Friday, February 3, 2017

Public Announcement, Tour II

On Monday January 30, 2017, after months of giving the next tour serious thought and preparation, it was time to go public with an announcement of the next tour start date and location.  After writing a general introductory email it occurred to me that I should personalize the moment, and share first with local media outlets in my immediate community, instead of one email addressed to all media outlets I've met with in the past across the nation.  From a previous conversation with a friend, a veritable well of knowledge, I obtained a list of 5 local media sources, 3 radio stations and 2 papers.  Of these 5 sources, 1380 KCIM  was the only one I could not seem to locate an email address for.  This led to my first phone call.

From outside the Glidden Public Library (reception is poor from inside) in the arctic chill and gusting winds of Iowa, I got on the phone and called 1380 KCIM.  I spoke with a gentleman who had an outgoing enthusiastic radio personality of a voice, which of course is quite reasonable, and briefly introduced myself along with a short mission background.  For the life of me, I can't remember his name; it all happened so fast.  I was quickly transferred to Nathan whom I was told in a voice brimming with enthusiasm, definitely wanted to speak with me.  If levels of anxiety weren't peaked, they were certainly peaking then.  The rapid fire communication, for me anyway, was almost as though I was being whisked away from one used car sales man to another.  I kept my hand on my wallet just in case. 

With Nathan on the phone, I again, quickly and nervously, introduced myself and provided a brief mission statement.  Nathan asked if he could return my call and that he was very interested in hearing more.  The interest in his voice seemed quite genuine, nevertheless, for me the thought, however small, crept in that I may have hit a dead end.  When he called back 15 minutes later, he asked me a few poignant questions, patiently guided me through the process and afterward we shared  a brief conversation before informing me that the story will air today or tomorrow.  Just like that, before I knew it, with out rehearsal or preparation, we had just finished a radio interview.  If you all will recall, I called to get an email address, maybe even schedule an interview. 

Talk about new and unique experiences!  I suppose one might relate the entire experience to that of receiving a vaccination shot at the doctors office, assuming of course one has an aversion to shots or needles.  A person knows what the process entails, nevertheless anxiety builds.  And then, Bam! it's over with and wasn't nearly as painful as one thought it would be.  I guess, for me, there is the anxiety, the hope that I say the right words, I reach the right ears, and to successfully express and convey just how extremely grateful I am for Veterans and Their Pets(SM).

As luck would have it 93.7 KKRL and on Facebook, 1380 KCIM, and 106.7 KIKD Kick New Hit Country are all part of Carroll Broadcasting Company in Carroll Iowa.  In a matter of 30 minutes I have knocked out 3 out of 5 tasks for the day.  A good ten minutes of which were spent doing Wooo hoo's immediately after hanging up.  The Wooo hoo's were in my head...I was in the library.

It is my hope, before I depart for the tours origin, that I get the opportunity to meet with Nathan and his fast talkin' buddy at the station.  I would enjoy the opportunity for a selfie or two with them, to inform them that it wasn't nearly as painful as I thought it would be, and to give personal thanks for sharing our story.

Glidden Graphic, newspaper, news, current events, media, Tour De PACLANTIC Veterans and Their Pets(SM)
Harold and Bill Brown of the Glidden Graphic, Glidden, IA
Not long after talking with Nathan, I dialed the Glidden Graphic and reached a disconnected number.  Mistakenly, I had jotted down the number from a "Mickey Mouse" business directory.  The number was transcribed correctly, the mistake was choosing a poor or outdated source.   I walked up the beautiful business district, just a few business doors down to the Glidden Graphic and poked my head inside and asked if a moment could be spared.  Bill Brown warmly welcomed me inside and excused himself while he momentarily finished a thought on his computer keyboard. 
We exchanged pleasantries after which I briefly introduced myself and explained my mission.  Bill typed as we discussed my past and future tour.  It was a very relaxed and pleasant discussion that thoroughly covered most every aspect from routes to some of the highlights of past events leading to the present.

Glidden Graphic newspaper Next Big Single hit singles recording studio
Glidden Graphic & Next Big Single
I suspect that we spent no more than an hour together. As I watched Bill crop a closeup photo of Daisy's face, then copy and paste it onto a photo of us biking down a road, he announced the article done.  On his computer monitor before him, was a completed document that looked exactly the form of a newspaper layout.

Glidden Graphic newspaper, news, current events, media
Bill Brown finished this article as we spoke.  Simply amazing.  If you all knew how long it took me to write this post up to this point, most would have fallen asleep long ago waiting for me to finish.
Bill shared with me some encouraging thoughts, one of which is that I should share more of the human interest.  It seemed crystal clear to me exactly at the time he mentioned it.  I find now that I will have to meet up with him again to refresh his recommendation so it becomes rote with me.

Bill also owns Next Big Single and was kind enough to give me a peek and a taste of his talents.  Extraordinarily talented, gifted in fact.  I asked Bill for a sit in on one of his next jam sessions for a quick video, and to have something to write about with more specifics in a later blog.  It is truly amazing what a person might run into, in a beautifully aged brick building, on a breathtaking historic business district, in a town that celebrates its sesquicentennial this year.

Thursday, February 2, 2017, I finally finished searching for contact information for media outlets that I either met with or contacted while on the last tour.   One such contact was toward the end of the last tour, and during the most active times of my communications with everyone in general.  Towards the end I put quite a few calls out, and often times other numbers or departments would call back.  I met many people along the way and often times didn't have a clue as to whom I was speaking with as it relates to the calls I put out.  Keep in mind too, that while on the road, I maintained my phone charge with solar panels and had to monitor battery usage.  Email and phone calls were hurried.
One memory in particular, I was reminded of a post of congratulations from Brantley Beacon on one of my Facebook posts at the conclusion of the tour.  Today however, I googled this website and omg, I met that fella with the straw hat on the roadside back in Georgia for an interview!  Now it comes to me, this is the fella that sent that congratulations to me in a comment on one of my posts.  That touched me in no small way.
Tour De PACLANTIC, Veterans and Their Pets, Brantley Beacon, Rick Head
Nahunta, Georgia home of Brantley Beacon

Today, I called the number at Brantley Beacon, and with a familiar southern drawl Rick answers.  Immediately, I know now, exactly who it is I'm talking with and reply, "Rick, how the hell are ya'?". We talked and shared a few moments, including how I sounded like his brother-in-law.
Wouldn't you know it, I still didn't thank him for that kind congratulations and what it meant to me at the time.  I'll have to call him again.

Photo by Harold Palmquist, Tour De PACLANTIC, Veterans and Their Pets, Nahunta Georgia, Brantley Beacon
Nahunta, GA.  Home of Brantley Beacon
Suddenly, I am reminded of another quite memorable moment at the completion of my last tour.  A similar situation in an emotional roller coaster of moments.  A gentleman whom I initially suspected as a kind stranger, perhaps a local to St. Simons Island, that shot video and stills of our arrival on the beach, was perhaps someone whom I previously met in person. My current search for email addresses and past email correspondence may have revealed this possibility, but that is a post for next week.

(((March 3, 2017 Edit:  After a month, I am finally getting around to including the start date and location of the next tour, for which this post's title implies.  Daisy and I will be at Massengale Park (click on this link for a Google Map) in St. Simons Island, Georgia on Saturday, April 8th, 2017, no later than 11:00 AM .    There, we will meet with folks, share our story, answer questions, participate in photos, and to raise awareness and funding for "Veterans and Their Pets(SM)" .  (Please take a moment and visit their web site at the following link:  Veterans and Their Pets(SM))

Important:  In the event of inclement weather, I am presently asking around for an alternate location for a meet and greet and will endeavor to notify all, here on this blog, and on all social media.  However, rain or shine, Daisy and I will get our feet wet in the Atlantic ocean at the stated time and location.

Important:  Please, for the safety of Daisy and myself, do NOT donate cash on this date.  It would not be wise for me to be walking around with donations and I will have no means to transfer those funds to "Veterans and Their Pets(SM).  If you wish to donate, please click on the following link at the FundRazr account for "Veterans and Their Pets(SM)", a 501(c)(3) non-profit (EIN 26-0896950).

Important:  I am trying to conceive of all the variables associated with such a public meeting.  It is not my intention to come across as ungrateful, expecting, or to portray a sense of entitlement.  In fact, I don't know what to expect.  I will start this trip with a full load of dry beans, rice, dog food, and a pound of each:  tire patches, glue, and spokes.  A full load.  If all you bring is hugs, handshakes, curiosity, and well-wishes, these things alone, matched with ours in return, will make for a remarkable, joyful, and most memorable occasion!)))


  1. So do you have some idea of your route? We'll be leaving Boise around May 1 and will be in Bemidji, MN on 22 July (we'll likely drive from the Rockies to Bemidgi - to attend a family reunion). If all goes as planned we'll be heading down the West Coast in early September.

    1. From St. Simons Island, we'll head to Savannah Georgia and continue on a northerly course. Perhaps in Pennsylvania we will head west and continue our journey just under the great lakes. Where we reach the Pacific Ocean will depend on the weather in that location for that time of season.

      I do hope that we will meet up again, that would be an extraordinary story to share for sure!

      Ride on!