The other day Lynnie called me from Creekside and told me that a man had ridden up to the restaurant, tied his horse to a tree, walked in and ordered a meal. She said that he was riding his horse across America toward the Pacific Ocean, and perhaps I could come over and get his story.
Being the pessimist that I am, I also wondered exactly what he was doing. Was he trying to raise money for one thing or another, was he writing a book, or what cause was he promoting?
Anyway, I went down to the Creekside Restaurant and spent a few minutes with the man. Later, when he was turned away at the Christopher Creek Campground because horses are not allowed, we invited him to spend the night at our cabin and put his horse up in our corral.
While spending that additional time with Ellis "Randy" Leverett, I gained great respect for him. He's doing something I would have loved to do, but never had the nerve. He's taken a few months to get away from his normal lifestyle and go searching.
On April 24, Randy left his home in Falkville, Ala. on his 6-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Blaze. His goal: Los Angeles, Calif. or the Pacific Ocean. Personally, I think trying to get a horse anywhere near L.A. is suicide, so hopefully he aims for the Pacific Ocean and away from L.A.
After speaking with Randy, I realized he was not unlike many of us with our views of how we would like our communities or our country to respond to certain circumstances. But unlike many of us, he went looking for the views of others.
He thinks that we can make a difference.
Randy wondered if his views are universal or he is alone in his thinking? He wondered if the laws catered to the wealthy and were oppressive to the poor. As he put it, a $300 fine for a poor man can be overwhelming, but for a rich man, it holds little significance and isn't much of a deterrent.
Randy said he thinks this great nation was built under God and has led the way against tyranny and oppression for those in other countries, but is rapidly developing injustices against its own residents. This nation, Randy said, is losing sight of the spirit of the law and he is on a crusade to find out how his views compare with those of the people he meets along the way.
At first, my meeting with Randy was of interest because I considered myself a horseman. I have ridden many 25-mile, 50-mile and 100-mile day-long endurance rides. Here, this man is riding across America on one horse, and he's finding his own water, feed and shelter for the both of them.
For all his travels, Randy's horse appeared well cared for and in excellent condition, but Randy said he's anxious to complete his journey and go back home.
Randy has spoken with people from all walks of life in big cities and small towns in Alabama, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. I found that he's open to all kinds of thoughts and opinions, and is truly interested in other people's views.
He never asked for anything.
Based on past experiences, I expected him to ask for a donation or something, but he didn't. Instead, we found $10 on the counter, which we returned to him with our thanks for the thought.
His only concern at this point is finding a way to ship his horse back to Alabama once he reaches his destination. I told him I'd try to find a way to help him with that endeavor. I'm sure his horse doesn't want to walk all the way back home.
I plan to stay in touch with Randy, who is now heading to Blythe, Calif. He expects to reach the Pacific by Oct. 15.
The Awana Bible Club for children and youths is meeting at the Christopher Creek Bible Chapel from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sundays for Bible lessons, games and refreshments. For more information, call 478-4337.
Lines of communication
Keep those cards, letters and phone calls coming. Feel free to call me at 478-5050 with any information you'd like to share with the community.