Thursday, April 22, 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.


Anonymous said...

The Men That Don't Fit In

There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fit in.

Wandrin said...

That is not something I expected to see when I read this entry. So much for expectations.

And to Anonymous... Credit Robert Service for the poem.

Wandrin said...

Great photo as you worship the phallic symbol of the desert. Or perhaps this scene is in honor of the Japanese Penis Festival held in Komaki each March 15th.

Barbara and Ron said...

So who took the picture of you? Thanks for the diet tip - it seems to be working for you. I don't know if I can handle straight olive oil, though.

Spork said...

LOL! Thanks Randy! Until now, I have refrained from commenting on your blog, but that last photo has broken my silence ;)

Randy said...

Thanks Anonymous for supplying the full text of the Robert Service poem. Actually I knew it but wanted to leave out the gloomy ending. I don't agree that restless people like me necessarily come to a bad end. I do see compulsive drifters who do not seem to be polished or enriched by their travels---but my friends who travel seem far richer in personality than their sedentary counterparts.
TO WANDRIN (ONE OF THE GREAT TRAVELERS): Take up the challenge and peel for your readers.
To SPORK: Tell us the story behind the fascinating name.
TO BARB: THE GREAT UNDERSTANDER: How like you to see the unseen.

Spork said...

I'm sorry Randy, I meant no disrespect...I'm laughing with you.

Randy said...

Spork:??? No offense taken--the question was serious--explain the name spork if it's not too personal.

Spork said...

Sorry for the confusion Randy, last evening I failed to follow my rule, "don't drink beer and post at the same time" ;)

As you may know, a spork is a multi-purpose eating utensil, the melding of a spoon and fork. I think the spork is an interesting form, an expression of ingenuity and simplicity.

But there is nothing particularly interesting about my using "Spork" as a moniker, like many things, it just happened.

Desert Diva said...

I did a little research on the olive oil and think I'll try it since there are other benefits as well...

Anonymous said...



Mags said...


To brag on Paul, I googled the Naked Bookseller, and and of course, saw quite a bit of Paul, but saw your blog... quite nice, and great that you recognized the wonderful man behind those 'Foster Grants'! Paul is a very talented and kind man, and he and his wife have contributed untold hours to this tiny little Desert town. I hope you have spent some time in Celia's Garden. it is a wonder to behold, and a balm to the aching soul. Keep on writing and we'll keep on reading.
(formerly of Mile Post 99 area, Sunset RV Park, and Rainbow Acres.)