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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Experiental Medley: BOULDER,Kansas,DENTON

Impressions of sleeping in back of the Free Church in Boulder. I'm blanking on how I started out of the northwest, but I may have left from Portland, Oregon that time. Going to sleep after wandering the streets of other hippies, College students, etc. I remember an incredible guitarist who lulled me to sleep. He'd been or was going to go to a place near town called Strawberry Fields. I regret not going as it had sounded cool. His music was highly creative, as I imagine it could have been recorded by a label like Windam Hill Records. He played on a hollow electric, but it was loud enough as his bedroll was near mine.
I made a friend who I want to call richard because he reminded me of my later Denver friend, Richard, who I hitched with to the First Rainbow Family Gathering, where I re-joined my old NW friends, Love Family in and outers.
This fellow, I'll call him Boulder Richard, had come to Boulder after leaving Cincinnati with a bunch of his friends in a big schoolbus. The bus broke somewhere in the middle of Kansas, I forgot the name of the town. As I was doing nothing obligatorily in those days, richard either, he had this idea to donate some stuff to the free church where we'd been crashing. the 'stuff' he had was in Kansas, however, so off we went, thumbing.
I marginally recall us getting to Denver heading east on Colfax prior to my living in Denver...Colfax which is or turns into 70 going east, east east..
Flash forward to an old probably 1958 ford, and if i'm wrong it'll serve the purpose of this ture story for you to imagine it a 1958 ford, me sitting in the back seat. Going straight. Very M-F-ing straight...as highways tend to go straight in states that can't brag about mountains or even hills.
Time passed and we were still going striaght. I heard it said that people from these plat states are afraid of mountains, or what might lurk behind them. The same or the opposite is true of a mountain-stater like myself.
Boulder Richard and I got to the township where his bus broke down, which was a story unto itself.
His band of Cincinnati-ite explorers found themselves alone, hippies in Redneck-ville. They were laughed at and dark ideas were brewing in the minds of the local Outwardly Christian-inwardly evil whose primary 'commandment' was "Do not get caught". (Where is Billy-Jack when you really need him?!) This was evidenced, as Boulder Richard's description of this story goes, by them having been fortunate enough to meet a real nice person, a farmer who immediately wanted to help them. He agreed to tow their bus to his farm, on which a number of other broken existed already, probably dating back to the forties. They were appropriately thankful and stayed with the farmer for a number of days, til it was determined that nothing could be done about the bus. But I digressed. Let me catch up. As the good farmer went about the work of rigging up the bus to be towed to his place, neighbors of his, red-necks, a pickup truck full, actually threw stuff at him! I seem to recall Richard saying "beer cans", and other things, berating this good man for helping hippies.
OK. That was that story. Back to my story. The same man greeted us and agreed to let us stay a few days in exchange for building him a new silo. It was all new to me, I was not a carpenter or anything, but these silos are pretty easy to erect, as it turns out, just screws and bolts and curved galvanized/corrugated metal. The Good Farmer and his family lived in a long trailer that was a nice home, next to his dad who still lived in the real farm house next door. One whole side of the trailer, however, was pockmarked with little indentations and the smallish windows of plexiglass were even cracked, although still intact as barriers. These peppered marks were caused by a hail storm. I'm sure I thought, "Wow".
Richards idea for us was to hitchhike all the way back to Boulder in three days with a few bags of brown rice, maybe some other staples, pots and pans, probably some silverware and whatever else we could bring, including our own stuff.
This is a fond memory really, being anonymous in a state I'd never been in before with really, really nice folks. Mrs. Good Farmer made us great meals after our very hard days work.
Did I mention that this was a Hog Farm? It was. And every time I smell Pig Shit it takes me back here.
But one night of the three there came a storm. Richard and I slept inside the bus, I almost forgot to say. Our own place. In Kansas once the storm surrounds you you can't tell where the worst is except for the lightning and volume of the thunder, I learned that night. So there we were, reading by candle light. As the storm rode over us we got a little hungry for a snack. Among the foodstuff in the bus was some popcorn. We put some in a pan with a bit of oil I think, and actually popped it over a candle..it worked! Man, that rain poured that night.
I'm sure I had some weird dreams, but the next morning all was bright and clean-smelling, but there was bad news, sad news mixed with the good. A big Sow gave birth, but had died during the process, perhaps from fear of the storm? I don't know.
I'll always remember how the big pigs lay deep into the mud, half their bodies, so much that you could not tell if it was a hog or not unless they opened an eye to check you out. And it seems they may have had ankle high little light electric fences to keep them in.
Building the Silo was a rewarding experience for me. I'd never done anything like that: something  you look at afterwards, something appealing, something very functional, and say, "I built that!".
Time to say goodbye to the Good Farmer of Kansas, and head back on the long straight road and eventually to Boulder. Richard and I had to have looked somewhat silly, hitchhiking with bag after bag of all this stuff. I think we even split up once and got back together, taking different rides and meeting up ahead. It's one thing to pick up a single hitchhiker or two with their bags, but, "Oh, by the way, do you think you could fit my kitchen in the car, too, dude?". Fortunately, there were alot of stoned people on the roads in those days. Maybe it was the subconscious connotation of 'food' that made them so generous. Somehow, Boulder Richard and myself made it back with our generous donation. As I write this, I think my appreciation of that experience has been undervalued by myself all these years.
That's what I like about my memories of travelling alone by thumb. These situations, as a biped on this planet, that you can get into in no other way than by putting yourself the mercy of whatever comes your way. No rule book saying you cannot do that.

OK-OK-k-k-k-...What else about Boulder before we leave. I wandered around alot by myself. I remember a guy near the main drag that crossed Boulder Creek where many folks hung out during the day. This guy was wearing an actual loin cloth, with something attached to himself dangling underneath, if anyone cared to glimpse it. No one complained.
I remember some cool clothing shops that had very nice, hip clothes.
Definitely I remember one great breakfast place, other than IHOP where another anecdote began. This place was called MAGNOLIA THUNDERPUSSY, a small restaurant on the main North South drag in Boulder. For a mere 50 Cents one could get probably the biggest pancake you'd ever have! Thus, after a hard morning of panhandling after marching up to the main drag from the Free Church, the reward of this pancake was what kept one going.
I do recall a nice ice cream shop where the main drag Tee'd with another road on the south, I think, end of the main drag..the tee'd street I think led to the freeway and/or the university.

I may have some more to add about Boulder, not much but some.

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