On the morning before the evening when I’m to attend a presentation on squatting at Rachel’s Cafe, it seems only fitting that I post this now. Couldn’t load the photos, so click on the title to see them.
Young people hopping trains . . . reminds me of when I got fired from New College of California in 1974 for being “too experimental” for that supposedly experimental college. I forked over my last $250, boarded a Greyhound bus for two months, crisscrossed the country back and forth, up an down, in and out of my mind, wondering, wondering, what could possibly be next.
And what is next for these young ones, for all of us?
We do need to reconnect.
These young ones could become an army of permaculturists, crisscrossing the land, turning 500-acre corn and soy fields that giant agribusinesses have finally relinquished into tiny plots for growing real food, lovingly tended by many hands . . . there is no end to the energy locked up inside the restless young human. We need to muster the collective will and imagination to focus ways to express this energy for the common good. Then we’d all feel so much better about ourselves.
Mike Brodie/Paul Schiek/TBW Books
Mike Brodie began train-hopping in 2002 at the age of 17 when he left his house unannounced with a few belongings.
“Two weeks later I was gone — this was it, I was riding my very first freight train.”
From 2004 to 2009 Brodie rode more than 50,000 miles through 46 states, documenting who and what he encountered along the way with a Polaroid camera before switching to 35mm film in 2006.
The Polaroid Kid showcased his pictures in the book “A Period of Juvenile Prosperity,” depicting a gritty youth subculture of freight train hoppers and squatters.
“I know almost everyone I shoot,” Brodie says, “Three of the women in the book are ex-girlfriends and a couple of the guys … are best friends.”