New Castle News

October 4, 2012

City native pedals into hometown

David Burcham
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Riding his bicycle under the “Welcome To Pennsylvania” sign on Route 422 yesterday afternoon was an emotional moment for Leslie Jackson.

“That got to me a little bit,” said the former New Castle resident, who now lives in Boston. He could almost taste the Coney Island hotdogs that awaited him 12 miles down the road.

On the 11th day of his three-week, 1200-mile trek to raise money for Living Water International, Jackson kept a steady pace, pulling a 60-pound trailer that had become a little more than he originally bargained for.

“It’s been more difficult that I thought it would be pulling that much weight,” said Jackson, who will remove about 30 pounds of contents before getting back on the road.

Jackson began the trip on Sept. 23, and is scheduled to arrive home Oct. 14.

The 1965 graduate of New Castle High School planned to spend yesterday and today visiting family and friends before leaving for Erie tomorrow.

Mitchell Jackson, 54, of Warren, Ohio, accompanied his uncle for about 15 miles yesterday.

Yesterday Jackson visited with his mother, 90-year-old Emma Hambrick, who lives in a nursing home.

His oldest brother is the Rev. Dr. Cleophus Jackson of the New Castle Revival Center. A sister, Atheldra Jackson Christian, and another brother, Sandford Jackson, 64, also live here.

Jackson has enjoyed cool, dry weather during the 539 miles. There were no incidents until yesterday when his trailer tipped just inside the city limits when he made a turn and the trailer went over a curb over on its side.

But nothing can deter Jackson from staying on schedule and reaching the goal he has set.  

Jackson, 66, has passion for Living Water International, which drills wells throughout the world for people who are experiencing droughts or using polluted water.