Gary Conkling Life Notes

Mostly whimsical reflections on life

Same Trailer, Different Park

Kacey Musgraves won critical approval and a 2013 Grammy Award for her album Same Trailer Different Park. I can relate.


One critic said Musgraves’ lyrics have a “flair for telling it like it is and making it sound like bedrock, obvious wisdom.” Maybe, but she doesn’t seem to know much about “mobile homes.”

Mobile homes, you see, aren’t really mobile. You can argue with whether they are really homes, but it is hard to dispute that when the trailer hits the park, it has reached its final destination.

My first taste of home ownership was a mobile home, a wedding gift when I worked as a cub reporter at the Port Angeles Evening News. The unit has two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, laundry room and a tip-out closet. Part of its appeal was that it came furnished.

No question it beat living in a cramped apartment, though you had to adjust to walking in a straight line and hearing brisk winds whistle through small holes in the tip-out closet.

My mobile home was parked in an aptly named mobile home park, along with other mobile homes. They varied in size, shape and amenities, but they shared something in common. When it was time for people to move, the mobile home stayed put.

Eventually it was my turn to move on and I thought maybe the mobile home could come with me. I thought wrong. The move would have cost more than the depreciated value of the mobile home. A lot more. So the mobile home stayed and I moved on.

Same Trailer Different ParkI believe Kacey Musgraves, as expressed through her song lyrics, truly understands the “challenges and setbacks faced by men and women who struggle with their surroundings.” But I sense she doesn’t live – and maybe never has lived – in a mobile home. If she did, she wouldn’t have written a song and album named Same Trailer Different Park.

If Musgraves truly wants to capture “well-wishers and help-seekers, deadbeats trying to be better and do-gooders that are falling behind,” she would embark on a new album titled, One Trailer One Park.

Her sad melody could capture the “small, pivotal moments” in life when you are on the verge of a melt-down, such as the discovery your mobile home isn’t mobile and is worth less than your car or road bike.

All the customary country music caricatures could come into play as the deflated mobile home owner soaks his sorrow in a pitcher of cheap beer. There is never a tavern too far away from a mobile home park. Customers have a habit of hanging around.


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