Pennsburg, Pennsylvania  -  2003

12th & Last! Pennsburg Hobo Gathering

EastCBanner.jpg (32782 bytes)Redbird 2003 Hobo King and 12 year King of the PennsburgSIGN476.jpg (20048 bytes) Jungle steps down.  Redbird mentioned his habit of doing things in 12 year increments during his final announcements at the evening ceremony.  Even though most people were already aware that this would be the last year, it was certainly a sad moment in the camp.


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  Many thanks to the Pennsburg Area Resident that stopped to pick up this hitchhiker by this sign.  You were kind enough to drop me in town and wouldn't accept any payment.



PATimNorm.jpg (42633 bytes)I attended this year for the first time as I didn't want to miss out on the Pennsburg experience and I wanted to meet some of the East Coast people such as Little Hobo-Tim from Altoona. In addition to the current 12 year Hobo tenure, this particular jungle has a storied past dating back to the 1900's.


WindGroup2.jpg (27351 bytes)Storm Isabel did her best to disrupt the area, however no real damage was inflicted on the Pennsburg camp.  Some wind and showers did postpone Thursday's ceremonies and the threat of Isabel remained a concern.   All other events took place as scheduled with a minimum of delay and everyone weathered the storm with the exception of some SquirVSlim2.jpg (27642 bytes) baby squirrels.  General Lee and I were startled by a loud "PLOP" near the t-shirt rack.  Upon investigation, two baby squirrels had dropped about 40 feet from their nest.  One little guy was trying to climb up the rack while the other baby appeared to be injured.  Several of the BO's came to help and the littlest squirrel really seemed to be attracted to Virginia Slim!



SquirBob2.jpg (30055 bytes)After numerous unsuccessful attempts by Keystone Bob to send the guys back up the tree, Lady Son Shine came to the rescue and provided a make-shift nursery in Boxcar #2.  Since this invasion was not a serious threat to the camp, the Texas Madman did not have to be pressed into service for "Critter" control.


PATrainDoc.jpg (21911 bytes)Baseball playoffs were in full swing and I'll mention that Train Doc held the upper hand for most of the week with the Dice Baseball Game.  That is until Captain Cloud snapped Doc's winning streak.  And then,1st Class Frank of St Louis, seized the opportunity PATrainD81.jpg (36918 bytes) against a fatigued Train Doc to put him down by the score of 8 to 1 and register a two hitter.  He appears to be smiling in this picture, but he's really gritting his teeth.  A re-match is being negotiated for Amory, MS in April 2004.



Side Door Pullman Kid named these guys-"The Step Brothers."
2 1/2 Centuries of combined experience in this group!

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SchLUNCH1.jpg (44217 bytes)PAgloria.jpg (19478 bytes)Perkiomen School (1875) sponsored a Hobo Lunch that was well attended.  This gave Norm and Gloria a welcomed break for one meal.  Is that Gloria ONE of the hardest working people in Pennsburg, or what?  She was in constant motion morn til night behind that kitchen counter.  A job well done Gloria.


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  Farmer Steve brought good luck to all at lunch with this Clover handout.


paFritzCOOK1.jpg (40353 bytes)For those rubber tramps, check with Fritz on his engine compartment cooking process.  Fritz demonstrates how easy it is to load up a 16 oz can in the cooking basket.  42 miles later - presto - piping HOT Hobo Stew!


PerkLibSign.jpg (28261 bytes)Quiet Mike informed me that the Perkiomen Library was the last Carnegie Library to be built in 1913 and the only one built at a private school.  I did take time to use the library and meet some of the school students.  I was impressed by the beautiful buildings and the students PerkLib.jpg (61222 bytes) were unfailingly polite and well mannered.  This is to be expected as Quiet Mike has set a fine example at Perkiomen for over 20 years.  Mr. George Allison, Headmaster and Perkiomen School are certainly a big plus for Pennsburg, Students and Hobos alike.



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SunFran.jpg (33462 bytes)Musicians were in abundance Friday and Saturday evenings with several planned performances and also a number of impromptu sessions that earned steady  applause from the large crowd.  Graincar George received a large round of applause Saturday night for his possessed and "over the top" drum solo.  Saturday was well attended by Pennsburg area people and the grounds were full.  A food stand and an ice cream truck were in operation in addition to the Hobo sales booth.  Several of the musicians had their music tapes for sale also.


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PennsHotel.jpg (42277 bytes)Several of the Hobos found their way to the celebrated and venerable Pennsburg Hotel on Friday and Saturday night.  It was duly noted that the Hotel walls contained numerous Hobo signatures with the most prominent being - "Dante Fuchwa-1999."  While the Jungle was DRY, the Hotel bar proved to be WET.  A contest ensued to determine, by majority Bar5.jpg (43871 bytes) vote, which flavored schnapps would be declared HOBO BEST-2003.  Unfortunately, the Hotel stocked three shelves of schnapps and I can't remember the winner.  Maybe butterscotch?  I do remember receiving a disapproving look and snarl from Burlington as we lugged by his boxcar on the way back in the wee wee hours.


HAMpottsClub3.jpg (49187 bytes)Ham Radio in the Hobo Jungle
Hobo Ham-Tanner City Kid-KB1HKQ had a chance encounter in 2002 with a Pennsburg area Ham-Reg-N3KAS of Pottstown, PA.  Because of this conversation, Reg went to work to obtain the necessary government  approvals to set up the 2003 Special Event Ham Radio Station - W3H.  It seems that the Hobo wanderlust of the rails and roads carries over to the airways.  The special event station W3H made 130 contacts in 29 different States and 3 Canadian ProvincesRambReg2.jpg (34014 bytes) during the 6 hours of operation on Saturday.  The effort of the Pottstown, PA Ham Club members was greatly appreciated by the Hobo Hams and Reg was dubbed Ramblin' Reg by Hobo King Spike and Hobo Queen MAMA JO at a special Saturday Evening Ceremony for his hard work.



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While in the area, I wanted to visit Philly and John from pRRstation.jpg (48443 bytes) Waterville, NY and NY Greenie were kind enough to drop me off in Quakertown at the Greyhound stop and I made my way into Philadelphia for a Sunday visit.  I had a nice time and strolled around to City Hall, the Salvation Army (note the bars on the windows), a few dives, a trolley, and visited with the locals.



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2003 Pennsburg - good times - good friends - good memories.

Best Wishes to all
1st Class-Frank-St Louis

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