Brunvand_Vanishing - Warning Concerning Copyright...

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Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyright material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction not be "used for any purposes other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.
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THE VANISHING HITCHHIKER cheaply by irate wife (or widow)-dramatize the undeniable pleasure of "getting even." Roadside Ghosts: "The Vanishing Hitchhiker" A prime example of the adaptability of older legends is "The Vanishing Hitchhiker"-the classic automobile legend. This returning-ghost tale was known by the turn of the cen- tury both in the United States and abroad. It acquired the newer automobile motif by the period of the Great Depression, and thereafter spawned a number of subtypes with greatly varied and oddly interlocking details, some of which them- selves stemmed from earlier folk legends. Merely sampling some of the many "Vanishing Hitchhiker" variants that have been collected over a period of some forty years can help us trace the legend's incredible development. Surely most readers al- ready know a local "true" account (or maybe two or three) similar to Example A, as told by a teenager in Toronto, Can- ada, in 1973: A Well, this happened to one of my girlfriend's best friends and her father. They were driving along a country road on their way home from the cottage when they saw a young girl hitchhiking. They stopped and picked her up and she got in the back seat. She told the girl and her father that she just lived in the house about five miles up the road. She didn't say anything after that but just turned to watch out the window. When the father saw the house, he drove up to it and turned around to tell the girl they had arrived-but she wasn't there! Both he and his daughter were really mysti£ied and decided to knock on the door and tell the people what had happened. They told them that they had once had a daughter who answered the descrip- tion of the girl they supposedly had picked up, but she had disappeared some years ago and had last been seen hitch- 24 The Classic Automobile Legends hiking on this very road. Today would have been her birthday. This version has the basic elements-not necessarily "orig- inal" ones-well known in oral tradition and occaljiQnallY re- ported in newspapers since the early 19305. The sfable story units have been labeled in brackets in the following text from South Carolina collected by workers of the South Carolina Writers' Project (Work Projects Administration) sOlDetime be- tween 1935 and 1941: B A traveling man [driver] who lived in Spartanburg [authen- tication] was on his way home one night [setting] when he saw a woman walking along the side of the road [hitchhiker]. He stopped his car and asked the woman if
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Brunvand_Vanishing - Warning Concerning Copyright...

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