Lowell, Arizona

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On the outskirts of Bisbee, Arizona is a little one-street town called Lowell.

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There may be other streets, but this main street sets you right down in the middle of the 20th Century.

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In front of the historic buildings are a number of vintage vehicles.

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Signs and design are straight out of the 1950’s. It is interesting to note that Bisbee and Lowell sit close to the border of Mexico and the US, both towns a throwback to an entirely different era that was primarily thought of as a fairly benign time.

Photographs ©2014 Tom Schabarum

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Meet Margaret

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After a full year of longing, research, talking and dreaming, we finally did it. John and I purchased our first big thing together: A 23ft. Airstream Flying Cloud FB (Front Bedroom). I had gone back and forth between buying a vintage model (Overlander circa 1970’s) and a newer model. After looking and researching the vintage models, I realized the time and expense in rehabilitating an older Airstream would be too much and might never get done. I’m just not handy that way and it took me awhile to really accept it. I had been keeping an eye on a 23ft model after meeting Matt and Rebecca of Boxfoto’s Airstream in Tampa Bay, Florida last spring.

Let’s back up. Airstreams have been on my mind for over 14 years. I’d written a short story called Airstreaming with the trailer as the central metaphor. A little while later, it became a screenplay, which was a finalist in the Chesterfield Screenplay Competition sponsored by Universal Studios, Spielberg’s Amblin’ Entertainment and a few others. Then, the screenplay needed to become a novel, which was far different from the short story and screenplay, and it took me nearly 12 years to finish it. In other words, Airstreams, or the idea of them have consumed me for all this time.

Airstream of Spokane had just the exact model we were looking for and I kept watching it for nearly two months as they dropped the price on the 23 ft Flying Cloud as the model year came to an end. John and I drove out to Spokane yesterday and met Nick and Karyn who own Aistream of Spokane. They could not have been nicer people and very patient with all of our questions. While we were going over the trailer with a fine tooth comb, John said, “Why don’t we buy this together.” It made total sense since we’ll be traveling together in it all over and it will be the first big purchase we will make together. It made us both very happy, and all the way home John researched sites and came across several like Monica Bennet’s “Just Five More Minutes” and Riveted by Laura Domela and her husband, Kevin and Anna Sullivan’s site, Glamper: An Airstream Diary –  sites I’d been following for quite awhile.

Most everyone names their Airstreams. I told John I really wanted to name our Airstream, Margaret.

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Margaret Brittingham Curtice was my grandmother. I dedicated my novel, Airstreaming, to her when it was published. She passed away last spring and her generosity to all her grandchildren helped me with fulfilling this dream of mine – and now ours. I lived with my Grandmother for 3 years while going to college and we formed a special bond that transcended age and family. I came back to Santa Barbara to live for another 3.5 years and saw her for dinner or our trips to Costco, walks on the beach and our special Thanksgiving tradition of free donuts and coffee at Hendry’s Beach in the early morning. I miss her so much, but now she’ll continue to be a part of us for the rest of our lives.

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In the next several years, watch this blog as we come to learn about Margaret, travel to wonderful places with Buster the Wonderdog, and most especially of all, meet fellow ‘streamers along the way.