You have accessed a site that can give you a vast amount of information about The American Hoboes, past and present. If you pay close attention to the various links that are available, and use them, the Hobo information you can find is almost unlimited. Hobo History, music, poetry, biographies, etc, etc, etc. If you can't find what you want, email me through the email link at the bottom of this page and I may be able to help. Many people think that Hoboes are ancient history but a look at "The Grapevine Page' will show you that today's Hoboes are very active. Early each year I start posting the dates of Hobo gatherings on the "Hobo Gatherings Page". A visit to one of these gatherings will give you a chance to meet, and get to know, Hoboes who are traveling and active today. We are not homeless, lazy bums as many tales of Hobo life seem to portray us, We are a freedom loving people who elect to live the life we enjoy instead of docily accepting the dictates of what others seem to think is the proper way to live. Today, as I'm a teeny bit past my prime, I spend my days in the State of New Hampshire which I think has a wonderful State Motto;
"Live Free Or Die"
My book, "The American Hoboes", (Riders of the Rails) gives a broad view of Hobo history, past and present ia available through this site or at my personal appearances.
For information on "The
American Hoboes" (Riders of the Rails) use
the folowing email address
or use the book limk shown below.
Other books, by Hobo writers, are available
through links on the "Hobo Links" page.
I don't care if you're a friend, student, educator, customer, Hobo, media person, or even one of my kids. I will not read your email unless it's in standard email form. I cannot be forever cleaning viruses out of my computer and don't want to lose a hard drive, or a whole computer, because people are too damned lazy to send their email right. If you write me, and don't receive an answer, chances are it's because you sent it wrong.
I think I made a bit of a boo boo when I designed this page. Many people who log in don't seem to know that Fran is "The Hobo Minstrel" so they don't realize that all of the links to The Hobo Minstrel, on the HoboLinks page, lead to information about myself and my tapes, CDs and book. I'll add links here too so anyone wanting to know about these things can get the information right away. I don't want to be accused of playing on people's sympathy but I'm getting, old, sickly, decrepit, and need food and medicines so the more of these items you buy the better off I'll be and I may not even have to apply for food stamps.
Help the Elderly.
As soon as you finish this
whole page you can go to one of these links and buy to your hearts content.
Before you get into the Hobo history, and other interesting things available on, and through, this site I'd like to tell everyone about my new CDs. After much hard work, diligent application. and lots and lots of cursing I finally managed to convert my two Hobo cassettes to CDs. Most of what's on the cassettes is now on this two CD set and I've even managed to add a couple of old Hobo songs that I had forgotten to record before. These CDs contain, besides 39 old Hobo songs and poetry, dialogue telling something about the Hoboes and their history. Unlike the cassettes this history is after each song or poem, at the end of the tracks, and, after you know it by heart, you can skip these parts by changing tracks when it starts. For use in classrooms the CDs can be played completely and the students can learn about the Hoboes while enjoying my sweet dulcet tones. (Uh huh, I have a great bridge in Brooklyn, NY York for sale too.) Seriously, I think anyone interested in Hoboes, and their history, will really enjoy these CDs. Information about tapes, CDs and my book can be had by using the links below or e-mailing me from one of the many e-mail links on this site. Thank you for your attention. I am
Great Grand Hobo Duke of Cyber Space
Use this link to check on "The
Hobo Minstrel" Cassettes and CDs!
Use this link to check on "The Hobo Minstrel" Book!
To access and print an order form use this Order Form link.
Here are some links to other pages on this
Using these links you will have the opportunity to examine some of the most informative,
and interesting, pages of Hobo life, past and present, that are available on the internet.
Link to Books, CDs & Cassettes
by " The Hobo Minstrels"
I am looking for folk, to communicate with, that are interested in American Hoboes and Hobo History. I have a fine collection of Hobo songs, poems, signs and history. Also, in my computer gadget, I have graphic pictures of some of today's active Hoboes and Hobo Kings and Queens.
I operate and maintain this "Hobo Site" mainly to keep people aware of the Hobo Community, past and present, and to try to further the knowledge of Hobo History. As you look through the various pages and sites connected by links you will find much information about the American Hoboes, and some about railroads although I tend to lean basically toward Hobo news and information.
The Grapevine and Gatherings pages are dedicated mainly to keeping today's Hobo community aware of what's happening with some of our Hobo friends and letting everyone know about the various Hobo Gatherings planned across the country.
Anyone having questions about Hoboes of yesterday, or today are welcome to contact me. If I can't answer your questions I can post them on the Grapevine Page. That page is monitored by many Hoboes, old and young, so there is a large amount of Hobo news and history available to be tapped into.
Some may find it hard to believe but many of my Hobo friends, who are still actively living the Hobo life, have access to computers and correspond through e-mail. Why not? Don't make the mistake that some people in the world make, that Hoboes are ignorant, uneducated persons just because they prefer a different, more independent, lifestyle. Basically Hoboes are not much different than other people except that they have the guts to live the way they enjoy. Many times I've heard people say, "Gee, I wish I could do that." My reply is that, "You can". For a better understanding of Hoboes read the material below.
For snail mail write to:
"The Hobo Minstrel"
Plymouth, NH 03264
Did you think Hoboes were ancient history?
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 Hoboes?
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 life.
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 difference?
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
A tramp is a person that travels and wont work.
A bum is a person that will neither travel or work.
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 thing.
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.)
Pictured; Most of those signed in at the
11th Annual East Coast Hobo Gathering
September 2002 - - - - Pennsburg, PA