Joe Mauer Does Not Play Cribbage

But that didn’t stop him from sending me a letter. Earlier this year, I initiated the Cribbageland Open Letter Campaign, in which I mailed several letters to several athletes, all wondering if they’d be interested in speaking with me about a little 15-2. There are 52 cards in a deck, 52 weeks in a year. You see the strategy. Unfortunately, as my time spent working grew and my time spent sleeping shrank, I abandoned the campaign for some undisclosed future date. Maybe it’s time to fire it up again. After all, Mauer isn’t the first to respond–just the first without a form letter. Continue reading


10 Things I Learned at the National Hobo Convention

Uncle Freddy and Minneapolis Jewel, new Hobo King & Queen

Rachel and I spent a whirlwind 24 hours at the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa, this last weekend. While the aroma of hundreds of gallons of mulligan stew (delicious) wafted through Britt, the week-long festival came to a head on Saturday with the coronation of this year’s Hobo King and Queen, Uncle Freddy and Minneapolis Jewel. Throughout it all, we met some of the most well-known hobos of the past few decades and learned quite a bit about this often maligned and misunderstood people and culture. Continue reading

Fishbones Stevens & The National Hobo Convention

Beneath the emblem of the Hobo Convention are symbols for a draw pin and link coupler, fixtures that tied early railcars together.

Sometimes a hobo writes a verse

Oft’ times he makes it rhyme,

In boxcar jargon poetry

He spends his precious time. 

–Hobo Bill

This weekend, I’ll be traveling south to the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa. I won’t be ridin’ the “high iron” of the trans-American railways as the storied hobos of the past were accustomed to, but I hope to learn about life on the road nonetheless.



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