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KaBar

Hobos, Tramps and Homeless Bums

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Thanks for the kind words, Swordfish Meatloaf. It kind of freaks me out a little that this thread has run for so long. My goal was always trying to educate young people who were dead-set on catching out already, so they wouldn't make as many mistakes. After so many years, almost certainly the young kids of 2001 have gone on to become the old heads of 2015, and I hope they have been teaching the new kids they run across the proper way to ride trains and how to live a free hobo life as a decent human being. The Rules are simple, if only people would follow them they would be 100% safer.

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Stretch, never met him but I'll meet you at the division point where the cold beer flows. We'll head to the Rainbow bridge and give Burl Dog a good belly rub before heading to beaches of white sand. Rise In Power hobo.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. Thank you for this thread Kabar. It kept me alive and safe on the rails. I have passed it along as best I could and refused a couple of kids a ride with me because they wouldn't listen. The tradition is still being handed down, just in a new form. Come have a beer with me.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. Thank you for this thread Kabar. It kept me alive and safe on the rails. I have passed it along as best I could and refused a couple of kids a ride with me because they wouldn't listen. The tradition is still being handed down, just in a new form. Come have a beer with me.

 

Brother, I'd love to. I've got 238 days to go, and I'm hoping to strike off these slave chains and catch the first thing smokin'.

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Just watched that Hobo doc posted up the stack. Why am I just now learning that a fire in the boxcar is an option? That would have come in handy but I was too worried abut laying low :)

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Anybody who builds a fire in a rolling boxcar, or who uses a fusee to heat water or cook in a rolling boxcar is taking a huge risk. Any bright light in a boxcar with open doors lights up the doorways like the Fourth of July. A fire would almost certainly trip a hotbox alarm trackside if it burned for very long, not to mention a boxcar rolling down the track pouring smoke out the doors.

 

Bad idea. I've never done it and I certainly don't recommend it. But, you know, people do all kinds of crazy shit and get away with it!

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Hey ya all.So I have been off the road for awhile but keeping track on another site.The one thing I have noticed is the attitude among the newer rides.How did vandalizing units become the cool kid thing to do.I love me some rolling art,but cutting patches outta seats and other acts I am not going into here become the norm.Sorry for the gripe first post.Whats been bouncing about in my head some lately.

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arty101-- I agree with you completely, vandalizing any part of railroad property is just completely uncool. It is like a pebble being thrown into a pool--the consequences go out farther and farther from the initial act. In years past, the railies and train crews were almost always friendly to tramps, but with people deliberately destroying shit on units and stealing shit it is becoming rarer and rarer to find a sympathetic railie. The train crews ESPECIALLY resent vandalism of the units, so much so that the only sane thing for tramps to do is make possession of a cut-out seat "patch" a punishable offense.

 

These people who thrash units don't give a shit about anybody but themselves. They see themselves as outlaws and "fuck everybody else." Since they don't give a shit about the rest of us, then I think we should "don't give a shit" about THEM. THEY ARE MAKING THE RAILROAD WORKERS HATE US. I absolutely cannot understand why anybody would be so fucking stupid as to vandalize a unit. You want to hit rusty-ass boxcars and grainers and shit, be my guest. BUT UNITS ARE OFF-LIMITS.

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The word "bum" is an insult, EUCN. You probably don't know that though. "Tramps" is okay. "Hobos" is okay. "Bums" is fightin' words. Be cautious calling a trainhopper a bum. It's not cool, but I'm sure you meant no disrespect.

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Sitting out at the picnic table at work this morning and heard a CSX headed toward Terra Haute air up. I haven't wanted to quit that bad in a while.

I hear ya, babe. Just not today. Soon, but not today.

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Rolling Nowhere! How ya been, tramp? Long time no see.

Alive. Mostly haha. Trying to get motivated to go ride trains for awhile because Im bored and not doing anything particularly worth while. I also live right next to a signal where a ton of trains stop on the mainline. So I get to listen to them stop n go all day and night taunting me. I can hear one rolling by right now.

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John “Stretch” Wilson

 

2008 National Hobo King, Rail-riding Expert, End-to-End Leash

 

Companion with Burlington Dog, Crumb Boss Time and Again,

 

Friend to Hundreds across the USA, and Towering Jack-of-Many-Trades

 

with a Heart of Gold will be buried in Britt, Iowa during the 116th National

 

Hobo Convention. Plans are as follows:

 

 

Monday, August 10 to Wednesday, August 12 - Friends may sign the container in which Stretch’s remains will be placed for burial. Please see Connecticut Tootsie

 

 

Friday, August 12 @ 9:00 AM - The container holding Stretch’s ashes will be at his headstone and honored with all other westbound hobos at the Hobo Memorial Service in Evergreen Cemetery.

 

 

Saturday, August 13 @ 2:45 PM – All are welcome to attend the Christian Burial Service for Stretch at the National Hobo Cemetery. Later that afternoon, Stretch will be remembered during the 4:00 PM Mass at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, 2343 Navy Avenue in Duncan, Iowa. This is five minutes from Britt, just off Route 18.

 

Connecticut Tootsie

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We buried Stretch Wilson on Saturday, August 14, 2016. As per our agreement with his mother, he received a Catholic burial service (performed by the Catholic priest from St. Weneslas' Church in Duncan, Iowa, five miles east of Britt.) He also received a traditional tramp burial. We wet down the grave and the urn with warm Beast Ice and closed the grave by each tramp present dropping hand-fulls of dirt into the grave. Indiana Hobo, Tattoo Slim and I dug the grave on Friday and we finished closing it on Saturday after everybody who wanted to do so got an opportunity to contribute a handful of dirt. There were about fifty tramps in attendance, pretty much every tramp that knew Stretch and could get to Britt. It was a good funeral. I also attended the Catholic mass said in his honor, along with about ten tramps from the crowd at the graveside service.

 

I figure my bro Stretch is hanging out in a jungle in the Great Beyond with Burlington by his side, tipping a couple of Milwaukee's Best Ice and having a good laugh at our expense. Ride easy, brother.

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The word "bum" is an insult, EUCN. You probably don't know that though. "Tramps" is okay. "Hobos" is okay. "Bums" is fightin' words. Be cautious calling a trainhopper a bum. It's not cool, but I'm sure you meant no disrespect.

 

Correct and I apologize.

 

Last night in the bench as I walked into the same bench a woman was yelling rape. I simply walked away as several people came over and talked about how she had been yelling for a while. There appeared to be no one else in the yard and shortly there after a couple cop cars raided the parking lot. Luckily I was on foot far away when they got there.

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Correct and I apologize.

 

Last night in the bench as I walked into the same bench a woman was yelling rape. I simply walked away as several people came over and talked about how she had been yelling for a while. There appeared to be no one else in the yard and shortly there after a couple cop cars raided the parking lot. Luckily I was on foot far away when they got there.

 

There are a lot of disturbed people who are homeless and/or riding trains. There is a distinct dichotomy between people who have made "being homeless" a sort of career and true rail riding tramps. There is somewhat of a "crossover" between true rail riding tramps and rubber tramps, especially between train riders and the hard-core "van dwellers" (also spelled "vandwellers" by some people.) As tramps get older, the thrill of riding the rails loses a lot of its allure, but the freewheeling lifestyle does not. Not too many of the down-and-out "homeless careerists" ever make the jump to a somewhat more normal lifestyle. A large percentage of the homeless are mentally ill and they are self-medicating their mental illness symptoms with street drugs and alcohol. Once addicted, it's really difficult for them to make the change back to a more-or-less normal life.

 

If you thought that the woman yelling rape was an actual rape victim, then you should get her some help, call the cops, whatever you can do. One of the biggest problems for homeless people is that the police hardly ever take the crimes committed against them seriously. It's entirely possible that the woman you saw actually was raped, but the conditions she persists on living in make criminal actions against her awfully likely. (Not that that makes any difference morally or legally. Legally she should be accorded the exact same care as a wealthy person from the rich side of town, but realistically? Realistically, if she gets blackout drunk every day of her life, or shoots up heroin, or works part time as a hooker, the cops are not going to take her claims very seriously.

 

She might have been raped twenty years ago and is still traumatized over it. There's no way for you to know if she was actually raped or if she is some lunatic borderline trying to get attention. I'm glad somebody called the cops to get her some help.

 

I wouldn't be a police officer for anything. What a fucked up job. Tons of danger, tons of responsibility, tons of vulnerability and the pay pretty much sucks, not to mention everybody in society resents you. What a lousy job.

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John Wilson - Stretch was a good friend of mine . Very grateful I got to know and call him a friend . He will be missed . Tattoo Slim is a stand up dude . Spent some time in the yards with those two - learning experience

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John Wilson - Stretch was a good friend of mine . Very grateful I got to know and call him a friend . He will be missed . Tattoo Slim is a stand up dude . Spent some time in the yards with those two - learning experience

 

Yeah, I'm missing Stretch and Burlington too. And you are absolutely correct, Tattoo Slim *is* a stand up tramp. He was the guy who was bringing Stretch food and water towards the end. I can't understand why Stretch didn't take better care of himself.

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