5:00 pm 4/08/10
Near the Grey and Donley county lines and the town of Jericho, Texas, we pulled the van over to the side of the highway to wait for Al Slusser who was walking along the highway, to catch up to us. At first we thought he was on a recumbent bike, but no, he was walking, pulling a two-wheeled cart behind him from which a bit of water was dripping. He had that weathered look of someone who spends most of the time out in the wind and sun, wore a scrunched hat with “Arizona” across the front, beat up jeans, and a tee shirt with a highway worker’s yellow vest with green iridescent stripes and a message on the back – about Unity and Pray for the USA. He caught up to us and seemed pleased and surprised to hear we had pulled over for him. And he told us his story. He is 71 and fulfilling his dream of walking coast to coast, and collecting knots in a red, white, and blue rope. Each knot is tied by someone he meets along the way who can take the pledge to “stand up for the USA and kneel down for her.” Al was inspired by John Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” He carries only a small section of rope, about 3’, with him. When it is full of knots, he sends it to a group in AZ who adds it to the other pieces and Al hopes that when they send him the completed “Unity Ball” when he reaches Washington, DC, that it will be quite large, and he hopes to present it to the President as a symbol of so many Americans praying for the unity of their country. Al said it all started with his “bucket list”, things he wanted to do before he dies, but it has grown into a larger vision – one of inspiration – and indeed, he has dedicated his walk to senior citizens and disabled Americans. Al's got a website - www.c2cw.com. We will think of you often, Al. God bless you on your travels as you walk the talk.