For days now I've been writing this column in my mind. That's one of my writing techniques. All writers have their own way. Some write at night, still others just at daylight. Some lock away while others have the telly or radio playing. Telly is a word they use in Britain for TV, television, or idiot box, three commonly used American titles. I have dined on pork and beans for breakfast in London. Anyway I write in my mind and like to write on location when it's time to break out the typewriter. I started this column four or five times only to have it disappear in a feather-bed nap or a night sleep. I take my relationship with you the reader extremely serious. If I don't like the write, I ain't having it mailed to your house.

This morn' I woke before daylight and was reading "Travels with Charley" In Search of America by John Steinback. I was laughing myself silly on page 78 where the great author of "The Grapes of Wrath" now driving across America with his French-born poodle, had stopped in for a Sunday morning church service and was so impressed with an old-fashioned hell-fire and brimstone preacher he gave five dollars in the giving plate. I normally start my morning reading with the living bible just for the record. I entered dreamland last night reading proverbs KJV. "Check Travels with Charley" out at your Johnston Public Library.

Well I was torn betwixt a pit-stop in the restroom and a diet Pepsi from the fridge. While in the restroom I glanced out the almost sunrise window as I thought something walk by. Then like manna bread from heaven my column was born.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a young fellow walking through my Baxter yard and we chatted a bit. He is from Pittsburgh and was out reading gas meters. I learned some meters he can drive by from the road and they will scan. A few old fashioned ones are still around. He has to walk to these. I guess I'm old fashioned as I like to get out and walk in the cool of the morning. The gas man I chatted with was telling me how few a folks he ran into, just a jogger here or over there.

Well my mind went back to Marion, Kentucky, where I was enjoying mission work about five years ago. I visited a antique shop to leave a gospel leaflet, and as I walked in an old timer turned the lights on. They keep-em off until customers arrive to save on electric juice. We told our children coming up lights are heat, lights are money in the summer, otherwords, if you don't need-em, turn-em off. The old timer told me sometimes a whole week would go by and not a single person would walk by the front glass. He said many a van would unload across the street and reload to move to the other side and unload again and then visit the shop. In modern times many folks have give up on walking.

Back in the day folks had a relationship with the garbage man, milkman, postman, electric/gas meter readers. Same when you pulled up to the filling fueling station. You got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, tires kicked all with a smile and your attendant often received a tip, at times tots got bubble gum for just being cute.

A lot of my news scoops come from walking around. The view on foot is different verses the car window. Here is some more foot news:

Okay, just yesterday I walked up on a mailman I didn't know. Turns out he is filling in and lives in Joplin. Baxter's gonna hire a couple of new postal workers to fill the void.

As I'm writing outside, a shirtless young boy is playing basketball at the school grounds. He may be the next Stephen Curry. Grandmother and Grandfather just walked by on a morning walk. Still a lot folks sleeping the sweetest part of the day away. Even in mega stores now folk fighting over the go-karts, hardly a soul wants to walk. In big cities like Joplin you can snap chat ahead and not even get out of your car and they will pack your car as you Facebook cyberspace friends letting everyone know what you ate last night. Its easier than having them over right?

I was out on my morning meditation walk recently and noticed a state of Kansas official across the street from Pete's Phillips 66 peering down in a monitoring vent, or well, as the official called it. The state checks the water table all around gas pumps active or not to verify our water remains up to safety standards. "I am your shoe leather news correspondent".

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