Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kindness and Strangers

I have been pleasantly surprised as I walk down the Highway from Wyoming, through Nebraska, and now nearing Kansas.

The "surprise" is that while I am promoting Amity-Unity-Imagination for myself and the nation, I find it directed toward me and shared with me. How wonderful!

"How so?" you may ask.

* Like in being offered numbers of ride offers, unsolicited. I don't put my thumb out. I have received several rides from Joe, Travis, Tony, John, the Fitzgeralds, Mrs. Wempen, the Krauses. I may have forgotten a couple.

* People have come out with water and food for me. I fondly remember the BNSF workers stopping to give me H2O. Water is always good, cold water better, and ice water is almost heaven.

Aly from Kearney stopped to hand me water and beef jerky, the other night. Yeah, beef jerky. Haven't decided what to do with it. But, the water was cold and gone quickly.

* Mrs. Nichols sent her husband out onto the highway many evenings ago with a hamburger and apple. That was real drive-in service.

* I invited myself to attend the First United Methodist Church in Overton, NE. The small congregation was warm and friendly. I joined in their brunch and was sent down the road with leftovers.

Kindness of Strangers makes for great gifts and can remind us that we really all family. There are really no Strangers, only people we have yet to meet.

**** I will finish this blog down the road.

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In Amity, Unity and Imagination.

Roberto on the Road.

Good Neighbor Sam

I decided that my old flag and friend, Fanny, needed to be retired after last year's walk. Having been sewn 12 years ago and covered trips to New York, Nevada and Nebraska, she was probably ready for a restful life.

A hailstorm near Ashland, Montana, last summer suggested that her retirement should be sped up. Fanny now rests in a storage shed. She will see indoor duty in the future.

Her replacement travels with me now. I call him Sam and even talk to him on occasion. 

There is usually plenty of traffic nearby, but often no one except Sam to talk to.

So, the Flag has grown on me and its parts have added meaning. 

* The single Star represents Unity, of which our nation is very much in need. 

Abraham Lincoln said, "A nation divided against itself cannot stand." United we stand, divided we fall. Can we not work again to be united even in our diversity.

* The Golden Heart suggests Amity-Goodwill-Friendliness. We are taught to love one another as individuals. Let's learn to love and share with all - humans and otherwise.

* The Red and White Stripes have come to mean Imagination to me. They originally arose in the Flag of the Sons of Liberty in the Revolutionary period. The Sons of Liberty were also the Sons of Rebellion.

I believe that Spirit needs to be transformed into Imagination.

All things are possible with God. God lies within us all and can be accessed to answer any problem when we strive toward goodness.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Dictating Democracy

Hello, Friends.

One of the highlights of my Walkabout was a moment of respite in Oshkosh, NE, when I caught Charlie Chaplin playing two roles in The Great Dictator. This was one of Chaplin's best and most effective movies. In it, he played the European dictator, Adenoid Hynkel, and a down-and-out Tramp. Final words spoken by the Tramp standing in for Hynkel may be useful for all of us to reconsider in the present schizophrenic world.

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I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an Emperor, that's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. We all want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in;
machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.

Our knowledge has made us cynical,
our cleverness hard and unkind.

 We think too much and feel too little.

 More than machinery we need humanity,
more than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.
Without these qualities life will be violent and all will be lost.
The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say: do not despair.

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass and dictators will die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people and so long as men die liberty will never perish.

Soldiers: don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder!

Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men,
machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts.
You are not machines!
You are not cattle!
You are men!!
You have the love of humanity in your hearts.
You don't hate, only the unloved hate.
The unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers: don't fight for slavery, fight for liberty!

In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written:
- "The kingdom of God is within man."

 Not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men: in you!

You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.
Then, in the name of democracy, let us use that power, let us all unite!
Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security.

 By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfil their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people.
Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.

Soldiers! In the name of democracy: let us all unite!

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In Amity, Unity and Imagination,

Brother Robert

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Favorite Spots on the Road

I generally focus on great people I meet on my Walkabouts. But, some of them appear connected with favorite spots. Here are a few of the latter. I apologize for being unable to upload photos. Using public library computers has some limitations.

* Jeannie Bean's Bakery and Emporium in Oshkosh, NE - This was a neat small town find. Great cinnamon rolls - $2.50 included lemonade. The place was loaded with Wizard of OZ memorabilia. Tom Nelson said his mother Jeannie moved from Kansas and started the shop many years ago.

The place needed air conditioning and could use a website. But, it still has rustic flare and great color and nostalgia.

It is hard to resist OZ and I am getting closer as I journey towards Kansas.

* The Most Unlikely Place in Lewellen, NE - This was an even greater find in the next town to the east. A few years back, the Miller family, which includes a number of artists, bought an old building with a fair amount of history, but a questionable future. There are some wonderful craftsmen and women represented by the MUP.

They refurbed the once-upon-a-time theater and made it into an art gallery and bistro. The people there were welcoming and friendly. Candy and Jenna Spady made me especially at home. Jenna even played piano for the small entourage. I also ran into Gary DeCock who grew up in Harlowton while finishing my luncheon. Small world.

* Just up the street in Lewellen is the 17 Ranch Winery - I spent an hour visiting with Janet, employee and former school teacher, while the hot afternoon passed by. I was impressed by efforts in a small community to revive business and get "things going." They have their work cut out for them.

Lewellen also boasts a sweet little B&B and motel at the end of Main Street.

Lewellen has a wide Main Street and TALL flag pole in the middle. No problems parking in Lewellen.

I will add favorites as I remember or find them along the way.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Nebraska, Here I AM

Arrived in Bridgeport, NE, around 11:00 am. Although I have walked a lot of miles, the trek has been speeded up a number of times thanks to drivers who stop and offer me rides. I have generally decided to accept.

I walked from Guernsey to Fort Laramie, WY, a few days ago. Slept under a tree in a park. Got up on Sunday and made my way to the Saloon run by Brandon and Matt. They gave me water and sodas and sent me on my way.

Several miles down the road, the Fitzgeralds of Guernsey picked me up and carried me to Scotts Bluff, Nebraska - a boost of 30-40 miles. I walked through Scotts Bluff and Terrytown and Gering, intending to walk into the evening to the east.

I encountered Teri Genua at the Fresh Foods Store. Before long, I was invited to spend a few hours at her home. After long conversations and a night camped on the living room floor, Teri made me breakfast. Then, we went to the Public Library where I gave her email, internet and Microsoft Word tips. My method was to help Teri get some of her ideas and writing out of notebooks and into computer format so as to be someday printable and publishable.

Thereafter, we drove into the Scotts Bluff National Monument, walked along one of its paths, and viewed the landscape which on a clear day can stretch 90 miles.

After watermelon, Teri went back to work and I headed out from Fresh Foods at 4:00 pm toward Bridgeport. I had been out an hour or so when Curt who works at the hospital picked me up and carried me to Melbeta. I put my bag at the "wrong spot" next to the Rock Shop which apparently disturbed the owner. Matt, a Minatare policeman, came by and offered me a ride to the edge of the county.

Instead, I chose McGrew which is shy of the border by a few miles. McGrew boasts the Pink Palace Saloon which Teri said "you have to see."

I saw it and walked into the dark. Morrill County police officer, Steve Lattin, said Hello from his cruiser at around 8:00 pm. He offered me a dozen-mile ride into Bridgeport, but I chose to walk into the Moon for a few hours.

Eventually tiring, I found a sign-post next to the highway to lean my backpack against and proceeded to rest from about 11:00 to 7:00 am. After cleanup, I walked a few brisk miles when Albert Hanoch volunteered a ride to Bridgeport.

I took myself to the Bakery and then the Library when I write this note.

The road has been kind and so have the people of Wyoming and Nebraska. I am convinced that given the opportunity, most people act with kindness and goodwill. My Walk offers some of those opportunities.

There are many ways to give and share so as make this a better world.

In Amity Unity and Imagination.


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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Miles Down the Road

Ahoy, Friends and Neighbors.

I have a few minutes at the Public Library in Guernsey Wyoming. It is a small building packed with books and a few computers which are in demand on this Saturday morning. Sheila Oliver, the librarian, is chasing around trying to accommodate people. Giving up her computer so a customer can get his project done.

I have had an eventful week. Seen a lot of Wyoming. Met fine people. Slept under the stars. Withstood the elements, which have changed and changed and changed.

Got caught in a hail storm a few days ago. The poncho and a tree (fortunately available where 99.9 percent of the time there are none) didn't keep me and my gear from getting mostly soaked. Drying took most of a day.

Beginning August 1, I have had a number of benefactors on the journey: Friend Charlotte dropped me off outside of Cody. While the wind and clouds subsided, I began walking. Within a mile, I had a ride offer. But couldn't quite accept. Then did take a ride from Joe a few miles later - on the way to the Casino at Riverton - we had a great visit and he dropped me at Shoshoni.

I slept under the stars next to cacti and dirt and sage and sandstone bluffs. Continued to Moneta where next to nothing exists. Dennis and Gracye Keller rescued me. Put me up in their warehouse for a few hours, then I head east.

Dr. Travis Marshall picked me up and carried me to Casper. Travis is a podiatrist, but he most  interested in politics and his LDS Church. After a sandwich, I headed to Glenrock, sleeping in an almost grassy area beside the highway.

I found that Wyoming is doing well financially because of the oil and natural gas boom. Lots of jobs, money, construction. On to Douglas, meeting Coates and Toman, police officers, and Gypsy, a wanderer from LA. Slept under a great tree near a park on the edge of town. Rained just a bit, but no mosquitoes and a sweet sleep.

Did the Interstate the next day, which has advantages and disadvantages. Too much traffic, but a wide shoulder for walking. Randy Lund, a contract mail hauler for the USPS, stopped his big rig and handed me a sandwich that morning. Visited with some Garden Clubbers at the Orin Rest Area. Used my tent for a tent instead of a pillow for the first night. Big rainstorm, but kept dry mostly.

Encountered BNSF man early next day. John Bauder gave me water and a little boost up the road to Howard's Grill in Glendo. Had breakfast talking to the cook Amy who works 6 to 3 seven days a weeks, every day of the year except Easter, Thanksgiving, two Christmas holiday weeks. Wow.

Had good visits thereafter with Larry Sommers, Texas rancher, returning home after Sturgis Rally visit, and Ken and Bobby heading for Minneapolis.

Caught in the rain that eve. Drying out in the ditch. In the morning, I took myself into a property looking for some water and met Larry the Irrigation Man. He filled my bottle and talked and talked and talked about the Oregon Trail and how he is finding metal remnants with his detector. He intends to discover the $30,000 in gold that Jack Slade stole from the stage line 150 years ago. It will be worth 10,000,000 million dollars.

Ronda Osborn who is employed by Keyhole Highway Construction lifted me up the road a few miles through some recent road work and dropped me in front of the El Rancho Restaurant. A sweet spot, with good food and service. I rested under the trees, got under the restaurant porch before a deluge.

Visited with the waitress Kim and bartender Tiffany and Geno Davis, The Milk Man, who loves beer.

"Camped on the concrete" at the next Rest Area that night. Then, marched to Guernsey - 15 miles in the morning. I was proud of myself. Anthony Grubbs, another BNSFer, stopped to load me up with COLD WATER bottles.

I took a room at the Bunkhouse Motel, talked to Bruce Heimbuck, Community Developer, and stopped at the grocery store for provisions. Finished the night off with first TV in a week, watching a Dateline episode on the FLDS.

Heading on to Fort Laramie, Torrington, and NEBRASKA after an afternoon rest in the park.

All is well on the prairie. May it be well in your own worlds.

In Amity Unity and Imagination.


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