Boom times came to the forgotten little southwestern town of Chamisaville just as the rest of America was in the Great Depression. They came when a rattletrap bus loaded with stolen dynamite blew sky-high, leaving behind a giant gushing hot spring. Within minutes, the town’s wheeler-dealers had organized, and within a year, Chamisaville was flooded with tourists and pilgrims, and the wheeler-dealers were rich.
Spanning forty years, The Magic Journey tells the tale of how progress transformed a rural backwater into a boomtown. At first, it was a magic time for Chamisaville—almost as if every day were a holiday. But the euphoria gradually dissipated, and the land-hungry developers, speculators, and interlopers moved in. Finally, the day came when Chamisaville’s people found themselves all but displaced, their children no longer heirs to their land or their tradition. With mounting intensity, The Magic Journey reaches a climax that is tragically foreordained. A sensitive, vital, and honest chronicle of life in America’s Southwest, it is also an incisive commentary on what America has become on its road to progress.