Riding the Rails

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“Riding the Rails”

After watching the movie “Riding the Rails” I know understand why some kids would want to leave home and travel the country by boxcar. The conditions back home were awful. For one many of the railroad boys families were broke and some didn’t even have a home. It must have been quite sickening to be out traveling the country alone, just knowing you have virtually nothing to come back to other than your family, if that. Many kids who left home parent’s had lost their job and couldn’t supply the family. When riding the rails it looked very dangerous, falling off, missing a footstep, or tripping were all hazards just waiting to happen. With 250,000 kids out on the rails some were bound to be injured and killed. Just the thought of you could be the next kid to die from either train accident or starvation.

The trains themselves were not the only issues the rail riders faced. One was lack of food availability. Many kids turned to hoboing, and begging. Some kids had to knock on peoples doors asking for handouts, and I don’t know about them, but for me I would feel ashamed. When the kids were waiting for a train they would sleep in little hobo camps at the edge of towns, and this had to have been scary considering you didn’t know anyone and a lot of people were willing to kill for only a dollar. Other that the fact that the train itself could kill you or run over you, the fact black smoke could make you cough black for days and the part about staying away from train patrols I think the whole experience would be thrill and an adventure. I feel that this would be a great adventure and way to see the country. I would not want to be forced or have no choice though. I like the fact of riding around on a train and seeing coast to coast beauty. I think this country has a lot to offer and I believe a lot of it could be seen from a boxcar or a few miles away from train stations. I’m sure I would get homesick and want to get home eventually. But I personally...
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