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Monday, August 16


by pissed off patricia

A Tragic Tale and Trail of Trailer Trash

Many would ask “why in the hell would anyone live in a trailer in Florida, or for that matter, anywhere else? It appears that trailers are manufactured tornado and hurricane magnets." Okay here's why many residents live in mobile homes, manufactured homes, or as they used to be called "trailers". They live in them because they can afford to. These homes come furnished and they come relatively cheap.

After Charley had swiftly caused his damage in Punta Gorda, one elderly lady was interviewed. She said she had worked all her life, saved her money and purchased her trailer. It was her home. Most likely this lady knew the risks involved when she purchased the trailer, but it was all she could afford. It was her home and now it was in pieces, nothing but litter. She cried as she spoke proudly of the home she still owned, but it was not a home any longer. This lady's story ripped your heart apart, just as Charley had ripped her life apart.

When I was a little girl my family spent some time in different trailers because well, they come furnished and they come relatively cheap. At that time, I had never heard the term "trailer park trash". Trailer parks weren't places of trash. They were places where Americans without the benefit of wealth lived. There were all sorts of people living in the parks, but I don't remember any trash. They were the people who spoke to you as you passed by and helped you if you needed help. On Halloween, parents did not have to accompany their kids as they went door to door trick or treating. There was no need for parental concern, because everyone knew his or her neighbor. It was a neighborhood of like-minded, like-lifestyle people. I don't know if the parks we lived in were unique, but I know there was no trash.

Today there are different types of trailer parks, some good and some not so good. But for the most part down here in Florida I would guess the majority of the parks are inhabited by retirees who need a home but cannot afford the highly overpriced costs of permanent structures. So before anyone snorts and condemns the people who lost their wheeled or sans wheels aluminum homes due to Charley's power, please remember that for the people who lived in those trailers, it was still their home and they were so proud to call it that.

Because many residents do purchase these homes due to their affordability, many are uninsured because of the exorbitant home insurance rates in this state. For too many, home insurance is a luxury. So now, there they are on TV. What appears to be little piles of aluminum sheets are the last vestiges of many Americans dreams. They might not be your or my dreams, but dreams are dreams, and in Punta Gorda and other locales visited by Charley last week, their dreams are now a nightmare. What do you do when the only home that you could afford after working all your life is nothing more than a pile of aluminum sheeting and you are left with nothing but your tears and a few scraps of your life? The trailer park that was home, your pride and joy, is now covered in trailer park trash.

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