Reflections

Chamber Guaranteed Milk Supply To Lure Factory

By Charles Cooper

Hello everyone I hope you are having a good week. This week was tax time for many people and even though I didn’t wait until the last minute, I thought I’d share these observations.  

Will Rogers said the IRS has made more liars out of people than golf. Mark Twain said the difference between a taxman and a taxidermist was that the taxidermist would leave the skin.  Winston Churchill said there is no such thing as a good tax.  

My favorite is one from West Texas that says you can shear a sheep repeatedly but you can only skin him once. An old black preacher in San Antonio told me this one. He said years ago when roads were bad, a preacher came to his country church and he was the only one there. He looked out the window and saw a cowboy riding up. The cowboy came in, more to get out of the rain than anything else, but the preacher welcomed him and sat him down on the front row. He preached his prepared sermon for an hour.      

After he finished he asked the cowboy what he thought of it and the cowboy replied, “Preacher, what you do is sorta like I do, I throw out hay for the cows – but if only one cow shows up I don’t throw out the whole bale.”  

As most of you long time readers know, once or twice a year I get in these moods where I stop being serious and throw a little humor into the column.  That said, the last time I was in the Valley I noticed that the old Kraft Cheese plant building is gone and there is now a parking lot. This brought back a lot of memories.  

Papa Badley sold milk to the plant and when I got bigger, I did the same. During the 1930s, Water Valley had the opportunity to bring Kraft to town if they could guarantee a supply of milk.  The Chamber of Commerce sent out two-man teams throughout the area, and into other counties to sign up farmers. Most of them saw it as a opportunity for a regular source of income and got on board.          

This spawned another industry – the milk truck driver.  One of the longest routes started from Pope and the driver was Hugh Hill.  Each farmer had a can with a registered number and would set them by the roadside to be picked up. As each truck went to the drive through the cans would be hoisted onto the rollers and the man inside would weigh and note the number in his log.  This was the way the producer got paid. This was a seven day operation and the trucks would fill the street waiting for their turn. Once the cans were emptied, and steam cleaned they went down a ramp on rollers and the driver could pick up his cans. They were dropped off  at each spot and the next day the process was repeated.

North of the plant was the whey tank and anyone could buy the whey for a small fee and take it home to mix with his hog feed.  Nothing was wasted in those days.  The man in charge of the whey tank was Mr. Woods who was a brother of Mrs. Annie Key Woods Mauldin, the Post Mistress.  The old man was disabled and they said his pay was whatever he got for the whey.  This is what I’ve maintained for years-the American people will always manage  to come back from hard times and prosper without bail outs and interference from self-serving politicians.  I know I’m going to hear from someone who will say that Cooper is mixing politics in his column, but I don’t think common sense is political.

Let me hear from you either at my email address of charlescooper3616@sbcglobal.net or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tn 38101 and have a great week.

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