A Quinnipiac University professor of journalism asked his class a question, like you do when you happen to be a teacher, and when one Michael Kataja answered correctly, he was rewarded with a book of travels. Specifically, Tim Brookes' Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow, in which the author attempts to recreate the path he'd hitchhiked through the USA some 20 or 30 years previous. The prize was probably awarded to Mike in 2002 or 2003. He never actually read the book, but he did give it to me instead of throwing it away. In the spirit of the thing, I slipped it under the back seat of my pal Kevin's car on our way to a Bad Plus concert (standard 'man, that guy is fast' and 'look! ET dolls!' comments apply). I also left a note inside suggesting that future readers drop me a line when they leave it for someone else to read.
Now, at the end of 2008, I'm pleased to report a kind of modern day miracle. One of those fun little things that takes off and you read about and you tell your friends and everyone takes a moment to think of how neat that is and oh I should do something like that myself some time. Yes, lo these many months and years, I have heard stories and tales of the book's travel. To be more specific in fact, I have heard from:
1 person. In 2006.
Even by that volume's standard of spending a year with an owner before moving on, that's slow. I wonder where it is today.