Tales of the Iron Road: My Life as King of the Hobos

Maury Graham, Author, Robert Hemming, With Paragon House Publishers $19.95 (222p) ISBN 978-1-55778-129-1
Starting in 1931 at age 14, Graham rode the rails until 1980. From a broken home, shunted from father to mother to aunt to married siblings, he found the family he had missed as a child in hobo camps across the country. Writing with the author of Gales of November , he stresses that he is a hobo, and not a bum or a wino, a distinction, he notes, that the general public does not always make. Five times elected King of the Hobos at the annual Hobo convention in Britt, Iowa, he laments the incipient end of hoboing, which has a history dating back to the post-Civil War era and saw its most populous days during the Depression. Now, according to Graham, with the number of rail lines cut, there may be no more than 300 true hobos. This is an intriguing look at a vanishing way of life. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 222 pages - 978-1-56924-916-1
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