At some point after the fish had been fried and the dessert had been served and there was music in the air, Bob Floyd put it this way: “To whom much is given, much is expected,” said Floyd, whose family has long been involved in agriculture in North Bryan.
That’s one reason the Floyds have been host to a senior citizens fishing day at their family pond for more than 30 years. Another reason was provided by Floyd’s wife, Debbie, in a Facebook post approximately two hours before the event started.
In short, it renews her faith in people.
“It is amazing that for over 30 years, these folks have come out and made our day,” she wrote. “Over the years, the faces have changed but the goal has remained the same. We want to honor those who have experienced and lived through things that I can not even begin to know. Their bodies may be a little more fragile, but they have the wisdom we need to sit down and soak in. The people who work with them on a daily basis are incredible.”
This year, the fishing day included regulars from the Bryan County Senior Centers in Pembroke and Richmond Hill, including Clyde Murchison, whose memories of the Floyd family go back generations.
“They’re good people,” Murchison said, shortly before pulling in her first and only fish of the day.
Floyd said it doesn’t take much work to host the seniors, who, escorted by folks like Pembroke Mayor Pro Tem Johnnie Miller and Richmond Hill Senior Center Manager Tonya Henderson, staked out spots around the pond or on the dock to wet hooks, with various degrees of enthusiasm.
It might not take much work, but there were plenty who wanted to help.
Sally Shuman, director of Senior Programs for Bryan County, thanked the Floyds for being gracious hosts while also wanting to make sure others got acknowledged, including “Pembroke Christian Church members who assisted in food preparation as well as serving, the Fort McAllister Fishing club for providing the fishing poles for the seniors to fish with, Bryan County Employees, Brian Conley for DJ and live music, Frank Rushing and Buddy Shuman in assisting with the cooking.”
She also praised the communities at large for supporting seniors at both the Pembroke and Richmond Hill centers.
“Our communities are awesome and are really not told enough how blessed we are to be part of each other’s lives,” Shuman said.
Debbie Floyd’s Facebook post ended in part by noting “on this day, the Good Lord always provides enough good hearts and good help to make it all happen,” she wrote. “It renews my faith that there are still hearts willing to give of themselves for those so deserving.”