Hobo Alley

Hobo Alley first appeared at the 2013 annual gathering In Tennessee, starting as few people sitting on the side of the trail hollering “Hobo Alley needs your everything!”. They appeared as a kitchen at a regional gathering in Oregon in June of 2014, then went to the annual in Utah in 2014. During this time, a major source of energy and focalizing was a sister named Change, and another was a brother named Yoda. Their kitchen has served the main Dinner Circle, they have carried supplies for other kitchens, and they have played a significant role in cleanup.

As their name implies, many of the people in this camp travel around the country by hopping aboard freight trains, like hoboes in the 1930s. It is a place where consuming alcoholic beverages was tolerated, but there was little of the agro energy and sometimes violent behavior that has been so often found in A-Camp. (In 2014 almost all of the A-Campers went to an alternate gathering held at the same time in West Virginia.) Most of the people in Hobo Alley are young, less than 30 years old, and many giggle as much as stoners.

When you walked into the gathering from the parking areas, you climbed two very steep hills then continued on a narrow trail until you reached Welcome Home and where the trail fanned out into the rest of the gathering. Hobo Alley was one of the first places you encountered after reaching the top of the second hill. On the night of July 4th, three men managed to climb the hills on motorcycles and started to threaten some of the Hobo Alley campers. People came in from surrounding kitchens until about a hundred confronted them and turned them away. One of bikers got into a personal argument with one of the Rainbows and cut him with a knife, but no weapons were brandished by any of the Family, and they were finally chased off only by words. There were threats by them to return with more of their friends, but these never materialized. Non-violence on the part of the Family was maintained thruout.

Change and Yoda parted ways shortly after the gathering, and Yoda said he was going to take the name of Hobo Alley with him. Change was gifted a school bus that another kitchen was kicking down after acquiring a newer one, so she is continuing the kitchen by going to regionals, but so far it is now named simply, “The Alley”.

September 14th, 2016 by John Anderson