Ozzie Ausband

Palm Springs

I like Palm Springs. Its like going to Mars. Everything is concrete, chrome, glass, lava rocks & rough stone. The sun beats down unmercifully & very little lives in that hothouse climate. Perhaps in no other place, is the sun regarded as such a ‘life-giver’ & a ‘life-taker’. I usually drive out there a half-dozen times a year. I call upon my pal Doug Kinkade & we drive the grid. I must admit quite frankly that Palm Springs has an over abundance of square pools. As a matter of fact, my first six finds today, were all square pools! It’s kind-of the way things go sometimes. I scouted for pools in the ‘Badlands’ for over a decade & never saw a tarantula spider…not once. Then, about a year ago, I saw one or two a week for something like two months! It was absurd. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I see a tarantula, I get the ‘heebie-jeebies’. I found a skimming net & got them out of the pool.

Palm Springs is strange. The people don’t even seem human. As I drove the yawning side streets & neighborhoods, I noticed people sitting idly on porches. It was like they were waiting to die. They sat there in the dirty sunlight & watched the trash blow by, surrounded by lava rock, cactus & stones. Like I said: Mars. The houses have an odd ‘unoccupied’ look that is peculiar to this area. Maybe, because they are vacation homes…? I am unsure. It certainly makes pool hunting more difficult. Today, I saw this one home. It had 1950s architecture, blistered paint & a red lava rock yard in front. Overgrown palms & cactus were all around the perimeter…it looked like it had sat empty for years. The wooden fence was half broken & it sagged on rusting hinges. I moved quickly into the yard. I saw the pool. It looked great & was virtually empty. I went to take a photograph & then I saw a mans bald head through the patio window. I exited quietly. One can never tell. Today was a grid search that ended up being a ‘Square Pool Sunday’. One can’t win everyday. Besides, at least I was out hunting the grid & not sitting on the couch, drinking cheap beer & talking about how rad it was ‘back in the day’. All images by ‘me’. Skate- Ozzie

first posted November 2010