Teacher Jack Hood walks everywhere because he hates driving

Hood simply loves walking and hates driving

In all weather, economics and government teacher Jack Hood said he enjoys walking to school every day. Hood doesn’t own a car and gets around on foot

Emily Kruse/Photo Illustration

In all weather, economics and government teacher Jack Hood said he enjoys walking to school every day. Hood doesn’t own a car and gets around on foot

By Emily Gordon-Ross, Staff Writer

For many, getting a driver’s license is an important rite of passage to adulthood and a necessity for getting around town. For economics and government teacher Jack Hood, driving has never been an essential.

Hood walks everywhere he needs to go — work, the grocery store, home — and he hasn’t driven a car for more than 25 years.

“I’m going to say 1992 [was the last time I drove a car],” Hood said. “I had to drop my college roommate off at graduation up the hill, him and his family.”

By Anna Parnell

In this day and age, not driving is an anomaly. For Hood, it was an easy decision to swear off cars and not just because he is a self-proclaimed “terrible driver.”

“I hate driving, and I love walking,” Hood said. “Everyone assumes there’s some big reason why I walk, but there isn’t.”

Being able to drive gives many people, specifically teenagers, a sense of freedom and the ability togo anywhere, whenever they want. Hood said he never felt that sense when learning to drive originally, and it was never a factor when he decided to not own a car.

“A lot of people talk about it as if it’s this sense of freedom, and I just plan ahead,” Hood said. “You know, if I forgot to get garlic, I do without garlic in a recipe. You learn to plan ahead really quickly. ‘OK, this is what I’m going to have. This is what I’m going to need.’ Then you just get what you need.”

One essential way Hood plans ahead is by paying attention to the weather. Colder weather is complicated, but Hood has some advice for how to survive cold or rainy days.

“Dress appropriately,” Hood said. “I never get cold. I wear layers. We had those rainy days…there’s a lot of puddles. Lawrence doesn’t drain right. I had to wear flip flops over [to the school] so I didn’t ruin my slacks and shoes.”

It takes a lot to stop Hood from walking. Unless he needs to go to Kansas City, a history department movie night or a track meet, he does walk everywhere. He lives only five minutes away from the school, depending on traffic. The grocery store is right down the road, and Netflix is only a click away.

However, in 2015, Hood was unable to walk due do a condition known as gout.

Gout is a form of arthritis that causes severe painand inflammation in the joints. Hood’s condition got so severe that his typical five minute walk home became more difficult.

“I had to get rides everyday,” Hood said. “It was horrible. It was stupid. I refused to go to the doctor until it was horrible. I couldn’t walk right for nine months. Mr. [John] Moos had to bring me to school every day cause it’d take me 20-25 minutes to walk home. That’s when Mr. Moos became my Uber driver though, at least that’s what I call him.”

Moos has been Hood’s coworker for 15 years, and is often the one called when Hood is in need of a ride, and not just to school.

“Usually for Chipotle fundraisers,” Moos said. “Other times when we go see superhero movies.”

Despite various inconveniences, the support Hood has received has allowed him to remain firm in his war against driving.

“I love to walk, and I hate to drive,” Hood said. “The world is a safer place with me not driving a car.”