The Back Roads of America

Stateside

Scenes from the white spaces on the American map: junkyards, ghost towns, forgotten cars, and furniture by the side of county roads.

Mojave desert, California. Only the occasional shredded tire or decaying ranch interrupted his fantasy that he was driving on another planet.

Highway 1, Florida. And we keep going.

Yellowstone, Wyoming.They gathered together and waited, a dozen strangers searching for a sign, perhaps instructions for how to live.

Niland, California. A dog stands guard over the Imperial Valley.

Ely, Nevada. He rocked big sideburns in the mid-1970s. He decided to grow them back now that he was on his own again.

Green Bay, Wisconsin. They searched for a few more minutes before conceding that the lake had finally won.

Mississippi. A plate of sweet potatoes with brown sugar and the jukebox says, “You’re a bowlegged woman and I’m a knock-kneed man.”


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Metropolis, Nevada. He was old enough to remember when the seasons still looked like the pictures on a calendar.


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Niland, California. Half-past midnight on the edge of the Salton Sea. “Everything is a mystery and I’m just a small part of it,” she said. “Maybe that’s all I need to know.”

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