Friday, November 24, 2006

Tales of The Road-Weary Hitchhiker...


An item in the paper today (GMLc) quoted Georgetown as bragging "Pluff mud keeps Condos away."

That triggered memories of my Marine Corps days up at Camp Lejeune, N.C. and my frequent hitchhiking trips to Charleston. Naturally I passed back and forth through Georgetown. The paper mill was my favorite surprise for my temporary fellow travelers.

I knew just about when we would get our first whiff of that municipal treasure and I would remain stoney-faced in the back seat as the family (usually from New York) looked from one to the other and frowned. Children usually put up a hand to pinch their nose closed and exclaimed "Phew, who did that?!"

The paper mill was a more pronounced aroma than pluff mud but not as sulphury. A proper greeting though to my Lowcountry.

Another time I left Lejune in my brand new wash-and-wear-no-ironing civilian suit (this was the late 50s and this was a brand new fashion item) and somewhere along the way I was standing by the road with my small bag and my thumb in the air as a car (with New York tags) slowed and stopped a few feet beyond me. I grabbed my bag and trotted to the door as the passenger window was rolled down.

A strern-faced matron looked me in the eye and asked "Is that a Haspell wash-and-wear suit you're wearing? "Why, yes, yes it is," I stammered, reaching for the back door handle. The car lurched off as I heard her say to her husband, the driver, "See, I told you it was."

My ultimate, all time, hitchhiking story was when I was assigned as a photograher to a tank battalion in Vieques, Puerto Rico and I returned from a weekend liberty in San Juan to find the tanks, ships and everyone had suddenly packed everything up and had steamed off toward Cuba.

There was a small permanent staff stationed on the island of Vieques and there I found my "straggler" travel orders: "take first available transportation to continental US." Naturally I spent a week poolside relaxing in the sun before I was able to find a plane to take me to Guantanamo Bay and then another hop to Cherry Point, NC.

It was April and I had a great tan.

2 Comments:

At Fri Nov 24, 05:39:00 PM , Blogger Heather said...

There's nothing like an enjoyable tale complete with eye candy.

 
At Sat Dec 02, 03:35:00 PM , Anonymous joan said...

You got that right, Heather....Chucker was cute as can be! Good stories.

 

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