Darryl Cox is well known for his cotton pickers that he creates from scratch. This year those pickers found a place at a cotton farm and scratch built cotton gin that would have been circa 1960 or so. Darryl grew up in the cotton heyday and now lives near Humboldt, Tennessee. He explained about the display he exhibited at the Gateway Farm Toy show, “This is my memory of the 1960’s as a kid from about 13-16. I didn’t have a license so I drove a tractor. We lived in Montezuma, Tennessee in Chester County for a year. Our house had burnt and the guy who owned the gin let us use his house. It was easy to walk to the gin and hang out.”
With four or five workers constantly working the gin, Darryl said it was a fun place to stop by. He added though that today OSHA would not even let anyone near the place, but memories of the time there has lingered and prompted Darryl to build a replica. Finding an intact cotton gin was a bit of a challenge. He looked high and low and eventually found one through a friend that is a mail man. The gin was for sale so Darryl scooted on over, took pictures and began building this educational display immediately.
During the Mid-American Gateway Farm Toy Darryl took time to explain how the gin operated to all those that asked questions. For a central Illinois farm girl I am always fascinated by other crops and since cotton doesn’t grow in our neck of the woods I enjoyed hearing Darryl’s cotton pickin time stories!