Alabama Outsider Bob Murphy
Bob Murray was a hobo, a homeless man when I met him years ago in the 1980's in a small country town near Wetumpka, Alabama. He had no money. He had a wife and a couple of dirty faced kids, and no place to call home.
(The term HOBO comes from an old railroad call, “Ho, boy!”, perhaps at a time when accents were closer to the French pronunciation we could imagine a boss calling out to a worker “Ho, beaus!” as he tried to whip them back into working harder. Hobos were found working farm jobs and wandering with heavy backpacks down the highways of the world. Bob Murray's Art falls in the category of Hobo/Tramp art. He was sort of a tramp or a wanderer. He lived in a different world, as far as work and philosophy were concerned.
Due to the increase in police surveillance of highways, railroad yards, etc, there not as many of the hobos around and for sure they have played a big part in the history of America.
Bob Murray wore dirty overalls. He had a stale odor, a bad cough, and always looked straight ahead, indifferent to the children. He whittled and carved on what materials that he found. He was an outsider.....an enigma of the American landscape.
**Excerpt from an essay on Bob Murray by Anton Haardt. From the flicker in his eye, it was easy to tell he'd seen a thing or two.