In our first year on the road, we made a pilgrimage to Slab City in Niland, California. If you’re not familiar with this outpost of individuality, Slab City is located on the site of an abandoned World War II Marine training base. It is home to a motley collection of people that most would call misfits, who live in everything from old school buses to shacks without the benefit of everyday conveniences like running water, electricity, and a sewer system. Besides the 500 or so year around residents, every winter the population swells as RVers from across the country and Canada show up to dry camp. Think Quartzsite without the ambience.
The most recognized landmark at Slab City is Salvation Mountain, the work of the late Leonard Knight, an eccentric folk artist who made his own mountain from old tires, cinder blocks, paint and other trash. We met Leonard on that one trip to Slab City years ago and he was one of the gentlest people I’ve ever known.
Now it looks like the rest of the state has decided that the folks at Slab City must move along so they can sell the land to developers, as this news story reports. Because if there is one thing this country needs it’s another cookie cutter housing development, right?
Slab city wasn’t for us, but then again, neither is Quartzsite. But it is right for a lot of folks. I say leave them alone, who are they hurting? We don’t all have to be the same, do we? What ever happened to live and let live?
On another topic, if any of you ever need to write something from the perspective of somebody in a straightjacket, just go have a sleep study. I did recently, and I’m here to tell you, I’ve had worse nights, but people were shooting at me. Don’t I look happy?
And these are just some of the wires and sensors they had stuck on me! And they expected me to sleep? That wasn’t happening! I got about 72 minutes of sleep strung out over seven hours.
The one good thing that may have come from laying awake all night hooked up to all that stuff is that after I had sung every song I ever knew in my head, tried to remember every girlfriend I ever had, and wondered just how in the hell long seven hours is, I may have also come up with a sequel to Dog’s Run. Many people have told me, and I agree, that it is my best book ever. It was written as a stand alone and has never had the sales it deserved. I never envisioned a sequel, but now I have something germinating that may play out. We’ll see what happens.
Today is our last day in Tucson, and tomorrow we’ll be heading up to Apache Junction for a month of family time with Terry’s parents and sisters. Hopefully while we’re there we’ll also find time for me to get some writing and Terry to get some weaving done. We have missed doing both the last few weeks.
Thought For The Day – We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. – Benjamin Franklin