Desolation Row

Check to see that nobody is escaping...


  1. 20 years ago I worked nights in a factory that made tri-laminate bags for Kodak photography paper...I have a thousand stories I could tell about this (and I probably have told a lot of them already) but I only mention it because when I and a few others weren't at work, we hung out on a dead-end street called Collett Road in Farmington, NY. There was a little pull-off with room for a couple of cars there; it was right next to some raised train tracks which we, in our less social moments, would occasionally hike down in the dark. We would usually sit there drinking a couple beers (when we didn't drink more than a couple, which happened sometimes) and listen to music (anything from Hank Williams Sr. to The Clash to Sousa marches-seriously- might be heard at any given time) and mostly, just stare at the sky and talk and think about things.

    I'd guess our "group" included about ten people in total, if you don't count the NY State Troopers who showed up once in a while...it was 20 years ago; Troopers were cool then, or seemed so; more than once we brought some Cokes for them to drink. For the most part we busted each other's chops and things worked out great...hard to believe 1991 was such a different time, but it was.

    The only reason I mention any of this is because, while we sat there in groups of two or ten or sometimes even one, we listened to a LOT of Dylan. One night, for whatever reason caused him to do so, my friend Todd proclaimed the place Desolation Row. He named it well, not because we were desolate but because it was a place where even goofy plastic-bag-makers like us could-and did-come up with thoughts that, when the rest of us heard them, made us wish we'd had tape recorders running the whole time. The place gave all of us a second or two every so often when everyone there thought we had a clue. Dylan moments, I guess.

    I know this has nothing to do with the picture I am allegedly commenting on. I have no defense except to say that the picture elicited the story because the picture (and the title) are awesome...If I had any sense I wouldn't ask if that's a stock-market volume chart turned on its shoulder, running up the right side of things. Luckily I lack sense. :)

    If I've told these tales a bunch of times before, please forgive me.

    Thanks for the post, JR!

    1. Actually your comment has EVERYTHING to do with this photo since it is outside a small town close to the small city in Northern Arizona where my family lives and is from. It is a spot where a group of kids used to hang out a long time ago (like the seventies) and smoke stuff. I was passing through on a road trip with a friend in September and showed him where it was and he asked "what is this 'Desolaton Row.?"

      What a cool comment Mike...