Done and Been: Steel Rail Chronicles of American Hobos by Gypsy Moon
While other children were hearing Mother Goose, I thrilled to adventures of my dad's real-life experiences. The stories were varied accounts of his hoboing days - riding the rods, jumping a rattler, or camping in the jungles - after he left his home in 1911 at the age of thirteen...A man called John headed off on another bit of stellar lore, talking at length about how few hobos can claim ever seeing a shooting star cross the path of the moon. The occurrence is so very rare that it is believed that the moon casts a spell on any who witness it. The moon becomes for those chosen few, a Gypsy moon, instilling in them an insatiable appetite to wander. This is a book for anyone who has ever lain awake and heard the whistle of a train calling through the night and wanted to be out there, rambling, having adventures. Here are the life stories of authentic old-time hobos: Steamtrain Maury, Alabama, Tumbleweed, Reefer Charlie, Little Hobo, Cardboard, Greenie, Gas Can Paddy, Ramblin Rudy, the Sidedoor Pullman Kid, Hobo Bob, Fry Pan Jack, and others. Jacqueline Schmidt, who was elected a Queen of the Hobos, has collected their stories in this fascinating volume. She has also teamed up with modern-day hobos to ride the rails in search of adventure and self-knowledge. Her book gives us a history of hobos, a collection of fascinating stories, an account of what it is like for a middle-class woman, to take to the dangerous pastime of hoboing, and a delicious collection of hobo recipes.