Seems like there’s more litter than usual out on our Hot Springs Village roadsides now. Must be the winter weather that’s keeping our faithful volunteers inside and unable to pick up all those cans and bottles that others have carelessly tossed.
Today I thought about a little essay I wrote soon after I retired. It was published in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal way back in 1996. I hope you will enjoy this!
Streetwalker Job Isn’t That Glamorous
Madelyn F. Young
My life as a “street-walker” began several years ago. Now that I’m retired from my regular job, I have even more time to devote to this hobby. And no matter what some of you may think, I believe that what I do is a real service for the community. I wish a lot more of us women could do this!
Once a week or so, I don my special garb—garden gloves, insect repellant, old Keds—and toting a large trash bag, I start my rounds. The “pick-ups” I make are interesting. Beer cans, soft drink bottles, fast-food wrappers and cartons. Quite a variety!
Of course, there are a few health hazards which a woman in this occupation needs to be aware of. One time on our road I was stretching out to reach a can positioned down a steep bank, and I lost my balance. Face-first I sprawled awkwardly down the hill into the weeds with one foot tangled in the vines above me. Ridiculous! Nevertheless, I grabbed that can, tossed it up onto the road, and then performed an inchworm maneuver to scoot backwards up the bank. Later, I discovered I had a full-blown case of poison ivy for all my efforts. But such is the life of a “woman-of-the-streets”!
I’ll have to admit that the pay for my services is not too great. However, seeing clean, litter-free roadsides near my home is a good reward. Maybe someday soon, before I’m too old to “perform” any longer, drivers will learn to keep their throw-away items in their cars and trucks until they get home. Then I could be a “street-walker” who is able to take a stroll and merely enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery all around.