Hobos – Christ Church at Grove Farm


By Cece Poister

 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
 John 13: 34-35

Back in the fifties it was not uncommon to see hobos traveling through our town in the back alleys. There were trains about four blocks from our house and hobos hitched rides on them. Later in life I found out that they would mark houses with the sign of the fish indicating that these were places that would feed them a meal. There was a very tiny one on our back yard fence pole.

My mother never refused them food and they were always very polite in asking.

One night in August on my bother’s birthday we were at the table eating dinner getting ready to enjoy some birthday cake. There was a knock on the back door. My mother answered it and found it was a hobo asking for some food. When he saw the cake and all of us he apologized and said he would move on.

My mother said “stay here, and in fact, come and join us”. Although we were about ready to sing “Happy Birthday” and cut the cake my mother made us wait till our hobo first had some dinner. We then sang, and he joined in. After eating cake he thanked us profusely and moved on.

Mom told us many of these men had come back from WWII, had no jobs and were just looking for a little helping hand. I shall never forget the generous and joyful spirit of my mother and her lessons to us about sharing what we had with others.

John 13:34, 35

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