Archive for July, 2011

Walking Town

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

7-24-11All throughout Downtown St. Louis, there are sculptures of a couple of dozen or so of walking figures, not a single one on a bike, that is, until The Kindness Bicycle made its way into town. I have limited my riding to early morning and evening rides as the Heat Index is downright dangerous. Today was a scheduled day off but I rode 15 miles anyway, enjoying the roadway above the Mississippi River and all of the activity it attracts.
The start to the summer looked like it was going to be comfortable throughout its length. That attitude has completely changed after 2 straight weeks of heat indexes over 110 degrees.

Gateway to Less Violence

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

7-23-11As The Kindness Bus/Bicycle Tour heads through this symbol of promise of great things which lie just ahead, my concentration is on near term and long term. The near term, continued visiting of Coalitions and learning of the approach they take to address Domestic Violence in their region, and visiting every group which helps in the treating and healing of victims, and showing them the path to become survivors. The long term of creating some very special way of continuing this mission, where it will help others to heal and move to a good place with their lives.
Today it actually hit 100 degrees. What’s a few more degrees on the thermometer anyways? Hot is hot! I rode this morning to get the “lay of the land” for the upcoming week. St. Louis is a clean, beautiful city and this morning I talked with people from several states. I plan on visiting a number of organizations which help families get back on track.

Sowing Kindness

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

7-22-11I went out looking for Domestic Violence stories in Salem, Illinois today, but found only kindness. My 1st stop was the City Hall to see if October is Domestic Violence month in Salem. It is, and Jane Marshall, Clerk of the City gave me a copy of the Proclamation to prove it. Jane is on top of most everything happening in her city. In the short half hour I was in her office, she talked to every media outlet in her town about One Million Acts Of Kindness and The Kindness Bicycle Tour. Thank you to Bruce Kropp and Jon Pieczynski at WJBD radio for their interest and a nice interview about my mission. John Scattergood, reporter for the Salem Commoner, met me at the community garden to witness some acts of kindness. He is a big promoter of kindness in his community and reports on all the goodness of people in and around his town. Jackie runs the community garden where everyone shares 10% of their produce. Jackie single-handedly helps everyone who has a plot in this urban garden, donating her time, tools and plant material.
Today I was on my bike early, allowing me to get my full ride for the day completed, before the sun rose too high in the sky.


Thursday, July 21st, 2011

7-21-11Stopping Woman Abuse Now Executive Director, Linda Bookwalter has been at her position at this Olney, Illinois shelter for 29 years. When she took the position in 1982, she and another employee were the only Domestic Violence workers at a three bedroom home that served as the county’s shelter. Today there are more than 2 dozen employees serving 14 counties and offering services for those affected by Domestic Violence, Elder Abuse, homelessness and other social needs. Dave, the Elder Abuse counselor met with and gave me the statistics on Domestic Abuse and Elder Abuse and how they are having to do more, with less money due to budget cuts. Linda then met with me, telling me about how she just goes with the changes, good or bad, and looks for the hope in each case where improvement happens individually in what she likes to call “little packages.” It is what keeps her going.
Today was another scorcher with at least another week of temperatures predicted to be in the mid to upper 90s and the Heat Index above 110. At this pace, my “banked miles” will be gone by week’s end.

A Ride on the Magic Bus

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

7-20-11 AI came north to Vincennes, Indiana to meet a 5 year old girl named Markayla. I met Markayla’s mom and step-dad7-20-11 B in southern Indiana and they told me of her being a survivor of leukemia. Anne, Markayla’s mom, told me how much her daughter would love to see The Kindness Bus come to Vincennes. How could I say no to a brave girl like Markayla? Arriving in Vincennes, I was able to meet this energetic, talkative girl who is an inspiration to all of us. I asked her if she and her family would like to go for a ride; we took The Kindness Bus for a spin and Markayla loved being behind the wheel, after the bus was shut down.

It has been a couple of days of pure magic since I arrived in Vincennes. I have had more interest in One Million Acts Of Kindness from teachers and counselors in Vincennes, than almost every town I have visited thus far. Things seem to happen for no apparent reason at times, when they are in fact part of the plans, they are unfolding perfectly.   Thank you for inviting me to visit Vincennes to meet so many nice people, Markayla.  Thank you to Anne’s mom, Mary, for the bounty of vegetables from her garden. The tomatoes were pure perfection. Happy birthday to Karen’s mom. Karen, a resident of Vincennes thought it appropriate to help support the Kindness Bus Tour in honor of her mom who recently passed. Thank you Karen.
Today’s ride was cut short by a Heat Index of 120. There will be cooler days ahead to ride for more “bonus miles.”

Say It Ain’t So

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

7-19-11Today’s photo says it all. The photo of Bogart was taken moments after he was told that he has less than 2 months until he re-joins The Kindness Bicycle/Bus Tour in Colorado. “Bogart, it’s time to leave Spa Barkley,” when told this, he immediately put his paws over his face.
Today was the 5th straight day where the heat index was over 100, with at least another week of the same to come. There have now been more than a dozen days over the 100 degree heat index since The Kindness Bicycle Tour began its journey. I hope this isn’t a long term cycle. The sun is actually the hardest battle. There is no getting out of it at times. I’m going to need an SPF100, if there is such a thing.
I headed north to Vincennes this morning and finished my short 30 mile ride early. All of my rides are on the short side for the upcoming week. Hopefully I can be done with all of them by mid-morning.

Holly’s House

Monday, July 18th, 2011

7-18-11 A“You are going to go to Holly’s House, aren’t you?” When I heard this said by 3 different people in the 7-18-11 Bfirst couple of hours after arriving in Evansville, I knew I had better “Google” Holly’s House. I immediately called Holly’s House to schedule a visit. With the enthusiasm with which my phone call was met and then receiving an email from Executive Director, Sidney Hardgrave at 6:30 the very next morning, I then knew that Holly’s House was a very special place run by very caring individuals.
Co-founder, Brian Turpin, a Detective with the Evansville Police Department, after graduating from the “Finding Words” program, which teaches professionals how to conduct a successful forensic investigation, thought a place for children and adults to come and talk about what has happened to them was needed in Evansville. Brian took the time out of his very busy schedule, along with Sidney Hardgrave, Jenny Wood, Brenda Wible and Stacia LeGate to give me a tour of this beautiful facility. Board member, Kathy Boyd joined us half-way through the tour. She knows the place down to the last nail as she led a group of over 500 workers who volunteered their time to make this place a reality. The moment they opened the doors, they were “debt free,” Kathy said.
Holly’s House is doing everything to eliminate the shame victims feel when they enter, empowering them to become survivors before they leave. They also house offices for other agencies which help families in several surrounding counties. This is one very special place.
Holly’s House is doing incredible work. Visit their website to learn of all their successes at
Visit to learn of the brave survivor for whom this facility is named.
Tomorrow, The Kindness Bicycle/Bus Tour heads north for very special visit to Vincennes, Indiana.