Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Me and My Imagination

We drove through Tumwater yesterday on the way to Summit Lake. The kids spotted a few people panhandling and yelled, “Mom! Hobos!” I hate stuff like that because it forces me into murky waters. I told them the word "hobo" really was a misnomer (“What’s a 'misnomer'?”). What they’d seen could be one of a number of things. Could be people who are hungry with no means to help themselves. Could be people who have drug or alcohol addictions and really can’t hold down jobs. Could be a number of scenarios. They might be homeless, they might not be. But hobos? Probably not. Hobos are, technically speaking, homeless (and often penniless) traveling workers. Very common during the Great Depression. Then there were tramps and bums. Tramps worked only when necessary and bums didn’t work at all. I’d lost their interest in record time so I traded my anthropologist hat for another. Time to play DJ.

Driving through Tumwater we also passed the empty, dilapidated brewery. Windows like empty eyes stared blankly back at me. How long has it stood like this? At the lake, Amanda told me one night while she was walking Yoshi, she spied a man in a long dark coat trying to get into it. My mind wanders and I imagine an entire community of tramps and bums have set up housekeeping in the brewery. Roaring campfires, all earthly belongings contained in bandanas tied to sticks, and every one of them singing “Big Rock Candy Mountain” in the voice of Harry McClintock. Dateline investigative reporter Keith Morrison would swoop in with his camera crew and in his mysterious and annoying manner spin a tale of lies and deception, lost opportunities and respect denied. The tramps and bums would give him my blank stare and continue on with their harmonizing.

P.S. Halloween 1976 was the year of stereotypes; me as a gypsy and Tom as a hobo/tramp/bum.

P.P.S. If you follow my blog on Networked Blogs, would you rate it? I’ll try not to take it personally!
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  1. Dude. I think I had those trick-or-treat bags.

  2. I'd rate it a 10 out of 10 you gypsy girl!! Ellen

  3. I was confused; I thought people could rate each entry but I think you just rate the blog overall on the NetworkedBlogs site . . . but thanks you ;)!


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