Jared McVay is an amazing man, an author, actor, story teller, a dynamo. One of his latest books, that I am just now reading, is “The Legend of Joe, Willy & Red.”
“The Legend of Joe, Willy & Red,” is the story of the outrageous thirties – August of 1933 in fact, and the unlikely friendship of three men who choose the hobo trail rather than face the consequences of crimes they were accused of, but did not commit. They find themselves in a harrowing adventure of epic proportion and in a fight for their very survival. (Quoted from the book back cover description.)
In the Prologue, McVay describes the hobo situation in 1933: “In the year 1932, one out of four people were out of work. There were no jobs to be had and very few people had any money. Men from every part of the country and every walk of life swarmed the land, hitching rides on the freight trains, living in hobo camps, or Hoovervilles as they were called, named after then President Hoover, the person blamed for our country’s problems.
“It is estimated that by 1933 there were over one million five hundred thousand destitute men and a few women riding the freight trains, seeking work of any kind, many needing money to send home to wives and hungry children that had to be left behind.
“Mixed into the hordes were the criminals who were runaways from chain gangs, prison escapees, along with other lawbreakers seeking to outdistance themselves from the long arm of the law.
“Three men from three different parts of the country and three different lifestyles are forced to flee their homes and follow the hobo trail where they are thrown together in Colorado, forming an unlikely trio which turns into a bond of friendship stronger than many who are blood brothers. Although their romp across the country from Colorado to San Francisco is fictitious, along with the love triangle that takes place when they find a woman, unconscious, in a box car, most of the happenings could be true.”
In the front of the book, McVay gives a list of Definitions: Hobo, Cinder Bull, Helper, Hooverville, Grapevine, Handed a match, Homebrew, Bathtub gin, Bootlegger, Speakeasy, Jake leg, Bar of soap in a sock, and Tender.
Find out more about Jared McVay and his books on his website: www.jaredmcvay.com.