If you’re coming to my “takeoff“ event Sunday bring a T-shirt, size large, of your favorite community organization. I’ll take it with me on my cross-country trip and take a picture wearing it somewhere along the way. It’s a reminder of my inspiration, the community itself, and a little free publicity for that organization.
Here’s my route – though I can promise I wont stick to it. But think in terms of 50 miles. 50 miles north, south, west or east of this line – and somewhere along its 12 states and 3,500 miles, is a friend, or a friend of a friend, or a long-lost love or a distant relative or a member of your organization (Rotary, Lions Club, Masons, K of C, Kiwanis, etc.). You just have to look hard enough, think long enough, and believe and – voila – there they are. And if they are there, within 50 miles of that line, then they can help me out in important ways (they can tell their neighbors, their local newspaper, radio or television station, bring me water or food or even offer me a place to stay for the night.) I can’t walk to them, but they can drive to me. My only stipulation is that they bring me back to my ending point the next morning so I can say – when its all over – I walked the whole way.
So look at my route and take a few minutes to find someone and then let them know I’m coming by sometime between Nov. 23 of this year (2018) and Thanksgiving Day, 2019. If they need to know more specifically when the can estimate (divide the miles from Ventura CA to their spot on the map by ten) how many days – starting Nov. 23 – it will take to get there. They can also go to my website and if they click on the Followmee link (http://www.followmee.com/mapx.aspx?token=63f01d65-26bd-450b-aeef-0c50e6f1e1ae) they’ll see exactly where I am at that moment.
Saturday was the last time that I will cover Town Meeting for the local paper. I was always excited to be there. As the years went by it became more and more difficult to sit there passively. I grimaced, I groaned, I grew impatient. I did everything but vote. I love attending meetings. I must have gone to thousands over the ten years I worked for the paper in Plymouth. Town Meeting and countless ‘Select Board’ meetings and the charter review committee: the list goes on and on. The longest meeting I ever attended may have been a COPC meeting – the Committee of Precinct Chairs – of about four hours in duration. The shortest was likely a special meeting of the ‘Select Board’ that convened in a stairwell at Memorial Hall on a weekend so that a one-day liquor license could be approved. The most memorable? So many. A Finance Committee meeting perhaps, where a long and lively debate over the merits of a change to the town’s solar bylaws was, from my perspective, a wonderful example of how a diverse committee can begin in total disagreement and find common ground through respectful debate. The meeting on the third floor at Lincoln Street when the full scope of the sewer problem was revealed. I can’t forget the wild, wild west: the meetings of the County Commissioners on Russell Street, with the two O’Briens going at it. So much of that part of my life will emerge, bubble to the surface on my walk. I will reflect on my entire life – I will have that much time on my hands – as I walk and a large, wonderful part of my life has been spent at meetings of the various entities and organizations that comprise the historic form of government in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Out for a walk today with my grandson Cormac and he discovered a red spotted Nute. I’m using this to see how my postings will work on the walk.