Ruth Payne Franklin came with her parents to Chandler back in 1941. The Paynes moved from a cotton camp near the river in Eloy. As a child, right up to adolescence she picked and chopped cotton along with her other siblings. At that time most people who came to Chandler came to pick cotton. They came to explore their dream. Cotton was a vital part of that dream. That dream was to have a better life. Picking cotton would afford them a better life. “My father said that is where he wanted to be and so we came.” Picking cotton was hard, backbreaking work. Most people lived in tents without hot or cold running water. It was dirt for a floor and dirt floor for a bed.
Franklin has overcome the cotton. Franklin is not bitter. Franklin has drawn positives from her experiences and from her cotton bouquet. She keeps her very own bouquet for fear that no more cotton will be left in Chandler. “We have come a long way, we have overcome the hardships of picking and chopping cotton,” says Franklin. “Picking cotton was a way of life. Cotton provided