Halt! Who goes there?
DAY 161 / 985 MILES
I never, ever, would’ve thought simply walking on public streets as a subversive act. But, the Walk Around Lowndes project has whispered “au contraire” in my ear. I’d read in some of my high falootin books on walking, about the notion that aimless traipsing can trigger high alarm and suspicion from the good citizens. I didn’t believe the books but now, I’m on my knees brother. Mistakenly, I assumed that kind of reaction was more common centuries ago when the high road was a highly dangerous place where dangerous people lurked. Usually I stroll past people, offer a cordial hello, and get the same in return. I’ve also noticed of the many I encounter who have ear buds in place, we just pass like “two fish swimming past in black ink” (McFarland) . Then there are the wary type. Even with a wave and cheery “good morning”, I’ve been eyeballed with unfriendly suspicion lots of times. On a couple of occasions my strolling even compelled homeowners to arm up, mount the saddle, and go after the walking quarry to get to the bottom of this thing. Other excited Karens or Terrys just dial 911 and let the PoPo do their work. These sub-optimal reactions have happened twice each (so far). Typically, when they’re given the primer on WAL, most will calm and show interest. For others, it’s all a bridge too far (what kind of gullible hayseed did I take’em fer? Who would just haul off and walk…in a strange neighborhood? They know when their own joint’s being cased).
Usually civil disturbances tend to be much noisier affairs, comprised of more than just one person. If the social unrest is just a loner, that fits more in the village idiot category (maybe that Hobo shoe does fit, and this cinderella just hasn’t recognized it yet). More often, unruly people that get the attention of law enforcement are a mad-as-hell bunch, tak’in it to the street. There’s always one or two with bull horns (the brainses behind the movement), clever signs, chants, and defiant anthems that put revolution in the air. Maybe I’d generate less alarm if I marched about town rather than just wander. It would give all who observe me to know, maybe he’s not “mad”, just on a quest to make: Valdosta A Great Institutional Name Again. I could get acronym hats made too (don’t laugh, they were a sensation back in 2017 multi-national womens march). I’ll need my own bull horn – “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Walking free’s The way to Go. Hey Hey, Ho Ho”. A sign may lend legitimacy too: “KUNG FU YOU TOO!”. I haven’t heard back from Mr. Dylan as yet about a requested protest tune.(🎼The town it ain’t a chang’in🎵).
Quote of the week: “Two or three hours of walking will carry me to as strange a country as I expect ever to see. A single farmhouse which I had not seen before is sometimes as good as the dominions of the King of Dahomey” – Henry David Thoreau.
A colossal THANK YOU to everyone following the Walk Around Lowndes quest and especially to all who have made a contribution for The Suwannee River Keeper. I love you all. I urge everyone to visit the WWALS website to keep up to date on their tireless work to protect our most precious natural resource – WATER thats drinkable, fishable, and swimmable. In the next few weeks submissions, I intend to post more information about the Suwannee River Keeper, gleaned from a multi-part interview with John Quarterman of The Suwannee River Keeper..
Till next week, I remain upright and singing in the saddle. Lets go for a walk.