November 17-18, 1999
Fulton, IL, USA - Thanks Pierre; Thanks Robert and Jodi Cooley of Interexpress Montreal!
Wednesday morning, November 17, worst case scenario became reality: our container had not arrived in Chicago. Due to a railroad strike the container was still at the pier in Montreal.
Would there be a possibility to ship the container by truck all the way from Montreal to Fulton, IL ?
Unlikely. Our container was at the bottom of a pile of 34 other containers and because of the congestion on the pier the containers on top of our's could not be moved.
But if these other containers could somehow be moved, could we then get a truck to bring the container to Fulton?
Unlikely again. We would need a team of drivers to drive all night through to cover the 1000 miles between Montreal and Fulton.
So the three of us (Joan Boyer, city administrator of Fulton, Randy Balk, superintendant of public works and Bert Bulder, project manager for Lowlands Management) began with utmost determination to work on what seemed like a mission impossible: getting the container to Fulton in time by truck.
It required (3 times) 4 and a half hours on 3 phones before the three of us went for a late lunch, tired but excited because we obviously worked a miracle.
Countless times we heard "impossible", "not available", "can't do this"... Till Pierre of InterExpress Montreal called us back around 2 PM: "I have a team of drivers for you!"
This was only minutes after the Port of Montreal let us know that more people had sent trucks because they too needed their cargo desperately and by consequence our container had become available for transporation by truck. But the people at Montreal Port needed a "our truck will be there shortly" now.
Thanks to Pierre we could then give them the "our truck will be there shortly".
Special thanks go to Robert and Jodi Cooley, the drivers for InterExpress who drove the 1000 miles in 20 non-stop hours and got us our last container by 4 PM on Thursday, November 18.
Although they had been on the road for 5 weeks in a row already, they immediately said yes (while unloading freight in Vermont) to Pierre when he explained that "somebody in Illinois desperately needed 'their windmill motor'". They went and got a trailer somewhere and then headed for the Port of Montreal to get our container.
Robert and Jodi were pretty much surprised when, upon their arrival in Fulton, they found out what it actually was that they'd been hauling.
Not, like they figured, a generator for a present-day windmill (since they could not imagine a windmill needs a motor, they thought, okay it probably is a generator), but a cast iron axis and a pair of sails for an authentic, historic Dutch windmill.
Surprised as both of them were, they were equally unanimous in their "this is the most fun project we ever hauled for".
Thanks Pierre, thanks Robert, thanks Jodi!
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