Faircloth's path to success
Faircloth describes his path to success in the farming business and other enterprises.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Lauch Faircloth, July 16, 1999. Interview I-0070. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
Tell me how you've made your choices, how you've measured your opportunities in farming across that period of time. Tell me how you made your choices about where to be involved and why.
LF: Well, number one, I tried not to be involved, as best I could, in anything that the government was involved in, because it was a sure line to poverty. In the case of a few tobacco people, that was not true. But generally, if you wanted to have absolutely catapulted into poverty, be involved in a program the government was involved in because there was a warehouse or whatever it was sitting somewhere, and nobody wanted it. My approach was to grow something that there was an expanding market for and people wanted to buy. [Something] that we didn't have to sell to the government at some graded warehouse. That would be the movement into produce. As I say, we were beginning to--. I think they refer to young people with money as “yuppies.” Well, back then they might have been referred to as “hopies.” They were hoping to have some. They wanted to get away from dry beans. If you can imagine such a thing, it became very elegant to serve salad, so we moved into that business -- cucumbers, peppers into that [kind of farming]. As for farming, I didn't really think much of farming as a business anyway, although the produce end was good. I saw it as a--. Well, Pope John one time described farming. He said there were two ways to wreck yourself physically and financially. One was women and whiskey, and the other was farming. He said that his father had chosen the least exciting one. I began to look at other opportunities for income and also for the utilization of people year round, which brought me to the produce business and some of the Florida farming and into the bull dozing and land clearing, drag line ditching and developing businesses. We had a pretty good sized produce business, but at that point, early on, it was concentrated here. To get the administration to run that--. Although we did use a lot of school people that were off in the summer, to try to use the sort of infrastructure we had built, we started using farm related things and then got into the ready mix concrete. Then I remember I bought the first automobile dealership cheaper than I could buy an automobile, so I went into the automobile dealership and various other things.