Fulton 500

Stress helps to make good grapes

On a warm spring afternoon in Sonoma County, when the sun was shining and the grape vines had just sprouted new buds I attended  a  Barbeque.  It was the monthly gathering of the Fulton 500.

The group met at a nondescript farmhouse, built in a craftsmen style with a huge wraparound deck and a small vineyard for a backyard.  This is a group of old men who gathered to share Sonoma County’s wonderful abundance.   Each had brought a bottle of wine to share and tales from a  storied past.

Many of the men are retired, having devoted their resources to family and farm.  Each of the participants at the Fulton 500 had walked the talk.  They are true and blue.  Each had stayed the course over a lifetime of service. 

They had joined with like-minded people to recognize the good life.  The good life is often missed in the age of information.  We are distracted by a rapid pace and guilt about technical deficits that keeps us wanting.

Old ways are not our ways.  The good life is obscured with shiny new things.  We can miss the values of hard work, sweat and tears when technology trumps labor. This age brings us a world view on hundreds of screens that demand our attention.

It was a privilege to be invited to this informal gathering.  This is a social club, founded long before social media was a common concept.  I felt a spirit of abundance surround the event as the ready, willing and able encircled the tables and chairs set out for lunch.

The Fulton 500 is a trustworthy group of reliable gentlemen taking a moment to enjoy the rewards that come from a lifetime of labor. Each had a withered worker face that spoke to their management of their land and time in the sunshine.

  This is not a club that has a low bar for entry.

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