Scouring Amazon for an interesting story

by Phil Howard.

I’m not going to pretend that I strolled through the quiet streets of Amazon and The Most Interesting Man in the World stopped me and begged to tell me his life story. No, it was difficult finding a potential profile subject for a few reasons:

One, there just isn’t much going on in Amazon. It’s a quiet, small, mostly-residential area. There aren’t a lot of businesses. There aren’t a lot of people out and about. There are a couple schools, but that seemed overdone and expected.

Two, there are four people in our group. By the time I got around to running through my neighborhood, the place that I had had in mind from the start had been claimed by a much more prudent member. Well as the saying goes…something about birds and worms….

Three, I only ever had time late at night. Between work and class, my daytime hours were otherwise occupied. Yes, we are all busy. It’s not a good excuse, but it is an excuse and I’m going to use it.

Luckily for me, on a whim, I decided to drive through my neighborhood with the few minutes I had in between class and work. Cruising through the residential blocks, I noticed a sign sticking out into the sidewalk of a quiet street. It denoted the business place of a local stone mason. I quickly jotted down the information on the sign and moved on feeling a little bit better about the project.

Around the very next corner my attention was drawn to an antiquated school bus painted a dark purple with the words, “www.nexgentour.com” painted on the side. Another lead, I thought to myself.

At this point, my time was about up, so I headed towards home. On the way, I passed a familiar building: the Very Little Theater. While technically across the street from Amazon, I remembered that no one had that particular neighborhood, so I figured there would be no harm done.

There, I had my leads and I felt good that something would come of at least one of them.

The stone mason that I first found, when I called him, seemed pretty open to the idea of a profile, but I made sure as to not commit to anything. He sounded like a nice man, but I wasn’t sure if his story was dynamic enough.

After following the website on the bus, I found out NexGen Tour is an Ultimate team that travels the country promoting the sport. Interesting, definitely, but the logistics of setting up an interview seemed immense. That, and the tie to the neighborhood was tangentially at best.

The theater house seemed the most promising. After viewing the website, I found that the organization that runs it is completely volunteer run. I emailed the vice president and am looking forward to recommendations of volunteers that he thinks will be suited for the profile. I am also planning on visiting the theater this weekend.

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