True South

Those of you that haven’t been watching True South since it first came out a couple of years ago have been missing it. It’s one of THE best shows available, especially for a group such as those that read this board. Great stories all across the South.

If I were you (and had not been watching), I’d advise just setting your DVR to record the show and eventually you’ll catch all of them. Well worth it!

These are great stories. I’ve always thought I could just travel the state of Arkansas and do stories on the people and the towns. They have great tales. There is wonderful history everywhere. Heck, I could just do stories on the little places around me – like Norfork, Calico Rock, Valley Springs, Yellville, Bull Shoals, Brockwell, Melbourne, Mountain View, etc. Everyone of those places has a story that resonates. It just takes someone who will go there and listen.

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I"d buy that. I love traveling around Arkansas when I’m in the state.

Pretty good gig John T. Edge has created for himself. Just eating and listening his way across The South. Always taking the back roads and finding the hidden culinary and human gems.

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The Cow Pen burned down several years ago but was rebuilt and is now operating as Table 82 @Cowpen. A new bridge was built over the Miss River so the new place is close to original but not in same area .

Yes cotton and rice acreages are down , not only in Arkansas but also La. and Miss. The former cotton grounds are very fertile and today many of the larger cotton farms are hugh grain producing enterprises today. Round Up seed technology and high yields allow those operations to continue to produce at yields equal to some of best in Iowa and Illinois. 300bpa corn and 75 bpa soybeans are common on the rich land with normal weather. Harvest of both is August and September and usually over by this time of the year. Cotton supported more business than the grain costs do so local economies suffered all up and down the Mississippi River and traditional farming areas. Hard to drive through these areas today compared to what they were in the 1960’s relative to agriculture.

I grew up on a cotton farm in eastern Arkansas and paid for my college at UA with some insect scouting and commodity trading endeavors, thus link to my username here. Worked in Miss and La in commodity business for 25 years before moving to St.louis for work purposes. Lived in Greenville during that time and had many a great night at the Cow Pen.

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Some of you might enjoy this blog site. I have followed it for many years as way to keep up with some of the developments in state of Arkansas and it reminds me of frog gigging and other things of my youth and growing up in Arkansas. Many of you probably know the author.
http://www.rexnelsonsouthernfried.com

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I’ve known Rex since… well, put it this way: The first time I remember seeing him he was wearing a Cub Scout uniform. He was 8. He was best man at my wedding. And I was a groomsman at his.

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I can SEE both of you as cub scouts.

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Clay can I share a story with you and the board about Southeast Arkansas and the 1927 flood?

It was more than flooding there, right? I was told of the floods that year by my grandfather.

I wasn’t a Cub Scout (long and weird story involving some of my parents’ strange views). But Rex and I were in the same Boy Scout troop later. He made Eagle Scout. I didn’t.

Thanks. Appreciate the info. I too was a cotton scout in Jefferson and Lincoln Counties. Really great job for college students. I learned so much and made contacts that served me well for years and years

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Driving through South Georgia last week the cotton fields reminded me of growing up in Jefferson county. I didn’t smell defoliant but it still reminded me of that smell. Good memories.

Yes sir, I also was told many stories about that flood from my grandparents, great Aunts and Uncle’s… that flood, the Great Depression and WWII really impacted that generation… a little background my grandparents on my mother’s side where both children of farmers. My grandmothers family at the time were from Helena / West Helena and my grandfather family were from east of Dumas. They both like many others lost everything in that flood, What I always found to be interesting we’re the stories about the range war that took place between the people on the Arkansas side and the people on the Mississippi side. Apparently, as I’ve been told at many family reunions, as the Mississippi River began to rise people from the Mississippi side floated across the river with to goal to dynamite the levee so the water would flood the Arkansas side and save the Mississippi side… and the Arkansas people attempted to return the favor…I’ve also heard this same story from many people in Louisiana that the same things took place down there. So people were having to stand guard on the levees with shotguns or sling shots or whatever you could get to keep this from happening. Eventually both sides flooded. …. I would listen to those type of stories for hours…most farmers from that area lost land or the land was unable to be farmed… so they would share crop after that. I know the delta is not the most attractive part of Arkansas… but man sure is a lot of history down there…

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Drove back through the NC cotton fields this afternoon. Not picked yet but I did see a harvesting machine idle in the middle of one field.

I didn’t know much about the flood. Thought this was a good read.

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