boxedwinePour yourself a glass of Cardboardeaux, a beverage that we saw often in Quartzsite, AZ.

This minuscule berg consists of a few blocks of buildings hugging I-10, just across the CA border. It’s swaddled by vast expanses of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sand, buttes, and scrub grass, and it’s population bulges in wintertime.

Drink up! Slurp and sip! You’ll want to get in sync with the character of this piece, something of which we were direct witness when we visited the ginormous annual RV Rally and Show, spending several days amidst people encamped in coaches.

Million dollar coaches, rockstar worthy, not mere pull-behinds like the temporary dwelling of Jackie and Steve Breeden, the protagonists of my novel, STASHES. Nor are the temporary homes shiny Airstreams. Most were vehicles of Greyhound bus stature. In fact, we saw a refurbished Trailways bus among those encamped on BLM land.

Camping folks were convivial, after rousting about on ATVs among the sand dunes and trails, marked and unmarked, around lunch tables and campfires. Scattered about were coolers and wine boxes. People were merry and bright in their camp chairs, legs crossed, having a fine time.

“There’s a naked man in Quartzsite! You have to see him. He has a bookstore,” people told me when I mentioned my RV-themed book. “He’ll sign on to carry several copies, though he most often deals in used books.”

On our way to the store, traveling in our mega-dusty Cadillac SUV, not exactly out of place, but not in sync either, a naked man streamed by on an adult trike. He was clothed in a black magician’s hat. Speed prevented sighting the reported crocheted sock held by fishing line over his privates. His skin was brown leather, as an un-Frosty the Snowman.

I might consider the habit(not), but my body is embellished with all of the inches of body fat that Paul Winer, the naked bookstore owner didn’t have. I stared at his bare haunches as he sped away.

We didn’t venture to the bookstore. Couldn’t visualize my new book among the used.

Later people who’d met the convivial, free-spirited man shared that his wife, also nice and welcoming, was clothed like a nun or Amish farmwife. What a contrast for her husband, a certified ‘I don’t give a f*ck anymore’ guy.

Paul Winer, the eccentric bookstore owner, has apparently spent a couple of decades wearing nothing but a strategically positioned sock over his w—–. Many photos are posted with him and guests on the Roadside America website. Lookahere¬†

Have a glass of Cardbordeaux, but if/when you invite me to camp out, keep your clothes on.