Friday, May 12, 2006

Jerome Arizona

Jerome had it's five minutes of fame a few weeks ago when the Channel 3 Newsgroup did their morning news in town. I came to town for breakfast - the 8 a.m. morning special - $2.00 for breakfast, and the town was packed. I didn't' know the TV crew was in town, but I enjoyed watching them through the window of the restaurant while watching them on TV in the restaurant. We all laughed at our fellow friends as they were being interviewed. I then stepped outside to get into my jeep when I was waived over to dance with friends while Combo Deluxe played. Who is laughing now?

Speaking of the $2.00 breakfast, I spent yesterday morning enjoying it again along with all the other locals. I felt like I was in a soup-kitchen. All the bachelors lined up at the bar, myself - people barely making it in life. I have to admire folks who come to Jerome and how they survive. They take on crazy living conditions to stay up here. We were talking about life as renters - how either your place is loud because of the traffic, living beneath someone in an old house, partying neighbors or barking dogs. As we talked, I realized I had lived almost in every location Jerome has and there isn't any perfect spot. Either your house is too close to the road so you hear lots of traffic or smell burning brakes; or if you live in town, it is a natural amphitheater amplifying music and sounds up the hill; if you live on the outside of town the wind blows almost all the time or you are sharing a house with someone, which is called an apartment and being that the house wasn't built for quiet, you can hardly win. No wonder most of the people in Jerome are always stoned - how else can you cope with everything?

Despite it all, I do love Jerome. It is safe and one of the few places I would go to the bar alone or walk home at night alone. People might be crazy up here but they aren't violent. Again the pot - as long as we keep the scary drugs away, nobody will be knocking off their grandmother for pot money.

Things are changing in Jerome though as the cost of housing skyrockets. The house two doors down for me is for sale for $800,000. The prices are just getting ridiculous. It is scary as it will change the face and feel of Jerome. Luckily many old-timers haven't gotten greedy and are staying in the homes they bought 20 years ago. Without them, who knows what Jerome would be.

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