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Bobby R. Woodall

1914 Chandler Lane

Columbus, IN 47203

November 20,1998



The Republic

Letter to the Editor

333 2nd Street

Columbus, IN 47201

Dear Sir;

This morning I was going to Hope, Indiana. My automobile was being worked on and was completed. My wife works, so she could not take me. Of course, I have friends that would be more than willing to transport me to get my automobile. I told her never mind as I would just hitch-hike. Being from Oklahoma, I hitch-hiked when I was younger. Needless to say, that was a big mistake.

It was a nice day and I walked the three blocks from my house to SR 46, because I didn't fall off a turnip truck this morning. I knew that there would not be much traffic in front of my house in Eastgate. Besides, SR 46 is a busy highway. I was dressed in a three piece suit and did not look like a vagabond, so I figured that I would have no problem. I even was going to count the cars that passed me up, so I could be able to tell the person who finally picked me up.

"You are the __car to pass before you so graciously stopped."

I started counting, ten, twenty, thirty cars rushed past me, some not even slowing down. In fact, I do believe a few picked up speed. Maybe, I am not doing this right? Well, I started to smile at people. That did not work. I tried not smiling, but not frowning either. Another ten, twenty, thirty cars hurtled by me. It being a long time since I had attempted to hitch a ride, I thought, maybe I wasn't holding my thumb right. I quit looking so solemn and went back to smiling. Then catching myself, I started to hold my thumb up higher. This time, I counted ten, twenty vehicles, thirty passed me by. I tried the adage of looking people in the eye. Let me tell you, you know how hard it is to catch people's eye when they are driving forty miles and hour.

I may have looked strange to people, me having a black patch, but that is something I am forced to live with all of my life. I changed my stance and tried to give a hang-dog type of expression. This did not work either. Another ten, twenty, thirty autos went by, no one stopped. Now I was up to ninety cars, I was getting worried. I changed my stance, looks, and held my thumb higher. This time only thirteen cars went by before a car stopped!

It was a city police car. The officer told me that it was against state law to hitch-hike. Of course, someone could have told me that before I made a fool of myself. At least twenty, thirty, or forty cars back!

The reason that I am writing this letter is to question this unfair law. What if I had a family and they were stranded in a vehicle. Now, my feet are ok, but even my dogs would balk at the undue pressure put on them. What if, I had a sick one to get some help for? What if...? It is like the old saying, "if the dog hadn't stop to __he would have caught the rabbit."