Bobbi Fabian's first experience with desert was with the Warner Brothers Roadrunner cartoon. Growing up in Melbourne Australia, Bobbi made her way to America looking for more opportunities as a photographer, finding she felt more at home in the U.S. than in her home country. Bobbi moved to the U.S. in 2003, settling in Los Angeles. With an MA in Photography Bobbi was a freelance photographer and educator for most of her working life – commissioned by brands like Timex, Penguin Books, Audi and other household names.
On a road trip through America, while working on a project, she and a friend made a point to go through Death Valley and Joshua Tree. Staying at the Amargosa Hotel, they felt so at home, they decided to meet there every Christmas following that visit.
Bobbi's friend was unable to make it to their annual holiday in 2014 and Bobbi decided to go anyway .
There she met a women and her friend who had moved to Death Valley Junction to perform Mara Becket’s original (dance) pieces. During that trip, Bobbi sensed good things would be happening in Death Valley Junction and decided to make another trip back sooner than her annual holiday visit.
It was February 2015 and the Opera House was having a special event dinner and performance celebrating Valentines Day. The Dancer and her friend, charged with making dinner for the patrons, had gotten into an argument. Bobbi stepped in to help the friend finish the dinner preparations. The following morning, he told her the Cafe was in need of management and Bobbi should consider taking the job. Bobbi dismissed the idea, but couldn't let go of the thought the entire ride back to Los Angeles.
A month later, Bobbi was back in Death Valley Junction sharing her ideas for the Cafe with Marta Becket, who said yes to all of them. On June 10, 2020, Bobbi celebrated five years in Death Valley Junction.
In this episode Bobbi also shares some of the history of Death Valley Junction, how dancer Marta Becket came to be the caretaker of the town and how this place with 268 acres, population 3, survives today.
Now, as the general manager of the Cafe, Hotel and Opera House, with the support of the non-profit's Board of Directors, Bobbi describes her day to day: working in and hiring for the cafe, overseeing the maintenance for all three buildings as well as sharing the history of the Junction with it's curious visitors.
We also talk about Death Valley National Park, what drew her in so closely to that part of the desert and her disappointment with folks who treat the desert as a wasteland.
There are a number of videos available on YouTube telling a deeper story about Marta, her journey to Death Valley and her revitalization of the Amargosa Opera House. Just google 'Amargosa YouTube' or check out the documentary 'Amargosa' available online. It was such a documentary that inspired Desert Lady Diaries guest, Shana Rhodes, to make her own move to the desert.
And, if you can and are so moved, please donate to the go fund me campaign to help the non-profit maintain the property during this time of Covid-19 closures: