National Hobo Convention kicks off in Iowa

BRITT, Iowa (KIMT) –  This week, people from all over will be in Britt for the National Hobo Convention that kicked off Thursday.

Ricardo Kisor of St. Peter said many of the people who attend the event consider themselves hobos or tramps, and they all visit to honor the generations who wandered but were not lost.

Kisor said when he was in his 20’s, he fell in love with the life of a tramp. He said a tramp travels, many times by railroad and avoids work when possible.  “If you can get by 40 dollars, why work and make 60?”

Kisor said with hobos, during their travels, many of them do work or go to school part time. He said to him, hobos are the old 1930’s riders, that had to get out of the house during the Depression Era.

“To me, the hobos are out there in the cemetery, I mean that’s what I come to honor, the hobos that went before me,” said Kisor.

Gerard Fortin of Helena said there are still some hobos out, some younger hobos call themselves ‘train riders’. He said while many including himself love the lifestyle, nowadays, traveling can be risky. He said one of his friends was recently arrested for trespassing.

“He ended paying $240 dollar fine,” said Fortin. “Plus driving six months suspended sentence in the state of Montana.

Kisor said he is running for Hobo King this year. He said it’s like being the ambassador of the hobo community.

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