L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise | Revenge of the Trailer Trash


By L. Neil Smith

I don’t believe that I’ve ever written about this subject before. I’m not much given to autobiography. I’m certainly not ashamed of it, I just never thought it was relevant. Even now, I don’t know exactly why I’m setting this down on “paper”. It just makes me very happy to do so. Whereas the prospect of writing about last week’s election makes me sick to my stomach.

My father was an Air Force officer, whose various duties took him from one Air Force base to another across the continent for periods lasting from a few weeks to a few years. From the beginning, coping with landlords became a distinct pain in the back of our laps. For one thing, we were decidedly a cat family and the majority of rental owners didn’t really want cats smelling things up and scratching their furniture. Also, moving in and out got to be a tedious chore, and with each move, something precious got lost or broken. How much better just to secure everything for movement and take our home with us?

We bought our first mobile home in Laporte, Texas. It had belonged to a professional TV wrestler named Ivan Kalmikov (look him up). It was 36 feet long and as green as a pickle. Using a perfectly ordinary Chevy station wagon, my dad pulled the damn thing over the Sierras (lots of jokes about the Donner Psrty) to Sacramento where I finished second Grade, attended third, and joined the Cub Scouts as a Bear.

The trailer park was very big, and mostly occupied by military folk. It was the first community I ever knew. Christmas and Halloween parties.  I grew tomatoes there, in my front yard, and gigantic, green tomato worms — enormous caterpillars with huge, impressive, but completely rubbery and harmless red stingers on their tails. I learned to ride a bicycle on the dirt roads that criss-crossed the vineyards that surrounded the trailer park. I encountered my first fascinating, almost microscopic, aquatic life in a pond on the property. I also learned certain (but not all) of the facts of life from a neighbor’s monumental collection of National Geographic and wrote my first science fiction, which I called a “book”, about a spaceship taking off, with a dramatic count-down. In the early 1950s, my parents’ ignorant friends laughed at me.

Our next assignment found us in Gifford, a tiny town in northeastern Illinois. Talk about community — Boy Scouts and 4H and all kinds of marvelous celebrations centered on the school, which looked exactly like Ralphie’s school in _A Christmas Story. There was a candy shop where I was allowed to stop every Friday after school (we walked) and I learned to love Atomic Fireballs. I had a complete Davy Crockett outfit. The town consisted of good people who worked hard for a living and didn’t give a damn that we lived in the trailer park.

However, my father, back when we were in Sacramento, had innocently reported that instructors were selling the answers to tests in a Strategic Air Command school at Mather Air Force Base. Somewhat naively, he had thought he would be regarded as a hero by his superiors. After all, the guys who were cheating would be flying massive aircraft full of hydrogen bombs all over the planet on a weekly basis. It would be a good thing if they really knew what they were doing.

Surprise! My dad became a criminal, of sorts, whose allies had to hide him. He was assigned to Goose Bay, Labrador, where dependents couldn’t go. We returned briefly to Colorado, where my folks traded our 36-footer for a brand new 46 footer, which seemed like a luxury palace to us. We moved into a trailer park here in Fort Collins, to wait out my dad’s exile.

After a while Dad wangled a transfer from Goose Bay (where he had made himself popular once again by discovering a hidden cache of 10.000 lawn mowers) to Pepperrell Air Force Base in St. John’s, Newfoundland. We hired a professional driver with a semi to drag our home there. We constructed a wood-famed “built-on” to enlarge our home and settled down, in the middle of dense woods and meadows, to perhaps the happiest four years of my growing up time.

What’s the point of all this? Well, I could go on boring you with paragraph after paragraph reminiscing on my semi-nomadic childhood. But what’s important are my indisputable credentials as “trailer-trash”. When a thieving elitist hag like Hillary Clinton complains about ‘deplorables” and “irredeemables” or Bathhouse Barry blathers about “bitter clingers to guns and religion and antipathy toward others who aren’t like them’, I wear the epithets of these socialist parasites with pride.

Yes, I began learning about guns when I was an eleven-year-old Webelos, living in a trailer.  I never had much use for religion, but I won the BSA God and Country award at about the same time, under the tutelage of a Lutheran chaplain — a refugee from Communist Estonia — who was grimly determined that my disdain for religion be educated disdain.

As to any antipathy toward others, any trailer park full of Americans is a microcosm of the American people, and if you put it in an Air Force setting, that amplifies it a thousand-fold. My dad’s CO at Pepperrell was married to an Australian woman whose mother, Mavis, was a splendid, noisy old broad who’d grown up on a sheep station and was just full of wonderful. improper stories about Aussies, Aborigines, and dozens of other things. The college professor across the road from us was an Indian fellow, Babu Ali, who taught at Memorial University, where he set me loose for a whole day, in a room full of microscopes and prepared slides. It was one of the most wonderful days of my young life. And of course I loved the Newfoundland people.

They called everybody, men, women, and children alike, “darlin'” and “dear” in a heavy Irish accent.

It’s interesting to me, historically and sociologically, that a genuine proletarian revolution in America has been started by a hard-hat billionaire and builder. Naturally, the phony lace-panties left-wing revolutionaries surrounding him hate his guts. But, as I’ve said before, he reminds me of my dad. And if my dad were alive today, I know he’d be wearing a MAGA hat.

L. Neil Smith

Award-winning novelist and essayist L. Neil Smith is a retired gunsmith, Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise and the author of over thirty books. Look him up on Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon.com and watch for the forthcoming ONLY THE YOUNG DIE GOOD and ARES. He is available, at professional rates, to write columns, articles, and speeches for your organization, event, or publication, fiercely defending your rights, as he has done since the mid-1960s. His writings (and e-mail address) may also be found at L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise, at JPFO.org or at https://www.patreon.com/lneilsmith, to which you can contribute, directly. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may also be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE “Free Radical Book Store” The preceding essay was originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use it to fight the continuing war against tyranny.

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