Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Twentynine Palms, Cali.

It's a long dry road to Twentynine Palms but beautiful, magnificent and mesmerizing.

And once you get there there really are palm trees.

Twentynine Palms, Calif. is all about Marines. The main streets are lined with tattoo parlors; auto sales and repair shops; and little this and thats. Beautiful murals decorate every couple of blocks, Marine murals about pride and flags and wars, native plant murals about the beauty of the desert and historical murals about the history of the city.

The only theater is a drive-in, first movie family oriented, second movie for the adults. SUVs and trucks with kids in PJs cuddled in the back fill the parking spaces except for the occasional older couple holding hands in their fold-out chairs.

The newspaper is about Marines and they have an entire television station devoted to Marines.

"Twentynine Palms was named for the palm trees located in the Oasis of Mara, at the Joshua Tree National Park headquarters. When the area was settled by gold miners in the late 19th century, there were 29 palm trees growing in the oasis, most of which are still standing today.
After decades as a rest stop for wagon travelers on what's called the "Utah Trail" named for a group of Mormon discoverers, the town was established in the 1920s.
There's a small Indian reservation belonging to the Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians. The nearby Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms was founded in 1952." wikipedia

My Marine, when asked if he likes it there, shrugs his shoulders and says, "It's just like home."
Really the only difference between Twentynine Palms is that they have Joshua Trees and we, in southern New Mexico, have mesquite.

There are two movies called Twentynine Palms, both look very different, yet both seem to use the place as sort of an allegorical desolation and distance, an application of the desert to the human soul.
I haven't seen either of them yet but plan to. They are not about Marines.
"What draws us into the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote."           -Edward Abbey
And too there is Robert Plant - 29 Palms - again into a human desert, more internal than not:

"Taking me back down the road that leads back to you
29 Palms - I feel the heat of your desert heart" - Robert Plant

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