“There were 10 kids in my family. We picked pecans and that is how we bought Christmas gifts. We would spend a dime, 15 cents, or a quarter if you really liked them. There was a minimum of 100 gifts under our tree. We were poor but I didn’t know it until I was with a group in the Army that gave out bags of food and gifts to needy families and I realized people had done that for us. While I was in the Army, I painted houses on the weekend and painted Bruce Springsteen’s cottage in Asbury Park. It was about 4-500 square feet and he drove a ’57 Chevy with a flame on the side. He was a little guy. I could have picked him up and thrown him over the house.
I never thought I would move back here because it is too damn hot, but I have been sailing every night and the salty air brings you back. I work with computers, but I bought a 1921 cottage and I am learning from my brothers how to use my hands. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside there is a hanging bed and my brothers are building a hanging recliner, I made curtains out of burlap, and my sister is making mosaics. The house is me, with the help of my brothers, sisters, and friends. We are a laughing family and we sit outside and cut up. It has been a beautiful experience. Everything I want is here. I walk the beach 2-3 times a day and smoke a cigar.”