For many producers, a cotton gin offers a needed sense of community.
See, farming can be a lonely profession.
That is, most of the time that a farmer spends in the field, he is alone.
Sure there are employees sometimes. Sometimes there is seasonal help.
But day in and day out, a farmer is typically alone on the tractor, alone loading something in the truck, alone fixing something, or alone planning something in his or her head.
Thankfully, there are oases where community can exist.
There is family in the morning and evening, but for many there is also the gin office.
Because sometimes your spouse is tired of hearing you worry about the weather, gripe about the heat, talk about your football team, and gossip about church.
Sometimes a farmer just needs someone in a similar situation to talk to, and a cotton gin office offers this.
It’s a place to escape the heat, get a cold drink, and tell stories.
For many, a Dairy Queen can do the same.
“The aridity of the small west Texas towns was not all a matter of unforgiving skies, baking heat, and rainlessness, either; the drought in those towns was social, as well as climatic. The extent to which it was moral is a question we can table for the moment. What I remember clearly is that before the Dairy Queens appeared the people of the small towns had no place to meet and talk; and so they didn’t meet or talk, which meant that much local lore or incident remained private and ceased to be exchanged, debated, and stored as local lore had been during the centuries that Benjamin describes.”
–Larry McMurtry, Walter Benjamin At The Dairy Queen