Followers

About Me

My photo
Ohio, United States
Happily married for lots of years to great guy, mother of one wonderful daughter. I have lots of interests and wished I had more time to explore them all.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hobo and Homeless

 A-Z Challenge H= Hobo and Homeless
The above picture might be what you think of when you hear (if you're as old as me you knew the word), Hobo.  Wikipedia defines Hobo as a migratory worker, a homeless vagabond.  They believe the word started to be used in the Northwestern part of the United States around 1890.  The origin of the word is dispute/has many possibilities vs is unknown.  A Hobo travel to find work, had no permanent address.  The typically "Road the Rails" to move from one community to another.
The might have done odd jobs, usually manual labor in exchange for food, sometimes money.  They were known to hang out at the docks when ships would come and go and the rail roads.  Some thought riding the rails was a bit romantic....seeing the sites, not being tied down.  But, they often didn't have a roof over their heads or know where the next meal came from.  They weren't well received in many communities.  They spoke a language all their own with chalk symbols to leave behind important information for other Hobo's that might travel that direction.  The symbols might be as simple as a cat which meant a nice lady lives here, or top hat meaning a kind gentlemen lives here.  Those symbols would attract other Hobo's.  They might however, leave symbols indicated they weren't welcomed, to be aware of barking dogs, or mean police etc.

There were some notables who Hoboed before they made it, such as: Woody Guthrie, Robert Mitchum, Carl Sandberg and George Orwell; but..........for most it was a tough life.  Perhaps it was easier to be a Hobo then compared to being Homeless now.   Somehow I think so, towns are bigger, there are fewer families farms where you might work a day, or receive a meal, or be allowed to camp awhile.

The face of Homeless seems more wretched to me, filled with more despair and danger.





Hats, another word that starts with H.  Hats are one of the items we knit, crochet, and loom and donate.  Can you help?  A warm head can help warm the rest of the body, it can help keep someone dryer, and it can save a life.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

21 comments:

  1. I think you are right Sandy. I am from a small Wisconsin town, and well remember the Hobos that came to our back door and waited politely at the bottom of the stairs for a "handout" from my mother, who would give them a piece of homemade bread and a bowl of Campbells soup, and coffee of course. We lived down the hill from the Soo Line RR and we were not afraid of these men. They did not have families with them as our Homeless so often do today. They were simply men who were down on their luck according to my father.We knew they did not come into the house, but that they were treated with respect and always given something to eat.I remember one incident where the gentleman had a long beard and I was convinced he was Santa CLaus., and begged mother to let him stay. that story was repeated for years afterward with smiles.In my childs mind they were travelers needing help on their way. Times have definitely changed and what we knew in the 50s is not the same today. We do teach our children to fear strangers and we would not let them sit with a stranger on the back steps while we fed them.Those men were known as the kings of the road, we do not have that kind of respect for our homeless today. Times have changed, I think the number of homeless have changed, The faces of the homeless have changed, they are no longer men on the move but small children starving and freezing.We can oinly do what we can., but we need to at least do that. GOD BLESS THE HOMELESS. marj in minesota/ 50 degrees

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My grandma talked about Hobo's coming up from the River to her back porch, she would feed them, and they might wash the windows or something along those lines. She said she never feared them, until sometime later in 50's. Police became more determined to keep them away, the men became more desperate and determined also and sought other ways to obtain food. The RR also became more deligent at trying to keep them from riding free from one town to another. So maybe they looked more menacing because it had been harder to get there, had bathed less, eaten less. I do think the homeless of today are treated differently then the early hobo's were.

      Delete
  2. When I think hobo, the first picture is what I envision. The bandana tied to the end of a stick slung over he mans shoulder. There are farms that let non-citizens work their fields because they are cheap labor. If a hobo showed up looking for work, would the farm give him the same privilege? I wonder? I think the homeless of today have it more difficult. Society has changed. If someone came up to you and asked for money for food, would you give that person money? or buy something for him to eat. I would be more inclined to buy the food instead of giving them money. This way I know where the money is going. I am working on hats as we speak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear you're working on hats as we speak Bunny. You're work is always so beautiful. I've gven money, often it's easier based on where you might be, and I try to remind myself not to judge what they might do with the money. I've thought about keeping gift cards for say Wendy's and McDonald's on hand to give those, which might be safer for them as well, but again not knowing if they will be near one in order to actually get a meal has stopped me. It's something I've been wanting to discuss with Rae.

      Delete
  3. I always thought of hobos as adventurous...the homeless not so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Homeless of today, can't really be adventurous, partly because you can no longer ride the rails freely from one town to another, partly because it's not just men now-it's often couples or families and you must try to keep you kids in school, partly because we're far less rural as a country then we used to be, and people are so afraid now, afraid because of what they see daily on the news, afraid of the unknown, and because I think we as a society judge far more then we used to. We judge them to be dangerous, on drugs, no good etc. I think many aren't and we sadly let our fears guide our actions.

      Delete
  4. Your illustrations of the homeless show just how tragic their situation is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tragic indeed Sheila. I just can't imagine living a life with no certainities about food, clothing, housing. The only certainities are they know they aren't welcomed, respected, or trusted and that 99% of the time they will be harassed by police if not worse.

      Delete
  5. I remember my mom talking about her mom sometimes feeding the occasional "hobo" that would come knocking at their back door during the depression years. So true about the face of the homeless these days. It is heart wrenching to go downtown San Diego and to see the homeless in their "tent cities" and to want to help them all, but know you can't help all of them.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right you are Betty. I have seen those tent cities in San Diego when we spent a few vacation days there. Far too many, and they would be the lucky ones I guess, in that they at least have a tent vs no shelter.

      Delete
  6. I know you are right; but in my small town even the homeless are taken in by someone they meet. They still can get that meal and water. Their is still good in the world the problem is that we hear more of the bad. I still believe in the angel in disguise. Prayers along with good works changes conditions

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How awesome the folks in your town care for those homeless in such a kind manner. How wonderful that would be elsewhere.

      Delete
  7. You are one dedicated lady. My dad was not a hobo...I don't think so anyway but during the Great Depression, he was in his 20's and he used to talk about hopping the rails and working in the fields in B.C. picking strawberries for the Japanese ( they must have owned the land). He said it was dirty riding the rails because if you had to ride up top you would have the black soot on you. He mentioned having to jump off one time being found out as he put it. He recalled getting 10 cents a day

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your sweet comment Birgit and for sharing your story about your Dad riding the rails for a period of time. Was it viewed differently there vs here in The United States? I think you're right, he wouldn't probably have been considered a Hobo, as he had a permanent address that he returned to?

      Delete
    2. He would use his dad's who had a boarding house at the time. I know he wandered a bit but also worked in the lumber camps as he was a lumberman through and through

      Delete
  8. it wasa good to read that in some places, homeless people are still fed by locals.
    The whole situation touches my heart and my wish is for you to be inundated with hats this month!!

    zannierose

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so agree with you Zannie, I was surprised to read that hands on type of caring still exists. That fact, rather inspires me.

      Delete
  9. I also admire your devotion to such a worthwhile cause. Like Delores, I've always thought that hobos chose their adventurous lifestyles, as opposed to the homeless. It's nice to meet you through A to Z, Sandy! I'm your newest follower!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think some Hobo's might have chosen the life, while others fell into as they had no options. That probably isn't too different then today's Homeless, some fall into it and others choose it, wanting to be off the grid. However, often those who "chose" it do so due to being under the influence of drugs and or alcohol and or inflicted with mental illnesses that it's hard to say they choose it with a full understanding of the circumstances. Thank you for the visit and sweet comment, thrilled to know you're my newest follower Julie.

      Delete
  10. Unfortunately,I came from a very selfish family who never gave to anyone. I don't know how I started having the need to help others. I guess I have been so close to homelessness myself that I know what its like. I have raised my 3 sons to be kind to others and take care of them when needed or they were able to. I basically make hats and scarves now. But I am going to try making mittens also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may have hit on something important Sherry, knowing and understanding how it feels, sometimes I think people just can't relate so pay no attention. So glad you're able to help and that you've taught you sons the importance of it.

      Delete

Do NOT leave url to your Google+ page or Blogspot profile page, please use name and url of your actual blog or hyperlink to your actual blog. Unable to return comments otherwise.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Where are You and Your Yarn From?

I'm trying to identify where everyone is from, partially for fun. Take a look at the map. Also, believe it will aid me in cases where we have several people with the same name. Please look at the lists of bloggers and non bloggers and see if I have the state you hail from. If not, please leave a comment and let me know.

Additionally, we've had help from Scotland, England, Germany Puerto Rico, Canada, and France! They don't appear on the map, but their help is still greatly appreciated.

Where The People Who Donate Come From, is your state represented?

Badges