How the Trailer Park Could Save Us All
Residents call life at Pismo Dunes Senior Park “Pismodise.” Park manager Louise Payne calls it “a holding tank for the great beyond.” Louise has short hair and blunt bleached bangs that give her the air of a preteen skateboarder, but at 72 she’s often found rolling by the park’s 333 trailers in her electric golf cart, alternating between her roles as mother hen and whip-cracker. California is a notoriously youthful culture, but eventually the perpetually young get very old. If they’re lucky enough to live in Pismodise, which is on the Central Coast, they can exit its palm-lined entrance, cross the road, amble across the capacious sand of Pismo State Beach , and dip their toes in the Pacific Ocean while contemplating eternity (or a cocktail).
To move into Pismodise you must meet four conditions : Be 55 or older, keep your dog under 20 pounds, be present when guests stay at your home, and be comfortable with what most Americans consider a very small house. “If you need more than 800 square feet I can’t help you,” says Louise with a shrug. There seems to be some leeway on the dog’s weight. The unofficial rules are no less definite: If you are attending the late-afternoon cocktail session on the porch of Space 329, bring your own can, bottle, or box to drink. If you are fighting with other residents, you still have to greet them when you run into them. Make your peace with the word “trailer trash.”