Day 9

Today started bright and early at Gary Doupe’s (rhymes with “top”) house.  He lives in a very old house which has been in his family for generations.  After he retired, he told me he renovated it.

Fred Childs also stayed at Gary’s.  Around 8:00, Jack Gilroy from Binghamton and Mike Bernhard from Afton arrived.
The blister on my foot has made walking any distance impossible.  I assume that in a week or two, my blister will just be a memory – but today, there is no way I can walk any distance.  The Journey for Justice will continue – others have stepped up to complete the Journey.
Jack Gilroy from Johnson City (outside of Binghamton) volunteered to walk for me and to carry the petitions.  Jack is a committed peace activist who practices his beliefs.  He once spent six months in federal prison after being arrested protesting the School of the Americas.  He said that he experienced “diesel therapy” – being moved around from prison to prison.  At first, he was kept locked up 24 hours a day and how difficult that is, not seeing the sun or feeling a breeze.  I wish I had had a chance to hear more about his prison experience.  We need to know what goes on in US federal prisons.  I think we as a country would be embarrassed.
Fred is an experience long-distance hiker.  He firmly believes in leaving his car at the destination of his hike – more encouragement to complete the entire distance.  So, Mike and Fred drove to Tunnel Road and Beldon Court to drop Fred’s car.  Jack and I drove to the Afton boat launch, and Jack started off at a quick pace.
Eventually, after dropping off Fred’s car, Mike and Fred picked me up at the boat launch.  We caught up with Jack and dropped Fred off to walk.
Mike was a great companion for the day.  He is involved in the anti-fracking movement.  I learned more about fracking,  We should not be polluting our land like this.  Our job today as drivers was very easy – Jack and Fred did not need a lot.  The weather was gorgeous – a touch warm, but no where near the searing heat of earlier in the walk.
Mike and I talked about lots of things and I learned Mike was a carpenter and now a furniture maker.  He built the house he and his wife, Mary Jo Long, now live.  By building the house, Mike means he logged the trees and built the house.
As it warmed up outside, I asked Mike if he could turn the fans on in his car. so he did.  A little while later, the walkers came by, we asked if they needed anything, they said no, and continued walking.  As the walkers walked away, and we wanted to drive the car another mile or so ahead. Mike discovered the car would not start – we had run down the battery running the fans.  We shouted to the walkers to come back, but, they were off at such a clip, that Fred and Jack did not hear us.  So, I called Fred on his cell phone to ask him to come back.
Mike had the perfect solution, he took out his jumper cables, stood by the edge of the road and waived the jumper cables in the air at a passing car.  The young man driving the car stopped, turned around and parked facing Mike’s car.  Mike had the cables connected in a second, and with in less than a minute, the car started – before Fred and Jack arrived, the car was running again – less than three minutes from having the problem!
The remainder of the walk was uneventful.  We brought ice cream and water to the walkers.  Fred and Jack made the entire 13 miles in about six hours – very impressive.
At this point, Fred drove back to Albany for a dinner party, and Mike drove Jack and I to Jack’s car.  As I had a presentation in Johnson City at a mosque that night, Jack and I drove into Johnson City.
This is where I learned more about Jack’s work and his stay in federal prison.  We drove to his house, I worked on some emails, took a shower and changed.
I mentioned to Jack that I was hoping someone would serve me speedies.  Now, if you have never lived in the Binghamton area, you have no idea what a speedie is.  When I was little, we used to go to Augie’s in Endicott, and Italian restaurant.  Augie served marinated meat which was cooked on a metal skewer over a grill.  One eats a speedie by pulling the meat off the skewer with soft Italian bread.  Delicious.  But, no one outside of Binghamton has ever heard of them!
Jack and his wife gave me dinner and I was delighted to discover they went out and bought speedies for me!  I am truly on the luxury tour, with so many caring people.
Jim Clune came over to pick up up.  He drove me to the Al-Nur mosque in Johnson City.  I was so pleased to speak for 5 minutes after Iftar dinner.  Many people signed the petition for Yassin.
I also met George and Judy Homanich who have been attending part of the Bradley Manning trial, among other work.
Mike and Mary Jo came to pick me up. A very long day!
Tomorrow, Jack will carry the petitions into Binghamton.
Though I am not able to walk, Jack has stepped in.  As my friend Lucy put it so well – it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to deliver petitions to a judge!

2 thoughts on “Day 9

  1. Lynne and the stalwart crew of paddlers, walkers, hosts, nurturers, physical supporters (including blister experts), you are all amazingly dedicated, generous and creative. This journey is turning out to be a microcosm of the kinds of communities and the kind of world that we all want to see.

    Yassin’s situation and your passionate response to it has attracted some of the most outstanding and talented people. So many skills and gifts are being shared. Let’s hope that Judge McAvoy’s heart and mind are touched by the powerful and compassionate collective energy directed towards justice being done.

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