Saturday, August 23, 2008

"It's all about education"

"It's all about education". As I spend time in each community I ride through, I try and understand a little bit about the history of the area. Tonight, I struck up a conversation with someone in Erie Pa. We talked about the local area, the fact that Erie was the largest port on the Great Lakes, the battle of Lake Erie was fought near the area, it was home to a lot of Homeland Security activity, it has a great small college, etc. But most of all I listened to a "dad" talk about how proud he was of his son who had turned 18 today, was starting college next week, had graduated at the top of his high school class, was a national judo champion for four years and on the school debate team. Then he told me about how he had grown up as a "tough guy" with basically a choice of spending time in jail or going to the military. Throughout the conversation he mentioned several times "it's all about education" and "these kids are going to be running the country".

I had an opportunity to meet his son, who had already left the restaurant (remember it was his 18th B-day today) when he came back because his dad wanted him to meet me. I'm not sure I know too many 18 year-olds who would come to meet a total stranger, but as I talked with him it was clear he had a special relationship with his dad and it revolved around their passion for education.

Tonight's conversation made me realize the importance of the early childhood program that the Panhandle Alliance for Education (PAFE) is funding. It is a program to help parents get their children ready for school. If you haven't already pledged please consider doing so. If everyone could have seen the pride and joy I saw tonight on the faces of a father and son I'm sure you would agree that "it's all about education" and family involvement! Pledging is simple, just go to the donation section of this website and make your pledge today.

I'm currently in Erie Pa., 5547 miles into the trip. Left downtown Cleveland early this morning and rode along the shore of Lake Erie most of the day except for several detours and getting lost a couple of times. The weather was warm (high 80's to mid-90's) and everyone was out enjoying the lake today. Got some great shots of the Lake, bees on a flowering thistle and some grape vines in Western Pa.

I plan on riding through Presque Isle State Park tomorrow morning before I head East through the fruit and wine country of Western Pa and Northwestern NY.

Parting thought--"It's all about education"!!!!!!! Thanks for your support of PAFE.


At August 25, 2008 11:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure the conversation that night gave you some much needed motivation to complete the rest of your journey.

May the wind be in your favor


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