Wildcat Boulevard moved to Granby early Saturday morning on June 29. The Granby Lions Club hosted a 5K walk/run and invited runners from all the area Lions Clubs. I went to represent Neosho.
Even though they are both about the same length, walking a formal 5K is quite different than my normal Wildcat Boulevard walks. First, the route is already determined. Although I do walk the same basic route each day, I often wander off a bit and go behind the bank instead of in front of it. I sometimes walk across parking lots, and sometimes I walk along the edge.
The Granby 5K walk began at the fire station on top of the hill north of the blinker light. It went north down the hill to the first major intersection and turned left.
The route is almost flat and easy walking. About a mile or so down the road, the walkers and runners turn around and return to the fire department. This means the last half mile is uphill.
Three or four things were highlights for me. First, when I came to the big intersection, Richie Matters was there with his motorcycle helping control traffic. He yelled as I passed and claimed he was my "One man cheering team!"
The second high point was that Chuck Nodler, who is a runner, finished the route and then came back to escort me up the big hill. Not often a person gets a personal escort.
The third was the father and daughter who walked beside me much of the way. He runs the sandwich shop in Granby and was simply walking along as support for his little girl. She did well enough to get a trophy.
I also had the good fortune of talking a long while with Emory Styron. He was back in Granby helping with the pancake feed that is part of the 5K run/walk. I think he has flipped pancakes for as long as the Granby celebration has been going, and that's 30 years.
Emory is editor and publisher of the River Hills Traveler and lives up by St. Louis. Still, he does not forget his hometown of Granby.
I wish to thank the Granby Lions and their president, Ron Forgey, for inviting me to walk on their 5K run/walk.
Take a walk, try new adventures, walk with a purpose, use those signal lights, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard, no matter where it is.
Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.