BOOTSTRAPPING in our blood...

my little brother sam is a lineman for the county.
in the backwoods of central illinois.

which means many times he has to call on some of the most remote areas imaginable, on 4 wheeler, on foot- through some rough territory.

one day he was called out

rural farmer who's wife asked him to repeat his last name again. 'surratt'

he soon learned that this elderly woman was related to him (us),

several cups of coffee later --
and with sam picking her brain about our ancestors--
inquiring about a place he had heard of called 'surratt holler'...
she disappeared into the attic and reappeared with a box.
pouring the last 100 years of the history of our elders onto the table.

everything we'd heard was true.

they settled in a hollow and lived off the land from 1880's up until the 20's-
a remote area just south of Beardstown, Illinois (my hometown).

they were- in the truest sense- the definition of BOOTSTRAPPERS.
this is my great, great grandmother, my great grandmother and the extended family.

I can only imagine that from these women, my grandfather learned his worked ethic, and from him, my father- who in turn passed it down to his children.

take nothing for granted.

noun, adjective, verb, -strapped, -strap·ping.

1. a means of advancing oneself or accomplishing something: –adjective
2. relying entirely on one's efforts and resources: The business was a bootstrap operation for the first ten years.
3. self-generating or self-sustaining: a bootstrap process.

–verb (used with object)
4. to help (oneself) without the aid of others: She spent years bootstrapping herself through college.

5. pull (oneself)  up by (one's)  bootstraps, to help oneself without the aid of others; use one's resources: I admire him for pulling himself up by his own bootstraps.

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