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My Turn

Setting The Record Straight

The hardest part of writing this story is that even though I can remember it like yesterday, it happened 38 years ago. Well, at least the first part of it did. This recounting will attempt to set straight a couple of events that, over time and telling by folks other than myself, turned into a grand myth that’s better than ... Read More »

Not a Cotton Picker

Sporting a faded, floppy-brimmed fedora, Aunt Blanche would lay on the horn of her bob truck even though my older brother, Mike, and I were waiting for her on our front porch. We grabbed our new 9-foot-long Bemis Blue Cat cotton picking sacks made of heavy canvas with rubber dots on the bottom, and our paper bag lunches of rag ... Read More »

Oh Brother!

One of my first memories was the arrival of my brother, Tom, in the summer of 1968. I was not quite 2 years old, but somehow it sticks with me. Growing up in Belzoni, Miss., provided a great environment and many opportunities to create such memories, as the town at that time was to me much like Mayberry was to ... Read More »

Cotton Harvest And ‘Winner’ Suckers

When I look back on my childhood, it always seems that cotton was king of my memories. My family grew wheat, grain and cotton, but, for some reason, cotton holds the most memories for me. Grain harvest was always fun and if Mother or Daddy were driving a big truck, I’d be in the cab headed to the grain elevator. ... Read More »

The Dads You Didn’t Have to Be

The little blond boy was playing dug-out catch with another teammate, who suddenly asked about his dad. “I don’t have a dad,” the boy said. “You have to have a dad. Who do you play catch with?” the teammate asked. “I do have a mom,” the boy said. “She plays catch.” That conversation was held about 18 years ago. The ... Read More »

Old Pickup Remains an Anchor – By James Oliver

My father’s 1954 International pickup has served as an anchor to help me keep my “bearings and sanity” during all the technology changes of my “agricultural lifetime.” This very basic truck, made of steel, has a giant steering wheel and skinny tires to make it easier to turn (pre-power steering), but when I first started driving, I almost had to ... Read More »

Behind the scenes at “Camp Carver”

I’m not certain whether other farm kids felt the way I did growing up. We lived several miles “south of town” and, when I was young, it seemed like the most isolated place on earth. Daddy always said I was “sittin’ on G and waitin’ on O” wanting to catch the next ride to town. When my school friends made ... Read More »