hitchhiking without charles manson

West coast Dan reminds of a loss of innocence that many of us suffered.


I used to do a fair amount of hitchhiking around L.A. and a few times up the coast as far as Oregon . In the sixties I wasn’t the lone hitcher on the road. Some places , like Santa Cruz and State Street in Santa Barbara , had waiting lists . I’d arrive at a good spot , maybe a corner , and see only one or two others. But behind nearby bushes was a crowd waiting their turns . You’re behind him . You’re behind the barefoot dude with the flute . You’re behind the two dudes going to Alaska . You’re behind all them , man , so wait out of sight .

There were wierdos on the road, of course , and horrendous things happened. A girl up in the bay area had her forearms chopped off by some sicko who picked her up. Things like that…

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