Last week, I forgot to tell you that on October 23rd, to be precise, I bought myself a plane ticket to New Orleans to meet Jean during the Christmas holidays. I am so excited; I don't know how I will manage to wait till December 21st!!! Now, back to our business.
On October 27th, Jean walks into Abbeville, SC. He stops at the grocery store for provisions. There, he meets General Arnette who is curious about what he is doing and asks for more information. I was impressed when he told me that a General had talked with him. Then, he tells me that General stands for the man's first name and that he is in no way connected with the army. Anyway, General is a kind man who invites Jean to pitch his tent in his yard, about 7 miles south of Abbeville.
On October 28th and 29th, Jean feels a bit depressed... He camps in Calhoun Falls State Park where he relaxes, writes and meditates. At this time of the year, the park is deserted and he has all the quietness he desires. The trees are in full color and the view is breathtaking. It helps soothe his little heart !
On the 30th, he hits the road again and arrives in Elberton, GA where he camps on Chris and Mercedes Lewis' lawn.
On the 31st, I am beginning to be worried. It is a long time since I spoke to Jean and I notice he hasn't read his emails. I don't know where he is or how he is... Then I receive an email from Amy of Comer, GA.:
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 17:20:18 -0500 (EST)
hello i just met jean today. oct. 31 at 4:00 he was in my town of comer, georgia. i was headed to the bank for change for work when i met him. He was so interesting that i walked right past the bank. i can say he has a positive effect on all he meets. he said he was headed for atlanta for the weekend. may his trip be safe and result in peace. i sure hope.
and so it goes
Phew !!! At least he is all right ! A few days before, I had written an email to the " Athens Daily News " telling them about Jean's journey and that he would arrive in Athens any day. I had also sent a copy of this email to Jean. So, on November 1st, while I am at work, I receive a phone call from Mark Niesse from the Daily News. After answering a few questions, I ask him if he would write a story on Jean and he said: " Yes, if I can find him." There are no way to contact him when he is on the road and all I could tell Mark was that Jean was on his way from Comer. This was around 2:00 PM. Apparently, after Mark hung up the phone, Jean entered the Daily News office.
After his interview with Mark, who wrote a wonderful story that you can read on the MEDIA section of the site.
Jean walked in a grocery store for provisions again. At the entrance, he met 2 gentlemen who were curious about his buggy and his walk. In the store, he saw again one of these gentlemen with his lady. And again in the line for the cash register... this is when Jane and Dwight Freshley invited him to their home where he was fed a nice supper and provided with a nice warm bed. While Jean was walking to the Freshley's home, he met a jogger, Tom Adams who, when he got back home wrote me this:
Subject: HI from Athens, Georgia
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2000 18:31:40 EST
I just wanted to let you know I met Jean as he was on his way to spend the night with a family in Athens. I really enjoyed speaking with him. He was so friendly and smiled the whole time we talked. He was having a little trouble with directions so I helped him in the right direction. He was about 1 mile from the home he was going to so he made it there probably around 5:30 p.m.
It was a privilege to meet and speak with him and you all will be in my thoughts and prays.
Good luck Jean!!!!!!!
On November 2nd, Jean heads toward Atlanta. He sleeps in his tent in a place called Between, GA.
Till next week...