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Great Grandpa: Robert Bradshaw Bailey
Sybil Annette Marble with Granpa Bailey in Gordo, Pickens County, Alabama about 1944. Uncle Bob of Pickens County: That, the More Abundant Life on a handout basis has not utterly destroyed the initiative and energy of the countryside. We have long suspected --but no better evidence of it has come to our attention than the story of Uncle Bob Bailey of Pickens County, as related by Jack Pratt in his Carrollton Paper, The Pickens County Herald. "Over in Raleigh beat," Editor Pratt tells us, "lives one of the most likable old timers of the county, by name, R. B. Bailey, better known as Uncle Bob. Uncle Bob is in a class to himself when it comes to sound thinking, wise saving, and future planning. He's not strong on good looks style, flowery language or deceitful flattery. If he likes a fellow, he treats him right; if he doesn't like him, it's just too bad. He has made himself famous for years raising the best and largest melons in Pickens County. They sell for a much better price than those raised by most farmers. People who have bought his melons know he sells the best and they don't mind paying for it. He may pile his hay on the front porch, his cotton seed in the parlor, stack his plows on the back porch, and feed his pigs in the yard, but you'll always find his barn, smoke house and pantry well filled with the best that grows; his pastures filled with good cattle and hogs, his barn with good fat mules, and plenty of men working on his farm. "He's one of the few farmers of the county that has made money at farming. At daylight he wants to hear the trace chains rattling, the plow- boys cussing, the milkmaids milking, and bacon frying. At sun-up everything must be stirring or Uncle Bob must know the reason why. "Bermuda grass smothered his crop on reclaimed pasture land two years ago, but he was ready the next year to turn the battle in his favor. He had a 24 inch buster made to order to cut that grass up and bury it deep in the ground, leaving a two-foot space in the middle free from grass. In the middle he planted his crop and had it worked out before the grass found a way out and by the time it got to growing good, his corn was ready to lay by, and he buried it again, leaving his field almost free from Bermuda. Whoever thought of that method before? If you don't believe it works. just go down and look his farm over and be convinced. " "Pickens County doesn't have a monopoly on the Uncle Bobs. We have several of them in Tuscaloosa County, but we don't have enough. They are so far in the minority that it's discouraging and even worse, they are becoming fewer and fewer each year. The More Abundant Life maybe made available to us by legislative action, but we doubt it. We suspect that the best and surest way of obtaining the More Abundant Life is to do as Uncle Bob has done; it is to look forward to sun-up, not to sun-down. The man who is impatient to be about his work has a strange way of getting along in life.