Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sombrero Man Campaigns for "Change"

Five years after he disappeared from his regular South Oakland street corner, panhandler Lloyd "Sombrero Man" Hamilton was spotted at a Barack Obama rally.

More than 10,000 people packed the Petersen Events Center on April 21 -- the night before the Pennsylvania Primary Election.

Dressed in his trademark hat and soiled overalls, Sombrero Man managed to snag a front row seat. The Illinois senator later invited the hobo on stage to jangle his cup.

"This guy, this guy right here," Obama said, putting his arm around the unkempt and visibly intoxicated Sombrero Man, "He knows what this country needs. Tell these folks what America needs, my friend!"

After fumbling with the microphone for 30 seconds, Sombrero Man slurred the word, "CHAAAAAANGE!"

His cry was met with thunderous applause from the crowd.

Obama urged the penny-pinching bum to join him on the rest of his campaign tour, and even hinted at a vice presidential nod, but Sombrero Man declined due to a scheduling conflict.

This summer he will replace Kenny Kangaroo as the the official mascot of Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pa.

In December 2007, the old-fashioned theme park was sold to Madrid, Spain-based Parques Reunidos.

"Sombrero Man's image meshes with our new Hispanic aesthetic," says Kennywood spokesman Mark Wagner. "He's festive, he's fun, he's the embodiment of everything we do here! Viva la Kennywood!"


Anonymous said...

"Change, change...anyone for any change?"
I remember him and this article was brilliant

Ken said...

Of all the beggars when I was on campus, this guy was my favorite because he didn't bother you or yell at you like the other asshats, he just stood there asking for change.

And the sombrerro was a nice touch. I usually gave him money when I had some extra, especially after drinking.

Missy P, MFA said...

While I applaud Barack's attempt at transforming our government, and Mr. Hamilton's quest for coinage, I can't help but note that the word change is often an empty buzz word peppering placards and marketing campaigns. Metaphysically speaking, I think we'd be better off if we all tackled one of society's greatest ills; I speak, of course, of the culture of beverage stagnation which has run rampant in our country for far too long. I think it's time we changed in the truest sense of the word and demand zomething different for beverage consumption.

Julianne said...

I loved Sombrero Man. I'd always give him my pennies and nickels (I hate pennies and nickels anyways).

Nicholas said...

The poor guy never hurt anyone, he shouldnt be made a joke for college students to make fun of. The guy clearly had some hard knocks and we are/were privledged enough to go to college while he sat by and merely asked for change. Youre a bad person and so is anyone who encourages shit like this. I hope some day you experience the dynmaic of being homeless/helpless while surrounded by emerging lawyers, politicians, teachers and doctors. See how that feels and see if you want to write a funny article about it ;)

Anonymous said...

you gotta get over sombrero man. you can call off the search party. he's moved on to a better environment. he's on high street at morgantown, wv because the guy knows a winning school when he sees it. let's gooooooo mountaineers!!