August 29, 2009
By Ed Chasteen
We have the whole room to ourselves. And have to put out more chairs. The ride from Liberty has honed our appetites razor sharp. For food and fellowship. H highway to Excelsior Springs and Salem Road from there to Lawson has brought some 50 of us over rolling hills on this August Saturday morning. Early obligations back home prompt several among us to forego breakfast and head on back. But 30 of us gather in Catrick’s upper room. Our young waitresses scurry up and down the stairs with pitchers of water, cups of coffee, glasses of sweet tea, stacks of menus. And soon, plates of pancakes, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs and toast, omelets, bacon, hash browns. Our waitresses are cheerful and efficient, enhancing our good spirits on this fine morning.
I had promised by email to have a special announcement. Riding at different speeds as we do, we gather every Saturday in waves. To make my announcement before some are ready to leave, I begin before some have arrived. In my hand I hold the very first Greater Liberty cycling jersey. The front is filled with the Statue of Liberty. The back names the 105 counties in Greater Liberty and their county-seat towns. “Over the next couple of years, I want to visit all these towns. I want to have a bike ride and hold a Human Family Reunion in each place. The Reunion is a potluck dinner where everyone is welcome and everyone brings their favorite food to share. And after we eat, I’ll take 20 minutes to tell everyone about my book, How To Like People Who Are not Like You.
“And I need your help. If you know folks in these towns, please ask them to invite me to come. I don’t want to go where I’m not wanted. And I can’t know I’m wanted unless someone invites me. And I would love for you to go with me when you can. I’m retired and can go anytime. You still work and have less time to ride. But anytime and any place you can go, I would love your company.
“I’ll pass this jersey around so you can see the towns I hope to visit. We are just now ordering copies of this jersey. Kevin Tyler, one of our regular riders designed it. They cost $45.00 each. If you would like one, please email me at email@example.com and I will tell you how to get one.”