Tonight, I did something that I haven’t done in decades. I can’t even remember the last time, but tonight I picked up a hitchhiker.

I was driving home after a long day on the sales trail and was feeling somewhat frustrated. As I was making my way Southbound on US 1, winding through one of South Carolina’s peach orchards, I spied a man on the side of the road and as I passed him, I saw his thumb out.

What was he doing out here at nightfall?  He was several miles away from any semblance of civilization and there was no disabled car on the side of the road. How did he get there? Driving this stretch of road often, I have never seen anyone walking there. I passed him, remembering my advice to my daughters. . . never pick up hitchhikers as the world is not a safe place. th

I was maybe a quarter mile past him. I looked in my rearview mirror. The were no cars behind me as I came to a stop. I put it in reverse and backed up to where he stood.

I asked him where he was going and he tried saying “Aiken”.  Well, it was 9pm, he was a mid-60’s, dark-skinned man wearing dark clothes, walking down a poorly lit country road, fifteen miles North of Aiken on a cloudy, moonless night.  What could go wrong?

He got in and told me his name was “Archie” and that he had a stroke last year. A friend was supposed to have come to pick him up, but didn’t and he could not reach him by phone, nor could he reach his wife. So, he started to walk. I told him my name was Ray and that I would take him home.

He tried telling me about his lawyer and disability claim after his stroke.  He used to have a small, lawn care business, but the stroke inured his right side and his voice. I could only pick out small pieces of what he was saying.

Two strangers, sorting each other out.

We got to his house, we shook hands and he thanked me. I doubled back towards my wife and dogs, reminding myself that while I had a bad day, it could always be worse.

Tonight, I did something that I haven’t done in decades. I can’t even remember the last time, but tonight I picked up a hitchhiker.

Lucky me.



About Ray V.

Living between Aiken & Nashville, TN, USA, I like to share what I am looking at, thinking about or listening to. I refer to this as the view out my window. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in Aiken SC, Consequences, General Information, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Archie

  1. Many many years ago I stopped and picked up a hitchhiker. He told me it was very kind of me but please do not do that ever again! I took his good advice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I often used to do that. Not sure that I would now though!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. misifusa says:

    What a beautiful story Ray. You are an angel here on earth…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lulu says:

    Sometimes I am tempted to pick up a hitchhiker, but there’s always a little nagging fear it could be the wrong one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. so often we expect the worst, and avoid the risk. so glad you did the right thing and that it ended well. bravo Ray


  6. Claudia says:

    Because I’m female I’m afraid to pick up anybody. But sometimes I want to..feeling like you did, the person most likely just needed a ride and nothing more. It used to happen all the time in the hippy days — until people started murdering their passenger. What an adrenaline rush, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Debra says:

    I am so glad your story ended well. It kind of freaks me out to think of picking up a hitchhiker, but it really does seem that you helped someone in need. Good story!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Same Words, Different Meanings | Mitigating Chaos

  9. P & J says:

    That guy might have been Jesus! It was a test and you passed. 🙂


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