Highway Patrol, Nevada

In the quest for authenticity it is so easy to overstep the line into theme park territory; it is equally easy to gentrify a historic town into a clutch of antique shops and chic restaurants. Nothing like that had happened in Austin, which, apart from a motel, looked and felt unchanged since the frontier days, and even the motel seemed to have acquired a patina of age. There was a main street that had covered boardwalks in parts, and several other streets climbed a hill behind it. The main street had a lovely old bank building and a couple of bars, but it was dominated by a rambling, shambling, wooden hotel with wagonwheels set in its boardwalk railings. Parked in front of the hotel was a sturdy Highway Patrol car, which should have been a jarring note but somehow it looked exactly right. As if on cue, an equally sturdy cop, with a scowl and jowls, came out of the building and clumped over the boards to his cruiser, which he then drove away.

Copyright  Alice Starmore
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