Sunday, July 20, 2008

vagabonds and hobos

I found this really amazing photo series on American vagabonds, otherwise known as hobos. Wikipedia defines vagabond as "a (generally impoverished) itinerant person...A vagabond is characterized by almost continuous traveling, lacking a fixed home, temporary abode, or permanent residence. Vagabonds are not bums, as bums are not known for traveling but preferring to stay in one location."

I met a guy like this back in January, a Mexican guy who spoke with a think accent and called himself Steve. He had this beautiful big yellow dog with him, a Lab I think. I had to drop something off somewhere on my way home from work one night and saw this guy sitting with a dog in the shadows. I was afraid to go talk with him, but did it anyway even though it was a little scary. It turns out though that he was the nicest guy you could ever meet and his dog was the sweetest dog ever (once she realized that I was going to try to harass her master). He was sitting in the shadows waiting for it to get a bit darker so no one would give him a hard time. Then when it was good and dark, he was going to walk across the street to 7-11 to guy some Raman noodles which he and his dog would eat for supper. He actually didn't want anything at all from me, although I did give him some money. He told me a lot about his life story, how he got to the US, how he still has a family back in Mexico, and that he was walking south on his way to Virginia or North Carolina, somewhere where the weather was warmer and the people were kinder.

Anyways, I don't know how I should feel about people who choose this lifestyle. But no matter how I feel, these photos are amazing.

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