Tales from the Iron Road

/Tales from the Iron Road

LOST AND FOUND ON THE RAILS, FROM BO KEELEY

Newly baptized executive hobo Geko (picture), a Los Angeles computer sophisticate and sailor of the seas, rode a quirky freight out the Colton yard last night. We parked in a hospital lot like any other patients and crossed the Pepper Street bridge over Interstate 10 to scramble down an aloe vera carpet into the RR [...]

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ADRIFT IN AMERICA

by Emilie Dannenberg                                                                    April 6, 2011 London born Emilie Dannenberg came to USA to study computers and as ‘Boxcar Dolly’ follows Boxcar Bertha in this book’s dedication for telling breathtaking yarns. This is her version of our Hobo Halloween. Nevada is dark and cold. We prowl the outskirts of the freight yard and scan the [...]

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TRICK OR TREAT ON THE RAILS

“I need it!” Dolly gushes astride the Reno Rail as I keep a sharp eye out for the bull.   For Halloween, I’m taking Boxcar Dolly, a six-foot svelte Stanford U computer symbols expert and a fraction my age, trick-or-treating around the USA. She contacted me a year ago at Bo Keeley Executive Tours while [...]

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London Times Hits the Rails

‘The London Times is the only newspaper allowed to be quoted in the English courts of law,’ quips my boxcar ride-along reporter who has flown from the United Kingdom to ride the rails to the Britt, Iowa National Hobo Convention.  Joe ‘Shakespeare’ Wobij is a gonzo journalist with a vocabulary beyond my grasp, heart of [...]

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Riding the Rails into the American Dream

Below us stretches the Colton yard of San Bernardino. The Pepper Street Bridge shakes like a California earthquake as a mile-long Dirty Face snakes under and east from the Pacific to who knows where. That's one attraction of hoboing. We wheel and watch the red-blinking FRED at the end of the train disappear about midnight [...]

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BABY JACK BLACK AND BEAU KEROUAC

Before I saw the hobo way, I was a respected and productive member of society. Now I ride the rails and if you follow my story you too can be a hobo. “How do we know which freight to hop,” asks Baby Jack staring down yesterday from the Eugene Maxwell Bridge at the funnel of [...]

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AUTHOR’S SMOKE

Hobo life began for me in 1949 at six months, whisked in a New York laundry basket on the back seat of a ‘40 Mercury to Santa Cruz, Ca. The first freight I caught was on a locomotive cowcatcher in a VW van crash and carried 200 yards on for the first hobo ride. It [...]

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Special Issue on Immigration

Everyone Wins, Mexican Style Americans Beware by Bo Keeley Photo Essay (Swans - October 4, 2010)   In June 2010, Dolly, a Stanford U 6-foot-tall Chinese-American anthropologist and computer black belt and Doc Bo [aka, Bo Keeley] rode the Mexican freight trains from Los Moches to Nogales at the US border. They were sheltered for [...]

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First Skid Row

LA was my first skid row. I checked into the Midnight Mission and sat in a pew next to a black man with 6's tattooed across his knuckles as we listened to an ass-whopping sermon. That’s where I 'fell in love' with mission preaching. Then we ate a hearty meal of meatloaf, potatoes & gravy. [...]

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Steamtrain

Steamtrain converted this image into a post card that he would hand out to the RR people, hobos, at the Britt convention and others he met while cruising the highways in his later years in an old Cadillac. One time I stopped in to see him in Toledo, learnt how to foraged and eat dandelion [...]

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