Gallery houses historical hobo relics

Frederic Cone

Frederic ConeNews Editor

The bummobile, one of SDSU’s prized iconic symbols, will have a permanent home in The Union, along with many pieces of Hobo Day memorabilia, spanning nearly a century of celebration.

On Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. a dedication ceremony officially opening the Hobo Day gallery, an open display space in the north exterior of the Campanile Room, will be held.

“Our goal was to bring Hobo Day back to the forefront with the student body, and I think the gallery is a phenomenal space to do this,” said Nick Wendell, assistant director for student activities.

At the ceremony, Grand Pooba Robin Bickel and Vice President of Student Affairs Marysz Rames will speak about the importance of Hobo Day and of the new gallery space.

“I think it’s great that alumni, faculty and students will be able to view the bummobile and memorabilia any time they want,” Bickel said.

Although the bummobile is housed in a glass case, it will still be brought out for various events throughout the year. The Hobo Day gallery remains an area where all can lounge, enjoy lunch and relax.

“I hope the gallery can be a sort of time capsule of what Hobo Day was, how it has changed over the years and what it is today,” Wendell said. “There is something about the bummobile that unites the many generations of people who have been around it, and maybe the new gallery space will do the same thing.”

In addition, the Campanile Room remains a fully functional meeting room for banquets and other events throughout the year.

The bummobile was donated to SDSU by Frank and Nira Weigel in 1939, who bought the Model-T brand new in 1912, the year Hobo Day officially began. The Weigels gave the Model-T to SDSU in exchange for a photograph of the current king and queen of SDSU riding in it.

Jennifer Novotny, director of The Union, said one of the most interesting pieces of memorabilia donated by former alumni came from John Young, the 1952 Hobo Day chairman. Young donated his chairman briefcase with old issues of The Bum Magazine, newspapers and mail with special Hobo Day stamps on them.

“We hope when people walk through the gallery space they will know more about why Hobo Day got started,” Novotny said.