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About twenty years ago, when I was working in the San Diego area, I came upon two teenage girls thumbing a ride. Being in a company van, it was against policy to pick up hitchhikers. However, I was more concerned that they would be picked up by someone with less than good intention and I certainly didn't want to read the papers about how two young girls came upon foul play. So, I decided to give them a ride. There was only one other seat for the two in the panel-van and although it wasn't the safest seating arrangement, they were more than happy to have been given the ride (and I would drive extra careful). They were in San Diego with their 'boyfriends' but when things got too amorous and they rebuffed their advances; the boys took vengeance by leaving the girls stranded. It turned out that they lived over 120 miles away and they expected to be taken only a part of the way and hoped for other rides until finally reaching their destination. Well that would have defeated the purpose of me giving them a ride because of concern for their safety so I offered to take them right to their doorstep. The look of surprise at that point was payment enough, but when I found out that they were only 15 and 16 I thought about their worried parents and this was definitely more for the family than for just the girls. The ride took over two hours and in that time, I did a lot of parental preaching about not hitching rides and that they should have called their parents for a ride home (the punishment would not be near as severe if the parents were actually relieved to find their girls safe). They promised that they would never do this again. I hope they at least kept that promise and as they became a mother, they remembered that lesson.

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