Sunday, 7 August 2011

Aficionados of the American desert

@ Joe Fletcher for The New York Times

Nowadays, most journalism I scan and skim; it is rare that I read a piece from beginning to end. One of these rare pieces has been "In the High Nevada Desert, Sleeping in Star-Surround" by Joyce Wadler (The New York Times, 3 August 2011). Here's how it begins:

Neighbors are few out here in the high desert of Nevada, where Fabrizio Rondolino, an Italian journalist, built his dream home. There was a fellow one lot over who, after reportedly hearing instructions from above, built a chapel. But possibly the voice subsequently hollered down, “Just kidding!” for while the chapel remains, the owner’s trailer is gone. There is also the Shady Lady Ranch, a bordello (legal in these parts) about seven miles down the road. Being an outgoing and friendly sort, Mr. Rondolino took his wife and two daughters, both under 21 at the time, to say hello, soon after they bought their land a few years ago.

“I was locking the car, and my wife and two girls ring the bell,” Mr. Rondolino remembers. “And the guy opened the door, and they saw two girls and a lady.” The man seemed to think they were looking for a job, and he told them several times that no under-age girls were allowed in the house. Then Mr. Rondolino arrived and informed him they were the new neighbors. The man wasn’t very friendly, Mr. Rondolino recalls. He said, “Good luck,” and that was that.

To continue, go here

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