Sunday, March 15, 2009


Joe Dan Boyd meets Joe Dan Reed, 03-15-09

Tinney Talk: Observations by Joe Dan Boyd

WE MET AS TEENAGERS at the Texas State FFA Convention, held during July at the Texas Hotel in Fort Worth. As State President of the Texas FFA Association, I was presiding officer at the organization’s premier event of that year: 1953. Among other things, it was my duty to host and be hospitable to a visiting officer from the National FFA Association who would be our keynote speaker.

FRED REED WAS THAT NATIONAL OFFICER, and he hailed from an FFA Chapter near Hindsville, Arkansas, which sounded as if it might have been no larger than my own hometown FFA Chapter of Winnsboro, Texas. Fred and I bonded immediately.

BOTH OF US HAD DEFERRED COLLEGE for a year to serve FFA, an acronym which then identified the nation’s largest rural youth organization: Future Farmers of America. Most national officers made that commitment as an election requirement to meet demands of the office: Heavy travel, lots of public speaking and constant public relations.

STATE FFA OFFICERS FACED NO SUCH REQUIREMENT, but I had pledged to do just that a year earlier during my campaign speech to become Texas State President. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was setting a precedent for future Texas FFA Presidents, most of whom later became, as was I, full time ambassadors for the Texas FFA Association. Something else I didn’t know: That year would change my life!

FRED REED WAS UNLIKE ANY YOUNG MAN I HAD EVER MET. He spoke without notes, just as I did at the time, and he was incredibly low key, again a lot like the teen-aged Joe Dan Boyd. Fred gave no hint that his election to national FFA office had increased his evaluation of himself: He was a level-headed, feet-on-the-ground young man, surprisingly mature for his age.

WHEN HE ASKED TO PRAY WITH ME I understood why the perks of high office had not turned Fred to become full of himself. He was already filled with the Holy Spirit! As we knelt in prayer at the Texas Hotel, we were each transformed in ways that I would not understand until years later when he named his son, Joe Dan Reed, in honor of our friendship. On March 15, 2009, Joe Dan Reed and Joe Dan Boyd met for the first time: Two Methodists at table fellowship here in Winnsboro.

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