Dad asked me to update this Bio so that those of you who don’t know him will know a little bit about him.
Bradford Storey was born in the the Philadelphia suburbs to an actress mother and engineer father. He was a stamp collector, boy scout and animal lover, who became an avid bird watcher.
He got his degree in Psychology from Dickinson University where he loved to play pool and ping pong. After graduation, he got a job at Byberry mental hospital. Around that time he married his first wife, Susan, and had his first child, Brad III. Within a couple of years, they separated and Brad III remained with Susan. Susan and Brad remain very close friends to this day).
Brad remarried, a woman named Margaret, and had 3 children with her, 2 more boys (Isaac and Emmett) and one amazing girl (*that’s me!, Lucy, the editor of this blog and writer of this bio.)
Soon Brad and Margaret got involved in a spiritual and intellectual movement, led by Stephen Gaskin. They joined Stephen and other pilgrims at a commune in Tennessee called ‘The Farm.’
Brad and Margaret spent a couple of years on the commune, where Brad learned his trade of House painting, and Margaret learned midwifery. Both continued these professions after leaving The Farm.
Brad was very active in boy scouts, serving a leader for his sons, 2 of whom became Eagle Scouts, like him. The 3 younger kids were mostly home-schooled, but attended public high school.
In 1988, when the kids were 11, 13, and 15, and 19, Brad’s mother passed away and left him the family home. From the proceeds of the sale of that house, Brad and Margaret took the three younger kids on a trip to Europe in 1989-90. Since the kids were home schooled, they were able to spend a full year touring 23 countries in Europe and the Middle East.
With the return to the USA in 1990, Brad temporarily gave up house painting and tried his hand at News writing for a local paper, in Bedford, PA. In the years that he worked for the paper, he wrote many articles and won several prestigious ‘Golden Quill’ awards for his editorials.
Eventually, Brad returned to painting, but never gave up writing.
In 1992, Brad and Margaret separated and Brad moved to Florida. While camping in the national forest, he met Gary and Ila, who were to become lifelong friends. They owned a piece of property in Mena, Arkansas, and needed someone to occupy it while they were gone. Brad agreed.
Brad spent almost 20 years in Mena, painting houses (occasionallly free of charge) and acting and directing in the local theater. Brad has had lead roles in many plays and has written the stage version for Alice in Wonderland and The Life of Christ among others.
In 2009, Brad lost his dearest friend and coworker, Brandon, who was only in his twenties, in a motorcycle accident. This event, coupled with unwelcome changes in the politics at the theater, got him thinking it may be time to move on.
I have heard Brad say that he ‘just wanted to take his dog for a walk,’ but that desire turned into a dream to walk across the country.
Brad was not keen on the idea of meandering coast to coast without an official affiliation or support of some kind, so he contacted the Audubon society (a foundation which raises awareness and protects environment for birds) to find out how he could help the cause and/or raise money for Audubon while walking.
Brad has been an avid bird watcher for many years, planning his vacations and travels every year around rare birds and beautiful bird habitats. He has been on many pelagic trips (ocean bird sighting boat tours) and has a ‘life list’ of over 600 U.S. birds (and many non US birds) so it seemed like a no brainer to enlist Audubon.
Brad finally put the last of his things in storage in Mena, in July 2011. He spent a few weeks doing practice walks with his dog, Xena (a siberian Husky) and collecting the tools for this walk (a tiny tent, safety supplies, saddle bags for Xena). And the rest is history!
Brad started with his toes in the Atlantic, in Jekyll Island, GA, and hopes to take a South-Westerly route to end up somewhere in California, with his feet in the Pacific.
**Here is what they say about Bird Man Walking on the Audubon website:
BRAD STOREY’S WALK ACROSS AMERICA:
SUPPORTING CRITICAL BIRD HABITAT FLYWAY BY FLYWAY
Retirement simply isn’t a word in Brad Storey’s vocabulary. When the time came that most people choose to slow down, Brad decided to make a difference by offering to walk across America, with his husky, Xena, to raise money for National Audubon’s Important Bird Areas (IBAs) Program. Help Brad and Xena Make a Difference!
A devoted birdwatcher, Brad has inspired friends and family to learn about birds and the threats they face due to habitat loss from climate change and development. Over the next year, Brad will take his message about protecting critical bird habitat across America – mile by mile, flyway by flyway. Brad and Xena will be stopping at Audubon Centers and Important Bird Areas along the way so be sure to follow their progress on Brad’s Facebook Fanpage: Bird Man Walking to see where they’ll be visiting.
Please join Brad and Xena in their effort to protect the most important places in America for birds by making a donation to Audubon’s Important Bird Area’s Program. Your support is greatly appreciated!
To donate to Audubon in Brad’s name, please use this link to Audubon: