Iowa Blackie   3 comments


Iowa Blackie

25 May 2013

Just in the past half hour, I was hitchhiking on U.S. 395 several miles south of John Day, Oregon.  This jeep pulled over to give me a ride.  It was a man and his wife; they lived in Seneca.

I told them that I had been hitchhiking for a number of years and that I was originally from Iowa.

He told me that twenty years ago, he and his wife were living in Britt, Iowa (Britt is close to where I grew up in north central Iowa [Algona]).  They met this old hobo named Iowa Blackie.  They let him stay at their place one night.  Iowa Blackie was the Hobo King at the Hobo Convention in Britt back in 1993.

When he mentioned Iowa Blackie’s name, I exclaimed, “It’s a small world!”

I told them that I had a pickup for a few months back in 2000.  I was driving through Boone, Iowa on U.S. 30.  I picked up this hitchhiker; his name was Iowa Blackie.  I drove him to Atlantic where he was going to stay with some friends.  I bought a copy of his book of poetry.  I told them that Iowa Blackie passed away a while back [2011].

The man and his wife dropped me off at this public cabin at the top of this mountain just seven miles north of Seneca.  I’ll stay here for the night and continue to head south on U.S. 395 tomorrow.

Iowa Blackie Obituary
Books by Iowa Blackie
Walkin’ Joe and the Midnight Marauders
The Jerry Shey Family
Hobo Shoestring–King of the Rails
The life of a hobo


Posted September 5, 2013 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , ,

3 responses to “Iowa Blackie

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  1. Awesome… stay safe and go with God brother!

  2. TeachX3: I think the Lord uses certain people like Iowa Blackie (me picking him up hitchhiking and then, years later, that couple that let him stay overnight at their place) to show me that I am on the right path and that I am in God’s perfect will. This reminds me of that scripture that says, “in the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established.”

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