Monday, December 12, 2011


Tommy was a hitchhiker -- this may be him except the sleeping bag doesn't look right.  He had his stolen in Arizona and we gave him an army bag that was excess to us (and apparently the Army since they gave us an extra to keep!)  He was in Forest Park in St. Louis and spotted his bag alone near a tree, so he traded back.  The army bag was warmer so it was a matter of familiarity rather than function, apparently.
He would hitch mainly route 66 (now 44/40) St. Louis to LA mostly ,staying alive by giving blood in the bigger cities along the way. You could get $15 a pint but could only give once a month or so.  But the tracking was poor then and he could give in several cities, hitting the blood centers about a month later on the trip back east.  He would stop in Albuquerque at our place for a nights sleep and some food; he knew people all along the route even extending north to San Fran. where he would hit the Haight.  His stories were always a non time-dependent series of events.  May have been last week. May have been last year.  A smear of stories runtogether in a stream of consciousness.   We once prepared a large duck dinner for us and him but he could only eat half of a normal meal since his stomach was shrunken due to the sparse, but consistent, input of food over the weeks previous. Large enough to live
on but not enough room there to accommodate splurging.

Last time we saw him he came through with a girl from Baltimore in tow.  We loaned him our address so he could collect some food stamps and fill 2 gunny sacks with the food; the overage he gave to us. Seems to me it  was about $150 worth of stamps/food that we all got.  Took them up to the hot springs north of town where they intended to camp for a few months.  G'bye free spirits . . .   we moved on and that was that.

It may have come as quite the surprise  to each when he showed up later at our last place to be greeted by the  new-renters.  Where'd they go?  Don't know. (we were in Fort Polk Louisiana)  Maybe later. 
  That was that.