Dennis the Nomad

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FOB Slab City Encampment 2018

I was hanging at the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous
When a fella named CB said, "Come over here, you!
We're going to California, to a city made of slabs,
And if you don't come with us, you'll surely wish you had.

"It was a military base, way back when,
But then the Feds moved out, and the Hippies moved in.
It's a sight worth seeing, at least one time,
The last free place where folks can live without a dime."

So I loaded up the van, and I headed on West
(With a stop in Algodones for my medicine chest);
I pulled into Slab City, and I had a look around,
And I thought to myself, "This is quite a little town!"

There were RVs everywhere, and tents and little shacks,
A stage, a library, and a place to get some snacks.
Then my friends showed up and before too long
We went down to The Range, 'cause a talent show was on.

There were artists, musicians, and druggies galore.
I smelled more kinds of smoke than I ever had before!
I heard some good singers, and some not quite so fit,
While a meth-head in the back held a solo mosh pit.

I saw a man with no pants, who sang from the heart,
And a woman with a violin who really knew her art.
So I wandered round the Slabs for the next day or three
To make a few memories and see what I could see.

And I saw...

I saw folks raising families in broken down tents
Next to brand new RVs inside a chain link fence.
I saw the walled-off compound of a Gulf War vet
Covered with signs proving he ain't over it yet.

I saw happy barefoot children who waved when I got close;
I saw a junky walking jerky like he's late for his dose.
I saw junk transformed into pretty good art;
I saw an Intenet Cafe that hardly looked the part.

There was broken glass and garbage, and some parts stank,
But there's a couple living happy in an old sewer tank!
And way at the edge of town, there's something really great:
I saw a mountain dedicated to one man's faith.

I met a man named 420, in a very nice dress,
Who seemed to be Slab City's mayor, more or less.
Well, 420 summed it up with a wink and savvy air
When he said, "We're all here 'cause we're not all there!"