Hobo Jim never forgets his roots

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2001

He may have written the current hit country song "Love's Enough," presently in the Top 40 Billboard hit list, have a new tune about to be recorded by George Jones, and be in demand as a performer all over the world, but Alaska's official Balladeer Hobo Jim, like the Kenai River salmon, returns to the Peninsula every summer. There have been rumors, after 28 some years of singing at Alaska's favorite watering holes, that Hobo might be retiring and hanging a sign on his guitar that says, "Gone Fishing." But, fortunately for all his Alaskan fans, and every Alaska visitor that has never experienced a true Alaskan spirit-fest with Hobo Jim, "It ain't so!" According to a reliable source, namely Hobo Jim, "I think I've been spreadin' that rumor for 15 or 20 years now. I keep trying, but I can't. I'd like to retire someday, I think that would be a good thing, but not in the near future," said Hobo after serenading the Soldotna Rotarians at their annual awards banquet at Birch Ridge Golf Course. Unlike some celebrities who seem to forget about the land that launched their fame and fortune, Hobo Jim does more fundraisers for charities and community groups during one summer, then most artists do in lifetime, "I love the fund-raising thing! You gotta' put back what you get out. I like helpin' out with the music, that's a good thing," said the man who has become an Alaskan legend in a land, "Where Legends are Born." Hobo Jim can be heard every Wednesday in Homer at Alice's Champagne Palace, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday's at BJ's in Soldotna, Sunday's at the Yukon Bar in Seward, and anytime in-between trying to catch a King Salmon on the Kenai River.

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