When I was about 19, I was Hitchhiking back from Westpalm Florida to Caribou. I met several interesting people during that voyage. Had some good times and some bad. The first person to stop, turned out to be an absolute nightmare. The car slowed down, pulled over and waited for me. I looked in, opened the back door and threw my pack in. As soon as I closed the door the asshole drove off. leaving me with literally the clothes on my back. Not a great way to start.
I didn’t have much choice but to continue my trek home. My next ride was a doozy. A tall slender man pulled over, I got in and he asked where I was headed. iItold him my story and he asked if I’d like to come to his place and watch the Superbowl with him and his friends. Yea, I was hitching on Superbowl Sunday. I figured what the heck, I had no where to go and I wasn’t in any hurry. We got to his place and there was no one else there. He said they’d be coming along in a little while. I started to get an uncomfortable feeling. We talked, and he gave me something to eat. All of a sudden, this man came up to me and started to touch me. Now I was a naive kid, pretty freaked out by this as you can imagine. I don’t recall what was going through my mind ,but at that moment the doorbell rang. His friends had arrived. I took that opening to scram out the door and back into the world.
I found the highway and stuck my thumb out. No clothes, no money and a bit of a wreck. Didin’t take long before someone pulled over. I jumped in a big black Cadillac. the driver turned out to be the principal of some school somewhere in Georgia. Details are pretty hazy almost 30 years later. Almost immediatly he offered me a drink. Turned out he had what appeared to be a stocked bar in the trunk. In hindsight, after my last ride, getting drunk with this guy probably wasn’t a very smart idea but, I did. I shared the driving with him for awhile until we reached his destination. Both of us plastered, and lucky as hell to be alive. He let me out and I was back on the highway with my thumb out again.
I had a couple of other rides that don’t seem to stand out. Probably a good thing, had to sober up. Then a couple picked me up. They were returning from a honeymoon in Florida. Very nice, didn’t seem to be a hint of menace, thank god. The next thing I knew, I was driving the car, and they were in the back seat having sex. Good for them. They get off, and I get closer to home. Win, win all around.
When the newlyweds let me off, I was almost immediatly picked up by an 18 wheeler. Said he was going north. Good enough for me. Problem was, we ended up in Kentucky. I had gone a little out of my way. Did you know Cincinatti airport was in Kentucky? Me neither. I was at the airport. I considerd calling my father, asking him to wire me some money to fly home. I eventually said, “screw it”, and figured, i’d gotten this far, I could make it the rest of the way.
The trucker had given me 10 dollars and I had taken a local bus back out to the highway. Some people on the bus heard me talking of my plight and gave me a few more dollars
I don’t recall anything about the rest of the journey home. I do know that I didn’t really have a home. Neither of my parents trusted me enough to let me stay with them so I ended up at Nancy’s tourist trap in Caribou. I dump of indesrcibable proportions. Per usual, my father was paying.