"It's unnatural for people to run around the city streets unless they are thieves or victims."
- Mike Royko
I want to thank all who responded so graciously to my request for a T-shirt to wear while competing in Monday's Peachtree Road Race.
Pamela Rascon, of Shepeard Blood Center (where I make regular donations), wrote a wonderful essay on the values a Shepeard T-shirt would provide.
I agree, and rest assured I'll be carrying something with Shepeard displayed as I sprint through downtown Atlanta on July Fourth.
The most impressive requests came from CSRA Greyhound Adoptions, where a dozen members sent individual testimonies on the value of their organization, which helps find homes for retired racing greyhounds.
I was touched by each message, and I agree that there is no better symbol for a 50-plus-year-old man running in a race than a retired "grey" hound.
But I must tell you about the quickest response, from John Clements at C&C Automotive on Telfair Street, who couldn't wait to get me on the C&C Racing Team.
He was the first to call after last Sunday's column and offered not only a personalized shirt but also one that would match the Peachtree Road Race's orange ID number. (It is very, very bright orange.)
As always, Mr. Clements was full of slogans I could display. I think his favorite was: "If your car quits running, call C&C. If Bill quits running, call 911."
(He's been like that since they tuned up his pacemaker.)
Thanks to you all. I will carry your banners proudly (and quickly) through Atlanta.
The response among my (younger) co-workers on this endeavor has been mixed.
Being reporters, they quickly broached the difficult questions, such as, "If you keel over around Mile 5, can I have your desk stapler?"
Others have been more impressed, if for no other reason than Americans continue to grapple with the metric system.
True story. A man in another department saw me downstairs and commented: "Ten kilometers, huh? Is that more than a marathon?"
"Yes," I assured him gravely.
Let's hope it doesn't seem that way Monday morning.
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.