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Hitchking to Portland

Story ID:9228
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Corona CA USA
Year:1945
Person:Thumbin a ride Chelsea Kid
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Hitchking to Portland

Hitchking to Portland

Hitching a ride to Portland, Oregon

Weekend Passes
Friday night at Camp Adair
Thousands of GIs
Would be standing there

Along the highway
Lined up for a mile or so
Hitching a ride to Portland
For some fun, doncha know.

The GIs stood in groups
Of two, three, or more
A car would stop
And pick up three or four

Husband and wife
Four GIs made a load
Kids in front
Wed hit the road

Deliver us to George Whites
Service center for Servicemen
Never ask for money
Wed end up by thanking them

For their generosity
For their picking up four men
Hauling them to town
And delivering them.

The ladies groups at George Whites
Served coffee cake and pie
15 cents for a sandwich
To all of those GIs.

For a few cents
You could get a pillow case and sheet
A cot with thousands of others
This was really neat

Sort of a Home away from Home
The cot was hard but okay
After a day of sightseeing
You were ready to hit the hay

There was a sailor sleeping next to me
Who had his blouse tailored on his body, tight
Took he and I to remove it
So he could sleep that night

The snoring at night was thunderous
Thousand of grunts and snorts
Soon off to dreamland
The night was way to short

Picked up once by a salesman
Took us to a bar above the Willamette River
Out the window we could count
Seven bridges across the river

We all four were eighteen
Not old enough to buy beer
Salesman bought a pitcher
Were drinking without fear.

Took a canoe on Lake Oswego
Houses there built on the shore
Sunbathing women
Galore

Picked up by two girls
Taken into their home
Their mom fixed us a dinner
Just like back home

Jim and I did the dishes
I washed he dried
This lovely family
Had taken us inside

I often wondered
If those girls are, O.K.
Couldnt thank their mother enough
For making our day.

So to you friends of Oregon
Caring enough
To pick up a GI hitchhiker
Young and in the rough

I take my hat off to you
Im now old and gray
It was 68 years ago
Good memories yet today.

S/Sgt. Monte L. Manka
XXIV CORPS
Apo 901
Seoul, Korea