The Idiom, “You can’t go home again” has been in common usage since Thomas Wolfe’s posthumous 1940 novel. Of course, in some ways, it is true – the home-folk are no longer there, many friends have departed to other places or from this life, spatial perception of childhood haunts are no longer reality, and buildings, roads, and actual geography have undergone change or disappeared.
But for me it only partially applies. Every time I drive east on US-60 when I top out at Gonzales Pass, and see the western front of the Pinal Mountains I feel that I have crossed into my homeland. Kings Crown and Mt. Picketpost, the town of Superior showing signs of new life, the broad cliff of Apache Leap, is beckoning me, “welcome home; come on in.”
Queen Creek Canyon is the portal to my youth and I am at home from there all the way to Thatcher, the first place I lived away from Miami and Globe while attending Eastern Arizona College. I came home every weekend while attending EAC because I was madly in love with a girl in Claypool, consequently I recognize practically every inch of the trip. But Pinto Creek through Globe is the world of my first nineteen years, and I’m as at home there as if I had never left. My wife has expressed the same feelings.
As Bill and I traveled last Saturday to Pima for the book signing, we had been engaged in conversation the whole way. But, while were driving over the ridge between Miami and Globe, we fell quiet, just taking in the familiar sights. When Bill said, “You know, I left here when I was still a teenager, and came back for a few short visits, but I always feel I am home when I’m here.” I guess it's not just Lois and I.
Bill will travel back to Miami with me this Friday (Feb. 15) for a signing at Bullion Plaza Museum, housed in the beautiful old school of the same name. I never attended that school, but many of my cousins did, and most, if not all four of our children attended school there. So for us it holds memories of programs, concerts, and parent teacher conferences. What a fine job the citizens have done of preserving that building, and creating a wonderful museum and cultural center, it keeps the history alive and enhances the quality of life through a variety of cultural and educational events.
So when I sign in Miami, chances are good I will see some family members, school mates that I have known from kindergarten, men and women I worked with for decades, former neighbors, and some new friends or, now adults, which I only knew as my friend’s children. I will most assuredly feel like I am home again.
I will be signing Murder in Copper, and my three earlier books at the Bullion Plaza Museum, Friday, February 15, from 6-8 p.m. All proceeds go to the museum. (In addition to my book series in its second edition format, the Museum will also offer a few out-of-print collectible first editions.)
Mystery writer, Southwestern Historian, researcher, husband, father, grandpa, with an opinion on everything.