Residents Share Stories Of Hobo Culture At Amory’s Railroad Festival

AMORY, Miss. (WCBI) – A festival celebrating the impact the railroad has made takes place this weekend in Monroe County. The Amory Railroad Festival features attractions for all ages, and  there is a group of regulars who not only know about the railroad’s history, many of them have lived part of their lives on the rails.

As the “Journey Tribute Band, Resurrection” was rocking a large crowd at the Amory Railroad Festival, members of the Hobo community were welcoming visitors to their camp , signing souvenirs and educating people about the hobo way of life, and how it all started.

“Their name, hobo, comes from the fact that they carried a garden hoe over their shoulder, looking for farm work,” said Gypsy Moon, who is a veteran of the hobo lifestyle.  In fact, she was crowned Queen of the Hobos at their national convention in 1990.   She has been to this camp at Frisco Park, dubbed “The Jungle” many times and says the Railroad Festival draws an eclectic crowd to the hobo camp.

“People you find here are people who either honor their history and past, or actually live a life similar to what the old hobos used to live,” Gypsy Moon said.

K-Bar has been part of the hobo culture since 1970. The former Marine is married, has a family, but loves the freedom associated with hobo culture.

“There’s something about riding freight trains, especially, I know it’s illegal, not going to promote, it is dangerous, but something about it gets in your blood, you can’t stop. It’s true. I know so many guys they all say the same thing, I don’t do it anymore, but I really miss it,” K-Bar said.

Although he’s traveled all over the country, K- Bar has a special place in his heart for Amory.

“I have found Amory, Mississippi to be one of the most welcoming, congenial, friendly towns that I have ever been in my entire life, I love this town, it’s something you hear from everybody who comes here for the Railroad Festival,” K-Bar said.

K- Bar and other residents of this temporary camp say visitors are always welcomed.

The Jungle has been part of the Railroad Festival since its earliest years.

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