Tramps Like Us

Shawn Lukitsch, co-owner of the North Carolina independent production company Agency Films, will never forget the first time he hopped a train. He was in Milwaukee, and his roommate had just skipped town with the rent money. So Lukitsch went down to the snowy railyard and jumped on a train heading to Wisconsin — and he's ridden the rails every chance he's had since. "Every mile is its own story," he says. "A lot of people liken a boxcar door to a TV featuring naked America."

Since independent film and train-hopping seemed such a natural fit, Agency Films is hosting the Hobo Film Festival, screening tonight at 9 p.m. at 3 Kings Tavern, 60 South Broadway. The selection of features and short films included aren't just about celebrating the freedom and beauty of locomotive wanderlust; they're also immortalizing an endangered part of U.S. culture. "Train-riding is so ingrained in American history," notes Lukitsch, "and it isn't going to last much longer."

To help with the cause, hop a ride to the festival and pony up the $4 entry fee. For more information, go to or call 303-777-7370.
Thu., July 19, 9 p.m.

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner