“I feel like I’m taking up the right amount of space for me in the world”
Years ago, I traveled to the small town of Cotati, California. The town was only one block long, and sparsely populated. As a native New Yorker, I was used to walking everywhere. Wanting to explore, I followed a lonely road from the outskirts of Cotati. After walking about a mile, I came upon an unusual sighting. The blinding midday sun beat down on freshly paved asphalt which lead to a tree lined fence. Looking above the trees, I was able to see makeshift rooftops and other improvised contraptions.
Curious, I approached the entrance that read “ Sonoma Grove Trailer Park”. At that point, a young man walked over to the fence totally naked, introduced himself and began to engage in lighthearted conversation. He then invited me in.
It was the bizarre nature of the entire scene which motivated me to peek inside. Walking beyond the entrance gate, I saw rows of cast off vehicles. Intrigued, I began making repeated visits, walking back and forth from town with my camera and tape recorder as my constant companions. I met many memorable individuals in Sonoma Grove: nudists who were young men and women seeking certain freedoms and lifestyle choices, serious-minded 'free thinkers', single mothers and veterans on disability. They all referred sentimentally to their vehicles as home.