"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Back road journal, and a cat

The Rock A Way tavern north of Edmond.
The urge to get out of the city...it doesn't take long, driving north on what is called Sooner Road, into Logan county, toward Guthrie. You always meet people and places you didn't expect.
The first was the Rock A Way bar, tavern, and old rock building on the Seward Road, with a bunch of motorcycles parked outside. 
It's busy on Saturdays. Catty-cornered across the intersection is a place busy on Sundays, the Lakeview Baptist Church.
Drive down that road and you come to Liberty Lake, surrounded by homes. But firs,t you come to the end of the pavement and a red dirt road stretches in front of you. And where does it lead?
But the cat on his shoulder will stick in my mind, forever.
I stopped to get a bite to eat, before heading back  to Edmond. There beside the entrance to Loves stood a man, with a sign. He had a big pack on the ground, and a couple of jugs of water. Thin, hatless, white T-shirt.
I pulled around to see the sign.
"Home Destroyed in Storms"
And then I noticed the tawny cat draped around his shoulder. I was going to stop anyway, but the cat cinched it. I keep what I call a "hitchhiker kit" in the car, a plastic sack with Gatorade, water, peanut butter, crackers, Poptarts, a fruit cup. I do that because you see all kinds of people on the road, and many are hungry. I've also discovered that every time I find an occasion to give one of those kits away, it's when I need it the most. Here are previous articles about the Hitchhiker kit.
This was one of those times. Feeling listless, I'd started out on this little drive. When I gave the 30 or 40ish man the kit, I said "I don't know if you need it, but here's some food."
He said, "Thank you brother. Then I said, "Nice cat." He said, "Thank you, big brother." And waved as I drove off.
Some would argue with me on giving something like that, with a multitude of excuses, included being suckered. But I know this. If I was suckered, so what? I spent perhaps $6 on those contents. So far, I'd spent about $8.00 on gasoline, 79 cents on coffee and $4.00 on a sandwich, and drove off in my air conditioned car, while he stood at the side of the road. I'd rather be taken advantage of, than to be haunted by the fact I didn't help someone from being hungry. I don't feel listless, but thankful.
It was a beautiful cat.

3 comments:

  1. Great idea a hitchhiker kit.

    I've given people my lunch when asked for money. Some are appreciative, others have a look like they are looking for a trash can.

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  2. Love the attitude about giving, and not worrying about being taken advantage of. The world sometimes cautions us too much, making us leery of helping out others. But your attitude is spot on.

    Nice post.

    TK

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    1. Thanks TK and Alan...too much good in the world that we overlook when it's staring us in the face

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