When I was in high school back in the early 70's, I worked part-time in a wholesale nursery in a small town called Monroe, Connecticut USA. The owner, Emil Tramposche, had 3 college-aged sons, one of which was a very talented sculptor (and I'm sorry but his name escapes me over this many years). The sculptor son lived out in California at the time where he was going to College.
Anyway, the sculptor son carved a detailed 3 foot high wooden statue of a man with his hat tipped low over his eyes and with one hand in his pocket and the other extended with his thumb sticking out like he was hitch-hiking. The wooden hitch-hiker had a leather satchel placed around his neck with a small book inside with blank pages. The son told to me that the book had the inscription (I'm paraphrasing): "My name is so-in-so.. I'm traveling to (Address in Connecticut). You can bring me home and let me meet all your friends. Write all about my adventures in my book. Then make sure I get back on the road heading in the right direction."
Well.. the son told me that he first put the statue on an eastbound entrance ramp of a highway in California near where he was living at the time. People would pick up the hitch-hiker, take him home, write in the book, and then put him back on another entrance ramp later on. About 6 months later, the statue showed up at his father's home in Connecticut with the book full of stories of all the places he had been and all the people he had met!
I recall that the son next put the hitch-hiker on a plane with a one-way ticket heading for Europe with a new book and a revised note in his satchel explaining that the hitch-hiker wanted to travel around Europe then eventually return back to the USA. About 2 years later, the statue showed back up at his father's home with that book filled with stories of places he'd been and the people he'd met all over Europe! I recall hearing that the hitch hiker got as far as Budapest (but don't quote me on that).
Well, the little wooden hitch-hiker became somewhat famous and last I heard was that he was in a museum (in Cambridge?).
After I graduated from high school in 1975, I went off to college and I never did cross paths with the sculptor son again but I did visit the father a few times until he passed away around 1994 but regrettably I never did ask him what finally became of the hitch hiker statue.
Anybody else ever hear this story? Better yet.. Anybody know where the 'Hitch Hiker' statue is?
Thought all you world travellers would find this true story interesting.