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How Many Banquet Memories Can You Recall?

How Many Banquet Memories Can You Recall?
Garner both information and humor from winter meetings.

'Tis the season for every county farm group that exists to hold an annual meeting. Throw in dinners given by companies and crop consultants to reward and educate their customers, plus Extension meetings, and it's quite the season.

It affectionately became known amongst Extension speakers who traveled and spoke a lot over the years as the 'rubber chicken and green bean' circuit. While the fare may have been rather bland in earlier days, it's not so today, with some of the state's best caterers and restaurants, including The Beef House at Covington, providing the fare.

You've probably got your own memory of a special meeting you attended, maybe because you learned something you put to use, won a door prize, heard a joke you retold for years or saw neighbors you hadn't seen for a while. Here's a few of my recollections.

As a high school FFA member, I attended a large banquet in what was then a chilly, steel-frame structure at the local fairgrounds, sponsored by one of the county groups. Honestly, I don't remember who paid for the food I ate, but the speaker, whose name I can't recall either, gave some advice in a humorous way that has stuck with me since that time.

He traveled from Ohio to talk about 'How to sleep well on a cold, windy night.' His talk was all about doing the best you can, then trusting the rest to God. Back then I lived on a diary farm. So if the cows were bedded with fresh straw, if the hay was in the manger, if the doors were shut to cut off drafts, then we had done all we could. We could sleep well knowing that we had done our part. It's a philosophy that you can apply to much more than bedding cows and making sure doors are shut.

Then there was the Extension meeting in that same building some 30 years ago that was a day-long session on farm management. Somehow in the wisdom of the '50s, the forefathers who built the building opted for a few tiny, electric heaters on the ceiling of an uninsulated building. This meeting was on a day like Groundhog Day this year- 20 degrees at best. It was barely above freezing inside all day. About 40 people, including me, stuck it out, most with at least two winter coats on- gloves if you weren't taking notes.

Fortunately, that building was later remodeled. Today it has a real heat system so winter meetings can be held there. Come back tomorrow for more humorous meeting memories.

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