WHEREAS, Jim Varsos, widely known as Hobo Jim, was born in 1952 in Indiana. Raised in Madison, Wisconsin, Hobo Jim had a love for music from a young age, and picked up the guitar at age 12; and
WHEREAS, his lifelong dream of becoming a country musician led him to move to Nashville. After spending his time hitchhiking and freight riding, in the early 1970s, he moved to Alaska and made it his home; and
WHEREAS, living a traditional Alaskan lifestyle, he worked as a commercial fisherman, logger, and cowboy, but his love for music and his dream to be a country musician was still as strong as ever. Hobo Jim began making music that honored the Alaskan experience and showcased the resiliency of the Alaskan spirit; and
WHEREAS, Hobo Jim’s music has brought representation to Alaska’s traditional way of living, which many consider rough and unmodern. Throughout his musical career, he delighted fans from across the United States and once even made a trip to Afghanistan to honor our troops; and
WHEREAS, though he and his music traveled far and wide, both stayed true to Alaska, its heritage, and its way of life; and
WHEREAS, Hobo Jim, named the Official Balladeer by the Alaska State Legislature in 1994, made many contributions to the musicality of the State of Alaska. He showcased the many wonderful facets of life in Alaska through his music and songs like Iditarod Trail, Redington’s Run, I Am Alaska, The Cannery Call, Off to Dutch Harbor and so many more; and
WHEREAS, his music influenced generations of Alaskans and brought awareness to the lifestyle, rich beauty, wilderness, and diversity of the people of Alaska; and
WHEREAS, Hobo Jim passed away on October 5, 2021 with his wife, Cyndi, by his side; and
WHEREAS, December 21, 2021 would have been Hobo Jim’s 69th birthday, on behalf of all Alaskans, we express our gratitude for Hobo Jim’s musical contributions to our Great State, and we mourn the loss of an influential Alaskan icon.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim December 21, 2021 as:
Hobo Jim Day
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to celebrate Hobo Jim’s life, many accomplishments and the impact he had on the Last Frontier.
Dated: December 21, 2021