About five years before the U.S. government discovered the uniqueness of the area where one can find a Joshua tree, my husband took me and my son to visit the land next to what would later become The Joshua Tree National Park. We discovered this unique habitat by responding to a classified ad in a Los Angeles County paper.
The ad that led us to the home of the Joshua tree had been paid for by a woman whose own husband had once purchased land in Joshua Tree, CA. In the late 1980s, this woman, then a widow, had decided to sell that piece of land. Hence, she had purchased an ad in a local paper, in the very issue that my husband elected to read on one autumn night.
My husband felt that the asking price seemed very reasonable. He had no familiarity with the Joshua tree, but he knew that any tree grows on land, and he yearned to purchase an added piece of land in California. (He already owned a small lot with a 3-bedroom house.) So he bought those 5 acres.
I am very grateful to the woman who paid for that ad, because it allowed me to discover the charm of Joshua Tree, CA. During the brief dozen years when we owned part of the habitat of the Joshua tree, I loved knowing that I belonged to a place removed from the hectic Los Angeles lifestyle. The region around Joshua Tree reminded me of Bent, N.M., a small town where I used to have vacation when fleeing the hubbub of Houston, TX.
Bent did not have a Joshua tree, but it offered the same feeling of solace and calm. Both desert regions, hilly Bent and flat Joshua Tree, provided the visitor either region a sensation of openness. Obviously this sensation, one that I experienced, arose in the heart and mind of someone with ties to the Department of the Interior. I strongly suspect that such an individual paid a visit to Joshua Tree, CA shortly before the creation of The Joshua Tree National Park.
I remember how excited I became when I learned about the creation of that Park. Having been to Yellowstone National Park, I knew that residents in the area of a National Park had an opportunity to develop a commercial enterprise. I thought that my husband's photography skills might allow him to charge tourists for pictures taken next to some Joshua tree.
Unfortunately, my vision never became a reality. A Jeep Cherokee, a vehicle well-suited to driving in the region of Joshua Tree, CA stood in the way. When my younger son grew up, he wanted a Jeep. Hence my husband reluctantly sold his piece of land near the Joshua Tree National Park.
I don't know what has become of that land. No doubt it still contains at least one Joshua tree. It may also house a warehouse for Persian carpets. The gentleman who purchased our property near Joshua Tree, CA. had made his money as a dealer of Persian carpets.
Perhaps our sale will lead to the arrival in the California desert of businesses unlike any that have existed there before. Maybe some day a wealthy real estate magnate will visit the area around Joshua Tree and will thrill at his discovery of an outlet for Persian carpets. Maybe our former land-holding will one day be the stumping ground for another "Donald Trump."