American Gypsy Girl
by Mary Zinda
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April 28, 1969. The future looks bleak for the baby girl asleep on top of her father’s boxer shorts in the laundry basket, but she doesn’t seem to notice. At the moment, Charlene Rae Bucher is blissfully unaware that she will spend her formative years living inside an aluminum camper with a disinterested, dope-smoking father and a vacant, vodka-loving mother. Her extended family will consist of a bunch of equally uninspired adults who park their campers alongside the Buchers. She is truly an unlucky baby.
But babies grow up, and the teenage Farrah Fawcett wannabe stuffs her bra and learns what she can about life within the chain-link fence of Creek’s Edge Campground. A lesson learned inside a rubber tractor tire forces Charlene to grow up quickly–even when no one else around her will. With the help of the retired Methodist minister on site 11A and some eccentric people she meets outside Creek’s Edge, Charlene begins to see that there’s more to life than getting the high score on Donkey Kong. Traveling through a maze of misunderstandings, chance meetings, and new discoveries, eighteen year-old Charlene begins to build a life of her own that isn’t on wheels.