Saturday, August 02, 2008

Ruthie On The Road, Update

Blogger is having some technical problems today (and so, for that matter, is this home computer). So I have no idea, at this point, if this will show up on the blog when I try to post it. But hopefully, if nothing else, it will save to draft. And I will then post it later. Obviously if you are reading this, SHAZZAM!!

I took a city bus out of Buffalo and stopped at a library in a suburban town to post my last updates. By the time I left there, the sun was almost set.

So I walked down Highway 20 into the dark.

I finally settled myself on a guard rail and put out my thumb. The cops rolled past and ignored me. And then a guy in a big van stopped and offered me a meal at Mickey D's. I was hungry and really THIRSTY (the stupid library didn't have a water fountain!) so I had a late dinner with him.

Then he drove me back to his home where he gave me a blanket and said that I could sleep in the van. It has a futon mattress in the back so I crawled back to it and was asleep in thirty-seconds.

The guy dropped me off back on Highway 20 at 5:30 in the morning before he went to work.

I wandered down that highway for what seemed like forever. Then a fat lady on a bike rolled up and asked me, "So, what's your story?"

"My story is that I am hitchhiking through here and I need some water," I replied.

She unzipped her fanny-pack and gave me a small bottle of Poland Spring Water. I downed it in one chug.

Then she declared, "We are all taught from the time that we are very young to never, never, never pick up hitchhikers."

"Madam, I am not just a 'hitchhiker', I am a woman, a human being and a child of God. And I have the right to expect respect from everyone else on Earth," I replied.

The woman stared at me.

Then I turned around and limped away from her narrow mindset.

I finally got to the small town of Alden, New York, totally wiped-out.

I stood in front of the library and sighed. Then a soft, friendly voice behind me asked, "How may I help you?"

When I turned around, I saw a middle-aged woman smiling at me. And then I remembered her question and started to laugh.

"Ma'am, I have a list!"

She winked at me and said, "Well, I'm the head librarian here so let's go into my office and talk about it."

I followed her like a puppy.

She got me a tall, cold drink of water and then contacted "Meals On Wheels." A hot meal was delivered to me in fifteen-minutes. Then she called the local Methodist church and arranged to check me into a motel.

One hour later, I was curled up on a comfy bed in a mom-and-pop motel several miles east of town.

And I slept. Oh, did I sleep!

The next morning, I took a long shower and walked back out on Highway 20 east again. Soon I was picked up by a business man who wanted to know all about my life on the road. He was fascinated.

So I talked. And he drove.

He finally dropped me off in Geneva, New York.

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