COLD COTTON - If you've ever ridden through the countryside of Laurens County, especially in the early fall, you've noticed the blooms of the cotton. When cotton was king, some folks called it white gold. In an especially good year, fields looked as if they have been blanketed by a heavy snow fall. The first blooms of the summer were once newsworthy events. Every farmer coveted the prize of having the first bloom as an indication that his crop would be the first to be harvested, the first to be ginned and he would be the first to get paid. This usually occurred in July or August.
J.L. Bush decided to take a walk into his field on Christmas Day in 1921. To his astonishment, Bush discovered a patch of cotton plants. They were in full bloom. Many old timers had seen blooms on Thanksgiving, but never this late in the year. What was equally astonishing was the fact that resting inside each of the blooms was the dastardly boll weevil. This tiny insect, which single handedly destroyed the cotton crop in the South, was nestled inside the bloom protecting itself from the cold December winds, just hibernating for the next warm day to come out and began devouring everything in its path. Twenty eight years later in February, W.D. Browning noticed that global warming must be imminent for he found that his dormant, brown and broken cotton stalks were bursting into new blooms.