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Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?

Little Neophyte 19 Apr 00 - 07:39 AM
Little Neophyte 19 Apr 00 - 07:44 AM
catspaw49 19 Apr 00 - 08:39 AM
Rick Fielding 19 Apr 00 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,Frank of Toledo 19 Apr 00 - 01:48 PM
BlueJay 19 Apr 00 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 19 Apr 00 - 03:39 PM
Amos 19 Apr 00 - 04:00 PM
northfolk/al cholger 19 Apr 00 - 04:49 PM
northfolk/al cholger 19 Apr 00 - 04:51 PM
Art Thieme 20 Apr 00 - 12:01 AM
Little Neophyte 20 Apr 00 - 08:57 AM
Wesley S 20 Apr 00 - 09:37 AM
Art Thieme 20 Apr 00 - 11:42 AM
L R Mole 20 Apr 00 - 03:13 PM
Wesley S 20 Apr 00 - 04:25 PM
Peter T. 20 Apr 00 - 05:10 PM
Little Neophyte 20 Apr 00 - 07:04 PM
Peter T. 21 Apr 00 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,L R Mole 21 Apr 00 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,L.R. Mole 21 Apr 00 - 01:31 PM
catspaw49 21 Apr 00 - 01:42 PM
Little Neophyte 21 Apr 00 - 01:58 PM
BlueJay 21 Apr 00 - 03:56 PM
Peter T. 21 Apr 00 - 04:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Apr 00 - 03:47 PM
Little Neophyte 23 Apr 00 - 08:20 AM
Billy the Bus 23 Apr 00 - 08:39 AM
Art Thieme 23 Apr 00 - 01:13 PM
Mark Cohen 23 Apr 00 - 03:36 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 23 Apr 00 - 09:17 PM
Billy the Bus 23 Apr 00 - 09:25 PM
Chris/Darwin 24 Apr 00 - 01:14 AM
Ely 24 Apr 00 - 01:30 AM
Billy the Bus 24 Apr 00 - 04:16 AM
The Shambles 24 Apr 00 - 06:41 AM
Little Neophyte 24 Apr 00 - 08:29 AM
Lonesome EJ 24 Apr 00 - 01:01 PM
BlueJay 24 Apr 00 - 05:06 PM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Apr 00 - 05:38 PM
BlueJay 24 Apr 00 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 21 Oct 05 - 02:05 PM
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Subject: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 07:39 AM

After reading through the Wabash Cannonball thread I started to wonder about the lost lifestyle of a hobo.
Gargoyle had included an excellent posting on 'So Just What Is A Hobo? and The Hobo Heart & Soul
Also after reading Art Thieme talk about the life of Paul Durst, the Wobbly and hobo fiddler who was 93 years and that Art had made tapes of in 1961.
I started wondering what people today do who still believe in living that kind of hobo lifestyle or still share the same core beliefs and views as they say 'the hobo heart & soul'.

In Canada we have social assistance, welfare and unemployment. It appears to me the hobo lifestyle has faded away along with The National Hobo Association.
Or does that association still exist?
Now we have Street Kids who truly need our help.
We have social problems that are very serious issue.
I do not want to give the impression I am promoting poverty, but from what I have read about these hobos, it seemed like there was an adventure to living that independent lifestyle. Then there were others who may not have actually lived the life of a hobo, but identified with it. It seems to me this has been lost in todays society.

I would like to hear from the other Mudcatters on this subject.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 07:44 AM

From The National Hobo Association

So Just What Is a Hobo?

At the end of the Civil War, many veterans had no homes to return to and many took to wandering the countryside looking for possible work. Many of these early wanderers sought work as migrant farm workers and many of them carried work implements, such as hoes, along with them. It is thought that they were originally nicknamed 'hoe-boys' and the term later shortened to 'Hobo'.

As the nation expanded westward, the railroads needed laborers to set ties and lay the tracks and the hobo played a vital role in those activities. During the great age of dam-building, i.e. The Tennessee Valley Authority, The Columbia River Basin as well as The Missouri River Drainage Projects, the hoboes formed the nucleus of the hearty travelling work forces that constructed these giant structures often in remote areas whose only real access was by freight train. To feed a growing nation, the hoboes became the migrant harvesters who reaped the grain, cotton and fruits of mid-America often working a route that took them from the Texas Panhandle to the Canadian Border each season. In the post-war era of pipeline construction, the hobo became a vital element of that restless workforce who's very job progressed up to five miles per day as the gas & oil lines were layed.

Hoboes also sought work on American merchant ships and many a hobo maintained seaman's papers as an alternate employment source when the harvests were finished. Many hoboes became the lumberjacks of the Pacific Northwest. As the West became more settled, many of the emerging little towns' first citizens were people who worked their way west on freight trains...hoboes. Many orchards, vineyards and ranches of the American west were built by farsighted adventurous men who struck out from the crowded east on 'side door Pullmans' to seek their fortunes in the outlands. During the Great Depression of the thirties, a new surge of hoboes took to the rails in search of work. In 1934, the U.S. Bureau of Transient Affairs estimated there were 1.5 million men (and women) riding America's Freight trains.

THE HOBO HEART & SOUL

The keyword in describing the hobo is 'independence'. Unlike tramps or bums, the hoboes are usually very resourceful, self reliant and appreciative people. They display the quiet pride that comes from self confidence and the secure knowledge that they control their own destiny. As a group, they avoid long term work commitments, preferring to be free to follow the call of the open road when it comes. They are, in general, well read, artistic romantic and quick witted. They survive in hostile conditions that others would shun. They are creative, good natured and glib. They are NOT homeless. If they want a home, they'll get one when it suits them. The National Hobo Association is made up of thousands of these great people nationwide. Some have hoboed in their past, some are currently on the 'Hobo Road'. Some have never hoboed but share the same core beliefs and views; in short, they have a 'hobo heart'. We warmly welcome them to share our stew and fellowship.

Many of America's great people have come from the hobo ranks; Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, Burl Ives, Pulitzer Prize Winner James A. Michener, Comedian Red Skelton, Attorney Melvin Belli, Country Artist Roger Miller, plus thousands more from lawyers to laborers. Many Fortune 500 Companies have a hobo at their helm.

But it's not about being rich or famous. It has to do with being a member of a unique group of people who value their personal freedom (and respect yours), appreciate our great land, long for new adventures and have faith in themselves. The hobo experience has taught people to 'paddle their own canoe' since the Civil War and that indomitable spirit is alive and well today....especially within The National Hobo Association!


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 08:39 AM

Well BonAmi......Not to steer this in the wrong direction, but there are still a lot of folks riding the rails. However, the violent and somewhat psychotic element has taken over much of what we once romanticized as the hobo. A&E had a superb special on this and there are many articles appearing every week about some crime of robbery, rape, or murder, by someone riding the trains. Lately there was a serial killer apprehended after a long police manhunt complicated by the fact that so many different places were involved and that thanks to the fact he was travelling around the country on the railroads. Even the Hobo Association has a violent side in their "leadership" and like much of our world, things have gotten much more violent on the rails too.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 01:02 PM

Then of course there was the long running TV show "The Littlest Hobo" about a rambling german shepherd who saved little kids every week. I was surprised to find that all the "hero dog shows" used many "specialist bow-wows". They'd have a "sitting hobo", a "running hobo", a "kid-friendly hobo", and a "dare-devil hobo", plus an "opening credits hobo" who died long before the series was over.

Little Neo, two singers who really glamorized the hobo world were 30s radio star Goebel Reeves who wrote "Go To Sleep You Weary Hobo", and BoxCar Willie, a former Texas DJ, who took his hobo "persona" to England first and became a huge star in the 70s and 80s.

Many of the early country bands carried comedians who portrayed a "hobo-like" character. Often made up in black-face. One of the most famous "Greasy" Medlin, was still working in the late seventies with Snuffy Jenkins' band.

One of Jimmie Rodgers' most popular songs was "Hobo Bill's Last Ride.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: GUEST,Frank of Toledo
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 01:48 PM

UTAH PHILLIPS HAS MANY ALBUMS (CD'S), ABOUT THE LIFE OF A HOBO. CHECK OUT "GOOD THOUGH" (PHILO 4955) AND "LOAFER'S GLORY". GREAT LINER NOTES AND EQUALLY GREAT SONGS........


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: BlueJay
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 02:25 PM

I used to work for the railroad. Years ago, I was manning a "Switchtender's Shanty" in Denver, in the middle of the night. I saw many hoboes, referred to as "trespassers" by the railroad dicks. This night, a hobo came NOT seeking warmth, water or a toilet, (which was common), but firmly placed a five dollar bill in my hand! He explained that about a year before, someone in the same shack had given him a couple of sandwiches, and he was going to "By God repay the favor"! It didn't matter to him that I was a different guy, I was in the same place where this kindness had occurred. I tried to refuse his gift, but he was quite insistent, so I accepted his five dollars, which in '75 or '76 must have been a lot of money to someone riding the rails. We talked awhile, I filled his water jug and directed him to the Chicago-bound tracks. I met a lot of nice, and a few not so nice, hoboes in my time on the railroad, and a lot of them lived in tents on the South Platte River near our yards. My encounters were 90% positive. But I quit the railroad partly because of an accident with a hobo, where he stumbled in between some cars I was moving, and I had to hold his leg for 30 MINUTES waiting for an ambulance in the middle of DENVER, for Christ's sake. I still hear the bone crunch sound, and probably always will. Odd, but now I'm in the medical field, where legs are removed in a much more sanitary fashion, and I don't have any guilt attached, (remorse yes, guilt no).


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 03:39 PM

A pretty fine "hobo" film that I'd heartily suggest is the kids film (but still pretty fine as a photo of a time & place) Disney's The Journey Of Natty Gann.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Amos
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 04:00 PM

Jeezikers, BlueJay, that is a tough tale indeed. I can understand your wanting to move on after that.

One of the songs that always embodied the hobo style to me was my grandfather's rendition of "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" -- not that all 'bos are, of course. And part of the romanticism has to be laid at the door of "The Big Rock Candy Mountain", which glamorized the life of the 'bo in stark contrast to the realities -- for example, as described in "My Rambling Boy".


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: northfolk/al cholger
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 04:49 PM

I'm sure that I learned this in a previous mudcat thread...check out Loafers Glory, the Hobo Jungle of the mind with U. Utah Phillips at:

it's time like this I wish that I practiced HTML...

www.hobo.org/radio.html

as you can see I'm hoping for the best...expecting...?


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: northfolk/al cholger
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 04:51 PM

I think I made a black non-clicky thing


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 12:01 AM

A hard hitting and beautifully done film called The Travelers---about the new kids riding the rails---very young --very doped up---quite sad---lost--yet inspiring in their search for freedom and meaning in these high tech times--------it was just on MTV TONIGHT.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 08:57 AM

Art this is what I am wondering about where does someone find adventure these days? On the streets? Like Catspaw was saying 'the violent and somewhat psychotic element has taken over much of what we once romanticized as the hobo.'
But there still are people who want to ramble, feel self reliant and resourceful on their own.
When I was in Nelson BC, I saw several individuals who lived in the surrounding wilderness lands. God knows what kind of shelter they had and how they educated their kids. But the difference is, they would come down out of the woods once a month to pick up a welfare cheque from the government.
When I was in Hawaii on the Big Island I met a few people who lived off the land. Made a shelter out of an old abandon car and had no committments, no shoes, but wanted to feel the freedom of not being involved in society.
I guess I am trying to understand the comparison of life as a hobo to the dangerous and violent life on the street.
Today there is no new frontier, no safe place to adventure and roam. Well maybe there is still in Alaska and northern Canadian provinces. But those places also offer mighty cold temperatures.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Wesley S
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 09:37 AM

Art - I saw the last few minutes of that MTV special - it looked like powerful stuff. If it comes on again I hope one of us starts a thread to inform everyone who would be intertested in it. I'd like to track down the song the show closed with - a Tom Waits song. The lyric was something like "A train took me away from here and a train will carry me home again". Very pretty. Does anyone know it??


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 11:42 AM

I did tape it on a whim---and I'm glad I did. Will watch for it when it's on again.

Neo,

There used be a relatively safe romance connected to hoboing. In the older times it was folks looking for work. It was a way to get froim a place where there was no work to a place where there was. And then, one day, someone realized that it was a pretty good life gettin' away from pressure and suits and ties and bosses and conventions of the world. Someone else wrote some songs to sing around the jungle fires. Others carried those songs and sang 'em into the wind while looking out of an open boxcar door with the entire Grand Canyon or Mount Shasta of Pacific Coast sprawled in the sunshine (or rain) right in front of their eyes. What great tales---embellished and not---came from their adventures. The stories were so big and so grand that we feel the mesmerizing power of them today so that there are a whole bunch of guys and gals who call themselves recreational hobos out there riding the rails on the weekends now. On Monday they're back in the suit and tie at the gig for the ad agency.

BUT there is also the dark side ! When the heat got to be too much for the dregs of society to stay in that society --- while victimizing the "normal" people (whatever that is) --- they hit the long steel rails and are out there in force preying on their own numbers as well as anyone else who might come walking along the track---birdwatchers, hikers, ad executives, hobo wannabees, anyone---even Little Neofights. It's terribly sad. These losers have nearly ruined the great hobo gathering that happens at BRITT, IOWA every year. -------Just one more good situation contaminated by the rotten fruit in the barrel.

The National Hobo Association (NHA) and Buzz Potter, Santa Fe Bo & Luther the Jet & all are generally real fine folks. I know a bunch of 'em. I've sung for 'em in Brainerd, MN. They've had to diminish their doings because of all the sad doings from the other organization (gang), the FTRA. (don't know right now exactly what that stands for).

Anyhow, beware !! There are grunge punks and Flintstones galore out there now. They were not present just a few years ago and it was a better and more innocent (and less dangerous) time----for the hobo and for the railroad employees. There have been many murders out on the high iron lately. It really does make me sick to see the ethics of a lowlife street gang mentality take over. So what else is new. Why do we always sink to that lowest common denominator----as well as the lowly common dominator?

Art Thieme (The Prince Of Peru)


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: L R Mole
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:13 PM

Well...I wrote this before, but something ate it, I think.Cybervore, I guess. Anyway, in the non-PC Halloweens of

my youth, "hobo" was a fairly frequent costume:Dad's outsize clothes, "bundle" in a bandana on a stick, cigar butt transfixed on a toothpick, and burnt cork on the jaws for That Ungroomed Look. Is any of this stuff culturally significant? The holiday is about what is feared, after all, and used to include Chinese, Indians, minstrel men, etc ("hippie" costumes still exist, as do Tony Manaros and Fonzies.) I think there's something here. Are there Halloween songs?


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Wesley S
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 04:25 PM

I checked out MTV's website to see when "The Travelers" will be repeated on " Real Life" . It looks like the show "Real Life" will be on at 7:30 and 11:30 tonight and 6:00 PM and Midnight tomorrow. I'm not positive that it will be that particular episode but I think so. I suspect those are Eastern Standard Times. It's a program worth checking out.


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 05:10 PM

Can't resist. This is a 17th century set of exhortations for a wandering Buddist monk. Change the sex at will. Hobos, pilgrims, wandering monks, what's the difference? Lots of places to get lost and found left in the world ....

"Determined to leave his parents, what does he want to accomplish?
He is a Buddhist, a homeless monk now, and no more a man of the world;
His mind is ever intent on the mastery of the Way.
His conduct is to be as transparent as crystal,
He is not to seek fame and wealth,
He is to rid himself of defilements of all sorts.
He has no other way open to him but to go about, questioning;
Let him be trained in mind and body by walking over mountains and fording rivers;
Let him befriend those wise in the Way and pay them respect wherever he may find them;
Let him brave the snow, tread the frosty roads, not minding the bitter weather;
Let him cross the waves and penetrate the clouds, chasing away dragons and evil spirits.

His iron staff accompanies him wherever he travels and his copper pitcher is ready to receive;
Let him not then be annoyed with the longs and the shorts of worldy affairs,
His friends are those in the community with whom he may consider the Teachings, the Dharma;
Pruning away once and for all the 4 propositions and the 100 negations.

Beware of being led astray by others to no purpose whatever;
Now that you are on the Way your business is to walk the great path,
And not to get attached to the world, but to be rid of all trivialities --
Holding on to the truth as you find it, do not refuse hard work however it comes to you;
Cutting yourself free of all noise and crowds, stop all your cravings and griefs.

Thinking of the one who threw himself down the precipice
and the one who stood all night in the snow, gather up all your strength;
So that you may keep the glory of the Buddha manifest in you all the time,
Be ever studious in pursuit of the Truth, be ever reverential to the Elders,
You are asked to stand the cold and the heat and the privations,
Simply because you have not yet found the house of peace.
Cherish no envious thoughts for worldly prosperity,
Be not depressed because you think you are being slighted;
But endeavour to see directly into your own nature, not depending on others.

Over the 5 lakes and the 4 seas you wander from monastery to monastery,
Walking thousands of miles over hundreds of mountains is no easy task --
May you finally intimately interview the master of the Dharma;
And be led to see into your own nature,
When you will no longer be bound to take the false for the True.


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 07:04 PM

Peter T. how come these 17th century Buddist monks didn't come up with some tunes telling their tales along the path to enlightenment. You know, calling themselves the Buddha Boys or Dharma Ramblers.
Seems like their stories went completely unnoticed.
"I've Got The Monestery Blues" could have been a great hit.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 10:44 AM

Little Neo, they sort of did. The homeless monks (these are the Japanese variety) went around wearing big straw hats and playing the shakuhachi flute -- the classical shakuhachi music is mostly wandering monk music.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: GUEST,L R Mole
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 01:15 PM


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: GUEST,L.R. Mole
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 01:31 PM

Man. What a thread. Oh, if you see the Buddha on the rods...If you pass with Buddha on the blinds...Ask the Buddha what's inside his sack...I'd have about twelve verses if I could find a rhyme for shakuhachi. "Oh, I was riding with the Dharma Bums Good Friday afternoon/ NorEaster blowing the horizon line/I heard the stones were rolling but they sounded out of tune/And a thief said,koan or Cohen;either's fine." Buona Pasqua, y'all.


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 01:42 PM

I'm anxious to see the movie special Art discussed on MTV. I checked and its showing numerous times, like a lot of MTV things. The A&E special was very good too and if you see it on, check it out.

I grew up the son of a railroader. My Dad's entire life was spent (including the WWII years,719th Railway Battalion) on the railroad, Pennsy, Panhandle Division, to be exact. He was a fireman and engineer, and I remember the last days of steam on the Pennsy when he fired an M-1. He was OK with the diesels, and as an engineer had a reputation as a "smooth rider." He died in '73 and one of my most poignant memories was a trip to the roundhouse about a month before his death. He was very weak, but stopped by an engine and began ascending the steps into the cab. I asked him not to wear himself out like that and he turned and said, "Just one last time Son." We sat in the cab of that engine for about 20 minutes as he talked of the various controls, but with long periods of silence while I could only imagine the memories that must be going through his head as he sat with his hand on the throttle lever and stared out the windscreen.

Like other occupations, the railroad gets into your blood I guess. He was a railroader through and through. I'm glad he didn't see what has happened to the roads today. Like the hobo lifestyle, the railroads have changed and the romance of times long past are now just a wonderful, beautiful memories, like the ones I have of him.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 01:58 PM

Thanks for the story Catspaw, that was really beautiful.
I would also like to see the movie special Art was talking about on MTV and the other one you mentioned on A&E.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: BlueJay
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 03:56 PM

'Spaw. You're right, railroading gets in your blood. I worked for the CB&Q for many years. You are also right that railroading has changed DRAMATICALLY. And is getting worse daily from what I've heard. That's why I quit. But while my life has changed, I still kind of miss the old days, banging boxcars together, playing cards, and wild parties at away from home terminals. Though I don't know his face, I have a very clear picture in my mind of your dad. I worked with so many like him. Thanks for your post. BlueJay


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 04:32 PM

Thanks for the fine story, CP. What a memory to have.

We must put the Tavern on a train sometime. You get to drive again.

yours, Peter T. P.S. L.R. Mole: how about Apache?


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 03:47 PM

Up we go - there are more good stories to come I hope.


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 08:20 AM

I was wondering the same thing as McGrath. When all you guys lose your memory with age someone has to pass on the stories of those who rode the rail.
Or will I have to seek out train set hobbiests?

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 08:39 AM

G'day,

Lil' Neo, many thanks for needling us into this thread, you ain't no Neophyte or Neofight - there's a beautiful brain between your ears. BlueJay, LOL for that story. Spaw, Art, Rick, Peter T, et al - thanks too. Never realised there was a "reacreational hobo" movement - sad to hear how it's changed.

Our "downunder" version of the "hobo" was the "swagman" - on the road (rather than the rails) looking for seasonal work, from the 1870s though "THE" Depression, to the 1940s, I guess. I just remember one or two coming in for a "cuppa" when I was a kid - well, in truth, they sat on the verandah (porch).

As well as the classic Aussie "Waltzing Matilda" type songs, and Banjo Paterson and Will Lawson poems/yarns, there were a few equally classic NZ swaggies. "The Shiner", "Barney Whiterats", "Arawata Bill" and Charlie Douglas come to mind. Mind you, the last two weren't really "swaggies".

[Aside] I've just been called out on a "mercy mission" to deliver three "riot packs" (wine casks) to "Bazza", who's suffering withdrawals, and used to be Prof of Classical Music at one of the "Seed-knee" Universities, and plays "Classical" with a ragtime beat. He's related to Norman Lindsay, who did the illustrations for "On Our Selection", from which evolved "Dad & Dave" (C'mon OzCobs pick up, I'm still on-track for the thread). I'm tired, had a couple of whiskys - AND - there's something like 70 "Rusty Nutters" (geriatric bikies = affluent mobile Hobos) on the Island. Catters, if you don't read this, it means I haven't survived the trip. There'll be no Funeral, and "No Flowers by Request", BUT, please sing "Hobo Bill's Last Ride" as my eulogy.

CYA - Sam

_______________________________


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 01:13 PM

I'd really be interested in hearing what you folks think about that film "The Travelers" when it's shown on MTV again...

I had so many mixed emotions while watching it. There were the feelings for all the romance we've added to the mystique of the hobo life COMBINED with the desperation and horror of how these children have lost hold of their lives while grabbing onto a passing freight to try to give substance and meaning---something basic and concrete to their lives---to take the place of everything some of the so-called"normal people" (whatever that is) take for granted like love and home and supportive friends and family ---things they can hold on to and rely on when the BS hits the fan.

Sam, what are the "Seed-Knee" universities ?????

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 03:36 PM

Neo, it's not exactly a hobo song, but if you want a Buddhist folk song you might try Zen Gospel Singing by Mark Graham. Warning: this is not serious.

I think one of the reasons we've seen the changes that Art and BlueJay and others have described (and it's happening on our streets as well as the rails, of course) is a legacy of the "de-institutionalization" movement of the 70s and 80s, under the twin motivations of "humanity" and "economics." No question, there were many people who were locked away in mental institutions unjustly, treated inhumanely, and suffered terribly. But there are also many people who, even with the best treatment, just couldn't function outside the walls. And now, not only are the walls down and their beds gone, but they get little or no treatment at all, so their problems get worse, and the only place for them is jail or the street -- or the road. They are suffering, and we are suffering as well. This isn't the whole source of the problem, but it's a significant part. I don't have an easy answer, but it ain't working now.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 09:17 PM

My first real job was on the railroad--twenty five years ago, and we rarely saw hoboes themselves, but there were always signs that they had been around--

Any of you remember Herbie? He would draw a palm tree, with a sleeping man wearing an oversized hat, signed and dated, on every box car that he traveled in--you seldom saw a freight train without one of his marks on it--there were so many that I tended to think that there was more than one--


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 09:25 PM

Sorry Art, I forgot to define my down-under term. "Seed-knee" is the Aussie city of Sydney, pronounced much as a Sydney-sider would.

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Chris/Darwin
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 01:14 AM

Speaking of Seed-knee, I lived there for a while, and used to go busking at the Paddington markets on Saturday. We found ourselves competing for space with lots of other buskers, some of whom I got to know pretty well.

They were all young, and many travelled the world with their few possessions, picking up enough to live and move on. There were musicians, magicians, jugglers, comedians, from every corner of the globe. They would stay for a while during a tourist season, or the right season for bringing people out, or whatever, and then move on when the season changed. There were Germans, Swedes, Danes, Brits, Americans, you name it. Some had lived that way for 10 years or more.

I have often thought that these are the modern "swaggie" or hobo - living this way mostly by choice rather than necessity, unlike the street kids.

Regards
Chris


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Ely
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 01:30 AM

FTRA is the Freight Train Riders of America, I think. My impression was that it was basically a gang (I think I saw it on the news a couple of years ago).

When I was a kid (not so long ago, I'm afraid) I was pretty sure I wanted to be a hobo when I grew up. I loved trains, I loved to travel, I grew up on "Hobo's Lullaby" and "Wabash Cannonball" and all those. Then reality hit. *sigh*

I think I'd still want to do it if I wasn't pretty sure I'd get killed.


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 04:16 AM

Hi Chris in Darwin,

Thanks, you've picked up exactly what I intended saying when I got side-tracked with my mercy mission for Bazza. The "soul of the hobo" lives on with the buskers and other "travellers" of the modern day. Sure, it's a lot easier now than in the "Jungle Camp" days, with Youth Hostels, "stand-by" rates on planes and other travel etc.

The example I was going to bring up are the German "tradesman carpenters", who must(?) travel the world for a year, at the end of their apprenticeship. Uniform, black jacket, with pearl buttons, knee-length breeks, and a Tyrolean-type hat. I think they're also limited to what "posessions" they can carry in their "swag". The objective is to get a broad range of "work expereince" before they can join their Guild.

Even here on Stewart Is, I've met five in the last 15 years - neat people to talk to, especially about their trade.

Yep, Lil' Neo, the soul of the Hobo lingers on, betcha gotta a bit in your heart, lass...;)

LOL - Sam


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 06:41 AM

Whilst accepting the harsh realities of the 'hobo's' lot, there is still a romantic association with 'riding the freight trains and all that. br>

I speak as one who left home at sixteen, with my guitar over my shoulder, to lead the life of my heroes. I went to Cornwall and had some very interesting adventures but was not too sorry to return again to some home comforts. And unlike many others I encountered, I was very lucky indeed to have somewhere to return to….

Alas the railways, in the UK do not have the same appeal.

We did have 'The Railway Children' though.


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 08:29 AM

Well Billy the Busken Sam, I think you are quite right about the Heart of the Hobo lingering on and I do feel it somewhere there in the crevices of my soul.
Sometimes I think those spots are more like crevasses.
But the most I could ever pull of is a Yuppy version that would make a hobo feel like he was sheltered in a 4 star rated hotel.
I guess I am more of an armchair adventurer type soaking in everyone elses stories and dreaming of the day I plan to finally hit the road.

Little Hobo


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 01:01 PM

I sometimes think that it's not so much times that have changed, it is our attitude toward risk and danger. When I was 22, I spent a lot of time on the open roads, hitch-hiking throughout the US, and in Europe. This was despite admonishments from my parents about traveling thieves and murderers, and from my friends about Southern Rednecks who would cut your throat for the simple fact that you had long hair. Drugs were certainly not absent from that era, nor were the numbers of the desparate and the lost. I, too, was a searcher.

Is the urge to ramble, rootless and unconnected, any different today than it was in my traveling days, or when Art rode the rails? It has never been the safe and sane thing to do, but there has always been a sort of romance and poetry in it, and I suspect there always will.Are there no new frontiers, no new things to be discovered? I know this: When you are 22 ,fearless, and unshackled, the main street of a small town in a new state is filled with wonder, each stranger that you meet is a new story to be told, and the highway is a symbol of high adventure. It is we who sit safe, secure, and domesticated who must, in defense of our own respectability and responsibilities, view the traveling life with suspicion. But many of us still hear its call, and cherish in our hearts the notion that, someday, we might again answer.


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: BlueJay
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 05:06 PM

LEJ- I think Both have changed, the times and the attitude toward risk and danger. Maybe I'm naive, but I think the dangers were substantially less back then. Thirty years ago, I viewed hitch-hiking a very reliable form of free transportation, as long as you had the time to sometimes go slowly toward your destination. It was somewhat risky, but I generally travelled with a friend as a practical matter. Sure never felt any need to carry a concealed weapon, which some people these days so. Sure, I had one or two ugly long-hair vs redneck scenes, but we simply walked away and went to the next town. No "Easy Rider" type stuff.

Society wasn't safe by any means. Those were the days of Ted Bundy. I used to work with a girl who may have been one of his unproven victims. But these were considered bizarre, isolated incidents. Even the drug culture was different. There were few, (in my hazy recollection), reports of violence associated with the distribution of drugs. There was more a spirit of cooperation and enlightenment. I was stunned when reports started coming in about the blatant robberies on "The Hill" in Boulder.

Now the kids are going to want to travel. I still see a few hitch-hiking. I think many, if not most of these kids have decided alternative means, such as the bus, are safer these days. The "Urge For Going" is strong, but these days you need to factor in things like common drive by shootings. I wouldn't feel too safe standing on the Interstate.

As a former railroader, I've always recommended against it as a way to travel. It's bad enough as an employee in a comfortable cab being stuck in a siding for six to twelve hours in 100+ or 10 below temperatures. The walls of a steel boxcar magnify that considerably. Sorry, didn't mean to write a book here. BlueJay


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 05:38 PM

Sublime to the ridiculous time, I suppose:

Many people interchange the words "Hobo", "Tramp", and "Bum". The best clarification I ever saw of the difference was the following:

A Hobo will work, and move on.

A Tramp will bum, and move on.

A Bum will just bum.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: BlueJay
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 05:59 PM

Good distinction, Doesterr. I've seen all three riding the rails. The main common theme is that they are all usually dehydrated! BlueJay


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Subject: RE: Have we lost living Hobo Heart & Soul?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 02:05 PM

refresh

Where is Little Neophyte now? Hasn't been here lately at all.

Art


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