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End of the Road

As soon as the scale of the Korean War made itself known, my fiancée, Dot, and I decided to speed up the date of our marriage. She made only one heartfelt request of me before I returned to the Midwest: I was to take a regular bus back, and not hitchhike. It was an easy request to honor. In later years, when I wore a uniform, I hitched again—but never far and never again on Route 66.

Monaghan bucket, Wellton-Mohawk Canal
At work on the Wellton-Mohawk Canal, Pete’s destination
Sleepin' Out, above Hoover Dam, Arizona
Sleepin’ out, above Hoover Dam, Arizona

Neither of us would have dreamed that the hitchhiking postcards she saved would someday end up in the Smithsonian. Today we enjoy visiting the American history museum to learn about how Americans have lived over the years. It’s a kick to see that even the lifestyles of the less-than-rich and not-so-famous are part of our country’s history.

Pete and Dot Koltnow on their wedding day
Pete and Dot Koltnow on their wedding day
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