Today was perhaps the most arduous day afterall! I know people in Albany and who have been following this blog are very concerned about me. Well! They should be after the day I had! I just want everyone to know how I have been roughing it for justice!
I woke up this morning in a soft bed at Mike Bernhard and Mary Jo Long’s house by the bright rising sun shining in the window. The rooster was crowing and the birds were singing – I found the sounds to be so incredibly relaxing.
Mike asked me if the breakfast they made each morning would be OK with me – pancakes, home made maple syrup, bacon from a pig they grew on their farm and fresh picked blueberries. I was told – breakfast in 20 minutes. I made sure not to be late! Breakfast was served outside in the sunshine and the garden surrounding their house.
The homemade pancakes and bacon were delicious and the conversation stimulating. I did not want to leave! Jimmy, their very well behaved dog, was thrilled I could not eat my last half-pancake. I put my plate down for him, and he first carefully licked off the maple syrup before slurping up the pancake.
Gary Doupe picked me up. He was the driver for the day. Since I cannot walk at the moment because of my foot, Jack Gilroy walked for me, carrying the petitions. Last night, I had left my precious petitions with Jack. The petitions were still damp from Saturday’s adventure, so we had spread them out in Jack’s basement to thoroughly dry them.
Gary drives a Chevy Volt, which is a plug-in electric car. We drove through beautiful farmland in the bright sunshine in this quiet, air conditioned car. We needed to catch up with Jack to see if he needed anything.
Walking into cities is quite tricky because the roads are made for cars, not people. My husband, Dan Van Riper and I had made two trips to Binghamton (by car, of course) to look at what the best route would be to walk into Binghamton. The challenge is that Route 7 turns into Interstate 88. It is extremely dangerous (and illegal) to walk on I-88, so another route was needed.
I choose this route: Route 7 to Route 7b, a left on Nowlan Road and then left onto Chenango Street which would bring the walkers all the way into Binghamton. I was concerned, because Nowlan Road had no shoulders and the edge of the road was crumbling in places. The road had many curves, and bad sight lines. Not a great place to walk safely.
By the time we caught up with Jack, he was halfway through Nowlan Road – no problem at all for him. Jack had started at 6:30 and was more than one third the way through the walk when we found him.
Gary and I stopped to buy water. But, Jack (unlike me), was a walker with few needs and all we needed to give him was a bottle of water.
I was concerned about bandaging my foot. I had used the last bandage the Emergency Room nurse gave me last night, and needed to find more non-adhesive bandages before tonight. I mentioned to Gary I needed these special bandages, and he pointed out a CVS across the street. It took me two minutes to find everything I needed to take care of my foot and we were off again. Jim Clune caught up with Jack and now we had two walkers.
Jim Ehmke from Channel 34 was scheduled to interview us. We met him and I think he did a fantastic interview.
Binghamton local News Inteview
Watch full Binghamton interview below:
By the time we jumped back in the car, we barely had enough time to drive to the NYSEG Stadium (Binghamton Mets) before Jack and Jim arrived. Our walk today ends and begins again tomorrow at this stadium. It was 11:30 AM, and we were done with walking already!
Now there were four of us – Jack, Jim, Gary and me. We went to the Clune’s home to determine our next steps. We had petitions to count and copies to make.
The more arduous part of the day was yet to come. From the Clune house, we decided to go to the Lost Dog restaurant. Now we were six – Ann Clune joined us and later came George Homanich. We ate delicious food, some of us had wine or beer and we all decided after the meal that dessert seemed like an excellent idea. Such hardships I endure for justice!
After lunch, Jack contacted the priest at St. Francis of Assisi to use their copier and printer. Jack and Gary counted the petitions in about 2 minutes (1507 electronic and hand-written combined). I printed out a new set of electronic petitions as these were the most water damaged. Many of the signatures were unreadable, thus a new copy was needed.
After the counting, Gary took Jack back to his car.
I wrote a letter to the Judge to accompany the signatures. Dolores, the secretary, very carefully copied all the hand-signed petitions one-by-one. She was so kind and helpful.
I organized all the papers and Jim picked me up at about 4:45 and drove me to Mary Snyder’s house. When I arrived, Mary assured me that the wheelchair is in her car and ready for my use tomorrow. Since arriving, she had given me good conversation, iced tea, dinner and a couple glasses of wine. Tonight will be the first night in a long time that I am going to bed before midnight!
I just thought everyone would want to know how difficult this trip has been for me (see the hardships above). A day like today makes me want to take a walk across the country, if I am treated this way each day!
I want to thank everyone – I have had so much help and assistance. I appreciate it very much. I look forward to seeing everyone in Binghamton tomorrow, July 23 at 10:15 in the morning at the NYSEG Stadium for a march to the Federal Building at 15 Henry Street.
These photos Gary Doupe took with my iPod
Jack signes the petition
Jim Clune, me, Jack Gilroy
Jack Gilroy, walker for the day
Talking to Jim Ehmke (white shirt)
Gary Doupe and Jack Gilroy counting the signatures
The petitions and my letter to the judge