Daryl Peveto‘s American Nomads.
…At first glance, this community is both raw and harsh, but there is also much beauty and love. There are thieves and rampant drug use, but also picnics and birthday parties and an always-open door. And much like the rest of the world, they eat and bathe and sleep and marry and die. But they do it on their own terms.
Borrowing the pool used by his six dogs to keep cool during the summer heat, Willie Reynolds, cools off with his weekly bath. He was given arm floaties for his birthday. He says, “They are good to keep me from drowning.” Adding, today is my birthday, so I wanted to take a bath for my party.” Willie’s friends threw him a barbecue and surprised him with a cake.
Recent newlywed Jerry Jones kisses his new wife Darla at the slab of Johnny Hilliard. The couple, which found a common bond through their mutual addition to crystal meth and crack cocaine, says that they are meant for each other. Just prior to meeting Jerry, a local drug dealer kidnapped Darla and, she says, “I was anally raped for two weeks before I escaped.” Jerry found her walking down the road after her kidnapping and now sees himself as her protector. He added, “I am here to protect her and take care of her. She is my woman now.”
Salvager Larry McCullough packs up his prize find – 300lbs. of 50mm brass shell casings – on the Marine bombing range next to Slab City in the Chocolate Mountains. McCullough has been salvaging brass and aluminum from bombs and shell casing in the range for the last 25 years. Asked if he felt this was dangerous work, he replied, “Well they bomb nearly every day, but I feel I know their routine. Besides this is good for them, me cleaning up all of this junk.” He added, “Whoa, tonight I hit the motherload.” Tonight’s find will net him somewhere close to a thousand dollars.