This week is a slightly special image of the week. Firstly its not just one image. Secondly the people in these photographs all share a special bond. They are all hobo's.
A hobo is someone who travels to work , they are not a bum or a tramp. Their mode of transport is the railroad system which is ingrained into their long history.
I made these photographs a year  ago to the day (almost). We were heading west through Iowa and we pulled up in a quirky little town called Britt. Britt has become the official home of the hobo. Each year it holds the 'National Hobo Convention', this is a week long gathering which culminates in the crowning of the new 'Hobo King and Queen'. On our arrival we went to the Hobo Museum, fascinated, we got chatting to the lady at the desk, she told us that some of the hobos were already in town and were camped out beside the railroad tracks. We decided to go down and have a chat. Seven hours passed, we learnt so much, met so many wonderful people and listened to years worth of tales. It truly was one of the best days of ours lives.
Tommy or "Oops" as he is know in the hobo community (apparently named this because he has fallen from a moving train) was celebrating his birthday, he spends the entire year travelling the length and breadth of the country. He shares this lifestyle with most hobos, some have become too old to jump trains but they still travel. Connecticut Shorty, a past hobo queen, started jumping trains in the early 90's and only recently stopped. She misses it, it's part of her family history, her father rode the rails his entire life. Her older brother still rides them. She now travels around in a van with her sister. Tuck was the 2007 hobo king, he still rides the rails. A positive outlook on life is something they all share and Tuck is no exception, he travels to work and when there is no work, he makes things to sell to get by. If you ever pass by the little town of Britt make sure you pop in, take a look around, you never know, you might just be as lucky as we were.

Oops, Simon Hewson ©2012
Simon Hewson ©2012
Tuck, Simon Hewson ©2012

Oops, Simon Hewson ©2012
Connecticut Shorty, Simon Hewson ©2012