He is known as… the Redbird Express

Greetings Fellow Travelers,

As you travel along the highway, you will meet characters who live alternative lifestyles from your own. A few years back, I had the great privilege of meeting a fellow traveler.  He does not follow my concrete path, but instead follows the road of rails. While he has a given name, Carl, he goes by his hobo name of the Redbird Express.

Best Redbird

The Redbird Express hails from Pennsylvania. Now Pennsylvania happens to be one of the thirteen states the Lincoln Highway travels through, so when I got to know the Redbird Express, he had found himself at a Lincoln Highway meeting in Jefferson, IA. The Redbird Express became intrigued by the Lincoln Highway Association and decided to become a member of our society. As a guest speaker at our meeting, Carl spoke of being crowned King of the Hobos at the Hobo Celebration in Brett, IA and spoke of his many adventures along the rails across the good ol’ USA.

The Redbird Express has also visited Boomtown, the coal mining hamlet I call home.  Upon his visit to my hamlet, I created this drawing of him, where he sits in a hobo camp along the tracks he traveled in the Midwest.

Although I have not seen the Redbird Express for some time, I heard the years have taken their toll and now, due to his health, he stays closer to his home.  I wish the Redbird Express all the best and that the rails come to meet him, just as the road comes to meet me.

From the Open Road,

Lincoln Highway Johnny


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