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Starring role for Suffolk

Published 8:44pm Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How entirely appropriate that the Western Tidewater Regional Humanities Council chose a Suffolk Nansemond Historical Society meeting to show clips from its upcoming documentary on peanuts.

Few things probably did more to shape today’s Suffolk and Western Tidewater than the “fascinating little nut,” as Felice Hancock, chairman of the Western Tidewater Regional Humanities Council, called it.

Without the perfect growing conditions for peanuts in Suffolk, there would be no Planters Peanuts or Birdsong Peanuts in the city, no Obici Hospital, Obici House or Obici Healthcare Foundation, no vast expanse of farms and no farmers.

The life and legacy of Amedeo Obici would never have been brought to this community.

It’s easy to play what-if and impossible to determine the answer, but one thing is clear: Suffolk would not have been the same were it not for the peanut.

The regional humanities council is compiling the documentary with the help of local farmers and others in the peanut industry. It will examine how the peanut has contributed to our heritage, history, economy, agriculture and way of life.

Eventually, the documentary will be 60 minutes long and will be aired nationwide on public television.

The lowly little legume, having changed the agriculture of this region of the country perhaps more than any other crop, deserves its own documentary.

We’re proud this community and its people will play starring roles.

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