HOBO'S PARADISE

There is a number of small bluff shelters located under the Brooksher bluff, just above the railroad bridge that crosses Crooked Creek near where old Turkey was located. No doubt they have been used by the Indians and mankind all down through the pages of time. In my early lifetime one of them was very famous and called "Hobo's Paradise". In the 1920's and 30's about all of the hobos that came through these parts spent the night there and believe me there were a lot of them. Most of them walked the railroad or bummed a ride on the train. Some of them would get off the freight train at the Comal water tank while the train was taking on water, bum them something to eat, stay all night and catch the train out the next day. A lot of them would chop wood or do something for their handouts but there were some who wouldn't do anything. As a boy I would go by this bluff on my way to Turkey to get the mail or buy something at the store. I enjoyed visiting with them as most of them had a good education and were interesting to talk to. In talking to them you would find out a lot of them had something bad to happen in their life, such as losing their family and everything they had, so they had just taken to the road. It didn't make any difference which way or where they were going just so they were going somewhere else.

In the late 1930's a man by the name of Dushane took and closed in the front of the bluff shelter with some old, tin roofing and lived there for a few years. He made knives and sharpened razors, knives and scissors, walking around this section front house to house, also working at odd jobs. I like to visit and sometimes eat with him as he cooked everything over the open fire.


Reprinted with permission fromTreasured Memories of a Beautiful Place in the North Arkansas Ozark Hills by Floyd Burleson, copyright 1989.