Lost Boy de Jour: Justin "Bugsy" Sailor

Lost Boys, United States — By on June 26, 2007 at 12:09 am

Several weeks ago, The Lost Girls got a shout-out email from one of our favorite blog crushes…Justin “Bugsy” Sailor, the dude who’s traveling all over the US to “stay with a different family in each state, documenting hometown life through photography, interviews, and journal writing.” So far he’s visited big cities, small towns and several blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em hamlets, all in an effort to get to know the “real” America and to give a voice to citizens so often overlooked by the mainstream media. Pretty noble quest, no?

Since starting his Hometown Invasion Tour in September 2006, he’s posted over 300 blog entries about his intra-country travels and has appeared in just about every small-town newspaper in the States (not to mention some pretty big radio and television news programs).

After reading about his exploits and misadventures on the Hometown Invasion blog, we knew that we had to make Justin our Lost Boy de Jour. Along with this great honor comes great responsiblity….namely to answer any and all questions we had for him. The following is a guest post/interview with Justin…if you have any additional queries for him (even totally inappropriate ones!), just click here to share your thoughts.

Thank you Lost Girls, for having me as a guest blogger, your trip is an inspiration. And for those of you reading, just who am I? In September 2006 I set out on a trip of my own. The plan: road trip to all 50 states (well, fly to two) in a year and stay with people I have never met. In the last 9 months I’ve visited 36 states, stayed with over 80 hosts (~250 people), driven over 20,000 miles, post 300+ blog entries, and over 1600 photos. It’s my honor to share a few experiences to inspire and encourage travel across the globe, wherever you may be.

LGs: Which item that you’ve packed or picked up along the way could you absolutely not live without? Which items that you’ve packed have been completely unnecessary?

Justin: Rice, I cannot live without Rice. He’s my friend, my companion, and he’s #1. Rice is the first squirrel to travel to all 50 states. Not only has he become a great story alone, my mascot, and the subject of many photos, but he has become a connection point with children I meet on my trip especially when talking about my trip to an elementary class. Though there are a few unnecessary items I’ve packed, mostly too many Rubik’s Cubes and too many books that I never have a chance to read. And I’ve picked up way too many flyers, brochures, and info pamphlets that I will never look at again.

LGs: What was the worst or weirdest meal you’ve had on the road so far?

Justin: Have you ever heard of “Rocky Mountain oysters”? Let me tell youone thing, it’s not an oyster. Do you really want to know what it is, I mean, really? Alright, I’ll tell you. It’s a bull testicle. If you ever make it to Roseburg, Oregon, stop in at the Anderson Place Market where Rocky Mountain oysters aren’t a gross food, they’re a delicacy. I know you’re curious, and no, it doesn’t taste that bad. The texture is a little strange, but you just have to forget what
you’re eating.

LGs: Which town will you never, ever return to again, and why? Which city or cities would you move to in a heartbeat, and why?

Justin: There has never been a town I wouldn’t return to. I’ve seen just about every kind of town you can have in this country, and there are a lot! Teenagers will often ask, “Why would you want to come to this town, it’s boring?” Well, for every teenager saying that, there is someone else saying, “This town is paradise, these are the nicest people in the world, I wouldn’t live anywhere else.” And as for boring, my take on it is that boring is a characteristic of movies and people, not of towns. Every town has unique character and as a writer and photographer, I have never seen a town that’s not photogenic and that’s not full of stories.

LGs: What’s one of the wackiest stories of meeting people?

Justin: In San Luis Obispo, California there is a famous hotel called the Madonna Inn. It’s pink, all pink, everything is pink, pink, pink! And in this pink hotel there is the world’s most famous urinal. It’s an elegant waterfall where men can just walk up and do their thing. Both men and women are always walking in and out taking photos of this, even teenage girls walking into the men’s restroom there and walk out giggling.

So there I was, next to the urinal taking a photo of this with my big camera around my neck. A tall, lanky, guy walks in. He’s dressed very strange and in a deep, slow, smooth, monotonous voice he asks, “Hey, what kind of camera is that?” So we talked cameras. Then he proceeded to tell me that he’s a paparazzi photographer. So he invites me to photograph Lindsay Lohan with him in Los Angeles. Sadly, he never did call, but when’s the last time someone met a paparazzi photographer at the famous urinal in the Madonna Inn?

Just a few stories of the hundreds form The Hometown Invasion Tour. I hope to hear from you and I wish you happy travels of adventure, excitement, and experience.

Best regards,

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