I traversed the country on my thumb in the 60’s and 70’s, but circumstance threw a 60-year old out on the highway, just a couple of hours drive from Belfast to home.  No rental cars, bus already gone – what choices did I have?  It took about 4 hours – a sampling of who picks you up:

The first guy pulled over in his pick-up, with his angelic face and gut spilling over his belt, he cheerfully maneuvered a computer out of the front seat into the back of the cab to give me room, and offered a critique of my sales job as a hitchhiker.  “Button up your shirt, and the sunglasses shouldn’t even be up on your head, and you’ll do better with a sign saying ‘South, please’.  And a book – ax murderers don’t read books.”  A full-on marketer:  “You only have a couple of seconds to make your impression.”  McCain.

He dropped me at a store, and armed with a sign and reading my book, I awaited the next ride, which came from a young man, whose bandana sloped his hair straight back from his forehead while his goatee, in the manner of kids these days, pointed straight ahead.  Obama.

Next came a blonde in a white summer dress, maybe a doctor as she said she worked at the health center, who made me sit in the back of her SUV and wasn’t inclined to conversation.  Obama, I guess.

The next ride was also from a woman, a Subaru with a couple of huge white dogs “Hope you don’t mind hair!”, who had just spent ‘four hun-dred dol-lars’ on stuff to send her 14-year-old to school with.  Obama.

Another woman, traveling secretly down to Brunswick to buy music while the rest of her family camped for the weekend, took me the rest of the way down the coast to Damariscotta, where an older couple looking over brochures for pumps lifted me from the bypass into town (Obama, they had a sticker), and here I broke down and asked Quan to come fetch me.

Slow way to travel – I spent about 15 minutes between each ride waiting, but I was surprised at how many women were willing to give me a ride.  I suppose, with my gray hair and unprepossessing manner, I am not that threatening, but excepting the doctor and the old couple, nobody who stopped was moneyed.


One Response to “Hitchiker”

  1. Deborah Serrano Says:

    I’ve been enjoying reading your personal journal online. Glad you were able to find rides back via thumb. I’m also surprised that women were willing to pick up a hitchhiker.

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