September 12, 2016 - Growing up without a car meant that my brothers and I had only two ways to get anywhere…it was either walk ….or hitch hike. Fishing at Mill Creek required a 4 mile walk down the railroad tracks and a squirrel hunt on Teneha Creek in Shelbyville meant a hitch- hike of seven miles.
When I enrolled in Panola Junior College in Carthage (40 miles from home), I hitch hiked for a full semester and when I became a student pastor of the Patroon Baptist Church (85 miles from ETBC in Marshall) I hitched a ride every Saturday for almost a year. After every evening service, I walked out to Highway 87….. in pitch darkness….and thumbed my way back to college. I never missed a preaching appointment and was never late for my 8:00 Monday morning class. When I later became a ministerial student at The Baptist Bible Seminary in Springfield, Missouri (550 miles from home), I hitch-hiked home for holidays and to all my preaching appointments.
Those were the good old days… (the 50’s & 60’s). No locked homes …or cars. We walked our streets…day or night…without the fear of being mugged, raped or murdered.
I loved Hitch hiking back in the old days. It gave me new experiences; new friends and the kind motorists enriched my life with their many unforgettable stories. And I sometimes think that if I weren’t an old feller now, I’d try it again. But knowing what I know today about our once safe country…even if I was young again, I’d probably never thumb a ride or pick up a hitch-hiker again.
I don’t think Hitch-hiking will ever experience a comeback…
…..unless our once safe America experiences one, too.