Peter McKnight, Portia’s father, showed Alexis the cotton fields on the McKnight plantation. Graciously, the McKnights invited Alexis to study cotton hybridization at their property instead of going to the Durham plantation in Winnsboro as was the original plan.
At the first meal that Alexis shared with the McKnights, fried chicken was served. When asked if he like fried chicken, Alexis replied, “I have heard the wonders of this fried chicken, southern style… but I have not yet tried it.” After the meal was finished, Alexis was asked what he thought of the dish. His response: “I am more than not disappointed!”
During that summer of 1907, Alexis experimented with cotton hybridization, but also fell in love with Portia McKnight.