I admire "Steam Train" Maury Graham the most because of his work ethic. Throughout the story he is constantly explaining how the difference between a hobo and a bum is hobos earn their rewards. While bums beg, hobos will offer service before asking for a reward. Graham demonstrates the theme of creativity by creating a unique hobo language among their community. Along with his other friends, symbols on telephone poles meant there was a lot of work to be done, or two jagged lines for a guard dog that had teeth. With as little as they had, I thought it was interesting that they were still able to create an entire language between their community.
I was surprised most about Sander's story that instead of choosing to just be angry at his father, he had some sort of guilt or disappointment in himself that he was never able to make his dad stop. While many kids would resent a parent that treats them or their family poorly, he looked into himself on ways he could try and stop his fathers addiction. Unfortunately, he later came to realize his father wasn't drinking due to disappointment in his son, but rather from a disease. "Come out of the man, you unclean spirits!" is a quote from a paragraph where Sanders is referencing Jesus purging one of evil demons that have possessed someone. Like the demons, Sanders believes his dad has been overtaken by some unknown disease or "demon."
A question I ask when I'm done reading some of these stories is what was the purpose or what did the author gain from sharing their experience. Besides understanding what they are holding onto, what else are they getting by sharing these stories to us?