Hobo Joe Still Stands Tall in Buckeye
BUCKEYE — When he was at the peak of his career, Hobo Joe stood tall and beckoned the hungry to dine at an eatery bearing his name. He was one of several large figures spread across the United States back in the 1950s to advertise the chain. But when the restaurants went out of business, Hobo Joe was left destitute. Many of his fellow greeters were destroyed; this particular one survived scorn and politics.
Marvin Ransdell built the 25-foot fiberglass sculpture for a local restaurant. When he died, it went to his friend Ramon Gillum, who asked that the statue be placed in downtown Buckeye. When his proposal met with stiff opposition from local officials (some sneered that they didn’t want a bum representing their community), Gillum decided to keep it for himself. After getting city permission, he moved it on to his own property, a meat-processing plant on the outskirts of town. It is now only one of two such artworks left in the country.
People are idiots. Hobo Joe was an Icon and should be treated with respect. I remember Sambo and you can’t find a single statue of him any more because of political Correctness. The country loses a little bit of it’s heritage every time a mascot falls to political correctness and the liberal scumbags who are behind it.
I’m not sure that younger people even realize that there was a time when the hobo represented, for many, an adventure. Even some older people believe the phenomenon was spawned by the desperately homeless and jobless of the Great Depression, equating hobos with the worst segment of today’s homeless or “street people” culture. The hobo can be found in older literature. The wandering minstrel who “sang for his supper”. The adventurer who traveled “the continent” with his pack on his back. The peddler who sold goods of questionable quality from his donkey’s pack. Seekers of peaceful existence, of fortune, of beautiful sights… “hobos” were more than just bums. They had their own system of travel and an “alphabet” of symbols for communicating with each other. They were shell-shocked soldiers, younger sons of rich families who had nothing because of the family entailment, migrant workers, spies, suitors with broken hearts,…
The Hobo Joe’s just south of Indian School Rd. and north of the Sugar Bowl had great food and service. I was so sorry to see it go.
Nice job, Ramon Gillum!
“All around the water tank, waiting for a train
A thousand miles away from home, sleeping in the rain
I walked up to a brakeman just to give him a line of talk
He said ‘If you got money, boy, I’ll see that you don’t walk.’
I haven’t got a nickel, not a penny can I show
‘Get off, get off, you railroad bum’ and slammed the boxcar door
“He put me off in Texas, a state I dearly love
The wide open spaces all around me, the moon and the stars up above
Nobody seems to want me, or lend me a helping hand
I’m on my way from Frisco, going back to Dixieland
My pocket book is empty and my heart is full of pain
I’m a thousand miles away from home just waiting for a train” (Jimmie Rodgers)
When I first moved to the buckeye area my family came to visit the first place I took them was to take a picture with hobo Joe I truly hope we can see him again he represents a time we all need to remember….please bring him bavk
Great info! I remember growing up and listening to these folktales. Thanks for the memories there!
According to the other article that I’ve read before, Hobo Joe was a “World traveler, Philosopher and Connoisseur of Good Food,” according to a slogan for the fictional character, created for a regional restaurant chain in the 1960s. By the way, it was nice to see and read your post.
What a delightful story. This sounds like something the guys from “American Pickers” might come across and act as if they discovered a king’s ransom. I think it’s cool that this person stepped up to preserve a piece of Americana. It doesn’t look like this has any electrical components where the owner would need a reliable electrician around to maintain it. By the way, hobos have a rich legacy in the U.S. and people should do their homework as many were good people who just liked to travel.