Friday, January 12, 2024

Self Help Radio 011124: Hitchhiking

"One of the more tiring aspects of hitchhiking is a need to be sociable & make conversation with whoever is driving you. It would be considered poor form to accept a ride, hop into the passenger seat & then simply to crash out until you reached your destination. How I longed to do just that, but instead I chatted merrily away, energy ebbing from me with each sentence." Tony Hawks, Round Ireland With A Fridge

Self Help Radio shows don't usually have an inscription-like quote to start the show, but as I was reading about hitchhiking this week, I thought about books that feature hitchhiking & the one from which I quote above was recommended highly. Alas, I did not get a copy before the show. Or else maybe I'd have just read from the book all show long!

Instead, like most Self Help Radio shows, there were lots of songs about the theme & some interviews, too. This time around with lots of hitchhikers. & there's really not much else to say about that, is there. So why don't we just get to the part where I tell you where the show is & also put the playlist up?

You can listen to the show now & anytime & anywhere really too if you're hitchhiking at the show's website, Self Help Radio dot net. Like the ride you're thumbin', the show is free, but you will need a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp) to listen. But feel free to download it & take it anywhere. What happened on the show is listed below.

Be safe out there!

Self Help Radio Hitchhiking Show
"Hitch Hike" The Tracey Twins _Flip Flop_
"Thumbin' Johnny Brown" Burl Ives _It's Just My Funny Way Of Laughin'_
"Hitch Hike" Marvin Gaye _The Complete Motown Singles | Vol. 2: 1962_

introduction & definitions

"Hitchhike Back To Georgia" Buddy Knox & The Rhythm Orchids _Liberty Takes_
"Hitch Hikin'" Dick Damron _More Than Countryfied_
"Hitchhiking" George Carlin _The Little David Years 1971-1977_
"Hitch-Hiker" Roger Miller _Roger Miller_
"Hitchin' & Hikin'" Johnny Sea _Live At The Bitter End_

interview with hitchhiker Robyn Wilson

"Thumbin' A Ride" Jackie Lomax _Is This What You Want?_
"Hitching A Ride" Don Covay & The Jefferson Lemon Blues Band _Different Strokes For Different Folks_
"Hitchhiking" Steven Wright _I Have A Pony_
"Hitch Hiking To Heartbreak" Bobo Mr. Soul _I Get My Groove: Crossover Soul From The Deep South_
"Ridin' Thumb" King Curtis _Everybody's Talkin'_

interview with hitchhiker Nest West

"Hitch-Hike" Liliput _1977 1983_
"The Hitchhikers' Song" Joan Baez _Blessed Are..._
"Hitchhiker" Neil Young _Hitchhiker_
"Ridin' My Thumb To Mexico" Johnny Rodriguez _All I Ever Meant To Do Was Sing_

interview with hitchhiker Rich Ward

"Hitchin' A." The Pastels _Up For A Bit With The Pastels_
"Hitchhiker" Holly Vincent & Johnette Napolitano _Vowel Movement_
"The Hitch Hiker" Wade Denning _Famous Ghost Stories With Scary Sounds_
"Hitchhiking" Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds _Dracula Boots_
"Hitchhike Love" A Giant Dog _Pile_

interview with hitchhiker Norman Waller

"Hitch-Hikin" The Romeos _The Tiger's Wide Awake_
"The People Band Wagon (Hitch-Hike)" Dave Collins _Larry Ethnic Meets The Wailers With Various Artists_
"Hitchhike" Laurel Aitken & The Pressure Tenants _The Legendary Godfather Of Ska, Vol. 5: Rudi Got Married_
"African Hitchiker" Lee "Scratch" Perry _From The Secret Laboratory_

conclusion & goodbye

"The Last Hitchhiker" The Big However _Las Vegas Amusements_
"Thumb A Ride" Melbourne Cans _Moonlight Malaise_

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Whither Hitchhiking?

(image from here)

There's a quote on the Wikipedia page about hitchhiking from someone named Julian Portis about the supposed decline of hitchhiking after the 1970s. It's this:

The real danger of hitchhiking has most likely remained relatively constant, but the general perception of this danger has increased. ... [O]ur national tolerance for danger has gone down: things that we previously saw as reasonably safe suddenly appeared imminently threatening. This trend is not just isolated to the world of hitchhiking; it has become a pernicious artifact throughout the American cultural conscience.

Certainly if my mother had ever known that I had hitchhiked, it would've given her tremendous anxiety. To be fair, most everything gave my mother tremendous anxiety, but this would've been for her egregious. As I mentioned yesterday, I didn't hitchhike myself, but did pick up hitchhikers for a time, & never felt I was ever in danger. Books & songs had made the act of hitchhiking somewhat romantic for me - I envied the life of someone like Laurie Lee whose As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning I read too late to influence me to have similar adventures; I tried to read On The Road but found it too desperate to convince me it was great to enjoy it. My bleeding heart did empathize with those walking in the hot Texas sun & the moments I got to take one fellow from just outside Elgin to just outside Brenham were satisfying to me.

What does this have to do with why this week's Self Help Radio is about hitchhiking? I think sometime last year I saw a film, or a television show, that featured hitchhiking, & it caused my brain to think about the things I wrote about here today & yesterday. A moment of thought & reflection often translates into a radio show. & that's what happened here. & there are lots of songs about hitchhiking.

Which you can hear this afternoon noon to 2pm on Freeform Portland. The show is on 90.3+98.3fm in town & online at freeform portland dot org. In addition to the songs, I talk to four hitchhikers too!

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Preface To Hitchhiking: Never Hitchhiked

(image from here)

The sign above is (was?) (probably still is) in Arizona, but I could swear there are similar signs on I-45 in Texas. Lots of prisons down that corridor. One time I was driving to Austin with a friend's father & he picked up a guy just outside a sign like the one above. The father didn't ask me if I were okay with it, he just stopped & picked him up. I had told the friend's father that we were going the wrong direction, that Austin was down I-35 not I-45, but he chose to ignore me & only headed toward I-35 when the hitchhiker mentioned he needed to go that way. The hitchhiker lit a joint in the backseat & ignored us most of the way.

As for me, I've never had the occasion to hitchhike. Probably I'd be too fearful to do so. One time I was sitting at a bus stop reading a letter from a friend & a woman in a volkswagen stopped & asked if I wanted a ride. She said, "You seemed so happy reading that letter." I don't think she was hitting on me. I tried to become friends with her but we otherwise had nothing in common.

When I used to have to rent cars to get from one place to another, & I was alone, I would sometimes pick up hitch hikers. The last two or three had been in the sun for quite a while so were very, very smelly. They were also all Latino with a very little English. They were mainly looking to get a few miles down the road. I was happy to oblige.

Once I began dating the woman who became my wife, I didn't feel comfortable picking up hitchhikers since she didn't. I did one time ask her if we could pick up a hitchhiker & she looked at me like I was mentally unfit to be her partner. But we also tended to travel with dogs in the backseat.

It's been years - really, not since the last century - that I picked up a hitchhiker. So why do a radio show about hitchhikers? Ask me tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Oh Deer

Bad weather's coming. Or it's already here.

Winter storm: Tornadoes, flooding rain threaten east coast, says an ABC News headline.

Currently those living in higher elevations in the Portland area have a Winter Weather Advisory in effect. & the predictions are that it will snow on Friday.

My wife does not like me driving on icy roads so I'll probably have to record the Dickenbock Report this week. That's a bummer. It does look like I'll be able to do Self Help Radio live at the FFP studios. But boy it's going to get cold.

When the weather is weird I think about phone calls to my mom. No matter how far away I lived - nearly nine hundred miles away in Kentucky, or the two thousand miles away I live now from where she was, she'd always assume the weather would be the same - or mostly the same.

My mother was German. I wonder if she did the same with German weather. Or what if I had moved to Australia?

As I listen to songs about hitchhiking tonight, I am nervously watching the weather. Recording a show is a pain. It would be best if I could do it live.

Picture of the deer in someone's yard from long ago in Lexington, Kentucky. It looks like it might have once been animatronic, doesn't it? So weird.

Monday, January 08, 2024

Living Room Set

Over the course of maybe eight years I've been taking random pictures on dogwalks, drives, etc.
The phrase "living room set" happened in my head at some point.
Then I discovered I've taken four pictures (from 2015-2018) called "Living Room Set."
Here they are.

It seems to me I've written a bleak short story.