Friday, December 4, 2009

Who is Badzo Luxurino?

Rolling stock....The Iron horse that carried on it's back, our country's industry, and development through the test of time all the way to to the present, where ironically it is usually hauling non USA made freight. Its no secret that trains are respected and adorned in America by many, the historic aspect alone is riveting. Well, I am one of the many that share a fascination for the freight train and its cultures. Whether it be The union men that ride the rails and walk the ties, throwing switches an watching the American landscape pass by til their next destination, or the Railfans that line the tracks to take pics of the big choo choos as they pass through on their way to another city or town. Or, is it a grandfather with his first grandchild sitting on his shoulders taking in the experience of hundreds of thousands of tons of steel thunder rumbling by, and signaling with a Hulk Hogan muscle motion for the Engineer to pull on his horn and let out the loudest blast to be heard for miles. They are A few American folklore memories, and they are ones to remember, but amidst those pastimes there is a less glamorous, yet very interesting side of the freight train culture, that to me embellishes a hidden deep treasure filled with mystique and freedom. We all know that freight trains move goods from place to place, but illegally Americans have been hopping trains and riding them to new destinations for one reason or another for well over a century. Some lost their jobs and figured they would head west for new horizons, some had nothing at all and just wanted to travel with the tumble weed to the next hobo junction, some did it as a form of rebellion, others did it as an escape from their every day grind, criminals often used the rails to go from place to place as well. Along with traveling on the train it became common for trainhoppers to leave a little souvenier of their journey. Hobo art some may call it, in some circles they are called train monikers, boxcar art, streaks, etc, etc...pick your poison, but I call it American folk art at its core, pure and uncut(not related to drugs). There were no galleries promoting it, or collectors buying it, it was strictly done as a pastime and time marker of sorts to say to the world "HEY, I WUZ HERE ON SUCH N SUCH DATE, AND HERES A LITTLE PICTURE OR MESSAGE THAT I HAVE TO SHARE" usually signed by a nickname or handle. Communication amongst Hobos was also A part of this movement, symbols were drawn at different junctions and stops to warn of danger or inform of a safe haven. This art may have spawned from a passing of time to counter boredom on a long ride, or a long workers night shift in the yard that may make time go by a little easier doodling on the side of a boxcar, one thing is for certain it is a rich American pastime that goes back as far as the railroad itself. I could write endlessly about this subject, and I have plenty more pics and relics to share and stories to tell, my best friend worked as a switchman on the railroad for a few years, and my great grandfather worked for the railroad as well, maybe it runs in the family who knows, but im going to cut the chit chat and move on with the choo choos...
It took me a while to upload and share these photos with you so please take the time to click on them and check them out they are pretty good, some pretty clever and funny!

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