Driving my usual route from Nashville to Boston, I was surprised to see a young fella standing in the rain on the highway about 70 miles west of Knoxville. With a guitar across his shoulder, Billy looked like a drenched cat, but the smile on his face shone brighter than my wife’s on pay day as I pulled up.

New York City was his destination. He’d started in New Mexico and had never seen NYC before, but it looked like something must be happening there, and the women were babes, or so he’d heard.

In the 13 hours he rode with me he told me so many stories about all the places he’d been, and some of them made me laugh my ass off. I actually felt jealous of this lad and his young age, having adventures that this old fart had never had. I’d been to NYC before myself, attracted by the lights and a future, but it was all promise, no payout. It was back to Nashville for me.

Near the intersection of 80 and 287 as he got out of my truck, I leant across and slipped a 20 into his hand and said, “Billy, give ’em hell.”

View this story's 1 comments.