Be Kind, But Be Wise!

This past week I had the pleasure of traveling to St. Louis, Missouri for the 24th Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference.  I had a lot of fun, both at the conference and in St. Louis visiting extended family.

However, I wanted to share about an experience I had while driving to St. Louis. We were driving through Indiana, and passed three hitch-hikers on the road.  They stood out a bit more than usual. They looked a bit ragged.  And they were not on a part of the highway I would have expected a hitchhiker to stand. Normally, when I see someone hitching for a ride they are either at the entrance of the highway or they are walking (usually from a broken vehicle).  These three were just sitting.  This resulted in a conversation with my wife about the topic of hitchhikers.

Only on rare occasions have I picked up a hitchhiker.  In fact I’ve only done it three times in my life. Once for a man walking with his daughter on his shoulders when it began to rain.  Once for a guy with a guitar,  long hair, typical rock/hippie.  And once on the way to a Christian music festival, for which the guy was hitching his way too.

Most will say NEVER pick up a hitchhiker. Truthfully, that’s the safest bet.  Many a person has lost property and life at the hands of a seemingly innocuous hitchhiker.  There is really no way to tell the difference between a hitchiker and a murderous rapist.  As such, I will always advise an individual NOT to pick up a hitchhiker. Especially, women…

But I also know that I’ve hitched a ride a few times in my life. Both as an adult and as a child with my father.  People do it.  Even people who are against hitchhiking seldom turn down a ride offered to the next exit when their car has broken down on the side of the highway.

But why do I bring this up?  What made this even so interesting?

We had not driven more than 10-20 minutes when we came across a police cruiser. Than another, and another.  All in all, there were over 18 police vehicles spread out with officers searching the area along the highway in what was clearly a manhunt exercise.

A quick search on my iPhone’s Google Maps app turned up a correctional facility a mere 6 miles from the highway we were on. Googling the facility turned up an article about three inmates escaping back in March.  I then proceeded to download an application for the iPhone that allows a user to listen to live streams of police scanners.  I think by the time we downloaded the app, found the right county and channel, things were mostly over. We didn’t hear much, but my wife thought she heard “10-15″.  We looked up the meaning of the code – Prisoner in Custody”.

I do not know if what we witness was an actual event or merely a training exercise being conducted in light of the escape of prisoners back in March.  What I do know is that it really hit home on the conversation my wife and I were having regarding the risks of picking up hitchhikers.  Not that we considered picking up those guys, even if we wanted to we couldn’t, our vehicle has no room for passengers.  That “hitchhiker” might have just escaped from the prison down the street.

“Be wise, Be Safe! – Don’t Be Stupid!”

Published in: on October 1, 2009 at 6:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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