Hobo Jim fan creates fund to replace stolen guitar

Posted: Friday, August 23, 2002

KENAI (AP) -- A longtime Soldotna fan of Hobo Jim has established a fund to help replace a $6,000 guitar that was recently stolen from Alaska's official balladeer.

Dolli Koerber, a fan for 28 years, established the Hobo Jim Fund at the Wells Fargo Bank Kenai branch but said people can make donations through any Wells Fargo branch.

The guitar was stolen from Hobo Jim's van in Soldotna sometime between Aug. 13 and 14. It is described as a Martin D42 KOA, made of blond Hawaiian koa wood.

''It's my only guitar. It's my baby,'' Hobo Jim told the Peninsula Clarion.

The singer is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who stole his guitar.

Koerber described herself as a fan who appreciates what the singer and songwriting guitarist has done for the community. She also said she admires ''his spiritual outlook for this community'' and finds him to be ''a very honest, hard-working, everyday family man.

''And, he's the type of celebrity who can mix with anyone. He'd sit down and have a beer with anybody ... and tell them a story.''

Koerber and her husband, Tim, have five sons, one who plays guitar and one who plays drums.

''I really like Hobo Jim's sentiment when he sings of the hardships of Alaskans, the struggles and strife, the ups and downs of the economy over the past 30 years,'' Koerber said.

Her favorite Hobo Jim song? ''It's got to be what everybody recognizes nationwide: 'The Iditarod Trail.'''

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