By Charles Elmer Fox
"Reefer Charlie" Fox rode the rails from 1928 to 1939; from 1939 to 1965 he hitched rides in cars and traveled by way of foot. From Indiana to British Columbia, from Arkansas to Texas, from Utah to Mexico, he was once a part of the grand hobo culture that has all yet gave up the ghost from American lifestyles. He camped in hobo jungles, slept lower than bridges and in sand homes at railroad yards, ate rattlesnake meat, clean California grapes, and fish speared by way of the Indians of the Northwest. He speedy discovered either the wonder and the hazards of his selected lifestyle. One lesson discovered early on was once that there are special modifications between hoboes, tramps, and bums. because the all-time king of hoboes, Jeff Davis, used to say, "Hoboes will paintings, tramps will not, and bums can't." stories of an American Hobo is an enduring legacy to standard society, instructing a couple of bygone period of yank background and a unprecedented breed of humanity who selected to reside via the rails and at the street.
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Additional info for Tales of an American Hobo (Singular Lives, Iowa Series in North American Autobiography)
Reitman Papers, University of IllinoisChicago Circle Campus. 2. Hobo News, later retitled Hobo World, Cincinnati, Ohio. The two monthly newspapers appear to have been different titles for one continuous publication running from 1913 until at least 1930. Few issues of the newspaper remain, making exact dates difficult to obtain. 3. George Witten, Outlaw Trails: A Yankee Hobo Soldier of the Queen (New York: Minton, Balch and Company, 1929), p. 9. 4. : Edwards and Broughton Printing Company, 1907), p.
5 Mullin begins his autobiography as he waits in Chicago's Englewood Station to hop his first train. The autobiography follows Mullin on his transition from a "gay-cat" (newcomer) to a seasoned hobo through his initiation into the same formative experiences Charlie recountslearning to ride different sorts of trains, begging, and being arrested and jailed. Throughout Mullin's book, however, the reader is left wondering why he is a scholar tramp. Certainly the book is replete with Latinate words, classical allusions, and transcendentalist reveries on nature, but why?
I had no idea of how to survive without a job or without a few dollars to guarantee my survival. S. 40. S. 40 highway was a gravel road in those days. I started thumbing all the eastbound cars and by late afternoon I was in Indianapolis. Having covered a total of eighty-two miles. I went out on New York Street to visit an aunt and uncle of mine, where I could get a meal and most likely a good bed to sleep in that night. At the breakfast table the next morning, my uncle told me that I could get a job at the Stutz automobile plant.