Homer Wasson
of Kerenes, Navarro County, Texas


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9/4/2004 FIRST JOB: Man picked cotton as a kid


By Joan Sherrouse

Daily Sun Staff

This Navarro County native traded a hog and 10 bushels of corn for his first old clunker, but before long, he was driving a nearly-new sedan.

"As soon as I got it fixed up, I traded it for a better one," he said. "I'd fix them up and sell them."

His first job was carrying water to his dad in the fields where the family raised corn, cotton and feed, kept 50 to 100 head of hogs, about 40 cows and spent the summer baling hay.

"When I was born, I had a job," he said. "We picked cotton, we chopped cotton, and I was milking five to eight cows every morning before I went to school."

By the time he was 6 years old, he was riding the mule that kept the hay press going, and he plowed with a mule team while dad used the tractor.
"Then I took him some water one day _ I was about 8 years old _ and he told me to get on the tractor," he said. "He stayed and watched me, but before I got back around, he'd gone back to the house so I went ahead and plowed the corn."

The said the only pay he ever got as a youngster was during the cotton harvest. He made 50 cents a day working from sunup to sunset, and used the money to buy school clothes, but a quarter left over meant a day of fun in town.

A dime got him into the picture show, said Homer Wasson who is approaching 21 years of service as a member of the Navarro College Board of Trustees, and a nickel bought a big RC Cola. Another nickel went for a "really big" bag of popcorn, and the last nickel meant a trip to the ice cream parlor after the movie.

Eventually, he began accumulating assets of his own, like the hog he won in an essay contest.

It ended up being one of the animals he showed in Corsicana, but even though he made his own feeders and constructed a watering system, he decided it wasn't a good investment.

"I had a real good show calf and won a top prize, but I kept records and I didn't make any money even though it sold for a high price," Wasson said. "I made more money on the ones I just bought and ran in the pasture.

"I learned a lesson."

He was still pulling corn with a team and wagon when the coach at Navarro College offered him a partial scholarship, then he signed on with the Marine Corps after he graduated.

When he came home, Wasson said he tried his hand at several things, including work in the oilfields, a partnership in a convenience store and a stint with Bethlehem Steel.

The thing he knew best, however _ the thing he knew would keep him busy without destroying his home life _ was farming. The postal service job he kept for 24 years, and retired from, was over and above.

He still owns more than 500 acres near his home in Kerens. Of course, the livestock is long gone, but there's a cotton crop along with his love for life and the land that keeps him busy.

Then, there are all the things he has done for Navarro County. He coached little league sports for more than 15 years, started the little dribblers and he has served on the Kerens City Council

In addition, he has been president of the Kerens Chamber of Commerce, and been an active supporter for more than 50 years. He's an elder in his church, and there is a college dormitory named after him.

He was honored as Man of the Year in Kerens, and Farmer of the Year, and he received the Fannie Mae Vernon Award. When he was chosen as the Navarro College Alumnus of the Year, he was honored with a senate proclamation.

And it all goes back to the early days on the farm _ the long hours, the hard work and staying busy.

"I enjoy living so much, I don't want to go to sleep at night," he said. "I've never found anything I couldn't do, expect I can't just sit down and do nothing."

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Joan Sherrouse may be contacted via e-mail at jsherrouse@corsicanadailysun.com

 

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