Posted 7/17/13 (Wed)
I always wonder what the “World’s Most Interesting Man” really does. You know the guy I mean. He’s on those TV ads for some kind of beer. And often for other stuff. He says stuff like, “I don’t usually drink beer, but when I do…” You remember him now.
I dang sure am not the world’s most interesting man, but like I told Shirley, “I don’t often pick up hitchhikers, but when I do.”
Actually, I do often pick up hitchhikers. And people always are a little critical of that. They worry about my safety. I figure a big fat guy is pretty safe. So, I’ve hauled those guys with their thumb out pretty much all over the country. From Belfield to Watford City, Fargo to Oklahoma City and Dickinson to Bismarck.
Years ago, I hauled a guy from Dickinson to Bismarck. He was down on his luck. He had been rolled at the bus stop and was trying to get back home. He was dressed in a well worn suit and carrying no luggage. In the mugging, he had lost his luggage as well as his billfold and the small amount of cash he had. Well, you guessed it, I gave him a 20.
A few days later, at a dinner at our house, Grandpa Jack started telling us about this guy he had given a ride from Bismarck to Dickinson. The guy had been rolled at the bus stop. Jack gave him a 20. Then Ray said he picked a guy up by Sidney also dressed in a well-worn suit. He had been rolled also. He gave him a ride to Dickinson and $20. I guess there are ways to make a living I hadn’t even thought of.
A couple of weeks ago, I was coming down Hwy. 85 with the pickup and trailer. At the on ramp at Belfield, here is a guy waiting for a ride. You could see he was a working guy. Wearing a pair of dirty coveralls, head wrapped with a scarf like bikers wear, unshaven, hair in a ponytail and holding onto a dog. A pit bull. Really! A pit bull with one of those spiked collars on. Now, how could I drive by a guy like that!
So, I honked my horn, pulled over on the shoulder and waited as he came running. He opened the door and looked down at the dog. I said the dog is fine. (Note to Jon: There really was a dog!) So he and the dog jumped in. Vern Baker rides in there with me all the time.
Although, I was pretty sure what it was, I had to ask what kind of dog it was. “Pit bull,” he replied.
Now, I don’t often try to influence those guys on the road, but when I do, I try to give them good advice. Like, “It would be easier to hitch rides if you weren’t leading a pit bull with a studded collar on.”
Well, turned out he had a job in Bismarck and was trying to get there and he had gotten in an argument with the trucker he had been riding with. When I asked where he had gotten out at, he wasn’t sure. But he did say it was at the beginning of a big lonesome desert and he figured he had been pretty lucky to catch a ride. Turned out he had gotten off at Belle Fourche and I had to agree, he was lucky to catch a ride.
Although I usually get off on the west exit at Dickinson, I took him around town to the east exit. Figured he needed all the help he could get. Hope he and the dog made it.