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Cotton Harvesting in South Texas

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  • Susan Rektorik Henley
    In this year of drought and then heavy rains, cotton harvesting has begun in Nueces County. I knew that the time was close when I saw my cousin, Michael,
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 31, 2002
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      In this year of drought and then heavy rains, cotton harvesting has begun in Nueces County. I knew that the time was close when I saw my cousin, Michael, driving to the cotton fields almost daily and walking into them looking at the bolls. 
       
      Monday it started. Not only on the Rektorik Farms but also on the Hrncir  farms. My daughter, Ellen, and I grabbed the digital camera and headed out to the fields.  At that time, I didn't know what an opportunity we were going to have. As it turns out, my Cousin Michael was harvesting with spindle pickers while the Hrncir farm was being harvested with machines called "strippers." (Yes, this term does get a rise out of a lot of folks. And, many farmers have been amused by IRS auditors making inquiries as to just why the farmer was claiming expenses for "strippers" on their Schedules F of their Federal tax returns.)  These machines actual strip the cotton off the plant by use of brushes while a picker uses spindles which pluck the cotton from the plants.
       
      As I took photos from the road of the stripping operation, the foreman of the operation started watching me. When I waved at him, he beckoned to me. We met out in the field and explained what I was doing. He was enthusiastic about my project and told me to move around the operation and take as many photos as I wanted. He was a local fellow with a German last name who had a Czech wife. This operation was large and fast with three strippers, a bowl buggy, two module makers, and a crew of mechanics.
       
      I received a similar response when I drove up to the operation on my Dad's land (actually now the estate land that is shared in common by my siblings and I). I explained what I was doing. After being told (with a big grin on his face) by the foreman that each photo would cost me $5.00, they went out of their way to assist me.
       
      By design, the spindle-picking operation is slower paced. Two pickers were traversing the field. There was one module maker, no bowl buggy,  a diesel cart, and the crew. This crew was out of Mississippi. It was a father and son operation (who were white). The rest of their crew including the mechanics were African-Americans. I learned that none of the African Americans had driver's licenses.
       
      The first day of harvest, both crews were out of action for several hours. The cotton picking crew was halted by a diesel pump that refused to function. The  stripper crew had problems with the brushes being clogged. Two brothers in their twenties pulled the maintenance and repairs. A young woman with a college degree in a math field operated the tractor that pulled the bowl buggy and helped with the maintenance.
       
      My daughter asked Michael why some farmers elected to spindle pick while others to use stripping machines. Michael got a half smile of his face and his twinkled. He said, "There are a half dozen reasons why a farmer would chose to spindle pick and half dozen why one would chose to use stripping machines....It just all depends." Some of the factors that a farmer has to take into account is the grade of the cotton in the field, the height of the plants, and the availability of crews and equipment. Michael had been using the spindle picking crew from Mississippi for several years because they were available when he was ready to harvest (they start in Texas and follow the harvest back to Mississippi); because he got a better price on spindle-spindle picked cotton in a repressed market; and, less defoliant had to be used.
       
      Michael was on his tractor shredding and disking the cotton stalks where it had already been picked. I think this is his way of watching everything without being obtrusive.
       
      Despite a bad year weather-wise, Michael is still estimating a bale to an acre.
       
      I have created a photo album of cotton harvest photos on the Texas Czech Storyteller Website.  The narrative explain the details of the equipment and the process. One fact that I forgot to mention is that, from a distance, you can the difference between a spindle picker and a stripper by the top of the basket. Spindle pickers are flat on top while there is a small dome on the strippers to allow more blow space for the strippers.
       
      The URL for the photo album is:
       
    • Gerri Martisek
      Susan, Do they really just pick the cotton only one time? I thought that they picked at least twice. But then again, I pretty much have to count myself as a
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 31, 2002
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        Susan,

        Do they really just pick the cotton only one time? I thought that they
        picked at least twice. But then again, I pretty much have to count
        myself as a city girl so what do I know!!!

        Thanks for a great article. Haven't looked at the pictures yet, but am
        quite confident that they are great as well.

        Thanks,
        Gerri
      • Susan Rektorik Henley
        Gerri Martisek wrote: Do they really just pick the cotton only one time? I thought that they picked at least twice. Hi Gerri, They may do it differently in
        Message 3 of 14 , Aug 1, 2002
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          Gerri Martisek wrote: "Do they really just pick the cotton only one time?  I thought that they picked at least twice."
           
          Hi Gerri,
           
          They may do it differently in other places but I have never seen them pick a cotton field a second time down here. The main reason is that cost of a second harvesting (additional fuel and time) would exceed the value of the additional cotton that could be picked up.
           
          In either method of harvesting (picking or stripping), the equipment is sized to harvest cotton in bolls. After the first run, there is very little cotton actually left in bolls. Most of what is left is in strand form and/or fallen down.
           
          I received a comment to the effect that the old farmers (who hand picked cotton) would turn in their graves if they saw all the cotton that is left nowadays. And, I don't disagree with that.
           
          There are some innovations to reduce the waste such as "El-Suck-O," a two-row picker converted into a giant vacuum to pick up the cotton that falls around the module makers. (There is more info on this machine in with the photos.)
           
          Susan
        • Joe Janecka
          ... I m one of the old codgers that remembers picking cotton before the advent of all the machinery. Yes, when cotton was picked by hand it was usually picked
          Message 4 of 14 , Aug 1, 2002
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            On Wed, 31 Jul 2002 19:30:08 -0500, you wrote:

            >Do they really just pick the cotton only one time? I thought that they
            >picked at least twice.

            I'm one of the old codgers that remembers picking cotton before the
            advent of all the machinery. Yes, when cotton was picked by hand it
            was usually picked twice. The cotton was not defoliated as it is now,
            so it allowed some of the smaller bolls to mature before picking.
            Most of the Czech farmers, who are usually quite frugal, even went out
            the third time and pulled the remaining bolls. The hand picked cotton
            was usually a very high grade and brought top dollar. The cotton from
            the bolls was very low grade.

            Of course, back then 100 acres was considered a large farm. I've
            known folks who sharecropped 60 acres and still were able to send
            their sons to college. (Czechs, of course!)

            Susan has a great site, doesn't she?

            >Thanks for a great article. Haven't looked at the pictures yet, but am
            >quite confident that they are great as well.

            Cheers,
            Joe
            http://www.geocities.com/goodolejoe
          • J.D. Kotrla-Chipps
            Hey,....watch it! I resemble that remark. I picked cotton in Taylor for Mr Possman, out on old Hwy 95, by the KTAE radio tower. Picked for $3.00/hundred,
            Message 5 of 14 , Aug 1, 2002
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              Hey,....watch it! I resemble that remark.

              I picked cotton in Taylor for Mr Possman, out on old Hwy 95, by the KTAE
              radio tower.

              Picked for $3.00/hundred, pulled for $1.75. Cotton was graded in
              staples. We usually had staple 7 from picking, and staple 5 from
              pulling, because of the damage to the fibers in ginning the bolls, and
              leaves out. Now-a-days they are lucky to get staple 3 cotton, and
              because of the chemicals the strands are only half as strong as they
              used to be too. That's one of the reasons your Levi's don't last like
              they used to.

              Second picking wasn't as good as the first, and pulling was after the
              second picking. Some of the more "progressive" farmers of the day used
              geese, instead of chopping cotton. Seems geese don't like cotton, and
              will eat everything except cotton, which saves a lot of chopping.
              Yupper, did a lot of that too, and I don't want to hear you
              whippersnappers making wisecracks about it. Kept most of you fed and
              educated, especially here in Williamson county.

              We had 210 acres, and seems like a 12 acre cotton allotment, which we
              sold to the bigger farmers like Possman. Wasn't hardly worth doing 12
              acres. First bale was always a big deal, and worth a lot of money.
              Sometimes school started late because the kids were still picking, but
              I do have to admit, that was before my time even. Dad told me about it,
              he said it happened to him a couple of times, Granger, and Taylor would
              sometimes have to wait till the season was over before school started.
              I imagine some other places too.

              Used to rotate crops back in those days, cotton one year, peanuts the
              next to put the nitrogen back in the soil. Never harvested the peanuts,
              just plowed them under, and next year, ready to go with the cash crop,
              cotton. Williamson county was the cotton center of Texas in those days.
              Produced more, and better cotton than anywhere else in the state.



              Joe Janecka wrote:

              >On Wed, 31 Jul 2002 19:30:08 -0500, you wrote:
              >
              >>Do they really just pick the cotton only one time? I thought that they
              >>picked at least twice.
              >>
              >
              >I'm one of the old codgers that remembers picking cotton before the
              >advent of all the machinery. Yes, when cotton was picked by hand it
              >was usually picked twice. The cotton was not defoliated as it is now,
              >so it allowed some of the smaller bolls to mature before picking.
              >Most of the Czech farmers, who are usually quite frugal, even went out
              >the third time and pulled the remaining bolls. The hand picked cotton
              >was usually a very high grade and brought top dollar. The cotton from
              >the bolls was very low grade.
              >
              >Of course, back then 100 acres was considered a large farm. I've
              >known folks who sharecropped 60 acres and still were able to send
              >their sons to college. (Czechs, of course!)
              >
              >Susan has a great site, doesn't she?
              >
              >>Thanks for a great article. Haven't looked at the pictures yet, but am
              >>quite confident that they are great as well.
              >>
              >
              >Cheers,
              >Joe
              >http://www.geocities.com/goodolejoe
              >
              >
              >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              >texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
              >
              >
              >
              >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Ray J. Bacak
              I was a city slicker (edge of Flatonia, if that s city ) but cotton picking used to put a new shirt or two in the closet for school. Hot work. Shoulder still
              Message 6 of 14 , Aug 1, 2002
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                I was a city slicker (edge of Flatonia, if that's "city") but cotton picking
                used to put a new shirt or two in the closet for school. Hot work.
                Shoulder still hurts thinking about tugging those pick sacks.
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "J.D. Kotrla-Chipps" <jdkc@...>
                To: <TexasCzechs@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2002 3:28 PM
                Subject: Re: [TexasCzechs] Cotton Harvesting in South Texas


                > Hey,....watch it! I resemble that remark.
                >
                > I picked cotton in Taylor for Mr Possman, out on old Hwy 95, by the KTAE
                > radio tower.
                >
                > Picked for $3.00/hundred, pulled for $1.75. Cotton was graded in
                > staples. We usually had staple 7 from picking, and staple 5 from
                > pulling, because of the damage to the fibers in ginning the bolls, and
                > leaves out. Now-a-days they are lucky to get staple 3 cotton, and
                > because of the chemicals the strands are only half as strong as they
                > used to be too. That's one of the reasons your Levi's don't last like
                > they used to.
                >
                > Second picking wasn't as good as the first, and pulling was after the
                > second picking. Some of the more "progressive" farmers of the day used
                > geese, instead of chopping cotton. Seems geese don't like cotton, and
                > will eat everything except cotton, which saves a lot of chopping.
                > Yupper, did a lot of that too, and I don't want to hear you
                > whippersnappers making wisecracks about it. Kept most of you fed and
                > educated, especially here in Williamson county.
                >
                > We had 210 acres, and seems like a 12 acre cotton allotment, which we
                > sold to the bigger farmers like Possman. Wasn't hardly worth doing 12
                > acres. First bale was always a big deal, and worth a lot of money.
                > Sometimes school started late because the kids were still picking, but
                > I do have to admit, that was before my time even. Dad told me about it,
                > he said it happened to him a couple of times, Granger, and Taylor would
                > sometimes have to wait till the season was over before school started.
                > I imagine some other places too.
                >
                > Used to rotate crops back in those days, cotton one year, peanuts the
                > next to put the nitrogen back in the soil. Never harvested the peanuts,
                > just plowed them under, and next year, ready to go with the cash crop,
                > cotton. Williamson county was the cotton center of Texas in those days.
                > Produced more, and better cotton than anywhere else in the state.
                >
                >
                >
                > Joe Janecka wrote:
                >
                > >On Wed, 31 Jul 2002 19:30:08 -0500, you wrote:
                > >
                > >>Do they really just pick the cotton only one time? I thought that they
                > >>picked at least twice.
                > >>
                > >
                > >I'm one of the old codgers that remembers picking cotton before the
                > >advent of all the machinery. Yes, when cotton was picked by hand it
                > >was usually picked twice. The cotton was not defoliated as it is now,
                > >so it allowed some of the smaller bolls to mature before picking.
                > >Most of the Czech farmers, who are usually quite frugal, even went out
                > >the third time and pulled the remaining bolls. The hand picked cotton
                > >was usually a very high grade and brought top dollar. The cotton from
                > >the bolls was very low grade.
                > >
                > >Of course, back then 100 acres was considered a large farm. I've
                > >known folks who sharecropped 60 acres and still were able to send
                > >their sons to college. (Czechs, of course!)
                > >
                > >Susan has a great site, doesn't she?
                > >
                > >>Thanks for a great article. Haven't looked at the pictures yet, but am
                > >>quite confident that they are great as well.
                > >>
                > >
                > >Cheers,
                > >Joe
                > >http://www.geocities.com/goodolejoe
                > >
                > >
                > >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > >texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
              • J.D. Kotrla-Chipps
                Hardest work I ve ever done in my life, and the most rewarding! I wouldn t have missed it for the world. Not just hot, but bending over, pulling a 100# sack
                Message 7 of 14 , Aug 1, 2002
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                  Hardest work I've ever done in my life, and the most rewarding! I
                  wouldn't have missed it for the world.

                  Not just hot, but bending over, pulling a 100# sack along with you till
                  it filled up, weigh it, empty it, and start all over again.

                  When I first started, my grandmother would have to get me out of bed,
                  because I couldn't stand up by myself, my back hurt so bad. But she
                  would rub some of this "special ointment" on my back, and 1/2 hour or so
                  later I could stand up, and even walk around a little. Then, before the
                  sun was even up, and it was getting light, I'd be starting down my first
                  row for the day.

                  I remember we would have ot knock off between 12-2 pm, because it was
                  too hot to pick, then we'd start all over again till it was too dark to see.

                  Like I say, hardest work I've ever done in my life, and I'm so grateful
                  for having had the opportunity to do something that is now a part of
                  history.

                  God Bless all Cotton-pickers!!

                  Ray J. Bacak wrote:

                  >I was a city slicker (edge of Flatonia, if that's "city") but cotton picking
                  >used to put a new shirt or two in the closet for school. Hot work.
                  >Shoulder still hurts thinking about tugging those pick sacks.
                  >----- Original Message -----
                  >From: "J.D. Kotrla-Chipps" <jdkc@...>
                  >To: <TexasCzechs@yahoogroups.com>
                  >Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2002 3:28 PM
                  >Subject: Re: [TexasCzechs] Cotton Harvesting in South Texas
                  >
                  >
                  >>Hey,....watch it! I resemble that remark.
                  >>
                  >>I picked cotton in Taylor for Mr Possman, out on old Hwy 95, by the KTAE
                  >>radio tower.
                  >>
                  >>Picked for $3.00/hundred, pulled for $1.75. Cotton was graded in
                  >>staples. We usually had staple 7 from picking, and staple 5 from
                  >>pulling, because of the damage to the fibers in ginning the bolls, and
                  >>leaves out. Now-a-days they are lucky to get staple 3 cotton, and
                  >>because of the chemicals the strands are only half as strong as they
                  >>used to be too. That's one of the reasons your Levi's don't last like
                  >>they used to.
                  >>
                  >>Second picking wasn't as good as the first, and pulling was after the
                  >>second picking. Some of the more "progressive" farmers of the day used
                  >>geese, instead of chopping cotton. Seems geese don't like cotton, and
                  >>will eat everything except cotton, which saves a lot of chopping.
                  >> Yupper, did a lot of that too, and I don't want to hear you
                  >>whippersnappers making wisecracks about it. Kept most of you fed and
                  >>educated, especially here in Williamson county.
                  >>
                  >>We had 210 acres, and seems like a 12 acre cotton allotment, which we
                  >>sold to the bigger farmers like Possman. Wasn't hardly worth doing 12
                  >>acres. First bale was always a big deal, and worth a lot of money.
                  >> Sometimes school started late because the kids were still picking, but
                  >>I do have to admit, that was before my time even. Dad told me about it,
                  >>he said it happened to him a couple of times, Granger, and Taylor would
                  >>sometimes have to wait till the season was over before school started.
                  >> I imagine some other places too.
                  >>
                  >>Used to rotate crops back in those days, cotton one year, peanuts the
                  >>next to put the nitrogen back in the soil. Never harvested the peanuts,
                  >>just plowed them under, and next year, ready to go with the cash crop,
                  >>cotton. Williamson county was the cotton center of Texas in those days.
                  >> Produced more, and better cotton than anywhere else in the state.
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>Joe Janecka wrote:
                  >>
                  >>>On Wed, 31 Jul 2002 19:30:08 -0500, you wrote:
                  >>>
                  >>>>Do they really just pick the cotton only one time? I thought that they
                  >>>>picked at least twice.
                  >>>>
                  >>>I'm one of the old codgers that remembers picking cotton before the
                  >>>advent of all the machinery. Yes, when cotton was picked by hand it
                  >>>was usually picked twice. The cotton was not defoliated as it is now,
                  >>>so it allowed some of the smaller bolls to mature before picking.
                  >>>Most of the Czech farmers, who are usually quite frugal, even went out
                  >>>the third time and pulled the remaining bolls. The hand picked cotton
                  >>>was usually a very high grade and brought top dollar. The cotton from
                  >>>the bolls was very low grade.
                  >>>
                  >>>Of course, back then 100 acres was considered a large farm. I've
                  >>>known folks who sharecropped 60 acres and still were able to send
                  >>>their sons to college. (Czechs, of course!)
                  >>>
                  >>>Susan has a great site, doesn't she?
                  >>>
                  >>>>Thanks for a great article. Haven't looked at the pictures yet, but am
                  >>>>quite confident that they are great as well.
                  >>>>
                  >>>Cheers,
                  >>>Joe
                  >>>http://www.geocities.com/goodolejoe
                  >>>
                  >>>
                  >>>To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  >>>texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  >>>
                  >>>
                  >>>
                  >>>Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >>>
                  >>>
                  >>>
                  >>>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  >>texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  >
                  >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  >texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Ray J. Bacak
                  But working for the Czech farmers, the food at the frequent breaks was great, right? ... From: J.D. Kotrla-Chipps To:
                  Message 8 of 14 , Aug 1, 2002
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                    But working for the Czech farmers, the food at the frequent breaks was
                    great, right?
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "J.D. Kotrla-Chipps" <jdkc@...>
                    To: <TexasCzechs@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2002 5:24 PM
                    Subject: Re: [TexasCzechs] Cotton Harvesting in South Texas


                    > Hardest work I've ever done in my life, and the most rewarding! I
                    > wouldn't have missed it for the world.
                    >
                    > Not just hot, but bending over, pulling a 100# sack along with you till
                    > it filled up, weigh it, empty it, and start all over again.
                    >
                    > When I first started, my grandmother would have to get me out of bed,
                    > because I couldn't stand up by myself, my back hurt so bad. But she
                    > would rub some of this "special ointment" on my back, and 1/2 hour or so
                    > later I could stand up, and even walk around a little. Then, before the
                    > sun was even up, and it was getting light, I'd be starting down my first
                    > row for the day.
                    >
                    > I remember we would have ot knock off between 12-2 pm, because it was
                    > too hot to pick, then we'd start all over again till it was too dark to
                    see.
                    >
                    > Like I say, hardest work I've ever done in my life, and I'm so grateful
                    > for having had the opportunity to do something that is now a part of
                    > history.
                    >
                    > God Bless all Cotton-pickers!!
                    >
                    > Ray J. Bacak wrote:
                    >
                    > >I was a city slicker (edge of Flatonia, if that's "city") but cotton
                    picking
                    > >used to put a new shirt or two in the closet for school. Hot work.
                    > >Shoulder still hurts thinking about tugging those pick sacks.
                    > >----- Original Message -----
                    > >From: "J.D. Kotrla-Chipps" <jdkc@...>
                    > >To: <TexasCzechs@yahoogroups.com>
                    > >Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2002 3:28 PM
                    > >Subject: Re: [TexasCzechs] Cotton Harvesting in South Texas
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >>Hey,....watch it! I resemble that remark.
                    > >>
                    > >>I picked cotton in Taylor for Mr Possman, out on old Hwy 95, by the KTAE
                    > >>radio tower.
                    > >>
                    > >>Picked for $3.00/hundred, pulled for $1.75. Cotton was graded in
                    > >>staples. We usually had staple 7 from picking, and staple 5 from
                    > >>pulling, because of the damage to the fibers in ginning the bolls, and
                    > >>leaves out. Now-a-days they are lucky to get staple 3 cotton, and
                    > >>because of the chemicals the strands are only half as strong as they
                    > >>used to be too. That's one of the reasons your Levi's don't last like
                    > >>they used to.
                    > >>
                    > >>Second picking wasn't as good as the first, and pulling was after the
                    > >>second picking. Some of the more "progressive" farmers of the day used
                    > >>geese, instead of chopping cotton. Seems geese don't like cotton, and
                    > >>will eat everything except cotton, which saves a lot of chopping.
                    > >> Yupper, did a lot of that too, and I don't want to hear you
                    > >>whippersnappers making wisecracks about it. Kept most of you fed and
                    > >>educated, especially here in Williamson county.
                    > >>
                    > >>We had 210 acres, and seems like a 12 acre cotton allotment, which we
                    > >>sold to the bigger farmers like Possman. Wasn't hardly worth doing 12
                    > >>acres. First bale was always a big deal, and worth a lot of money.
                    > >> Sometimes school started late because the kids were still picking, but
                    > >>I do have to admit, that was before my time even. Dad told me about it,
                    > >>he said it happened to him a couple of times, Granger, and Taylor would
                    > >>sometimes have to wait till the season was over before school started.
                    > >> I imagine some other places too.
                    > >>
                    > >>Used to rotate crops back in those days, cotton one year, peanuts the
                    > >>next to put the nitrogen back in the soil. Never harvested the peanuts,
                    > >>just plowed them under, and next year, ready to go with the cash crop,
                    > >>cotton. Williamson county was the cotton center of Texas in those days.
                    > >> Produced more, and better cotton than anywhere else in the state.
                    > >>
                    > >>
                    > >>
                    > >>Joe Janecka wrote:
                    > >>
                    > >>>On Wed, 31 Jul 2002 19:30:08 -0500, you wrote:
                    > >>>
                    > >>>>Do they really just pick the cotton only one time? I thought that
                    they
                    > >>>>picked at least twice.
                    > >>>>
                    > >>>I'm one of the old codgers that remembers picking cotton before the
                    > >>>advent of all the machinery. Yes, when cotton was picked by hand it
                    > >>>was usually picked twice. The cotton was not defoliated as it is now,
                    > >>>so it allowed some of the smaller bolls to mature before picking.
                    > >>>Most of the Czech farmers, who are usually quite frugal, even went out
                    > >>>the third time and pulled the remaining bolls. The hand picked cotton
                    > >>>was usually a very high grade and brought top dollar. The cotton from
                    > >>>the bolls was very low grade.
                    > >>>
                    > >>>Of course, back then 100 acres was considered a large farm. I've
                    > >>>known folks who sharecropped 60 acres and still were able to send
                    > >>>their sons to college. (Czechs, of course!)
                    > >>>
                    > >>>Susan has a great site, doesn't she?
                    > >>>
                    > >>>>Thanks for a great article. Haven't looked at the pictures yet, but
                    am
                    > >>>>quite confident that they are great as well.
                    > >>>>
                    > >>>Cheers,
                    > >>>Joe
                    > >>>http://www.geocities.com/goodolejoe
                    > >>>
                    > >>>
                    > >>>To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                    > >>>texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                    > >>>
                    > >>>
                    > >>>
                    > >>>Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    > >>>
                    > >>>
                    > >>>
                    > >>>
                    > >>
                    > >>
                    > >>To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                    > >>texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                    > >>
                    > >>
                    > >>
                    > >>Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
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                  • Joe Janecka
                    ... It was called svacina with a hacek over the c . Pronounced Sva-chin-ah. Didn t always get kolaces though, sometimes only fritters, (Bread dough, rolled
                    Message 9 of 14 , Aug 2, 2002
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                      On Thu, 1 Aug 2002 22:28:29 -0500, you wrote:

                      >But working for the Czech farmers, the food at the frequent breaks was
                      >great, right?

                      It was called "svacina" with a hacek over the "c". Pronounced
                      Sva-chin-ah. Didn't always get kolaces though, sometimes only
                      fritters, (Bread dough, rolled flat, cut triangular and deep fried in
                      lard), and melas.
                      Cheers,
                      Joe
                      http://www.geocities.com/goodolejoe
                    • J.D. Kotrla-Chipps
                      You guys were lucky. I worked for a german, and he didn t feed us anything. Fortunately, Grandmother and Grandfather lived close by.
                      Message 10 of 14 , Aug 2, 2002
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                        You guys were lucky. I worked for a german, and he didn't feed us
                        anything.

                        Fortunately, Grandmother and Grandfather lived close by.



                        Joe Janecka wrote:

                        >On Thu, 1 Aug 2002 22:28:29 -0500, you wrote:
                        >
                        >>But working for the Czech farmers, the food at the frequent breaks was
                        >>great, right?
                        >>
                        >
                        >It was called "svacina" with a hacek over the "c". Pronounced
                        >Sva-chin-ah. Didn't always get kolaces though, sometimes only
                        >fritters, (Bread dough, rolled flat, cut triangular and deep fried in
                        >lard), and melas.
                        >Cheers,
                        >Joe
                        >http://www.geocities.com/goodolejoe
                        >
                        >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                        >texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Gene Hirschman
                        ... Your right on target. I went to school in Granger and actually school would start a bit later because of cotton harvest but the farm kids, like me, didn t
                        Message 11 of 14 , Aug 4, 2002
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                          "J.D. Kotrla-Chipps" wrote:

                          > Hey,....watch it! I resemble that remark.
                          >
                          > I picked cotton in Taylor for Mr Possman, out on old Hwy 95, by the
                          > KTAE
                          > radio tower.
                          > SNIP

                          > First bale was always a big deal, and worth a lot of money.
                          > Sometimes school started late because the kids were still picking, but
                          >
                          > I do have to admit, that was before my time even. Dad told me about
                          > it,
                          > he said it happened to him a couple of times, Granger, and Taylor
                          > would
                          > sometimes have to wait till the season was over before school started.
                          >
                          > I imagine some other places too.

                          Your right on target. I went to school in Granger and actually school
                          would start a bit later because of cotton harvest but the farm kids,
                          like me, didn't start on the first day even then, we would not actually
                          start school until harvest was over or nearly over, as I recall, about 2
                          weeks. I don't know about the public schools in Granger during that
                          time, I went to SS Cyril & Methodious.

                          First bale in Taylor, Bartlett, Granger and Holland was a big deal, it
                          sold for quite a nice premium.....The first showing of the new car back
                          then was a big deal too, but thats another story.

                          Hershey - Albuquerque, NM I Whistle While I Work;-)
                          Badges of the World - http://www.spinn.net/~hershey/badges.htm
                          Stupid Referee Tricks - http://www.spinn.net/~hershey/referees.htm
                        • J.D. Kotrla-Chipps
                          ... My father started school there at Granger abt 1918. I know he was eight years old, so they started him in the third grade. Not sure why he didn t start
                          Message 12 of 14 , Aug 4, 2002
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                            Gene Hirschman wrote:

                            >
                            >Your right on target. I went to school in Granger and actually school
                            >would start a bit later because of cotton harvest but the farm kids,
                            >like me, didn't start on the first day even then, we would not actually
                            >start school until harvest was over or nearly over, as I recall, about 2
                            >weeks. I don't know about the public schools in Granger during that
                            >time, I went to SS Cyril & Methodious.
                            >
                            >First bale in Taylor, Bartlett, Granger and Holland was a big deal, it
                            >sold for quite a nice premium.....The first showing of the new car back
                            >then was a big deal too, but thats another story.
                            >

                            My father started school there at Granger abt 1918. I know he was eight
                            years old, so they started him in the third grade. Not sure why he
                            didn't start when he turned six, but he didn't, and they didn't know he
                            had never been to school, so they started him in the third grade. His
                            teacher used to punish him, because he wouldn't mind her. She said he
                            was stubborn, and wouldn't mind when she told him to do something. It
                            wasn't till several months later that she learned he didn't understand
                            english, he only spoke czech.

                            Years later he returned to Granger as the principal, and head football
                            coach, and that same lady was still teaching the third grade. I told my
                            father that I would have given her her instructions in czech, and kept
                            her after school till she complied.

                            But my father came back, without hesitation, and replied, "No son,
                            that's why she is still teaching third grade, and I'm the principal".

                            Not sure of the date on this photograph, but it's around that time. Who
                            knows, my father may be in the picture.

                            I started first grade there in 1944. And I'm pretty sure that there is
                            still only one public school there, 1-12 grades. I didn't even know
                            they had catholic schools there when I went. We never heard from those
                            kids. They were from the "├Âther side of the tracks".

                            >
                          • Janet Tucker
                            Message 13 of 14 , Aug 5, 2002
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                              I enjoyed your story about the school teacher and your father.
                              Unfortunately, I couldn't open the picture. Did anyone else have a problem?
                              thanks,
                              Jan
                            • J.D. Kotrla-Chipps
                              You can view the originals here: http://www.texasescapes.com/TOWNS/Granger_Texas/Granger.htm
                              Message 14 of 14 , Aug 5, 2002
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                                You can view the originals here:

                                http://www.texasescapes.com/TOWNS/Granger_Texas/Granger.htm



                                Janet Tucker wrote:

                                >I enjoyed your story about the school teacher and your father.
                                >Unfortunately, I couldn't open the picture. Did anyone else have a problem?
                                >thanks,
                                >Jan
                                >
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