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RUNAWAY,NEAR DEATH,CRAZY DAY,HITCHHIKNG 70,000 MILES & BOB SEGER

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Hi Everybody I just wanted to share a story with you. I'm sitting here in my tree house. with my little friend Molly Molly Microsoft (cause she's micro-soft) Anyway, I was about to leave a comment on Bob Seger's "Turn the page" when I realized it was more of a story than a comment. So I'm going to make this video. In 1977 when I was 13 I ran away from home. I had a paper bag full of clothes, nine cents in my pocket and a stubby bottle of beer. This was winter in Illinois and it was pretty late. I went down to the railroad tracks, sat there for about an hour, and drank that beer. waiting for a train.(which never came). After that I walked out to the highway and stuck out my thumb. The first ride I got was from an older kid in a supped up Charger. It was a really nice car. He was heading south about 40 miles and gave me a ride. Along the way he gave me a couple beers He was going to a tiny, tiny town. When we got there he dropped me off at the south end of town and went on his way. I was wearing some "Sunday school" type shoes and a not quite heavy enough jacket. It was about five degrees out and there wasn't a soul around. No traffic, no cars, no people, nothing. I was pretty small back then so I had a pretty good buzz on. So I started walking , in the dark, staggering down the road. I went about a mile and I passed out in the ditch. I'm not sure exactly what woke me up, why I didn't freeze to death right there but I woke up, cold. I got up and started walking down the road. About a mile further down the road I came across a farm house with a really big barn. I went to the big barn and went inside.My paper bag was disintegrating by then. I found a burlap sack and used that to put my stuff in. I was freezing! I was wondering around in like a shop area. I felt on the wall and found a thermostat. I turned it up and "poof" A big green heater about 15' above me kicked on, blowing hot air down. I was like "oh, thank God". There was a work bench or picnic table not real sure but I sat down at that. It was blowing right down on me and within two seconds I was out cold. Early in the A.M. , about five or six.A big sliding door opened then closed. A farmer came in.I could see the light but couldn't wake up. He went around me several times. He was in there at least a half hour. Some how didn't notice me right there in the middle of the room. He must have thought he left the heater on cause it had to be like 90 in there. I turned that thing up full blast. After about a half hour he left. The door slide open again, fast, maybe a minute later. He came over and was like "Hey, what are you doing in here?". I guess he left and thought "wait, was there a kid sitting in there?" Anyway, he wakes me up and I said I was freezing to death and came in here last night. He seemed kind of mad but I think he was more bewildered then anything. He questioned me as he rifled thru the potato sack to make sure I hadn't stole anything. I remember thinking how funny (ironic) that was since the sack was his. Everything in it was mine I didn't take anything from him. He kept asking me how I ended up there so I told him I was going to visit my sister (pointing south) who lived in the next town. He said the name of the town and I said "yeah, that's it". I had no idea where I was he took me back to the town I had walked out of and got me a ride on an empty school bus. to the next town. We went down there and about a mile from the town we turned left and I was suppose to go to the right. It was just me and the bus driver so I figured I'd just have to hoof it back this way. So when we got to the town she asked what street it was. I said I couldn't remember but I'd know it when I seen it. I waited until she passed a couple streets and then yelled "that's it". So she wouldn't drive up to the door and wait for someone to answer and go "who are you?". She nearly turned the bus around but I said "no, no that's all right" and thanked her for the ride. I got out, she watched me for a minute, then took off. I started walking towards the houses until she was out of site then I came back and headed toward the junction. That's when my day turned totally bizarre. I don't buy into that nonsense , crazy stuff but I think NOT dying in that ditch set that next day into motion Now if somebody told me this story I probably wouldn't believe them. I'd be like oh yeah, a-ha, sure. I had recently started smoking. I was walking back to that junction. On either side of me was barren snow coated corn fields. There's just nothing out there. I thought to myself (or maybe said out loud) I can't remember. I said "God, I wish I had a cigarette". Literally seconds later I looked to my right and spotted 3 unopen packs of Winston's laying in the ditch! They stood out like crazy because everything is brown, yucky or white. It was years later before I realized how unprobable that moment truly was. I can't recall weather I had a lighter or matches. I think I had some matches. Anyway I got to the junction just in time to stick my thumb out for a "Hicks Gas" propane truck. I just got across showing I was going that way and he stopped. It was an older man driving it and he gave me a lift. This was probably ten minutes after finding the cigarettes so I had time to smoke one. Anyway, we're driving along and he says he delivers propane to all his neighbors which sounded like a pretty cool job. Just a total nice guy. We talked the whole way. I think we drove for about half an hour. I don't know if your not familiar with "Hicks" but it's a pretty big company. they had lots of propane, restaurants, lots of stuff. Pretty big corporation in the mid-west and east too. He pulled into a Hicks restaurant and asked if I was hungry. I said "Absolutely". That was pretty nice of him to buy me breakfast. I only have nine cents it's not like I'm buying much myself. I was really confused when we walked in because a whole bunch of employees were just inside the door and they all had big smiles on they're faces. Really odd for walking into a restaurant. I thought they were going to sing "Happy Birthday" They were nearly curtsying and bowing. I was like "what the hell...." He was behind me as I came in first. Just the biggest smiles too. I wasn't confused for long as the waitress closest to us said " Good Morning Mr. Hicks" I was blown away. This is the guy who owns the entire corporation and he's out driving a truck in the middle of nowhere in Illinois delivering to his neighbors. As we were eating breakfast he was telling me he was "retired" and got bored so he took the local route delivering propane to his friends and neighbors. That was pretty amazing in its self. I just caught him at the junction. Another minute later and he'd of been gone. I think we got along so well because I didn't know who he was. He seemed a little tired of the usual "king" treatment that he was getting. so, you know, I was just being normal, I wasn't kissing his butt. He had to get back to work. ha ha He told me to stay and eat all I wanted and instructed the waitress to give me a nice "to go" bag. After he left their attitudes never wavered, they were just as nice to me and treated me like the kings son. She gave me a bag when I left, not sure how much it weighed but it was pretty much one order of everything on the breakfast menu. It weighed about as much as all the stuff that I had. Sincerely, one of the nicest men I've met in my entire life. I pretty much can't remember anything else that happened that day being 1977 but I remember in the evening around 5 PM maybe a little earlier. (It got dark pretty early.) This guy picked me up in a pickup truck. He was the second nicest guy I ever met. We were driving along and I remember where we were, near the Vandalia prison. They have big signs that say don't pickup hitchhikers. I remembered that. He lived in that area where the signs were and invited me to his home for dinner. He said his wife was cooking frog legs of all things (which is delicious) I thought he probably isn't a psycho killer. I don't think a psycho killer would come up with a story like that it's pretty specific so I said OK. Now I was getting a little nervous one problem was how was I going to get a ride? When I get back on the road it says don't pickup hitchhikers. They'll think I'm a prison escapee! He said don't worry, that he would take me down to Interstate 70 I believe it was which runs down to St. Louis and he would drop me off at the interstate. So I said OK. He turns off the road. It was somewhere near the prison,I think I found it on the map. He went a ways, at least 3-5 miles, off the main road. I was thinking I better pay attention where he is turning in case things didn't work out or his wife's all mad and I'll be walking back to the highway. I better pay attention so I'll be able to get back there. Well it turns out by paying attention that I was able to find it on Google maps 40 years later. I'm pretty sure I found the right place. Anyway, I go to his house and he has a wonderful family. His wife is awesome. His house is warm, comfortable it's just awesome. He had a son of about nine and a daughter my age. She is, how do I say this, "angelic" , a vision of loveliness. I'm not sure there is a word that truly would describe her. Maybe "utter perfection" Truly a beautiful, happy person inside and out, smart, well rounded with the most heart melting smile. Ironicly we were seated across from each other at the "head" of the table. I kept bouncing between the "farmers beautiful daughter" jokes and looking across at my queen. It seemed to me like she was flirting with me thru out the dinner. She kept smiling and looking at me, winking her eyes It kind of made me uncomfortable but I'm thinking she was enjoying making me sweat a little. Anyway, After dinner we all moved into the living room. The man started a conversation with me that I felt he had repeated on more then one occasion and I must say he layed it out to perfection. He couldn't have done a better job. As far as scaring someone off or freaking them out or something like that. It was obvious to him that I must be running from something or that things weren't going well for me at this particular time yet he never asked any questions about my situation, grilled me for info or even mentioned being a "run-away". Which I'm pretty sure he knew and the whole family sat around nodding in agreement with some of the things he said and looking a bit empathetic. Basically he was saying I could join their family. that they really wanted me to and that working out the details (legal-wise I suspect) wouldn't be a problem, it would be like gradual, over time. Just kind of brushed on things like that but kept it light. Not trying to scare me off. He should be a caseworker for sure. Really remarkable Just a fitting end to a most bizzare day. That, you know, I almost died the day before. Certainly could have. Don't know how I could have woke up in five degree weather. Other than the alcohol keeping me warmer but still not sure what would wake me up. or I would have died. Now I've always been a bit of a loner and since back then an adventurer so my response to something like that would be an automatic "no" but this was so heart-felt that I seriously considered it. The man went out. I think he was unloading his truck or something like that. Or, you know, making a reason to vacate. The rest of the family went to the kitchen and they were cleaning up from dinner. They just told me just hangout here and we'll get you back out to the road and you can think about it. So I was in there for about a half an hour to an hour I had a lot of time to think about it. The one tipping point that made me decide to keep going was really the daughter. I mean, I'd only known her for an hour or so but I was really "head over heels". Being my new sister could only end in disaster. I mean she was just amazing. I wish I had asked a few more questions because I think It's quite possible that their kids were also runaways that they had taken in or something similar to that. There really wasn't a family resemblance, which doesn't necessarily mean anything. It was the way the daughter acted on a couple of occasions. When I look back at it now it's quite possible. Now the satellite pictures that I'm thinking is the house If I remember the road details has a basketball court and a baseball field. Which would make sense if you were taking in kids and trying to straighten them out. So anyway, I graciously declined. The entire family drove me to that freeway that night. I climbed out into the darkness with the whooshing sound of the semi's. The road was curved and it was up above. I got out of the back seat. I grabbed my bag and flipped it over my shoulder. I went to close the door the daughter grabbed my hand very very tightly looked up at me and said "please don't go". There was enough light that I could see her face. So beautiful and so sad I can't believe I didn't get back in that car. To this day I wonder what my life would have been like had I stayed there. Different I'm sure. I've always thought back to that time, that girl. Which brings me back to Bob Seger. So over the next four to five years later I hitchhiked over 70,0000 miles around the United States. I can't begin to cover the emotions I feel from "Turn the page". I mean it fits my situation as well as someone on stage. "the girl I knew the night before" "out there in the spotlight....." That's standing there on the side of the highway with your thumb out and a smile on your face watching the headlights coming at you. "walk in to a restaurant strung out from the road", certainly. The "woman or a man" with my long blonde hair. Talking behind your back. Now I didn't "lie awake in bed at night listening with the echoes of the amplifiers ringin' in my head. I laid in my mummy bag under an overpass and smoked my last cigarette with the sound of the semi's echoing in my head. So a little different. And then I use to listen to Bob Seger on my portable Sears am/fm 8-track Red, two speakers that came apart, real cool. Yeah, that was one of the 8-tracks I had back then. Sometimes like when staying at a motel in like say Los Angeles . You know how the street are every night there. I can stand outside, close my eyes, and listen to the traffic on the freeway and it all comes back to me. I'm standing on the side of the freeway waiting for that semi that's five miles away and you can hear it coming. And by the way it's the same sound as the ocean. Not sure why that is. So that's my little story. Bob Seger Turn the Page Heck I think when I'm done here I'll play it one more time. So that's it for my story. If I get some good comments maybe I'll post some more. I've got some crazy ones. I once called 911. I was three miles out in the Gulf of Mexico in a hammock with no land. Now that was kind of fun. So anyway, that's it Molly and me are going to go. Say good bye, Say good bye Molly You gonna get that camera?

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Duration: 23 minutes and 42 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 2
Posted by: hackman22 on Aug 10, 2019

My story on why Bob Seger's "Turn the pages" means so much to me.

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