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It is now Saturday night, April 06, 2013...finding us soundly ensconced in the walls of the Baptist Church of the town of Jackson, North Carolina.
SAM AND ME spent a warm comfy night two nights ago sleeping INSIDE the Men's Rest Room. Outside was raining cats and dogs and the night was COLD. When Neal arrived for work at 8:00 something, he quickly agreed that the Men's Room was the right place to be on such a blustery night.
...was handy for me too...being an old man needing to respond to the call of nature two or three time each night...was quite handy!
The street side sign for Neal's River Center.
At the entrance to the River Center is the new Farmer's Market...constructed entirely by teenage laborers...soon be the subject of a video to be shown at an international film festival.
Please say HELLO to JOE and his business manager, JULETTE. Joe invited me inside his place of business...an Internet Cafe where we chatted while downing our breakfast.
Joe's Internet Cafe also offers gaming on the many computers lining the large room...affording clients the opportunity to win prizes.
This was my first visit to an Internet Cafe, so, was a bit surprised as to what constitutes such a business.
Joe's Internet Cafe
Please say HELLO to JOE...another Joe...who some hours later was enjoying lunch where I stopped in for a fish sandwich. Joe and I had a chat during lunch, I introducing him to the Lymphatic System. Seems Joe has Lyme Disease for some time now and is looking for possible treatment options.
Passing by their pasture, started chatting to these horses...who immediately galloped over to me at the fence, where we looked eyeball to eyeball...and I even caressed a couple noses. Animals very much enjoy being conversed with.
A particularly beautiful field.
Please say HELLO to Bob. Bob was dragging his push rotary lawn mower as I stood along side NC 308 in the small town of Lewiston-Woodville, North Carolina. As he passed by, Bob asked from where we walked and where we were going. After explaining, I said I was looking for a place to set up our tent...or a place to sleep for the night.
You got money? Yes! For $20.00, I have a private home for you to spend the night. Let's go!
Followed Bob across town to his "second" home, which was empty as he co-habited with his lady friend. The couch is yours for the night. Two hours later, after chatting with a half dozen of "drop in" relatives and friends (I think they were curious who that white guy was), I announced I needed to get to sleep. All except Bob left...he hummed and hawed for another half hour and finally his lady friend showed up...both leaving together, letting me to take a shower and slip into my sleeping bag...this was about 10:00 pm.
Six times during the night, Bob returned...turning on the lights and radio...cussing about any number of things...I trying to ignore him. On his barging into the house trailer at 4:00 am, I announced that this was MY home for the night for which I paid...he shouted at me (details omitted), slammed things here and there...
I told Bob his attitude and disregard for our arrangement was not acceptable, so I rolled out, dressed, packed up, and left...daylight still 2.5 hours away.
Spent the rest of the night sitting in the local Truck Stop...at daylight, started walking North on NC 308, arriving at the town of Jackson, North Carolina about 4:30 in the afternoon...an 8-hour day covering nearly 30 miles.
Along the way, passed by a large PURDUE Chicken Processing Factory.
Admired more Mail Box Art
...and upon stopping for lunch at a Greek Restaurant...
Please say HELLO to TIM and his gorgeous young daughter, KAYLIE, with whom I chatted for a bit...they, fascinated that this old man was actually walking across America...Kaylie...to take one's breath away!
Click click to enlarge.
They were both covered in paint...taking a lunch break from their painting job.
Walking into the town of Jackson, stopped in at the offices of the Sheriff, introducing myself, and being asked to sit and rest while the receptionist, Karen made some phone calls. Directing me to the Baptist Church two blocks away, I met a charming man, Warren, who said the church was mine for the night...i.e., I could set up my tent anyplace I wanted on the grounds...or if I preferred, take my sleeping bag and air matress inside the church where I could choose a spot to sleep the night.
Warren, whom I later this evening discovered is the Pastor, and I chatted for over two hours as he showed me around his church...then making a few phone calls, arranged an impromptu gathering of three of the church elders, who arrived bearing bags full of food - all for me - and we five chatted for another 1.5 hours...finding much to our delight, many similarities of our lives. J.D., now 91 years old, his Son in Law, Steve, Bill, and Pastor Warren and I sat around Warren's office desk as I ate and everyone related war stories of nearly a century of life.
I have been invited to address the Men's Bible Study Group in the morning...and stay on for services presided over by Warren. After the "elders" left, Warren and I continued to chat for another hour or so...he explaining his intended sermon...raising a few questions on my opinion (geeez...who me?), and a half hour ago - it is now 10:00 pm - went on home across the street, leaving me at his desk to complete this blog update...to think/dream about his questions and be prepared to respond in the morning.
I'm really not certain how it is that I sit alone in this big cathedral late at night...my sleeping bag waiting outside on the newly mown lawn...supposed to dream about Warren's intended sermon...and address the menfolk about the adventures of an old man walking. Warren says some of his men have become a bit downcast...and thinks my chatting might help lift their spirits a wee bit.
We shall see.
After services tomorrow, I will walk the final 15 miles to the city of Roanoke Rapids where I have been directed to a few motels. I am in need of a good hot water bath soak, a good night's sleep, and a few moments to enjoy an empty brain before heading North on Route NC 46, where on Monday, SAM AND ME will cross into the State of Virginia.