Don’t call them trailer trash

In my part of Orange County, affordable housing is rare. One of the disappearing features of the landscape is the trailer park. We used to have quite a few around here but one by one they’re disappearing to be replaced with more familiar suburban things like parking lots and office buildings. The one down the street from me exists solely because the land is owned by a family that is resistant to change and has lots of money already, for example.

Until recently there was a trailer park on the campus of UC Irvine, where my father was charter faculty in 1965. The University, being college administrators, needed a new parking lot, so off it went. But not after some spirited student resistance from ornery and inventive graduate students!

A film has been made of the last days of Irvine Meadows West: http://trailerparkfilm.com/

I recommend seeing the trailer. It’s a bit hippiebongoburningman but gives a good idea of the scene. One of my college friends from the 80s, Maggie Sullivan, was involved in this scene but I don’t see her in the trailer. I mean the movie trailer, not the actual trailers in the movie about trailers.

12 thoughts on “Don’t call them trailer trash

  1. i dunno, if these kids wanted to be so arty and daring and subversive, why would they choose to go to such a dull college in the biggest cultural void in the country? i mean, gtfo!

    1. There’s a certain amount of fun to be had being the only weirdos in conforma-land, I guess. What good is it to be a painted-up hippie yelling at the cops in Santa Cruz? The cops don’t even care there!

      1. That’s a great photoset! I love people’s old photos. You have had a consistently awesome 2000 watt smile your entire life except when being presidential, it seems!

      2. Hey! I worked at the ferry!
        Am now racking my brain trying to find a specific memory of Mike LaMontagne. Probably just a kid that came across my boat a lot when I worked there (1983 – 1990), but he looks really really familiar.

      3. hi 🙂
        how funny! i believe he only worked there for the summer. i haven’t seen him since.

    2. I don’t know why people would go there for undergrad, but for grad school, there are some decent departments; it’s not *excellent* in anything AFAIK, but the computer science department isn’t bad, for example.

      1. It’s pretty excellent in some areas of sociology, like social networks (which is also under the anthro/math/behavioral sciences/politics/etc. umbrella but).

  2. I started at the UCI student paper around when the IMW controversy came to a head. We wrote a few supportive editorials but in general the attitude was, “Well, it is kind of a dump.” Also a good way to defuse any budding activism or community-building on the UCI campus is “MORE PARKING!” Parking space is the $300 tax cut of Irvine politics.

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