No Country for Young Girls

Photography by Valerio Spada / Styling by Michelle Cameron

We came to Arizona not sure what we were looking for which could be the way many enter and eventually settle in this state. Starting in the south with Ajo, population 3,310, a desert deserted village. The 100 degree plus temperatures, no one in the streets except for him—the rockabilly kid. More true and loyal to the style than those living it in the ‘50s. Open hearted, he was excited about introducing his girlfriend Kimberly. “She’s home if you can give me ride”. Kimberly apparently hates him. She mock pushes him and eventually nestles her face gently in his biceps. So this story starts from there.

We ask stupid urban questions. “What do you do here all day? Seems like there is nothing around.” Surprised he says: “Oh man, I’ve got a lot of stuff down here, I have my friends, we meet every Saturday in the park. I’ve punched one of them in the face because they were calling Kimberly bad names… There’s a lot down here man…”

After the photos are taken he asks: “Hey man, can I show you something?”

Inside, his grandma waits, Kimberly anticipates and his mother behind her watches as he puts on a karaoke DVD of Grease. He sings to us, an audience of three, as if we were ten thousand. In this tiny house ten miles from the Mexican border. We remained astonished, fascinated, and carried away. His mom looking at him like a coach looks at a player. Kimberly giving him the middle finger.

The title of this story, ‘No Country for Young Girls’, comes from Joni Murphy’s stunning and magical novel, Double Teenage. Read an excerpt of the first chapter in the new issue, Hobo #20.