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What is an Urban Hobo

What is an Urban Hobo

For those that may not be familiar with “Hobos”, it may help to give you brief history.

The first recorded use of the term Hobo appeared in the Western U.S. around 1890. However, the Hobo movement begun much earlier, right after the end of the Civil War. It is not clear where the term Hobo originated. Some suggest the origins come from the farming term hoe-boy meaning “farmhand”. Others suggest that it comes from the railroad greeting Ho beau, or the syllabic abbreviation of homeward bound (i.e., HO BO). Essentially a Hobo was a migratory laborer, a wandering worker. Due to economic strife, it was necessary for many men to leave home in search of work. Hobos are closely associated to the railroad. As they moved across the country, the railroad was the preferred mode of transportation. Sooner or later hobos would return home to their families. Over time, the term hobo became synonymous with “Tramp” and “Bum”. Hobos were neither! The difference being that hobos travelled to work. Tramps travelled looking for handouts. They only worked when absolutely necessary. Bums seldom if ever travelled, and never worked. Hobos even developed a strict code of ethics which they lived by, something neither tramps or bums concerned themselves with. The code of ethics read as follows;

1. Decide your own life, don’t let another person run or rule you.
2. When in town, always respect the local law and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times.
3. Don’t take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals or other hobos.
4. Always try to find work, even if temporary, and always seek out jobs nobody wants. By doing so you not only help a business along, but ensure employment should you return to that town again.
5. When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts.
6. Do not allow yourself to become a stupid drunk and set a bad example for locals’ treatment of other hobos.
7. When jungling (i.e., camping) in town, respect handouts, do not wear them out, another hobo will be coming along who will need them as bad, if not worse than you.
8. Always respect nature, do not leave garbage where you are jungling.
9. If in a community jungle, always pitch in and help.
10. Try to stay clean, and boil up wherever possible.
11. When traveling, ride your train respectfully, take no personal chances, cause no problems with the operating crew or host railroad, act like an extra crew member.
12. Do not cause problems in a train yard, another hobo will be coming along who will need passage through that yard.
13. Do not allow other hobos to molest children, expose all molesters to authorities, they are the worst garbage to infest any society.
14. Help all runaway children, and try to induce them to return home.
15. Help your fellow hobos whenever and wherever needed, you may need their help someday.
16. If present at a hobo court and you have testimony, give it. Whether for or against the accused, your voice counts!

Today, the term Hobo evokes a romantic image of someone who took charge of their own destiny and embraced their spirit of adventure. Someone who lived their own life by their own rules. Someone who followed their own path.

Urban Hobo pays tribute to the Hobo spirit by encouraging others to embrace their spirit of adventure by exploring their city, state or region. Embrace your own sense of style and taste. Live your own life. Choose your own path.

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SWEETS!!!

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Urban Hobo is about “artful edibles” ….simple great goodness delivered in cool packaging. Great gifts at great prices for yourself or for someone special.

We are happy to speak with you regarding our cookies and caramels and customize your order for corporate gifts, events or something for yourself!

Our goal is to provide cool gifts that are handmade and unique and not pricey.

Be sure to check out our website http://www.urbanhobo.com.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Shawn O’Hara-Smith
Urban Hobo
shawn@urban-hobo.com
480-929-4008

 

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Tools…Juan’s Perspective

One of the things that gives our art work a unique character are the tools we use. These aren’t just any run-of-the-mill hardware store tools. These tools have a history. A soul. Many of them belonged to our parents and grandparents. We don’t simply enjoy using them because of their family history. It goes much deeper than that, because we each grew up using these very same tools. And, each of them has provenance. Each of these tools were used in a professional trade.

Here are a few examples of the tools we currently employ in our tin work. The two dollies were used by my Grandpa Smith in his Radiator/Body Shop in the 1920’s, ‘30’s and ‘40’s. Back when cars were made from actual steel. If you needed to shape a new body part or re-shape a damaged one, you would place the appropriate dolly behind the piece of steel and pound on the other side with a hammer, until the desired shape was achieved. These dollies are made from solid blocks of steel. After they were retired to my Grandfather’s personal workshop, I used them for many “important” projects when I was a kid. I even used them to pound out a few dents in friend’s cars.

One of the ball peen hammers belonged to my Grandpa Swinford. He used it in his carpentry business and I used it when I first learned to hammer nails (it was a lot lighter than a claw hammer and I hit the wood as often as I hit the nail, so it really didn’t matter if it was the right tool or not).

The other ball peen hammer belonged to Shawn’s Mother, Phyllis. She used it in her Art Gallery. Shawn spent a lot of time working in the gallery and used it to hang pictures.

Each of these tools were originally used professionally, for years, in artful endeavors. Over time they developed scars and wear and characters all their own. These very tools were used by our parents and grandparents to teach us skills and pass along a little bit of their knowledge. We are carrying on that tradition by using them in our own artful endeavors. Used together, they shape our tin work and give each piece a unique appearance and a little bit of history all their own.

 

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Gotta LOVE Salted Caramels

New product I will be adding to my Urban Hobo line…”Salted Caramels”. Yum Yum! I have to tell you….this was NOT an easy task for me. Being new to candy-making…I was trying to master the “soft ball and hard ball” stages. Like I said… not an easy task.

First time I made it, was too hard. However, Juan (my master taste tester) LOVED them. Reminded him of a See’s Sucker…I wanted them to be soft and chewy, not hard that would break your teeth. I tried a second time and was so nervous about the candy getting to hard I took it off the heat too soon and now way too soft. (I know it sounds like Goldilocks and the Three Bears) Again, Juan loved the texture and taste with the bit of sea salt it really topped it off.

I tried again and again… a little nervous as my candy thermometer I began to have no faith in and started doing it more traditional or old school….getting a small dish of water and testing for hardness of mixture.


It was better; however still not keeping a form (cut into small squares) so it needed to go longer. HOWEVER, Juan did come up with a great idea…”Dipping Sauce”

Of course we tried it by reheating the mixture and slicing some apples and dipped into the warm caramel goodness. You know what??? It was awesome. A great sauce to heat up fondue style or top your favorite ice cream dessert.

Alas, SUCCESS! I got the soft ball stage perfect AND I was able to cut into squares and wrap with wax paper. They look great, kinda “old school” style candy.


My “friends” like it


So now…I will have caramel suckers, caramel chews and delectable sauce ready to order in the very near future. I’m so excited to have mastered the caramel chews as I hate to lose at something …. And each day I would gather the ingredients and explain to Juan that “This is it!…I am getting it today” Well, I attempted many times and FINALLY won! 

 
To be continued…

 

A great day…

Well…I’m happy to report that I had a great “Pre-Valentine’s Event” selling our De-lish (sorry I made it up) Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Cookies on Wednesday.

People enjoyed the sampling and LOVED the bundle packs in the pretty pink and red hues. They also loved the hammered heart shaped tag with a cute sentiment such as “I Love You” or “Run Away With Me”

I was with a group of ladies and discussing the tags and personalizing them. I showed the example of the heart with the saying “Run Away With Me” and one gal said “How about just run away?” another gal piped up and said “How about drop dead?” the gals and I started laughing and I responded that I am happy to add any sentiment you’d like. Next thing I know we are creating crass poems with the start “Roses are red, violets are blue, I saw you cheating and now we’re through!”.

More chucking and giggling…however, any comments and thoughts from the customers are always appreciated.

Anyway…I received a lot of orders and excited to get started on my tags. THEN next weekend, I’ll be busy baking away.

I was able to get some corporate orders for their clients/customers. Several Realtors and and Insurance Group.

If anyone is interested in purchasing a bindle pack for your Valentine and add a heart shaped tag…I’m happy to take orders. If you are seeking corporate gifts, happy to chat too.

Shawn
Shawn@urban-hobo.com

 

My First Urban Hobo Cookie Event!

Urban Hobo-First “Small” Event!

In my last post…I was filling you in about the Valentine’s treats we are creating for that special someone in your life! (wink wink smiley face) Well, we are doing a small venue at our office complex. We have been very pleased at the response so far as many people know how much I LOVE creating fun and “kitchy” stuff being art or artful treats!

We are creating some cute heart tags along with our “Urban Hobo” ones with a loving sentiment.
To my Realtor friends…these are great gifts for your clients. We can create another “heart shaped” tag that reads “Unpack Your Home” Or “Unpack Welcome Home”. With the great packaging and the cost of $15.00 for two dozen cookies…it’s a special way to say thank you and not break the bank in doing so.

Hopefully it will be a great success…I’ll keep you posted on the results and let you know how I did. In the meantime, I am still taking orders to be shipped across the US…just send me an email shawn@urban-hobo.com or call 480-215-2329…I am happy to take your order and get it out to you pronto! (quickly)

 
 
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