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Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Assholes of Ashland, Cont.

I walked out, alright.

It was pouring rain as I inched my way through the dark and serious road construction [with nothing but headlights and my LED flashlight to guide me] to the spot where I could hitchhike.

Out at the edge of town there is an intersection of roads and ramp that divides two highways. One of those roads is US Highway 2.

It was the middle of the night by this time and I was cold, hungry, thirsty, tired and soaked to the freaking skin!

I tried for over two hours to get a ride.

No takers.

Finally, four young girls in a big, silver-gray SUV, pulled up and asked me what was going on.

I told them. They reacted. Like nobody else there did.

They got me food, drink and a motel room.

I told the girl that paid for the room that I will Fed-Ex her back the money next week. Which I will.

And when I do, I am going to ask that she relay a message to the City of Ashland: My life is worth more than forty-five dollars.

At one point, the girls even tried calling the domestic violence people in Ashland on a cell phone.

The DV person said: "We get these calls all the time...There really isn't anything that we can do."

Yeah. Tell that to Jeremy, Kelly and that nice lady in Bemidji. Tell that to Sister Karen and to Chuck, who cares about what happens to me.

Those girls told that person on the phone that I was in rough shape and trying to hitch a ride down a dark highway.

With four exceptions, the City of Ashland turned its back on me.

The local homeless shelter was closed after the person who managed it was mysteriously killed in an auto accident.

I am convinced that the City's collective conscience died long before that.

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