Nomads Land

Bisbee's idyllic Shady Dell trailer park offers nostalgia--with a hitch

Now an unofficial attraction on Bisbee's tourist circuit, Shady Dell regularly receives non-staying visitors who drop by to grab a burger at Dot's or simply wander around the grounds looking at trailers. (To discourage the latter activity, windows of several trailers sport signs announcing that the unit is occupied and privacy is appreciated.)

Adjusting the bill of his baseball cap, Smith surveys a queue of tourists swamping the diner during a recent lunch hour.

"You look at that and say, 'Yeah, business is great'--and right now it is," he says. "But year-in, year-out, we're depending on the locals to support the diner. The problem is that people who live in Bisbee will go eat somewhere else before they'll stand in a line like that."

For better or worse, a story that ran in Sunday's New York Times will undoubtedly only add to congestion around Smith's park: According to the results of a University of Chicago study, men who live in trailers reportedly have sex 30 percent more often than the rest of the population.

The moral? Don't come a-knockin' if you see Shady Dell a-rockin'.

Contact Dewey Webb at his online address:

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