Finally, a Pontiac stops in front of the Gonzales exit sign and picks me up. And wait till he finds out who he picked up late at night… Gonzales is a cement factory, a water tower with a small cluster of houses. It is populated by generations of hitch hikers who could never get a ride. Ever.

The driver is fiftyish, had a few more beers than was wise, headed for Santa Monica. Didn’t bother to ask how far I was going. Just helping out his fellow human being, my perfect target.

A little ways along I reach into my back pack and pull out a boom box and hit the music. In a fanfare of trumpets a big booming voice announces: “CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE PICKED UP THE LUCKY HITCH HIKER!”

I heave an armload of confetti and one thousand dollars in small bills into the air and give the driver a hug. Invariably they pull off the road and stop at this point. I crank off a couple of snapshots, leave the car, and start walking.

What’s life if you cannot give as well as take chances?