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All Cotton Choppers Knew 'The Man's' Identity

Posted Thursday, January 31, 2013, at 9:30 AM

Pretty Patricia and pampered pooch "Honey Bear" may not have understood why I couldn't sleep the recent night Stan "The Man" Musial died at age 92.

During farm days of youth, "The Man" was all you had to say to let all the other cotton choppers know you were speaking of St. Louis Cardinal slugger Stan Musial.

"The Man" and Harry S. Truman were the most famous names in the "Show Me State."

His death conjured up many fertile memories from Bootheel farming days, including when big sister June was courting in 1955.

After Sunday dinner, our family gathered in the front yard shade to visit and make plans for working in the fields the next day.

That's the day sister, a senior at Canalou High School in New Madrid County, let her new boyfriend know we were not without sophistication after he'd bragged about flying Air Force jets in England.

"Have you ever been out of the country?" asked Thomas J. Cox, of Malden.

"Why yes, Momma Whittle and I were in St. Louis last year when Stan, The Man, Musial hit five homeruns during a Sunday double-header against the Giants," June noted proudly.

The answer must have sufficed, for June and Tom (now deceased) later wed before establishing prosperous CPA businesses in Sikeston and Poplar Bluff.

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When and where can I buy the book?

We Wilkerson's (15 of us) all grew up in Canalou.

I was the second to the oldest and was born in 1932.

Our mother's maiden name was Fowler

-- Posted by NormaW on Sun, Nov 24, 2013, at 11:49 AM

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Retired recently as world-traveled newspaperman, career made possible by late Superintendent of Schools Robert L. Rasche, about to have Bootheel life book published by SEMO State University. Loved farm life, but knew at five years old, didn't want to be a "cotton picker" when I grew up.
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