Barbecue Express Part II:“We Believe Bus Trip” Arrives Near DC
by, 01-20-2009 at 07:21 PM (1592 Views)
The group arrived in Harrisburg, Pa. from Oakland, Calif. at about 4 am Monday morning. I reached Connie Kerins, RN by cell phone and here is her account in her own words:
“The ride was incredible. We got on board and people did not know each other. One by one people got up to introduce themselves. They told their stories about why they came. I shared my seat with a 12 year old boy who’s mother and 4 year old sister were also on the bus. The first night we sat up straight but by the second night were sleeping like pretzels.”
“We drove straight through stopping only at truck stops. People’s family members came out to meet us. People’s stories were phenomenal at different truck stops At one stop a registered nurse told the group that even as late as the early 60’s they had Jim Crow laws where they could go into Woolworths and shop but they could not eat there. They could buy clothes in a store but they could not try the clothes on. For them I am getting how phenomenal this is that they are experiencing this in their lifetime."
"Yesterday we stopped in Nashville Tennessee, a member of the Everett family [Everett & Jones barbecue restaurant sponsored the trip] made a huge pot of gumbo for us.”
“The people aboard the bus were incredible. Just amazing. The first day I could not find my wallet and I felt disheartened but people made incredible gestures to me- they said they would write me a check, they were going to give me the raffle money that they won, people handed me cash. I canceled my debit card. But then found that I had put my wallet in with my food! I got up to speak and said how blown away I was by everyone’s generosity and kindness.”
“After arriving in Harrisburg, Pa just a few hours ago I could not find my suitcase. And it had all of my cold weather clothes in it! Several hours later it was located in a large cooler! Some people asked me, remembering how I thought I had lost my wallet, “What is up with you, do you have bad mojo?””
“The people on the bus’ ages ranged from 5 to 78. We had three bus drivers. A few people will fly back but most will make the return trip by bus.”
Kerins told me that there was a SF Chronicle reporter on the bus. Here is a link to some of his photos:
I tried to reach Kerins today to hear about her experience at the inauguration but have not been able to reach her as of this writing.