June 18 Cycling Update ~ Marshall
I last left off talking a about the irony of salem’s current community, after that day we visited the little town of Gainesville, Alabama. This was probably one of my favorite days of the trip so far. We had an average morning, a 5:30 wakeup and on our bikes by 6. Everything was normal. Mr. Brogden ( our ECHH history teacher) was pushing the lead and somehow smoking the rest of the group with his constant revolutions, with Kevin Hicks (co founder of SNR) staying in the back, constantly yelling “stay in line!”
However, our day took a turn for the awesome when we arrived at town hall to the sound of a large welcoming crowd and a band playing “When The Saints Come Marching In”. We immediately discovered that the town had anticipated out arrival and organized a welcoming party, hosted by the mayor and a group of college students called N.A.P.S. (National Association for the Prevention of Starvation) who took a year off to do service work in the town to prepare it for their first town doctor in many years. The town and put together a program in our favor and treated us to a horse drawn carriage tour ride throughout the town, as well as play performed by the college organization (NAPS). The play went through the history of slavery, portraying a man who was captured from Africa and following his journey until he eventually “wades in the water” and “follows the drinking gourd” to his perpetual freedom in the north. Leaving the town was both a happy and sad moment. Happy because we were a to enjoy ourselves and feel like celebrities I’m a sense, but also sad because we had to leave those people by which held so much faith in us.
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