Yeah. Let's write about them. Again.
I mentioned here, years ago, and in my old Frank Magazine so-called "entertainment" column, about how some mighty unusual people showed up at my uncle's place over the years. They told us about the time a man showed up late at night and asked to stay the night. They took him in for some reason. They left money out thinking he might steal it, but he didn't. As I recall (this was more than 40 years ago), he left the next morning and never returned.
That led to additional visits from other strangers over the years. I'd go visit and a "friend" of my cousin's would be there, to visit. I am sure there were other folks who dropped by, too.
I am pretty sure these folks were hoboes. The kind of folks who ride the rails and meander from town to town in search of temporary work and shelter to sustain their meager lifestyle.
There is a hobo code. There are hobo signs warning fellow travelers to beware of this, or that there is a kindly woman living here who will feed you. Here: Read about it.
You have to realize that Bob and Helen, both long dead, lived in rural Nova Scotia. They lived in a big old farm house in Billtown, outside of Kentville, in the middle of farm country. How in the name of Sam Hill some hobo dude even thought to walk down their road late at night let alone knock on their door and have the temerity to ask for a place to crash for the evening is beyond me. Perhaps there were some hobo signs somewhere that the average person would never notice. I don't know.
I also don't know why this story fascinates me so much. I have written about it at least twice. I left a message on the CBC Weekend Mornings call-in, and people dutifully called in with their own hobo stories.
I suppose if you pinned me down, I could tell you that maybe I'm just fascinated by sub cultures. The kind of people that you don't notice, but they're there all the time if you take a moment and look. The kind of people who are in the corner of your eye, just out of your field of vision, doing what they want, when they want, how they want. I have to respect that on some level. I have to acknowledge, even admire, their ability to get by on almost nothing, as if faith and a positive attitude were enough to get you through life, when I my experience has always been the exact opposite.
So, my lovely readers: Do you have any hobo stories to tell? People who just showed up somewhere mysteriously, did their thing, and left?
Either reply to this post. Message me privately. Leave a message by my Facebook that points to this blog post. Email me right here. Or leave a hobo sign that I will likely not notice.
Start writing. I look forward to hearing from you.
See you tomorrow.