Friday, April 24, 2015
Day 49: High Springs, Florida
Checked tires after rider meeting to make sure Lisa's tire was still inflated, mine was down about 50 psi.
Changing tire at 9pm; not much fun.
77 scheduled miles, mostly flat, sunny high of 82
We were "way down upon the Suwannee River.." Literally, we did ride over the fabled Suwannee River--unlike the composer of the song Stephen Foster, who never visited the area allegedly.
We are staying in cabins at O'Leno State Park in High Springs, Florida. They are simple, rustic cabins with a separate bath house. The O'Lena Park is lovely with a suspension bridge and nice trails. People even saw a few gators in the river that flows under the bridge.
I promised to tell you about Ms Pritchett, our guest speaker in Madison, FL, and one of our very favorite. Her story includes the fact that she grew up next door to Ray Charles and was a lifetime friend of his, and that is amazing in itself. However, her real inspiration to me is that she was a black woman growing up in the deep south (Greenville, FL, where Ray Charles was REALLY from). She was married twice and had 5 children. After all the kids were in school, Ms Pritchett went back to school herself--which meant getting up before 5 AM, catching a Greyhound bus and then another bus to get her to school (first was finishing her GED, then she attended Florida A&M to get her BS in Elementary Education, then she got her Master's as well!). Her two older sons took care of cooking for the family, Ms Pritchett had a sitter come in for her youngest baby. It took her 5 years and she began her teaching career in Greenville at age 35! She taught for many years, and then began her political career as mayor of Greenville. She serves currently as vice mayor. She is indeed amazing and a total inspiration. Her children are all very successful, obviously they inherited her strong work ethic.
UK Update: Graham sends love and hugs to his lovely wife Sandra and has missed her greatly these 52 days in America. He looks forward to seeing her very soon, and is counting the days!