Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Going my way?

After we got our pneumonia shots the other day (retirement is a continuing series of thrills!), Peggy and I headed down to my old high school to walk around the track four times and get fresh air and exercise.

As I love to do, I reminisced about my high school days, and showed Peggy where the sub shop and delicatessen called Smetana's used to stand on York Rd.  And how, after detention, I would hurry to get there to join the crowd for a cold cut sub, chips and soda, and how after that I would walk up to Read's Drugstore for an ice cream before cutting through Hutzler's and Towson Plaza so I could get to Goucher Boulevard and Providence Road and hitchhike home for supper.

By the way, I weighed 140 lbs at the time, and had to run around in the shower to get wet.  I could not drink from a straw, lest I fall in.

Anyway, that word hung heavy in the air. Hitchhike! When is the last time you saw someone hitchhiking around here?  Man oh man, the time was that you would see guys and the occasional teenaged girl with their right arm and thumb akimbo, waiting for a ride from a suburban mom in a Buick Estate Wagon, a businessman with time to tell a young person his theories about personal and business success ("And one thing I learned from taking that course is, no matter what you think you're selling, be it cars or buggy whips, you're really selling yourself !"), or a three-time loser with nothing else to lose, driving a stolen Dodge.

Sorry.  That last one was from Dragnet.

Maybe this kind of movie ruined everything
If you moms of teenagers can even think of it, yes, there was a time when we got around by hopping into cars driven by total strangers, without a cell phone or tracking device of any sort on us for our parents or Inspector Flanagan from Police Headquarters to track us with. I know the last time I saw someone thumbing a ride, gas was about 45 cents a gallon but I still didn't pick the guy up.

Frankly, I don't know who stopped hitchhiking first - the kids who were afraid to get in the car of Harry Homicide, or the innocent driver scared to death to stop for Stanley Slasher with his algebra book and his looseleaf notebook with "ME + YOU = ?" on the front in magic marker.

Good times.  Good times.

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