Hood River Bill….Utah 1980

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I think I’d die if I was to stop trampin’. I surely would, I’d lay down an’ die. It’s the only thing I got, trampin’. Got use’ to movin’ durin’ the war. Traveled all over the worl’, seein’ diff’rent places an’ findin’ out how other people lives. Spent fourteen months as a P.O.W. in Korea. When I hit the states, I went to Georgia fer awhile. Stayed aroun’ there fer as long as I could. I’d been use’ to keepin’ on the move, an’ the idea a settlin’ down didn’t appeal to me, still don’t. Trampin’s what I know, movin’ over the country. I s’pose I coulda had it the other way, livin’ in a room an’ eatin’ meals at a rest’rant. Had it that way right after the army. I guess it didn’t suit me, er I’d still be livin’ that-a-way.

I ain’t mad at no one. No one put me on the road but myself. An’ I ain’t sorry. Not in the least. I won’t do no ‘pologizin’ fer my life. I ain’t a bum. I’m a tramp, an’ I’ll stay a tramp. It ain’t a bad life.

I’ve moved aroun’ such that I don’t feel no leanin’s to one partic’lar place no more. Spend most a my time up aroun’ that Hood River country, but I’ll go anawhere the notion takes me. I been back to Georgia, back near where I was born. That L&N mainline runs not twenty miles from there. Rode that line, musta been ten times an’ never stopped. I give some thought to stoppin’.  Got a sister there I haven’t heard from in twenty years. I git to wonderin’ what it’s like there, if it’s the same as it was. But if I go back, it might spoil the thing in my mind. I figger I’m better off leavin’ it in my mind, the way it was when I left.