First thing this morning, I saw video of the D&PL building that I worked in for years being torn down. It’s a bit of history that’s gone now.
This is the building that housed Delta and Pine Land Company for decades. It went from a farm-based headquarters that included the store for tenant farmers, to the headquarters of a cotton seed company that would totally change cotton farming. (Wanna see historical photos? This one in the NY Public Library collection includes one of the first building that had been torn down before I got there.)
I moved into an office just above the post office in 1996 when I moved from White Plains, NY to a place that couldn’t have been more different.
At the time, D&PL was in growth mode but still in a town of hundreds by day, fewer by night. We were packed tightly. There were some employees in trailers and a new building was getting built. I had to share an office for a while and I think they couldn’t have put people with more diverse needs in an office together. I talked to people on the phone and would sit pondering how to write things while Donna would be knocking out data on that keyboard.
The D&PL building had a lot of character and housed lots of characters, many I am lucky enough to call friends.
Sure, the building was not well-suited to the use by the 1990s. We all made jokes about how new employees were tested by whether they could work their way through the maze to find their office or the office of someone they were supposed to meet with. (I remember the test of finding the board room.)
There were exterior doors in weird places because work flows had changed and other buildings put up. Employees hired. And many of us moved away over the years.
Since moving to St. Louis, I haven’t been back much and don’t have a lot of time when I have gone. Not sure whether I took this photo when I went back several years ago to visit Miss Dot just a short while before she passed. We all knew it was imminent so it definitely made the visit through the Delta more somber.
How I Want to Picture that D&PL Building
I’d like to think it was, because the sun and this brilliant blue sky was needed…. I don’t think I could have handled a gray winter day then and I’d prefer to remember the sunnier days.
Make it a sunny spring or early summer day. A day warm enough so that the couple of folks fishing Deer Creek wouldn’t need to sit on the 5 gallon buckets to stay warm…. the ground was already warm enough on its own which means cotton was being planted or maybe it was already up so you could see the rows.
A day when the parking lot was filled and cars would stop in the fire zone long enough to get mail for a house since there was no home delivery.
A day when maybe some out of town visitor found themselves on the backroads and turned in when they saw the sign for lunch at the Scott Store. Friends and I coming together from the old building, the new one, the print shop, QA & even from across the creek….. All of having that meat and three in the store and hearing the laughter from stories told as Charles wrote down the latest amount that would be added to my tab on the index card and put in an old box.
I may not get there much, but Scott, MS is the kind of place that sticks with you once you have called it home for a little while. The building spurred the walk down memory lane today, but the images are forever tattooed on my memory. And I still have my more frequent visits to Scott virtually a lot more often by hopping on the phone or visiting with friends who I met there.
I am forever changed by having called Scott, MS home.