Monday, September 24, 2007

Hobo Joe

Recently we decided to drive south from our corner of the valley to check out the towns of Ajo and Wye. Our route took us through downtown Buckeye, where we spotted this 40-foot fiberglass structure just off the main road. We couldn't just pass it by without stopping to investigate.
It's in front of what appears to be an abandoned business of some sort. A short investigatory dip into Google suggests it might be a defunct lumber yard or old meatpacking plant. I did discover that the plaque under this figure is a little misleading. Years ago there was a chain of Hobo Joe restaurants in Arizona (partially owned by Barry Goldwater's brother Robert). One was in downtown Scottsdale. Another may still be operating in Cottonwood, Arizona.
A sculptor named Jim Casey created this character. Three sizes of Hobo Joes were produced, the largest of which we saw in Buckeye. There's a life-size one in the Arizona Railroad Museum, apparently. Should you ever find yourself in Buckeye, go to the corner of Monroe and Cemetary Roads and pay Hobo Joe a visit.

1 comment:

tom said...

HI I saw this picture on google and would like to share some more history about it My dads uncle Marvin Ransdell made the molds for not only the Hobo Joes but also the booth in side the Hobo Joes and he also used the hobo Joes booth mold in the one piece fiberglass molded pools here in phoenix called the Polypool the booth became the bench for the spa area. I thought this would be some cool facts that people might want to know if they own a polypool.