The Trailer Park Blues

>> Monday, August 20, 2007

You can take the girl out of the trailer park...

Or can you? After all these years I’m back in the trailer park again. I lived in one for a while when I was a kid and now, more than twenty-five years later, I’m back again. Only this time I work in one.

It’s not too bad, actually. Believe it or not, I don’t mind going outside, across a parking lot, down a small hill, and past neighboring trailers just to go to the bathroom, wash my hands, or do anything involving water. Really, I don’t.

This modular park (i.e. trailer park) where I work is for Extension employees at the University. It’s nicely landscaped with tall Eucalyptus trees and rose bushes. Outside our trailer is a nest of wildly-growing trees that house rabbits and hummingbirds. Occasionally our receptionist feeds a black cat who lives beneath our building. Instead of breeding wife beaters and welfare recipients, our trailer park is inhabited by intellectuals and ESL students and resembles a cluster of friendly little cabins in a forest.

Well, that is until two weeks ago when we arrived at work to the sight of yellow caution tape and the sound of buzz saws.

They’re squeezing another trailer onto our front yard. Down went the trees, the picnic table, and the bougainvillea. I saw the rabbit hopping frantically in the parking lot, and I haven’t seen the kitty since. Our little trailer was lain bare and exposed and two halves of a double-wide were unceremoniously parked out front. Ugh.

Previously, the arrangement of modular units in our complex was thoughtfully executed. In many places there are open spaces, pathways, and planting areas for bushes and shrubs. A common courtyard provides shade, picnic tables, and a coffee cart with fresh pastries.

Bambi and Thumper munch on patches of clover...

The placement of this new unit seems haphazard and desperate. I fear a future where a trailer is crammed into every possible nook and cranny in order to secure more Extension dollars via additional classrooms. Instead of seeing trees and distance when I exit our unit, I’m confronted by a wall less than ten feet away.

Bambi is searching for a place to sleep and Thumper hitched a ride North to the Sierras.

Oh well, at least I have a working automobile and the closest I get to a wife-beater is an unattractive undershirt worn by an Extension student on a hot day.

Goodbye, little forest oasis.

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