Ride retraces era of long, strange trips REVIEW
THUMBING A RIDE: HITCHHIKERS, HOSTELS, AND COUNTERCULTURE IN CANADA
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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