Who is Bozo Texino?
To my mind, monikers represent both wanderlust and transcendence. Wanderlust because the moniker romanticizes the lore of riding the rails, and transcendence because of the quasi-folk-like identities associated with it.
In his film ‘Who is Bozo Texino,’ Bill Daniel’s sought the artist responsible for the ‘Bozo Texino’ handle. For 16 years, Daniel’s rode the rails documenting his experiences with a Super-8 sound camera and 16mm Bolex. This documentary marshals the imagery of the hobo sub-culture in grainy black and white, and it includes interviews with other chalk artists, like Colossus of Roads, The Rambler and Herby.
Daniel’s film can be found at www.billdaniel.net.
ExactRail has offered models with the Bozo Texino, Colossus of Roads, Rambler, Herby, Coal Train and WaterBed Lou monikers. In the romanticized lore of those emblems, we sense a kinship for the love of Americana and the desire to represent it as more than just artifacts of cold steel.
For the list of in-stock cars with monikers, please see the list below:
Missouri Pacific Greenville 65' Mill Gondola
Chicago & Eastern Illinois #587870 Bethlehem 3737 Hopper
Texas Pacific #588132 Bethlehem 3737 Hopper
actually saw Bozo Texino on a box car and took a picture of it I had forgotten all about it until this blog
My favorite is the Rambler on your early scheme Rail Box Combo Door Box Car EE-1801-1 but this car cannot be found for sale hardly anywhere and the few times it did come up on eBay, I got outbid!
I remember back in the 80’s watching for the Herby’s on the cars as I lived in Central Illinois had we see them all them time and always check the dates on them. Heard a few different storys about who did them but it didn’t matter we just like to watch for them. I had heard it was a railroad employee that did the Herby, who worked in the St. Louis area. An older brakeman told me it was his cousin doing it as a joke on him as they had always kidded about retiring and sitting under a palm tree somewhere warm. The guy who told me this was called Herb, and he worked for a railroad that serviced St. Louis area… just one of the many stores about Herby..
Photo collection of hobo art and monickers.
Fabulous collection of western railroad photos taken over many years by John Carr.
It’s stuff like this…along with the superb tooling and painting/lettering that show the difference in ExactRail…where other brands will brazenly call their models “NO BS” models…or simply the best…ExactRail takes a different approach…and applies their know-how…letting the modeler decide for themselves…the status of any one model.
The Bozo Texino thing is just another reason why ExactRail continues to lead the field in HO. They KNOW railroading.
I worked with the rambler at the port of beaumont for a couple of years typical tall Texan.
Disregard the above. From the clip on his site, I can tell that there is acknowledgement that many of the chalk taggers are/were railroaders, not hobos.
The filmmaker’s name is definitely Daniel.
Robert r Harmen
Been seeing Bozo T on cars as long as I can remember! Seem to remember something about his being in Amarillo area. But that that is the memory of a 70 year old! I know I did a couple of chalk markings myself a loooong time ago. So if you see a Roving Railfan with just one large R in Rio Grande flying style, that was me! Got slide of one around here somewhere! One was a UP ore car IIRC.
The marking are interesting. some are really great, some are all over. More interesting than today’s “art”. For one thing, many more cars got the identical markings unlike today’s spray can crap.
I was under the impression that a significant portion of these chalks were made by car knockers rather than “riders”. I’m fairly confident Smokin’ Joe, as an example, was a railroad employee. Any feel for that?
Also, is the filmmaker’s name Daniel or Daniels? In any case, it’s probably not Daniel’s.
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April 28, 2016
There were two taggers with the Bozo Texino moniker. One was JH Mvkinley located around the San Antonio, TX and Laredo Area at different times. He was the first tagger to create the name and character. The second was a man commonly known as grandpa who operated out of Beaumont as far as I know. His later adoption of the moniker is the version it appears you offer here. I would love to see you offer the original version and would buy a car that featured it for myself and to give as gifts if you did.
JH McKinley was my great great uncle. He worked for the Missouri-Pacific railroad for fifty years and died in 1967