Where in Colorado is Scooby Doobie Do?
Scooby Doobie Do is not a town in Colorado
“Between passing souls, there’s strings attached.”
I was returning to the newsroom on foot after a coffee break Thursday morning when a young hitchhiker and his pooch caught my eye. The miniature English sheepdog (yes, it was on a leash) was cute, but what drew my attention was the man’s sign.
Every hitchhiker scribbles his destination on a piece of cardboard, and this hitchhiker called out to me, “Can you read my sign?”
“Yes, it says ‘Scooby Doobie Do,’” I replied, without much thought.
I was 20 feet past him when I asked myself, “Is Scooby Doobie Do a town in Colorado?”
And I’m embarrassed to say I was almost back to the office when the answer occurred to me: “Where is Scooby Doobie Do?” could be worthy of a column. So, I did an about face. Wouldn’t you?
Much to my chagrin, the young man with the sign, whose name is Lance Koch, explained that his sign was intended more to catch the eye of someone who might have pot to share than it was to signify a destination on the map.
“There’s not a hippie that’ll pass me by,” Koch said.
I felt every bit my age. But Koch and I discovered we share an admiration for the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, and the conversation flowed from there.
What you might not guess about Koch on first meeting him is that he reads three chapters from the Holy Bible every day. He finds that he needs to read them more than once to fully grasp the meaning.
“It makes a difference,” he said of reading scripture.
Koch grew up in Dinosaur, which is about 100 miles west of Scooby Doobie Do, and frequently sticks out his thumb as he travels between Steamboat, Carbondale and Grand Junction, where he supports his grandfather.
“It’s like the coyotes,” he said. “I’m always in motion.”
Koch tries to present a friendly countenance to strangers, and he’s not shy about flagging people down, sometimes by miming that he and Bella, his dog, are hungry.
“If you’re always smiling, they remember you,” he said. “If you’re mean, all they do is call the cops on you.”
Sometimes, he holds a sign that reads: “Dog sitter needed.”
“I have people stop and offer me 30 pounds of dog food,” Koch said. “I tell them ‘I don’t have room in my backpack, but I could take a couple handfuls.’”
Koch actually relies on his pooch as a service dog; he has a medical condition that causes him to have seizures, and at times, when he’s flat on his back, the little dog stands by and “points.”
He told me he is registered with a temp employment agency in both Carbondale and Steamboat and works several days a week when it’s available and his health allows.
Koch added that part of the reason he hitches rides is simply to connect with people.
“It’s almost Karma-tic. Like that dude you fought with in high school, and you see him years later, and he apologizes,” he said.
Before we parted, Lance Koch dropped some words of wisdom on me: “Between passing souls, there’s strings attached,” he said.
I obviously don’t know Lance Koch, and I can’t verify what he told me and don’t really feel the need. But I figured I’d find the “Between passing souls …” quote in a heartbeat on Google. I didn’t.
If you recognize it from literature, please let me know.
Safe travels, Lance. You too, Bella.
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Thursday, Feb. 25