Day 33 – May I have your autograph please?

I was more sore from a day of rest than I typically am after a day of walking. Ugh…that office work is tough on the body! Advil…take me away!

After a quick breakfast and final words with Vicki, I was walking North on the way outside of Sikeston. Of course, the clouds were looming overhead just taunting me with moisture.

Once outside of town, the next turn was about 10 miles down the road. I guess I had better get used to straight stretches. I’m sure I will see much longer versions of today’s walk in Iowa or Nebraska. I think I like walking in slightly hilly terrain better. You feel like you are using your more of your leg muscles. Flat stretches just begin to feel like you are banging your bones and tendons on the pavement. I also like frequent bends in the road. When you can see almost 10 miles straight down the highway…it takes frigging forever to get there!

About 2 miles out of town, I had my first person ask me if I needed a ride. He passed me and then stopped about 1/4 mile ahead. The reverse lights went on and the guy drove his little Ford Ranger backwards faster than he drove forward! I must admit, it was impressive. I thanked the young guy, but again, I had to decline (damn).

As many of you already know, when I was young I had an enterprising little lawn business in the sprawling metropolis of Lolo, MT. If I had known that everybody and their dog was in the lawn-mowing business in the South, I may have continued to expand my empire. It’s unbelievable, everywhere you look somebody is either mowing a lawn, or driving around with a trailer carrying a lawn-mower. This would probably explain the high number of small-engine repair shops in the South. I’m just saying…

Some Dodge truck salesperson has won the coveted ‘Presidents’ award for at least 5 years running in this neck of the woods. Dodge pick-up trucks outnumber Ford & Chevy trucks by at least 3 to 1. Don’t know why, I’m just an innocent observer.

Right after the first bend in the road, I reached Morley, MO. Immediately I was greeted with a newspaper provided by the local delivery man, Brett Prindel. With a big smile, he said you are on the front cover and wished me a safe walk. Oooh, I was so excited to read the paper, but felt weird reading the paper about me walking on the road…while I was walking on the road. So I tucked it away until I could rest.

Brett Prindel

A couple of miles up the road I stopped at a little convenience store, grabbed some water, and prepared to soak up my story in the paper. I started to read a bit and the Brett pulled up and we chatted for a while. What a nice guy Brett was! Turns out that Brett and his wife work as a team delivering the paper in Scott County. Brett handles the rural area and his wife sticks to the city. Prior to delivering the paper, Brett was a Union Electrician for over 20 years. His job had him traveling quite a bit and he wanted to stick close to home.

I would liked to have stuck around a bit longer, but the clouds were making threats again. I said “Adios” to Brett and began marching towards Chaffee, MO. I didn’t make it a 1/2 of a mile before getting stopped by the area television news channel. Cool!

Don "Danger" Frazier

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Just as soon as Don  “Danger” Frazier pulled up, the clouds opened up and the rain began to fall. Dan said to get into his rig and let’s talk a bit.

My social coordinator (Vicki Rubenacker) sent a simple email to the station and they decided to come check out the crazy man. Don and I must have talked about the walk, his background and life in general for almost 2-hours total. When the weather cleared (momentarily) we jumped out, did a quick interview, and then got back in the rig when the rain started again.

Don couldn’t have been more gracious and I was lucky to get a chance meet him. In a previous life, Don was a law enforcement officer in Florida. With the help of a good woman (his wife), he transitioned his hobby of photography into an eventual full-time job. Again, with lots of luck and hard work, he was able to transition from still photography, to being a photo journalist. As he says it; “Look at me, I get to play, do interesting things and meet fun people everyday”! Life just makes sense when your job is your passion. At least that is what somebody once told me…

I was now behind schedule! My social coordinator had ALSO set up accommodations in Chaffee, MO. I needed to be there by 6:30 before he was to attend a work function. I shifted into overdrive and tore up the pavement into Chaffee.

As soon as I entered into the town, I was greeted by a wonderful extension of my new friend of Brett Prindel. Brett’s daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids were waiting to greet me as I walked by. I was first greeted by Jason, Breven and Kade offering me cold beverages. Could there be anything better? Soon after, Jason’s wife Lindi, daughter Ashtyn, and neighbors Kristy and Breven walked up. Lindi offered me a care package (Foot Creme, Lotion, Cookies, Meat & Crackers) and asked me to autograph their edition of the newspaper.

<Queue the Peanut Gallery>

I accepted and was extremely honored by the request! I only wish that I could have spent more time talking with them. I was now late and had to get to Ken’s house. Jason and Lyndi, if you are reading this, please accept my deepest apologies for accepting your gifts and walking away briskly! After walking away I felt guilty and wish I would have made the time to get to know you a bit better.

Breven, Kristy, Kade, Lyndi, Jason, Ashtyn

It only took me about 10 minutes to get to Ken’s house. Ken walked out as I approached. I couldn’t figure out how he knew it was me. Yeah…right! Ken was immediately a fantastic host! After some small talk, I was able to take a shower and prepare to go out for dinner. Ken mentioned he wanted to buy me dinner and invite a friend of his to join us. It sounded fantastic to me! I knew that the night would be well spent and provide for more memories to my cup that is already spilling over with’em.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: