Front Porch Blog

Magic in Paw Paw pop. 524

Jordan asked were is the town, I replied you must have blinked we just passed through it.

imageJust across the Potomac River in the the Eastern panhandle of West Virginia lies a town that time and “progress” has apparently neglected. Paw Paw is barely a dot on our map, and we thought it would just be another small town amongst our trip of small towns. As quickly as Romney broke our 100 mile stretch of rural roads we were immersed again in the quiet lull of rural West Virginia. Railroad track ran parallel to Ed as he walked form Romney to Paw Paw, the track being the only reminder that there is a world out there beyond our back road adventure. At the close of a particularly lonely day, somewhere right around our 300 mile marker Abby Chapel appeared on our lonely horizon. We were needed in Paw Paw, the Mayor is waiting, she excitedly
exclaimed. image We loaded Ed and the Pennies Banner into the van, and away we rushed to meet the mayor of tiny Paw Paw. The mayor would only be a component of the magic that was to happen in the barely a dot on the map town of Paw Paw. We parked the van at the only intersection in town and waited. As if from nowhere a small crowd materialized almost at once. The mayor among them. Children holding sock fulls of pennies, grandfathers, teachers, and bank tellers had heard of Ed’s arrival from our Paw Paw messenger Abby Chapel. As the crowd gathered in a semi circle to hear Ed’s story, Jordan and I could feel this was to be a powerfull moment got the cameras rolling. Ed like a perfect roadside prophet launched into the telling of Marsh Forks dire situation. The crowd listened with pointed interest, visibly disturbed that West Virginia’s children were being subject to such an inherent danger. As Ed’s enlightening talk came to a close, the children of Paw Paw came forth pennies in hand to offer their support to Ed and the children of Marsh Fork Elementary. It was a touching, to say the absolute least. The welcome we had in Paw Paw rejuvenated our road weary spirits and poignantly reiterated why we are on this epic journey. We left Paw Paw with a new found determination, our efforts are making a difference Paw Paw was indisputable evidence. image Ed and the Pennies of Promise crew sends a heartfelt thank you to the people of Paw Paw, you will forever be remembered for your kindness and true support of our walk. To Abby Chapel who made our incredible welcome possible, we could never say enough. Not only did you open your beautiful home to us, but your tireless efforts to tell your entire county about Ed and the walk has left an indelible mark of success on this campaign to D.C.
Later Days,
Austin Hall

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