Early Monday morning, farmers across the South Plains gathered at County Commissioner Patti Jones's home to help harvest the cotton fields after her husband Steve passed away this summer.
Patti will never forget June 25th, the day she was called with the horrible news that her husband had been in a tragic farming accident. It's still hard for her to imagine that her husband of 39 years is gone. "It still seems like a dream at times that he ought to be walking through the door, but it did give us a realization that there's no guarantee for tomorrow because Steve got up and went to work that Monday morning just like he always did… but he didn't come home that night," Patti cried.
A loving husband and father of two sons, Steve was well known for his smile and big heart. Anyone who knew Steve knew he was always willing to lend a helping hand. Now four months after his death, the community has come together to lend their hand for Patti and the family.
More than 70 people showed up Monday to help harvest the cotton fields Steve left behind to his son and farming partner Casey. "Ironically today is the 22nd anniversary of Steve's dad's passing. We didn't plan that, but we just know Steve and his dad are looking down on us today as we do this," Patti said.
Starting of the day with a tearful prayer and a quick breakfast at Patti's home, the farmers went to work using their own equipment to harvest more than 700 acres of cotton. Only stopping for a lunch provided by Fudruckers, the men continued on… leaving the fields bare, and the cotton piled high.
"It's one of those things that words and thanks will never be enough," Patti sobbed. "It just shows you the west Texas spirit that's here and the love… it's just what everyone does."
Silently Patti watched the last crop to come from Steve's hand stripped from the land he loved so much.
"That's one of the consolations for me, was that Steve died doing what he loved to do. We weren't ready to let him go, but he died doing what he loved," Patti cried.
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