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Friday, April 22, 2011

6 miles to Mineola Tx.

When I arrived in Hallville Tx the skies were dark and there was a severe thunderstorm warning for the area with reports of golfball sized hail scattered throughout the storm. I was naturally concerned about the weather so I took shelter at the dairy queen in Hallville and watched the sky for a few hours. The store closed at 10 pm so I knew I would have to leave eventually and so I questioned an employee about possible campsites. I was told the city park had a gazebo and that was the best for the town. I went to go check it out. As I approached the park I saw the city Baptist Church and also saw the Fire Dept. The church had a large covered access on the side of the main bldg that I thought would be good. I stopped by the FD and asked if it would e a problem to hang out at the church till after the storm.... A call was made to the on duty Police Officer and he gave me permission.
After an hour or so of sitting under the shelter, one of the FD personnel came over and offered to let me shower in the living quarters and I accepted. I cleaned up and started answering emails and returning phone calls when another FD member came in and said they had a place for me.
I go outside and meet Bob who is also a firefighter with the department. I also met his wife and I can't seem to remember her name. Bobs wife is on staff at a local Methodist church in Hallville and they work with underprivileged families to give them a new start in life. What a wonderful way to help our fellow Americans I think. So they have cubicle style housing behind the church with bathrooms and AC and I had a good nights sleep that night... Except for the little mouse that insisted on running around and dragging paper everywhere he went. He almost died several times that night and I don't think he even realized it.
So the next morning Bob brings me a mcdonalds breakfast and I scarf it down and head out.
Just outside of Longview... Around Page Rd I get a call from Bob Hallmark who is a reporter from ABC news in Longview. He heard about me from Carla who follows the Trek and has been a bid help in the Longview area. Bob happens to be a former Navy guy an has a heart for veterans and military especially those military families that have lost someone. Bob grabs a great story and it ends upcplaying at 6 and 10 that night. I found. quality Inn and grabbed a room in Longview. It was around 1230 so I was going to get a decent nights sleep and half a day to rest. I also wanted to hang around the city because anytime the Trek gets news coverage it really helps donations and support.
That night Carla drove up from Tyler to take me out for a burger that was great except that I just didn't feel so good for some reason. Maybe I was a bit dehydrated but I wasn't 100%. So I get back to my room and u crash. Morning comes.
I wake up and go. Donations are great and people are coming out to support in their own ways. For instance... Cody is a Longview Policeman an sent me a text during my sleep that he wanted to help out by buying me Breakfast so we linked up and he did. City and I hit it off when we met and he was a proud but humble civil servant and it was great to meet him.
A young lady from the local VFW post stopped me in Clarksville and told me she was part of the Ladies Auxillary and her dad was the VFW Officer. Seems their VFW is in danger of closing it's doors but they desperately wanted to help so they gave what little they could. If that's not a picture of great Americans I don't know what is. That's simply Amerucans helping Amerucans. I think I like that.... Americans Helping Americans... New slogan for Trek For Hope??? What do you think?
So it seems that Carla... God bless her... Drove from Longveiw to Big Sandy after our burger dinner scoping out the road and places to stay. She got to Big Sandy and asked the Police if I could camp at the park but they said no, though they thought they knew someone thT could help and they would call her back. So, yesterday I get a phone call from mike. Mike is former airforce and a great guy. He calls and says he is headed my way to meet me and that when I get to big sandy I'll have a place. I get one town short of big sandy and I meet mike. He tells me the details and then I'm off to meet a reporter at the pizza hut. As I'm pushing my cart to pizza hut my handle breaks, again. So I call mike. Mike flys in like the airforce combat engineer that he was and rigs my stroller up an it's still going strong. I eat with Jimmy the reporter and I head out to big sandy. When I get there I am met by mikes girlfriend Shawn and the Mayor of Big Sandy Mayor Weese. Just pruorto this a man named Stephen stopped me just outside Big Sandy. His dad was a helicopter mechanic in Vietnam. He walked. Couple miles with me into town as did mike. We all arrived at the churchs extra bldg which has couches and bathrooms and a generally nice setup overall.
I was greeted by a local reporter who was not supposed to be working but came out anyways to grab a story. And a little later mikes GF Shawn brings over a home cooked meal and the three of us.. Me mike and Shawn sit down tobeat. After dinner mike and I tell war stories and then we all said our goodbyes and I went to bed.
I wake up at like 0515 this morning and answer the door at 0545 to dewayne. He is a church member and a great guy. We met the previous night and he took my clothes and washed them folded them and brought them back to me this morning and took me to breakfast. Fantastic gentleman. After breakfast he dropped me back off at the place I stayed and he headed off to work. I set out a bit later and headed to Mineola. The past few days I have been in contact with Benjamin Timoner. He is walking across country west to east for Pancreatic Cancer. We met up between Hawkins and Mineola today and exchanged stories and passed guidance for each our respective directions ahead. After a good hour of talking we parted ways... He headed east an I continued west. Check his journey at
Before leaving Big Sandy mike gave me a phone number to another Pastor in Mineola. A Pastor Ken Teo. I called Ken after meeting mike and told him ETA an ge said he would make sure u had a place no matter what. I arrived outside Mineola and setup camp because I had told Ken I would show up tomorrow around lunch. Well Ken had a former Army Sgt, mr Harris call me and he was going to work with me about tomorrow and the housing situation. Come to find out I was camped right across the street from where theywere gonna house me at so mr Harris comes and scoops me up and well.... Here I am, in the church fellowship hall. So, that's my story over the past few days. Mr Harris will be here in the am to treat me to breakfast and them I'll be headed to Grand Saline. I hope you all are well. Have a great night!


  1. I'm just sitting here thinking about the goodness of God to provide so well and how you are typing this whole thing out on that tiny IPhone screen. Good job!

  2. Your posts reminded me at how many Dairy Queens are in Texas. If the town is big enough to have a stoplight, they also have a DQ (and/or Sonic).