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When Granville, Tennessee, hosts its spring festival each year, shuttle buses come to town to transport many of the 8,000 attendees from the grassy parking lot outside of town. When it’s time for the fall festival in October, the buses return to shuttle the 3,000 or so who attend that event.

So how does a town of three to four hundred people pull this off? It’s the 150 volunteers, many of whom come from an hour or more away to staff the museums, the gift shop, the general store, and more. Still, people need a leader and in Granville that leader is Randall Clemons, who serves as president of the Granville Museum.

At every event (except the one last Saturday) that I have attended in Granville, Randall Clemons has been leading the way, doing whatever needs to be done. When Mother, Ray, and I attended the Christmas play in the Sutton General Store last December, I called ahead to ask if we could have seats up front so Mother could hear better. The volunteer on the phone didn’t think that was possible, but after we got there, guess who helped move in a new table to accommodate us? You guessed it.

Mother, Ray, Mike, Jenny, and I got to Granville early last Saturday so we could stroll down one of Granville’s four short streets.

Granville 040
Meet one of the dozens of scarecrows in town for the month-long Historic Granville Scarecrow Walk, 2014.

We visited the gift shop and the antique store before getting to the Sutton General Store in time for dinner. For the first time ever, we didn’t see Randall Clemons.

However, in the antique store I saw a man wearing a name tag. His last name was Clemons, so I asked him if he was Randall’s brother. I must have made his day because, as it turns out, he wasn’t his brother at all. He was his dad.

Ray and I have talked with Randall Clemons several times, but I wasn’t sure what his occupation is when he isn’t volunteering at Granville. Here was my chance to find out. Who better to ask than his dad?

My question opened a floodgate. Mr. Clemons (senior) began with Randall’s first jobs, his first car, and his first bank loan. He continued with Randall’s education and his first job out of college. With understandable parental joy, he told us about the history of Randall’s current position–CEO of a chain of banks. Who founded the banks? Randall called together ten good men and they founded the first one and now it has grown to 25 and soon to be 26. That’s what Randall’s daddy told me.

We learned the specifics of the obligations that had called this perennial volunteer away on this particular Saturday. One of his wife’s relatives was very ill and he was also helping with a major event for one of his banks. Here in his place was his dad, fulfilling his son’s usual duties. And this was no one-time stand-in job either. Mr. Clemons (senior) is a long-time supporter of his son’s passion to bless others with the opportunity to step back in time and experience the life and values of yesterday. I had already met his mother in her volunteer role some time back.

And at that moment Mr. Clemons (senior) was relishing the opportunity to tell us, “That’s my boy!” He has had a long time to say, “That’s my boy!” His son Randall is 62. I know because his daddy told me so.

I wonder what amazing feats could be accomplished in many places if other Randalls had mamas and daddies who stood in for them when they couldn’t be around, who believed so strongly in what their children were doing that they were faithful, hands-on supporters, and who told anyone who would listen, “That’s my boy!”

I respect Mr. Clemons and Randall, too. Mr. Clemons hasn’t gotten too old to help his boy and, even with all the accomplishments Randall has under his belt, he’s not too old to accept help from his daddy.

Therefore encourage one another
and build up one another,
just as you also are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV

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