Thursday, 22 April 2010


1. For much of the year, most inhabitants are transients that don't live in houses. (trailers, tents and such)
2. Rent is ridiculously cheap, ranging from zero to such as me to $180 for 6 months if you wish to settle semi-permanently on BLM land.
3. Has several cafes with tent roofs much like old mining boom towns.
4. Has Americas' only full service, drive thru RV service station. (propane, dump, water)
5. Sets aside a special area for nudist.
6. Features a Yacht club here in this stark desert. EXHIBIT A---one of Quartzsite's leading citizens--owner of the bookstore behind us. I'm proud to embrace this fellow poet. author, and maverick extraordinaire. He won a decades long court battle to dress---er--undress like this.
The court concluded that a "penis pouch" is the bare minimum for decency. He is world famous and surely the most photographed bookseller on earth.
A short mile or so away, mavericks like this one feel at home in the desert. I decided to go get the story.
He invites me in--I'm all set to take notes. People show surprising respect for note takers. He's lived in this van for 20 years--it's well tweaked--electronically sophisticated--flat screen TV etc.
His name is Charley---has a penchant for blue--those are one way windows all round insuring privacy and sun block. His dog sleeps with him.
Earns money as an artist---a sample of his work.
Heres a maverick new toy--asked to try it out--said yes.
Got the hang of it quickly--exercises rarely used muscles--speeds right along. See how slim I'm getting---spoonfull of olive oil twice daily--kills the appetite.
Stopped this guy who happily posed---maverick, minimal investment service business.
Lots of folks come to Quartzsite and live like this. I estimate this lifestyle cost $100 a month. Within walking or biking distance are all the necessary services--water, Library, etc. I've seen whole families living in a tent.
Inspired by the naked bookseller, I peeled myself--reflecting Whitman: ("I will go to the woods and become undisguised and naked---I am mad for it to be in contact with me") --But no contact with these woods. I just flashed on a poem by Robert Service that seems to fit myself and other transients in and around Quartzsite---entitled
There's a race of men who don't fit in;
A race that can't stay still.
So they break the hearts of kith and kin
To wander the world at will.
They range the fields, they rove the flood,
They climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood
For they don't know how to rest.
I've forgotten the rest of it, but you get the Idea. It's getting warm--I think I'll go to Santa Fe--7000 ft elevation and world class spiritual center.

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