At The Center Of It All – America Hugs It Out

(Image Credit David Hale Sylvester)

Twenty-four hours ago I had never heard of David Hale Sylvester.

Twenty-four hours ago people he was high-fiving and hugging had never heard of him either.

A story by Jenice Armstrong in the Philadelphia Daily News got me up to speed on “Big Dave” (as his friends call him…6-3, 260 Lbs., all muscle) who bills himself as the “HumanHigh5.”

Dave was in Lebanon, Kansas yesterday high-fiving and hugging strangers. Why? On 9/11 he lost a friend working in the World Trade Center. A second friend was also working there but managed to get out safely. A third was out of his WTC office on a business trip to Japan. A fourth overslept that morning.

Shortly after the memorial service for his buddy he decided to trek across the US on his bike to raise awareness and money for charity.

He’s still at it having biked across 15 states and 21 foreign countries. Last year he drove around the US, stopping in places touched by gun violence…high-fiving and hugging folks. This year he wants to bike across all 50 states, high-fiving and hugging as many people as possible.

How did the intersection of Lebanon, Kansas and Valentine’s Day come into view on Dave’s radar? Another friend mentioned to him last month how frustrated America seems to be with itself lately – Dave takes it from there:

“A friend was talking about how divided we are as a nation and how we need some good news. I got the idea of being in the center of the country on Valentine’s Day and giving hugs and high-fives to everyone.”

Lebanon, Kansas is the geographic center of the lower forty-eight states. Mayor Rick Chapin on Dave’s plan:

“Anymore, not too much surprises me. He’s traveled quite a bit of the world spreading unity. You’re always a little skeptical but everything seems OK. The premise is good. We are pretty divided right now. One side sees it one way and another sees it the other way. This may not help but it won’t hurt.”

Lebanon only has a couple hundred residents or so but they’ve seen other visitors on-location of late as its unique location makes for a symbolic storyline…where the country divides in half.

This is not my first “visit” to Lebanon…the little town is featured on the CW series Supernatural as the adopted home of Sam and Dean Winchester, living there in a former base of a secret society known as the “Men of Letters.”

A man of hugs, on Valentine’s Day Dave wasn’t in Philadelphia serving as a personal trainer at a fitness center. He was instead in the middle of the country serving as an example…looking to make strangers feel good…as well as those learning of his visit.

Getting people to smile. Giving them some peace.

Dave summarizes it in six words:

“We just need a good story.”

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About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside Philadelphia PA. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen US states (most just one time each) and Canada (twice). 50-plus years - married 30-plus years. Love massive quantities of sports, television and movies (viewed in a movie theater).
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39 Responses to At The Center Of It All – America Hugs It Out

  1. This is a really nice story. What a sweet man☺
    And I also have to mention “Supernatural” is my show!! I love those two and the crazy adventures they go one😅😅

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We definitely need a lot more good spirit like that.

    Fortunately this website is a good place to find some of that.

    Nice work, brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. aFrankAngle says:

    Great find … and cheers to Dave for his attitude and effort!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laura says:

    So nice to see someone making good news 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good man himself. Inwas just reading about a white supremacist who changed his hate to humanity just by actually meeting the people he was ‘supposed to hate.’ So maybe this one thing he is doing might change a few minds, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jay says:

    I do like a nice story, and glad they do still happen!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I always love a good, warm story like this!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s sure nice to have some feel-good news once in a while. There’s so much negativity out there lately.

    It’s like the painter Bob Ross used to say, “Shoot, if you want the bad stuff, watch the news.” No kidding. It’s nice to hear stories about people like this who are seeking to spread cheer. This guy sounds awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Steph McCoy says:

    Wow. Now, this is a story that should go viral. We need more of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Skipah says:

    Super cool story, we need to figure out a way to get some traction online for Dave.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: 2016/2017 TAG! | cookingforthetimechallenged

  12. I also wanted to tell you that I tagged you for the 2016/2017 tag! I hope you will answer the tag’s questions. I am hoping that this short link worked! http://wp.me/p3GhIj-135.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. George says:

    And we need even more good stories like his. We can’t ever have too many Dave’s..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Maybe he’s discovered the answer: people need to stop sitting around grumbling and finding fault and get out there and do something.
    People have a lot more in common than differences…but sitting in a room won’t let you see that…especially if the TV is on.
    (And they still haven’t found that jersey … really irritating to some here)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Samantha says:

    We need more of these kinds of people in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Bun Karyudo says:

    What a great guy! It’s nice to know that there are people like that out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. reocochran says:

    Oops! Accidentally didn’t wait for my old comment on 2 days ago to make it posted. Sorry! I liked this happy and positive story and real people picture. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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