Many, many years ago my mother announced that, before she died, she wanted to visit all 50 states. Her German determination brought her to 49 and now her Irish superstition won’t let ever go to North Dakota. I’m not sure she’ll ever utter that phrase again.
But, for thousands of people less superstitious than my mom, the “Before I die I want to” project offers an opportunity to define their life’s ambitions while they still have time to pursue them.
This weekend, thanks to graphic artist Craig Bier, “Before I die I want to” came to Appleton. I worried a little when I saw it Friday night on College Avenue. I wondered if people on “the Ave”, especially after bar time, would treat it with respect.
But, when I returned Saturday morning, and again Sunday afternoon, I saw that people of all ages had been sincere in their chalk pronouncements. They wanted to travel the world, find true love, get married, drive a tugboat, score a hole in one, own a coffee shop, hold a balloon for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
I found the whole project inspiring and I can’t wait to read more.
According to Bier, a creative specialist for Miron Construction who, incidentally, assured me the Erb Park project would be beautiful, the “Before I Die I want to” board will be up for a month in Appleton. If you’re in the area, check it out and add your own response.
Back in 2011, graphic artist Connie Chang started the first “Before I die I want to” board on an abandoned building in New Orleans. Since then, more than 400 walls have sprung up in well over 60 countries.
Though she didn’t mean to, Chang created a global platform and I am thrilled that, thanks to Bier, Appleton chimed in.
Before I die I want to…write a book.
What do you say?