One of my Facebook friends posted that she drove to Lubbock recently and imagined that the cotton dolloped along the sides of the highway was snow. I understood her reference as I, too, often imagine that myself around Christmastime, and since she is from Wyoming, I’m sure she does miss the snow. Her post also reminded me of a series of letters to the editor I read in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal a few years ago. It started with one letter writer’s complaint that the cotton which slips from the cotton trailers during ginning season to find its way to ditches along the highways was litter and no different than the plastic sacks and other trash which are carelessly distributed by passing motorists. I found it amusing since most of us who grew up in this area tend to overlook the cotton on our highways, especially since it provides a base of livelihood for us, our family, or our friends. The letters to the editor following that one responded to that person’s complaint and became entertaining banter for a while that ginning season.
I was reminded of those letters again this week, when we received the 1/10/11 Jayton City Council minutes for publication in this week’s paper. Apparently a representative from TxDOT was summoned to the meeting to discuss how they handle cotton dispersed on roadways as well as flooding on city streets and residents’ yards. My staff and I found the cotton topic amusing especially since the TxDOT representative told the council that they have no control over people not tarping their cotton for transport,and, furthermore, were not required to “prevent cotton being spread all over the highways and in people’s yards”. I admit it was a bit snarky of me, but I am in the business of selling newspapers, so I put a headline on the minutes that said: “Jayton City Council told TxDOT not required to move cotton off roadways”. Apparently the Jayton City Council did not appreciate it. I received a message on my cellphone this morning from the city secretary, obviously calling on behalf of the council, asking me to put only “Jayton City Council Minutes” on the minutes from their future meetings. I have taken that suggestion, as I do all suggestions, under consideration.