Day 9, Nitro to Williamsburg WV. 5/24/18
I wanted to go back to yesterday which would place us in Nitro last night. 5/23 We were at the Nitro presentation when the song by Lee Greenwood, I am proud to be an American, was played. The song had barely started when seemingly the entire front half of the people around the “stage” came together and held hands and lifted them up and began to sing along. It was an emotion packed moment-in-time that says so very much about the spirit of togetherness in the group last night. And then this morning when we were sitting on our bikes ready to go, someone honked their horn, then another and it erupted into a symphony of everyone’s horn going at the same time. There just seemed to be a joyful spirit among the group and it was fun to be there. The video I took of the song is about 3 minutes long and will not fit well in this format but may see it on the rftw.us facebook. I will try to include it here but if you cannot pull it up, send me an email and I will send it and some others. s[email protected] Also you may visit the new sit rep for next year and she may have this posted now. Her name is Jean Galt and her blog is mamag03.blogspot.com.
We left Nitro so thankful for all the good things the people had done there and headed to WV capital in Charleston. If you have ridden with us before then you know what a beautiful peaceful place the rotunda is. We fit all 500+ bikes in there. We took pictures and enjoyed some down time and then headed to Rainelle WV. It is a long road, about 95 miles but the beauty of the place helps it to slip by quickly.
Rainelle is a very special place for the people of the RUN and we look forward to being there and sharing with the kids. They come out and stand along the fences and are excited to see us and I think we are actually more excited to see them as there are a lot of happy faces on all who are in the midst of exchanging signatures and some homemade pictures and etc. I met Randy earlier at the capital and told him about Rainelle and later I saw him in the middle of a bunch of kids. He had a smile from ear to ear, and I asked him how he was doing. He said, “I love this, I just wish I had something to give them, I wish I had known”. So, we made sure he had something to give the kids and when I left they were surrounding him and all had a good time. If you have not been to Rainelle, I will briefly explain what is going on. The first RUN came to a point where they had to either pay to go through a toll road or find a different way. Being just a little bit old fashioned and maybe a little stubborn they decided to go up through the mountains. The local sheriff saw or heard they were coming and alerted the teacher and the teacher took a chance on these old Nam Vets and had her kids out on both sides of the street and the local people were there too. They had made some small gifts and prepared some food for the riders and when the riders came into the town they saw the people on both sides of the street and thought they were interrupting a parade and were apologetic. Well when they were told the gathering was for them, you can imagine the change that came over the riders and it has been a real love affair for the last 30 years. I have seen hardened old growly vets who could not even smile all the way from LA, when they get there and the kids surround them, I see them smile and their whole world begins to change. I have seen it happen, it is like a miracle at Rainelle. It is worth doing the entire RUN just to be here and experience it. Yall come!
This was the welcome that those of us on the RUN received people at Robley Rex VA Medical Center
That is it for me today, I hope that you enjoy. I have much more to post and I will see if I can get some more stories by the end of Saturday.
Roger Hageman [email protected]