Bo Keely

Often seen in: North America /South America / Asia
Profession: Adventure Tourism
Reports on: Travel Insights, Finance & Investing

Summary: Steven 'Bo' Keely is an American adventurer and former veterinarian, professional athlete, commodities consultant, front porch publisher, business executive outward bound guide, who in 2000 shucked civilization for a desert burrow in southern California, and emerged to become a peripatetic ex-patriot.

Fun Fact: His preferred method of transportation: rail boxcars.

More About Bo Keely:


Keely grew up in Idaho and Michigan, and graduated in 1972 with a DVM from Michigan State University. He moved to California where a vet licensing snafu thrust him into professional racquetball and paddleball, with seven national titles.


He wrote the sport 'bible' Complete Book of Racquetball (200,000 sold), and opened racquetball doors in every state, Central and South America, with hundreds of clinics and exhibitions, once beating Miss World with a Converse tennis shoe in a Sports Illustrated promotion. Keely was a stroke and strategy trendsetter, and the first apparel sponsored pro flaunting multi-colored 'Chucks' Converse tennis shoes. He was featured in Sports Illustrated ('He Found his Racquet', Nov. 19, 1979) and other publications as a strange blend of athlete, intellectual and flake.

He was ranked 2-4 on the pro racquetball circuit during the 1970's, while winning five national singles paddleball titles. He retired in 1982, and, in 2002, refused induction into Racquetball Hall of Fame stating that the organization he had helped form was in shambles. He was the 2003 racquetball historian and psychologist for the Legends pro racquetball tour, and the same year co-invented with Scott Hirsch Hybrid Racquetball using a racquetball and wood paddleball paddles.


Keely rode a boxcar from Jacksonville, Florida, to New York and borrowed a suit to eat with George Soros at the Four Seasons restaurant. He travelled the gridiron as a 'boxcar tourist' on 360 freight trains in the US, Canada and Mexico, and taught the first modern college sociology hobo class, 'Hobo Life in America' in 1985 at Lansing Community College.

During the late 1980's, he drove a Chevy van around the US with an invisible fish-line attached to a 7' stuffed rabbit riding shotgun waving down intellects to figure out himself. Subsequently, he was honored to play chess with US open champion Art Bisguier, Ping-Pong with world champ Marty Reisman, hobo with financial author Doug Casey, look through a microscope with DNA discoverer Jim Watson, live a year in the stairwell of speculator Victor Niederhoffer, play checkers with world champ Tom Wiswell, fly with Linux-Care founder Art Tyde, and ride the rails with King of the Hobos Steamtrain Marry Graham.


In 1978, he moved to an unheated garage on Haslet Lake, Michigan, to undertake one year's experiments on self, including not blinking for 24-hours, riding a bike for 24-hours, sitting in a deprivation crate, one-week water fast, reading dozens of books upside-down and writing in mirror image, sleep deprivation, bladder control, induced color blindness, and fluent ambidexterity.

He created a small publisher Service Press Inc. in the garage foyer and self-published two books in one day, It's a Racquet and The Kill and Re-kill Gang.


His freewheeling lifestyle with a sardonic barb are regularly noted at Daily Speculations and Swans Commentary with a short list of accounts:

* Journey through the Mid-east during the Gulf War
* Knife attack in Caracas while seeding thousands in cash for capitalism
* 500-lb. Rwanda silverback gorilla at five paces wants to trade harem for English girls
* Caught in a Rip tide off Bali
* Held at machete point by Amazon 'cannibals'
* Abandoned in the winter Andes with ankle weights
* Trapped in an Auckland House of Mirrors during a power cut
* Hold-up behind the Great Pyramid, and robbed about 99 other times during world travel

A 13-country tour to identify investment opportunities in emerging markets for speculator Victor Niederhoffer earned millions in Turkey, but on Black Friday, October 27, 1997, losses from buying Thai bank stocks that had fallen heavily in the Asian financial crisis combined with a 554-point single day decline of the Dow (the second largest decline to date in index history) forced the company to close its doors for a year.


Keely earned a psychology tech degree in 1985 for one year's volunteer work at old folks' homes and psych wards to study the developing mind.

An anti-authority attitude with sharp repartees had him thrown in jails for jaywalking from his own Hollywood bank during a robbery, and an unsigned trespass charge to the Broward County jail that kept his pants. All the short jail stints were dismissed in courts.

In 2007, he founded Executive Tour Service on North American rails and hiking trips to Mexico as a businessman’s outward bound.

He has written seven books on sports, travel and the maverick personality, including the 2011 Keely’s Kures of alternative treatments for common ailments from boxcars, veterinary medicine, and world healers, while carrying on an informal Email practice.


'My life follows the vicissitudes of Buck the Dog in Jack London's Call of the Wild,' he once explained. 'From the comfortable back yards in a cold swath across America, boxcars on every major RR, 100+ countries under a backpack, hiking the lengths of Florida, Colorado, Vermont, California, Death Valley, and Baja, to introspect in a dessert burrow... as a springboard to travel.'


The 10' deep Keely burrow near the Mexico border is shelved with journals of an ongoing Catman Memoirs generated on a laptop powered by solar above. He lives with a barking gecko, Sir the doorman sidewinder, and Band-Aid a trader rat trained to fetch gold coins from ghost towns. The adventures are quantified by a 'kitten and cat system' where a perilous escapade earns a few 'kitten points', while near-deaths accumulate 'full cats', in a march of anecdotes to Catman- with nine lives.

In 2008, he became the first California substitute teacher – most requested by the students and faculty – to be fired by administration surrounding a 'playground war' at the Blythe Middle School. He left to ride the rails, and then become an itinerant ex-patriot pausing for 1-3 months at selective Shangri-Las like Iquitos, Peru, San Felipe, Baja and Lake Toba, Sumatra around the world.

– ### —


The Catman point system is incorporated into each Catman Keely adventure, as follows: Begin with one kitten, the smallest unit of life. A strife or troublesome period fetches a kitten. The larger unit is the cat. A cat is nine accumulated kittens, but one cat life may be given also for a near-death. The tales march on, and a nickname emerges... Catman, who has nine lives.

This is a list of anecdotes and kitten awards, through 2000:

* Dollar an inch of skin knife attack and robbery – Venezuela: 4
* Lions in camp malaria and lions – Serengeti, Tanzania: 5
* shark, Shark, SHARRK scuba diving threat – San Clemete, CA: 2
* Wreck of the wreck train crash – Lansing, Michigan: 4
* One evening reading coincidence in a book – Lansing, Michigan: 0
* Little fighter childhood fracas – Idaho Falls, Idaho: 1
* Gamesman vs. stoic sports psych warfare – Flint, Michigan: 0
* A Caribbean pick-up hitch-hike near-incident – Tobago: 1
* Tin leg and a long gun gun threat – Los Angeles, California: 1
* Kiss or punch words with a hobo – New Mexico: 0
* Dolt on end of stick accost by retard – Damascus, Syria: 0
* Monkey on my back monkey assault – India: 1
* Chess with an edge weapon at the board – Lansing, Michigan: 0
* Which way to the rainbow nighttime encounter – Idaho: 0
* Knock knock hotel door smashed – Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela: 3
* A beleagured coach post-game team attack – Jackson, Michigan: 1
* Jawbreaker punched by gang – San Diego, California: 1
* A lasso for roaches fighting roaches – Minneapolis, Minnesota: 0
* Snakes on rail serpents under boxcar – Nebraska: 1
* Black and white night cows encounter – California: 0
* A fast gauntlet push-&-shove incident – San Diego, California: 1
* The light touch pack theft – Cuzco, Peru: 0
* A Panama swift pickpocket – Panama City, Panama: 0
* Huh? Stop thief. Huh? snatcher – Salvador, Brazil: 0
* Cons and sucker jewal deal muffed – India: 0
* Nirobi bus #34 bag slashers – Nirobi, Kenya: 0
* Hooker's second angle robbery under pretense – Jakarta, Java: 0
* Always a confederate to be chosen: 0
* For hire in Namibia working for police – Otijwarongo, Namibia: 1
* Bolivian change artist police masquerade – La Paz, Bolivia: 0
* Fiasco in Suriname Immigration difficulties through Suriname: 0
* Another pair of shoes check-point swindle – Cucuta, Colombia: 1
* Will shoot you warned by rail bull – St. Louis, Missouri: 1
* Itchy and his finger facing a nervous cop – Sierra Nevada: 0
* In court with Groucho traffic court red tape – Los Angeles: 0
* LA county Jail incarcerated – Los Angeles: 1
* Ninja the gorilla observing a gorilla – Kigali, Rwanda: 1
* Bigger rhino, taller tree escape from a rhino – Uganda: 0
* Searching the Pyramid guide trouble – Cairo, Egypt: 0
* Trust the preacher faith in a blow – Idaho Falls, Idaho: 0
* Sure, coach removed from tennis team – Jackson, Michigan: 1
* A few good men war games on a bicycle – Camp Pendleton, CA: 1
* It's ok to pet the cobra flute player consent – Colombo, Sri Lanka: 1
* Kuta incident with a lady – Manaus, Brazil: 0
* After the fall embarrassment with lady – East Lansing, Michigan: 0
* Through the catdoor hiding from a lady – San Diego, CA: 0
* Stick or treat questionable transvestites – Bangkok, Thailand: 0
* A personals encounter classifieds dating : New York: 0
* Redhead with a blade a street walker – San Diego, California: 0
* First ride initial hobo journey – Salt Lake City, Utah: 0
* The iron road an eventful rail trip – Utah to Los Angeles: 0
* National hobo convention the hobo gathering – Iowa: 0
* Don't grease the rail dangers or freight riding – Charlotte, NC: 1
* Doc Bo college hobo course – Lansing, Michigan: 0
* Grab a ladder and hold grasping ladder on ride – Utah: 1
* Over the high line a rail story – MNto WA to CA: 0
* 2,400 miles at 13 mph cross-country by bicycle – CA to MI: 1
* Florida day canoing multiple dilemma – Southern Florida: 1
* A crooked cold trail disturbance while hiking – San Bernadino Mountains in Southern California: 1
* Bed where the head is sleep in peril – Southern California: 0
* The other place occurence on a train – Java, Indonesia: 0
* Rip tide off Bali cuatht in rip current: 2
* As a tadpole man-of-war brush: 0
* Gator watch nip in a river – Cape York, Australia: 0
* Running the Salmon runaway river raft – Idaho: 1
* The Cesna inverted spin small plane plunge: 4
* Day the clutch slipped cliffside near-calamity: 1
* Cruise control s-t-u-c-k mechanical failure in mts: 1
* The sideways flight flight in windstorm: 1
* Hi ho Silver entangled in horse reins: 1
* Pat Pong lock-up held inside bar: 1
* After hours in a cantina locked in after closing: 0
* Jacuzzi lid drops on spa: 1
* Elevator stuck elevator: 0
* Hinges and doorknob secured in a room: 1
* Little Houdini escape from a basement: 0
* Andes pass without jacket in mts – Bolivia: 5
* Lost in the Amazon lost in canoe – Amazonas, Brazil: 3
* Twilight on the Pantenal astray at night – Pantenal, Brazil: 2
* Cape Tribulation forest path unmarked – Queensland, Australia: 1
* Short electric fence touch: 1
* Pot for a pillow hiking in lightning: 1
* General Electric near electrocution: 2
* Lady, it's your alternator car electrical fire: 1
* The persistent fibrillator jumpstarting the heart: 4
* White manhger exposure on a freight – Pueblo, Colorado: 2
* Walking out of Tahoe hypothermia while hiking: 1
* A cold time in Europe inclimate hitch-hiking: 1
* Rolling Mr. Ice the northern route in Oct: 1
* Wheel a-rollin van accident route – Oklahoma: 2
* Pink runner bicycle pile-up 0 White Mountains, California: 2
* Blindside hit-&-run motorcycle srash: San Diego, California: 4
* Rearended car crash highway 127 – Michigan: 1
* Tennessee waltz truck near-collision route – Tennessee: 1
* Jump high, live longer hit by car: San Diego, California: 1
* Second worst case mononucleosis: 1
* Hot dog, love them beans childhood illness: 0
* On my knees poisoning: 1
* Surgery and recovery lateral menisectomy: 2
* The Ruwenzoris altitude sickness and dysentery: 3
* A host compromised systemic ailment: 0
* Arousal and vascectomy an operation: 1
* King pain to be chosen: 0
* Maverick doc to be chosen: 0
* From thin to fat fasting incident: 1
* Cuffed to the asylum taken to psych ward: 1
* The odd voice aspect of lunacy: 2
* Remembering amnesia aspect of lunacy: 2
* I've half a mind to do travel while irrational: 1
* Uphill to normalcy recovery to steady-state: 1
* It's not ok mother's death: 1
* Garage nirvana life in a garage on a lake: 1
* Lone wold gains flesh to be chosen: 0
* A sad little pony vet school surgery: 0
* After suicide capsule to be chosen: 0
* After insanity nutshell to be chosen: 0
* The man in the moon first memory: 0
* Chickens and butterflies childhood memory: 0
* First rack moose surprise at river: 1
* A puzzle in church a clash in church: 0
* Bully learns a lesson youth brawl: 1
* First of 1,000 projects to be chosen: 0
* On to Charlevoix the family moves: 0
* "Fifteen moving years" an early autobiography: 0
* At the Sadie Hawkins only high school date: 0
* Veterinary school on call during date: 0
* Closet of championship intramural award: 0
* A little under the tabletemptation of sports bribe: 0
* In necropsy a vet school course: 0
* On to the days of yore the move to California: 0
* A genius circuit one trip round USA: 0
* The fringe to be chosen: 0
* Fifty states to be chosen: 0
* Individual defined to be chosen: 0
* A gentle footstep to be chosen: 0
* Unorthodoxy as a virtue to be chosen: 0
* Wafts of liberty to be chosen: 0
* Traveling scholar to be chosen: 0
* Wandering philosopher to be chosen: 0
* 4 books in 3 months bottleneck as an author: 1
* The study of spin unwinding a secret of sports: 1
* Pied Piper of Lansing a walk to school: 0
* 24 hours on a bicycle an experiment with biking: 1
* Sleep in a coffin: 0
* Ferret in underwear: 0
* Eleven shots an experiment with alcohol: 0
* Ina night's run one long distance run: 0
* Follow the hippo in the footsteps at night: 0
* Six miles of smoke asphysiation in a tunnel – Moffat Tunnel, CO: 1
* First marathon: 1
* Like the wind down a frozen slide: 0
* Pacific coast by pedal – Canada to Mexico by bike: 1
* Champ on crutches first intramural finals: 0
* National title tears furst paddleball batuibak tutke: 1
* Racquetball pro early professional tournament: 0
* Breaks of the game loss of vision in match: 1
* Farmhouse out of cellar creating championship material: 0
* Tough guys thrusts before a semi’s: 0
* The other competition gamesmanship carried too far: 0
* The invisible something afraid of the formless: 1
* Australian scent a wolf howl synchronicity: 0
* Burnt lashes magic singes the date: 0
* God and Country badge reward of early reverence: 0
* A bone pile in Chile situation in a monastery: 0
* Mind reading for dessert scene after a dinner: 0
* The deprogrammer rescue from a dojo: 0
* A death experience one dying occasion: 0
* One legend in hell feeling of an other side: 9
* I narrow a choice considerations for suicide: 0
* A last walk death by choice: 2
* Post-suicide review and evaluation: 0
* Kenya near-death review and evaluation: 0
* Venezuela attack rewiew and evaluation: 0
* Shark with whiskers review and evaluation: 0
* Angle from cow catcher review and evaluation: 0
* Gun barrel dissection review and evaluation: 0
* Inverted Cesna peril review and evaluation: 0
* Ruwenzoris experience review and evaluation: 0
* Andes minadventure review and evaluation: 0
* Amazon near-death review and evaluation: 0
* Profit of the parade death – Panorama: 0
* Top o' the world cliffside on bicycle: 3
* Hand from a boxcar slick spot mishap: 2

Total over 75 required for Catman status.

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