Week of May 10th, 2021
Monday is "Golden Spike Day", which celebrates the final spike connecting the transcontinental railroad on May 10th, 1869. In the middle of this famous photo by A.J. Russell, Samuel S. Montague of the Central Pacific Rail Road (CPRR) shakes hands with Grenville M. Dodge of the Union Pacific (UP).

The driving of the golden spike realized the achievement of a decades held dream for most Americans, the completion of a transcontinental railroad. The railroad tied the United States together east and west.

The last spike really was golden, as it was made out of 17.6-karat copper-alloyed gold and weighed 14.03 troy ounces (436 g). It was a gift of San Francisco financier David Hewes and can still be viewed at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University.

The ceremony marked the end of the incredible government sanctioned race between the CPRR and the UP. The CPRR starting from Sacramento and working east through the Sierra Nevada mountain range and Utah. Conversely, the UP started from Omaha and laid its track east across the Nebraska plains and Wyoming. Both companies laid track at a furious pace and as quickly as possible, in order to access government loans and land grants.

By dramatically reducing travel time and the ease of shipping goods between the east and west coasts the transcontinental railroad ushered in a new era in America and led to both increased settlement and economic growth in the western states.
In the decades after the Civil War, the United States witnessed what historian Maury Klein dubbed an "orgy of railroad construction." During the 1880s, 71,000 miles of rail were constructed - nearly doubling the total. As financiers knit together vast, redundant national networks, they slashed rates furiously, built gigantic stations, engaged in Enron-style accounting tricks, and tried (unsuccessfully) to divide up the market.

The boom ended with a bust in 1894, when about one quarter of all railroads were bankrupt. But the rails didn't get torn up. Instead, with freight prices falling drastically, the railroad emerged as a powerful commercial infrastructure for new businesses. Mail-order retailers like Montgomery Ward and Sears, consumer products companies like Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola, rapidly built highly efficient national enterprises and brands on the railroad.
And now,
for everyone's
New Fav Feature,
here's Jeremy!
The gang at 16 West collaborated to demonstrate that sometimes
even committees can be productive . . .
John's usual excuses & apologies--

This being the week of mother's day, I thought I'd ask you all to indulge me for a bit of unsolicited soapboxing.

Parenthood is a bit of trial by fire that hones & blunts our key attributes-- just like any hard thing that you do for 20+ years. I think modern dads make a real effort to pull their parental weight these days, so maybe men are feeling the stress of trying to balance outside work & home work more than we have in the past. That being said, collectively we've still got a fair way to go. Nobody works harder than a working mom.

Many of the women I'm lucky to work with are moms. However, I believe that the DD field and CLI depend on the attention to detail, the creativity, and the sense of community that women bring to their work regardless of whether they've actually given birth. All of the women I know take care of others at personal cost. That is noble and what we celebrate when we recognize mother's day.
We focused this week on the US railroad boom in the 1800's because May 10th is the 152nd anniversary of making the final connection of the transcontinental route-- a huge gamechanger. There have been lots of pivot points in US history since then. I think that we're in the middle of one right now.

It seems to be a shared moment--where we each feel at least a little unmotivated, bored, dissatisfied, etc. My mom used to reach the end of her rope with her five kids and often her last words as she reached for the big wooden spoon included the phrase "sick & tired." I know that we're all sick & tired-- and desperately want something else and/or more.

The next few years are going to be a roller coaster. Between the actual virus, the shutdown, a short-term surplus of spending money, pent-up demand, supply chain shortages, eventual inflation, and (a probably all-of-the-sudden) eventual acknowledgement of the national debt-- it's a lot.

I'm confident that CLI will navigate the next few years as Ohio's DD system settles into its "new normal". Management often gets too much credit for good results. The reality is that CLI has only been able to accomplish so much good because we hire good (mostly female) people who show up and make things better every single day-- doing the heavy lifting of improving the lives of people with disabilities and the communities that we all live in.

Thanks & have a great week.
Angie took advantage of CLI's new STEP-funded "It Makes Sense" program on Wednesday (socially distanced of course).

She did some sensory finger painting and learned how to make a rain stick 
And then -- on the same day-- she participated in another STEP program "Balance-- Mind & Body). Here are a couple action shots of her working on various techniques.
“You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible—oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.”

Would you like to join CLI for some fun virtual activities?
It's a bunch of loud fun!
Firelands Local LLC Update:
James Johnson
I thought the general rule was that it was safe to plant once Mothers Day came around. I think we need to remind mother nature about that.
Happy belated Mothers Day to all the moms that read this section. I hope each and every one of you were able to enjoy the day in what ever way you like to enjoy your time.
Last Thursday was Terry’s birthday. The rest of the crew sang happy birthday to him on the shuttle. What a way to start your day.
Production was steady again last week. We completed @60,000 units and shredded 12,000 pounds of paper. We had our monthly drop off last Wednesday and collected 2,351 pounds of paper. We also collected $296.35 to go to McGuan park. That makes our total donation to the park project at $737.35.
I am currently on vacation with limited access to electronics. Mostly because my wife will not let me use them. I will still try to sneak in some information for the next newsletter and maybe a picture or two.
Have a great week!
“There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.”

– Indira Gandhi
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