Tim McShea - Philadelphia's Finest

Tuesday Afternoon, December 14
Once, listening to a businessman speak, I remember him saying that all employees are representatives of the company - from the custodian all the way to the top CEO. Each employee's public interaction leaves an impression - good or bad - and that it is important we remember this - both for the company's image and for its success. Tim McShea has been a personal ambassador for Philadelphia - "The City of Brotherly Love."
Tim is a Philadelphia fireman and a vice-president for their union. As such, as you might guess - he is a "people person" who seems to know not a stranger. And pulling into town as I did - they probably didn't come any stranger than I.
Based on a single phone call from Marty Kelly - a friend of Tim's whom I had met and shared some conversation - Tim:
1. Arranged for me to stay the night at "Ladder Two" on 4th and Arch Streets.
2. Arranged for me to speak at Constitution High School in Philadelphia two blocks from Independence Hall.
3. Took a day off from work to take me around Philadelphia as if I were a long lost friend - not permitting me to pay for anything.
4. Made sure I was well fed.
5. Several days later, drove from Philadelphia to Atlantic City with his friend Dave so I would not be alone at the end of my trip.
6. Took me to an Irish Pub for lunch and toasts after ending my trip.
6. Transported my cart to a warm Atlantic City fire station and helped take it apart so that I could send my things back to Oregon.
7. Drove me to Egg Harbor City, NJ to a UPS center to ship my stuff.
8. Arranged through his friend, Dave, a free stay for me at Harrah's Casino in Atlantic City.

Please remember, that until several days ago - Tim and I had never met. Even when thanking him for all of his help, Tim merely shrugged it off saying that I had been an inspiration to him and I owed him nothing.
I owe him a lot.


  1. I believe that Tim is a reflection of your entire journey Ray. Think about the countless encounters you've had with apparent strangers who took you in as one of their own. It's because of the person you are that people treat you the way they have and the way they do. I'm proud of you, and proud to be your friend.
    see you next week bud!

  2. We are so glad you made it safe and sound Ray. Thank you for carrying us with you. I actually feel like in a way I walked from coast to coast. I bet Cynthia and the kids are so proud! I bet you don't walk anywhere for awhile, lol! Enjoy your "raising suspicion" at the airports on your trip home.