Early this year, he happened to be out and about in downtown Lincoln
when he came across a young man bicycling around the country, and
last week, he found himself in a similar situation with a young man
who was at mile 1,000 of a more than 3,000-mile trek across America.
"I was here at the store," said Matson, who is the vice president
and manager of Action Rentals and Sales. "It was pouring down rain,
and I decided to run down to Hallie's and get lunch. When I stepped
outside there was a whole crowd of people standing under the awning,
some of them with bikes and two on foot."
Matson went on to explain that the group on bikes had taken the
Amtrak to Springfield with their bikes and were now biking back
north. The other two were Jon Beeby and his trainer, Mike Fields.
Beeby had just completed his 1,000th mile on a trek across the
country which had begun in New York City.
Matson invited the young men in, out of the rain, and proceeded
to share with them all the wonders of the city of Lincoln. He said
he gave them Main Street Lincoln Christmas ornaments depicting the
first Lincoln courthouse, a copy of the book on Lincoln written by
Paul Beaver, and postcards of the Postville Courthouse and other
sites around town.
Beeby is walking, accompanied by an RV. At the time Matson was
meeting up with the two travelers, the RV was at some other unknown
location. Matson said he decided to take the guys to lunch at
Hallie's and spend some time showing them around while they waited
on the RV to catch up to them.
Matson treated them both to a schnitzel, which was a first for
them, then took them to the Lincoln city christening site at the
train depot. They also came across attorney Warren Peters and his
family and stopped to chat a bit with them.
When the rain stopped for a moment, the guys dashed across the
street to the courthouse lawn and had their picture taken with the
new Civil War soldier statue.
When the RV arrived to pick up Beeby and Fields, Matson wished
them well and invited them to come back and stay a few days anytime.
After leaving Lincoln, Beeby proceeded on foot to Springfield.
Later that night, he posted on his blog
comments about his stop in Logan County. The blog includes a
picture of him standing with Atlanta's hot dog-holding lumberjack
and a picture of Hallie's.
He also spoke highly of Matson, calling him a legend. "He stands
at about 6 foot and has a cracking moustache. He literally made Mike
and I forget it was raining. He is by far the most interested and
interesting person I have met on this trip," Beeby wrote.
[to top of second column]
LDN caught up with Beeby this week via email, and he said that he
had found Lincoln to be a very nice stop on his journey.
Beeby is British, now living in the U.S. He spent some time in
the United Kingdom training before he began his walk but chose to
make the trek across America because he has a keen interest in
history and in Route 66. He mapped his route from New York to
Chicago, where he could step on the Mother Road and follow her all
the way to the West Coast.
"I chose America because I love the country," Beeby wrote.
"Although young it has a wealth of history, and history that appeals
to me. Route 66 is amazing and I hope to come and really live it by
stopping and experiencing every town and learning more about places
In addition to having experiences such as what he found in
Lincoln with Matson, Beeby is also walking for a cause.
His walk is raising money for the Tag Rugby Trust, which
currently works with orphanages and government schools in India,
Uganda, Kenya, Mexico and Romania, using the game of tag rugby to
help children who are living in high-risk situations.
In his email, Beeby spoke candidly on his choice of charity: "I
think I chose the charity, because I want to help people who happen
to be less fortunate than me. Also the charity is very positive. It
appeals to me as all their photos are of people having fun. That
means a lot. A sob story although emotive makes me feel as I am
being emotionally blackmailed."
Having both played and coached rugby, Beeby also speaks in his
blog about the positive effect being part of a sport can have on a
Beeby also has several corporate sponsors behind his journey,
including Remington King of Shaves.
Matson said on Friday that he had heard from Beeby via email, and
Beeby would like for Matson to gather a group on the courthouse
square and do a short video of everyone saying hello from Lincoln.
Beeby has told Matson that he will get the video placed on a
sponsor's website, where it can be viewed as part of Beeby's trek
across the country.
Matson said he was working on trying to get that accomplished
sometime within the next week.
If you are interested in finding out more about Jon Beeby and his
walk to the West Coast, visit his blog, "A Step Too Far?" at
[By NILA SMITH]
Past related article