“Just a band of gypsies” by George Knox

cropped-human_ostrich_jpg1“Just a band of gypsies,” frequently described those residing in the trailer parks on the ridges overlooking Freeville. The trailers, some wheeled and some not, were scenic eyesores to the local tourist board and to most of the people in town quaint reminders of their own ancestry. Motions to rezone the parks to agricultural or even scenic country were often raised, but failed when the citizenry were reminded the trailer dwellers did most of the minimum wage and low paying jobs in town. Freeville, originally home to an assortment of miners working on the Hoover Dam was easy access to cheap accommodations and had a fresh water spring that was unmatched by any of the other soon to be ghost towns that once flourished here. Lately however the dam workers have been replaced with gamblers and the trailer parks and their residents deemed bad for casino business. But all that talk about the parks became irrelevant when a canyon fire haphazardly created by teenagers shooting at empty gas cans erupted and the winds aimed the fire at the town. Freeville’s days appeared to be numbered and in the ensuing evacuation few cared the fire would take the trailer parks out first. Evacuated Freeville awaited its fait that surprisingly never came, for that band of gypsies did not leave on the buses. They were the ones that worked the fire lines, helped keep buildings cool and made sure Freeville’s cool liquid gold city pumps were not harmed so that firemen and coyotes fighting the fire had water to attack the blaze. Days later, once the smoke cleared and the gamblers returned, one gambler made a comment about how the town had worked so hard to save itself. Replying, the fire chief said, “ Yea, us and a band of gypsies.”

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