Archive for the ‘Hatebusters 2004’ Category

From San Francisco to Liberty, They Ride to meet Us

May 21, 2008

June 28, 2004
By Ed Chasteen

Fifteen bicycle riders pedaled out of San Francisco June 13 on their way to Washington, DC, where they arrive August 28. Through California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas and into Missouri they ride before they come to Liberty: 2267 miles and 39 days on their bicycles. They arrive in Liberty on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 21. I have promised them home-stays on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Two nights they spend in Liberty, telling us stories of the people they have met and the places they have visited. Those of us who host them will become part of the stories the riders tell when they leave us to ride on to our nation’s capital.

Thursday evening July 22 at 6:30 our cross-country riders will all be at Fountain Bluff Sports Complex. They will have their bicycles with them. And all of Liberty is invited to come meet them. And ride out and back on Old 210. It’s flat, scenic and fun. Bring your bikes. Bring the kids. Bring a picnic. And bring a little loose change so you can make a donation to our community fund to buy two new bicycles for our Liberty Police Department. We will have a sign in table where you can get autographs of our riders. And we will have a place for you to drop your coins.**

On Friday, July 23 at 9 AM the riders will gather at City Hall to be welcomed by the mayor, embraced by our town and be joined by HateBusters riders. Following a ceremony by the city, all riders will depart. South on Hwy 291 toward Independence, across the Missouri River, riders will make their way to Hwy 50 and the city of Warrensburg, where they will spend the night. Sedalia, Jefferson City and Marthasville will host riders on ensuing nights before they arrive in St. Louis.

**If you would like to contribute to the police bicycle fund but cannot come to visit with our cross-country riders on July 22nd, make your check to:

HateBusters-Police Bicycles.

Mail to: Box 442

Liberty, MO 64069

All contributions are tax deductible. And when the bicycles arrive and are ready for delivery to our police department, we will have a big party at Biscari Brothers.

HateBusters
Box 442
Liberty, MO 64069
Phone: 816-803-8371
e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

No Boundaries On Our Soul!

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Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
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Every Person Is Precious

May 19, 2008


From Ed Chasteen

Every person on the planet is precious and the purpose of life is to make friends of as many of these people as possible. This is what I believe and why I started HateBusters. Who is right is the wrong question to ask before we have become friends. Then we can ask without intending to hurt one another.

When a class this fall at William Jewell College called United States Pluralism suddenly needed a teacher just a few days before the class was to begin, I got a phone call. I said I would teach the class. But I had not read the books picked by the intended teacher. The 27 students signed up for the class were shocked to see me and shocked at the direction I planned to take the course.

“I love books,” I told them. “I read books and I write books. But as much as I love books, I love people more. Books are really secondary sources. People write books. So in this class we will go directly to primary sources. I will assign each of you a new identity for the duration of this class. Each of you will be someone of another race or religion. The people you become are all friends of mine. They will visit our class and you will go off campus to visit with them. You will write the autobiography of your person and present it to the class.”

Eighteen of the 27 students signed on for our adventure in learning. I paired them with 18 of my friends who live in Greater Kansas City: Rabbi Mark Levin (Beth Torah Synagogue), Anand Bhattacharyya (Hindu), Charanjit Hundal (Sikh), Queen Mother Maxine McFarlane (Barker Memorial Cathedral of Praise), John Anderson (African-American professional story teller), Vern Barnet (Founder of Center for Religious Experience and Study), Chuck Stanford, (Buddhist Lama), Richard Maraj (born in Trinidad, Christ Church Unity Minister), Lonnie Powell, (Black artist, founder of The Light in the Other Room), Rushdy El Ghussein (Muslim, born in Gaza), Sister Marilyn Peot (Catholic nun), Al Byrd (African-American, WJC alum), Brother Louis Rodman (Director of Holy Family House, feeds the homeless), Zarrief Osman (Muslim, African-American), Al Plummer (African-American, former Director of Missouri Commission on Human Rights), Mamie Hughes (African-American, Kansas City civic leader, Zulfi Malik (Muslim, born in Pakistan), Judy Hellman (former Associate Director of Jewish Community Relations Bureau).Dick Phalen (advocate for the Palestinian cause), and Tami Greenberg (Being Gay and Raising Children), also visited with our class.

Each of these good folk visited our class and shared their lives with us. I explained to them and to the class that our prime objective was to get to know one another as persons. Anything we might learn about religion, politics or culture would be welcome but secondary to our desire to begin the process of becoming friends. None of us is born knowing anyone, and our purpose in living is to make as many friends as we possibly can. When we have done this we will be invaluable to everyone. People will want to hire us. They will ask for our opinion and our advice. They will follow us.

Will Rogers is famous for having said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” I’ve always wondered if he would have said, “I never liked a man I didn’t meet.” He might have. So I decided long ago to spend my intellectual, spiritual and social energies in meeting as wide a range of people as possible and in trying to persuade others to do so.

My students at William Jewell and I started HateBusters in 1988 when a Klansman was elected to the Louisiana Legislature and the Governor invited us to come help the state redeem itself. We went. Then we began to be invited all over the country. I left William Jewell in 1995 to devote full-time to HateBusters. HateBusters became a 501 C-3 non-profit. We never say no when asked to help. And we never charge fees.

So I could not say no when Jewell needed a teacher at the last minute. Here was an opportunity to help bright young minds understand the need of our country and the world for what I call World Class Persons, someone who can go anyplace at any time and talk to anyone about anything and feel safe. In this post 9-11 world, such an ambition seems naïve and idealistic beyond belief. But it is exactly in such times that idealism is called for.

When people call me naïve, I say, “Thank you. I mean to be. If we let the light go out, the darkness will engulf us. My faith tells me it’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

Don Quixote is my hero. When his friends tell him that wickedness wears thick armor, he replies. “And for that you me surrender? Nay, the enchanter may confuse the outcome ten thousand times, still must a man arise and again do battle, for the effort is sublime.”

I told the college I would teach the class if payment were made to HateBusters. I have promised that I will spend all my time working for HateBusters, trying to extend my circle of friends. Here was a chance to include 18 college students in that circle while also helping them begin to enlarge their own circles.

Life is good.

HateBusters
Box 442
Liberty, MO 64069
Phone: 816-803-8371
e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

No Boundaries On Our Soul!

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Grandmother Goodbar

May 19, 2008


From Ed Chasteen

It’s a world-class feel-good story even before Jeff mentions her name. When he tells it at Sarah’s Table to the eight us, Jeff says that he and his wife, Anne, had gone to Lawrence to help celebrate Anne’s grandparent’s 70th wedding anniversary. Jeff and Anne adore them and are awed by their long and happy marriage. Jeff asked them their secret, prompting his grandmother-in-law to a careful and comprehensive recitation. “We always talk things out. We never go to bed angry. We’re best friends. We do things together. We agree on what’s important. We love each other.” And more. When she had finished, Jeff turned to his grandfather-in-law and asked what he thought the secret was. He said, “I agree with everything she said.”

Back in Liberty on our bikes a little later, Jeff, Graham and I stop at the hospital to visit John Pritchard. As we stand around his bed, Jeff retells the story, this time elevating the story to Disney classic by identifying his mother-in-law as Great Grandmother Goodbar to his and Anne’s three children.

But then this entire morning has a Disney feel to it. I ride up the hill this morning just as the rising sun splashes the eastern sky with a palette of reds and oranges that prompt an involuntary “Wow!!” Up Southview Drive and onto 291 to Biscari Brothers Bicycles, only two cars pass me. I’m 15 minutes early. No one here yet. Jeff Dema rides up shortly, from his home on Wildbriar, just down the hill from Bennet Park. Then Graham Houston comes in his SUV. Graham grew up in Liberty, when his dad, Julian, was pastor of Liberty’s First Presbyterian Church. But Graham lives now off North Oak in Kansas City and drives to our Saturday morning rides. Seth McMenemy rides up at 7:25. Seth lives just a few blocks away. He always comes.

We always leave at 7:30. We’re off. Bound for Kearney and breakfast at Sarah’s Table. I’m a little disappointed as we ride away. I had expected Steve Hanson and Brian Harvey and Petra Tove. They almost always come. And today is a gorgeous day. Temperature in the upper 20’s has us in layered clothing, with gloves and mittens and head covers. But the heat will come as we pedal up these hills. The stark beauty of a December Saturday morning awaits.

Across the parking lot, past McDonald’s to Brown Street. Left to 291. “You guys trying to leave me?” It’s Petra. “It was 7:30. We thought maybe you weren’t coming.” The five of us turn right onto 291, into the rising sun. On Lightburne we make a left. Across Liberty, out to Highway 69. As we’re waiting for the light to change. Steve and Brian ride up. They live along the route we ride today, and when they didn’t show up at Biscari Brothers, I was hoping they were waiting for us. “We saw you guys back at the bike shop. But we had to make a phone call. I’m surprised it took us so long to catch you.”

When the light changes the seven of us cross the highway. Lightburne is now Plattsburg Road. Twenty more miles of hills and curves would bring us to breakfast at JJ’s in this town of 2354 good folks. Every fifth Saturday finds us here. But not today. We make a right onto 120th and follow it as it twists and turns and changes names. By bridge we cross over I-35 and come several miles later to an intersection with Highway 33. Jeff and I are riding together now. The other five are out of sight ahead of us. As we pause for crossing traffic, we spot a solitary rider coming toward us on 33. “Let’s wait to see who that is,” I say.

It’s Rachel Palos. She and her husband are from St. Louis. They have lots of friends. They’re often gone on weekends. Rachel travels on her job. But she’s one of our regulars. She knew our destination today. She was late starting and hasn’t followed the indirect route we took. A minute more and Jeff and I would have been past this intersection when Rachel arrived and wouldn’t have seen her. But she would have ridden on up 33 to Kearney and met us at Sarah’s Table. Now she joins us as we ride over to Jessee James Farm Road and into Kearney from another direction.

The eight of us have to wait for a few minutes so two tables can be pulled together and we can all sit together. The four of us who started from the bike shop have picked up four of our regulars at three different points along the way. Wasn’t planned. Just happened. God’s in his heaven. All’s right with the world. We’re in high spirits. We all have stories to tell. Jeff Dema tells his Grandmother Goodbar story, though he doesn’t use her name until the retelling in John Pritchard’s hospital room.

John Pritchard is himself a character cut from Disney cloth. How appropriate that this prince of a person is a Princeton graduate. His name appears on cornerstones and monuments and plaques all over Greater Kansas City. An engineer by training, a builder of log homes by profession, a humanitarian and philanthropist by disposition, John has little reason to be so humble and soft-spoken. A friend of the powerful and the powerless, a mover and shaker without an ego, John shuns the limelight while living with his wife, Mary, a life of quiet heroism well known to his many friends. When I rode my bicycle alone and without money across America, John arranged for me to meet President Carter and Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity, both John’s personal friends.

Small wonder that I ride my bicycle so often and in so many places. How could I not when doing so brings such winsome persons into my life?

Next week we ride to Lawson for breakfast and story telling at Catrick’s. Y’all come now, ya hear!

HateBusters
Box 442
Liberty, MO 64069
Phone: 816-803-8371
e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

No Boundaries On Our Soul!

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Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
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ACHIEVER: National MS society honors volunteer

May 19, 2008


The Kansas City Star Sun, Nov. 28, 2004

Who

Ed Chasteen, a volunteer with the Mid-America chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and a Liberty resident.

Achievement

Ed Chasteen

Chasteen, 69, received the 2004 MS Achievement Award from the national society.

How he did it

He was selected based on activities and accomplishments over the past three years and his ability to inspire others. His initiative, resourcefulness and perseverance in coping with and adapting to the disease also were considered.

Chasteen was among nominees from 15 chapters in 12 Midwest states.

In 1981, when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Chasteen was told by his doctor that he would no longer be able to remain active. He proved the doctor wrong.

“The more active I am, the better off I am,” he said.

Because one of his symptoms was difficulty in walking, Chasteen decided to try bike riding. He began bicycling to and from church and his job at William Jewell College, where he taught sociology for 30 years. Eventually, his bike-riding led to fund-raising efforts for the annual MS 150 Bike Tour, a two-day, 150-mile ride. This year, the tour raised almost $1 million and Chasteen alone raised $16,153.05.

He has participated in the bike tour for the past 19 years and also serves as an ambassador for the Mid-America chapter.

Chasteen is determined to overcome the disease of hate in society, too. In 1988, he founded HateBusters, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting friendships and understanding among people from all cultures, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds.

“The purpose of life is to make friends with as many people as possible,” he said.

What he says

“Doctors treat patients, not people,” Chasteen said.

A patient is a set of symptoms that the doctor responds to by writing a prescription. A person is more than an illness. A person has characteristics that makes each individual unique.

“The same advice and the same drugs won’t affect everyone in the same way,” he said.

The last word

Chasteen discovered that bicycling frees him from the limitations of multiple sclerosis. He is committed to changing attitudes toward the disease.

“People with multiple sclerosis — or any other diagnosis — shouldn’t think of themselves as patients,” he said.

Instead, they should consider themselves in charge of their own health.

“Each of us is our own doctor,” Chasteen said. “We have a patient load of one. If we lose that patient, we’re out of business.”

— Su Bacon/Special to The Star

HateBusters
Box 442
Liberty, MO 64069
Phone: 816-803-8371
e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

No Boundaries On Our Soul!

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Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
All rights reserved.

Ring Dem Bells

May 19, 2008


From Ed Chasteen

From Thanksgiving to Christmas every year hundreds of us volunteer to ring Salvation Army bells here in Liberty. From 10 AM until 9 PM on every day but Sunday, volunteer bell ringers will stand at one of seven doors in our town to encourage donations. A little more than $60,000 was dropped into our kettles last year.

My personal goal this year is to ring at least two hour at every door and to ring at least 40 hour in all. Price Chopper, Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart each have two doors. K-Mart has one. I will meet and greet my neighbors sometime during the holidays at each. But this year I want to do more. I personally want to raise $6,000.00, ten percent of last year’s total. Here’s how I hope to do it.

I have put together a little book called Ring Dem Bells, a collection of six stories I have written over the years about the joy I get from ringing those bells. I just had 1000 of these little books printed. I’m hoping that many of you would like to have a copy and that you would make a donation to the Salvation Army to get one.

I will mail a copy to everyone who sends a donation of any amount. Just make your check to Salvation Army and mail to Box 442, Liberty, MO 64069. Be sure to include your mailing address.

May peace, power, purpose and joy be our constant companions during this holiday season.

HateBusters
Box 442
Liberty, MO 64069
Phone: 816-803-8371
e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

No Boundaries On Our Soul!

Web Site Development and Service provided by TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
All rights reserved.