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Another roadside attraction


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There's a great work of documentary art — perhaps some mashup of journalistic sketch, overheard oral history and maybe lyric poem — to be created out of the humanity flux you encounter at middle-of-nowhere highway rest stops in the American West. "Hey, mom, whatcha doing?" a young girl trills, at the door of a stinking outhouse in the middle of outback Utah. Well, kid, the options are limited. People of every size, shape and human flava pull into these places; few things are as democratizing as bursting bladders and cramped legs. They stretch their car-weary bodies, walk their dogs, drink in the epic vistas … and browse the merch being sold by Native Americans — bowls, jewelry, dream-catchers and more. You wonder, Does this micro economy really work, all the way out here? But the answer must be yes because they're there, year after year, goods spread under the big sky. Just waiting for whomever comes along.

(Editor's note: Scott Dickensheets no longer works for Nevada Public Radio)