Monday, May 10, 2010

A Ride in Nebraska, Blue Highways and William Least Heat-Moon

Dreams from the LORD 2007-2010
22 May 2008

Yesterday, I was somewhere between Bridgeport and Alliance, Nebraska when this car pulled over to pick me up. There were three guys in the car; I got in the back seat. As we started to drive down the road, the guy next to me asked, “Aren’t you from Ames, Iowa?”

I looked at him with a surprised look and said, “Yeah. How did you know that?”

He said, “I picked you up hitchhiking a few years ago and gave you a ride to Alliance. You made a photocopy of your book [High Plains Drifter] and gave it to me.”

I was stunned. We shook hands and then he said, “My name is Harold. I read your book and really enjoyed it. I passed it around to some friends of mine.”

It’s a small world. I remember making a photocopy of High Plains Drifter in Alliance for somebody, but I think it was more than a few years ago. I told Harold that he probably picked me up in 2001 or 2002.

So they drove me to Alliance and took me out to eat at a Mexican restaurant. The guy who was driving was Doug. Doug owned a junkyard nine miles from town; he let me and Harold stay at his place last night and Harold bought me breakfast this morning.

While we were eating breakfast, Harold told me that he was hitchhiking in Missouri back in the 1970s and William Least Heat-Moon picked him up and gave him a ride to Iowa. William Least Heat-Moon later wrote the book Blue Highways. I believe Blue Highways was a bestseller in the early 1980s. While I was living in Venice, California in the spring of 1984, I read Blue Highways and thought it was a very good book. I wrote William Least Heat-Moon a letter telling him how much I liked his book; he wrote me back, but I no longer have a copy of this letter.

An American Pilgrim:  Some Reflections on High Plains Drifter


  1. Interesting blog post. I've never seen this cover of Blue Highways before. Your book looks interesting, too -- I'll check it out.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I am guessing that this was the original cover for "Blue Highways".