Final Countdown Story: Rogersville, TN

I wake up to thunder. Directly overhead. Not the sharp, crackling kind, but rather a nonstop grumble that makes it impossible to count Mississippis after orange strobes flash inside my tent like paparazzi. Last night I strategically set up camp under the canopy of a tall tree, but the rain is falling like hammers and I’m taking a beating anyhow. I know the cloudburst won’t … Continue reading Final Countdown Story: Rogersville, TN

Countdown Story #13: Hutto, TX

My brother Mike and I weren’t super tight growing up. Likely because I took an inordinate amount of joy in harassing him insufferably. I distinctly remember the pleasure I’d feel when my teasing made him cry. I wouldn’t be surprised if he now discusses such things with a therapist. But as they generally do, things changed as we grew older, and the beginnings of our … Continue reading Countdown Story #13: Hutto, TX

Countdown Story #12: Mount Crawford, VA

An older white woman slows her car to a stop and wants to know what I’m raising money for. Her crunched face assures me my answer doesn’t compute.  “Oh – I thought you were the man I saw on the news,” she says. “The Black man walking across America with a lawn mower. Mowing folks’ lawns along the way to build community.”  I apologize, tell … Continue reading Countdown Story #12: Mount Crawford, VA

Countdown Story #8: Bristol, VA

After crossing into Virginia, I beeline toward the nearest gas station where I’ll celebrate another state with bad coffee and a big danish. Along the way I pass a marquee at the entrance of St. Anne’s Catholic Church. It says, “In the tapestry of life, we are all connected.”   I park Little Buddy on the quiet side of a station mini-mart and head inside … Continue reading Countdown Story #8: Bristol, VA

Countdown Story #6: San Antonio, TX

Ray and Jimmy invite me to their alley stoop then commiserate about their friendship. “You know how sometimes God puts someone in your path?” Ray says. “That’s what happened with us.” Their adoring eyes meet. Ray lets out a nervous laugh. “Yeah. It’s our energy that brought us together,” Jimmy says. They take turns telling me where to go and what to do in San … Continue reading Countdown Story #6: San Antonio, TX