A Hobo State of Mind
When I was a teenager living in Hollywood, California in the late 70s, Woody Guthrie fascinated me. I borrowed his autobiography, Bound for Glory, from the library and read it voraciously as if it were my Creed. I wanted to live his life—free, riding the rails, playing my guitar. I learned to play “This Land is Your Land,” “This Train is Bound for Glory” and other songs he wrote. The hobo’s life for me . . . wanderlust!
The urban dictionary definition of hobo is: “an itinerant worker, a career which sprang up during the depression. A hobo, unlike a bum or a tramp, is more than willing to work, but mostly for a short duration, as their main impetus is travel, the love of the journey above the actual destination . . . a hobo merely travels from town to town, finding work when he can, but only for the sake of financing his next adventure.”
I’ve ridden the rails, but not like Woody—Eurail, NJ Transit, the MTA. Still I dream about being unencumbered by civilization’s trappings—selling the house, buying an RV (my husband’s idea), living on the road with our cats. We bought the America Dream—moving from a rental apartment in Astoria, Queens to a house in Northern New Jersey—but we live a kind of hobo existence. It’s hard not to in this new economy—working harder for the same money or less, our home devalued, repairs needed . . . you know the drill.
I started “Hobo” as a place to share our stories without fear. We are hobos of the mind, renegades of the soul, yearning for something un-corporate and unconfined. We live paycheck to paycheck, debts linger, but we don’t let that get us down. We still have dreams.