Slab City Library Update

Two years ago the Slab City Lizard Tree Library met a terrible fate. As I wrote in 2010, the library’s long-suffering caretaker had a melt-down and disassembled all of the quirky fixtures that would make anyone want to lounge within it’s walls. I was there the day Ron snapped.

I’m sick of picking up after people and their dog shit!” Ron told me. “I’ve had it! If they want to trash this place they can have it!

He ripped out the Library’s famed InterNut connection, which consisted of a manual typewriter and stuffed mouse. The lounge chairs placed underneath the canopy of a shade tree and the peaceful bottle fountain were gone.

To scare away any visitors, Ron had taken down the road sign too.

That was a sad day for anyone who had experienced what a special place the library was in its heyday.

Last year the library was obviously still in use, but rapidly becoming dilapidated. This year I feared what it would look like, so I avoided returning to the devastating scene . . . until last week.

I walked up to see that sadly, it’s still slowly deteriorating. Without someone to look after things, the ceiling is caving in and the dust is deep on the cobwebbed shelves.

The Slab City Lizard Tree Library is a sad ghost of what it used to be. While it does appear that some folks are using care to keep things as neat as possible, and a few like me are still donating books, the library is no longer a place you want to hang out. It’s actually a little creepy now.

Meawhile, Ron continues living next door in his RV-without-wheels, holding his permanent yard sale.

According to a long-time Slabber, he has no plans to leave and hand over the librarian duties to someone who cares.

It’s a sad time for literacy in Slab City USA.


11 thoughts on “Slab City Library Update”

  1. How would you feel about a new graduate (Master of Library and Information Science) moving out there and working in the library? I graduate May, 2012 and am free to move about the country, as it were.

  2. “A drop of ink and can make thousands and millions think.”
    Dear Jim and Rene,
    Nothing gets the dander higher on the Enrico than the desecration of our most sacred of human institutions – Libraries! I spent the first three months of my 9th grade education teaching fellow scholars whose callow behavior and cherub puffed faces were indifferent to pronouncing “library” (with an “r”) over that of “liberry”. Too persnickety for a reader’s taste maybe? I say nay, tis not, tis responsible to use our tongue as we best possibly can so as to be best understood and who doesn’t want to be understood?

    Lazy is as lazy does and those who think library’s can be treated like last night’s dishes do not deserve their abundance or life affirming charms. Ye who would cast indifference and put the responsibility on others (including their dogshit) within those dusty yet hallowed shelves are a blight on this planet and should be exiled to some remote desert location lacking flush toilets, whoops, well, uh, hmmmm; should know that the shadow of shame looms over their being as the gods spit and pittle and fart flames down their stooped and knuckle-dragging flesh! Every decent child knows you leave the world and the library a better place than when you found it! For shame and many an itchy curse upon your privates.

    Mark Twain said it best, “The person who won’t read good books has no advantage over the person who can’t read good books!”. Libraries and education are as James Michener once said, “our best handshake with civilization” (I’m paraphrasing here but you get the idea).

    Class and financial station are not twins from the same mother because class can transcend all strata perceived or otherwise. Class is about taking ownership of your affairs and responsibilities both in public and private, leaving a volunteer library with books asunder and gestures of indifference is substandard behavior by the measure of all good people. If you’re not capable of managing your behavior in a library then hide, and hide far, because our species has fought pretty hard to garner the knowledge that it has and ye shall not put thine dirty boot on our blessings.

    Enrico strikes with a fiery tongue and bolts of cloth and enlightening…

  3. Yes, we visited it last year too. Sad to see the disarray. I had seen a photo of the Internut complete with the mouse. LOL And wanted to see it in person.

    I did snap a photo of a framed article about the Salton Sea and writeup about Calipatria being below Sea Level.

    Did you know Cookie and Earl are working on a nice library addition over by the Oasis? Cleaner and neater than what is left at the Lizard.


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