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Thread: New hippies, vagabonds, travelers

  1. #1
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    New hippies, vagabonds, travelers

    Whatever you call them, we have loads of them in our town. I find these urban nomads fascinating. They sometimes take on work (daily stuff) but they mostly get by from begging and scavenging. They only work to live - never living to work.

    They do tend to smoke a lot of weed, but don't tolerate meth heads or ugly drunks. They're very into the whole peace and love thing. They seem to really live in the moment and not think about their futures at all.

    They are almost all 20-something. Some are taking a break from college. Some come from what seems like no home at all; their friends and the road are their home. Some are a bit off - not just eccentric, but a bit mad.

    They're mostly polite and sweet, if you are polite with them.

    The feelings of the townies here about them are mixed, but it's mostly "live and let live" (and please, find a shower!) They seem to be impervious to stink.

    Do these folks come to where you live?
    What do you think?
    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. -- Gandalf

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    No our homeless are all older.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    We have older homeless and resident homeless too.
    The travelers are usually around May-September, then they head south, like geese.
    I meet all sorts working at the library.

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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I've not seen it here. I visit Boulder, CO occasionally where the hippie movement never really went away. What I see in the trendy areas around town that is a little encouraging is young entrepreneurial types starting small businesses with small shops, craft breweries, and specialty eateries. There are lot of young professionals living in small spaces they can afford and working in downtown urban area offices. My friends with younger 20 something kids are commonly in the still living in the basement bunch. It actually would be nice to see a few more eccentric younger people less focused on traditional lifestyles.

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    No, we have homeless, everywhere. But really the type of vagabond lifestyle seems to go way back (and it's kind of sad that it's mostly mere homelessness now as it really was a full subculture it seems like with community and artistic expression etc., even if far from a privileged one). Apparently lots of these hobos in the early 20th century until the start of WWII, hopping trains, sometimes doing seasonal work etc.. Interrupted I guess by a few decades of what actually was somewhat well distributed prosperity (all long gone now), and so that particular subculture seems to have died out. Always were all these homeless, MAGA is a lie, always was this poverty, but maybe less for a few decades.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    Wow, I'm really surprised that this is not more common. There are hundreds coming through every summer here.

    ANM, you are right about the artistic component. Many of the travelers busk and are really fine musicians (some are dreadful.) They also do a lot of cool art - mostly drawings on sketch pads - but they have the leisure to get into the zone and do innovative and imaginative work. They also make jewelry and do leather work.

    We have shower buses and a lot of other services for travelers (and homeless residents, who are in a different category.) The majority of our homeless (home-free) are transients. Cold winters.

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    We also get an increase of the corner beggars in the winter here in Phoenix. They're mostly gone now, the 100+ heat chases them away every summer. I don't know about the true hippie/vagabond version - they might be more concentrated in the university area.

    Reminds me of a scene in the movie Leave No Trace. Spoiler Alert:


    The father and daughter come across an informal RV campground in the woods. It's functioning and the residents help each other while enjoying outdoor songfests and potlucks. I imagine this is where older hippies end up and actually, I can see how that lifestyle would be very attractive to many people who are just not suited for what we would consider normal life. Nothing wrong with that either.

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    We have all manner of "travelers" here. The thing is even the young, artistic ones mentioned by the OP pretty much depend on handouts and charitable services to get by.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    I've come across some of these people. But then, I live in san francisco. Just a couple of weeks ago there were a group of them on the bus when I was bringing my cat home from the vet. Judging from the stuff they had with them, the time of day, and the bus route I'm guessing they'd camped out on the beach overnight. One of them was super excited about my cat "Wow! He's huge! Like a little lion!" I was only going 3 stops so I chatted with him about my cat and as I was getting off the bus he said "goodbye little lion!"

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    In the city I live in we have a Democrate Mayor. We also have a really good homeless shelter. So good, homeless people come to our town to stay at our shelters. Unfortunatly, we have very few good paying jobs. Down the road they have a Republican Mayor. They are known as the RV manufacturing capital of the world. Doesn't look like they have a very good homeless program except for some faith based thing. But they have many good paying jobs. (RV's, manufactured housing, trailers, Pontoons, ect.) So the homeless people come to our town with the problems that caused them to be homeless. I've heard of Them coming from Chicago, New Orleans and I've even Texas. They don't want to comply with the rules for the homeless shelter. Two years ago they set up a tent city downtown under a bridge. It was discusting. And I'm sure some people didn't feel safe going down there. If I don't have to see them I don't care, but I've had three people come up to me asking for money. I've given to people when it feels right. But this seemed like three big guy's waiting for me to pull my wallet. I'm sorry, but they need to get a job, and government needs to stop enabling them to do absolutly nothing.

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