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Guardians of the Neighborhood

A window into my hermit-like existence.

guardians of the galaxy

Most days, I walk a circuit from my rental on Mississippi Road. Down to Virginia. Past Billy Graham’s house. To the stone Montreat gate. Up Kanahwa. Jog a block across Mecklenburg to Mississippi. (The picture is of the STOP sign at that intersection.)

From there, I turn left into a vertigo-inducing climb. To the end of Westminster and back. To the end of Mississippi (wheezing the whole way) and onward to the house. If the neighborhood included % grade signs, that last bit would rate at least a 30. Maybe a 45.

I cannot IMAGINE riding a bicycle on the roads in Montreat, but MTM can. He’s itching to bring one of his vintage racing bicycles up here to have a go.

In honor of MTM’s bicycle fetish, I’m posting a link to an article that touched him. Robin Williams was a bicycling fanatic. Many of MTM’s online bicycling forums have included tributes to Robin Williams’ love of the bike.

But no story touched me quite like this one. Please take the time to read it.




Yesterday’s Meriwether Lewis Birthday Month Trivia Question: TRUE OR FALSE. MERIWETHER LEWIS LIVED IN GEORGIA.

Answer: TRUE. Meriwether Lewis’ stepfather moved his family to Georgia when Merry was seven or eight. He learned much of his outdoor skills from his stepfather while he lived in Georgia. At 14, he moved back to Virginia to oversee his family’s plantation. AT FOURTEEN.


To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is just $2.99 on Kindle during August in celebration of Meriwether Lewis’ Birthday Month.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Or click below to buy it.


To check out the entire Meriwether Lewis Birthday Month Series, follow the links below:

Lewis and Clark: Screwing Their Way Across a Continent
Lewis and Clark and Sex Bombs
Who Was Meriwether Lewis Godfather?
If Meriwether Lewis Had Lived to be 80
Lewis and Clark and Old Blue Eyes
The Lion Will Lie Down With the Lamb
My Natchez Trace Walk Featured in We Proceeded On
Dead People Follow Me And They Talk To Me
Is Suicide the Final Arbiter of a Life. For Robin Williams. And Meriwether Lewis.
WordPress Is Killing Me
Fate’s Fickle Fingering
Happy Birthday Meriwether Lewis
I Just Can’t Come

55 Comments Post a comment
  1. i love that story so much, andra )

    August 20, 2014
  2. A humble smile from a complex man. And yes, it’s pretty close to flying.

    August 20, 2014
    • I always feel out of control when I ride a bicycle. MTM is braver than I am.

      August 20, 2014
      • Me too..thats why i ride slow and curves or hills, thank you…

        August 20, 2014
  3. Answer to today’s question: Yes.

    August 20, 2014
    • Most people don’t hazard guesses, so it’s hard to know.

      August 20, 2014
  4. The answer is YES and that should win me an MTM bike, right?

    August 20, 2014
    • MTM probably has enough bike parts to build you a bike, Lou.

      August 20, 2014
  5. Yes. Yes we are. And trying to come up with smart-ass answers to then as well thank you very much.

    Enjoy your stay in Black Mountain. Beautiful up there. Have you visited Andrews Geyser yet?

    Still sad about Robin Williams, he was one of the greats.

    August 20, 2014
    • Haven’t been to the geyser. I just went into town for a coffee break. The Dripolator makes a good cup.

      August 20, 2014
      • A dripolator and a geyser are not the same thing. Is the cool little used bookstore still in town?

        August 20, 2014
  6. What a touching story

    August 20, 2014
  7. Robin Williams: Great story
    Meriwether Lewis Trivia questions: Reading: yes. But are people reading the answers?

    August 20, 2014
    • I can’t tell what people read unless I include a link. Lots of people read the Robin Williams story today, which is great.

      August 20, 2014
  8. withasd #

    My father has a Pegoretti. It is a work of art, and I think it cost more than my car(s). I used to be a little resentful of the 15+ hours a week he’d be out of the house riding, but as an adult I completely understand now. It gets rid of the crazy and makes you a better person/parent/partner. My dad and Robin Williams would have been fast (and hairy) friends.

    August 20, 2014
    • MTM is apparently building me a bike while I’m in the mountains. My street bike is too heavy to ride for exercise.

      August 20, 2014
  9. When I click the link it tells me the article is no longer available. Could be that it recognizes a Canadian IP address or maybe an issue with accessing it from my phone. Will try again later on my laptop.

    p.s. I am reading the questions. 🙂

    August 20, 2014
    • It might be the case, Nancy. Other Canadian readers appear to have clicked and been able to read, though. Hmmmm.

      August 20, 2014
      • I was able to get to it on my laptop. Great article, showing yet another side of RW.

        August 20, 2014
  10. TRUE! (is anyone reading…)

    August 20, 2014
  11. He was a mensch. What a beautiful story about a beautiful man.

    August 20, 2014
  12. Wonderful article. Thanks.

    August 20, 2014
  13. Yes, I’m reading the questions. I even read the article about a beloved man on a bike. I’m just a reader, I guess.

    August 20, 2014
  14. Lovely tribute, and yes I’m reading the trivia questions. 🙂

    August 20, 2014
    • Hope you’re feeling better and better, Lisa.

      August 20, 2014
      • Thank you. Yes a little better each day.

        August 20, 2014
  15. What a beautiful story. He brought so much joy to people. It’s so sad that he never seemed to feel that joy for long. Thanks for sharing that story.
    I read the questions.

    August 20, 2014
    • It’s got to be hard to be the source of laughter for so many. A big burden to carry, in a way, particularly when any slump hits, as they inevitably do.

      August 20, 2014
  16. tarakianwarrior #

    Yes, I’m reading the questions. 🙂 I’ve clicked on the link but haven’t read the article yet. I’m so anxious to do my bike ride – we’ll be doing it in September where, hopefully, it will not be so hot, but not as cold as it was last time (30 degrees) – it’s the longest bicycle journey – will have taken us two years to complete it – hahaha. I’m getting tubeless tires so my tire doesn’t blow out this time. 😉

    August 20, 2014
    • I hope you’re going to post lots of pictures and updates. I can’t wait to see how it goes.

      August 20, 2014
  17. Of course we read the questions! Sometimes, however, we get more invested in responding to other matters brought to our attention and forget about answering them. 🙂

    I also read the article you’ve shared here, and it is bittersweet. Now that I live in relative flatland, I sometimes entertain the idea of having a bike again, but the treadmill is probably safer! 🙂

    August 20, 2014
    • MTM rides his bike all the time, usually with a group of guys. I don’t worry about him doing long distances when he’s with a group.

      August 20, 2014
  18. #

    Thank you for sharing this Andra. I struggle with it.

    August 20, 2014
  19. I didn’t know this about Robin Williams. He was so well-rounded, which I think makes his ending even more tragic. Thanks for the link.

    August 20, 2014
  20. I can understand how this touched you so, Andra, and it is yet another story and tribute to Robin Williams’ kindness and generosity to others. Thank you for sharing it here.

    Yes. I do read your Meriwether Lewis questions, and I mean to answer them, but, then a butterfly flits by the window, or I walk to the kitchen to get a drink of water and end up washing the floor. Sigh.

    August 20, 2014
    • I’m the same way, Penny. We have so many things pulling at us these days. (And to answer your Charleston? question on Kate’s blog, we’re seeing them when they come. MTM is giving them the Mayor’s Institute walking tour on Saturday. I’m pee-my-pants excited about their visit. I just hope Charleston decides to be kind in the heat department. There’s a heat advisory tomorrow.)

      August 20, 2014
  21. Wonderful story 🙂 And the answer to today’s question: yes, we are reading the Meriwether Lewis triv. Most excellent.

    August 20, 2014
    • There’s a lot of trivia where he’s concerned. Maybe you’ll see him at The Smithsonian.

      August 20, 2014
  22. It is

    August 21, 2014
  23. I too cannot imagine riding a bicycle on Montreat. Heck, I wouldn’t even drive my car down some of those steep driveways. If I were you I’d wait for him in a rocker down at the Assembly Inn.

    August 26, 2014

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