The Micro, the Macro and Lessons Learned

By Mike Bossy

On June 11, 1972, our tobacco crop froze. The day before, my father Julien purchased a new pick-up truck. He said it was a farm truck but I knew in my heart that he had bought it for me. It was awesome and on a micro level, I was elated. It was a blue and white GMC Half Ton. This truck became part of my world and in an odd sense, it gave me confidence.

Back to the frost. My mom did not wake me on the 11th so when I woke and saw that it was past 6:00 A.M. I felt an odd stillness in the air. I went downstairs for breakfast and I saw my mother on the phone. Her voice had the mournful tone I had only heard when someone had passed away. Had we lost a loved one?

She hung up and said that our tobacco crop had froze. I was in shock because farming back then always felt hand to mouth. On a micro (selfish) level, I was going to lose my truck. On a macro level an entire industry was going to be affected. Thousands of families, over 60,000 jobs and our local economies. I didn’t even think about lost income taxes back then.

We regrouped. We replanted where we could. We worked 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. We created new ways of doing things. We received assistance from good friends and family. In the end, it was an awesome experience and a period in my life where I learned how durable, creative, resilient and truly inspirational we are. It is something I have never taken for granted.

Perhaps there is a lesson in all of this as it relates to the world around us and the pandemic.

Back To News