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  50
OHNS WebPoll #1 How can we improve our Latest News webpage? ... 8/04
  49
OHNS Membership Profile Most recent membership profile ... 8/04
  48
Gone, But Not Forgotten! −by Bill Fivaz ... 8/04
  47
Hank Snow 1914-1999 Two song lyrics by Canadian "Country Music Legend" ... 8/04
  46
Ernest "Mooney" Warther 1885-1973 −by Verne R. Walrafen ... 8/04
  45
How I came to carve hobos −by Rick Ferry ... 8/04
  44
Hobo Nickels - Hobby puts a new face on the 5-cent piece −by Patti Conley ... 8/04
  43
The Six Flag Raisers On Iwo Jima A Steve Adams carving ... 8/04
  42
2004 ANA Summer Seminar −by Verne R. Walrafen ... 8/04
  41
"Tasks left undone must stay that way." Goodbye to Arthur Hutchison ... 8/04
  40
Auction 13 Report As of early August, we have 111 auction lots ... 8/04
  39
All Y'all Can Be Hobos ... I wanta be the Engineer! −by V-Dubya ... 8/04
  38
HOBO NICKEL stamp ~ 2000 ~ Colorado Springs A Christopher Madden art print ... 8/04
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  37
The Grat Brothers Try Nickel Carving Two "FIRST" carvings by Tony and Tim ... 7/04
  36
An Engraver's Point of View −by Steven G. Adams ... 7/04
  35
BoTales2004#3 Fall BoTales header created ... 7/04
  34
Perusing Old EMail Files ... Carvings From The Desert Four "Harry Hobo" carvings ... 7/04
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  33
Coin With A Signature Patriot-News article about Newell Shireman ... 6/04
  32
The Fabric Of Life Report on Monte Holm's book "Once A Hobo ..." ... 6/04
  31
OHNS Nickel Auction 13 Preview Examples of Goetz carvings that will sell at FUN2005 ... 6/04
  30
Czech Hobo S Kytkou −by Jerry Pardubicky ... 6/04
  29
A Siberian 3-sided Hobo Nickel −by Stephen P. Alpert ... 6/04
  28
Fun at a Coin Show −by Ralph "Bazoo" Winter ... 6/04
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  27
Call For Diversity Request for vintage nickel carvings subjects ... 5/04
  26
V-Dubya Facsimiles ... Carvings From The Kentucky Hill Country A Bill Jameson gang ... 5/04
  25
OHNS Membership Profile Most recent membership profile ... 5/04
  24
Books Abound in HyperSpace Links to two examples of Hobo related books ... 5/04
  23
Kraft's Drovers ... Trailing Beeves into the Kansa Territories Recent Cliff Kraft carvings ... 5/04
  22
Once A Hobo ... −by Monte Holm and Dennis L. Clay ... 5/04
Continue reading older TABLE OF CONTENTS for OHNS NEWS items in our SCRAPBOOK
50 
29 August 2004
OHNS WebPoll #1
How can we improve our Latest News webpage?         Poll start date: 8/29/04
More Recent and Vintage nickel carving coverage... stick closer to our organization's focus.
Less Recent nickel carving coverage... stick to Vintage nickel carvings.
More broad general interest coverage... subjects related to hobos, trains, etc. are enjoyable.
The current catch-as-catch-can coverage is just fine... everything is going well as it is.
I find little of interest or value to me in the Latest News subjects.
Left-click here for Current Results
 
This WebPoll no longer works - FreeWebWare.Com allowed their domain to go inactive on 11/12/2004.
Of the 27 folks who had voted that time, our survey showed a 50% preference,
for “MORE”... MORE recent nickel carving items and MORE general interest items.
An additional 39% found the current mixture of articles to be just fine.
There was only an 11% (3 votes) preference for LESS recent nickel carving items
which has been a subject much discussed in previous OHNS Board correspondence.

49 
24 August 2004
OHNS Membership Profile
Click to view the profile immediately previous to this one.
48 
20 August 2004
Click to read this article.     Gone, But Not Forgotten!     Click to read this article.
Bill Fivaz ... Click to EMail this person.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
XIII.  Hobo Nickels: Approximately 93 slides of truly artistically carved (from Buffalo 5¢'s) "Hobo 5¢", many done by "Bo."

"This is the introduction I read on the cassette tape that accompanies my first slide series."



Click here to read Bill's complete article... Click to read this article.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Available Color Slides for Programs, Educational Study and Research
XIII.  Hobo Nickels: Approx. 93 slides.
XXIX.  Hobo 5¢ - Part 2 ("Bo's Best"): 61 slides.
XXXI.  "Hobo Nickels" on Other than Buffalo 5¢: Approx. 20 slides.
XXXIV.  Hobo 5¢ Grading: 57 slides.
Click here to read slide sets descriptions... Click to read this article.
The "slides" shown here are mockups created by your Webmaster using some of Bill's "Bo" carvings... not the actual slides.
47 
19 August 2004
Hank Snow 1914-1999
"The Crazy Engineer" −by Hank Snow
The black smokestack was barking
The steam made them pistons groan
And behind that screaming whistle
You could hear that engine moan
The train was reeling and rocking
The passengers were screaming with fear
For the train was being driven
By a crazy engineer
I'm driving this engine up to the moon
He laughed as the train sped on
Then from the lips of the madman
Came a crazy railroad song
Then out from a blind crept hobo Bill
He was stealing a ride that day
I've rode the blinds on many a train
They ain't ever travelled this way
He climbed over the bend into the engine cab
Those passengers' lives to save
Then, while he fought with the madman
His weary life he gave
Poor Bill spoke in a whisper
This was all they could hear
I've rode my last railroad ride
With a crazy engineer

Hank Snow
"The Last Ride" −by Hank Snow
[ Sung ]
In the Dodge City Yards of the Santa Fe
Stood a freight made up for the east
And the engineer with his oil and waste
Was groomin' the great iron beast
While ten cars back in the murky dust
A boxcar door swung wide
And a hobo lifted his pal aboard
To start on his last long ride
A lantern swung and the freight pulled out
The engine, it gathered speed
The engineer pulled the throttle wide
And clucked to his fiery steed
Ten cars back in the empty box
The hobo rolled uphill
The flare of the match showed his partner's face
Stark white and deathly still
As the train wheels clicked on the couplin' joints
A song for the rambler's ear
The hobo talked to the still white form
His pal for many a year
[ Spoken ]
For a mighty long time, we've rambled, Jack
With the luck of men that roam
With the backdoor steps for a dining room
And a boxcar for a home
We dodged the bulls on the Eastern route
And the cops on the Chesapeake
We travelled the Leadville narrow gauge
In the days of Cripple Creek
We drifted down thru sunny Cal
On the rails of that old S. P.
And of all you had, thru good and bad
A half always belonged to me
You made me promise to you Jack
If I lived, and you cashed in
To take you back to the old church yard
And bury you there with your kin
You seemed to know I would keep my word
'Cause you said that I was right
Well, I'm keepin' my promise to you, pal
'Cause I'm takin' you home tonight
I haven't the money to send you there
So, I'm takin' you back on the fly
It's the decent way for a 'bo to go
Home to the by and by
I knew that that fever had you, Jack
And that doctor, he just wouldn't come
He was too busy treatin' the wealthy folks
To doctor a worn-out bum
[ Sung ]
As the train rolled over its ribbons of steel
Straight thru to the East it sped
The engineer in his high cab seat
Kept his eye on the rails ahead
While ten cars back in the empty box
A lonely hobo sighed
For the days of old and his pal, so cold
Who was takin' his last long ride
46 
19 August 2004

Click to view an enlargement of this photograph. Click to view an enlargement of this photograph. Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
"Big Four" 4-4-2 Atlantic Union Pacific "Big Boy" New York Central 4-6-4 Hudson
Ernest "Mooney" Warther 1885-1973
      Mooney's works of art depict the evolution of the steam engine in sixty-four carvings. It starts in 250 BC with Hero's Engine, and ends with the Union Pacific Big Boy Locomotive of 1941. His first fifteen carvings were of bone and walnut. In 1933 he completed his finest work, the Great Northern Locomotive.

"The General"
In 1953 at the age of 68 he completed his 54th carving; the Union Pacific "Big Boy" locomotive. At age 72 he started his great work, "Great Events in American Railroad History". These carvings included a solid ivory representation of the driving of the golden spike on the transcontinental railroad. He also depicted the great locomotive chase of the Civil War, the Casey Jones locomotive and the first passenger train, the John Bull. His largest project is the 8-foot long Empire State Express. At age 80 he carved the Lincoln funeral train in ebony and ivory with mother of pearl accents. To read and enjoy The Internet Craftmanship Museum's full article "Ernest 'Mooney' Warther - 'Whittling' doesn't even begin to describe this type of wood carving." visit website: www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com.
      The "Big Four" 4-4-2 Atlantic, Union Pacific "Big Boy", New York Central 4-6-4 Hudson and "The General" (an 'American type' Locomotive stolen by the North during the Civil War ...single photo above) have coal cars but no additional cars. The Empire State Express has a coal car plus four additional cars while the Lincoln Funeral Train has a coal car plus three additional cars.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph. Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Empire State Express
( in Ivory )
Lincoln Funeral Train
( in Ebony and Ivory )
      While many of Mooney's carvings have something like 7,000 individually carved pieces to make the complete model, some have well over 10,000. The finest hardwoods, ivory and mother-of-pearl were his medium and the superlative results clearly demonstrate the worth of investing in high grade materials. His family maintains a museum in his honor in Dover, Ohio. For full particulars visit the museum website at: www.Warthers.com. Hours of operation and explicit directions to the museum are available here: The Warther Museum & Cutlery Shop, located at the gateway to Ohio's beautiful Amish Country, is easy to find. Take I-77 to the Dover exit (#83) and follow S.R. 211 East 1/4 mile into Dover. Their entrance is right at the first light after the railroad tracks.
      The photo groups above have enlargements available when left-clicked on... regular sized versions beneath each photo and SuperSized versions beneath each legend. ~ Verne R. Walrafen ...

45 
18 August 2004
Click to read this article.     How I came to carve hobos     Click to read this article.
Rick Ferry ... Click to EMail this person. - August 18, 2004
www.HobosInWood.com
Click to view enlarged version.
Christmas Dinner
Click on photographs for enlargement.

      Twelve miles or so down river from Wenatchee, Washington is a wide spot in the road called "Rock Island". This "town" was named for a couple of large rocks that protrude from the middle of the river just above the Rock Island Dam. As a young boy I would see hobos following the tracks that ran along both sides of the Columbia River.
      There was a hobo jungle just outside of Wenatchee where they would gather to cook, sleep, and share information while looking for work or waiting for their next hop. The jungle was just a small clearing under the railroad bridge that provided some shelter from the weather. Located far enough from the highway, it allowed the hobo time to disappear should the law stop by. (Hobos were often blamed for crimes the sheriff could not otherwise solve.)

Click here to read Rick's complete article... Click to read this article.

Click to visit Rick's website.
Life in the (Hobo) Jungle  −by  Rick Ferry ... Click to EMail this person.
Nothing compares to hot apple pie on a cold winters day;
unless it is a "borrowed" hot apple pie on a cold winters day.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Whistle-Stop Pete, and Frank "The Sod-buster" are about to share
a drink with West-Coast Willie; exceptin' Willie don't know it yet.
Wild Bill is ready to dig-in and Grampa George
can't wait to sink his gums into his share.
"Pie in the Sky"    
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Won both "Pacific Northwest Caricature Carvers"
and "Caricature Carvers of America" awards.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
www.HobosInWood.com   Rick Ferry 2004  
44 
17 August 2004
Click to read this article.     Hobo Nickels - Hobby puts a new face on the 5-cent piece     Click to read this article.
Patti Conley, Beaver County Times Staff ... Click to EMail this person. - August 17, 2004

      BEAVER - He should have spoken to the hobos down by the railroad tracks in Ellwood City during those summers 40 years ago. Mike Cirelli might have happened onto a hobo using hammers, nails and handmade tools to engrave a new face on the Indian head of a buffalo nickel.
      If they had talked, the 47-year-old jeweler probably would know more now about the down-and-out men who, during and after the Depression, hopped railroad cars and came to town looking for work, a night's lodging or a meal.

Click here to read Patti's complete article... Click to read this article.
43 
8 August 2004
Click to view enlarged version.
"Iwo Jima"
Click to view enlarged version.
Preliminary
Click to view enlarged version.
Final
Click to view enlarged version.
−by Steve Adams

      The Six Flag Raisers On Iwo Jima ... To read about Mike Strank, Harlon Block, Franklin Sousley, Ira Hayes, Rene Gagnon and John Bradley simply go to this webpage: Iwo Jima - The Flag Raisers. This is just one of the many great resources available on website: Iwo Jima.
      When Steve Adams sees something challenging he just can't resist. After Steve carved Da Vinci's "Self-Portrait" for me I asked if Leonardo's other masterpieces, like his "Last Supper", were next on the "to-do" list. He told me he had already done the "LS" but it was in 10 inch medal format. He allowed as how he thought Lee Griffiths ought to tackle the "LS" in nickel format.
      Steve is a real Master Engraver! I am absolutely certain he is fully capable of doing "Mona Lisa" for us... are you listening Steve? ~ V-Dubya ...

42 
7 August 2004
Click to read this article.     2004 ANA Summer Seminar     Click to read this article.
Verne RWalrafen ...
No enlargement available of this graphic.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.

      My MOST FUN was the thirty recent nickel carvings I carried with me everywhere. Whenever I found the opportunity I hauled them out for show-and-tell. Without fail these pieces were met with amazement and I always drew a crowd of excited on-lookers. Naturally I'm gratified that everybody shared my enthusiasm!


Click here to read Verne's complete article... Click to read this article.
41 
6 August 2004
"Tasks left undone must stay that way."
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph. Click to view an enlargement of this photograph. Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph. Click to see a different picture of Chris. Click to see a different picture of Chris.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph. Click to see a different picture of Chris. Click to see a different picture of Chris.

      Arthur "Hutches" Hutchison left us April 2nd of 2004. He died at home and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. I was just contacted by a gentleman who purchased a box of material from Arthur's workshop. Much of it had gotten wet and was rusty but included were these unfinished carvings. People outside the family seldom gets to see this sort of material so I am documenting it here for those who are interested.
      Postscript: Charlie just informed me that the unfinished carving in the upper right-hand corner was started on a silver dollar and not on a nickel as I first assumed. ~ Verne R. Walrafen ...

I'm Free
Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free.
I'm following the path God has laid, you see.
I took His hand when I heard His call.
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found the peace at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joys.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
O yes, these things I too will miss.
 
Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts, and peace to thee.
God wanted me now,
He set me free.



-- Author Unknown --
40 
3 August 2004
Click to view enlarged version.

      Auction 13 Report - As of early August, we have 111 auction lots in our Jan. 2005 OHNS Auction #13 (out of a maximum of 150 lots). The submission deadline is October 1 (for receipt by us, not mailing by you) so get your best specimens consigned while there is still space remaining. Modern carvings must be Superior quality with a limit of 3 coins per consignor. Old carvings should be Average or better quality. We are accepting bulk lots - a group of hobo nickels to be sold as a single lot. ~ Steve Alpert, Auction Manager ... Click to EMail this person.

39 
1 August 2004
Click to view enlarged version.
−by Steve Adams
Click to view enlarged version.
−by Lee Griffiths
Click to view enlarged version.
−by Sam Alfano
Click to view enlarged version.
−by Bill Jameson

      All Y'all Can Be Hobos ... I wanta be the Engineer! - While you guys and gals are freezing off body parts trying to cop a free ride... I plan on being up front out of the weather where it is warm and getting paid for riding the same train. We would both get to enjoy the same countryside views and travel itinerary! Now where did I put my lunchbox and cooler?
      You should note that all these locomotives, and even my Engineer's hat, have my OHNS membership number on them. It sure is great to be able to collect nickel carvings of this caliber ...plus... personally knowing such talented engravers adds immeasurably to my life experience. ~ V-Dubya ...

38 
1 August 2004

Click to view an enlargement of this photograph. Click to view an enlargement of this photograph. Click to view an enlargement of this photograph. Click to view an enlargement of this photograph. Click to see a different picture of Chris.
HOBO NICKEL stamp ~ 2000 ~ Colorado Springs
This image has been corrected by graphics software.
This image has been "corrected"
by V-Dubya's graphics software.
      One could always hope that this original art print by Christopher Madden Click to EMail this person. Click camera to see this person., banknote picture engraver with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and president of the Banknote Engraver's Guild, will become a rarity similar to the infamous 1918 inverted Jenny 24c stamp... but most likely it won't. I acquired this print from Chris at the 2004 ANA Summer Seminar and noted that the "Indian" was engraved in mirror image. Chris said he hadn't noticed this and had never had it pointed out to him previously. I reckon we can just say that Chris took "artistic license" rather than "he goofed." It is his artwork and he clearly ought to be expected to do it however his Muse moves him!
      Here is a neat newspaper article about Chris' "day job": Old Hands Create a New Line of Money, Treasury Engravers Do Their Painstaking Work The Old Way - For Now by Barbara J. Saffir, Special to The Washington Post, Thursday, February 20, 2003; Page A37.
      Chris is also an accomplished artist and you can see examples of his work on the The Artist's Gallery - Christopher Madden webpage. Chris gave me an 8.5x11 printed handout that was clearly produced for an art show that he had work shown in... you can read it here: Christopher Madden: Artist ~ Engraver ~ Painter.
      I know Chris would be happy to sell you your very own copy of his "HOBO STAMP" original print. Mine came nicely matted and I assume your's will also. You can contact Chris via the EMail link provided above, at (301)668-3072 or through the fine folks at The Artist's Gallery website. ~ Verne R. Walrafen ...

37 
28 July 2004

Click for Tony or Timothy enlargements
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Death'sHead −by Tony Grat                                           Pirate −by Timothy Grat
      The Grat Brothers Try Nickel Carving - Many of us have given serious consideration to carving nickels but few actually make the attempt. Timothy Grat is the Chief Coiner at GMM and Tony Grat is his brother who helps out around GMM as demands dictate.
      Tony used one of Ron Landis' silver annual hobo tokens for his Death'sHead carving and Timothy used a recent Jefferson nickel for his Pirate carving. Regardless of your opinion of these two carvings... I figure EVERY nickel carver had to start somewhere. I assert that it isn't a crime to do a crude carving... only to make no attempt to carve up to one's actual capability or to make no effort to improve as experience is gained. Excuse me... I gotta crawl down off my soapbox now!
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Self Portrait −by Tony Grat
      When Tony saw these two Grat carvings posted he sent me a scan of his second nickel carving... a self-portrait. This is a definite improvement over his first effort as I'm certain you'll agree. He can't keep improving at this rate or he will go off the charts. This time he left the LIBERTY and the date intact and used a Buffalo nickel as a host coin. Bravo Zulu Tony! ~ Verne R. Walrafen ...

36 
23 July 2004
Click to read this article.     An Engraver's Point of View     Click to read this article.
Steven G. Adams, "Mr.Chips" ... Click to EMail this person. - August 25, 2003
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph. Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.

      Let me begin by saying that there are few people in this world whose life ambition is to become a professional engraver, or an amateur engraver for that matter. The type of engraving I am referring to is that of an artisan, a person with a desire to achieve works of art with their hands.

Click here to read Steve's complete article... Click to read this article.
35 
23 July 2004
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.

      BoTales2004#3 - Just a quick note here to let all y'all know that BoTales2004#3 is actually in production thanks to the untiring efforts of our Editor, Don Farnsworth. MORE good stuff to look forward to with great anticipation. ~ Verne R. Walrafen ...

34 
22 July 2004
Click to view enlarged version. Click to view enlarged version. Click to view enlarged version. Click to view enlarged version.

      Perusing Old EMail Files ... Carvings From The Desert - While researching my correspondence history today I stumbled over the three reverse nickel carving scans here on the left. At first I thought that they were the same scans that Fred Benson used in his BoTales2004#1 article "Mike Pezak, Modern Nickel Carver." I had to dig out my BoTales archive and, lo and behold, I found that Fred had actually used the three scans here on the right. I thought you might enjoy seeing four of Mike's better carvings. I personally prefer the carving with the hammock because all the original legends were left undisturbed. Not everybody likes the same thing so others among these carvings may well be precisely your cup of tea.
      Additionally, Mike has garnered acclaim in two other articles during the last year plus at least one article the year before that. ~ Verne R. Walrafen ...


May 2004's NUMISMATIST ~ American Numismatic Association ~ Volume 117, Number 5,
August 2003's TAMS Journal ~ Token and Medals Society, Inc. ~ Volume 43, Number 4 and
September 2002's VIEW NEIGHBORHOOD NEWSPAPERS ~ 20 September 2002.

33 
21 June 2004

Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Newell Shireman, 90, of Lower Swatara Twp., has been
collecting coins since he was 8. Here he shows part of
his collection of Indian Head pennies from the 1800s.

Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Shireman paid $1,000 for this
original 1913 "Bert" nickel
at a recent coin show in Florida.

      Man strives most of life to acquire Coin With A Signature - To look at Newell Shireman now, at 90, it's hard to imagine him riding the rails. But ride them he did, along with a lot of other Americans when the nation was trudging through the Great Depression. After Shireman graduated from Middletown High School in 1933, he hitchhiked to the Chicago World's Fair, the first leg on a journey that stoked his fascination with hobo nickels.
      From 1913 to 1938, the country's 5-cent piece was the buffalo nickel. The front featured the head of an Indian and the back, a buffalo. Hobos altered the nickels, transforming the Indian into a soldier or a bearded man wearing a hat. Some changed the buffalo into another animal, such as a camel or a lamb.
      Shireman learned the keys to riding the rails from a hobo named Bert whose trademark nickels carried his name. Bert would remove the L, the I and the Y from the word "liberty" on the front of the nickel, leaving his "signature." Hobos like Bert modified the nickels with hand tools that Shireman describes as similar to an ice pick and files. As Shireman recalls, Bert would carve a nickel a night.
      When Bert and Shireman went their separate ways in New Orleans, Bert made him a gift of six nickels. But Shireman used them, as hobos did, as a thank-you when people gave him a meal. He recalls handing the last one to a woman in Bristol, Tenn., who fed him dinner and sent him on his way with leftovers in a bag.
      Years later Shireman, back in Middletown and a veteran of World War II and Korea, began collecting hobo nickels. Coin collecting wasn't a new venture for Shireman, the son of a coal dealer. He's been collecting since age 8.
      As a teen who earned money selling newspapers, he once spent $20 for a 1909 penny. "Somebody - I don't know to this day who it was - told my father, 'You better watch that boy of yours. He paid $20 for a penny,'" Shireman said. But it proved to be a wise investment. Today, he said, that penny is valued at several thousand dollars.
      Shireman said he's well-known at coin shows where he prowls for additions to his collection of 100-plus hobo nickels. "They all know me and they call me the 'hobo nickel man,'" he said. And they all knew that Shireman's collection lacked one thing; a nickel with the distinctive signature of "Bert."
      There is, if you can imagine, enough interest in hobo nickels for an organization of collectors. Sure enough, Shireman is a member of The Original Hobo Nickel Society (www.HoboNickels.org).
      For years, he told collectors and dealers, "I'll pay $1,000 if it's genuine and a good one." Finally, his persistence was rewarded. Last year, as the organization gathered in Orlando, Shireman spent his $1,000 and got a "Bert."
      As he sits in his Lower Swatara Twp. home flipping through an album of coins Shireman keeps returning to the page where he keeps his Bert. "I'd say I've got everything I want," he said. "I've got oodles and oodles of coins." But something about the way he stares at them makes me wonder whether that's true, and so I ask him, "Are you done?" That's when he admits he's headed to Baltimore next month. See, there's this coin show... ~ Nancy Eshelman, The Patriot-News ... Click to EMail this person.

32 
15 June 2004
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.

      The Fabric Of Life - I just returned from a trek into the wilderness of Ontario Canada and, based on previous experience, I knew that one should expect to be "rained in" for some portion of the time allotted for fishing. During this trip we spent two days napping and reading in our cabin. My days of sleeping on rocks in a rain soaked tent are far in my past... Praise The Lord!
      With unusual foresight I took my copy of "Once A Hobo ... The Autobiography of Monte Holm" along for just such an occasion. Normally I read for entertainment but I'm here to tell you that this book is different! I have now experienced Monte's life vicariously (that means not having to actually be cold, hungry, scared and miserable.)
      Reading this book didn't bring on a personal epiphany, a sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of my own life. I can't say I am a new or better person for having read Monte's book... although that certainly would be nice should it turn out to be true. What I can say is simply that many of Monte's "threads" have been permanently woven into the fabric of V-Dubya's life! Reading this book was an immeasurably enriching experience.
      Thank you Monte! The effort you've made to share your life with all of us will influence countless individuals positively throughout future generations. You are a gentleman and a scholar... thanks for sharing! ~ Verne R. Walrafen ...


OHNS News Item Link:   Once A Hobo ... −by Monte Holm and Dennis L. Clay ... 5/04
31 
2 June 2004

Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Vintage Nickel Carvings
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Dorusa Nickel Carvings
      OHNS Nickel Auction 13 Preview - I just got the Goetz auction hobo nickels back from Bill, and I scanned a few of them for posting on our website, in an "Auction Preview" section. For the time being I think just posting the pictures would suffice, with a note that they are among the items in our 13th OHNS Auction this coming January in Florida. In December, after the auction catalogue is completed hopefully we can put the entire catalogue up on our site.
      "Group A" scan has 6 of the better old hobo nickels and "Group B" scan has 9 Dorusa nickels.
      I will send you more scans of other Goetz-consigned nickels, and also pieces from other consignments, in a week or so. ~ Steve Alpert, Auction Manager ... Click to EMail this person.

30 
2 June 2004
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Hobo Kve'tina −by Jerry Pardubicky

      Czech Hobo S Kytkou - Proper title will be "with flower" >>Czech Hobo S Kvetinou<< and then, there must be a little hook over e. To avoid it, you can use >>Czech Hobo S Kytkou<<. If you take my hobo under Lupe you can see, that collar has a fabric texture - I come to technique by accident - is done with tip of pocket knife. Note to obverse: Czech and Slovak tramps liked one Polish drink - Zubrowka. Buffalo or Bison is in Polish >>zubr<< - they live in one of Polish regions. People take very good quality vodka and insert (at filling) straw of grass >>zubr<< like most in the bottle. It gives the drink very light and fine taste and color. You can find it (Zubrowka) in US imported from Poland. But look for that with straw in it, not that one only artificially flavored. So, that is the explanation, why is that glass under Buffalo (remainder from some good times). You have a wonderful times. Happy Rails. ~ Jeff - Czech Hobo ... Click to EMail this person.


V-Dubya's note: European Numismatists consider the Buffalo side of the nickel to be the "obverse" since it identifies the coin's country of origin... "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA". Getting to know talented folks like Jerry sure does enrich our hobby and our lives. Thanks Jerry!
29 
1 June 2004
Click to read this article.     A Siberian 3-sided Hobo Nickel     Click to read this article.
Stephen P. Alpert ... Click to EMail this person. - April 11, 2004
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Edge: HDQTS. CO. 31 INF. A.E.F. VLADIVOSTOK, SIBERIA

      Sounds bizarre, doesn't it? But that is what I obtained from an ebay auction just after our January 2004 OHNS meeting in Orlando. Besides being a high-quality carving with attractive hand lettering on both sides, and on the edge (that's the seldom-altered third side of a hobo nickel, folks), the piece is just smothered and dripping with history. And military history, no less.

Click here to read Steve's complete article... Click to read this article.
28 
1 June 2004
Click to read this article.     Fun at a Coin Show     Click to read this article.
Ralph "Bazoo" Winter ... Click to EMail this person. - December 15, 2003
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NORM TALBERT SPECIMENS
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MSNS AUCTION SPECIMEN

      Last Fall (2003) I attended the Michigan State Numismatic Society (MSNS) Fall Convention and Coin Show in Dearborn, Michigan. I went the opening day, and as is my practice, the first table I visited was Norm Talbert's (Great Lakes Coin Company). Norm is an OHNS member and an authority on Buffalo Nickels. I had brought along a couple of U.S. Type coins I wished to sell, which I handed to Norm for his examination. Then I saw the four hobo nickels Norm had in one of his display cases. I began examining the hobos. I was definitely interested in one of them.

Click here to read Ralph's complete article... Click to read this article.
27 
30 May 2004
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Chicken Run −by Steve Adams

      Call For Diversity - I am well aware that the subject material being posted here on our website is covering recent nickel carvings more often than vintage nickel carvings. This is not intentional and definitely is not desirable. My own personal experience is in the arena of recent nickel carvings and since I am generating much of this material that is simply what you get. My preference is to make a concerted effort to give equal coverage to recent and vintage nickel carvings. To do this I need students of vintage specimens to send in material that you are willing to have me post here on our website. ~ Verne R. Walrafen ...

26 
22 May 2004
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      V-Dubya Facsimiles ... Carvings From The Kentucky Hill Country - The first carved nickel I ever purchased was done by Bill Jameson and I've been collecting his creations with great enjoyment ever since. Every once in a while he comes up with a carving that he tells me is based on my likeness. To my eye some are more accurate representations than others but I've enjoyed each and every one as I received them. I know I can't grow enough hair to tie it up into a pigtail and that I wasn't really tickled being enlisted in the army but Bill likes to joke around with me. The 1913 carving (fourth from the left) looks the most like me in my own opinion. ~ Verne R. Walrafen ...

25 
22 May 2004
OHNS Membership Profile
Click to see the profile immediately previous to this one.
24 
"One More Train to Ride"   and   "Rough Living"
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    Books Abound in HyperSpace - To me one of the most fantastic capabilities of the Internet System is how readily one can find books and other research materials. Here are links to a couple of the multitude of Hobo related books I found in just one quick query... 1) One More Train to Ride: The Underground World of Modern American Hoboes and 2) Rough Living: Tips and Tales of a Vagabond. One of my many problems is that I purchase more books than I will ever have the time to read! ~ Verne R. Walrafen ...

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23 
5 May 2004
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Trail Boss
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Indian Scout
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Windy
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Cookie
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Drag Rider

Kraft's Drovers ... Trailing Beeves into the Kansa Territories - Cliffy is working on a Drover Series for V-Dubya. Even though this crew of Contract Drovers is still taking applications I thought you'd like to see the men already hired for the drive up the Chisholm Trail to Abilene. There the herd will be wintered before transshipment East to avoid the quarantine laws brought on by the severe outbreaks of Texas Fever. Waddies, Wranglers, and Ramrods are still needed... leave your name with the bartender at the Theatre Comique Saloon. The crew is expected to number roughly eleven men when finally assembled. ~ Verne R. Walrafen ...

22 
1 May 2004
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2-8-0 (S-160 class) #557 Factory: Baldwin Locomotive Works, Year: 1944 Works Number: 70480, Railway lines and Serial numbers: 1) 1944-1945, Fort Eustis as USATC #3523 2) 1945-1960(5/9), Alaska Railroad as ARR #557 3) 1960-1965, Alaska railroad, (graveyard) 4) 1965-2004, Mon-Road Railroad, Moses Lake as MRR #557 Owner: Monte Holm Location: House of Poverty Museum, Moses Lake Iron and Metal Company, 288 Commerce Way, Moses Lake, WA 98837 Tel:01-509-765-6342 Status: On static display.

      Once A Hobo ... The Autobiography of Monte Holm - Monte, OHNS RM553, wrote his autobiography in 1999 and has it available for purchase. He wrote me a great personal letter in which he said, in part; "I have had a much different life than most people. My Mother died when I was 6 year old and I got a step Mother that kicked me out when I was 13 years old. That ended my home life. I put in 6 tough years as a Hobo. The Rail Bulls kicked me off of so many trains I told them I will someday own my own train and you won't kick me off. So I have the last steam locomotive to run on the Alaska Railroad and the rail car that hauled Pres. Wilson and Pres. Truman... and no mean Railroad Bull can kick me off. If anyone wants a copy of my book they are $25.00 each and send the check to: Monte Holm, P.O.Box448, Moses Lake, WA 98837 Home:509-765-5532 Shop:509-765-6342"
      Here is a link to a very comprehensive book review for your enjoyment... www.TheCelebrityCafe.com. If that link should die then you can see a copy of the review's text that I saved for you here. ~ Verne R. Walrafen ...

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