Tell me a story. How many bedtime routines include this phrase? Children love stories. And while reading a storybook is a fine way to pass the time, my daughter prefers for somebody to spin a tale out of the air, pulled from nothing more than memory or imagination. Usually we wind up in a magical forest, with fairies and unicorns, or kittens that talk and porcupines that howl at the moon. But sometimes she wants a story that has been passed down across the generations, embellished here and there by the storytellers. The stories that we tell at family reunions, or share around the dinner table during the holidays – these are her favorites.
We’re brought together by stories. I imagine that years ago, before televisions, smart phones, and movie theatres, you would find groups of people gathered in one place, telling stories. And if you’re lucky, you learn just as much about the storyteller as you do about the story itself.
I’ve always loved stories. I’ve spent hours listening to storytellers, over the radio and in my own backyard. And I’ve spent many more hours telling stories of my own, thanks again to my two little girls. Children are a blessing in so many ways, and I think one that is overlooked is how they force you to be creative – to see the world from their point of view.
This past year has been an interesting mix on stories. We’ve had fewer movies, fewer television shows, but plenty of stories through the news and social media.
But it’s been a fine year for my favorite kind of story, the kind that I remember from my own childhood. Aunts and uncles would be over, older cousins would graciously allow the younger crowd to tag along for the day, and at dinner time, the conversations would focus on jobs, upcoming vacations, and the various grown up problems that don’t mean much when you’re ten. But then things would get quiet and somebody would say, “Do you remember when…?” What followed would be a story about people that I thought I knew, but I only knew them as mom and dad, or Uncle Joyce, or Grandma. These stories let me see my mom as a young lady, drawing pictures in her room and working at the Hutto’s soda fountain. These stories let me meet people that I’d otherwise never get to know.
Over the past few years, First Farmers has been listening to and sharing stories and creating a few as well. My personal favorite was all about Joe, a dog that found a new home, a new family, and helped raise over $10,000 for local animal shelters at the same time. But we’ve also been given the opportunity to go in and meet with clients and see their business in action, whether that’s bringing the ability to create medical isotopes to central Indiana, helping build life skills for children with the help of horses, or creating the giant light displays like those we’ve enjoyed over the holiday season.
As we move into Cicero, I know there are so many stories to hear. Before we opened our branch, I visited with my camera and spent a couple of hours strolling through downtown and by the water, snapping pictures and waving to the friendly people also enjoying the warm fall day.
I thought to myself then—here is a town that has stories to tell. And here is a town full of stories waiting to happen.
Yes, I’ve always loved stories. I’m grateful that I’ve found a career that gives me the opportunity to listen to, share, and create stories. I’m the marketing director at First Farmers Bank & Trust, and while we offer checking accounts, mortgages, ag and commercial loans, along with many other services, I like to think of the bank a little bit differently. I like to think we help make stories happen as well. Thanks for spending some time with me today - I’ll be back next week with another story. Until then, from First Farmers Bank & Trust, I’m Jess, and I’m listening.
Do you have a story to share? Visit www.ffbt.com/cicero to get in touch with Jessica. She can’t wait to hear from you!