Yup I hopped trains

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
This has become my favorite thread on this forum.

I’ve dealt with lots of people who were not able or unwilling to turn their life around.
Reading a first hand account from someone who has is awesome. Well done, @YanceyGreenhorn, well done.
Thanks man that means a lot. As I’ve been adding to this , I keep rereading what I type bc I don’t want to seem like I’m glorifying it or I miss it cuz I don’t. What’s crazy is if we forwarded this thread to my old associates in that world, I’d get responses about being a sell out. And probably death threats for mentioning the FTRA and posting a picture of the crew change guide. But that’s what happens when someone’s world view gets so small and they have nothing else to be passionate about. Plus it’s easier for some to criticize others instead of putting that effort into changing one’s own life or situation
 

jenkinsnb

Ten Pointer
When did all of this take place? 90s? How old were you or how long did you live that lifestyle? This is truly a fascinating thread about something that I didn’t even know existed on a wide scale after the 40s.
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
When did all of this take place? Years, age, how long, etc? This is truly a fascinating thread about something that I didn’t even know existed on a wide scale after the 40s.
Lemme think. It’s all a big jumbled mess. First time I left home was 17 but didn’t get on the road till a few months before I turned 19. So that would’ve been 2005. Was gone over a year. Came back and tried to straighten up for awhile and was back on the road again for another couple years . When I tell you I met hundreds of different young people on the rails, I’m not exaggerating. But that’s what caused so many problems. 3/4 of us were trying to run from some kind of childhood trauma , or addiction, or mental illness, or unwillingness to listen to anything or anyone. The whole subculture became “anything goes.” If you weren’t willing to fight, you were subject to putting up with anything under the sun. But there were plenty on the other side who were the aggressors. To the victors go the spoils kinda thing. And misconstrued info and hearsay prob got more people hurt than anything. I walked up to My buddy getting his head kicked in by literally 20 guys. I ran in and threw a few punches and dove on him to cover his head . Then they turned two nasty dogs on him and one pulled the meat from his tricep so it was hanging off his arm. It wasn’t until after that someone realized they jumped the wrong people. Crap like that happened ALL the time. If you remember that crazy old movie The Warriors with all the different crews. It was a lot like that lol. Complete circus
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
Did you read a lot during your time traveling? You seem to be very articulate with words . Or do you use auto correct for them fancy words like I have to?
Lol that made me laugh. No, when I was a kid, mom and dad made me read books far more than they let me watch tv. I actually did read quite a bit on the road when I was on a long ride or stuck in a yard for a few days. I got my language smarts from my grandmom (rip). She grew up dirt poor and knowledge was her escape. I remember visiting her one time and she was complaining because she was reading 3 different books and was getting mixed up with the stories. My grandfather had to be the one to tell me one was in German, one was in French, and one was in English lol
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
Dogs Ride Freight Too(and ya ain’t gotta roll
any windows down)



This one is gonna be long winded. Been thinking about it since yesterday. Another subject folks may or may not think about: Hobos with dogs. The first thing I’ll acknowledge is that it’s no different than hunters or any other subset of society . There are some owners that aren’t worth their weight in hammered dog crap. But I’d also argue I’ve seen dogs on the road that were treated better than dogs that are owned by folks I know currently. Though I will say, I met more people on the rails that treated their dogs really well than ones that didn’t. It was common practice to call people out that weren’t taking care of their dogs. I’ve seen that end all kinds of ways. I’m sure many of us have witnessed a guy that doesn’t put the time and effort into his hounds, and subsequently has mediocre hunts. Then he decides his dogs all suck and he thinks he needs to beat on them to fix the problem. Now take that type of mentality and put it in the brain of someone who rides trains, drinks heavily or does drugs, may have a mental illness, and a tendency to resolve everything with violence. That’s not the guy you wanna see owning a dog. Well....MOST of the time. I did meet one guy who fit all that criteria and the only time he even acted like a decent human being was any interaction with his dog. I was gonna ride to New Orleans with this dude but he was too unpredictable. The last confrontation I had with him, I told him if he could respond to people the way he responded to his blue heeler, he’d be one of the best people I’d ever met.



But besides him, there were some people that were coerced into doing a better job with their dogs, or deal with the consequences. Some of you fellers might say “F that, no man is gonna tell me how to handle my dog.” And that’s a valid point. I’ve seen guys respond that way, beat the crap outta the person that told them to change their ways, and move on. The rule of our crew was if ya had a dog, you make sure it had its dog food before you blew money on something else. This just made me realize I forgot to mention something in my last post. Besides having a friend with a grow operation in northern CA, we did a lot of street performance for money. Between all of us, we had several guitar players, a mandolin player, a banjo player, and harmonicas. Most of us knew how to juggle flaming torches, machetes, etc. So we’d make all kinds of ruckus playing bluegrass while throwing dangerous stuff in the air. Anyway, make sure your dog is fed. We’d go to a library somewhere and get info on the closest place to get shots,go get flea/tick/dewormer etc. That was super important. Not just for the dogs sake, but because any interaction with LEO would include having to prove that your dog wasn’t an infested mess that they needed to haul off to the pound.



It was always enjoyable to me that passers by would comment on how healthy our dogs looked. Some would say that and even add “compared to y’all.” Lol. Occasionally you’d get a super wealthy person who owned a teacup Yorkie or some other critter that they had to tell you about. But you wouldn’t see it cuz it never left the couch. Maybe except to go to the doggy spa. They’d read you the riot act about how it was cruel to make an animal live outside(figure that one out). One time a woman called animal control on my friend and his dog, saying the dog was malnourished. She tried to feed the dog a double cheeseburger and was deeply offended that my hobo friend didn’t want his dog eating people food. Animal control showed up and checked the tags for shots, etc and then said “ma’am I hate to tell you but if anything, you should be concerned about this dog because she’s a bit overweight.” My buddy said “yeah and you wanted to give this poor thing a double cheeseburger.” The lady went ballistic and hit my buddy in the face with the cheeseburger. It was glorious.
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
...continued...

We almost always had a dog in our crew. A lot of kids did. All different types of breeds and mixes too. I crossed paths with this one hippie whackadoo that traveled with a MASSIVE Great Dane female named Althea. He was a perfect example of someone that was destroying himself but treated that dog like gold. I always referred to her as Marmaduke and that really pissed him off. At least he was sensible not to ride trains with that monstrosity. He was a hitchhiker thru and thru. There was always the quintessential character in every town that would pass out drunk and his dog would wander off to do his own thing. Invariably these types were harmless winos that would openly cry in public when they’d come looking for their dog. And of course you’d have their dog, cuz they were an old sweetheart wino, and they’d always have a sweetheart dog. The dog was just clever enough to go find its own fun once the owner was knocked out from too much wild irish rose, night train, and Takka vodka(rubbing alcohol prob tastes better). But you’d never tell the guy that his dog took a piss on his backpack every time he passed out. I knew of another guy that hopped trains recklessly and did stupid stuff all the time because he thought it made him a more hardcore rider. Once time he threw his dog up into a moving train car that has cross bracing underneath it but not solid floor. You can see the tracks. Total carnage. These are called suicide cars for obvious reasons. If you “rode suicide”, you were just an A hole. But there’d be folks that would be glad to fight you for pointing this out. We knew of another crew that had a member that did the same thing...except she jumped in WITH the dog. Another reason why “hopping on the fly” didn’t make much sense compared to figuring out where they were gonna slow down to a creep, or stop completely.



My one and only personal dog was a little red nose pit pup. I know, I know....some of y’all think they’re demons and want them to be exterminated. I want full autos to be widely available to law abiding gun owning citizens. We can dream. Well this little pup was a heartbreaker. We had just got off a train in Oakland, CA. And we were in the ghet-TO. Not just the ghetto, the ghet-TO. Extra emphasis on the second syllable. I will say though....there weren’t many perks to looking like a train hopper. Always dirty, smelly, clothes were shiny from so much dirt and grease and grime. We called it bum leather. The kind of thing where if and when you got to a laundromat to wash your stuff, it would disintegrate. No joke. But walking outta the laundromat with no pants is a different story for a different night. However, there was one indisputable thing about having that look. It made the majority of folks in the ghetTO assume you were more crazy than them. And although they were selling unsanitary narcotics to their own people, they were deeply fearful of smelly white train riders . Railroad tracks and hop out spots and train yards and ghettos were intertwined so we were always in and around em. Back to this pup. These hood dogs were obviously from a dog fighting ring. Whether they’d run off or been dumped we don’t know. They were running down the street. Mama was way ahead of the little pup. We kept expecting her to slow down or come back for him but she hauled butt. He was walking circles in the street howling. We went and grabbed him. Poor thing was all scarred up. Looked like they had used him as a bait dog. Keep in mind, when you do stuff that makes homeless train riders think you’re a scumbag, you’re pretty low on the moral totem pole. We scooped this little guy up and went to the nearest store to get him some puppy chow. Shortly after we got all his shots. We were worried he’d have parvo but he was ok. He was really timid and constantly shaking from being scared. I don’t remember us doing anything but loving on that dog for a day or two and he really came to life. I’m sure y’all dog lovers know what I mean when you see a dog transform. We were simple minded folks so we named him Red. Little did we know he had an interesting way of living up to that name.



He was in that puppy stage where he was constantly intrigued by everything. Bums pushing shopping cards, crack heads bickering in the street, trains, stray cats, you name it. But he also had this uncanny ability to stare at attractive women in high heels while his, uh, red lipstick would emerge. The timing was so unreal that one time a lady tried to slap me and said I was “sick for training him how to do that.” It happened consistently so his last name had to be Rocket. We had no other choice. That pup started with us in Oakland and traveled all the way to Philadelphia with us. He was a great dog. Over time he developed a really intimidating low pitched growl that made him sound bigger and older than he was. He’d always sleep with one of us in our sleeping bags. People couldn’t get within 10 yards of us without him growling and scaring them off. Whether it was other stragglers just stumbling in the dark trying to find a place to bed down, or people wanting to rob us or whatever, we didn’t care. They wouldn’t even be able to see him. We were just happy they were gone. He was also good at scaring or killing rats if we slept somewhere really grungy. More than once we woke up in the morning to realize the rats were there cuz there was a dead body nearby. Again, our idea of normal was very skewed. It’s crazy to live that life with an animal because you are literally always with them. One thing I believe we always right was still deciding to train them like anyone else would. Unfortunately, that 24/7 bond is what ultimately made Red disappear. My buddy and his woman were splitting of to head to Virginia. They asked if they could hold onto Red. I felt great about it because he was so loyal to her. It was always nice to have extra protection for a lady on the road. Several months later I got word that they had met up with some old friends in Virginia and stayed at their house. The one time they decided to go to the store without Red, he panicked and jumped thru a window and went looking for them. He probably figured something was wrong because he was inside, for one, and they weren’t there. They never did find him.



In another odd twist of fate, I was involved in a brawl with a bunch of people one time on the west coast . There was only one guy who never threw or took a punch and that was because his dog got between him and the fight. The dog never attacked, but he was playing defense for sure. Afterward I commented on the demeanor of the dog and then asked him if the dogs name was Cain. Lo and behold, I had met this guy and his dog 5 years earlier before I ever traveled. He was hanging out outside a concert in Pittsburgh and I bought him a burger and some dog food. Turned out he already had dog food but gladly accepted it. In fact, Cain had saddlebags and carried his own food, medicine, and first aide stuff. This ended up being really common once I was out tramping around. I remember thinking “man this guy is a total mess but he seems like a really reasonable dog owner. What a weird duality.” Five years later and they were still doing their thing.
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
....continued...
Then there was the time a dog literally saved our lives. My buddy acquired a border collie black lab mix. He had a habit of getting drunk and singing a jethro Tull song that annoyed his girlfriend to death. There was a line about “where the hell was Biggles” and she hated that part of the song more than the rest of the song, which she also hated. So naturally he named the dog Biggles. He was a bit of a sadist. We hopped a junk train in Arizona (usually a mixed manifest train, low priority freight, slow, moves to the side for almost every other train on the rails) and were gonna run out of water before we reached our destination. Decided that next time it stopped we would get off and walk to the nearest store/spicket/puddle to get water. It stopped in the middle of the night somewhere in the desert. There was a wash or culvert type deal that went under the tracks. Figured it would keep us dry and also give us some shade in the early morning. I remember us looking at the concrete with a flashlight and commenting on all the MS-13 and other graffiti. Again...this is normal everyday stuff to us. I doze off and start dreaming that I’m hearing people whispering in Spanish. Must’ve been from the talk about the graffiti. Suddenly I hear Biggles doing a soft low growl. We lived outside so it wasn’t uncommon for the dog to heat and smell stuff at night. Depending on the situation, we’d sleep close together if we had to. But it was nice to spread out and have our space when we could. Sometimes it was worth sacrificing the space to be closer together and have strength in numbers. On this night, we were spaced out. I was tucked up against this scrub brush bout 20’ from my buddy and his gal. I hear him mumbling at the dog to be quiet. She growls again. I peek out of my bag(we always used mummy bags) and there’s 2 guys standing over them with their back to me. One guy had either a pipe or a baseball bat raised above his head. I holler to and jump up, the dog goes ballistic as my friends wake up, and the guys get startled and say stuff to one another in Spanish . I ran towards them with no boots on and they hauled outta there and were gone. I don’t think they were intimidated at all but taken off guard and startled. After we calmed down, I told my buddy he no longer needed to sing about “where the hell was Biggles” because she was right here and she had saved our butts. Over time we learned that a lot of vagrants got beaten or stabbed to death while they were sleeping. Could’ve been a robbery or rape or gang initiation or for no reason at all. In the end it was really just screwed up people killing other screwed up people. Even when it almost happened to us, it might have left an impact for a short time. But inevitably it was another thing that we got desensitized to. The happy ending to this story is that my buddy and his wife are now working professionals and homeowners , and they had Biggles till she died of old age. I always picked on my buddy and told him it was a terrible thing what he did to that hobo dog. Made her a domesticated indoor dog and ended her train riding days. The guys I hunt with don’t understand how I can have such a bond with my mutts since 3 of them don’t hunt. I just choose to tell them it’s complicated 🥸
 

Redheadduck

Eight Pointer
I've enjoyed reading your posts, you are an excellent story teller. Like several others have mentioned, I found hobo shoestring on YouTube and I've been fascinated with the idea of train hopping ever since. Keep the stories coming👍
 

ScottyB

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Son of a bitch…….I got to get drunk…..go all the way back and read this…..only thing I ever done was put pennies on the train track!.. give me a bit to catch up!
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
Totally forgot this thread existed lol. Thanks for the feedback tho. I think next I’ll talk about my adventures in Compton. Well, I’ve actually got tons of ghetto stories. Just part of the lifestyle , ie the whole “wrong side of the tracks” reference. I will say being a smelly Caucasian hobo gives you some weird immunity in gang land. I think most of it stems from hood folks and gang bangers being afraid they’ll catch something from getting too close lol
 

bwfarms

Old Mossy Horns
I will say being a smelly Caucasian hobo gives you some weird immunity in gang land. I think most of it stems from hood folks and gang bangers being afraid they’ll catch something from getting too close lol

White guy panhandling on Wendover must’ve not have been smelly enough today. Black dude walked up to white guy talking to him like he was one of his hoes, white guy didn’t say much. It was a bit sketchy watching the interaction then black guy walked off but the white dude didn’t trust him because he kept watching him.

Despite it being hot the panhandlers were out in force. Saw a dozen between the interstate and Sportsman’s.
 

Ncfish001

Spike
Fascinating reading. So how did you go from that lifestyle to one where you are settled, married and presumably gainfully employed? I have to agree you have a book in you, maybe several.
 
Good golly man, that's some glass in the smoothie. Delicious but hard to digest. Glad you're out of all that stuff now. Nobody's walk is easy, but some are a lot more rough than others, yours sounds like it was up there. It would be great to go catfishing with you. The stories you could tell.

Regardless, you've got that behind you, and nothing but better ahead.
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
Fascinating reading. So how did you go from that lifestyle to one where you are settled, married and presumably gainfully employed? I have to agree you have a book in you, maybe several.
The old cliche “got sick and tired of being sick and tired.” When you’re pissed at the world and don’t like yourself, you can only go to so many different places before you realize you’re not running TO those places. You’re running FROM yourself. Which I deemed impossible. Came off the road but still had to deal with all the other stuff keeping me down. It was rough but everything that happened after 13 years old was my decision and I had to stand on my own in order to get squared away
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
Good golly man, that's some glass in the smoothie. Delicious but hard to digest. Glad you're out of all that stuff now. Nobody's walk is easy, but some are a lot more rough than others, yours sounds like it was up there. It would be great to go catfishing with you. The stories you could tell.

Regardless, you've got that behind you, and nothing but better ahead.
Thanks buddy that would be cool. I need to get into catfishing more. There’s always a lull when the trout aren’t biting much here in the summer. I’ve def caught a buncha catfish but I wouldn’t say I’m great at targeting them
 
Thanks buddy that would be cool. I need to get into catfishing more. There’s always a lull when the trout aren’t biting much here in the summer. I’ve def caught a buncha catfish but I wouldn’t say I’m great at targeting them
Just like any other fish it's about finding their usual haunts and finding a snack they'd like. I personally have trouble with the first half. And I've been doing it my whole life lol

It's a science I didn't bother to study until recently.
 

johnnyk2000

Eight Pointer
Now I get it. I have never seen this thread before. That history of yours Yancey is something that I guess I have never paid attention to. I have seen so shaggy people hanging around the train tracks but have never put 2 and 2 together. Maybe I missed it in my sheltered life in the Army. The reason I said that I now get it is because of all the other threads that I have seen you write. Man it is good to see that you are staying on the right side of the tracks and loving what God created for your enjoyment and that you love your wife and a family man. I would be honored to shake your hand.
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
Now I get it. I have never seen this thread before. That history of yours Yancey is something that I guess I have never paid attention to. I have seen so shaggy people hanging around the train tracks but have never put 2 and 2 together. Maybe I missed it in my sheltered life in the Army. The reason I said that I now get it is because of all the other threads that I have seen you write. Man it is good to see that you are staying on the right side of the tracks and loving what God created for your enjoyment and that you love your wife and a family man. I would be honored to shake your hand.
Johnny I apparently missed this comment so I’m a year late lol. Thanks for the kind words that means a lot
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
Totally forgot this thread existed lol. Thanks for the feedback tho. I think next I’ll talk about my adventures in Compton. Well, I’ve actually got tons of ghetto stories. Just part of the lifestyle , ie the whole “wrong side of the tracks” reference. I will say being a smelly Caucasian hobo gives you some weird immunity in gang land. I think most of it stems from hood folks and gang bangers being afraid they’ll catch something from getting too close lol
@HotSoup i realized I never touched on my time in Compton. We will go w that
 

UncleFester

Twelve Pointer
I can't believe I just found this thread. Life is complicated and amazing at times. Great testament to your fortitude YGH.
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
Shooting the Bull with Gangbangers in Compton

Three of us were trying to get thru the cesspool known as LA and decided to get on the metro/above ground subway/ L train/whatever they called it to minimize walking across the entirety LA to Anaheim. We did A LOT of walking all the time. The only catch was my friend had his puppy with him, which was forbidden on public transport. We scrounged a cardboard box and made it look like a package that needed to be put in the mail. Placed some strategic air holes , put the pup in it and got on the metro. Wasn’t long before the pup got restless and was making noises and moving around in the box. The various ethnicities on the train started to get very concerned with noises and movement coming from the box. I heard some cholo make a comment about “terrorists” under his breath. Ya know…cuz puppy noises and movements are very similar to improvised explosives etc. Next thing you know we are getting swarmed and berated by all varieties of hood folks wondering “what’s in tha muhfuggin box bruh???.” Metro police show up, stop the train, ask us what’s in the box. Before we can start feeding them a line of bs , the tape busts and the pups head pops thru. I think those passengers would’ve preferred a bomb. People were running and screaming and going nuts at the sight of the cute little puppy popping out of the dirty folks’ cardboard box of filth and death. So we got booted from the train. At least they didn’t say anything bout my open beer.

got off the train and walked down to the attendant booth to ask where we were exactly. Not realizing we’d just been kicked off, the lady said “honey, you in Compton. Get on the next train and GTFO here. Y’all stick out like a sore thumb.”
-“why…cuz we’re dirty and smell bad?”
Hell naw…cuz you white !

we put the pup on her lead and started walking in the general direction of Anaheim. Figured it was time for more booze because we figured we’d likely get in a fight, jumped, etc and it was always better to do it with a buzz on. Went to nearest beer store then went and sat in the alley to enjoy whatever malted piss liquor we’d had that day. Within a few minutes we get confronted by 2 guys talking about being on “their block” blah blah blah. I guess they figured we’d never been in the hood before and would be afraid and assume they were established gang members. Their lack of gang colors , tattoos, and general demeanor was glaring. They were clearly crack heads trying to scare us into giving them some money. And the one guy insisted that my booze was his now. Mind you, we carried everything we owned. At any given time there was a smorgasbord of multi tools, chains with padlocks, fixed blade knives, switch blades, machetes , bolt cutters, torches, sterno cans, those heavy duty magnum MagLites and more on our belts/in our packs/tucked in our pockets/and so on. Being from Maryland, I had held onto one of those little mini baseball bats with the Baltimore Orioles logo that I had found in the trash somewhere. So we got a little froggy and they decided not to jump.

I think we had figured on a 2 or 3 day walk to Anaheim if I remember correctly. Although estimated arrival times weren’t worth a crap in the hobo world. You might go to jail. You might meet someone who wants you to come party at their house and feed you. You might drunkenly get confused about where you are and end up going the wrong way (even on foot). But we had friends waiting in Anaheim and estimated 2-3 days. Throughout the day we got consistent looks of “wtf are they doing around here” and “hmmm there’s no point in robbing them, they ain’t got s hit.” The few police we saw either looked the other way or shook their heads and kept driving. As usual we planned to continue till we got tired and go find a bridge or abandoned building to sleep in. We ended up walking down a street with a massive housing project on it. The type that covers multiple blocks and the streets run through it. It wouldn’t be out of the norm if there was an open air drug market because it wouldn’t be as odd for white kids to be passing thru there. Apparently we weren’t in that section and were the ONLY white folks in the area. People were hollering and pointing and we had our friend with the puppy haul ass outta there. Didn’t want the dog getting hurt or caught in the middle of whatever bs was about to happen. And don’t think I’m playing the victim card. I voluntarily put myself in all these stupid situations. Didn’t have enough sense to do otherwise. Didn’t really care either .

This was definitely gang territory . The majority of folks wearing colors and obligatory tattoos. Figured at the very least we’d get jumped and sent on our way. Worst case scenario they’d take all our gear and probably discard 99% of it minus any weapons that might interest them. You were far better off being in the hood where drugs were being bought and sold than you were just ending up on the wrong block where people wanted to show off and fight. And passers by were always gonna get a few kicks or swings in, whether they had any clue of what was going on or not. Now the buddy I was with made an art out of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. If he had alcohol in him, it was a guarantee he was gonna be a smart ass and provoke a confrontation. Two big guys got up in our faces and asked what we were doing there. I said man we’re just walkin. But they didn’t want to know what we were doing…they wanted to know what we were doing THERE. I said we’re just trying to walk thru and get to where we’re going. That we had been kicked off the metro blah blah blah. At the other end of the block a crowd had formed, so it looked like if we decided to run, there was nowhere to really go. They seemed agitated and my drunken buddy got his signature grin on his face. It was about to implode on us. Big dude #2 asks my buddy where we are walking to and he replies In a very condescending tone “where else would we be walking to? we’re walking to F’n Canada.” Great, hopefully I don’t get stabbed today in godforsaken Compton. Big dude #1 says “oh Canada huh? You walkin to F’n Canada ????.” My buddy snickers and says “yup!”. Big dudes whole demeanor changes as he says “damn for real???.” Recognizing that he let his guard down and was intrigued, I just went with it. “Yeah man we’re walking to Canada! You ever met someone who walked to Canada? Well now you can say you have. They said when we get there, they will put us on tv n stuff. It’d be cool if I could give a shout-out to the homies in Compton who helped us out on the way there.”

their fragile yet over exaggerated egos ate it up. They started telling us what they wanted us to say about their hood and what their names were and what set they were reppin. I’d say 50% of the guys I went to school with ended up in gangs , drug syndicates, etc so it wasn’t too hard to navigate the conversation with these Compton folks at this point. We bs’d a little more and told them we had to get going as we had a long journey ahead. Big dude #2 looks down the block to the crowd that had blocked off our potential escape route and yells “ay yo let em thru! These crazy white boys is walkin to F’n Canada!”. As we headed out, people asked us what we were gonna do up there , how long it would take, what the weather is like, and so on. One teenaged kid asked us where Canada was.

We got outta there and found our friend a mile or so up the road who was waiting with the pup. We eventually got to Anaheim to meet up with some friends. Couldn’t tell you what we did or how long we were there. I passed thru a lot of these places several times over a couple years and it all kinda blurred together.
 

roundball

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Yancey, the last half of this great Glen Campbell song sounds a little like some of your discussion of RR's in that chapter of your life.

 
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