I have walked from the edge of Patterson to Centerville after a full day of walking talking, interviewing, being stopped (in a good way) by police, and finally sleeping all night while thinking of all the things I could share about the special moments of the day. All I have so far is the title of the post. I wrote that just before I lost the war with my eyelids. I'll just begin and see what rolls off my thumbs...
When I got up from the night at GameStop I stepped over to Walmart to get a gallon of water so I could shave the grey away, some dog food for my companion and a sack of seed for the pretty birds I noticed scavenge for crumbs (poor things). On my way out I passed the woman who had helped me get permission to park the night before. She asked why I had moved over to the GameStop parking strip. I explained the lapse in communication between the Women who were handling the business of the day and the men in charge who were handling things from the video monitors. I thanked her for being so nice and we both giggled over my purchase as I pushed the cart away. By the time I returned to the van at the GameStop, after getting lost and disoriented in the huge acres of parking lot, I noticed there had been a hole in the sack of bird seed, alas, not one kernel was left in the bag. I prepared for the day, moved the van to the edge of the twelve slot Gamestop parking area before sailing across the wide sea of wallyworld asfault. The wind ushered me west effortlessly. I made a phone call to a friend, had a conversation and posed for a picture and steered the World behind a perfect wind until I finally left the vast parking area. A hundred birds lined the roof, waiting... The call had been made, more were on their way. Pretty birds. Worn out from the trek over the empty parking lot I had to stop and rest.
That has nothing to do with the title of this post...Let's try again.
The day before I stepped into Patterson (there, I used the word) I had a lively talk with a fast talking Cajun woman. She talked fast and 'xpressive, I had to quicken my talk just to keep up. We laughed and carried on about everything. From the colas she drinks twenty four-seven knowing they are bad for her to veterans fresh back from the war. She assured me I would meet one 'fo shore' if I was passing through Patterson in the morning. She was right. He was a good gentleman, wound a little tight, strictly by the book and easy to get along with as long as you don't make any sudden moves. Patterson is lucky to have him protecting their community. One of the Patterson citizens had called, they called in saying they nearly hit me. I'm thinking they just wanted to see how he handled the situation and were watching from a distance. During this road side stop I was also interviewed by the local newspaper in Patterson, told more stories than I can remember, talked to a bunch of people who came up for pictures and a few questions, and I had a cup of coffee while we all waited for dispatch to give the "all clear". One of the Patterson police later brought me a patch which is now nestled next to the LA trooper and the 3rd Ward police patch I was given lter in the day as we walked toward Centerville. I didn't get one from the detective who stopped me even before I had walked the length of a walmart parking lot from the walmart parking lot, but he did call me during the day to make sure I was doing alright. I felt safe thanks to our veterans who now serve to protect us locally. I truly mean that. I've met many veterans during my travels, from Firefighters to those on leave from the war. One even called me once when he was on a mountain in Afghanistan with his satellite phone.I have a tribal scarf he gave me. When it's hot and I need to carry a lot of water I have a camelback given to me by a petite little farm girl from wisconsin who faced me off when I hesitated to take her water sack that she had on her tour. When she 'nosed up" to me and told me she'd cleaned all the sand out of it and I better take it I noticed her cheek puffed out from the 'chaw of tobacco stuffed in her gum and the fire in her eye. I took the gear. When I first used it the mouthpiece tastes like lipstick. Not what I was expecting from the little blonde with a chew. Now I call it my lipstick lifesaver and think of her every time I take a drink
Anyway, Patterson New Jersey has got nothing on Louisiana. (There, not great or even close to what I was going to ramble about last night but I did mention both Pattersons)
The sky is thick with grey clouds and it rained a bit last night. I should get ready for the day of walking.
Walk, feel better, hug a cop.