A culture of poverty and sub-lifestyle became more than statistics to Doug Levitt during his 10-year journeys crisscrossing the United States in a Greyhound bus. Similar to a modern day Bob Dylan, Levitt has taken his 100,000-mile journey and has brought it to the public with free concert tours and a digital download entitled, “The Greyhound Diaries.”
Doug Levitt, who was a foreign correspondent to Asia and the surrounding countries for NBC and CBS before he went on the Greyhound bus, said he became addicted in his first six-week tour. That six weeks turned into 10 years, and he is still taking his experiences, thoughts and opinions to stages across the country with songs, pictures and stories about the people he met on his travels.
Levitt said in an interview that he knew what poverty was when he left on his first trip, but he records in The Greyhound Diaries the real perspective of poverty that he became aware of in the forgotten culture of Americans who rely on the Greyhound to move from city to city and coast to coast.
These riders have no other choice in their travels with no means for an automobile and no funds for a plane ride, yet a real need to move from place to place. The Greyhound provides the only choice. The bus route is not a favored way to travel in the U.S., and Levitt discussed in an interview that he had never seen the well-to-do or the rich on the Greyhound.
The minimum-wage worker or inmate released from prison travel hundreds of thousands of miles on buses every year. These Americans have no way to make ends meet and no voice to share their frustrations.
Levitt brings this culture into the spotlight, and if for only a moment, tells their story and justifies their lives. He shows the struggle and pain they endure on a daily basis, but he also shows the camaraderie, compassion and fellowship these real Americans share.
Their character is exhibited and the sounds of the railroad in Dylan’s epic stories turns into the thousands of miles of love and tolerance in Doug Levitt’s Greyhound Diaries.