Hitchhiking was a competitive sport; it paid to dress right, wait in high-visibility locations, carry just the right amount of luggageand smile the right smile. Some days I had it, and once in a weary while many hot and dusty hours would drag by without a ride. I think my worst dayor rather nightwas in the Texas Panhandle, when an entire night went before someone took pity on me. I swore then that someday, when I had a car of my own, I would be kind to the hard-luck hitchhikerbut it didnt happen that way. I was just as wary of picking up strangers as everyone else.
On the other hand, many drivers were exceptionally kind, occasionally going out of their way to help me in my journeys. Even the police were more of a help than a hindrance. One of the advantages of dressing right was that police officers figured that college boys were harmless. From time to time they would provide the hospitality of an unlocked jail cell for a few hours of shade and rest.