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Harry and Tonto. A tale of survivors

June 29, 2022 11:45 am

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How would you like to spend your retirement? Some people will opt for travel, and others will go for a quiet life like that offered by Park Homes Gloucestershire. However, one man in the USA decided that he wasn’t going to take retirement lying down. He was going on a road trip, and so was his cat, Tonto.

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Harry is a retired teacher. He is quite happy living out what’s left of his life in his New York apartment. However, when a compulsory purchase order means his block is going to be levelled, he has to make alternative arrangements. His eldest son, Burt, is happy to take him in, but Harry feels he’s getting under their feet, and he decides to embark on a road trip across the USA. He wants to discover the country, and Tonto is coming with him.

Deciding to “Go West”, Harry soon stops short of his initial plan to fly to Chicago. Tonto’s cat carrier is too big and can’t fit. In desperation, Harry boards a bus but has to keep stopping to let Tonto have a wee. Eventually, the driver leaves them in the middle of the countryside. Harry decides to take matters into his own hands. He buys a second-hand Buick and sets off with Tonto, heading anywhere west. Technically, he has no licence but decides that as he’s never spent a night in jail, it will be an experience.


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Along the way, he picks up several people looking for a lift. The first hitchhiker is constantly quoting the Bible at him. After he is ditched, he helps a young girl. With her, he visits an old flame in a nursing home. However, she only half remembers him.  He then visits his daughter for a catch-up. When he finally reaches Chicago, he chats to an old enemy and ends the meeting amiably.

With his Grandson in tow, and Ginger the Runaway, he gives them the car so that they can start a life together in a commune. Needing a ride, and with a view to visiting Las Vegas, Harry and Tonto get a ride with a health food salesman. Their final-lap into Las Vegas is with a lady, and Harry gets to do something he hasn’t done in a very long time.

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