Ride re­traces era of long, strange trips RE­VIEW

THUMBING A RIDE: HITCHHIKERS, HOS­TELS, AND COUNTERCULTURE IN CANADA

The Georgia Straight - - Books - By Linda Ma­hood. UBC Press, 331 pp, hard­cover

This wise, com­pre­hen­sive, and 2

highly read­able book will strike a chord with those of us old enough to have been per­son­ally fa­mil­iar with the sub­ject. Just as some of our fa­thers or even grand­fa­thers may have rid­den the rails dur­ing the De­pres­sion of the 1930s, so did we, tens of thou­sands of young women and young men, hitch­hike back and forth across Canada in the 1960s and early 1970s. Expo 67 helped to ig­nite the mass de­sire to see the rest of Canada, while Jack Ker­ouac’s On the Road and Hol­ly­wood “road pic­tures” pro­voked the search for greater per­sonal free­dom.

Be­tween 1970 and 1975, 100,000 hitchhikers a year passed through Win­nipeg, headed in one di­rec­tion or the other. No part of the coun­try went untouched by this grungy, manic ric­o­chet­ing from place to place. Van­cou­ver and Toronto, how­ever, were the two most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions. I made that trip three times, once do­ing so with the help of only two kindly driv­ers. Con­versely, I also found my­self stranded for an eter­nity, as many of us were, in Wawa, On­tario, the hitchhikers’ hell.

The peo­ple now known as boomers con­sid­ered the hitch­hik­ing ex­pe­ri­ence a rite of pas­sage, whereas adults back then con­sid­ered it a prob­lem that had to be ei­ther erad­i­cated or man­aged.

Van­cou­ver’s ridicu­lous mayor, Tom Campbell, be­lieved that hitchhikers were “un­de­sir­ables” and worse. He wanted them out­lawed. The Ge­or­gia Straight, not un­rea­son­ably, called him “fascis­tic”. One critic char­ac­ter­ized Campbell’s fol­low­ers as peo­ple who “feel that any­one who slings a knap­sack over his back dur­ing the sum­mer and takes off trav­el­ling is noth­ing more than a Com­mie Pinko slob”.

Out­rage about Campbell led one com­men­ta­tor to com­pare his agenda to Hitler’s round­ing up of the Gyp­sies. Toronto’s mayor was just as silly but more thought­ful, ar­gu­ing that young women might be vul­ner­a­ble to ex­ploita­tion both on the road and in the com­plex sys­tem of hos­tels that Pierre Trudeau’s Lib­eral gov­ern­ment cre­ated in part­ner­ship with var­i­ous foun­da­tions and char­i­ties.

The con­flict in Van­cou­ver came to a boil on Oc­to­ber 15, 1970, when lo­cal po­lice and Cana­dian Armed Forces mem­bers fe­ro­ciously at­tacked res­i­dents of a hos­tel in what was called the Bat­tle of Jeri­cho, in which many were in­jured and de­tained.

Linda Ma­hood, who teaches his­tory at the Univer­sity of Guelph, is a crack­er­jack re­searcher who has con­ducted many in­ter­views and fer­reted out ob­scure re­ports, hitch­hik­ing guides, and other lit­er­a­ture. Sur­pris­ingly, though, her rich bib­li­og­ra­phy seems to have missed the an­thol­ogy of hitch­hik­ing writ­ings by Cana­dian au­thors such as bill bis­sett, Ge­orge Bow­er­ing, Al Purdy, and even Mar­garet At­wood. It was pub­lished in 1969 and quickly sold out three print­ings.

> GE­ORGE FETHERLING

Septem­ber 6 to 12, 2018

Mer­cury has just dropped the puck in worker-bee Virgo. On Thurs­day, Saturn ends the ret­ro­grade and the holdup cy­cle it started in April. Both tran­sits set the stage for get­ting some­thing con­struc­tive ac­com­plished.

Early Fri­day, Mer­cury in Virgo en­gages Saturn and Uranus by trine. It’s an ex­cel­lent work-it-out, make-it-real tran­sit. We can get bet­ter onto task, scoop a bet­ter price or deal, or fill in the blank. Along with a sun/nep­tune op­po­si­tion, Fri­day sets an op­ti­mal back­drop for cre­ative en­deav­our, com­merce, money mat­ters, con­nect­ing, and man­i­fest­ing. It’s also good for sort­ing out fact from fic­tion or wish­ful think­ing.

Turn­ing a cor­ner on Satur­day, Venus and Mars now launch a crit­i­cal next phase re­gard­ing re­la­tion­ships, so­cial pol­i­tics, money mat­ters, sur­vival of the fittest, and the shap­ing of a new re­al­ity.

Venus en­ters Scor­pio on Sun­day, ac­com­pa­nied by a new moon in Virgo. Venus is very pow­er­ful in the sign of the hid­den mys­ter­ies. Venus can be a de­struc­tive and un­der­min­ing force or it can be ut­terly trans­form­ing and re­gen­er­at­ing. Turn­ing ret­ro­grade next month in Scor­pio, there will be no skirt­ing around the karmic ne­ces­sity.

En­ter­ing Aquarius late Mon­day night, Mars will now pick up the slack from that which was in­tro­duced or ig­nited last May. With both plan­ets forc­ing the is­sues, ex­pect the next cou­ple of months to be defin­ing. Venus in Scor­pio cor­re­lates to the business of oil and to ad­dic­tions of all kinds; Mars in Aquarius cor­re­lates to frack­ing but also to new en­ergy, new tech­nol­ogy, and a new so­cial world or­der. There is ab­so­lutely no rea­son to keep un­der­min­ing the sur­vival of life on the planet.

ARIES

March 20–April 19

Don’t waste your time—use it, in­stead. Now through Satur­day, ap­ply your­self, take your best shot, seize op­por­tu­nity. Great gains are for the mak­ing. Venus in Scor­pio, start­ing Sun­day, and Mars into Aquarius, start­ing late Mon­day, launch a piv­otal, even life-al­ter­ing, cou­ple of months re­gard­ing your money and ma­te­rial sta­tus, a key re­la­tion­ship, and life­style rein­ven­tion. Tues­day/wed­nes­day, it’s power-play time.

TAURUS April 20–May 20

Fresh at it in Virgo, Mer­cury is your ally, es­pe­cially through Satur­day. Saturn direct is too, start­ing Thurs­day. You should make ex­cel­lent progress with pa­per­work, talks, stud­ies, or­ga­ni­za­tion, and fixit projects. You’ll also find you get more value out of your deal­ings with ad­vis­ers, agents, train­ers, or health prac­ti­tion­ers. Venus and Mars set a key re­la­tion­ship or a life­style change onto a faster for­ward.

GEMINI

May 21–June 21

Through Fri­day, Mer­cury loans you a great knack for tim­ing it and pick­ing it right. Mars in Aquarius, start­ing late next Mon­day, bol­sters con­fi­dence and can-do. Whether it’s a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion or a push come to shove, Venus in Scor­pio sub­merges you deeper into a process, search, learn­ing curve, and re­vamped re­al­ity. Don’t hes­i­tate to change your job, sched­ule, or health reg­i­men.

CAN­CER June 21–July 22

Fri­day is a good day to pick up the phone. It’s also a good day to sign a con­tract, ap­ply for the job, or file the pa­per­work. Next Tues­day, en­list co­op­er­a­tion, get on their good side, put am­bi­tion into play. Wed­nes­day can see you on a breakthrough or a sud­den fast track. Venus in Scor­pio, an at­trac­tion and juice-up tran­sit, loans you bet­ter sway.

LEO

July 22–Au­gust 22

The end of Saturn ret­ro­grade sets you up to make bet­ter progress. Fri­day, it all clicks into place read­ily and well. No ef­fort needs to be ap­plied, al­though if any is re­quired, it is to avoid get­ting overly swept up. Leav­ing no stone un­turned, Venus and Mars hit go on what will be a piv­otal cou­ple of months for in­nerand outer-life rein­ven­tion.

VIRGO

Au­gust 22–Septem­ber 22

Mer­cury, freshly into Virgo, keeps you and the ac­tion clip­ping right along, Po­ten­tials are shap­ing up, es­pe­cially Fri­day. Hope and in­spi­ra­tion can be too. De­spite what­ever un­cer­tainty sun/nep­tune may tap, you should feel like things are shap­ing up for you. If it dis­in­te­grates, it wasn’t meant to be. Move on. Sun­day be­gins a good 10-day run. Wed­nes­day could see you on a breakthrough.

LIBRA

Septem­ber 22–Oc­to­ber 23

You are likely to feel a stronger sense of fate or of des­tiny in play. Ceres, freshly into Libra, Ch­i­ron in Aries, Saturn out of ret­ro­grade, and both Venus and Mars on the for­ward thrust set up your karmic spring­board. Ev­ery day over the next week holds ma­jor sway and swag­ger. Mon­day through Wed­nes­day are op­ti­mal for tak­ing your best shot.

SCOR­PIO

Oc­to­ber 23–Novem­ber 21

Hit­ting peak on Fri­day, a grand trine be­tween Mer­cury, Saturn, and Uranus makes for an aus­pi­cious time to sign it, say it, or launch it. Sun/ Nep­tune tops it up or fills in blanks. Venus in Scor­pio, start­ing Sun­day, pow­ers up your abil­ity to at­tract and to act. Mars in Aquarius, start­ing Tues­day, sets you on a fast-track date with des­tiny.

SAGITTARIUS Novem­ber 21–De­cem­ber 21

Mer­cury in Virgo is in ex­cel­lent shape with Saturn and Uranus as back-to-work week one fin­ishes out. You should feel that you are get­ting in front of it well. Venus into Scor­pio en­riches po­ten­tials and prospects. The tran­sit takes you into deeper emo­tional wa­ters, too. Never a dull mo­ment, Mars into Aquarius keeps your sharper­shooter in­stincts run­ning at full ca­pac­ity, es­pe­cially Tues­day/wed­nes­day.

CAPRICORN De­cem­ber 21–Jan­uary 19

The time is right; the time is now. The end of Saturn ret­ro­grade on Thurs­day is ex­cel­lent for hit­ting go. En­gaged in a grand trine with Mer­cury and Uranus, Fri­day is aus­pi­cious; take the ini­tia­tive and start the talk, ne­go­ti­a­tion, pa­per­work, study, or search. Venus in Scor­pio and Mars in Aquarius sup­port your power play. Tues­day/ Wed­nes­day, take your best shot.

AQUARIUS

Jan­uary 20–Fe­bru­ary 18

Thurs­day/fri­day sets you onto a ma­jor im­prove­ment curve. A bet­ter deal, so­lu­tion, or av­enue can be eas­ily found. No mat­ter how things shape up, you’ll feel/see it is work­ing out for the best. Sun­day on­ward, Venus into Scor­pio and Mars into Aquarius strike flint on a sig­nif­i­cant per­sonal and pro­fes­sional next chap­ter. Tues­day/ Wed­nes­day, you’ll hit full steam ahead.

PISCES

Fe­bru­ary 18–March 20

Even the tough stuff comes eas­ily Thurs­day/fri­day. Let the mo­ment be your guide. Satur­day/sun­day is also smooth go­ing. Venus in Scor­pio, start­ing Sun­day, is one of your best tran­sits for mat­ters of heart or fi­nan­cial gain. Mars in Aquarius also juices up po­ten­tials. Sun­day through Wed­nes­day, there’s no stop­ping what’s al­ready in mo­tion. It’s all sys­tems go.

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