Hobo Nickels


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(Ralph J. Perrico)




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Views of a Modern Hobo Nickel Carver...



The canvas may be the same, but the times are certainly different.  You'll not find me sitting beside the railroad tracks with a pocket knife in hand, scratching at nickel with a can of beans being warmed by the nearby fire.  No, you'll see me peering into a stereomicroscope in a climate-controlled house.  The nickel I carve won't be bartered for a warm place to sleep or my next hot meal.  What then, you may ask, do I share with the original hobo nickel carvers.  I too can undeniably lose myself into that small disk of metal.  My long day at the office can not compare to a long walk down the tracks, and dealing with coworkers can not compare to the mean-spirited people who looked down on hobos.  I do however; picture my escape into a small carving called a hobo nickel, a very similar relaxing escape from the unpleasantries which surround us both.  While watching myself slowly shape metal, time and the adverse day's events melt away.  Am I a hobo?  No, but I believe, I share an undeniable link with the original hobo nickel carvers.       


(by Ralph J. Perrico)







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December 20th 2004