The 2005 annual Hobo Convention’s wrapped up in Britt, after new royalty was crowned over the weekend. Once a symbol of hard times and shady characters, the hobos were adopted by the town for its annual festival. The announcer hailed “Half Trac” as the new Hobo Queen, and introduced “Iron Horse Brad” as the new King of the Hoboes. Last year’s Hobo Queen, “Sunrise,” took an emotional leave saying the hoboes and those who love them gave her back her music. “I have had a fabulous year,” says Sunrise. “I’ve traveled all over the country sharing the music and the poetry of the hobo and their stories.” She says she’s spoken with people all over the world and “had fun every day of this year.” Another hobo who goes by “Double Bob” travels with his wife, Double B” and says they’ve changed their lifestyle a little. They no longer ride the rails. Double Bob says they’re mostly doing what they always did, except now they travel by car “and we camp in the jungle.” During the annual Hobo Convention, the hobo jungle is a campsite in Britt. There’s also a Hobo Cemetery established, and a database of information at Britt’s Hobo Museum that will help people look up a friend or relative who once rode the rails.
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