24 November 2006

Taking the Westbound

I think that reading the Douglas Martin's Times obits should be mandatory for all for the rich glance into the obscure that they offer. Today's gem was the obituary of one Steam Train Maury, also known as the Grand Patriarch of the Hobos, and the Life King of the Hobos East of the Mississippi, dead at 89. More than a mere obit, the piece is a tiny history of hobos in America.

When The Washington Times asked Mr. Graham in 1989 whether it was true that some hobos used deodorant, he answered: “It’s a shame, but I don’t know what we can do about it.”

I could quote endlessly, or you could go read the elegant obit. I do wonder though, is/was there a Life King of the Hobos West of the Mississippi?

RIP, Steam Train Maury.