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cool bbc movie on nomads in USA
Old 02-21-2012, 03:52 PM   #1
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cool bbc movie on nomads in USA

BBC American Nomads - YouTube

Great movie done by a British xpat who has lived in the us for the past 20 years. I don't know why but I find these types of stories facinating. It is about 1 1/2 hours long.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:06 PM   #2
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Oh great, there goes my afternoon - or at least the next 90 minutes of it

Thanks in advance for the link.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:16 PM   #3
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Great documentary - thanks for posting it.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
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I enjoyed it greatly, thanks for the link.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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Just finished watching it. It's good.

There are wanderers in all countries, but I wonder if the US has more than its share. If so, could it be because this is a country of immigrants, and people have it in their gene?
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:42 PM   #6
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Really nicely done.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:18 PM   #7
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Very interesting documentary. It took me a while to watch, as I insisted on watching the full quality version and only have basic speed DSL here. Plenty of breaks taken for buffering, but the waiting was well worth it.

I like how he included many different types of nomads - from the RV'ers at Quartzsite who were doing it high-budget style, to the various drifters who had little or no money. We saw nomads in various different states of mental health too. He gave us a little background on each type of nomad, complete with historical perspective, if appropriate. It was interesting seeing Slab City too. I spent an evening once with Leonard Knight at Salvation Mountain next door, and the loud bangs from the neighboring military range punctuated our conversation. It was a little alarming - especially at night when the desert sky kit up with the sound of every explosion.That area is dusty and barren, and I don't think I'd feel too safe living out there. As Richard Grant put it, "It's not a place I want to spend the winter, but I find it strangely reassuring that such a place is able to exist."

To my mind, the one person who was living his life in the most elegant way was Yogi Baird, the mountain man. For a minimum budget (about US$4,000 a year by his own account) he was clean, well turned out, and seemed perfectly content and fulfilled. I'm curious to know how he eats. Does he carry all his food in that backpack with him, I wonder? I found a blog-post here by another guy who met him, and it seems that Yogi has written a book too. He also has a younger brother (a musician) called Edgy Jones who looks a lot like him.

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There are wanderers in all countries, but I wonder if the US has more than its share. If so, could it be because this is a country of immigrants, and people have it in their gene?
Could be. Perhaps it's also that there's greater opportunity for wandering here, especially in the west, because of all the space. Richard Grant gives a nod to that thought. When summing up at the end he says, "but ultimately, people wander in America because they can. The space and possibility exists."

Thanks for posting this mickj.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:20 PM   #8
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...I like how he included many different types of nomads - from the RV'ers at Quartzsite who were doing it high-budget style, to the various drifters who had little or no money...
From the blogs that I have found on the Web, there are many full-time RV'ers or van dwellers who travel solo or as a couple. They are between the "tribal" RV'ers interviewed in the video at Quartzsite and the poor lonely homeless types. They tend to be more introverted than RV'ers who travel in groups, though not always.

Talk about full-time RV'ers, I have seen quite a few bloggers not traveling that much anymore after a few years. RV'ing or not, few people can be perpetual travelers; most seem to get tired after a while.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:10 PM   #9
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Not all nomads fit the stereotypes you saw in this documentary. We saw either retired people who travel in large RVs and in groups, or young intrepid cowboys or hobos, or outdoor-type wanderers like Yogi Baird at the end of the video. But there are other types. And not all nomads roam the SouthWest.

I just remembered a brief encounter with a nomad in my RV travel trip last year. As I do not have a photo of him, I will try to describe him from memory.

We were at the Wind Cave campground, which was not very far from the entrance to the National Park of the namesake, in South Dakota, where we took the photo of a bison below. This region was a transition between the forested Black Hills and the wind-swept prairie, so the topography was that of rolling hills with green grass, with clumps of trees.



This was in early July, the prime season for vacationing, yet this CG was perhaps only 10% filled. So, to respect our neighbors, we chose a lot at some distance from other campers.

The nearest camper to us was an older man. He was camping in a car, and a tent. We stayed there for 3 days, 2 nights. Our routine was that we would take off with the toad in the morning to go sightseeing or hiking, and only returned to the MH in the late afternoon. All that time, we saw the old man sitting there by his car, reading. I usually took pictures of the surrounding of our campground to aid my memory of the trips, hence was able to find the photo below. You could see his white cap (a beret), under the blue tarp and barely above the grass.



He seemed to want to be alone, so we did not come over to introduce ourselves, though we occasionally walked the campground and made conversation to fellow campers if they appeared friendly. We assumed that he was on a vacation, and went camping for a few days to get away from the cities, something that most campers do.

On the 3rd day, as we prepared our MH to leave, the old man was taking a walk and passed by our site. We exchanged a customary "Good morning", and to my surprise, he stopped for a quick chat. This pleasant man was in his 70s. He was wearing trousers, not jeans, a long sleeve shirt and a sweater, and of course his nearly permanent cap. He looked as if he were taking a stroll down Central Park. One would venture that this gentleman in his previous working life was an accountant, or an office worker, and not one for labor work.

In our short conversation, he volunteered that he lived in his car, and went from campground to campground. And he had been doing that since his wife passed away a couple of years earlier. In the winter, he went south to stay warmth. He did not say, and I did not ask if his living in a car was by choice or necessity.

This campground had flush toilet and running water, but no shower. Yet, our nomad was keeping himself nicely groomed. I guess he was able to take sponge bath, or go to the nearest town for an occasional shower.

Yes, there are many nomads on the road in the US. We may pass by several without knowing that they are.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:49 PM   #10
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Mickj, thank you so much for posting this. We passed a very enjoyable evening tonight watching it. Rare for us to haul out the tv for much of anything, but hooking it up to the laptop made for a great viewing experience.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:01 AM   #11
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Are American gonads different from British gonads?

Oh, n-o-m-a-d-s...

Nevermind.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:45 PM   #12
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I just got done watching the documentary. I enjoyed it too.

I grew up as a kid in a military family. My father was a lifer. Back in those days, you moved every couple years. I think back on those days as growing up in a nomadic lifestyle. Kinda like gypsies in a way...being a kid, you don't know any better and adapt. As an adult, (nearing retirement), and settled I realize what a great life being settled really is. Different strokes for different folks.

I wonder what happens to many of these nomads when they get sick or hurt? The RV'ers have medical benefits and retirement, I know. I guess when all those other people get old, they settle back down someplace and go on medicare? Many don't have SS, maybe not enough quarter hours? I think they will have to live off Uncle Sam some how...
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbugdave View Post
I just got done watching the documentary. I enjoyed it too.

I grew up as a kid in a military family. My father was a lifer. Back in those days, you moved every couple years. I think back on those days as growing up in a nomadic lifestyle. Kinda like gypsies in a way...being a kid, you don't know any better and adapt. As an adult, (nearing retirement), and settled I realize what a great life being settled really is. Different strokes for different folks.

I wonder what happens to many of these nomads when they get sick or hurt? The RV'ers have medical benefits and retirement, I know. I guess when all those other people get old, they settle back down someplace and go on medicare? Many don't have SS, maybe not enough quarter hours? I think they will have to live off Uncle Sam some how...
It may not be a longevity favoring lifestyle. Some of those people look pretty rough, and rough usually is not long lived.

Ha
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:16 PM   #14
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Good point, Ha. That makes sense.

And some of them wind up as Walmart Greeters later on...with some of the ER's from the other thread, (wanting something to do)...
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:24 PM   #15
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Seeing a young hobo hopping train in the documentary reminded me of this movie: Emperor of the North.

This was an excellent movie with Lee Marvin as a train-hopping hobo and Ernest Borgnine as his train conductor nemesis. Highly entertaining!
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:18 PM   #16
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Thanks for posting. Very well done and really makes you think. It's cool to know that there still is a sense of freedom out there.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:22 PM   #17
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Thanks for posting. Very well done and really makes you think. It's cool to know that there still is a sense of freedom out there.
Thanks for the tip - I've added it to my list of movies to see.
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