North Bank Fred, described in the New York Times as "[p]erhaps the most well-known recreational hobo," runs a website that's packed with fascinating photographs and stories of the life on the rails. Want to know more about nomadic rail ways? Then let's visit the The Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture, "preserves and promotes railroad culture by documenting and furthering the art, music, literature, community, and work of those who, historically and in modern times, travel or work on the railroads of North America." [more inside]
Every year since 1900, Britt, Iowa, has played host to the National Hobo Convention. In 2008, CBS sent a camera crew. The main event at the four day convention is selecting the Hobo King and Queen. Meanwhile, no one knows where the word 'hobo' originally came from.
Hobo Wedding : "On Memorial Day weekend 2011, my groom and I joined hands, entwined bootlaces and shared a single bean in matrimony at what very well may be the first hobo-themed wedding. We invited our friends and family to share in our happiest of days, wear their shabbiest, drink moonshine, eat their fill of BBQ and pie, dance to a live jug band and howl at the moon."
Hobo Lobo of Hamelin is a thing by a dude, who’s all like, “I’m Gonna Make a Thing.” And then he did. Or is doing. Or, you know, whatever. This dude can be found on the internet. He websites to put food on his family. A wonderfully crafted and designed illustrated book for the digital age.
Just hopping freights doesn't make one a Hobo. Tramps, bums, yeggs, criminals and some just plain no goods also ride the rails.
A Hobo is a person that travels to work. A tramp is a person that travels and won't work. A bum is a person that will neither travel or work.Folklore abounds with the irresistible pull or joys of the freight hopping lifestyle: "it'll get in your blood. You're not agoing anywhere. You don't care. You just ride.". The largest hobo population was probably during the Great Depression. There are fewer freight-hoppers and hobos today (around 20,000) than there were in its heyday (over 500,000), mostly because the high speed of trains today makes it dangerous to hop on and off the train. Still, there's no better way to see the world than from the top of a freight train. [more inside]
Crusty Punks in Tompkins Square Park, tell stories of their sometimes dangerous lives on the highways and trains, in rehabs and unconventional families of America.
Big Rock Candy Mountain is just a wonderful little song. I don't know many hobo tunes, but this one gets stuck in my head from time to time. It has been covered by Burl Ives, a drunken Tom Waits, and then was reworked as the theme song to the amazingly awesome animated TV show that is The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.
We've covered hobo culture before, both historic and modern, but as the story of Smashley and Stogie reveals, the lifestyle of the railway traveler still exists not only for weekend adventurers but as a means of escape for troubled souls. (via)
"I am staggered and embarrassed at what you have written, and firmly believe you should be banned from writing professionally in the UK, especially when i read some of the apalling bands you give good reviews to." The NME reviews Seasick Steve - in the literal sense.
There had been hobos in the United States since there had been trains and liquor. Which is to say, always. [Semi-SLYT] [more inside]
A State Street Family Album - State Street in Madison, Wisconsin is a half mile link between the Capitol dome and the campus of the University of Wisconsin. Tree lined, traffic restricted, shops of all manner, State Street represents an almost picture postcard ideal. It is also home to the Family. In the 30's they might have ridden the rails, now they are hanging out in the Peace Park. Glenn Austin has documented their community.
A hobo is a man of the world, who travels to see and observe and then shares those views with others.
Steam Train Maury caught the Westbound home. The brakemen have to tip their hats and the railroad bulls are blind and you won't find no policemen there.
Long for the lonely whistle and the curving rail? The documentary Catching Out expands on the fascinating world of hobos and freighthoppers as previously pointed out on MeFi. Of course, for those interested, there's the usual wealth of resources. Hell, you can even play the game.
The hoboes' time has come. Inspired by John Hodgman's book "The Areas Of My Expertise," The 700 Hoboes Project gathers pictures of hoboes. Some are better than others.
Warchalking Collaboratively creating a hobo-language for free wireless networking. Here is the first draft of a warchalking symbol card. [via Boing Boing]