Mom Speaks: So we used to live in Gerlach…

How did he figure out this lifestyle? It’s not something his dad did so..?

No definitely not. I don’t know he was a drifter when I met him.

And that was after the war, right, Vietnam?

Yeah he just couldn’t, stay in one place for long, couldn’t settle down, things would get a little too tough with responsibilities or schedules and he’d just take off and go somewhere else.

Yeah so those 9 months, I think it must have been six months left by then, because we worked at the hotel I was probably 3 months there, we must have just bummed around, got the bus, and decided that we would, it was kind of close to the due date so we must have decided to just hang out in Havasu (Lake Havasu City, AZ).

And you’d had no prenatal care or anything right…so you were just…

Yeah, nope. I think we lived in Wilcox for a while, that’s right because I remember being really big. We got a little apartment and your dad got a job, I remember him working somewhere. Yeah, so toward the end of my pregnancy we got the bus. So we’d have a house to live in.

Sort of a house.

It was a nice bus, though, it was pretty neat.

I remember pictures of it.

It had a little kitchen, bed, dining table, bathroom. I liked it.

How long did that bus hang around, must not have been very long.

No, after you were born we moved around in it for a while, I think until you were, I don’t know gosh. Oh from the bus we must have gotten that step van.

The UPS van?

Yeah. Cuz you were little in that. And then we drove, we took that a lot of places, up to Nevada, all over. That’s when we were out in Gerlach (NV), we had that and you were just little.

So how did Gerlach happen?

Probably through some economic development office. Somebody was looking for workers.

So you guys would register with those when you came into a town and try to find jobs?

Yeah sometimes.

Or you would hear through somebody you knew that there was work somewhere, seemed like you guys did that pretty much the whole time.

Yeah. And..hmm.

SO what do you remember about Gerlach.

It was a long way out to this ranch, it was an agricultural area so there were a lot of fields with irrigation and you know, sprinklers, and you came to this one ranch, it was really nice, nice big house on it, trees, huge fields I remember we weren’t going to be there long because there was a lot of work to do. (Laughs…)

We lived in the bunkhouse there connected to the barn. It was nice, it was fun. Either we had the bicycle…I think we must have had the bicycle, that was the picture with you on your dad’s shoulders on the bike.

That was in Gerlach, I didn’t know that.

Um yeah we didn’t stay there long, of course we packed up and moved on. From there, I don’t recall. I know we kind of ended up hanging out in Needles (CA) for quite some time probably during the winter. We met Jim and Lucy Stumpf, they were really nice people… Jim was. Of course he died of brain cancer a few years after that, from all the solvents he had used. He had built generators, all the cleaning solvents…and no ventilation in his little workshop.

That was one of the older couples that you guys would keep coming back to. To mooch off of.

Yeah cuz we could hang out there, and she would feed us.

Author: AR

Writer, photographer, traveler, general life-liver.

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