Alvin Straight – what I observed 

I’ve watched the movie 4 times. Here is what I came away thinking. 

Alvin didn’t have much money. He had poor eyesight. He walked with 2 canes, because of bad hips.

He received a phone call letting him know his brother had a stroke. 240 miles separate them. They haven’t gotten along in many years. Alvin remembers good times with his brother. He decides to go see him, hopefully before it’s to late.

His eyesight prevents him from getting a drivers license. He can’t walk much because of bad hips. 

He builds a trailer to pull behind his riding mower. He told his daughter 2 things before he left.

  1. I have to go see my brother
  2. I must get there, my way

He took off at 5 mph.

His cap is blown off by a passing truck. His struggle to retrieve it, on foot, is accented. 

He spoke of picking up one stick and being able to break it, but bundling many sticks together making them unbreakable. He called the bundled sticks “family.”

Plenty of his life’s tragedies are spoken of. The pain associated with those tragedies never left him. 

He made it the 240 miles. He no longer cared about what had separated him and his brother. He cared about his brother and wanted more of the good times they had once had. They were both old and Alvin seemed to know that time was short. 

He turned down offers to be on Leno and Letterman. He wanted no fame.

He informed folks about what he was doing when the need arose and he accepted “certain” help. For example, he turned down rides, but accepted food.

I saw a man with a mission setting out a journey with many unknowns. He went with what he had, poor health, very little resources and a mindset to bundle some sticks back together.  

His story has many stories in it. 

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