The station of choice for Chinquapin Parish.

It’s Cotton Pickin’ Time

an open cotton boleMany years ago when I, of course, was younger, my dad took my cousin and me to the farm of a friend of his and while my cousin got to ride in the cotton picker, I got to play on the module maker. At first, I thought that I’d gotten a raw deal but now I don’t. While my cousin was sitting next to the picker driver doing nothing, I got to build a cotton module. It was really fun.

a cotton picker dumpingA module maker has—well, had—three controls: one for moving the “stompers” along the cotton bin, one to move them side to side within the bin, and one to move them up and down in the bin. I call them “stompers” because when I was around six or seven, my uncle used to be a farmer and modules weren’t that prevalent in my area. The farm hands (and kids when we were allowed) would climb into the cotton trailers and pack the cotton down by stomping or jumping in it. It was really fun and had a practical use, too: it allowed the farmer to get more cotton into the trailer.

a cotton moduleWell, back to the module. While my cousin was sitting in the cab of the cotton picker, I got to pound the cotton into a module and it was hella fun.

Cotton picking season is on us yet again. Earlier today I looked out the kitchen window and saw a spray rig spraying the cotton so that the boles would open up sooner. This will of course lead to allergy problems across half the region. Later, after picking starts, the module trucks will start speeding up and down the roads at crazy speeds. Cotton that falls off the trucks will start to litter lawns and old ladies like my grandmother will rant about it for weeks. The cotton gins will start spewing tons of dust and debris that gets kicked up during the course of ginning the cotton.

If you happen to live near a cotton gin, it’s a horrible time of year, but if you’re the kid who gets to run the module maker, it’s the bestest time ever.


Written by Jeff

Tuesday, September 4, 2007 at 9:27 pm

Posted in Arkansas

Tagged with ,

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