The long walk . . .
Former Gov. Patrick Quinn’s eldest son, Patrick Jr., is now following in his father’s footsteps.
• Translation: The younger Quinn, 36, is following dad’s populist path and plans to start walking Sunday the 190 miles from the Centennial Bridge in Rock Island over the Mississippi River to Chicago — raising awareness for shelters for the homeless and survivors of domestic violence.
• Backstory: Gov. Quinn walked the same route in 2001 in support of decent health care for everybody with Dr. Quentin Young.
“Change can happen even via a humble act like a walk,” said the junior Quinn, a cross country runner majoring in art and activism at Rensselaer Polytechnic in New York — who plans to end his walk Aug. 18.
“On the last Day of the walk, Dad will join me from Oak Park to Chicago through the city’s West Side,” he said. “And you can bet he’ll be two steps ahead of me if the TV cameras are there,” he chuckled.
“Walking is kind of a poetic way to make change,” he said. “I’ll be visiting shelters in towns along the way and hopefully raise money for a group called Housing Forward, which is located in Oak Park and primarily serves Chicago and Western suburbs.”
• Backshot: The walking boots don’t fall far from the tree. Gov. Quinn once worked for the late Gov. Dan Walker, who walked 1,197 miles across the state wearing a red bandanna around his neck while campaigning for office. He claimed his legacy in Illinois was “The Walk.”
“The great singer Mahalia Jackson said she always sang for free for the walking people, and that’s a great legacy to leave behind,” said the elder Quinn.