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1 - 12 of 12 Comments Last updated Jan 12, 2014
Anonymous

Sharon Springs, NY

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#1
Jan 11, 2014
 

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"If you travel along Route 20 in upstate New York, you might see the hitchhiker my family and I refer to as the Old Soldier—so called because this slightly built man, whose age could be anywhere from 55 to 90, is always dressed in a military uniform from some long-ago campaign. When we first saw him, his topcoat suggested a recent return from Chateau-Thierry; in more recent sightings, the old man has taken to wearing the trim khakis and sharply creased legionnaire cap of the late 1940s—chronological zigzagging that made me think, at first, that this traveler was aging in reverse. That the Old Soldier is often seen in or near the wonderfully odd village of Sharon Springs, where at least one house is painted coal black, merely adds to the sense of the phantasmal.
His style of hitchhiking is simple: Step into the path of a moving car and see what happens. Until recently, my own response was one of avoidance and acceleration—to flee, as it were, a shadow (which, as already mentioned, I once suspected him of being). But on a morning last month, as I returned from driving my daughter to her part-time job, I decided it was no longer sensible or even acceptable for me to avoid him. I pulled over, rolled down the passenger-side window, and asked where he was headed. The Old Soldier, who that day looked about 70, replied by opening the door, sitting down, and fastening his seatbelt without prompting—the last an unexpected concession to life in the 21st century."

I found this article, thought it was funny. I truly hate the "Old soldier." He is always trying to get rides to Albany, Cobleskill, Schenectady. He just walks around, waiting for someone to pick him up (This article is old, and I heard a rumor he had died, but I don't know if he really did). Do you have a problem with hitchhikers like this in you're area?

“TEXAS ... SECEDE”

Since: Feb 08

REPUBLIC OF TEXAS

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#2
Jan 11, 2014
 

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No, just with an annoying mouse ... we have a lot of prisons in Texas ... we don't pick up hitchhikers ...

“TEXAS ... SECEDE”

Since: Feb 08

REPUBLIC OF TEXAS

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#3
Jan 11, 2014
 

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You can't judge a book by its cover ... a 70 year old soldier could be a product of the Vietnam War ... do you know what could be going on in his head ... Have YOU ever been to war? Yet you hate someone you don't even know? Judge much? Jeez ~
60s chic

Allentown, PA

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#4
Jan 11, 2014
 

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During the 60s and 70s, it was common to see homeless and mentally people walking around downtown amongst shoppers. I remember several of them. One woman everyone named downtown Susie, use to ask you to help her across the street. When you got her on to the pavement, she'd ask you for a dime or quarter for a cup of coffee. Later, I read that she was raped and murdered by another homeless person. The newspaper did an article on her and I learned that she came from a well off family. They said they supplied her with a place to live and all of her needs, but she liked walking around by herself. I was shocked because she was mentally disabled and shouldn't have been out on her own. Then there was the lady who walked around with a Winter coat on in the middle of Summer. She had sores on her face and lips. As I was walking home from shopping, I saw her bend down and pick up a cigarette butt from the gutter. Probably why she had the sores, but later I learned from another article in the paper, that she had TB. Another man, a tall black and slim man, use to be dressed to the nines in a suit and hat and always carried around a briefcase. He always tipped his hat to everyone and said he was on his way to the president's office to do some important work. Poor guy was totally crazy but he looked happy and was always polite. Then there was the short stout old woman who wore what they use to call a "babushka" on her head. She'd run up to you and start cussing you out. It was hilarious in a sad way. Memories of the way the old downtown use to be.

“"Always Thinking"”

Level 8

Since: Nov 12

Greensburg, IN

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#5
Jan 12, 2014
 
60s chic remind me never to come to Allentown, PA.
My mother use to tell me stories about hobos. Her father worked for the railroad and they lied in a 'section' house ( small cottage type structure) provided by the railroad.
During the early years of the nineteen hundreds many vagrants hitchhiked across the country by climbing in empty box cars at the various stations. Called Hobos, which I have no idea why, they would
come to Mom's house and ask for food but they were willing to work for it. There was a shed behind the house and her mother would put them up there over night if they'd do some work for her. Split wood, hoe garden, mow grass, and other odd jobs -1st they worked then they were feed and asked if they wanted to spend the night in the shed.
I recall her telling me about many interesting stories they could tell about their travels, some had been all over the US.
Mom said they scared her-to-death at 1st but she got use to them. There, as far as I know, were never any repercussions from them.
This was during the depression years and as far as anyone knew everyone was poor and most all helped each other.
Anonymous

Sharon Springs, NY

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#6
Jan 12, 2014
 

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Flower-Child wrote:
You can't judge a book by its cover ... a 70 year old soldier could be a product of the Vietnam War ... do you know what could be going on in his head ... Have YOU ever been to war? Yet you hate someone you don't even know? Judge much? Jeez ~
That's the problem though. Nobody knows how old he is, and some don't even know he exists, as he is not in the Schoharie county census. He is NOT mentally ill, he is just...eccentric. Most people around here will tell you they hate him; some people suspect his as a child rapist, others as a serial murderer looking for victims. Nobody knows what or who he is.
Yeah

Dayton, OH

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#7
Jan 12, 2014
 

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Anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
That's the problem though. Nobody knows how old he is, and some don't even know he exists, as he is not in the Schoharie county census. He is NOT mentally ill, he is just...eccentric. Most people around here will tell you they hate him; some people suspect his as a child rapist, others as a serial murderer looking for victims. Nobody knows what or who he is.
He's probably just an old soldier that at one time or another (perhaps many?) defended your right to be the jackass you are on here. Yeah, let all hate him!!!

Douchenugget...
Anonymous

Sharon Springs, NY

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#8
Jan 12, 2014
 
Yeah wrote:
<quoted text>He's probably just an old soldier that at one time or another (perhaps many?) defended your right to be the jackass you are on here. Yeah, let all hate him!!!
Douchenugget...
Nope he never served! He grew up in a wealthy family, went to college, and became a military collector. He just collects the outfits and wears them to make people think that. He was well-to-do in his earlier life, but blew it all. He wants people to feel bad for him, so that's his way to do it.
60s chic

Allentown, PA

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#9
Jan 12, 2014
 
Hoosier Hillbilly wrote:
60s chic remind me never to come to Allentown, PA.
My mother use to tell me stories about hobos. Her father worked for the railroad and they lied in a 'section' house ( small cottage type structure) provided by the railroad.
During the early years of the nineteen hundreds many vagrants hitchhiked across the country by climbing in empty box cars at the various stations. Called Hobos, which I have no idea why, they would
come to Mom's house and ask for food but they were willing to work for it. There was a shed behind the house and her mother would put them up there over night if they'd do some work for her. Split wood, hoe garden, mow grass, and other odd jobs -1st they worked then they were feed and asked if they wanted to spend the night in the shed.
I recall her telling me about many interesting stories they could tell about their travels, some had been all over the US.
Mom said they scared her-to-death at 1st but she got use to them. There, as far as I know, were never any repercussions from them.
This was during the depression years and as far as anyone knew everyone was poor and most all helped each other.
The problem with many homeless is that most of them are mentally disabled/ill or mentally challenged. We had a mental hospital/institution in our town for many years, but it closed due to financial issues and funding. People were literally turned out onto the streets. Not all, but that's where many ended up. These people were not what I'd call employable. I'm not sure you could even count on them to sweep a sidewalk. That's how disturbed many of these people seemed. There used to be benches along the sidewalks but when the downtown area was reconstructed - again, they took away the benches because so called bums were found lying on them. They've since put the benches back again, although today, there is a routine police watch and security to curb crime and loitering. When I-78 was installed, everyone knew what was going to happen. People started pouring in from Philly, New York, and New Jersey and many were not exactly the kind of residents anyone would want for neighbors. Our current mayor is doing what he can to make the town a better place again. Many cities and towns across America have suffered urban sprawl, crime, urban decay, slumlords and my town is no different, but it wasn't always that way. I can remember it being a beautiful, clean and almost crime free town. I have to give credit to our mayor; he has made some major improvements. Old buildings were torn down and have made way for new buildings and businesses, including a new hockey arena. I wish the mayor luck and hope his endeavors are a success.
Yeah

Dayton, OH

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#10
Jan 12, 2014
 

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Anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
Nope he never served! He grew up in a wealthy family, went to college, and became a military collector. He just collects the outfits and wears them to make people think that. He was well-to-do in his earlier life, but blew it all. He wants people to feel bad for him, so that's his way to do it.
Sounds like a certain blogger from IL...
Anonymous

Sharon Springs, NY

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#11
Jan 12, 2014
 
Yeah wrote:
<quoted text>Sounds like a certain blogger from IL...
And what certain blogger would that be?
A Whiny 1

Dayton, OH

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#12
Jan 12, 2014
 

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Anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
And what certain blogger would that be?
http://www.topix.com/forum/news/topix/T765V3I...

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