Thursday, August 20, 2015

An ex-brewery owner? A future mayor? 30 years later, there's another fork in the road, and I'm pumped.

Thirty years ago, I closed my eyes wide shut and jumped -- not so sure where or even if I'd land, but firm in the realization that I needed to do something to change my life.

The PC: Euro ’85, Part 15 … The traveler at 55, and a strange interlude.

I packed a gym bag, converted my life's savings into traveler's checks, bought a plane ticket and a rail pass, and went to Europe for three months.

It doesn't sound like much, and in the cosmic scheme of things, it wasn't. Millions of human beings have done the same, in different ways in different times. I'm just a speck, but it's the only speck I have, and I needed to relaunch the whole process of figuring out exactly who I was, because back then, the mechanism had stalled.

I was fortunate, and the plan worked. Europe made me what I am today, or more accurately, my stubborn determination that Europe would make me what I became actually bore fruit. It has been one hell of a ride, with only a handful of mostly negligible regrets.

Three decades later, it's time for another jump, and another relaunch. It's been time for quite a while. The public end of this process began yesterday morning with the publication of an article by Kevin Gibson at Insider Louisville: After a quarter century, Roger Baylor will move on from New Albanian Brewing Company. 

As usual, Kevin got it right.

... Roger Baylor, well known for his long career in beer and brewing, is now running for mayor of New Albany. If he wins, that will be his new focus. If not, well, he’ll look for another path to follow. Either way, his position as the public face of New Albanian has come to an end. He already had announced he would step away if he won the election — instead, he’s moving on ahead of the decision. It was simply time, he says.

Regarding his growing involvement in local politics over the last few years, Baylor tells Insider, “It seems to be what I’ve been interested in for a while now and seems to be what I spend a lot of time on. That might actually tell me something about where my head is.”

And while he still enjoys beer and brewing, it’s become more of a hobby-level interest, in part because of the popularity of what is now termed “craft beer.”

This is why folks should always spend months, and perhaps even years, reading between the lines to decipher cryptic hints. The private side of this evolving decision has been cogitating for a very long period. True, the devil's always in the details, timetables are inexact, and numerous stories might yet be written about how we got here, but there are three main bullet points that matter to me right now:

I want to be mayor of  New Albany, because this city desperately needs challenging from someone like me, and it's our time.

If not mayor, then I'm looking forward to a "solo" career as yet uncharted; NABC has been and will continue to be, so don't worry.

I am quite serene about these and other developments.

Thanks to everyone expressing support yesterday, today and in the weeks to come. If not for that first leap back in 1985, I'd have gotten to know precious few of you, and be all the poorer for the omission.

The following was published last week at Potable Curmudgeon. I may even have intended it as prelude. The 1985 travel series will continue in fits and starts, as I have the opportunity to write.

Stay tuned, because I didn't say anything about not writing.

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