Our Plans for the “National Hobo Convention”

Posted by vern | Posted in Bringing Back The Hobo | Posted on 30-03-2007

We’ve been spending a lot of time on the National Hobo Convention website (www.hobo.com), which is chalk full of real life, from the streets, hobo info. Anyway, there is a page on the site that lists all of the possible train hopping spots and what to look out for. Our plan, as it stands right now: Fly into Des Moines, Iowa and then “ride the rails” to Britt, Iowa so that we can document the convention. We have no idea how to “ride the rails”. I’ve never really thought about “riding the rails”. You just jump onto a moving train…


“Hopping freights became so common that in 1933 Warner Brothers studio – at the time run by Nebraska Darryl F. Zanuck – produced a film called “Wild Boys of the Road” to try to scare young people away from riding the rails. In the film, a boy falls on the track and loses his leg to an oncoming train. The celebrated director William Wellman completed the film for Zanuck.”

see: (http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/water_07.html)

thorough article on hoboes:


“Don Pepin”, Chris, and the importance of a good cigar.

Posted by vern | Posted in Resourceful Living, Travel | Posted on 28-03-2007

Recently, while in New York, I stumbled upon the “De La Concha” Smoking Lounge, where I was greeted by a young man named Chris. Now as a young, naive, and innocent cigar smoker, I am always looking for stogies with stories. Chris took some time to explain to me the importance of “Don Pepin”.

“Jose “Pepin” Garcia has worked with cigars since he was 11 years old. While in Cuba, he attained the status of tabaquero maestro — Cuba’s highest rank for cigar rollers. But that is only the beginning of his credentials.”

“Don Pepin was a teacher of blending and rolling in Cuba. He was involved in the creation and production of the Cohiba and Montecristo brands, among others. I have heard that he was formerly a personal roller to Fidel Castro.”

“Don Pepin Garcia was highly respected and valued in the Cuban cigar industry. However, he valued life for himself and his family outside the Cuban system more than the honors that he was given. He left Cuba and went to work for Eduardo Fernandez’s Nicaraguan tobacco giant, Aganorsa. Garcia and his family left Nicaragua in 2002 and immigrated to Miami where he started his El Rey de Los Habanos cigar manufacturing business.”
See: (http://www.cigarenvy.com/cigar-review-don-pepin-garcia-cigars/)

How I look at it, a cigars value should be broken down like this:
40% — The actual construction/quality of the cigar.
35% — The company you are in, good conversation, or your own thoughts.
20% — The setting.
5% — Miscellaneous (lighter, cut, weather, alcohol, and amenities)

I don’t believe there should be any place for a cheap/poorly made cigar in our society. IT’S AN INDULGENCE AND SHOULD ALWAYS BE TREATED AS SUCH. If I’m going to have a cigar, I’m going to be sure it’s the best* I can get my hands on.

I did walk out of “De La Concha” with a “Don Pepin” Grand Reserve ($6.75). See my “Top 5 Cigars” for results. Thanks Don Pepin. Thanks Chris.

*Does not mean most expensive.


De La Concha
1390 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019

Jules Bourglay — “The Leatherman”

Posted by vern | Posted in Bringing Back The Hobo | Posted on 26-03-2007

(also in forum — Hoboness)

“Since 1862, many have heard the tale of a wandering vagrant who traveled in an endless 365-mile circle between the Connecticut and Hudson rivers. The strange man only spoke with grunts or gestures and dressed in crudely stitched leather from his hat to his shoes. The suit was made of heavy pieces of raw leather estimated to have weighed more than sixty pounds in total. It was a coat of armor the vagrant depended on to protect him from the sometimes harsh New England elements. “Leatherman,” as he was dubbed by those who encountered him, would only sleep outside year-round — and mostly in caves around Connecticut and New York.”

“What makes the Leatherman unique is his incredible precision in daily routine. He would arrive in the same location every 34 days.”

HOBO LESSON: Just because you’re a hobo, doesn’t mean you’re a bum. As a hobo, you should have more time to show up on time.

Thanks Jules.


A terrible scare

Posted by jeff | Posted in Resourceful Living, Winnebago Experience | Posted on 26-03-2007

Lacy (my external hard drive) crashed. The drive with EVERYTHING on it. Heavy Metal, ROPE, The End of a Relationship, The Proposition, ALL 5 Winnebago Experiences, PLUS two forthcoming episodes close to being finished.
Alas, thank you, Alsoft, for creating Disk Warrior-a program I will support fully and am more than glad to have paid $108. Buy it, use it. EVERYONE. It saved The Winnebago Experience.
So for all those fans out there, wondering where The Academy Awards experience is, one of the reasons is the hard drive crash. The other 4 reasons: Chasing 3000 (I’m the asst. editor-we’re turning it over to VFX), Switchfoot – Awakening music video (I’m the editor…keep your eyes on MTV), Universal Remote trailer (low budget feature…I’m the editor…) and That Darn Jesus trailer (potential animated sitcom-I’m the editor…)

So you see why. Plus Tom Celica, my car, broke down. He needs: distributor coil, front and rear brakes, clutch, something on the front right tire, complete tune up-new plus, filters, etc…and a new trunk lid, new convertible top, new supports for the roof and the heat needs to be fixed.

Thanks Winnebago Experience and Hyperion Auto in Silverlake, I can afford to do them all.

More press

Posted by jeff | Posted in Storytelling, Winnebago Experience | Posted on 19-03-2007

Somehow, word is getting around. Check out this sweet little article about us in the Filmmaker Magazine blog…

Filmmaker Magazine Blog

Answers to Common Questions

Posted by jeff | Posted in Resourceful Living, Winnebago Experience | Posted on 16-03-2007

We get a lot of these, so we should probably have a FAQ to get through them all. Here’s a few:

Q: Where do you shower?
A: Currently, at the Hollywood Gym, for the most part. That’s also where we fight each other. Prior to joining, we’d hit friends houses (the few we have up here), Vern broke into many college gyms to shower at the pool, I snuck into bosses houses, showers on Hollywood lots (CBS Radford and The Lot in W. Hollywood), and we’ve both done our share of outdoor showering.

Q: How do you charge your cell phones/computers?
A: Also easy. For phones-we have car chargers. We live in a car, remember? Plus, at work. Recently, we’ve acquired on loan a invertor, which takes the cigarette lighter adapter and “inverts” it into AC power (a regular outlet).

Q: Where you park it?
A: Anywhere we want.

Q: Do you have it now?
A: No. We generally don’t drive it to and from work/friends houses. We have our vehicles, and leave it on the street.

Q: How often do you have to…you know…get rid of…you know…?
A: Dump it? On average, about every 6 weeks. Depending on where we’re living, we can go outside and save the space in the tanks, which allows us to go longer. There are random spots throughout LA/Orange County that we’ve dumped at…none are terribly convenient.

Q: Why don’t you just park at Wal-Mart, they let people stay there, don’t they?
A: True, they let people stay there, but only for a night or two at a time. Plus, there really aren’t many Wal-Marts in Los Angeles county.

That’s what I can think of right now.
Thanks for reading.

Beach Showers in Malibu
Just before showering on the beach in Malibu – April-ish 2006.

What I’m Reading…

Posted by vern | Posted in Storytelling | Posted on 15-03-2007

“American Nomads”
by Richard Grant

Amazing stories of nomads, including the original mountain men (see Joe Walker), fur trapers, hoboes, vagrants, Vietnam vets — all other forms. Lots of good stories and history…


FTRA — Freight Train Riders of America

Posted by vern | Posted in Bringing Back The Hobo, Events/Parties, Storytelling | Posted on 15-03-2007

One of the most elusive and violent organized gangs in America…or an urban legend. Many compare them to the Hell’s Angel’s.

Here’s the Wikipedia link:


The Hobo Signs

Posted by vern | Posted in Bringing Back The Hobo | Posted on 15-03-2007


Defining the Hobo

Posted by vern | Posted in Bringing Back The Hobo | Posted on 15-03-2007

I took a freight train to be my friend, O lord,
You know I hoboed, hoboed, hoboed,
Hoboed a long long way from home, O lord,

Hobo Blues by J.L. Hooker

Excerpt from:
The American Hobo
by Colin Beesley

“…Probably the most succinct definition and one with which most hoboes agree, is that of Dr Ben L. Reitman who stated that: “The hobo works and wanders, the tramp dreams and wanders and the bum drinks and wanders.” (Anderson 1923, 87) Most hoboes are unanimous in that they are committed to the work ethic, as Road Hog (1997) a hobo for over forty years insists, “Real hoboes are workers…”.”

“Hoboing started after the Civil War. The original hoboes were all veterans of the Civil War”

Check out this link:

It’s a beautiful, detail story of hoboes and their (our) history.


A Hobo Proposition…

Posted by vern | Posted in Events/Parties, Friends, Resourceful Living | Posted on 07-03-2007

I’m engaged to the most beautiful woman in the world. Everything was video taped and edited and will be posted within two (2) days.



Posted by vern | Posted in Resourceful Living, Winnebago Experience | Posted on 05-03-2007

Just paid $1000 on a credit card — feels good. Thanks Dick.

The 3 Stages of Advanced Beard Growing:

Posted by vern | Posted in Winnebago Experience | Posted on 03-03-2007

1) The beard silhouette in the sun.
2) Hearing the beard in the wind.
3) Bed Beard

Alternate: Beard gets caught in cell phone.

Cops and…

Posted by jeff | Posted in Winnebago Experience | Posted on 03-03-2007

The cops came last Monday. I was just getting out of bed when I heard a hideous knock on…well, some side of the Winnebago. You see…when someone knocks on something that is not the door, it resonates throughout the entire aluminum body. There really is no ignoring it.
Needless to say, I’m trained to hit the deck/hide underneath something when a knock comes at the door. So, that is what I did, in hopes that they would leave. This is Venice, CA, isn’t it? The place that welcomes people like us?
“Your vehicle is going to be towed right now” got me off the ground. Well, I thought about it before I got off the ground. Slowly opening the door, I poked my head out – still wearing my pajamas and the nice black socks that I had worn to the Academy Awards the night before. One cop stared at me for a minute…I stared back. “I’ll move” was my first word. He stayed silent. His partner, who was in front of the Winnebago, out of sight, responded. “Don’t ever come back here”. “OK” I said as I slowly closed and locked my door and began preparing to move.
I watched them out the front window go talk to Doris, the nice older black woman who lives an RV with her little doggy. They checked her tires – and found they had marked her. The law is that you have to move ever 72 hrs, and we had been in that same spot for about 5 days. Lesson learned. Move every 72 hours. Or whenever you find your tires marked.
We haven’t been living the tough life for 6 months-our little abandoned neighborhood kept us safe from little things like this-as no one ever ventured in there nor cared…it’s taken some adjusting back to this life.
So the and… in the headline is for an apology that the Academy Awards video is not done yet…the film I’m working just locked picture and well, I’ve been busy trying to finish it. As soon as I can get to it, you’ll see it. Promise.


My first balance bar – October, 2006.


Posted by vern | Posted in Resourceful Living | Posted on 02-03-2007

Somtimes I use my toothbrush as a beardbrush…