Now Playing: Bob and Tom's Morning Show
Yesterday driving to work, I was passing the Hydraulic exit in the midst of what passes for rush hour traffic in Wichita, when I spotted a man walking on the side of the road. He had a large hiking backpack and what was obviously a single person tent rolled up on top of it. He looked like the hippies that used to follow The Dead around - long hair, beard, tie dye t-shirt, flannel tied around his waist, etc. I thought to myself how odd to see such a familiar sight in Kansas of all places. Guys like this one were commonplace in Northern California on the road between Trinidad and Ferndale - a thirty mile span encompassing McKinleyville, Arcata, Eureka, and Fortuna.
Had this been California, and had I been in my old Volvo, and had it been ten years ago or more - I might have stopped to give this guy a ride; my how things have changed. I've only picked up three hitchhikers in my life, and only one of them was a man, and that was in Valencia of all places AND he turned out to be a great connection to a job with Dell Arte School of Physical Theater in Blue Lake! The other two were women who were obviously stranded on the side of the road - car plainly in sight either smoking with the hood up or flat tire without a spar. It was common courtesy on my part helping another woman in need of aid. I couldn't consciously leave another woman stranded when I could provide assistance and other people were callously leaving said woman on the side of the road. Especially so in NoCal when it could break out in sudden rain in the blink of an eye in certain season, and when it was so scarcely populated in certain areas.
I have never hitchhiked though. The closest I have come to it would be the time I caught a ride with Chrissy and Stacy on our way back from Magic Mountain with three guys we met there with Chrissy's church group. I really don't think of that as "hitchin' a ride", and it was hardly dangerous as either Stacy or I could have beat the crap out of the guys easily - scrawny as they were.
I have been with others in a car when the driver stopped to pick up a hitchhiker. Lisa Hoffman will remember that one forever, won't you Lisa! Talk about a strange turn of events - Elk Dancing, frog hunting in Fern Canyon, lawn chair surfing, and then picking up some guy needing a ride to the Chevron. Wild day that was!
David, my beloved brother, had his share of hitchhikers - which he so generously shared with me - literally. Like the time he was driving back from Seattle and stopped by my house with his "three friends". It turned out, so I found out as David and his friends ate my Thanksgiving leftover and then turned to leave at 1am, that one of his friends was in fact a hitchhiker they picked up on the road. By the time I found that out, the hitchhiker was dead to the world asleep on my living room couch and David and his friends were out my door, entering their pick-up truck and almost out of my driveway. Yeah, I slept well that night! NOT.