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3/24/10, Needmore, TX - You may not find this town on your map, but it does exists.  There’s only a cotton gin here, and that’s where I’m camped.

I was packed up, harnessed, and ready to hit the road, when Josie Musico, reporter from the Brownfield Newspaper showed up for an interview. After we finished interviewing and photographing each other, she hopped in her vehicle and went on to her next assignment.  I did the same, but I think I got better gas mileage!

We were headed 13 miles north to a prearranged stop at a cotton gin. My host last night, Wally Raynero, arranged the stop with a friend of his who works at the gin.

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This young lady from the Brownfield Newspaper never had someone take her picture while she was on assignment. I told her, “Well, I probably have more readers then your paper does!”

We were stopped several times on our way out of town.  First, by a nice gal in a car, that said they saw the website on the wagon from the office, so she just had to come and check it out.  The lady in the picture below was another photographer that got her picture taken today.

Thanks to Wally’s friend Junior, and the owner of the gin, we’re comfortably settled in for the night. We’re camped right in front of the barracks used by the migrant workers, when the gin is operating.  They’re shutdown for the season now, and won’t start ginning cotton again until October.

Removing the burrs and seed from the cotton boll is a difficult process. It starts when the gin goes out to pick up the modules of cotton (around 10 bales worth) that comes out of the farmers bundler. The gin separates everything from the cotton lint and presses that into a bale.  The other commodity that is produced in the cotton seed, which is pressed into a vegetable oil or used as an animal feed.  The farmer is paid for the lint and the cotton seed, but must pay the gin for the ginning.

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I had three groups of visitors tonight.  First to show up was my friend Joe Shields. I first met Joe down in Coleman, TX. He’s been traveling the country looking at the odd and unusual, and writing it up on his website - www.thekidsthinkiamcrazy.com This is a very good site, that I recommend.  Since this is the second time that Joe has visited me, I must be really odd and unusual.  It’s a good thing there are people in this world like Joe and I, so normal people have some basis of comparison.  If Joe and I didn’t provide some contrast, how would they ever know that they are normal?

The second person to show up was Junior, Wally’s friend here at the cotton gin.  Junior, Joe, and I drank a beer and had a good time discussing odd and unusual things.

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View looking forward at break time.  The coffee pot is brewing (just out of the picture).  If you notice, my counter top on the left is getting pretty cluttered.  This is from extra food supplies and food that people have brought me.

My last visitors for the night, was another worker from the gin, who also brought his wife, three sons and little daughter.  The horses were kind enough to come over for pets and pictures.  Doc was more than happy to have the kids set on him while he munched his oats. When I think of all the happy memories this night will generate with the kids, by itself, it makes the whole trip worthwhile.

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Bill has become a real ham for pets by little girls!

Tomorrow, we’re going to continue north on US Route 385 to Leveltown.  Everybody is fat, happy, and having a good time!

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This little girl was very brave to sit on such a big horse.

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The boys couldn’t be outdone by their little sister.

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Doc, doing his imitation of a dead horse.  A horse will only sleep on their side when there are no bugs, and they feel very comfortable with their surroundings