I actually worked in Palmdale, California, once upon a time. I remember my final day on the job, my husband took a photo of me leaving the front door of the county mental health clinic, looking thoroughly jubilant.
Why is this woman smiling? Let’s just say, “Relief.” In all of Los Angeles County it is the place where one can live cheapest. It is the farthest settlement from the metropolis. In fact it’s actually closer to Bakersfield, which is in the next county. Not quite rural, but one of the several patients who had left the congestion of downtown Los Angeles for Palmdale told me that at least you could breathe the air in Palmdale. It was also a place where exchanging sexual favors for rent in a trailer park was not uncommon. It was also a place where local TV pickings were slim enough that I was actually on television. Not as a physician, mind you, but singing the songs of Edith Piaf. In those days before “American Idol” they broadcast from the local karaoke bar on a weekly basis. The night I was there, the special guest star was the fellow who played harmonica on the hit record “Moon River” forty years earlier and had been a bit-part actor in movies such as “The Wild One” with Marlon Brando. He had fallen on hard times – he dressed like a homeless person and used a length of rope as a belt for his pants.
That’s my impression of Palmdale. Read more on Cults Are Still Around, So Watch Out…