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  Field Notes From
ZipUSA: Jamestown, NM

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From Author

Michael E. Long

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From Photographer

Cary Wolinsky

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photographs by Marsel Gubaidullin (top) and Cary Wolinsky

image: ticket
In Jamestown, NM

Field Notes From Author
Michael E. Long
I was surprised to find such wonderful pastries at a truck stop, of all places. Irene Charley’s pies were gorgeous, with richly rising centers and every conceivable variety: banana cream, coconut cream, all the fruits. I bought a blueberry pie, and then had the bakery Federal Express a few to some of the people at National Geographic headquarters who worked on the article. Even truckers have their favorite pies Federal Expressed when they reach their home base.
The bakery also makes fabulous rolls and buns that are just smudgy with that sticky cinnamon stuff that you want to lick off your hands. I left there loaded down with blueberry pies and buns.
The pies were the good part, but getting up in the middle of the night to watch Irene make them was the bad part. I would get up and find Orion blazing in the night sky. Supposedly you can’t see the constellation until the winter months, but if you get up at 3 o’clock in the morning you find out that you can. Some odd things happen at the truck stop. On two occasions nesting rattlesnakes shorted out the electricity in the complex. A nesting crow also made the same mistake. Evidently they got into a place near the electrical apparatus, and their bodies came in contact with the connection. They got electrocuted, and the whole facility was out of power for a while.

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