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My mother, Helen (Watson) McCann and her little brother Gaylon Watson were in high cotton in their father's field in Panola County around 1937. Cotton farming in East Texas was declining during the Great Depression, but it wasn't easy for farmers to change something they had been doing all their lives. They were typical of subsistence dirt farmers in that they grew garden vegetables, raised pigs and beef cattle, had a milk cow, and worked the land with horses and mules. The cotton they grew and sold gave them just enough money to buy the the things they couldn't produce themselves - flour, sugar, salt, cornmeal, and basic working clothes and shoes. Their other main crop was field corn, but that was kept as animal feed in the corn crib in the barn. BTW, I think someone (maybe my mother, who was into colorizing) tried to colorize this picture at one time, because color photography was not at all widespread at the time.

Watson Helen + Gaylon in Cotton Patch.jpg

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