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I was born in California. I was raised in California.
To me, the world was California. Evrything else
was some strange place. One place I knew about
was Tennessee, where my mom grew up. I heard
stories about her dad being a miner and her brothers
and sisters fighting and divorcing and trying to kill
each other and being alcoholics and not getting
along. I thot, maybe, I’d write someday, like
Faulkner, about the South. How sad it all was and
how impossible it all seemed. And then I left
California. Spent the next thirty something years in Texas. Tennessee still seems like some strange place
that got lost somewhere in the past. Back roads into Orme. Go to the hickory handle factory there in Sequatchie. Take I 24 out of Marion county into Chattanooga.

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