LATFO: The Life of Travelers

LATFO: The Life of Travelers

The term oogle used to be used as a hurtful word, you wouldn’t call your friends oogle, and originally used to basically say “hey that person is really shitty” as years went by the word, as some do, lost its meaning as a hateful term and was replaced as an almost term of endearment. Travelers, hobos, feral, oogle and the like have been all over this country and have seen and done and lived life more than you or I could ever imagine, this is just one instance of a good friend that passed through town in 2015.

State your full name.

I go by “ian”. Like E.N. The “i” is silent. I can’t take you seriously if you introduce yourself with a fake name. I’m not calling you “dog shit” or “pixie dust”. Forget it. Or the weirdest thing is when someone uses a different name that’s equally as normal as their real name. Thats  mental. Tags and monikers, can be whatever. Oh, or unless you have a felony warrant out for your arrest. That’s a good exception for using a fake name.

When/why did you start traveling? 

I’m sick of answering these two questions. Next.

Did you prefer trains or thumbing or did you have a preferred method of travel?  

Its not like im retired. It all depends on where your at and what your trying to do. Where are you trying to go? Do you have a budget? Who are you with? Weigh your options. For me it’s all about efficiency. Taking the path of least resistance. One time I scored a free plane ticket from Denver to NYC. As far as methods of transportation I like freight trains, boats, and motorcycles.

How long did you travel/can you see yourself doing it again or are you comfortable with being housed up?  

Mostly, I’ve been living out of a backpack since I was 16. I’m 23. The last 3 months or so I’ve been trying to do the pay rent thing. I might not make next yeah, I’ll probably end up in a train yard or something before too long. On the flipside, if I can keep screenprinting and land this bar job I just applied for.. I’m going to hold it down as long as possible. Eventually, I want to leave the country. I’ve been through every state but Alaska. It just gets old, you know? There are too many fucking crazy people out there in the streets. I’m definitely going to keep traveling, I just want to not have to eat out of fucking trash cans or ask people for money. I like being independent. Right now, I want stability. 

What was the scariest/most enjoyable instance of being on the road? 

Tough call. I made the rule, “no open containers on the fly” for a reason. And most enjoyable? Sex.

Did you busk or homebum ?
I busk. 

Did you pick up any work on the road?  

You bet. When you hop freight looking for work (you have to actully work). Thats called a hobo. I’m one of the last of a dying breed. Other than that I try and do a lot of volunteer work to keep my self busy like bicycle co- ops or the local foodnotbombs. Stuff like that. One year I helped the beehive design collective set up for the black fly ball. That was cool. Maine rocks!

How did you end up where you are now and state where you are and how you got there? 

I got tired of doing masonry out in the Midwest. I was actually at the top of the bible belt and really that’s what I got sick of. So, I hit the rails. After a few weeks of fucking off, a hailstorm forced me into the southwest desert. I found work right off route 66 and been here ever since.

While this term, oogle and it’s acronym LATFO, are basically used to describe friends, road dogs and family members (family in this sense not necessarily meaning blood relatives) it’s root was originally a hateful one. It’s good to know that as time passes hate can be lost and a word that was once used as a slur of sorts can now be used as an almost loving term. Take a chance, never give up hope and travel everywhere.