immigrants, America, family stories


Many contributors have added signature elements to the story of the “Car Bum Brothers.” Some of these were the original instigators of action during events that transpired over an eighteen- month period, from January 1923 to May 1924, while brothers Svend and Folmer Hansen were on the road traveling in the western states. This they did for the most part in a Model T Ford they bought for fifty dollars and affectionately called “Our Lizzie.” The cast of characters from that time includes a range of immigrant Danes and their off spring who lived scattered in Danish enclaves up and down the West Coast. Lutheran pastors are present by name, as they seek to apply their theology in ways that will be meaningful to immigrant and American alike. Added to this ethnic community is the ebb and fl ow of day laborers— from boxcar hobos to the honestly unemployed—seeking seasonal jobs and staying in work camps or adjoining automobile parks and tenements.