"Are You...?" (latest post on my Walk Across America blog)

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    Nov 23, 2011 8:38 PM GMT
    One thing people who know me in person know is that I’m very much an introvert. I’ve never been one to dominate conversation—I’m more of a listener than I am a talker. And I’m usually quite shy. So when people come up to me who recognize me from the news, I always feel a little awkward.

    When a Dominican family recognized me as I was crossing the George Washington Bridge the day I left New York, it really took me aback. They had seen my interview on CNN that morning, and came up to me while I was taking pictures of the Manhattan skyline. Since then, a few other people have come up to me and asked if I’m the guy who’s walking across the country. Others have said, “Oh yeah, I’ve seen you in the news,” when I tell them what I’m doing. And there was that kid I mentioned a couple of months ago, who followed me on Twitter after seeing me on TV, and came out to meet me as I was approaching his town of Berndardsville, New Jersey.

    It happened again in Birmingham a few weeks ago. I was having brunch with my host and a friend of his, when a girl came up to our table and asked if she could take a picture with me. My host’s friend said “I didn’t know we were eating with a celebrity.” I didn’t know either—and I don’t think they were. I’m sure I was red as a tomato in that picture.

    Here in Tuscaloosa it has happened more, probably thanks to an article that ran in the Tuscaloosa News. When I went trick- or- treating with my friend and her kids for Halloween, a lady at one of the houses we visited said she knew who I was. And it happened at one of the local Episcopal churches, where I attended a service. Some of my friend’s friends have heard about me before she has even introduced us. I need to get better at not blushing.

    The nice thing is that it’s an instant ice-breaker. It gets people to want to talk to me and share their thoughts on what it means to be American in the 21st century. It has also awarded me some cool opportunities. This week, for example, I got to give a short talk to the International Student Group at Shelton State Community College. With some 7,000 students, including approximately 3,000 full time, Shelton State is one of the largest two-year colleges in Alabama. The students and the administrators who attended the talk were interested in the logistics of the walk, and in what I have learned.

    In any case, if you ever see me on the street, or the side of the road, or a coffee shop somewhere, please feel free to say hi. Just don’t laugh if I turn red.

    Constantino Diaz-Duran is a fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University. He is chronicling his walk from New York to Los Angeles to celebrate his eligibility for American citizenship. Follow Constantino’s progress.
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    Nov 23, 2011 8:43 PM GMT
    "In any case, if you ever see me on the street, or the side of the road, or a coffee shop somewhere, please feel free to say hi. Just don’t laugh if I turn red."

    I can't promise that I won't laugh
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    Nov 23, 2011 8:44 PM GMT
    I'mma carry a picture from your profile and a sharpie at all times, just in case. icon_razz.gif

    I want ultimate redness.
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    Nov 23, 2011 9:12 PM GMT
    jpBITCHva saidIf you see me walking down the street
    And I start to cry
    Each time we meet
    Walk on by......walk on by.....

    Dawson-Crying-GIF.gif
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    Nov 23, 2011 9:40 PM GMT
    jpBITCHva said

    [Dionne Warwick]


    2d8616f4.gif
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    Nov 23, 2011 10:10 PM GMT
    19c79 said
    jpBITCHva said

    [Dionne Warwick]


    2d8616f4.gif


    "Cry me a river"
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    Nov 23, 2011 10:35 PM GMT
    I love how I derailed my own thread... hahahah... icon_lol.gif
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    Nov 23, 2011 10:36 PM GMT
    Who knew you could be such a troll, 'Tino?
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    Nov 23, 2011 11:34 PM GMT
    Constantino.....I think you said somewhere you don't think you're a celebrity. Well....you are. Every where you go people know you or of you. It seems every week your story and travels gain traction. You championing what i'll call bringing some level patriotism back to America and enlightening peoples views on what it's like to be a gay person is a great thing. Im sure you and your story are getting world wide attention. To date I haven't seen any negative publicity on Constantino Diaz-Duran.
    I'm pretty sure the young immigrant guy from Guatemala will have, millions of people saying Thank You for what your doing. G/L C.
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    Nov 24, 2011 2:32 AM GMT
    @scottjock6, Thank you! Those are very kind and encouraging words.
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    Nov 24, 2011 2:34 AM GMT
    icon_smile.gif
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    Nov 24, 2011 3:22 AM GMT
    By the way, I got a very special early Thanksgiving treat this afternoon. I was at a Starbucks here in Tuscaloosa when a lady sitting next to me struck up a conversation. It turns out she grew up in Alabama, but lived in NYC for over 30 years--four blocks away from my apartment, on the Upper East Side! I showed her pictures of the neighborhood, and she had a blast reminiscing.

    Then her sister-in-law dropped in. It turns out that the sister-in-law's brother is none other than James Meredith, the first African American student to be admitted to the University of Mississippi! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Meredith) He lives in Jackson now. His sister is going to arrange a meeting. How cool is that?!
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    Nov 24, 2011 3:48 AM GMT
    jpBITCHva saidIf you see me walking down the street
    And I start to cry
    Each time we meet
    Walk on by......walk on by.....


    If you see me walking by,
    and the tears are in my eyes,
    look away, baby, look away.
    Don't look at me,
    I don't want you to see me this way.
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    Nov 24, 2011 4:05 AM GMT
    19c79 saidBy the way, I got a very special early Thanksgiving treat this afternoon. I was at a Starbucks here in Tuscaloosa when a lady sitting next to me struck up a conversation. It turns out she grew up in Alabama, but lived in NYC for over 30 years--four blocks away from my apartment, on the Upper East Side! I showed her pictures of the neighborhood, and she had a blast reminiscing.

    Then her sister-in-law dropped in. It turns out that the sister-in-law's brother is none other than James Meredith, the first African American student to be admitted to the University of Mississippi! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Meredith) He lives in Jackson now. His sister is going to arrange a meeting. How cool is that?!


    thats amazing!
  • austex85

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    Nov 24, 2011 4:07 AM GMT
    how long have you been in alabama?? shouldn't you be farther west by now? icon_razz.gif
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    Nov 25, 2011 9:31 PM GMT
    austex85 saidhow long have you been in alabama?? shouldn't you be farther west by now? icon_razz.gif
    True... But I'm kind of liking it here. They want me to stay till Christmas. Hahah... it's tempting.