Langley Odd Thoughts: Still walking after all these years

Columnist Bob Groeneveld is no stranger to the Langley Walk which has evolved over the decades.

It was exactly 40 years ago that I joined the Langley Walk the first time.

I remember that I was one of about 3,000 walkers that day.

I don’t know why I remember that number. The only other thing I remember about that Langley Walk was that the only reason I walked it was because I had just started working as a reporter at the Langley Advance, and I was assigned to take pictures of people walking.

I don’t remember where we all walked that day. Each year, the Walk is routed through a different neighbourhood, alternating annually between Langley City and Township, but I can’t even remember whether that 1977 Walk would its way through a Township community or a part of the City.

I must have enjoyed myself, because I’ve walked a lot of Langley Walks since then. Most of the time I walked without having some crusty old editor assign it to me.

Indeed, I even walked the Walk many times after I became the crusty old editor who handed out the assignments.

It’s a blast when the weather is right. It’s a comfortable stroll with like-minded people who are out to enjoy time with their families, chat with old friends, meet neighbours, make new friends.

When the weather is hot, everyone kind of sweats through it, and there’s a feeling of accomplishment at the end.

And rain leaves successful walkers with a satisfying feeling of having survived.

For some reason, it doesn’t often rain on the Langley Walk. Perhaps it just happens to be one of those statistical anomalies that creates blips in the averages. Perhaps the gods smile favourably on friends and strangers getting together for such a wholesome and healthy endeavour.

Or maybe my memory is soggy from rainy days forgotten.

From the few rainy Walks I can recall, there was a deep and abiding camaraderie between the walkers who braved the elements together. A lot of laughter smiles… hmmm… maybe that’s why I don’t remember too many rainy Langley Walks. You don’t remember the rain, just the happy faces.

Basically, the Langley Walk is a gas. Everyone there is out to have a good time, and the air is veritably charged with fun.

If you see me there on Sunday, send me a smile… my legs are older than they were 40 years ago, and the positive energy won’t hurt a bit.