Unemployment and losing their homes have caused many families to move to the desert in Southern California, to a place called “Slab City.” The Slabs is a camp in the Colorado Desert in southeastern California, used by recreational vehicle owners and squatters from across North America. It takes its name from the concrete slabs and pylons that remain from the abandoned World War II Marine barracks Camp Dunlap there. A group of servicemen remained after the base closed, and the place has been inhabited ever since, although the number of residents has declined since the mid 1980s.
Oh, the HORROR of it all! The images of layaway at Wal-Mart just gives me the heebie-jeebies! I have a visual image in my mind of all the people from the People of Wal-Mart site standing in line wearing clothing that looks like they were the rejects from previous eras, butt-crack showing, wearing panda-bear hoodies, clothing with the type of sayings that make you scratch your head and ponder, “wtf…”, parts of their bodies exposed which shouldn’t be, and so on and so on. They are all there carrying on in some strange dialect of English – or whatever their language may be – discussing how horrible their children are, how their boss “dun did ‘em wrong cuz I was just a little bit late” (what he didn’t say was “late every day”), how their utilities are going to be shut off – while standing their waiting to buy their 60-inch TV with wall mount, etc etc.
I met this kindly gentleman while walking around Seattle taking some footage of the night life at Pike Place Market one evening while in town on business. We struck up a wonderful, intriguing conversation which I thoroughly enjoyed. Initially he approached me asking for a cigarette – which I happily surrendered – than simply began talking. During his approach, I noticed his gait was one of pain as he was obviously dependent upon the cane he used.