Between work, family, and getting this whole campaign ready to launch, I haven’t had time to post any updates….until now.
But hey – this is a big one to start with!
A few Saturdays ago (before everything was blanketed with nearly 2 feet of snow) our good friend, Bryon, came out to help unearth the caboose. In the middle of the day, a kind lady with a warm smile happened to wander over from Main Street, curious about what the two ragamuffins in the distance were up to as they clambered around an old, faded, red-and-green caboose.
At the time, my head was down trying to figure out how to light the torch for the first time (and, you know, not blow myself up in the process). Bryon happened to see the woman walking over toward us and met her near the train tracks that lay between us and the street. The two of them chatted for a bit, and Bryon shared the story of what we were attempting to do in saving the caboose and salvaging the boxcars.
After a few minutes of successfully not blowing myself up with the torch, but unsuccessfully lighting it, I decided to give it a rest for a minute and looked back to see Bryon and the woman standing near the tracks.
I wandered over and introduced myself, and the woman warmly shook my hand. She asked a bit more about the caboose, what we were doing, and what we hoped to do with it. We chatted for a bit under the mid-day sun – us two scruffy guys clad in work gear, and this lady with the kind smile. She had a tablet in one hand where she typed out the name of the website that we’d just put up for the project, and she asked lots of great questions. For her part, she’d been traveling a bit. Recently, to Japan, and this was her first time in Louisville. I’m still not really sure what compelled her to stop in our little town.
We shook hands again and said our goodbyes, and I got back to my as-yet-unsuccessful efforts to cut through huge pieces of metal with a flaming torch.
A few weeks went by. I’d learned how to use the torch, and after a few late nights and long weekend days, we’d gotten most of the caboose cut free in that time.
And then, one Sunday morning I woke up and noticed that I’d gotten an email in my new ‘Louisville Caboose’ inbox (which, you know, at that point was strange since I’d only told approximately 3 people about it). It was from the the kind woman with the warm smile that we’d met a few weeks prior out at the caboose.
And in the email she was offering to contribute up to $2,000 to the campaign as a matching contribution.
I (quite literally) couldn’t believe it. Why? How? I don’t understand…she’s not even from here…what? Who does this sort of thing?!?
To say we were floored would be an understatement.
It seems that everything along the path of saving the caboose, ever since we started, has just….happened. Kind of like this. Almost apart from us and our efforts, it feels like this way has just been, somehow, paved before us. Not that it hasn’t been hard, hard work – it has – but I’m continually amazed at how this process has unfolded. And what people can do when they band together. (More stories to come on this!)
Back to the email – the woman requested to remain anonymous. This wonderful human, who we’d spoken to on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the railroad tracks for all of five minutes, who offered to essentially help us raise a total of $4,000 toward saving a caboose that she had literally just seen for the very first time, on her one-and-only visit to Louisville, USA, didn’t even want anything out of this. Just…to help.
To the amazing and anonymous woman putting up the matching contribution, thank you. Put simply, people like you help restore my faith in humanity.
And from me, from my family – and from the people of Louisville who don’t want to see this thing get demolished – thank you.