We walked on November 9th…I think.
That’s almost a month ago.
I can still feel the tweaks of that event in my bones. Muscles actually.
The group began on time, with a few stragglers. I expected this, as this event was conceived of and organized by the artists who regularly wake up at noon. To have people ready to move at 8pm was a stretch at BEST.
When we did get going, we had about 15 people, and that number adjusted when we were joined along the way by new faces. At times, we had approximately 25 people walking, talking, making new acquaintances, and exploring.
I didn’t realize that I would be cracking the whip as much as I did, corralling the walkers, infusing them with concern for our schedule. We kept a furious pace (it seemed) and it never wavered. The few breaks we got were greatly appreciated and NEEDED. However, every time we stopped, the joints would seize and the feet would pulsate.
The group was dynamic, helpful, eager, knowledgeable, and I was honoured to lead such a determined bunch.
People did drop out of the walk at different times due to previous engagements, parties, gigs, or due to soreness and fatigue. Each person can feel incredibly proud of the ground they covered, though, because they did something they hadn’t really done before. Ground level exploration and discussion. History and modernity in a mixed-media experience, changing from block to block.
My friend Dan Misener came from Toronto and got to walk for almost 8 hours before leaving for a party in Kingsville. I barely got to say a word to him. Not good. But this is the way these events climb up and bite you. You may think it’ll be a well-oiled machine, flowing perfectly with little intervention, but in reality, you are faced with group separation, spacing, time constraints, people’s needs for washrooms and food…it is not a social event for the group leader in the same way it is for the participants.
I will recount more of the Big Walk in coming posts, but this is something to say that we did it. It was a HUGE success, and I am thankful for everyone who made it happen (Big Table) from organizing, to participating, to allowing us into a building/business for a quick investigation or snack.
Enjoy a little video of the early part of the walk.
Again, I will update this blog with more posts along with an accompanying video or two.
So many great moments, and it would be endless (unreadable) to write in one post.
As you can see/hear in the video…I am already out of breath from walking about 3 blocks. The pace we kept for the entire darned thing! Jen Kimmerly gives us some history about a mob house, as she was frequent in doing, because she has spent SO much time walking in this city. She shared countless anecdotes and information bits about the things we were seeing. She was truly indispensable in this event.