Monday, October 20, 2008
Back in the era of the 'honey harvest' described in the last entry there were thousands of small farmers tilling the soil. Cotton was one of the crops that could produce some cash after a season's work, planting and caring for it to maturity.
Soon after the honey harvest experience our family moved out to the edge of the small town, rented a place that had a couple acres of rich garden soil. We planted various vegetables canned and prepared for the coming winter. Besides having a surplus of good vegetables, the fence rows had numerous sand plum trees loaded with fruit. Mother filled dozens of jars with plum butter and jelly made with blackberries which were plentiful, growing wild.
Near our home a Company decided to build a new cotton gin. Many area farmers raised cotton, especially the ones having a houseful of kids. The Cotton Gin construction began and was looked forward to because it would save a seven or eight mile trip in cotton picking time. Hauled by team and wagon.
Work progressed nicely as the framework of the Gin was half completed. While standing in our yard I heard the Gin framework crashing to the ground. An unexpected windstorm.
It was a setback though the Company official declared he rebuild and be in operating condition for cotton picking time. That he did, having extra crews helping.With the first big heaped up big load of cotton picked and loaded, along came a neighbor, mules stepping right along on the way to the Gin, big Henry sitting up there smoking that corncob pipe, waving as he passed by.
Everyone around cotton country including big Henry knew that it was a No No to smoke near a load of cotton or in a cotton Gin.
When a load of cotton is burning it is very secretive. No smell or indication it is on fire. That mysterious flame quickly sweeps over the surface and bides it's time to do it again.
Those old time Gins had a unique unloading system. The mules are driven in pulling the wagon, stopped in a position so the wagon may be tipped up to slide the cotton out. A bale of cotton weighed 500 pounds and a large wagon load could make a bale.
We kids were working in the big garden, at least dad had told us what to be working on. We spent a lot of time just sitting in the shade though one of us would always watch to see if dad was coming and give the alarm to start working.
I was the one watching and saw rolling smoke coming out of the new Cotton Gin. I told the other kids and as we watched, out of the drive on the exit side of the Gin came those mules with old big Henry really laying reins leather on them. That corncob pipe had been the dirty culprit and the unloading commotion had caused the flame to generate and out of control.
The Gin burned to the ground and big Henry suffered a singed beard and the mules singed tails.
Cottonseed can be used to make Gunpowder. sam
Fox News this A:M showed a man bare arms and legs,thousands of honey bees clinging to him, supposedly to win world record for having most bees clinging to him.
Fox asked for more Bee Stories. Then came a memory. 3 generations ago, my brother and I, 13 and 9 years of age were new in a neighborhood of very poor people, rural area after Wall Street Crash in October,1929.
Most everyone was hungry . We were invited to be at a honey harvest at Sundown. We arrived, with our pans, the older boys already had the 'bee smoker' going. I stood back while my 13 year old brother was anxious to taste that honey and learn more about 'honey harvest'.
The Owners had just moved,leaving the Beehives. A friendly kid handed me my pan with a couple nice honey combs. It tasted So Delicious. Now getting dark, looking for my brother, found him leaning against a tree , face in arms making gutteral sounds like I'd never heard before. I asked if he was ready to go home. He turned and it appeared as though he was holding a small red apple in his teeth. He was moaning and honey dripping out.
What a sight. All the kids laughing, except of course for my brother. I grabbed my pan and headed for home so he would'nt see me laughing. He was as mad as a Rodeo Bull. His stung tung looked so awful.
Next day still mad and looking for someone to fight. I hung around dad fairly close for a day or two. sa
SECURITY IN GOVERNMENT
Pat Nixon,wife of the President once visited Springfield Missouri without the President being with her. This was in the 1970s during Mr. Nixon's Term.
Seeing so much security recently reminded me of Pat Nixon's visit when she stayed at the KENTWOOD ARMS. On your computer check out 'Kentwood Arms'.
Being on the Greyhound Extra Board of Drivers, I was called to drive one of the two buses to transport Pat and the Group and now cannot remember details.
However,I remember pulling up into the fancy drive of the Kentwood Arms and seeing Security Guards on the rooftops and dark suited secret service agents bumping into each other.
I learned that Pat Nixon was now ready to leave town and the two buses would take Pat and traveling companions and the Press People to the Airport.Just as Pat Nixon was starting to get on my bus,two young ladies asked, which is the Press bus,and Pat pointed ahead and said,thats it up there and one of the secret service men escorted the girls and put them on the Press bus.
Those girls had walked from the College Campus and right up to the buses,no invitation or authority. On the way to the Airport were armed Security Guards on every overpass and sometimes in-between.
Through the guarded gate at the Airport and out to the waiting Plane on the Strip and as Pat Nixon got off my bus she saw the two girls carrying their Cameras and called to them,had a secret service man snap some photos with their cameras Pat with an arm around each of the girls.
Now this was an unbelievable SCOOP because the official Springfield News-Leader photographers were not allowed through that guarded entrance to the Airstrip. During this time the other bus pulled out and left the scene.My bus should be empty and all authorized people on the Jet Plane.
Here came those girls walking fast,carrying those cameras,realizing their predicament.Incidentaly,all that were left on foot and not on the Plane were those girls and I. I motioned them to get in the bus and not necessary to tell them to get low and out of sight.
Next publication of the News-Leader were the Color Photos of the College girls embraced by Pat Nixon and searching for an explanation of how this thing could have came about.
Young ladies such as those are to be admired.Even though there may have been a possibility of getting into trouble,they recognized the worth of such a Great Scoop,leaving the Professionals outside the guarded gate. It was a few days before this bus driver relaxed.
sam canon city colo . ' Is'nt retirement Great , sipping that coffee ? sam