The Hobo Minstrel

The Hobo Minstrel


Did you think Hoboes were ancient

    No way! ! ! !   Many are still
traveling the country, and enjoying life on the open road as rail riding
Hoboes.  Many, also, travel as what are known as "Rubber Tramps."  These "Rubber
Tramps" roam the United States much as the old time Hoboes did except that they
travel in vehicles.

Are "Rubber Tramps" really

    You bet your bippy they are.  With the
speed of trains today many older Boes find it very hard to deck moving trains. 
Travel by road is a good alternative way to still live the independent Hobo


    Just hopping freights doesn't make one
a Hobo.  Tramps, bums, yeggs, criminals and some just plain no goods also ride
the rails.

Is there a

    About as much difference as there is
between boys and girls.  The Hoboes have always tried to explain the difference
with the following;

A Hobo is a person that travels to

A tramp is a
person that travels and wont work.

A bum is a person that will neither travel or

    Hoboes are noted for their
desire to travel and, especially their desire for independence.  They work and
earn to support themselves but don't care for staying in the same place year
after year to do this.  They want to see different places, do different things,
and enjoy life without being tied to one place, one type of work, or to having
to live a certain way because everybody else does.

"The Hobo Society"

    Hoboes may travel alone or occasionally
with a few others for a period of time but, regardless of this, they are a close
knit group of people.  There are many Hobo Gatherings throughout the country where Hoboes congregate for a short period of time.  At these "jungle"
gatherings they get to visit with old friends and meet new friends.  They swap
stories, songs, poems and, maybe, even an occasional lie or two.  At the close
of the gathering they each head out in their own direction and do their

    I attended such a Gathering in
September of 1999, as I tried to do every year while it was still being held. 
It was held in Pennsburg, PA and was hosted by my good friends "Redbird Express" and Keystone Bob.   There were sixty seven of us there despite hurricane Floyd which gave us high winds and rain.  Every day we were visited by many townsfolk and other travelers.  A real mixed gathering of folk from a surgeon and a Ph.D. to older, retired Hoboes. 
(In 2003 Redbird decided
to take life a bit easier and discontinued this annual Gathering which many of
us have such great memories of.)

"The Latest In The Hobo Minstrel


   At the risk of filling you all with envy I thought
I should give you a peek at my latest Great Grandson., Owen.  Handsome kid, aint
he?  Of course, right now, he has less hair then great granddad but let's face
it.  His is  growing as fast as mine is dissapearing so pretty soon he'll have
me beat.  Eat Your Hearts Out!



If anyone has a story of the Hobo Minstrel, please forward it to so that we can share it with the world.