By Jane Stoever
What did Charles Carney learn on his Wichita-to-KC Bob Lavelle Memorial Peace Walk? “I feel more interconnected to people, animals, bugs, plants,” he said late Sept. 15. “That mystic connection is crucial to nonviolence.” In there somewhere is a link between saving Earth and making peace (including abolishing nukes).
In this last week of the 253-mile Peace Walk, various supporters joined Charles in his journey. He chalked up 13.5 miles Monday, Sept. 13; 10.5 miles Tuesday; 17 miles Wednesday—41 miles in 3 days. He needed help!
On Sept. 13, Jordan and Jessie Schiele joined Charles. “We were talking, we were walking, and all of a sudden, we’d walked 12 miles!” said Charles. What stories passed the time? “We talked about how they met, and later how they started Jerusalem Farm,” he noted, accenting their home rehab work to help neighbors keep their aging homes. Charles talked about doing a year’s service in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps from August 1984 to August 1985 in northeast KC MO, within a few miles of where the Schieles later established the still-growing Jerusalem Farm community. The three have lots in common.
On Sept. 14, Barbara Petersen and myself and my husband, Henry, did support driving and walked with Charles. After about 2 hours on Hwy. 10, some uphill, I told Charles to take the lead—I was on the slow side. “I didn’t do this walk to hurry,” said Charles. “The cars zooming by make you think you should hurry, but you shouldn’t.” From Wichita on, he had shared his half-page flier on preserving Earth and freeing the world from nuclear weapons, his duo focus. When a driver turned in a call to a sheriff’s office, worried about people on the highway shoulder, the sheriff and a deputy paid us walkers a visit. Henry, a retired lawyer, cited Kansas law allowing pedestrians on the shoulder. After that, no problem. Charles chatted with the deputy a bit about nuclear weapons, and the officers soon left.
On Sept. 15, by 8:45 am, Patty Wernel drove Tom Scott to Charles’s starting point for the day to walk a good stretch; the other companion walkers/drivers were Ron Faust and Jonne Long. They wanted that day to reach State Line from the juncture of Highways 10 and 7—namely, 17 miles. State Line was the starting point selected for the walkers on Friday, Sept. 17, to begin the last 4.4 miles. And the plan was for Charles to have Thursday free from walking. But by 3:30 pm Wednesday, the walkers were still 8 miles from State Line. Sweaty. Tired. Ron suggested, “Break the 8 miles into separate parts. Spread them out over the next few days.” Charles replied, “No. I want to finish at State Line today.” Ron insisted, “Then go home and take a nap and come back tonight.” Charles had a comeback: “It’s already night!”
So Charles thanked the support crew, continued on his way, and a new support driver arrived. Charles explained, “I could smell the finish.” And then added reasons came out: “I’m going to help a client tomorrow.” Walking almost 250 miles doesn’t hold social worker Charles from promising to assist someone on a day off. Whew! In addition, on his free day, Charles will be asking persons to share during the “finale rally” their experiences helping with the walk. The rally will be 4 pm Friday, at 14510 Botts Road, KC MO, the entry to the nuke-parts plant, the KC National Security Campus. Y’all come! Here is the Facebook page on the rally: https://www.facebook.com/events/396542485363309