Montgomery Place reflects on our impact on the ‘next batch’ during this time of COVID-19
The years we have spent raising our families and our communities shares a deep and under-acknowledged parallel with a business as American as any…Whiskey.
I was struck by an excerpt from a documentary on the distillation of whiskey by a third-generation employee of the Buffalo Trace distillery in Neat: The Story of Bourbon.
“You come to this whiskey business in your early twenties with everything you know about making whiskey, you make the very best batch you know how to make. Everything that you’ve learned, everything your family has been able to share, you make that batch of whiskey, you’re going to release expressions of it. But when the last barrel from that batch reaches maturity you are now 45 years old, and that was your first batch. So you make another batch, based on everything you learned from your first batch. By the time you go through that process again, and your last barrel reaches its maturity, you are about 75 years old. In this industry, what most people don’t realize, it is very rare, that old whiskey guys like us ever get to taste their third batch to its final maturity. That’s the legacy you leave for the next generation.”
I see an indelible correlation to the world we live in today. Many of us started our families young, in our 20s, with the grand accumulation of knowledge we thought we had. We passed that knowledge on to our children, our nieces and nephews, and saw expressions of it as they matured. When they reached their final maturity and were ready to start the “next batch,” we continued to impart our wisdom and knowledge to grandchildren, watching them flourish beyond the expectations we ever could have hoped for that initial “batch.”
Now, for those of us who are lucky enough, we see that third chance to impart our lessons learned. Those lessons are what we leave for the next generation. It is the sum of our turmoils, our failures and our successes. It is a chance for us to wonder, “How great will this ‘batch’ turn out?”
The beauty of it is that, as you are still reading this, you are affecting the outcome of your “batch.” The wisdom and experience that we can impart on future generations is not over. The time we have, and knowledge we have accumulated, grants us the ability to impact the future of our society, while still learning and adapting to the world we helped create.
The above was authored and shared by my son, Matthew Hart.
Let’s wear our masks. Share our experiences with the next generations so they, too, can learn how to survive a pandemic.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if I can answer any questions or be of further assistance. Call my mobile phone number, 773-617-1317, at any time.
Thinking of our “next batch” inspires us to act with care.