35 Randsburg Cafe, California

(Image, March 1995, © 2005 M. Childers)

Something in the smell of freshly brewed coffee drew the locals in.  As compelling as the desire for quick wealth or a job in depressed times, the promise was out there--100 miles from almost everything in the Mojave Desert. Fiery volcanic, mineral-laden vapors had percolated up faults forming veins and pockets of high-grade ore in the Yellow Astor Field. Scalding hot water percolated through fresh grounds, infusing the water with a rich distinct flavor. Each urn and ore car full marked the cycle of boom and bust as the painted sign on the outside clapboard wall gradually lost track of the details.
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