After riding his horse Angel for the past 18 months, and covering over 6,000 miles, Leslie Fender from Dublin, Texas near Forth Worth was in Quincy
Fender, who is 55 years old, said the ride was his “last hurrah” and hoped to bring some attention to stroke victims.
According to a story dated September 13, 2012 on the Beaumont Health System web page, Fender suffered a stroke and was hopitalized at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit) several years ago where he recovered after specialized surgery.
He made the trip back to Michigan by horseback last year and has been traveling since.
Fender said he was a Vietnam Veteran, having served in 1973-74, and a member of VFW Post 9181 in Stephenville, TX.
He has managed restaurants and for many years was a personal butler. The butler job came after being given the responisbilty of taking care of a wealthy client at a resort he was working for at the time.
After two week’s of being the person’s butler, Fender was asked if he would be interested in keeping the position full time. He took the job as butler and did that type of work for 18 years.
Fender said he has wanted to get on horseback and travel since he was ten years old.
One of his few bad experiences happened here in Gadsden County when someone stole his lasso while he was in a convenience store on the west side of the county.
On an average day he and Angel travel about 25 miles and he sleeps in a tent where he can find a quiet area. He eats in local restaurants and has done odd jobs along the way as well.
For the future his plans are to work his way to the Tampa Bay area where he has friends and can rest up, he said.
Plans after that have not been decided, he added.
As for being aware of stroke victims, he asked that people consider donating to local stroke advocacy groups like the Stroke Support Group at TMH.