The Corpus Christi Caller-Times from Corpus Christi, Texas on August 17, 1971 · Page 11
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The Corpus Christi Caller-Times from Corpus Christi, Texas · Page 11

Corpus Christi, Texas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, August 17, 1971
Page 11
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CORPUS CHRISTl TIMES, Tues., Aug. 17, 1971 11-A His Eyes Are Always Fixed on Some Distant Point *. T)RtJMMO\T AYRTRS tn 'HTVT TJ^ -o.,t. t.« u l j .. By B. DRYJMMOND AYRES JR ©.New York Times News Service BRITT, Iowa -- He sat on an ; old park bench, talking about "the road.-" There were stains on his jackets and tears in his "jeans ahcF the stubble on his chin only partially hid the jagged ruts and crevices left by bad weather and hard times; -Then there were his eyes. Never mind the color. The important thing was ,the way -they always seemed fixed on some distant point, as though he ·· were preoccupied or daydreaming a b o u t something just over the horizon. They were, not bright and shiny eyes, not the eyes of one of .today's growing corps .of youthful hitchhikers and easy riders. Eyes of Wa"derlust Rather, they were the eyes of. ; old-fashioned wanderlust, eyes that had stared hours on end into No. 10 tin cans bubbling with Mulligan stew, eyes that' had seen ,the world through the bottom of a thousand bottles of "sneaky pete," the eyes of one of the vanishing Americans, the hobo. They belonged to a man who called himself " S c i s s o r s Sam," who said he had been on the road for 44 of his 61 y e a r s , sharpening scissors whenever he needed pennies, a man who vowed to keep moving until he dropped dead, maybe in some weed-filled culvert serving as a temporary home or in some cold boxcar rattling along in the middle of nowhere. "No hippie could call the road home for 44 years," he declared flatly, his mouth turning down a little at the corners. Originally, home for Scissors Sam -- he-had been bom Sarn Long -- had been Greens- urg, Pa. But he had run away from that place in the midst of an unhappy childhood and he did not intend to return -- ever. ' . ' · At first, the running was easy. There were p l e n t y of .freights and. most started slowly and stopped frequently. Getting into an empty car was a cinch. , Every town of any size had a good "jungle,," where a man could find friends, food and a place to get out of the weather, even if it was only a lean- to made of packing cardboard. During the depression, there were so many men -- and Actor's Name Now is Official LOS ANGELES W -- The actor who played the Lone Ranger's sidekick Tonto for almost a decade on television is now Jay Silverheels--offi- cially. Superior Court Commissioner Harold Boisvert agreed yesterday to let the actor change his name from Harold J. Smith after he said Jay Sil- verheels is his true tribal name. The actor, 59, a Mohawk born in Ontario, Canada, at the Six Nations Reserve, said the Canadian government had insisted that he list a nontribal name when he emigrated to the United States. Silverheels, who runs the Indian Actors Workshop in Hollywood, is a proponent of Indian cultural identity. women -- on the road that Scissors Sarn sometimes figured the whole world was on the bum. Progress Closes In But then progress began to make Sam's life miserable. Trucks cut into rail traffic and the freight began to run less frequently and stopped less often. Fast-starting diesels made illegal boarding all but impossible at times. Next, massive welfare came along and many hoboes traded their wanderlust for a handout. The Salvation Army an'd the Young Men's Christian Association took on respectability in the jungles and the jungles began to die. Finally, the farther the nation moved away from the depression, the. less acceptable the bum became. And so, the open road today belongs jo a new generation, to young men and women trying to find America rather than live off its fat. Only the hardcore hoboes remain, men like Scissors Sam, men who no longer run from anything but travel just to be traveling. "It's a disease," says Sam. He traveled to north central lawa and this small farming community to get a handout and to attend the 71st annual National H o b o Convention. Somewhere on the road, he THE ZODIAC LOUNGE presents Lath an Lynn n' Flight with a GINGER-BRED OPEN DAILY 5 PM-2 AM FREEBIES 6:3O PM . Staples Res. 883-6275 STUDIO III 615 NORTH CHAPARRAL NOW SHOWING 2 MM SPECIALS ADMISSiON SINGLES *2 SO COUPLES *3°° SUPER SNEAK--EVERY WEDNESDAY MIDNIGHT SPECIAL EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT STRONGEST SHOW EN TOWN ALL STAR TEXAS PREMIER HEW SHOW EVERY FRIDAY TOTALLY EXPLICIT BOTH OF THESE FILMS CREATE NEW DIMENSIONS IN ADULT FILM MAKING THAT WILL REALLY SATISFY YOUR APPETITE NEED WE SAY MORE! OPEN 10 A.M. TO ?? FRI-SAT. ._..,,-. OPEN ID AM ADULT MIDNIGHT THEATRE MCORKD i n t n i n t UOIIS FKEE 603 MESQUITE ST. 838-5892 mvTsxoH MMmfow AMUSU TOWER THEATRE ·'-.···· ,1647 S.AlAMEDAidt SJXPOINIS^h.988-*418 . DOS TREMENDAS PILlCUiAS TODOS LOS DIAS ADULTOS$1.50NINOSSO' i* a h? u "j* 0 ^^*te fW AGUISH OAlft DC OULU lib -*j.s*rt"tf. - iASTMANCOWR V GULF °rTHfATRi 4044 SO: PORT Ph 854 $2,00 Per Car PILI y MIL! Dos Chicas iocas Locos a Coloras he^rd that the merchants of Britt would give bums a $7.50 grub stake if they would take part in the town's "hobo king" election and carnival. "Seven and a half bucks is a lot of money," he says, adding: 'Tve never had $300 at any one time in my whole life. Around $200, I usually have a spending spree. "Sometime last year, I left California with $185 in my .pocket, headed east using my thumb mostly, but trains whenever I could find them. Trouble was, I stopped in Reno and started playing the slots. Then I ran into a worn- an -- old as l a m , ha, ha -and after all that and a few beers I was dead broke. "Had to start sharpening scissors." What about the "hobo king" contest? Platform for Title He said he plans to run on a "throw the bum in" : platforrn. And he thinks he just might win because only a half-dozen or so hoboes have come to Britt for the 1971. convention, compared to the 50 or more who showed up every August during the peak contest years. 'He still has that faraway look but obviously is feeling pretty good after a' night in a comfortable Britt weed plot and a morning with the king of beers. At election time, he slowly trudges to the open air convention platform in a nearby field. Under his arm he carries the trademark of the hobo -- a grimy bag crammed with a blanket, a bar of soap, a razor and a change of clothes. On the platform, he finds the reigning king, John "Hard Rock" Mislen, and the handful of other candidates -- Arthur "Slow Motion Shorty" Parker, Tim "Connecticut Slim" Moylan, James "Big 1 Town" Gorman, James "Open Road" Langford and Richard "Pennsylvania Kid" Wilson. Most are dressed conventionally, except for the Pennsylvania kid and Hard Rock, both of whom sport gaudy shirts and hats and flowing beards. The politicking moves along quickly. With each candidate making a short speech, most plead "just elect me" but Connecticut Slim sings an obscure love song and Scissors Sam throws in his line about tossing a real bum into office. Then the crowd of several hundred is asked to clap for the candidate they like best. Each man rises at the mention of his name. The Pennsylvania Kid wins easily. He leaps for joy. Quickly, the crowd begins to disperse toward the carnival midway. The election platform begins to clear. For a few moments, Scissors Sam does not move. People swirl about him, but he continues to stare straight ahead, out over the mciro- phones, out over the disappearing crowd, out over the low frame houses that line Britt's dusty streets. Then, slowly, he rises, picks up his bag, turns his back on it all and heads for the hori- 2on. Is) Ii South Texas! Dw't Miss the LIGHTED CHECKERBOARD DANCE FLOOR Just like you've seen on the Tom Jones Show! DANCING! GO-GO (URLS! COLD BEER! SET-UPS! 5«« and Htar it all at Keadowl»x«*lc$*ate ~ , A l a CINNE ARTS NOW UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT COMPLETELY AIR CONDITIONED YOU MUST BE OVER 18 OPEN DAI1V 10 A.M. TO ? OPEN SUNDAY 1 P.M. TO ? SOS N. 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