By Frank J. Buchman
It’s actually carrying on a family tradition.
Better than that in several ways. Old high school auditorium Thursday evening, only grandchild, a grandson, was welcomed to the stage several times.
His name called for participating in many agriculture competitions and dedicated work for the FFA chapter.
Strong reflections of almost-half-a-century ago in the then-lunchroom when town kid’s adrenalin was highest ever been.
A really big deal for a grocery store, wannabe-cowboy attending a major agriculture function. At least, heartbeat and thought such a major affair.
After filling out several award applications without much accomplishment to record, hopes were high for at least name to be said.
Contrary to these days, FFA was an all boy agricultural education organization, no girls allowed then. A formal affair with members’ officially dressed blue and gold jackets, white shirts, four-in-hand ties, moms and dads Sunday attire.
Sweating throughout the ceremonies and program, reprieve came with announcement to receive the farm and home improvement medal.
That tiny little gold token was pride and joy shown to those all around, with grocery-store-customer-friend Velva Blanton admirably grinning like it really was something. Was and is to the young-now-most-mature recipient as today the worthless-to-most piece displays in a frame on the old home bedroom wall.
Nothing compared to the grandson or that of his dad. Already been a quarter century since the son crossed recognition stage numerous times, making parents beam, too. That now-career-cowboy’s teenage highlight was nationwide acclaim in tools-of-his-trade: horses.
This annual banquet’s differences were notable from earlier times. Most apparent the feminine gender in leadership, even membership majority. Informality commonplace, while youth officials spiffy, numerous others including folks, more off-the-street, even from-the-barnyard.
Polish and prestige seemed scarcer, although perhaps foggy reflection. Agriculture competitions and leadership successes recognized, yet little acclaim of individual production entrepreneurship for industry’s future stability.
This generation’s “Star” was dad and grandpa dreams, now arriving in its own even more appropriately appreciated time.
Making grandson’s recent applaud even more heartwarming was the instructor from five decades ago in attendance. That wise, old-school, farmer-educator’s model key role continuing through generations.
Reminds of Esther 9:26: “It’s a family tradition for them, their children and all in the future to remain, while the memory never dies.” Thus, Exodus 27:21: “This is to be a perpetual success enduring to the ages.”