Rancho Costa Nada:
The Dirt Cheap Desert Homestead
By Phil Garlington
Smashwords Edition Copyright © 2011 Phil Garlington
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How desperation, joblessness, a flat wallet, and the sin of pride drove me into the desert like a pariah. And how I built a modest house for almost nothing and lived more or less comfortably.
I became a desert homesteader after I got fired from my last job. Homesteading in the burning waste is a new deal for me, but I’ve been canned many times. My deportment irks employers. It’s a kind of hauteur. A cocky, supercilious, cheeky insolence. An overweening querulous hubris. I repeat myself, too, and have a flashy vocabulary.
This time after getting sacked I started turning the idea that inside of donning somebody else’s livery again maybe I’d try my luck as a stalwart, self-sufficient modern pioneer who doesn’t need a regular job. I already owned some acres in a remote desert valley. That’s because, a couple of years before, while working as a reporter for a Southern California newspaper, I’d done a story about the annual tax-default land auction in rural Imperial County.