Memories from the Remington Rand Typewriter Curtis C. Duncan
--Dell Boy Scout Troop 255
--Farmers Gin Company of Dell
Dell Boy Scouts Troop 255
Daddy (Curtis Duncan) was scoutmaster in Dell for several years during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He enjoyed the boys very much. He always said he was lucky to have such a great group. He involved them in numerous activities, including frequent camp-outs. Born in the Alabama hills, he had a love and respect for nature. I'm sure he passed some of his enthusiasm on to his scouts. In later years, he heard from several of the boys, thanking him for the good times they had had.
Troop 255, Dell Scout Troup was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Dell, Arkansas. I had thirteen young boys eager to learn and work for their badges. They all were easy to work with. We all had loads of fun camping and being out in Mother Nature's world. I promised the troop if they would work on their badges and be a good scout, I would take them camping. They were. I took them camping each month from spring till school started in the fall. This was their reward for working and being interested in scouting. The first week camp was done at camp Kai Kima, at Hardy, Arkansas. The Memphis troop camp let us join them since the camp we used was sold to Cherokee Village. When we arrived they showed us the side of a hill and we had to use our camping gear. We could eat in the Mess Hall. The boys saw some snakes in the trees and on the ground. They went after those snakes, climbing the trees and running the others down on the ground. They took the snakes up to the camping office and they had a pen to put them to be released when the week's camping was over. I can still see Allan Hunicutt up in a tall tree with a black snake. He made it down. We had a good time and did appreciate the Memphis Troops for letting us use the camp.
This district always had a camp-out in April each year. This was held in Walcot State Park,, and you could always count on rain. We went over there one spring and the Luxora troop came in with new "government issued gear". They chose a site next to the Dell troop site. They did not know how to put up a tent or anything else. I told the boys to go over and see if they could help them. No. They didn't need any help. The troop put up their tents with the door facing up hill. This is a no-no. In the spring in Arkansas you are going to get some thunder showers. Especially if you are camping. Well, it rained a flood that night. The open doors of their tents funneled the rain into the tents. They had about a foot of water in the tents the next day. Our boys could not keep from laughing about it.
The next year, we went to Viola, Arkansas, where Pine Tree Trail was still under construction. They had put some tents up with wood floors. There were snakes there, too. That first night a pack of dogs were running a fox or deer in the distance, and it did sound pretty loud. About 10 PM one of the boys came over to my tent and said he was sick. I asked him several questions and realized that he was scared. The hounds were laying down a good tune, and I told him that the hounds were having a ball chasing a fox. It was ok then and he went on back to his tent and went to sleep. There was a snake under the floor of my tent. I could hear it's scales scratching the wood as it moved. It didn't last long, so I went on to sleep. So we both had an adventure that night.
Ricky (Richard Duncan) and some others had been chosen for the Order of the Arrow. They had to go through a ceremony and then go out in the woods to spend the night. Richard spent his in a tractor track. I was really proud of the boys. I had three that got theirs (Order of the Arrow) the same night. It was a pleasure for me to work with such a fine group of young men. I enjoyed the troop and the troop scouts were always doing the right thing.
Written October 9, 2002
Alan Hunnicutt, Robert (Bob) Tusing, & Richard (Ricky) Duncan receiving the God and Country Merit Badge
Farmers Gin Company of Dell
U. W. Moore, Leslie Moore, Earl Magers, Russell Greenway, Dewey Sheppard built the Farmers Gin Co. of Dell, Inc. Mr. Earl Magers managed the gin until his death in January 1957. During the time Mr. Magers managed the Cotton Gin, I worked on the farm during the spring months. I weighed cotton at the Farmers Gin Co. of Dell, Inc, during the winter and fall months.
You might say I got an education on how far people would go to cheat. On certain customers trailers, I had to check and see if they had some people in the trailer, too. Also, if there was a water keg or barrel on the trailer, I checked to see if it had water in it. I repeated the above when they weighed back across with the empty trailer. The cottonseed rebate was figured on the first weight, less the weight of the cotton bale. To have a higher rebate, the people would not weigh back across, and they'd dump the water.
After Russell Greenway and Mr. Earl Magers died, it left Mr. U. W. Moore and Leslie Moore. The Board of Directors appointed me as manager. There were a few other customers, but really not very many. The gin customers were made up of the stockholders. Most of the cotton came to the cotton gin in trailers. I tried to gin the trailers in rotation as they were weighed across the scales. You always had some that had to have the trailer now. I would stay with the schedule. It was tough on the small person, because they did not have enough trailers for their cotton. The Moore brothers told me all they cared about was getting their trailers empty. So I tried to do that. Everything went along well, except I had ginners who liked to drink on the job. I got John Ray trained as a ginner and had much better luck. Of course you had the break downs in machinery. I spent many nights, as well as days, going to Memphis, Tennessee for parts. I did not get paid that much, but the job was ideal for me. I had the farm, but Arnold (Gilliam) took care of that. I could spend my time on the golf course, or with the family during the summer months. But come fall, that gin ran 24 hours a day.
Written October 9, 2002