Man hitchhiking crosscountry for memoir titled ‘The Kindness of America’ shot on side of highway

Ray Dolin, 39, was sitting on the shoulder of Highway 2 outside of Glasgow, Montana Saturday when a man in a maroon pickup pulled up, shot him, and drove away. It was just before 6pm.

Dolin, a West Virginian, was hitchhiking across the U.S. for a memoir he’s writing called “The Kindness of America.” He was able to flag down a passer-by who drove him to Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow where he’s now recovering. Authorities tracked down the pickup and arrested the driver, 52-year-old Charles Lloyd Danielson III of Washington, about four hours after the shooting.

Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier told the Billings Gazette that as far as they know the shooting was “totally random.” “These two gentlemen did not know each other. They’d never seen each other and we don’t know of a motive. We don’t know why this happened.”

We salute Dolin’s efforts to find America’s kindness on the side of the interstate and report back, and we hope he recovers quickly, finding kindness from his doctors and nurses, his insurance agent, and journalists calling his room asking for comment so he can continue writing his book without changing the title.

Meanwhile, we’re awaiting more stories about John Waters’ hitchhiking trip from Baltimore to San Francisco, which sounds like it was both safe and funny. A pastor’s wife picked him up, as did Here We Go Magic and a middle aged married couple from Illinois. The pastor’s wife says Waters plans to turn his journey into a book as well, and hopes to go with the much less optimistic title, “Carsick.”

(Updated: 6/12/12, 6:35pm)

(Image via Shutterstock)