Tuesday, January 3, 2017


When I was a "young man" I used to hitchhike back and forth from my boyhood home to my college.

It was about 225 miles and I usually had pretty good luck.

But I can remember a few scary times.

Once I was traveling with one of my college dorm mates and we were picked up by a young couple.

The guy driving kept looking back at us in the back seat and chattering away while steering the car with one hand as he drove at what were very high speeds for the time and the two-lane roads.

When he stopped for gas, we bailed out, thanked him for the ride and congratulated ourselves on still being alive.

Another time I was dropped off on a country road far off my normal route and everyone else's, judging by the lack of traffic.

Then it started to rain.

Then it started to pour.

I had no protection and was soon soaking wet.

Finally a car stopped and a kindly couple of older women told me to get in.

I protested (a little), telling them I was very wet but they told me to never mind that.

I think they were school teachers and they got me back to my normal route and drier weather.

Then there was the man who picked me up on another trip and chatted amiably.

I was feeling good about this ride until he said he was headed for Albuquerque and invited me to come along.

We were in North Dakota at the time so I got a creepy feeling and nervously declined the opportunity to visit the Southwest.

It was a few decades before the gay era, when homosexuality was still mostly in the closet but I knew enough to be glad the man was a gentleman who let me out of his car near my college.

Times have changed since those carefree days of the 50's.