I used to work on the cotton fields among other types of fieldwork. The following image brought me so many memories and also made me remember so many stories about my grandparents and about how they would plant cotton during the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.
This image was taken by my friend Jimmy Martinez and you can see the original at facebook.
When we worked the cotton fields of North West Texas, “El West” as called by everyone, the stories used to come up. My mother used to say that her father Juan Tanguma used to plant cotton as far as the eye can see and that they would work all season from sun up to sun down. My mother also stated that he would hire people from all over to come and pick up the cotton. She states that the picking was done by hand and with a sack to collect it. I have also met people from all over the ranchos who have told me that they used to work for my grandfather in “La Reyna“.
“La Reyna” is the current name used to describe the location of the many ranches in that area. People say that my grandfather Juan Tanguma was the one that named it “La Reyna Azteca” since according to one of my uncles he heard him say once that it was because there were so many beautiful women in that area. Well, he did marry my grandma who was from there too.
The photo below comes from a youtube video about Miguel Aleman
The above image is from the 1950s and those trucks are full of cotton bales. I have heard that the cotton industry declined in that area around the 1970s. You can still see the old Gin’s as you drive on your way to Camargo from Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
As for my grandfather’s ranch, some of it is still under family hands but no one plants anything anymore, the fields are overrun with weeds and grass, some are full of mesquite. The old “jacales” all fell down and only the foundations remain.
What memories do you have about cotton fields, please leave your comments.