Written by Amy Asmus
We are all influenced by someone throughout our lives. I have been lucky enough to have many wonderful people touch my life. I cannot possibly relay the many stories that have made me who I am today, but I can share two and a glimpse at the people behind them.
The first story is one featuring my grandpa, Mr. B. He owned J.H. Bramstedt and Son’s and sold Ice, fuel and coal. From time to time, I would get to ride his route with him as he delivered his cargo. He was the best driver I knew in all kinds of weather. One summer we were out at the river house and it had just rained – A LOT – the yard across the way by the lake was full of mud and grandpa turned to me and asked if I wanted to learn how to drive in the snow…I looked at him and laughed. I wasn’t old enough to drive and there was no snow, but I knew it would be an adventure so I said yes!
We went mudding in his old 1970 International Travelall and I learned many things that day, but one thing he said stuck like glue. As I was slowing down and the rear tires started spinning, my foot instinctively started for the brake. Through his laughter he yelled, “not the brake, the gas!” So I hit the gas and we fishtailed through the slop until we found solid ground. After laughing uncontrollably for a while, he turned to me and said, “remember one thing little one, you are not stuck until you stop.”
We lost grandpa too early, but those words have stuck with me to this day. They apply not only to driving, but in everything I do. Never stop trying because you are not stuck until you stop. Those words give me the perseverance I need to keep moving forward.
The second story I would like to share features my grandma. Grandma Dorothy was all that. She was one grand lady! I spent a lot of time with her growing up and she became one of my best friends.
She and I would go a lot of places together and she always dress up for any occasion. People would notice her when she entered a room. One time I remember heading out with Grandma and she wore this bright red suit. I don’t really remember where we went, but I remember getting there. I have always been self – conscious and shy around people I don’t know very well, but when Grandma and I walked into the room that day, several heads turned to welcome us. I felt uncomfortable with the attention we got so I asked Grandma why she wore that red suit because it made everyone notice us. What she said to me that day has become my other mantra in life. She said, “If you walk into a room, and no one knows you were there, why were you?”
I am still self- conscious and shy around people I don’t know very well, but anyone who knows me can see, if I choose to walk into a room, people know I am there.
Those of you I serve throughout my many roles in life, whether it is through Asmus Farm Supply, or a role in the community, take note – you might notice when I am in the room and I rarely stop long enough to get stuck! So if you only take one thing away from these stories, it is this: Enjoy motoring though life and may all the rooms you enter acknowledge your role inside!
Amy holds a bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Iowa State University and has been Certified Crop Advisor since 2004. Amy has been very involved in the agricultural industry including being a CCA board member, an industry consultant for DeMatteo Monnes, where she is sought out to share her opinion on trends involving agricultural seeds and chemicals and also an industry consultant on CropLife Magazine’s PACE Advisory council. Harlan and Amy were married in 1987, and together they have three children.