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3.10.17

Jenny Rose in the Desert

Yermo, CA, États-Unis Hey there,

I'm floating in the air. No, I'm not crazy, just yet, but it's the feeling that struck me when I stepped out of the car. On the road to Sequoia National Park, in the middle of the desert, straight lines, an infinity of rocks and pure emptiness. Then, a gas station and the most out of space dinner, straight out of a time machine. It takes you back to the seventies as soon as you step inside this very welcoming air-conditioned restaurant. Very much touristic, but heart-warming, a bit scary and hilarious. But we'll talk about that later.


We were not here for Peggy Sue this time. As we stopped at the gas station in the middle of nowhere, I was gasping for air, I needed to step into this hot desert, I needed to feel a thousand degrees, air, something real. I stepped out of the car, and as I walked away from the gas station, I stood in front of the opposite of Peggy Sues's dinner. The competition that didn't handle it.  Jenny Rose Restaurant. All I saw was dirt, a mess, sadness, emptiness, and retro feels. Left alone in the desert was this blue space, surrounded by windows, everything in its place as if it was just closed for the day.


You couldn't have figured that it was abandoned if it wasn't for the dirt. I wanted to go in and play pretend. I wanted to dance around the tables, eat a burger in the desert facing a gas station in the middle of Nevada. Or was it California? Did we cross the borders? Lost in translation, lost in space. It felt like a different decade, only the emptiness took us back. The funniest part of traveling around and road tripping is the wandering around. Stopping where you didn't intend to stop, stare at what you wouldn't have stared if you followed the guide, and wander at the wonder of what the State has to offer.



There was not much about this place, not much inside it except for some tables and chairs piled on top of each other, left behind. Maybe it wasn't abandoned, after all, maybe the owners were just on a break. We'll never know the story behind this big blue building facing the gas station in the middle of nowhere. Big, blue and beautiful, no matter how empty this place was, it could have been filled with memories and stories to tell, and you could imagine everything by just looking through the dirty glass of the windows. You could see the people talking, the waitress running around, and the kids playing. You could feel the soul of this place, probably closed for years. I felt happy to stand there and sad to leave this place. After all, all this place has known is goodbyes and I was yet another one to leave it, except that I hadn't got the chance to experience it. 


We've heard about ghost towns through our time on the roads of California, and although we've seen a few empty places, we've never heard about ghost places. What happened to a shop once it stops existing? We hear the stories of the cities that everyone left for some reason, we embarked on guide tours about some old town known for its gold mine and ghost stories. What about those buildings embraced by souvenirs, so many thoughts, so many discussions that have touched it, and so many lives that have crossed it? What happened to Jenny Rose? As the big neon heart sign circling the Jenny Rose sign was up in the air, still welcoming visitors and tourists on the parking lot of the gas station, Jenny Rose has officially closed its eyes and doors for no longer hearing stories and warming people's heart. 


I'll talk to you soon,

Love,

Elsa. 

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