I was in the middle of writing this weeks blog when my computer had a mini crash and the document disappeared ..The computer Gods have screwed me again. One day I will have to have a talk with them. With a baseball bat and a roll of tape.
Paradise Way a street in the “thriving” Ghost town of Oatman, Arizona _ Photo by Royal Hopper
The best Little Orehouse or Meet the New Boss
By Royal Hopper
There is a sign above a store in a dusty windblown Arizona town that reads “The Best Little Orehouse.”
As the sun rises above the mountains in the distance characters right out of an old western B Movie, men in big hats and women in long dresses move around sleepily preparing their wares for the gathering horde of camera toting tourists and local media …all ten of them. Of course down the road away from the fantasy someone still asks for food with a sign written in magic marker and someone with more money than sense still stumbles out of a door regretting what they did last night.
Just down the road a small heard of furry horde of four legged beasts wait for the tourists to eagerly buy buckets of dried alfalfa cubes to feed their semi tame stomachs. You gotta love donkeys. They don’t care how you dress or how much cash you have in your pocket. They don’t even care how bad you smell or what religion you practice or what language you speak.
As long as you have a cube of alfalfa in your pocket you are welcome by the four legged population of Oatman.
Just so you know the Mormons have not taken over the City of Sin and the furry four legged creatures being fed by tourists aren’t Dead Heads waiting for the Grateful Dead seance/ reunion concert. It was actually two places a mini Vegas for older people called Laughlin and a sleepy little tourist old west recreation called Oatman, Arizona.
My wife and I took a break from the City of Sin and traveled south to the Nevada/Arizona border town called Laughlin and while we were there traveled to the “Ghost town of Oatman.” Laughlin was just as fake and just as dedicated to selling you things you dont need and taking your money but it was quiet and the people were polite and the music was free so it was totally different.
Oatmen was designed to look like a old ghost town in the old west and was about the size of one. The donkeys who are semi tame come down from the surrounding hills when the temperatures warm up in the morning. I swear I thought for a moment one of them was staring at my wife’s butt and then for a moment in looked like he was staring at mine. It was very uncomfortable. The senior donkey brayed to me that he had just been appointed to the National Security Council.
Donkeys in Oatman, Photo by Royal Hopper
When we left the City of Sin to go on this week end adventure we went past an intersection with a sign holder facing every direction, a man in his pajamas running walking down the road lost and one sleeping under the remains of a tent buried in the sand and a bus load of tourists heading for the Strip.
At then end of the week end when we got back to the City of Sin nothing had changed. There were still people living outdoors huddled against the short desert winter, still bus loads of tourists heading for week ends they can’t afford, and a whole seven mile long stretch of pretend places to do it in. Pretend jungles, seashores, gardens and deserted Islands and pretend 30s night clubs run by pretend gangsters.
. Driving down this Paradise of a road on the first day back you see the usual. A woman leaned against concrete wall her worldly possessions in the shopping cart beside her as she dug into her prize possession a stale 7/11 sandwich.
Perhaps and by the looks of it her gusto she exhibited was undoubtedly in an effort to pretend she wasn’t leaning against a concrete wall on a back alley commuter street in the middle of winter in Las Vegas eating a sandwich she either purchased with charity or shop lifted at a convenience store. Eyes closed savoring every taste of the sandwich she seemed determined to block out everything unpleasant which in her terms was everything but her sandwich.
It is what it is
Life in the City of Sin
Love you Sinners