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Friday, June 20, 2008

Ruthie On The Road, Update

As I hitchhiked through the South, I marveled at how different that section of the United States is...from everywhere else in the Country.

At one point, I suffered something that I've never experienced before: An asthma attack.

It started like a tickle in my chest and rapidly grew worse. I coughed, hacked and drew ragged breaths that evolved into a raspy wheeze.

I learned that the deep Southern Spring pollen coupled with the intense heat and humidity will do bad things to some Yankees.

Everywhere I went, many folks greeted me with a friendly "good mornin'", held the door for me and addressed me as "MISS" Ruth.

And I have memories...like the evening when a woman picked me up by the interstate near Batesville, Mississippi. She took me to the local police station where the cops dispatched me to a roach motel.

Before I made a stand, the motel "staff" assigned me a room that didn't lock.

Yes, that's right.

It didn't lock...at all.

I walked in the room with a key that turned out to be meaningless. And I looked back and discovered a two-inch hole in the door where the locking mechanism used to be.

And then there's Cathy, the big-rig trucker who resembled and acted very much like Whoopi Goldberg.

She saw me trudging, with my last bit of energy, up the interstate, outside of Little Rock, Arkansas.

And she stopped her truck, offered me a ride and drove me all the way to downtown Dallas, Texas.

When we got there, she handed me over to her friend, Milton, another trucker, who happily drove me to Oklahoma City.

And with that...I said goodbye to the South. Again.

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