Chapter

On Becoming a Hobo

Dale Maharidge

in Someplace Like America

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780520262478
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948792 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520262478.003.0003
On Becoming a Hobo

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This chapter focuses on how the authors reached a pact to document stories ignored by most others in the media—about the poor, workers, and outcasts. They started with a wino story, which ran with a lot of photos. In 1982, there was a new city editor for the Sacramento Bee, Bill Moore. He often drank at the Old Tavern on 19th Street, the “O.T., ” next to the Western Pacific Railroad's main line. The O.T. was a hangout for hobos when they got a little money to spend. One of the hobos met by the authors was a Vietnam veteran, who said that after each war, men hit the rails and never went back to regular life. The vet told them that the hobos who began riding after World War II and Korea had helped him. The authors also met a 65-year-old man known as No Thumbs (real name: Thomas Jefferson Glenn), who said that he had been taught by hobos from the Great Depression.

Keywords: wino; Bill Moore; Old Tavern; hobos; Vietnam; veteran; World War II; Great Depression; Western Pacific Railroad; Thomas Jefferson Glenn

Chapter.  4315 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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