Glimpsing Big Love in Colorado City, Arizona
Quit leaning out the window and don’t gawp —“These are people too.” The Short Creek community on the Arizona/Utah border looks like any other semi-desolate desert town—dusty streets, crumbling houses, and seemingly happy people—except here the houses are massive. Huge. Mansions even, albeit ones unfinished roofs. But in this town alone, it all makes sense. The houses are huge because this is a hideout for polygamist holdouts, where spidery nuclear families are standard. The houses are run down because the sect’s notorious leader (the recently imprisoned Warren Jeffs) has predicted imminent apocalypse almost biannually with impressive persistence, rendering repairs pointless. "Seemingly"—because the ghosts of American subcultures stay in the shadows for good reasons, and a short cruise through this town doesn’t reveal that much at all.