Hop in! Where you headed?

I aim this blog at Hitchhiking stories, obviously. However, you can take that in the 'poetic' sense, as we are 'snakes' in time and the asphalt rivers take us to many places, as well as 'places'..

.... occasionally my own 'Road' spurs me to use this blog to communicate with someone I've 'travelled with' who holds a special meaning to me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Random Reflection

In my own experience, it seemed, at least for awhile there, that every car I got into, whether a VW van, a Bug, a Fiat in Vancouver, or an old 1953 Chevy on highway 101...Credence Clearwater was playing. I wasn't maybe as much into Credence then but they grew into me more over the years as a link, an association, to hitchhiking in general.
You'd be sitting there for hours and hours, no one stopping to give you a ride, and then some magnetized soul would stop and ask you where you're headed, or else just flop the door open, and Green River, or Down on the Corner would be straining out of the radio, or the 8-Track. And, sometimes, the smell of some strange burning plant.
Music was a bond on the road, even if you were silently waiting. It was in our blood.
I'm sure other bands' music greeted me as many times, but for some reason I had noticed CC's stuff was prevalent--I DO love the flavor of it, but they weren't necessarily my favorite back then. It's like they crept under my awareness, and into my memories, and into my skin. That sound recreates a feeling, and by association, memories of the 60s and 70s, or perhaps a contact high if you couldn't afford another kind.
I'm hoping that some of you out there feel that way.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Introductory contribution

This little story is from the sixties, and a bit before I actually hitchhiked. My friends Jack and Steve had come with me in my old Mercedes 180D, diesel..with my little paisley decals..to Seattle from Yakima. I don't recall if we had some other goal in mind, but we were in Ballard driving up 85th towards 32nd where the little windy road down to Golden Gardens begins. I think even back then the little head shop stood on the corner. Jack mentioned his Uncle Charlie lived nearby and in later years, Jack did too.
Of some importance to the story is that someone had recently stolen my rear car license plate, so I put the front one in the back window of the little four-door black sedan. One of my pals had begun to roll a joint right about when we got to 32nd, I think. We had seen a Seattle Police Department motorcycle cop across the street presumably looking for speeders, and we thought we were being non-chalant and just proceeded to the right and down the road to the beach.
A very slight drizzle had begun to fall.
After I think the first turn, I glanced into the rear-view mirror and saw the flashing lights of the cop's motorcycle gleaming at me, but he didn't have on his siren. I told Steve or Jack to get ready to toss out our precious ganja around a turn, and maintained my speed. I thought, 'Maybe it's the license plate', and kept my speed normal and we all tried not to to act frantic.
He didn't have the siren on yet so I thought I could just say," Sir, I didn't look in the mirror, and didn't hear a siren...sorry."...
As luck would have it, I didn't need to worry. In my next glance into the rear-view, and after another turn, I quickly told Steve, I think it was, "Don't toss it!!--we're gonna be okay! Take a look back up the hill."
They did and we all took great relief in what we saw. The SPD motorcycle cop's huge Harley 1200cc had slipped on the road..probably on the oil that had risen to the top of the light rain water on the road. He was sitting there scratching the back of his neck. Someone told me you almost need two people to lift one of those old big bikes. And besides, I think he woulnd've been a little embarrassed by then.
What happened next? Well, you've got the clues.
Years later I lived by the Locks, not far from the story location. Jack and I had run into each other perhaps ten or more years before,( after several decades ) and he'd lived just up the street from where this happened. We had hung out for about ten years -ending in 2006 when he passed on- and bicycled together as we did in Yakima when we'd been 12 years old. In fact Steve and Jack and I all had identical blue Schwinn Varsity 10 speed bicycles when we were young. Most of the time, after Jack and I met up--now both 56 years old--we'd have coffee at a little coffee shop right on the corner of 32nd and 85th where this anecdote went down. Cafe Fiore, great organic coffee-perhaps the truly best coffee you can find! Many times we'd bring up the story, as we sat at Fiore and bitched about the Bush/Cheney crime families aka administration.
Recently, I met up with Steve again, and he told me he's told this story many times.
I'll miss Jack alot.