Company: Howard Petrick, San Francisco, CA
Genre: Storytelling / Spoken Word
Venue: 11 - Red River College
Howard Petrick paints an evocative and affectionate portrait of these rough-and-tumble men, train-hopping across America in search of work and adventure.
For San Francisco storyteller Howard Petrick, 1965 was the summer that changed his life.
Working the graveyard shift at a Minneapolis railway, he meets all kinds of hobos, tramps, and outcasts. Then he starts hopping the trains himself, and that's when the real adventure begins.
You're never quite sure where the true stories end and the tall tales begin, as Petrick recounts the exploits of guys like Sammy the Sloth and White Pine Shorty. Petrick paints such an evocative and affectionate portrait of these rough-and-tumble men, train-hopping across America in search of work and adventure, that it doesn't really matter. By the end, we start to see them as Petrick does, not as drunks and dropouts but as a "living history of survival in our country."
As a writer, Petrick has an ear for authentic dialogue. As a performer he's able to inhabit multiple characters with the subtlest of gestures. He also has great comedic chops - just wait for his story of how he managed to win a wrestling match with a guy twice his size.
This is a train ride well worth hopping aboard.