Checking in from Greer, SC …
On Thursday, I walked from Cowpens through Spartanburg to Wellford, SC. In the afternoon, I passed the 500-mile mark. Only 2,500 more to go.
At our midday break, Jill Plain and her dog Jemima stopped by the RV. We got our Cavachon puppy Zuzu from Jill about four months ago. Zuzu enjoyed the visit. Jemima could have cared less.
I had company for the final two miles of my walk. Kristin Roberts McAllister joined me after getting off work. Kristin parents, Charlie and Barbara Roberts, have been our friends for over forty years. We’re looking forward to visiting with them in a couple of days.
Thanks to my brother-in-law, Joe Tucker, who rode all the way from Gastonia to deliver six boxes of Clif Trail Bars, which he had solicited, from the company for my walk. These bars will provide much needed energy for much of my journey.
Say It Ain’t So, Joe
Walked from Wellford, SC through Lyman, Duncan and Greer to downtown Greenville on Friday, March 30. Very pretty walk but fairly uneventful until I got into Greenville. Luckily, we saw a sign touting the Shoeless Joe Jackson Memorial Highway and Memorial Park. As a big baseball fan, I have always been intrigued by this legendary baseball player. Joe was a Greenville native who first played in the Brandon Mill Community, just west of downtown. The Memorial Park is located at the field where he honed his game. There are a couple of versions of how Joe got his nickname—had blisters and played a minor league game in his socks; forgot his shoes at his major league tryout.
Joe Jackson owns the third highest lifetime batting average (.356) in baseball history behind Ty Cobb (.360) and Rogers Hornsby (.358). Babe Ruth claimed to have modeled his swing after Joe’s. After an 11 year career, Joe and seven other members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds—the infamous Black Sox Scandal. For the record, Joe had 12 hits in the Series and batted .375 (both records at the time), committed no errors and threw out two runners at the plate from his left field position. In 1921, Joe and his fellow defendants were acquitted of the charges, but Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis nevertheless banned them from the game. Joe never played baseball again. Joe died in 1951 of a heart attack, though some claimed his heart had been broken since 1919. He was 64 years of age.
In 2008, Joe’s home was moved a couple of miles downtown adjacent to the beautiful Fluor Field (which is modeled after Fenway Park) where the Greenville Drive (Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) play. It is now a museum. The address is 356 Field Street. Notice that the address matches Joe’s lifetime batting average.
Saturday, we head to Six Mile, SC to visit friends, the Roberts. Our projected schedule for the next few days follows:
Saturday, March 31 … from Greenville through Easley to Six Mile
Sunday, April 1 … short day, through Clemson by Death Valley to Pendleton, SC
Monday, April 2 … on the east side of Lake Hartwell to the South Carolina/Georgia border
Tuesday, April 3 … to Royston, GA on Hwy 29