Ross is passing on his way through to St. Cloud, so he, Myrna (Ross' sister), my wife and I got to spend some time together.
First we toured Clemens and Munsinger Gardens (this is a must see for anyone visiting St. Cloud), after which we had a great dinner at Ciatti's. We talked extensively about his travels and about life in general; and the more I spoke with Mr. Ueckert, the more I realized that I was speaking with a national treasure. His love for this country and for the people he's met along the way is nothing less than genuine.
I believe that Ross' journey has only begun, and by the time he makes his way to the Lincoln Memorial, he will have touched the lives and hearts of millions of Americans. It is more than apparent that one individual can make a difference.
The movie, Forrest Gump, began with a scene of a feather floating with the wind, flitting about and traversing to wherever the wind took it. This was done as a metaphor to illustrate how Mr. Gump touched all those he came in contact with, not by design, not purely by accident, but seemingly by divine providence.
Mr. Ueckert's walking journey has thus far been similar to Forrest Gump's; one of unexpected twists and turns, yet through it all, there appears to be a Divine providence, steering his every move, putting him in contact with the right people, at the right time, and touching others in a purposeful, God-driven way; and I feel honored and privileged to have been even a small part of his, wonderful, storied serendipitous journey.
Godspeed, Ross and Myrna!