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January 20, 2012


kitti Reynolds

I hitchhiked from Indiana to Boston in 1970 - with a guy. Had some very friendly, interesting folks pick us up. One ride was with a black truckdriver - my guy friend was a white South African, but Quaker and very much anti-Apartheid. In England I hitchhiked, sometimes alone, and got one ride with the organist at the cathedral in Canterbury. Some great memories, thanks DAC.


DAC -- In the early 60s, friends would hitchhike across country to go to jobs with the Forest Service -- no big deal. In the late 60s, as I was driving north and south along the East Coast I picked up hitchhikers all the time. Had a really bad experience in the mid 70s with a hitchhiker who joked about MAYBE having a gun -- that ended badly with state cops standing around my car while I explained why I'd incapacitated the hitchhiker. But that's all prelude to saying that hitchhiking is alive and, if not well, surviving in Montana. About a year ago, I picked up a 70-plus-yr old Salish gentleman (Indian) and he turned out to be the former dean of a Law School on the West Coast who had a car in for repair at a local shop and rather than bother friends to take him into town was thumbing a ride. Why did I pick him up? He simply looked OK -- and he was. And, to him, hitchhiking seemed OK within the local scene. We've since worked together on Reservation-centric natural management issues.


My kids talk about the freedom when they were growing up, too, Dac. They'd leave in the morning and be gone all day. I only worried if they didn't come home for meals -- and bring a few others or call from somebody else's house. Summers were great.
Now they have to keep track of their kids every minute. Of course I remember the stories my dad told, too. He sure had a lot of fun before and after cars. I've got pictures of his antics with friends at Grinell in the 1910's. It's fun to remember, but I think yhe kids today will be okay. They like to listen to the old stories, too.

Pat  Shields

Jessie and Allison used to have a playpen in the back of the suburban, and traveled, slept, ate, and played...and left the driving to us. I'd wack someone who put me in a carseat...remember getting up on the space between the backseat and back glass, and having Daddy holler 'cause he couldn't see out the rear view mirror?

Pat Shields

Patricia Gligor

It's not just driving either; it's pretty much everything.
I've always loved to water ski and, when I was in my teens and twenties, I could do that wearing a slim, white rubberized (not sure of the material) belt. I loved it! I felt free!
Then along came new safety regulations and you now have to wear a life jacket to water ski. It took the joy out of the sport for me. I tried it once but it just wasn't the same!

Caroline Clemmons

I think drugs have ruined our society--you never know when someone is wigged out on a high or else needs to rob you for drug money. I also remember that when I was a kid, my dad always picked up a man im uniform. Now, I won't pick up anyone unless I kmow them.

Shirley White

And we rode in the back of the farm truck, sometimes standing up.
Daddy would pick up hitch hikers. There was plenty of room.
He also stopped to help stalled motorists and usually could fix their vechicle. Many of them were just out of gas and he would syphon out some gas and get them on their way again.

Dac Crossley

Yes, seat belts. That's another one. Could add bicycle helmets. Both are good ideas but we didn't know.

Janice Pulliam

Memories---la da dah dum, la da dah...of the way we were. Good one, Dac!

William Doonan

I see what you mean - it's almost like we just all agreed that the world is a more dangerous place.

It's not just hitchhiking - I remember driving across country with my parents - us kids would climb all around the station wagon playing. Today, kids are strapped in like Hannibal Lector. It's not as much fun.

William Doonan

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