Please say HELLO to Pastor Steve.
Single handed, this incredible man is feeding uncounted Outer Banks - and beyond - residents...many of whom have lost everything to Hurricane Irene.
On Sunday and Wednesday P. Steve feeds the souls of many of these same folks from his modest church in the village of Salvo, on the Outer Banks.
Steve tends his friends in all things at all times...even while slowed a bit by Polio, P. Steve - at 2:00 am in the middle of the night - recently drove 100 or so miles to a bridge crossing the Pamlico Sound...toting a can of gasoline to his friend who ran out of gas...his friend not hesitating a moment, certain that P. Steve would come to his aid.
Four days ago, P. Steve was rushed - in the middle of the night - by Jeanette...another of P. Steve's "family of friends"... to the hospital for an emergency Appendectomy. 24 hours later, P. Steve walked out of ER, drove the 50 miles or so back to Salvo only to continue with wife Betty (who is P. Steve's Right-Hand-Man - no offense meant -) another 30 miles to the village of Buxton to purchase a new tire for their Van, which was flattened - and destroyed - ...even then, instead of slowing down. P. Steve drove back to Kitty Hawk to pick up food for the next day Food Bank supplies.
I walk, finding folks such as Pastor Steve. My friend, Martine, of Greenport, New York, last week UPS'd 25 pounds of her hand made Biscotti to share with P. Steve's Food Pantry clients.
Many mornings, a bag of food or clothing will be found deposited on the Food Pantry doorstep...a thank you from anonymous locals to P. Steve's world.
All these things, P. Steve does for everyone in need...all at no charge.
Learning of local and distant folks in need, P. Steve regularly delivers food / clothing baskets.
P. Steve is trying to find a Van which he plans to use to expand his deliveries.
An awesome Man is P. Steve...who I am proud to call my friend...whom I have left behind to continue my circumnavigation walk around America...
"Steve's"parting words to me as I hugged him goodbye yesterday morning were...
"I love you, Bruce...and there is nothing you can do about it !"
SPIA all tanked up ready to back away from HAPPY CLAM...our home the past three months.
Thank you; Thank you.
DEJA VU...Karen Estey's summer home in Rodanthe...Karen, who is responsible for SPIA and me to be on the Outer Banks all winter.
Thank you; Thank you.
A newly graded ditch at the street of Wimble Shoals - location of HAPPY CLAM and DEJA VU - exiting onto Highway 12...where I spent so many days policing trash upon my arrival in the Outer Banks.
MAC's Island Convenience Store..1/4 mile walk from Wimble Shores, where one can find gasoline, propane, groceries, fishing gear, or a delicious made-to-order sandwich.
The home of Tim and Barbara, where I have spent the past many weeks helping Tim and enjoying Barbara's delicious meals.
Camp Hatteras Campground, where Jeanette - the very same Jeanette who rushed P. Steve to his date under the knife - has been so kind to SPIA and me the past nearly four months.
The Food Bank and P. Steve's church. As my parting gift, I hand waxed Betty's red Town & Country van...the very same for which P. Steve fetched the new tire only one hour after walking out of the hospital.
Pastor Steve in front of his previously Hurricane-destroyed home...a home gifted by their - and my - friend, Linda Hooper.
The home is now completely "gutted", in the process of being put back together.
Leaving Outer Banks is not easy for me...and for a number of my new friends.
Crossing the Roanoak Sound Bridge, having just turned West, away from Rodanthe/Waves/Salvo...not to mention Nags Head and Kitty Hawk.
Once again, I stand beside Scuppernong River Bridge, Columbia, North Carolina...home of my dearest friend, Karen (carrying her own cross).
It is now Friday morning, March 02. 2012. I am sitting in "my" room overlooking the Scuppernong River trying to comprehend some of the tsunami of people, kindness...and yes, a disappointment or two, flooding my shaking body...shaking from emotion
I fully intended to be on my way this morning...Karen will have none of it - Karen and I have a special bond linked back to Cri -
I will leave when I leave...
A guide I have only too often followed:
If you love something, you must let it go. If it comes back, it can be yours...if it does not return, it never was.
Here I go again . . . .