“I was in the country, so it wasn’t even a town,” Wilcox said. “Tobacco fields and all that all the way around. Everywhere around me, it was all farm land. You could easily get work. The main thing in North Carolina was tobacco. School wouldn’t even be in yet if the tobacco wasn’t out of the fields, they would push school back.
“I picked tobacco. I hung tobacco in the barn. … In tobacco fields, a tobacco barn isn’t anything but a barn in the middle of the field that’s just been sitting there. So when you open the door, you could see anything in there. [If you saw a snake] you had to kill it, but I never messed around with snakes. That’s when you get the big rats, everything.”
In addition to working with tobacco, Wilcox and his friends asked neighbors if they needed their lawns cut or other odd jobs done around their homes and on their land.
“We used to have dogs in the neighborhood to chase the pigs back when they get out,” he said. “They’d give us five dollars if you bring your dog up there and chase the hogs back into the pen. I’m deep down in the country.”
One of Wilcox’s earliest jobs involved going around to local schools, helping to barrel old milk, and then pouring it into buckets to feed the pigs.
The Pistons not only lost Chris Wilcox, one of their surprisingly solid players last year, to the Celtics, they lost a guy with a ridiculously interesting upbringing. I’d rather be reading about Wilcox’s childhood than analyzing whether this might be the Pistons’ worst-ever season.
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