The last time I went on a research road trip to Alabama Back in 2014 I brought back some red dirt from Monroe County. Monroe County is the county where most of my father’s maternal line resided and it was also created on June 29, 1815 and it was named after President James Monroe. Before this trip I never had seen a cotton field in Alabama and when I saw one, also in located in Monroe County I had to pull over and I pick the cotton. I did feel a little weird picking the cotton, I was standing in a field similar to the ones some of my ancestors had to stand in and were forced to pick cotton from sunup to sundown. The dirt and cotton are my keepsakes from the from the past.