It was a beautiful July day in Staten Island N.Y. It was around 1962. We were in our big brown 53 Chevy going down Manor road heading towards 4 corners. My mom was driving and my two sisters were there too. We got to the corners and were stopped by the red traffic light. To our right on one corner was the Sunnyside Club where people went for a few drinks. On the other corner (diagonally) was the A&P grocery store, which would be a bank in the future where I would get Frank Giffords autograph as he helped it’s grand opening.
While waiting at the red light my Mother said lock your doors because the Hitchhiking Lady hung out here and would just get right in your car. I was surprised and a bit terrified at this news. I couldn’t fathom that a person, especially a woman would just get in your car uninvited. My mind began to swim as I imagined what she must of looked like. I thought she must have had a wild look in her eye much like the lady from the original 101 Dalmatians’ in1961. She also had a very long coat but this one was tattered unlike the luxurious coat from the movie. It had to be tattered!! Surely the woman had to be down on her luck and not in her right mind to brazenly get into strangers cars. Her hands were very lean and showed every bone and vein in them. The type of hand that would be stirring a cauldron, and with a wicked laughter that sent chills down your spine.
This was a very inventive way to get us to lock our doors, yet I wonder why it was that way and not just (ok kids lock your doors). Maybe she was real? This warning was repeated several times by my mom, and always at 4 corners. After a while the warnings stopped and the Hitchhiking Lady disappeared from my mind. I thank my sister in law who posted on facebook about Mr. rubber toe, a fictional character that her daughter in law uses to keep her two boys in line. It sparked my memory of Hitchhiking Lady and also gave me a vivid memory of my wonderful Mom. Love One Another!!