#FarrisStory: Showcase of Incredible Character

"This story is about the generational passage of one heritage of incredible character to another.

My mother-in-law was an incredible woman. Her family came to the United States when she was 7. She became her church pianist at 13, she married and gave birth to 3 daughters. She made a great home and was generous with her time and talents. If you met her, you were her friend. She was very humble and the perfect example of a Christian that I know. In her late 40s she did battle with cancer and temporarily won. 13 years later cancer came back and got her. Her life in between was full. She gave her time to her friends and family. Now her middle daughter, my wife, is the spitting image. She stayed at home to raise our 4 children. She did a remarkable job. She went back into the workforce and within a few years became the CFO of a non-profit organization that takes care of the community. She gives of her time and money to weekly feed the homeless. That is weekly she helps provide around 70 meals to homeless who live in the desert and won't go into town to seek help. She has become 'Momma G' to many kids of all ages who need a mom who will love them, listen to them and provide that needed hug and warmth. I have the pleasure of knowing 2 very great women in my life and I am watching this develop in my two daughters. I am very blessed." - William from Lancaster, CA

#FarrisStory: 'time to smell the coffee'

"I was inspired by a student in my class. I taught special educational vocational agriculture which was essentially home landscape maintenance. One student would come in each morning very cheerful and yell 'time to smell the coffee' every single morning. He was happy and ambitious at school and always did what he was told. I later found out his parents were in jail because they were operating a meth lab from the car in which they all lived. The son had been sent to foster parents to live. In spite of this his human spirit was untouched and I was privileged to have him as my student." - Allen from St. Augustine, FL

#FarrisStory: 'don't stress, it's not worth it, it will only makes things worse'

"I find the story that I was planning to share especially fitting now that I know the cigar band says 'don't borrow trouble' and where it came from.
My story is about a mentor, a talented teaching assistant who saw my stress and worry about a project that was coming due. When he saw my demeanor he said 'don't stress, it's not worth it, it will only make things worse.' Since then I've carried that with me, and when faced with stressful situations I don't stress. I realize that worrying will not affect the outcome; if anything it will make things worse.
Attached is a photo of the project I was working on, ironically enough I was stressing over creating a 'meditation space'." - Ron from Brooklyn, NY

#FarrisStory: Wife Still Inspires 25 Years After Marrying

"My wife is my inspiration she inspires me every day. No matter what problems arise or how bad things get she's always there for me every day no matter what and that is priceless. We have been married for almost 25 years now." - William from Rancho Mission Viejo, CA

#FarrisStory: Trucker Turned Pastor Always Giving Back

"Ted,
This is a great idea and I'm sure lots of people are appreciative for the opportunity.
Most people joke about not getting along with their in-laws, and I guess some are not joking. My in-laws are great people. They have taken me in and treated me as if I were blood kin.
My mother-in-law is great with babies, toddlers and seniors. She just has a way of making them feel comfortable with her, and feel loved. After retiring from an elementary school cafeteria, she still cooks for people, gives away food, and sends plates to elders and sick people. My oldest son, now 27, labeled her 'Mema.' To this day, she probably gets called that by a large number of people in our community, probably almost as much as her actual name.
My father-in-law is the most generous person I've ever met. After he came home from the army, as a Vietnam veteran, he worked in produce for a while. There are a lot of orchards and produce markets near by. Then he went to trucking school, eventually bought his own truck. He made good money trucking and was good with his money. I know he has given away, as well as spending on others, a large amount of money. Only him and God know how much. He doesn't talk about it. When a friend died, he told about the two of them loading the back of a pickup with as much food, toys and clothes as it would hold just before Christmas. They took it to a local children's home and give it to them. I'm not sure how many times they did this, because, once again, he doesn't brag. Later in life, he answered the call to preach the gospel. When he agreed to pastor a small church, he knew long hall trucking would not allow him to devote the time required, but the church wasn't big enough to pay him a full time salary. So, he sold his truck and took jobs delivering heating oil, propane or produce locally. After going through radiation treatments for throat cancer, he realized his health and age no longer allowed him to keep up the hard work involved. He says he still has a message to tell about the love of God, and fills in at local churches when needed." - George from Cana, VA

#FarrisStory: "There is nothing better in my life than knowing my family is healthy and happy"

"The person that has made a major difference in my life is my son. He is the inspiration for me to strive for a better life. Even when things are tough, he is there to give me the inspiration to move forward. My life is dedicated to my family. There is nothing better in my life than knowing my family is healthy and happy." - Bobby from Union City, TN

#FarrisStory: "Working with my hands is the key to happiness"

"The person who has inspired me the most in my life has been Judson Massingill. I was working in a small auto repair shop when I was 18 and happen to come across an ad in the back for the School of Automotive Machinists. There were pictures of kids like me working on the most beautiful racing engines you could imagine. Since I was living in San Antonio and the school was in Houston it wasn't too far away. So, I went to tour it one weekend and fell in love. I enrolled a month later, bought a small travel trailer and moved to Houston. I spent the next year and a half around Jud, as we liked to call him. I couldn't fathom how anyone could ever come to know so much about engines and quickly took a liking to him. He was brash and quick to tell you what he thought, never holding back on his opinions. I got to work with engines of all types and the machinery necessary to rebuild them. The highlight of my day was always when a new engine fire d to life on the dyno. When they would make a 'power pull' the sound that engine would emit was out of this world! It was during this time that I decided I wanted to make engine building a career.

After graduating, I had dreams of moving to the Carolinas where high end race shops were on every corner. However, as it usually the case with young men...I followed a woman to College Station, Texas where she was going to attend college. There was no racing to speak of but I found a great little machine shop where I applied for an engine building position. The owner took pity on me for my lack of real world experience and hired me at a wage of $6/hour. Despite the pay, I was thrilled to get a chance to start my career as a real engine builder...with some guidance from the owner of course. I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep a roof over my head with my current wage so I took a night job at an auto parts store just so I could work in that glorious machine shop during the day. That job set the wheels in motion for my entire career and now 20 years later and many jobs later I am proud to say that I am still an engine builder and earn a good wage doing it too. I have thought about going to college and getting a degree which would likely put me behind a desk for the rest of my life but to be honest I wouldn't have it any other way. Working with my hands everyday is the key to happiness. Judson does a great thing by molding the minds of the young and showing that you can still learn a craft in this modern era." - Josh from San Antonio, TX

#FarrisStory: "She was a very nice women who practiced charity and kindness towards he fellow creatures,"

"I assume that you want a person that I knew personally, otherwise my first choice would probably be Leo Tolstoy. I will tell you about a kind lady I knew in Virginia, an animal rescue league gal named Carol X. (alias). Her kindness was bottomless in that she helped many cats find homes or just kept them herself, as I recall she had quite a few cats in her house at one time, I will say that it was rather smelly at times, but all the cats were well fed and happy. And she made sure that they had good homes to go to, if they left. All her spare time and money went into maintaining her previously homeless feline friends. I really don't think it could have been all that easy living with so many cats, now that I think about it, but Carol never gave it another thought. She was a very nice woman who practiced charity and kindness towards her fellow creatures..." - Cindy from Parsons, WV

#FarrisStory: A 9-11 Story From Manhattan

"Here is my cigar with a friend story. On 9/11, I was in lower Manhattan, and I was evacuated on a tugboat. As the tug was leaving Manhattan on its way to New Jersey, the man standing next to me, a stranger, lit up and offered me a cigar too. He said he knows smoking is probably not allowed, but given the circumstances, he needs it to calm his nerves, and should be ok on that one day. I lit up, and we silently smoked together as we watched the former World Trade Center site burn." - Aaron from Ridgewood, NJ

#FarrisStory: Humble Millionare Gives Back In More Ways Then One

"I was introduced to cigars by Joseph J. Gentile, a man that was very influential and worth millions yet you would never know it. He was the champion of the downtrodden and always made you feel that you were with a million. He gave away millions of dollars to the less fortunate and to schools. He thought that education was the key to the world problems and put his money where his mouth was. Joe was a self-made millionaire and came from humble Italian beginnings. Joe was my mentor and friend. Joe's great pleasure was a glass of wine and a good cigar. We lost Joe a few years ago and we all miss his with and generosity and his sharing of a cigar and a great story. There will never be another Joe." - Tony from Louisville, KY