Sunday, November 16, 2014

Seth Again

                                             -PHOTO/EDITS BY RUTH RADER-
                                             -PUBLIC LIBRARY CORVALLIS, OR-
                                             -PHOTO TAKEN 11/16/2014 @ 8:30AM-
                                             -21F AND TOO DAMN COLD!!!!!!!-

I checked my "other" message box on Facebook last night. And I was surprised to find a letter from a guy who gave me a ride in his vehicle this past summer.

He sent me this message on July 27, 2014:


When I eased my Honda onto the side of the road to give you a lift this afternoon, I was slightly irritated with myself. I have picked up countless hitchhikers as long as I have owned a vehicle. Some of the folks I have assisted have been simply wonderful people, but an even greater number have been rude, entitled and out of touch. To be candid, I didn't know which camp you would fall in when I caught a glimpse of your overheated, exhausted frame perched on the guard rail.

I was delighted to get to know you during the several hours I was fortunate enough to spend with you. Your stories, zest and maverick streak were a joy to experience firsthand.

Our conversation about basic human solidarity and kindness was especially uplifting. One particular thing you said has stuck with me. . . "Evil will never prevail as long as there are people who remember." Your story about Tatyana  and your courageous advocacy of a life well-lived embody the values that most people only talk about over a glass of red wine.

Ruthie, I thought I was giving you a ride but just the opposite happened. You took me for a ride. . . over green hills and through neck-high corn; back in time and through the years, your stories of the kind folks (and the hard ones) poignantly illustrated so many hard questions that have plagued philosophers for a millennium. I have never experienced anything quite like it and am sure I never will again.

I'm a traveler like you. I hope to see you in Oregon some day, working on that New York Times best seller, toes in the sand and a brew in your hand.

Please keep in touch.

Your friend,

Well, my sure is nice when I hear from someone who really "gets it."

Thank you, Seth. You and I need to get a couple of rooms down in Newport and have a nice, long conversation again. You let me know when.

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