Jimmy Wayne From the Road: Part 6

Jimmy Wayne checks in with Country Weekly and gives an exclusive report from his Meet Me Halfway walk to Phoenix to help raise awareness of youth homeless issues. Jimmy left Nashville on Jan. 1.

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Can you update us on where you are (as of April 25)?
I’m currently on the outskirts of Clovis, New Mexico. I am approximately two-and-a-half months away from my arrival into Phoenix.

You recently took a week off. Did it help you regroup and get yourself back together?
Taking a week off from the walk has helped me recharge physically and mentally. My feet had blisters surrounded by bruises on the bottoms of them. My mind needed a break from the monotony of getting up each morning, applying band-aids which is a 30 minute process, tying my shoes, which is another strategic process, packing up everything and making sure I haven’t forgotten anything, stretching, driving to the location where I stopped walking the day prior and taking that dreaded roll outta the car, applying sun screen, adjusting my backpack, getting my hair outta my eyes so I can snap on my goggles, bitching about something that doesn’t matter, stretching again, and finally putting one heavy foot in front of the other.....you get my point! Stopping and doing shows isn’t the same break as turning off your phone and kicking up your feet. I simply shut down and went away and didn’t do a thing but relax. I feel great today.

Along the way, you have shared many stories and anecdotes about people you have met. Any more to add to that?
I met a very sweet lady in Canyon, Texas. Ginger Stephens offered me and my driver three nights in her home. Her house was built in the 1920’s and reminded me of the Costner’s home [in North Carolina, where Jimmy was partially raised]. I immediately went back to that first night when I walked into their home with two bags of clothes. I was a homeless teen. Ginger’s home in Canyon, Texas, had the same hard wood floors, kitchen table with metal trim, antique bedroom suit, family photos scattered all over the walls and on stands etc. Even the wallpaper was the same as the Costner’s home in Bessemer City, North Carolina. I felt at home. There was a spiritual element throughout her home. Bea [Costner] read the Bible daily; Ginger kept her late husband’s Bible lying on the kitchen table. Ginger had that same trusting heart as Bea.

What’s the biggest or most meaningful thing you’ve taken away from your journey?
People who hate America, along with the people who are running this country, should visit the back roads, have a conversation with the locals over a bowl of beans and cornbread like the one I had at the Hickory Cafe in Vega, Texas. This experience will change their minds about America and counter all the lies these politicians are telling them and us. Its backyard versus front yard. You learn who people are by what’s in their backyards and what’s on the clothesline. The fountain in front is just a "front." This is real America out here on the back roads and like a modern day Christopher Columbus, I’ve discovered America again; you should see it!

When some of your equipment has needed replacing, is it sent to you or is there a "drop off" point near where you are walking?
Marmot [the outdoor clothing and equipment company providing his gear] is the best. Alison is my Marmot point person. If I need anything, no matter what it is or when, Alison figures out a way to get it to me. It’s usually as simple as sending it to a hotel where my driver is staying. I’m sure I’ll be wearing Marmot gear for the rest of my life, especially as much as I like the outdoors. Marmot truly has some rocking clothes and gear.

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