“IF OPPORTUNITY DOESN’T KNOCK,
BUILD A DOOR.”
I have been talking a lot about the rural economy and how it is up to our rural towns and counties to look outside the box and create opportunities for themselves. So here is a challenge that I am putting forward for any area that feels like doing more than just lamenting the passing of our way of life.
I challenge each CVB, Tourism, Chamber director and I am including the Kansas Sampler Foundation in exploring this topic. I know that this can be discussed at Newton at the Big Rural Brainstorm meeting if they chose to take up the topic.
This opportunity slapped me in the face while watching CBS Sunday Morning today. I had to get this written down while my ideas are running hot. It has to do with Lee Maxwell of Eaton Colorado and the fact that he has the largest collection of about anything in the country. He and his wife are also in the 90’s. So they are concerned as to what will happen to their life’s work of creating a museum.
So what is the collection of? Over 1500 washing machines. Yes washing machines. And they have all been restored to working condition. The collection is housed in two huge buildings there in Eaton Colorado. And they all need a new home.
Lee is hoping that a large benefactor would fund the relocation of the collection into a new museum so it is preserved and available for the public to visit.
WOW! This is not what I had in the back of my mind but as I think of it, what an opportunity for a community that is wanting to create an attraction that would bring in many visitors and national attention. You know that if CBS was so interested in the story, that they would be really interested in what happens when someone jumps into the middle of it and makes Lee and his wife’s dreams come true.
Yes it will take a huge commitment and yes it could use a huge backer to move the project along. But the next question is WHO IS THE KANSAS COMMUNITY THAT IS WILLING TO DO SOMETHING FOR THEMSELVES AND CREATE THIS HUGE MUSEUM?
Marcie and Wendee I am issuing this challenge, that this be a topic of conversation at THE BIG RURAL BRAINSTORM in Newton March 7. I have the contact information if a community is willing to start the process of negotiating for the collection and start the process of creating a new tourism attraction in this state.
It is opportunity that drives the rural economy and it is the will of the rural leader and resident to determine if there is going to be growth and opportunity in their own backyard.
What is for certain is that I am behind the risk takers and the innovators who can look past the ‘can not’ and ask ‘why not’?
Remember that the whole nation saw the story and it is now up to us to jump in and beat the other states who will see an opportunity and take advantage of it.