until I took calculus. Given my family background, my counselor recommended agriculture.”

October 2017, Bruce Roberts: “My daughter, my princess, my buttercup came home with a tattoo on her arm. Upon close inspection, I noted her tattoo is an anatomically correct cotton fruiting branch. Her explanation for this choice is it reminds her of our shared times in cotton fields.”

November 2017, Monty Bain: “I worked for Avondale Mills when I was in high school and during the summers while I attended college. My first job was in Avondale’s Catherine mill, running the carding machines. I also worked in the cotton warehouse unloading bales from trucks and rail cars and weighing them.”

December 2017, Nanette Terrebonne: “After completing the cotton boll angel, I add a tag that says, ‘Your one-of-a-kind sparkling cotton boll angel has been handpicked and crafted from an authentic cotton boll with its original seeds left intact.’”

To read these My Turn columns in their entirety, go to and click on Departments. To learn more about how to submit a My Turn column, please contact Carroll Smith at or 901-326-4443. We look forward to hearing from you!

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