Potlucks, Paperclips & Pathways

POTLUCKS. First Wednesday was potluck dinner night at Purcellville Baptist Church; back in the day, as they say. You know the evening — each family brings a dish; community news discussed; announcements and upcoming events; a word of prayer and inspiration; new births, graduations, weddings; thoughts for the sick and dying; and front of the line for Miss Ruth Emerick’s casserole and take a pass on whatever the heck that is that Mr. Baber brings every month.

This is the Centresa corporate organization during community start up phase; and likely beyond. As part of community start up phase, we will work with members and communities to create a dozen possible projects; put out the communication and needs list; and see who can bring what to the potluck. Projects may include “grow & build Centresa” projects. Beyond the immediate, this is our methodology — community provided, crowdsourcing, build the good things we can build, seed and nurture new growth. Bringing together resources and taking advantage of economies of scale.

The larger point being that we have what we have. We have what people bring and contribute to the cause. Potluck. We appreciate the generosity of Centresa members and community partners. Working together, we create community projects, assembly people and resources from the community, create networks of learning, and make our opportunities, challenges and successes available via Centresa media channels.

PAPERCLIPS. In the early days of the Internet there was a story about a kid (of course) that began with a red paperclip with an offer to make a trade. His goal was to trade his way up to a house. He did it. He took a lousy red paperclip and one small trade at a time, traded his way to a home. Again, this is our Centresa mentality. It begins with asking and — my thought is — asking for increasingly more outlandish trades. We trade up. Would you be willing to donate a basketful of next-to-latest-revision widgets for the good of this project for the community? Would you give a couple people in your shop the afternoon off to lead a workshop on the subject for young people? Now truth be told, I don’t know that we can trade our way up from a red paperclip to an old farmhouse to anchor The Village. On the other hand, I don’t know that we can’t.

PATHWAYS. My Dad took a bunch of banking classes at University of Wisconsin – Madison. One of the stories he told me was that from year to year the school would put in a new building. Always without sidewalks. As the pathways developed — people naturally picking the best, most logical, direct route considering the lay of the land, not beholding to some arbitrary symmetry. After a season or two, the grounds crew put in sidewalks, following the natural blueprint that students created. Easy, direct paths. And there’s also the added benefit that the grass is always perfect; no “cutting the corner” bare spots.

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