The 2004 Britt Hobo gathering officially kicked off on Thursday August 12th at the Fire Lighting Ceremony under reigning 2003 King Spike and Queen Mama JO. Redbird Express explained the story and led the salute to the Four Winds.
Linda & Mary JO Hughes received recognition for their outstanding work in support of the Hobo Community from 2003 King Spike & Queen Mama JO.
The Hoboes and others convened at the Evergreen Cemetery to pay their respects to the Hoboes buried in previous years and to attend this year's ceremonies for Derail, Spaceman John and Shotdown Wills. A VFW Color Guard was in attendance also.
Mary JO's Hobo House was swamped on Friday afternoon for The Ladies Tea. Seating was arranged for 80 ladies, however approximately 120 wild women attended this popular event. Slo Freight Ben won 1st place for the Ugliest Hat while Alberta Stevenson of Britt won the Oldest Hat (1800's), and Lady Sonshine won for the best Theme Hat.
Minneapolis Jewel served as MC while the Ladies were served cookies & tea by Graincar Geo, Grandpa Dudley, Hobo Spike, and Adman. Baloney Kid led the group in song with 'You Are My Sunshine' and 'Rock My Soul'. Due to the large turnout, Minneapolis Jewel said that a larger place would be selected for 2005.
Duane and Joyce provided a great meal in the jungle of meat loaf, salad, and corn on the cob. In addition, there was a huge turnout Friday evening at the Hobo Jungle for entertainment and the crowd was also witness for an exchange of vows. Henry Goetz and Sylvia Carter of Clear Lake, Iowa exchanged rings, and vows, and celebrated their Hobo Union while a train passed alongside the jungle for added good luck.
Saturday brought a flurry of activity as the Hoboes finished decorating their floats and worked on the various campaigns for King and Queen. While the competition was intense, the candidates remained civil and cordial to each other. No mudslinging or dirty tricks were observed within the hobo campaigns.
The only blemish during this Saturday morning was Grandpa's attempt to string up Ohio Tom. It seems that Grandpa remains upset at the beating he received in Baldwin City from Ohio Tom. This feud has continued throughout the states of Mississippi, Kansas, and now into Iowa. When asked to explain himself, Grandpa stated, "It's against the law for a Michigander to associate with a Buckeye."
Grandpa was assisted by his buddy, Peewaukee John in attempting to drag Ohio Tom over to the hanging tree. It was particularly alarming that Grandpa recruited an innocent young bystander, Anthoula Vlachos of Ukiah, CA to participate. Talk about corrupting our youth! Anthoula was intimidated and said she was afraid to refuse the elderly Minister. Anthoula's mother along with Redbird and Roadkill intervened and put an end to the hanging. After being briefed on Grandpa's latest escapade, MAD Mary was observed giving the Elder Dudley a good tongue lashing. Grandpa quietly removed his hat and took a seat, although I don't think this will be the end of the feud.
The parade took place on a beautiful clear day and included horses, tractors, bands, cars, fire engines, and a number of floats.
Even Iowa Blackie was observed hitching a ride on a float. Collinwood Kid, king of dumpster divers, had the most appropriate float. The city of Britt served Mulligan Stew to a large crowd immediately after the parade.
The stew is prepared by 25 Britt volunteers each year. The serious business of electing the 2004 King & Queen selection was then set into motion. After a count & a recount, the Hobo Judging Committee announced that the 2004 Queen was Sunrise and the 2004 King was Adman. Other Queen candidates were Half Track, Lady Sonshine, and MS Charlotte. King candidates were Graincar Geo, Captain Dingo, and Dante. After the coronation, the 2004 King & Queen posed for numerous photographs and were congratulated by a throng of well wishers. Hobo King Adman & Hobo Queen Sunrise took over their reign Saturday evening at the jungle with official dubbings.
2004 National Hobo Convention - another successful year.
page added August 17, 2004