I last listened to or read the news back in 1998. I just got tired of all the negativism. I’m not sure why journalist find it necessary to look for the negative and ugly things in life…but most seem to do.
Here’s a great example I stumbled upon a couple of days ago on the Slab City Yahoo Group. I arrived at Slab City yesterday. Before reading on see my Blog post from yesterday at http://wp.me/pDCku-2XZ
Slab City is a deserted military base from World War II. It’s one square mile on the desert floor, three miles east of the small town of Niland on the southeastern shore of the Salton Sea. All the structures had been removed and only the concrete slabs remain…hence the name. RVers discovered this place back in the late 1960’s.
When I first came here in January of 1996 there were about 5,000 RV’s within the one square mile. Because of difficult economic times in recent years…the numbers have fallen off. Last year there were perhaps only about 500 RV’s.
My rant against the news media today is because of the following recent video about Slab City from CBS News…
My complaint is that the correspondent found it necessary to emphasize the trash and danger, rather than the good things to be found at Slab City.
Here’s the link to my Picasa Web Album photos showing Niland and Slab City during my visit in 2006…
This CBS video totally misrepresents Slab city. The truth is that it is like a small city. Three miles away in downtown Niland, RVers have access to water and a dump station. Some folks live there year-round despite the 120 degrees in the Summer. Some RVers spend from October to March there. A water truck comes by with deliveries…a propane truck does likewise. You can get a newspaper delivered…heck…UPS even delivers there.
Many of the people who live at Slab City actually choose to live there and actually like it! I stopped here to visit friends on my way to Yuma, Arizona. I only was there for one day this time, but in the past I’ve spent weeks at a time here.
HOWEVER…I must confess that this year the Slabs seemed to have more trash than I’ve seen in recent years. In talking with my RVing friends there, they tell me a of true “homeless element” appears to be settling in at the Slabs and that some appear to be inconsiderate of others regarding trash disposal. What some regular RVing Slab folks do is…when going in to Niland for groceries, is put their trash in the trash cans outside of the grocery stores (there are two grocery stores in town). There is even a Slab City resident who will pickup your trash and haul it to the landfill a couple of miles away for $0.50 a bag. Perhaps the economic times will bring more of a “homeless element” and the Slabs will further change. That remains to be seen. I can even see how a CBS news crew…with their good paying jobs…can look down their noses upon the unfortunates. I still do not forgive them for accentuating the negatives instead of the positives that can be found at Slab City.
Thank you CBS News for reminding me of what I’m not missing by reading or watching the news any longer. It’s a good thing you do not have to rely on me for your livelihood. GET OF OUT THE GUTTER CBS NEWS…LITERALLY!
Regardless of how CBS News chose to present Slab City…I really like the place. As a matter of fact many folks do! If you have the chance to visit there…you should not pass it by. You’ll especially like Salvation Mountain. Click this link to see my report on this unique piece of Americana that I wrote on December 18, 2010…
Late breaking news about Salvation Mountain…click this link…
All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
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