Connections - Fall 2016 - 29

> choices Travel through Time I HAD THE good fortune as a young boy to travel through time. It wasn't quite like in the movies with traveling back to ancient times or anything - the only period in history I could really travel back to was an American subsistence farm of the 1800s. It was my grandfather's farm near Sparta, Georgia. I could travel back to the 1800s because of a couple of mothers' ages: my grandmother, born in the 1800s, gave birth to my mother at the age of 44, and my mother gave birth to me when she was but 21. Thus, by freak of birthdates, as a child I was exceptionally close to a past world. Everyday life was in the modern city of Atlanta, but on a weekend or so every month, and for long slow summers, we would travel about two hours by car, but a hundred years or so in history, to reach the farm. I was to learn some things there, that even from a prior century or two, would come in handy for the 21st century. Historians point out that there were more changes from 1870 to 1940 than in any period prior or since. In other words, if we visited a house from the 1940s, it would seem fairly familiar. But a house from the 1870s, not so much. Days on that farm began with the crow of the rooster and usually ended when the sky was bright with stars. Midnight was indeed the middle of the night, quiet except for an occasional owl. By the time I came along there was basic electricity (on the back porch) for a refrigerator and to run an electric pump, so that we didn't have to use a bucket to draw water from the well. The outhouse was in the middle of the chicken yard for some reason. And there was a mule named Pete to pull the plow. In the summers, after I gathered eggs for breakfast (even family present only part time had a job), I would go out to the watermelon patch and pick a good watermelon to plop in the creek for cooling. Later, in the heat of the day, I would retrieve it, crack it open on a rock, and dig out the refreshing contents with my hands. All the produce was organic, but not for some great marketing purpose. All they had was a plow, rain from the sky, and last year's seeds. The fertilizer came from the cows, and I found other chores to be busy with when it came time to redistribute that fertilizer. I rode on the front of the plow as my grandfather yelled to Pete, "gee" and "haw," and Pete turned right or left on those commands without a flinch. The dogs under the house helped round up the cattle, and I helped slop the pigs. I had a goat there of my own, Billy Boy, and if he became barbecue I never knew about it. I learned to shoot a rifle at age 6; it seemed every one in the family BY JOHN P. HARRISON, CAE, CMP was a good shot. My grandmother kept a pistol in her apron, a little .22; it was enough to kill the occasional poisonous snake. At night, the pistol was carefully placed on the nightstand under the Good Book. There was a shot gun under every bed, and one day I was asked to help my grandfather take the shot out of the shell in the first barrel and replace it with rock salt. Perhaps this was the result of some sermon or other wave of kindness since my grandfather did have a third grade education and was proud to read the Bible. From then on, any trespasser would get just a blast of rock salt to the chest as a warning. Of course, the second barrel was still the usual deadly buckshot, just in case. Winter was only warmed by the woodstove or the fireplace. We slept under so many quilts that being in the bed was like lifting weights. There was a chamber pot under the bed to avoid having to go to the outhouse at night in the cold. He who uses it cleans it, so I learned to keep a flashlight by the bed to find my way outside in the frozen dark. At the farm, the only thing that saved us from summer's oppressive heat was a jump in the pond. It was either sink or swim, so I learned to outswim the water moccasins at least. Many an hour was spent with a cane fishing pole and catching enough to bring back to fry. It seemed almost everything was fried-in lard. What wasn't fried came from the smokehouse-a mausoleum in which hung sides of beef and pork and sausage. I was amazed even as a child as to how no insects were present connections > 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Fall 2016

Message from the Chair
GSAE News & Events
New Members
AWI Improves its Industry through Member Engagement
Engaging with Generation Y Members
Member Engagement is a Journey, Not a Transaction
What Matters Most to Members?
Don’t Settle for ‘Good’
Professional Development vs. Career Management
GSAE Fall Events
Congratulations to the GSAE Leadership Academy Class of 2016
Meetings Thought Leadership
Destination: Nashville’s Neighborhoods
Choices: Travel through Time
Index of Advertisers
Connections - Fall 2016 - bellyband1
Connections - Fall 2016 - bellyband2
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover1
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover2
Connections - Fall 2016 - 3
Connections - Fall 2016 - 4
Connections - Fall 2016 - 5
Connections - Fall 2016 - 6
Connections - Fall 2016 - Message from the Chair
Connections - Fall 2016 - GSAE News & Events
Connections - Fall 2016 - 9
Connections - Fall 2016 - 10
Connections - Fall 2016 - New Members
Connections - Fall 2016 - AWI Improves its Industry through Member Engagement
Connections - Fall 2016 - 13
Connections - Fall 2016 - 14
Connections - Fall 2016 - Engaging with Generation Y Members
Connections - Fall 2016 - 16
Connections - Fall 2016 - Member Engagement is a Journey, Not a Transaction
Connections - Fall 2016 - What Matters Most to Members?
Connections - Fall 2016 - 19
Connections - Fall 2016 - Don’t Settle for ‘Good’
Connections - Fall 2016 - Professional Development vs. Career Management
Connections - Fall 2016 - 22
Connections - Fall 2016 - GSAE Fall Events
Connections - Fall 2016 - Congratulations to the GSAE Leadership Academy Class of 2016
Connections - Fall 2016 - 25
Connections - Fall 2016 - Meetings Thought Leadership
Connections - Fall 2016 - 27
Connections - Fall 2016 - Destination: Nashville’s Neighborhoods
Connections - Fall 2016 - Choices: Travel through Time
Connections - Fall 2016 - Index of Advertisers
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover3
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover4
Connections - Fall 2016 - outsert1
Connections - Fall 2016 - outsert2
Connections - Fall 2016 - 37
Connections - Fall 2016 - 38