Drawn from intimate interviews with 14 modern-day "steel rail nomads," One More Train to Ride provides a revealing picture of today's American hobo. Interspersed with their stories are original poems and songs echoing the ancient lyricism and loneliness of life on the road. Their connections with the past make the experiences of these hoboes even more striking, as they ride freight trains and jungle up in hobo camps, light years away from the 21st-century cyberworld—yet touching the very core of American freedom and individualism.
Cliff Williams skillfully elicits details of family background, motives, and clear insights into the daily life and philosophy of the modern hobo. With its evocative link to the past, One More Train to Ride continues a long tradition of books on hobo oral history, including Nels Anderson's The Hobo (1923) and Thomas Minehan's Boy and Girl Tramps of America (1934).
Table of Contents Foreword Gyspy Moon Acknowledgments Introduction Catchin' Out for Freedom, Guitar Whitey The Texas Madman What Is a Hobo? One More Train to Ride, Hobo Liberty Justice New York Slim What Is It Like to Be on a Moving Freight Train? Roving, Gideon Dante Fucwha Catching a Moving Boxcar The Hobo's Heart, Virginia Slim Frog Waiting for a Train A Woman on the Go, Cinderbox Cindy Shayla Philosophy of Hoboing Clearing the Yard, Bo Britt Eddie Stretch Arrested Shanty by the Main, Iowa Blackie Hobo Monikers Shortstop Drawing by Shortstop In the Jungle Sitting Around Our Little Fires, Oklahoma Slim B. Photos A Hobo Story The Hobo and His Bedroll, Bo Britt Eddie Preacher Steve Good Turns Making a Nighttime Run, The Texas Madman New York Grizzly Hobo Advice There's a Little Bit of Tex in Me, Hood River Blackie Iwegan Roll Call of the Departed A Hobo's Remembrance, Luther the Jet Road Hog Hobo Songs Softly by Tracks, Buzz Potter Raquel Death and Injury on the Rails The Road to Nowhere, Dr. Poet Adman Hobo's Lament, Virginia Slim A Bindle Stiff's Last Ride, Drummond Mansfield Drawing by Drummond Mansfield References
Cliff Williams (Oats) has been a "hobo at heart" since 1990, when he attended his first National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa. He chose his hobo moniker because he eats rolled oats with milk and honey for breakfast. In his other life, Williams teaches philosophy at Trinity College in Illinois. He is author of Free Will and Determinism: A Dialogue, which recently went into its ninth printing. He lives in Deerfield, Illinois.