In Arkansas: An M.D. from Saigon

It's still King Cotton here," says William Place, mayor of Wilmot, Ark., as he drives the short distance from his house to the aging Deyampert Gin. Most of the cotton trailers that are used to haul the bolls to the local gins sit idle in the fields, their fenced wire walls speckled with tufts of white. Route 165, running north-south through this part of the cotton belt, is littered with cottontail puffs left over from the fall picking season.

Wilmot (pop. 1,202), just five miles from the Louisiana border, is a farm town: cotton,...

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