Mary Scahill, Student

Photo: Lucas Michael

Where do you go to school?
Parsons. I’m a 24-year-old freshman.

What were you doing before?
I went to community college in Kansas City and spent a year traveling as a punk with friends—riding freight trains and hitchhiking across the country.

How does one ride a freight train?
Well, you research what tracks are going where and camp out near them.

And then jump a moving car?
No, you wait until it stops. They all have ladders you can climb up.

Ever been caught?
Yeah, once, in Washington. I woke up and this train-yard cop was standing over me. He gave me some old Western-movie-sounding violation and told me to get off the train, which I did. Then I waited a couple of hours and got on another one.

Interview by Alexis Swerdloff.

Mary Scahill, Student