Friday, November 16, 2012
Hopping a box car to No-Where, USA
After the Civil War as the nation pushed westward and during the Grate Depression, when families had very little of anything, especially vehicles to get around in, men used to jump into an empty boxcar as the train came through town, to get to where they were going. Hobos and migrant farm hands used that method for getting around in general. It has been romanticized in movies, books, and television despite it being illegal in all 50 states for many years.
Yesterday two men were discovered in a box car here in Birmingham after they hopped on 260 miles away in Mississippi. Supposedly they were being pursued by threatening men and jumped the train to get away, but the story sounds fishy. They said the train went too fast to jump off so they were stuck. Like an idiot, one of them used his cell phone to make a call and that's how the authorities tracked them. They were probably running from the cops......OR....
...maybe they were just nostalgic for the old days when a man could take all his worldly possessions in a plaid handkerchief tied to a stick over his shoulder and ride the open railways to what ever adventure the train took him. Although Birmingham isn't much of an exotic destination if adventure is what you seek....unless you're in the murder business, then you'll find lots to do since B'ham ranks #5 in per capita murders in the US. Only Detroit, Oakland, Memphis, and St. Louis have more.