"Hobos" Good or Bad or Dont Care

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by who_dat73, Sep 21, 2005.

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Are the Hobos a part of the RR life history or should they be run out of every city o

  1. I think hobos are ok and just part of RR life

    58.6%
  2. I think hobos are bums thieves and good for nothings

    20.7%
  3. I think hobos are part of RR life but are a danger to the RR community

    20.7%
  4. I think hobos are good for the RR to help spot trouble in the yards and trains

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

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    Hi everybody I have been doing a lot of reading since I got into the Modeling thing and have gotten bit by the real railroad bug. Through this I have found a lot of information on Hobos. Now I would be the first to say some are and were in the past down right thieves but in the true Hobo community "yeggs" thieves were shunned. A true Hobo lived life by a code of conduct, worked for what he got evin if it meant picking up dog doo in the front yard for a meal if he couldnt find work to make a straight wage. My question is what do yall think of Hobo's then and now as there are still many who ride the rails today. I have been to the National Hobo Convetion in Britt Iowa and I must say that all in all they are a nice group of people as the case may be. Some like I said are on the outskirts of human world but I know a few Quote average Joes that are that way also.
    My personal opinion is yes they are breaking the law hopping trains but what the hey who of us havnt been know to bend the rules at times to enjoy life that we love. From all the things I have read and learned from them they are good moral people that just like to be free to watch the world go bye from a seat in a RR car and wouldnt do a thing to harm the RR that they love so much.
    But drop a line and lets see what yall think.[​IMG]
  2. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

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    The man who headed the comunity I lived in for three years in Nevada was a brakeman by trade and he often told about sharing his lunch with hobos when he found them, and making sure they were as safe and comfortable as possable. He was a great judge of charachter, and if they were OK with him, I don't see how I could think any less of them.
  3. Wabash Banks

    Wabash Banks Member

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    One of my biggest regrets from my youth was that I didn't hop a freight car to Seattle when I was single and had the chance. Of all the things I have passed up doing, this one is a real regret.
  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    First hobos had their code that they live by..'Bos would share information on where the handouts was good and where the bulls-both railroad and city police was hostile toward Bos.
    These shunter's of work was smart in their trade.They knew which trains to hop and above all knew how to "nail"a drag safely after all selling pencils wasn't a 'Bos way of life.The jungle was usually protected by a bully that would ensure that trouble,thievery and that all added to the mulligan before they was allow to eat.Mulligan was made up of vegetables "acquire fresh from a Farmer's field or a garden and meats such as turkey or chicken usually came from a farmers chicken coop or rail shipment,turkey was had by the same means. Pies and cakes -a rare treat-usually came from a house wife's window,restaurant or bakery.Odd how these wanderer's of the rails could survive in hard times far better then those that they stole from.

    Hobo's mediation
    Jimmy Rodgers

    Tonight as I lay on the boxcar
    Just waiting for a train to pass by
    What will become of the hobo
    When his time comes to die
    There's a Master up yonder in heaven
    Got a place that we might call our home
    Will we have to work for a living
    Or can we continue to roam

    Will there be any freight trains in heaven
    Any boxcars in which we might hide
    Will there by any tough cops or brakemen
    Will they tell us that we cannot ride


    Will the hobo chum with the rich man
    Will we always have money to spare
    Will they have respect for the hobo
    In that land that lies up there
  5. railohio

    railohio Active Member

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    I think hobos are bums thieves and good for nothings

    Trespassing is trespassing is trespassing. Being on railroad property (not to mention equipment) is breaking the law itself, not to mention anything else they may have done in their lives.
  6. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

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    i can see the adventure side of it, but not a life style I owuld want to lead or live. mind you i have hitch hiked in canada and the usa so i guess it not much different.
    but hopping a train does seem like fun but it is a good way to get hurt and you do not always know where the train is going
  7. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    Train-hopping is high adventure, sure, but it has its dangers. An acquaintance of mine found that out the hard way when she slipped off a car she was trying to catch and had the next set of trucks run over her shins--severed both feet.

    I suppose if you're okay with danger, or don't have much option, it's okay, but frankly, I'd rather buy my ticket. Riding coach on Amtrak is a great deal safer, faster and cleaner and you still get a great view...
  8. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

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    It's interesting to see the different viewpoints expressed here. It doesn't seem to me, though, that the object of the poll is to find out if WE are hoboes or not; it's just to get our views on the hobo life. I voted the top choice, but that doesn't mean I don't realize the illegalities of the situation, or would want to live that life myself. Oh well, I think this is one of the more interesting polls we've had here.
  9. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

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    Ok time to put my two cents in. First thanks for all that are responding second I kinda go with a all of the above options in the poll so I kinda cancel myself out LOL.
    dave Wondering what a Feriontaligist or whatever that is is :confused:
    cant look back retreve it or I lose what I type so pardon the spelling
    But agin thanks to all yall that are responding I respect all your opinins and views.
    To any of you that do train hop be carefull and enjoy the ride.:)
  10. railohio

    railohio Active Member

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    Feroequineologst = one who studies the iron horse
  11. NewGuy

    NewGuy Member

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    My thoughts

    If they really want to ride the rails, fine I suppose. Although there have been instances where they messed with equipement and hurt people. In one such case, before we had two way capable communications with ETDs, there was a large derailment near Sprague Lake in Washington State. It was determined after the investigation that about 10 cars back, a 'hobo' had closed an angle cock on a car, thus resulting in loss of braking power on the rear 100 loaded grain cars. The train could not slow down coming down the hill and hit a curve rated at 45 mph doing well over 80 mph. Needless to say, there was a large derailment. Fortunately, no railroad employees died that I am aware of, however the hobo's body was found in the wreckage. This may be one of the main reasons that this type of conduct is policed so heavily, along with the 9/11 awareness. Had that train been loaded with HAZMAT, it could have proved much worse.

    JD
  12. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

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    Sure you did, they were going down the track. :D
    If you knew where the track went, you were pretty confident that that is where the train was going. Very few trains went "cross country", most followed the tracks. :D
  13. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    My favorite argument about this is:
    Playing "Devil's Advocate " here - How many times have any or all of us broken federal laws.. (Exceeding the posted speed limit on an interstate highway) Remember this the next time you go 3 miles over the speed limit!!
    ~~~~ and "Everyone else is doing it" is not a viable reason to a judge!! :D :D

    Further.... How many times have any or all of us walked along a railline (on the stones - to get that one cool picture) :) :)

    I think I've done both a "couple of times" :D :D
  14. railohio

    railohio Active Member

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    Nothing we've done has been glorified in American folklore for generations, either. The point here is that the concept of "riding the rails" is glorified in society when it's really nothing more than breaking the law. Granted, there are criminals and villians in history that have been glorified (Bonnie & Clyde, etc., etc.) but they were never portrayed as 'harmless' or 'just in fun' like this.
  15. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    Well Said! :) :)
  16. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

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    But at the same time the modern Bo's also live in this post 9/11 world and keep a eye open to anything that might be considered suspicious that they might get a bad rap for. Also many of the old time bo's were former RR employes themselfs "my Gramps included" so if somthing like that did happen it mighthave jusp been a unfortanate mistep or accidental hand hold, have any accidents happened by emp. error?? But I do understand your point:thumb:
  17. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

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    I Respect your view Brakie but this is the code I was refering to.
    Knew it was out there just had to find it agine


    First hobos had their code that they live by..'Bos would share information on where the handouts was good and where the bulls-both railroad and city police was hostile toward Bos.
    These shunter's of work was smart in their trade.They knew which trains to hop and above all knew how to "nail"a drag safely after all selling pencils wasn't a 'Bos way of life.The jungle was usually protected by a bully that would ensure that trouble,thievery and that all added to the mulligan before they was allow to eat.Mulligan was made up of vegetables "acquire fresh from a Farmer's field or a garden and meats such as turkey or chicken usually came from a farmers chicken coop or rail shipment,turkey was had by the same means. Pies and cakes -a rare treat-usually came from a house wife's window,restaurant or bakery.Odd how these wanderer's of the rails could survive in hard times far better then those that they stole from.

    Hobo Code















    [font=Arial, Helvetica]
    As inscribed in the Annual Convention Congress of the Hoboes of America held on August 8, 1894 at the Hotel Alden, 917 Market St., Chicago Illinois; ​


















    1.-Decide your own life, don't let another person run or rule you. ​

    2.-When in town, always respect the local law and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times.

    3.-Don't take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals or other hobos.

    4.-Always try to find work, even if temporary, and always seek out jobs nobody wants. By doing so you not only help a business along, but insure employment should you return to that town again.

    5.-When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts.

    6.-Do not allow yourself to become a stupid drunk and set a bad example for locals treatment of other hobos.

    7.-When jungling in town, respect handouts, do not wear them out, another hobo will be coming along who will need them as bad, if not worse than you.

    8.-Always respect nature, do not leave garbage where you are jungling.

    9.-If in a community jungle, always pitch in and help.

    10.-Try to stay clean, and boil up wherever possible.

    11.-When traveling, ride your train respectfully, take no personal chances, cause no problems with the operating crew or host railroad, act like an extra crew member.

    12.-Do not cause problems in a train yard, Another hobo will be coming along who will need passage thru that yard.

    13.-Do not allow other hobos to molest children, expose to authorities all molesters, they are the worst garbage to infest any society.

    14.-Help all runaway children, and try to induce them to return home.

    15.-Help your fellow hobos whenever and wherever needed, you may need their help someday.

    16.-If present at a hobo court and you have testimony, give it, whether for or against the accused, your voice counts!

    [/font]
  18. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

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    I'd always heard about a Hobo Code, but this is the first time I've ever seen it in print. A great find! Thanks a lot.
  19. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Sorry,I don't think that is the real hobo's code because 'Bos had to live off the land if all else failed.Remember these 'B0s WAS NOT WELCOME in any city,town or village nor was they welcome passengers of trains be it in a freight car or passenger train.The hey day of the hobo was during the great depression.
    To prove my point ask yourself this basic question..
    You arrived in the jungle,tired,broke and hungry.The camp bully says you can't eat unless YOU add to the mulligan..So,Are you going to go hungry or will you make a raid on a farm and bring back some Hopkins for the stew? There is no work and the local citizens and police is hostile toward bums panhandling.What would you do? :confused:
  20. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

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    I will agree with you there Brakie I cant say they wouldnt steal heck anybody if they are hungry enuf will do just about anything to eat.
    But in all my study they were good hard working people that would do anything they could to earn somthing to eat.
    But at the same time some were just BUMS and TRAMPS that wouldnt do anything but welch off others or steal.
    The term Hobo comes from the fact that after the Civil War they would walk with a hoe from farm to farm weeding fields or gardems for food so they were called Hoe Boys they took offence to the boy part and after a while it became hobo that is one way it came about.
    The actual terms for the rail riders were
    Hobos
    Travel to work
    Tramps travel and wont work
    Bums wont do any of the above
    The traveling working man actully despised the bums and tramps and actully Tramps were prefered to have a seperate jungle because the Bo's didnt respect them for welching off socity.
    See that is were Hobos got a bad rap they were thrown in the same blob with the Tramps and Bums...