Sunday, December 19, 2010
So he mentions hitchhiking in this letter. I think he does a bit of this in Iowa as well later. I suspect he told me about it before I went off hitchhiking in the 1970's. One day when I was much older I asked my mother why they had let me hitchhike across the country when I was 21 and she said 'let you!' let you!' what do you mean let you?' and I got the idea that at that age there was not a lot of listening on my part. I hitchhiked off to Friends World College in New york in the summer of 1972. My friend Barbara and I hitched up to Iowa to my grandparents and then to Illinois visiting friends and relatives along the way. We got stuck in Kentucky on the way to see my sister Bonnie who lived on 'The Farm' in Tennessee. We were not getting any rides and then finally a car stopped and we got in, the guy seemed a little sleezy to me. I was in back and Barbara in front. He pulled off on a country road and then into the woods. then he pulled over in a secluded spot and suggested that one of us shack up with him. By then I was getting my pack on and getting out of the car, talking while we did it. I still remember the words, 'no we don't do that' 'we're religious' we can walk out of here, no problem we're from Colorado'. We were out of the car and walking down the road and he drove off. Barbara had asthma and we took our time walking back to the interstate where there was a gas station. We were kind of terrified. It was at the gas station that the scariest thing happened. We went inside and found out where we could get a bus. Remember there are no cell phones back then, so we called my sister from the gas station and said we were giving up and taking the bus into NY. We just could not make it across Kentucky. To get to the bus station we thought maybe someone would give us a ride. I went out when a family drove up for gas, as I approached the car, the lady in the front told her kids to roll up the car windows and they did, this is July in Kentucky, no air conditioning. They all rolled up the windows and would not talk to us. This for me was the scariest part, having other people afraid of us. Finally a policeman came along and he took us into the next town to the bus station. Now that I have done some nonviolent training I can see how well we acted in the situation we were in in the woods. We never said a bad word about the man, we didn't even look at him. We just affirmed ourselves as strong religious people and kept on moving. I think that dad had much better experiences hitchhiking in the 1940's.