Saturday, October 28, 2006

Coronado Campground

After rolling our new home to Coronado campground along the Rio Grande sparks began to fly over the gift RV, now dubbed "Jodie's Revenge". Apparently, one of the main camp hosts, a woman named Diane was hopping mad to see the RV that she thought should belong to her. You see, before Jodie died she made a gift of a van and pop-up camper to her. Lola, who was then caring for Jodie, thought it was a bad move but Jodie made it clear that this was what she wanted. Then, when she was in her final days, instead of going into hospital she asked that she be allowed to stay in her RV at the campground where she had so many good memories and friends like Michael and Carla around and where Lola agreed to nurse her through her final battle with cancer. This woman and the main custodian named Robert denied her this last simple request. Before this happened Diane had asked Lola to ask Jodie for the RV.

We heard Diane was fuming, probably fogging up her binoculars, watching us over on the little hill where main office and the "acceptable" RV's reside with electricity and decent restroom facilities. (The shower on our side turns off every ten seconds until you pump a buttom six times.)

Then, two days after we moved the RV there Robert came storming over in his pick-up. I had just cleaned up my site a little after finishing a 6'X4' splash painting and heard Hank barking. I saw by his approach that he wasn't there to share a chili recipe. I met his advance so he wouldn't see the thirty gallon sized cans of paint and canvases hanging and stretched in the little 12'X12' shelters that come with each campsite, but he walked right past me after asking for my name.

"We close this side of the campground on the 1st," he said. "So you'll have to be gone then." He was getting the full effect of my makeshift studio now and I could tell he was going to drop a bomb. It would take full day at least to load the shit and move on, not to mention we were completely broke waiting for ebay payments, so I quickly deferred him by saying we were thinking of moving down to the electric sites, which are still open for another month.

"No," he said. "We aren't going to allow this sort of thing anymore."

"What kind of thing?"

"What is all this? This is unacceptable..."

"Are you sure we can't move down to the other site? We were kind of counting on it."

"No. We don't want this sort of thing around here. What the...?" He looked down at a bucket full of paint brushes, at his feet then did a little nerd-nazi about face and stalked up the driveway."

"Are you sure we can't move down there?" I said to his back.

"The answer is no!"

He was gone. I had bought a few more days.

A little later he returned, no doubt on Diane's behest. I was up by the RV when he drove up, got out and handed me an official looking sheaf of papers. "These are the rules and regulations. You have to be gone by the 1st, is that clear?"

"Okay."

"You can't move down to the other sites. Do you have a problem with that?" This he said aggressively, goading me to react so he could kick us out.

"No. You make the rules. Don't you?"

He seemed to sputter a little in the affirmative and I saw his lip quiver. You could tell it was not the response he was used to. He left and J was laughing holding her mouth outside Jodie's Revenge. Later she observed that if Georgia O'Keefe had been treated this way when she was camping out and doing paintings, the New Mexico art movement might have happened in Wyoming.

A day later we were sitting in Carla's RV and Lola told us how she tried to warn Robert about this woman Diane, in her exquisitely enjoyable Columbian accent: "She is trying to get inside your head Robert. I'm telling you. Don't trust this woman...but he just looked at me like I was a little brown insect."

Our laughter boomed out of the RV.

And it was just yesterday that we drove up to our little standby campground Flying J. But no more moving everything to the top of the van while we stuffed ourselves in back and rigged black curtains all around for privacy. Now we had our home and today we lounged and read and ate chili J made last night with delicious french bread and butter and we drank hot coffee and tea and watched the other RVer's come and go...mostly snitty old women with their bitter coffee frowns and beauty parlor hair and their high perched baseball cap husbands with their GOP tunnel vision stares of hate at everything slightly out of order. We laughed at one old lady as she shook her head disparagingly at a trickle of runoff from our greywater valve that wasn't completely shut while J did the dishes in the sink, a sink of all things!, next to a refrigerator and stove, everything in remarkable condition, inside and out...

Now we are waiting for payment on paintings so we can move on west where it's warmer. One guy who owes me over $350 bucks sent a money order to my South Carolina address instead of the post office here like we had agreed. But no worries, others owe and they pay, eventually. Patience is sure a hell of a lot easier when you have a home to be patient in.

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