Friday, August 26, 2016

NO COTTON In Them Old Cotton Fields Back Home

This is what my Grandparents cotton field looked like in the 50s.

This past week I was back in Cleveland County where I grew up, and I drove by what was my Grandparents' farm when I was a kid .  The property is now owned by someone else, I'm not sure who, and the house seems to be in good shape, but not currently occupied. 

Cotton fields before the cotton is "ripe".

Grandma's house facing west.  The three windows upstairs is the bedroom where I would sometimes spend the night.
The front of Grandma's house. 
I actually lived next door to my Grandma's, but I spent a lot of time visiting with her in that house.  Back in the 50s her farm, about 50 acres, was planted mainly in cotton.  The land was tended by a family whose daughter was one of my best friends growing up.  My father did not farm, so I didn't have to pick cotton, but I did pick cotton for the tenants and got paid for doing so.  I actually liked to pick cotton, something none of my friends understood.  (I suppose if I had had to pick, maybe I wouldn't have enjoyed it so much.  But I liked getting PAID.) 

Those old cotton fields back home are now "planted" with solar panels.  It has been turned into a solar farm.  I understand that the landowner gets about $500 to $600 per acre for leasing the land.  Not bad since there's no work involved for the "farmer". 
Cotton now replaced with solar panel farm. 

But I was more than a bit sad to see the farm used this way and to see the area grown up in weeds otherwise.  My grandparents always had a beautiful lawn out front and the property was kept in pristine shape.  No more. 

The trip back to Cleveland County was a bit nostalgic, and Thomas Wolfe was right.  'You can't go home again."

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