From 1976 to 1987 I worked for Ranchers Cotton Oil. This was a company that took cottonseeds from cotton gins in the San Joaquin Valley, cut off the rest of the lint (sold this to a variety of businesses), removed the hull (sold as cattle feed), extracted the oil from the seed (Lays potato chips were fried in it) and then ground up what was left and sold as meal for animal feed. I stayed busy selling and shipping all of these products.
Ranchers Cotton Oil employed over a hundred people in the plant, processing all those seeds. There was a laboratory with chemists, too, as well as an engineer who designed much of the equipment to do the processing. Although I had very little contact in my work with the engineer, he was often in the office and would stop at my desk to chat. He always had stories to tell, many of them about his two daughters. Jimmy was cheerful, smart, even funny. He died two weeks ago at age 83. Today was his funeral.
A friend and I attended the service. She too had worked at Ranchers Cotton Oil but only for a couple of years but remembered Jimmy and his cheerful nature. We did not see any other former employees of this now extinct company. I think most of them have died or no longer live in the area.
Stories were told by family members of how Jimmy was organized and efficient in everything he did. The minister referred to the fun Jimmy had with his two daughters. I remembered the stories he would tell me about those daughters. He was so proud of them. At the end of the service, the guests were channeled into a line to greet the family. I stopped to tell each daughter about my time with Jimmy and how proud he was of them. Forty years later, those small daughters have become smart, lovely women. I was glad we attended the service for their father.