The year was 1973, and Ed Duskin was the new Executive Vice President of Southern Agricultural Chemicals Association. J. C. Whitehurst was on the SACA Board and he and his family were headed to the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club in Ponte Vedra, Florida for the Summer Board Meeting. Among those family members with J. C. was his young son, Jim.
> Jim, who recently joined our Board, shared the following childhood memory with us.…
“So I believe this must have been the first year we attended the summer board meetings as a family at Ponte Vedra Inn. In 1973, I was 9 years old and can vividly remember going shopping in town (Jax) for a sport coat. Still remember going into the store. PVIC had a fantastic kids club led by counselors with many activities for the kids. At dinner, the kids all ate in the dining room with the counselors where we were instructed on proper etiquette! Sort of a charm school for kids! And yes, sport coats were required for the boys. My first experience in gracious southern living!
My favorite story was when I was hanging out at the pool with Billy Smith, who was the leader of us rascals at the time. His Dad is listed as President in 1973. Billy said “Hey Jim, let’s go over there and get us some Shirley Temples.” I said well that sounds good, but I don’t have any money with me. Billy replied: ” Oh, you don’t need any money. You can just charge it to the room!” Well, I thought that was the coolest thing I’d ever heard of. Just charge it to the room! The story became real popular over the years, so whenever I saw Joe Burks we always laughed about us kids charging it to the room. Needless to say, those were great times and memories for our family.”
> This summer, in 2016, the tradition continued on…once again back in Ponte Vedra. We came together 43 years later to carry on what Ed and Ann created years ago as part of their legacy to southern agriculture. We know, however, that things do change through time…the names and the faces…sometimes even the dress code! That being said, though, we find that the more things change…the more they often stay the same! As in the past and, perhaps even more so today, voices are needed to support the cause of production agriculture.
And the kids…well, they are still kids! Just like in Jim Whitehurst’s early days, they just want to hang out together and have fun. While their parents are dealing with the issues in our industry, the children of those board members are riding the waves of the Atlantic or playing cards together. You might even still catch some of them ordering a Shirley Temple!!
All fun aside, our children are an important part of our summer meetings. They are our future! And where will the future take those summer board children? Will they become an important part of supporting agriculture through, perhaps, politics… or just maybe they will become a future board member of the Southern Crop Production Association!
Submitted by Kash Cassady