As I hung up the phone, a grin grew into a laugh as I celebrated. Many months of hard work had paid off, and I had finally found what I was looking for.
I let out a long sigh and put my face in my hands, I couldn't help but want to give up. At this point I had called more than a dozen people in search of "wood with a story". I had no idea where to start, what I was doing, or what I was even looking for. I developed a brand, and a cool tagline, but had nothing to show for it. I had sizzle but no substance.
As if I wasn't striking out hard enough, the next phone call someone used the word that all entrepreneurs hear at some point in their life...
I wasn't getting anywhere. I decided to take matters in to my own hands and head to the historical society to try and find a lead. When I arrived, I was met by another road block, literally. Unbeknownst to me there was a hockey game nearby and I had to park several blocks from the entrance, while it was pouring rain. I felt as though I was in a sitcom. "At least it can't get any worse." I thought... Based on the way my day was going, I knew Murphy's law would kick in. When I walked through the doors of the history center, I was met by hundreds of little costumed gremlins celebrating a 'Pre-Halloween History Bash'. I started swinging at the kids and got kicked out.... Okay... not quite, but I was thinking about it.
I moved past the children and opened the doors to the library. The noise faded, and my heart rate fell back to normal as my wet boots squeaked down the silent hallway. When I turned the corner I knew where I was, but I got lost in the past. I remember a large black and white photo catching my eye. I stared blankly. As I read the paragraph underneath the photo, a voice whispered... "Can I help you?" I turned to her...
The Marine Mill. It was perfect. After hearing about the mill, Minnesota's first commercial business, I knew this was the place. I wondered, though, what I would find, if anything. I called the Marine Mill site, which led me to a community organizer, who led me to Mike, a local woodworker. Mike had some logger friends who "just might" have some significant wood. After waiting in anticipation, a few days after I had first spoken with Mike, I missed his call. I picked up the phone and listened to his voicemail.
"...I do have a friend who has some saw logs that were cut, and then sank in the river, and they had pulled them out over time. I'm not sure what kind of condition they are in, but it certainly would represent wood from the old mill..."
As I hung up the phone, a grin grew into a laugh as I celebrated. Many months of hard work had paid off, and I had finally found what I was looking for. The rabbit trail was over, for now.
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