"Can't stop, won't stop." These words may seem meaningless to some, but for the past 72 days they have been the motivation for Brandon Scott Perry.
On April 3, 2011 Perry embarked on a journey that will affect himself and thousands of others for the rest of their lives. What started out as a dream turned into reality and sparked a movement - Trek for the Cause. Perry's 2,354 mile expedition for the American Cancer Society began on foot in Cincinnati and ended on bicycle in Los Angeles. At war with the weather, fatigue, his emotions, physical pain and, at times, boredom, he managed to overcome what seemed impossible.
Monday I had the chance to meet the man who has so greatly impacted myself and others alike somehow touched by cancer. Two Blue Moons, a near death experience with a sharp tortilla chip and a plateful of quesadillas later, we were no longer strangers.
CityBeat: How did you come up with the idea for the trek?
Brandon Perry: I've always wanted to go out on the open road and see how far I could go. On Nov. 4, a week after I found out my grandpa was terminal and I remember waking up and was like this is what I'm going to do: I am going to dress in all hot pink and ride a pink lawn mower across the country for breast cancer. Since that's not street legal and what not, I just decided I was going to walk across the country for the American Cancer Society to cover all types of cancers.
Olivia Doan is only eight years old and was diagnosed with a brain tumor on Oct. 24, 2010. She along with a grandfather and close friend, were the main inspirations for the trek. Olivia finished her last chemotherapy on June 19 and is now heading down the road of recovery.
CB: Were you always a runner?
BP: No, I've never been a runner. I go to the gym, but I've never did a marathon, never did a 5K or anything close to a marathon and have never been a biker. So for me, to pick up a bike 600 miles in was crazy. The last bike I had was when I was 15 and it had pegs on the back.
CB: What was the most difficult part about leaving?
BP: I knew it was going to be lonely, which it was. Unless I was staying in a firehouse, it was super lonely. If I wasn't in a firehouse, I was alone in a hotel or at someone's house. One night I just tented-it on the side of the road in Indiana. And having to leave my grandfather, knowing he might not be here when I get back.
Brandon's grandfather was diagnosed with bone cancer. He had the joy of seeing his grandson upon return on June 13. He's doing much better and continues to be Brandon's motivation.
CB: What was your lowest point during the trek?
BP: Day six, it was on a Friday and I was in Bloomington, Ind. on Indiana University's campus sitting at a bench in front of Chili's. I was waiting for my friend Andy to pick me to stay with him for the night. I'm looking at my Facebook, seeing all my friends post stuff like, "I'm going out tonight," or "Meeting up with everyone tonight." At that point I was thinking, "Am I really going to do this?" I had been doing 20-30 miles a day so it was rough and I just sat there, discouraged, thinking I couldn't do this. I left my friends the next day. It had been raining, but it finally cleared up and that was the only day I ever questioned it.
CB: Highest point during the trek?
BP: Finishing 103 miles in one day, through the desert. It was so hot, my face was caked with salt, my backpack - everything was caked in salt. It just really sucked, but I did it, I got finished. I knew at that point I was only five or six days from finishing.
CB: Most interesting person you came across?
BP: Gary Kearn, who was 68 years old, biking from LA to Chicago just to see if he could do it. He finished a couple days before I did. He ended up leaving from Chicago and biking to New York just because. A 68-year-old man, out living his dream.
CB: How much money has been raised at this point?
BP: Almost $11,000.
Trek for the Cause T-Shirts can be purchased here for $22, where a portion of the money will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
CB: Advice for anyone wanting to make a difference, small or big?
BP: Well, I don't suggest walking, but don't ever give up. I was just following what my heart told me to do. I don't feel like I'm a hero, I feel like I'm just a person who had an idea, a dream. I get a lot that I'm a hero, inspiration, crazy - I get all of that. If I made somebody feel they were big enough to take on the world and didn't raise a dollar, it would still all be worth it. Be inspired by small things and big things. If you ever get the chance, inspire yourself.
CB: Any future plans?
BP:† I want to do a fundraiser for Joplin, Mo. They are good people, just like any other community. But since I went through there and they helped me out a lot, I felt more responsible to do something for their community.
On June 13 after 72 long, lonely, life-changing days, Perry finally touched down to the place he calls home. He's been busy with news appearances, radio shows, other charity events and even an interview with a measly little intern from CityBeat.† I'm not going to lie, I was nervous at first because we were total strangers who would not even know each other if it weren't for my Facebook Creepin' Disorder. After the first five minutes though, I felt like I had known Brandon for ten years. I can only attempt to be half as determined, confident and inspiring as he is but for now I'll continue to help make Brandon's dream become a reality.
Come meet the man yourself June 23 for Brandon's Welcome Home Event from 6-9 p.m. at the Montgomery Inn Ft. Mitchell (400 Buttermilk Pike) and from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at Mynt Martini on Fountain Square. There's going to be tons raffles, a silent auction, food, drinks and Brandon... duh. To make a donation, visit www.trekforthecause.com.
Check out Perry's run-in with the TMZ crew:
Ah, the spring has sprung and days are growing longer. No more depressing winter cold invading our souls and sucking our lives away as we nap into the afternoon. The imprint in my bed will soon start to rise and my silhouette will disappear. Winter fades into the past and mid-terms or finals come to an end, meaning only one thing: It is finally Spring Break! The ultimate unsupervised vacation for minors and the equally immature freshman in college.
Saturday Ian and I played Nintendo Wii for about 8 hours straight. No joke. I was just warming up my arm for ping pong that night. To get our game faces on we all decided to have a pizza party to fill our tummies to the brim with prime protein and pure ping pong nutrition! Then it was off to the Gypsy Hut to start scouting the talent on the table. I am a regular customer to the Gypsy Hut ping pong table so I have seen most of the faces that occupy the Ping Pong Party Plaza.
Since that time, he‚Äôs gotten married, had two kids, founded a BMX company called Failure Bikes and built even more backyard trails and ramps. Bischoff has pretty much kept it real, maintaining his BMX lifestyle while growing up and settling down in Cincinnati‚Äôs stodgy East Side.
(Full disclosure: The author of this blog has known Bischoff for 15 years and used to shred his trails all the time.)
So it only makes sense that his most recent endeavor was to offer his lifestyle to the rest of the world via participating in one of TV‚Äôs most popular reality shows (right?). The man who affectionately goes by ‚ÄúBeardo‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThe Beard‚ÄĚ is one of 20 contestants on Survivor: Caramoan ‚ÄĒ Fans vs Favorites, which premiers Feb. 13.
Bischoff couldn‚Äôt officially speak with the media on Jan. 11, the day CBS announced the cast, but if he could have he probably would have said something like, ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know, man. Survivor was crazy. It ruuuled.‚ÄĚ
CityBeat will ask the appropriate CBS PR person for an opportunity to speak with our friend soon.
This particular Survivor format involves 10 new
contestants in one tribe trying to out-survive 10 people who previously
participated in other seasons of the show but didn‚Äôt win. Among
Bischoff‚Äôs tribes-people are a former Miss Missouri winner, a female racecar
driver and former United States Marine Corps Sgt. Shamar Thomas, who is
Internet famous for yelling at New York City cops for intimidating
Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Survivor host Jeff Probst told Entertainment Weekly the weather is a problem during this season and there are evacuations and things ‚Äúout of the norm.‚ÄĚ Probst also said there‚Äôs some type of love connection (probably just people infatuated with Bischoff‚Äôs massive beard).
Here‚Äôs Bischoff‚Äôs official bio at cbs.com. He answered the question of, ‚ÄúIf you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?‚ÄĚ with: ‚Äú1) My iPod ‚ÄĒ I constantly listen to music. It is a huge part of my life. I also would want to view photos of my wife and kids. 2) A pen and notebook ‚ÄĒ to work on song lyrics and keep a daily diary. 3) A video camera ‚ÄĒ to film myself doing wild stuff!‚ÄĚ
And here‚Äôs 16 seconds of him doing some BMX stunts:
Christian Moerlein now boasts a variety of beers and lagers including Moerlein OTR Ale, Moerlein Lager House, Moerlein Barbarossa Double Dark, Moerlein Northern Liberties IPA, Moerlein Seven Hefeweizen, and Moerlein Seasonal Selections. Moerlein beers and lagers are available on tap at a number of local pubs and restaurants and in bottles at retail stores.
The brewery will be open every Friday through Sunday for tours. Tours will begin at the following times: Fridays at 5 and 7 p.m.; Saturdays at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m.; Sundays at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. The Christian Moerlein Craft Brewery, Tap Room and Tour Center is located in the Kaufman Pre-Prohibition Brewery Complex, 1621 Moore Street. Ample parking is available in adjacent lots. For more information, visit christianmoerlein.com.
The past three years I have been Batman for Halloween. It was always an easy choice; just throw on some thermals, put on a jock strap and head out the door with the utility belt as a wallet and road dog holder.
If Mark Twain was right about Cincinnati being 10 years behind the times nearly a century ago, it would be safe to expect the Industrial Revolution and Internet age by now to have dropped our fair city even further behind society‚Äôs advancements.
If the Oct. 8 Cincinnati Bike Plan open house at the McKie Recreation Center in Northside is an indication that Cincinnati is finally sincere about promoting bicycles as a legitimate transportation option, that would put us approximately 40 years behind the most progressive American cities in this regard. But it‚Äôs better late than never, according to the nearly 100 people who showed up to participate in the information-gathering session with city engineers and design groups currently working on the city‚Äôs first comprehensive bike plan since 1976.
This weekend was the release of the newest installment in the Final Destination series, THE Final Destination and, much like THE Ohio State, it's nothing special.
On a cool November night, a glorious freedom-leading individual raised a bong to his lips at a USC party and proceeded to inhale the silly smoke into his dolphin like lungs. As he exhaled after listening to "Battery" by
Deciding which route to take in disciplining children is surely a tough decision. The closest thing I have to spawn is a gang of pets, and they don't know "sit" from "shut the hell up," so I guess training a little human would be even harder.
Today, it seems two extreme concepts of discipline stand out (usually while I'm shopping at a seedy Kroger location): the pulling-the-kid-by-the-arm-while-yelling-at-and-occasionally-spanking-them-onlooking-shoppers-be-damned or the children-deserve-freedom-and-isn't-he-adorable-shit-momma-needs-a-break. Surely, there's a happy medium between publicly berating your 4-year-old and falling into a dopey gaze as you let the kid scale shelves in aisle 6B. Thankfully, that's where Potty Mouth Soap comes in!
Made locally in Maineville, Ohio, creators of Potty Mouth Soap promise effective use of their product will help "nip the lip." The press release, sent to myself at CityBeat's office, is quite well-written, featuring enough alliteration to make Carrie Bradshaw squeal:
"Sick of the sass? Tired of the talking back?…Potty Mouth Soap is an all-natural, safe way to help discipline your kids. What's more, it's fun and effective." Fun? Just tell that to Ralphie.
It was...soap POISONING!
Not sure if it's effective, but hilariously (?) enough, there is a link to this video on Potty Mouth Soap's homepage:
The release continues:
"It's made with all-natural, non-toxic ingredients including coconut oil, palm oil and purified water. So when your little darling dares to sass you can feel completely safe when placing Potty Mouth Soap at the edge of their mouth. And that yucky taste will help nip the lip that you're so fed up with."
I know what you're thinking. "My kids are the worst when we're in public, but how can I keep a bar of soap in my purse?" Potty Mouth Soap gotchu.
Enter Potty Mouth Spray. This portable "Cinnamint" mouth spray if perfect for Krogering. The website warns, "Don't leave home without it!"
On the "How to Use Potty Mouth Soap" tab are four YouTube videos above the text that's printed on the press release. One would think these would be how-to videos on soaping your kids, or examples of children who need to be soaped. The videos include one of a baby "biting" (but really placing her toothless mouth upon) a dog, the infamous "David After the Dentist" and "Charlie Bit Me."
Now in Auto-Tune form
Now, it kind of seems like the soap method might just teach kids to shove gross things in people's mouths when they say something they don't like, but I'm no parent. I guess I've come across some 9-year-olds who might deserve to get soaped, but a freaking baby? They don't even know how to make words yet! And seriously, no person should ever be accountable for what they say when high, after the dentist or otherwise.
"Gotta teach 'em young," you say? "This is probably better than the belt method." Well, bars and spray are $3-$5 a pop and include a sticker reward chart for positive behavior.
No gold star for you!