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122
Thanks for the Reminder −by Fred “The Roo” Ross ... 4/05
121
  Carving Chips.....   • Pope John Paul II 1920-2005 ~ “Man of World” •  
120
  Carving Chips.....   • The Latest From The Bench Of Sam Alfano” •  
119
Thoughts From a Nickel Carver −by Dick Sheehan ... 4/05
118
  Carving Chips.....   • Artwork from Mike Cirelli and Jerry Pardubicky •  
117
  Carving Chips.....   • Nothing is Safe When I Have Something Sharp in My Hands! −by Keith Pedersen •  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
116
Whoops..... Report of a missing paragraph in BoTales2005#1 ... 3/05
115
  Carving Chips.....   • Knight Of The Road” Token −by Del Romines •  
114
Turkey ... A Canvas Bag for Carrying Possessions −by Verne R. Walrafen ... 3/05
113
Men of the Road −by Bob Shamey ... 3/05
112
Getting Back into Small Works of Art −by Bob Shamey ... 3/05
111
Gleanings from the Cutting Room Floor −by V-Dubya ... 3/05
110
Demonstration Forgery of a Classic Nickel Carving −by V-Dubya ... 3/05
109
So Many Things To Carve... So Little Time! −by Clifford L. Kraft ... 3/05
108
Who Is The Best Modern Day Carver? −by Bill Zach ... 3/05
107
Travel Stories Train riding experiences by an unknown author ... 3/05
106
Hobo Nickels Part of CCL Casino Night Successful Charity Auction ... 3/05
105
Where The Ideas Come From −by Rick Ferry ... 3/05
104
As Long As Both My Eyes And Hands Will Let Me −by Steve Adams ... 3/05
103
Another Trip Through The Flint Hills −by Verne R. Walrafen ... 3/05
102
In Loving Memory of Archie R. "Flick" Taylor, Sr. ~ OHNS-RM235 ... 3/05
101
Contemporary American Folk Art −by V-Dubya, OHNS-HLM620 ... 3/05
  100  
100
2005 American Bison Nickel Featuring Bold New Jefferson Image Heads into Circulation ... 3/05
Continue reading older TABLE OF CONTENTS for OHNS NEWS items in our SCRAPBOOK
122 
28 April 2005
Thanks for the Reminder” −by Fred “The Roo” Ross
Envelope Front
Envelope Back
Back CloseUp
This what I used to do to earn my meals on my travels!” ~ Frederik M. Ross ~ OHNS RM-557
What a superb idea and service! My complements to OHNS. ~ Mary Ann Mellema ~ OHNS RM-181
Sorry for not renewing sooner... at 84 the old brain get's pretty mushy! ~ Maurice L. Springer ~ OHNS RM-678
121 
  Carving Chips.....   • Pope John Paul II 1920-2005 ~ “Man of World” •  
 Karol Wojtyla
Our Holy Father”

Karol Wojtyla
−by Cliff Kraft

Karol Wojtyla
−by Steve Adams

Karol Wojtyla 
−by Bill Jameson

120 
  Carving Chips.....   • The Latest From The Bench Of Sam Alfano” •  
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Locomotive#620-supersizeSupersize this picture!
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Neptune~Posidon-supersizeSupersize this picture!
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Centurion-supersizeSupersize this picture!
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George Custer-supersizeSupersize this picture!
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Black Beard-supersizeSupersize this picture!
119 
6 April 2005
Thoughts From a Nickel Carver
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Miss Kitty

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Marion Morrison

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Baralawr Barry

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I deas for great nickel carvings... where do they come from? What shall I attempt next? How can I keep the concept original? Can I produce a better carving than my last one? Can I draw an excellent layout for use before the actual engraving starts? Can any of the existing elements of the original nickel be used in the new design?
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First carving. 
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 Second carving.
T hese are all issues that should be considered as the process begins. I must be extra careful not to remove too much metal, but enough to get a desirable relief carving. I must study the existing high and low areas on the nickel so as to reduce problems that will surely develop if I chose to ignore them prior to starting the engraving. An example of a problem area would be on the obverse side of the coin where the neck and jaw of the Indian intersect. This is a very low area on the coin and almost always seems to be where the carver would desire more metal being present.
A nother challenge to overcome is keeping the date & liberty intact, not only while carving, but on completion of the piece. Last ,but not least, is completing the coin with a very smooth field surrounded the subject giving the appearance of having been struck as opposed to being carved. The carver should always be striving for a superior graded nickel.
W e newer carvers are fortunate to have some wonderful engravers to look up to for ideas, inspiration and very high quality, deep relief work. Engravers such as: Steve Adams, Sam Alfano, Lee Griffiths, Bill Jameson and Ron Landis, to name a few, who continue to produce carved nickels that simply "blow me away" and inspire me to move to greater heights.
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Third carving. 
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 Fourth carving.
T o produce "a great nickel" is to invest a good deal of time in the planning of the piece, long before any tools contact the metal. Possibly this becomes easier as one gets more experience working on the coins? I can not say it has gotten easy for this carver to date. I need to get excited about an idea for a new layout: even in some cases, apprehensive as to my ability to pull off the design properly. How can one become a better engraver if he or she is not willing to move out of their comfort zone?
M y hope is that this will give new carvers as well as the collectors a better appreciation of what must take place to produce high quality carved coins and that the ones that are created will be valued more than ever before.

Dick Sheehan... Wednesday, 4/6/2005 7:37PM
118 
  Carving Chips.....   • Artwork from Mike Cirelli and Jerry Pardubicky •  
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Cirelli's “Iesous Christos”
Pardubicky's “BalloonStack #60”
117 
  Carving Chips.....   • Nothing is Safe When I Have Something Sharp in My Hands! −by Keith Pedersen •  
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“My carved Ostrich eggs sell for $400-$800.   I've carved any kind of egg you can think of; turkey, emu, ostrich, rhea... all the way down to bantam chicken.”
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116 
26 March 2005
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Whoops..... I've been informed that the just published version of my story in BoTales2005#1 about the FUN2005 auction... “Booty from FloridaBooty from Florida ...dropped an entire paragraph. Without the missing information the tone of the article changes... it looses my intended personal conversational style. The published article was supposed to be an expansion on a previous NEWSitem shown on this website but it didn't turn out that way. If you are interested in reading the correct version then you can follow the “title link” provided above... if not, then at least you know that I am fully aware that the article did not get published as was intended. ~ Verne R. Walrafen
Click for enlargement ... Romines-Page45 $495Click for enlargement ... Indian $550Click for enlargement ... Clown $660Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.Click for enlargement ... Bert $330Click for enlargement ... Monkeys $385Click for enlargement ... StoryTeller $220
J.A.Romines...page45
Ron Landis
Dick Sheehan
Mike Cirelli
Bob Shamey
Lee Griffiths
Postscript: In response to more than one inquiry... I apologize to our currently active nickel carvers! It was not my intention to “feature” the “J.A.Romines...page45” carving done by a Classic artist over the carvings done by our currently active artists. The illustrations for the BoTales2005#1 article were submitted as you see here above so as to give each carving equal importance and not with the Classic carving enlarged as it ended up when published. I do not have a “favorite” carving in this acquisition... they are all equally appreciated in my midden heap! ~ vrw
115 
  Carving Chips.....   • Knight Of The Road” Token −by Del Romines •  
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114 
25 March 2005
Click to view an enlargement of this Carpet Bag.
Carpet Bag ~ circa 1851-75
Click to view an enlargement of this Tool Bag.
Tool Bag ~ circa 1926-50
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Carpet Bag ~ circa 1870
Turkey” ... A Canvas Bag for Carrying Possessions *
* - “A Dictionary of Old Hobo Slang”A Dictionary of Old Hobo Slang

Why in the world would Hobos elect to call a piece of luggage a “Turkey?
  I'm Just Restin' ~ Bob Finlay
Dear Mom ~ Lee Griffiths
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   Loitering? Me? ~ Bob Finlay
Snoozin' ~ Lee Griffiths
Admittedly there is some supposition and a great deal of extrapolation in this etymological soliloquy but “carpet bags,” the most inexpensive luggage of their day, were originally made from old carpets. I've learned that Oriental carpets/rugs (or Turkish rugs) were often referred to as “Turkey rugs.” One might well speculate that some inexpensive carpet bags might even have been imported and had “Product of Turkey” tags inside them. Carpet bags were later made from carpet material made specifically to be manufactured into bags. In the early 1900's that carpet material would logically migrate into canvas in the pursuit of economical substitutes. By extension all small luggage bags could easily have become referred to as “Turkey” bags.
Obviously, when a person was pressured out of their home, they would take with them whatever they expected to need that their family could spare... which would likely be precious little in most cases. In any event they would be limited by what they could physically carry with them... again clearly a very small amount. One can logically conclude that, in many cases, the piece of luggage that a family could most spare would be GrandDad's old carpet bag.
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Vintage advertising copy    
I can remember my GrandMother commenting about how she had to wear dresses made out of chicken feed sacks and flour sacks when she was a girl. There was a brand of flour called “Turkey Red Flour” which was quite popular in the years leading up to the Great Depression. In that same time period J.A.McCoppin & Sons produced a complete line of “Red Rose Animal Feeds,” among which was, “Red Rose Turkey & Chicken Feed” that also came in cloth sacks. These are certainly other possible sources for the “Turkey” terminology. I'd bet many a Hobo left home with a few precious items, their sole possessions, tucked in just such a cloth sack.
I just know that I am always extremely pleased when one of our modern nickel carvers includes any piece of luggage in their carving project... bindle, carpet bag, tool bag, campaign bag, club bag, satchel, sample case, whatever. ~ Verne R. Walrafen
Click to view an enlargement of this Campaign Bag.
Campaign Bag ~ circa 1900
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Campaign Bag ~ circa 1901-25
Click to view an enlargement of this Club Bag.
Club Bag ~ circa 1901-25
Credit... Vintage LuggageVintage Luggage website by Yank AzmanVintage Luggage website - Toronto
113 
24 March 2005

A Two Ounce Silver Round Carving for Zemo −by Bob Shamey     "I will never attempt carving anything this big again!"
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The edge has a locomotive and eleven other cars... including a log car, tank car, flat car, boxcar, crane car, and on to the caboose.”
   Men of the Road ~ In the summer of 2004 I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Fivaz at the big coin show in Pittsburgh. It was my first outing to a major coin show after becoming addicted to carving Hobo Nickels the previous January.
   During this eventful meeting with Mr. Fivaz he asked me if I would be interested in carving a large coin, a 2 oz. silver round (Walking Liberty) to add to his growing collection of custom Coin Carvings. I was of course intrigued with the project... and so what you see shown here above is the end of my journey on and around this coin.
   Knowing that I would turn the Walking Liberty into a hobo I concentrated on the reverse and decided to do a vignette of six different “Men of the Road,” totally different personalities looking on expectantly as their meager dinner of beans cook over their campfire in a railroad yard beneath a water tower. This I followed with a strutting hobo off with the morning sun leaving the watertower camp for a new day on the road.
   But I felt that I still hadn't really included the Railroad Theme except for the water tower. So then I followed with the 11 car train with tracks and a Hobo standing in the open door of the freight car on that wonderful edge of the coin.
   And since it is off in a private collection, I thought I would share the very clever photos of this project taken by Bill Fivaz, not only showing both sides but also in each photo you can see the continuous edge carving. Bob Shamey... Thursday, 3/24/2005 5:55PM

112 

Black Cherry

Plumb

"Life can be the pits!"

Plumb

Olive
Getting Back into Small Works of Art ~ Bill Fivaz's two ounce carving was just about more than I could manage... such a huge canvas to work with! Over the last three weeks I've been working on a lot of very small carvings getting in practice for a filming of my artwork that was coming up for a television show on the “Food Channel.” Getting back into small fruit pits and toothpicks as works of art.

Locomotive, Tender, CoalCar, LogCar, Flatbed, TankCar, CraneCar, BoxCar and Caboose!” ... all from a common toothpick!
Then came this request from a collector in Florida for me to carve a miniature Buffalo nickel token that he had received at the 2005 F.U.N. show. Here below you can see how that engaging little project turned out. This little carving took as much effort as a full sized nickel carving! It was during this time I also carved a very little comic hobo jockey riding on a fish which was popular with collectors on eBay. Bob Shamey... Wednesday, 3/23/2005 3:51AM
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   "MiniMe" -0.82g                 "Original Host Token"
Nickel -21.2mm Token -10.3mm
"Ride Em Hobo!" -$384 on eBay
111 
22 March 2005
Incremental Scans Taken As Carving Progressed ~ scanned by Bill Jameson
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"Vikingars Hjordis" ...pronounced “Yerdiss”
Chrysos Stephanos Akanthinos
"Golden Crown of Thorns" −by Mike Cirelli
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Yeshua (Hebrew) • Iesous (Greek)
Iesus (Latin) • Jesus (English)
1) Bert carving 2) Bert “by Bo” carving 3) Bert carving ~ scanned by Ralph Winter
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J.A.Romines p9...br.c1
J.A.Romines p9...br.c2
J.A.Romines p39...r2.c3
Gleanings from the Cutting Room Floor
Carving Chips... flotsam and jetsam way too interesting to discard!
These are items that your Webmaster is unable to generate something interesting to tell you about them. So... the titles shown with each scan pretty much says it all. If you want to know more about anything posted here just me and I'll happily try to field any questions. ~ V-Dubya
How Do You Get To Cooperstown? −by Mikey Cirelli Sabina Minthorn Medal Sabina” −by Bill Jameson
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Practice Practice Practice!
−by Olin Levi Warner 1891
Daughter of Kash-Kash, Cayuse Tribe
My First and Fourth Nickel Carvings −by Charlie Thomas Newly Nicknamed Carver −by Steve Alpert
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I just carve them for my own enjoyment.”
Tall Collar” (Yet to be published in BoTales.)
110 
18 March 2005


GMM  2001  token

OHNS  2001  token
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Landis "Pinchbeck" Classic Nickel Carving ... 4.72g
Carved using a unique GMM 2001 token struck over a nickel as a host.
All other GMM 2001 tokens were struck on silver planchets.

GMM  2001  token

OHNS  2001  token
    Demonstration Forgery of a Classic Nickel Carving ~ to show that tokens struck in nickel can easily be abused. This creation was done by Ron Landis in 2001 using a token struck over a Jefferson Nickel with his GMM 2001 Hobo Token dies. Ron then carved away the date, the LIBERTY legend, and the “Hobo Token” legend. Next he carved the die struck Indian obverse as a “typical” generic Hobo bust. Finally he added a few cuts here and there to give this piece the “appearance” of a classic nickel carving.
    Ron told me he created this specimen to show Bill Fivaz how easy it would be to take advantage of the overstruck nickel Hobo Tokens that had been created each year previous to 2001. This is why he made the decision to strike all future Hobo Tokens for both GMM and OHNS in silver rather than nickel.
    The 90o misalignment of the obverse and reverse dies on this forgery is a “dead give away” here but it took me a while to “tumble” to this fact. I originally paid for this token as an original Landis nickel carving that hadn't been signed or dated by Ron. While I didn't make the novice collector's mistake of taking this forgery to be a classic carving... I did at first take it as a genuine nickel carving. Ya got me Ron! ~ V-Dubya

pinch•beck adj. Imitation; spurious. [After Christopher Pinchbeck (1670?-1732), English watchmaker.]
109 
17 March 2005

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B閞et Vert”
Frisco Joe”
Bruin A'Bear”
Ramrod Rod”
Mishto Avilan”
 So Many Things To Carve... So Little Time!
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
I n 2001, with a visor type magnifier and a couple of modified 3 cornered files, I tried carving on some no-date Buffalo nickels. I knew very little about what I was doing, other than I enjoyed it. Somewhere along the line I found Art Hutchinson and slowly, with his help, started acquiring a few factory made tools.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
First carving.  
Next... in Jan. 2002 after selling my nickel carving #1 ...I managed to acquire a microscope.
 Fantastic, now I could see what I was doing!
T hen in 2003 I managed to attend one of Sam Alfano's engraving classes, which answered a lot of questions, some even before they became questions. It was a very informative and enjoyable experience.
I feel for the most part, each new carving I do should be better than the previous. I, also, don't set any quotas. A carving takes as long as it takes, especially if I feel a little adventurous and am trying something new. I believe this to be one of the most saisfying things a person can do, especially when everything works out just the way you planned. I also enjoy seeing the creations of some of the very artistic and talented people involved in carving Hobo's.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
F inally I would like to thank everyone for their support, but especially V-Dubya, whose support and encouragement for so many of us, has made the last few years even more enjoyable.

Cliff Kraft ~ Thursday, 3/17/2005 5:27PM
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Leonardo”
Ar Meisce Seamr骻” (obv)
Ar Meisce Seamr骻” (rev)
ChiChi Rodriguez”
The Tramp”
Ar Meisce Seamr骻” is “Drunken Shamrock” in Gaelic.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
The Shamrock... traditional spelling: seamr骻, meaning summer plant, pronounced sham-roh-g ...was called a trefoil or three-leaf clover and was used in ancient Celtic fertility rites, representing the triple goddess.
The Story of the Shamrock & The Wearing of the Green
The Shamrock is a three-leafed clover that grows in Ireland. A common image in Celtic artwork, the shamrock is found on Irish medieval tombs and on old copper coins, known as St. Patrick's money. The plant is also reputed to have mystic, even prophetic powers-- for instance the leaves are said to stand upright to warn of an approaching storm.
Legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock in the fifth century to symbolize the divine nature of the trinity when he introduced Christianity to Ireland.
The seamr骻 is a big part of Irish history, as the Shamrock was used as an emblem by the Irish Volunteers in the era of Grattan's Parliament in the 1770's, The Act of Union. When it became an emblem of rebellion in the 19th century, Queen Victoria made wearing a seamrog by member's of her regiments punishable by death by hanging. It was during this dark time that the phrase “the Wearing of the Green” began. Today the seamr骻 joins the English Rose and the Scottish Thistle on the British flag and is an integral part of Saint Patrick's Day celebrations.
“The Wearing of the Green” also symbolizes the birth of springtime. Irish legend states that green clothes attract faeries and aid crops.
108 
9 March 2005

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Leroy LeBourrin”
St.Louis Louie”
Hoosegow Harry”
Halcyon Hal”
Shoeless Joe”
Rebbe Hasidim”
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Who Is The Best Modern Day Carver?
I started carving hobo nickels in 1995 and sold them to local coin collectors. My first tools were a small chisel and a small yard sale hammer and three wood screws to hold coin down. So my first tools cost about fifty cents and my first carving sold for $10. I got my carving name of BillZach from my first name and my oldest grandboy's first name.
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First carving.  
M y first carvings were on the crude side. At that time I didn't have a computer, didn't have any ideal other people were carving hobo nickels and didn't know who or where to get help on carving. I asked a man that sold on ebay to sell my carvings on ebay and his reply was it was against the law to change the apperarance of a coin.
I n 1999 I retired at age 51 from Goodyear after 30 years of service and in April 2000 I brought a computer. When I looked up hobo nickels I found out people were carving them, selling them on ebay and it was legal... so this got me involved with ebay.
I f I remember right in early 2000... Arthur Hutchinson, Sam Alfano and maybe one more modern day carver were selling on ebay. Although I had five years of carving hobo nickels I still didn't have anyone to ask questions, so I emailed Arthur Hutchinson and his reply was he didn't know but one person, Sam Alfano.
A t that time Arthur was making a lot of his tools from concrete nails. Arthur and I started to search for tools and found we could buy hand gravers, head visors and such. As time went by we brought better tools and about in 2001 I brought a microscope which improved my carving two fold. The next thing I did which was the most important thing I was to ever do... I took an engraving class under Sam Alfano in Kansas.
A s to the subjects I carve... they are people I knew as a young boy growing up on the Ohio River, they are famous people of times past, they are people in todays world I see at WalMart or on vacation. I'm moving into other avenues of carving, but plan on carving hobo nickels as time permits. I get an average of 5 requests a week to carve a commisioned carving and would like to fill the requests. With fishing, hiking, Church work and two grandboys... time doesn't permit me to.
M y response of who has influenced me the most in the ten years I've been carving would be; Sam Alfano, Ron Landis, Verne Walrafen and O.H.N.S. As I see the great masters at work today carving hobo nickels they inspire me greatly. Some people have asked me... “Who is the best modern day carver?” My answer is that I have no answer as I keep seeing amazing carvings by different carvers.

Bill Jameson ~ Wednesday, 3/9/2005 11:45AM
107 
8 March 2005
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.   ONLY brief excerpts are provided here.
Travel Stories
Click on any
 ~ title ~
to read the full story.
  Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
 ~ Chapel Hill, NC to Gainesville, FL ~ One Cold Ride ... 12/28/02 ~

    We headed over to the train yard. It was eighteen degrees, and my feet were so cold that I couldn't tell where the earth ended and I began. The visible vapor of my breath carried on for miles before dissipating. We clung to the cold ground of the rail embankment, hiding from the yard bulls and waiting for a train that might never come.
    We were hiding in the woods between some drug dealers and the rails. Eventually, the drug dealers noticed us and were none too pleased with our presence. “You guys can't be here, you'll get shot.” “Who's going to shoot us?” “Do I look like I'm kidding?” “Right.”
    We moved up the yard and continued waiting. Eventually a junker south-bound train rolled in. As soon as we heard the brakes air out, we were running. Our feet crunched along the gravel as we sprinted down the line. Tanker, Grainer, Tanker, Tanker, Boxcar... sealed, Tanker, Grainer, Grainer, Boxcar... sealed, Boxcar... sealed, crap crap crap no ridable cars, Boxcar... sealed, Boxcar.... open!
    We threw our stuff in, hammered a railroad spike into the door, and hid in the back corner of the car. Unfortunately, both doors were open - so we had a hell of a time hiding from all possible angles. Eventually the slack action jolted us, and we were moving. We watched the night-time scenery roll by and gazed at the clear night sky.
    The temperature on a moving boxcar was even lower, so we had to get into our sleeping bags. Even then we were freezing, and we had to constantly get out and hide as we passed through switching yards.

 ~ San Francisco To St. Louis ~ A Story In Three Parts ... 8/6/03 ~

Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
    North Platt, Nebraska is the biggest railyard in the world. It is said to have overhead cameras, an arrest without warning policy, and an infinate number of yardcops.
    Kirsten and I couldn't both hide in the foxhole of our hopper, so I ran back to the next hopper in our string and hid there. If all went according to plan, I was to meet Kirsten back at our original hopper during the next crewchange. Of course, nothing went according to plan.
    Luckily, the sun had just set as we rolled into the yard. Our train sided next to a bazillion others, and I hid the best I could. There's barely enough room for me in the foxhole of a hopper, so it's not possible for me to move my legs out of the fetal position. The workers set off on checking our string. Apparently my car had a broken part, so there was a swarm of activity followed by an excruciating 45 minute period where a single worker was waiting for someone to deliver a part. Eventually my muscles started to spasm, and I wanted for our train to move more than anything. After 2 hours, I almost couldn't take it any more.
    Our train finally started moving, and everything went wrong. It should have been obvious that they were humping the train, but I was too blinded by my agony and impatience. The car behind me was a hopper too, so I couldn't see what was happening when they cut both of us loose over the hump. All I thought was that the train was reversing astoundingly fast.
    When my car hit the others at the bottom of the hill, my head slammed into the wall, I bit through my tounge, and everything flashed white. When I woke up I asked audibly “Where am I?” and crawled out of the foxhole just as another car came careening down the hill and slammed into mine. The shock threw me off the car and into the train next to us, where I bruised my shoulder and landed hard on my wrist. I was with-it enough to realize that I was in a bad place, and so stumbled away from the hump, spitting blood.
    At this point it still hadn't occured to me that they were humping the train. For some reason I assumed that they had just disconnected my mini-string, and that Kirsten was zooming across Nebraska with the rest of the train. So I managed to find the east-bound gate and sneak up a treeline until I found the west-bound counterpart. I climbed into an open boxcar and blacked out again.
    In the morning I could barely move, but managed to rip open the packet of “Emergen-C” that Alex had given me. I poured it into the 5 swallows of water that I had left, and passed out again. When I woke up the second time, I found that my boxcar was a part of a 2-unit 800-car string moving west. I didn't have any food or water, so I looked up at the clouds and hallucinated for the all-day trip to Cheyene.
    In Cheyene my kidneys were hurting, and I drank water as if I'd never tasted it before. I got some food out of the Subway dumpster and had a feast - laying out on the warm asphalt and feeling happy to be alive.

 ~ Klamath Falls Blues ~ Runaway Train ... 7/14/04 ~

    I thought about the train ride there, and wondered why it had affected me so differently than a ride in a car. I had brought a lot of reading along, but hardly read any. 32hr train rides sound long, but I found myself spending hours and hours staring out into the country side from the well of a 48 without even thinking about the passage of time.
    On the train, I end up feeling very small in the world. Everything around me is so big, and I'm traveling through it with absolutely no control. The train doesn't give a damn about me. It doesn't care if I'm out of water, if I'm starving, or if I'm going in the wrong direction. If it throws me off or cuts me in half, it will just keep moving as if nothing at all has happened. I'm just as helpless, or more, than a bug crawling across the hot metal.

Stories... Chapel Hill, San Francisco and Klamath Falls.
The author of these stories never identified himself in any of them that I found nor anywhere on his website.
I feel the above clips really show how really difficult riding trains is... even when things go reasonably well.
So much for the romanticism of being a “real” Hobo! - vrw
106 
7 March 2005

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Generated a $425 Contribution
Generated a $375 Contribution
    Hobo Nickels Part of CCL Casino Night... Successful Charity Auction ~ Creative Community Living (CCL) of South Central Kansas, Inc. is the leading provider of services for people with developmental disabilities in south-central Kansas.
   CCL held their 2005 Casino Night on Saturday, February the 19th, and Bob Finlay donated two of his deeply sculpted nickels. Both of his carvings were a big hit! He was concerned that they might go for a song since there were unlikely to be two carved nickel collectors present to generate a successful auction result. He was right in that there weren't any carved nickel collectors present but that didn't hinder the bidding!
   I understand that the evening generated roughly $12,000. Bob's efforts contributed $800... a meaningful portion of that support for CCL. ~ Verne R. Walrafen

 The Making of a Self-Made Man
105 
6 March 2005

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Rough Pencil Sketch”

5x6x12" Basswood Block”

Front of Cutout”

Removal of 
 Excess Wood”
Roughing in 
 the Details”
    Where The Ideas Come From ~ When I am ready to begin a new carving it is important that the concept be clear and that I have a real interest in creating it. I have boxes and bins of unfinished carvings that were begun but will probably never find a shelf to sit upon.
   Without exception, my ideas reflect first-hand experiences and memories. The basis of my hobos are mainly childhood memories. I spent more time than I probably should have down on the river bank and walking the rail lines. Lucky for me, the men that frequented those areas during the early fifties were of decent character. ~ Rick Ferry... January 23, 2005
   The bit of descriptive text above is just a small clip and I can only show you the merest glimpse of Rick's many photos. Obviously Rick has a ways to go to finish this carving but it is fascinating to see what he has to go through to create a carved Hobo for us to enjoy. It makes one remember that genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Visit Rick's website and follow his progress at... The Making of a Self-Made Man. ~ Verne R. Walrafen

104 
5 March 2005

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Quercus Sapien”
Leo Persica”
Howdy D. Clown”
J.F.K.”
   As Long As Both My Eyes And Hands Will Let Me ~ In 2001 I discovered the world of hobo nickels purely by accident on Ebay. With a background in commercial art and twenty plus years in die engraving and sculpting, it seemed a natural to try.
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First carving.  
    The first nickel was done in less than a day, and now I am more likely to spend two or three days on carvings. I prefer deep relief, and those who have purchased my carvings know this. The extra depth allows for heavily sculpted designs. I enjoy the challenge of this art form, and it has now become a major part of my life.
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  Second carving.
    The first Ebay carving was an immediate success, but the most important result of the auction turned out to be all of the people who came forward with words of encouragement. One of the first to email was Arthur Hutchinson, and Sam Alfano shortly after. Both of these carvers were very helpful, and the list of people who have helped me or given support since then has grown dramatically.
    We carvers owe much to the OHNS, the original artisans who created this art form, and Ron Landis for opening an avenue for modern carvers. I personally want to take this opportunity to thank Verne Walrafen, a truly multifaceted man with a passion for hobo nickels.
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Orchard Raider”  
Carving not finished yet!  
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Nickel & Medal Set”  
Work in progress!  
    My hope is that I will be able to continue to carve hobo nickels as long as both my eyes and hands will let me, and there will always be others to share it with.
   Just A Sneak Peek ~ This is my current carving of an orchard raider hobo. Keep in mind, this is not even near done. There is a lot of detail, sculpting and finishing to do yet. It should look very nice when complete. Just a sneak peek.

Steve Adams Click to EMail this person. ~ Saturday, 3/5/2005 7:16PM
103 
2 March 2005

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Warm Hospitality ~ 4.11g
I'm Just Restin' ~ 4.32g
A Class Act ~ 4.10g
Joulupukki ~ 3.93g
Loitering? Me? ~ 4.15g
Snug Hideout ~ 4.39g
Gandy Dancer ~ 4.26g
Barber ~ 3.13g
Frasier's Friend ~ 4.83g
Scroll to view more photos.                                             Click on any photo to view an enlargement.

   Another Trip Through The Flint Hills ~ On our trip back from Joe Rust's wake in Arkansas Caroline and I dropped in on Bob Finlay to see what he was up to. The nine carved nickels shown here are the latest creations from Bob's engraving bench. I particularly like the satchel sitting on the path to the outhouse waiting for its owner to finish “resting.” Acquiring these imaginative carvings certainly was reward enough but that huge slab of ribs at Bobby D抯 Merchant Street Barbecue afterwards definitely put the perfect finish to the trip. ~ Verne R. Walrafen

   Postscript ~ Shortly after we got home Dick Sheehan informed us that he had just carved the really COOL! nickel shown here on the left. He referred to it as his “Ol Traveling Hobo” but I enjoy developing names myself for many of the carvings I purchase. This Sheehan carving really “spoke to me” and I had a “blast” naming this one. Naming a carving is often more rewarding than the simple act of acquisition.
   Baralawr Barry is an old Welshman who is well known for his predilection for Teisennau cocos baralawr, “Cockles and Laverbread”, as you can tell from his expansive waistline. Laverbread... “Bara Lawr” ...is a traditional Welsh delicacy produced from the edible seaweed “laver” which grows on rocky shores west of Swansea and Barry is Welsh for marksman which his Mam and Tad hoped he would grow up to be.

102 

 In Loving Memory of Archie R. “Flick” Taylor, Sr. ~ OHNS-RM235
John Yancho and Archie at FUN 2005
Archie at ANA Show in Pittsburgh
   OHNS has just learned that another of our dearest and most loyal members has passed.
   Archie Taylor, Sr. succumbed to a massive stroke on March 2, 2005. He dearly loved OHNS and his hobo nickels and was a mainstay at the OHNS table every year at FUN. To know Archie was to love him, too...ever smiling and gregarious, he was truly one of the “good guys.” We shall miss him.
   Details will appear in the next issue of BoTales.
 Farewell friend from the entire OHNS Board
101 
1 March 2005

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1913 TypeI Buffalo Nickel (1913-1938)
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1913 TypeII Buffalo Nickel (1913-1938)
   Contemporary American Folk Art ~    Folk,” according to etymological dictionaries, means “of the people.” I offer for your consideration the following excerpts, clips if you will, from the pen of Richard Guy Wilson, Commonwealth Professor of Architectural History, as published in his article: Contemporary American Folk Art: Charming Junk or Art with a Capital A?.
   Surely I am not alone in judging these observations to be wholly applicable to our own little corner of the world of “Folk Art”... carved nickels, our mutually shared obsession.
   Not all classic folk art collectors were delighted with the contemporary work, and indeed, it still meets resistance from this quarter where one would most expect to find support.
   Initially, most contemporary folk art appeared to be made by rural or small town untrained individuals.
   The exclusion of folk art into a category such as “the other,” a term of popularity among critics in recent years, comes from the point of view of seeing the contemporary art world as an exclusive community of avant-garde (or semi-advanced) artists who are shown and recognized by major galleries, museums, critics and magazines in a few American cities.
   The concept of who is an artist frequently depends on training, including academic credentials, or-as practiced for many centuries--apprenticeship. The self-trained also has a long history.
   The reason people collect contemporary folk art involves many motives, some apparent, others deeply buried in the psyche. Objects can become talismans or trinkets of memory. Collectors might accrue monetary value from astute purchases, and art collecting can impart status in some quarters.
   Making art involves skill and technique but most importantly a vision and a language with which to communicate. Great visions or profound insights can come from many quarters. Sometimes it takes great strength and courage for the artist to express them. Jean Dubuffet explained: “True art is always to be found where one least expects it, there where no one is thinking of it, or mentioning its name.” ~ Richard Guy Wilson
   Most nickel carvers begin by emulating the classic nickel carvings that originally were done on Buffalo Nickels, 1913-1938. Here we are several generations down the veil of time from our classical roots and I propose it is time that we expand our view of what we are doing. While repeating, and most often expanding upon, the classic carvings on Buffalo Nickel host coins will always hold the added attraction of nostalgia... I hope to promote and support the expansion of nickel carving into the 21st century.
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1971 Jefferson Monticello Nickel (1938-2003)
   Historically a few carvings have been done on Jefferson Nickels... you know... those horrible plain designs that the U.S.Mint had the bad judgment to replace our beloved Buffalo Nickels with! Poor Thomas... he never had a chance... bad press... a bum rap! We all know one's second spouse never lives up to the better moments you shared with your first spouse... if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in that unenviable position of course.
   Those carved Jefferson nickels often went begging for a home... scorned by one and all. Definitely not as financially rewarding as similar quality carvings on Buffalo Nickels. It is time for carvers and collectors alike to give serious consideration to including contemporary nickels as a legitimate continuation of the art form we lovingly refer to as “Hobo Nickels.”
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2004 “Louisiana Purchase / Peace Medal” & “Keelboat” Nickels
   What better time could we hope for than here in 2004 and 2005 when the U.S.Mint is issuing the first new nickel designs in more than six decades? The Westward Journey Nickel Series has already provided us with four new nickel designs. One in particular, the American Bison design, connects us back to yesteryear and our classic nickel carving roots.
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2005American Bison” & “Ocean in view! O! The joy!Nickels
   If nothing else... this soapbox spiel ought to stir up some controversy and discussion. I know that I will be buying nickel carvings done on contemporary nickels when our currently active carvers create them. ~ V-Dubya

100 
The United States Mint - Press Releases and Public Statements - March 1, 2005
 2005 American Bison Nickel Featuring Bold New Jefferson Image Heads into Circulation
United States Mint Hosts National Nickel Exchange

W ASHINGTON Amid the drama of American Indian drumming, singing and dancing, in the presence of the revered American Bison, United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore presented the new 2005 American Bison nickel to the American people in a Capitol Hill ceremony. “The 2005 American Bison nickel will look significantly different from any nickels you抳e seen,” she told the crowd. “It marks the first time that the image of President Jefferson has ever changed on the nickel, and we have the word 'Liberty' in his handwriting.” Looking at Cody, the live Buffalo, she added, “There is a beautiful, strong, classic American bison on the reverse.”
H onored speakers included Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY); U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral; Mr. Emil Her Many Horses of the Oglala Lakota, Associate Curator of the National Museum of the American Indian; Daniel P. Jordan, President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation; and Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts. Cody, a 2000-pound American Bison, stood nearby, bringing to life the new reverse image on the 2005 nickel.
F ollowing the ceremony at Upper Senate Park, the National Nickel Exchange proceeded inside Union Station with a public exchange of bills for $2 rolls of shiny, new American Bison nickels.
T he Nation抯 new 2005 nickels with a bold, new image of President Thomas Jefferson on the obverse and an American bison on the reverse, went into circulation Monday, February 28. Millions of new nickels that look significantly different from the Nation抯 previous 5-cent coins are on the way to the Nation抯 banks. Americans can expect to receive the new nickels in their change in a few weeks or they can ask for them at their local banks.
T he American Bison nickel is the third design in the United States Mint抯 Westward Journey Nickel Series
, which began with the Peace Medal nickel, followed by the Keelboat nickel, in 2004. The Ocean in View nickel, a fourth design, will be released later in 2005. A law passed by Congress and approved by President Bush in April 2003, authorized the redesign of the Nation抯 5-cent coin for the first time since 1938 to commemorate the bicentennials of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition. Starting February 28, 2005, Americans may order bags and rolls of American Bison nickels online at www.usmint.gov.
F or photos of the 2005 American Bison nickel, go to: Westward Journey Nickel Series ~ 2005 First Design: “American Bison” Nickel.

News media: For b-roll video 2005 American Bison nickels being minted, call United States Mint Public Affairs: (202)354-7222.
Contact: Press inquiries: Michael White (202)354-7222       Customer Service information: (800)USA-MINT (872-6468)
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