Considering himself less a person in need than one who needs to help others, Alan Barth has set out to perform a superhuman feat.
He plans to walk from Lawton to Altus today to raise awareness for the Muscular Dystrophy Association "Show of Strength" campaign. His goal is to reach the B-47 in Hightower Park. It's a plane he's cleaned many a time.
He estimates it will take him 25 hours, so if he starts at 8 a.m. he should arrive at his destination by 9 a.m. Monday.
"I'll make it. Count on that. I'll get there. We'll make some money for those kids," he promised.
This is a first for him. He said that at age 60, he was feeling bypassed and started taking inventory of his life. His "awareness walk" is intended to make people aware of the need to contribute.
While he doesn't expect science to find a cure for muscular dystrophy in his lifetime, he says the money that's raised is used to make the disease more manageable for those who have it.
As long as he's not carrying any extra weight on his spare frame, he's confident he can go on walking forever. He can't carry so much as a water bottle because of a weak right ankle, so friends have offered to throw water bottles out to him along the way and give him a ride back to Lawton. He's hoping for a nice bench to rest on once he reaches the park in Altus.
Barth says he'll be carrying a cell phone and welcomes calls from anyone who wants to talk and help keep him awake. The number is 458-7852.
"I'll talk about anything but politics. No politics. All I want to do is be of some help," he said.
When he's not walking for MDA, Barth ekes out a livelihood doing odd jobs. On Wednesday morning he went to a Lawton machine shop to see if there was any overrun work for him to do. Others have brought him their cars and trucks to repair.