Britt, Iowa - 2003
After an 11 year absence, I made it back to Britt, IA to see old friends and make new acquaintances at the 2003 National gathering. Many of the 1992 BO's were not in attendance in 2003 as they have moved on to a different stage in life or advancing age or poor health prevents them from finding their way back to Britt.
A review of the signatures on my walking stick from 1992 reveals that nine BO's have caught The Westbound. Alabama Hobo, Bo Britt Eddie, Cardboard, Fishbones, Hobo Joe, Iowa Bob, Sonny Slim Chance, Texas Bob, and The Man Called John are in our memory.
I did reestablish contact with many of the 1992 BO's including Adman, Blue Moon, Collinwood Kid, Connecticut Shorty, Bo Lump, Luther the Jet, Minneapolis Jewel, New York Maggie, Preacher Steve, Redbird Express, Slo Freight Ben, and last but certainly not the least-The Texas Madman. My spirit was especially lifted when upon arrival on Thursday Aug. 7th, 2003 I spotted Wanda, Steamtrain, and Big Skip.
I asked around about Iowa Blackie and Hobo Charlie told me to try uptown. I did find Iowa Blackie by the Britt Library. As usual, he was camped out by himself and Blackie remains very much a loner, while continuing to draw the displeasure of librarians throughout Iowa. I last met up with my Fellow Iowan in 1993 in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa and to me, Blackie will always represent the independent Hobo Spirit. I noticed that his hairdresser must be omitting the color and I suspect that in a few more years, he will be known as "Iowa Grayie".
The "new To Me" BO's are a pleasant bunch and I was happy to meet for the first time: The Baloney Kid, Connecticut Tootsie, Dante, Derail & Larry, Duane & Joyce, Duffy Littlejohn, Graincar Geo, Grandpa Dudley & M.A.D. Mary, Half Track, Hobo Charlie, our New King-Hobo Spike, Irish Red, Kabar, MS Charlotte, Nightingale, Oats, OhioTom, Oops, Roadkill, Slim Tim, Snapshot, SonShine, Sonny Ray, St Cloud Tim, Sunrise, Tanner City Kid, Tuck, New Queen-Mama Jo, Hobo Santa, Story Teller, and New York Greenie.
I've relocated from Florida (TOO HOT), to St Louis, MO and I hope to make Britt in the coming years. If anyone is rolling thru St Louis, e-mail me and we'll meet up somewhere.