The real hero saves the day
When “El” (short for Elbert) was barely 15 his father, Lafe Cottrell, dropped dead of a sudden heart attack while “layin’-by” his cotton.
Being the eldest child, and remarkably mature in his thinking, it seemed only reasonable to “El” to take over where his dad had left off. He didn’t return to school that fall, or in the 15 more that followed. Seeing a “good education as the only way I know of gettin’ these kids to amount to somethin’,” as he put it, “El” worked tirelessly to provide food, clothing and tuition for two younger brothers and one sister. And it paid off.