The Renegade Rip

Wonderly will walk from Bakersfield to D.C.

Elias C. Ahumada, Reporter

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Luke Wonderly begins his peace walk to the White House on April 26 from the famous Bakersfield sign, but Wonderly’s journey began when he was 15 years old.

“I was born in Bakersfield in the late ’50s into a large family of six, which is predominantly very religious,” Wonderly said.

He mentioned his brothers Peter and Paul, but focused more on an accident he had when he was younger.

“When I was 3 years old, I had drank gasoline and had to be hospitalized and I lived in an oxygen tank and barely made it,” he said. “[The incident] traumatized my body. I suffered tremendous panic attacks and what they called back then stress syndrome, and so I had to cope with it and it created lots of dilemma.”

At the age of 15, Wonderly left home and hitchhiked the entire west coast of America. He began that journey from San Diego and found himself in Canada. However, he said that he spent most of his time in Washington.

“I was living with the Nisqually Indians who I fished with,” he said. “I learned how to read a river, I learned how to fish, I learned how the animals got their names. I learned the respect for the earth that hadn’t been taught to me before.”

Wonderly then moved to Oregon where he says he stayed in a commune.

He said that from then on he became very interested in Eastern religions and Western culture. After a while of living in the commune, he made his way back to California.

When Wonderly came back to California, he started his own carpet and upholstery business, which he ran for 14 years.

After he finished talking about his life, the tone in his voice  and his entire attitude and emotional status changed when he began talking about peace.

“For every problem, there is a solution, for us on this planet and many of the problems we’ve been faced with today have been with us since the dawn of man,” he said. “[The military is] able to send a missile thousands of miles away to an almost pinpoint accuracy, yet mankind has suffered every single day on this planet to have food.

“Every single day, we have people who starve to death.”

He said that even Bakersfield, which he called “the breadbasket of the world,” has malnourished children while the city is surrounded by crops.

“In order to have peace, you have to understand what it is,” he said. “When we have our schools across the nation who not once discuss peace, it’s terribly distressing and that you see that peace is absent in the fabric of society.”

For about an hour, Wonderly spoke about peace, technological advancements we have that can help us be peaceful, and the things we can do to help bring peace to our society.

He believes that our government stands in the way of peace and that money destroys lives and makes our lives harder.

Wonderly encourages those who support his efforts to see him off at noon on April 26, saying, “I hope to have friends and relatives and those who support peace, who want to see this effort continue.”

Wonderly ultimate goal is to address Congress to discuss peace.

More information about Wonderly and the peace walk can be found by searching his full name on Facebook.

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Wonderly will walk from Bakersfield to D.C.