Myersville town Councilman Brett Bidle was passing the Burger King on Md. 17 on Tuesday when he passed a hitchhiker standing in the rain and holding a cardboard sign that read “I-70 West.”
After doubling back to pick the man up, Bidle discovered about 10 minutes into the trip that his passenger was the Baltimore-based director John Waters, creator of films such as “Hairspray,” “Pink Flamingos” and “Cry-Baby”.
Bidle said he didn’t know who Waters was at first, but the director told him he was writing a book about his journey hitch-hiking across the country.
The two drove together for more than four hours before Bidle dropped Waters off a few miles into Ohio.
Bidle said the two had a long, interesting discussion about their divergent political views, during which the liberal Waters and conservative Bidle discussed topics such as national politics and the upcoming presidential election.
Bidle was on his way to Joplin, Mo., to help with the ongoing rebuilding effort after that town was struck by a deadly tornado in May 2011 that killed more than 160 people.
He had been to Joplin in August 2011 to help, and said he’ll be organizing a fundraiser for the rebuilding effort, he said. The event likely will be scheduled some time in August.
Bidle said he remembers looking out from a ridge during his last trip and seeing nothing but miles of debris and destruction.
“I think that was the first time a politician has ever been speechless,” he said.