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Ron Westhausser is a native New Yorker, but made his way to Jacksonville about six months ago to be closer to his mother.

Starting in Nags Head, North Carolina, Ron walked 174 miles over nine days to Jacksonville, NC. From there he caught a ride to Atlanta, GA and took a Greyhound bus the rest of the way to Jacksonville, FL.

You can find Ron most days playing Gin Rummy with his friends in Hemming Park. He is easily identified by his signature black cowboy hat.

“I bought this hat 25 years ago when my wife and I went on our last vacation to Nashville,” said Ron. “That’s when we were both working and had money. We were going on vacations every six months. She died December 22, 1997 on our seventh anniversary. She was thirty when I met her. She died when she was 37 of Breast Cancer.”

“Everybody says I should write a book about what I’ve been through,” said Ron. “I’m thinking about it. Either no one would believe it or it would be a best seller.”

Throughout his journey Ron finds that if you give your problems to God he will solve them and always have a back-up plan.

Read more Humans of Hemming Stories here.