“Wildland firefighters do not enjoy the cultural prestige that structural firefighters do. They do not wax their fire engines and cruise down the local parade route, lights flashing; they are not the subject of countless popular books and movies; major politicians do not honor their sacrifices on the Senate floor or from the Rose Garden; they do not have bagpipe bands, fancy equipment, enduring icons, or other signifiers of honor verifying the importance of their activity.” ~ Matthew Desmond, On The Fireline: Living And Dying With Wildland Firefighters
“You don’t have to live in New York or Los Angeles to live a full life or enjoy your life. I was never one of those guys that grew up and thought, ‘I need to get out of here.’ It never dawned on me. I just valued having a family and staying close to friends.” ~ John Mellencamp: My Life In 15 Songs
The Porters were the leading merchants in Rhyolite, Nevada. Customers bought groceries, fresh vegetables, clothing and assessories, mining supplies, hardware, lumber, furniture, hay, grain, and wagons from the store. The town is less than 10 miles from the Nevada, California border and the entrance to Death Valley.
Towards the end of what is now being called phase 1 of the Covid-19 pandemic, we had to travel from our home in Las Vegas NV to Des Moines IA with a chihuahua who has a broken front leg. We had intended to camp in our car, but all the national park- and most of the state park- campsites were closed. So we had to find motels that would allow pets. I can tell you that I was not looking forward to the trip but everything fell perfectly into place and we remain, for the moment, as healthy as when we started out. In Denver Colorado, while we were having dinner on the outdoor patio of a restaurant, a group of several hundred protesters escorted by police, marched past on their way to the capitol two blocks away.
This shot at sunset on the Colorado River was taken in Kearney Nebraska on our way back home.
For those of you who have no idea what film noir is, the movie, Out Of The Past is one of the best examples. Think guns, dames, and hats. Noir’s visual style had its roots in German expressionism with dark, rich blacks and vibrant whites. For my money, the best writers were Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon) and James M. Cain (The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity). Cain did uncredited rewrites on Out Of The Past and came up with lines of dialogue like: “She can’t be all bad — no one is,” to which another character responds: “She comes the closest.”
Angel’s Ladies was a legal brothel just 3 miles north of Beatty Nevada, originally known as Fran’s Star Ranch (also Circle C Ranch and Vickie’s Star Ranch). In 1978 an accident during a promotional stunt on the property resulted in the crash of a twin-engined light aircraft. The wreck was left on the property ever since and used to attract customers from the road. The business was sold for the last time in 2010 for $1.8 million, and has been closed since 2014.
100 Word Fiction
We come out at night. Mostly because people stare too much during the day. We frighten them, but we’re usually more scared than they are. The night cloaks us, protects us. People fear what they don’t understand. They think we’re the result of some evil scientific experiment for all I know. Or care. But we’re just like them, only with a genetic mutation that the doctors are trying to understand. It might help if the facility where we’re housed didn’t look like it was melting from the inside out. The architect’s sick joke. Like the one God played on us.
100 Word Fiction
The town was founded around 1902, when gold was first discovered. Virgil Earp was sheriff in 1904, but didn’t last long. He died in 1905 from pneumonia. Some say he might have visited the Hoist House back then but that’s impossible, as the place wasn’t built till twenty years later. Just around the time I was born. Yes, I’m nearing the century mark. We’ve got big plans for my birthday in 5 years. If I make it. I tell everyone who asks that clean living and a drink a day is my secret. That and a cigarette just before bed.
100 word fiction
Just settin’ here, thinkin’ bout how far we come and what we got. It ain’t much, but it’s gold. Not real gold, mind you. Don’t need anybody come knockin down my door like they done with Carl. He’s got them bars on the door and window now. Afraid of losin’ somethin’ more. That’s all you really need, someone who’s got yer back. Day in, day out. Well, I got Ruthie and she got me. We’re the lucky ones. Been that way for almost twenty years now. Don’t need anything else. ‘Cept maybe a cold beer on a warm summer night.
No one comes back once the train takes them. Railroad seems to go only one way, out of town. My dad used to say that we lost more people in one year than we got cows. And we got a heck a lot a cows. I remember Ora Mae left when she was 17. Couldn’t help it, her family was leaving. We promised each other one day we’d be married. But I heard she changed her name once she got to the city. And finally, 25 years later, here she comes back. I keep wondering why but, heck, it don’t matter.