Author and professor Gina Frangello may be on the petite side, and her calf-high leather boots, flowing skirt, and multitude of scarves may seem at odds with the grittier fashion aesthetic favored in Bombay Beach, but it would be a mistake to underestimate her passion for the community.
A little more than three years ago, she was staying with her significant other and fellow author Rob Roberge at his cabin in Wonder Valley. The inner city Chicago girl had visited the desert for the first time “and instantly fell in love with it — the intense heat, the colors, the giant sky, the dryness. I went crazy for it.”
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She and Roberge explored the High Desert to the low, from Pioneertown to Coachella, and one day she announced, “I want to see the Salton Sea.”
They drove down the same day, walked into the Ski Inn in Bombay Beach, took a stool, and looked at each other in wonder. “We’re like, ‘This place is crazy — like Mad Max meets Baghdad Café meets Northern Exposure.’ What the hell … We love this town.”