Wild leaps and growing pains

Published 10:44 pm Friday, September 29, 2017

One week ago today, Wild Leap Brew Co. opened its doors to the public for the first official time. The event was both long planned by founders Anthony Rodriguez and Rob Goldstein and was long anticipated by the community as a whole, as it symbolized the start of yet another exciting chapter in LaGrange’s history.

The prospect of adding a top-class microbrewery to the repertoire of downtown LaGrange has been a tantalizing one for some time, partially because of what such an addition can and will do for the local economy.

The investment in time, money and effort into the brewery was obvious, and as a result the opening was a big success. Throngs of people filed into the newly-renovated space, eager to see for themselves the culmination of a project that has been in the works for more than a year.

Live music filled the air, food vendors were stationed outside whipping up satisfying meals, games were being played and people were dancing.

The event couldn’t have been drawn up any better.

I attended the Wild Leap opening, not as a reporter or the publisher of the newspaper, but just as a citizen of LaGrange, enjoying an afternoon in town with his wife. Getting to see community figures like Jim Thornton, Page Estes and Dr. John Jackson away from the everyday hustle and bustle of weekday life was refreshing, as was the chance to meet some new faces.

When I arrived in LaGrange in April, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I looked at a calendar and flipped to the beginning of October, which would mark my sixth month on the job.

In that moment, I was both terrified of what the next stage of my life would look like, and hopeful that I would make an immediate impact on the community that I was to become a part of. I was ready to take a proverbial wild leap.

I’m sure Anthony and Rob are doing something similar as we speak.

Looking at a calendar, pinpointing an arbitrary time in the future, and daydreaming about what they might be able to accomplish between now and then.

If last Saturday is any indication of what it can be, they will accomplish much.

The last six months have come with their growing pains for me, to be sure, and I’m positive more are in the future over the next six months.

However, days like last Saturday reiterate a point I have made before, and remain thankful for today.

I wouldn’t want to experience those growing pains in any other city.