Canned tuna is brilliant hobo food. Cheap, lasts forever, healthy.
-Simply drain the tuna in the street (as pictured below, to avoid tuna smell in RV).
-Serve on paper plate with Olive Oil, cayenne, pepper, salt, and anything you have in your semi-working fridge.
-Drink fine scotch/bourbon from college kegger-style plastic cup.
Venice, CA. Home of the mobile home. Certain streets in Venice are lined with RVs. Like the swallows of Capistrano, and flies on manure, Venice is a Mecca. Close to the ocean, coffee shops, no cops, the kind of place you can throw your generator out on the Laundromat curb and have yourself a cold one. There is no shame. And for now, behind a bustling Costco, we live.
Posted by vern | Posted in Winnebago Experience | Posted on 15-05-2007
This past weekend, some crazy kids (or the old lady across from us) threw eggs at our home.
The people at Coffee Connection have been very good to us. We’ve edited a majority of our projects there: wedding videos, music videos, Winnebago Experiences, promos, shorts, everything has a piece of Coffee Connection. Free internet, friendly employees, crazy regulars. Venice and Centinela.
Posted by vern | Posted in Winnebago Experience | Posted on 14-05-2007
This morning, somebody yelled, “Will you move that fucking piece of shit!”. Good morning neighborhood.
Posted by vern | Posted in Bringing Back The Hobo | Posted on 11-05-2007
“There are a number of unwritten rules of the steel road. First, don’t steal anyone’s boots. Second, look after yourself first. Third, if you’re okay then give a hand to peers. Fourth, no need to speak of the obvious. Fifth, partings come easily.” -Steve Keeley, “Apples and Hoboes” — http://www.northbankfred.com/stories.html
Last Saturday night, Dick the Winnebago participated in the Bro Futurists’ “Good Cholesterol” Art Show at The Lab in Costa Mesa, CA. Here’s a few photos from there. More to come…
Posted by jeff | Posted in Winnebago Experience | Posted on 09-05-2007
Lincoln Auto Electric. Thanks Ruben.
Dick’s had some work done-some sweet caressing of his underbelly. New starter, carb cleaning, rear brakes, and a reattached gas pedal which used to come unattached at the most inopportune times.
We’re proud of our Dick.
(That’s not our red car)
Posted by jeff | Posted in Storytelling, Travel | Posted on 08-05-2007
First off, I have a much better appreciation of New York since visiting this past week. The remaining unreported events: Shea Stadium-as told, it is in the middle of nowhere. We walked to grab some food, hit the subway to get back in time etc. Good game, good company. Catching up with old friends (who happen to let you stay at their houses) is always a great idea. That’s what the hobo life is about-making friends all over the country/world. The evening was another night spent with college friends-carrying my pack thru midtown Manhattan once again. The bars that night met again with numerous business cards. (Over the course of the week, I placed/gave out at least 75.) We did manage to get some great rambling hobo video this night also (which most likely will make it’s way into a special feature soon). Thursday was spent walking around the bridges with my friend Christy-and to my surprise I saw no hobos. Interesting-in some ways, I felt a minority in the town (I realize now that it may be because LA is home to the highest population of homeless in America). Brooklyn Bridge was my goal-which was more spectacular than I could have imagined. Take a walk on it, you won’t regret it. We then wandered back towards Union Square Park where Christy had parked her car and she went on her way-thru traffic.
My last independent stop in the city was at De La Concha, to pick up some cigars for use back home. Almost buying 8 Don Pepin House Blends, I decided I’d rather not in case they dried up, and found some small cigars to complete those for Vern’s reception cigar booth, or whatever it is that he is calling it. For testing purposes.
It was this night that I have to say was my favorite in NY. It began at The Living Room in the east village where I reconnected with my oldest friend of the week, Jon Farmer. We met in 6th grade…it was like things never changed. So his friend-Dawn Landes-was playing a show in a small venue in the back room of the place-the living room…if you will. Phenomenal. Check her out dawnlandes.com.
In leaving, a man called me Charles Manson and told me I should shave my beard. I did my part instead by dropping off numerous cards. Farmer lives in Williamsburg-the best little Polish section of Brooklyn that you can find. Bars stay open late, they serve beer cheap and they give away free pizza. They have names like the Turkey’s Nest and the Alligator Lounge. (Across from the Turkey’s Nest is a bread truck in a parking lot which is home to two artists-who I attempted to meet up with to interview, but we weren’t able to make it happen. Check them out at www.purple53.com.) Alligator Lounge- $4 pints and a medium pizza is included. Can you really beat that? Our final stop of the night, which I cannot remember (maybe it was the beer) stayed open late, because “we worked there”. The keyword: speyside. The bartender was a scotch enthusiast, and when I dropped that name, he appreciated us. And we appreciated his selections. Not quite the Speyside brand that has become my favorite, but some great scotch was served.
Now, my thoughts on returning home. For the last two days and the plane ride I’d been reading “American Nomads” by Richard Grant, which might be one of the best books I’ve ever read. True stories of life on the road-in the wilderness, exploring America, Native Americans in their prime, the Rainbow Family-a group of hippies that gather yearly to share their lives (and drugs and sexual relations) in a community oriented way of life, and finally, the hobo. On returning to work, I almost turned around. Grant tells tales of wanderers who just don’t feel in place in a home, those who feel confined by four walls around them, who must keep moving to feel alive. Let’s just say I’m already looking at plane tickets to Tokyo, and up until yesterday I had a trip planned in less than two weeks (work curtailed it, but I’m still planning).
The work I’m doing now just seems so pointless-not that I don’t enjoy what I do the people I work with or the project-but in the end, what really matters, what really brings excitement to life? Not sitting in an office…I realize I’m not alone on this one-I’ve always preferred being outdoors and working outdoors (at least where there is some sunlight) – and yet somehow I fell into working in postproduction-made up of mostly night owls who don’t mind sitting in dark rooms in front of computers all day. It’s not me…but I do enjoy it. My mind has been more and more looking forward to hiking the Appalachian Trail in March, and I’m beginning to see why. Some people just aren’t made to stay in one place or indoors for the rest of their lives.
Next book to read – “Hobo” by Eddy Joe Cotton. Thanks for reading.
Posted by vern | Posted in Resourceful Living, Travel | Posted on 08-05-2007
So recently, we’ve had the urge to learn how to hop frieght trains — much like our ancestors. We realize this is dangerous, and as of yet, we have not been able to meet anyone who could teach us. Well, not until the National Hobo Convention — which we don’t want to show up looking like idiots or beginners. So, we’ve decided to take it into our own hands. We are now beginning our Freight Hop Train-ing Program.
This of course will be documented and turned into a “Winnebago Experience — FHTP” webisode.
On our agenda:
- Starting/Maintaining Hobo Jungles.
- Hopping moving and stationary trains (and other vehicles for practice)
- Train Hopping Equipment
- Reading the trains. How to know where you’re going, or not. Requires purchase of Microsoft® Train Simulator — you will memorize the train system via computer simulation.
- Dealing with being thrown in jail/How fast can you run.
Accurate Computer Simulation of Railyards and Roads — WELCOME TO THE MODERN HOBO.
The Cajon Pass at Dusk.
Posted by vern | Posted in Storytelling | Posted on 08-05-2007
Woodrow Wilson Guthrie, known almost universally as “Woody”, was a folk singer and raconteur who wrote some of America’s best loved songs. He is best known for This Land is Your Land, a protest song written in response to Irving Berlin’s God Bless America. This song has become one of the most frequently performed patriotic songs, having lost its protest element. Guthrie was born in Okemah, Oklahoma, on July 14, 1912, the year his namesake was elected President. At a young age he left home to adopt an itinerant lifestyle, travelling across the United States as the Jazz Age turned into the Great Depression. The poverty he saw on these early trips affected him greatly, and many of his songs are concerned with the inequities faced by America’s working men and women. A lifelong socialist and trade unionist, he also contributed articles to the Daily Worker. In 1935 he achieved fame in California as a radio performer of both traditional folk music and his protest songs. His interest in the working class was also shown in the specially commisioned songs he wrote at this time for the Bonneville Power Authority in Washington State, the best known of which are Grand Coulee Dam and Roll On Columbia, and his Ballad of Tom Joad based on John Houston’s film of The Grapes of Wrath.
With the outbreak of World War II Guthrie, a devout anti-fascist — he often played with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists written on his guitar — joined the Merchant Marine, where he served with fellow folk singer Cisco Houston. He also wrote the first volume of his autobiography Bound for Glory. By the 1950s his output had fallen off, and he was diagnosed as suffering from the degenerative nervous disorder Huntinton’s chorea, and hospitalised, where he remained until his death on October 3, 1967. By that time his work had been discovered by a new audience, introduced to him through Bob Dylan, who described Guthrie as “my last hero”.
A working man who used what he had to better the world. My kind of man. A great hobo.
Posted by jeff | Posted in Travel | Posted on 01-05-2007
It’s been raining for hours. I ended up in McDonald’s, seeking shelter and a bathroom. I had to buy “Apple Dippers”–a small bag of chopped apples with caramel sauce on the side-so I could pee. Only to witness many other “bums” enter and make a face at the counter attendant and get buzzed in without buying anything. Must be regulars.
Central Park was the theme for today. I walked the whole thing. Some points without shoes, some points without a shirt. It was tremendous. I climbed the Shakepeare Castle (that’s not really the name, just what I can remember now), I rambled through the ramblers (which my New York City tourist book told me was where the homosexuals go to meet each other–I didn’t see any…just old women trying to find their way out of the forest), and left COUNTLESS hobosoul cards.
Then I met Laura. And we took a trek through Greenwich Village. And SoHo. And towards the meatpacking district. Basically, everywhere. She wouldn’t stop and her legs are waaaaaaaay longer than mine. She never stopped, really. But in her defense, she’s letting me stay at her house tonight, in shelter from the rain. The pouring rain. Hard rain. And she came and found me at the subway and took me to the elephant butt house. Everything is soaked. Me included.
That’s the most of it, except for the annoying high school kids that sat with me while I read “American Nomads” at McDonald’s.
Shea Stadium and the Mets tomorrow. Sleep now.
Posted by jeff | Posted in Travel | Posted on 01-05-2007
I’ve been here going on four days now, and the hobo adventure has really just begun. I’ve got my pack on my back with everything I need for this week-a used Swiss Rucksack that I got from an Army Navy store.
I’ve hit three movies so far-two premieres for stuff I’ve worked on- Live! and Chasing 3000-and last night hit Spiderman 3 premiere with John Griffin, who’s become a fine host to this hobo.
I’ve slept in a hotel with my parents (not very hobo-like, but family oriented), and last night I was here, in a high rise apartment. Before John got here, I was sitting in the lobby, on the ground with my stuff strewn about, trying to find my cell phone charger. I received many looks-as I have throughout the city, but it’s been great.
I’m having lunch with a college friend today and originally planned to hang out in Central Park all day but it seems that it may rain. The fiend of the hobo-weather.
I may end up at a museum or coffee shop, I’m not sure at this point. Greenwich Village is calling me.
That’s it for now, gotta get out there and explore this city.
A Red Carpet Hobo – along with my parents (either side of the photo) and Bill Guttentag, director of “Live!”