These are some of the happiest mug shots I may have ever seen. Adman is officially the coolest hobo ever. Who knew there were still hobos distinct from the homeless?
Trio, thought headed to Hobo Convention, face railroad trespass charges
August 09, 2012 | By SAM JEFSON and ALLISON ULLMANN | globegazette.com
A hobo named Adman — known to the rest of the world as Todd Waters — wasn’t able to attend his retirement party at the hobo jungle in Britt Wednesday because he had been arrested in Mason City for trespassing on railroad property.
Several hobos in the jungle on Thursday found irony in what was likely going to be Adman’s last hobo trip by rail.
“Congratulations on you retirement from the rails,” Minneapolis Jewel said. “Your last ride was so eventful you missed your own party.”
Adman, 64, of Wayzata, Minn., was arrested along with his daughter, Alexandra Waters, 24, of Wayzata, and Rodney Sykora, 69, of Golden Valley, Minn., just after 4 p.m. Wednesday, said Sgt. Dave Houser of the Mason City Police Department.
Sykora identified himself as Minneapolis Skinny during a bowling event with the hoboes Monday night in Britt.
The complaint said Union Pacific officials saw a pickup with the license plate “Hobo 1” parked in the railroad right-of-way at 1900 S. Pierce Ave.
The area is a place where crew changes are often made, Houser said.
An officer saw the two Waters standing between the trains while Sykora was later found walking along the track near 43rd Street near Golden Grain Energy, the complaint said.
Sykora said he was looking for railroad spikes, the complaint said. The three face misdemeanor charges.
Adman is a somewhat controversial figure in the hobo world.
The National Geographic website has Adman featured in a link to its television show “Taboo,” about people’s secret lives. The website describes Waters as a successful businessman with a million-dollar home.
Adman’s retirement from the rails was announced by the Britt Area Chamber of Commerce as a scheduled event on Wednesday, but some hoboes said Wednesday and Thursday, they were not aware of any ceremony.
Several hoboes said a hobo never retires from the railroad life and some said they were not aware or didn’t care about Adman’s planned retirement.
“How can you retire from your life?” Texas Hobo Mike said. “For me, it would never be retiring.”
Fast Eddie said some hoboes “look down on you if you’ve made a success of yourself, but that’s what you are supposed to do.”
“(Adman) stands for a lot of the things I do,” Fast Eddie said. “It’s not our fault we fought hard and we made it.”
Fast Eddie met Adman about four years ago and said, “He’s a good man and I enjoy his company.”
Adman was crowned hobo king in 2004. He was also featured in an ABC News story in 2004.
Waters’ Linkedin page said his hobbies or interests include his family and riding freight trains.
Sam Jefson and Allison Ullman are reporters for the Britt News-Tribune, another Lee Enterprises newspaper. Globe Gazette reporters contributed to this report.