Wednesday, February 5, 2014
THE SLABS CONTINUED.
The "slabs" is called a city because it was one for about 5,000 people at one time. Now, it serves as home to about 200 people, and for them, it is their city. Amenities include a place of worship.
A few businesses. The Mechanic, Linda, the news editor, and solar Mike are old timers of 25 years or so.
Various clubs regularly meet and/or stop at the slabs. Loners On Wheels, Jim's former club, the WINS, Travel'n Pals. Leo, who we came to see, left early. He told us most of his friends from the Oasis Club are gone. In his early eighties, the newcomers and he don't have much in common.
There is a free shoe shop and a pile of free clothing should you be in need.
A coffee house, organic espresso near the library.
The library hasn't changed much.
I donated a couple of books. They have a two-seater cafe inside, now.
In the morning, after we learned that Leo was okay, we took a walk past the pet cemetery.
I didn't count them, but there is probably 150 graves here. And a lot of love.
We took the same walk we would have taken with Leo and his dogs, had he been here, out by the pits. The first time I visited the slabs, these huge cement bunkers were plain concrete, now all graffittied, and people live inside of them. There are three huge ones like this one.
Whoever lives here roofed over and has an outdoor toilet and septic system and a garden on the right nearby.
One thing Randy complained about and Jim, too, is that Slab City has failed to do something about trash. Gathering it and making trash art is not a complete solution.
But Sandi Andrews has built it into her mud wall. She is allowing it to dry thoroughly.
This is her mud oven where she cooks as much as she can without fuel.
This is her God phone. It helps to have a sense of humor.
She makes her living off of her art work. She has two signs, this one is an effigy of herself.
Her paintings are soft and flowing. She showed me her technique and how she works.
I liked her work and bought a painting. Her work can be described as happy. She worked as a gold miner for seven years before settling in at the slabs. She sells CD's of her mandolin and guitar music.
She has three painted vehicles out front. This is Sandi with "Hannah," mostly driven by her son. She says, I don't go much of anywhere. She invited us to share happy hour with her but when Leo wasn't there, we left early.
We stopped in at Solar Mike's to have him check our battery set-up.
He adjusted it and we decided not to get another panel. Jim had boondocked for six weeks straight and he was worried about the low voltage. All's well. Mike says about three people cause 99% of the trash, here. He calls them strippers. We pushed on and spent the night under a starry sky at The Overlook, near Borego Springs.