Conscious Party Web Xtra: Hobo Ball for the Carl Sandburg Home

Image courtesy of Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara

WHAT: The Hobo Ball from Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Camp Ton-A-Wandhah, 300 W. Ton A Wondah Road, Hendersonville

WHY: As a national historic site, The Carl Sandburg Home receives federal funds to help preserve the site and the legacy of writer Carl Sandburg. However, the funds aren’t enough to cover all the programs at the site, says Catherine Richardson with Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara.

“There’s lots of things that we provide that aren’t covered by the park budget we receive, including many of our outreach programs,” Richardson explains.

Richardson says the Friends raise money for initiatives that include trail upkeep, workshops and supplemental materials for teachers and educators, the Writer-in-Residence program and the Junior Park Ranger program.

“A lot of what we provide is the core material that establishes how the Sandburg Home is tied to this community and how it is involved in this community,” Richardson says.

This is where the Hobo Ball comes in. As the primary fundraiser for the Friends, the Hobo Ball not only supports the site’s programs, it also honors the legacy of Sandburg — who often called himself “the eternal hobo.” In his younger years, the writer would often travel around the country, carrying his guitar and learning about the people and folk cultures of the places he visited. The music, anecdotes and colloquialisms he collected became the basis on his career as a poet, Richardson says.

“It was part of his journey to becoming the ‘people’s poet,’” she explains. “His poems were a composite of what he experienced out on the road. He was frustrated with conventional education. As a writer and a dreamer, he just wanted to get out and experience the country.”

To honor this legacy, the Hobo Ball will be a casual affair where denim and comfy boots or walking shoes are encouraged. Richardson says the Friends selected Camp Ton-A-Wandhah as the event’s venue because of it’s down-to-earth and natural feel.

“You look out the window from the dining hall and you are literally on top of the dam that surrounds the lake,” she explains. “It feels like the whole room is sitting on top of the water, and it’s breathtaking.”

The event includes a live auction of local foods and crafts, as well as passes to local events and services. Local band Crocodile Smile will also perform. Tickets are $85.

For more information, visit or call 553-7705.

About Carrie Eidson
Multimedia journalist and Green Scene editor at Mountain Xpress. Part-time Twitterer @mxenv but also reachable at Follow me @carrieeidson

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