Before I get started, I'd like to thank Mr. Al for helping me out last week with our FAMILY post. Didn't he do a great job and what an interesting piece of Pearson Farm family history!! Thank you so much Mr. Al, you did great!! I was out last week helping my husband and his siblings as they navigated through the difficult steps of saying a final goodbye to their beloved father, Marshall Young. A recurring theme during a week filled with visits and calls from family, friends, customers, and team mates was his influence on their lives. Whether it was help with groceries on a week when someone's check was short, a lesson in respect for an unruly bus rider, a free throw tip for a young basketball player or simply a hug for one of his grandchildren, stories of his influence were all around……..This is Chris' third peach season here at Pearson Farm. Like so many others, he falls under the multigenerational employee column as he is Vicki's son. He also spent many summer vacations out here making boxes, working in #2 sales and even spent some time in our retail. I hear he worked hard one summer perfecting our delicious ice cream recipe. Today, he drives a forklift and loads the trucks that bring our sweet, juicy peaches to grocery stores, farmers markets and fruit stands all over the country. During pecan season, he is back on the fork lift in the pecan cleaning plant. His favorite time out here on the farm is the “in between” months. It is then that he can be found on a tractor mowing or spreading fertilizer. He enjoys being out in the orchards, experiencing nature at its best. Chris came to work here after several years working on a different kind of farm. I spent some time with Chris this week preparing for his post, and I learned that he has done all kinds of farming. He tells me that he LOVES it!! And you know what?? I believe him! I wish I had a video of his face as he told stories of spending time with his grandfather working with him in his garden and describing what he grows in his own garden. He made statements like, “I am fascinated with the growing process” and “the progression of growing is such a mystery.” I asked him where he thought that LOVE of farming came from. After everything I'd been through last week, his answer struck a serious cord with me. He told me he thought it was his grandfather. He is a hardworking man who spent many years working in the kaolin industry, but he always had a huge garden at his home. As a child, Chris spent a lot of time with his grandfather in that garden watching and learning. His grandfather has been a huge influence in his life and nurtured a work ethic and LOVE of farming that Chris carries with him today. Chris is working hard to provide for his fiancé and her 2 children and he is hoping to be that kind of influence on them. Listening to Chris talk about his grandfather, sensing Chris's desire to be a good influence to the children in his life and hearing all the stories about Mr. Marshall has made me stop and think about the kind of influence I am on others. I hope one day people will tell stories about me like Chris' grandfather and Mr. Marshall. I know one thing for certain, you can never underestimate the impact that your story has on others and here at Pearson Farm, we feel lucky to have Chris out here doing what he loves, and we are proud that he is part of our story…..