By Lounita Howard
Photos Above - The family of Hale Moss and Wilson County Fair officials and volunteers dedi-cate an engraved marble bench located in front of the Fair office in memory of Hale, longtime presidento f the Fair Board - Photo Randall Coe
Every one of us has a Hale story,” said one member of the Wilson County Fair Board. And it’s true of those who volunteer their time for the fair, as well as for many others. Hale Moss was the type of person who inspired people, touched lives, fostered community spirit and led by example.
Hale Moss was the founding president of the Wilson County Fair, serving in that capacity for 38 years before he passed away in April, leaving a hole in the hearts of those closest to him and a deep sense of loss in the volunteer community.
Two memorials for Hale were held this week during the Wilson County Fair in memory of Hale: the dedication of a beau-tiful marble bench in front of the Fair office and the dedication of Moss Feed & Seed building in Fiddlers Grove - a museum of Hale’s life and service to the community.
At the building dedication, Hale’s widow, Brenda, shared about her husband’s family history, noting he came from a grassroots farming family and he and his sister both had to raise tobacco to earn the money to attend college. Both graduated from the University of Tennessee.
At the building dedication on Thursday night, Fair Board Vice President Jimmy Comer shared the influence Hale Moss had on him. Jimmy shared that he met Hale when he was a freshman attending Lebanon High School in 1972 and Hale was his voca-tional agriculture teacher. There, Jimmy first witnessed Hale’s “leadership in action.” In 1979, as an intern with Production Credit, Jimmy was recruited to help put together the first Wilson County Fair under the umbrella of new entity Wilson County Promotions - led by Hale Moss.
The next 38 years saw Hale Moss develop and inspire volunteers, solve hundreds of problems related to producing and operating the fair each year and just being a role model for others.
Wilson County Fair Executive Director Helen McPeak noted Hale referred to his constant communication with folks far and wide as “completing circles” - connecting what needed to be connected to make ev-erything happen that needed to happen for a successful fair.
Randall Clemons, current fair president, served as treasurer during the 38 years Hale filled the presidency. Randall summed it up by noting, “Hale Moss was a man of vision.”
Standing on the porch at the Moss Feed & Seed museum - the newest structure in Fiddlers Grove - Randall noted that 27 years ago, there was a useless grown up thicket on the edges of the fairgrounds. Hale’s vision led to the start of Fiddlers Grove, which today has numerous historical buildings and hosts a number of events thoughout the year.
Above - Brenda Moss and her children, Joe and Lauren, cut the ribbon at the ribbon at the Moss Feed and Seed building in memory of Brenda’s husband and Joe and Lauren’s father.
Below - The dedication ceremony.