I read an interesting article in the New York Times over the weekend. Ginger Strand, the author, tackles the subject of hitchhiking and suggests that "hitching didn't die a natural death--it was murdered." She contends that in this depressed economy, and this polarized nation, hitching a ride just might be a way to reduce our carbon footprints and bring us together as a nation. An interesting notion, especially coming from one who has written a book on the interstate highway system with a most revealing title: Killer on the Road:Violence and the American Interstate. Strand is quick to point out that despite the fear, despite the sensational emphasis in media on serial killers and psychopaths on the loose, most people and most families are safe on their yearly road trips. Probably so...if one is careful and mindful and alert. Still, I don't think we're headed for a resurgence of hitchhiking anytime soon. If that remains to be seen, what is clear is that I've been thinking about that time when to hitchhike was fairly spontaneous and fairly safe. The 1960s and 70s was just such a time. Certainly even then, there was always a little anxiety, especially hitching a ride alone, or picking up a hitchhiker while driving alone. But, as I recall, that was rare, people hitched rides in pairs and picked up riders even with a car full of people. What's one more?