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Blog Title Card

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

QOTW: The Clothes Make the Man

I open the mail bag, and what do I seek?
Here in my right hand, the question of the week!
Do you have a question? Come pass it along!!

Hello friends, today's Question of the Week comes to us from Cathy J. of Spring, Texas.

Cathy writes:
"Do you people just wear the same thing every day? Because that's just nasty."

Well, Cathy, personal commentary aside, sometimes it's just a matter of function when a vagrant chooses to employ the use of the same clothes from one day to the next. As the brisk fall transitions into a frigid winter, many of us elect to simply keep adding to our layers. The opposite is likewise true as the weather gradually warms again. So while we may well technically be wearing "the same clothes", our wardrobe is constantly evolving on account of need and function.

One hobo secret that I'll let you in on is how to store clothing items that are unneeded for the season. I once found a wonderful, thick woman's wool coat
out behind the bowling alley. She must have been a big lady, because that coat wrapped around me easy. Boy oh boy was that a fine coat. Wealthy woman, too, no doubt, on account of her throwing it out on account if just a few pinworms.

Anyhow, I wore that warm coat all through that winter and kept oh so toasty warm.

That spring, as the coat became heavy and uncomfortable in the warm rain, I employed an old hobo trick for storing items of seasonal value...I buried it!

It took some time to find her again, but it was sure worth the effort. That beautiful wool coat had eight full months to marinate in the earth, acquiring a near waterproof membrane of tight-packed dirt and mildew on the outer surface. What a great old coat that was.

I buried her again the following spring, but never could recall where I'd left it. Eight years later I still go look for her when I'm back that way. By now, I imagine, she'd be just about the ultimate barrier against the icy winds and snow.

Thanks for the question, Cathy J.! Keep them coming, everybody!

In solidarity,

Train Tom