Here is a brief description; The old guy was Steve, he had wavy white hair that was long enough that it formed 2 inch curls on the top of his head, I'm talking about big wavy hair. My hair is like that when it get longer, though not so pure white. He had deep blue eyes and his face was red as if he had been in the sun too much. Probably Irish, he looked harmless. The younger guy was maybe 30 years old an had long straight hair and a tall forehead, perhaps a receding hair line, he didn't speak much and I don't recall his name. He was the type that looked like he could be influenced to do something dangerous.
They were heading south, as I was, but they were going about 2000 miles further than I (Key West FLA). It was going home for Steve. I was only going about 10 miles, but as I said "maybe if you get a little ways' out-of-town you might get a ride easier." The young one agreed, and said, "I was just telling Steve that, ya' know it ain't 1970 no more." Steve didn't seem to like the thought that people would not pick-up hitch-hikers like they would in the '70s, and changed the subject.
We talked about the bluegrass music on the radio, and how Steve had played guitar for 30 years, had met the person who wrote that song (just breifly) - Country Joe somebody - who played at Woodstock. They offered me gas money, no thanks, cigarettes, no thanks, are you sure you can't use a few bucks for gas, no I had to come this'a way anyways. I thought maybe they were probing to see if I was sitting on a load of cash, then deciding if I would be a good mark. That thought passed and we talked about the weather, "that rain yesterday sure greened-up everything." "And cooled it right down too, yesterday was sure a scorcher."
Somehow we got back to the difficulties of modern day hich-hiking, and I related how I pickup hitchers on my way to Murphy, as that was the county seat, I always know where they are going, to see their probation officer. Steve said, "neither of us is in that situation." Then he told how he got a 10 year sentence for Missouri ditch weed, and it took him 18 years to finish it. (not a model prisoner I guess). And he told me that the young guy has only been out for 1 day (served a year), and he met him on the bus yesterday (that would be the bus ride from the prison).
So I said, "Congratulations and welcome back!" my standard line for all the ex-cons I meet. The young guy looked at me kinda shocked, and I think Steve almost started to cry. They both said thanks and that they really appreciated it.
The ride was almost over so I asked if they wouldn't maybe do better for rides on the interstate? Steve just shook his head no, they had no idea what road to take, they just knew they were going south. So I explained how to get to the interstate, but admitted I did know which way would be better, but that the interstate goes to Nashville TN, and Steve reiterated how he had been playing guitar for 30, years, showed me the calluoses on his finger tips, and said, "I'll do fine in Nashville." Then as he looked at the big yellow water tower with the smiley face painted on it, he said, "I knew the Lord would bless us, everything is so new to us, we ain't been out but 1 day, we ain't heard no babies cry or nothing."
Good bye and good luc