Out On The Mudline

Mudline Milk Traveled To Grenada Pasteurizer

Another Day

Yes, this has been just another day—a special one for me.  The family has left me alone.  I’ve been receiving special cards from other members of the family.  My son, Shipp, even agreed to let me rake hay—he was short handed—had trucks coming early this morning to be loaded –  and grandson, Parker, has been working for several weeks now with a yard mowing company.  There was some twenty acres of hay already cut and ready for raking but he couldn’t run two machines at the same time.  

For the past two weeks I have been reminiscing about the Kraft Cheese plant brought to Water Valley in the very early thirties.  I think that I forgot one thing that was important to those of us scattered around through the area (it touched several counties).  The people buying hay reminded me of this for they were people who have small herds of cattle in the Abbeville and Yocona areas of Lafayette County.  

The person who picked up the milk was sometimes used like the mail carrier when people sent after things that they needed from town—etc.  People like Clint Morgan, Burney White, “Soap” McCullar,  and Jack Barnett got to know a lot of people well and vice versa.  I know there are others that I did not know, for several friends have named a Mr. Hill in the Oakland area.  

Dad carried his milk personally, for he supplied a couple of stores at first and then just Mr. Claude Woods at his Jitney Jungle Store with bottled milk.      

With the building of Grenada Airbase and Camp McCain our milk, along with the milk from several other farms, was  taken to Grenada Farms where Mr. Kraft  installed a pasteurizing plant.      

That milk was used to supply the two Army camps.  Mr. Morgan took the route to Grenada and I often went with his sons, Charles Luther and Sammie, when they ran the route. They made some of the best chocolate milk in the world there.  

Explanations

In trips to Water Valley during Carnival week, I was asked several questions about where I grew up  (exactly where our farm was etc.)  In talking with D. C. Morgan, the younger brother of Charles Luther and Sammie, he wanted me to locate our farm.  

To get to the location of our home, today one can follow Airways (The Mudline to me) to the point where it turns north.   At that point go straight west (on the old mud line road bed). The drop off there is a little steeper than it was years ago.  The borrow pits from which the dirt was taken to raise the roadbed still exist along the north side of the roadbed all the way to Otuckalofa Creek.  

At the site of the steel bridge one must ford (wade) Otuckalofa Creek and walk about a quarter of a mile west on the old mud line roadbed.  When you come to the road entering from the south side the borrow pits begin on the south side of the road and go all the way to McFarland Hill.  

The other, easier, route is to go west from the Highway 7 bypass, on Highway 32, to the first graveled road that turns north (I do not know the number but it is numbered).  On that road you will travel up and over “Fly Mountain.”  When you top the hill and start down you will be about half way to the south boundary of our farm (used to ride my bike all the way to the top because I could coast almost all the way back to our house).     

The field on the east side of that road had about 55 acres in it. We usually worked most of it ourselves and whoever lived in the house on the west side of the road, under the hill farmed a 15 acre crop.  The headquarters barn had been there before we bought the place.  When you came to the “T” in the road the site of the former Otuckalofa Creek bridge was to the east (right) and our driveway was fifty feet to the west.  D. C. was going to try to get to that point and by another route to the Robinson’s Mill artesian well.  Good hunting to all of you.  

We’re having an election run-off over here in Panola that matches the weather. Remember however that the person who wins is your public servant no matter how you voted.  

You can reach me most of the time at 23541 Highway 6, Batesville, MS 38606, wsissell@bellsouth.net, or 662-563-9879.  Oh yes, I forgot to tell you that the 17th was Nannette and my 60th wedding anniversary (the family took us back to Taylor for dinner) and the reason I got to drive that tractor—it was my birthday.

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