New Hampton hobo "Iowa Blackie" dies at 62 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New Hampton hobo "Iowa Blackie" dies at 62

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NEW HAMPTON (KWWL) -- New Hampton's hobo has "caught the Westbound".  Richard Gage, better known as "Iowa Blackie" was famous for his travels in boxcars.  We've featured him on KWWL from time to time.

"It's so diluted by these people that come out of the woodwork now that it's (being a hobo), using the vernacular 'cuckoo' to be a hobo.  Now we've got all these people coming out that you probably wouldn't notice otherwise," Gage said in a 1994 interview with KWWL.  He had recently been elected hobo king and was commenting about all the people that were coming to see him and other hobos at the National Hobo Convention in Britt.

Gage had been riding the rails for 30 years at the time.  His first trip was from New Hampton to Oelwein in 1963.  Gage wrote a number of poetry books, including work in the Garrison Keillor anthology, "One More Train to Ride."

Gage died Thursday in New Hampton.  Iowa Blackie was 62 years old.

Click here to visit the Hugeback & Chenoweth Funeral Home website for funeral arrangements

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