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flatcar

Roadhog is riding the Westbound

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Road Hog U. S. A., the 1992 Hobo King, Caught the Westbound today 1/13/11 at 1:15

p.m. He went quickly and peacefully in the VA Hospital in Reno, NV. His best

friend, Ken Lafferty, was with him at the time.

 

Connecticut Shorty

 

Once again the hobo family has lost a true friend and great ambassador, Road Hog,

U.S.A., the 1992 National Hobo King. He has caught the westbound but he left us

with wonderful memories.

Rest in peace, dear friend, Road Hog, U.S.A. You will truly be missed by your hobo

family.

 

God Bless, Mama Jo

 

I remember Roadhog as my first host at a gathering. He was the caretaker at the Dunsmuir cemetary and he hada dog named Lobo who would chew rocks. he made me feel welcome and opened his little house to me even though I was a total stranger.

 

Flatcar

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Boys, we have lost a great brother in Road Hog U.S.A. I mourn the passing of yet another of the old timers. I fear we will never see their like again.

 

 

Of all the old time rail-riding tramps I have known, I think Road Hog most embodied the true hobo spirit. Many others had similar ideals and principles, and I don't wish to take anything away from life-long tramps like Cardboard or Mountain Dew or Lord Open Road, but Road Hog was one of the most generous and honorable men I have ever known. He really did care very little for material possessions and would give you half of anything he had if you had nothing. I did not know Road Hog well. I met him up at Britt, but every time I saw him he greeted me like I was an an old friend. I traded him a home-made banjo for a priceless walking stick signed by a score of deceased Hobo Kings and tramps. He used the banjo to busk on the street corner to make a few bucks. The walking stick was one he used every day. I placed the walking stick in the Rosenberg Railroad Museum-- it's a piece of gear far too rare to be just in my personal possession.

 

One of my favorite stories about Road Hog is about the time he robbed a bank in Florida.

 

He was in Miami, sleeping on the beach, and got arrested for vagrancy (the crime of having no money) by the Miami police. He asked the cops to let him roll up his gear and his bindle and bring it with him, but they refused. He said "Officer, you don't understand. That gear is everything on earth that I own. Please, let me roll up and put my gear in the Property room until I get out." But the cop said no. They took him to jail.

 

Two weeks later, Road Hog was released and he returned to the beach, but of course, his gear was long gone. He told me he sat there on the beach, and the longer he sat there, the angrier he became. Finally, he got up and started looking in trash cans for a paper bag. Then he started looking for a bank. He found one, went in, got a deposit slip, and wrote on the back "This is a robbery. Please give me all the money." He waited politely in line and when he got to the teller, he handed her the note and a brown paper grocery bag. She read the note, took one look at Road Hog in his ratty Salvation Army clothes, and filled up the bag with the contents of her cash drawer, several thousand dollars. He walked out of the bank.

 

When he hit the street, a city bus was just pulling to a stop on the corner. He walked straight onto the bus, took a seat and rode for about fifteen minutes. He got off, and saw a taxicab, which he flagged down and boarded. "Where to?" asked the driver. Road Hog said "I like cheap bars. Do you know of a good one?" "Sure, Pop," says the driver. As they were driving along, a radio call came over the taxi radio about a bank robbery, describing Road Hog and telling all drivers to be on the lookout. "Say, Pop, that sounds just like you!" says the driver, as they pulled to a stop at the bar. Road Hog reaches into his brown paper bag and produced several hundred dollars. "Will this cover my fare?" he asks. "Pop, I never saw nothing!" the cabbie says.

 

Road Hog goes in the bar, and tells the bartender, "Sir, I have recently come into a bit of money, sort of a windfall, and I'd like to celebrate by buying the house couple of rounds." He opens the bag and shows the bartender the money. "Set 'em up, and keep 'em coming. Here's a tip," handing he bartender a hundred dollar bill. "Yes SIR," says the bartender. Word began to spread on the street, and shortly thereafter, half the neighborhood is in the bar throwing back drinks and congratulating Road Hog on his windfall. A couple of hours later, the police show up.

 

He got arrested, of course, but not after giving away or spending most of the money. He told me "I didn't take time to count it. I didn't think I'd be on the loose very long, so I just got rid of the money as fast as I could."

 

When he got to court, he insisted on testifying, and he told the judge the story about the police refusing to allow him to roll up his gear. "Society's police officers robbed me, your Honor, so I robbed the bank. I'm sorry. It was wrong of me, but now I figure we're even." The judge sentenced him to five years in the Federal penitentiary. He served two-and-a-half. I asked him "What was prison like?" He said "It was a nice vacation. I took a shower every single day. And the food was pretty good." He wasn't angry or resentful at all about being sent to prison. "Hey, I did it, so I had a stretch in the joint coming. I knew I was probably going to go to jail when I robbed the bank."

 

Road Hog was fond of saying "I've had a good life. A thousand jobs and a thousand jails---it's been very entertaining."

 

God bless you, brother Road Hog and may you rest in peace. They broke the mold when they made you, buddy.

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Roadhog's remains will be interred in Britt this August. Please join us in paying our respects to a true Gentleman of the Rails.

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does anyone have any Roadhog stories they want to share?

One of my favorites was when he hosted the FTRA at the Dunsmuir shack. You never saw so much beer flow. one guy was drinkig from 8am until 5pm. would drink, throw up, roll in it and reach in the tub and get another beer

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