A six-month stay at a trailer park in Alabama changed the way a journalist for The Gadsen Times newspaper views campgrounds and their inhabitants.
Writer Jimmy Smothers admits that he had a preconceived notion that he would encounter some "trailer trash" during his extended stay. It's a term, he explains, he grew up hearing about. It was not the case though.
"Right off the bat I learned there was no "trailer trash" in that campground," Smothers wrote about his stay. "I asked one of the older workers there about the term and he said, 'Yes, that used to sometimes be the case, but not here. Just take a look around.'"
He said the people he met were nice, friendly, polite and sometimes wealthy.
"The first camper we bought cost us about $20,000, this one was more than $100,000," a fellow camper told him. "That one over there probably cost $500,000."
The campers came from nearly every state in the country and from Canada as well. Some were workampers or retirees that that settled on the grounds for long stretches, and others just stopped by on their way through town.
Overall, he said his experience at the campground was much different than he first anticipated.
"Time passed quickly and the experience was a pleasant one. I got to thinking of the little villa as home and, actually, it was a bit sad when I left," Smothers wrote.