PATERSON, N. J. (Feb. 21)
Al Kaufman, self-styled “King of the Hoboes,” stopped off here yesterday, renewed old acquaintances, talked a jeweler into giving him a watch for a present, and said he was on his way to a nearby town to get a newspaper job.
The “King” isn’t enjoying life as he did five years ago. Then, he had several thousand dollars, rode around in a large car-so he says. Today he travels in expensive riding breeches and carries scrapbooks. His pockets contain complimentary passes for practically all hotels in the country, railroads, bus lines, theatres, and night clubs.
“I’m writing my third book,” he said to the Jewish Daily Bulletin correspondent here, “and I want to get located in a job for several months so I can finish it.” The “King” has written two books, “A Gentleman Hobo’s Life” and “From 18 to 25,” he said. One sold 42,000 copies, he revealed breathlessly.
“I haven’t a title for my third book,” he said, “but it gets away from autobiography and is fiction-love, sex, you know-it’s what sells today, and you got to give ‘em what sells.”
Talking with a pronounced stutter, Kaufman told of his recent activities in Toronto, where he took a prominent part in breaking up a Hitler club there. “There was a meeting of the club so we got together the Jews, piled into cars, and went to the meeting. There was a free-for-all fight, and it was the end of the Hitler club in Toronto. They voted me a purse of $100 for my services.”
The “King” has been on the road ever since he was ten years old. When Jeff Davis stepped out as King of the Hoboes, Al Kaufman stepped in because he had “connections” and “had been around.”
That’s his story and he sticks to it.
“Don’t hit the road,” he admonished the J. D. B. correspondent. “Things are plenty tough on the road today, and the best thing to do is stay off it. Too many thousands of kids riding the trains.”
And drawing up his collar, the “King” went out to find that bed he was pro#ed.