Since 1998, Don has walked over 50,000 miles to raise awareness and funds for others which included:
- 7,600 miles for Alzheimer’s Assoc.
- 20,000 miles for Multiple Sclerosis
- 13,000 miles for Huntington’s Disease
- 2,400 miles for American Cancer Society
- Climbing Mt. Rainier for American Lung Assocation
- 730 miles for Spina Bifida
- 2,086 miles for the Blind and Special Needs Kids
These walks have taken him across America four and a half times:
- Across Ontario, Canada,
- From Mexico to Anchorage, Alaska,
- To the 12,300 ft. level of Mt. Rainier,
- Over 18,750 miles around the state of Washington,
- Over 106 miles (blind folded) across the Cascade Mountains,
- Most recently walking 3,000 miles across the USA to Silver Springs, MD for Pulmonary Hypertension Association.
(See his Media Kit page for media information)
I was born in Columbus, Ohio at a very early age, in fact, earlier than most: I was a 7-month baby. Mom must have thought a lot of me because she made it a point to be there when I arrived. She was the first person to welcome me into this strange, cold world. I appreciated that a lot. I really think she would have preferred not being there though- it was January 4th, 1936, in the middle of a snow storm. I was put in an incubator for several weeks. The incubator must have come from a local poultry farm, because when they took me out to send me home I got the chicken pox!
Except for the few times my life was in jeopardy from various accidents, childhood diseases, a house fire, peer scuffles, and near-street mugging’s, my childhood was essentially peaceful. I think the most traumatic experiences came from the inertia-blasting side of my teacher’s paddle or Dad’s belt, or Mom’s hickory switch.
One day while feeling sorry for myself I ran away from home. In spite of hitchhiking from the wrong side of the road, I managed to get several miles away. I stayed away all day, hoping my family would miss me. But when I returned I didn’t receive the “welcome home” I anticipated because no one had even noticed I was gone! That sure did a lot for my ego.
Once, I almost drowned in a nearby lake because I didn’t know how to swim. I saved myself by sinking to the bottom and “running like crazy” to shore. When I got home one of my 5 sisters came running out of the house to offer me a piece of Lifesaver candy. I thought to myself, “Boy! I sure could have used a lifesaver at the lake this morning!”
I was kind of a slow starter scholastically. I stayed in second grade fur two years. I think maybe the teacher liked having me around but I don’t know why. She gave me a paddling practically every day. I inherited a 2nd grade Reader that was scribbled in by students of previous years. When the teacher noticed the desecrated book, she warned me that I was going to get a paddling every time she spied a scribbled page. Well, she checked the book practically every reading session, and, during practically every reading session she leaned me over the sandbox and whacked me with the paddle. I’ve been leery of sand boxes ever since!
I also flunked 5th grade. I was 17 by the time I was a high school sophomore. That’s when I decided to drop out of public education. I joined the Marine Corps Reserve in November, 1953. Two months later I enlisted in the regular Marines.
The Marine Corps taught me many good things about self discipline . Like, I wasn’t really stupid as I had previously believed. I attended a school while attached with the 1st Marine Division and graduated at the head of my class. Because of that I was promoted and received a letter of commendation from the Division General.
After leaving the Marines in January, 1957, I enrolled in high school and college classes at God ‘s Bible School and Missionary Training Home in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thanks to the GI Bill I was able to complete 7 years of schooling in four. I got my high school diploma, and received my Bachelor of Theology Degree with honors.
I pastored my first church in Newark, Ohio. I sure felt sorry for those sweet people. I think I had almost every one of them doing the back-stroke in the Lake of Fire at one time or another before I left. They were truly precious people and I was young and had more zeal than sense way back then.
Over the years I pastored or assisted pastoring several churches, taught at a small Bible school in Phoenix, Arizona , drove 18-wheelers and smaller vehicles for a Seattle based dairy (Darigold Inc), was a volunteer fire fighter and station Captain on Vashon Island, Washington, did emergency medical work as an EMT with the fire district and a private Seattle ambulance company, and written several novels, poems, and short stories. After 28 years of service with Darigold Inc. I retired in 1994 so I could devote my time to writing.
My lovely, precious wife Loretta and I have been married since 1983. She’s such a game soul and a real sport!
I’m a hard man to love, but she makes it look so easy.
I’m very healthy for my age. I started the habit of walking for health and meditation in September of 1996. And, of course, I am again aspiring to walk hundreds of miles for others-the blind and sight impaired that others may see.
I love walking and find it invigorating, inspiring, and rewarding in many ways.
As I mentioned before, God has blessed me with good health, and out of gratitude I ‘ve tried sharing that blessing with those who are less fortunate. I’m a happy, wealthy man. I don’t possess much of this world’s goods, but I do possess that which money cannot purchase- Love, Joy, and Peace!
An act of loving kindness never goes unrewarded–not ever!