Slab City – Jan 20th, 2019
The big day finally arrived for Pastor Dave to head out to go and visit with his family! Folks at the Slabs have sure gone out of their way to help him get there. He left this morning, and was looking very handsome in his new cloths 😉 Some friends of ours have an SUV that they were able to make into a comfortable bed in the back so he did not have to sit for the trip to Palm Springs. His sister took a flight and is waiting to meet him there, so she can fly back home with him. We are so excited about his trip back home! For the in-term we have offered to help keeping Bible studies going, and to assist with others to make sure his camp is safe while he is away. My deepest prayers are for Pastor Dave to feel well enough to really enjoy his family! I think the plane ride could be very hard on him, but… God’s got this 😉
We have had some rain again on and off, but today was pretty nice, so I talked Connie into going to a place called Bombay Beach with me. The town is about a half an hour away from the Slabs, and nestled along the beaches of the Salton Sea. (Or what’s left of it). It took a while to convince Connie to come with me, and to assure her that Doug would watch her dogs while we were gone. She has never been there, and she is a very difficult person to convince to leave the Slabs unless its a quick trip for groceries. I wanted to take her there to show her the town, but mostly to surprise her with lunch at the local pub they have there. I am so glad she agreed to come 😉 We had a fantastic day! We even signed a dollar bill with our names and date, and left it taped to the back of a chair. (The walls and ceiling are really full of dated and signed dollar bills, and we wanted to be able to locate ours if we ever came back). Connie could not get over how quiet Bombay was and how large most of the lots were that are for sale. I am planting as many seeds as possible for her to consider maybe leaving the Slabs and moving to Bombay. The lots are super cheap to buy or rent, and she would have full services and the quiet lifestyle she is so use to. Only time will tell.
Our water tanks had finally reached empty, so we had to call on Tim the Water Man to come out with his truck and top us off. He provides a great service to every one at the Slabs. You see, there is no potable water there, so without going to to town to purchase bottled water, he has set up 50 or 100 gallon tanks at various camps, and then fills them up for a reasonable fee if you have money. Most do not have checks there, so a lot of camps purchase water and then offer a gallon of free water a day to those that need it.
A curious thing happened on the 13th. I was in bed having a nap and heard the annoying tin sound of the song “It’s a Small Word After All”. I came out of the bedroom to see if it was playing on the TV, and Doug thought I was loosing my mind! I went on for about a half an hour that I was hearing that annoying song and ranting how the ice-cream trucks back home would drive me nuts when they would cruise through our neighborhood with that song playing over and over again. A short time later, we were outside with Connie when I heard it again. Then we saw it!! An Ice Cream truck headed down Beal Rd. I grabbed Connie and we jumped in the jeep to catch up with it. Down towards Salvation Mountain it finally stopped and Connie and I loaded up on a variety of ice treats to take back to camp. It was the oddest thing to see in the desert!
Pastor Ernie arrived with the Fab Four and had a huge tailor loaded with food and donations. Their wives had also brought some huge pots of hot food to give to everyone before they loaded up their bags with canned goods, potatoes, water, fruit and toilet paper. For those who arrived early, they were given raffle tickets. If their number was called they could go and choose a piece of furniture, carpet and other odds and ends that are always useful in most camps. Ernie and Slab City Christian Fellowship, have been coming to the Slabs every month for 42 years!!!! I can’t tell you how many people there reply on the supplies he brings to help them get through the month. They are fantastic people!!!
We also had another catastrophe when the fellow looking after Pastor Dave’s dog let Jerry off his chain. We were sitting in our camp with Andrew and his two dogs, Hercules, and Zero, when all of a sudden little Jerry came flying in and a huge dog fight started. In the middle of all the panic to stop the fight, Andrew calmly walked up with a shovel, and lowered it between the dogs and pulled his boys back from Jerry.
Unfortunately, When the fellow went to pick up Jerry he received a fairly good bite. Doug had to take him to the hospital because he has to be very careful with open wounds and sores. While he was there, he had to report that it was a dog bite, so a complaint was issued against Andrew’s dog Zero. We were actually there, and it was not Zero who bit Andrew, but in fact, little Jerry. The following day, Animal Control arrived and three of us who had witnessed the event filed a report that it was not Zero who had bitten Jerry’s keeper. While we were making the reports, Pastor Dave’s other dog “Puppy Girl,” wandered over to see what what going on. Animal Control was going to scoop her and take her away because she was off leash and had no tags.
It took a lot of pleading and explaining to get him to leave the poor old girl with us to wait for Pastor’s return. Puppy Girl never leaves Pastor’s side, and she is an old girl who sleeps away the days curled up on a couch in the church. Thank goodness he had enough compassion to leave her alone. You may be living in the Slabs, but we quickly learned that dogs off leash were against the law, and Animal Control does not take loose dogs or those that bite someone lightly. Lesson learned for future reference.
Unfortunately this incident has created a great deal of animosity between a few people. Sadly, the only way to save Zero’s live was for Andrew to agree to have him neutered immediately. He is not a happy camper at all.
Today was a sad day for us. A friend of ours, Paul had to put down his old companion Winnie. So we headed over to the Oasis Club, in the morning, where he camps and followed him out to a pet cemetery just behind Salvation Mountain. Doug shoveled out a grave, and then we laid Winnie to rest. I read a beautiful poem that I had found on the internet, and we said our goodbye’s. She sure was a pretty old girl. DNA also lost his dog when it was hit by a car yesterday. For most of these people here, their dog’s, and in some cases, their cats, are their whole world. Our hearts go out to both DNA and Paul.
Today is our last day at the Slabs for a while. Tomorrow we are headed to Yuma to take some time out for ourselves.
Pastor Dave returned and had a wonderful time with his daughter, parents and family. He sure looks a lot happier, and has even been able to run morning bible studies.
We are continuing to learn a lot here. About ourselves, and others. Some is heart warming, but we have deep concerns for a few residents here. It’s like play school. In some cases there is a complete inability to communicate rather than fight, and in others its quickly becoming apparent there is a power struggle.
With Pastor ill, a few people here are taking charge while others who want to help are feeling dismissed. Then the war starts. We pray we can help them see communication with kindness is needed, and delegation is how community works for the benefit of others. There is no room for judgment here…those who do will never be welcome, have friends or fit in. Angry, judgmental people are seldom tolerated.
I wish besides the things I share you could understand the love here. People helping people. I don’t see a fraction of that kindness in the city. It’s a very different world here… you must love people regardless of their struggles and show them kindness. For the truly wicked, you keep at arms length.
No one bothers us here. They welcome us, and in a lot of cases respect us and our opinions when they ask. That only happens when you build a rapport and trust. I hope you are all well! We look forward to having proper internet soon.
You are all in our thoughts.
Sherry, Doug, Chicago and Journey