October 16, 2006

gb1 For some reason I’ve been thinking alot lately about Gila Bend, Arizona, a town about 75 miles to the SW of Phoenix. Why Gila Bend, you ask? Because if I ever wanted to suddenly cash out, disappear, and leave everything and anything about post-9/11 America behind and never be heard from or seen again, I can’t think of a better place than Gila Bend. What I love about the place is how little seems to have changed there since, oh, around 1947 or so. Need proof? Check out this cool website; gives you an idea of the vibe as funky as the town itself.

I think Rod Serling would have felt right at home in Gila Bend, as it seems a perfect locale for some Cold War-era, B&W, space age nuclear-atomic-lizards-attack-U.S.Army-forces sci-fi flick kind of town. Any place featuring some of the last vestiges of Googie architecture with names like the “Space Age Lodge” and the “Outer Limits Coffee Shop” would tell you that. Given its, um, out of the way locale and out of this world feel, it should come as no surprise that the town has seen its fair share of UFOs, which makes it even neater. My friend Paul swears they exist, but I think he just saw Barbra Streisand on a bad day. I wish I could see me a real UFO some day – perhaps when I make myself scarce in Gila Bend.

You want retro-chic? This place oozes retro-chic. One of the reasons I like the town so is that it truly seems like a place lost in time and space – like me, I guess. The businesses, streets, and houses all look like they’re locked in some kind of time warp back in the days of Leave It To Beaver and TV dinners, when kitchens were painted in pastel colors like pink and robins-egg blue with metal cabinets, and bathrooms had yellow bathtubs, linoleum floors, and those funky vanity mirrors with flourescent lighting – you know, cool kinda stuff!

I’ve been to Gila Bend three times, and what I remember most – besides its cool vibe, of course, is: a) how dusty it was, and b) the number of abandoned buildings there. You see, like I said, time seems to have kinda left Gila Bend behind. Like this photo gallery says, “Abandoned buildings. The town has lots of ’em.” And how.

gb2

Folks usually hear about Gila Bend only from weather reports or the USA Today weather page because it often has the highest temps in the nation. You see, heat and dust are no strangers to Gila Bend – even when its not miserably hot and dusty in Gila Bend, I think it must be miserably hot and dusty – that is, of course, assuming it’s the miserably hot and dusty time of the year, which is, I imagine, most of the time.

BTW, here’s the town’s official website. I’m sorry, but THAT just doesn’t do the town justice.

Yessir, I could see myself packing my Saturn fill of light clothing, my turntable, a set of speakers, and a backseat full of Frank Sinatra and Herb Alpert records and hightailing my butt outta this here so-called “civilization” to Gila Bend. There, I’d rent myself a three-bedroom ranch with a breezeway and a swimming pool out back painted white and empty of water. No phone. No cable. No past. No future. But forget I told you about my plans – after all, how can you disappear if everyone knows where the heck you disappeared to?

So, if you’re ever wanted by the po-lice, seeking a new identity, need a new life, desire an alien encounter, or simply wish to melt away into the fabric of a place that time seems to have forgotten, might I suggest Gila Bend, Arizona. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

But don’t forget your sunscreen.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:27 | Comments (0)
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