Hobo Joe stands in memory of many things that are gone forever: The "Hobo Joe's Coffee Shop" chain of restaurants, each one featuring a smaller version of this giant-size statue. Marvin Ransdell, who owned the fiberglass company where this statue was manufactured, and in whose honor it was erected by his friend Ray Gillum after Ransdell's death. Lastly, Joe is a reminder of the hobos and their gentlemanly code ... without a fixed home but not "homeless," without a permanent "job" but willing to work, without new clothes but still dignified, without much but willing to share.
The plaque on the base of the statue reads:
BUILT BY AND STANDS IN MEMORY OF MARVIN RANSDELL (1928-1988)
BY HIS GOOD FRIEND RAMON GILLUM
Directions: At the corner of Monroe Avenue and Apache Road, Buckeye, Arizona (one block off of Highway 85 where it curves between Monroe Avenue and Baseline Road).
Last visited: November 2008.
These photos show one of the Hobo Joe statues, each about 3/4 life size, that stood inside the Hobo Joe's Coffee Shops. This is the last of the coffee shops that is still open under that name, and as far as I can determine this is the only one of the original statues that is still on display in its original setting.
Directions: 660 E. Mingus Avenue, Cottonwood, Arizona.
Last visited: May 2009.
This Hobo Joe statue is on display in the gift shop / museum building of the Arizona Railway Museum. At Joe's feet is his faithful canine companion.
Directions: 330 E. Ryan Rd., Chandler, Arizona. Admission to the grounds and the building is free, but a small fee is charged to enter the display railroad cars. Closed in summer months.
Last visited: May 2010.