From Middletown To Canton

They honored one of our own today in Canton, when Buckeye Cris Carter was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It's another Story of the Shoe.

As they honored Cris, he spoke of his Buckeye roots in Friday's press conference. "It's the greatest stage to play football on," he said of the Horseshoe. "I'm from Ohio and to play for the Buckeyes is the greatest honor a kid from Ohio can have."

Google Cris Cater Hall of Fame and you will find out a lot you likely didn't know about this Buckeye. "I came from nothing," Cris says in one of the interviews. Another story tells of his single mother raising Cris and his four siblings in a four-room apartment. You'll learn that when he retired from the Vikings, he was second in all time NFL touchdowns and all time NFL receptions, behind only the great Jerry Rice. And if you don't remember it, you will be reminded that he caught everything thrown to him, with those hands of sticky glue.

You'll also learn that Cris almost never made it to that elite status. You'll learn how he credits the Vikings with turning his life completely around, after he hit bottom with drugs and alcohol, and had been released from Philadelphia. As Chris Spielman was quoted in the Dispatch, "It's a feel good story!"

That same Dispatch article will tell you Coach Bruce, Coach Meyer, and former assistant Bill Conley were in Canton today to represent the Buckeyes as one of their own was honored.

But there is one thing that article won't tell you. It won't tell you Coach Myles was at the induction today too, at the personal request of Cris Carter. It won't tell you about Coach Myles coaching on Earle's staff when Chris was making all those Buckeye catches! It won't tell you how close Cris and Coach Myles became and have stayed, as a result of that connection. It won't tell you that it meant so much to Coach Myles to be there at that ceremony, that Bill traveled to Canton just four days after having an emergency appendectomy! None of that is in today's Dispatch article. Nope, for the good stuff, you'll have to wait on, and read, Myles Traveled. Fortunately, it won't be long now.

Long Arm of History

This evening is the 150th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. One Hundred Fifty years! Seems like such a long time. As I was doing touch up today on Myles Traveled, I thought back to an evening when my sons were little. We had traveled all day in the summer heat to Gettysburg, and in the cool of the evening watched a beautiful and peaceful sunset from Cemetery Ridge. Looking west over the quiet and pastoral rolling fields, into the golden sun sinking on the horizon, it was such a contrast to the carnage of Pickets Charge that will have occurred on that very same soil 150 years ago Wednesday. Yes, 150 years since General Lee retreated with a line of wounded reportedly 14 miles long. Yes, 150 years since nearly 50,000 causalities.

It seems like such a long time. But then I thought today, the story I am working on spans that same 150 years! The enormity of what I have been working on dawned on me. Myles Traveled starts on the slave auction block in those same 1860's. It is that same auction block we fought the war over. The same auction block that President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation over. And the same auction block whose demise was insured with the failure of Pickets Charge at the High Water Mark, at that simple grove of trees that still stands on the Gettysburg Battle Field marking the great dividing line in the history of this nation. If you've never been to Gettysburg you owe it to yourself. Put it on you bucket list.

While Myles Traveled and Gettysburg share a common timeline, I also thought today about the one way they are different. President Lincoln, in his address took 270 words and an envelope to tell the story of Gettysburg. I on the other hand, have needed more than 250,000 words and 400 pages to tell Myles Traveled. I thought about that a lot today as I did more pruning. Think I've got a few thousand more words to go!

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