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Kentucky Color: Cottonwood Cuttings and Asparagus

By Billy Joe Fudge

George, I never did like asparagus and always had trouble spelling it. However, my Grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Furkin Stotts loved it and had a big patch of it growing in a fence row. I used to go over and help her harvest some to bring home for the rest of the family and you are right in that the Cottonwood cuttings, at least in black and white, do bear a resemblance!

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Mike for posting this picture. Must be one that my Mom didn't see in the paper. She was pretty good at clipping articles from the papers about family and friends.

Concerning these particular Superior Cottonwood cuttings, they were an order for my friend, Chattin Chowning. Besides being the Father of John who has been one of my best friends since our Lindsey Wilson days together, Chattin was a very conscious conservationist. I had stopped by to visit him one day and he admitted that he had harvested too many trees on the banks of Crocus Creek. The cattle were grazing the creek banks and were preventing the reforesting of the creek banks and erosion was becoming a problem. I was telling him about these Cottonwood cuttings and that they grew really, really fast and if he stuck enough of them in the ground that they would outgrow the ability of the cattle to graze them down. I'm happy to say that in many areas I can still find these Cottonwoods growing on the banks of Crocus Creek.

On another note, I wonder if any of the CM readers might weigh in on where my truck was sitting when the picture was taken and if they might remember the old gentleman who lived with his mother in that house. I can see him in my mind's eye but have yet to pull it up on the screen. I am getting closer, however!
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This story was posted on 2023-01-09 11:31:28
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Billy Joe Fudge at work in 1976

2023-01-07 - Columbia, KY - Photo from the Daily Statesman.
Thursday, 1 April 1976 -- "In honor of our friend and contributor Billy Joe Fudge of the Great Wooded South, doing just what he should have been doing, promoting trees." - Michael Watson

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