So, Just What Exactly is a Hobo???
on this link to read an article about our beloved mascot if you are interested!
At the end of the Civil War, many
veterans had no homes to return to and many took to wandering the countryside
looking for possible work. Many of these early wanders sought work as migrant
farm workers and many of them carried work implements, such as hoes, along
with them. It is thought that they were originally nicknamed 'hoe-boys' and
the term later shortened to 'hobo'.
As the nation expanded westward, the
railroads needed laborers to set ties and lay the tracks, the hobo played a
vital role in those activities. During the great age of dam-building, i.e. the
Tennessee Valley Authority, the columbia River Basin as well as the Missouri
River Drainage Projects, the hoboes formed the nucleus of the hearty traveling
work forces that constructed these giant structures often in remote areas
whose only real access was by freight train. To feed a growing nation, the
hoboes became the migrant harvesters who reaped the grain, cotton, and fruits
of mid-America often working a route that took them from the Texas Panhandle
to the Canadian Border each season. In the post-war era of pipeline
construction, the hobo became a vital element of that restless work force
whose very job progressed up to five miles per day as the gas and oil lines
Hoboes also sought work on American
merchant ships and many a hobo maintained seaman's papers as an alternate
employment source when the harvests were finished. Many hoboes became the
lumberjacks of the Pacific Northwest. As the West became more settled, many of
the emerging little towns' first citizens were people who worked their way
west on freight trains...hoboes. Many orchards, vineyards and ranches of the
American west were built by farsighted adventurous men who struck out from the
crowded east on 'side door Pullmans' to seed their fortunes in the outlands.
During the Great Depression of the thirties, a new surge of hoboes took to the
rails in search of work. In 1934, the US Bureau of Transient Affairs estimated
there were 1.5 million men (and women) riding America's freight trains.
Hobo Heart and Soul
The keyword in describing the hobo is
'independence'. Unlike bums, the hoboes are usually very resourceful,
self-reliant and appreciative people. They display the quiet pride that comes
from self confidence and the secure knowledge that they control their own
destiny. As a group, they avoid long term work commitments, preferring to be
free to follow the call of the open road when it comes. They are, in general,
well read, artistic and quick witted. They survive hostile conditions that
others would shun. They are creative, good natured and glib. They are NOT
homeless. If they want a home, they'll get one when it suits them.
There are thousands of hoboes nationwide.
Some have hoboed in their past, some are currently on the "Hobo Road". Some
have never hoboed but share the same core beliefs and views; in short, they
have a 'hobo heart'.
Many of Anmerica's great people have come
from the hobo ranks; Supreme Court Justice William O. Doughlas, Burl Ives,
Pulitzer Prize Winner James A. Michener, comedian Red Skelton, attorney Melvin
Belli, country artist Roger Miller, actor Robert Mitchum, plus thousands more
from lawyers to laborers. Many Fortune 500 Companies have a hobo at their
helm. But it's not about being rich or famous. It has to do with being a
member of a unique group of people who value their personal freedom (and
respect yours), appreciate our great land, long for new adventures and have
faith in themselves. The hobo experience has taught people to 'paddle their
own canoe' since the Civil War and that indomitable spirit is alive and well
LAUREL HILL SCHOOL!
Cute train graphics by