Letters From Leton: Fessing Up

Earlier in my life I was a hero. I was a pioneer. I was “Daniel Boone”.

Inspired by Fess Parker’s portrayal of Daniel Boone in the 1960’s, my cousins and I would play “Daniel Boone and family”  – me as Daniel and my cousins as other members of the show.

We played with old kettles, pots, dull hatchets, even making a fire in the swampy area near my aunt’s house. We played until the fire, spread by a gust of wind, hit the dried marsh grass and our mothers doused the fire (the one in the marsh – not the one on my rear-end).

In 5th grade, I bought my first book about Daniel Boone from a school book fair. It was somewhat realistic (not a tall man, no coonskin cap) but avoided violence and questions of the taking of territory from indigenous peoples and the impact on their lives.

A week or so ago I received a special gift from my good friend Andy Davies. Andy served as President of the Young Bankers Section (YBS) of the Virginia Bankers Association when I worked at the VBA. He is now CEO of a financial consulting firm, The Marathon Organization, LTD. It was a gift of celebration in advance of my election as Chairman of the Virginia Bankers Association.

The gift was a book – Blood and Treasure: Daniel Boone and the Fight for America’s First Frontier by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin. 

I finished the book last night – a detailed and generally balanced view of the efforts and impact of settlers moving into Kentucky and the results of these actions.

As I read of the many local places (Castle’s Wood, Martin Station, Powell’s Valley) referenced in the book, the impressions drew new meaning having spent a little over nine years with people whose ancestors were likely named in the book. Pioneers who sought new lives away from control and caste system based on aristocracy that continued in the New World.

Today we are pioneers in a new financial world. The value of physical facilities diminishes. Technology grows, and with that grows the challenge of learning and adopting new ways – new opportunities for us as bankers as well as for our customers.

Like the pioneers of Boone’s time we need to learn the new territory. Develop skills that we did not have before. Evaluate how we use our limited resources.

However, let us not forget a main lesson of the pioneers and their families – Helping your neighbor when he or she needs help.

That legacy of our region and the people who settled here will allow our Bank to continue the financial fight into the next generation.

Being caring and taking care of others is a strengthA way of living. Something that neither time nor technology can take or change.

Stay safe.

– Leton


“Letters From Leton” is a blog series comprised of the weekly updates that Leton Harding – President, Chairman, and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, shares with the Bank’s team members. These newsletters are full of uplifting anecdotes and intriguing insights that are applicable beyond the Bank, so we want to share them with you.