There are people (slowly raises hand) who gripe about having to get up before the sun is up to jumpstart their workday. Then there are people like Walter Carr, who start walking at midnight in order to arrive at their job – located 20 miles away – on time.
I kid you not. Walter Carr is a superhero in disguise.
According to AL.com, Carr’s feat of defiance started when his car broke down the night before he was to start his new job with Bellhops moving company.
Unfazed, Carr decided to walk from Homewood, Ala., to Pelham throughout the night, across highways, for some 20 miles or more.
He got to Pelham at 4 a.m., where four concerned officers stopped him to ask if he was okay. Carr explained his situation, prompting Pelham police officer Mark Knighten to step in.
Knighten, along with fellow officers Klint Rhodes and Carl Perkinson, took Carr to Whataburger where they treated him to breakfast and told him to grab lunch to go as well. Then they drove Carr to a church – which they deemed the safest place to leave him until it was time for him to be at work.
Officer Scott Duffey, who was just coming back on the clock then heard the story from his co-workers and went looking for Carr – who had already left the church, dedicated as ever – and dropped him off at his job assignment.
Jenny Lamey, the person that Carr was meant to help move that day, posted about the incident on Facebook after she was greeted by Duffey and Carr.
“[Carr] WALKED ALL NIGHT to get from Homewood to Pelham. Because he needed to get to work. For those reading this that are not local, that’s over 20 miles. You could tell how the officer told us this story that he had complete admiration for Walter and by my reaction he could tell I did too,’’ she wrote. “The police officer said they picked him up earlier that morning, took him to get some breakfast and once they checked his story out, brought Walter to our house.”
Lamey told Carr he was welcome to stay, and even offered to let him go upstairs and take a nap until the rest of the crew arrived, but the hardworking student declined and instead got straight to work.
“We chatted while we were working together early yesterday morning. He loved my kitchen and said that it was exactly the kind of kitchen he would want. He was from New Orleans. He and his mother lost their home in Hurricane Katrina and they came and made their home in Birmingham,’’ Lamey wrote. “I asked him if he was tired from all that walking, and he said replied that he wasn’t and that he had a 4-hour nap before he left at midnight.”
Lamey took actions into her own hands, setting up a GoFundMe to help Carr. In just two days, the campaign has smashed its $2,000 goal, raising almost $39,000 as of 9:17 a.m. EDT on Wednesday.
Eventually, Carr’s boss, Bellhops CEO Luke Marklin got wind of the story and decided to help out as well. Marklin drove from Tennessee to allegedly meet Carr for some coffee to thank him for his dedication, but then decided to give Carr his own barely-driven 2014 Ford Escape.
“I am honestly blown away by him,’’ Marklin said of Carr. “Everything he did that day is exactly who we are – heart and grit. So far, he’s batting 1,000.”
As Marklin handed Carr his keys, Carr couldn’t believe it.
“Seriously?” the college student is heard asking.
Carr, who wants to be a U.S. Marine (and will probably pass training and all tests with flying colors with that kind of determination), said that he was just grateful for the opportunity to work.
“This was the first job in a long time to give me an opportunity to get hired,’’ he told AL.com. “I wanted to show them I got the dedication. I said I’m going to get to this job one way or another.’’
“I want people to know this – no matter what the challenge is, you can break through the challenge. Nothing is impossible unless you make it impossible,’’ he added. “You can do anything you set your mind to. I’ve got God by my side. I’m really emotional right now trying to hold back the tears.”