It’s Not The Bad Times That Get You It’s The Good Ones!

Just before sunrise on Maple Brook Farm in Nelson County, Virginia : October 2020

Roseland, Virginia 

Years ago in the early 90s I co-hosted a daily morning cable show back in Northwest Tennessee. It was a pretty darn good quality show for its time considering it was local cable and only reached 10-15 thousand viewers at best.

I got the idea from the guys in the story just below. Coy & Cecil had been doing a similar show for years in an adjoining county to a much smaller audience. But they were local celebrities! This was their farewell in a story I did for WMC-TV out of Memphis back in the 90s as they were about to sunset the show.

Since we were in farm country one of our segments was also dedicated to agriculture. We had a local, highly successful farmer, by the name of Eddie Anderson that was my ag correspondent, if you will. Eddie was, and still is, a man of laughter and jokes, but knows agriculture and the business side of it like the back of his hand. A few years later after I moved to real TV News, Eddie was one of my goto farmers I’d interview about farming and farm business.

Northwest Tennessee farmer Eddie Anderson during an interview I did with him about crop flooding in 1995 for WREG-TV in Memphis where I reported for number of years.

Eddie and I talked about a lot of things over the years, but something he said to me one afternoon while riding through flooded cornfields, I’ve never, ever forgotten. “You know Tommy it’s not the bad years like what we are looking at out here now that will get you, it’s the good ones.”

I had to chew on that one for days. I went back to Eddie a few weeks later and asked just what he meant. How can a flooded field of corn where you will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars be better than a year where everything goes right and you rake in the dough? Eddie explained,” Tommy in those good years you end up saying well, since I have all of this extra money, think I’ll get a fancy new combine, and heck what’s another few tens of thousands, let’s put in a pool this year, and another new farm truck while we are at it. Then this kind of year hits and you know what? You’re screwed. The good years got you because you didn’t prepare when you could have. In the bad years, you are smart, buy only what you need. You save, plan for better days to come.”

Like I said earlier, I never forgot that one. Eddie was right then and he’s right for the days we all find ourselves in now. When the government chose to forcefully close businesses, and make no mistake they did, most can’t survive. Why? The good years got them.

I never was very good with money frankly. Payday, back when I was salaried and not in business for myself, meant a new radio or some other fancy device. But as the years went by and threading the needle through the ’07-08′ housing bust, I always remembered what Eddie said.

Good advice indeed Eddie.

About tommystafford

Recovering from life as TV news reporter. Airplane & helicopter pilot. Weather guesser. Farmer. Trail runner, dad & husband living in the beautiful Central Virginia Blue Ridge mountains!
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