Blackbird Diaries: The Story Behind the Series

By: Chris Mahlmann Last Updated: November 19, 2012

BlackbirdDiariesMainPhotoA diary is often considered to be a private place where one can share their truest thoughts, most candid observations, and what they really feel without worry about how it sounds, who might agree or disagree with your thinking, or whether it is something you really want to say in public.

Seems to me that those are just the kind of conversations a beautifully wide spectrum of people are having inside the comfort of Blackbird Café every day. So many words could describe the multitude of people I have been blessed to meet through the hours I have spent sharing coffee or a smoothie at one of their tables, though real, candid, personal, honest, and intelligent all come to mind.

So what are the Blackbird Diaries going to look like? What topics will be mentioned? Who are they going to be about? How can you keep it positive?

  • You can look for a new edition of the diary twice per month, most often on Mondays.
  • Topics will include current events related to the community and region we are a part of, eye-opening observations and thought-provoking questions from folks more knowledgeable than I am about the issues and questions of the day, and remarkable lessons I learn from the diversity of people that walk through that door.
  • The characters in the story may or may not be named, as often the thinking generated or question asked is more important than the person asking it. Sure you’ll see some Finn, Mary, Darlene, Jesse, Bryan, Jim, Sarah, Ben, Wade, Jake, Mike, Kim, Jack, Michelle, Carolyn, Laura, Steve, Dave, and Joe in there, but the cast is only limited by the stream of coffee they can serve and my ability to mentally or physically write it all down.


floortradingAnd that all positive part? I think when people are openly communicating, sharing opinions, knowledge, experience, and insight, that is a positive thing. The gap between two sides of anything are often bridged through the doors of an open mind. Posing a question does not equal dissention. Challenging an assumption does not equal an argument.

I grew up in a trading floor environment, where everything from the play of the quarterback to the policies of the President were debated with color and volume every minute of the day, by people with passion from all walks of Life that often would end the daily battle over a beer.

Walking into Blackbird, though not as loud or extreme, is often just as colorful. People sharing real thoughts, human emotions, and distinct opinions. That Exchange of Ideas as the old Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) tagline often said, is the heartbeat on an open market.

This really isn’t my diary. It’s theirs. Stay tuned. See you next Monday.