SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 377: An Oasis We Call Quartzsite


a-show-771230Last week a good friend (photographer and creative director BJ) and I visited Quartzsite, Arizona; home of the largest open-air collectible gem and RV show in the nation. Every January over one million people, from all parts of the country, fall upon this sleepy little desert town, magically transforming it into a bustling oasis of migratory residents and daily visitors.

qrig2Retired snowbirds harbor in state of the art motorhomes, off the grid families relax as they set-up shops of every kind; while top-notch gem traders gather to exchange product and experience. To call the gathering eclectic is a bold understatement, and for certain, Quartzsite is not merely a swap meet. It is an abstract and morphing city. An ever-changing cultural destination, one that now having met many of its citizens, has left an indelible impression on both my mind and heart.

Outside the big tent at the Quartzsite, Az. RV show, 2013.For within its carnival like atmosphere can be proven that diversity is the greatest key to a uniting power that lies within all of us. A power that if harnessed allows us to work together in finding common ground within our own communities.

hundreds threeThe interviews of Project-365 awakened us to see, and hear, many insights that were undeniable in their uniting influence. The hundreds we met clearly communicated the positive effect of one individual gesture, one expressed moment or even the simplest sincere act of appreciation can carry.

There has never been a time in history where we are individually empowered the way we are now. Technology has opened the floodgates of information and connectivity, and as long as we have the right to use it without restriction, we have great ability to facilitate positive actions.

This global collaboration of the diverse is here because of WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and whatever other social and media sources we can use. I am personally grateful for their creation, for without them, Operation-365 and its mission would not exist. But please, consider them the messenger and not the destination as we debark on the O-365 blogumentary (beginning full swing in the next few days).

As the daily interviews and episodes are published I ask that we take the time to look past the delivery method in activating ourselves as Ambassadors within our spheres. In doing so, please take the time to look upon the world around you. Get to know your neighbors and take pause to consider the deeper motivations as to why others act as they do.

This is the beauty of meeting the strangers we now call friends. It is through listening to their words that we may come to know them, the world around us and maybe even ourselves a little better.

With this, a challenge is placed. One that is both entertaining and enlightening. That as we examine the ways we interact with one another, that we might find ways to contribute to our communities. Together, who knows what bridges we can build?

The vast diversity of Quartzsite has proven this thesis plausible. For if over one million strangers crammed into a little town of tents and motorhomes can look upon each other with compassion and respect. Isolated in the middle of the desert as they reach out to each other. Then perhaps whatever they are doing is something worthy of modeling in our own lives.

New friends of Quartzsite… thanks for allowing me to share your words with the world. Your council is lucid and your community is vibrant. Your diverse and loving acceptance has uplifted us all and the dignity you show for one another is an example to be followed.


Welcome to O-365 blogumentary my friends,