A kind of “roadrunners”
vagrants, “entertainer”, roughnecks, subsistence’loose, spritter, the rushing journeymen, country strings – it’s said that “dear child has many names” – these folks, they have indeed many names in public – but there were as many types as there were vagabonds
During my childhood in the 60s, I met many of them, because the big farm in southern Jutland (Denmark) near the danish-german borderline, where we lived (my old man managed it administratively – next to his work at the nearby military barracks) close to one of the major roads and the mega big barn attracted their attention as a shelter for the night – they knocked on the door in the evening and always got permission to climb into the grain straw or hay in the barn after handle over their lighters or matches – often they were gone in the morning, some did have just breakfast before they trotted on – it fit with my breakfast before school – they could always or allmost some “good” tough stories – stories about why they were in the situation they were in – but they never complained – they were not wimps – but totally honest in their own way.
often there was tragicstories behind the choice of the roadlife.
Many of these outsiders faithful companion was the bottle and a large number of them drank methylated spirits, which held over 90% alcohol and were intended to be used as fuel in drinking appliances for cooking, therefore, was added substances to prevent such use, yielding stomach problems to them – but my mothers strong coffee kicked life into them in a good way – so they were prepared for a new day on the road
But their abuse was not as clear at that time as now there is a large number of city vagrants and homeless in all major cities, often do they not come outside the city limits and most have a bench lay hangout – the times are different – perhaps humans also.
One of the guests was the legendary Henry “Solskin” (sunshine) – maybe the king of the road knights or “stodderkonge” (beggar king) – a title that wih more style or dignity than it sounds – a very intelligent and wise man – these 2 thing doesn’t always hang together but it did in this case – it’s Henry with the tall black hat – his life wasn’t easy
but I remember him with joy.
Mostly he was seen on the roads between the island Fyn (southern Denmark) and the town Skagen (in the northern Jutland) with his dog Perle (pearl).
Also as a grown young man I have met Henry “Solskin” – for example at road rest areas because in my consulting job came around a lot on the Danish roads and sometimes held onto the rest stops to fix papier and so – this was before mobile phones and pc’s era.
When I was drive around on the Danish roads in terms of visiting customers, I serval times encountered Henry “Solskin” during such breaks at rest areas, etc., have then got a chat with a man who despite a life on the road far away from the perception of real life possessed many good qualities and a knowledge and understanding of many things which makes me think of the proverb “an academician is a person who has read into know what others already know.”