Tours of 1999
Original 13 Colonies Tour
Original 13 Colonies Tour
April 30, 1999, I did a declaration speech at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
In Green Lane, PA, we met with environmentalist Dustin Wade. Growing up in the 1970's, his lunch box was stickered with: SAVE THE TREES; BAN DDT; and such. They also were the only family in town with a compost pile.
I gave a campaign stump speech on Rodney Square in downtown Wilmington, Delaware. I was also interviewed by radio anchor Chris Carl from WDEL.
In Rising Sun, Maryland, we met with preservationist Erica Quesenbery. Ms. Quesenbery, who teaches history at a community college here, has marshalled a group of like-minded people who go around the town on Saturdays helping homeowners paint, or repair a front porch, or resurface a driveway --for free.
I gave a campaign speech at the Reflecting Pool just across from the Capitol Building in D.C. Being a former counselor, I said that we have become a nation physiologically addicted to adrenaline. We are driving too fast, creating way too much personal debt, being compulsively busy --all stress-related adrenaline triggers.
We stopped in Mason Neck, Virginia, where we toured Gunston Hall, home of George Mason. His influence, and others, led to the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights.
We then visited George Washington's Mt. Vernon Plantation 15 miles up the road from Mason Neck. While Washington acknowledged slavery was wrong, he had 300 slaves on his plantation.
I gave a fundraising talk at a private home in Timonium, Maryland. I said part of our education platform calls for a tremendous increase in service-learning in the community. This would unleash more help to areas that needed the help and it would help form students in a more caring way.
We talked with David Wade, who lives in Ephrata, PA. He started ECHO (Ephrata Committee Helping Others). They identify needs in the town, then mobilize to help, including regular fundraising.
We stopped at the Mennonite Central Committee in Akron, PA. A booklet there, Ecological Footprints, notes that our "carbon footprints" are huge in the U.S. For instance, there are 57 cars for every 100 people in this country.
I gave a stump speech at One Square in downtown Lancaster, PA.
In Freehold, New Jersey, we met with Suzanne Feely. A senior at Notre Dame High School here, she was required to do 10 hours of community volunteer service. She did 137.
I gave a stump speech in Princeton, New Jersey. I said we esteem Ivy League Schools in this country. But maybe we should esteem schools that teach the most relevant classes in: common sense for the common good.
Princeton's Town Topics newspaper reporter Albert Raboteau wondered if I was "tilting at windmills," even without hearing much about our alternative energy platform. Hint: We'd like to see more windmills to tilt at.
In Goshen, New York, The Times Herald Record's April Hunt started her story about our campaign with: "Think of Joe Schriner as the tortoise. Slow and steady wins the race."
In Woodstock, New York, we researched the dynamics of that towns rather elaborate Community Garden. And I gave a stump speech on the square in downtown Woodstock. I said that not everything that came out of the 60's ("liberated" sexual acting out, drugs, some rock 'n roll...) was, oh, all that great.
In Sharon, Connecticut, we met with the Audobon Society's Kathy Amiet. She said if you can get kids excited about nature, then they'll want to "save nature." Common sense.
Walked along the Appalachian Trail for awhile outside of Kent, Connecticut. We met Florida's Richard Ryan who was hiking the whole thing. His trail name: "Lion Heart."
The Waterbury Republican American newspaper noted we believed in "voluntary simplicity." A movement has started up around the country to get Americans to think about cutting back lifestyle-wise.
I gave a talk on "The Green" in Sharon, Connecticut. I said that while Sharon could be considered, for the most part, upper-middle-class, there were kids sleeping in back alleys in urban centers all over the country. Somehow we've got to figure this out, especially for these inner city children's sakes.
A political reporter from the Norwich (CT) Bulletin asked me my motivation for running. I said Liz and I were running as concerned parents. And we weren't just concerned about our kids.
In Newport, Rhode Island, we interviewed Barb Brugman, who house shares with a couple of her grown kids. Her kids live in a converted apartment above the garage. They share a common yard, a common kitchen, cars, clothes... It's this kind of thing that could tremendously impact urban sprawl.
In Newport, I also interviewed police officer Mark Santi who is involved with Community Oriented Policing. He walks and bicycles a beat, shoots hoops with the neighborhood kids, has coffee with the adults. Crime is down 40%.
I gave a stump speech in downtown Newport.
We met with Phyllis Calvey in Bellingham, Massachusetts. She's part of St. Blaize Church here, where they average tithing a phenomenal 17% per parishioner. Ms. Calvey is a writer. When she hears a poignant story about how the money is helping, say, a Native American girl on a poverty stricken Reservation, Ms. Calvey writes the story and shares it with the church. It makes the giving much more real, and interactive, she said.
I also gave a stump speech in Franklin.
In Canterbury, New Hampshire, we visited a former Shakers settlement. Like the Amish, these were a simple people who put God, family and community first --in that order. And they were serious about it. On simplicity, their founder wrote: "The scrambling and yearning for worldly possessions is an impediment to spiritual growth."
I gave a talk at the Full Gospel Businessmen's Dinner in Keene, New Hampshire.
I took the family to a Keene Swamp Bats New England Collegiate Baseball League game. It was 10 bucks to get the family in, and we splurged on some hot dogs and soft drinks. (Have I mentioned its a low budget campaign?)
A Keene Sentinel reporter asked us what we'd do when we got to D.C. ? Liz, without skipping a beat, said: "Get out of the van."
I gave a talk on Railroad Square in Keene, New Hampshire.
I told a reporter for the Brattleboro (VT) Reformer newspaper that it is important that citizens fight big chain stores clustering on the outskirts of small towns and, often, closing down the small Mom & Pop shops that keep the downtowns vibrant. Brattleboro (pop. 14,000) was named one of Americas top 10 cities in 1995.
Gave a talk at the Village Community Church near Keene, New Hampshire. Afterward, youth group coordinator Richard Castaine told me he'd recently brought in a representative from Compassion International who told the youth about a woman in the Third World who drowned her two children in the sea, rather than watch them die of starvation. The Keene youth group kids started selling their cars and getting jobs after school to help.
During an interview with the Bangor Daily News, Liz said that we've become a society that values material wealth above emotional health.
I gave a talk in Rockport, Maine and talked with Fr. Eugene Gaffey in Camden, Maine. He had formerly been at the St. Francis Apache River Reservation in Arizona. He said "God orchestrated a coming together at the beginning of our country to mix the best of both cultures. That didn't happen," he said, "because of greed."
Traveling south from Maine, we talked with with John and Louise Mathews in Newport, North Carolina. They had just adopted an 11-month old baby girl from China. She had been abandoned in a bus station, because of China's One Child Policy.
In Beaufort, North Carolina, we passed out campaign cards on the street and were interviewed by the Beaufort Gam newspaper. In Morehead City, I did a spot on the Straight Talk radio show.
In North Augusta, South Carolina, Liz and I did a Christian television show. The host asked how we met and we told a pretty romantic story, as these things go. Dazzled by the story, she then asked: "And you've lived happily ever after?" I looked at Liz, then replied: "We have our days." Liz didn't smile.
We met with environmentalist Reed Armstrong in Beaufort, South Carolina. His group had successfully blocked the development of three tiny coastal islands here. We were later interviewed by the Beaufort Gazette.
Our last stop of this tour was Savannah, Georgia. We did a downtown whistle-stop event and ended up on the front page of the Savannah Morning News. The story started off that most presidential candidates show up in big, shiny black limousines, and the like. Not us. And so it goes...
Old National Pike Tour
Old National Pike Tour
The Old National Pike was the first road to the west. The road stretches 591 miles through Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Many call it "The Main Street of America."
We started in Cumberland, Maryland, where we did a whistle-stop and we were interviewed by the local newspaper.
In Johnstown, PA, we toured 'Mom's House ', which provides free day care for pregnant mothers who want to finish their schooling. Its staffed by volunteers, primarily older community members.
At Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, I gave a talk and was interviewed by the campus radio station. Franciscan is heavy on God. Subjects like math, science, psychology... are all tied in with God's Natural Order.
In Barnesville, Ohio, we met with Scott Savage. He started the Center for Plain Living. He's an Old Order Quaker. The Center puts on conferences and publishes Plain Magazine, all focused on various aspects of simple living.
In Ripley, Ohio, we met with Steve Newman, the "Worldwalker". About 16 years prior, Steve became the first person to solo-walk the world. Five continents, 21 nations, four years (to the day).
I gave a talk at an Education class at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. We were then interviewed by the Yellow Springs News. (Incidentally, we learned Antioch College has a tremendously innovative work/study program. That is, students work a semester in their field of study, then go to school for a semester, then work another semester throughout the four years.)
In Fairborn, Ohio, we met with Bob Jurick who is leading the drive to get the greater Dayton area rimmed with a green belt.
In Oldenburg, Indiana, we stopped at Michaela Farm, an organic teaching farm run by Franciscan Nuns. People from around the area buy "Community- Sponsored Agriculture" shares in the farm, in return for food and the opportunity for them and their children to periodically work on the farm.
In Indianapolis, IN, we did a downtown whistle stop event and we were interviewed by Fox News. When the reporter asked me to characterize the campaign, I said, "Think the movie 'Hoosiers.'"
In Fishers, Indiana, we met with John Mundell, who owns an "Economy of Sharing" business. Starting up all over the world, Mundell said one of the first rules of an Economy of Sharing business is to give one-third of their profit (off the top) to outreach into poverty stricken Third World countries.
In Terre Haute, Indiana (the "Crossroads of America"), we were interviewed by their local television station. They put a micro-phone on me and when I approached a man on the street, I shook hands and said: "Hi, I'm Joe Schriner and I'm running for president." He responded, "President of what?"
In Terre Haute I also interviewed Janet Hammond, who is a spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity there. Hammond said those most eligible for a Habitat house are the working poor.
In Arthur, Illinois, we visited Itch Field. Some Amish guys here cut a baseball field out of a corn field and play here on Friday and Saturday nights. Being far from ultra-competitive, anyone can play these nights. Its the kind of place that I'd be way more apt to throw out the first pitch as president, than, say, Yankee Stadium.
In Champaign, Illinois, I was interviewed by the "News Gazette." Reporter Debra Pressey would write, "Ask Schriner about Social Security and he talks more about whats become of the elderly in American society, than whether Baby Boomers will get their checks. He contends the elderly have been discarded in nursing homes, assisted living communities and in their retirement travel - because they are no longer valued in their communities.
And speaking of travel, we completed traveling the Old National Road in Vandalia, Illinois.
Lewis and Clark Trail Tour
Lewis & Clark Trail Tour
I attended a talk at the University of Missouri on Third World sweatshops. Global Exchange's Medium Benjamin said it would take a Nike Company worker in Indonesia two and a half months of wages -- to afford one pair of company shoes.
In Columbia, Missouri, we stopped at Peaceworks. Made up of about 500 local families, Peaceworks is a grassroots educational group pushing for a "violence free, ecologically sound and sustainable world." Wouldn't that be nice, huh.
At Peaceworks, I attended a talk by Native American Tom Bedonie. He is traveling the country to raise awareness about the possible forced relocation of 10,000 Dine Tribe members in Hoteville, Arizona. A big deposit of coal was discovered on their land.
In Independence, Missouri, we visited the Harry S. Truman Library. Truman was known as the "common man's president." I said to a Kansas City Star newspaper reporter: "You think Harry was common..."
We did a whistle-stop event in St. Charles, Missouri.
In Nebraska City, Nebraska (home of "Arbor Day"), Arbor Day Farm manager Chris Aden told us this city of 6,500 was planting 10,000 trees in the next 10 years as part of a "10 Living Laboratory Projects," which are models for urban forestry.
In Syracuse, Nebraska, we walked about knocking on doors and passing out campaign literature.
In Omaha, Nebraska, Liz and I gave a talk at St. Rose of Lima Church. We were also featured on the Fox News local affiliate for a downtown whistle-stop event we did. The piece started: "Most presidential candidates pull up in a shiny black Cadillac with an entourage of media consultants. But not Joe..."
In Omaha, I also met with Fr. Tom McAslin, a former Catholic "Social Action Coordinator." He marched in solidarity with Blacks in Alabama during the Voting Rights March in 1964. He's protested at Nebraska's Strategic Air Command Base. He's not much on war. "You think Jesus would drop bombs on people?" He posed.
I met with the Teton Tribe's Richard Shangreaux in a "protest tipi" just outside of Pierre, South Dakota. He and other tribe members were protesting a recent "land grab" of 200 miles of their land by the state along the Missouri River. He told me it was just more of the same. The white man initially stole the land by broken treaties and also stole the Native American's cultural identity by forcing them to abandon their languages, their customs... Make right the treaties, stop messing with the culture, and in return, Shangreaux said the Native Americans will offer a spiritual gift to the U.S. The gift of: integrity.
We did a whistle-stop event in Bismark, North Dakota. It was covered by Chanel 5 News here.
In Williston, North Dakota, we were interviewed by the Williston Herald. I told reporter LeAnn Eckroth that a lot of local problems could be solved by returning to the concept of: "...being a good neighbor."
We were then interviewed by a Williston television news channel. When asked what I'd do for the people of North Dakota, I replied: "Give you all a tax break just for living up here in the winter." He smiled.
Havre Daily News reporter Ron VandenBoom asked me my position on health care. I said, for one, we're spending too much time and money on the wrong end of the cancer continuum. We should be way more focused on nutrition, stress management, and other immune system builders that fight carcinogens.
In Loma, Montana, the owner of the General Store there said it was high time an average guy with common sense was president. He put up one of our campaign fliers on his bulletin board.
We stopped at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls, Montana. A KRTV 3 news reporter tracked us down there. I said while Americans were aghast with reports of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo early this year, we don't seem aghast about the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans that we built the country on. Some 20 million Native Americans died.
In Missoula, Montana, we met with Chris Landes While maintaining her Roman Catholic spiritual beliefs, she started to study and adopt many Native American ways. She's taken courses on Native American culture at Montana University and took a job at the St. Labre Indian School on the Cheyenne Reservation, so she could learn more first hand.
In Clarkston, Washington, I talked with former high school principal Curtis Bowers. He's against vouchers. He said with vouchers private schools will be getting the "cream of the crop," with the other kids left further behind, as the quality of their schools diminish even more. The answer, we believe, is to tremendously bring up the quality of all schools, especially those in the inner cities, etc.
In Walla Walla, Washington,we met with a woman who is part of the "Hanford Down Winders." The U.S. government has admitted to indiscriminate, and regular, releases of radiation from the nearby Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Whichever way the wind blew, that's where the radiation went. A lot of people downwind got cancer. This woman was one of them.
We ended the Lewis & Clark trail with a stop in the place they had ended it with, Long Beach, Washington. Although I doubt if it was called Long Beach then.
Lewis & Clark Trail: I met with the Teton Tribe's Richard Shangreaux at a protest tipi near Pierre, South Dakota. The tribe was protesting what they see as a recent "land grab" by the state of 200 miles along the Missouri River. Our administration would not only be concerned about recent 'land grabs' against the Native Americans, but past land grabs as well.
Old National Pike: Bob Jurick and his wife Barbara live in Fairbon, Ohio. Bob is spearheading a push to get a "green belt" preserved around the greater Dayton area. He's concerned about unchecked urban sprawl. So are we.
Orig. 13 Colonies: Bill Towne moved his family from the city to a two-acre farm in rural Rhode Island because: "I don't want our children thinking milk comes from a grocery store." Our platform calls for a return of the family farm, en mass.