Roots Run Deep - Shirley Lee Rountree
The Breakfast Club to most people is a movie that came out in the 80s... not to me. My favorite Breakfast Club was our neighborhood’s retired farmers gathering at the peanut buying station every morning to eat their nabs and canned drinks (nabs, for any of you who aren’t educated on the finer points of in the field eating are more widely known as “square nabs,” “orange crackers,” or the official name, “Toast-Chee.”)
One of the prominent members of The Breakfast Club was Oscar Spruill. I called him Granddaddy. He existed on a steady diet of Little Debbie Raisin Cakes and could sit on his Massey Ferguson 65 all day under a wide brimmed hat.
He was proud of his farm, his family, and that tractor - so proud of it that on the day he bought it he talked about it through dinner and then loaded up the family and drove to his parent’s backyard. My father got his first look at the shiny red machine through the light of those headlights. He would go on to occupy many an hour on that 65.
Like my father, Dennis, I spent many days surveying the farm from the seat on that 65 and learned lessons I carry with me today and hope to pass on to my daughter, Addison. Those lessons aren’t found in a textbook, they were handed down directly from Granddaddy like, “Hard work and physical labor never hurt anyone.” Or, “...always have faith.”
We can all learn a lot about hard work and faith from farmers. Respect and appreciation of the farm life led me to a career with AgCarolina Farm Credit. Working with farm families to achieve their goals is not something Farm Credit folks will ever take for granted. We believe there’s no farm that’s not a family farm.
I’m Shirley Lee Rountree and my #RootsRunDeep.