I had Uber back in the 1960s. Rather than using a cell phone, I used my thumb and went across the states on many occasions with a wide range of drivers.
Not that I recommend hitchhiking to young Americans, but I learned so much going from Chicago to Denver, from Champaign to Greencastle, from Scottsbluff to Tucson, and so many other starting points and landing sites. Salesmen, truck drivers and lost souls picked me up and took me down the road, most often where I wished to go, but every now and then, I bailed out in the nick of time.
One old codger, somewhere outside of Columbus, Ohio, picked me up at a gas station on a rainy evening two days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I was still in a bit of shock and grief. The warmth of the heater in his pickup truck felt inviting that November night.
With great emotion, he spoke about how the country was a better place without a liberal in the White House.
I felt intense anger and swore at him.
The driver reached into the glove compartment and retrieved a bottle of Jim Beam and a tiny revolver. He offered me a drink as he placed the gun between his legs.
When he slowed for a passing train, I opened the door and rolled out onto the gravel roadside, landing on my head.
Being allowed to age should not be taken for granted. As I learned that rainy night in Columbus, that privilege can easily be taken away.