Showing posts from August, 2010

Hobo Camps: Riding the Railroads with Hobos

Along the Arizona and other railroad tracks across the country are various spots called, hobo camps. These camps are shared by traveling operatives or homeless drifters known as hobos. Usually destitute, they are simply workers that meander from place to place doing odd jobs. Hobos are nothing like tramps, who travel and usually work if they have to, or bums who never work at all. They are penniless vagabonds who set up camps or make-shift homes in whatever place they happen to get a job. As soon as the work is finished, they pick up their personal belongings, and hop a train to their next destination. Where did the name “hobo” come from? There are several theories on the name such as the term hoe-boy meaning “farmhand”, or it could be from various greetings, “Ho, boy” or “Ho, beau”, meaning “homeward bound”. The origin of the name is just as mysterious as when hobos were first seen riding the railroads. It was either the mid or late 19th Century and could have been soldiers leap

Mobile: Arizona's Little Desert Town

Sitting about 35 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona, is the minuscule town of Mobile. With fewer than 100 residences living there, it is also home to several solid-waste landfills and UFO sightings. Just north of Mobile is a private airport where many student pilots receive their training. This desolate town was where the first black community was located in Arizona. Founded in the 1930’s, Mobile was once rumored to have been named for some of its early African-Americans settlers that lived there and came from Mobile, Alabama. That story was put to rest when records proved the town was named by the railroad companies in the 1920’s. In the 1930’s two railroad cars were used as schools and segregated by color. One was for the white children and the other was for the black children. Many of the African-American pioneers living in Mobile had established a place they called, “Negro Flats” tanks to do all their baptisms. This tank was basically a cattle watering hole in the desert whe

The Ghosts of Tombstone's Boarding Houses

Tombstone is famous for many things, mainly the Bird Cage Theatre and O.K. Corral. It is the lesser known places around town that have their own ghostly tales and are just as interesting. So dust off your boots and hang up your hat and listen to the stories of the ghosts of Tombstone’s boarding houses. The Aztec House: During its heyday, Tombstone was riddled with notorious gunslingers, businessmen, and miners. This male driven town had many soiled doves to entertain them that were working in the brothels and saloons around town. One of the more upscale, high class boarding houses was the Aztec House where anyone with money would plunk down plenty of gold coins to spend the night there. Mostly men stayed in the rooms and would usually entertain whores there. Stories about ghostly activities inside and in front of the Aztec House have been reported by many eyewitnesses. A strong male presence has let itself be known that he doesn’t like any females that stay at the house maki

The Buddhist Temple Execution

There have been many bizarre murders in and around the City of Phoenix, but the killing of six Buddhist monks was extremely shocking. Even though the killings were horrible, it was the manner to which they were murdered that was the most appalling. On Saturday, August 10, 1991, during the scorching summer, nine people, which included six Buddhist monks, a nun and two acolytes, were found shot to death at the Wat Promkunaram Buddhist temple in the far west area of Phoenix. A temple member found the bodies lying side by side in what appeared to be an execution-style killing. The homicides were label the largest mass slaying in Maricopa County’s history. Among the fatalities was a 71 year old num, Foy Sripanpiaserf, who was the grandmother of the youngest murder victim, Matthew Miller. Miller was 16 years old, a novice monk, and a high school student. Some of the other victims included a high priest and a 21 year old acolyte. Authorities said that there were no signs of struggle or