As with everyone, my life is a personal journey. Recent events have illuminated surprising and unknown pieces of my foundation. As I continue my adventure, I intend to share my thoughts

0n relationships,

current events, and the multifaceted landscape of our society.

So why the title "The Cotton Picker Scat?" It ties into some great family history of mine!
My literary research thus far has proven to be priceless. I want to share my failures, my joys, my successes, my lessons. My story.

Because what is mine, may also be yours.

I'm glad you're here! The journey of the cotton picker continues…

The Birthday Clock

Part I - @ Shawhan Station

The young girl liked the rain. She liked standing and looking up at the raindrops as they fell from the sky. If she looked up without blinking, she could see how round and clear they were before they hit her face. Each drop was different and new, filled with energy and life. When they joined together, they had the power to make things grow. Rain made her beautiful flowers grow, to burst out of the soil strong and pretty. Being spring and all, and a late spring at that, the soil could use all the watering it could get. It had to be nourished in order to make everything pretty for the seasons ahead.
The sky remained a bit dark. The heavy clouds lingered. Though she enjoyed the rain, she was thankful it wasn’t pouring like when she arrived at the station. Hopefully she would make it home before it rained hard again. She didn’t have a coat that day, and though her dress had long sleeves, it wasn’t enough to protect her from the hard rain. She was already soaked to the bone. The cotton couldn’t take any more water. The walk to the station had turned her into a tall wick of water, just waiting for someone to come along and throw her over a clothes line to dry.
     The bench was hard and without cushion. Most stations didn’t have cushions anyways. She had been sitting and waiting for the train now for about thirty minutes. Her backside was beginning to hurt again. She would rest her back on the bench for a while then change positions once her backside started to hurt. Back and forth, back and forth. Much like when she had to change hands when carrying heavy things. Right to left, carry for a while, then left to right. She could carry something for hours, as long as she was able to change hands every once in a while. If she had to carry something on her back, however, that was a different story. You can’t change the side of the back on which you carry something, she thought. That’s why her back hurt all the time. Willie had taken good care of that. Well, Willie and her having to bend over all the time to care for her flowers.
     Now she was starting to feel the slats of the bench on her backside. If she paid attention, she could probably count them one by one. She chuckled as she began to wonder. Let’s see now. One, two, three. She leaned forward a bit. Four, five…hmm…was that six? She chuckled again. Not only was this giving her something to do, but it was getting some air down there to allow her dress to dry. She began a slight rocking back and forth to fan the air. A slight back and forth, so nobody would notice what she was really doing. One, two, three, four, five. Five, four, three, two, one. Pretty darn smart, she thought.
She was smart enough, as she humored herself. She was good at reading, she was good with numbers, and she was good at keeping stock of things. She was just a downright smartypants when it came to getting things clean and keeping them that way. She liked to keep things nice and neat. Good and clean. She could rightly smell dirt, and it didn’t have no place around her at all. Unless she was outside in her garden where dirt is supposed to be. They were always cleaning at her house. Her mother made her girls clean everything, and dirt stayed outside. Everything in its place.
     The train was on its way, though she hadn’t heard the whistle yet. She still had time to dry, sitting on that bench waiting for the train. She noticed the rainwater as it started to gather in puddles on the wood platform. She guessed that at the time when the station was new, the wood planks were straight and orderly-like. Now they were kinda crooked and some of them had begun to rot. Some were turned up on their sides from having so much rain poured on them. Rain was funny that way. It could make things grow, and it could make things rot. It could wash things off so they were sparkling clean, or rain could come so strong it could wash things clear away. She’d seen it. She’d seen it happen. Funny how something could do one thing good, but turn right around and do something so harmful. Sometimes too little and sometimes too much.

(continued below)

     Tillie had learned a lot that day. A lot more than she cared to, she reckoned. For one thing, she learned that she didn’t like walking in the rain when it was raining hard. That’s why God made raincoats, and big hats, and those fancy umbrellas she’d seen at the fair. That’s why He made train stations with big roofs that covered wood benches with slats to make folks backsides hurt. And for another thing, she didn’t like being told what to do if it wasn’t what she wanted. She didn’t like being told where she ought to live and what she ought to do when she grew up. She already knew that, and she didn’t need no doctor or even a crystal ball to tell her. She was three days from being 14 years old, for goodness sake.
It stopped raining. The nourishing drops had completed their visit, for now. She was pretty sure she’d be able to make the short trip without getting wet again. She could feel her dress begin to get dry in certain places. She kept rocking, just enough so nobody could see. Nobody else was at the station except her anyway. There was the ticket man in the window inside the station, but he couldn’t see her.
Finally she could hear the sound of the train whistle  in the distance. It looked like it wouldn’t rain again, at least for a while. The whistle got louder and louder. She wanted it to blow her memory plum clear of what happened before the rain. Maybe the whistle would blow away the memory of her beloved garden that she’d probably never see again. Tillie wanted the train to take her away from Shawhan, and Ruddles Mill, and even Cynthiana. It could take her somewhere else, if she rode it long enough. Just somewhere nice and quiet.
The heavier clouds had passed now, and she was happy to see the blue of the late-afternoon sky. Soon a rainbow appeared. It was really big and bright as it arched gracefully across the eastern Kentucky sky. She could figure out every color, they were each so bold and clear.
Tillie was happy to see the rainbow. At last she stood up, her backside separating from the bench she had come to know so well. She walked a few steps forward, hoping she could see the rainbow even better. All she could do was stand now, frozen on the wet platform, staring at the sky. She liked pretty things, colorful things, beautiful things. She liked the rainbow. 

Birthday Remembrances!
Georgene - September 15th
Mac - September 17th


  1. Funny how things that can do so much good on one hand, can do so much harm on the other...just like the rain...just like some people. You are a very talented man, Counselor! Can't wait to read the rest!

  2. You can feel her anticipation as she gets ready to go North. Great beginning; looking forward to the next chapter!