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He Achieves 5,605-Mile Dream

August 29, 1985|JENNINGS PARROTT

--His hands heavily taped to protect blisters, Michael King, a 26-year-old paraplegic, rolled his wheelchair to the U.S. Capitol steps, ending a 5,605-mile trip meant as an inspiration to the disabled. "This day has been a long time dreamed for, I guess," said the tanned and muscular King, after his road crew and a police escort had accompanied him to his final stop. He said the four-month journey from Fairbanks, Alaska, helped raise $30,000 for rehabilitation centers around the nation. King began on April 29, using up six sets of tires and 14 pairs of gloves before easing his 22-pound wheelchair, which was designed for racing, into the parking lot beneath the Capitol dome, where he was met by many wellwishers. King, of Cochranville, Pa., said he hoped the trip would inspire the disabled and others to "reach out for your goals and dreams. There still is a challenge that keeps going for me every day, which is to live my life the best that I can, and to reach out to others and to encourage them to do the same thing. You can still make something of your life in spite of difficulties and circumstances that come along to each one of us at different times in our lives." King, who will pursue a graduate degree in social work, lost the use of his legs after a car struck him on his motorcycle seven years ago.

--Elie Wiesel, whose books have focused on the mass extermination of Jews by the Nazis, and economist John Kenneth Galbraith will be among recipients of this year's Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal. Wiesel, 56, chairman of the National Holocaust Memorial Commission, has spoken for threatened peoples everywhere "so that the lesson of the Holocaust has universal meaning," the award foundation said. Galbraith, 76, professor of economics at Harvard University, was cited for his writings on developing nations and his contributions to economic thought. Others slated to receive the award in a Sept. 27 ceremony at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N. Y., are U.S. Rep. Claude Pepper (D-Fla.) for his work on behalf of the Social Security system; Kenneth B. Clark, a social scientist; and Isidor Rabi, a nuclear scientist.

--They may be short and stumpy, but fire hydrants aren't hard to love, says Fire Chief William Clough. He's seeking adoptive parents to look after the 2,700 fire plugs in Sandy, a Salt Lake City suburb. They would be responsible for painting them and keeping the weeds and grass cut.

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