Last week, I wrote about my kid in my column.
This week, I am keeping in the family.
My cousin-by-marriage is a guy by the name of Owen Glennon.
There are three things I know well about the man.
1—He has a dry sense of humor and a wit so sharp, when you talk to him you need to have bandages and a gallon of Mercurochrome nearby.
2—He teaches high-level math at Marist High School and has done it since 1976.
But I have one math problem I can stump him with. It’s a simple addition problem but he’ll never solve it. Heck, John Nash from the film “A Beautiful Mind” won’t be able to get this one.
Add up all of the income of every student Glennon has helped with their calculus and integers skills in close to 40 years of teaching. That would be an astronomical number. Heck, add up the number of students he has helped put hypotenuses to good uses and I’ll bet that number is staggering, too.
3—He loves cycling.
You could probably never add up all the miles his skinny legs have pumped over the decades. A couple of years ago, the man rode 3,200 miles from Anacortes, Wash., to Brunswick, Maine.
Glennon, who hails from Orland Park, has ridden across the state of Iowa a dozen times. Why anyone would want to ride across Iowa even once is beyond me, but he did it 12 times in the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, which is also known at RAGBRAI, not to be confused the Ames Brothers hit “Rag Mop.”
This summer, Glennon is going to use his cycling prowess to be true to his school.
He is going to take what, for him, will be a jaunt around the block starting this weekend.
Glennon will take off Sunday from upstate New York back to Sweet Home Chicago and figures to ride 1,004 miles to raise money for the Financial Aid Endowment, which helps smart kids whose parents don’t have enough scratch to attend his school.
“Owen’s commitment to his students both in and out of the classroom is well known, but this trek takes it to another dimension,” Marist President Brother Hank Hammer said in a news release. “Owen is well aware of the financial challenges that many of our students’ families face, and he has made a commitment to help them through this remarkable effort.”
By the way, in bike terms, ‘hammer’’ means to ride strongly in big gears. But I digress…
This event should also be called a Marist-to-Marist trip.
The journey starts in Esopus, New York which is the home of the Marist Brothers Retreat and plans on being back July 12 at the Mt. Greenwood campus.
Glennon won’t be taking the superhighways, though.
It will take him a couple of weeks as he will go through some of the heart – and armpits – of America and he has an itinerary planned with a lot back roads and rural towns of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.
Another challenging math problem: How many items of laundry on clotheslines and old tires on the ground will Glennon see during his back road trek?
His to-do list will also include stops at 15 Catholic churches and shrines, including Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel at Marist College, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame, and the Shrine of Christ’s Passion in St. John, Ind.
He will stay overnight at several parishes along the route, as well.
The longtime mentor talked about “Marist moments” driving him to this ride.
“The best of those moments have shaped what we do and who we are,” Glennon said. “We, the Marist family, become ever more blessed if, in our own ways, we look out for the youngest members of Marist…so that they, too, will have those special Marist moments that help to shape what they will do with their lives and who they will become.”
As if he’s not going to be busy enough, he will be overseeing a blog. Anyone who wants to throw a little cash his way for the cause can visit www.marist.net.
So good luck, Owen. May you have no chain sucks or crash rash on this ride.